Friday, June 29, 2012
The questions surrounding the monies owed to footballers, the allegations of impropriety while he was head of this country's football, the circumstances surrounding the bribe money, the candidates, and the Hyatt hotel as well as his hasty exit from world football have never been properly answered much less ventilated, and until they are dealt with satisfactorily it is my view that he should not be in any state or national office for fear of bringing the entire thing into disrepute. Arguments can and have been made that allegations are not convictions and until charges are laid there is no case and this would be true in circumstances where the presumption of guilt does not do damage regardless of the assumption of innocence. In the United States the President can be brought down for committing both 'high crimes or misdemeanors,' leaving no room for negotiating how seriously the framers viewed integrity in public office.
Now to compound the matter we are faced with his brash and jackbooted approach to his new position and has made such a mess of things that I cannot see how he still has this job. That we as a nation have not yet torn up our own constitution in our attempts to rid our country of the scourge of crime is a testament to our desire to still have a democracy after, and this 'strong man' approach needs to be resisted with everything we have and put down before it does more harm than good.
Many on either side further confound the problem by reducing the discussion to personalities, but it should never be; the issue must never be about whether you 'like' Jack or not as a person or even if he is the hardest working dwarf in the kingdom, but rather what we see of ourselves in the collective pool. In our situation here it is clear that his appointment to the Cabinet has been a challenge not only to the Parliamentary code of ethics, but to the very standards that are supposed to be achieved and kept when one is elevated to such high office in the first place. There can be no sugarcoating this and regardless of his much touted ability, his presence affects what should be a national moral code and steers it toward 'who dares wins.' In times of moral crisis such as these, this could never be good for the nation as a whole. Kamla Persad Bissessar alone can know what was in her mind when she appointed him to this office and only she can make things right, but in this instance and guided by recent developments, she needs to take firm decisive action here if she does not want to be dragged down with him.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 10:25 AM
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
I write this to you as a concerned citizen over your decision to put off having the Dangerous Dog Bill proclaimed into law and I believe that you may be mistakingly putting the greater number at risk to satisfy the clamouring needs of the few. The fact remains that you, like every other informed citizen have a responsibility to the public to push past misinformation and focus on the facts as they exist, and the indisputable fact of the matter is that pitbulls and mixed pitbull dogs are far and away the number one killer of people among all dog breeds and is overwhelmingly responsible for more random and vicious attacks against owners and strangers alike than any other dog in the world.
The reality of the situation as you are most probably aware is that breed specific legislation exists worldwide for this one breed of dog only and this is not by coincidence. This animal's reputation as a killer of people is well deserved and is responsible for more human deaths than any other breed of dog to date, bar none. Arguments have been made that all dogs can bite and this is a fact, but the pitbull terrier and its derivatives are more predisposed to attack and requires much less aggression training to turn a strong and determined animal into a killing machine. Even the pro-pitbull lobby are well aware of the animal's nefarious reputation and deliberately avoid even using the name pitbull in their organization's names for fear of alienating the public at large.
There is an old saying that my right to swing my fist stops at the other person's right to not be hit in the face, and in this instance and in this regard nothing could be more apt. I urge you to see these animals not just for what they are but for their potential for destruction and to use your good office to protect the people from that. There may be times and instances where wild and aggressive animals can be introduced into civil society, but it must be guided cautiously and regulated strenuously to protect the public at large. This is one such instance and agin I urge you, proclaim the Dangerous Dog Bill now.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 12:13 PM
Sunday, June 17, 2012
In keeping with all of the road blocks that have been set up in the least efficient manner possible, there has been a road block set up now on information. As of this week we as citizens have been banned from accessing serious crime statistics which use to be available to the public on the TTPS web site. It is very alarming that now with crime being out of hand and only getting worse that we are no longer allowed to see exactly how bad things are getting.
This comes on the heels of the failings of the Minister of National Security and the Government on the whole to curb the crime, and lack of any sustainable anti-crime initiatives. The National Security Minister announced just last month that “Serious Crime is down” although admitting that homicide was up. The day after this announcement however the media used the information available to the public (compiled by the TTPS) that not only is homicide up, but rape as well. This begs the question, does this administration not consider murder and rape both serious crimes? Either this or it is a case of a plain out lie to mislead the public. Then again these were the same people who claimed former head of the SSA had 6 years experience one day, and 9 the other. Also a doctorate which never existed. And despite claiming not to know her, old pictures of Government Ministers and her appearing on social media. But I digress.
The response to this loss of public trust, and lack of ideas outside of deploying soldier mindlessly to rough up many law abiding citizens (as they are trained as soldiers and not law enforcement officers) has led to the only logical response in the minds of the administration, I.e block us from the truth. Not only is this wrong politically, morally, socially, and all kind of other “allys” but could be legally as well as according to the Freedom of Information Act Ch 22:02, section 8 (k) a body corporate or unincorporated entity—(i) in relation to any function which itexercises on behalf of the State;(ii) which is established by virtue of thePresident’s prerogative, by a Minister ofGovernment in his capacity as such or byanother public authority; or(iii) which is supported, directly orindirectly, by Government funds andover which Government.We are entitled to this information and it has become a norm for journalists now to access this information online, but I guess not anymore. At best this could be a tactic to frustrate the public into not seeking the info (if we are still allowed to access it in writing).
Now we as citizens will just have to take the Ministers word for it. Up to this point it has been drenched in half truths, political misdirection, and boldface lies. In the midst’s of the public’s trust for the Ministry’s handling of police matters via press release being at an all time low, we are expected just to stay quiet and take what they have to tell us as truth? This is nothing resembling a democracy. What is alarming as well is the attempt to sneak this up on us. No announcement was made that they would be locking this feature off from the TTPS website, and no comment was made on it further.
Since ancient times, knowledge has been power. The way tyrants and those in positions of power have maintained power has been to hold knowledge from the people and manipulate whatever the let be filtered down. This is usually done to the point where the information becomes so corrupt and twisted that it paints the exact picture of the persons/bodies in charge that they want the public to see. We are not living in the days of ancient Rome, we are not in N. Korea, we are supposed to be a free country. We need to stand up to our right for knowledge and access to it. If we don’t, our history can be recorded through the bias lens and going to far down this path, we will lose our nation forever.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Also at issue here are the apparent benefits accrued by the promoters, one of whom is the daughter of a sitting CDA board member, and questions need to be asked of this whether he was indeed in the loop or not. Similar to the situation with former Planning Minister Mary King, the distance between beneficiary and the state appeared to be shortened through familial relationship, and this matter now needs to be determined by the Integrity Commission or any other authoritative body so as to remove any notion of impropriety if none indeed exists and to guide both public servants and the public in the future where matters such as these are concerned.
In the instance at caption, there was a lot of lead time to relocate the event from the moment the subject broke into the discussion and onto the debate agenda, and the promoters should have been made to relocate to a less environmentally sensitive section of the peninsula if it mattered that much to the board. As the Chairman himself was in the conversation days in advance one could be excused for hoping that something like common sense would prevail, but as nothing of substance was done to curtail the event it seemed to demonstrate quite convincingly that the preservation of the environment as a nature reserve is no longer a priority to the CDA. I hope that this eventually proves to be far from the truth, but if that is indeed this government's position then it needs to be made known to the public, to many of whom the Chaguaramas peninsula is a source of pride and a space of respite from the increasingly rigorous pace of life. Many authorities seriously flubbed their lines here by allowing this event to happen, including but not limited to the Chaguaramas Development Authority and all other organizations involved in the granting of permissions and licenses for this event. In a real country all of the heads of these departments would have serious questions to answer, but then in a real country we may not have arrived here in the first place. I also note with sadness the silence of the media on this issue despite it raging for almost a week, and I hope at some point that someone with the authority to weigh in on this does their job.
American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and activist Noam Chomsky is noted to have said - “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.” We ignore to our eventual peril the almost 'elitist' or 'caste' system circumstances and events such as these create in the minds of the people, where a certain sector of our society is allowed 'privileges' that others less connected simply do not enjoy. We risk much sowing these unavoidable seeds of discord, and the duplicity is not lost on the masses when we call for a 'clamping down' on lawless others while doing as we damned well please. History has taught us at some point we will reap a whirlwind if we continue down this road, and I humbly suggest that we need a maturing at every level if we are ever going to create a space where every creed and race do indeed find an equal place. Something to think about....
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 6:59 AM
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Umpteen hundreds of millions are being spent on legal fees to ask questions that will not change the system nor bring the guilty to justice, but we carry on anyway. No money has been allocated for a water policy to prevent flooding or to deal with any unforeseen drought, no food or agriculture policy has been enunciated despite the cries of a people literally dying under the weight of imported food prices. No sensible health policy but millions are being stolen by unscrupulous doctors through double and triple billing schemes or outright theft of hospital supplies. No government to date has had the foresight to make the three major hospitals into teaching institutions so as to transform our young people into skilled professionals, so instead we settle for our people dying in hallways waiting for a visit from a doctor. Instead of focusing on education millions are being misappropriated by board members while the system is grinding out semi-literate fast food cashiers and security guards. Our younger generation, unarmed and unready to face the challenges of a world waiting to devour them are given no respite despite us having at least five Social Development Ministries in varying guises. Bank charges and policies appear designed to keep the masses in economic slavery, and, combined with a lack of a jobs or people development policies, the masses are kept ignorant, dependent and wanting.
No real anti-drug policy despite T&T being referred to in many quarters as a narco-state, and hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars are reportedly washing through our land, lubricated by the blood of our youth and the tears of their mothers. Our official Opposition and government in waiting, besmeared by allegations of massive corruption throughout their ranks and populated by some very questionable characters both frontline and behind the scene, offers no real political alternative to a disenchanted electorate who see them at best as a spent force. With a government coalition in quasi-meltdown struggling to hold itself together for appearances sake and be-dogged by the same questions of misbehavior in office I am forced to ask, what, if anything is there to celebrate?
Perhaps if this government was to keep the promises made while campaigning we could be excused for some celebrating. Recall legislation, referendum legislation, term limits, fixed election date, the promised three thousand dollar pension from the age of sixty, Local Government Reform as well as Campaign Finance Reform could well be cause for some partying.
Another good reason would be the removal of Austin Jack Warner from the nation's Cabinet until he is cleared of all of the local and international allegations and investigations into his conduct, and It might be fete worthy if the Point Fortin Highway were to be stopped altogether to allow for consultation with all stakeholders and that money redirected to more sensible and needed projects.
Legislation that guarantees equality, rights and access for all our disabled brothers and sisters, state support for ALL children's homes and a humane policy to deal with the growing issue of homelessness could well make a convert out of me so I could be there front and center with my party hat on, cup in hand an wining, but until then Madame Prime Minister, if we were to be completely honest, there is really nothing worth celebrating right now at all....
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 2:15 PM
Sunday, June 3, 2012
They infer some ulterior motive by the sate against all dogs through this bill, and by obfuscating the facts and telling the dog owning population that today it may be pitbulls but tomorrow it could be pompeks is as disingenuous as can be as no one has been trying to legislate dog ownership in this country prior to the introduction of this breed and the subsequent spate of attacks, maulings and killings that comes with its proliferation. Were it not for the ferocious temperament of this particular animal and the consequences of trying to fit into civil society a beast better suited for the jungle, would we even be having this conversation?
They go a step further in their misdirection campaign by insisting that 'all dogs' have the ability to attack and even kill and, while that may very well be so in theory, our experience does not justify this claim. What they hope to achieve by getting 'all dogs' included is to overwhelm the system required for registration, neutering etc. through sheer volume of animals and so prove the law unworkable. We need to stay focused and on point, and while I agree that all dogs SHOULD be regulated and controlled at some point, the ice cold back hand slap of reality is that most importantly and right now, THIS dog should. They further claim that breed specific legislation does not work, yet in every country that is considered developed and civilized worldwide, breed specific legislation (which was created to control and limit the proliferation of pitbulls and other similarly dangerous derivatives) is law and in this jurisdiction (which ought to be the prime concern of our lawmakers and law enforcers), the well being of our people when weighed against the demonstrated potential for destruction ought to be the underpinning fact.
The most ludicrous argument that they proffer is that this issue is about loving dogs. This is outrageously false and is about as much about loving dogs as snorting cocaine is to powdering your nose. This issue is ONLY about protecting the citizenry from a clear and present danger defined and identified as a threat to peaceful society and controlling if not removing the problem altogether.
Trying to paint it as an owner's rights issue is at best a sop designed to enlist the empathy of all dog owners to misdirect from the truth, that pitbulls are dangerous and unpredictable animals that should only be allowed in the care of specific owners for clearly defined and specific reasons under tightly regulated circumstances similar to those required to own a gun or any other such potentially dangerous device. We need to bring the conversation back to reality and call on the Attorney General to stick to his word on this issue and proclaim the Dangerous Dog Law now.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 5:48 AM
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Please scroll down a bit as blogger has a small issue with 'tables'
|Australia||2010-09-02||Banned for importation||Dogo Argentino; Fila Brasileiro; Japanese Tosa; American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier; Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario; and advertising matter for these breeds.|
|Brazil||State of Rio de Janeiro||April 9, 1999||Banned for importation, commercialization, breeding and unauthorized creation||Pit bulls in general and breeds derived from them.|
|Bermuda||July 21, 2003||Banned||Importing or breeding of any "breed of dog that may be perceived as dangerous" is prohibited. Proscribed breeds include (among others) the pitbull terrier, staffordshire, several of the mastiff breeds, Australian Dingo, Akita, and crossbreeds thereof, as well as "any exotic or uncommon breed" at the government's discretion.|
|Denmark||July 1, 2010||Banned||As of 1 July 2010, breeding, selling and importing of the following breeds is banned: American Pit Bull Terrier,Japanese Tosa, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Boerboel, Dogo Argentino, Kangal, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Tornjak,Sarplaninac, Fila Brasileiro, South Russian Shepherd Dog and crossbreeds thereof. Currently existing dogs must be muzzled and leashed at all times in public. Same restrictions against mutts if the owner cannot prove that his/her dog is not a crossbreed.Information, Rets (2010-03-17). "Lov om ændring af lov om hunde og dyreværnsloven" (in Danish). Ministry of Justice of Denmark. Retrieved 2010-03-17.|
It is also a "positive list", listing breeds that are looking pretty similar to them that are banned: Polski Owczarek Podhalanski, Cão Fila de São Miguel, Dogue de Bordeaux,Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Napolitan Mastiff, Cane Corso,Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dogo Canario, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Iberian Dogge. Owners of these breeds must have documentation for the breeds or types, but dogs on the positive list are not banned by law.
|Ecuador||March 2009||Banned||Private ownership of pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers is prohibited.|
|France||April 30, 1999||Restricted||Non-pure-breed animals resembling pit-bulls are to be spay/neutered|
|Ireland, Republic of||1998||Restricted||The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 place controls on 10 breeds of dogs, namely the American Pit Bull Terrier; English Bull Terrier; Staffordshire Bull Terrier; Bull Mastiff; Doberman Pinscher; German Shepherd (Alsatian); Rhodesian Ridgeback;Rottweiler; Japanese Akita; Japanese Tosa and to every dog of the type commonly known as a Ban Dog (or Bandog).|
The controls, which must be observed when the dog is in a public place, require that these dogs, or strains and crosses thereof, must be securely muzzled and kept on a strong short lead [only up to 2 metres long] by a person over 16 years of age who is capable of controlling them. Dogs that are not kept under control will be euthanized.
|Malta||February 17, 1998||Restricted||The following breeds may not be imported into Malta:American Pitbull Terrier, Argentine Dogo, Fila Brasileiro, orJapanese Tosa|
|New Zealand||November 17, 2003||Restricted||The following restrictions apply to dogs of these breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, orJapanese Tosa|
amendedAugust 20, 2004
|Banned||The following breeds are forbidden to give, sell, breed or import, including those in embryonic form, but dogs bred before the law came into effect are legal to possess:|
Dogs of these breeds that are kept legal, also have to be microchipped.
|Poland||1997||Restricted||Owners can have pit bulls but must display clear warning signs and keep the dogs behind reinforced fencing.|
|Portugal||Banned||The ban affects the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler,American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino,Tosa Inu and Pit Bull.|
|Puerto Rico||July 23, 1998||Banned||The introduction, import, possession, acquisition, breeding, purchase, sale and transfer in any form in the island of Puerto Rico, of the dogs known as “Pitbull Terriers”, or hybrids produced by cross-breeding with dogs of other breeds, is ... prohibited.|
The matter concerns the product of cross-breeding bulldogs and terriers. This product is defined as a breed of bull terriers which includes Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Argentine Dogo,American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pitbull Terriers and crossbreeds of these and other terrier strains. Owners of existing pit bull-type dogs had until March 23, 1999 to register their dogs.
|Romania||April 26, 2002||Restricted||The following restrictions apply:|
|Singapore||June 4, 1991||Restricted||The following breeds of dogs and their crosses are not allowed to be imported into Singapore – Pit Bull (which includes theAmerican Pit Bull Terrier also known as the American Pit Bull and Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier,Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Bulldog, and crosses between them and with other breeds); Neapolitan Mastiff,Tosa, Akita, Dogo Argentino, Boerboel, Fila Brasileiro and their crosses.|
Owners of these breeds of dogs already in Singapore must comply with the following requirements:
|Spain||2002||Restricted||A royal decree restricts several breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Argentine Dogo, Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.|
|Switzerland||2012||Varies by State; some states have adopted extensive BSL, others have no such legislation whatsoever. Several decisions of the Supreme Court have found that state BSL is constitutional. There is no BSL on the federal level; federal bills that would have enacted it died in 2006 and 2010.|
|Turkey||2004||Restricted||The breeding, buying, selling, exchanging and advertising of Pit Bulls, Japanese Tosa dogs, and other "wild animals" is banned. Pit bull owners must register and sterilize their dogs.|
|Ukraine||1998||Restricted||Dangerous breed list approved by Cabinet resolution from July 9, 2002, has over 80 breeds, including several varieties of Bull Terriers, Bulldogs, Livestock Guardian dogs, Boxer, Briar, Labrador Retriever, Welsh Terrier, German Shepherd and their mixes. Compliance requirements include mandatory insurance and micro chipping, walking on a short leash and muzzle in public places, other restrictions. Ukraine allows adapting local municipal laws to enforce further restrictions.|
In Ukraine capital, Kiev, as per law adapted at 1998, the list of breeds forbidden for breeding and requiring mandatory sterilization, includes Akbash, APBT, Presca Canario, Kangal, Romanian Shepherd, Greek Shepherd, Alek Roshhin Doberman, Superdog and Superdog Mainkong mixes and 18 other recognized and unrecognized breeds. Besides mandatory spay, law requests muzzle, insurance, short leash, very high license fees and other measures.
As per Ukrainian Kennel Club KSU, dangerous breeds list includes over 20 breeds, such as American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, English Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, Dogue De Bordeaux.
|United Kingdom||August 12, 1991||Banned||Dangerous Dogs Act 1991: Owning dogs of the types known as the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Argentine Dogo, or Fila Brasileiro is prohibited. No person shall—|
Note: the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 does not apply in Northern Ireland; however, the same restrictions apply in Northern Ireland under the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.
|Venezuela||2014||Banned||It will be illegal to import, breed, adopt, raise, or sell pit bull-type dogs starting December 31, 2014.|
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 12:39 PM