Thursday, April 30, 2009

Severely Stressed

Most of you know that I have been under a great deal of stress lately.

The migraines are having their way with me on a regular basis so I decided to pay my specialist a visit.

He made me take a test. I don't know exactly how it works but it turns out that it is amazingly accurate.This test has been used in case studies in the USA.

The picture below has two identical dolphins in it. During the test, I was closely monitored. It was said that inspite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress would find that there are differences between the two dolphins. Apparently the more differences the person finds, the more stressed they are.

I've been sent on sick leave!!

And when I am less stressed I will stop putting the same blog on both my sites!! Until.............

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Country Running Smooth.....

This is going to sound very anti government of Trinidad and Tobago as I write about the three day Fifth Summit of the Americas which begins on Friday.

The country is on virtual lock down, front pages of the newspapers show heavily armed security looking as though they should be in Somalia instead of here, passes for the Red Zone which have been paid for are not issued, the external security forces have said that the proposed route from the airport to the Hyatt is vulnerable so the alternative route has to be used - never mind the millions that was spent hiding shanty towns and the undesirables behind walls -, the numerous dry runs that have put citizens out and caused them to miss planes, appointments, weddings and the like and yesterday, the electricity company sending panic and chaos through the International Finance Centre which is housing the National Secretariat for the Summit when there was power failure. Fire alarms went of, people were stuck in elevators and there was a mad rush for the emergency exits. One newspaper reports between 1,000 and 2,000 people including international media were ordered to leave the building by the fire services! It was passed off as an 'emergency drill' but once one has lived in this country one knows that there was either an almighty cock up or the electric company workers decided to sabotage the proceedings.

Talk about a three ringed circus!

The floating hotels have arrived. Two Princess Line cruise ships which will house security - 200 local police officers have already moved on board - they must think they have died and gone to heaven - our rat and cockroach infested, car less police stations leave a great deal to be desired. The police officers will filter among the guests, delegates and journalists staying on the ships for the next seven days.

In the meantime there are long delays in Accreditation Centre - people cannot get their passes including the programme coordinator for Transparency International in the Americas. I bet she's pissed off! Her pass it at the airport which is where she should have collected it from when she arrived but no one told her. So now she's on the other side of the island hoping that some courier will be able to get through the road blocks!

And three days before the Summit Active Democracy Citizen Network which is made up of 21 countries, has given Trinidad and Tobago a bad rating for non implementation of decisions from previous Summits of the Americas!

The money that has been spent on this three day event when there are homeless and starving people in this country, is immoral. Seven or so years ago, a new airport was built. Contractors and ex government ministers (living and dead!) are still under investigation for the corruption. One contractor and an ex minister are fighting extradition to the US because of charges laid. So this government decides to rebuild the old airport to accommodate private jets bringing in Heads of States. Add to that the TT$60 million (USD = 6 TTD!) that it cost to build a hangar - yes one hangar - to accommodate Air Force One and its accompanying fleet and the bill is mounting up! We won't even go into the amount of money that was spent on brand new vehicles to transport delegates - car salesmen and fleet managers are having a ball because in time of supposed financial crisis, their commissions are out of this world. Over 200 new vehicles which will afterwards be used by government officials!! They don't have to provide a vehicle for Obama - the 'beast' is already here!

There is so much preparation here - walls painted, grass painted, trees planted, vagrants removed from the streets, buildings painted, roads paved, police and security services working etc... that I think we should have a Summit every two months. That would guarantee a clean and safe country.

The joke is that whilst the demi god Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago is busting out of his shirt with pride, there was but a mere mention in passing on MSNBC, CNN et al of Obama's trip to Trinidad. It seems according to the US media he is going to Mexico on Thursday and then 'to Trinidad'. No mention of what for!!

Obama and Chevaz in the same room? This should be interesting!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Janet Jagan 1920 - 2009

I wonder how many are familiar with the name Janet Jagan. For those who do not know of her, she was once the Prime Minister of Guyana and later President of Guyana.

Not very remarkable one might say but this is remarkable because Janet Jagan was an American born socialist politician who made Guyana her home many years ago.

Janet was born as Janet Rosenberg to middle class Jewish parents in Chicago, Illinois. I know - I know - you don't need me to tell you all know where Chicago is!! In December 1942 while working as a student nurse at Cook County Hospital she met Cheddi Jagan, an Indo-Guyanese dentistry student at Northwestern University. They were married in August 1943 after which Janet moved with her husband to Guyana.

In Guyana she took part in labour activism along with her husband and joined the British Guyanan Labour Union at the same time working in her husband's dental practice. In 1946 she founded the womens political and economic Organization and co-founded the Political Affairs Committee.

Jagan unsuccessfully ran for a seat from Central Georgetown in the 1947 general election. On January 1, 1950, she and her husband were co-founders of the left-wing People's Progressive Party (PPP) and she served as the party's General Secretary from 1950 to 1970. Also in 1950, Jagan was elected to the Georgetown City Council. She was subsequently elected to the House of Assembly in the April 1953 election. She was one of three women to win seats in that election; following the election, she was chosen as Deputy Speaker of the Legislature.

The PPP, a socialist party, opposed British colonial rule of Guyana. After its electoral victory in April 1953, the PPP briefly formed the government, but the British government had the PPP government removed later in the year, and Cheddi and Janet were jailed for five months. They were subsequently kept under house arrest for two years. In 1957, she was re-elected to the House of Assembly from Essequibo constituency and became Minister of Labour, Health and Housing. She later became Minister of Home Affairs upon her predecessor's death in 1963. She resigned from the Cabinet in 1964. As a member of the Elections Commission for the opposition in 1967, she expressed concern about the possibility of vote rigging. She was also the editor of the PPP newspaper Mirror 1973 to 1997.
Jagan was elected to Parliament in 1973 and was re-elected in 1980, 1985, and 1992, eventually becoming the longest-serving member of Parliament. Cheddi Jagan was elected as President of Guyana in 1992, and Janet Jagan became First Lady. She represented Guyana at the united Nations for three months in 1993.
After Cheddi Jagan's death, Janet Jagan was sworn in as Prime Minister as well as First Vice President on March 17, 1997. Jagan was the presidential candidate of the PPP in the 1977 election. After the PPP won the election, she became the second female President in the history of South America (after Isabel Peron of Argentina) and the first to be democratically elected. Janet Jagan not only became the first female President of Guyana, but she was also the first U.S.-born and the first white person to lead the nation.
False allegations were made against Jagan because being both Jewish and Marxist she was the subject of anti-Semetic conspiracy theories in the United States. There were false reports that she was related to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, American communists who were executed in 1953 at Sing Sing after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage. The charges were in relation to the passing of information about the atomic bomb to the then Soviet Union. A connection between Jagan and the Rosenbergs was never proved.
Jagan announced in August 1999 that she was resigning as President because her health meant that she was no longer capable of "vigorous, strong leadership". Sshe said that Finance Minister Bharrat Jagdeo would be her successor and he was then sworn in as president, a post he still holds today.
At the PPP's 29th Congress, Jagan had received the second highest number of votes (671) in the election to the party's Central Committee, held in August 2008. She was then elected to the PPP Executive Committee, in addition to being elected as editor of the PPP paper Thunder, also in August 2008.
Janet Jagan was long involved with the literary and cultural life of Guyana. She published early poems by Martin Carter in Thunder and supported the publication of early Carter collections such as ‘The Hill of Fire Glows Red.’ She strongly believed that Guyanese children needed books which reflected their own realities. She had several published works including 'When Grandpa Cheddi was a Boy and Other Stories".
Janet Jagan who was an icon in this part of the world died on March 28, 2009 at the Georgetown Public Hospital due to health problems. After a state funeral, her body was cremated on March 31, 2009.
Not bad for a nurse from Chicago, Illinois.
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