June 25, 2017

Archives for June 16, 2017

Local Inventor creates shopping app

By Ramona Luthi

MatrixShopping app creator, Larry Morgan

In an effort to improve daily shopping experiences and promote local businesses, Guyanese inventor Larry Morgan is set to launch his debut app, MatrixShopping.

The 36-year-old Berbice resident’s aim is to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses and for buyers to shop hassle-free.

In an interview with Sunday Times Magazine, Morgan mentioned that via his app, which can be accessed worldwide, he hopes to “transform how Guyana does business, as we need to catch up when it comes to technology”.

Morgan pointed out that while the app has not yet been officially launched and is currently in a testing phase, it is being used by many.

“The app is on the Google Play Store and people are using it. We have received positive feedback. We plan on rolling out more exciting features of the app before the end of the year,” he stated.

When the MatrixShopping app is officially launched, main features such as niche markets and a forum connecting entrepreneurs and customers countrywide will be available. Additionally, Morgan plans to establish an online transportation service and develop a social media platform.

“Normally people upload items in Facebook groups and try to sell them that way. But with our ‘formula’, you will be able to reach a bigger audience, therefore giving you a better chance of selling your items or services,” Morgan explained.

Morgan described the app as a “space for buyers and sellers to communicate quickly, as well as allow them to speak directly to the creator of the platform to make recommendations, if need be”.

Interestingly, being in the tech field was not Morgan’s initial career plan. However, his ambition to be successful led him on such a path. Now, his mission is to not only to be successful, but to do his part in the development of his country.

“This free app not only helps businesses to grow, but also the country in general. It also simplifies lives in that it offers customers a convenient and safe place to shop,” Morgan pointed out.

The Matrix Shopping app is now available for download on the Google Play Store.

 

History of coffee in British Guiana

1922 coffee map of the world. Inset shows areas of coffee cultivation along the Guianas coasts at the time

It is said that the Guianas are considered the first to plant coffee on the continent of South America, with the Dutch introducing it on their Dutch Guiana territories before the French and later British. According to some accounts, the Guianas were the first territories in the New World to cultivate and export coffee.

George Hanneman Bennett in his book, “An Illustrated History of British Guiana” wrote that coffee was cultivated on the colony since 1721 after it was introduced from what is now Surinam.  Inland and coastland plantations were laid out by the Dutch, where it was often cultivated alongside sugar, indigo and cocoa.

By the time of Bennett’s 1866 book, explorers were regularly discovering long abandoned Dutch coffee plantations in such places like “Ooropocary, some 120 miles up the Essequibo River”.

Eventually, for a period, both coffee and sugar plantations would dot the colony’s coastland before sugar became the main export, and coffee estates were sold, abandoned or converted to sugar plantations.

William H. Ukers writes in “All about Coffee” (1922) that the plants were brought first into Dutch Guiana, but there was no planting in what was at the time British Guiana (then a Dutch colony) until 1752.

Twenty-six years later, 6,041,000 pounds were sent to Amsterdam from the two ports of Demerara and Berbice, and after the colony fell into the hands of the English in 1796, cultivation continued to increase. Exports amounted to 10,845,000 pounds in 1803; and to more than 22,000,000 pounds in 1810, he notes.

Then there was a decline, and the production in 1828 was 8,893,500 pounds and 3,308,000 pounds in 1836. In 1849 British Guiana exported only 109,600 pounds.

In 1842, the London Gazette recorded that the coffee plantations Java and Recht-door-Zee, Uitkourst, and Bourdeaux in Canal, No. 1 were up sale, while in 1844, Two Brothers and an estate called Mes Delices on the West Bank of Demerara were two other coffee plantations for sale.

Writing in 1922, Ukers notes that for a long period there was little production, and practically no exportation. Exports in 1907, for instance, amounted to only 160 pounds.

With the next year, however, a revival of exportation began, and continued to increase. In 1908, exports were 88,700 pounds, and by 1912 had increased to 144,845 pounds.

Despite a decline in 1913, exports reached 238,767 pounds in 1914; in 1916, 501,183 pounds and in 1917 reached 267,344 pounds. But coffee export never again reached the volume of the early-mid 19th century, and eventually ceased altogether.

Even at the time Bennett writes of the colony’s coffee plantations, he noted that there were few estates remaining, and coffee cultivation halted by “hostile tariffs”, while labour was too expensive to be profitable.

 

For love of country

Alex Arjoon is a patriot on a mission to showcase the beauty of Guyana and promote a ‘green’ economy

Alex capturing the beauty of Guyana’s interior

Founded in March 2017, Reel Guyana, founded by Alex Arjoon, core business is primarily the acquisition of high quality raw video footage of the natural environment and rich culture throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. This footage will be available to the national, regional and international markets.

In an interview with Sunday Times Magazine, the 24-year-old talks about what he hopes to accomplish via his company.

Sunday Magazine (SM): What prompted you to start Reel Guyana?

Alex Arjoon (AA): Throughout my childhood, my mom always made sure we were aware of the environment and the consequences our actions have on the environment. This was a frequent life lesson that many Guyanese are just not exposed to. Today, with the implication of the Green State Development Strategy, there are lots of factors that focus on environmental protection. However, Guyanese don’t quite understand these implications or why it’s such an important feature.

Reel Guyana allows them to be exposed to parts of our beautiful landscapes, which not many people have traversed, and shows them what we have and why it should be protected as we continue to develop as a nation.

SM: What do you hope to accomplish via Reel Guyana?

Deep in Guyana’s jungle

AA: I hope to use the company as a platform to voice positive messages to the public; use it to shine a light on the beautiful parts of our culture, which many have taken for granted; and to use it as a means to help solidify the Guyanese identity, which I believe has not yet been fully understood or defined.

SM: How do you overcome challenges?

AA: Every day I face challenges in life, most not being work related.  I think in dealing with any type of adversity in life it’s important to understand what’s important to you. For me, it’s my family. At the end of the day, the world could be falling apart and things can seem helpless, but knowing my family is behind me let’s me know that things are going to be okay.

SM: What’s Reel Guyana’s contribution to the Green State Development Strategy?

AA: I think it definitely touches on many key concepts the Green State Development Strategy has. Obviously, environment is a big one, but we also have done work with education for sustainable development, so that ties in as well.

The company is proud to have been of service to the Ministry of Education with the development of an Education for Sustainable Development series, as its long term goal is to establish itself as a major production house that can effect real change, starting with youths.

SM: What’s your advice for youths who may want to pursue a similar path?

AA: I guess this profession is one where you have to constantly be thinking of concepts with meaningful messages. Sometimes that doesn’t always goes as planned, but it’s really important to collaborate. I believe most people have something to offer, and something that can push me and make me better. You can have all the talent or ability in the world, but without the hunger to keep improving, you’ve automatically set a limit on your potential. I think collaboration and sharing of ideas can essentially be in a number of other aspects, not just video production.

SM: What are your future plans for Reel Guyana?

AA: I just want to be able to make a living doing what I love and knowing that I’m contributing to my country. Nothing surpasses my love for Guyana and Guyanese people, even though things can become difficult here. But more than anything, I want to be an example for people like me who are just trying to find their way in the world. I want to let them know that it’s okay to think outside the box and do or be something that doesn’t conform to what’s traditionally expected. We are such an amazing group of people and need to love ourselves a little more.

Reel Guyana had its launch at the Timehri Environmental Film Festival and would like to thank Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and Iwokrama for their support.

 

Lost gems of our built heritage

Time changes everything, and some things are forgotten, some remembered, and new memories made. This week, Times Heritage looks back at Guyanese historical architecture, decayed by neglect, dismantled to make way for modern development, or tragically destroyed and now lost to the passage of time.

Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church in 2004 before it was completely destroyed by fire. In 2015, a rebuilt Sacred Heart Church was officially opened to the public

In 1860, the construction of the Sacred Heart Church commenced to accommodate the vast numbers of Roman Catholics in British Guiana. Once designed in a rectangular shape, the original building measured 30.5m x 9.1m. An eastern façade, which became the main façade, was designed by architect Cesar Castellani and erected in 1872. This church, once situated on Main Street, Georgetown, was destroyed by fire in 2004.

Park Hotel

The Park Hotel was built during the 1900s and was owned by the Kissoon family. Its colonial architecture, evident in the use of timber, Demerara shutters and its veranda, was common at that time. Once located in Main Street in the heart of the city of Georgetown, this landmark hotel was destroyed by fire in May 2000.

Park Hotel, circa 1900s

St. Barnabas Church

The Anglican Church of St. Barnabas, where it once stood at Regent Street and Orange Walk, Bourda, opened as a rather small building in 1884. It was consecrated in 1938. The St. Barnabas Church with its flying buttresses and massive towers was sold and later demolished in 2011.

Guyana’s historical architecture, indigenous languages and various customs and cultures of our diverse ethnicities are just as susceptible to time since they all need to be maintained or remembered in order to survive over time. Looking back at sites, places and cultures past, whether recently or long ago, could be either a nostalgic experience or a deliberate rejection of a long ago ideal or way of life.

The St. Barnabas’ Church before it was demolished in 2011 (Photo by Amanda Richards)

New Amsterdam Hospital

The old New Amsterdam Hospital, once located in Region Six, Berbice, in the town of New Amsterdam, was one of Guyana’s outstanding historical buildings. It was built in 1844 and designed by renowned architect Cesar Castellani, and described as a “timber architectural masterpiece”. The building was declared unfit to function as the primary hospital of the region and it was left abandoned where it collapsed over time due to constant vandalism and deterioration.

Remains of the old New Amsterdam Hospital (Photo was taken in 2010 by Amanda Richards)

 

Promoting Our National Patrimony

The book has some inherent and generic functions. However, additional roles are sometimes thrust upon it, expanding its ambit and increasing its benefits. Increasingly, the book is being used to mark certain occasions like significant anniversaries and milestones, both public and private.

At a recent ceremony to mark the 51st Independence Anniversary of Guyana, three publications were (officially) released, namely: “National Bibliography of Guyana 1966-2016”, “50 Nations Builders” and “50 Creative Icons of Guyana”. These books were produced to mark Guyana’s Golden Jubilee of Independence in 2016. The last two books, in which I was directly involved, were attempts to inspire and encourage further research in order to acknowledge the contribution of our creative icons and nation builders to the development of Guyana.

Each book has its basic objective (s). For instance, according to Minister within the Ministry of Education Nicolette Henry, “50 Nation Builders of Guyana” is “to pay homage to a number of outstanding stalwarts”, to ensure that we do not forget or do not show a lack of appreciation for the “rich legacy our progenitors have left for us to enjoy”, and it is hoped that “this book will awaken in all of us a sense of commitment as to what we can do to build on the legacy left by our ancestors”.

The scope and limitation of the book were outlined by its editor, Alim Hosein, in his introduction. Mr Hosein says the book gives “a concise account that will provide some idea about the efforts and achievements of these nation builders”. He acknowledges the book’s limitations by stating “to make any list of nation builders is to invite controversy, especially when the list contains only fifty of them”, and that there are many other “less-visible nation builders” and unsung heroes.

The sister book, “50 Creative Icons”, is to elicit national pride by showcasing our creative men and women and “their invaluable, if often unacknowledged contribution to Guyana’s development”. Minister Henry, states that the creative icons are not only regarded for their “beautiful works of art or exciting entertainment, but because they take us to different levels of thinking, stimulating reflection and change”.

The book’s editor, Mr Hosein, puts the contribution of creative icons in proper perspective: “Many persons regard songs, dances, novels, poems, plays and the like as mere entertainment… but not worth much more than this… However, the Arts and our creative people do make a major contribution to nation-building, and they are as important as public figures, business people and other such persons… Indeed, it can be argued that our artists preceded our politicians, businessmen and others in the creation of the Guyanese nation.”

The editor also acknowledges the shortcoming of such a publication, saying this book “is not intended to be a definitive compendium of creative Guyana” and therefore a list was appended to encourage the seeking out of others to be accorded some sort of recognition.

The “National Bibliography of Guyana” was a very ambitious and commendable production despite a few lapses.

The foreword, written by Ms Debra Lowe, gives a background to the compilation and eventual completion and publication of the current ‘National Bibliography’. Ms Lowe writes that the compilation of this National Bibliography “has a long history which began on the 9th October 1945 when His Excellency the Governor, Sir Gordon Lethem K. C. M. G. appointed a Committee for the purpose of ‘compiling and publishing a Bibliography of British Guiana’”.

Almost five decades later, Dr James Rose enters the picture during his tenure as Chairman of the National Library and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana making overtures to the National Trust and the Department of Culture to complete the Bibliography. Eventually, the project gained impetus as part of plans for the celebration of Guyana’s Golden Jubilee of Independence when “the idea… was presented to the National Commemoration commission as a marquee Jubilee Project and it was readily embraced”. Subsequently, in 2015 a new committee was formed, leading to the document that is now in the public’s domain.

The foreword also explains why the Library of Congress Classification was chosen in preference to the exiting Dewey Decimal Classification.

A National Bibliography is important for many reasons, but primarily, in this instance, showcases government’s policy, and public and private interest towards our literary output.

Included on the printed programme of this event was a fourth book, “Guyana at 50”, edited by Arif Ali. It is touted as “the premium 50th commemorative publication that captures the essence of all things Guyanese” (more on this in a subsequent article).

All of the above books are important to our national patrimony in preserving, promoting and disseminating the country’s unique heritage.

Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: oraltradition2002@yahoo.com

Holding fast…

…on GECOM Chair

Your humble Eyewitness isn’t one who likes to crow, “I TOLD YOU SO!” But he has to mention that the outcome of the widely heralded second meeting of Prezzie and Opposition Leader Jagdeo was predicted by him.

Not that he’s any analytical whiz or anything – it was clear that we’re looking at a game of “chicken” played out in bright daylight. And neither party (singly and collectively) is willing to jump off the rails as the speeding train of the integrity of our electoral machinery careens out of control.

Now some might say the whole issue of the criteria for selecting the GECOM Chair is moot – seeing as how the Chancellor’s promised to pronounce this Thursday on the petition of businessman Gaskin on the matter. But your Eyewitness is of those jaded types who just don’t believe in stories with all loose ends tied up and folks living happily ever after. Even those Brothers Grimm stories, after all, were REALLY grim, when you think about them! Like with wolves devouring children, old ladies boiling and eating same and all that!

From the very beginning, Prezzie had to’ve known it’ll come down to the Judiciary making the call. After all, it’s a matter of interpreting the Constitution. Even a lost-in-the-woods fella like Basil Williams couldn’t have told him otherwise – contrary to the florid asservations of the latter’s Court Jester, Maxwell E Edwards. Prezzie was just working the plan when he rejected Jagdeo’s first list at the beginning of the year.

The Chancellor then was still Justice Singh, who’s stubbornly stuck to the letter of the law – and his post! – even in the face of naked provocation and insults by Basil Williams. But Singh would be gone by Republic Day when he delivered the judgement on what folks call ‘the third term case”. But that was just a feint – the main play was the chairmanship of GECOM, which after all, would deliver the kingdom for at least another five years! Then oil would be flowing and many sins would be covered (with money)!

And so a new Chief Justice and Chancellor were appointed – both “acting”. In Guyana, of course, “acting” is the name of our local “Sword of Damocles” – which the Government hangs over the heads of officials to keep them in line. Do it or its “off with their heads”!! The acting appointee doesn’t even have to be told what to do in this case. With the selection of the GECOM chair playing out for six months in the public domain – the Chancellor knows from whence the wind is blowing!

From Vlissengen Road way!!

Will the centre hold?

… on Praetorians

This newspaper ran an interesting editorial on the PNC-led APNU/AFC Government talking on a “praetorian form”. “What the heck was that?” thought your usually well-informed Eyewitness. So as his (paid) duty – he duly looked into it. And lo and behold – as some of the more Biblically-minded among us may say – a lot of things made sense.

A Praetorian government is basically one that’s dominated by the military – because the originally civilian government considers it a “force for modernisation”. After WWII, Third World countries emerging from colonialism were seen as “backward” because they didn’t have the institutions to organise them for development. Armies were seen as possessing the requisite discipline from their training by the departing colonists.

Why not use them? Burnham – for several reasons – bought the line and expanded his militarised forces exponentially. But inevitably, the mean-ends dilemma pops up. Can you use fellas steeped in anti-democratic tradition to create democracy?

Very simply – history says the answer is “NO!!”

…on welshing

To ‘welch” on someone is not to keep your promise or word to them. Some think it’s a slur on the Welsh” who the English thought weren’t quite trustworthy.

The Education PS Welsh’s answers to the PAC’s questions hint at his antecedents?

Man in the Mirror…

…and the PM

In charge of the State media, PM Nagamootoo awarded himself a column in this Sunday’s Chronic – “My Turn”.  It’s a Freudian slip, since he promptly launched into an attack on his bete noir, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. One wonders whether he’ll allow Jagdeo “his turn”. Your Eyewitness doubts it, ‘cause everyone in this Government sees their stint at the wheel as “their turn” to commit all the things they described as “despicable” under the PPP.

But your Eyewitness would like to offer some wise advice to the PM from an unlikely source — Michael Jackson. But then a verse in the Book of Psalms in the Bible has this to say about God, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength”. In the “Man in the Mirror”, the lyricist (not Jackson, incidentally) says in the recurring chorus: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/ I’m asking him to change his ways/ And no message could have been any clearer:/ If you wanna make the world a better place/ Take a look at yourself and then make a change.”

The verses each describe real-life dire situations in the world that scream for change, and maybe we can take the same examples Nagamootoo used to flay Jagdeo to show where Nagamootoo should change himself and do something, rather than just blame others. HE is in government, and is the PRIME MINISTER, no?

Nagamootoo criticises Jagdeo for saying there can be poverty in Guyana IN the midst of expected oil revenues. If his govt destroys sugar, rice and forestry, aren’t they fulfilling Jagdeo’s prediction of a “Resource Curse”?

Nagamootoo brings up sugar, but wasn’t it he who had assured sugar workers they wouldn’t lose their jobs when Granger said the industry had to be closed down?? How can he now defend the arbitrary closure of three Estates with no alternative employment provided, or even in sight?? Has he gone to the hot and dusty streets of Wales and asked any of the men, women, or children — who have no income now that 1700 of them have been fired? Is he not bothered? “This wind is blowin’ my mind:/ I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat/ Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their needs/ A summer’s disregard, a broken bottle top/ And one man’s soul/ They follow each other on the wind ya know/ Cause they got nowhere to go/ That’s why I want you to know.”

Nagamootoo should realise, “I’ve been a victim of a selfish kinda love/ It’s time that I realize/ There are some with no home/ Not a nickel to loan/

“Could it be really me (Nagamootoo) pretending that they’re not alone?”

…and forked tongue

Nagamootoo boasts of being a writer, and he actually wrote a book. In “My Turn”, he confirms the book Henree’s curse was a piece of fiction. He opens thusly: “REACTING to a hurricane of negative statements being made by the Opposition, a coalition supporter advised: “Don’t worry wid dem, PM”. As I looked at her, she added: “They speaking wid forked tongue”!

Nagamootoo then goes into a long and laboured explanation of the phrase, “forked tongue”: “When a person is accused of speaking with a forked tongue, that person is said to be hypocritical, duplicitous and misleading. The statements by that person would be riddled with half-truths, falsehoods and distortions. It is hard to believe someone who speaks with a forked tongue.”

Now, let’s get real, dear readers: which person who speaks to a Prime Minister in the vernacular, “Don’t worry wid dem, PM”, segues into allusions to “forked tongue”? If that expression were that common, why the tortured (and tortuous) explanation? Clearly it’s another Freudian slip.

Nagamootoo knows HE cannot speak, but with a “forked tongue”.

…and broken dreams

Poor Nagamootoo. All his angst is from not getting to be President. As Michael sang: “A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart… And a washed out dream.”

 

Guyana govt signs G$922M pact with EU

Finance Minister Winston Jordan and EU Ambassador Jernej
Videtič after signing the multimillion-dollar pact

The Government on Wednesday signed a €4 million Technical Cooperation Facility and Support Services Agreement with the European Union (EU) for the implementation of Guyana’s development strategies and policies.

The pact was signed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan and Head of the EU Delegation in Guyana, Ambassador Jernej Videtič at the Finance Ministry’s office on Main Street.

The Agreement, which will see the National Authorising Officer (NAO) receiving G$922.8 million, assures EU support for the implementation of Guyana’s development strategies and policies.

It will also support the operations of, and improve the institutional capacity within, the NAO Task Force in the Finance Ministry for the efficient planning, implementation and monitoring of development projects and programmes financed by the EU.

The Technical Cooperation Facility will be used to provide short and long-term technical assistance, policy advice and studies as needed in the programming, preparation or implementation of actions, as well as for audits and evaluation and to support the country’s public financial management (PFM) reform agenda.

Guyana shares a long standing relationship with the EU; the EU is the main provider of grant funding to the country.

Since the cooperation between the two countries began in 1976, the EU has committed over €500 million to development in Guyana.

 

Mindfulness

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” – Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

For me, yesterday was just one of “those days”. You know that type of day — when you’re all in your head, you’re just a tangled knot of anxiety, and it feels like nothing is going your way. It’s the type of day wherein you feel like maybe Zeus has gotten his toga in a twist and is taking it out on you personally.

Realizing that I really wasn’t managing to get anything productive done, I decided to take a moment and step away from the ever-growing mountain of things I needed to do. I made a cup of tea, cooked myself a nice meal, and took some time to just relax.

Normally, when I cook, I put on some TV show to look at while I’m in the kitchen; but yesterday I decided to instead try out something I read about ‘mindfulness’. I’d been hearing a lot about mindfulness, and during my psychiatry rotation, I learnt about it being a useful way to deal with stress.

Mindfulness is simply a Western adaptation of the ancient Eastern practice of “stilling the mind”, which is the goal of meditation. It’s the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal experiences occurring in the present moment.

So I decided to give it a go.

As I was cooking, different thoughts started popping into my head — most of them trivial and more than a little ridiculous. But then the more serious ones started to bubble to the surface; thoughts like, “Did I fail my last exam?” And instead of doing the usual of just stuffing the thought into a drawer in the back of my brain, I decided to deal with it head-on. I needed to acknowledge the thought and how it made me feel.

Of course the thought of failing an exam made me extremely anxious. But would I be able to fix anything about that test now? No. All I could do is wait for results to come out. I needed to change my perspective — instead of looking at that test with regret and guilt, I needed to look at it as a lesson for things I could do differently moving forward. By acknowledging that, I was able to feel less anxious.

And, for the rest of the afternoon, I just tried to be in the moment. Instead of being all caught up and swept away in my thoughts, I acknowledged thoughts and worries as they cropped up, dealt with them as best I could, and moved on. I finished cooking and enjoyed my meal. I lingered over my cup of tea, and really just tried to appreciate the little things.

When it was time for me to get back to work, my head was clearer and I got much more done that I thought I would. I would say that the mindfulness experiment was a success. I also figured out why the Japanese have such an elaborate “tea ceremony” and why Hindu Pujas can be so relaxing.

I think everyone experiences anxiety at some point. And many of us tend to get into our heads about it and, as the old folks would say, just “gotay” the problem — make it revolve in a never-ending series of circles. It’s important to take a step back, examine our thoughts, and try to notice when our thoughts are derailing us. By acknowledging and being more self-aware about our anxieties, we can start to deal with that anxiety in a productive way, before it spirals out of control.

So maybe you should give mindfulness a try; you might find it helpful!

GeCome or GeGone?

Dear Diary,

Dis is High-in-the-Field, and I tell you, dear diary, I enjoying dis questioning. I just came back from dis PacMan Committee who checkin’ out how we spend de money we get at GeCome. Like dey forget I is an ole army officer and was trained to not break down under interrogation! I also train in misdirection, since dat is a basic military manoeuvre.

Remember when de Auditor Marshall tell me to explain how come we buy $100M worth of radio equipment – but never used them? Well, how de arse I could use dem when none of dem ever wuk? Anyhow, I tell he dat I does report to de Pacman Committee, not to he.

And when de PacMan people ask me about de $100M radios, I tell dem de Auditor Marshall checking into dat!! And dey fell for it!!

Den dey ask me why I bruk up de 8 contracts for paper and ink all less dan $15M! Dear Diary, imagine they ask me why I didn’t send the whole $90M contract to Cabinet? They think Cabinet woulda done things different? They crack me up!!

I just did it like dat because in de army we learn that those officers above us must always have “deniability”!!

And deh had this nonsense about dat $6000 pliers. Schuups! Do dey think an ordinary pliers can open dose ballot boxes to slip fake SOPs into dem?  We need de right tools for our job!!

But, Dear Diary, I am surprised de Opposition wasting all their time submitting lists for the GeCome Chair. Dat Chair already fixed!! And really, it just doesn’t matter.

Dey just appoint me to be in charge for another three years. Till 2020, Dear Diary. An’ I still got my special pliers!!

GeGone!!