St Fusius Day Wednesday Ramblings.....Blackout Special
Stabroek News
March 19, 2003

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Monday was St Patrick's Day. St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and we have no intention of making fun of him at the risk of further straining relations between the two countries.

But a lot of people do not know about St Fusius, the patron saint of utility managers in developing countries. St Fusius was from Tipperary and in 1699 was sent a long way from home to a country whose rulers had totally screwed up their system of windmills to grind flour. This had been through a combination of corruption and incompetence which left the populace without flour for days at a time. Fusius was welcomed and the people were happy, expecting a smooth supply of flour from then on. But in their midst were dark forces who resented his meddling in the country's affairs since they were worried he would find out how they were stealing all the flour. Fusius was a young lad and rather naive, always seeing the best in people, but for a while he managed to get the windmills working better and the flour flowed freely. He also cut off a number of important people from their flour supply, who went and complained to the rulers.

St Fusius even cut off the mayor's flour and he called him an Irishmen which was considered almost as bad an insult as being called "middle class." Another really scary person told his countrymen to unite against the Irish. The king was not brave enough to stand up for the agreement he had personally negotiated and instead took pot shots at poor St Fusius as a means of maintaining his hold on flour.

Eventually the people rose up and captured St Fusius. They tied him to the sail of a windmill and spun him around very, very fast which made him feel very, very ill. Then they took him down and tortured him into renouncing the electricity sector reform agreement and the complex formulation used to set annual commercial and residential tariffs. He was hauled before the PUC Inquisition which demanded he submit to Socialist Doctrine and to recant his views on commercial line losses and power purchase agreements. But despite his sessions with a stretching rack and some hot pokers, St Fusius stayed silent preferring to speak through his public relations department. Eventually the now 8ft tall St Fusius was condemned to a life of exile without flour. Days after, the citizens ran out of flour as all the windmills broke down. It was not for another 300 years that he was recognised by the Pope for his stoic commitment to

commercially viable flour production in hostile environments.


The Town Clerk and the Rhino

If GPL were as inefficient as the Mayor and City Council are, the country would be plunged into perpetual blackout. Their newly announced budget is, they admit, a faith-based exercise given that they are praying for rate payers to contribute their taxes.

Looking around the wretched streets and blocked-up gutters, the money could be better spent on buying a home in the countryside. Of course they cloak their efforts in Christian terms to cover up for their bungling and idle ways. In his speech to announce the budget, Deputy Mayor Williams "looking to the Almighty for help... said he had asked from the outset that divine guidance and spiritual inflows would sustain citizens' physical and mental capacity." He and the rest of them need to spend less time praying and more time getting the streets clean.

All the while the council comically bickers over their own perks and privileges. In the past this has included the Mayor's annual $4M phone allowance, his per diem for a Moony conference in South Korea and dinner menus for council meetings.

Take last week's meeting as documented in the City Council Round Up by Cecil Griffith. Topics included Town Clerk Beulah Williams' trip to South Africa for what was an obviously very important meeting on local government. The Commonwealth organised conference was held in Pretoria March 4-7 and the website urged delegates not to "miss the opportunity to see the rich landscape and fascinating sights of South Africa once the conference closes: delegates will be offered a selection of add-on tours to experience this exciting country first hand."

We can only speculate whether a safari-going Ms Williams got into a staring match with a rhinoceros but it would certainly come in handy when she deals with the Mayor. Perhaps her per diem allowance was worth it after all.

Meanwhile argument raged in the council over whether they should be calling each other 'comrades' or 'councillors'. 'Incompetents' may be the more appropriate title.

The perpetually whining Mayor complained how he had not signed the minutes of the weekly meeting for two years. The answer is simple. Resign.


Belching farm animals

This from a Reuters story:

Fishy fodder can stifle release of greenhouse gas

Fish oil could be the answer to stifling the release of the greenhouse gas methane from belching farm animals.

Belgian scientists found that adding fish oil to animal fodder could cut the release of methane by 25 to 40 per cent in sheep without disrupting their normal digestion. ``The fish oil shows this very powerful suppression of methane from the animals, Veerle Fievez of Ghent University in Belgium, told New Scientist magazine. About 22 per cent of the global emission of methane is released through belching farm animals, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas because it traps nearly 20 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. In addition to clearing the air, Fievez and her colleagues hope the fish oil may make the meat and other products from the animals healthier to eat. They found that animals fed on the new diet have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and other polyunsaturated fats that are thought to lower cholesterol."

Now if we only we could get the Mayor and City Council on this diet.


De Follow up concert

The "Stop De Killing Concert" on Friday night was considered such a success that it will be followed this week by "Stop the Bad Spelling concert." And while on the subject, read this from a column in the unmentionable newspaper: 'And nuff of dem can't read or write properly and is dem de force got to tek to protect the nation." Ok ....


A pre-emptive letter

Dear Editor,

I would like to take the opportunity to do a critique of a soon to be published analysis in the Sunday Stabroek of the crime situation by Dr Clive Thomas. He has not written it yet or even thought about the subject but I think it timely to pre-empt what will surely be more deeply flawed diagnosis from a man for whom I must first express deep respect and admiration as I do to all the persons I am about to criticise...

Yours sincerely,


CRV-driving Professor

Freddie Kissoon

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