When Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil isn’t fronting the band Zappa Plays Zappa, apparently he’s off cooking up a storm on the Food Network. Zappa, along with Eddie Ojeda, Lita Ford, & Kelly Hansen, will appear on tonight’s Rock Star edition of the show Chopped!Top 12 Most Essential Frank Zappa AlbumsAccording to a brief description of the show, Zappa and his competitors will have to use a “punny” protein for appetizers, use lamb as the main entree jam, and incorporate rock candy and lemon rolls in the desert (aka rock and roll!). The winner will receive $10,000 to the charity of their choice.The show airs tonight; check below for a list of repeat air times in case you miss it:Tue, August 18 – 10|9cWed, August 19 – 1a|12cThu, August 27 – 9|8cFri, August 28 – 12a|11c[Via Food Network]
Today we continue to see financial lawlessness on a grand scale that undermines the rule of law itself, as the political rulers engage in nefarious financial indulgences on a very un-level playing field. All the chips today are stacked against the poor and the working class, and funnily enough, it has always been this way for most of our independent half-century. Teachers cannot get the increases they deserve, but this Granger Administration has set aside just under G$1 billion in the 2017 Budget for executive travel and overseas accommodation for the ruling elites. Sugar workers by the thousands will be sent on the breadline soon, but an army of presidential advisors opportunistically introduced into the public sector payroll will burn some G$400 million per year from the Treasury.To add salt to the wounds in this ANIMAL FARM mentality, we read in the 2016 Auditor General Report that some $696.3 million were granted from the Contingency Fund to meet routine expenses, in total violation of the spirit and intentions of the law. Only a certified dunce or a dictator will want to test our Constitution this much.Today we see President Granger testing the Constitution in all forms. It is like he has an obsession with allowing all and sundry to trample upon the laws of Guyana in his name. The latest example is the exposure by the courts of their interference with the work of the Police Services Commission.Though I must not blame Mr. Granger singularly for the financial skullduggery of the Minister of Finance, he ought to know that every act is done in his name, because everyone in the cabinet room is his creature. They are his Frankensteins!Parliament in 2003 passed the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA), which sets out in detail the authority and principle governing when the Contingency Fund is tapped. Section 41 of the FMAA gives effect to the Guyana Constitution by illustrating that the circumstances under which the Minister can access the Contingency Fund are severely limited. The overriding test is threefold: the expenditure must be urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen. Further, he can use this fund only where delay would cause injury to the public interest. He cannot use the Contingency Fund to spend G$456 million for payments on the Durban Park Parade Ground, because clearly it was not unavoidable, it was not urgent, and it was not unforeseen. But this is exactly what he did in 2016.Think about it: no money to pay the severance of the Wales Sugar Estate workers, but Mr. Granger got G$456 million to fund a Parade Ground. This is how bad habits are formed. These were the same people thumping their desks with their ashtrays in the previous Parliament when Dr. Ashni Singh was accused of the same abuse. Isn’t this the attitude of “intellectually bankrupt hypocrites”?Such bad financial attitudes were expected from the PNC Ministers immediately after they granted themselves the 50 percent increase in salaries. This is the DNA of the same old PNC “wolves in sheep clothing”, who historically have proven themselves as masters at starving the poor to feed the Congress Place boys and girls. But what was shocking to me was how the AFC and WPA representatives in Parliament have behaved since June 2015? After all, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, as Presidential Candidate in 2011, said in his message to the nation that the AFC is the key to unlocking the nation from “…..the corruption that engulfs us, from the oppressive taxes we are forced to pay, from the deadly crime that haunts and traumatizes us, from the economic decline, and from the hopelessness that we breathe daily.”But, after some 30 months in office, we still have widespread corruption engulfing the nation, with reports now surfacing of not one, but three Ministers in this Granger Administration pouring cement foundation on new mansions that will outsize the average house in Pradoville. Where did this money fall from in just 30 months?But Mr. Ramjattan got the brass to talk about the oppressive tax when, in Budget 2017, his Government imposed the mother of all tax oppression. And let us not talk about deadly crime, since Mr. Ramjattan has earned himself an “F minus” grade on the crime fight front, making him a complete failure as a Minister.So, in the final analysis, it is Mr. Ramjattan and Mr. Granger’s government that imported massive economic stagnation and now widespread hopelessness across the length and breadth of the country since May 2015 by subverting the law. The only option left for the people of Guyana between now and 2020 is to band their belly for the incoming economic meltdown, as the ruling elite plunder the Treasury and pocket whatever economic juices are in the pot. Ultimately, such an attack on the Constitution and the Rule of Law by Team Granger will take an unimaginative economic toll on the nation.