It is said that sudden and unpredictable events are among the most terrifying of human fears.
We fear natural disasters—hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc.—simply because they are beyond our control.
In my lime of retired professionals, the discussion began first as a Friday evening talk and then became serious, with almost everyone expressing dread at the spectre of an army of the night striking menacingly, not in only hotspots, but against homes of opponents and critics of the People's Partnership Government.
Retired and comfortably-placed, members of the lime were very clear that after Jack Warner led a team of police and soldiers to demolish the camp of the defenceless Re-Route Movement last week, they feared that Mr Warner was now out of control, and his behaviour should be categorised alongside those sudden and unpredictable disasters.
Their fears were strengthened further by the claim of one former Attorney-General, who described Mr Warner's action as one of "the most serious inroads into the Constitution" ever made.
Mr Warner arrived in the Ministry of National Security, according to the Prime Minister's reasoning in her Cabinet reshuffle, as "a man of action", a tornado-like personality best suited to deal with crime.
Within one week on the job, he has proven to be both overcome and bewildered by his new position, or as one person said on Friday evening, "Warner just suffering from surprises."
Without any apparent earlier consultation, his decisions to the country were prompt and absolute. The 21st Century Policing strategy of Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs has to go.
Without reference to the Justice Minister, who holds responsibility for penal reform, Mr Warner announced that the Royal Gaol and Carrera Island prison will be relocated to central Trinidad and the slop pail system in the jails will be stopped.
The UWI campus, he added, will be used to train officers of the protective services during its vacation period. Instructions were given to the Defence Force Chief to establish army bases in Biche and Moruga.
And ignoring the Police Service industrial agreement and Defence Force regulations, Mr Warner determined that the retirement age of members will be lifted.
But the biggest surprise was his plan to re-establish the notorious Flying Squad. I still hold the clipping from my Sunday Express feature of 1981, headlined "Gestapo Cops" which catalogued the infamy of Randolph Burroughs' feared squad of the 1970s, which many later re-named the "Death Squad".
So within two years, Mr Warner's Government has moved its fight against crime from the disbandment of SUATT, on to the SIA, then to the SSA, then to a special police unit, now back to the "Flying Squad".
Mr Warner should have recognised that the ministerial style he adopted in the Works Ministry, where he attended the opening of every village standpipe and bridge, is totally unsuited to the National Security Ministry.
He should have realised, further, that in persisting with both the Randolph Burroughs "man-of-action" image, and the hands-on ministerial style, he could be branded as a rogue Minister, adding further to the unravelling of his Government.
In any quick historical scan, one can recall the so-called "men of action". To the Third Reich, Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's notorious police chief, was a man of action, who took care of everything.
In apartheid South Africa, the SAP "C1 Unit" was manned by so-called men of action. It was the same personality type that operated unrestrained in Haiti under Papa Doc and in the Mongoose Gang in Gairy's Grenada.
The fears of the retirees were pushed still further by the support given to Mr Warner's action by the Attorney General and others in last week's post-Cabinet meeting.
It was as though the Cabinet defence team felt that intelligent people were not listening, and they could message their mindless party devotees exclusively, dismissing critics as just PNM supporters whom the Government will deal with in time.
The defensive style of Mr Warner and his Cabinet colleagues is transparent. To date, it has been all confabulation—making up answers to questions as they go along.
So we first heard from Mr Warner that members of the Re-Route Movement were suspects in a fire-bombing incident, and that they were involved also in planning terrorist activities.
Then we heard that Dr Wayne Kubulalsingh, the protest leader, drove his car onto an army vehicle, and then slapped an officer—but he was not charged for assault by the police.
What is very clear is that the attack on the protesters is a reprisal for the fiery attack its younger members launched against Mr Warner and Ministers George, Tewarie and others at a consultation weeks earlier.
But while my lime holds its fears, a ray of hope came from the Transparency Institute, which last week launched a youth outreach to raise their awareness, and nurture a culture of transparency, accountability and integrity.
Me? I have started watching my door.
* Keith Subero, a former Express news editor, has since followed a career in communication and