Sunday, October 21, 2012

J50: Independence and Freedom, Responsibility and Discipline

This must be one of the hardest blog to write because most people believe that a blog about Jamaica’s 50th anniversary should be positive and upbeat. Outlining all of our glories, achievements and greatness before the world and all mankind. A blog where all objectivity should be saved for another day. This blog post started way before Jamaica 50 celebrations but somehow I found it very hard to push the publish button. I have been adding to it a little here and there, so it represents different ideas over time.

I love my country, there is no other country on this planet I love more than Jamaica. I look back on my life and experiences and there are very little I would change. If I could do it over again I would not change much except study a little bit more but for the most part I enjoyed my Jamaican existence on planet earth. I think it prepared me for  life and made me who I am today. Yes life in jamaica was not always easy, at some points in time it was hard but it is that hardness that prepared me for adult life. Even though life growing up was not always easy we were happy, light gone...happy, food shortage ... happy, riots ... happy, hurricane still happy because we were made of sterner stuff, able to roll with the punches, adopt and overcome.  

I love my people, yes they get on my nerve sometimes but they always seem to rope be back in, I am comfortable with my people, I understand them. There are times when they make me proud and happy to be a part of this unique club called Jamaica. One of the things I love doing is to go to my special place in Port Antonio and sit on the hill under the almond tree, drinking a glass of Appleton 21 neat looking out onto the Caribbean sea with the rolling Blue Mountains to the side of me and to feel the cool Caribbean breeze with the wind and sun on my face. I love to smell of fresh sea air and the sound of the sea as it meets the shore. I have tried this in many other countries but it never have the same effects, somehow the sun don't feel right, the Breeze is either too cold or too hot and the smell is off, it does nothing for me.

There are times when you feel for a nice long walk by yourself in Jamaica, some peace and quiet to think about the past, present and future but end up having a good long chat with some stranger you met along the way because that unique Jamaican personality just hold you and draw you in. A simple morning how yu doing and you end up solving the world's problems. Yeh Man, mi love me yard that is why I cannot understand or have any patience for those Use-To-Me-Neva-See-Come-See Jamaicans who does nothing but to find every opportunity to cuss Jamaica like Johncrow out of pure hate not love.

Yeh Man, mi love me yard... but sometimes Jamaica piss me off because the more you love something or someone the easier it is for them to disappoint you. Burning inside me is this deep desire for change that I know we are capable of but I cannot understand why we have not achieved our full potentials. Every morning I open the papers, I expect to see the big headlines that Jamaica overcame, achieved, changed, is heading in the right direction but I still have hope and in the meantime I will still continue to love mi little rock, yeah man a my rock dis... yes there are many rocks like it but this rock is mine.   

Yeh Man, mi love me Country...and will always love it, it is my country right or wrong, my birth right... BUT loving something or someone means you should always be honest, open and want the best for them, a true friend always tell you what you must hear not what you want to hear.

Independence and Freedom means absolutely nothing without a strong sense Responsibility and Discipline. If we are not a responsible people, if we are not a discipline people able to make the right decisions for both ourselves, our families and the future of our country then Independence and Freedom is a wasted achievement and we will never realize our full potentials as a people and a country. The right decision is not always the decision that gives us instant gratification, it might be a decision we have to take that will cause great hardship in the short run but better for the country in the long run, the best decision in the National Interest.

World history books hundreds of years in the future will record that Jamaica was a country with great potential to achieve great things but because of their lack of Discipline and Responsibility their achievements as Nation Builders was just marginal and mediocre. Our indiscipline served us well during Slavery and colonization because then it was seen as our strength, our ability to fight oppression, to achieve Emancipation from Slavery. We achieved Workers’ Rights, Universal Adult Suffrage and finally independence but in order to build a Nation State future generation will be proud of, requires a great sense of Responsibility and Discipline.

It has gotten to the point where I am playing with the idea that Jamaicans are ungovernable in their natural habitat. We have a political class that is afraid to make the hard right decisions, to say and do the right things regardless of its popularity and votes. So long as that condition exist nothing will really change, we will forever be taking 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards. We are a people that pays lip service to doing the right thing, us Jamaicans know exactly what is wrong with Jamaica and we know what we must do to fix it but fixing it means the removal of certain freedom we have gotten accustomed to. The freedom to be indiscipline and irresponsible is a liberating and addictive feeling, that is why yard nice every time. Most other successful countries are not as free as Jamaica and not as nice. For the most part we do what we want, when we want to and how we want to, even when what we are doing is wrong, counter-productive and will do more harm than good.

We have achieved much as a people but we have also let so much go, we have lost the plot and we need to get back to the basic principles and values that are required by Nation Builders. We have become a superficial people with way too much emphasis on material things and we do not have the discipline to control ourselves as these things must be acquired at all cost, even at the expense of our future. Our leaders have also lost the plot because it is they who created and nurtured this state of irresponsibility and indiscipline behavior as a way to achieve power and glory. They do not govern base on right and wrong but on what is popular regardless of Right and Wrong, thus converting Jamaica to a "Jock-it-up Cock-it-up" kind of society. They I believe can no longer see the forest for the trees, they are blind to the damage they have done and are doing or just don't care.

Independence and Freedom coupled with Responsibility and Discipline guarantees that we will always make the right decision, the best decision for the collective good of all the people and the future of Jamaica, decisions must benefits the many above the few.

Heroes and Nation Builders of Jamaica

"He bared his chest and declared…If you are going to shoot, shoot me, but leave these defenceless, hungry people alone." ….Alexander Bustamante

I once saw a play in the 80s at the little theater where the above was said by one of the actors and another actor shouted in response…..”A should a now!!” …to the laughter of the audience…

His implication was that today's police would have obliged Alexander Bustamante and open fire killing him and everyone dead. I however think that if it was now there would be no one to play the role of Bustamante because that is not how our current so called leaders roll, we would simply be on our own.

Market Woman early 1900
For me, the best part of Jamaican history is the period from 1900 to 1962, I call this period the Golden Age of Nation Building Stage, the fight against hard life and suffering experienced at the hands of British Colonialism. A time when the working class, Educated Class, middle and upper middle class came together and took a stand. Back in those days those people had Back Bones made of steel, intellectual minds coupled with a gritty personalities. They were not afraid to risk their liberty, life and limbs while standing up for their Principles, defending their country and people. Back then the educated few was the spear head of the movements.

This is not a period in Jamaica’s History to forget or dismiss since full knowledge of what happened and all the players involved is required to create a strong foundation for future Nation Builders. What they did, how they did it and why should be taught in every schools across Jamaica and their names should flow of the tongues of old and young alike. These nation builders were strong, charismatic and educated, their ability to organize the masses and articulate their hopes, dreams and desires for the future even in the face of British Colonial might, is why they were so successful.

These men and women could engage the British on so many levels, most of all on an intellectual level and if that failed then they had the power to shut down the entire country with just one word. They could mobilize the population of Jamaica, having them take to the streets at a moment’s noticed, even when the colonial forces tried to stop them with a barrage of bullets. Yes they were scared and concern for themselves and their love ones but they considered what they were fighting for to be righteous, honorable and more important than life itself.

Frank Hill, Ken Hill, Richard Hart, Arthur Henry
They were fighting for Liberty, Equality and Social-Justice, for the rights of man, for the freedom of man and for the Independence and birth of a Nation.

They were not perfect, far from it but they were more of a man and woman than any man or woman claiming to be our leaders today. 

They were supposed to live for an eternity through us, we were suppose to be an embodiment of their spirit and humanity but we failed them. The current generation cannot not carry their achievements, we do not have their strength, their discipline and determination.

Wherever they are now I am sure they must be saying to themselves that what they fought and died for was a waste of their time and their life. They must be saying look at them running around without any sense of collective purpose, consumed by their own self-importance, consumed by greed and selfishness, every man for themselves. Look at how they turn their backs on everything we fought so hard to achieve. Because every level of the Jamaican society is infected with self-importance, consumed by greed and selfishness and entitlement.

I can imagine Sam Sharpe and Paul Bogle turning to the others saying “might as well we kept our mouth shut, cut the masters cane and say yes sir may I have another when the whip cut across our backs, instead of having that rope around our broken necks. Because they had so much hope for us but look how we let them down.

I know when we think of the period from 1900 to 1962 only Manley and Bustamante comes to mind but there were so much more players involved and without these brave men and women, both Manley and Bustamante although being great men just would not have succeeded.

It is a waste of time to compare our so called leaders today to these brave men and women, as it would be an insult to their memory because not one can stand up beside them. The fact is our current stock of educated and political class are nothing more than shallow over privilege selfish little pricks, consumed by their own self-importance and I have no respect for them.

The members of the educated and political class are not men or women of substance and value, they are profiling little fluff bunnies who exist in a fluff bubble and trying very hard to keep their bubble intact at the expense of the people and the future of their country. Their flawed concept of class is measured by money, too stupid to realize that all the stolen money in the world cannot buy an ounce of class. It does not matter how big your house is or how massive a car you drive, you are and will always be just a Shallow Little Prick living in a big house and a Shallow Little Prick driving a big car. The educated and political class enjoys the poverty around them simply because that is the only way for them to stand out and feel special, it enables the look at me syndrome, profiling syndrome.

Colonial Britain Propaganda Newsreel : “Just a hundreds years ago Great Britain abolish Slavery, today the Jamaican Negro is a happy and law abiding citizen, loyal to his Government of which he is very proud. The reality for Jamaicans was very different from that portrait by newsreel at the time, unemployment was very high and wages very low.”
For the most part we as a people were engineered to collectively belittle ourselves, our achievements, our history. Most Jamaicans belittle our past leaders because to understand these great men and women would belittle our lives and make us realize that in the scheme of things we are nothing.

History will collectively define us as cowards, selfish, greedy, tribal and inhumane and history will not remember our names because it is not worth remembering. History will remember our post independence political class as corrupt, murdering, selfish little twats who purposely created hardship and suffering for their people. Who armed Jamaicans and send them out to murder other Jamaicans and who stole from every Jamaican to satisfy their own greed.

Norman Washington Manley
I said before that some of our past leaders, even though they were visionaries and great men were not perfect, no one is, however long before we had political party violence in Jamaica, there was Trade Union violence which was like a drug gang turf war. The Unions set the stage for the political violence that was to come and what we experienced over the decades, the BITU gave birth to the JLP and from the NWU came the PNP but instead of Nation Building these Political Parties now practice Nation Destruction.

When we were fighting the British our mission was clear cut and well defined, it was US against THEM. After the British left, we did not know what to do, we searched high and low for someone else to fight but found only Jamaicans. Unable to find any other group to demonized, we quickly turned on ourselves. Jamaicans from all walk of life rallied around the Political Parties and shouted “old dutty Labourite”... and …”old dutty Socialist” at each other.

We made up retarded party slogans…”Stand Firm!”…and…”Deliverance!” and shouted them at each other, we created Political Party Gang colours and signs and flashed them at each other. Some "Raised the Fist", others raised "The Victory Sign” and after we had fully demonized each other in every which way we could, filling our hearts with pure hate and contempt for our fellow man, we then proceeded to set upon our Jamaican brothers and sisters with great vengeance. We murdered Jamaican Men, Women and children with ease simply because they belong to the other party. All in the name of politics and our political overlords, ......such is our Legacy!

  • Independence and Freedom means absolutely nothing without a strong sense Responsibility and Discipline
  • Equality, Social-Justice, Self-Reliance and Discipline are wonderful principles to live by and we should try to instil these principles back into our society.
  • Political Tribalism will be the death of us, as we are way too small and too poor to survive this crab in a barrel mentality.
  • Jamaica is a country with so much potentials, we could achieve so much as a people if we apply our selves but we do not think or operate as a collective.

Updated: 18/10/2015

HAPPY NATIONAL HEROES DAY!!! … Jamaicans need to separate the current situation of our country from our historic situation. Some Jamaicans are asking why we are celebrating the achievements of our National Heroes, our founders when we have achieved so little. This is not the fault of our Brave founders, the last of our Nation Builders. They did their part, they fought with their very lives, shed their blood to achieve certain Nation Building Milestones. How were they to know we would be too fucking stupid to take what they have done to the mountain top.

They gave their Blood and their very lives to fight the sufferings of Slavery, engaged forces that was way more powerful than they were. Against the odds and knew that they could not win the battle but their vision was to win the war. During the hard suffering times of Colonisation they took to the streets to demand workers rights, universal adult suffrage and independence but was met with overwhelming Colonial forces. Many lost their lives and their freedom but that did not stop them because they were fighting for the greater good of the Nation.

Where we are today is no fault of theirs, their achievements and milestones will outlive us all and we are nothing compare to them. Our recent history is solid proof of that. In fact we are an insult to their memory, to their sacrifices and if they are watching us now from the cosmos I am sure they are disappointed and ashamed.

The simple fact that some people are asking why are we celebrating our heroes is a testament of our failure and one of the main reason why we fail, most Jamaicans know the price of everything and the true value of nothing.   

Updated: 17/10/2016 -  HAPPY NATIONAL HEROES DAY!!! 

St. William Grant

Alexander Bustamante

Sir Florizel Glasspole

The Right to Vote
Workers Rights!!

Colonial Times

Life in Jamaica under British Rule as a Crown Colony can be defined as a place filled with poverty and inequality, many Jamaicans at the time was still working on the estates for below living wages.

Selling Sugar in the Market
Sugar Press
Winston Churchill in Spanish Town Jamaica, 1940s

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ghetto Entertainment at It's Worst

I was sent the following link and on this site there are two videos showing a fight between two families in the Ghetto. The video to say the least is very disturbing on so many levels but basically I divide what was happening into two parts.

First there are the families involved in the fight, I do not know why they are fighting but they seem very upset and willing and ready to inflict grievous bodily harm on each other, as stick, stone and fist fly. Clearly they lack the basic concepts of problem/solution and have chosen to resort to violence. In all my years of living uptown I have never seen such a situation played out in public, people living uptown are not that intimate with each other’s life and seem to be educated enough to apply problem/solution skills to settle their differences and rarely resort to such violence. Although I must admit that a undercurrent of aggression pervades in all levels of our society regardless of uptown or downtown, even the political class is not immune, some of them are worst.

Part 1 Only

Watching the two families fight is disturbing but what is more disturbing is the reaction of the public, the families are acting on their basic emotions and have some sort of excuse but the public was even more disgusting not only enjoying the moment but actively encouraging it, this is collective deprivation at its worst. At the start of the video a mother was trying to prevent her two daughters from fighting as she held on to them with a vice grip but the onlookers and the person filming the event was encouraging the mother to let them go, he wanted action so he could upload his video to YouTube. In the end the mother not only released her daughters allowing them to engage the other families but also joined the fight, as I said before stick, stone and fist fly as they unleashed the dogs of war.

This was ghetto entertainment at is very worst, the spectators was having a wonderful time as they watched, laughed and cheered the pain of others, the only person missing was the peanut vendor who normally turns up at every event in Jamaica, even weddings. During the fight almost every person watching the fight pulled out some form of modern high tech phone device with enough storage to film the event as they ran behind the actors to capture every action, ghetto people hungry but ghetto people somehow always have money to buy the latest expensive ghetto fashion and electronic devices.

What also shock me is that not only did everyone had a phone to record the event but no one seemed to called the police as the main purpose of the phone was to record the event and the police would certainly have gotten in the way and cut the merriment short. Another shocker was that no one tried to break up the fight, there was no voice of reason, no village elders to step in and calm nerves, no one even tried.

If I was totally embarrassed watching this over the internet then why weren't they? People were encouraging the fight, children ran behind the fighters cheering and laughing as they dodge stones. People took pictures of the public nudity on display but no one, no real men or women tried to prevent the mayhem that followed or moved the children along, there was a time when low income and low class was not one and the same but not so today.

  • I am worried about the Jamaican society.
  • I am worried that as a society we are not addressing this level of ignorance.
  • I am worried that our political class is satisfied with the current state of events.
  • I am worried that the educated class is also satisfied this level of ignorance.
  • I am worried that the church is also satisfied this level of ignorance.

Yes it is a low income community but it does not have to be a low class community.

Fact: The Jamaican society is not the only society suffering from this level of depravity

Mr. Vegas, Mr. Muppet or Gal Clown


Last week I discovered that there was an entertainer in Jamaica called Mr. Vegas, up until that point I had no idea that this man existed. I must admit that his Genre of music is not something I listen to or consider to be music.

However it seems that this Mr. Vagas’s baby mother had cheated on him, in his house, on his bed, in front of his 1 year old which caused Mr. Vegas to have one of the worst public mental emotional break down I have ever seen. I have never seen such a ridiculous display of emotions especially from a person who entertains his fans with such man like bravado. For a person who sells himself as such a “Gyallis” one would think he would have shown the woman and her lover the door then head to the Frig for a ice cold beer, watch a movie or some football before going to bed. The whole incident treated like water off a ducks back or call up the second in line for the throne and have her move in instead of this public display of mental emotional breakdown. A pity party to beat all pity parties and on display for all to see. Now I fully understand why she finds the need to find herself another lover, a real man because clearly the Mr. Vegas is an over emotional muppet who use every opportunity to cry and carry on like it’s the end of the world. While being interviewed all over the world, in the international press.

Gyallis - A Player, A male who's good with the ladies

Almost everybody has experienced love and lost love, it is one of life’s learning experiences. One would think however that with age, one would acquire a more dignified way of dealing with it. Instead of this low class desire to have a Public Mental Emotional Breakdown. This is why we have best friends and close relatives to help us through the tough times, drink a beer and have a chat… I am embarrassed for him, I cannot understand why he thinks his personal life belongs in the public’s domain because this is information pollution from a man-boy who is not mature enough to deal with love and lost love. Maybe the tight pants they are now wearing is affecting the circulation of blood to the brain which intern is affecting the decision making process.

I have been reading in the papers where some Jamaican men have turned to suicide, when they found out their women is with other men or as we call it giving them bun. I am not sure when Jamaican men got this soft, totally void of the "Stiff Upper Lip” concept. I only wish Mr.Vegas had taken this route and spare us the details of his broken heart. I can only say to him and others… “Man Up!” For goodness sake, grow a spine and move on.

Epiblogue (Epilogue)
I have been told that Mr. Vegas represents a real man with feelings who is not afraid to express it but I had no idea that to be considered a Real Man one needs to take to international air waves and make private matters public and cry. Curse and threaten to release damning evidence of a 3 hour long infidelity to the world. Women have been cheated on for years much more than men and yet I do not see them taking to the airwaves to shed tears like Mr. Vegas, except for the regular Dear Pastor section of the Star, which is just pure comedy.

Yes we all have feelings but how he expresses these feelings matters, Mr. Vegas chose the “Over the Top” way and became a laughing stock, he pushed a private matter into the public's domain and the public is free to respond any way they feel like. Some things are best dealt with among close friends and relatives but these days everybody wants to make their dirty laundry public. Everybody wants to mimic the behavior of low class entertainers worldwide where everything is “youtubed”, twittered and ‘facebooked”, every aspect of their boring lives.

What gets me is the hypocrisy of Dancehall entertainers because here we have a person preaching through his songs, educating young vulnerable minds on the merits of being a “Gyallis” and glorifying “Gyallisism” as a valid way of life when all this time he was in a loving monogamous relationship or so he believed. If dancehall is a reflection of real life then he should have been educating our young people on the merits of marriage, love for one’s children and staying in a monogamous relationship, instead he preaches something that was foreign to him, typical do as I say not as I do.

We see this a lot with our entertainers they have a knack for saying one thing and doing the complete opposite, they sell the lowest common denominator because it is an easy sell. There are Dancehall entertainers who sell and brainwash our young people’s minds with nothing but Murder, violence and graphic sex and as soon as they make some money they move uptown to Norbrook and Jackshill and Cherry Gardens with their significant other, away from the Murder, violence and sex of the Ghetto. They send their children to the most expensive uptown schools like Campion, Ardenne, and Hillel Academy shielding them from the dirty, disgusting Murder, violence and sex of the Ghetto life, they move in different social circles and only return to the Ghetto to sell more Murder, violence and sex since it is how they finance their uptown lifestyles. If ghetto life is so nice as most profess in their songs then why do they leave the first chance they get, why don’t they teach their offspring’s about the nice ways of the ghetto?

Gal Clown Mr. Muppet

Vegas Verse 

"Anywhere di gal dem deh mi deh
From yuh seh gal move long time mi ready
Bun down Foxy now mi have ah Brandy
Telephone ah ring gal waan mi candy
Two gal buck up and start a big war
One ah dem fling a big stone inna mi car
But mi know mi and nuh bag-a-man nah par
If a bwoy funny well mi haffi stay far cause"

"Well! competition haffi gwaan cah mi fuss
Sight da gal ya Jah know seh ah war buss
Between Sean & Paul and Mr. Vegas
Ah which one ah pour di coffee dung inna her thermos
Mi haffi get di gal ya now (man ah gi yuh di gal)
She let go her number pon mi (could be di wrong number yow)
Mi beg her for ah date (and then she kill yuh wid di no)
Yeah but she still ah woman nuh bait and man ah ole pappy show
Because mi haffi mek a try, haffi get a bligh
Get an eagle eye I and I nah guh ramp wid nuh guy
And mi haffi mek a cruise inna mi rubber shoes
Gal a get bruise Sean & Paul win and Vegas ah lose"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Question of Class

There was a time when Low Income did not mean Low Class. They were not one and the same! I know some rich people who are totally Low Class, gutter trash and I know some poor people who are Full of Class.

Class is not defined by your financial standing, as money cannot buy class. which is like putting lipstick on a pig - it is still a pig or in this case a low class, trash with money and still no class. Class is defined in my book as how one sees one self, how one carries one self. It is manners and respect for your fellow man; it is an understanding of who you are and where you are going in life and how you intend to get there. This is not your old time European concept of class.

Breaking Down The Social Barriers
In the 1970's, Michael Manley started the movement to break down the old colonial social barriers. His belief was that if we removed the social barriers that seemed to hold good people back, then people in the lower spectrum of society would have easier access to joining their brothers and sisters in the upper spectrum of society. It was a noble movement started with good intentions, trying to create a more egalitarian society based on social justice, trying to give everyone almost equal access to basic needs. However the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.

In many cases he did not consider the strength of low class culture in the lower end of the social spectrum. This is because it is not only misery that loves company but bad behaving, dysfunctional ,low class people also love company. They love nothing more than to spread their influence, like the forces of the dark-side swaggering its way through society, infecting good people thus exposing good people to their dysfunction and dragging them down to their level. It turned out to be an exchange of souls in many cases as people in the lower end of the spectrum got a chance to move up to mix with the upper end of the spectrum. In a lot cases those on the upper end of the spectrum were dragged down by low class, ambition-less people - especially in the case of the young where to be low class and without ambition became cool.

But to put the blame totally on the people in the lower end of the social spectrum would be wrong because people in the upper end of social spectrum resented having to mix with people in the lower end of the social spectrum as they set out to alienate these people. Cries of we do not want our children to mix with those low class people rang out all across Jamaica, resulting in a clash of subcultures. In the end a lot of people who would not have access to education and able to experience a different way of life got that education and experience. Friendships formed and bonds created between people who were never destined to meet.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do or try to Burn it Down?
A druggist from the ghetto bought the open land on the hill and proceeded to build his settlement, a four house compound in which he moved himself and his family. The problem is not that these individuals moved uptown, the problem is that the individuals failed to conform to life on the hill as they proceeded to recreate the ghetto, similar to a virus infestation trying to take over the body.

On a daily basis massive amount of people would hangout, inside and outside of the druggist compound, his posse and extended posse would stand around watching each and every one as they go about their daily business, some would smoke weed while others would shout things at passing cars, they were truly some of the worst cut throats I have ever seen.

Then the druggist started keeping regular dancehall events, at first we thought it was a one off thing but later realized he had a fix schedule, Wednesday and Saturday nights was the norm, music so loud that one could hear the glass and plates rattle and vibrate in the cabinet, with people shouting rubbish over the microphone, it was also very hard to sleep during this "dutty-rub-up" event. A delegation from the neighbourhood association decided to have a word but the druggist would not have it, he had more money than God and felt that he could do whatever he wanted, where and when ever he wanted and no one could stop him.

It was then that the power brokers on the hill decided to up the ante with a series of well organised raids on the druggist compound by the security forces. This went on for a while as the druggist and his multitude of followers came under the microscope of the law. These raids turned out not to be conducive to his druggist activities and in the end both he and his followers was forced to move back from whence they came. The compound was later sold to families who understood the meaning and importance of Peace, Quiet and maintaining ones Property Value.

Identifying and Appreciating Class
One of the classiest individual I knew was a gardener who worked for the family. The way he carried himself, the way he spoke, his outlook on life impressed me and I spent many hours talking to him as a boy, about his work and life in general. In all the years he worked for us, he was never late, he never turned up at the house dressed in his gardening cloths and he never leave the house in his gardening cloths, he had a sense of style that transcends time. He had great respect for himself, others and his profession. He was a proud gardener, a landscape engineer and what he did to our yard was pure art, how he managed to shape those unruly bushes with his clipper and machete was amazing to me.

His dedication to his work and how he relates to everyone earned him a lot of respect and trust from almost every house on the street, so much so, that as a result of his good reputation and goodwill he was hired by almost every house on the street and on a given day he would take care of the gardens of at least 3 houses per day. He would start early, moving from one house to the next, watching him work was a pleasure, a true artist at work, he would make a change to the garden, then step back and examine his work from many angles then return to make various adjustments as he snipped and clipped various edges, every cut done with a sense of purpose and at the end of the day he would clean up after himself leaving our yard in a state of pure perfection. He did brilliant work and was so admired by all that he was always remembered at Christmas time. He went on to create a business and hired some boys to help him service his customers because he had more work than he could handle by himself, everybody wanted him. Sadly he died and everyone on the street went to his funeral, he was missed by all and was a true gentleman.

We went on to hire some of the worse people to look after the yard, some stole from us and others had no pride in their work and themselves. Some would not even bother to show up on the agreed date or show up on time and would leave before the work was done. Their work left a lot to be desired, slam, bam, thank you ma'am pay me, one came to work but was found in another house having sex with the helper, in the bed of the people who hire the helper. They did not view what they were doing as a business, they had no love for gardening and I think actually hated it and the people who hired them, these people looked down on themselves and simply had no class.

Life, Debt and GDP

I am reading an interesting piece on the relationship between Debt and GDP, this continued from my reading last week on Debt and the Exchange Rate… I am trying to figure out at what point I should start to feel good about increasing GDP and lowering exchange rate. Since increase borrowing can increase GDP but only marginally so that the trade off is not worth the borrowed money and increase borrowing can lower our exchange rate since we artificially flood the market with currency we did not earn. Our Governments have trained us to react to certain stimuli without giving us the real story behind those stimuli.

Marginally increasing GDP and lowering exchange rate through excessive borrowing, doubling our debt is nothing but window dressing, eye candy and false positives as it is not sustainable or real, unless we earn way more than we borrow and debt repayment is a low percentage of every dollar earned, currently our debt is over 140% of GDP and 80 cents out of every dollar goes towards servicing the debt. Our Governments love to play with words, “we grow the economy” or “we lowered the exchange rate” even when the reasons for these claims are there for all to see… Yes because they doubled our debt or consumed the NIR.

Starter Fluid is rich mixture with low auto-ignition temperature sprayed into a spark plug hole of an engine to get added fuel to the combustion cylinder quickly. It is not used to continuously power the engine but as an added booster to kick start the process… Borrowing should be like starter fluid to the economy, borrowed money is injected into the economy to kick start the process, once kicked started the process is supposed to be self-sustaining, generating the energy/funds required to drive the economy, create new investments and pay back the loan. You cannot run a business on only borrowed money, you can however inject borrowed money from time to time in order to improve the process of auto-income generation by the business but if the only money coming out of the business is money borrowed then that business is not sustainable and will fail, it is only a matter of time, it is not if but when.

The Jamaicans economy is like a failed business borrowing large sums of money, most of which is not being used to kick start the process of income generation but is being used for day to day operation of the country, to finance the over the top lifestyle of the people. Most of the money coming out of our economy is borrowed money because we have failed to use this money to make the right investments and common sense decisions needed to put our economy in auto drive. Not only that our borrowed money through imports is used to drive other people’s economy, every time we buy imported items from overseas we are building overseas economy at the expense of our own and don't get me started on the interest and loan repayment which is like a chain wrapped around a swimmers leg.

It seems the in-thing in Jamaica these days is to talk about GDP as a measure of success or failure of any Government without understanding that GDP rate is just one of many Economic indicators use to determine the state of a country's economic and social health. GDP is the measure of goods and services produced within a country in a given period and not a measure of welfare, it tells us nothing about Income distribution and the lives of people. Along with Economic indicators we also have social indicators which show us the standard of living of all the people within the country. The whole purpose of Government is to service the needs of the population and the whole purpose of the economy is to also service the needs of the people, both Government and the Economy exist only to better the lives of all the people and if they fail to do that then, they are both completely useless as the only thing that matters is the standard of living of the people.

Examples of other important Economic indicators are unemployment rates, inflation rates, Consumer Price index, income distribution, Balance of Payment and Balance of Trade, etc. All these indicators and more must be considered favorable, all moving in the right direction for the majority of the people to sit back and declare that all is right in their world. Favorable indicator in one and bad indicators in the rest means nothing and could still represent hardship in the lives of the people.

Hypothetically let’s say a country had a GDP growth rate off 20% but 25% of the people are unemployed, 23% live below the poverty line and Inflation rate is in double digits… The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The country suffers from income inequality and a quarter of its population cannot read or write, supermarket shelves is full of imports but only the rich can afford it…The majority of the population suffers from poor standard of living, kind of like colonial Jamaica.

Hypothetically again, Let’s say we have 6 companies and five of these companies are foreign owned, and they produce a lot of widgets, tons of the stuff and sell so much widgets that our GDP jumped 10%, lets also say these companies pay meagre wages and piss poor benefits but make super-duper profits which they export back to their mother country… Yes our GDP is up by 10% but we are no better off because that super profit did not contribute to the increased welfare of the people, income distribution was poor.

In the above examples it makes no sense boasting about GDP to the population as their lot in life have not changed and in fact got worst. GDP is selective indicator used when someone wants to prove a point. Highlighting GDP without highlighting any other economic and social indicators means nothing as It does not give us a full understanding of the true state of the country and the plight of its people.

Then we have the Social Indicators:
  • Infant mortality rate:
  • Life expectancy at birth:
  • Availability of Healthcare
  • Availability of affordable housing
  • Literacy Rate
  • Employment Rate
  • Crime Rate
  • Etc.

So the next person who tries to big-up GDP had better come with the state of the remaining economic and social indicators. Yes we want GDP and all the economic indicators to move in the right direction but going crazy about one indicator as if it is the beginning and end of it all is Crazy and a complete waste of time.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Christopher "Genocidal Maniac" Columbus

It always amazes me that the people throughout history who declared themselves to be the most civilized, the most cultured and who declare other people savages and primitives are always the ones to carry out the most uncivilized, inhumane acts throughout human history against the so called savages and primitives. Especially when the so called savages and primitives greet them as friend and in many cases care for them when they are in need.

It is as if being more civilized means bringing death and destruction to the rest of humanity in the most savage and primitive way possible. As soon as one country gets the advantage it sets out to slaughter other countries and take what they have.

I cannot think of anything worse than celebrating Columbus Day, well except celebrating Hitler Day and forcing Jews to take part. When it comes to Columbus I see nothing to celebrate, I view Columbus like how I view Galactus the Destroyer of Worlds, a character from the Marvel comics, except that Galactus is not real and the actions of Columbus actually wiped out entire civilizations from the face of the planet. I view Christopher Columbus no different than I view Adolf Hitler or any other Genocidal Maniac.
In school we studied how the Spaniards wiped out entire tribes in their quest for gold, they did not come to the new world to make friends, they came to lay waste, to rape, pillage and murder while taking the resources of the new world, they did not value humanity. We read in school that the Spaniards played a game, to see who could remove the head of an Indian with one blow of their swords. We learned how they enslaved the local population and when the local population died out from war, slavery, cruelty and European diseases, when there was no one left, they traveled to Africa, captured, extracted and enslave the Africans, all with the blessing of the Religious Order who also wanted gold and cared nothing about Humanity.

But when the victors write history, they write it in such a way as to create fantasy and nostalgia of days gone by. They write from a position of their greatness, how wonderful they were and what they did for the world and the people they enslaved and murdered. Columbus brought riches to Europe and as a result delivered nothing but death and destruction to the peoples of the new world. His arrival opened the very gates of hell and unleashed the genocidal demons on the native populations.

Christopher Columbus’s actions wiped out civilizations, cultures and enslaved millions resulting in hundreds of years, of genocide from the tip of North America to the tip of South America and Africa.

The world does not remember or care about the millions who died and suffered as a result of this little European expedition, European Greed. They labeled the local populations as savages, less than humans and the Europeans who murdered and enslaved millions labeled as Civilized and worshiped as great heroes to this very day. I find Celebrating Columbus Day disgusting, I see nothing to celebrate, this was genocide and if we lived in a Just World, that Day would be a day to honor the millions of human beings who were murdered, who suffered not the murderers who killed them.

…We stole countries! That's how you build an empire. We stole countries with the cunning use of flags! Just sail halfway around the world, stick a flag in. "I claim India for Britain." And they're going, "You can't claim us. We live here! There's five hundred million of us." "Do you have a flag?" "We don't need a bloody flag, this is our country you bastard!" "No flag, no country! You can't have one. That's the rules... that... I've just made up! And I'm backing it up with this gun... that was lent from the National Rifle Association."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Question of Stable Leadership: 1980 to 2007

During a recent online debate, a certain muppet began to blame the Jamaican people for the Peoples’s National Party being in power for 18 years between 1989 and 2007. I find it completely unfair to blame the Jamaican people for the PNP being in power for 18 years because it was not the people of Jamaica that was at fault but the Jamaica Labour Party, who did not present themselves as a viable option and who I believe should return the opposition salary they received after 16 years of being the worst opposition on the face of this planet as it was not until after the question of leadership for that party was settled that they began to focused their attention on the Jamaican people and do the job they were paid to do.

In November of 2004 Edwards Seaga announced that he was stepping down from representational politics and by mid-January of 2005 his announcement came to past. The Jamaica Labour Party had not won any of the 4 elections between 1989 and 2007 and if one was to research the series of events that took place between those periods, one would clearly see why.

The Peoples National Party won every election between 1989 and 2007 not because that party had the answers to Jamaica’s problems, because they did not, not because Jamaica was moving in the right direction under the PNP Government, because it was not, not because the standard of living of most Jamaicans flourished during those years, because it was not but simply because the Jamaica Labour Party was a party in turmoil. The JLP was not a unified party but a party that had separated itself into different warring factions. It was always the gang of “Some Number” fighting Edward Seaga for the leadership of the party and it took 16 long years for the JLP to settle the question of leadership and 18 year to return to power. “We remember well the Gang of Five and Gang of 11 disputes, as well as other squabbles over leadership that ruptured the party over many years.”

Within those 18 years it was not so much that the PNP won the elections, it was more like the JLP lost the election or did not bother to turn up and there was no way under the sun the Jamaican people or any sensible people could vote for a party that was going through such intense internal power struggle and infighting. During one election the PNP campaigned solely on the words of the Gang of “5/11” as they publicly attacked each other like Hyenas fighting over a dead carcass, all the PNP had to do was play the recordings of these bitter attacks straight from the horse's mouth and use it against them, during that period JLP man cuss JLP man like dog.

I would go even further to say that during those 16 years Jamaica did not have an active opposition we were in fact a one party state. We paid the opposition to keep the Government in check and to be ready at moments noticed to take over the seat of power but there was no opposition to be found.