Monday, December 30, 2013

Jamaica Crime Season: 2013-2014

Jamaicans follow their local crime season like how the English football fans follow the English Premiere League Football season. We even try to keep daily scores while informing anyone who would listen of the latest murder score/rate, did you hear…. 6 dead in St. James, 8 dead in Spanish Town, 5 Dead in West Kingston… This goes on and on until the end of the season when the grand total is announced and we compare it to murders of seasons past.   1583, 1618, 1683, 1428, 1124, 1087, 1198…..

One would think that if Jamaica was under attack and it is, from our Home Grown Terrorist, … that a bipartisan consensus on crime coupled with a joint unified statement from the political class outlining their plan of attack on the criminal elements within our society and a support for the concept of us law abiding Jamaicans against them, the murdering criminals, would have been the strong natural reaction to this daily barbaric onslaught on the Jamaican people. But instead we get small minded partisan bickering from our little political pricks in Parliament. Some things are not supposed to be used as a political football and the wholesale murder of Jamaicans is one of them…

In 2009 Jamaica recorded the highest murder rate in history and the PNP long with their diehards laughed at the previous JLP Government, mocking them, saying that they claimed they would fix the problem of crime they should get on with the job of fixing it… and now the JLP Government is doing the same to the PNP Government, hoping to score some political points and in the meantime Jamaica and Jamaicans are under constant siege, with massive loss of lives, regardless of which political party they support.

…The Opposition Party regardless of which party belongs to the opposition (JLP or PNP) always sees increasing crime as a positive thing, they get a real hard-on from it because they see it as an opportunity for them to get re-elected. This is one more thing to take with them on the campaign trail as they shout with glee that the Government is losing the war on crime and they alone can bring about a solution, nothing is sacred to these people, not even the very lives of the people they claim they are trying to better, to lead to the promise land, while all the while leading us further and further into Zombie Land, willingly I might add. ...Politics is a dangerous game my friend…

Crime is an affront to who we are as a people, to our National Heroes, to our nation building experience and future generations of this country and as such this partisan, Political school boy bantering must stop especially since it is costing lives.

The Minister of National No-Security?

If the only achievement of this Minister of Nation Security is to hold the murder rates to the same level as last year or marginally above or below last year’s numbers then this Minister of National Security and the Police force are failures… and get a failing grade from me and Mr. Bunting should either resign or change Ministry, failure is not an option Sir, we cannot afford incompetence.  

The Minister of National Security and the upper echelon of the Jamaica police force seem to have ran out of ideas a long, long time ago… I am not sure what their policies are, I have no idea and they have not communicated anything to the general public, The minister says it requires Divine Intervention but with all that is happen in the world why would any divine forces waste time of Jamaicans…It is obvious that the police force is a reactive force, trying to use the band aid approach to fighting crime… Almost like playing Whack a Mole.

The Policy of the Government is that of trying to walk the fine line between policing and giving the impression to the global community that Jamaica is open for business but every global entity has access to the internet and the ability to research Crime and Jamaica, which immediately presents them with the fact that Jamaica is not really open for normal business. At times I get the impression that the Government thinks they can appeal to the better nature of our dog-heart criminals but our dog-heart criminal have no better nature to appeal to…

The last JLP Government “accidentally” may have found a temporary formula to reduce crime, thanks to them being forced in the corner by the Americans during the Dudus civil war, which resulted in the reduction of crime from 1683 in 2009, 1428 in 2010 and 1124 in 2011… It then seems that the only “Short Term” solution to Jamaica’s crime problem is to restart the 2010 Dudus levels of policing. A yearlong State Of Emergency, suspension of all merriment activities, no dancehall, shut all clubs, nightly curfews, regular stop and search and house to house searches and immediate detention without charge because I agree you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs and freedom and democracy is not for everybody because it is clear that Jamaicans cannot handle all this freedom… These Criminals are continuously advancing while being defended by the people and it seems the security forces are backing off while being attacked by the people... Most Jamaicans hate the police more than they hate the criminals...

But Crime fighting and police actions in Jamaica is a political football as the oppositions and their diehards declare that the Government is oppressing their poor and downtrodden people who just want to eat a food and have some fun… along with "Jamaican For Justice" going on and on about police Brutality and how the murderer was innocent …. Everybody it seems is watching way too much CSI on TV and playing way to much politics ...but as I said.. ..Politics is a dangerous game my friend…

Political Stagnation and JLP Fact Finding Crime Tour
December 19th 2013 was a typical day for Jamaican politics… it was business as per usual for the members of the political class in both Political Parties and proof positive that Jamaica’s politics is as stagnated as the Jamaican economy.

If the leader of the opposition had announced after is Fact Find Crime Tour through the war torn streets of St. James, that he would like to meet with the Government to discuss the matter of crime and that he is prepared to elevate the issue of crime outside of the political arena as a matter of National Importance and in the National Interest then a star would have been born and I would have supported that man through thick and thin because he would have proved to every Jamaican that Andrew Holness was a different leader, a new charismatic, young,  innovative and dynamic Leader.

Instead the young Politician engaged the old, antiquated people in Government using his old antiquated head, the same tactics that we have been using since independence, the same tactics that brought us to where we are today, to this place in time and space. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, what accrued on December 19th 2013 between the Government and the opposition was disgusting and embarrassing, a Tit-For-Tat game of who-said-what-who-did-what-when-and-where which was like a ghetto tenement yard cussing in the National Media.

Opposition Leader Crime Free Compound!!

The Opposition fired of a public anti-PNP letter on crime, the Government responded with a public anti-JLP letter on crime and then the opposition fired off another anti-PNP letter on crime. These Tit-For-Tat anti-party letters were flying everywhere left, right and center. None of these letters were intended to address the issue of crime but to score cheap party political points at the expense of the country and the people being murdered. So we are no closer to a solution on crime because our political class cannot think or act outside of the box, they are set in stone with decades after Independence molding their minds to what it is today. ...Selfish, Small Minded, Greedy little Pricks!!

PNP Knickers in a Twist
As a result of the JLP publishing their anti-PNP crime letter, the PNP Government got their knickers in a right twist … If this issue of crime did not exist or was improving/trending down then the opposition would NOT have anything to be opportunistic about, so I am at a lost as to why the PNP got so upset. Crime is real and people are being killed, so JLP opportunism is the least of our concern, feeling safe and not having to worry about being killed is our concern. The PNP does NOT have a leg to stand on... with regards to the crime rate… You are the Government, so stop your damn bellyaching and get on with Fracking Job attacking the crime problem. If you had dealt with the problem then the paid opposition would have to find something else to complain about, some other issue that you are falling short on. Let me remind you all that it is the Job of the paid opposition to highlight the problems in our society and call out the Government on their failings that is why we pay them the big opposition bucks…

PNP=JLP=PNP=JLP..&& (Political Interest != National Interest)....
There really is no difference between the members of the JLP and the PNP, they are the same old, tired post-colonial types that have made this nation what it is today, however they did not do it alone and as far as I am concern the Political Class gets 20% of the blame, while 80% of the blame for the state of Jamaica Today belongs to the Jamaican people, "yes yu!! a yu mi talk, regardless of geographic location, a di whole a wi mash up this rass"... . These members of the political class will almost never make a decision based on the National Interest, they would never make the right decision but they have and will always make decisions based only on their own Political Interest. They have successfully, throughout the year’s being able to mask their Selfish, Greedy Political Interest to make it look like the National Interest, ..making the Gullible Jamaican People think that the Party's Political Interest and National Interest was one and the same and people would have to be complete idiots to believe that.... hahahahahaha....The Political Class and the Jamaican people are like peas in a pod, perfect for each other... Our Political, Educated and Business Class must wake up everyday and thank their lucky stars... because they luck out when it comes to the Trinket minded, money loving Jamaican People....

The North American Weapons of Death Dealerships
No one can deny that Jamaica is flooded with illegal Guns, which is everywhere in Jamaica, we have so much of the stuff. Jamaica does not manufacture guns but guns unlike food are not in short supply. The United States of America is doing her very best to keep Jamaica enriched, fully stocked with her illegal weapons of death. Constantly we hear on the news that barrels upon barrels of illegal weapons of death was found in containers shipped from the North American Death dealerships and yet we are powerless to do anything about it…. America is beyond reasoning, beyond approach, she does not care what affects us or how much of us must die daily for her to turn a profit on weapons but she will make sure that we look after her interest.  Jamaica must bend over backwards to protect the American boarders, we must prevent weed from leaving Jamaica and Jamaica must prevent the transshipment of hard drugs heading to America, while America does nothing to prevent her weapons of death reaching Jamaica and gladly turns a blind eye.

For a country so technologically advance, a country that can spot a pin on the moon, read a book on earth from space, send robots to mars and deploy her war machines in seconds, I fail to understand why she is so powerless to prevent illegal guns from leaving her ports and enter the ports of Jamaica or is this by design?  They will gladly tell you Guns do not kill people so it must be our fault but we cannot tell her that drugs do not hook people but people get hooked on drugs, so it is not our fault.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Working Your Fingers to the Bone and an Early Grave!

If you are going to work hard and work your fingers to the bone then make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. I have nothing against hard work if the purpose of that hard work is to improve the quality of your life, meaning you have time to enjoy life and leisure. Human beings do not live forever, we were born to die, the day we were born the only thing that was certain is our death.

All I am saying is that we all should be careful of adopting this work till you drop attitude when most times we do not see what we are working for. As far as I am concern we work so we can afford to live a quality life, not to spend every waking hour and second slaving away and then we drop dead… Buff! And the second you drop dead they put a new mindless drone in your seat… I have seen that happen actually… The Dude died of a Heart attack, at about 9 AM just after the stock market opened and by 1 PM someone else was sitting in his seat making sure the reports go out on time… Life should never be defined by work but my leisure and quality time which is the reason we should work…

It never fails to amaze me that in this time of technological advances, we are working longer hours for less pay, less quality time and poorer health, literally working ourselves into the grave…. New Technologies has been invented for the sole purpose of increasing the amount of time we work, even allowing people to take their work with them on family vacations, we are now shackled to our work

and there I was thinking that with modern technology we would have a 3 day weekend by now…

Americans generally define themselves by their ability to work long and hard hours but in the UK or Europe, the Caribbean and almost everywhere else, it is not business as per usual when Christmas comes around? They generally take the time out for leisure and quality time, to reset the mental clock and so they should, everyone should … What is the purpose of life if not for living?

I Love Boxing Day!

One of the greatest holiday inventions is Boxing Day, I prefer this holiday over all others. Boxing Day is a much better day to Christmas day, which is rubbish in my opinion. While in countries like America, the yanks are back at work the day after eating and drinking themselves silly on Christmas day, everyone else in the commonwealth is relaxing. In Jamaica we are at the beach, in the UK at home watching footy or down the pub, spending quality time with friends and family…

One question I normally get from Americans is “What is Boxing Day?”, it is almost an obsession with them but I cannot understand why there is a need to define Boxing Day, why should Boxing Day have any great meaning? The fact that it follows one on the most anticipated days of the year should be definition and meaning enough.  People spend months preparing for Christmas, a day I regard as the worst day of the entire year, with preparations reaching fever pitch in the final weeks and days leading up to the big day. Christmas is obviously a very stressful time of the year, as people run around like mad ants doing all sort of Rubbish, making sure everything is in place for the big moment and when the day comes they then eat and drink themselves silly. But I suppose Christmas Day helps to bring true meaning to Boxing Day, one day causes maximum stress and the other day eliminates it totally.

Seinfeld... The Show About Nothing!!!

Boxing Day is a day about nothing!!!, ...Yes you can find several definitions for the day if you do a Google search but in reality it is a day about nothing, ...not a damn thing and that is why it is the best holiday ever. Some may ask, so what do you do on Boxing Day? …Nothing!! How do you celebrate it? …By doing nothing!  …So what is the point? …Exactly!! … There is no point!

Just accept the fact that Boxing Day is a day about nothing and you will be enlightened as to its true meaning and purpose and its relationship to the universe and the cosmos …It is where Yin meets Yang, the very definition of a body being at rest. Boxing Day helps the third eye to focus, It is mystical and esoteric, providing perception beyond ordinary sight.

The United States remains alone as the only rich nation without legally mandated vacations for employees and with no requirement that official holidays come with extra pay and a compensating day off. You heard about Universal Health care well how about legal Universal Vacation and Leisure time by law, mandated. A statutory minimum tariffs for employee leave from work, i.e. the amount of entitlement to paid holiday/vacation by the law of the land:

Legally Required Minimum Leave:
  • United States: None, Nada, Zip, Zero, Zilch, Nil
  • United Kingdom: 5.6 weeks
  • Australia: 22 vacation days, 13 holidays, and a month’s pay to help with vacation expenses and if you hang around a place for six years, you can swing 49 days off with pay.
  • Greece: four weeks off plus six paid holidays
  • France: 5 weeks, 10 national holidays
  • Finland: 5 weeks is the minimum mandated by Law!
  • Germany: 4 working weeks
  • Brazil: 30 days
  • Iceland:  24 days,  13 official holidays

These are the legal requirements, only a baseline... must give holidays… like minimum wage, these are minimum mandated time off and companies can and do offer more than what is legally required in order to attract workers… We should never live to work but work just enough to live...


 Americans are so busy looking over their shoulders at work, they only take half of their paid time off, according to a study released Thursday. Employees only use 51% of their eligible paid vacation time and paid time off, according to a survey of 2,300 workers who receive paid vacation. The survey was carried out by research firm Harris Interactive for the careers website Glassdoor. What’s more, 61% of Americans work while they’re on vacation, despite complaints from family members; one-in-four report being contacted by a colleague about a work-related matter while taking time off, while one-in-five have been contacted by their boss.
Americans are so busy looking over their shoulders at work, they only take half of their paid time off 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Animal Adventures - From Dogs to Fish and Pigeons

When I was a pickney, my friend Courtney, who lived couple gates down from me, started to keep Pigeons and I would spend a lot of time helping him to look after his 4 birds. I remember going home one day and the look on my face told my father that it was that time again where I bugged him till kingdom come for something until he gives in. I went up to him and declared my desire for a Coop and some pigeons of my own, to which his response was NO! Not going to happen! If you want another dog fine but no Pigeons! Heck I was already bored of the dogs, since it was my responsibility to make sure they were fed and watered. I cooked for them every night and some nights I would get pretty creative with the cooking. Taking out the best pieces of meat from the freezer to cook with their Turn-Corn-Meal (Polenta like).

Back then in Jamaica no self-respecting person would go to the store and buy processed dog food… well I don’t even think that dog food was being sold in Jamaica at that time or that the dogs would eat it if we gave it to them anyway. My last great adventure was my fishes and fish tank which was in my living room, it was now murky green with the poor souls hugging the top of the water begging for fresh air. I had gotten them several months ago after a couple weeks of begging and screaming before my father gave in and for a while I enjoyed the fish tank and took great pleasure taking care of them. The tank used to looked great with all the various fandangle’s and overhead lights but how long can a pickney sit down and watch some fish go back and forth, back and forth, plus I had to make sure they were fed and the tank was cleaned.

But what I wanted now was a new adventure, I wanted to raise pigeons and I had plans to train my pigeons to send coded secret messages to my friend down the road, like how they do it in the war and medieval movies. So I did what any child would do, I bug the hell out of my father, morning noon and night and throw a couple tantrums until low and behold a couple weeks later he finally gave in.

One morning I woke up to hammering in the back yard and saw that he was building my pigeon coop, a double decker pigeon mansion and I was happy!

After it was finished I bugged my father for the money to buy my first pair of birds and went with my friend to pick them up. I was giving strict instructions by the seller not to let them out for a couple weeks but just to feed and water them, let them get use to us and the coop. My father made me promise that I will look after the birds, feed and water them along with the dogs and he will finance the buying of the pigeon food, to which I promised. By this time the fishes had gone belly up a while back and the tank emptied and sold to one of my father’s friend.

I was happy like a pig in slop when I got my two pigeons, I must have over watered and fed them not to mention I spent a lot of time with them, listening to their coos. They were the first things I saw in the morning and the last before I went to bed and I think the dogs were a bit jealous because one of them tried to take a nibble out off one of the birds from my hand.

Sesame Street: Bert Dances To Doin' The Pigeon

Days turn to weeks and weeks turn into months and months turned into a year and my population of pigeons grew from the original two to a healthy population of over 50 birds occupying both levels of the double Decker pigeon mansion. I had bought some more as time went on but I swear my birds were attracting birds from everywhere else looking for a handout, free food. The Let-off culture is alive and well with pigeons, it is not only Jamaicans and they were breeding like wildfire, slam bam thank you mam and eggs turn into young ones.

Over time I became an expert on the behavior of Pigeons just through observations, David Attenborough had nothing on me. I used to lay on my back in the backyard and watch them fly around, watch their mating rituals, watch them fighting and how they would take baths in the container of water and the different noises they made, I observed different personalities among the flock. I was also able to sell a couple but I swear they returned home after a while.

A Year turn into years, my flock was now a mega flock, the coop was not big enough to hold them all and the more birds I have the more I enjoyed them less, they were now a pain in the backside. The entire backyard was their toilet as they crapped everywhere and on everyone, even on the dogs. They would stand on the cloth line and let it rip, shit stains running down white sheets, shirts and school uniforms, they crapped on peoples heads and shoulders and everyone was coming to me to give me a piece of their mind about my damn birds, my sisters hated them. It got to the point where I stopped looking after them and my father would hound after me, trying to get me to show some interest. However he ended up reading me the riot act, if I don’t starting taking care of the birds more he will handle it anyway he saw fit, I just laughed.

On another morning he made a grand declaration that if I don’t start taking care of the damn birds or sell them, he would solve the problem for me… I laughed again, picked up my school bag and headed out the door bumming some money off him in the process. He could never resist me, I was his youngest and knew which buttons to push to get the desired response. The next weekend I came home from the 10 am Saturday Morning Matinee at The Carib, only to find my father and his friends drinking beer with a massive pot on a makeshift wood fire in the backyard. They had an assembly line from the coop which terminated at the cooking pot.

My father did not bother to let the birds out that morning as one man reached in to the coop to get each bird and share them out to the other men, who then held the pigeons by the head and spin their bodies in a quick whirling motion, pop, there goes the neck! The dead bird was plucked, gutted and thrown in this big pot of soup with dumpling, yams, corn, potatoes, pepper and various other food items. My father was running a boat (impromptu communal cooking) with his friends and my pigeons, my beloved birds were the main course, heck the only course, it was Saturday and that is soup day in Jamaica…

I was outraged, I protested this butchery like any 13 year old would, this was ethnic cleansing, United Nation level event, call The Hague cause this was a crime against me and my birds. Showing just how upset I am, was not getting anywhere. No one was buying it and they just talked, laughed and made jokes about whatever I had to say. I was being ignored so I stormed off, slamming several doors on my way to watch Prince Valiant starring Robert Wagner and James Mason on JBC TV. I figured I would continue my protest of this blasted injustice, this Genocide after the movie which I wanted to watch for the longest and did not want to miss it.

When the spicy pigeon soup was finished my father brought me a bowl, I was insulted, I refused to eat it, equating eating it to cooking my pet dogs and eating them but hunger was getting the better of me and daddy said that, this was dinner, the Saturday soup and I would get nothing else. So I drank the soup when he left the room and it was the best soup I had in a long time and even though I was “upset”, I went back for seconds. All the birds that could not fit in the pot were taken home by my father’s friends and I kept two to cook for the dog’s dinner. It took a while for me to get used to the sound of silence in the backyard and on the roof and it took a longer time for all the pigeon smell and shit to go away and restore the back yard to its former glory. The laundry was now safe and walking in the back yard was free from dive bombing pigeons.

Over the next week a couple birds descended on the coop and tried to set up house but my father was not having it, so he took the hammer to the Pigeon Mansion and destroyed it after evicting the occupants. It was boring for the next couple weeks just me and the dogs, I thought about getting some fish again but quickly decided against it. I wondered aimlessly until I decided on my next great adventure… I fenced off a large part of the back yard and created the mother of all back yard gardens, I planted corn, cane, yam, peas, banana, tomatoes, herbs and spices and many more…. Everyone was happy with my Food Garden and my father said that if we still had the pigeons he would not have to buy chicken from the shop and we would have been self-sufficient.

It is normal to eat pigeons in many countries across the world, I have seen it advertised in butcher shops across the UK, it is a very cheap source of protein. The Wild Scottish Wood Pigeon is advertised in Canada at $59.99 for two 8oz birds and is describe as a rich gamey flavor far more intense than that of domestically-raised birds. Many farmers around the world breed pigeons for meat and in the English countryside hunters normally go on pigeon and Dove shoots when the usual game is in short supply. In culinary terminology, squab is a young domestic pigeon or its meat.

Pigeon - removing the breast.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Anatomy of Selecting or De-Selecting A Political Party!

How do you decide who to vote for in a General Election? How do you determine if an elected Government was a success or a failure and does that affect your electoral decisions? For many Jamaicans the decision as to who they should vote for is not even a decision since some people behave as if they are genetically predisposed to vote for only one party regardless of the situation or facts, as a matter of fact the concept of “Facts” does not even factor into the equation. We are used to hearing things like “from me born me a socialist or from me born me a labourite”… as they declare that their mother, father and grandparents supported only one party and they will forever carryon that tradition of supporting the same party, they are Labourite or socialist till they die, through thick or thin.

I grew up hearing things like this from my family but quickly realized that this type of thinking made no damn sense. The selection or election of a political party to assume the role of Government of a country, entrusted with the lives and wellbeing of her people is way too important to leave up to blind tradition so much so that much thought and deliberation must go into the selection process.

The Anatomy of Party Selection

The job of Government is a position open to Political parties who are best at outlining their vision for the future, their grasp of the subject matter, their ability to identify the problems of our society and formulate various plans/solutions to fix these problems. The job of any Government is that of Nation Building and Nation Building is all about the future, creating a better and brighter tomorrow. When political parties start to run for Government they put together their manifestos which is a document to show that they have a full understanding of the issues that plague the country and a defined set of solutions to these problems, we then hypothetically elect the party whose plans are more in line with our expectations as we identify with the problems that the party declared as needed fixing and we like the plans put forward by the party to fix these problems and as such we will employ this party, to carry them out.

It is a process no different from the everyday job interview, a process where the company has a problem, the person being interviewed impresses upon the interviewer his knowledge and understanding of the problems and his ability to produce the required solution in the required timeframe.

The Anatomy of Party De-Selection

The party is then hired to do the job they promised to do, to implement their plans and to bring about a better and brighter tomorrow but how do we judge that what the party promised to deliver they actually delivered? One of my biggest problems with the party manifestos, is that they are almost always done without a timeframe for delivery. The party identified the problem, the party outlined a series of solutions but then the party never say when to expect these solutions to start and when to expect final delivery. This is almost never heard of in a real business, where a timeline is constantly being demanded, where we hear a lot about due date or delivery dates or expected dates of delivery and detail reasons demanded if these dates are missed.

Our Political parties are allowed to make sweeping open ended promises with no real date of delivery and no explanation of why they fail to deliver on promises. So the big question is how one determines the success of failure of a Government, what indicators are we tracking to determine if a Government is going in the right direction or do we just depend on mass hysteria and opposition grandstanding to make our decisions?

Some of us don’t even bother about the decision making process, we know, because of our family tradition and/or the community we live in, that regardless of what this or any Government does we will never vote for a certain party because our genetic predisposition will never allow it, we were never programmed that way to vote for a party based on delivery indicators.

How My Selection process Works:

I am not an overly emotional person, I have longed since learned how to keep my emotions in check, I am like a Vulcan in that regard. I could never go around expressing my love for any entity that is so remote, except if that entity is the Arsenal Football Club, at which point I have an undying Diehard like devotion, win, lose or draw but that is where I draw the line as far as remote entities are concern.

So my selection process have nothing to do with emotions, family traditions or which community I live in, my selection process have nothing to do with my socio-economic status however it does have a lot to do with my level of education. First of all I believe in the concept that a person’s word should be their bond, I believe in being open and honest. I dislike the act of taking noble, serious things and making a mockery of it, The act of Nation Building is making life better for not only people living today but for many generations of people to come, it is the noblest of them all, so I dislike political games and the people and politicians who play them. Political games were designed to fool the electorate, to make them see things a certain way, a form of brain washing.

Most things around us are measured by way of indicators, a position within time and using that position to compare against previous position indicators will give us an indication of success or failure and a sense of direction. Our political, social and economic process is littered with indicators and it is those indicators that I have decided to use to judge success or failure of any political parties that make up the Government.

Political party promises are indicators, itemized list of promises that are either delivered, not delivered or delivered in piecemeal. We take the list of promises in the manifestoes and grade them on delivery, for example 3 point for delivery, 1 point for half a delivery and -3 points for no delivery, so success or failure then depends on the final number. This gives us an indication of whether the Government delivered all, none of or some of their promises…

Economic and Social indicators are also perfect for judging success or failure, we take a static snapshot of the numbers the day before the party take over the responsibility of Government, then successive snap shots over time and compare them to the static initial snapshop and we end up with an idea of direction and an indicator of success or failure…

Because these numbers for the most part translates to life on the ground, who I vote for… depends on the numbers. These are the list of indicators I use as I compare my Static Snapshot (before), at the end of the previous Government, to the current state of these indicators (after) of the current Government to give me a definite idea of whether the Government is successful or failing.

  • National Budget – Revenue vs. Expenditure
  • Balance of Trade
  • Net International Reserves
  • Population below the Poverty Line
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Inflation Rate
  • GDP Real Growth Rate
  • Exchange Rate
  • The National Debt
  • Agricultural Output
  • Murder Rate
  • Corruption Index
With these numerical facts, I find I never have to live in the shade of grey, I can eliminate human emotions, and party diehard perspectives from my selection process. I can laugh at people who quotes numbers without looking them up, who make over the top rubbish statements simply because they desire to score cheap party political points. I can laugh at people trying to spread misinformation and propaganda for selfish ridiculous reasons and I no longer need to know the name of the party, all I need to know is performance indicators and how they change over time.

Now I must say that my system is only as good as the integrity of the numbers and because Jamaica is such an open book we have numbers from various sources both local and foreign, plus all our political parties having operatives in all local entities ready to expose corruption…
  • The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica
  • Jamaica Manufacturing Association
  • The Bank of Jamaica,
  • Statistical Institute of Jamaica
  • The International Monetary Fund
  • The World Bank
  • CIA Fact book
  • The United Nation
  • The European Union
Focusing only on the position of the various Economic and Social Indicators, frees me from the emotions of liking a political party, frees me from family traditions and  free me from what people around me have to say.  I am not affected by what the circus clowns of a politician have to say, they can dance around on the stage like a dancehall DJ, making one promise after another, it does not matter to me. I do not care how they look, what they wear, drive or live in or how they sound, all I care about is the position of the indicators.

No Political Party will get the mandate from me if after one term of being in office the Economic and Social Indicators are not performing better than when they took office because that party promised to make improvements and failed and as such I refuse to reward failure. You were given the chance and after one term you have been found wanting… Exit Stage Left.

Another factor that might affect voting for the Government even though their numbers are poor is the state of the opposition party. In recent times the opposition party have been in a terrible state of infighting and tribalism and as such did not present themselves as a suitable alternative to the poorly performing Government. Who would trust a party who cannot even manage their party to run an entire country?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures, The Jamaican Way

In my previous blog I emphasized the need for Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures as a requirement for any system to operate properly. It is important that everyone understands the Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures and follow them if the system is to realize its full potential. However there is such a thing as having too much Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures, so much so that it retards the fluent operation of any system and introduces too much Red Tape and Bureaucracy which also provides a platform for corruption to thrive, as such a healthy balance is required for optimal performance of every system.

I have worked in companies that have in place too much Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures, they were way too conservative when it comes to change, with computer software code that is never touched once it is released into production, as updates and patches are never applied. One manager I worked with implemented a core piece of third party software in 1989 but refused any attempts by the company to apply any updates to the production code, maintaining the same code base for a decade but all hell broke loose when year 2000 came around because the Y2K version of the software had in it 10 years of changes. All the interfaces had changed and were now not compatible to all other interconnected systems.

There is no system more bogged down with Red Tape and Bureaucracy like the system of Government and the Jamaican Government is no exception. It gets even worst when the people of Jamaica are unable to separate their Political Life from their Professional Life, when nothing is being done in the interest of the country but instead in the interest of the Political Parties and peoples ego. The general public is getting very sick and tired of the counterproductive relationships between the Government, the Opposition, the Office of the Contractor-General (OCG), The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). It seems none of these groups exist to work in the interest of the country as everything descends into chaos, public hardcore bare knuckle Cage Fight as they curse out each other in public, accusing each other of corruption. Entities within the Government Structure behave as if they live in a low income tenement ghetto yard with daily brawls.

This Five Ring Circus does not look to me like they exist to facilitate each other and work together in the National interest as they seem to spend every working hours running interference against each other, putting up road blocks at every turn, trying to kill plans and stagnate the country. All our Governments both JLP and PNP has suffered this same faith. On a rare occasion of unity, representatives from both the PNP and the JLP on July 18, 2010, expressed their concern that the Contractor General seems to exist, to block their every move and kill every plan. I am not against the contractor General, that department could play an important role in our society. They should exist to make sure the dealings of the Government is above board, open and honest but what I do not see is any cooperation, they are not helping the Government to achieve their goals, nothing like “ OK we do not agree with how you are going about this, so let’s sit down like educated adults and see if we can work together to come up with a solid plan to move the country forward" but instead public political bashing.

Why is it that people who are supposed to be the most intelligent and educated among us, are finding it so hard to utilize basic Problem/Solution techniques? It is the norm now for various Governments regardless of Political parties, to announced various grand development plans only to have those plans blocked, bogged down and rejected by either The Office of the Contractor-General (OCG), The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the party in opposition will never give up a juicy chance to side against the sitting Government. Then the Jamaican people choose sides, depending on which political parties they support and the war begins, not realizing that they are poorer for it, shooting ourselves in the foot, cutting off our nose to spite our face. Sometimes I have to wonder what the members of a party is thinking when they are in opposition (regardless of party), do they really believe that all they have to do, is to oppose their way into Government and then this “Oppositioning” will magically stop after they have achieved their goals? Because as soon as they take control of the Government, what they dish out while in opposition will come back to haunt them as the new Opposition Tun-Up the “Oppositioning”, activate their operatives in the various NGO and sectors with instruction to block every move ensuring failure of the new Government… and yes the cycle of accomplishing  fuck-all continues since this is all nothing but a big game to these people.

Both Government and Opposition exist in the theoretical world, both have a long list of potential plans and a whole heap of what ifs and at times they make various speeches about what they wanted to do while in Government BUT… this, that and the other thing happened preventing them from doing it. Currently we have a couple theoretical schemes being thrown around and have been around for some time now. Our Governments talk a lot about mega Alternate Energy Projects but we have yet to see any. Our Governments talk about increase water supply projects but we still suffer from water shortage and lock offs. Our Government talks about new 380 Megawatt energy power plants but this is only a pipedream, still nothing. Our Governments talk about a Logistic Mega HUB to take advantage of the Panama Canal expansion but all we have to show for it is more big chat, conflicts and confrontations. Our Governments talk and talk and talk, we wait and wait and wait and still nothing is delivered, nothing is done.

Shaw bites back - Former finance minister takes on Christie for rebuttal of statements on LNG contract award

We were wrong - JLP was bullied by the then contractor general into ending LNG deal with EXMAR

"We, the Cabinet approved EXMAR as the preferred bidder and we allowed this nonsense perpetrated by the then contractor general to throw us and derail this programme. If it was not derailed, whether we were in power or not, LNG would be rolling out in Jamaica right now and I say that without any fear of contradiction," declared Shaw."......

One of my favorite pastimes is to read news from the other countries that share the Caribbean Sea with us, just to see how they are dealing with the day to day struggles of life. The other day I started reading news from the Dominica Republic and I found out that.

  • Dominican Republic opened the ‘biggest’ 430 megawatts power plant at a cost of US$707.0M. Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to supply a complete dual-fuel power plant to the Dominican Republic. The turnkey project has been ordered by Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Haina (EGE Haina), the largest power generation company in the Dominican Republic. The Quisqueya II power plant ordered by EGE Haina will feature 12 Wärtsilä 50DF generating sets in combined cycle running primarily on natural gas, but with the capability to switch to heavy fuel oil as needed. The contract was awarded on 27th December 2011 and the finish project was up and running on 23rd September 2013. So while we fight, squabble, throw words and tear Jamaica apart for political power, thanks to the Five Ring Circus, countries like Dominican Republic are moving ahead, working, working, working, implementing, implementing, implementing.I have no faith in Jamaica and Jamaicans, no faith in the Political Parties, no faith in the Government, no faith in the Opposition, no faith in the OCG, OUR, DPP and any other organizations to actually facilitate the building of the 360-megawatt power plant.

  • In Panama, Dominican Republic was touted as the Caribbean’s Official Hub at Expo Logistics Panama 2013, the most important regional event in the transport and logistics field in all its classifications: sea, air, or land in a backdrop of business contacts to get up to speed on the market’s latest trends…. Jamaica was not even mentioned, who cares about our idle chatter and internal power struggles. 

  • Santo Domingo.- Solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, now power the largest solar-electric installation in the Dominican Republic. The 1.5-megawatt solar array sits near the runway of Cibao International Airport, the country’s third largest airport. The system, a complete solar solution featuring SolarWorld’s high-quality solar panels and proprietary racking, generates enough clean energy to support about half of the airport’s energy needs.…. I have always said that a part of the PetroCaribe savings should have been used to invest in Alternate Energy Projects, Jamaica should have had as least 4 or 5, 5 acre Solar farms up and running by now….
  • Santo Domingo. – A local company on Wednesday unveiled Dominican Republic’s biggest rooftop solar panel array, located at the Frederic Schad logistics complex, as part of its ongoing effort to consume less energy and reduce greenhouse gases. 
  • Santo Domingo. – China will hold its Fifth Trade Fair Sept. 26-29 in the Dominican Republic, seeking to strengthen economic relations with the country, the organizers revealed.
  • Santo Domingo. – The Dominican Republic's organic food production has grown continually over the last few years, a fact that makes the country the world leader in bringing such foods to market, official sources pointed out. 
To put it simply, at this rate Jamaica is destined to accomplish absolutely... Fuck-All! Thanks to the Five Ring Circus we call the Government, the Opposition, The Office of the Contractor-General (OCG), The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and we can throw in the Jamaican people as circus clown to make this a  Six Ring Circus.

Gerry Potter Poet - How Do You Respect Fuck All ?

In Jamaica, our Political System Stagnates us, our political system is keeping us back, our political system is one of our biggest problems and because our political system is run by Jamaicans then the problems we face are all created by Jamaicans. We are a tribal country and we are not afraid to destroy this country so that our tribe, the political party can gain power. So while we fight and stab each other in the back, block any path to progress, other countries are moving ahead, they work together in their National Interest to build a nation state that takes care of their people… No one in the world cares about the JLP or the PNP, when anyone in the world thinks about Jamaica’s failures they are not thinking PNP Tribe or JLP Tribe mash up the country and the only thing that comes to their minds is that Jamaicans are unable to govern themselves.

The Medieval Feudal System is the Social and Political System adopted and practiced by Jamaica and Jamaicans…

Update: 10/4/2013

The company that was awarded the contract to build the 360 Megawatt Power Plant failed to come up with the down payment and as a result the contract will now be awarded to the second bidder who must also come up with the money.

It is getting more and more obvious that the Government regardless of party and the regulatory bodies cannot work together, their relationship is counterproductive and this is because of a Jamaican trait, “two bulls cannot be in the same pen”. We do not know how to work together when power is equally shared and the master-servant context does not exist. The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is not taking any shit from the Minister and the Minister is not taking any shit from OUR and as a result the country stagnates, same goes for OCG and DPP.  I can imagine them now… “di Minister boy caan tell me what fi do, a di GG me report to”… This is a power struggle where egos collide and alpha male personalities clash and no development will ever take place under such conditions. The General Public is so busy and obsessed with the witch hunt for corruption that they forget who they voted for and who they did not vote for…


It would be unfair to of me not to also list the Progressive Projects taking place in Jamaica at this time.

  • The 6.3 MW New Maggoty Hydroelectric Power Plant in St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica will add much-needed renewable power to the country’s national energy grid.MWH designed the $33 million (USD) project that is the ninth hydroelectric power station in Jamaica. The company Mott MacDonald was contracted for the hydro expansion scheme and and the project is schedule for the November 2013.
  • Wigton Windfarm Limited, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), is reporting encouraging findings from a recently completed Wind Resource Assessment, which identified four locations suitable for wind energy development with a combined potential generating capacity of 212 million KWh annually. The study, which assessed 24 prospective sites across the island, highlighted four locations which were found to have "excellent energy yield (each) featuring more than 5,300 MWh/a". Wigton Windfarm Limited is now embarking on a wind farm expansion, installing an additional 18 MW of generating capacity from nine (9) 2 MW Vestas V80 wind turbines.
  • Caribbean Broilers goes solar with pig farm, after years of trying unsuccessfully to convince pig farmers to invest in climate-controlled barns as a means of growing pigs more efficiently, CB is building its own farm on property in Hill Run, St Catherine with 192 panels on the barn. A solar-powered pig farm will allow the company to offset the use of the utility grid. This offset yields tremendous savings, resulting in a four-year payback of the system


More On The Hypothetical Logistic HUB!

First let me state my position regarding the Logistic HUB, I am against the use of Goat Islands purely on environmental reasons and nothing anyone can say or do would make me change my mind. I am not against the concept of a Logistic Hub, I think it is a good thing, I am not against the Chinese people and I am certainly not against Chinese Investments or any Foreign Direct Investments, all are welcome so long as Jamaica and Jamaicans benefit.

The Logistic-Hub is slowly becoming a dirty word coupled with a disturbing trend of increase anti-Chinese rhetoric which is almost racist. The question one must ask is, does the Logistic HUB equal Goat Island or is Goat Island just a small part of the Logistic Hub Concept? I know what I am opposed to, Goat Islands to me is a deal breaker, it is the point at which I am prepared to walk away from the deal even if it means the end of the entire HUB concept, that is… if (HUB="Goat Island") then HUB-DONE!!!

Us Jamaicans have not had a proper mature debate/discussion about the future of the entire Logistic Hub to date, there has been a lot of screaming and shouting on all sides but no mature grown up debate, no Pro versus Con debate, everything is speculation and made up to prove a point depending on which party you support.

The Government knows the position of the environmentalist but what about the entire country? We have no idea what Jamaicans are thinking and as such how can any groups organize a movement without knowing what percentage of the Population is for and what percentage is against…? These things matters, this is a numbers game because there is strength through numbers, majority rule but we have no idea of the numbers. We are in need of a national poll to try to find out what the Jamaican people are thinking, an indication of where most Jamaicans stand on this Goat Island issue.

I know where the genuine Environmentalist and people who would protest this vile attack on the environment, on our natural way of life, stands. These people would take the same position regardless of which party they support because these are people with principles. I think we all know where the Diehard Partisan Political Muppets, who I have next to no respect for and make up both parties (PNP or JLP), stands on this issue. The Opposition supporters will always oppose the sitting Government and in this case they are opportunistic environmentalist not because they care about the environment or Goat Island but because their party is not in power, people like these would not know principle is it got up and bitch slap them twice across the face, they represents 70% of the problems we face in Jamaica. The Government supporters will also blindly back their party in Government, totally useless the lot.

Foreign Investment is not the issue, what the potential problem might be is how the Government negotiates the terms of the agreements. Jamaica cannot afford to appear too needy but must stand firm on some basic demands, principles we will never betray. Many foreign non-Chinese investors got away with murder, the tourist sector is one such sector where some entities have never paid taxes and are given waivers to import whatever they want. The largest foreign investor to the United States of America is the Chinese they are investing in America in records numbers, same for the UK, Greece and Australia… So the problem is not Chinese investment but the terms of the agreements, not cutting corners because they wave a wad of cash. The opposition must be very careful how they curse out the Chinese because I remember Petrocaribe and Venezuela, you cursed both and then like hypocrites behaved as if it was God sent when you came to power.

Everything is a negotiation, I have no problem with Chinese investments, no problem with the Chinese… so long as I can see where it benefits Jamaica and we establish rules and guidelines and policies that we are not prepared to go against… In countries where investments goes wrong it is because those Governments did not enforce any rules, guidelines or policies, no standards, so why would a foreign country look out for your interest if you are not prepared to lookout for it yourself… American and UK companies invested in our Hotel industry, imported their upper and middle Managements and employ Jamaicans to spread the bed because our Government appeared too needy…

I do not see any other countries lining up to outbid the Chinese, no one else wants a piece of this. I know most Jamaicans wanted white America, UK and EU foreign investments because we have been conditioned to value them over all others but truth be told they are not coming, because they are all in China looking for Chinese investments for their own economy, they are also flat broke trying to survive this world recession. I do not see a long line of global investors lining up trying to get a piece of this, so I do not know where this free loyalty to America and the United Kingdom comes from. If this HUB was such a hot item and we are the center of this hot item then where are the other high end investors fighting to get a piece of this sweet potato pudding?