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 uses 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 back 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.