Saturday, May 20, 2017

Jamaica’s Foreign Educated Bubble Headed Technocrats

Jamaica’s Foreign Educated Bubble Headed Technocrats live for disasters. There is nothing like a disaster to bring these idiots out from under their rock. These bubble headed idiots dust off their Sunday best imported suits then start jockeying for position in front of the TV cameras, trying to grab news headlines they can get. Disaster and human suffering to them is just an opportunity to get in front of the media and sound important, their chance to impress Jamaica with their advance High Education Lingo. Immediately everybody turn professional town and city planners with the techno-jargon to match. They love to declare which foreign university they picked up their degrees from and how they are professionals with zero practical experience. After the recent floods they are now all over the TV, Internet and print media, their chance to shine and show us just how bright they are.

Our Foreign Educated Bubble Headed Technocrats are not about hard implementation, they care nothing about actually solving any problems and most have no actual experience of doing anything but hustle like the rest of us. In fact all this verbal rubbish is just a part of their hustling game.

Their intention is not to implement anything but they know the people are easily impressed and so they parade about like peacocks, flossing here, there and everywhere, basking is their own self-importance. After the rain stops and the flood water drains away these Einstein’s will crawl back under their rocks to await the next big event so then can shine once again. Lunch at uncorked for maximum exposure anyone?

We are certainly a reactionary society and we only react to events when they affect us, when we are suffering from these events. During the previous year’s drought and flooding the media was inundated with these Foreign Educated Bubble Headed Technocrats outlining theoretical plans after plans, all manner of plans on how to minimize the effects of the drought or prevent flooding but as soon as rain either start in the case of drought or stop in the case of flooding, all these Over The Top Theoretical plans are shelved for the next year’s drought, flooding or hurricane because for these bubble headed technocrats it is out of sight, out of mind, merriment time.

So long as there is no flooding, drought or hurricane then flooding, drought or hurricane is never an issue as the government and public turned a blind eye to all haphazard developments.

The thing is, it is not IF, these disasters is going to happen but a matter of WHEN it will happen. Jamaica is located in the tropics and it is not IF we will be affected by Hurricane, Drought and flooding but WHEN we will suffer our regular scheduled, almost yearly Hurricane, Drought and flooding and yet we express shock and awe, like a deer in a BLASTED headlight when the almost yearly Hurricane, Drought and flooding comes. We are a nation of idiots!

NO plans formulated and none implemented but as soon as we have flooding the usual mouthpiece technocrats start to pay lip service to some fictional concept called National Drainage System and the need for planning. The Concept of a National Drainage System is lip service design to take advantage of current situation for political effect. After every weather event Politicians always come up with some fictional programme that never sees the light of day. National Drainage System will be nothing but more gully cleaning crash programme. But as per usual I am more than open to be proven wrong and it develops into something else but by my experience, living on this rock, with my people who I know and love … it will NOT!!!

The Jamaican Bubble Headed Technocrats exist to get rich at the expense of the Jamaican people. Take for example the multimillion-dollar project touted by the Ministry of Agriculture as the future model for hay production in Jamaica started in 2014. $14.6 million of the $20 million was disbursed by the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) to cover the costs associated with the project. To date the Jamaican people have nothing to show for, the project has not delivered on its objectives but the project managers have consumed millions of dollars. The Audit paints a picture of a free-for-all, with cost overruns, unauthorised spending, and poor record-keeping for an initiative that is costing taxpayers $20 million. These are the same Bubble Headed Technocrats we see on TV every day sounding important.

Samuda Used Government Programme to Enrich his Personal Assets

The funny thing about this is, the only reason we are hearing about this is because a member of the current Government got caught using Government's programmes to enrich his private assets and in an attempt to get the spotlight off him this information is now being released.

Arscott Used Government Programme to Enrich his Personal Assets

Documents tabled yesterday in the House of Representatives by Karl Samuda, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, showed that Arscott was among 38 companies and individuals, including Samuda, who received grass under the JDDB programme.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Jamaica's Political Debate On Corruption

SO funny listening and reading post from Diehard Dieheart supporters of both political parties, debating with each other about who is more corrupt. They are not offended by corruption, they have no principled stance on it. What they are offended by, is corruption that was carried out by the party they do not support. Corruption is only real if it is done by the party they do not support else it is an oversight.

...Each diehard dieheart supporter can list in great details each and every corrupt events that was carried out by the opposing party, even quantifying the level of corruption if need be…

“Well we only stole 1 million and your party stole 2 million, so that proves your party is the bigger crook and far more corrupt"...WTF!! ....It takes a certain level of mental retardation to get to this level madness without shame.

This is like two rapist accusing each other about who raped a girl more simply because “It only took him 3 strokes to reach orgasm, while it took the other rapist 5 strokes to bruk” so clearly the 5 stroker must be the bigger rapist and more guilty, the fact that a girl was raped takes a backseat.

It is almost like being in the schoolyard with kids… And the only conclusion I can come to, after listening to charges and counter charges of corruption and crime is that members of both parties are just as corrupt and also corruption is a way of life in Jamaica.

However regardless of who is more corrupt, one thing is for certain and that is the Jamaican people are being gangbang raped by the political class and their cronies. They are being buggered up the behind without lube ...but you know what? I think the Jamaican people love it and scream yes sir may I have another with each corrupt stroke!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Waiting out Trump - Jamaican Travel To USA in Decline

Travel Ban and Protectionism!

While at my sister’s Soup and Conversation night the debate turned to traveling to the USA. Several officials and individuals at soup night declared that the amount of Jamaicans traveling to the USA has declined and especially to a place like Florida (Kingston 21) because of increasing reports that more and more Jamaicans are being treated harshly especially at Miami Airport. Also there has been increasing reports of Jamaicans losing their visa on entry to the USA and deported back to Jamaica. It seems visa holders are not willing to risk it and are prepared to waiting out Trump thus keeping their high priced visa under wraps, after all they paid good money for it. In 2015 The US Embassy in Kingston confirmed that Jamaicans spent US$25 million (approximately J$3 billion) that year in application fees for visas. That is how much per year Jamaicans invest for a visa so the idea of paying that amount only to be treated like shit and your visa taken away does not sit well with some.

Florida “Kingston 21” is now seen as rude, unfriendly and a no go area. My cousin declared during the discussion that she will not be going through Miami anytime soon as that airport is off her list because of rude Cubans.

Jamaicans are among Miami's top 25 visitor and second from the Caribbean region but that have now declined to a trickle and Florida is feeling it. The problem here is that the usual hordes of Jamaicans invading Florida malls, spending MILLIONS of US$ to buy everything that is not nailed down has diminished to a trickle and Florida is losing money.

Officials of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) are now in the island making a destination push for the city located at the south-eastern tip of Florida that has been popular among Jamaicans for decades. “We're taking this opportunity to update the travel agents in Kingston to support the destination because Jamaica is a very important market for us,” Docal told the Jamaica Observer a few minutes before addressing the travel agents.

“Last year we had a little over 183,000 Jamaicans coming to Miami, and that's not based on people coming through the airport, because Miami is a hub, it's based on guests who have spent at least one night in a hotel in Greater Miami,” Docal said. The group is trying to assure Jamaicans that all is well but we all know that is all talk that have no bearing on reality because in Trump America you are treated like an abused dog so travel at your own risk.

It is not just Jamaicans who are staying clear, travel to the USA is on the decline. The entire USA tourist industry is in decline sharp decline since Trump started his purge. US tourism experiences a 'Trump slump’: Analysts estimate that President Trump has cost the US travel industry $185m in lost revenue in two months, with significant drop in flight searches and bookings. As tourists continue to steer clear of Donald Trump’s America, the US travel industry is bearing the brunt of his unpopular policies. European Tourism Interest In America Plummets 12% Following Travel Ban.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Jamaica Coffee Revolution - Starbucks Invasion

Update: 2018/06/21: 

Nothing in this country is ever good until it is owned by a foreign corporation

Misconception: The introduction of Starbucks into the Jamaican Market will add to competition and improve efficiency among local coffee shops.

Local Coffee Shops are already competing with other local and regional coffee shops, that is a fair enough market to compete in since the companies are in the same size range. 

NO! There is no way on this green earth that our small local coffee houses can compete with a Global corporation with the fire power of Starbucks, that would be delusions of grandeur.

Yes they can compete with other local coffee houses or small regional coffee houses but Starbucks can give away coffee and still make a profit. Starbucks generates US$21.67 Billion in sale and worth US$84.6 Billion, trading at 57.07 USD stock price with 27,339 Starbucks stores in 76 countries worldwide. My Poor little Cafe Blue, Cannonball, LFA Deli, Island Coffee and all my local hangouts.

For the most part Jamaica is a bush tea drinking country but the Coffee Drinking Revolution started some time ago and was able to make great strides converting Jamaican people to drink more coffee. The leaders of this local Coffee Drinking Revolution are local Jamaicans using their innovation and imagination to create and deliver a product and a concept that is good and was gaining grounds around Jamaica and converting local Jamaicans to appreciate the best coffee in the world. These local coffee houses engaged the Coffee producing sector like never before to create a perfect linkage industry. I know how they must feel to start something, to work with something day in and day out, to persevere through hard times only for some big foreign corporation to come in and capitalize on their hard work. 

Since Starbucks opened the crowd have been relentless, all who never use to drink coffee are now drinking it only because the cup have the Starbucks logo on it. Such is the mindset of this never see, come see simpletons. There are people who use to meet up and hang out at the local coffee houses are now doing it at Starbucks simply because it is imported from foreign, a global brand.   

I fear for the future of the Coffee Revolution, I fear for diversity of the coffee houses because when Starbucks come to town, local mom and pop coffee houses are forced to shut their doors. Starbucks can maintain a lower cost structure and price that our local houses. Starbucks can drive up wages which in turn drive up production cost and Starbucks can still undercut local coffee houses by charging less. 

18 APRIL 2018: Starbucks Jamaica will host a job fair in Liguanea later this month, as it gears up to open two locations in Kingston. Starbucks is looking for persons to fill barista and shift supervisor roles at the two locations, one in Liguanea and the other on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston. How much more shit does the Stewart Family need to frigging own! 

UPDATE: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - Starbucks today opened its first store in Jamaica and entered its 76th market globally, marking a historic milestone for the global coffee company's Caribbean operations and its storied history of sourcing the highest quality coffee from the region going back more than four decades.
Let’s face it, the Jamaican economy is now in the hands of the Stewart Family who own this Government lock, stock and barrel. Decisions are now being made for the greater good of the nation but for the greater good of the Stewart Family who have convinced the population that the Stewart family’s interest is the nation’s interest. This is 1% trickle down economics at its very best. 

Yesterday the Observer reported that Jamaica will get its first Starbucks and just reading the headlines filled me with rage. I do not normally express myself with curse words but that news was far too much to take. The very idea that Jamaicans will take money to pay for a Starbucks franchise in Jamaica is an affront to the entire coffee industry and the history of Jamaican coffee.

It is fair to say that even though Jamaica make some of the best coffee in the world, Jamaicans are not coffee drinkers. Jamaicans drink tea, we love our herbs and bushes and drink it day and night to fix various ailments. It is under this climate and uphill battle that our various Gourmet Cafés have been trying to carve out and create a market. There was a time, if you drink coffee then all you could get was instant Salada, instant Mountain Peak and imported Maxwell house rubbish which is like bringing sand to the beach but that was it. The Jamaican coffee revolution started some time ago and was on track to win the war, however slowly. I remember in the early 90’s when news broke that Jamaican Coffee was served at Buckingham Palace but it hardly served in Jamaica. In fact Jamaica has been exporting Coffee to Europe for centuries, so why do we need Starbucks?

For Coffee growers, producers and retail outlets it has not been an easy road BUT if you want Jamaicans to appreciate something that they already own, appreciate their own local produce then all you have to do is export it, then Import it and slap a made in the USA label on it. The Jamaican body might be trapped in Third World, developing Jamaica but the Jamaican mind is wondering landscape and streets of New York, Miami and LA, London, Paris and all the world’s major metropolitan cities. Think of it like being hooked into the Matrix, a virtual world, living our pretend “Over the Top” lifestyles that we clearly cannot afford but who gives a damn!

The news of Starbucks’s impending arrival was met with great celebration and fanfare because Jamaicans in their feeble little small minds, think this is a status symbol. If all the world’s major metropolitan cities have Starbucks and Jamaica now have Starbucks then Jamaica is right up there with them, we have arrived to the promise land. People who do not even like to drink coffee or do not normally drink coffee are now impatiently awaiting Starbucks arrival to start drinking coffee because it is only worth drinking when it is an imported brand name product from foreign.

Cypher: [cuts a piece of steak; holds it in front of him] You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [eats the piece of steak; sighs contently] Ignorance is bliss.

Starbucks offers brew and beans from various regions, including Colombia and Ethiopia. It also sells specially curated beans for its Reserve line from regions like Sumatra, Guatemala, Antigua and Jamaica.

Starbucks Jamaica will also seek to sell coffee from global origins, but avoided responding directly to whether it would import beans into the island.

Offering beans from global origins implies coffee importation which requires a licence from the Coffee Board, unless Starbucks Jamaica opts to source beans through an existing coffee importer who can match Starbucks' standards.

Jamaica already imports around 433 tonnes of green coffee beans each year to shore up its own supplies. The imports represent around $300 million (US$2.3 million) of expenditure annually that critics say can be better spent domestically to provide jobs and grow coffee output.

What is it about us Jamaicans, we complain that we suffer from low productivity but spend most of our time kicking away the legs from under our local industry simply because we want what those people in that country is having even when what they are having is inferior to what we have.

I remember when we first started importing bottled American water, people use to take great pleasure walking around with these foreign water bottles, with labels facing outwards, sipping with pride. Basking in the knowledge that they are now drinking the same nasty water that their American counterparts are drinking. I also remember in the 80’s being at a party that was serving canned Bud Beer, it was very new at the time and everyone at that party stopped drinking Red Stripe and only wanted to hold those cans in their hands, it was total poppy show on display for all to see. This is the mindset we are dealing with, one that is not only counterproductive but our own worst enemy.

The Jamaican Coffee Shops and Gourmet Café Houses are the front-line soldiers in the Jamaican Coffee Revolutionary War. They have taken on the responsibilities to convert Jamaica from a tea drinking country to a coffee drinking country, promoting our local flagship product. They have made large financial investments and just when it seems they are about to break even and making some progress here comes Starbucks and the idiots who got the franchise, local businesses be damned.

I love our Coffee houses, I find most of them comfortable places to visit and the product they sell top quality. It is a shame most Jamaicans are not as excited about them as they are excited about Starbucks coming to Jamaica. What is it about Starbucks that made it more exciting than any of our local coffee houses? I fail to see the appeal, can someone please enlighten me.

2017-10-04 Update:
Over 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan. The Japanese have now refused to enter into new contracts with local producers declaring they will not GO over the US$40 per kilogramme which is less than the US$60 that the Japanese have been paying in the last two years.

I was always against this monopoly deal with the Japanese because by entering into this monopoly deal with the Japanese we have made our position weaker and the Japanese position stronger. This is clearly a buyers’ market NOT a seller’s market, the Japanese have us over a barrel and can dictate terms and they are. We have no other markets in the short to medium terms. I hated the agreement because diversification of the market would have been a better option but we are a lazy people who lives by the values better sure than unsure and we will pay for that stupidity.

Coffee is being bought only once a week now due to this contract dispute with the Japanese and ripe coffee is dropping off trees in the Jamaica Blue Mountains with only one of 18 processors now purchasing supplies from farmers. Mavis Bank would seek to pay farmers at a fair price, at around $6,000 per box. That is less than the $8,000 farmers were reportedly paid last year at this stage of the crop.

Jamaica imports 600,000 pounds Coffee while exports amount to 200,000 pounds. WTF!!! I will say it again WTF!!!!

Cafe Blue – Great coffee and consistently good food and service 

Cannonball Cafe – Loshusan and Sovereign North

CPJ Market and Deli

Brew’d Awakenings - Matilda’s Corner

Kicking Away the Legs From Under Local Production
As responsible Jamaicans we also need to follow the money trail, who own the franchise, are they also members of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Cartel? The ones who have the entire industry working for them and them alone. Who got the licence to open Starbucks in Jamaica when the coffee shop industry in Jamaica, is still in its beginning/Startup stages and why Starbucks?

WHO is the target market and should we not be using our nascent coffee shop industry to promote our Jamaican Coffee? The industry has been devastated these past few years due to natural disasters and falling prices, so how this going rebuild our coffee brand with the establishment of Starbucks?

Why is Jamaica helping to turn around Starbucks at the expense of our own Coffee shops?

What, if any, will be the relationship between Starbucks and Jamaican coffee suppliers? Will they Starbucks sell Jamaican coffee blends? Who benefits? Will the growers benefit? (Growers i.e. small farmers’ vs big busha who own the plantation and drive round in in Range Rover).

With all this talk about fair trade and community coffee, how will that play out with Starbucks relationship in Jamaica? Will Starbucks target to small farmers?

Jamaica itself has not done much to promote brands that are not premium Blue Mountain coffee, so how will they survive the Starbucks.

Starbucks sells hot chocolate and Jamaica grows lots of Cocoa, so will there be any tension, will Starbucks use local Cocoa or will they import?

But we know how all of this will play out, we have been here before many times. McDonald's/Burger King/Popeye’s etc. has already shown us. The franchisees will have to source their makings from abroad because Jamaican beef/chicken/tomatoes/lettuce/now coffee and cocoa beans are not up to their standard. So who benefits? The franchise, the franchisee and couple little counter / cashier / dishwasher subsistence workers.

We have already seen that some Jamaicans who live the rich lifestyles, have no problem feeding the populace cheap pink slime beef patty because they won't source natural organic Jamaican beef, preferring instead to maximize their profits at the expense of Nation Building.

I am not shocked that Adam Stewart is a member of the company that is opening Starbucks. The Best thing to ever to Butch Stewart and his Family was getting this Rubber-stamp Government to authorized anything and everything that is not in the National Interest but in the Interest of the Stewart Family. What is magical about this is that the Butch Stewart and family have managed to convince most of Jamaica that what is in the Stewart Family Interest is also in the National Interest while lining their own pockets. This Government is in the pockets of the Stewart Family who bankrolled their political Party to power.

What People are saying:

Max Maro said: So even though majority of the money will be shipped back to the US. We can still make gains where taxes and employment is concerned. There's also a possibility of sponsorship. Who knows, local coffee growers may make something and plus, more competition for cafe blue and competition is great. Might pay something less when you visit cafe blue next time.

JTID:  It is not a secret that Café Blue cannot compete with a Global Brand like Starbucks, how could they? But you would prefer to kick away the legs from under local companies like Café Blue and other local outlets who started this local Coffee revolution in the first place in favour of Starbucks. Jamaicans are Jamaicans worse enemies because they cannot see the forest for the trees.

Competition is only great when you stand a chance at surviving. A company like Starbucks can under price the local competition to death and you would support that.

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