Monthly Archives: April 2006

Celebrate May Day !

If you are at work today, take a moment (or a drink) to celebrate May Day

If you’re a man, or just a fan, celebrate the May Pole, unequivocal fertility symbol.

If you get to leave work after only 8 hours, celebrate the workers who fought for your right to be drinking Red Stripe, liming with friends, cooking dinner and talking to your children after 5.00 pm, instead of slogging away for another 3 or 4 hours.

If you’ve got friends or family in the U.S. who “overstayed” on a visitors visa, give them a call and urge them to get out and march for immigrants rights. Don’t let the Mexicans have to take all the risks and do all the dirty work.

Workers of the world unite ! Celebrate May Day !


“Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration” (Raven Grimassi)


“The Summer Solstice : Celebrating the Journey of the Sun from May Day to Harvest” (John Matthews)


“Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America’s Illegal Aliens” (Ted Conover)


“History of the Labor Movement in the United States: Industrial Workers of the World (History of the Labor Movement in the United States)” (Philip S. Foner)

Technorati Tags: , ,

Mexico passes 21st century drug law! Jamaica to do the same ?

The Mexican Congress yesterday approved a bill permitting the legal possession of small amounts of some drugs (marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD etc).

This puts Mexico in the forefront of countries in the hemisphere trying “non U.S. approved methods” of addressing their drug abuse/drug trafficking problem.

As we in Jamaica know to our cost, the U.S. perception of what is effective in the fight against drug abuse i.e. throwing huge amounts of money at law enforcement, is what has prevailed in our legislature to date.

Just as it is hardly likely that many young Americans pass through adolescence without illegally sampling at least one highly addictive legal drug (tobacco, alcohol, firearms !!!), it is hardly likely that harsh laws will ever significantly reduce a trade in goods for which there is such huge demand.

Why do the Americans never consider Singapore which for years has had, and more importantly, implemented, laws requiring capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers ? Despite regularly sending convicted drug traffickers home in a box, Singapore continues to have drug dealers, drug users and drug traffickers.

It seems that like sex and religion, drug abuse in the U.S. is a subject upon which reason, experience and common sense cannot get a hearing……..

So congratulations to Mexico for doing as they see fit and as they think best.

Please note that while much is being made of the undoubted emergence of China and India as world powers, Mexico under Vicente Fox has moved from being a U.S. client to being a U.S. neighbour every bit as independent, alien, and scornful of U.S. hubris as Canada to the north.


“Addictive Thinking, Second Edition : Understanding Self-Deception” (Abraham J. Twerski)


“Go Ask Alice” (Anonymous)


“Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington’s Futile War on Drugs in Latin America” (Ted Galen Carpenter)

“Law & order: Fox is targeting government corruption and drug cartels and getting results. (Politics).(Brief Article) : An article from: Business Mexico” (Joel Estudillo Rendon)

Technorati Tags: , ,

The Privy Council and Dr. Proctor

Well, the Privy Council have done it now….
they have freed a man who was convicted for a murder when he was 12 years old
because he claimed that the police beat him and forced him to sign a confession. He has already served 13 years in prison.

Did you know that you can be convicted of murder in Jamaica even if you are 12 years old ? I didn’t know that until today.

Wonder how young you have to be before the judge decides you are too young to stand trial for murder…..

I know the police have a hard time….. and the island is violent….. and many of us Jamaicans are as mad as a shad…… but surely our judges must be required to take some
extenuating factors into consideration ?
Like being 12 years old and one of three accused ?……

However, lest we forget that our madness is catching, please note that a highly respectable, and highly respected, American botanist Dr. George Proctor (86 years old, no less) is in court to answer charges of paying US$80,000 to someone to murder his 66 year old wife.

Dr. Proctor’s defense is not yet known, but it seems certain that he will say that he has been living in Jamaica for 57 years – clearly enough time to absorb our Mad, Bad and Dangerous-to-know-ness in the water, the air and, of course, in the plants.

Points to note, please, Dr. Proctor

No true Jamaican man would have paid more than J$200,000 to murder his wife (J$5.2 million !!! What were you thinking ?!!!!)

No true Jamaican man would have his wife/girlfriend/baby mother murdered. You can do it yourself in a fit of rage, but otherwise the preferred method of disposing of a nag is to wait until she goes shopping and dump all her stuff on the lawn (if you own the house) OR wait until she goes shopping and remove yourself, your belongings and all furniture and valuables to the home of your new ladyfriend (if she owns the house).

“An index/digest of Jamaican cases heard and determined in the Privy Council, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court” (Karl S Harrison)


“A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? : England 1783-1846 (New Oxford History of England)” (Boyd Hilton)


“Constitutional Chaos : What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws” (Andrew P. Napolitano)


“A Theory of Justice” (John Rawls)

Technorati Tags: , ,

Basdeo Panday gets 2 years at hard labour – A new era ?

The former (that is, the last but one) Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Basdeo Panday, has been sentenced to serve at least 2 years for corruption, specifically for failing to report a bank account in the UK, while he was Prime Minister.

The judge also ordered the contents of the bank account to be confiscated as a penalty for non-declaration.

This one will go back to the Privy Council.

While it is terrible for a man of Mr. Panday's age to be facing prison time, his offence seems to be the common or garden corrupt practice of which many politicians in the Caribbean, and the region, have been accused, if not convicted…

Would the Caribbean Court of Appeal have saved him ? Maybe.

Will the Privy Council save at least his reputation ? That doesn't seem likely, given that his defense was the pathetic "it was really my wife's…."

Ethnic Indians in Trinidad may feel that this is an attack on them by the "black" Government, but perhaps Mr. Panday will have the distinction of ushering in a new era for the region, where corruption is "fought" by trials, convictions and harsh sentences, instead of by rhetoric (which, after all, is what we are used to…..)

Rhetoric hasn't worked all that well, but I don't know if Trinidad, much less Jamaica, is quite ready for an impartial administration of justice. Who's next ? P J Patterson?

[posted with ecto]

Technorati Tags: , ,

Keep the Queen (and the Privy Council….)

Our favorite (and only) Queen is eighty today.
The government of Jamaica (and the governments of Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana and so forth) are proposing to replace her Privy Council with a Caribbean Court of Justice. For those of us who aren’t Republics yet, the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final Court of Appeal is sure to be preceded or succeeded by the replacement of the Queen with an elected President as Head of State.

If we must take the whole thing seriously, as it appears we must, since the Court is already with us, let us consider the Pros and Cons of Keeping the Queen and her Privy Council.

Pros first

1. She doesn’t live here in Jamaica, so we would be spared the tedious speeches which an elected President would force on us at “every event of national importance”.

2. At 80, she is still easier on the eye than the average pompous old man in a suit ( which, believe me, is the only type who will ever be proposed as President ) Plus, some of us admire her extraordinary taste in hats and dresses…..

3. She has a track record of keeping her mouth shut and being absolutely neutral on politics (something we could only dream of with an elected President – elected equals “the right to sound off whenever you’re pissed off” )

4. The Privy Council only APPEARS to be far away and more or less disinterested in what is happening in the Caribbean ( in fact, like Scotland Yard, they have a shrewd understanding of what goes on, and what needs to go on…..) By the way, Scotland Yard, we’re still thanking you for Mark Shields ! Thank you ! Thank you! Thank you !

5. As long as Queen Elizabeth II is with us, King Charles III will NOT be with us

Cons

1. We may not have a choice about keeping the Queen – see The Guardian’s story amusingly entitled “Elizabeth The Last”

2. We may not have a choice about keeping the Queen – see The Times discussion on the not-so-controversial subject


“The End of the House Windsor : Birth of a British Republic” (Stephen Haseler)

“Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage” (Gyles Brandreth)

“Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II” (Robert Lacey)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Keep the Queen (and the Privy Council….)

Our favorite (and only) Queen is eighty today.
The government of Jamaica (and the governments of Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana and so forth) are proposing to replace her Privy Council with a Caribbean Court of Justice. For those of us who aren’t Republics yet, the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final Court of Appeal is sure to be preceded or succeeded by the replacement of the Queen with an elected President as Head of State.

If we must take the whole thing seriously, as it appears we must, since the Court is already with us, let us consider the Pros and Cons of Keeping the Queen and her Privy Council.

Pros first

1. She doesn’t live here in Jamaica, so we would be spared the tedious speeches which an elected President would force on us at “every event of national importance”.

2. At 80, she is still easier on the eye than the average pompous old man in a suit ( which, believe me, is the only type who will ever be proposed as President ) Plus, some of us admire her extraordinary taste in hats and dresses…..

3. She has a track record of keeping her mouth shut and being absolutely neutral on politics (something we could only dream of with an elected President – elected equals “the right to sound off whenever you’re pissed off” )

4. The Privy Council only APPEARS to be far away and more or less disinterested in what is happening in the Caribbean ( in fact, like Scotland Yard, they have a shrewd understanding of what goes on, and what needs to go on…..) By the way, Scotland Yard, we’re still thanking you for Mark Shields ! Thank you ! Thank you! Thank you !

5. As long as Queen Elizabeth II is with us, King Charles III will NOT be with us

Cons

1. We may not have a choice about keeping the Queen – see The Guardian’s story amusingly entitled “Elizabeth The Last”

2. We may not have a choice about keeping the Queen – see The Times discussion on the not-so-controversial subject


“The End of the House Windsor : Birth of a British Republic” (Stephen Haseler)

“Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage” (Gyles Brandreth)

“Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II” (Robert Lacey)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Female infanticide in China : Jamaican men feel the pain

Update: Aborting girls in India as well as China is way out of control……..

Why is the long standing practice of killing girl babies in China making problems for Jamaican men ?
Because the Chinese Government’s infamous One Child policy has produced an estimated 41 million more adult Chinese males than females.

Human reproduction still requires females
, and there are not enough to go around, no matter how many women are kidnapped/trafficked from the cities and neighboring countries.

So what to do ? Well, what you can do is export as many adult males as possible to as many Chinese-government-funded projects around the world as possible. Take, for example, the Greenfield Stadium being built for the 2007 Cricket World Cup in Trelawny, Jamaica…..
Exporting men helps China on its way to becoming the world’s sole superpower sooner rather than later….AND it frees up a little of the pressure on the police state at home....

But can you imagine what these Chinese workers think when they reach the site of the Greenfield stadium ?

When they consider that a project that must be completed long before the start of the Cricket World Cup in 2007 is being held up by Jamaican men who live in a veritable earthly paradise of women, Red Stripe and meals with meatkind twice a day ?
Don’t be surprised, when in 5 or 10 years time, Chinese-government-funded projects are implemented exclusively by Chinese workers……
Don’t be surprised if some of these Chinese workers decide to stay in Jamaica when the project is done…..
And prepare for lots of gorgeous Black Chiney babies being born in the near future. Especially in country parts….


“Falling Leaves : The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter” (Adeline Yen Mah)

“Fifth Chinese Daughter” (Jade Snow Wong)

“Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China” (Jung Chang)

Technorati Tags: , ,

Cricket, lovely cricket

Does anyone remember when Chris Dehring was “seconded” to the West Indies Cricket Board in 1997 ?

At the time, rumor had it that huge sighs of relief were to be heard from the Board room at Dehring, Bunting and Golding.

Chris’ enthusiasm for big projects that ended up costing, rather than making, money meant that his fellow directors were thrilled that he was out of the way at so little expense to themselves.

Board members at DB&G are probably not the only ones who are not in the least surprised to hear that while the Cricket World Cup will not make money for the Jamaican (or any) government , it is supposed that it will make money for someone…. Maybe hoteliers ? Or bag juice vendors ? Perhaps radio stations ?

However, Mr. Dehring is already preparing the ground for another, less pocket jingling outcome. He claims that hoteliers are asking exorbitant rates for their hotel rooms. This means that many likely visitors to the World Cup will decide that the event is too rich for their blood, and perhaps opt to swim at sunny Brighton and watch the matches on TV…..And that means, through no fault of the organisers (read Chris Dehring), the event may be something of a disappointment for the host countries.

One thing is for sure. Whether the Cricket World Cup 2007 is a financial disaster or a financial success, Chris Dehring will NOT be going back to his desk job at DB&G where his partners are “busy making money“……


“It’s Not Cricket: A History of Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game” (Simon Rae)

Most Homophobic Place on the Planet – It’s Jamaica

Time magazine is carrying a story on Jamaica's murderous attitude to gays.

There's nothing new in the story, or at least, nothing new for Jamaicans. The fault lies with the music according to this pundit.

Too easy to say and no analysis of why our music, famous for being preoccupied with our own island struggles, should be preoccupied with hating gay men.

Jamaican women know that Jamaican men are preoccupied with gays because they are nervous/terrified/very, very scared of what is happening to straight men on the island.

For more than 30 years, Jamaican girls have been outperforming boys in the educational system, a development which is only now becoming a "problem" for the US and Britain. Our sole traditional university, the University of the West Indies, has long had more than 70% female graduates. Law and medicine are female preserves.

Female headed households now account for 49% or 50% or 51% of all households. Unlike Nigerian women who put up with philandering husbands, Jamaican women have long ceased to link children and marriage. Jamaican women are serial monogamists and think nothing of having different fathers for their 2 or 3 children. At last count, 85% of Jamaican children were born out-of-wedlock, and do not have their father's name on their birth certificates…

The conventional wisdom is that Jamaican men refuse the responsibility of fatherhood – the reality for many Jamaican men is that their girlfriends don't see the point of tying themselves to men who earn less than they do, are emotionally immature (having grown up without fathers themselves) and require easily as much attention as a small child.

Since the early 90's, government statistics have shown that Jamaican children are "better off" – that is have more access to education, books and food – in homes where no adult male is present.
Adult Jamaican men devote their resources to transport (make that an SUV) and entertainment (Red Stripe, Appleton rum, girlfriend with 16 year old tits). Adult Jamaican women tend to divide their money between children, church and clothes. Never the twain shall meet, in half of Jamaica's households. So there's lots of men and boys around who are "surplus to requirements". Once they've donated their sperm they are short of homes, love and consolation.

So it's not surprising that many poor, uneducated men feel that their masculinity resides in their penis exclusively, and they never feel more male and masculine than when they are "slamming" it into a female. And it's not surprising that they are scared and full of hate for men who apparently are willing to take the "female role" in sex.

And not only do gay men undermine this fragile and temporary triumph over the female, but they, enviably, are able to make their lives without depending on any female whatsoever. They can spend all day and all night hanging out in comfortably masculine company without for one moment wondering which other man is hanging out with their girlfriend/baby mother/wife while they are at their local bar. They don't need a female to cook for them, wash their clothes, or perform any of the other services which a man would like to be able to expect and which Jamaican women are increasingly unwillingly to do.

Gay men also undermine the precious time that Jamaican men spend with their friends, as a woman or another man can immediately make this time suspect, by implying that only a "battyman" would want to spend so much time with his male brethren.

None of the factors operating in Jamaica are any different to the homophobia experienced by gays in America or the UK, but Jamaica is further down the road of non-traditional gender roles than any developed country, and Jamaican men are confronting the issue of "What Are Men For ?" in a way that no American or British men have yet been forced to do.


"My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica" (Edith Clarke)


"Born Fi' Dead : A Journey Through The Jamaican Posse Underworld" (Laurie Gunst)


"The Cries of Men : Voices of Jamaican Men who have been Raped and Sexually Abused" (O'Brien Dennis)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Most Homophobic Place on the Planet – It’s Jamaica

Time magazine is carrying a story on Jamaica's murderous attitude to gays.

There's nothing new in the story, or at least, nothing new for Jamaicans. The fault lies with the music according to this pundit.

Too easy to say and no analysis of why our music, famous for being preoccupied with our own island struggles, should be preoccupied with hating gay men.

Jamaican women know that Jamaican men are preoccupied with gays because they are nervous/terrified/very, very scared of what is happening to straight men on the island.

For more than 30 years, Jamaican girls have been outperforming boys in the educational system, a development which is only now becoming a "problem" for the US and Britain. Our sole traditional university, the University of the West Indies, has long had more than 70% female graduates. Law and medicine are female preserves.

Female headed households now account for 49% or 50% or 51% of all households. Unlike Nigerian women who put up with philandering husbands, Jamaican women have long ceased to link children and marriage. Jamaican women are serial monogamists and think nothing of having different fathers for their 2 or 3 children. At last count, 85% of Jamaican children were born out-of-wedlock, and do not have their father's name on their birth certificates…

The conventional wisdom is that Jamaican men refuse the responsibility of fatherhood – the reality for many Jamaican men is that their girlfriends don't see the point of tying themselves to men who earn less than they do, are emotionally immature (having grown up without fathers themselves) and require easily as much attention as a small child.

Since the early 90's, government statistics have shown that Jamaican children are "better off" – that is have more access to education, books and food – in homes where no adult male is present.
Adult Jamaican men devote their resources to transport (make that an SUV) and entertainment (Red Stripe, Appleton rum, girlfriend with 16 year old tits). Adult Jamaican women tend to divide their money between children, church and clothes. Never the twain shall meet, in half of Jamaica's households. So there's lots of men and boys around who are "surplus to requirements". Once they've donated their sperm they are short of homes, love and consolation.

So it's not surprising that many poor, uneducated men feel that their masculinity resides in their penis exclusively, and they never feel more male and masculine than when they are "slamming" it into a female. And it's not surprising that they are scared and full of hate for men who apparently are willing to take the "female role" in sex.

And not only do gay men undermine this fragile and temporary triumph over the female, but they, enviably, are able to make their lives without depending on any female whatsoever. They can spend all day and all night hanging out in comfortably masculine company without for one moment wondering which other man is hanging out with their girlfriend/baby mother/wife while they are at their local bar. They don't need a female to cook for them, wash their clothes, or perform any of the other services which a man would like to be able to expect and which Jamaican women are increasingly unwillingly to do.

Gay men also undermine the precious time that Jamaican men spend with their friends, as a woman or another man can immediately make this time suspect, by implying that only a "battyman" would want to spend so much time with his male brethren.

None of the factors operating in Jamaica are any different to the homophobia experienced by gays in America or the UK, but Jamaica is further down the road of non-traditional gender roles than any developed country, and Jamaican men are confronting the issue of "What Are Men For ?" in a way that no American or British men have yet been forced to do.


"My Mother Who Fathered Me: A Study of the Families in Three Selected Communities of Jamaica" (Edith Clarke)


"Born Fi' Dead : A Journey Through The Jamaican Posse Underworld" (Laurie Gunst)


"The Cries of Men : Voices of Jamaican Men who have been Raped and Sexually Abused" (O'Brien Dennis)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Former anthropologist praises Omar, Peter….

Once a respected anthropologist, Don Robotham has ceased to bring any scholarly perspective to the local political scene. His latest rant in yesterday’s Gleaner can only be described as an “opinion” piece by an apologist for the 2 middle class PNP candidates, Ministers Davies and Phillips, who were rejected by the delegates and have long been considered of small account by their fellow Jamaicans.

While Robotham’s praise for Peter Phillips and Omar is not undeserved, he is obviously frustrated by the idea that anthro-apologists, geographers and political scientists are not the people whom the people want to run this country. He’s outraged that Ph.d’s and international opinion count for nothing among us parochial, provincial, backward (and, no doubt, black) citizenry.

Dear Don, please be reminded that it required expertise aplenty to bring us to our current state where homicide is the leading cause of death for young males, and UWI professors (namely Brian Meeks) still believe that saying our experience of slavery was “particularly traumatic” is somehow making a useful contribution to the debate.

Please consider that your best intentions of being important in Jamaica (if not anywhere else) are destroying years of hard work by Carolyn Cooper et al who have strived to encourage the idea that academics do in fact have a role in 21st Jamaica……..


“Sound Clash : Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large” (Carolyn Cooper)

Former anthropologist praises Omar, Peter….

Once a respected anthropologist, Don Robotham has ceased to bring any scholarly perspective to the local political scene. His latest rant in yesterday’s Gleaner can only be described as an “opinion” piece by an apologist for the 2 middle class PNP candidates, Ministers Davies and Phillips, who were rejected by the delegates and have long been considered of small account by their fellow Jamaicans.

While Robotham’s praise for Peter Phillips and Omar is not undeserved, he is obviously frustrated by the idea that anthro-apologists, geographers and political scientists are not the people whom the people want to run this country. He’s outraged that Ph.d’s and international opinion count for nothing among us parochial, provincial, backward (and, no doubt, black) citizenry.

Dear Don, please be reminded that it required expertise aplenty to bring us to our current state where homicide is the leading cause of death for young males, and UWI professors (namely Brian Meeks) still believe that saying our experience of slavery was “particularly traumatic” is somehow making a useful contribution to the debate.

Please consider that your best intentions of being important in Jamaica (if not anywhere else) are destroying years of hard work by Carolyn Cooper et al who have strived to encourage the idea that academics do in fact have a role in 21st Jamaica……..


“Sound Clash : Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large” (Carolyn Cooper)

Jamaica’s murder rate drops ! DCP Mark Shields still fabulous !

Last year when the fabulous Mr. Shields arrived from Scotland Yard, there were naysayers, although not many. Jamaican women love tall, good looking men.

Since then, the news on crime has been getting better and murder has been trending down. See all the blow-by-blow here.

Now if we could just clone him……..

And someone, probably Portia, should get ready to acknowledge our Minister of National Security, Peter Phillips, for living up to his reputation “Solid as a rock” .

Ecto Badge-1

Jamaica’s murder rate drops ! DCP Mark Shields still fabulous !

Last year when the fabulous Mr. Shields arrived from Scotland Yard, there were naysayers, although not many. Jamaican women love tall, good looking men.

Since then, the news on crime has been getting better and murder has been trending down. See all the blow-by-blow here.

Now if we could just clone him……..

And someone, probably Portia, should get ready to acknowledge our Minister of National Security, Peter Phillips, for living up to his reputation “Solid as a rock” .

Ecto Badge-1

This Bahrain ship’s captain never read Conrad

Remember reading “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad in high school ?

“Lord Jim” (Joseph Conrad, Cedric Watts, Robert Hampson)
The captain of the Bahrain dhow which overturned in the Gulf killing 57 passengers somehow escaped (this has not been explained yet) and failed to meet the requirement that the captain go down with his ship….(Actually, I think the idea is you have to go down with the ship if other people are likely to do so)….no requirement for officers and gentlemen to go down with cargos of oil or frozen food…….

This Bahrain ship’s captain never read Conrad

Remember reading “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad in high school ?

“Lord Jim” (Joseph Conrad, Cedric Watts, Robert Hampson)
The captain of the Bahrain dhow which overturned in the Gulf killing 57 passengers somehow escaped (this has not been explained yet) and failed to meet the requirement that the captain go down with his ship….(Actually, I think the idea is you have to go down with the ship if other people are likely to do so)….no requirement for officers and gentlemen to go down with cargos of oil or frozen food…….

Change of tone

There’s a general sense of relief after Portia’s swearing-in and announcement of the new cabinet.
The change of tone is a big relief already…

Disciplinary action for the lazy and the laggards (we can already think of a few Honourable Mnisters..) will, of course, have to follow Portia’s admonition to her new Cabinet if it is to mean anything. Don’t look for any such action before the next General election.

Of course Karl Blythe is complaining about being left out of the Cabinet, but since he believes he is one of the Chosen, he has decided to do the right thing and turn to God for guidance…only He knows what He has planned for Dr. Blythe (if anything)…..