Monthly Archives: June 2007

The week: Blowback

Blowback : an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions

The Woolmer investigation

DCP Mark Shields gets his revenge on the pathologist in the Woolmer case, Dr Seshaiah, whose testimony (i.e. that the police version of events was correct and the men were NOT killed at close range) in the Braeton Seven killings caused a verdict of NOT GUILTY and the re-entry into the police force of Senior Superintendent Reneto Adams. Adams was then to kill again at Kraal, and to walk free again…

Let us remember that, as in the Woolmer case, Dr. Seshaiah’s findings in the Braeton Seven case were vigorously contradicted by a foreign pathologist, Peter Leth, who conducted autopsies on behalf of Amnesty International…….

“Terminal Ballistics: A Text and Atlas of Gunshot Wounds” (Malcolm J. Dodd)

Senior Superintendent Reneto Adams gets a chance to cuss out and blame DCP Mark Shields whose policing methods have made Reneto Adams look like the bloodthirsty, arrogant, killer-in-uniform that he is.

Commissioner of Police Lucius Thomas gets to put the over-articulate, way-too-telegenic DCP Shields in his place.

Jamaicans for Justice get to remind everyone that they have been calling for improvements in the Government Forensic Pathology Department for years. And despite the partisan ravings of their Chairman, David Wong-Ken (who regularly refers to “this blasted government”), the organization continues to fight for justice for ALL Jamaicans – including those unfortunate enough to be employed in the Government’s Forensic Pathology Department……………

Government corruption

The bravery and outspokenness of Contractor-General Greg Christie has led to the Auditor-General Adrian Strachan giving his own frank assessment of the way the Ministry of Finance cooperates with corrupt Government officials who award contracts to their cronies. It’s disgraceful.

Clearly some people think that Minister of Finance Omar Davies is history, whether the ruling PNP is returned to power or not……

“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (Alex Gibney)

The pollsters

The Jamaica Observer publishes the Don Anderson polls and advises that the newspaper DOES NOT OWN the Stone Polls.

Instead, the Stone Polls (for years, the most accurate and respected local polling organization) turn out to be owned by Observer owner, Gordon “Butch” Stewart. In recent times, Mr. Stewart has been so loud and frequent in his calls for the Government to do a better job that his newspaper has been accused of supporting the Opposition JLP.

Hence the newspaper’s editors showing their independence by publishing the Don Anderson polls (front page of the Observer on Friday, June 15, 2007) which give us the news that the ruling PNP has a small lead (4%) over the Opposition JLP.

Don Anderson, who makes his living as a market researcher, has endured years of condescension and disparaging comments from those who believe that he lacks the skills (a degree in Political Science, perhaps) to produce accurate polls.

What will they say now that the Stone Polls may soon be no more and Bill Johnson, the pollster for the Daily Gleaner, is fighting to hold his corner and his credibility ? Probably nothing. The poll results and a resurgent Portia are monopolizing the national conversation……

“How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (Kevin Rodney Sullivan)

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has been heavily criticized in recent weeks for :-

(1) complaining (or whining) about the media coverage of the PNP and the Government

(2) for forcing Lisa Hanna onto the constituents of South East St. Ann

(3) for refusing to respond to her critics

Don Anderson confirms the Bill Johnson poll from a few weeks ago :- the Prime Minister looks to be leading her party to a fifth term in office. And she’s expecting everyone in the PNP and in the government to get with the program. Like now.

“Yes, Prime Minister – The Complete Collection” (BBC)

And just in time for Fathers Day

Radio Jamaica carries a story that says employment has increased by a tiny percentage. The stunning news in this story is not the apparent increase in employment, but the make-up of the Jamaican labour force. According to STATIN there are 800,000 women and 600,000 men in the labour force. This is what we see reflected on the streets and in offices, but it is not usually confirmed by statistics which usually indicate that female unemployment is much higher than men’s and that men make up the majority of those employed…….

So does this make Jamaica the first country in the world to have a majority female labour force in the formal, measurable sector ???

And does this explain “Everything” :-

Crime and violence : unemployed men need money to negotiate respect, sex (and love) from employed women

(2) Absentee fathers : “all men are supposed to be breadwinners”, so some women feel justified in dispensing with men who can’t support them or their children

(3) The largely male portion of the unemployed who are not looking for work : they are supported quite comfortably by their female consorts. Women don’t have the same option……….

“Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” (Barack Obama)

“Training a Tiger: A Father’s Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life” (Earl Woods)

“The Lion King (Disney Special Platinum Edition)” (Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers)

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The week: Lots of cats flung among the pigeons

Lisa, Lisa…….

20070605T220000-0500 123978 Obs It S Not Looking Pretty For Lisa  1

Lisa Hanna

PM Portia messes with the heads of the pundits and party faithful once more…..she plans to parachute former Miss World and talk show host Lisa Hanna in as the PNP candidate for the controversial South East St. Ann seat. This constituency is held by Tourism Minister, Aloun Assamba, but her decision not to run again after a run-in with the don, precipitated a months long struggle for the seat……..

Obvious to everyone (except to the pundits ) is how a celebrity of Lisa’s star quality is the only type of candidate that can:-

(1) shut up the local PNP activists who want Sheree Brown-McDonald, the wife of their local don, to run but who will likely get overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of “the people” for the “pretty lady” – call this the “Joan Gordon-Webley effect

(2) get the votes of the average St. Ann voter who would rather go and meet Lisa Hanna than some experienced politician any day of the week

(3) completely mess with the JLP plans to bring back Lisa’s ex-husband, David Panton, now a resident of Atlanta, Georgia…..

“Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil” (Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson)

Air Jamaica’s management makes first smart move in ……a very long time………

Air Jamaica’s management finally takes some positive action by
selling its loss making London route to Virgin Atlantic but fails in its public relations effort. Richard Branson gives Jamaicans a lesson in how it’s done (public relations, that is). He announces the deal, tells Jamaicans how happy we are to get rid of this burden on the taxpayers, and starts selling tickets to Jamaica a few days later……

“Historic Jamaica from the Air” (David Buisseret)

Mr. Woolmer, R.I.P.

Seems Bob Woolmer wasn’t murdered…..but as far as bad/dire/totally awful publicity for Jamaica goes, he might as well have been……please note that the two gentlemen already selected as fall guys (the pathologist Dr. Seshaiah and DCP Mark Shields) are “from foreign”…. God forbid that any native-born Jamaican policeman or pathologist should be embarrassed…..Rely on the rumour mills to come up with a whole new set of conspiracy theories based on the Indian-born pathologist, Dr. Seshaiah, being so instrumental in the shaming and blaming of the Pakistani team……


Inzamam al-Haq and Bob Woolmer

“India Vs Pakistan – ICC Cricket World Cup South Africa 2003” (fremantle media)

Deportee department

Our very own convicted Muslim preacher of hate, Abdullah al-Faisal comes home……local Muslims decide NOT to pre-judge him based on his past behaviour….. Given how adept we Jamaicans already are at killing our fellow Christians, it seems that we just can’t work up much anxiety about the rhetoric of this famous deportee……


Abdullah al-Faisal

“Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” (Unity Productions Foundation)

New Spanish hotel department – the Riu Montego Bay

The local regulators
keep trying to regulate…..and the contractors keep trying to construct the new Riu hotel in defiance of local environmental regulations…

Now, what do we call this :-

(1) Language barrier ?
(2) Not-enuff-money-paid-in-right-quarters-barrier ?
(3) Parish council just trying to do the right thing and protect constituents barrier ?


Costa del Sol, Spain

“The Green Holiday Guide Spain and Portugal 2002/3: Cottages and Campsites on Organic Farms Environment-Friendly Guesthouses and B&Bs (Green Holiday Guides)” (European Center for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism)

Cheaper energy ?

The Government is selling 49% of the local oil refinery to Venezuela’s state oil company So what happens if the JLP (not fond of President Chavez) comes to power in the next few months ? Probably not much. Just as Chavez mouths off at Bush while exporting the majority of his oil to the United States and Bush disses Chavez while buying most of his oil, we can expect Prime Minister Golding to sound off while eating up any cheaper energy coming Jamaica’s way whether it’s from Chavez, the Trinis or anyone else………

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