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06/06/10

Permalink 11:10:40 am, by amilnal
Categories: Culture

Jamaican youth awaken to Arts & Culture

In the wake of recent violence in West Kingston, the next generation is energized and vocal. As many youths are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the country’s status quo, it also becomes harder for them to focus on the positive movements happening around them. Thankfully, there are some who still care to make a constructive impact on Jamaica’s future.

One organization called Manifesto|Jamaica has taken up the mantle for a unique approach to national redevelopment. It is getting ready to stage the Festival of ART’ical Empowerment this October and those who already know about it are very excited.

According to Lesley-Ann Welsh, Festival Producer for Manifesto|Jamaica and one of its directors, “The power of the arts and culture to effect change is undeniable. Jamaica is a creative and cultural super power and its time we harness that energy and be the change we wish to see. There are many talented youth in Jamrock and we intend to empower them to pursue their crafts with passion and pride.”

Already, the good news is being spread in places where bad news is likelier. Having aligned with the Three Miles Development Area, they have visited communities in the vicinity with the message of ART’ical Empowerment. On Sunday (Labour Day), with gunshots typically too close for comfort, Manifesto|Jamaica had set up a booth at a community Sports Day at the Tinson Pen Sports Complex. There they painted kids’ faces, displayed visual art by the likes of Kai Watson - whose artistic lineage include father Basil Watson and grandfather Barrington Watson - and even conducted an artistic World Cup 2010 poll. These and other activities were done in an effort to expose the power of arts and culture to the youngsters who already have creative energy within them. To close the day, Manifesto|Jamaica unleashed a presentation of drumming by Kenardo, dancing by the Fantastic Girls and the Untouchable Squad, and singing by Chevaughn from C-Sharp and Bebble Rock’s Kabaka Pyramid and Roxy.

06/04/10

Permalink 01:20:25 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Culture, Commentary

Jamaica... the Backward society (Part 2)

As I said in the first part of this topic, I think Jamaica is pretty much devolving instead of evolving (note the word devolve may or may not be made up). It seems that for some strange reason we just dont believe in ourselves enough to think we can progress anymore. Instead we try to go as far as back as possibly into slavery days as possible... or maybe thats just my opinion. Anyway previously I touched on some social issues such as language, education, and the acceptance of lawlessness in having gained Internal Self Government abolished the Council of Ministers and this was replaced by the Cabinet headed by the Premier the Hon. Norman Manley and 11 other Ministers chosen by the Premier and appointed by the Governor. The position of Parliamentary Secretary was also introduced. The our society. Today I'm gonna switch up the tone a bit to get to some political issues. Essentially Jamaica has alot of problems politically so much so that I can actually make about 3 parts based on politics alone, but I dont think anybody would want to sit around and read a 3 part article on one topic so i'll try to spare you the frustration and cut it down to fit into one part.

The first issue I'm touching on is kind of 2 pronged. It involves the 2 party system that we currently have and also the garrison politics that we practice. I say this is a 2 pronged issue because one really lead to another, this is so as garrison politics really started in the 70's when the two parties in Jamaica in a fight for power began to arm whoever was willing to be given arms and basically told them to go shoot at each other. This arms race basically meant that whoever could win this war would then have what was more or less free passage to become the ruling party. Of course over the years this continued to massive proportions which ended with Jamaica being in the situation that we are currently in right now... Alot of guns, and alot of political violence at levels that nobody seems to be able to control.Yet its something that we allowed to happen and we have allowed to continue till it grew to its current unprecedented levels.

With regards to the whole 2 party system being a big issue one has to take note of the fact that having two parties is what has caused all of this. I mean have you ever considered that the last time somebody not tied to the PNP or the JLP has ever won a seat in office is 1944... thats before we gained independence. Am I to believe that the only people who are worthy of leading our country are tied to either the JLP or the PNP? The problem has grown to such levels that even the recently created NDM was treated as a joke by the electorate despite the fact that we know that currently neither the PNP or the JLP is fit to rule the country. I have heard people debating and absolutely no one has ever considered voting for the NDM, not because they dont have the political ideas or the people to lead, but because they aren't PNP or JLP. When I ask these same people why not try the NDM the best answer I've gotten is "because we dont know anything about them", and I ask, why not try to learn something about them, or at least give them a chance?  This is met with stutters and blank stares, so ingrained in our thought is the two party system that voting for a third seems to be too far out of our reach. Is this the thought of a forward moving society? If A doesnt work try B, if B doesnt work try A.... ignore all others. Seems pretty silly when you think about it doesnt it.

The other political backward thought that we have is the first past the post electoral system. This system means that essentially who wins the most seats may govern the country. Well that sounds pretty fair right? Well consider this imagine a country with a population of 5 million people, where there are 11 constituences. 5 of those constituences have a population of 3 million people while the other 6 constituences have 2 million people. There is an election held where party 'A' wins the former 5 constituences outright winning 3 million of the votes, while party 'B' wins the latter 6 seats which means they won 2 million votes. Under the Jamaican system, party B will then be allowed to rule the country, despite the fact that the voting majority clearly voted for party 'A'. Does that make sense to you? I thought it was the majority that ruled in a democracy, the mere word democracy is derived from the greek meaning people (demos) power (kratos). Most educated younger Jamaicans understand this and its one of the reasons why you will find that the voting population of young Jamaicans is so small. We just dont see the point. It would make more sense for Jamaica to switch to a system where the majority rules and where we can vote for a party outside of the 2 that exist without having to worry about our lives being threatened.

Boondocks on voting

The last thing I'll be looking at is brought on by the recent activities in Jamaica... specifically our Prime Minister Bruce Golding. You may remember that after it came out that Bruce Golding was lieing to the country and no longer has the trust of various sectors of the country, most people called for his resignation. People simply wanted him out of power after he's obviously corrupt and a lier. However to put it frankly Bruce Golding and his party simply said "no". He will not resign and Jamaica will return to the status quo... What?!?! Why didn't we impeach the Prime Minister.... oh thats right Jamaica has no impeachment clause anywhere. In 2003 Seaga even called for a policy to be implemented and Bruce Golding then leader of the NDM also shared a similar view. How can we allow our ministers, senators, and leaders to do anything they wish without having to answer to any higher power? Thats not smart is it? We can't even force our Prime Minister to resign, he has to actually resign himself. In the end, he will also receive all the pensions and benefits that every Prime Minister is entitled to. Despite the fact that he has lost the trust of the country and has lied to us. The Prime Minister could essentially do anything he wishes and walk off with nothing more than a dirty look by the people of Jamaica.

Really forward thinking dont you think? Look at other countries, in the USA, Clinton faced impeachment because he lied to the country about cheating on his wife... we cant impeach our Prime Minister because he lied to the country about PROTECTING A CRIMINAL! If that isn't backwards behaviour I don't know what is.

Permalink 01:17:40 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Sports, Commentary

South Africa's World Cup Group A Prospects

A quick glance at the four teams' lineups and one would quickly point to South Africa's squad as the weakest of the four. But like so many things in the world of Football, it's not quite that simple.

Before South Africa took the pitch against Iraq in their opening match in the Confederations Cup, there was much speculation about the potential of the Bafana Bafana. After extravagant opening ceremonies, few questions were answered following a 0-0 draw against a defensive-minded Iraq. The second match against New Zealand yielded a better result with a 2-0 win, and an encouraging double from Red Star Belgrade (now FC Twente) forward, Bernard Parker. Following two disappointing, yet well-fought defeats to Spain (2:0) and Brazil (1:0 on an 88th minute free-kick by Dani Alves) South Africa found themselves in the third-place match against Spain.

After 90 minutes South Africa found themselves down 2-1, only to see Katlego Mphela dramatically equalize with a thrashing free kick. Despite their loss in extra time, to yet another set piece from Spain's Xabi Alonso, South Africa had put together a convincing string of results against two of the strongest teams in the world. Surely, Parreira will expect nothing less than performances of this caliber from his team come June 11.

With the World Cup looming, many seem to be reverting back to similar predictions made about South Africa before the Confederations Cup. Not only did the Confederations Cup provide South Africa with a significant boost of confidence, but they are also coming off of an eleven game unbeaten streak, the latest being a 5-0 thrashing of Guatemala. It would be a grave mistake for teams in Group A to underestimate the talent of the South African-based players in the Squad. Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela, who has scored 15 goals in 29 appearances at the international level, will most likely be starting alongside Bernard Parker who netted in their latest match. This is a strike force chosen by Parreira ahead of South Africa's all-time leading scorer, Benni McCarthy. In the midfield, the in-form Steven Pienaar and the talented Orlando Pirates midfielder, Teko Modise, will be streaking down the wings of pitch providing service for Mphela and Parker to finish. To anchor the backline, South Africa's most-capped player and captain, Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), will be paired with the massive Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns). This is a pairing who caused some of the best strikers in the world trouble, and will certainly try their best to do the same to the likes of Forlan, Vela, and Anelka.

It is quite possible, almost likely, that South Africa will indeed stumble against difficult opposition and fail to reach the knockout stages of the tournament. However, our beloved game has never failed to provide us with the unexpected, and the stage is set for South Africa to do just that. Mexico, France, and Uruguay beware, despite a squad mostly made up with South Africa-based players, the bafana bafana could cause many problems. And with tens of thousands of deafening South Africans behind them, do not be surprised to see the rainbow nation make it through to the knockout rounds of the tournament. As their Carlos Parreira put it, "Once the ball moves, anything can happen."

As the countdown to the World Cup continues, and the days slowly diminish to less then ten days until this historic tournament, an imminent sadness grows inside of me. Only a few days before the opening match between South Africa and Mexico

06/02/10

Permalink 11:13:43 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary

The pot calling the kettle black

Ever heard that saying before? That the Pot is calling the kettle black? Well essentially this saying is what you normally use when you say something about somebody that you also have as a characteristic. Ok maybe that was a little difficult to understand, imagine if you call somebody a thief while at the same time stealing something yourself. That is a case were the pot calls the kettle black, because well essentially both a pot and a kettle are typically black from being burnt on a fire. Anyway recently there was a case in Jamaica which wasn't exactly a pot calling a kettle black but was close enough to draw my attention, this came in the form of Edward Seaga making scathing remarks about Bruce Golding and his handling of the dudus issue, basically blaming everything on Golding and saying he should resign.

Pot meet kettle

Now anybody with even a shred of knowledge about Jamaican political history will of course go "huh?". This is the only reaction you can have to seaga's comments because as we all know, Tivoli Gardens (TG) and all the problems therein were essentially created by this man Edward Seaga. It's his pride and joy, his city, so much so that he is in charge of nearly all Tivoli Garden's organisations and sports teams. They even have birthday parties in this man's honour every year just to show their appreciation for him.

Yet he has the sheer testicle size to come out and say that it is Bruce Goldings fault?  To me that sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

During the interview Seaga also made many claims which leads me to question, if he indeed has so much information on the whereabouts of the gunmen of TG, why hasn't he made these reports known to the police beforehand? Could it be because he supports them in their endeavours? I certainly think so. According to an article in the Jamaica Observer:

Seaga took issue with the killing of residents of Tivoli, saying that the people who had arms had left the community. "And they are gone because they got a signal from what was said before, knowing that there was going to be this type of operation. So why are you continuing? Why you shooting people?"

Yet at no point did I hear Seaga beforehand saying to the Police forces that this operation would truly be a waste of time.

Outside of his accusations and what I believe was him trying to remove himself from liability for the issue, Mr. Seaga did make some good points regarding the operation. Such as where he stated that with regards to Bishop Blair's visit to Tivoli Gardens where he stated:

"I am disappointed in him... Not using any analytical experiences he had from the previous incident in 2001. You don't just go there and hand poor people food and say 'okay sit down here until the next package come'. They want to get out. That's what you must call for. They want to be free. They want to be citizens with their rights. It's not a package of food they want. I am disappointed in him...That'a foolish approach."

A comment which to me makes a whole lot of sense, after all it is true that the real innocent people inside TG would really like to leave I am sure but they cant and Blair has done nothing to assist them in their plight, neither has the office of the public defender which continues to make silly non challenging remarks on the issue. I also have to agree with Mr. Seaga that Bruce Golding really should resign because clearly "He cannot cope" with his current job and he simply "should not have intervened in the extradition process". With this I have to completely agree with Seaga 100%, however that does not mean that Seaga can in anyway withdraw himself from fault in the issue, after all TG is really his garrison.

seaga and tivoli**Taken from Jamaica Observer

It is because of this reason why I have to join with former senior superintendent of police Renato Adams in telling Edward Seaga to shut up and in calling Seaga a hypocrite in its purest form (the latter is my statement, not Adams'). Adams also added that Seaga:

"nurtured this location, this environment and these people, to the extent that the security forces under a JLP government could not bear the onslaught anymore, that they had to put the police and the army to deal with it in a most effective and efficient way. ... Seaga has only himself to blame..."

He even went on to state that

"It is mischievous for Seaga to be saying that Bruce should have gone in there and defended the people. The prime minister of the land with all of the advisors came to the conclusion that it was necessary to go in there and get criminal gunmen. I want to say to Mr Seaga that it is unwise and unprofessional for him to be criticising the prime minister in such a fashion"

And I agree completely with Mr. Adams. It was clearly time to go into and fight what can only be regarded as the strongest garrison in Jamaica and beat it into submission so that there would be a clear understanding of the rule of law by all Jamaicans and all criminal elements. Yes it was a harsh solution but it was still necessary.

All in all I believe that Seaga's statements have done nothing to help this situation and he himself should be ashamed for what he has done. As a matter of fact I think an apology to both the citizens of Jamaica and Bruce Golding should be in order for what he has said. Dont try to call the kettle black Mr. Seaga, after all this was all directly/indirectly your doing.

Permalink 10:20:30 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Sean Paul To Visit French Fans

International Reggae star Sean Paul is scheduled to perform in five cities in five days across France. The French market is Sean Paul’s second largest fan base and is in for a treat June 2-6.

The tour begins on Wednesday June 2, in Paris, at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy. The following day Sean Paul performs at Le Zenith in Toulouse, and on Friday June 4, St Herbalin at the Zenith. Saturday May 5 will see Sean Paul’s blazing entourage move to Marseille at Le Dome and the final performance takes place on Sunday June 5 at Mauguio at Le Seven Club.

Sean Paul has been touring in support of his album Imperial Blaze, which made its debut at number one in Japan and sold over 50,000 copies in its first week of release. Tracks such as Press it up and Hold my hand continue to enjoy steady rotation on local and overseas stations and the tunes are still readily available for download at www.allseanpaul.com.

And while Sean digs into his French support this June, producer Bob Sinclair is this summer set to release a track he produced with the deejay back in October titled Made in Jamaica, with input from the Reggae giants Sly and Robbie.

Sean Paul has performed in more than 80 countries in North, Central, and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. He is a multi-platinum selling deejay many times over, and the most successful Jamaican artiste on the international charts.

Permalink 10:11:10 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Lenn Hammond to provide musical healing

As the finishing touches are made to his upcoming album, Raw Soul, super-talented singer Lenn Hammond readies to make a splash on the music scene with the release of singles, he says are equipped with the melody to warm souls and enchant ears.

The singles, No Stranger and Mr. DJ, are both enjoying positive and plentiful rotations on radio airwaves. "It has been encouraging, and I know it will only get better. My music is positive music, and there to make persons feel good when they listen to it," says the singer.

With Hammond's style maturing immensely, it is safe to say that there is much from Lenn Hammond the world has yet to experience. It might seem impossible, given Hammondfs track record of hits, successes and accomplishments. Having set an incredibly high standard for reggae music production in the North American country of Canada, Hammond is determined to show the world that "I can do it again".

Known as the crown piper of raw soul, Lenn Hammondfs music is no stranger to accolades from local and international music pundits and lovers, Hammond says the singles already released from the album is "just a taste of what I have in store".

Raw Soul will be released later this summer, and is a project spearheaded by Tru-Musik Records and the Up Deh Music Group (UDMG), and will be the album where everyone will see just how versatile and talented Lenn Hammond is.

With reggae, soul, and loverfs rock just three of the 'moods' present on the album, Hammond says "Raw Soul is whatever you want it to be, it all depends on which track you listen to first".

He is also quick to remind persons that his music and career is not about awards or recognition. It's a bold claim for him to make, having copped JUNO, Canadian Reggae Music and Urban Music awards in the past.

"I create music that people can relate to: songs that are socially conscious, and anything I can experiment with in order to evolve as an artiste. I'm proud to say that I've evolved, and it's time the world got a taste of some raw, reggae-soul".

05/30/10

Permalink 11:20:59 am, by amilnal
Categories: Sports, Commentary

A quick football round-up

Well the club season has finally come to an end after another amazing 10-month journey. It all ended, as we knew it would with either Inter Milan or Bayern Munich winning a treble, and as it turned out it was Jose Mourinho's treble. He led Inter to a Serie A title, a Coppa Italia championship, and closed their season with a 2-0 victory in the Champions League Final in Madrid and did so convincingly.

Lots to mention about what happened and some milestones reached.

Inter won their third European Cup/Champions League having won it previously in 1964 and 1965. They are also the first team in Italy to ever win The Treble.

Jose Mourinho becomes the youngest manager to win the European Cup/Champions League with two different clubs (Porto in 2004 was the other and Omar Hitzfeld with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and Ernst Happel did it with Feyernord and Hamburger SV.) Mourinho is making no bones or secrets that he wants to do it with three different clubs and he has without doubt coached Inter Milan for the last time. He will sign a 4 year deal worth £40 million with Real Madrid this week and it truly boggles the mind what he will be able to do with players like Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain, Karim Benzema et al. Will he raid Inter Milan and bring back Wesley Sneijder, Maicon has already making noises that he wants to go with Mourinho to Real Madrid. Or might he go and pick up someone like Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard, which is also being rumored.

The thing about Jose Mourinho and why he is the best coach in the world is really simple. Yes he is a great tactician and man manager but it is the belief that he instills in his teams. Porto come from nowhere and won everything, he fell just short in Europe with Chelsea but led them to two Premier League titles (their first in 50 years) as well as FA Cups and Carling Cups. And now with Inter he has taken them to the next level. He inspires, he makes players believe and he will quite easily become the greatest manager of all time by the time he is done.

People say that he is only good with a checkbook and that he does not build sides and teams. I would say differently and I think that what he does stays with a team and those players long after he is gone. Frank Lampard is the greatest example of that in my opinion.

One last thing on Mourinho and what he has done in Italy while at Inter Milan. By winning the Champions League he and Inter saved Italy from losing there fourth Champions League spot. So while the media apparently will be happy to see the back of him, he really has left his mark and as he put it "his work is done in Italy."

Add to that the signing by Barcelona of David Villa from Valencia this week and proposed signing of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal and I think it is becoming pretty clear that Spain is fast becoming the go to league in world football. Spain is going to be the league to be watching next season, of that there is no question.

Samuel Eto'o has won the treble two years in a row. Obviously last year with Barcelona and this year with Inter Milan...pretty certain that has never been done.

Javier Zanetti played his 700th game for Inter Milan in Madrid on Saturday. Not a bad way to ring up number 700 by picking up the Champions League trophy.

I do not see how the Balon D'Or and World Footballer of the Year go to anyone but Diego Milito. He scored all the big goals. The goal to win Coppa Italia vs. Roma! He scored the goal last weekend at Siena that secured the title, and his brace in Madrid to win the cup with the big ears. Not sure what else he could do. He is a striker and he scores really big goals and it is only amazing to think that Maradona was going to leave him out of the Argentina squad preferring Boca Juniors Martin Palermo. In the end he is taking both and rightfully so.

The broadcast on Fox was pretty good as well. Curt Menefee looked pretty good and even sounded as if he had a passing knowledge for the game. Not sure about Bruce Arena or Eric Wynalda. Not sure what they really brought to the proceedings except to verify that they truly do not care for each other and of course Martin Tyler and Andy Gray were terrific. Nobody gets hurt when they do a game together.

All told it was a good day and especially for the serious football fan who got to see a game of such magnitude in HD and on network television...a serious first for America.

Permalink 11:03:03 am, by amilnal
Categories: Business

Strong fiscal year for Pan Caribbean

For the first quarter, the Group reported consolidated net income of $396.9 Million, up 14% over last year's $349.1 Million. Earnings per share were $0.72 for the current quarter versus $0.64 for the comparative period. These results were positively influenced by balance sheet growth, contributions across all its lines of business and expense control.

Ordinary dividends of $0.61 per share was declared during the first quarter and paid in April 8, 2010. The consolidated balance sheet grew $5.3 Billion to $70.5 Billion, up 8% and positively influencing Net Interest Income. Fixed Income trading, Asset Management and Stock-broking activities benefited from falling interest rates which had a positive impact on asset prices.

According to Donovan H. Perkins, President & CEO of PanCaribbean, "This positive impact has created opportunities for our customers, validating our consistent advice to customers over the last six months."

Despite sluggish economic conditions, our Credit portfolio continues to perform relatively well, and our non-performing loan ratio at 2.8% of the portfolio (industry average 4.7%) reflects its underlying quality. Underpinning PanCaribbean's business is a solid Capital base of $8.95 Billion, crossing the equivalent US$100 Million threshold for the first time, and with a conservative Capital to Assets ratio of 12.7%.

During the quarter, its principal Corporate Social Responsibility project, the 12th annual Sigma Corporate Run, attracted record support with over 11,000 participants. It has become the largest road race in the Caribbean and shows just how Jamaicans can get together to support great causes. This year, in partnership with the National Health Fund, Reggae Marathon and the newly formed Sagicor PanCaribbean Foundation, the Sigma Corporate Run raised more than $11 Million for the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, the Jamaica Society for the Blind and the Jamaica Association for the Deaf. The Sagicor PanCaribbean Foundation is established with the aim of improving the lives of children in the areas of sports, health and education. In commenting on the company activities and results, Mr. Perkins indicated "Our Directors are reasonably happy with the results and growth experienced in the quarter. Our entire Team, especially Operations, deserves the credit for the effort in working through the JDX exercise, keeping our customers informed while continuing to grow the business and deliver excellent results."

The CEO went on to say that "I am also positive on our outlook for the year given the stability that we worked hard for, and are now experiencing. What Jamaica needs now is a little good luck, and continued decisiveness by our leaders. JDX shows that many things are possible if we have the will, and are willing to communicate."

05/29/10

Permalink 02:12:15 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary, News

Read an interesting Article re: the US's Involvement in Dudus

Now I am not somebody to take things at face value, it just doesnt work for me. Personally whenever I'm reading anything I like to see alot of sources and alot of footnotes (that's why I link to so many websites in my articles). Half of my reason for this is that I trick myself into believing that anybody brave enough to cite some source must have done some research, for fear of being ridiculed. Of course this isn't always the case but at least the majority of the time this is true. However the fact remains I love to see things well researched. My friend sent me an article with absolutely no footnotes whatsoever, but I cant help but take the article very seriously. why? Because the facts surrounding the article are pretty much true and the motives which were written about certainly make sense. The article I am referring to is this one: Dudus, it's not about cocaine, its about oil. The article lists no author so I will just have to give credit to negrilstories.ca.

The article starts by asking a question that has also been on my mind for quite some time and that question is, why is it that despite the fact that dudus is no recent phenomenon, and has been a problem for a number of years. What is it about November 2009 that made it pertinent for the US to suddenly require that Jamaica extradite Dudus for trial. Of course the first argument that one could think of is that maybe the US needed to collect enough evidence to build a case against dudus first, or maybe he just didnt commit a crime heinous enough for the US to care about his presence. I would of course counter this argument with the fact that the US's own statement implies that they have been watching him for a long time and for a country that has so many satellites up that they have collected evidence which leads even the regular news outlets to have information leading them to state that our PM is a "known criminal affiliate" of dudus. Apparently this they know from intercepted phone calls. So of course evidence collection was not a problem fo rthe US. So why now?

The article goes on to state that it is a well known fact that any attempt to capture dudus would be met by resistance equalling to nothing less than a civil war, so therefore one thing can be deduced and that is that, the US wanted to create this chaos and confusion... But why? The simple answer is oil. Oil is a surefire way to get rich (see every oil producing country there is), and it is something that oil hungry nations like the the US need control to ensure their continued success. Of course the next statement/question is "But Skillachi nobody has ever found oil in Jamaica nor evidence of oil". That statement is very true, nobody has found oil... at standard oil digging levels. I say at standard oil digging levels because normally most oil companies rarely dig below say 10,000 feet (20,000 feet has been more or less the upper limit) in search of oil. As a matter of fact the average depth is approximately 5,000 feet, this is because it has not been feasible to dig below that level. However as technology has improved it is becoming more feasible to dig deeper and deeper. Dont beleive me? How deep do you think BP was digging when the pipe exploded in the gulf of mexico? 30,000 feet.

Now with regards to there actually being oil in Jamaica. First we have to look on the fact that  there has been a major oil find in Cuba, a country that is just roughly 70 miles north of Jamaica (or well specifically montego bay). How major? An estimated 20 billion barrels worth of oil.... so much oil that Russia, Spain, Norway, Venezuela and Brazil are all lining up to start digging (see BBC article, by clicking "major oil find"). Of course they will have to dig deep though... literally, its estimated they have to go at least 25,000 feet before they find anything but once they do find something you can guarantee they will be smiling all the way to the bank. As far as Jamaica goes one may remember around march this year our energy minister was running around in the US and in Britain selling prospects to Jamaica's oil wealth stating the high possibility it exists based on geological surveys.

oil blocks for sale**Taken from energy-pedia.com

Even the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica has information about these projects and prospects on its website showing the high possibility that there exists oil. If there is oil then the US wants it of course because they are the most energy hungry country in the world.

So back on the original topic now, how is a Jamaica "civil war" good for the US? It gives them an opportunity to send their military in and occupy Jamaica. A US occupation of Jamaica means they will probably have control over a good enough section of Jamaica to freely do as they please and dig as they please. Just look at what they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would also partially explain why there are US army vehicles and vessels in Jamaica right now, and also explain why the US has a strong military presence in Haiti which is also not that far off from Cuba. The US also is already holding us by the balls with our recent signing of a deal with the IMF, which as we know from our previous experience with the IMF, screws us over properly.

Did I just blow your mind? Well reading the article blew my mind because suddenly alot of things made sense, and also alot of things came to light. Such as the fact that our current government probably has a hand in this deal as well, after all why would they sign a deal with the IMF again all of a sudden? We already have bad history with them (the IMF), but suddenly we go back to sign with them, giving the US another way to blackmail us if they need access to our natural resources. After all we have heard of cases where the JLP works with the US against Jamaica (see 1970's Jamaica).

I state all of this because I love my country too much to ignore it. This oil if found is Jamaica's way out of debt, and a way for us to build a strong economy and possibly make our way to actually being recognized as a first world country. We would also have a way to re-invest in Jamaica and hopefully buy back all the things we have already sold to other countries such as trinidad (Carib cement, Caribsteel, Air Jamaica, Bauxite etc), the possibilities of having the oil are endless. We cannot have our resource being controlled by some country without getting our necessary royalties from it. Look what happened with our bauxite, where we made nothing from it.

Have I possibly opened up a whole can of worms... I think so. But I would also implore you all to read the article on Negril stories, I have spoken on alot that the article discusses but I haven't touched on all the things that the original article has. If this situation does begin to play out though, maybe we need to take a look back on keeping what's ours ours.

05/28/10

Permalink 11:52:31 am, by Skillachi
Categories: Education, Culture, Commentary, News

Jamaica... the Backward society

Over the past few months I have come to a conclusion that I am almost ashamed to share with the readers of this journal. It has come not through hastily made conclusions, or through sweeping generalizations, but instead through careful observations and deep thought. That conclusion is as the title states that Jamaica, land we love is essentially quite a backwards society. We are backwards because while the rest of the world (with very few exceptions) seems to be making advancements in the positive, for some strange reason despite the obvious fact that what we are doing will in no way benefit Jamaica socially, economically, politically... as a matter of fact any '-ally' you can think of. So I have to ask the question why are we moving backwards while everybody else seems to be going... well forward. But before I really go into that segment I think I need to look at the ways in which Jamaica is going backwards. This is the first of a multi-part post on just how backwards a society Jamaica really is.

First I'll look at the issues that I believe can be listed as social.

First our Language. The official language employed by Jamaica is of course the English language. However there are a select few people who are of the belief that Jamaica needs to not recognize English as our official language, but instead our native patois (pronounced pat-wah). Some primary schools have even gone so far as to have patois classes.... can you believe that, a class for a language that we basically learn just by being alive and communicating with people. But next to that, my question is this, why exactly are we pushing for our dialect to be recognized as our official language when honestly, outside of Jamaica patois isn't worth its weight in feces.

I may sound a little harsh, but hear me out. It is quite good and fine to be proud of our language, I personally love patois, and I know that it is the surest sign for Jamaicans to recognize other Jamaicans when abroad. Next to that, patois does sound nice and I really do love hearing people speak patois as to be honest it can sound pretty poetic. However why would you want to teach children to speak a language that they will probably never have a purpose for in the professional world? Currently the English language is the official language that almost everybody has to learn, it is certainly not the most used language in the world, but with the majority of the worlds trade taking place in English speaking countries it only makes sense to have children learn... you know English. Or if you want to better equip these children for the future of the modern world, then we need to be teaching them Chinese, or Portuguese or any other language from the other rising world powers. Teaching Patois is not helping any Jamaican to be prepared for the world that is to come. Its archaic and we are not getting with the program.

On the same topic of education there is also the recent removal of the government subsidies on tertiary education. First of all yes I know that the IMF said that its necessary for us to get the loan, but I have to ask why would you take a loan that requires you to sacrifice the future of your country? But I'll get back to the IMF loan later when I look at economics. The world as we know right now is one where ignorance gets you nowhere. The best way forward for Jamaica is through educating everybody, with education we can fix all our other problems if its health we can train more doctors, if its finance we can train more economists, if its education we can train more teachers, roads and bridges we can train engineers, everything we need and want can be solved by educating people. Now I will not say we need free education (though I think free education is worth more than free healthcare), however if it cannot be provided the subsidy is the only thing that is keeping the youth from gaining education.

With the current costs of tertiary education the only people who will get any form of decent education are the current rich minority who can afford it. This puts Jamaica in a position where we cannot be competitive in a world where everybody is getting smarter. Currently in the world view a first degree does not hold the same weight that it used to, because everybody is getting masters degrees and Phd's. Therefore just to be competitive in this world we need to at least get people prepared for a world that is becoming more competitive. We dont need to remove the subsidy, we need to add more subsidies, there is no justification for getting people dumber when we need to get smarter, everywhere else in the world education is subsidized, but we are trying to get rid of ours... what sense does that make?

The final social issue of backwardness that I'll touch on is the gross acceptance of lawlessness in our society. Now I had already written on the activities of the people of tivoli gardens the before the government operation. In case you dont remember, they marched in full white stating that they “will die for dudus”. What kind of society are we living in where people are defending these men who are breaking the law? I am not saying that he broke the law by being a drug pusher because this has not been proven in any capacity. I am saying he broke the law by avoiding arrest even though there was a warrant for his arrest. These people are also helping him to break the law, and breaking the law themselves by refusing to give him up and also by blocking the roads and preventing the police from doing their job.

Since when has breaking the law become an acceptable move by anyone? How backward are we that suddenly breaking the law is cool? Is it that we dont believe in the rule of law? Or is it just that we like to bend it a little too much.

I have more issues but I will have to continue with them later.

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."

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