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05/22/10

Permalink 10:34:51 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Voicemail records song for O’Neil Edwards.

Voicemail have done a charity song for O’Neil Edwards who was a victim of robbery on Monday 10th of March.

The song is called One Life To Live and was recorded 6 months ago as one of the first tracks for the new Voicemail album Next Level. In the last 6 months Voicemail has produced 14 more songs and 2 music videos. The first released single from the album One Life To Live have been mastered and an urban remix was also produced as well as cover and poster artwork. A website for Oneil Edwards will be launched early next week under www.Voicemailgroup.com. The track can be purchased on iTunes and will be up on 20 more sites soon (Amazon, Amie Street, Nokia Music..and several others).

The video companies, producers and marketers distributing the new album come from Germany, that shows the communication strength of the groups music. Voicemail has had great success in Japan and are well loved in Germany, where there are already more than 2000 fans in a social network, united for Voicemail. Donations can also be made over paypal to voicemailgroup@yahoo.com.

O'Neil Edwards member of the band Voicemail was shot multiple times in the head, chest and abdomen and unfortunately lost his thumb during a robbery. It happened at his house in Kingston - Jamaica on Monday 10th of March 1:30am. O’Neil is recovering from injuries sustained, however his condition is still critical and he remains hospitalized.

YouTube link (including Oneil Statement): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InsJW-0d2tw

05/21/10

Permalink 07:31:14 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Commentary, News

Tivoli Gardens on Lock Down...?

If this entire saga was to be put in a movie then where we are right now would be considered the Climax of the film.Yes things are heating up in Jamaica as people have now come out from all sides giving their support to Bruce, and to the "Prezzi" (nickname of the gang leader who is set to be extradited) in the extradition saga. Now that the order for extradition has been signed, it is now the job of the police to go and find "Prezzi" wherever he is. A task which may prove to be much harder than it sounds as there are a number of... obstacles (to say the least) in their way.

The first obstacle is the fact that, they dont exactly know where this man is. He has no fixed address that the police have on record for them to go find him. While Jamaica is a small country, it can seem rather large when you are trying to find one single person, especially when that one person is famed around the country so much that many people are afraid to talk about him. The other issue is that he has so many garrisons throughout the country that it would be difficult to search just one for him... which also poses a difficulty as nobody in the garrison will want to give him up anyway, after all this man will have been the source of many people's bread and butter for many years, and they surely appreciate his work.

The republic of Tivoli gardens**Taken from Jamaica Observer

As an example of how much they support him, earlier in the week it was felt that people living in Tivoli Gardens were being held hostage in their community. This was believed to be the case after barricades were put up all around Tivoli gardens seemingly to prevent anyone from entering or exiting the community. It was also reported that citizens of the community were told to give up their cell phones and they were not allowed to communicate with anyone outside.

Military-esque fortifications**Taken from Jamaica Observer

However - while the barricades still stand - the people of tivoli gardens have all come out in a peaceful demonstration to give their support and also to state that all of what was reported was a lie. These people wearing full white and brandishing their  cell phones marched to the various police stations to state that they defend dudus. They did however state that they will die for their area leader and they do not want the police to come inside their community to take him away from them.

Peaceful March**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner

As for who organized this march I think is up to question.

However the police are in quite the dilemma as they attempt to both find and arrest dudus amidst all the barricades being put up, and people who are so willing to give their lives for this man. As the situation reaches its climax, one cannot be sure when this tension will end but I do hope it ends with as little loss of life as possible.

Dudus Dog**Taken from Jamaica Observer

Permalink 12:03:09 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, News

Pulling wool over our eyes (May 17, 2010 Part 2)

Its been quite challenging to put some order to the amount of things that has happened this week, but there is one thing that holds sure, and that is the fact that it has been a pretty interesting time. I have already spoken about the lock down that happened when news dropped of the possibility of the extradition request being signed. Now I have to focus on the Prime Ministers address to the nation, which confirmed those rumors. At 8:30pm on monday night it was possibly the first time in many years that a national address by the prime minister was watched by so many Jamaicans, I am willing to wager that everybody with a tv eagerly watched to hear what would have been said, as speculation rose that the PM was about to resign.

In the early stages of the speech (text of the speech available here) however, I soon realized that all that I had hoped for had in fact been lost as it became apparent that this speech was another political speech about nothing at all. I could detect the miles of rubbish that was about to come from the line where he said "I have asked God to guide me in my response and the decisions I must make". This line is the newest tool used by politicians around the world when they need justification for some action that they know they cannot properly rationalize with the people. The name God is constantly being used in the wrong light by these people to fool a bunch of people who will blindly follow their deity as long as they believe he is behind someone's decisions, however the people who read between the lines more easily can call the speaker for what they really are saying:

Bullshit

However I decided to listen on, listen to the quagmire of garbage that was bound to eventually come out of the PM's mouth. The first and only issue that the PM really touched on was the extradition. He decided that he was going to sign the extradition request and then stated that "the government has never refused... never refused... the request for the extradition of Christopher Coke. It has simply asked the US authorities to provide additional information", yea... right.

Anyway this was to be expected after all the country was fedup with this issue going on for so long. Too many people had become affected by the issue as the US began denying many Jamaicans entry. So of course the request was to be granted else he would probably be the first Jamaican PM that would be put publicly lynched. But after he confirms that he will in fact be granting the extradition request, Golding then went on into a discussion that to be honest can be seen as nothing more than a drunken tyrade.

This is why I came to the conclusion that Golding is simply pulling the wool over Jamaican's eyes. He did not speak about the issues we want to hear, he did not resign from his post even though its obvious he has lost the trust of the entire country, he did not speak at any depth about the Mannatt issue... and then for the last 5-10 minutes of the speech in an attempt to further confuse the people he again reiterates those promises he made during his campaign for PM, more political promises and just the usual garbage that nobody really wanted to hear.

And then there is the concluding paragraph:

The nation's business cannot continue to be disrupted and distracted by the ordeal of the last several months. We must put it behind us and move on and I hope that after tonight we will be able to do so. And we must do so with humility. Our lapses at times into what comes across as arrogance and disrespect must not be allowed to happen, for we are the servants of the people. Again, I express my regret to those who were offended.

So we must not be distracted by the lies he has told, or his clear violations of our trust and as a matter of fact the rule of law. No we are to "put it behind us on move on". Such garbage I never thought I would hear. It really disturbs me that this is the method chosen by the PM to gain the forgiveness of the country.

Well Mr. Golding, I am neither pleased, nor fooled

Permalink 10:37:12 am, by amilnal
Categories: Sports, Entertainment, Culture

1998 WORLD CUP REGGAE BOYZ TO FACE ARTIST ALL STAR TEAM IN NYC

The annual Irie Jam Celebrity Celebrity Soccer Match will again take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY. This year the event will however have an exciting new twist as the organisers have drawn on the talented 1998 Reggae Boyz team which made it to the World Cup finals to tackle an Artist All Star team for what is expected to be one of the most eagerly anticipated soccer matches in the tri-state state area in a very long time.

With some of the djs unable to travel because of visa restrictions, the organisers called on veteran dj and dancehall Icon Shabba to spearhead the attack for the artists. Shabba, who is pumped and excited to play this year will be joined by Elephant Man, Spragga Benz, Baby Cham, Wayne Marshall, Red Rat, Mr. Lex and Romaine Virgo.

Among the Reggae Boys who will lace up for the big showdown are former national striker and current Jamaica National coach Theodore Witmore, Warren Barrett, Onandi Lowe, Walter Boyd, Paul tega Davis and Gregory Messam. The winning team will take home the Irie Jam Media/Asylum Nite Club/Western Union trophy and bragging rights for the next year. The event also featured track & field events by the Team Jamaica Bickle sponsored Awesome Power Track Club of Queens, NY.

At half-time the crowd which is expected to number over 10,000 strong will be entertained with performances by some of the reggae acts confirmed for the soccerfest. The event will be hosted by the broadcast team of Aubrey Campbell, Chris Dub Master, DJ Roy of Irie Jam Radio and Ron Muchette of Irie FM and Kingsley ‘Ragashanti’ Stewart of Radio Mona.

Permalink 10:32:44 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Business

Reggae Sumfest to move ahead

The promoters of Reggae Sumfest, Summerfest Promotions have indicated that despite the challenges facing the event, the annual Festival will take place on July 18-24 at Catherine Hall, St James. The organizers are also appealing to stakeholders to work with them in finding creative solutions to the challenges to stage the 18th edition of the Greatest Reggae Festival on Earth.

Johnny Gourzong, Executive producer of the Festival cites reduced sponsor support and increased production and artiste fees as some of the challenges being faced. He said, “Reggae Sumfest is important to Jamaica’s tourism and impacts positively on the economy and despite reduced sponsorship, we decided it was important to beat the odds and host the Festival this year.” Traditionally Reggae Sumfest has hosted a mixture of local and international acts that has distinguished the event as an eclectic mix of good music and performers. In light of the fiscal challenges organizers gave great consideration to omitting International Acts for this year’s Festival.

Stakeholders agreed that International Acts should be included on this year’s lineup as the Mix of genre and cultures is the essence of the event and such a cut back would adversely affect the marketability of the show. Reggae Sumfest is an Annual event that provides an avenue for new and established local talent to demonstrate their prowess to an international audience as well as a wide cross section of the Jamaican society. The brainchild of several Montego Bay businessmen, Reggae Sumfest was first held in 1993. The show has traditionally featured top reggae and dancehall performers, but Hip-Hop and Rhythm and Blues acts like Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Boyz II Men and Lionel Richie have also made appearances on the Sumfest stage.

05/20/10

Permalink 12:32:19 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Culture, Commentary

Young Men and Virginity

As a youngster growing up in the midst of womanizers, I got some bad ideas that clashed with my rather ‘proper upbringing’1. One of those many bad ideas was focused on the concept of 'Virginity'. The surroundings in which I interacted expressed explicitly and repeatedly that the concept of 'virginity' didn't really exist for a man. Virginity medically for a girl or woman had a long, clinical and technical definition, whereas men – in the same field – did not even have a good sentence. It was plainly expressed, from all angles, that it is mainly a woman's worry and a woman's joy. I understood, from at least a general perspective, that no one cared about boys or young men virginities...not even women.

Being a virgin at sixteen, seventeen was a no no in the prime of my puberty; whether you were a girl or a boy. For the seventeen year old boys that went to an all boy school, it was a sin. For girls, there are a bevy of beautiful reasons – and whatever the combination - it was never usually frowned upon…generally. Virginity by the age of eighteen (on a growing boy) was like a bad body odor or like halitosis - in that it made you think twice before approaching or back up all together after getting a whiff of it. You got branded as a nerd, a bait (i.e. someone with little to no peer respect), shady (i.e. weird/questionable), “un-cool”, and most importantly... inexperienced.

When you’re a teenager, your most important tools are ‘experience’ and ‘the pretense of experience’. With it, you’re perceived as a woman or a man – when literally, you are really still a child. Without it – you’re like an emotional or hormone drunk, living on welfare [driven by your appetite with barely enough to satisfy your grave]. Or you’re a guided missile with more than one guide. As a young man, it was necessary to at least convey the cloak of sexual experience to any girl you wished to court. I have rarely heard a virgin girl express her desire for a virgin male. No matter which school you were from, the same rule applied... if you were to be seen as an all round senior, you had to have done the horizontal Soca...I mean dance.

Unfortunately for me, I was tainted by my school at an early age (as most boys are) with the notion of experience being a necessity which meant that sex and virginity were hot topics by the time I was fourteen/fifteen. By that age I had grasped a simple concept – 'virginity is bad...sex is good'; but not for the pleasures which could be derived. I foolishly gave little thought to the social warnings of STIs (which were called STDs back then) or the possibility of pregnancy, but instead favored the act for all the ratings I could garnish. It was considered a badge, a stripe, a feather in the proverbial hat; it was ‘believed’ to be liberating confidence.

At fifteen, it was somewhat the norm to tell tales about your sexual experience. In fact, at that age, many men develop their storytelling abilities. You heard embellished stories that were fictionalized, brightened, adjusted, animated, colored or all. I heard both horror stories and funny stories, about which pill made you yawn or how much of the brush you should use, to just needing only one spray to make you a 'stud' (If you are lost, don’t worry, so was I). In the end the bravado of it all and other factors kept me away from sex until later.

‘Later’ was really until seventeen when too many opportunites just kept passing me by (but let us pause for sec…) Women are groomed by everyone, including poor representations of men, that a woman's virginity is not something to be taken lightly. This is grounded not only biology, but within social norms and our psyche. If we were all logical thinkers, we would all agree that the possibility of pregnancy (which is not only physically demanding but life altering) should place greater enormity on the concept for a woman.

From a strictly ego driven perspective, across the passage of time, the patriarchal world has seen it fit to advocate that honor, fertility, virtue, cures and other ill conceived outcomes can be attained from the virginity of a woman, or in many cases, a girl’s virginity. Women were not expected to have the same experiences or the same mind set as men – it became disposal versus retention, pleasure versus pain and grading versus degrading with it being only fit for the gander.

In an article titled ‘*Virginity around the world – A Brief Article – Statistical Data Included*’ by Marie Claire, the journey of gaining sexual experience was described as important mainly for men, to the point where mothers – around the world – made it their duty to have their sons ‘experienced’. Mothers in India made sure that their sons got the experience even if it meant older aunts, cousins or even your older brother’s wives had to get it out of the way. As told to me by Richard Anderson

05/18/10

Permalink 03:30:14 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Commentary, News

The power of one (May 17, 2010 part 1)

I was really torn between typing an article regarding yesterday's activities, and focusing on the speech giving by Bruce Golding last night in his address to the nation. Then I realized I could simply type two different articles, so you consider this part 1 of a two part series on what was easily one of the most interesting days in Jamaica for the year 2010. A day that will be remembered for many years as one which (or ... I hope it did) opened the eyes of most Jamaicans to the fact that Politicians are simply good at what they do... and that is politics, which is essentially doing all that is necessary to get elected and not being any sort of a serviceman to the public - or should I say this is what Jamaican politicians are about.

However I will get more on that in part 2, right now I am going to focus on Part one. Now over the past many months the regular readers will realize that this journal has had alot of posts which were directly related to extradition of a Jamaican gang  strongman. Now yesterday at about 2 pm my phone started blowing up, I was getting messages left right and center people were concerned and asking me where I am and if I was safe. Upon further investigation I found out that apparently what had happened is that a rumour had began spreading that the government had signed the extradtition request and were preparing to ship out that said gang strongman.

Businessman closes up early**Jamaica Gleaner

Jamaica literally went on lockdown because of it. Dont believe me? Check out this Gleaner Article about the events of yesterday. The first line literally says:

The busy commercial centre of downtown Kingston yesterday afternoon emptied faster than you could say 'Dudus', as word spread that the Government had signed the extradition request from the United States.

Just to give you an idea of how yesterday seemed.

Traffic downtown**Taken from jamaicagleaner

Most major stores downtown closed early and sent all their workers home. Parents went to schools to pickup their children, people rushed to get to the bus stations to go home early and there was general pandemonium on the streets... all because of a rumour.

You see a simple rumour about one man literally scared the pants off of basically every working Jamaican enough to close their businesses and run home. Reason being... we all expected a shootout to start at any second, no wait shootout isnt a strong enough word, we expected to hear an all out war begin almost instantaneously because if the police really wanted to get their hands on this man, its almost sure that it will be a long battle as he does have a really strong gang following.

And this is why I had to name this first part of the 2 part post, the power of one. Because it really shows just how much one person, and a threat to that same one person could literally lock down Jamaica - I say Jamaica because all over Jamaica people started to get nervous as well, Montego Bay, Kingston, Spanish Town all the major commercial areas basically. Because of one man... Scary isn't it.

 

05/16/10

Permalink 09:40:31 am, by amilnal
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Mr. Vegas Donates To Mustard Seed Community

With the recent craziness surrounding the dancehall community, it is good to actually see artistes out there continuing to do positive works in and around the many communities that line the country of Jamaica. So in an effort to assist the children of Martha's House, Reggae/Dancehall artiste, Mr. Vegas recently handed over a cheque for JA$350, 000.

The children who were previously housed at the Mustard Seed Communities home on North Street, Kingston, were displaced after fire engulfed the premises in March of 2009. Since then, they were moved to another Mustard Seed location in Spanish Town, where, with the help of a number of charities, corporate companies and aggrieved persons, new housing has been provided for them.

Mr. Vegas whose correct name is Clifford Smith and is known for numerous hits including the inspirational, I Am Blessed, said, "I went to the first home a few years ago and I was so disheartened and touched by the living situation there and the cheerful spirit of these kids amidst all their trials, that I had to come back and follow up with them and donate money to assist."

"These are kids who are affected by HIV/Aids and though the new home is almost complete, there are other things that they need and supplies always cost money. Sometimes when we go about our daily lives we forget how blessed we are and complain about the smallest of things and there are others out there in more unfortunate circumstances. Let's not continue to turn a blind eye to our neighbor, but help them in any way we can," he said.

The singer was also given US$50 by someone who heard of the children's needs and wished to assist. The money was handed over to those at the home in addition to Mr. Vegas' donation.

05/15/10

Permalink 11:18:09 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Commentary

Police being illogical

When last have you been to a major sporting event at the national stadium. Say a football match or maybe champs, or any athletic event, well if you have been you will realize one thing... Traffic is horrible! The worst part about this immence traffic is not that it exists or that its annoying, but that it is completely and utterly unnecessary. Its unnecessary not because there is a parking problem or that there are too much cars or that there is some town planning issue that could easily be solved by the widening of the road, but it is unnecessary because the police wont do the simple act of changing traffic conditions on days when there will be events of this magnitude. That is all. Its a simple solution that I have seen used only once and with quite the dramatic effect.

Now of course a solution like this would be very easy to implement as there is literally a perfect circle of roads that surround the stadium that could easily be transformed into single directional traffic without disturbing much, this is doubled when one looks at the fact that its not as if we have major sporting events every week at the stadium so its only a minor change. However it would seem to me that the police try not to think of logical solutions to a problem, and instead focus solutions that must come from a 2 year old.

I have also seen policemen that believe that the only way to speak to people is with aggression and shouting, and then they wonder why so many people also show aggression towards them and are afraid to talk to them. It makes no sense really and truly, and is a simple showing of just how illogical the police are.

Another example is with the speed guns and giving out tickets, I have to ask myself sometimes if these policemen really do understand what they are doing, or if they were even trained or taught on how these things work. The first thing is that policemen only have a set number locations where they set their "speed traps", most regular drivers have a decent mental map as to where it is more likely that a policeman will be standing, and are correct 95% of the time, I know this because I have used this mental map myself on countless occasions, its one of those things that keep me from getting too many tickets. Wouldn't it be smarter to mix up where you put speed traps so that you capture more people? A policeman even went as far as to attempt to give me a ticket even though I was behind another car, stating that I because I was travelling behind him must have been going the same speed, this is clearly illogical especially when one looks at how these radar guns work.

The next situation is with random spot checks, they aren't so random because policemen only target cars that are either old, or taxi-men. I laugh at this because it seems to me that policemen believe that drug runners and gunmen, those same people who make millions of dollars daily, cant afford to buy themselves a good looking car. I wont even bother going into just how silly  a thought process is.

However the point of this post is not just to rant about how policement seem to try to out-dumb themselves on a daily basis, but is instead to ask this question... How can a policeman who can not work out a simple solution to a problem such as directing traffic, be given the task of fighting crime? That in itself is a really illogical situation to be in in the first place, but sadly it is the situation that we are currently in.

Dont believe me, go spend a day looking at the decisions of the average policeman/woman and tell me just how many of them inspired your confidence in the police.

Permalink 01:12:07 pm, by amilnal
Categories: Sports, Culture

CARIBBEAN NETBALL ASSOCIATION (CANA) & LIME BRING NETBALL ACTION TO BROOKLYN

Caribbean Netball teams up with the Caribbean’s only full-service telecommunications company to launch the 2010 Summer Netball League. Borough Hall, Brooklyn, New York : 19 Clubs will vie for top honours in this year’s Caribbean Netball Association’s (CANA) Summer Netball League and Caribbean Cup 2010 presented by LIME, the Caribbean’s only full service telecommunications company. The competition starts on June 5. The two sponsoring companies announced their plans at an elegant evening press conference, hosted at historic Borough Hall in Brooklyn.

The annual CANA Netball Summer League presented by LIME, which promises to be an action-packed competition, will kick off with a street parade on Utica Avenue on Saturday, June 5. Each club will parade in their respective colours and will be judged for best dressed and best marching display. “We are thrilled to partner with LIME for 2010. Our Tournaments have always been of the highest standard, and 2010 is expected to be even better,” says CANA’s President Cheryl Howell.

The two sponsoring organizations have come together to celebrate Caribbean communities through the sport of netball. LIME, this year’s Platinum sponsor of the Tournament, has operated in the Caribbean for over 100 years formerly as Cable & Wireless. The company is no stranger to Netball and has supported the sport at various levels across the thirteen Caribbean territories in which it currently operates. Most recently, LIME Grenada announced its Title Sponsorship of the annual Grenada Netball Association Tournament for 2010, an event it has supported for the past 20 years.

LIME’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jamaican Chris Dehring, expressed, “It feels natural for us to reach out to the Caribbean communities in Brooklyn. We have been a part of the fabric of life in the Caribbean for many years and so by extension, we must also recognize the important contribution made to our business and to life in the Caribbean in general by our Diaspora communities.”

LIME’s sponsorship of the CANA 2010 Netball Summer League and Caribbean Cup will go towards assisting in the production of the tournament, uniforms and prizes. LIME will also provide telecommunications services for the tournament and will have its products and services available at the various games scheduled over the summer. This sponsorship comes on the heels of the company’s very successful hosting of the 39th CARIFTA Games in Grand Cayman over the Easter Weekend. The meet was televised across 26 countries in the Caribbean for the first time in its history.

LIME’s Head of Diaspora Sales, Antiguan Colin Benjamin, promises a compelling offer from the company that will excite patrons and allow them to purchase the company’s products and services for themselves or for their friends and families residing in the Caribbean.

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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