They claimed that the Caribbean region will also benefit from the prestige of hosting this event. 2.2 billion people would be watching the Cricket World Cup 2007 on television. No amount of investment in advertising and marketing and sales can capture such an audience for this tourist driven region, or a so dem seh. The football World Cup which will be hosted in South Africa in 2010, after a FIFA decision that it should be located once in turn on the African continent, is expecting a revenue of 6.6 million rands (nearly US$1 million). This should be derived from tourism, building and transport expenditures, an additional inflow of foreign tourists (an income of 16 billion rands, close to 2% of GDP), and 130,000 temporary jobs linked to the event.
Impressive, right? Not really if you take into account that these are very very optimistic projections, you will see that often times the people of developing are sold on a dream. Developing countries are currently struggling with providing adequate security, transport and infrastructure for their citizens. Attempts to host these large sporting events will only emphasize these problems. The local police force would be spread thin across the country thus limiting their capability in providing safety for both fans of the respective games and citizens alike. The renovation and/or construction of new facilities will leave the countries with 'white elephants' after the events are finished(for all Jamaicans see the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawney). From an economic point of view, the cost of building a new stadium is not best described by the amount of money needed to build the facility but rather the value to society from the same amount of capital spent on the next best public project. The fact that the Jamaican government could spend US$105 million on a event, while nation building sectors such as education and health continue to be under funded shows that certain public officials have misplaced the priority of its people.
In conclusion, while hosting sporting events like the World Cup in either cricket or football has benefits such as instant publicity and revenue for the host country or region, only countries who can afford it should be allowed to do so. There should be measures implemented by sporting governing bodies that test the feasibility of hsting certain events in a particular country or region. These measures should be determined by the cost of putting the event against the proposed revenue to be earned. The overall problem is not what happens before or during these high profile events, but in fact the aftermath of such on a developing conutry's society. Unfortunately, the final cost of staging these events may become a weight under which developing countries will ultimately crumble.
So earlier this week I was receiving messages non stop that popular dancehall artist Oneil Edwards of the group Voicemail was shot and was in the hospital recovering from his injuries. The message also called for a word of prayer for a speedy recovery. One day later I got a message from my friend telling me that he had heard rumours that another dancehall artist Mad Cobra, real name Ewart Everton was also shot. I nearly disregarded this as a rumor (as I haven't even heard it on the radio) but then I thought back on recent trend of news media falling way behind word of mouth. Needless to say, the next morning the news had finally caught up and had confirmed that Cobra was in fact shot.
The entertainment fraternity and the public were all surprised... I was not.
Now I am not trying to beat down on Dancehall artists and follow the crowd and say that the artists deserve this because they were always glorifying the gun through their music and their lyrics. While I have stated that music has immense power over the masses I still do hold some amount of belief that good parenting is also an important factor and so will not completely agree with this school of thought... though there are some merits to the argument. After all it seems that most of the dancehall artists do sing about the gangster life, and I guess getting shot and having near death experiences is a part of it. However this is not necessarily the intention of dancehall artists and they only aim to be a form of entertainment.
However thats not the reason why I am not surprised, I am simply not surprised because of the high rate of murder that is taking place in Jamaica currently. In case everybody has forgotten since the gleaner stopped publishing the murder numbers last week (or maybe about 2 weeks ago, I am not that sure), there are nearly 6 people being murdered everyday, we arent that big a country, its bound to reach all levels of society, artists are no exception.
**Taken from Jamaica Observer
I do find myself greatly disappointed that suddenly because a dancehall artist has been shot the following happened:
1) Artists suddenly see a good reason to stop glorifying the gangster life and gun violence:
It has been said for years now, that dancehall artists are doing too much to make violence look good and nobody wanted to heed the call - Or I should say none of the popular artists saw the need to heed the call. However all of a sudden because two artists were attacked I can guarantee that within the next month or two there will be alot of songs preaching a positive message, and then Jamaican artists will return to the status quo of gun lyrics.
**Taken from Jamaica Observer
2) People are suddenly realizing that the crime rate in Jamaica is too high:
Despite all that the Gleaner has been doing to publicise just how sickening crime and violence has become to Jamaica, it seems that all of a sudden people are realizing that its gotten out of hand. Not because you cant turn on the news on any media without hearing that somebody has been killed, or because the statistics are showing that, or even because its now scary to be out in the early hours of the morning. But because a popular personality was shot. This. Is. Rubbish! What kind of mindset do Jamaicans currently have?
3) Suddenly I'm being asked to say a prayer for two people out of 600 victims
Ok this may sound a little harsh, after all this is somebody's life we are talking about here, this is somebody's brother, somebody's father, somebody's uncle, somebody's cousin, and somebody's friend. An attack on anybody is something that should be something that shocks and appalls all people. However I refuse to believe that because a popular person was attacked, I must now pay special attention to that person instead of the great many number of persons. Instead of praying for just two people I instead say we should pray for everybody. Pray for Jamaica, Pray that all the other people who have been attacked will also recover, Pray that the people who have passed before us are in a better place... and not only pray but also start doing some action. After all it has been stated that God helps those that help themselves, and we do need to become active in stopping crime, by whatever way we can.
I'm sorry if I sound cold, I believe that every life is precious and every person has a possibility to be productive in some way and help the human race to strive and survive... However I do also believe that many Jamaicans are simply being stupid, and if this is what it requires to get people to realize the kind of society that we live in, then I believe that we really need to wake up and stop being stupid. Instead of saying get will soon to only Oneil Edwards, say get well soon to every Oneil that is also in the hospital, and every Andre, and every Susan and, to everybody.
Ok I think the topic is pretty much self explanatory, I simply believe that right now there is no other choice. All of the months of news gathering and speculation and frustration in parliament has finally come to a halt and Prime Minister Bruce Golding has admitted that the entire extradition and Manatt Phelps and Phillips Saga was sanctioned by none other than him... acting under his "party hat". Now when I saw party hat of course I dont mean a literal hat that you wear at or get at parties, no I am simply paraphrasing what Bruce stated in parliament, as he said that he did not sanction the help under the name of the government of Jamaica, but under the Jamaica Labour Party.
**Taken from Jamaica Gleaner
I'm sure all my intelligent readers are now sporting a confused look on their face, similar to what one would hold if I simply typed a bunch of jumbled letters and called it a sentence. There is an obvious paradox in what he is saying and we all seem to know it except him. How can one simply wash hisself of responsibility for his actions, by stating that it wasn't done on behalf of his position, but on behalf of what gave him his position? Imagine a policeman stating that when he arrested somebody (even though he is on duty and in uniform), he wasn't acting as a police officer at the time and was instead making a citizen's arrest. One must then ask, how exactly am I to know when you are acting as party leader, and as country leader?
The extremely funny thing about this entire debacle is that just a few years ago, Bruce when accusing the PNP of illegally signing a lucrative contract with trafigura, stated so eloquently that there is no way to differentiate between your party hat and your government hat while you are in power. TVJ made sure to highlight this statement of his at the beginning of the news on Wednesday further cementing the fact that our current prime minister is really only describable by one word.
Now the reason why I state that Bruce's only current available action is to resign is this. How can I now put my trust in a leader who is simple going to bend the rules whenever he feels that it is necessary to do so? How can I trust a leader who currently clearly has no moral authority to fight against crime? He has none, because he himself has done a criminal act by trying to protect somebody accused of being nothing less than Jamaica's number one criminal. Jamaica's current and previous government extradited people by the bucketfuls until this one person was requested and then all of a sudden, something changed and extradition is out of the question... why? The only reason why he is being requested is to put him on trial, it is not as if the US government has a trained firing squad at the ready to kill him as soon as he lands, they're going to give him a full criminal trial.
**Taken from Jamaica Observer
All in all the implications of this admission by the prime minister stretch far beyond what I can put in a discussion here. Of course the next major question is what else has Bruce lied about? How are we to know that anything he has done in parliament was actually done and wasn't just his idea of an April Fools joke to Jamaica? Currently the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (and also the Jamaica Exporters Association and Jamaica Manufacturers association and others) have had to stop their discussion on creating a "Partnership for Transformation", this is because this partnership was to create a social contract with the government for ways to agree on ways to look at the rule of law, fiscal performance and employment strategies. However like the rest of Jamaica, I am sure that the PSOJ and company are finding it hard to agree with Bruce on anything at the moment.
The entire country has now lost its entire confidence in Bruce golding, he is not worthy of leading Jamaica in any aspect internationally and there is only one way for him to fully atone for what he has done, and that way is to tender his resignation. Nobody who willfully protects criminals can state to me that he really wants to fight crime in Jamaica, no one who lies in parliament can try to tell me what is right and wrong and can never gain my trust. I now have no qualms against calling Bruce a Lier of massive proportions - I would call him some other things but I do not think it would be appropriate.
Bruce Golding and your corrupt party, please resign not just from your current posts but from the life of politics.
Opening to rave reviews and sold-out performances in Jamaica, a strong buzz for the debut of "Serious Business" has now taken over the New York Tri-state area. Capitalizing on the formula of theater and dancehall, Irish and Chin celebrated sold-out stagings of "Like Father Like Son" and "Bashment Granny" in 2009.
"We think this is a great way of bringing Jamaican theater live and direct to consumers in the New York Tri-state area," says Garfield "Chin" Bourne of Irish and Chin. "With the amount of things going on in this world, everyone needs laughter some times."
The gut-busting punch of "Serious Business" will surely keep audiences in stitches. In "Serious Business," one pastor finds himself amidst controversy in the church, home and street. As problems unfold for the pastor, his hidden agenda may just get exposed. With the church as the play's backdrop, sheer laughter embodies the play from start to finish.
Tickets for "Serious Business" are available in advance at numerous ticket outlets (log on to irishandchin.com). The Brooklyn show will take place on Saturday, June 5 at Tilden High School (doors open at 7:00 pm/showtime 8:00 pm), while the Queens show will go down on Sunday, June 6 at York College (doors open 5:30 pm - showtime 7:00 pm).
On March 16, 2010, MP Dr. Peter Phillips questioned the Jamaican Prime Minister, Bruce Golding in Parliament about the relationship between the Jamaican Government and the US law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips. Does (or did) the Government of Jamaica have (or had) a contract with the United States law firm. Is (or was) the contract related to the negotiation of contentious extradition treaties. The Prime Minister categorically denied that there was any such contract.
Yesterday, May 12, 2010, after months of misleading the people of Jamaica, the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding admited in a statement to Parliament that in his capacity as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), he gave authorization for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips to help lobby the United States on the extradition issue.
As quoted in The Gleaner, "I sanctioned the initiative, knowing that such interventions have, in the past, proven to be of considerable value in dealing with issues involving governments of both countries," the prime minister told Parliament. “I made it clear, however, that this was an initiative to be undertaken by the party, not by or on behalf of the Government."
I admit I am not a political scholar; I do have a difficulty understanding Mr. Golding’s two headed approach to this situation. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips could not have lobbied on behalf of the JLP party in this issue. They would have had to be acting on behalf of the Jamaican government. So why would the head of the JLP, Mr. Bruce Golding, be entering into a contract with them and not the head of the Jamaican Government, Mr. Bruce Golding. And who paid the bill of nearly USD50, 000.00.
I must say, today is a very sad day for Jamaica. If Mr. Golding truly believes he did nothing wrong, why didn’t he answer Mr. Peter Phillips on March 16, 2010 with the information stated on May 12, 2010 in Parliament. Does Mr. Golding think that all Jamaicans are idiots? Not to mention his arrogant attitude which seems to suggest, ‘how dare we question him’. Someone needs to remind him that his responsibility as Prime Minister of Jamaica is to serve the people of Jamaica.
In the midst of all this, the extradition request involving alleged crime lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke has not been dealt with. Our children are being targeted and killed; in fact we have an average murder rate of 4 to 5 persons per day. Our civil servants, teachers, nurses, police etc are all restless. Our industries are all being sold, sugar, the airline, bauxite. We are a nation in crisis.
How are we to ever trust the leader of our nation again? Personally, I cannot.
Another fairly recent phenomenon is cable television stations such as HYPE T.V and RE T.V, which are run solely on advertising dollars; dedicated to reflect images of the dancehall to viewers, whether they are based locally or overseas. These stations create employment and also inadvertently created a void which was quickly filled by production of local music videos. Those video directors import or rent cameras and lighting equipment specifically for the shoot, plus hire staff for editing and post –production purposes. They also rent locations and hire hair and makeup artiste, stylists, food merchants and transportation. Musicphill also mentioned the emergence of the mix CD industry. “If a man want a music him a go buy it and provide employment fah dem (the CD merchants). I remember back inna Cassette Jones days, he provided employment. When him a go mek a cassette or a CD him a check di printer. Him have somebody weh design the cassette, people waan buy supp’im weh mark Cassette Jones pon it. Dem nah guh buy di cassette if it just mark S90 pon it. So him a pay the designer and di printer.”
Reggae and Dancehall acts, such as Richie Stephens and Capleton, have been recently using their money or their influence to give back to local communities. They sometimes promote an event themselves with a vision of using part proceeds to help schools, health or activity centres. Artistes themselves create employment by hiring often times people from their communities to work with them. These jobs range from important ones such as tour manager, cook or chef, security to more obscure ones such as cell phone holder and head spliff builder. These artistes also sometimes carry on overseas tours with them young youths on a form of apprenticeship which teaches them about the music business first hand. Many a dancehall/reggae act have been themselves “apprentices” who were taught the trade by older acts. Some artistes like Shaggy for instance use their earnings to create their own record labels. This will have to be run like any formal business complete with accountants and lawyers to handle the legalities.
Artistes also influence the economy by initiating consumer trends. The dancehall space itself responds to the prompting of its artistes, especially when it comes on to fashion. Local acts have been known to endorse certain types of clothing which in turn causes said clothing to become quickly unavailable. Local artistes will also wear the clothes of local tailors, fashion designers and dressmakers. When a local designer secures a sale to an artiste, they are guaranteed not only that sale but hundreds of possible new costumers as a result of the exposure gotten by the clothes worn.
The various sound systems around the island also contribute to the economy of the nation. John Constantinides as writes in, The sound system: contributions to Jamaican music and the Montréal dancehall scene: “With respect to the human element of a sound system, several roles can be isolated which are necessary for a proper performance. These are: sound man (or box man), selector, mixer (or disc-jock), and deejay. Some sound systems also include dancers as part of their performance, but the core roles are the four listed above. The sound man (or box man) role involves the setting up and maintenance of the physical sound system. The selector (or selecta) chooses the records to be played. The mixer (or disc-jock) simply refers to the role of stringing or mixing together various records in sequence.”
This is an example of only four of the main employees of the sound system. The sound system also needs to be transported so it either hires or own trucks to carry its equipment. Some of the major sound systems across the island such as Stone Love, Rebel T and Renaissance, have also built up local conglomerates that employ their own secretaries, booking agents and public relations officers.
You know there are not many holidays that I really support, for example I'm not exactly a fan of Valentines day as you would realize if you've read my previous posts on the topic, I'm also not a fan of thanksgiving day either, not because I'm not american but because the entire premise of the day is a lie as none of what is celebrated on that day actually happened, the same goes for halloween and essentially any day that is nothing more than a reason to get people to spend money randomly throughout the year. These commercial holidays are all about spending and as such get much of my ire. However there are some days which to me do require a great amount of celebration and pizazz, Mothers day is one of them.
You see mother's day is a day where we celebrate the women in our lives that decided to walk around with what essentially starts as a parasite for 9 months, and then walk around with that parasite for another 2 or so years before it can somewhat manage itself. And then you have to monitor that same parasite for another 16 years before you can finally release it into the world to fend for itself, sometimes you also get more than one parasite to take care of. I make it sound really simple but it really isnt, I know this because I've been around alot of mothers and seen the different levels of crap they have to go through... it ain't pretty.
First of all theres the whole removal of Social life that these mothers have to go through to care for their parasites (well the good mothers), no alcohol, no excessive partying, the bladder being reduced to nothing more than a tea cup (no I mean the actual size of a tea cup, not those giant cups you get from starbucks or wherever you get tea... I'm not a tea person), and the cravings, I guess they are brought on by the hormones but I remember my cousin waking up at 11 am to make festival to soothe her cravings.
And then there is childbirth... I dont even have to go into how much of a pain this is, its actually indescribable, well except by Bill Cosby who stated that it's the same as pulling your bottom lip over your entire head.
And then after the child (i'll stop saying parasite) is born where you have to deal with a child that has the innate ability to find danger even in the safest conditions possible. Then as the child gets older this danger is matched by the fact that the child also becomes a dust magnet, if you dont believe me, put a child in full white in a clean room, any clean room... give him/her an hour and then I guarantee you will wonder where the child obtained mud, grass, and what looks like wine stains, this is doubled if its a male child.
Really and truly though I am over simplifying just how much mothers have to go through, and I believe we should all be thankful for the fact that our mothers decided to stick it out and gave us life and love. I know the kind of child I've been (lets just say... a trouble maker), and I can imagine that dealing with me was no simple task. So all in all I have to first say thank you and happy mother's day to my mother (I already gave her her present). And also I have to wish a happy mother's day to all the other mothers in the world who have done so much for us all.
If we were to look back a year or so in the news we would've been bombarded with the news that the government was planning to implement a fuel tax. Later on in the year we would learn that there was gonna be an additional tax on the previous tax as a way to fill the coffers of the government so they would be able to fix the roads. Yes it was explicitly stated that all the money collected from fuel taxes would go directly into a road maintenance fund (not necessarily of that name). Because of this I guess Jamaicans were not subject to a repeat of the previous gas riots which essentially drew all production to a standstill for around 2 days, when the previous government tried to charge a tax on fuel.
However not to my surprise all of these promises by the government were nothing more than just that... promises. The government has come out and stated that the fuel tax money will not be used to build the roads, but will instead be used to fund a loans from the chinese government. It was also added that if the parish councils wish to have their roads fixed, instead of the government dipping into the revenue from the fuel tax, they (PC's) will have to dip into their own pockets and pay a total of J$306 million to the Parochial Revenue fund (PRF). A figure which will matched by a US$100 million investment from the Chinese.
Taking money from the PRF is going to weaken the local spending that is keeping a lot of people afloat. Contrary to the government's belief (or I should state in my opinion the government's belief) if you take the money from the parish council you are taking money which could be used in community building, feeding the poor, clothing the poor etc., there is so much more that could be done with the millions of dollars which will be taken from the Parish Councils than to build roads. Road building is not the only job of the parish council, there is so much more that could be done.
According to the article published in the gleaner:
Ivan Anderson, chairman of the St Ann Parish Council and mayor of St Ann's Bay, confirmed that the mayors had agreed to the position in principle.
"It has not yet been ratified. We will take it to the council next week because it is something that the minister has asked us to sell to our councillors and we don't know if they will all agree because our PRF would be significantly affected," Anderson said yesterday.
But Colin Fagan, the opposition spokesman on local government, said the local authorities were wary of the minister's offer to share US$15 million of the Chinese loan among the councils.
"The councillors are worried about giving up their monthly subventions for the next four months without any binding commitment from the prime minister, the Cabinet or even a discussion at the level of Parliament," Fagan said.
He contended that parish councils have been burnt by the fuel tax, which was introduced last year to help with the repair and upgrade of infrastructure.
According to Fagan, the parish councils only supported the fuel tax, announced in the 2009-2010 Budget, because they were told funds would be made available to the councils to repair parochial roads.
“Ministers Montague and (Mike) Henry (transport and works minister) must tell us what happened to the gas tax money before the parish councils make any decisions," Fagan argued.
A statement which I completely concur with as we really do deserve some form of explanation. But alas, there are just some pieces of information which it seems the public is not privy to.
Now of course there is the positive that, ok the chinese are investing in Jamaica, and it seems (only seems) that the roads might be fixed. But there is also the issue of, why is the government lieing to us constantly about their plans and what they have done. If the government had stated outright that they intended to use the tax to pay for debt servicing, then I am positive that this would be accepted by the Jamaican public as a reasonable explanation. Instead we are fed these lies about what they plan to do knowing full and well that they have no such real intentions.
I do believe it is time for a real explanation though, we cannot keep being treated as if we are idiots.
Local originators of the blockbuster Good Times party series, The Quorum and New York based promoters, Irie Jam Media, partnered to secure the necessary documents to export the brand to the USA.
"New York has a large Jamaican population, it was a natural choice for the first party overseas," explained The Quorum executive member, Jerome Hamilton. "We knew lots of people visit Jamaica for Good Times, it was time to take Good Times to them," he added.
And take Good Times they did. The Good Times signature feature - the best , most popular music from the 19somethings cunningly mixed with minimal talk - was ably delivered by FAME FM's DJ Kurt Riley. "The Party Animal" moved effortlessly between genres to the delight of West Indians in New York as evidenced by the gyrating and screaming of Good Times party lovers. Not to be outdone, Irie Jam Radio DJ's Dubmaster Chris and DJ Roy mixed it up for the crowd in total enjoyment of the Good Times concept.