Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blue Seams Again

Well, it appears that the 'Blue Seams' are at it again.

In today's Observer we are told that they beat two female police officers.

I was particulary amazed at the sentence that said ,' The constable grabbed the phone from the sergeant, allegedly punched her in the mouth, handcuffed her and hauled her off to the police station, saying he would be charging her with impersonating the police.' This after the two ladies identified themselves as police officers!

What is wrong with these people? Not only are they really dumb (why didn't they ask for ID? How can they automaticallyt assume these ladies were impersonating police officers, and even if they had been the first response is to beat them?!!!), but are violent and lack the powers of reasoning.

It's a pity a higher calibre of people don't apply for these jobs.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What are we Really Worth?

I was reading some news stories yesterday and one of the major ones related to abortion.

It seems that some women are terminating pregnancies at as late as 20 weeks, because their unborn child has a club foot, cleft palate or in one case, twelve fingers.

I was so saddened and angry when I read this. These are all easily fixed problems - I should know I was born with twelve fingers and soon after birth the extra little finger on each hand was removed. And this was 1972!

One couple 's child had one hand missing and the father gave his reason for aborting this child as he (the child) wouldn't be able to do normal things like play sport!

In some cases, people's GPs were recommending they abort for these reasons.

I am so disgusted! What is wrong with people? Words cannot express how upset this has made me.

I know there has been a lot of debate around abortion and in some cases particularly when a woman is raped or if proceeding will jeopardise a woman's life, or if the foetus is incredibly handicapped and will surely die I can see why people would want to. But because of an extra finger that can easily be removed?

People really need to reasses their humanity and what they believe they are here for. They need to consider the implications of parenthood. To me these people are monsters - to want to terminate a pregnancy when you are five months along to me is ridiculous.

I mean by five months your bump is noticeable, the child is kicking - it is real. What kind of a callous bastard would kill their child at this stage - because of an easily fixed cosmetic problem?

The obsession with appearances has become insidious.

What is happening to us?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Is ‘Tolerance’ a shovel to bury racist sentiment?

I don’t usually indulge in semantics, but with respect to tolerance I believe the word affects behaviour.

Here in the UK there is often talk about how ‘tolerant’ the Brits are of ethnic minorities. I was just reading a story regarding the plans FIFA has to clamp down on racism at the World Club and the article exhorted England fans to exhibit their tolerance.

This pisses me off. To tolerate something says to me that in spite of the unpleasant nature of the thing, you, as the superior party will magnanimously put up with it.

I checked the meaning of the word in the dictionary and I got several versions:

To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.
To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others).
To put up with; endure.
Medicine. To have tolerance for (a substance or pathogen).

Fair enough if the British use meaning #1, but in practice anyone with a brain can see most don’t. They adopt the general meaning or meaning # 2; they ‘put up with’ people who aren’t like them.

The general meaning ‘To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit’ assumes that non whites have to be ‘permitted’ exist in a predominantly white country. This is ridiculous but it is the attitude you get from many white British people. It’s the attitude that is the pre-cursor to the oft repeated comment ‘Why don’t you go back to where you came from,’ i.e. we have been permitted to live in the UK, us being here has nothing to do with the rights of birth or the contribution being made to the economy through work, tax paying and social volunteering.

What I want from the endemic everyday racist (I’m not talking BNP or neo Nazis now – they’re often beyond redemption) is for them to embrace ‘tolerance’ according to meaning number 1 above. I want them to recognise that non-whites are fully fledged human beings with all that goes along with that. I want them to recognise that some of us who are not only a different colour but may have been brought up in a different culture, are just as deserving of respect as they are – that difference does not mean inferiority. I want them to dig deep (for many they’d have to dig incredibly deep) and find some intelligence and then use it. An understanding and respect of other people’s culture and beliefs does not mean agreement with – and those of us who are of different cultures and skin colours know this. For example, either read the Bible and talk to Christians or read the Koran and talk to Muslims to get an understanding of what they are about or refrain from making judgements based on ignorance. Choose between becoming informed or shutting the hell up.

For the over eager apologists also, I say the same thing. Use your brains and if you haven’t got any, resurrect them. Don’t do things like abolishing all signs of Christmas because you think it’ll offend the Muslims – even though you’ve never asked a Muslim’s opinion on the matter.

For centuries non white people have had to tolerate white people and Western culture and we have done so in both senses of the words. Because for the most part white western cultures have dominated ours we have had no choice. But we have also on a grand scale tolerated white western culture in the1st sense of the word – we have a deep understanding of white western world and a respect for many aspects. And we don’t go around in a false reality treating white people oddly because of some imagined characteristics we have ascribed to them.

Some time ago some well know sporting figure got into serous trouble for berating a black player in a racial way – I think he called him a black bast…d or something. This has happened many times with different people and the response is always the same. They apologise for saying it and apologise for offending back people and basically say they didn’t mean it, they aren’t racist, some of my best friends are black . .. .you get the gist.

This is rubbish and a lie. Let’s say you are angry with a particular person, very angry, what’s the likelihood you would castigate him by yelling ‘You blasted paedophile you!’ unless of course you felt he was one? It wouldn’t come out I tell you because you wouldn’t have believed such a thing. You might call him a number of rude names, might swear a bit but you wouldn’t say that.

White people, who ‘in a moment of pique’ racially abuse people are racists – they’ve just been keeping those sentiments buried beneath layers of’ tolerance.’

They need to own up to the fact that their sentiments are not offensive to black people but are irrational, unintelligent, wrong and anti human and therefore should be offensive to any well meaning person. And if they are interested in bettering themselves as human beings they need to root out their racist feelings.

Get to know people to find out what they are about. And the only way you can do this is to spend some time with them. Only then can you truly recognise and respect them and begin to root out racism. The non-racist white people I know are intelligent and spend time with people who are not like themselves and really take an interest in them.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Western media

The western media often baffles me. With all the advantages that go with being in a first world economy they still can’t get basic facts right – if it has nothing to do with their world. I remember reading an article in one of the dailies about professor Nettleford which said he went to Cornwall College in Kingston! It went on to say many other fictional things. Now for heaven’s sake, if you are doing such a story, surely it is the simplest thing to check your facts. No credible source that I know of would say Cornwall College is in Kingston so obviously this was a sloppily researched piece.

In that same newspaper the other day I read a piece about Hugo Chavez’s visit to the UK. Now in this piece there were no glaring factual errors that I could make out but the journalist’s western bias, lack of knowledge and reasoning were obvious with the slant he took at certain points.

The journalist outlines Chavez’s rise and his polices. It speaks about the policies as though they are excellent ones serving the needs of the poor in Venezuela.

Then inexplicably in the next paragraph the journalist asks if in the end Chavez would turn out to be a tin pot tyrant? He then goes on to talk about how dangerous it is that Chavez is friendly with Castro and Mugabe. Chavez qualifies these friendships later on mind you so don’t take that comment at face value.

So the journalist paints a picture of a political leader who has done pretty sound things for his people and the natural progression from that point is to speculate as to how long it will take for him to turn into a tyrant! Unbelievable! If he was a serious journalist, and he wanted to make that point then he should present evidence that Chavez is likely to turn that way and I don’t believe that being friendly with Castro and Mugabe is evidence.

I said earlier that Chavez qualified his friendships with Castro and Mugabe. Agree with him or not this is what he said. He said he doesn’t believe there’s a lack of freedom of speech in Cuba. He maintained that if you approach Cuba from a Western point of view you might think there is a lack of freedom of speech but he maintains that many people express themselves on a variety of matters.

In this I would agree with him in that in Cuba people express themselves on a variety of matters, they just can’t express themselves on a variety of others so there is limited freedom of speech. But let’s not be hypocrites, the same pertains in the west. Just ask that 80 year old guy who was ejected from the Labour Party conference last year!

Chavez goes on to state that electing a President or Prime Minister every five years and having press and TV doesn’t necessarily mean there’s freedom of speech. He stated that every country has its own model, which is true.

With respect to Mugabe Chavez said that he believed Mugabe had been demonised too much. He said that ‘we all make mistakes’ and recommended the journalist interview Mr. Mugabe himself. He said that Mr. Mugabe’s actions must be viewed within the larger context of the history of Zimbabwe, colonialism and racism there.

After this, the journalist states that is it odd in the extreme that Venezuela is a free country with a free press allowed to criticise Chavez and yet Chavez is apparently defending some ‘appalling dictators.’

Doesn’t this tell the stupid reporter something? Why doesn’t he read the Lancaster agreement and a bit of Zimbabwe history? Sure Mugabe in the last 10 years or so has gone nuts and has made his people suffer terribly and this can’t be forgiven. But you must look at what he has become in the wider context of years of frustrating dealings with the white racists in his own country. Many also say his younger second wife who has a taste for the good life has a lot to do with his craziness.

The journalist seems to believe that having a free country like Venezuela and being friends with men like Castro and Mugabe are mutually exclusive. This is why the west is so unsuccessful in bridging gaps with countries of opposing viewpoints. For them it’s either think as we do or you are the enemy. And they call themselves civilised?

The piece ‘inspiringly’ ends on the typically ‘positive’ note Western articles about non-white western leaders usually end on. It is widely believed that the recent coup which temporarily ousted the democratically elected Chavez was backed by the US. In light of this after Chavez promises to blow up Venezuela’s oil fields rather than let the Americans gain control of them if they try another coup, the journalist speculates whether or not Chavez returns to a country with positive programmes benefiting the people or a country of increasing Castrosism, fascist coups and burning oil fields.

Surely there’s more pertinent and uplifting things to end on than that?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Keep it zipped

The Gleaner Letter of the Day some time last week was among other things, a call for fidelity in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

I strongly back that call. It’s time for damn foolishness to stop!

The truth of the matter is that in the two areas of the world with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence, (sub Saharan Africa and the Caribbean) more heterosexual women are getting the disease than any other group. And who are they often getting it from? Their husbands or boyfriends – cheating swine that many of them are. Let me add murderous cheating swine to that. HIV/AIDS has been around for more than 20 years now and yet you still have criminally stupid and uncaring men screwing around which is bad enough, but on top of that screwing around without protection!

The sad thing is that in Africa and the Caribbean, it is often the man in society who has the strongest bargaining position when it comes to sex and using condoms.

Women, well, those of them who are free to, should play their part and refuse to have sex without a condom. Unfortunately what do you do if you are married? I know, you want to trust your husband – and you should but if you are wrong it could be deadly.

To the ladies I would say this. In my experience if I’m honest with myself I have always known when a man was cheating on me. It starts out as a suspicion which could then be backed up by easily obtained evidence. Where we fail ladies is emotionally. We know the man is cheating but we don’t want to face it and so we go on living a lie. This might be fine if African and Caribbean were largely responsible – but many aren’t. And many women who cheat with them aren’t either and don’t insist on protection or believe the liar when he says he uses it with his regular woman. (I ask you, you are cheating with a man, i.e. lying with him - in both ways - and you believe him when he says rubbish like that? Come on!)

Anyway, nine times out of ten we know our men, really know them. If your man is a good man, I respect that, hang on to him and treat him like a king. And there are good husbands that you can trust to be faithful and responsible and can with surety have unprotected sex with.

However, if he’s a lying, irresponsible cheat, you must leave him; your life may depend upon it. If he’s a lying responsible cheat who you know wouldn’t put you at risk by having unprotected sex, or if you know he’s not willing to put himself at risk and you want to stay, then fine. What I’m saying is that the time when you could look the other way is over. Now you’ve got to watch out for your own safety.

To the men I would say start acting like responsible intelligent adults. I know grown ass well educated men who still have unprotected indiscriminate sex with multiple partners. Come on fool! Wake the hell up! And for God’s sake stop the damn running up and down after everything in a skirt with a pulse. Many bad things can happen when you have that attitude. Consider this; I had a friend who loved the running up and down after woman indiscriminately who ran after one who turned out not to be if you know what I mean!

Take the time to find beauty and satisfaction in being with one woman at a time. And if you can’t then use a damn condom.

And specifically you married men, decide if you want to be married or not and act accordingly. And if all else fails and you can’t bury the dawg nature, then at least wear a condom and don’t put your wife at risk.

Too many black people are dying because of HIV AIDS and any way you want to explain the high prevalence amongst us (poverty, ignorance, culture etc) which are all valid arguments - barring drug users, it comes down to this – too many black people are having unprotected sex with too many people.

If you have sex, do it with one person exclusively and if you can’t use a condom. Otherwise we perish.

On another note, we really have to question our respective cultures that say the ram goat attitude of men must prevail – not for any other reason than IT IS KILLING US! We must change our culture in this respect.

There are whole generations that are being wiped out. Is it really worth the cheap thrill of conquering yet another woman? Each African and Caribbean man must do his part by being sexually responsible and by encouraging his bredrin to do the same.

I am pleading with all of you – keep it zipped nuh? We can’t afford to have any more die.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Read the Bible for the Facts

With all the fuss about the Da Vinci Code I thought I’d put my 2cents worth in.

I shall start by saying I am a Christian and this of course directs how I form my opinions on everything. Also, I have read the book and seen the film – which is more than I can say for some of the critics of both!

I see the book as a work of fiction. I in no way believe any of the theories put forward and neither have they shaken my faith. Indeed they shouldn’t shake a strong Christian’s faith – where there is danger is with new Christians – but if they ask questions of a more experienced Christian, they shouldn’t have a problem getting straightened out on the many untruths in the book.

Now, quite a few Christians mostly Catholics, are outraged at the theories put forth in the book and have demonstrated against the film. For me this is an idiotic response. As a Christian, you know what you believe – you seriously can’t expect non-Christians to share your reverence for Christ – they don’t, get over it!
What these people should be busying themselves with is spreading the gospel to as many people as possible directly and through their lives as witnesses. For many non-Christians, the only time they see a Christian in action is when they are protesting about non-Christians behaving in a non-Christian fashion! This is itself irrational. How do you expect a non-Christian to behave?

Energy is best spent spreading the gospel and supporting our fellow Christians whose faith might need shoring up. Parading in front of a cinema with a placard helps no-one but the distributors of the film who just make more money based on the publicity you provide free of cost.

Should Christians read the book or watch the film? Up to you. I think if your faith is weak, I think you shouldn’t, but if your faith is strong it would be helpful to watch it to know how to talk to non-Christians about it. I don’t find the theories put forward distasteful oddly enough – they just seem to be ludicrous. I feel a sense of incredulity for anyone who believes they could be true, Christian or non-Christian. There’s so much historical evidence that a lot of it is fiction.

To be honest, before I read the book this year, I had never heard of this theory. If I had been asked about it by a non-Christian I would have been shocked and disgusted (how I felt when I read the book) and unable to answer.

After digesting it a bit and going to the Bible for backative I was able to be more objective. Dan Brown has constructed the book in an excellent fashion – it is a page turner. Personally I don’t believe it is right to produce a story perpetuating what I believe to be lies in order to get sales – but that’s me, I’m a Christian. Perhaps Mr. Brown is not and probably operates according to different rules to me.

For anyone having doubts or questions about the theories put forth in his book I strongly encourage you to talk to your minister or if you aren’t a Christian and don’t go to church then find a minister at your local church and go and ask some relevant questions, or even better, go to an Alpha course. Google it if you don’t know what they are.

In all of this remember - there is no mention whatsoever in the Bible of any grail. What Christ did after the last supper when he was crucified for us all is the important thing to consider, not one of the many cups he may or may not have drunk out of once.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stand By Your Man?

Work has been very busy during the past week - probably because they made me redundant on Monday! But that's another story.

Anyway, because I've been so busy I am catching up with my news reading. Was reading in the Observer the story of the husband and wife alleged taxi runners who were beat up in Half Way Tree. The story states that the wife came to her husband's defence, and jumped in between him and the police in order to stop them beating him. Wonderful!

It later says that in the melee, the husband managed to get his car keys back from the officer (who had taken them from him earlier) and he subsequently jumped into his car and escaped leaving his wife to stay and tek lick! Charming!

Stand by your man by all means ladies but make sure he's still next to you while you're doing it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Body Over Soul?

Was talking to a friend in Ja. on the phone last night, (well early this morning for me). During the course of the conversation the inevitable question of crime and living in foreign vs. living back home came up. I asked my friend what he thought about the economics of migrating. And he surprised me. Many of my friends think of me as an outsider/traitor for coming back to live in the UK. (Those who think I’m an outsider believe I am where I belong as I was born here – the 19 years in Ja. count for nought according to them).

He said that he doesn’t blame anyone who can, from packing up and coming to try their luck. I complained that I don’t like the social aspect of the UK – it’s cold and uninviting and largely uninspiring. And he said to me that that is unfortunately the pay off for being able to live comfortably (financially and socially).

I do concede, and so has Seymour on many occasions, that it is nice to be able to buy a house or two, to be able to purchase outright a nice car – to be able to travel and eat out whenever you wan, to be able to provide for your kids. It’s also fantastic to be able to hang out of a window, and to be able to walk around the city centre, or the neighbourhood at any hour of the night without fear of being attacked.

And yet, it isn’t really enough, the soul dies in ‘foreign’. Trouble is in Ja. the body is more likely to die. You can go on with a living body and a dying soul and try to revive the soul with frequent visits back to Ja. (which you can afford working in ‘foreign’). Unfortunately your soul can’t survive within a dead body which you are much more likely to be if you live in Ja.

Here’s to hoping the crime and economic situation can be ameliorated as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Save the Ice Cream Van!

The local papers here were saying the other day that the health mafia are clamouring for the eradication of the ice cream van. Apparently they aid in the bad eating habits of UK children.

Come on! It's not like each kid gets an ice cream cone in replacement of a meal each day! Perhaps once a week they'll have one for a treatbut that's it.

The story did seem to focus on the vans going anywhere near schools, but I don't see why it should be a problem.

Instead of trying to put the humble ice cream van man out of business perhaps they should concentrate on helping parents spend enought time with their kids so that they can watch what they eat - more flexi-time at work would be a start!

Speaking of ice cream vans, does the Sunny Jim van still sell stewed peas and curried goat?


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Asafa’s running is excitement enough Johnson!

So according to the Gleaner, American athlete Michael Johnson believes Asafa, along with the rest of the current crop of top athletes is too boring. He states in his column in the Telegraph,
‘But the new generation, talented as they are, lack the individual personalities that add the extra spice the sport needs, particularly in years like this when there is no major championship.’

(see links to the articles at the end of the post)

Johnson seems to believe athletes like Asafa hurt the ‘viewability’ of the sport. Hurt it by being excellent in their field?!! Is he on something?!!!

Why him don’t leave the man alone eeh? It seems as if he wants men of Asafa’s ilk to create excitement off the track, when he creates more than is necessary in the place that counts, on the track. An athlete’s exciting performance in his field of endeavour is enough to hook viewers; he/she shouldn’t be expected to jump through additional hoops to get attention. My job is writing tenders in order to get my company business. If I translate Johnson’s point of view to my job it would be like saying in order to get a potential client to read a tender I need to deliver it in a gold lame batty rider, wine up myself, make an opinionated pronouncement on some current affairs issue and argue with a competitor about who’s tender is better!

Fair enough, some athletes are also outgoing, but some aren’t, and if like Asafa, they are quietly dignified while performing outstandingly, then leave him to be himself. I believe Johnson’s point is ridiculous and smacks of him trying to egg on some sort of rivalry between Asafa and Gatlin in the hopes of some sparks being created. Not everyone performs best in a spirit of animosity, real or staged.

Leave Asafa to do what he does best – run – extremely fast.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Musing Over the News

I was really happy to read that the Jamaican government is piloting the use of ethanol for fuel. If this works out it could really put a dent in what is becoming an increasingly punishing fuel bill.

According to the editorial in today’s Observer, using ethanol ‘has the potential of saving the country close to US$40 million annually.’ Money that hopefully will be used in other areas where it is sorely needed.

Ethanol is an alcohol-based form of energy which is produced by fermenting and distilling starch crops, it is also environmentally friendly. Another advantage is the boost to the local sugar cane industry as sugar cane would be one of the crops used to produce the ethanol.

Read about the customs officer who returned $1.3m he found and turned down the $100k reward money saying that that ‘he had done the honest thing and did not need to be rewarded.’ Extremely honest or daft? He was honest in returned the money which I agree with, but if it was me and the owner offered to reward me with $100k I would have taken it with a clear conscience and used it to secure my or my family’s future or at least given it to charity. $100k even $100kJA could do someone a great deal of good. Instead it went to the organisers of the awards event, which is good in a way, but still, perhaps someone else needier could have benefited? Anyway, it wasn’t me so who am I to make pronouncements? Well done indeed to the guy for staying true to his convictions!

Keeping Your Own Wealth
Big up to Bolivian President Evo Morales for fulfilling his election promise to take back control of his country’s natural resources. It may be unpopular with the wealthy companies who own them but it is right. Too many cash poor but resource rich countries are taken advantage of by the world’s already wealthy. It is time they realised that they do not have an inherent right to buy people’s birthrights but must pay the appropriate price in cash and percentage of ownership (never the majority share) so that the citizens of poor countries can have a part in their home’s natural wealth. It now remains for President Morales to ensure that any forthcoming wealth is evenly and fairly distributed to a cross section of the society and not to a new elite. I wish him good luck in his endeavours.