Monday, December 29, 2008

'low the shopping people

We all know that we are in a recession right? We also all know it's quite likely that a lot of companies have waited to lay people off until the New Year which is in a few days' time right? Why then are people lining up in the early hours of the morning to plonk down their hard earned for handbags and jumping plastic robots? I keep seeing people on TV pushing and shoving in post Christmas sales to buy stuff. Unless these people are independently wealthy that doesn't seem smart at all.

This type of behaviour just encourages the government to indulge in useless activities (like lowering VAT by 2.5%) that they think will stimulate the economy. People are losing jobs ergo they are losing their ability to pay for things. There are also now fewer jobs out there. Surely, some mechanisms that protect jobs and protect the payments people have to make will be more useful that making it easier to buy stuff?!!!

How about forcing the banks to pass on the interest rate drops? Some are waiting up to 2 months to pass them on and some won't pass them on at all.

How about making the power companies pass on the drop in oil prices?

How about making mortgage companies work out sensible deals with customers in financial difficulty so that they can pay what they can instead of re-possessing houses they will not be able to sell?

Any by 'making I mean legally forcing them to. This method whereby the British government hopes that the banking industry will do the right thing has been proved to be wrong - they aren't and I believe they won't. It's time to give the ordinary person a bailout now and stop coddling those who don't have any morals.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shameful

I haven't blogged for ages and it is shameful. But I hope to be back. Been too busy with writing assignments - which is a god thing. Folks, keep praying for President elect Obama. Pray that:

his relationship with God remains strong
no-one shoots him or his family
he does an excellent job for his people
his relationship with his wife is protected
his relationship with his kids is protected

Peace.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Praying for the best

We’re approaching the end now. Polls keep saying the gap between McCain and Obama has tightened. I fervently hope that in spite of all the factors raised that on Tuesday the right man will win. Right in the sense that the one who is better able to lead the US and therefore by extension influence the world – for the better. Here’s praying that this is what happens.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Evil Nature of the World's Thieving Wealthy

Today the BBC online posted a story in which the Archbishops of Canterbury and York spoke out abut the greed of the city. They made an interesting point that ‘The US Treasury has proposed a fund worth up to $700bn (£382bn) to buy back much of the bad debt held by banks and other financial institutions.’ Dr. Sentamu the Archbishop of York noted that ‘"One of the ironies about this financial crisis is that it makes action on poverty look utterly achievable. It would cost $5bn to save six million children's lives.

The story went on to state:

"World leaders could find 140 times that amount for the banking system in a week. How can they tell us that action for the poorest is too expensive?"

This stinks! People, we are all going to be held accountable for our actions. Imagine – there is no real practical reason why anyone should be going hungry or without water. There are more than enough resources to go around. But in spite of this fact those that have the most just don’t want to share with those that have the least. And I’m not talking about handouts either. I’m talking about using money to put in place a fair and equitable system whereby those who’s labour and resources have been pillaged over the centuries are able to conduct their affairs in a free market in addition to real and immediate help being given on the spot to those who need it until they can catch up. But this isn’t done. Money, it seems, can always be found for things people want to spend it on. When it comes down to it, the wealthy nations just don’t want to spend it on their fellow man.

Sickening.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why is the Gap so Small?

You have to ask yourself the question: Why, if the majority of Americans feel that the Republicans have made such a pig's dinner of things - is there such a small gap between the candidates when it comes to points?

A poll in today's issue of USA Today has the sad answer. It says that what it calls 'deep rooted racial issues' could cause the Democrats to lose the White House. What they mean is so many people in the US are so racist that they would rather vote for their ideological enemy than for a black man who agrees with them on almost all the important issues.

That this is the case has been proven on many occasions sadly - many so-called democrats have freely said that if Obama won the primaries they would vote for McCain. Be honest. How many times in past elections have you heard democrats say they would rather vote for the republican candidate - even if they aren't particularly happy with their own?

This is disgusting and anyone who says that racism isn't so bad now is a moron. If racism wins and we end up with McCain in the White House (and Palin God help us) the world is screwed. Anyone with a brain can see that. Racist have made millions suffer for centuries. Are they going to continue to make the world suffer just because they are mad enough to determine that our future and the future of our kids should be decided not by policy positions but by an imagined negative connotation they have attached to black skin?

Time will tell.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stewards are Wrong

The stewards are wrong. Lewis Hamilton followed the rules on Sunday. He let Kimi take the lead after he went off the edge and then using skill regained that lead. Why on earth should he therefore be penalised?

Even Ferrari agrees. Let's hope the appeal goes through in his favour - but it's a shame to have it hanging over his head. I hear the appeal may not be heard for a month - meanwhile there are other races. Well it's not like Lewis to be distracted by this kind of thing - he had to deal with worse with the *****bwoy Alonzo.

Here's a story on the penalty issue. What do you think? http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/sep/08/formulaone.lewishamilton

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Big Up Jamaica!

First Usain and then the ladies today - what a triumph!

A word of condolence for my brethern and sistren in the States. I understand that the 100 m men's final was not shown live in the States. The US coverage of the Olympics is disgusting! I was in the States during the Atlanta Olympics and you couldn't see any part of the winner unless they were American. I imagine that once Tyson was out of the final they decided it wasn't worth showing. How ridiculous! People interested in sport want to see great performances no matter what country they come from.

But like I said at the beginning, big respect to Jamaica and many congrats to the ladies and Usain. Asafa - come again and re-group, and dust them later. Keep you spirits up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP Bernie Mac

Really sorry to hear that Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes have died. Bernie Mac in particular shocked me. He was so young and I loved his comedy. That man was really funny - swore too much but was really funny.

Rest in peace both of you.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bigging Up Caribbean Teachers

Check out this story on Dr. Carolyn Cooper.

http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20080804/flair/flair1.html

She was one of my lecturers when I did my BA in Literature at UWI Mona campus in the early 90s. She was (and probably is) one of the nicest and best teachers I have had. Her classes were fun bwoy! And often quite rude (benz bonnet as a phallic symbol – anyone remember that one?) And she used to host the best parties at her house in college commons – good food, good music and some interesting art. But apart from that I learned a lot in her classes. I learned the importance of observation – on many levels and the importance of bigging up yourself as a dark skinned, afro centric looking woman. That was and is important.

There were other fantastic teachers at UWI, Professor Baugh, Dr (now Prof Chang), and Mr. Smith, my Shakespeare lecturer. Now he was something else. He (and the others mentioned here) truly educated me in that they taught me to think and to appreciate the finer things in life and to consider the human experience. They made it clear that my education was an edifying experience, not a few years during which I could cram in as much information so that I could pass a few exams. I’m reminded of one of Prof’s (Professor Rex Nettleford’s) comments to Mr. Noel Dexter (who was the musical director of the University Singers when I was with them). He said, it that wonderful accent of his, ‘but Mr. Dexter, a butu is a boogooyagga!’;. Hilarious. But I recall that to say that the education I got at UWI ensured that neither butu nor boogooyagga was the result of my time there but a woman with an appreciation for people, literature, science and the arts and an appreciation for the efforts of educators like those mentioned here and elsewhere was the result. Some used to say when you said you were reading for a degree in Literature ‘den lawd missis, yu ah go dead fi hungry!’ but I’ve done alright on the salary front and I don’t regret the lit degree at all. I learned a lot and was privileged to be around some Caribbean giants. You can’t put a price on that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Private Practice

Been getting into Private Practice – the spin-off from Grey’s Anatomy by Shondra Rhimes. It’s really good – in fact for the more mature viewer it is better that Grey’s – much less soap and more storytelling. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Think before you make decisions on your children’s behalf

Just saw a documentary on channel 4 on the vaccine for cervical cancer. It has been tested for five years and this year will be given to 12 year olds I believe followed by all girls between 12 and 18. The documentary was pretty well rounded – asking pertinent questions about cost, etc. but what shocked the living daylights out of me was the incredibly stupid response of two Catholic mothers and a Muslim father. The father said he wouldn’t give his daughters the vaccine because it would encourage them to be promiscuous. The mothers said basically the same crap. But one of the mothers added the gem that she didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss STDs with her 12 year old daughter.

What a load of rubbish! Fist of all, do you really think a young person considers the possibility of getting cervical cancer when they decide to have sex or not? I am a Christian and this point of view mystifies me. Christians (and I would imagine Muslims too) work hard to instil their respective values into their kids which means no sex outside of marriage. This should be the major focus of teaching which you would imagine would have greater sway than the removal of the possibility of getting some strains of cervical cancer. And as for the mothers – a young girl of 12 should have had the facts of life explained to her by then – it is possible to begin menstruating at 10. There is no reason why STDs shouldn’t be explained to a 12 year old girl. These people are remiss and seemingly don’t have much faith in heir faiths if they think that being told about cervical cancer and how it comes about is gong to override years of upbringing and make their kids jump into bend with any and anyone.

It’s a crying shame parents who claim to have faith can’t do a whole lot better than this.

Giving kids the facts – and making sure the facts are age appropriate – helps equip kids for life. And by facts I don’t just mean he mechanics of sex, I mean the spiritual, emotional and health aspects. So many Christian parents forget, or weren’t told of all of these aspects. God is God and in charge of all things including sex; better you explain it to your kids within these parameters than leave it up to the devil to explain it – in practical and often tragic circumstances.

As to whether or not to give your daughter the vaccine? Get as much information you can and then make an informed decision. The programme mentioned the thousands of idiotic parents who didn’t give their kids their MMR vaccine because that doctor said there was a link with autism. What makes people arbitrarily believe one doctor without checking the facts and then put their kid at risk for measles? Some of the parents on the cervical vaccine programme were talking in the same way. If an expert makes a comment like this, check it out, get it corroborated, get background on that person and then weigh up all the facts and then make a decision. Damn, for all the free education available in the so called developed world there sure are a lot of dumb people – scary thing is they are reproducing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hamilton Mash Up Di Place!

Did y’all see how mi bwoy Hamilton jus coof Massa outa di way – twice? This man has balls the size of footballs and can he drive. Can’t wait to see the next race.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dearth of Black People on UK TV

I tend to do a sweep of the UK papers online and I caught sight of a headline that said that black people and Asians say that UK TV is too white. Now that headline was in a racist paper – the Mirror but the headline has a point.

Do you know that on sketch comedy shows in the UK, when they want to depict a black celebrity a white person puts on black face – because there are no black people in their casts. This is 2008. Now the US is racist but this would never happen.

It’s true that in most UK TV programme the cast is either totally or nearly totally white. There has been an unhealthy tradition of having black people segregated in shows with just black people in them. It’s sad. Look at Law and Order – sometimes there are three black people in one scene (the Lieutenant, Green and that chick who always brings the messages in though she may be Latino). This would be unheard of in the UK.

I notice a lot of black British actors flash to the states for work (Idris Elba, that guy off of Hustle who was in Primary Colors). Will things change here? Not unless the same thing that made things change in the States happen – i.e. heavy lobbying and a refusal to accept the status quo. Learning from past behaviour in the UK I don’t hold out much hope.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Time for a Change

Well Dr. Phillips has declared his intention to run for the PNP leadership. I never thought I’d say this but good luck to him. I am bitterly disappointed with Portia. I had such hopes for her when she became the leader of the PNP but she messed it up big time. It’s not helpful to the country or the sisterhood that she hasn’t done well for the country and by extension for herself. Here’s hoping Peter Philips can do better.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Want to be High! (I Want Drugs During Labour)

I read today about some mad women who want to have their kids at home with (get this) NO midwife and NO doctor - just their husbands. Dem mad to rhaatid! I and I want nuff nuff drugs.

Why on earth if pain relief is available , would you NOT take it? There's a documentary on TV about these women. I wait to see if any of them bawl for drugs half way through.

Madness.

Monday, June 30, 2008

What dem waiting fah???

My Goodness - what are the regional leaders waiting for to publicly and private denounce Mugabe and run him out of office?

I know that half of them are probably no better than him and are probably defending their own right to tief elections but lawd man. Full time the see how bad things have got and take action. I wait with baited breath to see what happens. The Kenyan leader has spoken up but - well - nuff said eh?

Here's a link to a good story on he pitfalls of modern parenting and the dangerous tendency to make he kids the centre of attention. http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article4212440.ece

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Black Prime Minister?

Checkout this story in today’s Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/19/race.uselections2008

The commentator asks if it’s possible for there to be a British Prime Minister in the near future. They pose some interesting questions. The funny thing is – it’s always been said that the US is more racist than the UK. It may have been in the past but this can’t be the case now. Black people in the US have real chances to better themselves and to take influential positions – through the political process and through wealth generation. That isn’t the case here. Some of that though is to do with the way things work here politically too – I mean where’s the space in our political system for an equivalent to the Black caucus in the States? Black people in the UK haven’t and don’t band together for our common good. Most home grown Black Brits seem (to me) to be eager to fade into the background. They seem embarrassed when issues of race are discussed. But they should be discussed. You can’t tell me that the US isn’t a better place for people like Oprah, the Johnsons (OK, OK BET sucks but they did start a viable business), the other Johnsons (Ebony), Magic (plenty Johnsons eeeh?) and of course Obama – and many others. Creating a society where all people are able to reach for the skies makes things better for all.

I’m not saying it can’t be done here but from my experience it is incredibly hard. There’s an unspoken and deeply held belief amongst many white people I have encountered – that black people are less competent and no matter how much you prove otherwise they just won’t see it. I’ve worked with people for several month, and years and they will still ask me questions that show they think I am a moron. This is troubling because it means you can’t appeal to these people with reason and if you can’t do that it doesn’t leave many options. Which is why many of us have given up and resort to legal measures, where in the past we would have let things slide. But then isn’t that what happened in the States in the 60s which is why black people there have better chances. Maybe the UK is just many years behind in this area. Heck , it’s behind in so many others (just instituted chip and pin so you can use your debit card in a shop a few years ago; live liver transplants available for 15 years, first one done on the NHS last year – there are many examples).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Full Time We Run Out Mugabe

Saw a story on www.thefirstpost.com today here's the link. http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/42894,opinion,zimbabwe-its-time-for-the-west-to-go-in.

I agree with the sentiment that the time has long passed for taking drastic measures. We must go in and forcibly remove Mugabe or things will get worse. Can you imagine it worse in Zimbabwe? I thought it was as bad as it can get. No. He must go. But it won't be easy. It must be done in such a way that we don't swap black dog for monkey i.e. after you remove him the only likely replacement is the MDC. This is fine for the time being but they can't stay in power with no viable opposition and Zanu-PF isn't a viable opposition.

Be that as it may - my point still stands - he must be removed.


On a lighter note here's a story on Grace Jones - apparently still going strong. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/grace-jones-still-a-slave-to-the-rhythm-849054.html

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mugabe Must Go!

It's time for desperate measures. The international community must now throw caution to the winds and descend upon Zimbabwe and forcefuly remove Mugabe. And by international community I mean an African international community. It is important that no white western countries are involved as this will just smack of colnialism and will give Mugabe and his supporters fire to mount a come-back.

The African comunity has been pitiful and criminal in their willingness to let Mugabe continue. There is no reason why they cannot remember and respect his freedom fighting past without condemning present tyrannical and evil actions on his part. They must see sense. Their own people are suffering. Is Mugabe's freedom fighting past more important that the well being of his countrymen? Hell no! Time to stop the foolishness man!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Improving the Skills of the British.

In a recent documentary about immigration, Rageh Omar came to the conclusion that what British people need to be concerned with is not the influx of foreigners, but the increasing inability of British people to complete in the global marketplace.

Many Brits still bring up the old complaint – foreigners are coming over here to steal our jobs and take our benefits. Trouble is they aren’t. Foreigners are often extremely well educated, well trained, have a lot of experience, a good work ethic and are intelligent and know how to solve problems.

On the other hand British workers – especially the ones we are churning out of our education system now – are not. And instead of whining about foreigners ‘stealing our jobs’ we should be upping the ante by increasing our skills and mending our attitudes.

You see the truth is – the world has changed – radically. When you look for a job now, you can look for one in any part of the world – and you have as much chance as anyone of getting that job. That applies not only for jobs in the UK but also jobs in other parts of the world. As a man in Rageh’s documentary said, there’s no reason why Brits can’t look for and get jobs in other countries.

Instead what are we doing and what have we done over the past 20 years? Set up our own people to fail massively by under educating them and making a thirst for knowledge a culturally abhorrent thing. Apparently, some bright spark some years ago decided that teaching English grammar was a bad idea. So there are millions of people who are unable to speak their own language. Now English is the international language of business. Not smart. Then another bright spark (the same one?) decided that taking a foreign language would no longer be compulsory. So not only can Brits not speak English – they can’t speak any other language either! Fantastic! And then people complain about the inequality in education because private schools have the sense to teach these things. Also, I have heard from many people that British high school students’ history consists of a bit of medieval history and the 2nd World War. I cannot believe this – I went to school in Jamaica (left the UK at 10) and we did hundreds of years of European and Caribbean history at high school. Not learning about yourself and the world you inhabit is another dumb move.

Also, British kids are coddled so much that they aren’t required to be accountable and aren’t required to solve problems.

None of this is helpful.

Whining about foreigners ‘stealing’ jobs is pointless. It’s about 15 years past the time we should have woken up and smelled the stupidity.

For such a wealth country it’s a crying shame how wilfully dumb and ignorant so many people are.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Time will tell

Well it looks as though Obama has done it. Yet some Clinton supporters seem to still be holding a grudge – saying derogatory things about him. If he wins the nomination – and it pretty much looks like it – all democrats need to get behind the democratic nominee. If they don’t it will be telling won’t it?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ode to the Unappreciated Worker

To the unappreciated worker:

Forget the idiots who haven’t appreciated you. Try and forget all the heartache caused by people who are stupid, lack vision and have ignoble aims. We all know you are excellent at what you do and now that you will be putting your brains to work for only you and your family, we wish you the best and we will miss you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What is the Generals’ Problem?

I can’t for the life of me understand why the ruling junta of Burma is so desperate for power that they have sacrificed their humanity? They care so little for their own people they are willing to have them die and suffer – rather than lose their grip on absolute power (I guess they think letting aid in will lead to them losing power).

And now they have extended Aung Sang Sui’s house arrest for a further year.

It’s funny – there are so many places in this world (Burma, Zimbabwe) where invasion and war if necessary (though one with an exit strategy) is advisable, nay necessary yet the world won’t ‘go there’ but they’re willing to go to war over oil.

There are some evil bastards out there. We need to stamp them out.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Speaking for Christians

(Sigh) There was just a programme on channel four on ‘Christians.’ Why is it that when the media profiles Christians they choose to talk ONLY to nutters who want appropriate the Christian name or those who might be well meaning but seem to be unable to read and comprehend their Bibles and don’t seem to spend much time in prayer and meditation? Because if they did they would realise that Christianity isn’t about picketing immoral theatrical productions and abortion issues or homosexual events. Guess the answer is that the nutters make better TV.

I am a Christian. And as one, Christ is my guide through his life, prayer and the Bible. There are very clear things that a Christian must adhere to and the Bible is very clear on what is or isn’t sin. Homosexual practices are sin – ‘ain’t no doubt about that. So are many other activities sin. Any sex outside of marriage, lying, idolatry. Check the good book or your nearest Christian if you’re interested in the others. There are also many things we are exhorted to do as Christians – things that can be done in the affirmative and can be done in everyday life. Yes, there are occasions when taking a stand is important but for the most part we are to follow Christ’s example and the only time he got mad was at people within the circle of the church who were making a mockery of God’s house. Christians are held up to a higher standard (by Christians) than non-Christians. You can’t judge a non-Christian by the same rules as you do a Christian – so expecting them to abide by Godly rules is ludicrous.

When Jesus came up close and personal with sin – his reaction was of compassion for the sinner and hatred for the sin. Sinners should make our hearts bleed as Christians. If we love Christ and other people as we have been directed to, seeing someone live a life of sin should cause us distress and should lead us to want them not be living a life of sin. (You all know the wages of THAT - it ‘aint pretty). Only God himself can turn a sinner into a Christian. We as Christians can and should tell people about the gospel and Christ’s love and provide support and guidance for people who decide they want to follow Christ. Anyone who hears the gospel and rejects it? - that’s between God and them come judgement day – in the meantime we can pray for them. Reprimands need to be saved for Christians who sin and there is a framework for that.

Following Christ is a choice. We have free will. You choose to follow Him or you don’t. Someone isn’t going to make the decision to follow Christ as a result of public humiliation, browbeating and insulting. Sadly the people profiled on this programme resorted to these methods. If these are the methods you’re interested in I say you’re not interested in loving sinners but interested in how superior you can seem next to them.

Man – I’m sick of Christians being mis-represented – but I’m not sure our mission is to be up in the media at the expense of making a difference in people’s everyday lives. In the meantime I pray for guidance as to how to answer questions resulting from programmes like the one that aired tonight.

Peace.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Paradise

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Jamaica could offer its citizens (all of them) a realistic chance to prosper economically and to do so without risk of being shot? That would truly make Jamaica paradise and would enable many of us to come home. Sigh . . . if only . . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Racists are the Problem, Not Black People

In the US Democratic elections one point keeps coming up, namely that Obama does not have the support of racists – otherwise known as white blue collar workers without a university education.*

Yet when this issue is discussed, it is discussed along the terms of Obama having this problem of not being able to attract these voters. Not once do any of the media pundits call it as it is – that the problem is that so many white people are racists. It is so bad that in exit polls many of these racists freely admit that race plays a significant part in their voting decision and many say they will either not vote or will vote for McCain if Obama wins. Can you understand the depths of their racism? These are democrats – people involved enough to be voting in the primaries – who say they will vote for the other side rather than for a black man (half black actually) who is a democrat – supposedly someone who shares their political views. [All of unu mixed race people who feel your white side is as valid as your black – learn the lesson from this, white people see you as what you look like – do you hear me Tiger?]

I am disgusted that the status quo is being maintained STILL. When are white people as a race going to at least even aspire to start behaving as decent human beings? All those white people who claim they aren’t racists need to be shaming these voters and harshly speaking out against their attitude. But what do we hear? Bloody well nothing. Which goes to prove my point – that many, many, white people who claim they aren’t racists are flippin’ liars – they are racist.

Let me re-state my position. Historically non-white people have had neither the power nor the desire to hate white people en masse. However, from the beginning of their association with non-white people, whites have consistently hated and harmed non-whites [I still ask why the hell do they – can anyone provide the answer?] The fact that white people are racist against non-whites is evidence of a deep evil and depravity of spirit. With the hundreds and hundreds of years of terrible treatment at the hand of whites – non-whites who loathe whites are well within their rights to do so – in fact to loathe the white race – for a black person – is rational – and yet we don’t as an entire race systematically hate white people, because on the whole we recognise them as individuals and treat them as such. This is treatment that we still cannot get from the majority of white people.

Racists are wrong and if you aren’t one you need to be outraged enough to speak up and take action. This automatically excludes millions of so-called non-racist whites because they do and say nothing.

With the rise of the non-white world i.e. Asia – things will change – the power base is shifting. What are white people going to do then?

*There are many stereotypes out there and sadly some are true. In my experience in Jamaica – being poor and uneducated does not preclude you from being civilised, well informed and interested in all kinds of people. Many poor and uneducated people from the country, my father being one, work hard and educate themselves in heir own way and work hard and become cosmopolitan and intelligent members of society – able to and eager to get on with all kinds of different types of people.

Why is it that the stereotype of the blue collar or working class white person – as being bigots and therefore ignorant seems to be proved to be true? Come on people – being poor and not having a university education does not mean you have to be a moron. Elevate your minds – if you’re interested. To me the sign of a beastly, evil and moronic person is having the freedom and facilities to elevate themselves – for free or for little money – and choosing not to. White working class people have a hell of a lot more opportunities to educate themselves, to seek out information and to mix with a wide variety of people than poor black people in the Caribbean do. Yet Caribbean people manage to educate themselves. You see the difference between the two? It is telling isn’t it?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The ‘Commoditisation’ of Women . . .by Women!

What do you feel your worth is as a woman? Are you intrinsically valuable? Or do you feel your value exists only in relation to a man?

I ask this question as I ponder the issue of relationships, marriage and sadly divorce. I recently read an interesting article in the Jamaican Gleaner on pre-nuptials. It mentioned a case whereby a couple were married and had a pre-nup. The woman had stated her worth at US 18 million, he at about US 40 million. They agreed that if they split, they would take only what they brought into the marriage. After about two years the wife divorced the husband and went after half of his money on the basis that he had lied about his worth (he admitted this, he was indeed worth about US 6o million at the marriage).

She lost her case – apparently she was a ‘professional divorcee’ her 18 million had been obtained by divorcing several wealthy men.

This led me to think of women and their attitude to their worth even now. Many women still seem to believe they are entitled to alimony – to be financially supported by their ex-husbands should they divorce. Now child support is a given – men must support their kids. But why should someone else support you just because you are married, or just because you used to be married to them? I don’t get it. Times have changed – women are no longer unable to earn a living and we certainly aren’t helpless little flowers. Why is it then that many women devalue themselves by expecting to be taken care of in this way? And it’s often wealthy women with professions who are the ones chasing their ex-husband’s money.

I don’t have much patience for the other excuse give for being entitled to alimony – ‘we agreed I would take care of the house and he would earn the money.’ As a woman you need to be a hell of a lot smarter than that. You don’t know what the future will hold, so you need to make sure you can support yourself – your husband could die then what? And don’t tell me about insurance – it won’t support you and your kids forever.

If you go into business with your husband – be smart and do it as a business. Have papers drawn up that clearly state who owns what and who has contributed what. Business is business. But you certainly shouldn’t make cash off of being married. Turn it around. I for one know that if I worked hard for years, struggled and put up the necessary risk to run a successful business I would not want to have to hand half of it over to someone else just because I was married to them. That’s wrong. And if it’s wrong for a woman, it’s wrong for a man.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Have a thankful heart

Recently, things have not gone well, money problems, bereavements, health problems, more money problems. But in all of it while I was having my umpteenth ‘why me’ moment I was hit with a thought. Things could have been and could be a whole lot worse but for the grace of God. Repent and be grateful for what God has done, is doing and will do for you.

So have a thankful heart – God is in charge and he knows what he’s doing.

Obama and Clinton
Is it possible we will have a definitive winner today? I wait with baited breath.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Paradox of Newsmakers

The recent spate of speeches of Rev Wright and his speeches. They aren’t Obama’s. Yet they are affecting Obama. Why? Because the media keeps reporting on it and drawing parallels with Obama.

Watching the Situation Room last night and this time it wasn’t my favourite character Cafferty that made the best point, it was the other guy. Wolf Blitzer the host asked if this issue will go away and the ‘other guy’ said yes, it will if we the media stop talking about it. Good point, and in that spirit . . . .


Cannot fathom why that devil in Austria did what he did to his daughter. I am gobsmacked. Some people are asking if Austria needs to look at itself to see why these things happen and how such evil can spring from there (remember the other girl who was held captive for years and who could forget Hitler). Don’t know but you do start to wonder . . .

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Campaigning for the Presidency must be a bitch but . . .

Just watching the Situation Room on CNN – they are of course covering the US Democratic primaries. I was just thinking how strongly these guys must feel about being President. The campaigning looks incredibly hard- you have to permanently be on, have to deal with all of the negative ads, the constant debating, TV appearances and interviews.

But at the same time what a massive impact for good you can have on not only the US but the world if you do win.

They were just saying how Clinton has the white blue collar vote and Obama has the black and young vote. It’s a shame it has come to this (largely because of the heavy negative ads and comments by Clinton). If they ran together they are a shoo-in in November but that boat gawn long time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mbeki is a ****bwoy!

What the ***? What is Mbeki’s problem?

Me miss, me miss!

He’s a damn jackass!

How is it possible for any sane person with a functioning brain to keep on supporting the despot Mugabe? Wa’ppen, him cya see the sufferation the people dem in Zimbabwe are under? Is he blind? Pathologically stupid? A moron? You betchya.

It is time for African leaders to rise up and take care of business. My word, how long will they be willing to see their own people suffer? Lord knows I am sick of seeing my fellow black people suffer. It was bad enough when they were suffering under the ‘downpression’ of the white man, but when it is your own people who are doing it – and in Mugabe’s case, a former freedom fighter who was responsible for building his country up into the success it was, it beggars belief that his fellow leaders in the region can keep still much less quiet.

I am so sick of this crap. If they don’t sort it out soon, there will be nothing left but for the white man to step in again – please African leaders, clean up hour own mess. Backside!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Suffering of Black People

Just saw a documentary on Channel 4. The series is called ‘Unreported World’ and as the title suggests, it focuses on stories that might not get much attention. This one was on the practice of Voodoo in Benin, a very poor West African nation. It was particularly heartbreaking because poor families spend money they have to work very hard for to pay for expensive voodoo ceremonies that they feel pressed to take part in or rather to have their children take part in. The programme also mentioned that because of the cost, children are often taken out of school to take part in these ceremonies and so their schooling ends.

One woman didn’t have the money to take her obviously mentally retarded three year old daughter to the doctors. So she took the child to the local voodoo convent to be ‘trained.’ This will cost her 200 pounds, five years’ salary for her.

Many of the people on Unreported World are black, extremely poor and seem to live in a reality that has been created by their society that adds innumerable levels of suffering on top of the existing ones of poverty. At some point HRH and I had to ask ourselves – what is it about our ethnic group that seems to want to sustain the misery?

Now of course I know that other ethnic groups do so too – I also know that there are many groups of black people throughout the world who are suffering for reasons that have nothing to do with themselves. Here I am focusing on black people because I am one and because we seem to suffer the most. But be honest, many are suffering on top of suffering and the top layer is their own cause. I’m talking about the relentless killing of each other in ongoing civil wars; in the case of the above programme, ‘priests’ knowingly making their own people suffer even more by imposing incredible costs on already poor and ignorant people. In the case if Zimbabwe, a leader who knows full well what it is like to not only live under oppression but to fight to be freed from it, yet imposing an even worse oppression on his own people. Do your own research and you can see what I am talking about. If we are to rise as a people we need to stop shooting ourselves in the collective foot and need to have a much more sophisticated way of dealing with our own differences.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Messing With House

Here in the UK we have just started the season of House where he has about 20 odd doctors working for him a la The Apprentice, so excuse me if this is old news.

Why oh why have they fiddled around with the format? They still have Cameron, Chase and Foreman in the shows – all in their own new jobs so they’re still paying them plus the 20 odd new guys. Many of these 20 odd actors are pretty well known and they all talk so they must have to be paid a bit. Seems like an expensive and disconcerting way to present the programme. I don’t like it myself and I hope the fact that they still have Foreman, Chase and Cameron means that the original team will get back together again. We will see . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Class in the UK

Class in the UK is an odd thing. The majority of people are proud to be working class and seem to hate those they consider to be middle class and absolutely abhor those they consider to be upper class. This is reflected in TV shows. Nearly all UK TV shows follow the lives of people who the British consider working class. Practically no one on TV comedies or dramas is middle or upper class. What I find odd is that people who are said to be working class are usually not the type to be aspirational, not well educated or interested in being so and have awful social habits. Plenty of poorer people (what the Brits would call working class) in Jamaica are aspirationals, well educated or at least aspire to it and have fantastic social habits. I think us in the UK need to re-think our attitude to class. Surely character and progressive social habits need to be the most important thing. Not how one speaks or where one lives or went to school. We’d all be the better for a change in attitude in this direction. Given the current attitudes, anyone who is aspirational, educated and well mannered is scorned. This is stupid and not helpful.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Citizenship in the UK

A former Attorney General (I think) has written a report that, among other things, suggests kids swear a pledge of allegiance to the Queen.

Of course no one here thinks this is a good idea. The UK is an odd place. British people on a whole don’t like to be demonstrative and they feel pledging allegiance is doing just that.

I don’t agree that pledging allegiance is bad. I am against pledging it in this type of atmosphere and I am most certainly against pledging it to the Queen. Let me explain.

Firstly, the UK is pretty much an identity-less place. There isn’t a positive British culture that can be outlined. There are activities and traits that can be outlined, but frankly, they aren’t flattering. As it is a culture that largely abhors expressing enthusiasm for anything there is a big hole where there could be enthusiastic admiration for doing well and being successful – traits which are admirable in the US for instance. This unwillingness to be enthusiastic and instead to be self-deprecatory therefore leaves an unhealthy dedication to mediocrity on many occasions and doing things downrightly badly on other occasions. Quite frankly though, the British on the whole, are happy with the way they are. I am British and I personally think we could be much better off identifying ourselves with positive traits – the alternative is the moral vacuum that exists now and that is not good for the country. So given this vacuum, now is not the time to be pledging allegiance to some non-existent idea of what it is to be British.

The other part of my argument is that we aren’t citizens; we are subjects – one of the ludicrous results of living in a monarchy. Now the Queen is largely a figurehead – the UK is a constitutional monarchy which means the Queen does not decide how we live. An elected government does that. So pledging allegiance to an old woman who lives an unbelievably wealthy lifestyle at the taxpayer’s (many of them living in financial want) expense is a disgusting concept. If we are to pledge allegiance to anyone it should be to each other. If the UK is to move towards a better sense of self so to speak we have to invest in each other – delight in each others’ triumphs and commiserate in each others’ failures and help each other to do better while not tolerating the general yobbish behaviour that passes for civil society here.

There is a long way to go before we are in a position to pledge allegiance to anyone.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Clinton Must Go for the Democrats to Beat the Republicans. . .But She Won't

Hillary must drop out of the race in order for the Democrats to beat the Republicans. Let me tell you why.

As we all know Bush has made a right dogs dinner of things and by extension, the Republicans are in the doghouse. On the face of it this would mean that theDemocrats are a shoo in for the next election.

The problem we have though is likability and the fact that people are pissed off with Bush more than they are pissed off with the Republicans per se.

The likability issue boils down to this. McCain, the Republican candidate is very likeable - heck, many of the conservatives in his own party hate him. If ever there was a republican that on the fence Democrats and the undecided could vote for it is him. Now people do not like Hillary - for various reasons. However, people just LOVE Obama. Enough polls have already been done that say that if Hillary runs against McCain he has a really good chance of winning but if McCain runs agains Obama, McCain will be crushed.

So it's a no-brainer for the Democrats if it was just down to this. But they can't force Hillary out. The other problem the Democrats have is that the Republicans have already picked their man. So all he has to concentrate on from now until November is attacking the Democrats. Meanwhile, the Dmeocrats will be fighting each other until August. They just cannot afford this.

Hillary is going to stay in the race at the expense of the Democratic party and by extension the US and the world because like it or not, the whole world is deeply affected by who is in the White House. I fervently wish that things hadn't got ugly and that she and Obama could run on the same ticket with him as the presidential candidate and her as the vice predsidential candidate. That would give the Democrats a fantastic chance come November. But just as in 2000 with Nader - personal ambition and delusions about their ability to win - will cost the Democrats the White House - and the world a chance at stability.

God help us all.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Renewing Your Mind

I really do recommend the book 'Battlefield of the Mind' by Joyce Meyer. It has really helped me deal with my negative thought patterns and is helping me concentrate on God in order to heal the sickness of negativity I've had for such a very long time.

Joyce is a Christian speaker and author and the book is bolstered by the word of God - it is a great tool.

Maybe some of you have the same problem of negative thinking - if you do and you're interested in dealing with it in a Biblical manner - this is definitely the book for you.

Later.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Efficient Service

Quote from Thalia Lyn at Island Grill:

"If we know 2.25 customers per minute order festival, we can prepare our food without people having to wait for their food," Lyn said of the efficiency programme.

In JA, this generally happens at fast food joints.

Here in the UK when you go into many fast food stores you often have to wait for up to 15 - 20 minutes for your order because they make it from scratch when you order - even if you order a common menu item.

If it can be done in a so-called third world country, why oh why can't it be done here?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not Enough Hours in the Day

I'm finding it difficult to find the time to do the things I want and it's driving me bonkers. I write - and that's a pretty cerebral activity. My day job requires me to write also - business writing though - and it's not a particularly creative activity. So when I get home, exercise, bathe and eat and pay attention to HRH there's precious little time left, much less brain power.

I was reading a story on the first post.com yesterday that talked about teleworking. It spoke about how 20 years ago people said that in the future people would be able to work from home. However, the reality is in spite of evidence that home working reduces congestion and improves productivity from 20-40% most companies won't let employees work anywhere but in the office.

This attitude is pretty much epitomised by Alan Sugar's attitude (He's the guy that does the Apprentice here in the UK). He stated in the papers last week that people who work from home aren't doing anything.

What a colossally backward atitude! As I mentioned above, studies have been done to show workng from home reduces congestion and improves productivity. Business people and managers are more concerned with their own reputations - 'here are a whole bunch of people who report to me' - and less concerned with productivity and the bottom line.

If people work from home, there's no crowd of people to prove how important they are.

Sick isn't it.

Well, it's for us the workers to set the agenda. Like the article said, talented young people are not willing to accept the status quo and are voting by taking their CVs to where flexible working is accepted.

Later.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammies etc.

Watching the Grammies while I work on the computer. Right now Kanye West is on. What a way him full of himself ee doah? Seems like Amy Winehouse has made out like a bandit though. I guess being caught up with all the trouble she has been in hasn’t hurt her chances at winning so many of these major awards. Wonderful message.

Parent to kid: Don’t take drugs; you won’t amount to anything if you take drugs
Kid: Rubbish – I could get a Grammy, hell I could get five!


Oh well.

Having said that he's now singing a wonderful ode to his mother. Great lyrics. So sorry she died.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Same Old Same Old

So the old racists in Spain have been publically attacking Lewis. And again we hear the same old apologies - tired and largely given by people who didn't commit the offence in the first place on behalf of people who aren't remotely sorry.

This time UK offocials seemed really pissed off though and are threatening diplomatic repercussions.

The Spaniards racists are something else. They erroneously claim that Lewis prevented Alonzo from winning the championship and that he bad mouthed him. Neither is true. And so they feel that racialy abusing Lewis is therefore acceptable.

We'll see how this is handled. But it is time white people stood up and joined the civilised human race and not only denounce racism but make their actions back up the sentiment if they really believe it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Terrible Treatment of the Elderly

Just watched a documentary on Channel Four about how many pensioners in the UK have to choose between heating their homes or eating. It was terrible.

The elderly are often without family willing or able to properly care for them, their pensions are a joke, yet they still get charged extortionate bills like council tax, TV licence if they are under 75 and incredibly high fuel bills.

It breaks your heart. One of the ladies in the show didn't eat for days so she could heat just one room in her house. A man had threatening letters from his power company claiming he owed 200 pounds in arrears, it turns out they misread his meter.

One lady who had been a teacher or a nurse and now needed care because she was ill applied for a reduction in her council tax (this can be around 80 pounds a month - pensioners get about 130 pounds a week) - they turned her down.

It really is terrible. In Jamaica it is bad if you are older and broke and have no family, but in the UK there is the added problemn - and it is a considerable one - of the cold. It gets incredibly cold here. I had no idea how cold it can get, especially in the north. If you don't have central heating it can be awful unless you have free standing heaters and it isn't cheap to heat your home whatever means you use.

The government keeps cutting funding for older people and the problem just gets worse and worse with more and more pensioners each year dying from the cold.

It's time for sensible practices to be put in place to help older peole. Money must be found from other areas (getting false benefits claimaints off so that the true claimants - some of whom don't claim - is a start). But this cannot continue. Your later years should be a time of rest, reflection and pampering by your younger relatives. Not misery, lonliness and poverty.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Men's Magazines

There's a pretty new free men's magazine in the UK called shortlist (www.shortlist.com) It's great - just the type of thing I like to read with interesting and really funny stories, lovely shots of fantastic super cars lots of wicked gadgets and NO stupid fashion articles!

I've had a look at some of HRH's magazines too and again, my type of stuff. I think I've had it with women's mags. Have a look at shortlist especially if you're a bloke - a really good read.

Later

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Losing Weight and Google Earth

Why is it so easy to nyam your way to obesity but oh so hard to lose the poundage again?

Man, I having a warm time trying to lose weight I have put on over the past ten years. In my salad days I was a fit and slimmer young beauty. Now it is not pretty when I take off mi clothes. But even after tell myself I won't eat crap again today there I go and do it. I have only recently been successful in putting a stop to the daily sweets and cakes at work. I've been to the gym twice so far this week and hope to keep it up. Let us see if this time there are results. I really feel this is the end of the road.

Been looking at cars lately. HRH has his sights set on ans SUV (yeah yeah, there are other vehicles that have larger engines and emit more than SUVs, look at the emissions, not the chassis). What struck me though was that on the whole car prices have got ludicrously low. And as soon as you drive off the lot you've lost a couple of grand in depreciation. Seriously, a leasing arrangement where insurance and tax is included, seems like a better option.

Tried Google Earth for the first time this week. It wicked yu see! If you haven't had a go, go ahead.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Teenage Pregnancy

Watching a documentary on BBC 3 right now about a young girl of 13 called Kizzy who got pregnant. Quite a poignant programme. She fully acknowledged she made a mistake. Comes from what seems to be a decent christian family. She said she had sex once with a 13 year old boy . The boy won't acknowledge the baby and has gone to live with his grandmother in Essex (Kizzy lives in Devon). The boy's grandmother was rather vituperative and said that Kizzy is basically responsible for he situation and that she is blaming everyone else.

This is obviously ridiculous as Kizzy has repeatedly said she made a mistake. She is thankfully continuing her education and she and her parents agreed to the documentary as a warning to other young girls.

This is in many respects sad but uplifting in other was as she and her family seem to be coping very well in the right way.

Apparently, the UK has he highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe. This in spite of programmes in schools which allow youngsters to access the pill, condoms, the morning after pill and even abortions - WITHOUT having to inform the parents. As Kizzy's father said, it undermines parents. He stated that you as a parent may have certain ways of bringing up your kids according to your faith but all of that is ignored by the schools. He has a point.

He said that in the kids' minds all hey hear at home can be eroded in that hey feel that if they get pregnant school can take care of it. As so it is.

Makes me scared stiff of raising my kids in this country I tell you. Home schooling anyone?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Power to Oprah!

Just read that Oprah will be getting a TV network called the Oprah Winfrey Network - OWN. It will replace Discovery Health.

What a fabulous opportunity for a potentially decent TV network and one that in addition to offering good content will have the opportunity to portray non-white culture in a positive light. This is something that many of us were bitterly sorry that the first 'black network' BET didn't do.

I look forward to seeing what transpires.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can A Habitual Sinner be a Godly Man?

I am reading 'Soul Survivor' by Philip Yancey. He is a christian writer. In this book he speaks about various people who have inspired him in his christian walk - one of them being Martin Luther King.

By now it is well known that King was an adulterer - and apparently unrepentant as according to Rev. Abernathy he was sleeping with other women up until the night before his death.

Yancey says that in spite of his human failings he was a good christian. He also mentioned others in he Bible who sinned but were men of God, David was one.

My thought is this, yes, even Christians stumble and sin, as stated by Yancey, so did David when it came to adultery. However, he repented. As far as I know if you repent and as Jesus said on many occasions 'sin no more' then this is acceptable to the Father. But if over a period of time you consistently sin, sin of the flesh plus you are a leader in the church, effectively the 'deacon' the Bible speaks of then this is wrong.

If as Rev. Abernathy stated, King was having sex with a woman who was not his wife even the night before he was killed it doesn't seem likely to me that he was repentant in feeling or action.

No matter the other christian trappings of his persona, I find it hard to believe his behaviour was pleasing to God in and of itself, much less the hypocrisy that went along with his public reputation being so godly. Plus there was a very real danger his behaviour could be a stumbling block for others as the authorities who had been bugging him knew about his predilections.

I know many revere him but I feel that morals, especially for a christian and especially for a christian leader are very important. And the Bible is explicit in its condemnation of adultery and other sexual sin - it is also clear on running after evil.

Maybe King's pastor associates and friends did call him to account - maybe they didn't. They should have.

So civil rights activity or not, in a christian context we should not ignore our leaders failings but call them to account on them.

Monday, January 07, 2008

What a Giant Mess in Kenya!

What kind of slackness is happening in Kenya eeh?

One of the more supposedly progressive countries in Africa seems to be joining the morass of many other African countries.

I cannot for the life of me understand why people feel the need to murder those who are different, or who vote differently from them. No-one in this situation benefits, no-one comes out if a good position. So why continue?

Why can't they sort it out in a civilised manner that is beneficial to them instead of resorting to destroying themselves? I just don't get it. I am very very saddened by this turn of events and hope that very soon the powers that be grow some brains and put a stop to the violence. From all accounts and purposes the election results are is dispute - so blinking well get that sorted out instead of digging in he heels and letting the bloodshed continue.

And why the hell does there have to be bloodshed anyway - who does this help? I am disgusted.