“… inna di red”

I just love the smell of Christmas in the air! Well actually, I don’t… but that’s for me and my psychiatrist to work out. Something about trust issues with Santa.

But it still is the season for giving, and lots of stuff are being given away… except not to those on the low end of the totem pole like myself. The auto companies are getting their bailout from George Bush, not because of the companies dire straits or the effects on the economy or anything like that. Bush just doesn’t want such a huge failure on his resume. Apparently he still has the minutest sense of shame.

His primary concern now is airbrushing history, just the way the Russian communist party would airbrush renegade or corrupted officials from group portraits. If they aren’t in the picture, they didn’t exist.

Bush hopes the formula can work for him, and so it will in America, but nowhere else in the world. Look at how Richard Nixon was re-invented a few years back and how the lionising of Ronald Reagan keeps being perpetuated. Bush’s time will come around and all Americans will remember will be the kinder, smarter, gentler George Bush. They will be puzzled as to why that pair of shoes were flying at that nice man.

Just this week on his continued road of delusion and illusion, he said something about not compromising his principles. I’m sorry but the words ‘principles’ and ‘George Bush (father or son)’ cannot co-exist in the same sentence. If either said ‘principals’, meaning the oil companies, Wall Street, the super-rich, the Saudis, the corrupt, then certainly they were never compromised.

And while speaking of corruption, see how the slipshod unregulated economy led by Bush allowed ‘investor’ Bernard Madoff to con thousands of people and institutions including charities out of over $50b. The most perplexling thing for many is how he continued so long with so many red flags thrown by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the federal watchdog mandated to ensure honesty in the securities market).

No surprise, I say. There will probably never be a paper trail right now, but it’s very likely that when some underling wanted to start an investigation on Madoff, someone high in the white House slammed that door shut.

But to be honest, the problem started long before the Bushes. The American economy has devolved into one large Ponzi scam. America produces little while its power was forged by producing things. Wealth is now created out of nothing, and disappears into nothing, contrary to the law of nature… something can only come from something.

Years ago, when I was writing a column for the Jamaica Observer, I complained that the fashionable programme at the University of the West Indies in the 1980’s was marketing and the surge in that faculty led down a bad road.

I think that a large contributor to Jamaica’s banking mess in the early 1990’s was the influx of American-trained Jamaican bankers whose banking philosophy was on the OPM (other people’s money) basis.

Years before that, Britain’s then prime minister Margaret Thatcher bemoaned that the once great country had become merely a nation of shopkeepers. America is worse. Capitalism is dying.
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There’s a Jamaican proverb that goes “if a egg, we haffi inna di red” (or it might have been a Bob Marley song), meaning that Jamaica is always found in the centre of things.

Not all the time is this a good thing as many Jamaicans have tarnished the reputation of those who are doing great things for the country. Well, “Wi inna di red”, again.

Ex-president Bill Clinton was forced to reveal all his financial dealings, the price for Hillary getting the secretary of state post. A recent story listed several donors and the amount of money (over $41m) ‘given’ to Bill’s non-profit foundation. Yeh, yeh… you know where this is leading but let me keep you waiting a little bit.

If you read my early blogs, I never thought that Hilary Clinton would take the job, since it clashed so openly with Clinton’s ambition to be mega-rich. Bill raises money to fund his ‘presidential library’ and many of the donors are foreign governments… like Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Norway, Italy and Jamaica. Yes, little Jamaica has got to be in the red… even if the economy is also in the red.

But hey, lets not get all upset now. I’m sure the ‘donation’ (alleged to be between $50,000 and $100,000) was not at all philanthropic. Though no date has been given, I’m likely to believe it was the PNP government.

The truth is that ‘foundations’ like this, are nothing but fronts for the larger purpose of enriching former presidents. Not saying that some good isn’t done, but if you understand that with American charities, most of the money doesn’t really reach the ‘cause’.

I’m thinking that Jamaica needed an intervention into some problem, like a senator/congressman/federal agency wanting to put a negative status on Jamaica which would affect its tourism earnings. Clinton was asked to intercede, him being the ‘friend’ of homies like us… for a little donation of course. Just think of it as money well-spent. Downtown Kingston, we would regard Bill as ‘the Don’.
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Condoleeza Rice claims that only an ‘idiot’ would trust North Korea. Putting aside the fact that Rice is one of the least effective secretaries of state in modern American diplomacy, her language is at the very least, undiplomatic.

She should if nothing else, differentiate between the North Korean people and the government. It would be diplomatic hell, if a Jamaican foreign representative should make a statement like “the Americans are most corrupt and incompetent” when speaking a truism about the current American government. It would immediately be taken to be an insult to the American people.

But the main point is that Rice should not be pointing fingers. No other nation/government lacks trust and credibility like the one she represents. Even in regards with the nuclear negotiations with North Korea, the Bush administration has been less than honest. But history is dotted with the many international treaties that America has broken, with friends and foes alike… from its very formation.

Like principle, trust is another word that Ms Rice shouldn’t use.
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Here’s an interesting story that underscores how ludicrous the American legal system can be. The California Supreme Court recently allowed a woman left paralysed from a car crash to sue her friend who had pulled her from the wrecked car. Apparently she claims, her friend who has no emergency experience, pulled her from the car in a manner that contributed to her injuries.

So when your house is burning and you are trapped inside, I’ll pass by whistling a happy tune. No good deed, as they say, goes unpunished.
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And further north, Sarah Palin’s son-in-law to be, he the self-professed redneck who ‘doesn’t want kids’… well, his mother was recently arrested and charged with 6 felony drug counts.

Hmm, I wonder how this will affect the wedding. I mean, since the main parties seem to have more felony or misdemeanor arrests than a mafia wedding, imagine the guests.

Of course the guests might all go home stoked, a little parting gift courtesy of the mom-in-law. Only in America.

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