Surprised? Surpriiiise

I notice the government of Jamaica is selling everything and I mean everything even if its nailed down. Jamaica has become a veritable yard-sale. On the block are several sugar lands, Air Jamaica and now Up Park Camp. Yes you read right. The government is selling the army lands for building purposes. Bad idea that and the same for Air Jamaica.
Just what we need in Kingston. More people packed in tiny spaces, with more homes, more traffic and transportation problems, pollution and social concerns. Any fool can tell you that we should be spreading outwards, not expanding inwards. A higher density population per square mile inevitably leads to more crime, disease, education and other social problems. No surprise there.
Kingston should have long stopped being a beacon for mass migration. We should be creating population shifts away from Kingston. There is a philosophical term. Some reader can supply it.
Air Jamaica is a losing concern for many reasons, most of which is plain bad management, and it being a political football. Butch Stewart had little interest in the viability of the airline itself, using it simply as a minibus to bring tourists to his hotels.
Mark my words, when the leading contender Spirit Airline buys Air Jamaica, ‘di airline done’. That is what happens to companies bought by competitors. They gouge out the innards, fire everybody, and that’s it for national pride.
Right now Spirit is slightly undercutting Air Jamaica, which puts the government under pressure to sell. No good can come of this deal. The same would be for the other would-be buyer, Caribbean Airways of Trinidad and Tobago.
Renaming it Spirit of Jamaica is just the first step in its death. And Spirit is an irony. Spirit/ghost. Ring the alarm.
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And while we are on Trinidad, Jamaican tourism officials were surprised at how the Trinidad-born British newscaster Trevor McDonald savaged the island. Me, I didn’t see the video but I wouldn’t be the least surprised.
Certainly there are many negative aspects as to Jamaica, but many tourism officials are lulled into thinking that all the portrayals are gonna be on our positive side. The only thing that explains that kind of expectation is the high level of self-delusions in the sector.
But there is also the consideration that McDonald, with his heritage, was never going to be fully objective, and small islanders just love to ‘cuss’ Jamaica… it’s a way to bringing us down off our lofty heights of accomplishments they cannot even dream of.
The fact is that we can’t keep papering over the mess that our collective governance has carried us to. Blaming the messenger for a negative story is stupid. We need to make our own stories, but most of all, we need to elect leaders who have the ideas, vision and the guts to get our country out of its slump.
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Unemployment topped 10% in 15 states. No surprise that Florida is one of them. But the story pointed out that in some of these states, unemployment was in the 20%, when underemployment and those who had given up looking for a job, were factored.
I have been saying that the so-called unemployment figures were a myth and that America’s unemployment was far higher than stated. The officials just cherry-picked which information to use.
***
Anyone who even barely follows West Indies cricket is bound to be disappointed yet again by current events which culminated in Bangladesh notching its first ever victory over the West Indies.
But the obvious talking point is the industrial action by the top tier West Indies players who saw fit to strike on the eve of the first test. Some establishment pundits have seen fit to blame the West Indies Players Association and its head, Dinanath Ramnarine.
Members of the public are torn between the two. My position is that when there is a crime, look first to the usual suspects. It’s not that I don’t think that the players are blameless, but the long and shady history of the West Indies Board makes them my first suspects. When there is a burglary, you first look for known burglars, not pickpockets.
Whichever way we want to cut it, the Board has been the one primarily responsible for the WI fall from grace to a paltry number what 7, in world standings. In their quest to mine riches over building Caribbean cricket, they have prostituted our game and are surprised when the players want to get a larger and larger share of the pie.
We need to understand that when players are undisciplined, where the root of that comes from… for example the inexcusable royal treatment meted out to Brian Lara irrespective of his bad behaviour.
No one should forget the firing of Clive Lloyd in the middle of a series in England with the West Indies totally demolishing the opponents in the first 2 Tests. Then the Board decided to force Lloyd out on the Packer issue knowing full well that the majority of the players would have to also resign.
Next thing you know, England thrashed a weak make-up side and leveled the series at 2-2 going into the deciding Test in Jamaica. They were about to prevail when the Jamaican crowd would have none of it and halted the game. I was rarely ever prouder of my Jamaican public than then.
What did the Board attempt to do?… force the game illegally into the 6th day knowing that England would win the series in only a matter of minutes. It was only because 2 0f the 3 umpires refused to adjudicate a match that would have broken the rules of cricket, why the series was not gift-wrapped for our previous colonial masters.
That incident and the World Cup in Pakistan/Sri Lanka firmly established where the Board was taking its orders from, and that the orders were to put an end to WI forever. Since then, we have continued to spiral downwards.
It might be that in this instance the Board has the higher moral ground, but its history condemns it. And the ruination of the game is the result.
Nothing will change until the mentality of the Board is totally dismantled.
***
The United States is supposed to be the centrepoint of capitalism, right? Where a man takes a risk with his money and wins big if he is successful, or takes responsibility for his failures, where the smart and hardworking is rewarded and dummies lose their collective shirts. Right? Well, explain this to me.
In about 2006, a close friend of mine was encouraged to invest money in some company with the initials, I think, FDN (it is to black people what Madoff is to the jews). After she did, she asked my opinion. It didn’t take me long to see the pharaoh connectivity, and so I told her to get her money the hell out.
She did, but in the brief month or two that she had invested, she earned $500.00 on a $2500.00 investment. As I turned out, the scheme or parts of it) crashed soon after and she was safe. All’s well that ends well, right? Not so fast my friend.
A few months ago she got a threatening letter from lawyer representing some arbitrator, demanding approximately $2,100.00 from her, or she would be in defiance of a court order. Surpriiiize.
As it turns out, a bag of people lost money in the crash and the government felt compelled to ‘rescue’ them. Fine, as long as it was from the money and securities the thieves held. Not so fast, Speedy Gonzales.
What is effectionately known as ‘the clawback law’, allows that in such cases as ponzi schemes, claims can be made from people who profited from some schemes and their money put back in a pool to reimburse the losers.
The basis of that is that those who made a profit should have known that the scheme was illegal because it promised higher than usual profits. What the fu..?
My friend didn’t know that the scheme was a ‘ponzi’. She was convinced by friends who claimed that it was a good, solid investment. But still, this is America. Profits can be limitless. It certainly is for the oil and pharmaceutical industries.
But ok, she made an unusual profit, so take a large chunk out of that. Again, not so fast. These guys have reached into her principal, demanding more than 2/3 of her sum total principal and profit.
You’ve got to be kidding me? Nope.
So she gets penalized for being smart and doing her investigation and getting out, while those who weren’t smart and continued to risk their money even when the alarms were going off, get to take money from her, and not just her profits.
This must be the mafia, right?
This burns me because this contradicts everything that America was thought to be. Right now in health care reform, we have many bleating, that this country is turning into communist Russia. But even Stalin wouldn’t have done something like that. But Barack Obama is.
Is this a crappy country or what?
I am open for discussion.
***
art exhibition

Next time, if the editor doesn’t club me in the head first, I will shamefully flog my upcoming exhibition which might be of interest to readers in the Ft Lauderdale area… who might want to see if there is any relationship between the persons behind the pen and the paintbrush (actually I don’t use either a pen or a paintbrush… its just a manner of speaking). So drop on by.

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