It seemed like a good idea…

Was gonna rag on Tiger Woods a bit more (what the heck, its the Christmas season) but another distraction came up.

Though giving him a pass this week, I must say that from all reports, if he doesn’t go back to golf, he could be a budding porn star, the first cablasian one to boot.

But Buju Banton decided to get himself arrested for cocaine.  Cocaine!  What the hell is a rastaman doing with cocaine?

His arrest created a great stir in the Jamaican, music and likely the gay communities.  Some even believe that this ‘set up’ was orchestrated by the gay community as payback for Boom-Bye-Bye.   I doubt it, for while they have some power, I doubt this a show of that power.

Personally, I think that there is some connection between Buju’s arrest and Dudus’ extradition.  It could very well be that the US justice department (a real misnomer) is sending a message to Bruce Golding that where Buju goes, several major Jamaican musicians could follow.  Afterall, we do know how ‘di runnings go’, so why shouldn’t the justice department be also aware?

Buju might be the first in line to damage Jamaica’s reputation and stop a successful flow of foreign exchange, if Dudus is not given some manacles and a one-way ticket to US.  Golding can hold out only so long.

Some people are expecting war if Dudus is extradited, but not likely.  It didn’t happen before and it’s not likely now.  Somehow, someone is going to find a way to convince him that US jails are not so bad afterall, especially when the alternative is a brutal death ala Lester Coke and Claudie Massop.  Perhaps ‘Storyteller’ Morrison can persuade him.  But that is another story to be told (and not by me).

Buju might bring to Jamaicans’ eyes, the injustice of the American police’s entrapment tactic.  No wonder that America, with 5% of the world’s population, has 25% of the world incarcerated.

I have always disliked entrapment because it preys on man’s weaknesses, and makes the presumption that a man will commit a crime… and all the state needs to do is give him that little push.  I believe that only police states should be doing that, especially since it contradicts the principle of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ (run laff track here).

A man might be borderline immoral, may think of doing something criminal but might ‘jus fraid’.  Entrapment entices him out of whatever reservations he might have.  Our tax dollars should not be funding the government to make more criminals of us.

Many of those so-called ‘terrorist trials’ since 9/11 were cases of entrapment.

But back to Buju.  People are asking how could Buju be so stupid?  Well, the same could be asked of any crack addict who robs a well-armed grocery store.  Perhaps because its there for the taking.  Usually, they will tell you it was a very good idea at the time.

***

Barack Obama and Tiger Woods will also use that refrain.  Obama ran as peacemaker… he was going to de-escalate both wars.  Well, it was a good idea at the time.

Now he finds it impossible.  There are too many forces that will lose money and power if the Afghan war shuts down so.  And money and power are much more important than the crushed, mangled, blown-up bodies of the children of America, or any other country for that matter.  Obama is helpless against the system.  But he will have to face the wrath of those who expected him to live up to his words.  Bob Marley did say something about never trusting a politician, a preacher or Wall St banker.  Well, perhaps he didn’t include bankers but what the heck, why not?

***

Personally I get the feeling that the economy is turning around though as usual, labour will be the last to benefit.   But the crowds at the malls also tell me something.  I don’t know how much people are spending but I bet they are spending more this holidays than last year.

Obama says that ‘we need to spend our way out of this recession’ and people believe that he meant that government will have to pour more money into the economy as against decreasing federal spending.  But Obama quite likely also means that people will have to spend more to resuscitate the economy.

More consumer spending means more production (albeit in China) but it also means more jobs here… retailers, shippers, handlers, labourers etc.

But I don’t believe that this current spending comes out of a patriotic verve, a concern for the entire well-being of America. Americans are hard-wired to consumerism, to buy even if they are broke.  Last year was a shock to the system and they easily held their pocketbooks in check.

Now, old habits are kicking in.  They can’t suffer withdrawal symptoms forever… even if they really have no money.

If things don’t turnaround, well they can always fall back on “It was a good idea at the time”.

***

Jamaicans have just been shell-shocked by the new set of taxes announced by the Golding government.  The disadvantaged will as usual, feel it most and even now more than ever. The lowly patty won’t escape the tax net.

The blind, deaf and cripple will feel it.  Yes, aids for these are being taxed.  And even women’s menstruation will be more painful as the bloody tampax will be taxed. Soon, even taxes will have a 17.5% GCT placed on it.  Woe is everything.

Now just about here, faithful readers will expect me ranting on Golding and his bunch of court jesters.  Not so fast my friend.

I fully understand the measures, especially since they are likely to be IMF requirements.  My problem is that most likely the rich will again be given escape routes from the economic carnage.

The truth is that economic recovery is a long, hard journey and the more it is delayed the longer and worse the majority of Jamaicans will have to suffer.  We all want to avoid that inescapable fact.

Sooner or later the nation has to pay the piper… yesterday was better that today and now is better than tomorrow.  But apparently, the ghost of Christmas 1980 (hard times get politicians kicked out of power) has already began to haunt Golding, and he is already reconsidering the package.  Seems this extremely sharp tax ax might hack the PNP back to power.

But when I read the dailies I noticed the story about the disabled communities being outraged because items like hearing aids, artificial limbs, crutches and white walking canes will be taxed.

But wait a minute.  White walking canes?  Well it seems that these canes, which cost US$30-36 and are imported.  I checked Amazon and found white wooden canes for $16. It made me wonder.

Instead of complaining about the import cost, why isn’t some bright entrepreneur getting into this PRODUCTION business.  Notice the emphasis on production as against importing and reselling.   Really, what does it take to produce these canes?  Can’t a small industry set up an operation to redesign and produce quality canes?

And that dear people is the crux of the problem.  We have no entrepreneurs left.  We have shopkeepers, importers, service providers, conmen, but no one willing to take on the risks of business in trying to fill a niche.  Easiest thing to do is to import and resell for profit.

So we will continue to falter because the Goldings, Simpsons, Pattersons, Manleys and Seagas of this world are too political to take on political risks.  And like Americans we want our bread buttered on both sides as long as it is cheap, and we don’t mind the pain of sacrifice as long as it is someone else bearing it. But whatever happens I suppose, when we look at our failures, we can always fall back on the refrain, “It seemed like a good idea…”.

***

Texting and calling his sex amours on his cellphone.  How dunce can any cablasian get?

Oh, by the way, seasons greetings!

 

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