Hear I Rant Jamaica

Obama and Usain Bolt

The Pentagon recently released a report stating that 1 in 7 Guantanamo ex-detainees are now involved in ‘terrorism’. The Pentagon offered no specific reason for this.
Perhaps I can help. When you detain someone innocent (they were released because there was no evidence) behind bars, far not only from their home but their hemisphere, treat them with high disregard, house them with other angry people, release them into places they don’t know or return them to their home where they remain suspected and harassed, or where they return to find many things changed, their families and friends uprooted or killed… then yeah, I can understand why they become recruits for al qaeda.
President Obama seems as if he has outflanked the republicans by providing a Hispanic, female nominee. The republicans who were poised to create hell irrespective of who Obama nominated are caught between a rock and a very hard place.
It would be difficult to root against a female, what with their supposed newly championing of woman power (Sarah Palin), but worse still they would face one heck of a backlash from the Hispanic community which has been slowly drifting away from the republicans.
Still, they are trying by using the so-called religious community to front for them. Should be fun.
But talking of Gauntanamo. Many people have missed the political theatre over closing the prison camps. Democrats who had once supported Obama on the issue, suddenly backpedaled and started being more repugnant than the repuglicans.
It’s the kind of theatre that makes for good tv, but it’s the kind of crap that Americans are becoming fed-up with. Americans just want the country’s business be done without the drama, the games, the hysterics.
I guarantee that the democrats played this one in a way that will make Obama look good in the end but it belittles them to even be involved.
The worse of it is to hear those who defied Obama talking about the dangers presented by housing ‘terrorists’ in American high security camps. Firstly, many so-called ‘terrorists’ are already being held in American prisons but it goes against the undisputed fact that the United States with about 5% of the world’s population, has more than 24% of the world’s total prisoners.
I guess to those behind bars, democracy sucks.
On May 8, I commented on a column written by Michael Burke in the Jamaica Observer. Apparently a reader linked the column to Burke. Below is the ensuing communication between the reader and Burke. The reader was good enough to pass this on to me. I’m afraid it’s rather lengthy, but telling as to the kind of people who continue to peddle influence in Jamaica.
I urge you to note particularly, Burke’s arrogance and his comment about Bolt’s intelligence. Also that having read my blog, he chose instead to take on the reader.
Should you have the time, I urge you to read Burke’s original column http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/html/20090422T200000-0500_149952_OBS_HONESTY_YES__STUPIDITY_NO.asp. and tell me whether you think Bolt bested him or not, and the quality of Burke’s counseling.
Reader DM: I noted this blog… https://blogs.jamaicans.com/hearirant/2009/05/08/talking-about-faith/#comments… which was the first to alert me to your column. I agree with this blogger. I don’t think you put up a very good argument with Bolt and think that you used the column after as revenge. I note that several times you have an issue with Bolt but for what I don’t know. You don’t seem to be counselling him, but chastising him.
I’m also a little disturbed by your convenient attitude to lying and can quite understand instances where a lie might be easier than the truth. But it is still a lie, and I don’t remember any biblical injunction making a separation between lies.
And I myself would ask the same question, On what other commandment do you choose as a matter of convenience?”
Bolt was not wrong to answer the question saying that he once smoked
ganja. Sooner or later if he had lied, it would have caught up with him, and then he would have been both a ganja smoker and a liar. How would you have counseled him then?

Michael Burke: You need a course in logic. I neither know how you could have deduced “revenge” or “convenient attitude to lying” form either article “honesty yes, stupidity no” (April 23 2009) or “The truth and its protection (May 7, 2009). It is either that you need such a course or your email is malicious.
Revenge? I am a Jamaican with a background in social work who has Usain’s interest at heart whether he knows it or not. I am also aware of our tourist industry which is made up in part of tourists looking for ganja and other tourist who want a drug-fee vacation in Jamaica and will cancel a trip at the slightest hint that “everyone smokes ganja” which Usain says he did not say at all and i believe him because i know how the media can exaggerate things.
As to “convenient attitude to lying”, I know that I ma far more honest than most who criticise me and perhaps more honest than you.
Incidentally most of my feed back, perhaps 95 percent, on my article son Bolt have been positive. But the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and I am Roman catholic, addresses concrete situations. Please google Catechism of the Catholic
Church paragraphs 2479-2492 to understand where I am coming form even if you disagree.
Lies come from Satan but a discreet answer in certain situations is not a lie. That is the Roman Catholic position, but Bolt “aint no Catholic” despite the fact that he makes the sign of the cross on the field. I have to communicate to him on his terms. I was trying in a few words, and Bolt is not too bright, to give him a crash course on using his discretion as I would only be with him a few minutes and he
was being defensive. he w1as taking away food so he was simply waiting on his food parcel to be handed to him. I had to do my best in the circumstances.
Jesus Christ did tell his disciples that they were to be as cunning as serpents though harmless as doves. And Jesus Christ did say “woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees who abide by the letter of the law and not the spirit of the
law. And he did call the Pharisees hypocrites when they criticized him for healing n the sabbath “Which of you having your donkey fall into the well on the sabbath day will not get him out? I do not know how to google references while writing an email but you can google the bible references yourself.
And for the record, I hate dishonesty. But I insist that the media had no right to know that Usain smoked ganja as a child especially when all the current tests say that he is clean. I do not have the right to know that either, but it was “In my face”. And if you write again, you should tell me what you would expect me to tell a gunman if you were in my house hiding from him and if i should tell him the “truth”. Some people can be such self righteous hypocrites!
Michael Burke

DM: Whoa there cowboy! I guess I should have asked you not to shoot the messenger… which is exactly what you have gone ahead and done. Bredrin, I was only pointing out what someone had blogged even though I did editorialise a bit. But if you went to the site, you could easily have addressed the blogger himself.
But since you did shoot the messenger. I might need a course in logic but certainly not from you. You have shown that you are in no way, shape or form, qualified to give a course in logic, ethics, or moral values.

I didn’t ‘deduce’ revenge. I was only offering what I thought indicated by ‘I think…”. To deduce means that I came to a conclusion and I didn’t. If I did ‘deduce’, I would have clearly stated that you wrote the column as an act of revenge. I didn’t.
The reason I put forward ‘revenge’ is because it was quite clear that Bolt bested you intellectually (ouch… that must have left a scar) and you in retort went to your column.
But hey! You might very well have thought that you got the better of the exchange. That’s only your ego speaking. You didn’t.

I don’t know what your background in social work has to do with anything, and while you might think that you have Bolt’s interest at heart, your offering is so terribly bad.

I didn’t mention anything about tourism, the blogger did. Address that with him. But since you know that Usain didn’t say that, why do a column in the first place? Since the internet gives ‘tourists’ access to your column, you are abetting the dissemination of misinformation.

As to ‘far more honest..’, what a holier than thou attitude to take. You don’t know me and you can’t know how honest I am (illogical comment, perhaps). You however, have publicly put your honesty up for the test. You know nothing about me, but I know you have varying degrees of honesty.

Whether or not ‘95%’ of your feedback agrees with you or not, is irrelevant. This is not about a popularity contest. Fools often congregate. 55% of the American people voted for Bush twice. Does that mean they are smart?

What is a lie? … to say something that is not true, to give a false impression. Should Bolt have stated the truth or should he have passed on the question? And if he did the latter, wouldn’t the omission be glaring and wouldn’t the questioner come back to it?

Aaah. Here is the crux of the matter. By your words, “Bolt is not too bright…”. That says a lot about arrogance and self-importance. But it must hurt that he still bested you intellectually.

Biblical references… the refuge of the ignorant and pompous. I take it this is your justification for lying. I know many preachers who do the same, while carrying out the same sins that they exhort their parishioners not to. Hmmm. I think we have a winner here.

To me a lie whether in necessity or not is still a lie. One might have a good reason to lie, but it is still a lie. If you hooked up to lie detector, it would still record as a lie.

You hate dishonesty. Is there some self-hatred, some conflict going on inside of you? Are you say, schizophrenic, or bi-polar by chance. Which reminds me of Ferdie Mahfood of Food for the Poor. You remember him, don’t you? Another fervent catholic? Here is a link to refresh your memory … http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_44_36/ai_66888038/ Wasn’t he also against dishonesty?

As to your question… I perhaps would hope that you would lie. But that doesn’t change the fact that it would still be a lie. So let me ask you this question this we are into this type of game. If you had a choice in the same situation, wherein your ‘soul’ would be immediately condemned to eternal damnation should you lie, what would be your final answer when the gunman said, “Yes or no. Is he (me) hiding in your house?”. Would you tell him “Yes” or “No”?

Or if he said, “If you lie and I find him, both of you will die. If you tell me where he is, I will spare your life”. What would be your answer ‘Mr Extremes to prove a point?

Self-righteous and a hypocrite… guess you were looking in a mirror as you wrote that.

By the way… ‘Spelchek’, it’s a feature on your computer… familiarize yourself with it. If your English teacher read your reply, he/she would be appalled.

MB: Whether you wanted to believe it or not, I am in a position to give you a course in logic, although you might not be humble enough to admit it. However I did not say I was offering the course but now that you mention it, perhaps I should. Usain did not best me in logic, but perhaps he bested you.

God alone is my judge. I still say that I am far more honest than many of those who criticise me. And if my offering to Bolt is terribly bad, who don’t you best it by helping him? Why write the column if he did not say that every Jamaican smokes ganja, you ask. I did write that Usain needs counseling a point you seem to be skirting.

And who is being conceited if you think that you are more intelligent than the rest? True, fools often congregate. I do not know about you and you know little about me. You say I have varying degrees of honesty because i told Usain that not every lie is a sin. This reminds me of the Pharisees who complained about Jesus healing on the sabbath’ You hypocrites he said which one of you having your donkey drop in a well on the sabbath will not pick him out? My question was similar to Bolt re the hypothetical man being hidden.

A lot of what you say about me might best describe yourself.
Michael Burke

About the author


Writer, photographer, artist. Have been doing all three for some time. More about myself and my art can be found at http://www.louisdavisart.com, and http://www.broward.org/arts/publications/cq/2008/winter08/cq_winter08.htm