Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Sunday Scrub: What's the 411 on 119?

 What’s the 411 on 119

:Improving Emergency Call Centers  

The Portmore police came under stern criticism from concerned citizens in the area, after reportedly responding to an emergency involving a woman allegedly beaten and raped in Kingston, then mysteriously ended passed out in a shopping complex and in the nieghbouring parish of St.Cathrine (the initials reports were unclear of the lady’s state of mind), 6 hours after the original calls to the emergency call center were made.

The Head of the local Portmore division was recorded saying “The Jamaican people need to find out their local police station number and stop calling 119, because the Control Center is flooded with calls, prank and otherwise, please learn your local station numbers”.

The statement maybe factual and well intended, in prompting us the public to take CORRECT actions to know the quickest ways to get help when needed and make the adjustments to secure our lives and properties. 

Improving the System

The question still remains, How many persons will instinctually call their direct local Police Station phone number (7 digits) when need arise instead of 119 (3 digits)? We have thought our children from toddler age that the number they need to know and call for any emergency is 119 (before mom and dad’s number).

Earlier this year, we heard that the number of prank and calls not relating to an Emergency  for 2011 were 6.7 million, its clear that the system need a boost for us to avoid these challenges.

There seems to be a push for Jamaica to gain employment and capital from outsourcing Call Centers, with the Government pushing for foreign and local investors to take to task the building and outfitting of said Centers. Using the focus on Call Centers as a drive to put Police and other Control Centers in each parish and linking the standard 119  to its coordinating Parish Control Centers. We must seek to improve the technology that are used in our control centers, just as we are developing the Information Communication and Technology sector. (ICT) 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Top Mid-Week Talk: REBEL-lious Straight Talk

REBEL-lious Straight Talk: 

Tony Rebel strikes Marriage Equality

Its a  been a little more than week since the gigantic "Official" (careful using this) Celebration at the National Arena, where the Grand Gala stole the evening on August 6; our Athletes in London went on their usual rampage on the Track. Yet the buzz is still in the air not because of the fireworks, skillfully choreographed dances or the high level officials that were in attendance (PM Portia meet, President Zuma and Collin Powell) but by the populous and rights afforded but ill-timed pronouncement during Tony Rebel’s usual: high energy and controversial (captain obvious) performance of crowd favorites from the old days till now.

Rebel switched over from "Performer" to "Commentator/Activist" half way his set, all was good with the world while he went on a political bashing spree (I Can’tRecall, personal favourite) then he does the thinkable (at the wrong time and place), he utters "Marriage must be between a man and a woman", of course, the pre-dominantly Christian and straight crowd (God forbid, maybe some gays and Muslims were there - but who cares?) roared in scriptural agreement with his “Straight Talk”.

The backlash came some days after, on Social Media, Radio talk shows and Current affairs programming; comments came stagnantly  by a few justly bewildered viewers of the nights’ events that focused on -in a huge way- Jamaica’s motto “Out of Many, One People” as a theme for a segment of the performances. The comments were mostly hesitant and indirect condemnation of the timing and not the artiste himself (Politically Correct).

Out of the Many, Same People

There is no doubt that the counter opposition to the opposition of the statement is actually louder and stronger than the actual support for the artiste himself. We have not yet gathered our “individuality and uniqueness” for “ourselves” and not allow society to dictate: “How unique and/ How individual we can be”. Jamaica has not settled on a moral code of conduct (contrary to popular conservative Christian belief), we have been “Bible Blocking” it all this time trying to instill  a Theocratic hold on social norms that will never create whole hearted people. There must be some level of “Relativism” within a society that holds the root of “Traditional Values and Ethics” as strong as Jamaica. This intolerable idea that if someone is not like me or not of the same mind, I should neither want or try to associate with that person. (From a Liberal Christian)    

 Democracy of Inequality 

In an interview on SmileJamaica, Tony Rebel claims he has Freedom of Speech and Jamaica’s Democracy on his side which is very much correct, in fact we all do, lest never overstep the boundaries that are set by Democracy that allows us the said Freedom of Speech, while the debate on Homosexuality will continue as vigorous and as passionate from both sides, we must keep in the back of our minds that Democracy or an argument isn't one way but a dual system. We will never hear the heart felt Gay stories from families with accepted Gay members in Jamaica to get the other side of the story that isn't (cross dressing scammers) on the front pager of The Gleaner (front-pager in chief) but instead complete "Straight Talk". 


Politically Speaking

  • wasn't surprised by the silence of the Government, Opposition, Human Rights and the ever so fickle Jamaicans For Lesbians All-sexual and Gays (JFLAG). Expecting PM Simpson-Miller to do her  Liberal-peek-a-boo (as she did in the Debates) was far from thought she would have gone Left for a second time, making the public uneasy and uncertain of the fate of the 'Almighty' Buggery Law (dum,dum,dum)   

  • The same way of condemnation dealt to Tony Rebel is exactly how the United Nations (U.N.) is treating Syria, condemning the actions of al-Assad and not prosecuting the man himself (why Libya and not Syria).          

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Sunday Scrub: Running with Ryan

Running with Ryan: Paul “Granny Killer” Ryan on the Romney Ticket   

All off Board, the train has already left for the RIGHT….

The ‘Neo-Con Right’ is seemingly more excited about Romney’s new extremely -RIGHT- hand man than Romney himself, the “veep stakes” came to burning halt as Romney revealed his ‘Younger, energetic, Inspired, more conservative, and we could go on” Vice President running mate for the November 2012 election against the Democrat incumbents: Pres. Obama and VP. Biden.  This election will most certainly be framed around Ryan’s “Social Security Killing” contrasting ideology with Obama’s so-called ‘diluted socialism’ because of the outstanding fact that Romney isn’t known for sticking to anyone ideological standard or anything for that matter (except money).

The Paul Ryan Plan has earned the ire of the Left minded (Progressives and Liberal alike) especially those under the age of 55 who will lose the benefits of Social Security as he intends to starve Medicaid and Medicare of funding as a one stop way of cutting the budget. The name “Granny Killer” came about from a political Ad from a Progressive Organization showing Ryan pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair of a cliff to interpret what his Budget Plan meant for the those hoping for a secure retirement.

Romney, Trump, Adolf (an Newt backer)  and their ‘Billionaire Buddies’ will be rolling in capital gains no thought of starving grandma. The Paul Ryan Plan will reduce the tax rate on Capital Gains to virtually 0% for those living off the most anti-capitalist earnings (capitalist should earn their money, RIGHT?), this type of trickle-down economics devoured the surplus LEFT by Bill Clinton (W. Bush looking at you) without a doubt we should have expected this choice coming from Romney who rehired the Bush era economic team (hello, captain oblivious) on his election ticket following the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression and yet in the midst of its recovery (been undertaken by Obama) he has the audacity to keep them around.

The Romney team has chosen controversy and radicalism with Ryan over sensibility and stability with my personal fad John Huntsman (for the moderates, out there) the decision was laden with the scent of a diversion strategy; for the next few weeks and beyond the absent years of Romney’s Tax Filings will be off the tongues of the Liberal Media, the “Lame Stream” Media or the cunning FOX that will repeatedly call any attempt to have a rational discourse about the Republican nominee’s unfiled taxes a “distraction” from the issues; unfortunately for them the issues concerning the public deals with closing the loopholes and ending corruption (lest we forget, Occupy Wall St.).

The LEFT will be caught up in the Ryan Effect, moaning over his excessive RIGHTWING policies and the superb contrast from Mitt Willard Romney in every respect of the word. This though - be it a saving grace for Romney’s Taxes or the lack there of – will inversely by his doing turn this election as a contest between Barrack Obama, Mitt Romney and Paul ‘Granny Killer’ Ryan – a three way contest with Romney certainly bringing up the Flip-Flopping rear (for an abundance of  better words). The Republican voters will be 20% out to replace Obama, 30% out for Romney and 50% Ryan.

That doesn’t mean the Romney-Ryan Ticket is one to dismiss - by all means – the momentum will be on the side of the Republicans going into the following months, capturing the Ryan Energy is the aim of the RNC (Republican National Committee) then catapulting Republicans to a high especially within the Tea Party and college republicans (the few) quarters until the attacks begin to bore holes in their fabled “Titanic”.

My suggestion for Jamaican-Americans (Jamericans) who are deciding on whether to vote for Obama or stay home (because of his Gay Marriage stance), is to not vote for Obama because of his stance on a Anti-Jamaican issue but vote for Obama because he actually has a stance on record and was brave enough to publically take it, which is vastly unlike his ‘Nominated’ opponent yet to formally take an official stance –well except for- his bullying Prep schooldays.   


Politically Speaking

This Election may have the lowest turnout due to repeated unwavering (confessed) attempts by the republicans in districts to restrict voter turnout by the traditional democrat voters. They claim to be protecting the ballot from voter fraud by implementing regulations requiring voters to have photo I.D.’s that aren’t free and unnecessary for some citizens especially the elderly. This election will be crucial not only for the contrasting ideologies and economic plans but if the world will take 5 steps back regarding racial divide and how the regulations forcedly applied affect the constituency and voting groups across the nation that claims true freedom and equality for all United States of America. 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Top Mid-Week Talk: The CURE for Monopolization

Supreme Court Rules JPS Monopolistic License Illegal 

The Ruling

'Citizen United' might bring back -unlimited- memories of the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS, sounds like a disease) ruling on the still controversial 'Citizen United' ruling that allowed unlimited  funds to political parties and candidates campaign through the use of groups, known as Super-PACs (Political Action Committee). The ruling has pumped more special interest money into politics more than ever with one contributor giving up to US $500,000 to a single candidate.

We won't be focusing on that right-wing triumph over people focused politics (formerly Socialism) but instead on a local 'Citizen United' ruling that actually may have been the correct decision and in the process bring competition to the Energy Sector and subsequently lower the cost of electricity for many residents and businesses (crude capitalist economics) as we make the more than mandatory shift to 'Green' energy in Jamaica. The July 30, 2012 Supreme Court (not Jamaica's final court of appeal) ruling had been the monkey on the back of the Jamaica Public Service for months as the challenge was brought to them by the "Citizen United for the Reduction of Electricity" (CURE) on the legality of their exclusive licences granted for Transmission across Jamaica.

After some reservations on his decision in June, Justice Bryan Sykes accepted the claimants' lawyers,  submission of  a 1913 case from the House of Lords in England which deals with exclusive licence under the Electric Lighting Act of 1882. Jamaica inherited that act in 1890. Sykes reconvened the court to hear submissions on that case. The claimants' lawyers also submitted a 1559 English case which dealt with the monopoly factor. 


The judge, in explaining in the written judgment the reasons for his ruling, said section 3 of the Electric Lighting Act permitted the minister to impose conditions. "However, the minister does not have the power to grant a licence on terms which prevent other applicants from having their applications being considered genuinely. The minister does not have the power to grant a licence upon terms that bar the possibility of any other person entering the market for transmission of electricity. The terms of JPS's licence granting it exclusive right to transmit electricity is not valid," Sykes ruled.

The Justice seemed to take on the task of advocate in his reasoning as he mentioned the 
 the dangers of the minister's Pauwell approach. He said JPS already had a 20-year exclusive all-island licence. During the currency of that licence, the minister granted an extension of a further seven years.

"What is there to prevent the minister from granting a 100-year licence?" asked Sykes. This must be chilling to the spine of Jamaicans who have felt the injustice dealt by the hands of the Public Service Company with their extraordinary high billing at times, and only Tuesday the Office of the Utilities Regulation (OUR) ordered JPSCo to rebate customers for over charge on Fuel Cost, so the question does have merit.

He said section 3 of the act was not designed to permit the minister to shut out persons from the electricity supply market by continuous extension of an exclusive licence.


Politically Speaking: 

Unfortunately the ruling had to be decided by a Law enacted in the 1890's, before we would realize Independence and there is no talk about reviewing the Constitution of Jamaica -Jamaican Governments are nefarious for creating committees for everything yet there isn't any Constitution Review Bi-partisan Committee to ensure that the laws of Jamaica are kept updated. There is no political advantage to be had for having an aged constitution with laws that have been made redundant through the passage of time. Vision 2030 (doomed road map to Developed country status) should have within its scared lamented leaves Constitutional Reform and Amendments.