Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Sunday SoundOFF: LEFT-Hand Drivers, Need to Look RIGHT

LEFT-Hand Drivers, Need to Look RIGHT:

The Peoples National Party and their Expected Economic Crash and Burn   

Sounding-OFF:from the common-agreeable fact in the Jamaican Politico-sphere is that The Peoples National Party (PNP) historically has a tendency to be “lightheaded” on the matters of Fiscal importance and financial aptitude with the glaring backdrop of the past PNP administrations over the 2 decades, failure to launch the Jamaican economy into the further regions of the Global Economy, joining the developed Nations (U.S., Canada, U.K. etc.).

The Former ardent Socialist Party, under the leadership of Michael Manley went through a phase of Ideology crisis, falling victim to the “Red Rush” of the 70’s – 80’s communism movement that Cuba holds on to. The Party was elected on the slogan of "Giving power to the people" and its base soon became the absolute poor and working class - which was almost every Jamaican at the time, with the economic climate the way it was Manley’s Government was the main source of support for the population and instituted countless social and labour reforms such as Maternity Leave, Free Education at all levels and National Housing Trust, but was heavy burden of the Government.

We are at the tail end of a “Great Recession” can we expect our current “Team PNP” to hit the brakes before we hit the wall, turn the wheel in the RIGHT direction and put the pedal to the metal heading straight towards Economic Independence.

The signs are being written on the walls of Gordon House – already, Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips admitted on November 20, that an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) might not be possible before January. After such tenuous reassurance for almost a year that we would not end the year without the crucial fiscal tool and prop up (as it were) for our nation’s development.

Hit the Brakes or the Wall

With the December 29, landslide victory and earning a mandate; it was a chance to redeem their ‘poor’ to moderate economic performance in the Manley era, through the Patterson generation (and gain back there learners license), riding high on a “Range Rover” of outrage at the former administration’s handling of a fatal extradition request by U.S. officials and a catching the “Bus” of “Populism” by encouraging “People Power” that ran over the futile attempt of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to “drive home” a message of “fiscal responsibility” by using the doomed phrase: “bitter medicine”.

With the poor in hand and the rest of the population somewhat solidly behind her PM Simpson-Miller, re-entered Jamaica house with the “600lb Tanks” in the middle of the room, awaiting to be addressed from Tax reform, Public Sector Reform to Pension Reform and the age-old issues of Crime and Infrastructure (Roads), all that after promising in the National Debate’s that IMF talks and a deal would have been immediately undertaken and signed, respectively. 

We have seen countless action towards other issues but stationary on said reforms, Jamaicans should be alarmed or even discourage as the urgent reforms are necessary for us to save the sanctity of the economy and not mirror a Greece style fall into default needing a “rescue” plan requiring Austerity.

The Somewhat RIGHT Direction

As much as leftist political backers of the PNP are invested in their party and trust in the leaders and action of said leaders, there is eerie feeling that the Government has taken a wrong turn at “Half-Way-Tree”, instead of remain on main road with a balance approach of “Fixing People’s Lives to Better the Economy” (visa-verse of the JLP’s stance), they have headed “Downtown” with their economic strategy, “Fixing People’s Lives” without any near future intentions to “Better The Economy”.

We have seen the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP, how fitting) notably described as a hand out system, wrapped as a Stimulus package and delivered empty. 
While a patched tyre is better than none, eventually a new one is needed - this must come in the form of a “Somewhat Right/Conservative” handling of the economic wheel with our nose pointed squarely on the empowerment of the Small and Medium sized businesses to grow and employ, creating a smooth, ‘green tape’ process for investors especially Jamaican and challenge the public sector to cut waste.

This must be linked with what the Peoples National Party is actually good at doing, messaging to the less fortunate and motivating them into action, use the “Will of the People” forget the “Political Will” (politicians can’t create wealth, for all), whip the people in a Nationalistic frenzy over the possibility of change, encourage the people to be their own “vehicle of movement” yet being the “Wheel of Opportunity”.

Highway to Economic Independence

Whether or Not, we get the IMF deal – be them crucial- we shouldn't be bogged down in the economic or political despair of the moment as we see that there is hope in the business community and among consumers as recent study shows.  This Government has the ability and trust of the people to bring the “Obama ‘08” sequel to Jamaican shores and ride the “Highway to Economic Independence”:  

Once we loosen the grip that Central Government has on the system and truly aim to decentralize government and divest political power, giving more responsibilities to the Parish Councils and Local Authorities as to make them more autonomous, accountable and efficient.

Once Tourism is a part of a balanced and diverse economic structure; not a sacred slice of Ham.

  • Once the Politicians dump the need to be recognized as celebrities or ‘Big Men and Women’ by flashing their gold teeth.

  • Once we commit to the prosperity of Jamaica and all those who inhabit it, no matter of race, gender or sexuality. 

  • Once the Jamaican Constitution reflects a modern democratic nation at 50 and stepping into its own, independent from Head to Toe.

Then and only then, can a Peoples National Party or any other Government formed after be upgraded from a “Learning Driver” to a “Road Scholar” worthy of chauffeuring the “Limousine” that is the true Jamaican Economy, hidden under  this “VW BUG”.

Until Then, I say to the Jamaican Public always “Look both ways before crossing the road” and to the PNP “Learners” remember: LEFT-Hand Drivers, Need to Look RIGHT!!!

Otherwise, there is an imminent feeling in the crowded VW BUG that the  ‘Crash and Burn’ may be early next year, January – maybe.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Editor's Note: Net International Reserves

*Editor's Note
*This is a worrying trend for the Jamaican Economy, beyond the fact that we depend on Foreign Exchange, more than we do on oxygen to live. The Government may want to implement a Commission - like every other problem, they wish to ignore long term - this requires the best minds and the most experienced minds among the Population and We  furiously hope that the Hon. Edward Seaga would be a prominent figure in any body set up to deal with the Economy. *

*Data courtesy of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ)
The Image shows the country's Net International Reserves (NIR) from February 2010 to October 2012.  The NIR is representative of the nation's "savings account" in international currency.  Click on the Image to enlarge it.
The Motion Chart illustrates the data over the period, January 2011 to October 2012.  Click on the circle you would like to track before the animation begins in order to follow the illustration as it flows.

Source link: Below NIR Chart

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Blowing The Whistle: The Attacked From "Behind" - EXPOSÉ -

The Attack From "Behind" - EXPOSÉ - 

Blowing The Whistle On: 

The Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society: Deceptive & Inaccurate Advisement 

Sounding Off: from the "Right of Speech" angle which this Blog 'whole heatedly' endorses but with Rights comes responsibilities - or not, considering this Ad - which was a sore sight in the The Jamaica Observermaking a disturbing point that the Jamaican Religious population may commend but was a twisted and crafted message from the Source: Center for Disease Control Reference - portraying "Sexual or Gay Rights" as an avoidable measure, also its "Behavioral Change" message  has a pseudo concerned ring to it but in fact is deeply bellowing "Conversion Therapy Theory" - discredited by its former users -  ending with a fine print, barley visible and/ "noticeable" to a reader. The ad is featured below:

The Jamaica Observer, Nov. 30th Ad Read:

Adopt Behavioural Change: 


The 'RIGHTS' Approach is Dead Wrong: "The sexual health of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the united states is not getting better despite considerable social, political, and human rights advances... HIV and other STI's have been increasing for almost 2 decades"

Source: CDC Reference: AIDS Behav. 2011 Apr. 15 Suppl 1 S9-17

The best way to reduce the incidents of HIV is through the adoption of Behavioural change.:

Avoid high risk sex 

Be faithful to one person 
Change behaviour to save lives 
Delay the start of Sexual activity

Enforcing "SEXUAL RIGHTS" will NOT reduce the spread of HIV in Jamaica. Encouraging BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE is our only hope.

Anal Sex    Unprotected Sex    Multiple Parnters

A message from the Jamaica coalition for a healthy Society. The JHCS does not condone the lifestyle of  Homosexuals but unequivocally condemns all violence against them.

*(From the Editor: The adaptation of the Ad. is done to the best of our abilities and be considered proportional. Any mistake or error should NOT be and will NOT be considered a misrepresentation) 

The Sender and The Message

Betty Ann Blaine
We should note with intention that the Organization affiliated with this Ad was created by Rev. Peter Garth (Jamaican Coalition For a Healthy Society) is a conservative - Pro Life and Pro-Buggery Law - group associated with many controversial stance on health and Lifestyle issues: From a main supporter Betty-Ann Blaine who is a heavily-righteous Christian, “Jamaican Patriot” and recently a third party Politician, who in her May 22 Column in said newspaper The Jamaica Observer, entitled: Compassion without Compromise': Church throws down the gauntlet, wrote – “The JCHS, which describes itself as "a determined group of individuals which has decided to tackle the forces that undermine today's family  and thus threaten the health of tomorrow's society", described its mission to be the "cultural watchmen and bearers of God's love and truth,operating under the belief that a society's health — in the broadest sense —cannot exceed that of its smallest grouping, the family”.

The Message

Cartoonist Portray Gays
Clarifying, who the sender is crucial in assessing the meaning and innuendo of the message especially in the case of Issue contested to be a ‘no go’ area in public discourse; with the understanding that our Sender is actively opposed to Homosexuality even with the intention to ‘correct social wrongs’ then I am convinced that the message was intended to stir up a feeling and the question is which feeling? Could they possibly be trying to instill fear and nullify any advances made toward “Sexual Rights” under the guise of Public Education, the line “The RIGHTS approach is DEAD wrong” will agree with me fully on its ‘loose’ use.

Two Sides to Every Story

The JCHS has some explaining to do after cropping a Center for Disease Control and Prevention report to fits its agenda with some efficacy, but we caught them RED handed, and taking half a cookie from the jar. The source provided:  CDC Reference: AIDS Behav. 2011 Apr. 15 Suppl 1 S9-17 - as everything else on the face of the earth can be Goggled – after a quick search on Google and a slight scroll down on the page, the link to the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s - - a compilation of Public Health Information from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health and on that web page, this can be found:


Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton RD NE (E-35), Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

Further down on that web page is an Abstract from said report which the JCHS (Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society) may have butchered and plastered in the Jamaica Observer; so the JCHS quite literally may have taken half of the abstract which gave a bleak and acknowledging view of the alarming situation concerning LGBT, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)  even as advances had been made on all fronts of society. Unfortunately the Jamaican public was prohibited from seeing the other half, which gave a nod to a “Balanced Approach” not outlining “Behavioural Change” but “Sexual Health” and the true intention of the Report, to “Improve the health and well-being of MSM”.  
The 'Other Half' can be read below:

"The disproportionate and worsening burden of HIV and other STIs among MSM requires an urgent re-assessment of what we have been doing as a nation to reduce these infections, how we have been doing it, and the scale of our efforts. A sexual health approach has the potential to improve our understanding of MSM's sexual behavior and relationships, reduce HIV and STI incidence, and improve the health and well-being of MSM."

The report, although acknowledging that even with Social, Political and Human Rights advances there is still an epidemic among LGBT men - the JCHS plays on this fact - when it tries to dispel that those advances aren't necessary for a “Healthy Society”; but the report didn't seem to be downplaying or removing the “Advances” as essential rather promoting its usage, just sighting its limits. There is an apprehension and gathering despair from conservatives and their religious counterparts that Jamaica is heading towards the Repeal of the Buggery Law – that will rain down fire and bring the ire of God upon us all – a law which has a powerful but “nonentity” presence within our aging Constitution.

Always Read the Fine Prints

I was at first taken aback by the presence of the Ad in the newspaper while I was skipping through its lesser attractive sections to myself, so probably my eyes were with my mind trying to figure out the sense of creating such a ‘backward looking’ Ad, after my first couple of scans over the Ad – I skipped trying to find a suitable memory filler to read as to cover up the conservative masterpiece in my memory banks but Interest and liberal resolve forced me back to the Advertisement and immediately I discovered a ‘disclaimer’ of sorts for the ‘divisiveness’ of the Ad in front of me, a fine print that read: 

Jamaica coalition for a healthy Society. The JHCS does not condone the lifestyle of Homosexuals but inequality condemns all violence against them.  

The silent reasoning and possibly the truth that the ‘disclaimer’ placed away from initial view is unfortunately an attempt to seem on the side peaceful discourse and innocent of any actions that may result from a homophobic reader getting irate – God forbid that there any of those people living in Jamaica.

Here is my ‘disclaimer’: ‘I regret having to “Blow the Whistle” on any person or organization as we all have regrets of doing something we weren’t supposed to, but once you choose to be a public figure any prepare for scrutiny and even I expect the same.’

In ending this Article, the question of the moment must be asked: ‘Will the Human Rights Groups respond?’ as they often allow these types of counter factual slander go unchecked.

What will the Jamaica Observer do as an advocate of Responsible and Factual Free Speech? Our media houses refuse to acknowledge the ‘Pros’ of the Issue, constantly refusing publish or televise Positive Gay content.

Finally, “Who in our Government can be the Adult in the Room and take a step further than Prime Minister Simpson-Miller’s verbal acceptance of gays within her cabinet as she said in the National Debates? Too long our Politicians have kept their tails between their legs and shying away from “Change of the Times”.

*We thank our loyal readers, whether you Encourage our continuation and our Discourage it, either why you make us STRONGER.*