THE POWER OF MONEY IS BRUTE FORCE

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SIGH…..sometimes you should just sit back and watch the bulldog try and catch its own tail.

Recently the #NBA is in the news with  super power #China over a tweet from the General manager of  the #HoustonRockets. The tweet touched a Chinese nerve as he dared to take sides with #HongKong in the ongoing spate with big bully, sorry I meant BROTHER, China. In a series of dramatic soap opera misgivings, the NBA has made statements trying to deflect and contort themselves into pretzels not to offend their Chinese host.

Yes the NBA has 2 pre-season games in China at the very same time as #twitter-gate. China, the wealthy bully with millions of dollars invested in the NBA instructed the NBA not to speak to any reporters and also to tell their players to just Shut Up and Dribble. The NBA, with their tail behind their legs did just that and made another statement that this was ‘unprecedented’ and felt their players should not be pulled into this Geo-political brouhaha so NO STATEMENTS to anyone , total blackout to the media.

Capitalism was defeated by Socialism. What a striking turn of events. It was #FidelCastro who once asked where is the success of Capitalism when all the talk was about the failure of Socialism.  I now put the same question to the NBA , where is the success of Capitalism? Where is your much hyped #FreedomOfSpeech for all Americans?

Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green and everything  else is  subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it.

China ,whose political belief by definition is the opposite of Capitalism knows this and has stuffed it in the face of the NBA. China knows The NBA loves money , it WANTS money and only sees green, hence they use them like pawns, controlling their narrative AND telling the salivating, hungry NBA puppy dog they cannot speak. What the Chinese have done is they took the  much ballyhooed American First Amendment Rights and stuffed it up their derriere..and that’s putting it nicely!

The power of money is brute force. It is the power of the bludgeon and the bayonet. The NBA is by no means the compass of which you measure the overall system of Capitalism but in truth this is what politics looks like. Politics always looks the other way when those that are affected are not the ones paying the bill.

It is enough that the NBA knows that China is a market with immense opportunities so to avoid losing they turn around and bend over.

The people who has the product  decide nothing.

The people who is paying for the product decide everything.

 

Kwesi: October 2019. Copyright .All Rights Reserved

 

ITS SILLY SEASON IN JAMAICA

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PM Portia Simpson and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness. Pic courtesy Gleaner Publication 

It’s the beginning of the silly season in Jamaica. In reality, there seems to be #SillySeason year round as our government and opposition consistently do silly things, but the season takes on a special aura especially when elections are called.

The PM , who promised she would  not call elections until she was ‘touched by God’ finally got  the heavenly touch  and elected to ‘Step Up the Progress” on February 25, 2016.  The opposition disagreed claiming their vision was the right vision as they would take the country from “Poverty to Prosperity”. Both parties  laying out  two road maps that are as far apart as the East is to the west coast of Jamaica.

The divide between the parties  are not unusual. From our independence  both parties have colored themselves with different color of prosperity- The PNP choosing the color orange , the JLP green. These colors have become so politically engraved in the psyche of ordinary Jamaicans that many have died wearing them. The silly season takes no prisioners.

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Photo credit: Gleaner photograph. 

The colors represent battle grounds and despite calls and breakfast to pray for unity, during the season these colors never meet. Indeed it is not unusual that people of both parties refuse to even wear clothing of the colors for fear of being called a ‘sell out’ or accused of being a traitor. It was therefore not surprising when an image published by the Gleaner with supporters of both parities hugging and even kissing on the cheek made headlines. Was this a sign that Jamaicans can enjoy the season without fear or repercussions and more importantly co-exist peacefully despite their respective leader’s rhetoric?

This unusual display of unity proved only to be fantasy as no sooner than 24 hours later the leaders of the parties indicated that nothing has changed and silly season rhetoric took center stage on the political grand stand.

At issue is the agreement for both parties to participate in the National Debates and the ruling  PNP is refusing to participate because the PM , on one side is threatening lawsuits and demanding apologies to her integrity  and answers to personal matters relating to the Opposition leader and on the other Andrew Holness refusal to submit the answers and calling on his lawyers to protect his legal rights.

The lines are once again drawn. The supporters are hugging and kissing , the leaders are fighting with legal daggers drawn. I guess the best things in life are silly.

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a Candidate of a political party; but  I just repeated my self .  To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Politics have no relation to morals. Our entire political history rebels at the thought of somehow giving politicians the power to control men’s minds.

This power was the cause of a torrid history of political violence that made the transition from the politics of violence to peaceful democracy a rather messy one. The name calling by the leaders does nothing to improve the understanding or move the political debate forward and they both know this. Consequently the refusal by the PNP to participate in the National Debates does nothing to advance their political trademark , ‘Step Up to Progress”.

Is it that the PNP seems to have found a political ploy: picking up whatever issue the JLP is vulnerable on and champion the cause? Is the real reason for this posturing a deliberate attempt to divert their own short-comings? The PM  knows the silly season has no morals and name calling is commonly practiced on both sides as cooking ackee with salt-fish.

Both are pandering to their side of the political divide and that only brews up continued political violence from the uneducated mass, and both parties have a surplus. Andrew by his comments clearly seems to be playing the man and not the politics and Portia, by her retisence is putting her feet in tepid waters of paranoia whereby the same uneducated mass will feel justified to turn to violence to remedy imagined threats.

In the silly season one thing is clear and that is political civility is not about being polite to each other . It is about reclaiming  the power of both JLP, PNP and all the other P’s to come together , debate the common good and call  the Jamaican democracy back to its highest values amid our differences.

The silly season does not have to be silly and the voters have already tasted that savory fruit as evident  in the picture above. In the very end this political stand off is only trumping one thing – Whose policies will serve Jamaica best? No debate means no answers. It would therefore seem the 51% of independents  may have a point to their stand off and refuse to participate in this political season of silliness.

No part of a politicians ego is more indispensable than fighting for an informed  electorate and ultimately peaceful elections.

Copyright © 2016 Kwesi. All Rights Reserved.

MICHAEL MANLEY WORDS OF PROPHECY 42 YEARS LATER

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http://rjrnewsonline.com/archive/new-years-message-1972-opposition-leader-michael-manley

Today I share the link of the New Years message of Michael Manley who was then the Opposition leader in 1972. Listening to his words now it is not only timely it is also prophetic. Every word he speaks rings true 42 years later. It is a simply truth, Jamaica has NOT moved towards a hegemonic society of oneness and collective nation building.  This Jamaican society is still in its infancy of determining who we are as a nation, despite examples of social ascendency and positive upliftment in the international arena. A nation that has led in many Caribbean thrusts and initiatives we have abandoned the leadership role to one of international beggar.

Nation building cannot be seen entirely  in terms of economic growth, or how we control our crime. It cannot only be seen as how many graduates we produce  or schools we have. It cannot be gauged by our medical , financial  or tourism industry. Our infrastructure, our communication capabilities, our sporting achievements are not the only guidelines either. True nation building happens when every Jamaican can flourish economically, socially and spiritually opening up his country to visitors to come experience what he is experiencing – a form of human utopia because as he lives, his country lives, as he survives, his country survives, as he laughs his country laughs. It is creating a Jamaica with a purpose. It is defining what it means to be a Jamaican, defining our moral and religious conscience. It is defining our own way forward and collectively believing and working towards positive upliftment for everyone – every man, woman and child that speaks our language.  It is defining  Jamaica in its human form. That is nation building. Unless we stop and begin to act like leaders and thinkers, this country will continue to see riots of economic upheaval, social disunity and collective indiscipline and backwardness on the plantation.

You can listen to the excerpt by clicking on the link or read the transcript below. Enjoy.

Opposition Leader – MICHAEL MANLEY – Jan 1, 1972. 

First of all, what sort of society are we really trying to build in Jamaica? What are the ideals that should guide us at this time?

Independence

When I think back to the time of Independence, I believe that people expected that there would be a great coming together, a great sense of everyone about to share and make a contribution to a great adventure.

But I don’t think that this has happened. Rather, I think that we find ourselves more divided now than ever in Jamaica. I think if there’s one challenge above all else that faces us right now, it is how to mobilize, how to recapture a sense of national unity, how to capture the forces that strengthen us, rather than those that divide us.

We, in Jamaica, have always suffered from a tendency to look outside for help, to look to other people, other nations for ideas about our problems. We will never build a great Jamaica this way.

Self-reliance

The second of the great challenges that face us in Jamaica now is how to develop a sense of self-reliance, how cultivate a real national self-respect. Then again we have the problem that, over the last few years, and particularly recently, I think there’s an increasing tendency for those who lead in Jamaican affairs to lead with arrogance rather than humility. I do not believe we ever be able to mobilize the Jamaican people that way. I think that all those who claim to lead must recognise that if you are to mobilize the Jamaican people to great effort, to create a sense of a common agenda; that we have got to walk with the people, rather than ahead of the people, looking back. And there I think lies the third great challenge of the next ten years.

In recent times, our people have been under great pressure; they have suffered considerably. And I notice that we have tended to be very preoccupied with material things; we have tended to take comfort in statistics. One hears of all the great statistics of the growth of the economy, the national income and that sort of thing. I think that rather than take comfort in figures, that it is time that we begin to remember that there are many people in Jamaica who have nothing from which they can take comfort, except hope.

In the next ten years, of course we must be concerned with figures and economic growth; of course we must press on all the processes by which the economy can grow. But our efforts must be backed by a more genuine, a more real concern for people. I think that we have to remember that if the individual does not benefit from growth, then the growth is in vain and if all do not find a level at which they can share in growth, then growth is in vain.

Sharing

The idea of sharing is nothing new to Jamaicans. When people are poor, for example in a yard, they survive by sharing. Those who have today, share, without thinking, without questioning. They share with those who have nothing. And those who have nothing today have a day in the future when they have something and then they do not grudge to share with those who have nothing at the time.

This kindness; this instinctive generosity; this generosity towards another human being is I think one of the greatest and most enduring and valid features of Jamaican life. I think all those who would govern Jamaica in the future, who have it in mind to govern Jamaica in the future, would do well to place their governance on the kind of instinctive principle that has made this concept of sharing the means by which the Jamaican people have endured over the last hundred years and more.

And then also we must learn to care! During the last ten years, I think that we have been far too willing to take poverty for granted, to take unemployment for granted, to take the pressure of the cost of living for granted, to take suffering for granted.

We have lived with these problems for so long that sometimes one feels that our consciences are almost beyond outrage. But we must commit ourselves to caring, we must be capable of moral outrage! We must be capable of caring; caring for the poor, the aged, the handicapped, the children, all the disadvantaged and the disinherited people of our country.

And this concern must not only be the genuine but charitable concern of a few, rather it must be the expression of the aroused conscience of a nation, of a whole society, above all, of a humane society.

For too long, I think we have been content to leave our Christian principles at the church door, at the end of the service. I think that the time has come when everybody must take their Christian principles beyond the service and out into the streets with us, as if it were the basic standard, the living standard that we apply to every political decision that we take and to every social problem that we tackle.

And so, as I speak to you… at the beginning of this New Year… I commend you to look at the past so that you may learn its lessons, but not to become over preoccupied with it. Rather, I suggest that you turn to the future, to grasp the opportunities for great achievement, even greatness itself. Because all this lies before us. Because our future can be one of great hope and ideals achieved. It can be a future, not only of material prosperity, but above all, of spiritual fulfillment, a future in which we can all share, we can all freely express our God given talents and work together for the good of the country, the welfare of our people and to bring together the true promise of Independence.

So let it be written ,so let it be done.

THE TRUTH ABOUT POLITICIANS

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While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. 

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. ‘Welcome to heaven,’ says St. Peter. ‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem.

We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you. ‘No problem, just let me in,’ says the man. ‘Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up.

What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity. ‘Really, I’ve made up my mind.

I want to be in heaven,’ says the senator. ‘I’m sorry, but we have our rules. ‘And with that, St.Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are a ll his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator raises…The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. ‘Now it’s time to visit heaven. ‘So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing.

They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. ‘Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven.

Now choose your eternity. ‘The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: ‘Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell. ‘So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. ‘I don’t understand,’ stammers the senator. ‘Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time.

Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened? ‘The devil looks at him, smiles and says, ‘Yesterday we were campaigning….Today you voted.’

And there you have it  friends. A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.