31 May 2009

this naked hide

this single purpose is one most unfair

to take us out and take away our pride

leaving us nothing but this naked hide

for those who rule to laugh and prod and stare

declaring the delight to be most rare

and our request for some relief denied

the better for a young fool to deride

just how we shiver in the nighttime air

we have to laugh since that way we get paid

the pittance you believe we most deserve

for making this whole scene the sort of show

to compensate the pain that will abrade

the strength of mastery and must unnerve

even the ones who truly fail to know

Gaming the System

John Maxwell

If you don't believe that Jamaica is a suffocatingly small country consider this: I was at school with the fathers of three of the four JLP candidates who were foreign nationals when they contested the most recent general elections.
I was at Calabar with Peter Fakhouri, father of Shahine Robinson and at Jamaica College with Douglas Vaz and Desmond Mair.
In a letter to the Editor earlier this week I said believed that the Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal were wrong when they decided that voters had not thrown away their votes when they voted for people who they were warned were not qualified to be elected. I need to withdraw that opinion and apologise for not having paid proper attention to what the judges actually decided..
According to the judges, the voters were entitled to believe the then
Director of Elections when he vehemently and quite erroneously, assured voters that they could ignore the PNP's warnings on the subject. As the law stands, the voters need to be unambiguously certain that they are voting for a candidate who is unqualified before they can be judged to have thrown their votes away.
There was no way they could be assured of the actual situation in time to do much about it.
What is sad and unforgiveable is that such a situation could have arisen at all.

Caveat Emptor

    The problem faced by the judges was not simply between the interest of the candidates, but with the public interest, and since they were dealing with the votes of tens of thousands ofd people they would have been remiss, as I must admit, to disqualify candidates and to install in their places people who did not win a majority of votes.
The cases have opened a serious can of worms, because the constitution and the Represenation of the People Act (ROPA) clearly never envisaged such a situation.
We need to revise the constitution and the ROPA to make sure that the people are not let down by a system which failed in its due diligence to guarantee that the
Director of Elections was actually qualified for the post and failed in other ways to ensure fair and decisive elections.
The revisions also need to protect the public interest against the possibility of innocent or wilful misunderstanding of who is and is not eligible to vote or to be elected for any office subject to electoral choice.
When my own father was disqualified in an election petition 75 years ago it was because a judge decided that he was too poor and did not pay sufficient taxes to be elected a member of the then Jamaican parliament. The man he thrashed was declared elected in his stead. My father, according to lying testimony accepted by the judge, was not a taxpayer of sufficient weight. N.W Manley, who represented the successful petitioner, was nonetheless saddened that the law should be able to deprive people of their preferred choice simply because the man they chose was judged to be too poor to represent them.
Fortunately for my father his opponent collapsed and died soon after the judicial decision and whatever deficiencies existed in his papers were corrected for the ensuing bye election, which like the first, he won by a landslide. His opponents said my grandmother had worked a little obeah on his behalf!
Members of the Jamaican parliament wield tremendous power over the lives and destinies of everyone in this country. As I said earlier, I went to school with the fathers of three of the four affected MPs and I don't consider them to be either wicked or dangerous. But the point is not whether we can trust Messrs. Vaz, Mair and Mrs Robinson. The question is what we will do when someone unscrupulous discovers this backdoor to power and decides to exploit it. What would happen if Mr Mark Rich or Mr Derepaska were to plant a mole or two for the next election?
In curing the present defects we will need the goodwill and good faith of all members of parliament and of the electorate who must be part of the decision and the cure..
But is it realistic to expect that this parliament will move to cure its own deficiencies and, in the process, lose its majority?

Practical men

The world is full of practical men and Jamaica seems to be cursed with more than our fair share.
One product of the practical men is that towering white elephant known variously as the Forum hotel and the Adventure Inn which has sat, balefully mouldering, for nearly forty years, near Port Henderson at the western edge of Kingston harbour. In the 80s Mr Seaga bought this totally useless lump of concrete, glass and steel from the developers, the Matalons, and our taxes are paying for this and other mistakes of the practical men.
We do not understand that even if an investment is made by the private sector as the Forum was, we Jamaicans eventually must pay for it in a variety of ways, by increased interest on money borrowed by the state, on lowered bond ratings, in loss of alternative employment for capital, and so on.
The practical men are even now advancing the plan for the Nauru-isation of Jamaica. Some of us have known for years that Jamaica west of the Wag Water, is essentially half bauxite and half limestone and this fact, newly discovered by practical men, gives us licence to dig down and despoil our landscape in search of foreign exchange.
The Prime Minister made an important statement recently but one which I am afraid, will be ignored by the practical men of the press and the battalions of the MBAs. Mr Golding advised us to look to agriculture for our future prosperity, to seek opportunities to add value.
I have been in the Netherlands for the past six months and I cringe when I see all round me, evidence of opportunities lost by Jamaica because of the demands of practical men.
In the Amsterdam street markets and supermarkets you will find the tubers we call coco (taro, eddo etc) which have an assured market because they are hypoallergenic food; they can be consumed by people who are allergic to all kinds of other things. Some Jamaicans call it 'hog-food'. Our practical men want to sell bananas and sugar, while the Costa Ricans, Panamanians, Moroccans, Turks and others are making lots of money selling five or six kinds of melons, pomegranates, peppers,custard apples, mangoes, pumpkins, yams and all kinds of fruit grown better and tastier in Jamaica. The mangoes and avocados are especially pathetic. Jamaican sorrel is imported from the US.
Fifty-two years ago, in a column in Public Opinion (go look it up) I proposed that we should transform our fruit exports by ripening them in Jamaica and shipping them by air freight to pinpointed markets in Europe, getting rid of Elders & Fyffes, refrigerated steamships and ripening rooms and long distance rail and road haulage which produced wealth for English workers and merchants.
Guess what? Lots of the exquisite honeydew and other melons and other fruit on sale in Amsterdam have most of their value added where they are grown and are flown to pinpointed markets in Europe ready for consumption.
If we were to turn Trelawny's sugar estates into fruit growing cooperatives I believe we would from one parish, earn as much as all Jamaican agriculture does now.
But I said more or less the same 52 years ago. In between then and now we destroyed the JAS, the Agricultural Extension Services, the Farm School, the Agricultural experimental stations and the idea that farming was a means of growing wealth and building prosperous and peaceful communities.
Meanwhile the practical men tell us: forget about sports, militarise the youth and dig down the countryside.
If we had had Environmental Impact Assessments in 1972 we probably would not now be paying for the white elephant at Port Henderson. On the other hand we had EIAs in 1999 and yet we have the Doomsday Highway and pretty soon, all of Treasure Beach will be under water courtesy of the National Works Agency and NEPA..
That just tells you what is possible when the law is not a shackle!
Copyright ©2009 John Maxwell

30 May 2009

no turquoise seas

this journey is the one we do not make

across no turquoise seas to no green isle

do not be anxious there's no chain to break


you have been silent for your own soul's sake

knowing that truth is always out of style

this journey is the one we do not make


to find the place where no one's on the take

and justice won't delay a goodly while

do not be anxious there's no chain to break


except the one that's not so hard to fake

yet that we can't unlink from with a file

this journey is the one we do not make


from home to haven down the stream to lake

along with those the ancient would revile

do not be anxious there's no chain to break


nor any chime that we want you to shake

but reasons plenty to coax one last smile

this journey is the one we do not make

do not be anxious there's no chain to break

28 May 2009

no matter that the cap's been set askew

there is no better story we could tell

about the way our honest vision grew

out of cold pain to fill the broken shell

healing the ill that you could not dispel

for all your efforts since there was no way

to break the walls or give the soul full play

we reach the bounds and have no better terms

than these old worn words no more than cliché

you might as well give up and feed the worms


we watch as grey has come to rule the blue

there's nothing here against which to rebel

just the old order just the normal due

course of the world which we cannot compel

to alter for our will there is no spell

that folk of magic could use to allay

these ordinary fears which still betray

just what we are old time alone confirms

that it can do its will and have its say

you might as well give up and feed the worms


after the rain we hope to see the new

growth that will rise the blossoms that will swell

once more in the bright garden to show true

that all things in the end shall come out well

so that on painful matters we won't dwell

and not look at the fossils under clay

the ancient dead in their solid array

since he who looks is also he who squirms

at thought of what lies just beyond decay

you might as well give up and feed the worms


prince your approach is all the gift we pray

knowing how well we count on what you say

beneath your wisdom are the least of germs

unable to resist the force of day

you might as well give up and feed the worms

24 May 2009

the poorer type

into dull silence fall the poorer type

day upon day they give up on the fight

learning each time that no one gets it right

for any other tale is so much hype

the better-off might rage or else might gripe

as long as ruler stays just out of sight

since even fools can tell that this is blight

and not the sweet fruit going overripe

what each is given turns out not enough

to ease the suffering when it must come

each takes the burden almost as a bet

and thinks that he's the one who will be tough

who will say nothing without being dumb

managing to pass through without regret

foul parliament

this is the place where pigeons play their games

untroubled by the large ungainly folk

who never have been seen to get the joke


birds shit on heroes and on noble dames

that's not a fact that we want to evoke

this is the place where pigeons play their games


here where our leaders make their sordid claims

upon our hearts and liars go for broke

old beggars note again the stinking smoke

this is the place where pigeons play their games

Haiti’s Great White Hope

John Maxwell

History is littered with treachery. In the noisome Slough of Dishonour are mired thousands of reputations, most of those who betrayed their own countries, like Pierre Laval, Vidkun Quisling, Jonas Savimbi and Augusto Pinochet. The deepest pits though, the most purulent sinks, are reserved for those who have ranged abroad to betray and sabotage strangers, to inflict unnecessary suffering on people who have never given them cause for complaint. People like Leopold of Belgium, Neville Chamberlain, Hitler, Ariel Sharon and George W Bush spring readily to mind.
On Monday, former President Clinton announced that he would accept an invitation from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, of South Korea, to become the SG's personal envoy in Haiti. It is an appointment that will end in disaster.
I mention Ban Ki Moon's nationality because I believe that the disaster that already exists Haiti is the result of a culture clash which is entirely incomprehensible to most people outside the Western hemisphere and not easily understood by most people outside the international crime scene that has been created in Haiti.

Ground Zero for Modern Civilisation


It is my contention that the modern world was born in Haiti.
When you understand that the modern rotary printing press is a direct descendant of mills made to grind sugar you may begin to get the drift of my argument. Since I am not a historian my arguments will not be subtle and nuanced. I am simply presenting a few crude facts which, however you interpret them, will I believe lead inexorably to the conclusion that modern ideas of liberty and freedom, modern capitalism and globalisation of production and exchange, would have spent much longer in gestation had it not been for the black slaves of Haiti who abolished slavery and the slave trade. In the process they defeated the armies of the leading world powers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,, destroyed French empire in the western hemisphere, doubled the size and power of the United States and incidentally promoted the European sugar beet industry and revolutionised European farming.
The problem with all this, as I have repeatedly pointed out, is that had the Haitians been ethnically European their achievements would now suffuse the world narrative; conversely, had Spartacus been black, he would long ago have faded into the mists of barbarian myth.
The Haitians and all the other blacks of the Western hemisphere were uprooted from their native grounds, their civilisations laid waste, and they themselves transported to unknown lands in which they were forced to create unexampled riches and luxury for their rapists and despoilers.
For reasons lost to history, the blacks in Haiti and Jamaica were, for most of their captivity, the most unwilling subjects and continued to fight for their freedom for more than three centuries.
The Enlightenment and its prophets and philosophers popularised the ideas of freedom and liberty, the rights of man. Nowhere was freedom taken more seriously than by the Haitians, who, described as Frenchmen, fought valiantly for American freedom in that nation's Revolutionary War of Independence. When Revolution convulsed France in turn, the Haitians threw their support to those they thought were fighting for freedom. When that proved a false trail, the Haitians continued to fight, defeating the French, British and Spanish armies sent to re-enslave them.
Although the Americans and the French said they believed in freedom, they formed an unholy combination to restrict Haiti's liberty. THe fact of Haitian freedom frightened the Americans and other world powers. Haiti promised freedom to any captive who set foot on her soil and armed, provisioned and supplied trained soldiers to Simon Bolivar for the liberation of South America. Nearly 200 years before the United Nations (and France and the USA), Haiti proclaimed Universal Human Rights, threatening the slave societies in America and the Caribbean
Haiti's freedom was compromised by French and American financial blackmail, and as I've said before, what the Atlantic powers could not achieve by force of arms they achieved by compound interest. Haiti was the first heavily indebted poor country, and the United States, Canada, France and the multilateral financial organisations, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the IMF have worked hard to keep her in that bondage.
Eventually, 93 years ago, the Americans invaded Haiti, destroyed the constitution, the government and their social system. American Jim Crow segregation and injustice destroyed the Haitian middle-class, enhanced and exacerbated class distinctions and antagonisms and left Haiti a ravaged, dysfunctional mess, ruled by a corrupt American trained military in the interest of a small corrupt gang of mainly expatriate or white capitalists, ready to support any and every murderous dictator who protected their interests.
Finally, twenty years ago, the Haitians rose up and overthrew the Duvaliers and the apprentice dictators who followed. In their first free election the Haitians elected a little, black parish priest, the man whose words and spirit had embodied their struggle. But the real rulers of Haiti, the corrupt, bloodthirsty capitalists with their American passports and their bulletproof SUV's, had no intention of letting Haitians exercise the universal human rights their leaders had proclaimed two centuries before.
When Jean Bertrand Aristide was deposed after a few months in office it was with the help of the CIA, USAID, and other American entities. Then ensued one of the most disgraceful episodes in the long unsavoury history of diplomacy. Bill Clinton – elected President promising to treat the Haitian refugees as human beings – elected instead to observe the same barbarous policies as George Bush I, and when the refugees became a flood Clinton's answer was more illegality. He parked two massive floating slave barracoons in Kingston Harbour where refugees picked up in Jamaican waters were, with the craven connivance of the Patterson government – denied asylum, captured and processed and 22% of them selected for the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp while the rest were returned to their murderers in Haiti.
Eventually, largely due to pressure from black pressure groups in the US and crucially, a fast to the death begun by Randall Robinson, Clinton agreed to restore Aristide while General Colin Powell talked grandly of the soldier's honour he shared with Haiti's then murderer in chief, a scamp called Raoul Cedras.
President Clinton made several pledges to Aristide and to Haiti, but history does not seem to record that any were kept.
Had even a few been kept, Haiti may have been able to guarantee public security and to instal some desperately needed infrastructure. Instead Haitians are still scooping water to drink from potholes in the street and stave off hunger with 'fritters' made from earth and cooking fat.
The Haitian Army, the most corrupt and evil public institution in the western hemisphere was abolished by Aristide, to the displeasure of the North American powers. Now that the Americans have deposed Aristide for the second time, security is in the hands of a motley mercenary army, a UN peacekeeping force.
Security in Haiti is so good that three years ago, the then head of this force, a Brazilian general was found shot to death after a friendly chat with Haitian elites.
The rapes, massacres, disappearances and kidnappings continue unabated and the only popular political force, the Fanmi Lavalas, has been effectively neutered.
President Clinton "will aim to attract private and government investment and aid for the poor Caribbean island nation, according to Clinton's office and a senior U.N. official.
"A U.N. official said that Clinton would act as a "cheerleader" for the economically distressed country, cajoling government and business leaders into pouring fresh money into a place that is largely dependent on foreign assistance. "
It all sounds so nice and cosy, a poor, black 'hapless' nation under the tutelage of the rich and civilised of the earth.
I am prepared to bet that neither Haitian democracy nor Bill Clinton's reputation will survive this appointment. Democracy is impossible without popular participation and decision making.
In Haiti democracy is impossible without Lavalas and Aristide
If Haiti itself is to survive, the UN General Assembly needs to seize this baton from the spectacularly unqualified and ignorant Security Council and its very nice and affable Secretary General, even less attuned to Haitian reality than the last SG, Kofi Annan and his accomplices, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, P.J. Patterson and Patrick Manning.

Dual citizenship and Parliament


The laws of Jamaica are apparently being rewritten behind our backs. As I understand the Representation of the People Act, if only one person is nominated on Nomination Day, that person is automatically elected to parliament.
There is no need for a bye-election, and it would seem to me that it is illegal to have a bye-election when there is a lawfully nominated and elected MP. No court can declare a seat vacant except under certain specific circumstances.
The North East St Catherine seat cannot legally be vacant. A grant of poll resulted in one valid nomination. The seat was therefore filled by Phyllis Mitchell.
Can anyone explain when the law was changed?

Copyright ©2009 John Maxwell

23 May 2009

guinea fowl

when we forget the giants they don't die

but just diminish into lesser folk

take ship and leave for homes just past the sky


there is a story that might make you cry

about the times that we were under yoke

when we forget the giants they don't die


their footprints don't grow smaller in the eye

and we remember that we used to joke

take ship and leave for homes just past the sky


before we give you reasons to comply

with the new rules that make you want to croak

when we forget the giants they don't die


the rivers where they drank have not gone dry

and yet we cannot one old name invoke

take ship and leave for homes just past the sky


where truth and reason give us leave to fly

in that one place where justice is not smoke

when we forget the giants they don't die

take ship and leave for homes just past the sky

ballade of the good shepherd

out of the light some errant hope may creep

to stay harsh fears and keep in stern control

those bitter terrors which reign over sleep

since we are many miles short of our goal

nor can a single one afford the toll

for all our efforts we have come up short

one of our heads might yet adorn a pole

there is no justice in our rulers' court


our sense of history does not go deep

nor yet much further than the old school roll

for we want all our stories on the cheap

and honour is not something we extol

we want the stallion but not the foal

and find it is so easy to distort

the symbols that are written on the scroll

there is no justice in our rulers' court


in coming dark we will react like sheep

whose bleating the kind butcher must console

before he throws each body on the heap

or drinks another beer from his large bowl

the watcher might just find the whole thing droll

or take the scheduled slaughter for good sport

did he not see the shepherd on patrol

there is no justice in our rulers' court


prince you believe your subject has no soul

and can say nothing here of great import

but without him you cannot soon be whole

there is no justice in our rulers' court

close reading

we scour the marrow of each holy text

to find the hidden meaning but there's none

we want so much to bring into the sun


the matters that so many folk perplexed

to hear the shouts of thank you and well-done

we scour the marrow of each holy text


expecting that we'll know what will come next

the secrets that the wisest shall have won

beyond the place there normal law can run

we scour the marrow of each holy text

21 May 2009

a solid word

this is the verb that we declare must stand

for place and season taken out of time

by our decision rendered full sublime

by simplest action of creative hand

uttered each morning by serene command

the sound itself is richer than each chime

of golden bells tuned to a perfect prime

while the symbolic meaning is so grand

all that we say can be reduced to this

concision of significance and sound

where every symbol strains into the light

yet not a thing is here that we could miss

even if we retreat to harder ground

since we have turned our backs upon the night

nameless place

this is a dry and stony quarter-acre

too hard to till and far too small to build

upon by us the poor and the unskilled


here in the realm of liar and of faker

where the last honest impulse has been stilled

this is a dry and stony quarter-acre


left over at creation by the maker

so there is nothing that we have to gild

no dark condition we've left unfulfilled

this is a dry and stony quarter-acre

17 May 2009

Stealing from our Children

John Maxwell

I was a reporter in parliament half a century ago when Norman Manley shepherded through the House, the bill to create the College of Arts, Science and Technology. CAST, now the University of Technology (UTECH) was the intellectual godchild of people as various as Manley, members of the Legislative Council including my own father, and before them Marcus Garvey and others who had for years agitated for a University of Jamaica. The university was a plank in the first PNP Plan for Progress in 1958, At the time the CAST was being debated, the Opposition JLP was waging a campaign which proclaimed: "Saltfish better than education."

The Opposition opposed among other things, the government's secondary scholarship programme allowing thousands of poor children to go to places like Jamaica College and Munro. The money would have better been spent on food subsidies, they said. A few years later the same arguments were used to oppose the building of the National Stadium. This opposition was given a macabre twist on the first Independence Day when one Edward Seaga, then minister in charge of the celebrations, attempted to eject Norman Manley from the Royal Box in the Stadium he built.

"What is that man doing here?" he shouted, only to be slapped down by the new Prime Minister, Alexander Bustamante, who had a somewhat clearer idea of Jamaican history than Seaga.
With all this in the background you may imagine my shock at the attempt this week by the UTECH to capture the Trelawny stadium for its campus. 'If we don't get the stadium, UTECH whines piteously, you will be denying 5,000 children the chance to get an MBA or some other meaningless decoration stamped out by the academic mill.
I don't mean that degrees are meaningless, simply that bean-counters in academe have no more right to design the future of this country than anyone else. We can be sure of one thing: of the 5,000 new graduates few if any will have degrees in agronomy, nursing, or any of the practical skills we most urgently require for real development rather than the construction of elegant Ponzi schemes and other scams.



Rooted in Community


When I first settled in Kingston as a new boy at Calabar High School, schools of all kinds were well rooted in their communities. Many Calabar boys came from Jones Town, now destroyed by politically manipulated gangsterism. Wolmers and the North Street schools, St George's and Kingston College, recruited many of their scholars from places like Kingston Gardens and Allman Town.

What was very striking in those days was the fact that almost every school including the elementary – primary and/or all age – had its own playing field and most offered a variety of outdoor activities, from Scouting and the Cadet Corps to the more usual cricket and football. Calabar and JC offered swimming.

Calabar and Jamaica College both boasted two full-sized sports fields. Between the `jewish cemetery on Slipe `Pen Road and Torrington bridge there were four big playing fields, Chetolah Park,(school) and facilities owned by the Jamaica Public Service Company, the Jamaica Fruit and Shipping Company and another whose name escapes me. Off South Camp Road there were Issa Park and Hannasons among others while Wembley, Lucas and Kensington Clubs served Eastern Kingston. And there were others, all over.

When boys left school many went straight into the world of sporting clubs, playing Minor Cup and Senior Cup cricket or Senior League football. There was a staggering variety of sporting competitions for all ages, inter-schools, inter- and infra-parish and for those who couldn't manage those there was Business House football and cricket.
We were a very fit nation, even if many were under-nourished, and given the leadership we had, we thought we would soon fix that.
Instead, after independence the idea gained impetus that property speculation was the essence of development.

Even the schools got into the act. KC captured the Melbourne Cricket Club grounds and many of the rest went either for campuses or for housing development. Green Kingston became increasingly brown and the peace of the city disappeared increasingly into purpose-built ghettoes, armed to the teeth and ready to rumble.

Jamaican development has tended to be based more and more on the principle that schoolchildren don't vote, and while statistics attest to the building of more schools, these schools have become incubators for ghetto warriors, soulless deep-litter chicken coops with the minimum space and time for play.

In the late 70s, when the Cavaliers filter plant (at Cross Roads) fell into disuse, as chairman of the NRCA I proposed to Kingston's Mayor George Mason that one or two of the filter beds be transformed into municipal swimming pools, partly to take the place of the no longer sanitary beaches in Kingston Harbour and the broken down Bournemouth Baths. The KSAC would have none of it. Seven Olympic Games later they are still idle, and boys and girls who might have been world famous are busy firing guns at each other or pushing up buttercups in May Pen cemetery.

Counterbalance for justice

The Chinese donation of the new stadium in Trelawny was rightly welcomed by many as an essential sports centre in the west, counterbalancing the admittedly inadequate facilities in Kingston, and especially useful for the development of athletics and other sports for the deprived schools west of Ocho Rios and Old Harbour. Jarrett Park has always been totally inadequate and never more plainly so than when there is more than one major sporting activity in progress in Jamaica at any time.

Norman Manley thought that education, encompassing sports and music as well as book learning was the essential factor in civilisation. As an athlete and sportsman himself, he could never have conceived of sports, music or academic learning being in competition.
I believe, as the true father of UTECH, Norman Manley would have been outraged at the suggestion that his foundation should be used to destroy a nascent engine of Jamaica's sporting development. To justify the cuckoo's nest initiative we use the argument used against Hope Gardens: it isn't being properly used!

Whose fault is that?

Our children are to be punished for our delinquencies.

That is real Jamaican justice!


What outrages me is that the UTECH initiative is simply the latest bureaucratic assault on the Jamaican people's rights to recreational facilities – by institutions who can see development only in terms of balance sheets. The wholesale assault on the beaches of Jamaica by the Urban Development Corporation and by private interests is a similar major act of treason against the public interest. The assaults on Hope Gardens and Long Mountain are elements of the same parasitic mind-set.
It may be useful to remember that while we need playing fields and organised facilities for recreation, rebellions and insurrections create their own open spaces and do not require nor demand planning permission.
Copyright©2009John Maxwell

15 May 2009

truth is the lowest form of human freight

it does not seem to have the taste of air

nor are we certain it will bear much weight

no man nor woman ever seems to care

just how things look in the hot tropic glare

nothing much matters we just have to please

the angry critics and late attendees

who may demand the whole thing be reset

or treat our words as symptoms of disease

since there is no pure language of regret


what's left behind is nothing we could hate

just rules and regulations mostly fair

requiring we be done by a due date

so that there is a little time to spare

before we hear the last horn's angry blare

then put our tools down and bid all to cease

in swift agreement with the high degrees

knowing that there are needs yet to be met

but all our duty then will be to freeze

since there is no pure language of regret


the game is ending in one more fool's mate

just one more blundering youthful affair

nothing to bother those high in the state

nor would the general public be aware

of yet another private small despair

there's not one thing that could ever increase

the civic joy or add a single piece

of sorrow that would make the people fret

so tongue's held silent by the mind's police

since there is no pure language of regret


princess you watch as all the refugees

from the last war petition for your peace

insisting that you owe them all a debt

you think your choice is guided by caprice

since there is no pure language of regret

there is no secret

there is a weight of darkness in each heart

we have been told a legacy of rage

product of history that we assuage

but cannot deny our only sacred art

is to record it and to find its start

on the first ship upon the oldest page

of the driest book fallen from ancient age

to sum it up recall it and impart

weighty words that make it simply matter

entomb all thought until it is past dead

and will not rise again within our time

what is most needed is the force to shatter

bring out the secrets held within each head

restoring this whole world to the sublime

13 May 2009

Global Voices Advocacy...

Having been tagged by Geoffrey....

I vote for Global Voices Advocacy because free speech is essential if we are to have true global community. The idea of a public space, shared across the world, in which we can talk about what matters to us, think in public, and have our thoughts understood and answered, is precious. If we are not simply to survive, but as William Faulkner hoped, to prevail, we need that very much. Our nation, as Derek Walcott punned, is the imagination.

before the broken wall

now this is where i set the further bound

and will not cross nor will i leave behind

a single thing to show that we designed

the means and method wherewith to astound

all of our fellows nothing i have found

could serve to ease the pain of your weak mind

on this bright day when you are left half-blind

in this last place on the unholy ground

now where i set the limit of true time

you dare not pass nor tell me otherwise

than what i know to be the honest hue

of morning having at last heard the chime

and seen the waking of some fresher eyes

in light that lets all decent folk see true

10 May 2009

Student bloomers Spring 2009

Viewing France's situation from both sides she presented them with a compromising attitude and a level head, which was greatly needed in a country full of radicals, which often generated a negative response from men.

According to Burke Europe was founded upon the spirit of gentleman and religion.

Basically having both genders independence enabled into the marriage will make more successful marriages than divorces.

Marie-Olympe de Gouges' was born in 1748 and in 1793, she was executed for sedation "for having forgotten the virtues which befits her sex."

President Barrack Obama is an outstanding remodel.

His non bias actions and character have essentially embraced him into power with open arms.

To outcast a cultural because of the color of their skin is morally wrong.

They were looked upon negatively and also very subordinate of men.

Saying that, meaning that women are considered equal to men than before.

During the late 18th century and the early 19th century there was much emphasis on the morality of citizens. Any persons living during that time was under extreme pressure to adhere to Victorian morality.

Emma questioned how those who dictated social moirés could place such a limited and finite view on what was considered morally sound.

Society thought morally reproducing, even if the woman did not want to reproduce is right, also even if it harmed the woman, society thought she still should reproduce.

Morally society thought contraceptives or any form of contraceptives were not right as a result they were prohibited.

Being pregnant is not a wonderful feeling.

John Stuart Mill lived during nineteenth century England (1806-1873).

As a fighter of women's liberation, Goldman proposes that, Comstock's form of morality causes a natural decay that seeks to hinder a woman's growth by limiting her freedom.

Also, according to the text, the male must establish himself before he could come to know her passionately, but only after marriage, could he have sex with her.

For it, restricts especially the women from exploring her natural human nature.

For the past 222 years, the Constitution has been altered, and it will not cease to stop now, nor will any alterations come to an end in the future.

The purpose of the act of Federalism is because all issues that affect society are not also viewed in a national scoop.

While the morals of these men were in good taste for that time period it is inevitable to believe that the term "We the People" really included diversity of all the people, be today we hold this to be true.

There has been a long debate over whether the Constitution is a document of originalism or if it is in fact living.

Luther Martin (one of the fifth teen men who didn't sign the United States Constitution).

As time slowly progressed blacks went from not being mentioned in the constitution to slowly and slowly progressing on to the Constitution.

Plato based most of human's drive on reaching a level in which they could connect with the holly spirit or ensure a positive position with in Heaven.

When the groups goals are as one the society then can implement centre moral practise that, can transfer into generals to come.

For example: In 1955 at the early age of 14, Emmitt Til was drastically and brutally awoke by being drugged out his bed and killed in Mississippi for talking to a woman. His death was then justified in the eyes of his killers because the woman he spoke too was white and unacceptable in their eyes.

This is why I say "If you the remember that past you will soon repeat it."

The republicans and the general public main objective is Capital grain by any means necessary, no matter what race you are.

With the average time for a 30 second broadcast being $25,000, the common man cannot run for office.

Minorities and women have different challenges with subliminal exceptions from the government, but history has shown that they fought for what they believed was fair.

Homosexuals want the same rights as heterosexuals especially since there is no outlaw against sexual preference.

It is sad to say but people whom are not living in America believe in equality. There are differences in perspective views, which is still not the problem.

Most politicians are lawyers which of course makes lying a necessity in their field.

Gender bias, sexual harassment, and work place neglect were all the underlining truth of working women. This is an issue that stumbled into the 21st century. This is also an issue that was exclusively for white women, it was true for women in general.

Thus far in the data that I have collected I have come to agree and disagree with it's substance for several reasons.

Birthed in the 3rd decade of the 20th century, the year 1929 to be exact, German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, took his first breath.

With a focus on creating a structure similar to Marxism, Habermas visualize communication which then exemplifies a designed community.

If the current President Barack Obama were to be assassinated, people all over the world would want to turn to ciaos.

Dr. King's goal was to frustrate the issues to the point where it became an issue for the people who made the issues.

White women did have a certain inequality in the view of white men, but it was not the same monstruous.

It is naive to compare the two struggles when in fact the white western women treated non-Caucasian races poorly to coincide with the white male.

Being colonized is not a form of equal rights.

After a while it became evident that what the republicans where selling was not the solution to the problem, in fact it was broke. So Obama sold the people the idea of Change!

Why does voter turnout the US rank low among developed countries in?

Therefore it is power struggle and that divides the people and the vision of unity becomes dizzmo, and the common goal of making American a better place goes out the window.

This create doubts after all this become disbelief.

Most of the time their cries fell on death ears because of the harsh laws and exams that were administered before the voting process could even begin.

But for rainy day there is a silver lining in the clouds with a beautiful rain bo to follow for many blacks Obama was like a breath of fresh air.

To the Hispanic immigration was the flue to their fire.

The foremost target of internet has always been communication.

Due to close living quarters individual privacy was loss and deprived.

This particular non violent method of music to combat oppression was also used by Count Ossie.

Although the founding fathers of the United States Constitution set to make America a republic country, the fathers believed "democracies were dangerous and unworkable".

There are many reasons why the United States of America has such low ranking in voter turnout; three of the most noteworthy are due to the government's decorum, illiteracies of politicians and how the votes are calculated; if these issues are address there is a great possibility that the voter turnout will increase significantly.

Citizens believe that the government needs to focus on conveying the message of bettering, the country, state or city rather than focusing on airing out the dirty Landry of their opposing candidate.

Blasphemy is also a very important one, no body should be able to talk bad about anybody or be able to discredit a person's name, the only thing we really own in this life is are reputation.

Speech is the one thing separating man from beast and America from the rest of the world.

Limiting the rights of gays and lesbians is just a present day form of slavery in an effort to oppress a group who is only discriminated against because of their non-traditional lifestyle.

Black people had to hide in order to learn and were often brutality abused if caught in any activities that would bring them advancement.

Women face exclusion in every aspect of life. They are not allowed to have the same jobs as men, speak derogatory in public or private life, or have sexual occurrences like a man.

For example, Mack H. Jones, a Political Scientist, articulates in his literature "Responsibility of the Black Polecat Scientist to the Black Community" that the black Political Scientist should feel obliged to represent the African American community.

Due to the efforts of Martin Luther King and others, my rights are protected in the Constitution and that will continue to be significant until the end of mankind.

Europeans entered into Africa and inflected constant oppression with no known knowledge of the people.

The city of Nashville, Tennessee has undergone many racially challenging obstacles.

How many residences live in the house with the students?

Don Imus whom plays the character "Kramer" from the hit television show "Senfield" is also known for his statement regarding the black women whom play professional basketball, where he referred to them as "Nappy head Hoes" are current visible examples of racism.

Therefore the fruits become bitter due to many individuals have yet to learn the lessons of the past.

The republican party is full of middle and upper class white people whom don't pride their selves about the issues of the poor. The democratic party, which represents the lower class people, stand for equal by all cost.

President Barack Obama has made an impact on the United States in several ways that most Americans thought would never happen. With his race being of African descent, it changes the way the public looks at society.

In history, racial discrimination has always contradicted what the Constitution wrote in order for there to be equality along with horrible stereotypes.

The election of an African American does not disregard the somewhat devastating conditions of the black race.

With so much power being bestrode on American citizens being knowledgeable about all situation that effect America even Foreign and defense policymaking is a necessity.

Department of Defense is located in the Pentagon building close to Washington, D.C. created in order to reduce underserviced rivalry which was believed to have reduced military effectiveness during World War II.

But looking at the past, even all the way back to 1714 when Christopher Columbus "discovered" America even though the Native Americans where already settled in present day US.

Giving money out sometimes leads to its long term dependence.

Actually, most recipients of welfare go to elderly, blind, disabled people and mothers with young children.

Americans believe that freedom of speech is a form of expression that everyone should be able to express how they feel without any restrictions or limitations on it.

Political theory is a unique in that everyone has different philosophies and interpretations on what it is. The complexities of understanding political theory and its direction in the modern world are that it is ubiquitous.

He galvanized African Americans through a time of crisis but his flaws weren't necessarily modern world complexities but more of complexion.

King helped orcastrate numerous boycotts as well as the voter rights act of 1963.

His principles of truing the other check on dealing with violence.

He showed the brutness of injustice, but it could be argued his lack of aggressiveness and rebelliousness made was a weakness.

To thinks that all races can live together and are equal was outrageous at the tine.

While Rawls reshaped the idea of justice it was Karl Marx who reshaped classes and the core principles of society.

The key factice of political theory is understanding that there are many views on theory.

Their acts of courage as well as their willingness to be unselfish with their knowledge have whisked our world to a new domain.

But his thoughts were still echoed in the world throughout history.

Freedom assimilates with Liberty which is in a condition where an individual has the ability to act according to his or her own will.

Barack Obama is the newest president of the United States of America, and all eyes are on him to take this nation to great lengths that they have never seen before.

Bad English sometimes does not have a clear meaning to others.

Bad language can bring about many problems.

Sigma Freud focused on freedom and basically how civilization put limits on one's freedom.

Blacks and whites have been compared and contrast since the beginning of time. Why do people separate the two when we are all under one nation?

The point is that Ida B. Wells, Emma Goldman and Marie Olympe de Gouges were either white or black and this is not a reason to put them in a category based on race.

Bob Marley wanted equal rights for black people and he wanted blacks to free themselves form anti slavery.

from legend

in time you find that silence is absurd

when you've been faced with truths that are not plain

from legend we construct the final word


what once was told is what you never heard

from all the echoes of the moral strain

in time you find that silence is absurd


when in the face of the avenging herd

the thing that human truth can soon attain

from legend we construct the final word


given by some harsh god who had conferred

on mortal folk the benison of pain

in time you find that silence is absurd


but speech is harder and the price incurred

by either is not one we can sustain

from legend we construct the final word


and having spoken find our choices blurred

by the dim light that passes through the rain

in time you find that silence is absurd

from legend we construct the final word

focus steady

your eye is locked upon the circling shark

so now we come to one last bit of lore

a simple word you would not say before

this solemn second so the very spark

of light on hungry tooth must make its mark

and yet you think you still might know the score

and not yet be aware of that last door

now yawning open to the angry dark

you know what brought us to this honest place

where stories come to bump against the wall

of total silence it is not a force

that shows itself on each suburban face

it is instead the power to enthrall

both the sophisticated and the coarse

Are Children the Enemy

John Maxwell

On my return in 1971 from five years exile in England my friends seemed to think I needed to be re-introduced to Jamaica.
They were right. My first shock was downtown Kingston, which resembled parts of Berlin as it was then. In 1966, when I went to Berlin, there were huge gaps in the cityscape caused by Allied military action – by aircraft or tanks during the Second World War.
Kingston's wounds were caused by friendly fire, the work of the misnamed Ministry of Development and Welfare and the equally oxymoronic Urban Development Corporation.
Between them, forty years ago, they were going to turn Kingston into a tropical Miami with all mod cons. Instead of proceeding one building or one block at a time, Mr Edward Seaga and Mr Moses Matalon were going to transform the city, overnight. Boom! Another one gone!
As we drove through the silent ruins of Port Royal Street, ~Harbour Street, Rumbo Lane, Little Port Royal Street and South Street, something strange began to happen. Whenever we stopped the car by some derelict building so that I could try to envisage what had been, suddenly into the headlights erupted hordes of little boys, scuttling like rats or cockroaches in every direction, running as fast as their meagre legs would carry them.
"Why are they running?" I asked.
"They think we're the police, come to catch them and beat them up."
This was new to me. I had written a great deal about police brutality before being forced to take my talents elsewhere, but I hadn't heard, till then, of the police hunting children.
About three years later, when Mr Eli Matalon was Minister of National Security, I embarrassed him and Michael Manley's government by asking the Minister on television, what he planned to do with the dozens of children then being brutalised in police lock-ups. He said he wasn't aware of that situation. When I provided him with some facts about the police lockup a couple of hundred yards from the JBC studios – "the Black Hole of Halfway Tree" – he promised to get the children out of the lock-ups. A few years later, again on TV, I asked the then Minister of Youth and Community Development, Douglas Manley the question I'd asked Matalon. He actually had been moving children out of lockups and into places of safety. The problem was that the system had not been designed to deal with 'trickle-down' development.
The police fish-pots kept trapping the small fry.

Sexual Predators?

Two weeks ago, the Miami Herald carried one of the saddest stories I've ever read.
It begins:

" At age 7, Gabriel Myers was already well on his way to becoming a sexual predator.
'He had exposed himself to classmates. He had kissed another boy. And his uncle warned child-welfare administrators Gabriel had described what he wanted to do with several little girls at his Christian private school.
'Gabriel, who may himself have been sexually molested by another boy in Ohio before moving to South Florida, had been on several strong psychiatric drugs before he hanged himself last week at a Margate foster home. "

One of the Herald's readers posted a comment that expressed much of what I felt when I read the story –
"Shame on The Miami Herald for allowing this defamatory piece of trash to post. This poor child who was utterly failed by most if not all in his life is now being further victimized in his death. This disgusts me and I will cancel my subscription. We treat animals more humanely than you have this child. I hope you will write more to uncover what travesty lead to this untimely death which I would hardly term a suicide. A child who has barely been on this earth a few years and was in the care of the state for less than a year is tragically gone due to circumstances that were not at all within his control. You have left me angered and disappointed ."
Another wrote:
"Wow. So, a seven year old child "kills himself" after behaving in a manner strongly suggestive of severe abuse ... and the Miami Herald devotes an entire article to the most salacious details of the kid's sexual misbehavior? A molested seven year old's 'suicide' is mentioned once -- as a small-print caption, no less -- though there's somehow enough article space to reference his "list of touchable classmates" twice?
"This is sensationalistic journalism at its absolute sickest. You are preying on a dead child to drum up web traffic. "
The Los Angeles Times in June last year reported

"Police said the women routinely beat the boy, [the child of one of them] forced him to put his hands on a hot stove, burned his body and genitals with cigarettes and often would not let him eat or drink.
'At a news conference Friday, LAPD Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell said that because of the burns from the stove, the boy no longer can open his hands.
Lt. Vincent Neglia of the LAPD's Abused Child Unit said in a statement Saturday that the abuse was "akin to a level of torture we hope our military personnel would never encounter."

Three weeks ago the Times of London reported
"An 11-year-old boy was left fighting for his life and his 9-year-old friend was found bleeding from head to toe after being attacked and tortured by other children. The boys' attackers demanded mobile phones, money and trainers. When they refused they were said to have been burnt with cigarettes, cut with a knife and beaten with bricks. Two boys aged 10 and 11 have been arrested."

The Infinite evil of Infants

Fifty years ago, after completing her masterwork, "My Mother Who Fathered Me", Edith Clarke began research into social conditions in the slums of Kingston. She hadn't been able to complete the research for lack of funds, but she was uncovering a toxic stew of sexual and other physical abuse of girls and boys, mainly by itinerant 'stepfathers'.
It is of course almost impossible to get any reliable estimates of violence against children and young people especially since the victimisation of boys is concealed by homophobia and other fundamentalist lunacies. It is suggestive however, that one survey carried out in relation to campaigns against HIV, found that in the parish of St Ann 16 percent, more than one in six teenage boys had contemplated or attempted suicide. In the case of girls one Caribbean victimization survey revealed that 48 percent of adolescent girls' sexual initiation was "forced" or "somewhat forced" in nine Caribbean countries (Halcon et al., 2003).
People like those who drafted our latest sexual offences act appear to believe, like their cohorts all over the Christian world, that children are born evil and are simply awaiting the opportunity to demonstrate their satanic proclivities.
In Britain a few months ago, the case of "Baby P" – horrifically mistreated to death –created a huge stink, eventually resolved by finding a convenient scapegoat, the head of children's services in the London borough of Haringey.
She was named, shamed and fired, but the real author of the scandal is even now being honored – Margaret Thatcher who, with Ronald Reagan, led the western world into its terminal heresy – "there is no such thing as society" and the idea that government is the problem, never the solution. The social workers have never been given the resources they need and in places like Miami, the state transfers its responsibilities to private, so called non-profit enterprises whose humanity is expressed in religious education and prescription psychotropic drugs
To these bozos and their acolytes like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, the real problem is the sturdy beggars who won't work and expect the world to take care of them.
Their principals, salting away their ill gotten gains in Cayman, Bermuda and similar criminal laundromats, , refuse to pay even the derisory flat taxes imposed by people like Mr Patterson, considering it outrageous that they be asked to contribute to the common good in some proportion to the profits they have gained from exploiting cheap labour and turning human beings into units of human resources'.
The medieval poor laws were in some ways in advance of modern capitalist behaviour. Although "sturdy beggars" could be jailed, whipped and even hanged, the society recognised that there was a case to be made to help those who could not help themselves.
In our societies. it is simpler to warehouse in prison, half a million black, poor, handicapped or otherwise 'sub-normal' people and to dose their women and children with psychotropic drugs to keep them from breaching the peace.
At the age of seven, little Gabriel Myers opted out.
Copyright©2009 John Maxwell

09 May 2009

the charnel-house of hate

this is the limit of no sacred name

where words unspoken lose no heavy freight

your silence won't put out a single flame


once we were scared we'd be out of the game

of no account except perhaps as bait

this is the limit of no sacred name


to be upheld to nobody's acclaim

and be ignored by all who pass the gate

your silence won't put out a single flame


and all your songs will not obscure the shame

so what we do is bend our heads and wait

this is the limit of no sacred name


a home we find to wild as well as tame

the sort of thing no one would celebrate

your silence won't put out a single flame


not even here the charnel-house of fame

where all is laid to rest except old hate

this is the limit of no sacred name

your silence won't put out a single flame

05 May 2009

beyond the ban

this is the point at which all magic fades

into the normal business of work

so we experience life as dullish trades


when it should be a matter of parades

of dances driving dervishes berserk

this is the point at which all magic fades


while happy years turn into long decades

as old men look on with satisfied smirk

so we experience life as dullish trades


each of us finds out no long tirades

can sway the messenger or raise the murk

this is the point at which all magic fades


a force that is impervious to blades

within which some yet greater force may lurk

so we experience life as dullish trades


between the weight of light and heft of shades

we are afraid although we may not shirk

this is the point at which all magic fades

so we experience life as dullish trades