Thursday, November 13, 2014

Open Source and the City!


  
What is Open Source? 

Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder supplies the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any reason or function. Open-source software is very oftentimes developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most striking example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.

A report by the Standish Group (from 2008) states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers.

In production and development, open source as a development model promotes a universal access via a free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. Researchers view open source as a specific case of the greater pattern of Open Collaboration, "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike".

The open-source model is based on a more decentralized model of production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies.

A main principle of open-source software development is peer production by collaboration, with the end-product, source code, "blueprints", and documentation available at no cost to the public. The open source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of closed proprietary code, and it is now spreading across different fields. This model is also used for the development of open-source-appropriate technologies, solar photovoltaic technology and open-source drug discovery.

There is an accelerating interest in and use of Open-Source Software worldwide. Local governments are changing. Forward-thinking municipalities are embracing technology to make our cities better for everyone. Innovative government staff are sharing resources, best practices, and collaborating on common problems. Jamaica an its municipalities need to provide a broad range of resources, programs and services to support and advance civic innovation. Open Source Software becomes the leading information technology day by day and there are open source alternatives to most of the commercial softwares...

I use Linux Mint 17! So why can't the government do it?

So why is Government in general, and the St. James municipality in particular not looking into Open Source? It's time that Jamaican government IT policy goes as far as expressing a formal preference to use open source!



How can you apply the concepts of open source to a living, breathing city?

An open source city is a blend of open culture, open government policies, and economic development.

Five characteristics of an open source city
  1. Fostering a culture of citizen participation
  2. Having an effective open government policy
  3. Having an effective open data initiative
  4. Promoting open source user groups and conferences
  5. Being a hub for innovation and open source businesses

Citizen participation: Probably one of the most difficult components of an open source city is to foster a culture of citizen participation. Having citizen champions around certain causes can really help boost citizen participation and engagement.

Open government policy and open data: Policy is another key component of an open source city. 

User groups and conferences: Participation comes in another form with user groups and conferences—like-minded people gathering around their passions. Hosting these conferences and supporting user groups will boost your open source city credibility.

Economic development: Finally, having an economic development strategy that includes open source companies can help foster innovation and create jobs. More and more cities are also seeing the advantages of having an open data policy tied to their startup community. Cities that can combine their open data policy with their economic development strategy can give a real boost to startups and other businesses. Being a hub for open source companies and a catalyst for open source startups can have a positive impact on the city's bottom line. More importantly, this feeds back in to culture and participation.
 
Municipalities and Open Source
As a Linux User I keep myself abreast by reading Linux Format! I found this interesting article in the April 2014  edition.

Munich’s switch to open-source software has been successfully completed, with the vast majority of the public administration’s users now running its own version of Linux, city officials said Thursday.
In one of the premier open-source software deployments in Europe, the city migrated from Windows NT to LiMux, its own Linux distribution. LiMux incorporates a fully open-source desktop infrastructure. The city also decided to use the Open Document Format (ODF) as a standard, instead of proprietary options.
Ten years after the decision to switch, the LiMux project will now go into regular operation, the Munich City council said in a document published on its website.
As of November last year, the city saved more than €11.7 million (US$16.1 million) because of the switch. 

Why should other cities do this?

Other cities should do this for many reasons such as:
  • Proving to its citizen-bosses that it is doing its job and working hard in response to their needs.
  • Opening up data and processes because, you never know, those citizen-bosses may be able to do something cool with it or make great suggestions.
  • Opening up gives citizens a sense of ownership and welcome.  They are more likely to be engaged and satisfied if they feel ownership and pride in that ownership.


Benefits of Open Source to Montego Bay

Community Participation – Taking it to the streets
  • Citizen-led communities
  • Connection between youth-development programs and open government community
  • Connection entrepreneurial community and open government community
  • Importance of broadband access for any of this to be useful

I believe in the critical role of open-source software to create the applications and infrastructure necessary to support electronic medical records and other government-funded technology projects. Open-source software has already resulted in dramatic cost reductions in many technology areas.

Open-source software brings transparency to software development. There are no “black boxes” in open-source software and therefore no need to guess what is going on “behind the scenes.” Ultimately, this means a better product for everyone, because there is visibility at every level of the application, from the user interface to the data implementation. Furthermore, open-source software provides for platform independence, which makes quick deployments that benefit our citizens much easier and realistic.

The open-source industry is changing the world of software development in many of the ways many politicians have promised to change Jamaican politics. The values of open source are hope, change, and openness. I sincerely hope that Montego Bay and the St. James Parish Council if not the entire Jamaican government, will make the use of open-source software a key component of every new technology initiative it is apart of.

The open source characteristics of collaboration, transparency, and participation are shaping municipalities world wide as we brand our city as a city for the creative classes we must also give it the open source city brand. 

It's time that Jamaican government's IT policy goes as far as expressing a formal preference to use open source!

WATCH THESE VIDEOS TO GET UPTO SPEED ON LINUX AND OPEN SOURCE!!!











Thursday, September 18, 2014

Proposals on Revolutionizing and Fixing Education in Jamaica!

Document | Article: Proposals for Education Ministry and System in Jamaica


For a long time the media and most thinks have purported the idea that we live in the information age. We live an age where cell phones and gadgetry pervade all walks of life. Computers and the internet are constantly creeping into our lives. Sociologists will contend that the family is the primary agent of socialization. But most of know and will very well contend that it is the TV. Especially in an age where the family is in crisis and in the third world where the core notion of family lives in a state of flux, the television and cable have taken prominence.

Folklore, Anansy and the oral tradition have been usurped by Sponge Bob, Dora and Hannah Montana. With absentee or limited supervision parenting rampant and the television controlling brain space and time at all times and any given hour, whilst the education system will only have them for 6 to 7 out of 24 hours much of which will be ruled by televisions and corner time no wonder we are unable to transmit and pass on the education, knowledge and morals we need to.

Mister Minister on the heels of your party’s message of change and changing the course, the courses and course of the education system has changed little. At this crucial moment in history the education system with all its short comings are in need of radical overhaul and requires new approaches and revolutionary thought. We need to design a curriculum to stimulate the development of analytical skills. The thing I care most about is that we focus not on the specific set of tools, but on the ability to “learn and apply a current tool set”.

The truth is that we constantly acquire and discard sets of tools. So we should not be fixated on one specific set of tools for all of life. Society, technology and the times change so fast that any fact, process or algorithm we learn at school is by definition not going to be useful for any length of time. The real skills that serve us are the ability to adapt, learn, apply the products of that learning, and participate in the discussions and challenges of the day. That doesn’t mean that facts are useless, or that specific tools don’t matter. Unless you can demonstrate an ability to absorb and apply both, fast, you haven’t actually gained the knack of becoming effective in a given environment.

How can we better communicate with them?

The traditional talk and chalk won’t work with this generation. Our communication style is structured, yet they want freedom. The old order stresses learning, they like experiencing. We react, they relate. We focus on the individual, while they are socially driven. Here are four essentials to consider when engaging with youth today:

Real:

Not only must our communication style be credible, but we must be also. They don’t expect us to know all about their lifestyle, nor do they want us to embrace their culture. They are simply seeking understanding, and respect. If our communication has a hidden agenda, or we are less than transparent, it will be seen. This generation can sniff a phoney from a long distance.

Raw:

Today’s youth have access to the most advanced technology, movie special effects, and video games with which we can never compete. But the good news is that they are not impacted by slick presentations. They don’t want a rehearsed talk, or a manufactured spiel. The more spontaneous and interactive we are in the classroom, the less intimidated, and more open they will be.

Relevant:

Obviously what we are communicating has to fall within their area of interest. But the style, as well as the content of our message must be relevant to a generation who are visually educated and entertained. There is no point in giving music to a friend on a cassette tape if they only have a CD player, or on CD if they only use MP3. Similarly we must research in the most appropriate format for those we are reaching. So in understanding the communication styles of our target cohort we will be better equipped to reach them.

Relational:

There is an old and true saying in education circles: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” Communicating to this generation requires openness, vulnerability, and genuine interest in those we are trying to teach, and above all else, understanding. The more relaxed the environment, and the more socially conducive to discussions; the better will be the quality of the learning.

The Issue of Text Books and Learning Materials

Today, many children and individuals have MP3 Players, I-Pods, Smart-phones, computers, DVDs and DVD players, Radios and Televisions. Lots of in Jamaica are in some way linked and have some access to the various media. Today, I believe it is a tragedy that books, audio-books, tutorials and classes and the entire Jamaican and Caribbean syllabus are not posted online in PDF on accessible sites, material and content for our youths’ education should already be on their cell phones, in their DVD players, on YouTube.

It is an even more horrendous thought that every entrepreneur with a two-bit dream of becoming a media mogul can implement far reaching cable stations, whilst JIS is relegated to a time slot on TVJ, instead of being a Caribbean BBC, the U.S. has PBS and as a matter of fact the BBC has managed to pervade the island. We have an A.M. Band going to waste and yet I have seen people in small communities with their small means and incomes set up small radio stations and internet radio stations, why is JIS being broadcast, why aren’t we making full use of all the channels and vectors we have that can be used to bombard people with sensible, useful, practical, culturally relevant information.

I have lived to see middle-aged women become interior decorators watching HGTV and seen nearly illiterate dog lovers in the garrison swear they are dog trainers after a few episodes of dog whisperer on Discovery channel. In this vein I do believe if we have relevant content people will be willing to watch it. If you build it they will come. I do believe we have a wealth of content that can be drawn from, old documentaries from JBC and such. More can be commissioned, after all this is the era of YouTube movie directors, Open Source content and citizen journalism.

I am convinced the government has been lacklustre in pursuing technologies such as Linux, Open Source and notions such as FOSS. Brazil, Mexico and India are already using these to bring technology more cheaply to their nation. There are also revolutionary methods of implementing technology in the class room all throughout the Americas.

Also Mr. Holness I am sure you will probably have played dominoes with illiterate people as I have and been beaten by people who have never learnt primary school mathematics, which is proof that the education is disconnected from the everyday realities we face. Someone must have the potential to learn math if he can grasp the process of deduction and numerical elimination it takes to play domino well. We live in the Caribbean and still don’t learn enough about where we live. Why isn’t there our national geographic?

The other day I had to watch on foreign news that lizards that do morning exercises had been discovered in Jamaica. Lots of municipalities and small nation states have set up their own, local intranet that can provide the general populace with basic informational resources, like wikis and encyclopaedias and educational material. Today it is the nation’s own fault we are falling behind in education.

The government must become the primary agent of socialization, as parents and the family are lagging. If we are to grow a nation we need to grow people. We need our human resource to grow and develop. Technology, TV, internet, cell phones and the Radio are the way to reach them.

A Final Word:

The quality outcome of our education system is dependent on our understanding of the youth. Once we have a foundational grasp of their characteristics, communication styles, and social attitudes, we will be well equipped to effectively impact this enormous and emerging generation.

We want to create a curriculum that can:
Be self taught, peer mentored, and effectively evaluated without expert supervision.
Provide tools for analysis that will be general useful across the range of disciplines being taught at any given age.
Be an exercise machine for analysis, process and synthesis.

The idea is not that children learn tools they use for the rest of their lives. That’s not realistic. I don’t use any specific theorems or other mathematics constructs from school today. They should learn tools which they use at school to develop a general ability to learn tools. That general ability – to break a complex problem into pieces, identify familiar patterns in the pieces, solve them using existing tools, and synthesise the results into a view or answer… that’s the skill of analysis, and that’s what we need to ensure the youth graduate with.

Yannick Nesta Pessoa

#education #youth #jamaica #revolution #change #governement #governance 

Friday, August 01, 2014

A Poem for Emancipendence: An Ode to Daddy Sharpe!

SQUARE
written by Yannick Pessoa

"I would rather die among yonder gallows, than live in slavery."

 Black Birds shit on me and in ur hair,
You pass me on the street in the square,
You barely see me and u do not care,
About all the things that happened here,
340 executed in Parade...
U know where I'm talking?
Do you know which Square.

207 killed during revolt,
Bodies piled to be carted,
All because of what I started,
Imagine how my heart felt,
Feel my heart melt,
Buried in mass graves ,
Outside of town late at night,
Just for the freedom fight.

Black Birds shit on me and in ur hair,
You pass me on the streets in the square,
You barely see me and u do not care,
About all the things that happened here,
340 executed in Parade...
U know where I'm talking?
Do you know which Square.

Rebellion is what the crown hates me for,
Some of my kind don't rate me,
Cause I preach no war,
No my son and daughter go astray,
For I didn't die to see my city,
Become Guntego Bay,
Where are the parks?
And someone tell me...
Where do the children play?

Black Birds shit on me and in ur hair,
You pass me on the streets in the square,
You barely see me and u do not care,
About all the things that happened here,
340 executed in Parade...
U know where I'm talking?
I'm talking, I'm talking...
Sam Sharpe Square.

Click the Sam Sharpe pic to read a small bio!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

World Boss vs Bulb Boss: Rule of Law floundering in Jamaica!

World Boss vs Bulb Boss

The Rule of Law is floundering in Jamaica!

"It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
...And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime."

By Kahlil Gibran

I feel compelled to point to the glaring hypocrisy at the core of much of the media commentaries surrounding the Whirl Boss and his conviction. Many have been quick to lambaste him, as maybe he deserves to be, but I ask... "What part did the gatekeepers of information have in building the Vybz Kartel they are no so quick to turn their back on?" Were not the media gatekeepers too neglecting their social responsibility by not better regulating the airwaves, and not filtering what was being syphoned to the nation?

I would like to point to the glaring hypocrisy at the core of the decision to free Kern "Bulb Boss" Spencer. The government has show its will to decisively uphold the rule of law, is weak. We live in a time and political climate in Jamaica where the state seems  committed to consistently criminalizing and targeting the marginalized and those not able to buy the best lawyers with political connections. Rarely, if ever are corrupt politicians and white collar criminals brought to justice. Hence the nation has no faith in the justice system, nor does it believe in the institutions charged with maintaining law and order.

I am also compelled to point out the rule of law to our ministries of security and justice… The rule of law is concerned with the processes and the relationships amongst individual and state, how it is enforced and administered.  This crucial idea is sprung from the concept of the rule of law as it has developed in the UK and is adopted here in Jamaica. As it is posited by legal mind Albert Venn Dicey’s understanding “the law should not be arbitrarily or capriciously administered by those in power.”

The government has shown the will and impetus for legislating anti-gang laws with haste, not to mention scamming and fraud bills, haste to the point where we have public smoking legislature that wasn't thoroughly thought through! But we have a government weak willed on effecting medical marijuana legislature and decriminalizing marijuana if not simply legalizing it... when the trend worldwide has been to wake up to the benefits of marijuana for the economy, production and so much more...

The Jamaican Court is a one of a kind in the world. No other such structure exists! Its engineering is ad hoc and arbitrary. The Constitution of Jamaica implicitly states that the power or duties of each arm of government should not overlap. Yet Resident Magistrates don’t have security of tenure as part of the public service and falls within the executive arm of the state. Hence the Court System we have before us may very well contravene the constitution and the notion of the separation of powers as well as undermining the doctrine of rule of law owing to its arbitrary nature.

Let us not forget the mess made in the creation of the gun court, it was a failure in scholarship and jurisprudence. The unusual features of the Gun Court have faced legal hurdles, some of which have forced amendment of the Gun Court Act. The Gun Court has faced criticism on several fronts, most notably for its departure from traditional practices and for the continuing escalation in gun violence since its institution.

A 1993 County Report on Human Rights Practices in Jamaica from the United States Department of State noted the denial of a "fair public trial" and alleged that Gun Court trials observe "less rigorous rules of evidence than in regular court proceedings." The Canadian Bar Association's Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force noted that the Gun Court is overloaded, that defendants are not well represented, and Crown attorneys are often inexperienced. Hence even internationally it is evident and plain to see that we are a unique court system and a particularly arbitrary one!

If we are to move forward as a nation we must cut these wretched social and political hypocrisies in our system... we cannot have one justice system for the rich and one for the poor.


I close with a quote from - John Adams, “Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.”

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Madiba: Aluta Continua

African leaders whose vision could be toppled by the secret hand of capitalism!
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ― Nelson Mandela


The chronicle of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and the variety of ways in which his story crossed paths with Jamaica is important to the island's history and that of our diaspora. It must become part of the story of the emerging self-belief of people of African descent. It is also an account of a human being allowing his best and noblest self to prevail.

It is easy and very plausible to tell Mandela's story without also speaking to Jamaica's story. But as a Jamaican it would be remiss of me not to mention, how this little nation, smaller than the population of Soweto and separated by thousands of nautical miles from the shorings of South Africa, prognosticated for the isolation of South Africa in response to apartheid from as early as 1961, three years before Mandela was condemned to Robben Island.

One of Jamaica's prime ministers, Michael Manley, was in numerous ways the designer of the sporting and cultural boycott of South Africa, which, incidentally, was more cogent than economic sanctions to that degree that the psychology of being a white South African was concerned. It is little wonder that Jamaica was one of the first two countries visited by Madiba after his incarceration. He visited Jamaica and Cuba in July 1991, with our beloved Winnie Madikize Mandela at his side, and they received honour from the Jamaican people.

He was a visionary, he had a grand project. He was political. He had an avid sense of strategic timing. Yet he wasn't Machiavellian. He was loved because he was neither Mugabe nor Blair. His vision ran through his life. He was noble. And, like a virtuous father, to be kind, he sometimes could be cruel.

He was distinguished and most especially he had an vast love for his people and for the project of establishing a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.

Mandela vigorously defended of his loyalties to Iran, Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, all of whom supported him in his battles against South Africa's apartheid regime.

Mandela was on the U.S. terrorism watch list until 2008, when then-President George W. Bush signed a bill removing Mandela from it. (Obama is yet to oblige Marcus Mosiah Garvey similar courtesies.)

South Africa’s apartheid regime designated Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) as a terrorist organization for its battle against the nation’s legalized system of racial segregation that lasted from 1948 to 1994. (Marxist legal theory at work here: Karl Marx argued that the law is the mechanism by which one social class, usually referred to as the "ruling class", keeps all the other classes in a disadvantaged position).

Former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also described Mandela’s ANC as a “typical terrorist organization” in 1987, refusing to impose sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid regime. President Ronald Reagan did as well.

But Madiba was more than that, he was an African man of moral sense. He was a man of virtue. Moral excellence and moral sense that made him so acclaimed globally since he led a nation at a time when virtue and morality were universally absent amongst global leaders. He slammed Bush and Blair for the war on Iraq: 'What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight and who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.' For Blair he had these words: 'He is the foreign minister of the United States. He is no longer prime minister of Britain.'

He rose above acrimony and bitterness. He was unselfish and could reach out to his enemies and cross many divides. He was eminent because he was the great unifier. In many ways he was the designer of the New South Africa.

Mandela was neither magnate nor angel. Mandela wasn't unaccompanied in the grand journey of African redemption in South Africa. One only has to read Bertolt Brecht’s great poem, Questions From a Worker Who Reads, to know: 'Who built Thebes of the 7 gates? / In the books you will read the names of kings. / Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?...'

The fight to emancipate South Africa was a collectivized crusade. Furthermore it was the force of the most oppressed, the workers in the factories, the destitute in the community, blue-collar women and youth that ultimately carried the apartheid government, if not totally to its knees, at the least to talk terms and discuss the conditions of the end of their racial scheme.

All struggle requires a vehicle, a social movement with leaders that can present political focus, tackle the arduous strategic and tactical routes. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela's ANC came to prevail. Even so, Mandela was the first to recognise the parts played by a broad array of social movements that formed the fight for national liberation and the mass democratic movement.

And while Mandela was the one to start dialogue with the apartheid government, he tied himself to the collective leadership of the ANC. He took the first steps, he led but he did so as part of a collective. He was an organisational man. He took pains to explain he was a product of the ANC. He was a man of the black, green and gold – but he could reach beyond organisational limits.

He had this quality of being able to keep people together. Even his critics – and he had them – submitted to him at the end of the day as a moral leader. Without him I can't envision how the transition would have gone.

Aye, zillions of words will be spoken and written on Madiba’s legacy, now, in the months to come, next year and thenceforth. And we will scramble to do this legacy justice. The hardest part will be to catch the essential Mandela, going beyond myth-making whilst precisely evaluating the inconsistent nature of that legacy.

Since the present can't be interpreted without understanding the past, and not everything that is haywire with current day South Africa can be put at the doorway of Zuma or Mbeki. The negotiated resolution that effected a democratic South Africa on the cornerstone of one person one vote will be reckoned as Mandela’s greatest accomplishment. It avoided the scorched earth route of bloodletting which we at present see in Syria. And even so it's those compromises that are nowadays falling apart at the seams. The unharmonious social inequality (very Marxist in nature) that has given rise to South Africa as a country of two nations: one white and relatively prosperous, the second black and poor (I believe arx would have termed these the: bourgeoisie and proletariat respectively).

Social divide the hallmark of society today!

Mandela’s legacy will likewise have to be weighed by the reality that South Africa is more disunited than ever as a result of inequality and social exclusion. The rich are richer and the poor poorer. The great unifier could undertake great emblematic acts of reconciliation to pacify the white nation but because, by definition, this involved sacrificing the redistribution of wealth, reconciliation with the whites was performed at the expense of the large majority of black people.

Mandela was great, but not so great that he could bridge the social divide built into the 21st century capitalist economy that has given us the era of the 1 percenters. It is the ill-fated timing of South Africa's transition, coming about as it did in the period in which global power got inextricably tied into the global corporation, empowered through the conventions of neoliberal globalisation. Reconciliation necessitated the forsaking of ANC policy as vocalised by Mandela on his discharge from jail, 'nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industry is the policy of the ANC and the change or modification of our views in this regard is unimaginable.'

Nevertheless it's this forsaking of nationalisation, nationalisation representing the redistribution of wealth which was determined by the needs of reconciliation not just with the white establishment but with the international capitalist economy. His encounters with the international elite at Davos, the home of the World Economic Forum, convinced him that compromises needed to be made with the financiers. In the words of Ronnie Kasrils: 'That was the time from 1991–1996 that the battle for the soul of the ANC got underway and was lost to corporate power and influence. I will call it our Faustian moment when we became entrapped.'

It's exactly this capitalistic road that's verified such a calamity and which could ultimately demolish Mandela’s life’s work. To do justice to Mandela’s lifetime of commitment and sacrifice for equality betwixt black and white, the fight must continue.

It today has got to stress on subduing inequality and attaining social justice. In this fight the entire African Diaspora will require the greatness and sapience of umpteen Mandelas. Our brethren and sistren in South Africa require an organisation committed to marshalling all South African black and white for the freeing of the wealth of that state from the hands of a bantam elite. It will necessitate a movement akin to Mandela’s ANC, a social movement based on a collective leadership with the blended qualities of Steve Biko, Neville Alexander, Walter Sisulu, Albertina Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Fatima Meer, Chris Hani, Ruth First, Joe Slovo, Robert Sobukwe, IB Tabata and the many greats that led the battle for African liberation. But most importantly the African Diaspora and South Africa will need the multitude who take their fate into their own hands and become their own liberators.

Are these the things that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela struggled to achieve?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mitchell and Jamaica People Stress: The Trauma of Police Encounters



Sooooo..... BAAAAMMMM! 2:30pm Saturday afternoon. Paradise becomes abuzz with activity, residents scampering to cell phones, "weh dem deh, weh dem deh?" "Tek dung di line!" At the same time here comes one flock of residents taking a variety of unpopular routes, escaping and avoiding the JPS disconnection teams, who have in tow the long arms of the law. It is also alleged "one white lady weh look like di ooman who own JPS pon di TV did dih deh."

After the moments of flurry and outbursts of fluster and frustration and utter confusion, "nuff" ole me, decided maybe I should take a look in Bread Lane, site of what seems to be the police action and scene of quite a few arrests. Mothers and Grandmothers in police custody, young women and a "baby father." And here is where my head ache starts. The police are man-handling the baby father, who is in possession of his child at the moment.

Now I happen the particular child and new here mother was not in the vicinity at the moment, I also knew the baby father was not a resident of the community but was babysitting and staying in what is his woman's family yard. So technically he is being arrested for a crime he hasn't committed. And att the same time the police while jostling the youth is insisting on trying to palm of the baby off to any arbitrary community member so that he can carry through his arrest by any means necessary. Even if it means he has not left the child in proper or legal custody of an official guardian or family member.

Here is where I made the unfortunate mistake of pointing out to the Police man who I gleaned goes by the name Mitchell, that he is a bit to eager to carry out the arrest without following proper or due procedure and that he can't just give the baby to a passerby. This is when the ass loses his cool. and screams at me "Yuh a fool, aye  Rasta bwoy leff di place before mi tek a rock and mash in yuh head side, yuh know nutten bought rights? a stir u come fi stir up supm, cause a problem... a soon kick yuh and nuh stop kick yuh till bend up."

This is where I pause look at him, gaze intently, for I have met rude police men, but this man tops the list as the worst offender and most moronic. In holding his gaze, I see when his certainty breaks, for I am not moving , nor am I intimidated. So eventually I reply, "Lick who?"

To which he retorts with another expletive filled tirade. Then I say to him "Yeah I know my rights, but is like you nuh know them!" he then trys to make an explanation for dealing with the baby father and the issue of the child in the way he is, at the same time still eating up himself and badding up an explanation. At which time I turn to leave...

As I turn to leave, I can see his friend with either the oozy or mini-k/or 16 swinging round his neck like one of Flavour Flave's oversize pendants, is incensed that I haven't cowered, become a coward and completely capitualted with fear. While I a walking away, the Po-Po whom I shall call Gun-pendent is walking me down. When I turn round to meet him, he is already grabbing my left arming and turning me. Now thank Selassie that I have a PRESS ID, which is the first thing that greets him when he spins me, it stalls him. He is now taken aback, and I start chuck more ID's at him.

To which he responds, "Stop! Yuh seem like a educated yute, yuh couldn't have so much paper and nuh have eucation, so hear wah, we a do we ting, and we nuh need no trouble so jut gallang weh yuh a go, go dung deh so and nuh come up yah again, caah u seem like a trouble yuh waan start."

Mitchell then asks him as I am going away... " A who him?" T which Gun-pendent replies "NOBODY!"


So there it is like slaves, we have limited access to resources, police come and arrest on premises without warrants, squatters, landless, dispossessed, and baddup brutalized and pushed around. 21st century slavery I say.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A ME MOMENT!


Of PNP's Lost Roots and Forgotten Culture: Dorothy M. Thompson Must Be Remembered!


Now I would like to speak on the PNP's neglect and disrespect. My Grand Mother Dorothy M. Thompson has carried the party on her back since I came into existence and I am 32 and she is 94 and she  has been doing it longer than I was alive. In my lifetime, she was the cornerstone on which the PNP rested in certain areas of Montego Bay. She was close friend of Mayor Charles Donaldson who lived up the road and on the next drive. She was the ear Carl Miller needed. She was the reason Michael Manley and Howard Cooke stopped at the house, in Paradise, not Ironshore or Reading or Mango Walk! But time can forget but to ask about why someone is forgotten and to try to be silenced. How the PNP can forget Dorothy M. Thompson, how they can come to Paradise and not stop at her house? How they hand out awards and forget her? This is the reason they will lose the next election, for the have neglected their grass roots, and  have forgotten the last election was not a PNP win, but just a backlash and effort to oust a bullyism run JLP. Not a PNP mandate, not a yea for PNP, not any vouch of faith. Just a NO to JLP! But let them continue the folly they follow. Leave all my e-mails unreplied, leave all the real journalistic questions unanswered, send the wrong MP's, send old and slow councillors, do whatever convention wisdom tells them, ignore me, ignore the electorate, ignore the suffering Jamaicans, ignore the voice of the people! Jamaica is getting better, and Jamaicans are happy with the administration of the community, city and nation.


Sunday, September 01, 2013

Reflections on Summer, Youth and Community



I-sah, summer draws to a close and there is much to reflect upon for the summer that is 2013! It's been hectic and I am certainly a different man. U-nah-mean so much in my meditations now. Firstly, I spent an immense and intense amount of time with Keekee in Paradise... our relationship is on another level right now... I feel a tighter bond. She all make me proud since this past week, when friends come to link mi fi mek a small check on a (problematic CQ61 HP Compaq) laptop headed to the pawn shop at City Centre, anyway... out comes Keekee out the house into the garage... "I'M YOUNGGG, GIFTED AAAND BLACK!" Mi breddrin dem look in amazement then pop up and seh "Coulda only fi yuh pickney Rasta!" But sitting a 3 year old while you have signs to paint, brochures to design, t-shirt fi design, your own newspaper to try and start, your blogs to write, articles, drawings to finish, paintings to be finish, Artistes biography, PR for Artistes/Breddrin, moeny to try make, bills to pay, Cashpot fi study and try ketch... It can be heavy and cumbersome sometimes, when every 15 minutes, Daddy I'm hungry, Daddy I want juice, Daddy tie this for me please, Daddy I want to go to the bathroom (All when she a do this by herself now), Daddy can I get a paper, Daddy can help me draw this, Daddy I want to go to the shop, Daddy I want to go by Jayla. YOW! More time mi feel mi brain go sprain... but a so it go. Daddy love you.

My Grrrl Boss: Ms. Young Gifted & Black!


Then there is the added task of trying to be a good son, assist Mommy with her burdens, as they are many, do the little I can, drop the goods to the hospital etc. That wobbled some here in the summer owing to all the constant things, things, things happening.


For one their is the Youth Club as well. AH BWOY! A real story and saga, and partially the inspiration for this article... for other than the intense Keekee hours, alot of the other hours were spent throwing mental and physical powers to the Youth Club and general community matters. And can you imagine after all that effort, in the Youth Club, it went up in flames I-YAH! Jah know! You can read the Observers small take on the matter at this link: Paradise Fire! Youth Club went in the Blaze!



Just to attend is a great effort on my part to, sit, stay, pay attention. But I did... eventually now I operate as PRO. But to imagine... the Kid's Treat today and stuff gone up in flames, free food, free slippers, second hand text books etc etc etc. And granted the media says fire of unknown origin, I suspect arson.

Anyway how all this ties with summer and youth, is because between having to be constantly around my 3 yr old daughter, and her 5 and 10 year old cousins, who host tea parties and stage shows ("Paradise Sumfest" with a painted sign included) outside my un-closed door and interacting with the communities tweens and teenie boppers and teenager cockroaches more than normal, with back-to-school here and ll this youth energy, it gave me a chance to remember a lot of my youth and mildly relive and remember what those youthful days of girls boys and summer adventure and the hassle and havoc and turmoil that, that social period and various stages and cycles of development are like... Do you remember what they were like?

We live in an age today, where President Obama Nobel Peace Prize winner will trumpet his second officil war, Libya being the first, now we see the trumped up charges with no UN proof for a Syrian War. Yes come September Obama and World War 3 will be in the backdrop of the children and the youths lives and TVs. Occupy this and that and 99%ers will probably be protesting. And just like when I came into to Earth, a war was in full swing on JBC... I would grow up in the ending years of the cold war and would hear Mikhail Gorbachov and Yitzak Rabin and Yessar Arafat, Gaddafi etc... constantly in the back drop of my life.

But what about the foreground... do you remember those Calvin and Hobbes-esque summers of immortality, infinite energy and endless hours. The more well endowed among us will remember there first cars, some the first job, or even the first summer job, most will remember that first kiss! Don't! Nuff a unnu must remember when it seemed like the whole world was exploding with new ideas and you were searching and reaching out for new experiences, wanting to see and know this world. Seeing through new eyes. Youth, Puberty, Adolescence, Growth, Change. It's a bitter sweet journey and beautiful sight.

But this article has to be continued as Keekee's pressing need to watch TEAM UMIZUMI (did I spell that right) oh well... youth.... gwaan listen this Avicii till when next I write


P.S. Youth(Dax) Happy B-day! To days of summer and youth, cricket and basketball!