Not just a book but an invitation to join the Goodwill
Revolution against an unfair, unjust and deceptive system that
keeps the world poor and without hope. Find out how you can do this,
quit the rat race, and achieve a happier more meaningful life for
yourself and others through goodwill to all .
by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
---------------For the Life of Laetitia by Trinidad -born Merle Hodge Price: $10.54
a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.
'Goodwillie’ Iraq Withdrawal Plan
With over 100,000 Iraqis killed in the war and occupation of Iraq, revenge in the form of terrorism is inevitable. The increase in terrorism worldwide is no surprise and will continue as long as Iraq occupation continues. The bombings in London and even in Trinidad are testament to that.
We cannot wait for the invader George Bush to present an acceptable withdrawal from Iraq plan for obvious reasons. So far even the anti-war movement has produced none. Such a plan is way overdue. Following is the backbone of what I call the Goodwillie Withdrawal plan. It is called ‘Goodwillie’ because it is based on Goodwill Revolution principles outlined in my recent book, "Boycott Money and Save Your Soul – Launching the Goodwill Revolution". So here is the Goodwillie Withdrawal From Iraq Plan.
'Goodwillie' Withdrawal From Iraq Plan
Bomb blast rocks Port-of-Spain
Days after the deadly bombings in London, a bomb exploded in a trash bin in downtown Port-of-Spain, wounding 14 people. The commercial district was evacuated and the area checked for additional bombs, but none were located.
Lennox Alfred, chief fire officer for Trinidad, said the 14 injured included a 26-year-old street vendor and a woman passer-by who were in critical condition. Police and soldiers with automatic rifles swarmed the downtown after the explosion as rescuers aided the victims. The site of the blast is on the corner of Frederick and Queen streets, about two blocks from the national Parliament, which was meeting at the time. Within days after the Government invited FBI agents to investigate but no arrests have been made yet.
The long tentacles of terrorism keep spreading. It is obvious the Iraq war has not made the world safer but has stirred up an angry vengeful hornets nest of terrorism that can strike anywhere in the world. Unfortunately the more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths by the US war and occupation does not seem to draw the same expressions of horror by many. Such apologists claim these deaths were not deliberate but accidental. There is nothing accidental about deliberate war and the deaths of the more that 100,000 Iraqi deaths were inevitable and certainly cannot be considered accidental.
Rumblings for more democratic UN Security Council
The UN Security is neither democratic or representative and many countries are not satisfied with that reality any more. The council is responsible for U.N. decisions on war and peace, sanctions and peacekeeping. It which was created to reflect the balance of world power 60 years ago. The 15-member Council is dominated by the permanent members, USA, Russia, Britain, China and France – the World War II victors. These permanent members have veto power on all decisions. The other 10 seats are filled by the remaining 186 countries which rotate for two-year terms. Permanent membership excludes all of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Germany, Japan, Brazil and India have introduced a General Assembly resolution to add six permanent seats to the council, four for themselves and two for Africa, and four nonpermanent seats for a total of 25. The African Union has decided on the same number of permanent seats, but wants five nonpermanent seats for a total of 26. The AU also insists on the veto rights, which the four aspirants dropped because of lack of support. A third proposal, circulated but not introduced by a group called "Uniting for Consensus" would have all nonpermanent seats for varying terms. Italy, a leader of this group is sending a deputy foreign minister to New York shortly to lobby delegations.
The United States, Russia and China oppose enlargement now but France and Britain support the resolution by the four contenders as do many Europeans. Any plan needs two-thirds approval from the 191-member General Assembly. But eventually, there would need to be a U.N. Charter change and here the five permanent members can use their veto power. So it will never happen!
Editor’s Comment: There is no question that any change regardless of merit, will be vetoed by the US. Any member state which does not pay its dues, should forfeit their voting rights until it’s paid. This is typical for any organization. The US is delinquent by millions and say they will not pay it unless revisions are made which are satisfactory to them. George Bush has bypassed the Senate and Congress to install the anti-UN John Bolton. Lets not forget the US threat to make the UN irrelevant because it could not get support on the Iraq war. Lets not forget the illegal embargo on Cuba that year after year the UN General Assembly condemns by margins like 129 to 2. The UN and many other international organizations are obviously held in contempt by the US and serves as a forum for US intimidation of other countries. Some US critics of the UN want the US out of the UN. I dare think the unthinkable. The UN might well be better off without the US.
Poll reveals vast ignorance on CCJ and CSME in Jamaica
MORE THAN half of Jamaica’s population over the age of 18 are clueless on what the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is about. A Gleaner-commissioned Don Anderson poll found that while a small number of the clueless hold a mistaken understanding of the CCJ, most know nothing at all about the court. According to the poll of a nationally representative of 1,037 persons:
of this 47%
Knowledge of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) fared no better. About 57 per cent of Jamaica's adult population knows nothing at all about it.
St. Kitts End Sugar Production
It is the end of an era and probably a sign of things to come in the rest of the West Indies. Due to a debt-ridden sugar industry as a result of ruinous international prices, St Kitts-Nevis has decided to end sugar cane production after this year´s harvest. St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas made the announcement after the start of the harvest. He assured sugar workers that the government is doing everything possible to find alternative employment "as well as to ensure that your standard of living does not deteriorate".
The industry has been experiencing large annual losses due to a high cost of production that has resulted in an accumulated debt of over US$117.2 million at the end of 2004, to the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank and the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.
US pressure T&T against Petro Caribe
Here we go again. Highly placed government sources have revealed that T&T Prmie Minister Patrick Manning decided not to sign the agreement establishing PetroCaribe because of pressure from the United States Government and fear of a possible fallout from the agreement. According to the sources, the U.S. Government raised the fact that a large amount of government revenue comes from sales of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the U.S. market, and that it was unhappy with the region's support for the PetroCaribe initiative.
The sources also say that while the U.S. Government did not directly threaten Atlantic LNG's exports to the U.S., its warnings were enough for the Manning administration to back off from any agreement, at least for the time being.
Under the PetroCaribe agreement and the generosity of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, petroleum prices are expected to be reduced by the removal of middle traders through government-to-government arrangements.
Telesur Latin American TV debuts to US attack
Here we go again. Televisora del Sur (Television of the South), or Telesur, began broadcasting from Caracas on July 24, the day South American independence leader Simón Bolívar was born. Telesur was created by the Venezuelan government in association with the governments of Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay to provide a counterweight to corporate channels such as CNN and Univision. The station will draw on material produced by independent mediamakers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean for much of its programming.
Based in Caracas with 160 employees, Telesur – Television of the South – will have correspondents in nine countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and the United States) and will carry images from state and academic-related television stations across the region. The company is capitalised with $10 million, and is 51 per cent controlled by Venezuela, 20 per cent Argentina, 19 per cent Cuba and 10 per cent Uruguay.
During the very week of its launch, Connie Mack, a Republican representative from Florida, authored a bill during the week which authorised the US to broadcast radio and television programs at Venezuela which would counter Telesur’s alleged anti-Americanism.
Editor’s Comment: The passive acceptance of US news corporations such as CNN and Fox News by the world as the only source of international news is fading. These corporations are basically propagandists for US foreign policy. Al Jazeera broke the US news strangle-hold in the Arab world and many of its reporters were actually ‘accidentally’ shot or shot at covering the Iraq war. With Latin America raising its own independent voice, I wonder what punishment the US will dole out.
On my visits to Jamaica, the American cultural assault by slick US television, drowns out the struggling local Jamaican TV channels. Viva Telesur!
Microsoft raids company in Jamaica again
Microsoft, the computer software giant, acting through its local lawyers, swooped down computer company in Kingston Jamaica which it alleged was illegally infringing on the company's copyright. Explorers Computer and Sales Service and its owner, were served with an ex parte order, which gave Microsoft's representative, Foga Daley and their agents, the right to seize any products being sold by the company which appeared to be illegal Microsoft products.
A copy of the injunction obtained by the Sunday Observer, ordered the proprietor to allow the representatives, along with an independent lawyer, to conduct the raid.
Four years ago, Microsoft, through Foga Daley, carried out a similar raid on another Jamaican company for alleged copyright breaches. However, in that case - which is still before the courts - the software company filed a criminal action. In Friday's case, the lawyers filed a civil action.
Attorneys for Microsoft said the raid was conducted on the Anton Pillar Order, which allows a copyright holder to enter premises to search for and seize material that breaches copyright, without alerting the alleged infringer beforehand. The order allows for the seizure and detention of pirated material bearing Microsoft's label for which there is no license.
JPS overcharged 21,000 customers
Last November, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) found a way to make money the old fashioned way. They stole it by overcharging 21,000 customers. After numerous complaints the Jamaica Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) investigated and discovered the overcharging. JPS was given until June 30, 2005 to settle with the customers but they failed to meet the date. They blamed a computer glitch. A new deadline has been set for February 2006, which seems very generous. Of course if you don’t pay your light bill, your power is cut off. But, it seems the customer just have to grit their teeth and wait and wait and wait. JPS was taken over a few years ago by multinational corporation Mirant, which owns power stations all over the world. However, it is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US and has a shaky reputation.
Hurricane Emily and Dennis, unwelcome visitors to Caribbean
Jamaica is popular as a tourist destination. However, recently it is becoming popular as a destination for hurricanes. Last year Ivan struck with deadly force. This year within a week Dennis and Emily took deadly aim on Jamaica. After sweeping by Trinidad and Tobago and recovering Grenada, they bore down on Jamaica, but fortunately both veered off at the last minute but came close enough to create major flood damage.
Hurricane Dennis drenched Jamaica on July 7, causing widespread flooding in several parishes. Damage to the road network and bridges was significant and the agricultural sector was also hit hard. Some 40 per cent of the banana crop in eastern parishes was destroyed. Preliminary estimates from the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) have put the damage caused by Hurricane Dennis at J$1.9 billion. Both hurricanes washed out roads, cut off communities with landslides to such an extent that many communities were marooned for over a week and supplies had to be airlifted to them.
Emily dumped heavy showers in Trinidad, causing widespread flooding, and landslides that cut off villages in various parts of the island. In Grenada, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said that the hurricane dealt a big blow to agriculture. In Jamaica in addition to the flood devastation, she took 5 lives.
Cuba was even more unfortunate as the 140 mph winds of Dennis scored a direct hit on that island. It lashed Cuba with powerful winds, crashing waves and torrential rain, killing at least 16 people as the storm churned its way across the length of the Caribbean nation. It was the most ferocious storm to lash the Caribbean island nation in four decades. The death toll would have been far higher had it not been for the timely evacuation of more than 1.5 million people. It was reported that 120,000 houses had been heavily damaged, with 15,000 totally destroyed. At least 1000 electrical poles and 36 high-tension towers were toppled, leaving 2.5 million people without electricity. Fierce winds flattened 12,000 hectares of banana trees and damaged a 360,000 ton-crop of oranges and grapefruit.
"Train to Skaville" arrives
The ‘train to skaville’ has arrived and it is loaded with wonderful poetry. Former Hot Calaloo poetry winner Evelyn Nathan has at last published her poems in ‘train to skaville". It was a long wait for the train but I was not disappointed. Her poems are like a time machine that takes me back to the Jamaica I left behind. Those little incidents there take on a new meaning and significance to make the picture complete and real. It is not always a rosy picture, but a real picture and her poetry makes me miss it and yearn for days past. The wonderful photographs are a perfect complement to the poems.
Black fingers rap upon a fret
veldts and villages
His prayer curls up
visions, yearns for Africa
but only I and I
by Evelyn Nathan
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