UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:
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 join,
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.
Black Lives Matter - A Personal Alarm From The Editor
Who are the criminals?
late Jamaican reggae singer Peter Tosh was right on target in his song
“Equal Rights” when he sang:
am black. I have many white friends. I consider them good friends. They
are not racist. I am outraged at the wanton killing of unarmed black men
all over America. Based on direct and indirect conversations, I would have
to say, sadly, that not a single one of my white friends share this
outrage. Not only this, but their sympathies, in every instance,
seems to be with the police because of “ the difficult job they have”.
I think about it. This is a very bitter pill for me to swallow. For
God’s sake, “who are the criminals?” I fear that this is a
microcosm of white America.
there is a notable exception. I am an ardent member of an anti-war group.
I am the only black member of the group. They are the exceptions. Every
single member of this group is outraged by the police killing of unarmed
black men. I am so proud of them and all the white people who joined with
blacks to march through the streets of Baltimore and elsewhere in support
of justice for Freddie Gray.
reports reveal that George Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq has resulted
in over a million dead Iraqis. Over one million dead Iraqis! I
am so outraged at this. My friends, black and white, are not. With them I
can talk about the baseball game, the awful frigid winter, the sexuality
of Bruce Jenner, but not the million dead Iraqis! Most don’t care
and many would manifest hostility to me if I dared to mention that
subject. Once again, sadly, this is a microcosm of America. Too
many don’t care about one million dead Iraqis; our complicity in
the destruction of the then most advanced country in Africa, Libya; the
carnage in Syria; the genocidal treatment of the Palestinians by our
tax-payer supported Israelis; our helping the worst human rights abuser
Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen. But all of my anti-war colleagues care deeply.
Every single one is outraged. I am so proud of them. They have my ultimate
respect and admiration. Justice for all means something to us. Until these
exceptions become the rule, we are in trouble.
the Dominican Republic
Republic has a history of abusing Haitians living in that country. Now,
they are embarking on ethnic cleansing of them. A
ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic has stripped
away the citizenship of several generations of Dominicans of
Haitian descent. According to the decision, Dominicans born after 1929 to
parents who are not of Dominican ancestry are to have their citizenship
revoked. The ruling affects an estimated 250,000 Dominican people of
Haitian descent, including many who have had no personal connection with
Haiti for several generations. So, about a quarter of a million of them
will be made stateless. They will have no homes, no passports, and no
civil rights. There are several reasons for this, but the primary reason
Last year, the Dominican Government said non-citizens could gain legal
residency if they could prove they had been in the country prior to 2011.
The initiative came amid international outcry over the court ruling that
denied citizenship claims to people born in Dominican Republic to
non-citizens. About 250,000 people have applied for legal residency.
Anyone who has applied for legal residency receives a temporary permit
that will spare them from deportation while their case is evaluated. Over
the past year, only about 300 people have received permanent residency
opposition to this callous policy of the
Dominican Republic to relent is growing such as:
is not just Greece that is broke. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla has
admitted that Puerto Rico is on the verge of a historic economic collapse
as the US commonwealth cannot pay its $72 billion in debts. Gov.
Padilla, who took office two years ago explained to Puerto Ricans
during a televised address that his government's attempts to slash
expenditures and restructure its debt have failed. He said an analysis by
former World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials showed the
"harsh reality" of the economic situation.
public debt...is unpayable," he said. "The report states even if
we increased taxes and cut back spending, the magnitude of the problem is
such, because of the weight of the debt we carry, that it would solve
House spokesman Josh Earnest reported that the Treasury Department has
already been providing guidance to the island's government and that an
interagency task force would help identify existing federal funds that it
could benefit from. No financial help from the US has been offered as the
Obama administration has made it clear that it was not considering any
kind of bailout for the island of 3.5 million people.
no one in the administration or in D.C. that's contemplating a federal
bailout of Puerto Rico," US official said. "But we do
remain committed to working with Puerto Rico and their leaders as they
address the serious financial challenges."
inability of the U.S. territory to repay its debt, combined with the
financial crisis in Greece, would have far-reaching implications for
financial markets and unsuspecting American investors. Morningstar, an
investment research firm based in Chicago, estimated in 2013 that 180
mutual funds in the United States and elsewhere have at least 5% of their
portfolios in Puerto Rican bonds.
Rico, which became a territory of the United States in 1898 after a war
with Spain, cannot legally file for bankruptcy, as American cities like
Detroit have done when faced with similar fiscal crises. The island's
constitution, however, states that Puerto Rico must make its debt payments
before it pays for any other government services, leaving the island in a
fiscal limbo if it cannot make its payments.
taking office, Padilla has worked with the island's development bank to
restructure the debts owed by different government agencies. But that was
a tall task for an island that began borrowing large sums of money in the
1970s to boost a lagging economy.
bonds are already exempt from state and local taxes, and Puerto Rican
bonds enjoyed the added benefit of being exempt from federal taxes as
well. That "triple-tax-free" status made the territory's bonds
incredibly popular to investors. From 2000 to 2012, the government's
public debt nearly tripled from $24 billion to $70 billion, according to
the Center for a New Economy in Puerto Rico.
left the island's governments inundated by debt payments. Combined with
thousands of Puerto Ricans leaving the island for the U.S. mainland every
year and a constantly sputtering economy, credit agencies lowered Puerto
Rico's bond rating to near-junk status and warned of a full fiscal
responded by trying to cut everything, from basic government services to
cell phone use by his employees. But it has proven not to be enough.
reeling from drought
We are all familiar with the
severe drought that is afflicting California, but the Caribbean is also
reeling from a vicious drought too. The
worst drought in five years is creeping across the Caribbean, prompting
officials around the region to brace for a bone dry summer. From Puerto
Rico to Cuba to the eastern Caribbean island of St Lucia, crops are
withering, reservoirs are drying up and cattle are dying while forecasters
worry that the situation could only grow worse in the coming months.
Several Caribbean countries are experiencing critical drought
conditions because of climate change as well as the El Niño climate
phenomenon that occurs when a vast pool of water in the eastern tropical
Pacific Ocean becomes abnormally warm. These conditions prevent the
development of any storm or hurricane. These conditions lead to the
Caribbean being warmer and drier, and experiencing below-normal rainfall.
Persons are not allowed to water gardens, lawns, grounds and
farms; or wash cars using a hose, wash roadways, pavements, paths, garages
Persons are also barred from filling tanks, ponds or
swimming pools. Tanks can only be filled if the water is for domestic
purposes such as cooking, washing, bathing and sanitation.
Persons found in breach of the regulations, if convicted,
will be fined $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days.
blacklists tax haven Caribbean countries
THE European Union (EU) has named several Caribbean countries on a list
of international tax havens as part of its crackdown on multinational
companies trying to avoid paying tax within the union. On the EU list are
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda,
British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St
Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, US
Virgin Islands among 30 countries operating as tax havens.
The European Union's tax watchdog has
unveiled a plan for tackling corporate tax avoidance and ending the
practice of sweet deals for multinational companies. The plan aims to make
sure that multinationals pay taxes where they generate profits, that tax
rules in one country do not penalise others, and that honest businesses
don't lose out to unscrupulous competitors.
power utility pulls down thousands of illegal lines
electricity provider says crews have pulled down nearly 10,000 illegal
connections to the power grid and police have arrested over 300 people for
theft so far this year. The Jamaica Public Service Co. says it is
"relentlessly pursuing" electricity thieves in neighborhoods
where a tangle of illegal wires can often be seen tapping into power
lines. In one town in Jamaica's St. Catherine parish, residents
fled their homes last week to avoid arrest as power crews removed about
850 illegal connections.
The government has a 20 percent stake in the electricity distributor on
the Caribbean island, where power theft has long been rampant. In
import-dependent Jamaica, consumers pay as much as five times more for
electricity than people do in communities in South Florida.
charged with the murder of senior attorney Dana Seetahal in T&T,
prominent lawyer was killed around 12:05 a.m. on May 4, 2014 as she was
driving home from a casino. She was shot multiple times. According to
police, residents heard several gunshots and then the sound of screeching
tires before discovering Seetahal dead in the driver’s seat of her SUV.
schools to be retrofitted with solar panels
Fifteen primary and secondary schools across Jamaica are to be
retrofitted with solar panels by the end of the summer. According to
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and
Mining, Hillary Alexander, the J$60-million project is being conducted by
the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica in partnership with the Education
The project is expected to be completed by the end of summer. Solar
power using photo-voltaic cells, a long-term, sustainable energy source
will reduce electricity bills.
T&T rapper wins BET award
Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj has won the award for Best Female
Hip-Hop artist for the sixth year in a row at the BET Awards. But the
highlight of the moment was when she took her mother Carol Minaj on stage
with her to share the moment. The attendance by her mom came on the heels
of her telling Essence recently that she had hoped Nicki would have become
a gospel singer but she’s still proud of her daughter’s success.
Jamaica’s Blue Mountains
becomes UNESCO World Heritage site
Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow mountains have made it on to the list of
the 27 newest members of the UNESCO World Heritage List, the only location
across the Caribbean chosen this year. The Blue and John Crow mountains,
located in the south-east of Jamaica, made the list as a ‘New Inscribed
The site according to UNESCO, “encompasses a rugged and
extensively forested mountainous region … which provided refuge first
for the indigenous Tainos fleeing slavery and then for Maroons (escaped
“They resisted the European colonial system in this isolated
region by establishing a network of trails, hiding places and settlements,
which form the Nanny Town Heritage Route,” the description added.
“The forests offered the Maroons everything they needed for their
survival. They developed strong spiritual connections with the mountains,
still manifest through the intangible cultural legacy of, for example,
religious rites, traditional medicine and dances.”
The site is also a biodiversity hotspot for the Caribbean Islands with
a high proportion of endemic plant species, especially lichens, mosses and
certain flowering plants, added the listing.
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