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.
Political normality at hand in Guyana?
Let us hope so. An historic agreement has been signed between His Excellency, President Bharrat Jagdeo and Leader of the Opposition and People’s National Congress, Attorney-at-Law, Mr. Robert Corbin - the Joint Communique which has effectively brought an end to a political impasse existing between the two major political parties for almost a year.
Noting that Guyana is at a very critical stage of its development, Corbin said he believed that if all patriotic Guyanese, interested in the future of Guyana work together, the country can still be made a beautiful place for all Guyanese.
President Jagdeo said the agreement will ensure that Guyana’s Parliament becomes very ‘inclusive’ in terms of Opposition participation. He was hopeful that the cooperation established will last long into the future. The President referred to the Ethnic Relations Commission as having the potential for improving the harmonious relations between our peoples of different ethnic origin - something absolutely essential if Guyana is to move forward.
The real truth - Coconut oil is the best
I grew up on coconut oil like many other Jamaicans. I remember when that was all we cooked with. But, coconut oil was discredited as full of dangerous unhealthy polysaturated fats and banished from kitchens everywhere. The truth is out. Coconut oil is innocent. The opposite is true. Coconut oil is the most healthy cooking oil that you can use by far.
Benefits of coconut oil
In the words of noted researcher Dr. Mary Enig, PhD., ""The
research over four decades concerning coconut oil in the diet and heart
disease is quite clear: coconut oil has been shown to be beneficial".
Coconut oil is a "functional food," defined as a food that
"provides a health benefit over and beyond the basic nutrients."
Coconut oil, the war and globalization
Editors Note: Now that the truth is out about the real benefits of coconut oil, worldwide demand is bound to mushroom. Let us hope Caribbean farmers can cash in and resume coconut oil production to catch that wave. I, myself intend to seek out coconut oil and use it exclusively for my cooking.
Plans to "legalize it"
Jamaica’s Parliament is considering a plan to legalize ‘ganja’
(marijuana) for personal use. The Attorney’s General office reports that
new legislation is underway that would allow adults to own and consume
small quantities of ganja. The proposal arose from complaints by police
commissioner Forbes that enforcing the current marijuana law is not worth
the effort as the fine for possession was merely J$100 or about US$2.
US Embassy personnel kidnapped in Guyana
Two men in Guyana kidnapped the US Embassy’s security chief, Stephen Lesniak, at gunpoint as he was arriving at a golf course. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of 53 million Guyanese dollars (US$300,000) for his safe return. Lesniak has been head of regional security at the embassy for two years and the 18th person to be kidnapped in Guyana in the last 14 months.
The Guyanese government deployed police and army troops to search the country’s east coast villages and surrounding forests.
Twelve hours after the kidnapping, he was released into the custody of police and friends. According to the Deputy Chief of the US Mission, the ransom was paid.
Look for "White Teeth" on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS
Look for "White Teeth" on the prestigious Masterpiece Theatre
on PBS beginning May 11, 2003. Not only is the author Zadie Smith, only
24, is being hailed by the British press as the first publishing sensation
of the millennium, but also her mother is Jamaican and her father is an
Englishman. The novel was begun while she was still a student in her final
year at Cambridge University. Then a mere 21, she submitted an 80-page
advance of the novel. The publishers saw gold and offered her a £200,000
advance payment. Their judgment was on target, for the 462 page novel has
won many awards and has made her the toast of the literary world not only
in her native England but in the US also.
Jamaican cuisine for Air Jamaica
Just when it seemed like getting a meal on an airline is a thing of the past, Air Jamaica has bucked the trend by announcing that not only will it continue to serve hot meals in flight, but Jamaican cuisine will be offered. So while the other airlines will be offering those paltry biscuit and cream "snacks", Air Jamaica will be offering hot meals like ackee and saltfish, and jerk chicken. Yum, yum.
Farmers bemoan lack of market for their crops
Small farmers in the little villages of Douglas Castle in Clarendon, Jamaica have toiled long and hard to produce their vegetable crops. The little village has become almost totally dependent on these crops. But farmers are increasingly unable to make a living this way as they can find no market for their products and often must watch them rot unreaped or use them as fertilizer for the next crop. They are appealing to the Government for assistance, complaining that imported vegetables are driving them out of business and endangers their way of life.
This scene is happening all over Jamaica and the Caribbean for that matter. The fact is there is not much the governments can do without running afoul of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Once upon a time they could protect the local farmer by putting a tariff on the imported vegetables so it would be more expensive as well as the tariff bringing the government more money. This is the curse of globalisation and the upcoming Free Trade Association of the Americas (FTAA) will only make it worse.
So farmers suffer and balance of trade gets worse daily, and governments have been rendered powerless. But, people have power. Do not buy the imported vegetables. The cheap imported vegetables is too expensive for the country. Buying those cheap imported vegetables is selling your country down the river and crucifying your fellow Jamaican or Caribbean farmer. And it’s not just imported vegetables, but many more products. Imported chicken backs are ruining the poultry industry. Imported milk powder is ruining the dairy industry. It is not enough to blame government, but more people need to make a personal commitment to forsake the foreign products to buy their own. Unfortunately on my recent trip to Jamaica, I saw no evidence of such a commitment.
What can we do overseas?
Amnesty International urge CARICOM to resist US pressure
CARICOM states are reportedly under immense pressure from the USA to
enter into agreements committing them not to surrender US nationals
accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to the new
International Criminal Court. In many cases, such as The Bahamas, the
United States is threatening to withdraw military assistance unless
Hot Calaloo in Jamaica (2) -Lobster patties in Negril
I have vacationed all over the world, but my favorite place of all and
it’s not even close, is Negril, Jamaica. It’s beach living at its
best. In Negril the small entrepeneur seems to have a better shot at the
tourist dollar. I patronize these entrepreneurs whenever I can, my hotel,
my meals, my entertainment, my souvenirs…..all right there on the beach.
It’s lobster patties for lunch each day on the beach in the humble eating place of 'Mavis and Son'. Great patties and prepared fresh as I swim until its ready, when I am summoned from the azure sea by a wave of the hand. One big pattie is a meal in itself. I met Mavis but not her son. My server is also the PR person for 'Mavis and Son'. I point out improvement needed in their marketing methods.
"Come here !" they would shout almost imperiously at tourists passing by which would be their version of a warm invitation to patronize their restaurant. Of course, most passers-by would not respond.
"Dem have no respect. Dem wouldn’t even answer yuh."
Was my server's angry reaction to being ignored.
The new Jamaican budget has been drawing howls of protest for its severe increases in the General Consumption Tax (GCT). Opposition leader Edward Seaga has vowed to battle it all the way and is poised to make political capital of it. This tax burden seems extremely onerous seems very likely to cause severe hardships for which the Government is bound to take a lot of heat.
These are perilous economic times and we need to keep things in perspective. In the prosperous US 48 states are facing their worst budget deficits in years. Every state in America except New Mexico and Wyoming are currently in financial crisis.
Even million dollar multinational corporations, with expertise and the sole objective of making money are wallowing on the brink of Bankruptcy. This includes established blue chip companies like American Airlines, K-Mart, United Airways and many others. Is it surprising that a poor country like Jamaica, with much more responsibilities and services to perform for its citizens, is in financial crisis?
Ziggy Marley turns to rock music
Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers will make no more melody together.
Ziggy Marley has gone solo. Ziggy Marley has launched his first CD as a
solo artist. The 11-track CD is titled Dragonfly. Dragonfly is not reggae
music but rock. The CD features guitarists Flea, John Frusciante of the
Red Hot Chili Peppers and Michael Einziger, as well as DJ Chris Kilmore of
OECS leaders to set up economic union, adopt common passport
Leaders of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States agreed
Saturday to set up an economic union, as well as introduce a common
passport by as early as next year.
Marine killed in Iraq buried in Jamaica with full honors
WHITE SANDS, Jamaica (AP) _ To the wail of gospel music, a
Jamaican-borne Marine killed in Iraq was laid to rest in his
homeland with full military honors.
After carrying out a 21-gun salute, a Marine honor guard lowered Gooden's flag-draped coffin into the ground, not far from the banana plantation where he used to play soldier games as a child. Gooden was born and raised in Jamaica but left for Canada at 16. He was buried at his family plot in White Sands, about 100 kilometers (63 miles) north of Kingston.
Honduras bumps T&T out of Gold Cup
What a difference a year makes. Last year T&T were Gold Cup runner-ups. Now they can’t even win a qualifying game. Honduras ended Trinidad and Tobago's hopes of competing for the Gold Cup with a 2-0 defeat, the Trinidadians' second loss in the interzone playoffs in Martinique.
Trinidad was aiming for a comeback after a 3-2 loss to Martinique on Wednesday night. But second-half goals by Wilmer Neal in the 50th minute and Jose Ramirez in the 89th minute put the match away for Honduras.
Regardless of the result in a final match, Honduras and Martinique will advance to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, to be played in July in the United States and Mexico.
Neal put away the first goal after a scoreless first half Friday night at the Riviere-Pilote Stadium. Then, with Trinidad's defense appearing scattered and Ramirez taking the field in Neal's place, the substitute scored an insurance goal a minute from time.
In the Gold Cup, Honduras and Martinique will join defending champion United States, Canada and Mexico from the North Zone; Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador from the Central Zone; Jamaica and Cuba from the Caribbean; and invited teams Brazil and Colombia.
Ja Government plans to resurrect cocoa farms
Cocoa farms in Jamaica are pretty much dead. Low prices, high cost of production, neglect of farms, and disease killed them. Now the Government wants to try to bring them back to life by investing J$26 million in them. But, is it worth it? Instead of gratitude many farmers say no. According to the farmers it is no longer worthwhile to grow cocoa because of the low price that they are being paid per box. Some have already turned their backs on the crop, choosing instead to cut down the cocoa trees and substitute plantains which is offering a more attractive price.
Even with slavery
The six largest cocoa producing countries are the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, and Cameroon. Cocoa has especially significant effects on the economy and the population in these countries. For example, in Ghana, cocoa accounts for 40% of total export revenues, and two million farmers are employed in cocoa production. The Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa producer, providing 43% of the world's cocoa.
In some of these countries, young boys have been kidnapped to work as slaves on cocoa farms. In others underpaid child labor is used. Still with this horrible practice, the farmers are mired in poverty while the big companies that buy the cocoa to make chocalate are rich and prosperous.
Free trade cocoa
Not even 5%!
Despite growing demand, Mars, Inc. has refused to offer farmers the Fair Trade alternative they so desperately need. In June, more than 200 citizens groups signed a letter to M&M/Mars asking the company to address the injustices in the cocoa fields by starting to offer Fair Trade Certified chocolate. The corporation offered no response.
Veni, vici, vinci. They came. The saw. They conquered.
Australia 238 for 3 declared ( Hayden 100 n. o., Lehman 66) WI 288 (Lara 122)
True Christians - Another spring break of helping
Another group of college students came from the US to help out Jamaicans in need rather than to just live it up. Dr. Roy Lanz, a dentist and University of Pittsburgh professor, anaesthesiologist Michael Cuddy, Christian Dental Society coordinator Brian Prior and 10 University of Pittsburgh dental students came to Jamaica to treat 200-250 people in the impoverished town of Mavis Bank in the Blue Mountains.
The trip was organized by the Christian Dental Society. The society is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association based in Bristol, Tenn., an interdenominational organization which sponsors health and medical clinics internationally. Its mission is "to change hearts in health care." Participants personally raise the $800-to-$1,000 cost of the trip. Lanz recruits dental suppliers to donate needed supplies.
(An anti-war poem written about the first Gulf war, Desert Storm)
It was a mighty victory
For war is still a terrible thing
But war is still a terrible thing
Viet Nam really taught us
Michael Phillips, circa 1991
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