Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Could I request that we leave Tiger Woods the hell alone.

For about a decade he has given us great entertainment with his inspiring and excelllent golf play during that period he has been scandal free and gossip free, an amazing achievement for one so rich and so popular.

Now it seems he might have hit a bump in the road, the question in my mind is not whether there is more to this incident than a car crash, it is whether the searchlight of public scrutiny will be constructive or destructive as he tries to overcome proving that he is not perfect just human?

I think this avid scrutiny can only be destructive, and for once the American public should be compassionate, tolerant and understanding instead of exhibiting once again their insatiable, voracious appetite for the prurient and scandalous and believe that he and his wife can without anyone peering over their shoulders use this incident to make their relationship stronger.

Let us believe that love can conquer all without our collective help.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I was privileged to witness another beautiful dawn this morning over the skies of South Florida as I read "The Gathering Storm" book twelve in the "Wheel of Time" series as I come closer to the end of my personal journey of discovery, my INDEPENDENT audit of the human condition, my attempt to contribute to creating a world in which incidents of man's inhumanity to his fellow man become the exception and not the rule.

I hope that one day the approach I adopted to this transcendent enterprise of simply telling the truth and doing the right thing will be vindicated and validated, that members of my race will comprehend that this is the only approach that had any chance of producing the accurate description of the existing social reality that is the necessary prerequisite for the solution of the urgent, massive problems we face, the only way to provide the possibility of happiness for human beings.

I am constrained to reiterate that I did not decide to engage in this enterprise driven by pride or ambition but because I refused to accept that innocent children should perish to further the ambitions and lust for power of ruthless, immoral individuals.

I have dedicated my life to constructing an appropriate memorial to the two children who died in the Fire at Orange Lane and during this journey have found within a capacity for love and constructed for myself the possibility of happiness.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Woman targeted by militia

Death video woman 'targeted by militia'

Amateur video apparently showing a young Iranian woman dying in Tehran after she was allegedly shot by pro-government militia on Saturday has caused outrage in Iran and abroad.

The woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, was buried on Sunday.

Her fiance, Caspian Makan, told BBC Persian TV about the circumstances of Neda's death. She was near the area, a few streets away, from where the main protests were taking place, near the Amir-Abad area. She was with her music teacher, sitting in a car and stuck in traffic.

She was feeling very tired and very hot. She got out of the car for just for a few minutes.

And that's when it all happened.

That's when she was shot dead. Eyewitnesses and video footage of the shooting clearly show that probably Basij paramilitaries in civilian clothing deliberately targeted her. Eyewitnesses said they clearly targeted her and she was shot in the chest.

She passed away within a few minutes. People tried to take her to the nearest hospital, the Shariati hospital. But it was too late.

We worked so hard to get the authorities to release her body. She was taken to a morgue outside Tehran. The officials from the morgue asked if they could use parts of her corpse for body transplants for medical patients.

They didn't specify what exactly they intended to do. Her family agreed because they wanted to bury her as soon as possible.

We buried her in the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran. They asked us to bury her in this section where it seemed the authorities had set aside spaces for graves for those killed during the violent clashes in Tehran last week.

On Monday afternoon, we had planned to hold a memorial service at the mosque.

But the authorities there and the paramilitary group, the Basij, wouldn't allow it because they were worried it would attract unwanted attention and they didn't want anymore trouble.

The authorities are aware that everybody in Iran and throughout the whole world knows about her story. So that's why they didn't want a memorial service. They were afraid that lots people could turn up at the event.

So as things stand now, we are not allowed to hold any gatherings to remember Neda.


What some people in the USA want is to encourage the people in Iran to risk their lives to set up a democracy in that country similar to what is the experience here.

I question I want to ask is why?

The USA has been a democracy for three hundred years but what has that meant? It has meant with the most resources available to any country we are unable to educate our children, we have an economy in crisis with a gigantic national debt, we use the most drugs and have the highest rates of crime and divorce.

The city of New Orleans has not yet recovered from the hurricane that struck that city several years ago.

Why do we feel that we have the right to be promoting a way of life that has not worked for us, we are no nearer to achieving a functioning democracy that we were three hundred years ago.

What gives us the right to tell members of another sovereign nation how to solve their problems when we are completely incapable of solving our own?

It is the Dick Cheney attitude, for six years he was in power and made a complete mess of things, of everything but now he knows all the answers?

Give me a break and give the people of Iran a break and the right to work out their own destinies.

The people of America have no right to be telling anyone how to govern because the country is in a complete mess.

We should focus on fixing our own problems and when we got it right then we export it, not the other way round.

Look at the mess we made in Iraq, we can teach the world to dance to the democratic tune after we learn that secret not before.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Jamaica Gleaner Online

School heads fail - Holness slams primary school principals for poor-quality education

Published: Sunday | June 7, 2009

Tyrone Reid, Staff Reporter

Andrew Holness, Minister of Education - File

Education Minister Andrew Holness has given several primary school principals an 'F' on their report cards for failing to ensure that top-quality education is provided to students under their care. However, this grade is being challenged by president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), Doran Dixon.

The principals came in for a 'flogging' from the education minister after the country's national report on the status of its Millennium Development Goals highlighted that the quality of the education being provided at the primary level was a problem. This is despite the nation achieving universal access to education at that level.

nat'l report next month

The national report is to be presented to the United Nations Economic and Social Council's annual ministerial review in Geneva next month,

In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Dr Pauline Knight, director of social policy, planning and research at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, painted a disturbing picture of the problem in primary education.

She said that many children leave primary school ill-prepared for the secondary level.

"The facts are that a large percentage of children leave primary school without being able to read or write," said Knight.

She stressed that the poor-quality education being offered at the primary level has consequences that extend to the working world and the university level, where some students still have difficulties with the English language.

"And, all of this starts from the primary school, because this is where the foundation is laid. And without the proper foundation, it puts extra burden on the higher levels of the system."

buck stops with principals

Holness maintains that the buck stops with the principals. In scolding the heads of the state-operated schools, the education minister said deficient management was the main reason for the poor-quality instruction being offered to the students.

"The quality issue stems from poor leadership at the school level. That is number one," Holness told The Sunday Gleaner.

He added: "We are grappling with the issues of quality. But, when you start to talk about quality, then you have to bring in the issues of accountability."

That is why, the minister says, he supports a system where teachers' efforts are matched to outcomes.

But this does not mean that Holness believes the proposed performance-based pay is the answer to the quality ills rocking the education sector.

According to the education minister, it would be "very difficult" to peg pay to performance in the education sector.

He was, therefore, reluctant to commit his support to the much-debated performance-based pay proposal.

caught in a difficult place

The JTA president rejected the minister's position that the principals were the primary reason for the pitiable results plaguing government-run elementary schools.

"There are clear instances where, even with the best of intentions, some principals are caught in a difficult place because they don't have the basic resources with which to work," Dixon said.

According to him, poverty is the principal problem. He argued that poverty affected children's nutrition and, by extension, their ability to attend school prepared for learning.

In addition, the JTA president argued that poverty limited the capacity of parents to provide meaningful contributions, financial and otherwise, to the school community.

"The poverty affects everything. You can't underestimate the issue of poverty; it is crucial," he said.

Dixon also argued that poor physical conditions and overcrowding of classrooms also robbed value from the quality of education being provided within the walls of primary schools.

"When you have a school where the rooms are still partitioned by chalkboard; when you have a primary class of 50 and over, it really doesn't help in the fight towards quality education," Dixon contended.

Conceded Holness: "There is still infrastructure work to be done."

not gov't inadequacies

However, Holness insisted that the ill-equipped students leaving the state-owned schools did not reflect inadequacies on the Government's side. "It is not an indictment in so far as Government's policy was to improve access," he argued.

The minister pledged that during the decade ahead, the spotlight would be turned directly on the quality of education at the primary stage.

Students at Jessie Ripoll Primary, one of the top-performing schools in the Corporate Area. - file


What I find absolutely fascinating is that one of the poorest nations in the world has many of the same problems that I have observed in the richest nation in the world.

I want to make clear that in South Florida I researched and studied this issue, visited the schools and sat in on classes, examined the education bureaucracy and spoke to a wide cross section of teachers.

Can it be that the problem is simple, the primacy of culture, that human beings where ever they live on Planet Earth shared the same culture that created a ubiquitous, pervasive social system worldwide; and, what we are witnessing is that culture, "the conscious and unconscious premises for thinking and action inventing and reinventing itself to perpetuate the status quo?

I invite comments; and, if there is anyone in this group who has hands on experience with education in the USA to indicate that.

I would like to tell you that I do believe that this is the real issue with regard to long term development in the USA or Jamaica.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Earlier this evening on Facebook, I became a fan of a site with the appellation,"I love Jamaica" and was moved to think about my feelings, my exceedingly ambivalent feelings for my native land, and wrote this poem which may be the best verse I have ever written, not because it is the most imaginative or because it demonstrates the most literary merit of those I have created, but because I utilized language to communicate very accurately my true feelings, and thought I would share it with members of the Black Think Tank.


Some pain is beyond analysis or expression,
Some memories too poignant and private to share,
Some ironies are so capricious, they precipitate despair,
Such are my feelings with regards to my island in the sun.
Like a woman fantasized about, idealized and loved too much, now no longer fun,
When lost she fell below the radar of emotion, beyond nostalgia.
What remains is an empty, sterile zone of non being.
A spatial gap, an experience frozen in suspended animation, a period of personal history repressed beyond regurgitating.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


For two full terms Dick Cheney served as Vice President, arguably the most influential and powerful VP ever, it may well be that he is not defending the record of President Bush but his own mistakes and inadequacies.

He had eight years to make his mark on this nation, and the results are all round us, an economy in ruins as evidenced by unprecedented increases in unemployment and housing foreclosures.

Perhaps the economy was not the strong point of his administration he claims to have done better on national security, where he engaged in a naked act of aggression against the people of Iraq with contrived justifications which attack killed over a hundred thousand Iraqis, a very, very conservative estimate, made half a million Iraqis refugees, and, destroyed the infrastructure in that country while strengthening the hand of extreme Muslim Fundamentalist factions throughout the region.

Mr Cheney, you were as good at you job as Vice President as I am a great singer, I am tone deaf but love karaoke.

When you were in office you maintained a comparatively low profile, perhaps you did not want to overshadow the President, which would have been very easy considering that he was an unmitigated idiot, now you have a very high profile and I cannot for a moment imagine why you obviously have nothing to contribute or you would have made that contribution when you had the chance.

Perhaps, you have too much time on your hands and you are doing this to stave off boredom and ennui.

If that is your problem I would suggest that you go around the country and find people to shoot accidentally, and, then also find very, very stupid people who will believe your version of these accidents.

I cannot advise you to put up or shut up, because you have already put up to the degree that would make you the most unpopular VP in the history of this nation, so can I prevail upon you to SHUT UP.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


This letter is a plea for simple justice however it will not be couched in diplomatic terminology, bromides, platitudes or flattery; nor will it mince words because I am incapable of anything but telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

First of all your reason for failing to release additional photographs depicting the atrocities committed in Abu Ghraib prison is not only reminiscent of the spin foisted on the American people by the Bush Administration, it is entirely spurious, perniciously specious and totally fallacious.

These incidents occurred in 2003:


The abuses at Abu Ghraib that were photographed on Oct. 18 and 19, along with detainee testimony, show the visceral effects of the interrogation tactics once sanctioned for detainees at Guant�namo by Rumsfeld. Many of the photos depict a single detainee shackled naked to a bed with underwear on his head. A July 1, 2004, report on Abu Ghraib by the Army's CID said this man was "possibly" a detainee named H-----. Graner, however, whose camera was used to take most of these photos, told CID investigators on April 6, 2005, that these pictures showed another detainee named W-----, whom Graner called "Taxi Driver." Graner said he was ordered by a civilian interrogator working at Abu Ghraib to strip, shackle and hood the detainee as part of a sleep deprivation program.

Regardless of which detainee these pictures show, both H----- and W----- told eerily similar tales to Army investigators. "They stripped me of all my clothes, even my underwear," H----- told CID investigators on Jan. 18, 2004. "They gave me woman's underwear that was rose color with flowers in it, and they put the bag over my face. One of them whispered in my ear, 'Today I am going to fuck you,' and he said this in Arabic."

The people of Iraq who are in a position to do harm to our troops do not need photos to inflame them, they have access to the reality; if indeed children were sodomized while their mothers watched, those children and their mothers, those who have survived this act of naked aggression can provide eyewitness accounts of these atrocities; and, those who along with members of their families who entertained thoughts of revenge must have acted on these by now, or failed to act on these long since.

If the memories of these atrocities deeply embedded in the psyches of victims, that all Iraqi citizens must be aware of, have not put our troops in danger, how in the world could mere photos, pale reproductions of these horrors have this effect.

The intent of your refusal to release these photographs is political, it is driven by the fear that the conscience of Americans will be belatedly be ignited and that they will demand that justice be done.

As a human being, a member of the human species, I demand that justice be done, I demand that President George Bush be impeached, these photos document war crimes, crimes not only against members of the Iraqi population but against all humanity.

If you fail to do all in your power to ensure that justice is done, I hold you an accessory after the fact to these crimes and just another corrupt agent of the political culture that exists within the Washington Beltway - and beneath contempt.

I call upon you to act consistent with the fundamental decency Americans discerned in you that caused them to flock to your meetings and afford you an overwhelming majority in the November elections.

I say to you, whether you are aware of it or not, the road has forked for your Presidency, either you will take the high road of morality that will ensure that:

this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Or you will walk the low road of political expediency, opportunism and back door deals that holds no one responsible for their actions that will destroy beyond recapture the thus far unfulfilled hope and promise of democracy.

This is our Sacred Mission to preserve democracy for with all its manifest inadequacies and inconsistencies it represents the key to freedom, it is time for you to move beyond rhetoric and campaigning, beyond high flown high sounding concepts to action consistent with American values, it is time for you to take a stand for simple justice.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Support the Moats Family

It is my view that the Police Officer who pointed a gun at members of the Moats Family should be fired out of hand.

Taking thirteen minutes to write a ticket is one thing and stopping those individuals from being with a dying relative by some stretch of the imagination could be considered bad judgment, drawing and pointing a gun at citizens for running a stop sign is something else.

This Police Officer needs to be terminated and never be again be put in a position of being authorized to carry a firearm and point it at anyone.

Friday, March 20, 2009



Fur Elise, a composition for piano,is and always will be to me,

A piece of transcendent, incalculable, inestimable beauty.

Yet it was composed by someone losing his hearing,

Who, as a consequence, was never permitted to fully appreciate

The artistic immensity, ethereal majesty and awesome symmetry

He had brought into being.

So I dare not flinch from grappling with

The ultimate paradox and consummate irony of human existence,

I must from somewhere garner the will and spiritual resiliency

To persevere.


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