Sunday, April 8, 2018

Jamaica Cabinet Reshuffle - Much Ado About Nothing

I have been on this earth for a while now and lived through a lot of cabinet reshuffles but I have never seen a cabinet reshuffle with such fanfare and spectacle as this one, it was like all of jamaica won the lottery. The JLP have a far superior PR machine than the PNP where everything have a positive spin. All those years in opposition was not wasted because it allowed them to developed superior political skills.

I am happy like a pig in slop that Audley “village idiot” Shaw is no longer finance minister because he was a fraud. He should have been forced out completely and not given any more responsibility. Since becoming finance minister I am happy to say he has been a script reader and not a script writer. Delivering policies like a glove puppet dictated to him by Clark and the Growth council/ministry who has been running things behind.

I am eager to see what Nigel Clark the young foreign educated intellectual Technocrat will bring to the table. What will he do differently, how will he change the financial landscape? I find most young foreign educated intellectual technocrats all gravy and no meat, so I hope he delivers something different. They can talk the talk but fail to walk the walk, full a big chat and foreign education void of practical implementation!

The Young Foreign Educated Technocrat must remember that he is a MP with a constituency, local people in need and must wear two hats of responsibility. This is Representational Politics and not a corporate boardroom.

Horace Chang as minister of security? Well if it was not so serious I would laugh my fracking head off.

That being said, if the General Election was called today, I would vote for the JLP because there is not enough reasons to vote for the PNP. We are not heading over a cliff but still trying to navigate the very delicate balance of economic and social development. We are now in “prosperity times”, which is just some rubbish spouted by the delusional JLP PR machine to fool idiots. The economy and society is in a very sensitive state and it is irresponsible to shout prosperity when you do not have the means to back it up.

The JLP must know that a Cabinet Reshuffle is not a reset of the clock, your judgement time started when you assumed the government and took over an economy that was fundamentally heading in the right direction. Task with the job of moving us from strength to strength.

I cannot emphasize how poor the PNP’s Public Relation machine is compared to the well-oiled JLP’s PR machine. Nothing they say or do is gaining any traction and what use to be a scandal when the JLP was in opposition is now just a whisper in the wind.

The JLP Government spending Billions of taxpayers money on luxury SUV has gained no traction unlike the hoopla that went on when the PNP spent a fraction of that replacing government SUVs. The PM Holness drives a 2017 BMW 740Li costing JA$16.7 million. The total cost of the JLP government’ fleet is J$190 Million.

The PNP is a victim of its own success after handing over a stabler economy, the JLP is having a smoother ride compared to when the PNP took over in 2011 but that is the way it is supposed to be, moving from strength to strength!

The Peek and Poke of my life Growing up in Jamaica

This was My first Computer on my dining table

  • The BASIC function PEEK returns the memory contents of the specified address
I never knew I wanted to be a software developer when I was growing up, the thought had never even crossed my mind. First I wanted to be a farmer thanks to my grandmother on my mother's side, then a scientist and after that a Nation Building finger wagging Revolutionary Politician thanks to Michael Manley. While I was going to school I never wanted to work, as far as I was concern school was my work and my holiday was my holiday, for me to do what I wanted to do. One summer my aunt took it upon herself to enroll me in a Computer Summer Camp at The University of the West Indies to which I protested until I realized that girls from all over the world also attended this Computer Summer Camp, so reluctantly I agreed.

I had lots of fun at the summer camp and met lots of people and thought that was the end of that. I was introduced to the world of computer programming, I found it interesting and easy but did not think any more of it. One day I got home from school and my aunt had bought me a computer, a Commodore 64. At first I used it to play games but I was never a gamer so I did the only other thing one could do with it and that was learn to write computer programs in various languages. I joined local programming groups, exchanged compilers, ideas and various development tools and tried to impress on others my programming skills as well as learn from others their programming skills.

My aunt continued to supply me with computers books, magazines, hardware’s and software’s and I continued to devour them and demand more. My first real job was working for the Government and then I convinced my boss to allow me to write a program to make inputting and sorting a massive list with millions of items required for statistical research easier, after which I was never again allowed in the field. I was chained to the office computers which was then the IBM Personal Computer XT 286 and later the XT 386 with PC DOS, BASIC, Ashton-Tate dBASE III, Fortran, C and COBOL and Wordstar before WordPerfect came along. I was sent by my boss to take a programming certification course and the owner of the company asked me if I could teach the COBOL programming class on the weekends which I accepted.

I was later “forced” to transfer to the Government Computer center where I developed my COBOL programming skills on a VAX-11/780 and later the VAX 8600, 8800 and 9000 after which becoming a C Programmer. During my travels I left the world of the VAX/VMS and entered the world of C-Programming on UNIX/LINUX processing financial trading data.

$ gcc -Wall hello.c -o hello
$ ./hello

I then jumped off the Linux servers and back onto Windows PC’s developing websites using Microsoft C-Sharp MVC framework.  In between all of this I have developed in other languages and platforms because I was always interested in how things are done with other languages and platforms. Looking back I am very proud of some of the places, people and locations I have worked and the life experiences I have acquired over time.

When I look at where I'm coming from
I know I'm blessed, and I close my eyes and smile
Sometimes I feel like
The richest man in Babylon
And I've done my best
So everything's alright inside
Oh every morning, Oh every morning
I rise, I stare at the sun
I know it is a blessing
So when the evening comes I
Lift up my eyes to the hills I'm blessed, oh man
With my two hands in the air as far as I can
As far as I can
I can, yeah
My two hands in the air as far as I can

When I first started software development it was not a job because to me it never involved work even when I was getting paid because it was nothing but a hobby for me. I was having fun with it, I would go to sleep dreaming about coding, could not wait for morning to get back to coding and never wanted to leave work some nights, drinking cold coffee and sugar drinks to stay focus. On a couple of occasions I worked 24 hours none stop, some cases I worked on Christmas day and public holidays, many a times all by myself in the office. Why because it was fun, because I wanted to and because I preferred it to human interaction.

kill -9 666

Software Development over the years became work, hard sickening, stressful, demanding work and consulting even worse so much so that I now resented it. In the very near future when I am finally finish with it, retire from it, I do not want to see another computer for the rest of my life because I intend to completely disconnect myself from this aspect of technology.

But I owe my love of computers and programming to my dear Aunt who has been my mother since my own mother died when I was a baby, the Computer Summer Camp and my Commodore 64.

I was talking to my nephew trying to get a feel for what he would like to do in life and he was totally clueless then I remember, sometimes you need to try something first before making up your mind. Sometimes young adults need to experience things first without any pressure and sometimes they may end up loving the things they try which will help to determine their future. 

  • The BASIC-Command POKE changes the content of any address in the memory address

Monday, March 19, 2018

Jamaica High School Chronicles: The Pen Foot Incident


One day in second form, long, long ago one of the boys came to school with a new pen. He was proud of this pen and show it to almost everyone in the class. He was so proud of the pen that he refused to use it to write with fearing that it would run out of ink.

Later that day he raised the alarm that his beloved new pen was stolen, he was crying his eyes out trying to explain to Sir how one second he had the pen and the next second it was gone. Sir saw that he was so very upset, devastated that his beloved pen was taken and vowed that before the end of the school day he would be reunited his pen.
Jamaica College

Sir made a plea to the entire class to return the pen and if it was returned now, then that would be the end of it, no further actions would be taken. He even agreed to leave the classroom hoping someone would anonymously drop it on the floor but so such luck, which angered Sir greatly. It was then that we moved into the punishment phase, titled the “Wrath of Sir”. The entire class was taken outside in the hot sun and made to stand in a very regimental line. We would stay standing in the sun until whomever took the pen confessed to the crime and return it or anyone who knew who took the pen snitched out the guilty person.

One hour turned into two and still no one came forward. The sun was very hot, we were all thirsty and getting weaker by the minute, our little legs started to hurt, this was prison camp punishment at its very worse. Some of us in the line began to curse that the guilty party should return the pen because we were all suffering for something we did not do.

After about 3 hours Sir decided to change tactics, it was time for the search and frisk phase since honesty was never going to work. Each and every one of us would be search. Our desk and bags searched, our pockets turned out and patted down but that did not create the result Sir was hoping for. It was then that Sir issued the command to take off our shoes and hold it outwards in front of us. He then walked up to each of us and ordered us to turn it upside down.

Kingston College

By the time he got to the end of the line with the last person remaining the order was giving for that person to turn over their shoes and Lo and Behold the stolen pen fell to the ground much to the delight of everyone especially the owner of the pen.

If you asked me if such and such a person went to school with me I would have trouble confirming because real names in high school means nothing and nicknames means everything, you had better know their aliases at school. Suffice to say from that day on and for the rest of his entire life, the person who stole the pen was called and is called to this very day “Pen-Foot”.


Jamaica High School Chronicles: Culture Clash

Jamaica High School Chronicles: Master Nuts vs. Pen Foot

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Prosperity and Public Sector Wage Negotiation

2018/2019 Budget

The problem the JLP Government is having at the moment is that they are becoming victims of their own Delusional and “Illusional” Public Relation Campaign. I am sorry but you cannot walk around screaming Prosperity while still trying to implement Austerity. It is Irresponsible and disingenuous to sell people a false sense of security. The Government must get back to reality and paint that picture of reality to the people of this country and encourage them to get on board with all hands on deck. The work is not over but just beginning.

The last PNP government had to face fiscal reality right out of the box after taking office in 2012, they had no choice. By the time they took office Jamaica had failed all of the previous IMF test and talks had broken down completely. As a result the IMF, World Bank and OAS circled the wagon and told Jamaica we were out of the Global financing business until we get our shit together and return to the path we agreed upon during the 2010 IMF agreements. As a result the 2013 IMF agreement was extra strict, Jamaica was not given a lump sum of money but instead given various task to fulfill, jump through hoops and only after we completed those task did the IMF gave us a little money, it was $10, $20 and $30 million at a time and after proof of completed task.

Is there a difference between new taxes compared to increased old taxes? How I see it either way you will be paying more?

The 2013 IMF agreement was the Austerity agreement where IMF dictated terms and Jamaica said yes sir and jump as high as they commanded us to jump. The Government of the day declared that we are dealing with Austerity, that the IMF wants discipline and the implementation of Austerity as a condition for Jamaica to rejoin the international financial markets and get the much needed loans for budgetary support. That Government made it very clear to the people that our backs was against the wall, the Government made it very clear to the people that it was time to make sacrifice, that it was time to tighten our belts and do with less and that we had no other option, it was Austerity. This message resonated throughout the society and all the stakeholders got on board. Most of the stakeholders were able to meet face to face with the IMF representatives who did not hold back or mince words. The last Government implemented Austerity with success (if austerity can be defined as success) because Austerity did what Austerity was supposed to do which is to implement reforms and put our fiscal books in a better order.

So much so that when the JLP party became the Government the JLP Government thanked the last PNP Government for inheriting a stable economy, for putting our fiscal books in some sort of an order and for laying the ground work for growth (1.6%).

In 2016 The JLP Government on taking office declared that Austerity was OVER and that it was Prosperity time now. This JLP Government spend a lot of time trying to convince the people that we are living in a “Time of Plenty”, that we are living in a “Land of Prosperity”. This public relation campaign was relentless and ongoing because 70% of everything that comes out of this Government is nothing but an illusion, Jedi Mind tricks, The Matrix and the over selling of this illusion will come back to bite them because they are NOT being straight with the Jamaican people. Sooner or later reality will set in and expose the fact that we are NOT in the Land of Plenty and Prosperity. That NOT much have changed, our lot in life have only marginally improved and we are NOT yet out of the woods. The last people to oversell anything to the Jamaican people because they need a constant and steady dosage of reality to keep them focus.

The Jamaican Economy is still very fragile and slow to the turn and one false move can set us back 5 years. The Government must stop spreading false perception and start selling reality. I understand we want public optimism to be high but let us not get beyond ourselves. One second the Government is on stage, jumping around like circus clowns shouting Prosperity and the next they are telling public sector workers with high expectations and expectations they created, that they are skint, broke, cannot afford to pay them above Austerity rates. Well which is it?

If the General elections was called today who would you vote for?

I see no reason at this time NOT to vote for the JLP because I do not see what if anything new the PNP would bring to the table and if they have an alternate plan then I have not heard it. I will continue to highlight JLP hypocrisy but hypocrisy alone is not enough to vote out the current government because hypocrisy is not limited to the JLP, the PNP can give as much as they get.

It is no secret that the JLP is waving the political magic wand, painting an "illusionary" picture of prosperity, making promises and not delivering but that is typical of any political party, the PNP have done their share of empty promises. A lot of our Economic indicators are stable and some moving in the right direction so I see no reason to upset the apple cart at this time. Debt to GDP continue to decline this started under the PNP Government was in power and still on a down ward trajectory. Unemployment is at 10.2% down from 12.9%, the NIR and primary surplus are also in positive territory.  So I see no reason to vote out JLP if an election was held today. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Political Correctness Gone Too Far! or Not Far Enough?

Political Correctness defines a war between Free Speech and Hate Speech

Political correctness: The avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

Where there is freedom and power there should also be empathy, respect, responsibility, understanding and discipline because freedom and power without empathy, respect, responsibility, understanding and discipline is nothing but hate filled dog eat dog, lord of the files anarchy, subjugation of the many by the few. Society must create rules that allows it to coexist peacefully towards a common goal or else society will turn in on itself, cannibalize itself and implode. My granny use to say, if you do not have anything good to say then better not say anything, sometimes that is the best course of action. However in this case I take the word "good" to mean Productive, Objective and Uplifting to counteract what is bad, negative and downtrodden. That saying "if you do not have anything good to say then better not say anything" as been misused on many occasions, when it is use to control the narrative and quiet any opposition.

Ever since they created of the phrase “Political Correctness” humanity have been involved in a war of words. The fact is humanity have always been in a war, of words and otherwise over what to say, what not to say and how to act, what is proper and what is not proper but the phrase “Political Correctness” have weaponized these words. Political Correctness is a new name to describe old habits. Political Correctness is like a double edged sword with both edges razor sharp. The advocates of Political Correctness and those of Anti-Political Correctness are trying to accomplish the same thing, to control Freedom of Speech. They are both using the concept to control what people can say and what people should not say. The advocates of Political Correctness however are in general fighting to limit the Freedom of Hate. The enemies of Political Correctness are people who want the freedom to express their hate, to act upon their hate without any consequences.

The fact is everyone is free to say what they want to say in the public’s domain and the public is then free to respond to what was said because freedom of expression is not without consequences, not without reaction. However when the public express themselves against what was said they are accused of Political Correctness Gone Mad, cry baby liberal snowflakes who cannot handle the harsh reality of life. Anti-Political Correctness people do not want any opposition to what they say, no matter how filthy, disgusting and hateful.

The Anti-Political Correctness people have made themselves out be snowflake victims of the Political Correctness. The Anti-Political Correctness people will go on and on about how their rights are being restricted and taken away from them simply because they have a different opinion and position which is almost always based on and driven by hate. The anti-Political Correctness people have mastered the art of using Political Correctness like a weapon against anyone who would disagree with them. Crying Political Correctness persecution allows these hate-mongering Snowflakes to take the victim like high ground as they attempt to control the narrative by screaming persecution.

It is safe to say that Political Correctness serves two masters at different ends of the spectrum, political Correctness is used by the people who are pro-Political Correctness to control the narratives and also used by the anti-Political Correctness people for the same purpose. To control the narrative without persecution, in a sense fighting fire with fire. There are also Pro-Politically Correct people who go too far, trying to micromanage every aspect to human life, attempting to sterilize relationships between people.

Anti-Political Correctness Everyday Usage:
Most people who are anti-Politically correct almost always hates diversity and any attempt to inject diversity into their shallow world is rejected by way of a very public, "end of the world as we know it", meltdown, tantrum. Once upon a time the world was white, more precisely white male and everyone else who was not white or white male was made invisible and subjected to abuse but now any attempt to show the world as it really is, a multicultural, multiple gender, multiracial world, to make all people visible, to level the playing field is regarded by these people as an attack on their privileged position in the universe and Political Correctness Gone Mad!.

When people from the ethnic minority are omitted from movies, awards or general employment, no matter how hard they work, how educated or how professional they are, complains about being omitted, there are people who would tell them to shut up and stop complaining. Declaring that the reason they were omitted was only because they were not good enough and not because of their race or sex. One of the main weapons of the anti-Political Correctness crowd beside shouting Political Correctness Persecution, while pretending they are Equal Opportunity, pull yourself up by your bootstraps people, they often declare how they do not see colour or they have a black friend. Their reaction to omitting certain section of humanity is to ask if they think they deserve to be rewarded or employed simply because they are from the ethnic minority or female. That was the debate and defence after one such Oscar year when the academy was accused of not recognizing the contribution of people from the ethnic minority.

However when people from the ethnic minority are rewarded for hard work and professionalism, then all hell break loose. These anti-Politically correct people would complain that this is Political Correctness gone mad, that they are only being rewarded because they are ethnic minority or female. Again implying that they are not good enough and in fact will never be good enough in there eyes. With these people, the ethnic minority cannot win, no matter what they do, people like these do not want them to win.
National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood

I do not think there is anyone alive on this planet who do not know that Blackface, “people who are not black painting their face to make fun of black people”, is insulting and disgusting simply because of its historical context when the world was white and for the most part still white. But even in this day and age there are white people who go out of their way to black up their faces and when public outrage reaches them, they simply apologise while wondering why all the fuss. Public outrage to Blackface is also looked on as Political Correctness gone mad, it was just white people having some fun at the expense of the subjugated.

The last place I would expect to find racism and sexism hate is in for example the sci-fi movie world because it is a genre that shows fictional characters from different worlds but the sci-fi world is no different to real life. I assume whenever human beings are involved they carry with them their hate and prejudices and cannot see past it. Black Panther and Nick Cage have too much black people in it and Dr. Who and Thor cannot be a woman even though Dr. Who is an alien from the planet Gallifrey who always regenerates continuously back into a white Englishman, so he can never be black or a woman.  The concept of Thor is without gender, "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." The great confusion comes with the use of the word “he” and who can forget the great comic book debate “Is Political Correctness Hurting Marvel Comics?”

If the great anti-slavery debates that took place in the 18th century was taking place today, there would be people accusing William Wilberforce and various abolitionist of being cry baby, liberal snowflakes in a world where Political Correctness have Gone Mad.

The fact that humanity is always evolving does mean that the things around us must change to match our changing outlook on life. What was the norm and acceptable yesterday will not in many cases be the norm and acceptable today as we try to develop better ways to coexist on this planet. Most Anti-Politically-Correct people are against change fearing they might lose their privileged position if society develops in a more egalitarian way. As a society, one people on this little planet in this vast universe we need to compromise if we are to survive.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lack off Progressive Developments in Jamaica

A Facebook group I belong to posted a picture of the Half Way Tree Transport Centre and declared how progressive and modern it was. Many posters commented about how First World a building it is and it shows modern progress. It got me thinking about the concept of progressive development and how that concept has changed over time. I am not a person who thinks a big pretty building with curves is automatically modern and progress because I am not that shallow. Progressive Development is so much more than just bulldozing our green space and replacing it with some concrete and glass, in my mind that is anti-progress.

There was a time in human history during the Industrial Revolution when buildings with massive chimneys emitting millions of tons Carbon dioxide was also considered as progressive even though it blanketed the sky, turn cities grey and was killing the inhabitants of the city. That tells me the concept of progressive development involves so much more than concrete and glass. This is what happens when we allow corporations and greed to define what the concept of progressive development means.

The Half Way Tree Transport Centre is an impressive building as it presents itself when one enters the area but it is not a progressive building because progress development involves using our knowledge of what we know is affecting us, killing us and design and develop counteract these things. The Half Way Tree area was always a congested area but back in the days it was a much greener space, we had more trees in the area to absorb the carbon emissions and heat but today most of that greenspace is gone and all we have now are fumes, heat and humidity from the increase congested traffic.

High Line New York Greenway

Our development does not involve Nature and sustainability, for one we see nature and greenspace and backwards because we are trying so hard to recreate New York City thinking that it is the perfect example of progressive development and meanwhile New York City is trying to hard rollback its aggressive environmentally destructive development in order to let nature and greenspace back in.

4500 solar panels spread across the entire rooftop surface. This system on the car park rooftop is expected to offset 100% of the car park’s electricity consumption with excess power generated to be consumed within the main airport terminal. It will reduce the airport’s overall energy consumption and carbon emissions by close to 10 per cent.

How is the Half Way Tree Transport Centre progressive, what percentage of its energy consumption comes from green energy, how much solar panels does it have, how much kilowatt of solar energy does it generates, are there any wind turbines? How much of these buses are all-electric, zero-emission electric or clean energy buses? Was the Half Way Tree Transport Centre designed with sustainability in mind or the health of the people in it? That nice pretty roof that covers the transport centre could have served a much higher purpose other than to protect the people from the sun and the rain, it is reflecting a huge amount of the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere.

Hybrid Wind/Solar Power Generators

The Half Way Tree Transport Centre is an impressive building but it by no means represents progress, just like all our other developments. Take for example the massive Mcmansion of the Prime Minister Andre Holness surrounded by that massive wall making it into Holness Fortress and other developments like this. It was developed to impress with no concept of sustainability in mind. No desire to set an example of how modern progressive development should be done. These are colonial structures and represents the same concept of the old colonial great houses on the slave plantations.

Solar Power Transforms Parking Lots into Green Job Generators

Modern Humans knows that climate change is real and an issue affecting humanity. We understand the science behind it and the importance of Nature and the Environment to our survival. We have the technology to limit our use of fossil fuels, to preserve Environment and consume more green sustainable energy, so why is that not reflected in our development? Development is only modern and progressive if it takes into consideration the factors that are threatening our life on this planet and uses our scientific knowledge to protect humanity.

Permaculture, as the “perma” name suggests, is a movement towards permanent agricultural arrangements, ones which culturally value nutrition, systemic health, and sustainability over monetary wealth and materialism. Permaculture designs can be quite complex cycles for avoiding waste creation and maximizing productive efficiency.