Thursday, December 31, 2009


The year in review

For the first time in as long as I could remember there were no hurricanes or storms that terrorised the region.Yet storms of a different type made their presence felt across the world. On a cold Washington day in January the world watched as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama took the oath of office.The ascension of a black man to the highest post of the land was something many thought they would never see in their lifetime. Despite the hope engendered by Obama's rise the world's global health suffered as the word recession took centre stage.

2009 would end with a tale of deceit and the smashing of a carefully crafted image as Tiger Woods'private life became all too public. Terror reigned in the skies with the attempted bombing of Northwest airlines Flight 253 by Umar Farouk. A few days earlier relieved American Airlines passengers miraculously escaped death when their plane crash landed at the Norman Manley Int'l Airport in Kingston.

In between, 2009 was the year when larger than life personalities none bigger that the king of pop Michael Jackson departed this life. It was the year when Rihanna became the new poster girl for violence against women triggering a debate that was as illuminating as it was sad. Truth is there are far too many of us willing to offer up excuses for this type of behaviour. Swine flu or H1N1 as it was later called was on the lips of everyone as the media threatened to scare the living daylights out of us. Eygptian pigs were among the biggest casualties thanks to an overzealous administration. For weeks we were enthralled with the situation in Iran after the results of the general elctions sparked off protests.

The summer Olympics were owned by the irrepressible Usain Bolt who like Jesse Owens before him made sure Berliners and the world at large would forever remember his name. Unlike the Jamaican athletic team the the west Indies cricket team was characterized by tales of strikes and the muddling off and on the field that has become part of the cricket landscape. To be fair though, the series in Australia showed some fight that was pleasing.

Closer to home the Government failed in its bid to have the Constitution reformed leaving in its wake a money trail of millions of dollars. Given our polarity it's safe to say Constitutional reform will remain a dream.

2009 also had its bizarre moments like Marge Simpson gracing the covers of Playboy and the jaw dropping ones like Obama being awarded the Nobel peace prize. Thankfully, Jon , Kate and the annoying eight's reality show came to an end. Here's to much blessings in 2010 and many many thanks to all of you who dropped by in 2009.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas

I want to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a merry and blessed Christmas. We public servants did not get the accustomed Christmas bonus but hopefully some of us will learn that we are blessed beyond $200 or $250. I know I am.

My wish is that along with all the sparkly shiny gifts we give each other the gift of tolerance, the gift of love, the gift of laughter and the gift of kindness. Let's leave behind the judgmental stances, the petty jealousies and all the negative things that threaten to derail us.

Merry Christmas from St Vincent and the Grenadines, home of the Caribbean's best Christmas festivities.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Government Boots

I hear them boots, boots, boots and more boots
On the feet of young trigger happy recruits
I see them boots, boots, boots and more boots
Marching threatening......Gabby

Yesterday, I went to the funeral of yet another man shot and killed by the police. I find it quite alarming that so far this year at least six(6) persons have met their deaths at the hands of police officers. Sometimes, I can't help but think there is a war being waged between police and civilians which judging by the body count the police is winning. Before anybody gets the wrong idea I am not advocating that civilians try to settle the score but I worry that things could escalate.

This latest incident has left a bad taste in my mouth given that the deceased was a known mentally ill person. The disconnect for me is whether or not the right institution was called to handle the situation. Additionally, SVG TV's newcast and one newspaper that I read gave a different account of the incident. I suspect that some where in the middle lies the truth but going by past history the police officer will be vindicated. As we are prone to do some sections of the public have reasoned that since he was mentally ill and a menace to his mother it somehow validates being shot in the chest.

And it is the placement of the bullet that is further disturbing. Naturally, I have no beef with police officers defending themselves if the need arises but the shoot to kill mentality is all too common. It's as if these officers are trained to kill and when presented with a real live target they just cannot control themselves. Police officers are crucial to our security and well being but they simply cannot be given a licence to kill or become law unto themselves.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


The HIV/AIDS Strugle continues

Mi want a jook offa Jacqueline
But mi haffi draw for my rubbers,for my rubbers
Sex nice but the AIDs thing Wi mek yuh die out like flowers
Frisco Kid.

TOday December 1st,is designated as World Aids day. This day serves as a reminder to let us know that HIV is a very present threat that is hellbent on making its presence known.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

HIV/AIDs is now the leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 44. For many women societal values prevent them from negotiating the use of condoms and others are often forced into non consensual sex. Couple years ago the world heard the chiiling stories out of SOuth Africa where children and babies were brutally raped by HIV ridden men on the premise that sex with a virgin will cure them. So many myths still prevail despite HIV being part of the world's vocabulary since the eighties.

On this World Aids day my plea is for persons to educate themselves about this disease and act accordingly. Those amongst us who continue to discriminate and stigmatize need to stop and re examine our stances. Pushing the blame game and ostracising persons affected By HIV does nothing to limit the spread of the disease. Instead the continued discrimination and stigmatising will only reduce the effectiveness of the HIV prevention programmes. Get tested,know your status abd learn how to protect yourselves and others.

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