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The Buffalo Bullet

The Missing Op-ed page in most Major Newspapers

Archive for October, 2009


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by Brenda Lee

There is a saying, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know IT’S ME.” Accepting that you can’t change other people is usually the hardest part. Remember that you can only change your reaction to something or someone. This is the theme throughout my book, Out of the Cocoon (www.outofthecocoon.net).

Realize too and appreciate that there are situations in our lives that are not ours to control. If we keep hitting a brick wall, we must at some point accept our fate until we have a road map in hand to find a way around it. The answer doesn’t always appear instantaneously and this is where patience comes in.

This philosophy helped me survive my childhood, and today it guides me when life seems to hurl curve balls straight at my head. My motto is: “Acceptance of anything outside my control is liberating.”

What can you do to find and maintain happiness in your life? Here are four simple steps that have worked for me during my lifetime:

1) Most importantly, recognize that you can change 98% of the things in your life that make you feel frustrated. The 2% in my mind are reserved for the two things you can’t alter: past childhood experiences and death. If you hate your job, are feuding with your relatives, or dislike your family environment, stop blaming other people. Stop making excuses. That’s the first step. Take ownership for where you are in your life TODAY and who you have become. No more victim mentality!

2) Buy a journal and write down your hopes and dreams. Prioritize the list. Make sure your aspirations are in the right, logical order—with the most important item on top. Below the first item, write ten things you can do—ten small steps you can take—to alter the situation. If you say, “There’s nothing I can do about this,” dig deeper. Nearly all stumbling blocks can be broken down if you continue to chisel away.

Be realistic. Do not write down what others need to do so that you can accomplish your goals (e.g., “My husband needs to clean the house more so I have time to exercise”). Remember, you can’t change other people, only yourself, so make these goals about what you can do. This is about you. A better example to the above might be: “I will hire a housekeeper so I have more time to exercise.”

Keep a daily record of your thoughts, your setbacks and your successes. Review your progress on a weekly basis. Ask yourself:

a) “What steps have I taken this week?”

b) “If I haven’t taken any steps, why not?

c) Am I putting more effort into making excuses than in instituting change?

d) “What things can I do differently next week?”

If you use your journal consistently, you will come to understand what obstacles you are placing before you on your road to success.

Warning: Don’t spread yourself too thin, i.e., set yourself up for failure by tackling too many things at once. You are not Superhuman! We’d all like to think we are, but let’s face it, with all the demands we have today, we have to set reasonable goals. Once you have fully accomplished your first goal then, and only then, move onto your second item.

3) Surround yourself with supportive people. If you have caustic or overly negative individuals in your life—emotional vampires who suck the very life out of you—be clear and set firm boundaries with them. If they don’t respect those boundaries, you might have to restrict time with them. Above all else, you must monitor your emotional health each and every day. Remember, our thoughts about ourselves become a self-fulfilling prophecy that will either help us stand tall or tear us down.

4) Love yourself unconditionally. Even if you have minor setbacks and sometimes feel defeated, continue to focus on your hopes and dreams, knowing you deserve them. The road to self-discovery is usually forked and can lead you in many directions. Evaluate where you are and where you would like to be at the beginning of every day, every week, every month. Pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished thus far. If you feel overwhelmed or confused, sit down and analyze your goals and re prioritize them. Be flexible and most of all—love and forgive yourself for all past transgressions, even when it seems no one else will. Why? Because change comes when we truly know in our hearts that we are deserving of it.

Bottom line: Mastering change within us takes self-love, sustained diligence and focus and above all, patience.

Truth, Love and Light.

This is one of the latest columns by author and mind control educator Brenda Lee. Her book “Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman’s Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult,” can be found at her site: www.outofthecocoon.net

She was the co-star of the documentary/reality series “The Secret Lives of Women” on WEtv. This site once carried all of her segments but experienced technical problems. The video segments will be re-posted soon.

Written by cs

October 31st, 2009 at 3:23 pm

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Forthcoming books by Angela Davis, Tim Wise, Clarence Lusane . . .

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Dear Chris,
Hi there from City Lights Publishers in San Francisco.  I just read your review of I am Not a Slave and thought that you might be interested in hearing about a number of books coming out this year and next that I think you’ll be interested in.  Please let me know if you would like review copies of any title.  Thanks very much!
Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama by Tim Wise (now available)
Colorblind: Barack Obama, Post-Racial Liberalism and the Retreat From Racial Equality by Tim Wise (May 2010) 
The Black History of the White House by Clarence Lusane (June 2010) 
To Die for the People by Huey Newton (Oct 2009)
read more: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100230650  (This one is basically a reprint, with a new foreword by Panther Elaine Brown)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself: A New Critical Edition by Angela Y. Davis
(Nov 09)
The Meaning of Freedom by Angela Y. Davis (late Spring 2010)
Thanks for your consideration!
* * *
Stacey Lewis
City Lights Publishers
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco  CA  94133
ph: 415 362 1901
fax: 415 362 4921
e: stacey@citylights.com
* * *
Stacey Lewis
City Lights Publishers
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco  CA  94133
ph: 415 362 1901
fax: 415 362 4921
e: stacey@citylights.com

Written by cs

October 29th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

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Why Not Curl Up with a Good Book Before Winter

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by Chris Stevenson

It is not white people that are your worst enemy, it is the ignorance and fear of what they will do that is your worst enemy
-Minister Louis Farrakhan on the Arsenio Hall Show

There are tons of books on race out there. Some well-known, some rather obscure. I tend to choose what I consider the best from among both categories in order to get the book talked about and help circulate dialogue on matters that need to be talked about the most. There has been lots of discussion on race but the problem of race continues on. When this happens, you can rest assured something within the discussion is not being addressed.

Author Eugene LaCorbiniere feels “America and other countries have not had to listen to black people because the black communities around the world have not said we are worth saving.” Therefore he saw the need to write “I Am Not a Slave.” It’s not hard to understand anyway, I feel as long as we fail to overcome saying “what shall we do,” then we’ll always have an excuse to not do anything

This is not a book about or by one of the legendary black leaders or groups like Turner, Tubman Truth, Douglass, Garvey, Washington, Martin, Malcolm, Medgar, Marshall, Huey, Bobby, Angela or Abu-Jamal. Here’s a brother who wrote a book about you and me. Actually LaCorbiniere was wondering one day how could these ancestors and luminaries get us through their respective periods and navigate us around, by and through white supremacy, while at the same time, deal with our trifling asses.

It seems our most pressing desire is wanting change without pain. “Slave” tells us to prepare to get uncomfortable. This book was specifically written to counter a book from long ago by a Caribbean slave owner whose existence is of late being denied by some black pundits; “The Making of a Slave,” by Willy Lynch. I actually confess to being the biggest slave because this copy was sent to me for review by a former newspaper publisher and good friend over a year-and-half ago.

Anyway, Lynch-for a guy who didn’t exist to some black thinkers-got his idea of how to divide Africans slaves around pretty well. He went to DC and presented this to Congress and they liked it. The rest is an ongoing reality show.

LaCorbinariere talks a lot about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and how after slavery whites left us to feed on each other: “What we knew so long ago, but have chosen to forget and pretend doesn’t exist today is that the majority of the white community in the US, UK, Caribbean, and around the world, simply don’t like black folks to any real degree. Many may tolerate and endure our presence, work, skills, attitudes and personalities, but true friendship and love between blacks and whites for the most part is an illusion… Why are we forcing ourselves on other races?” This “forcing ourselves on other races” is really a post-slavery, post-civil rights era dream that has been stretched out of proportion by wide margins thanks to a legion of old-school Black Church proponents dusting their knees off in spiritual, ritual and socially reconcilable teachings. All these served to accomplish was to make us more predictable: “We were studied and researched, our communities probed and infiltrated in order to determine the best approach for the continued dismemberment of the black man, woman and child’s mind, body and soul.” Most devastating were the findings.

“Slave” goes into current black street-corner false pride or machismo among young boys and leaves no room for their failed philosophies: “Too many black men think it’s macho to have multiple children from multiple women. Having multiple children doesn’t make you any more of a man than a horse used for breeding makes it any more of a horse.” In the suburbs you have what many call soccer moms: mostly-white housewives or divorced mothers, many of whom they or they’re husbands come to work and drain the black community of more resources. Young black women by default become basketball moms; abandoned mothers who may or may not work, but many of their “babies” drain the black community of more resources.

“It was found that we are a much-separated people and that we really didn’t like each other to any degree… It was found that with almost any kind of intrinsic positive reinforcement, with self-fulfillment as a motivator, a black man or woman would turn on each other in an instant… to turn around and use these flaws against us was insane, evil and unforgivable.” I believe this book is in it’s 2nd printing with much needed editing improvements. If you feel black people today are worth saving, then go to your local black-owned book store and purchase a copy of “I Am Not a Slave.” It would also make a great gift to middle and high school children from family and educators.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear in the Buffalo Challenger. Follow him on Twitter & Facebook. Contact him by replying on the link below.

Written by cs

October 28th, 2009 at 3:45 am

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The Magic of Michelle

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Forgive me in advance for fawning, but Michelle Obama is the coolest first lady ever. She clinched it for me this week by jumping double Dutch on the South Lawn as part of a “healthy kids fair.”

The scene underscored my impression of the first lady as utterly unencumbered by convention. She seems to feel free — free enough to loosen up and laugh a little, free enough to let her inner child peek through the veil of parenthood, free enough to be herself.

I couldn’t imagine recent first ladies jumping a puddle on the sidewalk, let alone two ropes swinging at the same time in opposite directions. So, on behalf of New York City, the so-called double Dutch capital of the world (so much so that this year it became a varsity sport in the city’s schools), allow me to say: Well played.

I could pile on platitudes here about her professional accomplishments, or explore to what degree she is redefining the role of women, or predict how she will be viewed by historians in the pantheon of her predecessors. I could, but I won’t. That’s not my bailiwick.

But I will say that she seems particularly suited to these times. She provides a certain authenticity and clarity of self in a time of uncertainty, projecting a casual grace onto a world of amplified anxiety. She has become a powerful symbol of fearlessness, refinement, frugality and frivolity, managing to be both fun and serious simultaneously. She’s genuinely human.

Mrs. Obama is redefining my concept of a first lady, and I like it. Apparently, I’m not alone.

In April, at the peak of her popularity, a New York Times/CBS News poll measured her favorability at 67 percent. The same poll found that a stratospheric 84 percent approved of how she was handling her role as first lady. That means that even half of those who didn’t hold a favorable view of her as a person still liked what she was doing as first lady.

(It should be noted that polls by USA Today/Gallup and CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, both released this week, put the first lady’s favorability ratings in the 60s and above those of her husband.)

It’s hard to believe that this is the same woman who during the presidential campaign was repeatedly portrayed as the neo-radical albatross to a postracial candidate.

This is America. We respect fearlessness, regardless of what we feel about the person who embodies it. With Mrs. Obama, we have it both ways.

If George W. Bush was the president that Americans most wanted to have a beer with, then Michelle Obama is becoming the first lady we most want to have a laugh with. And that’s cool.

Once again the bullet is proud to present New York Times Columnist & nationally known commentator Charles M. Blow; heartthrob of women (except Michelle, sorry bro’ you can’t have that), heartburn of men, with several hundred words of blistering political commentary: I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.

Written by cs

October 25th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

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Children Give you what you Expect so what are You Expecting from Them?

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by Rose Wilder

Consistency, Compassion and Confidence are essential traits in raising a strong man. We let our boys rough house and hit but teach our girls to have manners and sit properly. From an early age we inadvertently teach our sons to be tough, competitive and catered to. Our daughters are brought up to be strong, independent and capable without a man.

So why do our sons choose gangs and our daughters choose thugs? To belong, be approved of and have a sense of pride.They try to find a place to fit in and somebody to trust in. They also want to be connected to people that believe in them. If we teach our sons to respect their mothers, love their sisters and encourage their brothers , then they have a better chance of choosing friends that will keep them on the right path.

If we teach our sons that their power is not in their game or their fists but in the words that they speak, then maybe they would actually think before they say a word. We can’t expect our boys to become positive, successful men when most of what they see and cling to is the glamorous life of drug dealers and rap artists displayed in Hollywood. Our young men need to find their own place in a world that constantly beats them down. They need guidance and approval from their parents or caregivers in all aspects of their life so when they step out into the real world, they are not mesmerized by the quick money schemes or sweet talking swindlers.

What you believe and value will be instilled in your children without any effort from you because they will watch what you do and how you react to the situations in your life. If you lost your keys in the morning before leaving the house and you slammed doors, cussing all through the house, don’t expect your children to control their anger when circumstances change We as parents have an opportunity to change the atmosphere by raising confident children who do not compromise their values. If you were abused, mistreated or rejected, break the chains of bondage and create a new circle that embraces love, confidence, perseverance and hope.

If children are taught early to see themselves as an important piece of society that can’t be replaced, they will continue to hold onto their morals even when we as parents are not present. Parents also need to take responsibility for their actions so that children can learn to take responsibility for their own actions. Of course we all make mistakes and sometimes the choices we make lead to dire consequences but a parent that was and is available will have more of an effect their child’s outlook on life than an out of touch parent.

Take time to listen to your children so when the time comes they will be willing to listen to you. Set your boundaries and keep them set, children are more confident and independent if they know what the rules are. As a parent I set aside time for my children just to have fun and be with them, so when they are hurting they don’t have to look outside for comfort. The way you handle life is the way your children will handle life. Children give you what you expect so what are you expecting from them?

Rose Wilder is the bullet’s newest columnist, she is a Child Advocate with 20 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter and facebook

Written by cs

October 25th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

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My Appeal to the Gunmen of Jamaica

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Is our Romantic Island Dead and Gone?

by Basil Waine Kong

Somewhere people feel safe, go out to restaurants and clubs at night with no concern about their safety, but not here in Jamaica. We are afraid. We now live in continual fear of kidnapping and violence. We are forced to bear the unbearable. No issue is more compelling here than the senseless murders committed five times each day—every day. There can be little hope for our country and little joy if these killings continue. In some communities, only the dead smile, glad to be at rest.

I appeal to you, whether you are a politician who place personal ambitions above the welfare of the country, a Don who terrorize some of our communities, a policeman who practice extra-judicial killings and otherwise abuse your power, a thief with a gun, a member of a gang or just an angry, disrespected or frustrated man or woman, let us send death on a holiday and cultivate forgiveness and harmony. It could become contagious.

If you have been wronged, the atrocity of your reprisal will create a lifetime burden on your soul. A tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye will only make us a country of toothless and eyeless people. In the name of God and your tormented countrymen, we beg, beseech and command you: Value human life and stop these murders. Whosoever destroys a single human life is as guilty as if he destroyed the entire world. The victims have children, grand children, mothers, fathers, other family and friends. The impact on their lives is always tragic and endless. Their belly bottom bun. Enough of their blood and tears. Come my friends, it’s not too late; let’s go back to the old Jamaica when everyone reached out to each other and felt safe. Let us rile against this crime. “Children Should Know Their Grand Parents.”

What kind of life are you bequeathing for yourself and your children? Time wounds all criminals. Are you aware that the life expectancy in Jamaica is the shortest for gunmen? You should not be surprised. If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword. While we work on promoting a more just society, give peace a chance. We implore you to stop being the problem and become part of the solution for this great country and the great God we serve.

We have survived slavery, economic meltdowns, earthquakes, train wrecks, hurricanes, floods, droughts, famines and epidemics, but the most tormenting is the tragedy of these senseless murders—cutting short the life of loved ones and all their potential future offspring.

We are a good people with loving arms to hold you, appreciate and nurture you. Give the gift of “peace and love” to each other. We have but one country and one destiny. The murder of any Jamaican diminishes me. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for all of us.

Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley

Written by cs

October 25th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

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Hopefully Lenihan Will Recover, but he Should Retire… Really

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by Chris Stevenson

“There is only one message the people understand and that is this, if a candidate that they want, really want-say hypothetically there is a candidate that Len Lenihan really, really, really wants and say he has [previously] refused to cooperate and collaborate-when that candidate comes, no matter who he is, you join the opposition and defeat him.”
-Dr, Henry Taylor, Director of Urban Studies. University of Buffalo

Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan has the local black community in a strange position. For his 2nd time and the first time in two years he is cross-endorsing an African American Judge. I really don’t think he wanted to, but historically when given the choice, white king-makers will select a black female over a black male because it’s the safe, convenient pick to hide one’s racism behind. It was at the recent Erie County Democratic Party Judicial Convention that a deal cut long beforehand was officially made public. City Court Judge Shirley Troutman will exchange her party endorsement with republican SC encumbent Christopher J. Burns. Just imagine, a City Court Judge picked over a sitting SC Judge. Hmmm.

It is not my wish to nail the coffin on Lenihan, especially given his health issues right now, but sentiments he held over the years are now publicly manifesting themselves. If I told you it’s not an opportunity to close the lid on his political career in a few weeks, I’d be lying to you. All you/we need do is take it. You probably think I’m suggesting not voting in a black female just to get rid of him, as if I’m weighing an option of stopping another sister from her historic destiny. Wrong. I like Troutman, not a particularly outstanding Judge, but a good person. Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz is the convenient candidate of Dr. Taylor’s above illustration, he is the one against whom we must unequivocally accept the signal to vote against due to Lehihan’s refusal to cross-endorse Judge Russell. Republican candidate Phillip Kadet brings much fiscal experience to this race. No matter which way you cut it, no cross-endorsement means no return support in a race such as this.

There is a school of thought that suggests Governor David Paterson took a long time to announce his choice of Russell so that Russell really wouldn’t have time to assemble an effective campaign. This rumor is born out of some inferred secret agreement between Paterson and Lenihan. Not completely unbelievable in a city like Buffalo; the capital of secret deals. A simple drive through East Buffalo and then through it’s suburbs will show you the results and disparities of decades of secret deals between our black politicians and white politicians and businessmen. Some blacks are miffed at what they see as Obama’s refusal to support Paterson and his suggestion that he drop out of next years race for Governor. Understandable on one hand, it’s not as if the first black President has a whole slew of African American Governors and he can afford to lose one. On the other hand what Governor allows a small-town party chairman to punk him by telling him he will not back his choice of interim State Supreme Court Justice? Do blacks and whites in New York State need such a man? A recent poll of of Siena University shows New Yorkers would rather see some batty-boys and lesbos get married, than see Paterson remain Governor. It is to laugh.

If any of these rumors are true (and it’s a certainty that Paterson either delayed his announcement of Russell or refused to call Lenihan out when he didn’t fully support Russell), then it’s no wonder President Obama never sets foot in Buffalo. Many local blacks admire Obama’s Ivy League education but ignore the by-products of such learning. Become President of college law journal, graduate, join big law firm, marry the pretty boss, run for State Senate, run for US Senate, run for President, win Nobel prize and visit Buffalo simply don’t go together. C’mon people (lol) give the man credit where it’s due. That’s like dating Vanessa Williams, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Sanaa Lathan, and then be seen eating Chicken wings with Ann Coulter at the Anchor Bar. Hell No he ain’t comin’ here, Obama don’t want our shit to rub off on him.

As it is, Governor Paterson is starting to feel like Judge Russell. Passed over, out of the loop and pretty much powerless to do anything about it. I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel even the slightest amusement at that. My efforts to push Russell is a matter of record, but phone calls to Paterson’s office to enlist the aid of him or one his assistants in a possible 2nd meeting with Len have gone unanswered.

Some say it’s because of Paterson’s low approval ratings. The fear with New York Dem’s is money spent in the Primary on Paterson against his democratic opponents could be almost used up when it’s time to run against a republican in the general election. It’s in the President’s best interest to keep the blue states blue, especially in anticipation of Angry White Republican backlash which the NY Governors race will eventually lead up to a year later. Paterson’s job is simply to mind the store and play the blues until then. My initial thought was maybe Chicago politics crossed over into Lake Erie; Paterson if you remember refused to back Obama when the former IL Senator was running against Hillary Clinton in the race for Super Tuesday. All NY elected officials were expected to back Hil however, nothing personal just business.

Lenihan is the Mr. Personal of this column, whether it’s because he refused to back Russell because he is the democratic plant trying to limit the amount of black officials in office around Buffalo (which is a matter of record) or because he doesn’t like Mayor Byron Brown who is a close supporter of Russell. Lenihan really needs to step down as Democratic Chair. This is not just an issue of health, it’s an issue of morals (there I go again linking morals and politics). The City of Buffalo is showing too much wear and tear from the antics of the various Lenihans throughout it’s history that harbor the erroneous view and practice that local blacks should not prosper even if some of the town as a whole must suffer. Buffalo cannot stand much more of this thought-process, there are waters of resentment from Lake Erie that we’ve all been drinking, that the Water Authority has not filtered.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear in the Buffalo Challenger. Reply to him on the link below. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook (you don’t have to join either one).

Written by cs

October 25th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

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Jamaicans, We are Everywhere

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The Impact of Jamaicans on the world



by Basil Waine Kong

I left Jamaica in 1959 when I was fifteen years old and returned after I retired on reaching my 65th birthday in 2008. During my lifetime, I have been fortunate to experience all the major cities of the United States as well as over 100 countries. Wherever I may roam, I can depend on two things: I will hear Bob Marley’s music and find Jamaicans making a positive contribution. The list is endless but would obviously include Will.I.Am, the creative genius of Black Eye Peas and Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. Last week-end was no exception.

I was in Orlando attending my Grandson’s (Kai) first birthday and as is my custom, I read the local newspaper. The Sunday Highlight was the story of an Attorney from Jamaica (Wayne Golding) who chairs the Bi-racial Committee for the Orange County Schools. He was pictured standing proudly in front of portraits of his two heroes, Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley. His committee is responsible for maintaining racial balance in the Orlando public schools and promoting racial harmony. He migrated to the United States 28 years ago, married and is the father of two children. You make me proud Mr. Golding.

I recall the story that during one of the Olympic Games, the Prime Minister of England and the Prime Minister of Canada were sitting together when the Canadian Prime Minister remarked that England won more medals only because there were more Jamaicans in England than in Canada. Jamaican men and women are the fastest human beings ever to walk (and run) on this earth and the most gifted overall.

We are a remarkable people. Never doubt that a small group of talented committed people from a little Island can change the world. The question remains whether a group of talented committed people can change Jamaica. We know many of you living foreign are doing great things but what are you doing for Jamaica and what is Jamaica doing to promote your return. If Jamaica is to overcome poverty, crime and educational and health care disparities, we must shed the “old” Colonial mentality and embrace the power of ingenuity and invest wisely in our future. Your home country could use some help in this, our hour of need. Leaders in Jamaica could also use a healthy dose of humility in accepting your talents. Come no man. Put your hands and shoulders to the wheel for Jamaica! We cannot just complain about the current government without a brain trust to replace those who continue to promote old ways of thinking that prevents true progress.

I have always been impressed that Japan has no natural resources, (no oil, gold, silver, bauxite, diamonds, wood, steel,etc). They are the third leading economy in the world because they buy natural resources from other countries, add value and sell it back to the world at a mark up. This is people power! They buy steel, build cars and sell them back on the world market at a tremendous mark-up. Are they smarter than Jamaicans? Absolutely not. We just sell our most talented and gifted people to the world cheap.

We need more people to be part of the solution and fewer to be part of the problem.

Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley

Written by cs

October 25th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Why I Side with Portia Simpson-Miller & the PNP

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Basil Waine Kong, Ph.D., JD

I believe that People’s National Party President; Portia Simpson-Miller, is a rare gift to Jamaica and to humanity. She is charismatic, astute, a visionary, cares deeply about the people and the future of Jamaica. She is an unselfish leader who never places personal ambitions ahead of her public duty. This talented and gifted leader is restrained from letting her light shine because of bad-minded and prejudiced people who oppose her because she is a strong woman in a chauvinistic society. She is also held up to ridicule by uptown people because she is one of the few politicians who consistently advocate for the poor and down trodden. She consistently proposes changes that would “lift all boats” and the defenders of the status quo just as consistently atttack her for her advocacy. According to Sister P: “Many of the rich in Jamaica have never heard of the Sermon on the Mount or the story of the Good Samaritan.” She envisions a kinder, gentler nation as we recognize that we are all in the same boat. This generation must be mindful of its place in history.

Is she Jamaica’s Obama? July news footage and analysis of Simpson-Miller

Our country will be judged by how we treated people in need and what we did to educate, house, feed, clothe and provide economic opportunity, prosperity and security for ALL Jamaicans. All she strives to do is meet the good people of Jamaica where they are (not where we would like them to be), equip them to be better participants in society, and empower them to build a good life for themselves, their families, and their communities. In contrast, The Jamaica Labour Party is only invested in complaining that their fellow citizens aren’t further along, setting them up to fail, and drawing the walls and fences higher around themselves. As a result, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

We live in a sound bite world and people make very quick decisions about politicians based on very limited information. It has been a great privilege for my wife and me to really sit down with Sister P and hear at length what she is about. It may surprise people to know that this intellectual giant with a substantial knowledge of a wide range of subjects is also very humble and engaging.

I asked her the question that is on the minds of many: ”Is Sister P ready to run the country? Can you take us forward?“ She said with confidence, ”I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it. I have assembled the most marvelous talent and knowledge that will help me to move this ship forward. But while I have great faith and trust in my advisors, my imprimatur is to do what humanity, reason and justice tell me I must do. The People of Jamaica are my masters. My contract is between those who came before us, those who are living and those yet to be born. I do not want to make slaves of future generations by burdening them with debt.

I also recognize that we cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, increase wages by ruining those who pay the wages or help the poor by destroying the rich. You also destroy character by doing things for people that they should be doing for themselves.

Maybe the greatest difference between the JLP and the PNP is that we believe in preventing crises and the JLP believing in trying to deal with disasters after the fact. The truth is that we can do a great deal more to prevent unemployment by preparing our citizens for productive work on the one hand and expanding business on the other. We can significantly reduce how much we spend on health care by promoting healthier lifestyles and we can accelerate our use of alternative energy like the sun on the one hand and more fuel efficient automobiles on the other. Preventing crime and violence is certainly more attractive than catching and punishing criminals.”

When we parted, my wife and I each got one of her famous hugs that also told us about her kindness. I am now among her strongest supporters, and was pleased to be formally introduced in her speech to the delegates at the PNP Annual Conference a few weeks ago. The more I get to know her, the more convinced I am that Jamaica would be in great hands under her leadership and what Jamaica needs right now is to change the party in power. My feeling is: If you want anything said, ask Mr. Golding. If you want anything done, ask Sister P. Thunder is good but it is lightening that does the work.

Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley

Written by cs

October 19th, 2009 at 10:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized