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The Buffalo Bullet

The Missing Op-ed page in most Major Newspapers

Archive for January, 2010

The Making of “Precious” pt.5

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by Ishmael Reed

A book promoted by the magazine in which all of the crack addicts were black and in which one photo showed a black crack addict, a mother, fellating a John while a baby was strapped to her back even offended Brent Staples, a black member of the editorial board. That crack is a black drug, exclusively, is just another media hoax meant to entertain whites of the kind that dates to the very beginning of the American mass media.

So I wasn’t surprised that the magazine section featured a spread about “Precious” featuring Gabourey Sidibe, the 350 pound actor in the title role, on the cover certainly an act of black exploitation. However the interviewer, gossip writer Lynn Hirschberg, did perform a service by catching Lee Daniels, the “director” of Precious in a couple of exaggerations. In an effort to follow the marketing plan, the title of the article was “The Audacity of Precious,” after Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” subtitled “Is America Ready For A Movie About An Obese Harlem Girl Raped And Impregnated By Her Abusive Father?” Lionsgate spent big bucks to advertise the movie in the Times.

During Lynn Hirschberg’s interview with Daniels, he claims that he directed Monster’s Ball, about a black woman so dimwitted that she begins a relationship with her husband’s white executioner (though as a porn movie it was superior to Co-Ed Confidential). The husband was played by Sean Puffy Combs.

Turns out that Daniels didn’t direct the film. It was directed by Marc Forster a white director. So, did Daniels direct “Precious” or is really he playing the flak catcher for this heinous project like Oprah Winfrey and Perry? When he went on the set to exercise his role as “director” did the white people who own the movie and provide the crew for this film call security? Hard to say.

He also said that he grew up in the ghetto. His aunt disputes this.
The Times has printed no less than four articles all of which have either praised Precious, or gave those who defend the movie the most lines. Two were written by A.O. Scott, who said that this movie about fictional characters was part of a “national conversation about race.” This is the problem with films like “Precious.” White critics like A.O. Scott, who hog all the criticism space as black, Hispanic, and Asian American journalists are being fired in droves, get a chance to pick and choose which cultural products that will ignite a discussion about race usually ones that show blacks as depraved individuals, individuals that are used to blame black men and in this case black women, collectively. He suggests that based upon a movie adapted from a fiction, all black males are incest violators, the kind of group libel aimed at the brothers when Gloria Steinem said that The Color Purple told the truth about black men.

Why didn’t Dexter, Paris Trout or Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out Of Carolina, begin “a national conversation,” about race? Ted Turner tried to suppress Bastard Out Of Carolina, this white incest film and only through the intervention of Anjelica Huston was the film aired. Turner pronounced it too graphic to be shown on his network CNN, which poses blacks as degenerates 24/7. In several states, Bastard has been banned from classrooms and school libraries.

Also, why doesn’t the Times open its Jim Crow Op Ed page so that a member of Precious’s target, black men, as a class, could respond to this smear, this hate crime as entertainment, this Neo Nazi porn and filth. There are hundreds of black male intellectuals (yes, black men are more than athletes, criminals and entertainers) who would take up the challenge. But the Op Ed page is only open to one black writer, consistently–Orlando Patterson–, who, like the ‘20s writer Claude McKay, is the kind of Jamaican who has nothing but contempt for African Americans.

Sapphire (Ramona Lofton), who wrote the novel Push, also has a biography like Daniel’s that shifts about. First she told Dinitia Smith of the Times (July 2, 1996) that Precious was an actual person. “She lives there,” she said, “pointing at a dowdy building over check cashing store.” Don’t you think that if such a person existed that Lionsgate wouldn’t include her in its marketing plan so ubiquitous that an ad for this film appears on my email screen when I sign in at AOL. It figures? AOL’s expert on black culture and politics is DNesh D’Souza .Their coverage of black culture is limited to black NFL and NBA athletes who get into trouble outside of strip clubs.

Part of the packaging of both the novel and the film has been to cash in the culture of recovery. Sapphire says that she was a former prostitute and a victim of incest (Lee Daniels does his pity party routine during the Times’ interview). She also said that she is a recovering lesbian. In 1986, she began to “remember things.” “An incident of violent sexual abuse “ when she was “3 or 4.” Her father, an Army Sergeant, denied her claim. He died in 1990. (Lee Daniels also “remembered” abuse by his father. I wonder what his aunt would say.)

Her “remembering things,” and being inspired by two other profitable black incest products led Alfred Knopf to give her a $500,000 advance for two books one of which, entitled “American Dreams” included a poem called “Wild Thing,” which blamed the rape of a Central Park Jogger on black boys.

Ishmael Reed is an award-winning novelist, author & essayist. He was born in Tennesse & raised in Buffalo NY and is a former journalist for the Buffalo Challenger. His next book “Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: the Return of the Nigger Breakers” will be published in the Spring by Baraka publishers of Quebec. He is the editor of Konch. He can be reached at:
ireedpub@yahoo.com

Written by cs

January 30th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

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Wall Street has a lot of nerve!!!

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Main Street Needs to Protest Wall Street Bonuses

by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Generally, I make it a rule to never go to sleep with the news on. (Yes! I’m one of those people who live with TV in the background.) However, I dozed off around 4:30AM after having spent the night “fighting material” (a Lincoln University old school term for studying hard). Around 6:25 I heard something so disturbing, I was compelled to get up and write this article: Wall Street is Leading a Protest Against President Barack Obama! Today!

My subconscious said, “That can’t be possible. You’re having a nightmare. Pay no attention to that nonsense. You know they have better sense than that.” But the other side of my brain argued, “No they don’t. They’ll do anything to duck responsibility, maintain the status quo, and continue to suck off society until not even the marrow is left, while they collect their bonuses, and we collect unemployment and welfare!” With that my eyes popped open, I couldn’t sleep.

So, here I am, 6:40 in the morning, writing this piece. If this true, and it most likely is, then Main Street (the rest of America) has to protest Wall Street. Main Street needs to put Wall Street on notice that we are not going to let this nonsense go unchallenged.

Of course, it’s no accident that they chose the day of President Obama’s State of the Union Address to pull this prank. They have been trying to weasel out of their responsibility for collapsing the economy for the past two years. They’ve turned a blind eye to the plight of Main Street for decades. They had the temerity and the gall to flip Main Street Mortgages, securitizing them, and selling them, over encumbering them (I.e. loading them up with debt), while the home owners were being gouged with higher and higher prices, for lower and lower valued properties — and at the same time dealing with an economy where increasingly lower and lower salaries were being offered for fewer and fewer jobs (with the bulk of the better paid positions being sent overseas). So eventually, and inevitably, the house of cards collapsed, literally — along with cars, banks, insurance companies — whole systems that were being carried by frustrated and beleaguered home owners.

When the great collapse came — guess who was in charge of the United States of America? Bush and all his cronies. It was like having Dracula in the White House. Were they surprised that this happened? Probably not. Did they care? As long as their cash kept flowing, most definitely not. Were there prepared to — or even interested in — doing something to help the struggling families who suddenly found themselves without a roof over their heads? Not in the least!

Were they prepared to help the Wall Street investment firms who caused the problem, and were righteously teetering on the brink of disaster, brought on by their own greed, stupidity, avariciousness? Can you say cover up, boys and girls? Remember that taxing the poor to save the rich has been around at least as long as the Bible. It’s nothing new. You can bet that when they came on TV that Sunday morning in 2008, saying to the American public that they should do absolutely nothing, but that the President (Bush) should give them billions of bail out dollars, they were not in the least bit concerned about you. You were going to foot the bill, no matter what. Foot it, but not benefit from it. They were only about covering their asses — er, I mean assets (sorry).

These “smartest minds” as they called themselves, announced that they’re planning to protest President Obama! How dare they! The smartest minds are who got us into this mess to begin with. We really need to send a signal to them. Ain’t no business as usual in Wall Street. The President, via our Attorney General, should not stop until a forensic investigation of every transaction that has negatively affected us and the US in general is conducted.

President Obama is calling for greater regulation of the financial sector, and it’s quite probably they are now feeling the heat breathing down their necks. And it’s about time. I suspect the reason we didn’t have financial literacy classes in elementary, middle, and high school, is because, armed with the appropriate information, Wall Street would have never have been able to undermine the stability of the economy. When everybody knows and understands how a system works, and has an interest and involvement in it, it’s pretty difficult to get away with what they’ve been able to get away with.

Think about it, we in New York City, live in a society where the biggest industry we have is money and investment, but I daresay, less that 12% of New Yorkers in the five boroughs of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island, have working knowledge of Wall Street; much less ongoing investments in the mid to high end stocks, let alone municipal bonds. It’s certainly not taught in any of the 19 schools Bloomberg’s henchmen just closed. Hmmmm! When adult education courses are offered, rarely are programs offered in financial literacy or demystifying Wall Street.

While the rank and file of Wall Street live in a home where the median income is $250,000 annually and upwards to $millions, we, the “little people” are acting as though $35,000 puts us in the middle class income bracket (well it does if both husband and wife are earning $35,000 each); but you’re struggling if it turns out that you have an over priced apartment, or if your mortgage exceeds $1200 a month, and you have children; possibly a car. You’re struggling.

I love money just as much as the next person. I’d love to be independently wealthy. But not by climbing on the backs of the rest of society to do so. And if my actions caused the severe privations currently faced with rampant foreclosures, business failures, people losing their jobs, how could I (or Wall Street) in clear consciousness, expect to receive a bonus?

Now, these same proposed Wall Street protesters who may have caused you to lose even your basic means of support, have the temerity and the gall to try to protest President Obama. Obama, who has assiduously worked to restructure the broken toy (the economy is like a broken toy that your big brother or sister gives you after he or she has ruined it, taken all the fun and life out of it, and then sits back smugly while you try to make it go, knowing all along they still have a key piece in their back pocket). These characters (oops! I almost called them cretins — but how could the smartest guys in the room be cretins? Duh) want to protest him?

Don’t you find it interesting that they didn’t protest the bogus wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan? Don’t you find it amazing that none of them have been sent overseas? But you can bet that they are underwriting some of the weaponry that is purchased for the war. Remember elementary economics: Guns and Butter. Guns are more important than butter. (by the reason they are asking dumb questions about how the Health Care Bill will be paid for is because they are making far more money paying for a losing war — their return on their investment (ROI) is through the stratosphere. And when it looks as if we are moving in the direction of pulling our troops and ending the war, the pull an old photo and recording of Bin Ladin out of somewhere with some new threat, and we end up sending more troops whether we needed to or not. They’d protest ending the war, not because we don’t need to be there, but because it’s messing with their favorite cash cow.

So let’s protest Wall Street. Let’s protest them for trying to collect bonuses for a job poorly done. Let’s protest Wall Street for lying to the public. Let’s protest Wall Street until every penny of those so-called bonuses go to underwrite New York’s economy. Let’s protest them until every one of those homes that went up in flames via mortgage backed securities (please don’t put the blame on the so-called sub prime loans — it’s really all Wall Street, either overt or covert), get’s at least $100,000 to pay down some of their mortgage or move into a new home, after their home was foreclosed upon. Let’s protest Wall Street, and put a freeze on any and all funds over and above salaries that they are trying to sneak and give to each other, while the rest of us go twisting in the wind.

In other words: Don’t let Wall Street get away with this garbage! Tie their feet to the fire. Make them understand that we are all human beings, and deserve to be treated with honesty, integrity, respect — i.e. humanely! And at the same time, we should demand that our education system immediately implement ongoing financial literacy education and training programs, beginning with our first graders, and continuing through college FREE of charge; as well as a remedial Adult Education Financial Literacy program for those of us who went through this system and did not receive the basics.

By the way, for those of you who think that the Wall Street protest is nothing serious, just remember these facts: Barack Obama is the first Black President in the United States; he’s taken on a system that was morally bankrupt from beginning to end. He’s catching hell in the press, not because he’s not doing a good job. In fact, check the real records. He’s doing an excellent job. But Mephistopheles is in the game; Machiavelli is setting the tone for the Republicans — because this is the way Republicans operate — and remember who runs the mainstream media and Wall Street — oh, yes Right Wing, conservative, Republicans.

Remember two years ago when there were seas and seas of Obama buttons because America finally woke up and found itself in the middle of a mess (once again) thanks to the Bush Administration? We once a member of the opposition party gets into office, they do their best to try to make his life and administration a living hell. They did it Clinton. They did it to Carter. They will try to do it to Obama, too. But we’re not going to sit back and let that happen this time. This time we should be astute enough to recognize their m.o. (method of operation/modus operandi) by now.

So, with that in mind, let’s not only protest Wall Street protesters, because they are part and parcel the reason we’re in the mess we’re in now; but let’s get those financial literacy classes going — whether in the schools, or in our many churches (probably better if done in church, it may actually keep the greed factor in church if economics is taught from the standpoint of being our brothers and sisters keepers).

And while you’re at it, get out your Obama buttons, tee shirts, posters, caps, cups, clips, pens; support OFA, and any other organizations that support President Obama, or form one of your own, locally, nationally, internationally. It’s going to be a long haul and a bumpy ride. If you think that you’ve done something by electing him — you’re definitely right, and have a great deal to be proud of. But we now have to make sure that the agenda we helped him become elected on is implemented, and not circumvented via political expediency and yellow striped blue dogs, filibustering miscreants who are only concerned about party issues, not people issues.

Every time an election comes up, a referendum, or any measure, think “how does this affect Obama, therefore me and my family. You have to vote the same way you did when Obama was running for president. You have to line up to the polls the same way you did on November 4, 2008. You have to send a signal for all times that we are alive, large and in charge, and are using our activism and our constitutional right to vote to make sure the guy we put in office doesn’t get sidelined by insidious, duplicitous activities that in the long run undermine us.

Now more than ever YES WE CAN has to be our watchword when it comes to supporting President Barack Obama. Supporting him is supporting America – black, brown, yellow; Red, white, blue.

Stay Blessed &

ECLECTICALLY BLACK

Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist who is new to the bullet. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com

Written by cs

January 28th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

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My Resume

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by Dr. Waine Kong

I was born at Kingston Jubilee Hospital in Kingston on July 18, 1943. Within my first four years of life, World War II ended, my father moved back to China and my mother migrated to the United States and started another family. So, I grew up in “The Bush” (Woodlands District, St. Elizabeth) being nurtured and protected by my Granny, Mrs. Rosella McKenzie (Miss Rosie). After my fifteenth birthday, (April 3, 1959) my brother Earl and I rejoined my mother and her new family in the United States.

In the fifty years since 1959, I lived in Morristown, NJ; Indianola, Iowa; Washington, DC; Columbia, MD; Baltimore, MD; York, PA; Sacramento, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL., and Atlanta, GA. After all my roaming, I returned to Jamaica after I retired in 2008 and began to get to know my birth country for the first time!

I am currently, President of Heart Institute of the Caribbean Foundation (HICF) where I facilitate open access to cardiovascular care for people who cannot afford it. Contributions are being solicited and would be appreciated. We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the United States as well as a registered NGO in Jamaica with the Registry of Companies. I love to write and give talks on a wide range of topics and to a wide range of audiences. Hopefully, my sermons and speeches, as well as the books and articles I publish will help to improve the human condition.

I have been a college professor, a hospital administrator, Director of a medical research center and, between 1986 and 2008, served as the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) based in Atlanta. I have dedicated a great deal of my life trying to reduce the ravages of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Dr. Elijah Saunders and I pioneered several community outreach efforts including being first to organize churches as health promotion centers starting in 1979. I developed the “Community Health Advocates” as well as the Barbershop and Beauty salon blood pressure control programs. I also coined the mantra: “Children should know their grandparents so they will become great grandparents” that was adopted by the ABC in 1998 as well as develop the “Seven Steps to Good Health.”

I received his B.A. from Simpson College (1967), an M.A. from American University (1970), my AGS in rehabilitation (1974) from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from Walden University (1977) in educational psychology. I am also a lawyer. I received a JD from Dickinson School of Law in 1990 and I continue to be a member of the Georgia Bar.

Among my awards are: Chairman’s Award (American Heart Association/Howard County);Leadership in Public Health (Centers for Disease Control/CDC); Health Promotion (American Legacy Magazine); Humanitarian Service Award (Simpson College); Father of Church High Blood Pressure Programs (Maryland Association of Blood Pressure Measurement Specialists); Distinguished Research Award (International Society on Hypertension in Blacks); Leadership in Public Health (COSEHC).

I am married to Dr. Stephanie Kong, a Pediatrician who has been a managed care executive for 30 years. We are the parents of four children (Jillian, Freddie, Melanie and Aleron) and grandparents to five beautiful grandchildren (Mackenzie, Brooks, Audrey, Vincent and Kai). Our hobbies include traveling (we have visited over 100 countries), dancing, swimming, golf, dominoes, bid whist and bridge. However, as I walk through the wilderness of this world, my passion is to pursue the truth about my God, myself and my environment. “Nam et ipsa scienta potestas est.”

Between 1994 and 2008, we were active members of Providence Missionary Baptist Church (Rev. Gerald Durley) in Atlanta where I faithfully served the pastor and the congregation on the Deacon Board while my wife served on the Board of Trustees. We know the Lord. A little time in The Son saved me from being burned. A lot of kneeling keeps us in good standing because he who kneels before God, can stand up to anyone.

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

January 26th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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Pam Africa on the Supreme Court ruling against Mumia

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reprint from the SF Bay View Newspaper
Thursday Jan 21st, 2010

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal and granted the Philadelphia DA’s petition for a writ of certiorari. Basically, the Supreme Court went against the lower federal circuit court’s 2001 and 2008 rulings, which granted a new sentencing phase jury trial if the death penalty was to be reinstated in Jamal’s case. Now the case goes back down to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, who will decide whether they will re-impose the death penalty without the jury trial.

Pam Africa on the Supreme Court ruling against Mumia
by Minister of Information JR

Pam Africa, chairwoman of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, was a key organizer of the large demonstration outside the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals when Mumia’s case was heard there on May 17, 2007. Now the Supreme Court has ordered the case back to that court.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal and granted the Philadelphia DA’s petition for a writ of certiorari. Basically, the Supreme Court went against the lower federal circuit court’s 2001 and 2008 rulings, which granted a new sentencing phase jury trial if the death penalty was to be reinstated in Jamal’s case. Now the case goes back down to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, who will decide whether they will re-impose the death penalty without the jury trial.

In a recent interview with the Block Report, Mumia spoke about the Spisak case, in which the death penalty has since been reinstated for the white supremacist murderer Frank Spisak. The question is how this will affect Mumia’s case since they both dealt with the Mills issue, which addresses confusing jury instructions.

We are now at the highest level of Code Red in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. The people must come to this tireless souljah’s defense.

I interviewed Pam Africa, the chairwoman of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, about the direction of the “Free Mumia” movement at this critical time …

M.O.I. JR: Now that we have this information on how the Supreme Court wants to move on Mumia’s case, how is the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal moving? And what do they need from the people?

Pam Africa: One thing that people need to understand is that this is a very crucial time. What we’re doing today, we’re having a press conference in front of the District Attorney’s Office here in Philadelphia.

This is the first Black DA in the city of Philadelphia. His name is Seth Williams, who ran on the platform that when he became district attorney, he would execute Mumia. That’s why we’re having the demonstration there, because it eventually will end up in the hands of the district attorney.

The district attorney are the ones that are applying for this death sentence on Mumia. I know that they are battling Mills (the case concerning jury instructions) and everything else, but people must stay focused. The time is very short in dealing with the case of Mumia.

People must organize around the world. There are two petitions that are happening: One is by a group of people over in Germany with Mumia’s attorney, Robert Bryan, calling on President Obama to get involved in the case and get Mumia a new case, because he never had a trial, really.

But we’re calling on the attorney general. When I say we, I’m saying there are several groups and organizations that is spearheaded by the New York (Free Mumia Abu-Jamal) Coalition that is calling on the attorney general, because what we’re pointing out is that Mumia cannot get any fairness whatsoever.

Brewing right here is another example of what it is we’re talking about. Mumia cannot get any fairness in this court system, so we’re calling on the U.S. attorney general to do a civil rights investigation into this case, because Mumia’s civil rights from the beginning to the end, and our civil rights as citizens of this United States who have pointed out the evidence very clearly (are threatened). That nobody can get around: Mumia is innocent. He is factually innocent.

And what we’re asking people to do is to sign both of the petitions on behalf of Mumia. The one that the attorney is putting out there, because when he petitions and all, Obama, Obama’s next move is that he has to go to the U.S. attorney general. And when he comes to the U.S. attorney general, he will fully know that our last person who signed the petition for the civil rights investigation was Skip Gates, who sat down and had a beer after he was beat up by the police, you know, at the White House. I’m saying, he signed the petition. We have people that are right in the ear of Obama and the attorney general.

And I want to point out very clearly, we have no hope whatsoever in the system. Our faith, Mumia’s faith, is in the people. Will the people rise up and do what is right? Shaka Sankofa is dead because the people didn’t consistently stay on top of these people when they did wrong.

Tookie Williams, when they executed him, when they murdered him in cold-blood when the movement was moving, it should’ve continued to move that way. There are magnificent things that are happening in California around the death penalty, but everybody must unite together and move as one up against this government for the sake of Brotha (Troy) Davis, for the sake of all the brothas that’s on death row right now.

Again there is Academics for Mumia, who are at Princeton University, who is having a meeting pulling academics together, and we’re asking the academics to sign both of these petitions while they educate people. I’m telling you people, we are not without the evidence. If you go to the website at Journalists for Mumia, if you go into the Bay View, you will find all of the evidence that you need to bring the system down to its knees.

Once again, do not be duped by time; time is running out. And I know that when this next step is made, as I understand, things might be like six months and then it will go to the DA. The time might be a little bit off, but we don’t have much time. It’s time for them people to get into them churches, make them ministers get up, make these politicians get up, you know, make the people rise up, as they did in 1999, when we did Millions for Mumia. The time is now for organizing, organizing with all of the strength that you have.

And I just want to thank people like the Partisan Defense Committee, Labor for Mumia, the Mobilization for Mumia, Millions for Mumia. These people have stayed steadfast, and if I haven’t mentioned the names of other people, there is a lot of individuals – JR and the Bay View – for keeping this issue up front in the people’s eye.

The time is now for organizing, organizing with all of the strength that you have. People must pull together to abolish the death penalty. Save this brotha who has been on the front lines, from deathrow, on every issue of social justice that there is.

And I will be down (in the Bay) on Feb. 18. I’ll be in California, from the 18th to the 23rd. I’m coming down there for the brotha of the San Francisco 8 (Francisco Torres’) hearing. I’m coming down there for Brotha JR’s hearing, and I wish I could be in LA when they bring this murderous cop (who murdered) Oscar Grant there, but I’m going to be pushing for people to get there – everybody who can.

This death sentence that was handed out to this brotha; we can’t allow it, people. And I’m saying y’all have been an example to all of the people around the world of resistance (of what can be done) when people be consistent at what they do. Y’all have had something done here when y’all had that murderous monster arrested. It must continue. This dude must sit on deathrow. That is where he needs to sit with all of the other people. And let people fight to get his behind off of deathrow.

You know, it can’t be enough said: People must pull together. You must abolish the death penalty because it is wrong, all the way across the board. We must support JR and all of the brothas and sistas that was arrested. This is what Mumia is pushing for; this is what we’re pushing for.

When we come to California, we’ll be having more information about Mumia. The movement is moving real fast, so please while you are organizing for everything, tell people that they must get into the streets in order to save this brotha who has been on the front lines, from deathrow, on every issue of social justice that there is.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR, Bay View associate editor, at blockreportradio [at] gmail.com and visit http://www.blockreportradio.com &
http://freemumia.com

Written by cs

January 24th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

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Seek First to Understand

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by Brenda Lee

It’s important to understand why a loved one won’t have contact with you. Understand the group’s dynamics and how the group thinks as one mind. This means that you must research the group thoroughly and try to understand why your friend/relative wants to believe in this group’s mission/utopia/idealistic endeavor. What are the payoffs/downsides? What vulnerabilities does the group manifest? What doubt is your loved one secretly fostering—is he/she tired of the endless and non-climactic routine, the eternal carrot, the hypocrisy, the financial outlay, the disassociation from loved ones?

There is a common component in all relationships which Dr. Stephen R. Covey, cites as a good habit #5 in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is: Seek First to Understand , Then to be Understood. Seeking first to understand can pay huge dividends in all relationships.

A caution, however, based upon my own personal observations: While you are researching your loved one’s high-control group, be careful that they do not indoctrinate you! Keep yourself grounded by reading books about thought/mind control and having your own support network. Remember that most people fall prey to cults because of some emotional need that isn’t being fulfilled. Think about it—what stronger emotional need do you have right now than to have your loved one back in your arms? Are you vulnerable at this time? You bet you are!

Lee is a regular bullet columnist who has appeared as a regular on the TV documentary The Secret Lives of Women “Cults” segments. She has written several pieces in our starting rotation but her first essay for the bullet was on Mothers Day “An Author’s Reflection on Mothers Day…” She overcame her mother’s (mis)using religion like a scalpel in a power-mad effort to break her will, only to write a powerful book of revelation and triumph.

Written by cs

January 22nd, 2010 at 4:22 pm

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3 Reasons Why Haynes may be a Good Fit for Ellicott

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by Chris Stevenson

One of the great privileges of being a part of the press is the ability to show people that no one is such an icon that he or she at some point are beyond criticism or scrutiny whether white or black. Very important in a city like Buffalo. You’ll find that the poorer a city is, the more delusional some of it’s leaders become. My suspicion regarding Buffalo is that for decades what a good number of black politicians wanted from black voters and residents, was the right to screw up and have as little notice or backlash & accountability as possible. ‘Why Not, the White Boys is Doin’ It!’ they would shoot back.

My last column previously urged the Council (particularly the Council majority) to respect the choice of the people or in this case as represented by the Ellicott District Committee. Some of you probably think I should take issue with how things transpired, for in truth the final decision for the Ellicott Councilman was determined by people living outside of Ellicott. Would any Buffalo Bills fan appreciate the Cleveland Browns picking our next Head Coach? Yet on one hand this seems to have been the case with this choice. On the other I also told you a way was made shortly after Byron’s first Mayoral election to go around the votes of the committee if the Council (Majority) wasn’t approving of mid-term appointments by them. While I take issue with the methodology, I also have some reservations on how certain actions by the eventual loser of the Council vote; Pastor Darius Pridgen, campaigned for Ellicott & personally question if this didn’t have some intimidating influence on any of the committeemen. Was the committee vote tainted in some way?

Part of the reasons I think Dr. Curtis Haynes Jr. is a good choice. 1-I never heard of him. This goes a long way with me, especially in a politicians paradise of revolving doors here in Buffalo. 2-His credentials. An Economics Professor in a notoriously economically-deprived business district seems like a godsend at the outset. Certainly can’t hurt (knock on wood). 3-What we missed Pridgen and Bryon McIntyre & a host of others. Joe Golombek picked a candidate who wouldn’t even arrive for interviewing. Who gets a job without being interviewed? Like I said delusions, imagine the drama she had planned for Ellicott. We missed Pridgen theatrics. Whether he would have been a Brown crony or not I see him bringing more style than substance to the Ellicott seat. Why do I say that? Hmmm… a Pastor or Reverend in a political position is almost never a godsend. Even if he claims it is. Would have been entertaining but not very effective. The stories about his followers circling the building on Swan Street in their vehicles seven times with their horns blasting ala the Biblical story of the Walls of Jericho tumbling down, along with his subtle inference that it’s actually God’s will that he have the Ellicott seat is outrageous to say the least.

Dozens of people (I hear upwards of 200) showing up in red in the Council Chamber audience is-no pun intended-one hell of a show (my mean old boss made me drive to Cleveland that day). Over on Ferry and Grider the Book of Darius is a bad mamma-jamma. Darius can move people, he could make Precious lose 200 lbs. Pridgeon has a zealous following like nothing I have ever seen since white teamster and labor unions of the ’70’s and early ’80’s. I remember the Wildcat Walkouts of Greyhound. I remember one driver jumping in front of a bus in order to stop a replacement driver from pulling out at what was then the new downtown station. These was white boys, no one was really shocked. Pridgen comes the closest to getting that same kind of unity and camaraderie and he doing it with blacks, Buffalo blacks. That’s no small feat. You think I’m hating, you’re wrong. I’m envious, I think it’s great. It’s always a wonderful thing for blacks to be tightly united in things other than BS (“no snitching” for example). We needed those blaring horns for former officer Cariol Horne. Y’all understand me? We needed Pridgen’s wildcats to turn out for Elizabeth Taylor Oliver. We needed Darius’ denizens to circle the Rath Building 7 times when Dorothea McDonald was assaulted by a Sheriff’s Deputy.It’s not like Pridgen hasn’t shown hints of this kind of activism before, he organized townhall meetings in Cheektowaga against response to complaints of their persistent & ongoing racial-profiling and brutality and organized a boycott on Walden Galleria years ago.

But this struggle is ongoing, blacks always say they’re tired of doing this or pretend the movement is over. Whites tirelessly continue racism and brutality without letup. Someone is lying. Meanwhile for his 3rd election in a row Bryon McIntyre came close, but not quite close enough. Say what you will about the maneuverings of “Champ” Eve, the secret ballots, backdoor deals or whatever, Mac is still a people’s leader, but he doesn’t move the people whom he needs, to get him where he wants to be. To use my Temptations analogy, Bryon can sing, dance, and is a good dresser, but for whatever reason, he is not tempting. This is my 3rd time supporting Bryon, I’m 0-for-3 with him in two different newspapers. Bro! You’re killin me. I don’t know what to say. If people like you for weeks before the election, but all the behind-the-scenes plans go around, over, beneath and behind you, then it’s probably you. I’ll leave it to him to tell you how close he came, I don’t have the space, but I think a little killer-instinct is lacking. Buffalo is a funny city, nice guys like McIntyre finish last here, but so do crude guys, so I’m mystified. I expect both him and Pridgen to return this fall.

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

Written by cs

January 19th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

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The Making of “Precious” pt.4

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by Ishmael Reed

This is the third black man as sexual predator and the second black incest film that Ms. Winfrey has either endorsed or performed in, yet, only a few titles by black male authors have been adopted by her book club. On Sunday, Nov. 23, during a phone interview with Keifer Bonvillin, author of Ruthless, an inside look at the Oprah operation, I asked him about her embrace of the black male as a sexual predator trope. He wrote:

Last year, I published ‘Ruthless’, (a true story based on conversations I had with Oprah Winfrey’s office manager). The book detailed the unfair treatment African American men received from Oprah Winfrey and the negative stereotypical images of African American men that Oprah sent out in her films. The office manager also gave me a rare glance of Oprah Winfrey’s private life.

This was the first time one of Oprah Winfrey’s employees spoke openly about her as they are prevented from doing so by strict confidentiality agreements. Oprah tried hard to block publication of the book. She and her attorney went so far as to have me arrested. The charges were dropped and the book was published.

Since the publication of ‘Ruthless,’ I noticed several profound changes in the way Oprah Winfrey is doing business.

1) Oprah produced ‘The Great Debaters,’ which was the first film produced by Harpo Films (in my opinion) to not have negative stereotypical images of black men.

2) This season, JayZ, became the first African American rap artist to perform on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

3) This season Oprah’s book club selection, ‘Say You’re One
of Them,’ was written by a black man, Liwem Akpan. This was the first time in years a black man who is not one of Oprah’s friends was featured in the book club.

I was very encouraged by what I was seeing. Then came ‘Precious!’ Like her addiction to food, Oprah does well for a little while but she just can’t help herself.

Another reason that Ms. Winfrey supports the film is because she endorses the policy points the movie makes about welfare recipients. Precious is encouraged to take a job as home care worker for $2.00 per hour. Throughout the movie, poor women are guided to WorkFare. The movie almost becomes a commercial for the program. The policy message is that welfare recipients are black women who wish to avoid work, who use their time having sex with their daughters, watching television and dining on pig leavings. They don’t intervene when their boyfriends rape their children (even the grandmother refuses to intervene). Oprah’s attitude toward welfare recipients was described by Pat Gowens, editor of “Mother Warriors Voice.” She said that “Oprah Winfrey” is “someone who reinforces the U.S. war on the poor and unequivocally supports white male supremacy.” She writes about what happened to welfare mothers who were invited to appear on her show after threatening to picket the TV megastar.

For 30 minutes before the show, Oprah’s cheerleader worked the audience into a frenzy of hatred against moms on welfare. When the show started, Welfare Warriors member Linda, an Italian American mom with 3 children, was sandwiched between two women who attacked and pitied her. The African American mom on her right claimed to have overcome her ‘sick dependence on welfare’ and bragged about cheating on welfare and allegedly living like a queen. The white woman on her left was not a mom but had once received food stamps. Both women aggressively condemned Linda for receiving welfare. Throughout the show Oprah alternated between attacking Linda and allowing panel and audience members to attack her. Poor Linda had been prepared to discuss the economic realities of mother work, the failures of both the U.S. workforce and the child support system, and the Welfare Warriors’ mission to create a Government Guaranteed Child Support program (Family Allowance) like those in Europe. But instead Linda was forced to defend her entire life, while Oprah repeatedly demanded, ‘How long have you been on welfare?’

Later we complained to Oprah and her producer about the false promises they had used to lure us onto the show. (We had engaged in extensive negotiations prior to agreeing to appear. We said yes only after they agreed to discuss welfare reform, not our personal lives.) The producer shoved an Oprah cup (our pay) into our hands and pushed us out the door, angrily denying their treachery.

By the time we arrived home, we had received calls from moms on both coasts warning us about the promos Oprah was using to advertise her show: ‘They call themselves welfare warriors and they refuse to work. See Oprah at 4:00.’

Well, as my great grandmother often said, “If you dig a ditch for someone, dig two.” Kitty Kelley, winner of a PEN Oakland Award for censorship has an Oprah biography due from Crown. This might be Oprah’s ditch. The publication of this book is the real reason why Oprah is quitting her show. Kelley has never been sued for libel and her book about the Bush family was so hot ( and useful) that the Bush Klan succeeded in shutting it down with the help of Bush 1st’s golf caddy, NBC’s Matt Lauer. Editors of The New York Times Magazine section hold the same position about welfare recipients as Oprah.

I stopped reading The New York Times Magazine years ago weary of its parade of flesh eating black cannibals, lazy and shiftless welfare mothers. (The Times’ coverage of Africa could be written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.) It is a section of the newspaper where Daniel Moynihan is treated as some kind of Celtic god. This is the guy who accused unmarried black mothers of “speciation.”

Ishmael Reed is an award-winning novelist, author & essayist. He was born in Tennesse & raised in Buffalo NY and is a former journalist for the Buffalo Challenger. His next book “Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: the Return of the Nigger Breakers” will be published in the Spring by Baraka publishers of Quebec. He is the editor of Konch. He can be reached at:
ireedpub@yahoo.com

Written by cs

January 17th, 2010 at 6:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Why Haiti? (open letter & relief info)

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Whatever you do, don’t forget to read the article below my message. It details the “Radio” show that is coming on tonight! I’m looking for more information about Wyclef Jean’s foundation called “Yele Haiti.” I don’t know if I have the correct spelling. So, associates, please come to my aid! Thanks for supporting me and remember, when you reply, especially in large numbers, I’m inspired more to do the work that I do! I also know that many of you have great opinions and I want and need your input!! Come on board at FaceBook, at this medium, or give us a website that you want to introduce us to. In that introduce to fashion, I would like all of you to go to www.GameOverSportz.com and join, give your input, and start discussions. We also must use these networks to solve OUR problems. All we must do is work together!!

Dear Family of Friends,

I’m writing you this note because of my deep concern about the catastrophe that has struck “OUR” Brothers and Sister in Haiti! I will not dwell on the devastation, because most of you have read, listened, or seen the destruction on television. Now, we must come together with our nickels and dimes and donate to the proper charity to make sure the needy people get the funds we send to the Island. One of my questions has been which group do I trust in this death of so many people caused by mother nature erupting!

My first question to myself was why is Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, being hit with such a tragedy? I caught myself because who am I to ask about God’s work? Never the less, the question came to my mind along with many others about the terrible conditions OUR Brothers and Sisters are “existing” under on the Island. Why Haiti? What’s going on with the rest of the World that we would sit by and let 75% unemployment exist right in our backyard? What does the unhealthy and terrible existence the Haitian people live under say about HUMAN BEINGS, especially all of the nations in the western hemisphere? The deviant and deplorable living conditions that OUR Black Haitian Brothers and Sisters are existing under is proof that White Supremacy is alive and well. It’s also proof that the Black Family is a co-conspirator to what has been happening to the people of Haiti for centuries!

I regret seeing the death and suffering that is taking place on the Island, but this situation is an opportunity for people of Color all over the world to put together a plan to “REALLY” change the poor conditions that have been killing Haitian families for decades. In America and around the Globe, we have sat silently and did only things that destabilized the Haitian Government and caused the cruelest living conditions for the people!

This earthquake and the destruction that must be resolved is the door that has opened for the world to once and for all fix the myriad of problems the Haitian people are facing. You see, the misery that exist in Haiti is a reflection of how far “WE”, the people, will let humanity drop without doing anything. For the United States and France, it’s time for both of YOU to go into Haiti and correct all of the devastation that Your countries are specifically responsible for over many decades.

I’m going all the way back in Haitian history when the leadership inspired the people to “FIGHT” for their freedom and throw of the yolk of Imperialism and colonialism! I believe this Black Nation has been punished by White Supremacist down through time for having the tenacity to challenge white folks in armed battle and WIN!! So, I’m reaching out to the Black Family for your expertise in all of the areas that are needed to build Haiti back up to the prominence the Nation should have as “Template” for fighting for freedom. The “first” country to fight for freedom from Imperialism and WIN! We need to celebrate all over the planet and give Haiti and it’s people their due recognition!! This is our Black Family legacy and it is our destiny to Save Ourselves. We must be focused and not let “White Supremacist” devilment throw US of course! We have a lot of work to do, but OUR winning History is the conclusion if we do what is right!!

In the interest of putting Haiti and it’s people on the lofty recognition stage they should be on,

Brother Zachary C. Husser, Community Organizer

Note: I’m asking my long time friend and Haitian Brother in the struggle, Mr. Ernst Perodin, to please send US the information we need to know about what “Group” to send OUR money to. I’m also asking those of you with “Skills” that are needed to save lives, to use your resources to go to Haiti and help our Brothers and Sisters. We must become United Black folks to solve the many ills that have plagued our Black Nation since the introduction of “White Supremacist” into all of our Black Societies!!

Written by cs

January 14th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

G.O.P. Grief and Grieving

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by CHARLES M. BLOW

The attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks grabs the gaze like a really bad horror flick — some version of “Hee Haw” meets “28 Days Later.” It’s fascinating. But it also raises a serious question: Are these the desperate thrashings of a dying movement or the labor pains of a new one?

My money is on the former. Anyone who says that this is the dawn of a new age of conservatism is engaging in wishful thinking on a delusional scale.

There is no doubt that the number of people who say that they are conservative has inched up. According to a report from Gallup on Thursday, conservatives finished 2009as the No. 1 ideological group. But ideological identification is no predictor of electoral outcomes. According to polls by The New York Times, conservative identification was slightly higher on the verge of Bill Clinton’s first-term election and Barack Obama’s election than it was on the verge of George W. Bush’s first-term election.

It is likely that Republicans will pick up Congressional seats in November partly because of the enthusiasm of this conservative fringe, democratic apathy and historical trends. But make no mistake: This is not 1994.

This is a limited, emotional reaction. It’s a response to the trauma that is the Great Recession, the uncertainty and creeping suspicion about the risks being taken in Washington, a visceral reaction to Obama and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness and loss.

Simply put, it’s about fear-fueled anger. But anger is not an idea. It’s not a plan. And it’s not a vision for the future. It is, however, the second stage of grief, right after denial and before bargaining.

The right is on the wrong side of history. The demographics of the country are rapidly changing, young people are becoming increasingly liberal on social issues, and rigid, dogmatic religious stricture is loosening its grip on the throat of our culture.

The right has seen the enemy, and he is the future.

According to a Gallup report issued this week, Republicans were more than twice as likely as Democrats and a third more likely as independents to have a pessimistic outlook for the country over the next 20 years. That might be the fourth stage of grief: depression.

So what’s their battle plan to fight back from the precipice of irrelevance? Moderation? A stab at modernity? A slate of innovative ideas? No, their plan is to purge the party’s moderates and march farther down the road to oblivion.

Erick Erickson, the incendiary editor of the popular conservative blog RedState, appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Monday and said that “no one really knows what a Republican is anymore.”

Split hairs about labels if you must, but the Republican brand already has begun a slow slide into obscurity. And turning further right only hastens its demise. Quiet as it’s kept, many in the party know this. That, alas, is called acceptance.

Once again the bullet is proud to present New York Times Columnist & nationally known commentator Charles M. Blow with several hundred words of blistering political commentary: “I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.”

Written by cs

January 13th, 2010 at 11:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Jamaican Bureaucrats Do Not Serve the People

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Jamaican Civil Servants Do Not Serve the People Well

by Basil Waine Kong

The lead story in the Observer on May 21, 2009 concerned the slackness of Civil Servants in Jamaica. The town fathers and business leaders have had enough and demanding that our government straighten out the mess. This struck a nerve. As an expatriate who returned almost 2 years ago, I continue to enthusiastically encourage other expatriates to return. It was a good decision for my wife and me. We are having a fabulous time. Most of us, if not all, can contribute a wealth of experience, capital and human resources to this incredible country. However, my experiences working through the bureaucracies have not been encouraging. My experience so far leads me to believe that the institutions of Jamaica are incapable of functioning efficiently.

Whether applying for a US phone number or assisting my wife with a permanent visa and work permit, the system seems to be designed to prevent or stymie citizens from transacting business in an efficient and effective manner. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that they go out of their way to obstruct progress if you don’t know “somebody”. This emphasis on citizens having to be “nice and respectful” and not being facey is completely out of control. Everyone walks on needles and are deathly afraid to offend public servants or their paperwork will be sabotaged or they will be made to jump through additional hoops. Public servants here actually believe that having citizens wait all day hungry, thirsty and tired for services to which they are entitled is acceptable; and you dear not object or you will go to the end of the line. Whether it’s to cash a check or getting something approved, the lines are endless. There is no respect for citizens time. Shouldn’t the government try to facilitate rather than hinder? Are civil servants our bosses or should they serve the people?

Expatriates have lived in countries that have an infrastructure designed to assist the average person to transact business because transactions means that money is exchanging hands and if money exchanges hands, the system is that much richer. What I have run into instead, much to my chagrin and dismay, are civil servants who are inefficient, disrespectful and at times seem to make up rules to suit themselves. This level of bureaucratic morass is beyond any reason that I can fathom.

I offer this as an example, as a returning resident, I have had to register a business, obtain a driver’s license, an NIS number, a TRN number as well as open several bank accounts. My experience is mixed. On the one hand, the Registry of Companies and the Drivers License Division are in a class by themselves for inefficiency. These divisions are a travesty. Whoever devised them must have attended the Rube Goldberg School of Business. Rube Goldberg as you may know, devised contraptions for making the simplest transactions into the most complicated. On the other hand, obtaining the NIS and TRN numbers were faultless. Some departments do get it right.

Due to government regulations, the requirements for opening a simple bank account is defies logic. I have a few rass words for bureaucrat who devised the banking rules. They actually hold onto checks written on American banks for 90 days before you can use your money and no interest is paid in the interim.

For the uninitiated, here are the steps to open an account:

1. You must account for how you got the money you are proposing to deposit;
2. Obtain two letters of recommendation from a Justice of the Peace, notary
or some similar VIP attesting to your character; (If you lie, cheat and cannot get someone important to attest to your character, you cannot open an account no matter how much money you have.)
3. Submit a projected income and expense for the upcoming year as well as anticipate how many transactions you will have per year;
4. Show proof of your residence in the form of a bill from a utility company with your name as the owner of the property; (If you are a cultivator living in country, do not have bills as well as people who live in hotels or “Cotching”, you cannot have a bank account;
5. Purchase a “seal”. (The only purpose for this requirement is to generate income for the people who make these seals. The cost is $3,000!)
6. Have a Tax Payer Registration Number and a driver’s license. (I gave up trying to get a Jamaica credit card.)
7. Have your signature card certified by a Justice of the Peace or Notary.

This is madness. Consider the simplicity of opening a bank account in the United States. You produce your social security number, put down your money and get a bank book and checks. You can establish a savings or checking account in five minutes. In Jamaica, it takes weeks and then you even have to pay a fee each time you withdraw money if you do not use the ATM machine.

I suspected all along that Bureaucrats purposefully made the process of obtaining licenses and permits almost impossible to force citizens into submission and beg these public servants to take extra money to get it done “the easy way”.

The Registry of Companies otherwise known as the “Office of Circumlution” is particularly troublesome. By comparison, it takes about an hour to complete the paperwork and submit the documents to register a company in the United States—no attorney required. With the tremendous cost of registering a business in Jamaica, I now share the belief that it was designed to guarantee that poor people will never own a legitimate business. I don’t believe most lawyers could negotiate the process in Jamaica, so the public must almost always rely on expensive attorneys who specialize in registering companies. This is an un-necessary cost and headache.

Registering our company took three months of concentrated effort. When they found an error on page one, they stopped their review and return our application. After eight rejections and after addressing all their concerns, they still had a few more requirements that did not come up before.

Victory at last, the prized certificate is obtained. You are then directed to drive across town to the tax office to obtain your TRN number (not the personal one which is easy, but the business TRN). This office then directs you back to the dreaded Registry of Companies to obtain certified copies of all your submissions. The cost is J$150.00 per page and my application was 30 pages. Why couldn’t the Registry of Companies also issue the TRN? This is not pro-business and does not encourage citizens to become legitimate tax paying companies. Our police can then close down those who are not registered and blame them for not having a certificate. Is this any way to run a country? I completely agree with Mr. Butch Stewart and the business leaders quoted in the Observer article. We can and should do better.

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

January 11th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized