The World Cup final was exhausting and I must admit I could not have taken much more stress. It was a hot afternoon, we had the fans turned up full and ate mangoes and drank coconut water at half time. This did not help Argentina to a victory, sadly. But all the Jamaicans who suddenly started supporting Germany after their demolition job on Brazil last week were happy, and it was a good reason for a Sunday afternoon party, for some.
A dampener: Our local television station, which had exclusive rights to the World Cup, managed to destroy all the good feelings when one sports reporter decided it would be very amusing to give a Nazi salute and a couple of “Heil Hitlers” following Germany’s win. If this was in the U.S. or many other countries, the journalist would have been fired. But this man will likely be let off the hook (or in Jamaican parlance “get a bly”). Does this sports expert know about the historic moment when the African American Jesse Owens won races at the Berlin Olympics, and Hitler’s reaction? Does he know that Hitler exterminated not only Jews (if you care not for their sensibilities) but also blacks, Roma people, disabled, homosexuals? And does he know that neo-Nazism is flourishing in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, and that Nazi salutes are illegal in many countries? But this is Jamaica! Mediocrity rules… A half-hearted apology will do, it seems.
How will the German Embassy in Kingston respond? Because surely, respond they must.
Now, I’m looking forward to the start of the English Premier League season. Go Arsenal! Roll on, August 16!
UC Rusal is in Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell’s bad books. The Minister told Parliament last week he gave the Russian bauxite company an ultimatum in a letter dated July 1, which states:“It is my intention to revoke the special mining leases in respect of the Alpart and Kirkvine refineries in the event that bona fide mining operations do not commence within six months.”
But UC Rusal is reportedly restructuring its huge debt and last week announced the launch of a huge mining project in Dian-Dian, Guinea – involving the construction and putting into operation by 2016 of a bauxite mine with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes with the potential for a further increase of up to 6 million tonnes. UC Rusal says Dian-Dian is “the world’s largest bauxite deposit with reserves of 564 million tonnes.” UC Rusal has just invested many millions in one of its smelters. Minister Paulwell, for all our blustering, aren’t we small fry? The Jamaica Labour Party wants greater transparency. Do we know the terms of the Government’s agreement with UC Rusal? And is the Government hoping a Chinese firm will step into the breach, as suggested in a Gleaner editorial this week?
Lips are sealed: Meanwhile, no further comment from anyone on the resignation/retirement of Police Commissioner Owen Ellington. Only continued speculation and remarks by unnamed “sources” in one or two of our media houses. Will we ever know the truth?
Gearing up: Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has told her party’s women’s organization to start preparing for local government elections, due in the first quarter of next year. I suppose we will have to wait until then for the Portmore mayoral election, ma’am? Already three months overdue – by law.
We are under a thick haze, apparently a blanket of Saharan dust. It actually blows on the strong trade winds all the way from Africa and settles on us in the Caribbean, exacerbating our drought conditions. If you want to know anything about the weather, just tweet @JamaicaWeather and you will receive a detailed but not too technical answers to your queries. Genius! By the way, he calls this “climate variability” – not “climate change.” Now, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is concerned about poor air quality in parts of Kingston. Could NEPA release some of their findings? We hear about “monitoring” but that means little to those who have to breathe the stuff in.
And the heat goes on…
The Jamaica Observer’s Crime Reporter, Karyl Walker, is an experienced reporter with a gay obsession. So he is at it again in today’s edition of the newspaper, with the headline “Police hunt gay murder suspect.” I suppose we should be grateful the headline was not “homo murder suspect,” . The article sparked the usual flood of mostly ignorant comments online. Mr. Walker, were you not taught in journalism school that this kind of reporting is unethical and unprofessional? Or may I suggest a refresher course? Anyway, I look forward to the headline “Police hunt heterosexual murder suspect,” one day soon.
Jamaicans for Justice has problems: I just hope (and believe) they will be resolved soon. Thanks to the Sunday Gleaner for its balanced reporting on the internal governance issues of the important human rights lobby group.
A rotting parlor: Mayor of Kingston & St. Andrew Angela Brown-Burke says her parlor (that is, her office I suppose) was rotting, so she had to get it fixed at a cost of J$1.7 million. It doesn’t seem a lot of money to me, quite frankly. We wouldn’t want the Mayor to fall through the floor. But some councilors think we can’t afford it. By the way, in Jamaica mayors have “parlors.” It reminds me of Victorian households, cluttered with the best furniture and china.
Talking of rotting, I hear the historic Jamaica Defence Force training camp up in the beautiful Blue Mountains, Newcastle, is in a very bad condition. Can’t some of the soldiers at least do a few repairs?
Major bouquets to:
Joni Jackson, who celebrated her thirtieth birthday by inviting friends to donate blood at the National Chest Hospital. She even wrote about it – and the importance of giving blood – on a blog. She is hoping this will start a trend. I hope so, too. (Please give blood whenever you can. It is safe and painless and you will likely save a life!)
In the past two or three days, the following Jamaicans have lost their lives through violence. My condolences to all their relatives and friends who mourn…
Rasheed Samuda, 18, New Kingston
Hewit Jarrett, 44, Gayle, St. Mary
Vivian Fletcher, 54, Adelphi, St. James
Unidentified man, Greater Portmore, St. Catherine, killed in an alleged shootout with the police
On the roads: A visitor from the UK was killed attempting to cross the main road last night in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, at the pedestrian crossing. There are conflicting stories as to whether this was a “hit and run.” This road, where several large hotels are located, is a race track, and not very well lit. This is certainly not the first time a tourist has been killed trying to cross the road in our tourist resorts. Negril’s Norman Manley Boulevard is quite notorious. The motorists simply do not slow down for anyone!