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    58 Years of Jamaican Journalism

    by John Maxwell
    This is your last chance for a while to savor Mr. Maxwell’s long, long view of Jamaica and the surrounding planet. “Last month made it 58 years hard labor and there is nobody in Jamaican journalism, living or dead, who has spent more time at it.” This one is a gem – as always.

    What the World Owes Haiti

    haitiby John Maxwell
    Just as Europe and the United States owe Africa for the fantastic wealth brutally extracted from the labor of her people, the world owes Haiti for destroying “slavery and the slave-trade forever.” Although Haiti is at this moment in dire need of material help, “the US, France and Canada must have the grace to apologize and atone for the heinous crimes they have committed in Haiti.”

    Protecting Haiti's Interest

    by John Maxwell
    The “Big Three” tormenters of Haiti – the U.S., France and Canada – now posing as the quake-struck nation's benefactors, ponder how to rebuild Haiti without Haitian input or permission. “France, the United States and Canada owe the Haitians billions in damages. It is not for them to tell the Haitians what to spend it on.”

    Boojum Hunting in the Caribbean

    Jamaica's John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    The United States is historically and culturally primed to commit atrocities against Haiti, it seems. “It is the place where apparitions like Pat Robertson, Roger Noriega, Otto Reich and Luigi Einaudi flourish and have their being, sustained by vicious fables invented 500 years ago to justify human slavery.”
     
     
     

    No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    French and Americans have conspired to humiliate and exploit Haiti throughout the history of the world's first Black republic. Now, in this time of catastrophe, they claim special relationships based on shared history. What outrageous, profane nonsense – as if the victim and perpetrator of atrocity share some bond that should be treasured.

    West Indies: 500 Years, 500 Lashes

    maxell and the pirateby John Maxwell
    Five centuriesof European domination has brought the world ever-increasing disparities in wealth and every other measure of the human condition. The rich nations and their servants preach a capitalist gospel that would condemn nations like Jamaica to centuries more of hell. “We are told that we must make sacrifices, must reduce the taxes paid by the rich to attract ‘development’ while we watch our jobs outsourced to the Dominican Republic, China, Salvador and other happier hunting grounds, where labor costs are infinitesimal and labor unions non-existent.”

    Jamaica, Feed Thyself

    jamaicaby John Maxwell
    After five centuries of producing bananas and sugar for the profit of Europeans, Africa and the Caribbean must now embark on a breakneck campaign to produce food for their own hungry millions. That also means freeing th soil of the great “biocide,” Roundup. Roundup and its chemical cousins kill everything, and wreak havoc on human cells, as well.

    The Pedophile and the Terrorist

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    The U.S. wants film director Roman Polanski extradited from Switzerland to face the music for his sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl, 30 years ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. harbors the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, wanted for numerous crimes over a long and murderous career, including blowing up an airliner in flight. Ain't American “values” wonderful?

    Saving Jamaica: Revaluing People

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    People who habitually describe other people as 'human resources' scare me,” writes the author. Disrespect for Jamaica's people – by the people's own government – has contributed to the flight of 80 percent of the island's graduates. A civil service exodus may be next. “We are being asked to beat up civil servants while allowing the wealthy to behave like 18th century plantation owners and slave-masters.”

    IMF To Third World: Your Money or Your Life!

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    Like a highway robber, the International Monetary Fund strips Third World nations bare of the power to exercise effective sovereignty – then returns to rape them. Now is the time for Jamacia to call a halt to the cruel game, and simply default on the crooked debt. “It will cause hardship to the rich, to the coupon clippers, but will have hardly any effect on the poor.” And that's the majority of the people.

    Licensed to Kill

    john Maxwellby John Maxwell
    It wasn't exactly a secret that the Bush administration had gone over to the “dark side” in the wake of 9/11, compiling hit lists of prospective victims. George Bush and Dick Cheney fairly broadcast that a U.S. Murder Inc was on the loose, seeking vengeance. “We know that the government of the United States was itself actively subverting the laws and Constitution of the United States of America, contravening settled International Law and Conventions and the charter of the United Nations and betraying all principles of decency and civilized behavior.”

    Pimps, Peeping Toms & Frotteurs

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    Rupert Murdoch appears to have turned his flagship British newspaper, News of the World, into a huge criminal enterprise, specializing in gathering dirt on celebrities of all kinds. However, given the right-wing publishers political influence, it doesn't look like anybody's going to jail. “It's not just a media story; it raises serious questions for Scotland Yard, top prosecutors and for judges."

    Michael Jackson and the Piranhas of the Media

    michael jacksonby John Maxwell
    The horror, the horror. The ghastly ugliness oozes from the bestial media, feasting on death. “To the imperial media Jackson was guilty of everything of which he had ever been accused, like Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.” The true significance of these lives is that “they connected in a fundamental way with ordinary people, and that, to the rulers of our world and their servile media, is supremely dangerous.”

    Jamaica Broadcasting is Born: A fi we! A no fi dem!

    john Maxwellby John Maxwell

    Veteran journalist John Maxwell was there at the beginning: 1959, the start of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. “For the first time at last, it wasn't really necessary to listen to the BBC.” Successive governments, especially those of the Jamaica Labour Party, attempted to varying degrees to shape the JBC to their own political purposes. But, says Maxwell, “It is my opinion that in its short periods of independence, the JBC helped begin the transformation of Jamaica from an ignorant colonial backwater into a civilized society.”

    Cuba, the US and the OAS

    john maxwell

    by John Maxwell

    Even though both Castro brothers repeatedly stated that Cuba has no desire to rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS), Latin America demanded that the ban against Cuba be dropped. “For them the OAS has been a yanki weapon against all of them, from Arbenz to Allende to Aristide to Fidel, Chavez and Morales. It does not end.” The U.S. tried to find a graceful way to accept its diplomatic defeat, and avoid further isolation in the hemisphere it once overlorded like a caudillo.

    Is Bill Clinton Haiti's Great White Hope?

    John Maxwell



    Ban Ki Moon is playing another macabre joke on Haiti. In naming Bill Clinton as his "special envoy" to Haiti, the United Nations Secretary General has chosen a man that has already betrayed Haiti's people several times over. "President Clinton made several pledges to Aristide and to Haiti, but history does not seem to record that any were kept." Partly because of Clinton's depraved policies, "Haitians are still scooping water to drink from potholes in the street and stave off hunger with 'fritters' made from earth and cooking fat."

    Half a Century of U.S. Lies

     

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    If you give those Americans an inch, they’ll steal your whole country out from under you. Raul Castro said he was willing to put “everything” on the table in future talks with Washington. But hostile-minded analysts interpreted Raul’s remarks as meaning he’d throw Cuba’s sovereignty and social system into the pot. Former leader Fidel was quick to clarify: putting “everything on the table” did not mean bowing to unreasonable demands from a superpower that is still a “squatter” on Cuban soil at Guantanamo Bay, and continues the world’s longest economic blockade against Cuba.

     

    Politics and the Eighth Book of Moses

     

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    The movement to subjugate women, in the name of religion and the family, is on the march everyplace, including the Caribbean, Jamaica's eminent John Maxwell informs us. Jamaican lawmakers have enacted measures similar to those of their brothers in Afghanistan making husbands in many instances practically immune to charges of raping their wives.

     

    Haiti: The Audacity of Hopelessness

     

    bJohn Maxwelly John Maxwell

    Haiti’s gift to humanity was to become “the first nation anywhere to enshrine the rights of man, woman and child, the fundamental universal rights of human beings, in their constitution.” Much of the rest of its history has been a litany of rape and assaulted national tortures at the hands of France, the United States and the corrupt and depraved elite installed by the foreigners. Despite this history, “an eminent gaggle of politicians and private sector experts” claim that “the poorest country in the Western hemisphere got that way… by native mismanagement and the incompetence of the black Haitian population and its leaders.” To believe that, is to “believe that women who are raped are at least partially responsible for their own misfortunes.”

     

    Jamaica's Golden Future of Bauxite

    maxwellby John Maxwell

    Corporate exploitation of Jamaica’s bauxite, an essential component of aluminum, has ravaged a tropical paradise. In addition to mangling the landscape and silting the once-pristine rivers, bauxite mining has degraded the social order. “Bauxite owned 19% – one in every five acres –  of Jamaica's farmland, some of the best, removing it from economic production and driving the communities that lived on it into exile into the ghettoes of Kingston, Brixton and Brooklyn.”  The ecology of the land is also the ecology of the society. Reparations are due.

    Gaza Disaster and the ‘Free Press’

    john_mawell06by John Maxwell

    The BBC refused to broadcast appeals by established UK charities for humanitarian aid to civilian victims of Israel's attack on Gaza, on the grounds that it could not be sure "whether aid raised by the appeal could actually be delivered on the ground." By this "hypocritical" device, the BBC dismissed expertise of agencies whose job it is to provide disaster relief. The BBC spokesman further claimed that the appeal would risk "reducing public confidence in the BBC's impartiality in its wider coverage of the story." The author's response: "I would like to hear what he would have said if half a million Israelis were homeless, 5,000 injured and nearly two thousand dead."

    The Human Zoo: Making Jamaica Fit For Foreign Corporations

    john_mawell06by John Maxwell

    Jamaica is going to "borrow money to destroy the
    integrity of Jamaica's loveliest town, dilapidated though it may be now, in the
    interest of a foreign corporation." After despoiling much of the island's
    natural beauty through industrial and tourist-generated pollution, the
    government now proposes to spend US$122 million to develop Falmouth harbor to
    accommodate super cruise ships. Says the author: "We are prostituting ourselves
    for a foreign entity with no obligation or loyalty to Jamaica."

    Jamaica for Sale

    Tourism is Jamaica's biggest source of foreign exchange, but tourist dollar madness threatens to destroy the country. "The hotels are closing down turtle nesting sites and hotel excrement and spoil are killing our reefs at an increasing pace." While the government entertains all manner of schemes to lure tourists and separate them from their money, the nation's "rivers, streams and beaches are polluted by wastes of all kinds." The tourist industry workforce live in deplorable conditions, because there is "no social development to match the commercial development."

    McCain and Alaska’s Toxic Termagant

    McCain Obama logo 08by John Maxwell

    U.S. public opinion seems to be inching closer
    to world opinion. "That it is why an English worldwide poll has found that the
    world wants Obama to win. The preference is almost 100% across countries
    as disparate as Norway and Saudi Arabia." The gaming industry has caught the
    same vibe, with "odds on Obama being the next president better than 90% as of
    this last week." Standing in defiant opposition to global opinion - about which
    they don't give a damn - are "McCain and Palin" who "present a fundamentalist
    and revanchist face to the world, promising an even rougher ride than George
    Bush."

    Cuba and Haiti: Children of Prometheus

    by John MaxwellMaxwellHaiti

    If a hurricane misses the United States, it doesn't exist in the minds of many Americans. This has been an especially cruel hurricane season for Cuba and Haiti, the countries that "destroyed slavery" and "European empire in the Western hemisphere," and "successfully asserted the right of any country, no matter how small to choose its own path to development," respectively. It is as if Haiti and Cuba are being punished for their good works, as was Prometheus by Zeus, "the Haitians by slow motion genocide, by compound interest and by state terrorism, by armed banditry in support of criminal monopolists and by the kidnapping of their elected leader. The Cubans have been punished by terrorism, by invasion, by biological warfare and by a brutal and illegal economic blockade."

    Great White Snark

    MAXWELLjohn_maxwell03by John Maxwell

    For personal reasons rooted in his childhood,
    the author tends to "see many politicians as comic book characters."  If John McCain had tapped Joe Lieberman for
    Number Two, it would have meant the "pairing of those quintessential bumblers
    Elmer Fudd and Mr. Magoo." As it turned out, the top of the Republican ticket
    looks more like "Daddy Warbucks" and "his Little Orphan Annie." It is
    sufficient that Annie knows that Russia "is a Very Bad Place, chock full of
    Very Bad Men. Little Orphan Annie is so cute she doesn't need to know anything
    about foreign policy, except never to find herself alone with that bad Mr.
    Putin."

    Let them eat Croissants!

    MAXWELLjohn_maxwell03by John Maxwell

    The author, a renowned environmentalist as well as veteran journalist, bemoans Jamaica's failure to make the right development decisions at the right time. Kingston Harbor is being prepared to receive supercargo ships from the far East, yet "soaring energy costs are threatening to...force some overseas manufacturing to return closer to North America." In other words, as Jamaica gets ready to receive more goods from China, "oil prices and transport costs will soon cancel out the advantages of low-wage driven globalization." The result: destruction of the environment of Kingston Harbor for an out-of-date reason.

    Press Rights: If Only the Truth Were Known…

    by John MaxwellMAXWELLjohn_maxwell03

    The author, with nearly 60 years of reporting
    under his belt, reflects on the state of journalistic freedom in his native
    Jamaica and elsewhere in the world. Mr. Maxwell is keen to distinguish between
    the "freedom" of the owners to publish what they wish, and the individual
    reporter's obligation and right to tell the truth. "In the western world
    journalists can mostly say what they want, as long as they agree with the
    positions of their publishers." The worst abusers of reporters' rights are often
    their bosses, who "will defend their corporate right to speak, but not mine nor
    that of any other independent journalist."

    Shanty-town Law

    MAXWELLjohn_maxwell03by John Maxwell

    The transition from slave societies to whatever
    comes next sometimes seems permanently stalled - although forces of evil are as
    busy as ever. "In the last 30 years, starting before the collapse of the Soviet
    Union, the forces of finance capital launched a hostile takeover bid for the
    world, and, in places like Jamaica, recruited a substantial quota of middle
    class people who bought into the idea that if their lusts were attended to,
    health, wealth and happiness would naturally follow for the ‘less
    fortunate.'"  The result has been a
    great waste and confusion, requiring a more sane form of governance that
    "rescues those who are most at risk."

    None Dare Call It Genocide

    by John MaxwellHaitiSlumWater

    The depth of American culpability for Haiti's
    misery is immeasurable. At every stage in the first Black republic's history,
    the U.S. has attempted to snuff out not just the spirit of the people, but the
    people themselves. In the current era of occupation by American surrogates,
    Haitians are denied the elemental necessities of life, such as food and potable
    water. Because the Americans and French willed it so, Haitians "would have to
    forget that they were human beings deserving of rights and respect; they would
    still be dipping water from gutters and puddles.

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