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About Jamaica and stuff. 2 pound a weed in a napsack. new article

The new distraction; German Jamaican Flag Burning Ad

written by owen, Mon, 25th Feb 2013 at 6:20 pm

This is a clear case of the media wasting time on superfluous issues. While ignoring the prominent issues currently facing the people of Jamaica.

Here is the controversial ad in question;

Now anybody watching that ad would find it funny, unless they have no sense of humor. Or they have just taken part in the NDX. Infact I find that ad less offensive that the stereotypical Volkswagen Game Day 2013 Commercial - because those cars are too expensive for Jamaicans and we don't talk like that, but the Tourist board is glad to knee-jerk anything it can find to make an extra buck instead of promoting things that are actually Jamaican and invest in Jamaica itself - rather than waiting in the bushes.

The song featured in the Advertisement is by Barrington Levy;
"Dem dress up inna jacket & dem dress up inna tie,
Come a court house want to tell peer lies, Dem a murderer, Tell dem already wi have to tell dem again Tell dem already wi have to tell dem again"

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New Taxes, New Taxes, New Taxes

written by owen, Thu, 21st Feb 2013 at 11:14 am

On the heels of the minister’s address to the nation we have a new set of tax measures snuck in right before Valentines Day. I am not sure about who is buying flowers this time around. The Let’s build Jamaica package is aimed at further taxing the poor working class people of the nation and allowing the well to do to continue living as if nothing has happened. The new tax reforms will determine the Jamaica we live in as we continue to work toward achieving Vision 2030. This new round of taxes are expected to bring in 15 billion dollars into the governments pockets so they can be able to borrow more money to service more debt and buy new SUVs next year.

We all know how its goes down. The 2012-2013 budget came and went with new taxes on everything from animal feed, books, meat (except chicken), yogart to the phone calls that you recieve as well as the ones you make. So the new thrust is to tax everything you consume. Now lets look at the new taxes (click on the media gallery icon) which will come on board (hopefully I can make sense of it);

Revenue Measures 2013

1. These revenues measures are taken to support the Primary balance of 7.5% GDP that has been requested by the overlords in the IMF. This should not be confused with GNP which is the market value of all products and services produced in one year by labor and property supplied by residents of a country.

2. The first 3 measures are being implemented in order to broaden the tax net as well as ensuring that it is harder for the middle class to dodge the taxes imposed on them. All this is a value added tax (VAT) on consumption. The VAT has been criticized as the burden of it falls on personal end-consumers of products. Some critics consider it to be an aggressive tax, meaning that the poor pay more, as a percentage of their income, than the rich.

3. The Telephone Calls Tax (TCT) introduced last year will be included in the GCT tax base. 1.3B

4. All fees and taxes paid at ports are to be included as part of the GCT tax base. 1.5B

5. Amendment to the GCT Act to account for GCT on face value of prepaid vouchers/airtime. Not sure how this is going to work out - you will have to read this one yourself. Basically they digicel to tax before it sells the credit or something like that. $0.2B

6. Increase the tax on dividents payable to residents to 15%. 0.8B

7. Imposition of Surtax (5%) on the taxable income of Large “unregulated companies” making $500,000,000 or more. They have companies making them kinda monies out here? $1.2B

8. Increase(0.5%) in education tax rate. In order to address the shortfall in the SLB. Less pay for you. $2.8B

Trade Border Tax Measures

9. Customs Administration Fee on all imports (except for charitable organizations, bauxite sector ). Things will cost more in the stores. 1.2B

Other Revenue Enhancement Initiatives (Including compliance measures)

10. Increase in local Stamp Duty Rate and Transfer Tax (on properties). Cost more to sell/buy land. $2.0B

11. Amendment to the fee and gross profit structure for Betting Gaming and Lotteries. In keeping with the inductry request to expand thier earning ability, GOJ has aggreed to allow for the sale of lottery tickets on Sundays and public holidays. Increase in lottery tax (GPT) from 17% and 23% to 20% and 25%. Sell out to the devil, lotto everyday. $1.5B.

12. Reform of the Property Tax rate regime. $3.4B

13. Introduce “Transfer Pricing” and Thin Capitalization rules.


For the actual document read; new taxes (click on the media gallery icon)

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Gods Child commented: This just sounds so evil. I was reading a bit about the property tax and wonder just what are people supposed to do? The honest people will suffer and the dishonest people will keep being dishonest. Who does this help? I ask this only rhetorically as the answers will not be easy to come by. ... read 1 more

Its Official! Patties are expensive

written by owen, Wed, 25th Jul 2012 at 10:42 am

Word to you mothers. And that 135 is without cheese. People still eat patties without cheese? really? well I might have to try it.

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Gods Child commented: some people cannot digest cheese, so they are out of luck, but also a little wealtier ... read 7 more

Blackberry Dumbphone, Smartphones make you smart

written by owen, Wed, 11th Jul 2012 at 2:04 pm

Yesterday I took a chance (since crime is down this month compared to the same month last year), parked my Audi and walked down to Cross Roads. To my surprise everybody I saw was carrying a iphone 4 or a Galaxy. I was shocked to realize that Jamaica has finally discovered that the blackberrys where sub-standard, holding them back progressively and have started importing $50,000 dollar phones in order to improve their status and life style.

One guy I spoke to just landed from America and said that America is sweet and the data rates are sweet and everything is sweet and we should totally try to be sweet too but the local companies and RIM were holding us back! "My god 3500 dollars a month for data? waaaa?", he explained with sadness in his eyes "minimum wage is like 4000 a week, that is ridiculous!", he exclaimed as he pulled out his contract for his new iphone 4s, "look at all those terms and conditions? If I was in America I could get 2 of these phones just by being able to spell my name! Out here I have to have a electricity bill, a bank statement and disposable arm or leg. Madness!".

He was starting to scare me so I quickly moved on to the next person. This woman seemed pretty gullible and obviously had received her Galaxy S4 from a male friend because she would not been able to afford it on her own considering the local ICT sweat-shop call-center situation. She was downloading tons of apps on her smart phone both free and paid using Joe Grind's Visa Debit card. At one point she opened Google search and typed in the word "jamaica", I asked her why she did that and she replied; "I don't know, my man said it has something to do with Google Trends and Alexa and tags and stuff", afterwards she promptly sent a email.

I moved on, still amazed at the turn in events I had foreseen 2 years ago, the last time I ventured outside of a air conditioned space. It feels like yesterday, everybody was using BlackBerry, Motorolas and Nokias. I was so disgusted by all the different kinda of phones on the market, the removeable batteries, the replacement keyboards and screens. So I never left the Hilton again. Flash forward today; Jamaicans are ditching Blackberries left, right and center for Smartphones, my stock in Apple and Google should go up any minute and I will finally have some hot girls to chat with in WhatsApp ( not that my current girlfriends are not hot but you know how it goes real ghetto girl give the wickedest slam ).

The next guy was on a call, so I waited while listening to him talk to what sounded like a relative in America, "Yeah mam, send the money and the barrel, I just need a couple hundred dollars to clear my cellphone bill and the shipping costs". He was twanging in his best foreign accent. After the call he opened his weather app - it is raining in Las Vegas, 59 degrees with a slight chance of lightning. He then opened his web browser to track the delivery of a package he was waiting on. By the time he started streaming a movie he had overrun his 1g data plan and it was not even midday. "There is still quite a ways to go but progress has been made", he said while trying to find a open WIFI hotspot, "I used to have cable and internet at home but I no longer need those additional bills, I can do everything from my big screen smartphone", he stated while watching Spiderman 4 (or 5 whatever), "when I get home I just hook this baby up to my 40" OLED TV and no body can tell the difference, not even the employees at Palace Amusement". I found it hard to believe but I drank the koolaide and moved on.

I didn't need to go any further, I got the confirmation I needed that Blackberry dumbphone was finally out and the new big touchscreen phone was in style and everybody in Jamaica will be as smart as I have been for the past 2 years. All the "blackberry is dieing, buy a new phone to feel good" news has FINALLY come true. Soon everybody will be on my level and be able to tweet and like stuff on facebook at a rate never before possible! Soon children from pre-school to high school will start using tablets and begin to get better grades due to saving money instead of buying real physical books.

Now all that is left is for the rest of the country to appreciate my true love. woot!

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Ayo commented: lol Love the coverage! Well I've never been a blackberry fan ... despite the pitiful looks I get from people asking for my 'pin' when they find out I don't have one..... Never been one with technology and still trying to figure out why Digicel feels like I should be kissing the ground it's built on because 'I'm one of the lucky ones to be selected to receive a 4 day 4g package' Sounds great you shall have some company huh! ... read 10 more

Environmental Disasters And Knee-Jerk Reactions

written by owen, Mon, 02nd Jul 2012 at 12:17 pm

Have you noticed the haze that have been covering Kingston for the pass 2 months? Anybody know what that is? Its not rain, I am certain. Could be dust from Africa? Somebody needs to tell me!

So last week a hazardous substance was released somewhere near the Kingston habour causeing the closure of the portmore toll road. Not only is it bad that the force toll road had to be closed diverting hundreds probably thousands of cars to the alternate route on Mandela Highway - It was reported that 10 people from the toll plaza had reported sick and had to seek medical attention before the it was realised that something was wrong. Half the people in Portmore could have died and not one would have realised until it was time to go home. Its a good thing we can see hurricane from a long way off.

Up until the time of this writing they still have not found out what was released and infact they might never find out. I imagine SOMEONE SOMEWHERE is diligently righting the full report. Which brings me to question the government's ability to handle environmental desasters at such a scale in heavily populated areas. Thousands of containers arrive at the Kingston Harbour on a dialy basis - what kind of contingence measures do they have to ensure that those containers aren't carrying some kind of lethal chemical that could potentially be leaking into the enviroment? Must we wait until people get sick or die before someone pays attention?

It has been only 2 years ago when a Chlorine spill forced the closure of the Kingston Wharves. Even from my own recent experience (2 months ago ) I have witnessed brown slugge leaking (or being released) out of a ship heading towards the Kingston Habour - considering that I was watching in a commercial airline you would have to be spilling ALOT of oil for me to be seeing the trial from 20,000 feet in the air. Maybe its regular ship behaviour, I do not know, but I am sure it cannot be good.

In 2009 Sulphuric acid spill affecting more than three kilometres of the Kingston Harbour shoreline, has left fish dead and prompted a warning from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) for humans to stay away. In 2010 there was a oil spill between the Petrojam Oil Refinery and Hunts Bay Power Station, operated by the Jamaica Public Service.

Over the years there have been several fires at the Riverton City Solid Waste Dump. Only god knows how many people that affected and how long it took to detect and contain the fire. One thing is sure MILLIONS OF DOLLARS were spent because we love spending money on preventable events are regular intervals.

The problem is not limited to Kingston either because serveral fish kills have been reported to in various rivers across the island. These events are often linked to various nearby factories.

The majority of events often results in a "response" to the event. This response often occurs as a knee jerk reaction too late to identify to the cause of problem as in the case of the portmore toll closure. I am not casting blame on National Environment & Planning Agency because they have their hands full with habitual polluters and Owl molesters. I am hoping to bring light to how important it is for all of us to monitor our environment and ensure that it stays healthy. And we should also seek to employ more forms of preventative and early detection systems to curtain the effect that these disasters have on people and the environment alike.

In the long run I hope the government seeks to establish better prevention and monitoring mechanisms instead of waiting for things to go bad. This will help you to avoid having a press conference to announce the writing of a full report which either never comes out or amounts to a high school level essay.

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