Thursday, January 16, 2014

Crime and Punishment -- Guyana Style

So in topsy-turvy Land, the Police have been literally beating confessions out of those pulled in for Crimes. There have been a couple of appalling actions carried out involving genitals being damaged, while the rate of burglary and personal attacks appears to be increasing as the youths' chances of employment decreases - a perfect storm situation brewing.  Neighbouring Venezuela looks to be a bit further along than us.
While it is commendable that there are still people wanting to join the Force and I have met more than a few decent ones, I am sadden that on the whole, their crime detecting skills leave much so be desired  that violation of Human Rights seems standard practice. As Martin Niemoller said:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

There is an understandable outcry about the Human Rights violation of the alleged criminal but seems to overshadow the Human Rights violation of the victim/s, as whatever the person who was suspected did or was alleged to have done gets swept away by the barbarity of the Police actions - the original victim/s are also swept aside.

It seems peculiar to here that focus is on violations by the 'authorities' like the leader of an Opposition Party, a lawyer, laying into the government for destroying a fence built by a big businessman on land needed to expand a roadway.  Guyanese are in the habit of considering the reserve of Land outside their properties 'theirs' and apparently some Law says after occupying the land for 25yrs-- it's yours-- that needs serious revision - my view is that Government should issue 'rent due' notices with interest for those people set on abusing common sense. I fail to understand how the Government coffers are empty as practically every second person is breaking some Law or the other -- those same people then wringing their hands that the place is being buried under rubbish -- both physical and mental-- and we are headed no-where as a country and emigrating (to where I wonder-- everywhere else is in their own mess!)

If we as a Country want to continue to be a sovereign state then as the editorial in SN points out, we need to adopt a long-term strategy on a consensal basis and stick to it. I see now the wisdom behind the National Development Strategy conceived by Cheddi Jagan and wonder why Jagdeo shelved it when he came to power.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why It's Exhausting To Live In Guyana (any end in sight for stupidity?)--- 8

My day started with a big 'suck teeth' on reading that a 16yr old who went out with her 28yr old boyfriend did not return at night, having spoken to her mother on her boyfriend's cellphone while they were at a nearby shop. They lived off the Highway - an arid and sparsely populated part of Guyana leading to Linden.  The mother went looking for her child at 7am with the sister and found her with a   slit throat in a creek. On ringing the boy's family in Essequibo, it was discovered that he had made his way back there and hung himself.
This 'relationship' had started apparently 2 years ago and from the article it sounds like the boyfriend and the girl had a room in the girl's parent's house.  14 yrs?? That mother should be charged for traffic-ing in persons or pimping, whatever is the correct term. This is not the first incidence I have heard - mothers encouraging their barely adolescent daughters to 'go with' miners and other men who seem to have money.  What is going on with these women??
I feel I belong in a dinosaur age as at 15yrs old I was running around the house playing 'Catcha' with my much younger sisters and neighbours down the road-- I didn't feel it was uncool as my brother, 2 yrs older, was playing with us!  Whole different era-- clearly!  Sadly the focus on education seems secondary for the majority.. the big question would be how to encourage young people to get back on that path when the parents themselves are so ignorant?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Legalising marijuana

A passing remark from a wise 75yr old got me thinking about the above topic - she observed that it was yet another way of distracting people from being engaged in purposeful living.  As it so happens, I recently finished reading a 2007 very enlightening paper by the unfortunately-named Nutt and others called "The development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse". Assuming most of you reading this are not subscribed to 'The Lancet' I will pick out the relevant parts and hope I am not infringing on any copyright laws.

So basically, it was noted 'that the UK’s classification of drugs evolved in an unsystematic, arbitrary and unscientific way' and they attempted to classify current drugs using three determinants of harm -
‘the physical harm to the individual user caused by the drug; the tendency of the drug to induce dependence; and the effect of drug use on communities, families and society.’  They produced a nice graph and although marijuana rated below Tobacco as the marijuana advocates claim - cannabis is not as harmful as Tobacco but as 11th out of the 20 - hardly in the harmless category! Check it out:

‘A being the most harmful, C being the least’ 

I leave it to you to make the decision for your individual selves -- but I do wonder about the ways the Tobacco Industry manipulates the social environment in order to portray how 'cool' it is to smoke knowing fully well how difficult it is to give up after becoming addicted-- of the order of 2% of  quitters who attempt, succeed.

While I concede there may be medical reasons for smoking 'ganja' - like for use as an appetite stimulant for debilitated persons - purely recreational use leading to addiction seems more ominous. Remembering the line in Desiderata - even the dumb and ignorance have their say - I remember musing after laughing myself silly while reading "Yoga and the Body of Christ: What position should Christians hold?" that the man stated that the CIA purposely released LSD to observe the effects on humans! 
 I was told that Colorado 'ran out' of stock-- does that mean the drug trade can become legal down here--or must we wait for big business interests to run the market? And really is some 'fried-up' brained person making these decisions which will affect our young?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Love in Theory

by J E Levy

Always interesting to read a different perspective and someone suggested this book: practically all the stories did not have a happy ending -- maybe no-one lives happily ever after from a lesbian setting? Most of the stories were written from a cynical mid-30s white American female point of view and while it reflected a very American ego-centric point of view, I was a bit dismayed to see that it was the protagonist versus the-rest-of-the-world in most of the stories.  I actually liked the first couple of stories about heterosexual relationships bottoming up but then remembered my Loneliness blog ( and thought how sad the women/people were to not have supporting networks - it seems rather cold-- the one lone person toughing it out in the world -- most of the families mentioned seemed dysfunctional.  There was a funny- in a sad sort of way - story about an American-Korean woman realising her nutty mom had a better sex life than she!
So after the first couple of dysfunctional heterosexual relationships there was mild surprise when half-way through a story you realised it was a lesbian relationship being described.  My main beef would be that Life seems like unremitting misery... there were a few educated jabs at contemporary America and a fairly heavy dash of philosophical musings but on the whole I rather got the impression Love was something to be avoided and later remembered the line from Max Ehrmann's poem, so loved in Guyana - Desiderata: 'neither be cynical about Love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass'...