Editorial: Let’s all pitch in!

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It is with great joy that we welcome the news that the new garbage receptacles have arrived on our shores. The Ministry of Health agreed with the people that the abundance of garbage in and around St. John’s had reached critical mass, and that it was time to do something meaningful about it. Of course, the ministry should have been on top of the issue as part of its most basic remit; its step in the right direction should not have been a reaction to public outcry. Sigh. But such is the modus operandi of this reactionary government – allow problems to fester, then address the problem with much sounding brass and tinkling cymbal when the people can take the neglect and the ‘clear and present threat to life and limb’ no more.
Of course, we are urging the citizenry to pitch in and help make our lovely state beautiful. It is our civic duty – the patriotic and decent thing to do! Indeed, it is also heaven’s first law – “Cleanliness is next to godliness!” Imagine the pride that we will feel when we stroll the streets of St. John’s with nary-a-piece of litter in sight. Our spirits will be lifted. Again, we say kudos to the Ministry of Health for acting on this vexing problem, albeit, belatedly.
Having said that, there is so much garbage in our personal lives that we must needs consign to the trash receptacles. A great deal of the junk food that we consume should be thrown out, as well as many of the other poisons that we put into our bodies – illegal drugs, excessive alcohol, nicotine and so on and so forth.  Many of our young people also pollute and corrupt their minds by looking at and listening to too much garbage. The time has come for us to make a concerted effort to rid ourselves and the minds of our young people of that crap – the filthy, vulgar and violent lyrics and visuals in many of the dancehall reggae and hip-hop music and videos. This blessed season of Lent can be a good time to start.
Similarly, we cannot overlook much of the crap emanating from the mouths of our politicians – environmental pollution, if you please, and that too ought to be consigned to the trash receptacles. Actually, here in the Caribbean, we are cursed with many politicos who themselves need to be put out. Would that we could muster the courage and the collective will to do that which is right. Throw ‘em out!
Of course, self-serving politicos are the progenitors of many of the crappy ideas that have done so much damage to our countries. And those too ought to be pitched into the trash receptacle. Dr. Umar Johnson, an African-American clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist, widely regarded in the U.S. as the ‘Prince of Pan-Africanism,’ recently made the following declaration: “. . . When I was in Jamaica, I keynoted the Garvey celebration last summer, Ocho Rios. The Chinese pretty much own Jamaica. I mean the Jamaican government is giving them concessions, land concessions, they’re building hotels, beach resorts, ar . . . they’re building two schools for the Jamaicans, and what the Jamaicans have to give them in turn is the right to certain lands, the right to certain waterways; and if it does not stop, Jamaica, ironically, the land of Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley, will be the first Chinese colony in the Caribbean. It’s getting bad, and you know why it’s happening? Because the black bourgeoisie leadership in both Africa and the Caribbean, they don’t have to live with the consequences of the economic decisions that they make; so if I am the [Prime Minister] of Jamaica, ok, and China says listen, we’re gonna give you a million dollars in retirement, we’re gonna build your retirement home, but we want this, this and this . . . and you can loan as much money as you want, you can borrow as much money as you want from the Bank of China, I am going to be set by the time I leave office, BUT WHAT ABOUT MY NATION? Jamaica will be struggling for the next fifty and seventy-five years because of bad economic decisions from selfish leaders today! And that’s the problem in Africa, and it’s the problem in the Caribbean.”  Help us Lord! These exceedingly bad ideas and decisions (GPH, YIDA, Paradise Found) must be properly put out to the trash heap of history! Let’s all pitch in and do our part to rid our fair state of this garbage!
The story is told of a young boy who, when he asked his grandmother what he could take for his bad headache, was told by her, “Stop listening to and entertaining crappy ideas!” We have a national headache! Our government is foisting bad idea (granting remissions to sex offenders and murderers) after bad idea (constructing the new Friar’s Hill Highway and the Sir George Walter Highway at the same time), after bad idea (saddling future generations with horrid decisions that they wouldn’t be around to deal with) upon us! We need to reject and dispose of them forthwith! Let us all pitch in!

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