Columns

The gay agenda is to muzzle the press

WIGNALL’S WORLD

MARK WIGNALL

Sunday, June 22, 2014    

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At last Thursday's press conference held by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVCC), the co-chair of the group, Dr Carolyn Gomes, under fire for her role, when she led Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ), in the introduction of questionable teaching material for a captive audience of poor children in children's homes, not only maintained that her actions were justified but attempted to tell journalists what questions could be asked and which she was not prepared to consider.

Much of the teaching material was considered age-inappropriate, but in addition one didn't need an advanced degree in sociology to determine that somehow the highly agitated gay lobby was attempting to penetrate the minds of these children and convince them that anal sex and vaginal sex was routine, normal and useful for their consideration as they grew into adults.

Adopting a haughty approach reminiscent of a far-off troubling time in Jamaica's history, Dr Gomes — really a nice person but too far carried along by the awesome power at her fingertips -- had the raw nerve to suggest to one journalist, the Jamaica Observer's Karyl Walker, "Would you like the microphone, Mr Walker?"

We can accept that Mr Walker can be a thorn in the side of authority, but isn't that a reasonable expectation of a top-class journalist? The stance taken by Dr Gomes when Karyl Walker's questions bit her and made her quite uneasy was that the journalist had wandered through the bushes, had lost his way and had somehow found himself at the gate of a huge plantation on a hill.

Rude, Mr Walker! How dare you trample on the grounds of the high and mighty? How dare you attempt to gain entry? Don't you know that we have attack dogs on the expansive estate grounds and even in your own neck of the woods? Woof, woof!

The reality is that Dr Gomes cannot quite explain how it is that such material escaped her eyes, and if they did not, why she considered that they should be included in the course. Is Dr Gomes stating as a fact that the CVCC accepts absolutely no funding from any organisation whose motivations and objectives are the subtle juxtaposition of anal sex and vaginal sex until, as in Animal Farm, one cannot tell one from the other?

Is Dr Gomes aware that many journalists have studied straight and crooked thinking as she has? Although she may have believed that Mr Walker's questions were too tangential to what she wanted to show up with that Thursday, she should not pretend that subterfuge is not part and parcel of the highly agitated gay lobby.

One person emailed me in response to a column I had written on the matter. He said there was another side to the gay lobby.

"There is a reason, not known by many, why the gay lobby groups in Jamaica and elsewhere want to keep Jamaica in the limelight as being a homophobic society.

"In 2010 I went to spend my vacation in the USA, I went to Philadelphia. I happened to link up with a former colleague (by phone) who was living and working in another state. He asked me if I was planning on going back to Jamaica and I told him yes. He asked me how does the idea of me living and working legally in the US sound. I told him I have no plans of doing same, plus that wouldn't be possible because I am married with wife and kids in Jamaica.

"We conversed over the next few days until he finally told me that there is a way I could legally stay in the USA. He said my wife and kids would also be able to join me. We talked about it, however he told me he doesn't want to tell me about the idea until he was convinced he could trust me to share the info with me.

"Mark, the long and short of it is... I would go back to Jamaica, come back to the USA in a few months' time, I would go to New York. The next day I would call the Immigration officials and tell them I am a bisexual man and this is now known to persons in my community in Jamaica who are planning on harming me. I would tell them I have to flee, leaving my family back home.

"I would get 'reference letters' from members of the gay lobby groups (for US$2,000). He told me that all the persons he told about this are now living in the States with their families.

"He also told me that lawyers are readily available to take on my case when the need arises. I have to run, but I hope you get the gist of what I am saying."

The questions asked by Mr Walker had somehow afflicted Dr Gomes to the point that she was not prepared to answer. In response, the Observer's Karyl Walker, photographer Michael Gordon and the Gleaner's Gary Spaulding walked out of the press conference. Good show, gentlemen!

When pap is being doled out by those who believe that because they occupy some dizzyingly high pedestal in the society it is expected that the restive natives will line up with even deeper bowls than before.

It is refreshing to see journalists who are not into fawning and throwing plastic smiles towards those who occupy marble pedestals. Dr Gomes has done well in many instances where she served as head cook and bottle washer in Jamaicans For Justice. Many of those interventions were made when there were no others to take on the job. For that she deserves our congratulations.

There comes a time, however, that the powerful ones are prone to the belief that having given yeoman service to the poor and powerless, the poor, influential and those with strong voices like journalists Karyl Walker and Gary Spaulding should 'know their places' and remain supine until the command is given, 'Rise, my subjects. Another serving of pap is in the making!'

The attack dogs also exist outside of the plantation and the gay lobby among journalists is also quite strong and influential. At that stage it morphs into something other than journalism. It becomes just another mutual admiration society where candy and floss and high-pitched war whoops implode into each other and spineless men celebrate their own uselessness as men.

It should not be about who is gay from who is straight. That ought not to be our interest. But where a captive audience of young children is used as lab rats by powerful people in society to meet the objectives of those on the extreme fringe of society, the questions must be asked and they must be answered.

And they will be.

The poor are being savaged by the dollar slippage

In the last year of his prime ministerial run from the violence-riddled latter part of 1980 to early 1989 the much unloved, highly autocratic and hands-on Eddie Seaga presided over an economy that saw the Jamaican dollar valued at US$0.18.

In 1989, J$100 could purchase basic food and grocery items for a family of five for a week.

In 2014 with the still loved and admired Portia Simpson Miller in charge but seemingly disconnected from active governance, that same J$100 can only purchase four minuscule packets of black pepper. In 2014 the Jamaican dollar is worth, at today's rate, US$0.0089, less than a cent.

Only very few of us will admit that the slippage in matters of governance and the spiral into systemic governmental corruption was given its birth during the disastrous run of the PNP's Michael Manley from 1972 to 1980. No leader was more loved than Michael, and as hands-on as he appeared to be, he was mostly led by his oratorical skills, his gross misreading of the US, and his appeal to Third World causes on the global stages.

One writer, Donald Howell, captured it in poetic tones when he wrote in early June as part of a continuing series of Facebook, "The introduction of Democratic Socialism in 1974 made the period 1974 to 1980 the age of foolishness, the epoch of incredulity, the season of darkness and the winter of despair."

Today, the poorest among us would need $200 to purchase a pound of chicken meat. They would need to find $160 to buy a pound of turkey neck and although they would get back $10 change after buying a tin of mackerel, that same $10 cannot purchase a small packet of black pepper.

Chicken back, at $80 per pound, would give back $20, but again that $20 cannot buy a little packet of black pepper.

Last week I purchased from a little corner shop a small tin of 'bully beef' and a tin of condensed milk. In general I must confess that, unlike Chupski, I do not know the price of many items. I was, however, bowled over when the lady in the shop said, 'Five hundred dollars.' In 1989 the same purchase, which in 2014 can only get me two items, could feed a family of five for five weeks!

Michael Manley was loved to the point of being worshipped. Portia Simpson Miller is loved and is always given free passes by her supporters who place love for her as bigger a priority than the quality of her governance. Seaga in his days was barely tolerated by his ministers and the general population spoke of him as if he was the devil incarnate.

In grassroots terms, as much as Seaga was vilified and even hated, the poor among us could purchase 'bully beef' and there was then no need for the company to manufacture two sizes. Today, that same tin sells for about $500!

Mincemeat and saltfish were staples among the poorest because the food items could 'stretch.' The mince could be cooked up with diced potatoes and carrots and, with 'nuff' gravy, could go a long way with rice. The saltfish could be cooked with chopped cucumbers and the whole could go a far way with boiled green bananas and yam.

Today, mince hovers at around $400 per pound, way outside the reach of the little woman and her three children. A pound of potatoes, if not purchased at Coronation market in the volatile West Kingston, will sell at a corner shop uptown for $140, again, outside of her reach.

A pound of rice at that same shop ($60) would only allow her to purchase half a pound of chicken back to feed her hungry children. If she lives outside of a rural setting, one dozen green bananas would cost her about $130 and a pound of yam $100.

So in 2014, food items that the poor could always fall back on in 1989 — saltfish, 'bully beef,' mincemeat, chicken meat -- are totally out of their reach.

I can remember in late 1971 then Opposition Leader Michael Manley made much of a tin of condensed milk approaching one dollar! He described the increase in apocalyptic terms. Today the poor have grown inured to the high prices and the food items out of their reach. That, of course, is good for the politicians as the nation accepts the numb feeling and struggles to make it to another day.

-- observemark@gmail.com

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