Posts tagged ‘Jamaica’

04/22/2011

British Royalty: Please Abdicate Already

Since even the most respected news outlets, like the BBC, are covering the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate, it is difficult to get away from the frivolous non-sense of it all.

The practice of inheriting a throne and holding it for life should have ended long ago. No one has a Devine Right to anything. No one should by birth become a king or queen, or even a prince.

Monarchy has nothing to do with merit. A person with no particular talent has no right to be elevated to a royal position.

The British throne is institutionally sexist. It goes to the eldest son, but to a daughter, only if she has no older or younger brother.

The English crown belongs to a white society. It is unlikely non-white British subjects will ever see one of their own on the throne.

The monarchy is not accountable. The royals can just about say or do anything, and yet keep their elite positions.

The royal family cannot be justified financially, and yet tax-payers in the United Kingdom must finance their lavish lifestyles.

The crown sends the wrong message to impressionable young minds. Hard work and good grades should be rewarded, not the image of beauty queens, like Kate Middleton and Princess Diana.

Although Britain’s monarchy is limited by a constitution, it still must end, as it provides aid and comfort to absolute monarchs, by allowing them to defend their existence by pointing to the UK.

Why are constitutional monarchies, with limited powers, worth keeping? If they have so little power, what purpose do they have?

The current royal family needs to be the last. The easiest way for that to happen is for Charles and others in line, to simply abdicate.

If they do not, the 15 independent countries that sill nominally recognize the British royal family as their Head of State, should terminate that relationship now. In the 12 that have predominately non-white populations, including 9 former British colonies in the Caribbean, and 3 in the Pacific, they should object to rule by an outdated white hierarchy in England. The Caribbean states that must terminate their Commonwealth monarchies are: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. The three non-white states in the Pacific that need to end it are Papua-New Guinea, Tuvalu and the Solomons.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand must also terminate their nominal connection to the crown. It is nothing more than a psychological dependency that lacks any rational explanation.

After the 15 Commonwealth states have abolished their lingering ties to the British monarch, the royal family in England will be isolated, and will then be easier to finally terminate.

04/08/2011

Haiti Needs A Cultural Revolution

As Haiti elected a new leader, Michel Martelly, the issue now is whether he can lead the Caribbean island-nation out of poverty? With nine million people, Haiti has about the same population as a typical U.S. state, but it differs in nearly every other respect.

Haiti is a relatively isolated island-state. Unlike the 50 U.S. states, where commerce flows across borders with ease, Haiti has only one neighbor by land, the Dominican Republic, which is over a mountain range, on the east side of the island. Cuba is by sea to the west, but they are of no help to Haiti. The U.S. is of course to the north, by water, but the U.S. Coast Guard stands in the way.

With natural barriers to trade, Haiti is largely on their own. They grow coffee, bananas, corn, beans and mangoes, but the export market is competitive, and these industries can only hire so many, and pay so much. Haiti has problems developing skilled jobs via the internet, or by any other means, since 47% of the people remain illiterate. Unemployment has at times hit 50%. To make things worse, a major earthquake struck the island in 2010. So, they rely on aid, as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Why is Haiti not more prosperous, like the nearby Puerto Rico, or at least Jamaica, on another island? The answer is they have had different colonial backgrounds, economic alliances and languages.

Haiti was ruled by France for 157 years (1647-1804), which explains why they speak French-Creole. When the black slaves revolted and Haiti became independent (1804), France ignored their economy. Haiti has been on their own for the past 207 years.

Puerto Rico was governed by Spain for 405 years (1493-1898), which is why they speak Spanish. After the Spanish-American War (1898), they became a U.S. territory, raised their literacy rate to 94%, and added English as an official language. Their success is due to their linkage to the U.S. economy for the past 113 years.

Jamaica was a British colony for 307 years (1655-1962). They were a part of the British Empire and enjoyed the benefits of the Commonwealth of Nations. English was taught in their schools and literacy climbed to 88%. Since independence 49 years ago, they have used the English language to develop U.S. tourism.

Haiti needs to change their culture, so it is not so much of an orphan in the Americas. It is the only independent state in this Hemisphere that uses French-Creole as a primary tongue. The principle language in the other 34 sovereign states is English, Spanish or Portuguese. Haiti needs to be able to communicate with ease with the English-speaking U.S.A.

The new Haitian president should conduct a Cultural Revolution to make all of their children primarily fluent in English, and secondarily in Spanish. While Haiti cannot expect the kind of aid the U.S. has given to the Puerto Rican territory, and will probably not gain their standard of living any time soon, if all Haitians would primarily learn and practice English, they could do more business with the U.S., and improve their economy, at least to the level of Jamaica’s. If Haiti would increase their literacy rates and emphasize English, they would do much better with economic development in this English-Spanish speaking Hemisphere.