Advice to Bloggers: Be Original!

I’ve been in the blogging biz for a minute and from what I’ve seen originality prevails over everything else. For bloggers I’m telling you from what I’ve experienced make sure your content and some would say otherwise but your blog name must be as unique as your content.

The reason why I say this is because I’ve changed my blog name about a million times and from what I’ve seen when your blog name is one of a kind Google, Yahoo, Ask ….etc. tends to be kind to those who are special. You are ranked higher in Google search. Also, speaking strictly from observation it would seem that Google’s algorithms have the capacity to make any content generic based on the name of the website .

Take for instance your site name is Toast.com and you are publishing about burnt cars. Google will probably come across billions of archives containing the words “toast” and “burn” so you see things look a bit unfortunate for you when its indexing time.

So while its arguable I believe having a priceless domain name is just as important as having great content.

Why Don’t You Have a US Visa?

For legal purposes I do not own nor can I verify whether or not this is real

Recently I was ask by a friend, “why don’t you have a US visa”? I simply replied, “I’m not interested in having one” *gasp*

In the Caribbean and most definitely in Jamaica there is this widespread obsession with “going to America”. To set foot in the “land of opportunity” and visit the Big Apple. This is extremely prevalent in the minds of the poor who have not seen the chance of success in their own land so they look to ‘farin’ for a way out. Even the rich are leaving in droves, well I shall be staying in Jamrock, the USA aint the place for me.

So what did the America ever do to me why I don’t ever want to go back? When I was small, about six years old I went to New York to visit family and several things happened that made me very wary of the system in that country. Here are a few:

I was enrolled in a predominant “black” school with latinos in NY and one day out of the blue police officers came to the school and all the children were rounded up in the hall. The police officers came to us with a smile and said, “we are here to take you guys fingerprint so if a bad guy commits a crime we will know it wasn’t you” 😐 I swear thats what this man said I remember clearly.

Just like tender moths to a flame all the children ran up and gave them their fingerprint. Initially I wasn’t having it especially being from the “ghetto” in Jamaica where police beat people fi nutn. However after being ridiculed and ostracized by my innocent friends decided to “help” law enforcement and just like that I signed a deal with the devil.

After the horror had ended a mother literally ran into the school crying, screaming and gasping for air asking, “what the f*ck did you people do to my baby?” Its a day I will never forget because the classrooms would never be the same. The parents came the evening and they were all distraught and tormented. Needless to say all classrooms got very small the next day and I never went back after the following day. *It was summer school*

I burst out laughing when I saw this picture. O the irony.

What had happened was these officers trained in psychology 101 came to the school and enthusiastically declared, “lets fight crime” and just like that with the children’s “consent” they documented everyone of us in the American criminal system, just like that. I know these guys would never go to certain places with this nonsense but they came to the inner-city to document those who would receive an inferior education.

Along with the routine and I mean really routine “random” stops, constant questioning of the adult in the car, constant searches and blatant harassment these policemen were always stalking the area, just watching you everywhere you go, I even got use to it! Not only that several times they would come to the school and demonstrate to small children how to handle themselves when being arrested. Im serious.

In my young mind I was thinking, “well I guess this is how they do it here” but as I got older and looked back at what had happened I began to feel uncomfortable. Remembering my tiny self walking down a street and officers always asking, “do you have anything cool in your bag young man” I began to do extensive research and was absolutely horrified.

Mass Incarceration in the United States was socially engineered and rigidly enforced by the government. As the corporations leave the US for lower wages over yonder the prison industrial complex whose share holders anxiously await returns get agitated when stocks plummet  i.e when beds are empty and new prisons aren’t being built.

I mean come on think about it, how does the country with the highest GDP in the world have the most inmates in the world. How is that 2.5 million people are incarcerated? Thats nearly 1 in every 100 Americans. Black men who are from a demographic who represent only 12% of the population, dominate prisons. From my experience I can see why. They are harassed and charged for petty crimes resulting in some of them losing voting power and the chance at living a normal life because of the past criminal records box on job applications.

Well luckily I was born to an EXTREMELY hard working mother who made every attempt to make life better for her children, as for my father well you know the guy was missing from jump street. Now thanks to my mother I have seen that opportunity is everywhere once you have the vision to recognize whats around you. Having that vision I know I will do quite fine if I never go to the US again. I must say thank you mama for you have shown me the light and I shall not be looking to Uncle Sam for a way.

Making time for you

Sometimes you just need to take a break

The stress of working, studying, family or just living can drive the best of us insane at times but stress is something we all have to deal with in a way which won’t negative impact our health. Stress is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.” The morbid tension and strain can result in several health risk including:

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms
Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness
Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Yes, it maybe easy for me to say since I’m not in your shoes but the fact remains that you are a human being and all humans need rest.

For my Caribbean people living in the cosmopolitan arena I know your levels of stress and pain may be unimaginable considering that you are leaving the warmth of the tropical sun for frigid concrete jungles in an attempt for better. But you must remember you are not there to commit slow suicide, work hard but don’t die in the process.

Whether you take the advice or not I am well aware of the fact that Caribbean people are survivors and can overcome any circumstances. 🙂

Happy voting!

The Haitian Revolution: Why Haiti must be respected and understood (Part 1)

“L’union fait la force”
Union makes strength

The Haitian Revolution 1791-1804 was arguable one of the most significant moments in the history of the Post Columbus era as the people of the world had witnessed the defeat of a colonial giant by the sheer tenacity of a people desperate for freedom and liberation from a tyrannical state which had abused, mistreated and miseducated them for far too long.

A significant point that should be noted about this spectacular event was the one at the helm of the French colonial regime during this time was, Napoleon Bonaparte. Bonaparte is one of the most prolific historical figures ever seen and his European war campaign and the ideas that manifested aided in the shaping of many political theories, perception of war and the repercussions thereof.

Toussaint Louverture L’Ouverture

The one who lead the Haitian Revolution was a man born into slavery named Toussaint Louverture. He had seen the tragic situation in Haiti and led the revolution which would seize control of the entire island of Hispaniola. This revolution in a once subservient periphery piece of land would resonate throughout history and influenced dramatically in shaping the views of how imperialism in the colonial world should be handled, as the revolt debunked the idea that enslaved Africans were too uneducated and dependent to rise up and take control of their economic and social life.

After the United States chased away Britain, the Republic of Haiti became the first sincerely ‘free’ country in the entire western hemisphere and boastfully showcased the valor which had been dormant in people ripped from their motherland and cast away in putrid conditions and thrown into a life which was not their own. Political thought regarding this event had seen a dramatic turn as a nation in the west with a black ‘negro’ population had taken on the prestige of being an economic republic……