Tag Archive: Government


Be YOU – Don’t Imitate

You have studied hard for your examination and there beside you is someone who is intent on copying your answers. What do you do? It may be a great feeling for those who see it as helping out another but dishonesty cannot be rewarded. In Jamaica, the entertainers here have a bad habit or it may be a culture where they imitate popular songs internationally and write lyrics to make it their own with the same mix. A more recent case saw one of Jamaica’s dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Spice with a song called Ramping Shop (very sexual I might add) copying Neyo’s Miss Independent Woman. Only when the song was very popular internationally did Neyo file papers to stop these unscrupulous artistes from profiting from his work. Alicia Keys, Beyonce etc are all victims of this.

Neyo’s Miss Independent – Original Song

The Imitation

Alicia Keys – Sleeping with a Broken Heart

The Jamaican Copy by Various Jamaican Dancehall Artistes

The Diva Beyonce

Do you see elements of Beyonce’s style in this video?

To imitate means to copy the actions, appearance, mannerisms, or speech of; mimic. In a recent post I expressed my admiration for Beyonce. I knew the regular readers would find that as a surprise. My love for her is more than an appreciation for her music but more so an admiration in the way she carries herself and performs in the music industry. Her team led by her dad treats her like a product – which is actually is.

I may also like her because her father has many years experience in Marketing and knows the application and the understanding of such. I will agree with her critics that she isn’t the best singer the world has seen and she is overrated. However, what Beyonce has is a commanding stage presence, her performances are amazing and insiders in the music industry express many times over again that she works hard. To her credits, she has won tens of Grammies and reached many number ones on the biggest charts internationally. Anytime she exits the stage you would have known she gave her best and you would have been entertained by Sasha Fierce her alter ego. When you look at Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Alicia Keys; these artistes are popular because of their originality and the freshness they bring to the music industry. I have a problem with people imitating established artistes. Interesting I say that knowing I have a business background where you copy an invention or a process to make profits. However, I believe artistes who imitate are short on talent and lack the creativity they need to survive. It is also interesting to observe that artistes just starting out are the ones who imitate because they idolize these established artistes.

Here in Jamaica, there is a female dancehall artiste who goes by the name D’Angel. I remember years ago in an interview she stated that her idol or the person she looks up to Beyonce. I didn’t know that idolizing an artiste would make you imitate their actions even their style of performane but that is imitation.

The trend of imitating the hardest working female in the music industry even exist in USA I saw a video recently and the props, production of the video resembles one Beyonce did earlier in her career. Many people will not notice similarities like this except for the ones who are looking for the details. What if an artiste imitated Lady Gaga, then maybe the imitation would be clear for everyone to see. It appears the more mild the imitation artistes get a free pass on stealing someone’s ideas and make it their own to generate profits.

For those who are able to dig up the singers Beyonce imitated will agree that some of her ideas may not be new but she uses her own style to add to what was done before to make it her own.

I believe in making your own self. Each one of us has unique talents and gifts that make us special. What if everyone blogged the same way, sang the same way, listened to classical music etc we wouldn’t have diversity.

Oprah recently produced a show to highlight the crises in Haiti. On the program Rihanna was featured singing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Here she sings an established song – sang it word for word but added her own style and creativity to the song – which turned out great. I cannot stop listening to this song which was produced to help raise money for the Haitians.

Entertainers should desist from imitating artistes all in the name to make a profit. These songs are played on the internet and on local radio stations and I would assume they make money from appearance fees singing these songs. I am tired of it.

Do not forget to enter my blog competition which ends on January 30, 2010 midnight. Enter on the post below.

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Water Cooler

Van Jones

Van Jones

Van Jones

The world woke up to news that Van Jones the green czar for the Obama administration resigned from his position. In recent times, television’s pundits have been at Jones for his numerous controversial statements and ideologies. This comes at a shock to some who expected him to stay in the position. It is quite alarming that the prudent research that Obama’s team should be doing to find out an applicant’s past is not being done efficiently. Although his resignation was not forced by Obama it would appear that on air talk shows are keeping the administration honest with their activities.

The tapes that came to the fore of Van Jones calling republicans ass holes were not hidden tapes. These were recordings done recently which he was aware of, which would have documented for the vetting team to view. Clearly thing went wrong with this process because the moment Jones was announced to advice the president there were clear oppositions to his appointment. Good riddance, someone who is a tyrant and supports communism should not be welcomed in the government, especially in America.

Bigger Issue

Obama in the presidential run had to defend his pastor and many other radical relationships he had in his past. The media was so in love with Obama that these were not cutinised and the truth sought. Recently, his appointments of czars and his policies are being questioned not only by his oppositions but also those in his own party. Show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are – a thought for Obama. We want young black men to be successful and serve their country; but for crying out loud, young, black and honourable please.

Compromises

After a long hard day at work, Sarah walks into her home. She kisses her husband and says “Good evening”. After the brief greeting she hurries to the kitchen grabbing the refrigerator door taking out a fresh can of coke. Moments after drinking the juice she tosses the can in the bin. She notices burnt cigarette buts in the garbage bin. She storms to the room shouting “Roger, Roger!”

man-smoking-7810Roger was on the balcony talking on the cell phone when she saw him. She hurries over to him and begins to shout. “Why were you smoking?”

He ignores her and hangs up the phone. He then shouted “What is your problem?”

Smoking is not only an issue for those who don’t but it can be a breaker. It is normally an addictive behaviour that just creeps on you not allowing the smoker to let go. Sarah is clearly at her wits ends because she thought Roger was over his smoking tendencies. Not only is she thinking it can harm his life but it was deal for him not to; and don’t forget the fumes are dangerous to her health as well.

I am currently training employees how to be tolerant to both smokers and non-smokers within their establishments. Businesses create an environment conducive to both because they want to make a profit at the end of the day. Although relationships are based on compromises, what compromise would you not make?

Swimming!

If you follow my blog then you would have read weeks ago that on my vacation I did learn how to swim. Well, I have a picture below to prove , not that I needed to but it would add supn supn to the blog. I have videos but I will try to edit before posting at the next Water Cooler session – every Sunday.

SDC11286

President: Meet the Voters

Obama

Obama


Health care reform is taking on new heights, more town hall meetings and the tension just seems to be rising. For those Republicans, health care reform is a nightmare. They build their ideology on proper financial maintenance and fewer government interventions in citizen’s lives promoting the private sector. The Democrats however, have another thinking on health care reform; they intend to provide public health care while allowing tax payers (Americans) to pay for it through the payment of taxes to the government.

This is causing a huge debate especially at this time when the economy is in a recession and most plans are failing because of lack of funds. This has resulted in all the sides going in a brawl with persons from the left, the right and all independents fighting at it. Most persons have their own plans as it relates to how the President should approach health care reform. Most people will agree that the system needs drastic reform to provide equality in the system.

In recent times angry and supportive voters have been showing up at these town hall meetings to express their feelings on the issue. What is disingenuous about the process is that citizens who disagree with health care reform are being demonized. This is not correct and this does not add any value to the discussion if you’re going to make voters who are genuinely upset or unhappy about such a policy appear to be horrible people. I believe Obama who campaigned on an open policy of respect for all and bipartisanism should take hold of this conversation. But he can’t! His administration is promoting this backlash and they should be ashamed of themselves. If the Obama administration does not accept people who will be disapproving of some of his policies then public administration is a bad area for him.

Town Hall

Town Hall

There are however some things right about this health care reform plan. Certainly there are millions of people in America who are without a health care plan and they should be given the opportunity to have a good health care system. That is a human right I believe. The problem arises now where you will increase taxes to cover these new people and also illegal citizens which is absolutely wrong. Obama is getting flogged and his ratings are taking a beating. Will there be health care reform? We do not know the answer yet but if there is a law to overhaul the system then the government better put all the steps in place to make it work. You would not like what happened to the stimulus package to happen to the health care system where people who are in dire need are not receiving the benefits; or to the cash for clunkers system where government had to pay out more money for the system to work efficiently.

Do we need health care reform? Absolutely and we need it now. Anything you do Obama, do not tax stressed Americans.

Leadership

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter F. Drucker

leadership-risesmart

Universities and work places are trail blazers in regards to team work. Many companies have teamwork as a pillar of success in their organizational structure. One cannot leave undergraduate school or any school at all these days without taking part in teamwork activities. I have been on many teams in and since leaving university. Working with others can be a hard deal for some people. This happens because a team member may want to complete all the tasks and not share the duties to accomplish the goal. Teams can be misguided and can lose focus on the end result. That’s where leaders come in. They take charge and lead the team in delegating roles and duties and ensure that deadlines are met. If budgets are involved, a leader is critical to ensure that funds are allocated to specific areas and that spending isn’t out of hand.

The absence a real leader can be felt by those who know the purpose of one. When a leader is not on a project the team members are left to their own discretions. This can be fatal to the success of a project. There is a fundamental gap that a leader fills. When a leader is present, his/her presence is felt and if the leader is effective, the project will be successful. But not all leaders are effective. This drives the discussion whether a leader is born or made. I cannot decide because leaders are born with characteristics that makes them great leaders while proper leadership skills can be taught. Education plays a critical role and education changes attitude and people’s lives.

In the life of any project, there is a period known as ‘crunch time.’ Crunch time is that period where all the different aspects should now be coming together to make one, to achieve that one objective. At this point, no mistakes can be made. If mistakes are made and are hard to be corrected then it puts the purpose, the project in limbo, great jeopardy. Projects sometimes face this critical moment and having a leader is important. That one person who can remain calm when the storm is at its peak, that level headed individual who can call the shots and ensure team members remain focused on the gaol. It isn’t easy as a leader because at this moment you can lose it and become angry at team members who are slack and are not pulling their weight. There is a thin line to tread because leaders should know how to communicate to team members so that team morale isn’t lost and the synergy remains at its highest point.

The attitude a leader shows to the success of the project speaks volume. Team members want to know that the same passion they have for the success of the project the leader has that or even more. There is a popular phrase that says, attitude determines your altitude. That is relevant for a team because the attitude, that drive, the positive energies shown towards the project by the leader and some team members will inspire those who haven’t got the idea that hey I should be working hard to make this a success. Within the attitude of team members there is an important variable called personality.

Each team member is different and must be treated differently. Team members all show different qualities; some are shy, introverts, extroverts, creative etc. A leader should be able to create that balance that will allow the group to feel like one team. The leader’s role is very crucial as the team member who is shy should be able to express him/herself so that the team can benefit. Who knows? That shy individual could have a creative mind that will make the concept amazing. The leader cannot isolate persons because of his/her attitude. That may turn people away or restrain them from playing a positive role. Conflict resolution is an aspect of teamwork that is a pain. Members of the group should not always have conflicts but apparently if conflicts don’t arise there is no group. Traditionally, we have come to expect that at certain moments team members will be upset with each other. Leaders should never have to comment on every conflict that arises but those that will develop into bigger issues must be tackled from the start and resolved.

Using the best talents on a project can be an equation for failure. But leaders should be able to use these resources at their advantage to create a wonderful outcome. If the project is to perform, produce a presentation etc the final output must be flawless. Group work is designed to get the best out of more. Majority of persons will admit working in a group is certainly better than working on your own. However, a group can be a disaster. Groups must believe that achieving perfection is important.

Leadership isn’t for anyone. It takes a great deal of work to be good at it. Your communications ability, organizational skills, leadership, analytical skills are all tested to produce a product that all can be proud of. The best leaders for sure are those that are able to take directions. If your attitude is always against those in charge, leadership may not be for you. If your attitude is to see things run in order, achieve perfection you may want to improve on your skills to make outputs greater.

This article was inspired based on prior experience working with people on various projects. It is not easy and can be very difficult. Team members all have a role to play in a project. But one cannot isolate the effectiveness or the relevance of having an effective leader.

Sweet Communism

Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English” – George Bernard Shaw

Communism according to Wikipedia is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.

We have come to know some countries that still practice communism in today’s world. Most democratic countries look down upon regions in the world that still practice this form of government. People’s Republic of China, Republic of Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Lao Peoples Democratic Republic all practice communism. What is interesting about these countries is that they all have good attributes those developing and first world countries all envy. There are so many lessons democratic countries can learn from communist countries.

China

China’s ability to manufacture products globally has made the country profitable with many countries owing them millions in trade. Trading is critical for the success and growth of any country. China is able to do this because of the low wages they remunerate staff with. First world countries refer to their ability to sustain large number of employment with cheap labour. China is also advancing with huge developments in technology. Most technological firms are based there. This drives their innovativeness which the western countries gravitate. China was on show for the Olympics in 2008. They used the opportunity to host the world at this event. Most people will never forget the Opening Ceremony at the summer games, as the country went all out to display the very best. A clip will follow this paragraph of the article showing my favourite piece from the performance. The clip will only show a snap shot of what took place in Beijing, China. I have never seen anything like that done before and a point to note; I do not know if London can outperform China in 2012. It’s a wait and see game right now.

Cuba

While most are wildly debating health care reform in America those in Cuba are relishing in one of the best health care system in the world. History will always remind us of the economic sanctions that Cuba has; but with all these factors against the country they are able to provide the best health care system. Cuba is not only able to provide a quality health care system but they are able to provide an education system that rivals many countries with huge investments. Cuba presently exports more than 20,000 doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil. The country is set to become the premiere destination to study medicine.

North Korea

I love seeing the army on display in North Korea. The precision, unity, timing and power they show when they march is enviable. Countries aim to defend themselves in times of wars; investing in resources that will defend the country when the moment arises, which they never can tell. World powers like the US always have a problem when countries go the limit to defend themselves. One example of this is North Korea using nuclear weapons. The potential danger and threat that this can cause can be devastating. I am in no way sanctioning what North Korea does but the investments made to secure the country are admirable.

I want a country that has all these qualities. Wouldn’t you? A country with the best health care system, quality standards in education and a security system that will always protect from forces outside. There is a flip side to a country practicing this form of government though. The freedom of speech we have come to respect and enjoy will all go away. The government will own everything, all the businesses and properties. The government even decides on what the people can have, rather than what they want. It can be sad transitioning from a democratic state to a communist one.

However, there is one lesson that I will always take from a communist state. There are certainly some things in life we think we can’t live without but in the end, we definitely can.

Daggering

A new popular dance has emerged in the dancehall music in Jamaica, it is called daggering. This is a dance move that involves both genders forcefully pushing their bodies against each other to resemble sexual contact. The songs which are featured on several rhythms involve dancehall artists declaring their sexual abilities in demanding ways. All songs with the words or connoting daggering are banned locally in Jamaica and Guyana but are allowed in other parts of the world.

Jamaica is known internationally for their homophobic lyrics and also for dancehall music which is loved world wide. Public outrage caused the government to ban these lyrics in the media with sanctions to media outlets who broadcast lyrics of this nature.

What are becoming of a trend lately are the dangers that also come with the participation of this particular dance move. In the past, popular dance moves that were created also caused public outrage when persons started to injure themselves because of the popularity of it. This was the same case with the dance move ‘dutty wine’. This is a dance where ladies would swing their necks in circular motions very quickly which is also accompanied with the wining of the hips. This move became popular with even popular hip-hop artists incorporating this dance move in their videos.

However, the same is occurring with daggering. Recently, reports surfaced that a female was daggered to the point where her injury was not noticed by the male who continued to dagger his partner although her neck was injured after sitting in a bath tub. Another video surfaced where a new trend is to throw the female to different male dancers who would catch the female to dagger her as well. But, this catch was not successful causing the woman to hit her head on the pavement causing injury. She was immediately rushed to the hospital.

Consequences

What is surprising about this dance move is that it is being promoted by those in the dance fraternity who glamorize this trend which makes it appealing for others. Notwithstanding, persons do not take into consideration their safety and the safety of others. What is more telling is that of the Jamaican culture where we celebrate anything that is vulgar, and dangerous. This dance move which took Jamaica by storm was curbed with the government placing a ban on the music which was being played on the airwaves. But can more be done? No. Not in culture where everything sexual is glorified and where anything to show a man’s power over a woman is praised.

You can watch this act of daggering in the video below with also the injuries that might occur.