Month: August 2015

A Time To Kill: The Apartheid Rule of the Israeli Occupying State

The cries of the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem come from the dark to a seemingly deafened universal ear. Despite the number of reports by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human rights organizations, judiciary bodies, as well as reports from the United Nations, the apartheid practices of the Israeli government towards Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are met with a powerless attitude by the world governing bodies who, despite a worldwide moral outcry invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and yet do nothing to restrain Israel’s apartheid rule.

Israel objects to its description as an apartheid state. However when The Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967 by John Dugard to the January 2007 sitting of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations cite the creation of Jewish-only settlements by the Israeli government, the creation of an ID system, separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian citizens, roadblocks, earth mounds and trenches, numerous military checkpoints, discriminatory marriage law, the West Bank barrier (also known as the wall), the use of Palestinians as cheap labor, Palestinian West Bank enclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights issues, and the inequality in accessing land and resources by the Palestinians as opposed to Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories as resembling that of the South African apartheid regime, and that elements of Israel’s occupation constitute forms of colonialism, which are contrary to international law, then the sensitivities of the Israeli state are muted by the facts.

The recent abandoning of apartheid bus plans by Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu is an indication that despite the deafness of political leaders, there is still power in the voices of the worldwide peoples to influence the decisions of individual nations. Within hours of his announcement, Prime Minister Netanyahu was forced to cancel a pilot scheme that would have seen Palestinian workers banned from travelling on Israeli buses in the occupied territories. This failed initiative of Israel serves to fuel beliefs that its practices are indeed apartheid.

In Section III of the first paragraph of Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV): Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.

Banning Palestinians from travelling on Israeli buses in the Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem is the last of a series of deprivation strategies by Israel, the occupying state in contravention of Article 47 of the GCIV. John Dugard’s report to the United Nations denounced the 2006 military operations within Gaza – “Operation Summer Rains” and “Operation Autumn Clouds,” as violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws. The Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) heavy artillery shelling and air-to-surface missile attacks, the bulldoze of homes, schools, hospitals and mosques, public buildings, bridges, water pipelines and electricity networks and the leveling of agricultural lands have been excessively inhumane. On November 8th 2006, 9 civilians were killed and 55 wounded, including women and children. Dougard is clearly being politically sensitive because to the layman it seems as if Israel is destabilizing Palestine. Now common sense must intervene at some point because annihilation of any peoples by any people in this time is in contravention of our common civility and hence, Israel’s foolish practices are creating monsters around it.

  

The economic sanctions by Israel and the governing bodies of the world have left 70 percent of the Gaza workforce unemployed. What the governing bodies have done is to cripple the occupied territories of Palestine creating the humanitarian crisis that now exists.

The creation of these dual existing states within one local (Palestine) on May 14, 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency and U.S. President Harry S. Truman is an ideal worth striving for but independent kingdoms will not exist side by side, nor be tributary to one another, there shall be one whole, and the lesser shall be parts thereof, not over nor under them, but as helpmates.

The Dougard report further sites that between 25th of June 2006 and the truce that came into force at the end of November 2006, over 400 Palestinians were killed and some 1,500 injured, more than half of those killed and wounded being civilians. Of those killed 90 were children and of the injured 300 were children. During the same period 3 Israeli soldiers were killed and 18 wounded, and 2 Israeli civilians were killed and some 30 injured in Siderot and its precincts by Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians from Gaza. These spates of killings were in response to the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006. Israel must ask itself when is the time to kill? Can it justify its state of terror with an ends justify the means policy? Or should it create one whole with two helpmates?

White Americans seem to think the time to kill black Americans is now. Their envy of black skin runs deep. In their movies and sense of history they paint themselves as intellectually and courageously superior to blacks -pigging backing on Hitler’s white supremacy sentiments to galvanize his race. All that is good and well, except for the monstrosity that he created. It was earth once more becoming the sport of false gods and plundering into savagery. At its end we decided to be raised up and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 was that.

America is one. They should take a look at a little motto in their hemisphere “Out of Many One People” that Jamaicans have. To see themselves as divided by race is backward. They shattering because they have failed to give growth to the best in their people talents and interests by thwarting their different cultural groups. This minute they pick on the Mexicans and then the Chinese, now they are killing black Americans in their streets. Think. We are capable of reason.

This Is The New America -Out of Many; One People.

Daylight and US

These days we hop from air conditioned vehicles into air conditioned rooms to avoid the heat outside. To hell with our pockets and fuel and electricity charges, most people just try to avoid any contact with outside once the sun has risen. We complain of sweat running down our faces, trickling down our backs and springing from under our arms, and of heat strokes. If we have a strong odor, we automatically check our scent when an attractive person walks by, fetter our minds if we did not smell right and curse the sun. But do not be so glad to run into the cool shade or to curse the sun; daylight does not come from the sun and neither does heat, and without daylight we cannot reach sexual maturity, see, hear, produce energy, cognitively function, nor absorb the critical vitamin D for developing strong bones.  Daylight is life sustaining.

Light and Our Immunity

Light is integral to the body’s immunity. Light rays trigger an immunological response by the body that results in the coating of healthy fungi and bacteria with melanin. These bacteria and fungi encapsulate and oxidize invading organisms in a process known as melanization. The most known defensive response of the body to light is the production of melanocytes to darken our skins to prevent our skin being burnt by UVB rays in daylight. Just as plants use chlorophyll to trap light and convert it into energy production, the melanocytes in our skin operate similarly in harvesting light and under the influence of gamma rays convert it into metabolic (heat) energy. This gives our skin the ability to regulate water loss and heat production by its darkening when exposed to daylight. The darkening of the pigment affects the conversion of light in the skin to heat and the degree of water loss by the skin.

Light and the Melanin in Our Organs

Melanocytes are the major cells in the body affected by daylight. It is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. UVA rays reach rhodopsin -photosensitive receptors- found in the eye and skin. This results in the calcium ion on the rhodopsin becoming  fluoresce. The pineal gland in response releases melanocytes which travel to every organ in the body.

The body’s ability to absorb light affects respiration, brain activity, hearing and the body’s defense against fungus, bacteria and also cancer. Melanin is not only present in the skin, eyes, ears, central nervous system, “the pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, thymus gland, adrenal gland, and the barathary gland. Melanin is abundantly present in the viscera, including the heart, liver, arteries, the muscles, and the gastrointestinal tract; thus, within each and every living organ which aids the human body melanin appears. Regardless of what color your skin appears to be all genes in all creatures on this planet are black because they are coated with melanin.”

Why is melanin so integral to light and vice versa. Light does not exist without dark. For us to see light, darkness must exist. Darkness and light determine heat.

Sunscreens function as melanin. That is how sunscreen prevent the skin from being burnt. When rubbed on the skin sunscreen appears white but under ultraviolet light it makes the skin appear black.

Take a look at your skin under ultra violet light to understand the role melanin in your body.

Other Advantages To Getting Daylight

Exposing a neonatal (new born baby) with jaundice to light cures jaundice, as does exposing someone with psoriasis. Daylight is life.

Exposure to sunlight also triggers sexual maturation in humans. Melatonin is found in sexual organs -nipples, and genitalia. Like melanin, it also made by the pineal gland, but though its production is triggered by exposure to the sun, it is generated in the dark of the pineal gland.

Daylight is invaluable to humans and plants. What science had not known before these discoveries is that the skin can harvest light like plants. The ability of melanin to metabolize energy may be the reason black athletes are able to perform better at speed and endurance activities because the melanin in their skin is darker than the rest of the human population.  It would be interesting to see whether training and running at night affects athletes.

The Importance of Knowledge of Light

As the human race we are here to learn what our specie needs for survival. Racism has no place in our advancement. Light and melanin needs to be studies, especially since our planet is continuously evolving and we do not know what human trait may prevent our extinction in the future. However the stigmatization of melanin as a trait of black and brown skinned pigmented people limits our understanding of melanin which is found in every peoples.

If you are into improving your health, daylight will help fight infections, possibly prevent Parkinson’s, increase respiration and improve hearing. If you are afraid to sweat walking down the street, remember that sweating releases salts and toxins stored in the boy. Walking in daylight may not be so bad after all. For those with lighter melanin apply sunscreen to prevent harmful UVB rays penetrating the skin, or may be learn how much exposure to daylight causes cancer to gauge how long you should expose yourself to daylight. If you  walk around covered from head to toe for social or religious reasons, whenever you are alone roll up your sleeves and look up into the sun.

Bubble Gum Money

But for a means to exalt our financial achievement most people would not purchase anything. The expense of what we purchase often times elevates us to certain status in our groups. The new foreign car parked outside our gate creates an impression on our neighbors and gives us a satisfying feeling. Buying our kids a new pair of Jordan, the new iphone or tablet gives parents and grandparents a sense of worth and accomplishment, as if by our children getting material possession, we have gained something. The problem that cripples us, is that wealth has concentrated itself into the hands of 85 of us. That 85 people own 99% of the World’s economy is staggering news. They have monopolized money. What is even more staggering is the missing 134 billion dollars of U.S. Bonds that was stopped at Italy’s border, the legal debacle ensuing over it and how it exposes a collapsing banking system worldwide. So, how can the Rule of Law solve the capitalist dilemma?

What are these U.S. Bonds that the Japanese were taking across the Italian border and how does it affect  the U.S. dollar? That amount of money can only be accounted for by the highest levels of government. According to the lawsuit The Federal Reserve is in a legal war over gold that the Chinese gave it to create the Federal Reserve to sure the Dollar -the Earth’s official currency- in 1934 when Japan invaded China. It is valued at more than U.S. trillions of dollars and the Chinese want it back. These Bonds were part of that surety. At first they thought the Russians were dumping their Bonds. But why would the Russians be dumping U.S. bonds? Could it be that without the Chinese gold as surety, these Bonds are worth nothing.

The new term for the Dollar is bubble gum money. It is a bubble about to burst and if this catastrophe is not averted the fall of the U.S. Empire is eminent. This affects all peoples because the U.S. dollar is the world’s official money. What this means is the banks are printing money that cannot be substantiated by the United States collateral.  Any money issued in 1934 by the U.S. Treasury may have no real financial backing. It may just be paper in your hands, as may also be the entire U.S. monies. When analysts were talking about the banks being too big to fail during Obama’s first term, they were right to be scared. Yet the United States have not resolved this legal and financial crisis.

Gold is the true currency. It along with land are the true wealth. The United States has a mandate to fill, as one of the conditions of the agreement in setting up the Federal Reserve. The surplus was to be used to improve the living standards of all nations to that of the G7 group of nations. The tables are turning.

In the recent rush to sell gold. The United States was scraping gold from third world people, who fell on hard times, for little or nothing. They need to sure up the Federal Reserve. The price of gold on the world market today is US $ 1,127.21 per ounce. People in Jamaica sold their gold for JA $1000. They sold it for 90% less than what it was worth. Highway robbery.

The mass must first free their minds. Garvey said it. If the protests on Wall Street were not enough warning, these times are too volatile to not expect people to riot if our money becomes worthless. Revolution of the capitalist system does not need to come by bloodshed. The rule of law was used in ancient days to ensure the pharaoh was given is monetary due, just like the old coinage: what is due to Caesar is due to Caesar. In 1948 the rule of law became the people’s protection from the injustices of the system. How can the rule of law as tabled by our united governments in the Human Rights Charters of 1948 regulate and modernize our monetary and capitalist system? By challenging our monetary system. Our banking system is illogical. The banks are operating as pyramid schemes selling debts that escalate to ridiculous figures above the actual borrowed sum. The banks’ products and services are not tangible. They are inflating balloons or bubble gums. These debts grow to imaginary figures neither the bank nor borrower would have contracted to. By its illogical nature, these loans cause the terms of the contract at times to be incapable of performance destroying the contracts. And if performed the performance of the loan would be a detriment to the consumer and also an unfair business practice.  In both regards, these servicing of these loans are illegal.

We in the Caribbean cannot wait for our real assets to be gobbled by the banking system, like the real estate fiasco in America that saw the transfer of land from American citizens to foreigners. It is time for a cap to legally restrain banking greed. Governments have a responsibility to protect its citizens’ assets.

Personality Traits and Leadership

    The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a

genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true.

Leaders are made rather than born. —Warren Bennis[1].

For the past sixty years, researches in the contemporary field of leadership studies have establish that traits in personality play a role in decision-making and that traits such as consciousness, extroversion and emotional stability (neuroticism) determine our choice of leaders but not the success of the leader. The determining factors for success are the social situations. Under one set of circumstances an individual will be a good leader and under other circumstances the same individual will be a poor leader[2].

There are different schools of thought on personality traits. Trait theorists argue that traits are hereditary; while behavioral theorists propose that personality traits can be learnt and unlearned. ‘Traits refer to stable or consistent patterns of behavior that are relatively immune to situational contingencies—individuals with certain traits denoting particular behavioral predispositions react in similar ways across a variety of situations having functionally diverse behavioral requirements’[3]. The dichotomy of thoughts reflecting both schools of thought leads to questioning of the independence of the human mind to freely make choices. Are our acts fated by personality; if not, and the brain is capable of learning and unlearning traits in personality, then leadership is conditioning.

Freud and Erickson’s studies present personality as a manifestation of our ability to overcome the problems posed by each developmental stage. With this perspective, the manifested personality is the result of behavioral growth. Viewed in the Freudian sense, a leader is always in the state of becoming and manifestation of leadership is as a result of personal growth. Nonetheless, as stated by Funder (2010), “there are no perfect indicators of personality; there are only clues, and clues are always ambiguous”[4].

In earlier times, leaders were defined as great men of birth suitable for roles of authority such as a chief, emperor, king, prince or prophet. Leaders were considered heroic, inspirational and endowed with special powers[5]. 21st century views offered the five big personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Three of the five personality traits: emotional stability (neuroticism), agreeableness and conscientiousness are common traits in the leaders we choose.

Within the structure of organizations, other attributes affect leadership attainment; such as, the need for power, the need for achievement, and a positive orientation toward authority[6]. Employees who display motivation and administrative skills (conscientiousness), interpersonal skills (extroversion), intellectual ability (openness), attained to managerial level after 20 years[7]. Employees who display agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness became managers[8]. Agreeableness and openness were associated with greater preferences for participative management styles[9]. But of the Big Five factors, only extroversion was related to perceptions of charismatic leadership.[10] Charisma is a major factor in choice of leaders in the Caribbean political arena. National leaders: Maurice Bishop (Grenada), Linden Forbes Burnham (Guayna), Cheddi Jagan (Guayna), Eric Williams (Trinidad and Tobago), Michael Manley (Jamaica) and Fidel Castro (Cuba) were all charismatic leaders.[11]

Traits in personality affect choice in leadership but not to the effectiveness of the leader. For example, the emotional stability of a person and the degree of impulse control (neuroticism: the tendency towards emotions of anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability, as well as thoughtfulness) affect how people cope with pressure. Persons with neurotic tendencies are affected by mood swings, while those with good impulse control manage stresses more effectively. But neuroticism coupled with consciousness makes for a goal-oriented thinker. The situation and circumstance determines what traits are effective.

Agreeableness is another personality trait of importance to leadership. Agreeableness is the tendency to be trusting, compliant, caring, and gentle[12]. Its opposite is suspiciousness and antagonism towards others. Agreeableness impacts on the social harmony within the organization. In many instances it allows for colleagues to be part of the decision making because “the primary motivational orientation of agreeable individuals is altruism”[13]. Agreeable supervisors are more approachable in the eyes of their subordinates[14]. But too much agreeableness leads to ineffectiveness, especially for complex decision-making.

Conscientiousness is also a trait sought after in 21st century leaders. Conscientiousness reflects the extent to which we structure and organize our lives. Conscious leaders are characterized as reliable, punctual, organized, determined and competent –qualities thought significant to the overall job performance and effectiveness. Highly conscientious workers tend to be successful because they are motivated, goal oriented, thorough, responsible, efficient, organized, reliable, persevering and disciplined. One of the main obstacles to a conscientious mind is perfectionism, which can manifest as a compulsion and cause the leader to lose sight of the bigger goal.

All five major traits in personality impact on behaviors and attitude, as well as the attainment of leadership but it is necessary to agree with Freud and Erickson that a good leader is one whose traits in personality overcome the problems posed by each developmental stage. In organizations, such a leader makes effective decisions for the growth of the organization and are hampered or aided by their traits in personalities, which are, qualities that positively set the leader apart and these qualities that we look for in the 21st century are agreeableness, conscientiousness and extroversion.


References

  • Bass, B. M., Stogdill, R. M (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications (3rd). New York: Free Press.
  • DeNeve, K. M., Cooper H. (1998). The Happy Personality: A Meta-analysis of 137 Personality Traits and Subjective Well-being. Psychological Buttetin,124,197-229
  • Funder, D. ( 2010). The Personality Puzzle ( 5th). New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Hogan, R. T., Shelton, D. (1998). A Socioanalytic Perspective on Job Performance. Human Performance, 11, 129-144.
  • Shinagel, Michael. The Paradox of Leadership. http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/paradox-leadership
  • Smitson, W.S. (1974). The Meaning of Emotional Maturity. MH, Winter 58, 9-11.
  • Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes. http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf
  • Wiggins, J. S. (Ed). (1996). The Five-Factor Model of Personality: Theoretical Perspectives. New York: Guilford Press.

[1] http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/paradox-leadership

[2] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[3] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[4] Funder, D. ( 2010). The Personality Puzzle ( 5th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.

[5] Bass, B. M., Stogdill, R. M (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.

[6] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[7] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[8] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[9] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[10] Stephen J. Zaccaro, Cary Kemp & Paige Bader. Leader Traits and Attributes. http://www.corwin.com/upm-data/5014_Antonakis_Chapter_5.pdf

[11] Charles, Christopher A.D. Studying the Personality of Political Leaders in the Caribbean from a Distance. http://www.academia.edu/2044336/Studying_the_Personality_of_Political_Leaders_in_the_Caribbean_from_a_Distance

[12] DeNeve, K. M., Cooper H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Buttetin,124,197-229

[13] Wiggins, J. S. (Ed). (1996). The five-factor model of personality: Theoretical perspectives. New York: Guilford Press.

[14] Hogan, R. T., Shelton, D. (1998). A Socioanalytic Perspective On Job Performance. Human Performance, 11, 129-144.

Early Maroons Were Never Slaves

We, Jamaicans, watch our resources being gobbled up and remain deafeningly silent. On this another Emancipation Day, we find ourselves with no Blueprint as to where we intend to be in 20-50 years. Nation building as long taken a backseat to individual political greed and our culture and sustenance are ignored. National resources like water, have been a talking point every summer when our dams are exhausted but when the rains come we bury our heads in the sands. We look back at our history every Emancipation celebration but remain ignorant of it. Take the Cockpit Country as example, it should be on every school child’s lips because of its secrets. But unlike mainland America, which makes icons of historic characters in cartoons, comics and movies, here in the Caribbean, we are yet to thrust our heroes to pop consumption.

Let us take a long look at the Cockpit Country and why it, a little Jamaican monkey and the Maroons are of such importance. This monkey is called the Xenothrix Mcgregoria. It was discovered in Long Mile Cave by Harold Anthony in 1919 in the Cockpit Country. It is Jamaican and it descended from the African ‘owl monkey’ but evolved new features to survive living in its new environment -the Americas. It was brought from Africa prior to European discovery of the New World. But our scientists and historians are yet to examine if Africans traveled much further than Mexico, to as far as the Caribbean seas; for by 1492 when Columbus got to the Caribbean, the Xenothrix Mcgregoria had become extinct. Someone must have brought it to these shores prior to the Europeans coming here and it ended up right in the Cockpit Country.

The Cockpit Country is not the relaxing sea and sand resort like Jamaica’s popular northern strips of white sand. The conditions make it a wilderness almost impossible to endure or even to explore. It has seasons when swarms of mosquitoes spread like a sheet across the air. Modern insect repellents do not stop these swarms piercing their stinging needles into the traveler’s eyelids, ears, neck, fingertips or any other exposed inch of flesh because the bloodsuckers spread across the air like a black net. Mosquitoes are just one of the predators that this wetland breeds. Wet! That is the operative word. Rain seems to materialize from nothing and sprinkle on top of the pools of water on the saturated ground. Journeying inwards becomes even more hazardous because of the undiscovered caves and possible soil slippages. This is land of the Cockpit Maroons -sacred unpatented ground. As unpatented land, this land is one of the few free spaces in the whole Earth and it is home to Maroons, the most mystical people in Jamaica. We know of Nanny, who was impenetrable by bullets and Quao who was invissible. We joke about it but it is certain that the Spaniards and the British found the Maroon’s science superior.

The Cocpit Country has no titled. It is one of the only free spaces on the planet. A Peace Treaty agreement in 1738 between Britain and the Maroons following an 83 year war, which began in 1655, from a treaty between the Spaniards and the Maroons to prevent British invasion of the island and guaranteeing Maroon’s continued freedom attest to the freedom of the space. In the Maroon/English war the Spaniards recruited Maroon assistance because they had found the Maroons impossible to defeat and thought the British would have the same difficulty. Maroon has come to mean wild and untameable but it may have meant lost at sea. These may be descendants of 400 ships that Abu Bakr sent from Mali in the 1300s and if so the black people Vespucci in 1501 saw living with the Native American Indians that later fought throughout the Americas as Maroons.

When the Spaniards accepted defeat 10 years after the war commenced with the British, the Maroons kept fighting. Eventually, the British acceded to the freedom of the Maroons by signing its own Peace Treaty of 1738, guaranteeing thay the Maroons the free in the Americas. Guerrilla war tactics and higher science were employed to attack the numerically greater British force. By attacking when the British troops least expected it and in terrains the British were incapable of defending themselves, the Maroons slowly wounded the British until they caved from the blows. The British soldiers could not track the Maroons, who they said were invisible to them during most gun fights. Their soldiers thought the Maroons disappeared in the trees and rocks as ghosts and in 1737, the Assembly brought the Mosquito Indians into Jamaica to track the Maroons but the Indians had little success.

Instead of being revered as national heroes, the Maroons have been mistrusted by Jamaicans, especially since they hunted and returned runaway slaves. At one point in history, the planters were even complaining that the Maroons were returning more dead than living runaways and increased in the Jamaican Assembly the incentive for the slaves returned alive. For these and more reasons the Jamaican Assembly, thought the Maroons a problem they needed to disappear.

The Maroons raided the plantations and took slaves. Most important, their presence was a constant reminder of freedom to the slaves and many slaves ran away to form their own communities or to join the Maroons. But the Treaty allowed for British superintendents to live in the Maroon camp as spies. By gathering intelligence the Jamaican Assembly was able to stop the Maroons instigating a similar revolution to what was happening in France, Haiti, and the American mainlands to eradicate slavery. In 1795 the Jamaican Assembly restricted movement in an out of Jamaica and began shadowing foreigners because of rumors of a Maroon revolt. They collected testimonies from Jean Folef Moranfon, an embassy official in New York that free coloreds had left New York on a vessel loaded with corn for Jamaica and that another 150 French men were in the island to help the Maroons fight. Moranfon also said 10,000 blacks would land in Kingston Harbour to join the Maroon’s to free all the slaves.

Instead of sending the soldiers destined to quell the French revolution, The Jamaican Assembly sent a thousand soldiers from Montego Bay into the Cockpit. In response, the Maroons sent a delegation to inquire into the declaration of war. That delegation of 39 was captured and put on a ship to be deported from Jamaica. The Maroons then burnt their communities and retreated into the Cockpit Mountains. Like the wars of 1655, the British soldiers could not see the Maroons but were counting losses, which included a governor and two captains. The British were forced to negotiate a second Peace Treaty of 1795 but it was not to be honored; for, when the Maroons seized fighting the British broke the treaty and deported the entire Trelawny Town Maroons to Nova Scotia. From Nova Scotia they were taken to Sierra Leone. These Maroons were Cudjoes descendants. and the first rebels to extradited from Jamaica’s shores

By the first Peace Treaty of 1738, the Jamaican Assembly, the then government, declared themselves foreigners to Maroon territory. It is Maroons who dictate the governance of Maroon lands, the rights of possession, and the rights of occupation. It was also agreed that Maroons would benefit from Crown lands. Maroons are free to go everywhere in Jamaica, except private property. However, the Jamaican Assembly sought to curtail Maroon rights. In 1864, by the Act 2 Wm. 4, Cap. 24 the privileges of free persons were conferred on the Maroons and by an Act, 5 Victoria Chap 49 all privileges and disabilities were removed from the Maroons to merge them into the population breaking the Treaty of 1738. It became an ethical and a legal contention, which was addressed to the Privy Council, but the Privy Council legally cannot rule against decisions of its own British Parliament and did not. Maroons still contest these rulings which sought to make free people governed.

Maroon lands protect the last wilderness in Jamaica and 40 % of the sustainable water supply to a large section of the country. The Cockpit country is a 22,327 hectares watershed created by rain soaking through calcium carbonate (limestone) rocks to form natural tunnels and caves which are what store and transport water to three of the island’s 14 parishes. The aquifers of four major rivers: Black River in the parish of St. Elizabeth, Martha Brae in the parish of Trelawny and Great River and Montego River in the parish of St. James get water from the Cockpits. St. James has a population of 183,811, St. Elizabeth a population of 150,205 and Trelawny a population of 75,164 and everybody needs water. Disturbing the natural water channel cannot be validated by harboring unrealistic dreams of rehabilitating the watershed. The waterways once excavated, or disturbed will collapse or change and cause drought in some areas and flooding in others. Reforestation will not be a fix of what took centuries to be created by acts of God.

As self-elected keepers of one of the world’s forests, residents of the Cockpit Country and conservationists find themselves fighting ‘Money’ to protect the flora and fauna protecting our water and storing our medicine. But industry and commerce, two great engines of economic and social change are dynasties that erode everything with time. In these financially burdened times world economies are grappling with budgetary cuts and debt payments that could see their nations catapulting. Jamaica is no different. It is a small nation that can barely meet interest payments on its $2 trillion dollars debt. And at the start of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the Jamaican Minister of Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, reported the debt to GDP ratio at a projected 130.7 per cent. This means for every Jamaican cent earned, Jamaica owes $130.7 to its debtors.

The Minister of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining, in his Sectoral Presentation 2015-2016 stating that 4.8 million tonnes of bauxite valued at US$672.3 was exported in 2014 and that Jamaica mined and quarried approximately 12.3 million tonnes of limestone, efforts to protect 40% of Jamaica’s underwater resources in the Cockpit Country are at a critical stage. Jamaicans must convince their elected officials that the ever present foreign debt, national bills, individual greed and their political futures are priced cheaply to its valued resources.

Despite the financial struggles of the Jamaican government to eek its way to sustainable development, residents, stakeholders and conservationists are reporting the mining companies when they are spotted in the Cockpit Country. With hindsight these residents view other areas mined for bauxite and quarried for limestone in the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. Ann, as precursors to their beloved terrain. In those parishes the few feet of soil dumped to fill the excavated lands have not replace missing mountain ranges. Also, news of farmers frustration with the man-made topography, which farmers have found incapable of supporting the regrowth of trees but able to grow vegetables and weeds, makes mining a valid concern to their extensive farming communities. Endemic flora and fauna used as medicine by medicine men and herbalists to treat the ill are yet to be discovered and will be forever gone. For all these reasons Jamaica’s God given resources are more valuable than money. But think of the Maroons and why they fought. They were building a nation and a nation cannot exists without resources to sustain its people.