WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

LOW EARTH ORBIT – Bending Our Backs



Year of the OxNineteen forty-nine was the Year of the Ox. It also happens to be the year I was born. One might therefore say that the bearing of burdens has been my destiny from birth.

1949 is also the year the Peoples Republic of China came into existence. One might even say, in a manner of speaking, that Yours Truly and Modern China were born in the same month: the fateful month of October of the fateful year 1949. Several famous revolutionary events have seen the light of day in the revolutionary month of October.

The reference to China arises because the accident of my destiny has been charted according to the Chinese way of measuring the passage of time. To put it as simply as possible, the Chinese Zodiac revolves around a 12-year lunar cycle, with each year designated by an animal. Persons born in any particular year are thought to be strongly influenced by the traits of the animal associated with the year of the birth. It’s just my luck to be what I am, I guess. Maybe this “karma” thing really does work – who knows?



These musings arise because of all the trouble Yours Truly has had trying to write this article. This has truly been the most difficult writing task I have ever undertaken. I actually made my first attempt on Wednesday evening, expecting to be able to finish it by midnight … and failed to begin.

Unable to focus I went to bed, figuring a few hours shuteye would clear up my thinking. Waking at 1:30 am, I settled in to write near 2:30 … and ended up discarding my third attempted version at 5:30. That last trashed draft really hurt: I’d got up to 400 words, which for me is about 40% complete – in other words, on the launching pad.

By now it should be clear what my problem was: I’d dried up … the never-ending flow of words had stopped welling up from the bottomless spring of my heart. At last, I had encountered the dreaded “Writer’s Block”. Some switch had got stuck in my psyche; my Muse had recognized the overload signal and gone into protective hibernation. All systems were comatose; my unconscious Id was in full flight from some horror that my stupid conscious Ego was preparing to confront. Only my Super-Ego could save the day.

So here I am at exactly 400 words – launch pad stage – and about to unburden myself of one of the most painful topics I can ever choose to entertain: the slavery that to this day haunts the mentality of the majority African population in my unfair twin-island Caribbean sub-tropical paradise.

They are truly a beautiful, infinitely precious jewel: these lovely islands that fate, greed, brutality, economics and time have bequeathed to us, the descendants of the African slaves who powered an industrial revolution in a distant land. Our forefathers deserve better of us. King Court and his heroic adherents deserve better of we, the ones who ultimately benefitted from their sacrifice … even if we did in the end have to pay cold hard cash before we could claim our patrimony.

But claim it we did … only to turn around and like swine trample into the mud the priceless pearl we had purchased at such great cost. And now, impoverished despite our many manifest blessings, we desperately place on the block the last item of value left on our denuded shelf: our citizenship … the symbol of our very self. The selling time has returned, at our own invitation.

The absolutely amazing thing is that having brought ourselves to this sorry pass after a well documented history of total mismanagement of our resources and monumentally bad handling of our governance institutions, so many of us seek to delude ourselves into believing that matters as they stand are merely an unfortunate circumstance, not really our fault. We, the wise older generation, try to tell our short-changed children that what we did is not all that bad, really … so long as they pay for it.

And all of this historical, cultural, moral tragedy comes from our long history of plantation servitude: a condition persisting well into the middle of the 20th century, stunting our political development; crippling our economic progress; condemning us to new lifetimes of doing what we have always done throughout our tortured history – bending our backs to the lash of injustice.

The real hurt of it all is that the lash is now self-inflicted; punishment laid on ourselves by our command; applied by agents of our own selection; representatives and “servants” freely chosen in a free democratic process. The descendants of slaves now rule where their forebears once bent their backs without reward … only now we bend our backs willingly, to hide our weakness and our shame.

The mental disease was made manifest very recently, as the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers pulled its membership off the job in response to a history of late salary payments exacerbated by an act of callous disrespect. The teachers withdrew their labor more as a result of the rudeness than the actual non-payment. This is the nuance that has escaped so many of the offended plantation dwellers who called in to the various radio talk shows to castigate the striking teachers for, in a nutshell: “holding our children to ransom”.



The automatic assumption by the plantation dwellers was that the teachers should have “made a sacrifice” to the government of the day in recognition of the economic hardships being experienced worldwide. Some went so far as to castigate teachers for not having something “put aside” for such moments, implying that they were somewhat at fault in this respect.

The talk show callers fairly went ballistic when the teachers union president sternly rejected any thought of teachers accepting a “pay cut” in order to “help the government out of its problems.” By that time one would have thought that it was the teachers union and not the Ministry of Finance that was responsible for the situation.

The truth is that the teachers were performing their necessary function as a restraint on the freedom of a runaway government. Their bold but reluctant action was taken on behalf of all government workers – not just themselves. Behind the ABUT stood all other public servants: people who depend daily upon the full faith and confidence of the government for their livelihood.

The government sits at the core of our economy; the provision of its needs helps to drive economic activity. When the government defaults on its obligations, it creates a drag on the economy; when the center cannot hold … things fall apart.

Imagine what might happen if the teachers were to bend their backs to the lash, as so many recommend. Might not payments begin to come later and later for more and more workers … until eventually the salaries stop coming at all … and everybody starts working for nothing … to “help the government out of its problem” … like in Myanmar maybe?

That last may sound far-fetched, but it represents what can happen to descendants of slaves who fail to internalize the meaning of democracy, and cravenly opt to bend their backs to injustice. They learn, long after they have lost their freedom, that democracy is for free people and not for slaves.


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10 Comments In This Article   

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@Jimmy

#10 Over Taxed » 2013-03-22 17:35

I don't think the resignation of "this" govt. should be the goal for civil servants who have worked and not been paid. The truth is if that is the goal, the next set will take over and spew a lot of manure about the ills the previous set inflicted on them. If they resign that's their choice but the next set better be prepared to settle the bill and not expect them to go back to work.
Please forget about the Unions they are part of the poli-tricks. Just look at what happened with David Messiah.
Civil servants need to join together and stand up for each other. Do it yourselves because no one can do it like you!
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Over Taxed

WAGE SLAVERY IS MORE PROFITABLE THAN CHATTEL SLAVERY

#9 Professor » 2013-03-22 17:25

I think it is important to include that slavery was not abolished because of the work of the abolitionist or that white slave owners realized that slavery was wrong and wanted to do right.

Slavery was abolished because it was proven with mathematical certainty that WAGE SLAVERY IS MORE PROFITABLE THAN CHATTEL SLAVERY. That means that it was cheaper for the slave owners to free their slaves and have the slaves return to the plantations and work for next to nothing.

To prove the truth of what I am saying, note that wage slavery exists up to this day. There are more than 4 billion people (more than half of the world's population) that survive on less than one US dollar per day.

SLAVERY IS ALIVE AND DOING VERY WELL ... not only Mental Slavery, but Physical Slavery as well.
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Professor

CROWN LANDS

#8 skyewill » 2013-03-22 11:57

In 1821, the British government steadily began the expansion of their colonial power through the invasion of local kingdoms, particularly the Ashanti and Fante confederacies. Abolishing the African Company of Merchants, the British seized privately held lands along the coast, taking over the remaining interests of other European countries, annexing the Danish Gold Coast in 1850 and the Dutch Gold Coast, including Fort Elmina, in 1871. The Ashanti people, who had controlled much of the territory of Ghana before the Europeans arrived started to resist the British and fought three wars with the British colonial invaders. Believing the Stool to be the rallying force of the Ashanti’s and the cause of the people’s continued resistance of colonial rule, the British Governor demanded for the stool, which was also desired by the British for its legendary beauty and obvious value. The Golden Stool’s entire surface is inlaid with gold. In order to protect the stool, Asantehene Prempeh 1 surrendered himself and was sent into exile in 1896. Now certain of victory, the British governor, Lord Hodgson, demanded it turned over to the British. They never got it, our warrior queen protected it.
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skyewill

HOW THEY DID IT

#7 skyewill » 2013-03-22 11:50

Arriving in 1471, the Portuguese encountered the Ashanti Kingdom’s control of the gold deposits. By 1482, the Portuguese had built the Castle of Elmina and several forts along the coastline, from where they traded knives, salt, mirrors, rum and guns for gold. News of the successful trading spread quickly, and eventually English, Dutch, Danish, Prussian and Swedish traders arrived as well. Originally interested in trading in gold and spices, the Portuguese set up colonies on the uninhabited islands of São Tomé in the 16th century. There they found that these volcanic islands were ideal for growing sugar, a labor-intensive undertaking. Portuguese settlers were difficult to attract due to the heat, lack of infrastructure, and hard life. Hence, to cultivate the sugar the Portuguese began to seek the use of the more resilient African laborers. Soon, Elmina Castle on the Gold Coast, which was originally built with African labor by the Portuguese, became an important depot for slaves.
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skyewill

Professor and jimmy

#6 skyewill » 2013-03-22 11:35

@ jimmy- see what happens when you tell the truth? You get thumbs down- don't mind them.
@professor That was the plan and some of us thought that ACLM/UPP would have made a difference since they claim to be so conscious!
God Save Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem current Ashanti Queen mother!
In 1900, Yaa Ashantewaa the Queen Mother, led an army against the invading British forces which had demanded the Golden Stool. SHE CHASED THOSE CRAZY BALD HEADS OUT OF TOWN. :P
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skyewill

THE WORLD IS A PLANTATION

#5 Professor » 2013-03-22 10:00

Slavery is a physical state of being, Mental Slavery is a conditioned State of Mind, but Genuine Education is the means of True Emancipating the posterity of chattel slaves.

A slave cannot teach her children how to be "free", so our foreparents who were slaves continued to pass down their slave mindset to their children for generations and that is why we are seeing manifestations of mental slavery all arround us today, particularly in the Caribbean.
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Professor

RE: LOW EARTH ORBIT – Bending Our Backs



#4 Just asking » 2013-03-22 08:42

I want to know how they want teachers to bend their backs, when the banks nor APUA bending their backs to assist them what are they to do. Some Antiguans are some wicked people.
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Just asking

@ Colin

#3 Jimmy » 2013-03-22 07:37

Unless and until the people stand up and demand the resignation of this government, this kind of behavior will never end.

This is the opportunity for all affected persons to make the present government resign - otherwise every future Government can act without fear of having to account for their actions - or the lack thereof!

UPP promised: no income tax -lie; salaries paid on time - lie; remove fuel variation on electric bills - lie; added ABST after promising no new taxes - lie; promised to pay all Social Security, MBS and Ed Levy deductions - lie; promised to be accountable - lie; promised "one Strike" policy - lie; promised an end to corruption - lie.

I guess we all like it so!
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Jimmy

@ Colin

#2 skyewill » 2013-03-22 04:55

Do you mind if I use your words in my next lecture? I promise to give you the credit. You are genius. Not many are able to see what you see "While we go back to slavery once again" (Uncle Leroy). The country is sick and we need reparations to pay for the therapy for the deliberate psychological warfare those animals inflicted on us. “God Save the Queen” and her heirs that will inherit us! I and I nar ga bow!! :P
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skyewill

Low Earth Orbit

#1 ANU-1 » 2013-03-22 04:29

Sometimes a little mental block is good...why? It lets us reset our mental computers, go back to what worked and work forward from there, allowing one to eliminate the stuff that created the block in the first instance.
Good article though I suspect it will pass way over the heads of 92% of your intended audience, like the ostrich.
Don't be fooled 1949 was a great year; a year for action. The Chineese the great sleeping giant awoke to take control of their own destiny, a great burden which is paying tremendous dividends today. 1950 was the start of the Korean war...will history repeat ?
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ANU-1

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Mr. Colin Sampson

 Mr. Colin Sampson is a Journalist and the host of "The Colin Sampson Show" on Caribantigua TV 

 

 

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