Sunday, October 28, 2012

St. Vincent Travel Tip

Imagine it: Thatched-roof cottages rise over turquoise waters; the sweet scent of tropical flowers and rum punch fills the air; bronzed sun-worshippers sprawl along isolated white-sands, hemmed by shimmering waves, coral reefs, and sleek yachts. The only thing luring you away from your beach towel is the intriguing network of secluded islands floating in the distance. Welcome to St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
If you don't want to spend your days sunning along one picturesque isle (St. Lucia) or savoring conch with throngs of tourists on two (St. Kitts & Nevis), then you should venture to St. Vincent & The Grenadines. With 32 remote islands and cays boasting emerald hills, postcard-worthy harbors, and boutique hotels, this Caribbean destination makes a perfect escape. Devote a few days to exploring St. Vincent, the biggest island of the chain, before sailing to Mustique, Canouan, and Bequia—some of the Grenadine's finest (and exclusive) hideaways. However, exploring this quiet, less-traveled tropical paradise requires many hours in transit (there's no direct flight from the U.S.) and a thick wallet.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

From Cheryl King

Congratulations !!
Opening-National Literary fair
Pre-Opening Announcement-Celebrating Our Own
October 18
The Inaugural National Literary Fair organised by the UWI Open Campus in collaboration with the Vincentian Association of Artists Writers and Producers (VACAWP) opened on Tuesday in fine style. The highlight of the Event was the conferring on Dr.Edgar Adams the Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature by President of VACAWP, Rene Baptiste. The citation for the Award was prepared and read by the 
Association's Vice-President Mr. Cecil "Blazer" Williams.

In other news, the Garifuna Children Heritage Group from Barrouallie held the audience spell-bound with their fluency in the Garifuna Language and song, and with their rhythms of the drums and movements of their feet, moving to the Punta in particular. UWI Open campus was immersed in the Garifuna language - the native culture of SVG found ground zero @ UWI-SVG. - Rene Baptiste

Creative Writing Workshop: Dr. Philip Nanton

Sensational SVG--from the Daily Mail

Sensational St Vincent
PUBLISHED: 13:13 EST, 26 October 2012 | UPDATED: 13:13 EST, 26 October 2012

We are sitting around a bonfire on a sandy spit under wooded headlands, watching the seascape fade into the tropical night. 

Flame and shadow leap as gleeful children toast marshmallows on the end of sticks. A waiter — yes, a bonfire with waiter service — asks if I would care for another aperitif. 
The air is balmy, an oligarch’s flagship is lit up like a fairground ride offshore — you would not wish to be anywhere but on this beach. There are moments that define a holiday, for good or bad.

This one takes place in a hitherto obscure corner of the Caribbean. Unless you live in High Wycombe — the centre of its British diaspora — it is unlikely you will have heard much talk of the island of St Vincent.

That is about to change. In the Windward Islands between St Lucia and Grenada, St Vincent is the mainland for the Grenadines, which includes the royal playground of Mustique, 14 miles to the south.

St Vincent has long been one of the region’s poorest relations. An exporter of unskilled labour and powerful marijuana — known as ‘Vincy’ — grown in remote valleys of its volcanic landscape, St Vincent had done little to encourage the tourist dollars that keep the rest of the Caribbean afloat.

Such anonymity began to fall away with the arrival of Hollywood. Piracy nostalgia is hard to avoid anywhere in the region, thanks to Johnny Depp and the Jack Sparrow franchise. Many scenes in Pirates Of The Caribbean were filmed in St Vincent. Why? Because it is truly unspoilt — and cheap.

Depp stayed on his own 150ft yacht, but when he returned home he took with him a Vincentian chef; some souvenir. A more permanent fix to the island’s low GDP was needed than the pirate films. 
And so a $240 million international airport is due to be completed outside the capital Kingstown by the end of next year. The small planes that the island had only been able to handle previously will be replaced by 400-seat jets direct from Britain and the U.S. 

Soon St Vincent, just 18 miles by 11, will join the likes of Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua as one of the region’s tourist hubs. The new airport has been anticipated by the opening of the island’s first luxury resort at Buccament Bay, a switchback drive away on the leeward coast.

An awful lot is being bet on the success of these ventures. The resort is at the mouth of a striking river valley that’s below forested ridges, humped like dromedaries over which morning cloud sometimes spills; and with it sudden, thrilling rain.

Emptying from the highlands into a lovely, sheltered cove, the Buccament river is a gentle creek teeming with freshwater mullet that fight with ducks for leftover breakfast bread. 
Ibis stalk the banks. Even the most dozy sun worshipper will notice that the beach on one side of the river is a different colour than the other; the resort has brilliant white sand, the public beach by Buccament village the original volcanic black.

This is because the developers believe Europeans will not visit if the sand is the ‘wrong’ colour. So the white stuff has been brought in from Guyana. Let us not carp. The atmosphere is relaxed, the locals friendly and the beaches open to both. 

Frigate birds, pelicans and masked boobies wheel overhead. Nature is the island’s strongest suit. We take a walking trip up the Vermont Nature Trail into a 10,000-acre rain forest reserve. Its flora is a fascinating reminder of empire: breadfruit brought by Captain Bligh, ferns, buttressed hardwood with roots the size and shape of oil-tanker rudders, mimosa, balsa, strangler fig, hibiscus, begonia, poisonous dumb cane plants and bamboo. In the middle of one forest stream is a stupendous boulder spat out by the La Soufriere volcano during the 1979 ‘Black Friday’ eruption. 

We are after the St Vincent parrot, the national bird. Only a few hundred remain, endemic to the island. Our guide, Elroy, says that’s because they are gorged on the plentiful mango and plum rose they can’t be bothered to cross the few miles of sea to Bequia.

We hear, then finally see, two pairs as we break clear of the treeline. Yellow, green and blue, they also do look rather fat. On another day, we take a catamaran to Tobago Cays marine park, where you can snorkel with turtles. 

Flying fish escort us all the way back to the resort. But this is choppy, open sea and while a gang of Canadian pensioners sink rum punches like Newfoundland whalers, it all proves too much for young Pendleburys.

Matelots are busy sluicing my daughters’ lunches from the sundeck as a bride in an ivory gown stations herself at the gangplank to board for her wedding party. 

We wish the happy couple well and hurry away. But you can’t sustain a super-resort and international airport on nature trails and turtle trips alone. The other reason Buccament has caused a stir right across the Caribbean resort scene is the scope and ambition of its extra-curricular activities. 

High-end sports tuition figures large. On the first morning, I find myself breakfasting next to an Ashes-winning England Test captain and his strike bowler, who are running a cricket academy that week.

Later, I witness Michael Vaughan, in non-MCC yellow shorts, clean bowled on the beach by a local nine-year-old. Is his lazy hoik deliberate? It certainly raises a laugh from watching swimmers and his sidekick Matthew ‘Hoggy’ Hoggard, with whom I snorkel along The Drop, an offshore underwater cliff formed by cooling magma.

A couple of hours’ tuition at the Pat Cash tennis club answers the many questions raised by my  self-taught game.

The former Wimbledon champion is not there, but his head coach, a genial Londoner called James, proves an excellent tutor for children and adults. 

Next door is a soccer school affiliated with Liverpool FC. Steve Staunton, the Reds’ 102-cap former Republic of Ireland international, plays goalkeeper in a hard-fought staff versus guests scratch game on the artificial grass pitch.

These are the names and experiences of which sporting holidays are made. Meanwhile, my two daughters spend several afternoons at the performing arts academy, where they are schooled by West End musical performers. 
My teenage son just ‘chills’ on a lounger. Here there is something for all. 

Buccament Bay will change the face of St Vincent. It has changed since our visit and further major additions, including a Pat Cash tennis hotel, casino, nightclub and restaurants are planned for the future. 
Inevitably, a replica of Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl pirate ship will drop anchor offshore. 

I hope the original magic of the island is not lost amid the luxury and razzmatazz. The latter is hard to beat anywhere in the Caribbean, but my heart is up in the Vermont Trail with the fat parrots. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

St Vincent and Grenadines airport

10:38 1 Oct 2012

Everything remains on course for St Vincent and the Grenadines' Argyle International Airport to open in late 2013, according to Glen Beache, chief executive of the country's tourism authority.
The airport is the biggest development project in the island's history and has necessitated the levelling of a mountain and three hills, as well as the filling in of four valleys. Costing $240 million, it has also required the relocation of a church and its cemetery, as well as 70 homes.
Beache says that the tourism authority has been speaking to airlines since 2008 and is quite close to being able to report which carriers will be operating to the airport. He says that agreements with airlines will be in place by spring next year and he expects operations to Argyle airport from America, Canada and the UK from airports including London Gatwick, Puerto Rico, Florida, Atlanta and Toronto.
In addition to traffic from leisure passengers, Beache says that traffic would be provided by the country's diaspora returning to visit the island.
The airport will open with a capacity of 1.4 million passengers a year and has a runway that can accommodate any aircraft currently in production. Its opening will be celebrated by an special ceremony as well as events in New York, London and Toronto.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Day Message

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 23, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as you celebrate 33 years of independence this October 27. The United States and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have a long and close friendship based on shared values and ties of kinship.
Our shared support for democracy, rule of law, and universal human rights remain as strong as ever. We continue to work together to ensure our region's security and economic stability and our citizens’ health and prosperity through such programs as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. As you gather with friends and family across your “Land of the Blessed” to celebrate this special day, we wish you all a peaceful Independence Day and a successful year ahead.

PRN: 2012/1686

ROK to give grant to SVG

 ROK to Provide St. Vincent and the Grenadines with US$50,000 in Humanitarian Assistance
1 . The government of the Republic of Korea has decided to provide humanitarian assistance worth 50,000 US dollars to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where frequent hurricanes have incurred massive human injuries and property damages.
  • The hurricanes in 2010 left 1,200 people displaced and destroyed 1,200 housing structures and roads, causing damage worth 62 million US dollars. Two years after the disasters, the greater part of the affected areas still remains unrecovered from the damage.
2 . The aforementioned contribution will be used to provide emergency relief equipments, such as power generators and roof coverings, as requested by the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations of MOFAT

Nations Struggle

They  strive  to  meet  energy  demands  with imported  diesel
By  Derek  Baldwin,  Chief  Reporter Published:  14:51  October  23,  2012
Dubai:  Tiny  island  countries  are  at  a crossroads  in  their  histories  as  they  strive  on limited  budgets  to  meet  energy  demands fuelled  by  outside  diesel  imports  critical  to electricity  generation.

But  the  answers  to  finding  a  more sustainable  future  energy  solution  lie  within each  of  the  island  country’s  borders,  not without,  said  several  heads  of  state  in  their addresses  to  delegates  at  the  World  Energy Forum  in  Dubai  on  Monday.
The  opening  marks  the  first  time  the  energy forum  has  been  held  outside  of  its  host country  of  the  United  States  where  it  is organized  by  the  United  Nations.
T op  leaders  from  around  the  world  are attending.

A  very  frank  Ralph  Gonsalves,  Prime Minister  of  Saint  Vincent  and  the Grenadines,  said  his  32-­island  country  can no  longer  carry  on  the  status  quo  of depending  on  fossil  fuels  to  keep  the  lights on,  appliances  running  and  government buildings  humming.

On  the  contrary,  the  country’s  legislators  are looking  to  alternative  means  of  reducing energy  consumption  while  seeking  new renewable  sources  of  energy  such  as geothermal  power  as  well  as  public education  campaigns  to  lighten  the  load  on island  power-­generating  plants.

“The  real  game  changer  is  geothermal  —  we have  enough  of  a  geothermal  resource, about  five  times  our  current  peak consumption,”  he  said.  “The  problem  is  we need  the  money  to  get  it.  We  have  to  get  to source  points.”
Drilling  on  the  side  of  a  volcano  to  get  the underground  heat  sources  will  be  expensive.

Gonsalves  said  that  he  hopes  the  World Energy  Forum  will  give  him  a  venue  for advice  as  to  how  his  country  can  raise  the start-­up  capital  needed  to  fund  the geothermal  venture.

Currently,  his  country  meets  20  per  cent  of energy  demand  through  hydroelectric  power generation  with  the  remainder  through diesel-­powered  electricity  generation.

Maldives  President  Mohammad  Waheed Hassan  Manik  echoed  the  hopes  and aspirations  of  other  presidents  in  the  hunt  for alternative  energy  sources  to  reduce  reliance on  fossil  fuels. 

“T oday  we  spend  the  equivalent  of  20  percent  on  our  GDP  on  the  importation  of  diesel fuel  for  our  electricity  and  transportation.”

He  pointed  out  that  the  Maldives’  electrical generating  cost  is  a  whopping  75  cents  per kilowatt  hour,  a  burden  that  “is  unaffordable, especially  in  rural  communities.  Our  country is  providing  heavy  fuel  subsidies,  we  have  no option  but  to  move  to  smart  fuel  policies.”

Manik  said  his  country  has  no  other  option than  to  pursue  low  carbon  policies  to  stave off  higher  and  higher  fossil  fuel  costs.

His  country  is  working  on  developing capacity  of  its  utilities,  promoting  strong business  models  to  attach  and  integrate private  investment  into  the  energy  sector  and is  strengthening  legislation  for  stonger investment  frameworks  for  energy  projects, he  said.

Ultimately,  if  current  efforts  in  Maldives  move in  the  direction  that  leaders  propose,  Manik said  he  believed  that  the  country  will  save  22 million  litres  of  diesel  per  year  and  reduce  its carbon  footprint  by  65,000  tonnes  of greenhouse  gases  annually. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


Letter: Does Gonsalves deserve credit for the West Indies cricket team becoming champions?

Dear Sir:

If six months ago, someone was able to look in their crystal ball and announce that the West Indies cricket team would become the World T20 Champions in October, we would have thought that they took leave of their senses. That seemed totally impossible. 

The team was young, comparatively inexperienced, and definitely not living up to their true potential in batting, bowling or fielding. Even worse, was the idea that the captain, 28-year old lanky St Lucian, Darren Sammy, had just barely played 20 test matches. Some even argued that Sammy could not make the team as a front-line batsman or a stock bowler, so why was he even in the team? To Sammy's credit he, on occasion, more that rose to the task both as a batsman and a medium pace bowler. He was shaky as a captain, but seemed to have come into his own as evidenced in the recent T20 wins.

Re-Enter Chris Gayle

Six months ago Chris Gayle was not a member of the West Indies cricket team, as was the case for the past 15 months or so. However, Gayle is back and has contributed in no small measure to the team's massive success. It is quite likely that were it not for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent, this may not have been the case. PM Gonsalves, almost single-handedly engineered Gayle's comeback.

Along with Dr Baldwin Spencer of Antigua/Barbuda, and Dr Julian Hunte, president of the WICB, after 15 frustrating months of negotiations, Chris Gayle has been able to return to the West Indies cricket team. Incidentally, all of these negotiations/meetings took place in St Vincent, as Dr Gonsalves furiously sought to bring the conflicted parties together for the benefit of the region, and the glorious game of cricket itself.

I was not a party to these negotiations, but obviously there had to be a memorandum of agreement. There was only one attorney in the room, so can you guess WHO drafted it?

Last year. it appeared as though the agreement was about to fall apart as all associated parties sought to have their individual and often opinionated, input.

When things looked dicey, one of the prime ministers proposed a side letter meeting. He suggested an amendment, again invited the parties to St Vincent, and FINALLY RESOLVED the issue once and for all. Gayle is now a permanent fixture on the world champion team, compliments to Dr Ralph Gonsalves!

World T20 Champions!

Chris Gayle must be credited in no small measure for the team's resurgence on the cricketing stage. His contributions to the team are many-faceted, starting from his batting performances which are easily recognized by their trademark attacking and pugnacious approaches. This tall, imposing, 32 year-old Jamaican has a distinct lack of respect for opposition bowlers. He plays magnificently off either foot, and has the ability to decimate the bowling figures of even the thriftiest opening bowlers. Gayle's outstanding hand-eye coordination permits him to continually dispatch even good length deliveries high and hard over the boundary line.

Just his presence in the team, provides a significant lift to the team's spirits and confidence level. It is as though they feel that as long as Chris is at the wicket, there is no way we could lose. Off the field, the team seems to be more united than ever and the level of camaraderie is absolutely amazing. The team is so well-jelled that they have even created their own method of celebration -- The Gangnam Style Dance.

Additionally, the mere inclusion of Gayle in the team causes the opposition to cringe and tremble with fear. I speak subject to correction, but I am of the firm opinion that there is no other batsman in the entire cricketing world who is as feared as Chris Gayle is. He is THAT explosive and destructive!

Gayle did not win the championship by himself though. As indicated above, captain Sammy performed his duties credibly. The individual batsmen did not always deliver, but they took turns where and when each of them made tremendous contributions to the team's batting scores.

Johnson Charles of St Lucia did well against England with a sparkling 84, but it was Marlon Samuels' 78 in 56 minutes which clinched the series. 

In the bowling department, Narine's 3 for 20 against New Zealand, Rampaul's 3 for 16 against Australia, Pollard's 2 for 6 against Australia, Narine's 3 for 9 against Sri Lanka and Sammy's 2 for 6 against Sri Lanka were extremely impressive.

Gayle's presence in the team was nothing short of electrifying. His 75 from 41 balls in the semi-finals boosted the team's spirits, and gave them the feeling that indeed they could win the championship. With his 6 sixes and 5 fours, he pummeled the Australian attack mercilessly. Gayle was typically brutal, and in the 15th over he dispatched off-spinner Hussey for 2 fours and a six. As long as Chris Gayle is in this kind of form, all he needs is one or two patient partners at the crease, and they will turn the course of any game around.

Sir Chris Gayle

So the West Indies team is continuing to claw its way back to the top of the cricketing world under Darren Sammy's captaincy, but Chris Gayle undoubtedly is the Pilot. He was in the doldrums for a while, but were it not for the timely intervention of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, he still may have been out in the pasture.

I know my people, and I could already anticipate the responses which this article will easily generate. I will sit back and enjoy reading those contributions.

Simon Anderson

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review

When it comes to literature from Caribbean nations, it tends to be feast or famine. Either you find yourself overwhelmed by a plethora of books from excellent and exciting writers, as in the case of countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, or you have to look hard to come up with even one work you can read in English.
All the same, few Caribbean nations have been as tricky to find stories from as the tiny archipelago of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As writer Adam Lowe of Peepal Tree Press, which published my Grenadian pick, explained when I contacted him to ask for ideas, the literature scene on the smaller island nations is still in its infancy and there is very little support and guidance for aspiring authors. As such, while there are writers from these countries, few will have had the opportunity to develop and publish their work.
Adam might have thought he was delivering bad news, but in actual fact his email spurred me on. There were SVG writers out there, then. I just had to find them.
A bit of frantic googling (froogling, if you will) later, and I landed at the threshold of ‘Writing “D”‘, a blog by debraprovidence, a teacher with a self-confessed interest in exploring the literary landscape of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. I left a message and held my breath.
Debraprovidence replied the very next day with the names of three writers, all of whom, as far as I could make out, emigrated from SVG at a fairly young age. Of these, Cecil Browne’s short story collection The Moon is Following Me caught my eye.
The book is full of tales of longing. Whether they are hankering after sweet coconuts, a secret love or the perfect line up for a local band, Browne’s characters are all driven by a desire to achieve, prove or change something – even if they have to adopt unconventional means to do it. There is the emancipated slave-turned-hawker who challenges a rival to an eating competition in order to defend his pitch, the young man who tries to win his sweetheart’s affections by buying her a wedding dress, and the school-leaver who risks his life for a taste of his favourite fruit.
Their author, too, seems to be unafraid of breaking with tradition. Indeed, when I opened the book and found myself confronting one of the most unusual forewords I have ever read – in which the author assures the reader of his stories’ ‘universal appeal’ – I was rather taken aback. It seemed as though Browne’s query letter to his agent or publisher had somehow got mixed up with the manuscript and published with the book, and I was apprehensive about what the collection had in store.
I quickly relaxed, however, helped by Browne’s quirky humour and delight in subverting expectations. From the moody schoolboy of the title story, who spends his time wishing disaster would strike to relieve his boredom, to the prudish Mrs Goodridge in ‘Action Action’, who is thrown into a panic by the news that her husband of 12 years is finally coming home from England to live with her, Browne delights in making his characters swim against the currents of their lives.
He couples this with a deft turn of phrase and an eye for detail that makes otherwise commonplace moments sparkle. I particularly enjoyed the description of the ‘cylindrical dress, about a metre in diameter’ that Mrs Goodridge fantasizes about making for herself to ward off physical contact. In addition, the stories initiate the reader into the altered sense of scale that comes with living in a small place through incidental details such as bandleader Sister’s ambition ‘to put Fitz-Hughes on the SVG map’ in ‘First, Second, First, Third’.
That said, there are a few technical issues holding some of the early stories back. Several of them take a while to come into focus, as though Browne is casting about looking for his subject well into the second or third page. The prose is also occasionally a bit choppy, as though bits have been missed out, so that odd sentences jump from scene to scene like a scratched record. Perhaps most problematic of all is ‘Spanish Ladies’ – a story close to the author’s heart, judging by his remarks in the foreword – in which Browne seems to have allowed his emotional involvement with the events he describes to override his writing, making for an unusually flat and predictable end.
Overall, though, there is much to like here. The last two stories, ‘Action Action’ and ‘Taste for Freedom’, are particularly strong – my copy has ‘great’ and ‘nice’ scrawled in the margins throughout these. I’d be interested to see what Browne, who left SVG at the age of 13 and is now head of maths at a college in west London, writes next. And I wonder, if he’d stayed in SVG, whether he would have published these stories at all.
The Moon is Following Me by Cecil Browne (Matador, 2010)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Caribbean News

St Vincent PM commended by US House of Representatives
Published on October 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, USA -- St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has received recognition from the US House of Representatives for his service and dedication in several areas, especially his work to help the poor.

The commendation is outlined in a proclamation issued by US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.

It salutes Gonsalves for his service and dedication to the world and his positive and legendary contributions, which the proclamation indicates are an inspiration to all.

The proclamation describes Gonsalves as, among other things, as an outspoken advocate of the poor and disadvantaged, and a role model for leaders around the world.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

SVG Reccomendations

With 32 islands and cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ off-the-beaten-track location, lack of busy crowds and top-notch private island resorts create the ultimate romantic seclusion for couples.
Located 200 yards off the southern coast of St. Vincent and just a 3-minute water taxi ride away, Young Island is a 35-acre private island resort that features beachfront and hillside cottages with open-air showers, beachside dining under thatched kiosks, and a full-service spa.
Mustique, often referred to as the playground for the stars, only offers one full-service hotel, the 17-suite Cotton House. Accommodations feature plunge pools, specialty pillows and flat-screen TVs along with a wide range of spa treatments.
Just 10 minutes via ferry from Union Island, you’ll find the all-inclusive Palm Island Resort, with white sand beaches and 43 guestrooms set on 135 acres. Here you’ll find everything you need: two restaurants, watersports, a salon and spa, relaxing activities like beach barbecue and afternoon tea, romantic dining settings by the water and nightly entertainment.
For the ultimate getaway, Petit St. Vincent offers 22 exclusive cottages spread across 115 acres and surrounded by two miles of white sand beaches. It recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation—its natural beauty, privacy and friendly service did not change, though the island’s comforts, amenities and activities are all enhanced.
For more information about the resorts, visit

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Evolutionary Crisis We Are Experiencing

Karl Eklund, Ph.D.

The evolution of human civilization in recent years (i.e., since 1500) has taken place in a number of phases having transitions between them that are often painful. The pain is generally caused by the people who have elite status and who want to keep that status. They sense that they are facing a transition in which they will become obsolete, and they want to delay that transition as long as possible no matter how much pain it causes to the rest of us.

The first period we understand is the Paleolithic, in which Homo Sapiens Sapiens emerged about 100,000 years ago. Homo Sapiens Sapiens has a number of unique characteristics: the most unusual being the ability to communicate abstract ideas by using mouth-noises. That has consequences: one of which is that it organizes itself into relatively small packs or bands that are equal-on-the-average

What I mean by equal-on-the-average is that a Paleolithic Homo Sapiens Sapiens only obeys commands during a crisis. The difference between a tribe of Homo Sapiens Sapiens and a nest of ants is that Homo Sapiens Sapiens has the ability and the necessity to act as individuals.  Ants are born in large batches and are clones of one another. Homo Sapiens Sapiens are mostly born singly and more than nine months apart from their siblings. Homo Sapiens Sapiens learns technology slowly and doesn't survive easily as an individual until it is in its teens. If individual Homo Sapiens Sapiens did not have the drive to keep themselves alive as individuals, they could not have survived as a species.  

The Paleolithic Homo Sapiens Sapiens in a hunting band takes direction from a Hunting Chief only during acute crises like the final approach to the prey. Similarly, the Paleolithic Homo Sapiens Sapiens takes orders from the Shaman during chronic crises such as when disease appears in one of the tribe. 

 Other than crises, tribal behavior is decided by consensus after considerable discussion. The power that the Hunting Chief and Shaman have is empirical: their advice works more often than not. But because it takes 15 years or more to replace an adult human, humans must learn to survive individually. Ants can replace an adult immediately on hatching. 

Ant colonies can have many thousands of members. Human bands in the Paleolithic were are limited to a dozen or so members: this represents the degree of individuality that is consistent with enough mutual conformity for stability.

The Neolithic Period, starting about 10,000 years ago, is marked by the invention of agriculture. The advantage of using agriculture is that a small proportion of the community can provide food for the rest, so an agricultural community can have specialists like potters and metalworkers. That means that the Neolithic is characterized by social groups larger than Paleolithic ones. Because of the larger population the social pattern changes from equal-on-the-average to follow-the-leader. The functional roles of “War Chief” and “Shaman” become the structural roles of “King” and “High Priest”. 

The disadvantage of the Neolithic Revolution was that structures based on follow-the-leader tend to accumulate more than a dozen members, and so are inherently unstable. To get stability that lasts more than a generation we had to invent religion as a kind of social glue. Without religion the Post-Neolithic period would be even more unstable than it was. 

It did not occur to anyone that the follow-the-leader type of civilization might just be a temporary expedient. But if we look carefully at the part of the Post-Neolithic we are in, it is easy to see that we are evolving toward an equal-on-the-average social system. 

The notion of everybody being equal started in the North American Colonies that Europeans created. It was initially hypocritical: the colonies threw off their european masters and justified it by asserting equality, but their economy was based on the conquest of the indigenous population and slavery of imported africans. But if the colonial society was stratified it had some opportunities for upward mobility among gradations of the elite. 

The elite right after the American Revolution were largely people who grew export goods like cotton and tobacco using african-born slave labor. This was a step toward equality compared to the european elite who mainly had inherited money or land or both. But the idea of equality spread: by the 1850s the people who weren't planters wanted to be upwardly mobile. The planters wanted to maintain their elite status, so the result was the American Civil War.

The Civil War changed the social structure in the United States by making slavery illegal and thus impoverishing the planter elite. Their place as the elite was taken by Northern Industrialists whose factories produced the arms that defeated the planters. 

The former slaves, who were permanently identifiable by their dark skin color, were sent to the bottom of the labor force. The factory owners kept their elite status until the turn of the century. By that time the clerks and mechanics evolved into a bureaucratic management who invented the Stock Market as a mechanism for turning factories into gambling chips. They rigged the market so they could keep the power of wealth for themselves. By the end of the Great Depression and two World Wars these economic bureaucrats and their government equivalents had become the elite.

In the period from 1945 to 1960 there was a general upward mobility. However  the top level bureaucrats were soon convinced by their academic advisors that if upward mobility continued there would be shortages of raw material to act as status symbols, particularly oil. They made a concerted effort to decrease the upward mobility of the working and lower bureaucratic classes in order to retain their own elite status. They were very successful at this.

This produced an interesting phenomenon. The elite were able to maintain relatively low wages for the middle and lower classes  but they were not able to diminish the demand for non-monetary equality among women and people of color. The white, male managers relieved the pressure for equality by giving in to the feminist movement and the civil rights movement. This allowed them to maintain their elite status by creating a qualitative difference between the working level and managerial level bureaucrats. This has been documented by Scott Adams in the comic strip "Dilbert".

However, when Barack Hussein Obama, a person of color, was elected President of the United States the monied elite realized that they had made a tactical mistake. They had assumed that gender or skin color would continue to be bars to upward social mobility no matter what the Federal Law said, because they really did believe that women and people of color were inferior to white males. With Obama as a viable President their elite status was in grave danger again. 

It was in an even greater danger than they realized. 

There were three qualities that could denote status before 1960: money, skin color and gender. Of those, money is the only one that remains and it is vulnerable to government action. Color and gender are essentially permanent, but money can be taxed away. All it takes is for the presently non-elite to recognize that they could use the vote to tax away the use of money as a status symbol.

When the monied elite recognized the danger they were in they let the economy collapse and set the politicians to blaming it on Obama. Fortunately, the candidate they chose to represent their interests, while stupid enough to be easily controlled by his financial backers, was too stupid to keep from making a bad impression on everyone but his backers. They repeated this mistake in 2012, thinking that it was enough to have passed legislation on the state level that reduced the ability of women, people of color, seniors and young people to vote.

This will not matter in the long run because most of the citizens who are disenfranchised in 2012 will regain their ability to vote by 2016 and will remain sympathetic to the party that enfranchises them for some time. Even if  Romney gets elected, Obama could run in 2016 or 2020: whenever women and people of color get back the ability to vote. 

Disenfranchisement cannot make a permanent change in the societal hierarchy because legal ways to disenfranchise can be reversed. It will take time, but the longer it takes for sections of society to get back the right to vote, the longer they will vote for the political party that gets them back that right.   

It still isn’t obvious that we are on the threshold of evolving from a follow-the-leader system to an everybody-equal-on-the-average kind of system but we at least have hints as to how it might work. One hint is found in the Affordable Care Act, called Obamacare.  

A universal health system will quickly shift its focus to preventive medicine simply because preventive medicine is cheaper. It is easier to improve public health by a more effective use of resources than by curing disease. Public health can be improved by providing, free or at low cost, food, clothing, shelter and transport that will support a healthy lifestyle. 

That will provide survival for everyone  without using the ability to waste food, clothing, shelter and transport as status symbols. Necessities that are used as status symbols, as they are now, can be assessed a luxury tax. That will eventually evolve into a distribution system that doesn't use money. ("Take what you want but use what you take" systems have a minimum of waste.)

By eliminating money except for the payment of luxury taxes for tchotchkes and enforcing the anti-discrimination laws, it will be entirely possible to have an egalitarian society without a revolution.

For more details download files from:

These are stored versions of book-length files. "Evo" expands on the theory described here, and "Utopia" is a novel set in a civilization that might evolve from ours. Note that "Eunice", the personality of the universal computer system, became a character some years before "Siri" appeared on Apple's mobile. I have, however, been using Apple computers from shortly after the Macintosh appeared.

New Book: Christianity and Black Oppression

        KINGS-SVG Publishers, St. Vincent and the 
Grenadines, is pleased to announce the
publication of 
“Christianity and Black Oppression:
Duppy Know Who Fe Frighten".
The new book is authored by Zay D. Green 
and edited by Baldwin King 
and Cheryl Phills King.

 Christianity and Black Oppression:
Duppy Know Who Fe Frighten asks:
How is it that blacks have been 
Christianized for more than four hundred years and yet 
blacks are stereotyped as morally
and mentally inferior? At the 
very first encounter between 
Europeans and Africans, Africans were perceived as “pagan”, “heathen”, 
and “devil worshippers”. 
The tool that was to transform Africans,
it was postulated, would be the 
Christian religion. In spite of over 
four centuries of Christianity, the 
perception of blacks as morally and mentally inferior has not changed much. Blacks, 
it would appear, carry a stigma that is genetic and therefore can be transmitted.  
Christianity and Black Oppression: Duppy Know Who Fe Frighten 
also addresses the issue as to why there has not been a radical change in the perception of blacks in spite of centuries of blacks’ investment of an inordinate amount of time, energy and money in the Christian religion. 
Green argues that Blacks were forced to surrender their African world view and adopt a European Christian world view.  Black history and culture are marginalized, and at times demonized, within Christianity, and this is transferred to other areas of the lives of blacks. In light of the fact that Christianity is considered to be an egalitarian religion, with a God who is benevolent and who intervenes in peoples’ lives, and considering the reality of black oppression, the question then arises as to whether blacks are subjected to “divine racism”
Zay D. Green is a Jamaican-American who is currently a High School Mathematics teacher in New York. She was also a librarian for many years. After attending Wolmer’s High School for Girls in Kingston, Jamaica where she grew up, Ms Green pursued a Bachelor’s Degree and a Diploma in Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona,Jamaica. She taught at a number of high schools in Jamaica including Dunrobin, Calabar, and Cornwall College. Ms. Green also holds the M.A. in Psychology from Long Island University,New York and the M.L.S. degree from Rutgers University, New Jersey.  
The retail price of the book (paperback, 306 pages, ISBN: 978-1479191451) is US$26.95 plus shipping and handling (US$4.50 in the USA, US$5.50 to Canada and US$10 to the Caribbean and the UK by airmail). To order, please send name, address and payment (check or money order payable to Baldwin King) to Baldwin King, P.O. Box 702,Madison, NJ 07940, USA. You may also order through our website: where it is
now possible to pay by credit card. (Click on Bookstore).
Book will be mailed to you promptly on receipt of your payment.
The book is also available at and
there is also a kindle version at this site.
You are encouraged to access from:
Click on the icon.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

About St. Vincent and the Grenadines

1,214 metres to reach a real live volcano
400 arches (in Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent)
247 years since the oldest Botanical Gardens was founded here
225 species of fish
25 varieties of breadfruit
23 uninhabited islands and cays
15 designated heritage sites
11 species of indigenous dolphin
7 ports of entry
3 types of sand beaches: gold, black and white sand
2 short flights (any connection from Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad, St. Lucia, Martinique and Puerto Rico to Kingstown)
1 blockbuster movie series filmed here (Pirates of the Caribbean)

To learn more, visit

Monday, October 01, 2012

Airport Opening

ROUTES: St Vincent and Grenadines airport on course for 2013 opening

16 hours ago 
Everything remains on course for St Vincent and the Grenadines' Argyle International Airport to open in late 2013, according to Glen Beache, chief executive of the country's tourism authority.
The airport is the biggest development project in the island's history and has necessitated the levelling of a mountain and three hills, as well as the filling in of four valleys. Costing $240 million, it has also required the relocation of a church and its cemetery, as well as 70 homes.
Beache says that the tourism authority has been speaking to airlines since 2008 and is quite close to being able to report which carriers will be operating to the airport. He says that agreements with airlines will be in place by spring next year and he expects operations to Argyle airport from America, Canada and the UK from airports including London Gatwick, Puerto Rico, Florida, Atlanta and Toronto.
In addition to traffic from leisure passengers, Beache says that traffic would be provided by the country's diaspora returning to visit the island.
The airport will open with a capacity of 1.4 million passengers a year and has a runway that can accommodate any aircraft currently in production. Its opening will be celebrated by an special ceremony as well as events in New York, London and Toronto.