Jamaica’s Reggae Music

Jamaica is an island known for its reggae music as well as its beauty. Jamaica is filled with brilliant color and flavor. This is truly evident in the diversity of its people, beaches, food, and it’s music.

Jamaica’s music has moved through many different variations. We have heard and seen performances of rhythms such as Dub, Ska, Congo, and Dancehall. All of these rhythms are known across the world as reggae. This music is a combination of African, American, Blues, and Jamaican folk rhythms. Though this style of music is original only to Jamaica, it is known and loved globally. This music had its origin with ska in the late 1950’s right about the time Jamaica got it’s independence from England.

It all started with the sound systems, and the massive open-air discos that established themselves on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica. It was in the 1970’s that the late Bob Marley took this art and made it an international craze with roots reggae, which was a heavy, spiritual and conscious sound. In 2002 Bob Marley’s album Exodus won album of the century. This proud, bold island had now made its mark on the world first because of its music.

In the 1990’s dancehall and reggae evolved, accompanied by the opinion that it contained more offensive lyrics that would encourage street violence and dismay. However, recently I have seen and heard a recent development going back to more socially and spiritually aware lyrics known by some to be the New Roots Movement. I find that this is a good turn for music in Jamaica and the rest of the world. One of the leading producers in Jamaica, Boby Digital, said:

“If you feed people with violence they’re going to be vile. If you fill them with love, they’re going to be lovely.”

Today you can see the great performances as the artists are showcased at events such as the Caribbean Music Expo, and Jamaica Sumfest. New Reggae artists such as Shaggy, Sean Paul, and Abijah have brought reggae even further internationally. These events usually take place on the north coast (i.e. Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay, Montego Bay, Discovery Bay) of Jamaica, and sometimes the south coast such as Negril, Jamaica.

It is highly recommended that those who are truly interested in Jamaica’s culture and music attend one of these shows. Some of these stage shows can be days long, so if you can’t be there for the entire show, you can catch at least one day of it.

The Purpose Of Taxation

If there is one thing that a lot of people hate doing is paying their taxes to the government. If this thing were voluntary, then very few people indeed would ever pay their taxes to the government. For this reason, a good number of people do not really see the importance of taxation, but they just see the government as this institution that is bent on sucking from them every single drop of blood until they drop dead. In this article, we are going to look at the purposes of taxation, so that you yourself can be better informed on the role that you are playing by paying your monies to the government.

Source Of Government Revenue

The first reason why societies have taxes is simply because of the fact that the government needs money for it to stay afloat. And although there are a number of governments in the world which heavily rely on other sources of income such as investments in corporations and so on, the revenue from taxation is one of the most reliable, and it is the one that most governments use for their expenses. From this money, they are able to build, roads, schools, employ officials and so on.

Redistribution Of Resources

The other reason why governments levy taxes on the citizens is because these government want to use the taxes for the purpose of redistribution of resources. As most people already know, one of the most important principles of taxation is the principle of equity. In this sense, you will find that the government can get money from the rich and then use it to pay the poor some unemployment benefits.

Economic Policies

Lastly, the government can also come up with very good policies by simply playing about with the taxation system. If the government wants to reduce the aggregate demand in the economy, it can do so by ensuring that they tax the people very much to avoid inflation. On the other hand, if at all the government wants to ensure that there is increased aggregate demand, they can do so by reducing the amount of direct taxes so that the taxpayers can have the opportunity of spending their cash on commodities.

It is important to note that the purposes that have been mentioned here are not juts stand-alone policies. At the end of the day, they different purposes will be able to interact with each other.

Car Maintenance – Will it Really Help Gas Mileage?

As gas prices continue to rise, the auto industry is out in full force touting the benefits of car maintenance. Many repair shops even have custom “fuel saver” services. While maintaining one’s car is indeed important, does it really save gas? Before we answer this, let’s step back and look at auto maintenance for today’s cars.

The first question we need to ask is – what does my car need (according to the manufacturer) for it to be considered “maintained.” Today’s cars no longer have distributor caps, rotors, points, and a variety of other ignition components – so these don’t need maintenance. Many vehicles now come with extended service parts such as 100,000-mile platinum spark plugs and life-time fuel filters. Oil change intervals have been extended to 5,000 miles or more. The 3,000-mile oil change is ancient history. Coolant flushes and transmission services aren’t needed until 100,000 miles if at all. Yet, even if we performed all the above services, will they increase fuel efficiency? Probably not. Unless your vehicle is misfiring (i.e., not running on all cylinders), you’re gas mileage is likely fine.

So what part of car maintenance adversely effects gas mileage for the average driver of a late model vehicle? Three things: tire pressure, air filters, and excess carbon.

Tire Pressure: Setting your tire pressure is free, and is the best maintenance service you can perform to maintain maximum fuel efficiency. It’s that simple.

Air Filters: Air filters can indeed get plugged after a considerable amount of driving and can then restrict air flow, which will not allow your fuel to burn efficiently. This can also cause excess carbon build-up, which can reduce miles per gallon. The good news: air filters are cheap ($15 to $30), are easy to install, and usually only need replacement every 30,000 miles.

Excess Carbon: There is another auto maintenance service that “can” help gas mileage. It’s called a fuel system cleaning service. Some repair centers call it fuel injector auto maintenance, or a fuel injection service. Simply, chemicals are added to your fuel system through a variety of orifices to clean out excess carbon deposits on your valves, pistons and intake manifold. This naturally forming carbon (in excess) is not good for gas mileage. Excess carbon absorbs gasoline, which would otherwise be used to power your vehicle. However, before you run out and spend the $150 + to have this service performed, there is one important consideration – the service will only work for vehicles that need it. In other words, yes the stuff works, but you’re vehicle may not have any excess carbon build-up. You wouldn’t wash clean clothes – right?

When you see those “fuel saver” services for $100 to $300, they’ll likely include an air filter, tire pressure check, and a fuel system cleaning service. If you’re wondering whether or not your vehicle needs it, ask yourself the following:

1) Do I use quality gasoline consistently? 2) Have I replaced my air filter at least every 30,000 miles? 3) Have I checked my tire pressure recently?

If you can answer these questions affirmatively, you’re probably ok. Buying cheap, no-name gas once-in-awhile is ok. Replacing the air filter and setting your tire pressure is common sense. Also, if you drive like grandma, get out on the highway and press the vertical pedal at your right foot “all the way to the floor” until your vehicle accelerates to speeds at which you’re not all too entirely comfortable. Then repeat a few more times. This will help clean out excess carbon – FREE – less the cost of fuel. Be careful. Watch out for cops.

In summary, follow your manufacturer guidelines for your car’s maintenance – not ones designed by those who stand to benefit most. Use name-brand fuel, set your tire pressure now and again, pop in an air filter, according to your car’s recommended interval, and don’t be afraid to drop the hammer now and again.