What are we doing?

We have to introduce innovation; technology to maximize agricultural production in small spaces.

Another island wide blackout continues to feed national debate concerning the quality of service being provided by OUR Canadian owned Barbados Light & Power Company. It seems ironic that as you drive around Barbados one cannot help noticing large swaths of land being used to create solar farms, as well as the many roof tops covered with photovoltaic panels. Despite what appears to be a country consumed with harnessing an alternative source of energy, a 7 hour+ outage last week was the result.

BL&P 10MW Solar Farm

The blogmaster has to assume there is science being used to determine the location of these solar farms quickly dotting the island landscape of Barbados. It should not be lost on the planners that integral to island appeal is the natural landscape. Reducing acreage of sugarcane threatens the aesthetically pleasing view with the current trend of planting photovoltaic panels. Again great irony for a country consumed with pandering to tourism, the main sector in the economy.

Important to developing alternative energy sources is balancing the need to contribute to our food security. The blogmaster accepts that because of a high cost base and lack of scale, it is impossible for us to be a significant player in food production. That said, there is nothing wrong if small islands adopt approaches to reduce reliance on food supply from overseas. Surely the recent COVID 19 pandemic that to this day continue to disrupt the global supply chain taught us a lesson?

We have to introduce innovation; technology to maximize agricultural production in small spaces. This would help to nurture a new way of thinking in our population that a people committed to trying to feed itself is better than opening the ‘floodgates’. Awakening this obvious mindset in our people would have knock on effects one would hope to being a more productive society.

For example:-

55 thoughts on “What are we doing?

  1. Are you getting the idea that ‘wisdom has departed from us’ then David?

    Once upon a time, it would have been OBVIOUS that just pitching fields of solar panels hither thither and yon in a little island that insists on being a ‘tourist haven’ just does not make sense.

    Now we see every Tom, Dick and Jenny looking to juck some panels in any vacant lot available.

    This mad scramble is on – EVEN though the electric company complains of ‘instability’, and without thought of what is to become of these bits of metal and glass in 5 to 10 years, when they become scrap (if only due to improvements in technology)

    Oh WAIT!!!!
    The ‘Steal houses expert’ is the person planning all this right!!

    “Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat”

  2. Imagine what the landscape will be like when we get to the 100% Renewable Energy goal set by Ms. Mockley!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wind seems to be out!!

    All that’s left is tidal energy.

    Here is what the tidal range looks like.

    High tide is where the line of moss is on Crane beach.


    Needs to be 5 metres, 15 feet to make tidal energy attractive.

    Difficult to estimate the vertical rise but for sure it will be measured in feet.

  3. The innovation is coming, just not in agriculture and it will not benefit us. Just look for where the most disruption is happening. Take the school system.
    The “innovations” in the schools (gender nonsense and ABC+) require disruption first. So appoint a Chief education officer clearly out of her depth, a pompous Minister of Education who lacks any sense of accountability and then neuter the only possible opposition, the principals, by playing musical chairs with them. The result, our education system is now run by an unseen cabal taking orders from the IADB and UN and principals have been reduced to caretakers. Better go along with these innovations or we will send you to Frederick Smith.

  4. Reduce the number of cars in Barbados!!

    That will contribute.

    It will reduce the amount of energy and increase the percentage of renewable energy.

    Hants, you should be asking Emera if their energy output will fall or if they plan to exploit the Bay of Fundy.

    …. and you can ask Trudeau how many cars will be on the road in 2030!!

  5. @ Bush Tea on September 26, 2023 at 8:25 AM said:
    “Oh WAIT!!!!
    The ‘Steal houses expert’ is the person planning all this right!!

    “Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat”

    Good quote there, BT!

    Especially that ONE who speaks with the forked tongue on the world stage of madness

    How can a government set a target of being carbon neutral by 2030 but, yet, has facilitated the importation of thousands of used (second-hand) fossil-fuel burning vehicles into small Barbados.

    This has not only exacerbated the already polluted atmosphere of (a country riddled with asthmatics) but has also contributed to traffic gridlock resulting in the unnecessary burning of millions of dollars in forex borrowed from the IMF.

    Only a set of mad people running the asylum called the government could think this way!

    • The challenge for government Miller is that the importation of vehicles and ancillary products is a significant source of government revenue.

  6. David
    on September 26, 2023 at 9:22 AM said:
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    How can SID justify tidal energy given the downsides associated with this technology?


    For sure we can’t.

    First of all it doesn’t look like we have the necessary tidal range and secondly it costs alot.

    But, Ms. Mockley insists on 100% renewable energy.

    Wind and sun energy aren’t going to do it nor will tidal energy.

    Bagasse is limited by land area.

    The best way to get to 100% renewable energy is to reduce energy requirements to as close to zero as possible.

    If that isn’t attractive, then change the 100% requirement and stop talking sh!t..

  7. For some reason thoughts of reparations crossed my mind. Allow me to make my point of who will benefit by first meandering a little.

    Did you see how that war on drugs was conducted util governments found a way to make a buck off of marijuana? Lives were ruined, families destroyed, people imprisoned and now the war is conducted on those with ‘small’ amounts whilst large businesses are able to open their doors and sell to the public. Sale of the same substance, but treated differently according to distributor.

    Did you see how crack and cocaine were handled. War was made on one group of users with ‘crack whore’ and ‘crack head’ being terms used to describe and degrade one set of users. Basically, the same substance, but treated differently according to which group is using the product. Governments are quite good at selling the same substance as two different products.

    The drug war continues, but now instead of crack heads and crack whores we are hearing of addicts. Instead of war, we are now being asked to be sympathetic and to show compassion. Indeed, I am sympathetic, but I am concerned at how government can give two different faces to the same war.

    Does it bother you, that some countries seeking reparations will not fix their economy but will allow the Northern countries to benefit from their raw products and goods? They would prefer to beg and look for a handout (reparations) instead of stiffening their backbone and trying to obtain the true value of their products.

    Talk of reparations usually come with a big dollar sign attached and not much more.

    I am convinced that if reparations is only a monetary deal, those who should benefit most would see the less or get nothing. Reparations, on our end, will turn out to be nothing more than a new trick/scheme/scam perpetrated on us.

    It will be amusing to watch these scamster slice and dice the population so as to benefit some and deny others. People sharing the same history and characteristics being divided between receiving and denied benefits.

    In the end, only the administrators including governments will benefit. As shown above these scamsters are quite good at taking a six and convincing us it is a nine.

    If they start talking big dollars then run
    Cause your share of the trillions is ‘none’

  8. What I am having a hard time with is that on one side we have the solar move by private entities, but on the other hand we have Emera saying it is making the grid unstable. They more or less have suggested that too many solar farms will lead to a grid that is unreliable, with blackouts becoming a more frequent result.

    So where and when will Emera draw the line in the sand and say ” we will be making no further inputs to the grid from providers.” Or that they will be cutting back on what we are currently accepting. How does one come up with a financial plan for such uncertainty? What happens if the FTC Agrees to a further reduction on the Kw price being paid by Emera to the supplier, what then?

    Anytime you build a business with only 1 client as your customer base you looking fuh trouble!

  9. Bush T….“Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat” Continue to liberate the discourse with higher ordered thinking. Not only Barbados, but that quote can also be applied to the US and the UK where once a modicum of sensibility existed. Remember, Barbados is an ‘ape’ society. A society borne out of slavery and has never been allowed to generically evolve. The descendents of the former slave masters can sell out/lease the land on that tiny rock for exorbitant fees and none has ever stopped them (altman) because the island is still a plantocracy.

    Litter the land with solar panels because ‘somebodies’ are looking to continuously fatten their pockets with profits. Soon, landless Bajans will have a choice of more GMO imports or some lab grown meat for food.

    Not even our highfalutin education can liberate us, because that education system has been devised to serve ‘them’ and not liberate us. Has any highly educated Bajan contained/fixed that plumbing/sewer problem on the island’s south coast?

    Africa is beckoning her children to return home. To save our souls and our sanity, we might just have to leave that rock to the ‘aristocracy’ and return to the lands where the ‘gods’ once communicated directly with us….unfortunately that’s not a pretty option for those still tethered.

  10. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O JAH, my strength, and my redeemer.

    • @enuff

      It is generally accepted that any blog/comment that is anti government will not be blessed with your approval.

  11. @ David
    Perhaps you need to remind Enuff that the common denominator among failed governments is the arrogance that comes from thinking that you are put there to DICTATE to your people what is ‘stupid’ and what is to be followed….

    ..RATHER than to SERVE the people by listening to their STUPID ideas and then (using your superior intelligence and verbosity) EDUCATE them along the right and proper path of rightness, thus BRINGING along idiots and other bushmen with your brilliance…

    This is actually what Bushie expected from Enuff with respect to the considerable influence the blogger brings to the powers that be.

    It seems that when the REAL challenge of leadership hits home, and BBs start complaining, the natural instinct is to blame the brass bowl sheep who were smart enuff to elect you – but now too dumb to follow you over a cliff.. 🙂

    Even Moses made that mistake when he get vex and break up the stone tablets. That caused him to miss the promise land hear..?

    Think on to Enuff. You need to educate, not insult your subjects.

    • BushTea

      I have no connection to or influence on any political paty or government. I read, listen and draw my conclusions. I speak fuh me. Here we have a whole blog airing their mouts bout what they don’t fully understand. Blue blistering with authority but wrong. Arrogance? Are you arrogant when you so garrulously call all and sundry brassbowls?

    • Are you arrogant when you so garrulously call all and sundry brassbowls?
      Dat is why Bushie would not expect more than 3 votes in any election… LOL

      Boss, even if you have ‘no connection to a political party’, Bushie KNOWS that your immense influence is beyond your imagination.

  12. Previously, I highlighted some of the derogatory comments he/she made here.

    It bothers me that those who would seek to rule consider his fellow citizens as asses.

    We could disagree and be just B or D. No further description is needed.

    • TheoGas (mostly sulfide)
      You always struggling. You prefer to be called a brassbowl or be told your comment stupid? What about those that seek to rule who lie everytime mout open? Don’t answer.

  13. Why are we surprised that the same people who abandoned agriculture are now prepared to put up these structures on their land. They never make a move until it’s directly in their immediate interest.
    We talk glibly about the people moving away from agriculture. However nearly fifty years ago , Dean Crichlow was lamenting the horrible conditions under which agricultural workers including cane cutters toiled.
    Then about twenty or so years ago Trevor Prescod and a whole team of BLPs went in some agriculture field and highlighted the poor working conditions and poor wages of the workers especially the females.
    We are just talking and writing( myself included) but the bottom line is that we are going backwards and have been doing so for forty or fifty years, in several sectors.
    We seem to be okay with starvation wages for workers while a bunch of pathetic misfits wine and dine every Tuesday as if they are guests at a five star hotel. And these misfits have been there under both the Bees and Dees.
    The place will be eventually over grown with dozens of hotels and these structures and we will be just lamenting.

  14. William Skinner on September 27, 2023 at 8:51 AM said:
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    Why are we surprised that the same people who abandoned agriculture are now prepared to put up these structures on their land. They never make a move until it’s directly in their immediate interest.



    You may not have noticed but the BL&P/Emera solar “farm” is located at Trents Plantation in St. Lucy.

    That should immediately bring to mind Johnnie ma Boy (no relation to me as far as I know)!!


    Who was the BLP (no relation to BL&P) politician that handsed up that plantation and got his party to put in a tenantry road that doubled as a gap to his house.

    You don’t remember the brothers Franklin of DLP fame leading a march!!

    Not one of these buggers had any agriculture to abandon.

    Thet were opportunists seeking to control land for future “development” at any cost.

  15. Didn’t bl&p/EMERA commented about this already? I can remember there was a suggestion that the private entities should / may have to install batteries and EMERA had put in application/s to do the same

    Again My peeve on this is all the money men seem to be cashing in and the poor man being left out

    Again. Calling for the installation on the roofs on those on the bottom (that own their own house but depending on welfare)

  16. … but do you understand?

    It is the politicians and their yardfowls who have destroyed large scale agriculture in Barbados.

    A plantation could keep large scale agriculture going on by developing its rabland for profit.

    But these buggers want a piece.

    In the 60’s the going price was $35,000 for permissions.

    They got greedier and greedier so much so that they refused permissions to develop to owners and then bought them out.

    Back in the 1980’s the euro fell by 50% against the USD and sugar revenues were cut in half. Naturally, every plantation lost money.

    The BNB act financed the loss making plantations.

    These were then forced to develop some of their rab land to service the debt.

    GOB had to finance because it needed the forex and more than 90% of sugar earnings came back to the island as opposed to a few percent of tourism earnings which required imports.

    The greedy buggers saw a way to withhold permissions and force a sale, to them or their nominees.

    When the ABC Highway was put in, the agricultural land along it rose in value. Certain of the Government ministers decided that the owners should not benefit, they should.

    They saw to a change of use of 2,400 acres to accommodate 5 Golf Courses and lots of housing development.

    That’s why Kingsland has been in court since 1998.

    But, there is a twist in the tail.

    All of its land has an encumbrance because of the nature of its formation in 1958.

    The nine tenants in common who conveyed their 1,133 acres into Kingsland received an open ended undertaking from Kingsland which if triggered could only be satisfied by the land.

    Not one of nine releases required for Kingsland to have a marketable title has been filed in the Land Registry so there are probably 200+ people and companies who have defective titles to the land purportedly sold them.

    My mother’s estate controls 3 of those releases, hers and part of her mother’s and father’s.

    It all goes back to 30+ years when the ABC Highway was built and greedy folks coveted other people’s property.

  17. @ John On
    I fully understand. There is more than enough blame to go around. BSand T ( Barbados Shipping and Trading) is also critical to any discussion about the failure of sugar / agriculture.
    BS and T were in control of several plantations/ estates.
    However I maintain that the broad masses of people cannot be seriously blamed for the current pitiful state of agriculture.

  18. BS&T lands are owned by Barbados Farms which was bought by Sagicor years ago.

    Most if not all is in sugar agriculture.

    …. although I see there is a Town Hall Meeting at the Westmoreland Nazarene Church to discuss the solar farm destined for Orang Hill Plantation, which is part of Barbados Farms.

    Why would an insurance company want to own all that agricultural land when supposedly agriculture operates at a loss?

    Because it makes sense in the insurance industry.

    That land is for protection in case of a catastrophic loss Sagicor needs to cover.

    So, its ownership while not making financial sense makes plenty economic sense in the industry it operates.

  19. If you do read Robert Goddard’s article published in the William and Mary Journal in 2001, you will see it is unique as it does not focus on standard “black and white” and all that shite but on actual economic issues which caused the problems.

    Here is his abstract:

    “With few exceptions, the historiography of the West Indies has focused on
    politics and race relations to the exclusion of economic analyses. following
    the pattern for southern history outlined by Gerald D. Nash. This article offers an interpretation of the1980s crisis in the Barbados sugar industry
    popularly portrayed within the island as an ideological struggle between a
    “black” government and a “white” industry-as stemming instead from tensions within the industry between processors and growers. The research is
    intended as a contribution to the literature on the ,structural conflicts within
    agriculture generally, and sugar in particular, as to assert an economic basis for what became a racially polarizing political debate.”

  20. The phenomenon of conflict of interest mentioned earlier with regard to
    the management structure of BSIL, reappeared with regard to the dairy industry as well. C.O. Williams became not only the island’s largest dairy
    farmer duringthe1980s, but the chairman of the island’s only dairy as well.
    Control of dairy farming and the dairy coincided with upward pressure on
    milk prices paid by domestic consumers. According to data compiled by the
    Landell Mills Commodities group, by the late1980s Barbadian consumer
    were paying five times the price for milk as consumers in other territories.
    Thus the reallocation of cane lands by the C.O. Williams group reflected
    price structures distorted by monopolistic practices rather than longer-term
    economic trends.
    The decision by the C.O. Williams group was made ad hoc without the
    management of the sugar industry being consulted. Further unexpected reductions in cane acreage came from another source. During the period
    1970-1974, the Minister of Housing and Lands inexplicably gave permission for the subdivision of several sugar estates with good soils and high rain
    fall areas. Described by the current chief town planner as “questionable;’
    these subdivision approvals occurred in the feeder areas of two factories that
    survived the rationalization of1968-1969 and which the sugar industry depended on for servicing key parts of the agricultural belt.
    Over a half million dollars was spent to refurbish one of these factories,
    Searles; which was over a third of the total allocated under the industry’
    factory rehabilitation program. The unexpected withdrawal of canes from
    its feeder area due to the subdivision of Frere Pilgrim Plantation made it unprofitable overnight. By the mid-1970s, Searles was losing over $100.000. a year, and in1975 it was closed.

  21. Thus the reallocation of cane lands by the C.O. Williams group reflected
    price structures distorted by monopolistic practices rather than longer-term
    economic trends.


    The destruction of large scale agriculture in Barbados was planned and executed in an ad hoc manner.

    No thought as to access to water was given or the simple fact that if for 300 years plus the fact that only one crop that was found which withstood the vagaries of the weather and made large scale farming sustainable was sugar.

    Like C.O. Williams taking hundreds of acres out of sugar to provide a product for which the Barbadian consumer was charged 5X that of other territories, solar farms are another ruse to change the use of lands and remove them from use in large scale farming.

    Once the economies of scale were destroyed, large scale faring could be said to have become economical and alternative uses for the land as in housing.

    But. like the best laid plans of mice and men something always goes wrong …. no water.

    We are screwed and by our own leaders.

    This has nothing to do with slavery and the various other mumbo jumbos spouted by various politicians.

  22. @ John O
    Thanks. That is why I maintain that the failure of agriculture has really nothing to do with the people turning away from it but more so with both the political class and the monied class and their collusion.
    When are we going to learn that no viable ministry or sector can be effectively sustained if the people( workers) are treated poorly.

  23. William

    You need to distinguish between large scale agriculture which depends on the economies of scale and subsistence farming.

    Large scale agriculture is only possible if the “monied class” invest in and make it work and also involve labour.

    Unless subsistence farmers are able to grow gold, the country will remain poor.

    … and unless there is cooperation between labour and capital the country will also remain poor.

    Check this paper from the 1960’s by Cecil Frank Innes.

    Plantation and peasant farm : a vertical theme in the historical geography of Barbados, 1627-1960

  24. William Skinner on September 28, 2023 at 8:12 AM said:
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    @ John O
    Thanks. That is why I maintain that the failure of agriculture has really nothing to do with the people turning away from it but more so with both the political class and the monied class and their collusion.


    Here is the flaw in your argument.

    C.O. Williams was not part of the monied class until his involvement in the Deep Water Harbour and then construction and a yardfowl of the DLP.

    The company that developed Frere Pilgrim was Best Properties Limited, yardfowls and front men looking to make a fast buck by realising functional assets of someone else.

    The responsibility for the wholesale destruction rests entirely on the shoulders of the political class.

    C.O. Williams became a part of the monied class because the political class was mostly lawyers who could not do much physically and needed a man to do it for them.

    CO Williams read the tea leaves and struck while the iron was hot. He no doubt made a bomb.

    The monied class who gave us the finance to build the Deep Water Harbour and the QEH is long gone.

    That class was focused on improving what worked for centuries and benefitting from the windfall after WWII.

    They doubled sugar output by improving field and factory operations and saw the sugar price explode 10 fold.

    No doubt they too made a bomb.

    That is what got us out of the bad economic times of the 1930’s, the political class has in two generations ensured we will return.

  25. @ John O
    As we examine the decline of agriculture those who destroyed it cannot be given a pass on any grounds. The simple fact is that at no time they even pretended to think about the country. My thesis remains: once the time came to industrialise the industry and make it a viable part of the future economy, everybody jumped ship and said that the ‘people’ no longer wanted any part of agriculture. Quite frankly they said : the people don’t want to cut cane because their vision of agriculture was a seasonal crop that made millions off of very cheap labour.
    Although we switched to the tourism industry, no great effort was made to have a symbiosis with that sector. Only in very recent years some rather ad hoc and essentially feeble efforts have been seen.
    There would be several reasons why the agriculture sector has fallen but one cannot deny , that in spite of all their known shortcomings, it was left to the political class to subsidise the obvious one dimensional view of the sector. It is useless to sanitise the history of sugar cane and why there remain psychological barriers and misgivings about that crop.
    The simple truth remains: The millions made from the vast estate holdings were never pumped back into the sector. A dastardly and visionless political class is paying the price for failing to have a comprehensive land use policy.
    My view of agriculture is to look at it from all angles and these must include its history and the decline of the sector in real socio economic terms.
    For example : when millions were being made what were the living conditions of the working class.

  26. William Skinner on September 28, 2023 at 10:16 AM said:
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    The simple truth remains: The millions made from the vast estate holdings were never pumped back into the sector.


    The simple truth is that there were no vast estate holdings and the only time significant profits were made from sugar was after WWII.

    Those profits were eroded as wages rose to a level where they ceased to exist.

    So besides the Deep Water Harbour, QEH and Airport, the work force saw growth in wages commensurate with earnings to the point where the goose that laid the golden egg was killed.

    Go look at “dances of millions” and see what happened after WWI in Cuba!!

    They sold their sugar to America and the increased price resulting from the war made many millionaires.

    However, the prices fell like a rock after WWI and destroyed many, especiallt those who had not set aside a part of their good fortune for a rainy day.


    You need to read, and not our local nitwit historians.

  27. We always hear about the people from Panama who bought plantations in Barbados, Mount Prospect and Lascelles.

    That was in WWII and it was simply a group of individuals with more $$ through borrowing than sense who sought to get in on the rising sugar prices due to WWII.

  28. Did Johnny Boy receive $340 million* which was awarded for Kingsland
    (*) this figure based on my memory (if my memory serves me correct)

  29. My grandfather used to tell me about what happened with sugar prices c. 1921 when they went through the floor. He was about 30, with maybe 5 years experience as a factory manager selling the sugar he made, relatively young.

    It was rough but be made some good deals for his suppliers and learnt the ropes in a bad market.

    In 1939 he put together his family’s savings, mobilised his 7 children the youngest being 13 and gambled given his life experience, he was 48 then so had been around the block.

    He had “trained” is children pitting one group against the other in competition to make and save $$ in various undertakings like keeping kitchen garden, rabbits, pigeons and fowls!!

    He had 1/2 an acre which he had purchased in 1928 that was the extent of his assets and he had a job as a factory manager at $80 a month.

    He bought his first plantation mortgaging it to the hilt.

    Sugar prices were at an all time low so he got a better deal on the plantation than if he had got in the market when prices were high. But he must have known something.

    WWII started and sugar prices rose.

    By 1948 he had paid off his mortgage and increased his family’s acreage to 700 acres.

    By 1958 he and his family had 1,133 acres and guaranteed employment. All mortgages had been paid off.

    It may have been luck that he moved when he did but he nailed it for his family.

  30. William,

    What is the difference between the monied class and the political class?

    Is Biden a member of the monied class or the political class?

    He is a multimillionaire so he must be a member of the monied class. For sure he is a member of the political class.

    To explain this I would suggest there are two types of members of the monied class.

    One type has money, the other type can make money.

    Biden is a parasite and can’t make money.

    Parasites depend on the transfer of wealth from which they take a cut.

    They have to destroy whereas the other type of member of the monied class loves to build.

    So, Biden sells out his country and takes a cut.

    Same thing here, the political class here has sold out its country and taken a cut.

    They are now the monied class but they can’t build anything!!

  31. The political class tricks peeps like you into believing that the monied class is white and the political class is black!!

    Meanwhile, all the significant assets and businesses are foreign owned.

    It is left to clearer thinkers to point out the dichotomy in the monied class … and the fact that the abilities of the old monied class have been thrown out and not inculcated into many Barbadians.

    There is now a third class, the outside class which controls both the political class and the monied class.

  32. @ John O
    Quite frankly: those who control the money/wealth and those whom we elect to manage the political affairs of the country.
    I was discussing such groups and their actions within the context of what happened to the agriculture sector.
    Quite frankly # 2:
    I have no interest in being baited into any discussion on race at this time. Everybody knows the historical power structure of our country.
    History can be sanitized but such sanitization cannot remove historical facts.
    I have said my piece on this topic , at least for the time being.

  33. The monied class you seek to portray as being monolithic is not and the political class no longer goes out to bat for the country but has become the monied class, or part of it to the detriment of the country.

    I used Biden to show the same principle operating here is identifiable and operates elsewhere, regardless of colour.

    People are flawed, especially when it comes to money and politics and what people think they know today is not always true.

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.