Christmas Reparations

Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

Christmas is one birthday party where we celebrate as if we do not like the person, but attend to eat the food and meet our friends and relatives.

A birthday party normally celebrates the current age of the person.  But not Jesus’.  We seem too embarrassed by what He said as an adult.  So, to feel a measure of control we try to keep Him in His place – as a baby in a manger. Perhaps this Christmas, we will respect Him enough to celebrate Him as He is.

THE PATH TO LIFE.

Jesus revealed how He would judge everyone at the end of the age, and he repeatedly explained what He requires.  He claimed that many were on the easier broad road that leads to destruction because the narrow road to life was more difficult.  He noted that people could choose the road to life, and then decide to leave and travel on the easier path – that leads to destruction.  Nope, back in the manger for you.

Jesus repeatedly explained that forgiving others is critically important to where we will spend our after-life.  We get on the narrow road by asking God to forgive us for the debts we owed.  God promised to forgive us – but in the same manner that we later forgive others.

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Open Letter to Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn

Submitted by Kemar J.D Stuart, Economist and Director Business Development , Finance and Investment Stuart & Perkins Caribbean

Dear Mr Straughn ,

This letter is an issuance of grave concern with the government of Barbados & the IDB Loan seeking to borrow $200 M and the heightened perception of corruption and unethical practices within government.

Taken from the executive summary of transparency international “This year’s corruption perception index paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. The pandemic is not just a health crises or economic crises but a corruption crises with countless lives loss due to government corruption undermining a fair and equitable response to issues of the day”

A letter to the editor of the Nation newspaper featured on December 7th 2022, submitted by myself Kemar Stuart raised alarm to some sections of a letter to the acting IDB President signed by yourself as minister in the ministry of finance.

Component 4 of the letter to the acting IDB President said that the loan is for economic and fiscal strengthening for post pandemic .The blatant red flag in component 4 of your letter is the use of reason for borrowing this loan which are recommendations from a progress report of the measures prioritized by the jobs and investment council. Investigations into the missing report revealed that at no point in time did this jobs and investment council report or publish their findings and recommendations to the public via consultation / town hall or press conference, written media or else.

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Who cares some faceless person stole information from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital?

A recent report caused the blogmaster to search BU Archives.

As far back as 2014 with the support of vested parties led by subject matter expert James Bynoe, several blogs highlighting the threat posed by cybersecurity were to Barbados Underground – list a FEW- Understand Internet Data Privacy: What should you know and expect, Website Defacement Cyber threat to the Caribbean and Caribbean Businesses, Organizations and governments and people could be losing millions to cyber criminals and hackers and don’t know it appeared. For those interested do a search using ‘cybersecurity’ of the BU Archives.

Last week it was reported the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) suffered a cybersecurity incident. Another way to explain it – information was stolen from QEH’s database by unknown parties. So far the official and sanitized explanation is – “the QEH was taking all necessary precautions to protect the integrity of our systems ans patient privacy“. On December 14. 2022 the QEH issued a report indicating changes to its operations because of the cybersecurity incident – Temporary Changes At QEH Due To Internet Outage.

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Your Immune system F*#ked Up?

Submitted by Steven Kaszab

The pandemic is still with us, taking lives daily. Not new news eh? Well I guess you know that influenza season is also upon us. The confusion we all exhibit trying to verify which symptoms belongs to a set virus is obvious. The fear we have concerning infectious disease’s influence upon our very survival and quality of life lingers. The World Health Organization passes onto us a mass of statistics that when considered can be overwhelming. 17 million people die of infectious disease each year, 46,000 people per day. Other diseases threaten us. HIV/AIDS killed 1.6 million people in 2014, pneumonia killed 1.1 million children under the age of 5. Malaria killed 627,000 while Rabies killed 55,000 people. 

America has a numbered system typically showing the disease and number of citizens killed. Quite the system. Monkeypox has been identified over 14,000 times, while polio has returned from history to strike once again. Even China, with its massive healthcare response system has to deal with cases of Langya henipavirus, a RNA Virus that spreads through  animal populations. We interact, raise and eat animals, often being infected with that same virus. What we know as ordinary influenza is a massive scourge to the global population, striking in mass events throughout the world, killing as many as a million people at one outbreak.

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Barbados Small and Proud – Mia Mottley and Rihanna Successfully Negotiating the Global Space

How many times have we heard references made to Barbados being a country punching above its weight? Through the years the comment made but former United Nations Secretary General Koffi Anan has been striped of its obvious meaning by political opportunists. 

The challenges for a 21 by 14 small developing island with an open economy in a competitive global space will always be many. While it is true Barbados lost its leadership anchor in recent years by our high standards there is hope, as a people we must never surrender to despair.

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What happened to democratic debate?

Submitted by Steven Kaszab
  • Professional Misconduct
  • Censorship
  • Ideological discrimination
  • Institutional Intolerance
  • Cultural & Gender Wars
  • Dictatorial Pronouncements by Professional Associations
  • Struggles of New Canadians within a Closed-Minded society.
  • Educational Institutions that teach intolerance
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What are we doing about importation of drugs, guns and violent crime?

BU Murder Tracker

Another three weeks to finish 2022 and the murder on the weekend pushes the year to date recorded number of murders to 41 which equals 2020. The state of violent crime in Barbados in recent years brings the 48 murders recorded in 2019 into play. Of deep concern to the blogmaster is the inability of the leadership in the country to effectively address the problem.

Last week the blogmaster read about 140 murders recorded by The Bahamas and it is no secret Jamaica has been declaring state of emergencies as a measure to arrest the murder rate for over 50 years. The outlook does not look good for Barbados that we will be able to reduce the murder rate using regional trending as the basis of conclusion.

The scourge of drugs is generally accepted as feeding criminal activity in Barbados – specifically gun crime. Further, we have the untouchables operating in the shadows of society who pass as upright citizens responsible for financing the importation of drugs and guns. The blogmaster is sure, very sure there is collusion between various actors in the first, second and third sectors of Barbados. For some reason a video of then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley posing with certain characters come to mind. What are we doing?

We (the people) must speak up.

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Alternate Views – Put Barbados first

Kemar J.D Stuart, Economist and Director Business Development , Finance and Investment Stuart & Perkins Caribbean

Barbados on December 7th will be heading into another IMF program named BERT 2.0. The PM of Barbados said in a recent press conference that next 2023 will be hard for all of us.

Barbadians are in a serious economic pit as the global economy is set to run into turmoil and price inflation will push the cost of living /goods& services to higher as the festive holiday season kicks in.

Minister of Industry Davidson Ishmael recently recommended Bajan consumers to buy local as , as far back at October 2018, government placed VAT on online transactions to encourage local shopping. With NSRL removed local prices were supposed to drop instead they increased. While patriotic by Minister Ishmael the high cost of living in Barbados has been eroding paychecks and savings as people are shopping according to what’s affordable to their pockets.

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Organized Chaos: Traffic Here, Traffic There, Traffic Everywhere

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Santia Bradshaw

There is significant road remediation currently being undertaken in Barbados, when completed it is expected traffic congestion will ease on the highways and byways of Barbados. Add activity associated with celebrating Independence Day (Barbados National Day) and Christmas Day rapidly approaching, it explains the organized chaos on the roads every hour of the day.

If national productivity is defined as gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked i.e. the use of labour inputs better than just output per employee (www.oecd.org) one does not have to be Joseph Stiglitz to conclude there is a big national problem to be solved. Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart once described the inconvenience caused by the poor state of local roads as a ‘transitory inconvenience’. Another one of those quotes that rival former Attorney General Maurice King’s ‘no gangs’ in Barbados. Ordinary people were thought at high school an efficient transportation system is an integral component to a performing economy.

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Hope for the best, plan for the worst

Submitted by Steven Kaszab

The Scout motto is “BE PREPARED”. That means a Scout is to be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do their duty. Simple but so very profound indeed. A fictional character created by Lee Child also has a message of importance that we all need to hear today. That is simply “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst”.  Wisdom offered to us by bright minds.

If we apply these two gifts of advice to politics, whether in the past, present or future, and we look at how our elected officials have performed, we can see none of them have been Scouts, Girl Guides or readers of the author Lee Child.

For example, let’s look at how they responded to the pandemic shall we? Warnings of such a pandemic have been historically recorded for many decades. Proof was in the pudding in fact. There was talk of a mass death event caused by influenza like illnesses over a hundred years ago. It is not like these politicians did not have historical examples to base their preparation upon. The Spanish Death killed over a hundred million globally. Historical fact. Influenza itself kills millions across the globe annually. America, Russia, China and other military establishments have been experimenting upon making such illnesses into weapons for decades. What did our elected officials do? Not much. 

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LGBTQ Killings – what it portends

The Blogmaster does NOT support hate speech or hate crime and abhors bigotry and prejudice wherever and whenever it shows. However, there is the obligation by democratic societies to protect the right of citizens to practice freedom of speech. How societies evolve to be inclusive will have to be managed sensibly by today’s leaders. There is no room for the usual rhetoric.

Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.

— United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, May 2019
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Ole time Barbados – king of the hills

Horse Hill, St. Joseph

Yesterday evening the blogmaster was fortunate to tune in to the Voice of Barbados radio station afternoon program hosted by superior radio personality Larry Mayers. He is one of a bare few, Maurice Norville another, who makes a serious attempt to program a message that connects to old Barbados.

Believe it or not his program yesterday featured hills to be found in Barbados with listeners sharing tales about the challenges of driving over Horse Hill in St. Joseph, Baxters Hill in St. Andrew, Bowling Alley Hill which connects St. Joseph to St. John, Sutherland in St. Lucy and a few others back in the day. To anticipate those who will jump in to say Barbados is flat, of course the discussions about hills is in a Barbados context.

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley Defends frequent travel overseas

Prime Minister Mottley on her return from overseas after taking a few days off as well as attending COP27 in Egypt, Rwanda and South Africa called a press conference on her return to Barbados to brief the nation. There is criticism Mottley’s time could have been better spend on island given the precarious state of the economy and rising crime situation. DLP spokesman Paul Gibson has been scathing in criticism levelled at Mottley, questioning cost of trips overseas and size of delegations.

The blogmaster has cautioned many times in this space that managing the optics in any situation is important, however, Mottley has demonstrated with the appointment of a bloated Cabinet she intends to do it her – she has an aggressive style – even if it is obvious the configuration of the Cabinet is about political considerations and not about many hands making light of the work. Some of us are not fools although we understand the games politicians play at the expense of the masses.

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Why the Silence from MESA and MENS?

Submitted by Kammie Holder, Social Commentator

With the ongoing Constitution Review Commission meetings going on why are these two groups not saying anything on behalf of fathers?

I would hate to believe that these groups are intimidated into silence by the very strong vocally active women movement in Barbados. 

Again, I posit that men are the greatest traitors to themselves and it seems women are always the ones to save men from their own destruction. Perhaps, just another complex paradox of manhood in Barbados.

See below:

THE BELOW IS MY SUBMISSION TO THE CONSTITUTION REVIEW COMMISSION

1) Support In Kind should be added to the Maintenance Act

Reason: Its Barbaric for an unemployed parent to be stigmatised as criminal due to falling in contempt of a Court Ordered Maintenance Order. 

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Tell Duguid to wheel and come again

What does Senior Minister William Duguid mean when he declared this week that Barbados “has experienced significant and disconnected suburban growth…combined with the doubling number of cars, has resulted in peak hour gridlock and increasing levels of congestion almost everywhere on the island”. He went on to PROMISE that the government “expect to develop a national transportation mobility plan that will guide future investment. We will propose transportation strategies at the island scale”.

What the hell!

What immediately came to mind after reading was – cart before the horse and the chant Mini Bus Hustle by Winston Farrell.

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