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  1. There is an interesting series of five video interviews now available with Brent Wisner, the lawyer who won the recent high profile case against Monanto (now taken over by Bayer) on behalf of his firm’s client, cancer victim Lee Johnson. Wisner had to prove to the jury that Lee Johnson now suffers from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma as a result of frequently spraying Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller over a number of years in the course of his work as a school groundskeeper. Wisner also was successful in winning a large punative award by persuading the jury that Monsanto had acted with malice, which in US legal terms means acting with reckless disregard for human health or safety.

    After the initial verdict against Monsanto and the surprisingly large sum awarded as damages to Johnson by the jury, there was some speculation that the presiding judge would overturn the jury’s verdict and there would have to be a retrial. However, the judge decided to let the jury’s decision stand but did substantially reduce the damages awarded to Johnson to a somewhat less extravagant $78,000,000.

    Here are the topics covered in the five interviews:

    The Rookie Off the Bench Saves the Day!
    Listen in to Brent Wisner’s moving story of how freak accidents to Lee Johnson’s attorneys landed Wisner in charge of this epic high-stakes trial just two weeks before it started. Discover the dramatic events leading up to the historic verdict.

    Monsanto’s HUGE Mistake: How we got the secret Monsanto Papers
    This video reveals the courtroom drama of how The Monsanto Papers — their internal corporate documents — were exposed during the trial and then released to the public. Watch this moving tale of one attorney’s courage as he risks his law license and reputation to pierce Monsanto’s veil of corporate deceit and manipulation. Please note: this video occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children).

    Monsanto’s Shocking Disregard for Science and Truth
    In this interview, Wisner outlines Monsanto’s shocking manipulation and willful disregard of scientific evidence which proves the harm caused by Roundup. This video goes deep into the science of GMOs and pesticides, with Jeffrey Smith mining his decades of experience and Brent bringing his deep understanding gained from his trial research and preparation.

    The Most Dramatic (and Pivotal) Day of the Trial
    This highly personal and riveting interview recounts Lee Johnson’s heroic testimony, and its winning impact on the jury, as well as the testimony of his wife and physician. Wisner also provides the insider information that just the day before Johnson’s testimony, his team was gravely concerned about the outcome of the trial.

    Guilty! Monsanto Acted with Malice
    In this interview, Wisner outlines Monsanto’s malice and blatant disregard for human safety as demonstrated in their own documents and even in their statements and behavior during the trial. Wisner explains how this evidence provided the basis for the enormous punitive damages award. Despite the recent reduction in Johnson’s award, the judge upheld the verdict that Monsanto was acting with malice.

    The videos vary in length between approx 20 to 35 minutes. Here’s the link to watch the videos online is here.

    The internal Monsanto documents which Monsanto did not want revealed to the public (mentioned in interview 2) but are now in the public domain (because their high paid, arrogant, jack-donkey lawyers screwed up big time) can be accessed here:


  2. It’s about that time for an “outsider” to step “inside”. After sharing my story of domestic with you all a few years ago I was basically told by many of you that I was ineffective and simply hurt. I was advised to heal and move on by many.

    However, there were a few who understood what must be done and took great lengths to advise me how to proceed.

    Today I comment with an update that one of your very own daughters is in the abuse cycle as we speak. And she needs all of our help to get out.

    Shall we revisit the topic many try to avoid touching on and realize our full collective potential to be agents of change?

    Or do you all still harbor the bias and stigma that domestic violence is a private matter?

    What say you?

  3. November Snow In Texas? Experts Warn Decreased Solar Activity Will Shatter All Global Climate Models

    Our sun has been behaving very strangely, and this unusual behavior is really starting to affect our weather patterns. There have been virtually no sunspots in 2018 as solar activity has dropped to alarmingly low levels. As a result, our atmosphere has been cooling and shrinking, and experts are warning that we are heading for a bitterly, bitterly cold winter. And even though the official start of winter is well over a month away, winter weather is already sweeping the nation. As you will see below, a giant winter storm is about to slam into the east coast, but what is happening in Texas is even more unnerving. On Wednesday morning, the temperature in San Antonio plummeted to just 23 degrees, and that absolutely shattered the old record…


    Another scientist that is sounding the alarm is Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. According to him, NASA’s Thermosphere Climate Index is now showing a reading that is “10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle”…


    Across the Atlantic, another expert that is sounding the alarm is Piers Corbyn. He believes that the lack of solar activity that we are witnessing could rapidly produce another “mini ice age”…

    Solar activity and jet stream forecasts suggest a pattern of cold similar to the historic Mini Ice Age which occurred during the mid-17th century.
    The period otherwise known as the Little Ice Age gripped Europe and North America and saw Britons hold frost fairs on the frozen River Thames.
    “What we are looking at is a pattern of circulation similar to that which was observed during the mini ice-age,” Mr Corbyn said.

    What he is referring to is a period of substantial global cooling that occurred during “the Maunder Minimum”. If you are not familiar with “the Maunder Minimum”, the following is what Wikipedia has to say about it…

    The Maunder Minimum, also known as the “prolonged sunspot minimum”, is the name used for the period around 1645 to 1715 during which sunspots became exceedingly rare, as was then noted by solar observers.

    During that time, farming became much more difficult and horrific famines erupted all over the globe. (My emphasis /GM)

    If our planet is now entering a similar period, we are going to be in very deep trouble very rapidly. Today, we barely produce enough food to feed the entire globe, and so a major worldwide climate shift could potentially produce unprecedented chaos on a global scale.

    So let us hope that solar activity returns to normal soon, because if it doesn’t, the unthinkable is going to begin to happen.

  4. Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

    We know that exercise boosts memory and thinking skills. But now, researchers have shown for the first time that physical activity can increase the size of children’s brains and improve academic performance.

    The study by a team from the University of Granada in Spain found that children who are physically fit have a greater volume of grey matter in the brain’s frontal and temporal regions and the calcarine cortex, all of which are important for executive function (the mental skills that help us get things done), as well as learning, motor skills and visual processing.

    The researchers aimed to determine whether the brains of physically fit children were different to those of their less-fit peers and if this affected their academic performance.

    “The answer is short and forceful: yes, physical fitness in children is linked in a direct way to important brain structure differences, and such differences are reflected in the children’s academic performance,” said lead researcher Francisco B Ortega, of the University of Granada’s Sport and Health Institute.

  5. Is This The World’s Most Powerful Healing Plant? Now, More Than 47 Doctors, Scientists, And Health Experts Give You The Real Story On One Of Mother Nature’s Misunderstood Miracles.

    FREE 7-part docuseries starting tonight, Wed Dec 12th 2018. We respect your privacy. No spam ever. You’ve Seen Our Doctors & Health Experts. People around the world are talking about this courageous docuseries: “If you ever want to find out the real story. Watch this and learn

    Read More Here: two.thesacredplant (dot) com/docuseries

  6. Next time you see parents give a tablet to a toddler to play with in order to keep them occupied and out of the parents’ hair. Instead of saying how cute it looks to see a 3 year is old already learning to use computers, bear the following in mind.

    Toddlers and Screens: More Than 1 Hour a Day Can Cause Developmental Delays and Have Lasting Effects on Attention, Language, Memory, Social and Motor Skills

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a long history of advising against kids’ excessive use of screens as well as exposure to digital, electronic, and cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation-emitting devices and infrastructure.

    There’s plenty of research that has already suggested – if not already proven – that the more ALL KIDS use screens – the more this is harming them behaviorally, educationally, emotionally, mentally, physically, psychically, and spiritually. See 1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6, 7.
    New research released earlier this week confirms this once again:

    From Too Much Screen Time Can Have Lasting Consequences for Young Children’s Brains
    From Reuters: Too much toddler screen time tied to worse social, motor skills by kindergarten
    From Excessive Screen Time for Kids Can Cause Developmental Delays by Kindergarten

    For many years now, Silicon Valley parents (aka tech inventors) have been sending their kids to “low tech schools” and limiting their use of technology at home. Within the last few months, they’ve been reportedly taking more desperate measures to shield their kids from screens– even spying on their nannies.

  7. The Crisis of Science

    “In recent years, the public has gradually discovered that there is a crisis in science. But what is the problem? And how bad is it, really? Today on The Corbett Report we shine a spotlight on the series of interrelated crises that are exposing the way institutional science is practiced today, and what it means for an increasingly science-dependent society.”

  8. Processed Foods Lead to Cancer and Early Death

    The struggle with weight gain and obesity is a common and costly health issue, leading to an increase in risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, just to name a few.

    According to the latest available data,1 18.5 percent of American children and nearly 40 percent of adults are now obese, not just overweight. That’s a significant increase over the 1999/2000 rates, when just under 14 percent of children and 30.5 percent of adults were obese.

    Research has linked growing waistlines to a number of different sources, including processed foods, sodas and high-carbohydrate diets. Risks associated with belly fat in aging adults includes an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.2

    Researchers have actually predicted obesity will overtake smoking as a leading cause of cancer deaths,3 and recent statistics suggest we’re well on our way to seeing that prediction come true as obesity among our youth is triggering a steep rise in obesity-related cancers at ever-younger ages.


    Definition of Ultraprocessed Food

    As a general rule, ultraprocessed foods can be defined as food products containing one or more of the following:
    Ingredients that are not traditionally used in cooking.

    Unnaturally high amounts of sugar, salt, processed industrial oils and unhealthy fats.

    Artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and other additives that imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods (examples include additives that create textures and pleasing mouth-feel).

    Processing aids such as carbonating, firming, bulking, antibulking, defoaming, anticaking, glazing agents, emulsifiers, sequestrants and humectants.

    Preservatives and chemicals that impart an unnaturally long shelf-life.

    Genetically engineered ingredients, which in addition to carrying potential health risks also tend to be heavily contaminated with toxic herbicides such as glyphosate, 2,4-D and dicamba.

  9. 250 Concerned Scientists Issue Major Warning About Potentially Carcinogenic Effects of Wireless Tech

    The opening statement of the petition lists a litany of current technological products that are all linked to physiological disorders, disease and even cancer.

    “We are scientists engaged in the study of biological and health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF). Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices. These include–but are not limited to–radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitting devices, such as cellular and cordless phones and their base stations, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors as well as electric devices and infra-structures used in the delivery of electricity that generate extremely-low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF).”

  10. 4th Child in 3 Years Develops Cancer after Small Cell Tower Installed on School Property

    By B.N. Frank

    Cell towers have been known to cause clusters of illnesses before. This appears to be another one – now at a California school.

    From EHTrust (DOT) org, in regard to children and federal Safety Standards:
    … no “safe” level has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. Therefore, the claim that a device “meets government standards” or that radiation levels are “FCC compliant” gives a false impression of safety.
    The FCC guidelines rest on five fallacies (false assumptions) and therefore renders FCC guidelines obsolete. Compliance with “federal safety standards” does not assure your nor your family’s safety. In fact, our federal safety limits are in essence meaningless when it comes to our health.

    Exposure to cell phone and WiFi radiation as well as Dirty Electricity (aka Electrosmog) can cause a wide variety of disabling health conditions in addition to cancer. This is also why many schools are now preventing the installation of cell towers and antennas on school property as well as replacing WiFi with wired Internet.

    For many years already, telecom companies have been warning shareholders that they may eventually be held liable for harm caused by their products and infrastructure. Insurance companies don’t seem to be interested in doing business anymore with them either.

  11. Are Apple Air Pods putting you at risk for cancer?

    Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in on the growing concern over the wireless earbuds.

    Tucker Carlson’s statement in the video that hundreds of scientist have warned that wireless headphones could pose a health risk is probably related to the following press release in which 250 scientists petition the UN and the WHO to issue warnings to consumers about the potential dangers of WIFi and cell phone radiation, especially with regards to children and the fetuses of pregnant women.:

    International EMF Scientist Appeal

    To: His Excellency Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations;
    Honorable Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization
    Honorable Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Program and Assistant Secretary-General of the U.N.;
    U.N. Member Nations

    International Appeal
    Scientists call for Protection from Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Field Exposure
    We are scientists engaged in the study of biological and health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF). Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices. These include–but are not limited to–radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitting devices, such as cellular and cordless phones and their base stations, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors as well as electric devices and infra-structures used in the delivery of electricity that generate extremely-low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF).

    Scientific basis for our common concerns
    Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.

    These findings justify our appeal to the United Nations (UN) and, all member States in the world, to encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging precautionary measures, and educating the public about health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal development. By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfill its role as the preeminent international public health agency.

    Contunued at: emfscientist.(DOT) org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal

  12. So the white elephant made by Windies cricket still sits idle? While even the US gets a match on the upcoming tour by India to Windies?

    No wonder Windies cricket is dead. No matter what they say, Barbados was the core of Windies success.


  13. The Little Boy And The Flute

    When I was a little boy, about five or six years old in Barbados, to be precise in Brittons Hill. My mother took me to Bridgetown for window shopping at Christmas.

    In a shop window at Cave Shepherd I saw a small wooden flute priced at just a couple dollars and was much taken to it.
    As my mother and I boarded the bus (the old style open ones) on our way home I continued to pester my mother about how much I wanted the flute.
    I kept annoying her and went on and on. Later in the evening with no respite. She grabbed me by the wrist and took me out the back door.
    She angrily pointed to the moon and said: “young man that is the moon and if I could give it to you I would but there a some things I just cannot afford.”

    I never mentioned that flute again.

    I knew my mother was angry because she had gripped my wrist so tightly. There was a lesson I learned at a tender age in Barbados and it has served me well throughout my life.

    In life there are some things you cannot “afford” despite the temptations forget them and move on.

    If you can be anything be kind.

  14. Good move for public servants
    Earlier this week, Parliament passed the long awaited Public Service (Appointments) Act 2020. Pursuant to section 5 of the act, public servants who have been employed in a temporary office, an established office or a combination of both for three or more years immediately before October 1, 2020 are entitled, not only to be appointed to the post, but they are also deemed to be appointed with effect from October 1.
    Consequently, public servants who meet the criteria mentioned in section 5 will be automatically appointed to the post without needing any further formalities. The automatic appointments provided by the act ensure that the rights established by the legislation are not frustrated by internal processes that may cause some to fall through the cracks or have unnecessarily delayed appointments.
    However, section 6 (1) of the act makes certain employees ineligible for appointment, even where they meet the threeyear criteria. Ineligible people include (a) an employee who is the subject of a disciplinary matter; (b) an employee with an ongoing criminal matter; (c) an employee with an unexpunged criminal conviction; (d) an employee who has been on medical leave for three months accumatively in one calendar year and has been referred to the Medical Board for examination; and (e) an employee who has a negative report on his or her personnel file.
    On its face, it seems unfair to exclude a person’s entitlement based on a pending disciplinary or criminal matter, or prolonged illness.
    After all, what happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    Furthermore, disciplinary matters within the public service often take years to be heard and the same applies to criminal matters. However, sections 6(2) and 6(3) of the act resolve any unfairness that could have resulted.
    These sections allow for the retroactive appointment to office of a public servant who is exonerated in disciplinary or criminal proceedings, who has his criminal record expunged or who is deemed fit to return to work by a Medical Board.
    The act even allows a person who suffers some prejudice by the criteria of sections 4 and 5 to apply to the Governor General to be appointed.
    Overall, I was very impressed by the legislation and found it to be one of the most thought out and beneficial labour acts in recent times. It went beyond simply creating much needed rights for public servants.
    It also ensured that the rights which were created are easily and automatically conferred on those who meet the criteria and clearly set out the categories of those who could not benefit.
    Simple language
    Its clear and simple language and its address of varying scenarios lessen difficulties of statutory interpretation or questions of applicability, scope or insufficient remedies that unfortunately plague other labour legislation such as the Employment Rights Act and the temporary amendment to the Severance Payments Act.
    My only criticism of the legislation lies in the exclusion of appointments based on a negative report being on an employee’s personnel file. I am aware of instances where a public servant was unaware that a negative report had in fact been placed on his file.
    There are also instances where public servants seek, through the grievance process, to challenge such negative reports. However, the grievance process is extremely tardy and often takes years for complaints to be heard. Against this backdrop, I believe it is unfair to deny an employee an appointment simply based on the existence of a negative report.
    Provision should be made for the employee to challenge the report, which if challenged successfully, should qualify him for retroactive appointment.
    While this is a good move for public servants, I hope the legislature will address with haste the other issues that constantly plague the public service. These include the environmental issues that repeatedly afflict Government buildings, the many instances of unchecked victimisation of civil servants, the abuse by employees of sick leave or extended leave provisions and most important, the extremely slow grievance and disciplinary process within the public service.

    Michelle M. Russell is an attorney at Law with a passion for Employment Law and Labour matters. Email:

  15. A member of the BU intelligentsia requested to share the following article:

    Daniel Korski: The Intelligence-Linked Mastermind Behind the UK’s Orwellian Healthtech Advisory Board

    As a futuristic, hi-tech dystopia increasingly takes shape around us, the concept of the Panopticon is more relevant than ever as it functions as the underpinning of the ever-growing mass surveillance grid.byJohnny VedmoreOctober 1, 202018 minute read

    For those who are not so familiar with 18th century social philosophy, a Panopticon was originally the design of a prison building by an English philosopher named Jeremy Bentham. The Panopticon prison’s architecture would allow one guard in a central guard tower to observe every inmate without those prisoners knowing that they were being observed, and so those incarcerated were left to assume that they were actually being observed all of the time. This prison would, in theory, allow that singular guard to maintain order over every inmate. 

    Much later, in the 20th century, the famous French philosopher, Michel Foucault, would use the concept of Bentham’s original Panopticon as a way to describe and explore “disciplinary power”. According to Foucault’s work, disciplinary power had been successful due to its utilisation of three technologies; hierarchical observation; normalising judgment; and examinations. Hierarchical observation refers to the fact that the observer in a Panopticon can be of any hierarchical position within the observing body, meaning that a prison guard, supervisor, or a governor could be the person viewing the inmates. Foucault would also insist that the normalisation of judgement is imperative for disciplinary power to exist. The final principle, the examination, is used to combine the first two principles of the observations and the resulting judgements to help decide on whether further actions should be taken or punitive measures be applied.

    Among the most notable of Foucault’s analyses of the utility of the Panopticon is the following quote from his book Discipline and Punish: “The major effect of the panopticon is to induce in the inmate a state of consciousness and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.” In other words, the uncertainty of whether or not an individual is being constantly watched induces obedience in that individual, allowing only a few to control the many.

    In addition to Foucault, the concept of the Panopticon has been vigorously studied over the past few centuries and it has special relevance in understanding modern forms of mass surveillance. The aim of many of the modern day state surveillance apparatus function under a similar doctrine to the original ideology behind the invention of the Panopticon. 

    The British GCHQ, the US’s NSA, the Israeli’s Unit 8200, among many others, are the all seeing eyes of national intelligence agencies who have longed for a way to watch their populations remotely, i.e. online, without their citizens knowing whether or not they’re actually being observed. One man has strived to be at the center of the growing global Panopticon, from his base in the Panopticon’s birthplace — Britain. His name is Daniel Korski.

    Donville seeking to have US conviction quashed
    By Maria Bradshaw
    Donville Inniss, the former Government minister who is serving a two-year sentence in a United States federal prison for money laundering offences, has filed an appeal seeking to have his conviction overturned.
    On November 24, his attorney Joel Hirschhorn submitted a 42-page document to the United States Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, in which he argued that the convictions should be reversed because “the alleged receipt of two bribe payments cannot constitute both the money laundering offence and the predicate specified unlawful activity (SUA), and (2) because of erroneous instructions that misled the jury.
    Inniss began serving his sentence in July and is due to be released in 2023, but must also spend two years of supervised release.
    He was convicted of receiving a total of US$36 000 from executives associated with the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL), which the prosecution had argued was bribe money for ICBL securing Government insurance contracts.
    Hirschhorn told the appeal court that money laundering must be a separate crime distinct from the underlying offence which generated the money to be laundered. He submitted that at trial the government did not establish the appellant laundered the payments he received, merely that he received two payments for his participation in the conspiracy.
    ‘Erroneous instructions’ He further claimed that the jury instructions regarding the law of conspiracy, the substantive money laundering charges, the credibility of accomplice witness testimony, and the essential elements of the Barbadian anti-bribery law alleged in the second superseding indictment were erroneous, confusing to the jury and prejudicial to his client.
    “At trial the government proved that the appellant received bribes, not that he laundered the proceeds of those bribes,” counsel stated.
    Hirschhorn also argued there was no evidence presented to the jury regarding subsequent money laundering activity.
    In relation to the ground of appeal regarding the jury instructions, he noted that Inniss’ trial counsel did not object to the propriety of the jury instructions at trial,
    therefore “appellant’s challenge is reviewed for plain error”.
    Hirschhorn also pointed out that the trial court’s general instruction regarding conspiracy was problematic.
    In terms of the money laundering instructions to the jury, the attorney noted: “The district court’s instructions were contradictory and prejudiced appellant. It is insufficient, for purposes of a money laundering conviction, to find that appellant’s actions only resulted in promoting the carrying on of specified unlawful activity.
    “It does not appear as if appellant’s trial counsel submitted any proposed jury instructions or objected, in any meaningful way, to the government’s proposed instructions,” as he made specific reference to the testimony of the prosecution’s star witness, Kimante Millar, the former chief financial officer of ICBL. He said the instruction about her testimony “was erroneous and substantially prejudiced [Inniss] by vouching for and bolstering the testimony of the government’s primary witness”.
    Finally, he charged that the trial court committed a fundamental error by omitting an essential element of the alleged SUA.
    “It appears as if the jury deliberated on the misdemeanour provision of the Barbadian Prevention of Corruption Act. The jury was not instructed that, in order to find appellant guilty, the transaction at issue had to have been in relation to a contract, which would have increased the alleged SUA to a felony under Barbadian law.
    “For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of conviction and sentence should be reversed or vacated, and this cause should be remanded for further proceedings as appropriate,” Hirschhorn submitted.
    The prosecution has given notice that it will present its brief on February 23, 2022.

    Source: Nation

  17. Took them long enuff? Sentence was late April 2021, serving began in July 2021, and now Nov 2021 for appeal.

  18. “He was convicted of receiving a total of US$36 000 from executives associated with the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL), which the prosecution had argued was bribe money for ICBL securing Government insurance contracts.
    Hirschhorn told the appeal court that money laundering must be a separate crime distinct from the underlying offence which generated the money to be laundered. He submitted that at trial the government did not establish the appellant laundered the payments he received, merely that he received two payments for his participation in the conspiracy.”

    Money diverted into a US account as payment for issuing Barbados Government contracts IS MONEY LAUNDERING
    Case dismissed

  19. Debt defence
    Straughn responds to concerns over borrowings
    MINISTER in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn is pouring cold water on the notion that Barbados’ ballooning debt is a cause for alarm.
    He also stressed that despite the Central Bank’s move to purchase $125 million in newly issued Government bonds, the Mia Amor Mottley administration has not returned to the days of printing money.
    Last weekend, president of the Democratic Labour Party, Verla De Peiza, said she was deeply concerned about the rate at which Government was accruing debt. She said the signs of discomfort were evident in the domestic and international market, adding that in the last three and a half years, but more accelerated in the last 15 months, Barbados had increased its debt burden by about $1.8 billion.
    Cloud of uncertainty
    She also questioned where Government was going to find the foreign exchange to service this debt, contending that a dark cloud of uncertainty was still hovering over the country’s bread-and-butter tourism sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    However, Straughn told the MIDWEEK NATION that things were looking up in the tourism sector and it was anticipated that this winter season could mark the resurgence of the industry. He also disclosed that Government planned to work with others in the international community to ring-fence the debt incurred as a result of the pandemic, ensuring there is no debt overhang in the long term.
    “I believe that tourism is also on its way back and we hope that we can get as fast a recovery as such that triggers more growth. So the key going forward is growth. We have always maintained that we will work within the context of the international community to ring-fence the debt that was incurred because of COVID, and have that financed over a longer period so that it does not create a debt overhang for countries like Barbados.
    “We anticipate that once those decisions are taken up and finalised, the debt trajectory will become less of a burden given the circumstances that COVID has presented,” he added.
    The minister reiterated that Government was left with little choice but to borrow in order to keep the country’s social
    services, as well as households and businesses, afloat in the face of significantly reduced revenue and increased expenditure.
    In relation to concerns over the printing of money (financing of Government by borrowing from the Central Bank), which were raised by Professor Emeritus Michael Howard last week, Straughn said while he understood why the respected economist would view the facts in such a light, a number of variables had not been considered.
    He explained that the move would enable the Mottley administration to access $261.6 million allocated to Barbados in August via an increased special drawing rights allocation from the International Monetary Fund.
    “Given the appetite that there was for the BOSS [Barbados Optional Savings Scheme] bonds in the market, we took the decision, given that the Fund’s programme is to end in March 2022, to test the domestic financial system by issuing a bond and using Central Bank to facilitate. After all, it is Government’s resources allocated to fight the pandemic. The mechanism that we have chosen may give the appearance that it is printing money, but I can assure you that it is not,” he said.

    Source: Nation

  20. Mia a natural leader

    By Garth Patterson
    It has been suggested in some circles that my recent spate of articles is indicative of some underlying political agenda; that I must have political aspirations; that my writings reflect an anti-Government sentiment; and I might even harbour some enmity towards our Prime Minister.
    I hope, therefore, I can be forgiven for the indulgence of setting the record straight.
    I actually believe that Mia Amor Mottley is one of the most gifted people to grace the political arena in our region over the last century. Her intellect is exceptional, and the breadth and depth of her knowledge makes most of us who have a little book-learning, or consider ourselves as intellectuals, seem almost pedestrian. Her gift of oratory is both rare and awe-inspiring; and her speeches are renowned for their eloquence, delivery, and profundity.
    She prides herself as a student of history and her studies have imbued in her a profound understanding of who we are as a Caribbean people, the tortured journey that we have travelled, and an acute sense of our innate, limitless potential. Her unhesitating answer to the call of political service is symptomatic not only of a genetic predisposition but also of her keen awareness of the important role that she is uniquely qualified to play in shaping our collective destiny.
    Landslide victory
    She was predestined to become a Prime Minister of this country; and when, in May 2018, she led the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a historic landslide victory in the general election, it was one the most opportune moments for the security and welfare of this country. She wrestled free the mantle of leadership at a time when the country was facing, and would face, its greatest crises in recent history.
    She was the right leader at the right time. Hers was a baptism of fire. She inherited an economy that was against the ropes and close to submission. A decade of fiscal mismanagement had left the country in a desperate state of affairs. Our physical infrastructure reeked (literally – as in sewerage running in the streets) of neglect and decay. Crime was on the rise and the morale of our people had sunk to new depths from the tumult that was left in the wake of the previous administration, which was inept and, by any political yardstick, unqualified to lead. Within months of her administration successfully tackling the sewerage issues, our crippling debt burden, and embarking upon much needed repairs to our tottering infrastructure, and with some glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, Barbados was hammered by a series of new, crippling, challenges, any one of which would, singly, have tested the mettle of the most resolute of leaders.
    A once-in-acentury global pandemic, a freakish lightning storm, a destructive hurricane, and the massive fallout from a neighbouring volcano.
    It is a testament to her strength, calm-under-pressure, conviction of purpose and sterling leadership that the country has survived these significant calamities. She has been a solid rock and a fountain of inspiration, motivation and hope to a nation that was coming apart at its seams.
    Natural leader
    Barbados was blessed with that calibre of leadership at a time when sound, steady, resolute leadership was, and is, most critically needed. As was CARICOM, as she has emerged as its natural leader and has earned the respect and confidence of her regional counterparts. It was a signal moment for the region when she famously took on former United States (US) President Trump, on behalf of CARICOM nations, roundly rejecting his invitation to send a Barbados delegation to attend a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a select group of CARICOM leaders.
    She repudiated his “attempt to divide this region”, saying that she was “conscious that principles only mean something when it is inconvenient to stand by them” and, invoking Errol Barrow, declared that this region must always check itself to ensure that we do not become the satellites or pawns of others. She has, undoubtedly, imprinted an indelible mark on the regional political landscape.
    It is not hyperbole to suggest that, despite her storied accomplishments to date, her best is yet to come. She is destined to greatness on a stage that transcends the boundaries of our Caribbean shores. Her recent presentation to the United Nations on climate change has captured the imagination of world leaders and has garnered her a secure place on the list of future global change-makers. And although the pages of her legacy are still being written, there are few who doubt that, in the fullness of time, when the story is told, herstory will be kind to her. That
    said, she is only human. And it is an inescapable consequence of the human condition that we are, all of us, fallible. The accomplishments of the Mottley administration are deservedly laudable but were not without missteps. There is nothing wrong or unusual about that. To err is human, and our Prime Minister, while transcendent-like, still has her feet firmly planted on Barbadian soil.
    She has been criticised as often as she’s been praised. Her leadership style, which has drawn comparisons with the “Iron Lady”, has rubbed a few people the wrong way. Such is the burden of leadership. Not everyone agrees with her every decision or those of her administration, nor should they. The decision not to mandate vaccines, for example, has been a bitter pill for most to swallow.
    Becoming a republic
    She was berated for inadequate public discourse on Barbados becoming a republic and there is an embarrassing debacle surrounding the botched patriation of the Constitution. However, the hallmark of great leadership is not perfection, but the ability to abide criticism and to learn from and correct one’s mistakes.
    The essence of a democratic form of government and a key characteristic that distinguishes it from autocracies is the stoic tolerance of the free expression of ideas and divergent opinions. Prime Minister Mottley embraces democratic principles; and one of her crowning achievements, in my view, was the shepherding of Barbados’ transformation to a parliamentary republic.
    Modern republics, they say, are founded on the idea that sovereignty rests with the people and the real power resides in the bosoms of its citizens. A necessary corollary of that is that every Barbadian citizen has an inalienable right to participate in the government of this country; and that the business of government is a public matter and not the exclusive preserve of rulers or dictators.
    As Mia is a staunch proponent and defender of the republican form of democratic government, it’s not unreasonable to presume that she firmly believes in the sanctity of the vox populi and not only welcomes but actively encourages, the free expression of ideas, even if they don’t always coincide with her own. She has the insight and maturity to understand that the right of a citizen to disagree with the policies of her administration is conducive to the nurturing of a healthy democracy.
    Free expression
    And that every citizen is, or should be, invested in her success and the success of her administration since our collective futures depend on it. In that regard, there is no better currency than constructive, spirited, discourse on matters of public concern. I want to believe that she will be first in line to staunchly defend that right of free expression, especially when it is inconvenient for her to do so.
    So, I reserve the right to vigorously applaud, or interrogate, as appropriate, the policies of this or any other administration. I respect and admire our Prime Minister and my views have nothing to do with political ambition; nor bias; nor enmity. There are plenty enough sycophants and I choose not to join that club. You honour the ones you care about by telling them not only the pleasing things they want to hear but also the uncomfortable things that they need to hear.
    We can pay no greater tribute to the Prime Minister and her administration than by doing precisely that.
    Garth Patterson is a senior counsel.

    Source: Nation

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