Monkey Handling Vote

There has been another school mass shooting in the US. Since the US has politicised this issue, it is foreseen that there will be many more school mass shootings. When a problem becomes politicised, the solution is not normally determined by reason, but by what is politically expedient – which tends to be the worst possible solution.

For generations around the world, it was accepted that children fully transitioned into adulthood at 21. There were individual exceptions, but to protect the public, governments generally did not give children adult responsibilities until they reached 21.


Our primary school age children may think that they are ready for adult responsibilities. But most parents know that their 18-year-olds are not fully ready for the liabilities of adulthood – they are transitioning. Parents are responsible for managing this transition by introducing their children to age-appropriate responsibilities, and not forcing them to prematurely accept adult liabilities.

The transition into adulthood for most, was found to start at 18 years. Therefore, in the US, you could marry at 18, since you only risked harming a few people. However, if you wanted to vote, or own a gun, then you had to be 21. There were exceptional circumstances when governments entrusted adult responsibilities to their 18-year-olds. That was normally during times of war, when they were drafted into the military, whether they wanted to go or not.

Politicians trying to exploit situations to attain or maintain power, decided that our children should be allowed to vote, and own guns. They reasoned that if they could fight in wars, then they could vote – and own guns. They conveniently ignored the fact that being compelled to fight in a war is temporary, while establishing rights to vote and own guns is permanent.


In 1968, US Politicians gave 18-year-olds the constitutional right to purchase guns (Gun Control Act, 1968). After this, the wave of school mass shootings in the US commenced. These mass shootings were mostly done by boys under the age of 21. The solution seems obvious, raise the age to legally own a gun back to 21. But that would mean acknowledging that the political experiment to legally make children adults at 18 had failed.

In 1971, US Politicians gave 18-year-olds the constitutional right to vote. They convinced children that they were emotionally mature enough to make adult decisions. They are not, but politicians will always try to exploit any group to attain or maintain power. That is who they are, and that is what they do.


Teenagers of the 1970s generally had more formal education than their parents. Politicians exploited the rebellious phase that teenagers normally experienced, by deceiving them that they did not need to follow the old-fashioned conservative ways of their parents – including their voting preferences.

Politicians also manipulated popular youth to influence their peers on what political positions were outdated, and which were trendy. That deception continues to this day.


If we accept that children fully transition into adults at 18, then they should not be discriminated against in being given adult responsibilities and liabilities, based solely on their age – including owning guns. But to maintain political power, politicians cannot return to the sanity of accepting that most children do not fully transition to adulthood until the age of 21.

The desire to deceive immature youth to vote for their political party, is more important than stopping the carnage of school mass shootings. Many US politicians are so utterly shameless, that they consistently use every school shooting, that is a consequence of their own short-sighted policies, to convince people to vote for their political party.


In Barbados, we want to follow the US in their insane political folly. We want to manipulate our children into becoming politically active. We want our children to be our Senators, reviewing and approving complex legislation that can harm us all.

They have forgotten that the one constant about children is that they are inexperienced. Our politicians have forgotten that the Senate is a place where our most experienced and knowledgeable citizens should serve – not our least experienced. By forcing our children to prematurely become politically active, we are doing them, and the public, a grave disservice.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at

Our Children – Knowing Cents from Sense

Submitted by William Skinner

Recently in a submission to BU, I mentioned a story appearing in the local press about a six-year-old citizen, selling her first piece of art. In the interview, her mother said that she was conflicted, in exposing her daughter to such activity at a very tender age. She did not want to send the message that everything is about money. However, she concluded that her daughter’s passion, came at the cost of some expensive art supplies. In the end common “cents’ became the reality.

We stupidly believed that the world would have waited on us, to embrace the emerging technologies. While we waited, teens in other countries, were already becoming millionaires by creating and selling computer programs /apps. We wasted almost twenty years boasting about “punching above our weight”.

Our children were therefore denied the excellent opportunity of mastering basic computer skills, and many have left school lacking the competence to turn on a computer. Edutech was a monumental failure. And to this day, the architect of that calamity has never explained the disaster.

Our children must compete in the global market. Countries with limited resources must have educational institutions that impart knowledge and skills to navigate their local, regional, and international challenges.

An honest assessment of successive administrations reveals their innate ability to prefer presentation over content. They always fail to deal with the issues and challenges we need to face within our educational system. The latest fallacy being promoted, suggests there are no “good or bad” schools. We should ask our children what they think about that! We are trying to convince ourselves that the system is not elitist. We are still contending that each child, who sits the Common Entrance, has an equal chance of “passing” a “fair “examination.

Many citizens are asking what will replace the Common Entrance. Almost two years have passed since the current administration informed the public that it would be abolished.

We continue to blame the parents and those teachers, whom we think are not the best ,for the failures of the system.

Our children are not responsible for poor parenting or teaching. No child chooses his or her parents. Our children should have at least one daily nutritious meal and be exposed to the best educational institutions. We must ensure that they are provided with all the means to enjoy a happy, healthy childhood. They must be protected from all forms of abuse.

Very urgent and comprehensive legislation is needed to give our children protection. For example, adults who are accused of abusing children, must be removed from the home immediately; children under the age of fourteen should not be required to give evidence at trials where they have accused adults of abuse. Once the state determines there is a case, there should be no need for the child to be a witness and be cross examined. The accused is at the mercy of the court and his innocence or guilt will be determined by a jury.

Those found guilty should be placed on a public record as molesters and be not permitted to reside or frequent anywhere where children gather this will include play parks, schools, and other places. There should be a minimum sentence of twenty-five years for anybody who rapes a child. Penetration could be any object.

As a nation, we must protect and develop our only natural resource. We are all parents and guardians of all our children.

As we embark on the new Republic journey, we need to ask ourselves: how seven of ten children in the nation’s care, from the Girls Industrial School, became patients, at the psychiatric hospital on suicide watch. The next question is are we collectively doing right by our nation’s children.

The alert parent mentioned at the beginning of this piece, knew, the difference between reality and illusion. Our children have all the inner resources to make the future of our country greater and like that parent, we need to always know the difference between cents and common sense

BU Covid Dash – Remember the Children

The Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2  started in late 2019 and quickly spread to become a pandemic the following year. Based on the current state of global response to the pandemic, there is anticipation SARS-CoV-2 will join the family of coronaviruses to become endemic- like the flu. We will have to finalize an effective method to coexist and carryon with our lifes to protect our economic and mental well being.

Earlier this month newly appointed Chief Education Officer Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw indicated the ministry is working on a roadmap to ensure at least 70% of students and teachers are fully vaccinated or a system of robust testing as a prerequisite for class room teaching. She further reported about 9,000 of the 21,000 student population were vaccinated, however the vaccination status of teachers is unknown.

The concern of the blogmaster is about how online teaching is negatively effecting our children, especially at primary level. What is the fallout for children who are ‘wired’ to learn with different learning styles i.e. visual, auditory, kinetic to optimally learn. What will be the impact to the quality of a future Barbados society?

The challenge for education authorities is to efficiently weigh the risk of online instruction compared to class room learning of our children during the pandemic and implement relevant plans to mitigate fallout. There is no perfect plan but we must execute the best plans given what is at stake. The speed at which the Covid 19 vaccine is being administered and the challenges caused by the surge of infections  (see current Covid 19 graphs attached) suggest the current approach of blended learning will have to be the preferred approach into 2022.

The predicament we find ourselves throws out a view to which the blogmaster is sympathetic- should the country suspend the requirement of the 11+ exam,  one example- until we implement an effective remedial syllabus to cater to children being left behind? We must not forget that pre Covid 19 government agreed to address fault lines in the education system.

Having sunk billions in the education system since 1966, we must be capable of having an informed and dispassionate discourse regarding next steps to deliver a quality education to the youth cohort AND importantly EXECUTE the plan to address concerns.

Attached are graphs for week ending 22nd October 2021. The increases are very alarming but it should be noted that the last 2 days’ increases were predominantly from 2 large shut-in clusters in the Black Rock area. Nevertheless, it appears that we are now at the eye-wall of the outbreak. The contact and trace authorities appear to be on the ball. We all should do our individual best to protect each other and thereby quicken eventual control of the epidemic – Lyall Small

Don’t Mess with Our Children

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (friendly version) states at number 19 heading among other others of equal importance that:

Protection from Violence – Governments must protect children from violence, abuse and being neglected by anyone who looks after them.

UN Convention on the rights of the child

In recent days Barbadians have been expressing outrage in response to the report of a teenager at the Government Industrial School (GIS) recorded naked in solitary confinement. The blogmaster is acutely aware the danger of blogging about matters involving children given the inclination by some in Internet fora to be irresponsible.

Troubling to the blogmaster is the breach of the rights of the teenager occurred while under the care of government. It is not lost on the blogmaster that in other jurisdictions persons charged with the responsibility of managing the GIS would have tendered resignations forthwith.

There is no need for the blogmaster to be prolix sharing thoughts on the heinous act that has occurred at the GIS. It should never have happened. Successive governments by mediocre decision-making are responsible. Adults whether employed at the GIS or parents are responsible. The country is responsible for protecting our children. Faith Marshall-Harris is correct when she reminds us that adults have a moral and LEGAL duty to report incidents of child abuse to the authorities- even if the abuse occurred at a government institution responsible for enforcing the very rights of children.

The blogmaster congratulates children advocates who champion the rights of children every day, every week and all the time. Blogs have been posted over the years (not enough) to expose challenges children face in the country. The number of comments these types of blogs garner is always an indication of the level of public interest in these types of matters. Then there is a predictable reaction when the matter currently provoking rage occurs. We are reactive to the inevitable.

The following related links were posted on Barbados Underground in 2017 to support a similar matter.

We do not place enough importance on little problems until there is a crisis situation.

The blogmaster refuses to consider the problems were not being highlighted to the management of the GIS and at other similar institutions over time.

The blogmaster refuses to consider the problems were not being highlighted to the Board of the GIS and at other similar institutions over time.

The blogmaster refuses to consider that the problems were not being highlighted to the minister responsibly for the GIS and at other similar institutions over time.

The blogmaster refuses to consider that the problems were not being highlighted to the general population by current and former employees of the GIS and other over time.

When we make the logical conclusion what does it translate to?

To Barbadians: No Child Must be Left Behind

Kudos to the Nation newspaper for highlighting the human interest story Family lacks electricity for online classes. The story resonated with the blogmaster for many reasons that should be obvious to sensible people. Leaders in education of late, forced to implement Covid 19 measures, have been repeatedly braying the cliche “no child must be left behind‘ – what does that mean? What does the image of children clustered around a mobile device in a less than an ideal arrangement say to fellow citizens?

Credit: Nation News

For too long better educated individuals than this buffoon, illiterate blogmaster have promoted the view we must modify the system of education to make it fit for purpose. The pandemic razing the global economic and social landscape of developed and developing countries has exposed weaknesses in the system successive governments have largely ignored or demonstrated a lack of competence to effectively manage.

We live in a country, a world it seems that consumes and distil ALL issues through a political lens. Factors influencing policymaking require several inputs be considered with the political being ONE.

Now the pandemic has humbled the education system the consequence of which we will not be able to determine for years to come. Are we there yet to do what is required? Are we ready to critically review and implement innovations required to enable our children to successfully compete in the global economy?

The task of not adequately preparing our children for the world has dire consequences for our small, beautiful paradise we love. An island that has accomplished so much considering its limited natural resources. Let us work together to show we love Barbados by continuing constructive engagement; sharing ideas, holding citizens, leaders accountable.

Read the Nation article Family lacks electricity for online classes.

Family lacks electricity for online classes 

Six children in one household cannot log on to the virtual classroom because their home lacks electricity.

Grandmother Cora Eastmond told the Weekend Nation that she has to give the devices to a friend who lives in Black Rock, St Michael, to get them charged and, depending on his schedule, she may get them back in a day or two.

The 61-year-old woman, who lives in My Lord’s Hill, St Michael, has been featured in this newspaper in the past and continues to receive assistance in the form of food and clothing for the children. Though unemployed, she is the sole guardian of three of the children, following the death of their mother five years ago.

The grandchildren range in age from five to 12.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and classes being shifted online, Eastmond said she had now reached the stage where there was a desperate need for the utilities.

“The house does not have electricity. I does got to send the phones and tablets to get charged and the tablets does have to go all the way to Black Rock,” she cried. “Sometimes the children don’t get their schoolwork done,” she said, adding that all of them had received devices.

The woman inherited the small two-bedroom wooden house in which the family lives when her mother passed away. Eastmond said she started to get it wired for electricity but did not have the money to complete the process even though she had some of the fittings stored.

She added that the house also had natural gas attached but it was disconnected many years ago.

“We does got to go by the $3 Store and buy batteries and go by an Indian store and buy lights and sometimes the batteries only lasting two or three nights,” she said, as she produced the small lanterns which the family used to illuminate the house at night.

In terms of cooking gas, she said while she buys the 25-pound cylinder bottle, it only lasts about a week because of the cooking which had to be done for the family.

“So I does have to walk down the road to the gasstation and if they don’t have gas I have to gofurther and my knees can’t take it because I have


Eastmond said she felt helpless when it came to the needs of her family since they were all dependent on her.

“It is six children and three adults that live here. My son is out working and he tries his best but this is too much. I am getting old. I don’t know how much of this I can take. I don’t know how much longer I got on this Earth but I want better for the children,” she said, tears rolling down her face.

Eastmond said someone from the Barbados Light & Power recently visited the house but she did not know why since he only asked questions about the occupants. (MB)


BU’s inbox has been inundated in the last 24 hours with requests to sign a petition calling for justice in the matter involving Demarco Gibbs who was beaten by for minors. Unfortunately the injuries sustained by Demarco left him brain dead.

The following words contained in the petition reported to have secured 10,000 signatures at recent count caught the eye of the blogmaster.

The laws of Barbados need to be amended to charge children as adults when they commit heinous crimes. Their parents must also be held accountable. The time for change is now!

Increasingly our small society once characterized by personable citizens has morphed into something opposite- defined in this instant as Barbadians prepared to swing the sledge hammer to crush the symptom  and mostly ignore the causal factor(s) that created the outcome. What does it say about thousands of adults; elders in a society willing to relinquish causal responsibility?

The behaviour – good and bad – manifested by minors in our society; in our charge, in the homes, schools and everywhere reflects on us ADULTS. What moral authority do we have to propose to treat children as adults within the boundary of our laws designed to protect?  By all means let us how to treat with debate parental delinquency but charging children as adult does NOT Rh compute in the mind of this blogmaster.

Recently the blogmaster traversed the Bow Road heading North and his line of sight was assaulted by the dilapidated state of the National Stadium. The state of the stadium did not deteriorate to its current state in recent years, it has suffered steady decline even ‘in times of plenty’. In the mind of the blogmaster a national stadium is integral to a vibrant national youth program.

There is the oft repeated phrase a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.  The blogmaster is prepared to extend the adage that an engaged youth represent future leaders. What does a cursory assessment of the appearance of the National Stadium point to where youth affairs register on government’s list of priorities?

Screenshot 2020-07-04 at 18.44.58

National Stadium

The blogmaster is tired, tired, tired of connecting dots for some of you.


Lawyer-politicians Take Us for FOOLS

Submitted by Cheryl Newton

Lawyer-politicians make me sick to the stomach and are full of shit.  Perhaps they behave with much contempt as if of the opinion we all went to school in August. When in government they seem to sit on their brains and when in opposition behave as the smartest persons in the world.

A 300 page report was completed by former Magistrate Faith Marshall Harris – UN Children Advocate – which was not tabled in parliament by the last administration to amend the Minors Act and the Maintenance Act. The BLP is also ignoring that report.

The system is just as clogged as the sewer at the Supreme Court because of the many frivolous emotional access and maintenance cases that are made contentious by lawyers seeking to suck on the sore financial nipples of legal aid which is in a pre-cancerous state and under the surgical knife of BERT.

The recommendations in the UN Children’s Advocate whitepaper are so comprehensive that it takes into consideration support in kind. It also deals with the eagerness of mostly women to use an already clogged court system to deal with the emotionally stressful issues of access and maintenance. No longer is cash the only means of support as in kind by respondent and their extended family is now included. Mediation for all access/ maintenance issues rather than the rush to court will be mandatory with only extremely difficult cases going before a magistrate or judge. Even the loss of productivity by turning up for court at 9am only for your case to be heard by an overworked and under paid judicial officer is also dealt with in the proposed amendments.

It is really disgusting how we have silently and complicity allowed the legal industry to have turned our country upside down while the whole country remains silent. We need not wonder why the Bajan slaves were the least paid, most productive and hardly ever revolted against wrong. It’s in our DNA.

Do see the Barbados article below:

Bajan Men Fighting Back Against Deadbeat Mothers

Fact: Dodds Prison 2014 Report shows 68 men convicted for contempt of maintenance orders,38 for burglary and 54 for drugs. The cost of keeping a prisoner in custody in 2010 was $95.13 and is now at $85.71 in 2015. After the 43 days incarceration the arrears must still be paid. Why not levy on the wages or salary? What does it say about our society and legislators. (Extract taken from the Prison Statistical Report to Parliament)Men Against Naught Dead beat Mums Barbados

My Christmas Wish for OUR Children

Submitted by David Comissiong

The late Vivian Comissiong

The late Vivian Comissiong

This Christmas article is dedicated to the memory of my father, the late Rev. Vivian Comissiong, a veteran Minister of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas, and a great son of our Caribbean Civilization.

Rev. Comissiong’s concept of God was of the Heavenly Father– a father of perfect goodness and love towards His earthly children. It is not surprising therefore that the “babe of Bethlehem” held a special place in his heart, and that he loved children– all children– and especially enjoyed the celebration of Christmas, which he regarded as the “Festival of the Child”.

Today we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, who admonished the world to– “suffer the little children to come unto me, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of heaven belongs.”

And so, as we celebrate Christmas , we should spare a thought for the children of our nation. Indeed, there is no better time to reflect on the welfare and well-being of our children, since Christmas, as Rev. Comissiong always maintained, is really the festival of the child.

This is the perfect time, therefore, for us to give some thought to the several duties that we owe to all of the children of our nations.

Every child of our nation has a number of vital needs which must be satisfied if that child is to be nourished and to develop into a healthy, productive, well adjusted adult citizen. And a good way to think about the needs of our children and the manner in which these needs are to be met, is to conceive of our children or youth as requiring a number of vital “foods” in order that they be properly nourished.

So, what are the vital “foods” that each Barbadian / Caribbean child or youth requires, and that must be provided by his or her nation?

Well, there are some obvious material ones such as physical food, clothing, housing and health care. But there are also non-physical or “Spiritual foods” that each child or young person needs, and that our Caribbean families / communities / governments / nations must provide for them. And it is these “spiritual foods” that I wish to focus on in this Christmas article.

Indeed, I would say that there are at least ten critical and vital “spiritual foods” that we must give to our Caribbean youth. I therefore maintain that we must – as a matter of sacred duty – give our youth:-

(1) A sense of Community

We must give our children (our youth) a sense that they “belong” to the Barbadian/Caribbean nation, and that they are connected in some vital way to the entire  society and body politic – that they are our communal sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins. And so, in the case of Barbados,we – the adults of the nation – must demonstrate this sense of community by taking an interest in all of the youth of our nation, not merely our own biological children.

(2) Respect

We must give the children of our nation “respect”! We must therefore speak to and treat our youth with respect – the respect that is owed to every precious creature made in the likeness of almighty God. And if we nurture, and even discipline, our children with respect, we are likely to see a flourishing of their sense of dignity and self-worth.

(3) A correct appreciation of Human and Social Work

For our children’s sake, we must develop a national social narrative which confirms that the truly heroic, admirable and “cool” people of our society are those whose labour contributes vitally to producing the social ingredients for the society’s survival and development, rather than so-called “celebrities” and elitists who, typically, exist like social parasites and contribute little that is of true value to our society.

(4) A role in Society

We must assure our youth that we need them to play certain critical roles in society – roles that they are best equipped to play. For example, in as much as the youth tend to be equipped with an innate and still uncorrupted sense of justice, they must be the idealists and moral champions of our society – the ones that we depend upon to point out to us when “the Emperor is naked”. In addition, equipped as they are with boundless energy, we must look to our youth for the force and strength to protect our communities and to bring sporting glory to the nation.

(5) A sense of History

It is critical that we give our youth a true knowledge of their history – a knowledge of the antiquity of their ancestors; of the heroic struggles of their forefathers; and of the outstanding historical accomplishments of their race. Furthermore, every young person should have a sense of historical continuity, and conceive of themselves as playing an important part in the unfolding historical mission or journey of their people.

(6) A Sense of Accomplishment and Importance

We must make it a point of duty to deliver to every young person in our country multiple opportunities to develop a sense of accomplishment and of importance to our society. This requires our nation to establish programmes and structures that make it possible for all of our youth to develop their various skills and aptitudes, and to be nationally recognised, regardless of family background or individual family wealth.

(7) A sense of the Spiritual and eternal location of their lives

Our youth must be given a sense that they are not merely material beings, but that they possess a vital connection to a higher spiritual realm of absolute goodness, love, truth and beauty. This will give them the perspective required to make a distinction between that which is merely transient and of fleeting value, and that which is profound and of eternal value.

(8) A Sense of a Culture that belongs to them

It is vitally important that our youth be made to feel that they are the possessors of a culture that belongs to them and that is unique and valuable. We must never place them in a position where they are made to feel that some-one else’s reality or culture is superior to theirs, and that they are required to be mere cultural borrowers.

(9) A Sense of A Future

We must give our youth a sense of optimism, and imbue them with the confidence that there is a limitless future ahead of them, full of possibilities and opportunities for self actualization.

(10) A Sense of Self Worth

And finally, we must – in all that we do – ensure that we give our young an impregnable sense of self-worth in all dimensions of their being: that is, a sense of personal self-worth; a sense of national self-worth; a sense of racial self-worth!

I wish all my fellow Barbadian and Caribbean citizens a happy and blessed Christmas!

-David Comissiong is an attorney-at-law and the President of the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados-

Children as Commodities (Breed! Breed!)

The following is an interesting Editorial which deals with the call for women to ‘breed’!

Roman Catholic priest, Father Clement Paul

Roman Catholic priest, Father Clement Paul

The need to preserve our current social security system may be regarded as paramount if we are minded to maintain a reasonable standard of existence in future for our more vulnerable citizens. Hence, we suppose, the recent concerns expressed by the Labour Minister with regard to the viability of the sickness benefit scheme if claims continued at the present rates and the suggestions made over time for there to be an increase in births to offset the costs attached to the probable number of elderly citizens receiving pensions in the immediate future. In a scenario of declining birth rates, there will naturally arise a growing gap between the working age population that fund these programmes and the elderly who avail of them.

And while we are not yet at a crisis stage comparatively speaking; for example in 2013 Italy had a fertility rate of 1.4 with 14% only of its population under 15 and 21 % at 65 and older, and Japan with an identical fertility rate numbered 13% and 24% respectively, a declining birth rate in Barbados currently with a fertility rate of 1.84, may see us reaching a similar predicament in the near future.

The call for an increase in the number of children produced locally is not new. Many years ago, one recalls the self-styled “Cement Man” on the call-in radio programmes publicly exhorting our women to “breed, breed”, although we do not now recall whether it was effected for reasons of social security sustainability purely or for a mere increase in population numbers.

There was a later endorsement of that call to childbearing arms, and more recently repeated, by the Honourable Minister of Education, Mr Ronald Jones, who predicted danger for the country in the next fifty years if our current fertility rate is maintained.

The debate has been joined in the last two weeks by two religious leaders lending public support to the proposal, although with clear conditions in both cases. First, pastor and Senator, Dr David Durant, suggested that the state may have to consider “giving a monetary incentive to married couples to have more children”. Perhaps the Senator is unaware, but Barbados law no longer makes a distinction between partnerships with the so-called “benefit of clergy” and those not so favoured for purposes of some family rights. Both the Succession Act 1979 and the Family Law Act 1981 recognize certain property rights in couples who have cohabited for a stipulated period of time in a “union other than marriage”. Moreover, the Status of Children Act 1975 put paid to the notion of improperly so described “illegitimate children” -the progeny of unmarried parents.

The issue has been further pursued by Roman Catholic priest, Father Clement Paul OP. In an intriguingly ironic, though understandable spiel, he blames the Barbados Family Planning Association and the local termination of pregnancy statute for the low fertility rate in Barbados. He endorses the call for a taxpayer-funded program to increase the number of children, although he also cautions that it must be done in a marital union only.

We do not agree that any public benefits should be provided on a basis restricted to those of traditional marital status when the ultimate objective is for all couples to assist the state to manage the viability of its social security system in the foreseeable future. For one, it smacks too much of a theocratic fiat in a secular constitutional democracy, for another it would be a discriminatory and hence unlawful exclusion from state assets under existing law.

Will Our Children Become Refugees In Barbados?

by Agyeman Kofi

I have but one favour to ask, after reading my rant and you think my rant from my Soap Box is a legitimate. I ask that you  add your voice by commenting and forwarding to everyone on your contact list and ask them to do the same. We have 115,312 persons in Barbados on Facebook and the politicians need to know how we the voters feel. I have a negative friend who tells me Bajans are too busy  to care about their rights unless it directly relates to them and I am wasting my time. Help me prove him wrong!

So let me want rant as the politicians have being saying recently and reiterate  its not my intention to promote anarchy. My only aim is truth,justice, equality, transparency and integrity as well preservation of the social fabric.

In 2011 the only things bajans seem willing to fight for is cake at PriceSmart. Many of you want to reap corn but not plant, but freedom is only gained and maintained through fight.

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Could We Be Hindering Our Child’s Inventiveness And Creativity?

From Dr. Malcom Grant’s Facebook Page

The concept of time, for as long as I can remember, has always amazed and fascinated me. For an hour flies when we are preoccupied and having fun, while it seems to take forever to pass when we are bored and there is little to distract us.

Has anyone ever noted that when we were children a year seemed like an eternity, however, today’s child is often heard to make observations like, “Christmas came around so quickly.” In other words, today’s child has an abbreviated perception of time, when compared to ours when we were children.

Do you realize that most of us are guilty of accelerating the passage of our children’s time? Our children are no longer allowed to pass their time almost wholly by their own design. Most of today’s children are provided with crutches to facilitate their passage of time. These crutches are almost exclusively of an electronic nature – a TV with multiple channels, a computer with a broad band link to the WWW or some type of gaming device.

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What About The Haitian Children?

For the past three weeks the world has remained horrified at the news coming out of Haiti. Much has been stated about the untold suffering which has been visited on Haiti throughout the years. The images beamed across the world by a Western press has exposed the destruction of Port au Prince now rubble, over one hundred thousand dead, over one hundred thousand people relegated to amputee status, and over one million people homeless.

As if the horrific scenes unfolding on a nightly basis was not enough to make grown men cry – delivered courtesy of CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Doctor cum journalist Sanjay Gupta – we have had to witness another horrific event although not being reported as such. How many Black children have been adopted, in the process of being adopted, or simply stolen from Haiti during this period of uncertainty and distress in Haiti? The images of Black children being taken legally or otherwise by White people from Haiti has been troubling to BU.

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Is Hooliganism On The Rise Among Our Youth?

On an earlier blog mention was made of a video of school children making the rounds where they are beating the hell out of each other. Again we repeat, a picture is worth a thousand words. BU concedes the video above probably does not represent the behaviour most of our youth would engage in but it probably is indicative of a worrying trend.

We are not psychologists in the BU household but the behaviour shows a lack of social and emotional immaturity. To those who will respond to the video that like bullying there has always been this behaviour, we say continue to keep your heads in the sand! In our day someone would have step forward to ‘part’ the fight, who will risk it today?

Invasion of Cultures

lowpantSydney Symmonds the host of the CBC Talk Yuh Talk show  had an interesting discussion on Thursday morning regarding the adoption of low pants and cornrow hairstyle by young people in Barbados. The argument posited to explain the low pants style which has been popularized by the American hip hop and prison culture was –  it is just a matter of style. Interesting is the fact some states in the USA have instituted laws to ban the low pant style.

We have those who say a person should have the right to style as they please. There is the other camp who is concerned about the future of our Black  youth given their willy nilly acceptance of American and other foreign cultures. How can any intelligent being who understands the meaning of pride and industry retreat to a position that our society should surrender to the culture of the USA or Jamaica?

A strength of the Bajan society historically has been our willingness to deal with issues in a Bajan way. The challenges which have started to emerge given the nature of a pluralistic society which Barbados is transitioning to must take centre place as concerned Bajans question the type of society we want to become. This is a difficult discussion which must be taken out of the realm of economic mumbo jumbo. The emphasis must be to raise the discussion to appreciate that a society in our view which is socially cohesive will naturally create economic wealth.

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The Children Are Our Future

The deck seems to be stacked against Minister of Education Ronald Jones who we have previously suggested is unsuited for the job, parents and all the other stakeholders as we attempt to arrest the counter-culture which has taken root in our society. Yesterday afternoon we listened with interest to VOB moderator Mark Forde passionately expressing his disgust at the practice which has become fashionable of wearing trousers across the hips to expose the crack of the ass, if female and the undergarments, if male.

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Male + Female = Father + Mother


Father’s Day has come and gone and consensus in the BU household is that the sentiment felt continues to lag what prevails Mother’s Day. We are certain that the socialization which occurs between the ‘sexes’ creates a unique dynamic which was meant to be. A mother’s role embodies the attribute of procreation which is responsible for that maternal instinct which is the glue that has molded our families through the ages and by extension Barbados. Despite the ingenuity of man this is a reality which cannot be created on demand. The father has historically assumed the role as head of the family unit, regrettably for many the role in recent times has been reduced to being titular.

The rise of the woman to take a partnership role in the family unit has been overdue. Unfortunately the trade-off has been to create a learning curve as modern society wrestles with the harmonizing of the new roles ‘sexes’ must play. The ‘commodization’ of relationships has seen the dumbing down of the role of family in modern society. It is ironic that our message of lament concerning the fall of the family coincides with the recent ruling in the California Court which has allowed same sex marriages. If the ruling is overturned in November 2008 is left to be seen. Continue reading

Should We Hire Peter Wickham As A Consultant In Education?

Submitted by Bush tea

children doing exams

It seems that Barbados’s resident expert on everything from homosexuality, to God and now China has turned his attention to the 11 plus exam and specifically to its abolition. It seems that every day now, Wickham has been using his VOB provided call-in platform to insult and down cry the process used for decades to allocate Barbadian children to the secondary school system. Bush tea is calling for the recruitment of Mr Wickham as a special consultant in the Ministry of education, with the role of removing the 11 plus scourge from our society.

……Why not? It seems that we have reached a stage where idiots are highly valued in national decision making.

Wickham would fit well into the kind of system we have, where someone could decide to construct flyovers and execute road works to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – WITHOUT AN AGREED PLAN; where Greenland, after 50 million dollars is back to square 1, and where we build a new $300 million prison and put the same jokers who burnt down the old one to run it. Peter will be ‘at home’ in a leadership position in this country where we have no plan for energy, no plan for traffic, none for solid waste etc.

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