Monthly Archives: May 2008

Adrian Loveridge: Are Caribbean Governments really serious about growing Intra Regional travel?


Adrian Loveridge Takes A Trip To St. Lucia…

Attempting to practice what I preach, I have just returned from a week on St. Lucia.

It wasn’t all pleasure. I managed to visit over 40 hotels including witness at first-hand the current progress of the new Raffles, Ritz-Carlton, Cap Maison, Landings and Westin Le Paradis Hotel and property developments and the expansion of Rodney Bay Marina.

We took advantage of some of ‘special’ LIAT airfares posted on their website.

At first, they seem so attractive.

Barbados to St. Lucia US$45 and St. Lucia to Barbados US$35!

So a return airfare of just US$80!

But then start adding the taxes and additional charges.

First Barbados (all shown in US$)

Sales Tax $6.75
Passenger Facility Charge $5
Airport Development Tax $27.50
Airport Authority Tax $2.50
Airport Passenger Tax $0.37
Fuel and Insurance Surcharge $13.75

Second St. Lucia

Sales Tax $5.25
Passenger Facility Charge $1.50
Airport Development Tax $25
Airport Passenger Tax $4.82
Fuel and Insurance Surcharge $13.75

So on top of the US$80 airfare goes another whopping US$106.19 in additional charges.

Anyone sitting yesterday in George F.L. Charles Airport waiting for the two hour delayed, 35 minute flight back to Barbados had plenty of time to try and figure out exactly where those Passenger Facility Charge/Airport Development Tax/Sales Tax and Airport passenger taxes were being spent.

Well the US$36.57 in taxes alone charged by St. Lucia was certainly not being spent to improve the comfort of the delayed passengers in adequate seating or air conditioning.

Now the fuel/insurance surcharge!

I understand that unless LIAT have hedged (bought forward) their fuel purchases, the current price being paid for A1 fuel is between US$840 and $1,000 a ton.

I am not sure if LIAT measures by a US (short) ton of 2,000 lb or an Imperial (long) ton of 2,240 lb.

I also understood from the Captain that a Dash Eight would use around 1,000 lb. of fuel between St. Lucia and Barbados.

Yesterday’s flight was full, perhaps partially due to the next scheduled flight leaving within 15 minutes of the time we eventually departed and other passengers were perhaps consolidated onto our plane.

So, 50 persons paying each a fuel/insurance surcharge of US$13.75 or a total of US$687.50.

1,000 lb. of fuel even at the higher cost of $1,000 a ton then would mean the total fuel element was $500.

So what exactly is the insurance cost per person?

Do we as taxpayers have a right to know?

Of course the taxes collected by the St. Lucia Government (as most) do not end at the airport.

A temporary Driving Licence – US$21 (3 months)
US$5 a day on Car Rental
8% on accommodation and food and beverage are among others levied.

Pending any unforeseen developments, all the indicators show that long stay visitor arrivals from our traditional markets including the United States and the United Kingdom are going to show little of no growth this summer.

Our registered accommodation providers barely reach an average annual occupancy of 50% currently and this takes into account the stronger four month winter season.

So you can imagine many of our hotels, especially the smaller ones, are struggling at 25% occupancy or less during the summer.

Caribbean Government’s and their Ministers of Tourism will one day have to wake-up and realise there are simply only so many ways you can extract taxes from people.

Make it too expensive and people will not travel at all or at least go to areas where they can offset the costs in shopping.

No travel, No taxes.

It’s really as simple as that.

Adrian Loveridge
19th May 2008

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Filed under Barbados

Lee Iacocca Blasts The Lack Of Principled, Effective Political Leadership

“Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.” Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I’ll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!” … Lee Iacocca

Marcus Can’t Put Down Iacocca’s “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”

Robert came back from his last trip to the USA and tossed a book onto the table – Iacocca’s “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?

He said “Read it, substitute the word ‘Barbados’ for USA and tell me what you think.”

That was two days ago and I’m now at page 111, almost half way through the book. I can’t put it down.

Lee Iacocca is widely known as the creator of the Ford Mustang, and later the mini-van concept when he was running Chrysler. I had pictured him as some sort of right-wing-Republican-til-death – an industrialist who believes himself privileged because he worked hard but lucked out.

I have to admit that I was wrong in my preconceptions.

Seeing as how I haven’t read the entire work, I can’t really give a credible book report, but I’ll leave you with a few quotes…

People, look around. This country has some serious issues. Security. The economy. Global warming. Healthcare. Energy. Iraq. In most of these cases, the so-called leaders charged with confronting these problems are only compounding them with their lack of accountability and often questionable motives. Instead of looking for real solutions, they seem to be looking out for number one.

It’s not just elected leaders like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney either. It’s many of the executives who occupy the top rungs of this country’s corporate ladder. Your Kenneth Lays and Jeffrey Skillings and Dennis Kozlowskis – a few guys who took Michael Douglas’ line in the movie Wall Street a little too seriously. “Greed is good,” he said. These days, it seems more of our leaders believe that than ever before.”

“I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the walthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do.”

“And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions.”

“We voted for them – or at least some of us did. But I’ll tel you what we didn’t do. We didn’t agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn’t agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that’s a dictatorship, not a democracy.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?”

“A Hell of a Mess

So here’s where we stand. We’re immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We’re losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you’ve got to ask: “Where have all the leaders gone?” Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We’ve spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn’t happen again. Now, that’s just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you’re going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when “the Big Three” referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change?”

Further Reading

Lee Iacocca – Personal Website

Wikipedia – Lee Iacocca

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Celebrities, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Government, Human Rights, Military, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Peter Wickham Says Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur Presented Forged Documents At BLP Conference

Owen Arthur Used Forged Documents – The Police Should Investigate And Lay Charges But They Will Not

Former Barbados PM Owen Arthur presented two documents on CADRES letterhead to the recent BLP Northern Zonal Conference. The documents are unsigned and purport to be a request or proposal to the current government for consulting work valued at $20,000 per month.

Peter Wickham of CADRES says that the letters are frauds.

Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur do not say they are genuine, but describe them as “alarming” and “serious and dangerous”. You can read the Nation News story Stumped! for the full flavour.

This is an old trick used by both parties at various times in the past: the creation of fictional documents which are talked about in the press BUT ARE NEVER SURRENDERED TO THE POLICE FOR EXPERT EXAMINATION AND PROSECUTION.

It is time to put a stop to this nonsense which undermines the entire political system. There is never any accountability in Barbados and it is about time that the police step up to the plate and investigate criminal activity when it occurs.

Well – this current situation is an easy thing to settle – assuming that Owen Arthur was sober enough at the time he presented the documents to be held accountable for the nature and quality of his act…

1/ Peter Wickham should immediately make a complaint of criminal activity to the Royal Barbados Police Force. The complaint should be made formally in writing, and clearly state that he did not create the documents in question and that they are therefore forgeries – possibly created on stolen letterhead if not forged letterhead.

2/ Mr. Arthur is or was in possession of the forged documents, and he used them outside of Parliament and so has no special privilege or protection. In this case, his protection is no more than that afforded any citizen who possesses and uses a forged document.

3/ An expert examination of the documents would show how they were created, and if, for instance, there might have been unauthorized access to Mr. Wickham’s computer or whether the documents were “cut and paste” jobs and then photocopied.

4/ As part of a police investigation, the documents should be seized from Owen Arthur. If he refuses to surrender them, he should be charged with obstructing a police investigation.

Now folks, we know that none of this will happen. We know that the Barbados police totally refuse to investigate any crime that has the remotest chance of being connected with political activity. Even death threats and arsons are not investigated if there is a chance that the perpetrators are politically connected. (See here and here)

We’re going to be talking more about this refusal in Barbados to hold any of the political elites accountable for there actions. Remember Hardwood Holdings? Veco? 3S and the flyovers? GEMS Hotels?

All of those projects contain fraud and corruption – yet after four months in office the current DLP government is not pursuing any serious investigations into any wrongdoing by the past government.

Why not? That’s easy…

There is a tacit gentlemen’s agreement between the two major political parties that while political posturing and mudslinging is allowed, no serious investigation that results in criminal charges will be undertaken. Both sides benefit from such an agreement and each party is afraid of what the other knows.

The losers with such an agreement are the people of Barbados.

So let’s demand criminal investigations where criminal activities are alleged, and let’s start working on a new political party that will not be afraid to hold people accountable for wrongdoing.

56 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Sports Caribbean Wants Your Input!

Dear Marcus,

I think that BFP is the best way for me to get my message across.

I will soon be launching SportsCaribbean.net, an internet based Sports-Talk Radio Station.

Over eight months of research has gone into the technical side of things, but we need some feedback on the content aspect.

Visit the site and give us some feedback.

Thanks,

SportsCaribbean.Net

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Sports

Dear Ezra Alleyne – BFP Will Publish Your Column, Unedited As You Write It

Nation News Kills Ezra Alleyne’s Weekly Column – We Offer Him Space Here

Ezra Alleyne has had a weekly column in the Nation News since forever and now the editors at that lapdog newspaper have decided to deny him the opportunity to share his views with Barbados. (Ezra Allyne’s last weekly column at the Nation News: Softly As I Leave or here)

What has changed at the Nation News?

Nothing has changed at the Nation News… only the government has changed. Mr. Alleyne is a former Speaker of the House under a past BLP Government and now that the BLP is out and the DLP is in… the cowardly lapdogs at The Nation News have decided to please their new masters.

Woof! woof!

Although Barbados Free Press has strongly disagreed with many of Mr. Alleyne’s positions, and he with ours, we are appalled that the Barbados media continues a policy of pandering to whatever party is in government and censoring all opposing views. Killing Ezra Allyne’s weekly column is yet another disgusting abuse of trust.

But make no mistake, folks – the Barbados news media cares nothing for ethical and responsible journalism. The editors at the Nation News know nothing of duty to the citizens of Barbados. They know nothing about how a strong and independent press serves as democracy’s first line of defense.

Ezra Alleyne – Your Weekly Column Is Welcome Here

Mr. Alleyne, Barbados Free Press is extending this invitation to you. Here is what we propose…

1/ BFP will regularly publish your weekly column on any day you choose. If you wish to publish two columns a week, that would be fine too.

2/ We will not edit your articles in any manner – other than correcting obvious spelling mistakes or splitting long paragraphs for readability. We will not change one word in your articles.

3/ You have total control over article subject, length, titles, photos – everything. Your only limits will be what you impose upon yourself.

3/ BFP staff will not leave comments upon your articles. As with your past articles in the Nation News, if we wish to disagree with your position we will write a separate article that refers to yours.

4/ Should you not want to publish your articles on BFP, we are still willing to offer our readers to you. If you establish your own blog we promise that we will link to it, and for your weekly column, we will place a connecting article online (without comment) to alert our readers that you have put up a new article.

Mr. Alleyne, Barbados Free Press is the most popular online news source for Barbados with a current annualized readership of over 2 million visitors from Barbados and around the world. We haven’t spoken with David at Barbados Underground Blog, but on principle we bet that he would be willing to publish you as well. Between BFP and BU, you would still have the ability to communicate your thoughts to tens of thousands of Bajans every week.

It is up to you, Sir. Should you decide not to publish your weekly column at BFP at this time, that is no problem and the offer remains open.

Whether at BFP, BU or at your own blog, we urge you to continue communicating your ideas on a mass scale and to refuse to accept the censorship of the oldstream Bajan media.

Good luck, and may God Bless,

Marcus, Shona, Cliverton, George, Robert and Auntie Moses
Barbados Free Press

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Filed under Barbados

Remember All Those Computers The Chinese Gave To The Barbados Military?

The Communist Chinese are famous for “knock-off” products – fake replicas of everything like perfume, movies, handbags, clothing and watches. Aside from the whole issue of theft of profits there are, of course, issues with quality.

It may not matter if your substandard fake Nike runners fail, but when we start talking fake aircraft components, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment… that takes us to another level. There’s nothing like an airliner with a defective cabin door pressurization seal to make your day exciting!

But now there is a new concern – counterfeit computers, servers and software designed to compromise the security of your confidential electronic data. For individuals, that means your personal data – for governments and the military the implications are staggering.

So how about all those computers that the Chinese gave to the Barbados military, police and Coast Guard?

Nothin’ be free, my friends. Nothing…

World Tribune – FBI: China may use counterfeit Cisco routers to penetrate U.S. networks

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, China, Health, Military, Technology

Russian Bombers Over Barbados – One Man’s Cold War Memories

In 1959, The United States Established A Secret Radar Project On Barbados – And Didn’t Tell Our Government!

In 1957, Martin Kaiser started working for RCA Laboratories in New Jersey. The cold war was heating up, the space race was at full throttle and cities and towns throughout the USA practiced air raid alerts in case those damned Ruskies started dropping nuclear bombs.

In the early 1960′s Kaiser and his friends began experimenting with “over the horizon” radar so as to spot the Russian bomber fleets as early as possible, but they needed a good place to test the equipment and Trinidad was just the ticket.

But when the government of Trinidad refused permission because they didn’t want to upset Cuba, and Antigua did the same, the USA decided they would simply do the test on Barbados – and not inform the Barbados Government because, well, they might refuse permission!

Martin Kaiser and his colleagues lived in Barbados for a year and erected towers like this one photographed on the North end of the island…

The Russians eventually found out about the secret US project and started flying photo reconnaissance missions over the installation.

I stumbled across Martin Kaiser’s website when I did a Google search for “Barbados Cold War”. You can check it out for yourself and read some of his memories from another time on this island. Scroll down this page until you see the photo of the antenna above, and then you’ll be at the section where he talks about his secret mission on Barbados…

MartyKaiser.com

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Filed under Barbados, History, Military

Barbados Prime Minister With His Arm Around A Convicted Rapist Out On Parole – Issue Or Non-Issue?

That’s Prime Minister David Thompson with his left arm around musician Jah Cure – otherwise known in police records and on his passport as Siccature Alcock. The photo was taken at the recent Reggae On The Hill.

Mr. Alcock was found guilty in Jamaica of rape and robbery at gunpoint in 1999 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released in 2007 after serving eight years and is now out on parole.

Yes, he is a talented musician with a major worldwide fanbase.

But he is also a convicted rapist out on parole.

What is the message that the Prime Minister of Barbados intended to send with this photo? What is the message that is being communicated? Does it matter? Should it matter?

Comments are open!

Ian Bourne documents some recent performances by Jah Cure and posts more photos of the PM and Mr. Alcock at Bajan Reporter (link here)

Further Reading

Bajan Reporter – Jah Cure Mesmerises Caribbean Fans

BFP – Barbados To Allow Convicted Gun-Toting Rapist Foreigner To Work On Island

62 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Crime & Law, Music, Politics

Journalist Peter Wickham Says Nation News Removed Section On China Human Rights Violations From His Article!

Journalist Peter Wickham Contacts Barbados Free Press

The Nation News edited out the parts of Peter Wickham’s recent article that addressed human rights violations in China.

In a post on Barbados Free Press, Mr. Wickham told readers that the Nation News “clipped” the final section from his May 14, 2008 article People & Things – Perceptions Of China.

Barbados Free Press was critical of Wickham’s failure to mention human rights violations by Communist China, but it now appears that this unsurprising censorship was the work of the cowardly lapdog editors at the Nation News.

Although we still disagree strongly with Mr. Wickham’s views on China, we always encourage frank discussion and are pleased to print the censored section of his article now…

Finally, it would be imprudent not to address the issue of human rights since this is a major concern of those who are less sympathetic to China. It should not surprise readers to note that none of us witnessed major Human Rights abuses while we were there, however this does not mean that the Chinese government could not have abused the rights of its citizens in the past or might not do so in the future. This author, however does not necessarily subscribe to the Western view that there is one appropriate standard of human rights, even as I am prepared to argue that the standards employed in the US, China and Barbados are all inconsistent with my own personal standard.

Hence the Chinese government might be considered “heavy handed” in dealing with its citizens in some regard, but the Barbados and American governments are no less guilty. In China you can be put to death for some infractions, which is no different to Barbados and the USA and this author believes that all three governments violate Universal principles of Human Rights by doing so. In the final analysis, Human Rights is always best defined within a specific cultural and historical context and will invariably run afoul of another person’s beliefs, hence this issue will always cause discomfort in the context of international relations.

… section of Peter Wickham’s recent article that was censored by the editors at The Nation News.

Not The First Time That Peter Wickham Has Been Censored By The Nation News

Back on December 31, 2007, Peter Wickham approached Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground blogs to have an article published as the Nation News had banned him from writing during the election. We published Journalist Peter Wickham Banned From Nation News – So We’ll Print His Article Here.

After the DLP/David Thompson election victory, Peter Wickham published another article where is stated that the “BLP and Owen Arthur… created a climate of oppression” and that the media had supported the BLP for all those years essentially due to fear of reprisal. (see BFP’s Peter Wickham: “BLP and Owen Arthur…Created A Climate Of Oppression…”)

Now those unprincipled cowardly editors at The Nation News have again shown what lapdogs they are by censoring references to human rights violations in China. We wish to remind them what we said just after the recent DLP election victory – a victory that was very much impacted by Barbados blogs…

A New Generation Won’t Tolerate Corrupt Government Or Cowardly News Media

Welcome to the future. Most of us newly-active Bajan voters are young and idealistic… and we are online.

The oldstream Barbados news media lost the respect of the majority of Bajans a long time ago, and it looks like they are still up to their old tricks – the only difference being they are now trying to please their newly-elected DLP masters as they crawl on their knees begging for money from the Communist Chinese.

Further Reading

BFP: Peter Wickham: China Has Democracy – No Human Rights Violations, Everything Fine!

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, China, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media

Justice In Barbados – Shut Up Or Else! Court Witness Fired From University Of West Indies Professorship. Brother Of Chief Justice Simmons Delivered The Threat

Former Barbados High Commissioner In London Threatened Court Witness With Loss Of University Of West Indies Job – And That Is Exactly What Happened!

A professor at the University of the West Indies was told he would be fired by the University if he continued to be a witness in a court case (unrelated to his job) where the list of defendants reads like a “whos who” of Barbados political elites.

According to court documents found at Keltruth Blog, Barbados Government diplomat Peter Simmons delivered the threat that Professor John Knox would be fired if he continued to be a witness in a court case involving Kingsland Estates – a dispute involving a billion US dollars of prime Barbados lands.

John Knox is now an “ex-professor” with no job at the University of the West Indies.

And for those who might have doubts… a tape recording exists of Peter Simmons delivering this and other threats.

No Outcry From The Lapdog News Media – Or UWI’s Academic Community

The brother of the Chief Justice of Barbados was tape-recorded delivering threats against witnesses in a trial where he and Chief Justice SIR David Simmons are defendants…

… and not one word has been spoken about the threats in the oldstream Barbados news media.

A University of the West Indies professor is fired because he is a witness in a court case and the academic community at UWI says nothing.

What an example for the young people of Barbados. All those high words and lofty ideals mouthed by so-called Barbados journalists and proud academics at the University of the West Indies are now proven to be so much garbage.

photo: Peter Simmons, former Barbados HIgh Commissioner in London

Further Reading

Keltruth Blog…

Peter Simmons’ Phone Call – Part II – What is it all about?

Barbados Free Press…

December 27, 2007 – Brother Of Barbados Chief Justice Tape-Recorded Making Threats Of Violence In Land Fraud Lawsuit

May 29, 2007 – Barbados Lawsuit Names Prime Minister Owen Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons And Many Prominent Citizens And Businesses

May 13, 2008 – Barbados Chief Justice Threatened Political Action Against National Park If Personal Lawsuit Against Him Was Not Dropped – Secret Meeting Not So Secret Anymore!

40 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Peter Wickham: China Has Democracy – No Human Rights Violations, Everything Fine!

New Barbados Flag

The Communist Chinese Should Enjoy Wickham’s Article

That’s quite the article by Peter Wickham in the Nation News after his freebie trip to the People’s Republic of China.

Wickham describes western accounts of Chinese government monitoring of its citizens as “fanciful”.

Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who ordered the massacre of democracy advocates at Tienanmen Square is praised.

Everything is wonderful. They have McDonald’s doan ya know!

All those reports of human rights violations, China’s slave camp system, oppression of religious minorities, the beating deaths of folks wanting democracy and the jailing of people for praying in their own homes?

Lies! All Lies!

Kidnapping of pregnant women off the streets and ripping their unborn children from their womb as a method of population control? Starving girl orphans and crippled children to death?

Its all lies! Lies!

Everything is modern and beautiful. The police and government are just ordinary. Different than ours, but so nice.

Why don’t you go over to The Nation News and have a read of Wickham’s article People & Things – Perceptions Of China.

The Chinese Communists bought Wickham and the article so you might as well give them their money’s worth.

27 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Barbados Chief Justice Threatened Political Action Against National Park If Personal Lawsuit Against Him Was Not Dropped – Secret Meeting Not So Secret Anymore!

“I was invited by Peter Simmons to this house on March 14, 2007 to meet his brother Sir David Simmons. He had with him a copy of a document which I understood to be a lawsuit which named him. Throughout the course of the discussion Sir David expressed his displeasure at being included in the lawsuit and that he wished to be removed from it. He also let me know that the existence of the lawsuit could compromise the efforts of FOGH to see the creation of a National Park.”

… Sworn documented testimony of a secret meeting with Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons, his brother, Barbados diplomat Peter Simmons and environmental consultant Stuart Heaslet.

Evidence Shows Chief Justice Simmons Violated Every Rule In The Judges’ Book… And A Few Others Too!

According to sworn documented testimony, Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons linked the creation of a National Park at Graeme Hall to the dropping of a personal lawsuit against him – a lawsuit that had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NATIONAL PARK!

David Simmons, who was once the Attorney General of Barbados and a Senior Minister in the Cabinet of the former BLP Government under Prime Minister Owen Arthur, is probably one of the most powerful, influential and well-connected people on this island. His controversial and inappropriate appointment by Owen Arthur forever tainted the office of the Chief Justice with the stink of politics.

Now we see exactly what it means when a senior politician is appointed as the highest judge in the land: because David Simmons unethically linked the dropping of a personal lawsuit against him to the efforts of citizens to create a National Park.

Shame! Shame!

What foul lack of integrity and bad character would cause a man to try and save his own skin by destroying a national initiative that would have benefited all citizens of Barbados?

I spit on the ground in front of Chief Justice “Sir” David Anthony Cathcart Simmons.

Keltruth Blog has the disgusting story and publishes the court documents HERE.

Damn – this court trial is getting interesting. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the oldstream Barbados news media to cover it!

Further Reading

Keltruth Blog…

Peter Simmons’ Phone Call – Part II – What is it all about?

Barbados Free Press…

December 27, 2007 – Brother Of Barbados Chief Justice Tape-Recorded Making Threats Of Violence In Land Fraud Lawsuit

May 29, 2007 – Barbados Lawsuit Names Prime Minister Owen Arthur, Chief Justice Simmons And Many Prominent Citizens And Businesses

May 14, 2008 - Justice In Barbados – Shut Up Or Else! Court Witness Fired From University Of West Indies Professorship. Brother Of Chief Justice Simmons Delivered The Threat

43 Comments

Filed under Barbados

China Bans Athlete From Paralympics Because Of Tiananmen Square Massacre

“We are going to tell you the truth about China. We believe that for anyone who wishes to avoid a disgraceful Olympics, knowing the truth is the first step”... from an open letter by Chinese dissident Hu Jia

New Barbados Flag

The Real China and the Olympics

On July 13th 2001, when Beijing won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese government promised the world it would improve China’s human rights record. In June 2004, Beijing announced its Olympic Games slogan, “One World, One Dream.” From their inception in 1896, the modern Olympic Games have always had as their mission the promotion of human dignity and world peace. China and the world expected to see the Olympic Games bring political progress to the country. Is Beijing keeping its promises? Is China improving its human rights record?

When you come to the Olympic Games in Beijing, you will see skyscrapers, spacious streets, modern stadiums and enthusiastic people. You will see the truth, but not the whole truth, just as you see only the tip of an iceberg. You may not know that the flowers, smiles, harmony and prosperity are built on a base of grievances, tears, imprisonment, torture and blood.

We are going to tell you the truth about China. We believe that for anyone who wishes to avoid a disgraceful Olympics, knowing the truth is the first step.

Fang Zheng, an excellent athlete who holds two national records for the discus throw at China’s Special Sport Games, has been deprived of the opportunity to participate in the 2008 Paralympics because he has become a living testimony to the June 4, 1989 massacre. That morning, in Tiananmen Square, his legs were crushed by a tank while he was rescuing a fellow student. In April 2007, the Ministry of Public Security issued an internal document secretly strengthening a political investigation which resulted in forbidding Olympics participation by 43 types of people from 11 different categories, including dissidents, human rights defenders, media workers, and religious participants. The Chinese police never made the document known to either the Chinese public or the international community.

… continue reading this article at The Guardian (link here)

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, China, History, Human Rights, Olympics, Slavery

Mother’s Day – Why The Culture War With Muslim Fundamentalism Will Last A Hundred Years

Rand Abdel-Qader, 17 years old, butchered by father and brothers for “honour”.

It Is Not About Iraq, Afghanistan Or Even Israeli-Arab Wars – The Conflict Runs Much Deeper Than Mere Territorial Issues

We often hear the idea that at our most basic selves, people around the world are the same because “everybody wants the same thing for themselves and their family”.

What a lie that is. Some cultures are at their very heart so different that there cannot be a meeting of the minds or genuine compromise. We can be aware of other cultures, but we cannot in good conscience possibly accept or validate all other cultures with our polite, politically correct silence.

On this Mother’s Day, think about women in some other cultures who are oppressed and considered little more than chattel. Read about yet another young Muslim girl murdered by her family for “honour”.

But remember this unless you wish to deceive yourself: this is not an “isolated incident” or a father gone mad. This is a common and accepted behaviour in the culture. Indeed, murder of women who violate the simplest of rules is not only accepted in the culture – it is expected of any man who is a true man.

‘My daughter deserved to die for falling in love’

For Abdel-Qader Ali there is only one regret: that he did not kill his daughter at birth. ‘If I had realised then what she would become, I would have killed her the instant her mother delivered her,’ he said with no trace of remorse.

Two weeks after The Observer revealed the shocking story of Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, murdered because of her infatuation with a British solider in Basra, southern Iraq, her father is defiant. Sitting in the front garden of his well-kept home in the city’s Al-Fursi district, he remains a free man, despite having stamped on, suffocated and then stabbed his student daughter to death.

Abdel-Qader, 46, a government employee, was initially arrested but released after two hours. Astonishingly, he said, police congratulated him on what he had done. ‘They are men and know what honour is,’ he said. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Religion, Slavery

What Shall Bajans Call Their New Political Party?

This article was first published in May of 2008 when the truth about the DLP hit home. We’ll leave it posted here for a few days to start the conversation again.

Robert thinks it’s nonsense, but Shona thinks that if the Green Party formally embraced and implemented ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) for its own candidates, the Greens would do some serious damage to the two old guard parties. They wouldn’t win, but they would sure upset the barrel of crabs that call themselves the BLP and DLP.

It is time to begin the discussion folks…

We were told that David Thompson and the DLP would adopt a Ministerial Code immediately upon forming a government. We were even provided with a draft document.

No Ministerial Code was adopted. Why not?

Did Thompson and the DLP only make this promise for expediency during the election? Or did the majority of Government MPs rebel at Thompson’s promise after they achieved power?

We were told that David Thompson and the DLP would not only act with integrity, but that they understood that they must be seen to be acting with integrity. We were told that the DLP and David Thompson understood the necessity of having rules about conflicts of interest. We were promised by David Thompson that his government would act with transparency and integrity. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Government, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Pattie Boyd: The Girl Who Was Harrison’s “Something In The Way She Moves” and Clapton’s “Layla” – Writing Book About Barbados

Pattie Boyd and George Harrison Honeymooned in Barbados

“She was a Vogue model, a fresh-faced blonde from Somerset, England, with little-girl bangs that hovered over blue button eyes.

She met, on the set of “A Hard Day’s Night,” George Harrison, who proposed to her just 10 days later.

She was “Layla” – inspiration, muse and eventual wife of guitar god Eric Clapton…”

… from a David L. Coddon article in the Union-Tribune (link here)

Pattie Boyd married Beatle George Harrison and he wrote “Something” for her. After George ran around and they broke up, she wed Eric Clapton, who wrote a couple of mildly successful songs about her called “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight”. Along the way she said no to Rolling Stone MIck Jagger and one or two other famous names. Alas, she wanted children and so did her men, but she was unable to have any. This thread runs through her biography, but now she says she is perfectly happy.

She is writing her third book, this time about Barbados. In a recent interview she said that she would soon be traveling here to do more research, so she might be poking about already.

Boyd’s website has a selection of photos from her 1966 Barbados honeymoon with Harrison and a treasure trove of old photos for rock and roll aficionados.

Here is one of the Barbados photos. Can we identify any friends? Can anyone identify the hotel?

And who could forget BOAC? Here’s George and Pattie leaving Barbados in 1966…

Further Reading

Pattie Boyd – Official Website

Pattie Boyd – Wikipedia entry

David L. Coddon article in the Union-Tribune (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, History, Music

Canada’s National Anthem Censored So As Not To Offend Communist Chinese

Tulip Festival In Canada’s National Capitol Excludes Canadian Band Because Of Their Religion

It appears that Barbados is not the only country crawling on its knees for Communist Chinese money…

From epochtimes.com…

“O Canada” – Censored

OTTAWA—When is it okay to ban someone from playing “O Canada” in our nation’s capital? When the clothing they wear might upset Chinese communists.

That’s exactly what happened at the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa on Friday evening.

Having invited the Tian Guo Marching Band to perform “O Canada,” and “The Maple Leaf Forever,” the band was barred from the stage mere minutes before the opening ceremony was to begin.

Band members were told that if they wanted to perform, they had to remove their hats, scarves and jackets that display the words “Falun Dafa.”

However, soon after that the band was informed that their performance was cancelled altogether and the police were called.

The problem? The Chinese embassy had a tent at the festival, and festival organizers were concerned that the presence of the band, which is composed of Falun Gong practitioners, would “upset” embassy officials…

… continue reading this article at The Epoch Times (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Canada, China, Human Rights, Religion

Did Barbados Blogs Prevent A Million-Dollar Fraud Against Taxpayers?

Minister Sinckler Should Fire His Advisors

On February 15, 2008, a group of Africans who had arrived in Barbados via a Ghana International Airlines charter became stranded when their aircraft failed to return for them.

On April 18, 2008, Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs Christopher Sinckler announced that the cost of chartering an aircraft to fly the stranded Ghanaians and Nigerians back to Africa would be a cool one million US dollars. The high expense, he said, was due to the fact that the “special type of aircraft” required was a rarity and “only a few companies in the world” possessed such aircraft. This outrageous statement was carried in the Nation News article $2M Flight.

Barbados Free Press immediately responded with our article Barbados Foreign Affairs Minister Has Huge Mouth – All The Better To Accommodate His Feet written by BFP’s own Robert – who happens to be a professional pilot (and an AMT – both A&P) with various type-ratings in his logbook including Boeing 727s.

Robert got on the phone and in less than an hour had sourced three jet charter companies willing to take on an urgent Bridgetown to Accra flight for US$500,000 dollars tops – with preliminary estimates dropping to as low as US$315,000 with ten days notice.

Unethical or Incompetent Civil Servants Misled Minister Sinckler

We speculated that Minister Sinckler had been the victim of unscrupulous or incompetent civil servants whom he had relied upon to research charter costs and regulations. Even a blind man on a fast horse could see that the one million US dollars cost was outrageous… but apparently neither Minister Sinckler nor the snoozing Barbados media thought to question the civil servants who provided this figure.

Bajans have seen similar government contract scams many times in the past when crooked public officials sign deals that are so over-priced it virtually becomes proof of kickbacks being paid.

When BFP published our story saying that the one million US dollars cost was outrageous, a government official using the name “lighthearted” came onto our website and commented that we didn’t know what we were talking about – that the aircraft had to be ETOPS certified and this was the reason for the one million dollar cost. Our Robert made short work of this crook, but it was interesting that government officials were still pushing this one million dollar figure in the face of realistic estimates obtained by BFP and some of our readers. (You can read “lighthearted’s” comment and our reply here)

Actual Return Charter Cost: US$300,000

We learned yesterday that the cost of the aircraft used to transport the Africans home was US$300,000 – which is pretty much what we said it would be as we were taking all the abuse from government officials and supporters. (Nation News published the actual cost here)

So what happened to the US$ one million dollar cost to charter the “special” aircraft? No “journalist” from the lapdog Barbados media dared to ask Minister Sinckler who the hell gave him that outrageous figure. No one from the media even mentioned the discrepancy. The fact that Minister Sinckler was prepared to spent over triple the real cost – an extra US$700,000 dollars of our hard-earned money – until Barbados Free Press made an issue out of it, is simply a non-story in the Barbados media.

Why did the price of the chartered airliner fall from US$1 million dollars to less than a third of that amount?

Could it be that once Barbados Free Press broke the story and sourced some legitimate estimates, the crooked civil servants were unable to carry through with their plan?

Whatever happened, Chris Sinckler and his fellow government Ministers had better learn their lesson well…

Many senior Barbados civil servants simply cannot be trusted. For years many have been misusing their authority to divert public funds through kickbacks and awarding contracts to companies controlled by themselves, family members and friends.

The previous BLP government, and now the current DLP government, have failed to implement ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation. There are no rules against conflicts of interest. There is nothing to prevent a government official from using a family company to source the charter flight and skimming whatever profit they can get away with.

Yes, Minister Sinckler: the civil servant who gave you that US$ 1 million dollar price was either a crook or stupid.

Either way, we hope you learned your lesson.

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Filed under Barbados