Monthly Archives: April 2006

Blogging Around Barbados: Black On Brown Racism, Hurricane Scuttles Atlantic Row, Sugar Cane Ethanol vs. Hydrogen, Chinese Communists Give Cricket to Dominica – but nothing is free…

A lazy Sunday afternoon on a lazy weekend, so we will take a look around the near and far blogosphere (new word for today) to see what some of our friends have to say about this and that…

Brown Skin Tax and A Rainy Morning In Jamaica

Our friend Stunner from Kingston, Jamaica writes the blog Stunner's Afflictions and is often proof that humour and deep wisdom can co-exist in the same sentence. We will direct you to a few of his worthy reads…

Stunner is a "Brown man" – Jamaican for "not black enough" – and is often (ie: daily) the object of Black on Brown racist comments and actions.

The Browning Complex 1 – I Call It Discrimination!

One of the tortures I had to endure while growing up and still am enduring is constantly being called Brown man or Browning. … I find it extremely annoying when I'm referred to as Brown man or Browning. It feels as if I'm being singled out for the colour of my skin. If you don't know my name, I'm ok with "young man" …or refer to be by the colour of my clothes. That's how a person of dark complexion calls to another dark person in Jamaica, why do I have to be referred to by the colour of my skin? I don't walk around calling to people as "Black man", "Black woman" or "Blackning"!

The Junction is the most winding and treacherous road in Jamaica. Corners inside of corners, semi-loose rocks on one side of the road and precipices on the other side of the road. As the bus rocked to my side this fat woman attempted to crush me to death. So in an attempt to save my life, I used my elbow to gentle ease her up. She didn't like it and proceeded to cuss me out. "People like yuh nuh fi travel pon bus…” and the statement that took the cake, "…all if mi did brown like yuh mi woulda have mi own car…” How the hell the colour of my skin will magically allow me to have a car? I have to for a living just like any other Jamaican!

I find that in Jamaica there is a price for dark skinned people and a price for light skinned people. If I decide to buy something from some of the higglers who sell on the side of the road, I have to pay Brown Skin Tax (BST). Just because of the colour of my skin, some of these higglers think that I am rich….

But as we all do, Stunner has learned to live with the faults of some of his neighbours. He loves his country and his fellow Jamaicans – and this comes out in his brilliant photography, which he refers to as "StunnerCam".

Aside from his blog, he is also in the early stages of establishing a flash-driven photography website called "Scenes of Jamaica". Hopefully, Stunner will get this off the ground, as some of his photos are breathtaking. Here's a sample…

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Hurricane Scuttles Bhavik Gandhi's Atlantic Row

On April 15th, Barbados Free Press posted "Bhavik Gandhi Rowing From Spain to Antigua – Day 4" – about Bhavik's attempt to be the first Asian to row across the Atlantic – from Spain to Antigua. We ended our article saying "Good luck, Mr. Gandi – and row hard because hurricane season is fast approaching."

On April 16th, Bhavik made a decision to abort his row until October 2006. He details his decision in his post "Attempt aborted. Till after the hurricane season."

We wish Bhavik well, and we are sure that he will successfully complete his solo crossing later in the year. He is trained, well prepared and well equipped. The difference between courage and foolishness is often judgement – and Bhavik is certainly no fool.

See you in October, Bhavik!

Barbados Sugar Cane Ethanol Project vs. Hydrogen

An interesting quote from our friends at Booker Rising Blog

"Unlike President Bush, I am not that much optimistic about a hydrogen future. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells may be the perfect PR for governments and oil multinationals, as a way of showing to the public that they really care about the environment and the future. And while experts fail to agree on the role hydrogen may play in meeting the world's future energy needs, one wonders if speeches written for politicians should simply be taken at face value.

If there is one country that is close to achieving some degree of energy independence, it is Brazil. With a 30-year old ethanol program, Brazil appears to lead the world when it comes to finding a solution to limitless energy for powering automobiles.

According to this Wikipedia article, Brazil produces a significant chunk of its automobile fuel from sugarcane, which is fermented to ethanol. Such a program has its critics, as do all undertakings with environmental consequences. But ethanol producers across the globe may soon be smiling to their banks if other governments choose to place more faith in ethanol plants rather than in hydrogen-powered fuel cells." — Chippla Vandu, Nigerian-born moderate blogger

Beware Of Communists Bearing Chinese Gifts…

From Caribbean Cricket.COM comes a good question…

The Communist leadership of China "gives" a cricket stadium to Dominica, but Dekkah Niobe asks what real good will it do? (Which is another way of saying, "Could the money have been better spent?")

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Island Life, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Free Press – Best Day Ever!

1331 Unique Visitors in the 24 hour period ending 23:59hrs GMT, Friday, April 28, 2006.

That is over a 100% increase in unique visitor traffic compared with the best day in March.

Thanks everyone!

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Barbados HIV – AIDS News

Report: Male Circumcision & Fidelity More Effective Than Condoms At Preventing HIV – AIDS

From the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society meeting in Johnanesburg, South Africa comes yet another report that condom use is going nowhere in African culture – but that male circumcision and fidelity are effective.

I wonder how long it will take HIV – AIDS organizations in the Western world to come to the realization that simply putting condom machines in high school washrooms or even making them free on every street corner is not working…

Promoting male circumcision and fidelity to one partner seems to be more effective at curbing the spread of HIV than promoting abstinence and condom use, USAID researcher and technical adviser Daniel Halperin said last week, the Chicago Tribune reports.

As Halperin and other researchers analyze 20 years of studies on HIV/AIDS throughout Africa, they have tried to "put aside intuitions, emotions, ideologies and look at the evidence in as coldhearted a way as we can," Halperin said. During a speech at a meeting of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society in Johannesburg, South Africa, Halperin said he and his colleagues discovered that regular sex partners rarely use condoms, and abstinence merely delays HIV infection among young people by one or two years.

Read the entire report here.

Barbados Gold Medal For HIV – AIDS Commission Chairman (Chair Woman!)

In other HIV – AIDS News, Dr. Carol Jacobs, chairman of the National HIV – AIDS Commission, has been awarded the first ever Barbados' Gold Medal of Achievement…

From The Nation News

DR CAROL JACOBS has scored another first in her long and distinguished service to Barbados and the wider world.

This long-standing medical practitioner, who is chairman of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, has been named as the first ever recipient of Barbados' Gold Medal of Achievement.

Jacobs will receive the award for leading the fight against the dreaded disease, both locally and globally, including being the first woman appointed chairman of the Global Fund Board that was created by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2001 to intensify the fight against AIDS…

… Jacobs, who received the Barbados Centennial Honour in 2001, is attending a conference in Geneva.

Good for you, Dr. Jacobs. We will be anxious to hear your views on the HIV – Male Circumcision protection relationship as reported above.

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Email from USS Monterey (CG 61) Off Barbados

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From BFP readers who happen to be on the USS Monterey (email IP checks out!), we received an email with the above photo taken from the USS George Washington. (Somehow, I never thought that sailors would be surfing the web on their ship – but I guess they do.)

Anyway, our friends on the USS Monterey unequivocally state that theirs is the better ship. Hmmmm…. wonder if the guys and girls on the USS George Washington would agree with that? 😉

Here is the email from the USS Monterey…

Hi Barbados Free Press from USS Monterey the best ship in the United States Navy. Came cls to Barbados saw your G Washington pic. Monterey is the better ship. pls post this pic for us. thx

Caribbean Sea (April 23, 2006)- The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) prepares to conduct a fueling at sea (FAS) with Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). George Washington Carrier Strike Group is currently participating in Partnership of the Americas, a maritime training and readiness deployment of the U.S. Naval Forces with Caribbean and Latin American countries in support of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) objectives for enhanced maritime security. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Robert Brooks

Previous Barbados Free Press article: "US Aircraft Carrier Group To Visit Trinidad as "Signal to China" – Skips Barbados"

USS Monterey (CG 61) Official Ship's Website

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Friday Fish Day In Barbados

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Shona's big brother did very very well on the boat yesterday, so we might not work too much today…

We have to get ready for the beach party tonight. Yum!

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Barbados Labour Party To Introduce Integrity Legislation By 1976

Well, that's what the Barbados Labour Party promised in 1976…

THE 1976 MANIFESTO of the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) proclaimed that it was ready to introduce integrity legislation to Barbados:

"We will pass legislation providing for Members of Parliament, senators, and politically-appointed members of statutory corporations to disclose their financial assets and liabilities on assuming office, periodically during office, and on termination.

"A code of proper conduct will be laid down for ministers, senior civil servants and political appointees to statutory corporations."

…from today's editorial in The Nation

Previous BFP Posts – Government Integrity & Corruption…

* Barbados Prime Minister Arthur and BLP General Secretary Dr. William Duguid – Standup Comedians Supreme!

* Former Trinidad Tobago PM Basdeo Panday Jailed – Failed To Declare London Bank Account

* Barbados Tenantries – Land Title Transfers – To Whom The Benefit?

* Barbados New Sugar Factory – $140 Million Contract To Government Friends, No Tender?

* Barbados Government Land Expropriations: Always A Murky Swamp of Unanswered Questions

* Friend of Barbados Deputy PM Mia Mottley Received How Much Government Money? !!!

* Proposed Barbados Anti-Corruption Law Absolves Government Family Members and Associates For Past Corruption

* Auditor General – Barbados vs. Trinidad and Tobago: A Study in Contrasts

* UN Convention Against Corruption – Barbados Seminar Update

* Welcome Delegates to UN Corruption Seminar – Barbados

* UN Hosts Corruption Seminar in Barbados… How Appropriate!

* Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur: His Secret Bank Accounts, Stock Portfolios

* Barbados Greenland Landfill Tenders: Let The Graft Begin!

* New Barbados High Court Judge Jacqueline Cornelius Sworn In. HOWEVER…

* Barbados Tender Process Corrupt?

* Prime Minister Owen Arthur Opens a New Can of Paint – To Cover Old Corruption

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

PM Arthur Says EU Wants “Total Abandonment Of Barbados Sugar Cane Agriculture”

From The Barbados Advocate

Saying that Caribbean countries must accept the inevitable phasing out of preferences and the need to adjust our economies, Prime Minister Owen Arthur nevertheless stated that the region was concerned with the callous manner in which the transition is being managed.

Speaking during the opening of the fifth UK/Caribbean Forum yesterday at the Barbados Hilton, he said that this action was witnessed last November with "the instant and unilateral evisceration of the Sugar Protocol."

He noted, "In the case of Barbados, we have in fact already started to develop new activities as we diversify around our dominant sector, sugar, as suggested by the Commission, but our exchanges to date with EU officials have left us in no doubt that the prescription they would ideally like to impose upon us is the total abandonment of sugar cane agriculture."

"For reasons such as this the Caribbean may be forgiven if it holds the view that there is unfortunately little sign of genuine dialogue towards the most viable and mutually acceptable transition arrangements", he continued…

Our Comments…

Of course the U.K. and the European Union want "total abandonment of sugar cane agriculture" – because for decades they have been paying Barbados way over the world price for sugar as a subsidy.

In better times, "charitable" or "national interest" subsidies might have been an easier sell to Europe and especially to citizens of the United Kingdom – especially with the friendly relationship that Barbados and the U.K. previously shared.

But Mr. Prime Minister… do you really expect U.K. citizens to happily continue to subsidize Barbados when they often see their Monarchy, the Queen or a young Prince being publicly insulted in the media by the Prime Minister of Barbados? Do you really think the average Brit hears the Prime Minister of Barbados insult the Crown and then says, "Oh we had better send some more sugar subsidy to Barbados then" ?

Yard fowls do come home to roost occasionally, so be polite on the world stage, Mr. Prime Minister. Its called "diplomacy".

If Barbados wants to become a republic, we can achieve our goals without having our leadership going out of the way to insult or denigrate old allies and valuable trading partners.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption