Daily Archives: February 19, 2007

New York Times Says “Medical Apartheid” Book Does A Disservice To A Worthy Subject

“Medical Apartheid” Is Rife With Errors And Confusions

ANY STUDENT of history knows that as a race, blacks have been disproportionately subject to non-consensual, non-therapeutic medical experimentation – and, if various reports from Africa are correct, this evil is not confined to the past. The most famous occurrence was the Tuskegee syphilis study in which the United States Public Health Service denied penicillin treatment to black sharecroppers for 40 years, but Tuskegee was by one incident in a continual pattern of abuse over two hundred years.

The story of medical experimentation on blacks is a worthy subject for any serious historian – and a subject that should be of interest to Bajans considering how our government has made us the Stem-Cell Capital of the Developed World“.

A shame then, according to The New York Times book review, that author Harriet A. Washington didn’t do a better job of researching what could have been the major work on the subject.

Here’s the last paragraph of the New York Times review …

Documenting the history of medical research involving black Americans is a necessary and worthy project, but a book as rife with errors and confusions as this one will neither help reduce health disparities nor protect against future exploitation.

MEDICAL APARTHEID
The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present.

By Harriet A. Washington.
Illustrated. 501 pp. Doubleday. $27.95.

… read the entire New York Times review (link here)

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History

Bahamas Immigration Minister Does Honourable Thing Over Anna Nicole Smith Photos: Resigns

“I want to apologise to all persons who may, in any way, may have been offended by anything that I have said, done, or perceived to have said or done,” Bahamas Immigration Minister Shane Gibson on state TV, declaring that he was resigning. (Sydney Morning Herald link here – thanks to BFP reader “A” for the tip)

LIKE EVERYONE, Barbados Free Press covered the Anna Nicole Smith story with our post Newspaper Publishes Photos: Anna Nicole Smith In Bed With Bahamas Immigration Minister!

While Bahamas Immigration Minister Shane Gibson still denies that he provided preferential treatment to Ms. Smith, he recognizes, as Prime Minister Perry Christie said, “… that it is the correct course of action for him to take in all of the circumstances,”

Cynics will say that Minister Gibson had no choice but to resign, and therefore should not receive credit for doing “the honourable thing” – but we at Barbados Free Press disagree vehemently.

When a leadership figure or a person in a position of trust is caught in a wrongdoing or a PERCEIVED or POTENTIAL wrongdoing, it is necessary for that person to step down to avoid damaging the image and integrity of the organisation – in this case, the Bahamian Government.

Without this necessary step – either temporarily until matters can be sorted out, or permanently if need be – public confidence in the government plunges. Worse, multiple incidents of apparent wrong-doing that produce no satisfactory public explanation and transparent enquiries foster a dangerous cynicism.

Make no mistake – a government that refuses to seriously acknowledge and answer real or potential wrongdoings or conflicts of interest by its members harms more than itself. It damages the very character of the nation, and fosters an understandable “What can you do?” malaise that sucks the energy and ambition from the citizens.

Minister Gibson did the right thing for the country. I know nothing of Mr. Gibson’s total record. After the furor dies down, Bahamians may judge him as a man who had a one moment of weakness in years of good service – or they may say that they expected something like this from him. As I say – I don’t know the man’s record.

I do know this: Bahamians will never remember Minister Gibson as a man who clung to power no matter what the cost to the credibility of the government, and they will not remember his government for corruptly ignoring the damage he would have done had he stayed on.

There is honour to be found in Mr. Gibson’s resignation.

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Barbados Government Minister Clarke’s Situation – The Only Difference Is The Involved Woman Is Not A Celebrity

All of which brings us back to the situation with Barbados Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke. The house where the Minister Clarke sleeps every night is built upon land that was originally expropriated by the Government of Barbados for “Public Housing”. According to a fellow Member of Parliament, the house is owned by Minister Clarke’s lady-friend. (Original BFP story Link Here)

As Minister Clarke lives with the “lady-friend” at the house, we refer to her as his defacto spouse. This is as much of an apparent conflict of interest – in many ways even more of a conflict of interest – as that faced by the Bahamian Immigration Minister. Yet both the government and Minister Clarke refuse to acknowledge the potential wrong-doing.

Perhaps Gline Clarke and the government would acknowledge the situation if any of the lapdog Barbados media published the story, but so far the media lacks the courage to chance being cut off from their government advertising revenues.

No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers like Mr. Clarke do not have to declare their assets or explain how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government comes to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.

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Gline Clarke and the Owen Arthur government harm much more than themselves.

The government’s total lack of concern with ethics or even pretending to do the right thing is a festering sore on this nation’s image.

How much longer will Bajans put up with this immoral elitist cartel? Or, are they beaten down so much that they have lost all hope of having honest leadership?

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Politics & Corruption

Duncan Bannatyne Family Spending One Week At Sandy Lane. The Price? US$117,000

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…next month Bannatyne is taking the whole family – the four children from his first marriage, the two from his second – to Sandy Lane, Barbados: ‘So that’s £60,000 for a week, which is quite extravagant! But I really enjoy my holidays.’

Auntie Moses Could Put Them Up For Half That!

What do you say, Auntie? Come an stay with us for the week and we’ll give your little biscuit box to the Bannatyne family. We’ll charge them only half – less than half – say US$50,000 for the week. Surely for that we can lay on some fine feasts for them, and hire our cousins to look after the little ones 24/7 so Duncan and his wife can take a break.

We’ll paint your place up so it’s cuter than a bucket of puppies and put in a new kitchen and cooker – stock it up well. Shona and you can cook all week for the Bannatynes and split the profit.

Shona’s little brother will quit the airport for the week and be their on-call driver 24/7. He’ll even paint his car and install new seats an such as part of the preparation. US$50k goes a long way in a week, ya know!

You and the ladies can take Mrs. Bannatyne around on the “separate” days and we’ll take Duncan fishing like he never seen before! Half way through the week, we’ll have a big lobster feed at the beach and get “the boys” down for the music. We’ll invest heavily and buy some real champagne and little crackers an french cheese and such so Mr. & Mrs. Bannatyne can feel special.

We’ll show them a Barbados they have never seen before. I don’t care how many times they have stayed at Sandy Lane they have never have a fish fry the likes of the roadside stand at Foster Hall.

Yup… Auntie Moses. There could be a plan here.

If people like the Bannatyne’s are willing to spend US$117,000 for one week at Sandy Lane to hang out and golf with the Prime Minister when he can be found, there surely must be some money to be made if we can get them to stay at Auntie’s place for a paltry US$50,000.

Hey… wonder how much the PM would want for a round of golf with Bannatyne? Somebody give hims a call!

Story link – The Observer: Duncan Bannatyne

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Celebrities, Traveling and Tourism

Godfrey Smith At Belizean Blog “Let’s Take Our Chances With Taiwan”

Belizean Blog Is An Excellent Read

Last week Cliverton stumbled onto a blog called Belizean – The Belize News Blog, which seems to be written by one Godfrey Smith or Melody or both – we’re not sure. The theme of the blog is “Thoughts on the intersection of life, politics, and development in Belize.” Mr. Smith is a compelling read and takes on topics that should be of interest to any West Indies country.

We’re adding Belizean to our sidebar links. (I know, I know… we should have them better organised. We’re going to take a look at links and tags sometime this week and ask our readers for some advice.)

One of the articles that caught Cliverton’s attention was a thoughtful piece on recognizing Mainland Communist China and dumping Taiwan. Communist China severed diplomatic relations with Belize in 1989 to punish Belize for formally recognizing Taiwan.

Here are the first few paragraphs and the last one from Mr. Smith’s article…

Which China for Belize: Taiwan or Mainland China?

The principle of Raison d’état

Since the 17th century, the principle of raison d’état, more than anything else, has guided the nations of the world in the pursuit of their international relations. The principle of raison d’état asserted that the national interest of the state justified whatever means were employed to further it. Each nation, in pursuing its own selfish interests would somehow contribute to the well being of the others (something akin to Adam Smith’s invisible hand) and a balance of powers would arise.

One of the principal architects of raison d’état was an improbable figure: a prince of the Church, Cardinal Richelieu, First Minister of France in charge of foreign policy. As justification for his ruthless, focused and intense pursuit of France’s foreign policy, he is alleged to have said: “Man is immortal his salvation is hereafter. The state has no immortality, its salvation is now or never.”

No Two-China Policy

Up until 1989, Belize had diplomatic relations with The People’s Republic of China (China). In 1989, Belize recognized The Republic of China on Taiwan (Taiwan). China promptly severed diplomatic relations with Belize. The Government of Belize currently has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China has been making overtures to Belize for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, as it has been doing with most if not all of the countries with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations. The stance of Belize’s Opposition is apparently to establish diplomatic relations with China if and when they come to power.

Taiwan had been very supportive of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) when it was in opposition. Mandela had hoped to be able to recognize both China and Taiwan, but China said no. Mandela had publicly agonized over the morality of making the switch to China, but, in the end, the pendulum swung in favor of China, with its bigger market for South African products and its crucial permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Taiwan, despite its billions of dollars in foreign reserve, is not accepted as a member of the United Nations.

(Big Snip)

Taken in the round then, the main arguments in favor of switching to China are mythical rather than real. In the end, in terms of realpolitik, it boils down to which presents the heftier cooperation package. By current calculations, give or take some tens of millions, Taiwan has the clear and unmatched lead. Given that China has more than 140 diplomatic allies among whom to share its economic largesse, and Taiwan a mere 25 and dwindling, let’s take our chances with Taiwan.

… read the entire article at Belizean (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption