Daily Archives: July 7, 2007

Pimp My Barbados School Graduation

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There is a television show I see on the satellite called “Pimp My Ride” which deals with modifications to autos and trucks.

Love the show… hate the title. “Pimp” has become a verb denoting something good, better, flashier than the standard.

When I saw the front of the Nation News yesterday – showing school children riding in a limousine, I couldn’t help but think of the Americanisation of our culture.

“Pimp My Barbados School Graduation” was my thought for the caption.

Others seem to agree with me…

Conspicuous Consumption

A RECENT Front Page item with a photograph showcasing the treat for children of a primary school was disturbing. While I applaud the school for celebrating the children’s success, I find that, given their age group, it was inappropriate, and some less elaborate and less “mature” alternative should have been provided.

Today’s level of materialism is unfortunate and this sort of splash will only serve to encourage other schools, parents, and so on, to match or outdo this, and to push young children in this direction.

– EVELYN MOORE as printed in The Nation News

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29 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

New Trinidad and Tobago’s “Slightly Used” Fast Ferry Ready To Go! (Meanwhile In Barbados A Government Culture Of “Always Buy New, Always The Best” Is Bankrupting The Country)

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T & T Spirit Is A Converted Military Vessel Of The Best Kind: Used, Proven & Already Depreciated

Trinidad & Tobago’s new inter-island ferry is a wave-piercing catamaran that was converted from a four-year old military vessel. The Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago has no problem purchasing a used vessel in good shape as opposed to a new new one with high depreciation and untested systems.

We like that kind of thinking and we’d like to see more of it coming from the Barbados government and civil service.

Do you ever notice how our government projects in Barbados all have to be “first class” or nothing? Nevermind that the government seldom pulls them off well, or that the cost-overruns are criminal… we’re talking about a certain philosophy or culture that kicks in at the conceptual stage.

This culture causes our elected and appointed government officials to reject anything that isn’t brand shiny new. So instead of “making do” with less grandiose designs and projects, Barbados forges ahead with “the best” and plunges the country further and further into debt.

It is this “gotta have the best” culture that caused the criminal spending of the Cricket World Cup instead of a more modest expenditure. It is this culture that will see our grandchildren still paying for first-class flyovers and a prison that is wildly out of proportion to this tiny country’s needs.

Race Plays A Part In Our Decisions – It Is A Legacy We Must Conquer

There is also a “we are as good as whitey countries” chip on the shoulder that causes our government officials to always fly first class (no matter what), to stay in the best hotels, to build diplomatic missions like those in Miami and New York that are wildly out of proportion to our tiny economy.

What’s next, the rumoured corporate jet for government bigwigs?

Hey… we’ve heard those rumours too and they had better not be true! I don’t care how good a deal it is or how much the facts are twisted to justify the ongoing costs – the government is smoking Tafari’s herb if it thinks it could pull that one off!

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We have not even 300,000 souls on this rock. Anywhere in North America or Europe that counts as a large town or a small city. In Asia, 300,000 people is only a village. National pride aside, your job’s complexity, budget and responsibility doesn’t even come close to that of being the Mayor of a major city anywhere on earth.

So let’s keep our national pride, but drop the pretenses when it comes to the projects we choose and how we go about them. Let’s buy used when possible. Think smaller, make do and let’s climb out of this financial hole that we have driven into at full speed.

If we ran our family’s finances the way the country is run, we’d be out in the street by the end of the year.

Story Link: Trinidad & Tobago Express – ‘T&T Spirit’ ready to set sail soon

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

BFP Readers Report Website Is Blocked In Certain Areas Of Bridgetown

What’s Happening Folks?

We are hearing a few reports that our website is impossible to access from certain areas on the west side of Bridgetown. Unknown if this is a technical problem or something more sinister.

One of our readers just emailed some additional details but left out the “error” message he received. Please resend… Thanks!

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Politics & Corruption

B.S.&T – Just Remember… It’s A MERGER, Not A Takeover!

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Our thanks to I Can Has Cheezburger? blog for the photo.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Politics & Corruption

One Law For GEMS Hotels – Another Law For The Rest Of Us Poor Suckers

One rule for GEMS and other for the rest of us?

A fellow hotelier recently mailed the following to me…

Statutory Instruments Supplement No. 28

Supplement to Official Gazette No. 54 dated 6th July 2006.

Duties, taxes and other payments (Exemption) (Hotels and Resorts Ltd) Order, 2006.

The Minister in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 3 of the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act, makes the following Order:

1. This Order may be cited as the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) (Hotels & Resorts Ltd.) Order, 2006.

2. Hotels & Resorts Ltd, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, is exempt from the payment of property transfer tax under the Property Transfer Tax Act in respect of Silver Rock Hotel to Silver Point Villas Inc. pursuant to an agreement between Hotels and Resorts Ltd and Silver Point Villa Hotel Inc.

Made by the Minister this 27th of June, 2006.

O.S. ARTHUR
Minister responsible for Finance.

Adrian Loveridge
6 July 2007

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

SCANDAL! – Barbados “War On AIDS” – How Owen Arthur And His Government Refused The Donation Of A Free AIDS & Cancer Hospice

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Why Did Prime Minister Arthur Turn Down A Free State Of The Art AIDS & Cancer Hospice For The Terminally Ill?

According to the local media, the Evangelical Churches of Barbados have declared a War On AIDS. Over at the Barbados blog Notes From The Margin they are already celebrating victory in a manner worthy of a government news release…

“Today some good news arrived on Radio about the continuing fight against HIV/AIDS. In case you didn’t know Barbados has been hailed as a success in it’s response to HIV/AIDS. In fact we have been hailed as a model case.”

Barbados Minister of Health, Dr. Jerome Walcott is constantly talking about AIDS – as well he should. When he attended the first Caribbean Summit on HIV/AIDS in January of 2007, he announced that Barbados was making “some progress” thanks to a “loan” (read “never to be repaid gift”) from the World Bank.

Dr. Walcott also continually addresses the increasing costs to the health care system of which the HIV/AIDS crisis is no small part.

What do you think all of these folks would say if they knew that in 1995, the Owen Arthur government turned down the free donation of what would have been a multi-million dollar state of the art AIDS & Cancer hospice and clinic in Barbados?

Another Opportunity Lost

Frankly, we were stunned when we received information from two independent sources about the 1995 actions of Prime Minister Owen Arthur and then Minister of Health, Elizabeth Thompson in turning down the free donation of an AIDS and Cancer Hospice for Barbados.

We have seen incontrovertible proof that this happened. We know who, when, what and how… but we just don’t want to believe the why.

Owen Arthur and Liz Thompson effectively told the millionaire donor: “Barbados doesn’t need your free AIDS & Cancer Hospice. Go Away.”

The HIV/AIDS & Cancer Hospice That Owen Arthur Refused

In 1995, Canadian millionaire philanthropist Peter Allard spoke with community health leaders in Barbados and realised that our country lacked the facilities and the knowledge to effectively treat patients who were in the terminal stages of AIDS. In his typical unselfish fashion, Allard set about bringing together the community leaders and specialists who could best determine how he could help Bajans who were dying of the disease – and help their families too.

Bajans and professionals would provide the plan – Peter Allard would provide the monies necessary to fund the project much as he had done with the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

What started off as a plan for an AIDS Hospice soon turned into a Cancer Hospice as well – as it was realized that Barbados also had no facility to look after folks who were in the end stages of cancer.

Various church leaders came on board and the Catholic Church offered to donate the land where the hospice would be built and to staff the facility with nuns. In the initial stage, the Barbados Hospice would have had 12 beds for terminal AIDS patients and 12 beds for terminal cancer patients.

Peter Allard spent tens of thousands of dollars – funding the hiring of an architect, medical and social specialists and other professionals necessary to put together the building plan, and the proposal to be put before the Health Ministry for approval.

People in the community and the health system were excited. Barbados would finally have the money to provide a hospice – a home to properly care for our friends and relatives who were dying of AIDS or cancer.

And this was to be only the first stage. After the facility was established and running smoothly, additional personnel were to be trained in preparation for increased patient capacity. Peter Allard had the money, the will and the good heart to really make a difference for terminally-ill Bajans.

(Dear God, if this cancer hospice had of been built, what a difference it would have made to Shona’s uncle and the family during his last few months.)

As the project progressed, an appointment was made weeks in advance and confirmed with then Minister of Health Elizabeth Thompson. On the appointed day and the appointed hour Mr. Allard and the various community leaders arrived at the Ministry of Health to present the proposal for the Barbados AIDS and Cancer Hospice.

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Liz Thompson deliberately stood them up. She never showed.

They waited hours. Calls were made. No Minister of Health. Embarrassed officials made excuses and Mr. Allard and the community leaders left without seeing the Minister of Health or formally presenting the hospice proposal.

When no call came from the Ministry of Health to reschedule the meeting, Prime Minister Owen Arthur was contacted. “There must be some mistake” said Owen. “I’ll get back to you”.

But no calls came, and soon Peter Allard and the community leaders came to realize that there would be no Barbados AIDS and Cancer Hospice.

Why not? Why did the Owen Arthur government refuse the free donation of an AIDS and Cancer Hospice for Barbados?

My friends, the “why” that we have heard is almost unbelievable – except that this is Barbados and we believe it.

Let’s see if any of our readers can fill in a few more details of this story. Perhaps Prime Minister Owen Arthur or Minister Liz Thompson can tell their fellow citizens why this offer of a free hospice was refused?

Perhaps Prime Minister Owen Arthur or Minister Liz Thompson can inform us of what hospice facilities Barbados currently maintains for our friends and relatives who are in their last days?

Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard

For some unexplainable reason, Canadian Peter Allard loves Barbados and Bajans.

Of that fact, there can be no dispute. Allard singlehandedly rescued the Graeme Hall mangrove forest from being turned into a wasteland, spent over US$20 million dollars to create the world class Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and then offered to GIVE the majority of the sanctuary lands to the people of Barbados for a national park.

Allard’s generosity to Barbados did not stop with the Nature Sanctuary. He donated to the reef recovery project and the drug rehabilitation centre. There are also many individual Bajans who have received quiet help from him with medical and education costs.

The only “return” received by Peter Allard for his generosity to Barbados is his feeling that he has done some good. No plaques, awards or state dinners honour his work. Mr. Allard apparently does not seek to be honoured on this earth for the good that he does in Barbados, Guatemala, Canada and Africa.

Mr. Allard may be rich, but the treasures that he has his heart set on are obviously not of this earth. (See Matthew 6:19-21)

43 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Health, Politics & Corruption