Monthly Archives: January 2008

Bermuda Police Service Suspends Blogging Police Officer

Another Reason For Small Island Bloggers To Remain Anonymous…

A Policeman has been suspended from duty after posting allegations of “misdeeds” in the Bermuda Police Service on his internet blog.

The Royal Gazette reported on P.c. Allan Palmer’s Crushing Fools site earlier this month, after he wrote a message urging the community to unite against violence.The St. Vincent father-of-three, who describes himself in his online journal as an “independent thinker”, posted another message on January 23, titled An Abuse of Power Stepping Back into the Stone Age of Policing.

The posting – since removed from the site – claimed that “ambitious people” within the Island’s Police service are trying to take it back into the dark ages by silencing officers such as himself and “perverting the course of internal justice”.

P.c. Palmer claimed there was a tight-knit “mafia” of Barbadian officers who attempted to manipulate issues to make sure things go their way. He alleged that he began to have a bad experience in Bermuda Police Service (BPS) after raising concerns about a “practice that was sanctioned by the … Barbadian Mafia”.

… from The Royal Gazette Blogging Policeman Suspended

Blogs, Police Officers and Drugs

As we related in our previous article on this subject Four Bermuda Blogs Shut Down – The Case For Anonymous Blogging Gets Stronger, we live on a very small island. The writers at BFP would be fired in a nanosecond if our identities became known. At least two of us would lose our mortgages and our homes. It would take about two weeks.

Constable Palmer should have stayed anonymous – like our police friend who advised us on the Ronja Juman blank search warrant.

Tomorrow, in honour of Constable Palmer, BFP will publish an article telling about how and why officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force target tourists for drug arrests – and leave the dealers alone.

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press

Peter Wickham: “BLP and Owen Arthur…Created A Climate Of Oppression…”

Peter Wickham Says What He Thinks And The Nation Actually Prints It!

Although I firmly believe that the BLP and Owen Arthur served this country well, I am also convinced that more recently they created a climate of oppression (as was the case in 1986) that made people like me uncomfortable…

To be sure, this is not intended to be a partisan statement on my part, but is instead an indication that I now agree with a comment that was made by a member of the CBC staff to me recently. He said: “I prefer to err on the side of the BLP, since I have always found that the Dems are less vindictive.”

Peter Wickham in the Nation News article: Climate of Oppression

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Barbados News Media Is Like An Abused Woman…

Friends, did you ever know an abused woman who had forgotten what it was like to live with a man who didn’t belittle or hit her? Did you ever know a woman who was always afraid of not pleasing her man?

Barbados and the Barbados media are like an abused woman who has just been set free from a brute of a husband.

Oh, the marriage started out just fine, but as the years went by a dark side of the BLP and Owen Arthur came to the forefront. The news media became afraid to print the truth. They started self-censoring and some of the so-called “journalists” even threw their lot in with the apparent victors – Prime Minister Arthur and the BLP.

Now that BLP government has gone down in flames and the Barbados news media has been exposed as having zero credibility, there will be a period before journalists truly accept the fact that they gained much freedom on the day that the BLP was tossed by voters – no thanks to the lapdog news media itself, of course.

Albert Brandford & The “Inbred” Insult To Prime Minister Thompson

In a second piece in the Nation News, this time a letter to the editor, Peter Wickham points out that no journalist would have dared to attack Owen Arthur the way that Albert Brandford recently used the word “inbred” in an attack against Prime Minister David Thompson.

Once again, Peter Wickham’s letter highlights that things have changed under the new government, and he criticizes the Nation News for its conduct during the recent election – but this is only a start at what is needed. (See The Nation News: Unfortunate words by Nation’s Brandford)

The Barbados News Media Must Declare Itself Guilty As The First Step To Gaining Credibility With The Public

If the Barbados news media think that they can now hold their heads up and instantly regain their credibility with the public, they will be sorely disappointed. Even if they now provide effective and balanced journalism in respect of the new government – that proves nothing. As Peter Wickham’s friend pointed out, the DLP are less vindictive than the BLP, and I believe that the current government will not seek to retaliate against its critics in the news media: at least not for the first term because they do not wish to be tarred with the same brush as the previous BLP government.

There needs to be a whole lot more of public mea maxima culpa introspection by the Barbados media.

That the Nation News would publish Peter Wickham’s article and his letter to the editor is a small, positive, sign – but it is nothing compared with what the Bajan public deserves.

So here is a place for the Nation News to start on the path to recovery of its credibility…

Let’s see if The Nation has the decency and courage to investigate the Ronja Juman story – because every day that the newspaper refuses to acknowledge the need for a public enquiry on the Juman matter is further proof that the Bajan news media cannot be trusted by citizens.

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

The Strange Disappearing Court Cases Of Barbados – And How The News Media Keeps Silent

“When an incident happens in Barbados – any incident – we knowingly look to the status of the people involved and can usually predict the outcome. Is the victim a nobody, elderly, poor or especially a woman – and the other person one of the elites? We all say… tough luck sweetheart – you haven’t a chance of seeing justice!” … from the BFP article Roy Morris & Nation News Train Wreck Continues

Secret Trials & Court Appearances, Dropped Charges, Bribes And Backroom Deals

Have you ever noticed how many court cases just disappear from the public record in Barbados – especially when the upper classes or public figures are involved?

Sometimes certain cases are remanded forever until the public memory fades. During that time the victim is paid some money, or perhaps finds that an employer suddenly offers an excellent job right out of the blue. Other times when the police or prosecutors have made mistakes or been heavy-handed, the charges are quietly dropped – but for some strange reason the victim keeps silent and does not sue the police even when all reason says they should handily win in any fair court.

There are two levels of accused in our justice system – those who can afford to pay off the victims and those who cannot.

We all know how it is ’bout here.

Of course, this “disappearing” of court cases can’t take place without the cooperation of the “professional” Barbados media like the Nation News, the CBC and the rest.

Hopefully the new DLP government will return the rule of law and the concept of “justice must be seen to be done” to place of importance that these two concepts should enjoy.

Whether there is any hope that the cowardly lapdog Barbados news media will find its cajones… who knows?

Meanwhile folks, let’s test our memories …

How many important court cases can you name that were in the public eye and then disappeared – or simply never made it into the Barbados media?

Here are a few of the disappearing court cases of Barbados

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Mark Winston Goodridge

Way back in October of 2006, lawyer Mark Winston Goodridge and his son Simon Mark Goodridge were jointly charged with causing serious bodily harm to a dark-skinned 15 year-old teen. Father Goodridge was also charged with incitement to racial hatred, assault and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of the highway.

Pretty serious charges on this little rock.

The island was all abuzz over the incident which had racial overtones because of the charges and the players. The Goodridges were more/less white, while the teen was more/less black.

What happened at trial? Was there a trial… or just a backroom deal?

What… you think that’s the public’s business? After reporting the incident daily for a week in a series of stories, the Nation News disappeared all mention of the case. The paper’s last article was published on October 19, 2006 just a few days after the charges were laid.

See BFP’s Barbados Lawyer Wanted For Beating Of Teen – Thoughts Of Racial Tension, White Privilege & Black Attitudes

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Roy Morris Rape Charge

Back on Tuesday, August 14, 2007, veteran journalist Roy Morris was charged with rape by the Royal Barbados Police Force. He was released on bail after appearing in court.

As BFP detailed in a series of articles, Morris had been on the run from the police while wanted for the alleged rape of a young 16 year old woman who may have been an intern at The Nation News.

Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground broke the story over a month before Morris surrendered to police.

What happened to the case?

The last article about the case was published by the Nation News on August 15, 2007 – the day after Morris’ arrest. We heard that the case was adjourned to November 1, 2007 and then sometime in January, 2008… but the media has not said anything about it since August 15th of 2007.

Was there a deal? Will there be a trial?

Who knows!

BFP: Roy Morris Rape Charge In Court On Thursday, November 1, 2007

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Reporters Roughed Up, Arrested & Charged

On Friday, May 25, 2007, CBC Reporter Jimmy Gittens was roughed up and arrested by officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force as Gittens was covering auto accident victims at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Police thugs thumped two other journalists but didn’t charge them. Cameras were broken.

The police charged the newsman and he was released on bail after appearing in court. There was general outrage in the journalistic community and Gittens’ lawyer said that a civil suit would be filed against the police.

So what happened? Who knows!

The last the Nation News mentioned the case was on July 16, 2007 when the paper showed a photo of Jimmy Gitten’s shaking hands with the Police Commissioner at an awards ceremony while still out on bail.

Shhhhhh! Its another case of disappearing criminal charges… if the police won’t say anything, neither will the victim!

BFP article: Barbados Reporters Visit Queen Elizabeth Hospital – Arrive In Zimbabwe Courtesy Of Royal Barbados Police Force

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

UPDATED: (They Are Faked) German Rihanna Photos – Real or PhotoShop?

UPDATE: Rihanna’s “nude” photos are faked

OK folks… it appears that our good girl is still a good girl. Question: Should we take down this story or leave it up?

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Original story…

Ian Bourne at Bajan Reporter has THE PHOTOS and lots of thoughts and comments on their authenticity.

As Ian says, if they aren’t fake, Rihanna’s mother wants a word with her daughter…

Bajan Reporter: Rihanna Allegedly Poses Nude In Germany

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Music, Rihanna

UPDATED: DLP Commenter Wishing In Vain Banned From Barbados Free Press

UPDATED: Wishing In Vain Apologises, Will Be Given Another Chance

We have received an email from WIV offering an apology on one hand and saying he / she didn’t quite understand why they were banned.

Frankly, we went through the same thing a number of months ago with Wishing In Vain – which is another reason that we wonder about how many folks the DLP had/has writing under the moniker “Wishing In Vain”.

So… WIV, here’s the deal…

We don’t allow folks to call their political opponents or other folks homosexual or lesbian unless that person has come out of the closet themselves. No innuendo. No smart comments sliding in sideways. Nothing.

That is our rule, which you were cautioned on many months ago.

So… Wishing in Vain can return to Barbados Free Press.

You may come out of the corner now, if you agree to play nicely with your brothers and sisters!

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Original Article…

Our old friend “Wishing in Vain” has proven to be a valuable contributor to the public discussion here at BFP and at many other other blogs. He or she is obviously a well educated and well-connected DLP insider and we appreciate the part that WIV plays in contributing to the discussion.

During the past election we started to consider the possibility that WIV was more than just one person. There were slight differences in vocabulary and writing skill between some of WIV’s comments – but different moods and levels of sobriety could account for that.

What really set us to wondering was Wishing In Vain’s 24/7 presence on the blogs during the election. No matter which one of us BFPers was on duty, no matter the hour – WIV always seemed to be there too! Once we plotted WIV and they were online something like an average of every 1.6 hours for a 48 hour period (!)

BFP can do that because we have a few people available for spam around the clock… but it seems to us to be an incredible performance for a single individual.

Too incredible – but still possible, I guess.

But then there is the subject of this post.

Many times BFP moderators have cautioned Wishing In Vain that unsubstantiated comments about the sexual orientation of any person will not be tolerated on this blog. It is a part of Bajan politics that we don’t support and don’t allow at BFP.

Wishing in Vain has violated our rules so many times that we have lost count. Sometimes we don’t publish the comment or we edit out the offending passage. We have edited WIV’s comments so many times that we can’t remember – but no more.

Wishing in Vain also tries to “slip one in” on us every so often – not always, but infrequently enough that we don’t always notice – saying a foul thing in the middle of an otherwise reasoned and valuable comment. WIV did that again this morning.

So Wishing In Vain… we don’t know if you are one person or several, but the name “Wishing In Vain” is now banned from Barbados Free Press.

If you wish to resume using that name here, you must write an apology and a written promise that you will not violate the rules again.

Yours truly,

Marcus, Robert, Shona, Cliverton, George & Auntie Moses

114 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Freedom Of The Press

What Will Become Of Barbados’ Ethanol Project? … Also: Virgin Atlantic To Test Biofuel, Perhaps From Algae

What Will The Current Barbados Government Do With The Cane-Ethanol Project?

First, a reminder that finding new and better energy sources is one of the most critical worldwide problems that we face in this generation. But as scientists and business are discovering, not every alternative fuel makes technological, economic or environmental sense.

This truth that not every alternative fuel source is viable is illustrated by an experiment being conducted by Richard Branson, Boeing and General Electric Aviation…

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Virgin Atlantic said Monday that it would conduct a demonstration flight next month of one of its Boeing 747 jets using biofuel – the first airborne test of a renewable fuel by a commercial jet.

The airline, founded by the British billionaire Richard Branson, said a 747-400 plane would make the journey lasting one hour and 20 minutes from London Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam in late February using 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent conventional jet fuel. The test, without passengers, is part of a joint research project announced by Virgin, Boeing and the aircraft engine maker, GE Aviation.

The airline declined to identify the source of the biofuel, though Paul Charles, a Virgin spokesman, said the carrier had rejected fuels derived from crops like palm oil because of the huge land area that would need to be devoted to cultivation for fuel production.

“It will be a very sustainable fuel source,” Charles said, adding that its production would not compete with food or fresh water resources.

Engineers at Boeing and its European rival, Airbus, estimate that supplying all the airliners in the world with pure soybean-based biofuel would require planting an area the size of Europe. Biofuel researchers have also identified certain varieties of algae as a possible feedstock, noting that they have a much higher energy content than oilseeds and would therefore be far less demanding on the environment.

Boeing estimates that supplying the aviation industry with algae-based fuel would require just 35 square kilometers of ponds and that the algae could even be cultivated in salt water.

Read the entire article at the Herald Tribune link here.

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Is Cane Ethanol A Viable Project For Barbados?

Prime Minister Thompson Should Re-evaluate Everything Started By The Corrupt & Incompetent BLP Government!

Proponents of a Barbados cane-ethanol project point to Brazil as proof that fuel from sugar cane is an economically viable proposition. They don’t like to talk about the huge economies of scale enjoyed by Brazil, or that Barbados might be better off economically to forget about ethanol from cane and instead grow corn for domestic food use.

The rationale for Barbados replacing cane with corn is that as ethanol from corn takes off in the North American market, it will cause a significant increase in the price of food and feed corn. In short, if making ethanol from cane on Barbados is as inefficient and expensive as is becoming apparent, we might be way better off to grow food instead of cane and find other solutions to powering cars and generating electricity.

What we don’t need is another dubious project that requires hundreds of millions of tax dollars for no guaranteed results or return… and we sure don’t need to favour a cane-ethanol project on the basis of an emotional and historical attachment to growing sugarcane.

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Energy, Environment, Sugar

Fabulous New Blog Preserves Jewish History In Barbados

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Whereas a majority of the People of the Hebrew Nation, resident within this Island, have, by their humble petition, prayed for a Legislative Enactment to enforce the payment of certain taxes on (adjoinments ?) to meet the expenses of their Religious Establishment and to maintain the poor and indigent of their Nation: — And Whereas the Legislature of this Island being willing to carry the prayer of the said petition into effect:
It is hereby Enacted by the Honorable John Brathwaite Skeete, President of His Majesty’s Council and Communities as Chief of this Island, Chancellor, Ordinary, and Vice Admiral of the same…

Preserving Part Of Our Island’s History – Tombstone by Tombstone…

If only we could restore every graveyard on this island – not only for historical reasons, but for simple respect of those who have gone before us. Many of our graveyards and graves (even recent ones) are in a horrible state. I know of one incident last year where a child fell into a hole in a graveyard in the north and there were twenty or thirty such holes in the graveyard. You doan wanna look down them!

That aside, our Jewish friends have a project to restore and document their community’s graves and we wish that others would become inspired by their efforts.

Jewish Barbados Blog (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, History, Religion