Monthly Archives: June 2009

Suspicions Of Vote Tampering: 98.1 The One & Banks Sweet Soca Competition

Banks Soca Cheating Barbados

(Above photo is a sample from the 46 screen shots taken to document possible vote tampering)

Online Photos Demand Answers From 98.1 The One & Banks Sweet Soca Competition

Technology is welcomed and has played a vital role in the development and advancement of mankind. At times that said technology and increased knowledge are used in self fulfilling and greedy ways.

That leads me to my topic at hand… 98.1 The One & Banks Sweet Soca Competition.

Apparently some artistes have been getting a rather generous boost in votes from seemingly suspicious means.

On my investigation of these bold claims I was quite intrigued by my findings.

The matter was brought to my attention around 22:50 June 29, 2009. I must add that it took me a while to actually lend my resources to same as i was engaged in what I thought at the time was more pertinent.

sweet-soca-barbados

On inspection of the claim involving vote tampering at around 23:50 the votes per artiste stood as follows:

Aritste: Blood
Song: Back It Up
Votes: 14688

Artiste: Mr. Dale
Song: Come Out
Votes: 5157

Artiste: Statement
Song: All Night Till Mornin’
Votes: 3437

Artiste: TC
Song: Hot Sun & Riddim
Votes: 3299

Artiste: Tarah Holdipp
Song: Hottie Hottie Gal
Votes: 2906

Artiste: Lorenzo
Song: Good Vibes
Votes: 620

Artiste: Lil Rick
Song: Carnival Jucks
Votes: 545

Artiste: William Watts
Song: Busted
Votes: 59

What follows next is mind-blowing… shocking at the least! What you are about to see are screen shots taken of the following website (www.barbadoscropoverfestival.com) between 23:49 Jun 29, 2009 & 01:04 Jun 30, 2009. The pictures speak for themselves.

I invite you to pay attention to the times of the screen shots and the first two artistes on the list namely Blood & Mr. Dale.

Photobucket Still Picture Screenshot Views

Download Video (12.5 mb)

Am I paranoid or does all evidence lead to some form of foul play? Is this actually possible? Something is definitely ‘fishy’ here to me, after all it unfolded before my very eyes.

On even further investigation of the site in which the activity was purported by my technical assistant it was found that inadequate security measures were put in place to deter dishonesty by players or supporters of persons within the competition. Investigations revealed that persons were able to vote multiple times or in batch by either a) reseting their internet browsers i.e deleting cache, cookies, history etc or by (b) running a script encompassing elements of (a) to yield catapulting results.

As you can see Blood at the time of writing this post was already sitting comfortably on top with 16,000+ votes with Mr. Dale trailing behind with a steady rising figure of  9000+.

All this being said… in the spirit of  Crop Over and the festival upon us this should never be happening, so I appeal to the major players and fellow citizens like myself to put an end to this at once. In my opinion this competition is a farce and something needs to be done urgently to correct the wrong doing that has transpired. Lets not let a few bad apples destroy ‘we culture’.

NB: Dirkmouse “Da Bouse” does not blame or hold any artiste or individual responsible for any material contained or discussed within.


Kurt Linton
a.k.a Dirkmouse “Da Bouse”

Website: http://www.dirkmouse.com

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Music

President Obama A Class Act: Interrupted By Quacking Duck Ringtone During Gay Rights Speech – No Problem Without The Teleprompter

Obama Duck Ringtone

This Guy Is The Right Blend Of Approachable, Dignified Authority & Leadership – And Yes, He Does OK Without A Teleprompter

I haven’t agreed with everything that President Obama has done since he took office, but that’s ok – he probably wouldn’t agree with everything I’ve done either. He’s trying to implement some big changes in the middle of an economic crisis not of his making, but I give him high marks for trying to make many of those changes that he said would be on his list.

One thing I give him credit for big time is a new message to the world about what the USA is all about. Some folks disagree with President Obama’s quiet and friendly style compared to the gunslinger-talk favoured by Dubya. Those folks are, I think, misreading the man. Obama still has a big stick available if he needs it – and the world knows it – but he is secure and confident enough in himself and in America that he doesn’t have to shake that stick aggressively at everyone who disagrees with him. Not right off, anyway.

Which brings me to this YouTube video hot off the press from Drudge Report only 30 minutes ago. President Obama was giving a speech today at the White House about gay rights (LGBT I think means “Lesbian, Gay, uh… Bisexual and Transgendered people” – I think) when right in the middle of it someone’s cell phone went off with a quacking duck ringtone.

Have a look and listen at how the President handled the situation and himself and you will again see that blend of dignity, friendliness and authority. This man is a leader – he is no pushover – and he is confident. What a pleasant change.

Darn, I like this guy more and more. Now if we could only get him to relax a bit on his anti-offshore banking agenda.

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

British Tourist Shot, Robbed Near Sandy Lane Resort Barbados On June 4, 2009 – Victim Alleges Silence By Barbados News Media, Hotel, Tourism Authorities

“It did concern me that other British tourists who were staying at the hotel were completely unaware of what had happened. I am not saying it was deliberately suppressed but it doesn’t excuse the fact that no tourists were told about it..”

“There need to be warnings to British tourists that there are armed robbers operating in West Coast Road.”

… British lawyer Andrew Thompson tells the U.K. news media about his Sandy Lane Resort vacation – Suffolk barrister shot in Barbados and in a second article here.

Update: Many Newspapers picked up the story including the Daily Express: Britons’ Shooting Terror At Celebrity Caribbean Retreat

Couple Robbed, Husband Shot Walking Back To Sandy Lane Resort

Not A Word In Barbados News Media – Visitors & Hotel Guests Not Warned About Nearby Shooting, Robbery

Hotel is popular with Simon Cowell & Other Celebrities

British Tourists Robbed, Husband Shot in Barbados

Recovering from shooting: British Tourists Robbed, Husband Shot in Barbados

Suffolk barrister Andrew Thompson and his wife Isobel were walking back to Sandy Lane Resort after dinner on June 4, 2009 when they were held up by two men who had to dodge through busy traffic to reach them. Mr. Thompson was shot almost immediately after one robber demanded his wallet and the other snatched his wife’s purse. The shot ripped through his lower leg and caused major damage.

Mr. & Mrs. Thompson are veteran Barbados vacationers, visiting the island some 20 times and staying at Sandy Lane 10 times. They say they’ll be back – but they wish that someone had warned them and their fellow Brits that gunpoint robberies and shootings of tourists happen. They also complain that none of the other Sandy Lane visitors heard about it in the days afterward and so might have been at risk themselves while walking in the same area after Mr. Thompson had been shot and robbed.

The story only just appeared in the British news media some three weeks after the incident and, to Mr. Thompson’s knowledge (and our’s), has yet to be mentioned by the Barbados news media. (Dear readers: if the Thompsons & BFP missed coverage, please let us know and send us the reference.)

Memories of Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Back in March of 2009, Canadian tourists Terry Schwarzfeld and her daughter-in-law Lauana Cotsman were attacked and robbed on Long Beach on the Barbados South Coast. Sadly, Mrs. Schwarzfeld died from the beating after being returned to Canada in a coma.

Soon, Canadians were outraged to learn that many tourist robberies and rapes had been taking place at Long Beach but the Barbados news media, police and government hadn’t warned visitors even though the media and authorities knew of the ongoing danger! For an entire year or more the Barbados news media and authorities concealed a string of violent offenses at Long Beach and put many visitors at risk until one was finally murdered by the same serial criminal who was stalking the location.

Disgusting.

In the ten days immediately following the Schwarzfeld murder, the initial response from the Barbados Government and the Barbados news media was to say nothing and hope it all went away. Only after the Canadian press criticized Barbados for a cover-up did the Barbados Government and our news media mention Schwarzfeld.

FACT: Barbados Authorities Learned No Lessons From The Schwarzfeld Murder

Here we are only a few months after Terry Schwarzfeld was murdered – and once again foreign news media is reporting that Barbados tourists and Sandy Lane hotel guests were not warned that a robbery and shooting of a tourist had taken place nearby!

Once again the foreign news media is reporting that Barbados does not warn tourists of dangerous areas where there have been recent or ongoing attacks.

Have we learned nothing? Barbados and other tourist destinations can no longer cover up incidents of robbery, rape, shootings and even murders as was done in the past. Can you image what the foreign press would be saying if another Sandy Lane Resort guest had been shot or murdered in the same area after the first shooting – and the hotel guests hadn’t been warned of a recent incident?

This is the internet age and information cannot be contained. As Barbados Free Press has stated time and time again…

“…the international traveling public will accept a few unfortunate tourist incidents – but only if there is not one hint of a cover-up or sloppy, uncaring response. Everybody knows that trouble happens – and they also know that what happens after the trouble occurs is the true test of any organization.”

It is outrageous that once again the foreign news media is reporting that visitors to Barbados are not warned of recent shootings and robberies against tourists right where they are staying!

Here is the story from the Nation News about the despicable behaviour of the Barbados news media and authorities in covering-up the Long Beach tourist attacks for a year until Mrs. Schwarzfeld was murdered! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Police, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Target Barbados Solar Car – Driver Marcelo da Luz Happy Not To Be Tasered

Barbados Solar Car Survives RCMP Traffic Cop

Barbados Solar Car Survives RCMP Traffic Cop

Sun-Powered Auto “Too Slow” For Canadian Police

Former Air Canada flight attendant Marcelo da Luz has been pulled over by police about two dozen times during his travels across North America. They always let him go when he tells them about the treaties that allow his Barbados-registered solar car to use the roads legally.

But the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Red Deer, Western Canada were a little tougher than some of the other law enforcement types he’s met. They detained him for hours because he and his follow-up vehicle were traveling too slowly for their liking. The police also told da Luz that his vehicle would be prohibited from traveling on the roads permanently.

Rule of Law Comes Through

The amazing thing about the rule of law is this: If a country respects the rule of law, the police just can’t make things up as they go. The police can’t make the rules, they have to obey the law or they find themselves in trouble. In this case, the law stated that a Barbados-registered vehicle MUST be allowed access to highways in Canada – so the RCMP had to let da Luz and his Barbados solar car continue on the way.

Yes, da Luz promised to stick to the secondary roads during busy times – but in the end a police officer’s power was not higher than the law. See the Canada.com article: Solar car driver resumes journey after police warning.

You can read our two previous articles on the Barbados solar car…

May 9, 2009: Barbados-Registered Solar Car Heading Back To The Arctic

November 24, 2008: Barbados Solar Powered Auto Breaks World Record For Distance

rcmp-taser-barbados

At Least The RCMP Didn’t Taser Our Friend!

The RCMP are Canada’s national police force. Their name used to be synonymous with the image of dashing young “Mounties” in their red uniforms – riding on horseback to rescue damsels in distress etc etc etc.

Lately though the Mountie image has been a YouTube video of RCMP officers tasering a man to death at Vancouver International Airport in October of 2007. Polish tourist Robert Dziekanski died when four RCMP officers tasered him to death for the offense of having a stapler in his hand. Dziekanski was upset after he had been waiting for 10 hours in the airport security area. He didn’t speak English and didn’t realise it was OK for him to leave. 29 seconds after the officers entered the room they tasered him numerous times. A video of the incident shows Dziekanski not attacking the officers before they killed him.

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Bill Sweeney apologized for his officers making a “mistake”, but an inquiry into the man’s death was halted a few days ago (June 19, 2009) when it was discovered that all four RCMP officers lied during their testimony at the inquest.

How Will Barbados Police Officers Use Their New Tasers?

Every patrolling officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force is about to be issued with a Taser. While we at BFP are pleased to see our police receiving new equipment and another option that is less lethal than firearms, we have grave concerns that our under-trained, under-staffed, under-paid and under-supervised police will misuse their Tasers.

If a premier police force like the RCMP can “accidentally” kill someone with a Taser, what can citizens expect from our Barbados police? According to an investigation by the CBC Canadian News, One-third of people shot by Taser need medical attention. There have also been numerous deaths attributed to the Taser and any Google search will show that Taser deaths and liability lawsuits are a hot topic. You can start with this article: The Trouble With Tasers – What the manufacturer doesn’t want you to know.

Cartoon from Gizmodo.com

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment, Police

Barbados Free Press Posts Article Three Thousand (#3000)

Welcome to BFP’s 3,000th Article!

Barbados Free Press StatsBarbados Free Press published our first article on January 17, 2006, and right away we let the world know where we stood on Integrity, Transparency and Accountability of elected and appointed public officials in Barbados.

In that article, Prime Minister Owen Arthur Opens a New Can of Paint – To Cover Old Corruption, we took the first shot across the bow of a corrupt BLP government led by then-PM Owen Arthur. The article also mentioned the controversy over the flyovers, a company called 3S Structural Steel Solutions LLC, of Maryland USA and said…

The last thing that Barbadians need is a “public relations programme” instead of an open accountability about where every dollar is spent.

Prime Minister Arthur is correct: the cartel must stop misusing their political offices and connections for “personal material gain.” Only time will tell if the Prime Minister is really serious about stopping the corruption, or whether, like a used car salesman, he really means “Give her a new coat of paint and some sucker will buy it.”

We followed up the very next day with an expose, Barbados Tender Process Corrupt? that told how the $120 million dollar flyover project had been awarded without being put out to tender. On our third day, January 19, 2006, we expressed our hopes and doubts about the newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, David Thompson. About David Thompson, BFP said

“…will Mr. Thompson (whom this writer greatly respects) remain true to the principles he so ably espoused earlier that day? Will he be able to ignore the siren call of easy money that has corrupted so many in the current government?”

Barbados Blogs Hounded Prime Minister Arthur & Opposition Leader Thompson On Integrity Legislation For Two Years Leading Up To The 2008 Election

As our long term readers know, Barbados Free Press hounded Prime Minister Arthur and the BLP Government for two more years on integrity and competency issues.

Dragged Kicking & Screaming Towards ITAL

David Thompson & DLP Dragged Kicking & Screaming Towards ITAL

At the same time we urged Mr. Thompson to break his silence on ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation – and to declare that if elected his government would implement ITAL forthwith. We chided Thompson and the DLP to introduce Integrity Legislation while in Opposition to shame the government into action, but Thompson and his members remained silent until the last minute.

In the final weeks of the January 2008 election contest and with everything in the balance, David Thompson and the DLP finally came out in favour of ITAL. Although we were skeptical that Thompson’s last minute “cut and paste” declaration taken from an internet website was merely an election ploy, Barbados Free Press declared for the Thompson and the DLP.

After all, Thompson and the Democratic Labour Party promised in writing to implement ITAL within 100 days of forming a government, and to implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct immediately upon forming a government.

The rest of the election, as they say, is history.

Some people, perhaps many, believe that the island blogs were responsible for the DLP’s last minute Integrity Legislation promises and in fact, that without the island blogs and Thompson’s 100 day ITAL promise – the BLP may have succeeded in gaining an unprecedented fourth term.

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising Integrity Legislation

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising Integrity Legislation

Three and a half years later, Barbados still lacks Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation

So here we are in June, 2009 some three and a half years after Barbados Free Press published our first article (that was viewed by I think seven people on the first day). We are about to welcome our six millionth visitor. Thompson’s “implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct” promise was dead the minute he took office. His “ITAL in 100 days” promise is now overdue by almost a year and a half and anyone with half a brain can see that integrity is the furthest thing from the DLP Government’s concerns.

Most telling, it is still legal for Barbados Government Ministers, and elected and appointed government officials to receive gifts – even money – from companies that do business with the government. It is still legal for elected or appointed government officials to award government contracts to themselves or their immediate family.

The issue of gifts, contracts and conflicts of interest standards could easily be declared as policy by Prime Minister Thompson – as he promised to do immediately upon forming a government. Such a policy declaration does not require legislation or discussion, and it is exactly what David Thompson promised to do IMMEDIATELY upon becoming Prime Minister.

Why didn’t Thompson do as he promised in writing?

Die hard DLP supporters don’t want to face that issue. They are too busy enjoying the spoils of their election victory.

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

The Barbados Chum Machine… by Colin L. Beadon

Recycling: Boosting the Sea’s Food Chain

The sun hadn’t yet reached up to horizon’s lip when I met Samuel on the beach. He stunk of strong rum and half the beer in Bridgetown.

“I couldn’t sleep”, he said through puffed grey hard- seeing eyes, his face lined like the Orinoco delta, his nearly white beard bedraggled like a heap of wet cane chaff. He was a ‘dropout’ professor of anthropology.

“What have you thought of this time?” I asked, hesitantly. You never knew what you’d get out of Samuel when he’d been doing his best to drink down the town all night. Drinking loosens his brain waves, if you get what I mean.

“The fish,” he says. “This time it’s to do with the fish, and how we should think about giving back to the sea what we take from her daily. Fish stocks ‘going through’ on a world scale, as you know.” he says.

“Fish stocks, timber from the Amazon, petroleum, fresh water, ….” I was about giving him my list.

“And the main reason,” he cut across my words like a cutlass swipe, and repeated,

“ And the main reason ?” His blood shot eyes glared into me for an answer.

“World Human Population spread?” I murmured.

Samuel buried his head in the sea at our feet. Small fish flicked off and away each side of him. And who could blame them? Fish can smell too.

“Think about it, Rawdon,” he said, spitting out water. He always got my name wrong. “Instead of us using up timber and holes in the ground to burry ourselves, we need to give our corpses back to the sea.”

Well I’d thought about that myself, several times, so I asked him how he would do it.

Barbados Airport Jet“Chum!” He said. “All you need is a powerful grinder about the size of a 747 jet engine, and designed on the same principle. Chum is the answer. The body goes in one end, chum out the other, blasted out into deep sea water, simple! Simple as sprat food ! Done!

“Thrilling,” I said, amused,… pondering.

Samuel had a valid idea. Look at the advantages. Saves timber for billions of coffins, saves the huge amount of energy used in cremation and the carbon exhaust and smog that goes with it, leaves land for farming instead of graveyards, allows the human body to recycle quickly back where it came from, and, above all, feeds the micro organisms at the start of the food chain in the sea.

“I’ll shake your hand on that one Samuel. But who is going to listen to us?”

“What happens when the crabs and fish all done?” he answers, the glint of early coppery sun giving him the regal glowing charm of a ,… Neptune.

“ I need another drink,” he says. I needed some fresh air, I thought, and wishing him farewell, left him contemplating restless sea.

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Filed under Barbados

Who Is In Charge Of Environmental Damage On The Barbados Coast… Coastal Zone Management Unit or Town Planning?

Barbados Beach Walk

“The high point for this blogger was the chance meeting for the first time with Dr. Leo Brewster, the Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, on Ground Zero and an opportunity for an impromptu and brief interview, and – totally unplanned – in the presence of a section of the print media.  He was gracious but clearly uneasy with the line of questioning. Consequently, his answers were at best evasive…”

Mullins Bay Blog Reports First Person As Dr. Leo Brewster Ducks The Issue

Our friends at Mullins Bay Blog were there for the Tourism Environmental Awareness walk at Mullins Beach yesterday, and their interview with the Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit highlights exactly what we all know to be true. The destruction of our West Coast beaches is not so much an environmental problem as a political one.

A blind man on a fast horse can see that the choices made by government favour big time developers rather than preserving the environment, universal beach access and protection of the entire coast. In the case of Mullins Beach, a large condo developer has been allowed to build three massive groins that trap sand in front of the condo to the detriment of other property owners and nearby beaches.

What does the Director of Coastal Zone Management Unit have to say when specific questions are put to him in a public forum?

Perhaps diehard DLP supporters will discover much to their own chagrin, as Jack Nicholson once screamed in one of his brilliant performances: “You can’t handle the truth.”

But if you can handle the truth – head over to Mullins Bay Blog and discover right from the mouth of the Director of the Barbados Coastal Management Unit exactly what the government plans to do to save the West Coast beaches: which is nothing.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment