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

12 Comments

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

Barbados Supervisor Of Insurance Announces $2,500 Voluntary Fine For Infractions… That Should Stop Multi-Million Dollar Insurance Frauds Like CLICO!

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds”  … from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds” … from OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award

Carlos Belgrave, Former Chicken Feed Manager, Sets The Standard For Barbados Insurance Industry

The recent collapse of the CLICO insurance company exposed the fact that successive Barbados governments have allowed insurance companies and offshore corporations to pretty much do as they please so long as those political campaign donations, kickbacks and business jet rides keep rolling in.

But now that the world’s attention has come to focus upon our failings, Barbados decided to make some noises so investors and other governments will believe we’ve taken effective measures to supervise our offshore insurance industry. The key here is that we haven’t taken any new steps… we just make noises and promises so others will be taken in and believe that things have changed in Barbados.

The sham press conference by Barbados Supervisor of Insurance was all about repairing investor confidence after the CLICO debacle – not about real change to protect investors & policy holders

To kick things off, our Supervisor of Insurance held a press conference (Nation News article) announcing that the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) members have agreed to some voluntary standards that may be enforced by a $2,500 fine. It is hoped that maybe, sometime in the future, these voluntary standards might possibly become law in Barbados. Maybe. If. Sometime.

Judging by the accounts in the local news rags, the revelations at the press conference were shocking – but true to form the Barbados media spun an outrageous admission of incompetence, guilt and amateurism into a positive story. In truth, the Barbados Supervisor of Insurance admitted that Barbados lacks effective standards in law respecting the financial health, financial management and financial strength of insurance companies. (Barbados Advocate coverage of press conference here)

CLICO investors and policy holders probably thought we had such standards as laws – but they thought wrong.

But hey, we’re going to put those laws in place. Someday, maybe, if… but for now the Barbados insurance companies promise to volunteer to maintain those standards or risk having to pay (again voluntarily) a whopping BDS$2,500 (US$1,250) fine. Wow! That should prevent another CLICO-type collapse, don’t you think?

Our lack of rules, laws or effective oversight is what allowed a healthy insurance company like CLICO Barbados to “invest” in huge loans to parent company CL Financial and other Clico companies – loans that were secured by way-overvalued swampland in Florida. Loans secured by deals where executives of CLICO-associated companies took secret commissions and kickbacks for engineering the over-payment for swampland!

See our articles about the CLICO fraud…

CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

A US$3 Million Florida Mansion Belonging To CL Financial Director - Thanks For The Bailout, Prime Minister Thompson!

One of many: A US$3 Million Florida mansion belonging to CL Financial Director - Thanks for the bailout, Prime Minister Thompson!

Meanwhile, the Directors of CL Financial were purchasing millions of dollars of prime, upscale Florida waterfront mansions for their own enjoyment and profit.

That is the legacy of two successive Barbados governments and our Supervisor of Insurance, Carlos Belgrave.

Now Belgrave says he wants to make a law requiring minimum capital standards for insurance companies. Hopefully Belgrave no longer accepts “bearer peat certificates” as security for capital! Such standards saw Belgrave named in 2006 as the “worst regulator” by Offshore Alert.

The CLICO Chicken Came Home To Roost

A Chicken Named CLICO

A Chicken Named CLICO

In the case of CLICO, the Barbados insurance company was allowed to operate for years without sufficient cash reserves – and no one thought it dangerous when a otherwise healthy CLICO loaned all kinds of money to its parent company to purchase swampland in Florida at a price that greatly exceeded the real value of the land!

Not to be outdone by the previous BLP Government for looking after friends and concealing the truth from the public, current Prime Minister David Thompson has pledged millions of your tax dollars to assist collapsed CLICO. Oh… did you know that the Prime Minister and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris are godfathers to each other’s child? Did you know that CLICO contributed to the DLP election campaign and that David Thompson borrowed CLICO’s business jet?

All a coincidence I’m sure as the Prime Minister works diligently to socialize Clico’s losses with our tax dollars.

You know the drill for the Prime Minister’s friends: Profits are private, but losses are paid for with your public tax dollars!

Barbados Supervisor Of Insurance Carlos Belgrave Approved US$ Half A Billion Insurance Assets That Were “Bearer Peat Certificates” !

Instead of pulling Reliant’s license and despite there being no change of control or management, Belgrave allowed Reliant to continue in business by approving replacement capital with a face value of $518 million that consisted of nothing more substantial than a loan note issued by a newly-formed Panama firm that was secured by “bearer peat certificates representing the right to obtain peat, a pre-coal state organic material used as energy or for horticultural use, from the Changuinola Peat Deposit of Northwestern Panama”…

… quoted from Offshore Alert in the BFP Article: Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions in Barbados, Called “Worst Regulator” By OffshoreAlert

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Government Steals 2/3 Of Parkland For Developer Friends – Graeme Hall Environmental Disaster Continues

After being elected in January, 2008 one of the first acts of the David Thompson DLP Government was to change the law protecting 265 acres of parkland at Graeme Hall to allow developer friends to profit from these public lands. To make this happen, David Thompson and the DLP Members of Parliament had to set aside laws that had protected the land from development since 1988. When the government was finished, 2/3 of the parkland (175 acres) was gone.

We have just received some satellite maps and a press release from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary that we publish here. Click on the image for a larger view…

Barbados Environment Disaster

Graeme Hall Parkland Loss Map Released

[Bridgetown, BARBADOS]   A land use map depicting the planned loss of parkland at Graeme Hall has been released this week by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Titled “Parkland Loss Planned at Graeme Hall,” the new map (www.graemehall.com/press/papers/ThenNowMap1.pdf ) illustrates the Government’s plan to allow residential and commercial development on government-owned Graeme Hall land.

Contrary to the original 1988 National Physical Development Plan (PDP), the new 2003 PDP recommends that parkland at  Graeme Hall be limited to the flood-prone Graeme Hall Swamp, and that all dry land be developed.

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary officials are critical of the land use change, saying that urban development of Graeme Hall would be akin to developing Central Park in New York, and that wetland buffers and recreational opportunities would be permanently destroyed.  Sanctuary officials also cited recommendations from the Urban Land Use Institute quality-of-life recommendation of 25.5 acres of parklands for every 1000 people.

The move to convert the Graeme Hall parklands began after the Sanctuary was acquired by Peter Allard in the 1990’s.   Allard, a retired Canadian attorney and investor, purchased the Sanctuary lands after due diligence examination showed that the 1988 PDP designated the approximately 240-acre green space at Graeme Hall as an environmental, recreational and agricultural buffer for the wetland, and as a green corridor between Oistins and Greater Bridgetown urban areas.

Parliament ratified the land use change in early 2008 despite a petition signed by 6,000 Barbadians to preserve the 240-acre Graeme Hall area as a National Park.

Located at www.graemehall.com/press/papers/ThenNowMap1.pdf, the new map derives its information from Map 20 of the 1988 PDP, and Maps 4 and 6 of the 2003 PDP.  These maps can be located in the “Map” section of www.graemehall.com/reference.htm.

Graeme Hall contains some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in Barbados and is the last major urban green space over 200 acres available as a regional park on the South Coast.

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Tourism, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Guyana Deportees Report Thefts Of Money, Property In Wake Of Barbados Immigration & Police Raids

“When I got to my room,  the door was off, all my clothes thrown on the floor, my suitcase ravaged and all my documents and money gone. I could not believe it. I had recently bought  a Dreambox, a dvd player,  and I had $1 300 Bajan saved and it’s all gone.”

… An illegal immigrant tells of thefts during Immigration Raids in The Nation article Lucky Escape

Free-For-All As Landlords And Others Profit From Deportations

barbados-steal-moneyTwo days ago Barbados Free Press asked what our Barbados Immigration and Police were doing to secure and protect the valuables and personal property of persons arrested in the recent immigration raids. (See BFP’s Barbados Continues Immigration Raids, Deportations Of Guyanese…)

Now we know: Barbados Government officials are in fact doing nothing to protect or secure deportees’ valuables. It is a free-for-all with neighbours, landlords and passersby grabbing the “abandoned” property and money of arrested persons. Our authorities are doing nothing except dragging persons away from their rooms and homes.

What a National Shame for Barbados

So far there are no reports of government officials ending up with deportees’ property, but where there is no system used to properly seize, protect and catalogue the property of arrested persons – it is only a matter of time until the abuses start if they haven’t already.

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Damon Corrie Remembers A Kinder Time In Barbados-Guyana Relations

“When the English speaking Caribbean countries were colonies of Britain – there was actually more freedom of inter-regional movement and migration than there is today”

An interesting observation and a typically good article from Damon Corrie at the Bajan Reporter.

As usual, you may not agree with everything Damon says – but he will make you think and question that which needs to be questioned.

The Bajan Reporter: Ordinary Barbadians migh suffer the consequences of the new Deportation policy – by Multi-Caribbean D.G. Corrie

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Michael Jackson Dead – Cardiac Arrest, Not Breathing at 12:21pm Los Angeles Time. CNN: “Jackson Dead”

michael-jackson-heart attack

UPDATE: 6:25pm Barbados Time: TMZ Confirms Death, Further Details

UPDATE: Michael Jackson Reported Dead by www.x17online.com

UPDATE: TMZ.com says Michael was DOA

“Not Breathing When Paramedics Arrived”

“Really Bad Shape – Family Being Called In”

Michael Jackson Rushed To UCLA Medical Center - From x17online.com

Michael Jackson Rushed To UCLA Medical Center - From x17online.com

Yes, we know he went weird, but Michael Jackson’s Thriller is still one of our favourites and we remember him as he was – not as he became.

It looks like he had a heart attack in Los Angeles.

TMZ: Michael Jackson Cardiac Arrest

LA Times: Michael Jackson Rushed to Hospital

Michael Jackson Dead In LA

Above from TMZ.com

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Barbados Continues Immigration Raids, Deportations Of Guyanese – Media Report Of $100 Per Head Reward For Deported Guyanese

“Now I have lost everything, a whole house full of appliances, clothes and so much more. I miss work because I could afford to do so much, now to come back home and just leave that, it’s hard…”

… Guyanese deported from Barbados speaks to Stabroek News: Deportee from Barbados has lost hope in her homeland

Barbados Immigration Paying $100 A Head Reward For Information?

Barbados Immigration authorities are offering BDS$100 per head reward for information leading to the deportation of illegal Guyanese on the island – this according to Stabroek News of Guyana. News reports also say that the Guyanese government is documenting the treatment of deportees by Bajan authorities through interviews, media reports and follow-up visits by the Guyanese Consul in Barbados.

Who Ends Up With The Deportee’s Larger Possessions?

Where are the deportees' autos?

Where are the deportees' autos?

One of the articles we read tells the story of an illegal Guyanese woman whose home was raided in the middle of the night by Barbados authorities. She, her family and friends were packed off in custody with no time to secure her larger possessions which included major appliances such as a fridge and cooker.

Who ends up with the deportee’s major possessions? What happened to the tens thousands of dollars of autos, clothes, appliances and tools that were owned by the Guyanese who have already been deported from Barbados?

Deportees’ possessions – Spoils of the hunt for Barbados Immigration Officials?

Who ends up with deportees' large possessions?

Who ends up with deportees' large possessions?

What have Barbados authorities been doing to protect the deportees’ possessions? Have any Immigration authorities been seen with new stoves lately?

The question is not as flippant as it might seem because if it turns out that Bajan Immigration authorities have ignored the issue of deportee’s property (or worse), it will reflect very badly upon our country.

Yes, we at Barbados Free Press believe that Barbados has the right and the duty to control immigration and to take steps to remove persons who are in the country illegally – HOWEVER – we must not forget that, illegal or not, these folks are just ordinary people who deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and even kindness by Bajan authorities. Anything less will make Barbados a brutal nation in the eyes of the world.

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Barbados Law Library In Ruin Due To Water Damage: “Preventative Maintenance” An Unknown Concept To Successive Barbados Governments

“There are two types of people in the world: Those who change their engine oil regularly, and those who ignore maintenance until the engine is already headed for ruin. We Bajans are usually of the second type…”

Shouldn’t The Chief Law Librarian Be Fired For Failure To Preserve Irreplaceable Books & Documents?

Barbados Law BooksAccording to the Bajan news media “environmental problems” are responsible for ruining a “substantial” amount of the books and other documents in the law library of the Supreme Court.

Typical Barbados news story: “environmental problems” are responsible for this massive loss. God forbid we would ever hold a real person responsible for anything.

No, it wasn’t the people in charge of the law library who are responsible for failing to note the deterioration and protect the thousands of books and documents – many of them irreplaceable. No, it wasn’t Chief Justice who is responsible – even though according to his own statement in the Barbados Advocate he has known for at least four years of the deterioration and did nothing to stop it. No, it wasn’t former Attorneys General Mia Mottley or Dale Marshall who are responsible for this loss. It wasn’t 15 years of a BLP government that spent hundreds of millions on cricket and consulting payments while neglecting everything from schools, to police stations to the law library.

According to Attorney General Freundel Stuart, nobody in the current or former governments ever thought to train ANY of our law librarians in book preservation or about the dangers of dampness, mould and fungus to our almost 300 year-old law archives. It is like the whole problem just happened last week without any warning.

Books are damaged by water and dampness? Well, who could have known!

So you see? No person is responsible… it was “environmental problems”.

And the solution to the “environmental problems”?  The usual: borrow or beg for more money from the Inter-American Development Bank.

“Just put it on the tab, waiter… the next generation will pay for my spilled drinks.”

Court library compromised

read the full article at: The Barbados Advocate 6/23/2009

By Shawn Cumberbatch

ENVIRONMENTAL problems, including mould and fungus, have cost Barbados’ highest domestic court a “substantial” amount of its library material.

Chief Justice (CJ) Sir David Simmons disclosed yesterday that authorities were now looking to secure funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, as part of its Justice Improvement Programme with the island, to significantly restore the large volume of legal books and other important reading material housed in the 278-year-old Supreme Court library.

Both Sir David and Attorney-General Freundel Stuart voiced concern about the impact these environment-related issues could have, with Stuart saying most Caribbean governments had devoted larger budgets to libraries, but had not paid enough attention to training law librarians in book preservation.

The officials were speaking yesterday at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, during the official opening of the Caribbean Association of Law Libraries 24th Annual General Meeting and seminar.

The CJ noted that over the last few years Barbados had suffered the fate of most libraries, which “face the problem of contamination of the environment by mould, fungus and other deleterious substances”. Continue reading

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Barbados Company In Middle Of Philippine Election Intrigue – Fears Of Uprising and Revolution Over Automated Balloting Problems – Memories of VECO Corporation’s Barbados Contracts

“How could a company based in Barbados, which has only a handful of employees, complete a contract worth US $141,356,604?

… from The Daily Tribune (Philippines) article Comelec faces failed bidding

“…the public might be provoked into taking to the streets again if no election takes place in 2010. “If that is the case, Mrs. Arroyo should accept the near future scenario of being the third President ousted by the people through another popular uprising,…”

GMA NEW.TV – No-election in 2010 could spark another uprising

How Kickbacks Work: Barbados Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. Subcontracts Work To Philippine President’s Friends!

bribery.jpgHere is a lesson for all of us in Barbados who aren’t part of the past or current government inner circles. You know, we ordinary folk…

The government of the Philippines wants to implement electronic voting for the 2010 election. (As an aside, electronic voting is probably the most dangerous silent threat to democracy that the world has ever known – but we’ll leave that issue for now.)

So the Philippine government strikes a deal for voting machines with a bunch of Venezuelans who run a company out of the Netherlands that has a sub-company out of Barbados. This is the same technology that Hugo Chavez used to get elected again in Venezuela.

Got all that?

The circle becomes complete when the sub-company out of Barbados subcontracts work to a Philippine company owned by a friend of the President of the Philippines.

Is there a kickback from the Philippines company to the President of the Philippines? You’ll never prove it.

But that is the way the world works. Corrupt? Yes! Centered upon profits rather than the good of the country and the people? Sure!

Welcome to Dodds Prison, Barbados…

Dodds Prison in Barbados was built under the BLP – Barbados Labour Party – by the disgraced VECO Corporation of Alaska. VECO – a company that regularly practiced bribery of government officials to obtain billions of dollars of contracts from governments around the world.

Yet, the current Democratic Labour Party government of David Thompson refuses to audit the expenses and the companies that built Dodds prison for… How much? US$200 million? US$300 million? US$400 million?

The citizens of Barbados are not allowed to know how much the new prison cost us!

According to our source, the stainless steel toilets for Dodds prison were purchased from an intermediary for 200% over the regular cost!

Do you want a sample of what Dodds was all about? According to our source, the stainless steel toilets for the prison cells were not purchased directly from the manufacturer in the USA. No Sir! The toilets were purchased from an intermediary company in Florida that inflated the price by some 200%. Who owened the company? Why did Barbados pay so much over the going rate?

Prime Minister Thompson knows… and he is holding the information as a trump card for his benefit. As far as the people of Barbados are concerned…. don’t look to recover your overage costs anytime soon!

From the Philippines news media…

MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile expressed on Tuesday concern over the preparations for the conduct of the automated balloting next year, warning a failure to hold the presidential election could spark a revolution.

During a four-hour Senate hearing, officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were questioned on whether due diligence had been made in selecting the consortium of Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. to carry out the computerized polling.

The signing of the P7.4-billion contract has been set for Friday with the Barbados-based company to supply 82,200 counting machines to get results of the polls within two days of voting instead of weeks it takes currently.

The senators also sought a review of the “hubs” where the counting machines will be stored following disclosure that planning for this had been subcontracted by Smartmatic to a forward firm, To Go, owned by the Aboitiz family that is closely identified with the First Family.

“If you don’t have an election in this country, you’re going to have a revolution,” Enrile said. “We have to be very careful and be sure that we can really hold an election with an automated system. Never mind the money, it’s the social explosion that will come that we should be worried about,” he added.

… from Inquirer.net: No election could spark revolution

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Canadian Police In Nationwide Search For Barbados Murder Suspect Shawn Andre WEEKES – Reward

WARNING - May Be Armed And Dangerous

INTERPOL WARNING - May Be Armed And Dangerous

UPDATE: March 22, 2010

Shawn Andre WEEKES is still wanted for murder, so we’ll leave this up for a few days.

Wanted For Murder In Barbados – Has Ties To Canada

Our thanks to a long-time BFP reader for alerting us to this story. Continue reading

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Let’s Hope Our Next Barbados Chief Justice Isn’t A Political Hack Like SIR David Simmons

“It’s no secret, however, that Prime Minister Thompson when he was the Leader of the Opposition had serious misgivings about Sir David’s appointment and it would be surprising if Sir David remained in office a minute after the April 28, 2010 (Simon’s 70th birthday)”

… Stephen Alleyne writing in the June 22, 2009 edition of the Barbados Advocate

Stephen Alleyne Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of “Judicial Independence” Or The Importance of the Appearance of Justice

In today’s Barbados Advocate, columnist, lawyer and ex-cop Stephen Alleyne states that SIR David Simmons has the “integrity and independence that’s a sine qua non of this high judicial office”.

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

What absolute rubbish from a person who should know better. If David Simmons had any integrity, if he was concerned about the independence of the judiciary, he would never have accepted the Office of Chief Justice of Barbados.

The courts in Barbados have always been a highly politicized but this reality moved to new heights during the BLP government when then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur appointed his long time political colleague and Attorney General as the Chief Justice of Barbados. The move effectively consolidated the power of the government and the courts under the control of Barbados political elites – and the image of both the courts and the Office of the Chief Justice have never recovered.

Certainly when David Anthony Cathcart Simmons agreed to accept the position from his old friend Owen Arthur, the act brought the administration of justice in Barbados into disrepute. It is the very presence of a career politician, former Attorney General and former Acting Prime Minister as Chief Justice that warns ordinary people that they haven’t a hope of seeing justice in Barbados. (See David Simmons’ bio here. Very impressive career politician!)

Chief Justice David Simmons On His Way Out – But Will Another Politician Replace Him?

Prime Minister David Thompson has no intention of extending the tenure of Barbados Chief Justice SIR David Simmons, who turns 70 on April 28, 2010 and would need Thompson’s recommendation to continue. No, Sir… you can bet your house on the fact that David Simmons will not be Chief Justice of Barbados come the day after his birthday.

And so the process of easing the Chief Justice out of office with all honours begins in the local media with a column by Stephen Alleyne in today’s Barbados Advocate newspaper. “Sir David: A hard act to follow” is available in the dead-tree edition or online for 24 hours at the Barbados Advocate in “photo” form.

As usual in societies where the news media is tightly controlled, the Barbados Advocate does not publish even mildly controversial articles online in a “text” format that can be read and indexed by Google or other search engines. This protects the ruling elites from the inconvenience of having historical records easily accessible by the public.

Will Prime Minister Thompson reverse his position and appoint another "political friend" as our Chief Justice?

Will Prime Minister Thompson reverse his position and appoint another "political friend" as our Chief Justice?

For instance, there are no newspaper articles available online from the time when David Simmons was appointed as Chief Justice by his old friend then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur. At that time the DLP was up in arms that a politician and former Attorney General and Acting Prime Minister should be appointed to the highest court in the land.

It was argued by David Thompson that Simmons’ appointment politicized courts and brought the entire system into disrepute. Notwithstanding that the DLP itself had previously appointed two of its own former Attorneys General as judges in lower courts, David Thompson and others argued that the office of the Chief Justice should be protected from even a whiff of politics.

It will be interesting to see whether David Thompson as Prime Minister still believes as strongly that no politician should be appointed Chief Justice as he argued when in Opposition!

Barbados Advocate Article

We reprint the Barbados Advocate article referred to here under “fair use” provisions as we are criticising the Barbados Advocate and it is the practice of that newspaper to remove all historical records from public view after 24 hours. (Click to view full size)

David Simmons CJ Barbados

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Cover-Up In Barbados: Inquest Into Deaths Of Hugh Springer & I’Akobi Maloney – But No Inquest Into Codrington Family Deaths

barbados-cave-children

Too Many Big Names Involved So No Inquest Called: Family Died When Home Collapsed Into Known Cave

An inquest, however unsatisfactory, was held into the death of I’Akobi Maloney while in police custody. An inquest has been announced into the death of Hugh Springer – an innocent passerby shot in the back of the head by a police officer.

But no inquest has been called into the death of an entire family who died because of actions taken or not taken by corrupt and/or incompetent government officials, engineers, developers and greedy landowners.

Why call inquests into suspicious, unusual or controversial deaths like Hugh Springer or I’Akobi Maloney and not into the deaths of an entire family where evidence of wrong-doing has already come to light at BFP and in the Barbados Advocate?

Stupid question. Too many big names involved in the Codrington family deaths. This is Barbados and we only do inquests or other public enquiries when it is safe and convenient. Rule of law be damned.

There are many villains who must bear responsibility for the deaths of an entire Barbados family whose members died after their house fell into a collapsing cave at Arch Cot. Horrifically, we know that members of the Codrington family did not die all at the same time. As he was trapped in the rubble, Donavere (the father) talked to people at the scene after the initial event. Some of the children could be heard screaming for a time.

Although we have been denied a public inquest by two successive governments, Bajans now know some of what happened thanks to the efforts of Hans Machel, Richard Goddard and a handful of others who, unlike Barbados politicians, still care about the truth and the public good. No thanks to the professional Barbados news media who are (or were, in the case of the Barbados Advocate) part of the cover-up to protect the members of the Bajan nobility who murdered the Codringtons…

… from the Barbados Free Press article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

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