Monthly Archives: April 2010

Global Voices puts on a new face

Thanks to our friends at Global Voices, folks around the world read Barbados Free Press articles in Chinese, French, Spanish and a host of other major and minor languages including Hindi, Swahili and Italian.

Which is kind of special considering we’re a tiny little blog out of a small Caribbean island. I mean, who in Italy would be interested in what Barbados Free Press has to say? The answer is… apparently enough people are interested that Global Voices translated some of our articles into Italian!

That’s why you’ll find many articles on Barbados Free Press that deal with Bajan perspectives on a variety of international topics. It gives Barbados Free Press a far larger voice and an international readership than we would otherwise enjoy.

Big News at Global Voices

Today we’re letting our readers know that Global Voices, GV – unveiled a whole new design and look.  Although in typical modesty GV is understating the development, we’ve found their website to be more attractive, quicker and most important: GV has made it much easier to jump from topic to topic and country to country when you browse their content.

Global Voices connects people across the planet by letting each one of us talk to the world about local topics that might or might not make the international news media. If you’re not familiar with Global Voices, you should give them a try. If you’ve been there before you’re certain to be impressed with the changes.

Here’s some of what Global Voices says about their new look…

Now truly multilingual

Global Voices is one of the most multilingual online communities in the world. Our Lingua project, where people from around the world volunteer to translate Global Voices content into different languages, has experienced astounding growth since it began 3 years ago. We now have over 30,000 translations posted in a slew of different languages, some of which you’ve probably never even heard of. As a developer this growth was almost difficult to believe, and presented many challenges, but when you’re in the business of spreading citizen media as far and wide as possible, growth like that is an amazing problem to have…

… from the Global Voices article Global Voices Gets Redesigned: Welcome Back!

Further Reading

Global Voices home page

Some BFP articles with a Global Voices connection…

December 18 2009: Barbados Free Press in Swahili… Really! “Plastiki na Uchafuzi wa Mazingira”

November 9, 2009: Chinese-equipped Cuban Secret Police beat Award Winning Global Voices bloggers

August 28, 2008: Harvard Law School’s Global Voices Translates I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney Articles For Major Worldwide Audience

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, News Media

Americans angry about Obama’s health care plan… Really?

An old friend sent this to BFP and while we might dispute a word or a fact here or there, we agree 100% with the main thrust…

YOU WANT TO GET MAD?

We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, but now you get mad!

You didnt get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.

You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got ousted.

You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed..

You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.

You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city drown.

You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.

You didn’t get mad when, using reconciliation; a trillion dollars of our tax dollars were redirected to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage which cost over 20 percent more for basically the same services that Medicare provides.

You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark, and our debt hit the thirteen trillion dollar mark..

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the Republicans richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans… oh hell no.

AND NOW YOU’RE MAD?!         LOL!!

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health, Human Rights, Politics

Baltimore Ravens’ Ramon Harewood: CNN interview, great video

Bajan NFL player swats opposition like mosquitoes

You simply must watch the CNN video of Ramon Harewood playing American football at Moorehouse College. It’s like he’s a moving mountain of solid rock. When the charging opposition hits him at full tilt they bounce off with no visible effect upon Harewood. It’s almost hilarious.

Here is the link to the CNN video and another to a story on the Ravens’ website…

CNN Video: Ramon Harewood interview

Ravens Insider: Harewood’s unique story

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Sports

BBC’s Adam Mountford says “Barbados is Bringing It!” to cricket in 2010 – Much much better than disastrous Cricket World Cup 2007

Barbados and Bajans impress BBC Radio’s cricket producer

“So the big question is have the ICC and the local organisers learnt from the mistakes of three years ago? Well the first impressions are certainly good…”

… from Adam Mountford’s BBC blog article The importance of first impressions

That’s how Adam Mountford’s blog article starts talking about Twenty20 and it gets nicer and more enthusiastic as it goes along. Certainly the organisers are doing things differently, but the mood of ordinary folks is vastly different from Cricket World Cup because in 2007 we knew we were getting the royal shaft.

At Cricket World Cup 2007 we saw the empty hotels and empty harbour when Noel Lynch and Owen Arthur were announcing that every yacht in the Caribbean was heading for Bridgetown. We saw outrageous ticket prices and “no instruments” rules that were guaranteed to keep the locals away – and when they stayed away as predicted the Arthur/Mottley government tried to fill the empty stands with school children. And then there was Mia Mottley in charge of the worldwide visa disaster that saw (for instance) Australians being told at the last moment that they would need visas to attend CWC – when they didn’t need them before and many cricket fans were already on their way to Barbados! (BFP article: Cricket Visa Chaos: Mottley Worried About Legal Liability For Wrong Information and Visa Failures)

Did we all learn from Cricket World Cup? We surely did – but I have to wonder if the lesson would have been as well learned if the BLP was still in power.

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Sports, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Rewarding the failures of former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch – Net visitors gain for Cricket World Cup: 44 long stay visitors over normal !!!

Cricket World Cup and the Carnival Destiny debacle

Commentary by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

‘That $14 million was supposed to have been self-liquidated, where we would have sold packages that would have more than covered that cost’!

This is the economic justification put forward by a former Minister of Tourism.

Now let’s do the maths!

The loan was actually US$14,772,000. Presumably before any interest payments and we have to assume that figure included any ‘arrangement fees’.

Carnival Destiny has a stated passenger capacity of 2,642 persons.

So! On a simple cost per person that meant that each passenger would have had to pay US$5,591.

Arguments could be made that additional revenue could reduce that figure if the ship was redeployed for the CWC 2007 semi-final in St. Lucia, but why would the Barbadian taxpayer be expected to subsidise the tourism industry in that island?

So could someone please explain to me how this amount could be ‘self-liquidated’?

We can all recall the ludicrous figures been thrown into the public and media domain right up until the now infamous ‘Down to Brass Tacks’ programme of the 25th March of that year.

“’25 cruises ships’, ‘90,000 long stay visitors in the week of the final’.”

But in reality, all that CWC did for our tourism industry was produce a net gain of just 44 long stay visitors for the first four months of 2007.

Of course, some of us spoke out about this lunacy at the time, including tour operators who knew the actual facts, but the deafening noise of the so-called ‘experts’ was overwhelming.

When it became apparent to even those that have a limited understanding of tourism, just how many hotel rooms remained empty in peak months like February and March and during the hosting of the final, it became even more difficult to justify the chartering of Carnival Destiny.

The so called ‘experts’ then went into the now customary damage limitation mode by attempting to justify the fiasco by heralding the promised contribution that would be made by the ‘legacy’ benefits.

Perhaps three years on, someone could put a Dollar figure on those legacy benefits when compared against the costs already spent on, or committed to hosting the event?

Tourism is far too important to the survival of this country to allow it to be led by poorly researched and speculative policies which cannot provide cost-effective justification.

We have to stop rewarding failure!

Adrian Loveridge
29th April 2010

BFP Editor’s note: This article is published as received from Adrian Loveridge with the exception of the main title “Rewarding the failures of former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch – Net visitors gain for Cricket World Cup: 44 long stay visitors over normal !!!” and the sub-title “Cricket World Cup and the Carnival Destiny debacle” which were created by Barbados Free Press. The photo was also inserted by Barbados Free Press.

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Turks & Caicos citizens question appointment of Barbados Chief Justice Simmons to head Integrity Commission

Prime Minister Thompson fires Chief Justice SIR David Simmons... and restores the independence of our courts.

“The current  Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson a lawyer himself said that it was unethical for David Simmons to have accepted the appointment of Chief Justice. In fact it was reported that the former Chief Justice wanted an extension of up to six years which was roundly rejected by the Prime Minister.

This is the man that the Governor of the Turks and Caicos tapped to be the chairman of a sensitive body as the Integrity Commission. People’s lives could be destroyed and certainly their reputations by rulings of this body…

No person with such a controversial past, Chief Justice or not, should sit in judgment of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. I call on the Governor to reconsider this appointment.”

… from the TCIpost.com article The Governor appoints integrity commission

Barbados Prime Minister says Attorney General David Simmons should NOT have accepted Chief Justice position. What now for Turks & Caicos?

When former Barbados Attorney General and acting Prime Minister David Simmons accepted the position of Chief Justice it immediately dissolved the separation between the government and the courts.

Nevermind that bullshit about perceived judicial independence.” said Simmons… “I want the honour and the power.”

And so SIR David Simmons went from being acting Prime Minister to the person in charge of the Barbados judicial system. Anyone who can’t see a conflict or ethical problem with that is brain-dead or willfully blind.

Now the Governor of Turks & Caicos has named SIR David Simmons to head the newly-formed Integrity Commission – and T&C citizens are questioning the wisdom of Simmons’ appointment.

The internet is a marvelous tool – as David Simmons is about to discover!

5 Comments

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

Silly? Ironic? BLP’s Mottley vows to protect CLICO investors after appointing “Worst Regulator” Carlos Belgrave as Insurance Supervisor

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (current 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

Reason #846 why Mia Mottley and the BLP Opposition have no credibility

The BLP Arthur/Mottley government appointed chicken-feed factory manager Carlos Belgrave as Barbados Supervisor of Insurance. In 2006 Belgrave received Offshore Alert’s “Worst Regulator” award for staunch support of three Barbados insurance companies that faked their books and had owners previously convicted of fraud. Not to mention that Belgrave approved and licensed the companies when other countries had turned them down.

If you need a little more flavour to the story, consider this…

Barbados Supervisor of Insurance Carlos Belgrave allowed a failing Reliant insurance company 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”. (See BFP’s Carlos Belgrave, Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions in Barbados, Called “Worst Regulator” By OffshoreAlert)

Got that? Belgrave approved half a billion dollars of supporting company value based upon pieces of paper promising the right to mine peat in Panama put forth by a newly-created paper corporation!

Belgrave and successive Barbados governments obviously applied the same tough standards to regulating CLICO and valuing its assets.

For years the BLP government and Belgrave allowed CLICO and it’s associated companies to violate all kinds of rules and standards that put investors at risk.

Now that the whole house of cards collapsed Mottley is spewing off at the mouth saying that she and the BLP will protect CLICO investors!

Well, as our own Auntie Moses says – a lie is a lie and if you’re going to tell a lie, why not make it a big one!

Further Reading (make sure to take your anti-nausea pills!)

The Nation: BLP vows to protect investors

You really should read the article at The Nation, but we print it here in full because the Nation has a record of re-writing history by revising and/or deleting articles… Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments