Monthly Archives: November 2010

Spark of the Day! The future of Barbados…

Spark of the Day is our daily reminder that we can live and work together on this planet if we become like children and appreciate each other and the wonders of our home called “The good, good Earth”.

Give thanks to BFP reader Red Lake Lassie for directing us to the Flickr photographer YG – who sure knows light and composition!

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Filed under Barbados, Spark of the Day!

Independence Day: Emera wants 100% of Barbados Light & Power

Should we sell Barbados Light & Power to the Canadians?

Good for Barbados, or selling the family silver?

by West Side Davie with Cliverton

Independence Day is a fitting time for Bajans to consider the difference between dreams and goals, and the difference between blind celebration and a grounded perspective on reality. For too long we have celebrated November 30th with much flag waving and remembrance of the heady days of the 1960’s – but little serious consideration given to where the good ship Barbados is sailing now and how the machinery is holding up.

We dance and sing about how we love the ship and what a good ship it is (and it is too!) – but I fear we’ve been putting off some needed maintenance and refitting because it’s easier and cheaper to slap on a coat of paint and say “It still looks good!”

Indeed, it could be said that Independence Day has become somewhat of a coat of paint administered annually to make us feel good about ourselves. Or, perhaps Independence Day is like a shot of rum for the masses so they won’t notice that we’ve just mortgaged another part of the ship to keep food on the table and fuel in the tanks.

Friends, if you borrow money to put food on the table and fuel in the tank, you’ll soon lose your ship as you sell it off piece by piece while the machinery deteriorates for lack of care.

And that is why I approach Emera’s offer to purchase 100% of Barbados Light & Power with some trepidation and perhaps some guilt too. Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Energy

Spark of the Day!

Dear BFP,

Here is an idea you could start on Independence Day.

I notice that the issue of discussing Islamic fundamentalism brings out the worst in some people on both sides of any conversation. While it is necessary to cover the issue, it would be good to see some uplifting material presented as a balance.

Just an idea if something could be generated each day from an automated computer system where something like the “Spark of the Day” could remind people of their humanity and our common interest for tolerance to each other.

Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and people of all religions could submit their photos and one from Barbados and one international (so people get reminded that they are part of a greater whole) could be shown each day and perhaps a Barbadian song once a week.

I am not certain of technicalities but if people were drawn to it each day as they wake up it could be a breath of fresh air. For example there are lots of incredible photos on the internet, many of them in the public domain so there would be no problem reusing them.

Here is an example of a recent photo of a Buddhist monk ( Vietnam ) and his novices. It has a certain purity and sense of happiness that might affect people positively.

I’m not sure it could be easy to initiate but could be like a shot of caffeine for those who care. You might need a special e-mail to send them to, but it could capture the interest of Barbadians. If done right it could add more of an uplifting feeling to Barbados Free Press than constantly dealing only with corruption and some of the tougher issues that you do.

I respect and admire Barbados Free Press for tackling tough issues and being positive and eclectic in many ways, but it would be nice if you could give us an uplifting photo every morning to send us on our way to work.

Yours truly,

“GG”

(full name withheld by request)

Barbados Free Press replies

Hi GG,

What an excellent idea. Okay, we’ll try it. We don’t know of any automated programme that would do the necessary, but we’ll try to find a photo or two every day. If our readers pitch in we’ll have a variety of perspectives and lots of photos.

How about it folks? Send us your uplifting photos of humanity from Barbados and around the world and we’ll do our best to post something every day.

Send your photos to: barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com

Or… if you see something good on the net, post the URL as a comment or email it to us. BFP will then get permission to use the photo or post it under “fair use” if possible.

Give Thanks!

(and thanks to Barbados Holiday Lettings for the photo “Barbados Friends”)

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Of Manners and Standards… and buttons worn by shop assistants

Can a Polite Pig help Bajans regain our lost culture?

by David Gittens

“But quite apart from his immediate political and economic agenda, the Prime Minister is concerned about the general direction in which the country seems to be headed.

In an exclusive SUNDAY SUN interview this week, Stuart, 59, pointed to falling national standards while using excellence as his benchmark for performance.”

… an excerpt from The Nation article PM’s Plan

All through the years I have had indigestion caused by the very very seldom outspeaking by local authority figures regarding the general slip-shodden approach to work and productivity, and the non-existence of basic, everyday good manners that once-upon-a-time were the hallmark of local ‘culture.’ Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

Barbados road deaths: 240% higher rate than UK

Another year without modern anti-drunk driving laws

Be careful out there!

As Independence Day, Christmas and the new year arrive, BFP wants to remind our readers to have fun, but be careful because drunk drivers think that they are “the reason for the season”.

Our friends at the Barbados Road Safety Association recently placed 28 markers at various places around the island to remind us that Barbados is averaging 28 road fatalities a year. We thank them for that valuable service and the good work the BRSA does all year.

And we confess that we loved it earlier this year when BRSA President Sharmane Roland Bowen asked Are the police looking for someone to do their jobs for them?

The BRSA publicity campaigns save lives. Folks see the crosses and slow down. They read about the campaign and plan how they will get home before they have their first drink and maybe grab the car keys from a friend who’s had too much. Who knows how many lives have been saved by the BRSA’s efforts? Maybe even your life or the lives of your loved ones and friends.

But publicity campaigns can only do so much. If we want to change the culture of drinking and driving in Barbados, we must enact modern laws and give the police the tools to protect us. Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Health

“Good for a cheap chuckle”

Dear BFP,

Barbados Advocate, Saturday November 27th, Page 12. Bottom left.

China placed a notice for Independence Day, saying “Congratualations Barbados“. I don’t know if the Chinese embassy did up the notice or if it was a printer’s devil at the Advocate but it’s good for a cheap chuckle. Enjoy!

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Filed under Barbados, China

Barbados Today: Please tell us it’s a typo!

Error, or a tongue in cheek that the editor missed?

Barbados is “moving towards seeking third world status” ??? Either way, it made us pause…

Even if the 3rd world status was meant tongue in cheek, and maybe especially so, it’s an excellent opinion piece by Dennis de Peize. Take a minute to finish it at Barbados Today…

Independence resolution

Continue to take pride in what you do

by Dennis de Peize

As Barbados prepares to celebrate its 44th anniversary as an independent nation, it is important that its citizens move beyond basking in the glory of past achievements in the post-Independence era.

Moreover, it would represent a sense of maturity if the people could advance beyond the usual political rhetoric that is meant to glorify either the Democratic Labour Party or the Barbados Labour Party, on their respective role in championing the break from the colonial ties with Britain.

At this juncture in its history as a developing small island state, that is moving towards seeking third world status, it would seem to be in the best interest of the nation if its citizens direct their attention on how best to make Barbados a better place to work, live and play. It therefore means that as a people the objective should be that of putting Barbados first.

It is not an insurmountable challenge, provided that the populace is prepared to be led by the thoughts expressed by the late Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable David J. H. Thompson, who viewed that “Barbados was more than an economy, it is a society”.

… continue reading this article at Barbados Today

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Filed under Barbados, History

Bajan Reporter publishes photo of dead or severely injured motorcyclist.

UPDATED: 2 similar accidents on the same day. Motorcyclist died on Passage Road and the gruesome photo is at Bajan Reporter. Motorcyclist on River Road lived (Tori Watson). See Ian Bourne’s comments and website for updated story.

Original story…

Morally Right to publish photo?

Is driver Dead or only Injured?

The Bajan Reporter (BR) is currently displaying a photo of a dead or injured motorcyclist under a truck. According to BR, the accident happened outside Starcom on River Road after the motorcyclist lost control while doing “wheelies”.

Bajan Reporter says he died. Barbados Today reports Tori Watson, 19, alive in the hospital.

Two issues

1/ Is the driver dead or alive?

2/ Should Bajan Reporter and the rest of the Barbadian news media publish such photos?

Bajan Reporter: Barbadian man wheelies bike and slides under truck in City: broke both legs and back then died!

Barbados Today

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press

Barbados Muslim Girls School, 14 year old student: “Nothing wrong with beheading, chopping off your hands, severe beatings”

What values are taught at Al-Falah Muslim School?

“Hijab is compulsory… hide woman’s beauty as protection from rape.”

“Beheading, chopping off your hands, severe beatings are Islamic rules, nothing wrong in it.”

When a dozen or so girls from the Al-Falah Islamic School recently participated in the Long Beach clean-up while wearing Muslim dress and veils, Barbados Free Press wrote The Muslim vision of the future for all Barbadian women and republished a photo of the group. (shown above, courtesy of The Nation)

Three of the students in the photo placed comments on our article – and what they have to say is most disturbing.

Naively, the 14 to 16 year old girl students of the Al-Falah Muslim School simply wrote the truth as they see it and revealed values and standards that are totally at odds with our society.

No person in Barbados, and especially in the Ministry of Education, can read their comments and not be concerned about what is being taught at the Al-Falah Muslim School.

In the past, Barbados Free Press questioned the text books used and the lessons taught at our Muslim schools. BFP asked what the Ministry of Education is doing to supervise a curriculum that is largely created and sometimes directly delivered (electronically and via publications) from Saudi Arabia.

This concern about Muslim schools is worldwide as advances in technology allow Saudi Arabia to export their values and standards to children in Muslim schools everywhere.

“PUPILS at Islamic schools across Britain are being taught how to chop off a criminal’s hand and that Jews are conspiring to take over the world, a BBC investigation has found.”

… from The Australian British pupils taught how to carry out Sharia punishments at Islamic schools

(Give thanks and a Banks beer to Jihad Watch for the link)

Barbados is not immune from the same type of problems being experienced in the UK.

Posted below is the full comment written by the teenage girl student from the Barbados Al-Falah Muslim School. You’ll find a link to the other two comments as well.

Are the values and standards shown in the comments an acceptable result for a school in Barbados?

Is teaching that that there is nothing wrong in mutilation and beheading for offences against Muslim Sharia law acceptable in our country’s schools?

Is it proper to teach that the onus is on women to prevent rape by “covering their beauty”?

You want to know what is taught at the Barbados Al-Falah Muslim School?

Here it is… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Education, Human Rights, Religion

Japanese company shows off Plastic to Oil machine

“This plastic is not garbage. It is oil, gasoline, kerosene.”

You must watch this video of a small machine – about the size of a large coffee maker – that converts plastic trash into usable oil. Akinori Ito’s company ‘Blest’ manufactures industrial plastic to oil conversion machines, but he wanted to make a small home version that anyone could use.

At US$9,000 a shot, the price will have to come down substantially – but do you remember what you paid for your first VCR or computer? It will happen.

Watch the video, read the article I’ve linked to below and dream of what might be if these machines become cost-effective to manufacture.

I’m getting chills of excitement watching the video and thinking about the future. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Science, Technology

Forbes picks up Adrian Loveridge article at BFP

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we have no idea why articles from Barbados Free Press are being regularly picked up and republished or linked to by major news outlets like CNN, Sky News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Times of India, Sunday Telegraph, Seventeen Magazine and others.

Lately the news outlets are interested in our CLICO and Arch Cot stories.

We’re pleased but mystified.

The latest pickup is by Forbes.com, who are pointing their readers to our recent article: Adrian Loveridge comments on Barbados Tourism Ministry website dysfunction.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Blogging, Freedom Of The Press

Shame on Barbados: abstains from UN Vote allowing execution for being Gay or Lesbian

Barbados says “no problem worth talking about” as Iran hangs two Gay teenagers.

Barbados has a shameful voting record at the United Nations when it comes to human rights – and that record just got a little worse with our refusal to vote against a bill that says executing people for being gays and lesbians is permissible.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve sided with evil. We actually make a habit of it at the UN in human rights matters. We don’t want to offend any country that might toss a few coins our way.

I have always found it shameful that Barbados – a nation founded with the assistance of chains, whips, rape and cultural genocide – now so easily supports nations involved in slavery and human rights violations. Whether it is our support for Iran’s hanging of children and amputations as punishment, or our “look the other way” while China maintains the world’s largest slave camp system within her borders and uses slave labour in Africa, Barbados long ago lost the moral high ground at the United Nations.

YES – Barbados actually voted at the UN to protect Iran’s use of torture, floggings, amputations as punishment, discrimination and violence against women and executions of children like Ateqeh Rajabi. Rajabi was hanged at 16 years old for the offence of having sex outside of marriage. Barbados supported and still supports Iran’s “right” to execute children.

Now we’ve decided that it’s no problem to us if a country wants to execute gays and lesbians because of their sexual orientation… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Politics

Adrian Loveridge comments on Barbados Tourism Ministry website dysfunction

Nation Newspaper mentions “Boscobel Gang” for the first time

Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

Businessman, tourism guru and part-time journalist Adrian Loveridge was hired, fired, banned and walked out on so many times by Government Ministers and the Bajan news media that we lost count. He and his Missus received threats to murder them and burn down their business. Then there were two “mysterious” fires at their business after the threats of arson.

Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin refused to investigate because some of the threats made on the internet came from a computer in the Members of Parliament lounge. BLP Member of Parliament Dr. Duguid confirmed that some of the threats came from the computer at Parliament. (Sidebar: In our opinion, Dr. Duguid showed integrity and good character by his actions in response to the threats against Loveridge and others.)

When the police wouldn’t come to his aid, Loveridge complained to Prime Minister Owen Arthur and then PM David Thompson. Both men ignored his plight and avoided him on the street.

And still Adrian persisted in telling it like it is to governments and news media who couldn’t stand a single word of criticism in the past – publishing his articles on the blogs when the newspapers banned him.

Now The Nation is back to publishing his tourism articles and we haven’t heard of any threats against Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge in a while. Hopefully this signals that government officials are more receptive to advice, information and criticism than they were before. Maybe that’s what happens when the government officials become desperate as they run out of answers and options: they have to start listening to others.

Here is Adrian’s latest article as published in The Nation. You really should read Adrian’s article at The Nation website, but we reprint the entire article here because that newspaper has a habit of changing history.

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Johnny Clegg and Savuka sing for Mia Mottley

One (Hu)man, One Vote! – for Barbados

Ousted BLP leader Mia Mottley says she was fighting for “one man, one vote” during her recent campaign for election as Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party.

We support one man, one vote when it comes to choosing the leadership of political parties, even if Mia is rather new to the fight. She will recall that BFP criticized her in the past for not taking her leadership to a test before the general membership.

Mottley said the only two times she has spoken recently was when she was removed from office and at the BLP conference when she announced she was no longer going up for chairman of the party. At that time, she recalled she was fighting for “one man, one vote”. On both occasions, she recalled that she said only time and God will determine the future

… from The Nation article Mia speaks her mind

The BLP and the DLP need open leadership contests where every member gets a vote – but those holding the reins of power don’t want that because then the political elites might lose control to a populist candidate.

Does Mia Mottley really want “One Man, One Vote”? We’ll come back to this subject occasionally and see if she is serious or just blowing smoke.

One ‘man, one vote — step into the future
One ‘man, one vote — in a unitary state
One ‘man, one vote — tell them when you see them
One ‘man, one vote — it’s the only way

Johnny Clegg and Savuka

God, how I miss the times when I first heard Third World Child.

Robert

Further Reading

Mail and Guardian: White Father of African Rock celebrates Anniversary

BFP: Stephen Biko – 29 Years Ago Today

4 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Music, Politics

We recommend… author Walter Phillips

Click on the banner to visit the website of Barbados author Walter Phillips

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Filed under Barbados, History, Religion

Rio De Janeiro explodes as police battle Brazil’s slum gangs

or… “Why Brazilians would like a Barbados vacation”

You know, this business of Barbados tapping into the huge Brazilian tourism market might be the right move at the right time – even started if a little later than we should have.

Picture yourself as an upper-middle class couple in Rio De Janeiro. Time for a vacation and you’d like to get away from it all to someplace fairly nearby and different from any place you’ve traveled before.

You visit the BTA’s Portuguese language website: VisiteBarbados.com

Barbados? Sounds good to me right about now… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Brazil

Abused Barbadian farm workers cheated by Canadian Government program

Bajans unpaid and stranded in Canada

“The employers are protected but people doing the work are left defenseless by the Canadian government’s indifference to the abuse faced by migrant farm workers.”

The Canadian Seasonal Agriculture Workers Program was put in place by Canada for one reason: farm and agriculture jobs pay so little in Canada that there are not enough Canadians willing to take the employment. Canadian agriculture therefore relies on hardworking folks from Barbados, the Caribbean and Mexico who leave their homes, family and friends to work temporarily on Canadian farms.

It seems to me that the Canadian Government should be responsible to protect the workers, and to ensure that the farms and agricultural businesses that participate in the government program are viable.

Migrant farm work is a hard and lonely life, but workers travel to Canada because they must to provide for themselves and their families.

And then they get cheated… Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Canada, Human Rights, Immigration

Barbados contractor blows whistle on Florida corruption

Chairman of Pompano Beach Advisory Committee wanted US$2,000 a month “contribution” or no city contract!

Vicente Thrower, Chairman of Pompano Beach Advisory Committee, had a nice little business going on the side. For a “consulting fee” or “donation to the community”, Thrower used his influence to ensure companies received lucrative contracts with the city.

And, if people didn’t want his “assistance”, he used his position to deny them the contract or make life very difficult.

Then Thrower met long time Barbados resident and business person Lynn Allison and demanded US$2,000 a month – saying she should pay up if her company wanted to hold on to its $200,000 annual contract with Pompano Beach. Continue reading

6 Comments

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