Monthly Archives: January 2012

Barbados prisoner Raúl García vows hunger strike until death

Completed 20 year sentence in Barbados prison – held illegally for 2 years since then!

August 19, 2012: Day 186 since Prime Minister Stuart ‘promised’ to transfer Raul Garcia out of a punishment facility. Garcia still illegally imprisoned at Dodds.

Hey… if you can’t rely upon the word of the Prime Minister, who can you trust? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Tripadvisor: Boscobel Toll Gang still frightening tourists

Barbados Police unable to stop gang for seven years

With 27 million unique visitors a month, TripAdvisor.com is the world’s most popular travel website – and right now a very active topic of discussion on the Barbados forum is (once again) the Boscobel Toll Gang.

That discussion is bad for Barbados tourism, but there is this little uncontrollable thing called the internet where tourists discuss and report how their latest vacation went. Obviously our government hasn’t adapted to that reality because our leaders still think that if they ignore bad news it will eventually go away. Apparently our leaders are wrong.

The Boscobel “Road Toll Gang” have been seriously doing their thing for at least seven years now. They stop tourist hired cars by standing in front of them. They inform the drivers that the road is closed, instruct them to drive another way and then demand money for the “assistance”.

They are big, nasty men and most of the tourists pay. It is a lucrative business for the gang.

Always seven or eight sitting at the “T” intersection and while one engages the driver in conversation another will sometimes come up behind on the passenger side, reach through an open window to grab a purse or a camera and then run like hell. Sometimes they arrange to be struck by the vehicle and then fall down “injured”. Sometimes they will even open an unlocked door and, UNINVITED, enter and sit down in the vehicle to further “talk” to the terrified tourists.

Reports say they sometimes stop as many as twenty or thirty vehicles on a busy day in good weather. Do the math: even at five vehicle stops a day with the usual two tourists per car we’re talking about hundreds of tourists a month having a bad experience with the Boscobel Toll Gang. That makes the Boscobel Toll Gang a serious problem for Barbados tourism even if TripAdvisor wasn’t carrying the story.

Shooting in Boscobel

In November of 2010 there was a shooting at a Boscobel football match and it was rumoured that some of the Boscobel Toll Gang were involved. If any further information came to light one way or the other we didn’t hear. Perhaps one of our readers can fill in the blanks?

As far as stopping cars, I think we heard about the police arresting one fellow but it has obviously had no effect on the overall activities of the gang. It’s the usual story with our police – they seem unable to commit to long term solutions to standing problems. They make one arrest and then call the job done. The leadership seems incapable of realizing that this one group of young men is doing so much harm to our tourism industry at a time when we desperately need every visitor to be saying nothing but positive things about Barbados.

Remember folks: this isn’t Barbados Free Press breaking this story. Dozens and dozens of tourists have related their experiences at Trip Advisor over the last few years and our police have done nothing. In the new world of the internet Barbados ignores this continuing gang activity at its peril.

Here are a few recent quotes from people in the U.K., the USA and Barbados as taken from the Trip Advisor website today…

Jan 22, 2012, 3:00 PM
Nelson_France – UK

We drove through Boscobel 3 days ago and at 2 separate places these guys did try to stop us by standing in the road and saying that the road ahead was closed and that we had to go a different way. Luckily we had been warned and didn’t stop but it was a frightening experience and I wouldn’t have liked to have been surrounded by them if we had stopped – I think it would have been difficult to get away safely without some possible dents to car doors etc if you hadn’t handed over money. We were of course 2 European looking people in an H registered rental car so we were quite obviously tourists. We were put off going down to Cove Bay after our experience as we weren’t sure we could get out without being stopped again. It’s a shame the local police don’t do something about it Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police

Muslim riots in Maldives – A Barbados vacation looks better all the time!

Sex outside marriage = flogging in Maldives

Hundreds riot in support of Islamic Sharia law

Rioters say Government under the influence of “Jews” and “Christian priests” to weaken Islam in the Maldives.

(It’s the JEWS!!! JEWS!!! JEWS!!! I tell you! And those damned infidel Christian beer drinkers too. Pass me a Banks Beer please… Ta!)

As we said in our recent post about the Maldives: Maldives Muslim crazies are good news for Barbados Tourism

The Maldives, a group of over 1,100 tiny coral islands, is often compared with Barbados as a vacation and retirement destination. Although far-removed from each other geographically, both countries compete for the same United Kingdom and European travelers.

The rise of Islamists demanding Sharia law is threatening the Maldives islands’ tourism industry. I doesn’t matter how pretty and relaxing the place is: when folks are in fear they will be jailed for possessing a bible, when they are cursed as swine and infidels, when women are publicly flogged for having sex out of wedlock and when a tourist can’t buy a beer on a hot afternoon – people start choosing other travel destinations.

Considering a Maldives vacation or honeymoon? Think again!

The government on Wednesday raised fears of Islamic extremism taking hold in the Indian Ocean atoll nation, which is best known for its upmarket tourism and as a destination for honeymooners.

The foreign ministry said it was “extremely concerned” by an increase in extremist rhetoric used by the government’s rivals that could lead to “stigmatization, stereotyping and incitement to religious violence and hatred”.

There have been anti-Semitic protests recently about the transport ministry’s decision to allow direct flights from Israel, while a restaurant that hung up Christmas decorations in 2010 was also targeted.

… from AFP News More arrests in Maldives as protests spread

New (tongue in cheek) Barbados Tourism Authority slogan for Maldives markets…

Vacation in Barbados: We promise we won’t flog you for bringing a bible or having sex without being married!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Human Rights, Religion, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados mother says “I’ll breed ’em. YOU feed ’em!”

Story #1,243 in a continuing Nation Cultural Series…

by BFP reader Passin thru

Jacqueline Blunt is 40 years old and has five children (by how many different men we’re not told). She’s long-term unemployed and lives with her mother; who has served notice on Miss Blunt that she and her five children are out on the street as of Tuesday.

According to the newspaper article, Mother of 5 needs house Miss Blunt contributes nothing to household expenses and keeps such hours and personal habits that her long-suffering mother sought to impose an 8pm curfew on the 40 year old. That really says it all when an unemployed and unemployable mother can’t be bothered to tuck her children in each night. It’s not as if she’s out working or looking for work – she’s partying.

Miss Blunt is featured in The Nation newspaper looking for her next meal ticket. She doesn’t care whether the National Housing Corporation or some unsuspecting landlord continues her free ride as long as she doesn’t have to actually earn money to support her own children.

The sad truth is that this type of story is standard newspaper fare every month and explains much about why some matriarchal “families” live in perpetual poverty generation after generation. What values and life examples are being passed along to Miss Blunt’s children?

Barbados has an interest in curbing this destructive behaviour, for the country and for the sake of the children. This matriarchal subculture with unemployed mothers and no fathers contributes nothing positive to Barbados – unless you count as a positive the simple biological production of children with nothing further contributed.

The never-ending stories of Miss Blunt and other unemployable single mothers are the best arguments for the establishment of orphanages.

I accept that we as a society must look after the children of those parents who are incapable of supporting and raising children on their own. If we really want to help Miss Blunt’s children, the best thing we could do would be to place them in an orphanage and away from their irresponsible and unemployable mother. If we really want to help Miss Blunt and others like her, take away her children and allow her to sink or swim on her own: to perhaps become a responsible, self-supporting adult as she should have 20 years ago.

Only then will society have a chance to stop the perpetuation of the single-mother subculture that robs thousands of children of the chance to be raised with proper values and edifying habits and life skills.

Passin thru

Further Listening: Generation X: The value of Black Women

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

Huffington Post says avoid Barbados… if you’re gay or lesbian

Huffington Post: Anti-gay laws a legacy of “outdated British colonial laws”

Barbados’ criminalization of buggery continues to attract attention in human rights and tourism discussions. In 2010 Ethical Traveller Awards slammed Barbados for our anti-gay love law, and in 2011 Britain and the USA both criticized our country over this issue.

Should buggery be illegal in Barbados? How about adultery?

How about adultery… should that be illegal too?

IF we’re going to regulate sexual behaviours between consenting adults, what other activities should be prohibited? Is there any other orifice besides an anus that should be restricted? And… is that restriction limited to the penis, or should other protruding parts of the human body be restricted as well?

How about more than two people in the same bed? (Sorry, Cliverton!)

I mean… if Barbados society is going to be in the business of regulating sexual acts between consenting adults… well, let’s do some regulating.

Though the current law is under review, it still punishes “buggery” with a life sentence. Until the law is repealed, same-sex couples might prefer to experience the sparkling blue-green waters of the Caribbean in locales that welcome gay travelers, such as Puerto Rico, Aruba, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Despite legal recognition of same-sex relationships in several nations throughout the Caribbean, Collins asserts that widespread homophobia persists on many of the islands…

From the Huffington Post article Honeymoon from Hell: The Top 10 Destinations Gay and Lesbian Travelers Should Avoid

Our thanks to BFP reader “C” who wrote…

Message: Hello BFP

Love your blog. I was reading Huffpo this morning and came across this link and was embarrassed to see that along with our CARICOM neighbors Jamaica, Guyana and Belize, Barbados made the list of the most homophobic countries that gay travelers should avoid.

In a time when we are pushing our tourism this is a huge blow as many straight but socially conscious Canadian/American tourists may see this and decide against a Bajan vacation.

Not sure if you would be interested in highlighting this or not…

Cheers!
C.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Human Rights

Genetically modified food: What’s it doing to humans?

Farmer discovers that his GMO corn contains Estrogen-mimicking compounds, causes false pregnancies in animals.

by Green Monkey

“This is bothering our pigs, bothering our cows: what’s it doing to humans?”

A self-described former “cutting edge, “advanced technology” American farmer fed GMO corn to his pigs; they all became sterile forcing the farmer into bankruptcy.

A couple of interesting quotes by farmer Jerry Rossman taken from the Youtube video above:

@7:28 – I was put in connection with this work done out of Baylor (i.e. Baylor University /GM), and I mean it said right in there that this is what would happen; this is the concerns; they had isolated these compounds off of food products they had gotten out of grocery store shelves already – that this was already out here. The humans were eating it, and they had identified it as being an estrogen mimicker. That is what we’ve been working with here.

@8:17 – But as we went along through this, we come to find out that basically the seed industry is not testing – they’ve done absolutely no long term feeding trials with any livestock, and they absolutely resist even the idea of doing it.

Is it an incident isolated to Iowa?

“Austrian scientists fed mice over a course of 20 weeks a mixture of 33 percent Monsanto GE corn (NK 603 x MON 810) and non-GE corn.

These mice gave birth to less babies and lighter babies in their third and fourth litters. Mice fed on non-GE corn had babies as normal.

These differences are statistically significant.”

From the GreenPeace article No need for condoms – GE corn can do the job

Further Reading at Wikipedia: Genetically modified food

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Consumer Issues, Environment

Wally Serote on the International Monetary Fund, Fox News… and your life

“I will therefore not allow myself to be trapped in Western thinking, which has presided over thought and ideas and has dictated to the world what to think.”

Wally Serote’s article in the Thinker 31 poses serious questions:

“We can no longer be professional students of the west.”

I hope that magazines like the Thinker will help in the debate on the path forward. We need to change the “terms of trade” as Best would say and we need to develop solutions that fit our reality.

The crisis in the Caribbean economy finds little debate within the region and all that is proffered is the failed mantra from the IMF and other Western sources.

Can we not do better?

Is it that the we allow CNN and Fox to fracture our thinking and believe all that is offered by them as gospel?

Where are the critical thinkers? All we are hearing is the voice of the right trying to prop up a failed model.

We must and can do better.

Regards

Godfrey J. Martin

We Hope to be in Time for Dialogue

by Wally Serote

The issue here is, since I believe that the Western sun is setting, most of the answers we seek for the 21st century exist outside of the West and among people of the South. Wherever we are, although belatedly, we have to search for a paradigm shift to survive during this century and set the basis for the survival of future generations.

“We have, from an African perspective, to make a decision that we can no longer be professional students of the West.”

Africa is in a position to play this role, given its cultural diversity, historical experiences and continental resources, human and natural. It will therefore be necessary to think outside of boxes, but not re-invent wheels. I will therefore not allow myself to be trapped in Western thinking, which has presided over thought and ideas and has dictated to the world what to think. Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Consumer Issues, Culture & Race Issues, Economy