Monthly Archives: June 2014

What to do in Barbados? New Totally Barbados app has the answers!

Totally Barbados Events

Whether you’re a tourist or have your navel string buried on this rock, the new mobile app and website from Totally Barbados lists all the events and details to make it easy to have some fun.

We love it.

Check out the Barbados Events and Things to Do online calendar here, or download the mobile app from Google Play Store or iTunes Store.

Our old friend Brett Callaghan has created a real winner of an app that everyone finds indispensable once you use it. Spread the word!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Our biggest tourism challenge

barbados-beach

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

If I could single out an overwhelming major factor that is holding back the recovery of our tourism sector, number one on the list would have to be lack of implementation.

A close second would have to be the prolonged time it takes to conceptualise and launch new initiatives and marketing programmes, while ensuring they are fully functional and deliver the desired objectives.

Yes, some may make all sorts of other excuses like an aging plant, but if we get both the above right, then it would provide a solution to this and most of the other challenges we are facing.

This July marks a full year since a one hour plus media conference with two Ministers of Government was held unveiling a Ten Point Tourism Plan.

Exactly how many of those points have been fully implemented twelve months later and if not, why?

Extraordinary concessions to Sandals destroyed any ‘Tourism Master Plan’

I can no longer recall just how many times I have heard that the Tourism Master Plan is going to be revealed shortly. You have to question does it now indeed have any current significant relevance, since the entire industry was turned on its head after extraordinary unilateral concessions were granted to the Sandals companies.

Way back in March the Minister announced it was finally finished and sitting on his desk. Is it now buried or will it eventually see the light of day?  Continue reading

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Why ‘the peaceful majority of Muslims’ are irrelevant: The majority allows 300 million violent Radicals to define Islam

Yup.

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Filed under Human Rights, Religion

Benjamin Moore Paints used racially offensive colour names – Is ‘Nazi Red’ okay?

Benjamin Moore Paints Lawsuit

(click photo for large)

An interesting story is breaking in New Jersey where Clinton Tucker, a black employee of Benjamin Moore Paints, has launched a lawsuit claiming that the company apparently named various paint colours after him – allegedly just to disparage his race – and then fired him when he complained.

Mr. Tucker also took exception to the company’s naming of ‘Confederate Red’. While Mr. Tucker found the paint names ‘Tucker Chocolate’ and ‘Clinton Brown’ repulsive (he had worked on these colours before they were named), his white supervisors laughed at him – so Mr. Tucker says in his lawsuit.

Benjamin Moore’s website states that the colours were named after Mr. St. George Tucker in 1798 “for his home facing Courthouse Green” in Williamsburg.

Hmmmmm…. I wonder when that was added to Benjamin Moore’s website.

And to top it off, Benjamin Moore’s ‘Confederate Red’ page says:

Benjamin Moore Flag

Benjamin Moore’s Confederate Red

This rich, refined red is a timeless and enduring classic. A great accent wall color, it is not too bold and won’t overpower a room.

Hmmmmmm. To some folks, myself included, Confederate Red invokes the same thoughts as if the colour was named ‘National Socialist Red’ and said “This rich, refined red is a timeless and enduring classic…”   Continue reading

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

Daily Buzz features re-Discover Barbados menus

The Daily Buzz is a syndicated morning news program that airs in over 175 US television markets. I have no idea if the Barbados Tourism Authority paid for this, or if the show put it together without payment – but it’s not bad!

Are we allowed to know whether we paid for this and how much? Why not?

If you want to enjoy some wonderful Bajan cuisine for very little money at our finest restaurants, check out re-Discover Barbados.

 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Paying the Price

When the state buys, builds or buys and re-sells private lands, all kinds of warning flags and conditions should come to the fore. That kind of accountability and transparency doesn’t often happen in the Caribbean

Our old friend Afra Raymond keeps sounding the clarion about the abuses by those elites who misuse their public authority and power to direct profits to themselves, their friends and families.

Did independence from mother Britain empower the abusers? Or… was it all happening in the past – the only difference being a different group of elites?

Whatever the case, Barbados is effectively bankrupt.

Enjoy the decline!

Robert

AfraRaymond.net

On Wednesday 11 June 2014, the Senate unanimously approved the Public Procurement & Disposal of Public Property Bill 2014 and that Bill is soon to go to the House of Representatives for their deliberation. I was present to witness the collective efforts made by Senators on Tuesday 10 June and it was a really thought-provoking experience for me.  I started to wonder just how much we could achieve if the banal point-scoring and ritual picong was to become a thing of the past.  The basis of decision-making on public issues would have to shift to a fact-based one, which would be a huge, healthy step away from the sad formula of ‘might is right’.

What a day that would be for us all, just imagine.

But we have to exist in this place, as it is, with all its imperfections.  Which leads me to discuss the constant questions put by people who…

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Time for the Barbados Museum to stop hoarding! Must become an active worldwide promoter of Barbados History… and of Historical Tourism

Barbados Museum

Barbados Museum & Historical Society suffers from a Hoarding Mentality

Submitted by BMHS longtime member Sinsten Merriweather (BFP editor: as contrived a name as we’ve every seen!)

The Barbados Museum’s website claims they have a collection over half a million ‘artefacts‘ (yes, that’s how they spell the word to the world online) that “tells the story of the people of Barbados and preserves our history for future generations.”

“Indeed, our history is preserved for future generations because none of the current generation can access it.”

… BFP’s Cliverton

The Museum has photos of precisely 19 of those 500,000 artifacts displayed online, with no explanation, description or provenance attached.

Do you want to know what the Barbados Museum has in inventory that might interest you? Well, don’t look for a list or a working searchable database online – you’ll have to email Mrs. Marcia Griffith and in a few days she might (or might not) get back to you with further clarifications. God forbid that the museum actually put a database online where people can search for topics, historical periods, artifacts and documents that interest them!

Barbados Museum Website

And half the time the existing website (as limited as it is in vision and function) doesn’t work, or maybe sometimes might perhaps work… if, sort of.

Missing: A vision of Telling the History of Barbados to the world

What is the Mission Statement of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society? Your guess is as good as mine and I’ve been a member for over ten years. If I had to guess, I’d say that the mission of the BM&HS is to do whatever the current management, staff and Board desire as their whim without reference to any written mission statement.

It is true that in the last ten, and especially the last five years, the leadership have done some wonderful things with little money. In particular some of the bus tours of the island (not many recently though) awakened a thirst for Bajan history amongst some of the young people.

But…

… the Barbados Museum is falling down disastrously in making history accessible to the people. In this day, that means online – not just certain items displayed in a glass case to those who visit a physical building. The mission statement should be to make Barbados history available to anyone around the world, instantly, and in so doing to encourage people to take an interest in Barbados and to visit our country (and to spend their money while doing so!)

What the Barbados Museum should be   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History

Glut of cheap Caribbean cruise ships hurting Barbados tourism and island economy

How many cruise ships are too many for Barbados?

How many cruise ships are too many for Barbados?

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

According to a recent Travel Weekly (TW) article a total of 30 cruise ships will be sailing in the Caribbean this summer with Carnival alone offering over 1,600 cruises in the region across the entire year.

Hindsight is a truly wonderful thing, but it would have been difficult not to predict the massive over-capacity estimated at 19 percent, that has been created in 2014. Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, described the ‘Caribbean train wreck’ as a product of a ‘lemming theory’. He went on to add ‘we all sat in our rooms and did our itinerary planning – on our own, or course – and we all concluded it made sense to go into the Caribbean’.

Ken Muskat, MSC’s senior vice President was equally candid, describing the situation as ‘oversaturated with inventory’.

“Whether you describe this scenario as over-capacity or under-demand inevitably the result has lead to dramatic price discounting, with daily all-inclusive rates lowered than US$43 per person/day on some cruises.”

“Land based tourism accommodation providers do not stand a ‘snowball in hell’ chance of competing with these rates…”

Probably what at least partially influenced the key players into redeploying more vessels to the Caribbean this year was the poor performance of its ships in Europe between 2010 and 2012, due to weak economies and the reluctance of many North Americans to pay higher transatlantic airfares.  Continue reading

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Bizzy Williams wants to ban private support to political parties

"Campaign Donation" deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur's personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

“Campaign Donation” deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

Bizzy Williams probably tired of being shaken down every election

by James M.

First off, who knows what Bizzy really told The Nation? I don’t trust Barbados journalists to deliver the truth any more than I trust anyone. Whatever Bizzy said about political campaign funding has been reduced to four paragraphs with no video as proof.

“I’m not in favour of Bizzy’s solutions, but he’s right about one thing: Bajan politics is a corrupt, unregulated mess that has to be cleaned up.”

If Bizzy wants to put his ideas forward about cleaning up politics, enhancing governance and reforming the election process, it would be better if he wrote an article or recorded a video and posted it on the internet instead of relying upon reporters and news organisations that have proven histories of misreporting and censoring news and ideas to fulfill agenda-driven journalism. I’m sure BFP or Barbados Underground would print Bizzy’s article.

Former Prime Minister Thompson money-laundered $3 million + dollars for pal Leroy Parris

Former Prime Minister Thompson money-laundered $3 million + dollars for pal Leroy Parris

Nevermind that though, I’ll comment upon what Bizzy Williams is reported to have said.   Continue reading

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

This week in Devout Muslim news…

They scream Allah Akbar three times as they poured acid on my face.

June 21, 2014 – Nigeria: Devout Muslims murder 10 more infidels, to enforce Islamic standards.

June 21, 2014 – Afghanistan: Devout Muslim family seeks to kill Christian son, for violating Islamic standards.

June 21, 2014 – Iraq: Devout Muslims begin imposing jizya tax upon Christians, to enforce Islamic standards.

June 21, 2014 – Pakistan: Devout Muslims murder popular singer, for violating Islamic standards.

June 20, 2014 – China: Devout Muslims attack police with car bombs, guns, for violating Islamic standards.

June 20, 2014 – Sweden: 30 Devout Muslim families cut of daughters’ clitoris, labia and sew genitals closed, to enforce Islamic standards.

June 20, 2014 – Egypt: Devout Muslim court sentences Christian convert to 5 years in jail, for violating Islamic standards.

June 19, 2014 – United Kingdom: Devout Muslim gang beat infidel stranger in planned attack while handing out Islamic leaflets, to enforce Islamic standards.    Continue reading

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Barbados Government ignores another court order to pay.

Court Justice Scales

Shanique Myrie, Al Barrack and now George Edghill – each owed money by the Government of Barbados and each ignored for months or years, nevermind having a court order.

The government says they paid Myrie last Friday after ignoring her for nine months. Maybe they did pay her, probably did, but it was only because of the public pressure. The government does what it wants to when it wants to and says ‘piss on the court.’

Are there any others out there who have an unpaid judgment against the Government of Barbados?

Let’s hear about it!

Nation News: George Edghill “Pay me too”

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

What Lies Beneath

The cover-up of the CLICO – CL Financial fraud continues, and our old friend Afra Raymond asks all kinds of very inconvenient questions…

AfraRaymond.net

The public is being told that the CL Financial bailout is being resolved, while at the same time the Minister of Finance & the Economy is withholding the fundamental information which any prudent person would need to make a decision.  So, what is the secret?

Apart from the details I have been asking for, there are other questions which occur to me –

  1. Directors’ Fees – What is the comparative level of Directors’ fees before and after the bailout on 30 January 2009?  In particular, what are the fees & expenses payable to CL Financial Directors?  Have those increased?  If so, to what level and on what rationale?
  2. Related Party dealings – We were told that one of the main causes of the CL Financial collapse was excessive related-party transactions.  Has that pattern of dealings has really changed? What are the contracts between the group and companies in which Directors hold…

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Bizzy Williams SHOCKED that people don’t pay invoices, taxes!

Bizzy Williams Barbados Development

In the Nation, Ralph “Bizzy” Williams is shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that some businesses and people order products and services from his businesses and then fail to pay. He’s also shocked that people don’t pay the government either. (Nation: Pay shame)

Welcome to reality, Bizzy.

Maybe folks were only following your example…

Maybe people were afraid to not pay you before because you and your brother carry a lot of weight ’bout this place. Maybe they were afraid that you could make a phone call and the police would pay some ‘special attention’ to your reports.

It could be though that people have developed a culture of law-breaking here in Barbados. This is learned behaviour. After watching the government, political and business classes break the law for years, after seeing the government ruin people and businesses by not paying debts, court judgements or VAT refunds, ordinary people are emulating the behaviour of our leaders, including Bizzy and COW Williams.   Continue reading

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Barbados Red Legs flag – A symbol of cultural affirmation

Barbados Red Legs Flag

Barbados Red-Legs can now boast their own cultural flag

“I know as an outsider, no symbology can be foisted onto another culture;

yet my humble offering might spark the imagination of someone who is from there, and inspire some movement toward cultural affirmation.”

contributed by Three-fold Now

The Red Legs are a cultural community in the Caribbean island of Barbados. They are descendants of Irish and Scottish indentured servants—some forcibly enslaved by Cromwell—and remain as “poor whites” in what is otherwise a predominantly Afro-Caribbean nation. The performer Rihanna claims some family ties to this Irish-Barbadian lineage.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Slavery

Canadian Court upholds Revenue Canada – disallows “Barbados Structure”, penalizes Canadian company’s use of offshore Barbados subsidiary.

canada_barbados_flag

 Marzen Artistic Aluminum Ltd. v. The Queen (2014 TCC 194)

I’m don’t know much about this kind of thing, but it doesn’t sound good for Barbados. According to our Google Alerts, the tax sector is abuzz with this latest Canadian ruling that runs 80 pages. (download the ruling here – PDF)

Comments from the cheap seats?

In a lengthy set of reasons, the Tax Court upheld all but a fraction of the CRA’s reassessment of the taxpayer, such reassessments having disallowed the deduction of approximately $7.1M of fees paid by the Canadian taxpayer to its Barbados subsidiary. The Court also upheld the imposition of a penalty under subsection 247(3) of the Act…

… from Dentons Tax Litigation blog: Marzen: Artistic Barbados tax plan defeated

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Filed under Barbados, Canada, Offshore Investments

Another ‘driver lost control’ Barbados bus accident

Previous accident: Drivers should be careful not to apply de brakes too hard as the wheels are only semi-attached to the bus!

Previous accident: Drivers should be careful not to apply de brakes too hard as de wheels are only semi-attached to the bus!

Overloaded, top-heavy, too fast, poorly maintained

It is becoming a weekly news story: “Bus driver loses control, (insert number) Injured.” This week’s accident is reported in Barbados Today as 13 injured in bus accident in St. George. Oh… wait… that was last week’s accident at Taitts Road with Cenetta Bennett driving. The driver in this week’s accident at Rowans Road is ‘R. Headley’: 13 hurt in bus accident.

Perhaps the newspapers should reserve a space on the front page of the Saturday edition each week to feature a photo of the latest bus on its side while emergency personnel lift casualties from the wreck. Even the tourists write with horror about taking the bus. The latest TripAdvisor story on Barbados buses asks What drugs are the Barbados bus drivers on?

It is certainly true that the speed and recklessness of many drivers play major parts in the bus disasters – but there are other factors that the government doesn’t want to see or talk about.  Continue reading

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Graves Of Barbados – Respect and Love For Our Families, Our Friends and Our History… Or NOT!

Barbados Cemetery History

More discarded human bones, coffins at Barbados Cemetery

Updated June 18, 2014

Once again it’s time to report on the latest indignities to buried friends and relatives. Every six months we read of another ‘find’ in this churchyard or that: human skulls, coffin parts, bones of the dead still dressed in their burial clothing. The latest is in The Nation: Relative jolted by scene at cemetery.

We’ve destroyed all the historical buildings we can on this rock. Practically nothing remains of our slave history.

Practically nothing remains of the military forts and bases that ringed this island right up to the cold war. Now we destroy our generational history and disrespect our friends and family members. Every person for themselves! Full speed ahead with that new iPhone or Samsung big screen handset! Fancy trucks! Party Party Party!

And cast the bones of the dead on a heap of garbage.

That’s our modern Bajan culture.

Here are BFP’s prior reports on this phenomena…

Barbados Free Press

UPDATED: October 11, 2012

Six skulls, bones, body parts found in open graveyard pit

With Monday’s discovery of an open pit containing burned skulls, bones and other body parts at the Christ Church Parish Church, our thoughts immediately turned to a previous article by our own Robert.

Sad. So sad. And what does it say about us?

Somebody should lose their job over this, but you know that’s never going to happen.

Here is the current story from the Nation, and then BFP’s original story…

Shocker in Christ Church graveyard

Mourners attending a burial in the Christ Church Parish Church’s cemetery on Monday evening were mortified when they stumbled upon a hole containing burnt skeletal remains.

An upset woman told the MIDWEEK NATION that they were disgusted by the sight in the graveyard.

“I counted at least six skulls and I could see teeth, hair and bones and what appeared to be…

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British hero soldier Brian Mulligan stabbed to death in Barbados

No arrests reported

Brian-Mulligan-Barbados-MurderBrian Mulligan has been worth only a paragraph or two if that in the local news media since his stabbing death early Sunday morning at the tourist-popular St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church. Today the British papers are full of his photos in Barbados and holding his new-born. (London Evening Standard: London father-of-two stabbed to death in Barbados)

At this point, who knows what happened? Mr. Mulligan was mostly deaf after having both ears ruptured by a grenade in Iraq. He had been here for a few weeks working for Lime Telecom.

One thing we do know though: this island does not feel the way it felt even five years ago, and ignoring the problem is no solution.

Today the world’s newspapers are full of Brian Mulligan’s death in Barbados, but once again a foreign national has died at a Bajan tourist area and we see nothing in our own news media. No words from the PM or the Tourism Minister. No press conference by the police to communicate that Barbados is horrified and doing everything it can to find the culprits.

Nope. None of that… while the world’s news media goes big on the story. Just like what happened when Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld was murdered.

How long until our leaders recognize that you can’t hide stuff like this anymore?

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