About TheReal242

The Times that Be, According to Me. My perspective on current events in our country - Unbought, Unbossed and Unequivocally Unafraid.

Simple Questions About Our Culture: Junkanoo & Carnival

questionWhy has the level of planning and multiplied millions in tax payer dollars the government wants to spend on a Bahamian knock-off version of Carnival, never been done for our crown jewel of culture, Junkanoo? Why is the promotion and sale of Carnival costumes suddenly such a sought-after idea, when our brilliant Junkanoo costumes have had to find their final resting places on scrap heaps, with no means of our hardworking artisans ever receiving financial benefits and lasting acclaim for their breathtaking and unmatched works of art produced every year? Why do Junkanoo groups have to struggle every year to acquire much-needed sponsorship to keep the culture alive, but a knock-off version of Carnival would happily get at least $9 million in tax payer dollars up-front invested into it? And why are we so content with the level of self-hate we as Bahamians have, that continuously manifests itself in how quick and excited we are to place a premium on what comes from outside The Bahamas over what comes from the work of our own hands, hearts and minds? Continue reading

Gov’t Tax Hikes Have Put Bahamians Into Unemployment, Raised The Cost Of Living & Done Nothing To Improve Our Debt Situation

tax_burdenWhen is the last time in this country’s history you’ve seen so many commercial and offshore banks downsize all within a single fiscal year? The higher operational costs banks have cited as one of their key reasons for downsizing came about because of the surprise business tax increases the government threw onto the country in July of last year. Businesses had no prior warning for the fiscal year and hence, were forced to make the fully anticipated decision of cutting costs – those costs ultimately being manpower. Major companies including banks saw their operational costs jump by multiplied millions literally overnight last year. Businesses are not going to swallow such a significant and surprise increase in operational costs – they are going to mitigate that increase by raising prices and/or cutting back on their other major operational cost – employees. Continue reading

The Referendum That Won’t – Again

ballotboxAs I stated at the start of the new year, a referendum on gender equality as it pertains to citizenship was not going to be held when the Prime Minister said it would primarily because this government is not truly governing the country, therefore nothing is running the way it ought to. Different groups are expressing their disappointment in yet another delay. For my part I am okay with the delay, and here’s why: no work by way of national dialog has been done thus far to push against a plausible repeat of the decision against gender equality made by referendum voters back in 2002. The government has done nothing to concretely demonstrate that gender equality in this respect is a true goal of theirs that they truly want to have the country vote yes to. Unlike the national campaign for the numbers houses, this issue doesn’t appear to be their horse in the race, nor do they appear interested in having the race at all. Continue reading

Public Servants, Salary & The Government

OURMONEYIsn’t it outrageous that when public officers protest labour-related issues for several hours, the government immediately flies up and threatens to cut their pay for several hours of demonstrations off the job – yet hundreds of public officers and those contracted by the government are faithfully reporting to work every day for weeks and months at a time with no pay at all, and the government won’t say a word about that though it has been happening now for almost two years straight. Continue reading

What Is Going On With These Issues?

INVESTIGATE1 – Visa Scandal

A visa scandal happened once again under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Police were investigating the sale of Bahamian visas to foreign nationals in Haiti, as well as the granting of thousands of our visas to persons in Haiti over a several month period – an amount that greatly exceeds the norm. So far, the Minister responsible has been allowed to get away with refusing to tell the media and Bahamian people what happened and what has been done about this breach of national security, even though he has the all details via a forensic audit done by his Ministry. What is the status of this matter? Continue reading

A Shallow Way To View Our Deep National Challenges – Battle Of The Age Groups

sundialBeing older doesn’t automatically make a person obsolete and a hindrance, just as being younger doesn’t automatically make a person innovative and up for the task at hand. In order for us to advance we need the wisdom and experience-minted skill of older Bahamians of integrity, as well as the fresh eyes and initiative of committed, hardworking younger Bahamians. Bahamians who say all the older people need to step aside are being short-sighted and arrogant, just as are those Bahamians who block younger people from the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. Continue reading

Mortgage Relief – The Deeper Issues

FORECLOSUREAs debate continues and unanswered questions remain about the Prime Minister’s actions to save his highly paid friend’s home from repossession, there are deeper issues to the debate on failed “mortgage relief” promises that are not being discussed. Instead of the government deceiving Bahamians on the campaign trail about what it would do to stop struggling mortgage-holders from losing their homes, what should have been looked into is how the government, in true and actual consultation with the financial services sector, could introduce legislation and/or adopt policies that may help to provide some protections for Bahamians in the mortgage process. Continue reading

It Just Doesn’t Stop Getting Stupider With This Government

SayWhatSo now the government wants to spend our tax money on a beggar’s errand with Caricom trying to ask Europe in a lawsuit to give Caribbean countries money to repay us for the slave trade of hundreds of years ago, while Caribbean governments including our own are more than happy to become and be black masters over citizens and have the citizenry foot the monetary, psychological & cultural bill for their own enslavement. Continue reading

When Talking Too Much Causes More Questions Than Answers – PM Christie/Lightbourne/Gray/Gomez

notrustI see that one of the media houses spoke to State Minister Damian Gomez with the two questions I raised yesterday on the PM Christie/Ishmael Lightbourne matter. Problem is, Gomez’s answers to the media actually raised more questions. He said the payment of Lightbourne’s mortgage arrears was agreed to via salary assignment by his bank. So, are we to believe then that Lightbourne was always able to pay his arrears in that way but didn’t? Otherwise, why would the Prime Minister need to get involved for a salary assignment to be arranged, when a salary assignment is a normal means of paying one’s mortgage and would have been one of the means the bank would have used to get its money in the first instance anyway before it had to get to the point of court proceedings to repossess Lightbourne’s home? Continue reading

There Are Two Key Questions About The Prime Minister/Ishmael Lightbourne Matter That Haven’t Been Asked & Answered

freedomofinfoWhen media reports began about Prime Minister Christie’s intervention to stop VAT spokesman Ishmael Lightbourne’s house from being repossessed, nobody answered the question of how his intervention to Lightbourne’s bank stopped the home from being taken. Repossession happens because money is owed that hasn’t been paid and this matter had already become a court matter. So, Mr. Christie’s word via a phone call alone is not likely to have caused a bank to stop its efforts to get what is owed to it. Did the Prime Minister arrange for Lightbourne’s mortgage arrears to be paid and if so where did the money come from? Did Mr. Christie have the public treasury pay the outstanding arrears? If he in fact asked the bank “what can I do to help”, the answer would almost certainly have been “the money needs to be paid.” Continue reading