EDUCATION is one of this country’s biggest national emergencies. Those who are thirsty for public office but have yet to concretely show that revamping education has their utmost working attention, are not worthy of my attention as a Bahamian. Many people are talking about many things, but no true and tangible focus in those talks is being directed at the minds and souls of the Bahamian people. The topics that command the most public attention usually center around 3 Ps – Politics, Pornography and Propaganda – in all their forms. Progress though, cannot happen until building the minds of the people becomes more important than their politics, pockets or pedigree.
This is one of the MOST CRITICAL situations in the country right now. Debt to GDP is a comparison (ratio) of our level of debt to how much money we make. The higher the Debt to GDP ratio, the higher the risk that a country may go into default on its national debt. In our case, it also means the government may be more likely to INCREASE TAXES to try to get more revenue, especially since they won’t cut their spending and the economy is not growing as they projected it would. International agencies have warned The Bahamas not to break the 70% Debt to GDP ratio. As of December 31, we broke it, going to 73.4% according to the Central Bank. Continue reading
Are Marathon residents going to get the actual tests they truly need to determine their exposure to the chemicals found in gasoline at this late stage? Standard blood and urine tests at this late stage (over two years since the gas leak) are not going to be sufficient testing for what needs to be determined. Because such a long time has passed, deeper biological testing is required. Tissue samples/biopsies are among the tests that will be needed for all residents concerned to test for the primary and additive chemicals in the gasoline that residents were exposed to. If these specific bio-chem tests are not done and residents do have certain illnesses, it can be argued that their illnesses may be caused by other factors not linked at all to gasoline exposure. And if they don’t have certain illnesses now and those tests have not been done, they may be led to believe they are fine and will be fine in the future. Remember, at this point, medical testing is as much about getting necessary treatment as it is about getting justice for persons exposed.
If it meant that your beloved politician would be hauled off to jail; if it meant no more easy street based on who you know instead of what you know; no more getting unlawful tips as well as kickbacks and bribes under the table; no more promotions and positions you don’t qualify for nor deserve but get because of political connections; no more getting around laws and policies by placing a phone call to someone higher up; no more being able to pay someone to “do you a favor” that involves lawbreaking; no longer being able to flash a secret society ring in order to make sure you come out ahead regardless of law and policy; no more being able to command fear and obedience because of who you are linked to politically; no more unjust preferential treatment based only and solely on which politician/Party you support… Continue reading
How do we know what the quality is of our drinking water on our islands? Since fuel lines for our gas stations are underground, how do we know when leakages happen? And that’s of course just one example of potentials for groundwater contamination. Then there is air quality, particularly in areas like Freeport’s industrial zone and in Nassau with constant fires at the island’s dump. While diseases like cancer are often linked to lifestyle/diet choices, what about the water we are drinking and air we are breathing?
What has happened to Nassau victims affected by the gas spill in Marathon is more than just an environmental disaster. It is an humanitarian disaster. Justice must be sought against those at fault and those who kept this information from Nassau residents. This is a human travesty. Human lives have been impacted. What are some of the immediate ways forward? Continue reading
When government MPs voted NO today to investigating matters surrounding the gas spill contamination in Marathon, that actually was their second NO to the health and lives of Bahamians in Nassau. When Cabinet Ministers made the decision to withhold health and safety information from the public on this matter, that was their first NO. Today, they decided to echo their NO decided on behind closed doors (Cabinet), in the Parliament. NO to our health. NO to our lives. NO to our right to know.
Could they care less about whether we get sick or die so long as they can continue to get richer, bolder and colder? – NO, NO and NO.
Mr. House Speaker Kendal Major, for the benefit of the public and with due respect to your Office, I re-iterate here what I have personally communicated to you, which is my call for the Speaker and the Parliament of The Bahamas to do its job in our democracy. For the sake of the nation, do not oversee a compromise of the Parliament and what it is sworn to uphold and protect via influence that is not rooted in Parliament’s Rules & Procedures or the Constitutional edicts that give Parliament its authority as the Governor of its own Rules & Procedures, but is instead influence that is without jurisdiction in the Parliament. To the extent that any Speaker of the House does not do his or her duty sworn before God and the State, is the extent to which that Speaker becomes a grand perpetrator of and enabler in the weakening of Parliament and of the public’s loss of trust in and regard for the Parliament. This is not a personal accusation Mr. Speaker, but is moreso an exhortation as a Bahamian to you in your service as Presiding Officer of the people’s Parliament. Continue reading
In recently watching past commentaries by one of the brilliant and progressive political and philosophical minds of this region (now deceased), I began to think about Bahamian society. Where are the thinkers in our society? And by that I mean, where and how have we placed or counted them in our society? Why is it that our society shuns, hates on and tries its hardest to destroy our thinkers? The men and women of all ages who have within them right now the ideas and initiative that can turn this country around are often not a part of the pseudo-progressive cliques of our society. The loudest voices within our systems today are often the most destructive because they are either compromised, ministers of mis-education, or both. We do not esteem critical thinking in our country. It, as a dynamic discipline, is virtually absent from our national education curriculum. We look to our politicians for direction and answers when in reality, those answers would very likely come from the thinkers of our society outside of the political inner circle who are not jockeying for or beholden to political power, and whose contributions – if active politicians have sense and vision – would be embraced instead of politicians feeling perpetually threatened by or jealous of them. And also, please understand me when I say thinkers. Thinkers, for the purpose of this discussion, are not the same as opinionators, posers, or mere legends in one’s own mind. Continue reading
Regarding a willful refusal by witnesses to appear before the House or a House Committee upon summons, the House Rules and Procedure of The Bahamas states the following:
(1) Witnesses shall be ordered to attend to give evidence or produce a document before the House or committee of the House by summons signed by the Clerk.
(2) A summons shall state the time and place for the attendance for a witness before the House or committee and shall identify any document the witness is required to produce.
(3) If a witness willfully refuses, without reasonable cause, to attend the House or a committee of the House in terms of a summons, he may be in contempt of the House or committee and subject to penalty prescribed under the Powers and Privileges (Senate and House of Assembly) Act. (Ch. 8). Continue reading