Comment of the week
Let’s face it, the flavour of the month in politics is Andre Rollins, the PLP MP for Ft. Charlotte. You gotta give it to him, he’s got a lotta balls. First he gets up in the House of Assembly and tells the leader of the PLP who rescued him from a life of obscurity into the ,marvelous light of the PLP and made him a force to be reckoned with, that he needs to go, that the PLP will lose the next election if it doesn’t change and that he is sick of hearing scripture quoted by him. And if that wasn’t enough, he got up next time and said that he was voting against the gaming bills and he did so. Then last week the coup de grace, he said he would spill the beans on everyone in the PLP if they fire Renward Wells.
Well that just about had everyone in the PLP fit to be tied.
The PLP Chair Bradley Roberts immediately fired back, essentially telling Mr. Rollins all about his ass and telling him if he knows anything then put up or shut up. Next day old Andre the Brave said “Uncle”. His statement published below said well he didn’t quite mean it that way.
All of it is good entertainment and you have to chuckle. The old folk don’t like it all. The younger ones well they are bemused and side with their elders but secretly admire the chutzpah. Don’t you just love this. You could have paid fifty dollars for these seats and you get to watch it for free.
In the culture of today, the grand old party of The Bahamas summoned Andre the Brave to the Council meeting for a stern talking to. They asked him to account for himself. What in other words did he have to say for his behavior.?
He said: well in a word nothing. In a longer sentence, you can go stick it. If you feel you were offended well okay I apologize but essentially you get the picture, he didn’t give a tinker’s dam. The picture shows him at the podium. Not one who is afraid. He walked outside and well the crowds and the press were gathered there. He said he had nothing to say. But Mr. Rollins is like a volcano and when he sees the headlines about how he sort of ate humble pie, he has the kind of mind that will get pissed off again and fire yet another bromide by way of the PLP.
So where are we now in a formal sense.
He is still an MP. He is still a PLP MP . His branch has disowned him but they can’t make him resign so he has got three years that he can torment them if he wishes. In the meantime, he probably thinks that he can tap into popular rhetoric by the “ young people” and ride his way into an FNM nomination. One but, and that is that Loretta Butler Turner, Deputy Leader of the FNM accused him of being unprincipled for trying to blackmail the government with his knowledge and she thinks he can’t be trusted. So it doesn’t look like a safe harbour there but never mind politics makes strange bedfellows. The FNM is absolutely unprincipled when it comes to winning elections. After all it was a preacher who said “principle don’t put bread on the table.”
So there you have it. The man he was defending Renward Wells MP had nary a word to say in his own defence save and except the press are now saying that the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister want Mr. Wells to speak up to the public on TV and explain his behavior to them.
Well get the popcorn, grab a Pepsi. This looks like it’s gonna be interesting.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 27th September 2014 up to midnight: 389,378
Number of hits for the month of September up to Saturday 27th September 2014 up to midnight:1,582,190
Number of hits for the year 2014 up to Saturday 27th September 2014 up to midnight: 8,578,293
( Editor’s Note: Photo shows Andre Rollins PLP contemporaneously as he appeared before the PLP’s Council, facing disciplinary action on Thursday 25th September. A formal disciplinary committee has been formed made up of Robyn Lynes, attorney; Valentine Grimes, Chair and former Ft. Charlotte MP; D’Asante Beneby, former Chair of the Progressive Young Liberals and Tom Basden, businessman and Stalwart Councillor. A week in politics is a long time. So never mind all this kerfuffle, is not inconceivable that by year’s end Mr. Rollins could once again be the darling of the PLP. He has gotten all the attention he wants. The Committee has two young people in the two women but PLP seniors and hardliners in Mr. Grimes and Mr. Basden.)
The Bahamians in New York were happy that evening Wednesday 24th September. The Prime Minister had delivered the country’s statement on climate change and that evening he and his ministers were gathered to greet and celebrate the accomplishments of the first Bahamian in the United States major leagues in decades Antoan Richardson. The host was the Minister of Tourism. The guest of honour was Mr. Richardson and the special invitee was the Prime Minister Perry Christie accompanied by his wife Bernadette. The photo shows from left: Danny Johnson, Minister of Sports; Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister, Ken Dorsett, the Minister for the Environment; Bernadette Christie, wife of the Prime Minister; the Reverend Jesse Jackson, US civil rights leader; Antoan Richardson, the Bahamian Yankee’s player; and Obie Wilchcombe, the Minister of Tourism.
Minister of Sports Danny Johnson traveled to New York to celebrate with Bahamian Antoan Richardson’s addition to the Yankees major league line-up on Tuesday 23rd September. The photo shows Jeff Rodgers, Marketing Executive Sports Department, Ministry of Tourism; Rogann Huyler Forbes (Aunt of Antoan Richardson); Danny Johnson, Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture; Glendia Huyler (Mother of Antoan Richardson); Greg Rolle, Director of Sports Tourism.
Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs with Mongolia’s Foreign Minister Bold Luvsanvandan 25th September United Nations discussing diplomatic relations.
Fred Mitchell, Foreign Minister of The Bahamas after signing a cooperation agreement with Argentina’s Foreign Minister Héctor Marcos Timerman on 25 September at the United Nations. To the left in the photo Foreign Service officer Eugene Torchon Newry, UN Ambassador Elliston Rahming and Foreign Service Officer Craig Powell.
Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs at breakfast hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry on the oceans’ sustainability 25th September, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City.
With the President of Guinea Alpha Conde at second from right. Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bernadette Christie, wife of the Prime Minister Perry Christie, the President Conde and an aide to the President.
Picewell Forbes High Commissioner to Caricom with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon on Saturday 27th September in New York
Open Letter By Fred Mitchell MP
To the Women’s Branch of the PLP
Dear Madam Chair,
I would be most grateful if you would share this letter with your members.
I believe it is time for the women of the PLP to seize the day with regard to the current fight for women’s equality in The Bahamas. The four bills now before the Parliament that seek to amend the constitution of The Bahamas are I hope soon to become law and then they are to be referred to the people of The Bahamas for their approval. The PLP and more importantly for this purpose PLP women should seize the initiative to ensure that these bills pass and are approved by our fellow citizens. I know that the PLP Women’s Branch will be amongst its leading proponents. It is my hope that this letter encourages more women to get involved.
I wish to pay tribute to the exemplary leadership on this issue of Glenys Hanna Martin, Melanie Griffin, Hope Strachan, Cheryl Buzzard and Allyson Maynard Gibson, all of whom represent us in the Parliament. They have been steadfast in their defence of the effort toward equality for women. As a man, I believe it is important to state clearly my support for their cause.
I wish to repeat here what I said to my branch at its last meeting where Mrs. Hanna Martin spoke to the branch on the subject. I detected amongst some members a hesitation about this matter. I suspected that this was due to the clutter of nonsense that has been spun about this issue in public mainly by a regressive, old male dominated opinion. The voices of women have been drowned out.
I told the branch that these amendments are about equality for women. They are nothing more and nothing less. They are to make men and women equal in fact and in law.
I told them that as a man I could be quite comfortable and do nothing because the changes in the law will not affect me one way or another in law as far as equal treatment is concerned. Men are largely secure. They have no issues of disrespect and inequality to worry about in this respect. So you have to take then what those males who are campaigning against this have to say on cultural and religious grounds with a great deal of salt. They must declare their interest which in my view is that they are seeking to protect a male privilege and are hiding behind the clutter of other things to hide the fact that they do not want women to be equal to men in law.
In the process, they are not only denying women equality but also denying children their right to the citizenship of this country.
I told the branch that they should concentrate on the single fact of equality for women: nothing more nothing less. This is also about the rights of children.
Why should you and your daughters have fewer privileges in this society than any man simply because of the accident of biology? That is patent nonsense and totally unfair.
Why should you in 2014 be stuck as victims of a legal doctrine that dates way back to the 19thcentury? That is patent nonsense and totally unfair.
PLP women can help to change this. You women have the numbers. There are 15,000 more women on the rolls in the last general election than men. Ten per cent more of the electorate is female than male. This should therefore be a slam dunk if you mobilize the women of the country to vote yes.
Remember I said if the no vote succeeds men will not be affected but for those who have children out of wedlock. It is mainly women that will suffer. It is children who will be disadvantaged.
I think back of my deceased mother and how she drove all of us as children to succeed. The five of us succeeded because of her singular devotion to duty and her belief that she was equal to others. I remember when my father was unemployed for two years and how she carried the entire family. Yet today people would argue that because of the accident of her birth that made her female, had she been alive, she should suffer the indignity of being unequal.
All women should be outraged that there is even debate about this.
I told the branch how I attended seven funerals on Saturday 13th September. At each one of them while men stood in front at the pulpit, it was women who ran everything else. My branch is run by women and until this year had only women and one man on the executive. Today women outnumber men in the branch executive, yet there is a question about whether women should be equal to men.
I just don’t get it.
The bills before Parliament do nothing more or less than give women equality to men. That is all. They do nothing else. All the rest that you hear in the firmament is nonsense, deceit and clutter designed to stop equality for women,
I feel sufficiently strongly about this matter to send this open letter to you and urge your support of what we are trying to do in this matter. For you, for our mothers, for our sisters for our daughters, I urge your support.
I thank you for sharing this letter with your members. As a man, I plan to do all that I can to ensure that there is equality for women in this country and I will be voting yes in Parliament to all the bills without amendment and yes in the country. I will be urging my colleagues and constituents to join me in this striking a blow for freedom.
Please let me know how I can help.
Fred Mitchell MP
The premier web shop gamesman is Craig Flowers of the FML Group. The former pilot in terms of cash is probably the richest black Bahamian. He has amassed a fortune here in The Bahamas and around the world through gaming. When he spoke to the Fox Hill Branch of the PLP he told the story of how he came home, found ordinary people playing numbers but the game was so unreliable. He thought that by introducing modern technology he would bring to the game certainty, good service and reliability of payouts. It worked like a charm. Mr. Flowers is a supporter of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). He made that clear in the interview published in the Nassau Guardian on 25th September. We thought that his comments were instructive and we now repeat them in his own words. We add the words: gimmie that old time religion.
When the government makes decisions they’ve been given the mandate by the people in the country to govern.
If I do or say or act contrary to what you put me there to do, then at the end there is judgment day for these things.
The pastors’ comments about democracy dying were farfetched and overboard.
If we have an election today, we may be surprised.
But there are a lot of people in this country and if asked across the board by way of an election, we may be very well surprised as it relates to what the government is doing whether it is right for the majority.
In a democracy, we must try to have other opinions.
Over the years I have always been and traditionally people have known me as being a very strong supporter of the PLP.
I have a reason for supporting the PLP, because as a little Black Bahamian in this country, I grew up and understood discrimination and racial issues, and all of these things I was told as a young man growing up here that this country had a great deal for me.
When your life has been impacted with that sort of background that thrust me on my way to become who I am today. Certainly there are connections and naval string tying self to the party.
Now that didn’t mean that former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling and I did not have our share of ups and downs. But I am still who I am as it relates to supporting the party. So when I hear negative things about the party, yes it bothers me. But that does not mean I can’t disagree.
I disagree with the leadership of the party in a lot of policies. Today when I hear people say that the government made a decision contrary to the wishes of the people by way for a referendum and that it was an opinion poll, I can only sit.
The Minister for Social Services Melanie Griffin has released the poverty survey. This is the first one since 2001. The Minister said in a statement releasing the document on 25th September:
The fieldwork began in February 2013 and was conducted in New Providence, Grand Bahama and designated Family Islands. The survey captured information on the Labour Force, Social Protection, Housing, and Health. I am advised that a new module called Life Style was also added. This module seeks to establish specific information on the lifestyle patterns of persons such as eating, sleeping, and exercise habits.
The survey provides data that assists in measuring the economic well-being of the population. It also measures the effectiveness of the social service system in the country so when we ask the question, “Are we reaching the poor and vulnerable?” the results will assist in answering that question.
You may click here for the executive summary of the survey.
Bertrand Russell, philosopher, “The whole problem with the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
William Butler Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”
W. B. Yeats
Don’t be demoralized by your income, be inspired by your outcome
–Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General, The Commonwealth
THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (26th Sept 2014)
COMMENTARY BY ELCOTT COLEBY
PRIME MINISTER CHRISTIE ADDRESSED THE UNGA
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie traveled to New York City earlier this week along with a ministerial delegation to deliver the country’s statement on climate change at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly Climate Change Summit 2014. The Prime Minister addressed the UN on Tuesday, 23rd Sept.
Accompanying the Prime Minister were First Lady, Mrs. Bernadette Christie; Minister of Tourism, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe; Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Fred Mitchell and the Environment and Housing Minister, Hon. Kenred Dorsett.
According to a statement released by the UN on its website, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has “invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.”
Prime Minister Christie told delegates that because the Bahamas was a low lying archipelagic chain, a definitive agreement to reverse global warming was critical to the survival of The Bahamas and other Small Island Nation States (SIDS).
“Eighty (80) per cent of my nation’s land mass will be lost if the sea level rises 1.5 meters. They also say that with a warming of 3.7 to 4.8°C by 2100, as currently predicted, The Bahamas we know would be no more.
“The survival of small Island Developing States (SIDS) must be the benchmark for the 2015 agreement.”
The Prime Minister listed several policy initiatives undertaken by The Bahamas to protect it from the fallout from global warming.
“As we seek to expand our marine protected area, we have established the Bahamas Protected Area Fund (BPAF); and cognizant of the possible impact of climate change on our food security we have established the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) to operate a state-of-the-art comprehensive commercial teaching farm” said the Prime Minister.
This UN Summit on climate change coincided with the release of The Bahamas National Energy Policy 2013-2033 by the Bahamas government on the 22nd September 2014. This twenty year strategic energy plan seeks to create “a modern, diversified and efficient energy sector, providing Bahamians with affordable energy supplies and long-term energy security towards enhancing international competitiveness and sustainable prosperity.” Also, the government has approved the framework for net metering and the tabling of the relevant legislation is pending.
While in New York, the Prime Minister participated in a special meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, attended a congratulatory dinner for the Bahamas’ newest major leaguer, Yankees’ Center Fielder Antoan Edward Richardson and attended a reception hosted by President Barack Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Mitchell delivers Bahamas statement on sustainable oceans
Delivering the country’s statement on sustainable oceans and the protection of fishery as part of the UN Climate Change Summit 2014, Foreign Affairs Minister told a breakfast meeting crowd that a “global agreement with accountability measures will help to stabilize the exploitation of the Ocean” and called for one to be signed by member states either by the end of the 69th session of the United Nations or 2015.
He went on to identify some of the actions The Bahamas government had taken to protect Bahamian fishery: “We have set aside other marine parks and ‘no take areas’ to sustain our fisheries. We are expanding the marine protected area network to 20 per cent by 2020. We have established the BPAF (Bahamas Protected Area Fund) to support management of the network.
“We have banned all turtle hunting. We are a sanctuary for sharks and rays. We have banned long line fishing, one of the most destructive activities in the world” said Mitchell.
“Additionally,” the Minister added, “the government of The Bahamas will as a matter of priority undertake an examination of the Food and Agricultural Association’s Port State Measures agreement with a view to signing on to this agreement.”
The meeting was hosted by US Secretary of State, John Kerry at the Waldorf Astoria on Thursday, 25th Sept.
Bahamas hosts Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation Meeting
A two-day Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Technical Working Group Meeting on Law Enforcement Cooperation and Capacity Building was held at the Paul H. Farquharson Conference Centre on the 24th and 25thSeptember 2014.
In his opening remarks, National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Bernard J. Nottage pointed out a number of strategies the Government had implemented to assist in combating transnational crimes such as firearms smuggling. They included intensive surveillance of the country’s water by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, improved gun registries, the marking and tracing of weapons, the destruction of illegal firearms, along with improved interdiction efforts of firearms at the country’s ports of entry.
World Tourism Day to be celebrated
Given the importance of Tourism to the Bahamian way of life, the Minister of Tourism released a statement today congratulating the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on its 34th annual World Tourism Day celebration as the UNWTO continues to raise awareness on the critical role tourism and travel play in the social, cultural, political and economic lives of countries in the world community. The government’s tourism vision was also outlined. Guadalajara, Mexico is the designated city to host the official celebratory activities under the auspices of the UNWTO on Saturday, 27th September. Minister Wilchcombe and the Director General of Tourism, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu are representing The Bahamas in Washington DC this week in observance of that Day.
On Sunday of this week Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez called a press conference to inform the public that the results of tests conducted on a blood sample taken from the unknown Ukraine patient who died at Doctor’s Hospital on Tuesday, the 16th September confirmed Malaria as the cause of death. He expressed disappointment that even after the government officially stated from the floor of the House that the cause of death was Malaria; bloggers were still spreading misinformation in social about an Ebola outbreak in The Bahamas.
The Gaming Bill came one step closer to becoming law when it passed the Senate earlier this week with Attorney General Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson foreshadowing the creation of some 3,000 jobs during the regularization process. The bills are on to the Governor General for signature. The Senate began debate on the compendium of crime bills that passed the House last week. The first reading took place on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Christie addressed the closing session of the NEMA Disaster preparedness workshop held at Melia Resort on Thursday.
The Constitutional Commission recommended that the referendum on gender equality be held late in April or in June 2015 at the latest. The delay is intended to provide more time for public education and to “correct” much of the misinformation in the public domain.
The Ministry of Tourism announced the 16th annual Cacique awards ceremony at a press conference held in Pompey Square on Tuesday, 23rd September 2014. This event, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Ministry of Tourism, will be held at the Melia Resort on 25th January 2015.
The Urban Renewal Commission launched its “Hot Spot” initiative with a community outreach event on the park in Montell Heights.
The Small Arms Trade Treaty was ratified by six countries, including The Bahamas on Thursday at the UN. According to Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Fred Mitchell, CARICOM fought for this agreement which is “an initial step to regulate the flow of weapons from manufacturing states.” Earlier in the week, National Security Minister Hon. Bernard Nottage told delegates at a regional crime workshop that of the 88 murders committed in The Bahamas to date, 73 (83%) were committed by firearms.
The Minister of State Khaalis Rolle spoke at the Abaco Business Outlook Seminar on 24th September. He was joined by MP for the area Renardo Curry and the Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis. Mr. Rolle later hosted a forum/luncheon with local investors in Abaco after speaking at the Abaco Business Outlook. He took some time to listen to their concerns. It reportedly went well.
Just in time for the Climate Change Summit at the United Nations on Tuesday 23rd September, the government announced its long awaited national energy policy, with its commitment to renewables. You may click here for the full statement from Minister for the Environment Ken Dorsett.
Pastor Allen Lee is a pastor who tries to strike a reasoned and reasonable balance in his public pronouncements. We have disagreed with most of what he says but there was no reason to object vociferously to what he has said in the past.. He has strong views about the death penalty for example. They are stuck in 19th century justice but that is his view. We draw the line however with his defence of Myles Munroe and the anti-gay sentiment that is being paraded around this country. In this letter to the editor which he sent to the Nassau Guardian, he tries to make the neat distinction between hating the sinner and hating the sin. It is a distinction without a difference. The continued drum beat about this issue by the pastors like Allen Lee leads to the hate speech and hate crimes that are perpetrated in this country against gay people. It leads to intolerance and homophobia. Pastor Lee cannot get out of it by simply saying that he hates the sin not the sinner. He has to love the sinner and accept that being gay is not a sin but what he is spreading around is a convenient but prejudicial way to read the Bible. His interpretation of the Bible on this matter has been widely discredited and the science is absolutely wrong ( Peter Gomes The Good Book). Both he and Pastor Myles Munroe need a Damascus moment on this. The letter appears below.
This past Saturday 20 September 2014, the Editor of the Nassau Guardian, wrote an editorial responding to Dr. Myles Munroe’s response to the unsuccessful “Gay Pride” celebration in Grand Bahama. The Editor’s response prompted the following response from yours truly:
Dear Mr. Dean, General Manager & Editor,
The Nassau Guardian
Sept. 21, 2014
Your editorial, “Gay Hysteria in the Bahamas,” in the Sept. 20, 2014 edition of your prestigious paper is quite interesting, to say the least, and quite confusing and enlightening at the same time. It well illustrates the prevailing current practice of stating assumptions as both main premises and final conclusions, thereby actually making them both false and illogical, especially when dealing with the issue of your editorial – homosexuality.
For instance, your assumed conclusion was that Dr. Myles Munroe’s verbal response to the Gay Pride issue was based on or at least, evidence of his “fear” of the homosexual and LGBT community. Why did you come to that conclusion, based as you say on his words? He simply voiced his opinion, which, ironically, you seem to at least imply that we should all have the right to express in our “secular democracy”. He did just that, and you called him “the leader of the band of the terrified” because of it. You implicitly labeled him as one who both “hates” and “fears” homosexuals – and all because he stated his “democratic right” that you so boldly profess to uphold.
Does this mean that you, and those of the LGBT COMMUNITY as well as otherwise, who disagree with “the traditional straight” position do so because they fear heterosexuals and are therefore “heterophobic?” Your assumed premise leads to these false conclusions. If its anyone who is arousing “gay hysteria,’ it is surely you, sir.
You, inadvertently, I’m sure, also validated and illustrated Dr. Munroe’s proposition that the equation of homosexuality to race and the civil rights movement is absolutely a false and improper use, logically speaking, of categories (Categorical fallacy). They just don’t belong to the same issue. Thus, all of your comments in that regard are mere verbiage lacking coherence and adds nothing to the subject except to confirm what you are trying to deny.
How I long to see – and perhaps, even be engaged in – some really substantial, truth-focused, fact-based discussion on this vital, current and relevant issue.
You sir, are in a wonderful position to lead such a discussion. You have a “bully pulpit.” I implore you to use it in a trustworthy, intellectual and “righteous’ manner.
Again, by way of emphasis, your underlying premise that those of us who hold a different view on homosexuality hate and fear homosexuals is decidedly erroneous!
We do of course, hate the sexual activity their way of life is based upon (sodomy), but we do not -at least I don’t- hate them! I hate sodomy as much as I hate fornication, adultery, incest, etc. but like our God, I/we love those who commit these evils nonetheless, and seek to show them, as we do everyone else in this fallen world, the redemptive love of Christ. His Word assures us that sinners of ALL stripes can be cleansed through His redemptive sacrifice. Here are His precise words to this end:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)”
I have much more to say on this issue, but due to the limitation of this venue, that will have to wait for another time.
Thank you for your indulgence. You are appreciated for your service to our Bahamian Community.
Allan R. Lee
Sr. Pastor Emeritus, Calvary Bible Church
President, Teleios Theological Training Inst.
There are some hard and difficult facts to deal with. The Bahamas has 80 per cent of its land mass at five feet or below. That means that if there is a rise in the sea level, the country is gone, most of it if not all. That could happen by 2100 if there is nothing done to intervene. In the short term, there are the defences that have to be built up against the rising tide, better sea barriers. In the long-term, the developed world has to stop pouring carbon dioxide into the air and turn to renewable energy. The cold hard fact said Prime Minister Perry Christie as he spoke to the United Nations Climate Change Summit, despite all the talk about climate change and the agreements, the situation has gotten worse not better. The Prime Minister was in New York for the special summit called by Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General for the United Nations. The photo shows the Prime Minister at the podium at the United Nations as he delivered his statement on Tuesday 23rd September. The photo is by Peter Ramsay of the Bahamas Information Services. You may click here for the Prime Minister’s full statement which was delivered on 23rd September.
Rollins must put up or shut up
Bradley B. Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party
23rd September 2014
We will see hell freeze over and the second coming before Andre Rollins blackmails a PLP government or organization because his egomaniacal and selfish genotype prevents him from reasonable and balanced behavior and being a team player. If he is so dissatisfied in the leadership of the PLP, he can freely leave just as he freely joined the organization.
Further, Rollins must put up or shut up over these idle threats and claims of disrespect by the Prime Minister and acts of malfeasance by “others.” If Rollins has information and proof of anything, lay the same on the table or shut the hell up and go sit down.
He was sent to Parliament to do the people’s business, but instead he strokes his oversized ego by repeatedly “hustling” the media for headlines. These salacious outbursts and self-serving antics do not serve the public’s interest, but denigrate the nobility of public service and the Parliamentary process to spectacles for entertainment.
Here is person who existed on the political fringes until the PLP brought him in from the cold, gave him political life and a public platform from which to advance the cause of the people of Fort Charlotte. He squandered his opportunity at public service by abandoning the people who sent to Parliament; attacking the leader of the country and the party; and managing to get fired from the posts of Gaming Board Chairman and Majority Whip.
Further, in addition to abandoning his constituents, his parliamentary pronouncements are out of step with the wishes of the people who sent him there to represent their interests; this is dereliction of duty of the first order.
The photo which appeared on Facebook shows Andre Rollins MP after he appeared at a PLP council meeting on Thursday 25th September and was reportedly asked to apologise publicly for his attacks on the party. The following is a statement issued by Andre Rollins, the day after the press published a statement from him in which he threatened to reveal who else should resign from the PLP if Renward Wells, the Parliamentary Secretary, was made to resign. The original statement that he made was typical of the kind of overreach that happens when you get too intoxicated by headlines in the newspapers:
From: S. Andre Rollins, M.P.
To: Members of the Press
Date: 24 September 2014
I want to make it absolutely clear that nowhere in my interview with NB 12 did I impute corrupt motives to anyone. I never suggested that I had any information to that effect. In no way do I support or condone corruption in government. Without being comprehensive in my response to the question asked by Ms. Toote, I can understand how I may have created this impression. I certainly regret that such an impression was created.
In giving my terse response, I was referring to the principles of ministerial and collective responsibility as defined by the Westminster system of government and in that regard, I sought to convey that any shortcomings or failings with respect to the LOI matter cannot be levelled solely at the feet of a junior member of the government. To do so would be to make that individual a scapegoat, which would demonstrate a clear lack of respect for that individual and the system of government we are supposed to be guided by. The implications for the minister and cabinet, therefore, are what I was alluding to when I said that there is more than meets the eye with respect to this matter.
Having this LOI matter linger for as long as it has without a conclusive statement from our nation’s leader has only served to feed the perception that our government lacks transparency and accountability, which is not in the interests of our nation’s growth and development. Therefore, as I have said previously, the nation would be well served by having the Prime Minister address this matter.
The scene at Clifton Pier and the oil spill. Keod Smith, the former MP, is head of the Clifton National Heritage Foundation wrote a statement last week on the oil spill at Adelaide and more generally his concern about oil spills. You may click here for the full statement.
Sunday – September 21st 2014
Since its inception in April 2013, the Clifton National Heritage Foundation (CNHF) has been keenly concerned about the 30-plus years of pollution caused by oil spills and seepage in the seas off of Clifton Pier and the adjoining Bay of Clifton.
Last week’s reports in the newspapers of the discovery of oil washing up on the beaches of Adelaide gives us cause to take the immediate and public action which we now pronounce, without which this vexing problem will continue to linger to our collective detriment.
Not only does this recent discovery illustrate the continuing threat to the immediate land and sea environs, it potentially has significant negative impact to the entire southern coast of Adelaide, the Bay of Clifton as well as the Clifton Heritage National Park which, in 2004, had been vested upon statutory trust for the benefit of the Bahamian people.
To-date, with there not having been any confirmed solution, scientific study or determination as to the nature and origin of these oil spills, we wish to commend Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin and her Officials at the Ministry of Transport and Aviation for the quick and decisive action in responding to the alarm of the oil spill on Adelaide beach. We urge the Government to continue to meet with all of the stakeholders to determine a balanced and workable Environmental Management Plan for the southwestern region of the Island.
When considering the seriousness of this problem, the CNHF undertakes to assist and provide in the facilitation of more scientific studies of the area to determine the impact of these oil spills to the Clifton Heritage National Park, its potential as a touristic destination and becoming a world heritage site.
No matter where this current oil spill originated, we feel that this event gives us an opportunity to begin to quantify the impact of such spills on our energy usage and cost, both in terms of the environment generally as well as in relation to the ordinary consumer of electric power. These are factors that are important to our collective responsibility to environment conservation and protection.
Going forward in the short term, our examination and evaluation of the oil spill, necessarily requires us to focus in the following areas:-
• Assisting and working with all of the relevant stakeholders such as the National Oil Spill Committee, The BEST Commission, The Ministry of the Environment and The Ministry of Transport and Aviation in the funding of the preparation of an Environmental Management Plan of the land and sea at and adjourning Clifton Pier which includes the industrial areas, Clifton Heritage National Park, the Bay of Clifton and the southern seas off of the coast of Adelaide.
• Sensitizing the Bahamian Public, including individual and corporate citizens as well as civic bodies to become more involved and concerned about the pollution from oil spills and what we can do to mitigate damage to our environment.
• Formulating a more realistic schedule of penalties and mandatory insurance coverage for those who are found negligible and culpable for these oil spills.
The CNHF also stress its concern over the harm and damage that is being done and has been done to the marine life in this general area.
We are therefore committed to taking the lead in uniting the nation in the protection and preservation of the Clifton National Heritage Park and the surrounding land and sea regions of that part of the Island of New Providence.
We invite all persons and organizations who believe in the original cause for the saving of Clifton which forms a part of Bahamian patrimony, to declare such interests by working with us to keep Clifton Pier, the Bay of Clifton and Adelaide seas clean, green and pristine.
OUR COUNTRY now needs all hands on deck!!
Letters to the editor
Rollins: Ignorance or Arrogance?!
On Tuesday of this week Dr. Rollins got his wish for a headline grabbing story complete with a colored head shot when he threatened to name names if Wells is fired.
“Some other people need to be fired too,” smarted Rollins, and “in time, if that happens, I am prepared to say who also should be fired, because there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this whole, as you all call it, ‘LOI affair’.”
With that pronouncement, many believe he had publicly attempted to blackmail the government and party of which he is a member by suggesting malfeasance in claiming to have damning information about “others” in connection with a Letter of Intent, but its release was contingent on the employment future of a colleague. Is that the behavior of a new generation leader or an unethical and scheming charlatan?
His new found notoriety and love for chasing headlines have obviously placed him in a conflict of interest conundrum in that he is conflicted between his public duty to disclose what he claims to know and his personal interest which is the employment protection of a friend and colleague. Additionally, the last time I checked, blackmail was illegal in The Bahamas. Either way, Rollins comes across as corrupt, deceitful, conniving, dishonorable and untrustworthy. This is most ironic because Rollins loves to get up on his self-righteous soapbox in Parliament and in the media and lecture others about honor, transparency and avoiding the very appearance of corruption.
I remember him waxing eloquent from the floor of the House about how the PLP would lose the next general election if they did not do as he suggested. Now here he is, literally days later seeking to shake down an entire government and political party in pursuit of his self-serving personal agenda.
The Deputy Prime Minister told the media that the threat was “hollow” and that Rollins was seeking to “promote whatever his personal goal or ambition might be.” The National Chairman of the PLP demanded that Rollins “put up, or shut the hell up” and the leader of the FNM told the media that Rollins’ behavior was “dishonorable” and that he had a public duty to disclose whatever information he had unconditionally.
I would say to Dr. Rollins only this: “Physician, heal thyself.”
So how did he fall from his lofty perch of a bright eyed and bushy-tailed new generation leader to an embattled MP, fired Gaming Board Chairman and fired Majority Whip in twenty-eight short months?
Was it ignorance or arrogance on the part of Andre Rollins? Try both, but oh what a toxic mix.
Charles David Rolle
Prime Minister Perry Christie is shown with Bahamar Manager and Carnival Committee Member Robert Sands and Saxon’s Junkanoo group leader Percy ” Vola” Francis as the Carnival Costume were unveiled. The costumes will be available for sale for participants in the inaugural Junkanoo Carnival next year.
On Friday 26th September Rev. Sammy Saunders celebrated turning 81 and this was the 31st Annual Celebrations put on for the underprivileged children. Some of the children in attendance were from Stapledon School, the Ranfurly Home, the Children’s Emergency Hostel, the Bilney Lane Children’s Home, Bain and Grants Town Communities. Persons bringing remarks included, Hon. Melanie Griffith, Hon. Bernard Nottage, former Speaker Alvin Smith (who shares the birthday with Rev. Saunders), Rev. Dr. C. B. Moss, Rev. and Mrs. Harvey Cash and others. Musical entertainment was provided by Mr. Origin Delevaux and his band (Cousins), along with Ms. Keva Major (Niece), Mr. Dereck Adams and Charlie The Bahamian Yellow Bird.
One of the private PLP Whats App groups reported this morning that Andre Rollins, the rogue PLP MP, was seen in Starbucks this morning with FNM Leader Hubert Minnis, former FNM MP Brensil Rolle, former FNM Speaker Alvin Smith and FMN activist Floyd Wilmott. The web site Bahamaspress has already pronounced this as a conversion of Mr. Rollins to FNM. The site says that Mr. Rollins will announce that he is joining the FNM on Wednesday 1st October when the House next meets. There followed a lively discussion by the PLPs complaining how Andre Rollins and his type are always favoured by the PLP over long standing stalwarts. There is a tone of bitterness about the fact that the PLP gets used every time by people like Mr. Rollins to get what they want, yet the party does not seem to learn from its mistakes. They predict that the PLP will go through another Kenyatta Gibson situation where he crossed the floor and then the FNM used him to make personal attacks against Perry Christie.
So now the devil has been accepted into the church. Holy mother church has reportedly baptized Hubert Alexander Ingraham, the former Prime Minister, who just before the 1992 general election went and joined Zion Baptist Church. Now with the elections for 2017 looming, he has joined the Catholic Church. No doubt this is to counter the visit of the Prime Minister Perry Christie with the Pope last year. Look for a papal visit soon. His godparents were his former Permanent Secretary Teresa Butler and the now Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett. He is to take first communion today. With this fellow everything is political so one more step on the campaign trail.
The anti-gay pastor Myles Munroe is taking credit for the present state of the constitutional bills. It is a remarkable claim since he was the one responsible for causing all the unnecessary confusion in the first place. In a note sent to the Deputy Director of the Bahamas Information Services, Pastor Munroe wrote in response to the open letter written by Fred Mitchell to the women of the PLP last week, the following:
Noted and interesting.
It is my position that we fully support the bills and confirm that our contribution provided most of the substance for the present questions simplified. We support the bills.
It appears that Pastor Myles Munroe, the anti-gay pastor is the only one who has integrity or values and strongly held beliefs. He was in the press again last week impugning the integrity of the Prime Minister. According to Mr. Munroe, the Prime Minister didn’t really believe in what he was doing when he changed his mind and passed the bills to permit gaming for Bahamians. The anti-gay pastor told the Nassau Guardian that the Prime Minister only did it for political expediency and that his heart was really in another place. Political expediency eh? Wonder how Pastor Myles knows that subject so well. If you want to see the complete story of the nonsense Myles Munroe said you can find it here: http://www.thenassauguardian.com/news/50485
All last week the press was hounding Fred Mitchell MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs for a comment on the so called new policy on immigration to deal with fraudulent work permit applications. He has refused. Mr. Mitchell says he will not comment on the policy any further. He adds the policy is the policy and it will be implemented, there is nothing to discuss or comment upon. One individual who is connected to the Haitian community in The Bahamas is concerned because children born to parents who are illegally in The Bahamas will not be able to get a residency permit. That is the law and there will be no deviation from it. The minister explained to the Haitian leaders in their private meeting that anyone who has a contingent right to apply for Bahamian citizenship at 18 will be able to do so and if they need to come to The Bahamas to do that they will get a visa to facilitate their entry into The Bahamas.
The leader of the extra parliamentary party the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) was in the press last week naysaying the policy announced on immigration. Instead of simply congratulating the government, his answer was that it was all talk; that the PLP was good at talk. He said that it should have been in place a long time ago. Well bite your tongue. Branville McCartney was the Minister responsible for immigration at one time and did not put that policy in place. Do you think he remembers that?
The Honourable Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology presented Ms. Juanita Butler, the first principal of the R. M. Bailey Senior High School (formerly Highbury High School) with the President Emeritus Award. The presentation was made during the school’s 45th Anniversary Red Ball Hall of Fame Gala held on Saturday, 2nd November, 2013 at the British Colonial Hilton. Pictured l-r are: Mr Collin Johnson, Principal, R. M. Bailey Senior School; Vanria Sands, Miss Earth Bahamas; a R.M. Bailey Student; Ms. Juanita Butler, former Principal, R. M. Bailey Senior High School; The Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald and her nephew.
The following note was posted by Craig Butler, grandson of Sir Milo Butler on his Facebook page on Saturday 27th September.
Last night Juanita M. Butler the last surviving child of Sir Milo and Lady Caroline passed away into the great beyond.
A lifelong educator and businesswoman she was committed to helping others to achieve their potential.
Aunt Nita you’ll be missed.
May your soul Rest In Peace.
The Mitchells Marva and Mathew, born 26 September 1960 celebrated their birthdays on Friday 26th September. Congratulations. They are the youngest siblings of Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell.
Last week’s headline that said that the vote on the constitutional amendments had been delayed because of the misogynists and homophobes was misinterpreted in some quarters as an attack on the Constitutional Commission. For clarity, the headline was not directed at the Commission. They have the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon. The explanation is this. While the immediate cause of the postponement was the fact of a request from community groups for a further period of reflection and education, the underlying cause was the dishonest and disingenuous objections by miscreants, homophobes and misogynists. They know who they are. The policy here is to name and shame them for their dishonesty and that is all the headline was designed to do. Myles Munroe and those others from the Bahamas Christian Council know better but created confusion where none needed to be. Our apologies for any confusion that we may have caused.
Here is what Scharad Lightbourne, photograpther, had to say about his branding profession:
About 2 weeks ago, my team and I put together a solid image portfolio for real estate agent Ryan Knowles. Ryan commissioned me to shoot clean, bold and sharp images for his brand that sold a lifestyle. I really liked this particular shot for his profile. We had an amazing location as our background.
Ryan’s look was personally shopped for by Kedar In Style. Look for more images on Ryan’s website launch.
The Grand Bahama Youth Choir Thursday evening 25th September at the medical and dental conference Pelican Bay Hotel under the direction of Kevin Tomlinson.
MESICIC on-site evaluator calls on Bahamas Attorney General
Nassau, Bahamas – On-site Evaluator Mr. Rodrigo Silva of the Mechanism for the Implementation of The Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (MESICIC) paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Allyson Maynard Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, 22 September.
Pictured left to right: Mr. Garvin Gaskin, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions; Mrs. Cleopatra Christie, Consultant/Case Management; Mr. Franklyn Williams, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions; Mrs. Cheryl Grant Bethell, Deputy Law Reform Commissioner; Mr. Rodrigo Silva OAS; the Hon. Allyson Maynard Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; Mrs. Cynthia Gibbs, Acting Permanent Secretary; Mrs. Deborah Fraser, Director of Legal Affairs; and Mr. Delmon Rolle, Senior Assistant Secretary.
On Wednesday, 17th September, 2014, H.E. Eugene Newry, Ambassador of The Bahamas to the United States of America paid a courtesy call on H.E. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador of Singapore to the United States of America. Ambassador Newry was accompanied to the meeting by Mr. Chet Neymour, Deputy Chief of Mission and Ms. Krissy Hanna, Second Secretary.
The meeting centred on areas of commonality between the two countries including the services sector, i.e. Tourism and Financial Services, as well as issues affecting Small Island Developing States (SIDS), among them, Climate Change. Other areas of discussion included cooperation between the two countries in the fields of air and maritime transport, port development and economic development.
The meeting served as an opportunity to further enhance the existing bilateral relations with the Republic of Singapore and to seek ways of strengthening cooperation between the two countries through the application of best practice models and capacity building.
Her Excellency the Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling welcomed members of Alpha Kappa Tau Honor Society of Kingsway Academy High School in a courtesy call at Government House, September 23, 2014. The Honor Society is a service organization that has for the past three years contributed to the community, including giving to the Salvation Army and offering peer tutoring to the school. Guidance Counselor Ms. Rosalee Moss Prophete is seated next to Dame Marguerite, and the Male Guidance Counselor, Mr. Ricardo Lees, is standing, extreme right.
Shakespeare in Paradise
Dion Johnson and Mark Humes star in this South African drama “Sizwe Banzi is Dead” at The Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts October 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th. Only 80 seats per night – Dundas Black Box Theatre – 8:00pm – Tickets on sale NOW! – 393-3728
Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 1972.
At the height of the apartheid era, black South Africans are segregated and their movements controlled in every way possible. They are confined to townships, shanty town-like settlements outside the cities, and they must carry state-issued identity passbooks which allow them to travel, work, and live outside those townships.
A photographer named Styles explains how he came to pursue his dream of helping black South Africans hold on to their identities. Under apartheid, the ruling white South African minority receives the benefits of full citizenship, while the black majority exists under a system that deprives them of the vote, controls where they live, gives them permission to work, delineates not only who they marry but with whom they can fall in love, tells them where they go to school, and defines what they can ultimately become. For Styles, identity is captured in the image. Styles uses photographs he takes of his fellow blacks to help them remember who they are. When a customer enters his studio to have a photograph taken to send back to his family in one of the townships, what happens between the two men will change one of them forever.
On Tuesday, September 23, Acting Prime Minister Philip Davis, United States Chargè d’Affaires a.i. Lisa Johnson, and Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Captain Stephen Russell along with other senior U.S. and Bahamian government officials, participated in the official opening of the North and Central Bahamas Disaster Conference held at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort in Nassau. The conference is the fourth in an ongoing series of conferences sponsored by the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) for island administrators and disaster relief personnel in The Bahamas. During the three-day event, Family Island administrators, councilors, government personnel, and police and defence force officials will participate in a series of dialogues on disaster planning and mitigation. The sessions are facilitated by subject matter experts representing NEMA, USNORTHCOM and the Pacific Disaster Center.
Well so Craig Flowers who has a vote in this country and also happens to be a web shop owner ventured an opinion to the Nassau Guardian which we published here today. Darron Cash, the Chair of the Free National Movement says that Mr. Flowers should shut the hell up. He claims that he has no interest in what Mr. Flowers had to say and that Mr. Flowers was sticking his fingers into the eyes of those who voted no on gaming and pouring salt in the wounds. A lot of mixed metaphors. He claimed that he ( Mr. Flowers) was not helping the gaming cause and that Mr. Flowers was far-fetched in saying that the PLP can win the next election. Temper! Temper! Mr. Cash. It does not become you. Do not count your chickens before they hatch.
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