Sunday, February 29, 2004

U.S.: CORE says Bush acted deliberately

On Fox, Roy Inniss of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) says had Bush moved before he did, the outcry would have been greater. As it stands, Bush is still taking stick for the riots and killings in Haiti. Inniss got a good dig in at Gregory Meeks when he thanked him for wanting GWB to act pre-emptively.

U.S.: Live by the sword, die by the sword

Here's a chronology of Aristide's life.

All his life's significant events led to his flight. Amazing.

Vzla: Brutality at the cadena

The cadena was finally over when I arrived and networks were showing what took place during the cadena. But something was already awful enough that I must write about it.

A woman, upset about the whole thing, drop the stick of her flag on the floor and bravely (or foolishly) tried to go and talk to the leader of the National guard squad barring the route. She was not even close enough for direct contact with the beetle armed National Guard that one of them popped out, grab her and threw her on the floor. Then the companions tried to shield the scene from the cameras filming while the woman was kicked on the floor and eventually pushed away.
Don't let it be too long before the thug Chavez goes.

Vzla: Tear gas and buckshot dispel opposition

"The order is to resist, resist," said one lady close to 70 years of age to a group of friends who replied: "Today or never, Magdalena, you are right, we have to resist." Around eight women were next to the security cordon placed by the CANTV headquarters on Libertador Avenue in Caracas, while the thick of the opposition march walked euphorically towards Plaza Morelos.

Suddenly, the National Guard started to respond to the citizen action with tear gas, with no other stimulus than the arrival of the march on territory that had been permitted by the competent authorities, but was banned territory to the military.

The ladies left at a jog, escaping the effects of the tear gas canisters, that scratched their faces generating an intolerable chaos as people retreated. And yet, they didn't manage altogether to clean up the area, because the people would return to offer resistence, would return with anti-government slogans, would again inflame the patience of the so-called "guards at the service of the regime."

The march, called by the opposition and whose ultimate goal was to reach Plaza Morelos, did not meet its main goal: to get noticed by the foreign ministers and some heads of state from the Group of 15, who were meeting in the Teresa Carreno Theater.

Vzla: Mugabe falls asleep on Chavez

Arriving in Venezuela after a long plane trip from Harare, Zimbabwe's despot Robert Mugabe rapidly proceeded to fall asleep while Chávez was giving a speech and went on to drop the replica of Bolívar's sword presented to him by Chávez. Robert Mugabe, said the beaming Chávez, "is a true warrior of freedom."

Vzla: 2 killed in protests

Mayor Alfredo Peña reported that during the violent events that took place yesterday in Venezuela people were killed and 21 were wounded. The names of the victims are Alberto Umatre (65 years old) and Juan Carlos Sojo (25 years old).

U.S.: Priests violatinh ordination vows

One report compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found there have been 10,667 abuse claims from 1950 to 2002. More than 80 percent of the alleged victims were male and over half said they were between ages 11 and 14 when they were assaulted.

About 4 percent of all American clerics who served during the years studied - 4,392 of the 109,694 priests and others under vows to the church - were accused of abuse, according to the report, which was based on information provided by most of the 195 American dioceses.

Many victims claim the church underreported the real number of priests accused of sexual abuse. Only 2 percent of abusers were sent to prison for what they had done, according to the church's report.

If homosexuals and pedophiles cannot be trusted in the ministry of the Church, to which they've taken vows, for goodness sake, how in heaven's name do organizations like the United Way and others, including many city governments, expect parents to entrust their children to them as scout troop leaders? How? If they've created this much hurt and harm, pain and anger in the Church, why should they be free to achieve the same in the Boy Scouts?

U.S.: The usual suspects

The CBC has never met a dictator they didn't like. Truly.

Aristide's ouster angered some members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rep. Charles Rangel, who was deeply involved in restoring Aristide's elected government to power in 1994, said the United States must shoulder much of the blame for Aristide's fall and the chaos that brought it on.

"I don't know what's going on, but we are just as much as part of this coup d'etat as the rebels, looters or anyone else," Rangel, D-N.Y., said on ABC's "This Week."

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said that in a country "where a true democracy has recently emerged after decades of autocratic rule," the elected president "has been pushed out by an administration anxious to get rid of him."

U.S.: U.N. fiddled while Haiti burned

The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting on Sunday to approve a resolution authorizing a multinational force to restore order in Haiti after its president resigned, U.N. diplomats said.

An informal group of "Friends of Haiti," including the United States, France, Canada and Haiti's Caribbean neighbors, was meeting on Sunday to work on a draft United Nations resolution authorizing a multinational force to intervene in Haiti after an armed rebellion.

The Security Council was due to meet at 6 p.m., the United Nations announced.
If only the U.N. had heeded the request Caricom made this past Wednesday.

U.S.: Haiti in chaos

The reaction of Aristide's backers was swift and angry. Armed bands of "chimeres," the most militant and ruthless of the ex-president's supporters from the slums, roamed the city in pickup trucks, armed with shotguns and machetes.

But there were also celebrations.

"We feel very happy. We are no longer afraid of anyone. We're waiting for the international force to come to Haiti," Rene, a graphic designer, said. He stood by with a dozen other Haitians on a main road to the capital.

"They must come quickly," another person chimed in.

Some in the crowd shouted "Vive Philippe!" referring to Guy Philippe, a rebel leader controlling half the country and whose three-week-old rebellion helped spark Aristide's departure.

Just after the shouting, a truck carrying armed "chimeres," named after fire-breathing monsters of Greek mythology, sped past. Through the vehicle's open door, a hooded man dressed in black swung a gun from side to side.

Hti: Haitian diaspora wants a say in U.S. policy

We urge this administration to bring Haitian-Americans to the table with them and consult us as they embark on this adventure. As of this moment, Haitians are getting together to hire a firm to devise an economic development plan for their troubled homeland. As it is, the Haitian Diaspora is the largest donor in Haiti, pouring some $800 million a year through remittances to relatives back home. If we’re able to channel this money properly, we can achieve considerable things in Haiti.

This is not to say that the Haitian Diaspora has the answers. We have our share of problems here, but we believe deeply that we have some of the technical and leadership skills necessary to turn the corner on Haiti. Our country’s problem is not a lack of competent and qualified technocrats. What ails us rather are a deep-seated mistrust and a lack of good faith when dealing with each other. This latest crisis is a perfect example of that. Haitians living abroad have power, but they can’t go it along.

Ja: In search of the great black hope

This is an article by Earl M. Bartley. Read it. Bartley openly asks questions that are raised behind closed doors. He tries to answer them, too. Here's part of what he says:

Prosperous peoples and nations adhere to ethics and integrity as basic principles, show respect for the rule of law and the rights of others, work hard, and are thrifty and punctual. Of course, the world is a lot more complicated than pithy statements of principles. But instead of putting our faith in black princes and messiahs who come blowing in and out like bigger or smaller hurricanes, mostly leaving destruction in their wake, black people might be better off incorporating some of these principles in their lives.

The Haitian gunmen about to shoot their way into power without regard to the need of their country to settle into the habit of democratic practice, or the danger to the lives of hundreds of their country-men, or the inconvenience they might cause to their neighbours, would also do very well to show some respect for the rule of law and the rights of others.

Ja: Case for a failed democracy

Robert Buddan of Department of Government, UWI, Mona, makes the case.

Ja: Requiem for Haiti

The article is written by a Haitian woman, Myrtha Desulme. Read the entire thing. Here's her conclusion:

When on January 1, 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, standing at the edge of a new dawn, drunk with euphoria, pronounced the Declaration of Independence, he stated:

"Citizens, It is not enough to have expelled from your country the barbarians who have for ages stained it with blood ... It is become necessary, by a last act of national authority, to ensure forever the empire of liberty in the country which has given us birth ­ I have assembled on this solemn day, those courageous chiefs, who have lavished their blood to preserve liberty. Generals, unite with me for the happiness of our country; the day is arrived, the day which will ever perpetuate our glory and our independence ... Let us swear to the whole world, to posterity, to ourselves, to renounce France forever, and to die, rather than to live under its dominion, to fight till the last breath for the independence of our country ndependence or Death! Let these sacred words serve to rally us ..."

The requiem is for the dream of Dessalines, who thought that he could build a black empire, in the New World, even while surrounded by a sea hostility. Two hundred years later, Haiti is still not free. But the Chinese word for crisis is written with two signs, one means danger, and the other, opportunity.

Let us work to see to it that this bicentenary crisis is nothing more than the labour pains, leading to the birth of a new and peaceful Haitian Republic.

Desulme's implication is that Haiti's lack of freedom may be due to the hostile forces around her. Well, what about the anarchic ones inside her?

Ja: More aid organizations in Jamaica

For those wishing to help Jamaicans cope with the influx of Haitian refugees, here's a good agency:

Food For The Poor
P.O. Box 557
Ellerslie Pen
Spanish Town, St. Catherine
Jamaica W.I.
Phone: (876) 984-5005
Fax: (876) 984-5006
email: E. E. Romeo
website:Food for the Poor

Food For The Poor supplies critically need support to poorest of the poor in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean and Central America. The organization has shipped more than a half billion in aid supplies since its founding in 1982 by Jamaica businessman, Ferdinand Mahfood. Food For The Poor is currently involved in a massive program to build 2000 homes for poor families across Jamaica.
Other aid agencies are the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

Ja: Whither goest Haiti? Rebellion as past and prologue

That's the nagging question Dawn Ritch wrestles with in her discussion of A History of Latin America From the Beginnings to the Present by Hubert Herring.

It is hard to see any other future for Haiti but its past. As soon as a leader rises to the top, it goes to his head, and an abused people can find no relief except rebellion, and the whole cycle starts again.

History shows that the Haitians, despite being the first black republic in the world, are unfit to govern themselves.
Ay, there's the crux of the matter, and nobody on the global stage seems willing to say it. Until it is admitted openly and publicly, without any black shame over the first black republic in the world, without any cries of racism when it is said, one senses that there will never be change coming to Haiti. The entire article is worth reading.

Ja: Resources for helping Haitians are dwindling

Jamaica needs all the help it can get to provide for Haitian refugees. Please send help to Jamaica for the Haitians via the Salvation Army or the Red Cross.

EMERGENCY AND civil society groups are coming under pressure with the high influx of Haitian refugees who have landed in Portland. Already resources are dwindling as the number of refugees continue to increase.

In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), through its parish co-ordinator, Fay Neufville, on Friday, February 27, said that the Portland Parish Council (PPC), spent a large, undisclosed amount of money to assist with the growing Haitian refugee increase.

"I have been kept busy at the office all day making up a budget," she said. "Trying to regain some of the money already spent by the PPC through the ODPEM, towards shelter, food and clothing for the refugees."

The ODPEM co-ordinator also said that the task of providing for the refugees is becoming more and more challenging. "We were not prepared for this crisis situation. At least, not this rapid increase of refugees. One must understand that many of the emergency and also civil society groups are charitable ones, not funded by Government. Many are beginning to feel the strain, and would welcome outside assistance."

The Portland Red Cross has been providing warm meals for the Haitians, since their arrival and it has also deployed four of its personnel, full-time, at one of the refugee shelters at the Winnifred Rest Home in Fairy Hill.

"We continue to provide warm meals, clothing and items of bedding to the refugees," said Gloria Miller, care person at the local Red Cross. "We have got donations in the form of food and clothing from the business community in Port Antonio, and also from local residents to assist with the refugees. This has somewhat reduced some of the strain on our pockets."

Ms. Miller also said that more Haitian arrivals could lead to an accommodation problem, something that is already facing them down.

"We might be forced to implement makeshift plans by deploying tents at Carder Park, to facilitate the refugees upon arrival. I am happy to say, however, that so far, we have been coping with the situation, thanks to renewed efforts from our members."

BTW, Fox News says Canada has not seized control of the airport in Haiti. It's a critical point of control, and bandits are laying in wait to rob those on the way to the Port au Prince airport.

Hti: Aristide's destination

Maybe Morocco, maybe Taiwan, maybe Panama, says HaitiPress. The article is in French.

Bdos: Maybe Caricom refused to support Aristide

It appears that Caricom may have reserved its disdain for Aristide, rather than Haiti.

Haiti is not only the poorest nation of the Americas, it is also the loneliest and one need not go into a long history of Haiti’s relations with other countries to confirm this – one only needs to observed what has transpired over the last two months.

How would you feel if there was no one willing to share your highs or lend support through your lows – not even friends or family?

Or how would you feel if the people who should care did lend support at such times, but only giving the bare minimum so as to keep up respectable appearances? It is such times when you really get to know if you have any genuine friends and what others really think of you and the realisation that no one really cares can hurt a lot.

That is exactly what has happened to our Caribbean neighbour Haiti. That country’s bicentennial celebrations – acknowledging a great moment in history, when Blacks seized their own independence and became the first Black republic by defeating one of the most powerful armies in the world (the French) – was poorly attended even by its allies. In fact South African President Thabo Mbeki stood out as the only Head of State to attend the celebrations in Haiti, while Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie was the only Caribbean head of government in attendance, doing so on behalf of his country and the other 13 CARICOM member states.

A Jamaica Gleaner January 2, 2004 editorial suggests CARICOM’s response arose out of a fear of appearing to support the Administration of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the light of quarrels in that country concerning the legitimacy of the government.
This would explain the actions of Jamaica with regard to Haitian refugees.

U.S.: Haitians rejoice and loot

Go here. [user id:; password: 123456; if the user ID fails, try it in combo with other free email accounts.]

U.S.: President without power

Go here for an article about Haiti's new president, SCJ Boniface Alexandre.

Fox news report: Canadians control the airport in Port au Prince.

AP on arrival of Marines.

But who's on the streets protecting people from armed thugs?

T&T: DR stowaways found at Pt. Lisas

While fighting intensified and the death rate continued to rise in Haiti’s civil uprising yesterday, four nationals of the Dominican Republic (DR)  fearful of the bloodshed spilling over in their twin state island, sought refuge in Trinidad as a transit point to stow away to the United States. As the men made their move and stowed on board the MV Fortunia which was scheduled to sail for Houston, Texas yesterday morning, they were caught during a last minute security check. The three — Mario Terez Yan, 36,  Agripino Diaz Almanzar, 34, and Joel Reez, 16, of  the Dominican Republic — were taken into immigration custody and then transferred to the Couva Police Station. They will later be taken to a State prison until their deportation.

Yan had travelled from the DR to Venezuela to Trinidad via a pirogue and waited at the Point Lisas docks since November 26, 2003. Almanzar had been hiding out in Trinidad since October 16, 2003, while Reez arrived on December 31, 2003. During the search of the Fortunia yesterday morning the three men were found hiding in the hatch of the vessel. Yan made a dash for freedom but was held some distance away on Atlantic Avenue, Point Lisas. The three stowaways were wearing hard hats and other gear of the local dock workers who off-load containers.  Police believe that for the aliens to be in hiding for so long without detection and dressed as local workers they had to be receiving help from Trinidadians. Their plan was to remain in Trinidad until they could board a vessel leaving for the US. Initially the men were thought to have been Haitians, fleeing their country’s violence and looting, but further checks revealed that they were from neighbouring DR, and wanting  to avoid any spill-over of violence.
I wonder how many others have done this? How many of the stowaways may have come from the Muslim Triangle -- the nexus of Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina? If Yan had been in T&T since 10/16/2003, then he wasn't fleeing any violence.

T&T: UN should have heeded Caricom

On Friday, Manning told a news conference that the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force was on alert to go to Haiti as part of a multinational peacekeeping force, but that a Caricom resolution for such an intervention had been rejected by the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.
Now, the whole situation has unravelled and caught the boys with their pants down. If the U.S. was going to apply pressure for Aristide to leave, then the resulting chaos should've been envisioned and measures put in place to prevent it. While the mess inside Haiti is the fault of Aristide and the rebels, the U.S. and the U.N. Security Council has to share blame for not encouraging Caricom countries to go ahead and be the forces on the ground. I also fault Caricom for not defying the U.N. and the U.S. and going ahead with their plan. Haiti is a member of Caricom. It's not as if Caricom countries have not thumbed their noses at the U.S. before -- they did over Iraq. If they had gone in to Haiti the troops' presence might have limited the amount of chaos occurring on the ground now.

Hti: Bad birds fly free

Fox News is reporting that the prisons have been opened; the guards have fled abandoning their uniforms and guns.

Sonofabitch Aristide ought to be shot. He should have demanded that his partisans stand down. They are the ones who are creating havoc in Port au Prince. They are the ones who have let loose the dogs of war.

T&T: Caricom never cared about Haiti

Part of the story is based on Salvation Army Captain Ulrick Thibaud, a Haitian who lives in T&T with his family. There's some whine involved, but it makes interesting reading. The other part is about a Haitian priest who serves with the Holy Gost Fathers of St. Mary's College -- one of the best schools in T&T. Here's a bit from Thibaud:

Referring to the previous history between Caricom and Haiti, he lamented that the community organisation never got involved enough to intervene in the country’s past turmoils and wants to know why everyone is making a fuss about the situation now.

“Caricom never said one word to do something in the past. They are trying to do something now and I don’t think its against their will, but Caricom countries have never been friendly to Haiti,” he said. “Haiti is alone in its battle. When things get bad, everybody trying to do something but when things good you do not hear about help for Haiti.” Thibaud said this is one reason why he is against armed international forces going into Haiti. “Haiti is a sovereign country, let them handle their battle by themselves,” he said. He felt that if Haiti cannot come to its own political solution, things will worsen. “Aristide should step down and give the country a chance to go forward and if the international community and if  Caricom wants to help, they should pressure Aristide to step down, that’s the only solution to this problem,” said Thibaud. The social worker said based on information he has been receiving, there are a lot of dead bodies on the streets and no one wants to bury them. He said there could be serious health implications if this continues to escalate.

Thibaud apparently doesn't appreciate that Haiti has been a member of Caricom since 1998 and that Caricom countries are going to emphasize rule of constitutional law, no matter how desperate a situation gets. Caricom heads are no doubt torn. On the one hand, they must see that Aristide's departure is essential for Haiti to avoid a civil war, but they can't say that because they don't wish to establish precedent for malcontents in their own countries to start a coup. The only English speaking Caribbean country to have had an aborted coup was T&T; that model of mal-governance is not one which Caricom wishes to see emulated. So, on the one hand, I abhor Caricom's inaction; on the other hand, Caricom countries are politically stable, and we want them to remain just like that.

T&T: Maybe events over-ran planning

The UN Security Council has approved intervention by T&T in the political crisis in Haiti, but Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday declined to give details.

Manning announced on Friday that the T&T Defence Force was on the alert to be deployed to Haiti as part of an international peacekeeping force and that a resolution on this was before the UN Security Council.

Speaking briefly with journalists after delivering a mid-morning address at a PNM Local Government workshop at Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s, Manning said: “I had a call from the Secretary General Friday evening on this matter and we spoke at length about how we might now proceed.

“Something has been approved but in a different version from what we had anticipated was required.”

He declined to say what this “something” was, citing security reasons, and because “it’s an international issue and I just don’t want to be talking too much about it.”

“I’ve not been asked not to say anything. I think it prudent not to say anything. And there are many security aspects to it,” he added.

He admitted the plan did not rule out sending T&T’s armed troops to Haiti.

“In short, all I am authorised to say is that there are other initiatives that are taking place behind the scenes,” he said.

This latest development comes on the heels of a possible intervention by the US.

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Bush administration had said on Friday it was still pursuing a diplomatic resolution, but the Pentagon was nevertheless drawing up intervention plans.

“We’re interested in achieving a political settlement and we’re still working to that effect,” the paper reported President George W Bush as saying after a meeting with German chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Friday.

“We’re also at the same time planning for a multinational force” to provide stability in the event of a political settlement, the newspaper reported Bush saying.

It reported that the Pentagon was contemplating sending a force of 2,200 marines to take up positions off Haiti.

Manning spearheaded Caricom’s involvement in the Haitian crisis after a Washington meeting in November with the US president.

The UN Security Council had refused last Wednesday to pass a resolution brought by the Foreign Ministers of Jamaica and The Bahamas for a multilateral Caricom peacekeeping force to be deployed to Haiti.

Manning had voiced Caricom’s disappointment at this decision, and promised on Friday that if T&T’s similar move had also been rejected by the UN, he would have gone to the Organisation of American States for approval.

Hti: CBC and Dems, here's mud in yer eye!

The $4 million in lobbying fees, probably only the tip of the iceberg, that Aristide lavished on his partisans in the world's richest country go a long way toward explaining the stubbornness of that support against all the evidence of gross political violence, corruption, fraudulent elections and drug-trafficking. The lobbyists, the Congressional Black Caucus, the former congressmen on the board of telephone companies with contracts with the regime, all had achieved that rare feat of finding a way to make foreign policy pay. The victims were not Americans who could sue in court but the silent and uncomplaining Haitian people.

In the last days of the regime the Congressional Black Caucus and the leading lights of the Democratic Party, including presidential candidate John Kerry and Iowa senator Tom Harkin, and echoed even by human-rights organizations in violation of their mandate to stay above partisan politics, campaigned vociferously for a U.S. military intervention to save the tyrant against his own people. In the coming days and weeks, there will be a concerted effort to wipe that from memory. This would be a great mistake because it will expose some other disadvantaged country to the same victimization in the future. The flagrant corruption of the Black Caucus and Democratic Party, the betrayal of Haiti by the American left, all need to be thoroughly examined so that the progressive sector in American politics can actually help in a future difficult foreign-policy case.

This make me wonder how much cher Fidel has coughed up. Most likely Caricom troops will accompany the American military presence that GWB has okayed ... unless Caricom is going to get in a snit over Aristide's departure.

U.S.: Elvis has left the building

Fox News reports that Aristide is gone; he resigned to avoid bloodshed. U.S. Southern Command escorted him to the airport. U.S. prompted Aristide to go, and held him responsible for the chaos in Haiti.

John F. Kerry, who didn't want troops in Iraq, says he would have sent troops to Haiti to stop the revolt.

T&T: Live bands may be replaced by DJs for Carnival

Mas bands may soon use only DJ trucks to accompany their masqueraders on the road Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Poison bandleader Michael Headley said Wednesday the use of DJs was a growing trend and his members have voiced their preference for having artistes making guest appearances.

Headley said: “They prefer to get the guest artistes with sound tracks because they produce a rendition that they are accustomed to.”

T&T: Buns of steel

USING a scalpel which he had concealed in his anus, the leader of a prison mafia fought off two police officers and led an attack on a prisoner in the cell block section of the San Fernando Magistrates' Court yesterday.

T&T: Defence Force may be Haiti bound

The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force has been put on alert to form part of an imminent peace-keeping force to the troubled Caricom nation of Haiti, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said yesterday.

At a news briefing at the Red House, Port of Spain, yesterday during the Parliament tea break, Manning said:

"We believe that it (peace-keeping mission) ought to take place under the umbrella of the United Nations auspices or, failing that, the OAS (Organisation of American States) but of course, we prefer the UN because it is worldwide and France is a member of the Security Council; it's not involved in the OAS."

High time those boys had something constructive to do.

Also, this:
Manning, who described the situation in Haiti on Thursday as "calm but tense", reiterated yesterday that Caricom was not in support of the unconstitutional removal of an elected Government.

In response to other questions, Manning said Aristide was free to resign, if he so desired.

On the possibility of political refuge for Aristide in this country if it became necessary, Manning said that would have to be determined by the Cabinet.

"We have maintained that a lasting solution to the Haitian solution must involve an economic recovery plan and a social intervention (plan). Both those things are the crux of the matter as we see it because the situation is as it is in Haiti because the people of Haiti have not been able to attain the standard of living to which they aspire," he said.

Does Manning mean that if the standard of living were better in Haiti that people would accept Aristide's brutalities? Or, does he mean that the reason for the uprising is economic? What culpability does Aristide bear in PM Manning's view?

At least Caricom is consistent. They were also not in favor of Saddam Hussein's removal either. What does that say about the heads of Caricom? Do they prize political process more than the constituents of a country? If they do, that does not augur well for Caricom nations.

Ja: Taxing your arse to death

DIRECTOR-GENERAL for Tax Administration, Clive Nicholas is reminding persons who live in Jamaica but work abroad that they are required to pay taxes on their world income and need to file returns by March 15.

Explaining, the Director-General said that persons who reside in Jamaica on a part-time basis but work abroad on occasion, were required by law to include all their income, even foreign earnings, when computing their taxes.

"In other words," Mr. Nicholas said, "if you work six months in Jamaica and you are a resident here and you go abroad for three months and you work an income, you have to file your returns on the 15th of March."

This is the thing about governments, they'll tax your arse to death; then they'll tax your heirs who inherit the dregs of your assets after your death.

Ja: Standing firm

Jamaica will continue to accept Haitian refugees, in spite of scarce resources to deal with them. Where is Caricom to extend a hand to Jamaica?

Ja: The courts should be fined!

CAROL WALKER, the woman who was lost in the prison system for 12 years, will have to wait several more weeks to hear whether the charges against her will finally be dismissed.

Walker, who is charged with malicious destruction of property, was scheduled to be tried in the Black River Resident Magistrate's court Thursday, but did not answer when her name was called.

Human rights attorney, Nancy Anderson, who represents Ms. Walker was also absent from the proceedings because of her involvement in a matter before the Supreme Court.

The court clerk, Annemarie Nembhard, told the court that she had received no explanation from the St. Elizabeth Infirmary as to why Ms. Walker was absent.
Ms. Walker had been arrested in Balaclava, St. Elizabeth in Novem-ber 1991, and charged with malicious destruction of property, an offence which, if found guilty, she could have served a maximum of three years. She had been an inmate at the Fort Augusta Prison up until five weeks ago.

Who is going to pay this woman for nine lost years? She was never brought to trial for the crime, and thus was never found guilty. Yet, Carol Walker spent 12 years in jail. Jails in the Caribbean are horrendous. You don't even want your dog to spend a night in a Caribbean jail, much less to have a person spend 12 years there without benefit of a trial and conviction. No wonder she has psychiatric problems. Who is going to sue the judiciary on Carol Walker's behalf?

Ja: Improving the educational system

A WIDE cross section of stakeholders attended the fifth in the series of National Roundtable consultations on education at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston yesterday.

Attendees who including parents, educators, religious groups, civil servants, students and private sector representatives, had the opportunity to register their views on the problems and possibilities of the education sector.

Although more than 100 participants were present, many people shared similar ideas about the indicators of an advanced education system. It was felt that the literacy rate should be increased to the high 90s from 76 per cent where it now stands; teachers should be better trained, equipped and remunerated; schools should have adequate infrastructure, graduates should be competent in use and application of modern technology; and, graduates should make a meaningful contribution to the overall productive capacity of the country.

Ja: US troops may be Haiti bound

THE UNITED States is considering sending a three-ship group carrying U.S. marines to Haiti, headed by the helicopter carrier USS Saipan, as the Pentagon weighs a range of options for addressing the crisis, defence officials said yesterday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no deployment orders had been issued to send the Saipan group to Haiti from Norfolk, Virginia, but said it was one of the options currently under review.

Hti: Aristide unplugged

It was a textbook moment in Jean-Bertrand Aristide's alternately troubled and glorious path from parish priest to president to, now, a pariah confronting total rejection by his country. At a 1994 conference on military coups at the Carter Center in Atlanta, a panel of experts asked the then-exiled Haitian president what he'd learned from his own recent overthrow.

Moderator Robert Pastor recalls being astonished at Mr. Aristide's honesty: "He said, 'I won the election by too much.... I thought I didn't need to compromise and reach out to the opposition, and it ultimately provoked a coup.' "

Mr. Pastor's heart was won. "I thought, 'this guy's great. He learned a principal lesson and is willing to say it in public."

But, say legions of cynical former members of Aristide's inner circle, the president had drawn a more perverse conclusion: His mistake wasn't trying to squelch opposition; it was not succeeding in doing so. How a man hailed as a potential Nelson Mandela for his impoverished and oppressed nation of 8 million could fall so far appears to be as much a tale of wishful thinking by desperate Haitians and the international community that backed him, say experts, as it was a tale of the old cliché that "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Aristide was given that rarest of political gifts - a second chance. But, reinstalled in the presidency in October 1994 by a multinational military force, he used his resurrection to perfect an autocratic style, say even those close to him who were interviewed for this story. Today, having infuriated, humiliated, and - some allege, killed - any once-devoted followers who crossed him, Aristide has few political allies left. Even his strongest credential - his election to a second term in 2000 - counts little as rebels gobble up territory and threaten to take the capital.

Languishing in that familiar pre-coup limbo that is a trademark of modern Haitian presidencies, Aristide is a symbol of a political culture that has been bankrupt nearly since it began as a slave revolt 200-plus years ago. But his historical image is just as a symbol of the impoverished Haitian masses he worked with as a parish priest.

In the years immediately following the 1996 ouster of the dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, "Titide" - affectionate Creole for tiny Aristide - worked and preached from the St. Jean Bosco church, not far from Port-au-Prince's teaming Cité Soleil slum. He wore crisp shirts neatly tucked into dress slacks cinched hard around a tiny waist that suggested not just a vow of poverty but a vow of hunger. His slightly lopsided face was magnified by thick aviator glasses. His overall look: unassuming nerd. But what came out of is mouth - in any of the seven languages he spoke - was powerful. His nationally broadcast masses preached liberation theology - equal parts consciousness-raising for the poor (the Vatican and US embassy termed it "class warfare"), nationalistic rhetoric eerily reminiscent of the Duvalier dynasty, and tart-tongued anti- capitalism.

Aristide was widely credited for his ability to turn proverbs and scripture into inspired Creole rhetoric - a rhetoric that seemed to transport him physically from the calm languor the Haitian heat causes to a perspiring and fiery physicality.

Bob Maguire, a professor at Trinity University in Washington who was a development worker in Haiti, recalls this Creole mastery that first emerged from the pulpit. Aristide, he says, once brought a stem of bananas to the altar during one of the 1980s military dictatorships and asked parishioners to walk up and take one. The Creole word for this clump of bananas is a homonym for the word "regime." "See how easy it is to take apart a 'regime'?" Aristide asked his congregation.

But if his oratory was often eloquent, it could also generate a violent spark on the emotional Haitian street. Aristide could and did inspire mob violence. This power to rival the authorities generated so many assassination attempts that Haitians often attributed his survival to God-given mystical Catholic or voodoo powers. Indeed, the more Aristide was persecuted, the more he was adored by the poor. "He had all the characteristics of an honest leader because he was a man of the cloth in a very spiritual country," says Alice Blanchet, a Haitian-American who worked in Aristide's presidential administration in the mid- 1990s. "He had helped mobilize the public for the ouster of Duvalier and a series of other coup leaders."

But, says Ms. Blanchet, even back then some close to Aristide were uncomfortable with the way he cast himself in Haitian metaphor as a kind of messiah. Those closest to him as far back as his parish days say now that they overlooked his autocratic approach because he had the cloak of democratic principle drawn close around him. "I think he was a weak leader and we overjudged his mandate," says one American who was close to Aristide and asked not to be identified. "His biggest problem is he doesn't listen, he doesn't compromise, and he's an egomaniac in that regard ... he was always that way. It wasn't like living with Gandhi.... He didn't believe in self-denial, and he wasn't spiritual in any way. He was a politician." But, he adds, "I don't care if he loved fine clothes gold watches and swimming pools...he was democratically elected. And no one accused Mandela of ever being spiritual."

But Aristide rose to power because he was seen as a great hope for change - someone very different and, having won two-thirds of the vote in a 13-candidate election in 1990, someone with unprecedented public support. So, say those who were close to him, his peccadilloes were overlooked - from his increasingly elaborate household compound to his tailored clothes and an increasingly domineering attitude.

"The first thing I noticed was wrong," says Blanchet, was when she was hired by the exiled Aristide in 1993 to work with his prime minister back in the capital city. "Aristide wouldn't return phone calls to the prime minister ... he wouldn't even give [the prime minister] his direct phone number."

Clotilde Charlot, who worked with Aristide during his first presidency and was part of the professional brain trust who helped him get started in politics, says her first real surprise came on the heady day of his inauguration. Aristide suddenly disinvited from the inaugural parade his longtime political ally, Evans Paul, who had just become the first democratically elected mayor of Port-au-Prince.The president deemed him "unimportant." Ms. Charlot said it was a shockingly primitive power play.

Throughout Aristide's first interrupted presidency and the second one that' started in January 2000, his political tactics have essentially nixed a working parliament - and a working government. Key programs his own administrators labored to create would be inexplicably killed by Aristide. He rejected a hard-fought privatization plan that would have created government capital on the eve of an international loan being granted, says Blanchet. He sent an envoy to the Vatican to solicit the church's help in negotiating a coalition government, only to announce while the envoy was still flying to Rome that this was not a mission on Aristide's behalf. It seemed, she says, that his philosophy was to create chaos that would allow him to keep a grip on total - though unproductive - power. Others describe how Aristide would not even brook conversational opposition.

Vicki Butler, the wife of former Ambassador Tim Carney, recalls a breakfast with Aristide and his Haitian-American wife, Mildred, in which an argument ensued because Aristide suddenly wanted Ms. Butler to accept his somewhat nationalistic thesis that Haitians - who live in the some of the world's most difficult poverty - are "happy." The ammunition for his argument: The Swedes have a higher suicide rate than Haitians - thus Haitians must be happy. Butler says that Aristide's distaste for compromise meant he made no progress on Haitis' multitude of problems, from scarring deforestation and water degradation to disease and hunger.

"The man does not understand compromise and that's the nature and [larger] problem of Haiti." says Pastor. "It really is a case where leadership matters so much. He could have been a Mandela but he became a Mugabe."
Only thing to say is this:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Is. 14:12-15)

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Hti: Closing the barn door after the horse's gone

Embattled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide called on Saturday for an end to looting and violence after many of his armed loyalists terrorized residents of Haiti's capital as rebels advanced on the city.

"We condemn that (looting). When it's not good we have to say it's not good," the president said in a national TV address. He called on Haitians to stop carjacking and thefts but continue to barricade the city against any attack by rebels already in control of half the country.
Aristide is despicable.

Hti: Speaking truth to Congressional Black Caucus power

Black lawmakers are calling on President George W. Bush to send 250 to 400 troops as part of an international force to "restore the rule of law" in Haiti and protect the fragile democracy there.

"We want to see the government stabilized in Haiti," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, in a telephone interview yesterday.

"It's not an issue for us whether [Haitian President Jean-Bertrand] Aristide is doing a good job or not. The issue is that we have a democratic government there ... We have a country in turmoil. Just our presence sends a powerful message," Cummings said.
Some Haitians in the United States say they resent the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"They have been blinded by Aristide," said Clotilde Charlot, a board member of the Haiti Democracy Project in Washington, which maintains Aristide has become dictatorial in recent years. In 1994 the United States sent 20,000 troops to restore Aristide to power, following his ouster three years before in a coup.

The caucus "supported him in the 1990s, and in so doing they were in sync with the Haitian people's democratic aspirations, but when Aristide started turning back they did not withdraw their support."

Charlot said she believes some of the black lawmakers know Aristide is not the beloved democratic leader he once was, "but they don't want to admit they were wrong."
I wonder if this has anything to do with the CBC's fondness for dictators? Some on the CBC, like Maxine Waters, for instance, never met a dictator they didn't like. If Castro is a favorite, why shouldn't also Aristide be, mongoose gangs and all?

Gya: Hell no, Aristide musn't go

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made it explicitly clear yesterday that the Caribbean Community "will not favour any plan" for resolving the current political crisis in Haiti that has as "a pre-condition the resignation of President (Jean Bertrand) Aristide".

To sanction any such arrangement said Patterson, current chairman of the 15-member CARICOM, would be to set a dangerous precedent for constitutional governance and the democratic process and quite "contrary to our (CARICOM) already articulated position".

CARICOM, of which Haiti became a member in 1998 when Rene Preval was President, has been closely working with the USA and Canada, as well as the Organisation of American States, on a peace initiative that includes a military presence in Haiti, in view of the violence and chaos, but with President Aristide remaining as President.

The Jamaican Prime Minister, who spoke with the Sunday Chronicle in a telephone interview from Kingston, was yesterday meeting with top cabinet colleagues, among them his Foreign and National Security Ministers.

He was also continuing yesterday to be in touch with fellow Community heads of government on the implications of an evident shift in the positions of the USA, France and Canada on the Haitian crisis that now favours Aristide's resignation.

A new official CARICOM statement is expected, possibly within the next 48 hours, as Patterson and other Community leaders exchange views on the latest situation in Haiti.

BVI: BVI Gov't loses personal injury suit

In what could turn out to be the most expensive personal injury case in the history of the British Virgin Islands, London's Privy Council this week ordered the BVI government to pay damages for negligence by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in the shooting injury of an English visitor here ten years ago.

On 2nd February 1994, between 10.30pm and 11pm, Police Constable Kelvin Laurent unlawfully shot and injured Mr. Craig Hartwell with a police service revolver at the Bath and Turtle Pub at The Valley, Virgin Gorda, causing him serious bodily injury, loss and damage.

According to the particulars of the case, on 2nd February, 2004, Laurent, who was still on probation, was the sole police officer stationed on Jost Van Dyke. It was the last day of his 3-day tour of duty on the island. During the event, Laurent abandoned his post, left the island, taking with him the police revolver and ammunition, went by boat to Tortola and then to the Bath and Turtle bar and restaurant in Virgin Gorda, where his partner or former partner and mother of his two children, Lucianne Lafond, worked as a waitress.

At about 10.30pm, he entered the bar and found Hickey Vanterpool, who, so it was said, was associating with Ms. Lafond.

Without further ado and without any warning, Laurent fired four shots with his police service revolver. He was apparently intent on maiming Mr. Vanterpool and possibly, Ms. Lafond herself.
The case will now go back to the High Court for damages to be evaluated.

So the BVI government must pay because a police officer got a horn. Most likely, Ms. Lafond sang a version of the chorus from Sparrow's Sweeter Than You for PC Laurent:
I appreciate everything that you do for me,
Sorry I have to leave you, but c'est la vie.
Sorry to be unfaithful, sorry to be untrue
But if he sweeter than you,
What you want me do?
Lesson from this: when you get horned, take it like a man.

BVI: St. Lucia wins 1-nil

Titus Elva scored the game's lone goal in the 55th minute to give St. Lucia a 1-0 victory over the BVI on Sunday at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds, in the first leg of their FIFA 2006 World Cup qualifying series. The teams will meet in St. Lucia on March 28.

T&T: Champs in Concert

It's being broadcast on i955FM right now.

You just missed hearing D' Original DeFosto. Panorama champs, Exodus, have yet to come on stage.

You need Windows Media Player to hear this. Click the URL, if it doesn't work, copy the URL and paste it directly into WMP. Go to File, Open URL.

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Arnim Smith, one of the founders of Pan Trinbago.

Also, today is the first anniversary of the death of musician and band-leader Andre Tanker.

Bdos: Windies Aussie tour off

THE West Indies will next week finally, officially and reluctantly cancel their scheduled Test tour of Australia later this year, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) cricket operations officer Zoral Barthley confirmed yesterday.

Barthley explained that, under the ICC’s ten-year programme, the West Indies were down to tour Australia for four Tests, starting in mid-November.

But the WICB had been informed by their counterparts, Cricket Australia, that such a full series was no longer possible as the inclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy in England in late September meant Australia had to put back a planned Test series in India. That would not now finish until mid-November.

The WICB clearly was not prepared to send a team to Australia for a truncated series of two Tests.

Bdos: Cane harvest begun

The sugar cane harvest has begun, but not grinding at the two factories.

Cutlasses were swinging high and low yesterday in the north of the island as cane cutters headed into those fields not yet mechanised. In others, harvesters were spitting trash high into the air and filling trailers.

Crop Over can't be far behind. July 30 - August 3. Be there. Spring Garden. Barbados!

Bdos: Voice IP silenced

COMPUTER users have run into a blockage on the network for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) software which allows them to make free international telephone calls, but Cable & Wireless (C&W) denies that it is responsible.

Reports to the SATURDAY SUN suggested the blockage had hit owners of Internet cafés hardest, but had also affected other Internet service providers (ISPs) who offer PC to PC chat forums.

A spokesman for Sunbeach Communications, one of the main ISPs outside of C&W itself, acknowledged there were problems and that the VoIP software seemed to have stopped working.

Bdos: Spring Garden we're coming

Barbados does not anticipate any reduction in the number of our fun-loving Trinidadian friends who join us every year for the Crop-Over Festival, despite the dispute that has flared up between neighbours Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago over sea territory, fishing and now trade.

This favourable projection has come from Oliver Jordan, president and chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), and Ian Estwick, chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).

That duo, along with NCF chairman Al Gilkes, were in Trinidad over the Carnival weekend to woo Trinidadians for Crop-Over.

All three men reported that the response was positive.

U.S.: Dems behind the drive to suppress free speech

This from Instapundit:

Reader Jeffrey Bartash emails:
As someone who covers the FCC for a living, I can assure you that the pressure for a crackdown on broadcast indecency did not originate in the White House. In fact, critics have accused Michael Powell of being too lax. The main driver of tougher enforcement, at least on the FCC, has been Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps, a former aide to S.C. Sen. Fritz Hollings. In the Congress, there's been bipartisan support for a crackdown coming from the likes of Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Fred Uption, R-Mich. The White House has not been at the forefront of this issue.

I've wondered about that, as a broadcast crackdown before an election seemed kind of like a dumb thing for the Administration to do, and although a lot of people have been blaming the Bush Administration for it, I couldn't see any real indication that it was their idea.

This is of a piece with the McCain-Feingold bill which limited soft money in elections. Though McCain is Republican, he often votes with the Democrats.

Hti: Norwegians postpone Haiti peace efforts

Norwegian officials have postponed talks aimed at bringing together representatives for both the government and the opposition in Haiti. The past week's violence in Haiti makes the talks too difficult to conduct.

"Now the level of conflict is so high that both sides should concentrate on handling the difficult situation there now," said Vidar Helgesen of the Foreign Ministry.

Norwegian diplomats have spent four years trying to help international efforts at promoting talks between the opposition and the government in Haiti.

Around 17 people from Haiti along with several international diplomats were supposed to arrive in Norway in early March for talks aboard one of the Coastal Voyage vessels.

That won't happen now, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Helgesen noted that Norway isn't playing an official peace broker role in Haiti, but has tried to promote a reconciliation process.

U.S.: Entertain yourself with NAMBLA

If the ACLU can, you can, too.

Read this.

Hti: WH to Aristide, Surrender!

The Bush administration, concerned that armed groups in Haiti may seize power, believes the best hope for democracy is for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to surrender power to his constitutional successor, a senior official said Friday.

Pentagon officials also are weighing the possibility of sending troops to waters off Haiti to guard against a possible refugee crisis and to protect the estimated 20,000 Americans there. Many are Haitian-American dual citizens.
If armed groups take over Haiti, they would have virtually no international support and little chance of gaining popular support. The administration distinguishes between these groups and the country's peaceful opposition forces.

According to the Haitian constitution, the next in line to succeed Aristide is Supreme Court Chief Justice Boniface Alexandre. Among Haitians, Alexandre has a reputation for honesty.

The administration official said a transfer of power would be followed by early elections. In the interim, a broad-based government would run the country, consistent with a transition plan outlined a month ago by the 15-nation Caribbean Community.

Allegedly, Guy Philippe is married to a woman from Wisconsin; most likely, he's a U.S. citizen as well. I guess he'll be protected, too.

U.S.: This, that, and the other

I love GWB, but stories like this get me seriously miffed at him.

Not miffed enough to vote Democrat, fer sher, but miffed enough to write to the White House, to his campaign and just bitch. And I understand the impact that 9/11 has had on spending, too. However, he's got some bone-headed spending ideas, like Medicare and the Education Bill that he had liberal Ted Kennedy write.

As for the homosexual "marriage" thing, I'm amazed at the Democrats. Those pee-gee-winking (to my Guyanese buddies, hail!), phony bastards. For ever and amen, Democrats have branded the 10th Amd, States' Rights, as racist cuz under the 10th southern states could've retained slavery. Suddenly, a dramatic reversal. Democrats are now bawling for the 10th, and suddenly, States Rights is no longer equated with racism. Well, slap me silly and call me Sam. The Dems are using the 10th as a dodge to buy time whilst their activist buddies on the judiciary defy the Constitution (separation of powers) and make homosexual "marriage" the law of the land.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Atg: Taking front in Grenada

Grenada is building a $20 million integrated poultry project that will complement the supplies of the local industry, Agriculture Minister Gregory Bowen has said.
He said it was important that Grenada had the capacity to provide a two to three month-supply of poultry products in the event that imports must be banned because of disease or other problems.

Atg: Customs scotches potential all inclusive party

Police and customs officials have been investigating the presence of a large quantity of goods suspected to have entered Antigua & Barbuda illegally.

The incident occurred early Monday morning, when Chief Security Officer Basil Walters reported to the Bolans Police Station, that goods were being removed from one of the villas at the Jolly Harbour and were being loaded onto a truck.

Police responded where they met Anthony Emmanuel, the son of well-known calypsonian Sir McLean "King Short Shirt" Emmanuel and a woman companion, along with an unidentified driver. The driver ran from the area.

The goods include 30 cases of Vitamalt, 30 cases of Guinness, 38 cases of Carib beer, 40 cases of Corona beer, 40 cases of Ceres Light, 56 cases of President beer, 40 cases of Red Stripe, 48 cases of Heineken, 24 cases of assorted drinks, 20 cases of Ting and 20 cases of lemonade, diapers, a washing machine, and electric water heater.

Customs have seized the items.

Deputy Comptroller of Customs Bailey did not detain Emmanuel or his woman companion

I can help Customs get rid of the beer, fer sher.

Atg: Caricom asked to supervise elections

Political Leader of the UPP has again written to the Chairman of Caricom Prime Minister of Jamaica PJ Patterson requesting the early presence of Caricom observers during the weeks leading up to the general elections.
"A blatant attempt by the governing party to hijack the electoral machinery has just come to light, making it imperative that Caricom observers be in Antigua & Barbuda at this time.

"The government has arbitrarily used its majority in the Electoral Commission to exclude its opposition members from any involvement in or oversight of the selection of the officials who will conduct the election.

Atg: Elections

March 23 is election day in Antigua & Barbuda, and it might be a close one.

Bdos: Enticing Trini cousins for Crop Over

THE Barbados Tourism Au-thority (BTA) and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) have launched another successful promotion in Trinidad and Tobago.

Titled, “Follow Me To Crop Over,” the promotion which was the third in as many years, was aimed at wooing more Trinidadians to visit Barbados especially during Crop Over. It coincided with the 2004 carnival celebrations which ended on Tuesday.

The promotion, comes against the background of an increasing number of Trinidadians who continue to “holiday” in Barbados.

The promotion featured the presentation of a number of prize trips to Barbados during Crop Over which in 2004 is in its 31st year.

If you've never been to Barbados -- it's a great place to visit, by the way -- make sure and head down there for Crop Over, July 30 - Aug 3, 2004.

Crop Over's pretty much coming to be like T&T's Carnival; music, bands, fete, jump up and get on bad. The music, food, beaches, parties will all be worth it.

Bdos: More guts than a calabash

I don't know what I would do if I were in Kelly-Ann's situation. I don't have a fraction of her troubles, and I'm finding it difficult dealing with the job hunt, and I've only been looking for a short while. All I can say is, thank you God for what I have, joys, sorrows, everything. Prayers for Kelly-Ann and her kids are ascending.

Bdos: Newton's got a point

The man brave enough to turn the familiar modern-woman’s adage that “all men are dogs” on its head is Dr Isaac Newton.

Newton is an author and motivational speaker, an Ivy-league university graduate (he attended Princeton and Harvard, as well as Colombia University (sic)) who as he puts it was “manufactured in the Caribbean, but put together in Antigua”.

He was in Barbados recently promoting his book which bears the attention-grabbing title: If All Men Are Dogs, Then Women Are Dog-Groomers. The book’s title begs the question – just what does he mean by it all?

According to Newton in a lecture held at the headquarters of the National Organisation Of Women, it simply means that men and women’s negative sexual and romantic behaviour feed off of each other.

“Men are not dogs in a vacuum. Women don’t participate in ‘doggish’ behaviour in a vacuum,” he said during the lively discussion that followed his presentation.

But do women really encourage this behaviour which hurts them? Do women in other words “groom” the dogs that then turn around to bite them?

“To the extent that men do engage in doggish behaviour and practices, to the same extent there’s a sort of connection between the ways in which men benefit from doggish practices because women comply,” he told the small, engrossed audience.

Newton's got a point. Males tend to do that which women will let them get away with. Quite often, women tend to blame male "doggish" behavior on other women, thus treating the male as though he were some sort of spineless twit, easily led by the first skirt that comes down the pike. Why should a male be a man when a female does not require a man? When females grow into women and start demanding males be men, then there will be a decline in "doggish" behavior. You do get that which you want.

Blz: If you're pregnant, you must marry, says the Church

It is a situation that is well known in the teaching profession, yet rarely discussed publicly. But the practice by some church affiliated school management bodies of forcing unwed pregnant teachers to get married or get fired is coming under increasing scrutiny--by both teachers and government.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
The education system of Belize is unique, in that our church-state partnership has Government paying the bulk of teacher salaries and the church managing, and maintaining the institutions.

The arrangement has worked, but when it comes to dealing with a moral issue like pregnant unwed teachers, the church and state part ways. In fact, the professors contend policies are not only non-tolerant, they're discriminatory and illegal.

Elena Smith, Catholic School Teacher
"They feel that teachers are not to get pregnant and be in the system if they are not married."

These teachers are attempting to change the rules once they're inside the organization; yet, they entered the organization knowing full well how it functioned. How can the Church sanction unwed motherhood? That is the equivalent to declaring that fornication, out of wedlock sex, is not a sin. If the Church condones such in teachers, then what authority does it have to preach against the same to students? None. In this instance, the Church expels pregnant students from schools; surely, to be consistent, pregnant teachers should meet the same fate?

The issue might seem to be one of individual and job rights, but, at its core, the actions of teachers like Elena Smith are an attack on the authority of the Church. Furthermore, Elena Smith in appealing to the authority of Scripture, on not judging people, unwittingly places herself under its authority, and is by it judged to be wrong in having the sexual relationship that resulted in her pregnancy. Given that she became pregnant, and given her place of employment, she should have complied and got married. The Church did not ask her to have an abortion; it asked her to marry the man whom she found good enough to lie with. If he was good enough for that, then surely he was good enough to be a husband. If he was not, then what does that say about her? Does she not, therefore, justify the Church's stance on the issue?

There are two courses of action possible here: the Belizean government could continue to have the schools managed by the Church, or it could do the job itself. If it intends to leave school management to the Church, then the government cannot expect the Church to accommodate its religion-based morality to the standards of the world. For, if the Church does that, it is no longer Church because it is no longer distinguishable from the world. Therefore, the Belizean government can support the Church and so rid itself of teachers who would pose a poor personal example to students so that they might gratify their own desires. Why would the Belizean government wish to teach its children that unwed motherhood is a fine thing when it is actually a sure route to poverty? No society can be stable or increase in wealth with a high illegitimacy rate. It is in the interests of every society to have children reared in two-parent, heterosexual families.

Bmda: Review of budget speech -- hated it!

Reading the PLP’s sixth Budget Speech last week, I couldn’t help but feel jaded and cynical. For me, the speech sounded like little more than the Throne Speech with a few financial figures thrown in. The common thread between the two speeches is grand promises, a lack of accountability for the previous year’s performance and an excruciating degree of pomposity that (thankfully) we only have to suffer through twice a year. After hearing “Mr. Speaker” beaten to death, I actually felt a twinge of sympathy for those who had to sit through the speech.

Bmda: Kerry tainting Bermuda's reputation as a financial center

BERMUDA Monetary Authority (BMA) boss Cheryl-Ann Lister says that with the island’s reputation as a quality financial centre being challenged, it is now increasingly important for the BMA to protect that reputation.

In an interview with the Bermuda Sun yesterday to mark the BMA’s 35th anniversary, Mrs. Lister expressed concern about the challenges to Bermuda’s reputation, the most vocal of late being U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

“We tend to be lumped in with quote, unquote, this ‘offshore’ context, which is a misnomer,” she said. “The furore feeds on the fact that some people don’t know or understand, and people who do know and understand but may have an ulterior motive thrive on that and feed on that.”

Kerry's careless and Democrat-pleasing rhetoric might play well with some in the Ameican arena, but he's not thinking of what it will do to Bermuda's economy. Will Kerry, if he should be elected president, God forbid, make reparations for the damage he is doing to Bermuda? Will he turn over his wife's shares in Bermuda-based company in recompense? One imagines that Kerry will not.

This anything for a vote and votes at all cost attitude is immoral. It is high time politicians consider more than themselves when they wield words during the election season.

Gya: Entrepreneurial opportunities in Guyana

See the story here.

Ja: Chinese demand for steel killing global industry

LOCAL steel prices continue to skyrocket as China's huge demand goes on unabated and world supplies become more scarce. Not a day goes by without an announced price increase or surcharge. This has had an undoubted affect on local prices, particularly bearing in mind the fact that Jamaica has to import most of its steel.

There is no foreseeable end to the present scenario and the situation appears sustainable for the following reasons:

The world supply and demand balance for steel is in the best shape it has been for at least 25 years.

China's demand continues to be strong and is pressuring that newly balanced global supply and demand.

The U.S. dollar has given U.S. mills significant pricing power against imports, which are necessary to fill the 20 per cent gap in the U.S. market that the U.S. mills cannot serve.

China's high demand for material has caused a shortage of ships in the world, causing international freight rates to increase 150 to 200 per cent.

U.S. demand has just begun to improve after three years of decline, and the rest of the world, except China, is also just beginning to see improved steel demand or a bottoming out in weakness.

Inflation rates globally remain low, which should forestall any tightening actions by central bankers who may be concerned about overheating.

Ja: Yield on homosexual "marriage" or lose tourist dollars

Dennie Quill seems to think that the Caribbean should alter its moral standards and laws to accommodate changes in American social culture.

A large number of North Americans visit Jamaican each year and they are the mainstay of the tourism industry. Many come here to get married, while others spend their honeymoon in paradise. My concern is how do our hotel administrators and workers deal with consenting adults whose bedroom conduct runs counter to Jamaican law and is considered illegal?

And when these married couples are refused entry to our hotels or we label these lovers, criminals, what are the repercussions for Jamaica?

The tourism industry of the Caribbean should see this as an important issue for the key players to meet and find consensus, because the unilateral action of one territory may result in too many ruffled feathers flying in the wind, or worse.

Quill seems to believe that the tourist dollar is more important than a society's values. Question to Quill: when NAMBLA's (North American Man Boy Love Association) activities become legitimised, as it will surely be in the wake of homosexual "marriage", will Caribbean countries have to permit pedophiles to have sex with children in order to ensure the in-flow of tourist dollars, too?

Ja: Too much fish in Mona Reservoir

THE NATIONAL Water Commission (NWC) has removed over one million dead fish from the Mona Reservoir since it was alerted to the fish kill, and continues to sweep the pond daily for more.

On a tour of the facility yesterday, led by President E.G. Hunter, NWC staff advised that the dead fish are bagged and then buried on the commission's property.

The NWC, which launched a probe into the fish kill on January 27, said they were alerted after some 800 small dead fish were seen by representatives from its quality assurance and environment divisions floating on the surface of the reservoir or washed on to the sides.

Since then, the fish continue to die at a similar rate every night.

While this is only a fraction of the millions of perch estimated to be living in the reservoir, the NWC maintains that the deaths were normal, and that water quality tests continue to show that the water is safe.

The commission theorises that there are just too much fish in the water fighting for a limited supply of oxygen.

Since the dead fish are being promptly removed, the rate of dying has decreased. Apparently the problem is caused by fish and eggs being washed into Mona Reservoir from the Yallahs and Hope Rivers.

Perhaps if the government allowed fishing in the reservoir, there wouldn't be such a huge problem.

Ja: Ganja as culture

The parliamentary committee that was given the job of reviewing the report of the National Commission on Ganja has recommended the acceptance of its proposal that the personal use of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalised.

How much is a "small amount"? One spliff or two? How big a spliff is a "small amount"? What about the possible health implications of ganja?

Ja: Act now on Haiti

With Haiti in the throes of a rebellion, Caribbean nations yesterday urged the UN Security Council to immediately authorise a multinational force to end the violence and restore law and order.

But the council - including key members France and the United States, which have taken a lead in trying to end the Haitian crisis - have strongly indicated they want a political settlement before deploying an international force.

Arguing against waiting for a political solution, Jamaica's Foreign Minister K D Knight told an open council meeting that rebel forces which have now created "anarchy" in much of the country are likely to reach the capital Port-au-Prince, and immediate action is needed.

Dca: Great diving

Just North of Whaleshark Reef lies Rina's Hole. This is a great shallow dive offering a beautiful swim through leading to a cluster of rock formations encrusted with corals, teeming with moray eels, giant anemones, delicate sea fans and beds of sea plumes. A large swim through cave is home to schools of soldier fish and bigeyes. The colors in this area are even more vibrant due to the contrast with the white sand and the shallowness of the site, which allows maximum sun penetration. This is the ultimate critter dive, as the nooks, crannies and overhangs provide ideal shelter for all kinds of marine life.

Dca: Changing the way government functions

Rather than send home workers and increase taxees, Griffin St. Hillaire thinks that there should be reductions in the public sector debts as well as seeking debt forgiveness from other countries.

PR: Dominican illegals captured

Police detained 114 Dominican migrants who landed on Puerto Rico's northern coast on Friday, just hours after authorities rescued 55 others from a boat sinking off the coast.

One group of migrants landed in two boats at a beach in Dorado early on Friday and ran across a highway to hide in nearby mangroves, police spokesman Edwin Pagan said.

Police detained the 114 in the area about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of San Juan, he said. Neither of the boats was recovered.

The migrants told authorities they had spent four days in treacherous seas after leaving their neighboring country. Eighteen were receiving treatment for dehydration, Pagan said.

Hours earlier, federal and local officials rescued 55 Dominican migrants from a sinking boat off Puerto Rico's northwest coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Friday.

St. Maart: Government's got no business providing health care

The idea to outsource the administration of government doctor cards is in principle a good one. Too often in the past have the cards for medical coverage been used as a political tool. On a few occasions opposition members prior to elections would ask for a list of cards issued, precisely for this reason.
But, all in all, the decision deserves the benefit of the doubt. Government in principle should only establish criteria and not be in the business of providing health coverage, even if it is for its employees or those who can't afford it.

St. Maart: Hawgs are back in town

Thirty-five Harley Davidson motorcycle riders and their legendary bikes will arrive in St. Maarten aboard the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship for a one-day island tour on Tuesday, March 9, Julian "Big Daddy" Chance of Caribbean Sharks Motorcycle Club and local coordinator of the event told The Daily Herald yesterday.

BVI: Bones rise

The two skeletons that were unearthed near Lambert Beach Resort earlier this month might not be such a surprising find, according to Michael Kent, lecturer for Virgin Island Studies at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. "There are bodies buried all over the Virgin Islands," explained Mr. Kent.

During the slave era, each plantation had its own burial ground at the side or at the back of the plantation. "There were 104 plantations on Tortola," said Mr. Kent. "I would estimate that there are around 90, even up to a hundred burial grounds." Additionally, there was no cremation or embalming services available on the islands up until the modern age, according to Mr. Kent.

"Bodies had to be buried as soon as possible, otherwise they would turn into health hazards," he said. "This explains the wide dispersion of grave sites."

Mr. Kent stated that it was customary to plant a Tamarind tree over graves to mark the site. Usually, bodies would have been buried at six feet, but land displacement and erosion might have altered the depth of some graves. "Some of the skeletons might be just two feet below the ground, others might be as deep as fifteen feet," said Mr. Kent.

T&T: Answer to prayers

Irreverent. Hilarious. He'd better hope nobody makes jihad for the sake of Allah against him.

T&T: CCJ a casualty of the fishy oil dispute

THE first fallout from the maritime dispute involving Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago could be the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). CARICOM states agreed to the CCJ as the region’s final Court of Appeal to replace the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. But the Barbados-TT dispute has now put the proposed CCJ under serious threat. Karl Hudson-Phillips QC, president of the Law Association, said yesterday that judging from the dispute, it is very difficult to accept that the proposed CCJ with judges from the various CARICOM states will function smoothly and with public confidence as a final Court of Appeal for the region, particularly if there are judges from Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados on the court.

Hudson-Phillips added, “the importance of a final Court of Appeal cannot be underestimated. It must not be conceived in an atmosphere of hostility. If it is, it will not enjoy full public confidence which is essential for its success. Justice cannot be compromised.” Hudson-Phillips said the impasse between TT and Barbados has reinforced the concerns previously expressed by the Law Association for the establishment of the CCJ. He added, “the recent statements of the Attorney General of Barbados which have been published in the press are a virtual declaration of war on Trinidad and Tobago. The inability of the two countries to resolve their differences by cordial discussions demonstrates the fragility of the relationship between CARICOM member states.”

The association’s president continued, “the hasty approach by Barbados to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for resolution of a dispute between member states of CARICOM is indicative of the lack of confidence in the leaders of our countries to successfully deal for themselves with disputes between their countries. “It also demonstrates a basic difference in how the people of the two countries, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, conduct their affairs. The atmosphere surrounding the dispute between the two CARICOM countries is now one of apparent hostility and threats from Barbados,” he added. Hudson-Phillips said the Council of the Law Association was deeply saddened by the existence of the boundary dispute between Barbados and TT and the aggression employed by Barbados in attempting to deal with the matter. “The Council is of the view that the establishment and survival of a Caribbean Court of Justice as the final Court of Appeal for the region are under serious threat,” Hudson-Phillips declared. Barbados and TT are two of the CARICOM states which have agreed for the establishment of the CCJ with headquarters in Port-of-Spain.

This is the same Karl Hudson-Phillips of whom Chalkdust sang, "I 'fraid Karl, I 'fraid Karl. Cuz he eating like curried barbed wire and dahl." Terrific legal mind.

Vzla: Mugabe tips the velvet to Chavez

To rapturous applause, Mugabe lavished praise on Chavez, and made clear that ALL problems in Venezuela and Zimbabwe are exclusively the fault of the US and the UK, respectively. He hit an emotional high talking in heart-rending terms about how transnational capitalism robs the children of Zimbabwe of their food.

Oooh la la! Now that Mugabe's kissed Chavez, he'll have to screw him. Hope Chavez enjoys it.

Vzla: G-15 Fort Knox?

Why has Chavez deployed 50,000 soldiers? Is it to protect or to fight?

Bloomberg’s Alex Kennedy reports from Caracas that 50.000 soldiers have been called out to protect the leaders assisting to the G-15 summit held in that city, although a more truthful definition would be G-6 but that’s beyond the argument. An impressive military contingency operation to protect freedom warriors armed with continental liberating swords, isn’t it?

Hugo Chavez is scared shitless, that’s a fact, or else why such an unnecessary deployment of military force? Who is ensuring today that the borders of the country are safe and inhabitants of those areas are protected from Colombian terrorists? Is it by leaving the door wide open that he will repel the widely expected US invasion? Or is it a trap and Bernal and Lina Ron will summon the Bolivarian fighters to ambush American soldiers in Puente Llaguno? No one has the answers to these questions for nobody knows for certain what’s the plan of the criminal and illegitimate president; lest of course that he will not abandon peacefully the presidency. One thing is rather obvious though, Venezuelans better look to other places for referenda.

Vzla: Birds of a feather

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, under fire at home and abroad for his intimidation of domestic opponents, was feted as a "warrior of freedom" on Thursday by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. The 80-year-old African leader, who is barred from traveling to the European Union by EU sanctions, was warmly received by left-winger Chavez after he arrived in Caracas to attend a two-day summit of developing nations.

"You are and always will be a true warrior of freedom," Chavez said as he presented Mugabe with a replica of the sword of Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan-born independence hero of Latin America.

No doubt the many murdered and starving Zimbabweans are ululuating their joy at Mugabe's bloody battles on their behalf.

Vzla: Live tv feed from Venezuela

Venevision and Globovision.
Venevision works for me in Windows Media.

The G-15 Summit is occurring there.

USVI: What does your vagina smell like, as a response to rape

The Virgin Islands is in the center of an epidemic of violence against women and children. Little substantive commitment is made to fighting the epidemic, while lip service is paid in a superficial and minimalist manner. One might speculate that, like several other nations that use rape and violence against women and children to teach females "their place" in the society, and subjugate them lest they seek to move out of that place, the root causes of this epidemic are worthy of serious examination.
Attendance at The Vagina Monologues should be requisite for every person with a vagina. We know, or should know, what is happening around us.

Attendance at The Vagina Monologues should be requisite for every person without a vagina, in order that they learn, or at least open themselves to learning, about the experience of being targeted by nature of their gender.

Growth is an essential part of the process of life. When we stop growing we are dead, or might as well be. The Vagina Monologues provide an opportunity to continue our personal growth in a manner that is enjoyable, important and substantive.

Precision is a wonderful thing; so it would have been wonderful had Iris Kern indicated which nations, apart from Islamic ones, use "rape and violence against women and children to teach females 'their place' in the society, and subjugate them lest they seek to move out of that place." But, she does not. Instead, her article would tar all the males of western civilization as rapist and anti-female brutes.

Here is Camille Paglia's take on The Vagina Monologues:
That feminism is not yet out of the woods, despite the triumph in the 1990s of the pro-sex wing to which Ibelong, is shown by the garish visibility of Eve Ensler and her "Vagina Monologues," which have apparently spawned copycat cells on many campuses. (The students and faculty at my urban arts college are far too busy and sensible for this kind of thing.) With her obsession with male evil and her claimed history of physical abuse and mental breakdowns, Ensler is the new Andrea Dworkin, minus Medusan hair and rumpled farm overalls. Wasn't one Dworkin quite enough?

The perversion of feminism that Ensler represents -- turning Valentine's Day, the one holiday celebrating romantic harmony between the sexes, into a grisly memento mori of violence against women -- has been well demonstrated by the ever-alert Christina Hoff Sommers, who gave early warning in her Feb. 11 article in the Wall Street Journal last year (as well as in her campus lectures, media appearances and an article in the Feb. 8 USA Today). That the psychological poison of Ensler's archaic creed of victimization is being spread toimpressionable women students is positively criminal.

The buffoonish hooting and hollering incited by Ensler's supposedly naughty play is really the hysterical desperation of aging women who have never come to terms with the cruel realities of nature and who cannot face the humiliating fact that, despite their accomplishments, they will always be culturally swept away by the young and beautiful. That in the year 2001 the group chanting of crude four-letter words for female genitalia is viewed as some sort of radical liberation implies that the real issue in the "Vagina Monologues" isn't male oppression but bourgeois repression -- the malady of the dainty, decorous professional class that was created in the first century after the Industrial Revolution.

Today's upper-middle-class Western women, with their efficient, schematized lives, are so removed fromelemental mysteries that they are naively susceptible to feverish charlatans and cultists like Ensler, who encourages the delusion that they are in full control of their reproductive system and that everything negative or ambivalent about it has been imposed by the prejudice of misogynous males.

False illusions of control are no way to address crime. Teaching women to speak in crude Anglo-Saxon might sound "empowering" but means nothing when confronted with rape and the psychological impact of it. In advocating the viewing of The Vagina Monologues, Kern is essentially declaring that the answer to rape is hatred for men and the total dissolution of intimate sensibility. How can simulating orgasm on stage serve to fight against rape?

The practical solution to the problem of rape and abuse of women in the USVI, and everywhere, is for the justice system to investigate and vigorously prosecute the offenders, and to insist that the society civilize its males into acceptable social behavior (See Christina Hoff Somers's Bird's Eye, published in American Enterprise Online. The essay is no longer availabe online). Recommending that society look at the "root causes" of rape, is another way of stating that violence against women can be explained away with reference to the individual's life history; it's pass the buck back to daddy and I have no responsibility for my own actions.

A crime problem should not be addressed with navel gazing, or, in this case, vagina gazing. That attitude leaves the society exactly where Kern does not want it to be, with increases in rapes and anti-female violence.