Wednesday, March 31, 2004

U.S.: No good deed goes unpunished

Canada may wind up getting what she's been asking for.

A new al-Qaeda manual posted on the Internet is calling for terrorist attacks against Canadians, and specifies that businessmen, politicians, scientists, soldiers and tourists should be targeted, according to U.S. researchers.

Canada is one of six nations whose citizens are identified as "human targets" in the Arabic-language publication, which is reported to be the work of senior Egyptian al-Qaeda figure Saif al-Adel.
Read the rest. Canada has been doing a Spain, appeasing the Islamists to the extent of the introduction of Shari'ah law. If the Islamist nuts want to be oppressed, let them return to their home countries, I say. Well, apparently, introducing Shari'ah has only whetted the insatiable appetite of the Islamists, and, like Oliver Twist, they now want more. Unfortunately for Canada, that "more" is all of Canada itself; for, their intent is to establish a Kilafah -- Caliphate -- on the border of the U.S.

Since 9/11, U.S. pleas to the leftists in the Canadian government have fallen on deaf ears. For, Canada has refused to limit the immigration of and granting of asylum to Islamist nuts. Instead, Canada has acted without regard for its own security and the security concerns of its neighbor to the south.

While I pray that Canada does not experience what the U.S. did on 9/11, perhaps Canadians will be roused out of their socialist slumber, get off their fat backsides, and do something for their country, like defend it.

T&C: Another socialist paradise?

Who needs this? The socialist and terrorist-loving Canadians want to have their very own Caribbean island. Does Canada need a vacation paradise or a way to get rid of the terrorists in her midst? Whatever, the Caribbean needs no more socialism than we already have.

After failed attempts in the 1970s and 1980s to breathe life into the idea of a union between Canada and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, the proposal is back, and this time it's supported by determined politicians and business people in both countries.

"In the long term, what is so absolutely vital for Canada is to expand our sphere of influence," says Conservative MP Peter Goldring, a driving force behind the Turks and Caicos movement.

"We had a sphere of influence in the Caribbean 100 years ago. Canada was a major shipper and transporter to the Caribbean from the Maritime provinces. We have lost that direct Maritime link with the Caribbean."

Goldring has organized an all-party committee of Parliamentarians as well as a group of business leaders to lay the groundwork for a possible union between Canada and the Caribbean Island.

"I'd like it to be the 11th province," Goldring says.

"It would be a Canadian province at the gateway to the Caribbean."

U.S.: From the religion of peace

Pictures of the atrocities in Fallujah. May God grant rest and peace to the souls of the departed, and may His eternal light shine upon them.

What the barbarians do not realize is that this is not Somalia, and the name of the president is not Clinton. More, the barbarians have the Marines to deal with in the wake of this.

Thanks to Allah and Baldilocks for the link. Here's part of what Baldilocks says:

Back in the days when information didn't flow so freely, American terrorists like these--who would commit acts equally as heinous--flourished and often got away scot- and conviction-free. Just forty-plus years ago--my lifetime--this sort of thing got either approval or cowed silence from those who knew about it.

So what's the difference?

When these acts became known and documented, a large portion of Americans started to ask its government?its leaders--to live up to the laws that had been set down by their forefathers and, before them, by the Father, Himself. The people demanded that America actually be what it claimed to be. And it worked. Why? Because the idea, the foundation of America wasn't and isn't based on a murderous ideology.

Can we say the same of any Islam-based country/nation/society?

From where I sit, such atrocities are to be expected from a society that is Islamic in origin.
I concur. 100 percent.

Here's another post that argues the superiority of Judaeo-Christian civilization.

The barbarians chant "Fallujah is the cemetery for Americans". Let us hope that they're prophetic and that the Marines turn Fallujah into a cemetery for barbarians.

U.S.: Light blogging day

It's been a light blogging day today. I didn't cover half of the Caribbean news that I should have. Life is like that when you get really busy sometimes.

Anyway, I was running around trying to deal with officialdom, checking shipping rates for a Yamaha KX-88 keyboard that I sold, but the sale may fall through cuz the other party can't pay the shipping rate. I don't know how I feel about that. I wouldn't hurt me to keep the keyboard, and it wouldn't hurt to lose it. For me, it's been a way of reacquainting myself with an activity that was very much part of my childhood -- piano playing. So, there's no upset because the sale may fall through; in fact, now that I think of it, there is a certain measure of relief. So, why was I selling it in the first place, huh? huh? huh?

The thing is, my feet are getting itchy again. Being single does that to a person. Since I have neither a chick nor a child nor a parrot on a stick, to my mind, there's nothing to keep me bound to one place. Would that we were in a more technologized age so that there is nothing to keep me bound to one time, either. Unfortunately, we are not. So, I must deal with the delights of this present age, and China is looking pretty good to me. From China, I have some job offers that I'm moving ahead on. The Chinese need teachers of English, and I happen to be an English teacher -- though one cannot always tell that from the way I write sometimes. If somebody needed a teacher of Koine Greek or Classical Hebrew, well, I'd fall right in there, too. Flexibility is a wonderful thing. So, I'm looking at China, getting my ducks in a row, and looking to trim down the volume of my household goods. Come to think of it, my yard goods, too, cuz I've got a 1990 Mazda that I've not yet managed to put up for sale. One of these days, no doubt, or I might just wind up giving it away to the next schmuck who comes along asking. It needs a bit of work, but it's as reliable as a Clydesdale.

Anyway, enough of that. If I go to China, I'll be able to keep blogging. The accommodations come with computers and web access. That's the pedestrian stuff. There is a certain romance to China. The Silk Road. The Great Wall. Kung Fu. No, I won't let the Communist politics dissuade me, either. Besides, China is the wave of the future, and it would be great to seize this chance to be in China for a year, learn the language, get to know the people, acquire a sense of the culture from the inside.

Until I find the one man from whom I cannot walk away without a second though, the world remains my oyster. China, here I come.... Or someplace else.

Bra:: Cat 1 'Hurricane' hits Brazil southern coast

What a strange and wonderful world we live in.
Having survived hurricane Hugo here on St. Croix in 1989, my heart goes out to the Brazilians who were effected by whatever it was that nailed them.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) - A day after a massive tropical storm battered the southern coast, Brazilians tended to victims and struggled to understand exactly what hit them.

Civil defense officials said Monday the storm - dubbed Catarina by meteorologists - left at least three people dead, 38 injured and more than 2,000 people homeless.

Rescuers plucked two fishermen from the sea and found the body of another off Brazil's southern coast Monday.

Brazilian meteorologists, meanwhile, disputed assertions by U.S. weather experts that the storm was a hurricane.

U.S. officials said the storm, which struck land some 520 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro packing sustained winds of more than 74 mph, appeared to be the first hurricane on record in the South Atlantic.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami estimated the storm was a full-fledged, Category I hurricane with central winds of 75-80 mph. A private U.S. forecasting company, AccuWeather, said it also considered the storm a hurricane. Some gusts reportedly hit 94 mph.

But Brazilians, who have long prided themselves as having a country free of hurricanes, were not convinced.
>>Read the whole story>>

Brazilian authorities claim they don't have hurricanes - so therefore Catarina wasn't a 'hurricane'...Socialism in a nutshell.

T&T: Tissue transplantees Cuba bound?

GOVERNMENT could soon be sending citizens who require tissue transplants to Cuba for life saving treatment, according to Health Minister John Rahael. He said a catalyst for this initiative was 20-year-old Keston Williams who died at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) on March 11 from complications related to Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis. Friends of Williams said passage of the Human Tissue Transplant Bill could have allowed him to get the medical treatment he desperately needed.
This notion, no doubt, is rooted in the idea that Cuba has an excellent health care system. In actual fact, Cuba's doctors are farmed out to foreign countries to serve as revenue slaves for the government. Cubans at home are serviced by medical students, and citizens are often unable to find the prescribed drugs to take. While cost is a factor prohibiting sending tissue transplants to the U.S., the thing is that going to Cuba might kill more than it might cure.

MadBull wants proof from reliable news sources. Well, that means that excludes GRANMA, the official voice of Castro's communist dictatorship; so I'll rely on CubaNet accounts which I've blogged before: See here, here, here, here, and here.

Are there reports out there that Cuba has the best healthcare system in the world? Yes, indeed. However, from the standpoint of the average Cuban who cannot access them, those plaudits are meaningless.
Today, however, because of Cuba's political and economic situation, the health care system has deteriorated. Many doctors and other health care professionals have left the country. Only the wealthier Cubans can afford to buy imported medicines, most of which are available in pharmacies that accept only American dollars.
There is a two-tiered system of health services in hospitals. One caters to Cubans, the other to tourists. These services are not affected by the embargo. Cuba attracts more than 5,000 foreigners every year who come for special medical treatment such as laser surgery and organ transplants for illnesses such as cancer and chronic neurological disorders. Foreigners also come to bathe in the mineral hot springs (aguas termales) at Cuba's spas, such as those at Topes de Collantes and San Vincente.
Thus, the Cuban healthcare system is a revenue generator for Castro.

We may repeat as often as we wish the "Cuba has the best health care in the world" meme. As long as Cuba is exporting health care professionals as a foreign exchange generator, then this statistic, for the average Cuban, can no longer be true: "ratio of doctors to Cubans is one doctor per 200 Cubans (The Cuban Experience, 1998)." And, as reports via CubaNet have indicated, it is not true. For, what Cuba is doing is producing medical doctors for export or for the in-country care of foreigners who may be looking to access highly specialized that is not affordable by the average Cuban.

Moreover, the whole system is suspect because the determinant of availability of healthcare in Cuba is this: which will generate more revenue? Sending doctors to other countries to work, or having medical facilities for foreigners? It is entirely an economic, rather than a medical construct for Castro, and only he knows the answer. Thus, even foreigners who go to Cuba in the expectation of receiving superb medical care may not necessarily be getting the most bang for their bucks. For, to Castro, the needs of these foreigners are trumped, just like the health care need of the average Cuban, by the communist dictator's desire for foreign revenue.

When the average Cuban can have access to the health care, the same way the average Caribbean man does, then I'll be willing to revisit my views about Castor's Cuba and its medical system. As for news sources on Cuba, this stance of the writers of this blog is well known. CaribPundit is written from a conservative, and perhaps, Republican, point of view. For me, no communist source is reliable because communists have no idea of the nature of truth. If communist propaganda is used, it will be tongue in cheek and with intent to poke fun.

The final comment on the Cuban health care system is this:
"No way health care is free in Cuba," said Félix Valenzuela, after having paid 15.40 dollars (323 pesos at the current exchange rate) for a medicine to combat his wife’s parasite infestation.

Valenzuela said he had to pay for the medicine in dollars because it was not available in the pharmacy that sells in Cuban money. He added that it had taken him some time to get the money together, since he lives on a 140-peso-a-month pension. He said, "Health care may be free for the leaders, but for average Cubans, it is very expensive."
I'll take the word of the average Cuban every time.

Thanks, MadBull, for asking for the links.

T&T: The games people play now

The serious charge by a representative of striking Bechtel International workers, Ernest Thompson, that Government had reportedly blocked a move by Bechtel to pay interim monies to the strikers should not be casually dismissed. Instead, an investigation should be ordered into the claim as it questions the bona fides of Government particularly with respect to its widely publicised efforts at conciliation, and at a time when the country is facing its worst industrial crisis since Independence.

T&T: No more Privy Council, please!

At the moment the Privy Council is the focus of attention with regard to a final determination on the vexed question of the mandatory nature of the death penalty. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is our highest court of appeal. This is the case for other Commonwealth countries as well. In other words, its decisions are final and are the highest authority as guides in mapping out the rules for our daily lives. The lives of many in this “death sentence appeal” for instance, literally hang in the balance, no pun intended. At the same time rumors have already begun to circulate as to who shall be appointed the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice which has recently been created to exercise not only an original jurisdiction over matters of interpretation of the Treaty of Chaguaramas but to replace the Privy Council as the final court of appeal.

In Trinidad this has become embroiled in controversy and matters have reached a head in Jamaica where the Bill adopting the Caribbean Court of Justice has been challenged as being unconstitutional.
Here's hoping that if Jamaica withdraws, as she did from the Federation, Manning doesn't pull an Eric Williams and say 1 from 10 leaves 0. The current Euro resistance to the death penalty, something which Caribbean peoples want, is definitely an argument in favor of establishing a Caribbean Supreme Court and jettisoning the Privy Council. People need to know the judges who are deciding matters vital to the state are not distant from the state and the distress visited upon it by the criminals in the midst.

T&T: Reversing the brain drain

A SIGNIFICANT number of Caribbean nurses residing in North America and the United Kingdom are willing to come to Trinidad and Tobago to fill critical shortages in the health sector. This was the information yesterday from top Government officials who also revealed that a team of senior personnel from the Health Ministry and the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) is being established “to develop, oversee and implement” a programme aimed specifically at recruitment of retired nurses of Caribbean nationality from the UK, Canada and the USA. Earlier this month, Health Minister John Rahael revealed that Government was looking to North America and the UK for nurses to fill 1,000 vacancies in the public sector. Since then, health sources said, officials of the  North-West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) have held discussions with TT High Commissioner to Canada, Arnold Piggott, and T Consulate General in New York, Terrance Walker and informal contact has been made with prospective nurses.

“The general feedback from the RHAs and the Health Ministry is that there may well be a significant number of Caribbean nurses who now reside in North America and the UK, who if given the right combination of terms and conditions, will be willing to take up employment on contract for varying periods in this country,” the officials said. Given the acute shortages of nursing personnel, the need to actively explore the possibility of recruiting Caribbean nationals who are trained and registerable as nurses from the UK, Canada and USA is a necessity at this time.” hey said the financial outlay for the recruitment of such nurses, considering the salaries/allowances now payable for full-time Cuban nurses and including likely recruitment/interview expenses, is estimated at an average annual cost of $15.5 million.

Vzla: It's just a matter of time

Many analysts assume that President Chavez's control is complete and he has full capacity to either block or delay the recall referendum (RR) indefinitely. Several recent developments suggest that such a conclusion may be correct.
The reality is that Chavez's control over institutions hangs on a thread an individual here and there and not much more. He holds a three to two majority in the CNE. He holds a three to two majority in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court. As was demonstrated this week he does not hold a majority in the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Court. According to most estimates the Sala is either split or the opposition could potentially gain a majority. The continual struggles within the institutions are not consistent with a president with an iron grip on the institutions. Instead, the continual state of conflict suggests that he is engaged in an ever-present, intense battle to maintain control, but always just a step away from losing it.
Read the article to discover the recent developments.

Vzla: Electoral Hall stands firm

The Electoral Hall of the Venezuelan Supreme Court ratified its decision on the same calligraphy forms, ratifying its earlier decision and rebutting each of the reasons given by the Constitutional hall for voiding its earlier decision. The Electoral Hall asked the Full Court to decide the conflict of competence between the two Halls.

The decision which can be found here addresses all of the points raised by the Constitutional Hall, questions many of them and points to the illegalities the Constitutional Hall was involved in.
The Full Court could take up to two or three months to meet, but at the same time the Justices could give the matter urgency and a decision could be made much sooner. Thus, once again, the Electoral Hall, tells the Constitutional one that if it wants conflict it will have it and is ready to fight for its rights under the Constitution.
Read the rest.

USVI: Politicians find gold in rubbish

Less than two months after recycling resumed on St. Thomas and St. John, it once again is on hold - the second time in 13 months the government has halted the program.
The Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund, which pays for the commission's programs, is overdrawn by more than $500,000 because other government agencies have used the fund for other purposes.

Last year, the commission suspended recycling on St. Thomas and St. John because the contractor that was handling recycling at the time spent all of its $400,000 allotment.

USVI: Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money, mo'

Environmental Health Director Ethlyn Joseph has been assigned to a different job within the V.I. Health Department pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations that she used her position to extort money from restaurant owners.

Gov. Charles Turnbull on Monday approved a recommendation from Health Commissioner Darlene Carty that Joseph be reassigned. Joseph will be director of special projects within the Health Department, according to a statement Government House released late Monday afternoon. The reassignment will take effect immediately.
Maybe she needs to earn a living wage?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

U.S.: Best pro-Bush ad yet

Thanks to Instapundit. Go here. It'll take a little bit of time to load. Stick with it. Great ad.

U.S.: What's under the altar of the corrupt false god, the U.N.?

Burning questions of the day: What other goodies are inside UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s locked file cabinet at the UN Peacekeeping Department?

Why is the "black box" flight data recorder from a downed 1994 aircraft, sent from Rwanda, in a UN file cabinet?

Even though online publication giants like the Drudge Report covered the black box story, why is it that the jarring discovery was barely mentioned by major mainline print media?

Why is it that no one is joining the dots between the discovery of the black box and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s refusal to send badly needed troops to Rwanda at the request of former Canadian General Romeo Daillaire?

The recorder, unearthed from a locked UN file cabinet, is believed to be the one from the fatal 1994 plane crash that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. The crash led to large-scale African massacres, which the UN estimated, killed more than 600,000 people. Suspicion pointed to Rwanda’s current president, Paul Kagame, who was said to have ordered the plane shot down.

Proof against Kagame suspicion was never found.
Read the rest. Incompetence and corruption are the watchwords where the U.N. is concerned.

U.S.: Hillary Clinton's October Surprise

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is predicting that this year's presidential election will be very tight and the victor will win because of "something unforeseen."

"It will be very close," the former first lady tells the New York Post's Cindy Adams.

On how the contest will ultimately be decided, Clinton said, "It will be outside forces - something unforeseen that suddenly happens - that tilts the election one way or the other."
Okay, so what could that "unforeseen" thing be? Could it be an attack by Al Qaeda? If it is, what does Hillary know and why hasn't she told Homeland Security? Her statements contain a tad too much of assurance, of certainty. America knows that Hillary has embraced Suha Arafat in public; so, people would wonder to what extent has Hillary embraced the "Palestinian" cause, and if she has let the Democrat desire for power trump the safety and security of the American people. Besides, after Spain, America is braced for another attack; Homeland Security, Defense, and the CIA have all indicated that the U.S. will be hit again. The people know this; thus, a terrorist strike is going to be seen as an attempt to sway people from voting for the one man who will crush terrorists, GWB.

Well, the Dems already sprung GWB's DUI charge in 2000. He still won, and, for the benefit of the Caribbean community, GWB also won when all the liberal media outlets paid for a recount. That recount determined votes using Al Gore's standard of anything's a vote -- Bush still won. It also utilized the stricter standard that was in play before the FL Supreme Court decided to change the rules in the midst of the game -- GWB still won.

So, what else could it be? GWB is drinking again? That's a possibility; however, Laura would kill him, and he's a man who respects a woman's wrath.

Let's see, GWB converted to Islam secretly? That wouldn't fly as long as the economy was right and GWB is kicking terrorist butt just right. However, GWB loves his Jesus, so that one is not about to happen cuz he's a man to whom loyalty is a practical rather than theoretical value. GWB's loyal to men, and he'll remain loyal to his God.

What else could it be? GWB had a girlfriend who had an abortion? Dems floated that story already with the full awareness that it's untrue. It didn't take hold then, and it's unlikely it will take hold in October -- unless the girl friend is resurrected from some place. Even then, folks are likely to say that was then, this is now. The wrong things GWB did then, he's doing them no more. In other words, the Christian right would respond with conservative compassion.

What other thing? GWB and Condi Rice are having a hot affair? A few media reports have mentioned that Rice and GWB are unusually close. I wish I'd saved the reports to link to them, but I didn't. Somebody out there who has access to Lexis/Nexis please do a run and let me know. What does the reporter mean by unusually close? Is it an innocent or a suggestive statement? If the statement is suggestive, would such a relationship sink GWB? Possibly. Why? Both Condi and GWB are serious Christians; they are people of firm principle who prize loyalty. Such a charge would make them seem to be cheap hypocrites, and that public sense that GWB is a deeply moral man, faithful to his wife, capable of loyalty, would be utterly tarnished. America would see GWB as worse than Clinton, and nobody would trust him. This could derail GWB. However, GWB loves Laura, and Laura, being no fool, would kill him. Don't ask what his mother would do to him. As I said, GWB is a man who respects a woman's wrath.

So, what thing could it be? Whatever the thing may be, I do know that I find myself rather perturbed by that undercurrent of certainty in Hillary Clinton's words. From her speech, I understand that the Democrats have some plan in the works that Hillary is privy to, or that terrorists may be planning something that she might have info on -- that would be unconscionable. I do not say that Hillary Clinton is in league with terrrorists; however, the text and the subtext I find troublesome.

So, what does Hillary know, and when did she know it?

Bdos: HIV/AIDS not ethnic cleansing

THE spread of HIV/AIDS across countries, cultures and lifestyles should prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the disease does not, indeed cannot, discriminate on the basis of ethnicity.

This fact appears to be lost on officialdom in Barbados, for we are hearing from influential members of this society that Blacks are being singled out for extinction by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Even by the standards of hyperbole well known in political circles, this is an amazing piece of racial rhetoric.

It is an absurdity to suggest that a virus which apparently leapt from primates into humans more than half a century ago would suddenly stop short of crossing imaginary ethnic lines so as to achieve “the immediate extinction of all black people across the world”.

There is no evidence to support that notion any more than there is confirmation of the old conspiracy theory that the disease was an invention of Western science to exterminate non-Whites.

In fact, the technology to produce laboratory specimens was developed only decades after HIV/AIDS had already spread to several countries, initially among homosexuals.

What facilitates Africa’s predicament with this disease, as indeed it also does with Haiti, is an abundance of ignorance, lack of anti-retroviral drugs, and unwholesome lifestyles which, regrettably, too many young Barbadians are enthusiastically imitating.
Here's a guaranteed way not to contract HIV/AIDS, absent a blood transfusion: keep the knees crossed, the pants and the mouth zipped. Uganda has proven that when celibacy and fidelity become social values, incidences of HIV/AIDS dramatically decline.

Bdos: Terrorism affects everybody

AT least 40 Barbadian companies which export to the USA could be affected by the US Bio -Terrorism Act.

That Act is part of the USA’s fight to combat terrorism and which subjects exports to a detail

Hti: Serious jones for Aristide

A notorious Haitian paramilitary leader who helped lead a bloody revolt that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide says he will kill the former president if he ever returns from exile.

"If Aristide comes tomorrow I will have 15,000, 20,000 Haitians armed to fight him and kill him as he killed my wife," Louis Jodel Chamblain, accused of heading death squads during years of dictatorship and military rule in the late 1980s and early 1990s, told Reuters.

The former army officer convicted of murder said in an interview late Saturday at a plush, well-guarded hilltop retreat just outside Port-au-Prince that he sees himself as a patriotic leader of the Haitian people on a mission to stamp out Aristide's following.

Chamblain, who returned from a decade in exile in neighboring Dominican Republic to lead last month's uprising, accuses Aristide of ordering thugs to murder his seven-months pregnant wife in 1991 and vows he will never let another like him lead Haiti.

"I came to fight to get rid of this criminal from power to put an end to drug trafficking and terrorism (by Aristide supporters) in this country," he added. "I will not let (gangs loyal to Aristide) terrorize my people. I call on them to lay down arms."

Hti: Haitians want Haiti to be a U.S. governerate

I'm glad Haitians concur with my view on the governance of Haiti so that infrastructure, the economy, and civil society might be restored, and so that democratic institutions might be nurtured, developed, and thrive.

Ask many Haitians who runs their country and you'll hear the same thing: God and the United States, not necessarily in that order.

Ask them whom they'd like to run their country, and you'll also hear similar answers, like the one given by Mirlande Lormil, 35, as she jostled in a line of hundreds to enter a bank that was opening earlier this month for the first time since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's flight into exile Feb. 29.

"I don't believe in any politicians, because once they get into power they don't care for nobody - all they think about is their own pockets," said Lormil as bank officers, fearful of looters, cracked the iron gates open to squeeze in three customers at a time, then slammed them shut again. "If the new president is Haitian, I won't believe in him."
While the current peacekeeping force includes French, Canadian and Chilean soldiers, the U.S. troop presence is largest, at about 1,800 members, and they are the ones getting pressure from all sides.

Armed pro-Aristide rebels resent them because the United States pressed Aristide to resign; armed anti-Aristide rebels resent them because the White House demanded they turn in their guns; civilians who expect them to secure the streets, create jobs, and draft a political solution are getting impatient.
In the meantime, Haitian political leaders are creating an interim government until elections can be held. That culminated in the swearing-in March 12 of a new prime minister, Gerard Latortue, an economist and Aristide critic who once served briefly as foreign minister. He was chosen by a U.S.-backed council of Haitian officials.

The fact that the choice has not sparked major opposition is promising, said Clotilde Charlot, a co-founder of the Haiti Democracy Project in Washington.

Still, she said peacekeepers should stay several years while the next government earns the trust of people like Lormil, the woman in the bank line.

"They need to help rebuild institutions. They can't afford to leave while Haitians try to sort out their issues," she said.

For Lormil, it is already too late. She planned to move to Florida once she got her money from the bank. "This is my country, but I hate it," she said. "I see us as slaves. No good government, just greedy people who lie. We need foreign nations to teach Haitians how to live."
For "foreign nations," read "the U.S."

Hti: Aristide not democratically elected

On Monday 22nd March 2004, a Haitian lady appeared on CBC TV’s “Morning Barbados” putting a case for the reinstatement of Mr. Aristide. She noted that Mr. Aristide had 18 months to go and should have been allowed to complete his term.

In order to present another view, I propose to share an edited letter from Haiti, which charged that, “Aristide was not a democratically elected president”. I must warn readers that the standard of the English is not good, but sufficient to be understood.

The writer stated: “I stand behind principles. The same that make me fight during more than three years in exile for the return of Aristide. I refused several position offers in past governments and I have just done so once more. I am a professional but I am a proud Haitian citizen.”

The letter continues, “In fact, according to the article 289 of the 1987 Constitution, ‘no election can be held outside of an electoral law elaborated by the CEP (Provisory Electoral Council)’. Now, it happens that the electoral law of July 9,1999 was taken only to accomplish the legislative, the municipal and the local elections. No provision was ever made for presidential elections. Actually, another electoral law should have been taken for this presidential election.
“The current crisis is thus not, as one pleases to let believe, the business of the Haitian actors alone.

“Most of us were peacefully taking the streets at our own risks. Aristide henchmen have killed some of us and hundreds have been injured. So we, Haitian people, did not call foreign troops to do whatever for us. Aristide did. However they do not come for what he wanted.

“We have seen ten(s) of thousand(s) demonstrating under Aristide(’s) henchmen(s) bullets guns for months. I do not have any sympathy for the rebels but the population welcomed them (and) that is why it was so easy for less than 50 rebels to control half of the country in less than two weeks. I think some of those guys belong to jail, but it is another story.
It's a lengthy piece. Read the rest of it for yourself.

GW taking care of Business...

A well produced independent shockwave advert debunking some of the DNC spin that so many of the Caribbean's donkey press are eating up hook line and un-fact-checked sinker.

Monopoly-saddled island telecom dialup users please be patient, it's a 1.6 megabyte Shockwave file.

The advert illustrates the wide disconnect between the facts and the default emotion driven contrarian leftist rhetoric many of us are subject to through our regional print/visual media.

Dca: The Chinese connection -- bought with a price

There are three news clips worth combining. This one, 3/29/04:

Following establishment of diplomatic relations with the PR of China, they will fund the following projects: renovation of the Windor Park Stadium; rehabilition of the Roseau to Portsmouth road, major upgrade to the Princess Margaret Hospital. Source: Marpin TV News.
This, 3/29/04:
Of the benefits to be had with China is EC$300M grant funds for which four projects are already scheduled. Of the 4 projects comes the construction of the Windsor Park which is to begin before Independence of 2004. Source: DBS Radio.
Also, this, 3/29/04:
PM Skerrit, on behalf of Da has officially broken ties with Taiwan and has formally established ties with the People's Rep. on China, stating that there is only one China and that it is too big to be ignored. Source: DBS Radio.
Money definitely talks. So much for allies. This does not augur well for any of Dominica's regional allies should a large enough country, bearing gifts, make Dominica an offer she can't refuse.

Furthermore, it looks like Chinese influence is spreading throughout the Caribbean region, the same way it is in Africa. Cause for concern? Yes. Freedom is not a value in China.

Bhms: Antigua's election reform lessons

It's a lengthy piece, a two-parter of which this is the first part. Makes for interesting reading.

Then there's this brief article which argues that because the U.S. is so big and important, and because Caricom nations can't afford to break with the U.S., Caricom countries should just roll over and play dead. In fact, those same two reasons are precisely why the Bahamas is showing the U.S. its soft belly.

I disagree with this editorialist's point of view because it is essentially the same cowardly, appeasing position as Michael Burke, of the Jamaica Observer. Personally, I find it quite distressing that this lack of testicular fortitude is spreading through the Caribbean. May such softness never go south towards T&T.

Caricom heads should assert themselves against the U.S., when there is just and principled cause for disagreement, and without fear of repercussions. However, and this is essentially where I differ from Caricom heads on the Aristide matter, there is not much point in Caricom going up against the U.S. out of pique, or out of distaste for a Republican president, or over an individual whose re-election Caricom itself found questionable. I fail to see how an election that Caricom found constitutionally questionable has suddenly been transformed into the impeachable.

Furthermore, Caricom has focused on only one aspect of the principle of democracy -- constitutional process -- while disregarding two other vital parts, rule of law and civil society. Elections are not a magic formula; they will bring an individual into power, but are insufficient to ensure that the two other legs of the democratic tripod remain intact. Instead of maintaining equilibrium between the three parts of the tripod, Caricom elevated one over the others and so demonstrated a lack of concern for the average Haitian. Moreover, Caricom's dissent, in spite of its mouse vs lion quality, is not admirable because it is based on a lie -- Aristide's that he was 'kidnapped' -- to which Caricom clings with an unbecoming tenacity.

Dissent? Most definitely. After all, a cat may look at a king, but the disagreement should be founded in that which is truly defensible.

Roll over and play dead, as this editorialist suggests? Never.

Bhms: Still wanting to feed at the trough

Minister of State for Finance Senator James Smith says it would be "a tragedy" for the Inter-American Development Bank to graduate The Bahamas from receiving funding.

Similar institutes, such as the World Bank, considers The Bahamas wealthy and developed and not in need of funding.

And, although the IDB is not engaged in such a policy, Senator Smith says that the American chair of the bank has raised the issue on several occasions.

"For The Bahamas, it would be a tragedy because access to long-term funding together with technical assistance are very good," he said before heading to the 45th Annual Meeting of The Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank in Lima, Peru, scheduled for March 29-31.

Ja: Buju awaiting sentence on ganja charge

ENTERTAINER Buju Banton will have to wait until next Monday before he knows his fate on ganja possession and cultivating charges.

The entertainer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was found guilty in the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrate's Court last Friday and returned yesterday where sentencing was expected to be handed down.

However, when the entertainer returned to court yesterday, his attorney Christopher Dunkley applied to Resident Magistrate Kissock Laing for a postponement of sentencing, telling the magistrate that he would be asking the court to exercise its discretion in not recording the ganja conviction against his client.

Ja: I know nothink!

OUSTED HAITIAN president Jean-Bertrand Aristide has disavowed all knowledge of the illegal activities allegedly performed by his ex-security chief Orel Jean during his employ in Aristide's administration.

Orel Jean was arrested at Toronto's Pearson International Airport last week after getting off a flight from the Dominican Republic. According to an article published in the Toronto Sun, Jean was in a holding cell after being detained while travelling with his wife, carrying US$17,000 in cash and a cheque for about US$300,000. He has since been arrested on drug trafficking charges.

"I have raised the issue in discussions with him, and Mr. Aristide said that the gentleman is merely a former employee and at the time of his arrest, he was no longer in his employ," Huntley Medley, the ex-president's local media liaison, told The Gleaner yesterday.
In the past, the United States had often described Haiti, the impoverished Caribbean nation of eight million, as a 'path of minimal resistance' for narco-traffickers due to weak democratic institutions, corrupt officials and a fledgling police force.

Ja: Jamaica's got a nuclear reactor

JAMAICA is one of 43 countries listed by the United States as the recipients of 'weapons-grade' uranium over the past 50 years.

According to international media reports which surfaced earlier this month, those countries ­ including Iran, Pakistan, Mexico and Israel ­ have 'refused' to return the combined stock of enough material to make about 1,000 nuclear bombs.

But representatives of both the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) have denied that Jamaica had ignored an obligation to return the material.

According to Professor Gerald Lalor, director-general of the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS) at the UWI, the uranium was obtained as the core of a tiny research reactor called SLOWPOKE-2. The reactor was purchased from Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) and is of U.S. origin.

Ja: New airport scanning system to counter terrorism

A NEW automated US$2 million (J$120 miilion) immigration and control system is to be implemented at the island's two major airports in May. This is a precursor to the biometric system, being pushed by the United States, where fingerprints and other personal information will be scanned inside machine-readable passports.

The new automated immigration system is expected to counter terrorist threats and reduce the number of persons leaving the island on forged travel documents.

The information captured will also serve as a source of intelligence for regional and international law enforcement organisations.

Gya: Serious kool-aid

Habeeb's drunk of the kool-aid truly deeply.

Gya: Budget aims for low growth

FINANCE Minister Sasenarine Kowlessar presented a $75.6 billion no-tax budget to the National Assembly yesterday, saying it aimed at reforming and strengthening the Guyanese economy and advancing the well-being of the country's inhabitants.

Minister Kowlessar believed the measures, the largest ever in Guyana's history, would propel Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2.5% in 2004.

The budget, which is 5.3% bigger than last year's, was presented under the theme, 'Investing for Sustained Growth and Enhanced Social Development.'

...Minister Kowlessar proudly announced that the exchange rate is expected to remain stable this year; inflation rate is projected at 4.5%; hundreds of jobs are to be created through new and expanded investments; merchandise exports are expected to increase by 6.9%; overall balance of payments is expected to improve; investment in infrastructure is expected to increase, along with spending in the social sector.
The exchange rate: G$190.58 = US$1. I wonder what the average Guyanese think of this budget?

DR: Trying to tax the country back to solvency

The government is proposing a tax reform that will increase the VAT (or ITBIS) to 16% and the tax rate to 20%. This information was offered by Eduardo Tejera, Federic Emamm-Zade and Julio Ortega at the Economic Meeting at Hoy. The three form part of the economic advisory team of PLD candidate Leonel Fernandez. Their central theme was that the IMF should not insist on tax reform during a period of political transition.

DR: Regaining control in Haiti

El Caribe reported on Sunday and again today that the presence of French troops on the Haitian border seems to indicate that the provisional government will be taking control of the troubled area around Juana Mendez (Ounaminthe). About twenty troops arrived Saturday in Juana Mendez as part of the plan to take control of the northern region of Haiti. The soldiers went as far as the International Bridge which crosses the Massacre River and divides the Dominican Republic from Haiti. One of the troops, using rebel leader Johnny Cesar as an interpreter, said that 150 more soldiers would be arriving on Sunday in time for the new civilian authorities to be in place by Monday. Since 19 February, the frontier has been controlled by elements of the Resistance for Peace in Haiti, which have charged tolls and taxes for crossing over the border. As a result, the traditional commerce between the two nations has slowed to a crawl.

Cuba: No freedom of association

Agents of the Department of State Security threatened ex-political prisoner Roberto Calimano with a 20-year prison sentence for associating with government opponents and independent journalists.

Calimano said agents called him into the police station in the La Víbora neighborhood of Havana at the beginning of the month. At the station, an officer who called himself Frank told him, Calimano said, that for him to express solidarity with the 75 dissidents arrested in March last year was a crime for which he could end up being sentenced again.

Cuba: No pix of police brutality please

Police arrested three who filmed them as they beat a young man in Havana's Central Park, and fined about 20 others who berated them as they beat their handcuffed victim.

According to eyewitnesses, last Saturday just before 5:00 p.m., a uniformed policeman detained a young man who couldn't produce papers when requested to do so. After a plainclothes man joined them, the two started beating the man. A crowd quickly surrounded them, calling them abusive. In short order, a virtual fleet of police cars and patrolmen responded. They helped take the original prisoner away in a van and disperse the crowd, not before also taking in the three who had been filming and issuing 100-peso fines to about 20 in the crowd.

Cay: Black holding on

Media tycoon Conrad Black's holding company said it would make an interest payment on a $120 million bond before the end of a 30-day grace period on 30 March.

Toronto-based Hollinger Inc failed to make the interest payment, believed to be about US$7.4 million, due 1 March on the senior secured notes. But it said it was not in default before the grace period expired.

The company said it raised the cash through the sale of shares of Hollinger International, the US-based operating arm of the media group that includes the Daily Telegraph, Jerusalem Post and Chicago Sun-Times, as well as a 40 percent interest in Cayman Free Press.
A US court last month barred Black's plan to sell his controlling stake to British investors Frederick and David Barclay, saying Black "breached his fiduciary duty" to other shareholders.

Black faces a further confrontation with Hollinger shareholders, who are seeking $200 million in damages and interest accusing him of helping himself to unwarranted indemnities. 
On 4 March, a Chancery Court judge rebuked the Canadian-born Black, barred him from selling his voting control of the company and endorsed a plan by independent Hollinger directors to auction the publishing company's assets instead. 

Black has appealed that ruling.
Murphy's law in action here.

Bmda: Well deserved pay cut

Bermuda insurance giant, XL Capital Ltd., announced on Friday that its chief executive officer, Brian O'Hara, would take a 61 percent pay cut for 2003 following the huge reserve charge the company took on its American operations.

And the company received another blow on Friday when ratings agency A.M. Best affirmed its good ratings - but gave them a negative outlook. This “negative outlook” will stay in place until a review of the company is completed in the second quarter of this year, said Best.

Last year XL Capital Ltd. discovered an $878 million shortfall in reserves and set up an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter - and took heavy multi-million dollar-related charges.

Bmda: No overtime for U.S. Customs in Bermuda

Passengers travelling on the new USA 3000 flight to Baltimore will have to go through US Customs when they arrive in Baltimore – there will be no pre-clearance in Bermuda.

Airport General Manager James Howes said: "This was understood all along that US Customs (in Bermuda) closes at 5 p.m. and the only way passengers could be pre-cleared in Bermuda is if the US Government approved extended hours of operation for US Customs.

"The flight is scheduled to leave at 7.50 p.m., so rather than paying them overtime, passengers will go through immigration in Baltimore because there US Customs does not close until 10 p.m.

"US Department of Homeland Security turned down pre-clearance because they could not see justification for paying US customs workers overtime."

Blz: Caricom consensus on Haiti

CARICOM Heads of Government met at the fifteenth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis on March twenty-sixth. The delegates considered the recent developments in Haiti, reaffirming their commitment to the fundamental principles underpinning governance and democracy in the region and the hemisphere.

They also called, once more, for a U.N. investigation into President Aristide's departure from office. The Heads reaffirmed that Haiti remains a member of the Caribbean Community and indeed a welcome partner in the regional integration movement and emphasized the importance of holding free and fair elections to ensure a return to constitutional democracy in an acceptable time frame. In the interim, the Heads of Government decided to: (I) reconstitute the Core Group of CARICOM Prime Ministers on Haiti under the leadership of the new Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer; (II) designate a Special Envoy to advance CARICOM's interests on issues related to Haiti; and (III) accept the proposals of the CARICOM Secretary-General concerning the establishment of a task force to coordinate CARICOM's assistance to Haiti in those areas where it has the capacity. The CARICOM Heads expressed their deep concern over the continuing instability, insecurity, violence, and violation of human rights in Haiti and commended outgoing Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, for the leadership he displayed in managing the actions of the Community on the Haitian crisis.

Bdos: Smart ID cards a-comin'

Adult Barbadians are about to be fingerprinted – that is, if they want the benefit of a soon-to-be-introduced new Barbados identification card.

And in their pockets they will carry some of the most critical medical data, as well as vital security information that will speed up interaction with some of the most important Government agencies, including Immigration, police and National Insurance.

It’s all part of a move by Government, led by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission, to introduce a tamper-proof national card that, if stolen, would be of little use to anyone but the genuine owner for critical transactions.
Earlier this year, local authorities uncovered a racket in Antigua in which altered Barbados ID cards were being issued to people living in that country and Guyana who were trying to enter the United States illegally. The existing Barbados ID card is said to be one of the easiest to tamper with anywhere.
No wonder Guyanese smuggled into T&T used to go on to Barbados before using false documents to enter the U.S.!

Bdos: Fighting off the Brits with the help of Henry V

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more The West Indies go into the Third Test Match on Thursday at Kensington against England. The title above sounds and seems apt, but it feels like sacrilege. How can I, the most unrepentant of West Indians quote Shakespeare, the most British of writers, to head a column when the West Indians are going to take on the Poms within the week?

The words that form the headline were attributed to King Henry V of England as he stood before his troops on the way to the Battle of Agincourt. The king had decided to invade France. He lured the French into premature attack and inflicted on them the most staggering of defeats. What does this portend for Lara and his men? Shakespeare is as much part of our colonial culture as he is that of our imperial masters. And Kensington cannot be our Agincourt. We have already suffered the most staggering of our defeats at Sabina Park less than a month ago.

Bdos: Common Regional Fisheries Regime for Caricom

IN the wake of the fishing dispute between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago which took the spotlight over the past month, CARICOM leaders have agreed to the elaboration of a Common Regional Fisheries Regime.

According to the communiqué issued at the end of the 15th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government held over the past week, this regime would be independent and would not be prejudicial to the settlement of maritime boundary disputes between and among CARICOM Member States and third parties.

Atg: Bird's wings being clipped

Even before the police searched his residence, Parliamentarian Asot Michael sent a letter to Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announcing that he had documents at his home, a government official said yesterday.

In an interview with the SUN, Attorney-General Justin Simon said a letter was sent to PM Spencer and copied to him, stating that MP Michael "had documents in his possession and custody that belonged to him and the police were free to examine them."

It has been reported that over 30 boxes of documents were taken from Michael's residence on Friday.

"This letter was sent to the prime minister prior to the police executing a search of his premises," Simon said. "Not taking anything for granted, the warrant was executed in respect of the entire premises."

A CMC story also reported that the former prime minister's house was also searched for missing government documents and files.

Atg: Bird's wings being clipped

Even before the police searched his residence, Parliamentarian Asot Michael sent a letter to Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announcing that he had documents at his home, a government official said yesterday.

In an interview with the SUN, Attorney-General Justin Simon said a letter was sent to PM Spencer and copied to him, stating that MP Michael "had documents in his possession and custody that belonged to him and the police were free to examine them."

It has been reported that over 30 boxes of documents were taken from Michael's residence on Friday.

"This letter was sent to the prime minister prior to the police executing a search of his premises," Simon said. "Not taking anything for granted, the warrant was executed in respect of the entire premises."

A CMC story also reported that the former prime minister's house was also searched for missing government documents and files.

Monday, March 29, 2004

U.S.:: Leftward Spinning fast and loose with the facts

It is interesting to note that for dems - what's good for the Intern Gooser is apparently not good for the Conservative Gander...

"The unemployment rate is exactly what it was in 1996 when Clinton ran for reelection. 5.6%. Nine months prior to the 1996 presidential election, Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers cheerfully reported that the "American economy has performed exceptionally well over the past 3 years." While that may not surprise you, you may however be surprised to learn that President George W. Bush's economic record is, in many ways, better than the record Clinton ran on for reelection. Compared with the "exceptional" years of 1993, 1994, and 1995, the first three years of George W. Bush's presidency featured:

    lower inflation
    lower unemployment
    faster productivity growth
    faster labor compensation growth (i.e., wages and benefits)
    29.4 percent ($6.9 trillion) more economic output
    45 percent ($960 billion) more exports; and
    an economic growth rate 81.2 percent as fast as that under Clinton

Considering the circumstances under which the U.S. economy has labored for the past few years, including 9/11 and the War on Terrorism, President Bush's record is all the more impressive. When George W. Bush moved into the White House, the economy was on the verge of recession. The largest stock market bubble in U.S. history had recently burst, exports were declining, manufacturing employment had been falling for half a year, and people were finding it harder and harder to find work. And that was before 9/11, the war on terror, and the revelations of the corporate-governance scandals that grew out of the late 1990s.The tax cuts President Bush signed into law helped alleviate the impact of these economic shocks and kept millions of Americans working who would have otherwise lost their jobs. Consequently, the unemployment rate peaked in June 2003 at 6.3 percent, compared with peaks of 7.8 percent and 10.8 percent during the previous two recessions. With the U.S. economy on the upswing, President Bush's critics are finding it increasingly difficult to disparage his economic record. But that won't stop them. Fortunately, as Aldous Huxley observed, "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." So what are the facts?

Most private-sector forecasters expect the U.S. economy will grow faster this year (on an average annual basis) than in any year since 1984. For the third consecutive year, the U.S. economy is poised to grow faster than most other industrialized economies. France, Germany, and Japan, for instance, are not expected to grow even half as fast as the United States. Since the Bush administration began, non-farm productivity has increased at a 4.1 percent annual rate — the fastest pace for the start of any presidency since Harry S. Truman occupied the White House. The U.S. remains the world's largest exporter. In fact, during the first three years of the Bush administration, the U.S. exported more in real terms than it did during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations combined. More single-family homes were sold in 2003 than in any other year on record. And the homeownership rate is at a record-high of 68.5 percent — a full percentage point higher than during the fourth quarter of 2000.

At 5.6 percent, the national unemployment rate is now lower than the average unemployment rate of the 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s. According to the Labor Department's household survey — the survey used to calculate the monthly unemployment rate — more Americans are working now than ever before. The payroll survey is also showing improvement: 112,000 new jobs were created in January and 366,000 jobs have been added over the last five months. While President Bush's economic record is arguably better than the record Bill Clinton ran on in 1996, this truth is frequently obscured by unrelenting partisan criticism based more on fancy than fact. But the fact remains that the United States boasts the world's largest and most vibrant economy. It will stay that way so long as we are guided by a trust in what President Bush calls "the power and possibilities of freedom."

VIA: Right Wing News

When are thinking Caribbean people going to step off the postmodern Democrat Plantation?


U.S.: Democrats taking blacks for fools again

John Kerry cited a Bible verse Sunday to criticize leaders who have "faith but has no deeds," prompting President Bush's spokesman to accuse Kerry of exploiting Scripture for a political attack.

Kerry never mentioned Bush by name during his speech at New North Side Baptist Church, but aimed his criticism at "our present national leadership." Kerry cited Scripture in his appeal for the worshippers, including James 2:14, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?"

"The Scriptures say, what does it profit, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?" Kerry said. "When we look at what is happening in America today, where are the works of compassion?"

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry's comment "was beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse and a sad exploitation of Scripture for a political attack."

Kerry told worshippers in the largely black congregation that the country's leadership has served the privileged while ignoring people across America who live in neighborhoods like theirs.

"Today we are told that, after 3 million lost jobs and so many lost hopes, America is now turning a corner," the pending Democratic presidential nominee said. "But those who say that, they're not standing on the corner of Highland Street, where two 15-year-old teenagers were hit in a drive-by shooting last week."

Kerry is Roman Catholic, but his support for abortion rights is at odds with Vatican (news - web sites) teachings.
Kerry needs to be reminded of the separation of Church and state that Dems are always squawking about ... until they go to predominantly black churches, of course. I can't recall an instance of a politician going to a predominantly white congregation and doing what Dems do to black congregations. Kerry goes to a black church to preach race politics, and the pastor lets him. When are American blacks going to say enough is enough and deny politicians access to the pulpit? When are black preachers going to start esteeming the Bible, the pulpit, and the purpose of both? When Caesar comes to God, Caesar must bow down. Look at these extracts from Kerry's speech! They're no more than a misuse of Scripture for rankest political gain. Yet, the pastor of the church allowed it to be said. He allowed a day of spiritual rest, a day set aside for the preaching of the Word to become a day of strife and bearing of false witness. No pastor should allow any man to stand in the pulpit and flagrantly violate the 8th Commandment (Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.).

I want Democrats to act as they would in their own churches when they appear at predominantly black ones. I want Democrats to start honoring their vaunted separation of Church and state and stop using churches to make political speeches. I want Democrats to stop treating blacks like fools who can be appeased and tricked with a few references to Scripture.

More than that, I want American blacks to say, "enough! My church is for the worship of God, and the only preaching I want to hear in it is Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected."

Here is Roman Catholic Kerry in response to criticism from the Vatican on his pro-abortion and pro-homosexual absurdity stances:
[T]he Massachusetts senator says he's comfortable with his stands even when they conflict with the doctrines of the Church to which he claims allegiance.

"I don't think it complicates things at all," Kerry told Time Saturday, the first article in which he has discussed his faith extensively. "We have a separation of church and state in this country. As John Kennedy said very clearly, I will be a President who happens to be Catholic, not a Catholic President."
That separation of Church and state only hold when it pertains to Democrat politicians abiding by the doctrinal teachings of their churches. When the issue is preaching in black churches, there is no separation of Church and state. Hypocrites.

Then there is this:
Said Kerry, "I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life."
So, Kerry has two standards; one for his RC Church and another one for black churches. In his own RC Church, Kerry may not even be communed because he regards abortion and the homosexual absurdity more highly than he does Church teachings. Yet, when he goes to a black church, Kerry has no problem telling the pastor to vacate the pulpit so he can use it. Hypocrite.

U.S.: Bin Laden and Zawahiri singing like canaries?

Praise and thanks to Allah for this link to the Northeast Intelligence Network.

A HVT (High Value Target) of al Qaeda was scooped by special forces and removed from Iran. The sources would not identify the "target," but refused to deny that it was bin Laden. We were advised that other al Qaeda captures have been and would continue to take place, many from new information obtained from recently captured al Qaeda sources. Subsequently, a total of 5 independent sources were acquired who corroborated the information that Osama bin Laden was captured by US SOF on or about 20 January 2004 inside of the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US SOF forces operating in that Aera of Operations (AO) is known as Task Force 121, or TF-121.  On December 13, 2003 this same US Special Operations Forces unit captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
What many people have missed in all this is why that specific region became central in the hunt for Qaeda-al-Jihad's No.2. The reason is simple. 

It is because our side captured his son, Khalid al-Zawahiri, in the same area of South Waziristan on the 26th of February, 2004.
Information gleaned from him by interrogators has helped direct Pakistani and American forces in their drive to capture bin Laden and other senior al-Qa'eda figures, being conducted in the mountainous areas on both sides of the border. 
We knew Ayman al-Zawahiri was in South Waziristan because his boy told us so and within 8 days we had "bagged and tagged" Qaeda-al-Jihad's No. 2.

Yes. we believe that the same Task Force 121 which captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq in December, and Osama bin Laden in the Islamic Republic of Iran in January 2004 has now also killed Ayman al-Zawahiri on or about 16/17 March 2004.  This is based upon a few independent media reports. One of them is the comment repeatedly made by Colonel David Hunt on FoxNews that TF-121 had killed al-Zawahiri in Pakistan.  Another is our own source said the hit on al-Zawahiri had been seen by US intelligence as if it were being seen "live on Pay Per View". This corroborates Col. Hunt's comments on 19 March about the Global Hawk orbiting at 40,000 feet and Predator pilotless drones being overhead at 20,000 feet at the time in support of TF-121's mission to bag al-Zawahiri. Then there was report seen in the New York Times which stated: "senior American military officials said small numbers of commandos attached to Joint Task Force 121, a secret unit made up of military Special Operations forces and Central Intelligence officers, have conducted cross-border operations."
Do NOT tread on us!

I don't even want these thugs tried. Toss them in a pit of rabid wild boars with a pitchfork well greased with pig's blood and fat. Give them water to drink out of a cleaned pig's bladder. Grease the guns and bullets with pig's fat and shoot them; make sure and let them know before they die that pig fat bullets are inside their bodies.

Vzla: Chavistas for Kerry

Venezuelan Foreign Minister (MRE) Jesus Arnoldo Perez has told El Universal that Venezuela's relations with the United States would improve if President George W. Bush were to lose a presidential election this fall.  He blames Bush for currently tense dip0lomatic relations between Venezuela and the United States saying that the Bush administration's hostile statements against Venezuela are not conducive the the fraternal conduct of international affairs.
Venezuelan government officials have not yet responded to the Kerry website statement believing that it is yet another Venezuelan political opposition manipulation of the facts in their continued effort to overthrow the government. 
Does anybody believe anything Kerry says?

Here's a guy who fisks Kerry's statement; it goes without saying, the guy doesn't believe what Kerry says either.

Here's another Kerry fan who gives him advice on how to defeat GWB by playing the race card, amongst other things. He's a Yank who says the U.S. is imploding.

T&T: Bird could wind up caged

Police searched the home of former Prime Minister Lester Bird looking for missing documents from his office, Antigua’s Attorney General said. The search late Friday came just three days after Bird’s party was soundly defeated in elections following nearly three decades in power in Antigua and Barbuda. Police searched the homes of Bird and two of his allies — legislator Asot Michael and aide Peter Nurse, Attorney General Justin Simon said, adding he could not give additional details. It was unclear if police found any of the documents they were seeking.

T&T: South police threatened

More police stations in south Trinidad have been put on high alert, Assistant Commissioner of Police (South) Dennis Graham has said.

Security measures at southern police stations were increased after two anonymous telephone calls that the southern police headquarters and the Marabella Police Station would be bombed.

In an interview on Friday, Graham said all police stations close to the roadway, including those in Princes Town, St Mary’s and Penal, were now being monitored.

He said barriers would be kept up at the three high-risk stations, the San Fernando headquarters and the Marabella and Mon Repos Police Stations.

Graham said last week that an anonymous caller threatened to blow up the San Fernando and Marabella Police Stations, using hand grenades.

He said the threats came exactly a week after the abandoned Gasparillo Police Station was burnt to the ground.

T&T: Manning to lead Caricom-U.S. talks

Prime Minister Patrick Manning is to lead a Caribbean Community (Caricom) ministerial delegation to the United States in coming months to discuss matters of mutual "security" interest with President George W Bush's Secretary for Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.

Manning will be doing so in his capacity as the region's Head of Government with lead responsibility for "Crime and Security", a report on which he submitted to the just-concluded 15th Inter-Sessional Meeting in St Kitts. (See Pages 32&33).

The Washington talks with Ridge are in accordance with the Community's "endeavours to continue to engage the Government of the USA on issues of mutual interest such as security issues at ministerial level", a Caricom statement indicated yesterday.

Taken within the context of the fostering of improved US-Caricom relations, the heads of government said they welcomed the "positive response" by the US to hold such discussions.

Consequently, they mandated Manning to "initiate action" for the convening of the meeting with Ridge at the earliest opportunity.

The range of issues to be covered by the Manning-led team will include port and border security, narco-trafficking, gun-running, terrorism, and the ongoing problem with "criminal deportees" from the US.
These talks are to be seen in the context of fostering "improved US-Caricom relations" when, with regard to Haiti and Aristide, Caricom is doing everything to spoil those relations? Looks like Caricom doesn't want the U.S. to deport criminal Caricom citizens back to their home countries. These individuals contribute greatly to the increased rates of murder and mayhem in the Caribbean; so, it would be interesting to see what the U.S. has to say. However, it is unlikely that the U.S. will bend because a condition for remaining in any country legally is that one be law abiding. Many are not eligible for U.S. citizenship simply because of a criminal record.

T&T: Lifestyle changes affects fish vendors

Andre Jackson was left with another load of unsold fish. He had red fish, carite and several other types at his stall.

He said: "I buy fresh fish everyday and most of it has to be dumped because people are not buying.''

He can't understand why people were not buying, especially during the Lenten season when the sale of fish soars.
Said fishmonger Jackson: "We have noticed a drastic decrease in the sale of fish this year. That is quite a surprise because this is when people would usually flock to the market place for fish. Today is no different from any other day this season and as you can ...
One reason: More and more housewives are buying their fish at supermarkets.

An official at JTA Supermarkets at Carlton Centre, San Fernando said there has been an increase in demand for frozen and seasoned fish.

He offered this explanation. "These days many women are working and it is easier to stop by a supermarket and pick up some seasoned fish,'' he said noting that for people to get fresh fish from the Central Market they had to go early on mornings and that was no longer feasible for many.

Manager of Jumbo Foods Supermarkets, Rishi Seeram, said they too had experienced an upsurge in the sale of frozen fish.
These women have to be kidding! Pass up fresh fish to eat tasteless frozen?!?! Yes, scaling, cleaning, and seasoning fish is a time consuming business, but at least you know the fish is really clean.

T&T: Local fishermen attacked by Spanish-speaking pirates

One of the men who was aboard the Cedros fishing boat that was in a deadly attack on Friday night by Spanish-speaking pirates, yesterday appealed for more Coast Guard patrols. "Without more patrols might not be able to go out to sea," he said.

The late night attack 13 miles off Soldado Rock, Cedros, within Trinidad's boundary, resulted in the death of 21-year-old Shane Abraham.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, fisherman Sirju Singh said it was at around 11.30 p.m. when their boat was bumped by their attackers.
Singh however lamented that the Coast Guard base in Cedros was in dire need of equipment. "They have no equipment there. They (the Coast Guard) could only go daylight and go to Icacos and come back. They can't do nothing... they cant do nothing. We should call them land guard they have no boats just a lil' pirogue..."

He said if they received the equipment to work with they could patrol in the night but as the situation stands now fishermen were wary about venturing out again until proper patrols were provided
Given the proximity of Venezuela to Cedros, it is quite likely that the pirates were Venezuelans, as they have been, historically. So, what is Manning going to do about the piracy and about providing equipment so that T&T's land guard becomes a coast guard?

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Gya: Jagdeo says Khemraj's a rat

Moses Nagamootoo in a speech in New York City on March 17 said that President Bharrat Jagdeo did accuse Khemraj Ramjattan of taking news to the US embassy. The signatures mustered by Freedom House from 29 persons, he said, reflected the pattern of lying inculcated throughout the history of the late PPP, especially since the demise of Dr Cheddi Jagan. The names of several senior members of the party executive were called.

Mr Nagamootoo in his almost two-hour speech slammed the PPP. On the Khemraj Ramjattan issue, he said, "Ramjattan is a man I would like to have in my team, Ramjattan has integrity." He also said Ramjattan was given an excessive and unwarranted penalty.

Gya: Killing is a rush

Death squad members used to joke about their hits at all-night parties says a witness who claims to have been close to the group.

The person says they are willing to identify the men, including serving members of the police force, who were part of the group dedicated to extinguishing criminals.

They also say they can volunteer what they know about the group, but do not believe the police force can be trusted, since some of its senior members are among those embroiled in the allegations. The informant is one of a few persons who have come forward with information about the group, which is said to have been responsible for several executions between August 2002 and December 2003.

Gya: Government run scam

A prominent attorney-at-law has told Stabroek News that his client was legally entitled to duty-free concessions but was "forced" to pay somebody in one of the government ministries for the speeding up of her application.

According to the attorney, the client, whom he declined to name, has made an arrangement for amnesty with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). He said too that one of the conditions of the arrangement with the GRA was that the individual was restrained from speaking to the media.

Gya: Land of scams

The 'soya milk' scam, followed by the 'stone' scam; the 'gold' scam; the 'US visa' scam; the 'old-age pension book' scam; the 'Laws of Guyana' publishing scam; the 'IAST' scam, and the 'duty-free vehicles' scam have become landmarks of public life in recent times. These, and other yet unexposed scams measure the phenomenal growth of graft in Guyana and its infection of various arms of the State.

PR: Help for Haiti

Secretary of State Jose Izquierdo on Friday announced the beginning of a humanitarian relief campaign to help Haiti’s economic and social crisis.

“Today I am pleased to announce the beginning of the Puerto Rico for Haiti humanitarian campaign,” Izquierdo said during a press conference at the Department of State in Old San Juan.

Izquierdo announced that the local government will work together with the American Red Cross, the Banks Association, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers’ Association, and the commercial sector to raise funds for Haiti.

PR: Afghani caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally

An Afghan man detained among dozens of Dominican migrants on a boat off Puerto Rico appeared in immigration court Thursday as the government began removal proceedings.

Ghulem Hassan, 44, was not required to enter a plea, and his next hearing was set for April 7, according to immigration court records.

"He's in removal proceedings," said Michael Gilhooly, a spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "It's a case like any other case... The individual tried to enter the United States illegally."

Hundreds of people each month attempt to migrate from economically depressed Dominican Republic to this neighboring U.S. Caribbean territory.
Officials said Hassan could face deportation or leave the country on his own accord. He was being held without bond.

Hassan told U.S. officials he had previously lived in California and New York, according to reports in Puerto Rican newspapers.
It would be interesting to know where Hassan came from, how did he hook up with the Dominicans, who sent him, and if he was trying to pass himself off as Dominican (one could be justified in thinking that). Islamists could pass themselves off as Latino, until they opened their mouths, that is. Also, If Hassan had previously lived in CA and NY, why was he not able to enter the U.S. legally? Or, is he able to enter the U.S. legally but was using the Dominican route as a test run to see if there is access to the U.S. via Puerto Rico. Does he have anything to do with Castro, Chavez, or the Muslim Triangle is what I really want to know.

Ja: Randall Robinson says Condi threatened Jamaica

[T]he US administration, which helped in the creation of the new authority in Haiti after torpedoing a Caricom power-sharing plan, has been pressing the regional governments to back down, and according to at least one source, Washington has made unspecified threats against Jamaica.

Randall Robinson, who accompanied former president Jean-Bertrand Artistide from the Central African Republic to Jamaica, says the threat came from US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. "I have learned from a White House source that Condoleezza Rice has pointedly threatened the Jamaican government, telling it to expel President Aristide, or face the consequences", the human rights activist and founder of Trans-Africa is quoted in a radio interview posted on the website

Interestingly, when KD Knight, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade was asked by RJR's Kathy Barrett to comment on Robinson's disclosure, he pointedly and repeatedly said that US Secretary of State Colin Powell has conveyed no such threat to him - and they had spoken as recently as Tuesday. There was no flat out denial from Knight.

While there is room for dispute about the accuracy of specific threats from specific individuals demanding specific actions, the public statements from Washington leave no doubt about their upset.
Yeah, right, Randall Robinson has WH sources. Washington has rightly told Jamaica your arse is grass if any Marines come to harm because of Aristide. Black liberals have a real jones for Condi Rice. I tell you, it sticks in their craw that Condi is powerful as heck and is NOT a black liberal. It bugs them that Condi has real power. I can't think of a black Democrat who has ever been as powerful as Condi or Colin. Black liberals look at Condi and stew because they know that no black will ever make it that far with the Democrat Party; for, at its core, Dems are still segregationists who believe blacks and other minorities must get so far and no further.

Look, dudes, face up to this: the Democrats do not have blacks in serious positions of power. You guys on the plantation serve in the house or in the yard; you are never the master of the house or in a position so to be. Get used to it!

Ja: Hey, you stupid, backward Haitians, here's how you do it!

Last Thursday, the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) was voted out of office by the people of Antigua and Barbuda after 28 years in government.
The victory of the United Progressive Party (UPP) in that context, was a triumph of not only democracy as a concept, but of the process by which it works.

In other words, the Antiguans subscribed to a set of institutional arrangements and sought to ensure that they work. When these institutions fell under stress, they were not abandoned and overthrown. Neither did the opponents of the government foment violence as a means to their reward.

Which they might have done, given the allegations of corruption, malfeasance, fraud and electoral malpractice that have been levelled against the regimes of former prime minister Lester Bird and his predecessor and father, Vere Cornwall Bird Sr. There was no attempt at a premature, unconstitutional dislodging of a democratically-elected leader.

What the Antigua opposition did instead was to engage their country's partners in the Caribbean Community to help guarantee the legitimacy of the institutions of democracy.

For instance, Jamaica's electoral office, having developed significant experience in its domestic environment in cleaning up a corrupt process, was asked to develop a clean voters' register for Antigua and Barbuda. Additionally, Caricom sent election monitors to Antigua for the poll. The upshot was an election which everyone declared to have been largely free and fair.

It was possible, and happened, because there was an adherence to principle and process, rather than a denudation of institutions.

This was precisely the point that Caricom had made in its initiative that would have allowed Mr Aristide to serve out the remainder of his term as president, but sharing power with his opposition.

The cohabitation, even if enforced, would have sent a signal to Haitians that processes work and that democratic institutions are relevant. It would have provided another important lesson in democracy - the importance of negotiation and compromise and that countries benefit naught from a politics based on scorched earth tactics.

Happily, most of us in Caricom embrace far more than the rudiments of democracy and understand that democracy, like excellence, is a continuum, a never ending work in progress.

Hopefully, the coup d'etat against Mr Aristide is the last in Haiti. Perhaps with lessons such as Antigua's, and elsewhere in Caricom, the Haitians will begin to engage the rudiments of the process.
I'm at a total loss for words with the depth and breadth of this writer's contempt for Haitians and his disregard for Haitian suffering. He lacks any understanding of the realities that have forced Haitians, time and again, to revolt against oppressors. The thing is, practically no Caribbeanites either visit or live in in Haiti, so all that these guys have to say is best understood as idealistic drivel. Haiti will be capable of adherence to democratic principle and process when civil society and economic order is brought to the country. You can't tell a man whose child has to drink dirty water that he should live with it and endure the process unless you're prepared to do something concrete to bring him clean water and so help him endure while the process works. Caricom was never in favor of doing the measures that would ensure people would endure the process in Haiti.

My devout wish: every Caribbean head of state and journalist would be dumped off in the poorest part of Haiti, without money and with only the most rudimentary resources to eke out a living for three months.

It's one thing to sit on your arse fat and happy in Jamaica, T&T, Barbados, wherever. It's another thing to experience life like many Haitians do.

Ja: Ashcroft may open the doors to women refugees

IN THE March 11, 2004 edition of the New York Times, writer Rachel Swarns informed her readers that John Ashcroft, Attorney-General of the United States, has been given a 43-page legal brief. The brief will prepare him to make the decision on whether or not to grant political asylum to dozens of battered women who are now seeking refuge in the U.S.

The majority of these victims of domestic violence and spousal abuse claim that the authorities in their countries "repeatedly ignored them when they tried to report and escape their abusive partners."

If the Attorney-General approves the rules that are in the brief presented to him the U.S. will allow political asylum to women from many cultures and open "the door to women fleeing countries that condone severe domestic abuse, genital mutilation and other forms of acute violence against women."
On a number of occasions I have been asked by immigration lawyers in both Britain and the U.S. to give 'expert opinion' on whether or not Jamaican women who have applied should be considered for political asylum on the basis of the gender-based violence that they claimed forced them to leave Jamaica. In all good conscience, I could not argue that the Jamaican state condones such violence. In fact, pieces of legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act and the establishment of Sexual Abuse Units in many police stations and the training of the rank and file in an understanding of the issues that are related to gender-based violence, are all indicators that the State is making great efforts to deal with the violence that is challenging the social stability of the society.
Let us face the issues squarely. If women such as Patsy Parkinson seek political asylum in the U.S., Britain or Australia, they should be supported in their bid because the Jamaican state is not able to provide the full range of services such as shelters, counselling, relocation and therapies that are needed to protect women who are victims of gender-based violence.
Just when you thought AG John Ashcroft was a devil, now comes this. What are liberals going to say if Ashcroft signs off on this? Same thing they're saying about the very woman-friendly GWB. Nothing good.

On another note. It's a given that many of these women will be from Arab and African countries cuz that is where genital mutilation and other similar aggressions against women occur. Many of these women will be Islamic, possibly. The question is, will these women then turn around and, in this country, enter the same Islamic culture that supports violence against them? If the answer is yes, AG Ashcroft might as well not sign this.

Ja: Spain

Interesting article. Knowledgeable.

Ja: Keeping a list of U.S. deeds and checking it twice

THE UNITED States Government has committed another US$1.9 million to the Coastal Water Quality Improvement Project (CWIP) to develop an integrated management approach to improve coastal water quality in Portland.

CWIP2, follows the successful conclusion last year of CWIP1, a project funded jointly by the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Government of Jamaica's National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA).
That's part of why taxpayers here in the U.S. don't appreciate the anti-Americanism coming from the Caribbean. U.S. government money is OUR (the taxpayers) money. A different point of view is one thing. Anti-Americanism is another.