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Your Government is Hiding March 10, 2011

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The PLP government has become increasingly vague, recently. I cannot help but see their defense of past problems as hiding behind half truths. The whole political game of speaking in platitudes is becoming so un-constructive it’s pretty clear that they are unfit to handle the practical solutions that Bermuda needs for today. When the opposition makes its case with numbers and facts, the response that they get is just BULLSHIT.

Last night’s parliamentary debate over the Wharfage Fees in Hamilton is a prime example. The opposition essentially questioned the wisdom of this whole scheme.

“One wonders why have we gone though all this palaver for such a small fee. The former Premier spent $800,000 on lawyers to get this thing done. They spent all this money for the takeover, the net is less than a million dollars. One wonders what it’s all for.”-Bob Richards

PLP Response:

“The idea is not to take all revenue from the Corporation. History will show that the move and the amendment, and this adjustment to the way the affairs of the Corporation are handled, was good for the City, it was good for democracy and therefore it was good for Bermuda.”- Michael Scott

“When you talk about net spend, if it could have cost $3 million or $5 million to get that Act changed and get democracy in the City, it would have been money well spent”. “When I think of the poor Bermudian families that have been disenfranchised, if we had to spend millions of money on that, it would have been money well spent.”- Zane Desilva

“Government backbencher Walter Lister stressed it was about democracy, while Ms Cox concluded: “This isn’t about the money. Really it’s about the fact we had a principle at stake.”

Is Bermuda in a position to spend money fighting for a principle, which frankly not many people care about? Furthermore, if this legislation was truly about the principle of democracy, it could have been done without the price tag. If it was really about democracy, the government could have pressured the Corporation into changing it’s voting system. The government is acting like they’ve had some huge victory for democracy, but what is the point if people are struggling to meet ends meet? What could that $800,000 gone to instead of this legislation? How about sending struggling households in Hamilton a cheque for a piece of that money? If that were the trade off, I dont think that anyone would give a flying fuck about democracy. The legislation doesn’t provide any social benefits, provides a very small chunk of cab fare for the government and provides everybody in Hamilton with the right to vote in a Corporation that no longer has any power. So was it worth it? Absolutely not. Zane Desilva and the other PLP members are taking a position similar to neo-conservatives in the US, that you can’t put a price tag on principles like democracy and freedom. But the problem is, there is a price tag, whether we like it or not. Bermuda is not in a position where we can pay such a high cost for small principles, especially something that could have been done for free. The PLP needs to get a grip on reality and stop hiding their financial stupidity and abuse behind platitudes and buzzwords.

bermudashorts Redesigned February 17, 2011

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I made some changes to the appearance of the blog today. If there is anybody still out there, look for some fresh posts coming your way soon.


Party Crashers January 13, 2011

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Bermudians tend to make mountains out of mole hills. That is exactly what is going on with these former UBP candidates switching over to the PLP. Is it shocking? No. Does it really matter in the scheme of things? Not really. I think that Maxwell Burgess and Gwenyth Rawlins see an opportunity to claim a seat. The PLP will wipe out the opposition in the next election, except for Paget. I don’t think they’re switching for idealogical reasons. At least for Mr. Burgess, there is a place for him in the PLP and I believe he will do much more good there than in the UBP. He will be able to get his opinions heard and wished granted.

Let’s see how far he can get up the ladder before falling off again.

Who Knew LaVerne was a Buddhist? December 9, 2010

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“Ignorance is bliss” they say and Laverne Furbert is living that mantra to the fullest.

Ignoramus of the Season

I was dumbfounded by her comments in the Senate yesterday. She just may have won the prize for Bermuda’s most ignorant politician of the year.

I think that it’s a widely accepted fact that poverty in Bermuda today is getting worse. Just because LaVerne Furbert’s grandchildren have their own bedrooms and computers does not mean that things are any better than they were before. Like our former weatherlady said, “We have parents with children growing up in parks. We know that”. But at least they shit indoors, right LaVerne? Senator Furbert’s comments sound similar to an old fool saying, “You know you kids have it so much better than we did, our lives were so much harder, back in the day”. But some of the problems that she pointed out, still go on today. However, some things are better today. Today we have great organisations like the Coalition for the Protection of Children.

Sheelagh Cooper has worked tirelessly for Bermuda’s needy children and Senator Furbert simply dismisses her as being “sensational”? It’s absolutely absurd. She went even farther to insult the work that Mrs. Cooper has done, by saying that giving breakfast to schoolchildren is misguided and that we should be teaching parents how to cook.

I agree, that would be great; but frankly, that’s nearly impossible to do. Not to mention that a lot of parents are working two or three jobs, so they probably don’t even have time too cook breakfast for their kids or potentially cannot afford to put food on the table. That is precisely the reason why Mrs. Cooper’s organization is feeding schoolchildren breakfast. So they may not learn how to cook omelets or bacon and eggs since they are getting breakfast at school, but this is ensuring that no child comes to school feeling hungry. To me, that is something to celebrate. Kids are going to have better nutrition, learn better in school and get into a great habit  of having breakfast everyday. When that time comes, where they no longer get breakfast in school, they will be prepared to want to make breakfast for themselves, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal.

I raise my glass to Sheelagh Cooper and the Coalition for the Protection of Children. They are doing some excellent work in our community and we should be thanking them, not insulting them.

As for LaVerne, she should get her head out of her ass and take a lesson from Sheelagh Cooper about what service to the community is really about.

Walton Brown’s Reefer Madness November 24, 2010

Posted by bermudashorts in Uncategorized.

I’m still struggling to understand Walton Brown’s editorial in the Royal Gazette today. He mentions that “We have to first listen and better understand young people before we can begin communicating with them on this issue.” so why don’t we start right here…

Mr. Brown firmly states that he is not in favour of legalisation or decriminalisation. Yet, one of his main ideas for marijuana policy is decriminalisation. He believes that people should not be given criminal records for posession. That is decriminalizing pot, Mr. Brown, I’m not sure why you think otherwise?

The one thing he got right in this editorial, “smoking anything is not good for you”. Correct, smoking is not the healthiest practice. However, smoking weed is a lot less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

I’m not sure whether his portrayal of the pro-legalization arguments are misrepresented on purpose, or out of misunderstanding.

He states that the “juvenile” juxtaposition of alcohol’s legality and weed’s illegality is unfounded. He argues that moderate amounts of alcohol have health benefits while smoking weed has none. I suppose that is true if you put it that way. However, the “juvenile juxtaposition” is based on the idea that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, which it is. Alcohol can make some people angry and violent, and it goes without saying that drunk driving can be lethal. When you compare that to the only “dangerous” effect of smoking marijuana (its bad for your lungs), this argument makes a lot of sense. If someone smokes a lot of weed, chances are they may eat an extra bag of Cheetos or fall asleep and will probably be too lazy to even get behind the wheel of a car. If our government does not want to “validate the use of something that so clearly destructive” they had better outlaw alcohol, cigarettes and ban all cars with combustion engines.

He also does not buy the argument that legalization and taxation would earn revenue for the government and end the profitability of the illegal trade, which I don’t quite understand. If the government grows, taxes and regulates the selling of weed, chances are the price of what you pay for say an eighth would go down dramatically. The government has the ability to put any person growing a bunch plants in their closet, out of business via economic strangulation. There is also not just tax revenues to be gained, but huge savings in the police, prisons and court system. Money that can be better allocated to fighting real crime.

He mentions that he’d like to lower demand, much like the demand has lowered for cigarettes in the past 30 years. People have stopped smoking cigarettes because they are extremely bad for you. Everyone has seen the anti-smoking ads where they list the different harmful chemicals in cigarettes. Your average joint doesn’t have those. People won’t stop smoking weed for the same reason, mainly because it is less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Truth be told, there is no way to stop people from smoking weed.

If Mr. Brown want’s a meaningful conversation with young people about weed, he’ll have to understand that most young people enjoy getting high and don’t want to be fed a bunch of lies about marijuana’s ill effects.

ps. I suggest that Mr. Brown go and pay a visit to California. Although they didn’t pass Prop. 19, weed is practically legal anyways.

Correction November 18, 2010

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Okay, so false alarm. There will be no PLP primary to challenge Dale Butler.

Party Switch November 17, 2010

Posted by bermudashorts in Politics.
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Today’s headline in the paper got me thinking; if Michael Dunkley does indeed switch parties what does that mean for the BDA and UBP?? It would be  a huge switch.

For the BDA…

While the political lightweights over at the BDA could benefit from the firepower that Senator Dunkley would bring. They have great ideas, but not quite enough balls or charisma to make people listen. However, the switch may tarnish the image that the BDA is trying to build (a new party), at least in the eyes of the PLP and perhaps the public. They have tried to escape from the PLP criticism, that the BDA is really just another wing of the UBP, a criticism that I think they have distanced themselves from as they have gotten a look at the BDA’s membership and potential candidates. A switch like this will most likely set them back. Michael is seen as old, white UBP (mostly just because he’s a white guy who’s stuck around for a while)remember the attacks on him during the 2007 Election? If this happens, it may just turn on the PLP spin machines again. However, there is no question they would see a little benefit from a political heavyweight like Michael Dunkley.

For the UBP…

Without question a major blow. They will lose one of their most essential politicians

This is all speculation of course. I think that the RG essentially printed a rumor, it is a pretty slow news cycle.

Watching the news tonight. VSB reported that Dale Butler is being challenged for his seat by Jonathan Smith, the former police commissioner. I guess it will come to light in the next few days how this primary process will work. It will also be interesting to find out who put Jonathan Smith up to the task of challenging for the seat. It has become very clear over the past few months that the Progressive Labour Party no longer has any time for their most progressive MP. If I were Mr. Butler, I would switch parties or become an independent immediately. I’m sure the only thing keeping him in place is his constituents. Not out of fear of losing their support, (I think he’ll have it forever) but switching allegiances would seem dishonest in his eyes.

It seems pretty clear to me, as someone who would like for him to work for Bermuda, not just the people of Warwick whatever. He’s been pushed way too deep into the backbench.

Could be a good week for the BDA?

Oh and congratulations to Marc Bean on winning Ewart Brown’s old seat. The BDA’s drug test challenge was dumb. Who really gives a shit? If you really want the electorate to take you seriously, don’t bring a wet noodle to a gun fight, talk about real issues to make a statement. Last I checked, MP drug use was not a real problem facing Bermuda. Nobody cares if you’re drug free or not. Oh, that is unless you are the UBP’s candidate. People may want to know if you’ve stopped using cocaine, fresh off of your drug sentence.

End of Discrimination of Sexual Orientation? November 9, 2010

Posted by bermudashorts in Politics.
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Not likely. Glenn Blakeney’s statement regarding the legislation was in the beautiful bullshit language that we hear from politicians more often than not. He did not make a solid commitment to pushing the motion through. My biggest problem was with this part of his statement. “We’re looking at doing some things that we believe will address the concerns of the various stakeholders in the community regarding sexual orientation, without compromising the integrity or moral fibre for some who might be concerned, with regard to spiritual and/or religious beliefs.”
May I remind the Minister that there is no such thing as compromise with this issue. Passing this legislation has nothing to do with offending conservative or religious Bermudians, it is about discrimination, protecting human rights, one of a government’s main responsibilities. Our government should be looking out for the rights of individuals that are being discriminated against, not compromising the “moral fibre” of backwards thinking people. This statement to me, sounds like Mr. Blakeney is not really ready to tackle this rather simple issue that has been constantly dismissed.
The reason I am not optimistic about the outcome, is because even if the bill is tabled, it will face practically the same audience that Renee Webb’s bill faced in the house in 2006. Here’s to hoping that MP’s on both sides will not be as cowardly as they were in 2006. This isn’t a morally difficult discussion like gay marriage. This is about ending discrimination and beginning a deconstruction of homophobia that is rampant on our island.

Thursday and Friday November 5, 2010

Posted by bermudashorts in Blog Business.
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Hey, sorry, there won’t be any posts on Thursday or Friday. I am in the process of moving. Check back during the weekend or Monday for some fresh material.

Ha-hah! November 3, 2010

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Very happy with the story on the front of the RG this morning. To see my related post in tourism, click here