Tuesday, August 25, 2020

NO MORE CORONA LOCKDOWN IN THE BAHAMAS

PLEASE, NO MORE LOCKDOWNS: THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE!

By Professor Gilbert Morris:


We have a bad habit in this region - which is a bad habit in politics in general - in that we constantly make excuses for failure. 

For instance, we’ll make poor decisions in the face of obvious unheeded advice, with catastrophic consequences, then we’ll say “But the Coronavirus is nothing like has ever been experienced”, as if that could explain all the previous failures and habits of failure that led to our condition before Coronavirus. 

As a friend of mine likes to remind me: We are nearly $9 billion dollars in debt...but we can’t point to a single thing that advances this nation on which $9 billion dollars has been spent. We don’t have either excellent infrastructure or efficient institutions. The majority of Bahamians live in misery and tens of thousands of Bahamians now stand or sit in atrocious daily lines for food, when a simple technology used in children’s toys or a basic APP, could eliminate those sickening, disgraceful, dehumanising lines.

I saw the sign below on future Governor General Ca Newry’s page yesterday. 

It reflects the utter confusion that has gripped the Bahamian people, because we are failing in our attempts to deal with the pandemic in a humane manner. But what is really happening is our hideous decision-making methods, poor management systems and our reckless disregard for human misery are on full display. These are the traits of a plantation system; which we have failed - over many administrations - to reform and which now infects our psychology of political power.

Let there be no doubt: Covid 19 is treacherous. But DORIAN was also treacherous. Selling Batelco for nothing was treacherous. Failing to account for the 7.5% of the Port Authority is treacherous. The millions that went missing at Road Traffic was treacherous. The failure to account for who holds Crown Land or mining leases and who gets paid is treacherous. The absence of an electronic land registry is treacherous. Defending “D” grades is treacherous. Engaging OBAN, the Post Office deal, the Freeport hotel deal that can’t get done, the Lighthouse Point deal are all a continuing tale of treachery: the fact that Bahamians cannot live their best lives in the Bahamas is the vilest of all treacheries. 

Our problem is not Covid 19. Our problem is a retrograde demented concept of power, a system that favours only the advice of lackeys, all extended from political tribalism!

For instance, our failure at DORIAN aftermath was not about how vicious DORIAN was. Its about the failure to have learned from all the previous hurricanes of the last 100 years and to have built our social economic and political systems around that knowledge and experience to foster resilience and induce human comfort. 

I wrote on January 20th 2020 - in these pages - in letters, in proposals and expressed in Zoom calls the following: 
a. Covid 19 is not going away. Bubonic Plague arose in 1347. Killed 50% of the known world. Spent 300 years popping up killing tens of thousands and there were 10,000 cases in the 20th century and China closed down an entire village last week for a plague that arose nearly 670 years ago!

b. I wrote the US will not regain an appreciable normalcy until Summer of 2021, if then. Do you mind of I say I was right? Consider: 27 states are experiencing increased infections; 1000 people died each day for the last 9 days; there is no federal programme; nearly 60 million Americans are out of work; the wealth gap has exploded, and its unlikely Americans can come out of this crisis with any sort of a middle class; There are BLM protests; Mr Trump is destroying the Post Office to rig the elections, which means more conflict, more protests; even if Biden lives long enough to win, he won’t take office until January 20th, 2021, then it will take him 30 days to shut down the entire country for 30 days; then another 3 months - tax and stimulus fights - to reopen the US economy by Summer 2021.

c. What have I said about this consistently? IT MEANS NO TOURISTS, which means NO US DOLLARS; which means given our debt is nearly 100% of GDP, we’re experiencing over 50% unemployment, our Reserves (whilst over $2 billion reportedly) is falling, our deficit is approaching $1 billion, our credit rating is junk bond status and we’ve lost over 80% of national income...THIS MEANS our crisis in the Bahamas is structural, systemic and existential!

d. I designed and argued for the Bahamas to “act as if the US ceased to exist” and to lead by being FIRST IN THE WORLD in establishing COVID (Free) TRUST ZONES (CTZ). (Singapore, Dubai and a cluster of Eastern Caribbean states are now implementing it together with a major regional hotelier). Our advantage in the Bahamas over most of the world is that we are an archipelago, our tourists derive meanly from one source country, we have (as Leon R. Williams teaches us) 53 airports and we own our own airline. We should have been testing travel methods between our islands since February 2020, and by now become sufficiently expert to LEAD THE WORLD!

e. I advised that if we failed to have national testing by February 20th 2020, testing becomes irrelevant, because testing is arithmetical but the infections are exponential. Therefore we must switch to detection, monitoring and risk management through the use of coordinated technology platforms that include Bluetooth contact-tracing and eDiagnostic Surveys. I proposed that we remove the elderly and those with preexisting conditions to hotels for the next 6 months. Had we done so, the staff that would service those properties would have been experts in Covid 19 Compliant Hospitality by now with 7 months of tested experience. 

WHATEVER YOU THINK OF THIS CURRENT ADMINISTRATION, WE NEED THEM TO SUCCEED:

They are NOT, as this sign below shows....but they can.

1. In January -on this page - I stated: “Borrow Big and Borrow Now”. These funds would have been to upgrade power and broadband infrastructure and to develop a care-model for at risk Bahamians. It would have required, removing the at risk population to hotels or confirm arrangements for their loving-separation under self-quarantine conditions. (This would require an electronic registration platform) 
2. Provide a food distribution system for EVERY LIVING SOUL in the Bahamas that needs it (This requires a basic online booking system. And it requires a bold fund raising/donations approach (of between $300 million to $500 million) for the next 9 months; which was communicated to our own masterful Mr. Ken Kerr.
3. Simultaneously, launch Covid 19 (Free) Trust Zones (CTZ) in Exuma, Eleuthera, Paradise Island and other hotel properties that can be made Covid 19 compliant “all inclusives”! (This would require an exclusive national eBooking system to ensure settlement of US dollars in the Bahamas).
4. Use Bahamasair, and bring other qualified domestic airline companies under Bahamasair, establishing a fleet of scheduled charters, eliminating our dependence on commercial airlines...to ensure a vertically integrated system. (Again, an eBooking platform)
5. We have launched/proposed the Study-visa programme. I have explained: I wrote that concept into the draft Turks and Caicos Immigration Ordinance in 2007. It was not followed because Turks and Caicos hotel pricing was not aligned. Barbados launched a variation of it. I wrote that at $3,000 per year, its too cheap, requires too many students (which is a Covid 19 risk) and it does not even dent the loss of national income. To be fair, the programme could help AirBNB operations and if 1000 Bahamians earn $1000 US dollars per month, that’s not a bad thing. ($12 million per annum). But it is NOT what we should spend time about at the highest levels. That could be designed and managed by UOB students. (I don’t address here the power and crime issues). (But what is need is an eResgistration system that aggregates the available spaces for rent, pricing to prevent gouging and compliance).
6. As I also proposed in February 2020, forget laptops and eLearning. Use ZNS and a channel from Cable Bahamas to run an education curricula on cable for 4 hours daily, with round-table discussions by scholars and thinkers for Bahamian students (I’ll release the curricular I proposed in another post), and incentivise this approach with cash prize essay completions at all grade levels based on the education channel content. (This requires two cable channels and 12 Bahamian historians, technologists, scientists, economists and intellectuals). 

Two further points: 
I am not recommending we stick to tourism. But in a crisis, you go with what infrastructure and skill-sets are available and maximise them.
2. This approach is really applicable to the entire Caribbean with variations and would be more powerful of all Caribbean governments bundled together  and drove these policy options. 

LET’s REMEMBER: we don’t succeed in a crisis by controlling our populations, locking them down or creating committees: We succeed by engaging the entire country around an inspiring national purpose that unleashes innovation!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Colonial Mentality Throughout the Caribbean Diaspora - has Created a System of Political Clientelism

Emancipated Day! "But today we are Mentally and Economically - Slaves"


By Dr Kevin Alcena:
  

Happy Emancipation Day to all Africans in the Caribbean — It is indeed a culturally mixed dichotomy  in regards to freedom. The colonial mentality throughout the Caribbean diaspora, has created a system of political clientelism. In other words,  an “all for me baby”syndrome. 

When we look around, all we see is failure, from Haiti, Jamaican, Trinidad, Guyana, The Bahamas and the list goes on. We inherited a system after the emancipation, called democracy by default, that is orchestrated and manipulated by an elite black class who has a colonial mentality that is worse than the slave masters. 

We have somehow lost the social contract to the common man and woman. A good example- a number of young Bahamian men trying to make an honest living selling guinep and coconuts being arrested by police. Since when did you need a license to sell guinep and coconut water?

Are you going to deprive these children of their opportunities? Most of the children are wearing masks but the state sees fit to harass them, and this is what we call “the people’s time”?

Not so long ago the Prime Minister of the Bahamas Hubert Alexander Ingram, used to walk to school barefoot. And, if I’m correct, he used to shine shoes—did he have a license to be a shoe shine boy? 

Civil society in this country is laughable, they have no clear understanding in terms of our history and where we’re going. Our national debt—I don’t even know if it’s even manageable at this point.

And whilst we are experiencing an increase in the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of Bahamians are going to bed very hungry, unable to find jobs, can’t pay their light bills, or even their landlords.

There is no thinking system, whilst the elite benefit. What we have inherited on this incredible Emancipation Day is a form of economic and mental slavery.

There’s a form of application for the common man and woman that is unprecedented at this time. There is no care of the church to the politicians.

I must compliment one man who is doing a remarkable job in feeding thousands of Bahamian people, Philip Smith and other individuals who are taking matters into their own hands. 

What is remarkable about this country is that we are small; it is easy to fix our problems. Every Bahamian should be tested for Covid-19 so we can nip this in the bud.

We don’t have millions of people. Why is not every Bahamian being tested?

We have the data to deal with this crisis. Emancipation means responsibility and our government has abdicated their responsibility.

They are governed by ego and emasculation “I’m in charge, I am the boss”. This is a very symbolic emancipation, we need the Marcus Garvey’s, the Sir Lynden’s we need the Michael Manly’s to count the chains that hold us, and to remind us that it was only yesterday that our great grandparents were slaves.
 
Happy Emancipation Day Bahamas.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

MOODY’s DOWNGRADE OF BAHAMAS SETS A MOOD!

By Professor Gilbert Morris


I have condemned the ratings agencies as corrupt and unfair:

I won’t change tune now!

The rating agencies aided in the near destruction of the global financial system in 2008; and shew themselves interested in money rather than clear crisp accurate analysis of the credit statuses for which they claimed expertise.

I have argued that we should rate ourselves according to the same mathematical and statistical benchmarks, determining for ourselves our financial and economic health and our prospects.

Alas, in the Caribbean and Africa we have no credibility on this front:

When Moody’s or the S&P gives us a favourable rating, we treat it like its  front-room flowers.

When they call us frowsy, we say we know ourselves better with no evidence.

The fact is our situation is frowsy at the moment and has been so for sometime...that is because:

1. Our governments mistake government’s finances for the economy, and speak of the health of the fiscal state without due regard to the economic realities; particularly the ‘misery index’.
2. We have failed to innovate away from our one-legged plantation economic model, which requires hardly even a pulse to fashion or manage and is susceptible to even mild exogenous shocks, toward 21st century decentralised systems.
3. We seem clueless about the economics of the PEG, and are prioritising  constantly away from the PEG and so away from the more efficient means of feeding the PEG - so the National Reserves - which is the ONLY means to broaden the capacity for economic growth. I emphasise: IT IS THE ONLY MEANS TO BROADEN THE CAPACITY FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH!
4. Our government’s focus has been constantly lusting after an even larger share of GDP through further regressive taxation; despite failing to collect taxes currently on the books!
5. We have failed to innovate toward a system in which investing in and through Bahamians becomes a driver of economic expansion.
6. Our government systems are sclerotic and nations that arose from nothing 20-years AFTER our independence, surpassed us 20 years ago from nothing to world leaders; as we make the same excuses we made 40 years ago.

I am on reactors on January 20th 2020, here in in other spaces Zoom Conference and the like, in urging government to borrow large...because the crisis would extend beyond 2020.

We did not follow that proscription!

At the moment, the Bahamas are at a precipice...and whilst Dorian and Covid 19 have driven economic prospects to some degree, our current situation arises from our own failures to have been proper stewards of the largess of these islands.

Source

Saturday, May 16, 2020

ABJECT FOLLY: CARICOM NEED NOT ENGAGE THE EU

By Gilbert Morris


Since 1998, I worked with Pierre Darier directly (as Chairman of Darier Hentsch...now Lombard Odier; and at the Swiss Private Banker’s Association), with a notable Swiss industrialist. My role: to provide the intellectual counter-narrative to the OECD/EU’s wilful demonisation of IFCs; culminating in convincing US Secretary of Treasury, Hon. Paul O’Neill (together with others) to REJECT the OECD’s “Harmful Tax Competition Initiative; which he did did May 2001, and he and I explained the rationale in joint articles in Tax Notes International journal that same month.

In years intervening IFCs have grown punch-drunk from the OECD/EU’s goalpost moving fiats, constantly exempting their members; most notably the US (which has 7 actual tax havens) for the reason (which Prof. Jason Sharman detailed in writing) that the US pays the lion’s share of the OECD’s bill.

Let’s speak plainly: The OECD is NOT an international organisation recognised in international law; the FATF LESS SO. They have no legitimacy to call on sovereign states or constitutional territories.

The EU has acted OUTSIDE the multilateral system issuing fiats of no validity or legitimacy under the Vienna Convention on Treaties 1969.

Reject their Blacklist WITHOUT engagement!

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Covid 19 will be with us forever

COVID 19 HAS EVOLVED AND NOW CHILDREN ARE DYING IN ITALY!

There are new spikes in cases with children!

COVID 19 WILL BE WITH US FOREVER!

“A pandemic is not about ideas or even medicine. Speculative approaches won’t do: Every habit of hubris, decision-stupidity or presumption ends in tragedy.

The best national responses have been Taiwan, New Zealand, Senegal, South Korea, Iceland, Japan, Dubai, Estonia and Singapore. Their approaches confirmed the need for mathematical skills, a game theoretical sensibility and empathy.

A pandemic is about interstitial demographics; dynamics of cascading, data gathering and analytics; exponentiality statistics and avoiding utilitarian triage.

Bubonic plague rose in 1347. We know now it was just the Justinian Plague of the 5th century AD. It killed 50% of known civilisation, wrecked the feudal system and invented the “Job” (yes I mean employment.  So many people died, peasants were able to bargain for compensation).

The pestilence terrorised Europe for 200 years, evolving into the “Black Death”.

There were 1000 Bubonic Plague cases in the 20th century - that we know of - nearly 700 years later. There were 3 Bubonic deaths in the US in 2019!

Covid 19 will be with us forever.” -

Professor Gilbert Morris on ZNS TV Bahamas

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Politics of Pandemics

THIS HEADLINE IS FALSE! 



By Gilbert Morris:



There will be no reckoning: the idea of reckoning is not the arrival of catastrophe.

The calamity is here and deepening absolutely. But this pandemic will not produce any sort of systemic or structural reckoning as a correction for past failures in the political sense.

Governments across the world have adopted an authoritarian stance - from America, to Philippines, to Austria, Italy, Poland and Brazil - in which they assume the citizen-voter’s perspective means nothing!

We ourselves in the Caribbean have known this political authoritarian - know-it-all - stance since independence. Most winning political parties don’t bother about with policy substance, campaigning by merely maligning their opponents.

The Hon. Mia Mottley MP in Barbados - a heroine for her humanity in this Covid 19 era - is potentially the only leader whom citizens voted for rather than against the outgoing administration.

So, there will be no reckoning: governments in the places named will wreck their citizens lives through haphazard policies at a time when 20% of jobs will vanish and 80% of what’s left will pay 50% of pre-Covid 19 wages levels.
There will be no reforms for three cardinal reasons:

1. In crisis cronyocracies seek to protect cronies, not citizens. Lackeys and government form an unimpeachable cabal - as is to be witnessed now in the US - and they claim all must be done to save businesses, premised not on innovation, growth or fair broad prosperity, but rather whatever is needed to maintain chokeholds on their patronised economic sectors!

2. Congenital imaginative laziness: cronyocracies induce creative avoidance and laziness. Ideas have no career in such places.

Our governments in this region will largely await the opening of the US and “wing it” on the hope that there are no explosions in Covid 19 infections.

That is because Cronyocracies cannot respond to crisis in any broad sense. First, because they do not possess or cultivate citizen trust.

Second, because they destory and so lack strategic verve or creative capacity!

3. Citizens who howl at crony government cabals are themselves to blame as well. We have the governments we deserve. Cronyocracies survive because each demented political tribe feeds off of collusive nexus, in hopes of some temporary crumbs from its table of feckless skullduggery!

We are our worst political enemies!

There will be no protests because governments now have the excuse of “Emergency Powers”; which means they can prevent citizens protesting against failures now crippling their lives, even though that failures have been expanding for decades.

This is how pandemics work politically!

Country defaults and company bankruptcies will cascade. Governments will never blame their cranial sclerosis for the carnage; even as they ignore, wilfully, basic sound policy options in preference for reactionary decisions that protect their lackeys...as we are now discovering with Trump and Boris Johnson in the UK!

They will have at the ready - galloping nonsense - excuses, stating the obvious that this - pandemic - has never happened before; despite the fact that the majority of their citizens have been living in Covid 19 conditions for decades.

For companies the only margins available will be those which digitisation brings...but that means not only 20% fewer jobs globally, it means at a time when nations have seen their incomes vanish, the social-safety-net/public assistance will face unprecedented demands.

And starvation level suffering will pervade the world, whilst overfed politicians make mumbling excuses. 

Mark my words!


Source

Cannibals in the Church of the Bahamas

Are Cannibals in the Church of the Bahamas?


By Huedley Moss:

During the 40s and 50s a reporter asked Mahatma Ghandhi his view on Christianity. He responded, I know of Jesus, but Christians are so unlike Jesus Christ!

Right he is. It seems, the Bible and Jesus as the head of church is inappropriate with all of its examples for us to learn from and follow; is no longer the golden standard for Christian stewardship!

Let’s faced it. Of the more than 9 billion people who have lived and living on earth, not one of us were perfect and without flaws! Not Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, Daniel Peter and Paul! Jesus Christ is our example!

If we modeled our lives after Mortals, we will most certainly not accomplish our primary goal, of entering His Kingdom!

So why are contemporary Christians cannibalizing each other in Satan’s Arena?

Samuel, David, Elijah, Nehemiah, Paul and Jesus never destroy a flawed brother publicly!

They never used Fleshly works to attack a brother! Cuz they realized we are all mortal corruptible beings!

Naturally Jesus Christ is the Only exception!

What we have seen on social media with one person claiming to be God’s Oracle viciously attacking the well loved Singing Bishop in a setting chaired by Satan himself, is the most outrageous attack I have ever seen one mortal Inflicted on another! To God be the Glory.

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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Our United War on the Coronavirus

Dear friends and family around the World:

It is now certain that we are at the early start of an extraordinary pandemic of the new corona virus 19 - with at least two mutations: S being the original and L being the later one - which is much more fatal than the original.

In this period of great uncertainty none of us knows how future events will turn out - other than knowing that dealing with the virus is not a sprint but a long marathon that is to last probably at least two years.

We have to make a joint combined effort to overcome this global challenge, and each of us has much to contribute in the positive; even though such things may seem minor they will become monumental if done by as many of us as possible.

We are facing a war like scenario to combat, contain and become immune to this new virus. In the emergency situations our institutions will be put under unprecedented stress tests.

Like in any turmoil, some individuals will try to disregard our institutional framework and misuse the fog of first major biological war for their selfish aims.

Irrespective of the country you may be in, I appeal to you to preserve a social order and the type of constitutional democracy you live under.

Every challenge is also a great opportunity to make an historical contribution to a better society, and to be remembered for the positive and heroic deeds we are all capable of.

Both stability and progress toward a better society are essential.  Our joint efforts will greatly contribute to our humanity's survival - as we emerge in a better, healthier and more prosperous World for us and the future generations.

I wish you my very best, and remember that tough times do not last - but tough people do.

As challenging as it may seem, let’s unify the World to pursue greater and more ambitious goals then ever before.

Victor Kozeny

Monday, February 10, 2020

ANTI-BAHAMIAN NASSAU

By Gladstone Thurston

Downtown Nassau was abuzz with cruise ship tourists.

Decked out in summer wear, they sauntered lazily along taking in this balmy, winter’s day.

Merchants touted their wares; taxis plied their passengers; walking tours showed off sites of interest.

Gay music filled the air contributing to a brisk, upbeat tempo.

But, wait! Screeeech! Slam emergency brakes. Something is not right here!

Not a single one of the songs being played was Bahamian. Not one. Not while I was there.

And as if downtown Nassau today is not anti-Bahamian enough already, merchants are driving perhaps the last nail in their cultural takeover of the capital of the Bahamas.

Back in the day, Bahamian music and Bahamian entertainment played key roles in showcasing Nassau to the world.

I say, unabashedly, that downtown Nassau is all but Bahamian! One would need an electron microscope to find anything Bahamian in the shops and restaurants there.

We are presenting as the face of this nation that which this nation is not. We are giving the world a false impression of who and what we are.

Take a close look, folks. Nassau has degenerated into nothing more than a very expensive flea market featuring cheap tee-shirts and merchandise many say borders on fakery.

If tourists come to the Bahamas to enjoy things Bahamian, then downtown Nassau is not the place for them to go.

We have, appointed to serve this nation, a well-paid minister with responsibility for culture.

To what extent the current minister has been advocating on the part of Bahamian culture, I don’t know.

But, based on the preponderance of non-Bahamian cultural expressions taking root in the Bahamas, we have to question the effectiveness of the minister's policy as it relates to Bahamian culture, if there is one.

Long story short: we call on the minister for culture and the government to rise to the occasion and Bahamianized downtown Nassau.

Failure to do so and we will move for the minister’s permanent recall from parliament.

We also warn those who would want to highjack Nassau, for their petty, personal gain, that unless things Bahamian obtain, we will lead a boycott of the anti-Bahamian Nassau merchants.

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

...something ordinary yet extraordinary as hell for the white elite of the Caribbean...

By Christian Campbell:



It must have been fifteen years ago that Ian Strachan invited me to speak at a Majority Rule event at the former College of The Bahamas with the recently honoured ex-minister of the colonial UBP regime.

I was fresh from Oxford, recovering, working as a journalist and editor in the meanwhile. Ex-Minister was revealing in this public conversation. He said that he had no white friends because, in his words, all the set he knew were boring and only spoke of money, no thought.

Then, he did something ordinary yet extraordinary as hell for the white elite of the Caribbean (or anywhere for that matter)— he said that as a child he once asked, *Why Grammy so dark?* And they explained why.

Of course, to my eyes, perhaps to Blind Blake’s eyes too, it was obvious. I told him he looks like Michael Manley. Without missing a beat, he said, “First cousin!” We laughed.

To be sure, this late-life phase of pseudo-atonement posed no great risk to him— he had long since made his money by any means necessary; he had long since damaged and denied education for black people that couldn’t pass, meaning for everyone. But it remains intriguing.

What, we must ask, is more fragile, more suspect, more slippery than whiteness in the Caribbean (or anywhere for that matter)? The tarbrush levitates overhead, Avenging Angel. We, Manley Cousin and I, laughed the strange laugh of the Plantation, knowing. How maimed and monstered are we by the eugenics of the Ship.

¿Y tu abuela, dónde está?

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