Stop the silly games, show empathy and consideration for each other and be willing to collaborate.
I'd be lying if I was optimistic of it all, but who knows. We're due a pleasant surprise, I imagination.
But anyway, always nice to see a new blog on the Bermuda scene. Blogging is not yet an outdated communication mechanism in Bermuda, thank goodness.
However, they all too often are figuratively, and apparently now *literally* preaching to the choir.
How about going out to those men and women in their areas and having heart-to-hearts and discussions on 'their turf'? If they're truly influential community leaders, then it shouldn't be any problem at all to get time to spend with those at risk of falling into illegal and dangerous behaviours.
After all, the chances of those already in the cycle of crime, attending those churches, or even watching the TV broadcasts of those services afterwards, is zero. Take it to the streets, take it to the people.
The claims varied from being offensive, inappropriate and potentially racist.
And because stupidity knows no bounds, it was politicians from *both* sides of the aisle who took offense.
One thing that I've understood as politicians is that you ought to have a thick skin or you'll never survive in that atmosphere. Yet, whenever it comes to things as simple as political cartoons, politicians act as if they were shown hanging from a tree or something equally nefarious.
It's overalls. God.
I don't have the archive to go through but it would be safe to presume that each of the individual cartoon images were pulled from separate cartoons drawn up in the recent past. The one of the Premier must have been from one where he was getting down to work, while the others may be of some business-type meeting.
And even so. If you, as a politician, are taking offense to a depiction of the Premier, or any politician, wearing garb that shows him as working (I think carpenter, but it could be bricklayer or painter or plumber), then you need to get a damn grip.
Hell, we need more carpenter/plumber/electrician types in Parliament in the first place, and less strutting suits. People willing to get down in the trenches instead of preaching silly things like political cartoons. Shame on them.
BEST or one of the amalgamated church factions should get the jump on the OBA with this one, I imagine.
For a group whose most significant function this year has been the equivalent of calling a manager's meeting, they seem awfully naive to the realities of what "painful decisions" are.
We get it, they (and this goes for the other political party, too) don't favour polls that show your team in a negative light. We get that they would rather be seen as the group that focuses more on getting things solved. Problem is that the OBA is coming across as doing neither; neither making the voting public happy or encouraged nor making the so-called tough decisions.
Frankly, and the collection of OBA fanatics posting on Bernews and the RG would be in total uproar at this possibility, I agree 100% that if an election was held today, the OBA would not only lose control of government, they'd lose by a significant margin of seats.
It should not have taken nearly a full calendar year to address issues like expanding gambling (that's what it is, not "gaming"), for example.
Get the tough stuff sorted out, and show the people why X, Y, and Z will benefit Bermuda, without coming across as dictatorial (or the other extreme: wishy-washy), and the average swing voter will appreciate it.
Salam & Greetings:Ha ha ha ha ha ha...
I am interested in building a hotel in your Bermuda. I need you as a consultant, guardian and supervisor. I have my hotel plan drawn already by my architect. If you are willing to work with me on a confidential funds transfer from my country to execute this project, then we can build this hotel. Please reply for more details.
Mr. S. A
- The ISPs
- The cell phone providers
- The local insurance companies
These recession-proof businesses have been laughing their way to the bank for so long it's a bit sad.
Edited to add that I've posed this poll off-site at BIAW. Have a look at the results.
Today's one alerts me that my account is listed for suspension (the horror):
All 'official-looking', and that. heh. They couldn't even be bothered to copy the company logo into the mail this time around. Getting soft."Please be informed that your account has been listed for suspension and may be disabled if you do not activate now. Some errors were discovered in your account. For security reasons, you are now required to have your account activated immediately"Kindly proceed to activate below.
[Link removed]Yours sincerely,
© 2013 Capital G
All jokes aside, and I'm probably preaching to the choir (or lack thereof) again, these kinds of things are scams, don't click on links in the messages, don't reply to the message originator.
Problem is, that there are certain services that shouldn't be expected to be profitable. Minimise losses, sure.
Healthcare, postal services, trash collection and public transportation are often mention as suitable services to be run independent of government influence. Each of the above have great value to our community, but it's difficult to envision a system of privatisation of either that wouldn't immediately lead to a loss of service.
Throw healthcare out of the discussion immediately; this community is too small to sustain any semblance of a profitable hospital and support services. And a centralized hospital (and support clinics, etc) with access to all members of the public is essential.
Postal service, perhaps. It may be the least essential of the above-mentioned services, and from one perspective, it could probably be streamlined somehow to be more efficient without cutting service to those who use it most.
Trash collection, well, we've been using twice-a-week trash collection for several years now, and with the amount of trash that we seem to generate, things like cutting back pickups to once-a-week or a staggered system (e.g. every 4/5 days) wouldn't find favour with several residents. Would people be willing to subscribe to a privatised trash collection service? Could be something worth listening to if some budding entrepreneur had suggestions and a sound business plan.
And of course, the bus and ferry system. What's hilarious is that most of the people who advocate privatisation of public transport appear to have no experience whatsoever with actually using buses or ferries, nor any semblance of reliance on them for any period of time.
Let's say that buses and ferries are all sold or distributed to a private enterprise. The first thing that the new owners will do is streamline routes. Face it, some routes get far less volume than others. So bye-bye, #4 Spanish Point route. Hope you're happy with one bus in the morning and one in the evening. Similar story for the #2 Ord Road, #5 Pond Hill, #6 St. David's. Senior citizens and other disabled persons on those routes? Sorry, but you can call a taxi or maybe pay triple fare on those misnamed "minibuses" (really, hired vans). Weekends on those routes? Ha. Good luck with that. And don't chuckle, folks on the #1, #3 and #9 routes. You think it sucks being cut off after 6:15pm? Try 5:45. Then you're stuck with a cab or bust.
The point is that service would become so drastically cut on a privatised bus system, along with a major hiking of rates, that the bus system (and ferries, for that matter) would cease to become anything of worth whatsoever. It's just not that easy.
I haven't even brought up the very real issue of deliberating and arrangements with the workers' unions involved. That would pose a major challenge to any initiative even if it was green-lighted by the powers that be. I think that the proposed schedule adjustments submitted to them are a decade old and not acted on. Wonder if the new Transport Minister has even looked at it, much less acknowledged it. Doubtful. But that's another topic.
Local online media outlet Bernews has a story up about a petition.
No joke, they've taken a photo of the petition and put their company watermark on it. A photograph of a printout. Or possibly a scan of a printout.
Mind you, further down there's a photo of the building at the centre of the issue, but no company watermark. Weirdness abounds.
Just reason #11 that there's so much dang road rage and dangerous driving conditions on this little island.
Let the web of copyright, broadcasting and who's to pay who, begin. Perry Footwear, I'm sure you're on notice already.
Just what we needed, of course - watch the grocery stores, who sometimes air music while people shop, then have to pay a few thousand bucks to this PRS, and then to make up the shortfall, impose further hikes on their produce.
I wonder if that church group that plays that ominous theme you always hear in movie trailers, is also subject to paying royalties...
Is it because it brings in the religious crowd, the politicians seeking votes and every Tom, Dick and Harry with their own interpretation of moral standards or the Golden Rule?
Politics, wars, community violence, heck, even celebrity 'news' pales in comparison. If someone prominent in society comments on gay folk, people en masse will pile on the debate (or chaos, whichever term you prefer to apply).
All I know is that my hit count would quadruple if I started a post with Leviticus 11 (18? 20?... oh, whatever chapter the 'abomination text' resides in...)
Seems that it's not just one "company" blitzing my e-mail inbox with junky scams, they're now coming in thick and fast.
"Capital G. Internet Banking."Today:
New CGIBS6023 Security:
Dear Valued Customer,
(Please be informed that there was a recent upgrade on our banking server, all customer account was disabled for verification)
All clients with Current and Savings Account are hereby required to activate their account now.
Activation: http://CGIBS6023[SCAMMY LINK]
"CAPITAL G Internet Banking."Lord, scammers are a persistent lot. Don't get tricked, folks.
(Please be informed that there was a recent upgrade on our banking server, all customer account was disabled for verification)
All clients with Current and Savings Account are hereby required to activate their account now.
Proceed with activation:
https://ebanking.capital-g.com/Security.aspx (The text here is correct, but the link behind it points to a scammer)
CAPITAL G ONLINE SERVICES
Looking forward to future postings and musings. Hopefully he won't have to deal with everybody asking him "what happened", "why isn't the paper taking comments" or the like.
Because part of me is still 11 years old, I was inspired to dig up my old Lego collections from the 80s and see if I could come up with a cricket scene for the office Cup Match decorating festivities.
People seemed to enjoy it, I had to do some customisation to produce cricket uniforms for the players but for a first draft at short notice I was pretty happy with the effort. If only Lego wasn't so expensive nowadays, I'd be really enticed to expand on this project in future years. As it is, I'm there are some budding young future engineers and architects in Bermuda that could do a smashing job at creating a miniature Wellington Oval or Somerset Cricket Ground and enter it in those Phoenix Stores competitions they have every year.
A coworker suggested that I go a step further and try to make a video of some of the scenes, but I don't really think I had that kind of time on my hands this year.
It's the sort of mass media madness that we usually only see for disasters and celebrity weddings/funerals.
To me, the hype over someone who someday will likely inherit the title of "His Royal Majesty" is enough to make me want to be a Republican (not to be confused with the US political party).
With all due respect to any family celebrating the birth of their newborn, there are more critical issues facing the everyday man and woman worthy of far more discussion and debate.
Mind you, I chuckled a bit when I read a suggestion that the new 'prince' could be given the name Joffrey.
Please, people, do not fall for these kinds of scams. The warning signs are everywhere. Look up the term "phishing" to find out more about how to recognize the scams, and be aware of the dangers involved. One example is provided by Scamwatch.
One could say that the corporate world has won; Bernews and the Royal Gazette don't suffer from a lack of article commentary, and from what I gather, the Facebook groups that discuss issues remain at least somewhat popular in terms of quantity of subscribers/members.
The political parties here seem content to operate their online ventures in a vacuum-of-sorts; the OBA remains isolated to Facebook while the PLP blog continues to operate as a propoganda machine instead of a conveyor of information and suggestions.
However, there's still a place for independent bloggers, I think. As long as popular blogs like Catch-A-Fire remain thriving and relevant (and I see no reason to believe that won't be the case over the next year or two), local blogs still have the opportunity to thrive and become a point of reference for Bermudians in general. We may just have to re-invent, expand and innovate. No, that doesn't mean I'm giving away $1,000 for the next blog comment, in order to get more traffic.
* (Catch-A-Fire, Vexed and Breezeblog)
"Indian apparel company TK Sports has been confirmed as the exclusive supplier of team apparel for the Caribbean Premier League"Not shocking, but perhaps disappointing the folks couldn't try and get a local supplier a decent gig instead?
If you happen to come across this, lady driver of white hatchback 20111, you need to change your dangerous habit immediately.
I guess Bermuda and the authorities here still have a long way to go with regard to changing their driving cultures. Because for what it's worth, we saw a woman near Trimingham Hill roundabout do a similar thing, this time texting on her Blackberry (keeping it out of sight? Nice try, lady).
Stop the freaking madness, Bermuda.
Picture this. Bus shelter. Well shaded. Trash cans in plain view. Yet we find empty plastic bottles, containers and used napkins scattered underneath and wedged into the bench and the general area.
I don't care about Bermuda's so-called reputation for cleanliness. We have a bunch of filthy-ass folks living here who just don't give a crap. And it's disgusting.
What a great message to send to employers that may be looking to take on Bermuda College grads.
Regardless of what the community at large feels about how harmless the drug is, it's still freaking illegal to use it. Combine that with the high percentage of those claiming to drink alcohol, and I'd be wondering how productive these potential employees could be in a work environment, much less be focused in classes and excel in exams.
On top of that, there's the implication of date rape, as well as the usage of so-called designer drugs, at play here among these students.
I don't know if it would violate invasion of privacy policies, but perhaps Bermuda College should look into drug testing for students, especially since it's at least partially Government-funded (and thus taxpayer-funded) higher education.
Surely, that wall could be enhanced with some kind of Bermuda-themed accessories? Some flags, maybe maps, historical photos,... something?
On another note, it had been a long time since I had the opportunity to fly off and back to the island, and every time I do, I always have to do guesswork on those Customs/Immigration forms. Do I check the strange "claiming change of residence allowance" box or not? And, why don't we have to complete Immigration/Departure forms anymore? Are the airport computer systems setup to gather that information automatically by passport scans these days, or do they simply not bother?
Hate to say it, but this is one time that I wouldn't mind Gov't spending a few bucks on a TV ad promotional campaign to help us figure out the new system with its quirks and whatnots.
I wasn't alone. The Gazette's then-editor weighed in on the craziness back in Setember 2010, and it was pretty clear that the thought that the selection panel was too heavily weighted with politicians (from a single party, even) was a shared one. Essentially, government owned the entire decision-making process instead of the people. Hell I *still* don't know what they meant by "it did not work" with regard to having people who weren't politicians involved with the selection process.
Anyway, we have four selected National Heroes already cemented, for better or worse. How I would go about enhancing/revamping/overhauling this:
Immediately break up whatever current committee exists and start fresh.
Appoint a seven-member group to handle the next nomination and selection process. No more than one active politician from either political party can be represented. It would be pretty awesome if both parties declined that particular invite, to be fair (albeit unlikely). The remaining 5 (or more) can be determined by mutual agreement of the Premier and Opposition Leader, the Governor on advice from said leaders or the Independent Senators. As mentioned previously, we should have a collection of historians, scholars, researchers and others with knowledge of the historical accomplishments (which could include present-day activities, of course) in all fields of Bermuda. Therefore, you could have those with great accomplishments in literature, sports, the environment, science, education, all being considered at the same level as your typical politician-types.
I've been weighing up the pros and cons of a public vote on the finalists; I tend to lean against it only because I don't think the majority of Bermudians (myself most certainly included!) would have more than a passing interest or knowledge of the various candidates. Even if we did our homework (the excellent site bermudabiographies.com is a very good site to begin), I don't think we'd come close to having the hands-on knowledge of the nominees that the committee would certainly possess, potential biases aside. Rather, the public should be free to suggest, publicly or via written submission, the names of said persons, to the committee for review, and those should certainly be taken into account (for example, if there's overwhelming public support for say, Clyde Best, they should push his name through immediately).
After that, the committee can deliberate and debate amongst themselves. Eventually, they should be able to come up with SIX worthy candidates to add to the four already chosen by their predecessors, it can be announced late in the year. To interject quickly, the announcement can come from the committee itself. Not submitted to a government Minister for approval. Not run by Cabinet for tweaking. Committee has final say, period. The following year, National Heroes Day can be set up for special recognition of the ten chosen heroes. And that's it. No additional members should be considered until ten years have passed. This will allow adequate time for the current crop to get full recognition, signage, inclusion on murals, buildings, public parks, etc. After ten years, if Bermuda so wishes/needs, the committee can reconvene (with new members if needed) and we can go through the process for a next group of FIVE. We shouldn't have to go through this process every single year, it's a waste of time and money when it can be done thoroughly and efficiently once every ten years.
I don't know if the new Government has Heroes' Day on its immediate agenda, it's not as critical an issue as employment, the economy, education and crime, of course. But I'd be happy if they at least took some steps to get rid of the ad-hoc, amateurish setup of the current process, and put in place a process that is clean, professional and one that Bermudians can be happy about.
Admittedly, the questions aren't identical, and there may be subtle language in one or both of the questions to lead an independent respondent to favour one response or another, but I'm not an analyst. For all intensive purposes, the polls are similar in scope in my opinion to warrant the same kind of result, which they clearly do not (see below):
The Bda Sun:
It's pretty amazing that the results of these polls don't match up at all with each other. It also enhances claims that Bermudians may also be divided on which newsmedia they support, and how it may corroborate also with political leanings of each site's viewers.
- Poker? Nope.
- Bingo? Yes.
- Roulette? Nope.
- Roulette at a Fair? Yes.
- Slot machines? Nope.
- Raffle tickets? Yes.
- National Lotteries? Nope.
- Betting on overseas horse races at various establishments? Yes.
- Crown And Anchor? Depends on the day of year, and the venue. Sheesh.
Bermuda missed the boat on not only a national lottery with revenue being used for either sports, charities or the impoverished, but also the poker tournament craze. Either of these had the potential to be a revenue stream for Bermuda (the latter serving as a tourism-boosting product, of course). I'm neither here nor there about the casino option; if the hotels wanted it, fine, but what about those bars/restaurants that used to have slot machines that were later confiscated? Surely it would be hypocritical to allow hotels to do it but not regular bars/restaurants? Anyway, I digress.
So here we are, another decade later, and the government considering a referendum to allow (only) casino-style gambling establishments to be implemented.
And if the proposed bill is anything like the crazy crap that turned a simple cell phone use while driving law into a convoluted, legal hole-picking misconstruction of a 'policy', we're in for some more crazy crap, with accusations of collusion, favour-dealing and other chicanery ready at the launch.
Again,... dear... lord. And no, I'm not going to share with you the original URL from my 'DAG on the Web' days of '99. Only long-time followers of my exploits (of whom I imagine have all forgotten the URL anyway) would be able to guess at it, at best. But try out a site like Pepsi or McDonald's to see their not-so-sharp beginnings on the Web.
But because I'm not a complete arse about the 'early days', I'll show you some screenshots.
But think about this: before even these variations were around, I had a typical faux 90s-cool site, white text on black background, colored 'divider lines', and yes, the dreaded Under Construction logo. This one...
At least it was relatively small. Completely high-tech.