Australian Open: Federer again

Just to get off my bitterness about the CWC being broadcast on pay-per-view and the fact that if I want to watch it on TV I'm effectively paying TWICE...

Roger Federer must be the most dominating athlete on the planet right now. People may decry men's tennis because of a lack of rivalry for Federer, but it's not his fault. He just plays amazing tennis, on all surfaces, against all opponents.

On the ladies' front, one Pat Cash must certainly be eating crow regarding Serena Williams's chances. She showed that she's still capable of dominating the game even after injury layoffs and dealing with difficult family circumstances. Well done.

Update: Pat Cash did make a half-hearted attempt to eat his humble pie, although he stopped short of giving credit to Serena and instead blamed it on the lack of quality on the WTA. He's kind of right, I think, however Serena still had to play the games and won in dominating fashion.


Want to watch your own team in the World Cup? $200.00

If a Bermudian living here, even if they were a retired pensioner already struggling with medical and living expenses, wished to watch on TV Bermuda's appearance at the ICC Cricket World Cup, they would have to fork out at least $200 for the rights through one of the cable companies via a pay-per-view service.


Here's an idea. Since everybody else is doing it, why don't we request an SDO or something to get Government to pay whatever fees there are to broadcast this free-of-cost? This matter is of national importance.

It shouldn't be up to the BCB, their goal is to put out a competitive team and further foster growth of the sport. Nor should I fault the company that bid for the packages and signed their deal with the cable company, that's the free-market process.

Where I'm thrown for a bit is the fact that Bermuda Broadcasting, which I think is affiliated with the CMC/CBU, didn't get first rights to this event (and secure some Government subsidizing), since they already have rights to televise the Olympics no matter that the other local TV media outlet is aligned with NBC who have their own deal with the Olympics.

Because the head of the company that secured the media rights is a Member of Parliament, there could be a conflict of interests arising if this matter was up for debate. I'm not sure. But you'd like to think that if the FIFA World Cup final or even the Rugby World Cup final could be broadcast on local TV the Cricket World Cup could be done so, even if it's just Bermuda's matches as well as the final.


Another look at casinos

I was watching the local TV news last night and they were interviewing Senator Burch regarding conscription for local males in the Regiment. At one point he quipped something to the effect that he'd like to drive at 60 mph but the laws say he'd be liable to be put off the road. I just laughed at the possiblity of legistlation arising to increase the speed limit to that amount. Ah, you had to be there. I'd link to it of course, but Bermuda Broadcasting is still yet not online. They ought to take a page from that of CBC in Barbados.

Today is a national holiday in Barbados to honour Errol Barrow, affectionately known as the Father of Independence. It has taken some time, but I think Bajans are fully proud of their status as an independent nation and the sweat and tears it took to reach that pinnacle in 1966.

In Bermuda there has been some debate regarding legislating casino-style gambling. It's the typical bring in vast income versus bring in immorality and crime debate going on. I think it's worthwhile to pay attention to what's happening in the Caribbean. Guyana has recently passed a bill allowing for it and it's met with strong opposition from Christian organisations and individuals. With the Cricket World Cup looming there's opportunities for Caribbean countries to blossom economically in the tourism sector and casino gambling is one way to get some high net worth persons to spend money there.

Debate over it has spread across the globe. And while accusations of increased crime, prostitution and other activity deemed illegal and immoral may have merit, this editorial in the Nation points out that in the Bahamas where casinos flourish, such arguments are unfounded. It also brings up the fact that many other forms of gambling exist and are either tolerated (here, horse racing wagering and football pools) or not considered (all over, bingo... plus raffle tickets). I think that among Christian organisations only the SDAs seem to have a true and respectable stance on gambling.


A couple island issues

No, I'm not getting into the UBP continuing-to-splinter saga, although it's definitely food for thought. Check IMHO's and Limey's thought-provoking discussion arenas on the current local political situations. Neither am I saying anything on the Regiment's conscription fair-or-foul debate just yet (I think I will in due course), but here are a few worthy links.

I like going to islandstats.com for its solid up-to-the-minute reporting of local sports (and sports where Bermudians or sons of Bermudians are featured, such as NFL player Antonio Pierce and several college athletes), however I wonder why some of the advertisments currently there are outdated. The feature banner ad is still wishing us a happy holidays (the ads rotate, so you may not see it first time around).

Anyway, we've already logged a fatality on the roads for 2007, and it's obvious that many drivers on Bermuda's roads still drive too recklessly. I mean, our roads are in decent condition, are usually well-marked with meridian lines and proper signage in most places, however we still have people who don't know the correct procedure for reaching a roundabout, indicate when they don't have to (and the reverse!), and then there's guys like the driver of 25874 who for some reason was in the middle of traffic at the Flatts intersection when he ought to have been behind the stop line waiting for traffic to clear. Heck. Again, somebody please enforce the laws!


Bermuda still struggling in the Internet Age

Firstly, it's the Martin Luther King national holiday in the United States and we should take some time to give thanks to him and the civil rights movement that helped to make not only that country, but many other nations, better.

I want to get an office chair for my room so I can actually sit correctly/comfortably at my computer. Because most stores here inexplainably shut at 5pm I'm unable to browse the stores except during my lunch period, when I'd rather be, you know, eating lunch. But maybe the stores have an online presence. Yeah. The few that actually do, don't even bother to list what they have and definitely don't mention any kind of prices. They may say, look we have this chair [pictures here], visit the manufacturer's site to find out the specs, and that's it, still no price. So most likely you'd have to find a telephone number and make a bunch of inquiries instead, losing a great deal of time and patience. The only benefit is that all the businesses are on even footing. If someone actually made it convenient for an individual to browse and order online things like office equipment, they'd have such an advantage... but in Bermuda, the so-called e-commerce hub, things still continue to go at a 1970s pace.


Talk about housing

Oh, Sir John. A former Premier appears to think that Government will be unwise if they implement policies to help the average person buy a house. I suppose it's admirable that he's defending free market and current property owners, but it sure looks like he's telling the rest of us to just suck it up and deal with it and scheme ways (e.g. deal drugs!) to afford such dwellings.

I do agree, home owners shouldn't sell themselves short when it comes to their own property, and should get whatever price they can (it's why I'm sort of okay with the owners of the Southlands property being able to sell to that hotel group if they get an offer). However, Government has an obligation to provide solutions to the lower-income brackets. We have people living in old cars on the beach or squatting in abandoned hotels for goodness sake!

Anyway, it's hard to side with a businessman who's in the job of providing high-rent apartments to the more wealthy instead of some lower-cost apartments to help the common man and woman.

Also of note this morning: damn, the popular Bermuda bloggers are old, heh. And now the question that goes through my head is, should I feel an obligation to become more prominent (i.e. buff up this site and market it more) on behalf of the non-whites in this country? Mind you guys like Denis Pitcher also blog and are way more public-minded than I've ever been, so I hope people recognize that the face of blogging in Bermuda isn't necessarily white 30-something males.


More political chaos

Bermuda is in a unique position compared with its Caribbean neighbours in that despite having similar political systems (Westminster), with only two long-standing political parties and a lack of independents, because the racial makeup of the island is of a greater balance than the island countries to the south. Many Caribbean nations are 80% black or higher; Bermuda has about 55% black and 35% white, give or take. Race has been a major issue in Bermuda for seemingly forever.

The death knell may have began to sound for one of Bermuda's political parties, namely the UBP which has claimed to be the party of integration, after one of its representatives in Parliament quit the party due to racial issues. It may be coincendence alone but a little weird that Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, not long after assuming the leadership of the country, expressed a wish to wipe the UBP out for good, because it seems that he won't have to do it himself.

I tend not to get invested in political issues because of a lack of faith in the process, the seeming lack of attention to issues except when an election is due, but it does intrigue me sometimes and I'd like to see what the fallout becomes of this. Will the UBP totally disintegrate? Is there hope for either the (defunct?) NLP or the new ABC (or even something else) to emerge stronger? Will we see more persons run as independents in the next election? Will the PLP stroll to an even greater majority in Parliament without lifting a finger?

Race shouldn't be a factor in who can best run the country, right? Some here would say that it's naive to believe that, and like it or not, that's the conditions that Bermuda is in. And I have too many thoughts and questions on it to fit into one post. Maybe eventually I'll put these thoughts in my little corner of the web, if I get the opportunity.


They're finally getting a clue about drivers

Is it kosher to say that I'm pissed off about bad urinal habits?

Fellas, stop spitting your gum into the urinals. There's usually a trashcan nearby, so show some control. Custodians already have to deal with a bunch of crap and this nasty habit is easy enough to curtail.

Anyway, in a sign that perhaps people are actually getting it, this Gazette report says that the Bermuda Police fear that people would rather pay the fine rather than cut their speed on the roads.

Duh. How long have I been saying that?

It also applies to parking (double-parking) but nobody in the position to make changes has yet acknowledged this publicly. I've already said that the Dejon Simmons story hasn't affected the population, so it ought to be realized that we can't trust Bermuda's drivers. It may be unpopular, but when lives are at stake you have to take the initiative. It's time to impound vehicles on the spot, raise the fines, and suspend licences for longer periods of time.

Anyway, I'm done for the time being. Read the Gazette Editorial.