Buy Bermuda? No.

Here's the problem. Local businesses and Government want to beat us over the head with the fact that spending money overseas instead of locally will hurt Bermudians.

We get that. It's pretty obvious.

But here's the problem. When I read statements like "Concerned about creating good paying jobs in Bermuda? Buy Bermuda.", here's the thought that comes to my mind:

Why should I be responsible for subsidizing people who think working in a retail position entails sitting at their cash register all day, ignoring customers unless they're practically begging for assistance?

Customer service in many of the places here is a pure joke. I do not want to be subsidizing the salaries of people who think it's more important to chat with their buddies, worry about whatever Rick Dees has on the radio than to lower themselves to greet a prospective customer or ask if there's something they're looking for? And for the record, if Sports Locker goes out of business anytime soon, I sure won't lose any sleep over it.

Local businesses need to adapt - better customer service across the board, flexibility in opening hours (9-5 weekdays? WTH?), advertise via mediums like websites *with prices of items, please* (yep, it's the P-Tech blog post all over again).

Many of us would prefer to spend locally vs overseas, however neither local businesses nor government should be dictating to the public what to do with their hard-earned money.


Apathy to noise pollution

Great piece in the Gazette by Al Seymour (who often writes good pieces, by the way) the other day about noise pollution in Bermuda.

We have to deal with traffic noise (which is amplified by the over-loud stereos in some cars - we get it, you're compensating for something), someone digging up the road to lay something (and a month later, digging it up again to lay something else), and the occasional construction job.

Some of it is supposedly illegal (namely the vehicle engine noise and loud music), but nobody in a position of authority can be bothered to do anything about it.

And unfortunately, with apologies - the pun is already known - this article is doomed to go in one ear and out the other.


If you could pick your 36 MPs

This past weekend the idea came to mind, what would my 'dream' set of MPs be, would there be an interesting ratio of PLP/UBP/OBA/Other members in it, how would I assign Ministries, et al.

So today I took the existing 36, drew up a new table and tried to see how many of the current set I would like to have in the new structure.

After changing my parameters to "those who I think have potential and or can tolerate", I got stuck on 16.

And before anyone says, "typical anti-PLPer", I actually had more PLP reps in my 16 than OBA/UBPers.

That may not be a problem in and of itself; if the remaining 20 were a combination of former PLP and UBP MPs as well as Independents (and new blood), it would almost certainly lead to a less caustic, rabble-rousing House of Assembly floor in the first place. For starters, I'd have at least three well-known political bloggers in there (you could guess who'd they be) because of their combination of smarts, analysis and ability to generate ideas without being an ass about it. Then I'd include the last Independent MP elected as such - this time, it's a case of bringing experience and someone known for promoting sustainable development.

Okay, I made it up to 20 people. Where can I get 16 more? Best place to look may be at candidates who lost seats in the last election. I can immeditely think of two such persons - although in the case of one of them, he'll need to stop the foot-in-mouth crap first.

There's going to be new blood from the OBA and at least a couple new players from the PLP in the election mix, I could see a senator or two (or three if you count former senators) from the OBA as well as a young senator or two from the PLP who should get an opportunity to contribute to the dialogue without things going downhill. Assuming the best, now 9 seats remain up for grabs.

Inspiration hits me and I nominate a former young PLP Senator now overseas studying - it seemed a real pity that she was kind of 'cast aside', when she clearly represented a well-knowledged new breed of future politicians. At this point I'm really more about finding people with common sense on issues,... and you know what they say about common sense, it's not that common. I get torn deciding if to include some newspaper columists of note - commenting on political issues for a newspaper is one thing, taking it to the actual House is another animal, although one would argue that these may be the voices of reason when critical issues become hotly debated. So let's add two popular Bermuda Sun columnists, and we've finally hit 30.

For 31 I go with another current senator - youth and business acumen are the main selling points, although at this rate my Senate becomes closer to being totally unoccupied. Now I go back to former Senators and figure out that we could use two former UBP Senators in there, I'm not sure if they're still affiliated with a political party, but frankly at the point, I want to get two more women in there, and two women who aren't known to be feather-rufflers. Clearly by now you've realized there's no way that a current woman feather-ruffler is going to be in my Ideal 36.

Down to three slots to fill and my brain is falling over to come up with other options. I could be tempted to go old-school and bring back a couple of 'retired' politicians, but I want to keep up the forwad-thinking notions of my original scheme... although when I look at my chart I have one or two folks on this list who may be retiring sooner than I think. The easy way out is to choose the current Independent senators, but then my Senate is in a real hole. So, I open the floor up. Which three other people on this island would make a worthy Parliamentarian? For purposes of this argument, no currently sitting MP is eligible. Neither is any former Premier. Maybe a good night's sleep will bring inspiration.


Bermuda Government is a big joke, yet again

Read the Gazette articles on the Premier's mindless decisions on implementing customs duty increases - first the initial crazy decision, then the "delay" announcement.

There is not a facepalm photo big enough to represent the frustration at these spur-of-moment hairbrained schemes that Government has tried to roll out in recent times. Seriously. A 12-year old could have figured out that you can't implement a change in customs duty across the board in a matter of a day, regardless if the policy is right or wrong.

What is wrong with our MPs?