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Opinions Last Updated: Jan 9, 2018 - 10:18:25 AM
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Rick Lowe: Government should follow the rules with law making - Jan 9, 2018 - 5:02:49 AM

Here we go again.

Four new Bills have been tabled in Parliament yet again and the government has not followed the proper procedure as laid down by the Westminster System of Government and agreed by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

They include: Financial Transactions Reporting Bill, 2017 - 46 pages, Integrity Commission Bill, 2017 - 110 pages...
Opinions
Oswald T. Brown: Marijuana should be legalized in the Bahamas - Jan 8, 2018 - 7:45:48 PM

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When I covered Jamaica’s independence in August of 1962 for The Tribune, I did a feature article on the Rastafarians and their lifestyle. To get interviews, a Jamaican journalistic colleague arranged for me to visit a Rastafarian camp off Foreshore Road. I got there around dinner time and was invited to have dinner with a group of them. We sat in a circle and ate from a large bowl at the centre of the circle, and after we finished eating, they passed around a marijuana “joint” the size of a large cigar.

When I took a puff, I almost choked to death, and my host repeatedly slapped me on the back while saying, “Ma bradda, you no have to partake, this our ritual...”
Opinions
Modern Slavery - Jan 4, 2018 - 12:57:07 PM

MODERN SLAVERY! The world is in uproar after shocking revelations of modern slavery were reported by CNN news last month. A man was videotaped selling African migrants at the cost of $400.00 for farm work.

Many people have begun to petition and to speak out against what is going on in Libya however, I have been more concerned with the fact that this isn't some regress back to the days of old...
Opinions
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on taxes, WTO and outsourcing - Nov 16, 2017 - 9:40:55 AM

Ah well, here we go again! The talk of the town is now saying things like: "Let's even the playing field ... tax them!"; "By 2019 we'll be full members of the WTO" and "Let's outsource it."

"Let's even the playing field, let's tax them," says one Minister when talking about Bahamians who rent their houses to visitors. Let's see now, a person rents his house to a visitor and makes less than $100,000/year - is he now to pay taxes on his income? Does anyone else pay taxes on their income...
Opinions
Rick Lowe: More taxes for Bahamas businesses foreshadowed - Nov 5, 2017 - 11:03:24 AM

Coming on the heels of the OECD and its G-20 and European Union (EU) members threatening ‘blacklistings’ a few short months ago Mr. K. Peter Turnquest, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance suggests The Bahamas might have to look at implementing a low rate corporate income tax in order to comply with demands from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

How the Bahamas will comply and whether it will be forced to adopt a corporate income tax is disconcerting.

Bearing in mind businesses already pay a business license tax on gross income, the threat of even more taxation, following on the heels of the introduction of Value Added Tax that has had such a negative impact on local businesses 2015 is casting...
Opinions
Fred Smith: Gov’t must resist this hostile foreign takeover - Oct 25, 2017 - 8:19:19 PM

The attempted forcible buy-out of Grand Bahama Power Company by a 100 per cent foreign-owned entity is nothing less than an aggressive hostile takeover which is clearly not in the best interest of The Bahamas.

The proposed move contravenes Bahamian law on a number of levels and raises serious questions about the strength of our sovereignty and the integrity of our public institutions. All Bahamians who care about their rights and are committed to national self-determination should call on the government resist this ill-conceived plan. We have until November 7to make our voices heard...
Opinions
Fred Smith on Bahamas Immigration Reform: "An enlightened & progressive approach " - Oct 12, 2017 - 4:46:05 PM

The Immigration Policy followed by successive governments has failed to produce the desired results. The domestic economy has not flourished as a result of strict control of the labor force. Undocumented migrants, primarily from northern Haiti, continue to arrive on Bahamian shores in significant numbers.

Meanwhile, “Immigration enforcement” has devolved into little more than a vehicle for systemic corruption and exploitation; a political tool for the incitement of hatred, anti-foreign sentiment and nationalistic fervor.

The consequences of this ill-conceived approach include the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual  revenue, the establishment of an entrenched culture of official corruption, the creation of a sub-class...
Opinions
Monte Pratt: The challenges of Renewable Energy in the Bahamas - Oct 6, 2017 - 1:48:26 AM

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Over The Last 5-years, There Has Been A Lot Of 'Novice' Discussions On Radio Talk-shows And In Social Media About How Much Sunshine And Breeze That The Bahamas Has. And The Fact We Need To Embrace Solar And Wind Energy Technology To Reduce Energy Cost. But What About The Challenges That These Solar And Wind Energy Utilities Face?

First Of All, None Of These 'Novice Advisors' Noted The Fact That The Bahamas Is Located In 'The Heart Of The Hurricane Belt'. Secondly, None Of These 'Novice Advisors' Noted The Fact That The Bahamas (Every Island) Was Hit By 3 Major Hurricanes In The Last 3 Consecutive Years And Also Has Suffered 8 Major Hurricanes Since August 1992...

Opinions
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." - Sep 30, 2017 - 9:20:56 AM

Sometime ago I read a rather intriguing book entitled, "The Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man."

Not only was it intriguing, it was frightening. It was written by a man who had been called in by the American Government to form a group whose sole purpose, it appeared, would be to bankrupt countries making them "economic colonies" of the United States.

This is unbelievable, but here's basically what the author explained. They would go to a country, big or small, find a "big-eyed John/Jane" who wanted to look good with his/her constituents and needed money to do so. They would find, for example, that the Government needed money to build a two-lane highway but had none.

They would move in and convince them that instead of a two-lane highway, they should get a four-lane one. "Not to worry," they'd say. "We will lend you the money." Being a big-eyed John/Jane, wanting to impress the constituents, and, of course, getting a little under the table for themselves, they would jump at the offer...
Opinions
Rick Lowe: I’m not mad at the IMF - Sep 16, 2017 - 12:12:49 PM

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So the IMF has suggested income tax to solve our fiscal woes…

Instead of looking at their proposed remedy, I suggest we look at the cause of the fiscal problems.

Simply put it as been fiscal imprudence by successive governments that has caused this. Yup, spending more than they take in while singing the praises of yet another great budget expansion without taxation to pay for it.

Instead of raising taxes governments since independence have borrowed until hitting
Opinions
The gods must be laughing - Aug 10, 2017 - 4:34:53 PM

No matter what Al Gore says, truth does not apply to science
 
Overlooked in the debates about former Vice-President Al Gore’s global warming films, An Inconvenient Truth (2006) and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017), is the fact that truth is not possible in science. Scientific hypotheses, and even scientific theories, are not truth; they can be, and often are, wrong.
 
Truth applies to mathematics, chess, and other endeavors in which we write the rules. It never applies to our findings about nature, which are educated opinions based on scientists’ interpretations of observations. Philosophers since ancient times have recognized that observations always have some degree of uncertainty...
Opinions
Fred Smith QC: The “Foreigner” can no longer be the Scapegoat! - Jul 21, 2017 - 7:17:37 PM

There has been a lot of agitation and blame  about “Foreigners” raping our  Marine and Fisheries Resources. In my view, this debate and blame game is  misconceived and futile. Simply blaming the "Foreigner" and focusing on "Foreign" depletion and exploitation BUT continuing to allow the same unregulated exploitation and  depletion ONLY by Bahamians, is not the answer. It is a recipe for environmental disaster.

In my view, the challenges faced in the Bahamas, by the rape, pillage, ruin and unsustainable depletion of our Marine and Fisheries Resources, and the unrelenting destruction of our Mangroves and Corals Reefs, requires rational, deliberate and careful attention.

It can perhaps be most effectively addressed by the new FNM  government adopting a more enlightened and effective approach by meaningful  consultation with those most  knowledgeable and  experienced in the field...
Opinions
Fred Smith: If the Government fixes Freeport it will fix The Bahamas! - Jul 15, 2017 - 10:48:30 PM

The Government has a unique opportunity to resurrect the Phoenix of Freeport from the ashes of political red tape and recession. This will require political courage to adopt a paradigm shift in foreign investment policies in Freeport and Grand Bahama. References to Freeport include Grand Bahama. If the Freeport experiment works, then with appropriate changes the model can be applied to the rest of The Bahamas for success!


For Freeport to succeed, Government should trust the GBPA to be the One Stop Shop Licensing Authority for Bahamian and foreign investment under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement . References to GBPA include DEVCO.

Opinions
Kemp: Are we a less violent society? Government has the key! - Jun 26, 2017 - 4:03:54 PM

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I was watching a video called, “Lord Jamar: Europeans Have Been Historically More Violent than Africans” on one of my favourite YouTube channels, DJVlad TV, and the host was interviewing a regular contributor to his YouTube broadcast  - an Old School, Hip Hop artist from one of my favourite groups back in the 90’s, Brand Nubian’s Lord Jamar. Of course, Lord Jamar is an Afrocentric artist from that era where being Afrocentric was a major part of Hip-Hop culture and has his views on cultural history from time immemorial.

The issue of Africans vs. Europeans, or any race vs race, is not the core position of this article. But, the funny thing is, while DJVlad TV is, primarily, an entertainment channel, the host from which the channel is named, the DJ Vlad, plugged a book from a Harvard Professor, Steven Pinker titled...

Opinions
Nimi Princewill: Jehovah's Witnesses Don't Belong With The Rest Of The World - Apr 25, 2017 - 7:19:30 AM

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The "Good News" as presented by our smooth-talking, modestly dressed and frequent unexpected guests- The Jehovah's Witnesses, who by the way, always tend to show up at the wrong time, isn't as particularly exciting as it sounds.

Asides the willingness of Witnesses, who are always equipped with materials to engage you in either brief or extensive debates (depending on your energy level and willpower for the day) in defense of their claim as the only "true religion" while others are viewed as "demonically inspired" (which could piss you off a little if you have no chill), there's a lot more to this interesting religious splinter cell.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, are fondly notable for their numerous seclusion from...
Opinions
The State of (Human) Rights in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in 2017 - Apr 17, 2017 - 9:07:27 PM

The Israelites, the Bible states, wondered forty years in the desert. It’s not that they were physically lost, for they knew where they were headed, and knew how to get there. The stars by night and the sun by day were the only GPS they needed. And they were fortified by manna in the desert.

But woefully, that nation of people was mentally and psychologically lost. Leaving the land of enslavement, after coming to the realization that as a people of value and dignity, they no longer cherished the ungodly treatment meted out to them. Yet, having subjected themselves for so long to this bondage, they were infused with the consciousness of enslavement at the very core of minutest parts of their being.
By Divine grace and a genetic transformation, they came to realize that no entry into the promised land was possible until every iota of mental slavery was exorcised from the very foundation of their being...
Opinions
"Spying Bill process. Another Abuse of Government Power?" - Mar 5, 2017 - 12:03:29 PM

The latest episode with the government attempting to pass legislation without public discussion or input, is yet another apparent abuse of power by this government.

Had Civil Society not raised eternal hell the government proposed passing the Bill without public consultation.

Now that government has backed down, I submit their action is simply to calm the waters so to speak, and will process the Bill anyway in whatever form they wish...
Opinions
Gilbert Morris: The GB (Port Area) Incentive Act is anti-Incentive - Feb 28, 2017 - 11:29:58 PM

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The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) is the finest Development Agreement in the world. I know, since I grew up under the agreement; wrote nearly all my undergraduate law papers on this agreement and wrote my first economics paper - again - on the HCA.

I understand that the government wants to facilitate economic growth in Freeport, and I believe this is their true noble desire.

However, the GB (Port Area) Incentive Act is absolutely the wrong way to go:

THERE ARE THREE MAJOR PROBLEMS AMONGST OTHERS:

A. It is wrong in Constitutional terms as the devolution of Sovereign concessions under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement was not a benefit to or intended for the Port
Opinions
Rick Lowe: Government Acting Immorally Over Tax Compliance Certificates - Aug 24, 2016 - 3:24:40 PM

During the last Budget presentation the Government snuck a provision through that businesses would have to apply for a Tax Compliance Certificate in order to be paid by them for goods and services.

In essence, if your taxes are not paid, the government will not pay you.

Seems like a reasonable proposition until you make application and find out that if a courier company imported something on your behalf and has not paid the import taxes you cannot get paid by the government. And it doesn’t matter if you paid your courier company...
Opinions
Patricia Glinton-Meicholas on the 2016 Bahamas Gender Equality Referendum - Jul 2, 2016 - 6:49:01 PM

On June 7, 2016, you voted against yourselves, your children and your children’s children. That says it all about you and your regression from the brave, forward thinking of the Bahamian suffragettes. You chose to believe that Eve and her female offspring were cursed in Eden, not just to bear the pains of childbirth, but to remain forever inferior to men, subject to their abuse. Shame on you.

The ‘Christian’ Nation: While The Bahamas is a church-going nation, most Bahamians are not Christians, not followers of the loving Christ that I cling to. Most of my Bahamian people...
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Rick Lowe: Government should follow the rules with law making
Oswald T. Brown: Marijuana should be legalized in the Bahamas
Modern Slavery
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on taxes, WTO and outsourcing
Rick Lowe: More taxes for Bahamas businesses foreshadowed
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