Don’t wait…

December 29th, 2007 by De Onion

Tanya Stephens hit it:

I’m tired of the hunger I see on people’s faces
Tired of the animosity between the races
Tired of corruption in high and low places
And pricks with money but no social graces
Tired of being judged for the style in my hair
And the music that I listen and the clothes that I wear
Tired of life and death being sold as a pair
and politicians who keep saying they care but
Maybe hoping for a change is a dream
Maybe life aint as bad as it seems
But if dreaming is the best I can do i’ll be dreaming my whole life through

CHO

What a day when war becomes a thing of the past
and peace, we will have it at last
and life is finally worth its cost and oh oh oh
What a day when men finally live what they teach
and love aint just a concept we preach
and blood no longer runs in the streets
oh oh oh, what a day

Verse 2

Tired of leaving church feeling like I’ve just been robbed
2 hours of rambling not much mention of God
The richest man’s the only one who does not have a job
A bunch of righteous freaks extorting worse than the mob
Tired of baby momma tired of babydaddy
Chilling in the spot where the parents should be
Teenage mother saying “Lea’ ma bi’niz alone”
In 20 years the kid could be robbing my home but
I got a vision of a whole other plain
Where the spiritual can flourish again
I’m just waiting for the fire to rain
Burn dung everything and start clean
(Repeat cho)

It’s a sad day when Bermuda sounds like Jamaica – so the answer is to step up and be the change we wish to see.

Much nonsense…

December 23rd, 2007 by De Onion

If any of Dr. Brown’s race consultants were at all interested in actually understanding “white privilege” that results in racial disparities in test scores, wealth, income, IQ, life expectancy, etc then they would do research on children’s life outcomes of those adopted at birth by black/white families… and the results are not kind to the view espoused by many in the PLP… but then neither are the opinions of people like Thomas Sowell.

Reparations for slavery are a bit of a joke because they ignore that fundamentally human capital is what matters (which is why Germany and Japan are wealthy countries today despite being completely bombed to the ground 60 years ago).

All things point one way – focus on taking care of children and families, then let natural (positive) consequences follow. However at this point the government has spent all of its political capital and it is now impossible for many to believe the government is capable of good faith or of successfully managing anything beyond the most basic administrative achievements.

Sadly, any data based view of achievement and performance attribution in life outcomes is very likely beyond the ability of the current government… and is very easily twisted by people who have an agenda and a desire to paint honest people in a bad light – like the PLP in campaign mode.

Danger looming…

December 22nd, 2007 by De Onion

Just a note.

If the potential US recession and the disaster that will be policies like work permit time limits, workforce Equality Act, and Goodwill Plus coincide then Bermuda could very easily face a serious problem.

If we want to control population, house prices, and foreign housing ownership then let’s control them with proactive policies and honest measurements, not driving up the cost of doing business so much that salaries don’t rise… and believe me, many of Bermuda’s brightest, hardest working, and most educated don’t feel welcome in the radical PLP’s Bermuda and will quite easily find work overseas.

Random Psych Link

December 20th, 2007 by De Onion

Social Psych – some good stuff in there related to business and politics.

Voting for change.

December 17th, 2007 by De Onion

Jonnystar asks the right questions (as usual).

So this blog is ‘officially’ UBP now?

The short answer – between now and 8PM tomorrow the answer is “Yes”… after that “No”.

I wish it didn’t have to be that way… I wish I could go out and vote for a candidate and not a party, but the simple fact is that the best predictor of future performance is past results… and the PLP has gone from a group of fairly moderate neophytes in 1998 to radical kleptocrats in 2007 and I want them gone. In the future I truly hope that I will be able to vote for the PLP candidate in my area if they are truly the best person for the job. Not this year.

My allegiance is to my island, to the future, and to the truth, not to a party.

What this election is really about.

December 16th, 2007 by De Onion

A lot of people that been saying that this election was full of nasty politicking and I really have to ask myself: what could be worse than the reality?… the government has no alternative. They have noting but a few minor administrative achievements.

We have a Premier who is far as we can tell got together with his cronies and decided to misappropriate huge amounts of money from the taxpayers – lining both his pockets those of other people in his party and of the people who he is doing “business” with – who are now running along side him.

We have the political party aligned with the union which is hiring nonunion contractors to perform large amounts of useless work at great taxpayer expense.

We have divisive racial rhetoric blaming a white boogeyman for social inequalities – and the same time we have a school system they is pumping out fewer and fewer (mostly black) graduates every year – and at the same time have an education minister who is manipulating statistics to mislead the public. Contributing to the very problem that is being blamed on the boogeyman.

We have legislation in a number of cases that has been passed that even the Premier who voted for it and is affected (or would affected) by it doesn’t understand.

Our island is facing huge social upheaval and is experiencing a “housing crisis” due to population growth we’re unprepared to handle – and at the same time our Minister of the Environment is busy approving environmental destruction through long line fishing, and worsening the problem caused by overpopulation by approving new hotels… and on top of it all, the government has failed to update the strategic Bermuda Plan.

We have children going to school hungry but our government’s capital spending budget and number of employees are both setting new records (and that’s not even counting the huge amount spend on government “consultants”).

Now, on top of these failures they also trying to place huge cost on businesses that will do nothing to affect the underlying reality the large percentage of Bermuda’s youth are unable to compete in the global marketplace – moves that our competitors in the offshore world are jumping to exploit… and ignoring that the reason that Bermuda business didn’t come to a grinding halt in 1998 was that the Jennifer Smith government followed moderate policies, and continued being generally not completely arrogant with Alex Scott. Things have changed.

So for me this election isn’t so much about corruption, it isn’t about the party’s platform, it isn’t about how likable the candidates are. It’s very simply about the ability to run the country. The PLP have proven themselves ineffectual and do not deserve another chance.

The PLP know that they’ve failed, that’s why they’ve resorted to lying wholesale about the alternative. The problem with this tactic is that it only works once if at all.

I cannot vote for any party that relies on dishonesty and spin and will be voting for the UBP.

S.M.A.R.T. Platforms

December 14th, 2007 by De Onion

How should we judge plans/party platforms? Probably using SMART (I have slightly modified the wiki definition posted below)

Specific: Is there a description of a precise or specific behavior / outcome which is linked to a rate, number, percentage or frequency?

Measurable: Is there a reliable system in place to measure progress towards the achievement of the objective?

Achievable: With a reasonable amount of effort and application can the objective be achieved? Can the people with whom the objective is set make an impact on the situation? Do they have the necessary knowledge, authority and skill?

Relevant: Is the specific outcome relevant to the strategic goal? Will the actions produce the desired outcomes?

Time-bound: Is there a finish and/or a start date clearly stated or defined?

VexedBermoothes does a good job of summarising which of the two platforms
have any potential to meet those requirements. Best of all, you can assign a pass/fail to SMART proposal and if they have failed then vote them out again… although given the record of the current government doing much of anything well is not very good. Incompetence is the ability to screw up what is in theory a good idea… and past actions by individuals is the best predictor of their future behaviour.

Confession

December 13th, 2007 by De Onion

The only thing I hate more than politics is being pissed off every time I see a newspaper.

That’s really why I do this. I love my island, fear my government.

Enough people know who I am that the personal attacks are starting… so shortly I’ll probably make like the limey and back off from blogging for a while.

Scandal list draft

December 12th, 2007 by De Onion

Recently there have been a number of people in letters to the editor and on blogs saying that the current government can “run on their record”… their web page of their accomplishments is here.

I asked the posters on the Bermudasucks.com forum (yes, I deeply dislike the name and always will) for some help in creating a government scandal list for the past few years… Here’s what they came up with:

BHC – The big kahuna.
Premier sues the media to keep them quiet.
Limo Importation – Law changed to allow government insider to start a Limo business.
Hummer H3 commercial vehicle
Cedarbrige Mould
Education Statistics
Firing of Hotel Chef
Work Permit of Curtis Mcleod (construction boss v. George Scott)
Southlands Tunnel
Southlands planning approval
Hospital location
Discrimination against non-Bermudian spouses
Equality act
Col. Burch “House ****” comment
Long-line fishing
Berkley over-budget
“we had to deceive you”
Robert Jensen
RC’s profane e-mail
Mount Saint Monica (dump fire)
Calling squatters “criminals”
Faith Based Tourism
Tracking Chips for Vehicles
Emission Testing.. Buildings
Emission Testing… Contract
“settlement” with Pro-Active Construction
Club Med 1
Club Med 2
Club Med 3
Rebecca Middleton handling
Indigent Clinic and firing of Doctor for writing a letter to the press.
Kurron
Stem Cell Clinic
Cedar Beams
SDO’s
Removal of Stuart Hayward and Bermuda’s #1 Eco Farmer from the round table.
Voting from the bathroom (applies to both parties’ MPs). (Gay Rights Issue)
Independence (most notably the BIC report)
After closing the Clinic, the Brown one, signed up as an “approved Dr” then refused to take any patients.
Forcing GPS upon the taxis
Brown’s Relationship with Tina Poitevien , Mark Lay and MDL Investments.
Free Bus & Ferry Transportation (that never was!)
The $11 million spent on cricket
The amount spent on football
The police contracts never being settled
No cruise ships for Hamilton
Building a pier over an historic wreck
The “deal” they cut with the US government re the cost of cleaning up the Baselands [$11 mill towards the bridge when the estimated cleanup costs were $65 mill]
The apparent about face re moving the Southlands project to Morgans Point (and the bill that will stick the taxpayer with)
Pay to Pray
Pay to Play
US Passport
$ 1 million per month spent on PLP travel junkets abroad.
$25,000 to $30,000 to fly entertainers to Bermuda on a private jet for Brown’s love fest
$1 million to set up Govt TV channel
Abdallah Ahad
Racist dog attack on Gibbons
non-Charity (THE)
Alex Scott’s email to Tony Brannon
$82,000 spent on security for Brown’s private residence.
$1,500,000+ for renovations at Clifton, and then overcharging for rent so it remains unoccupied.
“Political eunuch”
China tourist office
Plantation questions
Refusing to answer cost questions
Donation to a US congressman even though EB shouldn’t be an American anymore.
Gay cruise saga
Reducing funding for the Salvation Army.
Firing developers who were ready to go on Club Med.
Health Minister’s notes on need to obfuscate “embarrassing” report.
Bermuda Cement
BHC 2.0

Readers – please help me remove the inaccurate ones and add any others – I have done some of this on my own.

If I had more time I’d like to go through and add up the cost of these various mistakes to the taxpayer – it would probably run into the thousands of dollars per person in Bermuda.

Campers and Partisanship

December 10th, 2007 by De Onion

One of the most destructive things I’ve seen in the world is partisanship – and I’m still looking at a way to get beyond it.

However, this classic social psychology experiment details one of the major problems.

The experiment, conducted in the bewildered aftermath of World War II, was meant to investigate the causes – and possible remedies – of intergroup conflict. How would they spark an intergroup conflict to investigate? Well, the 22 boys were divided into two groups of 11 campers, and –

– and that turned out to be quite sufficient.

The researchers’ original plans called for the experiment to be conducted in three stages. In Stage 1, each group of campers would settle in, unaware of the other group’s existence. Toward the end of Stage 1, the groups would gradually be made aware of each other. In Stage 2, a set of contests and prize competitions would set the two groups at odds.

They needn’t have bothered with Stage 2. There was hostility almost from the moment each group became aware of the other group’s existence: They were using our campground, our baseball diamond. On their first meeting, the two groups began hurling insults.

The good news is that they found a way to solve it:

The boys were informed that there might be a water shortage in the whole camp, due to mysterious trouble with the water system – possibly due to vandals. (The Outside Enemy, one of the oldest tricks in the book.)

When the faucet was finally cleared, the Rattlers, who had canteens, did not object to the Eagles taking a first turn at the faucets (the Eagles didn’t have canteens with them). No insults were hurled, not even the customary “Ladies first”.

It wasn’t the end of the rivalry. There was another food fight, with insults, the next morning. But a few more common tasks, requiring cooperation from both groups – e.g. restarting a stalled truck – did the job. At the end of the trip, the Rattlers used $5 won in a bean-toss contest to buy malts for all the boys in both groups.

After the election one of the biggest tasks for us younger people is going to be to develop a cooperative and mutually respectful discourse.