Friday, September 17, 2021

The free press lives on in The Bahamas

 Punishing the free press


Candia Dames
During the course of the general election season, The Nassau Guardian, the official gazette, was cut out of government advertising.

The word came down to us early that this was due to our critique of the Minnis administration.

The company lost significant business as a result of this decision being taken.

Still, we pressed on, recognizing the role of a free press in a democracy. 

We carried no water for any side. 

We constantly strived to adhere to the highest ideals of journalism.

When we erred, we recognized our responsibility to correct our errors, to be respectful of our readers and to respect our daily role in documenting history.

In 2002, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham endorsed the Declaration of Chapultepec on our country's behalf.

The Declaration was written during a hemispheric conference on freedom of expression that took place in 1994 in Mexico, sponsored by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). 

It contains 10 fundamental principles necessary to safeguard a free press. 

Ingraham stated during the signing ceremony that his government abides by the principles of Chapultepec and urged future leaders to foster a free press in The Bahamas. 

The Declaration is based on the essential precept that no law or act of government may limit freedom of expression or of the press, whatever the medium of communication.

The Declaration states: "The media and journalists should neither be discriminated against nor favored because of what they write or say.

"Tariff and exchange policies, licenses for the importation of paper or news-gathering equipment, the assigning of radio and television frequencies and the granting or withdrawal of government advertising may not be used to reward or punish the media or individual journalists."

It adds: "No news medium nor journalist may be punished for publishing the truth or criticizing or denouncing the government."

The long and short of it is that the Minnis administration punished The Nassau Guardian because it did not like what we were printing.

But we stand tall.

The Nassau Guardian has been around for 177 years. 

We have withstood administrations over many decades, we have seen prime ministers come and prime ministers go.

We have survived as a newspaper of record and as a business.

We recommit to the ideals espoused in the Declaration of Chapultepec as this new chapter in our national life unfolds.

The free press lives on.

Thursday, September 2, 2021


To be an American is to exercise human value founded in the notion of choice. Therefore, an abortion law that denies choice is an affront to the foundation of the meaning of being American.

By Professor Gilbert Morris

Gilbert MorrisIn the sloppy parlance of American jurisprudence - which constantly eliminates subtly or thinking - I am pro-life/pro-choice: that is, I am not in favour of abortion, but I don’t think it’s the government’s business of provenance to decide the matter.

When I was Scholar-in-Residence at George Mason University Law School, after a close study of the issue, I concluded that nearly all the judicial writing on this question were childish, argued poorly and lacking in internal logic or a logical mode of expression.
To be an American is to exercise human value founded in the notion of choice. Therefore, an abortion law that denies choice is an affront to the foundation of the meaning of being American.
In Japan, abortion is legal, yet the percentage of abortions in Japan is lower as a percentage of population than in the United States; with none of the hypocritical idiocy of:
1. Committing violence under the claim of preventing violence against the unborn.
2. Asserting a protection of the unborn on the basis that life is sacrosanct by the same people who largely support the death penalty.
3. Being a nation that refuses gun control laws - even after toddlers are slaughters with semi- automatic weapons - yet whilst asserting an empty commitment to life.
4. A nation with a volunteer military - so choice centred service - whilst denying choice to women and their significant others and families.

Put simply, there is no conceptual consistency in preaching about choice, whilst denying choice to women, particularly when after that same woman has the child, the right wing anti-abortionists are generally the same ones denying her child services or regular daycare and family leave once the child is born.
This suggests that the anti-abortion position is backward, intellectually spurious and feckless.
Moreover, it would appear to me reasonable and responsibly consistent that in a country in which children have been raped in churches for 150 years (that we know of) and where there are such high incidents of incest, ambition must be an option.
In my lecture on the issue at Mason in 1995, I argued: “In a democracy, the ordinary impulse and default posture in any crisis is deliberation and debate. This means persuasion is the fundamental mechanism in the protection and advancement of choice. As I have averred, I am personally opposed to abortion, but I take it to be unacceptable that government should invade this issue of private conscience, mandating it. As one who adheres to constitutional democracy, I trust decisions that emerge from deliberative debate, even if and where I may disagree with them. Indubitably, there can be no other position - I fear - for anyone who accepts the notion of choice as the foundation of human value”.
George Mason is a “conservative” law school. Yet, there are no conservatives in America; as they seek to conserve nothing. They are the merest ideological or tribal Republicans. The law school at Mason is named after Mr. Justice Antonin Scalia, an overrated right wing bloviator. who never wrote a single legal principle worth remembering, though he wrote many quaint phrases. Robert Bork, Kenneth Starr and Karl Rove were also on faculty.
The usual arguments at Mason had nothing to do with law or justice. The issue was there was always acquiring the power and exploiting the procedure to overturn Roe V Wade (1973). When Madam Justice Amy C. Barrett ascended to the Supreme Court last year, I warned that she would undermine Roe V Wade, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas (who has dissolved into an embittered reactionary fanatic), Justice Samuel Alito, Judge Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh - known as a party hack wiling to do anything to advance the Republican cause and probably the lowest brain amperage ever to have sat on the bench.
Last night, the US supreme court damaged Roe V Wade by refusing to ban a Texas law restricting abortion access; which means, the Texas restrictions are now the law of the land.
In refusing to ban the Texas law, the US Supreme Court lowered itself even further, by ignoring two cardinal ancient principles of law:
a. Standing - by which the courts determine whi has a valid interest in a case which the law should recognise.

b. Damage - where a complainant must show that he has suffered loss/damage within the parameters of the legal complaint.
The Texas law satisfies neither of these preliminary legal conditions that justifies a legal claim. And therefore, the US Supreme Court made itself a handmaiden to ideological hackery, leaving both rape and incset victims with no recourse.
One reflects on the grace and charm with which society in Japan treats this issue. One would think the “Christian” nation would’ve been the guiding example.
But alas it’s not!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

COVID-19 demagogues

 The PLP is all about being the shameless demagogues of the COVID-19 war in The Bahamas

By Dennis Dames

PLP demagogues
I have read and taken note of the PLP’s press release of July 28, 2021 – addressing their official opposition position on COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

The party leader, the Hon. Philip Brave Davis outlined about nine points to forward us out of this emergency. I want to talk about item number five which reads: “Fifth, we need a dramatic expansion of testing and contact tracing. Positivity rates consistently over 20 percent are evidence we are not testing enough. When Family Islands with relatively small populations like Cat Island and Andros have cases, let’s test our way out of the outbreak, instead of locking everyone down. That has proven too damaging to our families and businesses.”

What’s the point of more testing if no plan is in place to effectively quarantine the resulting positive cases? We live in a country where the majority of us reside in modest dwellings with other people, and in a lot of situations we dwell with an extensive extended family. So, where do we go to isolate until we get the all-clear to enter society again? Most of us don’t have the means to effectually quarantine, so who is going to pick up the tab?

Additionally, scientists have told us that COVID-19 – like the flu, is here to stay. So, why does the PLP believe that we can test our way out of this global pandemic? The dramatic expansion of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing is like expanding a wild goose chase in an arena where the majority of people are unvaccinated.

Yes, the vaccinated and unvaccinated are catching COVID-19. It’s unstoppable just now. The only difference is, that the unvaccinated are feeling the brunt of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. So, to propose more testing and contact tracing, does not address the big issue at hand, which is increasing hospitalizations and deaths, especially among the unvaccinated.

The PLP has accepted that most COVID transmissions happen indoors. They stated the following in their release: “Beyond vaccines, there are ways to reduce the risk of contracting COVID, and we need to share, in detail, these risk mitigation strategies with Bahamians. For example, this is largely an airborne virus, and most transmission happens indoors. We’d like to see a public-private initiative to provide guidance and support for improving ventilation and air quality in workplaces, churches, homes and schools.”

The only way to reduce the risk of catching COVID is to stay exclusively to one’s self, in my view. That’s almost impossible with the typical Bahamian, or human generally.

We have to live with COVID-19, but we don’t necessarily have to die from it. Vaccination is our most important partner and tool in the COVID-19 fight right now.

The PLP hasn’t accepted that fact and reality as yet because it doesn’t fit in to their election campaign plans, in my humble viewpoint.

For the PLP, it’s all about being the shameless demagogues of the COVID-19 war in The Bahamas.

July 28, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Can't win like that, PLP

By Dennis Dames

The PLP’s decision to not seriously and aggressively help to promote and encourage CoViD-19 vaccination nationally in The Bahamas, is a very poor reflection on its leadership ability in crisis time

The PLP on CoViD-19
I have read the leader of the official opposition - the Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis’ latest press release today – captioned:  Guidance to PLP Candidates.  It’s good to know that PLP candidates and campaigners were informed that they cannot be on the campaign trail if they are not vaccinated.  This is in adherence with the latest CoViD-19 emergency orders.  In the meantime, he said that the PLP is examining avenues for legal recourse.  Apparently, the PLP doesn’t agree with the new emergency orders – restricting campaigning to vaccinated personnel only.

Mr. Davis went on further to say -that: “The “Competent” Authority permits many activities which pose a much greater risk of transmission of COVID”.  Again, Mr. Davis and the PLP don’t get it.  If you, and the PLP were in power under the present circumstances, and announced your CoViD emergency orders – some folks will feel shortchanged also.  It goes with the territory of having to make difficult decisions in a very trying time – in the national interest, Mr. Davis.

We cannot have it every way, Mr. Davis and the PLP.  It has been stated by competent medical authorities everywhere – that vaccination is the only way out of the global CoViD-19 crisis.  Some highly vaccinated nations are already experiencing the health benefits of a majority CoViD19 vaccinated population.  Cases might be up, but hospitalization and death rates are falling significantly – Mr. Davis and the PLP.

Yes, people have the right to not vaccinate against CoViD19; and the vaccinated have equal rights under the law – Mr. Davis and the PLP.  But, in The Bahamas – where the majority of the adult population is still unvaccinated, that spells bad news for the national economy, Mr. Davis and the PLP.  It’s national economic suicide in real time, Mr. Davis and the PLP.

So, you and the PLP are now looking for legal avenues to fight for the majority of adult Bahamians to remain unvaccinated  - if they so choose.  What utter madness is this, Mr. Davis and the PLP?  You want to be prime minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas – with an agenda of political recklessness, death and suffering?

Mr. Davis went on with his evil plot and said this:  “The government has failed badly to prepare the country for the Delta variant. We are facing a serious health crisis, one that is already overwhelming the public health system and is likely to seriously worsen”.  What a hypocrite!  The Delta variant has not been confirmed in The Bahamas to date, but this is the pet variant of which Mr. Davis can’t wait for - to get here.  He knows that every PLP government to date in The Bahamas, is aware of a brewing healthcare crisis for decades.  Mr. Davis has been an Executive in a few of them; so he has first hand experience in poor political leadership and incompetence – across the board.

Yes Mr. Davis, when the Delta variant arrives – I hope that you, your party, and your unvaccinated clients are ready for it; because everyone knows that that variant ain’t playing with no one.  Don’t blame the monster of your dreams, Minnis and his FNM government for the decision of the unvaccinated majority, Mr Davis and the PLP.  They are being greatly impacted now by sickness and death, and the Delta variant will take things to new heights of national disaster and misery – when it arrives, Mr. Davis and the PLP.

The PLP’s decision to not seriously and aggressively help to promote and encourage vaccination nationally, is a very poor reflection on its leadership ability in crisis time – in my most gracious opinion.  The Bahamas’ economy will not survive if the vast majority of its adult people remain unvaccinated in a fluid and raging CoVID-19 environment, Mr. Davis and the PLP.  So, carry on with your wicked demagoguery on CoViD19 vaccination efforts in The Bahamas Mr. Davis and the PLP.  You can’t win with that – bro.

26 July 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

PLP Demagoguery on CoViD-19 Vaccination in The Bahamas

 The Official Opposition PLP is ready and prepared to win by hook or crook

By Dennis Dames

PLP Leader - Philip Brave Davis
The leader of the PLP, the Hon. Philip Brave, stated the following among other crazy things in a recent PLP press release: “The PLP’s COVID Task Force continues to promote constructive policy solutions, including a dramatic expansion of testing, more effective masks, a real public education campaign, and close consultation with local medical professionals.”

What about the promotion of national unity and resolve in the COVID-19 war, Mr. Davis? What is the PLP’s COVID Task Force relationship like with the present regime, and other community stake holders?

Where is the PLP’s “get vaccinated” campaign and leadership when the nation really needs them, Mr. Davis? Where is the vital unified political partnership and guidance in The Bahamas when we truly could use them right now, Mr. Davis?

According to Mr. Davis and his PLP: The governing FNM is stupid and inept and the PLP has all the right answers to deal with the onslaught of COVID-19 in our society.

The PLP leader stated further that: “The new Emergency Orders restricting campaigning infringe fundamental free speech rights of Bahamians and are further evidence that the government does not believe it can win a fair fight.”

Mr. Davis’ primary focus and concern seems to be on the next general election. They are ready and prepared to win by hook or crook. Rocking the unvaccinated boat doesn’t fit into their strategy and plan – in my humble opinion.

Do not hide behind, “…close consultation with local medical professionals”, Mr. Davis. Ultimately, the political decisions will prevail in our COVID-19 environment and economy. You and the PLP don’t seem to be up to the challenge of leadership in The Bahamas in this perilous COVID 19 battle.

As long as we are mixing and mingling, COVID-19 will spread more, Mr. Davis. So long as we welcome visitors to our shores, COVID-19 will remain alive and well among us, Mr. Davis.

If we encourage our campaign workers to be careless about vaccination and the COVID protocols, and more concerned about campaigning, COVID-19 would continue to rage on in our communities, Mr. Davis and the PLP.

If the majority of us remain unvaccinated in the face of a very fluid and deadly virus, we could really end up on some painfully undesired tracks, Mr. Davis. Not even you and your party will want to preside over such a failed state. So, let’s therefore promote together: Get vaccinated, Mr. Davis and the PLP.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who must be the monster in your dreams, has already said over and over again that vaccination is the only way out of our COVID-19 crisis in The Bahamas and the wider world.

If you agree with that, I invite you to show some genuine leadership and join Minnis and his FNM government in getting those wise and prudent words out. Anything short of that is considered pure demagoguery, in my opinion, Mr. Davis.

Show some true leadership, Mr. Davis, and implement a PLP policy – which requires every PLP campaigner and poll worker to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our country, The Bahamas.

I’m going to use my fundamental free speech rights to say: Keep your unvaccinated PLP agents to yourself and your PLP party.

It really looks like Brave Davis and the PLP feel that they could win the next government via a campaign by and for the unvaccinated using fundamental free speech rights as a front. The devil is a liar.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Get Vaccinated Bahamas

By Dennis Dames

Get vaccinated soon.

The CoViD-19 Vaccination Pass
The potentially crippling and lethal Corona Virus is fluid, dynamic, deadly and dangerously potent – and it rages on in many quarters of the universe.  We hear about vaccines, and new variants of the disease regularly, and it appears that no one really knows how to control the contagious and rapidly mutating CoViD-19.

Politicians are doing their best to paint a promising picture for the people with their respective get-vaccinated campaigns.  It’s a noble initiative, but a vaccinated person can still catch CoViD – and possibly die of related complications.  The only difference is that the science says that a vaccinated person has a significantly less chance of hospitalization, and death if they catch CoViD19.

It’s a catch-22 situation.  We have to live and die with the contagion in a rebellious culture – where people ignore the standard protocols of social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and sanitizing and so on; and they are intensely skeptical about the various vaccines.

I bit the bullet one day in May, and proceeded to get my first jab.  I was fortunate enough to be served without an appointment.  There was only an elderly couple before me, who were there for their second shot.

I am relieved that I had made the decision to get vaccinated in an atmosphere dominated by the good, bad and ugly reports of CoViD-19’s impact in our world, and the dreaded vaccines.  I advise my fellow Bahamian brothers and sisters who have not taken the first step yet to get vaccinated against CoViD19 – to bite the bullet and get on with it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The losers of the next general election in The Bahamas

By Dennis Dames

Who’s going to lose the next general election in our country – The Bahamas? We, the Bahamian people, as usual.

There is no political party out there that’s up to the challenge of moving our nation out of the grips of omnipresent poverty, widespread illiteracy, rampant crime, the pervasive underground economy, and economic stagnation.

The PLP and FNM have demonstrated over and over again in government – that they are simply executive taxers, borrowers and spenders. They only want to get control of the cookie jar once more, so that they can continue their regular lovers, family and friends feast – while many more of us join the unemployed and underemployed band, the hunger line, the default payment society, and the – may God help us prayer.

FNM and PLP leaders have shown us their wicked colours a long time ago, but we still look forward with great enthusiasm – to screwing ourselves all over again at the next polls. It’s like stupidity on steroids. We love punishment and the shit end of the stick; and the politicians are always delighted to swing us again – one more time.

I have noticed the misguided passions of the yobbish PLP and FNM fans – and cheerleaders on social media. We are stupidly blind and politically careless about our future. We don’t know Brave Davis yet, or Fred Mitchell, Glenys Hanna Martin, Obie Wilchcombe, Dr Hubert Minnis, Carl Bethel, Dion Foulkes, et al?

What could those political dead weights do for The Bahamas and Bahamian people at this juncture of our existence as a free nation and people? They grew up in the corrupt PLP and FNM. They have already executively served in the various corrupt PLP and FNM regimes over the past few decades, and all we got from their respective governments are more public debt, more crime, more unemployment, more hunger and suffering, a broken education system, a failing health care infrastructure, and an absolutely corrupt status quo.

So, who will lose the next general election in The Bahamas again? We, the Bahamian people will – if we don’t collectively resolve to hold the next Bahamian government’s feet to the fire – for the benefit of a truly better, prosperous and more competitive Bahamas and Bahamian people in the 21st century.