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Page 1 of 1Total of 5 messages
Posted by:Mar 10th 2006, 04:24:18 pm
ColinOn earmarking:

As someone who reports on the doings of Tom DeLay and many others in Congress, let me defend the concept of earmarks.

The federal budget is proposed by the president. Then, as the constitution requires, Congress goes about actually writing the spending bills.

Earmarks are inserted fairly late in the process by lawmakers and are often targeted to reward individuals and institutions from a lawmaker's state or district.

Sometimes earmarks are actually valuable contribtuions to national policy for individual members of Congress often have strong interests or professional backgrounds that allow them to target spending for items the executive branch may, for various reasons, be overlooking.

Then there are earmarks that are designed only to reward campaign contributors or powerful interests. These can lead to abuses of the sort mentioned.
Earmarks as a whole have multiplied like rabbits the last five years, leaving Congress, I think, more and more open to criticism of the sort that has surfaced in the last few months.
And, of course, there are criminals such as former Rep. Duke Cunningham, who simply sold favors to donors.
Earmarks are constitutional and will not go away. But everyone needs to keep their eyes peeled, as with all government spending.
Posted by:Mar 9th 2006, 04:51:43 pm
Richard PSaw this at the Nassau Guardian page



Are Eleu. construction workers being exploited?

Dear Sir,

Bahamian construction workers in South Eleuthera have refused to accept the dictate of the bosses of the construction works at the Cotton Bay-related development, to pay wages which are below the minimum national wage of $45 per day for construction work.

It is alleged that wages of $30 to $35 dollars a day for construction work, have forced the Bahamian workers to withdraw their services. The site is now said to be employing four to six Jamaican workers and 22 to 27 Haitian workers, allegedly working for apparently less than the national minimum wage.

By law, the national minimum daily wage is the lowest you can pay a worker and so this is a major violation of the laws of the Bahamas! This unjust situation focuses on a major problem that alien labour can allow contractors to easily contravene our labour laws.

South Eleuthera has long been an economically depressed area, and it is grossly unfair for the local construction workers to be exploited in this mean-spirited manner by PLP-linked contractors and their bosses.

The Nationalist last year led a one man demonstration on two consecutive days outside the entrance of the Cotton Bay development site, in support of fears of local construction workers that the developers, who include Frankie Wilson and the contractor, Penn's Construction Co., would allegedly import alien labour, to work on the construction site. This was promoted after an application was made for a large number of aliens to perform construction work.

The site, which is south of Rock Sound, Eleuthera, was picketed by the Nationalist late last year on two consecutive days, and posters placed on its Notice and location Board, deploring any attempt to import alien labour to work on the site!

The Nationalist gave notice of intention to publicise any violation! Posters were also erected by the Nationalist on light posts and Notice boards in all the settlements of South Eleuthera, as well as on the Rock Sound Airport Notice board. The Nationalist discussed the dangers with many residents and promised to bring this to the attention of the authorities in Nassau. Articles on this pending problem were sent to the press.

Promises to follow up were made! The Nationalist, a man of his word, is following up!

The Nationalist learned this weekend, while on a visit to South Eleuthera, that

aliens are virtually the entire work force on this construction site, as the locals cannot work for wages as low as $30 per day, a sum considerably below the minimum national daily wage. The worst fears have been realised, and allegedly, gross injustice is being carried out toward many construction workers in South Eleuthera.

In addition, local concrete block-making factories in Eleuthera are not benefiting

from the contract to supply blocks to this development, since the terms providing for the supply of blocks present major problems, including the method of payment and block tally.

This again, is contrary to the popular perception that investors provide work for Bahamians. In many cases, the benefit goes to alien workers and foreign companies.

Recently, popular talk show host Darrel Miller was brought up to date on the alleged irregularities going on at such construction site, by locals whom he spoke with, at the Rock Sound Airport. Thereafter, Mr Miller promised to host a talk show in Rock Sound, to hear the citizens' grievances. It is hoped that this will materialise, so that the truth can be exposed to the entire Bahamas via ZNS. We need to bring a sharper focus upon all these developments.

Is the pretended employment of Bahamians at the Cotton Bay development a sham? Was the intention always to use alien labour and to import concrete blocks from outside The Bahamas? Why was the contractor involved in an abusive discussion in public with the MP for South Eleuthera, over the employment of men on the site? Was this a pre-election ploy? How can this PLP government stand idly by, while Bahamians are allegedly exploited in this way?

This is a common trick to encourage Bahamians to apply for jobs, but to make such conditions unsuitable for them to accept the work! The other trick used with high end employers, is to ask for qualifications not even needed for the job, in order to eliminate the Bahamian and thereafter, to employ the foreigner. The PLP has turned a blind eye to such alleged illegal and immoral practices.

Yours, etc.,

Dr Dexter Johnson

The Bahamian Nationalist
Posted by:Feb 22nd 2006, 12:20:17 pm
Fig Tree News TeamLloyd Johnson, Esq.
Eleuthera, Bahamas
lawjohn@lawyer.com

I've visited this topic before and for those of you who harp on and on about corruption in the Bahamas I wish to direct you to the Washington Post's article of yesterday about earmarking.

Simply put,it involves Congressional staff tucking funds into various Bills that are passing through Congress, for pet projects of a particular Congressman and middlemen, accessing those funds,directing them to a chosen project for a FEE of course.

Usually those amounts are too small to raise anybody's attention (just $25 mil.) in some instances and of course those are lost in the Billion dollar budget.

Congress enacts Laws for the good governance of the United States I believe.

To those who would seek to govern us because they own a house here, I say leave us be. We have an absolute right to determine our own way in the world and make our own mistakes much as you do.

Further, when you critise our politicians ad nauseum first take a look at "earmarking" in all its glory.
Posted by:Feb 18th 2006, 12:32:36 pm
KimberlyWe welcome the discussion!
Posted by:Feb 18th 2006, 06:13:38 am
The Bahamian NationalistToday's Bahamas has not reached where we should be in our development given 33yrs. post Independence. We have lost our Nationalism, and with it our drive to empower Bahamians. Our leaders have decided to abandon the growth of Bahamians and let everything go to the Regionalists, including all rights to this country, including the right to make our own decisions. We are not yet ready to do that! A resurgence of Nationalism is here!

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