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Page 1 of 1Total of 6 messages
Posted by:May 2nd 2003, 12:02:33 am
island ladyDr. Lea Percentie
5/1/2003 8:38 PM
White Prime Minister

Body: For the first time in my life, I find myself at odds with the Tribune. Recently, an unscientific survey was conducted and the question was asked to the effect "if the Bahamas was ready for a white Prime Minister?" Honestly, at all levels, this is clearly a non-issue as the Bahamas Constitution spells out quite clearly who can and cannot run for Parliament (and thus become Prime Minister). This opinion poll was only conducted amidst speculation the Honorable Brent Symonette, MP for Fort Montagu constituency would be contesting the leadership of the FNM. Should he become the leader of the FNM and the FNM win the next election, there is a very strong possibility that he could be the next Prime Minister of the Bahamas. In fact, the only restriction from entering Parliament is basically insanity, imprisonment, and bankruptcy. Race, religion, sex, creed, and place of national origin, etc has no bearing at all on the matter. You can be a crab with eight legs and two biters from Andros or a pink flamingo from Inagua or sheep runner from Long Island, once you are a Bahamian under the constitution you can run for any political office in the country.

What was even more disappointing was that out of the persons responding to the survey, only 66 % of those surveyed repeatedly had no difficulty with a white person being Prime Minister. This figure should have been absolutely 100 % because it clearly reflects that contrary to the constitution of the Bahamas, Bahamians are making decisions based not on merit, but on race. In a nation that is supposedly built on Christian values, how can the Bahamian people maintain such a discriminating, sinful and victimising posture? Wasn't it the great Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. who stated not to judge a man by the color of his skin but the content of his character? Even more disappointing that nothing was heard from the Christian Council or prominent members of the cloth condemning this state of affairs as unacceptable. Even prominent and supposedly intelligent Bahamians were publicly stating that the Bahamas was not ready for a white Prime Minister. This was despite the fact that the first Bahamian Premier, the late Sir Roland Symonette, was white and had served with distinction during his administration. Racism was regrettably practiced in the Bahamas unofficially in a post-Independence Bahamas by the old PLP government, even though they had come to power due to the unfairness of race in government. The fact that the majority of Bahamians are non-white was exploited to serve the selfish political agenda of the government of that day. Whites were openly denied and vilified. On a number of occasions, the government of the day identified itself as a black government in a black country. This of course is not literally correct as the constitution clearly provides no advantage or disadvantage for any race in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is a country where the majority happens to be black. Can you imagine the ruckus in the U.S., Canada or Britain where the majority of people are white, should the leader of their countries identify themselves as leading a white country? The current Prime Minister, the Honorable Perry Christie has on a number of occasions acknowledge the problems that the white Bahamian has had with his PLP party. To this end, he has often indicated that he is attempting to find a bridge between the Bahamian whites and his PLP party.
In reality the majority of Bahamians, no matter their pigmentation are of white descent as many Bahamians can trace their lineage back to a white ancestor in the past. In a Supreme Court case in the state of Louisiana, a colored person was defined as someone who can trace his roots back to their great grandparent to someone of a different race. That is, one of your great grandparents. Even one of the great human rights and pro-black activist of the Caribbean Robert Nesta Marley was a half breed.

Sadly, too many Bahamians still have their minds imprisoned by racist political propaganda that they aren't thinking objectively. The old PLP government should take much of the responsibility for this with their showing of racially charged movies such as "Roots" around election time. Colored Bahamians who chose not to support the PLP were openly referred too as " Uncle Toms" and any political party opposing the PLP were identified as "UBP." This was the stigma placed on the FNM for years. It wasn't until Election 2002 that there appears to be a significant number of Bahamian whites comfortable enough to openly support the PLP. The new PLP Chairman, Reverend Rigby is now openly soliciting white support. The PLP has even used race to change history as a committee celebrating the 50th anniversary of the PLP this week on Grand Bahama identified the founders of the PLP as Henry Taylor, Clarence Bain and Lynden Pindling. This is incorrect as the original founders of this PLP were basically all white.

The time has come for Bahamians as a people to go to the next level and put the issue of one's race behind us. Those who can make a contribution to take the country forward must be welcome to the table to make their contribution. I hate to see the day when a Bahamian of Haitian desent comes forward to offer their leadership.
Posted by:May 1st 2003, 05:22:16 pm
island ladyI have to agree, having grown up in days of competing (and non-interoperable) operating and word-processing systems, i.e. DOS or Displaywrite or WordStar or early WordPerfect or Wang WP or Wang WP+ and (thank God) the short-lived Apple Lisa. I kinda like knowing that folks around the world can read my attachments, and that tech support's going to be available 24/7, which in the 1980s it most certainly was not. And I have to say, in the face of Microsoft's reputation for swallowing up its competition, many of those competitors were friends of mine ... and were very well-compensated. I just don't know where all of this litigation is heading, other than to another ill-advised breakup of a smooth-running much beneficial monopoly ... can you say AT&T????
Posted by:May 1st 2003, 05:16:15 pm
CocoplumI must admit before I comment that I am biased in that I own Microsoft stock. However, can you imagine teaching computer classes with 3 or 4 operating systems and 3 or 4 word processing packages?? I remember well teaching classes where the students were totally confused it they came upon a screen that was different from what they expected. I happen to believe that the growth in the industry and the ability of millions to operate and use computers is due to Microsoft. Enuf from me as this argument will go on forever and the lawyers will continue to get richer.

Posted by:Apr 30th 2003, 07:40:51 pm
KimberlyBahamian lawyer secures $200 m in a lawsuit against Microsoft

By LINDSAY THOMPSON Guardian Business Editor

Bahamian lawyer Robert L Parks of Harbour Island led one of the largest lawsuits against Microsoft Corporation that was settled for $200 million in Florida. "I am confident that the settlement was a fair one, though some may not think so," Mr. Parks told The Guardian in a telephone interview on the weekend.

The Bahamian-born Mr. Parks is a partner in the Coral Gables trial law firm of Haggard, Parks, Haggard & Bologna, P. A. He was one of the lead attorneys who attained the antitrust class action against the computer conglomerate.
On April 15, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Henry H. Harnage gave preliminary approval to the settlement. Plaintiffs and Microsoft will seek a final approval of the settlement later this year.
The class action suit claimed that Microsoft Corporation is in violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (the Florida DTPA). Plaintiffs in the class action suit against Microsoft Corporation alleged that Microsoft established a monopoly in the market for operation systems software through various anticompetitive acts and has maintained this monopoly since the late 1980s.
The plaintiffs charged that Microsoft used its monopoly power to "stifle" innovation in the operating system market, created a monopoly in the applications market, and over charged consumers in both markets which is in violation of Florida's DTPA.
The Florida DTPA is designed to prevent businesses from conducting unfair practices and predatory trade toward consumers.
The settlement, calls for Microsoft to issue vouchers to the plaintiffs ranging in value from $5 to $12 for each qualifying Microsoft product purchased by consumers and businesses for use in Florida. The vouchers entitle class member to cash rebates on the purchases of computer equipment and software from any maker, including Microsoft rivals. One half of any unclaimed vouchers will be given to Florida's neediest public schools to be used for computer equipment and software.
The settlement includes all persons and entities of any kind within Florida between Nov. 16, 1995 and Dec. 31, 2002, who indirectly purchased in the U.S. a Microsoft Operating System and/or Microsoft Applications, for use in Florida, and who did not purchase it for resale.
Class members will be able to recoup a portion of what they spent for Microsoft products, including the Windows operating system and Microsoft Excel and Word programmes. Class members who purchased more than one Microsoft licensed product during the specified time period may combine their licenses and receive multiple vouchers. Once the settlement is approved, class members will have four months to submit their claims for vouchers, which would be good for four years.
Mr. Parks told The Guardian that he was confident that the claim would be settled. A fairness hearing would be held to allow Microsoft purchasers during the period in question, an opportunity to participate in the settlement.
Asked how prevalent is this kind of "abuse", Mr. Parks recalled the case in Washington D.C., during which the U.S. government sued Microsoft for antitrust violation.
And, the Florida case is a spring off from that, just for its citizens; the government punished the computer giant for what it considered unfair trade practices and predatory pricing.
As a result, about 11 states in the U.S. brought separate actions for individual consumer in their respective jurisdictions.
However, such a law does not apply to The Bahamas, as does tobacco litigation.
Mr. Parks explained that if The Bahamas Government wants to hire a lawyer to file suit in the U.S. for the money it spent on persons afflicted by tobacco, then such a law would apply to this country.
Mr. Parks recently sold his Bahamian-based business, Valentine Marina in Harbour Island, but still maintains a home on that island famed for its pink sandy beaches.

Posted Monday 28 April, 2003
Posted by:Apr 30th 2003, 07:36:58 pm
Kimberly'Independence talk' set by COB

By KHASHAN POITIER Guardian Staff Reporter

The achievement of independence in 1973, and a focus on parliamentarians serving at that time, will be highlighted by the College of The Bahamas during 30th Independence celebrations.

The celebrations will begin May 5 with a Sir Lynden Pindling Memorial lecture by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service Fred Mitchell entitled, "Reflections on the Meaning of Independence" at the Dundas Theatre for the Performing Arts.

At a press briefing, COB president Dr. Leon Higgs said that men and women who served as parliamentarians in 1973 will also be honoured.

History and Heritage Project Chairman Bishop Neil Ellis, a graduate of the college, said that, "It is particularly important for The Bahamas, as the College of The Bahamas leads the way in acknowledging and recognizing those persons who have been a part of such an historic move in The Bahamas, such as Independence."

The college will also host a forum in June at the institute's School of Hospitality and Tourism (formerly the Bahamas Hotel Training College).

According to Rhonda Chipman-Johnson, the forum will serve to revive Bahamian cultures that seem to have been "smothered" by foreign cultures over the years.

Seeing that Bahamian are an "oral people" when it comes to recalling their history, Ms Johnson stressed the importance of keeping records of Bahamian events and culture.

"It's time to record and publish what our experiences have been," she said. "That's very important to look at how we have developed in the last few decades. We are going to have those things in the library. And then our children and grandchildren will be able to see what we have experienced as a country."

The forum will feature various aspects of Bahamian life, including the development of the nightclub industry in the 1940's and '50's, how to make bush tea, women in leadership and religion, migration of Haitians to The Bahamas, and HIV/AIDS and the effects on Bahamian women.

Posted Monday 28 April, 2003
Posted by:Apr 30th 2003, 10:42:50 am
Fig Tree News TeamReuters
FERC OKs U.S.-Bahamas Calypso natgas pipeline
Wednesday April 30, 10:31 am ET

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to the $144 million Calypso natural gas pipeline that will be operated by Suez's (Paris:LYOE.PA - News) Tractebel unit.The 42-mile long Calypso pipeline would ship 832 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Florida from a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Freeport, Bahamas.
Hawksbill Creek LNG, Ltd., a Bahamian company, proposes to construct and operate the LNG terminal. The Bahamian government is reviewing the project.

LNG is natural gas cooled to minus 259 degrees Fahrenheit, which changes the gas into a liquid and compresses it for transportation from Algeria, Nigeria and Trinidad. LNG is converted back into dry gas for fueling electricity plants.

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