August 2007 Archives

Ok. Let me start with the obvious and get that out of the way before the hysterics predictably start to scream:

Tillman Darrell of the UBP was completely wrong to strike someone as he today admits he did during a recent dispute (and I hope he had his comments vetted by a lawyer, although if he's talking to the press like that I imagine he didn't).

I do however hear his frustration:

"It seems to be a situation where black men who join the UBP get more grief from black members of the community," he said. "And sometimes that includes threats."

But that doesn't excuse his behaviour (and I'm not sure that self defense will work in this one). I understand his frustration with the vicious smears and efforts to alienate many UBP candidates and supporters from their communities and intimidate others from joining, but he should have restrained himself.

This incident however isn't that simple. It speaks to a larger problem.

Firstly, what is it with MPs and fighting?

The PLP was silent on their MP Glenn Blakeney who was accused of assaulting ZBM reporter Gary Moreno in front of the Deputy Governor, although he was ultimately acquitted.

Secondly, the UBPs Maxwell Burgess got in a scuffle (allegedly), although charges were ultimately dropped.

Thirdly, and most significantly I believe, Dr. Brown, the Premier of Bermuda - in Parliament - threatened to physically assault the UBP's Grant Gibbons for comments that he claimed he'd made about his wife.

Let me say that again: A sitting Premier threatened to physically assault a member of the Opposition in the Legislature - in a pre-written speech - yet the PLP's website is full of faux outrage about Tillman Darrell:

Violence must not be tolerated anywhere in Bermuda, but, especially from those who aspire to leadership. It is simply unacceptable for an aspiring MP, someone who is supposed to work across the political divide to deliver for Bermuda, to resort to violent attacks against those who disagree with him.

and ends with (in bold)

It's shocking that Mr. Dunkley, a man who aspires to be Premier of Bermuda, refuses to condemn politically motivated violence.

And let's not forget the PLP's Calvin Smith who said this in his apologist piece for the Premier's disgraceful speech:

If Dr. Gibbons understood anything about black Bermudian men, he should have known that negative comments about women important to us is a direct invitation to a physical encounter. Yet this is what he threatened by making unkind remarks about the wife of Dr. Brown."

So why is it different for Tillman Darrell? I would have thought that he was simply taking the Premier's advice after someone made comments that were a 'direct invitation to a physical encounter'.

Michael Dunkley may not have adequately condemned it for some (although I also thought the PLP believed that unless you're charged and convicted of something you're 'exonerated'), but the current Premier actually promoted violence not long ago, and his followers defended it as a reasonable response to political disputes.

This selective outrage is why so many people can't stand politics and politicians.

When the highest public official endorses physical violence to settle political disputes, it's no wonder that others see it as okay as well; either aspiring politicians or those who settle their scores by shooting someone (who was wearing a bullet proof vest).

This has been building for awhile. Not long after that speech by Dr. Brown in Parliament, someone who is not at all partisan but very shrewd, commented to me that they felt that the event in Parliament was so unprecedented that it would forever change the dynamic in Bermuda; that the leader of the country had set a tone that authorized increased racial hostility in the community and physical and verbal violence to settle disputes and that that would be contagious.

And look where we are today.

Leadership comes from the top. Words have consequences; especially when they come from the leader of the country. If you condemn Tillman Darrell's actions, which I do, you must also condemn Dr. Brown, which I do (all the time actually).

I'll await that item on the PLP's website patiently.

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A former police officer raises some interesting questions:

Whilst it is correct that the Commissioner of Police reports under the Constitution to the Governor (the whole separation of powers to prevent corruption & abuse thing), there is a whole lot this Government is NOT doing.

To illustrate this point, I pose the question to your readers “HOW DO ILLEGAL DRUGS AND GUNS ENTER BERMUDA?” There is not one industry professional that would dispute that they are coming through our Ports of Entry (docks, yachts, cruise ships, and planes). There is also very little doubt that guns and drugs are at the center of what is tearing this society apart (in addition to increasingly rampant corruption).

Who Controls Customs directly? The Collector of Customs reports directly to THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Have you been to any of our Ports of Entry recently and observed the part time staff manning critical posts at peak times, with nary a Customs Officer to be seen? What about the hired help in the form of Security Guards hired to man cruise ship terminals in the dead of night when the expert drug courier is just waking to offload his wares to local suppliers?

The Police cannot be everywhere. The Customs arena needs to take on more responsibility, and obtain more resources. They currently do not investigate anything other than minor Customs infractions. Anything more serious than illegal porn is farmed out to the Police to investigate – further preventing the Police from devoting resources to more pro active and intelligence led investigations (i.e. the Big Boys).

I’m sorry. The Government CAN, and should be doing a lot more. If this is a time for reflection on our societal woes, then some in Government should look in the mirror. THEY are part of the problem.

Security guards at cruise ship terminals?

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I'll admit that I'm a little low on motivation right now, but I have a few reader comments that I'll queue up to be posted which I think people will find interesting.

Apologies for the lack of activity lately. It'll pick up...sometime.

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I do believe that the appropriate defence, for this offence, is quite simple:

"Your honour, we were simply feeling the love; a little Pop and Sizzle."

Then, I'd play the Bermuda tourism TV ad where a woman in a coffee shop recounts her steamy vacation exploits with her husband on a Bermuda beach, lurid details obscured by the loud sound of a milk steamer machine.

"I rest my case your honour."

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Just a follow up - seeing as I seem to be on a media theme lately - to last night's comment about the misnomer that is the pro-UBP media in Bermuda.

One of the things that should be clear to people is that the PLP strategically want an adversarial relationship with the press - or at least the perception of one. They want people to believe that the Gazette, and the media in general, write a disproportionate number of negative stories about them, although I suspect that an examination of stories would show that not to be the case. This tactic is employed so that they can still position themselves as fighting the system, when they are the system today.

The UBP on the other hand tend to take a more collaborative lower key approach with their dissatisfaction with the press (and there's lots of that) - but that's the party's personality. They're not as adversarial, driven more by building consensus - they have to.

Part of the media's job is to hold Government's and politicians accountable and act as the public watchdog, which is why the relationship between the press and politicians will always involved some healthy tension.

The problem with the independent media in Bermuda is not so much bias, but a lack of resources and experience; resources which are being drawn away (intentionally) by a rapidly increasing Government PR machine. This serves multiple purposes, including weakening the media in general, neutralising the best reporters, and the blurring of policy and politics by a massive taxpayer funded public relations apparatus.

Government's Department of Communications is staffed by a large number of former (Royal Gazette) reporters, the Premier's Press Secretary is a former Senior Gazette reporter, they've got the party's former Press Officer doing the rounds through Government departments as a communications consultant, and they're working on a Government TV station.

The independent media face a tough task here because it's a small place to generate daily content across multiple news organisations, and they're understaffed and underpaid, and the advertising market is quite limited. As news was traditionally (but not so much today in North America) treated by corporations as a loss leader, I'm sure that's true in Bermuda's media world. In particular they lack Bermudian resources, who have been lured away by higher Government and private sector salaries.

I must admit to being pleased to see that ZBM's Gary Moreno has returned to ZBM. I hear it was a combination of ZBM having to pay him what he wanted and also an inability to stomach his role at the Department of Communications. It was mostly about compensation from what I understand.

I struggle to see how journalists who love what they do and have 'getting the story' in their blood can enjoy writing press releases and spinning news for politicians (and let's not pretend that the Department of Communications hasn't crossed the line into spin). Evidently Mr. Moreno didn't and returned to his journalistic roots. Kudos to him.

Personally I'm not interested in news organisations who are aligned with either party. Some people say, "well the UBP can have their paper and the PLP can have their paper, tv station, or radio station or whatever". But that's not a good approach.

Objectivity isn't putting two partisan talking heads against each other. I enjoy reading Opinion and analysis - probably more than most - but it belongs on the Op-Ed pages, not in articles. I'd much rather have a press which wasn't so timid and let themselves be used as free media with press conferences and photo-ops, while having the tough and important questions kicked to the side knowing that there will be little follow-up (Zane Desilva's candidate announcement that barely touched on his involvement in the BHC investigation for example).

Whatever historical media bias existed in Bermuda is largely gone, but that there are those who have a vested interest in perpetuating that perception while benefiting from favourable coverage themselves.

I get concerned when I see the independent media being put under pressure by a Government who can exert a lot of influence over them in hiring away their staff with an unlimited budget and delaying/rejecting work permits etc..

The conversation about the media in Bermuda is far more complex than those who have a vested interest in pretending it's simply anti-PLP and pro-UBP.

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One of the most entertaining, and simultaneously repulsive, thing about many politicians is their conscious decision to shape perception in the face of reality. Some are quite good at it.

Case in point, this bit from an article in today's Gazette:

"I saw the story in the Royal Gazette and let me tell you it is very rare I see a story in the Royal Gazette that makes me happy," joked the Premier, as he explained to Ms Bean why he wanted to visit her new business.

This is a very common theme from the Premier and the PLP, that the media is hopelessly biased against them and only write negative stories. It's the same nonsense that the Republicans, led by George Bush, peddle about the media in the US to avoid scrutiny and deflect criticism (Iraq war anyone?).

The idea is to present only glowingly positive stories as objective, and anything that questions them as biased (of course racially in Bermuda). The Republicans and the PLP have this shtick down quite well.

While the Republicans attack the New York Times, the PLP constantly - particularly in Parliament - talk about the Royal Gazette (and the Mid Ocean News, but more on them another time) as under the thumb of the UBP.

The Premier often calls the Gazette 'their [the UBP's] newspaper'.

But back to the quote (joke or not) about it being rare for the Premier to find an article he likes in the Gazette.

His party's website certainly doesn't have that problem.

They generate easily 2/3rds of their daily content from The Royal Gazette. Today they linked to two (including the one the with the swipe at the Gazette) on their front page. Yesterday they linked to three articles. On average it's probably two or three a day, lately it's been packed with Gazette stories.

Take a look at their 'Latest News' page. It's content is almost entirely quoted, summarised and linked Royal Gazette articles, with a few Bermuda Sun ones sprinkled in - 214 in just four and a half months (since April).

Rare to find a story he likes, huh. Such hypocrisy.

Politicians around the world complain about the press, that's an occupational hazard and nothing new. But this is different in its intensity and the orchestrated and persistent nature of the campaign.

This media bias theme is designed to perpetuate a perception despite reality, intimidate the media into treating them with kid gloves while trying to discredit negative stories and amplify positive ones.

The Gazette in particular has been extremely busy lately trying to prove themselves to the PLP in the stories they write, lawsuit over the leaked corruption investigation files notwithstanding.

The Bermuda Sun generally is very deferential in their coverage of the PLP.

Hott 107.5 is clearly the PLP's radio station, they don't even pretend not to be.

(The Mid Ocean on the other hand just doesn't care about criticism. They've got a few things wrong, and apologised, but an awful lot right - not to mention their pro-PLP columnists. And let's not forget that they were brutal to the UBP in the late 90's over independence and McDonalds.)

But it's the Gazette in particular takes the brunt of the anti-PLP criticism - mostly because it largely sets the news agenda, but also because of history.

Regardless, it's not hard to prove that the Gazette isn't doing the UBP's bidding, they're actually working hard to prove that they don't have it out for the PLP and tiptoe around a number of issues they should really chase down aggressively.

Let's get real. If the Gazette was in any way owned, controlled or even influenced by the UBP, would a damaging (and incorrectly quoted) headline like "UBP doomed to lose next election" run as I talked about this morning?

Would their senior political reporter constantly use disgruntled former UBP-now-back-in-the-PLP Jamahl Simmons and PLP candidate and party pollster Walton Brown as his primary sources for commentary on the UBP?

Would the Gazette give Maxwell Burgess prominent placement to criticise his party?

Of course it wouldn't.

But that's all irrelevant in the politics of this. The daily drumbeat against the Gazette and the media in general by the PLP is a determined effort to shape perception and keep people believing that the media are biased; to keep people thinking that the PLP are the underdog, not the establishment party that they are with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, dozens of public relations officers, and thousands of civil servants at their disposal (versus the UBP who have, last time I checked one PR person and a couple of office staff).

But don't expect the criticism to stop. George Bush still wants people to believe that the US is winning the war in Iraq. At least the media over there have largely woken up to their responsibilites as the Fourth Estate. When will ours?

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Newspaper headlines are important, because they are all that some people remember about an article and they set the tone for the reader before they read the first sentence.

So, the headline in yesterday's Bermuda Sun is both incorrect and irresponsible.

Is the "Average family home now $1.8m"? No. The article explicitly says so.

The "Average price of a home sold this year is $1.8M". Big difference. That's the average of transactions. To know what the average market value of a home is you'd have to do some sort of an appraisal on every property.

I know headlines are designed to grab a reader, the more sensational the better in a lot of cases, but this a) sets some sellers expectations to high, and b) further alienates those trying to get into an expensive market.

It's much like the headline recently where the Gazette said: "UBP is doomed to lose next election" - in quotes - from an interview with a former UBP party worker. First problem, he never said that. Those were the reporter's words, not Mr. Sullivan's. Since when does a paper quote its own reporters?

The other example was the Gazette's headline which read "Expert: Island is still a 'white supremacist society'".

What he said was:

"Is Bermuda a white-supremacist society? That's obviously a more complex question in a country with a black majority and a black-led government, the distribution of wealth remains racialised, however. And the attitudes of at least some white Bermudians reflect a commitment to white supremacy.

"As an outsider, I don't think my job is to answer that question but to raise questions that can help Bermudians understand their own society."

Mr. Jensen came close to saying what the headline said, but he didn't (although that is the sole reason he was get that headline.)

Headlines are important, perhaps more so, than the content of the article oftentimes. Many people don't pick up the nuances, they just take a superficial skim of the paper and take away little more than the headline and the first paragraph.

The papers (and this is more a fault of the editorial staff than the reporters who don't have much input into headlines) have a responsibility to be more accurate.

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For the enlightened, and I'm talking about Tivo users here, the lineup problem has been corrected and your Tivo's should now be fully functional. This is a far more significant event for Bermuda than any golf tournament, or the Olympics for that matter.

All 3 of mine units are working, including the High Def one.

Just input 00532 as your zipcode in Guided Setup (go to the "Channels" menu in Settings and click "enter" on your remote to re-do Guided Setup) and follow the steps.

If you did Guided Setup already with the 00532 zip you don't need to redo it to get the corrected lineup, but you do need to force an update (Connect to Tivo Now").

There are a few little corrections that need to me made. So if you stumble across anything in your travels around your lineups, send them to me and we'll compile a list to send over to Tivo.

Also, if you are a Tivo user, or know others, please send me your email address so that we can get a mailing list going.

Michael Branco has started a Tivo Facebook Group, in addition to his website's Tivo page.

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Ahh, cannon fodder. I know the feeling.

Best line though, from the notoriously selectively dishonest and over the top self-congratulatory PLP website (even by political standards), is this one:

Mr. Commissiong is a well regarded expert in race relations who currently advises Premier Ewart Brown.

A 'well regarded expert in race relations'? Says who? And since when?

I guess he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Very interesting article in the Rocky Mountain News today.

It's not everyday that you find a connection to Bermuda out there, but the Aspen city council just turned down a request for the first new luxury hotel development in 20 years....because it wasn't sustainable.

How sensible. That decision didn't include have to consider overturning all sorts of long-standing environmental restrictions either from what I can tell.

But by a 3-2 vote, the council ruled that it would not approve new hotel rooms at any cost. At 175,000 square feet, the lodge would have been the second-biggest building in town.

Besides 80 hotel rooms, the project also would have included four residential condos at 4,000 square feet each and 21 fractional ownership suites.

The hotel also promised to rise to the standard and price point of the town's three flagship lodges: The Hotel Jerome, St. Regis and the five-star Little Nell.

"We cannot only court the high end, and that's what this project did," Aspen City Councilman Jack Johnson said. "This sort of project and this sort of economy we have is not sustainable."

In the past 30 years, Aspen has gone from a town that nearly elected Hunter S. Thompson as sheriff in 1970 to a place where private planes line the runway at the airport and the average single-family home costs nearly $6 million.

Although the local affordable-housing program is the envy of other mountain resorts, reasonable rental accommodations are still a rare find. Local employers, from existing hotels to the school district, still have a tough time finding and keeping employees.

With much of the work force living in communities down the valley, a traffic jam chokes the entrance to town every workday.

Mick Ireland, who has been Aspen's mayor since June, said he could not approve a project that would further stress the housing and traffic problems. While there is a need for more moderately priced lodging in Aspen, Ireland said the need for more $1,000-per-night rooms was nil.

"I think we have to think about scaling back our mission," Ireland said. "In the resort-community balance, I think we've lost our balance."

The similarities seem quite compelling. I'd say Aspen made the right call, and our guys blew it. But this was always a done deal, with the Premier and his Government acting as the developers' chief marketer, forgetting that they represent the public interest, not private ones.

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A veteran Police Officer writes in [Ed. Note: links added]

Christian, excuse me but I need to rant..........

I am getting sick and tired of the ongoing nonsense which this Government and especially the Colonel spout in regards to the Police.

I am absolutely sick of the lying.

Its bad enough that they lie constantly about a new police station in Hamilton but now they want to (again) blame HE [The Governor] for police response times etc. The people of Bermuda are being fooled,. all of the operational stuff is governed by things that Govt can influence. i.e. funding for equipment (not enough cars for the new CAT patrol units, or the extra people in the station during the overlap created by the new shift system). They can only put more uniforms on the streets if they have cars to get there!

Adequate buildings (other than Southside) every one of them is patched together with duct tape and the biggest one of all...PAY. The people of Bermuda surely aren't aware that the police pay contract expired in Oct 2004. This is supposed to be a three year contract expiring in Oct 2007. They haven't even come to the table yet.

The only thing this govt has said is that they will consider more pay if the police give up their free health care and go onto basic GEHI. The only good thing they have going is the health care.

The pay is less than teachers without a 10 week paid holiday every year, shift work and personal violence YET the day they go out of contract they are on strike and get huge pay increases!! And that's after a review has said they are at fault for our children's education.

Why on earth would any Bermudian with any brains want to stay in the Police?? No wonder they are leaving in droves. It makes me sick to listen to how it is the Commissioner's fault or the Governors fault when the fault lies clearly at the feet of the Government.

Nuff said.

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I'm back on the island will get moving again with some activity over the next day or so while I catch up.

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For the long-beleaguered Bermuda Tivo users:

Tivo is back. Rerun guided setup with ZipCode 00532.

Thanks to Michael Branco.

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A reader nails it:

You might like this passage from Hebrews in the Good Book which Mr Curtis seems to take (too) literally:

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen": Hebrews 11:1

How apt for his programme of so-called faith-based tourism!

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The game of catch me if you can (psst - you've been caught) with the Premier's Right Hand Man and Faith Based Tourism scammer Andre Curtis continues.

As I pointed out a couple of days ago, a reader got confirmation from Ce Ce Winans' company that she was not scheduled to perform in Bermuda as the Bermuda Department of Tourism said, and today, the DOT website appears to have confirmed that this event was fabricated as it has removed the link to"Gospel Concert CeCe Winans along with Local Artists" from the Faith Based Events main page header...although the page itself hasn't been deleted, it still exists - for now - here.

Don't fear. I've saved a copy of the page itself as well. I have faith that that will be deleted soon enough, but a resurrection seems appropriate.

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Hmmm, intrigued about the date conflict between what the Department of Tourism says and CeCe Winan's website says, a reader emailed CW Entertainment's Marketing and Booking Director, who confirmed that Ms. Winans is not scheduled to be in Bermuda but is scheduled to be in Georgia per her website.

Over to you Mr. Curtis.

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Very interesting.

Someone over at (ahem, I can't say these words out loud) "Bermuda S#cks" has picked up on a little inconsistency for the CeCe Winans Faith Based tourism event. The date (Dec. 07, 2007) the Bermuda Department of Tourism says she's in Bermuda, her website says she's in Georgia:

12/7/07 8:00 PM Word of Faith Family Outreach Altanta, GA Georgia International Convention Center 770-874-8400

A last minute cancellation perhaps? They're really winging this thing aren't they. Throw whatever you can together as quickly as you can now that it's all unraveling, cross your fingers (or get down on your knees) and hope for the best.

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The more he speaks, the more it unravels.

Today's gem from the Andre Curtis Faith Based Tourism debacle is this:

Referring to the planned events, Mr. Curtis said: "I want Bermuda to come out and enjoy. I'm offering a service and it's my prayer that they come out. I can't make tourists come out. I think they (the events' speakers) are good people and they speak well."

Obvious question alert: Why is the Department of Tourism spending money on events for "Bermuda to come out and enjoy"? That ain't tourism, other than for the west-enders who don't like to leave the country or the east enders who don't like to cross the bridge.

Check out the description of the belatedly announced events on the Department's website - the ones that have any details are geared to Bermudians not tourists:

Amalgamated Services of Bermuda Churches

A multi-denominational Faith-Based approach to declare the solidarity of the Kingdom of God for the betterment of Bermuda as a whole. This year's theme for the 2nd annual event is "That we would be one". Mission: This is a God given, non-partisan vehicle, designed to amalgamate all believers in God, to infiltrate, and to impact all strata of our society with the Kingdom of God:

* Unifying through corporate prayer and worship;
* Raising and maintaining the standards of God in the land;
* Surrounding the leadership of this nation with the spiritual support, covering and guidance, on continual bases.

A Nation At Risk "Raising The Standard for the Next Generation"

CITY OF REFUGEE MINISTRIES is hosting this Conference of Cultural and Spiritual awakening for the community. Mission: To engage the Nation of Bermuda, in examining its present and future risks which has the ability to erode Bermuda's global integrity. Featuring renowned speakers from across North America and being held @ the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. Join us for the open service Wednesday, October 31, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m.

Taking it to the Next Level

The AME Churches of Bermuda presents "Taking it to the Next Level" Crusade on the Rock. Featuring Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant to be held at the Fairmont Southampton.

Gospel Concert CeCe Winans along with Local Artists

Bermuda Faith-Based Tourism is hosting two evenings of live performances by Bermudian Artists and the awesome talent of CeCe Winans. Come and be uplifted and get your Praise on. Show times are at 7:00 p.m. each evening @ the Fairmont Southampton.

Sort of like my desire to know how many tourists attend the Music Festival versus locals and how much the Department spends on the event? Do we spend more than we generate in tourism dollars? I think we just might.

If we're honest, the Music Festival is the Department of Tourism entertaining locals, and if a few tourists come along then so be it. I wrote about this almost a year ago to the day, when the Department of Tourism announced Movies on the Beach.

But back to these faith based events. This requires more than faith, it needs blind faith. This is a total debacle. This has nothing to do with tourism. I think Wayne Furbert has it half right in pegging this as a taxpayer funded thank you to the Premier's campaign manager.

He's missing the fact that it's also a misuse of the tourism budget to court the church vote.

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The ongoing BHC leaked files scandal hits the Financial Times, with a slightly different angle than most of the previous coverage, with a double whammy of a headline: "Corruption claims taint island tax haven". Nice. The words "corruption" and "tax haven" in one headline for us:

A scandal over alleged corruption in Bermuda has triggered a colourful political and courtroom battle that has delighted tax haven rivals and highlighted the unusual legal relationship between Britain and its remaining overseas territories.

The top appeal court for about two dozen former and current British colonies - the judicial committee of the privy council in London - has imposed a gagging order that will prevent full reporting of the case for almost three months.

Some Bermudans claim the allegations, extending to home improvements by Ewart Brown, prime minister, pose a potential danger to the image of a tax haven that is a linchpin of the world insurance industry.

Grant Gibbons, former leader of the opposition United Bermuda Party, said a drawn-out case could cause reputational damage even though there was nothing wrong with the islands' regulation of offshore finance.

"What happens domestically can have an impact on your international business," he said.

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Interesting legislation being worked on in the US House this week:

WASHINGTON--A congressional panel on Wednesday voted, against the Bush administration's wishes, to shield journalists including advertising-supported bloggers from having to reveal their confidential sources in many situations.

By a voice vote only after politicians spent nearly two hours airing various misgivings, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of the Free Flow of Information Act. Chiefly sponsored by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.), it proposes protection for a wider set of people than previous years' versions.

"Today, we are reclaiming one of the most fundamental principles enshrined by the founding fathers in the First Amendment of the Constitution," Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said before the vote.

In response to concerns raised by the Bush administration and other politicians, the revised bill attempts to exclude the "casual blogger" from reaping those benefits by stipulating the protections apply only to those who derive "financial gain or livelihood" from the journalistic activity, Boucher said Wednesday. That broad rule could, however, include part-time writers who receive even a trickle of revenue from Google Ads or

The bill defines the practice of journalism as "gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public."

Full article here.

In Bermuda the Government takes a different approach, and sues.

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I'm on vacation until August 17th. I may post occassionally but probably not too much.

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Apologies for having to close the comments down early again this week, and just when momentum was building for some really good entries.


My favourites were:

1st Place - The General: "Jeremiah group receives approval for SDO on the ground between protestors at the candlight vigil"

2nd Place (and eerily prescient of the comment spamming) - Bermuda Rasta: Reminiscent of the "Free Mandela" movement, throngs of "PLP for Christian" members pray for Mr. Dunleavy's deliverance from incarceration over the censorship laws of Chairman Brown. Meanwhile, in the rapidly fading background, Vance Chapman shouts at the disinterested crowd.

3rd Place (and most effort) - Proteus:

Twas the night before Ground Breaking when all across Southlands,
Many folk were stiring with candles in their hands.

The contruction plans were drawn up by Jumeriah with care,
In the hopes that good ole' Uncle Ewart would make sure all was unimpaired.

The sellers were happily thinking there had been no crime,
Whilst visions of dollar-signs danced around in their minds

Grumpy Burch in his old uniform and Uncle Ewart in his white suit,
Had just settled down to count all their loot,

When over in Southlands there rose such a clatter,
Uncle and Grumpy jumped from their seats to see what was the matter.

The candlelight down in the fields gave off a lovely glow,
Illuminating what would be such a frightening show,

And what appeared at the crest of the hill shrouded in screams?,
But Aunt Neletha, Cousin Zane and several shiny diggin machines!

On Caterpillar, on Michigan, on Detroit-Allison, on John Deere,
On Bobcat, on Daewoo, on Fujitsu,

We got land to clear!

Honourable mentions -

Bermuda Rasta: Awaiting his return flight from the Privy Council hearing on BHC, UBP supporters line up for the opportunity to light Saul Froomkins' cigar.

Bermuda Rasta: Celebrating the Curtis McLeod appeal, the DeSilva clan set fire to their BIU cards.

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This week's caption competition is early due to the holiday.

Due to last week's problem with comment abuse, I will be watching closely and closing them down overnight and if I'm away from my PC for an extended time.

Winners, and I know you all questioned my judgment last week, will be announced Thursday night.


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