Recently in General Category

Just a heads up for those who might be interested that I will be a guest on tomorrow night's Let's Talk with Gary Moreno at 8PM on ZBM Channel 9 as part of a panel discussion.

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While the Bermuda Government ridiculously still hasn't taken the most rudimentary step - in the year 2012 - of covering sexual orientation in the Human Rights Code at all, Newark New Jersey Mayor, and two time Bermuda speaker Cory Booker, makes one of the most coherent and passionately principled arguments in favour of marriage equality as a basic civil right:

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Who says there's nothing to do at night in Bermuda?

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Apologies for the quiet lately but I'm fighting off some disease that just won't go away.

But...I had a random thought today.

With the spreading of same sex marriages across North America, Europe and other countries, it's just a matter of time before Bermuda Immigration faces the question of a non-Bermudian worker coming to the island with a same sex spouse?

What are they going to do in that situation?

And what are they going to do if a Bermudian same sex couple go overseas and get married?

What happens to benefits? Pensions? Health insurance coverage etc?

Or a Bermudian/non-Bermudian same sex couple goes overseas and gets legally married.

Does the same sex spouse get status in 10 years?

We already know that the PLP Government is pro-discrimination for mixed status hetero-couples so in that case that discrimination will carry over.

But looking beyond that some interesting scenarios could play out.

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Even better than the iPad version?

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Bermuda should be deeply proud of our BFA representatives who appear to have rejected bribes and exposed corruption in FIFA.

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Maybe this has been going on for awhile, because I generally don't pay much attention to CITV, but on the back of the Budget there seems to be a proliferation of fake news shows, particularly the "In The Know" show and "Today", with 'hosts' presented as journalists but lobbing soft balls at Government Ministers who then go on extensive monologues.

I'm yet to see any Opposition figure interviewed, although I could be wrong. This is exactly what CITV shouldn't be doing, which is political infomercials dressed up as interviews. The window dressing is that it is Government communicating directly with the people, but these are taxpayer funded one-sided political broadcasts at their core.

The sign offs from the host of "In the Know" tonight were

"Minister [Smith] you are a pleasure and a shining light and a gem to be around."

"Thank you Minister Desilva for all your hard work and dedication in regards to health. It is appreciated."

Cringeworthy.

This is not the model of CBC in Canada, or the BBC in the UK, or CSPAN in the US. Other than CSPAN who are ruthless in their equal time and lack of advocacy, there are of course accusations of bias, but there's no question that their shows are not an arm of the political communication apparatus, as CITV is.

I watch it and cringe at the obvious transparency of what is going on. In normal modern democracies these kinds of programs would never pass muster. At the minimum you'd see equal time, and I can't see the likelihood of the Opposition being invited on to discuss their Budget reply and plan contained within.

Not to mention that the most obvious use for CITV - broadcasting Parliament - remains elusive, with antiquated and flaky radio feeds still the only option. Parliament is one of the few times that the Opposition have a platform that can't be controlled (although they try through a pliable Speaker) and gives them a profile.

Hence why there seems to be no enthusiasm to get Parliament broadcast properly. Why give the Opposition airtime when you can produce puff pieces dressed up as news.

Of course CITV has other community shows and cultural programs, but this fake news stuff is embarrassing and the kind of propaganda that would be unacceptable in democracies we'd like to think we keep company with.

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Let's hope that the talk of another attempt at updating Bermuda's discrimination laws to include sexual orientation is successful this time, unlike the previous shameful episode.

And while we're on the topic, here is a great video from a 19 year old Iowan making the case for marriage equality.

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The Not the Um Um Byes have a youtube channel, and are uploading a lot of their old material. I was asked for a shameless plug, and I'm happy to oblige, particularly as they uploaded one of my favourites, the PWD 40 skit.

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An interesting TED talk by Jonathon Haidt on how moral psychology plays into political ideologies and allegiances.

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Surely I'm the most polled person in Bermuda, and that tap tapping in the background is me logging the questions.

But I have a complaint for the pollsters: ending your calls with this series of questions obliterates any pretense of anonymity and always leaves me amazed:

What is your age?
What is your gender?
What is your race?
What is your income bracket?
What Parish do you live in?
What is your Postal Code?
So that I can confirm for my supervisor that I conducted this interview what is your first name?
And I reached you at the following number: 441-23X-XXXX.

Yes Total Marketing Group. That would be you.

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Well, looks like Mother Nature may provide a bit of a stimulus to the (re)construction industry.

This will be interesting. Be safe.

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From the Ministry of Bizarre Press Releases today we get this:

In response to media inquiries, the Cabinet Office today confirmed that Head of the Civil Service, Mr. Kenneth Dill reaches retirement age in September 2010. Public Officers appointed under section 82 of the Bermuda Constitution reach retirement age at sixty-five years.

Premier Dr Ewart Brown indicated today that despite numerous attempts to contact the outgoing Head of the Civil Service, the matter had not been discussed with Mr. Dill.

"I have spoken with the Governor today concerning an interim arrangement for the period between Mr. Dill's departure and the swearing-in of a new Premier in October," the Premier said.

The Premier can't get hold of the Head of the Civil Service? Or the Head of the Civil Service won't return his calls? Really. That's shocking.

And the outgoing Premier has issued a press release telling Mr. Dill to not let the door hit him in the ass as he's run out of the office on his birthday because he's 65?"

How bizarre is this? Way to go on succession planning.

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