2

Who Will Be Celebrating Independence?

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I must ask all Bahamians this question, “Do we have an existential crisis in our country?”

My own answer to this question is, “Yes, we do.”

Here are my reasons;

Presently, our economy is in shambles. At least it is for the majority of Bahamians. That a majority of our citizens have no savings, have had no increase in wages in many years, and are seeing a dramatic increase in our cost of living, leads me to this conclusion. I am speaking of percentages.

While our politicians, our newspaper editors, our pastors, our business leaders, the web shop owners, and lawyers do have enough food on their tables, and can pay their basic bills, they do not constitute the majority of Bahamians, Yet, they are the ones who get to make most of the decisions. They are the ones whose voices we hear, read about, and are for the most part, reported on. The rest of us are statistics. So, for me, when I am presented with the “statistics” of how many of us are in poverty, are unable to scrap together a couple of hundred dollars in an emergency, how many have to depend on social services, of how many are homeless, of how many are jobless, I say we have a crisis.

But, I don’t want to stop there.

Our crime rates, no matter what the talking heads in the police department say, are out of control. The number of murders, rapes, robberies here, constitute a crisis. The statistics clearly show that on a per capita basis, crime in The Bahamas is at unacceptable levels. No matter how we look at it, nor no matter what we see on TV, the US has a murder rate of 5.35 persons per 100,000 people, versus 28.4 persons killed per 100,000 people here in The Bahamas. This is no small difference.

I say we have a crisis.

As to our national debt and the state of our finances. Though we have no transparency and no freedom of information act here, most of us who have been paying attention can agree that we are in dire straits. Our unfunded liabilities, the losses in most of our government enterprises, and the amount of money paid each year in interest payments, the amount of money lost to corruption and theft, are untenable.

I say we have a crisis.

Judging by the way traffic flows on our streets in Nassau, by the number of traffic accidents, the number of broken up and mashed cars, and by the disrespect for traffic laws in Nassau, I say we have a crisis.

Judging by the reports in the papers of the numbers of people with AIDS in this country, the rate of cancers, of diabetes, of obesity, by my own experience in visiting people in Princess Margaret Hospital and in seeing the clinics in the Family Islands, I say we have a crisis.

My point is not to be completely negative, or to see the glass as half empty. On the contrary, I want us to be honest, and to admit we have a problem so that we can positively move forward and upward. Unless we face up to these overwhelming social failures, nothing can change.

Most importantly, I want to establish the fact that we do, in fact, have a crisis situation in The Bahamas.

And if we do, is it not fair to ask that all citizens of The Bahamas equally share in the pain of righting many of these wrongs?

Presently, no such thing is happening.

VAT, no matter how it is justified, is disproportionately, and unarguably making some people starve and go without. Many Bahamians are being forced to go without food, medicine, electricity, school clothes, lunch money, and on and on. Not luxuries, but the very basics required for life.

Therefore, I must ask, who among us is truly Christian?

Are Dr Minnis and Mr Turnquest and the rest of the MPs who voted on this increase in VAT? They must see the statistics of how many Bahamians are suffering. For god’s sake, we are in a national crisis.

The first thing a decent leader would do is to admit that we must all share in the pain together. The decent thing to do would be to vote for a reduction in pay for all MPs, and to institute a progressive tax for those who are not just making ends meet, but actually getting rich by any standards. What is wrong with my thinking?

Was it only the poor who got us into this mess? Of course not. Honestly, Dr Minnis, are you, or any in your administration unable to put two and two together, to see the direct consequences of your actions? Or, do you just not care?

Yes, I want the richest Bahamians to pay much, much more than the poorest Bahamians. Is this not Christian? Or would you argue that these are not basic Christian principles?

It appears to me that we here in The Bahamas are in a crisis situation. I believe it is only fair that we all chip in to the best of our ability to help stabilise and right this sinking ship.

The way the government is currently going about it, I believe, is entirely unfair, truly hypocritical, wholly undemocratic, and ghastly unChristian. To place such a great, great burden on those least able to bear it, forcing them to make choices which can only degrade their lives, is unforgivable.

That this is the “leadership” mentality we presently have is truly unfortunate for our country.

That the pastors who are supposed to uphold some semblance of Christian values have remained virtually silent, acquiescing to the will of the lawmakers, is unacceptable.

That those who are doing very well by any standards, and have allowed the poor to be saddled with these life and death choices is inhumane and disgusting.

I would ask of all the so-called “leaders” in this country to go home and look in the mirror.

Presently, I can see no other way to describe our treatment of the majority of the Bahamian people as heartless, soulless and cruel, that can never be excused.

I find it sad that we will come out on July 10 waving our flags, and this is the best we can do for the least among us in our own country.

Yes, I am disgusted.

PORCUPINE

Nassau,

June 30, 2018.

Comments

birdiestrachan 2 months, 1 week ago

Doc travelling all over the place. him and a whole army, The Parker seems to be going on a lot of these trips. They produce nothing from these trips except "A good time was had by All"

0

Honestman 2 months, 1 week ago

Where was your criticism when Fweddy Boy was travelling all over the world at tax payers' expense and producing NOTHING for the country? Selective amnesia as usual from the PLP's regular propagandist.

0

tetelestai 2 months, 1 week ago

So your argument is because Freddie did it, it is not okay for Minnis to do it? In both cases it was wrong, however, Freddie isn't in power is he? The king that wears the crown gets the glory, or in this case, the blame. Minnis should cut down on the traveling, and with such a large entourage, many of whom contribute nothing to the even they attend. Oh, and it was a campaign promise of Minnis, too, by the way.

0

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

Most EXCELLENT letter Porcupine! We are indeed in crisis. The problem starts at the top with both leaders in Government and in many of the Churches. The "all for me baby" epidemic runs deep.

3

Andros242 2 months, 1 week ago

I too say: Strong“we have a crisis”Strong. You have written what I and many Bahamians feel. I voted FNM to get rid of the corrupt PLP, but I am very disappointed in the FNM for ALL the reasons you so brilliantly put in writing.

1

Andros242 2 months, 1 week ago

I agree with every word you wrote Porcupine. May I please repeat parts:

"VAT, no matter how it is justified, is disproportionately, and unarguably making some people starve and go without. Many Bahamians are being forced to go without food, medicine, electricity, school clothes, lunch money, and on and on. Not luxuries, but the very basics required for life."

2

Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

What part of Andros are you?

0

Andros242 2 months, 1 week ago

Hey Porcupine, every time I try to comment all I get from The Tribune is: Your content has been submitted for moderator approval. The moderator must be asleep as I have commented several times and they won't post anything.

0

OldFort2012 2 months, 1 week ago

This country will be a case study in business schools throughout the world: how to go from debt free playground of the rich to Haiti in 50 years. Just add Independence and government by people no one normal with entrust with looking after 2 goats.

1

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

yes, we have a crisis. excellently written.

"VAT, no matter how it is justified, is disproportionately, and unarguably making some people starve and go without. Many Bahamians are being forced to go without food, medicine, electricity, school clothes, lunch money, and on and on. Not luxuries, but the very basics required for life. "

3

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

Porcupine, if I may quote more sections of your letter:

"The first thing a decent leader would do is to admit that we must all share in the pain together. The decent thing to do would be to vote for a reduction in pay for all MPs, and to institute a progressive tax for those who are not just making ends meet, but actually getting rich by any standards. What is wrong with my thinking? "

"Are Dr Minnis and Mr Turnquest and the rest of the MPs who voted on this increase in VAT? They must see the statistics of how many Bahamians are suffering. For god’s sake, we are in a national crisis."

2

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

DON'T THINK THEY GIVE A FIG! They would be embarrassed to face The People if they had a conscience. After all, the VAT is paying for their salaries, their globe trotting and their glory. Taxes have always fed the politicians, it's just that they have taken so much there is nothing left. They should wake up and smell the coffee. Even the great U.S. of A. is running out of steam and waging war all over the world to feed it's insatiable appetite for power and wealth.

1

Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

DDK, if I don't disagree with a word you just said, then what do we do next? Besides writing.

0

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

March on Parliament? Start a revolution? Appeal to our elected officials, although most are part of the problem? Help initiate a decent strong opposition?

This Government is not listening either to The People or much good advice from reliable economic sectors who actually care about the future of our Country. It looks like they think if they move all over the world in huge numbers on a regular basis we will not notice their inactivity on most matters of governance.

Too bad we cannot boycott the payment of VAT. That would wake them up. While we certainly understand that tax is needed to run a country they are using it to run themselves. This economic situation is unsustainable. It looks like we are rapidly returning to an era of serfdom.

0

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

DDK your are absolutely correct! As soon as I heard about the 12% VAT I spoke with the FNM MP i helped vote in, and he DIDN'T GIVE A FIG. No more political rallies for me, I am tired of being LIED TO!!

2

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

Most Bahamians are suffering; under austerity; with the 12% VAT can’t afford atrociously high electricity & water bills, healthy food, medical bills, health insurance, basic necessities of life, while the PM travels to CARICOM with 15, not 3 or 4, but 15, paid for by taxpayers:

CARICOM entourage:

• Joshua Sears, Senior Policy Advisor;

• Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs;

• Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education;

• His Excellency Reuben Rahming, High Commissioner of The Bahamas to CARICOM;

• Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Parliamentary Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister;

• Viana Gardiner, Chief Operating Officer, Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit;

• Michael Guy, Foreign Service Officer;

• Kemico Sands, Protocol Officer, Office of the Prime Minister;

• Inspector Livingstone Barr, Aide to the Prime Minister;

• Sgt Kirk Bastian, Aide to the Prime Minister;

• Yontalay Bowe, Personal Assistant/Photographer;

• Lindsay Thompson, BIS Senior Information Officer;

• Kent Minnis, BIS Senior Digital Visuals Editor;

• Altovise Munnings, ZNS Reporter;

• and Philip Marche, cameraman.

I voted FNM, but this sure is not The People’s Time.

2

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

BOL .......... Joshua Sears is Minnis' brain ...... Lloyd and Parker are his cheerleaders ........... Henfield and Rahming are the political props ...........and the rest of them are the cumbersome Govt paparazzi

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 1 week ago

Leaders throughout the Caribbean are always laughing at the size of Minnis's entourages while at the same time feeling great pity for us poor Bahamians. They all know only too well that Minnis is insecure within his own skin, mainly because of his less than adequate level of intelligence and inability to stand on his own two feet. Minnis tries to compensate for his obvious shortcomings by always surrounding himself with a bunch of his "yes massa, whatever you say massa" lackeys. He is so uncomfortable in public forums that he won't travel anywhere without them. The costs of his heavily padded entourages is beyond ridiculous and shows he just does not give a rats arse about wasteful spending of our tax dollars.

1

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

Well Mudda, I must admit, however sadly, that I see the light! All we had was hope and now that has been dashed for most of us. As Porcupine asks, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?

0

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

Jeff Lloyd is Laneisha Rolle on steroids ......... He is running the biggest Ministry and is so clueless about HOW to improve public education ........ that it makes one sick to watch.

But if you are one of the Minnis "beloved inner circle" ........... JLloyd, LRolle, RWells, FCampbell, etc will continue to shit on our heads and tell us it is raining.

We have seen this Game before with the former PM ............ and it doesn't end well.

2

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

Canon Basil Tynes laid out a truthful and insightful scenario this morning on ZNS Sunday Church service ........ He said that we have failed to live up to EVERY national standard we have set for our selves ....... From the Preamble in the Constitution .......... to the words of the National Pledge and National Anthem .......... to the National Motto .......... So, what is there to celebrate, when we are collectively LYING to ourselves and our future generations???????????

That is a ringing indictment of the politicians and the spiritual leaders who have led this country for the past 45 years (and more).

He called for a National Seven Days of Prayer & Repentance (like what happened in Nineveh)

0

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

I quote the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, MP in the House of Assembly Budget Debate 2014:

“The PLP government continues to sing praises of the smoothness with which VAT was introduced.”

"But the [PLP] Government has shown no appreciation for the pain and suffering, the pain and suffering, Mr. Speaker, inflicted by VAT on our poor, the pain and suffering inflicted by VAT on our pensioners, and the VAT burden inflicted on the middle class in our society.”

“...we in the FNM feel even stronger now that it was wrong of this PLP government to inflict pain on our poor, our pensioners, our disposed and on the middle class. Mr. Speaker I cannot imagine how a PLP party born out of the struggles of the poor, and which for so many years survived on the backs of the poor could now turn their backs on them, how could you?”

I believed you, Dr. Minnis .

StrongBut I now ask Prime Minister Dr. Hubert A. Minnis:Strong

StrongHOW COULD YOU?Strong

2

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

could The Tribune please remove my above post as your "bold" feature did not work? thanks.

0

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

I quote the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, MP in the House of Assembly Budget Debate 2014:

“The PLP government continues to sing praises of the smoothness with which VAT was introduced.”

"But the [PLP] Government has shown no appreciation for the pain and suffering, the pain and suffering, Mr. Speaker, inflicted by VAT on our poor, the pain and suffering inflicted by VAT on our pensioners, and the VAT burden inflicted on the middle class in our society.”

“...we in the FNM feel even stronger now that it was wrong of this PLP government to inflict pain on our poor, our pensioners, our disposed and on the middle class. Mr. Speaker I cannot imagine how a PLP party born out of the struggles of the poor, and which for so many years survived on the backs of the poor could now turn their backs on them, how could you?”

I believed you,Dr. Minnis .

But I now ask Prime Minister Dr. Hubert A. Minnis:

HOW COULD YOU?

1

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

you can listen to this budget debate posted by "FNM Killarney" on youtube, June 19, 2015.

1

Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

start watching at 17:30. Very interesting that Dr. Minnis said this, eh?

0

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

you mean when Dr. Minnis said:

“The Department of Statics would tell you that poverty is up…and as for not caring, if somebody’s poor and already down, and you increase tax on them, you must not be caring, how else can you explain that, ask the man over the hill who can’t buy bread, and now he has an extra cost, ask him, he would interpret that as not caring. You who live in the ivory towers do not because the 7 1/2 % do not affect you. Mr. Speaker, it is clear from this budget communication that the PLP is more interested with winning an election than governing our Country. I want to say it again, it is clear that you are more interested in winning an election than governing a Country."

Yes, very interesting!

1

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

Raptor22 ........... You seem o be another small-minded Bahamian ........ You must think longterm ........ Imagine if Perry dem was re-elected ......... You would have been walking the streets like in Port-au-Prince right now ......... fire and smoke

0

Raptor22 2 months, 1 week ago

If the FNM don't do as they promised, you will be walking the streets...we are not far from that now with the Haitians taking over this country, more of them than us! As for Perry them, those thieving PLP's will never see the House of Assembly ever in life.

3

John 2 months, 1 week ago

Is it a coincidence that Every single country that has a high population of descendants of slaves are going through the exact same crisis that Porcupine describes in his letter and that is so clealy so evident in The Bahamas today. Starting with the largest population in Brazil to the Blacks in America and there's Venezuela and Jamaica and Haiti and Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. And Cuba and Mexico..Over 20,000 TWENTY THOUSAND MURDERS in MEXICO this year already! High incidence of crime and especially murder, economic disarray, increased taxatiobn and decreasing standard or quality of life, increased poverty, high incidence of illness and disease, the deterioration of the family nucleus and society by extension and moral decay. What Independence? As one popular minister puts it "If you're Black, you already dead, at least spiritually," Can these dry bones live?

0

OldFort2012 2 months, 1 week ago

Could you stop making everything about race? It is not about race, it is about education. You could have an Einstein size brain. Without education it would only be fit to harvest conch.

1

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

Education is what the governments cannot or will not allow. It has been deteriorating since Independence. The circle is closed.

0

John 2 months, 1 week ago

Do I not have a right to express my opinion just ;iike you do? Or do I needs your permission massa?

0

Honestman 2 months, 1 week ago

Excellent letter from Porcupine - hard to disagree with any of it.

The country is in a state of crisis but it is a crisis of leadership.

The change from yellow shirts to red shirts has sadly not changed much.

I don't see any natural leader out there.

2

Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

John, The parallels I see between the circumstances humanity finds itself in, as what I write above, go beyond the superficial and wrong conclusions you draw. A closer look at the power structures, of whose membership happen to be a majority white for the last few hundred years, is illustrated clearly in the history you choose to ignore. Whether the repatriations demanded of Haiti by the French, the entrenched Jim Crow laws still a reality in the US, or the blatant overthrow of those leaders who would dare consider the downtrodden as human beings, the examples are endless. And, where does your "Over 20,000 TWENTY THOUSAND MURDERS in MEXICO this year already" come into the discussion? Were the Mexicans descendants of slaves? These murders are due to a failed War on Drugs, instigated by the US. The US, that can't seem to keep its' own discontents from taking every pill and snorting every line of cocaine they can find. Free market supply and demand. But, the US wants to sell arms, and so we have murders everywhere now due specifically to a schizophrenic duplicitous drug policy that every right-minded person on the planet can see through. So no John, it is not a coincidence, as you say, that things are the way they are. The idea of divide and conquer did not disappear from this earth. It is alive and well. What recent studies have shown is that the corruption in a society starts at the top. If there is no accountability for the leaders, there will be none in the general population. Many times in recent history, the people in these countries you mention, have chosen leaders who were likely to walk the walk, only to be "taken out" by the US elite, because they were setting a "bad example" or threatening the economic interests of US corporations. These are facts, John. And, they take time and study to verify. But, they are the truth and well documented. It is not a racial issue as you allude to. It is a power and greed issue, of which they race bait people like you to fall into the same old trap. Divide and conquer while they're going to the bank. Yes John, it is easy to fall into that trap, when you have people like Trump, who get to spout off their ignorance and stupidity. Or, Fred Mitchell in this country. The problems in this world today John, are not racial. The vast majority of humanity, black, white, yellow, brown, are all suffering these blows. All of us, regardless of skin color. These massive problems are almost entirely due to the huge and growing disparity of wealth that allows the rich to do and say what they want, to thief, to kill, to lie with absolute impunity. They are doing it now, getting away with it, buying their yachts, mansions, jets, while we down here are talking about race.

3

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

100% agreed! I believe it started in the U.S. and the rest of the monsters caught on quickly and followed suit. Now how do we bring down the evil empires? THEY need to be divided and conquered! If not, it may well be the final battle of good versus evil......

0

bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

Very interesting Porcupine.....you seem to have described the "nomenklatura" and major aspects of the real life communist system.....wid great passion...

0

Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

Thank you. I'll take that as a compliment.

1

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

Porcupine needs to tell us HOW Andros will become the breadbasket of the country ....... What are we going to do with an island that is half of the land area of the country that is still described as the "sleeping giant" ......... 50 years after Pindling took us to the Promised Land ?????

0

ohdrap4 2 months, 1 week ago

think about who the land was promised to?

0

Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

sheeprunner, The overwhelming sentiment here is that we can no longer rely on government for anything. Most have said they are done voting. We intend to move our island forward ourselves. We are beginning. If BAMSI works, great. That doesn't concern us. There are a few, growing in number that believe that it is up to us to make things happen. Our MP as been in three terms. What do we have to show for it. Nothing. So, if we are still in this same boat 4 years from now, who do we have to blame? Exactly. Only ourselves. We are going to do what needs to be done in our own community. If government has an issue with what we are doing, we will show them where the airport is. We are tired of the promises, the lies, the all for me attitude that our government officials seem to have. It is time to move beyond words. We are coming together to better our own community. Unless, you can prove us wrong, we suggest all Bahamians do the same.

1

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

Indeed .......... You have 2 Andros native MPs, and the MOPW and the PM to call on ....... Something should broke for yall

0

John 2 months, 1 week ago

For the record there are Black Mexicans, who are descendants of slaves. Some were brought by force from Africa as was done in the Caribbean and America and others migrated to Mexico after slavery was abolished. But the 20,000 murder rate was mentioned to indicate how bad things can get when they get out of control. And while the massive murders may have started from the war on drugs or the failed war on drugs, the drug trade is still flourishing and the motive to kill in Mexico is 'for any reason.' Many persons are being killed because they are trying to avoid the gangs and the drug cartels and refusing to participate in their activities. Others are being killed and then having their full face removed form their skulls and shipped to family members and rival gangs just because they are friends or family of known gang members or drug lords.

0

sheeprunner12 2 months, 1 week ago

Sooooooooooo, after all of the Church prayers, fun walks, concerts, beach parties, tattoos, rushes, cookouts, homecomings, State dinners, awards ceremonies, sporting games etc over the past week. ............. Are we any more devoted to the aims and ideals of our Bahamian National Symbols??????

0

Sign in to comment