WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

LOW EARTH ORBIT – Outside the Box



Outside the Box

People in this small place are very good at thinking inside the box. We are also very good at letting things slide hoping that time, events, and somebody else will take care of things for us to our benefit … eventually … just let’s be cool and have a beach lime.

A case in point is that recent, very entertaining circus sideshow surrounding some government lands being used by a private school for a sports field. Yours Truly always thought schools and sports fields sort of went together. You know … young people … human development … “mens sana in corpore sana” and all that jive … seems logical, right?



Yours Truly is still waiting to find out how that poor offending school was able to get the Government of Antigua & Barbuda (GoAB) wrapped up in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The school’s manifest outlawry forced our excitable Minister of Lands to rush in like an agitated bantam rooster, kicking up a thick obfuscating cloud of dust and threatening the physical development of a chunk of our nation’s future.

Apparently, the rogue educational institution is illegally occupying lands his ministry has sold to a third party. Said third party’s constitutional rights are being infringed, in that the right to free enjoyment of property has been denied … by somebody. This brings to mind that old tale about “Somebody, Anybody, Everybody and Nobody”; we all know it; it is commonly quoted in this, our delusional state of being … the twin-island sub-tropical paradise of Antigua & Barbuda. We love “sayings”: “doings” are quite another matter.

So in the end, nobody did what somebody ought to have done; and now somebody is upset because everybody can see that nobody did what anybody can plainly see ought to have been done; so now somebody has to make sure that anybody within reach takes the fall so that everybody can see that somebody is really in charge; and nobody says nothing. Is anybody out there?

And all this is happening at the beginning of 2013, the much-ballyhooed “Year of Sports”. I wonder what the acting Minister of Sports thinks about it all … but I forget - he’s only a Senator.

Yours Truly understands though, that arrangements are being made to allow the offending institution access to some other government lands – conveniently adjacent – to continue its mission to develop healthy minds in healthy bodies. Everybody hopes somebody doesn’t mess this one up, so that nobody has to take the fall for the sake of anybody’s fundament.

This brings us in a roundabout and hopefully entertaining way back to the crux of the issue: thinking outside the box … and getting things done. As in the case of the St Anthony’s School sports field, a solution to a problem can always be found. The key question is: do we have the insight to recognize the problem, the acumen to devise a solution and the will to implement it in a timely manner – before the price becomes too high to bear?

Yours Truly submits that the price of attempting to conduct governance under a set of inappropriate protocols has already become too high for our body politic to bear. The cost of that folly is the emasculation of the body politic itself, as it becomes subsumed under the imperatives of political power. The process is gradual, imperceptible, having its way over generations. It invades the mind of the people, like a body-snatcher. It determines their mores, forms their culture.

The result is endemic corruption leading to a breakdown in governance – a way-station on the road to actual dictatorship.

Yours Truly pursues these meditations as I train my brand new multiple independently targetable double-bubble telescope on neighboring St Kitts & Nevis. Right now our OECS sister nation is in the grip of precisely the breakdown of governance that follows the institutionalization of corruption in a weak democracy. Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas has pulled just about every rabbit he can out of his big bag of tricks. He has thus far exercised every prime ministerial power and prerogative at his disposal, save the two ultimate risks: a budget debate, or a resort to general elections.

Apparently Dr Douglas dare not leave the country even to hobnob in nearby Antigua with his OECS colleagues, lest the house of cards he has so painstakingly assembled should collapse as soon as his back is turned – as it almost certainly would. PM Douglas’ minority government persists only as long as he can avoid going to parliament. He has been abandoned by senior ministers, and faces a No-Confidence Motion he cannot win. Civil society has appealed for reason. Recent elections in federal partner Nevis have revealed appalling weakness in the electoral machinery, requiring court action. And yet, Douglas grimly hangs on, trying to defy the Law of Gravity.



How long can he last? The answer is: as long as he is allowed to. Tuesday’s long-delayed budget debate will be a date with destiny, if Dr Douglas manages to duck the No-Confidence Motion hovering over his head.

One of the tricks Dr Douglas pulled as he fought to stave off the inevitable collapse of his regime was to engineer the expansion of the Senate to his specifications. One may never know what deals were made, what arms twisted, to achieve that coup and delay the approaching day of reckoning. Our Prime Minister Spencer had an easier time of it, being required to flex his own considerable prime ministerial muscle only as an afterthought as he “re-packed” the Antigua & Barbuda Senate according to the need of the moment.

The Denzil Douglas government is now at the stage the Lester Bird regime found itself at in the final years before 2004, when events were closing in around him and the tide of history ran strongly against his political prospects. The St Kitts & Nevis body politic is signaling that a change is imminent, just as the Antigua & Barbuda electorate did prior to 2004.

Yours Truly sincerely hopes that the people of St Kitts & Nevis are prepared to avoid the error of their cousins in Antigua & Barbuda, and resolve to really think outside the box about their systems of governance … and the pernicious effect they can have on the pursuit of democracy.

Hits: 2049

21 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

Dessalines- he heart of the matter

#21 tenman » 2013-04-07 13:39

Dessalines, did you miss this portion of my argument:
Quote:
Its time we stop focusing on mere symptoms and start dealing with the problem(s)
In prior related articles (eg Dead In Its Tracks, march 20th) I have made it clear the need for real reforms of campaign financing. In other words fight it also from the source. The point, that you seem to miss, is we need to get persons to put a true value to their votes. They need to understand the responsibility which comes with voting.

In the arguments against drug use (a topic with some relevance to bribery), have you never heard it stated that the war cannot be won until we deal with it from the consumption end? We need to take the needed policy example from what was followed with cigarettes (education and choice). These kinds of battles are only won via education and (adult)free choice.
..
2
0
+
−

tenman

Dessalines- communication problem

#20 tenman » 2013-04-07 13:16

Quote:
The principal said the issue dates back to around 2009 when the school first tried to acquire the land. “We went searching to find out who owned the land because if it was privately owned, we would have approached them to see if we could purchase the land,” Boulous-Calias said. The principal said the school’s officials found out it was Crown land but when they requested to buy it, were told the government was not selling crown lands at the time. see Angry lands minister offers olive branch to St Anthony’s School
By Rory Butler - Tuesday, March 19th, 2013.
So Dess. yes I believe what the principal stated is possible considering the lack of communication which occurs in government. A subsequent article which I have already quoted points to an example of the said communication problem where Crump's replacement did not continue with the decision to relocate the land owners


..
1
0
+
−

tenman

@ Colin

#19 Dessalines » 2013-04-06 14:18

As a journalist it would be in the public interest for you to identify the board members of this school and inquire as to whether any (or all) of them also acquired crown lands in the name of 'sporting development'. If so how long ago they acquired these lands, what development has been done since they did etc etc (you're the journalist not me).
If you connect the dots you I won't be surprised if you uncover an insidious modus operandi (a la West Indies Oil Co.) Make a big stink about child development (or oil refining) on the media, sucker some poor government official to buying into your pipe dreams, acquiring crown lands for little or nothing and when the dust settles you see a housing development spring out of nowhere where the price of land skyrocket from 4 to 26 dollars a square foot. Boom!!! Instant millionaire.
1
0
+
−

Dessalines

@ Tenman

#18 Dessalines » 2013-04-06 14:08

Do you read what you write?
You are suggesting that within the 9 months that the school got permission to use the land that the lands were sold to several land owners AFTER the school indicated they would love to purchase the lands? Does that make sense to you. The lands were already allocated to homeowners when the PS (Pilgrim) gave the school TEMPORARY use of the land. Which is why the permission had a 9 month expiry date.
Quote:
Baptiste said the school took out the stakes that the government had installed to demarcate the different sets of land, and the public road which ran parallel, and took over the entire area. Read more: http://www.Caribarena.com/antigua/education/201-education/103443-school-has-to-remove-fence.html#ixzz2Pi9uLUxx
In plain English (not that its gonna make a difference) the school fenced in an access road which leads to other people's property including a farmer.
I maintain this has nothing to do with sports development, it's a land grab. No where else but Antigua can anyone fence in an access road to other peoples property and barefacedly gets away with it.
2
0
+
−

Dessalines

@ Tenman /Professor

#17 Dessalines » 2013-04-06 13:52

Tenman, your argument that once there is a demand for a commodity the supplier for that commodity is blameless regardless of breach of laws and moral conduct is inconceivable.
There is high demand for marijuana and cocaine in Antigua. If I go out and supply the need does that make me blameless or am I taking advantage of people with substance abuse issues?
Questions questions questions.
P.S Jacob in your story was an opportunistic shyster lacking in moral fibre.
0
1
+
−

Dessalines

professor - poor us

#16 tenman » 2013-04-06 07:40

Professor, like the UPP, you keep saying you have information/evidence . Yet you both seem unwilling to put up nor shut up. You know my email address, so there is no excuse for not sharing the info with me. You also know the media's contact info. I guess like with the UPP, your feeling is that the info is too much for the public to read themselves? Could it be that the info is so voluminous that it will take awhile for you to compile it? The attitude is also inferred in your earlier bribe analysis where you see the persons as too weak to say no. Professor, I live here. I know of persons who can't wait for election time so they can get their proverbial box hand. Our people, wanting gifts, are not children, the better argument would be that they are jaded. For great analysis on the topic, let me point you to: A sign of the times, 31 March 2013; and Money Talks

 27 march, 2013, all By Colin Sampson.

..
1
0
+
−

tenman

@ Tust sayin & Tenman

#15 Professor » 2013-04-05 16:57

Quote:
Professor stop blaming the man for allegedly providing what persons demand. If persons are willing to give up their birthright(sell their vote) for trinkets, that should tell you how much value they place on the country. Its time we stop focusing on mere symptoms and start dealing with the problem(s) ...
Tenman you know that I have the highest regard for your intellect, except for rare moments like these when I think you must have fallen and hit your head somewhere. The implication of your statement is that the electorate is demanding bribes. Not True. Antigua and Barbuda People poor, hungry and unemployed, so of course they are going to accept the filthy lucre for survival; even a cour of law sees justification in a man stealing a piece of bread to prevent him from starving to death. The actions of the Devil, on the other hand, are inexcusable and criminal. You must appreciate that the Devil is the Problem and the People falling prey to his evil giles a merely the symptom, and not the other way arround.


Tis not that the People love Antigua less, but that love survival more ...
2
7
+
−

Professor

@ Tust sayin & Tenman

#14 Professor » 2013-04-05 16:40

Quote:
Word on the streets of SKB is that an Antiguan MP who has been keeping close company with PM DD is the engineer and project financier of the Senatorial gimmick that was perpetrated against our cousins in St Kitts.
Those were my words, I never said that the Devil controls PM, the Hon Dr DD, because nothing could be further from the truth.

2 Cents is absolutely correct. I know exactly what went down between the good PM and the Devil. The Devil ended up with the short end of the stick and ran back to Antigua with his tail between his legs like a dog. He even apologized for abandoning his constituency.

The Devil has "the goods" on your PM, the Hon Dr Dr BS and a few other UPP ministers and has threatened your Constitutional King saying if the government causes him to go to jail over IHI "mek sure there is enough room in the jail for all of us" That is why you AG went to court and pretended that he did not know he needed to bring the EVIDENCE.

Especially you Tenman, just think about it ... what the AG did in the IHI case does not look EXTREMELY SUSPICIOUS?
1
4
+
−

Professor

RE: LOW EARTH ORBIT – Outside the Box



#13 Just asking » 2013-04-05 12:56

The UPP government spend millions of dollars investigating IHI and not up to this day any arrests have been made but I am expected to be judge, jury and executioner to someone without the said evidence? I am sorry but I cannot do that. I am not saying the man is a saint but I am not ready to convict without the evidence especially when the individuals who claim to be in the 'know' have done nothing about it. Professor speaks with great authority on the man and the matter but has not give me any evidence to support his claim. I need the evidence in black and white or any colour you choose as long as it is truth.
7
2
+
−

Just asking

ten man in one

#12 tenman » 2013-04-05 12:19

Professor take a listen to Douglas and tell me again if you truly believe that your arch enemy (according to you AM is worse than Adolph Hitler) controls him:


..
6
3
+
−

tenman

professor - blame game

#11 tenman » 2013-04-05 12:10

Quote:
Genesis 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Quote:
Genesis 25:30-34
30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” .. 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
Professor stop blaming the man for allegedly providing what persons demand. If persons are willing to give up their birthright(sell their vote) for trinkets, that should tell you how much value they place on the country. Its time we stop focusing on mere symptoms and start dealing with the problem(s)
..
4
3
+
−

tenman

2 Cents

#10 Professor » 2013-04-05 12:00

My good Brother Tenman means well, he just does not have all of the facts on this particular DEVIL.

The kid is sad and lonely, but he needs to understand that Real Friends are EARNED not BOUGHT.

The Devil used to also have an influential relationship with the PM of Grenada during his previous tunure in office, today the PM does not want to have anything to do with the DEVIL. His filthy lucre was used to chartered a plane to send refief goods to Grenada immediately after their hurricane, but the DEVIL wanted quid pro quo for his humanitarian efforts.

In investment group headed by multi-millionaire and former Chief Minister of Tortola, received a multi-million dollar contract from the government of Grenada to participate in the National Housing Reconstruction effort, but the Devil wanted the PM to give the contract to his Colombian benefactor.

When the deal went south the investment group opened a private investigation into the dealings of the DEVIL. At the appropriate time I will make the investigative findings known to the Antiguan public.

THERE IS A VERY GOOD REASON WHY HE IS MORTIFIED OF "IHI"
2
5
+
−

Professor

RE: LOW EARTH ORBIT – Outside the Box



#9 Just Asking » 2013-04-05 11:30

The Professor has given almighty powers to AM while at the same time saying that any one he works with or associated with is so dumb or weak that this man is able to do all things and they stand aside and allow it. I think when the Professor is sharing out his dunce caps, he needs to keep a few for himself.
6
3
+
−

Just Asking

@2 cents well said

#8 blacklist » 2013-04-05 11:29

the same script and we bite hook line and sinker.
4
1
+
−

blacklist

@ Professor Part II

#7 2 Cents » 2013-04-05 11:03

We need a criteria for solid public servants and we simply don't have any right now. All you have to do is to present yourself to people and party, be able to speak nice, dress well, and promise that when you get into power that all glory will be given to the people. Then when you get into power, blame the other side, steal the money and retire with millions....ACCEPTIN G THIS KIND OF LEADERSHIP FROM OUR POLITICIANS IS THE GREATEST EVIL OF ALL TIMES....Please fight against this mess Professor! this is the ROOT OF ALL DEVILS...
10
2
+
−

2 Cents

@ Professor Part I

#6 2 Cents » 2013-04-05 11:02

I hear what you are saying and you have a right and public duty to Say so!

Be very mindful that this certain MP AM from Antigua may not be as influential as you think on PM DD in St. Kitts. My sources say that it is the PM DD who uses him for his own advancement and purpose. That is to say, he gives the IMPRESSION THAT MP AM IS LARGE AND IN CHARGE BUT THIS IS ALL LIES AND DECEPTION. If you ever see them interact in private you will see who is the true sucker-up. That is the same strategy he uses in Antigua. Spend monies to buy influence and control. But in the ALP no one else wants to spend their monies. So that MP is BOSS!

They told me that that MP AM also has a good heart and although none is perfect, one thing you can say about him is he is a man of ACTION. He stands behind what he believes and will DELIVER THE GOODS WHEN ALL ELSE FAIL.
7
1
+
−

2 Cents

Tenman

#5 Professor » 2013-04-05 09:42

If you believe that there is personal animosity between me an the beloved gentleman, I invite you to ask any sensible person in St. Kitts what is the word on the street regarding the relationship between PM DD and the man spreading arround the filthy lucre.

Do not take my word for it, speak to any doctor, lawyer, teacher, civil servant in St. Kitts and then tell me what you have learned.

Despite all of the money, this kid is the saddest person you will ever know. He tries to mask his sadness by surrounding himself with people and entertainment, but it doesn't help. This is a man that cries more than a heartbroken teenage girl.

Of course it's personal ... my love for Antigua and Barbuda is very personal. We had 28 years of corruption, followed by 9 years of maladministration, I am not going to sit idly by and watch us embrace another epoch of EVIL. I have a patriotic duty to speak up and sound the alarm.
8
6
+
−

Professor

Professor

#4 tenman » 2013-04-05 08:41

Quote:
“Really and truly, let us be frank, let us be honest, you can’t go to Sea View Farm and make leaders really. In other words, you can not go and make them out of marl or whatever it is and so — from that standpoint — while it may have some merit in that you’re seeking to ensure that there is leadership being thrown up and it p** from one to the next in a sort of orderly and set pattern, one has to be a bit careful in terms of how one addresses that particular issue.” Baldwin Spencer March 2011, souurce: daily Observer
Professor, the beef with the man seems personal. Next we will hear is that you fell in your bath and it was the MP's fault. Douglas has been on office for too long (since July 1995), again reminding of the need for term limits ( no more than 2 terms). Just can't help but remember it was our PM who used to beleive in terms limits who now says that leaders are scarce so he is against term limits

..
8
1
+
−

tenman

These are the Signs of the End of Times

#3 Professor » 2013-04-05 08:01

Quote:
One of the tricks Dr Douglas pulled as he fought to stave off the inevitable collapse of his regime was to engineer the expansion of the Senate to his specifications. One may never know what deals were made, what arms twisted, to achieve that coup and delay the approaching day of reckoning.
Word on the streets of SKB is that an Antiguan MP who has been keeping close company with PM DD is the engineer and project financier of the Senatorial gimmick that was perpetrated against our cousins in St Kitts. Imagine all the wonderful things he will do dor Antigua and Barbuda if he is allowed to exchange his filthy lucre for the right to be the Junior Finance Minister of the next Constitutional King of Antigua and Barbuda.

Wake up People!
6
5
+
−

Professor

making sense of the mess we cause

#2 tenman » 2013-04-05 07:46

Quote:
So in the end, nobody did what somebody ought to have done; and now somebody is upset because everybody can see that nobody did what anybody can plainly see ought to have been done; so now somebody has to make sure that anybody within reach takes the fall so that everybody can see that somebody is really in charge; and nobody says nothing. Is anybody out there?
Colin well said. The Daily Observer points out:

1. After the request to remove the fence and consultation with the ministry, the minister then requested that the PS (then C. Pilgrim) seek to relocate the home owners so the school could stay. The school again pointed out its prior offer (before it was sold) to purchase the lands.
2. Baptiste stated there was a break down of communication, the PS moved (took government to court for Baptist being heavy handed), another PS came in and did not continue what Pilgrim was supposed to be working on. The threat of lawsuit from the home owners moved this back to the front burner

..
5
1
+
−

tenman

So true!

#1 Dr. Patterson Wales » 2013-04-05 07:20

PM Douglas is a typical Caribbean leader. This is the MO: hold unto to power as a divine right because no one is ready or capable of leading. The only way out is dying in office or jumping at the last minute before I'm pushed. These leaders'greatest vindication is that things fall apart when they leave. Colin we are our own problem. We both produce and mature this kind of weak, insecure and toxic leadership brand. It's destroying our potential for collective sucess and progress. This plight is our own undoing...Re-educati on is the key!
14
0
+
−

Dr. Patterson Wales

Add comment

Mr. Colin Sampson

 Mr. Colin Sampson is a Journalist and the host of "The Colin Sampson Show" on Caribantigua TV 

 

 

Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinions by Colin Sampson

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!