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News Article

August 17, 2010
Custom Computers answers family's prayers just in time for back to school

Nassau, Bahamas - A
grandmother's prayer for a brand new computer for her 10-year-old grandson was
answered by Custom Computers. The
company held a special drawing to announce the winners of its Third Annual A's
for Excellence Program on Saturday, August 14 at its Cable Beach Store, before
a jammed-pack crowd of excited students and parents.

As 10-year-old Kamal Hudson's name was
called, declaring him the official winner of the Primary School Category, his
family members all leaped for joy. The sixth grade student from St. Thomas More Primary School
was presented with a brand new Disney NetPal laptop computer...

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News Article

January 22, 2011
Government considering 14m radar system

As the government contemplates purchasing a $14 million radar system, Director of the Civil Aviation Department Captain Patrick Rolle said his organization will “make do” in the interim by upgrading the existing ASR-8 radar system, which is currently in use at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).
In a recent interview with The Nassau Guardian, Rolle said the much-needed upgrades will begin in a few months.
“It’s a phased project and phase one of the project will be to update the computer automation system,” said Rolle. “That will begin sometime in March.”
Over the years, Civil Aviation has had to cope with ASR-8 system ...

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News Article

November 24, 2010
Teens accused of series of robberies

Two teenagers accused of a series of robberies across New Providence were arraigned before a magistrate yesterday.
Raymond Pratt Jr, 18, of Fourth Street, Coconut Grove, and Roderick Strachan, 19, are accused of the attempted robbery of?Super Wash, Robinson Road on November 17.
They are also accused of the attempted robbery of Eugene Coakley and the robbery of Charles Sweeting. Sweeting's wallet, containing $50, was stolen. Pratt is accused of receiving Sweeting's property.
Pratt alone is accused of robbing Sabrina Heastie on September 9 of $2,500, three cell phones, sneakers and a laptop computer that belonged to the Sport House.
Pratt is further accused of robbing Dorcell McKinney of his ...

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News Article

June 12, 2012
Lifestyle diseases -- the main killers of men

Ensuring that you are in good health is not only for your sake, but also for the sake of the people you love. This is what medical professionals hoped men would remember as Men's Health Awareness Week is celebrated to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Men's Health Awareness Week will be celebrated Monday, June 11 - Sunday, June 17 under the theme "Awareness. Prevention. Education. Family."
And Dr. Patrick Whitfield, general practitioner who practices out of Oxford Medical Center encourages men of every age, race and socio-economic status to take charge of their health and have the necessary tests recommended by medical professionals to ensure their good health.
"Men need to stop looking at taking care of their health as something not a part of the masculine image. Knowing what is going on in your body is of utmost importance not only for you, but for your family's sake," said Dr. Whitfield.
"One of the top reasons men should want to know where they stand healthwise is that about 70 percent of the leading causes of death across the board are caused by preventable diseases," said the doctor. "This means if you had been doing the recommended checkups on time, a doctor would have been able to detect a problem, intervened early and possibly saved your life. If it's too unmasculine to get yourself checked out regularly and you become ill, the disease can interfere with your ability to provide for your family and where will you be then? If you get really sick and you can't work as well, it can further threaten the financial stability of your family and cause unnecessary physical, emotional and financial stress."
Dr. Whitfield said men should start doing health checkups from as early as their 20s.

Starting early
Men of all ages tend to place more value on material things than their health. With a car they will ensure that it is serviced like clockwork -- not wait until there is a serious problem to attend to it. They ensure that their car is clean and in perfect working condition. It is with this same vigilance that men should approach their health said the physician. He said as early as age 20. Men should be aiming to take the necessary tests to maintain their health.
"Just getting an annual physical is a small, but significant building block in one's health management plan," said Dr. Whitfield. "Although much major screenings take place after a man turns 40 years old, there are some that they should take regularly in their 20s and 30s."
In younger men, most doctors aim to help them manage their lifestyle choices like eating, drinking, smoking, road safety and anger management. The annual check up should consist of reading the cholesterol, checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels. They will also be weighed to see where their Body Mass Index (BMI) lies and whether he is at an ideal weight. Depending on the results, the doctor would recommend proper diet solutions and an exercise regimen.
According to Dr. Whitfield, small lifestyle changes made in their 20s will do wonders for men down the line.
"As a young man it is easy to see the world ahead of you and time stretching onward, but that does not mean you should neglect your health assuming you have time to get in shape or eat better. Whether you have a fast metabolism or not, it is not a good idea to binge on bad foods."
Poor health practices he said would reflect on men in later years. A slightly elevated blood pressure that is not monitored or managed he said could get out of control in five to 10 years time. A high blood sugar level that you never knew about he said could quickly become diabetes over time, if changes aren't made to the diet. And he said high cholesterol could eventually lead to heart problems among other problems if not monitored in more youthful days.
"So really, the small things do matter -- even at this age," said Dr. Whitfield.
He also said sexually active young men should be safe in their practices, as many young men tend to suffer from sexually transmitted diseases more so than lifestyle illnesses.
"Keeping on top of one's sexual health by regularly doing blood tests will keep the young man aware of illnesses he can contract so he can deal with them as soon as possible."
The medical professional said a major problem they see with young men is trauma and that they more than any other age group suffer from bodily harm from car accidents and violence among themselves. Dr. Whitfield said medical professionals find themselves giving advice on how to lessen the risk by advising young men to wear seatbelts while driving a car, and wearing a helmet while on a motorbike. He also said anger management, if the young man tends to get into fights, is something they can discuss.
"These may not be direct medical problems but being on top of these things keeps the body healthy and strong."
Young men contemplating marriage he said are encouraged to get tested for common hereditary conditions like sickle cell anemia.
"Knowing what they are getting into and what chances their potential children will have of inheriting an ailment is essential for responsible family planning," he said.

Men in their 40s
Once a man is in his 40s, more specified screenings become increasingly important. Tests for things like prostate cancer become essential, but many men are afraid to take the exam needed to test for the cancer. Dr. Whitfield said that the digital examination most men find invasive can be done virtually now.
"Men can also opt to take a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test which was the normal test physicians would use along with the digital test. This test however is under debate by many medical professionals as the results gotten from the test are not always correct since there are many factors that could give a false positive. As a result, most physicians will sit men in this age group down and explain about the test's pros and cons and allow them to make a decision as to whether they want to do it or not."
Another cancer doctors will also check for is testicular cancer. It is done manually and while a little uncomfortable, Dr. Whitfield said the exam can prevent a painful experience with cancer if anomalies are found and treated. Testicular cancer is rare, but occurs most commonly in men between the age of 20 and 54.
During the 40s the doctor said the regular tests like blood sugar, cholesterol and hypertension should also still be consistently done.

Hitting the 50 milestone and beyond
When a man reaches the age of 50, checking for colon cancer should be added to the list of annual tests, if not already started, due to family history, according to Dr. Whitfield. He said the best way to check for colon cancer is by having a colonoscopy or a CT (computed tomography) scan done.
During these years, Dr. Whitfield said men should also be aware of their increased risk for heart disease and strokes -- diseases that kill men more so than accidents or even homicide.
"Men in this country don't die from everyday publicized problems like murder and violence. Rather their main killers are lifestyle diseases. They don't keep up with their health and by their 50s or sometimes sooner it catches up with them. If 100 men died due to homicide multiply that 10 more times for the number of men who die from heart disease or stroke. Not taking care of oneself in your youth will be detrimental in old age."
As men get older, the doctor said the problems turn to things like arthritis, and loss of eyesight, but he said they should not let unnatural symptoms go unchecked because just like an old car that can still run well as long as it gets a little more care and attention an older body needs just as much consistent vigilance and treatment.

Men's health awareness
Although men's health awareness is globally recognized as a week-long event, in The Bahamas, health officials are encouraging people to celebrate it for the entire month of June. People are also encouraged to wear blue. And to take their support a step further by raising funds for men's health organizations in their communities.
Dr. Whitfield also suggests that rather than buying the cards, neckties or tools men are usually given for Father's Day to give the gift of health to your father by making appointments with their physician for a check up.
"Men tend to die almost a decade sooner than women and this doesn't have to be," said Dr. Whitfield. "We want to see our men doing better healthwise in years to come and the only way to do that is through preventative measures like healthier eating habits, regular exercise and doctor visits. So I encourage men to take charge of their health this month so they can be around for their families in years to come. After all, it is important to be a good example for young men to see that being a man is just as much about being able to take care of one's family as it is about taking care of oneself," he said.
While he admitted men tend to be a lot more shy about visiting a physician on their own, the doctor urged the women in their lives to help them see what they should be doing to promote their good health.
"Young men tend to know the status of their bank accounts or their cars, but they know little about their body's health. They are too relaxed about their health because they can depend on science and medicine to correct or treat the problem, but they need to see that none of the stresses of pill-taking, operations or physical therapies that can come with treating an illness after the fact is even necessary if they take preventative measures. And to start it all off, just getting your annual physical is a small, but significant building block in one's health maintenance plan," he said.

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News Article

June 21, 2012
400 accused murderers on bail an abysmal system failure

Dear Editor,

The attorney general of The Bahamas, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, said recently that there are over 400 accused murderers on bail. This figure represents more than half of the murders committed in The Bahamas over the last 10 years and could be one of the major reasons for the escalation in serious criminal offenses that occur in our country.
Looking at the factual information above, the average citizen can easily deduce that something is wrong with our current system for prosecuting alleged murderers. We have an endemic problem and this type of incompetence seems to be supported by corruption at the highest levels.
The word on the street is that murder raps are easier to beat than armed robbery. Young men today are more fearful of getting caught for committing an armed robbery than they are of committing murder. For every 875 Bahamians, one accused murderer walks freely amongst us. This does not even take into account the murderers amongst us who have not been charged as yet.
The adverse spinoff effect of having accused murderers out on bail is beyond measure. Can you imagine the negative effect this has on our young men who see these thugs commit murder and then within one to two years these thugs are back on the streets? The abysmal failure of our criminal justice system continues to strengthen the resolve of criminally-minded persons who will as long as possible terrorize our communities. These criminals are revered for their illicit acts and young men know that if they perform an act equally as heinous they can also earn a reputation and be "rated" on the streets.
Gibson mentioned that the case files for accused murderers have been poorly kept and she said that this is one of the reasons why so much of these men are out on bail. I have been unable to fathom how a case file for an alleged murderer out on bail can be poorly managed given the fact that we are well on our way to a fifth murder record in six years in The Bahamas.
I hope Gibson sees the wisdom to further investigate this matter, as it seems criminal to me that an accused murderer is allowed to go out on bail because records were poorly kept given the present capabilities that computer programs provide. The protocol standards have not been exercised and as such those responsible need to be held accountable. The investigation of this intentional administrative failure needs to commence as soon as possible and the criminal case should be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court. This needs to be done in the public's best interest.
Gibson also reiterated that the re-introduction of the swift justice program will resolve this apparent "administrative malfunction" and will net positive results going forward.
I say to the attorney general that good and right-thinking Bahamians are supporting her in the government's efforts to bring this mammoth crime problem under control. Many of us want The Bahamas to be a safe haven again for all citizens and if Project Safe Bahamas, Urban Renewal 2.0 or the swift justice program can keep criminals where they belong and then perhaps act as a crime prevention tools, then we are behind you 110 percent.
Successive governments are to be blamed for our current state of affairs and the ball is now in Perry Christie and Gibson's court to deliver. One accused murderer out on bail is too much, but we now have over 400. These accused murderers pose a great risk to the general public because of their willingness to harm others and to themselves because of vigilantes who are constantly seeking street justice.
I say to you Mrs. Gibson, to let's see how fast we can bring these cases to trial and let the chips fall where they may. We will wait and see the results of swift justice and judge its effectiveness accordingly.

- Dehavilland Moss

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News Article

July 17, 2012
Embracing 4G technology in The Bahamas

Undeniably, the upgrade of our cellular network to 4G has been plagued with service disruptions causing much frustration. Dropped calls, delayed email and failed messenger services, aggravate both technology savvy and infrequent phone users.
But it is of immense importance that The Bahamas upgrades its network to 4G.
We must move past the political banter on the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to Cable and Wireless, accept its ownership and welcome the upgrade of technology. The transfer of new technology to The Bahamas improves our competitiveness.
Technology increasingly separates the developed and developing world; failure to keep up would severely limit our future growth potential. Our leaders must accept this and work with the private sector to integrate the latest technology with our aging infrastructure across all industries.
Bahamians are embracing telecommunication technology with vigor. The Samsung Galaxy S III launched over the weekend prompted a line of eager consumers in front of BTC's Bay Street store at 6 a.m. Armed with Blackberrys, Androids, iPhones, the new Galaxy S III, and other smartphones, Bahamians expect and demand access to the same level of service they find in the United States and Europe.
The smartphone is revolutionary and its power to integrate phone, data and location services has yet to be fully recognized here. But the revolution will come. And those unable to adapt will be left fighting for business in a digital world.
Take for example Uber, a taxi service predominately in the United States that allows customers to locate, call and pay for a taxi through an app. In fact, a customer merely opens the app, the closest taxi is located, the driver notified and the passenger watches the taxi approach on the smartphone. No call ever needs to made, no money exchanged and the entire ride is recorded on a smartphone with a credit card receipt emailed.
Uber is responding to the failure in large North American cities for taxis to maintain the level of anticipated service. Uber offers passengers a precise cab location, a safe and recorded ride and ease of payment.
Could Uber come to Nassau? Probably not, though taxis should take note that the app demonstrates the ability for technology to adapt and confront an entire service sector.
Apps have moved past mere entertainment to integrate with services outside the realm of a computer. The Nassau Guardian is moving forward to embrace digital media to allow our listeners seamless access to news and radio via our broadcast divisions.
We look forward to the full launch of 4G and the future potential of smartphone application in The Bahamas and all the change that will result.

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News Article

October 18, 2012

THE BAHAMAS Phar­macy Council's chairman last night told Tribune Business that the case which saw a Ba­hamas pharmacist paid $4,000 a month for the use of his company's name and licence to export illegal prescription drugs into the US is "unlikely to occur" under current laws.

Barbara Henderson, re­sponding to this newspaper's report yesterday, said the Pharmacy Act 2009 was de­veloped "in part as a response to this case" and she added that the Council was seeking to fur­ther strengthen laws on the import/export of pharmaceu­tical products in the Bahamas.

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News Article

June 22, 2012
An evening that will be the talk of the town

Jazz music will never sound the same again after listening to the diverse style and expertise of the amazing line-up that has been set for the musical spectacular that will be the Ralph Munnings Jazz Band Concert.
Ronnie Butler, Duke Errol Strachan, Freddie Munnings, Naomi Taylor, Osano Neely and Anushka Wright headline the Saturday, June 23 event at Old Fort Bay Clubhouse which will be the talk of the town, as it celebrates jazz saxophone legend Ralph Munnings. The evening kicks off at 7 p.m.
Adding even more flavor to this jazzy affair, the legend himself -- Ralph Munnings will perform.
"This is going to be a great occasion. I have always been passionate about my work and I intend to bring that same love and talent I've always displayed to this upcoming event," said Munnings.
"This event will be really special to me, not only because I'm being honored which is an amazing thing to me, but also because I will be playing in concert with some old friends from when I first started as well as meeting up with some new musicians who I've had different opportunities to play with."
He said the concert will be a treat for jazz enthusiasts and even those who will listen to the music for the first time.
"It will truly be an evening of entertainment, relaxation and sensation. The level of talent that will be displayed throughout the event is not something one sees everyday and the fusion of more modern jazz fusions should be an exciting experience," he said.
Concert organizer, Naomi Taylor, believes the evening will be a sensational, classy and elegant way to spend a Saturday evening.
"It will be a black tie affair with wonderful hors d'oeuvres, beautiful music and singing, great company and a great environment," she said. "Not to mention honoring Ralph Munnings in this way is something special. He has really done a lot to influence the current generation of musicians and we should honor him for what he has done. It's time to recognize the men and women who have paved the way for us in this industry and give them their accolades while they are alive."
The fusion of youth and maturity, old-school jazz to modern mixtures will add an extra pop of character and intrigue to the event according to Taylor. As one of the featured vocalists she said she feels honored to be a part of the melting pot of talent that will be performing on Saturday night.
"You can expect a wide array of talent and style with the performers all evening long. It has been well organized and the execution will be flawless. You can expect to hear different jazz and music styles from Latin jazz, classic jazz, blues and even famous Bahamian ballads. This will be dynamic and beautiful. You do not want to miss out on this event."
Adding more vibrant flavor to the show will be musicians like pianist Clinton Crawford, bassist Adrian D'Aguilar, drummer Neil Symonette, alto saxophonist Tino Richardson, tenor saxophonist Dion Turnquest, trombonist Teddy Russell, trumpeter Lamont Gibson, and percussionists Peanuts Taylor and Kevin Dean.
Proceeds from the night that is expected to be the talk of the town will go to the Ralph Munnings Musicians Mentoring Fund which was recently established to encourage upcoming musicians. With the new program Munnings will be coming to New Providence to do monthly master classes in woodwind instruments for interested youngsters.
The classes are a way for Munnings who began his career in music in the 1950s and has played with the likes of Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte and Ben E. King to give back, and train the next generation.
"It would be a crime to let musicians like Munnings die out and the younger generations not benefit," said Taylor.
Tickets for the jazz concert can be purchased at Custom Computers locations in the Cable Beach Plaza and Harbour Bay Shopping Centre.

Jazz Concert
When: Saturday, June 23
Where: Old Fort Bay Clubhouse
Time: 7 p.m. for cocktail 8 p.m.
Cost: $75

Performers
Headliner
Ralph Munnings
Vocalists
Duke Errol Strachan
Osano Neely
Anushka Wright
Naomi Taylor
Freddie Munnings
Ronnie Butler
The core band
Clinton Crawford - pianist and musical director
Adrian D'Aguilar - bass
Neil Symonette - drums
Guests instrumentalists
Tino Richardson - alto sax
Dion Turnquest - tenor sax
Teddy Russell - trombone
Lamont Gibson - trumpet
Peanuts Taylor - percussion
Kevin Dean - percussion

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News Article

July 30, 2012
West-end project to generate 400 jobs

As a host of retail shops and restaurants sign the dotted line, the 21.5-acre commercial development in western New Providence is expected to generate close to 400 jobs when completed.
The multimillion-dollar Old Fort Bay Town Centre project has now entered the second phase of construction. According to Jane-Michele Bethel, sales and marketing manager at New Providence Development Company Limited (NPDC), all tenants will start interior buildings by the end of September, if not before.
An interior design store, spa, nutritional beverage company and a veterinarian have made commitments, while a sports store, computer shop and two boutiques have reserved spaces.
This second phase already joins an already extensive list of shops now taking up tenancy in phase one.
Bethel provided Guardian Business with no less than 10 establishments either open or in the process of outfitting their stories. Included in the list is the first restaurant at Old Fort Bay Town Centre - Sushi ROKKAN.
"Sushi ROKKAN will have a modern Japanese interior design, approximately 60 seats, including a comfortable sushi bar and outside patio seating. They will serve traditional sushi, sashimi, appetizers, charbroiled grilled meats (Japanese style) and seasonal signature dishes. All to be enjoyed with a huge sake selection," she noted.
The second restaurant to be included in the project's first phase has committed to signing a lease soon, with a planned opening date of November or December. A third restaurant has yet to be selected. Royal Bank of Canada also broke ground on their pad to the west of the Old Fort Bay Town Centre roundabout last week. Its anticipated opening date is set for Spring 2013.
In phase two, Bethel said stores will have 60 days to complete their build-outs, and restaurants have 90 days. As for phase one, Bahamas Design Centre, featuring indoor/outdoor furniture and home accessories, and The Gallery at Old Fort, are both set to open next month. HIS Fashion, stocking brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nautica and Kenneth Cole of New York, has proposed a September opening date. The Keg Ranch liquor store and Going Places Travel are working on a similar timeline.
Sat Sound and Benetton are two retail spaces that are already open. Your Friendly Pharmacy is set open its doors at a later date.
The entire project, comprising seven one-acre pads, two anchor stores, and just under 60,000 square feet of retail and office commercial space, is expected to employ between 375 and 400 people.
"The degree of investment from the business community is of a very high caliber and we expect to see some spectacularly well designed stores, and a good variety and complementary mix of products and services," Bethel added.

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News Article

May 29, 2014
Country needs new direction and leadership from FNM

It is the task of the official opposition to prepare for and win the next general election in order to rescue the country from the terrible misrule, gross incompetence and abuses of power by the Christie administration.
The prior task is to mount the leadership necessary to more effectively challenge and confront an out-of-control government. Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis is nowhere up to the task.
The current administration is responsible for one of the worst abuses of power since internal self-government, namely, the creation of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) with no legal foundation and clear oversight mechanisms.
No matter how much certain government ministers try to deflect from this monumental failure, the Cabinet bears collective responsibility for a matter the fuller ramifications of which are still unfolding.
The NIA matter was raised during last year's budget debate by FNM Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner. She raised it again at a recent rally. The following morning this journal led with Butler-Turner's remarks.
It was only after Butler-Turner again sounded the alarm and received wide coverage in the media that Minnis, who is the shadow minister of national security, in yet another round of catch-up, spoke to the issue.
There is an adage in politics that a government needs to fear the opposition as a check on governmental overreach. The PLP not only does not fear Minnis, it considers him to be of little threat. But the PLP fears Butler-Turner, most recently seen in her challenge on the NIA.
Distraction
A key reason that the PLP does not fear Minnis is that the public is largely underwhelmed by his leadership and mostly views him as ineffective. With all the burning issues that need to be kept before the public by the opposition, Minnis this week introduced a distraction by raising the dead issue of term limits for prime ministers.
His perennial gaffes exasperate the party faithful and much of the general public. A few verbal gaffes are one thing, but a never-ending string of mistakes demonstrate a pattern of poor thinking and reasoning.
Speaking in reference to the seizure of computers from the home of FNM Chairman Darron Cash, Minnis noted that he didn't fear the police seizing his computer because the information on it was "cryptic".
Cryptic means secret. Presumably the information most of us have on our computers is secret or confidential. What Minnis seems to have meant is that his data is encrypted.
But the encryption of his data is not the issue. The larger issue is the fears the Bahamian people have about possible illegal government spying or the potential seizure of their computers without good cause.
On the heels of his involvement in the debacle over the matter of proposed salary and allowance increase for parliamentarians, Minnis botched the details of the revocation of the senatorial appointment of John Bostwick, just another in an unending trail of amateurish mistakes by Minnis.
As noted in this week's National Review in this journal: "The botching of Minnis' determination to make vacant the Senate seat that was occupied by Bostwick speaks to wider issues with the opposition leader's ability to properly handle such matters... Far from nit-picking, this matter reflects a troubling pattern of incompetence on Minnis' part on the most basic things.
"If he cannot get simple things right in opposition, we have to wonder how he could competently lead an entire nation as prime minister. These small things speak to ability, and Minnis has thus far been unconvincing in this regard."
The conclusion of the article was chilling, perhaps summarizing a view held by many inside and outside the FNM: "He is not what the FNM needs if it intends to again do serious battle with the Progressive Liberal Party."
Disappointingly, Minnis, who promised to lead the government from the opposition, has proven spectacularly incapable of leading the opposition.
But it isn't only Minnis' lackluster performance that is troubling. More troubling is that he does not seem to grasp or fully appreciate the underlying philosophy or traditions of the FNM.
Potential
He seems incapable of crafting a strategy that marshals the fuller potential and extraordinary heritage of the FNM. He has not developed and delivered a message to FNMs and the public on the central differences between the PLP and the FNM.
Minnis' gaffes and inability to hone a clearer message has been a godsend to DNA Leader Branville McCartney and his politics of triangulation. McCartney's great claim is that he is not the PLP or the FNM. What exactly he stands for is often a moving target. Correspondingly, he is a prime promoter of a false equivalence between the major parties.
It is easy to see through his nakedly self-serving acrobatics. As a former FNM, when he received a nomination from the party and after he was appointed to a junior Cabinet post he seemed clear on the differences between the major parties.
If Hubert Ingraham had made him a substantive minister, how likely is it that he would have bolted the FNM? And if the FNM invited him to be its leader tomorrow, one can imagine how quickly he would be able to recite central differences between the PLP and FNM.
Politics is largely about contrast. Minnis has not effectively contrasted the FNM with the PLP. Worse, he has aided and abetted the "pox on both houses" mindset making a false equivalence between the two parties on a host of matters including that of victimization, which the PLP perfected in its initial 25-year reign.
There are extraordinary and clarifying differences between the FNM and the PLP, which the purveyors of the false equivalence often ignore because of intellectual sloth, personal agendas and/or other reasons.
An underlying difference is the mindset of the two parties when in office. With a quarter-century reign from 1967 to 1992 the PLP developed an entitlement mentality now deeply entrenched in the party's culture and genes.
Having spent nearly 25 years in opposition, the FNM found elected office a privilege, not an entitlement. Viewing government as an entitlement or a privilege makes an enormous difference in just about every aspect of governance.
That difference is seen today in the return of many of the excesses of the Pindling era. There never was a new PLP as advertised by the party in the run-up to the 2002 general election. It was a marketing strategy to distance the PLP from the victimization and scandal-soaked years of the Pindling era.
Reverted
Today the party no longer boasts of the new PLP. Beginning in 2002, and now with a vengeance after re-election in 2012, the party reverted to old form. We have returned to some of the darkest days of the Pindling era.
Clearly, Perry Christie, the man who bragged that he would swim through vomit to return to a deeply corrupt PLP, was never the man to launch a new era. Instead he presides over a party which seems to believe that the election of an FNM government is inherently illegitimate.
He seems to more than preside. He appears to encourage a certain mindset. Recall Christie's rude insult to Sir Durward Knowles when the latter told him that he was a dedicated FNM. Christie told the revered Bahamian patriot and philanthropist that he was a brave man for making such an admission.
The mindset is clear: The PLP is not only entitled to govern. The party is also the rightful owner of The Bahamas, the greater patriot, while FNMs should tread lightly and be grateful for the scraps from the Bahamian patrimony.
Another clarifying difference between the two major parties is the quality of democracy within the organizations. In approximately 50 years the PLP has had two maximum leaders, with Christie having stacked the party with stalwart councillors, reminiscent of an autocratic regime.
The early PLP helped to achieve majority rule, then quickly became a threat to democracy and good governance. It was the FNM that saved democracy in The Bahamas from the misrule of Sir Lynden Pindling.
It is the FNM which will now have to rescue the country from the misrule of Christie and today's PLP characterized by rank cronyism; at minimum, a soft despotism; various abuses of power and unfettered arrogance.
Minnis does not grasp the moment as seen in his complicity in the parliamentary salaries debacle, his failure to raise the NIA issue, his making a false equivalence between the FNM and the PLP on various issues.
It is time for the FNM to hold a convention and to elect a new leader. What is at stake is restoring the only political organization in the country that can challenge and defeat a regressive PLP which is taking the country back to some of the darkest days of the Pindling era.
o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

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