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Friday 30th November 2012 10:00 AM
Speed Week Lunch Time Beach Party Albany Lunch-time Beach Party The event, once the supreme highlight of Nassau's social calendar, was revived last year after a 46-year hiatus and this year's plans are far more ambitious. For Alexandra Maillis-Lynch, whose company, Alexandra's, is providing all catering and coordination services for the VIP Paddock Club, Speed Week has spawned new equipment, office space rental and given birth to a related business -- event management with a high-end twist. "Speed Week is an exciting project that I hope keeps growing and growing, spilling over into other areas," said Maillis-Lynch, who expects to have a staff of more than 30 working during the event. As a direct result of Speed Week, she rented office space in historic Nassau, purchased new equipment -- and most significantly, started a related business in high-end event management. "I like major projects like this," she says, "I find it thrilling." Crispin Cleare, whose company C Cube Seating, has the contract for bleachers to seat up to 5,000 spectators, a media platform and more than 25,000 square feet of tenting, said he'll have about two dozen workers on site throughout the event. TICKET OPTIONS The Gold Pass Envelope ($1,250.00) -Tickets for our two top events for two people on Saturday, December, 1st and Sunday, December 2nd. The PICTET SPEED WEEK GALA at the Sheraton and Weekend VIP PADDOCK CLUB Membership. The Race Lover’s Two-Day Weekend Paddock Pass - ($400.00 per person or $750.00 for two) Saturday and/or Sunday. One price whether you attend one or both days. The Champions Table (dine with one of our race car champions) - $4,000.00 for eight people plus a champion race car driver, either Mr. & Mrs. Derek Bell or Mr. & Mrs. Brian Redman. Sir Stirling & Lady Susie Moss Table - ($5,000.00): Eight people can share their table at the Pictet Speed Week Gala with Speed Week hosts, Sir Stirling & Lady Susie Moss. Ticket purchase: www.bahamasspeedweekshop.com OR 242.394.0677. All major credit cards accepted. The first 100 will be entered in a drawing to win a circuit drive with Sir Stirling Moss (video included). Click HERE to view Car Sheet 2012 Click HERE to view Calender of Events 2012 ClickHERE to view Speed Week Bifold Brochure 2012
Attorney argues that five Pinder votes should count
Firm denies staff were suspended over fears
Pastor hits out at Tribune over article on homosexuality
Allegations that teacher 'engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour'
Govt denies downtown advertising contract went to US-based firm
Plea over burned bodies inquiry
Police investigate drowning death, stabbing
Western Air launches Jamaica direct flights
Mould saga continues
Saying farewell to Dr. Patrick Balfe
o Author's note: This article was first published on August 27, 2012. Since then, some of the objectionable actions by those who are referred to as "Enemies of the state" have considerably degenerated. Notwithstanding vociferous objections by persons affected by the "Enemies of the state", those persons who can affect change seem either unwilling or paralyzed to deal with such persons who continue to severely damage our Commonwealth. Hence, we reprint this article hopeful that decisive action will be taken to ameliorate this situation.
Over the years, there have been persons in our society, Bahamians and foreigners, who have impacted our lives and our economy in ways that are not in the best interest of our national development. Some of those persons engage in criminal behavior. Others are simply obstructive, counterproductive and outright destructive. Therefore, this week, we would like to Consider This... who are some of these enemies of the state and how are their actions thwarting national development?
In its normal connotation, an enemy of the state is a person accused of certain crimes against the state, such as treason. Undoubtedly, criminals and hooligans are enemies of the state. Our recent past is replete with such people and the effects of their "handiwork", so we need not dwell on them. Also, on occasion, bona fide freedom fighters or political dissidents have been characterized by authoritarian regimes as enemies of the state.
However, for our purposes, we prefer to address those persons who are neither crooks, freedom fighters nor political activists. There are more subtle enemies of the state who live among us and parade around in business suits and hold high office. Such persons include regulators, foreign consultants and a misinformed and ignorant media.
It is amazing how destructive some regulators can be to our economy. Regulators are established to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with the relevant legislation governing their activities. While there are some regulators who perform their responsibilities competently, too many Bahamians complain about being frustrated by regulators themselves or by those persons and institutions that are heavily regulated.
A clear example of this is the simple exercise of opening a bank account in The Bahamas. From personal experience and that of clients, friends and acquaintances, the simple act of opening a bank account becomes a major production that can take days, if not weeks. This makes absolutely no sense and some of our banking regulators and the regulated banks have become some of the biggest enemies of the state in this regard. It is ludicrous for our citizens to have to endure such exasperating practices, simply because our legislators chose to kowtow to those foreign elements who forced us to change our banking industry a decade ago.
The contrast is stark. Two weeks ago, I walked into a United States bank and opened a bank account in 15 minutes. I did not reside in the state in which the bank account was opened, did not have a home there, was not required to produce a utility bill or any such regulatory nonsense that the enemies of the state impose on us here.
Then there are regulators of several Bahamian industries who make it their life's goal to frustrate Bahamian citizens and businesses. We are aware of at least two instances where foreign institutions that operate in The Bahamas, and are therefore regulated here, were told that (1) in the case where the regulated institution was Bahamian owned, that they must seek a foreign investor to be its business partner in order to "enhance its credibility" and (2) in the case where a Bahamian investor group was seeking to acquire a regulated institution, the foreign owners were told by the banking regulator that the latter would be more comfortable if the vendor sought a non-Bahamian purchaser. This is a blatant pernicious example of how some regulators act as enemies of the state.
We are also aware of other regulators who frustrate Bahamians by requiring superfluous information, and who impose overly-burdensome and costly procedures and sometimes extend the regulatory process beyond reasonably expected time frames.
There are several common characteristics that have been observed about some of these enemies of the state:
1. Some regulators are often career bureaucrats who never had a job in the private sector and, if they did, never excelled in their jobs and therefore returned to the public sector where they were promoted to senior positions, ultimately morphing into super-bureaucrats whose primary objective is to frustrate and obfuscate;
2. Some regulators have never taken the risk of starting a business because the most miniscule iota of entrepreneurial acumen escapes them, and often prevents them from understanding how things operate in the "real business world";
3. Some regulators have never had to produce a payroll for their staff because they work for an institution where their salaries are guaranteed by the state; and
4. Some regulators are often privy to the personal wealth of individuals whom they regulate and are jealous of the latter's successes. Consequently, instead of assisting such persons, their myopic regulatory perspectives and practices often achieve the intended effect of thwarting the progress and advancement of the persons whom they regulate, sometimes with a damaging effect on domestic output.
Bahamians seem to have a perpetual love affair with foreign consultants. This is especially true of some politicians and high-level bureaucrats. Bahamians would be astounded if they really knew how much of the public purse is spent annually on foreign consultants. A classic example of this was the recent privatization of BTC, where many tens of millions of dollars were spent on consultants in what can best be described as an agonizing and astoundingly poorly executed privatization exercise.
Bahamians need to be far more demanding of their government when it comes to foreign consultants who are enemies of the state because these individuals often provide services that can very easily be offered by highly trained Bahamians.
Misinformation and ignorance
Perhaps the biggest enemy of the state is ignorance. Every day, enemies of the state perpetuate this ignorance and misinformation in our media and on the various blogs and social media sites. Sometimes it does not involve lying, but rather contorting the truth or omitting all the facts. Sometimes this is caused by ignorance of the exact facts, exacerbated by laziness in pursuing those facts to their source in order to glean the actual, seminal truth of the situation. Sometimes this is caused by agendas that exist deep within our so-called balanced media practitioners.
It is those hidden agendas that cause things to be presented to an unsuspecting and trusting public in ways that cleverly erode and undermine the beneficial policies of the state. It is those agendas that cause information to be imparted in an insidiously slanted and unbalanced way in order to please and promote one side over another. Those who do this are clearly enemies of the state.
The blogs and social media sites that impart their versions of the truth oftentimes are perceived as purveyors of the truth instead of what they really are: disseminators of self-serving rhetoric, often driven by purely political motivation and/or mischief. The individuals behind these sites are determined and committed, and their sometimes vile and always hard-hitting tone is crafted to destabilize belief systems, damage reputations and call motives into question. These are not places to find truth and concern for the welfare of the state. Therefore, these places, the bitter blogs and the poisonous social media sites, can also sometimes become enemies of the state.
Nothing is more important to a healthy democracy than an informed electorate that is ever vigilant about these enemies that seek to undermine our state. Whenever they raise their ugly faces, we must be ready to stop them.
The most effective means to rid ourselves of these enemies of the state is to identify them, to call them out into the light and to take them on before they destroy our lives, our economy and our country.
o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to email@example.com.
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Thursday 2nd May 2013 5:00 PM
United Faith Ministries Int'l Present Women of Destiny Conference 2013 Wednesday 1st-Friday 3rd May @ 7pm nightly Mid-day Services- Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd Breakthrough Services-Saturday 4th May @ 5pm Anointed Speakers: Bishop Henry Fernandez Ft. Lauderdale, Fl Evang. Fondrea Lewis Newark, NJ Evang. Sandra Riley Chicago, Il Apostle Phalmon & Elder Sophia Ferguson Conference Host Venue: # 126 Fire Trail Road East of Milo Butler Highway for futher information call 242-341-0502 Fax: 242-341-0319 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.ufmi.org
So close are we to the U.S. in terms of geography, history and popular culture that we remain ignorant of the history and culture of China, and often deeply suspicious of its contemporary intentions.
This ignorance and suspicion, studied and reflexive, is often stoked by a similar mindset in the United States.
None of this is to suggest that the People's Republic is singularly a benevolent giant dispensing its largesse and proclaiming friendship simply out of the goodness of its heart. Likewise, with our American friends.
Proximity, historically and geographically, breeds familiarity. Having achieved independence in 1973, the British Empire is a recent memory, and the American superpower is what the name implies. We are rooted in, and deeply influenced by Anglo-American culture.
But today, there is another international player capturing our attention in terms of economics and geopolitics, though only slightly in terms of culture thus far. Even as the British were getting ready to shutter its High Commission, China and The Bahamas were ramping up diplomatic relations.
When the Chinese Embassy near the Montagu foreshore is completed, it will mark the first time that a diplomatic partner has constructed its own embassy in The Bahamas. While the U.S. will clearly maintain an embassy in The Bahamas, the Chinese intention is equally as clear. China is here to stay.
One of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of a sovereign Bahamas was the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China in 1997 during the first administration of Hubert Ingraham and the FNM.
It was not exactly U.S. President Richard Nixon going to China in reference to his 1972 visit to the People's Republic launching a new era of strategic engagement between what are now the world's leading powers. But it was in that vein of realpolitik, yielding significant results over the past 15 years and counting.
Though often cautious and conservative on various foreign policy matters, the launch of relations with China showcased Hubert Ingraham's pragmatism. Given the role the Chinese ruling party plays in its system and the weight afforded certain personal relationships, the Chinese remain mindful of which party established relations.
The PLP and the administration of Sir Lynden Pindling were readying to send former Cabinet Minister Ervin Knowles to Taipei as resident ambassador to Taiwan. That would have been a major foreign policy blunder.
We would have been more isolated, and taken less seriously by various international partners and in various forums. To put it less diplomatically, we would have looked foolish.
Which brings us to today. As China continues to "rise" or "emerge" or some other verb depending on one's strategic calculus, much of the analysis is obscured by all manner of tunnel vision including near-sightedness. Many fail to adequately appreciate China's thousands of years of civilization and its long-term vision.
China is not rising. It is rising again. China is not emerging. It is re-emerging. In 18 of the last 20 centuries, "...China produced a greater share of total world GDP than any Western society. As late as 1820, it produced over 30 percent of world GDP - an amount exceeding the GDP of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the United States combined."
Yet, there is something different about the China which re-emerged in the latter decades of the 20th century. It is moving past ideological and near-beyond geographic borders to secure its future and ambitions. China intends to secure its global position way beyond the South China Sea.
Many have written of the Chinese and Anglo-American worldviews as captured in the respective games of wei qi (pronounced "way chee") commonly known in the West by its Japanese name go, and chess.
In his latest book, "On China", veteran Chinese watcher and American foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger explores the Western and Sino approaches to international relations and the balance of global power as demonstrated in chess and wei qi. It is worth quoting Dr. Kissinger at length.
Positions of strength
Of wei qi Kissinger writes: "Each player has 180 pieces, or stones, at his disposal, each of equal value with the others. The players take turns placing stones at any point on the board, building up positions of strength while working to encircle and capture the opponent's stones."
Kissinger continues: "Multiple contests take place simultaneously in different regions of the board. The balances of forces shifts incrementally with each move, as the players implement strategic plans and react to each other's initiatives. At the end of a well-played game, the board is filled by partially interlocking areas of strength. The margin of advantage is often slim, and to the untrained eye, the identity of the winner is not always immediately obvious."
The former secretary of state notes of chess: "Chess, on the other hand is always total victory. The purpose of the game is checkmate, to put the opposing king into a position where he cannot move without being destroyed. The vast majority of games end in total victory achieved by attrition or, more rarely, a dramatic, skillful manoeuvre. The only other possible outcome is a draw, meaning the abandonment of hope for victory by both parties."
Kissinger then compares to two game theories: "If chess is about decisive battle wei qi is about the protracted campaign. The chess player aims for total victory. The wei qi player seeks relative advantage. In chess, the player always has the capability of the adversary in front of him; all the pieces are always fully deployed.
"The we qi player needs to access not only the pieces on the board but the reinforcements the adversary is in a position to deploy. Chess teaches the Clausewitzian [Prussian military strategist Carl Phillip von Clausewitz] concepts of center of gravity" and the "decisive point" - the game usually begins as a struggle for the center of the board.
Kissinger notes: "Wei qi teaches the art of strategic encirclement. Where the skillful chess player aims to eliminate his opponent's pieces in a series of head-on clashes, a talented we qi player moves into 'empty' spaces on the board, gradually mitigating the strategic potential of his opponent's pieces. Chess produces single-mindedness; we qi generates strategic flexibility."
In a March 2012 edition, the venerable magazine The Economist reviewed the Chinese presence in the Caribbean, especially in The Bahamas, in an article entitled, "A Chinese beachhead?"
The article concluded: "Yet it is hard to see the Caribbean becoming a Chinese beachhead on America's doorstep - a mirror image of Taiwan. Despite the presence of small ethnic Chinese communities in many islands, the Caribbean continues to look north. China keeps promising a stream of tourists, but few come. Baha Mar will be managed by Hyatt and other American companies."
The article and other observers are missing the point. China may not be looking for one big thing from The Bahamas - such as involvement in the financial services and oil sectors - or in the region.
By moving into many "empty spaces" in the region and around the world, it is gaining various strategic advantages while others are looking for the big Chinese play. The game is more advanced than many realize.
Reportedly, a WikiLeaks cable from the U.S. Embassy in The Bahamas queried whether the intense interest of China in The Bahamas had something to do with the ongoing liberalization and opening up of Cuba. If this analysis is meant to be taken seriously, it also misses the point.
The Chinese don't have to come through The Bahamas to get to Cuba. China is already in Cuba. And, it is strategically encircling other powers through economic, political and military influence and alliances, occupying "empty spaces" left open by those who are missing the medium- and longer-term strategy.
For those interested in understanding the multiple threads of Chinese civilization, and its approach to international relations, one may study Mandarin at the new Confucius Institute at The College of The Bahamas as well as study the manner in which China courts allies through gifts large and small, diplomatic visits and flawless hospitality. And, is anybody up to a game of wei qi?
A recent sit-down with the Rev. Enoch Backford was a real pleasure. The sports icon warmed up to discussing a number of sporting issues. I will produce a series on our chat, but a challenge he threw out to sports leaders and their federations is the topic for today's column. Let's just go a bit into his background.
By ADRIAN GIBSON
TODAY I continue my annual report card giving my view of the performance of government ministers in their various ministeries. In yesterday's column I gave my assessment of the performances of Mrs Loretta Butler-Turner, Minister of State for Social Services, Minister of Works Neko Grant and Housing Minister Kenneth Russell.
Today I shall look at the portfolios of National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest and Environment Minister Earl Deveaux and give my opinion of how they have handled their ministries.
Tommy Turnquest, the aloof Minister of National Security, has in my opinion performed abysmally. Whilst Mr Turnquest cannot be held accountab ...
Friday 2nd October 2009
The Bahamas Financial Services Board opens nominations for the 2009 Financial Services Industry Excellence Awards. Deadline is Oct 2. Awardees are chosen for Executive of the Year - CEO level; Professional of the Year - any level of management or supervision; Achiever of the Year - junior and support levels and Financial Services Development and Promotion awards. The Presentations Ceremony for the “2009 Financial Services Industry Excellence Awards” is Oct 22 at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa, but will take on a new format; rather than an awards banquet, the awards ceremony will occur as a separate event, followed by a cocktail reception immediately afterwards. Also to be recognized at the ceremony is the Financial Services Student of the Year. For more information, contact 242-326-7001 Email: email@example.com www.bfsb-bahamas.com