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News Article
Stop making false promises

My friend, let me commence by asking to you a simple, straightforward question. Do you make a whole lot of promises, both to yourself to do something important, and to others who wish you to do something important for them, family members, friends, employers, employees, customers? Now, I'm sure that the answer to that question is in the affirmative for everyone as we all make promises, both to ourself and others on a regular basis. Now, here's a follow up question which is really important. Do you keep the promises you make both to yourself and others? Now please be completely honest as you answer that most important question. Quite frankly, I believe that we all know a whole lot of people who unfortunately are always making promises, which they know in their heart and soul, they have no intention whatsoever of keeping.
That's right, many, many people are continuously making promises, which they really have no intention whatsoever of keeping -- what a terrible sham! To all of those people I say stop making false promises. Stop trying to kid yourself and others, that you're going to take some form of action, when you know that you have absolutely no intention whatsoever in carrying out the actions you've promised to do. This really is a rather pathetic case of deliberately lying, in order to pretend to ourself and other unsuspecting individuals that we're going to take certain actions, which we know full well we will not carry out. Yes indeed stop making false promises.
First and foremost stop making false promises to yourself. That's right, stop saying that you're going to start to study, you'll definitely get a job, stop taking drugs, etc., when you have no intention whatsoever of doing any of these things. As Shakespeare put it "To thine own self be true." For God's sake stop making false promises to your children, as this is most damaging to them as they will not trust anyone when they grow up. Stop making false promises to your spouse or significant other, which you know you won't keep. Be faithful to the promises you make to that special person in your life. Take your marriage vows seriously otherwise simply stay single and continue to play the field, as the saying goes.
Yes indeed, today's message is so very important to literally everyone, stop making false promises which you know you will not keep and that of course includes to your creator God, whom we make so many promises to, which once again we do not keep.

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News Article
Celebrating the second emancipation: Majority Rule

Note: This column and the next are dedicated to young Bahamians, white, black and other hues, of varied ethnic and national origin, straight and gay, male and female, and other identities of association or belief, who form a rainbow of possibilities for One Bahamas, who have benefitted from the promises of majority rule and independence, and whose privilege of citizenship is to help to extend these promises and to realize promises partly fulfilled or promises not yet met.
Following the heartbreak and dismay of the November 26, 1962 general election in which the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) won the majority of the popular vote, but lost the election, attaining far fewer seats than the United Bahamian Party (UBP) because of gross gerrymandering, key figures in the PLP nonetheless realized that the days of minority rule were numbered.
Having won the majority of the popular vote, the PLP intensified its program of nonviolent direct action and its efforts to heighten the political and social consciousness of the black majority and to defeat the economic and political misrule of a classic oligarchy wedded to white supremacy.
Through its major public communications organ, Bahamian Times, edited by Arthur A. Foulkes, the PLP increasingly and effectively countered the propaganda of the UBP, which had concocted insidious themes such as the party's 1962 election propaganda aimed primarily at black women: "Vote PLP and starve".
Just as the General Strike of 1958 heightened the political consciousness of black Bahamians, especially those living at New Providence, Black Tuesday, April 27, 1965, proved a pivotal moment in the struggle for majority rule, bolstering the opposition to the UBP and radicalizing the consciousness of many more Bahamians, now even more determined to effect political change.
That change, the denouement of a certain stage of the struggle, when the consciousness of the majority reached a historic apogee, arrived on January 10, 1967 when the Second Bahamian Emancipation was ushered in by the mass of Bahamians.
On the evening of the 10th the numbers trickled in from the various constituencies, cut along farcical boundaries largely unchanged from 1962. But this time, on that day, the PLP won not only the majority of the popular vote.
The party tied the UBP 18 to 18 in the number of seats in the House of Assembly, with Sir Randol Fawkes representing the Labour Party winning a seat as did independent candidate Sir Alvin Braynen.
More on the numbers needed to form a government momentarily. But this for now: The political arithmetic on the 10th meant that minority rule was effectively finished.
The masses immediately understood the new arithmetic and the new political calculus. Celebrations erupted that night as soon as the final results were tallied and despite the tie, which some revisionists putatively and incorrectly assumed and assume still to have been an inconclusive result.
Waves of celebrants marched from Over-the-Hill to Bay Street, flooding the precincts of the UBP's political and economic power with songs and chants of freedom and choruses of appreciation for newfound empowerment.
Majestic sounds of cowbells and goat skin drums shook some of the oligarchy's most hallowed grounds, announcing a new era for a mass of people locked out of economic and political power and historically allowed limited access to Bay Street where they were discriminated against and segregated into inferior status.
The celebrations were euphoric, spilling over into a new dawn. Throughout the night car horns trumpeted the victory. There were spontaneous rush-outs throughout Nassau with jubilant crowds gathering at various places such as the Taxi Cab Union complex on Wulff Road.
Now that the change had come, it was time to form a government. There is often the temptation to historical revisionism by some, for all manner of reasons. Yet the facts and reality of certain events often prove stubborn.
Sir Randol, a PLP ally, was part of the progressive movement, running with the full support of the PLP.
It was inconceivable that the firebrand, regarded as being even more radical than the PLP, would betray the movement and support the UBP. His expected support afforded the PLP a majority. The problem was that the party had to elect a speaker.
Had Sir Alvin supported the UBP, there would be a tie of 19 to 19, with another election almost inevitable, a contest in which the UBP would have been slaughtered, as they were in the 1968 general election subsequent to the death of PLP MP Uriah McPhee.
But it was widely known that Sir Alvin was not on good terms with the UBP and that the idea of becoming speaker of the House of Assembly was not unappealing to him. The story is told that when Sir Lynden telephoned Sir Alvin the conversation began:
Sir Lynden: "Mr. Speaker!"
Sir Alvin: "Yes, premier!"
Sir Alvin, who hailed from Current, Eleuthera, grasped the moment and sided with the majority, becoming the first speaker in a majority rule government.
New birth
While the formation or the christening of the new majority rule government took place a few days later, the new birth of freedom was ushered in on January 10, 1967.
That new birth of freedom of January 10 was a triumph of democracy, a day of celebration for all Bahamians.
Following the bitter loss of 1962, an election which many PLPs were convinced they would win, especially after women were newly enfranchised earlier that year, a group of men approached Sir Lynden about the party's response to an election they felt that the UBP had stolen by massively outspending the PLP and through outrageously undemocratic means.
These men and others were not prepared to accept the defeat and the continued rule by a racist and greedy oligarchy determined to retain economic and political power by manipulation of the instruments of state and government.
One of the men who approached Sir Lynden was enraged by such a defeat and wanted, in the words of some, "to tear down the town".
Having considered democratic politics ineffective and nonviolent action insufficient, there were those who wanted to immediately march on Bay Street and wreak mayhem.
To his everlasting credit, Sir Lynden, supported by his closest colleagues, quenched the rage and stopped what would have been a disaster for the country, the movement and the PLP. He intended for his party to triumph at the ballot box.
In a circular read to thousands of students on Majority Rule Day this year, Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes, a key figure in the struggle, enthused: "On the 10th of January 1967 the will of the majority of Bahamians was freely expressed in a general election based on universal adult suffrage where all men and women of adult age, regardless of property qualifications could vote to determine who would govern them."
The celebration of Majority Rule Day and the path to an official holiday has been characterized by fits and starts, and by the politicization of the history by some and the hostility and ambivalence of others, most of which has proven deeply disappointing and narrow-minded.
There is the need for a broader understanding of the struggle for and the attainment of majority rule, beyond certain partisan, racial and historically myopic mindsets.
Next week: Towards a shared understanding and celebration of Majority Rule Day.
o o

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News Article
FNMs have to eat too

Dear Editor,
I was shocked after reading senior journalist and the recently-appointed Bahamas press attache to Washington D.C. Oswald Brown's Facebook message to Andrew Burrows of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (BCB).
Burrows, who is the executive news director at ZNS, was admonished by Oswald Brown to fire FNM operatives at the state-owned corporation for allegedly undermining the Christie government.
I hope Burrows and BCB Chairman the Rev. Dr. William Thompson ignore Brown's heartless advice. Brown was suddenly retired from a major newspaper organization in early 2010 or thereabouts and blamed it on then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and former FNM Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing.
Laing to this day denies that he had anything to do with Brown's dismissal. We must bear in mind that Brown is 71 years old. He was born in 1942. He used to support the PLP in the 1960s but left the party around the same time the Dissident Eight broke away from the PLP. For years he claimed to be FNM, but turned against the party after retiring from the said newspaper.
When he was retired in 2010 he was well past the retirement age. Despite him surpassing the Biblical allotted three scores and ten, and despite the sheer number of young, strapping PLP journalists out there who are more than qualified for the post Brown was given, and despite probably receiving a decent pension and retirement package, the Christie government still went ahead and hired him as press attache to Washington D.C.
Between 2010 and May 2012, Brown was relentless in his criticism against the FNM government for allegedly victimizing him. Now that the PLP is in power, Brown, out of sheer bitterness, is seeking to do the very thing he falsely accused Ingraham of doing to him.
He doesn't seem to care that the alleged FNM operative at ZNS might have young children to feed and mortgage payments to make. This is the same man who attends Mass regularly and considers himself to be a devout Christian. Yet, he's asking ZNS executives to take bread out of the mouths of Bahamians at a time when jobs are few and far between in this country.
Brown and others like him need to know that Perry Christie is prime minister of all Bahamians, not just PLPs. FNMs pay taxes also. I resent the fact that the tax dollars of FNMs are also being used to pay his hefty salary. Seeing that ZNS is subsidized by the Bahamian people, I am asking ZNS executives to ignore Brown's tit-for-tat request to harm FNM employees at the corporation.
FNMs have to eat too, not just PLPs like Oswald Brown.
-- Kevin Evans

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News Article
Police launch search for four men after shooting

POLICE are asking for the public's help in locating four men who are wanted for questioning.

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News Article
George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty
George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty

George Zimmerman blinked and barely smiled as a jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Supporters of Martin's family who had gathered outside the courthouse yelled out "No! No!"

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News Article
Dead baby's family recalls tragic fire

Sandra Mae Cooper sat outside the charred remains of an apartment building in the Grove yesterday, holding a picture of her youngest grandchild.
"We called her Mimi," she said.
The five-month old, whose real name was Santia Cooper, died in a fire on Mother's Day.
Cooper said Sunday started off as a normal day for the family.
She said she woke up early and went to church for the Mother's Day service.
When she got back home, she made lunch for the family and played with the baby for a while.
"They carried Mimi upstairs and laid her on the bed," she said.
"When she falls asleep, we always put the fan right there to the room to keep her cool."
She said the baby's mother, Satanya, and a few other family members sat outside the building talking.
"So we were talking and somebody came and said 'I smell smoke'," she said.
"So everybody started running up the stairs at the same time and then a guy came from the back of the building saying 'Sandra, Sandra, smoke coming out from the bedroom'.
"Well after that the mother dashed to the apartment.
"When she reached to the door, the smoke and the fire met her to the door.
"So I said 'let me give it a try' and the same thing that happened to her, the smoke and the flame, met me to the door.
"Everybody who was trying, that was the problem.
"After [Satanya] saw that, she ran down the stairs straight across the road crying."
Superintendent Walter Evans, director of fire services, said the baby's uncle made a heroic and courageous attempt to save Santia's life, but was unable to, and ended up injuring his right arm.
Phenton Cooper, another of the baby's uncles who also tried to save her, said he was devastated by the loss.
"I ran through the fire and tried to run into the other room to get her, but the fire kept burning me in my face," he said.
"I was bareback too and I wasn't getting burned about my body, just my face.
"I tried three or four times to get to the baby, but just couldn't.
"That had me stunned. I never expected to see anything like that."
The Department of Social Services is paying for the family to stay at the Colony Club hotel for a month.
Police have yet to determine the cause of the blaze.
The child's relatives said they lost everything in the fire and are asking anyone with a kind heart to donate what they can to help them move on.
They can be reached at 451-7595, 565-0207 and 467-9426.

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News Article
Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails are one of the most common and most painful nail complaints seen by the podiatrist. Ingrown nails are often a splinter or spike of nail digging into the soft tissue on the side of the nail, often leading to redness, swelling and can be extremely painful. In more severe cases, it can become infected, producing pus and bleeding. Usually, toenails grow straight out. Sometimes, however, one or both corners or sides of the nail curve and grow into the flesh. Any of the toenails can become ingrown, but the problem more often affects the big toe.
Causes of ingrown toenails
o The most common cause is improperly trimmed nails.
o Heredity -- the nail is just too large for the toe and have curled edges.
o Tight shoes causing pressure and crowding the toes.
o Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities or from stubbing the toe or having the toe stepped on, may also cause an ingrown nail
o The most common cause is tight shoe wear causing pressure and crowding the toes.
o Footwear and socks can push your toe flesh onto the nail so that it pierces the skin and, if you sweat excessively, or don't rotate your footwear, this makes the skin moist and weak, so it can be pierced by the nail.
Who gets ingrown toenails?
o Ingrown toenails are more common in teenagers especially those who are active in sports.
o Persons who pick their nails or cut them too low.
o Persons who wear socks or support hose that squeezes the toes or narrow mouth shoes with tight toe boxes.
o Pregnant women or mothers who recently had their babies seem to be at higher risk for ingrown toenails.
What you can do to prevent ingrown toenails
Cut the nails straight across, don't cut too low, no longer or shorter than the edge of the toe. The corner of the nail should be visible above the skin. It's better to cut the nails after a bath or shower when they are softer and easier to cut. Good hygiene can go a long way to preventing ingrown toenails. Avoid moist feet by rotating your footwear so they can dry out thoroughly. Choose cotton socks and leather shoes or other materials that are breathable and fit well. Protect the feet from trauma and to wear shoes and socks with adequate room for the toes. Keep the feet clean and dry at all times. See the diagram below on how to properly cut/trim toenails.
Are ingrown toenails serious?
If left untreated, and they become infected, the infection can spread to the rest of the toe and foot. The quicker you treat them, the less painful the toe and the treatment.
How is an ingrown toenail treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the ingrown toenail. For the most basic ingrown toenail, the podiatrist will carefully remove the offending spike of nail causing the problem.
If the ingrown toenail progresses and becomes too painful to touch, the podiatrist may use a local anesthetic to numb the toe, before removing the offending portion of nail. The podiatrist will cut the ingrown portion of the nail and may prescribe a topical or oral medication to treat the infection. Very seldom are antibiotics needed to treat this condition as long as the ingrown portion of the nail is removed. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, your podiatrist can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails from coming back. The corner of the nail that grows in, along with the matrix or root of that piece of nail, is removed and a chemical, a laser, or other methods are used to prevent regrowth. This procedure was developed by podiatrists and is shown to be over 97 percent successful. After the procedure, the nail will be narrower but this often goes unnoticed. You will have to return to the clinic so the podiatrist can make sure the toe heals correctly.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible. While you are waiting to see the podiatrist, if you suspect an infection or if the toe is painful or having a lot of drainage (pus, blood), soak the toe in cool water and vinegar or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and a bandage to the area. Other do-it-yourself treatments, including any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail or the use of over-the-counter medications, should be avoided.

Rest your foot as much as possible and wear shoes with plenty of room, or open toes. People with diabetes, and poor circulation do not try to treat the nail at home, see the podiatrist as soon as possible.

o For more information email us at or visit or To see a podiatrist, visit Bahamas Foot Centre Rosetta Street 325-2996, or Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane 394-5820 or call for an appointment.

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News Article
VAT price labeling proposals 'cumbersome'

While applauding the government's decision to exempt most breadbasket items under the proposed value-added tax (VAT), a prominent businessman believes proposals for how goods will be labelled under the new regime appear "cumbersome and annoying".
In the 160-page Value Added Tax Bill 2013 and the Value Added Tax Regulations 2013, obtained by The Nassau Guardian earlier this week, it is proposed that retailers will show both the price inclusive and exclusive of VAT on price labels.
They may also be required to identify which goods are exempted from tax - such as breadbasket, price-controlled items - or which attract VAT, by the use of color coding on labels.
The draft legislation states: "A (VAT) registrant offering goods for retail sale must show the price on the goods exclusive of VAT and, where VAT is charged on such goods, show the amount of VAT charged on a VAT sales receipt or VAT invoice issued to the purchaser.
"The VAT commissioner may approve methods of identification by a registrant of taxable goods using color coding price tickets for taxable, zero-rated, special-rated, exempt and other supplies or asterisking taxable supplies and provide a clear explanation of the method used, displayed prominently at such places as are necessary to enable customers to identify, before they enter into a transaction, whether VAT has been included in the price of the goods."
But Dionisio D'Aguilar, chairman of AML Foods, which owns food retailers Solomon's Fresh Market and Solomon's Supercenter, called the move "very old fashioned and unnecessary".
He said it seems that the government is trying to operate VAT similar to a sales tax and that can't work.
"I believe that shopkeepers should be able to display it however they want to display it. I think that's unnecessary meddling in the day-to-day operations of their stores and I don't think it really makes a difference to the consumer," he told Guardian Business.
"It's very old fashioned the way that we do things here, putting the price on every good. Most stores have a price display but the price is not on every item. This insistence to display everything is quite annoying and is really not necessary. Doing that is going to be incredibly cumbersome.
"In most places in the world where VAT is charged, it's included in the price. If the price of an item is $15, then the VAT charged is included in that price."
"They want VAT, but they want to run it like a sales tax. And in countries where you have a VAT, it's included in the price and it's simpler for people to manage it that way."
Exempt products
And it came as no surprise when the VAT bill outlined that a variety of breadbasket items and many basic food items will be exempt.
"A lot of those items are price controlled anyway and we don't make much money on them because they are price controlled. In fact, I think we sell them at a loss. That part of the proposed bill, it's good to see that they have lived up to that promise," D'Aguilar pointed out.
"We were always under the impression that the government would exempt a lot of the breadbasket items and that seems to have come to fruition. So as a chairman of AML Foods, we're glad to see there's not going to be additional costs, at least not from those items."
Super Value owner Rupert Roberts had expressed concern, saying that VAT's implementation would result in a five percent increase in the cost of operations. He added that customers would feel the brunt of that increase.

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News Article
Residents want Urban Renewal to demolish abandoned hotel

An abandoned hotel off East Bay Street is becoming a crime hot spot, according to some residents of the Okra Hill community, who are asking for members of the Urban Renewal 2.0 program to demolish it.
According to residents Anthony Miller and Nikita Gray, their neighborhood is under attack by people who use the abandoned building to hide drugs, stolen items and guns.
"I've been living through here all my life and this is the worst it's been around here," said Gray. "We already have a stigma in regards to the drugs and the different things happening through here, now we have to worry about purse snatchers."
Gray said during the night she hears gunshots and fights emanating from the hotel.
She said she has contacted Urban Renewal and nothing has happened.
"It's not safe," she said. "The minute you see dark drops nobody [stays] outside, because you see so many strange faces and you don't know who is who."
Gray said as far as she is concerned the hotel is a haven for criminals.
"You have [addicts]; you have thieves; you have robbers; you have guns; you have everything hiding in there," she said. "[And] I'm sure we're not the only two who have called about it."
Miller said something should be done about the hotel.
"They need to step up and do something, don't just brag about Bain Town, everything is Bain Town," said Miller.
"Come up in the Oak Hill area, we need help."
Gray said his home in Pinewood Gardens was demolished by Urban Renewal for the same reasons he is seeking to have the abandoned hotel demolished.
"My house belonged to the bank too and they knocked it down," he said.
"If they can't knock this [hotel] down the government might as well reimburse me for my money for my house in Pinewood Gardens."
Urban Renewal Coordinator Stephen Dean said he was aware of the complaints, and noted he would push for the owners to clean up the property immediately.
He said if they fail to do so he would seek to have the structure demolished.
Urban Renewal 2.0 has destroyed numerous derelict buildings that police said is a hub for criminals to store drugs and guns.
Yet, the program is not without controversy.
In the last two months, at least two people whose homes were destroyed as a result of the program, said officials did not warn them of the impending demolition.
However, the government has touted the program as major factor in the reduction of crime since it took office on May 7.

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News Article
Club Med seeking major expansion

Club Med is looking to expand its property on San Salvador and the government is "actively" reviewing its proposal, Guardian Business can reveal.
While the exact terms of the proposal are unknown, several Cabinet minsters confirmed that there is one before the government, and if approved, it could mean "significant tourism growth and development."
The proposed expansion is expected to include an increase of the property's room inventory through the construction of condominiums and cottages.
"Club Med executives presented us with a proposal for their San Salvador property that wants to add more rooms to its inventory. We are reviewing that as they are asking for certain incentives. That's ongoing," according to Philip Brave Davis, deputy prime minister and minister of public works and urban development.
"We are now considering their proposal and we hope to turn that around very quickly so they can decide on the way forward within their business plan. The expansion consists of several more rooms with condominiums and cottages. Hopefully, that would be privately owned but still a part of the hotel inventory."
Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments, told Guardian Business the proposal could be classified as a "major expansion" for the property.
He noted that one of the areas the government is looking at is ensuring that San Salvador has an adequate fuel supply and that it could accommodate direct flights from Europe.
If approved, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe believes the expansion would lead to "significant tourism growth and development".
He also pointed out that Club Med continues to be a major employer on the island of San Salvador.
"The truth is it will mean significant tourism growth and development. Don't forget Club Med has been a major employer for San Salvador, at one point they created full employment where people had more than one job. It's one of those places that offers you tremendous experience," Wilchcombe explained.
"It's uniquely situated and it had an appeal to the French market in particular. They want to build additional hotel rooms and boutique hotels. They want to add to the lure of what takes place on San Salvador. It's a major development and if all goes well, I believe it will be one of the spots in the southern Bahamas that will compliment what is happening in the central and northern Bahamas."
Meanwhile, Davis who is also the member of Parliament for the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, admitted to Guardian Business that job creation on those islands has not been going very well because there hasn't been much investment activity. It's something that the government is looking to address in the upcoming fiscal year, he noted.
"At the moment, potential investors don't see any attractiveness. We are going to aggressively improve the infrastructure in the next fiscal year and hopefully that will attract more investment.
"In the Family Islands, particularly Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, tourists do not come regularly so we need to find work for our residents to do apart from government-based employment and that has been a challenge. We've also been challenged in attracting investments because people want to go where they will make money."

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