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News Article
Letter: Shocked by behaviour of MPs in House of Assembly

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I was shocked and very dismayed at the behaviour displayed by Members in the Honourable House of Assembly and the lack of respect they seem to have for each other!

I tuned in to Channel 40 yesterday because as a Bahamian I was really interested in the debate concerning BTC. I wanted to hear both sides of the debate, but I was so stunned by the rudeness in the House of Assembly that I thought for a moment that I had to be watching a nightmare movie. Members of the House carried on like a bunch of small children, each trying to get their own way - not in trying to get their point across, but in trying to score political points! All this at the expense of the Bahamian publi ...

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News Article
Cable Bahamas: Living Up To Promises
Cable Bahamas: Living Up To Promises

"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships." - Andy Warhol

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News Article
It's time to get rid of the television

Imagine a home without a television. Imagine having more than a month without watching any television or even going to the movie theater. Imagine having teenage children with no interest in watching television. Imagine having just one entire day when all televisions in the country will be off. Do you think we would survive?
While the television provides positive information and has become a meaningful part of our everyday existence, it is not imperative that we spend all the time we do watching the news or our favorite television shows. Do you realize that many people who watch the news channels hours every day become cynical, angry, skeptical and even physically ill. Too much of the news can drive you crazy.
More than 15 years ago I proposed in an article that each family have a television blackout month. I stressed that too many families are being dictated to by the television. They allow their children to freely watch anything at anytime. The hooked-on-television children spend very little hours gaining meaningful rest and sleep at the most appropriate times. In many homes, school-aged children stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching television. They fall asleep tired and drained, only to be awakened by another dosage of TV stimulation.
A 2006 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation states that 74 percent of infants and toddlers watch TV before the age of two. With on-demand services, 24-7 cable kid channels, and heaps upon heaps of baby-oriented programming, we now have constant access to media that specifically targets very young children. So there's more TV than ever, more warnings than ever, and certainly more confusion than ever before.
The problem I have with indiscriminate television viewing is that it is one of Satan's most powerful tools that he uses to infiltrate the mind with all kinds of unhealthy thoughts, images and actions. Too often children are prematurely introduced to subjects that they are not emotionally or intellectual ready to understand. These messages are repeated over and over teasing the child's curiosity and oftentimes changing behavior. Even adults are being affected negatively with the overdose of television, and especially violent television.
A 2002 study about television and violence revealed that watching just one hour of television a day can make a person more violent towards others, according to a 25-year study. In some circumstances, TV watching increases the risk of violence by five times. The new research indicates the effect is seen not just in children, as has been suggested before, but in adults as well (Allison Motluk, The New Scientist).
It is my view that if we have less television viewing in our nation we would have less violence. It is time for another television blackout.

Types of television
blackouts
o Marriage blackout. During the first year of marriage, it is ideal that a couple does not own a television. They should spend time interacting, bonding, spending time together, growing as friends and lovers. Television has a subtle way of attracting us from valuable functions and events in our lives. Sometimes we find excuses to watch a show because it is so educational or meaningful, but in reality it does not add anything to the healthy development of a young marriage. A solid foundation must be laid early in the marriage for intimacy, friendship and sharing. The couple must enjoy spending time together before they spend time in front of the television.
o Childhood blackout. It is important for parents to understand the powerful effects of television on the minds of their developing children. Do not place your young infant in front of the television alone while you do something else. Ideally, it would be best to avoid having a television in the home. Because of the addictive, luring and tempting nature of television, I am suggesting that parents with young children do not have television in the home during the first six to 10 years of the child's life. Children also need to learn how to play and interact, communicate and develop self-governance. Great harm is done when, from birth, television becomes a normal part of a child's life. It does not matter how educational the television program is. Parental involvement cannot be compared to any information or knowledge gained from television watching.
o Crisis blackout. Often a parent may need to take away the privilege of television viewing because of disobedience or poor academic performance. Sometimes families would find it most helpful when there are serious family conflicts and crises to keep the television off. Often the television is used as coverall. It gives one the feeling that the pain is over, but when the television is turned off the pain surfaces. Keeping the television off forces the family to deal with the situation.
o Scheduled blackout. As the family begins to grow, the parents may want to purchase a television. This is fine. However, the television should not be treated like the refrigerator -- it is only useful when it is on.
o National blackout. What if we had one day in our country just three hours when every television is off (stations do not broadcast) and every one takes the time to share, show kindness and interact positively with each other? We can call it national television blackout. More next week.

o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or 327-1980 or visit www.soencouragement.org.

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News Article
Death, Grieving, Healing: In Memory of My Father, Curt Whachell

My father passed away at 87 years old on March 11th, 2013. I'd seen him twice this year before a visit just one week prior to his death.  He was doing so well those first two times, that the last time I saw him, was when it finally sunk in that my father was actually going to die. Until then, I naively never felt it possible.

I'd always felt blessed that all of my loved ones were alive around me, while so many families deal with sudden deaths, accidents and sickness.
The whole idea of death and dying waited until now to visit my psyche.

My father lived a full and rich life. I have no regrets regarding our relationship, and have no thoughts or words left unsaid to my father, as we had a relationship...

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News Article
Noah is a perplexing, yet intriguing film

Noah (Rated B)
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson
Genre: Biblical Drama
Dwight's Rating: 3 stars out of 4
An epic battle between good and evil, with a large floating vessel, and mysterious, giant talking creatures with incredible strength and seemingly magical powers. Expect all that and more in the new film "Noah"!
Confused? Well, yes, this "Noah" is indeed about that Noah, of the Book of Genesis fame -- grandson of Methuselah, who begat Lamech, who then begat said Noah. The same one who saved all of Earth's creatures by loading them two-by-two on his ark to wait out the great flood that came to wash away the evil in mankind and all the sins of the world.
For the most part, that's largely where the similarities end between the story you know from the Bible and this movie. And as a result, we are left with a perplexing and yet intriguing film.
As you can surmise, there are things going on here that you're unlikely to find in any account of Genesis you'll ever come across. It is an often wild interpretation, taking what is already one of the most fantastic stories in the Bible to even higher heights of incredulity.
I criticized "Son of God" for sticking far too closely and cautiously -- and ultimately, boringly -- to the Gospel accounts of Jesus. "Noah" is the complete opposite. And while some of the choices are questionable, I do applaud director Darren Aronofsky (2010's "Black Swan"), who co-wrote the script along with Ari Handel, for taking chances with a very bold and unique story.
So, unlike with "Son of God", you might want to rethink taking the Bible study group or Sunday School class to see this one, as someone is going to have a lot of explaining to do. But if you are willing to accept the embellishments, you'll likely find this an incredibly entertaining tale.
The CGI work is absolutely breathtaking and astonishing, and it establishes itself as a technical masterwork.
Russell Crowe, as Noah, delivers a strong performance. I've always imagined that those sinful people watching Noah build his ark must have thought him mad. In "Noah", there's apparently no question about it. Here, he is a certifiable nut job. But Crowe plays him with such depth, that we can clearly understand that it's the weight of the world -- the enormous burden that has been placed on him -- that is driving him to the edge. That, and some of the human members on the ark, who are really trying his patience.
Anthony Hopkins also has a small role, and is always a pleasure to watch. Emma Watson, too, gives a worthy performance. But it does feel familiar, as she's once again in a film with tones of "Lord of the Rings", to which the "Harry Potter" series she's best know for have often been compared.
This year is shaping up to be "The Year of the Bible" for Hollywood. In addition to "Son of God" and "Noah", there are a number of other biblically-themed movies due out, including "Mary, Mother of Christ", and "Exodus" about Moses.
One wonders on which side of the divide these films will fall -- the grounded-in-Biblical-"reality"-side with "Son of God", or the extreme-fantasy-side with "Noah." As both movies have had success at the box office, this doesn't seem to matter to audiences. But so far, we can score one in favor of extreme-fantasy as the more exciting and interesting way to make a Bible movie.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Event
Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release
Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release

Wednesday 14th August 2013  8:00 PM

Get Charlie Movie Encore and DVD Release August 14th and 15th in Freeport at Galleria Cinemas Freeport at 8PM. The wait is over! Back by popular demand "Get Charlie" the feature length film written and produced by Collage Entertainment is back in theaters for an encore viewing along with it's DVD release. Grab a friend and come out to watch get Get Charlie - it's suitable and enjoyable for ALL ages and on your way out don't forget to pick up a DVD to keep the laughs rolling at home. See you there!

Get Charlie Encore Movie DVD Release


News Article
Cyberstalking: A new challenge for the workplace

Can you imagine your life without the use of the internet or a cellphone?  Probably not!  Emails and other electronic devices have become such critical vehicles for communicating and doing business, that it is hard to imagine how we ever lived without them. Unfortunately, as great as the Internet and other electronic devices may be, they have also become vehicles for scams, viruses and more recently in the workplace, a tool used by employees to engage in character assassination of each other via social networks, online harassment and cyberstalking.
Last week I sat in horror and listened as one of my international clients relayed a story that was so mind blowing, I felt like I was watching a cloak-and-dagger espionage movie!  Obviously the story is too long to relay in this forum, but here is the abridged version.  My client was a victim of email spoofing!  Exactly!  I didn't know what is was either but apparently email spoofing "is the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source."  In other words someone could send an email pretending to be you, and the receiver would have no reason to believe that it was not you, because the sender would be using your email address!  Yep it could happen!  Needless to say my client was in the hot seat and almost lost her job when she was confronted by the president of the company for supposedly sending mass emails to the entire staff highlighting the fact that he (the president) was "clueless, incompetent, lacked vision and was running the company into the ground."  Luckily for my client, someone in the information technology department decided to run a trace on the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the email and was able to track it to its real sender - a disgruntled employee who was recently demoted - go figure!
Having been a victim of online harassment and cyberstalking myself recently, (and for those of you who may not know what cyberstalking is, ladies and gentlemen "cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass.  The definition of 'harassment' must meet the criterion that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress." Wikipedia) I knew exactly what my client was going through.
So this week I interviewed Royal Bahamas Police Force Cyber Crimes guru, Sergeant Dale Strachan, to shed some light on this growing problem.  Here is what he had to say:
Question: Have you seen a rise in cyber crimes in The Bahamas, for example on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks?
Answer: Yes. We have seen a rise in cyber crime in the following areas:
i. Threats of harm or death;
ii. Emailing of slanderous images or comments;
iii. Email hacking;
iv. A crime called phishing (where a website is created to look like the original, but it is actually a fraud).  This fake site is use to gather personal information from unsuspecting persons to defraud them of money.  Complaints are mainly from foreign victims reporting that a financial institution in The Bahamas posted the site.
Question: Why do you believe we are experiencing such a spike in cyber crimes?  What seem to be the motive(s) of the perpetrators?
Answer: The fact that the perpetrator thinks his/her identity will remain anonymous seems to be the driving force.  Ultimately the perpetrator's intent is to embarrass the victim or put him or her in fear.
Question: Is sending malicious or defamatory emails a crime in The Bahamas?  Define malicious, define defamatory.
Answer: Yes both are crimes.  Malicious is defined as nasty, hateful, mean, wicked, cruel emails continually being sent to the annoyance of the receiver.  Also referred to as annoying email, malicious emails are similar to a common offence known as annoying telephone calls.  We can add that emails threatening or implying harm or death are also an offence and amount to threats of harm or threats of death.  Defamatory is defined as slanderous, derogatory emails that are distributed to others and used as a vehicle to attack a person's character.
Question: What recourse does the receiver of malicious or defamatory emails have?  Can they seek police help?
Answer: Depending on the offence committed, victims have the following recourse:
o Police action can be taken;
o You can have the person bond over to keep the peace;
o You can take civil action in a court or file a lawsuit;
o You can report the email address of the sender to the hosting company as abuse and it will be removed.
Question: How can you track the sender of a malicious email?
Answer: The sender is tracked by the header information (contained in the original email.)
Question: What suggestions can you give persons to safeguard their email accounts?
Answer: Many persons in The Bahamas reported that their email accounts were hacked.  Our investigation proved that the following methods were used to obtain their personal information:
o Individuals received a "pop up" asking them to reset their password information.  The "pop up" claimed that if the password was not reset that the individual would loose his/her account.  Once the password is reset hackers have full access to your account.
o Individuals received a "pop up" asking for personal information, specifically the question that was used when you created your account.  Once you answer these questions you give hackers access to your account
o Using a public computer: When you "log off" of a public computer, persons can come after you, run password recovery software and extract your information.
o Using computers at a friend's house or the work place, to access you email account: Again the password can be extracted using recovery software.  In the workplace many companies have software installed on computers that monitor employee action online.  This software also captures password information.
o Your wireless network: When you put a password on a website wirelessly, anyone with access to your network also has access to all of the computers on that network and they can "sniff" traffic to capture your password.
o Be aware of putting other people's jump drives in your computer. These jump drives may contain programs that auto run with one purpose - to extract all password information that might reside on you computer.
o Do not accept the browser's suggestion to save a password.
o Set the cache on your browser to delete on exit.
 
Stacia Williams offers keynotes, workshops and personal coaching on a wide range of: Personal Branding, Image Management, Customer Service, Leadership, Business Etiquette & International Protocol Topics. You can contact Stacia Williams at 325-5992 or email Stacia@totalimagemanagement.com or visit staciawilliamsblog.com.

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Movie
Much Ado About Nothing
  • Genre : Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Rating :

A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words....


News Article
The media and our society

Dear Editor,
First, let me state that in writing this letter I wish to make a few suggestions that I believe would help stem the tide of the social and moral decadence that has become so pervasive in our country and has reached every level of civil society regardless of age, gender, social status.
There is an old Japanese proverb, which translates to the English as "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". It has been my observation that the culture of gangsterism, oversexualization of our young people, and the rampant materialism in the modern Bahamas has manifested itself within this proverb. I believe that there is a direct link between mass media and its influence on the general public. One would just have to turn on the radio to one of the popular stations and listen, not to the music, but the ideas systematically repeated within the music, 24 hours a day, six days in the week. The ideas constantly repeated include: casual sex without any social or long-term responsibility; the glorifying of a criminal lifestyle; thoughtless consumerism; rapacious capitalism; poor dietary spending.
The cinemas are just as culpable in this effort; where one mass media outlet affects the general public on what it hears this media outlet affects it by what it sees. In fact, there is an adage that says "a picture says one thousand words". These moving pictures or images visually demonstrate ideas which may not be beneficial to a society which teaches social responsibility and moral restraint. Any perceptive watcher or listener has to wonder the long-term effects of these messages on a community.
If I am not mistaken, there are agencies that regulate mass media in this country - i.e, URCA and the Bahamas Christian Council. However, I truthfully do not think that their efforts have been impactful; considering the movies still being screened in our theaters and allowable music played over the airwaves.
On the other hand, there are people who would defend mass media abuse with claims of freedom of expression. However, this freedom should be reasonable and considering the outcome of its effect we have gone far beyond the scope of reasonableness.
I would like to make clear that I am not the "thought police" but I do know that some ideas resonate in the minds of the young and the uniformed. It is within the public interest of any country to fetter some of the expressions propagated through our mass media which negatively impact the collective consciousness of our society. I would humbly suggest that an independent investigation be done on the effects of commercial mass media on the psyche of Bahamian consumers.
Next, one should look at possible ways in using mass media to propagate positive messages. There is an immediate tendency to slip into an argument of mind control or brainwashing. However, we should resist this temptation. All mass media propagates a message, whether it's in buying a particular product or accepting a particular political agenda. In America, mass media has been used to create a specific culture for its own people to follow. Unfortunately, this culture has been globalized and imposed on people it may have been never intended for.
Thirdly, I would urge our government to institute legislation that would seek to prevent the proliferation of questionable media content (including cable, satellite, and the internet). I believe that through the law one can condition behavior.
Lastly, we should investigate other governments' mass media usage, outside of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The country of Nigeria uses the film industry known as Nollywood to promote family values laden with cultural themes. This is unlike the wanton violence, promiscuity, and drug abuse common in Western media programming. I understand that people have the right to make up their own minds; however, there are many persons within our society who find it difficult in differentiating entertainment from reality. They live out the pathologies of what they see and hear in media.
In conclusion, I would urge you who may have the power to help usher along the wheels of change to seriously consider these suggestions. We would render ourselves negligent if we idly stand by, receiving all the privileges of this country and ignoring all the obligations to which, as proud citizens, we are all responsible. God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
- Cohen P. Davis

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News Article
A satisfied tourist

Dear Editor,

I've just returned from a blissful, exciting, invigorating, refreshing and totally awesome seven-day trip to a place that, after three days, felt so comfortable that I wanted more.  The definition of ambassador was exemplified by the locals in that country in a way I've never seen and/or experienced before.  As a military brat, I have traveled and lived all over the world.  But until October 24, I had never traveled to the Caribbean - in particular, Nassau, Bahamas.
The definition of ambassador is: 1. An authorized representative or messenger; b) an unofficial representative traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill.
From the time I stepped off the plane in Nassau, as I walked through the long corridor leading up to baggage claim eyeing the Wall of Fame of beautiful female and male athletes; to the airline attendant who immediately knew my name when I asked about my lost luggage (I thought it was lost, but it wasn't); to the wonderful host, Dr. Ebbie Jackson, who sponsored a Women's Retreat at the beautiful, newly renovated SuperClubs Breezes Resort, I felt the spirit of ambassadorship everywhere I went.
Of course I realize Nassau, Bahamas is a tourism 'hot spot.'  Tourism is an emerging economic driver and one would expect its people to be kind to tourists.  As someone who's worked in community, small business and economic development in Georgia for many years, I get it.  I also recognize that there are bad elements and crime in every city.  But it's not necessary to totally focus on the negative.
But as each day passed, my mind kept visualizing how my hometown would look, feel, be seen as, or be known as if everyone became an ambassador.  It's so easy to focus on the negative, dwell on, complain and do absolutely nothing about it.  The rants that appear in our daily newspaper and one of the local weekly newspapers are sprinkled with negative comments, attitudes and opinions every day.
There have been many conversations about CEOs who wish to locate to Augusta and how their decisions are made based on what they perceive the culture and fabric of the city to be by things they read written by locals.
I rode the bus about five times during my stay.  For $1.25, wonderful bus riders greet everyone with a "hello" or "good morning/afternoon" when they get on; and I remember the bus driver who loves to talk about the tourist sites, night spots and their beautiful beaches - it was money well spent.
Everywhere you go, the locals love to ask, "Is this your first visit to Nassau?"  I sense that they really love to hear when someone says they've been to their country before.  I have to admit, I grew weary of saying it was "my first time" because the looks on their faces were a little shocked.  So, naturally I must hurry back so that I can respond to that question and say, "No, this is my second time in your beautiful country."
Being greeted with a smile or a hello from construction workers, waiters, bus drivers, domestic workers and everyone else you can think of was the norm.  I thought everyone is an ambassador for their country here in The Bahamas.  Why can't we do that in Augusta or wherever your hometown is?  Someone may say, "Well Helen, since The Bahamas is a tourism country, the locals have a reason or vested interest in benefitting from being nice, kind, accommodating, thoughtful, happy, and genuinely interested in you being in their country because it's stimulating the economy and businesses, thus creating jobs."
And I would say yes, that is true.  But think about it.  Your hometown may not be a tourist destination. Your economic driver may be nuclear energy, alternative energy, medical, technology, call centers, military installations or many others.  But consider this?  Who are tourists?  They are simply people, CEOs, or families who represent these industries who come to visit and/or live in your hometown.  These individuals attend your schools, churches, restaurants, cultural centers, museums, performing arts theaters and so much more.  They spend money in your hometown.
So if they're coming to your hometown, you, as a local, have a vested interest - an increased tax base, new small business development, and a stronger economy, which benefits the entire community.  I thought about this concept every day I spent in Nassau.  It resonated so much that I had to write this blog to share with you.
It's all about the people.  It's people who run and manage businesses.  It's people who work for these businesses.  It seems to me that everyone who plays a role in being an ambassador for their hometown creates a win-win situation.  Yes, I know someone reading this is saying, "Helen this is too idealistic."  I beg to differ.
I witnessed this concept in action for seven days.  My experience was beautiful beaches, great weather.  Even with the rain a couple of days it was amazing watching the work ethic of the working people; unbelievable hospitality everywhere I went - a hello and a smile; luxurious resorts and condos; live music; a beautiful woman who served me, my two girlfriends and several other women a four-course Bahamian meal on her best china like the way you see in the movies; gospel music playing on every bus I rode on; and knowledgeable people who knew what was going on in their city with all the growth and development taking place.
I certainly can't leave out the gorgeous Bahamian men and women and the dedicated police officers.
I'd like to challenge you to become an ambassador of your hometown for 30 days and watch what can happen.  All you have to do is simply say hello to everyone you greet, smile more, say something positive about your hometown, no matter what it is, and then watch for a transformation that could make an impact on you, your family and your hometown's economic stability for many years to come.
I absolutely fell in love with Nassau, Bahamas and have every intention of visiting again soon.  I have no doubt that when I return, someone is going to tell me, "Welcome home Helen."  I look forward to that too.
 
Yours, etc.,
Helen Blocker-Adams

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