Opinion

Be persistent in your prayers

August 24, 2017

A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour. [Matthew 15:22-28]
When our lives are spiraling out of control, we must place total dependence upon the Lord to guide us out of our dilemma. Even though we might feel that the Lord is taking an inordinate amount of time to respond to our needs, we must be persistent and keep on praying. He will answer our prayers.
In the above text, a woman went to Jesus to seek his help. Her daughter was ailing. However, it appeared that Jesus ignored her request. Even after the disciples intervened, he still did not respond favorably to the woman.
Notwithstanding this, the woman persisted. She did so because she believed that Jesus had the cure for her daughter and she believed that he would help her.
Obviously she had some understanding of the Jewish Scripture. She cried out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me."
In addressing him, she called him Son of David. This statement of confession suggested her faith in Jesus. Her confession was, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
Our faith always begins with confession. When we come to Jesus, we first confess that we believe in him and then we acknowledge our unworthiness. We confess that he is the Messiah of God.
This woman was not a Jew. She was a pagan, therefore not expected to place any trust in Jesus. Yet, she did.
Even though Jesus did not assist the woman immediately, she persisted because she believed that he would help her. She would not give up because she believed that Jesus would show compassion.
All of her hopes were in the only one who could assist and give her daughter some relief.
As we journey through life we need Jesus. He has the answers to our cries.
Jesus has the cure for us all. Even though we may not get that cure immediately, we should not give up. Jesus tells us to be persistent. God will answer our prayers.
Some have been praying for their family for years. They sometimes became discouraged because change did not come, yet they kept on praying. Eventually their prayers were answered.
Be like that foreign woman who sat at Jesus' feet and prayed for mercy until she got it. We too can receive God's grace and mercy when we are persistent.
Jesus gave her that which she requested, healing for her daughter. This woman did not let the fact that she was a foreigner impede her faith. Instead, it made her faith even stronger.
While it appears that Jesus is saying no to a desperate woman, to the contrary, he is demonstrating this woman's amazing faith. Be like the desperate woman who demonstrated an amazing faith in the Lord. Be persistent in your prayers. Jesus will hear you and give you relief. Amen.

o Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone 323-4107; E-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com.

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Disciplined and focused

August 24, 2017

Disciplined and focused.
This article is just a natural follow up to the last one titled everything takes time, for if you wish to finally make it in life and eventually become successful, you most definitely need to be, as today's simple title puts it, both disciplined and focused, that's for sure. Actually to be honest with you, I was listening to another program on radio dealing with how to be successful in business, and the host of that program wisely stated that to be successful in business a person needs to be disciplined and focused. Oh how absolutely correct he was as this is great very practical advice for all of those who are either in business now or are anticipating going into business in the near future.
So let's take the first word in our title "discipline" and discuss it a bit. I remember very well interviewing former Governor General of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes for my "Success Files" series, which incidentally you can have access to by visiting The Reilly Institute Website which can be accessed at www.dpaulreilly.com and subscribing to be a member of either The Winner's Club or The Gold Club.
Now when interviewing Sir Arthur on how to be successful in great depth -- when it came to dealing with the subject of discipline he said, and I quote "Without discipline a person simply cannot be successful." Oh how right he was. So discipline is a most important ingredient in any worthwhile success recipe. Yes it is.
Now, we come to the second word in our title, focused. We must always remain focused on what the end game is, so to speak. We must never lose sight of our primary objective, whatever it is. Yes indeed, there's no doubt about it, if one wishes to become successful either in business or as an individual, you need to at all times remain, as today's title simply and succinctly puts it, disciplined and focused.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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The role and function of kingdom ambassadors

August 24, 2017

When looking at the church from the perspective of ambassadors and diplomats there are several critical considerations. We have established firmly that in the New Testament believers are referred to as ambassadors and diplomats representing the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus himself made many statements reflecting this philosophy. He talked about not being of this world. He stated that his kingdom originated in heaven and his mission and assignment was to establish or extend this kingdom to earth. These are clearly ambassador functions. Any right thinking believer who examines the New Testament cannot escape the fact that we have been given the assignment to function as diplomats and ambassadors.
In further examining the functions of ambassadors and diplomats there are several job requirements and keys to effective function.
Ambassadors and diplomats function more effectively when they have proficiency in multiple languages, especially the language of the country they are assigned to. They understand proper attire for their position. They are trained in proper speech and communication ethics. They understand timeliness and promptness. They understand decorum and protocol (when to speak and when to be silent, order and diplomatic protocols).
The New Testament church outlines some parallels to ambassadorship and diplomatic positions as outlined in the book of Ephesians where the Bible states that God has established the following positions -- apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists.
Each of these positions represents a type of diplomat or ambassador. In the diplomatic corps there are envoys, attaches, charge d affairs, diplomatic officers and various other positions that form a parallel to what is outlined in the book of Ephesians. These positions of authority have a diplomatic parallel.
These positions are essentially diplomatic positions and positions within the embassy of the kingdom (church). The church is essentially an embassy and diplomatic outpost where diplomats assemble to receive instruction on how to effectively represent the Kingdom of God and ensure that its policies, programs and agenda are known and carried out. The church is therefore a gathering of diplomats to receive instruction on effective representation and guidance on how to carry out their mission.
Every ambassador and diplomat must be clear on three things to maintain their effectiveness -- identity, message and behavior.
If you do not understand your identity you will not function effectively. You must know who you are and whom you represent in order to be an effective ambassador.
Every ambassador is charged with disseminating the message of their government, and if they are not clear on what the message is they cannot function effectively because the wrong message can cause irreparable damage.
An ambassador's conduct and behavior is a reflection of their government so an ambassador must understand how to conduct themselves so as not to cause a misconception about their country.
These three things make a major difference in a successful or failed representation.
Jesus, when he was on earth, was the perfect ambassador and representative, and talked about the plan of the King. He noted that there was an original plan that was interrupted and that he came to restore the original, and enable men to be free from the curse of separation that resulted from this departure from the original plan. When he stated that the Kingdom of Heaven was to come to earth he was speaking of this original plan being reintroduced. The words, thy kingdom come clearly indicated a reintroduction of this kingdom to earth. In many of his conversations he used the words, in the beginning, meaning that this was the way it was originally. Over a process of time, man had become so far removed from the original intent and function that when Jesus spoke about these things it was strange and foreign, but Jesus indicated that this was the original and should not be strange. This is what ambassadors do -- they communicate the message of their kingdom so that persons in their country of assignment have a clear understanding of how the kingdom works thus enabling them to receive its benefits. The problem is that we have become so far removed from the original that we see the original as strange.
Jesus further explained, as the first ambassador to earth, that perfection is not expected of ambassadors, but responsibility is. We are to be responsible in carrying out our assignments. We must be responsible and must be proud of our country and heritage. We must have belief (raith) in our country and king and this causes others to recognize and benefit from what our country and government has to offer. Jesus said that we should seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else we need would be added unto us. He was asking us to have faith in a King and a system that was not of this world and as chief ambassador he constantly explained the benefits of this kingdom.

o Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to pastordaveburrows@hotmail.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.

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The selfie craze

August 24, 2017

We have certainly come a long way with modern technology. Who would have thought that we could hold a phone in our hands and take our own photos or a group photo and then send them instantly anywhere around the world on a social media platform; and you can attach a selfie stick to the phone and extend it away from yourself, to take photos from unusual positions and make it look as though someone is taking the photo.
Ann Steele, a marriage and family therapist, writes in an article entitled, "What Do #Selfies Say about The Psychology of You?" the following: "Finding fulfillment is one reason why the selfie has become such a focal point in people's lives. People take selfies of just about anything and everything they do in their lives and post pictures on social media sites where hundreds of people will see them. Only a couple of decades ago, people with that much exposure would have been considered celebrities. Many people believe that this generation is the one that was brought up on the idea that they are special, that they can achieve anything."
Wow! That's positive.
Writer Ryan Maher states that people take selfies because they want to be loved, accepted, and need connection. Just writing about this is exciting. However, there is a dark side to all of this.
As I observe the behavior of people, I notice there are some who very often are taking selfies, even when I think there is no need to. Why is this? Recently I came across a study out of Brigham Young University that revealed three different reasons people take lots of selfies. The reasons are to communicate with their friends and family and engage with them; to record key events in their life and preserve memories; and to publicize themself for vain or narcissistic reasons, like having people see how amazing their life is. This last point is a serious one.
Several weeks ago I was in a local eatery waiting for an order. While I was waiting I noticed a young lady who walked in, placed her order, then took out her cell phone and began taking photos of herself right at the cashier's counter. At first I thought she was fixing her hair because she was constantly changing the style. Then I quickly noticed she had a phone in her hands and she began fixing and fixing and turning and twisting her body for the best position. For about fifteen minutes she continued that parade of self-admiration. Then, since her order was not ready yet, she turned around and walked outside. Within five minutes she returned and stood in front of the cashier and continued to admire herself and taking a barrage of selfies. Why was she doing this?
Mental health and selfies
Stephen Matthews in his online article of October 2016 states: "Research is now telling us that those who constantly take pictures of themselves are more likely to be lonely. It could also be a sign of trouble in their relationships or mental health problems, experts found. Constant self-snappers are also more likely to be vain and attention-seeking too, a study revealed."
Simply put, it is a demonstration of narcissistic behavior. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM5) states that the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder are requiring excessive admiration, having a grandiose sense of self-importance and a sense of entitlement; other criteria include lack of empathy, often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her, and show arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Let me caution you -- not everyone who takes a selfie is narcissistic. It is the excessive, seemingly-cant'-stop-taking craze that is of concern here.
Is there something wrong with loving yourself? Certainly not. Personal love is an important criterion for a healthy self-image. However, the extreme self-love that is demonstrated by the constant taking of selfies is what's negative. These people might be crying out for help and deeply wounded emotionally.
Get permission
Another selfie craze is the inclusion of unsuspected persons in the photo. Someone would see an old friend or would have made acquaintance with a new friend and would want to take a selfie. I encourage persons not to include other persons in your selfie without their permission. Sometimes the one included in the photo is not aware that the one who is taking the selfie is connected to the Internet and the photo can be circling the globe within a few seconds. You have the right to say no, thank you. It is frightening though how fast this can happen. A person can just run up to someone and snap a selfie within a few seconds and disappear. Your photo is then published all over the Internet. Please selfie takers, do not do that. Always seek permission. If you do get permission, make sure to explain how the photo will be used. The person might not have a problem taking the selfie but may not want it placed on certain social media platforms. Be courteous.
If you are constantly taking photos of yourself or having difficulty not to capture a moment in time, you may need professional help. You may be wounded emotionally. Call for help today to your nearest psychologist.
The positive side of selfies
Many families, not able to afford a professional photographer, are able to capture special moments in their lives that were not possible decades ago. Because the phone is so accessible, a quick move of the hands can capture a moment that will bring joy and satisfaction to many in the future. It can log a memory that was once impossible to do. I've seen so many wonderful family selfies that only could have happened because someone had a phone and thought quickly to take a photo. Remember, be a healthy selfie taker.

o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.

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Sow seeds of kindness

August 24, 2017

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
How about with our scripture text today we sermonize it as two for the price of one, or buy one and get one free, and have the choir sing just before the message. Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life! Yes, the Bible has the cure for all our social, mental, financial, educational, political and spiritual dilemmas.
Growing up, it was customary in my youth for the village to raise the child. Grandparents, especially grandma, was always present and was the force to be reckoned with. Check out many who are successful in life today and they will sing the praises of grandma like a canary. Yes she taught you how to pray, to read -- especially the Bible, to cook, wash and iron and daily gave the adage that manners will take you through the world. At that time it was the extended family living together under one roof, for the good of all, and grandfather was the king on the throne.
Today, a couple lives in a mansion with their pets and if children are present a foreign entity controls the roost. Family life is under terrible assault and as a result the nation is haywire.
The Beacon is a free newspaper with more than 200,000 persons for people over 50 living throughout Greater Washington, D.C. I secured a copy while visiting Washington recently and what a treasure trove of information. The front page headlined "Startups focus on better aging," and it is more than manicures and pedicures, hair styling, arched eyebrows and the likes, but how to be better and more useful to the youth and others who fall in the category of being marginalized.
"Creating an intergenerational household" by Eleanor Laise caught my attention and after reading it, I saw how other nationals come into our country and strive with their children. Watch and see come September how many will fill the classrooms. And it is all because of the intergenerational household. Here is what Laise wrote: Barbara William's home is a lively one. Much of the year, there are four generations under one roof. Williams, age 65, shares her five-bedroom home in Silver Springs, Md. with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and three young grandsons. And her 91-year-old mother regularly visits for several months at a stretch.
While the multigenerational living arrangement may be messy at times, "we had so many reasons to do it," said Williams, a retired editor of scientific journals.
It not only saves money, she said, but lets her watch her grandkids grow up, allows her to split household chores with her daughter, and reduces the stress of long-distance caregiving for her mother. "Even though there's more work to do," she said, "doing it together makes everything easier."
Williams and her family are among the growing number of Americans forming multigenerational households -- those that include two or more adult generations, or grandparents and grandchildren.
Although many people initially turned to multigenerational living to save money during the Great Recession, the arrangements have become even more popular as baby boomers and their parents age.
A record 60.6 million people, or 19 percent of the U.S. population, lived in such households in 2014 up from 51.5 million in 2009, according to recent Pew Research Center analysis.
Multigenerational living, of course, is nothing new. In 1950, 21 percent of the population lived in multigenerational households, according to Pew Research, but the figure plummeted to a low of 12 percent in 1980.
In the past 50 years or so, Americans "adopted this crazy idea of a nuclear family", Graham said. But the interdependence of the extended family he argues is "the natural way people have always lived."
There are benefits and challenges -- you put more people under one roof, and that's going to save a lot of money really quickly, Graham says, but the biggest advantage is the interpersonal and social benefit of having family members close by and helping one another out."
The arrangements can relieve the isolation often suffered by seniors living alone, offer the reassurance of having caregivers close at hand, give grandparents an opportunity to pass down family traditions to their grandchildren, and give parents a helping hand in caring for young children. Meanwhile, you're modeling what the next generation will do with their grandchildren and how they'll treat you when you're older.
But even the happiest of multigenerational homes face challenges. Every family member needs to maintain his or her privacy and respect boundaries. Housework and expenses need to be divided in a way that feels fair to everyone. Ownership of the house itself must be structured in a way that doesn't sabotage a senior's estate plan.
Perhaps you already have a home ideally suited for multigenerational living. If not, you'll need to weigh the costs and benefits of renovating your house, building a 'granny flat' in the back yard, buying an existing home, or designing and building a multigenerational dream house.
The only way that our text today can become relevant is for us to go back to the way it was, when families/tribes lived as one and as Paul said shared what they had in common with each other. It is not hard to find single, (for whatever reason), mothers in distress and homeless with children in tow and parents turning their backs and not allowing them to come back home and live as one.
A lot of the crime that is happening today is as a result of the division of the family -- children don't know grandparents -- brothers and sisters making it to the next level and giving no thought of others who are struggling in the valley of lack and want.
Older men and women, there is much work to be done on behalf of your generation. Why store up money and assets while your children and grandchildren suffer. Perhaps this was what my late father was saying when he shared with me that there are 10 of us and if we all pool our earnings, there will never be any lack among us. This is time for sowing seeds of kindness and love because all that you have will be left behind and what a pity if it gets in the wrong hands and your legacy is blown as dust to the wind.

o Email 241haystreet@gmail.com, rubyanndarling@yahoo.com, or Facebook Ruby Ann Darling with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's blessings!

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Equality, freedom of religion, same-sex marriage

August 24, 2017

There is a fundamental principle of democracy and the rule of law which many religious fundamentalists cherish for themselves but wish to deny others, namely equality.
Equality is at the very heart of democracy, a sine qua non of a vibrant and developed democracy. All citizens, black, white and brown; rich, middle class or poor; straight or LGBTQ, are equal before the law.
Equality under the law allows for freedom of expression and freedom of religion. It allows fundamentalists like Pastor Cedric Moss to express his antiquated and antediluvian views on same-sex marriage and a host of other issues.
Is this a right and freedom which others should be denied in a democratic state? Of course not. Why then would Moss deny marriage equality, another freedom and right?
Freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom to marry and other freedoms are inextricably bound in a democratic society, all of which should be protected based on the rule of law not adjudicated on scriptural grounds.
In a democratic state no religion or denomination is granted priority over another. The state should not favor nor discriminate against a denomination or religion, as is the case in authoritarian or theocratic states like Saudi Arabia or Iran.
The Bahamas is historically and sociologically a Christian country. But we are constitutionally not a Christian state. The rule of law is not based on the Christian Scriptures. The judiciary employs the constitution and the law in its rulings, not the Bible.
That fundamentalists like Moss, a champion of inequality, believes that his scriptural tradition should trump the rule of law is undemocratic and disturbing.
In his benighted mindset perhaps the judiciary should utilize or prioritize the Bible in deciding divorce cases, cases of misfeasance, traffic cases, property disputes, child custody and other matters of law.
One wonders the number of pastors or fundamentalists in The Bahamas who theologically disagree with divorce but have used the law of the land to obtain a divorce?

Discriminate
In democratic India, where the majority of citizens are Hindu, there is constitutionally freedom of religion. Still, there are many in the Hindu majority who wish to discriminate against and deny equality to Muslim, Christian and other religious minorities, though these Hindus enjoy the very religious freedom they would deny others.
This is not simply hypocrisy. It is religious triumphalism, which is an anathema to a healthy democracy.
In Hinduism the cow is considered sacred. This is not the case for Muslims. There are vigilantes in India who have assaulted or killed Muslims who have eaten beef, insisting that they have been compelled to attack a minority because of the former's religious belief.
How far are some fundamentalists prepared to go to protect their sacred cows?
In India this past Tuesday, the nation's highest court "struck down a legal provision that allowed Muslim men to instantly divorce their wives".
The New York Times reported: "In India, Muslim men have been able to end their marriages by saying the word 'talaq' - Arabic for divorce - three times. They could do this in person, by letter or even over the phone. By contrast, a Muslim woman in India seeking a divorce must generally gain the permission of her husband, a cleric or other Islamic authorities.
"The method of divorce was available only to men, who in many cases ousted their wives from their homes without alimony or other financial support... A Supreme Court panel declared the provision that had allowed for Muslims' instant divorce unlawful."
The Times story continued: "The Muslim women plaintiffs had argued that the provision violated their fundamental right to equality under the constitution. Ishrat Jahan, a plaintiff in the Indian case, said she had been crushed when her husband divorced her over the phone from Dubai..."
Jahan went on to say: "Then he remarried in the village and snatched my children from me."
Does Moss believe that the Indian high court acted properly, deciding the case on the basis of equality under India's constitution and the rule of law? Or should the case have been decided based on a certain religious tradition?

Reconstructing
During her 2016 address entitled, "Law in a Changing Society: Reconstructing Marriage", delivered as the 8th Annual Eugene Dupuch Distinguished Lecture for the Eugene Dupuch Law School, Dame Anita Allen noted: "The juristic nature of marriage in The Bahamas may not simply turn on whether there is a definition of marriage in the Marriage Act, or whether the English Common Law definition of marriage was received as a part of our law, but that it may ultimately turn on whether marriage is a constitutional right guaranteed to all."
The president of the Court of Appeal added: "Logically, any debate on the issue should sensibly and pragmatically center on one principle and one only: equality of treatment under the law."
She stated: "This issue of the recognition of non-traditional marriage I know, may be blasphemous to some and uncomfortable for others, but given our changed society as noted, our belief in the freedom of the individual and equal protection under the law, can we in good conscience continue the ambivalent stance of accepting these principles as pertaining to some on the one hand, and on the other, opposing their application to others?"
Moss would prefer to replace the courts and our laws with his fundamentalist reading of the Bible. What extraordinary triumphalism and arrogance.
Writing in National Review in this journal, Brent Dean noted: "Gay unions should be recognized in civil law. Consenting gay adults should have the same rights as consenting heterosexual adults to live together in legal union. We are a secular state with a secular constitution.
"There is no reasonable justification to treat homosexuals differently... There is no need to discriminate against homosexuals in law."
Gays and lesbians are fellow-citizens, who deserve no less protection or less equality in our democracy.
Last year, after photos went viral of a Bahamian who entered into a same-sex union with his partner in the United States, where such marriages are legal, there was vitriol from some of the usual chorus of suspects.

Belligerence
That a purposeful and intentional union grounded in love and mutual respect, which seeks to formalize the virtues of marriage, was the object of vitriol vomited by some, was another round of hate-filled belligerence by many with crashed marriages in a highly polygamous Bahamas.
Why do some who proclaim their love of God spend so much time attacking their gay brothers and sisters? They'll know we are Christians by our judgmentalism, our hatred, our prejudice. There must be a smug and warm self-satisfaction by this brand of Christian.
Some years ago a prominent Bahamian religious leader declared that he would blow up Parliament, Guy Fawkes-style, if same-sex marriage was approved.
Tellingly, his incitement to violence was not publicly rebuked by most religious leaders, including those hell-bent on casting gays and lesbians as profoundly other and not embracing them as fellow citizens.
Attacking gays and lesbians with vitriol is okay, while proposed violence by a senior religionist gets a pass from fellow-clerics.
Thankfully, increasing numbers of those in the LGBT community and their families are no longer cowed by the bile of intolerance of certain pastors. They are expressing and voicing their love in committed relationships.
It is extraordinary the degree to which many pastors only or mostly fixate on the sexual aspect of the love between gays and lesbians. Indeed it is amazing the degree to which certain pastors become so excitable about same-sex relationships.
Like heterosexuals, gays and lesbians in loving relationships have many dimensions to their human love. That they now seek the right to marry and to invest their love in such a committed relationship is good for them and for society.
In the end such love and equality under the law will prevail and we shall see marriage equality in The Bahamas. After the battle for equality is won, The Bahamas will be just fine and equality will have prevailed.
It is curious that some pastors comment more ferociously and excitedly on matters dealing with gays and lesbians than they do on issues such as poverty, the environment, social justice, education and other matters of human and social development.
Why are so many more exercised by whom they loath and sometimes hate rather than animated and enlivened by the Gospels and example of Jesus, overflowing with love and care for one's neighbor and the least among us?
The frenzied denial of a basic right to gays and lesbians by the champions of inequality is undemocratic and unloving. This denial will be defeated and supplanted by the rule of law, the evolution of human rights and a greater ethic of equality and love.

o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

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Everything takes time

August 23, 2017

Believe me, I personally know full well how very, very frustrating it can indeed be when, having set a particular goal or series of goals, one comes to a temporary stop as you have to wait for someone else to take some action which will finally bring the project to fruition, to a successful conclusion. But My Friend, as the title of this particular article puts it 'Everything Takes Time' and so often a whole lot a time indeed. Yes, my friend, on the road to success, believe me you need a whole lot of patience because things don't always work out just as we'd like them to, on our schedule.
There's a well-known saying which sums up the concept being put forth today real well and it goes like this "Rome wasn't built in a day." ....No it was not! Nor was it built in two or three or even 50 days. So the simple lessons to be learnt here today are as follows.
When one initially sets a series of goals and objectives for any facet of one's life, you have to A. have a whole lot of patience and B. you need to vow to be in it for the long haul. Believe me, along the way as we all strive tirelessly to reach the proverbial 'Success City' we will indeed experience problems and delays which will be very frustrating. However, that's life as there is no easy way to become successful. As Mark Cuban on the program 'Shark Tank' on ABC-TV repeatedly says "You have to learn to crawl before you fall"....yes indeed you do.
As I have stated repeatedly in these articles over the years, 'Life Ain't Easy' and believe me, if someone, some dishonest person offers you an easy way to make it in life; I respectfully suggest, that you run a mile as what is being offered as a so called 'Short Cut' will lead you all the way downhill where you will ultimately end up in 'The Pen', the Penitentiary doing time. Yes My Friend, 'Everything Takes Time'.

Think about it!

Visit my Website at: www.dpaulreilly.com
Listen to 'Time to Think' the radio program on Star 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. and 6:20 p.m.

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Adding to the character of our nation

August 23, 2017

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it. The tree is the real thing," said Abraham Lincoln. What is the "real thing" of our national character? Let's define character as the values we, that is, a critical mass of us, display consistently over time. For abundant clarity, "critical mass" means a large enough segment of the population to represent the whole. So what are the values that enough of us display to define our national character?
Bahamians remain hospitable, helpful, and peaceful. We are religious, reactionary and political. We are moderately industrious, we are talented and we are often timid. We are given to short-termism, impulsiveness and passivity. As a general assessment, Bahamians are a good-natured people who demonstrate civility and sufficient effort to make it to the next day. Our character has gotten us to the place we are today, a middle-income country that somewhat shines in the developing world but clearly manifests limited exceptionalism.
Many of the values we now display should be kept as features of our character. Hospitality, helpfulness, religious fervour, talent, industry and the like are great values to have. We do, however, need to add to these character traits a number of others. There are three that I believe would be immensely helpful.
The first value to add is authenticity. We Bahamians spend far too much time trying to please other people. From our earliest years, we begin training in the art of keeping up appearances for others. Children pretend with parents to like doing this or that, knowing full well that they hate it. Then we go on to please our teachers, who tell us that we would be a good this or that, knowing we have an interest in being something entirely different. Then we move on to pretending with our pastors and priests that we are this or that, knowing full well that we are anything but that. We take this pretentious self into our relationships with friends, pretending to be more of this or less than they think, so as to appear to be acceptable in their social circles. If that isn't enough, we get married, or don't, and fake our way through relationships with spouses or significant others, unwilling to express genuine pleasures or pain. We pass this pretentiousness on to our children, only to have them repeat the process. Of course, our politics is replete with falsity, as we pretend to find acceptable the nonsense of leaders or followers.
Dr. Lordes Viado, a specialist in depth psychotherapy, says that there are three benefits to authenticity: (i) healthy self-esteem and self-worth that enables you to pursue a life more aligned with your true self; (ii) better coping skills because you deal with yourself and life as they are; and (iii) purposefulness because you choose pursuits that align with your true self and not what others want. Falseness leads us to be dishonest with ourselves and others. We hide too much, from ourselves and others, never truly dealing with issues and, therefore, never really being able to seize opportunities. If we Bahamians add authenticity to our character, we will be able to make progress on many of the personal and community issues plaguing us, from incest to ignorance to impropriety to poverty. I am convinced of it.
The second value to add is openness. We Bahamians adopt views that are more often than not, uninformed, and will only let them go when they are pried away from us with the sledgehammer of a really bad experience. We form views about people we have never met, or have only heard of from others, and treat those views as infallible. We hold views of the world based on nothing but a Facebook post, WhatsApp note or whisper in some hallway, and then act those views out as unequivocal truth. This leads to bad thinking, bad acting and bad results. This notwithstanding, we seldom make a change from it.
If we open ourselves to the possibility that we don't know, or don't know enough or are just plain wrong about some things, then we make possible the opportunity to be informed, become more enlightenment and find correction. Imagine what would happen if this happened; imagine how much better off we would be. Openness does not ask us to pretend we are not right about some things; it simply asks us to acknowledge that we might be wrong about others. This might make us kinder to others; more accepting of ourselves; and more intrigued about our world and the universe in which it exists. It will certainly help us be more trainable, more cooperative and more productive in life and in the workplace.
The third value to add is studiousness. The only thing that matches our willingness to share something we think is juicy, no matter confirmed or not, is expressing our opinions about things that we have not studied or have not studied enough. If we study more, gather facts, figures and evidence to support our thoughts, our confidence to speak up and speak out will be complemented by our competence to do so. This will lead to better dialogue, debates and discourse. We should not hold back from expressing ourselves. That zeal, however, if combined with knowledge will produce greater value to our society. Our communication in all spheres of endeavor could benefit from greater studiousness. From our political leaders to our parental guidance, if we are more informed, we will get better results.
Ours is a blessed nation. We have many virtues that have made us a striving people. Yet, we have additional positive traits that can be added to our national character to cause us to flourish even more. Authenticity, openness and studiousness are three that I believe offer huge benefits going forward. How do we add these to our national character? We do so by making sure they exist in our individual characters and seeking to promote them in the characters of those within our spheres of influence. Will this happen? Who knows, but I am a dreamer, and as the late great Teddy Pendergrass sang, dreamers just "keep reaching out for passion, no matter what the pain". With God's help, this dream can be a reality. Shall we try?

o Zhivargo Laing is a Bahamian economic consultant and former Cabinet minister who represented the Marco City constituency in the House of Assembly.

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The 25th anniversary of the FNMs first victory

August 22, 2017

o The following is the speech delivered by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis on August 20 at a church service at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first Free National Movement's general election victory on August 19, 1992.

We meet in thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God for his abundant blessings as we celebrate the silver jubilee of our first election to office in 1992.
We are thankful for life itself. We are thankful for the beauty and bounty of our Bahamaland.
We are thankful for the legacy of the Free National Movement; for our founders and the freedom fighters whose founding mission is now our solemn responsibility.
May the words of Psalm 107: 8-9 be our prayer: "Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."
Dear brothers and sisters:
Prior to 1992 our country was in great peril. The economy had collapsed. Our public finances were in ruin because of gross mismanagement and corruption. The Public Treasury was strapped.
A corrupt and victimizing regime used the power of the state to destroy those they could not control and those who dared oppose the dangerous drift toward one-party rule.
A culture of fear and intimidation stalked the land. Many Bahamians were afraid of expressing their opinions or speaking out, because they feared losing their livelihood.
Some who dared speak out had family members who were not Bahamians deported. Such cruel victimization destroyed marriages and families.
Some who refused to pledge their allegiance to a corrupt regime were targeted for revenge.
It even went so far that calls were sometimes made to private banks urging them to refuse mortgages for certain individuals who did not support the cult of personality that was destroying our democracy.
Freedom was under threat by an administration which acted like a dictatorship in controlling the broadcast media.
The Bahamas was "A Nation For Sale". We had become a narco-state. Foreign drug dealers set up bases in our islands. The government of the day turned a blind eye to the merchants of drugs and death.
Our social order, and the minds and bodies of our sons and daughters, were being poisoned by illicit drugs and the wanton disregard for human life and life-affirming values.
Corruption was like a cancer which had spread to every sector of government, and indeed throughout our culture.
Favoritism was the order of the day, with select families and cronies enriching themselves as if God had made this country only for them. In fact, a member of the regime actually said that God gave the country to them.
Amidst the fear, the mass corruption, the assault on democracy; amidst the brutal victimization, the destruction of values and the cult of personality arose men and women of courage, who dedicated their lives to save the land and the people they loved.
A courageous, patriotic Dissident Eight led the way: Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Sir Arthur Foulkes, Warren Levarity, Maurice Moore, George Thompson, Dr. Curtis McMillan, Jimmy Shephard and Dr. Elwood Donaldson. Happily, three of our founders are still with us.
Our founders purposefully chose the word "free" in the establishment of a new movement for freedom and social justice.
For two trying decades the Free National Movement persevered in the long struggle to save our country and to secure our future.
The FNM offered the country a vigorous opposition and an alternative government.
The freedom fighters of the FNM, including many of you, sacrificed much to save our land. The sacrifices were not for the sake of power, but for the sake of doing what was right even at great risk.
Their courage is our legacy. Their legacy is our duty and guiding star.
In 1987, under the noble Sir Kendal Isaacs, we thought the victory to save our democracy had been achieved. But the victory for the people was snatched away in one of the most corrupt elections in our modern history.
In 1992, under the courageous leadership of Hubert Ingraham, the Bahamian people rose up to take back their country and to restore democracy. I salute my predecessor for his service to our country and to our party.
The new birth of freedom in 1992 was a defining moment in our history. It was a validation of the two-party system in a more secure parliamentary democracy.
In 1992, it was the FNM which brought to greater completion the values of a movement, which had long been aborted and abandoned by a regime that greedily hung on to power for a quarter century.
The Free National Movement saved our country and saved our democracy. After 1992 our democracy became more complete, more entrenched, more vibrant.
Beginning in 1992, we embarked on an era of reform that modernized The Bahamas. The opening of Parliament in Parliament Square signalled a new day.
The FNM governed in the sunshine, with transparency, accountability and good governance as guiding principles.
We restored the economy, including our tourism sector. We restored our good name in the world. We reformed government. We brought basic infrastructure, public services and hope to neglected Family Islands and communities.
We championed equality and women's rights. We instituted the most socially progressive agenda in a generation, including in our third term in office, unemployment benefits and a prescription drug benefit.
We ended the culture of victimization and cleaned up the political process. We instituted the most ambitious measures in our history to preserve and protect the environment.
We removed the state monopoly of the broadcast media, which freed Bahamians to speak their minds, unafraid of retaliation by the state. This was another defining moment in deepening our democracy.
We introduced elected local government in the Family Islands. We made public finances more transparent.
Deliverance has always been a rallying cry of the FNM. It remains a central theme today.
The parallels between 1992 and 2017 are extraordinary.
Once again, the Free National Movement has the awesome responsibility to rescue an economy that was on the brink of collapse. We must once again restore the good name, international reputation and public finances of The Bahamas.
Once again, our task is to clean up the massive and pervasive corruption that was bankrupting our democracy and devastating the Public Treasury.
Once again, we must be the beacon of hope, economic opportunity, social progress and social justice.
But for all the parallels to 1992, we are in a new age in terms of technological innovation and prospects for human development as we approach the third decade of this century. And we are in a new era in Bahamian politics in which old habits and fashions must give way to new attitudes and a new political order and culture.
We are now embarked on a new era of political, economic and social transformation. We are embarked on a new era of good governance and public sector reform. We are embarked on a new era of transparency and accountability.
In my victory statement on May 10, I said: "As we go about the business of governing, we ask for God's help: that He protect us from the sins of arrogance and greed; that He keep us ever mindful that this new day is not about us, but about the people we have the honor to serve."
As we do the people's business, we must ever remember to act with humility. Any arrogance shown to the people, including public officers, is unacceptable and goes against the spirit of our victory.
We must remain humble in victory and in the many days ahead. I especially remind my Cabinet and parliamentary colleagues to address others graciously and in the proper tone.
We must be men and women for others. We are not masters of the country as some others might believe. We are servants of the aspirations and well-being of the Bahamian people.
The election is over but it is still "the People's Time". We are stewards of the people's business. We have not been elected to dominate. We have been elected to lead and to represent in a spirit of humility.
May I close by inviting us all to make the meditation of our hearts this well-known prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

"O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

"For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

God Bless you all. And may God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

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Head injury and hearing loss

August 22, 2017

Although hearing loss is one of the most common chronic illnesses to affect adults, particularly as we age, it is a condition that most people do not seek immediate medical treatment for until it impacts conversational speech and their ability to communicate with family and friends, or creates problems for the individual struggling to hear in their work environment. Studies show that the average person who has a hearing loss, waits at least seven years before seeking any kind of help or treatment for their hearing problems.
A hearing loss can occur gradually or suddenly and may impact one or both ears. Additionally, hearing loss can affect some or all frequencies in the conversational speech range depending upon its configuration. This leads many people to believe their hearing is just fine when, in reality, others are constantly commenting on the inability of the person to hear clearly.
There are many reasons why a person may be experiencing hearing loss. One such reason is trauma or injury to the head. When a person has trauma or injury to the head, it often results in significant difficulties with hearing which, at first, may go undetected. However, the result of such injuries normally causes decreased hearing, particularly in the high-frequency range, with the hearing loss getting worse as the person ages.

Where damage occurs
One or all parts of the auditory system can be damaged from head trauma/injury. The outer, middle and inner ear can all be directly impacted by any head trauma received. Hearing problems caused by head trauma can occur for several reasons, including injury to the pinna or outer ear, a rupturing of the ear drum, mechanical damage caused by a dislocation of the tiny ossicular chain of the middle ear, as well as damage to the inner ear hair cells in the cochlea. All of which results in decreased hearing. Finally, head trauma/injury can also cause damage to the vestibular system of the inner ear, which could result in difficulties maintaining one's balance.

How head trauma affects hearing
Head trauma that causes damage to the auditory system may affect one's ability to hear "soft" and "moderate" sounds like birds singing, water running, leaves rustling, and speech sounds like "f", "s", "th", "k", "t", and "p". It may also result in difficulty hearing and understanding people who speak softly or those whose voices are high-pitched, like women and children. If the damage occurs in the inner ear, this may not only affect the ability to hear, but also the ability to clearly process what is heard. For example, an individual may hear "ool", but may not be sure if the word said was "pool" or "tool" or "cool".

Signs of hearing loss following head trauma
Some of the signs and symptoms of hearing loss following brain trauma/injury include:
o Hyperacusis (when normal sounds seem very loud)
o Tinnitus (ringing noises in the ears or head)
o Hearing loss (sounds seem muffled, less clear, or ears feel full or plugged)
o Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise
o Auditory agnosia (inability to recognize the meanings of certain sounds)
o Difficulty following conversational speech when spoken quickly
o Difficulty following long conversations or multiple instructions.
Head trauma/injury can severely damage the auditory system and significantly decrease a person's ability to hear and understand conversational speech.

o For further information on any hearing-related disorder, please contact Dr. Deborah Nubirth, doctor of audiology, in New Providence at Comprehensive Family Medical Clinic, Poinciana Drive at 356-2276 or 677-6627 or 351-7902 in Grand Bahama; or email dnubirth@yahoo.com.

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Ankle fractures

August 22, 2017

A broken ankle is also known as an ankle "fracture." It is when one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are broken. They can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop you from walking, to several fractures, which forces your ankle out of place and not able to walk for months. The more bones that are broken, the more unstable the ankle becomes. There may be ligaments damaged as well. The ligaments of the ankle hold the ankle bones and joint together and in position.
Broken ankles affect people of all ages. During the last 30 to 40 years, doctors have noted an increase in the number and severity of broken ankles, due to obesity, sports, increased activity and an active, older population.

Anatomy
Three bones make up the ankle joint -- the tibia (shinbone), fibula (smaller bone of the lower leg) and talus (a small bone that sits between the heel bone and the tibia and fibula. Ankle fractures are named according to the area of bone that is broken.
There are two joints in the ankle area that can be involved in ankle fractures -- ankle joint between the tibia, fibula, and talus and Syndesmosis joint -- between the tibia and fibula, all are held together by ligaments. These ligaments help make the ankle joint stable and prevent injury.

Cause of ankle fractures
Ankle fractures are caused by extreme force going through the ankle, twisting, rotating or rolling your ankle; tripping or falling or a crash from a car accident or major fall can also break your ankle. It is also common if your foot falls in a hole and is twisted.

Symptoms
Because a severe ankle sprain can feel like a broken ankle, every ankle injury should be evaluated by your doctor. Common symptoms for a broken ankle include immediate and severe pain, swelling, bruising, tender to touch, unable to bear any weight on the injured foot and the joint is "out of place".

Diagnosis
At the doctor's office they will ask about your medical history, symptoms you are experiencing, and how the injury occurred, your doctor will also examine your ankle, foot, and lower leg. If your doctor thinks you have an ankle fracture, he or she will order more tests to find out more information about your injury.

Imaging
X-rays are the most common imaging technique used. X-rays can show if the bone is broken and whether they are out of place. They can also show how many pieces of broken bone there are. X-rays may be taken of the leg, ankle, and foot to make sure nothing else is injured. Other tests such as a stress test, computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be ordered.

Treatment
Treatment of an ankle fracture is based on the type and severity of the fracture, where the bone is broken, how many bones are involved and if the bones are out of place. It can be treated with or without surgery.

Non-surgical treatment
At first, the doctor will want you to follow the RICE protocol:
o Rest: Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause pain and more injury.
o Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 10 to 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes to an hour before icing again. Cold packs are effective for up to 48 hours.
o Compression: An elastic wrap or bandage can be used to control swelling and hold foot together and in place.
o Elevation: The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Additional treatment options include immobilization as certain fractures are treated by protecting and restricting the ankle and foot in a cast or splint which allows the bone to heal in the right position; and prescription medications to help relieve the pain. The surgeon may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or other pain medications.
Most simple fractures heal well with immobilization and non-weight-bearing, not walking on the ankle. You can expect most ankle fractures depending on how severe they are, to take four to eight weeks for the bones to heal completely and up to several months to regain full use and range of motion of the joint. More severe fractures, especially those requiring surgical repair, may take longer to heal. Fractures of any type increase your likelihood of developing arthritis in the affected joint. The more severe the fracture, the higher the risk is.

When surgery is needed
For some ankle fractures, surgery is needed to fix the bone and other soft tissues like the ligaments, if present. The surgeon will select the procedure that is best to fix the injury. Whenever there is surgery, there may be risk of infection, bleeding, pain and even blood clots in the leg. These are not common but can be unlikely once you follow your surgeon's instructions after treatment and surgery.
Although most people return to normal daily activities, except for sports, within three to four months, studies have shown that people can still be recovering up to two years after their ankle fractures. It may take several months for you to stop limping while you walk, and before you can return to sports at your old level. Most people return to driving within nine to 12 weeks from the time they were injured.

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Keep going

August 22, 2017

Now let me ask you a simple question, which hopefully I already know the likely answer to. Now here goes with the question -- do you wish to be successful in life, across the board? Now hopefully the answer from everyone to that simple, straightforward question is in the affirmative. Now if perchance it's in the negative for anyone there's no doubt about it, you need some immediate counseling because I don't honestly believe that it's mentally healthy not to want to strive to achieve success in all aspects of your life.
Now to those who do wish to succeed in life, obviously you need to first and foremost spend some quiet time setting up a series of goals (short, intermediate and long range) for all areas of your life. Next you need to draw up detailed plans of exactly how you will achieve each of these goals in a given timeframe. Then of course the hard work begins in earnest as you do what is necessary each and every day to bring your goals and objectives to fruition.
Sounds quite simple, doesn't it? Yes it does, but guess what? Along the road to success as you pursue your objectives you are going to encounter some problems, some minor and some major. Now unfortunately it's at this point that so many throw in the towel, so to speak, they abandon their quest to reach the top of the mountain and thus finally stand triumphant at the peak. How very sad this is to observe.
Yes, my friend, if you want to be consistently successful in all that you undertake, there's absolutely no doubt about it, when the going gets tough as it invariably does for all of us from time to time, as the title of today's article simply puts it you must keep going. Yes you must, if you finally wish to achieve your goals and be successful.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Putting your best foot forward, pt. 2

August 21, 2017

"The first thing you always do is seek out the best people that you can find for your organization.
If you find the best people, you can basically go anywhere you want to go because they will take you there." - Keith Kellogg

Last week, we suggested that, for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to once again be attractive to the Bahamian electorate, it would have to travel the road of reform which must be a decisive, considered and introspective journey. We noted that, at its next party convention, the PLP must make very important decisions about the party officers and soberly address some of the anomalies that have surreptitiously crept into the party's constitution. Finally, we emphasized the urgent need to modernize Gambier House, the party's organs and reenergize all constituency branches.
We were extremely gratified by the numerous favorable responses we received in support of last week's column. We were invited by several respondents to specifically address some of the characteristics that we should look for in the people who will offer for various party posts at the party's upcoming convention in October.
Therefore, this week we would like to Consider this... What are some of the characteristics that convention delegates should look for in those candidates who offer for national party office? Also, who are some of the individuals who would qualify to fill those offices to definitively demonstrate that the PLP is seriously prepared to put its best foot forward?

Correcting the record
On Tuesday past, one of the daily newspapers ran a headline, which stated that I suggested that the PLP should "ditch all losers". If the reporter from that daily had taken the time to read my column last week, he would have observed more correctly, in print, that I suggested that: "None of the former Cabinet ministers or Members of Parliament who served in the last administration and who lost their seats, because they were unequivocally rejected by the people, should offer for any office within the party if they wish for the party to put its best foot forward."
I repeated this suggestion on "Ed Fields Live" on Monday, August 14.
This author never suggested that anyone who lost his or her Parliamentary bid should be ditched. My suggestion was limited to Cabinet ministers and members of Parliament who lost. Nor did I suggest, as was erroneously enunciated on social media, that such persons should never again offer for national party office. The clear suggestion was that such persons should not offer at the upcoming convention, if they wished for the PLP to put its best foot forward. I unapologetically maintain that position. We suggested that persons who fall into this category should sit out this convention and possibly offer at some point in the future, but not now.
The reason is simple: if the party seriously accepts the will of the people, the PLP should chart a new course and clearly recognize that those who were rejected should not resurface now, because to do so would signal that the PLP has not heard the people and not learned its lesson from the last general election.

Will history be repeated?
There is an adage that suggests 'those who do not learn from their history are doomed to repeat it'. One of the respondents to last week's column, an iconic PLP supporter, perfectly noted: "The rejection of the PLP this time around was so numerically overwhelming, so unequivocal and so completely unprecedented in the 60-year electoral history of the party, that I have to believe that no matter how bad things get for the FNM, there is no way the Bahamian electorate is going to accept anything other than a new, reconstructed PLP. Without that, 2022 will, I believe, be another 1997. Remember, we won in 2002 with a 'new PLP', including a new leader representing a post-Pindling generation. Perry was in his early 50s then. By contrast, we lost big time in 1997, because it was 'same old, same old' with Pindling still at the helm. The electorate was saying there was no way they were going back to that."
I could not have said it more lucidly or more articulately. The party must therefore determine whether it wishes to remain in opposition for at least 10 years by failing to make the necessary personnel adjustments by presenting the same people with the same old faces and personalities whom the people rejected on May 10.

Selecting a new leader
We believe that the party leader should be an individual who is a member of the House of Assembly, and that Mr. Philip Brave Davis is currently the best choice for that office. Mr. Davis has the political experience and embodies an all-encompassing appreciation for the party's history and its core values; he knows what is required to reform the PLP.
Mr. Davis' election as party leader in October will not necessarily suggest that he will be the person who will lead the PLP into the next general election; however, we believe that he is a stabilizing force and a unifying agent for the PLP, and is best suited to begin the process of reformation within the party.
In addition, by announcing the party convention in October this year, Mr. Davis has already clearly demonstrated that he will not fall into the trap of ignoring the party's constitution by failing to convene annual conventions. We should never forget that, before January this year, the PLP, under the leadership of Perry Christie, completely defied the party's constitution by not holding an annual convention since 2009. That is a travesty that must never be repeated.
We earnestly believe that Mr. Davis will not demonstrate the level of insecurity by stacking the decks in his favor by appointing a plethora of stalwart councilors that his predecessor did.

Selecting a new deputy leader
We believe that the person best qualified and suited to be elected as the deputy leader of the party is Mr. Chester Cooper, the member of Parliament for Exuma. Although he is a newcomer to elective politics, Mr. Cooper represents a younger generation of Bahamians and has already demonstrated a level of maturity that will augur well for the party.
We believe that Mr. Cooper will prove to be an effective deputy who will understudy Mr. Davis and who, in the future, might contest for higher office within the party.

Selecting a new chairman
As we observed in an earlier column, the selection of the next chairman is one of the party's most important decisions. The successful candidate must signal to the Bahamian people that the party has learned its lesson and heard the voice of the people. It is important to select someone who will be able to effectively coordinate the reform of the PLP and the re-engineering and renovation of the party's constituency branches. Additionally, we cannot underestimate the primacy of political optics in projecting and profiling a new chairman who is not tainted by Christie's failed leadership.
We believe that, if he is prepared to serve, Mr. Alfred Sears, a former member of Parliament, attorney general and minister of education, would be an excellent choice. Although Mr. Sears previously offered for party leader against Mr. Christie in January this year, as we said before, we believe that the party leader should be in the House of Assembly.
Because challenging times require thoughtful consideration of innovative and out-of-the box options, and given the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the PLP, we suggest that the party might consider amending its constitution to allow for co-chairmen of the party, at least for the next few years. There is precedent for this: Perry Christie and Bernard Nottage previously served as co-deputy leaders of the party during the leadership of Sir Lynden.
Conceptually, one of the co-chairs could be responsible for reorganizing Gambier House and the constituency branches in New Providence and the other co-chairman could focus on Grand Bahama and the Family Islands. Co-chairs would also be the party's spokesmen for their respective areas of responsibilities.
The arrangement of co-chairmen would also enable the party to fast-track its reformation and rebuilding efforts.

Conclusion
We are extremely optimistic for the positive prospects for a renewed, reenergized, re-engineered and reinvigorated PLP. This is no time for politics as usual.
If it is to succeed in the near-term, the PLP must widen its tent to encourage innovative ideas to flourish in what has become a stagnant, entitlement-ridden organization, where self-interest and personal political agendas have been allowed to metastasize, much to its detriment.
Now is the time to put the nation and the party above individual interests and personal agendas, to demonstrate that the PLP is ready and able to change and to firmly take the necessary steps to prove to the Bahamian people that the PLP is prepared to do all that it can to put its best foot forward.

o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis and Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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Privacy is important

August 21, 2017

Now believe me, I'm not a hermit, a person who wants to go and live in a cave somewhere in the Himalayas or in some distant land. No I do like company, provided it's the right kind of company consisting of like-minded people, people on the same mental wavelength so to speak with whom I can interact. However, there are times in all of our lives when we like to be alone, when we like our privacy. As some people often put it, I like time just for me, to be alone with my own thoughts, or to just as we put it, chill out. Yes indeed, as today's title simply and succinctly puts it, privacy Is important.
There have been times in my life when I've lived in a situation where I had little or no privacy at all, and believe me, this was a very stressful situation. Yes indeed, a person needs to have his or her own little space as we so often refer to it, to be alone to reflect on life and perhaps find suitable solutions to our problems.
Then of course for those who are in business for themselves they indeed need a certain degree of privacy in order to be able to think ahead and thus plan all of the activities of the business and solve its many problems, which come with the day-to-day activities of any well-run successful organization. Yes indeed there's no doubt about it as today's title puts it privacy is important. Why even in planning one's individual life and being successful across the board, one needs one's privacy to be able to set goals for the future.
Now anyone who is a regular reader of these articles will be aware of the fact that I place great emphasis on the spiritual aspect of life. So once again privacy is important so that one can meditate daily in the silence and thus communicate with our "source" -- the source of all of the greatest ideas in the universe. So be sure to have your privacy.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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The power of prevention

August 18, 2017

You know, a whole lot of unpleasant and indeed completely unnecessary things take place in a whole lot of people's lives, which could have quite easily been avoided if just a few precautionary measures had been put in place. One of the number one problems which people face today, it appears to me, is a lack of education which in turn leads to all sorts of other problems in later life.
Now in most countries education is mandatory for all children and is provided by the state for those who cannot afford to go to the private schools. Now some people take advantage of an education being provided and they take their study time seriously as they realize that a good education will take them a long way in life, still others just squander their time away and they do not learn too much. If only they'd taken advantage of what the state had provided for them in the form of an education, they'd have the foundation for a successful future in place. Yes indeed, getting a good education is one of the preventative measures one can take to ensure a great future.
The next preventative measure which people need to ensure their success in future life is to develop from early in life PMA (positive mental attitude) so that no matter what problems are encountered along the way, that young person never loses sight of the end game, exactly where they want to go in life as they put in place another set of preventative measures namely they set goals for all areas of their life as to where they want to be in the future.
Yes my friend, in today's world, there's no reason to be a failure provided you fully understand as the title of this article puts it, the power of prevention, or what exactly you need to do to ensure that you don't fail in life by getting a good education, developing PMA, a positive mental attitude, from an early age and setting some specific goals and objectives which will lead direct to success city.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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America, Donald Trump and white supremacy

August 17, 2017

"I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."
- Donald Trump

The outrage at Donald Trump's outrageous and flailing response to the violence and hatred of white supremacists at a demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been powerful and sustained.
But much of the response is curious, especially from those who have long known of Trump's vile racism and xenophobia, but who continued to embrace or too easily tolerated him in ascent to the presidency.
Because Trump championed their ideology and policies, many Republican leaders and voters gave him a pass, and wished he had been more politic and nuanced in his racism.
There is nothing new here in American politics, in a nation which suppresses the history of genocide and slavery perpetuated by white supremacist ideologies. Trump is simply the more rhetorically blatant manifestation of white supremacy and populism.
When Trump watched events in Charlottesville he saw something different than many others and responded from his gut. His views were so clear in his mind that he was unable to sustain the public relations and political advice of his minders.
Trump could not see the distinction between violent racists and those who came out to protest against hatred and intolerance. This is the blinkered mindset of a supremacist.
Trump saw in the nationalists marching with torches in Charlottesville those who helped him to become president. He was psychologically and emotionally incapable of issuing a blanket condemnation of those marching in support of white supremacy.
That many white nationalists and Klansmen have praised Trump's statements in the aftermath of Charlottesville demonstrates their belief that Trump is sympathetic to their cause.

Incapable
White privilege and supremacy react violently when challenged, especially when challenged by black people. One of the supremacists allegedly used his vehicle as a murder weapon against a counter-demonstrator. Yet Trump remains incapable of moral clarity.
Another president could have visited Charlottesville, condemned the violence, and offer healing and moral leadership. Barack Obama would have risen to the occasion. Sadly, Trump inflamed an already incendiary environment.
Donald Trump is not an aberration in the history of the politics of racism. The blanket coverage of him makes for good television. But the bigger story is the entrenched racism and white supremacy which allowed him to become president as a Republican in the second decade of the 21st century. Diabolical racism is very much alive in America.
Even now, many of those who have criticized Trump's false equivalencies and excuses for white nationalists are unable to name Trump. Many Republicans in the U.S. Congress have remained mum or have offered generalized criticism. Trump remains popular in many congressional districts.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan tweeted: "We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity."
Yet Ryan has not specifically condemned Trump for making such "repulsive" remarks. This smacks of moral ambiguity.
We knew the virulence of Trump's racism long before he announced his bid for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.
The son of a Klu Klux Klansmen, who reportedly adored his domineering father, Trump Jr. has a long history of racial animus.
In "Trumped!" John R. O'Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, wrote that in reference to a black accountant at Trump Plaza, Trump thumped: "Laziness is a trait in blacks."

Anti-semitism
O'Donnell reports Trump as saying: "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day." He managed to express his racism and anti-Semitism in a single vulgar statement.
Following the rape of a female in Central Park in New York City in 1989, Trump took out full-page newspaper ads pushing for the death penalty for the black teenage suspects. The suspects were later exonerated. In keeping with his pathological inability to admit error, Trump never apologized.
Marcus Barum, senior editor of Huffington Post, writes: "Yet the most damaging episode in the saga of Trump's fractured relationship with the black community came in 1973, when his family's real-estate company, Trump Management Corporation, was sued by the Justice Department for alleged racial discrimination. At the time, Trump was the company's president.
"The case alleged that the Trump Management Corporation had discriminated against blacks who wished to rent apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The government charged the corporation with quoting different rental terms and conditions to blacks and whites and lying to blacks that apartments were not available, according to reports of the lawsuit."
Lydia O'Connor and Daniel Marans writing in Huffington Post note: "Workers at Trump's casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, have accused him [Trump] of racism over the years. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission fined the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino $200,000 in 1992 because managers would remove African-American card dealers at the request of a certain big-spending gambler. A state appeals court upheld the fine.
"The first-person account of at least one black Trump casino employee in Atlantic City suggests the racist practices were consistent with Trump's personal behavior toward black workers.
"'When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,' Kip Brown, a former employee at Trump's Castle, told the New Yorker for a September article. 'It was the eighties, I was a teenager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.'"

Vicious
One of his most vicious and sustained racial assaults was on former U.S. President Barack Obama. Trump famously, and falsely, joined the birthers claiming that Obama was not a U.S. citizen. Message: this black man is not one of us. The birther movement was loathed to see a black man in their White House.
Fast forward to Trump's announcement of his presidential bid infused with racism: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
He has attacked a judge of Hispanic origin. He took a long time to disavow David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. He also failed to disavow other white nationalists who campaigned for him. He has trashed Native Americans. He treats ethnic and racial groups as monoliths: "the blacks", "the Hispanics", "the Muslims".
America has a president who blatantly shows off his racism and white privilege and supremacy. The issue is not only how to deal with Trump. The broader issue is how white America and the Republican Party will respond to Trump as a loathsome incarnation of America's original sin.

o frontporchguardian@gmail.com, www.bahamapundit.com.

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The cell phone attachment

August 17, 2017

I must write again about the compulsive use of cell phones and tablets. At times their use can be insulting or disrespectful. It is so terrible to see people sitting in church services, weddings, committee meetings, seminars, etc., and all they are doing while the event is going on is texting or surfing the web on their cell phones or tablets.
It is insulting to the speakers when people in the audience, who should be listening, are giving their attention to these hand-held devices. It is a kind of addiction. It is as though they cannot put them down. There seems to be this constant need to get information and to know what is happening. True, there are some advantages to having a mobile device, even while in meetings. It allows you to send or receive urgent messages without making it obvious to those around you. However, it appears that for most people, turning off the cell phone, even when it should be obvious to do so, is nearly impossible to do. Why is this happening?
There is a chemical produced in the brain called dopamine which some experts believe is the culprit. Writer Arpan Roy in his article, "Why are people so addicted to their cell phones/smart phones?" shares about this chemical and how it impacts us. He wrote: "Dopamine, a 'feel good chemical,' is a neurotransmitter in our brain, which although critical for more mental and physical functions, plays an important role in reward-seeking behavior. Dopamine motivates you to seek pleasure-giving rewards like food, sex and, in some cases, drugs. Not only are we addicted to plain old physical pleasure, but hunting for new information or just reading and learning new stuff provides a dopamine rush unlike others."
He suggests that each time we receive a new message on our smart phone, it is like a new stimulation to seek for more or to wait and see what's next. For some, the dopamine rush is more pleasurable than the immediate environment -- church services, committee meetings, weddings, seminars, etc.
Another reason some people have difficulty putting the phone down is acceptance or feelings of belonging. They might be attending the meeting because they are required to, or just out of respect. However, for many they have a greater sense of belonging and acceptance from those in the groups and chat groups on the smart phone.
Smart phones, especially when connected to the Internet, seem to make it difficult for many to make a value judgment about what they are doing. It seems to diminish respect and honor and have contributed to casting dignity and etiquette out of the window. Thus, many do not really understand that the distraction provided by the cell phone in a public meeting is really disrespectful and even annoying to many around them. The truth is, many of us are married to our gadgets. Therefore, it is hard to break up from something you love.

The teddy bear effect
Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne wrote in her article, "This Is Why We Can't Put Down Our Phones" that, "New research reveals what our phones have in common with childhood teddy bears. Attachment theory proposes that our early life experiences with the major figures responsible for our well-being, namely parents or other caregivers, are at the root of our connections to the adults with whom we form close relationships. Importantly, attachment in early life can extend to inanimate objects."
Teddy bears, for example, serve as what the attachment theorist D.W. Winnicott calls "transitional objects".
The teddy bear, unlike the parent, is always there. Although phones are often castigated for their addictive potential, psychologist Dr. Veronika Konok and her collaborators cite evidence that supports the idea that "healthy, well-functioning adults also report significant emotional attachment to special objects. As compensatory attachment figures--adult teddy bears--phones have distinct advantages. They can be kept by your side and they provide a social connection to the people you care about. Even if you're not talking to your friends, lover, or family, you can keep their photos close by, read their messages, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat." Are you beginning to see why it is hard to put the phone down?
Imagine how easy it is today to literally take with you, no matter where you are going, your close friends, special relatives, spouses, partners. These persons can literally be on any part of the earth --thousands of miles away. The Internet has made the globe very small. One research indicates that the number of cell phone subscriptions exceeds the total population of the planet.

It's time to turn them off
Although we do enjoy the constant connection with friends and family, there are times we must cease communicating with them. These times are when we are in meetings or dialoging with people in our physical presence or while sleeping. We cannot always be stimulating ourselves. I like what writer Allison Stadd said in her article on smart phones. She wrote, "The truth is, our preoccupation with our phones encroaches on our time spent deepening relationships, reflecting on ourselves, and preparing thoughtful work."

Remember the following points
o It is rude to not put down the phone. Someone is trying to get your attention and looking at your smart phone instead is really rude.
oTurning off the phone helps you to better connect to the persons around you and become more empathetic.
o The phone can be a distraction; we know this with driving. Also, when in a conversation or attending an important meeting, using the cell phone may cause you to miss important information. In romantic relationships, one of the most destructive behaviors is using the cell phone when your partner wants to talk with you.
Please, let's be disciplined, respectful, and considerate. Start turning off the cell phones. Don't just put them on vibrate because you will still respond. Let's bring back the true and gracious practice of respect and courtesy. Do not let these cell phones be an annoyance to others.

o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.

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