Opinion

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.

read more »

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.

read more »

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.

read more »

God will declare his saints to the world

August 17, 2017

"Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring -- not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed -- the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not." - Romans 4:16-17

Most children and also adults know the kids praise and worship Bible song, "Father Abraham." If you are one of them, why not sing along right now -- "Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you. So let's all Praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, chin up, turn around, sit down!"
As you sit down, what is going through your mind? Are you happy? It does not matter if you are at work, home or play. Whose spirit are you operating under? Is it fear, confusion, label and bottle or poverty? Is there a space and place for the Holy Spirit to abide? Most times dear readers, the spirit of poverty rules large and in charge, encompassing any number of subsidiaries.
I know many Christians, including myself, not only by name, but by lifestyle, who like the Prophetess Anna serve God daily in the temple. They walk the straight and narrow, lift up the blood stained banner of the Lord Jesus Christ, but at the end of the day can't find a dollar to keep company with the other. Why is this so? I had an evangelist a few days ago tell me that her light was off for some weeks. She is a good woman like many others, but why is this so? I tell you, it is the demonic spirit of poverty to suppress the saints and the time is now when the children of God must join forces to defeat this enemy.
How is it that one window can cost hundreds of dollars and at the same time the mortgage man is saying "going, going, gone" on the homes of the believers. How is it that those who claim to have the Spirit of discernment are not attuned to the necessity of the saints. For as many churches, ministries and fellowships there are on this island of ours, the financial intake on any given Sunday, if pooled, could be likened to Joseph's corn barn thus cancelling out lack.
The churches during Paul's Ministry were encouraged to share with those who did not have. If you had property just lying there, you were to sell and give the proceeds to the church to aid the poor. But like Ananias and his wife Sapphira, the saints are the ones who are hoarding the wealth thus perpetuating the spirit of poverty. I know stories of persons who died when they discovered that their life's savings was stolen. The church has the potential to have its own bank.
Have you ever thought of how much money leaves this country weekly as contributions to foreign evangelists, while at the same time old mother prayer warrior's cupboard is empty.
This is how the spirit of poverty works. God blesses, and in turn they become missing in action, never returning to give him praise and thanks for what they have received. In our lesson text today, Paul in his letter to the church at Rome is reminding them that it was not through law that Abraham and his offspring, received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
The churches were encouraged to share with those who did not have. If you had property just lying there, you were to sell and give the proceeds to the church to aid the poor. But like Ananias and his wife Sapphira, the saints are the ones who are hoarding the wealth thus perpetuating the spirit of poverty. I know stories, true they are, of persons who died when they discovered that there wealth was stolen. They hid their money in bottles and mattresses, only to die and family members did not know. These mattresses were thrown out with all the wealth. No one could find where the money was hidden.
Our land is inundated with tradition and unbelief, and so we must be aware of the spirit realm and the powers that operate in it. As Christians we need to be watchful, knowing that each and every day a weapon is being formed against us. The enemy is trying to take your home, your land, your car, your husband/wife and everything that you lay claim to. They are trying to take your position deny you your pension, your gratuity, your home. They are trying to take property that was given generations ago.
No longer must these weapons prosper against us. We have the power as the sons and daughters of Abraham to possess the land. No longer will we be relegated as paupers when we have inherited so much. When one possesses the land, everything thereon and therein is yours. Can I tell you today that a mighty spiritual war has begun in this land and God will declare his saints to the world.
Today, we know in whom we believe, and be it resolved that we call into being, things that are not as though they are. God wants to bless this wonderful land and rain down blessings, but the ill treatment of the prophets will delay the blessing rain.

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

read more »

Don't lose faith

August 17, 2017

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
-- Matthew 14:25-30.

The difference between Christians and those who are outside of the church is Jesus. Yes, we have Jesus.
Because of Jesus, we have no need to fear life or death. He is our mighty warrior and great protector.
Even though scripture gives us the assurance that God is with us, we still have our fears and concerns. Our concerns might be about our loved ones who are ill, or children, particularly those living away from us. Our fears might be about our own health, our job, or mortgage payments.
Whatever our fears, Jesus can handle them for us. When our fears become stormy and we see no way out of our dilemma, He comes to rescue us. At times our fears may cause us to see Him as anything other than a Savior. Yet He comes and He will lead us through our darkest moment.
Today in our country many of us have fears. I once knew an individual who constantly complained about his legs, which were aching and causing him to slow down.
One day he encountered a woman who was in a wheel chair. She had no legs. After that awakening, instead of complaining, he rejoiced. Yes, he rejoiced because he had full use of his aching legs.
The above text tells us that Jesus' disciples were alone in a boat. As they tried to cross to the other side of the lake, they encountered a storm. The waves were monstrous and they became fearful for their lives.
Jesus had not accompanied them. He had stayed behind to dismiss the people and to pray. However, about midnight, He went to them walking on the water. When they saw Him, they feared that He was a ghost.
He immediately reassured them with encouraging words."Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
At that point Peter became courageous and requested that Jesus allow him to join Him on the water. Jesus told him to come and Peter walked on water for a brief period.
Peter did not keep his eyes fastened on Jesus. His fears and concerns overwhelmed him. His focus was in the wrong place. He was concerned about the wind and the waves. Because he focused his attention away from Jesus, he failed.
In life, as our burdens and our fears grow and become like great waves and strong wind, we take our eyes off Jesus. When we do that, our situation becomes even worse. Even though we know that the Lord is near, we fail like Peter.
Jesus came to earth to rescue us from the grave and the devil. He is always with us. Therefore, never give up. Don't lose hope. Don't lose faith.
Like the disciples, I have had my moments of fear. We all have our fears. It does not matter our circumstances. Notwithstanding this, when we place our hand in the hand of the man from Galilee (Jesus) He will calm the storms of our life. 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.

read more »

You're the author

August 17, 2017

Whatever your name is, let's for our purposes here today presume it's John Doe, well then there's a book being written about the story of your life right now and guess who's writing that book, who's the author of the story of your life? As today's title puts it, you're the author.
Now the author of a book is in control of what he or she wishes to write on the pages of that very important book -- at least important to you, for it will contain a record of your successes along the way together with the inevitable failures. However, here's the good part, as you're the author of the story of your life, you get to decide exactly what is written on each and every page.
Yes my friend, you're in control of your future. So why don't you start mapping out your book by writing an outline of exactly what you'd like the story to be. By doing this you'll be setting up a route map so to speak, for exactly where you want to go in life. It's setting up a plan which, if fulfilled, will bring you ultimately to exactly where you want to be in life. It's just a novel way of setting up a series of goals, which you can then set out to achieve so that the book of your life will read like a winner's story.
Don't forget you're in charge -- you're the author of the story of your life and no one else. So sit down in a quiet place and map out your literary masterpiece as you make a list of the goals you'd like to accomplish and exactly how you intend to make them become reality. Then write the book by making it a book of reality and not fiction.
Yes indeed, as the title of today's article graphically puts it, you're the author of the book of your life. You're in control and no one else. So start today and make it happen. Start mapping out your goals. The chapters of your book and then write them by actually achieving what you set out to accomplish, and thus your book will be a bestseller -- yes it will.

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.

read more »

I coulda, shoulda, woulda

August 16, 2017

The title of today's article is indeed a popular phrase which just about everyone is familiar with 'I Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda' which people use when they know that they've not done what they knew in their heart they should have done. But My Friend, as we all know only too well those who consistently succeed in life are people of Action, people who get things done in a timely manner and who do not talk continually about what they should have done or would have done if something was different or if someone had reminded them about doing, or what they could have done under certain circumstances. Excuses are for losers; whereas winners do not make excuses but instead just get what needs to be done, done when it needs to be done and that's of course why they continue to reap one success after another as they strive daily to reach the top of the mountain and indeed do again and again.
Yes indeed, there's no other way to put it other than The Fact, that people who succeed consistently in life are people of Action; whereas those who fail again and again are the ones who just keep on making ridiculous excuses like the title of today's article puts it 'I Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda' done this and that which would have assisted me greatly in becoming successful; however, in spite of all of the talk, I just didn't do what I was supposed to do and thus failed once again because of my lack of action, my continual procrastination. So if you wish to be successful in the future, you need to make a resolution here and now to become a Person of Action, a person with a reputation for getting things done.
Yes My Friend, becoming successful is all about setting goals and then working real hard each and every day to make your goals become reality. To do this you have to spring into action each and every day and whilst working real hard consistently bring your goals to fruition whilst refusing to complain when things don't work out, but trying a different approach until success is attained and The Prize is Yours.

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.

read more »

Meningitis and hearing loss

August 15, 2017

There are many diseases that could result in a person losing some or all usable hearing. One such disease is meningitis, which is an infection affecting the membranes known as the meninges that encase and protect the brain and spinal cord. Although it is not an extremely common disease, it does occur and anyone, from infants to adults, can get it. Typical symptoms of meningitis include headache, fever, vomiting, and a stiff neck. Meningitis often occurs as one of three types -- bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis and fungal meningitis.
Bacterial meningits: This form of meningitis is the most severe and without immediate and appropriate treatment can be fatal. It is easily spread between people and therefore those who have been in close contact with the affected person will need to be treated to prevent getting the infection. Bacterial meningitis can be caused following certain types of surgeries, by an ear infection, by a sinus infection, or because of a head injury.
Viral meningits: This type of meningitis is the most frequently occurring and can be caused by any number of viruses. It is usually very mild and more easily treated, and may even resolve on its own. It usually does not result in any serious side effects.
Fungal meningitis: This type of meningitis is not very common. It often occurs in those whose immune system is weakened. It may also result in the occurrence of chronic meningitis, which is meningitis that develops over a period of two or more weeks.
Although other diseases may have symptoms parallel to meningitis, if a person presents with any of the symptoms of meningitis, it is important he/she seek medical attention right away to rule out, or to identify the type of meningitis that may be affecting them as quickly as possible. This will ensure that the appropriate treatment is given as soon as possible. The longer a person has meningitis without treatment, the poorer the outcome. For those who survive the disease, complications may include permanent neurological damage, seizures, memory problems, and hearing loss. However, prompt treatment of meningitis can have a good outcome, even in cases where the meningitis is extremely severe.
Hearing loss is one of the most common side effects of bacterial meningitis. It can affect one or both ears, range from mild to profound, and affect all frequencies within the speech range. This type of hearing loss is a permanent one. Initially, the effects of hearing loss following meningitis may not be apparent. For this reason, a hearing test should be administered as quickly as possible following recovery, or at least within the first four weeks of recovery. Since it is also possible for there to be a delayed onset of hearing loss, follow-up hearing testing should be done periodically over the course of the first two years after onset of the disease.
Of those who have suffered from meningitis, studies show that about 10 percent of children affected by bacterial meningitis experience some degree of hearing loss that occurs within days of being stricken with the disease. The hearing loss may occur in one or both ears and may leave the child completely deaf. Among infants and young children who got the disease and survived, 73 percent experienced hearing loss by the time they were three years of age. It is therefore necessary to ensure that all children affected by meningitis have their hearing tested both immediately following the disease, and intermittently within the first two years following the disease.

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.

read more »

Don't ignore your child's heel pain

August 15, 2017

Heel pain is a common childhood complaint, a symptom that demands attention. The number of children reporting heel pain increases in the fall and winter sports seasons. Increasing obesity in children is becoming a common cause of heel pain, even in students who take physical education classes.
Heel pain often occurs in children between eight and 14 years old. Children may have symptoms including pain in the back or bottom of the heel, limping, walking on the toes and difficulty participating in their usual activities or sports. Heel pain is common in children because their feet are growing. In children, the heel bone (the calcaneus) is not yet fully developed until age 14 or older. Until then, new bone is forming at the growth plate, a weak area at the back of the heel. Too much stress on the growth plate is the most common cause of heel pain in children.
Heel pain in children is different from the most common form of heel pain in adults (plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome) in the way pain occurs. Usually, plantar fascia pain is intense when getting out of bed in the morning, or after sitting for a long time and then subsides after walking around a bit. Heel pain in children usually doesn't improve like this, and walking around makes the pain worse.
Causes of pediatric heel pain
The growth plate in the heel is sensitive to repeated running and pounding on hard surfaces, pediatric heel pain is often caused by overuse. Children and adolescents involved in soccer, track, or basketball are especially vulnerable. Calcaneal apophysitis or Sever's Disease is the most common cause of heel pain in children. It is an inflammation of the heel's growth plate due to muscle strain and stress, especially in children who are active in sports or are obese. Pain and tenderness usually occur in the back and bottom of the heel when walking, and the heel can also be painful to touch. It can occur in one or both feet. Other causes of heel pain in children include bursitis to the Achilles tendon, stress fractures or other injury.
Remember, children may not complain about their heel pain. Several things can alert parents that their child needs attention such as limping, complaining, walking on toes, not wanting to play sports and pain in the heel the morning after a game.
To diagnose the underlying cause of your child's heel pain, the podiatrist will get a full history, examine the child's foot and leg, and take an x-ray to look at the heel bone.

Treatment options
The treatment selected depends upon the diagnosis and the severity of the pain. The simple RICE strategy is recommended -- rest, ice, compression and elevation, and often resolves the pain.
o Reduced activity: The child needs to reduce or stop any physical activity that causes pain.
o Cushioning the heel: Temporary shoe inserts are useful in softening the impact on the heel when walking, running, and standing.
o Medications: Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation.
o Physical therapy: Strapping, stretching or physical therapy modalities are sometimes used to promote healing of the inflamed tissue.
o Orthotic devices: Custom orthotic devices prescribed by the podiatrist can help support the foot properly.
For more severe heel pain, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.
o Immobilization: Use crutches or a cast to avoid walking and putting pressure on the foot while it is healing.
o Surgery: In very rare cases surgery may be required to lengthen the tendon or correct other foot problems that may be identified.
Additional recommendations that can help prevent or reduce heel pain.
o Prevent obesity or lose weight.
o Do not walk barefoot.
o Always warm-up or cool-down when exercising with stretching exercises to help prevent injury.
o Increase activity level slowly according to the child's ability.
o Wearing the appropriate shoes can play a vital role in preventing heel pain and injury. Choose well-constructed, supportive shoes that are appropriate for the child's sporting activity.
o Wear cleats as needed during the sporting activity, but switch them often as the child's foot grows.
o Use inserts to raise the heel and support the child's foot, especially in flat-footed cleats.
o Discard shoes that caused pain, and if they are old and worn or too small.
o Never encourage your child to "play through the pain" in their feet. Foot pain is not normal and your child should never play when they are in pain. If your child has heel pain when they are playing sports, stop and see a podiatrist.
Even after treatment the heel pain can re-occur because the heel bone is still growing. It is best to stop the activity and make an appointment with your podiatrist to rule out other causes of heel pain.

o For more information email foothealth242@gmail.com or visit www.apma.org. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996, or Bahamas Surgical Associates Centre, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820, or Lucayan Medical Centre on East Sunrise Highway, Freeport, Grand Bahama, telephone 373-7400.

read more »

Your to-do list

August 15, 2017

I guess the very first question that I need to ask you is, do you have a to-do list? Well do you? You see there are a whole lot of people spread throughout this great big world of ours who really do want to be successful in life, however, they are so completely unorganized, that they can't even get to first base, never mind score a homerun. Yes indeed, you don't stand a chance in hell, as that well-known saying so graphically puts it, of being successful in life unless you're a well-organized person. Yes indeed, I've found that most achievers always have their to-do list with them as they go about their daily chores.
Now here's an important point relative to one's to-do list. This list should be made out each evening for the following day. Please don't wait until the morning when you're rushing around to make out your to-do list. Always do this in the evening when you're nice and relaxed as you plan your activities for the next day.
To do this, firstly write down everything of importance you feel needs to be done the next day. Once you've completed this list and can't think of anything else that needs to be done the next day, then you need to start setting up priorities by numbering each item in their order of importance. Once this very important task has been completed, then you can relax and have a good night's sleep knowing that the events of the next day have already been planned and prioritized.
Yes my friend, there's no doubt about it, all would-be achievers need to be well-organized so that they get the maximum use out of the time allocated to them each day in which to achieve their goals. So from now on be sure to do your to-do list each evening before retiring and, believe me, your life will be full of well-planned, successful days.

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.

read more »

Putting your best foot forward

August 14, 2017

"It is not enough to do your best. You must know what to do, and then do your best."
- W. Edwards Deming

When I was growing up, before embarking on any undertaking, my parents often encouraged me to "put your best foot forward". What they were saying essentially was that, no matter what you do, always do your best and give it your best.
Therefore, this week we would like to Consider this... Is the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) seriously committed to convincing the Bahamian people that it has clearly heard their verdict on May 10 and is now prepared to put its best foot forward?

The road to reformation
Three months ago, the PLP suffered one of its most devastating electoral defeats in its 64-year history. There are still some persons who are stunned and others who remain in denial about the trouncing that the PLP received at the polls. Then there are others who believe that the election was a fluke, that the PLP can continue to conduct politics as usual, and, given the electoral results of the last 20 years, the PLP will be returned to office in the next general election. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Still, there are others in the organization who recognize that it is vitally important for the PLP to reform itself if it has any hope of regaining the confidence of the persons who voted against it in the last general election. This will require an honest, introspective, soul-searching assessment of the reasons for its defeat.
If the PLP sincerely desires to be taken seriously by the electorate, it is essential that immediate steps be taken so that the party can put its best foot forward. This will require an acceptance by the party leaders that the entire government was rejected, as evidenced by only two former ministers being returned to Parliament.
The road to reform must be decisive, considered and introspective. The road to reform must be travelled with an attitude of humility and a complete appreciation that, for the past five years, there was a failure of leadership. It is indisputable that the electorate felt that those in whom they reposed their trust absolutely and completely failed to live up to that trust and to carry out the will of the people.

Selecting a new chairman
The current chairman of the PLP has indicated that he will not offer for reelection to that office at the next party convention. To date, there has only been one person who has publicly announced that he is seriously considering the office of chairman, namely Mr. Obediah Wilchcombe.
This announcement was met with tepid opposition from several notable party personalities. There is no doubt that Mr. Wilchcombe has every right to run for the chairmanship or any office of the party at the next convention. However, the question that delegates to the convention must answer is whether, in their collective wisdom, they believe that the selection of a person who was so decisively turned out of office would be indicative of the party putting its best foot forward.
We believe that, if the party is serious about reform and wishes to signal to the electorate that it has gotten the message sent by the last election, the party should engage in a national search to identify persons who were not rejected by their constituents.
The next chairman of the PLP should be an individual who understands the party's organization, its history, its philosophy, its core principles and, most importantly, one who is untainted by a perception that he seriously contributed to the party's loss in the last general election.
In selecting a new party chairman, it is imperative for the PLP to resist the temptation to sanction anyone who contributed to the PLP's failed leadership. 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, has heard the voice of the people and understands the importance of selecting someone who will be able to effectively coordinate the reform of the PLP.

Revising of the party's constitution
Equally important is the necessity for the delegates of the convention to review and revise the party's constitution to ensure that never again will the party be faced with a leader who has the unfettered capacity to stack the deck in his favor by appointing stalwart councilors who will automatically support that leader. In 1997, there were approximately 400 stalwart councilors. Twenty years later, under the leadership of Perry Christie, that number exploded to more than 2,500.
In its January 2017 convention, unbeknownst to many delegates, agents of the then-leader surreptitiously amended the party's constitution in a manner that gave the then-leader a decided advantage in the selection of stalwart councilors at that convention. This was an immoral abuse of office. This abuse not only went unchecked and unchallenged, but aided and abetted by many senior party members, including the trustees of the party. It enabled that leader and his cohorts to conspiratorially engage in an exercise to ensure his re-election.

Party officers
If the PLP is seriously interested in putting its best foot forward, it must elect party officers who will be guided by principles that serve the best interests of the party, not their own self-interests or interests of the party leader. For too long, certain members of the party hierarchy have conducted themselves with a degree of entitlement that afforded them advantages that were abhorrent and antithetical to the party's best interests.
Just as the party must seriously, deliberately and carefully select a chairman who will re-activate, reorganize and reinvigorate the constituency branches, the same level of commitment must exist in those persons desiring to hold high office within the PLP.
None of the former Cabinet ministers or members of Parliament who served in the last administration and who lost their seats by being unequivocally rejected by the people should offer for any office within the party if they want the party to put its best foot forward.

Modernizing Gambier House
There is also a pressing and urgent need for the Party to systematically restructure and methodically modernize Gambier House.
While the current secretary general has sought to manage the party headquarters with extremely limited resources, if the party wishes to put its best foot forward, it must select an individual for that position who has the resources, temperament and acumen to energize and inspire new persons to join the party and to actively participate in its activities.
The new executive and administrative teams at Gambier House must be proficient in modern technological innovations and best management and administrative practices. They must also possess effective interpersonal skills to enable them to relate to a younger, more dynamic and demanding electorate. The party leadership must ensure that adequate and appropriate resources are made available to achieve its objectives of re-establishing an effective party machinery.

Conclusion
This is not rocket science. If the party is serious about reforming its operations, practices and policies, and if it wishes to once again be attractive and relevant to a new constituency of electors, the new leadership of the PLP must seriously consider the sentiments of W. Edwards Deming: "It is not enough to do your best. You must know what to do and then do your best."

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.

read more »

Island insights: Inagua

August 14, 2017

Island overview
Two things spring to mind when most Bahamians think of Inagua: flamingos and salt. While the industry and attraction may color public perception, Inagua brims with untapped potential in the growing field of ecotourism. With unrivalled biodiversity, virgin national parks and a burgeoning marina services component, Inagua may well have what it takes to live up to its reputation as the "best kept secret" in The Bahamas.

Nature guide services
Inagua has long served as the unquestioned birdwatching capital of The Bahamas, but Inaguans have yet to fully capitalize on their remarkable natural resources. The Inagua National Park, spanning over 220,000 acres, remains the world's largest breeding ground for West Indian flamingos and continues to draw visitors and dedicated birdwatchers from abroad. Aside from its famed flamingos, the park also supports nearly 150 species of birdlife and has been designated an Important Bird Area. This has further boosted the island's appeal in the eyes of birdwatching enthusiasts, who tend to spend far more than cruise ship passengers or the average stopover visitor.
Birdwatching is one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing branches of the tourism sector, with the local market having been recently bolstered by government support. As we have previously discussed in this column, the Ministry of Tourism launched a birdwatching initiative in January 2017 through the support of the Bahamas National Trust and the U.S.-based National Audubon Society, which trains Bahamians birdwatching guides throughout the Family Islands and provides a booking network for interested visitors.
Although the National Audubon Society has trained its first class of birdwatching guides, many remain employed in other agencies, leaving much room for growth for outdoor-oriented young Bahamians. At present, only two wardens from the Bahamas National Trust represent Inagua birdwatching tours on the Ministry of Tourism's website.

Port and marina services
Inagua is currently enjoying a massive overhaul of its port facilities as part of the government's $232 million Sandy Bottom Project, designed to modernize three port facilities across the country and help decentralize Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) operations. Through the project, Inagua will receive expanded harbor dredging at the Matthew Town public dock along with construction of warehouses, workshops and a new operations building for the defense force.
Despite being designed primarily for the RBDF, the newly dredged harbor and accompanying improvements to the dock at Matthew Town also offer opportunities for boating services catering to commercial and private vessels. Construction of the remaining facilities is expected to finish in roughly two months. Once completed, the revamped port will provide international yachters with access to a better equipped marina facility capable of hosting larger ships along with a convenient stop for clearing Bahamas Customs, which could lead to spinoff business for local restaurants and tour companies.

Ecotourism
Little Inagua, the largest uninhabited island in the wider Caribbean region, also boasts the Little Inagua National Park, spanning roughly 63,000 acres of pristine wetland and marine environments. Inagua's combined national parks offer access to rare protected species, including sea turtles, birdlife and wild donkeys that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. More certified guides and continued aggressive marketing could shine a much-deserved spotlight on the island's exceptional treasures.
Aside from the clear guide opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife tours, Inagua also has ample room for growth in businesses built around the wealth of resources below sea level. Deep sea fishing is viable around the island, despite much of the water surrounding Little Inagua being protected by the national park, with great potential for charter fishing services. Dive companies are similarly underexplored on the island and could diversify the excursions offered for those visitors looking for something other than birdwatching experiences.

Challenges and improvements
Inagua's lack of robust marketing is likely the main inhibitor to growth on the island. Although statistics from the Ministry of Tourism indicate that visitor arrivals have slowly increased over the last two years, growth remains anemic within the sector. Recent pushes by government agencies to promote flights to the Family Islands are a step in the right direction but Inagua's unique national parks and biodiversity are still underrepresented in international marketing.
Transportation is another challenge for the island. Bahamasair is the only carrier offering routine flights to the island, and even those are limited to three flights per week. However, the improved harbor facilities at Matthew Town could soften the impact of this disadvantage by drawing in more cruise visitors.
Furthermore, Inaguans should invest in training initiatives focused on improving the quality of services provided across the island as part of their efforts to modernize and address the island's aging service sector. New youth apprenticeship programs from some of the island's largest employers, such as Morton Salt, the RBDF and Bahamas Customs, could go a long way in improving the quality of services offered while keeping young Bahamians on the island. Competitive service quality is particularly needed within in the yachting and marina sector to keep yachters coming back to Inagua. A new world-class facility at Matthew Town is of little use if basic services, such as reliable fuel supply, are often difficult to provide.

Untapped potential
It is peculiar to see an island with such broad potential for ecotourism hindered by lack of proper promotion. One need only look at the massive boost in Exuma's tourism arrivals following the 'swimming pigs' marketing campaign to see how one unique attraction can draw big numbers if given sufficient advertising. As it stands presently, Inagua's unspoiled parks and existing businesses offer an environmentally friendly experience for visitors and biologists with exponential room for growth. However, business owners and investors must lay the groundwork now for a sustainable, low-impact tourism model to ensure that Inagua's treasures remain unharmed for future generations.

o Roderick A. Simms II is a director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation and chairperson of the Family Island division. He can be emailed at RASII@ME.com.

read more »

The brief: Better instructions make better projects

August 14, 2017

Imagine you are a bride planning your wedding. One of the things you might do is get a wedding dress made. How does the seamstress know how to create the perfect dress? There are two things she has to do. First, she must measure your body, every part and its relationship to every other part. That way, the final product will fit you, and only you. Secondly, you must share the features you wish to have in the dress, such as the fabric, length of the train and that it should look like your mother's. With this "brief", the seamstress would be in a position to create your dream wedding dress.
The brief for the design of a building requires the same two sets of instructions. First, the architect must "measure" the client in a consultation during which the relevant parts of the client's lifestyle, needs and peculiarities are noted and the client provides the features that would make the project the manifestation of his or her dream; first the fit, then the features; together, the brief.
Consider the following two briefs, given for the same house.

Brief one
I would like a single-level house with three bedrooms, two and a half baths and an enclosed garage. I want a walk-in closet in the master bedroom and a linen closet. The house should have A/C throughout, with impact windows and asphalt shingles on the roof. My budget is $300,000.

Brief two
I want a house with three bedrooms, as follows:
o Master bedroom, minimum 14 feet by 16 feet with a nine-foot tray ceiling; en-suite bath with separate shower and walk-in closet; access to covered terrace; separate A/C system.
o Two smaller bedrooms with large closets, one as a guest room; good ventilation and access to shared bathroom; shared A/C system.
o Preferred location of bedrooms on the east side of the house.
o Entrance foyer, with direct access to powder room. It should have a front porch deep enough to sit out.
o Living/dining area, open, minimum 12 feet by 24 feet, with nine-foot ceilings; access to covered terrace and ceiling fans. It should have views of the garden.
o Kitchen with breakfast area, pantry and direct access to the laundry.
o Two-car garage with laundry and storage areas.
o Single A/C zone for living/dining/kitchen area.
o Solar water heaters throughout.
o Internet-based security and surveillance system with controls in master bedroom.
o Hurricane shutter system.
o Budget: Between $300,000 and $340,000, not including fees, furnishings or appliances.

As you can see, the extent to which the house "fits" the client is not just a matter of the list of accommodations, but the result of a "fitting" by the architect and the presentation of preferred features by the client, summarized in a brief which becomes the guideline for the design.

o Patrick Rahming & Associates is a full service design firm providing architectural, planning and design services throughout The Bahamas and the northern Caribbean. Visit its website at www.pradesigns.com and like its Facebook page. The firm's mission is to help its clients turn their design problems into completed projects through a process of guided decision-making, responsible environmental advice and expert project administration.

read more »

Everyone has a special gift

August 14, 2017

Have you ever heard someone say about another -- he or she has a special gift and perhaps being jealous, and envious of them saying inwardly to yourself, I wish I had a special gift like he or she does. I bet many millions of people throughout this great big world of ours have reacted like that not realizing that they too were given a special gift by the Creator.
The sad thing to me is, that many die without discovering their special gift. But my friend, as today's title states quite clearly, everyone has a special gift -- yes indeed they do. The Creator does not discriminate when creating human beings. He gives every single soul presently inhabiting planet Earth a series of special gifts in the form of unique talents.
The whole purpose of life on planet Earth is to discover who you are, which is a child of God, born in his likeness and infused with a multitude of special and unique talents. Once you discover your unique gifts in the form of special talents, you need to develop and refine your God-given gifts and then give them away to the world and its people -- that's what life should be all about for all of God's children.
Unfortunately, a whole lot of people who have been programmed negatively in their young, formative years have not yet discovered their special gifts in the form of talents. This is a tragedy of monumental proportions. So please seek out someone -- a friend, relative or counselor who can assist you in zeroing in on your special gifts.
Believe it or not, I did not discover my special gifts until I was in my mid-40s, and then thank God my life took off in a whole new direction. So please my friend, if you haven't already, do your very best to discover your special gifts ASAP and believe me, your life will literally take off in a whole new direction which will lead directly 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.

read more »

The 'Belt and Road' Initiative

August 11, 2017

From May 14-15, 2017, China hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing successfully. The BRF is the highest level and largest international conference hosted by China since the Belt and Road Initiative was launched in 2013.
More than 1,500 representatives from over 130 countries and 70 international organizations attended the BRF. The active involvement of so many countries in the BRF shows that the international community has great enthusiasm for participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and holds optimistic perspectives of the future of the initiative.
The BRF achieved fruitful results with a list of major deliverables, which includes 76 items comprising more than 270 concrete results in five key areas. It defined the direction of cooperation in the future and charted the roadmap of building.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech in the forum, making a significant contribution to the success of the forum. All parties actively participated in deliberation, carried out project and policy interlinks, and promoted substantial cooperation. The success of the BRF attracted much international attention. The Caribbean, including The Bahamas, also showed its interest in it. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to the Bahamian friends some basic information about the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative stands for the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, which was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the fall of 2013. The background of the initiative is that world economic growth is sluggish, globalization is facing new difficulties, the reform of the global economic governance system makes slow progress, improvements are needed in the global trade and investment system, some developing countries encounter increasing difficulties in national development.
Confronted with such difficulties and challenges, we recognize that stronger cooperation is the fundamental solution. It is for this reason that China has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative calls for policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties. In addition to cooperation in such key areas as connectivity, production capacity and trade and investment, cultural and people-to-people exchanges among the B&R countries are also highlighted for the contribution they can make to the prosperity of both economy and culture.
The guiding principles of cooperation include consultation on an equal footing, mutual benefit, harmony and inclusiveness, market-based operation, balance and sustainability, in short, achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration. The priorities of the initiative are boosting infrastructure construction in rail, highway, ports, electricity, information and telecommunication, enhancing trans-national and cross-regional connectivity, docking development strategies, aligning rules and regulations and strengthening personnel exchanges.
Over the past four years, more than 100 countries have expressed their support and willingness to participate in the initiative. China has signed cooperation agreements with over 60 countries and international organizations. International organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, give positive responses to the initiative through issuing resolutions or signing agreements of cooperation to support and participate in it.
By integrating the historical symbolism of the ancient Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative delivers a Chinese program and proposal whose goals are to maintain an open world economic system; achieve diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development; advance regional cooperation, strengthen communications between civilizations; and safe-guard world peace and stability. As an international common good, it showcases the fact that China, as the largest developing country and the world's second-largest economy, shoulders its wider responsibilities in promoting development of world economy and reform in global economic governance, and makes its efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous community with a shared destiny.
The Belt and Road Initiative is open to any country or international organization that has an interest, and all forms of participation and cooperation are welcomed to bring about benefits to more regions and peoples. China welcomes the participation of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Belt and Road Initiative. Latin America and the Caribbean are important emerging markets as well as major trade partners of China. China is committed to coordinating development strategies with countries in these regions, and advancing pragmatic cooperation with them in all fields, including infrastructural construction, production capacity cooperation, cooperation on ecological and environmental protection and cultural and social cooperation etc., and expanding common interests based on the B&R ideas, principles and approaches.
The Bahamas is an important country in the Caribbean, with advantages in the fields of tourism and financial services. The Belt and Road Initiative means an important opportunity to strengthen practical cooperation and the comprehensive relationship between China and The Bahamas.
The Bahamas needs to upgrade its infrastructure. China is willing to support qualified Chinese enterprises to participate in The Bahamas' major programs of infrastructure construction and encourage them to hire more Bahamian workers, use local materials and establish service bases, hence cementing the foundation for the development of the Bahamian economy.
China's policy of encouraging financial cooperation is also conducive to the Bahamian financial services sector. China is committed to building a green Silk Road, and is ready to provide energy-efficient, low-carbon and renewable energy materials to The Bahamas; launch cooperation projects on solar energy, wind energy, methane gas, hydroelectric power and clean cooking stoves; organize dialogues and exchanges on environmental protection, and offer training to address climate change.
The Bahamas has rich tourism resources, and China is a huge potential market. There is huge potential in tourism cooperation between China and The Bahamas. The Bahamian government and tourism enterprises should strengthen tourism resources and products promotion in China, introduce more tourism facilitation policies, and promote direct flights between the two countries so as to attract more Chinese tourists to The Bahamas.
In recent years, China-Bahamas cultural exchanges have been in continuous expansion, and mutual understanding between the two peoples has been enhanced. China has increased its government scholarships, expanded programs of personnel training, thus offering more opportunities for the Chinese people to travel to The Bahamas and the Bahamian people to study and be trained in China.
The Belt and Road is a road of mutual respect and trust, a road of win-win cooperation and a road of mutual learning among civilizations. China welcomes The Bahamas to board the express train of the Belt and Road and jointly build the Belt and Road. Let China and The Bahamas work together to build a global economy that is more vibrant, open, inclusive, stable and sustainable, and let the Chinese and Bahamian peoples share the fruits of the Belt and Road Initiative.

o Huang Qinguo is the ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

read more »

Dreams, desire and drive

August 11, 2017

Quite frankly, I honestly believe, that everyone deep down within wants to be successful in life. They wish to make it big time in the world. Furthermore, I believe that the Creator made us and placed us on planet Earth fully equipped with unique and special talents with which to do just that, make it big time in life. So how does a person set out in life to become successful, you may query? Well today's title contains three very important words when it comes to being successful and they are dreams, desire and drive.
The very first stepping stone so to speak on the road to success is to start to dream about what you want to do in life, exactly where you'd like to be and what you'd like to be doing five ... 10 years from now. In a nutshell, you need to establish a series of specific goals and objectives, short, medium and long range which you'd like to achieve in a specific time frame.
So that takes care of the dreams, but then we come to the second word in our title for today, desire, you have to have within you a burning desire to be able to finally achieve all of your dreams. This desire is the fuel so to speak which will propel you forward on the road to success and thus ensure that you do the things daily which must be done if you are to eventually achieve your goals, one by one thus standing triumphant on the top of the mountain, the summit of success.
So we have our dreams, and a deep desire to achieve these dreams on target; however, we need the third item in our title -- drive which will make us spring into action each and every day to do the things necessary to assist us in achieving our predetermined goals and objectives. Without daily hard work and toil, success cannot be achieved. So there you have it, a simple three-word formula for success -- dreams, desire and drive.

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.

read more »

Developing Bahamas-U.S. relations

August 10, 2017

Geography Now is an educational and vlogging YouTube channel hosted by Paul Barbato. The website for the edutainment site notes:
"Through its main series and namesake, it covers the geography, history, politics, culture and diplomacy of a sovereign country per episode, through the alphabetical list of United Nations members."
The episode on The Bahamas is circulating on social media, including on WhatsApp. Barbato begins the episode with parody, noting that The Bahamas is the Hawaii of the Atlantic.
He corrects himself by saying that The Bahamas is really not the Hawaii of the Atlantic. He also emphatically notes that The Bahamas is not a U.S. state.
The episode requires a few corrections. But the host seems to understand better than Doug Manchester, Donald Trump's nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas, that we are a sovereign, independent nation, not a protectorate of Uncle Sam.
In a series of articles this column will explore Bahamas-U.S. relations, inclusive of our general foreign policy and relations with the People's Republic of China, which requires its own series.
Our relationship with China is not a subset of our relationship with the United States of America. We should treat both countries with respect and maintain good relations with both with respect to our national interests.
We should see both powers for who they are and for what they want. They are both our allies. They both have their particular interests in The Bahamas.
We should not be hopelessly starry-eyed in dealing with our U.S. neighbor. Nor should we reflexively demonize China, which often comes with a xenophobic and racist cast of mind.
The Bahamas-U.S. relationship is more layered and often mutually beneficial. The U.S. customs and immigration preclearance facilities in The Bahamas are of benefit to both countries. We have been a reliable partner and a good friend to the U.S., though such friendship and partnership has often been taken for granted by our northern and western neighbor.
There are intimate ties of history and culture, with most slave descendants in The Bahamas arriving with the Loyalists. Like Mexico and Canada we share borders, albeit in our case, a maritime border.

Sheriff
Because of this, the U.S. necessarily and understandably places a premium on security issues such as gun, human, drugs and other forms of trafficking.
This was on dramatic display when Carol Boyd Hallett arrived in The Bahamas like a sheriff to take up her appointment as U.S. ambassador.
The May 12, 1988 L.A. Times story by Don Schanche on Hallett's arrival entitled, "Anti-Drug Battle Tops Agenda for Outspoken U.S. Envoy to Bahamas", sounded the U.S. alarm.
The story read:
"NASSAU, Bahamas -- When the new U.S. ambassador came to Nassau to oversee American interests here, mainly the war against narcotics traffic, she did it in appropriate style.
"In an unspoken but blunt announcement that she was serious about her role in the drug war, Ambassador Carol Boyd Hallett chose a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration airplane to bring her over from the mainland.
"Hallett's pointed choice of carrier scandalized a few Bahamians. 'It insulted a whole nation of people,' complained Dr. Elwood Donaldson of the Bahamas Concerned Citizens Assn....The press and most community leaders applauded her.
"The applause, and the complaints, have continued almost unabated in the 19 months since the slight, 50-year-old former California legislator arrived. And so has Hallett's determination to make a major dent in the enormous quantity of drugs, mainly cocaine and marijuana, that pass through the scattered and hard-to-police islands of The Bahamas en route from Colombia to the United States."
Over the decades, the U.S. has become fixated on the security aspects of our relationship, and now maintains a significant footprint in terms of U.S. government agencies present in The Bahamas.
J. Richard Blankenship served as U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas from December 2001 to July 2003. Appointed by former U.S. President George W. Bush, his was a colorful tenure. The Wikipedia page on his time as ambassador is telling.
His page includes this introductory note: "The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met."

Cruising
Blankenship's page deserves to be quoted at some length. It is a curious read.
"He [Blankenship] was often seen cruising the streets of Nassau in his State Department vehicle, with flags flying as an indication the safety of U.S. citizens was paramount and to those who participated in the illicit smuggling of narcotics, America was again active and effective in prosecuting those individuals.
"While serving in The Bahamas, Blankenship became best known for his emphasis on drug interdiction. Under his leadership, record amounts of cocaine were seized and more drug smugglers extradited to the United States than in the entire relationship between The Bahamas and United States."
The Wikipedia piece continues:
"He could often be found in the producing countries of South America coordinating operations in the jungles or on isolated islands with law enforcement authorities."
At the highest levels of the U.S. government, including in Congress, The Bahamas is mostly seen in terms of security or as a playground for luxury tourists, including members of congress, former high-ranking U.S. officials and former presidents.
U.S. officials often fail to see that many of the threats to our security are fueled by American habits, such as a voracious appetite for drugs. This does not exclude complicity by Bahamians facilitating the drugs trade.
Further, the American appetite for guns, including high-powered weapons and ammunition, has wreaked havoc on The Bahamas.
Given recent relations between The Bahamas and the U.S., it is little surprise, though no less disturbing, that Manchester views The Bahamas as a protectorate. Bahamas Foreign Minister Darren Henfield responded generally well to Manchester's insulting claim.
Curiously, the foreign minister labeled Manchester's remarks as a Freudian slip. Was his rejoinder a Freudian slip? Was he being purposeful in this remark? If so, it suggests that he believes that Manchester really does view The Bahamas as a protectorate. The foreign minister and others will have to school Manchester about The Bahamas.
The May 15 announcement from the White House on Manchester's nomination reads:
"If confirmed, 'Papa' Doug Manchester of California will serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
"Mr. Manchester is a leading industrialist with accomplishments on a national and international scale in telecommunications, radio broadcast, medical instrumentation, publishing, and real estate development.
"Since 1970, he has been chairman of Manchester Financial Group, which has multiple divisions, including Manchester Grand Resorts and M Commercial Properties. He leads the Manchester Charitable Foundation and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute."
Manchester is a businessman and philanthropist. The Minnis administration should engage him and the U.S. on a broader agenda, especially an economic one. It is time for a more balanced relationship, a matter we should urgently pursue for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The U.S. may come to realize that an enhanced economic partnership may also help to improve the national security of The Bahamas, and security cooperation between longstanding neighbors and allies.

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

read more »

Before you get you must give

August 10, 2017

As I have stated on numerous occasions in these articles over the years, there are a set of universal principles that govern the universe in which we all live and indeed everything and everyone in it, including, of course, your life and my life. Now one of the most important of these universal laws for living, for success in life, is the law of cause and effect. The great Emerson, who was indeed a wise and learned man, in talking about this law referred to it, as I did earlier, as the law of laws. In other words, he put more emphasis, it would appear, on the importance of this particular universal law than any of the others.
So let's all endeavor to fully understand this great universal law and how to apply it to our lives and everything we do. It states as follows -- for every cause there is an effect, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or to put it in simple language, as the good book does, as you sow, so shall you reap. Now I don't believe that anything about that most important universal law is difficult for anyone to fully understand. I guess it's pretty well summed up in today's title, before you get you must first give.
And yet as simple a statement as that obviously is, as we all know, there are unfortunately millions of people spread throughout this great big world of ours who are daily trying to get something for nothing by stealing, by not putting in a good day's work for what they are paid to do. Still, others resort to criminal acts in order to make it in life. But, my friend, this never works, believe me.
Yes indeed, the penal institutions of the world are full of people who tried, unsuccessfully of course, to get something without first giving something. Of course they find out too late that this just does not work in the real world and thus end up in the "pen" -- the penitentiary, with their life ruined. So please my friend, whatever you do in life, always remember the vitally important universal law of cause and effect.

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.

read more »