Saturday, December 26, 2009
I refer to Ian McDonald's piece "I try my best to believe" (SN Dec 20, 2009), and would appreciate the opportunity to rebut.
Without realizing it, Ian McDonald himself becomes the "rationalist" (albeit whimsically, perhaps self-pityingly ... and certainly fatalistically so ... ) in this astonishing piece of self-indulgent agonizing.
This is a 'nothing' piece, one that did not have to be written! Was this done simply to show us that he was "well read"? Is this Ecclesiastes 1:16 working itself out?
The last time we saw such a gross attempt to feed self-indulgence to the masses (you will know the pieces by their inevitably anti-Christian, grandly defeatist, or subtly racist undertones) was when BC Pires tried to denigrate CARICOM's idea of the "Ideal Caribbean Person" ( http://rogerwilli.blogspot.com/2009/07/response-to-bc-pires-on-ideal-caribbean.html ; and the rebuttal to Stabroek News at http://rogerwilli.blogspot.com/2009/07/response-to-stabroek-news-on-ideal.html ).
Whether or not it was intended, McDonald now writes a treatment in hopelessness and despair that surely must now baffle his fellow churchmen.
Now the first reason we have to disagree with his fatalism is the fact that NOWHERE in his treatment does he refer to the logic and comfort of the Bible, or of the finished work of Jesus!. Is this Ecclesiastes 1:16 again working itself out?
He speaks instead of "the truths of poetry", and "stories told on his mother's knee". The compass is clearly skewed, and rather than tasting Dawkins' mess to see if it is real (he says "...I suffer when I read their books ..."), Ian in his distress will do well to return to the unambiguity of the Bible, say, in Proverbs 2:1-15:
Pro 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Pro 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Pro 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
Pro 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
Pro 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
Pro 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
Pro 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Pro 2:12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
Pro 2:13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
Pro 2:14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
Pro 2:15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
We will find that Proverbs 1:20-33 also has an answer for McDonald's belief in "the truths of poetry", his apparent high "regard" for Dawkins, and his so subsequent agony and despair ... as the "poetic" lines below testify:
Pro 1:20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
Pro 1:21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
Pro 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Pro 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Pro 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Pro 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Pro 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
Pro 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Pro 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
Pro 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Pro 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
Pro 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Proverbs 1:26 (read 1:24-31) above is instructive to Ian's torment, as is Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 (verse 16 will compete to be Ian's loudest claim to fame, and perhaps explains his claim of a (sic) " ... growing tide of God-denial which is emptying churches and trying mightily to suck dry the wells of belief ..."):
Ecc 1:16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
Perhaps he speaks for himself, for the Catholic Church, or for the Church of England, because the attendance at all evangelical locations throughout England and Guyana on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2009 will be truly spectacular!
And if all else fails, Ian is welcome to try to "rationalize" or "poeticize" Psalm 14:1 ... the first part.
Because others like Dawkins have tried to deny the existence of God before ... and ultimately failed. We did not need "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" ( http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/100ScientistsAd.pdf ) or Jonathan Wells' "Survival of the Fakest" ( http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/survivalOfTheFakest.pdf ) to prove that they have descended to the depths of academic depravity and skulduggery to so do!
Why must we ask Ian to read Jonathan Wells above, in particular? Because at page 8 of 8 we find this astonishing remarks about Richard Dawkins, the object of Ian's fascination:
“… Oxford Darwinist Richard Dawkins, though not writing in a textbook, puts it even more bluntly: “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” …
“… These are obviously philosophical rather than scientific views. Futuyma, Gould, and Dawkins have a right to their philosophy. But they do not have the right to teach it as though it were science. In science, all theories – including Darwinian evolution – must be tested against the evidence…”
Perhaps the next item on McDonald's reading list should be Lee Strobel's "The Case For Christ"!
Ian will find that the wisdom of this world ... Dawkins' world of "rationalism" ... turns out to be foolishness with God. His real wisdom ... and comfort ... will begin with the fear of God, not in the rationalizing of God's existence, or reading Dawkins' works to that end ... when he has the Bible to search out instead!
December 26, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
I refer to the article "Burrowes city probe finds widespread financial irregularities " (SN August 1, 2009) and would be grateful for the opportunity to comment. Even though the article is chock full of innuendo and noticeably bereft of money-sum detail, I again sense that the time may well have been reached when the best among us should speak out!
We should immediately note the stunning hypocrisy that Minister Lall's comments in the above article represent.
For the first time we actually have a Minister's comments about what SHOULD follow an indictment of any agency by the Auditor-General. Lall's candour is welcome. The implications are enormous.
Hopefully, a national conversation on the phenomenon will also be facilitated through the article: "Greed, Genocide ... and now "Green": Corruption and Underdevelopment in Guyana" (http://www.scribd.com/doc/17958657/Greed-Genocide-and-now-Green-Corruption-and-Underdevelopment-in-Guyana )
Some issues arising from the SN-article above:
1. Why was a Commissioner necessary after the detail of the Auditor-General's indictment? Unless Burrowes was being used as a political football to intimidate non-government-friendly municipalities in the run-up to local-government elections, it follows that the Minister's comments signal that a Commission(er) is going to be appointed to investigate every Ministry/Department similarly indicted by the Auditor-General's report. There is no shortage of candidates in that regard!
But is this a realistic expectation in the face of smothering hypocrisy by the Bharat-Jagdeo government in Guyana, given what is by now seen throughout the Caribbean as a complete failure in leadership and credibility? With almost every passing day, a Minister in that grouping distinguishes himself/herself with arrogance, insincerity and/or corruption that is “ruinous to the state”. The latest laughable instalment is the decision to “institutionalize” polygraph testing in the Public Service … while excluding every cabinet functionary from such scrutiny. Since no credible organization (we have suggested Interpol and the FBI) is effecting these polygraphs, the government may have found another way to rid itself of ‘undesirable” professionals who dare to oppose them! No appeals are possible, or recourse to the court!
2. Will Commissioner Burrowes, considering the “excellent” job that Minister Lall says he did at City Hall, now turn his attention to explaining with similar efficiency why the GPHC (Guyana Public Hospital Corporation), which is now a separate entity from his (Burrowes’) employer the Ministry of Health, continued to use that Ministry’s cabinet approval (funds) to purchase drugs and medical supplies from specialized agencies both local and overseas, and why $608.4 MILLION of Ministry funds was spent on medical supplies which the GPHC cannot account for?
Or why the Minister of Health (suddenly) cannot be polygraphed even though he was the last one to leave the Ministry of Health before it was gutted by fire recently?
3. Would Commissioner Burrowes offer his professional opinion on the Minister’s comment that “ … one of the ways to ensure financial efficiency was to have strict adherence to the annual budgets…” and analyze this against the fact that the Auditor-General has accused that same Minister’s cabinet of presiding over “political gifts” to Ministries, Departments and Regions that resulted in “… the miscellaneous receipts of $2.053 BILLION at December 31, 2006 being understated by an undetermined amount...” That same Auditor-General would have advised Minister Lall and Commissioner Burrowes, courtesy of his 2006-report, that his cabinet has not seen fit to transfer the sum of $7.190 BILLION, representing balances held in 13 special accounts, to the Consolidated Fund. Who is accessing, and utilizing, these accounts?
It gets worse. According to the KN-synopsis on the AG’s report, “ … the Contingencies Fund continued to be abused, with amounts drawn from the Fund being utilised to satisfy expenditure that did not meet the eligibility criteria as defined in the Act …”
4. Finally, that same Auditor-General would have advised Minister Lall and his cabinet that, relative to "… strict adherence to the annual budgets …", the Bharat Jagdeo government would have elicited the following comment: "...the old Consolidated Fund bank account was overdrawn by $46.906 BILLION at 31 December 2006 ..."
If Commissioner Burrowes or Minister Lall cannot, or are instructed not to, respond to these and other anomalies relating to their functions as public servants, then they need to be reminded that: “…The Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003 (FMA Act) provides for the regulation of the preparation and execution of the annual budget, the receipt, control and disbursement of public monies, and the accounting for public monies, and is the most vital legislation governing the transparent and efficient management of the finances of Guyana….”. In other words, Mr. Burrowes and Mr Lall must now be very proud men … or very confused ones! They both are members of institutions that are in flagrant violation of the Act!
We are presiding over a crisis in leadership and credibility in Guyana … and a stunning hypocrisy evident in the disdain for the welfare of entire segments of the population! An entire social policy is apparently being formulated on the nebulous framework of "keeping certain people in their places"…whatever the social cost, and however biased the machinery. As a policy initiative, this borders on lunacy, or, if not that, the deliberate orchestration of national discontent and resentment. To what end?
Quite unlike Burrowes' self-serving journey into City Hall intrigue, the Auditor-General’s report for 2006 in the main gave us an insight into the " … widespread financial irregularities …" perpetuated by Guyana's government ... but will anything come out of it? The only clear thing transmitted by Minister Lall’s comments is that every municipality in the " … local government system …" NOT supporting the government will be targeted by erstwhile "Commissioners" ... while those toeing the line will be left unscathed.
This is the definition of hypocrisy!
August 3, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
July 27, 2009
As a mostly silent world looks on, and as CARICOM diligently turns a blind eye to the escalating evidence of Guyana’s manufactured social, political and economic crisis, the “torching” of the Ministry of Health just before a pending and potentially cataclysmic audit by the Auditor-General offers new clues as to how degenerate the political climate has become. This is the fifth government building so “destroyed” with all its paperwork and files.
For Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy, already implicated by a US-court in the Shaheed “Roger” Khan issue (see “Genocide in Guyana … The Tip of the Iceberg?”), we should offer five viewpoints that place the Auditor General’s Report for 2006 in perspective. A synopsis of that Report is appended below.
First, Kean Gibson in her iconoclastic review “The Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana” pointed to the strange local phenomenon of “good thieving” and “bad thieving” to describe the astonishing rape of national and institutional coffers under the party associated with President Bharat Jagdeo. She also coined the phrase “corruption that is ruinous to the state” in that regard (see “The Marginalization of Persons of African Origin in Guyana” and “The Case for Scholarship in Kean Gibson’s Book”. The Guyana government used ethnic and other bias in its tightly controlled Ethnic Relations Commission to try to have the book “removed from public places”.
US. State Department Reports on Guyana for several consecutive years point to “corruption at the highest levels of government”. The Bharat Jagdeo-led government in Guyana dismiss these claims as “false”.
The Commonwealth Adviser Sir Michael Davies points to the systematic destruction of Guyana’s parliament as the highest decision-making forum in Guyana in “Needs Assessment of the Guyana National Assembly 2005”. He reiterates his findings in the report “Addendum to the Needs assessment of the Guyana National Assembly 2005”
The Guyana government dismiss these claims as “false”.
The UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Gay McDougall points to acts of racism that could just as easily have come from the story of the deprivation of India’s 300 million Dalits in the report of the UN Human Rights Council: “Report of the Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Gay McDougall : addendum : mission to Guyana (28 July to 1 August 2008)”(27 February 2009, A/HRC/10/11/Add.2, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49bfa6ec2.html ).
The Bharat-Jagdeo government dismisses these claims as “false”.
World-renown Guyanese economist Dr. Clive Thomas speaks to the “criminalization of the state” under the tenure of a Bharat-Jagdeo-led administration that has literally squandered 17 years of local and international goodwill:
“…. Guyana needs intervention at the macro/national, intermediate/meso and the micro/local levels, Thomas said. He listed, "the superficiality of national unity, the dynamics of racial arithmetic and insecurity and the unrelenting rise of both benign and militant extremism." Guyana's predicament, he said, was compounded by the depth, scale, complexity and sheer persistence of economic misery and the growth of the narco-economy. He added that the country's entrenched totalitarianism in a multiracial society combined with territorial threats and the criminalisation of the state all played their part. Thomas asserted that Guyana's political and social crisis could not be solved without the intervention of the international community in the broader sense of creating the foundation for some resolution. "Just as our development problems are so acute that we cannot solve them without the support of the regional and international community, similarly, our political crisis requires this type of intervention." Asked to expand on the term `structural deadlock' during the debate that followed his remarks, Thomas alluded to the government's initial objections to the symposium and their attempts to review presenters' papers prior to actual presentation....”(Source: Dr. Clive Thomas: "International Conference on Governance, Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution," Georgetown, Guyana February 2004)
The Bharat-Jagdeo government dismisses these claims as “false”.
And so, finally, a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) that begs the outside world to pour more funds into Guyana’s gaping wound … or else the pockets of those who are convinced that they are destined to rule Guyana forever!
By is this feasible since, given the abundance of evidence, one can easily detect a massive accounting frenzy designed to leave the country bankrupt by the time there is a change of government?
And now, below, a synopsis of the Auditor-General’s Report for 2006 … illustrating why the LCDS may be doomed before it began... because of the very real possibility that while government functionaries will end up with $60,000,000 houses (carbon credits or not), the vast majority of the people will probably get ... nothing!
"2006 Auditor General’s report states Govt. abuses public funds … Billions unaccounted for..."
August 8, 2008 By knews Filed Under News:
"... Despite the fact that the Auditor General Report for Guyana came in one year late, it has proved to be very revealing.
The report on the audited public accounts of Guyana and on the accounts of ministries, departments and regions for the year ending December 31, 2006 has verified a complaint by the Parliamentary Opposition parties regarding the Contingencies Fund.
According to the report presented to the National Assembly by the Auditor General, the Contingencies Fund continued to be abused, with amounts drawn from the Fund being utilised to satisfy expenditure that did not meet the eligibility criteria as defined in the Act.
“According to the statement, amounts totalling $3.945 billion were drawn from the Fund by way of 138 advances….As at 31 December 2006, forty-nine of these advances, totalling $1.721 billion, remained outstanding.”
The report, which was made public yesterday, after it was presented to the Speaker the previous week, also noted that amounts totalling $579.438M were shown as contingent liabilities for entities that were no longer in existence, yet the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General’s Department have still not taken steps to have these liabilities transferred to the public debt.
As regards the affairs at Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD), the Department continued to request, and was granted, blanket waivers to award contracts selectively. This selective tendering was done without the requisite pre-qualification of contactors and the invitation of at least three contractors to bid for these contracts.
The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation was also cited on the executive summary, and caused raised eyebrows.
According to the Auditor General, GPHC, which is now a separate entity from the Ministry of Health, continued to use the Ministry’s Cabinet approval (funds) to purchase drugs and medical supplies from specialised agencies both local and overseas.
$608.4 M SPENT ON MEDICAL SUPPLIES. HOSPITAL CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR PURCHASES
“It did not re-tender or obtain a new no-objection from Cabinet for the purchases of drugs and medical supplies…Further, during 2006, amounts totalling $608.406M were expended on drugs and medical supplies…However, the corporation could not totally account for drugs and medical supplies purchased, since there was no central point of accountability.”
In relation to Customs and Trade Administration, the Auditor General noted 17 Permits for Immediate Delivery (PID), with a total value of $2.832 billion, had not yet been perfected at the time of the audit in January 2007.
Incoming vessels at ports in Guyana totalled 1,089. However, completed ship’s files in respect of 243 ships were not submitted to the Quality Review Section, and as such, were not made available for audit examination.
$11M PAID FOR ARMS, AMMO IN 2003, YET TO BE DELIVERED
In relation to the Ministry of Home Affairs, it was noted that a quantity of arms and ammunition, to the value of $11.160M, which were paid for in 2003, had not yet been delivered, nor has the Ministry been able to recover the amount paid.
It was also noted in the report that several ministries and departments also recorded overstatements on their appropriation accounts, and the unspent amounts have not been refunded, “…Subvention agencies not returning the unspent portions of amounts paid over to them for specific expenditure.”
The Auditor General also cited in his report what he called the overpayment of contracts.
“Several Ministries and Regions have not recovered amounts overpaid on various contracts in prior periods….In addition, some of these Ministries and Regions, such as, Education, Amerindian Affairs, Regions Two, Three, Six, Seven and Ten continued to have overpayments on various contracts during 2006…One such example was recorded under the Ministry of Education, where $10.982M was overpaid on eleven projects which were mainly for the rehabilitation and extension to schools.”
$13.6M SPENT ON HIRING VEHICLES FROM A PERSON HIRED AS A MAID
In relation to the Guyana Defence Force, it was noted that the Force continued to hire vehicles from a civilian and members of the Force. During 2006, one hundred and one payments, totalling $13.697M, were expended on hiring of vehicles owned by one civilian, who is employed as a maid, and nine members of the Guyana Defence Force.
This was a serious breach of the regulations, which strictly prohibit sponsoring of tenders for Government contracts by Government Officers.
Gifts also raised eyebrows, with the Auditor General noting that the continued lack of reporting and accounting for all gifts to Ministries, Departments and Regions resulted in the miscellaneous receipts of $2.053B at December 31, 2006 being understated by an undetermined amount.
As it relates to bank accounts, several transfers from other accounts to the Consolidated Fund were not effected, and several accounts had overdrafts.
This was documented as follows:
Transfers not effected
(i) The amount of approximately $7.190 billion, representing balances held in 13 special accounts;
(ii) The balance of $34.336M held in the General Account
(iii) The balance of $527.139M held in Non-Sub Accounting Ministries and Departments’ Bank Account
(iv) The balances of 66 inactive bank accounts, of which eight had balances in excess of $100M.
(b)Accounts with overdrafts were identified in two categories:
- the old Consolidated Fund bank account was overdrawn by $46.906 billion at 31 December 2006; and
- Forty-two inactive accounts had overdrafts totalling $685.991M. Of these accounts, 24 were overdrawn by amounts in excess of $1M.
The Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003 (FMA Act) provides for the regulation of the preparation and execution of the annual budget, the receipt, control and disbursement of public monies, and the accounting for public monies, and is the most vital legislation governing the transparent and efficient management of the finances of Guyana.
According to this Act, a number of Public Accounts Statements are required to be prepared and submitted...."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I have finally had the time to read the “Thank God It’s Friday” piece in the Trinidad Express for September 12, 2008. One inescapable conclusion is that … there is an awesome, throbbing, horrible emptiness in the mind and work of BC Pires. It is especially evident in his grotesque piece “The Ideal Caribbean Person”
This truly is the desperate banality of a deskbound hack, a nine to fiver who found himself with lots of spare time, no ideas to justify the pay grade, and an easy target in fifteen lines of a CARICOM communiqué. Do a Google search on “Ideal Caribbean Person” to see how far he missed the mark!
I had hoped against hope that the source of inspiration for Stabroek News’ editor, in his ridiculous commentary of the same name on September 26, was something so truly profound and inspiring that we would all be forced to retract, to concede, and to beg the forgiveness of an inspired columnist’s vision. I was disappointed! Contrary to Stabroek News, it is not only our bureaucrats (sic) who generate pronouncements of meaningless, pseudo-intellectual drivel.
What we got from BC Pires was an insipid attempt to hock the unsellable, another attempt to pawn fake goods. We got from BC an attempt to imply that CARICOM’s crafting the idea of an “Ideal Caribbean Person” somehow translated into a failed attempt to fashion a new Magna Carta, Declaration of the Rights of the Child, or some such other product of astonishing advertising poppycock like “Rally Round the West Indies”. Is this for real?
It would be laughable if it were not in black and white … and perhaps is reflective of a deeper, more sinister manifestation of anti-CARICOM rhetoric that seems to be infecting liberal Caribbean media-personalities these days. Look at their photographs closely!
Who, exactly, is BC Pires, and what has he done for Caribbean integration lately? We recounted (see http://rogerwilli.blogspot.com/2009/07/deadly-storm-of-rhetoric-in-guyana.html ) the sad fact that convenient memories now forget that it has been the strong and steady support of a unified CARICOM that has kept Venezuela, Suriname and possibly Brazil off Guyana’s territory. More recently, CARICOM’s support was evident in the UNCLOS and UNITLOS ruling on Guyana’s maritime border with Suriname. What of the CCJ, or CSME in 2015.?
But Pires would have us believe that CARICOM’s worth should be measured in hotel bills. This is the classic manifestation of the cake-shop mentality alluded to for Stabroek News, and the convoluted thinking of an intellectual leprechaun. He hides his diseased outlook with a “nonchalant” reference to the “Good Negro” and “pappyshowing”. We know his kind well … BC’s own citation of “res ipsa loquitur” … the thing speaks for itself. His own words condemn him!
Stabroek News’ editor, incapable of forming an opinion of his own, validates the inanity of BC Pires as “brilliant satirical wit” without bothering himself with the necessary trouble of reflective thinking. I now see where he got his “what’s the real difference?” quip from. I repeat that this is plagiarist insensitivity and intellectual incompetence at its worst, adequately argued at http://rogerwilli.blogspot.com/2009/07/response-to-stabroek-news-on-ideal.html .
So, we conclude for BC as we started for Stabroek News. An elitist segment of the Caribbean population seems to have declared war on CARICOM ... for all the wrong reasons. If we must offer a critique of CARICOM and its institutions, then let's focus on the factual evidence (there is plenty available), not sophistry … or nonchalant racism!
September 26, 2008
I had alluded previously to the dangerous and culturally toxic rhetoric that now pervades the social and political athmosphere in Guyana, and had hopefully addressed some of its recent EPA-driven manifestations in "A Deadly Storm of Rhetoric in Guyana About CARICOM and the EPA" (http://rogerwilli.blogspot.com/2009/07/deadly-storm-of-rhetoric-in-guyana.html )
But now, an astonishingly crude effort at editorship (using as its foundation another article by one BC Pires in the Trinidad Express) raises the ante even further. Not since the debacle of its sinister and racist "Cockroaches" editorial has the Stabroek News exhibited this degree of chicanery!
An elitist segment of the Caribbean population seems to have declared war on CARICOM ... for all the wrong reasons. If we must offer a critique of CARICOM and its institutions, then let's focus on the factual evidence, not sophistry.
Without reading BC Pires’s treatment, I had to read this SN editorial of Friday 26th September 2008 several times over. For good reason. The editorial clearly outdistances any of the recent event-reactive gibberish that usually flows from the pen of some of our Editors, and sets new standards of pettifoggery and witlessness.
It seems to effortlessly achieve its reckless launch … by validating someone called BC Pires without bothering itself with the necessary trouble of reflective thinking. This is plagiarist insensitivity and intellectual incompetence at its worst.
I promise to read BC Pires later and comment appropriately, but am very glad that I skipped immediately to the Caricom-webpage to see what the furore was all about. My initial reaction (to the CARICOM descriptive) was very positive!
One sincere conclusion is that this SN editorial is testimony to the cake-shop mentality that has replaced erudition in our society today, and the generous nonsense that has replaced the capacity to abstract, and to articulate a higher ideal.
I almost gagged when I saw that the SN Editor had replaced CARICOM's lofty effort at disavowing abortion and war (”… imbued with a respect for human life since it is the foundation on which all the other desired values must rest…”) with the careless and infantile insinuation of “… we think that the ideal Caribbean person is someone who loves his or her family and country, life and a good time, not necessarily in that order…”
Now this last is the thinking of an eighteen-year old, pure and simple … and is trite and shallow. It exemplifies the trendy rubbish of the language of the beer-commercial on TV. Repeat it often enough and you will see what I mean.
Who is this “we”, then, referred to in the editorial … does the writer speak for the ownership of Stabroek News? Or is this Editorial licence gone amok?
If that was not shocking enough, the editor then refers to the clear language of the descriptive “… is emotionally secure with a high level of self confidence and self esteem ...” with the arrogant, even asinine, comment: “... what’s the real difference?...”
If this had come from anywhere other than a respected newspaper, I would simply have ignored it.
But this is the Stabroek News, people, the Stabroek News! Here's a point that should not have to be made ... the editorial staff should have taken the time to acknowledge that there IS a subtle yet distinct difference in the meaning of “self-confidence” and “self-esteem” ... a realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc. as against a realistic respect for or favorable overall impression of oneself. The latter leads to the former.
Now any dimwit of an editor should have checked the dictionary before making that dismissive a statement, but in a seamless moment of arrogance and childishness born out of a rage to discredit CARICOM on this non-issue, the staff writer opted for the easy way out.
Now if the above made us uncomfortable, the next should make us see red.
Does “… whatever faith she or he believes in … ” include murder, violence, anarchy, atheism, racism, nepotisn? Because these are relevant concerns where an intense and overt moral sanction or restraint is absent in the belief system.
Now, we Christians of the Caribbean look to Jesus the Christ, and find no distress therein, no trouble with reconciling democracy with our religion ....
Despite the oil-shocks of the 70s, the debt-trauma of the 80s, the social and political upheavals of the 90s and the economic imperatives of the first decade of the new century, the hopes of CARICOM that a post-1997 “Ideal Caribbean Person” could bring to bear vision and wisdom as he or she “… demonstrates multiple literacies, independent and critical thinking, questions the beliefs and practices of past and present and brings this to bear on the innovative application of science and technology to problems solving …” are lost on SN’s Editor … and we are all the poorer … as a people and a region … after this latest bit of intellectual mischief and skulduggery (... what's the real difference?).
This staff writer should cease and desist!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Response to OAS and PANCAP on Sexual Orientation, and Decriminalizing Homosexuality and Prostitution
Dear Mr. Moses,
In that Press Release, two lines stand out: “… According to a Reuters story, members of the OAS met with 20 activists from homosexual groups prior to adopting the resolution. Pro-family organizations were not given an opportunity for input….”
To what end?
It is to be noted that the resolution below starts off on the premise of unspecified “acts of violence” against persons, and ends with a sweeping mandate on “Human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” This confuses the issue.
I use the words of lawyer and author Roger Magnuson (“Are Gay Rights Right: Making Sense of the Controversy!”; Multnomah Press; 1992; Portland, Oregon 97266; p67-107, specifically p. 82-89) to initially frame my objections:
“.... As we have already seen, proponents of gay rights laws rely heavily on an analogy to other human rights legislation. If human rights laws have provided protection to other minorities, why should society not add one more group to those protected from discrimination? Hitching their wagon to the broadly based support Americans have traditionally given civil rights laws, gay rights advocates have made surprising progress in the past decade.
The human rights analogy, though popular and politically understandable, cannot withstand careful analysis. Adding homosexual behaviour to a list of classes that includes racial and religious minorities makes no sense. The tenuous balance of social interests represented by these laws is reflected in the few, and carefully chosen, classes they protect. Relief has been given only in extraordinary circumstances. To add another protected class, at least five requirements have had to be shown:
(1) A demonstrable pattern of discrimination …
(2) … based on criteria that are arbitrary and irrational …
(3) … causing substantial injury …
(4) … to a class of people with an unchangeable or immutable status …
(5) … which has no element of moral fault ....”
None of the above criteria seem to have been met for the OAS-resolution.
“.... Somebody had to tell the truth. We take no pleasure in it. We would rather these articles had been published elsewhere. Elsewhere they might have been afforded more credibility. Some well-intentioned people may dismiss these articles because they are associated with a Christian law school. Some ill-intentioned people may maliciously label our law review and the authors as bigots, religious homophobes, or much worse. We are nothing of the sort. And the authors are all intelligent, highly-credentialed professionals. For example, Dr. George Rekers is Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science in the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine; Dean Byrd is a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine. And the list goes on....”
“.... We apologize in advance for the graphic nature of this publication. We say that, not out of some affected prudishness, but because we are genuinely appalled. We are appalled at the virtual sewer of source material that our staff had to wade through in order to verify the authors’ research. We are most appalled, however, to discover that this graphic sexual material is being involuntarily foisted on school children ....”
2. David Lee Mundy, Editor in Chief of the Regent University Law Review Series ( http://www.regent.edu/news/lawreview/articles/14_2editorsnote.doc ) …
5. “Homosexuality: Innate and immutable?” by Dean Byrd & Stony Olsen, 14 Regent U. L. Rev. (2002); ( http://www.regent.edu/news/lawreview/articles/14_2Byrd.doc )
6. “Gay Orthodoxy and Academic Heresy”, by Ty Clevenger, 14 Regent U. L. Rev. 241 (2002); ( http://www.regent.edu/news/lawreview/articles/14_2Clevenger.doc )
7. “Crafting Bi/Homosexual Youth”, by Judith Reisman, 14 Regent U. L. Rev. 283, 326 (2002); ( http://www.regent.edu/news/lawreview/articles/14_2Reisman.doc )
THIS PARTICULAR LAW REVIEW IS IMPORTANT, SINCE IN ITS "HIDING DIRTY LAUNDRY" SECTION, IT ILLUSTRATES THAT THE RATES OF VIOLENCE WITHIN THE LGBT COMMUNITY IS VASTLY HIGHER THAN ANY IT EXPERIENCES FROM GROUPS WITHOUT. QUITE SIMPLY, IT REFLECTS A PSYCHOSEXUAL DISORDER MANIFESTING ITSELF
Please note that in the unlikely event of your not being able to access the material cited above, I can supply you with duly referenced alternative sites.
My specific requests are:
1. That you communicate my concern as a citizen of a member state of the OAS, and a copy of this e-mail, to the representative of every country present at the fourth session as a matter of urgency.
2. That you immediately advise me of any special procedures for representation to your august body that I, as a citizen of a member state, or organizations in/from any member state, have to follow to ensure that my/our objections/concerns are given full audience and hearing before the OAS in plenary session BFORE the OAS considers implementation of the said resolution.
4. I further request that the CJAP publish advertisments in all its member states inviting memoranda from interested parties who disagree with the position adopted by the resolution.
5. I finally request that you advise on the procedural mechanics of seeking a nullification of the said resolution until a specific place in time when all the issues would have been ventilated to the satisfaction of all interested parties. In effect, this means that you should advise the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth regular session on the INCAPACITY to implement this resolution given this or other submission(s), and to delay/defer its execution.
August 1, 2008
Cc: The Guyana Council of Churches
The Georgetown Ministers’ Fellowship
The Guyana Evangelical Fellowship
Minister/Ministry of Human Services and Social Security in Guyana
The Trade Union Movement in Guyana
The Head, Guyana Teachers’ Union
The Caribbean Conference of Churches
The Evangelical Association of the Caribbean
The World Evangelical Alliance
The Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies
The Secretary General, CARICOM
All political parties in Guyana
The Caribbean media
The country-representatives of all member states of the OAS
Saturday, July 11, 2009
There is a deadly storm of agitated political talk abroad today, and Guyanese must pause and ask deep questions.
Like many other Guyanese, we may have thus far considered the issues at a distance, and must now familiarize ourselves with the detail. However, it is obvious that some recent comments are cause for alarm!
Smarting under the chagrin of a stupendous difference of opinion with fellow CARICOM leaders about the EU’s EPA, Bharat Jagdeo and Peter Ramsaroop have now transported an otherwise valiant stand on principle to the extreme of overtly proposing that Guyana “realizes its continental destiny”.
By any standard, this notion stretches the bounds of reason, and obvious questions arise:
1. To what end is this sudden, drastic overreaction in efforts at disowning CARICOM? Surely local opposition parties never envisaged (in their support for President Jagdeo’s initial position) that rooting for fairer treatment under the EPA would suddenly turn into a smear campaign against the CRNM. Having been slapped by the EU, Jagdeo is unwisely venting his anger on CARICOM and, by implication, fellow CARICOM heads. This is short-sighted, even foolish, for the short and medium term. A calm but intensely overt effort at out-and-out lobbying before the ACP meeting might bear more fruit, much like his initial presentation at the Lilliendaal "consultation".
2. What, exactly, is this “continental destiny” of which Jagdeo and Ramsaroop now speak? Does it include the fact that "continental" Venezuela, Suriname, and possibly Brazil, all have their eyes on Guyana's territory?
3. Is it the fact that Guyana is increasingly seen as drifting towards its drug-cartel destiny a la Colombia, even as the latest grisly stories from the USA about Robert Simels’ and Shaheed Khan’s efforts to “neutralize” witnesses shake the territory? What part, if any, does the soon-to-be-released report by the Jamaican forensic team on the Lindo Creek issue have to do with any of this? Or investigations into torture by the Guyanese government? If this latest move is nothing more than political grandstanding by a beleaguered political apparatus, then it establishes new depths of debauchery and irresponsibility for us as a maturing democracy.
4. If the CRNM has served us well in the past, why abandon it now with such careless talk? What, exactly, is the tangible evidence of a “next generation” left to face the EPA-tragedy? It is indeed strange that a government that imposed a 16% hangman’s noose “without consultation” over the heads of Guyanese citizens without heeding the pleas of the opposition, and that is now being called to account by its traditional union-ally GAWU because of the disastrous effects that VAT has had on their members’ standard of living, now has the interest of a “next generation” on their minds. Will the next generation of CARICOM states HAVE to be beleaguered by poor capacity and mono-crop exports? Does the agreement in fact give us time to establish this capacity and further diversify our economies?
Everyone talks about their being “some goodies” in the EPA, but no-one, least of all Jagdeo and Misir, bothers to tell us what they are! Are there exception clauses in the agreement? And are their other social issues in, or attendant to, the EPA that we should know about, much like a recent and astonishing Brazil-generated OAS-resolution on sexual orientation last June 3? Is this part of the “continental destiny” Ramsaroop envisages? Guyana's OAS-representative Dennis Moses now either refuses, or is incapable of, or has been otherwise not instructed, to respond on his lack of “consultation” with Guyanese citizenry on this issue. The potential consequences are truly enormous, and may span generations … but no answer from Jagdeo or Ramsaroop on that one. Obviously times have changed, but the questions in the article “Response to OAS and PANCAP on Sexual Orientation, and Decriminalizing Homosexuality and Prostitution” (http://rogerwilli.blogspot.com/2009/07/response-to-oas-and-pancap-on-sexual.html ) will not go away, and still demand an answer!
5. Where and when did the hastily arranged “consultation” session at the Conference Hall translate into a promise to validate the political rhetoric and insinuation of abandoning CARICOM?
6. Where did opposition support for Jagdeo on an issue of principle become a national referendum on dismissing, or separating from, or vilifying CARICOM? The PNC and the AFC need to let us know!
Then there is the rather dubious notion that whereas Guyana stands as a relative giant in CARICOM, we as minnows in the "continental destiny" would fare better in terms of having our own way with our South American counterparts. This would be foolhardy logic, since our language and our history immediately puts us at odds with continental neighbours. Surely active and intense diplomacy and lobbying with ACP heads before the signing in October is the answer, not the demeaning of the institution of CARICOM. Guyana must take on this task of lobbying single-handedly with the aid of the CARICOM Secretariat if necessary.
The failure of other CARICOM heads to await the ACP-meeting in Ghana next month before consensus is very disturbing, but we are premising our denouncements right now on the prospect that other African and Pacific nations will not do as the rest of the Caribbean has done. What, if anything, have our diplomatic feelers told us about the likely position the African and Pacific nations will take at their upcoming summit? If indeed they feel inclined to sign, then does that mean that the Caribbean including Guyana never had a choice in the first place? On the other hand a victory at re-negotiation by an AP/Guyana alliance on behalf of the entire ACP would do the region well.
Now someone educate me: If indeed the EU can now take issues taken off the WTO agenda back to the WTO through lobbying, then what stops CARICOM at that time from itself lobbying the WTO against same effort?
There is a lot of reckless talk abroad, and more questions than answers available at this time. However, one thing appears clear.
We should all stand up and declare that Guyana’s historical destiny lies with the Caribbean archipelago and its tradition of democracy and conservativism, not with Colombia’s drug-saturated legacy or Brazil’s sheer dominance and liberal agenda, nor with the deranged and anti-American demagoguery of Venezuels’s Chavez, nor India’s ambitions of empire in Latin America, and certainly not with Morales’s socialist retrogression or some leaders’ visions of third terms in office. It is indeed tragic that it is the EPA-event that has finally caused Guyana's head of state to finally meet with opposition leaders on the way forward for "One People, One Nation, with One Destiny".
An initial decision by President Jagdeo to not sign unless forced to do so seemed prudent until this escalation of rhetoric. Both Jagdeo and Ramsaroop should keep focused.
Until we know differently, the EU is the enemy here, not CARICOM!
This should be our initial starting point.
Now let’s all assess the evidence and pronounce on these issues (the EPA, and the EU) in the following days!
13th September 2008
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The letter “Restoring Dignity of Men and Women” by Michel Sidibe' (Kaieteur News 8/7/09; Stabroek News 7/7/09 captioned "UNAIDS Applauds the Decision of India's High Court" ) is disturbing in its whimsical disregard for science, medicine, the extant law, and the truth. It can be rebutted on several distinct grounds, each of which illustrates that Sidibe' has taken the unprofessional step of arguing his case with innuendo rather than fact. In taking the opposite posture, our approach offers the detail and evidence that all citizens need to make responsible personal and corporate decisions.
Jusith Reisman, who destroyed Kinsey’s abysmal outlook on human sexuality, documents the devious ploy by gay activists to “use” HIV/AIDS” as a “marketing tool” to achieve their political goals. Sidibe’s education in this regard should begin by noting the words of homosexual activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen outlined in the law review “Crafting Bi/Homosexual Youth” ( http://www.regent.edu/news/lawreview/articles/14_2Reisman.doc ): "... According to Kirk and Madsen, "AIDS gives us a chance, however brief, to establish ourselves as a victimized minority ...." Reisman goes on …“... To hide the fact that most AIDS children appear to be infected by bi/homosexuals, the "World AIDS Day" artfully reports that "16% of adolescents with AIDS, aged 13 through 19 . . . have been infected through heterosexual contact…,” rather than that 84% of AIDS children are infected by male bi/homosexual sex abuse. To place this grievous medical sleight-of-hand in perspective, Kate Leishman reports that in 1988, though representing less than 5% of the U.S. population, “…. homosexuals were responsible for 50% of the nation’s cases of syphilis and a “phenomenal incidence of venereal disease…” ( Kate Leishman, “AIDS and Syplillis”, The Atlantic Monthly. January 1988, 20, 21).
8th July 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The letter “Restoring Dignity of Men and Women” by Michel Sidibe' (Kaieteur News 8/7/09; Stabroek News 7/7/09 captioned "UNAIDS Applauds the Decision of India's High Court" ) is disturbing in its whimsical disregard for science, medicine, the extant law, and the truth. It can be rebutted on several distinct grounds, each of which illustrates that Sidibe has taken the unprofessional step of arguing his case with innuendo rather than fact. In taking the opposite posture, our approach offers the detail and evidence that all citizens need to make responsible personal and corporate decisions.
First, we had aggressively rebutted Sidibe’s colleague Ruben del Prado’s similar outburst one year ago with the aptly captioned "A Departure From Professional Conduct"; http://www.guyanachronicle.com/ARCHIVES/archive%2026-05-08.html. There, in a fanciful fascination with the “Yogyagakarta Principles”, del Prado had made the similar mistake of implying that there were not good medical, legal, moral and societal reasons for criminalizing homosexuality. The arguments to the contrary in “A Departure from Professional Conduct” still hold, and, if you look closely, Sidibe has carefully sidestepped every one of them.
Second, there is a geo-political thrust to Sidibe’s arguments, having nothing to do with HIV/AIDS. For Sidibe, then, India’s activist High Court ruling, sure to be challenged, represents a shot in the arm for the tired arguments usually spawned by gay militancy and a recklessly unprofessional confederacy of its supporters in the UN ….anxious for any “victory” after the astonishing defeat to opponents of Proposition 8 in the USA (see “Why Proposition 8 will Stand in 2010”; http://www.esnips.com/web/Proposition8 ). There, the people simply got fed up with “court decisions” that pilfered their traditional values and democratic principles, and voted down yet another effort to redefine marriage, this being the holy grail of “decriminalization” crowd. We had hopefully addressed some of the issues in the online article “The OAS Resolutionson Sexual Orientation Do Not Reflect the Will of the people of the Region” (http://www.stabroeknews.com/2009/letters/06/13/oas-resolutions-on-sexual-orientation-do-not-reflect-the-will-of-the-citizens-of-the-region ). The caption of this article was not accidental, since, with the threat of democratic opposition action at the grassroots, an entire swathe of gay-rights “victories” are being engineered NOT in the polls where the people have a voice, but in activist courts and legislatures, and by executive order. This is slap in the face for voters, and it is all being done in the name of “human rights!
Thirdly, if we were casting our net wide with references to the geo-politics defined by the “OAS” and the “UN” in response to Sidibe, it will surely come as a surprise to readers and voters in Guyana and the Caribbean that this specious argumentation being resuscitated by Sidibe was in fact being peddled in selfsame short-measure by CARICOM’s PANCAP as recently as 2008. Hopefully, we had provided Guyana and the Caribbean with enough material in the online summary “Arguments Against Pancap and rthe Decriminalization of Homosexuality” (http://www.esnips.com/doc/8e2963b1-92f4-4b9e-b68f-2306587109a5/ARGUMENTS-AGAINST-PANCAP-AND-THE-DECRIMINALIZATION-OF-HOMOSEXUALITY ) to show the error of that particular effort.
It gets worse. What do current US-indicators tell us about this “glorious” development in India ? He denies the fact of MRSA infection, and its affinity 19 times greater for homosexual populations. David Ostrow is in no doubt, however, and shares why the OAS, the UN and PANCAP must now be equally "fascinated" with behaviour modification rather than “behaviour accommodation”: “…The physiology of the rectum makes it clear that sodomy is unnatural. The inward expansion of the rectum during anal intercourse frequently tears the rectal lining, resulting in spasms, colitis, cramps, and a variety of other physical responses. Furthermore, sperm can readily penetrate the rectal wall (the vagina cannot be so readily penetrated) and do massive immunological damage, leaving the body vulnerable to a bewildering variety of opportunistic infections…." (David Ostrow et al, eds., “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Homosexual Men”, New York, Plenum Medical Book Co., 1982). Note … the science has not changed in 2009, only Sidibe’s rhetoric. He denies the gigantic paradox that screams at us all ... that homosexuality therefore needs entire medical brigades to justify its political space under decriminalization, thereby also explaining why gay-militant activity in activist countries has always targeted the health sector, or its Ministers. But medical fact does not supplant "human rights" in Sidibe's world.
Sidibe is careful to point out that his, and UNAIDS’, motives lie in the “fight against HIV/AIDS”. To the extent that a key strategy of the gay-rights and gay-militant lobby has always been to blur and confuse the lines between the legitimate needs of PLWHA and “securing” gay rights, then Sidibe’s comments are disingenuous.
The point? Homosexuality NEEDS medical brigades to justify its space, and THAT’s a valid enough reason for criminalization. And we have not even addressed the Biblical perspective as yet, or links to violence and pedophilia!
The final words defining Sidibe’s caricature of the Indian High Court ruling, then, belong to lawyer Roger J Magnuson. These words would constitute important advice for unsuspecting, naïve third world populations infatuated with UN rhetoric”: "…. The political proposals advanced by an increasingly aggressive group of gay activists ... merit and demand serious discussion and rational analysis. Unfortunately, gay rights proposals have often received neither. The seriousness of the issues has not been matched by a seriousness of analysis. There has been a curious inversion: a high level of public policy interest; a low level of public policy debate…." ( Roger Magnuson; "Are Gay Rights Right? making Sense of the Controversy!", p. 137). Magnuson would go on to document that “…during the first decade of gay rights in san Francisco - the annual rate of infectious Hepatitis A increased 100%, infectious Hepatitis B 300%, and amoebic colon infections increased 2500%....” CDC 2004 figures show remarkably consistent infection rates among MSM, in glaring counterpoint to Sidibe's figures.
What are the facts for the Caribbean ? India ? What can we reasonably expect with decriminalization? If the above does not constitute valid reasons for the criminalization of a psychosexual disorder that manifests itself in socially and personally destructive ways, then what does? Decriminalization accommodates a slow but fatalistic degeneracy where everyone loses.