Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My response to the false claims and suggestions in the MLA, November 25th 2014

Now that my response to accusations made by abuse of parliamentary privilege in the MLA has been published in the local newspaper of record (and so will be permanently archived by the local public library), I reproduce it here, adjusting for the security needs of a troll-infested Web:

______________

>>RESPONSE, FOR RECORD:

Time for a Temple Cleansing

by GEM, MSc, MBA
The Kairos Initiative,

November 29, 2014

On Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 – a date that shall live in dishonour – I was utterly astonished to hear my family name called in thinly veiled form, on ZJB Radio.

This, during a string of accusations being made against the PDM government by the new, MCAP Opposition Leader. Having set a context of alleged cronyism and claimed documents and sources, the Opposition Leader proceeded to associate my family name and my practice of policy advice consultancies with the notion of a proposed shady consultancy of EC$ 250,000.

In fact, I have made no such proposal.

On cross-checking, no relevant responsible officer of the Government has been authorised to propose such an offer.

On track record (for instance with developing the 2008 – 2027 Energy Policy), I have consistently charged well below market rates when I have done consultancies for Montserrat; given the volcano plight we all face. Any alleged document showing such a $250,000 shady proposal is therefore either twisted utterly out of context into falsehood, or it is a plain out and out fabrication and dirty trick. If instead, such grave and questionable accusations were made based on little more than irresponsible office gossip, that is even worse. (I note, as a key moral principle, that: to lie is to speak in disregard to truth, in hope that what is said or suggested will be taken as true.)

The true facts could easily have been found out. If, there was a serious desire to be fair, accurate and truthful. It is therefore utterly irresponsible for the Leader of the Opposition to make abusive and unfounded allegations in the Assembly about innocent third parties, knowing full well that because of parliamentary privilege he is immune to being sued for defamation.

For the record, the first I heard of such a shady proposal, was the public accusations instantly broadcast to Montserrat and the wider world and automatically written into the record of our Legislature.

My clan has thus been subjected to a breach of honour, by way of unjustified false accusations and implied guilt by association with a long string of other accusations.

The Temple of Law in Montserrat must be cleansed.

I have therefore communicated with the Speaker. I have called for correcting the record and for dealing with the abuse of parliamentary privilege under the rules of Parliament. A retraction is due.

If such is not done our Honourable House of law-making is in danger of falling into disrepute.

Similarly, political parties are responsible for the behaviour of their officers.

Accordingly, through a formal complaint, I have called on the MCAP leadership to correct what was done under the colours of their party, and to repudiate the false accusations that were made.

There is obviously a need for a restoration of civility in political debate and behaviour in Montserrat. So, I have copied my formal complaint to the leadership of the PDM, and I have called on the Christian Council to facilitate development of a code of decent political conduct.

Edmund Burke warned us all long since, that “all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing.”

I find it especially saddening to notice a tendency to shrug shoulders and say in effect, “that's politics . . . “

As though, the hunger for or exercise of power confers an exception to civility, honour and respect for one's neighbour, made in the Image of the Awesome God and Dread Judge of all Flesh.

Such is little more than a flimsy excuse for wrong-doing.

One, that imagines that might and manipulation make 'right' and 'truth.' That, is a monstrous doctrine condemned ever since Plato in The Laws, Book X exposed those who taught the up and coming youth of his day that “the highest right is might.”

Such, must not stand.

Let us cleanse the temple of law in Montserrat, lest we utterly undermine civility and mutual respect; which are the foundation of a stable and just democracy and community worth living in.>>
 
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Further actions as outlined are of course under way, towards reformation of the culture of governance. END 

PS: The following excerpts from SRO 11 of 2012 will clarify and correct impressions also given during the relevant remarks:


 (Yes, providing reasonable circumstances apply, single source procurement of goods and services is legitimate. One of these, patently, would be  confidential policy analysis and linked support services.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

A message to those who have abused immunity privileges . . .

. . . in recent days, here:

[U/D Dec 13, cf follow-up post here for now public details]



A gentle reminder. END

PS: If that does not suffice, ask yourself why Jamaica's Parliament building bears this particular name:




. . . and stands on that particular site.

Before we draw too firm a conclusion on Ferguson . . .

. . . let us read here. END

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11:11:2014 -- In Flanders Fields . . .

Let us watch, and let us reflect:



And, let us learn from history hard bought with blood and tears. END

PS: Ghosts of the Somme:


 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Remembrance Sunday, 2014 -- 1914 + 100 years . . .

  . . . is this about lions led to the slaughter by donkeys, for no good reason?

A few days back, I had reason to reflect on how the lessons of the past were often paid for in blood and tears. So, that, if we refuse to learn them soundly and heed them well, we are doomed to pay for them over and over again, at the same price.

I will not hide, that the state of our civilisation c. 2014 deeply troubles me.

But, what were the true lessons of 1914 - 18?

It does seem to me that the world had then been playing with fire for years, and the bomb went off in July and August. Whereupon, the British found that the ruthless German armies brushed aside Belgium's neutrality to outflank the French defenses on their mutual frontier. (As they would again do in 1940.)

That meant that Britain would confront its main naval rival across the narrow English channel. 

So, Britain had but little choice but to stand with Belgium and France.

Where, as the Russo-Japanese War of a decade earlier and even the US Civil War and Crimean War warned, the advances in firepower meant war was now much more devastating and deadly. Railroads, Machine guns and rapid fire artillery meant, only siege tactics could work, and without the breakthrough engines of effective tank units with high mobility and attack aircraft of adequate power, it was going to be a long, hard, blood-soaked war of attrition to break Germany's back.

And indeed the Russians would argue that in the 1940's they bled and caused Germany to bleed at fully comparable levels. 

Of course the consequence was, collapse of Germany, Austria and the Ottomans, as well as of Russia, leading to the bloodiest century in human history.

Sobering.

However, let us take some time to come to a fresher appreciation of General Haig, principal leader of the British Army:


Let us learn, let us weep, let us understand that sometimes we can only postpone the day of reckoning in the face of determined aggressors (as happened with Hitler who exploited post WW I war-weariness), let us try to re-balance the world towards sanity. END

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sci-Tech watch, 23: Identity theft warning on a political outing of personal info in Kentucky, USA . . . a wake-up call

Identity theft is a serious issue, which makes all too commonly seen "outing" tactics used by unscrupulous online advocates a serious matter indeed.

Video:



Let us take due note, next time a web or blog troll pretends he has a right to broadcast personal information. 

Anti Intelligent Design trolls, this warning is for you. But then, you know what you are doing so scratch that: this warning is for the naive who don't realise the danger of outing tactics or may be naive enough to divulge personal information online. END

Sci-Tech watch, 22: KABOOM, a NASA rocket explodes on takeoff . . . U/D, appar command detonation

Video (HT, CNN):



It seems that a NASA supply rocket for the space station has tipped over, broken and blown up [U/D: began disintegrating, gone out of control and been command destroyed] takeoff from a contract facility in Virginia, reminding us that a rocket on launch is first and foremost the dynamic equivalent of an inverted broom balanced on a finger-tip, making for a difficult control problem indeed. 

As in, it's Rocket Science!

US$200 mn up in smoke.

(Most expensive firework of this Guy Fawkes season!)

Ouch!

Developing. END

PS: U/D ABC News . . .
6:22 p.m. EST: The Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to lift off. Thousands of space buffs gather along the coast to watch the launch.
6 seconds later: The rocket starts going awry.
14 seconds later: The range safety officer sends a self-destruct command. The rocket explodes into a fireball over Wallops Island, Virginia.
>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Abby and Brittany Hensel -- twins sharing a common body

Abby and Brittany Hensel are dicephalus conjoined twins (having two heads and sharing one body) born in 1990, who have now completed College and teach Math in grade school. Thanks to Buzzfeed, here they are driving a car -- they have one driver's licence each:



Wikipedia notes:
Abigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel (born March 7, 1990) are dicephalic parapagus twins, meaning that they are conjoined twins, each of whom has a separate head, but whose bodies are joined. They are highly symmetric, giving the appearance of having just a single body with little variation from normal proportion. In fact, several vital organs are doubled up; each twin has a separate heart, stomach, spine, and spinal cord.

Each twin controls her half of their body, operating one of the arms and one of the legs. This means that as infants, the initial learning of physical processes that required bodily coordination, such as clapping, crawling, and walking required the cooperation of both children. While each is able to eat and write separately and simultaneously, activities such as running and swimming must be coordinated and alternate symmetrically. Other activities as diverse as brushing hair and driving a car require that each twin perform a sequence of separate actions that coordinate with the other.

The following video was made when they were in high school:

A reminder of the human spirit and ability to triumph in the face of adversity. Food for thought, especially on a day that may have you down. END


PS: Anatomically:



Asia Bibi to appeal High Court ruling

According to an NBC report:
A Pakistani Christian mother-of-five who was sentenced to death for blasphemy will appeal her sentence in a last-ditch effort to escape a judgment that has been condemned around the world. It was “a victory in itself to get a hearing for this appeal, as no judge was interested judging this case,” said Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Aasia Bibi’s lawyer, referring to the Thursday decision. The 46-year-old was convicted in 2010 of making derogatory remarks about the Islamic Prophet Muhammad during an argument with coworkers at a farm in the Punjab province, home to most of the country’s four million Christians.

Even more disturbing is this, from the same report:

her lawyer claims, all criminal cases pending from 2010 have been heard, except hers. “There was pressure on the court”, said Gill. “It was obvious from the beginning. They were not listening to our arguments. We almost didn’t get a date of hearing.”

It is obvious, there is something seriously wrong with the state of justice in Pakistan, and it is obvious Bibi has no serious case to answer to.

Let us act in her defense:

A petition for Asia Bibi -- let us sign

Just go here and sign. It may help save a life. Don't delay.

And:

Matt 24 watch, 254: Calling for action by Caricom to stop the judicial murder of Asia Bibi of Pakistan on a false charge and dangerous blasphemy law in Pakistan

Pakistan is a Commonwealth member state, and so are many territories in the Caribbean. That is why I am calling on national, legal and media leaders across our region to stand up and be counted on a blatant, potentially murderous miscarriage of justice now under way in Pakistan . . .

Let us act. END