Kulcha! Conscious Times: July 20th – July 26th, 2013

How do you do and salutations, Bermuda residents and general populous. It is my distinct, nay, my indubitable pleasure to publish and distribute to you this week’s Conscious Times….NO, BAH! (((Airhorn))). For real though, this past week’s news cycle was simultaneously chock full of enough medness, hope, hypocrisy, innovation and cognitive dissonance to make my Grenny cower in a corner out of pure confusion (sorry, Grenny). This week we touch on everything from job creation and environmental victories to OBA/PLP absurdity and the psychological toll of partisanship…strap on your boast-helmets, it’s about to get conscious.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 9.04.40 AMIn a refreshingly positive bit of economic news, upcoming renovations to the Hamilton Princess are estimated to create 150 new jobs by January 2014, giving the OBA a bit of breathing room in respect to their semi-ludicrous campaign promise of “2000 jobs”. While they admittedly have their whole term to create said 2,000 jobs, their recent and very public consultant-hiring blunders have rightfully lowered public confidence in their perceived level of transparency, giving fuel to the “friends-and-family plan” criticisms that have been coming at them from all directions. In respect to HP, the biggest thing to worry about here from our perspective is our Government becoming beholden to the elusive Green Family. As boasty as they are for investing in the Princess and buying the old Sonesta Property, the OBA should be careful not to give any one entity too much influence over our economic affairs, as it’s never wise to put all your Grennies in one basket. Remember, OBA, we’re watching…

A recently-concluded summer science camp funded by local investment holdings group Ascendent Limited (STEM) was a resounding success, teaching middle-school aged students the importance of renewable energy and environmental science in the context of Bermuda’s ecosystem, amonst other things (like how to build a boasty robot). Aside from being a great way to instill community values at an impressionable age, such initiatives also help to break the negative stereotype of Bermuda as environmentally backwards. Here’s hoping these youts continue down the right path and eventually contribute to getting us off of oil power. In related environmental news, solar panels have been successfully installed on Nonsuch Island to replace the gas-powered generators they’ve been using the past ten years, also thanks to long-term funding from the Ascendent Group. As much as we’re suspect of Bermuda’s obscene number of shady investment firms, dese bies are doing their part in giving back to to the community, and deserve major credit for that. If we were a cahow, we’d be like: “Safe, Ascendent…nuff respect”, and give them a tap.

In unfortunate environmental news, Bermuda-based corporation Seadrill has been commissioned to build four state-of-the-art oil drillships at $600 million apiece to hunt for oil underwater in places like the Gulf Of Mexico (which worked out so well last time), amonst other locations. Aside from the fact that this is extremely mug and ecologically regressive, it’s also depressing to think that that had they invested the same amount in renewable energy initiatives, the world would be $2.4 billion closer to breaking it’s fossil fuel dependency (((Reverse-Airhorn))).

And now for the latest piece of debilitating partisan absurdity brought to you by the OBA and PLP: the Dame Lois Building architect debacle. Allow us to preface with a rant: this whole situation is so mind-numbingly stupid and rife with intentional misdirection for the sake of partisan pride that we almost don’t have the energy to report on it, but we’ll try. Anyways, Attorney General Mark Pettingill was once again called upon to resign based on his decision to settle out of court for $700,000 in a legal matter concerning the 2008 PLP-initiated firing of CS&P (the architectural firm that was originally hired on a 34-month contract to complete the construction phase of the project). Now, it’s one thing to not own up to your mistakes, but for the PLP to castigate Pettingill for “wasting $700,000 of the taxpayers’ money” when it was a decision made by their former Government that not only resulted in the lawsuit in the first place, but led to the hiring of a local firm that allegedly charged $5 million to do the same thing CS&P would have done for $1.29 million, borders on a surreal level of cognitive dissonance. Trust us, we’re not happy with a shitload of the decisions the OBA has made, and will always be willing to heavily criticize them when they deserve it, but the level of insincere scrutiny being directed at the AG for this situation indicates a poisonous level of pride and an ingrained culture of one-upmanship that dictates our political discourse. Here’s the thing: the PLP is fresh off of 14 years of Governance, with enough talent, intelligence and experience to constructively criticise the OBA, as is their responsibility to do so. We want to see the PLP hammer the Government when they deserve it, but not for literally every single thing they think they can score political points off of. It’s exhausting shit like this that has the potential to turn generations off of politics in favour of something less depressing, like alcoholism or drinking bleach.

Well, that got a little bit rant-y, inna? Hope we bies didn’t seem biased, but we’re trying to call individual scenarios as we see them and make the discourse a bit less maddening. Safe for reading…now go get ready for Cup Match!

Kulcha! thrives on open-mindedness and multiple perspectives…if you disagree with or have an opposing take on something you’ve read here, let’s hear it in the comments.

– C.D.

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