kulcha! Conscious Times: August 5th – 12th, 2013

poker-card-combinationsWha gwan, Bermy? Everything safe like my Uncle Pafe? Good…that’s very good. Boasty non-existent Uncles aside, it’s been quite the eventful news week, with the annual wall of Cup Match solidarity officially re-toppled by controversy, politicking, economic realities and, well, real life. Shame we can’t just watch cricket, gamble, drink swizzle, swim around and get paid for it on an annual salary basis, but c’est la bleddy vie, right? This week we touch on the OBA’s gaming dilemma, Nandi Outerbridge, SAGE submissions and more. Now, purge your mind of mugness and let’s get conscious…

Have you heard of the latest dance craze? It’s called the Gaming Referendum Flippity-Floop, and the OBA’s been daggering to the beat all week. Here are the steps:

1) Spin around 180° and get an anonymous party insider to suggest the idea of skipping a gaming referendum.

2) Get your dance partner to lift you in the air and double down on the idea of passing over public sentiment

3) Pause for three beats and watch the audience’s reaction

4) Spin around 180° again like it never happened

Weird, right? We think the OBA has an internal communication problem: unless this whole thing was a strategic move to see what they could get away with (which could very well be the case), it was an incredibly sloppy example of disunity in party messaging that reinforces public sentiment of them as incompetent.

As for the idea of having a referendum, we fully support it. The attitude of “just get on with it” and “act now” which is popular amongst gaming supporters misses the point of the democratic process: yes, it’s extremely likely to pass, but it still needs to be done the right way or else Government could use this as an excuse to ignore public sentiment regarding future issues, as well.

The deadline for submitting your formal spending suggestions to the SAGE committee has passed, with former political candidate Jonathan Starling offering a comprehensive list of recommendations that take a refreshingly different approach to those found in the initial interim report. Deconstructing unexplored angles, Starling recommends common-sense reforms to reduce administrative bureaucracy such as holding all Government meetings via teleconference, converting all Government documents to electronic form to reduce annual printing costs, and decentralizing the various Cabinet offices throughout the island to reduce rental costs, amongst many other things. His full report is well worth reading, as it suggests loads of simple changes that could be enacted right now with little to no investment on Government’s part.

Have you heard of de bredren who pioneered de Scuba tank? No? Well, his name was Jacques Cousteau, and he also happened to be one of the most famous explorers, conservationists and documentary filmmakers in the world. Speaking to a group of children at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo, his Grandson Philippe Cousteau Jr. continued the family’s environmental legacy to transcend the importance of marine conservation and protecting the Sargasso Sea. It’s cool initiatives like that have the potential to spark ecological awareness in a new generation of Bermudian yout dem, plus it attracted international media attention due to Cousteau’s ties with CNN.

So…Nandi Outerbridge. Hard to know where to begin here: do we analyze the alleged offense itself, the range of responses to it, or both? Late on Thursday night, the ZBM news Facebook page broke a story alleging that the St. George’s West MP had surrendered to the police in connection to an alleged domestic issue (must be logged into Facebook to view post). Aside from being downplayed by the OBA, the entire situation is still shrouded in mystery, with no official response from Mrs. Outerbridge or her lawyer, Mr. Saul Froomkin. The response to the alleged incident across Bermuda’s active Facebook forums has been the stuff of disingenuous legend, with many comparing the situation to the November 2012 arrest of former PLP candidate Makai Dickerson for possession of marijuana. We say these are two very different situations with too many contradictory elements to make a fair comparison, and that there’s simply not enough information that’s been made public yet to make an objective assessment.

Put it this way: if Mrs. Outerbridge did indeed vandalize someone’s car and/or act violently in a domestic disturbance for any reason other than self-defense, she should resign from Government, plain and simple. Should this happen, however, the resulting by-election would almost certainly result in a PLP or Independent victory, and subsequently, a hung parliament. Know what that means? Another election! Yay! (*flays skin off of eyelids*)

Well, there we go, dun. We’d do a cheeky signoff as usual, but the idea of another election is too depressing, so we’re just going to inhale some spray paint and cry in a corner, instead.

– C.D.

Image Credit:  Online Casino Advice

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