Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PM's comments on Mayaguana tragedy shameful

PM's comments on Mayaguana tragedy shameful

Tragically three Bahamians recently lost their lives at the airport in Mayaguana. Reports indicate that an emergency flight was landing at the airport in an attempt to pick up a sick patient who needed urgent medical attention.

The Nassau Guardian broadcast stated that the wing from the plane hit a parked Ford vehicle that was too close to the run way. The truck burst into flames immediately and the three persons inside the vehicle met their untimely demise.

My spirits were lifted this afternoon when watching the news and realizing that Prime Minister Perry Christie was making a statement about the tragedy. I initially thought that the families would be comforted by the fact that the nation’s chief was issuing his condolences. But then the interview took a turn for the worse and I heard the prime minister talking about the I Group and the Free National Movement (FNM).

You “got to be shitting me” was my reaction. In the midst of this tragedy the PM is casting blame on the FNM and alluding to what the FNM did in 2007 when they came to office.

Let me remind Christie that he is the duly elected Prime Minister of the Bahamas and the only administration he should fault for this tragedy is his own. He has been at the helm since May of last year. A big portion of the fault lays at his feet that something as basic as lights were not installed on this airport runway.

Our political leaders need to stop this nonsense in our country by taking the easy road and blaming someone else when something goes wrong. In the wake of the tragedy, I heard Aviation Minister Glennys Hanna Martin say that lights will be installed in a few weeks.

This is indeed a tragic national event, but one that was 100% avoidable. I offer my condolences to the family of the victims and the greater Mayaguana community at large.

I find the prime minister’s interview to be shameful, offensive and downright a national disgrace. To politicize this matter is utter madness. Let’s get on with building our country not keeping it divided through petty party politics.

Dehavilland Moss

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pilgrim members take unpopular stance

Pilgrim members take unpopular stance

The media recently reported that the board of directors at Pilgrim Baptist church authorized a vote amongst its members to elect the senior pastor. Mysteriously, at least in my eyesight, the members overwhelmingly voted for embattled and convicted sexual offender, Bishop Earl Randy Fraser.

This came as a surprise to me and I am sure a great many Bahamians and church goers. For the members to vote for a pastor that has been convicted by his peers in a court of law and who is presently serving time for a criminal offence is one thing; but to have that pastor to date, still claiming his innocence, despite overwhelming and convincing evidence is one point that I can’t fathom.

As a pastor Fraser should know that you can’t be forgiven for your sins, except you repent. Led by his wife and a cadre of members, they have convinced the majority of the members in Pilgrim that all is well and that Fraser’s actions are acceptable or that he did not commit the crime that he is serving time for. I beg to differ. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 KJV, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

Persons in the main are probably asking themselves what in the world the members must be reading or listening to. How can they in their right mind vote to keep a senior pastor as their leader who has maliciously broken their trust and who can’t even come to grips with what he has done?

The Pilgrim membership’s stance was loud and clear though. But what message are they sending to potential members and existing members who see the wisdom in changing the leadership? What message are they sending to other Christians who are clear thinkers and are able to remove their emotion out of the decision making process?

I hope and pray that Fraser would see the wisdom in stepping down from his position as senior pastor and at the least admit his wrong doing. The members of Pilgrim Baptist church took a stance, but one that I have great difficulty with and one that I cannot endorse. They seemed to have acted on blind allegiances. It is now time for Fraser to take the proper stance.

Fraser is probably not the first pastor in the Bahamas that has been convicted of a crime and imprisoned. After all he is only human. I am convinced that he can bounce back from his transgression and rebuild his ministry for God is a forgiving God. But Fraser must first repent and acknowledge his wrong doing.

Dehavilland Moss

Friday, March 22, 2013

Why can't the church speak on oil?

Why can't the church speak on oil?

The media recently reported the details of a press conference held by the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) on the possible proceeds that could be derived from oil drilling in the Bahamas. The BCC firmly said that they do not support the agreement that the government signed back in 2005.

The sliding scale agreement gives the country anywhere from 12.5 percent to 25 percent of the oil proceeds depending on what is produced. The BCC feels that this agreement is not in the best interest of the country and they are adamant that the Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC’s) only concern is that of profits.

Let me state for the record that BPC’s desire to make profits comes as no surprise to anyone. In fact, BPC would be negligent in its duties if it fails to secure as much profits as possible for its shareholders. Moreover, the Bahamas government would be negligent in its duties if it fails to secure the best deal for its shareholders who are the Bahamian people.

I am in full agreement with the church that the present deal does not represent the best interests of the Bahamian people.

Some persons are calling the talk shows and asking on whose authority the church is acting on. They feel that the church is in an arena where it should not be. Oh how small minded we are. Bahamians must realize by now that the oil industry could be worth billions of dollars. I said billions of dollars. We can ill afford to allow our leaders to again negotiate bad laughable deals on our behalf. We need and deserve clarity on this issue and the process must be transparent. Our leaders must be firm and clearly lay out how the proceeds of oil will be distributed and negotiate a respectable tax that the Bahamian people are satisfied with.

Don’t we remember during the last general elections, that Ben Albury and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) were agitating for the government to come clean on the oil issue? After much agitation and even a march, former Minister for the Environment Earl Deveaux issued several statements on the then government’s position.

Don’t we remember Ben Albury and the DNA agitating for several then opposition members namely Brave Davis, Perry Christie and Damien Gomez to clarify their role of providing services to BPC? The then opposition leader, Perry Christie issued several statements with regards to his work with BPC, the last one being that his ties with BPC were severed.

Don’t we remember Wayne Johnson and his team also asking the same questions?

These actions have sadly been forgotten by the Bahamian people and now some of us have the audacity to ask why the BCC is sniffing its nose around this oil issue.  We should know by now that many of our powerful citizens will only whisper their disdain for government decisions in a backroom that is sound proof. The Bahamian people need a strong voice and if it’s the church then so be it.

We need to know every detail that the government plans to execute with regard to the oil issue. I have listened to Minister for the Environment Ken Dorsett when he said recently that BPC has been given the green light to explore for oil. He said that if oil is commercially viable in the Bahamas the Bahamian people will decide whether to go forward.

The proceeds from the oil industry have the potential to positively change the economic plight of every Bahamian. We could be talking about hundreds maybe thousands of legitimate Bahamian millionaires in the next ten years.

I support the Minister’s candidness so far and I support the church taking a strong stance on this issue. They are right on and have decided to start agitating now as opposed to waiting when it is too late to act. I am certain that with the church as our watch dog, the regulatory framework and all the environmental checks will be completed before the oil referendum is put to the people.

Judging from the last referendum results, the church is still a very strong organization in the country and I am confident that if they keep the government’s feet to the fire, the Bahamian people will have all the information they need to make an informed decision once the time arrives. I say to Reverend Patterson and his team to keep their campaign alive. The Bahamian people are watching and they will follow.

Dehavilland Moss



What's wrong with our students?

What's wrong with our students?

Its 8:45 a.m. and it is Monday morning. As I drive along the road I see a congregation of students at the bus stop at the Corner Hotel. Driving further east I see another congregation of students at Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM). It’s now 9:01 a.m. I see students coming from the Super Value area in Golden Gates. They are walking slower than police officers on a slow march.

I continue driving onto Blue Hill Road and head north. In my passing I see the same thing. Our students are taking their slow time to get to their school of attendance. Some of them are even hitch-hiking. Don’t they know that the bell has already rung? Don’t they know that classes have begun? Don’t they know that it’s not cool to be late? Or is it?

Many of these students who are lackadaisical in their effort to arrive to school early may not know that the same things they are doing now they are bound to repeat later in life. They soon will realize that no magic switch exists that can be turned off and on at their leisure. We are all creatures of habit.

I remember attending St. Anne’s High School in the mid 1980’s. Being late was not an option. In fact, I explicitly remember getting up at 6:00 a.m. each morning for school. If I was not up, I certainly heard my mummy banging on the room door and telling me to get ready for school. This was an everyday routine. To this date, my mother’s teaching has still stuck with me.

It was inconceivable for me and my sister to arrive to school late save for an appointment to see the doctor or a family emergency. Our uniforms were pressed the night before and we always went to school clean and looking sharp.

Times have now changed. Some of our male students of today wear uniforms that are so stiff that they can hardly walk while wearing them. They spend hours ironing their shirt and pants. And to add insult to injury, the young men put their pants in their socks. What nonsense is this?

I am not sure if there is an arm of the government that has responsibility for ensuring that students are in school by 8:45 a.m. as opposed to being on the streets during school hours. But help is desperately needed to police this issue. Our national education average needs to be improved and if students are not in school when they are supposed to be, I can surely say that their level of education will not improve.

What’s wrong with our students? Don’t they see the need to compete with each other so that as a country we can be a more educated people? I remember back in the early 90’s if you earned an Associate’s of Arts Degree you were saying something. Now days a Bachelor’s Degree is the minimum qualifications needed to get a lot of higher paying jobs. Our students must realize that after high school, many of them will not be hired because the jobs are just not available and it is probable that the best students will get the first chance at employment and or qualify to attend college. It makes no sense to “duck” school now because most of the skills that students do not learn now, they will have to learn them later at some point and it will cost them maybe thousands of dollars.

Maybe the root of the problem starts with the parents who are ill equipped to parent or who just do not make a concerted effort to be involved in their children’s lives. Maybe the public at large needs to chip in and help.

Students, please ensure that you arrive to school on time and learn as much as you can. Being late for no good reason is not cool. I think it is an extremely bad habit that needs to be broken now. If you want to increase your chances for success in life please heed my advice. Remember that your future hangs in the balance and it depends on what you do today.

Dehavilland Moss

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rejecting The Gay and Lesbian Agenda

Rejecting The Gay and Lesbian Agenda
(Writen in 2011, but first published in 2012)

On July 24th, 2011, the State of New York legalized gay and lesbian marriages aka same sex marriages. There were outbursts of laughter, celebrations and same sex partners were lining up outside New York churches to get married. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York even presided over the wedding ceremony of two of his top aides. This has sparked world wide debate, specifically in the Bahamas. Proponents of gay marriages are saying that they want equality and they want to be recognized by law. But how can we give equality to an agenda that is flawed and in my view wrong?


Gays and lesbians have been around since the beginning of time. But never before has this agenda of equality and acceptance been pushed so vigorously. Additionally, this is not the first time in history that persons with views contrary to the norm tried to impose their will on society.


Up to the 19th century, Africans were removed from their homeland and sold into slavery. The white slave master believed that blacks were dumb and stupid and could do nothing else but be enslaved. The enslavement of Black People was wrong from the start and eventually, the “powers that be’ made this practice illegal on August 1, 1834. The effects of this evil act are still alive and well today because many Black people are still enslaved, albeit mentally.


In 1954, the US Supreme Court unanimously outlawed segregation in public schools. Even though the struggle continues for many blacks in America to receive an education comparable to his or her “white” counterpart, a fundamental wrong was righted and even though segregation now exists more than ever in other forms, a step was taken to preserve human rights in America. In my view this was the correct decision.


And now enter the gay and lesbian activists. Their struggle has nothing to do with race and as a result we now have blacks and whites fighting in unison to further their cause. They believe that their “struggles” can be compared to the aforementioned events listed above and that the equality that they seek is a basic human right. The term equality has taken on different meanings in recent times because of society’s ever changing views. However, their cause is only adding to a long laundry list of other harmful behavior that is decaying our society and indeed the world.


I admit that the government or the society cannot police what people do in their homes. But there is a reason why some things should not be legal or given the air of legality. Men sleeping with men and women sleeping with women in my view are acts that are immoral and should be condemned whether in private or in public in the highest order. Married men and married women who cheat on their spouses should be condemned. Heterosexuals who engage in sexual activity before marriage should be condemned. Single parent homes with mothers or fathers should not be encouraged. Aren’t all these acts contrary to God’s teachings? Collectively, these acts and or lifestyles invariably contribute to society’s decadence and imbalance.


Society’s liberal views and lifestyles have opened up a whole new can of worms in recent times. We have become desensitized to care about murder victims, armed robbery victims and even people who loose their homes. We have become a society that does not mourn for ourselves or each other and as long as it does not happen to us we convince ourselves that we are ok. We have ceased to confront problems head on but rather we speak about them in a “hush hush” way and expect them to just go away.


We are also now through very careful public campaigns and by way of television programs being desensitized about the immorality of the gay and lesbian agenda and advocates worldwide and indeed in the Bahamas are pushing their agenda in the hopes that lawmakers will pass laws to accommodate the alternate lifestyles that they have chosen. As usual, when confronted with tough issues Bahamians collectively sit back and let the “games go on”.


The Reverend Simeon Hall has strongly advocated against gay and lesbian behavior for some years now. Last year, he called for MSM (Men having sex with men) to come forward so that they could be prayed for. While this is admirable and the right thing to do, the good reverend must also realize that in his capacity, he should just as strongly be condemning fornication on all levels and praying for all that fornicate. The message should be clear and balanced. After all, are we not a Christian nation?


Inscribed on all United States paper notes and coins are the words “In God We Trust”. But yet laws are being passed in the US that goes contrary to the meaning of those words. In the Preamble to the Bahamian Constitution it says “and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of law”.  But yet we in the Bahamas have supported in principle a very controversial United Nation resolution that affirms equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender. I believe that this vote goes contrary to our Christian principles. I am also made to understand that we have given ship captains the lawful right to marry persons on the high seas with no distinction being made between male and female. I decry that if thus is a truth, this is a shameful act.


The actions of some churches have further confused some of our citizenry and given some of them the “green light” to carry on with their immoral behavior. Sinners are rampant in the church, but yet they are allowed to sit on church boards, testify to unsaved members and sing in the choir. It baffles me how the church is using the name of the Lord to sanction gay and lesbian marriages when God has clearly stated that marriage is between a man and a woman and that we as humans should procreate.


I speak to and interact with persons of all sexual persuasions daily. This is a normal routine in today’s world. But I cannot support the actions of any one engaged in sexual activities that goes contrary to God’s will. It is wrong. Dead wrong.


We need to get back to the basics. Right can never be wrong and wrong can never be right. Will we next have a group advocating for marriage to ten year olds? I listened to Aaron Green, a gay and lesbian activist and I was utterly impressed with her level of intelligence. She was commenting on Bishop Hall’s statement on MSM’s high rate for contracting the HIV virus. She said that Bishop Hall needs to focus on the behavior of all sexually active people as opposed to just one group. I believe that she made a valid point, but I cannot agree with the lifestyle that she supposedly supports.


Some will say that the liberalization of the gay and lesbian marriage agenda will add to our tourism figures, being that a lot of our visitors come from New York who last year legalized gay and lesbian marriages. This may be true but someone once said that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. The line where we stand in the Bahamas should not be drawn in the sand but it has to be chiseled in concrete.


The gay and lesbian agenda goes contrary to humanity’s moral and survival code. Activists are using great penmanship and campaigns to try to convince the majority of citizens of the world to accept their alternate lifestyle, but deep down, most of us still have a good sense of good and moral behavior. And we need not only tell our children the difference between right and wrong, but we have to show them as well.


I firmly believe that we should be condemning “scheming” between men and women just as we are condemning gay and lesbian activities. Our values have deteriorated as a people and as a world. Jean Toomer said that “Acceptance of prevailing standards often means we have no standards of our own”.


Are we to keep shifting the stake and let the chips fall where they may? Or are we going to get back on track and enforce the values and moral systems that we as Bahamians know to be Godly and Christian-like?


Dehavilland Moss

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Police Brutality in the Bahamas

Police Brutality in the Bahamas

My understanding of police brutality is the unwarranted rough treatment of residents while in the commission of an arrest and or while in protective police custody. Protective custody means that the police have assumed responsibility for the health and care of someone who has been arrested and or detained for reasons that the police deem reasonably sufficient for investigative purposes. Once a citizen is in protective police custody, it is expected that that police would take care of that person’s well being.  Recently, two Bahamian males have died while in police custody and this has sparked wide public outrage with some Bahamians not having a problem with it and many others calling for an end to alleged police brutality.

These matters have been rightfully referred to the head of the coroner’s court, magistrate Linda Virgill. She has initiated her investigations and once completed, same will be made public. The Attorney General’s office will be guarded by Virgill’s decision.

No one can say for sure at this time what happened to the deceased individuals, but the officers on duty are in the best position to offer factual critical evidence that will help establish the causes of death. But there is one thing for certain that black belt Bahamians do know; police brutality is alive and well in our country. In fact this is a subculture in the Bahamas that young men, most of whom have decided to engage in a life of crime have come to expect to endure once they are in police custody.

I myself have heard first hand of many alleged stories where police have used sub-humane and unlawful methods to try to get suspects to admit to crimes that the police felt that they committed. I have heard that the police use several methods to get the desired information out of suspects.

(1). They allegedly would handcuff the suspect’s hands at the back and then repeatedly put his face in the toilet boil for extended periods, leaving him gasping for air.

(2). They allegedly have a coffin that they would put suspects in. While armed with government issued rifles that have been cocked, the police would seemingly give suspects the choice of either confessing or being placed in a coffin where the suspect would think that death was imminent.

(3). They allegedly would just put an old fashioned cut hip on the suspects. I have heard stories where suspects were beaten in the face, suffered broken jaws, broken ribs and broken legs while in police custody.

I have also heard that the police now use more efficient methods to “deal” with suspects now because of the excessive amount of complaints now being sputtered out in the magistrate court. I heard that they have perfected the art of using pillows where they would beat suspects in the face and about the body without leaving any external marks or blemishes.

I have some understanding of street life in our country and I can tell you that the alleged police brutality is not garnering the results that police may desire. Criminals become more hardened. They say that some police are “lazy” in their investigations and would rather beat you up to get a confession as opposed to doing the hard meticulous work of actually finding evidence that the Attorney General’s office can use in a court of law.

There is no doubt in my mind that police brutality is entrenched in the Central Detective Unit (CDU) section of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF). These officers are under a heavy load of stress every day and they have to deal directly with the new breed of criminals and the miscreants on our streets. They have to deal with criminals who are arrested today and then 48 hours later, these same thugs are back on the street, free to commit other crimes and terrorize our society. This has to be taking a significant toll on our officers, who are doing their endeavor best to protect and serve the Bahamas and who know firsthand that some criminals have made a resolve to commit crimes for as long as they live.

But in all of this, they have to remember that as police officers, they must uphold the laws of the country. They cannot cross the line of breaking the law while investigating crimes because they then become bad guys and the public’s trust in them would be diminished. Let me be the first to say that I have no problem with the police using deadly force when it is necessary. I know that police are already at a disadvantage because the criminals now are shooting first and the police are in a reactionary mode.

Criminals are now using assault rifles in the commission of their crimes against ordinary citizens and against the police. People who know about guns would tell you that assault rifles are intended for overkill. Our police officers face a daunting task in the apprehension of dangerous criminals and I think the public fully appreciates this fact. But when these suspects are in protective police custody, the law provides even these alleged scoundrels of the earth certain constitutional rights.

The country will await the findings of Coroner Virgill. I hope and pray that our dear police in this instance have not crossed the line.

Dehavilland Moss

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gambling referendum was botched

Gambling referendum was botched

One of the most astute members of parliament is undoubtedly Fred Mitchell. If you listen to a lot of his contributions in the house of assembly, you could many times follow his trend of thought and believe in what he says.

Mitchell’s contribution in the house of assembly on Wednesday, February 06, 2013 was however an all time low. I heard him say that he was pleased with the gambling referendum process and he basically gave the government a pat on the back for its handling of the referendum.

Mitchell is a Harvard graduate and as I said he is very astute. But why he would bring false commentary to the public is mind boggling. Mr. Mitchell, please contemplate the following facts.

(1). The referendum date was changed from December 3rd to January 28th, 2013 amid public pressure that the process was being rushed.

(2). The government promised a public education campaign that never materialized.

(3). The prime minister said that he had no horse in the race, but yet he told the public that if they voted no, social services would be stretched and he would have to seek to find jobs for persons left unemployed.

(4). The chairman of the gaming board said that the process was awkward and untidy.

(5). The chairman of the governing party told supporters at a meeting to vote yes and a few hours later he said that his party’s position was neutral.

(6). The referendum initially had one question and then a second question was added. Additionally, when the questions were made public, not enough time was given for public discourse.

(7). The electorate was sufficiently confused by question number one which sought to regulate web shop gambling as opposed to legalizing this industry. This is unheard of in any civilized society because you cannot regulate an industry that is illegal.

(8). The consultant report which the prime minister initially said was going to be released was never made public because he later said that no report was prepared.

If the government wants a pat on the back for all the confusion it caused, it certainly won’t come from me. The gambling referendum was a textbook case of what not to do in the future. I trust that the government would learn from its mistakes and not waste time talking fool in the honorable house of assembly.

Dehavilland Moss