Jeff_column

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – An Unreasonable Restraint?

Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

A combination of factors informed the relative brevity of today’s column. My university duties, as is usually the case at this time of the year, precluded any undertaking […]More of the depth of research I would ordinarily require to produce a substantially provocative effort. important, the commercial and domestic significance of the last Sunday before Christmas Day on Friday scarcely affords the ordinary reader (to the extent that any of mine are) the leisure happily to digest a lengthy disquisition on a topic that is likely, as these things go here, to recur for public discussion sometime in the next year in any event.

So there will be nothing today on why we simplistically continue to insist that it’s either “licks” as a child or Dodd’s as an adult, in spite of cogent evidence to the contrary; why we still consider that a resumption of hanging will lead inexorably to a reduction in the incidence of crime generally and not just of murders; and why we seek to blame a hapless West Indies Cricket Board for the shabby performances of the current regional cricket team that has its name only in common with those great elevens of the past.

The taxman cometh

The proposal (I do not believe it has gone beyond that) to require of some professionals a tax clearance certificate from the Barbados Revenue Agency before they are allowed to practice lawfully as registered entities has unsurprisingly attracted the ire of those organizations that represent the medical practitioners and the attorneys at law respectively. The force of their resistance appears to have had some effect. I recall reading earlier last week that officialdom was at least reconsidering the matter.

Yet there appears to be some disconnect between this apparent struggle of contending opinions between these associations and the state and the populist view. For starters, leaders in both sections of the daily printed press in recent times have endorsed the view that this use of the tax clearance certificate would appear to be an appropriately efficacious means of ensuring tax collection equity at one level. A local vox pop, it may be argued, would also overwhelmingly endorse this view.

Interestingly enough, the arguments that have emanated from the two representative bodies are not to be credited with presenting a particularly persuasive case. While the medical professionals appear to be holding their cards close to their chest and attributing any disclosure of their intended strategy to an unauthorized leak, the Bar Association, in a published response in another section of the local press on Friday last, appears to argue that the proposed measure threatens the constitutional rights of its members.

What makes this argument even more intriguing is that the constitutional right it alleges to be under threat is that of the right to work, an entitlement that, contrary to assertion, does not currently find textual expression in the local charter of constitutional guarantees.

The content of a right to work, itself an attractive proposition in theory, has engaged the minds of constitutional and labour law scholars for many years. The right admittedly does exist in the sphere of international convention. However, while it is expressly guaranteed in the Guyana Constitution 1980[along with the correlative duty], and in the Dominica Protection of Employment Act 1977; as stated above, we make no similar provision, although we are state parties to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights, both of which recognize the existence of the right.

Whatever its content –and it certainly does not mean that an employee cannot be lawfully dismissed-, I am not so sure that it may be prayed in aid in this specific instance. The US regards it as the right to work at any place of employment without being compelled to join a union as a condition of that employment; Dominica appears to consider it as merely the right to work in one’s existing employment until lawfully dismissed; Guyana purports to view its guarantee as a state responsibility by means of “socialist planning, development and management of the economy”, inter alia; and the UN delineates it as a synthesis of the freedom to choose employment, the entitlement to just and favourable conditions of work and to unemployment protection.

The local Bar Association’s case would appear to be based rather on the official proposal being in restraint of trade. In order to negative this, it will have to be shown that such restraint is unreasonable and not in the public interest…and, as Hamlet did not say, “therein lies the rub”.

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71 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – An Unreasonable Restraint?”

  1. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 6:26 AM #

    All of that from those two entities to avoid paying taxes. Something they cannot do anywhere else in the world. Do they not realize that the tax clearance certificate also gives them a degree of protection. I am now wondering if any of these professionals, who are resisting so vigorously, have ever even paid any taxes from the beginning of their practices, some who have bèen practicing for over 30 years, which would explain why producing clearanc certificates at this stage frightens and has nothing to do with violating any of their civil rights, including the right to work.

    Paying back taxes going back 1-3 decades is frightening.

    Like

  2. David December 20, 2015 at 6:34 AM #

    The union is setup to look after the needs of its constituents. If there is a loud enough voice on the floor the executive is obligated to pursue the grievance on the aggrieved parties behave. Whether the defense is cogent or not may therefore not be relevant.

    Like

  3. balance December 20, 2015 at 6:41 AM #

    There are times that good comes out of bad. I say that to say that while I abhor the failed destructive policy of the Government to tax its way out of our economic difficulties as a result of bad management decisions according to Minister David Estwick; it is time that some system is put in place to make these professional persons particularly those who display a vulturistic approach to the public with regard to the exorbitant fees charged in the practice of their profession to pay their fair share of taxes.

    Like

  4. Caswell Franklyn December 20, 2015 at 6:50 AM #

    I am not seeking to justify tax evasion by these professionals but it seems that the Government has come up with another unworkable scheme to gorge on people’s income, without thinking the proposal through. Yes, they might inconvenience the doctors and lawyers who must have some sort of practicing certificate. What about the other professionals who might just continue working without bothering to register or pay taxes. This proposal could very well drive them underground.

    The Government will end up a penny wise and a pound foolish, just like the case of the tipping fee for garbage haulers. They now have to spend millions to clean up illegal dump sites, in order to fund Bizzy. Millions more than the country has benefited I might add.

    All I am asking is that these people in government to do is think first before they rush off their hair-brain schemes.

    Like

  5. David December 20, 2015 at 7:00 AM #

    @Caswell

    To be clear you have not absolved the technocrats read public workers.

    Like

  6. ac December 20, 2015 at 7:17 AM #

    but on the other hand even though the relevance of the issue bodes well for a greater need or cause for resolution, is it fair and just for govt to deny or interfere with a person livelihood without pursuing alternatives avenues as remedy . i believe that the courts would demand of the govt sufficient and clear evidence that govt pursued alternatives methods of collection which are less burdensome or cumbersome for the professionals before giving the govt full clearance for the collection of monies as directed and pursued on the path on which they have arrived for monies owed to them
    While on the other hand the bar association response may be frivolous as the govt does not stop the lawyers from seeking employment in other areas
    Needless to say the “butting” of heads is a simply power play at best which makes for good theatrics

    Like

  7. Vincent Haynes December 20, 2015 at 7:56 AM #

    @Jeff

    Are the existing laws dealing with the collection of taxes inadequate?

    Like

  8. Caswell Franklyn December 20, 2015 at 8:27 AM #

    David

    What technocrats? The job of the technocrat is to advise the politicians. Unfortunately, we have a public service that is manned (mostly womaned) at the top by a set of incompetents that were installed by the same politicians. They just sit around and wait for instructions from the politicians. The politician comes up with some silly idea and the technocrat is either too dumb or to incompetent to set the political Lord and master strait.

    Vincent

    The laws are more than adequate but the persons put in place to administer them is the problem. Political appointees even if they pretend to go through an interviewing process are the root of the problem not the law.

    Like

  9. Vincent Haynes December 20, 2015 at 8:38 AM #

    @Caswell Franklyn December 20, 2015 at 8:27 AM #

    Thanks……..Implementation/administration defict disorder,it continously boils down to this…….sad

    Like

  10. Jeff Cumberbatch December 20, 2015 at 8:55 AM #

    VH@7.56 am,

    The existing laws are indeed adequate.The enforcement is not however. To tell the truth, this may not be as easy as it might appear in respect of the sole trader, but less so in respect of the traditional professional. The professional engineers, accountants, doctors and lawyers may easily be discovered by a perusal of their respective registers, but either this is not done by the authorities or their criminal failure to file is connived at. There is, however, no register of hairdressers or food van vendors to be checked.

    Like

  11. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 8:59 AM #

    This approach is yet another simplistic, idiotic attempt by a third class administration to deal with matters that are way over their paygrade (deserved pay grade, not actual).

    Caswell is exactly right.
    So when January comes and all the damn doctors refuse to apply for a tax clearance what the hell will Stinkliar say to the hundreds of sick citizens waiting around at the hospital, polyclinic and doctor’s offices?

    BASIC RULE OF COMMON SENSE.
    Never pull out a .22 at a man holding an AK47.

    They ALREADY tried this shiite with the engineers /architects …. raising registration fees many times. The result is that MOST of these people just did not bother to register, so that in a firm of 12 engineers, only one is registered …and that one signs all documents.

    This is a third class, penny wise, pound foolish administration of low-class retards who can’t even seem to learn from their recent mistakes.

    How hard can it be to audit 20% of ALL professionals every year?
    How hard to move to penalise those who are found to be delinquent?

    …the problem is that when they start auditing people, their esteemed friends and albino associates may become entangled in the audits….and we can’t have THAT…can we?

    Like

  12. David December 20, 2015 at 9:08 AM #

    To support Caswell’s point, take a look at our collection effort at the NIS through the years and political parties…abysmal. We are witnessing the growth of a monster. Did not mention what is happening with VAT and Courts?

    Like

  13. ac December 20, 2015 at 9:14 AM #

    ‘Penny wise and pound foolish” a bunch of easy sounding words there is also the principle effect of getting a pound of flesh from the professionals which carries more weight in the long term remittance as the professionals losses thousands of dollars daily from their business and in return have no alternative but to “penny up” what is due to govt rather than to closed their doors on their business practices
    Either they do or die

    Like

  14. Vincent Haynes December 20, 2015 at 9:16 AM #

    @Jeff Cumberbatch December 20, 2015 at 8:55 AM #

    I would have thought that if it is not easily enforced,it can no longer be adequate and a new one that can be enforced should be brought to the table or the law scrapped.

    Can this new law that has been put on the table and then withdrawn be adequate?

    Like

  15. Jeff Cumberbatch December 20, 2015 at 9:23 AM #

    Mr Haynes, one of the inherent defects in any tax collection system is that there always will be some who slip through the net. The legal solution may not be with the tax law itself, but rather with the “narrowing” of the holes in the net so that fewer persons slip through. The tax clearance certificate is such a strategy…causing hairdressers, mechanics and food vendors to register with a collective body may be another

    Liked by 1 person

  16. David December 20, 2015 at 9:30 AM #

    @BU family

    Click the link and ‘like’ for a good cause, this youngster Corey Layne is a doer.

    https://www.wishpond.com/lp/1265846/entries/69796622

    O

    Like

  17. Vincent Haynes December 20, 2015 at 9:38 AM #

    @Jeff Cumberbatch December 20, 2015 at 9:23 AM #

    Thanks….Was I correct in hearing some time ago that VAT was to be the answer for all taxes in Bim?

    Like

  18. Artaxerxes December 20, 2015 at 9:40 AM #

    I am writing from my experience providing accounting services for owners of public transport vehicles, including hired vehicles, mini buses, tour buses and all categories of taxis.

    For years, owners of the above mentioned categories of vehicles have been adhering to the rules of filing, where applicable, income or corporation tax returns (and paying the required taxes), as well as making the appropriate contributions to the National Insurance Scheme.

    Before the owners of these public transport vehicles can renew road taxes, they are required to submit to the Barbados Licensing Authority:

    1) A tax clearance certificate from the BRA, which would indicate that the owner has not been delinquent in filing income/corporation tax returns.

    2) A NIS clearance certificate from the National Insurance office to verify the owner is current relative to NIS contribution.

    What makes the case of an individual whose “profession” is doctor, lawyer, accountant or engineer much more DIFFERENT, UNIQUE or SPECIAL from an individual whose “profession” is hired car business owner, mini bus operator or taxi operator?

    I am not a lawyer, but if the “Bar Association, in a published response in another section of the local press on Friday last, appears to argue that the proposed measure threatens the constitutional rights of its members,” surely Morris Lee, for example, as president of the Association of Private Transport Operators (APTO), on the same basis should be able to argue similarly for members of his association.

    Like

  19. Sargeant December 20, 2015 at 9:42 AM #

    @Jeff
    What makes this argument even more intriguing is that the constitutional right it alleges to be under threat is that of the right to work, an entitlement that, contrary to assertion, does not currently find textual expression in the local charter of constitutional guarantees
    +++++++++++++++++++
    So in effect lawyers are ignorant of the law… tut tut… who are you folks graduating? When I was in High School there was an A level course called “British Constitution” perhaps there should be a first year law course applicable to Bajan students called “Barbados Constitution”.

    Your other point about right to work legislation: This has been used in the USA to break the backs of Unions and many US States with Republicans in power at the State level have this legislation and companies move their operations to these States at the expense of others where they can depress wages and benefits for their workers.

    Tax avoidance is a problem everywhere and people will try all kinds of methods to escape paying taxes those with money and good accountants usually find a way around it for a while but eventually it catches up with them. When they are caught in countries like Canada most settle quietly out of the public limelight with the CRA but long term evasion can be devastating to a country’s economy. Everyone knows that there is a serious leakage of tax revenue in Barbados but anytime there is an effort to corral the horses someone’s ox ends up being gored. We have seen what this does to countries e.g. Greece but people want to milk the cow but no one wants to feed it (another animal metaphor) and the folks who are objecting strenuously are the folks with influence and power so this will be another exercise of Gov’t caving in to the whims of the few at the expense of the many.

    Bajans in the diaspora follow events in Barbados closer than many may think and when there are appeals for them to invest in Barbados they are saying why should we invest in a country where tax avoidance is rife? If Bajans are saying this what about those whose “navel strings” are buried elsewhere?

    Like

  20. David December 20, 2015 at 9:48 AM #

    The doctors, lawyers et al define the traditional players in the economy compared to the ‘others’ who are perceived as part of the underground economy. It is always about what influence decisions. Why are lawyers (no disrespect to Deputy Dean Cumberbatch) revered to such a degree in our setup and by extension the political class? It is a head thing.

    Like

  21. Artaxerxes December 20, 2015 at 9:50 AM #

    ac December 20, 2015 at 9:14 AM #

    ‘Penny wise and pound foolish” a bunch of easy sounding words there is also the principle effect of getting a pound of flesh from the professionals which carries more weight in the long term remittance as the professionals losses thousands of dollars daily from their business and in return have no alternative but to “penny up” what is due to govt rather than to closed their doors on their business practices. Either they do or die.

    Interesting comments, AC. But it caused to think about these professionals and income. Let’s look at a lawyer and tax clearance certificates, for example.

    Lawyers obviously earn more than $60,000 per annum and would most likely have registered with the VAT division. Supposed a lawyer withheld a client’s funds for a number of years and deposited those funds in his business account, would that lawyer have categorized those funds as income and filed VAT returns accordingly or would he have had deposited the funds in a personal account and earned income by the way of interest?

    The tax clearance certificate would eliminate such scenarios.

    You are close to the action, perhaps you can ask him for a response to my hypothetical question.

    Like

  22. David December 20, 2015 at 9:50 AM #

    @Sargeant

    One has the distinct impression the CRA is to be feared in Canada, not so BRA. One simply has to make a phone call.

    The doctors, lawyers et al define the traditional players in the economy > compared to the ‘others’ who are perceived as part of the underground > economy. It is always about what influence decisions. Why are lawyers (no > disrespect to Deputy Dean Cumberbatch) revered to such a degree in our > setup and by extension the political class? It is a head thing. > > >

    Like

  23. Jeff Cumberbatch December 20, 2015 at 9:52 AM #

    “…anytime there is an effort to corral the horses someone’s ox ends up being gored”. What a wonderful turn of phrase, Mr Sargeant. Here are some entertaining others-

    http://www.jimcarlton.com/my_favorite_mixed_metaphors.htm

    I was indeed surprised to see the claim to a constitutional right to work coming from the BBA, but they would not have been told of its existence at Cave Hill. Remember they leave us after Year Three with two more years to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. David December 20, 2015 at 9:56 AM #

    Jeff does the Pontius Pilate thing 🤓

    Like

  25. ac December 20, 2015 at 9:58 AM #

    Good question Art but a hypothetical does not count as evidence and “therein lies the rub “

    Like

  26. David December 20, 2015 at 10:03 AM #

    @Artax

    Do you watch the TV Show Jeopardy?

    For $2,000, what is a yard fowl?

    Like

  27. ac December 20, 2015 at 10:17 AM #

    The lawyers constitutional right to work is not inhibited However the BA can argued that within the constitution a right to pursuit of liberty and justice is a guaranteed right which forbids govt from enforcing actions on an individual right to pursue
    The question however even though contrary to human rights still falls under the same category which might however give legal right in govt favor weighing on actual facts or evidence being shown that legitimate collection methods were continuously ignored by the professionals

    Like

  28. Artaxerxes December 20, 2015 at 10:23 AM #

    David December 20, 2015 at 10:03 AM #

    For $2,000, what is a yard fowl?

    AC!!!

    Like

  29. ac December 20, 2015 at 10:27 AM #

    Art i do watch jeopardy but the answer is given and the contestant provides the question
    Here is my answer ‘ a lost soul”

    Like

  30. ac December 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM #

    ammm i a going to act upon a constitutional right with good reason ‘Freedom of assembly ” in a place of worship
    Will pray for you David

    Like

  31. David December 20, 2015 at 10:33 AM #

    Thanks ac, here is a theme for your prayer- honesty is the best policy whether in thought, written word or deed.

    Like

  32. Jeff Cumberbatch December 20, 2015 at 10:51 AM #

    I just love the mood on BU this morning.Season’s Greetings to all!

    Like

  33. David December 20, 2015 at 11:26 AM #

    Another example of the quality of the management of the country (all stakeholders) is the report on page 11 in today’s Sun. A radar to monitor the South/East coastline for criminal activity lies rusting next to Ragged Point lighthouse. Wonder why our coastline is so porous and who benefits?

    Help dear lord!

    Like

  34. de Ingrunt Word December 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM #

    I recall some months back there was much discussion regarding the excellent political maneuvers of Greek PM Tsipraas…well actually the discussion here on BU was the lack of tax revenue collection of the Greek government an act which propelled the country to the Tsipras fancy footwork. I also recall comparison to our little island’s situation…here we are again den.

    Jeff’s said it clearly: “The professional engineers, accountants, doctors and lawyers may easily be discovered by a perusal of their respective registers, but either this is not done by the authorities or their criminal failure to file is CONNIVED (my emphasis) at.”

    There were reports of Greek professionals and others there having beautiful pools (as seen from the air) and other luxury accommodation but paying little or no tax on meager reported revenue or not reporting. Just like BIM no doubt.

    What is it the BU folks say often: we like it so. These Greek comparisons don’t bode well for BIM…none of dem.

    BTW Bushie, who blinks first: A doctor who is shamed for tax evasion, can’t have any of his Insurance invoices processed, can’t make a living and thus acts to regain his income or these hundreds of sick Bajans left stranded.

    You are suggesting that there quite many tax evaders in the medical ranks to cause that scenario.

    What if Artax’s clients (all of dem) pull their vehicles off the road for a few days every week? That’s a lot more work sick leave, lateness and angst to disrupt the economy, I believe.

    Like

  35. ac December 20, 2015 at 11:35 AM #

    David December 20, 2015 at 10:33 AM #

    Thanks ac, here is a theme for your prayer- honesty is the best policy whether in thought, written word or deed.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    thanks David i would submit your sentiments on the pray list on your behalf

    Like

  36. Sargeant December 20, 2015 at 12:15 PM #

    @Jeff C

    Thanks

    I look forward to your columns they are very informative

    Like

  37. Sargeant December 20, 2015 at 12:18 PM #

    @DIW
    BTW Bushie, who blinks first: A doctor who is shamed for tax evasion, can’t have any of his Insurance invoices processed, can’t make a living and thus acts to regain his income or these hundreds of sick Bajans left stranded
    ++++++++++

    Maybe those “sick Bajans” will return to an old fashioned remedy- Bush Tea

    Like

  38. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 12:46 PM #

    @ DIW
    Who do you think will blink first?
    The ones with the deeper pockets?
    Can you even imagine how deep the pockets of a lawyer (for example) is who has NEVER paid taxes; charges $750,000 to read a shiite contract at the Cave; …AND just happens to have access to a client account of $5M which in available for use at his discretion ….while creaming off the bank interest?

    Doctors are the same… you walk in with a slight muscle strain (from trying a bit too hard the night before..) and is immediately directed to multiple extensive (and expensive) tests and procedures to ‘rule out’ various maladies…

    THESE PEOPLE HAVE MONEY Dee…
    Artax’s clients are ‘poor-boys’ with brek-down vans and hand-to-mouth employees….

    Why does our government ALWAYS look for the difficult ‘solutions’ and ignore the OBVIOUS ones….?

    LOCK UP SOME OF THE DAMN CROOKS NUH!!!
    Tax clearance Bushies’ donkey….

    Like

  39. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 12:53 PM #

    @ Sargeant
    You left bout here too long hear?
    Which Bajan doctor is ‘shamed’ for tax evasion?
    Skippa, NOT paying taxes is a longstanding tradition for Bajan doctors.
    …and don’t talk bout lawyers…. shiite man… they don’t even pay clients THEIR OWN moneys that are due them.

    Like

  40. David December 20, 2015 at 12:55 PM #

    When we discuss doctors be sure to include the diagnostic clinics – majority owned by Harris. BU is convinced there is a nice scam going in between some medical players and their involvement in manufacturing business fir the clinics.

    Like

  41. David December 20, 2015 at 12:56 PM #

    Doctors (Dentists et al) in Barbados, the high flying ones, maintain two sets of ‘books’.

    When we discuss doctors be sure to include the diagnostic clinics > – majority owned by Harris. BU is convinced there is a nice scam going in > between some medical players and their involvement in manufacturing > business fir the clinics. > >

    Like

  42. Hants December 20, 2015 at 1:15 PM #

    An wunna elect politicians and political leaders from among these “professionals”.

    Merry Christmas and happy New Year to BU bloggers.

    Like

  43. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 2:41 PM #

    Same to you Hants, the scams against the real taxpayers are worse than that, as David and the Bushman have alluded, too many people know and are pretending they don’t on the island, maybe hoping to get a piece of the pie.

    If government would stop playing pansy, sissy games with the culprits and lock them up instead of engaging in the same illegal games, they would be able to collect more taxes, nothing else will work and government knows it. They just think no one else knows.

    Like

  44. Gabriel December 20, 2015 at 7:33 PM #

    It is a certainty that with such powerful ministers with St Philip connections as PM Stuart,Lashley and AG Brathwaite,this minor setback in monitoring the drug trade will be fixed in short order.

    Like

  45. balance December 21, 2015 at 3:30 AM #

    Hants December 20, 2015 at 1:15 PM #

    An wunna elect politicians and political leaders from among these “professionals”.

    Politicians are elected to impose laws; not to follow them.

    Like

  46. Alvin Cummins December 21, 2015 at 8:43 PM #

    @ David et al.
    For years and years Medical technologists, Nurses, and other professionals have been paying registration fees, payable every January, before they can work at their professions. In Canada and the U.S. All Barbers hair dressers and other of the same types of professionals have to pay registration/licence fees, and are required to have their certificates with the annual stamp of payment prominently displayed in their shop, subject to fines for non compliance, when the inspector comes around. What is the matter with these “privileged professionals. Why do they have their academic certificates displayed in their offices/ Just to show they are qualified? They should not be allowed to practice if the tax payment evidence (certificate, or stamp is not prominently displayed. If a physician (surgeon) can charge fifteen thousand dollars to perform an operation, shouldn’t he be willing to pay some of that in taxes?

    Like

  47. Georgie Porgie December 21, 2015 at 9:52 PM #

    Alvin Cummins December 21, 2015 at 8:43 PM #
    DID NOT DAVID THOMPSON RAISE THE REGISTRATION FEE FOR DOCTORS IN 2008? {THAT IS FOR GP’S}
    IF NOT PAID BY JAN 31ST IS NOT THIS FEE DOUBLED

    Like

  48. millertheanunnaki December 21, 2015 at 10:54 PM #

    @ Alvin Cummins December 21, 2015 at 8:43 PM
    “If a physician (surgeon) can charge fifteen thousand dollars to perform an operation, shouldn’t he be willing to pay some of that in taxes?”

    If , after covering his or her expenses, Yes, of course!

    So tell us, AC the one-sided fellow, would you also agree that the $3.3 million Leroy Parris received as a gratuity from CLICO should also be subject to tax instead of being laundered via the David Thompy washing machine?
    The tax that should have ended up in the Treasury ended up in the coffers of George Street to fund the 2013 damn lying propaganda campaign of No Privatization, No layoffs under the deceitful lying pimps.

    Like

  49. Sargeant December 21, 2015 at 11:33 PM #

    I guess Canada is off the list of countries that Bush Tea plans to visit. The Guvment plan to impose a ban on spanking.

    BTW if DIW is lives here (as BT keeps writing) he may want to reconsider his residency.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberals-agree-to-revoke-spanking-law-in-response-to-trc-call/article27890875/

    Like

  50. TheGazer December 22, 2015 at 9:53 AM #

    Was wondering where to place this comment and thought I would place it here as Jeff seems to attract the heavy hitters…..

    How do we recognize a historic deed? When Rosa Parks refuse to sit at the back of the bus, was the historical significance of the moment recognized immediately or did it take a few days before the symbolism of her courageous act became apparent to all?

    Have we witnessed such a significant act, but it did not register on our radar?
    What about the young Jamaican Miss World e Miss World 24-year-old Sanneta Myrie who chose to wear her hair in dreadlocks. Instead of letting the world define her beauty and going the ‘heavy hair processing route” she chose to appear as her beautiful ‘black self’. What beauty! What courage! What self-confidence! This may be the first act in truly defining and liberating black beauty.

    Did you miss that moment?

    Like

  51. Sargeant December 22, 2015 at 11:10 AM #

    @The Gazer
    How do we recognize a historic deed? When Rosa Parks refuse to sit at the back of the bus, was the historical significance of the moment recognized immediately or did it take a few days before the symbolism of her courageous act became apparent to all?

    +++++++++++++++
    Rosa wasn’t the first black woman to refuse to give up her seat to a white and move to the back of the bus that honour belongs to Claudette Colvin. However Ms. Colvin was a pregnant single black woman and the black movers and shakers of the day wanted someone who would be more acceptable to the establishment.

    Symbols do matter.

    Like

  52. TheGazer December 22, 2015 at 11:20 AM #

    @Sargeant..
    You are 100% correct.
    Your correction pointed out two things (1) I am fully aware of the story, but yet I chose to perpetuate the popular narrative, and (2) even when we have the capacity to correct and write our own story, we still allow others write our history for us.

    Having extracted an admission for me, I wait to hear your comment on Miss Jamaica.

    Like

  53. de Ingrunt Word December 22, 2015 at 9:07 PM #

    To all, greetings of the Christmas season and may you all enjoy new successes in 2016, particularly it being a leap year and thus gives us all more time to achieve our goals (smile). Really enjoyed the tussles with all the bright minds here….all of YOU.

    To David and your BU team a special warm embrace for providing this service with such vigour and tenacity over these many years. May your site long prosper.

    Now one quick comment on ‘topics of the day’.

    — Even prior to the social media explosion of brevity of words, the word Christmas was often just Xmas. Then some wise head offered that was rather wrong-headed as it was taking ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.

    That was deep in its simplicity. And it basically defined what modern Christmas is really all about. From these pages alone the religious symbolism is shattered and the Christian spirit violated.

    But be that as it may, if one celebrates the true essence of the Christmas story then ‘X’ cannot ‘mark the spot’!

    Like

  54. balance December 23, 2015 at 6:54 AM #

    ,” 2015 at 11:10 AM #

    @The Gazer
    How do we recognize a historic deed? When Rosa Parks refuse to sit at the back of the bus, was the historical significance of the moment recognized immediately or did it take a few days before the symbolism of her courageous act became apparent to all?

    +++++++++++++++
    Rosa wasn’t the first black woman to refuse to give up her seat to a white and move to the back of the bus that honour belongs to Claudette Colvin. However Ms. Colvin was a pregnant single black woman and the black movers and shakers of the day wanted someone who would be more acceptable to the establishment.”

    Thanks Sarge for that wonderful Xmas present of information. After reading your post I did the necessary research and am now familiar with the role played by Ms Colvin in refusing to give up her seat at such a young age; her subsequent incarceration and her courage along with four others to challenge the law in court. I do not think we can blame Ms Parks for the way things turned out. The media has a way of embellishing or selecting stories to suit their own ends. While the action of Ms Parks did receive some attention. Generally speaking, not much is known about her; there is no statue, no memorabilia , nothing. I think the real beneficiary of the actions of both of these unsung heroes is really Mr King who though paying the ultimate price only talked sweetly.

    Like

  55. ac December 23, 2015 at 7:20 AM #

    BALANCE ! i know you trying find balance in your comments but stating that Dr. King contributions to civil rights can be defined as ” sweet talking” is utter nonsense
    Sir you might not be aware of many of the civil rights legislation that came about because of DR kings “sweet talking” and confrontational words while casting judgement ushered in a movement that persuade All to fight wrongs and replace the wrongs with that which is right

    Like

  56. Artaxerxes December 23, 2015 at 9:35 AM #

    “Rosa wasn’t the first black woman to refuse to give up her seat to a white and move to the back of the bus that honour belongs to Claudette Colvin.”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the COLOURED SECTION of a bus to a white passenger after being instructed to do so by the bus driver. This occurred on December 1, 1955.

    As it relates to Claudette Colvin, she was arrested on March 2, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. She became the FIRST African American to be ARRESTED IN Montgomery, Alabama for resisting bus segregation laws.

    In 1952 while on leave, Women’s Army Corps Private Sarah Keys, who was traveling from New Jersey to North Carolina, refused to give her seat to a white Marine. She was arrested, jailed overnight, fined $25, and convicted of disorderly conduct.

    However, in July 1944, (TEN YEARS prior to Colvin’s and Parks’ actions), IRENE MORGAN KIRKALDY was arrested in Virginia for refusing to give up her seat in the coloured section of an interstate bus. Her actions were subsequently described as “one of the first major advancements in the American Civil Rights Movement.”

    Based on the above information, the “honour belongs to” Irene Morgan Kirkaldy.

    “However Ms. Colvin was a pregnant single black woman and the black movers and shakers of the day wanted someone who would be more acceptable to the establishment.”

    There may be some truth in the above statement, since Colvin was 15 years old at the time of her arrest in March 1955 and her son, Raymond, was born in December 1955.
    “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People briefly considered using Colvin’s case to challenge the segregation laws, but they decided against it because of her age. She also became pregnant around the time of her arrest, and they thought an unwed mother would attract too much negative attention in a public legal battle.”

    Also, Kirkaldy was recovering from a miscarriage when she boarded a Greyhound bus in Gloucester, Virginia, to return to her home in Baltimore.

    Like

  57. TheGazer December 23, 2015 at 9:43 AM #

    @artax and Sargeant.
    Thanks. I wanted the focus to be on the act of the courageous Mis Jamaica,

    @balance
    ‘ Mr King who though paying the ultimate price only talked sweetly.’

    Your last statement is so absurd than I can only surmise that it was placed there to generate controversy.

    Teachers, in this PC environment🙂, hate to dole out bad grades for they fear that they may cause harm to the young minds, but every now and then they come to the conclusion that more good than harm may be done by awarding a failing grade. Because of the Xmas season I have been generous and awarded you a strong D.

    Notice that I have made no attempt whatsoever to dispute your contention.

    Like

  58. Sargeant December 23, 2015 at 10:14 AM #

    Don’t want to quibble but Ms.Kirkaldy was already sitting in the section reserved for black passengers in the back of the bus (according to this article from the Washington Post) while Ms.Colvin & Ms. Parks were sitting in the section reserved for whites.

    @The Gazer
    I didn’t see the show so I can’t comment on the hairstyle in question, but from this vantage point I don’t see it as pivotal or a game changer.

    A word of caution tread lightly you don’t want to be commenting on Black women’s hair in this or any forum lest you are hoping for a very unmerry Xmas🙂

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/12/AR2007081201114.html

    Like

  59. TheGazer December 23, 2015 at 10:33 AM #

    @Sargeant.
    Thanks very much for the kind warning.

    You and Artaxerxes raised a point that is worthy of further discussion.

    In a few weeks the US will be celebrating Black History month. Your comments point out that even when we are telling our own history we leave out bits and parts out of our story.

    After 30 years of having Black history month, the story of these women is little known to the average African American.

    Like

  60. Sargeant December 23, 2015 at 11:34 AM #

    @The Gazer
    Much of what is chronicled about us is not written by us so it’s not surprising that we don’t know much of our history vis a vis the Caribbean and North America.

    A few years ago there was a fervent rush by some in the USA to gain control of school boards etc. this was in part to control what texts students could use at school i.e. you could put your own slant on history/science/politic etc. Lo and behold students in Texas started to use a geography book that stated Blacks were brought to the US as “workers” and it was only through the eagle eye of a student whose mother was a teacher that it was brought to light.

    Meanwhile these texts were being distributed to other States that depend on Texas for books so you could have an entire generation of students who were indoctrinated with false info.

    If you know your history…….

    Like

  61. Sargeant December 23, 2015 at 11:35 AM #

    @The Gazer

    This was supposed to be attached to the last submission

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/us/publisher-promises-revisions-after-textbook-refers-to-african-slaves-as-workers.html?_r=0

    Like

  62. Artaxerxes December 23, 2015 at 12:10 PM #

    “Don’t want to quibble but Ms.Kirkaldy was already sitting in the section reserved for black passengers in the back of the bus (according to this article from the Washington Post) while Ms.Colvin & Ms. Parks were sitting in the section reserved for whites.”

    I “don’t want to quibble” either, but my research revealed you are incorrect…. Ms. Colvin & Ms. Parks were (NOT) sitting in the section reserved for whites.”

    “On December 1, 1955, after a long day’s work at a Montgomery department store, where she worked as a seamstress, Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus for home. She took a SEAT in the FIRST of several rows DESIGNATED for “COLORED” passengers.” [Source: biography.com]

    “Colvin was returning home from school on March 2, 1955, and got on a Capitol Heights bus downtown. She was SITTING about two seats from the emergency exit in the COLORED SECTION.” [Source: wikipedia.org]

    Further information on Colvin:

    http://www.core-online.org/History/colvin.htm

    http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/02/27/389563788/before-rosa-parks-a-teenager-defied-segregation-on-an-alabama-bus

    Information on Parks:

    https://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/rosaparks/story.asp

    The article, found on the above web-site, clearly states:

    “She (Rosa Parks) sat near the middle of the bus, just BEHIND the 10 seats reserved for whites.

    But even if, as you stated, Colvin and Parks were sitting in sections of their respective buses that were reserved for whites, what does that have to do with you stating that Colvin was “THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO REFUSE TO GIVE UP HER SEAT TO A WHITE and move to the back of the bus?”

    The main contention is WHO was the FIRST African American FEMALE to be arrested for refusing to adhere to bus segregation laws, NOT what SECTION of the bus (which is totally IRRELEVANT) these ladies found themselves.

    Like

  63. Dompey December 23, 2015 at 2:11 PM #

    Sergeant

    There are many books out there which tells the true story of our Black History, but you have to do the research in order to ascertain the many black authors who have written from our perspective.

    I have read the book called the Black Fighting Men which chronicles the black participation in all of the wars black have fought in.

    Another great book written from the black perspective and by a black author is called the Great Migration which chronicles the black migration from the fifteen southern states, beginning during the 1914 war and ended in 1970 and many more books written from the black perspective.

    Like

  64. de Ingrunt Word December 23, 2015 at 2:42 PM #

    @Sargent, Gazer and Artaxerxes…to what avail exactly the comments about this wonderful review of what precipitated one of the most important aspects of the US civil rights era? The names you mentioned of those who came before Ms Parks says what exactly about the boycotts and civil rights?

    For their families and the accuracy of knowledge it’s vitally important but in the scheme of the civil rights struggle it changes nothing. Not so!! How many more Black people DID wondrous stuff besides the ones acclaimed as the historical firsts. MANY.

    History of course is not a month but an entire life of learning and understanding. So of course there is a great importance of the US Black History Month tradition.

    But if we as a people are waiting for one month to learn about our history then we are obviously already long lost.

    Similarly, schools should always be our assistant teachers on a subject like history…not our primary professors. As parents, uncles and aunts or whatever we must set the agenda for our children on African history. We must be the light of guidance.

    Thus there should have been several “eagle eye” students who caught that lovely euphemism.

    How did that get past legions of publishing editors and school officials is the question, though.

    I wonder if the book discussed how much money those ‘workers’ were paid back then? Of course banking and keeping money was not available so the bosses probably ‘banked’ their money for them too. The book had to discuss that if these Africans were regular ‘workers’.

    And I hope the book compared and contrasted how different the management of health care was at the time to modern era.

    Afterall, with such a glorious explanation of work conditions that book had to be a very modern tome on the historical analysis of worker-employer conditions during that era. O Texas!

    Like

  65. TheGazer December 23, 2015 at 3:34 PM #

    @DIW
    There is much truth in what you stated. It is possible that our society is a few steps behind what you imagine it to be.

    Yes, it should be more than a month and hopefully the time will come when there is not even the need to have a black history month, but we are not there yet.

    How will we tell our history? Will it be accurate? There was a time when we were “written out” of history and now that we are included we must take every step to ensure that an accurate and well documented history is taught to our children.

    Others have given reasons why Rosa Parks has this role in our history. The folks were mentioned were almost “written out” of our historical narrative. Could it be that they did not have the light complexion and therefore the “acceptability” of a Rosa Parks? How do I tell my son that we are all equal when he sees that our historical figures and landmarks were selected by some criterion other than pure historical fact.

    “How did that get past legions of publishing editors and school officials is the question, though?” This is a part of the point that we are making. Could it have been a conscious decision to write history in that way. This is mild as they are some who write that slavery was beneficial to the black man. We are included in that history but the true story is not being told.

    There will come a time when there is no need for us to have this type of discussion, but we are not there yet.

    Like

  66. TheGazer December 23, 2015 at 3:37 PM #

    So glad to see you Dompey. Merry Xmas.

    Like

  67. TheGazer December 23, 2015 at 3:51 PM #

    @DIW
    It would also be interesting to hear your opinion on Affirmative Action.

    Like

  68. de Ingrunt Word December 23, 2015 at 6:46 PM #

    @TheGazer at 3:34 PM…

    —- “Could it have been a conscious decision …” Of that there can be no doubt. To refute that is to refute the bold faced figures in white exposure of Black history …most of them ‘colored’ in the mien of Frederic Douglas (not in any way disavowing his prestige and position with this reference).

    — “Yes, it should be more than a month.” My point is that we as guardians of our heritage MUST make it a year-long, lifetime-long process for our children/wards. The month offers great highlights and long may it remain on the calendar but we cannot wait or depend on that as the primary teaching tool as we cannot await on schools.

    — “The folks were mentioned were almost “written out” … How do I tell my son that we are all equal when he sees …” I disagree. They were not The history was there to be read. The principal story which drives the boycott narrative is Rosa Parks but the other stories were there.

    Blacks are no different to any other group so we tell our kids as it is. Historical pivot points are always “selected by some criterion” deeper than mere coincidence.

    Why did Custer make his stand when he did? What about Napoleon’s Waterloo. And to bring it back to the Parks era, what of MLK’s major ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the capitol steps of Washington, USA. The essence of that was crafted and presented at a high school in Nov 1962.

    But the narrative that drove a discourse of Black lives then and still 50+ years later was delivered in August 1963.

    In sum, history is often ‘staged’ or propelled by circumstances which drive the context of the time. In the moment of the heat of politics, local strife and the real issues of life it’s vitally important to get the optics and circumstances perfectly correct. Otherwise that PIVOT point will NOT in fact become a pivot point…just another day in the life of a Ms.Kirkaldy or a Ms. Colvin or Dr. King himself.

    Some warriors accept the phrase: ‘Today is a good day to die’. For the General Custers of this world that becomes their historical pivot point.

    And my point here is that the back story of Custer’s life and his battles with the siting US President are exciting. Likely all that led to ‘his last stand’ being so highlighted and made famous.

    That is often what elevates key moments in history to the top of mind: the lovely back-story…the image of the hero or heroine. Black or White.

    We remember the cool stuff..and the historians want to sell book so they too highlight what is cool and who is awesome. Rosa parks was cool, very attractive and awesome.

    So absolutely those without that tantalizing interest are definitely ‘written out’ from history’s front page but NEVER from history.—–

    What is there to say more about Affirmative Action. Gave opinions here on it previously. Suffice to say Justice Scalia’s recent perspectives on the subject are disturbing and ridiculous. So to Justice Thomas’ previously stated positions.

    Like

  69. Sargeant December 24, 2015 at 1:36 AM #

    @ The Gazer

    How do we recognize a historic deed?
    ++++++++++++
    Why some actions become historic and others become footnotes may be due to the tenor of the times. If Emmitt Till was buried in Mississippi as the authorities wanted instead of Chicago his death may not have been the lightning rod it became. Did you ever hear of Greenwood (The Black Wall Street) a suburb of Tulsa being burned to the ground? It was the wealthiest black community in the US and according to Wiki “The events of the riot were long omitted from local and state histories. The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Blacks and whites alike grew into middle age unaware of what had taken place.”

    The Smithsonian National History of African American History & Culture will be opening in Washington DC next year. I suspect that many Black people will be anxious to tour and see the exhibits as this will be a “must see” institution. Incidentally one of the featured items on display will be Emmitt Till’s original casket.

    Perhaps that will be a starting point

    http://nmaahc.si.edu/

    Like

  70. balance December 24, 2015 at 3:26 AM #

    Shows there is no end to knowledge Arta- There is always room for improvement- Education comes in many forms.

    Like

  71. ac December 24, 2015 at 6:39 AM #

    Life history is like a battle field .Many soldiers go out to battle some would remain sealed in the vaults of history records forever and some would be buried in the tomb of the unknown forever
    However what matters most are the valuable goals which were accomplished by those brave souls who had stepped out on the battle field beyond the call of duty and transformed society for the better.
    It just maybe that Rosa Park came along. at a time in our history when society was becoming less tolerant of injustice and her role eclipsed and overshadowed what the other brave soldiers had done on the battle field before her
    Needless to say that Colvin and Kirkland role was not forgotten as history has recorded their valiant efforts and their role as opening the door of racial injustice some way

    Like

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