CHICAGO — A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert to one year and three months in federal prison — a term above what prosecutors had recommended and one that clearly took into account the sexual abuse allegations that generated the criminal case against the Illinois Republican – The Washington Post
In 1998 the then government declared that the 28th April will be celebrated as National Heroes’ Day. Ten Barbadians were assigned the title “Right Excellent’’, and of the 10, only the Right Excellent Sir Garfield St. Aubrun Sobers lives. The decision to recognize ten Barbadians is intended to be part of a never ending process of a nation building exercise. Symbolically the area in Bridgetown near the Nelson Statue was renamed National Heroes’ Square.
The National Heroes Act defines those selected to be national heroes as those people that have “given outstanding service to Barbados”, “contributed to the improvement of the economic and social conditions of Barbados”, and demonstrated “visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attainment of the highest excellence” ….
This week (25/04/2016) a former Republican House speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison for committing a bank crime that has a relationship with sexual abuse allegations. It must be satisfying for a people, a nation, to know that it matters not who you are, it will not prevent justice from being served. Bear in mind Hastert was once the Speaker of the House in the all powerful system of government, two heartbeats away from sitting in the President’s chair. Please share with DPP Charles Leacock.
On this day Barbadians will be subjected to a galore of platitudes -and although well intentioned- for the most part will be meaningless. There is the bible quote often used in the BU forum, ‘You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?’, which the BU household has interpreted to mean we must judge fellow humans by their actions and behaviour and not by their words alone.
Many of us born of the 50s, 60s and 70s wonder if the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow were alive how he would have handled the issue of Michael Carrington’s attempt to fleece a septuagenarian and his family from his money – Michael Carrington’s Immoral Act Goes Unpunished. BU suspects he would have mounted the back of a truck in Bush Hall and fired Carrington from the job as Speaker of the House. Now this is the stuff leadership is made of. To Barbadians looking on, who have a diminished view of today’s politician, such an act would have provided pause. Because we cannot turn back the hands of time, we are left to speculate. However BU will bastardize Newton’s third law and state – for every bad decision by a leader, there is a greater negative reaction with exponential economic and social fallout.
The BU household remains hopeful that it is not too late for Prime Minister Stuart to assuage his public with the right message on National Heroes’ Day. The role of a leader cannot be subjugated by any other. We are already experiencing the deterioration of what was once a budding and model SIDS. In the same way the Arthur government created the Order of National Heroes Act to recognize great Bajans of the past to nurture a culture of nation building, the act of firing Michael Carrington will serve to create momentum.