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Saturday, November 30, 2013


My propensity for politics is waning precipitously these days - especially in the context of the ultra-thin skinned nature of some politicians.

You express a fair view or begin a new initiative aimed at national or constituency development; and there you have political “engineers” not just excoriating but grossly misrepresenting you in political fora. You also have your own parliamentary representative cowardly “jété-ing pawòl” for at his constituency conference. But I guess our "honourable" legislators under the constitution are guaranteed the same fundamental rights and freedoms as their constituents. The only problem is, I find it some of them seem to spend more time “being angry” at their parliamentary subjects instead of focusing on “representing” them – one of the justifications for the formation of “Representation Ourselves Par Excellence” (ROPE)
But the above is not the focus of this article - especially in a context where I have become fodder – and even being glorified by my rival blogs for my bold, unapologetic POWERHOUSE articles. I’ll take that as a victory of some sort, because it is underlined by an inherently deep message of unity and reconciliation coming out - and it can only be a good one! That’s should be a resounding education for our parliamentary reps!

As a science educator (retired), I will never be derailed by anger or flattery!  I will defend what I believe is "universally right" and in the interest of community. But even more so, I will strive to share ideas and opinions with others and to do so “in an intellectual honest form” with the highest ideals and universal ethical principles being my compass.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is from this perspective that I take issue with a “Caribbean News Now” article (US CORRUPTION COMPLAINT FILED OVER ST LUCIA OIL AGREEMENT) re-published on Facebook.

I'm see the article as a striking “replica” of UWP's campaign strategy. I note the article is "semantically" well-put together; but however devoid of a logically deductive argument form - what is technically referred to as "modus tollens".

Let’s take a quick look at the article (by paragraph) and note its excellent “semantic development” vis-a-vis its flawed modus tollens:

The first paragraph cites a "complaint has been filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in relation to a contract purporting to grant oil exploration rights over some eight million acres of Saint Lucia’s maritime territory." It did not indicate who filed the complaint!

The second paragraph refers to 46-page document and at that point it goes on to name the St. Lucia PM and Jack Greenberg.

The third paragraph is largely academic: it puts the FCPA in historical perspective citing the DOJ website as its reference.

In the fourth paragraph, the article quotes what the deputy Attorney said recently about the FCPA:

“Using the FCPA, the Department helps ensure that US companies and individuals, as well as foreign companies and individuals where appropriate, are held accountable when they pay bribes to foreign government officials in order to get business,”

No reference, linkage (much less accusation) whatsoever of what the deputy AG said of the matter under discussion or to the persons named in the complaint.

In the fifth paragraph, the article discusses some aspects of the complaint:

"Specifically, the complaint notes that, in or about February 2000, Anthony, as then minister of finance, planning and sustainable development, signed a contract with RSM that purported to grant the company an “Exploration License” in respect of territorial maritime resources belonging to Saint Lucia amounting to 8,726,263 acres."

In the sixth paragraph, it links the complaints to the Minerals Vesting Act - a matter that has been put to rest by juxtaposing it to St. Lucia's Interpretations Act. Claudius Francis (now the president of the Senate) has aptly dealt with the rationalization of the powers vested under the former in the context of the latter. The Caribbean News Now article made absolutely no reference in that regard.

And the article went on to suspiciously regurgitate the Flambeau campaign effluvia of the last election.

But the article ended with a sorry logical anti-climax in its last paragraph:

"The complaint in question is an allegation of possible unlawful conduct. The allegations must still be investigated, prosecuted and proven in US federal court."

It never named the party or parties lodging the complaint.

Rick spoke about the degeneration of journalism in St. Lucia. Although many may view him as a “degenerate” journalist (himself), especially in the context of his failure to use his demi-god capabilities to revolutionise the journalistic landscape in St. Lucia, he probably has a fair point!

If the writer of the Caribbean News Now is a local journalist, then Rick is "bang on" with his “claims” and “blasts” against our media and journalist.