Thursday, July 02, 2020

June 21, 2020  -Member of the Second Chamber Chris van Dam will be presenting a motion to request the Kingdom Government to take over the management of the Point Blanche Prison for 5 years at our cost. My response as a representative of the people of St. Maarten is, maybe if the Kingdom government pays the cost. Mr. van Dam’s premise for such are reports from the council for the maintenance of law and the progress committee

which have repeatedly pointed out that the Point Blanche prison as it pertains to human detention and working environment is completely inappropriate and does not comply with international law and regulations. He continues that in accordance with article 43.2 of the Kingdom Charter the guarantee of fundamental human rights, freedom and security of law is a Kingdom Affair. This is not the first time such a motion was presented to the Second Chamber. On October 15, 2019, a similar motion was adopted by a broad majority of the Second Chamber. Some 3 weeks later in the daily herald of Nov 2, 2019 he said and I quote: “There is no question of a unilateral take- over of the St. Maarten law and order system by The Hague, for such a decision needs to be on a basic consensus end of quote. He confirms that the matter has to be based on consensus. I agree with the Member that the constant changes of government and the sometimes throwing out of the plans of the former government lead to a discontinuity of policy. My response with regards to the take -over of management of the prison remains, “Maybe if you will pay the cost.” How do they expect St. Maarten after the devastation of the hurricane “Irma”, the present covid19 pandemic and depleted government revenues to carry the cost? I believe what Member Chris van Dam wants to do is take over the entire law and order system as he himself stated, beginning with Point Blanche prison. What the Member of the second chamber should be focusing more on is the $550 million of which only $33 million has been disbursed so far. And to expedite matters so that the $209.7 million worth of projects tied up in the World bank guidelines be paid out. What he should also do is request his government to transfer the $12 million earned in interest generated by the Trust fund into St. Maarten coffers. (wishful thinking) The member of the second Chamber in the November 2, 2019 article said St. Maarten should be happy with the taking over of this heavy responsibility. Let us look at article 43 of the Kingdom Charter. It talks about human rights and that each one of the countries are responsible for such. It also states that guaranteeing such is the responsibility of the Kingdom (Holland). I have questions for the Member van Dam. Where the human rights of the people of St Eustatius guaranteed when they removed the democratically elected representatives of St. Eustatius. Today, they have come to the realization that nothing much has changed in the two years that they are in charge. Doesn’t every country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands base on the (Internationaal Verdraginzake de economische, socialeen culturele rechten (IVESCR) freely translated: “International Treaty on economic, social and cultural rights”, have a right to ask for protection based on these same human rights and do so regardless of their nationality?

The Kingdom government already has control of our finances via the Committee for Financial Supervision (Cft), they are already in control of the Judiciary and is now looking for total control of our law enforcement. Article 43.2 while being a guarantee function of the Netherlands cannot be enforced without the approval of St. Maarten. This should be a collective effort that includes the other partners of the Kingdom. Article 39 of the charter states freely translated, the governments of the countries have to be given the possibility to have their input or give their opinion before a draft proposal to amend any existing legislation of a far-reaching nature is submitted to the responsible body. This is where the infamous undemocratic process of the Kingdom Charter articles 12 to 22 takes place. Concluding with the Kingdom Government having the final say. I am looking forward to when the St. Maarten discussions on this motion after its handling by the Dutch Second Chamber on June 22, 2020 takes place.

NEW YORK (AP) — After voicing support for Woody Allen and criticizing cancel culture, Spike Lee apologized Saturday for words he said were “wrong.” In an interview Friday on the New York radio station WOR 710, Lee called Allen “a great, great filmmaker.” “This cancel thing is not just Woody. And I think that when we look back on it, (we’re) gonna see that, short of killing somebody, I don’t if you can just erase somebody like they never existed. Woody’s a friend of mine,” said Lee. “I know he’s going through it right now.”


NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Phillips, a prize-winning crime novelist from Los Angeles, grew up on TV shows that showed a world nothing like the one he lived in. “I watched them all, ‘Dragnet,’ ‘Adam 12,’ ‘The Wild, Wild West,’ ‘Mannix,’ ‘Cannon,’ ‘Peter Gunn’ reruns and on and on. Now these were white guys and they were tough but fair and even-handed,” he told The Associated Press in a recent email, referring to popular programs mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. “I remember a ‘Dragnet’ episode where tight-ass Joe Friday solved racism among black and white officers in a weekend retreat. But I was a kid growing up in South Central and even then some part of me knew a lot of this was jive. We knew the cops out of Newton and 77th Division policed the ’hood a lot different than shown on TV.”

NEW YORK (AP) — An angry and emotional Dave Chappelle spoke on the killing of George Floyd in a surprise Netflix special, saying America was being punished for its mistreatment of black men. “I don’t mean to get heavy but we got to say something,” said Chappelle, who added that America is enduring “the wrath of God” for a string of police assaults on black men. The special was released Thursday and is streaming free on Netflix’s comedy YouTube channel. It was taken from a show at an outdoor pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with about 100 attendees on June 6.

Nanci Ryder, a powerful Hollywood publicist and co-founder of BWR Public Relations who became close to such stars as Renée Zellweger and Courteney Cox, died Thursday of Lou Gehrig’s disease in Los Angeles. She was 67. Ryder was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — or ALS — in 2014. The neurodegenerative disease gradually claimed her ability to walk, talk, eat and move. Her death was announced by publicist Lynda Dorf. Ryder’s clients — including Michael J. Fox, Reese Witherspoon, Viggo Mortensen and Sarah Michelle Gellar — blossomed into close friends. Zellweger thanked Ryder in her best actress acceptance speech when she won the Academy Award for “Judy” earlier this year. Witherspoon called her a “second mother.”