Friday, January 30, 2009

CLICO bailed out by T&T Government

Wuhloss. News out of Trinidad is that powerhouse CL Financial is near collapse, and the Government has to come to its aid. Check out the story here.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Clico Holdings here in Barbados, Leroy Parris, is assuring everyone that all is well locally. All I want to know is Duprey boy, wuh happen?


Rihanna does Super Bowl + Congrats to Oscar nominees

Rihanna performed last night at the pre-Super Bowl Pepsi Smash concert in Tampa, Florida and based on the pics, her S&M bondage theme is still going strong in 2009.

During her set, she performed Rehab, Disturbia, Shut Up and Drive and Breaking Dishes.

Well, at least she didn't have a wardrobe malfunction like a certain person did a few years back....

Congratulations to Oscar nominees Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson, who were nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actress for their roles in Doubt and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button respectively.

Taraji P. Henson

Viola Davis

Viola Davis is new to me, but I remember Taraji P. from her role in the Oscar-nominated Hustle and Flow in 2007, when her co-star Terrence Howard was nominated for an Oscar.

Hmmm. First Denzel and Halle broke the long Oscar drought in 2002, then along came Jamie Foxx in 2005 and Jennifer Hudson in 2007. Could this be another year of African American glory at the Oscars? We'll find out on February 29.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama's Cabinet picks

Obama might be the focus of attention in the White House, but he'll need a few good men and women to help him run the affairs of the state. Click here to see a rundown of his confirmed and selected Cabinet picks so far.

Of course in our part of the world we're waiting to see if nominee Eric Holder, whose parents are Bajan, will become the USA's first black Attorney General. Hey, right now the sky's the limit. Yes He Can!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shontelle's 'Battle Cry' video

I don't know 'bout you all but I'm still in Obama celebration mode. I've posted up the video of Shontelle's inspirational anthem 'Battle Cry', which was part of the wonderful album released last year to highlight the significance of then Senator Obama's campaign. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama's first day in office

Well, after all the pomp and pageantry of yesterday's inauguration, it was all business today as President Barack Obama spent his first day in the Oval Office. According to the blog Young, Black and Fabulous, Obama worked on Guantanamo Bay legislation, White House salaries and conducted an Open House.

Do your thing, then, Mr. President.


Rihanna performs at the Inaugural Ball

Home girl Rihanna performed at the Recording Industry Associaiton of America Feeding America Inaugural Ball at D.C.’s Ibiza nightclub.

Hmmm. Is that yet another tattoo I spy?

Inaugural Balls and more

Hey, peoples! Hope you all had as good a night as I did. Thank God it's a holiday here in Bim today, 'cause I'm exhausted from watching the inaugural parade and all those balls. I don't know how President Obama and the First Lady managed to attend all 10 balls 'cause I was just tired watching them proceed from event to event.

Oh, what a night. The Prez and First Lady Michelle looked hot and their dancing skills weren't half bad either. For those of you who missed their dance at the Neighbourhood Ball to Etta James' 'At Last', sung by Beyonce, here it is:

Pure sweetness.

I also came across an interesting morphing slideshow of all 44 Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, which you can check out below.

US Presidents - George Washington to Barack Obama

Celebrities galore turned out to the inaugural balls, and you can check them all out over at Young, Black and Fabulous. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The era of Michelle O

I'm sure you all know about the iconic style of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, or Jackie O as she was affectionately known.

Well, there's a new First Lady in the White House and her name is Michelle O. Here's a pictorial of the sartorial elegance of Mrs. Obama. The photos were taken over the past three years and are provided courtesy of www.chicagotribune.

Barack Obama sworn in

In my 36 years, I've seen the Berlin Wall fall and Nelson Mandela released from prison. Now, I'm proud to say that I've lived to see an African American become the 44th President of the United States.

To say it was an emotional moment to see President Obama take the oath of office would be an understatement. I'm just sorry that my grandparents aren't alive to witness what they would deem unimaginable.

Below you'll find a transcript of the President's inaugural address delivered an hour ago at the U.S. Capitol.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama feted at the Lincoln Memorial

The Presidential inaugural festivities kicked off yesterday with the 'We are One' celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.

With the imposing statue of Abraham Lincoln serving as a backdrop, musicians paid tribute to the man who will be the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Bono, Cheryl Crow and others performed at the stirring ceremony to a massive crowd of appreciative, if chilled supporters.

Of course the cute First Kids, Sasha and Malia, were there to support their Daddy.

You can watch the video of Obama's speech at the Lincoln Memorial below.

Tomorrow's the big day, peoples! Where will you be at 12 noon?


Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

Who says miracles don't happen? The crash landing of US Airways Flt 1549 in the Hudson River and the survival of all on board can only be attributed to a higher power. Well done Captain Sullenberger and crew and above all, thank God.

Rihanna is Billboard's #1

Congrats go out to Bajan superstar and Def Jam recording artist Rihanna, who has been named Billboard's #1 Pop Artist of the year. The "Good Girl Gone Bad" songstress and fashionista took home three American Music Awards and sold 11 million copies worldwide of her chart-toping album last year.

Not a bad way to start the year at all. Well done, girl.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Obama's letter to his daughters

Hey, peoples. Well, the countdown is on...only six more days before President-elect Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. I hope to step up my inauguration coverage over the next few days to mark this special occasion.

President-elect Obama recently penned a special letter to his daughters, which was featured in Parade magazine. You can check it out here.



Friday, January 09, 2009

Red carpet from the BMA's

As promised, here're some of the red carpet pics from last Sunday's Barbados Music Awards, thanks to

First, the men....

These two dapper dudes looked like they were thrilled to be on the red carpet

Hmm. Sweater over a shirt and tie. Channeling old Jay-Z much? The colours are interesting though.

I don't know where this poor soul thought he was going...

Where to start? The ill-fitting pants, the shoe and jacket matching thing, drinking on the red many fashion snafus, so little time.

Then there were the ladies...

These ladies brought a splash of colour to the red carpet.

Out-going US Ambassador Mary Ourisman missed her calling as a fashion model.

This duo opted for more conservative colours on the night.

And finally, the copules...

Nominee Buggy and his companion made a cute couple.

Reigning Calypso Monarch Adrian Clarke and his wife couldn't go unnoticed on the night.

Multiple BMA winner David Kirton and his wife Noelle have contrasting styles but still complement each other.

That's all for now, folks. Have a good weekend!

Grenada pulls up saggy pants

For a long time now one of my pet peeves has been the saggy pants worn by young men these days. Not only do they look idiotic, but they stand the risk of tripping and falling on their silly heads.

I was therefore pleased to see that lawmen in Grenada have launched a campaign targeting youngsters who show their underwear in public by wearing their pants below their waistline.

According to the Nation Newspaper, the crusade is the latest of several new initiatives introduced by new police commissioner James Clarkson, who was sworn in shortly after last July's general election.

"There [are] some people, especially young men, who forgot at this point where their waist in their body is. They think their waist is by their knees," said Clarkson, who has also served in police forces in New York and Trinidad and Tobago.

"We need morals back in our society; so we are going to address this problem and remind them," he said.

The so-called "sagging pants" trend has been linked to the international hip hop culture but is said to have its roots in prisons where inmates' pants often hang off their butts because they are not allowed to wear belts.

Grenadian youngsters have also caught on to this growing fashion trend, made popular on videos of the rap genre and which has been a major subject of debate in the United States where some states have passed laws banning the practice.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't believe in a police state, 'cause frankly it's crazy that lawmen have to waste their precious time to tell grown folks how to dress properly. I'm just glad someone is taking a stand on this parade of boxers and briefs going on. I mean, fellas, you look like you got up off the throne and forgot to fix yourselves properly. Get yourselves sorted. It's a new year.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Most people know that Barbados is the favourite haunt at this time of year of American Idol judge Simon Cowell, and this time around he's invited along his sometimes nemesis but obvious good bud Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

The two were recently spotted taking in some jet ski action on the west coast.

Double dang. If they take Idol outdoors I just might start watching it again....


Barbados Music Awards Winners

Square One

So, another Barbados Music Awards show has come and gone and this year seemed a little low-keyed to me. Maybe because star girl Rihanna wasn't in attendance? Nevertheless, kudos to producer Ronnie Morris for once again staging the event, especially in the current economic environment where sponsorship is hard to come by.

This year, mega soca band Square One were the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, while the International Lifetime Achievement Award went to R&B songstress Regina Belle.

The Living Legend Award went to songwriter extraordinaire Anthony Walrond, while a posthumous Award of Merit was bestowed on artist Winston Jordan. Several Cornerstone Awards were presented to the band Ivory, cultural icon Wayne 'Poonka' Willock, actress Myrle Niles and broadcaster Win Calendar.

Some of the main winners of the night were:

Best New Artist - Stabby De Guard

Soca (up-tempo) Single - Blood- That Is What I Talking Bout

Reggae Artist of the Year - David Kirton

R&B / Soul Artist - Hal Linton

Song of the Year - Shontelle- T-Shirt

Video of the Year (Female) - Rihanna- Disturbia

Band of the Year - Krosfyah

Songwriter of the Year - Edwin Yearwood

Female Entertainer Of The Year - Rihanna

Male Entertainer of the Year - Khiomal

Platinum Certification - Soca Queen - Alison Hinds

Award of Excellence - Peter Ram

Tomorrow, the red carpet critique.