and here they are:
the Clowns
maybe not so funny

Curaçao Island

"Somebody's got to be angry or nothing gets fixed."
Carl Hiaasen

the 2017 political circus

Our Patron Saints

Tasmanian devil
Tasmanian Devil
Curassow crax
Curassow Bird
Honey badger
Honey Badger

"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper"
George Orwell

Hairy Slaw 3:
The more a politician talks about transparency, the less you get.
We Will Not Saddle You Up With Cookies

A Guide to Names
As we have the deplorable habit of twisting and distorting names until their own mother wouldn't recognize them,
for You, Dear Reader, here's a list of who are actually meant. Hope it helps. More may follow later.
AlKLMá Wallé=Alcalá-Wallé — Amparo dos Diablos=Amparo dos Santos — Arsjes=ex-PM Asjes — Bhillenaath, Ass-Crack=PM Rhuggenaath — Auntie Sushi or Suzy=Suzy Römer — Bakoba [banana]=Errol Cova — Dos Diablos=Dos Santos — FOØL=FOL political party — Fräudlein Wiels=Marvelyne Wiels, AKA Marvel Woman — Gijs & Bertha=Gijsbertha; Imalootin'=Yamaloodin —K*NT=KNT political party — Kroket=Konket; M*F*K=MFK political party — Monkee=Monk — Mudbelly=Cooper — Pias=PAIS political party — Pierrot=Nelson Pierre — Pinhead=Martina; Prick Pisas=Pik Pisas; Quackie=Jacinta Constancia — Ruggie=Rhuggenaath — Sheik=El Hakim — Shorty=ex-PM Schotte — Spoiled Brats=Civil Servants; Wilsoen=Wilsoe.
Many of these have thankfully disappeared; no doubt they will be replaced by new characters. "Nature abhors a vacuum."
Happy Holy Days!

It's that time of the year again! The Circus is moving to what only yesterday was the future:
Please adjust your bookmark; if you're interested at all, there's that.

Wait, Hope and See
The government in its incredible wisdom has decided to raise the minimum wage, with (are you ready) 7.5 cents/hour. That's 4.13 US cents.
That is, if you are 21 or older.
If you are a house slave resident domestic staff member, you make 367 guilders per month, of which a maximum of 300 may be subtracted for board and lodging, leaving you with 67/month to spend on clothing and other hobbies.

Energy Up, People Down
Gasoline will go up, as from January 1, from 1.74 to1.76/liter; diesel 1.25-1.30; electricity 49-52cents/kWh; water 7.44-7.50/m3. LPG cooking gas remains same.
Time for those shalers in the USA to really start pumping. Teach OPEC a little lesson; again. My, they're stubborn. (The USA now produces twice as much gas and oil than Saudi-Arabia. We all know Trump's to blame, that Rat.)
Mind, those water and electricity tariffs are for the lowest users.

Road to Ruin
Chinese company Baota lets know that it's interested in taking over where GEZ left (us in the lurch). Rub: Boata informs our government of this via GZE. Hmm. Hmmmmm.
The government people say they keep "extremely careful and vigilant"—they'd better.

Boneco trade union calls for protection of local fishery. In itself not a bad thing of course. The way proposed is more troublesome: shut off certain areas for fishing at all so fish get a chance to propagate and grow. With the anarchistic mentality of our people, you may well wonder if this will succeed.
Apart from that, the sea around us just does not contain enough fish to supply the population. To the casual diver it looks like a lot, but it's not. Main fishing areas are where there's cold oxygen-rich water welling up from the deep and mixing with warmer surface water, which just is not the condition here.
Apart from that, Boneco's argument that imported fish has to be transported over thousands of kilometers really doesn't hold water. In fact, so what? It's been like that for Europe since before the Middle Ages.
Several efforts come to mind from the past when comparitively large Dutch fishing vessels were imported here. They were all flops. Al least, Boneco doesn't come with that suggestion.
Summing up, it's a good idea, but won't help fishery much.

Oh, the Suspense!
InselAir in fact seems to have resumed flying Curaçao-Paramaribo on December 18, but will have to pay off the debt in a fortnight. Which is before next Monday. People who say they know estimate it's a million guilders.
May be after Tuesday January 3, what do I know.2017-12-29

Soothsayers at It Again
Next year, the economy is predicted to grow by the minuscule amount of 0.3%, after more years than we all care to remember of shrink. Do you believe that? Then, you're a good voter. Or in fact, a bad one.
Remember, for 2016 and 2017 growth was predicted as well; I'm not looking back further.

And That's No News, Either
In contrast with Suriname, we here do have laws regulating corporate governance. But, laws are of very little use if nobody follows them—as usual, if not always. In this case, they were just crushed under the clumsy feet of Shorty and his Gang of Goons when taking over Aqualectra utility. I have little taste going into all that; only to remark that we will have to pay up. As always; who else?

We Knew That All the Time, Too
The long, slow and tiresome efforts to get Synergia/Avianca foolish enough to take over InselAir have finally ground to a definite halt, even Minister "pinhead" Martina has to admit.
The guy AKA mahoso fastioso. So that's ad hominem, see if I care.

They Noticed
The government will give GZE one more week to come across. But why? Of course GZE can't possibly. Question is, what now?

My brother-in-law arrived yesterday for a holiday. He rented a car, on which the rental agency had applied a 2x3 foot sticker: "This is a rental car! I'm a rich tourist! Please, come rob me!"
Not a literal quote, of course. Just kidding?

Swallow That Pill
In the USA, India and South Africa, where 12.6% of the people have HIV, there is a Truvada pill around that will prevent women from being infected. Here it's 1.25%, only (?) So once again the question would seem to be, what are we waiting for?
Well, for one thing, the price. In the USA it's over $1500 for a month's supply, say ANG3000 or 100 guilders/day. Oof. In South Africa it's RAND200-550/month, or about 30-90 guilders—probably heavily subsidized. Cost of treatment here is now ANG350/month.
You know what? Use a condom.

You'll Never Guess
But it's a big fat laugh. Venezuela president Maduro is looking for ways to get out of his country's self-inflicted problems. Now he's trying to use Raúl Gorrin, Venezuelan millionaire declared persona non grata by the City of Miami for ties to the Maduro regime, to broker an exit strategy with the Trump administration. Yes, those "ultra-right fascist bastards".
More fat laughs are that the new USA tax laws, discarded as worthless by the Democrats, are causing panic in Australia and the €U. They foresee that the reduction of corporate taxes from 35% tot 21% will cause the internationals to retract to the USA.
Can you possibly say "parasites" here?

Good Year
No, not a rubber commercial—even if we could use one these days of AIDS. Until December, we had 11% less tourists this year. But they spent more, says CTB; without telling us how much more. They also omit to tell us (may be the media, sure) if that includes day trippers.
That spending is all based on fingers-in-the-wind statistics, anyway. CTB and CHATA both can only admit they have no idea how much is paid for apartments, most of 'em on what amounts to a black market.

Back and Forth
International Oil Daily, which had published that GZE was unable to take over Isla refinery because of financial troubles, retracted the article and now claim GZE is still going full steam ahead.
They base this on statements of the GZE director. Rather credulous, is my feeling.

So Childish
We have a new budget; not that anybody but (maybe) the government thinks it's worth a thing. But Moses of Movementu Progresivo kept her jaws clammed until right before the final vote, when she declared that this was illegal as the meeting was supposed to be announced 4x24 hours beforehand. I figure, that could be max. 12 hours difference as the Friday meeting was announced last Tuesday. She declared the budget not valid, supported by Córdoba (PS).
She couldn't have stated that at the beginning of the meeting, oh no.

JetBlue CUR-NY
JetBlue will be adding 1 weekly flight to New York, making it 4 in total. Good.
Not a word in the media on InselAir's Paramaribo adventure. Good news is no news?

Listen to Auntie
Auntie Suzy says the new hospital HNO will be "technically ready" in September 2018. But don't start whooping it upo, it will take half a year before it will be actually in use. She "expects" somewhere in 2019-II.
But those predictions have always been wrong before.

Unexpected, Not
The law of unexpected consequences: because of the riots strike, the entrance to Fort Amsterdam is closed when the last of the ministers has arrived. Granted, knowing them, that can be pretty late in the day. But after then, no more visitors, which includes tourists, are allowed in.
While Fort Amsterdam isn't that grandiose as Het Kasteel in Kaapstad/Cape Town, South Africa, there is a definite resemblance and Fort Amsterdam definitely is one of our tourist attractions.
But who cares? November showed again a fall in tourism of 2%.

The Way of All Trash
Our friendly supermarket gave me a 4-color ballpoint (one of the most useless inventions I know, with only novelty value; besides, the one they gave me last year is still working); plus a wall calendar.
Which made me realize that all calendars are getting obsolete. Who needs those things anymore? They're on their way to extinction.
Just like ashtrays.
no smoking ashtray
Saving a small fact for history: in all film editing rooms I've ever been in, the ashtrays were old film cans.
My father-in-law, when working on cars, always dropped his burning butts in the can of gasoline which he kept handy for getting rid of grease on parts.
They just drowned, no harm done. He's dead now, but not because of that habit.

Nobody Ever Mentions This
Enforcing speed limits with speed bumps results in accelerating and decelerating over and over again, which decreases fuel mileage and increases effective CO2 emissions.
The same goes for those roundabouts instead of traffic lights which are all the rage these days. Instead of stopping at the end of a queue and starting to drive again when the light goes green, you stop, drive, stop, drive etcetera—until you finally get your turn to join the merry circle.
Don't those traffic "experts" ever think?

They Save, We Go On Paying
Aqualectra Utility can save 45 million guilders by replacing guys older than 60 with younger personnel. If that will result in lower tariffs? Don't count on it, or rather, count on it won't.

Desperate Desperadoes
Now GZE comes out and says it's Fake News that they are as good bad as bankrupt and that we can forget about them.

I Hate Tourism
They're trying to brainwash our promising youth at school into thinking tourism is great! They may try... but... Yesterday I was one of those who got stuck on the harbor-spanning Juliana bridge behind not 1, but 2 touring buses full of tourists—who of course have to be given every opportunity to ooh and aah and take cell-phone shots to put on FakeBooc. They crawl over the top at a speed so low, you'd overtake them by walking.
Then, I got stuck behind that stupid toy train full of the suckers taking a tour through down-town Willemstad. I and many others. There ought to be a law, it's bad for your blood pressure.

Unbearable Suspense
PAR minister Jesus-Leito denies she has threatened to withdraw SLM's landing rights here. You know, in fact I don't care. She couldn't have done it anyway; not legally that is.
Meanwhile, it was announced that InselAir's first flight to Paramaribo would go through, albeit with a delay. (That's no news of course.) I haven't found out if it did in fact leave. The thing is, Surinam may well decide to seize the MD-8X once it gets there, in order to force InselAir to pay their debts.
Keep tuned. That would definitely be The End of the Affair.

Oops, Mistake
MAN Roozendal wants to introduce a law to ensure we commoners will get a pension. It won't be much, hardly comparable to what she can look forward too. What I want to mention, she has prepared her idea so throughlty that she still thinks AOV old age welfare starts at 60. Been 65 years age for quite a while now.

Listen Who's Yelling!
President Maduro of Venezuela says he wants to stop all air and sea traffic from Venezuela to Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba. It's because there's so much mafia here (look who's talking!) and there's so little food in Venezuela because it's all smuggled out, to us here.
How he wants his precious oil shipped in and out without our oil terminals he probably hasn't thought out.
As there are more than 30 million people living in Venezuela and about 300,000 on the islands, small wonder we have an obesitas problem: each of us eats the food meant for over 100 Venezuelans.

The End Is Near?
Rumors are, Isla director José van den Wall-Arnemann was fired because PAR wanted him to sign some lucrative agreements to hire "consultants" which he refused (here is where the rumors are not so plausible). Combined with Auntie Suzy's last efforts to collect some prize money while she still can, it might mean that the coalition is at the point of exploding. Watch it so the flying shit doesn't hit you.
But all that may just as well be wishful thinking by Shorty fans. You know, those rumors are never what you'd call reliable.

We Lost, Dammit
We were so proud that we were among the top polluters in the world! But just one Taiwan power plant has single-handedly beaten us. It's the Taichung coal-fired power plant, the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter.
But in fact CO2 is not a polluter, granted.

That Settles It
Chinese GZE announced that after their flop in Myanmar, they've stopped thinking about rebuilding Isla refinery, taking over Bullenbaai oil terminal and building an LNG terminal there.
That is good news as far as it goes. But now the question is, what will our Great Leaders do next? It's rather urgent. And don't think China will give up their colonization plans for us just like that.
No doubt this is connected to the instant firing of Isla director José van den Wall-Arnemann yesterday. Tough José, but I expect you've grown fat enough the past couple of years, or you're even more useless than we all figured.

New Meat Refinery
Auntie Suzy plans to start importing meat from Colombia, slaughter it here (for which a new abattoir is needed) and then sell it to foreign countries. She calls this "meat export"—just like we export Venezuelan oil, I guess. She also calls it stimulating local cattle breeding, as you might expect from her.
The present slaughterhouse doesn't answer to international requirements, but of course is plenty good enough for us local yokels.

Minimum Wage
I have no idea what the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is all about, but they have figured out that, in California, in the period 1990-2015 for every ten percent minimum wage increase, employment declined two percent. Greatest impact was on lower-income workers, where employment decreased five percent. Over half of the job loss is in accommodation and food services (think tourism), and retail trade.
Study was done by two economy professors of Miami and Trinity, San Antonio TX universities.

The assistant of former finance minister Jardim, Van 't Hof, is responsible for 130,000 guilders that have disappeared. Best part is, it has to do with office trips Van 't Hof made in 2015 and 2016. No doubt business class.

Not Over Yet
Yesterday, arson was tried without succeeding at a UTS building. UTS's firing of almost half of its employees was one of the main reasons for the flopped strike.

PAR Minister Leito plans to stop SLM Surinam Airlines from landing here if InselAir is not allowed to reopen the route to Paramaribo. There is nothing in the aviation agreement that says InselAir has to pay its debts, she says. And no doubt she's right.
That woman spiritually lives in a strange world. Then, all politicians do.

Advent Hospital Is Sick
Health inspector Huurmans has forbidden Advent's surgeon Bakir to take in new patients (I almost wrote 'prisoners'). Reason, a patient died after having been operated upon. But Advent's Panneflek says it's not clear why said patient died and that the hospital feels victimized. Huurman should have waited for the results of the enquiry.
Well Panneflek, better safe than sorry, wouldn't you agree?

Cft financial supervision reports that the 2016 plans of then minister Jardim have not been executed. In fact, it's such a sloppy mess that it's often not even possible to check if a plan has been kept to. What is clear is that some plans have not been followed by several ministries. You don't need or want to know more.
Some government! They just can't, can they?

An Honest Break
Is what GZE asks for re. their plans for Isla, Bullenbaai and a new refinery, promising a golden future for us all in return. As if they gave Curaçao an honest break up to now.

Not-So-Fond Memories
Dick Drayer reminds us that demagogue/agitator Bakoba, who is now cryin' out for higher minimum wages (and no business resulting) was minister of Arbeidszaken [labor] when the 49% government-owned BOO had to be sued for the slave-like employment of 176 Filipinos when BOO power plant was built.

No Proof
Police says, there's no proof the cases of arson during the last week have to do with the strike. Besides the landhuis a UTS switching unit burned out, leaving an entire neighborhood phoneless. All in all 30 cases in 10 days.
No proof maybe, but suspicions galore.

The higher minimum wage, one of the items that flopped strike was all about, has been torpedoed by the Raad van Advies [advisory council]. First, the idea to raise it with 80 cents/hour to 9 guilders was based on a 1 parent/2 children family, not taking 2 parents/2 kids families into account. Then, the assumption was the economy would grow this year (whatever made them think such a thing?) And third, the effect on the total budget was miscalculated.
At any rate, the strike is definitely over with most trade unions giving up. Bakoba says he won, but that's only what he says.

Oh No!
InselAir says they got all the papers ready to resume flights to Paramaribo. But Suriname says they have to pay up first. A guy in KKC figured, that would be one million guilders. Sounds like what the frogs call un impasse. We'll see by next Monday.
And some committee says that the air connections between the islands are not very good. That's some committee all right—they forget to mention Aruba Air. And the governments must get together in an effort to guarantee those connections.
Spare us, okay?
Those guys even talk about "adequate action by the Curaçao government" made it possible for InselAir to go on. They mean those 33 million poured down the drain.

Video Surveillance
That guy who tried to blow up himself and some others in New York the other day, but goofed? He chose a spot that was under constant intense video surveillance. Didn't help much, did it?
Hope this will help: instead of the 75 guilder fine you have to pay while driving without a safety belt or while using a cell phone will become 250. If you decide to take it to court, the prosecutor will insist on making it 300.

Oh My, What Blabber
Auntie Suzy spoke to some 100 farmers on "sustainable agriculture"—whatever that means. All the well-known clichés came from her lips. Without going into an exhaustive critical discourse, I pick on an easy one. We have had several extremely dry years now, resulting in a very low groundwater level. In the first place, all water inevitably drains off into the sea. Then, everybody can start a deep-well and help the process a bit, and lots of people do; especially with the price you have to pay Aqualectra which is prohibitive for agriculture. All this in turn of course results in the sea infiltrating the fresh groundwater. Sorry about this lecture, but here it comes:
Auntie Suzy claims that it's because of the raising seawater level that the sea infiltrates the groundwater. Need we listen to this woman?
Last time groundwater was so low, Shell got to be blamed. A piece of history: when Fort Amsterdam was new, there was a well right there on the premises. That didn't last long.

De trade unions' actions will continue today, says Bakoba. Now we're all scairt. Big fat yawn.

The UK Got Smart
Their National Health Service has stopped payments for 18 "low value" treatments, which will generate £141 million in annual savings. The list includes seven that have also also been referred to the Department of Health for blacklisting: homeopathy, herbal treatments, omega-3 fatty acid compounds (fish oil), co-proxamol, rubefacients (excluding topical NSAIDS), lutein and antioxidants, and glucosamine and chondroitin.
That could (I never stop hoping) spell bad news for Shorty, Quackie and quack Rudolf de Wit; to name but a few. Too bad acupuncture isn't on the list.

Got Them Good
Journalist Dick Drayer won a court order against newspaper Ultimo Noticia, who just went on stealing his photographs and publishing them, for 100,000 guilders. Since Guthenberg's invention this stealing of copyright material has grown worse and worse, and culminated in an absolute tsunami in the age of the digital internet.
You don't have to believe me, but if every photo of mine that's published on the internet was paid for, I'd make over a million guilders per year, easy. Lubida!
Or if you wish so, it wasn't Guthenberg, but Laurens Janszoon Koster from Haarlem. It boils down to, in which country do you live?

Nice Job
PIAS Rosaria, whose party was wiped out at the last elections, now at least has landed a nice cushy government job. He is Asiatic Consultant, whatever that may mean—except that I'm sure he gets a nice salary, plus emoluments. Like business class flights and luxury hotels plus sejours to do some sightseeing over there; for work of course.

Poor Babies
The governments of Cuba and Venezuela have joined forces to protest Trump's acceptance of the fact that Israel thinks its capital is Jerusalem. They are going to fight it with Iran and Turkey; and almost nobody else, in spite of all furious denouncements.
Even the Philistinians don't seem to be interested; at least, they didn't hit the streets to rally after Trump's speech—because it was raining. Reminds me of those bloody riots we didn't get.

Now He Tells Us
PIAS Rosaria writes that GZE Guangdong Zhenrong Energy has failed to build a 2.6 billion dollar refinery in Myanmar and is now as good as broke. Thanks Rosaria; you may hope we have forgotten your gutless party was in the government that invited GZE over here on clouds of hot air—but we haven't.

Strike Three and Out
The trade unions will stop their actions to talk for two more days with the government. What for and about nobody understands as they claim their demands have been met. That's real news to us.
We'll hear more later, I guess. A grandiose flop for Bakoba, Shorty and those union crooks.

Not So Great
Yesterday we were treated to a story on how big cruise tourism had become. I colored myself skeptical, keeping in mind that many ships couldn't make the hurricane-hit islands and had to go somewhere.
Now we hear that the EM (formerly Howard Johnson) is closed and bankrupt. Reading between the lines, that's because they had too few rooms to get a casino license, and what is a hotel with a casino?

Even China
Until now, both China and Russia have been more or less protecting Venezuela and its corrupt government. Kindred souls, after all; then, there's oil. But now that Venezuela cannot pay anything anymore, Chinese state company Sinopec is suing the country for payment of $23.7 million plus interest and damages, which is the outstanding half of a steel delivery to PdVSA. It's almost funny that Sinopec is suing in Houston, Texas.
Russia is still prepared to help Venezuela out, though, with a $3 billion restructure of what Venezuela owes Russia. Will this help? Enough? I doubt it.

Oh, Those Chinese!
And of course, our Isla management and our government. GZE, we were told was a 100% Chinese national company, guaranteed to come up with, how much was it again? many billions of dollars (which kept shrinking in the hogwash).
Then, Baota Petrochemical Group Ltd. was supposed to take over. But as some anonymous body explains in KKCur, Baota itself is much too small. In fact, it runs 3 what the Chinese call Teapot refineries, total capacity smaller than Isla. Apart from that, Baota is in trouble as their import license was cut by 2/3 by the Chinese government. They couldn't get Letters of Credit for 50 million worth of crude recently.
Finally, in March 2017 we were supposed to have a FEED ( Front End Engineering Design) from GZE. We never did. And now Isla director Van den Wall-Arnemann informs us that 6 months to a year is needed for a feasibility study. That's just meshuga. As far as we know (not very much) GZE hasn't even looked at the refinery as yet.

Strike Strikeout
Dying a slow death. A group of taxi drivers has been forbidden to drive in a column somewhere. Others go by supermarkets to explain to people what they are striking for. So they know themselves?
At Mangusa hypermarket, personnel threw 'em out.
Can't help seeing a parallel here between the dire predictions of extreme violence if Trump dared declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel (as if it wasn't already). It was raining in Philistina while he made his speech, so everybody there wisely staid home before they got all wet.

Looks like BOPEC Bonaire Oil Terminal will soon be forced to close. Maintenance is a mess (sounds familiar?) and even after a big fire nothing was done. They get oil leaks all the time; now they tell us. Electrical system is a mess. If nothing's done, all tanks must be emptied 3 weeks from now, with the consequence that all Bonaire will have no electricity. The utility is fed from one of those tanks, is why.
BOPEC is owned by PdVSA (that explains a lot) who most probably will not be able to come up with the money needed 10s of millions of dollars. Even then, all that can't be fixed in 3 weeks, I guess.
Judging from what we can see, the number of tankers waiting their turn here at Curaçao Oil Terminal keeps growing.
We can see those tankers to and from BOPEC on the horizon here, and last week we actually saw one pass by. By now, a rare sight.

That Strike Is a Pest
They are not prepared to negotiate; they just want all their demands to be granted. Now they're blocking roads, dumping trash all over them, and have started "several" more fires. The government also stopped negotiating.
Their main weapon, with which they threaten now, is to slow down the refinery. This will result in less money coming in, but who cares? There is sufficient fuel and cooking gas in stock to supply to island for three months, so nobody worries.
My impression is, people are tired of that bull and it will just peter out. If Bakoba and Shorty, don't forget Shorty, dream of starting a revolution riots à la 30 May 1969, they're in for a disappointment. PM Rhuggenaath doesn't understand what they want, he says: well, that's what they want.

Poor People
Those WinAir guys were stuck for the second day on Haïti. I hope they give 'em water.

Out of Hand
The landhuis that formerly was residence of the gezaghebber [lieutenant governor] has been set afire. Last time, it was the Sentro pro Arte theater. The time before was May 30, 1969 when Willemstad was burning.
These are the "hard actions" those trade union crooks (yes, it's a pleonasm here and now) threatened with. Jumping to conclusions, sure—like everybody else.
The idea was Shorty would go and live there as president, so sainted Helmin Wiels took care it was restored (we paid, sure). But I guess even Shorty realizes now he'll never move in there.

That's Better
Curaçao will accept help from the Netherlands in searching for a PdVSA replacement for the Isla refinery. Holland offered this before, but found no takers. "Nos mes por!" was the slogan. But they finally wised up.

Let's See
The Great Action, called Plan B by trade union leader, the popularly indicated as "garden gnome" Bakoba, was a disastrous flop—for the strikers. Not more than 100 strikers turned up at what was planned to be a mass demonstration. Our arch-enemy convicted criminal ex-PM Shorty, who very few doubt is behind it all, didn't even show his face.
Today they'll try for Plan C, which should be even heavier. Well, that should be easy after such a flop.
Meanwhile the government doesn't understand what the strike is all about; and nor does anybody else by now. They partly met the strikers demands, but nothing was accepted.
Reminds me of the so-called Palestinians refusing all offers to get a state. That's not what they want, they just want to eradicate Israel.
More: somebody with what sounds like a false and assumed name tells us that one of the unionists' problems, car insurance, has been raised by the Whiteman cabinet. Must be more than a year ago, and now they suddenly start agitating bout it. Smells like a Shorty trick, yeah.
The minimum wage was raised, by 80 cents/year for 4 years, right before the 2016 elections—by PS. Not that it helped them, they were wiped out.

Traditional Troubles
Passengers on the WinAir flight to Port-au-Prince got stuck on the airport when Haïti refused the plane chartered from Dominican PAWA go. PAWA should first pay their outstanding debts.
Reminds me of something, and not even vaguely.

Strike Or No Strike?
We are told that the government yesterday reached an understanding with the 15 trade unions, meaning the strike is over; and we also read that the strikers will hold a demonstration this morning to start the strike—which in fact started the day before yesterday. Sorry, this nonsense is beyond me.

Rhuggenaath Talking?
"Our country was dependent on oil for many years, but now has come the time of tourism for economic development. Tourism has become the first engine of economic development in our country." You could easily think he said so.
But no, it's Vice President Tareck El Aissami of Venezuela. They have about as much chance there, true.

Once again it has been concluded that the Isla refinery is definitely unsafe; not only within itself but also for the (many) people living and working outside of it.
But you think this is a reason to stop it working until it's fixed? No, we will have yet another look at it.

There's the Rub
The tourist diving industry contributes over $40k (ANG72K) yearly to the economy. At least, that's what CHATA hotel association claims. Naturally, they want more and have a list off things that need to be done. Almost as an afterthought, they say "diving locations must be protected".
You bet. The state of the coral reefs has been steadily deteriorating for decades.

Bakoba's Chutzpah
Today the government will have to react before 11:00 to an ultimatum by (now) 15 trade unions. Otherwise, more actions will follow, yells Bakoba. He asks us to understand that, as "sacrifices must be made". That's okay for him and his bozos, but I don't see why we should make sacrifices for them.

Sure, Bakoba. Anything You Say.
11 trade unions, led bij Cova, are thinking over what actions they will take to protest. They want UTS to go bankrupt not to fire half its personnel; they want to cancel the higher car insurance premium; they want higher minimum wages.
About that car insurance, since 2010 the number of car accidents has gone up by 25%, to 40 per day. Inflation has been 40% since 1999 when the present tariffs were fixed. And many cars are uninsured which results in lower receipts by the insurance companies.
So the trade unions' demands are rather if not totally unrealistic. That Bakoba is a pest. Remember, he's the guy who started a political party out of the trade union for spoiled brats. Who ever heard of such a thing being possible elsewhere?
Also remember, that minimum wage law was started by a PS minister.
Many years ago, I was standing next to a Dutch television producer, watching and listening to Bakoba at the Tula monument delivering a speech. He turned to me and said "Seems to me a very dangerous little fellow." He got that straight—without understanding a word of Papiamento.

My Feelings
Clarinda, interim director of CTB tourist bureau says that it doesn't matter, tourism is developing in the right direction. I agree: it keeps going down and what could be better?
Still, bien étonnés de nous trouver ensemble.

Take Care
The €U has blacklisted Venezuelan AVIOR airlines for safety reasons. They were long since banned from the USA, but still fly to Curaçao and Aruba, so watch your step.

So Pay, Anyway
Sona, the institution that's supposed to arrange the building of that HNO new hospital, must pay builder Ballast Nedam $1,486,241 plus ANG14,685, total ANG2,719,643 because the terrain was not available at the stipulated date. That's because of the move away from the former Amstel Brewery terrain.
Sona has appealed but the judge said, pay now, anyway.

The Heat Is On: Sources Drying Up
Warmist scientists discovered long ago that it's no good to use the term "Global Warming" in their reports. It resulted in subsidies drying up.
As even warmies can be smart, they changed it first to "Climate Change" in public grant summaries. But now, "Extreme Weather" is growing more popular, and so are "Environmental Change", "Global Change" and that old standby "Diversity Loss". My favorites are "Climate Sensitivity" and "CO2 Sensitivity"—they don't relate to change, be it up or down, at all. Like the Dutch say, you can go into all directions with that [je kunt er alle kanten mee op].
But subsidies are still drying up.
Grants for "climate change" were down 40% in 2017, and for the rest, the other ones as well, if less: 13%. Oh Woe, we're doomed.

Enjoy It While You Can
Auntie Suzy announces a plan to start collecting a sugar tax. But it's not to collect more money, what made you think that? It's to protect us against ourselves, like they did in Mexico. (In several places in the USA this backfired and the sales of soft drinks went down, resulting in less taxes. Serves 'em right.) It's reasonable to ask if it works at all. But the proposed law won't make it to Staten less than a year from now. If ever.

Unsafe? Not Really...
A newly published report on Isla refinery stated there were any number of unsafe situations there. But Isla director van Haren tells us not to worry, they're not really unsafe. That's a relief. After all, why should he lie to us?
Chinese GZE has permission any time to visit the refinery to check on what repairs are necessary.
You mean, they haven't done so already? Another real confidence builder.

Side Remark
The bus drivers plan actions. Not because the gasoline price is going down, but because they want higher minimum wages; no higher statutory liability premium (which has been increased to 13.5%—not enough, say the insurers) and against the firing of UTS personnel.
Interestingly, one thing mentioned is minister Martina has a large share in the Guardian insurance group, which may be a rather obvious conflict of interest.

Too Late, Who Cares
GZE and Baota, after the ultimatum has expired, will come over to explain that they're still in the game. As politicians are fond of saying, "No Comment"—after all, what do I know? Nothing. Even this news has been leaked. Are they by any chance hiding something from us?

Goodbye, Dear Dough
To get Isla refinery in decent condition, 300 million dollars have to be spent (that's half a billion guilders). Maintenance hasn't been all that good, as we all know.
PM Rhuggenaath says not to worry, we'll get that money from PdVSA when their contract runs out in 2019.
A nice fit in our sad series of PMs he is.

Wise Men
Ex-PM IJs is surprised at the media stories that Synergy/Avianca won't have anything to do with taking over the InselAir disaster. He will fly to Miami with minister Martina anyway for meetings. And to buy some Christmas presents, so the Wise [words fail me] Men won't come back from the East NWN empty handed.

The last few months, the Aedes aegyptiae (tiger mosquito), spreader of zika, dengue, chikunguya and of course yellow fever, is hardly around any more; at least, where I live. Somebody should researchthat.
It's not that there's less rubbish or breeding places: plenty of other ones to bug you.

Not So Good for You
It's sad enough: in the yearly KLM Marathon one of the runners, a 50-year old man, keeled over and died.
Comments an organizer: "The winner finished in less than 3 hours, an unheard of performance." Sure. Especially in this murderous heat. And "the marathon was more focused on performance than ever"— and there you go.
Isn't it time this lunacy was brought under control? But no! sports are good for you!

Even CTB Concedes
Snappy: Up to now, tourism went down with 11% this year. You need more details—yeah, didn't think so; but I guess you can find them at CTB tourist board.

What's the Use of Cft?
Nothing whatsoever, it seems. Cft (financial supervision) warned the government that things went out of hand, and that certain measures should be taken. And they took them: only, much too late. So we now have a deficit of over 100 million over this year.

Genius Surprised
Minister Martina, who 2 weeks ago was bragging that Synergy/Avianca would take over InselAir in a few days (which now turns out meant "before next year"), is surprised to learn from Synergy boss Efromovich that "This is bullshit. InselAir is a bankrupt company... It has no value, only debt."
We knew it all the time.
We now have to wait and see if the planned delegation led by ex-PM IJs will still fly to Miami for a nice relaxed week of meetings with Synergy, combined with some Season's Shopping, will be canceled.

That Would Certainly Seem to Be Unique
CHATA hotel association wants to incorporate tourism within our school curriculum. No kidding. Then the poor pupils will learn even less that really matters. But there's no denying, CHATA is a big bit über-convinced of its own importance.

Another Take
The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has said that this nonsense of foreign aid must stop. "We do not want to remain the beggars of the world, we do not want to be dependent on charity." He was supported by several other Ghanese: "We do not want to be pitied. We do not want to be pawns or victims."
A welcome change in attitude from those here who keep whining for Wiedergutmachung because other people were slaves in the past.

Rewind, Repeat
According to the Chamber of Commerce KKN, the 2017-II economy went down by .25%. What else? The expectation for this year is even worse, -.5%. Especially building (which kept up pretty well until recently) and tourism shrunk. This is shrill contrast with the jubilant monthly statistics of the tourist office. But nobody trusts those, anyway; one wonders why they take the trouble to publish them.
Obviously, what we need is a new Master Plan. Then at least somebody makes some money.

What Now?
Anybody's guess... While the Aruba government keeps saying their old Lago refinery will be opened, renovated and all, next year, that's not so sure. Six top members of Citgo, Venezuela's USA dependant that was financing and building the refinery, have been arrested in Venezuela. Because of corruption, what a surprise. The real surprise is they were arrested in Venezuela.
Update: 4 of the 6 are American citizens.

Keep Trying
Staten/Parliament members want to look again at their, already pretty luxurious, pensions. Their last try was before independence day 10-10-10 and was stopped by the governor. More waste of time; there's little doubt the present governor will follow the same course.
This is not the first time, nor the second. Maybe the fourth.
We would like it much better if Staten worked on, to the rest of us, more urgent things.
Honor whom honor is due, the first time Norbert George single handedly stopped that nonsense. People do change.
Technically, previous efforts to raise their pension were by Eilandsraad—same difference.

That Doesn't Fly
InselAir has repeatedly announced they'd resume flights CUR-PBM, the last time planned for December 18, but no such luck. Suriname insists InselAir first pay off their outstanding debts there; which, under the conditions of Insel's bankruptcy, they're not even allowed to. Is what's called an impasse, the deaded dreadlock.

See? As I Thought
The Central Bank has given some local outfit permission to start trading in Bitcoins. This is quite remarkable, as only 6 months ago the same bank warned explicitly against going for what may not be more than one more economic bubble.
But then, we had no politicians but professionals running the bank, and there you go.
My advice? Don't do it. Go for gold, diamonds—or even tulips.
Here's another thought: Bitcoin is just great for laundering money. One proviso: as long as you don't have to turn it into real money. That's the catch.

SSC Foundation Study Financing until recently had 74 people working there, which is only 4 less than on the ministry of education, says PAR minister Alcallá-Wallé. Only 70% of the SSC went to supporting students; the rest was swallowed up by the administration. Maybe the minister would prefer to control all that dough herself.

PM Rhuggenaath complains that MDPT themselves leaked their ultimatum to GZE letter to the social media. He may have a point, as their letter to Titan was not leaked.
Well, that certainly helped, replacing those team members. Just as reliable as the old gang.
Rhuggenaath also says that (the People's Republic of) China has lost confidence in GZE and may take the company over. In which case we could as well forget about our independence right away.

That Sounds Better
Let's hope it's true: "Since 1950, democracies established in nations with a per capita gross domestic product (or GDP, which may be loosely translated as "income") of under $3,000 have typically failed within a generation, while in those with a per capita GDP exceeding $6,000, democracy has tended to survive indefinitely."
Our 2012 GDP was ANG22,619/USD12,440.
The Science of Liberty, Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature—Timothy Ferris

Watch Your Back
Around year's end, there are many more atrakos than normal, although we don't get any figures. There's hardly any police around and, dare I say it? they don't help much in the first place.

It's All Over?
Isla Refinery and MDPT have written Chinese GZE that the company has breached its contract by not keeping to its terms. But they still give GZE until November 30 to comply.

Tromp Triumph
Court has acquitted Ex-Central Bank director Tromp of tax fraud. His tax returns were according to the law, with the only problem that he should have bought his deducted pension premium within the Netherlands Antilles; he didn't. But the law and its interpretation, also by the Tax Person, was not that clear. I understand some tax inspector agreed with Tromp that he was entitled to subtract his premium, and there you go of course. So Tromp gets off free.
But the whole brouhaha served its purpose: Tromp has been fired as director of the central bank and replaced by politicians like ex-PM IJs and ex-finance minister Jardim. Hope for the best, expect the worst.
The prosecutor can appeal in two weeks. We can confidently expect Tromp suing the government for millions, next.
But hey, we got rid of him! Off to the printing presses and churn out those banknotes...

No Wonder It's a Mess
Cuba has sent, over the last 10 years, almost 93,000 "volunteers" to Venezuela to help out. Which also helps to explain the sorry state of the country.
The two countries our socialist politicians are so fond of. Bakoba. Shorty (well, he calls himself that). And don't forget the sainted Wiels.

Clean Up
There's a lot to be said in favor of cleaning up Isla Refinery, and I've done so myself. But I don't think that it's realistic to try and become one of the cleanest places on earth as long as we have that refinery. That idea is expressed as pollution per population head, which with the relatively few people living here will always put us at the top.
It also must be said that most of the countries that have signed the infamous Paris accord have done next to nothing about their own CO2 "pollution" and only want money from the developed, rich, countries.
Now we seem to need one more workgroup to establish norms to fight climate change, whatever. Gee, I wonder how much they're gonna pay those work group members.

Good Idea
The Stockholm police will install hundreds of microphones so they can be on the spot in 2 minutes if gunshots or screams are heard. Sure beats the price of survey cameras.
Problem here of course is, our police will not be on the spot in so short a time. One is entitled to suspect they might avoid that spot like the plague.
To be fair, I have to tell you I once lived in what was supposed to be a pretty bad neighborhood in The Hague; when shots were heard there with a cop car around, they switched on their siren and burned rubber driving off. The same all over.

Economic Downturn
Chamber of Commerce KKN expects a .5% drop in the economy this year. Let's pay somebody to make a New Improved Master Plan, quick! The one we make do with (or maybe even two, I've heard) doesn't work.
We could also try praying... or voodoo.
It's claimed that the past 2 years showed a slight improvement. Now that's news to me.

Sugar Tax
Auntie Suzy wants to introduce a sugar tax to fight obesitas; which is a real problem here. As any tourist can observe after they've finished enjoying the view on the refinery. Auntie Suzy is not exactly what you'd call delgado herself.
Main problem here is, not everybody agrees this tax will have any lasting effect. This is not the place to look deeply into it, but you can read a decent review in The Journal. In some countries, the tax has been abolished after a few years. I'm afraid the idea of making people pay more is too simplistic a solution.
Here are the Journal's conclusions in a nutshell, sound reasonable to me:
Claim: Taxes on sugary drinks have not achieved their public health aims
Verdict: Mostly TRUE
—There is some evidence that the tax precedes a moderate decrease in consumption, but also that this effect tends to fade quite quickly
—There is no significant evidence that sugar taxes cut body mass index (BMI), or rates of obesity, diabetes or heart disease, but there is evidence that they have not achieved such desired and promised public health gains
—However, most sugary drinks taxes were implemented quite recently, and subsequent research may yield different results as the effects of the taxes develop.
What really matters, of course, is that tax brings in more money for the government. We're still paying 27% tax on furniture imports to protect our own non-existing industry. Remember the Batería Léon disaster?

Cost Us Dear
The MDPT, led by Werner, one of the infamous Wiels Brothers, has wasted more than 10 million dollars without getting us any more than vague negotiations and promises by a vague Chinese consortium. Wiels does not, as indicated before, want to cooperate with an accountant bureau's audit. I guess he's wise, and maybe it will even help him to escape what should be coming to him.
The entire team has been replaced by other members. We can only hope for the best.

Mess All Over
Now SEHOSpital personnel wants to be informed on what's going on with the change-over to the HNO new hospital. One of the problems is there have been 7 ministers of health in 4 years, almost beating the record of education. There are financial problems and a shortage of materials as well.
PS ex-minister Viktorina has promised last year that nobody will lose their job; for some reason the workers don't feel that's really trustworthy.

End That Nonsense
Curaçao Airport Holding is still dreaming about space trips, while most of us are glad the nightmare is over. So maybe it's not over. Please stop it.
CAH has invested 350k guilders in the concept "and has no idea how much" XCOR rocket factory still owes CAH, but accepts "that money's lost." The best business practice always is, stop wasting money on a project that turned out bad. CAH (no suprprise) has not learned this. Problem is, in the long run it's us who'll have to pay.

Good, We're Making Money
Nine tankers are sitting in the harbor because they have no work. Since January 2016, and they pay, too. Those waiting off-shore don't pay harbor money, good for them.

Hang On
Chinese GZE gets two weeks to supply technical and financial information on the refinery take-over, says PM Rhuggenaath. Those two weeks start when the letter on this has gone out, which, knowing our burocrazy, may take months.
On repeated questions by ex-PM Shorty, who's still free to walk around and being a parliament member pending final appeals, Rhuggenaath denies that this is merely a shortcut to kick GZE out and get Shell back in. Shorty knows that quite well, he's only making a fuss.
Meanwhile, I'm still working on this, China has got their first Western hemisphere colony in Barbados by pulling a trick similar to what they tried here: investing over 10 billion dollars in the economy, which now is in fact theirs.

Fact Check?
How would I know? But Errol Bakoba, trade unionist, now agitating to force UTS telecommunications not to fire half of its personnel and thus sentencing the company to a certain death, is said to also be on the payroll of the Wiels MDPT Team. Those rats always sniff the goodies out.

Wondered About That
Among what must be other parties, KLM and Unilever have lost money in the Space Gang/Vomit Comet debacle. They bought tickets to give away. In total 300 have been sold, of which half has been paid partly or totally (suckers!); all in all €26 million/US$30.5m/ANG55.5m. Gone and lost forever.
Methinks there could be reasons to prosecute.
No fair guessing, but I feel rather convinced, call it an instinct, that a lot of those KLM/Unilever tickets were meant for people high up in the corporate structure. Tax-free, of course. Don't mention it.

Same Old
Our PAR minister of education Alcalá-Wallé has earned the nickname AlKLM-Wallé because she makes a trip to Holland (where she has children) every month. Business class of course. She's also flown to Barbados (may have been another place) to be present at some artist's show opening. There's just no stopping these types from wasting our money. Makes no difference what party they are.
I said if before and I'll say it again, if that government does not clean up its act we'll get another real mafia-like government back. And you know, it won't even make much difference after all. Amateurs can steal just as well.

You Wouldn't Think It Possible
A small densely populated island like this, the police not only found two shops selling stolen car parts, but also an illegal car paint shop and two illegal junkyards. Which is really mind boggling. Junkyards are very hard to hide (and they probably hardly tried).
Comments are, everybody [but me—or the cops] knew about this for 4 or 5 years.

Finally Made It
After many misfires, Aruba Air Lines yesterday made its first flight AUA-CUR. Plan to have two daily flights, plus 4 every week to BON. Wonder how long they'll keep it up.

What Now?
Your guess is at least as good as mine, which isn't saying much. S&P Global Ratings have declared Venezuela in default on debt payments. "It's possible" investors hope for delayed payments instead of insisting on getting paid now, which would be the end.
But it's all Trump's fault, says Maduro's finance minister. As if we all didn't see it coming years ago, when Trump was still in the hotel business.

Just What We Needed
More Chinese. While the future of Isla refinery is nowhere, and (at least in my opinion) no viable alternative is in sight, naïvely hopeful wishful-thinking projects notwithstanding, DCSX which stands for Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange has just now listed a third Chinese company. This one, WSYS, specializes in planting fruit trees, nothing against that, and dealing in yet another miracle fruit, the schizandra berry.
You read the description, it works for everything: You need some sleep, take a berry tea. You're drowsy? Take a berry tea. It stops aging and makes you smart. Overweight or no appetite? Have a cuppa. And so it goes on. Sorry friends, color me very skeptical indeed. But who cares as long as we make some money? That at least is one lesson we learned from the Dutch.

Suckers Have Been Advised
Xcor, the rocket industry without rocket scientists, has advised the 300 ticket buyers (for about $100,000 each) that it don't go through. Wonder if the suckers paid in advance? In that case, will they get their money back? Media are maddeningly vague, once again. Of course they're not told, I realize that. But why don't they ask?
The Creative Accountants of Fort Amsterdam tell us that the affair has caused Curaçao 350,000 guilders. Everybody else is convinced it's much more.

Good Idea: Body Cameras
Instead of security cameras all over the place, why not have our cops equipped with body cameras? It's [not] amazing how their attitude changed in the USA since they got them.
OK, leave the security cameras in place as long as we have them, already. If that's a fact...

You May Exhale Now
No space trips from Curaçao. The Vomit Comet is, as I hoped but didn't dare believe, out and down. The USA rocket company, which (as we only now hear) had taken over the Space Gang a few years ago is bankrupt.
Which reminds me, howzit with the FAA upgrade of Hato Airport, promised last March? Deadly silence.

Bright Way Out
In Sidney, Australia, electricity consumers will get paid for switching appliances off during peak periods. Ausgrid calls it "demand management"—in effect, it replaces one big blackout with a 1000 small ones.

But How Much?
The government has reached a consensus on the minimum wages. But we're not told how high they will be; that will have to be worked out. "No household may live under the subsistence minimum" says minister Koeiman. He finds it unacceptable that someone working gets in "a situation of poverty".
Matter of fact, we've had a minimum wage for decades, so them having reached a consensus on that is hardly a surprise. Except that, for once, they manage to agree on something.
Not Funny: In Venezuela, where they have a minimum wage as well, it's now worth USD4/month (ANG7.20). I could live with, if not on, that.

Teaming Up
Werner Wiels, ex head of the MDPT team, just did as he wanted. The other team members were perfectly content to pick up their sumptuous pay and keep their mouths shut. Which is often called, in (not all by any means) other countries, bribery. SOAB tells us that Wiels refuses to cooperate with the investigation and does not answer any questions.
How did that one go again? Oh yeah: "Lock him up!" or rather, "Lock them up!"

Join the Club
About a hundred workers [?] at Campo Alegre have joined the trade union (for hotel-restaurant-café personnel). I'd have judged they were more in the entertainment business. Campo had no money to pay them, is why, so business must be bad; which is rather incredible.
Next they'll go on strike, then we're all fucked. Uh, not exactly the right word.

Big Deal
Sambil megastore has received an architectural reward (I suspect, sponsored by themselves). The newspapers are full of it; but then, they always are.
So this is as good a moment as any to bring up what I always suspected to be a joke as well: when you drive by Landhuis Habaai, on the Weg naar Welgelegen there's a sign: "Sambil 500m". Just checked it on Google Earth—it's more like over 1.6kms.

Patience Please; Patients Plenty
The dialysis center has finally gotten permits to move to Roodeweg (Otrabanda). They will now be able to get 6 foreign specialists and will start to train nurses; which will take 15 months. Once that's all settled, capacity will be 30 dialysis chairs (now 6). By then, patients will not have to be sent to other countries any longer, costing pots of money.

Three Weeks More
In fact, a month; at least I'd say. The government will next week send a letter to GZE asking for a reply giving information on old points, plus some new ones, within three weeks. Nothing has been heard from Baota, which company was supposed to contact Curaçao in "a few days" after November 3.
Judging from all these unkept promises and delays, GZE would fit in beautifully here.
Justice minister Girigorie is also investigating who leaked the SOAB report.

The impact of wind turbines on suicide
This has been covered before here: the wind turbines at Tera Korá are much too close to human habitations. Since then, more have been built. "Exploiting over 800 utility-scale wind turbine installation events in the United States from 2001-2013, I show robust evidence that wind farms lead to significant increases in suicide."
But who cares, or even wants to know? It's good against global warming! Oh yeah, and in that respect: the British Heart Foundation warns that there are more heart attacks for every degree it gets colder.
"For each decrease of 1°C in the daily mean temperature of the previous 3 and 7 days, the risk of heart failure events is increased about 0.7%." Principia Scientific

Groan... That Will Help
Justice minister Girigorie wants to retract all gun permits, and then reissue them following a new system.
Reason: the ministry seems to have lost track of permits.
Doesn't matter anyhow, there are many more illegal guns around than permits.

Rats and Ships
Ex-PM Liberia-Peters has left the MDPT "Team", just like Aubrich Bakhuis and Irvin Hanst. Werner Wiels has left before. I imagine there's not much candy left to consume now that trouble has started.
Liberia-Peters went to China a while ago to discuss the new refinery. She had a salary of ANG5000/month at MDPT. She had a hand in the 1985 sell-out of Isla refinery to Venezuela, together with the notorious George Hueck and Nelson Monte; both now expired, regretted by very few.

Wut? But!
Chinese Titan has won the financial-economical tendering of the planned LNG Bullenbaai terminal with an offer of $2,374 million. I hope this does not mean they'll get the job; and they may not want it in any case when the deal with GZE falls through. As everybody, even our government, expects now.
Technically, Shell scored 9.7 points (I guess, out of 10) against Titan 7. But Shell's offer is 919 million higher.

How Nice
Cruise tourism, for a welcome change, is in a lift. However, this has been caused mainly by the falling away of Windward Islands destinations after the devastating hurricanes. Pretty ghoulish. Expected are 450,000 cruise tourists ("day trippers" they used to be called) by the end of the year. Not everybody is glad with them; their tour buses are a danger on the bridge where they crawl over at a speed of like 10kms/hr, and they only spend money on those tours.

Apart from the 33.1 million guilders InselAir has on "loan" from the government, the company's total debt is 240 million in taxes, social securities and to local companies (which excludes outstanding debts in other countries, like Suriname), Grand Total 273.1 million or USD150.2. Nobody is prepared to take over that debt, of course. The government does not own 51% of InselAir's shares, but is allowed to sell them.
As if anybody would buy them.

All Talk, No Results
Minister Martina announces for the umpteenth time that negotiations with Synergy/Avianca about take-over of InselAir are 'in a crucial phase'. Just like last time... and before that... If and when this finally should happen, it'd merely mean that we can say goodbye to the 33 millions of tax money, and the rest, dumped on that junk-heap. Not that we didn't know it was a total loss from the start.

Shell Comes Back?
Just maybe. But they're the best bidders for the newly planned LNG terminal at Bullenbaai. Chinese Titan's bid is "several 10s of percents lower" but not as good technically. Also, Titan may have counted on renewing the refinery in one fell swoop, which now looks like it's not going through.
Interesting detail is that Werner Wiels never informed the other members of the MDPT "Team" of the fact that GZE was the candidate until the very day they signed the memory of understanding. This has a crude smell, but then, everything Wiels does has. Those thing runs in families.
Government accounting SOAB states that millions have disappeared from MDPT, spent on matters having nothing to do with the refinery. PAR PM Rhuggenaath says that guilty parties will be prosecuted. Uh oh. However, that's not the first time, and we haven't heard more about that since. (Not the first time either.)

InselAir Does It Again
First they announced picking up the route to Paramaribo again on November 4 (that's last Friday). Now, it has been postponed to November 20. But that's not sure either, because Suriname first wants InselAir to pay their outstanding debt. Insel is too coy to say how much that is.
Of course people who have bought tickets will get their money back if the flight is canceled, says InselAir. Sure... Sure...

Next, China Will Sue Us?
GZE now reproofs the Curaçao government that they have leaked info to the press while negotiations are still going on. Looks like a mere diversion to take attention away from the fact that GZE is as good as flat broke. GZE also claims that Baota Petro Chemical Group is responsible for investments, changes and exploitation. A bit late in the game to have that pop up.

That Will Help
Minister Martina came back from a leisure trip to Cuba with (if I got it right) 25 spoiled brats and tells us that there are great possibilities in future cooperation with Cuba. Really. An island that has been in its last gasp for decades thanks to a tyrannical communist dictatorship now is going to help us?
We can only hope we will not get more Cuban slaves.

It's All Over
At least, looks like it. Chinese GZE, which should be able to come up with 5 to 6 billion dollars for refinery upgrading (and a lot more) doesn't even have 56 million dollars. In fact, they're bankrupt; or as good as. Also, it would take them 3 years to get a Chinese government permit for what they planned—forget it. They haven't even applied yet.
So now, finally, our Great (but not Smart) Leaders have come to the same conclusion as we all did years ago: Raus mit GZE. Burning question: why did it take so long for them to wise up? If they really did.

Wimpiri Time!
With the rains come the mosquitoes. For those, we have Plagatox (which has long since priced itself out of the market where it has been replaced by Chinese products).
And then, there are wimpiri—pesky fruit-fly like insects which swarm around you, trying (and too often succeeding) to get in your eyes, mouth, nostrils... any body openings that are humid. Against which there's only one thing that works: light a cigarette and put it in an ashtray next to you. They're wise and hate that smoke.
Alas, who can afford that these days? It's the hysteria of the second-hand smoke ban which was based on very bad statistics. But only a fool would expect law-making politicians to understand the intricacies of that science. Like in this case, P=0.1.

Aqualectra Wised Up?!
They bought 39mW worth of generating capacity from Wärtsilä. I misunderstood at first, but no, it's good solid fossil fuel: diesel, later to be converted to LNG. Because these "can take over in minutes if there's no wind."
Is exactly what I've been boring you with for years.

In Holland there is one home burglary every 10 minutes; as there are 7.5 million homes in Holland that works out at 1 burglary per 143 homes per year. Over there, they think that's extremely high.
We have 25,000 per say 40,000 homes (figuring 1 home per 4 inhabitants), or more than 1 in every 1.5 homes.

Another Inheritance
Minister Koeiman complains that under a former minister almost anybody who applied for onderstand [welfare] got it, and now we're stuck with the bill of 43 million guilders/year. He omits to mention that he formed part of the cabinet that approved those applicants, though.

Don't Worry, It Won't Make Me Laugh
People are complaining about the high prices in supermarkets; they just keep going up. Explains a guy in two long letters a while ago, it's because of shipping problems: as there's a glut in shipping capacity, it's more expensive than at other times.
So I checked one item, a 1 pound pack of Arrow Salted NZ butter. It's ANG9.50 in the supermarket here; but in New Zealand it costs NZD6.00 (at Countdown), which equals ANG7.38. Now of course it would be more expensive here, but this is outrageous: almost 1/3rd more. We're being robbed again, and you never really get used to it.
But to be honest, if you check Amazon USA, it's even worse: they ask you for $27.50/4 packs + $12 shipping inside the USA.

Red Tape Choked by Red Tape
In spite of all promises, promises that the Red Tape would be eliminated, it's just as bad as ever. Making a long story short, all changes in procedure and automation won't help a bit as long as there are spoiled brats civil servants Curaçao style execute them.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the civil servants' trade unions is in Genève to visit a "work" congress themed "People over Profit". I guess these people have a nice time there, and it's profitless as well; so that's fitting.

Cancel That
PdVSA may have announced that they started paying their debt last Friday, but nobody had received any money by yesterday afternoon. And today is an even bigger payday.

CTB (tourist bums) are looking for an external financier. They need 10 million guilders to execute the Master Plan. This over and above the 36 million subsidy they get per year.

Zwarte Piet
It's that time of the year again. We can look forward to protests and whining, and insults being thrown back. In the USA, a band of Asians has to call in the First Amendment (freedom of speech) to defend their name "The Slants".
What a difference half a century makes, when we had a group called "The Ink Spots" (they were fine, too)—all in good clean fun.
Please take it easy!

Potential Problem
A Chinese, not that it matters, man has been arrested for underground banking. They took his passport away, made him pay 100,000 guilders and forbid him to leave the island. If he does not keep to that, he will be arrested.
Yes, but how?

Great Help
Police assisted by military held a great raid looking for guns. 3 guys were arrested for having an illegal gun, 1 for theft of a license plate and 2 illegal aliens undocumented foreigners. Confiscated: 1 (only one?) gun, 1 car (with?) 1 license plate, and a small quantity of weed.
I feel a lot safer now.

Same Old, Same Old
PAR minister Jesus-Leito has helped her sister to a cosy job. But she says said sister worked at the ministry already (but I guess, in a less cosy job). Besides, she says, that's normal in Curaçao. She got that straight.

Back in the Air
Aruba Air has started flying AUA-CUR—finally. The Dash-8 was not available as planned and has been replaced by a Bombardier CRJ 2000, 50 passengers. Two daily flights.
Not so fast... Took them more than two weeks more.

The cabinet says that it's not their budget for next year that is now up in parliament. No, it's that of the former cabinet, that's why they added an Amending Letter. (Which in fact is correct.) They themselves don't agree with the budget as presented.
In that case shut up, go back to your offices and first do your work. You're just asking for the next Shorty take-over.

Don't Get It
In the case where Central Bank director Tromp has been accused of tax fraud, the prosecution has asked for a 10 million guilders fine, and a conditional jail time of 6 months. Today's the defenders' turn but it's already clear that they feel it's going pretty far to drag someone into criminal court for what they see as a fiscal problem.
Hey, I'm not the one to say who's wrong or right here. I bate my breath and wait for November 17th when the judge will judge.

Just What We Need
Trinidad and Tobago have sent "a vast majority" of ISIS fighters from Western countries, who will now come back. And when they get bored, they'll attack tourists for clean wholesome muslim fun.
But don't count on them staying there. Terrorists coming over here will be welcomed—as tourists, after all.
Quotes The New York Times John Estrada, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago: "Per capita, Trinidad has the greatest number of foreign fighters from the Western Hemisphere who have joined the Islamic State. Trinidadians do very well with ISIL."
Remember, in 2007 Guyanese terrorists attacked JFK-NY airport's fuel tanks.

Venezuela may default on payments in less than 48 hours from now. An $842 million PDVSA principal plus interest payment is due tomorrow, followed by a $1.1 billion PDVSA coupon on Nov 2, both without a 30 day grace period.
Update: PdVSA paid up the $842 million. Now let us wait for Tuesday.

Shorty Has Good Points
His M*F*K party has made up a list with 183 questions regarding next year's budget. Admittedly, he seems to make some very good points. Like, not a word on the new LNG plant or refinery renovation. Also 418 civil servants are supposed to be removed so we'll be left with 3352 only, which gets no mention either. He's not the one to talk about SOEs, but still is right to insist on wanting to know what's going on there. Etcetera.
I'm pretty much convinced there's a lot wrong with that budget; don't need Shorty to point it out.

What a Waste
The dialysis center has moved and capacity is much larger (5 more chairs). Alas, these can't be used because there's no personnel. So 12 to 14 patients have been moved to Colombia "for an indefinite period" to be treated there, which cost about 6 times as much as it would here.
Four persons are ready and willing to come to Curaçao now, but there's no permit for them. It was applied for last year. But auntie Suzy says it was only last April, and then we had elections and all that. Sure auntie. You've only been a minister for 5 months or so and no doubt you've more important things to do than signing permits.
But she signed the permits just now so they "could be issued" two or three weeks from now. And why would that take so long?
Says auntie: "Given the circumstances, the granting of the license did not really take a long time."

Aruba Air
Were supposed to start flying AUA-CUR as from last Monday with 3 flights/day. But nothing happened. When you try to call them you get a choice to go to "reservations" (hah!) and emails aren't answered. The story is there are problems with the wet-lease of a Dash-8. Besides, they announced an Airbus, quite a different deal.
A return ticket costs ANG226 ($124.30) which is not what you'd call cheap. In fact, it's outrageous. In fact, that's more than you'd pay for a ticket MIA-JFK; which is 13 times the distance.
The media write the Dash-8 is leased from Bombardier, but that sounds like pure nonsense. Bombardier is an aircraft builder, not an airline.

What For?
"The" trade unions, we get to read when meant is, those for spoiled brats civil servants, want a christmas bonus of 500 guilders ($275) instead of the usual 135. In April they asked for 250, but seeing how well things are going they now want more.
Tough kids, we're already running in the red. Please let them go on strike so they're forced to read the newspapers or watch internet porn at home.

Taxi Driver
A taxi driver was so mad at a tourist, who thought he charged too much for a trip and preferred to take a minibus, that he and a few colleagues followed the tourist to his destination, where he proceeded to beat him up.

Keep on Shrinking
The Curaçao economy shrunk by .9% in 2017-QI. And in September, tourism shrunk as well here, beating the trend in the rest of the world.

So Just Keep to the Rules
Is what public ministry spokesman Serphos says, in a snappy reply to people who complain that some traffic fines will effectively be doubled.
Not so snappy is that the forms cops use to write out fines will have to be reprinted with the new amounts, of which nobody knows how long it will take. Rather weird that, as the police say that the number of violations has gone down already.

Wising Up?
PAR PM Rhuggenaath finally concedes that it's "time for plan B" re. the plans of GZE China for Curaçao and, almost incidentally, the Isla refinery. Largely thanks to the untiring efforts of Marguérite more-power-to-her Nahar. Let's hope they really wise up.

Take That, Bakoba
Because of (get this!) Sitkom trade union's efforts to stop the large-scale firing of personnel at UTS Telecommunications, director de Geus announces that all ideas of voluntary leaving are canceled and the company will decide who will hit the street.

So, No
The Dutch government wants some things arranged in St. Maarten before the hundreds of millions of €uros hurricane emergency relief are paid out. But St. Maarten politicians say, they'd already have an integrity chamber if that darn hurricane hadn't come by (so why not expedite it now?), and stricter border controls they see as unnecessary.
So the people sit there and wait for relief. Hey, it isn't as if the politicians were in personal trouble because of the disaster. This can take weeks if not months before one of the parties gives in. You know, I'm afraid that will be Holland.
Here, the politicians would say "Of course, anything you want" and figure out ways to get around it.

Oh Those Chinese
More and more doubts are being raised on the future of Isla with Chinese GZE. The entire CAP bank construction looks to be meant to have Curaçao run all the risk by investing, instead of the umpteen billions GZE was supposed to pump into our economy. Then, when the LNG terminal is a flop, we're stuck. This is not unthinkable at all, as there are at least 3 more LNG terminals being built or planned in the region.
This is a typical Chinese construction US secretary of state Tillerson recently warned emphatically for.
Seems GZE has a capital of only about $60 million (even that is doubtful), an amount far removed from the $6.5 billion they are supposed to invest. Also, once again, GZE has no experience whatsoever in running refineries or LNG terminals.
To date, GZE has not invested a penny here; the only costs they ran have been sending delegations and inviting our politicians for luxurious trips to China. Who keep running after the carrot on a stick, like the asses they are. Wearing self-imposed blinders.

It Works!
Now that you get a 300 guilders fine (used to be 250) for running red lights and all the usual traffic violations, the number of tickets is going down. At least, that's what the police say.
But to judge from what I see, it doesn't work so well. Standing by a traffic crossing the other night, I counted plenty, too many, people using their cell phones or even texting, not wearing safety belts, you name it.

Smoke Screen
GZE's boss told our Smart Great (let it go) Leaders that the Isla pollution had grown worse (not at all what auntie Suzy claims). Mr. GZE said that in China you can find oil refineries that do not have a plume of smoke, and those are actually working, too.
But the Chinese Communist Party congress in Beijing was marred by smog. Normally, all smoke sources there are shut down for the occasion, down to shish kebab barbecues—but it didn't help one bit. Or, even worse, maybe it did.

"The world still awaits the glorious discovery of a single nation powered by lots of wind and solar that has cheap electricity."
Or do you know one?

2nd Mega Pier
It will be "softly" opened November 13, with the arrival of the mega cruise ship Britannica. But actually that's not the real opening which will be postponed until next year. Reason, extra bollards must be built to enable the biggest ships (like Britannica) to moor safely. Say, couldn't they have thought of that before?
The pier's completion has been delayed because of the "coral Incident", as it's called now. Better come out and say "coral disaster".
And we can only hope that nothing goes wrong with Britannica with that lack of bollards.

That's a Different Tune
After having been told that the number of atrakos has gone down, now we read that the number of street robberies/assaults has grown (from 98 to 128, more than one quarter)! Just what you want to call them, I guess. Also, there have been more shootings, and police have already confiscated 118 guns (versus 111 last year).
Yeah, sure, that 2014 action was a great success.
But stay positive: number of home burglaries has gone down 26%. To 411 (of say 40,000 homes).

28 Killings
Expected this year, which is 30% over the number in the three preceding years. Works out at almost 19 per 100,000 inhabitants, as many as Nigeria, #23 on the world list. Quite an achievement.
But not to worry, the number of atrakos is going down.

Minister Martina wants to investigate private internet ads to sell stuff, locally. He doesn't mind second-hand deals, but selling new stuff amounts to distortion of competition, he says. These sellers don't have to run a store and all that, in contrast to legit dealers. Times are changing, Martina... Ever heard of, to name but one, Amazon? Try it, you'll like it. If Martina reads books at all—which I have occasion to doubt. If he did, he might be more aware of market developments.
And finally, "moreover" he says, those guys don't pay any taxes. Aha, "that's where the shoe pinches" to use a Dutch saying.

Not There Yet, Though
We have had some heavy hurricanes this season. Still, the count now is "pretty close to average" if you start counting in 1851. It's different, appreciably more, when you compare it with 1981-2010—but those years stand out for having had very few hurricanes, comparing. While the rest of the season may well have some disagreeable surprises in store, up to now once again the predictions seem overdone.

Sounds Great, Can't Wait
China's GZE latest plans are to move the oil refinery to Bullenbaai and to replace it with a Las Vegas style gambling center. Just what we needed to get still more corruption.

Goodbye and Don't Come Back
One of the last international flights of Air Berlin ended in Düsseldorf with a dangerous show-off flypast by the airport terminal by the captain. Spectators thought the aircraft was going to crash.
This sort of stunt has led to real disasters in the past (like the 1957 crash of KLM Super Constellation Neutron in Biak). We don't need airlines around who hire pilots like that.
And while we're at it, how about the guaranteed InselAir take-over by Synergy/Avianca within a few days? Or the other prospects who were trampling each other?

Windfall Ends
After Australia has decided to stop the green energy nonsense, not in the least because of disastrous blackouts last summer, now Germany is ending the subsidies on wind generators. Production of new units has collapsed immediately, and the word is that without subsidies the monsters can't even be maintained. Half to three quarters of the industry is disappearing. Tariffs are skyrocketing, also because when wind fails power must be bought elsewhere. Like, from France where they use nuclear, or even better from Poland where they burn old-fashioned reliable coal.
But don't worry, Aqualectra knows better. And they don't need any subsidies because they charge us directly, whatever it costs.

Less Stowaways, More Illegals
Minister Girigorie says the number of stowaways entering Curaçao from Venezuela is growing less; but Dutch minister Plasterk says more illegals are entering.
May just be that Girigorie (or the press) doesn't know what a stowaway (verstekeling) is. It's pretty hard to hide aboard an open boat full of illegals.
And both ministers may be speaking from the back of their necks, or even lower down.

They Mean Well
GZE says they want all that's good for them Curaçao, oh yes, not to worry about a thing. All in the great Mao tradition (to refresh your memory, the greatest mass murderer of all times, even surpassing Joe Stalin and Dolfie Hitler). Sure, "For the Good of the Cause" as Solzhenitsyn said.
They also say Isla has enough crude to keep working until the 20th instant. So this week-end they're gonna shut down?! We'll see if that's true.
Everybody understands what's going on. Well, almost everybody—our Great Leaders don't. Or don't care.

SWD: Speeching While Drunk
Van Putten, the crazy Statian politician, apologizes to everybody who may have been hurt by his speech. He says he never meant it, and it has been quoted out of context anyway.
Same lies and excuses as Saintly Wiels. Granted, I never heard his speech. I've got better things to do, like ranting and raving at my keyboard.

Sooo Twentieth Century
Errol Bakoba is still around. He's head of trade union Sitkom (really, that's the name) and the way he's acting, would prefer UTS telecommunications to go broke instead of firing a large part of its personnel. It seems like UTS should have announced it earlier; maybe so.
Of course, UTS may go bankrupt anyway.

Crazy Politicians
Shades of Saintly "send them back in body bags" Wiels... Statian politician van der Putten announced last week that if Holland sent militaries to St,. Eustatia, they would be killed and burned in the streets. Nobody seems to get why, but Dutch minister van der Plas has lodged a formal complaint.
And the Dutch government will not accept St. Maarten's politicians' conditions that the money flow for rebuilding should go via them. Which means that no money will flow?

Back in the Air
We never knew what we were missing, living here under the approach to Hato airport. But now that InselAir's MD8X is back flying, we are reminded several times daily. Those old-fashioned and old engines really are so noisy, they rattle the windows.

Stay Home, Rosaria
PIAS Rosaria writes a long letter in which he blames our present government (as well he might) for its attitude regarding negotiations with the Chinese. But where were he and his party when the former government, of which they were members, started those dealings?
I'll admit I thank him for helping me to an acronym: SOE for State Owned Enterprises. Of course I had to look it up first.

Sure, Sure...
Ms. Wescott, parliament head in St. Maarten, wants the Dutch government to relinquish requirements to disconnect politics from the relief funds. Just imagine the politicians couldn't steal what is due them!

Alley Robbery
Since our independence (10-10-10, remember?) supermarket prices have gone up by 25%. That's worse than Bonaire, where most foodstuff comes in via Curaçao, go figure. In that period, Miami went up 14% and Holland 9%. But remain positive: so supermarket profits must have up over 10%!
Meanwhile and worse, they sell us outdated crap.

All men having power ought to be distrusted.
James Madison, 1787

No Sawbucks for Shorty
The judge has kicked the case Shorty's Dynaf started against utility Aqualectra out of court. It's true that Dynaf was cheaper, but Aqualectra has the right to consider other aspects when hiring generators.

Tourist Attraction Doomed
Looks like the Insulinde, a schooner if I got it right, which has been sailing tourists around Curaçao for decades now, will have to be sold for scrap iron. There has been no maintenance whatsoever and now it's too late: it's rotten to the core.
Question: why have the authorities never taken a look at the ship and stopped this? The ship obviously was not and has not been seaworthy for a long time. They did stop another ship, Krioyo Blue from going to the Bonaire Regatta only this week.

First Flight
InselAir has executed its first flight CUR-SXM-CUR (but wait!) Meanwhile Haïtian Sunrise Airways, has announced their own flights PAP-CUR. With Airbus 320, while WinAir continues their flights as well. Take that, Insel.
Don't get me wrong, I'd much prefer InselAir to pay our money back. Don't see it happening very soon, though. If at all.

Correction: the flight did not go through because there were clouds over St. Maarten and their Instrument Landing System is still unserviceable.

Relax, Sea Levels Are Falling
After years of going up, it's now confirmed by NASA that what goes up, must come down. Sea levels have been falling since November 2016. This after having gone up steadily by 3.4mms/year since 1870 for a Grand Total of 20cms.
Only the other week, some mangrove "expert" here was claiming that before 2100, sea levels would rise by 1 to 6 meters, scaring the crap out of some nitwit minister. Quite a margin, and he's still wrong. Is my prediction.

Relax, It's Not You
Clamoring for the plastic bags ban has broken out again. I admit they're an ugly pest in the landscape (where sunlight gets rid of them pretty quickly), but for the rest? The plastic debris field in the Pacific "the size of Texas" just doesn't exist. It's a marine legend: nobody can find it.
In California there's a severe outbreak of hepatitis because the homeless can't use plastic bags as a toilet anymore; they're just not around.
There is an enormous amount of harmful plastic debris in the oceans. 85% of it comes from rivers. China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka are good for half of the plastic waste, and China alone for 28%. The USA, #20 on the list, is good for less than 1%.

There We Go
Yesterday, I got a copy of another concept article by Marguérite Nahar in which she warned that the Chinese would ruin one of the really solid pillars of our economy, banking.
It hasn't even been published yet, and we get to read that Girobank, PSB postal savings bank, Hypotheekbank and APC (civil servants' pension bank) will fuse in a new bank—for which they hope for a strong participation by GZE. (Who, by the way, may be almost bankrupt.)

Hitting Hard
Returned inspector of health Huurman has started cleaning the swamp at Sehospital, and a heady smell of rotting mud is coming out. We don't have to know the details: needless to say, Sehos management (one of whose members still is disgraced Girobank director Garcia) doesn't like it.

Politician's Pablum
PAR PM Rhuggenaath held a speech in which he blah-blahs like nobody's business about how all of us, not only the government, must work together on our future.
Meanwhile he goes behind our backs and sells us out to the Chinese.

Citizens Caught In-Between
As always. Holland wants guarantees that the enormous amount of money needed to get St. Maarten on its feet again after hurricane Irma devastated the island will actually be used for rebuilding. It's a well-known fact that government there is corrupt as hell and has been for decades. So, of course, St. Maarten government proves this by not accepting those conditions.
Meanwhile, St. Maarten people huddle in the wreckage, literally and figuratively.

KFO's big demonstration was not such a big hit. Judging from the photos, there was nobody there but the Stooges themselves. Enough said. Keep trying, boys.

Back in Business
If only after a fashion. InselAir will start flights CUR-SXM-CUR as from tomorrow with their one and only operable MD8X, DEP CUR 09:15, ARR-DEP SXM 10:45-11:45. ARR CUR 13:15. Good luck!

Illegal Government
After those 7 years, and then some, following our Glorious Independence (Hip Hip Hurray! That's Today!), we should have used to our governments just acting like there's no laws. Ms. Nahar once again lays it down: by forcing all the government-owned companies (I wish I could use an acronym, would save me a lot of typing) to cooperate, if not collaborate, with the Chinese. She mentions them by name: Selikor, Aqualectra, CPA Port Authority, KTK towing, Curoil, and various less important ones.
Then she points out that this is contrary to our FTAC-law, comparable to the USA Sherman Act, on the following points, and I quote:
(1) FTAC is to ascertain that free and unimpeded fair trade practices are observed,
(2) particularly by the prohibition of unfair competition or undue restrictions to fair competition and
(3) to see to it that no unjustifiable price control comes into being by mutual agreements among market partners about the prices to be charged to end users and consumers for their products in a certain market section.
So there. Will the government care? We all know the answer.

Independence group KFO (I'm sure that acronym stands for something) will be demonstrating next Wednesday. Against our autonomy. So don't ask!
We also are celebrating the Day of Autonomy (aren't we all happy?) That will take 2 days.
KFO is run virtually by those loopy lawyers AKA the Two Stooges. That helps to explain it. A bit.

Damen Must Be Glad
The Dutch who took over DOK/CDM shipyard sure have heaved a sigh of relief that the 80-20 law has definitely been sunk. Stories are whispered, don't dare say it out loud (as if we don't all know it), that personnel performance is about 30% of what they're used to internationally; standard of work is very poor and people habitually arrive late for work. You can't run a company like that; or an economy. Worst, it's still half owned by the island, so you and I are paying for that crap.

Nice Going
Bankrupt Plaza Hotel has already held two auctions to sell its inventory and they're still stuck with 60% of it. People may have lost their interest. Remember how they charged potential buyers for a catalog, knowing thinking that the inventory had been sold already?
And GZE may be out of that game now, as well.

Our Easy Way Out?
Chinese GZE is in trouble: the Chinese court has ordered the company to sell all assets. In other words, liquidation. This because daughter company Titan Petrochemicals supposedly has problems. Titan is the company that would build and exploit the LNG-terminal at Bullenbaai.
PM Rhuggenaath has warned everybody involved (for once he's trying transparency?!) and hopes the LNG-terminal and upgrading/renewal of the refinery will be continued "with due diligence."
On the other hand, Titan has just announced the purchase of Gold Dragon Enterprise Development so is still very much in business.

Prize Politics
This year's Boeli van Leeuwen Prize for journalists goes to a guy I never heard of, but that doesn't mean a thing. What does mean much to me is that Marjo Nederlof writes that the prize doesn't mean a thing anymore, since it has been totally politicized. Boeli would turn around in his grave.
If there's anybody who deserves the prize, it's Nederlof herself. But she left journalism many years ago, when she quit her job at Amigoe (now it seems in its death throes) to start work for politician Omayra Leeflang. A real loss.

Call the Cops
In ViaVia, a free advertising tabloid. there's an ad this week offering to lend amounts of minimum 100 guilders at an interest of 25%—per month! Another ad offers help in getting work permits, call after office hours. This person works at some government institute, is my guess.
I have occasionally bought in den Haag, Holland, stuff advertised in the newspaper. Those guys told me that whenever they placed an ad like that, they could expect a visit by the police to inquire where the items came from. Just to make sure they weren't stolen.
Here? Who cares...

Not So Sweet
European meteorologists have found out wind speeds all over the world (which I'd guess includes us) have gone down by 1/2 km/hr since 1960. They even have a word for it, "stilling" but that doesn't help much. They predict Doom! (yawn) for agriculture (oh?) and for smog-filled cities. Not to mention Aqualectra.
The scientists want more money to find out why. Hey, there's much I want to find out myself; so quick! send me some!
More in that vein: in Australia high electricity prices are blamed for "sharp economic slowdown". Could there possibly be something of interest to us in that idea? Not that we slowed down much, there wasn't much to slow down from to start with.

The Turks Are Coming!
They have arranged to open a "cultural center" in Caracas. Which means nothing else but a mosque.
Even Cuba didn't want anything to do with that and refused the honor.
Turkish president Erdogan wants to re-establish the Islam caliphate which the world thankfully got rid of in 1909. He believes Muslim explorers reached America before Christopher Columbus and wants to expand Islam into Christian Latin America.
Well, I don't think he's right about Columbus, but certainly not about Venezuela which was found by "our" Alonso de Ojeda who named the country "little Venezia". Because of Maracaïbo, which alone of course is already much bigger than Venice; where they were just then getting rid of the muslim Ottomans. Now, their mayor warns that if you shot "Allahuh Akbar!" on the Piazza San Marco, you'll get shot like a dog.
ISIS wants to re-establish the caliphate as well, just saying. With the recent fall of Mosul, that great idea was torpedoed. For now.

Not Only Isla Stinks
As I happened to mention before, coincidentally—in passing, as it were, we have very little wind; as always this time of the year. And as Aqualectra has no back-up capacity in the first place, there's not enough to go around. This happens every year and has gotten worse since the wind generators took over.
So at, in fact after, the last moment Aqualectra hired diesel generators from Aggreko. But now Dynaf Caribbean is suing the utility: their offer was lower and director Jonis still plans to hire from Aggreko. The case must be decided before October 22.
Somebody suggested elsewhere maybe Dynaf should have paid Aqualectra management. But mind, Dynaf seems to be one of Shorty's many enterprises, which fact goes a long way in explaining Aqualectra's diffidence.

Let's Celebrate!
InselAir's 1-out-of-4 MD-8X has finally been approved for service. Great! I'll still fly American or Divi, thank you very much.
No news from minister Steven Martina (whom the other day I saw called mahoso fastioso [ugly bore]) on the Synergy/Avianca negotiations.
As the favorite café De Heeren of the company direction has been closed recently, they'll have to take their toasts elsewhere. De Heeren was closed because they had no exploitation license, no settlement license and another one, I forget. No wonder these guys like it there.

China is expending its mighty military might all over the world. It has opened its first foreign base in Djibouti (Africa). Of course they have been putting up bases in the South China Sea for years now, more often than not on artificially built islands of which the legitimacy is requested.
No kidding. I see our government perfectly capable of letting them open a base here. At Bullenbaai, less than 6kms away from FOL-Hato? Could get really interesting!
But I guess that would be stopped by the Kingdom.

You Don't Say
Responsible PAR minister Jesus-Leito says it's people's own choice not to have internet. That's a nasty, cowardly, disgusting and irresponsible comment. And arrogant as well.

Easy Come, Easy Go
"jopi" figures it out in KKCur: in the former 6 islands of the Netherlands Antilles, between 1990 and now €700 billion has "disappeared". That's 2.3 million per inhabitant or 86,000 per inhabitant per year. In USD, 101.177; in ANG over 200 thousand. That's over 800 thousand per family per year. If that disappeared in our direction, it would sure beat paying taxes.

Don't Ride in Them
Those mini-buses. I never do. A real pest, you can see them overtaking at points where they really can impossibly see oncoming traffic. They stop in the middle of Breedestraat Otrabanda, to pick up or deliver passengers, obstructing all traffic behind them.
Now finally the cops have checked them. Some didn't wear safety-belts, some had no driver's license, one had no insurance. Really great if they get an accident and you're an injured passenger.

We got parking meters as soon as somebody (Neuman) could make money on it, but taxi-meters could in theory save you money; so of course that took years and years. The taxi-drivers claim that's because of the many government changes we've had, which would sound almost credible if they hadmn't been protesting all the time.

Discarded, Put It out with the Trash
Dutch Raad van State [state council], who investigate all laws the governor refused to sign, has discarded the PS™ 80-20 law.
I sincerely hope that's the last time I have to mention that dud, legacy of Saintly Wiels. Like his brother Werner and his sister Fräudlein. Some fool may well try to revitalize it in another form, but PS™ is powerless and definitely out of the game.
Staten approved the law but Raad van State concludes it's in variance with international treaties. As if Staten didn't know that.

Always Ahead—Not
Only 1 in 3 of Curaçao households have an internet connection; which is half those of CIS [former USSR] (70%), and less than that of Europe (84.%). The total Americas have 65% connections. Only Africa is doing worse with 18%.
Blamed are high prices. Astonishing? In a way, yes: astonishingly high. Highway robbery.

A Pattern
After the hurricane: We read that Puerto Rico's 2015 median income was $18,626 versus 56,500 for the US mainland; about 33%. You thought we were doing so well here? Ours was 14,000 versus Netherlands 2013 $38,584 (so in fact, relatively speaking, with 36% we're indeed doing just a bit better than Puerto Rico). And our infrastructure is a mess as well with all those potholed roads and water leaks. Plus, our electrical lines will come down right away in a half-undecent storm. And any reason why our cell towers wouldn't topple over, leaving most communication nowhere?
Not to mention our national debt which is steadily growing again. You can't keep a good debt down.
St. Maarten had a pro capita income of $26,000. In 2016, not now. Not to mention the question how that was distributed.

Divi Does OK. So Does WinAir
Two DeHavilland Twin Otters are ready for delivery to DiviDiviAir. With a seat capacity of 19 passengers a great improvement; Divi will start opening the route to AUA after delivery. Bad news for InselAir? You bet.
WinAir is resuming flights SXM-CUR and Aruba Air is ready to start flying AUA-CUR as well; but it's not the first time they announced that. With new Airbus aircraft, not the MD8Xs InselAir hopes to get off the ground again.

You Think They Can?
Because the taxes bring in much less than estimated (small wonder), pension premiums are lower as well (same reason) and government expenses are too high, the deficit over first half this year already is over total year's prognosis of 77 million guilders. Economy will shrink with -1.8%, and next year a growth of 0.8% is expected. Not even enough to make good for5 this year's shrink, let alone... what's the use.
So the government must shrink itself these final three months. Forget it, am I right?

Peg-Leg's Getaway
For a guy with a wooden leg, he's pretty fast and slippery. Still no trace of Peter Stuyvesant's statue. Contractor Henkal who charged 4000 guilders for its removal just plum forgot where they removed it to, and then-minister Jansen just can't recollect a thing.
Maybe they should ask those guys in Fort Amsterdam to start taking notes. Dangerous (for those guys), true.

Interesting, May Get Amusing
Funny thing going on here. That cassation against UTS seems to have started by ex-PM Prick Pisas, AKA Shorty's errand-boy. And Rhuggenaath stops it? Why can that be? Do you smell something as well?
And now Rhuggenaath and his fine friends want to extend Rekenkamer's mandate, so they can investigate government-owned companies. Like, err, UTS?
UTS didn't want to cooperate with Rekenkamer, who then started suing and lost twice in court before that cassation request was handed in.
Also, UTS boss de Geus is affiliated with MAN, whose Martina is a minister in this oh-so-transparent cabinet.

Compacting the story: Algemene Rekenkamer [General accounting] has asked High Court for an audit into the UTS affairs of the last two years. Sure, UTS definitely needs looking into.
However, our government decided to go over their backs and retract the cassation request, leaving Rekenkamer with empty hands. Maybe worst is, the guaranteed independence of Rekenkamer from the government is not so much guaranteed any longer.
Really made me laugh, though bitterly, when Randy Neuman announced last week that he now now had confidence to sign an agreement, as this government was not corrupt. Oh Shorty, where are you when we really need you?

Black Marks on Paper
A workgroup Development Bullenbaai must advise the government in less than four weeks on the development of Bullenbaai (location of Curaçao Oil Terminal) 2017-2025, an implementation strategy (don't you just love those terms?) for short and long term, and as an afterthought maybe, a plan for financing.
Gee, I wonder how much they pay the members of that workgroup. And by the way you know, isn't GZE supposed to do that? Must we pay for the rope to hang ourselves with?
This has to be connected to the signing of the second and more or less final MoU between our government spooks and Chinese GZE, on which more here. Now, Curaçao is not on the list of countries that signed the Ramsar treaty, but the Netherlands sure is. So now Eduard Michiel writes a letter to Curaçao Chronicle, not only describing how the terrain inland from Bullenbaai is one of our last prime natural areas, but also how the coast areas to the East and West of Bullenbaai are protected by Ramsar as wetlands.
Will the Chinese or our leading whores care? Do they care about the dolphins kept prisoner in the Dolphinarium against all international treaties? They don't—as long as it pays. Mainly meaning them, I'm afraid.

Nahar Hits Hard
Our prime National Resource spells it out. Even a politician could understand it—if it wanted to (and could read).
Item: The Chinese promised PS™ to invest USD10 billion in Curaçao.
Item: They promised to keep the output of the refinery at 75% for at least 40 years.
Item: PS™ then lost the elections, notwithstanding.
Item: After that, GZE reduced their promised investment to 6.5 billion dollars, of which 1 billion for clean-up.
Item: The new government sans PS™ (incredibly) continued negotiations with GZE. For 11 months, during which not a single job has been created.
Item: The negotiations fled to a new understanding: GZE will work on a feasibility report to [only] "investigate the possibilities" to build a new refinery at Bullenbaai, and in one fell swoop will get all harbor exploitation rights; just about the only natural resource we have.
Item: China President announces "China is going to quit its involvement with the petrochemical industry and is going to focus on developing its auto industry in view of the unstoppable advance of the electric car." Now I take this cum grano salis, as one should do with all government declarations. Especially China's and Curaçao's.
Item: GZE has two years to get into action. If they feel like it then, after all. Meanwhile, not a single job, not a cent of investment here. And at any rate, we're stuck with the ugly Isla mess—you know where it got stuck.
Nahar promises a second article shortly on management and control, "or even ownership" of Bullenbaai deepwater harbor. Keep tuned.

Bitcoin Bubble
The local club of Bitcoin fans claims that there are great advantages in having a national bitcoin of our own. No doubt, that's true—for them at least, and as long as it lasts before that bubble bursts. Spare us. It's hard enough with the regular currency to keep it safe; only too often, too hard. Look at Venezuela, Suriname and Zimbabwe.
They say it's very complicated to explain. They got that straight.

Might Save Them
UTS telecommunications will have to get rid of more than half of its personnel, leaving 200 out of 480. You read that right, more than half of those no-good loafers must go. Competition is murderous and technical improvements keep costing. But the director's job is safe, thanks to auntie Suzy, we're told. That's not so good to know. That woman again.

Another Just Great Project
Randy Neuman has signed an agreement with the government on the empty "Marichi" terrain opposite his eyesore parking garage. He plans a hotel there, but it's not really a hotel. More like apartments, he explains, which the owners can rent out when they're not actually using it. They can make 7-9% per year on their investment, he claims. Total costs 33 million dollars.
All that sounds terribly familiar. Isn't such a thing called a "time share condominium"? But maybe he doesn't use that term as it hasn't got too great a reputation anymore. Small wonder that he will only start building after he's sold an (unnamed) number of apartments. Which he expects to be a half year from now. We'll see.

Scrambling Back
UTS announces that their outrageous plans for cellular phones have been canceled. Too bad for Digicel.

Not So Fast...
On August 15, InselAir proudly announced they had actually got one of their MD-8Xs Up in Air without it going Up in Smoke, for two whole hours. They expected to have it back in service in a matter of days rather than weeks.
It's been more than two weeks now.

Shorty's a Nuisance
Ex-PM Shorty is yelling that it's a shame: the exploiters of food and drink facilities at Hato airport will all be kicked out, causing loss of 100 jobs, because Hato management wants to start doing business with one exploiter.
But Hato management gently suggests that Shorty doesn't know what he's making a fuss about and kindly invites him to come over so they can explain what's really going on.

Buro Crazy
Soon, there will be a short school holiday. Many parents use the occasion to take their kids on a vacation, for which somehow (it's not explained very clearly, or rather, not at all) they need the schools' permission. Some school keep exactly to the rules, others tend to waive them. Which results in one kid getting permission, but its sibling on another school not. Education ministry is working on it.

Calling Auntie Suzy
Last year, (not only) she came out with the startling idea that we'd need 250,000 inhabitants here, as they would pay more taxes, and started a call for immigrants. Really! No idea where to put them (except in those empty hotels maybe) or how they'd fit on those crummy roads while going to work.
So, reading Carl Hiaasen, here's his take: "The more people you cram into a place [...], the more stressful life becomes for everybody. It also becomes more expensive. Ask anyone in New York of California what happened to their taxes as the populations of these states swelled."
Dance of the Reptiles, page 23. Guess who he means by "reptiles".

You Think?
CHATA hotel association worries about the tourist sector. They say tourism is growing all over the world, only here it shrank with 13%. All over the world tourism is considered to be one of the primary sectors of economy (except in Mallorca, that is). We need strong leadership and a restructure of CTB. Say, why not give them even more money? One of CHATA's great ideas, pointing at the infamous Master Plan.
It's insane to claim that tourism can be a great source of income "all over the world". Reminds you of that legendary island where people subsist by doing each other's wash.
Wasn't it Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while getting the same results? As good a description as any of our tourism policies.

CTB tourist office has started an action to convince us all that we're oh so happy to live here! Seems to be good for tourism. Not that they thought this up themselves (how could they think up anything themselves? you need equipment, machinery, for that); it's inspired by Qatar, an even happier place than Aruba.
So CTB rented tourist buses to give 375 local yokels a free trip to 4 tourist attractions. I also saw a billboard selling us happiness—in Marchena, right downwind of the refinery and its smoke.

Sanity Still Possible
A Search-and-Rescue exercise will be held by Kustwacht [coast guard] together with that of Venezuela. Think about it: our kustwacht works in close cooperation with that of the USA again.

What's the Use
The old buildings of the Curaçao representation in den Haag have been sold and the two new ones bought by Fräudlein Wiels without keeping to any of the necessary procedures. She just went ahead and did it, and the then-government (don't remember if it was under PM Arsjes or his follow-up Whiteman, don't make no difference, mon) just went ahead and accorded the deal.
So now we're stuck you-know-where with it. I do hope that's the last inheritance from that &$#@% woman. There's loose talk about filing a complaint against her. Huh.

One quarter of the people of St. Maarten have already moved to other places, leaving a wreck behind. It's a pretty safe bet those are the ones that can afford it, making the situation even more hopeless for those forced to stay.
Total damage is more than yearly GDP—before the disaster struck, that is. May well be double this year's.
But Holland doesn't want St. Maarten refugees with Dutch nationality around, and will send them back. They'd rather have refugee muslims, much less dangerous.

Hope for the Best? Expect the Worst!
PM Rhuggenaath and Isla-director José van der Wall-Arnemann have signed the addendum to the Heads of Understanding with GZE. Without any former discussion with parliament members; just like our national resource Nahar predicted in an email last week. Democracy? Transparency? Phooey on that.

Happy World Tourism Day!
No kidding... It's held today in Doha, Qatar, where everybody is happy. Except maybe Jews.

So What, Auntie?
Auntie Suzy claims none of the individual companies exceed the pollution norms; it's just that the combination is too heavy. Which means the norm is too low, or high, however you look at it. That woman gets really tiresome. And really, looking at her it costs me the utmost effort to refrain from ad hominem remarks. That woman is bad news all over, and there's a lot of her.
Remember the name of Norbert the Narc in Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke? That's the one keeps trembling on my lips, and I have to catch it afore it escapes and makes me liable to libel. Or eek! insulting a public official. One of these days, it will slip out! Nggh... nggh...

Vox Populis, Vox Dei
In Palma de Mallorca, 3000 people hit the streets in a massive demonstration against tourism, chanting "tourists go home". A spokeswomen said the islands' dependence on tourism was not a good thing from an economic point of view and was "precarious". Hear hear.
There has been a wave of tourist protests throughout (not only) Spain in areas including Barcelona, Palma and Bilbao.
I'm sure Rhuggenaath and CTB are jealous as hell, 11 million tourists visit Mallorca each and every year (pop. 860 thou.) Please excuse while I go and vomit.

Please Don't Bother
Finance minister Gijsbertha, that genius, is worried about tsunamis and rising sea levels caused by "climate change". These are not taken into account in the 2018 budget. Which is fine with me: I don't foresee sea levels suddenly rising next year. While it is hard or even impossible to get hard figures, and I'm sure Gijsbertha hasn't got them either, I'm pretty much convinced that in 2018 no parts of the islands will be submerged. And what does Gijsbertha plan to do about tsunamis? Build a 50m/165ft high seawall around the island?
Gijsbertha also worries about the erosion caused by climate change. Well, Gijsbertha, we've had plenty of erosion as long as I can remember (way before in the late 1970s scientists were predicting a coming ice age, remember?) and nobody has ever been worrying about it. Almost nobody.
The minister has found an ECLAC report from 2011, so relatively speaking (compared with politicians, I mean) he's pretty much up to date. Too bad, or a good thing, that even warmist climatologists are finally finding out their panic reactions were a bit, err, premature. "What goes up must come down." There are now voices repeating the Coming Ice Age Doom, but I wonder about that as well. Eventually we'll have one, sure—but when?
Gijsbertha also mentions that the 2018 budget does not take into account the government agreement and the urgency plan, as it had to be ready a month before we had a new government. Don't worry Gijs, it's all bullshit marks on paper anyway.
Gijsbertha is especially worried about the fact that raising sea levels will may take away 9km2 from the coastline, for which, you guessed it, then no land tax can be charged.

Smart, Not
After hurricane Irma devastated St. Maarten, one of the relief stunts pulled was to send about 100 school pupils over to Curaçao so they wouldn't miss out on their precious education. Trouble is, in St. Maarten the language is English so that was a total waste; the kids can't understand a word of Dutch or of the de facto school language, Papiamento.
Naturally we haven't been informed what they did with the pupils after they discovered this.

I Didn't Say It!
Which makes it much funnier. Green Force director Brouwer writes a letter to KKCur in which he spells his company name as (ready?) Green Farce.
Doesn't take away from the fact that Brouwer has a point protesting against the dictatorial attitude and procedures of CPS [Curaçao Port Services]; but then again, about several of his complaints you can only think, "well, you could have avoided that."

There We Go
Aqualectra Utility is negotiating with Scottish Aggreko to install extra (diesel) generators as "the relative calm causes the wind generators to work at less than capacity." These monsters are supposed to deliver 1/3 of the total consumption.
Director Jonis admits there's some hurry involved here. As if he couldn't have seen it coming a year ago. October-November-December always bring even less wind than we get now.
Really funny to read how Jonis calls expending diesel generation a "sustainable" solution. Which it is, of course, in contrast with the green alternatives that just don't work reliably.

Not Good
Finance minister Gijsbertha informs us that the tax reforms have not led to higher receipts. (But I'm sure it cost money to introduce them.) As if we didn't know already. I foresee great budgetary problems in the near future. You never get used to it.

Some Catching Up Needed
Tourism is shrinking positively, or growing negatively. All year up to now (-13%), but August was worst (-20%). Even CTB can't come up with positive numbers. Let's hear it again, Rhuggenaath: [he'll] keep repeating that 2017 will see a 7.1% growth in tourism "until he sees it back in the figures."

Government is so inefficient, they're even unable to collect taxes.
Now, they're so desperate that if you pay a debt from before 2014 you'll get a 20% discount.
The minister adds, "Under certain conditions. Otherwise it wouldn't be fair for people who have paid in time." The conditions are, if you don't pay in time next year you have to pay the 20%, yet. Otherwise, not. So what's fair about that?

Here's My Plan
It's quite simple. We steal the Tula statue and hold it in ransom, in exchange for that of Stuijvesant.

Not So Easy
When you have your husband's testament, and the guy expires, don't think the inheritance will go to your children as stipulated, just like that. Noooo.... the widow has to go to Kranshi civil registry and collect a pedigree with her husband's extrajudicial children and show that to the public notary, so the bastards can share the loot.
A law to change this has been in the works since 2012 to compel inclusion of the father's name on the birth certificate, but it never made it past the notoriously polygamous macho chauvinist pigs in Staten.

Ole Pegleg

Peg Leg Pete
NAAM tells minister Alcalá-Wallé thet they have not been able to locate Peter Stuijvesant's statue. Call the cops! and good luck.

Can't Blame Them
German airlines Condor and Eurowings will take over Air Berlin's flights—except those to Curaçao. Probably because Düsseldorf does not care to have more bolita-smugglers in its prison cells.
But minister Martina is working on it, no worries. No doubt he'll try to bribe them, like his predecessors did with their predecessor.
And by the way you know, how about the guaranteed InselAir take-over by Synergy/Avianca?

No Wind
Not only was Aqualectra's wind generator #10 U/S for 4-5 days over the week-end, this week there's hardly any wind at all. They all point in different directions most of the time and make only a pretense of turning their blades at all. May go on for two months.
Say, here's an idea: let's put in some more to compensate for that, next year!
Aqualectra calls the electricity supply "delicate"; you bet.

Welcome Home, and Goodbye
Shorty's ex finance minister Imalootin is ready for extradition by Venezuela, so he can be bothered in court. I won't say "I can't wait"; been waiting long enough already.
More than twenty times as many Venezuelans have been extradited (extrapolating from how many until now) this year, compared to 2013 (861-61). Question also is, how many have not been sent back home?

Por Fin
Police and other instances have started an action against the sexploitation of Venezuelan girls and women, who are lured over here with promises of nice hotel or restaurant jobs with apartments thrown in. Instead, they're forced to sleep with up to ten in one crummy room. To get the borrowed sum for air fare (Insel, anyone? so that's why they're anxious to restart flights to Venezuela) back, they are forced work in snacks and bars to beg men for tragos [drinks], a road almost inevitably leading to prostitution. Especially with their passports confiscated.
Did I hear the word "slavery"?
I don't beg your pardon, "sex-workers" (the politically correct designation) are prostitutes and slaves.

Smart Move
The UK, France and the Netherlands have tentatively decided to open a coordination center in Curaçao for logistic operations during future disasters. It will be in the Marinebasis [Royal Dutch Navy base] of Parera.

Business As Usual
Alex Alberto videographer - had to leave Curaçao as he couldn't make it, money-wise. Got a job as a guide at the Air Museum in Flevoland, wherever. Kept his tail up! Jolly good for him: Never Surrender. Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
Then he died after a bone-marrow transplant, 4 years ago. And now he's a big deal and they want to erect a shrine, after a fashion, to him.
Alex, you richly deserve that but they should've thought of all that before.
Sounds familiar somehow. Much too close for comfort. I Yam Deegustid.
I hope at least they pay Alex's heirs a decent amount. The least they can do.

Wait and See
The New Hospital HNO is expected to be ready for use "beginning 2019", which is pretty vague in itself. We've waited long enough, that's for sure.

Ready for That, Too
PAR minister Jesus-Leito finally wants to start applying the 2015 law regulating billboards.

Sad But No Surprise
A big telethon in Holland has not resulted in a great amount of money for St. Maarten. The Dutch obviously feel, and who can really blame them, that it's what they call "butter on the gallows"—the corruption of the island is just too heavy, and everybody knows about it.
Hurricane Maria is about to hit St. Maarten, again. There's not much left to be destroyed.

That's More Like It
Aqualectra utility is bragging that we are the "greenest" country in the world, thanks to those wind generators, they just announced to go on building a giant solar park. Small wonder that our energy price beats that of Denmark (also a notorious wind-addict).
Meanwhile, smarter minds elsewhere are looking at a scale reduction of nuclear generators. Rolls-Royce, NuScale, Hitachi and Westinghouse are meeting with the English government on small nuclear reactors, with a product price of £60/megaWatt = ƒ142—or ƒ0.006/kW.
Didn't Aqualectra tell us they bought power from those wind generators at 10 cents/kW? That's only 16.7 times as expensive. Ain't free green power great?

Heigh Heigh, Ho Ho, Auntie Suzy Has to Go
UTS Telecommunications announces that, as from October 2, you can use your cell phone for 30 days when you deposit 10 guilders or more, 15 days for a smaller deposit. Consumentenbond [consumers' union], instead of protesting with UTS, advises us to switch to competitor Digicel.
However, the problem is caused because UTS is forced to pay 6 guilders/month to Bureau Telecom. Wanna bet that Digicel will soon have to pay the same? No? I thought so. Won't help us a bit to switch.
Thanks to auntie Suzy. One more step on the ever-getting-steeper slide to backwardness.

What a Mess
Two board members of SSC study financing, Nahar and Booi, suspended in July, have sent a letter to PAR education minister Alcalá-Wallé, charging her to immediately suspend all activities related to automation, pending completion of the Internal Auditor's investigation. Nahar and Booi started this investigation when director de Freytas was fired. They claim they are back in their function as board members.
Copies of the letter have been sent to the council of ministers, parliament. Nahar and Booi threaten to file a complaint against Alcalá-Wallé if she doesn't follow up, and, just to make sure, also sent a copy to the public ministry.

It Flew!
One of InselAir's MD-8Xs has actually made a two-hour test flight, deemed a success. The company expects the aircraft to be serviceable in a matter of days now, rather than weeks. Judging from what we've seen in the past, they're easily satisfied, though.

Back in the Black
After the disastrous Shorty years, Aqualectra utility is finally making a profit again. Guess what they want to blow it on? A large solar park—for which they'd still need a back-up fossil fuel plant. As you may have noticed, the sun goes down every night, leaving us in the dark.
But note what just now happened with all that alternative electricity with hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The wind generators shut down long before storm power is reached, and solar panels don't deliver much under overcast skies either. Green power turned into black-outs. People have died because there was no power available. Don't the Aqualectra guys watch the news?
Not to mention what happened in the Australian last summer heatwave.

Sure, Why Worry?
Minister Martina is optimistic about negotiations with Lufthansa and Eurowings to replace the Air Berlin flights. Then again, he's always optimistic, think Synergy—still no news. Remain Positive!

Here's Proof
The Dolphinarium made headlines last week or so by taking (some of) their dolphins out in the open sea. None tried to escape. Goes to show you what rubbish all that talk is about how intelligent those critters are.

Right on Cue
SMOC reacts on auntie Suzy's misleadingly jubilant report on the excellent air quality. Those measurements were made during a very short period in Julianadorp, just outside the polluted zone. Elsewhere, it's as bad as always.

Terraboost hand cleaner

Just know, in the Economic Development Ministry team's never relenting (it better not) hunt for food filth, they found a dead rabbit in a bar's deep-freezer; not slaughtered and cleaned—no, just lying there among the foodstuffs, its unskinned hide full of karpata [ticks].
I couldn't help being reminded of Israel, where the Terraboost company offers a free service to supermarkets. They have these stands where you can sanitize your hands. You only have to look at a modest billboard while you do it.
Here, I would be highly surprised if those handles of supermarket carriages are ever cleaned. They certainly don't look it. Let alone finding a sign near an escalator handhold, like in Hong Kong: "Disinfected every 3 hours".
Not that we have many escalators, except for the airport. What do you expect from them, anyway?

Reap What You Don't Sow
Because our Unwise Men gave away 35 million to InselAir, the traffic dept. budget is cut by 8 million which, to be sure, is causing maintenance problems all over. Palm trees that are dead and at the point of falling down on the road, are not removed: it costs money. Too bad if you're under one when it collapses.
And mentioning InsultAir, tomorrow is the day when they said they'll have an antiquated MD-8X back in service. But don't hold your breath.
Also, aren't you glad you kept suspiring while waiting for the MoU with Synergy, confidently announced 3 weeks ago by minister Martina?

Made Me Wonder
Dutch PM Rutte says that the kingdom will support St. Maarten, even though not all damage can be redressed. He refers to the 1953 Watersnoodramp [flood disaster], in fact caused by a hurricane, when all islands strongly aided Holland.
In fact, at least on Curaç carnival festivities were abolished to return only years later. Made me wonder if the same happened in Dutch carnival cities, like Maastreech and Oeteldonk. I just checked: over there, they partied like nobody's business.

That's That
Air Berlin is definitely out of the picture and will stop flying to the Caribbean on September 25. Which is rather sooner than April 2018, as announced before.
That will sure help the economy by promoting tourism in what rests of the year.

Rumors... Ugly Rumors!
These are that our government is planning to sign an agreement with China this week, waving goodbye to all transparency promised (before the elections, mind). What a surprise.
Other rumors are that a notorious Chinese gambling consortium has already taken over local outfit Sports Betting. That's bad enough in itself, but the rest of the rumor goes, said consortium is one of the top money launderers in the world. Just what we needed.
Both rumors are pretty solid, don't fool yourself.

Wait for SMOC
Blow me down! According to auntie Rö, there's a report stating that the pollution emissions of Isla refinery are not only within our norms, but even within those of Europe!
The results were published immediately here. (I wonder if that would have been the case if they weren't so good.)
Sounds good, but let's wait for SMOC's comments.
Update: We didn't have to wait that long. Trots op Curaçao [proud of Curaç) points out in KKCur that the measuring station was to the North of Isla, with prevailing winds from the East; that in June, July, August the daily average was 186.33µg/m3; in June it even was 219µg/m3. Max. allowed yearly average (world) is 40µg/m3.
You just can't trust auntie Suzy.

Stay Positive!
Rather than the Master Plan's promised 2% yearly growth, which to start with is nothing more than what a decent economy does routinely, our economy will shrink grow by minus 1.8%. What's positive about that? And as always, such precision! No doubt this has to do with tourism, also still going strong the negative way, with diminishing returns from Isla refinery, CPA and the Bullenbaai Oil Terminal... need I go on? Sometimes makes you feel, we might just as well have stuck with Shorty.
By Satan, I'd still like to know how much we paid for that worthless Master Plan. Isla-smoke like transparency.

I Call BS
Isla refinery deplores the statements of AAV contractors' Union that local workers don't get jobs. Isla has always denied and corrected this. Well, from all I know Isla is lying through its teeth—as usual. Isla also says AAV's statements only serve to create tensions in the community; but what possible good would that do AAV?

Tourism Statistics
Tourism brought in 41.9 million dollars last year, says CTB, for whatever that's worth. They don't tell us if that's more or less than in 2016, so you can bet your life it's less.
They do tell that in July, it went down with 19% overall. How's that again, Rhuggenaath? Good thing we have at least one Master Plan.
But take heart, they also say the stay-over tourists stayed over longer. Good? They don't tell us if there were more or less of them, resulting in more or less total stay-over nights.

Money, Money, Money
The inheritance of popular French author Sabatier (of whom I never heard before) has been partly handled by Intertrust; as far as I understand one of our old friend Elias's many undertakings. Big surprise! It's now coming out that Intertrust has been lying for years in lawsuits around that inheritance. Past verdicts in this affair will have to be reviewed.
And a Dutch family down here was involved in having laundered for years what amounts to 10% of the Curaçao GDP, mainly for Venezuelan customers. And still bigger surprise, the names of M*F*K ex-PM Shorty and his K*NT chum Robbie dos Diablos are mentioned in that affair as well.
I may have been misled by the fact that the media published a photo of Elias with the news; seems he got out of Intertrust years ago. Which may or may not mean a thing.

Hurricane Irma has really blasted St. Maarten. Philipsburg was largely under water. The airport is ruined, and so is the smaller one on the French side. So are the harbor terminal and piers. Not to mention the yacht harbor. Water, gasoline, electricity, landlines and cellphones are as good bad as unavailable and so is internet. Hotels and worse, hospitals are damaged and can't be used. The devastation is incredible. Maybe just as bad, the island can forget for quite some time about the main economic pillar, tourism.
And as always, looters are hitting town.

Suspicions Reign
What is going on with the Central Bank? It's smelling, not to use stronger words, more and more like a coup. The politicians have finally succeeded in taking over and now have a free hand in managing our guilder. People are waking up to it; they don't trust the bastards who claim it's to preserve the integrity of the bank. What chutzpah! And as if politician IJs is better fit than director Tromp, for whom they at last found an excuse to get rid of.
I do hope I'm wrong.
Director Tromp will get a chance to defend himself; a fat lot of good that will do. For now, he may not even enter the bank's premises.
MAN Finance minister Gijsbertha was cooperating as part of Shorty's government in earlier attempts to get rid of Tromp. But ex-PM Liberia-Peters (PNP) was already working on getting the bank in her clutches, way back when.

Cft financial supervision advises a verplichtingenstop [one of those typically Dutch words, more or less meaning liability stop] to prevent extra costs and so balance the budget the coming months (73 million guilders short). But for the urgency program 3 million extra is needed, which is not in the budget. What to do?
I know! just spend those 3 million. It's easy when you have the power—and the bank to print the money.
I didn't bother to write about that urgency plan, supposed to fight crime and reduce poverty and lots more. Big scheme, big deal.

Hardly Surprising
We all saw it coming: the new board of CBSC Central Bank has advised the firing of president Tromp, and force him to stop all work in that function immediately.

Fine With Me
The Dutch government won't even consider retracting Navy ships from the Caribbean to stop emigrants coming to Europe across the Mediterranean. Tough on the Europeans maybe, but after all, we have Maduro.

Ridiculous and Risible
So the 110V at our place dropped away completely, all of a sudden. So I called Aqualectra. First, you get a choice to press 1 or 2, fine. Then again. Okay, fine. Then, you can select English or Papiamento (no Dutch, of course). Select English. Wuddaya expect anyway? The guy picks up the phone answers in Papiamento.
Then, a few minutes later a lady calls back - in Dutch.
The thing is, most people actually understand and speak Dutch, but the Dutch ought to learn and speak Papiamento. Which is not expected of English speaking folks.

Veggies & Fruits
In Venezuela, vegetable prices are up 600%. You may well ask, since when? At any rate, the supply of the barquettes in Punda here has not stopped, and we still have beer and cheap Coca-Cola from Veneuzuela as well. While over there, children rummage through garbage trucks to try and find food.
It's because we, for all practical purposes, pay in USDollars, of course.

Years Ahead of the USA Iconoclasts
PAR minister Alcalá-Wallé has instructed archaeological (well, not only that, in fact) institute NAAM to search for the present location of the Peter Stuyvesant statue. It used to be in Willemstad center, opposite the present parking garage, and later moved to the Stuyvesant College. From there it was removed six years ago when PS minister Rosalia (he's still around) in his hatred for everything white colonial renamed the school to KAP.
Alcala-Wallé has given NAAM two (2) weeks time to find the statue. All people involved claim "they can't remember."

The Less They Have...
... the less they can spend. You'd think so. But that goes for us, tax-paying voting cattle who, notwithstanding all optimistic shouts from the government, are still wrestling with a DOA economy. Of which one result is, taxes received are instead of 46 million more this year, 27 million less.
But not to worry, PAR PM Rhuggenaath announces the urgency-plan will proceed regardless. Especially poverty must be fought. You bet. And the government must start watching costs the next couple of months. Where did I hear that before? We do it all the time.

Plaza: Try Again
The auction of the Plaza Hotel (where people who wanted to buy furniture etc. were thieved and robbed by the public notary) has been of null and void value. The buyer still hasn't paid.
A new auction is planned ASAP.
People who wanted to bid had to buy and pay for a catalog; then, when the auction started, they were informed that the main bidder for the hotel had put in a bid for the total lot, and won.

Rimini beach
Google Maps: part of Rimini Beach

CTB's Dream, Our Nightmare
This is what CTB, PM Rhuggenaath and CHATA dream of. All our beaches should like like that, and bring in money. How splendid.
Some of them have made a nice start, already. Like Knip/Kenepa, Vaersenbaai and of course that ever popular Mambo Beach. And don't forget Jan Thiel.

Sheik el Hakim Gets the Blame
After years, if not decades, of mismanagement CDM-Dok has been taken over by Dutch Damen Shipyards. Not true, only half: it's still 50% government owned. PAR PM Rhuggenaath may be proudly beating his breast because of his accomplishment, but that has cost us, the taxpayers, 121 million guilders.
It is claimed that if Sheik el Hakim had not stopped negotiations shortly before the fall of Shorty's government, using the word loosely, the damage would not have been that great. I seriously doubt this.

Too Dumb for Words
One of the routes that bunch of geniuses, InselAir mangement, wants to open when they have their crummy MD-8X back, is the one on Venezuela. Really. The one where they have $100 million, but who's counting? outstanding which same management says caused all their troubles.

He Got That Straight
Says InselAir manager van den Heuvel: "It can't go worse, only better." Which isn't saying much. Still, they got extended surseance of payment until August 31, next year. Formally, they don't know a thing about negotiations with Synergy but they hope to have one geriatric MD-8* back in service two weeks from now, at which point they expect to start turning a profit again. We'll see.
Meanwhile, the MoU announced by minister Martina has not been announced.

Didn't Hear a Thing
Yesterday, economy development minister Martina announced a Memory of Understanding was expected to be signed with Synergy on the take-over of InselAir. Will wonders never cease? But nothing has been heard since, yet. I'm pretty positive (for once) that if it had been done, we'd have been told.
And of course we're all curious about the form this will take. Will back taxes and social premiums be paid? Will we get our 60 million back? Will the personnel get their jobs back? Will management be fired, as they richly deserve?
We can only wait.

As Transparent as Crude
PAR PM Rhuggenaath has met with the president of Isla refinery (who is a Venezuelan, so much for "our" refinery) and the vice president of Venezuela state oil company PdVSA. Now PdVSA says they are very much interested in cooperating with the Chine GZE. With whom an agreement has been signed, we are informed.
Oh... I thought negotiating still went on. Burned again: it's a faith accompli.
We've had 25% less oil tankers in Bullenbaai terminal last year. Things are going well in Venezuela!

Even Worse Over There
In Aruba, a minister has been arrested for fraud. This is no problem for his part AVP, or for PM Eman. He can remain a minister; meaning, he will continue receiving his salary. No doubt they figure, this guy just happened to get caught; bad luck.

Parking Problems
Merchant organizations of Punda and Otrabanda have complaints about the parking meters, especially about the very unfriendly way offenders are punished with wheel clamps. They also feel part of the proceeds should be invested in improving Willemstad. Turns out that the parking meter exploiter doesn't pay a penny to the country. Check out here how this got to be. It's one of the first unofficial official acts of Shorty. I'd guess he does get a cut while the government doesn't. But it's only a guess, don't believe me as I can't be sure (and don't want to be sued for libel, slander and defamation either).

First Sign, Then Discuss
Before talks will start on what to do with the old refinery (tear down or renew) the government will sign the Heads of Agreement with GZE Chinese oil consortium. It's already known that GZE prefers renovating (which I in fact tend to agree with) so it's all just marks on paper. What China wants, China gets.

In Style
The list of absentees in parliament/Staten meetings will be published. It's the only thing he can do to fight the heavy absenteeism, comments parliament president Millerson.
But I don't think it'll help any. Topping the list are M*F*K Shorty and K*NT Dos Diablos.

What Do You Mean, "Again"?
Foundation Curaçao Clean Up asks the people to say "NO" again en masse to pollution. As far as I see looking around me, the people never did so before. Certainly not en masse. One wishes Clean Up luck and strength; we all need that.

Now Let's See
The board members (of CBCS Central Bank Curaçao and St. Maarten has finally been replaced. Two members didn't want to, but finally they've been kicked out by the shareholders, i.c. the governments of the two islands.
Director Tromp is still enjoying his forced but voluntary (and paid) holiday; the bank now has "a vacuum in leadership."

Gold Mine
SSC study financing, of which Big Boss de Freitas recently was fired (for some reason), is under intense screening. They found several bank accounts only de Freitas has access to; one with HSBC-USA (those guys again) and one with Girobank (those guys again!) De Freitas claims these are her personal accounts and of no concern to the auditors; but it's rather suspect that ANG850K/USD400K was transferred to that Girobank account.

That's Really Funny
Shorty's mafioso padrino Corallo, who fought his extradition to Italy, was released there almost immediately after his arrival.

Still No Stopping Them
Illegal building just continues unbridled and uncurbed. Small wonder, after auntie Suzy's weak, laughable and utterly failed tries to stop it.

About Time, Too
The public ministry wants to jail drivers who get caught for the second time without a driver's license or insurance. (These guys, big surprise, often don't pay their car tax either.) Many already have a conditional punishment but they just don't seem to care.

Extend Deferment of Payment
Regular readers will know who this is about: InselAir, who else? They want extension of deferment as 1 of their 2 MD80s is "almost ready to fly"—and watch 'em! then they'll start making some real money. In court August 25.

Much Worse
It was my motherboard. Starting to catch up, may take a few days.

Spend Less, Pay More
Here it's the other way 'round: Because SEHOSpital's budget is so small, a lot of people have to be sent away to foreign countries to get their therapies. Which results in much higher costs: 41.3 million per year. But SEHOS claims they'd be able to work on with an injection (to keep in style) of 20 million. Isn't government finance wonderful?

Not Impressive
A large-scale for guns search in two barios turned up six (count 'em: 6) hand guns. Plus, I have to add, one hand grenade, two police uniforms (must have been bought from a corrupt cop, how else) and a military uniform (from North Korea?)
Won't make much difference.

InselAir: Soap Gets in Your Eyes
The soap continues to make you weep. One week before the committee is supposed to report on the future of the Flying (well, hardly) Disaster, they don't know anything yet. In fact, the report was due last June. Unwise Man IJs says the USD33.1 million loan (60 million guilders) "has led to the desired result" and will be paid back in one time after 5 years, with 3.5% interest.
At the same time, we hear that InselAir won't get anywhere without more aircraft than the two Fokker F50s now flying such routes as they still have. All their other aircraft are unserviceable or seized.

Spend More, Earn Less
After the two grandiose movie flops Tula and Double Play produced here the last few years, both of which as far as I can judge made less than 10% of their cost back (but who's counting?), minister of economic development Martina has appointed a 'film commissioner' to promote the local film industry and attract foreign productions.
We're not told how much she will be paid, but the project will cost ANG340K (say USD150K). I guess per year, what else? A fonds perdu so to say.

Yeah, That's Weird
Or even bizarre. Sona, who earlier declared that Ballast-Nedam would be entitled to $5 million, now wants to pay them $13 million. Which is rather more, if I remember my grade school lessons correctly. Even auntie Suzy doesn't like it, but complains Sona doesn't bother to reply to her letters. I guess it's hard for them to think of a snappy come-back.

Gone But Not Forgotten
Fräudlein Wiels does it again; this time she got ANG66k/US$30K for an internship at SSC study financing. She doesn't need to be our plenipotentiary minister to rake it in.
Somebody points out this was paid after the murder on her brother, sainted Helmin. It turned up because SSC is subject to a strict screening. Now, when it's years too late.

WinAir Just Does It
WinAir will start a third weekly flight CUR-SXM. Still wet-leasing, what InselAir kept claiming drove them deeper into bankruptcy. WinAir doesn't seem to have that problem.

Goodbye to More Tourists
Air Berlin is going bankrupt; even with the money we pay them to keep on flying. So much for Martina's prognosis of a boost.
Maybe Lufthansa will take over.
How much do we pay them? Ah, that's a Secret!

The teachers are on strike. They have a list of 49 (count 'em) grievances which they insist must all be respectfully met. No compromise! So why talk at all? Just go home, please. Having them in the classroom doesn't seem to make much difference in education, crime and general civilisation, anyway.

Economic development minister Martina says we have to be prepared for a boost in the economy. Really! The island will become much busier next year. He says. He mentions a few points: reopening the Plaza Hotel (o yeah?), the refinery take-over by the Chinese (so it's all decided, no matter the protests), the new Bullenbaai LNG terminal (copy'n'paste former comment). They also figured (how?) more overnight tourists will come next year.

I Hate Being Right
Over a year and a half ago I told a medical specialist that the new hospital would never be finished. He scolded me: "Optimist!" Well, at this stage they still can't tell us if it will be finished one and a half years from now.
Nor has anybody really any idea, I fear, about how much more we'll have to pay, yet. If they have, they keep it a secret. May have their good reasons.

Don't Try This at Home
Yearly accounts of government entities are supposed to be handed in with 5 months after the financial year. (For your citizen's income tax, you get only 3 months time, and for your sales tax even less. Woe on you if you don't deliver, I have had pro-forma assessments you wouldn't believe even though I was not behind; the Tax Persons administration is just one muddy mess.)
Feffik, Sedreko sports, Landsloterij are still living in 2009, just like Kas di Kultura (back when Rosalia ruled that little dictatorship). University of Curacao, Korpodeko and C***-Post (in fact BTP&), 2010. There are many more, but you get the idea. Girobank is next worst, they have handed in 2012. Curaçao Dok Maatschappij, 2013. Woningbouw Curaçao now caught up to 2015.

Another raid on Centrum Supermarket fought several more expired goodies articles. They just don't seem to care much. The manager says, he can't be everywhere at once. Well, try and delegate, old chap.

Forward, Fearless Fighters
Witless naturopath (I always enjoy using that term) de Wit continues the legal fight against fluoride, even though it has been removed from the water supply. He wants to avert any chance that some government will bring it back. It will kill you. At least, that's what he seems to think.

That New Hospital's Chronical Sickness
Now it's SONA, the outfit that was supposed to control the planning, design, financing and building of the new hospital from the beginning. You don't need reminding what a mess they made: they were responsible for agreeing with moving the original design to quite another location, just like that, which resulted in enormous extra costs. Suspicions are that ex-PMs Shorty and Arsjes made pretty good on that deal; no wonder with that totally corrupt builder Ballast-Nedam.
Ballast-Nedam has since (spare you looking all those rancid details up) sold out to a Turkish company Rönesans. And Sona has until now not come across with financial statements.

Impotently Powerless
The government is really scratching their heads to fight crime. They will start monitoring select adolescents and young adults who are close to crime, and have three points of interest there. Unnecessary to mention them by name, they're all Dutch; and I'm pretty sure that the doelgroep [target audience, the Dutch really love that term] hardly understands Dutch.
Then we'll have 5 directors, as in movie or stage, all "full-time Top-C"— whatever that means.
So, keep your doors locked and carry a fire extinguisher in your car; just about the only weapon you're entitled to carry.

Watch Your Lusts
With the influx of Venezuelans, not only weapons, drugs and crooks are getting a free-for-all; also prostitution. Also, Chinese restaurants turn into bordellos after closing time.
GGD medical dept. admits they have no idea how many free-lancers are offering their services, let alone medical info.

Gangs Getting Better
The public ministry says that there may be more killings this year, but not more shooting sprees. That's a relief! So the killers are getting more efficient.
Turning in weapons has "not helped much"—hah! Things only became worse. I told you so before they tried.

Brilliant Baleares!
Mallorca and Ibiza are capping the number of tourist beds. Only a certain number can get in, which is sure to drive up prices.
Wishful sigh.

Now He Worries
PIAS Rosaria warns that China's plans may well be too hot for us to handle. Right. Where was Rosaria when his party was represented in the same government that enthusiastically welcomed the Chinese to come in and take over?

It's Not Funny
Many years ago, the government bought cameras to snap pictures of cars driving through red traffic lights. Once they were all installed, it turned out nobody could develop the films. So that was flop number one.
They never asked me for a solution; I'm pretty sure I could have found one; and I'm just as sure I'm not the only one. Also, with several daily flights to Miami and Amsterdam... Nitwits.)
Now, the joke that was old already is repeated. The cameras are ready, only the law is not. The way it's written, you can't fine the owner of a car because you can't prove he was actually driving.
Which must have been so the first time, as well. Double nitwits.

Shorty Tries Again
He wanted to have MP McWilliam sued for defamation, as she had claimed that Quackie Constancia had premeditated to wallop her in the face. Of course she can't prove it, but the public ministry reacts that they can understand that McWilliam was over-excited and will not sue her.
Thake that, Shorty.

Even More Grandiose
People and tourists must come back to the inner city, says Downtown Management Organization. (Maybe it would help if not so many people were murdered by gangs.) At any rate, DMO wants to turn all the upper floors of those half-empty shops and restaurants into luxurious apartments. If that should become a hit, I'd advise renters to take double-glazed windows and good acoustic insulation, because then it will surely become noisy as hell. Knowing this island.
Also, where are those people supposed to park their cars?

A Long Run
InselAir will "again" turn a profit in the long run, says the management. How long, they don't say. Also, did they ever make a profit?

And How About Us?
There are grandiose plans to turn the entire Handelskade, that colorful row of façades along the harbor, into one giant tourist trap. Which means it will be built full of cozy awnings stretching right to the quay-side. Which means we can't take a leisurely stroll along the habor anymore.

To My Faithful and/or Adulterous Followers
As my computer has given up in spirit (video card, I suspect), and my favorite surgeon won't be back till next week (I hope he gets sunburned all over), you'll have to get through life for that time without my tepid comments. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Big Deal
Say, that Plaza Hotel that has been auctioned off? The buyer still hasn't paid. Uh oh.
Demolish it! Just a suggestion, I know nobody will do it.

Maybe That's Why
While Venezuelans eat zoo animals and dig in garbage bins to find some food, we here now get Venezual-produced Coca-Cola for ANG2.95/2 liter bottle. The local price is around 5, depending. We already got cheap Pepsi-Cola from France; I never see the local brand anymore. They seem to have just given up.
The secret must have to do with the fact that prez Maduro stole nationalized the Coca-Cola plants a few years ago (all crooks, those capitalists!) and now every dollar or guilder, essentially the same thing, is welcome to support his tottering economy.

New & Fresh
expiration label

Since the government started checking on labels and all that, supermarkets finally began actually printing packing and expiration dates on their pre-packed meat! Fancy that. As so often it's not the law, it's applying it.
Extra fresh of course is that cryptic remark "negro slice"—the fuck does that mean?

But When?
Only when there's a civil war in Venezuela, we'll admit refugees, says PAR PM Rhuggenaath. Until then, we'll just send "undocumented" people back.
Question is, when does it become a civil war? Must it be declared between the people and the government, whomever? Please at least try to think, Rhuggenaath.
Last year 536 Venezuelans were sent back, but the first half of this year there were 665. But PAR justice minister Girigorie admits nobody has any idea how many there really are here.

Goodbye, InselAir
Now that the company is in the last throes of its death struggle, two directors have gone on vacation, and Sluis announces he's no longer part of the management. Summing up, there's no one around to tell us how matters stand. Like, how about personnel still working there—or not?
It's more than a rumor that Filiatreault, who makes ANG40K/month (US$22K), charged the company for the costs of a pass photo and a cooking kettle. Workers are angry. Also, now we learn that Filiatreault's departure from Madagascar was "hasty" and "a smart move." He's described as a man who couldn't live up to his supposed talents to save the necessitous company.
The right man in the right job! How telling they selected him.

No Cigar for Shorty
Ex-PM and twice convicted Shorty says he's convinced that he nor his moll will see the inside of a jail cell. We are not so pessimistic. His cassation/reversal may take 15 to 20 months, so we're getting there. Funny enough, he doesn't deny his crimes, but only wants to fight the convictions on technical procedural points. And of course he's playing his favorite role, Calimero, again.
It's my personal idea that the judge declined locking them up immediately only to avoid riots, but what do I know?

Watch That Traffic
There were 13,496 traffic accidents last year, here; an increase of 14% over 2015. So the average person has a 1 in 10 chance of getting involved in one. 541 were wounded and taken to the hospital. 18 deaths.
Of course, none of us is an average person.

Bonaire Joins the Fun
Plans are announced for Bonaire to start another air carrier, this one working with 3 Twin Otters and planning to fly between AUA, BON and CUR. It doesn't make a too serious impression; preparations have started "much too late" to start flying this year, as announced. It's a private enterprise (even if the news is announced by deputy Abraham) and several foreign companies are said to be interested in participating. We'll see.
If InselAir is going down the drain by the end of this month the only real competitor will be DiviDivi, who just announced expanding their fleet and start flying AUA-CUR.

Smarter Than Them Yanks
Anthropologist Witteveen started a well-meant action to be kind to Venezuelan refugees. Too bad she makes the mistake of preferring to call them "undocumented", the same weasel word that's used in the USA, instead of "illegal"—which is what they are. I only read negative reactions.
Apart from the obvious, if unproven, fact that their arrival is connected with the criminal wave (it started before they came), I am totally convinced that those who try and get over here are the very same who voted for Chávez first and Maduro later. We don't need them here and can't afford it.
Flash-back: Just for fun, I have a desk calendar from the 70s, advertisement for Curaçao Gomez Enterprises. It shows a map of the Caribbean with Cuba blanked out. Now that's definitely going too far.

Thank you, Prik Pias, Quackie Constancia—and their follow-uppers as well. As from August, fluor will be taken out of the water supply.
Sorry, can't tell you if dentists will remain free.

WinAir Wins
Starting August 17, WinAir added an extra flight CUR-SXM to their schedule, every Thursday. They already have a flight CUR-PAP-SXM. Price $276, return. (InselAir charges $361).
Even old and seemingly solid LIAT is advised to look at WinAir and "adopt their profit-making ways." Problem with LIAT is, board members get appointed "as political favors because they have done something for the party or they are friends of a politician." Where did I hear that before? And now InselAir is, in fact, owned by our government for 51%. L'histoire se répète–soon in this theater.

Big Fat Yawn
Auntie Suze announces that, as from now, firm action will be taken against people who dump trash and empty sewage on public terrains. How often have we heard that already, and no business resulting? Sure, auntie. And while you're at it, don't forget all that illegal building and terrain stealing. Oh wait, that Alcalda-Wallé's headache now.
The shit started hitting the fan at Shut in October 2014.

Who Cares
Across the street from the old Bestuurscollege building, there's another one with a hole in the wall behind which its old financial administration is stacked up. PAR minister Jesus-Leito promises it will be cleared away, but come right down to it, who cares?
Could be chock-full of interesting info but much too late to take action now.

Oh Yeah?
Unwise Man IJs claims that there are other possibilities for InselAir to be taken over if the Colombian Avianca/Synergi falls through.
He doesn't mention which, though.

New Twist
Lawyer Sulvaran (one of the Three Stooges, defenders of losing cases) claims that mafioso Corallo only retracted his fight against extradition because he's been tortured. Said torture consists of him being held in a small dirty cell for much too long.
No wonder he wanted to get out of there to move to a roomy, airy and sunny cell in Italy.

Ten months ago, CPS (private) was taken over by CPA (government)... or... whatever, one of those clubs grabbed most of the power to exploit the harbor. The cranes in the container terminal, which had not been working properly should have been replaced long since. But the replacements have not even been ordered yet.
Before the new cranes can be used will take another 12 months after placing the order. Ships have changed destination for Aruba already because the cranes dd not work properly. The contract stipulates that the new cranes must be installed 2 months from now.

I Can't Wait
By the end of August it should be clear if Synergi/Avianca will take over InselAir or not.
If InselAir is still around by then.

No Free Water
MAN minister of social affairs Koeiman has stopped the free water distribution to 324 familes, instituted as an elections propaganda stunt by K*NT Amparo dos Diablos.
In fact, it had been stopped already when they started re-connecting the first 50 users. Of these, 47 has broken the seal themselves.
That's the sort of voters K*NT has. Just saying. Stealing money from the rest of us to buy votes—that's democracy, folks!

It's Political!
Exactly what Calimero Shorty kept yelling. But in the case of Central Bank director Tromp it sounds more credible. Maybe. The judge will decide in October if the case (he's accused of tax fraud) will be accepted in court.

Sic Him!
It's only the Extra newspaper, but they tell us Imalootin will be extradited from Venezuela to Curaçao later this week. He'll pass right on to Bonaire, though, where they want to have a talk with him as well.
His lawyers are The Two Stooges Sulvaran-Peterson, who helped Shorty out so well. I can't remember a single case they won, but that's only me.
Imalootin-Jamaloodin was Shorty's minister of finance. He got out while the going was good, only not far enough.
Update: Yes, it was only Extra. The public ministry doesn't know a thing about it.

Playing Shorty for a Sucker
Shorty's lawyers think, after having studied the court's pronunciation, that a cassation attempt has a chance to succeed. In other words, try and milk more money out of Shorty. They have two months time for that, not two weeks as I read before.
Mafioso Corallo, who gave up fighting his extradition to Italy, does not want to be transferred to Curaçao prison; he'd much rather be freed. But instead he'll remain in his small St. Maarten cell.

70 Fired
After a meeting of personnel and management, MAN Koeiman warned that a strike would mean the bankruptcy of InselAir. To which we all thought "Why Not? Go For It!" But personnel decided not to strike and instead, management fired 70 of them, expressing the hope that more would take their leave voluntarily. Which comes cheaper. 60 already did, which brings the total remaining to 180.
But the personnel's strongest demand was that management would go. Fat chance, they still have their salaries (rumored to be about ANG45K/month in two cases).

Amazing! It Worked
Since the raids on supermarkets and such started, those did clean up their act. A while ago, there were no packing and expiration dates on the packages; they just left the spaces blank.
Now there are.

The appeals court has taken the trouble to explain why the procedure against Shorty was correct and comme il faut. Shorty's lawyers obviously are trying to turn the verdict around because of procedure problems ("it's a political processs!") but that won't work. Public ministry charged the criminal investigation department to investigate Shorty's affairs, after several complaints from citizens (to wit, Akshón Sivil and me) and as it turned out there was plenty to prosecute him for.
One more aspect is that Shorty's M*F*K party has been proven to be a criminal organization, set up by Shorty and his mafioso padrino Corallo to grab the power in Curaçao after independence. People are wondering what's next for that party. In my opinion, they'll stick around till next elections and will then quietly disappear, just like K*NT, PS™—and all those others we've seen pass by and fade away (after having filled their pockets) during the last twenty, or fifty, years.

Hope This Works
Auntie Suzy has announced the government will start acting against people who dump trash or chemicals or who usurp terrains. Let's hope she does. Last time she announced actions against wild building did not turn out so great. Basically, she legalized all illegitimate buildings then (but many, in fact most by far, didn't even bother to apply for that).

Now, Go After Them
Two high-function ex-workers for Refineria di Korsou have thrown a press meeting as they can't understand why the government is not taking any action there, despite their warnings to cabinet and parliament. 2 experts, Shenil Isidora (financial) and Eugene Angelica (refinery tech) show figures that prove 600 million guilders have disappeared. Lucrative contracts are given to concerns while it's not clear what they are being paid for. This has been going on especially since José van der Wall-Arneman became manager.
Remember how ex-PM Shorty managed to make "only" 400 million guilders go up in air? Peanuts! Took him no longer than 2 years, true.
Van der Wall-Arneman has an 11,000 guilders/month salary, and his jurist daughter 10,000. But that's only for starters; and probably quite legal.

Break out the Beer! Fire the Works!
Ex-PM Shorty and his moll's appeal has resulted in the same convictions: 3 years for him plus stay-out-of-politics for 5 years after he comes out (so we'll be safe for 2 election cycles), and 15 months for herof which 6 conditional. They have not been locked up and went for a reversal at once.
That will not help them much, as such a procedure is based on technicalities. If the court made a mistake the judgement may be reversed. There's little chance of that. It's an open question if his cassation case will even be accepted.
I can assure you I heave a deep sigh of contented relief. This has taken almost 5 years.
The only thing the appeals court didn't judge him guilty of was the fact that he "lost" his diplomatic passport, which was found in his moll's possession.

Stress & Worries
These days you can't help noticing, on all photos PM Rhuggenaath has dark circles under his eyes like you wouldn't believe. I hope that's because he takes his job seriously, in sharp contradistinction to most of his predecessors. But I have little compassion. After all, he asked for it.
Me, I much prefer making snide remarks from the sidelines. Working off my frustrations.

And Why Should They Be?
CTB declares they are not worried about the shrinking tourist economy. Of course not! They get their subsidies, our tax money, anyway. If tourism shrinks further, they may even get more, am I right? So no wonder director Clarinda predicts a good 2017.

Plaza Sold
The Plaza Hotel has been auctioned off for no more than the starting bid of $ 9 million. It's new name will be the Waterford Doubletree Hotel, Spa and Casino.

That's Something
Chinese oil giant GZE and the Curaçao government have not been able to reach an agreement about "the addendum" and its proposed changes. PM Rhuggenaath denies that GZE has walked out of the meeting.
The government wants GZE to renovate the existing Isla refinery, while GZE wants to build a new one at Bullenbaai. Negotiations continue; at least the government, from what we know, hasn't given in completely. But what do we know? Rhuggenaath did not offer more info on points of conflicts. That's transparency, folks!
I know, GZE is not an oil giant, they just plan to be one.

Finally, the End
InselAir personnel, who have been asked to resign voluntarily, boldly refuse. The management should fire them and if they don't they will all go on strike next Monday. Which would spell the end, I guess.

Let's Throw Another Party!
The remembrance of that wonderful day in our history, 10-10-10, will be celebrated with yet another day off for the spoiled brats (and the rest of us, who are paying for it) by our PM Rhuggenaath. Oh joy!

So There, CTB
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), quoted in Curaçao Chronicle has figured out with travel organization Expedia that tourism in the Caribbean grew with 4.2% last year, outpacing world results. Curaçao Chronicle then writes the island gets 5% of tall aribbean tourists.
Follows a lot of recommendations to get more tourists longer, but what is not mentioned is that tourism to Curaçao went down last year.

Dioxin Panic
3 years ago, out of 18 samples, 17 batches of pork meat slaughtered locally in Parera contained dioxin. 5% of total pork consumption comes from there. Feeding the pigs refuse and burning plastics around the pig sties could be the cause.
That being so, I am sure I am chock-full of dioxin myself as my upwind neighbors weekly burn trash containing plastics. (I try to avoid eating refuse, thank you.) My point here is, it's the dose that makes the poison. You can die, and people have done so, from drinking too much water. With modern techniques, minute amounts of substances can be traced and it's a moot point if they're actually a health threat at those levels.
Another point is, I'm totally sure the Isla terrain and our harbor is full of the same dioxin. Bad news for Green Town. Remember Times Beach.

Which One?
MAN Cleopa complains that one of the officials at CCAA is related to the owner of another airline on the island is deliberately boycotting InselAir. Which is why Insel can't use their old crummy MD8X and must fall back on their "basic plan" of only connecting the 4 islands and fire most personnel.
As far as I know, we only have DiviDivi. Who, again as far as I know, need not fear Insel's competition.

Dumb Dummies
Because of the 33 million stolen from us by Unwise Men IJs and Rhuggenaath and given away to InselAir, several ministries will have to make do with less money. Like education (6.4 million less), transport/traffic (7.8). Nice work, dumbsters. One will soon be a top man with the Central Bank and the other is PM. For cryin' out loud.
The press doesn't inform us how much the education budget was originally, but for traffic/transport the cut is over 15%.

More InselAir Layoffs
123 Saul Bass

InselAir will probably fire 150-175 personnel this week in yet another round of layoffs.
We read that they are now using "two or three" Fokker F50 aircraft. Can't they even count to 3?
Update: Remaining personnel will count 180 (down from 570 in March). Still seems a lot.

Not Good
A politician, Unwise IJs, is being appointed to the board of members of the Central Bank. Please don't. Keep politics out of there, it's asking for trouble.
Not that I expect they'll heed my advice.

On St. Maarten, where a woman got blown over by a jet blast and killed a few days ago, the fools still go there in droves for the same kick (and competing for the Darwin Prize, posthumously). So the proposal is to remove the concrete blocks from the beach.
Which won't help much for the royal *$$-holes who still hang onto the fence. With behind them two concrete walls lining and dividing the road.

Monkey Business
MDPT, the bunch that is supposed to prepare the renewal of Isla refinery, definitely makes the impression they're actually working on their own future. An accountant bureau has checked their budget and yearly accounts, concluding it's all kosher and comme il faut. But two personnel members have filed a complaint with the public ministry for, among other things, fraud.
The PM has now installed 2 financial experts in MDPT management. We can only hope they do their jobs.
MDPT head was Werner Wiels, saintly Helmin's "stop corruption" bro; and Fräudlein's. Those things run in families.

Tough, Kids
Staff personnel of Isla refinery threatens to strike. They have been promised a wage increase 5 years ago and not getting any. Now they will negotiate with P{dVSA; hard to see where the money can come from as the entire country of Venezuela is expected to go broke before the year has ended. That'd be one year before 2019, when the refinery agreement will expire.

They Jumped Ship
The management of Plaza Hotel has disappeared, not leaving a trace behind. They did leave a wreck behind, as the other popular expression goes... the hotel is in the last death throes of bankruptcy.
The building will be auctioned July 20, starting bid 9 million dollars.

Tourist Attraction
At St. Maarten airport, a bunch of fools flocks together on the beach where aircraft come in for landings at a very low height. Makes for spectacular photos.
Non it has happened: a woman got in a jet blast from a plane starting its take-off roll, and fell down with her head on a concrete block. Dead.
Maybe now there will be put a stop to this.
Even though there have been incidents before, St. Maarten never bothered to install jet blast defences; bad for the tourist attraction.

What Now, Unwise Men?
Rhuggenaath and IJs were convinced that Synergy/Avianca would take over (after a fashion) InselAir. But other Avianca shareholders are suing Synergy because, "allegedly" of course, Synergy is working a well-known scheme: a merger with United Air Lines where millions can be moved into Synergy's coffers.

Sweet Youth
11% of crimes are committed by minors between 12 and 17, 62 out of 568 total. Of course, that's only registered crimes. Many people just don't bother informing the police any more.

There's an Idea
"While prostitution itself remains legal in Israel, pimping, sex trafficking, and running a brothel are punishable by law." Quoting The Times of Israel.

I Didn't Even Notice
Big Black Smoke is vomited out by Isla refinery. You get so used to that, it didn't occur to me it was exceptional these days. Seems it has been going on ever since that fire in May; Isla apologizes but has no idea when this will be fixed.

He'd Like That
UTS director Sluis says there are so many complaints about the cell phone business, it's much better to wipe out all competition so only "his" government-owned telecommunications company remains. Sure Sluis, down and backward to the Socialist Utopia. Like, Venezuela? Cuba?

Uh Oh...
Divi Divi Air has bought two Twin Otters and will extend services between CUR and BON to AUA. Bad news for InselAir. Good; those 33 million guilders are long gone anyway.
Let's emphasize here that Divi Divi gets no subsidy whatsoever, nor, as far as I know, did they ever ask for it.

But How?
Free Education will be reformed, after extensive studies by everybody involved. Wish Saintly Wiels had done that! PAR education minister Alcala-Wallé says "The system is supposedly set up to promote equality among children, but has only caused more inequality." Where the government had 100 guilders to spend for 4 children, it must now be spread among 10, which means children of parents who don't have money to buy books or laptops are at a disadvantage.
Another problem is that SSC [foundation study financing] has grown to a powerful entity and went out of control. But my idea is, it was a bad idea to start with and no amount of fixing will fix that.
And that long string of PS™ ministers hasn't been of any help either.

They Must Be Kidding
Smart guy Rhuggenaath and his cabinet are convinced that the future of Curaçao belongs to the children.

As far as I know, it's Selikor renting out PortaPotties; at least, I always see them in more or less neat rows at Malpais landfill. Very hygienic, right?
Well, it would be if they also rented out a facility to wash your hands after having used them. There's none. So, in fact, at parties men prefer to go out in the mondi so at least it's only their own whatchamacallit they get on their hands. Retch.

Don't Worry
The Curaçao coast is not closed for Venezuelan immigrants; the government has not taken such a decision. At least, that's what Dutch minister Plaskerk says, denying several statements by our justice minister Girigorie.
But don't worry: a committee has been installed to look at the problem. Gee, I wonder how much they pay those committee members. We're not even told if it's a Dutch or a local committee.

No, Thanks, We Can Fail With No Help
The Dutch have offered help on the negotiations with GZE on the take-over of Isla refinery "on numerous occasions" but getting no response, says Dutch foreign affair minister Koenders. Hey, that figures—if (watch me adroitly squirming out of slander, libel and defamation accusations) those Curaçao negotiators are corrupt as hell, they certainly wouldn't want dour Dutchmen looking over their shoulders.

Blast That C***-Post
Last week-end, we got a call from somebody: the postman had delivered a package addressed to me at the wrong address. We arranged a meeting and I got it now.
The devil only knows how often this has happened. Amazon has just resent, free by special delivery, a quite expensive and attractive book. Somebody must have had a nice surprise there. It's not the first time by a long way, either.

We're Not Lost—Yet
Our national resource, former Isla lawyer Marguérite Nahar, has written another article on the take-over of Isla and, worse, Bullenbaai deep-water harbor by Chinese giant GZE. While she may be too convinced that 60 years from now the oil business will be dead and buried (who could possibly know?), she certainly makes the good point that the Chinese just can't be trusted to make good on their promises. And then we'll be stuck in the mud.
But she concludes that parliament still has to accord the concessions; and if it doesn't, the matter stops right there. But will it?

Get Out Or We'll Kick You Out
All five members of the board of the central bank have been requested by the government to take their leave, or they will be fired. Two of them have done so, in fact, before they were asked.
This must have to do somehow with the ongoing trial against Big Bank Boss Tromp.
Update: MAN finance minister Gijsbertha says they'll be replaced in less than three weeks.

In Denial
RdK Refineria di Korsow denies all accusations that the company's not working for the good of the island. RdK says it's just revenge by two workers who were kicked out (Isidora and Angelica), and who now want to ruin the good reputation of the company, Mr. Jose van der Wall-Arneman and Mr. Werner Wiels.
Not much to ruin, is there?

Huurman Comes Back
Good: Jan Huurman, who was fired by former health minister and later PM PS™ Whiteman, has been re-hired as inspector of health. But there's more to it than that: he will reorganize the entire inspection, and include all health professionals in BIG, a system to guarantee their responsibilities.
Quite a turnaround after he was really kicked off the island, petitions to keep him notwithstanding.

Lock Her Up!
M*F*K Quackie Constancia, who unpacked a wallop in fellow parliament member MAN McWilliams's face, has been convicted to 80 hours of community service. The public ministry wanted her to be convicted of threats as well, but the judge thought she had parliamentary immunity. The prosecution will probably appeal.
Constancia showed how smart she is by stating she may appeal as well.

They Don't Care
Main voting bureau is thinking about publicizing names of candidates who have not accounted for gifts they have received for their 2010 campaigns. Head Rö has sent them two letters but had no response from 46 of the 331 candidates.
Only PAR, Un Korsou Hustu, Kousa Prome and (amazingly) M*F*K have done so. The rest is silence.
But who will check those accounts? Just a thought.

Minimum Wage
Our last minister of social affairs introduced a way to raise minimum wages to subsistence minimum, following a trend in some parts of the USA. The business world is against this, but what do they know. Well, maybe more than that former Shorty Prik Pias cabinet minister PS™ Cecilia.
That old public nuisance Errol Bakoba is yelling and screaming like it will hurt him, now that the new government seems hesitant (putting it mildly) to follow up on Cecilia's idea. Baboba is still a Chávez/Maduro fan and we all can see where that lead to.
In the USA, not only MacDonald's is now switching to automatic ordering to avoid paying $15/hour to personnel that can't even read. As a result, their shares shot up.
The plan is to have minimum wages of ANG11.41/hour in 2020. With a 40-hour week, that'd result in ANG1825.60/month ($1000), with a maximum old age pension of ANG1406. Who cares about them old farts!

Raze Them. Salt on the Foundations
It's becoming more and more obvious that the unholy idea of community mailboxes was and is illegal. Thank you, auntie Suzy (who has a habit of just not reacting when pointed out that she's wrong). Net result may well be that the things will have to be taken down, resulting in yet more loss to C***-Post. International, yeah, sure.
There is now talk of going to court to force C***-Post's hand.

They May Well Ask
Attorney General Schram and Prosecutor Rip wonder what to do about the fact that some people in government, supposed to be their collaborators, look and act more like their [criminal] subjects. Like Shorty, to name but a few. Which means a broader role of the public ministry in society is called for, as the government does not react adequately.
This, in fact, can be a risky trend, but one can follow their thoughts.
Where the riskiness sets in, is that in our Trias Politica the judicial system should not be allowed to interpret the laws too freely; it has led to many potential problems and conflicts in the USA.
Murder rate here is now 25 times that of Holland. Also food for thought.

Gasoline to Douse the Fire
Ex police boss Wernet has been appointed as temporary boss of the foreigner admission committee where two women were fired and arrested last week. Wernet was kicked out of the police corps by ex-minister of justice Navarro under a cloud of suspicion, but who cares about details like that?

What's the Use
There's only one person, "almost full-time" checking on truancy, and one part-time. This while there are 30,000 kids age between 4 and 18, who are supposed to get compulsory education. Besides, they check the wrong neighborhoods (around schools, last place where truants will be found) and on the wrong pupils (more highly motivated ones). In short, nobody has any idea.
Isn't free education great?

The Caribbean region is completely unprepared to deal with the humanitarian crisis that would follow a flood of refugees, should there be any further deterioration in Venezuela, a UN report confirms. True enough; and it will so deteriorate. Maduro can only be removed by force as he will not give in.
By the way you know, snide remark, as if Europe is handling that flood of refugees so well.

Who Cares
The president of Curaçao Tourist Development Foundation has taken her leave, at the request of Curaçao Hotel and Tourist Association, who complain it's a mess and nothing happens. Not to mix these two up with Curaçao Tourist Bureau. Say, does anybody understand why we need two or three, and who knows how many more, of these bureaucracies?
It all makes no difference anyway.

Folk Rhyme Adapted
Ai caramba
dos makamba
riba brug na Otrabanda
un portugues
i tres million chines

The original version went: Ai caramba / 2 makambas / on the bridge to Otrabanda / 1 Chinese / and 3 Portuguese

Today is Dia di bandera or, as the Dutch Scheveningers say, vlaggetjesdag; but the spoiled brats civil servants will not get their extra day off.
For once, the minister thinks it's BS.

The cheapest Pepsi-Cola around now is just under 4 guilders/2 liters. It's from France, imagine. 20% cheaper than the local product while France is not what you'd call a cheap country. And don't forget transport.

Think About That
Stories are breaking about what to do with the waste solar panels and wind generators are, or will be, leaving behind. In short, the green alternative is a rubbish pile.
Solar panels, after an effective life of 25 years, then have to be discarded somehow. They contain lead, chromium and cadmium (both carcinogenic, "just ask SMOC). Japan estimates that by 2020 so many solar panels will be discarded there that it will take 19 years to recycle them.
Aging wind generators are a huge problem as well. The enormous blades are made out of resins, which may remain in landfills for hundreds of years. Techniques to recycle those resins are still in an experimental stage.

Beware! You Just Can't Trust China
"China Rips Up Hong Kong Deal After 20 Years" is the Times of London headline. The article starts with "China has ripped up a 50-year treaty signed by Britain to protect the rights of Hong Kong — on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the handover of the territory."
And that's the country we will shortly be a virtual colony of. Because our smart leaders just continue welcoming them in and giving away all we have.
Meanwhile, fanatics here are still ranting about the evils of slavery and the role of Holland in that awful system, forgetting that China has an even worse name. Remember Mao and the cultural revolution. But right now, 2.9 million Chinese live in slavery in China itself.
And not so much by the way, the problem is still worst in Africa. In Mauretania, 4% of the population is "deemed to be held in slavery."

We All Agree
VBC entrepreneurs club wants all those people who have been involved in malversations with government-owned companies to be prosecuted.
By now, the question is, how did we let that get so far out of hand? There are still people voting for Shorty and his gang of goons, PS™, and yes, for the National Party. But in fact, there is no party that has not done its part in this debacle.

Sorry, Kids...
Those 22 tons of meat which were confiscated at Dricoma turn out to have been okay, after all. I wonder what they did with them; and now dig them up from the landfill? Who will pay the damage?
However, that other batch for which the manager was arrested was rotten indeed.

That Says a Lot
Our PM Rhuggenaath says in an interview that he admires Gandhi so much, he's seen the movie thirty times. Oh cheese. A wee bit naïve there, Rhuggenaath. But we knew that already, true.
And granted, most people fall for that crap. And Mandela with his gangster wife. Makes me nauseous.

Lock 'em Up!
The two persons of the foreigner admission committee who were fired already have now been arrested.
Say, why don't they arrest Werner Wiels now?

Good Point
A letter to KKCur wonders, how come InselAir and by extension Synergy/Avianca isn't held responsible for the enormous debts built up with SVB social insurance and the Tax Person? 36 million total, compare with the 33 million loan. Kindly explain, PM Rhuggenaath.
Betcha he won't. He can't possibly, there's that.
So we'll give Avianca the rights to use all InselAir permits, free, plus in effect (at least) 69 million guilders (US$38 million); all just to keep the jobs of how many? 120? people working for InselAir.

How I Wish
MDPT was a "personal ATM" for Werner Wiels and friends, we read in headlines. How nice for him, and them! No such job for me. My own brother was a millionaire, but not a politician working against corruption, and there you go.
For me, the thing here is: we knew it all the time.

Did Somebody Look?
The USA complains that Curaçao is troubled by human trafficking, related with street and snack prostitution. It is further suggested that our spoiled brats civil servants may be heavily involved.
I don't know when that news came in, but I do know that this week two ladies of the foreigner admission committee have been fired for taking bribes. However, that's supposed to have more to do with the incredible influx ("hordes") of Chinese the last few years.

Civil War
An army helicopter was "stolen" (according to the Venezuelan embassy, but it was an army official who flew it) and fired some shots at a reception held at Ministry of People's Power for International Relations, Justice and Peace (what a name; reminds you of those Soviet-era monstrosities) in celebration of National Journalist Day. No doubt those present were hand-picked Maduro fans. He then flew on to the Supreme Court of Justice, "precisely while the justices of the maximum tribunal's Constitutional Chamber were in session." Not only shots were fired, but also 4 grenades were thrown (2 were duds). In short, an extremely well-timed operation.
That constitutional chamber recently took all power away from parliament and gave it to president Maduro.
The opposition, though, claims it's all staged by Maduro. I shouldn't wonder either.

Wiels Out
Who follows? Werner Wiels has left the Multi Disciplinary Project Team that was supposed to supervise the renovation of the refinery—and spent a lot of money in the process, not in the last on their own salaries. Wiels simply had to go because his name is mentioned in the court case against several government-owned companies. He's replaced by Clift Christian. Hope for the best.
PM Rhuggenaath says that for a new refinery to be built at Bullenbaai "it's desirable to have parliament's consent." Gee, really?

Still At It
Checking supermarkets, restaurants. Today 2 more were shut down, they should literally clean up their act. Was very funny to read 2 letters in KKCur on the closing of a Chinese restaurant (that was too filthy for words): "What a pity, they were such nice people!" and "Such delicious food..."
Who can understand people like that?

Why Not Ask Our PM?
VBC entrepreneurs club is worried: tourism has been going down since begin 2015, no matter what the always-optimist Tourist Office claims. We have to do something, but what? VBC points only to "insufficient marketing"—we spend millions and millions on that. Maybe not the smartest way, not my expertise.
VBC also informs us that there are 2 Master Plans, which should be better than 1? Not so, of course.
Politician Rhuggenaath has not kept his promise that he would go on yelling that tourism will grow by 7.1% this year. Even he wised up?

Mens Sane &c
There we go again: to prevent youth turning to crime we'll have them do sports! Which, naturally, costs money [SNAP!]: ANG1.1 million/year. I have never seen a shred of evidence for, or even research about such a correlation; you ask me, it's just a popular superstition.
Remember the criminal malversations with the Olympic Committee, the top of the sports world? Fraud, bribes and corruption. I rest my case.

The M*F*K, K*NT and PS™ government, led by Prik Pias Shorty, has managed to spend 3/4 of the 2017 budget in, say, two months. The worst about it may be, it doesn't come as a surprise to anybody.
Now we wait for higher taxes—again. And what's the use of that Cft financial supervision? Just a question; now for the answer.

Gassing Up
While the socialist paradise to the South is sliding deeper and faster into the pits of hell, president Maduro still doesn't dare raise the price of gasoline, still about 10 cents/liter. So more than 8 boats ply the waves between Venezuela and Aruba laden with gasoline, which they sell in the streets. Some make the trip 2 or 3 times a day, and just now a third one has burned to the ground sea.
All totally illegal of course, which makes you think a bit on how much we can trust the numbers of illegal immigrants.

Good Idea
Cft financial supervision is of the opinion that the old Netherlands Antilles in the future must remain under financial control. So do I.
In fact, all governments all over the world should be subject to such controls. A Trump-like thought, I fully agree.

Wrong Turn
Concept laws to improve traffic safety have been lying around since 2017, but nobody bothered to formalize them. Now they want to get to work on that.
It's not, in my opinion, the law that's the big problem. Agreed, it could be improved. But as long as with every traffic control they find and fine many tens of people who don't have a license, insurance, valid test or registration, use their cell-phone or text while driving, don't use safety belts... the list just goes on and on. Not to mention disregarding red traffic lights. All those things are illegal, already.

Shot Goes Wide
Minister of justice Girigorie wants to have a look at all gun carry permits. Irregularities have been found in issuing those, and there's a stop on new permits until that has been sorted out.
If you ask me, that's completely beside the point. The problem obviously is not with people who have permits, be they irregular: it's with the illegal owners.
For example, Chicago prides itself on being gun-free in the American sense, where in other places everybody may have a gun, but Chicago has the highest number of gun-kills in the USA. Saka bo som.

Hire or Fire
SSC [study financing] boss de Freitas refuses to follow up on a court order to reverse firing of an employee and re-hire him. According to PAR education minister Alcalla-Wallé this can cost the country half a million guilders.
Say, why isn't de Freitas fired? Just a thought. There are more good reasons for that.

The lighthouse at Bullenbaai, where Curaçao Oil Terminal is located, just keeled over in the not even tropical storm strength Bret this week. A photo of the structure lying there shows nothing but rust. If that's the standard of maintenance of Isla refinery, no wonder they had a fire recently.
One result is, no ships can moor in Bullenbaai when it's dark. Wonder how much that costs.
Isla will be back at full power by the end of September. Bad news for president Maduro of Venezuela.
By the way, on Google Maps the COT legend says "Oil Refinery"—not yet.

You're Fired! Not So Fast...
When M*F*K Prik Pias ruled, he (and his friends, no doubt) is rumored to have given 700 people a luxurious government job. More spoiled brats, just what we needed. They're sorting it out. If that hiring was illegal, they should be fired; but no firing is planned at all. What's the use, then.

Tourist Statistics
The usual monthly song and dance of CTB: USA and NL tourism is doing so well! Much better than last year. And at the end they admit, total tourism has gone down.

Won't Help a Bit
Quackie Constancia declared in court that she felt soooh frustrated that she just couldn't stop herself from smacking McWilliams one in the face, but the prosecutor didn't go for it. A witness heard Quackie declare in the parliament mess-room she was planning it. So prosecution asked for a punishment task and probation. Only.

Free Education
Stichting Studiefinanciering [foundation studies financing] popped up earlier in the news for alleged financial, er, manipulations. Well, they're still good fort that allegations. Now it's the head, Margit de Freitas and a mister Rendel de Lanooi. His company was hired in to analyze SCC's incentive policy and to advising on the optimization of student debt recovery. That he certainly did; he hired de Freytas's and his own family members. Also, besides his "astronomical" salary, his own study debt has just disappeared, Poof! Then he was hired again, to advise on "free education".
PAR education minister Alcalda-Wallé is looking at measures. A good thing after all those years of PS™ education ministers.

So What
Cft financial supervision says, it wasn't only Shorty's fault that the country lost so much money; the governments before 10-10-10 made a mess as well. We knew that all the time. But Shorty cum suis broke all records.

Yeah, Right
Synergy does not want to negotiate with InselAir management on details of the Avianca take-over. They're well aware that it's much easier to sucker the Unwise Men. After all, these were suckered by InselAir management as well.

It was Carmabi, an institute subsidized by the government, that "deliberately" sent "incorrect and incomplete information" to UNEP. Auntie Suzy has corrected and explained, upon which UNEP changed their attitude and made a U-turn.
Suggested is that Carmabi wanted to develop the terrain themselves, which is why they pulled that stunt. It may be not that simple, but I only know what I get to read. Not a news-gatherer myself.
Earlier stories have popped up that Carmabi would like nothing better than be entirely encapsulated as a government institute, like, say NASA. They should beware what they wish for, but of course the eternal struggle for finances gets a lot of scientists down.

You Call That a "Deal"?
Synergy, owner of Avianca, wants to take over personnel, routes and licenses from InselAir. But not the 200 million debts, among which the last infamous 33 million government "loan".
By Jove, I could have offered such a deal myself.
The good thing is InselAir will be gone. The bad thing is we're stuck with the same arrogant, service-unconscious people to run the Antillean part of the new Avianca network. We've been suckered again. Thanks, Rhuggenaath, IJs and Martina; aka unwise men. Shouldn't they be held personally responsible for at least the 33 million guilders?

The first traffic light control cameras have been placed. I'm too lazy to look up how much they were delayed (besides, there may be a hurricane coming by soon so I've more urgent things to do), but it's insane. These may at least serve some purpose; they're not security cameras. Of which somebody said after the last London terrorist attack, "that really helped, didn't it? We could all see perfectly what went on in the six-o'clock-news."

Tell Us More, Please
UNEP Environment Programme coordinator Inniss has written a letter to auntie Suzy, then VVRP minister, in which she retracts her 17 January letter, based on "incorrect and incomplete information" on the development of Oostpunt, supplied by "third parties". UNEP retracts accusations that the government acted contrary to international rules and appointments and was guilty of non-compliance. In fact, now UNEP expresses full confidence in the Landsverordening on Oostpunt's development and its execution.
And we're left to wonder who those third parties were. What do you think? Amigu di Tera? Carmabi? Leaving it shrouded in the dark just makes our conclusions jump in that direction. Not good.

These Days, That's News
A third food distributor has been found kosher and clean at inspection. Zetraco, only wholesale for Curaçao and Bonaire. First ones were Van den Tweel (former Albert Heijn) and Alves Supermarket.

How Does He Know?
Millerson claims that 25% of the Venezuelan immigrants are "heavy criminals" and they're repatriating 10 to 30 a week. I'd guess some would escape.

Back in Business
Air Aruba seems to have weathered a series of problems, among which an arrangement with former director De Swart, who has now definitely left the company. Air Aruba now has 3 Airbus 320 aircraft and is moving along.
Not such good news for InselAir, I guess.

Crocodiles Weeping—Again
As if on command, both Shorty and his moll started blubbering wet tears on their next-to-last days in court. They have been treated so badly! And it's all the Dutch who (for some reason) don't like him. Poor babies! But we can all remember how they pulled the same act in the first court case, only to come back with their same, if not worse, arrogant chutzpah just a few days later.
The court will deliver verdict on July 21. I can't wait.
Well, I don't like him; he got that straight. And I'm not even Dutch; at least, not more than any other Antillean.

So Prosecute
The persons responsible for the mismanagement that took place at Aqualectra untility and RdK refinery during Shorty's 2010-2012 reign should be prosecuted by the companies themselves. Strikes me as weird, but I'm no lawman. At Aqualectra alone, 260 million were gone with the wind (and I'm not even talking about the wind farms).
Okay, so go for it, already. We're waiting, because we pay up for that.

Of Course Not
Aruba WEB utility tells its workers not to worry, no jobs will be lost because of the new solar park, now being built.
Of course not! You have to keep your fossil fuel plant on standby continuously; not only at night, but because production drops by at least 50% as soon as a cloud covers the sun.
Count your profits when switching to "free" solar power.

Lock Him Up—Now
Public Ministry has asked for the same punishment for Shorty and his moll as before (3 years of calaboose and 5 years of no politics participation) plus to lock him up immediately. Argument: or we may have to go through the whole rigmarole of yet another coup again.
But lawyer Knoop, imported from Holland, says he thinks Shorty innocent and wants total acquittal.
We expect the judgment today; the session will take 3, not 2 days as planned.
5 years of no political activity means we're safe until the next elections; if the government does not fall before then, that will be 2021. Means we could be assured of no Shorty government until 2025. Good enough for me, for now.

The offices of Interieurtiek Saab NV and Speedy Security have been raided. I don't know a thing about Saab NV, but Speedy Security is an enterprise of former Shorty minister Imalootin, now awaiting extradition from Venezuela.

Fine With Me
Norberto Ribeiro, first on the list for PAR, then DP, finally K*NT, announces that he will retire from the party and even from politics. Good. If it's only true; seems like a regular habit among our politicians to have second thoughts. I'm not sorry to seem him go.

Thanks, Anyway
A friend complimented me just now and said I should get a Cultural Subsidy or sump'n for my efforts here. I replied I'd never get any, just like I'd never get a chance to refuse an order of knighthood.
The fact is, as another friend said to me a long time ago, I'm after all of them, and there you are. Or there you go.
But I wouldn't mind the subsidy. This thing eats time.

Just a Coincidence
It is the opinion of the court of justice that there was serious mismanagement in the government-owned Aqualectra utility and RdK Curaçao refinery between 2010-10-10 to 2012-09-29.
Say, that's to the day that Shorty ruled "his" little kingdom. Could there possibly be a connection? Is Shorty a Missing Link here?

Over Before It Really Started
Even in Denmark, the greenest country in the world, subsidies on "alternative" energy are disappearing: there's no money to pay for that hobby. One result is that the sales of electric cars have plummeted over 60% compared with last year. The new tax regime "completely killed the market."
In the USA, Tesla is running into trouble as well as subsidies are canceled. The damn things are just too expensive.
It's almost funny to read as well that in the manufacture of batteries for those cars enormous amounts of CO2 are released. Sorry, I wish it was not in Swedish myself.

The End Looks Near
PM Shorty's defence wanted to declare the entire process, now in appeal, inadmissible, but the judges didn't go for it. So now Shorty has spoken up; in the first court case he used his right to remain silent. Oops! mistake! He claims his padrino Corallo faked false bills and paid those, and continued doing so 4 times, in spite of Shorty not wanting him to. But Shorty has no proof because they used encrypted communications. It can get to be a problem when you want to keep everything secret, Shorty! But no doubt they both figured they had good reasons—if Shorty's telling the truth for once.

Sold Out
In her usual concise way, former Isla refinery lawyer Marguérite Nahar explains another aspect of the GZE deal that's wrong: The Chinese giant will get Bullenbaai and all its oil terminal facilities—for free. Nada. Zilch. If we, the island country, or any of us, want to use that harbor, GZE will have to be paid.

That's Something
UTS telecommunications stops with enabling on-line gambling. For which Curaçao is rather infamous. And which almost certainly, in my mind, has a link to Shorty's mafioso padrino Corallo.

In spite of PM Rhuggenaath's hopes and Shorty's claims, it's now obvious Avianca/Colombia and Synergy don't want to have anything to do with InselAir. And why should they? Goodbye, 33 million!
Only yesterday an (unnamed) administrator stated that Synergy was the most concrete possible partner.
Insel's management just a few weeks ago came out with the optimistic message they're right around the corner of making a profit. I can't, nor wish to, remember how often I hear that before. Meanwhile, InselAir Aruba has been declared bankrupt.

Dat gaat naar de nor toe, zoete lieve Gerritje
Paraphrasing an old Dutch tune, freely in English:
Let us go to jail, sweet lovable Gerrit

Today's Day One
Shorty's appeal comes to court; it will take three days. May justice be served.
This time, he says he will talk, after having maintained an aloof silence in the first lawsuit. Don't know if that's wise. We'll see. Hope for the best for us, and the worst for him.
Shorty complains that Justice is an "uncontrollable power". Why, yes, that's essential in our trias politica system.

Doesn't Concern Us
You think? Today is Anti-Shariah Day in the USA. There are protests from Muslims there that's only divisive, as 60% of USA Muslims only want "personal shariah"—while nobody makes clear what that means. But it doesn't matter anyway, as 40% of them, then, want complete shariah.
Which we don't want. It's in direct conflict with our Western democratic constitutions.
Here as well, Muslims have come out to say shariah should be implemented in our laws.
Snide Comment Update: In the media, you can read it's an "anti-Muslim-Day" but it's not, just an "anti-Shariah-day". Put that in your hookah and smoke it.
Funny enough, I was in Morocco way back when, and a hookah was called there une pipe Européenne; go figure.

Rot in Jail
Now the manager of Henriquez has been arrested for fraud. He falsified labels and other documents on his merchandise. May his own flesh rot in jail.
Meanwhile, nobody knows why after all these years of just earning collecting their salary, the spoiled brats have gone out and checked what was going on. Some say it's Shorty's revenge; taking a weird form, then. But hey, that would fit in with his character personality.

How About Us?
Kenepa/Knip Beach, one of our largest and most popular public beaches, where families and schools go for outings and parties, is now effectively closed off for that function. The beach is occupied with sunshades and deckchairs, which you can rent for $10. If you don't rent one but lie down on your own blanket, just like we always used to do, don't dare come too near the umbrella's shade or you will be chased away.
Don't you just love tourism? And our politicians wants more and more of it, even if PM Ruggenaath is shutting up about his preposterous claim of 7.1% growth this year. That's one promise we're grateful he doesn't keep.

Say, That Henriquez...
Once again, that warehouse was raided. This time, 35,000 kilograms of expired meat were confiscated, over 77 lbs. Dates were between 2011-2014. Bon appétit!

We'll Go On Paying
Air Berlin will keep flying Düsseldorf-CUR until April next year. So we go on paying for the seats they have not sold.

Alcohol Abuse
What a shame! 5000 cartons of Heineken's and Zulia beer (30,000? 60,000 bottles?) have been dumped and buried in the landfill. They had expired as the distributor had been overly optimistic about carnaval sales.

C***-Post says that, for starters, the community mailboxes are legal. This may or may not be correct, what do I know; but still makes you wonder, why did auntie Suzy not tell us so? We're then told that, as the amount of mail to be delivered is getting less and less they have to find other solutions to keep their personnel at work. Do I get this straight? They have people who don't have anything to do but do not want to fire them.
Then, they are working on a deal with Goisco supermarket, where you can order online and C***-Post will deliver. Presumably, to the community mailbox, so you'd have to go and pick it up anyway; count out your profits. Or, if I get it wrong, the stuff will be delivered at your home. In which case, why not the mail as well?
Now, to collect a package or registered letter, you'll have to go to the Community box first to pick up the announcement, then to the post office for the sending itself.

No Bread
Jailbirds in Nos Futuro may get water and green (soft) soap for jam today, but no bread. In yet another raid at Henriquez's warehouse (will the guy never learn?) an illegal bakery was discovered in there, that had the prison for customer. It was closed down.
Other items of interest were frozen shrimps, expired November 2011 and pita bread, July 2013. (As for me, I wouldn't have noticed the difference—not a real pita fan.) Musta been the labels...

Sure, Dos Diablos...
The guy is yelling a grito abierto that Curaçao must become independent. He can't take a hint: we've told him time and time again that we don't need that. Nor him.

D-Day Today
Today it's 73 years ago when the fight in continental Europe started against the Nazis and friends. Thanks to the USA, who supported England—underhandedly and in fact, in the start illegitimately.
Seeing what's going on in Europe now, it might have to be done all over again.

They Want More
Owners of solar panels in 2014 got paid ANG0.42 per kW delivered to Aqualectra utility, reduced to 33 and finally to 25 cents. They think that's not enough, but when Aqualectra claims to get windmill power for 14 cents/kW, I honestly fail to see why more should be paid for solar power. In fact, I think it's overpaid already.
Update: Aqualectra figures 0.18/kW production costs, to which must be added distribution costs of course.

Minimum Wage
VBC entrepreneurs' club wants to stop the minimum wage plans of the government and has gone to court. Trade unions are totally pissed off. But VBC claims that the law to raise minimum wage in steps has been arrived at illegally without any of the requisite social discussions. As that was done by a PS™ minister right before last year's elections, no surprise at all.

Pulling the Plug
InselAir Aruba will probably go bankrupt soon, so some creditors may get at least some of their money back. They claim this has no consequences for InselAir Curaçao, but I'm not so sure: AUA held the certificates to enable the company to fly to the USA. Goodbye?

Eyes Open, At Last
Dutch newspaper NRC writes there are 5,000 to 10,000 illegal Venezuelans in Curaçao, so now finally our leaders are waking up. Justice minister Girigorie estimates that for every one caught, 7 slip through (even worse than what I figured). He wants to close down the coast, which seems a very hard thing to do. Also he suspects that the illegals may be tipped from here when it's safe to try.hattry. That can only be by a mole in the coast guard organization. I shouldn't wonder.

Confirmed. Surprised?
The most recent WHO report on air pollution lists the United States as one of the countries with the cleanest air in the world, significantly cleaner than Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Japan, Austria and France.
So there.

No Hurricane
People were panicked by Vigilante newsrag announcing a hurricane was due to hit us. Took a while to dig out what caused the paper to publish that, but there was a slight chance that a tropical wave might have hit us yesterday morning. It didn't.
As if we needed more proof that you just can't trust Vigilante.

WinAir charges $399 for a trip CUR-SXM on their PAWA wet-leased MD82, twice weekly. InselAir, flying Fokker F50 as often, charges $302.
Or maybe WinAir charges that for CUR-SXM-PAP. And possibly both prices are for return tickets; the media doesn't bother about such fine detail. At any rate, both prices are exorbitant; American Airlines charges $414 for a return ticket CUR-MIA, distance 1040nm ($0.39/nm) versus InselAir price $302 for 409nm ($0.73/nm).
And AA itself is very expensive compared with a trip CUR-AMS.

Climate $$s Merry-Go-Round Stopped
Not yet. I just predict it. It's inevitable with the USA-withdrawal. Consider: the USA would have been by far the greatest payer in the scheme. If that money falls away, do you really expect the remaining countries will start paying more? Sure, India and China will try to keep the game going; they can go on polluting to their hearts' content until 2030.
Aside, I keep reading the USA is the largest CO2 "polluter" in the world. It's not; China is.
The green movement was already grounding to a halt anyhow. Since in the UK subsidies for solar panels were stopped, household installations have plunged to 1/4. Spain will not install one single wind generator this year; the country already pays more for "green" energy than for high education. In Denmark, where those monstrosities were first built on a large scale, electricity costs $0.39/kW, the highest in Europe—compare with the USA where mainly coal-burning generated electricity costs about $0.10/kW.
Live and learn. I used to think "alternative" would be great, myself.

Gave Them an Idea
Suriname airline Fly All Ways (that's how they spell it) will re-start flying CUR-Paramaribo twice weekly. Remember? Insel Air wet-leased from them for a couple of weeks (to waste our money on), so now they profit from a hole in the market. They also had flights CUR-SXM-Paramaribo for a while in 2016.
More bad news for InselAir (yes, I do have Schadenfreude because they seemed to go out of their way to create a mess we have to pay for): WinAir is starting flights PAP-SXM-CUR as announced. InselAir has been whining it's not fair.

PM Rhuggenaath is worried, and he might well be: Plaza Hotel is closed, the Marriott was down already, and Kura Hulanda is only partly open as well. That's not the way to get a 7.1% increase in tourism this year! (I haven't heard him repeating that of late, in spite of his promises.)
Rumors are Chinese GZE, they of the Isla refinery, are interested in taking over Plaza. Maybe the government will cancel the tax debts, just to please them?

Just Fine
Another CTB statistic: tourists staid longer on the island—but spent less money. So who cares how long they stay? I'm sure many people will agree, much better if it was reversed.

Wish I Could Get Away With It
Plaza Hotel, the monstrosity that ruined Willemstad skyline, will now be auctioned off. Nobody wants to buy it, mainly because of the high debts it ran up. Millions of money owned to the Tax Person, social security and Aqualectra utility. (How that can occur time and time again?) Guests were kicked out and told to find another place to stay.

Negative Balance
Forgot to mention it, but Shorty's Gang of Goons cannot be blamed for the 31 million in the red over 2016. It's the former government, spitting image of what we have now except for PS™; Shorty made his coup only this year.
The amount is close to the 33 million promised to InselAir, but that as well came only this year.

Expired products confiscated in supermarkets had to be buried in the Malpaís landfill, because people went home with them.
Columnist Donker claims the controls were started to teach Goisco a lesson, as owner Gois didn't give Shorty's M*F*K party money for their election campaign, but I think he's going too far there. Why the others as well, then? Besides, if I'm right Gois is a prominent PAR member who couldn't be expected to support M*F*K.
In an aside, 11,000 Viagra pills and other illegal drugs were confiscated in a raid on the so-called New Market. An early 1970s project designed and built by the €C nobody needed, but which we had to pay for.

No Stopping Them
ROP, the bureau issuing building permits, has worked (for once) very hard during the last days before the new minister, PAR Jesus-Leito, was sworn in. But she has announced that if all those permits were not issued following the rules, they will be reversed.
Question: in that case, would some people have to pay their bribes back? After all, they did an honest job and can't help that it backfired.
Jesus-Leito's attitude certainly comes as rare and refreshing fruit after auntie Suzy's bending over backwards to accommodate illegal builders.

Looks Bad All Over
Cft financial supervision expects 2016 budget to be closed with a negative balance. Cft also touches on the fact that, while 17-QI was expected to turn up 90 million in taxes, only 50 million were raked in. They're also worried about the InselAir prognosis: nobody knows how that disaster (kept alive by our new "wise" PM, remember?) will turn out. I do: we'll pay up. They advise the government to keep a close check on expenditures. Only when I laugh, it hurts...
Almost 400 million will be invested in schools this year, 14% of the total government budget. School furniture is often damaged and has to be replaced. We'll get old goodies from Holland, where it's replaced every five years, and in their grandness they'll donate it to us instead of destroying it. I do remember that on my base school the furniture looked like it had been around for 25 years... probably had been.
Of course, furniture is a very minor part of the education problem.
Re InselAir, they were supposed to start turning a profit next month. Between you and me, I'm not very confident.

Get Lost
And no please about it. Do it now. Don't bug us with your money-wasting BS. Three Stooge KFO party wants a referendum, but for a change not about independence. No, about the consensus kingdom laws which they don't like. How many voters would even know or care what that's about?
They claim they've got 8000 signatures, which is more than the votes they got in the elections.
In a nutshell, those laws say all kingdom partners have to agree on some things. No wonder the Stooges don't like 'em.

There's been an oil spill in Trinidad, and some of it has arrived on our shore. Damage not really great, and it is being cleaned up with help from the Dutch military and volunteers. But now MAN parliament member McWilliam wants to find out who was responsible and to sue for damages.
What price Isla refinery, McWilliam? Talk about motes and beams.

Good Start. Not
Labor laws will be looked into and adapted, in order to guarantee that Curazoleños will be hired first, before foreigners. Shades of Wiels, PS and the ridiculous 80-20 law which was bounced around until it was smothered. We thought.
Then, the new minister of education keeps going on about an Education Free for All. Still missing the point: what's free is worthless.

Crooks Galore
Girobank director Garcia at the time took over the state-owned bank with 2$4 million "abstracted" from the collapsing Venezuelan banks Banco di Maracaibo. Banco Consolidado, Banco Latino and Banco Principal. Garcia was curator in the bankruptcy process. Girobank Holding n.v., owner of Girobank, is now bankrupt, but we're assured this will have no consequences for the bank's clients.
Garcia's right hand is Capella, who's a controller in the building of the New Hospital. Which explains a lot.

Isla Down, We Up
Isla refinery is working at 1/3rd capacity because of the fire, as predicted. Bad news for Maduro and his Chávez's socialist revolution. For us, it makes hardly any difference—except in stench.
The upgrade plans should be ready in 3 to 6 months, says PM Rhuggenaath.

Conventional Wisdom
Last week or so, a column claimed that Dutch teenage pregnancies were the lowest in the world because they had so much sex education. I doubted it right away; seems to me teenage pregnancies here, at least, have gone up since they started all that at a frightening rate, 'education' going much beyond simply explaining the facts of life. Now the Times of London has a heading "Teenage pregnancies decline as funding for sex education is cut because of government cuts to spending on sex education and birth control for young women." You figure it out for yourself.
If that venerable newspaper is always right is a very good question.

We Can Only Wait
Today we'll have a "new" government. They certainly talk in an ambitious manner, wanting to accomplish a lot of things. In less than a year, the Isla situation should be resolved (that sounds better than "it has been resolved for us already" but we can only hope); the government will install an integrity chamber, but the situation in the barrios has priority. And the eternal fight against poverty, about which we may have other ideas. But okay, get to it.
Then there's education, education and education. Alas, that takes some time... generations' worth of it.
Not so good sounds the new minister of justice Martina's ideas to fight crime. He wants all citizens' and travelers' fingerprints registered (why not DNA?), which may turn us into a police state and will not help much against the influx of criminal elements.
And the casino business must be cleaned up, which is a contradiction in terms. My advice: Get rid of it, that's the only way.

Just One Small Question
trillions for 0.3F
That's $100 trillion for 0.17°C.
Before you have a fever, your temperature has to go up 1 degree, from 37C to 38C.
Do you really think that's worth it?
But if the USA pulls out of the Paris agreement, it might even become 0.3°C (0.54F)! Fearsome!
Image from JoNova

Let the Sun Shine In
In 2013, there was a total of 1962 live births in Curaçao. In the same year, there were 56976 females between ages 14 and 45 living here.
Compare this with the 1500 legal abortions in the same year: at least 30% of all pregnancies were terminated, and over 2.6% of women of childbearing age had an abortion in the same one year.
Again, not counting the illegal abortions.

Perfectly Clear
NOAA predicts a 45% chance that this year's hurricane season will be heavier than normal. On the other hand, there's a 35% chance that it will be normal, and a 20% bet on less intense. Take your pick. It's so nice to know for sure.
In other words, 55% normal or less, 45% more intense. But their prediction always emphasizes the "above average".
Just kidding. I know and understand it's hard. But some "weather scientists" act like they know a century in advance.

LIVE! From Hato!
AirlineFlighttimedestinationstatusactual time
Departure Information, HATO/CURInselAir7I 30107:30BonaireExpected at 08:3009:17
Arrival Information, FLAMINGO/BONInselAir7I 30107:55Curaçao08:5608:57
Reading between the lines, Hato just gave up... The flight had only disappeared from their schedule at 09:18.

Shady Deal Down the Drain
According to Bloomberg, the whole Aruba-CITGO deal was nothing but a way to sell Syrian oil in the USA. Looks like it was concocted between Russia, Syria, Venezuela and of course Aruba. PM Eman clams up, what else, but may be forced to come out with the facts in a public enquiry.
There are USA sanctions on Assad's Syria, prohibiting the country's oil to be sold in the USA. The old Lago, later Valero, refinery was to be used as a pawn in the game. Since the agreement with CITGO has been signed, not one drop of oil has been refined there. Now the Arubians are afraid that American tourists will start shunning the island, leading to more grief.

Holland should never have loaned Curaçao the 450 million guilders for the new hospital, says Dutch Telegraaf newspaper. Their sources claim it's impossible to exploit it without a loss, so the loan can never be paid back.
We knew it all the time. Are we smarter than Dutch and Curaçao politicians? Is that a question that needs answering?

C***-Post Strikes Again
Yesterday, May 24, I received 3 notices of registered mail to be picked up at the post office. One was dated May 4; as the office is closed until Monday I can't pick it up before May 29, 25 days later. The form letter states that I have to pay ANG7.50 if I don't go get it in 7 days, 15 for 14 days and 30 for 3 weeks. So I'd have to pay 30 guilders—for their sloppy service.
The other one's not quite that bad, dates from May 9, so the bewaarloon [retention cost] is 'only' 15 guilders; total 45 guilders (~$20). Mark: these are two DVDs, so very small packages. Just another way to squeeze more money out of their clients.
In all honesty, I have to admit that the guys in the post office probably will not charge me. They know it's a mess better than we do. But that they get away with that emphasizes again what a sorry mess it is.
Another aspect of the matter is that eBay already refunded me the money for the first DVD; now I'll have to start working to pay the shipper once again. Small wonder many sellers will not ship to Curaçao.
Update: I was not charged when I pointed out the date I received the form letters. It did not enter the heads of the people at the Post Office to doubt that was correct.

Oh, Great!
Minister of health (until Monday... can't wait) Girigoria has promised to return from Genève before then, PM Prik Pias says. She will not get that cushy new job at LVV she gave herself, but before you burst out in tears of compassion, she will get her former not quite so cushy job back.
Prik Pias also let it be known that she had not bothered to sign up for that WHO-congress she was supposed to visit. Doesn't matter, she won't be missed there.

Rotten Story
That truckload of expired (heh heh) meat was moved to Dricoma from the Henriquez food wholesaler's premises, probably to avoid inspection there. But there was nothing wrong with it, says Henriquez. In fact, it's fresh as a daisy, but it arrived here with wrong labels. He says.
One thing's sure, Dricoma was lying about the labels, and I guess to protect their friend, colleague and customer Henriquez.
We are living in a mining town where the miners have to buy everything from their boss. Remember? Shell, those dirty colonialist crooks, helped set up supermarket chain Henderson to protect their personnel from the Curaçao way of doing business.

Now or Never
Interim M*F*K PM Prik Pias has been solidly brainwashed on his recent visit to China; at least, he sounds that way. We simply must go ahead with the GZE refinery deal. It's all so great: the Chinese will take over the entire island, which goes nicely with their plans to take over the rest of the Caribbean as well. And, he adds, the Chinese culture is so fine, it attaches values to human to human relations and also to those between peoples.
We've seen that when Mao became the greatest mass-murderer of all time, and with the Chinese support of North Korea, and the oppression of Tibet. And remember Hong Kong as well, where all promises were trampled to death once the British had gone.
We'll have a new government next Monday, they tell us. It can only be better than this interim disaster.

Downright Awful
In 2013 there were 1500 legal abortions in Curaçao. That's 1% of the total population; and nobody knows how many illegal ones there were. You may be as "liberal" and "progressive" as you want to be: that's retarded. It may be an incorrect term, but it fits, if not nicely.

Don't Mention It
Popular Mechanics runs an article on the future opportunities offered now to make a space trip. Prices running from $75k (Worldview Express) to $50m (Space Adventures). I made a bet with myself while clicking that our national pride, the Vomit Comet ($150k), wouldn't be mentioned.
I won: it wasn't.

After Intense Smoke, None
The Isla refinery will probably have to be closed down after the fire. It is not known yet for how long. As the crude distiller had been revised only last month, some fools are yelling "sabotage!" already. I would be very much surprised.

One More OK
Alves Supermarket was clean, found the inspection. But watch it when you buy a snack on Hato airport; over there stuff has been confiscated to be destroyed as well. If only tourists bought those, I wouldn't really mind. In fact, I don't mind at all; never buy snacks there myself. Who can afford it!
Update: that was fake news, and in fact, I was surprised when I read it. Like Hato, Alves was not clean.

So What's Going On, Already
Dricoma, where we were told 22,000 kilos of expired meat products were confiscated last week, tell the press they only rent out cooling facilities to other people and can't be held responsible for what those others store in there. On the other hand, they also say the products were not expired, only unlabeled and documents to fix that are on their way. How long can that take? And at first sight, it sounds contradictory.
However that may be, the group of citizens still wants to file a complaint against Dricoma.

No Idea
Isla refinery management has "no idea" as yet what caused yesterday's fire. The crude distiller has been revised in April and was in top condition. At least, that's what they say. It may have been a human error, a coincidence of circumstances or malfunction of a part. It was no bomb—that at least seems sure.

Controls Have Consequences
The group of citizens who protested last week against the expired products found in supermarkets, now plans to sue wholesaler Dricoma, who they hold responsible for having sold and distributed those products. Looks like they have a point: last Friday 22,000kgs of croquets, meat and chicken were confiscated there, some having expired between 2008 and 2013.
Let's only hope the group selects another lawyer than one of the Three Stooges.

News Flash: Is Isla Burning?
It hit the phones an hour ago: Fire breaks out at Isla Refinery. Looks very impressive, but it's hard to see where and what exactly is burning. To me, random nitwit, it might be a cat-cracker but don't take my word for it. Told you not to, it was a crude distiller.
Curaçao Chronicle advises: stay away from there. Thanks, but I'd figured that out for myself already. (As if we could get close...)
Congrats, PdVSA; it took a while, but you finally managed to pull us down to the crummy level of your Venezuela outfits.
Seems to be under control now, 09:00.
Last Isla fire was in November 2014, injuring 3 workers. That was a cat-cracker "small fire".

Kindly Explain
All that brouhaha and rigmarole about expired products in the supermarkets being confiscated. First, I don't see how this is a political act. Selecting one of them (Goisco) to demonstrate against, now that is a political act. But it looks like the raids are not selective at all.
Apart from that, what is actually checked? For example, all pre-packed meat and cheese I see in supermarkets has no expiration date, no packing date, no nothing date. I'm pretty goddarned sure the supermarkets themselves have no way of checking freshness of those articles. So how would the inspectors know?
As usual, nobody seems to be asking these questions or cares to enlighten us.

The Russians Are Coming!
Very possibly... Venezuela has loaned 1.5 billion dollars from Russia and it looks quite probable that the country will default. In which case collateral CITGO, owned for 49.9% bij PdVSA, will become a Russian property. What that would mean for Aruba is a good question. A very good question.
Who owns the remaining 50.1%? It's a fine day for good questions.

The Dutch Are Worried
The New Hospital Soap continues: in the last installment the Dutch are getting worried that they will never get their €200 million back, and we can see their point only too clearly. A deadly silence is heard about the latest developments, but for new PAR minister of health Jesus-Leito it's very simple: SONA is responsible and should take care the hospital will be opened a year from now. That's an easy way out for her.

InselAir Does Not Like It
InselAir protest against the plans of WinAir to start flights SXM-PAP-CUR with a wet-leased MD-82 (of Santo Domingo's PAWA). Insel say they were stopped from doing the same thing because of DAE protests. Is true, but they weakened their case by wet-leasing on a large scale themselves only a few months ago.

She Went Too Far
Interim minister of health Girigoria will be called back from her trip to Genève to explain how and why. Even interim PM Prik Pias thinks going on an expensive 3-week holiday er... trip is too much for someone who's been a minister for 8 weeks. He's the one to talk!

Get It Over With
While the curators of the InselAir Aruba bankruptcy proceedings were willing to wait until June 7 for a rescue plan, it looks like they've lost their patience and want to "pull the plug" before then. Rightly so, too, in my opinion. That mess can't be rescued in any imaginable way.

More tourism statistics: the downfall of InselAir has had a very bad influence on the number of tourists coming over to spoil our island. Don't make me laugh; what has InselAir to do with less tourists coming from Europe (January -1%, February -6% and March -7%)—where they never flew to? That less people from the USA flew in could have to do with it, but there are lots more flights than InselAir's from North America. Besides, InselAir closed down all those fancy routes only on March 8 and that market shrunk 4% in January, 3% in February and 1% in March. Can't have much to do with InselAir.
A real laugh is (except for the Venezuelans) is we're told that the situation there is so bad, it can't get any worse tourist-wise.
Come right down to it, tourism is crashing. In spite of Master Plans and Rhuggenaath's stubborn stupidities.

Can't See It That Way
Popular opinion seems to be that those supermarket control raids have been inspired by the demissionary cabinet of Shorty's Gang of Goons and that it's a deplorable thing. I say it's a good thing. What does this conceivably have to do with politics?

What Else to Expect?
There's trouble among the customs people. Their problem is a new chief, Ilario, who's determined to try and sweep out the rubbish in the department. The civil servants working there don't like it, oh no! He has intimidated them (maybe telling them to get to work, or else). So the interim finance minister—hardly worth mentioning his name as he'll be gone in a couple of weeks, and good riddance to him and the rest of bad rubbish; but it's Alberto—kicked him out of his office for a while and installed a committee to look into the problems.
By golly, I wonder how much they pay those committee members.

State of Denial
This time the Happy Island next door is meant, where the government kept saying that their old crummy refinery (sounds familiar) was to be taken over by Citgo, the American company that distributes Venezuelan oil. Work to upgrade it was supposed to start in 2015, but has now (again) been delayed until next year. If then. Well, it kept the ministers receiving their salaries and who knows what more, so it wasn't umsonst.
But now times are getting hard and Aruba is getting in financial trouble, as the promised money is not flowing in.

Something In That
Amigu di Tera, a club which down here is much less fanatic and more realistic than many of its foreign counterparts, has sent a letter to auntie Suzy on July 2015 to which they never had a reply, what wonder. At any rate, their idea is to rather look at the structure of existing neighborhoods and fix those, instead of destroying enormous green areas to put up houses (Wèchi). Which might also help better in fighting illegal building that, as far as I can see, is still going on.

Gois Took the Hint
When 800 people turned up in front of Goisco supermarket in protest, owner Gois was gracious enough to apologize for the expired stocks found in his shop. He also declared that he was not against controls, which came as a real surprise.

You Must Have Patience
The new parking automats on Hato airport are now operational—after a fashion. They will accept guilder coins (1 or also 5?) but no dollars, as "very few people pay in dollars." Which figures, as they were never accepted in the Hato parking system.
In the third quarter of this year, debit and credit cards will be accepted. By the end of September at its earliest [translation].

Gonna Cost Us
InselAir has not been granted a resignation permit for 250 workers yet. Which means they're obligated to keep paying them their salaries. Which means we'll keep paying them their salaries, at least until next month.

Sounds Good. But.
Plans are ready for an 80km/50ms pipeline between Venezuela and Curaçao, which would enable Isla refinery to switch to LNG for fuel, making it a lot cleaner. In theory. Problem is, who is going to pay for it? Not Venezuela in the foreseeable future.

You Want Us to Believe That?
Rhuggenaath ensures us that his cabinet will not be guilty of political appointments. That would be a miracle for sure. Breaking with all our fine old traditions.
Mark, the line between political and non-political appointments can get very fine indeed, and I really can't believe Rhuggenaath in his naïveté would know the difference.

Family Plot
The screening for the cabinet ministers will be supervised by Lisa Dindial. That's the same person who was responsible for the screening of Shorty's first cabinet, 2010, for which she was appointed (without any screening) by Shorty.

Better And Better
That Howard Johnson's now has been closed down completely. Not only should it never have been able to open a casino (with 40 personnel members alone for that, in a 70 room hotel), the fire brigade has declared it a definite hazard.
Isn't tourism great?

I Love-Hate Cookies
Looks like every stupid news site, and then some, gives you a cookie. Result is what happened to me a couple of times already, when I try to log on at the MCBank Online site, the system just jams and I have to get rid of all those useless cookies before it will work again. A pity, because cookies can be very useful and may come in handy. Just like the pop-ups which were so over used that everybody just got rid of 'em.

They Like That Expression
"Zero Tolerance" I mean. Now it's for crime. If we don't stop small crime, we can forget about big crime. I wouldn't know. I do know that "zero tolerance" is a fiction. Sounds good but doesn't mean a thing in practice.
We also read this gem: "More attention will be given to human trafficking and prostitution." Except when they work in Campo Alegre.

Only What They Catch
Last year, 60 illegals have been caught entering Curaçao from Venezuela; this year, already 500. The rule of thumb with smuggled drugs is, customs are happy if they stop 10% of the flow. Taking a line through that, we might have at least 10,000 people coming in this year.

That's Democracy, Folks!
Just encountered that palace word today a couple of times while perusing the news. The "governor's palace" - the "president's palace" - what do those people need palaces for? What a farce.
Not to mention the ambtenarenpaleis—but we went through all that before.

Grab Grab Grab While We Can
PM Prik Pias and his minister Goeloe went off to China; if GZE or we paid for that doesn't matter: in the long run, we're the ones paying. Even granny Moses was sickened by her minister of health Girigoria, who arranged a cozy job and then went off the Geneva on a three week trip. Now the government members are busy arranging board membership jobs at UTS telecommunications; who are in severe trouble already, but who cares? They don't.
Auntie Suzy, who is also loudly clamoring for integrity, ah yes, is involved as well. Never trusted that woman.
She'd already gone from PNP party at the 17 March date this drama played out. Still don't trust her.

There You Are
An ex-manager of InselAir St. Maarten has been arrested, suspected of swindling the airline out of $100k. I in turn suspect this has been going on all over all the time; and now we're paying up. "Too big to fail" forsooth.

Corallo Casino Closed
The casino in the Howard Johnson Hotel has been closed. 40 people lost their jobs. It belonged to the group owned by Corallo, Shorty's mafioso padrino.
A hotel must have 150 rooms to get a casino license, and the Howard Johnson has only 70. Burning question: how did Corallo get that license, and when? I smell bribes. But it's no riddle: the casino was licensed in 2012, when Shorty ruled.

Holland Is Worried
About time too; they "watch the developments in Venezuela with utmost concern." Until now, the Dutch were just pooh-pooh-ing it away. So what do they think they can do about it? I can tell 'em the answer: Not.A.Thing. The €U has given Maduro a "stern warning" not to shoot citizens. That will help.
Take fugitives away to Holland, why not. Will teach 'em when winter comes. First check 'em for guns.

Goisco Chutzpah
Supermarket boss Gois is so angry that the government had the temerity, the immortal crust, to check his business on expired products that he wants to sue the government. Good PR, Gois! Call even more attention to it.
I didn't mention his store by name before; I mean, why rub it in? But they removed a truckload of expired deep-frozen stuff from Goisco supermarket.

Watch That Date
More supermarket raids! Just and only one has been declared clean, kosher and maybe even halal (though that's not saying much) up to now. Trucks full of outdated deep-freeze products are taken away. Scary. But maybe more are okay; not all have been raided yet. If I was a manager, I'd send out a checking crew instantly, but even that they don't seem to have done.
The one that was okay does have a regular checking crew. Used to be called Albert Heijn after the giant Dutch chain, who wanted them to change the name as they couldn't control quality. Looks like they needn't have worried.

Who Cares—They Nor We
Two members of K*NT party, among who the Boss Diablo dos Santos, didn't think it worth while to be present at the oath swearing ceremony for parliament members.
Wouldn't have made any difference one way or the other.

Fire Her!
Demissionary minister of health Girigoria says there's no minimum stipulated by law, just a maximum of fluoride in the water (1.5mg/liter) so Aqualectra can stop right now. She wants to change that in the landsbesluit [law] to a maximum of 0.
Oh, she got herself fired already. If they accomplish that, more time-wasting work for the new Staten to turn it back.
While I'm at it, there's a deplorable trend to take salt (NaCl) out of snacks and replace it with "diet salt" (KCl). The only good thing about that is, (at least in the €U) it contains iodine (I) "a necessary nutrient". Which was taken out as a mandatory ingredient of Dutch salt after the great fluor (F) scare had set in, pushed by the Greenies, who else (back then, there were no Warmists yet; das waren aber mal Zeiten). It promptly gave me goiter causing permanent damage to my thyroid.
In fact, I don't understand why those guys accept KCl. It contains chlorine (Cl), the fourth "deathly halogen", dunnit? It's a chemical, innit? What a bromide (Br).
Don't go swimming in the sea: it's full of NaCl. Worse, some people drown.

They Noticed, Too
CIA Director Mike Pompeo believes Venezuelan government and criminally owned weapons could end up in the hands of terrorist organizations and drug cartels, creating an "incredibly real and serious" danger to the region.
For once, we here, Now! in Curaçao (WOW!) are far ahead. It has been happening for years and years already. Especially now that prez Maduro plans to hand out 1,400,000 firearms to his supporters (total population: 32 million, which means 7 guns per 100 adults 15-64. Plus the guns already there.) Proves even a CIA Director can be right at times. But he forgot about private persons getting their paws on guns. So-called small enterprises.
Private ownership of guns is illegal in Venezuela, just like here. That's a big help.

Fumbling Reorganized
CTB Tourist Bureau will disappear. Don't start yelling Hurrah! It will be replaced by an even mightier (and more expensive, you bet) organization, National Tourism Organization (NTO). If I get it right, CHATA hotel club will now officially join the fun. NTO will also take over cruise tourism from CPA ports authority, who will be left only managing the mega-piers.
All this has to do with the dreaded Master Plan and new PM Rhuggenaath's superstitious predictions.

Sure, Girigoria
Even granny Moses got disgusted and kicked ex-minister of health Girigoria out of her (to express it exactly) party after she had arranged a comfy job for herself while being minister. But Girigoria claims it was sanctioned by the (now demissionary) council of ministers. The Gang of Goons, she means. No doubt she's right there.
Question now is, will Girigoria get her cushy new job? I'm afraid so.

Auntie Out, Ava In
AVA Airways is considering to start flying from Santo Domingo to Curaçao, Jamaica, St. Maarten and the USA with Airbus A320 aircraft. AVA hopes to get their Air Operator's Certificate for a Curaçao division now that auntie Suzy will soon be replaced by PAR Jesus-Leito.

Small Problem
UTS Telecommunications has written SEHOSpital a polite letter requesting payment of their bills. They realize SEHOS is important, but times are hard all over.

Burney "Nini" Fonseca, main suspect in the Wiels murder case, got 25 years in prison today. Add that to the 4 he already received and it's ("où est mon truc?"... click click...) 29 years total in the slammer.
The general expectation is this just might start him thinking, "Why should I waste all those years in jail and let the big guys feast in freedom? Maybe I'd better make a deal with the prosecution and start singing like a canary."

Ain't That Great
The new parking system on Hato airport has been introduced. There's only one paypoint now. Contrary to earlier promises, it will not accept plastic, and no dollars either. Only Antillean Curaçao paper and coins.
Now we can only pray that all guilder coins will be accepted. Used to be so I was collecting a bunch before daring to park over there.

Quick! While We Still Can
Demissionary M*F*K PM Prik Pias and minister Goeloe are making a trip to China for some conference. Who knows what this costs (and by Jove, what they will sign). Thing is, even though we have a new cabinet it will take 2-3 weeks to screen the members. Please hurry!

Cop Arrested
A cop has been arrested for trafficking in human beings. Guess he worked to check on foreigners and was seduced into making an easy buck. Also guess there's plenty more of his kind in that outfit.

Makes You Think a Bit
The translation tests for final exams in Papiamentu used texts which had been translated from Dutch to Papiamentu. The exam commission would rather have used original Papiamentu-written texts, but they couldn't find any of good enough quality.
In that case, why bother at all, I'd think in my obstructive negative way.

That Will Help
PIAS Rosaria has written a letter to the Central Bank that usurious interest should be constrained. They are, Rosaria (except for credit cards of course; strictly legal outlaw robbery). Super interests are illegal already, but it still goes on. It's a moot question what the Central Bank could do about it.

State of Anarchy
Somebody torched Norman Serphos's car. What for? He does work for the Public ministry but only in a sort of PR function, so what's the use. But people who go out to torch cars don't tend to think very clearly. One suspect has been cuaght.
Most worrying. To me...

Now Please Get to Work
This afternoon a government accord will be signed by MAN, PAR and PIN. I hope this will mean the interim Prik Pias cabinet will be dissolved this week. Informatteur IJs says it went "so fast" because all parties had agreed before he started his work, so why did it take a week or more? Don't bother, we get it; bickering and in-fighting. For the good of the cause, sure.

Past Time
PAR Jesus-Leito wants to do something about the structural weakening of the civil service. This is caused because ministers hire unneeded and superfluous personnel, who leave with the minister but then take a lot of info along. Maybe for toilet paper... no, that would be Venezuela. In fact, she says, "this is investing in corruption."
But all cabinets and parties have been guilty of this, as Jesus-Leito must be aware.

MAN, PAR and PIN parties are very much worried that when Prik Pias was Shorty's deputy boss, a lot of decisions may have been taken for which there's just no money for in the budget. Worse, this is still going on; the demissionary cabinet doesn't keep to running matters as it's supposed to, but starts new mayhem all the time.
As if we didn't know.

Dept of Economic Development has been checking supermarkets and result are shocking. One had rotten "fresh meat"; another one (and in one of the richest neighborhoods too) had expired deep-frozen stuff; now somewhere else they found deep-frozen chicken, expired in 2015. They also found 20-30 illegal workers who absconded in a hurry when the police appeared. In one mini-market there were 120 expired products.
It's no use mentioning their names, just watch the date when you buy—or decide not to.

Now that president Maduro has decided to change the Venezuela constitution (he doesn't like it because it doesn't give him absolute power, no matter how he twists and turns it) he may run into sanctions by the USA, the main market for Venezuela crude, effectively putting a stop on imports. Which will force CITGO, Venezuela oil distributor in the USA, to look for other sources. Which in turn means that, once again, the Aruba refinery may be in trouble, because, what's the use?
It may be different for Isla, because the Chinese probably want that oil for themselves. The USA has plenty of oil, plenty. Still, that's two years away; what happens meanwhile? You tell me, please, nobody else can.

Here's Another One
PAR Alcalla-Wallé claims that inside SSC Stichting Studiefinanciering [foundation study financing] workers are intimidated and money meant for students is misused systematically. Management has been hired non-transparently, and when a worker points to a rules violation, he's fired.
No surprise, the pigs collect where there's slop around.
Alcalla-Wallé has never received a reply from the minister (Dick?) but more money has been gone to SSC.

dolphinarium_Tel Aviv
The ruins of the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv
blown up by a terrorist in 2001.
At least the dolphins were set free.

That's Also Good for Tourism!
In France, keeping dolphins, orcas and other marine mammals prisoner is now totally forbidden, and also swimming with or any contact between humans and dolphins. Would be a mighty blow to the Seaquarium if it happened here. Not to worry about that.
I take it you're free to hug a dolphin when you encounter him while swimming in the sea. Watch it, though—they're notorious sex maniacs. Almost as much as humans.
But no worries, it won't come that far here. Hey, it's good for tourism and plenty of suckers come over with their autistic children, poor dears (but good for the hotels). Tough on the dolphins? But they keep smiling!
Which always reminds me of the William Castle movie Mr. Sardonicus.

But It's Good for Tourism!
A connection between the sea and Rifwater lagoon has been blocked by works at the second mega-pier, with the result Rifwater is now stagnant and mosquitoes breed there to their little hearts' content, bless 'em. With the result the mosquitoes in Otrabanda have become a real pest.
Can't that contractor do anything right? Who cares...

UN: Go Figure
The United Nations have no business with internal kingdom affairs, a Dutch delegation has been told. If Holland wants to kick out one of what rests of the once mighty colonial empire, that can only be done by holding a referendum. Enough of that, already.

First of Five More
The first new generator at Tera Kòra has been started up for tests. There will be five in total, each with a maximum capacity of 3.3Mw, total 16.5Mw, 25% of total Aqualectra utility capacity.
Note, they never tell what the capacity is with our average wind speed of 11 knots (20.4km/hr). For small wind generators, cut-in speed is 12.6km/hr, with maximum reached at 36-54km/hr—a far cry from what we have available here. (It's different for larger generators, but still...) We're being lied to again:
"59% is the BEST a commercial wind turbine can do" (MIT). So the total wind production is not 25% of total capacity but at best below 15%.
Aqualectra says the new generators are much less noisy. Now they tell us. But it makes them less efficient as well.
Let's assume the wind high up there above the coast averages 13 knots; that results in only 1/3 the power delivered at "standard speed" of ~24 knots.

Competition Looms for Incompetent Company
SXM Winair, long ago an ALM subsidiary, is planning to start twice-weekly flights CUR-SXM-PAP-SXM-CUR as from June. (That's next month.)
What's with all those guys? Winair plans to use a wet-leased MD82; expensive and geriatric.
For the airport code illiterates: that's Curaçao-St. Maarten-Port au Prince-St. Maarten-Curaçao

Maybe So
Central Bank director Tromp denies any tax fraud; he claims it's just that, like anybody, his pension premium is not taxable and that taxes will be charged over the pension once he gets it. Sounds reasonable, but we have no way of knowing if it's true. Also, wouldn't the public ministry realize this?

We Heard All That Before
The new coalition partners have seven priorities in their programs; here they are:
Enhancement of citizens' confidence in politics and public administration as well as ensuring continuity in governance; promoting stable economic growth, which provides a perspective for the growth of prosperity, well-being and reduction of the economic division in society; improving the quality of education; developing a rigorous security policy; sustaining public finances; integrated approach to financial and substantive issues in health sector; development of a clear vision of how more effective cooperation between the countries of the Kingdom can be formed.
Sounds mighty good, huh? Good luck, kids! (I mean you and me.)

Tax Fraud
Central Bank director Tromp, arch-enemy of politicians, has been accused of tax fraud by the public ministry. Goes to show those pollies that not only politicians are prosecuted, notwithstanding Shorty's whining and wailing on that subject.

No Respect
Now Marilyn Moses, allegedly bribed to help Shorty in his last and flopped coup d'état, complains that her one-seat MP party has not been invited by the governor for formation talks. The governor has shown no respect and should not be involved in politics. In my opinion, Granny Moses should noet be involved in politics; we'd all be happier and have been saved a lot of woe.
Besides, elsewhere we read that it was Granny who refused to meet the governor. You figure it out, I don't care a flying fart.

Back to the Keyboard
PAR isn't satisfied at all with the report ombudsman Wiel (no relation to the Holy Saint) wrote on the fateful parliament meeting which resulted in Shorty grabbing power. Shorty asked parliament head for a roll call, which he refused; he should have agreed. Which PAR doesn't agree with.

Better or Worse
Compared with 2016, hotel occupation went up. Too bad that compared with 2015, it stayed the same. Oh, so in 2016 it went down? CHATA hotel club doesn't give any hard figures comparing the 3 years, only vague (to me) indices like ADR, RevPar, ARN and ORN. Some went up, some went down. Got it?

Too Late? We'll See
PAR PM in spe Rhuggenaath will gratefully accept the Dutch's offer to help in negotiations with Chinese GZE oil consortium on the future of Isla refinery, Oil terminal, Kodela &c. Curaçao. If that's of any use after Ex-PM PS™ Whiteman and his follow-up have signed who-knows-what already?

They Don't Have to Prove It
PAR has submitted David Dick as minister of justice. Same old, same old. Oh sweet Christ, what have we done to deserve that? And besides, he promised several times he'd get out of politics; sure, worthless, empty and void. What a character! Oops, pas du tout le mot juste.

So What?
Isla refinery has, again, on several occasions, violated the law. 16% of total SO2 emissions originates from acid and sour gas (what's the difference?) flares. Follows a sentence I don't understand, nor in my opinion Antilliaans Dagblad, that 76% of the sour gas is not processed in the SRUs (huh?) and 37 tons of the sour gas from CD3 (huh?) is flared off directly at the Asiento flare. Follows another sentence, this one quoting from the USA Fluor report, so the newspaper can't help it that it's almost opaque. If you really take the trouble to decipher it, it boils down to this:
If Isla management has a choice between making money and keeping to the environmental/pollution laws, it always chooses for making money.
We knew it all the time.

So That's It
The way it looks now, Imalootin will be schlepped back to Curaçao to appear in court. What he stands accused of, is antedating the 2011 voluntary disclosure scheme so Robbie dos Santos wouldn't have to pay so much money in back taxes. He's also accused of stealing subsidies and of the Wiels murder.
Clown lawyers Peppie & Kokkie deny any malfeasance and besides, they say, it's 5 or 6 years ago so why annoy their client after all that time!

Porky Pig
Impolite Impotent Porker

Impolite Porker
Porky Pig, AKA Amparo dos Diablos, has turned down an invitation by governor Wout to come and discuss formation of a new government. He, with the 2 seats his K*NT party won, cannot understand why she is making such haste to form a cabinet, he writes in an impotent rage.
We, on the other hand, understand perfectly and what's more, fully agree.

They Mean Well
Much more you can't say. There's started a Twibbon action Raise Your Hands Against Corruption Kòrsou Transparente, with a page on FakeBooc. It all started after Transparency International's report on Curaçao, instigated (remember?) by Shorty.
They point to the excellent results they had in South Africa with a similar action. What excellent results? That country is a mess and going down the drain direction Zimbabwe, fast, with what amounts to a genocide of whites going on.
But no worries, it will peter out like all those actions peter out. Remember Vishón Kòrsou? To name but one example.

Shorty, Shut Up
... and crawl back under your stone. He's still whining "everybody is against me, and Holland is neo-colonial, blah blah." Well, not everybody is against him, alas; but most are. Take the hint and disappear.
Maybe, hopefully, in a few weeks the judge will make him disappear; for 3 years.

Same Old, Same Old
PAR IJs will be new cabinet informateur. Numbing fact, it's number 8 since 10-10-10. It will be much like what Shorty tried to kill off, only auntie Suzy now has PIN instead of PNP attached to her name. MAN Koeiman states the new government will guarantee "social cohesion". Sounds good, if we he only knew what it meant.
Auntie Suzy (a lawyer) will be minister of health. And what does she know? But of course better than Quackie Constancia—than who everybody would be better.

Not Plenty Choice
Over 2000 persons have applied for a job at the New Improved Isla refinery. Still a far cry from the 10,000 jobs promised originally. If that comes true, we'll have to import 8000 Chinese workers.

Why Bother
The results of the exit poll were of no value. I could have told them that, and they'd have saved themselves a lot of trouble. Might as well (and cheaper) cut up a chicken and look at its wriggling guts.
But they say that it's because of "incorrect information" about the poll that only 2.6% of voters wanted to reply. Look, a thing like that is per definition unreliable, as only volunteers will cooperate, which colors the results.

Incidental Damage
PNP Davelaar and Martina have decided to step out of politics, since their party didn't get one single seat. Auntie Suzy, who wanted to be first on the ballot, wasn't allowed that by Davelaar; so his party lost and aunty's new PIN won (one seat). If she hadn't left, PNP would have won two seats.
In fact, Shorty's M*F*K didn't lose seats but won one, mainly thanks to Prik Pias. I find this difficult to comprehend, but there it is.
Many people are now clamoring for measures to stop the exodus of parliament members from their parties, taking their seats with them. This is the only way to prevent more trouble like we've had the last few months.
René Rosalia's MKP again didn't get a seat and hopes for a better result next elections. I don't.

Is This Revenge?
Now that the Gang of Goons have had their teeth pulled, Knipselkrant Curaçao seems to be down. At least, I can't get them. Another attack?
Update: False alarm, they changed their URL to http://www.knipselkrant-curacao.com/. They keep doing that, I don't know why. It's a hassle. But they may have worse hassles.

Interesting Info
According to Dutch Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek almost 70% of Somalians, 63% of Syrians, 50% of Eritreans, 58% of Iraqis, 46% of Afghans, 28% of Moroccans and 17% of Turks receive unemployment benefits there. Only 3% of the Dutch do.
Mark that all Antilleans (and Surinamese) have the Dutch nationality, so we get no info on those Guys and Dolls.

InselAir Soap
Dutch civil servants are still forbidden to fly InselAir. Somehow, for some reason, they still think it's not what you'd call safe. Another unfolding drama is that personnel haven't received their salaries; InselAir claims that's because the Gang of Goons hasn't paid the money they were supposed to get.

In Short: Shorty Lost
His Gang of Goons (mainly M*F*K and K*NT) has been reduced from 12 to 9 (depends on how you figure). PAR, MAN and auntie Suzy's PIN have a comfortable majority. PNP, the oldest party in parliament, is out of the picture, and so is Leeflang. Amazingly, PS™ and Grandma Moses each got 1 seat.
We all heave a breath of relief.

days to doom?
Shorty's Gang of Goons Stopped!

You Make Me Sick
CAP harbor authority De Castro says it's a disgrace contractor BAM ruined all that coral. However, it will be sought out how this happened; regardless the second mega-pier will be finished but BAM will be intensely controlled.
Sure, De Castro, anything you say.

Oh Those Dutch...
Now finally they realize they should have intervened here a long time ago. Like, 47 years and 11 months. Tomorrow it may be too late.
Not that the Dutch care a bit about us. They'll keep coming over for vacations, just like they go to Cuba and went to Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal.
In fact, they did intervene back then. Wish they'd kept it up.

Much More, And Per Month
Dutch NRC newspaper says Dutch SP parliament member van Raak has been told by a guard at Bo Futuro prison that M*F*K PM Prik Pias offered a bribe to the jailbirds for voting for his Shorty's party was €750 (~1500 guilders)... per month. Next question, for how long?
As a matter of fact, K*NT Dos Diablos offered the prisoners a salary of 2000 guilders a month after they'd all been set free.

Stuff and Nonsense
Two newspapers have published panic stories about plans to disrupt tomorrow's elections. Setting fire to ballot papers, whatever. The source is supposed to be GMANews. Go there for yourself (I did; always check the source) and check: you'll find nothing about it in their search engine. Hardly surprising, what should a Myanmar newspaper care about our elections right across the globe?

Yes, "they" now added a + sign. Why stop there instead of getting it over with and add the whole alphabet? One fell swoop.
I feel neglected and terribly, terribly hurt anyway because there's no "H" (not for "Homo"—that's "Gay"). Isn't that "Q" rather superfluous?

Crooks Updated
A Dutch web outlet (De Post online) claims M*F*K PM Prik Pias offered the jailbirds 750 guilders for their votes during his prison visit. They should oughta have kept him there, as Popeye'd say. No wonder all those criminal blokes were laughing their criminal blocks off.
Dutch parliament member Van Raak (Socialist Party) is supposed to have said that about the 750 guilders. Wonder if he has any proof; good reason to cancel elections outcome. If it turns out wrong for whomever, of course. Hey, that's just business as usual.

Let's Get Rid of that Filth!
That refinery: it's worse than it ever seemed. It's just a short time ago that the €U and the UK were caught pants down because diesel engines, which were pushed for supposedly being better for the environment, are in fact much worse polluters than gasoline burners. But now, the nano particles their exhaust is chock-full of (50 times more than gasoline engines) have been shown to penetrate right through the lungs, taken up by the bloodstream and eventually accumulating in the fatty areas inside blood vessels, which may lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Which is where you have to ponder: "What price Isla smoke?"
Renewed and upgraded or not. And oh yeah, wearing a face mask won't help a bit.
Apart from that, what price the scare stories painting cholesterol, salt and sugar as the great killers? May need some re-thinking; which, in fact, has been going on already.

Let's Attract More Tourists!
While Carmabi with Amigu di Terra and other greenies are eating their hearts out about Oostpunt and the Maal family plans, a contractor has cleaned out and completely ruined a rare and unique coral reef. They were supposed to clean up a 300m stretch but while they were at it, made it 540m by 50m. That's for the new mega pier (which is only good for attracting cruise tourism, in other countries known as "day trippers").
I wonder if they'll charge more because they cleaned up more.
I'll also say it again, give the Maal family 100 million, stop making them pay property tax and in my opinion they will be happy not to develop; at least for a few generations.

Gathering of the Vultures
Ex-PNP member Ramón Chong, who used to be deputy of tourism and was, er, deleted (alas not with what the CIA calls "extreme prejudice") because of fraud, has now been offered a function as secretary general at the ministry of economic development. He'll really feel at ease there. If he gets the function at all; we'll see about that tomorrow. Happy King's Day, Folks! Enjoy it while it lasts.
Chong is an old Shorty buddy, from their plundering days at tourism office.

Goodbye to Plastic Supermarket Bags Problem
Solution is in sight: there's a caterpillar that will eat them. Next step, synthesizing the necessary enzyme[s]. Certainly much more hygienic than those filthy reusable bags we're now forced to use. Do you wash them every so often? I don't know anybody who does, including me.
Before you start screaming that the caterpillar may grow into a pest, it's the ordinary wax moth worm, which can be found all over the world where there are bees. So there.

Some Promise
Another SMS was sent around, where M*F*K promised to lower the OB sales tax from 9 to 6%. Even if they'd get elected, they'll never keep to it. Imagine! Less money coming in to25 steal, am I right?
The OB was raised because we had to catch up and make good for the 400 millions disappeared when Shorty ruled, remember?

They'd Sure Like That
Not for the first time, parliament is looking at the function and authority of the governess (still the best title right now). Her political role should be changed so it's the same as the Dutch king's. A motion was voted for and accepted. Hey, these guys made no secret of not liking her blocking efforts to stop the elections.
The next parliament will have the choice of accepting or rejecting this.

Meeting # 4, or Rather, 0
PS™ minister Córdoba again didn't show up for a meeting with FKP social housing.

No, Right
Dutch Raad van State thinks it a bit premature to start talking about a commonwealth and replace the Statuut, and I fully agree. These past few weeks it has served us well, now that the kingdom finally woke up to its duties.

Warning: No Privacy
I never cease to be surprised at people who do the most stupid things on FakeBooc and think they'll100get away with it. Now it's a woman who placed a call for voting tickets, complete with ID. She supposedly would look for look-alikes to go and vote; the story is she's collected 6 already. The public ministry gave her a warning.
Burning with curiosity to know what party/a> she worked for (I do have dark suspicions).
Hiya, Mates!
M*F*K PM Prik Pias paid a visit to the inmates of the No Futuro prison. It was well covered by the press so we were treated to photos of him surrounded by jailbirds, all the best of friends, smirking and laughing. A wasted effort, as they'll all vote for his crooked party anyway.

WHAT!? No Way, Baby!
For the first time, exit polls will be held at the elections next Friday. They won't get any info from me, that's for sure.
Another real confidence builder is, St. Maarten will be observer. Couldn't they pick a more reliable country—like Zimbabwe, North Korea or Iran?

Córdoba Doesn't Care
FKP social housing and their trade union complain that they try to meet with PS™ Córdoba on his promise to give houses away; but he just doesn't turn up.

No Way to Waste Money
M*F*K PM Prik Pias announced "he" would twice give away the sum of 100K guilders for youth sport dress and material; and "he" also planned to invest in surveillance cars for immigration service. Guess where the money'd come from? The crime fund!
But the civil servants who judge on spending those amounts have stated no request has ever been entered, so they can't pay up.
Those guys are even too clumsy to steal? I wouldn't count on it. On and on in the Money-Go-Round...
That's a Kinks song.

Look Who's Talkin'
M*F*K Shorty accuses PAR of buying votes. Gois allegedly offered his personnel 500 guilders if they could prove they'd voted for PAR (how?) But Gois had a snappy come-back: "Stay away from shit. Schotte is a cockroach. I'll bring him 500 guilders when he's in jail."
Shorty advised voters to collect 1000 guilders from PAR by taking a photo of their vote, then applying TypEx and finally voting for him or K*NT Dos Diablos or PS™ Córdoba. I hope he was jesting in his uncouth fashion; surely that wouldn't work.

Gee, I Was Wondering About That
The committee members M*F*K PM Prik Pias fired didn't get any salary at all. Remember them?
But the three new committee members get 500 guilders per month. Not very much, you say. Indeed, but it all adds up.
In fact the old committee has been at work longer than 6 days, sorry. Look, I only know what I read in the press, just like most of us. But it was only 6 days after we had a new PM/minister of injustice that they were fired.

All for Nothing
Ex-minister of Justice PNP Martina says that interim-PM M*F*K Prik Pias can say what he wants, all crime fund payments have been stopped by him a long time ago. Let's hope that holds the Gang of Goons of stealing it anyway.

I received an SMS containing bad news on MAN Koeiman as well, sender signed off as CuraLeaks. Who say they have nothing to do with it. Oh, who could it be...

No, Thanks: Nos Mes Por
Holland offered ex-PM PS™ Whiteman help in the negotiations on Isla refinery with GZE, but it was declined.

No Stemfies
That's a pun on selfies while voting [stemmen]. Brings me the inevitable association with stemvee [voting cattle]. These are not allowed, thus eradicating all proof that you indeed voted for the guy that bribed you. Which should make attempts less popular.
I'm not so sure. Votes were bought, and sold, long before we had selfies. Honor among swindlers!

Sounds better than "I told you so" doesn't it? M*F*K PM Prik Pias announces that the criminality fund works just fine, so it doesn't need control the money confiscated from Robbie dos Diablos, coming back soon from the USA. The committee was fired 6 days after it had been installed. Give you three guesses where that dough will go instead... that's not fair, you peeked!
But I still wonder how much that committee has been paid.

What Else Would You Expect?
Of all the money paid out by convicted slavers to compensate their victims, only 5% has actually reached those in the past 3 years.
Please forget the idiotic idea to have Holland pay for victims in the past. From Dutch tax money, partly paid by ex-Antillean and Surinamese people; and it would go to the government anyway. Who will throw it away on crazy but well-paying (for them) projects.

Jolly Good
In England, parliament suggests to stop ministers and civil servants having private jobs for two years after they leave office.

How Many?
The recruitment of workers for the new! improved! Isla refinery and Bullenbaai terminal is a success, we're told. Many prospective workers came to apply.
How many, we're not told.
This government just drives you paranoid, know what I mean?
Update: Amigoe gives the number: 1627. That's a lot, really.

That's a Lot
There are 5 to 10 thousand illegal Venezuelans on the island. Pretty vague, of course. Boils down to .3-.7 % of the population. Big question is, how many of them are criminals? Like coffee in Brazil, there's a lot of criminals in Venezuela. And here, too true; we don't need more.

It's Not Over Until All Money's Gone
InselAir plans to remove one of the remaining MD-8Xs from Aruba to Curaçao, registration and all. Which means they can't fly to the USA with our still-degraded FAA status. But they want to use it "most likely" for flights to Santo Domingo, Paramaribo or Port-au-Prince.
As for now, they're only flying with 2 Fokker F50s between AUA, CUR, BON and SXM. Manager Filiatreault sounds a lot less optimistic than when he was fresh and new to the job. End of this month a 3rd F50 should be ready to fall back on. Of the 33.3 million guilders, only 7.6 are left. A C-check for a MD-8X costs between 600 and 800K dollars (that's 1.1-1.5 million guilders). The same for engine repairs; as usual, the media didn't ask if that's for 1 or both engines, so I'll go for the worst: total 4.5 million guilders per MD-8X. Leaves InselAir 2.2 million to play with, or rather, to pay their staff's salaries for a few more months.

We Have a Map
But looks like not a very good one. A map showing the development of Oostpunt and the Carmabi-planned underwater park seems to have its faults, and the Maals say the border of the park crosses their terrain. But government ROP denies this. Good luck with that mess.

Punda Parking Problems
It seems the re-activation of Punda, Willemstad's center, is finally having some success. But the biggest obstacle in attracting shopping visitors is the parking problem. One condition of Randy Neuman when he built that monstrosity of a parking garage was that we'd get parking meters. Thanks, Neuman.
The Punda commerciants complain that it's hard to find a parking space and that the system is customer-unfriendly. To wit, they want to get rid of the wheel clamps and install a system where cars can be fined by recording their license plates, and to enable them to extend their parking time via smartphones. Or sump'n. That will really help driving away long parkers!
Can't help remarking that there seems plenty corruption going on among the parking guards. Right on the corner before the Otrabanda post office, you'll almost always see parked an enormous pick-up truck. I'm entirely convinced there's a little deal going on there. Maybe, skipping the middle-man, direct between the owner and Randy? Can't rule it out.

Who's to Blame
When Carmabi and other conservation clubs started acting up in the last few days of the now-gone cabinet, a deal struck with the Maal family on the development of Oostpunt was turned around. The deal had been struck in the first place to prevent Maal suing the island for a 100 million guilders claim for damages. It entailed changes to the EOP [island development plan].
Now that the (former) government has stopped the deal, understandably Maal threatens to restart suing for his claim.
One thing seems for sure, the Maal family hasn't been throwing bribe money around.

I Got 1 2
I don't mean my cell phone even if I do have one (a Nokia from before WWII*). But I, like many others, got an SMS by Shorty-MFK (no return address, wisely): "Pasku ta e momentu pa rekorda a renovashon di Kristu, halsa bo mirado na shelu, habri bo kurasonku speransa i pidi Topoderoso pa un miho futuro pa Korsou." Skipping the bullshit and the spelling errors, he wants us to pray for a better Curaçao future. I've done so and hope the Almighty Don Todopoderoso grants my wish and makes Shorty brake his neck. Or worse, then I'll pray some more.
But seriously, how did he get my number? UTS director de Geus denies they've sold them; which figures as Shorty won't even pay for his cocaine. But somebody must have helped him get those numbers.
I erased the message muy pronto.
Update: De Geus says that these SMS spams are dialled automatically; you don't need numbers. Those that don't exist just aren't connected. Could well be.
* Some people may not believe this, but it's true; just like, I comb my hair every once in a while.

I Would Hope So
Investment company Curategic Investment BV cannot be forced to invest in a hotel in Rif Otrabanda. Says the judge, who also thought it funny that claimant Gold Curaçao NV had not sued other investors, Vidanova and Isla Pension Fund, who had opted out as well.

Another Lie
Last week health minister Girigoria declared that there was no fluoride in the water anymore. But Aqualectra utility (I suppose they'd know) denies this.

Opposition Just Don't Bother
In today's Staten/Parliament meeting there will be no opposition to speak of present. They figure it's just no use whatever, and they may be right.

Finally Fireworks
The "Maximus" case is in court now about the murder of PS™ Helmin Wiels against suspected organizer Fonseca. Another suspect, Florentina, in September 2013 was found dead in his cell. We get to hear who the main suspects are: Jamaloodin (yes, that's who I keep calling Imalootin; now in arrest in Venezuela where he tried to flee to) and Robbie dos Santos (AKA Robbie dos Diablos). All in the family! Fonseca also had extensive contacts with Shorty and PS™ Wilsoe[n].
Prosecutor Rip (good name, that) says he won't rest until everybody connected has been in court.

He Might Well Worry
PNP ex-minister of Justice Martina expects the USA will shortly pay out $72.5 million, derived from the confiscation of Robbie dos Santos's bank accounts. This money was meant for fighting crime; but when it comes in while Shorty's Gang of Goons is still in power, it may well just disappear; with a large part flowing right back into Robbie's coffers. Or his K*NT brother Amparo's, it's all in the family.

What Investors?
VBC entrepreneurs' club wants PM Prik Pias to retract his announcement that the island is bankrupt. (As if that would help.) They say it scares possible investors away. What possible investors? Like I said many years ago to a CNN crew: "you'd be crazy to invest here now" and that's still going—stronger, in fact.

You Have to Admit...
... (if grudgingly), it's an achievement the way what passes for our government is blowing our money. Not that it's a surprise, we expected nothing better. The reconnection of defaulters to the water system will go on, says PS™ Crazy Córdoba, and so will the sale for a symbolic price of FKP houses.

10,000 Passports
Venezuela sold that many to "emigrants' from Syria and Iran. I wonder where they went with 'em (no fair guessing!) I wonder how many were terrorists. I wonder what they paid for 'em. I wonder where the money went... oh no, that I know.

Let's Throw a Party of Our Own!
In nine years Brazilian Odebrecht SA engineering company has paid 3.3 billion dollars in bribes. In 2012/3 it was 730 million/year. Hey, many of us could retire on that! Greedy politicians keep it all to themselves...

War Party
After stealing and vandalizing PAR's party posters, this morning somebody smashed a window and threw a Molotov cocktail into the party's headquarters.
At least it seems sure this/these hooligan(s) do not belong to PAR.
Could be a PAR trick to fool us, some paranoid bystanders suggest. Like, the 1933 Reichstag fire? Beware!

All Gone to Sleep
Or whatever. No news so to speak of until next Tuesday. Good? Who knows what they're breeding on now that the papers won't report it.

Crazy Córdoba
PS™ Córdoba took a line through auntie Suzy's giving away terrains free to people who had stolen them if they'd just register, thus making fools of all those who kept to the law. And also reconnecting malpayers to the water net.
Now, all those who haven't paid their rent to FKP public housing can buy their house for a symbolic amount; like one guilder? Why not one cent?
Only an election stunt? Will cost us dearly.
FKP workers were enraged and went on a walk to Ali Baba's Cave Fort Amsterdam at once, demanding a meeting with Córdoba.
Too bad the plaka 2.5 cents piece had been discontinued, or they could have gotten 2 cents back from that. What's the difference anyway?

Ho! Aha, So!
A number of years ago CTDB Curaçao Tourism Development Bureau announced the name would be changed to CTB: tourism didn't need any development any more.
Now suddenly we read about CTDF Curaçao Tourism Development Foundation. So what's going on here? Did somebody realize did tourism was undeveloped after all and find a new to waste our money? Oh wait... it was around all the time.
The reason we hear about it, they were supposed to give money to that strangely named Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival (minister Rhuggenaath thought it so important); but they'll have to spend it on something else; CNSJF won't go through this year.

Wonder What the Chinese Will Think
Bloomberg predicts that Venezuela crude oil production will fall to below 2 million bbd in 2018. That's the lowest in three decades after a late 1990s peak of 3.5m bbd. 16% of the reduction was achieved by president Maduro in a mere 4 years. To make production grow again would take at least two years "under the best of circumstances." But a real growth, caused by adapting energy laws and replacing "some people" would take 3 to 5 years.
Meanwhile, it looks like crude price keeps dropping. 95% of Venezuela's national economy is based on oil. Even here we're doing better than that. Much better.
It all started when Venezuela nationalized the oil industry in 1975. Just a bit later we did the same thing with Aqualectra/Kodela, Curgas and finally of course CDM/DOK and Isla. Went great, didn't it?

"They're all against Me, the Man of the People!" you can almost hear Shorty's snout shout now that the cops have refused to accept his counter-complaint against Plet (which we were told had been filed already). They said they don't accept complaints in envelopes, and he'll have to make an appointment to deliver it. And they'll ask questions. It can take lots of time, they warned.
Mudbelly Cooper was sent away with a flea in his ear as well.

Bon Appétit!
A minimarket (only a few years ago called the Indonesian word toko) with a Chinese name was raided and hundreds of items were taken from the shelves with expiration dates of up to 2 years past. Also the proprietor or manager, who knows? had no licenses.
Thanks PIAS ex-minister Palm, for welcoming those guys here a few years ago!

That Could Get Funny
Rumors are in the USA that Venezuelan CITGO will be taken over by Russia. What that could mean again for CITGO's take over of the Aruba refinery is totally unclear. And we here with the Chinese, and they both trying to work with Venezuela. The mind reels.

Poor Grades for Government
Ombudsman Wiels (no relation, I guess) gives the government 5 or even less on a scale of 1-10. They just don't do nuffin', mon; only 5% of the recommendations are followed up. Like, they (auntie Suzy) never bothered to reply on the ombudsman's questions of February 2016 re. the community post boxes.
Haven't heard much about those since long, anyway. Good for me, as I don't have one; too bad if you live in Emmastad or so.

Getting Nervous?
PAR has filed complaints because 7 of their giant billboards have been vandalized and three trailers carrying billboards have been stolen. I'd advise using wheel clamps.
Proves some bodies are mighty unhappy with PAR's election competition.

Military Maxim
"If a battalion gets wiped out, throw in two battalions!" Seems Aqualectra has taken that to heart. At first sight, the number one of the five new wind generators being erected on the North Coast, West of Tera Corá is a still larger monster than those already there.

Who Cares
Shorty has filed a counter complaint for a false declaration against MAN Plet, who two months ago filed a complaint against Shorty for attempt at bribery. Shorty says his complaints will be followed up by mr. and mrs. Cooper and Ricardo. But it's really against "the Dutch and the public ministry. They're out to get us, the people's politicians. With the elections coming along they want to break us."
But Plet's lawyer Henriquez characterizes Plet's complaint rather as a report rather than a statement; which may change later (big deal). Plet is coming out in public because he's mad at Shorty for calling his act a political stunt.

End of the Airroad
InselAir Aruba seems definitely over and done with. They haven't been flying for years and not paying salaries for months. Now they try to sell the sorry mess.
"They" are the same shareholders of InselAir Curaçao.

Congestion Looms
Curaçao is reaching for 1 million cruise tourists this year; say 25 per household. Or two per household every week. This can't go on indefinitely—has to reach a limit soon.

CTB Doesn't Like It
Godfried, head of the ABVO trade union section in CTB is angry about the negative media coverage and he is considering to go to court. And he hasn't even read our page here, is a good guess.
Also, I didn't know the people working there were spoiled brats civil servants; but that's their union. Explains a lot.

Davelaar Doubts
The Wiels committee remarks that Davelaar should have granted Shorty's request for a roll call don't agree with Davelaar. He says there was a quorum according to the attendance sheet and that settles it for him: the committee's instruction was to look at the police action, not at the parliament functions.

Shorty Was Right?!
The Wiels committee investigating that infamous Staten meeting, after which Shorty went for what amounts to a coup d'état, says parliament head PNP Davelaar should have listened to Shorty and followed up on his suggestion to hold a roll call.

Doubtful and Creepy
In Dutch newspapers professor van Rijn discusses our present vicissitudes and arrives at the conclusion that we might have done better with a president, chosen for 4 years who'd have to be impeached to get rid of, like in the USA.
Just imagine, highly esteemed prof, that Shorty would have been elected president in 2010, bought up a number of cops (it can be done) and last year have refused to go after his period was over? For certain he'd have stuck around in 2012 and it would even have been lawful.
Then, to save us from ourselves, the Kingdom would have had to send in the marines after the 2014 elections. Need I go on?

Cooper Could Be Kosher
Most clients patients of mrs. Cooper are not covered by social insurance and thus must pay cash, we are told by Elhage, head of the Curaçao general practitioners federation. So it's conceivable that she would have an amount of over 50,000 guilders lying around, the take of couple of months.
The patients must pay themselves because mrs. Cooper's healing art is, uh, rather unconventional. It's based on several courses she followed in Venezuela (not Cuba?) and called "esthetic medicine"—which makes my eyebrows go up a bit. Who uses her "unregistered medications" pays. Dearly.
No wonder they're such good friends of Shorty (the anti-fluoridation kid) and by extension Quackie.

Lies or Nitwittery?
Cft financial supervision is rather surprised by PM Prik Pias's statement that the country is as good as bankrupt. They don't agree and want to wait for the first 2017 implementation record due May 15 before commenting definitely..

What a Mess
The report of the committee on what went on in Staten on January 4, when Shorty's Gang of Goons took over, has more interesting info to offer. It is not clear if 5 parliament members (of who 3 joined the Gang of Goons) are legit. When their credentials were offered to the head of parliament, there were only 5 members present and a roll call should have been held to arrive at a quorum. This has not been done and there you go.
Don't ask me what the legal consequences are or even can be. Fodder for political jurists.

Stronger Than He
Shorty can't help it. He just has to commit fraud; it's his character. That's a big word in his case, sure. But he went on this visit to the USA and Colombia last week and must have filled out an ESTA form. Where you're asked if you've ever been convicted, and I'm convinced he checked "No".
Smeets has written a letter to the American Consulate pointing this out, with a copy to Amigoe newspaper, who in turn published it.

Like, Sweden?
Aqualectra utility states personnel don't dare go into certain neighborhoods out of fear. Like the cops in Stockholm muslim neighborhoods.
They have been robbed "with a gun to their heads" twice. Several houses have been cut off with police cover, but they just reconnect by sabotaging the locking pin. Champ is a household with a debt of 65,000 guilders, now paid by the government; which is just asking for more anarchy. Think it over: first we've paid for that with our own water bill, and now we're paying double out of our taxes. I have witnessed this myself: those who don't pay don't even bother to shut off their faucets and just let the water run over the devil's little acre all day and all of the night.
Director Jonis doesn't mention which neighborhoods he means, but we can all guess.

Clumsy? You Could Say That
Work on the second Mega-Pier for cruise ships has started already, and now they tell us that the cruise ships will moor off there right smack above one of the most popular diving destinations, the wreck of the Superior Producer [of tourist money]. Using a cod for smelt bait, to paraphrase a Dutch proverb.
Of course they knew it all the time, but there's a lot of money to be made building a pier like that; and not only for the contractors who are happy to give part of it away. So-called "bribes"—which amount they put on the bill anyway.

Protect Plet
Ex(?)-MAN ex-MP Plet denies Ricardo has tried to bribe him. Shorty told Plet he meant to use Ricardo or Cooper to offer him the money, but Ricardo didn't want to do so, "to protect Plet" (no details given). However that may be, Plet answered Shorty that if the Koeiman government fell, he'd get out of politics. Bizarre.

For Laughing Out Loud
The populist program to reconnect households to the water system has been canceled. When they started, they found out that of the 50 unconnected addresses, only 3 were still unconnected. The other 47 had figured out that it was much cheaper, and easy enough, to start stealing the water than to pay their debts.
And so it goes. It wouldn't have made any difference, we've been playing for those guys all the time.
Suggestion: How about Aqualectra going out and checking all those "disconnected" homes? Well worth it. They should be ashamed. But it's their style, or lack of it.

That Was Fast
A record! Within two weeks after Shorty's latest coup d'état, interim PM Prik Pias announces that the country has no money left. We'll need a full-time pro to write all that up and send it to the Guinness Book of World Records. Maybe then the tourists will flock in. Like they used to visit the nuthouse with the family on Sunday afternoon to enjoy a good laugh. Or the burning of witches in the marketplace. Or hangings and beheadings, all wholesome entertainment for the masses. Just a few select items, there's much more. Waterboarding doesn't come close.
And maybe not. After all, those nuts were safely behind bars. Ours have the run of Fort Amsterdam. For now.

Anarchy in Legislative Body
That's the conclusion of committee Wiel (not Wiels), ex-ombudsman (no person, he). To wit it's Amparo dos Diablos of K*NT who has been 'seriously threatening' a member of the security service. To quote: "Don't say that again or it will be the last time in your life." The police get a raspberry as well, they didn't take it anywhere seriously enough.
Also, there was no quorum during that meeting, so its adopted motions may be question mark of no value. Who was it again characterized those goings-on as "clowns" and "circus"? Oh yeah... forget my own name next.
Gee, I can't help wondering how much Wiel c.s. were paid for that rather obvious conclusion. But they earned it.

Slam on the Brakes
Neither surgeon Berry nor Fa Si Oen are as yet licensed to operate in SEHospital. First, they'll have to pipe down and accept some conditions posed on cooperation and communication. And they will have to move all their professional activities to inside the hospital.

Fevering 'Round the Bend
Now PdVSA suddenly declare they'd absolutely love to negotiate with GZE. Maybe Shorty gave them a call? Oh no. Koeiman, then? Much more probably, they got this slippery-slope feeling and are grabbing for handholds.

It Happened Before
And it may have happened again Right now, in Curaçao! People are too polite and careful, at least in public, to make not-so-wild guesses at where and how Mudbelly's spouse got all that money playing doctor, but there are enough instances around to raise your suspicions. Sigmund (the famous loony doctor) Freud's friend Fliess, for example, who daubed cocaine on "erotic spots" in your nose. For a fee, of course, hey! His treatment was wildly popular and his patients happily lined up for more. Michael Jackson's physician is another one. Who again was the latest victim of opioids overdose administered by his trusted doctor? Doesn't matter, there'll be a next one sure and soon enough.
It is a well-known way to make easy money for a licensed M.D. who isn't controlled too tightly.
Of course I'm not suggesting Cooper's better half (hard to be a worse half there) was into drug dealing. That would be slander, defamation and vilification. Perish the thought.

Hit Them Back!
What I read is that in the Venezuelan constitution it says that Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are part of Venezuela. Don't know if it's true, but it sure is funny.
I say, why not put in our Staatsregeling that Venezuela belongs to us? That'll show them!
Reminds me of Argentina and the Malvinas uh... Falklands.

Delayed Again
Shorty & Moll will be back in court for their appeal in the Babel case on June 12/13, say two weeks after the elections. They'll be busy... not a bored moment till then. Later on, maybe plenty. But if that will give 'em a chance to relax is doubtful.

What a Bore
A guy promoting at the Inter-Continental University of the Caribbean (ICUC) (we really have such a thing) has written how the people should get more involved with tourism. He got that straight; only, they don't seem to want to.
Worse, or maybe even better, he says the same goes for the stakeholders. No wonder it's a flop.
His title is "Impact of tourism on the quality of life of residents" and I can give my un-esteemed opinion on that in one word: negative.

That's a Lot
Mudbelly's spouse has been "invited" to come explain to the cops what she was doing with 50k guilders (US$23K) lying around the house. She says it's from her transactions as medical doctor (didn't know they made that much money), but I wouldn't leave it lying around the house, would you? Put in in the bank. If you don't need it for cash purposes you don't want MOT [reporting unusual transactions] to know about, agreed. She's suspected of money laundering.

That's Not Saying Much
Social Dev. interim minister PS™Córdoba calls the Chinese refinery plans "the biggest gain for Curacao in the last 25 years." As I can hardly remember any gains at all we've made since 2008 I take that for granted; after all, what else? the Megapier? two new golf courses? the Hato terminal disaster? Be that as may be, the 30 delegates back from China where they've been fêted were enthusiastic. Sure. I'm not.
But Shorty a few weeks ago wanted to stop dealing with GZE and now seems to have made another U-turn. Did the delegates bring a sack of money back? It definitely is a thought.

A Bit Early
Standard & Poor again assigns Curaçao credit status A-/A-2, among other reasons because of its stabile, democratic system within the kingdom. Maybe they should have waited until after the elections.

That's Good to Know
Surgeon Fa Si Oen can go back to work. Seems his diplomas and butcher permits are all okay. Back to the cutting block!

Plet Denies, Or?
Never got a bribe offered by Ricardo, says Plet. He doesn't mention Shorty or Mudbelly, though.

Didn't Go Over Well Before
Remember, Shorty? We had three referenda and the people want to remain in the kingdom. Now he's frothing at the mouth that we need to get rid of Holland and Dutch laws. My feeling is, if he had not done that in his dud fury, he would have more cattle voting for him.
Hope I'm not wrong...
We're now waiting for him to turn to his Dutch makamba lawyer to try and save him from being swallowed in this morass.

Court Agrees
The judge says Lichtveld is quite right when he calls calls Camelia louche en onbetrouwbaar [seedy and dodgy]. It's "quite substantiated" and he may go on doing this. Camelia appeals; after all he doesn't have to pay a lawyer, being a shyster himself.

Air Berlin is too polite to mention that one of the main reasons to stop their Curaçao flights may well be that Düsseldorf is sick of all the cocaine smugglers trying to get into Europe via their airport.

Evasions and Sidesteps
Caldera, manager of CDM Holding, denies the subcontractors have 500 workers at the DOK location. At the most 10, he says.
Conveniently disregarding the fact that the subcontractors were not necessarily talking about people working over there.

A Miracle
DOW public works has started fixing the viaduct you have to pass under on your way to the Bid Bad City from the West. This is the first maintenance since it was built in the 1970s.
I haven't found out if the viaduct through Otrabanda has been fixed; there was talk it was dangerous for the cholas sleeping underneath it, which is intolerable.

Mad as Hell
Shorty is rather agitated about the cops searching his house. He says things like "I won't rest before all makambas have gone home!" His father, living here, is one. Mudbelly as well as convinced that if they're locked up, they will win the elections from prison.
The suspect of having been bribed is, according to rumors, PS™ Leonora. Alleged, of course! But I shouldn't wonder.
Cijntje expects more raids will follow. I shouldn't wonder there, either. He already accuses the police of planting false evidence, so he knows there's plenty to be found. It's all political, of course. Sure, Cijntje. He will warn all voters to watch it: do they want to be governed by Holland or by a Staten majority? We all know the answer to that; only, not by a corrupt-to-the-core majority.

It's Their Own Stupid Fault
The subcontractors who complain they'll go broke because of CDM/DOK's bankruptcy, get to hear now that it's their own fault for having waited so long with claiming their money. So that's their reward for having had the patience to hold out and give CDM/DOK a chance not to go under.

What Else Did They Expect?
Because Shorty's Gang of Goons stopped propping up InselAir, more jobs are endangered than was originally bargained for. Figures. Like I said before, this is one point where I tend to agree with them, but it certainly won't help to make Shorty more popular.

Budget Neutral
324 households will be reconnected to Aqualectra's water distribution, as the government will pay their debts. "Indie" (hah!) MP Braam says it's "budget neutral". Sounds good, but means only that it will be taken out of some other post of course.

Seems the government has grabbed CTB's budget and transferred money to InselAir, so there was no money left to pay Air Berlin. CTB is now negotiating with Air Berlin to continue for one more season, but Air Berlin says CTB knew about it a long time ago because their shareholder Etihad Airways is no longer interested in the Caribbean as a destination.
And CHATA hotel association head Vogel complains that CTB spends half its budget in the USA, without any worthwhile results showing (only 12% of overnight stays are from North America) and wondering out loud why even Maurice Adriaens refused to work for CTB.

Quick Results
Dutch newspaper Trouw writes that "two MPs and 1 business man" have been arrested after this morning's house searches. I'm not sure if Mudbelly is an MP, but I think so. In that case I'd expect he, Shorty and Ricardo are behind bars already.
Shorty's screaming it's a political persecution, what else is new.
PS™ Leonora sobs it corrodes parliament's image. So does his party.
KKC has written that Trouw published this, but I can't find it in there. Maybe they retracted it. In any case, the public ministry denies it; for now.

I'm Sick of Them
Shorty, Academy   Shorty, Academy
Yes, also of Shorty & Moll; but this time I mean TeleCuraçao.
They use old Academy format video cameras with an aspect ratio of 4:3,
and then broadcast the images widescreen, aspect ratio 16:9. Making everybody comment how fat people look.
Well, Molly is pregnant but this is really too much. Doesn't anybody at that TV station care?
I'm afraid not.

Things Are Moving
The cops have raided Shorty's and Mudbelly Cooper's premises early this morning; also MAN Plet's place. This because of the "alleged" bribery of parliament members to join the Gang of Goons, resulting in Shorty's latest coup d'état. Both Shorty and Mudbelly have been named as suspects of bribery. An unnamed MP is now suspected of having accepted a bribe.
Maybe Prik Pias saw it coming? Too late and, it seems like everything the interim government does, an impotent gesture.
Correction, not Plet but a guy he works for, Ricardo, was raided. My guess, for what it's worth, is that Mudbelly's chum Ricardo was the middleman in the attempt to bribe Plet.

Bye Bye Krauts
Air Berlin is stopping the twice-weekly flights Düsseldorf-Curaçao next season. One factor may be that CTB is slow in paying their guarantee if not enough seats are sold. Howzabout the 7.1% growth, Rhuggenaath?

Thank You, Rhuggenaath
He goes around bragging ("Hard work of the previous government is paying off!") that it was he, not Shorty, who saved InselAir (I'm not so sure about that, nor do I find much joy there); he also thinks it a great achievement that he got CDM/DOK back in the running in collaboration with Dutch Damen Shipyards.
For that it was necessary to let CDM/DOK go bankrupt, as Damen didn't want all those debts on their necks. Which in turn now results in all CDM/DOK's subcontractors going bankrupt, with 500-1000 workers in danger of losing their jobs versus 378 CDM/DOK workers' jobs being saved. Count your profits.

Things Are Happening
Now that RMR [kingdom minister's council] has interfered anyway, they decided to follow up and definitely put a stop to the crazy 80-20 law, saintly Wiel's legacy; which governor Wout refused to sign as well. Let's see if they find more things to baffle those donkey-burrows.
Our interim-government cannot protest: they have to do so within 48 hours by the minister in The Hague who hasn't been appointed yet.

Song and Dance
Nothing at all has been achieved by Shorty's visit to the USA and Colombia, no matter his bragging that he'd saved InselAir. In fact, InselAir's management is worried and asks Shorty to confirm that nothing has changed, or they might be in trouble. Which they are already anyway. They request Shorty and his vassal (interim minister Goeloe) to please refrain from negotiations without InselAir's presence.

Mudbelly Out, Soapy In
Looks like Cooper, as suspected, didn't manage to arrange his tax affairs in time for the screening. So now there's talk of replacing PM Prik Pias with Osepa, a real slippery character. Used to be our minister in The Hague a couple of numbers before Fräudlein Wiels.

Great Idea!
Not that Shorty's Gang of Goons have gotten an Algemene maatregel van rijksbestuur [General Measure of the Kingdom Government] empowering the governor, not the government, with supervision of the elections, interim PM Prik Pias wants one of his own: an Algemene maatregel van bestuur [General Measure of the Government] to charge the public ministry to work on murders and atrakos.
I don't even know if such a thing is possible, but at any rate it would relieve Shorty, Imalootin and Quackie Constancia from the attention the public ministry is giving them.
In almost the same breath, Prik takes money out of the crime prevention fund to stimulate sports.

We Don't Matter... Money Matters
CHATA hotel association has started an intensive campaign to stop us from attacking tourists. It gives us a bad name and is bad for business. You bet.
Not a word about stopping us from attacking each other. Go ahead, boys and girls, enjoy and have a good time!
They disgust me.

Forti Triangle
We have our own version of the Bermuda Triangle, but ours really exists. In fact, it's a square: Fort Amsterdam, where our money mysteriously disappears without a trace.

No Proof
Court has found no proof of attempts to bribe parliament members. Ho... I didn't know somebody had filed a complaint. Oh, it concerns a case that Prik Pias and Garmers started against Rozier, then also MFK member, four years ago.

The More Power He Grabs...
.. the sooner the end is near. Small consolation: Venezuela president Maduro, after he ordered the supreme court to take away all right from [the majority in] congress, has now grabbed all the power of PdVSA. Which means he can now sell stakes-for-cash in Venezuelan oil fields. After he has sold out those, definitely it'll be time to board his private Learjet in a hurry.
You say that can't last long? He's been at it for 4 years already, beating Shorty's record.
Chávez wasn't much better; he could steal more because there was more to steal; not so much left over for his successor. But Chávez held out for 14 years and would still be there at it if he hadn't died.
Hardly a lesson to Shorty and his Gang of Goons, is it?

Great Idea!
On the "stunning paradise island" of North Sentinel, between India and Burma, the 400 residents are so disgusted with tourists they throw spears and shoot arrows at 'em. At least, that's what the (rather irreliable) Sun newspaper claims. They make out like the island is absolutely savage and no foreigners dare intrude. Makes me drool, absolutely; up to a point.
But when you check other sources, like Forbes, you learn that there are "safaris" in buses, on asphalt roads, to have tourists look at the "savages". So it can't be that bad.
Still, judging from those safaris I guess those savages have their points—and not only to their arrows and spears.

How Like Him
I'd have said "in character" but I'd rather not refer to Shorty's character. So that's his reason for traveling to the USA: now he claims it's he who fixed a deal with Avianca and Synergy to "save" InselAir and the workers' jobs. (They're being fired already, though.) But first, that's no more than a follow-up to the negotiations ex-minister Rhuggenaath held; Shorty's merely claiming credit.
Second, it's not clear in what capacity Shorty's there. He's not a government member so he can't act for them, let alone us. The point is moot, right: he's acting as the Small Tyrant.

Can't Be Done
Just like reconnecting people who just don't pay their bills by Aqualectra, abolishing the 1 guilder fee you have to pay the drugstore for your prescription fulfillment as voted by parliament just isn't that easy. At least, interim minister Girigoria says so. She's much too busy with politics, she adds. I can believe that.
I skipped that populist measure when it was announced. Result, people come to drugstores and refuse to pay the 1 guilder fee, leaving it to the botika to explain patiently.

April Fool
Shorty has flown to the USA. I (wildly) guess he's smart enough to understand that won't be a getaway. But maybe he's gone to collect some money, he's in dire need of that to finance his elections campaign; what with those bribes and all. I can't see him as somebody who's saved money for a rainy day.

Lights On!
I forgot! Earth Hour was March 25. Good. So that's why Aqualectra Bird & Bat Scrammer #1 wasn't working for 17 days? It came back on-line yesterday.
That's a total of 5 weeks out of service for 1 out of 5 generators. Count your profits. Ain't free energy great?

Prik Pias Speaks Truth
He believes Holland is biased against the new interim cabinet. "They do not want us and work against us," he says. I second the motion. To quote Erich Kästner: "Du merkst aber auch alles."
PS™ minister Larmonie Cecilia has resigned in protest of the RMR aanwijzing. Good riddance.
And the European court bounced back the government's appeal, just as confidently expected.

Keep Trying, Fools
PM Prik Pias has sent a letter to Aqualectra ordering them to reconnect all disconnected households instantly. Not so fast, says Aqualectra: who's going to pay their bills? Good question.
Dos Diablos says it's 8000 households, but Aqualectra says no, only 1400. Still, that's at least 2800 potential voters.

Maybe Unneeded But Welcome
Uniquely, for the first time since the Statute was accorded in 1954, the Rijksministerraad has interfered in the governation of Curaçao with a dreaded aanwijzing: governor Wout has the responsibility for the elections and the cabinet can't have anything to do with them.
Hear them cry "Neo-colonialism!" Maybe they'll cry still harder when the elections are over. Don't sit there and relax, though—they're not over yet.

Would Like to Know
Did Mudbelly Cooper get his taxes fixed to pass to security screening? He got 7 days, which have passed. Not that it matters much, even though he was in Parliament past week as "adviser" but acting very much like he was PM already.

Think about it... In my hopelessly misspent youth, laying a solid foundation for an even more wasted life... where was I? oh yeah, we had a Five and Ten Cents Store. Now, you can't get anything below a Dollar $tore.

Stick My Neck Out
With a prediction. Chop chop... But I really don't understand why politicians are so convinced that we'll run out of money to pay pensions for the old farts—and so stupid that they turn to Ponzi schemes to "solve" the problem. It seems pretty obvious that in the same countries where the number of births is not enough to maintain population (like here; yes, we are not "undeveloped") production is on the verge of being largely taken over by robots. And there you are, or rather, will be.
The idea is not new, let alone original; but we're getting there sooner than you'd think.

Scared Them
The mere fact that RMR is looking at the developments here has been enough for Shorty's Gang of Goons to retract hastily and not just brake, but make a U-turn with yelping tires: so-called "fevering".
There's still a chance RMR will come with a dreaded aanwijzing [instruction] but it's hardly necessary anymore. Show-time is over.

Stopped Clock
The saying is, that's right twice a day and the same goes for our interim government. They say the money given to InselAir has been thrown away, and who but the Unwise Men could deny that? 25.7 million guilders has been paid out and personnel's pensions are still not covered, while the company's for 240 million in the red.

Leeflang Keeps Suing
She continues her case against minister-for-a-month Ribeiro, who committed a malfeasance by instructing the members of the Supreme Electoral Council to cease all work on the upcoming elections. That's violating a National Decree signed by the governor, punishable by 3 years in jail.

Stubborn Stupid Mules
M*F*K announces they will continue their appeal at the European Court. Nobody understands how, probably they themselves neither.
Maybe Ritsel advised them to do so, he can always use the money. As long as we don't pay, go ahead and waste your efforts elsewhere.

More Good News
China is looking into becoming a competitor for private space flights. Like Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX. And don't forget Branson.
Good news for the Space Gang, it's not. For us, yes. Still less chance they'll get anywhere—let alone to space.
Space X is targeting March 30 for the latest launch of its Falcon 9 rocket, which leaves "our" club far behind in the dust.

All Over?
Not so fast. Prik Pias has retracted the Landsbesluit to delay the elections to "guarantee peace and quiet"—never mentioning the €U flop. They have decided to show "magnanimity" he says (musta been an effort). Now that there's no chance for success left, he thinks of that. But we still have elections; even if it's clear the Gang of Goons themselves obviously think they'll lose, that's not really sure. But I'll take bets.
Ribeiro also retracted his threats directed at the Voting Bureau, but denies this is a U-turn.
No doubt the Kingdom RMR will forget all about this right away, just like auntie Suzy the court case she started against Prik Pias & cronies.
But between you and me, I don't trust those bastards for 1µm and keep an eye peeled. Governor Wout still wants international observers; good for her (and us).
Say, will look good in Prik Pias's CV: "2017: Interim PM of Curaçao for 2 months."

Delay Fail
The European Court bounced back Shorty's Goons' appeal to stop the elections. It falls outside the scope of rule 39, they say. Back to reality, Shorty: we'll have elections. Hey, maybe you'll even win! Perish the thought.
Ritsel Martha used a totally misappropriate article to base his appeal on. We will watch his future career, such as it is, with considerable interest. And he thinks he's sooo smart!

Anything But That!
Now that there's a real chance of Holland interfering, Shorty's Gang of Goons has given in. Suddenly, they agree that we must have elections so the people "get the opportunity to voice their disgust against capitalism that has Curaçao in its grip." It's news to me that mafiosi are socialist; I rather thought it was the other way 'round.
So I wouldn't have put it that way myself. Besides, who knows what they'll say tomorrow? These guys are just not konfiabel.

And Then?
PNP is hard at work on the election program. In the next 4 years, they want to have the Curaçao population grow with 20% so in the future, there'll be money to pay pensions (to the spoiled brats of course).
How they want to do it, for starters, I couldn't guess. Follow Europe's lead, where migrants are imported for the same reason? We can read daily what mess that resulted in.
But worse, think it through, however hard it is for a politician to think. This is nothing but a Ponzi scheme: an old and well-known confidence trick. Because, what happens when those extra 20% want pensions of their own? Got you there, huh?

Telling; I Hope
The demo at Wishi-Marchena last night, or at least so people who were there say, attracted more participants than Shorty's free-booze party. Need we know more?
Can't confirm that, they counted 1000 people (more or less, is a fair guess) but it's notoriously hard to count a crowd.
Bishop Secco also says we must have elections. For once I agree with the bish.

Up There
Rijksministerraad [council of ministers of the kingdom] is looking at governor Wout's request to cancel the, probably illegal, Landsbesluit to stop the 28 April elections. This would, finally (that I might live to see it) be an intervention in local affairs following Statuut article 43.
Meanwhile, Ritsel Martha has sent more details to the European court, as if that would help. He also assures us that it's not parliament that pays his bills. Don't try to fool us, Ritsel; we'll pay for it anyway if you succeed.
Of extra interest here is that the interim cabinet's mandate was to proceed with the elections and to handle current affairs. Only.

Down Here
MP Leeflang has started court proceedings against minister Ribeiro, whom she accuses of malfeasance for trying to stop the new elections by pressuring the voting council. Leeflang views the Landsbesluit on this in itself as professional misconduct punishable by law.

Maybe Later
Minister ad hoc interim Ribeiro promises, nay, guarantees we'll have elections in the future. Only not right now (that wouldn't suit him). Of course we trust Ribeiro, he's honest as fool's gold.

For Once
Demonstrations are not very popular here (in contradistinction with your occasional riot), and when they're held a disparate number of whites turns up. Makambas! At any rate, the one held in Wishi yesterday showed a welcome difference: by far most there were black. And a lot more people than usual, too. Which goes to show that Shorty is not quite as popular among the Yu'i Korsou as he might think, and wish.

At least two web sources published, and very soon retracted, a rumor that governor Wout is considering applying Statuut voor het Koninkrijk, article 43, which says:
1 - Each country is responsible for the realization of the fundamental human rights and freedoms, legal certainty and good governance.
2 - The guarantee of these rights, freedoms, legal certainty and good governance shall be a Kingdom affair.
Downloading the entire PDF (in Dutch) will cost you €5 but you need a Dutch bank account to pay.

TI Comes Bite Shorty in the *$$? No, Us!
Transparency International was invited by Shorty (and paid by us, half a million guilders) to have a National Intgegrity Assessment here on Curaçao. One of their most interesting conclusions was, there is no provision in the law that makes it impossible for the minister to suspend the mandate of the Electoral Council without giving reasons, or to dismiss the members themselves. And there we go.

Is That Official?
It's lawyer Rudsel, or maybe Rutsel, or still better Ritsel (vide cattle rustler) Martha who has appealed to the European Court of Justice, but not in name of the government but in acting for 12 parliament members. You should have such a lawyer!
At any rate, that's not all of them.. one's missing already (but who? aha... it's PS™ Leonora) Reminds me of rats and sinking ships, a famous fable by what's his name, Volière or sump'n.

Could Still Be Worse
Much worse! Just got this in from a source that will remain anonymous*: "I haven't found anyone yet there [St. Maarten] who is reliable and trustworthy." And she lived there for over a year all in all.
* That means, hey, 4 syllables! I won't mention her name. Not everybody likes to be associated with me, and I don't blame 'em either. Can get dangerous.

Someone Got It
Has been searching the site for "Movementu Fok Korsou"—it's only M*F*K here, but close enough.

Governor Wout (always have trouble not writing Governess, would be quite applicable for her job description against that unruly mob) has asked the Kingdom to nullify the Landsbesluit to stop the planned elections. They're "necessary and justified."
Take that, Shorty.

Fat Chance
Minister Ribeiro has ordered personnel and head of the Voting Bureau to make an appearance at his (temporary) office to explain the Facts of Death to them, viz. don't obstruct the obstructions to the new elections, or else. "You're fired!" But head Römer doesn't seem to be much impressed. Small wonder.
Says Ribeiro: "Authority should be respected. Otherwise we'll have chaos." He got that straight.

Over 500 persons have signed the necessary documents to enable a lawyers' bureau (in fact, 3 of them combined) to start a mass action "against the government and third parties" to ensure the new elections to go on. Only Dutch citizens of Curaçao with voting rights need apply.

It's a Dud; Dûh
The letter to the Europan Court has been signed by Shorty, not by the government. It can take a long time before it's being considered. Anyway, it should have been handled by the lowest to the highest courts in the kingdom before it's acceptable, as case, to the European court. So much for Shorty and his lawyers (like, Robeiro).
Won't even work as a delaying tactic any more.

All About Elections
Uh oh, Shorty is not as popular as he may think himself. At the request of the people living there, an anti-election demo will be held in Wishi-Marchena. Antilliaans Dagblad writes "tomorrow" but omits an exact date.
It's Tuesday 03-28 from 17:00-19:00, don't expect me there.
While PM Prik Pias maintains that the electory council will be stopped, they themselves are of a different opinion: without landsbesluit the elections will go through as planned.
And lawyer Frielink describes the move to the European Court by Shorty's Goons as just a delaying technique, characterizing it as a serious breach of constitutional law. There's no legal reason to postpone elections because of this appeal to Europe. "The government should follow the law as well." Hear, hear. But Rudsel Martha, a shyster if I ever saw one (and we have plenty of 'em here) says in a long and convoluted press release that it's all in order. Sure, Martha.

Mindless Dummy
Not because I want to give this any serious attention, just to show what caliber these people are: minister of health Girigoria says the new hospital will be finished on schedule without any delays. Sure. She also wants to stimulate local food production and fisheries, "by teaching people how to produce their own food and 'therefore' eat healthier." No doubt she wants to stop fluoridation as well, but that has already been stopped.

Sure, That Figures
Now that Shorty's back in the saddle, Lover's Ice (pronounced lovvers), managed by ex-Shorty minister Monkie, right away got a no doubt agreeable contract to supply the schools with milk. You have to admit: an expeditious bunch, that new government. They sure waste no time to make money—for themselves. Of course, they'll fully realize they have only a month or so.


Fodder for Megalomaniacs
Our humble island state has broken all records, as far as I know, by having had 8 cabinets in 6 years. Time to apply to the Guiness Book of World Records. But wait: we may well have yet another one 2 or 3 months from now. At least, I hope so.

Sunny Money
The government wants in the future at least 40% of Curaçao's energy to be supplied by "sustainable" sources. You may well wonder what that means; for them it means solar, wind and sea. Both solar and wind are old hobbies of Shorty, who thought he'd cover the island with solar panels and wind generators, and make a lot of dough in the process.
Meanwhile, we're all set to renew Isla (or then again, maybe not) and stick our economic dependence for the next 50 years to fossil fuels.
And by the way, counting from where the wind comes from wind generator #1 at TC has been out of order now for two weeks now, 4% of its yearly output gone. Talk about sustainable.
Amigoe newspaper writes "before 2013" which, if even as realistic as the rest of the story, must be a typo.

There Flies Our Money
IATA wants InselAir to pay 1.6 million dollars which they're owned. Goodbye, 2.9 million guilders! Almost 10% of what Unwise Men Rhuggenaath and IJs gave to Insel.

DOK Saved, Contractors Broke, Rhuggenaath Out
Ex-minister Rhuggenaath, who's so proud he saved CDM/DOK by letting it go bankrupt, is not so popular with 13 contractors working for CDM/DOK who can now forget about their money. But Rhuggenaath is out of the government, so what's next?
Wherever he went, he left a desert behind.

Meanwhile, Back in the Banana Bush
The voting Bureau has been ordered to stop preparing for the new elections. Our government, such as it is, wants to wait for the €uropean Court, such as it is, which has, surprisingly, already declared they will look at the complaint. But, says Ribeiro, speaking for the Gang of Goons, this doesn't mean the election don't go through! They'll just await what the €U Court has to say.
Oh no? He's lying.
Still no estimate on the number of free-boozers yesterday.I hear they had to wait until 19:00 before the party started. Only, it was "busily visited" and that "many more will follow". OMG.
Next time I'll have to go check myself? If only I got paid for that shemozzle.

Now for Those Dutch
Dutch PM Rutte, who the media write has "won" the last Dutch elections—he didn't, anti-Islam Wilders, who "lost" won, even if he has no majority—declares that he looks at the coming elections as a referendum. That's not legit, Rutte.

By the Wayside: Good Riddance
Ex minister of Justice Rudsel Martha, like Cooper, has not passed the security screening and can for the time being say goodbye to being the follow-up of Fräudlein Wiels as plenipotentiary minister in The Hague.

Another Ex-Con
M*F*K Amerigo Thodé has been sworn in as parliament head. He has been convicted just like many other of his party co-members, but there's no red line for parliament members.

Counter Promise
PIN auntie Suzy announces that she'll go to court when the new interim cabinet decides to stop the new elections. Our own court here.

One Promise Kept
The first thing our brand-new PM M*F*K Pisas announced, they will go to the European Court to stop elections. "They think they're smart, but we're smarter. We use logic, you don't need schooling for that." (Or to become PM here.)
But he's confident he'd win them anyway, and if not, he already asks for riots demonstrations.
Nobody seems to have tried to count how big a mob appeared to claim the free booze Shorty promised in celebration.

Still Stuck
There's no question of Avianca taking over InselAir; they only want to cooperate. That's a lot, actually; who'd want to cooperate with them? So we're stuck with InselAir and have to go on watching how our tax money disappears in that pit.

Two New Entities
After the SONA-Berenschot disaster, the last act of PAR minister Jesus-Leito is to arrange for two new entities to attend the building of HNO new hospital. We'll wait and see... What else can we do anyway? It's not even sure from what we get to read what those two entities are, exactly.
And the new Shorty cabinet has installed a lady to watch the proceedings. She's an agricultural expert. Don't laugh... it's sad enough.

We Did It Again
Yes, we're back on the list of countries notorious for money laundering. The US State Department even refers to Shorty, Imalootin and dos Diablos (whose appeal has been retracted). Curaçao (with Aruba) is also mentioned as a transit port for drugs. Now that's what I call putting us on the map!

Nahar Hits Hard
Ex-Isla lawyer Nahar wrote another article on GZE-PS™-Isla. To give you the highlights:
— GZE does not have to clean the mess left by 100 years of refinery activities
— the 10 billion dollars originally promised by GZE to be invested have now shrunk to 1 billion
— GZE gets a most valuable property, Bullenbaai deep-water harbor and hinterland, free in hands, plus a say in non-oil related future industrial development
She finally accuses PS™ Koeiman of doing exactly what he blamed his predecessor PS™ Whiteman for: pushing through business while he should only finish running affairs as an interim PM.
Sold out to Chinese sharks. Next we'll be turned into shark fin soup.

Not So Fast There
George may, in court, have rectified his claim that the public ministry pays journalists to write news for them, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to pay his fine. It only means it won't become higher.

Free Booze at Forti
Shorty announces that the entire people is cordially invited to celebrate the new government's installment in Willemstad this afternoon. There'll be free booze for everybody. And parking in Willemstad will be free!
I hope this degenerates into a riot.
The story is, Cooper didn't pass the security screening because his tax papers are not okay. How typical. He's getting 7 days to fix that.
Why do all those crooks get away with that, while we get persecuted by the Tax Person?

There We Go Again
A Letter of Intent has been signed between InselAir and Synergy, holing company of Colombian Avianca, to arrive at a future partnership. Rhuggenaath explained that it was important for Synergy that our government would remain involved with InselAir.
He hasn't learned a thing: it's important to us the government is not involved with any airline.
Meanwhile, IATA has suspended InselAir from the club, so no international bookings are possible; InselAir hasn't paid dues and services rendered. Quite in style.

The new cabinet will be installed tomorrow. Pisas will be MP; I read that he used to run a copying machine in the police station so his income will grow a bit. In fact, he at least was a cop. Rumors are that the first thing they'll do is declare a state of emergency and stop the elections. Then, the fun will really start. But those are just rumors. Not to worry...

Too Many
Foundation Bureau Toezicht Normering Overheidsentiteiten [Foundation Supervision Bureau Standards Governmental Entities - they should hang the guys who think up those names] advised negatively on the proposed profile for members of the Supervisory Board of CTB tourist organization. The proposal asks for 7 members (all salaried, sure) without taking into account if that many are needed or if they know anything at all about tourism in the first place.
Not surprising, you say, right. What's surprising is that the foundation criticizes it.

Cooper Out, Prik In
Not Cooper will be the next PM for as long as it lasts, but Pisas Pik. Hmmm... You think Cooper again might not have passed the screening? It certainly is a thought.

George Does Not Have to Pay
As George has declared in court that the public ministry did not pay journalists to spread info, the judge judges that he rectified. So he's off scot-free. The public ministry agrees, why bother just about sums it up, I guess.

Up Your Date
FWC Illegal wants Lichtveld to "rectify" his article by return. That could be hard to do for Lichtveld, if not downright impossible, as all he writes seems to be the bottom truth.
But FWC Illegit say their good reputation has been undermined. That's a good laugh, thanks FWC.

Hospital Fireworks? If Only!
George Lichtveld has had the temerity, the impudence... to write an article criticising the relations between Berenschot and FWC (Flocker Camelia Winkel) Legal. SONA, the construction manager for the new HNO hospital, did not renew the contract with project executor Berenschot ending December 31, 2016. Berenschot had already received 40 million guilders, more than twice than budgeted, while the hospital wasn't even finished.
Of course Berenschot didn't like this and, feeling supported by a secret FWC Legal report commissioned by PS™ minister of health Victorina, tried to take over from SONA. Lichtveld described all this in his article.
Which, naturally, Berenschot and FWC Legal resented and so they ran to court, accusing Lichtveld of, as far as I can gather, defamation.
But that's only for starters. In the advocate's note there are many more interesting points. Like, "seedy and dodgy" Camelia was asked by saintly Helmin Wiels to format the 2013 cabinet, which explains a lot in itself. FWC Legal, mentioned in the Panama Papers, is characterized as money grabbing and has lots of lucrative deals with the government.
I just love to see all this come out in court. Advice for smart lawyers' club FWC Legal: better think it over next time.

Makes Me Curious
A woman has been voting twice in the pre-elections last week. We're not told who she voted for; after all, that's still a secret?

They Don't Agree, Small Wonder
In contradistinction with Aqualectra, van der Dijs and RdK refinery don't have any good words for Willems's investigation because of the civiele enquête instigated by FAS. There's nothing good about it and it's sloppy and full of mistakes.
It's up to the court to decide on that, though.

Don't Look for Me There
Shorty invites the people to come to Fort Amsterdam this afternoon to celebrate the installing of his new cabinet. I won't join the fun.
Two candidates haven't passed the screening (yet?) and it's not Cooper but Pisas who'll be PM. So Cooper may not have passed. That's the persistent rumor, and I shouldn't wonder.
In all fairness, I wouldn't join no matter what cabinet were installed.

Hurry And You Can Join Both
Another demonstration will be held before then, between 13:00 and 14:00 near "Post 5" of the Isla refinery, protesting against the escape of catcracker powder. Too late... And it has already been shown the government has no emergency measures whatsoever if it happens again.

To Your Health
The famous Floating Market was closed down in a thorough search for contraband, but not much was found. The idea was guns, but no... just some illegal Viagra.

Lies vs. Lies
Shorty is sowing unrest and discontent under the fired personnel of InselAir. The former government lied when they said nobody would be fired, he said.
But they never said that.

In the process started long, long ago on the mishaps of our government-owned companies when Shorty Ruled the Island, Aqualectra considers itself both a defendant and an applicant. Persons like Shorty, van der Dis and Werner Wiels just took over management (and are still trying to, in fact). Aqualectra requests court to appoint an independent person/administrator and, most interestingly, does not appeal to non-admissibility of the Willems report, started at request of the public ministry and Fundashon Akshion Sivil.

Who Pays What?
A study will be made on building a new refinery at Bullenbaai, the location of Curaçao Oil Terminal. That should include removing all traces of the present Isla refinery (a job that just can't be done, but let it go for now). The study will be paid by GZE/China, RdK refinery, "the other government companies" and CZR, China Holding Ltd. You may be surprised at that name popping up, but they finance GZE; neither of the Chinese companies has any experience with refinery exploitation. GZE is a dealer in oil and CZR a financing company.
Of course, experience can be bought or hired.
The question is, why should "the other government companies" pay along?
Another point is, which has been touched on already but hastily abandoned, what happens to Hato airport where arriving aircraft have to make their approach right smack over a vulnerable refinery?

The Root of the Evil
When casinos were introduced in the Antilles, it was supposed to be for attracting tourists. Everybody who has taken the merest glance is aware that it's not tourists who make the casinos run: it's the locals. Ridiculously deficient measures are taken to avoid this. They don't have a chance of working.
And with the casinos we got mafia, and after all those years the mafioso are taking over completely. They have, not for the first time, tried to take over our government. The only remedy is to get rid of the mafia, which means getting rid of the casinos.
Tourists don't come for those, anyway; and if they do, let us go and look for honest work instead. Tough for the Master Plan and for Rhuggenaath.
Don't write me letters, let me live in my dreams. Thank you.

Good or Bad News, Depending
Holland is ready and willing to send over observers for the elections. You know, if I were Shorty, I'd keep a lower profile; but that's beyond him.
But they leave it to local authorities to look into accusations of bribery to collect parliament seats.

Isla Hits Again
With the start-up of the catcracker large quantities of powder have been released, coming down in neighborhoods like BlueBay and Sambil. Isla apologizes, dûh.
The catalyst powder, looking like light snowfall, is notorious for containing heavy metals which tend to be carcinogenic.

Home Is Fortress, Not Castle
After the recent shooting feast killing four, police has now been ordered to search certain neighborhoods and houses for weapons. Presumably, no warrant needed?
Sure brings back memories: "Aufmachen! Razzia!"
The island is "saturated" with guns, says interim minister of justice Martina. And I (never) thought that gun collecting action was such a success! He assures us everything will go following the law, though. Police will only enter after a through investigation. Which is pretty vague, but the media asked no more questions.

What Now, Shorty?
We are wating with baited breath (can't be right, that) for step C (or was that D?) now that the European Court has sent the Gang of Goons away with 12 fleas in their ears. Or maybe 24. Shorty and his precious Peppi and Kokki should have known that he would only find an audience there if he first appealed to Holland. There are laws and rules, Shorty, like it or (probably) not.

Only Eleven
As 3 parties didn't get enough votes at the pre-election, we'll have only 11 left to choose from at the April 28 elections.

Carmabi Curiosity
Carmabi wants a look at the correspondence between auntie Suzy's VVRP ministry and the UN Environmental Program about Oostpunt. UNEP is worried about the January Landsverordening in which zoning changes were approved so Oostpunt development plans could go ahead.

That's the Reason
MAN Cleopa wants a multidisciplinary contact team (sounds good, huh?) consisting of police, tourist police, CTB tourist office, Foundation Victim Help, security companies "and suchlike". As usual, not so much because life keeps getting riskier for us; no, he's afraid one of these days a tourist will get killed! Oy Veh!

It's There!
At last, end March Hato airport will get it's FAA upgrade new parking machines which can actually read debit and credit cards. Goodbye to saving lots of guilders and schlepping them along because you never know if they will be accepted.
At least, I hope so.

One More Week
Shorty's Gang of Goons had optimistically expected that they could install their ministers Friday this week, but the screening process doesn't go that fast; results won't be in before next Monday.

Don't Get Fooled
Headline in Curaçao Chronicle: CCAA Presents Aerodrome Certificate Hato International Airport To CAP." But that has nothing to do with the FAA upgrade, which was promised this very month. Coincidentally?

Who Needs That
Don't you, another pet peeve, hate those stupid auto-play videos—like everybody I know? You quickly pass 'em by only to have 'em pop up again. Which you have to click away. Aw... tiresome. And imagine, somebody's making money there.

Except auntie Suzy's PIN, you'll never guess what other fractious fractions can be voted for. That Godett-Royer's Frente Obrero-PAN and Rosalia's Kousa Promé. Keep trying, boys.

So Much for Predictions. And Experts.
The price for crude oil last week-end fell below $50/barrel, while all experts have been predicting a rise.

Verrietstichting for helping handicapped people has problems: too little money. They have written letters and all that, but get no adequate help.
But SVB social insurance says they don't know anything about budget shortages.

Getting Worse
In what is thought to be a criminal reckoning, 3 passers-by were killed. They got the man they wanted as well, but that's not much consolation.
The people of Westpunt have been promised more protection against the wave of violent atrakos that's been going on there; even worse than the rest of the island. We can only hope it works.

Not Safe
Imalootin must have felt safe when hiding out in Venezuela, as there is no extradition treaty; but the country will evict him anyway. Tough, Imalootin. You're safe nowhere. I'll freely admit to feelings of Schadenfreude here.
Imalootin feels it's not sporting of justice to have him flung back here.

Auntie Suzy In
Her PIN was the only party of those that had to get enough pre-votes to participate in the election that did so; with a wide margin too. DP is out, for the first time in many years (that they didn't win a seat either). I've lost count how many parties will participate now; later.

Let's Do It!
In South-Africa, roads are getting so bad that "self repair by citizens is a new trend." If we tried to do that here, we'd probably get arrested or at least fined. Let's face it, if we repair the roads no contractor gets a chance to get the order and all bribes are gone with the Trade Wind.
One difference with us here though is that "the Eastern Cape High Court, ordered the provincial Roads Department to reimburse farmers in the area who carry out maintenance themselves, subject to strict conditions including giving the department 30 days notice of the repairs and obtaining at least two independent quotes."
Not that there's no bribery in South Africa; don't make me laugh, then it hurts.

Original Viewpoint
Heerenveen, director of InselAir, says that the low oil prices have caused a lot of trouble for his company. This while he (or any other company) never lowered prices because of that; kept us paying through the nose.
He also says that a company just flying between the (Neth. Ant.) islands must remain small to be profitable, like DiviDivi Air. Doesn't sound as if he took that lesson to heart, and certainly not as if he wants to.

Imalootin Arrested
At the request of our public ministry ex-minister of finance (under Shorty) Imalootin has been arrested. He's suspected of fraud, office offenses, and embezzlement. All quite in character. More arrests are expected.
Aren't you safe anywhere? He was arrested in Venezuela. So some things still work there.

Go to Work, Auntie
The judge has decided that auntie Suzy must react to AVA Airline's application for a permit before April 30. In fact, she should have done so long ago.
Auntie Suzy says it's hard to find proper candidates for a committee to look into AVA's appeal. Hint: maybe InselAir can pay those guys a bonus, they have plenty of our money to spend.

Shot, Shirty
Rijksministerraad council of ministries sees no reason to stop our new elections. Time for Shorty to start wading in his alphabet soup.
But Cooper has an original thought: it's up to Staten to decide whether to hold elections or not. Nice try, but no cigar, Cooper.
Rumors are parliament will try a way out by firing the voting council and installing a new one, which will then give its considered opinion new elections are impossible. I wouldn't put it past them, either.
Shorty will now go to the €uropean court. Knowing how fast they are, that could take until next elections again. Easy.

Dangerous Driving
For them, they have to know for themselves. Problem is they endanger us. Police during controls fined 14 for driving through red lights, 4 without safety belt, 5 without valid driver's license, 7 with no inspection card, 7 without insurance, 5 with no tax paid, and 13 with too dark tinted windows.
We also get to read the 2nd phase of installing security cameras has started (after incredible delays). Does that include traffic light checkers? I hope so.

Childish Revenge
5 ministers of the interim cabinet have had a visit by the bailiff, and have to pay 501.26 guilders each. Because of one of the motions accepted on that fateful day they're held responsible for costs resulting from decisions taken after the fall of the government. In total it's 3.007,56 guilders; not even hummingbird feed compared with what Shorty's Gang of Goons is spending already.
PAR Jesus-Leito comments that Shorty is trying for such a mess that Holland will be forced to interfere; then he can scream "colonialist intervention!" If that will help him much is another matter; Shorty may have a certain peasant cunning, but I wouldn't call him a great thinker.

Better Go Somewhere Else
Traffic technician Pasman writes there are no International Driving License forms available at the bureau, and they have not the smallest idea there when the printer will deliver. So if you plan to visit Australia, Japan, South Africa or some such place, forget it. Take your holiday on Bonaire, fly there with Insel Air!
Or don't rent a car, take a taxi.

That's the Spirit: Sue the Bastards
A woman living in BlueBay Resort, among the most expensive locations available, didn't count on getting to live under or actually in the Isla refinery smoke. Her allergies are almost killing her, and she's now suing the refinery and the government for compensation.
Seems it's impossible to sell that house: by now everybody knows the problem and it's become difficult to find new suckers. So why doesn't BlueBay sue the bastards? Good question.

Aqualectra utility can't stop fluoridation just like that, as voted for in parliament a few days ago. It's the law (Landsverordening) and it will take months and months to change that. Even then, it would take quite a while before all the fluoride is out of the system.
Aqualectra also refuses to reconnect defaulters without "an effective policy."
Anti-fluoridation is an old hobby of Shorty and Quackie. They already tried a few years ago.

Give Me 1 Million More
What a hardship. There's no money budgeted for the Smart Zoning committee, so Shorty's Gang of Goons will eke it out somewhere else. Not really, the same old tired source: you and me. At least we know for once how much they'll pay those committee members, 1 soiled solid million.

Criminality in Parliament
Yes, the criminals there, convicted and all, are discussing criminality. Violent criminality, that is. They're worried. So are we, and not only about violence.
By the way, wasn't Quackie violent smacking McWilliam in the face? And she's an ex-con as well. With new convictions pending.

Ferry Fairy Facts
Lots of discussions about future ferries the past time, which I mercifully spared you. Fact of the matter is, cars approved for one island do not comply with regulations on others, so it's impossible to take 'em with you and drive around at the destinations. Killer, ain't it?

They Waste No Time to Waste Money
Parliament has accepted 10 motions yesterday, all certain to bring the island to the edge of bankruptcy again—if not over it. First, their own budget is raised by about 15%. Then, fluoridation will stop, and as 95% of people have dental problems, from now on all dental care will be free for everybody. Logical, isn't it? Those who had their water supply cut off for default of payment will be reconnected, almost 1500 of them, and water and electrical tariffs will be lowered.
That's not democracy, that's populism, folks! No doubt with a beady eye out for the elections.
Things that don't sound bad at first sight are, but also immediately raise the questions, how? and who'll pay?:— enterprises with over 10 personnel should be up and running in 6 weeks; government will create 1,000 new jobs (betcha we'll get that many more spoiled brats); sales tax will be charged when importing goods and not by monthly declaration; all goods meant for tourists are tax free.
Sure, I know who'll pay: you and me. Dearly.

Isla Refinery Feels Storm Coming
Refineria di Korsow head van den Wall-Arnemann reacts to the upheaval in our government. He says that the negotiations with Chinese GZE have gone on too far to get out of the deal. Now he's telling us (if it's true, sure)! At any rate, he claims they have a plan B (maybe borrowed from Shorty, who has plenty of plans) to continue operations without PdVSA. "There are no other alternatives," he says, which is a pleonasm; always better than an oxymoron, right. The public tender for the LNG terminal is getting along fine, but will there be a refinery two years from now?
Van den Wall-Arnemann is just like all of us in the claws of Shorty and his Gang of Goons for now, and we'll just have to wait until he decides. As the title of one of Kurosawa's movies says, I Live in Fear. I couldn't put it better than that.
The oil workers' trade union agrees with vdW-A; won't help 'em much while the Small Tyrant rules.

Sic Him, Judge!
The Babel case against which Shorty appealed will come to court in the week of May 29. They think they need a week to deal with it. Alas, that's a whole month after the new April 28 elections.
Doesn't really matter, Al Capone kept his business running when he was locked up as well.

Out: van der Horst
The one minister I could appreciate (because he fought the spoiled brats all the way, all the time) has left PIAS. No hard feelings, he said, he just wants to get out of all politics to start a private advising bureau.

Sizzling Hot
InselAir AUA today will start proceedings to have InselAir International, by which I guesss is meant Curaçao, declared bankrupt. Where's the popcorn?
The judge stopped it. Spoilsport.
Insel also fired 250 of their personnel and now have 300 left. And they'll close InselAir AUA down. The fired ones had to read about it in the media, no way they'll have received those letters via C***-post yet.

Something Personal
Quackie Constancia refuses to apologize for smacking McWilliam in the face. "It's something personal" she says, which explains why she did it in the most public place she could find. And—a mere suggestion—maybe apologize in private, then? We'll never know, true; unless McWilliam tells us about it. Or maybe until Quackie has her day in court.

Black Not Beautiful?
A storm has been caused by a book used at school and written by a teacher. It says there are 4 races, among which "Negroid" which distinguishes itself by "dark skin, being long and rubust, with black frizzy hair (afro), broad nose and thick lips [donkere huidskleur, lang en fors zijn, met zwart kroeshaar, brede neus en dikke lippen]. Except for the stereotypes, that also contains language mistakes, they complain. I'm a sucker for that but honestly can't find any. It's clumsy in all, not only linguistic, senses, but mistakes? And what is a "race" anyway but a collection of stereotypes?
At any rate, it's all caused because the schools lack teaching material (no money, a well-known refrain—talk about stereotypes) and have to make up their own.
If I have any complaint myself, it's that the text accepts the dirty-pink, "white" race as given without mentioning any characteristics.

He Got That Straight
Ex-PM and, I suppose, ex-PS™ Whiteman calls his party joining Shorty and his Gang of Goons "treason" which is exactly how we feel about it. He refers to Saintly Wiels, who refused to cooperate with Shorty in 2012, when he got murdered for his trouble [would be defamation if I mentioned any suspects].

Shorty's Alphabet Soup
He says the elections are illegal (so is he) but he has a whole range of plans to stop them. Like Plans A, B, C and D. Plans A and B backfired already, so now they start with C, "local and international efforts" which, from other news, entails a visit to Strasbourg and pester the €U a bit. Then, the protests with RMR have been skipped? It's not very clear; but that's how Shorty likes it.

Davelaar Denies
PNP Davelaar denies rumors that his party will join Shorty's Gang of Goons, in order to avoid coming elections. It's a gut reaction of a politician to deny everything at first sight, I'm afraid.

Better Bury It, Kids
The judge has decided that parents are entitled to take all the money from their kids, be it cash or bank accounts. They need no authorization.

Hoo, That Smarts
The Central Committee, whoever they are, has this morning agreed to install a "smart zoning committee". Maybe to figure out what that means. But PS™ Cijntje explains they're portmanteau words of 'smart code' and 'form based zoning'—clear as mud to me. Hey, what's even better than 1 committee?
The new committee still has to be accepted by parliament. We needn't worry about that.
Gee, I wonder how much all those committee members get paid.
I agree, Cijntje wouldn't know what portmanteau means.

And Now for Us, Here
The Vancouver Park Board has decided unanimously to forbid displaying live cetaceans in the Aquarium. For those who haven't learned Latin in school, like me, or didn't pay attention in biology class, unlike me, that means porpoises, whales and dolphins.
That won't happen here for a while. Noooo, the Dolphin Academy attracts tourists and... enough said. And then, suckers who pay dearly to have their autistic children play with dolphins held prisoner. Would be much cheaper to get them a pussycat or puppy—works just as well or even better. Or so I'm told. At any rate, those animals enjoy having a home; dolphins, not so much.

It's a Sieve
Some committee really earned their money by going to our dear prison and checking the vistors' regulations. No wonder so many prisoners have knives, cell phones and drugs! First, you need to pass an ion-scanner; only, there is no such machine. No bags allowed; well, in supermarkets that's taken more seriously. Upon leaving, you're supposed to show ID; in practice, not. Cars delivering supplies are not checked. No security cameras and the entrance guards can't look outside where a mob of bullies may be assembling for an attack.
Summing up, it's a wonder there are still prisoners inside. They must like it there.

Ready to Get Cut Up?
Well, the hospital is ready again for you, as well. So join the eager crowd and take a number. Just look out which surgeon is honing his knives for you.

Minimum Wage
In four states of the USA (AZ-CA-CO-NY), the trend is to add a surcharge of 3-4% to the bill to cover the raised minimum wage. Restaurants are afraid customers will resent higher menu prices; others say it's merely "a political statement." And what's wrong with that?
Just wondering if we'll get any follow-up here.

Don't Believe Any of Them
PAR DP K*NT Ribeiro declares, in name of the party, that the interim kabinet will not torpedo the elections. Too bad his Proud-to-be-Mafioso boss Dos Diablos on the same day says in another Amigoe article that "there really won't be any elections."
And M*F*K Shorty says that because "more laws are stamped into the ground day by day, the chance on new elections grows." Everybody's entitled to an opinion, even convicted criminals.

Giant Megalomania Outburst Planned
Space-Gang Boss Drost announces that next year, there'll be held a space conference here: "Planet Earth Air and Space Conference Curaçao 2018." With as participators Amazon's Elon Mush and Virgin's Branson; both of whom have plans of their own. Between you and me, I don't believe the guys have promised to come. Name-dropping is easy.
Drost expresses confidence that, by then, we'll be back at Grade A-OK with the FAA; I'm not so optimistic and even parliament was extremely doubtful about the proposed Space Law. He also mentions that with a big financier his own space plans would be speeded up. No doubt he's right, but good luck with that, Drost. I'd rather buy beer.
Last time we heard about that FAA upgrade, it was supposed to be this month. Hah! I say, Hah!

They're Out to Get Me
Not me, but Josefina Josepha. In a long and rambling English-language letter full of grammar, syntax and spelling mistakes she accuses the stembureau [voting office] of fraud, because they didn't accept her LKKK party for the elections. Turns out, she was just too late for last Friday's deadline.
LKKK does NOT stand for "Long live the KKK."

The Sunk Cost Fallacy
From statistician Richard Nisbett's book Mindware: a nuclear power station or a supersonic airliner must not be built just because a fortune has been spent on it already. It should never matter how much cost has already been sunk into a project: it is only worth spending more if it is cost-effective.
Somehow, this reminds me of InselAir. Not vaguely either.

If It's True
But who knows? HSBC, the most notorious bank in the world for financing terrorism with shady deals, has published a report that oil has peaked and will become unavailable soon; or at least very expensive. Now where did I hear this before? You can also read that more and more oil is being explored and exploited.
So I wouldn't know, but if so, prepare for the worst as GZE will leave us in the lurch.
See what I mean? It was just announced that Alaskan oil reserves are a multiple of what was previously thought.

Please, Children
The whole problem with surgeons in SEHOSpital seems to be caused by a quarrel between two surgeons, Fa Sie Oen and Berry. Fa Sie Oen had a co-assistant write up a negative report on Berry, and Berry hit back by questioning the legitimacy of Oen's diplomas. Which resulted in Oen being fired, but getting reinstalled by the judge, who effectively canceled the health inspection.
The other surgeons are sick of it all and so are we.

Feeling the Pinch
Entrepreneurs are complaining that they, because of the way health insurance is arranged, are forced to take on undeclared jobs. If they pay their due, they haven't enough left to keep alive. Another manifestation of the Laffer effect; not that we needed any.

Good and Bad News
First Bad: the names of the candidate ministers are known already, which contradicts earlier news but was only to be expected. To save you a day of stomach pains and chagrin, I won't mention them all. The first one is plenty enough, Cooper for PM. Say, that guy didn't pass in the screening last time, or what?
Anyway, now for the Good part: "some" expect the screening to take 6 weeks, which means the new cabinet won't have much time left before the new elections. Like a week or so.

Don't Jostle
14 parties have said they'll register for the new elections tomorrow. One of them is Speransa, hope. Don't hope for too much, they're warm admirers of Godett and Rosalia (he'll join the fun as well); remember him at all?
And auntie Suzy's new party is called PIN, Partido Inovashon Nashional. Get your PIN-code, auntie! Plenty more money to go around.
Don's son Steven Martina and others are joining MAN—damage control.

Wait a Bit Longer
The formatteur won't have a cabinet proposal ready before end next week. Lemme see... that's March 17. It's too much to expect that governor Wout will accept this before "... the week-end's over, Monday rolls around". [That's from a Duke Ellington song, you cultural nitwit.] And from then 14 days for the screening takes us to April 3, with 25 days left before new elections.
Of course, an experienced thief like Shorty can steal a lot in that time, especially as after that we'll get another formatteur, and at least one more month of waiting before that's over and done with.
Song: I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good; Lyrics Edwyn Stephen Collins.

So That's How It Worked
InselAir Curaçao wet-leased MD8Xs from InselAir Aruba, which means (in contradistinction with dry-leased) that IA-Aruba has been paid enormous amounts for maintenance. Which they didn't spend, obviously, since all those MD8Xs have been grounded by the AUA air authorities.
Looks like a trick to flow out some money from Curaç to [pockets unknown].
I agree, there are plenty more tricks the Guys at the Top may have used.
Caveat: this is according to Karel Maduro, member of political party MEP, arch-enemy of AVP during whose reign all this took place.

It's a Trick!
Shorty's M*F*K party wants to occupy the BPD minister's seat. Why exactly that? Well, journalist Dick de Draayer explains it in KKCur: BPD takes care of the electoral council and there you are. Or rather, there free elections go.

May be of the harmful radioactive type, too; then again, it may have a beneficial hormesis effect. Shorty has ordered all negotiations with Chinese oil giant GZE on the future of Isla to stop. You might well wonder how his PS™ mates (for now) feel about that. Nasty minds whisper that he's jealous because he didn't get bribed, but that's slander.
The Short Tyrant also stopped a number of projects, among which many "business trips" our spoiled brats had planned. Of course; what they spend he can't get it his hands on.

Another funny statistics stunt by CTB. They say the amount of money flowing into the January economy is 2% more than last year. Then they explain this is based on the number of nights tourists stayed; in other words, just a shot in the dark. But wait! it gets still funnier. Because the number of tourists, they go on to say, has gone down—7%.
Say, that's almost exactly how much Rhuggenaath said it would go up this year, 7.1%!

Nothing to Do
That can have nothing to do with this item: again a Dutch tourist has been robbed by getting knocked over the head with a baseball bat. The attacker got away with a rucksack. Demissionary minister of justice Navarro says "it's a social problem." Gee, would you think so?
And we get to hear that Politur tourist police have been waiting for funds over three months, but that's no surprise. Not that they are of much use in the first place.

One More for the Melee
Auntie Suzy Römer announces she will not be a candidate for PNP at the next elections. She may start her own party instead.
To prognosticate, this may spell the end of PNP. Or maybe not.
And PAR confirms they will not cooperate with K*NT. Dos Diablos proudly announced last week in parliament (!) the brothers were associated with the Italian mafia.

Back to the Cutting Room
The judge has ordered surgeon Fa Si Oen back to work in SEHOSpital, as he does have the proper licenses and diplomas. Inspector of health Perreira doubted this and stopped him from working. It's not clear why.

Sure, We'll Pay
Parliament members will appeal to the Kingdom's Rijksministerraad to interfere in our government. Parliament head Pisas plus heads of M*F*K, K*NT, MP PS™ and indies Braam and Dannawi will all fly over. No doubt business class, daily compensation, 1st class hotels and plenty of wining and dining. If they'd only stay over there to do their whining.
Small problem, for them: Only MAN demissionary PM Koeiman is entitled to apply to Rijksministerraad.
Ex-MAN Cooper is candidate PM for the new cabinet, if and when. (He didn't pass the screening in 2010.)

Dig That Dirt
dirty engine
Always a sure sign of bad maintenance: dirt.
This is a Fokker of InselAir Curaçao; the Aruba ones went one better
and painted the back of the engine black so you wouldn't see the soot.

Much Ado About Nothing
Looks like it. Governor Wout will proceed with the elections on April 28; it's the law, she says. So there. In fact, it's the constitution.
And all that rigmarole of Shorty's Goon Gang in parliament led to exactly nothing. Except making us the risée with all those goings on, a lot of trouble, fighting in parliament and 1.9 million guilders cost. Not to mention the waste for private enterprise.
At least all those "alleged" bribes have gone to waste as well.

Insel Didn't Learn a Thing
As from tomorrow, InselAir will only fly between Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and St. Maarten with their Fokker aircraft. Which means they will stop operating on the routes to Barquisimeto, Caracas, Las Piedras (Venezuela), Georgetown (Guyana), Port-au-Prince (Haïti), Havana (Cuba), Kingston (Jamaica), Manaus (Brazil), Medellín (Colombia), Miami (USA), Paramaribo (Suriname), Port of Spain (Trinidad), Santo Domingo (Republica Dominicana) and Quito (Ecuador). Which I suppose means that at this point they still fly there? Can only be "after a fashion."
After which, they say, they expect to fly the normal routes again by June. So they didn't wise up at all.

Freak Show in Staten
The screening of the new formatteur may be ready tomorrow. The Shorty gang is foaming at their mouths with impotent rage. "Everybody is against us, the governor, Raad van Advies [advisory council], the Public Ministry, radio- and television station, the newspapers," says PS™ Cijntje.
He got that straight, only forgot to mention "the voters". Small wonder that they're moving heaven and earth to try and prevent new elections. Keep tuned.

Air Soap
Just when the Aruba Tax Person had lifted the seizure of InselAir's aircraft, the Aruba Tourism Authority pulled the same trick. And after them, there's a whole queue of companies and government institutes that are clamoring for theirs.
If InselAir Aruba receives money, our money, from Curaçao it will be automatically and instantly seized as well. There are rumors that Curaçao shareholders are having in-fights. I shouldn't wonder one bit.

Cutting Cut
Operations in SEHOSpital planned between 6-17 March will be postponed. Tough if you're in a hurry.
But that's only for "elective" surgery, like, plastic. Reason, no money for supplies.

Google Earth wind TC

Wind Worries
There are several factors to consider when building wind generators within 1 mile (1.6km) of human habitations. A research paper prepared in November 1987 (yes, so long ago already) for the US Department of Energy describes the problems.
Most of Tera Corá is closer than that to at least two wind generators. In fact, the NE quarter sits closer than that to 4 of them.
Our department of Health should investigate these potential problems before we build more wind generators; apart from the question of how much use they are.
In a nutshell, the most troubling aspects are low-frequency sound waves emanating from the generators.

Just What We Needed
A new party, PUSH: United People Solidary and Just. They want to work for the welfare of the Curaçao people. We wish them the best of luck. And 'our' bishop Secco wants us to consider that, in these difficult times, what we need is hope and confidence. Sure, bish. Especially confidence is plum hard to come by.

They Found Out
Sluis makes known that InselAir's wet-leasing has to stop ASAP. Problem is, there are still passengers stuck in Manaus and Port-au-Prince. To name but a few. Say, wouldn't it be cheaper, much cheaper, to give them tickets on another airline? Just a suggestion. Oh wait, they thought of that! Out of the box...
And the non-reaction to complaints needs investigation. Fancy that!

"Greenpeace Claims Immunity from Lawsuits Because Its Claims Are 'Hyperbole'" says a headline. Which reminds me of George claiming his wild accusations were legit and belonging in our culture. And by the way, George has refused to rectify, just as he announced, so John Law is looking for ways to make him pay up... or else.

Shorty and Quackie Fight Back
Shorty filed a complaint against McWilliam for "libel, slander, slanderous declaration and threat." I feel the first three items are merely more of the same, aren't they?

Nuts. Wacky. Cuckoo. Silly. Plain Crazy.
The Shorty parliament gang has voted for a motion wherein the Rijksministerraad is asked to scratch our new elections. Said RMR is the council of ministers of the Mighty Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Apart from the fact Holland will probably pass, like it always does instead of interfering in our local affairs: Shorty and his anti-colonials asks this entity to horn into our precious autonomous government?
So relax, we'll have new elections and there will be no new set of ministers until then.
Is as I read it; no guarantees are given by the management. I'm not a tourist, only live here.
That Shorty isn't really stupid—he can't be denied street-smartness— is once again made clear by his first applauding the new elections and, a few hours later, starting to scream and yell they're illegal. He must have been reconsidering his chances to win. Or lose.

Auntie Suzy Peed Off, Gets One More Wallop
Auntie didn't like the remarks on her crummy policy (which culminated in the InselAir disaster) by Dutch secretary of state Dijksma, who is now working to resolve yet another Nos mes por! crisis. Auntie wants Dijksma to retract or to substantiate her remarks. But Dijksma lets them stand.
Aruba InselAir personnel is (partly) on strike now. Not that it matters much.

Now the UK
After the Dutch government has forbidden functionaries to travel InselAir, now it's that of the UK. They also advise anybody not to fly Insel... it's dangerous.

Maybe That Works. Maybe
Parliament has been praying (to their gods; really) for quiet, order and peace during meetings. They import five, count 'em, hand-picked pastors of different belief systems to lead in prayer. Let's see, that would have been a catholic priest, couple of ministers (the religious type), and perchance a rabbi? an imam? All playing the fool to help the clowns fool us.
Update: They were all catholic pastors playing the fool. Maybe they got paid, like you have to pay for everything in that holy church.
Two cops present from now on, that might help more. And members have been forbidden to take their guns along. If only they keep to that.

Nos Mes Por!—NOT
Because Holland is worried about the state of our airways, as it well might be, the government pledged support. A committee of experts from all Kingdom countries will look at how inter-island communication can be safely guaranteed, and laws and rules will be adapted to achieve that.

Quackie Free
She's out of jail and, therefore, able to go to the parliament meeting today and help vote the opposition, in fact the present coalition (got it?) out. Sure, she said she'd take her leave as a parliament member, but who'd trust her?
Expect fireworks.
Leeflang won't be there, she says it just ain't safe. Notwithstanding.

Always So Curious, Those Reporters
InselAir tells the press that wet-leasing aircaft costs $100K per day, incl. hotels and meals. That's 180K guilders. None of the journalists seems to have thought to ask "is that in total or per plane?" Because, they are wet-leasing four of them which brings total costs to $400K/day, am I right? Which burns the last 30 million guilders we gave them in 75 days, two months and a half.
And why should Insel have to pay for hotels and meals, if not because those wet-leased flights are never on schedule either?

Polite Request
Two parliament members are known to carry guns. They have been requested not to take it into parliament meetings.
Also, as from now two cops will be present in all meetings. Armed with guns, to be sure. So Leeflang can feel safe again.

Way Back When
In 1934, KLM started their West-Indisch Bedrijf, using Fokker aircraft (F-XVIII) to connect the islands with more international destination flights.
They made a nice fat profit. After WWII the company was turned into ALM which was then sold to the government. From there, it went downhill.
But if InselAir announces they can make a 1 million profit/month by flying only inter-island routes, they are lying highly optimistic.

This Year, It Will Be Better
That Master Plan works out just fine; 2016-III was another economic disaster. Total GDP growth here zero, while St. Maarten actually shrunk. Central Bank doesn't bother to use the weasel words "negative growth" there.
Especially restaurants and hotel sector went down. Can we have Rhuggenaath repeat it once again, maybe it helps? "This year tourism will see a 7.1% growth."

Back to Basics
To keep alive and in business, InselAir needs to give up grandiose dreams of being "the largest regional airline" and other megalomania and maintain flight routes between the old Netherlands Antilles; there's even money in that. To start with, Insel will fire part of the personnel.
But the management has already started dreaming about, later, reopening the routes to Miami and Paramaribo. And then, why not Haïti, Trinidad, Caracas, Bogotá? We don't need a broken company for those inter-insular connections—better start anew with a realistic management.
One of the thoughts behind the "new" conception is that island traffic can be handled with the Fokker aircraft. Sorry, but flying to St. Maarten and back just takes hours in one of those. And besides, they're rather geriatric as well.
The management doesn't consider the MD8Xs as aircraft of the future which is, for once, an understatement. They expect to start turning a profit in May or June, which sounds more realistic than "two days"; until then, we'll have to keep pouring in tax money. And it would hardly be "before summer" either.

Bureau Crazy
Even Curaçao these days offers the possibility of making an appointment with the Civil Service via the internet. Really funny. You go to the website Bentana di informashon and eventually click on a link to make an appointment (the Dutch version). This results in a 404 error. So you go to the Sita di gobierno website and ask for an appointment in Papiamento. Yes, that works! You are linked through to a form—in Dutch.
But it seems when you go there you get a sédula right away, no appointment needed.

Shorty Won't Like That
Formatteur Larmonie-Cecilia has been appointed by governor Wout. She'll have to be screened before she can accept her function. This won't take very long, as she has been screened for a minister's function not long ago; say, 1 week? Even if she can then present a new cabinet immediately, it will take 3-4 weeks again for the new ministers to be screened. By then it's, let's see, April 5 at the very earliest; or might be April 19, not even 2 weeks before April 28. Or more.
Meaning, the interim cabinet will stay on until a few weeks before the new elections at least.

We were supposed to get more welfare pension AOW this year. Well, I didn't get any.

Didn't Work
Shorty was convinced, or so he said to the media, that his interrogation by the cops would result in the release of Quackie. Not so: it was decided to keep her in the slammer for eight more days instead.

It Just Ain't Safe
In a letter to the present parliament head MP Leeflang announces she will not be present at future meetings unless security is guaranteed. She points to the troubles of February 4, 14 and 24, and to the rumors that some unnamed parliament members have their own armed gorillas hanging around. Goodbye, democracy!
Even if democracy is nothing else than fights in a Greek marketplace, it's better than have Shorty, whoever, for a dictator.
Problem with Leeflang is, she keeps getting her salary. Of course, she's supposed to do more than appear in meetings. Even if you wouldn't think many of her colleagues do.

The Old Game
The country wants to borrow 114.5 million guilders (US$63m), just about twice as much than the usually allowed sum of 1% of the GDP. Which has never been a thing our leaders worried about; it's a tradition.
Not only here, I may add.

See? I Was Right
Has-been politician Godett (I even forget his party's name) is angry because the present government, whatever and such as that is, does not take the trouble to adapt a law enabling the Space Gang to work. If he thinks so...

Won't Work: Writing on the Wall
Here, as in other places, minimum wages will become higher. In itself, logical to go up with inflation; but the plan is much more than that (already agreed on in parliament).
So now we read that in the USA, where hamburger slingers are clamoring for $15/hr, Wendy's is planning 1000 self-service kiosks. McDonald's is preparing automatic hamburger cooking machines; just two examples. Matter of fact, two years ago in a Kyoto fast food joint we had to order via a machine.
You think those things won't make it over here? Think again.
Discounting the fact that the machines won't spitefully spit on your hamburger. Now that's Progress!

"I never did give them hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."
Harry S. Truman

Wholesome Entertainment for the Masses
During the carnival Tiner [Teener—now really] Parade, police arrested over 20 people. 9 aged between 16 and 30 had loaded guns on their person.
Earlier, a guy was shot and killed on the famous pontoon bridge, in a fight over a girl. H eighteen years old.

Fine With Me
M*F*K Quackie Constancia can get 30 years in jail or life (whatever comes first?) or a fine of the fifth category. Pasman says in KKCur that's 100,000 guilders max.; next to nothing in Shorty's terms.) Because she gave McWilliams that smackeroo in parliament. Shorty should have asked lawyer Peppi for advice before he staged his little act.
Maybe he did, Peppi is not the best lawyer around.

Calypso Island
Trinidad has the highest Islamic State recruitment in the Western hemisphere. Happy Carnaval!
That's probably a percentage, not absolute numbers.

Saved by the Bell
A term from the boxing world, and very much applicable: it's when a guy is almost knocked out but the bell sounds before his count-down is over. The parliament meeting to discuss new elections and a new interim cabinet has been postponed because of the vulgar cat-fight.
Well thought out, Shorty. My compliments. You're so smart!

Once Again, With Stench
Isla refinery started up again after repairs of which I'm sure they were needed, so tough if you live downwind. By the way, that's where a long stretch of the Carnival parades runs. Have fun!

So Let's Dump Sushi in the Mondi
Selikor is on strike for a new CAO [collective workers'agreement]. Nice timing with all that rubbish carnival revelers will be sure to festoon the streets with.

Sounds Believable
M*F*K Quackie Constancia says MAN McWilliam is the one to talk about the surgical caps: her own brother is renting out crowd barriers for carnaval at much too high prices. Sure, why not? I don't trust any of them.
Amigoe newspaper reports that last year, Quackie threw a bottle of water at PIAS Rosaria, but no action was taken as everybody agreed her action had been provoked.
Staten registry staff now worry about their safety and clamor for more protection.

No Aruba Auction
Aruba Tax has (at the least) postponed the auction of InselAir's MD8X aircraft. It's all about 2-2.5 million florins (say $1.5m). But while InselAir claims the aircaft are grounded by the Tax Persons, they deny this.

Game Over? Not Yet
But just barely. A letter by Michiels to KKCur warns that if Shorty manages to buy two more seats in Parliament, he'll have a 2/3 majority and will be able to have any law accepted: including one that voids his conviction not to take part in politics. Looks bad for Quackie, though: her lawyer is Peppi Sulvaran.
With Quackie out, Shorty may have to buy 1 more seat; total 6 seats = 1.8 million. Chicken feed.
The news is, M*F*K Thodé will take over.

Parliamentary, It's Not or Carnival in Staten
M*F*K Quackie Constancia yesterday in parliament didn't like it that MAN McWilliam referred to the surgical masks affair, so went over to her and let her have it: a wallop right smack in the face, causing whiplash, a hurt jaw and parts inside her nose dislocated.
Quackie also gave up her seat in parliament (for another of Shorty's straw persons? M*F*K may have lost 1 seat of the majority now) and apologized to McWilliam. But PAR Rozendal lodged a complaint that Quackie had threatened her as well.
The general impression is that Shorty orchestrated this as he didn't react at all. Pretty dumb, as it blew his chances for a vote on his proposal to stop new elections; the meeting was adjourned. Later Shorty condemned Quackie's action, adding "our deeds have consequences", in other words, McWilliam had asked for it.
Quackie was removed by the cops and locked up in the calaboose. She has disassociated herself from her party (whatever that means) in order to avoid M*F*K being blamed. That won't help much.
Leeflang shot it all on her phone. Question: will Leeflang now be sued for illegally recording during a meeting, like M*F*K Thodé was? I guess not, but hope I didn't help Shorty to an idea.

Attack on Auntie
AVA-Air Arrindell writes a letter replete with interest, stimulated by the Insel Air developments. A few edited remarks:
— The Civil Aviation Authority in Curaçao is not based on the law but on arbitrary decrees of minister Suzanne Camelia-Römer and therefore illegal.
— Responsible is minister Suzanne Camelia-Römer who has held the tenure for civil aviation for a year now and [...] has spent well over ANG 2.000.000 upholding Oscar Derby.
— Head Maintenance, Mr. Oduber with his partner/spouse Liz Castaño Tamayo, InselAir's representative in Colombia, and former employee Diangelo Maduro are engaged in business deals with inspectors of the Civil Aviation Authority, via their company M & O Aviation Services N.V.
— InselAir has instructed minister Suzanne Camelia-Römer in writing not to grant an economic license to AVA Airways.
— Out of 80 pilots employed by InselAir 45 have left.
— Römer has tolerated this gangsterism, stimulated it and participated actively in it.
Agreed, Arrindell is not what you'd call an unbiased observer.

MAN member Plet has been offered over 300,000 guilders ($135,000) to join Shorty's Gang of Goons, he says. Let's see, so whoever "allegedly" paid those three turncoats must have spent like 1 million. No doubt confident they'd make it back. Think about it, that's half of what new elections cost.
MAN says none of their remaining members can be bribed. I'm not so sure; they all pretend to be politicians.
Figure: 2 PS™ members, ex-PAR Braam, MAN Danawi and Grandchild Moses, each 300,000 guilders, total 1.5 million. Plus Plet and Leeflang, at least 3.1.

Export Article
Suggestion: let's export Shorty to North Korea, Gaza or Iran. Zimbabwe sounds good too. He'll feel right at home there; and (let's remain human) over there, they'll hardly notice the difference. Just one more.
Plenty others: Haïti, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Central African Republic...

While the politicians are trying to get a law through parliament to regulate Space Travel, the Dutch air safety controllers remark that there isn't even a proper law to regulate our CAAA aviation administration.
And by the way, how's that FAA upgrade coming along? That same Fisher guy who was supposed to fix that little problem we now see sitting next to auntie Suzy at press-meetings, reassuring us that Insel Air is doing fine, A-OK and alive and well.

Quick! Give Them More Millions!
The possessions of Insel Air Aruba will be auctioned next Friday by the Tax Person. Insel Air tried to have the Curaçao company guarantee the debts, but found no enthusiastic response. Not that the Tax Person will get much money for those old grounded wrecks. All Insel's bank accounts have been frozen already.
And Now, In Curaçao as the slogan went, Insel's head maintenance has been fired.
Get this: The airline itself says the Dutch authorities have declared it safe to fly.

Could Be Worse, But
Governor Wout has asked ex-minister Larmonie-Cecilia to form a new cabinet. Interim, so it would be until the new elections only. If parliament succeeds tomorrow in cancelling those, we're in deep manure.
Meanwhile, MAN Yaël Plet has lodged a complained for an attempt at bribery. It is not known against whom. Rumors are rife that yet another MAN parliament member will join the Goons. Somebodies must feel spending sackfuls of money are a good investment.
Lawyer Frielink says early elections are not, as Shorty claims, against international treaties. While I wouldn't know, I tend to think his opinion carries more weight. Just a feeling.

Don't Get It
Holland does have the power, and uses it, to interfere in the running of the Aruba and Curaçao air safety departments; but the Dutch will never interfere with our politics. Note: the Insel Air problem exists for 90% just because of politics.
Auntie Suzy maintains that Insel Air is safe to fly with. What does she know? And that question doesn't apply to air safety only.
CAAA inspector Fisher has read the Dutch remarks and says he knew "many" of the facts mentioned in there already.
Says Auntie "Two of the Fokkers are 100% safe" - nothing is 100% safe, auntie.

Shorty Is Their Friend
And so are lots of his Goons. The Triumph of Socialism: Venezuela is now poorer than Haïti, in human memory the second poorest country in the world after the Central African Republic. How is that possible, with the greatest oil reserves in the world? Easy answer: socialism. Took no more than 20 years.
This is something I really don't understand completely, but why are communist/socialist states always corrupt? It's endemic. Hey, don't tell me about capitalism... can get out of hand easy as well. But at least the economy keeps running; capitalists need that to make money. Look at that Kerry, Obama's foreign minister. Married to the Heinz™ fortune, so that guy is a socialist already? Don't make me larf or I'll barf.

"Very Worrying"
Auntie Suzy Römer has been busy, but not with her job. Holland is interfering in the air safety inspection of Aruba and Curaçao as it's a shambles. Aruba is a bit better (there all InselAir aircraft have been grounded), but the Dutch inspection really doubts whether the still flying Curaçao Fokkers are safe. The situation here is "very worrying" they say.

Let's Go to Court
Shorty's Gang of Goons is doing its utmost to prevent new elections. Figures. But if they succeed, it will have to be decided in court if that's legal. Let's face it, this is such a porkeria that nobody knows how and what.

At Least
Minister Rhuggenaath declares that the Insel Air deal with Avianca will take months to arrange. At least, I'd say, if ever.

No, Not Bad Luck
That's how the media describe it, but it's not: it's the same old goofiness of the genius Insel Air management. The Estelar aircraft they leased is stuck on St. Maarten, since Saturday. Entirely predictable.
Reminder: "I don't think an Estelar Airlines flight has ever been on time."
Wonder who'll pay the passengers' hotel and food bills? I know... I know... Our 30 million (HAH!) guilders.

When you go to change.org, you can sign a petition for MAN, PAR and PNP to form an electoral alliance. This would help to frustrate Shorty's ambitions. It's in Dutch and Papiamentu, but there's always Google translate. I confess didn't bother to read it through myself, though. Just signed, blindly.
I'm not fond of those three, but they're better than M*F*K, PS™, K*NT and the traitors. How could they not be?

How Touching
The Gang of Goons is trying everything to prevent new elections (as we all can imagine). They say it's against international treaties, which stipulate that there must not be too short a time between elections. And new elections would only cost us money (1.9 million guilders, cheap to get rid of Shorty). Which money should not be spent unnecessarily. We would be touched by their concern if we didn't see as well that the more is spent, the less remains to steal.
For the time being, the demissionary cabinet will remain seated until governor Wout has accepted their resignation.

There We Go
Governor Wout starts meeting party delegates today to discuss forming a new cabinet. This may well be for keeps, at least 3.5 years. It is true that only the Kiesraad [voting council] can postpone new elections, which would mean we will have them on April 28 as planned. It is also true that a new cabinet can fire them and appoint new members just like that. Saka bo som. Do you have a valid passport? Better check.

Wonder How Much He Got Paid
MAN Dannawi has joined Shorty's Gang of Goons, so now they have a solid majority in parliament. For as long as it lasts. New elections is what we need.
If that doesn't work out, there's always Australia.
PAR Walroud openly claims he's been offered money to leave the party, and MAN Yaël Plet as well, but less openly.

Politician's Promise
This one I'm afraid might well come true: "The entire manner of governing will become different" says K*NT dos Santos.
For now, the governor keeps the dismissal of the Koeiman cabinet under consideration. As there are only two ministers left who haven't had a vote of no confidence, that's not sufficient for a proper government and there is a chance the Kingdom of the Netherlands takes over to guarantee a sound governance. I wouldn't count on that, though. As for now, the old cabinet is still at work in function.
One good thing is, auntie Römer's hubby's Police Academy (cost 5.6 million guilders) has been scratched. For now.

Extra newspaper writes that the four container harbor cranes can collapse any minute now. I suppose that's an essential part of the Master Plan.
Extra may often be taken with a shipload of salt, but they say the news came from entrepreneurs' club VBC. The message is in Papiamentu, which uses kibra for 'to break down' and 'to break' so it's not really clear what's meant. That's Papiamentu for you!

Now That
It's one thing after the other for Insel Air: the Aruba Tax Person has seized all their bank accounts. Why isn't known yet; only that it has nothing to do with the personnel's lawsuit because Insel had not paid their deducted taxes and pension premiums.

UKH Leeflang suspects that parliament members have been bribed to join the opposition, thus causing the present crisis. She says she has been asked "how much do you want?" herself, "but I don't sell my soul to the devil." If true, she should have lodged an complaint. PAR Jesus-Leito utters the same suspicions.
Leeflang also opines that PS™ Cijntje is in desperate need of money to pay lawyers because his son has been arrested as a drug dealer. It was PS™ that left the Koeiman coalition; but of course they deny that was the reason. That mystic "smart zoning" again.
Cijntje must have figured Shorty was just as good as Nazi camp doctor Mengele to work with, and I admit there's not much to choose from.

All ministers, except MAN MP Koeiman, Martina (and two PS™ ministers who had been kicked out of the cabinet by the other ministers) got votes of no confidence in Staten yesterday. Now the majority (read: Shorty) wants those four to stay on until there's an interim cabinet consisting of professionals, whatever that means. Which is a weird situation—to say the least.
The governor will decide, but as the Koeiman cabinet disbanded parliament Shorty's power-grabbing scheme backfired in that sense that he'll only have an interim cabinet until the new elections; which can't be stopped.
The April 28 elections will cost the country 1.9 million guilders.
Sure, Shorty and his goons can steal plenty more in the time until we have a new cabinet. More years for us to pay up.

According to a comment on KKCur, claimed to be by an InselAir stewardess (and what does she know?) 3 MD-8Xs were grounded in Aruba because of rumors, and the Aruba air inspection do not want to admit that, in three weeks of checking, they couldn't find anything wrong with them. Is why they are not released as that would mean losing face; and also because a hefty claim for damages is to be expected.
Oh, and KLM announced they are not interested in getting involved in a Caribbean network. No wonder Rhuggenaath flew straight on to Colombia. But he still maintains there are other interested parties, without naming any.

And Now for Some Good News
Ex-PM Arsjes will not participate in the coming elections. (But he's been lying before.)

My Lying Leica Lens
InselAir CEO Juni Sluis says, Dutch technical experts have declared there's nothing wrong with the MD-8X aircraft, and they will be flying again "soon"—and why not right now?
So who's lying, Sluis or my lens?
MD8X   MD8X   MD8X   MD8X  
Sluis also says they have been sitting in Aruba for three weeks.
These have been sitting on the ground in Curaçao since before January 19.
The best you can say is, Sluis only mentions the AUA MD8Xs, wisely clamming up about those at Hato.

Along the Rijkseenheidboulevard, popularly known as Nieuwe Havenweg (even though that "New" Harbor is over 60 years old) police installed their new toy, radar speed units, and fined everybody who drove over 60kms/hr.
If you don't know the situation, that's a four-lane road complete with a safety-barrier protected median strip and two crossings with traffic lights. 60kms/hr equals 37mph.
Now if they did this on other roads, like the infamous road to Westpunt, it would be of use.
Admittedly, driving over 100kms/hr (62mph) on that Nieuwe Havenweg in the daytime is insane. So let 'em fine those driving over 80 (50mph).
In our hot and largely misspent (that's what it's for) youth, we pushed our jalopies on there up to that deranged speed! Times have changed, though—and so have the jalopies.

Bounced Back, Try Again
Minister Rhuggenaath now, after an obviously failed mission to Holland, is in Colombia to discuss the possibilities of a take-over of Insel Air by Avianca. So now it's a "take-over"? All the time we've been told it was so important to have our own flag carrier national company. Many millions worth of importance.
At any rate, Avianca is interested, says Rhuggenaath. Next question, what is there to take over? Crummy aircraft? Lots of loss and irrecoverable outstanding debts? We await answers in burning suspense, but don't expect 'em soon.
Or maybe Avianca have their beady eyes on all those millions of ours IJs en Rhuggenaath keep giving freely to InselAir. It's a thought, but then they're in for a disappointment. By the time of a take-over, all that will have gone with the wind.

Poor Suckers
So that's where the money came from! 96 Flemish towns and villages paid for the Curaçao wind energy parks, by way of a conglomerate of energy companies: Aspiravi NV. The citizens weren't told about this, of course, let alone asked; they might have preferred some other investment. That's democracy, folks!
This was in Shorty's reign I, 2011.

Dirty Trick
All people who live in foreign countries get 10% discounted from their AOW old age pension. Like those who live in Bonaire, Aruba or any other of the old Netherlands Antilles. And I'd guess, in Holland. All places where they may have been born and went back to for their retirement.

Aha! That's Where That Fishy Smell Comes From
That mysterious 'smart zoning' idea is a concept of Smart Governments, which is a concept of KPMG. I rest my case.

Could Well Be
It's Vigilante newspaper that tells us, so it must be true, that PS™ Cijntje was sick of all the corruption and that's why he stopped auntie Suzy and C***-Post director Franklin Sluis (an ex-con) by splitting off his party from their parliament members. Together they were planning to set up an ICT for the Tax Thieves to the tune of 10 million guilders, of which 1 million was supposed to go to a consultant. I wouldn't put it past aunt Suzy, that's for sure.
But maybe Cijntje just became jealous when he saw the 1 million for his committee scratched. Or maybe he can't stand Suze/Sluis having a plot of their own going.

Big New Project
Or possibly another castle in the sky we've had plenty of, just to have 'em crash down to ruins. Like CTEX; or maybe GZE. This time it's the Curaçao Multi Commodity Center, more or less belonging to Hato airport, where in the next 20 years 900 million USD will be invested, leading to the creation of 11,000 "direct" jobs. Stay positive!
They're still talking about that sea-cooled airco-plant project, pie in the sky if you ask me.

That Took Much Too Long
The inspection of health is going to check in how far MDs, dentists, obstetricians and apothecaries meet the minimum requirements for their profession. Let's hope MDs includes surgeons, which is where the trouble started.

Hope I Got It Right
— The government (cabinet) has disbanded Staten/parliament
— The governor has discharged the government and now in fact holds power
— We now have (the old) interim cabinet until new elections, April 28
— Staten is impotent in the interval
— Shorty's coup d'état is a dud.
I may be wrong; there still is a Staten meeting tomorrow. Keep tuned.
It seems definite Shorty & his moll will appear in court for the Babel case right before the elections. If only they don't make the same mistake, if found guilty, to let him go free while he appeals to the Kingdom High Court in Holland (and then possibly to the European court for human rights).

Not on the Payroll
Those two guys who've been sent home for a while from CCAA, suspected of irregularities in their relation with InselAir, were not on the company's payroll. Of course that's not necessary to commit, er, irregularities for a price. It's also only half of the story.
InselAir's Sluis mentions in passing that leasing aircraft is much more expensive than they figured and they're running short of money already. He should follow the Circus, then he'd have known long since.

A Record?
I wouldn't know, but we've had 7 cabinets in the last 5 years (since independence, hey, what a coincidence). Pretty unique, I'd say.

Dios Juda Nos
The new political allies (I'd rather call them the Axis) have submitted a no-confidence motion against the Allied cabinet. They're playing for keeps; as long as it lasts. But they can do a lot of damage in that period.
Says Shorty "Nobody can paralyze our democracy." Except he, of course.
There's one problem for Shorty c.s., hope for us: the parliament meeting where this happened is illegal, and the same applies to that vote. Is my best guess.
Nobody can deny that the Allies made serious mistakes, like the Chinese take-over of Isla refinery (and the rest), that police academy by auntie Suzy's hubby, and more. But by now we're so fed up to the gills, we feel that's all in the game.
Clown-lawyer Kokki Peterson functioned as parliament clerk for that meeting, so now you know enough.

The Voting Cattle Get One More Chance
The new coalition much prefers an interim-cabinet above new elections; actually, they don't want any. That's not a hard act to follow. But governor Wout has signed a Landsbesluit that we will have them April 28. Chew it up and swallow it down.
And Amigoe newspaper writes the Shorty 'Babel' appeals process will serve before then. That would be nice. That would be just great. Alas, not sure yet.
The Wiels murder case will come in court April 19.

He'd Rather Pay Up Than Give Up
Norbert George would rather pay a total ANG2500 fine than rectify his accusations of the public ministry on his Fakebooc page. At least, that's what he says.

See? It's Over
OPEC's tyranny. So predictable that even I predicted it: OPEC may cut production as much as they want to do raise crude oil prices, but at a certain point (around $60/barrel) crude becomes so expensive that US shale oil producers are back in the game and prices stop at that level. It's happening now—again.
Besides, it's impossible to keep OPEC countries to their own promised cuts.

But the Planes Are Safe. Guaranteed.
Two inspectors of CCAA Curaçao Civil Air Administration are actually on the payroll of Insel Air, and also own a company that sells spare parts to Insel. Auntie Suzy says those "rumors" aren't true, but has ordered an investigation—after Curaçao Chronicle published the facts. Really on her toes, that woman.
Ramirez, he of DAE, wouldn't mind a come-back with his team. I always had the impression they went bankrupt because the government favored Insel Air. Perish the thought.
Once again, shades of ALM/DSCA: when Mario Everts was director, they were forced to buy parts from his Dutch Curdin company. Just like Kodela/Aqualectra, CDM/DOK, Setel... Look it up.
Auntie Suzy says they're all rumors, spread by AVA-Airways Arrindell. Those two guys have merely been put on hold (keeping their salaries flowing in) to avoid worse rumors (they can get only worse when they're accused of actually sabotaging the aircraft). She has hired Caribbean Forensics to look into it; the same guys who did such a great job on VDC et al. when Shorty ruled the rocks.

"The loss of competitiveness is frightening. When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the USA, what they think about most is the cost of energy." Says Paulo Savona, head of Italy's Fondo Interbancario. Accompanied by a graph showing the USA on the left (US 6.75cents/kW) with growing higher EU prices to the right, topped by wind-generation Denmark at 29.
We pay (domestic) ANG.6282 = $.346. Good luck, Rhuggenaath, with that Master Plan attracting investors!
And by the way, what Aqualectra calls "switching" is now called "hoarding" in Europe. The result is the same: some people get no electricity.

Tailwind for Aqualectra
That's a headline in Antilliaans Dagblad, but don't get sick. What's meant is that two of the three broken-down fossil fuel generators are back on-line (good); not that the wind generators are producing like mad.
Number 3 will be back next week.
This news is extra welcome as one out of five Tera Corá wind generators has been out for over three weeks just now. That's over 6% of the year production, but who's counting?

The Thoup Sickens
According to Surinam Dutch-language newspaper De Ware Tijd one hidden factor behind the fall of the coalition is Insel Air. They write Insel doesn't have 100 million dollars outstanding in Venezuela at all, and that the Dutch Recherche Samenwerkingsteam [Criminal Investigation Team] has raided Insel Air shareholders.
I shouldn't wonder. Would show how wise those Unwise Men IJs and Rhuggenaath are. Here's one guy who doesn't mind at all to see Rhuggenaath go. He started looking smugger and smugger.

Skapá—For Now
After the last coup d'état by Shorty (looks like that's the only way he can grab power by now) the present coalition properly fooled him by resigning, so new elections are in order. April 28 is the announced date. Shorty with his usual chutzpah and brani already parades around crowing rooster-like he's gonna win.
Don't try to sell me it's PS™ who instigated this.
How interesting that PS™ Cijntje declared that if the notorious Nazi camp "doctor" Mengele would apply for a smart zoning license, he'd give it to him. I am not at all surprised.

Death, Where Is Thy Sting
I've now seen that letter to the governor. It has been signed by, as we knew, PS™, M*F*K, K*NT, and also MP grandchild Moses + traitor Braam. So that's it, folks: 2+4+3+1+1=11 seats out of 21, a majority. Game Over.
Once again, I'm no lawyer, so I wouldn't know if new elections are in order. Stay tuned.

Told You So... Long Ago...
PS™ have delivered a letter to the governor, announcing that they no longer support the coalition and that, with several (unnamed) parties in parliament they now have a majority and should form a new cabinet. We all can name those parties.
There's only one way out for MAN, PAR and PNP: accept Moses, Leeflang and Braam in the coalition. If they wise up and do that, that's the definite end for PS™; long overdue. If they don't, that looks like the definite end for Curaçao.
Or new elections, as some people clamor for? I don't think that's legal, in fact. A majority is a majority. That's democracy, Folks!
Better start praying, crossing your fingers or twiddling your thumbs. All will have about the same effect.

KLM West-Indisch Bedrijf

Just a Suggestion
As minister Rhuggenaath is in Holland to try and find "support" for that *&%$# InselAir anyway, my question is, can we please have KLM's West-Indisch Bedrijf back? It worked fine. Even in the first ALM years, before the government took over, ALM worked jest fine, thank you ma'am. But no, Nos mes por!

Sounds Conceited
I know... I know... But if I don't have an inkling of what "smart zoning" means, would you think our politicians do? Well, I'm sure they don't. In fact, it's a bet. Even Google won't help you out here. The only "smart zoning" you'll find is some obscure IT subject.
And that's a reason to have the government fall? Granted, PS™ does understand "1 million guilders"—it means, "a lot of money."

If They'd Only Read the Circus
Then we'd not be in such a mess. The coalition is falling apart as PS™ is trying to make deals (and succeeding) with M*F*K and K*NT. Shorty is ready to go to the governor and present "his" new cabinet. Ho boy, then we'll be in trouble.
From the start I've been saying MAN should form a coalition with PNP, PAR, Leeflang, Moses and Braam. But PAR did not want to work with Leeflang (traitor!) and finally gave in. After all, Leeflang left PAR years ago. But Braam (traitor!) did so only recently, and PAR still has to get used to the idea.
Also, Moses is an MD and should get the health minister's seat, now occupied by PAR's leader Jesus-Leito.
It's funny that when somebody switches to another party, that's all in the game; but when you start out on your own, then you're a traitor. True enough, if Braam hadn't got out at an inopportune moment, we wouldn't have a PS™ coalition now. Braam arrived at my conlusion as well and smelled a minister's salary, that explains it

Such Meticulous Organization
When Isla refinery went down for maintenance for a week or so, they assured us they had enough in stock for the island's needs. Not so: no cooking gas is available anymore. Tough. Go to the Chinese (there's plenty of 'em; in fact, maybe too many) or better, switch to induction cooking.
Let's hope for the Chinese their gas doesn't run out.

MP MP Marilyn Moses dared to start talking about having the government finance party propaganda. I think it's rubbish as well (who selects which parties get how much? utterly unsolvable) but it might be better than the present situation, where parties just don't come out and tell who financed their propaganda. That's easily solvable though: fine them.
MP MP is not a typo, merely confusing. Meant is Member Parliament of Movementu Progresivo. In fact, I'd prefer PM for the first MP but that means Prime Minister. You simply can't win.

Statistics are damn hard to come by (why?), but we have over 10 murders/year year now, of which I'd reasonably guess at least 5 by guns. That amounts to 7.5 killings/100,000 people. Which is over twice as much than in the USA, where it's 3.2.
The number of guns owned in the USA per 100,000 people is 112.6; while that's the world's top, the USA is way down on the list of top killings. Suspicions are, that's because people can defend themselves.
If that's the true reason or not, still makes you think a bit on those collected guns. At any rate, the number of guns collected then was 265/100,000 inhabitants which beats the USA by a 2.3 factor. Not to mention those still around. Scary, huh?

What to Say?
News from Bridgetown: "Caribbean tourism broke new ground in 2016, surpassing 29 million arrivals for the first time ever, and once again growing faster than the global average [4.2% versus 3.9%]." Here, as we all should know, it went down. But Rhuggenaath maintains, this year it will grow 7.1%. By magic.

Sounds Familiar... Why?
In South Australia, the situation is terrible. It's mid-summer with temps around or over 40°. That's C, not F. Meanwhile, the electricity failures keep coming on and we here know what that means. No airco, keep that freezer closed, iced water running out. Not to mention beer.
Why do we know that so well? Well, we have wind generators—just like Australia! But there, they wised up and plan to open 91 new coal mines in Queensland and New South Wales; while here, Aqualectra is putting more wind generators on line.
Greenpeace doesn't like the Aussies' plans; but who minds Greenpeace these days? Especially without a working airco.

Media report that Venezuela is selling passports to Islam terrorists who want to enter the USA. No way of checking this, but it not only seems pretty reliable, nobody would put it beyond them. Venezuela needs money, right? Maduro loves money, right? So there.
Meanwhile the people there are eating dogs, cats, donkeys and even flamingos. Because they're hungry: the "Maduro Diet".

Time to Go
Applies to InselAir Aruba. Who'll miss them? And other airlines (at least that's what Aruba says) are ready to take over their routes. Like Colombian Avianca, Venezuelan Aserca and Aruba Airlines. Are they still around? After a fashion, can be the only answer.

More Old News
Justice minister MAN Martina has introduced the new policy plan. It sounds exactly the same as the old ones. More youth edification and crimefighting. Big fat yawn.

Start Shopping
PS&tm; wants another committee (to make 1 million bucks with) and sounds ready to form a new coalition with M*F*K and K*NT, plus indies. The solution is simple, kick those two out of the cabinet and replace 'em with indies. Too bad Jesus-Leito is minister of health already, as Grandchild Moses is an actual MD. Then, Braam says PAR (his former party) doesn't want him (the traitor!) but after all, that's what they said about Leeflang as well and look at 'em now.
Problem for PS&tm; is, Cijntje likes Shorty because Shorty likes Venezuela, but Leonora likes GZE and the umpteen million dollars. I told them this on November 9 last year already, but maybe now they'll sit up and listen.

Well Timed
During the Staten discussion of the proposed space law, many members were skeptic, quoting from the TAC report Amigu di Tera made public just before it. They also pointed to the fact that we would just about be the first country to have such a space tourism law. They probably prefer to go the usual route and re-invent the wheel after others pointed the way.
This should put an end to the insulting and unfounded rumors that our parliament members can't read.

PAR Jesus-Leito feels that the way the Smart Zoning Committee was set up caused distrust in the government, which "is certainly not necessary." Oh no? 1 million of our tax guilders spent on yet another committee, of which she herself says she doesn't see the added value of.
PAR voted against the committee. Now if it had been voted out, then the distrust might be "unnecessary"—as it is now, what has been added was indeed not value, but distrust.

The Times of London writes that it's possible to replace 250,000 UK civil servants with robots. Don't make me drool: that's more than half of them.
Certainly beats the idea of putting all the spoiled brats together in one building, as ex-minister van der Horst was pushing.

You Just Can't Trust PS™
Great trouble in the coalition. PS™ has forced through a motion in parliament on "smart zoning" by getting support from the opposition parties M*F*K and K*NT plus two indies. As PNP auntie Suzy is working on a new EOP development plan herself, this is a blow below the belt.
Coalition parties are meeting without PS™ to try and find a way out. Without PS™, there's no majority in Staten.
I shouldn't wonder if PS™, M*F*K and K*NT have got their beady eyes on that 1 million guilder committee.

Take Care With Promises
New InselAir manager Filiatreault promised that the company would be up and running, or rather flying, in 48 hours. That's a week ago, and just look.
Yes, he did back out soon after that but should have clammed up in the first place.

Buying/Selling Votes
PNP Davelaar wants to change the law. He says it was generally known that you could sell your vote for 100 guilders during the 2012 elections. I didn't know it, but I'm a mere sergeant. Davelaar wants to go for a max 1 year jail and a 5000 guilder fine. Not everybody likes the idea; K*NT thought it was "vague, unclear and superfluous" and M*F*K quackie Constancia complained that it was only meant "to keep us out of the government"—thus admitting that without buying votes, her party wouldn't make it.

More Money
Minister Rhuggenaath has left for Holland to beg for more money to save InselAir. Nos mes por! We all (except the Unwise Men) know the 60 million we've been bled for is not enough to save Insel.
More and more, Rhuggenaath turns into a more than worthy successor of Palm, who at least stopped the deluge of Chinese minimarkets.
Some people figure (I wouldn't know) that the 1.5 million loss/month equals the management's salaries.
And a just declared "safe" Fokker had to return to Colombia's Baranquilla airport today.

Fear the Worst
In the 2013 TAC Report "Sectoral Strategies: A cluster approach to developing goods and services in Curaçao" for which our government paid half a million guilders, the development of a space tourism industry is discouraged. "The commercial space programme can be seen as a very risky enterprise, with relatively low possible gains for the country as a whole." [page 155]. The report is quoted by Amigu di Tera's Llyod Narain.
This won't stop our Great Leaders, auntie Suzy in front, to welcome the Space Gang with open arms, I'm very much afraid.

An Old Story
The BIG registry for medical specialists has been accorded by law in 1999, and the implementation was left to (then) island government. Which did nothing. So now, after there have been a few scandals, finally some action will be taken.

He Did Well
At least, that's what he claims: Filiatreault, new CEO of InselAir, has not left Air Madagascar in the lurch. He got them on their feet in less than one year and four months. He lets it be known this and other negative rumors are unfounded.

Why Bother
Only two parties have handed in before February 1 the lists of gifts they received. Civil registration head Römer thinks the rest will follow. I'm not so sure.

Took Much Too Long
After years of tolerating shit-sucker truck drivers to deposit their wares at Shut/Chute just straight into the sea, some people (not to mention the sea flora and fauna) got sick of it and as from today started barricading the entrance. Something Hato airport promised to do years ago. Auntie Suzy's (she again) dept.
For some reason, auntie Suzy's settling tanks at Seru Fortuna are not popular. Even the Selikor sanitation dept.'s PortaPotties contents are still dumped at Shut.

Oh My, We're All Doomed
The soothsayers predict a very heavy hurricane season; the most dangerous since 2005, with 8 hurricanes and 4 major ones, and 16 tropical storms.
Well, they do spread their message of gloom every year (hey, they need a budget next year as well!) but nobody remembers failed predictions. At least, almost nobody. It's heavy because there's no El Niño around this year (while last year was supposed to be heavy because there'd just been one).
Of course, just by chance they will get it right every so often.

All In Style
InselAir announces the company's chartering four planes from as many companies. The first, Estelar, gets the comment "I don't think an Estelar Airlines flight has ever been on time." The second, Dominican Wings fits right in as well; they have 1 Airbus A320, age 21.3 years. Surinamese All Ways is a sister company of Blue Wings (1 MD8X), which "has had many accidents and has been consistently blacklisted by the EU." The last one, Swiftair, with 45 aircraft at first sight looks better but lately has managed to have one incident every 2 years, like clockwork.
InselAir presently loses 1.5 million guilders/month and fresh manager Filiatreault declares this has to be stopped. Gosh, would you think so?
Yesterday, 'Juni' Sluis has been added to management as 'Deputy Chief Executive Officer Flight Operations and Technical'. Whatever Sluis's capacities may be, he's a lawyer and head of the country's intellectual properties bureau.
Correction: It's another Juni Sluis, an InselAir Senior Captain. I was wondering where "my" Juni could possible find the time to take on this job, and I'd think he'd be too smart to go for it. This sounds much more reasonable.

Wonder How He'll Get There
New InselAir manager Filiatreault will make a trip to Aruba this week to ask Dept. of civil aviation Aruba DCA why their aircraft are still grounded. Well, he needn't go to Aruba for that; they are sitting right here on Hato airport with obviously essential parts removed. Like engines.
Is he flying with a hired Curaçao Aeroclub Beechcraft or Cessna? I really wonder.
Defense authorities have also stopped flying with Insel, but the intrepid Bonaireans don't care: they will continue using them.

Unique Act
I have no idea what it entails, but PNP Davelaar does not go along with PS™ Cijntje's idea for "smart zoning". Says Davelaar, there's a committee that asks for one million guilders to look at the proposal; so the next committee will also ask for one million. He also calls this an admission of failure by auntie Suzy Römer (of his own party).
Gee, now we know how much they pay those committee members.

Speedy, Not
ROP spatial planning and scheduling, an auntie Suzy dept., last year has been able to process 635 out of 748 building applications in less than a year's time.

What a Pity
The Commissie voor goede diensten [committee for good services] has not been able to find a solution for the conflict between SONA and Berenschot on the HNO new hospital: they keep having differing opinions. Did you expect different?
Gee, I wonder how much was spent on coming to that non-conclusion.

Among the Antillians (and ex-Surinamese) living in Holland, the large majority is expected to vote for the Geert Wilders PVV-Party. PVV is not only anti-muslim immigration and (which follows) anti-€U, but also wants to get rid of the remnants of the Dutch colonies in the Caribbean.
Maybe they know something we don't.
Moroccans and Turks are mostly voting socialist. Makes you think a bit as well.

Filthy Mess
Many oil tankers waiting in the roads South of Curaçao have been heavily polluted. Reason, the Venezuela cleaning facility is not working so well, with the result that most Venuezela oil transport harbors are polluted. One of those tankers has been moored here for over 100 days already, waiting for money to be unloaded.
The tankers are not allowed in international waters, but of course they're free to sail in Venezuela territorial waters. Which are bordered by Curaçao territorial waters, where they're welcome to come in and pollute. Sure. Anything for a buck.
But that may backfire when other tankers moored here get polluted as well and, as a result, cannot enter international waters.

Spaced Out
Parliament will spend a meeting next week on accommodating the Space Gang looking at the law the Gang themselves designed.

There Goes the Our Money
100 passengers are stuck on Curaçao since Thursday. They were traveling from Surinam to Havana de Cuba and were put up in a hotel. Maybe they fly on tomorrow. Figure: 100 passengers at $65/night, double it for food, is 4*100*130*1.8=ANG93,600. Not counting the leased plane to get 'em to Havana. They're blowing that tax money with jet speed. Don't forget, we're probably talking about at least half return trips.
You ask what company that is? Oh, no need to ask. Insel Air.
And by the way you know, the new Insel management promises transparency; right on cue.
Maybe Insel gets a discount. Or maybe the management gets a cut from the hotel...

Jozef Martina points out at KKCuraçao that Fiod Dutch tax has raided Dames shipyards on January 16; that the World Bank has excluded Damen for WB financed projects for 18 months; that Dutch minister Ploumen complained about Damen's lobbying by ex-minister Bot; and refers to an article (in Dutch) by Transparency Int'l on all this.
Looks like minister Rhuggenaath found the ideal partner for Curaçao once again. It's a talent: he never misses.

"Gossip" huh?
Maintenance personnel of InselAir are angry with the media. They say it's all gossip and rumors that maintenance is so bad. That explains why the aircraft are grounded and have technical problems, and why so many of them are just sitting on Hato airport with engines and other parts removed: just gossip. And there are 700 maintenance workers and if this goes on, they will lose their jobs, they complain.
Ain't that too bad. Meanwhile, a wag on KKCuraçao found the perfect name for InselAir: "The Flying Coffin".

But Of Course
That new HNO hospital will not even be finished by August next year; it's going to be even later. Don't ask how much later.
Almost all delays, extra costs and setbacks with its building could have been avoided, the experts tell us. We all knew that before building even started: it's thanks to the politicians getting involved, just asking for trouble. Shorty, Quackie and Arsjes, to name just a few.
Gee, I wonder how much those experts were paid. Makes the hospital even more expensive and won't help a bit.

Only Temporary
After the US Embassy forbade personnel to fly InselAir, the Dutch kingdom follows suit. But no worries, it's "only temporary".
TUIfly stopped all cooperation but KLM, at this time, continues; which brings passengers in trouble.
Good guess "temporary" means, until InselAir breaks down completely.

Yawn... Groan...
When a doctor sent me by the hospital last year, I told him, "it will never be finished." He scolded me for being an optimist.
Thought I'd mention it because they just announced it will be finished in August 2018, almost a year later than the original last announced date September this year.
No mention is made of the new final cost, but it will be at least 64 million guilders higher.

Still Struggles about Oostpunt
Foundation Carmabi has lodged an objection against the Landsverordening to review destination of Oostpunt. It was "not arrived at properly" and "in conflict with the law." Carmabi also asks to reconsider and execute a Milieu Effect Rapportage [Environmental impact report].

Wait a Bit More
HUSTU Leeflang has accepted a minister post, so the coalition now has a majority of 12 instead of 11 out of 21 in parliament.
However, this has been announced before. Which may explain why Leeflang now insists on every coalition party, not only MAN Koeiman, to sign.
She's still waiting two days later.

Sly persons have googled Filiatreault, Insel's new manager, and found out he suddenly left his post in Madagascar, where he was also supposed to help an airline out of trouble; over there they're still wondering why (no mystery: his salary here must have been better). He also ran an airline of his own, Val Air, which was suspended by Canadian Transportation Agency after less than 3 months.
Looks like they found the right man for the job. He fits in just fine.

It Really Happened
Dutch Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has taken over Curaçao Dok Maatschappij/Drydock Company CDM. Minister Rhuggenaath has been bragging about this for a long time, but that was no guarantee it would actually happen.
But it did. Damen has taken over the responsibility for the operational activities of CDM.
After 30 years of mismanagement, CDM has a new future. Nos mes por!
Not so fast there! CDM has been declared bankrupt this morning. Creditors will get 50% of what they're owed.
If this will help the government in their non-payment of damages and fines to the escaped Cuban slaves is another question. We hear precious little, always a bad sign.

That Should Be Easy
The new InselAir director, Canadian Filiatreault who arrived yesterday, says the company's performance should be up to standard in 48 hours. Good luck with that! He must be a genius. But later, he sort of backs out and talks about "in a week", to conclude it would succeed in several months—"before summer".
He also says that the competition on foreign routes is too heavy; the company's force is the inter-island routes (where they can rob you to their greedy hearts' content). But... but... I thought the company was so important for tourism! Rhuggenaath and the Unwise Men said so. And our megalomania gets a healthy kick in the butt as well.
Director Albert Kluver (since 2006 when company started; shareholder as well) got or has taken his leave.

There's a story going around that an InselAir flight had to turn back to Miami because one of the engines caught fire. Impossible to get it confirmed or firmly denied, the management clams up. Makes you think the worst, am I right?

Only in Curaçao...
The foundation Wega di Number [number game], nothing but a lottery, has finally turned a profit after years of losses.
Can you imagine, a lottery losing money? Something rotten in that state. Many things...
Says the director, "we've been losing money for the past 4 or 5 years." He can't even tell how many?

Just What We Needed
With the outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil, "increased surveillance" is needed for people who come from those areas. Sure, that will help. The customs people seem to be more interested in hassling people than in doing an honest job.
Meanwhile, still no action against the transmitter of the virus, Aedes aegypti, but the old tired half-measures—if that.

Good News
I'm happy to have something positive to write: there's no 2017 budget for tourist police Politur. Goodbye folks. Yet another bright idea of that genius Rhuggenaath.
Story is, Politur is paid for by hotels; at least that doesn't cost us.

Fighting on Hato Airport
Curaçao Chronicle writes "Things nearly got out of hand" there, when angry InselAir passengers assaulted personnel and threw furniture. What do you mean, "nearly"? Their flight was delayed once again (for 10 hours) until the pig-like Insel aircraft grew wings.
When If InselAir ever gets up off the tarmac again, it may have lost Bonaire as a customer, as people there have lost patience and are working on other solutions with regional companies.
Some of those passengers had been waiting for days. Three have been arrested and released after they paid for the damage. They should arrest the management and the Unwise Men.

That We Might Live to See It
Finally, the SDK swimming pool will be reopened next Monday. That took quite a while... We were promised it'd be 3 months last June, after it was closed in October 2015.

Old, Old Song Gets Older
Leeflang's Hustu party is not available any longer for participation in the coalition. Reason given is that within MAN there's a tug-of-war for power. Looks promising for the coming 4 years; but we long since got used to that crap. Which doesn't help.
Update: They're still negotiating.

Not True!
MDPT and Isla refinery deny all allegations in a complaint just lodged with the Public Prosecutor. They would, wouldn't they?
Time will tell. Meanwhile, grab what you can, boys and girls!

Rumbles in the Air
InselAir has scratched all foreign flights yesterday, which means all flights, period. The only flights executed are with two chartered planes to pick up stranded passengers.
AVA Air yesterday went to court to demand a decision from auntie Suzy on their last year's letter objecting to refusal of their operation permit (which has taken almost two years already). But the government declared in court that they will get a reply this week.
You always have to take the government to court to get action.

That Master Plan is working just fine. Last year, unemployment grew with 1.6% to 13.3%. But in reality, unemployment grew not 1.6 but 14%. Don't you love faux statistics?
Youth unemployment is much worse, growing with 1.9% to 36.8%. Of course, many are not really unemployed: they sell drugs, steal cars, and commit atrakos and burglaries. But in truth, 31.6% of them followed some daily course; which still leaves a real unemployment of about 24%.

Not That Safe
At a press conference serving mainly to defend the foolish decision to give InselAir still more of our money (resulting in overweight so they'll crash more readily) auntie Suzy had a lot to say about how safety always was the main consideration for InselAir's management. That explains why most of their aircraft were suddenly grounded over the week-end.
But CCAA consultant Bryce Fisher was not so sure. He very carefully said something like "well, that doesn't go for everybody."
InselAir is blowing away the new millions already on chartering two aircraft; an expensive hobby.

I Volunteer!
Both PAR and PS™ want to install an energy commission. That's two in total. I volunteer, I'm utterly convinced that I have more energy than whatever other members may be selected. (It's not hard.)

Safe to Get Sick, For Now
SEHOSpital and ADC have come to an arrangement where Sehos pays off the debt to ADC. The patient's seizure is over.

Good for Braam
He may be a 'traitor' for walking out on PAR, but as an Indie now he's the only parliament member asking hard questions about InselAir. A lot of what he mentions we knew already, but there's more going on that we only suspected. Like a cable pulley InselAir paid $5000 for, while the real value is $1300. (Shades of the USAF!) He also questions the way Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) is dealing with aircraft maintenance.
Meanwhile, the Unwise Men keep asserting that InselAir is oh so important for the island economy and that our money is well thrown away.

Weird Is the Word
Rdk Isla refinery management in a letter to the employees states, rather emphatically, that the refinery is not prepared or willing to have GZE take over operations. PdVSA was not aware (a real surprise, that) of the negotiations going on between GZE and MDPT, and only know what they read in the media.
So there.

You Just Can't Trust These Guys
A complaint has been lodged with the Public Prosecutor, accusing MDPT (Multidisciplinary Management Team) and RdK Isla Refinery of "forgery, embezzlement, theft and fraud" on a spectacular scale. MDPT is the main mover behind the planned take-over of the island refinery by the Chinese oil giant GZE. Complainer has already advised politicians about these malpractices, but no action was taken. What a surprise.
MDPT head Werner Wiels, after having been fired from Amrobank for fraud, got appointed in 2013 by ex-PM Arsjes. Wiels was also condemnable in his function with Aqualectra utility. José van den Wall Arnemann was pushed by Arsjes, even though he was not fit for the job; it looks like Arsjes wanted a weak director who could be pushed in the direction wanted.
Then there's a juicy story about PS™ Fransisca, who first got a fat job as solace when she was kicked out as minister of social affairs, but that would mean her losing her half-pay. Instead her partner was appointed as a consultant—he has never been seen at MDPT.
There's much more, like a guy who's moved to Australia and still gets a 7.5K/month guilder salary; allegations that Werner Wiels got a heavy bundle of cash for hotel costs in Puerto Rico and then paid with van den Wall Arnemann's credit card; latin girl friends who got cosy jobs, just like Arsjes's wife Tania Henriquez (8.5K/month).
It's all topped (I guess) by MDPT having paid 800K guilders dollars in 8 months to KPMG (again that outfit! "You pay, we get creative.")
These are the guys who we're asked to entrust with the future of our community.
Complainant mentions how several latin ladies dames working for fat salaries at BOO/CRU are alleged by-sides of Wiels and van den Wall Arnemann. Complainant further wonders what they are doing that can't be done by local workers. I have my, if obscene, suggestions here. And what price 80-20?

What Do They Know?
Well, being BP, maybe, hopefully more than we. They expect oil prices to remain well below $100/barrel. "The world has access to more than twice as much oil as it will need between now and 2050" and "some resources would be left in the ground." Take that, GZE and Isla! 2050? That's only 30 years after 2020, and we've been sold out for 10 years more.

A Familiar Note
Almost a tune by now. InselAir's accountants are KPMG; their bank is Girobank. Both well-known for being incorruptible—NOT.
Last story is, all Aruba InselAir aircraft (6) have been grounded. But that situation changes by the hour; maybe, when they have cannibalized one plane to repair another one.

What Does That Mean?
Holland is trying to "seduce" Curaçao and Aruba to follow the recommendations of last year's Paris climate agreements. While Curaçao doesn't seem enthusiastic, Aruba looks to be all for it. PM Eman has had buttons made "Only 1.5 will keep us alive." Where 1.5 is supposed to be the "maximum percentage" the temperature may be allowed to go up.
No explanation is made what that means. 1.5% in ° K, C or F? That would mean 4, 0.21 or 0.6° respectively, not at all the same thing. Rather strange coming from a guy living on an island popular with tourists because it's in the tropics with an average temp of 27°C., more than 10° above average world temperature, 14.8°. Anyhow, the pledge was to keep temp from going up less than 2° so don't ask.
Not to mention that conference was a flop with China and India not feeling obliged to keep to it and the USA expected to pull out soon.
Update: USA President Trump will not withdraw from the agreement, he will "merely" withdraw funding ($3 billion promised by Obama). Then again, maybe he will withdraw.

They Screwed It Up, Screwed Us Double
Instead of 15 million, InselAir will get an injection of 33 million guilders. "A loan." Sure.
Total 63 million now.
In one fell swoop, ex-minister Jardim has been helped to a cosy new job as president.

15 buildings along the Gran Marcha carnival cavalcade route have been declared to be a public danger. People are advised to stay away from them. The government doesn't even bother to put up warning signs, just forget a fence.
In 2014, a wall collapsed trapping a woman who was awarded 250,000 guilders damage compensation. I'd guess putting up signs and fences comes cheaper, not to mention more humane arguments.

So What
M*F*K, K*NT and indie MP Braam did not turn up for a parliament meeting. By now, it's a habit. Says K*NT Ribeiro, "Things go on like this, it's no use to attend a meeting." M*F*K complains parliament rules don't respect democracy.

Not So Good
SEHOSpital's accounts have been seized by Analytisch Diagnostisch Centrum. Reason, Sehos doesn't pay the bills. Sehos still has no money, in spite of all assurances from the government that things have taken a better turn. Still worse, the nurses are threatening with a strike because there's a chronic lack of medical supplies.
Better not get sick.

They'll Come in Droves
The new telephone directory's theme is "Tourism"— that'll surely attract them like flies on a pile of...

Let's hope it's fatal and no more of our money will be pumped into this train plane wreck to save InselAir. It may be "to big to fail" but it certainly is too big for its shoes.
Two captains refused to fly 2 MD-8Xs from Curçao because of maintenance problems. Next day, Aruba Luchtvaartdienst [aviation dept] grounded "several" aircraft on Curaçao because of occurred "incidents".
Flights to Medellin, Miami, Port au Prince and Manaus have been canceled. Figures: InselAir had only 2 MD-8Xs left according to their own statements, and 2-2=Ø. This definitely looks like the end. Not before we were ready for it.
Other sources say, Aruba grounded 4 aircraft of which 2 are flying again.

Get Them
A criminal investigation has started into the disruption of that parliament meeting by Shorty, and why it took so long to restore order. Don't expect any early results, though; this may drag on for 4 months.

Cijntje Checks
PS™ MP Cijntje wants to check the entire security camera circuit, including control rooms and all. Not all his arguments are valid, like, in 2004 there were only two brands that could register car license plates. That's a long time ago, Cijntje. His argument that the number of solved crimes has not grown is better—not that we expected it would.

Switching Water
Last night around 1:30 I woke up to... that's neither here nor there... and discovered there was no water flowing through the pipes. Getting up at 6:00 we still didn't have any. Good thing we are, Boy Scout like, prepared: it happened before and it will happen again.
It's now 7:21 and it came back; with a vengeance.

Stench Stink Stronger
China oil giant GZE wants to invest 3.4 billion dollars in the refinery, but would't be surprised if a total of 6 billion is needed. Which the country of Curaçao would be welcome to come up with. So we'd have to pay almost half, 2.6 billion to sell our harbors, utilities and refinery (not to mention university and what else) out to the Chinese.
Addendum: Some Chinese will learn Papiamentu (seems to me they'd better learn English), and we must learn Chinese.
As expected, lawyer Nahar comes out with a scathing commentary, just oozing venomous sarcasm, on how the Chinese who have such clean air themselves will teach us about fighting pollution.

Coming Up For Air
Isla refinery will (mostly) close down for two weeks. Heave a deep breath and enjoy it while it lasts.

What Could Go Wrong?
Van der Kwast announces that, like a century ago when Venezuela could not pay their foreign debts, we should start an economic blockade and stop all imports now until the 100 million dollars due to InselAir have been paid. Think it through kids: not only the import of bakobas, lamunchi and pampuna will be stopped, but also that of crude oil. Which will leave us exactly nowhere. And that century-old blockade was not because 1 private enterprise had not been paid; no, it concerned Italy, Great Britain and Germany together.
It only occurs to me now: it's just Insel who claim that enormous debt. Nobody has seen any proof as far as we're told.
And Van der Kwast is not a diplomat or even a politician; just one of the managers of InselAir.

George Lost
It didn't help him to say that loosely slinging unwarranted accusations around belonged to our culture, the neo-colonial judge convicted him anyway. Now we wait for George's culture to backfire and blow up in his face.
Was a bit early here, George was only convicted to correct on his Fakebooc page on February 13.

Too Technical
That was parliament members' complaint about the explanations they got from Aqualectra utility about electricity problems. And why should they understand something complicated? They're just politicians.
Meanwhile, in Hawai'i, the inhabitants of Kaua'i island have taken over the power plant there to run it themselves. Wish we could do that? Oh, now that I think about it, we did take it over some decades ago from Dutch colonial OGEM. It's since then the problems started.

How Many?
The ministry informs us that "many" people who occupied an illegally built house have applied for a permit. But didn't they count them?

Dirty Tax Trick
One more... When you have a savings account and the interest is credited, the bank is forced to subtract a hefty amount of tax and presumably, transfer it to the Blood Suckers. What's so inherently dishonest about this, it doesn't have anything to do with the progressive tax system which we're supposed to have. When you're poor, you pay the same percentage on your meager savings as the richest wallowing pig.

Better Learn Chinese
Now the University with the long name, which I stubbornly keep calling UoC (figure what that stands for) has signed a MoU (taking pity here: Memorandum of Understanding) with Beijing University of Petroleum (CUPB) and Guangdong Zhenrong Energy (GZE).
So UoC may get another meaning in the future.

Roles Reversed
When Norbert George accused the public ministry of having bribed newspaper writers to write nice stuff, the public ministry wanted George to publish a rectification. George refused, so the public ministry will sue him in court.
The media write that's the first time in history.

How About Me?
MAN MP Rozendal proposes to pay people to lose weight, as this would save the country much money in combating illnesses like diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure. First, "cholesterol" is not an illness. Second, both diabetes and high blood pressure are often hereditary and then have nothing to do with weight.
But what really gets me is, if this should work they should pay us scraggies for being that way, and after the fatsos have become lean, only then pay them as well. Not for the effort, which often doesn't work: they just use the extra money to buy more food.
But politicians aren't expected to think of course, let alone to reason.
Rozendal says she got the idea from a Mayo Clinic study. That's only half the story: the participants who did not lose weight had to pay a fine.

His Considered Opinion
In a radio interview Shorty reputedly said that half of the prisoners in Koraal Specht jail, or Nos Tur Futuro, or whatever it's called now, are not guilty. That's exactly what they themselves say. But Shorty says it's the European laws enforced by colonial justice that brought them there. Figures: Shorty doesn't think stealing, fraud, killing old people by driving irresponsibly and such are crimes.

Hato airport announces they will join Modern Times by installing parking automats that accept plastic! Wow! Only question left, will they also accept all guilder coins that are around?

Shorty had started an investigation into Davelaar, who as head of parliament had installed new parliament members. Illegal! But the public ministry didn't think there was much to it and bounced it back. The public ministry acts "very selectively" now is Shorty's last complaint.

Somebody Noticed
I wrote about this 2 months ago: the septic tank contents, plus, much worse, those of the portapotties are still being dumped at Shut/Chute, East of Hato airport. Only now Indie MP BRaam is asking questions in parliament.
Just one more of Auntie Suzy's promises that wasn't fulfilled.

Big Fat Lies
This morning, I took a short air tour around the island and not only gasted my flabber, it almost got broken. We had to take a walk to the Cessna by the InselAir facilities and boy, do they need them. I counted 8 broken down aircraft: one MD-8X that would obviously never come off the ground any more except loaded in a junk truck; 3 or 4 Fokkers of some description, obviously U/S and 4 or 5 MD-8Xs with at least one engine removed. Begins to look like that aircraft graveyard somewhere in the US-desert.
The official figures state Insel has 2 MD-8Xs and 5 Fokkers. In one way they have more; in another and more honest way, less.
And these guys keep bragging they are the largest Caribbean-based airline. (Antigua LIAT has 10 aircraft and T&T Caribbean Airlines 17. All flying.)
Those three Unwise Men better do some serious checking next time; now it's too late and we've thrown away 45 million.

That's a Surprise
The giant Campo Alegre bordello, stemming from WWII to protect the white female population from the advances of sailors and the military is to be auctioned. But the most interested party wants it for the casino. Didn't even know they had one there.

Come on! Really?
MAN PM Koeiman tells us that Chinese giant GZE wants our government to contact PdVSA for them, because they have been unable to.
Maybe they don't speak Spanish.
Lawyer Nahar states it would be illegal for our government to help GZE out here. We have an exclusive contract with PdVSA for two more years, and let GZE contact them themselves.

Could Get Boring
Minister Ruggenaath says he will keep repeating that 2017 will see a 7.1% growth in tourism "until he sees it back in the figures." Take care Ruggenaath, that may not happen in the four years we gave you. Like Alice, he must live in Wonderland: "What I tell you three times is true."
I know it's from The Hunting of the Snark but I'm bending over to accommodate (part of) (a very small part of) my readers.

One More Reason to Hate Trump
It's announced he wants to cut Washington spending by up to 10% and getting rid of 20% of spoiled brats staff. Looks good to me—if it succeeds. Great idea.

So Hard to Find Out
Contrary to earlier news, Shorty has been removed from the parliament meeting and the public gallery was cleared as well. Only, it took much too long; like, an hour or so during which pandemonium reigned. His, shall I say, protégé Girigori has reputedly been suspended from his function as head of parliament security several times, but even this is doubtable.
Update: Girigori has not been dumped.

For the Record
Tourism is expected to grow 7.1% this year. Don't you love it? That precision always makes this sort of prediction extra ridiculous. Spreadsheet voodoo.

He'd Better Clam Up
Surgeon Berry says he's not been taken out of the operation room because a patient died but because of "communication problems". Sure looks it, as the Medical Disciplinary Board can't see this as having no connection with earlier complaints. But Berry threatens to sue the press for defamation if they publish more on this.

Very Vague
Replying to questions of PS™ MP Leonora on the goings-on with China re. Isla refinery, MAN PM Koeiman didn't have much to say. He was still studying it. The only remark that made any impression, on me at least, was that he was working for Curaçao, not for PS™.

A Bit Late, Innit?
Ever since 2006, the Inselair maintenance workers haven't bothered with a trade union. But now when there's talk of them getting fired to save some money, all of a sudden they want to join UGTK/Cadmu.

Kick Out Now, Fire Later
Staten security head Girigori has been relieved of his function, after he refused to remove Shorty from that parliament meeting. Girigori got his job from Shorty, and there you seem to be.
But Girigori denies it, so go figure for yourself; I wouldn't know.

Think It Through
Two Aruba lawyers are starting an action to enable all Dutch citizens, including inhabitants of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, to vote for Dutch Tweede Kamer parliament. Fair guess that Holland will only agree when all Dutch citizens may vote for our parliaments. Talk about neo-colonialism.
Presently, you are entitled to that vote if you've lived in Holland for at least 10 years. Applying even that vice-versa would throw our elections totally out of balance.

Well Worth It
Shorty with his M*F*K party will "boycott" parliament as long as Raad van Advies [advisory council] hasn't decided on Shorty's complaint; meaning, they'll keep aloof from all meetings. Of course, party members will go on getting, if not earning, their salaries. I say, Good. A real relief not to have those oppositionists obstructionists in there.

Appeals Court Hint
To get rid of a parliament member who's a convicted criminal (yes, Shorty) a Landsverordening [country ordinance] is not sufficient. The Staatsregeling [in fact, constitution] must be adapted. As it is, somebody can only be kicked out when his active right to vote [to be elected] has been taken away, and the judge has taken away his passive one.

Goodbye and Good Riddance
Hopelessly addicted to writing letters to the editor and e-books nobody wants to read, John Baselmans announces that this is his last letter (in Dutch). I haven't read it.
I don't even care if he keeps his promise.

How Embarrassing!
A workgroup has been established to coordinate the development of Curaçao as a tourist "wellness" economic zone. This is as vague as you would expect it to be, lobbied for by Oasean Vision's Korra Pietersz-Juliana. Ministers signing the document are Auntie Suzy, Rhuggenaath, Jardim and no, not Quackie Constancia but Victorina. To quote, "The economic zone should apply to non-medical treatments, such as treatments with regard to beauty and anti-aging; to fitness and body/spirit; healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss. Also, complementary and alternative medicine and related products are included." Vague and fashionable enough for you? Witch concoction brewer Dinah Veeris is also mentioned, sure, like naturopath Rudolf de Wit (the guy who'll believe anything as long as it's not established medicine).
Gee, I wonder how much they pay the members of that workgroup.
But even University of Curaçao Miguel Goede, who ought to know better, mentions Dinah Veeris and the Dolphin Academy as medical assets. It's just hopeless.

Not, Or Ir
PdVSA states they're not responsible for the polluting refinery nuisance which forced several schools to close and send the pupils home yesterday. I'd say it's more like irresponsible.

Settlers Out
The judge is kicking the Curaçaohuis settlers out as from next Tuesday. They'd made the mistake of occupying part of the garage, where they had no rights. Even though they took their stuff out again, that was enough to get 'em removed in toto.
Meanwhile, MAN Eisden has arrived to take over from PS™ Fräudlein Wiels. Aren't you curious what skeletons will turn up in the closets, over in The Hague?

Impressive, Not
The demonstration for a new referendum (number 4 if I count right) was not so great. In fact, it was a grandiose flop. Some papers say about a 100 people turned up and signed the petition, whatever, others count only 50. But who's counting? As we don't get to hear how many signed, nobody is.

Yes, Just So
Citgo will not be able to keep to their promises re. reopening the Lago-Valero Aruba refinery. We all saw it coming, maybe even PM Eman; it was clear as the Caribbean Sea after all. Now Aruba is in Big Trouble financially, and it may grow even worse.

Lost & Won
The appeal of 6 parties against auntie Suzy's department re. the Landsverordening [Land Ordinance] on the development of the Maal family's property Oostpunt, has been rejected by court. Reason boils down to the fact that it comes after the verordening has been passed in parliament already.
However, the judge emphasizes that the ordinance does offer the appellants possibility to complain against the development in later stages, so they consider it to be a solid win anyhow.
The 6 parties are Amigu di Tera, Defensa Ambiental, ProMo Fundashon Pro Monumento, Curaçao Footprint Foundation, Green Force and private person Adriaan van der Hoeven.

It's official! We have a new flag carrier: InselAir is now for 51% a government company. On second thought... hmmm. At any rate, you can't deny InselAir is a worthy successor of ALM and DCA. InselAir Aruba will become a charter company as from September (maybe Curaçao InselAir will be their only client?) For the rest, the situation is rather murky. Some media announce that all directors will be fired, and even mention a new director has been hired; others tell you that's all nonsense. Wait and see until the dust settles and what monster will come in view then.

Gee, I Wonder...
PAR minister of health Jezus-Leito will install a committee to mediate in the struggle and strife between SONA and Berenschot on the building of the new hospital. What do you think they pay those committee members?

Must Be a Record
Every year, you have a 1 in 3 chance of being involved in a car accident. Pretty heavy.
Still, as I haven't had one for umpteen years, that is not a completely unavoidable chance. Some people just ask for it, and they get it.
Agreed, no guarantee that some fool will not get you.

Sheer Stupid
Aruba, where the government promised a moratorium on new hotel building, is instead busy putting the whole island full of them. Altogether good for at least 4000 more rooms. Not all people like it.
But I admit it, can't get into the tourist mentality. I'd never go for a cruise on one of those "Love Boats", but the passengers seem to figure, the bigger the ship, the more chances to meet partners to pair with. And the same for an island; I noticed the same thing in St. Maarten. Too bad if you just happen to live there.

Wising Up
Aqualectra will start building another electricity plant, which will become productive 2 years from now. Not before we were ready for it. The good news here is, it's not green but will burn fuel. Wait for the warmists to explode their heads.

Aqualectra utility pays no more than 2 cents per kW to CRU [former BOO]. That's pretty chutzpahble. (They pay 20 cents for "free" wind power and charge us over 50 cents; but distribution does cost more than producing.)

It's a Fight
Sona has forbidden supervisor Berenschot admittance to the building site of the new HNO hospital. Now we wait for the counter-move by Berenschot.

An Eyeful of Dirt
Check out the CBS report on Isla refinery pollution, in English for once (maybe so the Chinese will understand it?) This is not fun reading. What makes it worse is that everybody has known it for years, officials denying the obvious truth notwithstanding.
Maybe it helps. Just might be...

Somebodies Made Money
The Curaçaohuis in the Hague has been sold to "2 real estate managers "! Problem is, parliament needs to approve the deal and never did; ex-PM Arsjes (the list of no-good bums just gets longer with every new government) never asked for it.
Question 1, who (plural) made some money here? Question 2, will parliament approve the deal as it must before March 15? Question 3 is of less importance to us: what will those illegal settlers do?
The described "dilapidated ruin" would be sold for €2.8 million.

He Should Know
Ex-PM Shorty with parties M*F*K and K*NT, in short the entire opposition except Leeflang, is suing Staten-president Davelaar for forgery. Seems there's something wrong with the credentials of the parliament members replacing those who left to become a minister. Or at least, Shorty claims so; and admittedly, he's an expert at forgery.
Re. Leeflang, it seems the coalition has wised up and will make her a minister as well, thus getting a majority of 12-9. This would mean MAN giving up one ministry.

She's Gone!
New deputy minister in Holland is MAN Eunice Eisden, so Fräudlein Wiels is finally out. In fact, we were only told because Eisden can't move into her official residence, as there are illegal settlers on the same lot.

That Sounds Better
MAN PM Koeiman announces that the government will accept assistance from Holland in the negotiations with China GZE on the Isla refinery. Which doesn't explain why ex-PM Whiteman did not ask for it but went ahead head over heels to sign the agreement. Other things might explain that, sure, but with no proof, mentioning them would be libel.

Ex justice minister Navarro, PIAS, has been poisoned by a cup of coffee in February 2015. He drank it and became sick. Amateur job...

Huurman Was Right
Remember him? He was kicked out as inspector of health by then minister of health Whiteman (PS™), later PM. Huurman may have been obnoxious, I never met him, but he certainly wasn't ready to obscure medical misconduct. And now surgeon Berry, who was accused of fraud and other things by Huurman, has been suspended after one of his patients died.

Still too Little
Aqualectra utility is back at "switching" between neighborhoods as they don't have enough power available. Especially at night time, "poof" go the lights. Which is rather surprising, you'd expect daytime with all offices, shops and all would ask for much more electricity.

Shorty Fights On
Now he wants the Raad van Advies [advisory council] to look at the legality of the parliament members' status. Won't bother you with the details but I think it will lead nowhere. Except it will cost money.

Get It Through Your Thick Skulls, CHATA
AirBNB is now by far the largest room renting system in the world. The six follow-ups in the hotel business can't hold a candle to it, combined. Please understand: hotels are out, leave-me-alone is in.
Let's tear the Plaza Tower down.

Let's Attract More Tourists! (Cont'd)
As the letter in KKCur is in English, I'll give you the link so you can fully enjoy it. It's from a woman living here who arrives at Hato airport and describes the discourteous, to put it mildly, "service" by the airport and immigration personnel. Always reminds me of the good bad USSR.
Whatever happened to the "20 minutes processing time" promised us in 2015? This is not the first complaint by a long way.

Back Up
Meant is Knipselkrant Curaçao with a new URL, but the old one will still get you there by linking through.

Sure, That Will Work
InselAir has received 3 million guilders "support"; the first part of a total of 15 million. But on condition that the company and the government will each get 2 members in the Supervisory Board, and that both will select a 5th member as president. Government will also get a financial director and chief executive officer, next to the present ones.
In short, an unworkable construction if you ask me. Not to mention we now have, for all practical purposes, another proud national flag carrier nobody (but those Wise Persons) needs after the former flops. Wanna bet very soon another "financial injection" will be called for? You won't bet, huh. Thought so.
And still looking for that strategic partner in the air. Good luck, Wise Guys.

The Idea!
Staten member Leeflang comments on the recent brouhaha in parliament that there were mistakes made on both sides. I'm sure. Even PAR Leito agrees that they shouldn't have been in such a hurry to install the new cabinet. And Leeflang concludes by saying that people come up to her to say "I'm not going to vote anymore. You guys do nothing and just make a mess."
Another committee of Wise Persons will be installed to ensure all parliament members know what the rules are. As if they cared.
By Jove, I wonder how much those committee members will get paid.

Fake Democracy
That's how newspaper Amigoe characterizes our government. They make a good point there: the Raad van Ministers [council of ministers] is formed by "collaborating parties" whose meetings are not public. RvM instructs civil servants to execute their Landsbesluiten and Ministeriële Beschikkingen [country decisions and ministerial orders] without Staten/Parliament having a say. Amigoe finally asks, why bother with elections?
Which may be taking a step too far; after all, those ministers have been selected from the parties that got most votes.

Enough, Already
The Three Stooge lawyers are at it again with their KFO party: on January 12 they plan a demonstration for a "new and honest" referendum, for which you can sign. These guys are really getting tiresome. I also have strong suspicions that this is related with Shorty's flop act in parliament yesterday.
Hopefully, the number of signers will not be impressive. But that won't stop those clowns from going on knocking their heads against the wall.

Shorty Tries a Coup d'État, Falls Flat on Face
Shorty, backed up by his M*F*K and the Dos Diablos K*NT party, figured he had a majority in parliament because most coalition members had been sworn in as ministers. So he started yelling that he and his cronies had the power and the others should comply. Police was called in to maintain order, but they didn't physically remove him. At any rate, he got nowhere. Jolly good show, Shorty, great entertainment!

Shorty Got It Straight
For once. He wants a parliament meeting on the government plans to sell us out to China as their first colony in the Western hemisphere. Then, he goes on about the high cost of living and especially the high Aqualectra tariffs—for which he himself carries a lot of blame but, grudgingly granted, not all.

Soap Without End
An evaluation committee has advised, so writes Antilliaans Dagblad, that Sona must get out of the hospital business or the building may take even longer. Just what we needed. Says the committee, another organization should finish the job. Sure, why not? More money down the drain.

Gone Again?
KKCur is out of the ether, like they used to say about radio stations. Uh oh.

Stylish Start
December 30, Sona (Foundation Development Neth. Ant.) wrote Berenschot, the firm administering the building of that &*%$# new hospital, that they were fired as the hospital was supposed to be ready before January 1, 2017. But Berenschot just plods on, claiming they have a contract until the hospital is finished.
For an encore, we get to hear that it won't be finished before 2018.

Here We Go Again
A Happy and Prosperous New Year, you all! "Expect the worst, hope for the best." Keep that upper lip stiffly fixed in a sardonic smile.
And please reset your bookmark to this link.

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