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  My Voice by Thomas Tomczyk
 

Politics

A Republic, not a Democracy

In 2004 elections, 10% of the voting age public couldn't vote if they tried. Aliens, disenfranchised felons and persons who are considered "mentally incompetent" are not eligible to vote in US federal elections. The first Tuesday in November tradition disenfranchises millions of voters who work long hours, two jobs, and can't make it in time to pooling stations. ...... /September 2008/

A Manchurian Candidate?

Do voters really know who Barack Obama is, or
are they just wishfully thinking whom they would want him to be?

What Obama would do as president, or how he would respond to any issue is purely speculative. But looking at Barak Obama's past, it should be concerning that he is unable to be honest and forthcoming about his Muslim roots and transition to Christianity..
.... /June 2008/

Airaq vs. Iraq

Or, what happens when you find yourself fighting for your life in a country whose name you can't pronounce
Before the first Iraq war in 1991 the percentage of women representatives in Iraqi parliament was greater that in the US congress..
.... /December 2006/

Chaos of Saving Time

On May 7, Honduras began a Daylight Savings Time (DST) experiment that will last until September 3. This is the second time Honduras has attempted DST transition..... /November 2005/

Not a Crime to Question

Few Bay Islanders before November 27 would imagine that the National party would have its most comfortable margin of victory in Santos Guardiola, a municipal that has voted red for 36 years. Either way you look at it, 2005 Bay Islands elections were close, expensive and full of controversy… all the way until the end..... /February 2006/

Sadness and Despair

Until 1960 Bay Islands had three municipals, each one on a separate island. Under the presidency of Ramon Villa Morales, people of eastern side of Roatan petitioned the central government to separate from western part of the island..... /November 2005/

To Vote, or Not to Vote

I will not be voting in the US presidential elections. Fear of 'the wrong candidate' just isn't enough to get me to a polling station
The common opinion is that the 50% of Americans that don't vote abstain because they are lazy or just don't care. Well America, the truth is different; many of them don't vote because they feel disenfranchised and unrepresented by either party..... /November 2004/

 

Sports

2006 World Cup

The head butt of Marco Materazzi
Italians may have won the 2006 World Cup, but who cares. What everyone wants to know is what Italian defender Marco Materazzi said to anger Zinedine Zidane so much.
.... /August 2006/

Catch and/or/not Release

To have an annual fishing tournament that attracts people from far and wide is great. To catch dozens of billfish, kill them just for photos is not..... /October 2005/

The Global Olympics

The Greeks decided to show the world that you can prepare for the Olympic Games at the last minute. Originally, the second modern Olympics in Greece were to be 100 years after the first Athens Olympics of 1896..... /September 2004/

Manhattan vs. "Roatan"

When the West End Yankees lost in the Island playoffs I really thought: "This place is nothing like New York." The only way that Giants could be the best team in New York if we were talking about football or could travel in time to 1957..... /November 2003/

 

Editorial Cartoons

 

Sharks
/August 2009/

Sharks
/February 2009/

Elections
/October 2008/

RECO
/January 2008/

Hurricane Felix
/October 2007/

What's ina Name?
/June 2007/

Census
/June 2007/

Cubans
/April 2007/

Hondutel Vrs TTI
/February 2007/

Utila Carnaval
/September 2006/

RECO
/July 2006/

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Bay Islands Cruise Ship Docks 2010
/May 2005/

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Third Annual BI Triathlon
/April 2005/

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2005 Honduras Elections
/March 2005/

The Bay Islands Goose Law
/October 2004/

Honduran Santa
/January 2003/

Sandy Bay Orphanage
/December 2003/

Wishful Thinking
/November 2003/

RECO's Blackouts
/September 2003/

Santa Barbara Loses Another Game
/September 2003/

Utila 2003 Carnaval
/July 2003/

Utila's Electrical Company
/June 2003/

 

Roads in Iraq
/April 2003/

 

Education

School Year Timing

Timing of the school year comes from the European planting season. In the industrial age, European children were expected to be available to help their parents in the fields during the busiest time of the year in July and August...... /August 2003/

To School or Not to School

Is education all that important? Perhaps not as important as intellect and wisdom. I know several very intelligent, amazing people who only finished six or eight grades of schooling. On the other hand, there are plenty of incompetent people with university degrees..... /June 2003/

 

Environment

Stuck on the Honduran Psyche'

Thanks you for the ample and hearfelt opinions and advice. It is exactly this type of cultured dialogue that we stive to encourage through our magazine. With our editorials and articles we do occasionally touch some sensitive subjects for Bay Islanders and Hondyrans, but we do it with the intention of exploring these subjects, not offending...... /March 2008/

The Honduran Psyche

I recently argued with my Honduran friend about why he has had such bad experiences with Honduran employees...... /December 2007/

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The System Sinks

While working on this issue's business story: "The Business of Boat crashing," I came to some sad observations...... /January 2005/

 

Religion

Just Coincidences

Westerners' willingness to assimilate the Muslim religion into their culture has only improved Islam's ability to become a more dominant force, and to grow in converts. Islam is a religion of strength and simplicity and is growing increasingly attractive to many Westerners confused by the constantly questioned, eroding and esoteric values of their parents....... /October 2010/

The Palestinian Quagmire

Palestinians are so divided and antagonized religiously, politically and geographically, that if you plainly support Palestinians, you support all of the warring factions and in reality no one at all. I support the Christian Palestinians and their interests that lie in the prosperity of Israel...... /November 2007/

The Unapalogetic Islam

I often hear pragmatic westerners pronounce either one of two generalizing phrases about religion. One- "All religions are good, same in principles and bound to live together peacefully." The other- "all religions are basically the same: violent and deceitful."...... /November 2006/

Wrestling With Mohammed

A Renaissance fresco in a Bologna's Church portrayed Mohammed tortured by Satan in Hell. In 2002 a plot to blow-up the church was foiled
Nothing hurts as much as truth does and cartoons have a particular ability to get to the truth's heart of the matter faster, with more wit than other media.
.... /March 2006/

Jihad This

The terrorists are "Islamic fundamentalists" and not "true Muslims."
It is not just semantics. The terrorists or jihadists reflect the core values of the expanding Islam and are not concerned about displaying them. "Fundamentalism" isn't a bad word.
.... /August 2005/

 

Tourism

The Collusion of the Willing

Royal Caribbean master plan for the development of Coxen Hole cruise ship dock
When I hear of a Honduran government program, I assume it will contain an element of self interest for people that manage it. I assume that there will be corruption and unethical behavior. I can be proven wrong, but it is safer to assume the worst...... /April 2006/

No it's not Rhodes, it's Roatan!

Spending a week on the Greek island of Rhodes, I could not stop myself from comparing it to Roatan. Both islands are about 35 miles long, with one end being much more developed. Tourism has become the focus of both island economies, but the realities of it are quite different between the two..... /August 2004/

 

Security

Sign of the Times

Three years later, murders of foreigners have spiked, and both local authorities and even foreign residents have become increasingly matter-of-fact about this violence. Four foreigners were murdered here since October and no emergency meetings were called. The only people who seemed concerned enough to put up rewards to assure justice are the victims' families and friends. The homicide rate in Honduras in general has doubled in the last four years, and Bay Islands cannot escape that overall trend....... /July 2009/

Justifying Circumstances

A day after the West End community fundraiser event raised $3,000 for a West End police station, Jimmy Miller, 67, retired seamen whom in the 1980s owned one of West End's first backpacker hotels, was shot dead in a confrontation with five tourist officers in front of his home...... /June 2006/

Not a Crime to Question

Nobody seems to be objecting to comparing New England weather with Roatan's, but until now people got really jittery when occasional anecdotes compared crime risk of living on the Bay Islands and US. The fact is no one had a chance to analytically look and compare crime statistics on the Bay Islands with Honduras, US, or anywhere else. They just didn't exist..... /January 2006/

 

Business

Scam Artists Extraordinaire

Some scammers set out to scam their victims, others just fall victim to their own unpreparedness and lack of ethics. The Smart Pages, a phonebook project that ran well in the hands of its founder in 2003-2005, dwindled and turned into an object of dread when ran by D, a person that took it over...... /November 2010/

Missed Opportunities

While 2009 was a difficult, even disastrous for some, year in Honduras, 2010 looks to be different. Compared to 2009, with its floods, 7.4 earthquake, a coup, political crisis and international sanctions, 2010 looks like a gift from the heavens..... /September 2010/

Roller Coaster Ride Ahead

I magine all the taxes that you're supposed to be paying, but probably didn't. Take that away and add four percent capital gains and you'll have… Bay Islands Free Zone. ..... /December 2006/

Laboring confusion

“Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest and eight hours for what you will.” -- A slogan of the Eight-hour Day movement
I never walked in the May Day parade. Even though teachers took attendance and grades in "behavior" were at stake, I refused to take part. For me, growing up in communist Poland, it was a way of opposing the symbolism of the holiday..... /May 2004/

Last Call for Mondongo Soup

Some things fade away, some things disappear: the end of an island tradition.
If you are looking for a Roatan diner, you won't find one, at least yet. If you are looking for a classic island comedor, you also might not find one, very soon
...... /December 2003/

When Elephants Attack

A Survivor’s Story
I'd like to begin by stating that Ted or "the elephant" as I called him back then, wasn't in the best of moods. He was annoyed by the heat and the constant car traffic; Ted was a little hungry and still suffered from a slight headache from the boat trip to the island.
.... /May 2003/

Do We Even Work in April?

Religious holidays and government anniversaries blend into an indistinguishable mass of free time
If I had to work only one month each year in the Bay Islands I would certainly pick April. Only if I didn't like my work, that is. There is definitely more opportunities to party than work in these 30 days of spring: Garifuna Festival, Holy Week, Bay Islands Carnival, and to cap the month off, May Day. I probably missed something as well.
.... /May 2003/

 

Introspective

Africa's Heart Beat

The idea for this journey stayed in my mind for years. I would eventually learn to ride motorcycles in India and repeatedly travel to the Horn of Africa, to write articles from the region for publications in Poland and US...... /August 2010/

The Fractured Society

Both sides in the riots accuse each other of conspiracies: rioters accuse RECO of conspiring in making their electric bills escalate higher and that ZOLITUR is a conspiracy of the rich. The other side has theories of conspiracy that "Tegucigalpa and Punta Cana (an unsuccessful bidder from Dominican Republic for RECO) are behind this."..... /June 2009/

Community Reporting Anyone?

For over a week protesters took over Thailand's biggest international airport paralyzing the country's tourist industry and stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers..... /January 2009/

The Roatan Blame Game

After Years of Nonexistent Social Policies and Rising Tensions "Chickens Come Home to Roost"
I magine all the taxes that you're supposed to be paying, but probably didn't. Take that away and add four percent capital gains and you'll have… Bay Islands Free Zone.
.... /December 2008/

The Insular Effect

Opportunities in the Bay Islands after the Stock Market Crash
For now Bay Islands will have to weather some hard times. Banks in the Bay Islands--HSBC, BAC, Lafise-all have international connections and are part of a global lending network which has been hit hard by "toxic mortgages" and lending crunch. Lending for construction projects in the Bay Islands has gotten more difficult and real estate sales have slowed down.
.... /November 2008/

Speaking Freely in Honduras

Freedom of Speech is only as Strong as People Prepared to Exercise it
As long as everyone was making money, everything was great. Only a few months ago pats on the backs of government officials and dreams of a semi-autonomous Bay Islands abounded. Simultaneously, however, cracks in the foundations of the increasingly polarized island society were growing wider and wider. .....
.... /July 2008/

Bizarro Laws in a Bizzaro Place

Honduran government distracts its people with bogus laws while the really important issues looming over its future remain unaddressed
For 2008 it seems, the bizzaro idea named "Hoy no circula" was to prevent drivers from using their cars on one day a week. For the first week in April, Honduran car owners spent hours waiting in queues for car stickers, searching for documents, and deciding what they will do without their vehicles on their designated day. I know people who were already planning to swap stickers, discussing how much would they have to bribe the police, etc.....
.... /April 2008/

The Western Guilt Complex

Shame is triggered when someone finds out about you, or the people associated with you, breaking public norms and accepted standards. Guilt, however, is a much more sophisticated and retrospective thought. Guilt produces a sense of discomfort and responsibility in a person who believes they've done something wrong, whether legal or not, whether anyone else knows about it or not........ /April 2008/

The Emperor's New Clothes

With this issue we commemorate launching the Bay Islands Voice five years ago. In our first issue from March 2003, we published our mission statement: "We will make all efforts to provide a dependable venue for good journalism and exchange of ideas that would improve human condition on the islands....... /February 2008/

The Junjaweed Perspective

I find it unacceptable to blindly follow the calls of "save Darfur" and "stop the genocide." I cannot support something which has causes and a context that have not been accurately defined....... /September 2007/

The Raising of Shine

A Cinderella story
On February 18 Shine walked into the life of people at Flying Fish. Shivering and unresponsive for several days, Shine is lucky to have survived the medicine that meant to fight his skin affliction and open wounds...... /October 2006/

House With No Number, A Street With No Name

When working on a first-ever street map of Coxen Hole, Utila Town and West End I realized that almost no streets have been given, let alone been marked with names, signs or numbers..... /July 2005/

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My Friend Scooby

Can you embarrass a dog? Well, yes. I've done it before. And if dogs have shame, they also likely have its close cousin: guilt..... /February 2005/

Fashion...What is it good for?

Fashion can be a tricky thing. When I was seven, the school rules required me to wear a pale blue polyester shirt. This absence of fashion freedom was an element of education in socialist Poland, where I grew up...... /April 2003/

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