Dear Teenage Girls….by: Kiah Pastor


 

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Kiah Pastor

Dear Teenage Girls of Belize,

There are a couple tragedies currently in the media that has hit close to home therefore I’d like to speak on one. There was a situation that occurred where a 13 year old female sent nude photos to a man and he then threatened to expose them if she did not have sex with him. Well she ended up having sex with him twice.

We live in a Society where men glorify women and their bodies but there is a very fine line between being human and appreciating a woman’s natural physique and then just being out right disrespectful. In Belize, most cases it’s being disrespectful. But as a child having your body go through changes, you’re left some what confused. Why should I as a teenager not show off my newly developed breasts if they’re so many older and more developed women on social media also showing off their bodies and getting glorified by not only men but other females as well. Do you see my point? Nudity has become a part of pop culture. Nudity has become art. Nudity has been accepted in every case EXCEPT when it has been shared against your will. The amount of guys I’ve seen preaching about “having self respect” and telling girls to stop sending nudes to young boys are the same guys I recall have asked me to send them a nude when I was between the ages of 12-16.

Almost every male will vow they’ll never associate themselves with younger girls but they’re so many of them who love it! It’s the idea of being with a female who doesn’t have a set of boundaries mostly because they don’t know what the boundaries should be. The idea of not being with a female you need to break all sorts of walls to get through to because she hasn’t been scarred by other men in order to build those walls up in the first place. And lastly it’s the idea of having a body that hasn’t been touched. The inferior feeling of taking it all away. Men love dominance.

Now let me redirect my energy. It’s not solely the men of our society’s fault but also the women. We should work hard as women to be advocates of true self confidence and self love. We should be more willing to reach out to the younger girls around us and be a big sister figure to them and be there to advise them so they don’t need to figure it all out on their own. This is very hard because there’s a lot of adult women themselves who don’t have self respect nor show true value of themselves as women but that’s okay! You don’t need to be in that space forever! You don’t need to be vulnerable to these men. You don’t need to use sex to feel powerful and you don’t need to showcase your body to get attention. You do what you’re confident with not what you feel is pleasing to others. Where do you think promiscuous women are stemmed from? Sexual acts that occur in early stages of life. Let’s make an effort to be the best examples to younger girls and to show them how they should react when put in compromising positions! You’re not alone!

From a young woman building herself back up,
Kiah Lisani Pastor ūüíď

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Should the Belizean Diaspora participate in elections and elected office?


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The Belizean Diaspora contributes an estimated 200 million USD to families and organizations in Belize. Amendment 7 is a legislation which clarifies the rights of Belizeans who hold dual citizenship. This is a very important legislation for the future of Belize’s survival. Nuri Akbar delves deeper into this legislation and its implications for Belize. Please read, share and discuss.¬†
The resurrection of the 7th amendment and Belize survivability in the 21st

28 May 2013 ‚ÄĒ by Nuri Akbar

 

On June 19th 2009, the Prime Minister of Belize,  the Hon. Dean Barrow, while addressing the proposed 7th amendment to the Belize  constitution in the National Assembly uttered the following words:

“Because our laws recognize dual citizenship how  then will you turn around, recognizing dual citizenship, providing for dual  citizenship but impose a limitation on a dual citizen. It makes no sense at all  and if a little bit of history and background are necessary, we didn’t always  recognize dual citizenship. The recognition of dual citizenship came about as a  consequence of the advance in legislation that was promoted by national hero  Phillip Goldson. But we turn around and we leave intact in the constitution for  all these years this impairment on the rights of the Belizean who have acquired  a second nationality. I say therefore, Mr. Speaker, that it is utterly and  completely contradictory. I also say it is inconsistent, and let me tell you why  it is inconsistent, if you are a Belizean who has acquired second nationality  you are disqualified from sitting in the National Assembly, but the Governor  General, whose office is from a protocol point of view the highest office in the  land, there is no such disqualification. The Governor General can be a Belizean  who has acquired a second nationality. He is not barred from being Governor  General and that is the highest office in the land. “

Recently a prominent Diaspora Belizean, Mrs.  Muriel Laing-Arthurs, asked me to comment on the 7th amendment to the  constitution proposed in 2009 that would have given full citizenship rights to  Belizean-born natives who happen to possess dual nationality. Since I am not a  card carrying member of any political party, my trajectory on this issue is not  skewed by the inordinate local partisan rhetoric that has taken on a life of its  own in Belize, but rather influenced by the realities we are facing as a people  and nation and the fact that we have thus far failed to strategically maximize  our human capital among our Belizean brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.

 

Therefore, on this particular issue I am in  agreement with the Prime Minister and endorse the concept and spirit of the 7th  amendment. However the contradictions and hypocrisy in our actual  behavior/thinking surrounding the re-embracement of the Belizean Diaspora must  fundamentally change if this initiative is to be successful.

Belize national  hero, the Honorable Phillip Goldson, lost his physical eyesight in the later  years of his life, but arguably he possessed one of the most clairvoyant visions  we have ever produced in an indigenous leader. From the inception he saw the  critical role Belizeans in the Diaspora can and should play in the overall  national development of Belize, and understood that national allegiance and  patriotism were not limited by one’s geographical location. Hence, his efforts  over the many decades to engage, reconnect, claim and maximize the Belizean  human capital of the Diaspora toward Belize national development have been one  of the most remarkable progressive legacies of Phillip Goldson.

The issue of migration has been with the earliest  human creatures as they began the trek out of Africa and eventually crossed the  Bering Strait millennia ago into the Americas. These migrations were often times  prompted by the need of share survival and in search of water, food and shelter.  Other times by war, oppression, natural disasters and protection against the  unrepentant natural elements.

As empires rose and fell over the millennia,  human beings were captured and used as slaves to build these empires. In modern  times much of Europe as we have known it was obliterated by two world wars that  killed millions and displaced entire populations. During the revolutions that  engulfed the Central American isthmus in the 70’s and 80’s, hundreds of  thousands of people were displaced, forced to flee, and many became  refugees.

In Belize’s case large migration can be traced  back to the building of the Panama Canal and World War II. After the 1931 and  1961 hurricanes that devastated the country and killed many people, Belizeans,  via a designed policy, were granted refugee status and were allowed to migrate  into the United States. Over the ensuing decades this migration pattern  continued officially and unofficially, eventually creating a brain drain that  has had an adverse impact on the nation’s long term development. Today thousands  of these same Belizeans and their offspring have acquired various life-affirming  skills and experience that have benefitted the host countries.

This perennial movement /exodus of masses of  people has been a part of human nature as a result of curiosity, mobility,  circumstance, oppression and conflict. To this end, the life and times we are  now living in 2013 have therefore imposed upon us the necessity to reclaim this  reservoir of natural resource.

A brilliant Diaspora Belizean sociologist who is  an expert on migration, Dr. Jerome Straughan, raised the issue of the  transforming definition of the modern nation state and its increasing mobility  of people and how governments will have to implement policies that take these  new dynamics into account. Accepting the reality that half of Belize’s  population reside abroad, creating the bridge/mechanism to harness this human  capital toward the development of the mother nation is not only logical, but is  in keeping with the transforming definition of modern nation states and  globalization. Given Belize’s geographic location, population size and history,  isolationism has no place in the 21st century. There is no question that the  nation’s future direction, national development and very survivability hinge on  its ability to reclaim its Belizean Diaspora and incorporate the human capital  into a long term strategy for maximum benefit.

The vulnerability of small, developing and  peripheral economies like Belize’s is the burden of external debt. When a small  country becomes totally consumed by debt, her natural resources then become  collateral and held hostage to the creditor nations and institutions. Local  governments are pressured into compromising the national patrimony, which  includes putting the country’s vital industries, raw materials, and even the  scandalous selling of passports, on the chopping block in a desperate bid to  raise revenue. This global trend will not change anytime soon, but given the  continued contraction of the metropolitan economies, Belize’s natural resources  will remain a premium for exploitation.

In Belize there have been many noble causes taken  up by various local and foreign finance advocacy groups and organizations  relating to the physical environment, wildlife, social and cultural issues, but  not a single organization dedicated to reconnecting and reclaiming the Belizean  human capital from abroad. Over the years, Belize’s leading newspaper, the  Amandala, has editorially supported the Hon. Phillip Goldson’a vision of  proactively engaging the Belizean Diaspora and encouraging the cross-pollination  of Belizeans at home and abroad, but this vision is yet to reverberate across  all sectors of the society.

The most valuable natural resource our nation  will ever produce is our people. Hence, any attempt at reclaiming this natural  resource should be paramount on any platform for national reconstruction and  development. It is now estimated that the number of Belizeans (first and second  generation) residing abroad in North America, Europe and elsewhere is equal to  half the three hundred thousand plus residents in the entire nation of  Belize.

The arguments presented in 2009 for abolishing  the discriminatory and apartheid era law dividing our people, and for providing  the legal instrument allowing Belizeans who hold dual nationality access to full  citizenship rights, participation and inclusion in elected public office, were  and are a visionary, progressive policy option.

There is no excuse for not initiating and  quantifying the various experiences in creating a skill bank of Belizean  citizens abroad toward national inclusion. This should be relatively easy since  globally the platforms already exist using tools such as Linkedln, Facebook,  etc., where thousands of Belizeans are actively interacting and networking with  each other. TheFortune 500 corporations and many countries  already use these various platforms for global recruitment of talents, skills  and experience. Since the rapid growth of the Internet, the competition for  human creativity, talent and experience has indeed gone global.

The continued dragging of the feet and denial of¬† thousands of Diaspora Belizean-born citizens from total participation in the¬† development of their homeland is now viewed as conspiratorial, and even racist,¬† by many. If a Belizean-born citizen is disqualified from full ‚Äúcitizenship¬† rights‚ÄĚ and his or her allegiance is questioned on the basis that they hold dual¬† nationality, this is not only myopic but hypocritical, primitive thinking. The¬† intense passion and interest which many Diaspora Belizeans have demonstrated¬† regarding the ongoing Guatemalan claim and the proposed ICJ option is a clear¬† reflection of the love and fraternal relationship they hold toward Belize. If¬† the nation of Belize were to be militarily invaded/attacked, there is no¬† question a vast segment of the able-bodied Belizeans with military and actual¬† combat experience living abroad would volunteer to fight for their homeland.

 

What greater betrayal and damage has been done to¬† the nation state of Belize over the past quarter century than by those who swear¬† to defend and uphold the national patrimony and sovereignty of the state but¬† hold more allegiance to a political entity effectively subordinating the state?¬† Indeed, the actions, behavior and policies that have seen most of the nation‚Äôs¬† arable land sold to foreign interests, vital industries usurped, selling of¬† Belizean citizenship (passports), oil drilling concessions with ties to cronies¬† and family members, and outright pillaging of the national treasury for personal¬† gain ‚Äď who is the real enemy of the Belizean state?

As I sat with one of Belize‚Äôs sages and¬† historians recently, Imam Ismael Shabazz, and asked for his insight on the 7th¬† amendment, Shabazz in his wisdom reminded me that the real substance of the 7th¬† amendment should not only include the right to hold public office, but indeed ‚Äúvoting rights‚ÄĚ of Belizean citizens in the Diaspora. This idea is not new.¬† However, it has been resisted by the political elite, including many of the¬† so-called progressive thinkers among us. The arguments made were that Belizeans¬† living abroad would not be familiar with the issues on the ground and therefore¬† they were uninformed and out of touch. This argument was made in the early¬† 1970‚Äôs and perhaps had some validity forty years ago. However, the world has¬† drastically changed over the past quarter century and the speed, access and¬† advancement of technology and cyberspace have essentially obliterated this¬† argument. Belizeans regularly interact with each other via social media,¬† participate in call-in radio/TV talk shows, and have access to the various media¬† outlets online.

Over 100 nations, large and small, allow their  Diaspora the right to vote in local elections. These include Mexico, El  Salvador, Venezuela, Britain, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland,  United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and France.  Given the share size of the Belizean population living abroad and the  decades-old impact of remittances to families back home, the vast majority of  Diaspora Belizeans have maintained a solid relationship with their homeland.  According to the World Bank remittance report, the remittances to Central  America, which included Belize, in 2007 had reach a colossal US$ 12.1 billion.  The report also stated that in some of these countries the remittances are equal  to some 10% of the entire GDP. In the case of Belize, the report shows, for  example, that Belizeans in the Diaspora in 2004/05 had made remittances  estimated to be over US$ 160 million.

Whether the current administration (or future  ones) will move swiftly and strategically to reclaim its citizens living abroad  as an integral component of its national developmental platform, remains to be  seen. But whether the political elite act or not, the Belizean people, along  with progressive grassroots movements should take the lead. Belizeans abroad  have been actively engaged in supporting grassroots organizations like the  Belize Territorial Volunteers and BGYEA, among many other charitable efforts on  the ground. This kind of fraternal collaboration and operational unity must be  supported and encouraged between Belizeans at home and aboard for the sake of  our self-preservation and survival.

It is my opinion that much of the resistance to  the 7th amendment was essentially the result of the way in which it was crafted  and presented. The original (amendment) was presented to the Belizean public in  2009, and tragically, in keeping with the typical ad hoc/ top down fashion in  which policies are formulated in Belize, provided the ideal climate for  speculation and misinformation. No real engagement with the community, from the  inception of the idea stage to formulation and proper public education so the  people could understand the purpose and benefit of the proposed change, was  carried out.

Secondly, at no stage of this proposed 7th  amendment fiasco was the constituency most affected, the (Diaspora Belizeans)  themselves, invited to participate in the process. They were essentially left  out of the actual discussion. Not only would it have made perfect sense to have  included the Belizean Diaspora in the formulation of the policy proposal, but  most importantly in the public and educational dialogue with their brothers and  sisters in Belize.

As a consequence of the flawed approach,  propaganda and partisan rhetoric took over and subsequently the merits and  demerits of the actual amendment became completely lost in the process. The  vitriol that ensued was reflective of the deep-seated residual effect of  colonialism that still permeates our worldview. Talking points filtered via  partisan bickering became the norm, instead of dialogue and constructive debate.  So yet again, because of the choke hold of petty party politics on our  perceptual apparatus, a shameful law that discriminates against thousands of  Belizeans and relegates them to second class citizenship status in the place of  their birth, remains intact and activated to this day.

No Nonsense or Just No Sense- Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmmmmmm by FAC


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Turning Treasure to Trash

Soooooooo…what do we think bout this picture???? It certainly does make a bold statement. I’m gonna guess the Minister wanted to convey that illegal cutting/transportation/selling of rosewood will not be tolerated. On the other hand, this idea that the wood had to be burned because nobody could be trusted to store it properly kinda STANDS OUT MORE. There must be some policy already in place to deal with confiscated goods, yes???? And if there is to be an investigation, why burn the evidence? And why not turn around and use this wood for some other purpose?? Furniture in a museum….material for some artist????

Where does the truth lie? by Aria Lightfoot


John McAfee

 

John McAfee gave an interview to the wire. Please see link here: McAfee Claims Innocence.  http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/11/threatlevel_1112_mcafee

So who is telling the truth Belizeans?

The alleged drug crazed McAfee with a thirst for attention and who previously vowed to bring the name of Belize down or the ¬†powerful ¬† alleged “rights violating” GSU ? ¬†It is an interesting development in our small country ¬†of Belize. ¬†Power games being played.

Now here is what I don’t get. Why does McAfee still want to remain in Belize? He ¬†claims he is deathly afraid of being killed and he stated that even the Prime Minister is out to get him…but yet he remains in Belize because Belize is “the nicest place on earth”? ¬†He claims the murder of his neighbor was a case of mistaken identity. ¬†However, how many mistaken identities happen in the home of the deceased? ¬†I could understand a street assassination of mistaken identity but Faull was killed in his home with a single gun shot to his head. ¬† Anyone see the inconsistencies here? And when does a suspect get to decide whether he will speak to the police? ¬†He has been shamelessly wielding his special privileges and highlighting our corrupt system in our faces.

The media, namely Love FM seems reluctant to report the news of this event. Patrick Jones Facebook page which is normally a daily page of carnage and bloodshed was mum. ¬†What is up with their silence? Is Love FM intimidated? and if they are…maybe they should stop reporting news.

The international media is all over it. NBC, Wall Street Journal and several internet blogs has picked up the news. ¬†They seem to know more information than Belizeans. Vidal had no problem fingering McAfee as the suspect…late rumblings have changed it to a “person of interest”. ¬† Would McAfee be crazy enough to create this stir himself? Is he being set up? ¬†Games Games and more Games. ¬†We cannot live in ¬†country with two sets of laws. One where we enforce ¬†strict compliance upon the poor and then look the other way for the rich. We will send our country in anarchy and Guatemala is happily waiting to take it over if we do.

 

October – What it means to me! Reprinted with the permission of Kim Simplis Barrow


 

Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow

 

October is a month that will always have a special significance to me. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everyone will be talking about it; cancer survivors will say thank you Jesus, families and friends of victims will say a prayer in memoriam, and the rest of the world will remain hopeful for a cure. All around the world it will be a sea of pink. Many will remember the infamous cancer and the fear that it evokes in the hearts and souls of women and men all over the world.¬† This is the month that we most remember to offer support to families enduring this battle and organizations that are trying to find a cure for this awful disease. So we purchase items, support cancer groups, donate and attend fundraisers, give talks, walk for a day, run for miles ‚Ķ and yes, at the same time hoping and praying that we never have an encounter with this deadliest of foes.

Breast cancer is a sneaky, insidious devil. It hides wherever it can and when you least expect, it wreaks havoc on the life of the woman or man it has claimed as ‚Äúits own‚ÄĚ, their family and their friends. It can take over your life, ruling your health like a dictator. However, it is important to remember we have come far and today we know much more about this disease than ever before, making us better prepared to do battle. We know that our only recipe for a successful outcome is to prepare for combat – lace up your boxing gloves and fight with all you‚Äôve got.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the presence of cancer and often such late diagnoses cause the kind of pain that lives for an eternity.¬† Today we are more aware and educated: early detection, yearly mammograms and breast self exams are keys to winning this battle! We also know that some people manifest no physical signs‚ÄĒsomething I know all too well having lived a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising daily.

My cancer journey began on October 22nd, 2011, when I felt a lump during an official trip abroad. Upon my return home, October 28th, I went to the doctor, got a mammogram, and tissue was sent for biopsy.¬† On November 3rd, I heard the devastating words: ‚Äúyou have cancer‚ÄĚ. This disease has consumed my life for an entire year and for the next 5 years I’ll be on medications‚ÄĒfor cancer and my heart complications. It has zapped me of my energy, my good health, and my time‚Ķ but not my LIFE!

It may seem strange, but cancer has given me my greatest gift: it has reminded me of the fragility and brevity of life; that we all need to live everyday to its fullest. The thought that I was slowly dying‚ÄĒand yes we are all going to die one day, but just knowing that I was actually staring death in the face, makes me appreciate and enjoy every minute of every single day. This disease has taught me how to cope with fear; strengthened my faith in God; has emboldened my spirit and restored my faith in humanity. I now know that the only day that really matters is today! Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is but a dream … there is just today!

Over the past year, people saw me bare my soul and lose my hair–those of us with my kind of hair go to the hairdresser at least once a week because we are obsessed with our hair and making it look good. It was not easy and as soon as mine started falling out, I went to my hairdresser and shaved it off. I wanted to lose it completely on MY terms! I was still in control and it was going to affect me the way I wanted it to. I must say I loved being bald. With my daughter’s thumbs up and Dean’s unending support, I never wore a wig. For once I felt free!¬†It was wonderful and comforting to see how people reacted when my most true self was showing. The real me: open, honest and bare to the bones. I saw my soul during this journey …This dreadful disease taught me to love myself and its imperfections, to appreciate me‚ÄĒall of me‚ÄĒfor me.

I also know that this is not my final chapter! I will keep on fighting until I have rid my body of cancer‚Äôs existence. This is not my final nemesis. Today, I think cancer knows exactly who it’s fighting … It knows I have faith, spirit, courage, hope, and that I fight with all I have. Cancer surely picked on the wrong one!

 

Kim Simplis Barrow

October 1st, 2012

 

PUP Speaks Against Recent Allegations Involving Baptist Pastor


The full text of what the PUP’s UWG said on August 21 – August 21, 2012
Press Release
The United Women’s Group (UWG) of the People’s United Party is appalled by the recent reports of sexual misconduct of adult men with minors, by persons in positions of trust and authority; and in particular by the matter involving the Principal and Pastor of the Belmopan Baptist School and Church who has confessed to being involved in an inappropriate relationship with a teenage female student and church member.
The UWG finds this report against this individual very disturbing. At a time when our young people are faced with lack of opportunities and positive role models, those in positions of authority entrusted as the guardians of the welfare of our children and youth, must not betray this trust for their own selfish gratification.
The UWG condemns in the strongest terms, any exploitation, sexual, physical, emotional or economic of Belizean youth. We deplor

e any conduct that preys on upon our women, youth and children.
The UWG calls on the Ministry of Education, the Belize Association of High School Principals, the Baptist Association of Belize and the Belize Council of Churches to act swiftly and decisively in dealing with this matter; and to immediately implement appropriate measures to ensure that such actions doo not re-occur within the school and church systems in Belize.
The UWG encourages all Belizeans to continue to advocate in the most vigorous manner for the protection of our children to keep them free from all forms of exploitation and abuse.=ENDS=