Daily Dingleberry 03-19-12 Wot’s Yer Pernt?


Creeper

You evah get di feelin dat eyes are followin you and shadows creep in the dark? It’s ok darlins. You can relax. No matter how you look…you will be disappointed. Is it really that hard to believe that people could just be what they say they are? That is so sad for you that you haven’t had the chance to be around people who are sincere and full of compassion for their fellow citizens. Let me once again reassure you so that perhaps I can garner your support in my efforts. I just want to bring light to things that are impeding our progress as a society. I want old people to live with dignity; children to be excited by life and parents to energized by hope. What a wonderful world that would be. In the future, Aria and I would like to lend our support to Cancer/Diabetes Awareness; involving our youth in the democratic process; form a non-profit org or two with the aim of providing school supplies/lunches/clothing to our students; educate anyone, who wants to be, in the finer points of political issues so they make the choices which benefits them and their communities and just soooo much more.

While you attempt to corrupt our good intentions, slander our reputations and decry our actions, I simply ask you to direct your attention to what really matters: Belizeans. Feel me? Join me? That’s the spirit!

Wifey and Sweetheart Get Di Bukut!!!! by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


Suh…. I am so sure that you have heard EVERY Belizean man and woman seh dat dey don’t tolerate cheating but if da like how dey deal wid di palitishan dem? Well. You know exactly how dat end!

From the time we are old enough to talk, if you are a girl, people tell you to “keep your shape; lawn fi cook; nuh laff tu loud; cross yu leg; be a good girl OR ELSE yu nuh wa get a good man”.  Ting is, da whe dey tell di man dem? Caz ah nu tink dey get di memo. You might hear “be a man, stop cry; beat dat, nuh mek nobadi tawk to you suh; les go da Mile 8; tell u gial u gwen play basketball or tell shi da nun a fi shi business whe u goh; you mek di money, shi fi just shet up and serve you yuh dinnah!”

So girl marries boy. She might have a job but that doesn’t matter. She still washes, cooks, takes care of the kids, and cleans up after everyone. She doesn’t get a say in how money is spent or how decisions are made BUT she must honour whatever arrangements her husband might make so that they “look good”. So, she cooks for people she doesn’t like; she raises funds for causes she doesn’t support; she watches her man go to the bar and blow his pay check while the pickney need school uniform and books; and if she raises her concern, she bettah watch she don’t get slap right affa fi shi foot! Caz he da di boss and u bettah know your damn place. And if you dare nuh listen, he wa lef yu rass and tek a sweetheart. And if you reeeeeally piss him off, while you stay home and mind yu pickney? He wa ker she da fancy restaurant and buy ah sum chicken and suh Belikin fi wash it down. AND the cherry on top of that humiliating cheating, lying and beat up Sundae is? He will blame you and seh da caz yu get fat, or yu like rail up tu much or yu dah jus nuh fun no moh.

So den yuh get caught up inna wa love triangle, square, pentagon? Some wifeys think dey getting revenge by cheating right back; some stay deh and pretend like dey dont know, and den di Shali pickney staat show up da di back dooh. And one day, shi look inna di mirror and realize dat she’s all thorns and no rose. See, cause she told herself, “I live inna di big house”; “my pickney gat fi hi name”; “he come home to me” ;”I da Mrs”.

Di sweetheart she? Well, she get reputation so nobody in society wants to associate her and she finds herself being passed around from one married man to the next, each time, she tells herself  “dis one love me..si di pretty bracelet? si di new refridge? And mi baby got soft hair like ih daddy”; “dis one wa lef ih wife”. But he doesn’t and she cries again and soon shi look inna di mirror and realize she is all thorns and no rose.

The sweetheart and wifey might sometimes meet in public and wifey cut shi eye; sweetheart hallah bout “mi son da fi yu man!” Each one has her posse in her corner whe jeer and sweat fevah.  Wifey is the victim because of “that low down sketel di try tief wa good honest man like mi husband. Shi da jus wa homewreckah! Don’t that street gial realize that shi di tek mi pickney food outta dey mouth and dey pa from whe he belang? She so sleck, shi gat pickney fuh all kinda man, dey all gat different name!” The Sweetheart is the victim because “that fat cow nuh wa give mi man wa divorce! Don’t that old hux realize dat him nuh luv ah numoh? She da just di stupidest ass fi di try hold awn to something whe nuh wah she! He tell mi dat shi cant give a di sex like me!”

Now turn dat into a lovestory about the PUP, UDP and Belizeans. “Mrs.” da di diehard. Those voters will stick to their party like the wife to the husband. They hide the lies; they defend their behaviour and all the while, everybody can see that their eyes black and blue and swollen from the bitchlick. But, they hold on for dear life because they just can’t imagine no different and don’t believe they deserve better. The sweetheart? They are the voters just looking for a handout. They keep switching sides, chasing the one with the sweetest lines and the biggest promises, telling themselves  “this time will be different!”; “He da di one!” And, they do that because they also can’t can’t imagine no different and don’t believe that they deserve better. The two a dem fraid fi challenge because all of a sudden, they will lose their job, or they will be publicly ridiculed or they will lose funding for some project or a loan will be recalled or their children won’t get scholarships or even considered for positions they are qualified for. O and the latest one, you might get sued for slander and libel.

And the man? When him dead, him happy and content. After all, he get what he mi want right? And he tell himself that both dem bitches lucky he tolerate either one a dem. Dey bettah just know. He da di boss. Whe dey gat fi camplain bout? Wifey inna house and sweetheart get shi chicken. Ting dun. Him pave your street and give di other one wa ham. Ting dun.

Whe miya seh? Step back. The only reason this keeps happening over and over is caz like the Wifey and the Sweetheart, we, the Belizeans don’t believe it can be different or that we deserve any better.  We have allowed a bunch of self serving, egotistical, deceitful, unethical, criminal politicians to take over that which is ours and we settle for the pittance they decide we deserve. They don’t even fight their own battles cause like the wife and the sweetheart, dey posse do it for them.  I mean, we do it for them. We call each other names and refuse to work together against corruption and fight for our rights. Meanwhile, they ride around in their air conditioned rides and vacation on their private islands, whe dey just tief fram yu, by the way.

So…on this here Valentine’s Day..kick dey no good cheaters to di curb…wifey and sweetheart need fi tell huzzy who da di boss! Stop fight each other and fight together for what’s right. First you have to love yourself don’t you? Buy yu own damn chocolate and flowers numa! And make dat man know it is his privilege to be with you! Just like we need to let our leaders know “It is a privilege to serve US”. When Wifey and Sweetheart wa realize dat it aint about them but about the children they both have to watch suffer? And those kids got one name: Belizean.

A Nation of Bullies by: Aria Lightfoot


 

Freedom of religion does not give you the right to physically or verbally assault people.” Jim C. Hines

I write today with feelings of melancholy and disappointment. I am realizing that writing is an emotional journey, especially when writing from a position of advocacy.  Yesterday, I read the news and listened to Caleb Orosco describe his physical attack.  I was ashamed of my fellow Belizeans to resort to such disgraceful behavior. A young man offends the moral conscience of “Christians” so much that he was attacked and brutalized unprovoked as he walked the streets.  As I listen to him describe his attack, I heard a deflated, abused and bullied young man who is further victimized by a system that refuses to address his injustice.  Later as I read the online news, I realized Caleb was once again bullied emotionally by the insensitive commenter’s celebrating his attack, questioning his integrity and advocating for harsher treatment. My God, who are we becoming in Belize?

I am even more disappointed with the failure of the Churches of Belize to strongly condemn these criminal acts; disappointed with the failure of the justice system to acknowledge it. For the most part, the churches and champions of Christ were silent on the issue, possibly enjoying the power they have to move people to such passions of hatred.  Who else in history was treated with so much hatred, contempt and violence? Oh yes! Jesus, Jews, Blacks, Minorities,  Martin Luther King, Mandela, Gandhi and countless, nameless and dead individuals who suffered at the hands of discriminatory, judgmental narcissistic individuals who would prefer to see a fellow human dead than accept diversity.

Growing up in Belize, I was one of those judgmental, ignorant people who believed that people who were gay should live with the consequences of their action. People choose to be gay, so why should I care? I stood with the majority, mainly because it was not an issue that affected me. How selfish my thoughts were and maybe a bit self-absorbed believing the world should be as I want it to be! However, as I journey through life and reflect, I realized how my views have changed since then. Living in America for the past decade has given me a whole new perspective of being a minority.  It is easy to stand on a pedestal of judgment when we are comfortable in the majority, but a person’s true integrity is evident when he/she can decry the evil of the majority. I thank God for Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mandela and nameless others, who refused to back down from their positions; even though they were the minority positions of their time; they refused to succumb to threats, intimidation, violence and bullies! I am free today because those who came before me were intolerant of hatred, ignorance and discrimination.

It brings me to my next point. We are a society of bullies! ” Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others.” It can include name calling, intimidation,  writing nasty letters, emails or blogs, exclusion, making people feel inferior, inadequate or uncomfortable, assaulting, and forcing them to do things they would not want to do.  It involves an imbalance of power usually on grounds of race, ethnicity, culture,  religion, gender, sexuality, ability, standards of beauty or socio economic position. The abuse can be done overtly as in Orosco’s case or subtly. The list is not exhaustive.  The “imbalance of power” may be social, economic, political, religious and/or physical power.  The sad reality is that we have all been on the receiving end of a bully, but instead of saying no more, we actually perpetrate it on a weaker person. We compare our children; demoralize them; we talk behind our friends’ backs; we strive to do better than people just to look down on them; we interfere with people’s lives and livelihood; we beat our spouses and children;  we find faults and constantly tease;  and we spend a lot of time “hating” on each other.

One infamous historical figure visited the Caribbean to learn our social bullying tactics of “divide and conquer”, a mandated British policy during slavery.  His name was Willie Lynch who inspired  Jim Crow laws. The tradition of bullying has been ingrained in our society for centuries as a control mechanism and  handed down through our families, peers, teachers, churches, political leaders, writers,  spouses and we in turn bully our children, family, peers and anyone who would dare deviate from what is considered” normal”.  The bully gets a sense of satisfaction and power in knowing that he/she can intimidate a person into submission. The rhetoric of some religious leaders telling people to hate, to be intolerant, quoting death and violence verses from the Bible is in fact bullying. Church leaders can get of sense of power and accomplishment taking on a minority unpopular position while ignoring unabated corruption, poverty, child abuse, spousal abuse and spiraling violent crimes. The bully cowers at a bigger bully.

As the fight for acceptance ensues in our courtroom and society, I call on all leaders to break the cycle of abuse and bullying. Encourage supporters to be civil and respectful. If God intended for all of us to be the same, he would have made us all the same. If you believe that God made us all in his image, then when you bully Caleb Orosco or any person in your life, you are bullying one of God’s creations. I refuse to be a victim or perpetrator of bullying anymore and I hope anyone reading this similarly commit to stop bullying and promote civility in our culture.

Daily Dingleberry 02-07-12


What democracy is NOT but has become

Double edged sword is what it is…what is? This politician/god thing we got going here. Of course, it stems from our complicated colonial/buccaneering history. As much as we hate to hear it, we do live it. People are still very much stratified according to colour of skin and position in Belize. To an onlooker, it might be impossible to imagine. We all look brown, right? We all ain’t white, right? So, what is the problem?

Well, actually I think that makes it worse because it pits brother against brother, grandchild against grandmother. Is it any wonder then, that we glorify our leaders?

Our socioeconomic situation creates intense desperation and fierce competition for the few opportunities and resources available, so when one of us “makes it” in politics, we clamor for his/her attention and favour. This may flatter and appeal to our “hero complex” but that doesn’t last long, I’m sure. Soon enough, there is too much to deal with, not enough time, money and manpower and before you know it, people get frustrated, disappointed and then, resentful. That leader we thought was better than free cheese and sliced bread becomes in our estimation, greedy, self serving, “out of touch”, hypocritical and downright demonic. We vote them out. Rinse. Repeat. And we are in the hole we are in.

Look people. Don’t give politicians qualities best reserved for saints. Politicians, don’t make promises you can’t keep just to win temporary adoration and votes.

We need to mature as a nation. We have to stop this codependency we got going on among our constituents and our politicians. That politician will not solve our problems and our constituents can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps if they don’t gats no boots! We have to find a medium where politicians just do their jobs i.e. overseeing the appropriation of funding for beneficial projects; negotiate loans and settle border disputes. Politicians need to insist that our judicial system is sound and that our streets are safe. AND WE THE PEOPLE need to realize that WE ARE THEIR BOSS, not the other way around.

We, the people, need to understand our rights, our responsibilities and start taking ourselves seriously. We need to understand what a politician is really obligated to do. We need to set up firm boundaries between what is his/her job and what he/she just can not and should not do . What is unethical versus illegal? What is within the realm of government versus what is beyond?

While we figure it out, I appeal to your sense of decency and fairness. Display decorum and respect. It is the only way to make progress. And politicians… smdh…admit you fucked up. You have no idea how far that will go to restoring good faith and confidence in your abilities. It takes great courage to admit one’s mistakes and people really are just waiting to hear you humble yourselves and for once, do the right thing. We have been on borrowed time. The bottom will fall out. Let’s try to avoid that please. We have so much to gain if we work together and not against each other. And while we are it, throw some bitches in jail.

OWN YOUR VOTE. OWN YOUR FUTURE.

Assistance or Hindrance? by: Aria Lightfoot


“The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority”. — Will Durant

Who are elected officials in Belize legally accountable to? Anyone knows if there are enforceable laws to offset bad behavior?  It is quite unlikely. I know I am beating a dead horse and I am frustrated by the arrogance of our leaders to ignore our cry for change but I find myself once again addressing the same issue two months later.

Another “special” assistance program?!  Another unregulated, unmonitored program when payment of the super bond looms?    Stop using our taxes to funnel money to standard bearers for political mileage.  There is no way to paint this new assistance program the Prime Minister is giving out other than taxes being used to support the campaigns of his political party.  And I guess the lack of outrage comes from those citizens hoping to benefit. I paged through the Laws of Belize to see if there was anything illegal with this behavior and what I read in the Finance and Audit Act Chapter 15 (not even sure if that was the appropriate law) was the use of the word “minister” quite a bit. The entire laws of Belize need to be burned at the stake and we need a whole new set of laws in its place where accountability and oversight are the major themes.  No Minister should have such level of discretion to use  public funds as a personal piggy bank.  The political machinery is turning our country into a haven for beggars and thieves.

Political machines depend on getting people out to vote. They depend on the spoil system and political patronage, they believe in established systems of hierarchy and they breed a culture of corruption and crime. (For more information on how political machines work please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_machine).  In the late 19th and early 20th Century, many places in the United States operated much like Belize’s political environment. Political machines were used to win elections.  Once elections were won, the system of governance was inefficient, corrupted, and inept and was the breeding ground for the mafia and violent street gangs that cooperated with politicians.  Sounds familiar?  Fast forward over 100 years and in 2012 Belize is still practicing the failed policies of political parties of yesteryear.

Reformers in the US realized that the political parties needed to be curtailed. Many laws regarding financing, candidates, accountability, oversight, corruption were put in place.  Remember Belizeans, political parties function to win elections and patronize their faithful followers and use the power of the State for their personal gains. They are not running to represent your cause or develop Belize.  We are at the lowest ebb of political integrity and nationalism in Belize.

I am outraged that taxes are being spent in this wasteful way and unaccountable manner. I am disappointed that the Prime Minister, after condemning the past administration for similar behavior, now feels he owes no explanation.    What should we expect when the Legislative and Executive are one body?  The use of tax payers’ funds for political mileage may not be illegal, in fact, it is well within the Prime Minister’s discretionary power, however, it is unethical; it lacks fiscal responsibility and does nothing to develop our country. It stinks!  Every Belizean with hands out has become an accomplice to this level of unethical, self destructive behavior.  Belizeans should not complain later when taxes are higher, when jobs are lost and when inflation sharply increases.  Belizeans, there is no such thing as a “free” hand out. You will pay for it later.

When money is thrown around during election time, it creates a temporary fix.  Businesses are misguided thinking that money exists and may invest into more products they can’t sell later.  People suddenly have extra money and begin investing in unneeded items, that will not help stave off a future financial crisis,  the economy reports project growths and causes investors makes bad decisions. It really is a well disguised lie.  Since the stream of income is temporary, in just a couple years, the impact of poor policies will be felt.  It is a vicious cycle that both political party governments practice to win elections.  Each election cycle is digging Belize into a deeper financial hole.

Here are some solutions that are in no way exhaustive.  Demand accountability; demand changes of our laws; demand oversight and transparency;  demand that the discretion of ministers be removed; demand that the Public Service become empowered and function outside the claws of the politicians.  In Florida, city councils and county governments are non-partisan. Meaning that candidates cannot run under the umbrella of a political party and the parties must stay away from electioneering. Do we really need the political parties in our city and municipal governments to build roads and parks and provide basic city services?   Think about it, if we eliminate political parties at the local level, we may also attract more civic minded candidates. We are in desperate need of change Belizeans! We are in a cycle of abusive, self destructive and misguided politics and policies. Changing parties is not the solution, unless they will change our entire political system.  We are crumbling financially and morally because political party agendas reign supremely over national agendas. The time is NOW to demand better and expect better.  Wake up Belizeans! As you sleep, our country falls apart.

In the Face of Adversity, Beauty, Poise and Desire to Educate and Serve by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


The First Lady of Belize, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow

When someone is fighting the fight of her life, everything else falls away. Or at least, it should. For her, it is minute to minute. It becomes about nausea and holding down just the least bit of food. It’s constant needles searching for veins to draw blood. It’s about white blood cells and anemia. It’s about dry eyes and mouth sores from the chemo. It is about atrophy and fatigue. It becomes about carrying on with your everyday duties without fretting about an uncertain future. It is about facing death in the mirror everyday and vowing to overcome. Sometimes, one can’t help but dissolve into tears as the frustration and fear overwhelms even the strongest determination. It is hard enough in private, looking at the anxious faces of loved ones who are trying to hide their worry as they smile encouragingly. She ends up comforting them, desperately trying to allay their concerns. It is exhausting and contemplating another day just like this one, disheartening. And this lady is doing it publicly.

Not only does she have to deal with her own struggles, she must do it against cutting sarcasm and hurtful slander. Shame on you out there who can not leave your pettiness behind. Shame on you out there who can’t muster up a bit of compassion for a fellow human being in her darkest hour. She is a person. Just like you. Just like your mother. Just like your daughter. How dare you allow vitriol to spew from your lips, poisoning every good intention, every good effort? When you display such animosity and hateful behaviour, you do nothing against her, my friend, my lover of Belize. YOU show who YOU ARE and just what YOU ARE NOT.

I am sure that our First Lady, Kim Simplis Barrow, has already forgiven you. She has already come to terms with the idea that people will hate her because of her position and has come to accept it. BUT my lovers of Belize, that doesn’t make it okay. If you are guilty of such an egregious act, I challenge you to do something to make up for it. Get educated about cancer and its debilitating effects. Get educated about how you can be a part of the fight. I challenge you to walk a mile in her shoes and try to imagine how you would like to be treated and then do that, be that.

Daily Dingleberry 01-29-12


It’s Sunday. A day of tradition for many…church…Sunday dinner…family time. What are you doing today? I’m looking out my window at some gorgeous fresh snow on the ground.  We still have not gotten the  “up to your knees kind’, but there’s still enough to inspire a sense of calm and peace. I wish I could send that feeling of serenity to you, out there, with fettered hearts and buried souls.

There is a bubbling tension and the rising stench of animosity in the Facebook world. There is a growing tendency for some to measure their good works against the perceived failings of others, coupled with derisive criticism of what is deemed apathy or lack of true loyalty to Belize. That is so mean spirited and self glorifying and divisive. I don’t understand why people feel the need to put down others. It’s like taking a big stick and whopping it across someone’s face. It’s humiliating and violent and most of all, useless and unnecessary. Most people are inherently good and want to feel appreciated and needed. Most of us would love to work for a cause and feel pride in our efforts. Our problem is, we have no one we admire enough to follow, no entity trustworthy and deserving of our deference.

Not everybody can be leaders. Not everyone wants be to a leader. So why does it seem that Belizean leaders get on their over inflated egos, like some big old BULLFROG and spit in the eyes of those who would want to follow them? You “leaders” out there, why insult others because they won’t, can’t do as you do? Do you really want the competition? Think about that for a second. You really want a bunch of leaders and no followers? You need somebody to lead, right?

Just because someone is not like you, doesn’t make him/her weak, inferior or less committed (*insert cuss word here). And not all of us can work tirelessly and with intense dedication at the same time that you might be. Not all of us have the same kind of intelligence or gifts. Nothing angers me more than when someone who is obviously exceptional in some way, uses it to thump others on the head. Don’t you understand it is an accident of birth? It is due to thousand of years of evolution and tireless culling of our genetic fiber that created you? You don’t belong to just you. You belong to every single human being who contributed to your particular DNA. In that way, you have every obligation to use your talents, your gifts towards the betterance of humanity.

So, instead of touting your good deeds, puffing out your chest like a BULLFROG, and decrying the lack of reward or recognition, understand that you are always part of something larger. In other words, get over yourself and get to work. And you, out there, who will benefit from the brilliant work of these exceptional people, do not mock them when they stumble. Do not lose faith when they make a wrong turn. We will make mistakes all of us, but, the failure is not the one who tried and failed. The failure is the one who never tried at all.

Insert Name Here by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


It’s mid-morning in the Jewel. Bernie is sitting on the wire alone and she can smell coconut oil and frying onions and hear pressure cookers rattling. Usually, she is in her office writing or doing light book keeping for her husband; but, today she feels closed in by all her thoughts and feelings. She tries not to show it to her friend, Dodes, just how much she is concerned about the state of their country.  That is just not the dynamic of their friendship. Dodes has always clung to Bernie’s every word and reserved a special benefit of the doubt for her.  It got to the point that Bernie had to gently admonish her friend against putting her on such a lofty pedestal. She becomes  especially uncomfortable when Dodes puts herself down and defers  to her because of her education and position in society. No matter how much she tries to show egalitarian consideration, Dodes refuses to act like her equal. In this way, Bernie can’t ever truly be herself around Dodes.  Dodes has put her in the position of mentor and guide. It would not do to show any sort of weakness as the disappointment would upset Dodes’ estimation of her. Bernie is Dodes’ rock, a compass in this crazy, overwhelming world. If Bernie should voice any misgivings or uncertainty, Dodes would be sure to overreact and feel like the sky is truly falling. Bernie doesn’t mind being this for Dodes. She understands that Dodes is alone and needs her to be that stabilizing force in her life. She plays the role well and is nurturing, supportive and even motherly as Dodes sometimes needs her to be.  The downside is  that it left Bernie without a confidante and that makes her feel lonely at times. She could only be her true self with her husband, Joe and her friend, Judith. But, Judith does not live here and is often busy herself and Bernie hates talking on telephones so essentially, that leaves her with herself, thoughts swimming and fears unabated. 

It had taken her a long time to realize that she was not meant to have many close friends as she had tried to force others to play that role. Eventually, they fell away and she never heard from them again, or worse, they would turn on her and misunderstand everything she tried to say or do. The catch is, even though she has her husband right there, all the time, he is very busy. He works non-stop on his various contracts and while they are lucrative, sometimes, the work just drained everything out of him. In that way, she becomes nurturer again and has to wait until he could be available to her. So here she was alone, trying to be patient. Patience had not come to her very easily. Her passion and youth had made every issue, every thought seem so important that she felt compelled to try and come to a resolution as quickly as possible. She had learned over the years, that, that was just not how the world works; and that while she could attempt to engage others into reaching resolutions to arguments, crises, and challenges, forcibly and loudly was not a way to maintain friendships and alliances, no matter how right she felt she was. Now, she had learned that her anxieties were her own to deal with and while others could try to be supportive, she couldn’t expect them to know what to do or how to do it. She and only she could make herself feel calm and determined to continue on. 

She felt a flap of air and turned towards it. It was Buster Piam Piam.

“Hey Bustah. What yu doin here? I thought you were at Robinson’s Point with Paulie.”

“I was Bernie but I came back earlier than planned. Granny Ivy is not doing to well so we came home to be with the family.”

“O Bustah, I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Well, she is doing better already, as usual.” Bustah laughed. “I swear, she does it on purpose. She heah we outta town, get jealous, play sick just fi ruin we good times.”  Bustah smiled at Bernie.

“Ahh Bustah. You and that morbid humour of yours. Nevah change, heah?” Bernie smiled at her friend but it didn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Oh oh. I think I interrupt some deep thoughts here Bernie. You look like you gots your thinking cap on.”

“O Bustah. You are in the world of economics. What do you think about this supah bond business? As far as I can tell, it sounds like crippling debt that we can never repay and I get really perturbed at the thought that I absolutely have no idea where it all went!” Bernie lets out an exasperated sigh.

“Berns, it was a bad idea. I don’t know all the ins and outs of it but it would seem that yet again, for the fleeting moment of glory, we spilled our guts. And now everybody is scrambling to make this seem ok. Meanwhile, the politicians are fighting away pointing fingahs. Shit ah wish they would just get close enough to each other and poke each oddah  eye out…dah nuh like dey need dey eye! Dey all blind anyways!”  Bustah slapped Bernie on her back as he guffawed. Bernie was startled but she joined in since she wouldn’t want to send the wrong message and hurt Buster’s feelings. Problem was, she really didn’t feel like laughing. She felt to burdened by her fears and unanswered questions.

Changing the topic, Bernie asked Buster, “Wheh yu oddah half dey? Usually him nuh tuh far behind.”

“O lawd, gial Bernie. Paulie meet a gial da caye. She da di cook and every week she come een fi buy produce. Soh him deh wid her right now before she haffi goh back da caye. Da bwoi always got his head undah skirt ah tell yu!”  Bernie and Bustah laughed at the thought. “And di ting is, him soh desperately in love and ciant eat nar sleep. Him drive mi crazy wid all dah talk bout dis gial or dat gial. Right now I hafi heah bout ‘Allison has such lovely long legs. Allison’s voice is so musical. Allison is so smart.’ But di ting is las week dahmi Becky…next week it wha be di same tings…’insert name here’.”

Bernie laughed at the truth of that statement. Paulie was ridiculous in love. He would be the perfect romantic partner for some lucky girl, one day, maybe.  Unfortunately, his interest waned quickly and soon he was mooning over someone new. She likes the statement “insert name here”. It describes how she feels about all the politicians, just now. It doesn’t seem to matter who, which party, what the accusations are, who tief, who tek, who liad, who get outta facing consequences for committing crimes…just “insert name here”. Her mood started to deflate again.

“Bernie, Bernie!” Bustah’s voice rang in her ear, jolting her back to the conversation.

“Huh? Sorry Bustah. Ah midi tink again. Whe u midi seh?”

“Ah ask u if u have time fi a lee bite. Ih luk like u need some distraction befo da big head a yours explode,”  Bustah said with a kind, understanding smile.

“You know what Bustah? Long time ah haven’t been to Seaside Cafe. Ah always feel so peaceful there with the waves lapping and the breeze in my face. Can we go there? They have the freshest papaya you ever tasted.”

“Alright Bernie. You are on but I want a watermelon margarita too!”

“Well talk about ‘it’s five o’clock somewhere’!” chuckled Bernice. “I might just hafi join you. I need some fun Bustah. Do I ever need some fun right about now. Lemme just tell Joe and I’ll be right back.”

Buster watched his school friend fly up to her house with some sadness in his heart. He rarely ever saw Bernie so deflated and pensive. She was a thinker, even as a child but she was also a fun, quick witted provocateur. It got her into trouble with the stuffy, authoritative teachers when they were in school, but she hadn’t let that change her. She just got more spirited and challenging. Buster knew that Bernie was probably not worried for herself as much as she was worried for others who were already struggling. He knew that like himself, people sometimes doubted her sincerity because it was obvious she was wealthy and that she struggled to balance charity against pity. She had always voiced strong hopes that as Belize became more and more developed, that  those poverty stricken and seemingly forgotten areas would finally get electricity and the stagnant drains that were breeding grounds for mosquitoes and thus responsible for yearly outbreaks of malaria, would finally be connected to the city sewer systems. He knew that she was probably seeing all those dreams just crumble under the weight of the reality of the financial crisis facing Belize.

“Hey Bustah! Now dah yu di drift off. First round is on you! Let’s go have some fun, man.” Bernie smiled at her friend encouragingly.

“Alright Berns. But if you get tu tipsy tu fly, u pay fi di taxi!” And in his usual gentlemanly way, Bustah let Bernie fly off first, elegantly and sure, she headed towards the beach.

Constitutional Convention – by: Aria Lightfoot on Saturday, 27 August 2011 at 11:59(repost)


Recently, the idea of a constitutional convention was suggested, I give credit to Mr. Hubert Pipersburg, who is quickly igniting a necessary debate about the effectiveness or lack there of, of our system of governance!

This was something that should have been done back in the early 70s when the writing on the wall indicated that England was ready to kick us out the proverbial nest! If I recall the debate of the time, one party supported it and the other party boycotted the formulation of our constitution in a shortsighted protest that has Belize in this conundrum today!

Today in Belize, one party makes a suggestion and the other party outrightly rejects the idea. Policies are written with no intent to implement, but rather to win elections,  promote political party agendas,  as opposed to national agendas. Boycotting has been the opposition response to controversial legislation and as a result, 30 years of our history is marred with stagnation and an ineffective system of governance.

I love the idea of Mr. Pipersburg’s  convention with one reservation; he called for the convention to be  “the brightest minds in Belize!” Unfortunately for Belize, many of our brightest minds also represent the elites in Belize,  who many times are detached from the struggles of the country;  are themselves the perpetrators of the abuse in the system;  and too politically entrenched to make the convention a worthwhile effort.  I call on suggestions to be induced from all organizations in Belize and a consensus of the masses solicited.  If we are rewriting our constitution we need inclusion.  We need to limit the power of government and empower the masses. We need oversight of the public coffers and give our politicians a mandate, with serious reperccusions for unethical deviation. We need a “bill of rights” to ensure fundamental rights are cemented into our legal framework. We need to remove the “discretion of ministers” and replace it with laws mandating the office they hold. We need representative government and we need to  have equal access and strong protection of our citizenship!

Take heed to the call politicians who shape the divide  our country. The people in Belize are voting for a change in the system! They cannot articulate it, so they keep voting parties in  or out on promises of change! Recognize that the populace wants equality and access and an opportunity to enjoy the spoils of the country.  Recognize it before our change is shaped by the people calling for violent revolution! Get off your tax payers’ educated butts, tax payers’ financed lifestyles and do something meaningful for the country of Belize!  Let’s create a Belize for all Belizeans…

Daily Dingleberry 01-21-12


Is it really the 21st already???? Sheesh! Time is whizzing by! Pet peeve today IS: people causing hysteria on these here blogs/Facebook pages about EVERYTHING the government does…remember di likkle boy who cried wolf??? One day, when there really was a wolf, nobody listened. My point? You lose credibility when everything you say is biased. This type of halarism will lose my interest quick because it just sung like sour grapes, ovah and ovah again. People, even the ones you think are stupid, quickly tire of constantly being yelled at “the sky is falling, the sky is falling!” It’s a natural human response to just tune yo ass out. We can’t take it, ok? It takes too much energy to worry and stress out that much. And common sense intervenes to tell us, “hey, we nuh dead yet, let’s go bathe sea”. I love all my people, blue or red or just green with envy. Look around and just for a second, truly evaluate this situation. I’m not asking you to ignore corruption and blatant disregard for the law, BUT LOOK RUNG!!!! We have been chosen as a top tourist destination. Join forces together with other lovers and clean up this place. Do fu yuhself and cash in on the good publicity we are getting. Bank that lovers!