Daily Dingleberry 02-14-12


You can have free speech as long as you agree with me ’cause if  ya don’t, ahma sue yo a$$ for slander and libel.

UGH!!!!!

O come on now, put yo big girl panties on and pull on your big boy draws and step it up…all dis childish ego maniacal flish flash (I know that ain’t no real word so don’t write me about it) is making me tyad. And the Belizean people tyad…caz while you pullin’ rank, we still waitin’!!!!! We still want bread and medicines and education.

Can we have some good role models up in here? We got enough school yard bullies running around, bitches.

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.

Daily Dingleberry 02-01-12


Hello lovers!!! Lovers of Belize!!! It is a new month! And thank goodness it is a leap year caz dem poor politrickans will surely need that exxxtra day 02-29-12 to campaign since elections were called YESTERDAY for 03-07-12. Talk about SURPRISE!!! But really, were you s-u-r-p-r-i-s-e-d?? *wink wink* People have been calling this election since last year. Anyway, given how broke we are, maybe it’s a good thing…not enough time to squander money on useless ads and propaganda. Let’s face it. Die hards will vote colour, independents will get support from friends and family and the rest? Dey gonna stay the f*k home. And there you have it. Political analysis at its best. Straight and simple. And it didn’t cost you nuttin 🙂

Seriously though, I’m getting pissed off with all these party people throwing grenades at each other about which debt is worse: BEL or Superbond. Are you fukin kidding me? This is your campaign strategy? OMG! We are in the crapper for sure! PUP can say all they want about how they had a surplus when they were voted out and UDP just frittered it away???! Can we say 200 million ain’t shit when you have to make superbond payments twice a year? AND WHERE DI HELL DID DI BILLION GO??????? I still wanna know that. And then these UDP people…what you plan to do about it? How are we going to pay off these debts we keep getting ourselves into?????? ANd did we strike oil or not???? You SOB’s are keeping this shit hush hush, hoping you get reelected and then by then you and all your friends will already have your damn paws in the pie. You just wanna make sure PUP cronies don’t get their hands on it huh? Whe happun to honour among thieves? LOL

Aye…it truly is between the bukut and the broomstick…either way it’s gonna HUUUUUUURRRRTTTTT!

Duh Soh, Nuh Like Duh Soh by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


It is a sunny morning in the Jewel and children all over are rushing to school. Some stop at the Chineyman shop to buy haadtimes and sweets or pencils and erasers. Others dawdle on corners waiting for their friends to catch up so they can walk the rest of the way together. On the junction of Fortification and Judgement Streets, passersby can hear the screeching of a frustrated Dodes as she hustles the children out the door. 

Marion! Marion! Get your little sister and get your bottoms out of here NOW!” screamed Dodes.

“But MOOOOM! She is so slow dis morning and she will make me late. Can’t you take her?” asked Marion.

“Marion, if you backansa mi one mo time, ah wa wahm you lee rass fi be suh rude,” responds a very visibly angry Dodes.

Bernie hails the children from her perch trying to distract them and Dodes from escalating and also to signal to Dodes that the neighbours are hearing everything.

Morning, Marion, Lyndsey. You bettah run a little to catch up on time, girls. You only have 20 minutes. Hold her hand Lyndsey and don’t give Marion any trouble ok? See you dis evening girls. Maybe you come visit me and I’ll have some treats fuh yu ok?” said Bernie kindly.

She didn’t deal with this in the morning at all. Their driver took her children to school and she had time then to chat with Dodes over a cup of tea before she had to go to the factory. The bus passed by their street around 8:45 am. She was the last one the company driver picked up. She was close to the highway and it was only five miles to the factory. They usually made it with about six minutes to spare, just enough for a last bathroom run before she clocked in at 9:00 on the dot.

Dodes looked especially flustered as she sidled next to Bernie. “Aye, gial. Sumtimes, deya pickney just tek it outta mi. My day staat at 5 in the mawning. By di time da damn bus come? Ah ready fi lay down again.” Dodes sighed heavily.

“Come Dodes. Ah have yu tea ready fi yu. Ah cud call Maisy and have her bring us some fresh tortillas if you want, with some dutch cheese? guava jelly?”

“Thanks, Bernie. Ah mek breakfast fi di pickney but den dey staat fight and of course, ah nevah finish mines.” Bernie calls to her housekeeper, Maisy and instructs her to bring Dodes some breakfast.

“Now Dodes. Tell mi whe happen. All ah heah da lata railin up and screamin. Who do what now?”

“Well da Marion and Darnell again. Ah nevah know what wa set off Marion these days. Shi so quiet and moody and her mouth di staat to sting.” Dodes looks up at her friend with tears glistening in her eyes. “Sometimes, I wonder if ah mek a mistake kicking her daddy out. Ah mean at least he would be here now fi help me.”

“Dodes. Nuh duh dat tuh yuself gial. You did what you felt was best at the time. He was cheating on you and withholding money and spending it on the other women. How you know anything would be better or even different now? 10 years later? Maybe you guys would be fighting so much, it would be worse. And then he has five more children pan top. What if he mi have dey while he mideh wid u still? How u miwa deal wid dat? And what bout Melanie and Lyndsey? They wouldn’t be here now, would they?

Dodes smiled weakly and shook her head. “Anyways, suh Darnell have dis habit fuh nuh duh his chores and den po Marion end up di hafi do dem bc by di time I get home, da time fi Darnell duh ih homework. You know he nuh as smaat as di girls and so he tek twice as long fi duh anyting. Suh Marion decide dat she wa staat get back afta Darnell and stop wash ih clothes and shi di hide dey anda di bed stuck up all in between di bodes dem. I di look fi days everywhere befo ah finally find dey. Darnell di wear di same unifahm fi neahly a week now. Ah haftu di wash it da nite and heng it inna di bathroom. Suh dis mawnin, Marion squirt tootpaste pan di shirt and po Darnell had to goh da school wid a wet shirt cause ah had to rinse out di spot. And we use Close Up cause da di cheapest and da rass red. So po Darnell shut gat dis pink lookin stain crass and crass it. Aye.”

Bernie is laughing now as she imagines Marion doing this to her brother. “But Dodes, gial. Why yu nuh mek Darnell wash ih own cothes fi tru? He di get big unuh? Even lee Melanie wash clothes with Marion pan Saturday.’

“Really? Ah nevah know she midi actually wash di clothes. Ah know dey go dungstayz tugeddah but ah mi tink shi just di kip Marion company,’ said Dodes. “Ah feel like sumtimes my life jus outta control Bernie. Ah feel like day in and day out, ah just work and work and work and fi what? Ah di lose mi pickney. Sumtimes di look whe Marion give me, ah wah slap ah but den ah jus wah dissapear eena wah hole. Dah like shi hate mi. Anyway,” Dodes chewed a piece of her tortilla and swallowed before continuing,” Ah di try explain tuh Marion dat even doh Darnell wrong fi nuh duh ih chores and ih nuh wash ih own clothes and she hafi end up di duh it, shi just as wrong for hiding his clothes and ruining his shirt. Shi tell me how whe she do nuh as bad as whe hi duh and plus top, he get everything fuh duh absolutely nutting and shi get nutting fi duh absolutely everything. When dey wah lawn dat in di meantime, di two ah dey di mek it haad pan me! Ah just di try mek a life fuh all a wi you know? and ih feel like nuh mattah whe ah try duh, ah ciant get head and all dey duh dah fight di mek it woss!”

Dodes starts to smile. “Sound like friggin UDP and PUP huh? ‘you tief’ ‘no yu tief!’ Dodes moves from side to side changing her voice to represent each side.

“well, at least ah nuh as teifah as u!”

“Who seh so? wi still nuh know how much yu tief! At least when we tief, we pass it on to the people! Ask evibadi whe get turkey and ham fi krismus. At least dat da sumting!”

“Ha! what people? fi u people? O wait! da nuh even fi we people! Da di bloody alien whe uno just hurry friggin give citizenship!”

“Well when election time cum, u always drag out alla your votahs dem, even di one whe dead fuh 20 yeahs! At least ah nevah tek money fram Ashcroft fu mi campaign! Go google da shit! Ih deh ret deh pan wikipedia! And a bet dah only di million whe uno cop tu! Who knows how much ih reaaaaaalllly give uno!”

“Well look pan kettle di cuss pat! Who u fi seh jack shit? You represent di man den tun rung and sue ah??? Conflict of interest much? u lucky u nuh dead! You sure hitman nuh deh afta u?”

At this Dodes looked squarely at her friend,” Meanwhile me and you di get busup like pinata, right Bernie? Ah mean really? Put puss eena bag which one cum out fus? And dey one pa tv! O my lord!” Dodes puts her hands on her hips and imitates the tv personalities they all knew so well. ” I know my party nuh perfect but that is in the past! We are talking about this government today! They promise to do bettah and they haven’t! They are just as corrupt so out they must go!'” At this, Dodes cut her eye and sucked her teeth. “Da stupid di tawk but nuh stupid di listen. Ah mean who dey di fool? How I supposed to vote dem back in when demi worse and dey di actually agree da demi worse?? Soh dis govament tief tuh suh let’s vote een di one whe tiefarah! My goodness!”

By this time Bernie is laughing heartily. She loved it when Dodes got funny. “Aye, Dodes. Stop! U wah mek ah drop off ah disya wiyah. Hmmmmm.” She catches her breath. “Dodes. Dodes! Di bus di cum! Go lock u doh hurry!”

Dodes flies off to lock her door before the bus stops on her street.

“See you latah, Berns! whooohooo!” waved Dodes.

“Bye Dodes! See u latah fi tea!” waved back Bernie.

Dodes seemed in much higher spirits as she made her way to work. Another day, another win against unemployment and poverty. She made a silent promise that she wouldn’t lose her focus and determination even when her children questioned her actions. She needed to talk to Marion. She couldn’t stand the thought of losing her best ally, her best friend in this world. If she only knew that is exactly why Marion resents her.

Daily Dingleberry 01-14-12


Watched “Iron Lady” about Margaret Thatcher and it was a remarkable portrayal. Well it’s Meryl Streep, how bad could it be? But it was so stark a realization, to see this one lady surrounded by barking, patronizing, condescending men. No matter what we think of her, she fought a fight few of us could fathom, much less actually do. So, that brings me to the thought: why do we show such disrespect for our leaders? Ok, Ok…don’t shoot me! You can’t catch me anyway, I fly too fast 🙂 But really ponder: what must it be like to be a leader of a third world country, surrounded by the big, intimidating goons of the world? Can you do it? Would you know what to say? how to say it? how to dress? which fork to use? It is a daunting task so before you spew more vitriol and call our leaders horrible derogatory names, take a step back and show some respect, if nothing else for the fact that they are doing what you can’t or won’t. Her adviser said to her “Margaret, if you want to change your party, lead it. You want to change your country, lead it!” So stop talking and start doing lovers!!!!! Or else, sit down and shut the hell up!!!!

Birds on da Wire by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


Bernice “Bernie” Toucan sees her friend Doo Doo “Dodes” Chickadee sitting on the wires at the junction of Fortification and Judgement Streets. Dodes looks worried. Bernie decides to go see what’s bothering her friend. Dodes worries about a lot of things. She is easily frightened by everyday happenings but lately, it seems to have gotten worse. Bernie reflects that Dodes doesn’t even seem to smile lately.

“Hey, Dodes. You seem so pensive today. What’s up?” asked Bernie.

Dodes doesn’t look at Bernie but starts talking. “You see Johnny John Crow over there? That’s nevah good. He only come rung when someting bad about fi happun.”

Bernie sighs. “Dodes, you can’t let him bother you. It’s just his nature. He ciant help it.”

At this, Dodes looks at Bernie. “I’m scared Bernie. Things just seem to be getting worse and worse. My daughter’s friend Aaron Pope was killed the other day. Innocent little boy, sleepin in his bed, fuh no reason.” Dodes voice cracks with emotion. “Who is it gonna be next? What has to happen so all these young people realize that all this shooting and killing don’t do nuttin but destroy what little good we have left? Ah feel like nobadi give a shit nuhmo.”

“Dodes. You have to remember that not everybody is like that. There are people trying, trying real hard to get people to start thinking and maybe start doing something to help this situation. Like da gial, Aria. I have been reading her blog and she seems to be really fair about everything…none a dis party politics rass. Shi nu fraid fi nobadi, it seems. People like her, is exactly what we need.”

At this, Dodes gives a little smile, then a tiny chuckle. “Shi de awn nuh tru? Shi even use di “f” word!” exclaimed Dodes. Dodes threw her head back and start laughing real hard now. Her voice going up an octave, “Shi seh, shi seh to PUP ‘Grow the fuck up already'” At this Dodes is bawking from her belly, her whole body shaking, tears streaming down her face. “Bernie, gial. Ah jus cud imagine po George Price di roll inah ih grave! Buwhahahahahahaha! Aye! Aye! Mi belly di hurt!”

Bernie smiles at her friend. She knows that the laughter hides Dodes’ fears but it’s still nice to see her laugh a good belly laugh. It’s been too long.

“Hmmmmmm, Bernie gial. Whe u tink people like shi cud really do, huh?’ Bernie frowns as Dodes is serious again. “Ah mean, she is saying tings I wuda wa seh miself and ah know dat lotta pipple wudnt dare. You know, dey fraid fi lose dey job and soh. But, innah di end, whe shi cud really do, huh?”

Bernie looked at her friend. She was right. Nobody survived in Belize unscathed and could be downright destroyed when they said what this girl, Aria is.

“Well, Dodes. Wi cud hope dat di pen is mightier dan di sword. Ah mean, wi ciant do nuttin bout nuttin if wi nuh talk bout it fus. Look. nuttin get done in a hurry. Tings tek time. Tudeh she? Tomorrow? 20 mo like she. Instead ah jus siddung ya and worry, why wi nuh join dis gial, huh? Show her our support. After all shi di do dis fi wi right? Wi haftu believe dat good and sound judgement will prevail. Just look at history, Dodes. Ah bet during di Holocaust pipple felt like it would nevah end and den one day it did. Nuttin bad last forevah but wi ciant siddung rung and wait fuh mek ih done? Who di hell wa do it? WE, Dodes WE!”

“But Bernie. U noh andastand. What can I do? Ah nuh educated like you. Ah beahli di hold onto mi job da di facktry. Dey nuh wa give wi wa raise. Deh nuh wa wi unionize. Ah mean. Wot wa happen to me and my pickney if dey fiah mi? U know dey pipple who I work fah big innah politics.” Dodes pushed out her beak and shook her head. “Ah nuh know Berns. Ah fraid.”

“Ok Dodes. U have a valid point. But if we don’t help ourselves, who will? U noh tink my ma and your ma had dis very canvasation befo we had independence? People had to get together and fight! U wa end up like Jamaica? Caz ih look like dat fi real. Most ah fi dey people po no rass and deh gat parts a city yu bettah no dare go to. Some a di village dem nuh gat electricity at all! Still? innah dis day and age? Ah nuh want Belize tun like dat mein. U feel mi?”

Dodes looks at her smart, pretty friend and nods. “Alright Bernie. I will try. I will follow dis gial Aria and show her my support. I wa tell all mi other frens fi pay attention tu. Hey, Bernie. Who wudda tink that lee ole me wudda di du dis? All I duz k bout da bash pan Satuhdeh.”  Bawk, bawk,bawk “Aye dems were di gud ole days, huh, Bernie? Memba whe wi duz steps? Wi mi tink wi soh hot!”

“Talk fi yourself Dodes! Ah still got it girl!” Bernie thrust her chest out and swung her hips side to side.

The two friends laugh as they remember their blissfully, uncomplicated days as young girls, when nobody was shot and they could walk around at night without fear.  Days when all that mattered was a note from a boyfriend and holding hands excitedly with him as you walk by Baron Bliss grave…well more than walk, a stolen kiss or two. Those days seem so remote now; but, a tiny hope has sprung in their hearts, as they silently pledge their loyalty and lives to fight to take back their country from the clutches of corruption and greed. 

Reflection:


by Aria Lightfoot 

“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
Abraham Lincoln

In the ad lib words of President Lincoln, to get to where we are going, we must know where we are.  2011 is fading;  2012 is approaching fast and Belize faces municipal,  city council and general elections. The implications are for a positive financial outlook for the Belize voter. The money for votes exchange is off to a head start and the political warriors are gearing up for battle.  At this juncture it is difficult to determine what the future leadership of Belize will look like, I have my own speculations, however in politics, the only certainty is uncertainty.  Voters are fickle and needy;  political parties’ popularity fluctuates between love and hate. Hate while in government and love while in opposition.

I predict in 2012 that it really doesn’t matter which party holds the majority in the House and municipal elections. Crime, poverty, corruption, inefficiency, apathy of leadership, politics of patronage, special interest politics, the growing divide between rich and poor will remain constant. Are the major political parties reluctant, stubborn and arrogant?  Or are politicians merely a reflection of our corrupted society? The voting patterns in Belize suggests a yearn for change;   however the inability to articulate it has resulted in major changes  at the polls with little changes to much else.    What does corruption even mean to the average citizen? Does the average citizen know that hustling on the side, hooking up family members and friends, pushing friends to the front line,  erasing the professional and personal  line, selective enforcement, turning a blind eye, paying tax paid  government officials to complete work, accepting money for votes, buying anything on the black market, inflating contracts to  benefit friends and family, hiring and promoting due to relationship rather than skill; educating friends and family and supporters, denying access to qualified citizens, special favors of any kind…equals corruption?  Lets us begin the arduous journey of reflection on the impact we make on the society.