Twocanview Inaugural Blog Radio Show 12/29/2013


Today Dec 29, 2013 marked the inaugural blog radio show for Twocanview.  My first guest was Hubert Pipersburg. Hubert explained pubic policy;  the importance of effective public policy;  and helped me examine the Christmas Cheer Program implemented in Belize- Was it good public policy?    Please click on the following link to listen to the discussion: Blog Radio 12/29/2013

 

Also please donate to a great initiative to uplift the lives of elderly Belizeans who are living in very deplorable conditions by clicking the following link. Improve the lives of Belizeans at Home

Donate what you can. A bank account will also be established in Belize.  The funds will be used to help build a decent living structure for the residents affected.

The pictures below are structures that senior citizens presently live in:

housing 4 housing 3 housing 2 housing 1

 

 

Daily Dingleberry 08-26-12 Does This Pass The Bullshit Test??????? Tell Me What You Think


Direct link to the following  http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/74930

Aug 23, 2012

6 containers of suspected pseudoephedrine turn out to be chalk

FLORENCIO MARIN JR.

Earlier this year, a shipment of seven forty-foot containers housing a significant quantity of methylamine hydrochloride, a chemical precursor used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, was confiscated by the Customs Department.  The consignment, valued at an estimated ten billion dollars, was shipped from China to Belize in February to Belize Gardens Consortium, a local company owned by businessman Vernon Cuthkelvin.  Following the seizure, samples of the substance were sent to the United States for testing while the Anti-Drug Unit led an investigation into the matter.  In the interim Cuthkelvin sought representation from attorney Lionel Welch, who indicated that a charge of making a false declaration on a customs entry was the only legal action that could be taken against him.  But the charge never materialized and today Minister of National Security John Saldivar said that the chemicals, after being tested, turned out to be nothing more than chalk.  The investigation, he added, has since been closed.

 

Florencio Marin Jr., Area Representative, Corozal South East

“Can the Minister of National Security say what is the status of the police investigation into the seven forty foot containers that were shipped to Belize in February containing chemicals which form the base for the deadly drug commonly known as ‘crystal meth’ and whether or not anyone has been arrested or charged in this matter?”

 

JOHN SALDIVAR

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“Mr. Speaker, samples sent abroad to the United States for analysis have proven that the container for the Belize Evergreen Distributors and Supplies was found to be chalk, calcium carbonate.  The three containers that were declared as titanium dioxide for Belize Gardens Consortium was found to contain chalk, calcium carbonate which was found to the front of the container, while samples taken from the back of the container was found to be all methylamine hydrochloride which is a precursor for the production of methamphetamine.  The other three containers which were declared as ammonium sulphate were found to contain some ammonium sulphate from the samples taken from the front while the samples taken from further in the back of the containers were found to contain methylamine hydrochloride.  Mr. Speaker, calcium carbonate, ammonium sulphate, and methylamine hydrochloride are not prohibited substances under the current laws of Belize therefore there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the person or persons had committed or is committing any offence under the laws of Belize.  As a result, there were no arrests made and the police investigation into this matter is considered closed.”

 

The “chalk” was destroyed, reportedly with assistance from the US. 

 

 

 

Daily Dingleberry 08-22-2012 Raising the Age of Consent to 18


Image

School is supposed to be safe. Make it so.

I feel for the mother of the minor 16 year old girl accusing Baptist Pastor, Norman Willacey, of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with her child, a student under his tutelage and guidance for years at the Belmopan Baptist High School. She has appealed to all the people in authority she believes can help her seek justice but sadly, it’s been slow in coming. As of right now, the Baptist Church still hasn’t made a decision despite the mountain of evidence piled against him, including his own strange confession.

What I have an issue with is the proposal to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18. I believe that this is not the issue which needs to be confronted, not now, not ever. This is a knee jerk action designed to put a mother’s feelings of frustration and helplessness to rest. It is a move that, if pursued, will only create a false sense of security for parents because the truth is, predators don’t give a damn about laws. They will do the do no matter what. What will happen is you are going to criminalize the normal behaviour of young girls and boys who are experimenting with their sexuality all the while ignoring the real problem we face: abuse of power by people in authority.

This case is not about the sexual relationship between the pastor and the young girl. That is actually the symptom of a much larger, more entrenched societal attitude towards women and others deemed “less than”. It is about the power differential that exists between anyone who has any sort of authority over another: employer vs employee; minister vs voter; pastor vs believer; parent vs child; teacher vs student; adult vs minor. When circumstances create an imbalance of power, it is imperative that the person with perceived power exercise extreme caution NOT to abuse it. In other words, he/she must behave in an ethical manner so as to not exploit someone perceived to be the more vulnerable in the relationship.

How would changing the age of consent do anything about any of that? We need to understand that this is not about sex at all. It is about an adult abusing trust that was placed in his authority and position in the community. He didn’t only hurt this girl and her family, he hurt everyone who ever sought his guidance and revered his intentions. What we need are better sexual harassment laws period.

Please don’t jump on this bandwagon. I apologize to mom in advance but I firmly stand by this assertion.

Daily Dingleberry 08-13-12 Is Anything Really Going to Happen to the Banana Industry?


Now that the news is sinking in about John Zabaneh and the potential negative consequences of being blacklisted by OFAC, people are coming to his defense saying that he has done so much for his community and Belize as a whole by creating jobs and providing community support. It is a consideration…maybe. What is the cost of these jobs and money generated by his portion of the banana industry? Can we honestly say it’s worth it to be a part of a world wide drug war to have a couple hundred jobs? Do we care that many families are affected by drug trafficking in ways we can’t begin to fathom just so we can have a few jobs that people are saying is mostly worked by illegal aliens anyway? What are the real life consequences we can expect or is it much ado about nothing and we will see business as usual in a hotttt minute?

Daily Dingleberry 08-09-12 Zetas vs Sinaloas: Should We Be Concerned?


Our Future?

Ok so the Sinaloa Cartel is reputed to be Mexico‘s oldest and most powerful criminal organization while the Zetas are newer, decidedly more vicious and determined to take over the territory once comfortably held by the Sinaloas. The Zetas once served as the muscle for another cartel, the Gulf but they broke off because they wanted a bigger piece of the pie…what pie you ask? Oh just that area along the Gulfcoast of Mexico which extends into CENTRAL AMERICA…or what just happens to be our country of Belize.  The irony is that many of the members of the Zetas are ex military once charged with protecting the people they now terrorize. Members include deserters of Mexico’s elite airborne special services and Guatemala‘s Kaibiles,  a special unit trained by the US. Yes, I said the US. The other members come from the Sinaloa Cartel itself, former members of the Beltran Leyvas, an affiliate of the Sinaloa Cartel. These members  believed that Guzman, Sinaloan head honcho, ratted out their top commander Alfredo Beltran Leyvas and his successor Arturo Beltran Leyvas.

Greeeeaat.

Now we have the perfect recipe  for extreme cruelty and mayhem: military training, desire and greed for more territory and an intense need for revenge. Before the Zetas entered the picture, the Sinaloa Cartel kept things calm. They had a place in society and were reluctant to stir things up as it were. They were unwilling to attract attention to their criminal activity. The Zetas? They don’t care so much. They make grand statements of intent making their presence firmly felt with very aggressive acts such as beheadings and multiple massacres, often piling up the bodies  in central plazas. Since they have entered the drug business, murders have quadrupled. Yes, that’s 4x more than before. And the problem is they don’t care who they kill. Often, innocent people are caught up in the fracas. Anyone who is suspected to be of the Sinaloa Cartel or if you happen to be related to one of its associates, you are fair game for attack in this bid for control of territory, which brings me to my point: Now that these business men, John Zabaneh, Dion Zabaneh and Daniel Moreno have been identified by the US as associates of Sinaloa Cartel, have they been marked with a big bulls eye on their backs? What about their families? Will the Zetas see a point of weakness and attempt to infiltrate and make this territory theirs? One of their favourite tactics used to announce their presence is kidnapping. Who wants to live with that constant fear that you will just be scooped up and used as a pawn in someone else’s game? And these days? They done gone hi-tech. The threats are often sent via email. Wow.

We, as a nation, have been playing with fire for over 30 years. Is it time that we collectively get burned? I better start seeing an increased US military presence in that case ’cause ahm…they kinda got us into this mess………alright, alright! People like the Zabanehs did but the US revealing their names to world and most importantly, the Zeta/Sinaloa world, made our tiny, under-defended, under- prepared nation a giant berry ripe for the pickin’.

Daily Dingleberry 08-08-12 Do We Really Want to Get Rid of Corruption and Crime?


Who Gwein?

In light of the US blacklisting three Belizean business men, John Zabaneh, Dion Zabaneh and Daniel Moreno, I just have to ask this question: Are we really ready for a sweep? We all say we are tired of the crime and dead bodies piling up. We are afraid to sleep easy lest someone breaks into our houses and harms our children. We bemoan the sad fact that it has become common place for bullets to graze our heads in drive bys or in our case, “bicycle bys”. It is very clear that the cartels are setting up shop in our tiny, very strategically placed country. Many of our friends and neighbours have gone from living in wooden shacks to owning concrete monstrosities cause hey, let’s face it, just cause you have money don’t mean you got style. (smirk) But sarcasm aside, we congratulate them, perhaps even envy their good luck and admire their ability to evade justice. We, as a society, have accepted this lifestyle and even appear to condone it as we turn a blind eye and point to them as examples of success. We wash their blood money clean as we take their generous donations in our churches and schools “for the children”.

Here’s the thing. This drug culture has infiltrated every facet our existence. It’s the obvious hustler on the street, the walking dead strung out on crack…but they aren’t the real problem are  they? The problem is the customs officer who looks the other way, pocketing a few hundred dollars. It is the police “losing evidence”. It is the minister shaking  hands over business deals to launder millions. It is the mother practically selling her daughter for bags of groceries and jobs for her sons. What are we going to do when all this is revealed and our “benefactors” are faced with a list of criminal charges as long as the Litany? Are we strong enough to turn from temptation of material wealth, new found prestige and status in order to clean up our communities? Who is going to step up to change the future of our country from being known as the “asshole of the world”?

Given that so many of us have our hands in the cookie jar, I don’t think the queue will be very long. But then again….maybe we wont get a choice. Big Brother is waving his big stick….and we about tah get a smack down.

Daily Dingleberry 08-07-2012 Well Well Well…What The Hell?


So, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control  is declaring that NO American can do business with five companies under the control of John Zabaneh and two of his associates, Dion Zabaneh (his nephew)  and Daniel Moreno. These companies include: Mayan King Ltd.; Mid-South Investments Ltd.; Crown Paradise Enterprises Ltd.; Belize Chemicals Ltd.; and D’s Supermarket Company Ltd. Why? Because the DEA finally after hmmmmm 30 years got their shit together enough to prove that John Zabaneh is a prominent drug trafficker in Central America, especially Belize, with ties to Colombian and Mexican drug cartels namely the Sinaloa Cartel. The Sinaloa Cartel has been declared by the US Intelligence Community as THE most powerful drug organization in the world, making an estimated $3 billion a year in revenue and partly responsible for the 50,000 drug related deaths in Mexico since 2006.

So what now????? What does that mean for Belize? Our government? Who’s next on the list?????

Read the full story here: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1674.aspx

For more on the Sinaloa Cartel, read: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/magazine/how-a-mexican-drug-cartel-makes-its-billions.html?pagewanted=all

Another Victim of Vehicular Homicide Just Buried Under Complacency And Old School Bullshit by Fayemarie Anderson Carter


Ken Emmanuel

Ken Emmanuel was one of them, a Police Constable who risked his life in service to his people everyday. But instead of justice being sought for his death, the “good old boys club” is wielding its influence and he is just another dead black boy not worth worrying about. I mean who is going to demand justice in his name? His dad and his mom are already dead. I don’t know where his granny, Ms. Gwennie is or even if she is alive still…He’s just a no count nobody right? After all, this Mr. Carlos Santos is a pillar of the community. Everybody loooooves him. He is such nice man.

I didn’t want to have to talk about this because when it comes to Kenny, his life has always been difficult and I knew that it would just bring back a flood of memories and feelings. You see, Kenny is my cousin. I was there when his mother Arlene Kuylen met his father. She was a tragic figure herself, an illegitimate child for my Uncle Eric Kuylen, (he died during my 4th and my brother’s 1st joint birthday party) being raised with her brother “AK”by our spinster Aunt Olive Kuylen. She was brown and poor; her cousins, rich and white. When I was three, we went to live with them while my father studied in Jamaica.  I was the passport when she went to meet Kenny’s father. She would tell my aunt that she was taking me for a “walkabout” when really she was meeting him. She was giggly and happy, in love. When she got pregnant, I was there stroking her hair as she cried because my aunt was yelling and cussing. I remember her squeezing me so tight I couldn’t breathe but I didn’t dare tell her because I loved her so much. (Yes, I do have memories from waaay back…I remember crawling on the black and white floors in the house in Jamaica. It can be a curse and a blessing.)

But of course, everyone got over it and Kenny was Christmas and random visits in the evening on the farm. His father died when Kenny was very young from complications of diabetes. They moved away and the visits became far and few. But that didn’t mean we didn’t know about Kenny. We all worried about Kenny because his step father was a very violent man. A few times, Arlene would run to us to get away from him. But she would go back so we tried to be there for Kenny even if indirectly. She and my mom were very close so that eventually when she moved to Belize City, my mom was able to get her a job working for her uncle at HL’s Burger. When I was in sixth form I would visit her and get my $2 burger. My paternal grandmother made sure she sent Kenny clothes and shoes and of course, candy. Bless her heart. When Kenny was 17, he met us again and it was like the first time because he did not remember us at all. He was ecstatic to find out who “his people” were. He went to the cayes and got to be a “Kuylen” for the first time in his life.

We lost contact after that because we moved out of the country so all we knew was the violent deaths of his mother and sister. It’s funny how murder can separate rather than bring you together but that is what happened. We drifted apart because of the pain…and Kenny went on to live his own life, we, ours.

And now this.

I don’t want to unfairly accuse Mr. Carlos Santos if this truly was an accident and he really did get blinded by the light and hit Kenny. If that is all to it then so be it. What I don’t want is a shitty investigation because Mr. Carlos Santos is a prominent member of his community and married to George Price’s niece. Rumours are flying about that he wasn’t even driving; that his daughter was and he is taking the blame. Another rumour is that he was drinking and driving….

I don’t “know” this…it is “yeriso”. But I am putting you people on notice. He deserves only the most thorough investigation done on his behalf. He was a police officer for god’s sake. One of you. It is what you do as brothers and sisters in this very special family. And while it is sad that an old man is the offender, if he were negligent or if he is lying on behalf of his daughter, they both need to be charged. Kenny was a person, a human being. He had family who loved him his whole life. He mattered.

R.I.P. Kenny

Links to Kenny’s story:

http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/71489

http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=22665&frmsrch=1

http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=12652

Daily Dingleberry 06-13-12 YAY!!! We Made Top 10! Awww Man! It’s Top 10 MOST HATED


Ok. So some journalist named Jordan Rane from CNNGo, made a list about top 10 most hated cities in the world. It included Los Angeles, California (United States), Paris, France??? and Sydney and Melbourne, Australia?????

What was said about Belize City was fair but I really could argue that there are worst cities fuh real….and maybe we would make the top 20 then? LOL Anyway, the mayor didn’t like it all especially since the article was published right when he had to talk about his first 100 days in office. Tough climate, right?

Rather than get mad and defensive, remember the author did say that worse than being on this list is being irrelevant and talked about at all…I guess even bad press is good press? Here’s the excerpt form the article in CNNGo:

10. Belize City, Belize

 

hated cities belize

Hate Belize? No no no. I’d just prefer to be somewhere else.

 
Few tropical outposts less than a three-hour flight from Dallas have spawned as many alluring Sunday travel section taglines as Belize — a diving and cruise ship magnet that has been dubbed “Central America Lite,” “theother Caribbean” and “the gateway to the world’s second largest barrier reef.”

With all that warm press and tourist traffic passing through, you’d expect Belize City to have kicked its nagging reputation as the sorriest port o’ call on either edge of the Caribbean.

Crime. Drugs. Dilapidation. Welcoming committees of bored, desperate touts. A vibe that screams avoid-being-out-after-dark-and-wait-for-your-real-itinerary-to-begin. Belize City has it all.

When your own Director of Tourism owns that Belize’s main transport hub is “consistently rated as the worst destination” among cruise passengers, something more than the city’s famous swing bridge may need adjusting.

Until then, it’s full speed to the puddle jumpers and water taxis.

Link to full article: http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/most-hated-cities-861160

I don’t know about you but isn’t that the strangest picture they picked to represent Belize City???? Aye…So the following is the Mayor‘s rebuttal on Channel 7 Belize:

Mayor Says Belize City Is Loveable, Not Most Hated
posted (June 12, 2012)

Last night we told you about the list that appeared on CNN-Go’s website. IT placed Belize city at spot number ten on the list of most hated cities in the world. Well, to be fair that list included Los Angeles, Paris, France, and Sydney Australia.But, no matter what, the Mayor of Belize city says he doesn’t like it one bit and challenges the writer to actually visit Belize.

Darrell Bradley – Mayor, Belize City Council
“I think that these types of websites that do these articles are very unfair. Councilor Espejo brought to my attention the person who is the author of the site has never visited Belize, so how can you make an assessment as to the quality of life of a city if you haven’t even gone there. I give no credit to that article. I can tell people that I lived in Belize City for all my life and ask somebody who lives in Belize City what their experience in Belize City has been.”

“I have also been told by councilor Espejo who is a member of the BTB Board of Director that BTB will extend an invitation to this woman to come to Belize – to see what Belize is really like and to speak to residence of Belize City and to get an experience for herself so that she is then able to make an accurate report and she is able to say having had firsthand knowledge of what being in Belize City is like.”

“I don’t give any credit to anything like that if you have not come to our city.”

No word yet on whether the writer has accepted the invitation.

Link to story: http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=22683

 

 

Daily Dingleberry: WTF????? 06-08-12


No hero here

Yesterday when I was reading various posts decrying the incompetence of those in charge of investigating Jasmine Lowe’s death, I reserved judgement. I was hesitant to believe the flat out craziness of the reports. I really didn’t want to be a part of yet another instance where people exploit a tragedy to make political statements in  attempt to malign the government.  BUT THEN, I wake up this morning and Aria Lightfoot had written an article backing up everything everyone else had already said yesterday.

There are no words. My stomach hurts and words are swimming in my head, my emotions too big to manage. I want to scream and cry and curse and hit and pound my fists. How the hell did this happen? We are NOT this fucked up right? We just cant be! I mean shit! Anyone with the smallest bit of understanding/intelligence and observational skills can deduce simple, basic things that need to be done in an investigation. Do you not watch tv??? AND YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TRAINED! WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS!

What do you mean you didn’t make molds of the tire tracks? What do you mean you walked all over the scene? What do you mean you didn’t take fingernail scrapings? A DNA SAMPLE????

Seriously people…it is one thing to have tragedy hit home but when you can’t even depend on seeking justice, much less getting it…how can we not expect people to take matters into their own hands? I do not advocate violence but my goodness! This is a perfect storm!

Shame on you! Shame on the Police Department! Shame on all of us for letting this happen! I call for a serious investigation into whoever was part of this and demand that they are fired. This shit has to stop. NOW! Prosecute them for criminal negligence. This is not funny and should not go unpunished.

And Jasmine, I’m so sorry.

I pledge to do my part to help undo the gross negligence in this case in order that we do not allow this child’s memory to be dishonoured. Who is with me?