Features — 29 August 2018
A desperate decision to save the 10th

If Sedi Elrington is worth the beard on his face he will do something to Mr. Sidley Leslie. There are a number of civilized ways for our embattled foreign minister to give the sense to this very fresh Leslie cat. That man just can’t be allowed to go free with his monstrous provocation in the Friday Amandala.

All of us, from the Sarstoon to the Hondo, from Halfmoon to Benque Viejo to America, are studying the 1859 treaty, and Guatemala’s claims from Spain, and Brother Leslie ran the gamut too, but he went a step further, one giant step further, which led him to the scientology, the horoscope behind the date chosen for the referendum, and his sensational revelation that Sedi got the date ALL WRONG.

Ouch, is this brother saying that there was just too much poetry recitation at St. Michael’s College, and too little arithmetic? If we follow Mr. Leslie’s numerology, somehow, some way, and this shouldn’t have happened in A-B-C, Sedi got mixed up and misplaced his ZERO. The ZERO should have come before the ONE, not after. Thus we ended up with TENth April, when it should have been AAT ONE April. Those who have eyes to see, see this is a challenge to sanity.

In the old days there were a number of exciting methods available for people in power who wanted to check unruly people who challenged their competence to rule.

The tambran whip and the sash kaad were designed for people just beginning on the path to rebelliousness. Tablada and Kassa disciplined an entire generation of matinee goers with these simple whips.

Another hero of the lashing business in the old files is a nun named Sister Catherine. She has her naysayers. But one I know had only praise. He said, yes, Sister Catherine had the boys lie down on the floor while Faada or Brada wap dehn batam, but he said her whip was almost exclusively for boys who were disrespectful to girls. Really then, she was being merciful. Boys who grew into men and were disrespectful to women got the cat o’ nine, which punishment was only exceeded by hanging.

Belizean oldsters swear by the cat-o-nine. They say in Belize it was used almost exclusively for men found guilty of rape, and that type of crime was almost non-existent because of fear of “The Cat”.   The website trinidadandtobagonews.com has some details about The Cat. The page says it is “a whip with nine separate tails on a single handle…Its origin is believed to date back to ancient Egypt, where the domestic cat was sacred and, even then, was said to have nine lives.” The Egyptians believed that by scourging with cat hide, good passed from the whip to the victim.

Traditionally, the cat o’ nine tails was kept in a green baize bag until just before use. That is the origin of “letting the cat out of the bag”.  As the victim’s back began to bleed, the nine tails would tend to stick together. A stroke with the tails matted together could cause serious and permanent injury. So the bosun, in the victim’s best interest, would use his fingers to “comb the cat” between strokes to “keep the tails separated”.

Hanging was very popular in the old days. In Belize this method of punishment was exclusively for people guilty of murder, but in other countries it was also much used to deal with people who were treasonous, or impudent to authority.

These are civilized punishments from the past and if we listen to our old folks and research the records, they served our country well. Life was indeed more disciplined under the British. But what was considered civilized then is called barbaric now. One punishment which nearly survived the march of time was the “label your enemy crazy” smear. This was perfected in Russia, so you know it was very effective.

Belize is no stranger to it. Brother Ibrahim Abdullah (Charles X Eagan — “Justice”) was too powerful and too intelligent a brother, the establishment couldn’t control him, so they pulled out Dr. Mason-Browne to confine him. Truth crushed to earth will rise again. Brother Abdullah triumphed over their torture and won the respect of Belizeans across the length and breadth of The Jewel in his day.

You don’t have to be a political pundit to know that if Mr. Leslie walks away unscathed after being so massively insulting, the 10th is kaput. I, no, the nation is depending on Sedi to work his options. There is no telling what this kind of effrontery, if it goes unchecked, could do to the YES vote. Belize is altogether too lax already. Rumors abound that politically affiliated philistines stole a City Council bobcat and skinned it.

Thank gudnis the modern world has tools that are as effective as the so-called barbarian ones. An extremely popular modern disincentive is the deadly job deprivation. In the old days this wouldn’t have worked so well because most everyone had a milpa, but in tideh day job deprivation is a killa. Regular folk who are about the business of raising a family dare not make a peep. Effectively, this job deprivation tool confines dissent to retirees, top soldiers of political parties, the wealthy, and the reckless.

But even they have to be wary of the ace in the hole, the ultimate hammer. This one is called lawsuit for libel, and it has a near perfect record for putting away enemies that are nipping too closely at the heels of petty politicians in power. The judge, just for, wait, let’s just say for defense of democracy, is bound to rule for the political leader over the common citizen. It’s a natural. What is the word of one lee citizen against the thousands who voted for the political leader?

This switch of date is major provocation and most everyone sees that Sedi will have to curl his fist into a ball to respond to it. But many people say there’s little chance of that because he is a fake, artificial, a beard with no macho behind it. This kind of talk has been around for a while. It is well exposed that the man is no Real McCoy like Samson or Rufus X or Hubert or Black Beard. It’s really cheating, you know, one co-opting a look that they didn’t, could never earn.

Bah, the beard being all fraud we know there can’t be any punch behind it. We have seen his feeble play with the Russian-perfected “label your enemy crazy” tool. He did call naysayers loco. But that has no bite without a psychiatrist affixing their name to the prescription, and these modern professionals are no longer so ready to lend their services for political ends. If he is as lame with the other devices there’s just no chance of us discrediting the one who exposed the error in the tabulation.

Daam, the man behind that beard is as weak as Samson after Delilah shaved his hair, and we absolutely have to save the announced plan to hold the referendum on April 10, 2019.

They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and that when the light comes, if you have a sincere heart and are buoyed by a hopeful spirit, you’ll see escape routes and clauses where there weren’t any. It’s not that the foreign minister deserves options. The man has been a menace to our cause. But on this one we are hitched at the hips, and we have been thrown into a moment of desperation.

To satisfy two mothers Solomon proposed cutting a baby in two. On this matter of the NO proponents pointing out that the correct date for the referendum is April 1, the foreign minister might just yield and hold the voting on two dates. Those who are for YES, and freedom from the Guat claim, will deliver their votes on April 10. And there will be that other date for those who wish to vote NO, let us live with it.

Quite likely

Brother Henry Gordon reproduced a story in his column last Tuesday, which told about pressure being brought on Chinese Christians by the pagans in Mainland China. The story said that all across China, images of Jesus are being replaced with images of China’s president, Xi Jinping.

Well, well, it is quite likely that on the matter of images that no wrong is being done here, for Xi Jinping quite likely looks more like Jesus than the image the Europeans foisted upon the world, for the furtherance of the Caucasoid race. How could proud, progressive China tolerate having their children pray in front of an image that looks more like Donald Trump than Xi?

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Deshawn Swasey

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