Features — 11 August 2018
These gods

I’ve never had a dream in which I woke up and found myself in America, but there are some things on which I have to yield to them. I just love how every day is open day on political leaders. Indeed, every day should be open day on every leader, from baby league to Boy Scouts to big league, and yes, on political leaders. Maybe we should add, for political leaders, every day, and Sunday tu.

Somewhere in one of those Shakespeare plays, there’s a line about greatness being thrust on people. Leadership should never be handed to anyone. Leadership is something that should be earned. One should pass certain tests to gain the title, tests to ensure that one is capable, has the capacity to get the job done. It is not that one will never fail. It happens to the best. But in passing the tests, one will have earned the chance to be dog at the top.

Enough of that. This Belize, it is one lee tochiz country. This lee Belize, it has too many gods. Everyone who has a big job, everyone who has LL. B., everyone who is an elected politician, everyone who has a little power, is a god. Everywhere in Belize, everywhere, everywhere it is gods, gods, gods. And the biggest gods are in the politics.

Hmm, we thought that Samuel Haynes was writing about god of the sun and god of the moon and such, when he wrote his epic poem, Land of the Gods. There’s this fact about truth, that it cannot, will not be suppressed. The philistines can keep the truth down, trample it into the dirt, but only for a time, and then it will out, and the people will know. Samuel Haynes wasn’t thinking about the sun and the moon: he was writing about all these tochiz politicians who are not to be criticized, questioned.

We must be about challenging political leaders about their ideas and about their character. We have to challenge what political leaders say and what political leaders do, because that is the only way people grow. People grow when they’re under pressure. And growth is absolutely essential for people who make decisions for other people.

Youth who smoke weed need lashing

I have been told that some young fellows in my village, including pre-teens, are smoking weed. Before any overzealous people tek dehn head and run off and blame the new law for that, most people in my village know this is not a new thing. There are statistics which show that youth and children have been smoking weed and doing other bad things for a long time now.

These statistics from the NDACC (National Drug Abuse Control Council), as reported on Channel Five on May 12, 2005, are staggering. It is clearly a biased report (research), done to scare the nation. But, if it doesn’t show what our young people were actually doing then, it shows what some of them were thinking about it.

The survey by the NDACC, as reported by Channel Five’s Janelle Chanona, showed that secondary school students, some as young as twelve, were “experimenting with drugs-seventy-six point six percent reported that they smoke one to five cigarettes a day, seventy-four point four percent drank one to five alcoholic drinks a day, and twenty-two percent of the boys and girls claimed to use marijuana every day.”

Yes, children were smoking weed before decrim. There is a law that says persons under 18-years-old should not drink alcohol. A law is a teaching tool. If something is against the law we tend to believe it is bad, so we treat it like a sin. There is the enforcement side of the law. Sometimes, for whatever reason, people ignore the law. Then the big stick has to be applied. It costs to apply the big stick, so that side of it is of no consequence if you can’t pay.

Apparently, the new law has emboldened some youth.This is not altogether bad. Their relaxing their guard, coming out into the open, gives us an opportunity that we should not refuse. They must be made to know, in the strongest terms, that we don’t tolerate children smoking weed. Of course, it calls for a crash course on the effects of drugs on the adolescent mind. Our NDACC is equipped to give them the sense about drugs. It also calls for children to learn that they can’t do as they please. The Good Book is pretty clear with its lessons on child rearing. Spare the rod and spoil the child.

It is very troublesome that there is no response from the authorities in our village, nor from anywhere. It’s like everybody is too busy with their individual affairs, so they don’t have the energy or the time to care about what the youth in our country is doing.

Belize is a country with very weak leadership. There is no system, no standards. There are some good people, but on the whole we are not ready when it comes to leadership. It is an absolute crisis, with no one to turn to. Some say we should look to the churches. Unfortunately, vocal church leaders are no solution because they are so “all or nothing” their message doesn’t resonate with youth who are in need of guidance.

The price of silver

Congratulations to our volleyball girls, for winning the hearts of the nation and the respect of Central America. You were, sterling!

Of course, it didn’t come easy. Our difficulty is to maintain excellence. The manager of the team, Mr. Sharp, told Wave TV that the girls almost doubled their effort, training, in preparation for the tournament, to get themselves to this high level. To sustain that high level, they will need better food, better medical care, and better handling all around.

Favorites win; vicious villain falls

Boxing fans are coming off an absolutely glorious two weeks. Maybe it is the payment for what happened just a week prior, when that over-the-hill Manny Pacquiao demolished a handpicked sponge fist Lucas Matthysse, who was clearly in the fight for the pay day. Pacquiao fans are in glee, but God noh di sleep, and we know how He deals with ugly. PacMan will fishing around and fishing around, until he runs into a cement mixer, like the one who put Hopkins out for good. Obviously that sledgehammer from Juan Manuel Marquez that fell Manny flat on his face, u-know-what cold, wasn’t enough.

Anyway, to the great news. Hurrah for Freetown Drugstore’s Mikey Garcia (I think he is American too) on his superb victory over Robert Easter, Jr.  We don’t want Spence, we want Lomachenko! Our Cuban brother, Luis Ortiz, put out the lights of Razvan Conjanu, with one punch. The next heavyweight champion to put up his belt will go home without it. Is there anything more beautiful than seeing Sergey Kovalev stumbling all over the ring, and then collapsing on the canvas? Kovalev put out many men, cruelly. And then Colombia’s Eleider Alvarez faked him with a left, and clobbered his jaw with a mashing right. As Lindy Rogers would have said: It’s all over! It’s all over!

Louis and Henry off page

The BMP City Council reportedly having some cash issues, which resulted in employees not being paid on time, the discussion in BMP is about money management, and how to increase revenues. If I heard Plus TV’s Louis Wade right, he is for people living in areas such as Salvapan, Las Flores, and San Martin, to pay similar property taxes as people in old BMP. Wade said that these folk on the outskirts of Belmopan are receiving the same services as people in old BMP.

Louis Wade overlooks one important fact: neighborhood. They say, of land, that it isn’t what it is, it is where it is.

The Plus TV host, and his Friday co-host, Senator Henry Gordon, agreed that if you improve the value of your property, you shouldn’t be taxed on it. This argument is also not fully cooked. They are saying that if you have a $20,000 house, and you put on a $30,000 addition, you should still be taxed on $20,000. Why, brothers, why?

Let’s get the sense here. If you’re going to put on the big addition, you should factor in the new tax bracket you’re entering. It doesn’t matter how you get to be the owner of a grand $100,000 house in a neighborhood where every house has a garage with an SUV in it. It doesn’t matter if it is one splash or incremental: the fact is that you deh-deh, upper class.

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Deshawn Swasey

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