Features — 24 November 2018
Absolutely nobody believes that

I heard Pastor Scott and Pastor Louis say (on PLUS TV) that the roundabout and its approaches, at the junction of the George Price and Hummingbird highways, cost a whopping $13million. The pastors said that there was no hue and cry over the cost, and because there was no such complaining the architects of that project feel they have carte blanche to bloat the costs of more major projects.

If they are right, oh for Jorge Espat, the first member of a ruling party to call out waste of the people’s money by the government. He got drummed out of his party, and politics, but Belize will never forget his sacrifice. How these political leaders betray the people, when they asked for the job so they could serve!

This roundabout, nobody believes it cost $13million. Nobody believes it cost $5million. Nobody believes it cost $2million. So, people should have hollered foul. But there’s a sound reason why there hasn’t been a peep from the people who talk/write a lot about transgressions.

Pastor Scott and Pastor Wade, good guys, are used to spouting off in front of open-mouthed congregations in church. No one ever asks them any questions. Every word from their mouths is gospel.

My, can you believe TD Jakes and Joel Osteen making millions off Baby Jesus, whose family was so poor they had to put him in a crib in a stable with cows and horses and sheep? The Osteen and Jakes babies sleep in cribs made of pure gold, and the little mattresses they sleep on, and the little blankets that cover them, are all temperature controlled.

Yes, you get a certain kind of fearlessness when absolutely nobody questions what you say, when people just sit there with their mouths agape, and the only times they close the gums is when they have need to swallow what they have been fed.

Regular journalists know that that roundabout and its approaches could never, never in a million years, cost $13million. But they can’t jump on the rooftop and shout that. They can’t place a phone call and get the real deal on the story, because they’ll get the runaround. And if they do like the church people do, just blurt it out, a phone that didn’t answer will make a call, and they will look so silly.

“Who said it cost $13million? Who told you that? Oh, you read it somewhere? Well any fool would have known that couldn’t be correct. You should have called. If you were sincere, honest, diligent, you would have called the Ministry. All you had to do was call and you would have found out that the period key on the typewriter is a little worn so it missed the decimal between the 1 and the 3. Any fool would have known that the cost couldn’t have been $13million.”

And this story, it should be one of those all’s well that end well, having learned that it is 1 point 3, not 13, but people who are used to saying everything they read in the Bible, without question, and about everything that comes to their minds just after they’ve read the Bible, they have no end. One would have thought they’d be satisfied with their flamboyant exposé on what they’d read and heard from officialdom on the cost of the roundabout, but no, they had more…and it’s a very bad complement to the roundabout story.

According to the well that has the full license on living water, the roundabout was improperly sited, not properly aligned with the new bridge reaching to the skies beside the old Roaring Creek Bridge. That, of course, is all church madness. There is absolutely no way that our engineers could have made such a mess of things. What, we will have to excavate and move/relocate the brand new 1.3 million dollar roundabout? What, the historic tubroos tree was moved because of a miscalculation?

Say it ain’t so, Braa. Please don’t tell us that the brand new sturdy rails being put on the old Roaring Creek Bridge, ten times more sturdy than the original ones, are being put there for a hocus pocus reason, which is, to make the old Roaring Creek Bridge look like new, and perfectly aligned with the roundabout. And the one rising so splendidly over the creek, albeit at extra cost because,according to church sources, the original plans paid for had to be discarded,what will they do with it?

They’ll say it’s not for regular commuters.Hmm, maybe the new bridge is for trucks from Guatemala, and BNE, and hurricane emergencies. And everyone will complain because they will want to drive over it. Then the government will say, okay, but we’ll have to move the roundabout.

Some machines too powerful for their drivers

I swear to God that I believe that the engines under the bonnets of some of these vehicles are bigger, more powerful than the brains of some of the people behind the steering wheel. A man who speeds in populated areas must be dealt with.

Generally, we don’t make much of a fuss if machines can do more work than we can. But there’s a real faiya of a problem when they are smarter than us too. Really then, what’s the point of our existence? I say that we should keep machines in their proper place.

A machine is a tool, not a master. Don’t speed in populated areas because people are worth more than machines are. Man can replace a machine. Man can’t replace people.

It’s not okay, Mr. Carlos

Hn, these waffling old PUPeez! Forgive the newer ones, for they don’t all know where they came from.

Of all the old and older disappointing PUP leaders, Mr. Carlos is the one who’s really surprised me.

I’ve never been a PUP, so it’s no surprise that I was not with George Price and his rush to independence in 1981. I wasn’t paying much attention to Philip Goldson’s insistence that the British settle the beef Guatemala had with them, before we became a nation, but I was 100% for every man, woman, and youth being trained and ready for people who weren’t showing respect for us.

It was one of my mentors, Mr. Carlos, who softened me up for the step to glory. We were a faithful nation then, and we had the love of nations at our back. Now, some want us to back away from the step to the ICJ. Mr. Carlos is one. That doesn’t sit well with me; no, it’s not okay.

I can see now, why Mr. Carlos never got over Sam Waight to represent his party in Cayo South. The blue in his shirt wasn’t dark enough. His party didn’t trust him. Clearly, all along he was hedging his bets. He did lead me to accept independence. But his heart and head could not have been all there. Any old PUP who turns from the ICJ is exposing that they never were the real deal.

Fred Hunter, Sr., has said NO to go. But he once broke away from his party. Hector Silva? He speaks like a true blue, and he did live in the belly of the beast, but the facts say that he was a rebel. He was no angel; he was in Price’s doghouse on more than one occasion.

Bobby Leslie? We thought he was a big advisor for Carl L Rogers when he was writing UN speeches. Now we know he must have been just about taking notes and carrying papers. Bill Lindo? His alignment with the George Price PUP was solely about the economic philosophy, which was to check the entry of foreigners who were too ambitious.

Said Musa must feel so alone. It’s strange where your bedfellows come from sometimes. Some of us who are for PSWG have more Price in us than the old PUPs who remain, and the party’s young breed.

One of these young PUPeez is my Area Rep, J Espat. I don’t like some of his reasoning for his NO to the ICJ. But I can’t argue with his instinctive NO. We can’t fault a person for that.

Julius said that New Belizeans of Guat birth in the Cayo South constituency are against going to the ICJ. Really, in the face of the INSTINCTIVE NO of most roots Belizeans, which Belizean of Guat birth would publicly say YES? The answer to that is, resoundingly, NONE.  And anyway, people won’t be making their decisions until February.

Mr. Carlos, the NO is not okay because we done untie wi bow and we won’t make it through the quebrado with NO luff in our sails. Pull down the sheets and get the henkindola man into the straps because it’s full speed ahead. It’s 1981 all over again. God is on our side because He knows we never stole anything from our neighbor, and we have treated all comers to our shores with love. We are leaping with faith, and conviction, and the nations of the world still got wi back.

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Deshawn Swasey

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