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Leaders who refuse to leave

By far the biggest story of a leader refusing to give up the crown after being voted out is on the stage right now in the USA, as Mr. D. Trump tries everything written and unwritten to hold on to what he got back in 2016. Of course, he is not alone. As recently as 2019 we saw Bolivia’s leftist leader, Evo Morales, working long hours over his allotted time to get a chance at overstaying.

Ai, politicians, they are a breed that feels they, nobody else but they, have all the answers. Some of them get overwhelmed by their hubris, and in an effort to stay they ignore all the rules. They become like the boxer who wanted to fight afta the bell done ring.

Wait, I applaud Evo for his efforts to correct the many wrongs that existed in Bolivia, but I’m not with changing any constitution to allow a leader to extend their time in government. I like free elections, except in the case of old Cuba, because the great USA refused to allow the government in that country to carry out the necessary changes in any system other than a dictatorship.

If any wants to challenge the image of Castro, don’t forget that before the violent overthrow of the villain Batista, Castro had sought to run in a democratic election, and was thwarted when Batista seized power via a military coup.

In the case of Evo, he should have trusted his people, trusted that they appreciated all the reforms his governments had made during their legal existence. Bully for Bolivia: after Evo was chased out of office they went to the polls and returned Luis Arce, the new leader of Evo’s political party, Movement for Socialism (MAS), as president of Bolivia. Someone once said that the devil and his minions cannot stop an idea whose time has come.

At home in Belize, if we ignore the wicked rumors of 1993, we’ve never had a leader who resisted the will of the people, but many Belizeans did worry that George Price would not go quietly into the memoirs section if he got dusted off at the polls. Hmm, if there is any real fire under that 1993 smoke, then it was a case of the tail wagging the dog, the overzealous followers refusing to let go; and the proof of that is told in 1984.

A big part of the story with Mr. Trump over there is that the people who back him, some of them are out to force Armageddon if they can’t have the things that made them rally to the former president’s call to make their country GREAT again. Belizeans who support Trump don’t accept what every American knows — that many Europeans (Caucasians) over there fear becoming a minority race to the Browns and the Blacks.

I tell you that that charge to make America GREAT again, everybody who doesn’t have their head in the sand knows that that word and WHITE are synonymous in many European minds.

There is also a big story in America about economic philosophy, what makes a country’s economy grow, and maybe the biggest passion over there is religion. One party in America is pagan. I am trying to stay out of trouble, so I won’t call their name, but I will tell you that they want full-blown abortion and, ahem, they want to kick down all closet doors.

In this world full of conspiracy theories, some Trump supporters believe the Chinese made the cruel new coronavirus to change the course of the US, for their leader would definitely have won if things had continued as normal. My, their economy was humming along, and how the other party hurt because they say he was building on the great things their Obama and Biden had done. And then, wham, pandemic, and the Trump machine ran out of gas.

Returning to our hero at home, when the curtain came down on his leadership in 1984 he didn’t make a peep. He packed his carton box, reconnected the phones he dummied in his office, and went home to play his piano. But, quién sabe, would he have walked away so quietly if Belize hadn’t yet attained the big independence, or would he have charged the opposition UDP of doing what they had accused him of: tainting ballots?

The what-might-have-been aside, Price led us to independence —glory, and after being crushed at the polls in 1984 he graciously handed over the reins — glory, and in that last he proved humility that made him worthy to join Jimmy Carter’s great team that went all over the world lending their integrity to the election process, giving people confidence that wicked incumbents weren’t using invisible inks and stuffing ballot boxes —glory.

We can’t hold our breaths, but we can keep our mouths shut

The biggest reason for physical distancing and wearing masks over our faces and mouths is to stop us from sharing our breaths. The transmission of this new virus is not dissimilar to the old flus, which are transmitted through the air we breathe and also the contaminated hands we put to our mouths, noses, and eyes.

I haven’t heard much noise, no, any noise about keeping our hands clean, and if anyone did make such noise they should be avoided even after the Covid-19 is no longer a major concern. You know why Master Alan Baatn was scorned? He washed his hands before using the bathroom, and not after. Naasti beast!

All the trouble is about restricted breathing with the masks, and everyone agrees that wearing a mask is uncomfortable, but you have to be really not smart to deny the efficacy of masks when the principle behind wearing them is so simple. The masks keep the particles in the air we exhale, in the coughs and sneezes we expel, and in the hot air that escapes our mouths when we speak, locked in the fabric.

Why do doctors and nurses catch the disease when they follow all the safety measures? It’s the level of exposure. The masks don’t lock away 100% of our exhalations, and because there are so many sick people in their environment, the air naturally is more contaminated.
I think one safety measure that needs emphasizing is the need for us to shut our mouths, cut down on the loud chats. Ugh, I watch these football games on American television and I can’t believe that whenever the coaches or the referees speak, they lower their masks. If somebody kos you through their mask you won’t have to clean your ears to get the sense. I don’t want to be closer than 20 feet physical distance when someone is running off.

Luk, cut the up-close chats and kip your breath in your mask, so we all can inhale pure air.

Mark of the Macaw

The Mark of the Macaw, written by Christina and Kirby Salisbury, is a historical novel that transports us through that fateful period when the deeply spiritual Maya of this part of the world were about to have their existence shattered by the coming of the European invaders from across the ocean, then onward through the meeting of Gonzalo Guerrero and Nachankan, then through the time when pirates/buccaneers that roamed the Caribbean made regular stops here, through the arrival of the Puritans, and later the arrival of the African slaves who would be brought here to fall mahogany, to the Battle of St. George’s Caye, all the way up to the turn of the 20th century.

Mark of the Macaw is a fun, easy to read book, and when I get a break I will go into more detail, but for now I will say it is a colorful tale of romance, mysticism, heroism, and resistance that adds flavor to the Belizean story.

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