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A safe landing

FeaturesA safe landing

When you think on seven billion minds on the planet, none the same, you have to marvel at the giant capacity of the Maker. Multi-faceted is not sufficient, nowhere near so, to describe the mind that created us all. If you’re a person who likes to think, your mouth would always be agape, because there’s such great wonder in all these seven billion minds. If you were a nice person, your mind wouldn’t proceed to ponder the absolute disaster that also resides in seven billion little minds running wild on earth.

You can color me a nice person — I would too — because I never go beyond contemplating all the wonderful capabilities that reside in the seven billion minds. Don’t tell me anything about the bad that resides in seven billion minds, because I don’t want to hear it. And don’t tell me anything about those daring bohgaz amongst us who must do things that defy good sense and are exhibit A for those who do not cherish life and limbs. You have to be an out and out sadist to want to go there.

You’ve seen these movies with a distraught hero or heroine standing on a ledge high up on a skyscraper, looking down on a street a hundred floors below. I immediately switch channels. You’ve seen the daring sky walker balancing with a bar on the tightrope, and no net below. I immediately switch channels.

A more benign scene, one more comfortable for “nice” people, or the faint of heart (if you like to be cruel), is the one where there are escape hatches on the way down to a safe landing. There is a net below our sky walker, and there’s a series of ledges, safe landing spots for our unhappy hero or heroine so that on the way down they have a chance to get a grip of their senses.  I like these kinds of stories.

I bet I’ll be holding my nose

It’s flat-out amazing the number of straws those for the NO have clutched on to, to scuttle the march to a YES vote at the referendum. They’ve been here and there, grabbing on to this argument, and letting go when it’s clear shot through, and grabbing on to that argument, and letting go when it’s clear shot through.

Some of the arguments have been flat-out terrible, and the latest is the worst. We, “thanks” to former PM, Said Musa, are supposed to have admitted that there is no border between us and Guatemala. This perfidy was done at a 1992 signing, and ever since we have been diluting our position, two examples being the Maritime Areas Act, where we delimited our sea territory to the south, and the Adjacency Zone, when we gave up on calling the line between us and Guatemala, a border.

That argument has already been shot through, but let us shoot it again. It was shot through by a lawyer the Guatemalans hired to represent them around the year 2000. The lawyer’s name is Paul S. Reichler, and he worked alongside a lawyer hired by Belize, Sir Shridath Ramphal, to produce, in 2002, some Proposals for both governments/countries to work on. The Guatemalan government nixed the Proposals because THEY DID NOT INCLUDE LAND. Some of them actually considered the lawyer they hired, a traitor.

We should not ignore the fact that the process for the Proposals was fully endorsed by the OAS. This fact is not to be sneezed at. The OAS (Organization of American States) has the respect of all in our region.

This decision by Guatemala to go to the ICJ, reportedly because negotiation has proved fruitless¯we are not going to give them land and they want that¯can be considered an all or nothing gamble. There were a number of proposals both countries were working on in 1992, and there are the Proposals of 2002. They have turned their backs on these proposals and are instead going for broke.

It could be accepted that Guatemala has no choice in the matter. They have said, and it is said that it is in their Constitution, that we have some land that belongs to them and they can’t go against that. Some see this as a ridiculous position. Bring any and all arguments you can dredge up and there is none that gives Guatemala any rights here. Why can’t they see and accept that they have no claim?

We know an answer to that. There are people in this world who are called constitutionalists, and they will explain to you that the constitution of a country is supreme. These constitutionalists are very intelligent and educated people. Many of us are aware of our constitution, but not all of us understand the importance of the document as the constitutionalists among us do. They would want all of us to get the full sense of the worth of the constitution, that it is to governance of a country what the Bible/religious texts of spiritual leaders, is to their faithful.

So, Guatemalan leaders must respect their constitution, and this has forced them into this all or nothing position, which is really a NOTHING position, because the ICJ will not, cannot give them any of our land. This ya land da noh fu dehn. There is no IF about the ICJ ruling in favor of Belize if we agree to the Special Agreement. That is signed, sealed and delivered¯the postman will bring it from The Hague and it will say that Belize, gone clear.

Guatemala will not come away with “nothing”, however. Immediately the ICJ knocks them down flat, they will bounce up and be back at the table, picking up on the old proposals.

The difficulty for Belizeans, as most people know, is for us to actually say YES to something that is so unpalatable, so demeaning. Put aside all Guatemala’s constitution problems, this Special Agreement is intended to embarrass us. The man who signed it could never have been a true follower of Philip Goldson.

We’ll be the laughing stock of the world when we say YES to this agreement that Sedi Elrington signed. It’s unheard of, preposterous; no nation could ever contemplate an agreement which could, on paper, be a deal to give their country away – lock, stock, and barrel. My, we were after George Price for accepting a few dollars sponsorship to print stories to undermine colonialism!

Anyway, for all the eyebrows that will raise, I like the numbers. They all say—YES.

It will be an interesting day, this referendum day. There’ll be a defiant crowd, a small or sizable minority, and they’ll be positively boisterous. And there’ll be a glum crowd, a slim or sizable majority, and they’ll be struggling to be upbeat as they try to haste along to the voting booth.

Me, I don’t know what I’ll be doing while in the line being assaulted and assailed for the shameless treachery the NO crowd know I’ll be about when I get ahold of the pencil. That will be in my right hand. The left one will probably be holding my nose.

Vacancy for a champion to lead fight against pink eye

I would like to say that the worst thing about this imminent pink eye epidemic (the Tuesday Amandala reported that hundreds of cases have popped up in Quintana Roo) is that there is no champion to lead the fight against it. Fighting pink eye calls for some cold-shoulder practices that could cause people to feel that you have the scorn for them.

The local Guardian and the Wave had explained some things which they labeled as facts about a former government minister, women and children’s rights champion, and present PUP standard bearer for Belize Rural South, Ms. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia. They said that she shied away from abrazos and baby-hugging while on the campaign trail. I thought such credentials for the person to lead the fight to prevent pink eye and influenza were impeccable.

It didn’t matter to me if the Wavers, who are deep into politics, were all slander. I was for the virtue.

Well, it turned out that Ms. Dolores was being lied upon about these virtues, and she took some exception to it. It could have been because of my, style. The short of the story is that she wrote a piece in the Belize Times about my wish to see her lead the charge against these dreaded communicable diseases, and I got my feelings hurt. England, London can take it, so don’t worry about me. What we have to worry about is that we don’t have anyone who is brave enough to champion the cause.

We understand why a politician wouldn’t want to appear to be cold. And I was glad that there was someone who had made a stand. You know how many communicable diseases those politician bohgaz must spread while they’re around trying to appear friendly so they can win votes?

Seriously, I’m disappointed Ms. Dolores took offense.

I take this opportunity to offer my sympathies to Dolores, and to Mick Craig, on the passing of a wonderful Belizean lady, her aunt, his mom, Mrs. Alice “Miss Meg” Craig. I didn’t know Miss Meg that well, but we had our moments. I remember her for her good spirit. She wasn’t narrow. We shared a hearty chuckle over a little jab I took at her brother, the mighty George Price. She gave me a valuable piece of advice about my writing. I appreciate sincere people. Bye, Miss Meg.

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