Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THINK ABOUT IT

Friday, January 13, 2012, 21:29
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EARLY ELECTIONS “Beware the Ides of March” These words were said to the pompous and arrogant Julius Caesar as he paraded himself in front of the citizens of Rome. What the words meant was a warning that the middle of March held danger for Caesar. Days after the middle of the month of March, Caesar passed back and said the ides of March has come. He was told, yes, but it had not yet gone. Caesar was assassinated. The month of March 2012 will come, but before it is over there will be a general election in Belize. Whether the Prime Minister makes the announcement this Friday or some other time, the race is on. MESSING WITH FREEDOM Recently a piece of paper appeared on one of the doors of the Magistrate’s Court in Belize City. It is undated and unsigned. It stated that to sign bail a person must have a phone number. Must produce a letter from employer. Must show letter from Bank or show Bank book. No warning to poor people. It took effect immediately. It wreaked havoc on the poor. Off to the jail they started to go. Some are still there. Including a single mother of five children. It is cruel and poorly thought out. Time has to be given to the poorer classes, ninety percent of bail involves them. It takes days to get a job letter and days plus thirty dollars for a Bank statement letter. There has been little or no problems with persons signing bail. Less than one percent have minor problems. Why should all the good suffer for a small amount of bad? The piece of paper has no authority in law. The Bail Reform law says that up to Five Thousand dollars is a sign bail – NO LAND PAPER, and like Jamaica – No problem. The purpose of bail is simply a surety to ensure persons attend court. It is not a punishment. Nor should it carry bureaucratic conditions that frustrate those seeking to help by signing bail. Loan shark types are already circling the Court like Jaws. Ask fat father Christmas who thief them blind every Christmas. Our people are not Bank book people but they can find money when it is really necessary. Please, is there no one to ease these onerous requirements that are causing poor people to go to jail, unnecessarily? Can we ask the new Chief Magistrate to review the requirement? POLICE – NO BONUS, NO BANQUET One of the traditions Police Officers look forward to is the annual Christmas banquet. It was an occasion to dress and bring along wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend to a well organized Christmas party – the Annual Police banquet. It was held in the compound of the Queen Street Police Station. It made Police men and women proud to attend with their families and be with the Police Commissioner and other top brass in the Police Department. No such thing happened this December or the previous Decembers. Neither did the nation’s Police men and women receive a Christmas token of appreciation – a “slighters” for Christmas in the form of a money bonus. There are some nine hundred police officers. Surely a five hundred dollars gift each would have been a little help for an otherwise dismal Christmas 2011 and a hard year. We are told that almost one million dollars have been spent on two hundred “gang members” and 60 employees at CYDP from August 2011 to December 2011. But nothing for the nation’s Police and soldiers. Not a single gang member has been required to turn in his gun or hand grenade before being put on weekly payroll, but they get quarter million a month. Yet nothing for Police Officers. It is the Police who patrol the streets and neighborhoods and investigate and arrest criminals. They get no vehicles, no equipment, no overtime, no Christmas party, no thank you. But the criminals get hundreds of thousands of dollars. Weird. Hardworking nurses, teachers, public officers get no raise or bonus but criminals the collect every week. 2012 The so-called New Year is here. There is talk of early elections and of gang warfare breaking out. On Saturday night January 7th gun shots were ringing out like crazy on the southside. Theses shots were not part of any celebrations. One gang was out for revenge. At least two residences of rival gangs were raided and shot up. Hit men travelled to Orange Walk Town and took another innocent life in the tit-for-tat, dis for dat which takes place in street violence; where violence begets more violence and revenge killings begets more revenge killings. The government will claim it’s not gang related. 2012 is also a time for New Year’s resolution. But before we go there, have you seen the result of an Amandala newspaper poll showing that 84% of its readers DO NOT FEEL ANY SAFER under the government sponsored Gang Truce? This, dear reader is a crisis of confidence in a solution-less situation. Now, on a more positive note. The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to make plans and make resolutions. A good new year’s resolution is always to resolve to eat healthy and to do regular exercise. Your greatest asset is not your house, or vehicle or money in the bank. It is your self – your body and your mind. Take good care of your best asset. Also, help your community or school or church. Also, help those who need help. School books or tuition for a student. Food for a poor or neglected poor person. A needed donation to the children’s home or girls home. Or help to some female prisoners whose children must be suffering while their mom is in jail. Can we give a little bit of our dog food to the many half starving and neglected dogs walking the cruel streets in chronic hunger. Or get our churches to organize help with clothes and food and shelter for our neglected fellow human beings begging on our streets and sleeping on our sidewalks. Can we find time to read a book? Reading is so relaxing. Can we all try to make this year better than last year? We can you know. It starts with each of us. $80,000 US EACH Foreign plane that crashed by Camalote. Two persons in the plane died. Each of the two persons was found with eighty thousand dollars, US currency in their underwear. This da gazette. FINESE – THE BOAT All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players. They have their entrance and their exits. And one man in his time plays many parts. Words that effect come from Shakespeare. George Gabb was a man of many parts. Thinker, tailor, soldier. He was poet, painter, sculptor, scribe. He acted in plays and he was quite a story teller in his time. He was also a keen yachtsman. George Gabb was big in the pitpan revival and river regatta. Oh! How the good old days are gone. Never to return. He also sailed in the Baron Bliss and other sea events. He designed his boats. One such, of which he was proud, was called Finese. The once proud and exquisite Finese can be seen not far from Buttonwood Bay, by the sea side, squatting on its discarded side like an old throw away turtle shell. DAWN – GEORGE GABOUREL STABLE Mr. George Gabourel lives at the entrance of the airport road. He and his forefathers lived in that vicinity for donkeys’ years. Mr. Gabourel informs that ‘back then” when there was no Haulover Bridge, there were two ferries. One took the people across the river to go north to Orange Walk and Corozal. The other ferry took people across the river but they headed west to go to Cayo. I wonder if anyone has photos of the two ferries. Few ferries are still working the rivers in Belize. Well known is the ferry at Succotz Village which carries mostly tourists across the river to reach the tall Maya temple at Xunantunich. Mr. Gabourel, 88 years, had cattle and horses, ducks and fowls and several fruit trees, especially a particular type of sweet mangoes. Several acres of his land were “acquired” for the new airport road and he is yet to be paid. Those who own the airport collect everyday but Mr. Gabourel can’t get his money. Just another example of how the poor and the elderly get chanced in this chancey country. Anyhow, Mr. Gabourel loves animal, in particular horses. Several top horses are from his stable. Horse racing aficionados keep their horses at his stables. The Christmas Horse Racing at the Burrell Boom race track brought joy. Mr. Gabourel and his friend Kevin Castillo witnessed one of their special champion horses take the six furlong race in classic style. Just as they both predicted. DAWN, that’s the champion horse. KIRK ANDERSON ON WAGNER LANE Kirk Anderson is now a Supreme Court Judge in Jamaica. It is one of his lifelong dreams that he has achieved. Congrats are due. He has also remarried and we wish him and bride all the best. Kirk came to Belize in the 1990’s. He worked as a Crown Counsel, a Prosecutor and was an outstanding and successful attorney. He worked at the law firm of Barrow & Williams and then with Norman Neal and Dickie Bradley. He became the Director of Public Prosecutions. While on Wagner Lane with Marina Welcome last week, was reminded that Kirk lived on the once famous lane following his arrival from Kingston, Jamaica. At the Old Belize marina at Mile 8 Western Road is a sizeable boat named ‘Wagner Lane’. How come? John Woods’ wife is a born and raised Wagner Laner. She is the granddaughter of Gemima Young turned Usher, whose son was Henry Usher Sr. a.k.a. Eagles of HRCU and basketball fame. Lionel Del Valle, a.k.a. the Lion, is Wagner Lane. So too is Keith Arnold, former Governor of Central Bank. Marina is not sure if Sir Colville Young is from Wagner’s but he was frequently on the Lane and his wife who is of the Trapp family is Wagner Lane. Timmy and Dikon, who for a fee would visit burying ground (Cemetery) with black candle, mirror and rum to get messages from the dead for living relatives (believe or not) are from Wagner’s Lane. Roy Stanley Gill, the Pharmacist on Freetown and his brothers Stephen Gill and visiting brother Andrew, are all Wagner’s Lane, born and raised. Cross Country champion Alfred Parks and basketball star Mervin Rhodas and Cycling Queen Judith Gongora are all Wagner’s Lane. And the list goes on and on and on. No street could rival Wagner Lane. So say I. LOVE YOU PORTIA Portia is back. Re-elected as Prime Minister and her party taking 42 of the 63 seats in our sister country of Jamaica. Jamaica has 3 million people. One million six hundred thousand are on the voters list. Belize has 300,000 people. Half that is on the voter’s list. Yet we have 31 seats. Jamaica is ten times our population but only twice our number of seats in the National Assembly. How wasteful can we be? Last week Belize announced that the Queen had honoured a handful of Belizeans for new years. Last week Portia Simpson Miller announced Jamaica was removing the Queen and her new year’s list and all that colonial junk out of Jamaica. Portia’s main priority is to start creating jobs and to renegotiate Jamaica’s heavy debt. Belize’s priority is to pay criminals for phantom jobs and blame the past administration for the debt. That should solve the problems – eh? RACIST GOB In Belize, the biggest of racist can get away with their racist behavior. Racism is normally thought of as white hating black people. But there is racism against the Maya and racism against the East Indians. Is it any wonder that the Maya are at the bottom of the economic, social and political ladders? And next to them are East Indians. The Garinagu are worse victims of British white and Creole racism but their awful strength has overcome. Have you contemplated how the present government went to the Supreme Court and claimed the Mayas are a bogus people? The Mayas are not really who they claim to be, according to the government. They are second hand from elsewhere. It’s the government saying so. Can’t get more racist than that. Degrade and downgrade just to drill for oil on their ancestral lands. US MEDDLES IN OUR COURTS Since Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week the United States of America has been training the Magistrates of Belize. Thursday and Friday is for the Supreme Court Judges in this independent nation. How can this be? Can the Indian Merchants and Chinese grocers train our Judges and Magistrates in the law of buying and selling and customs matters? Can the drug traffickers, dope peddlers and crime bosses organize a training course for Magistrate and Judges? How can the USA be allowed to come into our country and finance, organize and conduct their own training courses for our independent judiciary? This is unthinkable. That all our Magistrates and Judges can be corralled into attending American brain washing. It is one thing for the US to give boots and gun to the BDF and send a few on overseas courses. It is one thing for them to give boats and guns to the Coastguard to fight drugs heading to the USA. But when it comes to the Judiciary, this is a totally different game. This is serious business. THE TWENTY IRD PSALM The Lord is my Area Representative, I want nothing from wicked politicians. HE has me in comfort and green pasture. HE always look out for me. HE restoreth my soul. HE keeps me on the righteous path. He got my back. Yea, though I walk thru the valley of death itself, I fear no big shot or government Minister or evil ones. For Jah is with his rod and staff protect and comfort me. Mighty Jehovah, you handle my candle in the presence of mine enemies. You provide food, clothing and shelter. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runneth over. I am forever grateful. I know goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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