Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Mark of Z

I have to hand it to Z, she really has made people pay attention. Never has municipal politics been so interesting, not even when the last mayor was accused of bouncing checks, etc. Here we have a sitting mayor accused of malfeasance, misappropriation of funds and other juicy things, like awarding contracts to family and friends. The remarkable thing about all these revelations is that nobody really looks good at the end of it all, not even her accusers. I think all that this feuding has done is to underscore the mediocrity of today’s Belizean politician.

Now, we haven’t heard all of it, I’m sure, not by a long shot. But so far what we have is a mediocre City Councillor making accusations, some of which have now been backed up ‘anonymously,’ while some have yet to be proven. On the other side, we have a globe-trotting Mayor, supported by her globe-trotting D.J. consort, claiming innocence and hurt feelings…and denigrating that Councilor’s psychological condition as her defense. Crazy or not, who cares? This is truly delicious fodder for us newshounds.

Now, questions I have for the media would include: who pays for her trips, does she travel coach or business class, does Dalla really go with her on every trip, is every trip absolutely necessary? Obviously the New Zealand one paid for itself because it inspired her to build roundabouts all over the city, thereby causing hitherto unheard-of traffic jams. In the end, I’m not sure what other accomplishments she can claim, but certainly we who drive past those roundabouts every day will forever remember her.

The opposition should be thoroughly embarrassed that they cannot yet produce a single worthwhile candidate to run against Z and her cronies. The ruling party should also be embarrassed about the fact that almost none of their candidates are outstanding citizens, and that in fact some of them are, to put it kindly, total opportunists.

Time to wake up, people! As our leadership goes, so do we. Therefore, Z, her cronies and her opponents are all reflections of what Belize has become. We turn the tide only if we demand better.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time For A Hangin'

Greg Casildo was an animal. Oops, that was offensive and I apologize to all furry, four-legged creatures out there. Anyway, I have nothing nice to say about Casildo and think that the police need make no apologies for doing their jobs this one time. They exchanged gunfire with a dangerous criminal who has brutally and casually taken lives, and yes, in their place I would shoot to kill too.

Let me explain my point of view here, and it’s a simple one. I think the Old Testament had a point with this ‘eye for an eye’ business. If you take a human life, you ought to be ready to give yours in exchange. No, I’m not talking about a car accident or something like that. There is a price to be paid whenever you take a human life, but when you deliberately do so, you imply through your actions that life is cheap. Ergo, you should not break a sweat about giving up your life either. And tell your weeping relatives that they contributed to your downfall, okay? They who benefited from your drug dealing, didn’t attempt to curb your violent nature, wouldn’t accept that there was a serious evil streak in there somewhere; they are as guilty as you. They can keep their crocodile tears to themselves. Better their pain than that of victims’ families.

The problem I find with today’s Belize is that the breaking of laws has no consequences, or it has the wrong ones. You run up-stop in your car, and you might find a police car doing the same thing right in front of you. That cop has lost the right to tell you what to do, right? So you run up-stop whenever you feel like it. You break the speed limit, who’s going to stop you? There you’ll find a Minister’s vehicle overtaking you. Sooo…he races up to Belmopan, passes a law or two to justify his presence there, but he doesn’t have to abide by the law he made, yet he expects you to do so. Oh by the way, don’t get me started on the damned red plates again –if ever a law was dashed to pieces on the rocks of arrogance, it’s the law regarding license plate colors.

Continuing my original train of thought though, if you litter, who cares? If you smuggle Johnny Black or a couple Bensons, so what? Odds are, those who ought to enforce these laws have lost their moral authority to tell you anything, so they can’t enforce them, right? Ever checked what liquor your ministers drink, what cigarettes they smoke? Moral authority gaan, mi bredda!

So the little things become big things, and you commit a murder knowing full well you’ll never be hanged, and if you’re rich enough, cops will develop amnesia for you, witnesses will have laryngitis, and you’ll not see too much time in jail, if any at all. Hell, if you go ‘da back,’ your life ain’t all that rough anyway. Here’s the hint: just pretend a little humility, say ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ every so often when the Big Boss is in earshot and he’ll go to the hilt for you, battle for early release, you know? Yeah, you’re penned up, but you get three squares, a turn in the air-conditioned computer lab if you play your cards right, and you can maybe even run a business on the side, as long as you cut the guards in on a percentage of the gig.

You might have figured out by now that I’m writing this because I'm angry. Last night, a very nice lady was beaten to death in her own home, the latest of too many horrific murders. Her two little girls are left with serious physical and mental trauma. Tell me, where’s their justice?

Prime Minister, Minister, Attorney General, National Security CEO, DPP, ComPol, you’ve lost every battle so far simply by not showing up to fight. Unless you wake up and get serious, you’re about to lose the war; the body count is piling up on the wrong side. And don’t quote stats back at me, neither I nor the family of Sandra Ruiz are interested. Oh, don’t wave that Preventative Detention flag at me either, you can accomplish the necessary without it, if you’re prepared to crack down and enforce the laws we already have, up to and including hanging. Let me make it simple for you: if people begin to fear that breaking laws have real and serious consequences, we’ll be making progress.

Want me to print it on a red license plate for you?