Ambulance Town Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00

My visitor Monday morning, 8 July, did not want me to use his real name if I should mention him in an article, but told me I could use his nickname, “Zumba”. While he is of average built, I don’t think he acquired his nickname due to his physique, but rather for his ability to wiggle and twist out of every dicey situation. You see, “Zumba” is very street smart, having survived on his “speechifying” skills both here in Belize and in East LA. He carries himself as a person who has been there, done that; from car dealer to food vendor, mechanic helper to cement mixer. Zumba is an active UDP supporter from the Louisiana Area, which puts him in the OW East constituency.

My buddy is well tuned to politics and told me that he was thrilled with Mr. Lee Mark Chang’s victory in Caribbean Shores, especially when he saw his old friend, Mandy Leiva, in the background on TV supporting Chang. He says he and Mandy go way back.

Of course Zumba is disappointed with the recent results in Carmelita and Santa Martha. He offered his observation for the loss in Santa Martha; saying that the Minister should not have anchored himself the entire day in the voting room in Santa Martha in order to monitor that only bona fide villagers cast their ballots. While this was undoubtedly necessary; it was a task to be delegated, with the Minister freeing himself to be a greeter/ pumper.

I pointed out that this alone should not have resulted in a loss and for once that morning Zumba agreed without protest. He admitted that in truth the Minister did put in good measure of work in his constituency, but he says that when the Minister physically does his house-to-house visits, the people sound like ambulances; wha, wha, wha, wha!

My personal take on the current tally between the Blue and the Red Village Council victories (about 50/50) is that being a third-term government, the United Democratic Party is holding up its end quite impressively, especially in Corozal. I will never forget that even after only half the UDP term from 1993 to 1998, the PUP was sweeping everything in sight, from NGO’s to municipal elections, prompting a headline in the Belize Times, “Why Wait till 98?”  And Indeed in 1998, it was 26/3 PUP sweep of the House. .  This one won’t be so easy! It will be a drawn out, all-out campaign.   The British Lord will have to drop his hands deeply into his pockets, I tell you!

Another personal observation is that the most important poll for Belize was held on May 8. You hear how the Americans are touting on CNN that their 2020 Presidential Elections will define their democracy for posterity? Well, our ICJ referendum results will define our country’s very existence. No other poll will ever bear such importance to us again, I swear!

Don’t let them fool ya! Print E-mail
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Written by By Jamil Matar   
Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00

If we could find some valiant knight, with plenty of time to spare, who would dare undertake a desperate quest, not to rescue a damsel in distress, mind you, but to find as many Belizeans who would proudly proclaim that the previous PUP Administration represented a flourishing period in Belizean history, I am doubtful such quest would yield more than 1,000 souls. Of these, at least 500 would be millionaires, and the rest, hungry two- legged piranhas yearning for another opportunity at the trough. That is the dream that the PUP is staging to voters in these recent village council elections; “prosperity for all”.  Voters are taking such propaganda for what it is; a lofty dream. Remember the 10,000 new houses and the 15,000 new jobs?  Remember the restless investors that were allegedly clamoring at our borders who would have produced from plantain chips to computer chips? Remember the social contract with the people? Yea, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…

Anyway, regarding all the ballyhoo in various surrogate media houses that the PUP is pulverizing the UDP in the on-going village elections, besides being inaccurate, to me is neither here nor there.  I think that I am one of the few columnists who is willing to openly say thanks to the Progressive Party, the BTV, and the BNTU for their insistent and persistent demand for re-registration. All those houses with 20 or more registered voters in our municipalities: gone! All those registered voters born in Petén and Flores: gone! All those voters who do not reside in Belize: gone! So now, for results of village council elections to bear insight of what may come next year, these elections would have had to fall under chapter 9 of the Laws of Belize; Representation of the People Act. I firmly believe that all participating electors in any public election should vote with a valid voters ID.  I am not suggesting a do-over, and I am not crying sour grapes, but there will be a next time, hopefully, in 2022.

I want to shift gears now. One of Orange Walk’s yearly attractions is the famous “Fiestarama” fair. Each year since the early nineties when it was first introduced by former Mayor, Elodio Aragon Sr., it was always held at the People’s Stadium, no matter which Political Party sat in Belmopan. In 2019, Machismo came into the picture and because of a little misunderstanding Between the Town Council and the Sports Council, the OWTC decided to change the venue to the town barracks. This caused serious traffic congestion in the center of town since a large area in town had to be cordoned off to accommodate the fair. People are wondering if this may have contributed to the serious accident involving the gentleman from Palmar. I’m not casting aspersions here, but when a public authority makes decisions, it should be conscious that said major decisions come with consequences, sometimes serious ones.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2019 11:30
Easy Breezy like Summer Mornings Print E-mail
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Written by By Thamar Jones   
Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00

As the sun shines a little longer and you finally have some time to yourself, there is no better time than the summer, to re-organize and simplify your life. Life can get out of control at times. Bedrooms get disorganized, school work and chores can pile up. Add to that, the negativity of social media, our local news and society in general can heap at our door step. It’s no wonder sometimes we feel so depressed and overwhelmed.

When it gets to the point of toxicity, it is imperative that we take control, reset and de-clutter our physical and mental space.  A life detox as it is often called, gives you a chance to rid yourself of the things that are weighing you down, and are putting a barrier between you and the life you would rather be living.

Once you have decided to start the process, begin by working on your physical space. When you wake up and you see clutter, how do you think this will affect your day? Before you go to sleep you see mess, how do you think this will affect your sleep? More than likely, they will both be disturbed to some extent. The solution would be to tidy up. But don’t just clean your space, organize it in such a way that keeps messes at bay. For example instead of folding your clothes in a drawer that you have to rummage through every time you get dressed, hang them up. This way, you can pick and choose without moving them from their place.

De- cluttering your external life will help to de- clutter your internal life. Go through all of your possessions and dispose of any items that do not add value to your life. File away papers and throw away any paperwork no longer needed. Having lots of random pieces of paperwork lying around can be stressful. To decrease the worry in your life, create a filing system and throw away any old paperwork which you no longer need.

Those are the easy steps to de- cluttering. But if you really want to live more positively and give yourself a chance to live a happier and healthier lifestyle, it gets a bit more drastic than that!

Remove yourself from the toxic people in your life. I get it. You love your friends and you value your friendships. You are squad goals and you want to ride for them through thick and thin but if you have people in your circle that are consistently adding unnecessary stress and drama to your life, or if they have “frienemy” tendencies then give yourself permission to cut them off. Once you eliminate these toxic people you will immediately feel freer. It doesn’t mean that you just ignore these people or snub them when they hit you up. You don’t even have to stop loving them. But with your decision to live more positively you simply won’t have as much time and energy to invest in them or their friendship.

Give yourself more time to be productive by closing or consolidating your social media accounts.  If we are honest we will admit that social media is the main culprit behind the reason we procrastinate so much. Procrastination then leads to our responsibilities piling up so much that they can become more than we can handle effectively.  The more online accounts you have, the more you might feel distracted and obliged to check them, which also cause us to not be fully present in our own lives! Your true friends will remain your friend even if you aren’t on Twitter anymore.  So take some active measures to reduce the time you spend on social media by turning off your notifications which prompts you to check your socials every hot minute.  You can be even more drastic and take breaks from social media by deleting the apps from your phone for certain periods of time.

Once you have cleared out the negatives, you will have some room for things that bring productivity and joy to your life. So optimize by creating a daily planner. For example: 6:00 - Wake up; 6:05 - Get dressed; 6:10 - Eat breakfast. Make sure you stick to the schedule, however, keep things flexible, or it will be too confining. The best way to do this is to create a schedule on your phone. You always have your cellphone with you, so you will always have your reminder of things you need to do. It also allows you to make changes and not waste paper.

Don’t let studying and organization become your life. You need to be spontaneous every once in a while. If something big comes up, you can fit it in there. Don’t overload yourself or you will become stressed out. Remember, you want to be organized, not stressed out.

Take some time each day to reflect on what you have accomplished and what you still need to get done. Have you changed your behavior the way you wanted to? Don’t be discouraged if you find it hard to be organized at first. It takes time to be able to get used to new things.

Am I next? Print E-mail
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Written by By Thamar Jones   
Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00

Who are these criminal elements that perpetuate the ultimate heinous of crimes?

Murder, rape, burglary, armed robbery, violence against a child?

Who are you? Who raised you? Why do you hurt people? Do you know that your soul is sick?

Do you feel regret? Do you want help? Do you scream out for forgiveness to a god that is cold and silent?

Where is your mother?

Who sir, are you?

Do you live in a dark abyss; a room with no windows; where no light comes in?

Do you breathe in sulfur and exhale smoke like an exhaust pipe?

Does the sound of laughter irritate your soul… do smiling children make you hurl?

Do you pray to the devil and rejoice in evil?

Who sir, are you?

Or do you live amongst us?

Do you walk where I walk?

Do I pass you on the way to pick up my dry cleaning?

Have we shared a cab?

Have I stood behind you in the bank line?

Have I smiled at you and returned your, “good morning?”

Who sir, are you?

Are you just hungry and hurting?

Do you steal and kill because you can’t find a job?

Could I become like you if I too miss one too many meals…

Or if I find myself short on the rent?

Does lack turn otherwise good people into thieves and murders?

Will you kill me too for my pocket money?

Or have your way with me just for the thrill of it?

Are you just a brother down on your luck?

Am I your next victim you sick twisted Fu*K