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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Police Tief Me Hag!

New Year Resolution

Dr. Lester Simon-Hazlewood

This is just a friendly suggestion. For Christmas 2016, be highly selective of those to whom you offer good tidings of great joy. For example, if a seemingly pregnant woman and a man and a donkey come caroling at your gate and beg lodging for the night, do not under any circumstances put them up in the manger.

We rescued them and put them up in the manger. And now look at us. The first clue should have been the donkey singing. It was a Trojan ass. The second clue, in hindsight, was that they must have landed on one of our many isolated inlets and checked out, but did not check into any of the hotels. We should have suggested that they take up the CIP program, Christmas in Paradise.

So here we are at the police station undergoing questioning by a police officer who thinks he is really hot, with degrees in Centigrade, Chemistry, Fahrenheit and Forensic Sciences. He wants to know why I was away in the manger when the police came. I told him the yard-man usually looks after the cows and pigs and other animals in the manger. I couldn’t tell “when c’est last” I looked out there. But since we had already decked the halls with boughs of holly and it was a silent night, I was just going to see how the strangers were settling in, when suddenly the police pounced on me.

The officer said I should have suspected something when the strangers came calling late at night. He suggested that I should be very careful, especially at Christmas time. People take advantage of other people’s kindness; and you don’t know who might be a terrorist these days. Then he let on about manure in the manger containing gases like ammonia and carbon dioxide that can be toxic, and hydrogen sulfide and methane that can be used for explosives.

We were shocked! I told him I was so thankful and grateful that they had been trailing the terrorists from the time they landed. Realizing we were not in cahoots with them, he decided to let us go with a stern warning. Seeing we were nervous and distressed, he kindly offered us a plate of food and a drink since the police were having their Christmas party.

As we sat down to eat, I started wondering why the police allowed these dangerous strangers to reach so far; and why they were really patrolling our area so much that night. Just then, I saw someone passing in the police yard with a crocus bag under his arm. Then I saw cousin, King Obstinate locked up in a cell, singing in a sad refrain, “Family! A police tief me hag. A police tief me hag. A police tief me hag and wrap um up in a crocus bag.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Algebra and the CIP

Dr. Lester Simon-Hazlewood

Let me confess I was the student in first form at the Antigua Grammar School who asked the math teacher if I could do mathematics without algebra. I will also say, thanks to the best male math teacher in the world, Mr. Bennett of the Antigua Grammar School, and thanks to the best female math teacher in the world, Miss James of the Princess Margret School, a group of us ended up realizing that mathematics, the queen of the sciences, was the most beautiful, logical and rewarding subject in school, even more so than (some of) the girls at The Antigua Girls High School.

So imagine my consternation and starry constellation when I read an article in The Daily Observer about the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP). Eric Major of Global Managing Partners of Henley & Partners noted, inter alia, that “What I would like to see also is a double digit refusal rate from the CIU” (Citizenship by Investment Unit).

The responses from three learned men were that they disagreed with the need for a double digit rejection rate. Can it be that they preferred a single digit rejection rate and I am making an algebraic storm in a teacup, or a mathematical hurricane in a saucepan?

One of the wise men said, “If it is the people qualify, we have set out certain requirements for eligibility…” Another wise man stated, “What we should be concerned about is not the number of rejections, but whether or not the independent overseas providers are in fact doing the due diligence to the best of their abilities”. The third wise man added, “You’d wish to have all applicants pass the test”.

Simple, algebraic, linear equations should inform us that the rejection rate is on one side of the equation and that the other side of the equation comprises the composite of requirements for eligibility, independent overseas providers doing due diligence, and the statistical improbability of having all applicants pass the test.

The CIP program must be attended by algebraic commonsense, lest CIP will not mean Citizenship by Investment Programme, but instead, Come In Please.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


What’s on my mind?
The flu of course
Flu in my head
Flu on my chest

Cover your mouth
Cover your nose or nares
Open your ears
Healthy tips AM and PM
On Healthy Choice FM (94.9)

Imagine you travel from Antigua to Brazil and Argentina to catch flu
What happen? Antiguan flu not good enough for you?

Next holiday I will stay home; have a long nap
Spread out and read the entire world map
If I really have to travel I will walk on water
Yes, laugh at my charade and dance on my watery grave

But seriously, next holiday I will not fly
You want to know why?
I got the flu because I flew

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Which Doctor?

The Doctor In Spite of Himself

Dr. Lester Simon-Hazlewood

It saddens me to the core of my trembling heart to have to write about this matter of a doctor and denial of his registration in Antigua and Barbuda. It is my firm and confirmed opinion that the good doctor should be registered. But registered as what?

There are clear and written guidelines to register a medical doctor. In general, the medical school the doctor attended and the hospital where the internship was done after graduation are two key elements that form and inform the registration process.

For registration as a medical doctor, it does not matter one jot if the person is the nicest, sweetest, most caring and respectable person in the world proclaiming the gospel of health. It matters not if the person speaks with the tongues of men and of angels, bestows all his goods to feed the poor, heals the sick, and that the sick bellows the healing powers and charity of the healer. If the guidelines for registration as a medical doctor are not fulfilled then registration must be denied by the medical council and registration sought and obtained from some other council or body, as some other good doctor.

How then was the good doctor registered in the first place? It is my understanding and it is also my view that the first registration should not have been granted. Indeed there were copious objections in some quarters to the initial registration but the majority won. The then majority made a fundamental blunder, a cardinal error of commission that is haunting this entire harrowing matter.

But what irks me the most is this: If you are walking amongst flowers and butterflies and swarms of bees, and stepping in cow dung and horse manure moistened by leaking hoses of spraying water, you must know to yourself that you are being taken down the garden path. Why go along this wrong route when there are other legitimate paths to travel and register and conduct your good work? Why? How can you see through a glass so darkly?

So when good people from all walks of life, from sinner (like me) to bishop, in a band of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, cry victimization, I have to cry. It cannot ever be right that because I can preach; because I can touch the sick and heal them; and because I can sprinkle red cool-aid in water and claim to turn pipe water into fine wine, that I can be registered as a cardinal, or an archbishop, or a bishop. Register me just as I am, without one plea.

Those who should know better should do better.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


What colour shall I dye my hair?
Chatterbox red
Or weeping indigo
Dark shadows walk beside us
In this blazing Caribbean sunlight
What parasols do we bear?

Saturday, February 14, 2015


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