Biannual (Almost) Site Review

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A review of my google analytics site stats for the past few months have revealed that not surprisingly, Canada, USA and the UK are homes to the most site visitors. The most popular articles to date on Black Dog are:
1. Star Trek and Vaccination Refusal
2. The Psychodynamics of Islamic Terrorism
3. The Boomer Personality Series Part 3, 4and 2.

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The latter runs toe to toe with Treatise on the Subject of Feet. There are many foot fetishists out there apparently. The neurological basis has been documented. What was new to me however, after review of my primary clinical reference source (Cosmo), was that women were also afflicted..”The shape of the foot, like a size 10, very masculine, and clean and strong. I also like nicely shaped toenails. Since I started massaging feet and giving my boyfriend pedicures, I love how smooth his feet are and watching them breathe with his sandals on. It’s very sexy to me.” This will definitely require further study.

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The vaccination refusal group continue to demonstrate the power of emotion and belief and the prevalence of human stupidity over logic and reason. However in California they have suffered a major setback. Similar then to Australia, Singapore, Israel  and Slovenia no vaccination means no school, fines or other monetary measures. A major blow to the selfish don’t tread on me libertarians.

My own recent experience centered around a 17-year-old girl with Aspbergers syndrome whose mother claimed her deterioration came on the heels of an MMR and thus did not vaccinate her younger child. Of course this lead to a debate on the subject and revealed moms issues around power and control. So that seemed like  fertile ground for exploratory therapy the idea of which was not well received.

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Islam as a primitive infantile religious expression has contributed to three articles so far pertaining to homophobia, harsh punitivism, and of course terrorism.  One of the most popular visitations for the latter article happened to be Denmark around the time of the Copenhagen shooting.

In analysing Islam I have clearly engaged in psychoanalytic reductionism, by comparing that religious expression to childhood developmental phases. In its immature phase religion in general attempts to be a guarantor of moral order through ancillary superego function demanding instinctual renunciation and social adaptation.  “Mature” religious expression however concerns itself with mystical union with the absolute and a yearning for grace and divine love. Sufism and Kabbalah are infrequently practiced examples. “Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it.”

The final popular topic accounting for positions 3,4 and 5 belong to the “Boomer Series” basically revolving around relocation to the 3rd world “paradise” of Belize and the hazards therein. I have in the past received ad hominem critique for my views often from those with a major psychological or commercial investment in the country.

My final submission  on the subject is compliments of a current permanent Belize resident originally from California.

“Belize is not like the USA or Canada. It does not snow here. English is the official language but the English here is not like that of the USA or Canada. When you visit, turn on the TV and listen to the local news casts. Can you understand what they are saying? Do you like what you hear? What is experienced in a week of B & B living is not at all daily life.
Belize lacks the ills of industrialization as well as the perceived benefits. There is little pollution by cars and trucks & manufacturing only because there are relatively few vehicles and almost no manufacturing. They do burn garbage and cane fields however.
Education is almost all in the hands of the religious, mostly Catholic and Adventist. Most Belizeans are of 3rd grade literacy. I include here the government employees.
Many newcomers reveal expectations of “fresh fruit and vegetables and a “healthier life style” Fresh produce is available only if you grow your own. To do this you will wage war with ants and many other insects over your crops. In Corozal, the trucks come from Mexico 2/week with produce that was picked many days earlier. The rare fresh California peach or plum is up to $7 BZ. Genuinely home-grown and fresh tomatoes are not available. Watermelon, papaya, cantaloupe, mango, avocado, bananas, pineapple, plantains, rice, sugar cane, oranges, limes, onions, marijuana and red potatoes are grown in Belize all in their own season. Produce from the central market stalls is nearly all from Mexico or Guatemala and drenched in insecticides and herbicides. The garlic is imported from China.
Most retirees are not doing much walking or physical exercise in 95 degree F temps with 80% humidity.
Almost all of the hard goods are imported from China and are of shoddy inferior quality. I have an inexpensive microwave purchased from Target for $69. Here a microwave from an Asian mystery manufacturer , will be $2-300 Bz dollars.
There is little or no entertainment or intellectual stimulation available, other than dozens of American TV channels. There is pornography late at night on cable, if this is your interest.
The clearance rates from reporting crime to arrests that make it to prosecution is <10%. Prosecution often fails because of witness intimidation and “loss” of evidence. It may take 5 years for a person arrested for murder to be tried. Please do not be sucked into the excuse that “crime is everywhere”. Yes there is crime in the USA but the violent crime resolution rate is 70%.
The “simple” life includes no automatic washer or dryer. The local water has too much lime and algae to run appliances for long. Stoves are not ventilated to the exterior. The cost of A/C in a 900 sq ft house with cement roof and block walls, could be >$600bz/month.
Simple health care is cheap and good. An office call for a gringos is about 50$bz. Routine meds are cheap and available over the counter. Trauma care and emergency care is grim and potentially lethal. Care for chronic illnesses and support for diabetes etc is minimal.
Housing is whatever you will settle for. The cost of living is not cheap, but the land is relative to the USA & Canada. Domestic labor is reasonable  at $2-4 per hour.
Plz do not compare Belize with where you are coming from, compare it with other Central American and with other Caribbean Islands. People with money will like Aruba better. People with less money may like Mexico and Panama better. Nicaragua has a Marxist president who keeps his expats safe, with a very low-cost of living and vastly better available health care, including health insurance!
So what I am saying is, do come. Do enjoy the many fine aspects of Belize, then evaluate it compared to your financial resources and wish lists and with the other countries. Do not buy rose-colored glasses. Do not believe most of what you read in travel mags. If you think you may want to build here, talk at length to at least 3 people who have built-in the last 3-5 years. Find out about having materials stolen, and incompetent workers and dishonest contractors.
I can cope with most of the difficulties of living here. I plan to stay here.  I was raised, educated and worked professionally in the MidWest for many years. Then moved to So Cal, eventually to NoCal and loved my life experiences there. I did not come to Belize because I hated the USA. I consider myself lucky to be an US citizen & for the life I had there. I have lived elsewhere in the Caribbean. I came to Belize for affordable retirement in the Caribbean, and because I am adventurous by nature.
Please do come to Belize. Determine what will work for you before you make a financial commitment. However:  You may wish to check out some other places also.” (MZ California, Expat Blog)

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For myself as a socialist and Daniel Ortega fan Nicaragua sounds maybe like a plan. This is augmented by the possibility of acquiring Tim Horton breakfasts.

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