Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 An eye for an eye? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/An-eye-for-an-eye-_59752 The majority of nations that execute citizens do so based upon the premise that death is the most powerful deterrent, deserved retribution, and that no mercy should be shown to the merciless. It is against this background that advocates of capital punishment argue that murder is the most callous of all crimes and only the strongest punishment available will serve as a deterrent. Local Opinion Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Would any Caribbean democracy elect a Donald Trump? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Would-any-Caribbean-democracy-elect-a-Donald-Trump--_59530 I combed the archives of history, entering the bowels of information banks in order to harness the necessary information to confirm my thoughts that the object of my investigation is not flawed, giving me ample ammunition to categorically say without fear of contradiction that no Caribbean constituency would elect a Donald Trump-like person to Parliament. Local Opinion Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Asset-Based Community Development the way to go http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Asset-Based-Community-Development-the-way-to-go_59642 The Jamaica Labour Party has picked up right where the People’s National Party left off in its disastrous march over the cliff toward defeat in the national polls. We have heard nothing from the new Government to suggest that it will speak in language that the ghetto dweller understands or pursue actions that directly address issues that keep him perpetually mired in poverty. Local Opinion Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Go beyond the symbolism of Child Month and treat the youth right http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Go-beyond-the-symbolism-of-Child-Month-and-treat-the-youth-right_59508 There is no need to over-romanticise the myriad issues affecting our youth. However, it is necessary to reassert a core belief that innocence, dignity and happiness are foundational for good childhood. It follows, therefore, that those who rob children of the benefits of their innocence or intrude upon their self-worth and happiness are worthy of a lifetime of misery and painful guilt. Local Opinion Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Will this end that conspiracy? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Will-this-end-that-conspiracy-_59526 This column has been noting for a few years well, that Jamaica’s double-blight of low productivity and corruption has its genesis in a conspiracy. I have dubbed it “the conspiracy of mediocrity”, and when I discussed this theory with several solid folks, a lightbulb goes off as they realise that they have been victims of said conspiracy. Local Opinion Mon, 02 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Who is to be blamed for classism in Jamaica? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Who-is-to-be-blamed-for-classism-in-Jamaica-_59523 I had never experienced this thing called classism until I moved back to Jamaica. I had left at age 16 and after almost 10 years in a foreign country which has been labelled the most expensive place to live in the world, it took returning to this small third world nation to experience my first real bout of discrimination. Local Opinion Mon, 02 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT To be(t) or not to(b)? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/To-be-t--or-not-to-b--_58890 (With apologies to Shakespeare) Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT A world according to Trump http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-world-according-to-Trump_59379 Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech on April 27 did not once mention the Caribbean. The Caribbean should be grateful, or there might have been a price tag for his attention. He did say, after all: “The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defence, and, if not, the US must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.” Whew! Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Key issues facing the PNP and the paper groups that are mashing it up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Key-issues-facing-the-PNP-and-the-paper-groups-that-are-mashing-it-up_59439 This is a lightly edited version of an address given by Member of Parliament for St Ann North Western, Dr Dayton Campbell, at the annual conference of the Belfield Division in South East St Mary on Sunday, April 24: Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT The Alexander Bustamante/Norman Manley alliance http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-Alexander-Bustamante-Norman-Manley-alliance_59401 It is not generally known that following the upheaval of the labour riots in May 1938 and the subsequent incidents of strikes and violence that erupted across the country, Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante formed a partnership that travelled from Negril to Morant Point to restore calm to the island’s trouble spots. Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Auxiliary fee policy is not about promoting freeness mentality http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Auxiliary-fee-policy-is-not-about-promoting-freeness-mentality_59360 The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant. Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Clearly, the JLP did the math http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Clearly--the-JLP-did-the-math_58993 IT was quite difficult to figure out that the 17th general election in February 2016 was going to be Jamaica’s most exciting and would produce the closest result in the country’s 71 years of electoral contests since adult suffrage. Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT PHOTO: Trump’s world http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Trump-s-world_59420 It seems that businesses will have to conform to the dictates of a Trump government; their freedom will be constrained, and failure to comply will have untold consequences. America will be a different place if this comes to pass; so will the world, writes Sir Ronald Sanders Local Opinion Sun, 01 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Children lose in a bitter game http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Children-lose-in-a-bitter-game_59288 OH no, not another one! It is bad enough when the victims are adults. When it comes to children, are none too young to be spared? Bob sang, “Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die… Don’t ask me why.” When it’s a three-year-old, we have to ask. There’s no easy answer, if one could answer at all, but we must keep on asking — and try to stop the pain. Local Opinion Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Unleashing radio’s power to transform society http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Unleashing-radio-s-power-to-transform-society_59239 There is a raft of mass media, new media and social media around, and we need to revisit radio as a tool to develop our people. Formal school is being transformed at a slow pace since 2004, but we can use informal and innovative means to fast-track and aid Vision 2030 goals for human capital. Local Opinion Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Co-operative democracy being eroded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Co-operative-democracy-being-eroded_59158 The main purpose of any co-operative is to empower the dispossessed. It was the Roman Catholic Church that established credit unions and in the early days, one had to undergo six months of training before one could apply for membership. A co-operative without democracy is a contradiction in terms. A co-operative is not only about equal share ownership but also about democracy. This is the fundamental difference between registered co-operatives and registered companies. Credit unions are co-operatives, while commercial banks (in Jamaica at any rate) are companies. Local Opinion Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Has Obama failed as a world leader? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Has-Obama-failed-as-a-world-leader-_59120 Every leader, whether of a country or an organisation, ought to be concerned about what legacy they leave behind. The matter carries greater weight when one is the president of a country like the United States, which is regarded as the only superpower and whose moral authority in the world is considered a given. But since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the Second World War, there has been a steady decline of America’s influence in the world. This decline reached catastrophic proportions under the presidency of George W Bush when America invaded Iraq and set in train the destabilisation of an entire region and the rise of the fearful ISIS caliphate. Local Opinion Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Auxilary fees: The need for conversation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Auxilary-fees--The-need-for-conversation_59040 The current discourse on the auxiliary fees is causing much exchange of thought in the school corridors, on radio programmes and in families. Local Opinion Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT The entrenchment of apartheid in education http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-entrenchment-of-apartheid-in-education_58982 I unequivocally support the notion of free secondary education. In fact, I would love for Jamaica to be able to provide free education at ALL levels. Local Opinion Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Looking at the real reason for the backlog http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Looking-at-the-real-reason-for-the-backlog_58808 There seems to be a penchant for some of us to pontificate about matters of which we know precious little. Time is hardly ever taken to obtain first-hand knowledge about that which we speak. Against this background, reference can be made to recent statements attributed to Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds in the media about court backlog causing prosecution of cases under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisation) Act, popularly referred to as the anti-gang legislation, to languish. Local Opinion Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Church critics, Jesus, and sloppy thinking http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Church-critics--Jesus--and-sloppy-thinking_58837 It continues to irritate and concern me when I hear or read the sloppy arguments that critics level at the Church. Take the recent Gleaner Editors’ Forum as reported in the Sunday Gleaner of April 24, 2016. Local Opinion Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Situation excellent, J’attaque http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Situation-excellent--J-attaque_58622 Selected to command the newly formed French Ninth Army against the invading German forces in World War I, at one point General Ferdinand Foch saw his forces crumbling around him in disarray against the German military might. Unfazed, he declared famously in a message to his French army counterparts: “My centre is yielding. My right is retreating. Situation excellent, I am attacking.” For the language purists, “Mon centre cede, ma droite recule, situation excellente, J’attaque.” Local Opinion Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Who knows better should do better http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Who-knows-better-should-do-better_58771 So here we were coming off the high of a fabulous Expo Jamaica, and the unveiling at King’s House of seven new National Bakery Bold Ones of Manufacturing, when we see this foolish item on Friday night’s TVJ newscast. It appears that Member of Parliament (MP) Juliet Holness had arrived for a meeting at a community building in the St Andrew East Rural constituency she represents when she was confronted with heavily chained and padlocked doors. An activist declared to the reporter that this was a PNP area, implying that Holness had no business being there. Excuse me? Could we have heard correctly? Local Opinion Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT The redemption of Dr Fenton Rudyard Ignatius Ferguson? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-redemption-of-Dr-Fenton-Rudyard-Ignatius-Ferguson-_58663 With the possible exception of Portia Simpson Miller, the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Dr Fenton Ferguson, a son of Jones Town/ Trench Town and its environs, is perhaps the best politician on either side of the parliamentary aisle. He has an unblemished record of success in both parliamentary and internal party elections. He has never lost. His achievement should be seen as even more remarkable when one considers his family’s original political affiliation, with his mother being a successful businesswoman and an ardent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) functionary. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT Setting the record straight on the ganja law http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Setting-the-record-straight-on-the-ganja-law_58632 The Sunday Observer article of 10th April, titled ‘On the edge of ganja’s millions’ contained several serious inaccuracies. It compels me to set the record straight on a matter of great importance to this country. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Apr 2016 00:00:00 GMT