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 What really lies ahead for us? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-really-lies-ahead-for-us_17835729 UNCLEAN! Unclean! was the biblical call against lepers. Citizens of this divided land, take heed. What if the dreaded Ebola should come this way? And should any of us happen to become afflicted, how much could we count on neighbours to still accept us into the community, or would we have to "tek weh wiself" as far away as possible to avoid the shame and rejection? Will "love of neighbour as self" still be accepted? Local Opinion Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Caricom's 'one economy' a poisoned chalice for Jamaica? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Caricom-s--one-economy--a-poisoned-chalice-for-Jamaica-_17834580 LAST week, Andrew Holness' New York headline was 'Jamaica can be a superpower'. Amen and amen, Sir, go for it! But July 4, 1973 may be Caricom Day if we do not halt fusion of our economy with these small islands based on a pre-globalised model of shared poverty and mutual dependence. Local Opinion Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT I support the men-only KC Old Boys' dinner format http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/I-support-the-men-only-KC-Old-Boys--dinner-format_17823812 It would be most foolish for a Kingston College (KC) old boy to show up Saturday evening at the Grand Jamaica Ballroom of the Pegasus with his wife beside him because, according to the rules, the little dollop of testosterone that she has left over makes her ineligible for the grand entrance. Only bags of the stuff will be allowed in. Local Opinion Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Through the eyes of the beholder http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Through-the-eyes-of-the-beholder_17823673 TODAY (October 30) is the 34th anniversary of the general election of 1980. The Jamaica Labour Party led by Edward Seaga had a landslide victory, gaining 51 of the 60 seats then available (now 63) from a near 59 per cent voter turnout, which was 84 per cent of the electorate. Local Opinion Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT A doctor meets CHIKV http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-doctor-meets-CHIKV_17819936 MY recent severe illness with CHIKV has reinforced the old adage that "experience teaches wisdom". To say it was a life-transforming and humbling experience feels inadequate and is to date the single most traumatic health experience I've had. I've been a practising physician for over 23 years and this is the first time I can really understand the severe and debilitating pains my patients with sickle cell disease and other chronic painful conditions endure on a regular basis. I also experienced the disbelief, lack of empathy, and some degree of stigma that these patients frequently report, but prefer not to elaborate on that at this time. Local Opinion Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT The Asianisation to Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-Asianisation-to-Jamaica_17819797 RECENTLY, while travelling and shopping in some of Jamaica's major towns, it became shockingly clear that the cream of the nation's retail and wholesale business sector are owned by Asians. Many of whom speak or understand only few words of English. Yet, never more than twice did any opportunity present itself for me to hand over the usual fistfuls of the nation's beaten-down dollar to a business operated by anyone having same African features such as myself, even though, 90 per cent of the nation's 3-million inhabitants are of African origin. It's as if the descendants of Marcus Garvey -- champion of self-reliance -- had ignored his teachings. More depressing is the configuration in most supermarkets, where Asian store managers are elevated behind glass partitions keeping a watchful eye on both shoppers and workers alike, conjuring up images from a throwback period when masters scrutinised every twitch of their plantation labourers. Local Opinion Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Foreshadowing the end of the US Cuban embargo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Foreshadowing-the-end-of-the-US-Cuban-embargo_17814696 "WE know that we are fighting against something that we don't totally understand. We know what can happen. We know we're going to a hostile environment. But it is our duty. That's how we've been educated," said Dr Leonardo Fernandez, 63, a Cuban physician on his way to West Africa to help treat patients suffering from Ebola. Local Opinion Tue, 28 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT 'Intellectual property' is why we can't have nice things http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Intellectual-property--is-why-we-can-t-have-nice-things_17815750 I came late to the news of Twitpic's impending —and thankfully partial — closure and even later to an explanation for it. My initial assumption was that the service had failed to turn a profit and become financially insolvent. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is, in the worst way, all about "intellectual property". And it significantly and negatively impacts the social media which more and more of us rely on as our "window on the world". Local Opinion Tue, 28 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Testing times... can we pass? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Testing-times----can-we-pass_17809490 LAST week's events in peaceful, picturesque Canada have stunned us. One friend wrote, "We have lost our innocence." Imagine, on Monday, in Montreal, a radicalised man crashes his car into two soldiers, killing one. Then, on Wednesday, a gunman kills a soldier guarding a memorial in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, and charges into the Parliament building, firing away. Fortunately, the sergeant-at-arms was armed with more than the golden mace he usually carries, and was able to cut down the gunman before he could cause even greater tragedy. Local Opinion Mon, 27 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Where are the PM, Bunting and Dr Williams? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Where-are-the-PM--Bunting-and-Dr-Williams-2014-10-27T02-12-53 As is commonly said in Jamaica “story come to bump”. The murders and shootings continue unabated with no apparent solution in sight. The fear of crime has gripped the Jamaican society in such a manner that not even our precious sociologists at Mona can find the answers. It is beyond any logical comprehension. Local Opinion Mon, 27 Oct 2014 04:12:25 GMT PNP Administration was right to send back Abu Bakr http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/PNP-Administration-was-right-to-send-back-Abu-Bakr_17803293 The Trinidadian 'religious extremist' Abu Bakr recently found himself on the horns of a dilemma as the Jamaica Government denied him the right to stay in Jamaica to attend Farrakhan's celebration of his Million Man March. Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Cricket, tearful cricket http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Cricket--tearful-cricket_17803291 WHEN I was younger, though a little bit older than I'd care to admit, all it took for tears to flow from my eyes was a loss by the West Indies cricket team, or even a nick from the willowy blade of BC Lara going to the non-maroon enemies behind the stumps. To me, there is nothing more strikingly stunning than the song of willow on leather as a well-timed cut-shot whistles past the flailing arms of some unfortunate point fielder. Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Fear cannot lead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Fear-cannot-lead_17790302 Government is not reason; it is not eloquent, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. — George Washington Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Antiviral activities of plants http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Antiviral-activities-of-plants_17804990 As a result of many people turning to medicinal plants, such as guinea hen weed, bissy and papaya leaves, for assistance with the management of their Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) symptoms, against which conventional medicines seem to have little answers, many individuals are curious to know the scientific potential of medicinal plants in dealing with viral diseases. Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT When bauxite meets community http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/When-bauxite-meets-community_17804811 JAMAICA'S bauxite industry, now sorely missed in sections of St Elizabeth and Manchester, has a history of significant contribution to the economic and social development of the country. Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Unfolding tremors for WI cricket http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Unfolding-tremors-for-WI-cricket_17797046 WHILE our governments and institutions are feverishly grappling to keep away the dreaded Ebola killer disease from the Caribbean Community, there has now emerged a totally unexpected challenge for this region's best known sport -- cricket. Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Much to be proud of as Caribbean people http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Much-to-be-proud-of-as-Caribbean-people_17804697 The following is an edited version of the address by Sir Ronald Sanders to the graduands of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies on the occasion of the conferment upon him of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) on Friday, October 24, 2014, All protocol observed: Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Christian contradictions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Christian-contradictions_17799589 IF one starts with the simple premise that "humanity is complex and basically not good, but still aspires for greatness" then it should make contextualising some of the warped socio-cultural biases, discriminatory tactics and religious fervour of many Christian fundamentalists easy. And for those of us who can neither fathom the causation nor the purpose for rationalising certain events as God's way of whipping us back into shape for our transgressions, we can always depend on Christians to liken our scepticism to atheistic tendencies. Local Opinion Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Heroes, production be damned, give us public holidays! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Heroes--production-be-damned--give-us-public-holidays_17797179 Our forefathers were sold into slavery. This livestock trade was okay as no African or English police ever arrested seller or buyer. The English bought them and set the days and times they should work, eat, sleep, and breed. Local Opinion Fri, 24 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT One weekend of high drama http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/One-weekend-of-high-drama_17797003 WHAT really happened in this nation last weekend? If the preamble leading up to last Sunday was to be believed, it was going to be "hell and powderhouse". With everybody all CHIKV-ed to the limit, the mood wasn't all that tolerant. If things never fell apart before, it was certain to happen, according to "the voice of the people". Our fate seemed to be in the hands of two men from beyond our borders who seemed to have the ability to overthrow the ordinary and put in place their own extraordinary. Local Opinion Fri, 24 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT My interview with a CHIKV-laden mosquito http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/My-interview-with-a-CHIKV-laden-mosquito_17789975 Mark Wignall (MW): I tried most desperately to avoid you, using Vape mats, coils of burning stuff, spray insecticides, and the electric fan at the foot of my bed on rapid. My point is this. How did you penetrate my defence, bite me, transmit your pain to me, and leave me so low, helpless and, at times, just confused? Local Opinion Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Panic, people and politics http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Panic--people-and-politics_17782872 GENERALLY speaking, we do not pay attention to history and, as a result, we keep making the same mistakes. Some politicians manipulate the voting public by playing on emotions so that the voters will do what they want. Our first prime minister, Sir Alexander Bustamante, certainly changed his tune on self-government, free education and on other issues. Local Opinion Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Plugging the leaks in our economy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Plugging-the-leaks-in-our-economy_17783021 JAMAICA holds many records for being the first in several categories, such as it is the first country in the western hemisphere to have a cast iron bridge, a piped water system, a railroad system, a postal system, a golf club, a commercial banana sector, and the second oldest botanical garden. It had electricity before most of United States of America and was the first in the Caribbean to produce rum commercially. Jamaica was also the first country in the world to impose economic sanctions on South Africa for its implementation of the apartheid system. These are just a few of the milestones that Jamaica laid down and what this indicates is that we are born leaders, innovators, thinkers, and creators of our own destinies. Local Opinion Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Business opportunities to alleviate unemployment and poverty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Business-opportunities-to-alleviate-unemployment-and-poverty_17783109 RECENTLY, the upgrading of Jamaica's economic outlook from stable to positive by Standards & Poor's and the passing of another International Monetary Fund (IMF) test for a programme commenced in May 2013 were welcome news. In spite of these positives, the country continues to face economic challenges such as high debt to GDP, high unemployment, low economic growth, and a negative current account, as well as the threat of Ebola. Jamaica currently is experiencing a trade deficit with Caricom, plus while the IMF has forecasted world economic growth to be 3 per cent Jamaica's economic growth is expected to be 1per cent for 2014. Local Opinion Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Never let a good crisis go to waste, Madam PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Never-let-a-good-crisis-go-to-waste--Madam-PM_17773085 Dear Mrs Simpson Miller: Local Opinion Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT