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 Is Portia's leadership really that bad? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-Portia-s-leadership-really-that-bad-_17550812 Portia Simpson Miller, our seventh prime minister, is one of only two to serve two non-consecutive terms -- the other was Michael Manley. In 2013, Simpson Miller was elected vice-president of Socialist International and, in 2012, Time Magazine named her among its "100 Most Influential Persons in the World", alongside United States President Barack Obama, tycoon Warren Buffet, Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, and other illustrious leaders. Local Opinion Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Micromanagement and the tax collection process http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Micromanagement-and-the-tax-collection-process_17528604 I read in the Jamaica Observer on September 10, 2014 that 60 per cent of landowners in Kingston and St Andrew fail to honour their property tax obligation. The article further stated that the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is sending a listing of property tax compliance from the different communities to members of parliament and councillors. The Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke also posited that community meetings are on the agenda to address the collection process. Local Opinion Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT ROGER CLARKE: loyal and faithful to the end http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/ROGER-CLARKE--loyal-and-faithful-to-the-end_17537751 THERE is no denying the shock, disbelief and mourning that we have witnessed in this country since the untimely passing of Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, the Honourable Roger Clarke, in the United States of America after undergoing successful non-invasive back surgery. It is as a result of the genuine love harboured for him in the cave of the heart by Jamaicans of all walks of life, at home and abroad. Local Opinion Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jamaica needs more 'INDECOMs' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaica-needs-more--INDECOMs-_17545717 I look at every commissioner of police with so much sympathy. Past scenarios have rumours swirling and, before you know it, 'Commish' falls from someone's good graces and the taps begin to sound. We do hope that Commissioner Carl Williams will be able to weather the many storms he must face in his rigorous new post. Local Opinion Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT No 'bang belly economy' ‘round here, Clovis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/No--bang-belly-economy--round-here--Clovis-_17537832 According to an old French motto, Noblesse oblige — One must live up to one's name. The Rothschilds' condition of life has imposed on them a second motto: Richesse oblige — One must live up to one's fortune. — Guy de Rothschild Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Is Sir Hilary Beckles the right person to lead the UWI? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-Sir-Hilary-Beckles-the-right-person-to-lead-the-UWI-_17544199 IN search of explanations as to why the UWI Selection Committee would come to the conclusion that Sir Hilary Beckles -- champion of what I see as an impossible claim for reparations for slavery -- was the right person to the lead the University of the West Indies at this time, I posed several questions to two US-based, Caribbean-born political economists, Trevor A Campbell (Jamaica) and Hilbourne A Watson (Barbados). Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Take the Cabinet minister out of the House http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Take-the-Cabinet-minister-out-of-the-House_17537749 Two issues related to the system of governance in Jamaica were raised last week in the media. One was an article by Frank Phipps, noted attorney-at-law, who put forward a strong recommendation for curtailing the appointment of ministers from among the elected members of parliament. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Let's clear up that misinformation about chikungunya http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-s-clear-up-that-misinformation-about-chikungunya_17544347 I am happy that we have been having robust discussion in Jamaica about chikungunya because it speaks to a high level of awareness of our citizens. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT South Africa's freedom and its relationship with Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/South-Africa-s-freedom-and-its-relationship-with-Jamaica_17535021 (This is a lightly edited speech by South Africa's High Commissioner to Jamaica, Mathu Theda Joyini to mark 20 years since that country became a democratic and free nation. It is also 20 years since Jamaica and South Africa formalised diplomatic ties. The high commissioner was speaking at a function last Wednesday at her residence in St Andrew.) Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Roger's Clarke's passing and the aftermath http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Roger-s-Clarke-s-passing-and-the-aftermath_17544594 HISTORICALLY, there has been hardly any real political excitement associated with the constituency of Central Westmoreland over the years. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Antigua's serious wrong against Caricom http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Antigua-s-serious-wrong-against-Caricom_17537814 THE Government of Antigua and Barbuda seems to have unintentionally committed an unpalatable wrong against the entire Caribbean Community. It's a wrong that should speedily be corrected with an appropriate explanation for the benefit of the citizens of our 15-member regional integration movement. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Scotland's September 18 referendum: Its consequences http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Scotland-s-September-18-referendum--Its-consequences_17537753 IF the people of Scotland vote for independence from the United Kingdom on September 18, they will be buying a one-way ticket to their own misfortune, and with consequences that will go beyond their borders affecting Commonwealth countries. Local Opinion Sat, 13 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT A time of questions unanswered http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-time-of-questions-unanswered_17535967 IS it my imagination or has the next general election been announced? It's not only me who is hallucinating. I've heard other persons already interpreting the anxieties and "fretration" already underway and gearing for "E Day". Local Opinion Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT The ugly American http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-ugly-American_17535972 RECENT incursions of Americans into our legal, medical and security set-up, and airspace are a stark reminder of the power of our neighbour. In Mario Deane's case, not State power, but their citizens assert the power of Local Opinion Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Say what? A Jamaican commissioner of police with a PhD! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Say-what--A-Jamaican-commissioner-of-police-with-a-PhD-_17527397 IN 2004, if anyone white-skinned or coloured told someone else that in the next four years America would elect a black president, that other person would suggest that he get his head examined. Local Opinion Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT What I saw then http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-I-saw-then_17521164 Today is the 13th anniversary of 9/11. I know that others will comment on that, but today I am looking at two other anniversaries. This past Monday, September 8, marked 50 years since I entered Jamaica College (JC) as a first-former. When I entered my older brother Paul was just entering third form. Local Opinion Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT If we must 'shuffle it' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/If-we-must--shuffle-it-_17521101 THE country understands that a Cabinet reshuffle is the prerogative of the prime minister, however, 34 months into the life of her administration, many Jamaicans, including the private sector, feel now is an opportune time for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to reshuffle and realign ministries and ministers to breathe new life into her term in office. Local Opinion Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT The road to 100% literacy by 2015 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-road-to-100--literacy-by-2015_17488570 The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we've changed their lives forever, and for the better. — President Barack Obama Local Opinion Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Do not blame sports for school failures http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Do-not-blame-sports-for-school-failures_17503996 AMID the ongoing debate about high school sports and player recruitment, I had the privilege of visiting two schools at different ends of the achievement spectrum and met two former Manning Cup players. Both were from the same community, both seemed very bright individuals, and both are outstanding players. Local Opinion Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT An idea for Christopher Zacca and the PSOJ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/An-idea-for-Christopher-Zacca-and-the-PSOJ_17513509 I have not lost my mind quite yet, but I have a suggestion for Christopher Zacca, president of the Private Sector Organisation of (PSOJ) — one that is far more innovative than his recent recommendations to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to shuffle the Cabinet. It will give him immediate traction among sensible people in Government, civil society, the authentic clergy, and Jamaicans generally. I dare say, it will secure his place in history. Local Opinion Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT God is real; we make our own hell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/God-is-real--we-make-our-own-hell_17455530 THERE have been several comments in your newspaper relating to God, and whether he is real or not. Some have also expressed the view that God is not real, and that Jesus was not a historical figure. I disagree with both of these opinions. Local Opinion Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT Lifelong learning for literacy and sustainable development http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Lifelong-learning-for-literacy-and-sustainable-development_17505253 In its World Literacy Day theme, 'Literacy and Sustainable Development' UNESCO has underscored the critical link between socioeconomic upliftment and education. History and current experience demonstrate that, where people are educated, they empower themselves and their communities across generations, often breaking the cycle of poverty and transforming whole nations. Local Opinion Mon, 08 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Keep the Mario Deane case alive http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Keep-the-Mario-Deane-case-alive_17504164 IT was the late Wilmot "Motty" Perkins who made Agana Barrett a household name. In 1992, Barrett, a carpenter in his 20s, and two other cellmates suffocated in a cruelly overcrowded cell at the Constant Spring Police Station. Thanks to Perkins' relentless hammering of the issue, along with the efforts of Jamaicans For Justice, the Jamaican public finally learned about the inhumane conditions of our lock-ups. Sadly, history has repeated itself with the gruesome beating of a young construction worker, Mario Deane, on August 3 in a St James police lock-up -- he died three days later. Local Opinion Mon, 08 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Human rights groups will never be put out of business http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Human-rights-groups-will-never-be-put-out-of-business_17503685 Citizens Advocacy Group International (CAGI) has noted the apparent delusional views of the Jamaica Observer newspaper, via its editorial of September 5, 2014, titled 'Government keeping a cool head over Mario Deane affair' on the Government's so-called initiative in addressing concerns in lock-ups — a move triggered by the death of Mario Deane. Local Opinion Mon, 08 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Too many of us celebrate our own mediocrity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Too-many-of-us-celebrate-our-own-mediocrity-_17488589 WHEN FYAH FM 105 boss Ronald Sutherland said recently in a Rotary Club presentation, "I have seen kids at schools that I've taught... where the kid is very bright and pretends to be dunce, because he wants to fit in... the dominant culture is one of mediocrity, and it is worse that these schools have elements of violence in them," he should have known that he would be pilloried by wide swathes of Jamaicans for uttering such an inconvenient truth. Local Opinion Sun, 07 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT