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 Heroism in many forms http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-p-Heroism-in-many-forms--p---_17772312 Last week's prelude to National Heroes' Day gave us two inspiring events and some sad losses. The 'Conversation with Malcolm Gladwell' at UWI, Mona, and the address given by Ambassador Sue Cobb at the 10th anniversary of the Women's Leadership Initiative would have been so much more enjoyable if I had been able to share them with my friend and mentor Syringa Marshall-Burnett. After a brief illness Syringa left us a little over a week ago, the organisations she served bereft of our guiding star. Local Opinion Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT The cost of chikungunya to Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-cost-of-chikungunya-to-Jamaica_17772229 THE chikungunya virus, also called CHIKV, is now ravaging the island of Jamaica, shutting down court cases, crippling productivity and, in some regretful instances, taking lives from complications associated with the virus. Local Opinion Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Paulwell says Jamaica is still safe with PetroCaribe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Paulwell-says-Jamaica-is-still-safe-with-PetroCaribe_17767172 A few weeks ago when I had a telephone chat with energy minister, Phillip Paulwell, my call to him was triggered by many articles in reputable publications such as Bloomberg, all seemingly arriving at one inescapable conclusion. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Countdown to elections...Ebola http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Countdown-to-elections---Ebola_17762479 Politics is not about objective reality, but virtual reality... a magical movie of sorts, a never-ending and infinitely revisable docu-drama. Strangely, the faithful understand that the movie is not true; yet also maintain that it is the only truth that matters. -- Michael Kelly Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Those mosquitoes, polls and the prime minister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Those-mosquitoes--polls-and-the-prime-minister_17753997 SOMETIMES, one has to "tek kin teet kibba heart bun". And, although the chikungunya virus is no laughing matter, laughter could very well be the best medicine that the doctor ordered to treat the dreaded and dreadful virus. However, this article is not all about the wickedness of "she-dung-yah" -- as one senior citizen put it during a recent telephone conversation about the mosquito-borne virus. Instead, it challenges the prime minister to take seriously some of the findings of the latest Bill Johnson polls, even as it encourages her to change course to become that transformational leader she can still become. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Ebola is the West's gift to Africa http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Ebola-is-the-West-s-gift-to-Africa_17763892 AT last, at last, the West has roused itself from a slumber of forgetfulness, and, often, sheer indifference, to respond to West Africa's Ebola crisis. Their heads dug into banking and national budget spreadsheets, its leaders may have been prompted into action, finally, by the appearance of cases of the disease on their own shores. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT If my people who are called by my name... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/If-my-people-who-are-called-by-my-name---_17762457 THE Jamaica Council of Churches needs to call the nation to a day of prayer. If ever a country needed prayer at this time it is Jamaica. All around us people are falling like ninepins from the chikungunya and the threat of Ebola is on the horizon. Sometimes when I listen to the evening news, or visit the supermarket during the evening hours, I feel as if we are preparing for a hurricane or some other natural disaster. People walk about speaking in hushed tones, sharing experiences, reporting on the latest casuality, or advising on what to purchase as they stock up for the testing times ahead. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT A brief history of Ja's modern economic performance: The rise and fall http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-brief-history-of-Ja-s-modern-economic-performance--The-rise-and-fall-_17759523 Jamaica has had a very long history as a plantation economy spanning centuries. This has meant that agricultural activities have been at the heart of economic activity and livelihood for the masses of Jamaican people for several years leading up to Independence in 1962. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Family farming: Nourishing the world http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Family-farming--Nourishing-the-world_17754238 Sixty-three developing countries have already reached the Millennium Development Goal hunger target of halving the proportion of chronic undernourishment by 2015. What their stories tell us is that to win the war against hunger we need political commitment, a holistic approach, social participation and family farming. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Oil prices fall sharply: Will poor populations benefit? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Oil-prices-fall-sharply--Will-poor-populations-benefit-_17759551 To anyone living in a developing country that is not an oil producer, the present drop in the price of oil is very welcome. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT At last... President Obama moves towards Cuba http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/At-last----President-Obama-moves-towards-Cuba_17759528 FINALLY, there has come the dawning of basic common sense on the part of the superpower, United States of America. Local Opinion Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Ebola, Africa and the politics of viruses http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Ebola--Africa-and-the-politics-of-viruses_17759599 COMMANDER in Chief "Sista P" has arrived, so let's do a reality check. Ebola is not here; it may get here, but we are unlikely to have an epidemic if, as for storms, we prepare and do as we are taught. Local Opinion Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Fooling around with the pestilence http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Fooling-around-with-the-pestilence_17761287 WHAT the...? What is going on here? Yesterday afternoon I could only wonder how we got where we are, and where do we intend to go from here. Just around midday, a news item was broadcast about an American visitor arriving in Montego Bay who revealed he had got here from the US, having started out in Liberia. Reports are that he ended up being landed in Jamaica and given exit permission from the airport and then went on to a hotel where he was booked. Nuff questions. True or false? How did Immigration and the nursing station verify his status? But, what if...Look yah nuh. Local Opinion Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Save our schools from the leadership crisis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Save-our-schools-from-the-leadership-crisis_17763903 -- Mahatma Gandhi Local Opinion Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Time to be suspicious http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Time-to-be-suspicious_17753575 SO we have come around to another International Credit Union Day, which is always the third Thursday of October. As it falls on October 16 this year, it is also the 46th anniversary of the riots caused by the expulsion of Walter Rodney from Jamaica on the previous day, October 15, 1968. Nothing of what was said in parliament by then Prime Minister Hugh Shearer, the day after the riots, was ever proven. Local Opinion Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Armed killers on the loose http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Armed-killers-on-the-loose_17753901 It appears to me that the seemingly well planned ambush and horrible murders of four men transporting a China Harbour payroll to a site near Bog Walk ought to bring out the best that police detective work is capable of. Local Opinion Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT The morality debate continues http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-morality-debate-continues_17742201 THE moral issues being debated include the three most contentious activities relevant to humankind, namely abortion, homosexuality and sodomy. The recent Bill Johnson poll dealing with abortion concluded that 69 per cent of people polled were against any change in the law which maintains that abortion remains an illegal practice. Local Opinion Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Questions for Holness http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Questions-for-Holness_17748362 Dear Editor, Local Opinion Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Government versus political parties http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Government-versus-political-parties_17741613 My daughter recently shared with me the approach she uses with a five-year-old boy she tutors. She uses the Socratic Method -- letting him problem-solve with only guiding questions from her. One day last week he got one of his math problems wrong, adding nine plus zero and coming up with zero. "I didn't add anything," he said, explaining his answer. "Right," she said, but what did you start out with?" "Ohhhh!" he exclaimed as the light dawned. Local Opinion Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jamaica should do away with the death penalty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaica-should-do-away-with-the-death-penalty_17725074 Friday, October 10, 2014 was marked as the World Day Against the Death Penalty and, as Roman Catholic archbishop of Kingston, I want to use this occasion to appeal to all the people of faith in Jamaica and, in particular, to our Government to reconsider the country's position on capital punishment and begin the steps necessary for its abolition. Local Opinion Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT A start-up's journey with Start-Up Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-start-up-s-journey-with-Start-Up-Jamaica_17725296 To make men of mice isn't a saying we often hear when we think of businesses and entrepreneurs. My experience and time at Start-Up Jamaica and its boot camp has truly pulled out the best in me and highlighted how much more I can grow professionally. Local Opinion Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jamaica's situational crisis 2014 and 2044 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Ja-s-situational-crisis-2014-and-2044_17736868 In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so. -- Immanual Kant Local Opinion Mon, 13 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT Be careful, not paranoid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Be-careful--not-paranoid_17736815 LOOMING even larger than the pesky chikungunya virus is this Ebola scare. A friend of mine, who went to the Norman Manley airport to meet a guest from an African country, had a three-hour wait as health authorities carefully questioned and examined the individual. Finally, the visitor was cleared and allowed to leave the airport. I find that reassuring. Obviously the health ministry is working to ensure that the island's gateways are well screened. Local Opinion Mon, 13 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT Let's think prevention and mitigation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-s-think-prevention-and-mitigation_17725259 AS I followed the public debate on the current chikungunya outbreak in Jamaica, I was disappointed, though not surprised, that the majority of discussions on radio as well as articles and letters to newspapers focused on the emergency response, and to a lesser extent on preparedness, rather than on the possibilities for prevention and mitigation. Local Opinion Sun, 12 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT More Jamaicans opting out of voting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/More-Jamaicans-opting-out-of-voting_17731767 It was a warm and pleasant mid-Tuesday morning last as I stepped inside a small shop to get bread, a few potatoes and some oranges. As I exchanged a few words of banter with the owner, an old man walked up. Local Opinion Sun, 12 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT