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 A letter to Commissioner Carl McKay Williams http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-letter-to-Commissioner-Carl-McKay-Williams_17648653 Dear Commissioner: Local Opinion Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Climate change is Ja’s challenge too http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Climate-change-is-Ja-s-challenge-too_17599334 All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster. —  President Barack Obama Local Opinion Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Positive signals for Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Positive-signals-for-Jamaica_17640657 WE are delighted to hear that tourism is surging in Jamaica. Our traditional Jamaican hospitality provides a warm and welcoming space for visitors to our island. Local Opinion Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT Jamaica needs an active spatial plan http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaica-needs-an-active-spatial-plan_17483446 JAMAICA is in need of rigorous planning from Morant to Negril Point. The current development activities do not appear to be generated from an overall plan; hence there are large gaps in infrastructure and economic activity. Local Opinion Mon, 29 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT Need for changing Caricom's 'showtime' culture at UN http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Need-for-changing-Caricom-s--showtime--culture-at-UN_17616964 AT the time of writing this column the foreign ministers of our Caribbean Community were engaged in a meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York to review challenges and problems that require collective resolution during the current session of the United Nations General Assembly. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT The ghost of Christmas http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-ghost-of-Christmas-_17616877 IT'S not yet Thanksgiving Day, but the Christmas messages and commercials have started to creep up on the American television channels. Once upon a time Christmas was celebrated in December, but today we are talking about Christmas in September. Here in Jamaica we usually wait until after the Heroes' Day weekend before we start singing the Hark! the herald shoppers' song. I will bet that, come October 21, we will be competing with the American stations in terms of advertising space dedicated to Christmas commercials. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Circling me with chikungunya http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Circling-me-with-chikungunya_17623403 ROGER hobbled up to me in the little town square, and as he made the last few steps before he stopped, he reminded me of one of my senior citizen friends, Gabby, in his 90s but still shuffling along with his walking stick and smiling with a cigar stuck in one corner of his mouth. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Will the recommendations of the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry be implemented? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Will-the-recommendations-of-the-Tivoli-Commission-of-Enquiry-be-implemented_17616909 NOT long from now, the arduous work of the recently appointed Tivoli Commission of Enquiry into the security forces' operation at Tivoli Gardens in May 2010 will commence and speculation is rife amongst countless critics that it will serve no useful purpose. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT The beatitudes of poverty alleviation: an enduring formula for sustainable development II http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-beatitudes-of-poverty-alleviation--an-enduring-formula-for-sustainable-development-II_17617010 Earlier the findings on the effects of governance on the incidence of poverty in a state were examined. Now, the effects of economic factors, resources and history on economic outcomes will be addressed, leading into the new poverty reduction model being proposed as an enduring solution to this age-old human condition. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Tooting one's own horn http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Tooting-one-s-own-horn_17584712 In his bestseller the Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell enlists a number of factors that he deems important to the attainment of professional success or prominence. He cites the "10,000-Hour Rule" as an important pre-condition for successful professional outcomes. According to Gladwell, in order to secure what can be deemed a measure of expertise in any endeavour, one needs to expend at least 10,000 hours honing that particular skill. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT 'Right is might' — the reality and the dream http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Right-is-might----the-reality-and-the-dream_17616860 ACTIVITIES at the United Nations in New York this week may have looked like a celebration of internationalism and a recognition that territorial wars, terrorism, religious intolerance, climate change, ethnic violence, and disease have been recognised as threats to all mankind, demanding collective action by every government. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Jamaica's dejected future, theatrical http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaica-s-dejected-future--theatrical-_17609664 Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water. -- Miguel de Cervantes Local Opinion Sat, 27 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT 'Belief kill and belief cure' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Belief-kill-and-belief-cure-_17615806 CHIK-V is becoming more divisive every day. It is no longer just a matter of mosquito vs humans. It is another outpouring of how little we respect each other. The disease is rampant in other areas of the Caribbean but, so far, I haven't seen any reports that it is the subject of political friction and doubt. What is wrong with us, eeh? Yes, we can have different opinions. Local Opinion Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jamaica and Scotland -- a tale of two peoples http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-p-Jamaica-and-Scotland----a-tale-of-two-peoples--p---_17609660 THE people of Scotland have spoken in their referendum. The Union Flag stands -- God save the Queen! September 18 was a good day for the UK and for Scotland. The British did not resist the Scots call for a referendum and democracy in the UK shines bright. The Scots crowned themselves with glory in a voter turnout of near 90 per cent. The world saw democracy in action. Local Opinion Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Making Michael Lee Chin an offer he can’t refuse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Making-Michael-Lee-Chin-an-offer-he-can-t-refuse_17608827 IN today's Jamaica Observer there is an open letter to Michael Lee Chin, owner of National Commercial Bank (NCB) and executive chairman of AIC in Canada, written by Daryl Vaz, JLP member of parliament for West Portland. Local Opinion Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT A whole new experience http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-whole-new-experience_17608846 I have been ill before. I have had to meet my deadline for writing weekly columns while having a serious case of influenza or even a bad cold. In any case, I am an asthmatic from birth although the attacks are not so severe in my old age. I recall my days of doing commentary on IRIE FM and in the early days I physically had to be in Ocho Rios each week and I live in Kingston. One week, after a taping, I went to the beach with fever to be 'cured' by the mineral sea waters of Ochi. Also, I was in a bad car accident in Clarendon in December 1998 and nearly lost my left hand. But none of the foregoing can compare to how I am feeling now, as I am down with chikungunya, I believe. Local Opinion Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Philanthrocapitalism — Sandals a shining example http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Philanthrocapitalism---Sandals-a-shining-example_17599295 THE undeclared war between socialism and capitalism, which manifested itself in local politics starting in the 1970s, was an unnecessary foray into economic and social degeneracy. Combatants on both the left and right fell victim to narrow-mindedness and intellectual blindness. Jamaica has paid and continues to pay dearly for the overexuberance of well-intentioned but misguided people with the reins of political and economic power in their hands, who could not see the inevitability of the convergence between the best ideas from the two philosophies. New words, some not yet in the English lexicon, have been coined to describe the convergence. Local Opinion Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Mario Deane was Brand Jamaica too http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Mario-Deane-was-Brand-Jamaica-too_17599298 AT the recent funeral service in Savanna-la-Mar for the late Central Westmoreland Member of Parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke, his parliamentary colleague and friend, Karl Samuda of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), in lauding him, declared that he was Brand Jamaica. Indeed, many notable Jamaicans at the funeral and elsewhere have extolled the virtues of that inimitable politician who was known for his infectious wit and unbridled patriotism. Local Opinion Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Our athletes need sound financial advice... or else they face a sorry future http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Our-athletes-need-sound-financial-advice----or-else-they-face-a-sorry-future_17594010 The recent acquisition of a house valued at $52 million from the Jamaican Government by star athlete Yohan Blake has sent tongues wagging in the country. Different individuals are weighing in on whether the deal was a prudent or a ludicrous one. Local Opinion Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Raising the leadership bar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Raising-the-leadership-bar_17594081 LAST week I suggested that, measured against most, if not all of her predecessors, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is not doing worse once one gets past the superficial issues on which she tends to be judged. I suggested further that, on real indicators, she might even be doing better. Local Opinion Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT You had one job, UN http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/You-had-one-job--UN_17584710 The UN is back in the news with preparations for the opening of the 69th General Assembly session. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlights the importance of the UN's mission in this "time of turmoil". But maybe we should take a closer look at what that 'mission' is. The avowed purpose of the UN is to maintain peace and stability -- or, as former American UN Ambassador Susan Rice says, to "deter and punish aggression". Local Opinion Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT For a cleaner, more productive Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/For-a-cleaner--more-productive-Jamaica_17584718 I have to admit I felt a bit envious of those clean streets when I visited Barbados last year. At frequent intervals, we saw signs warning against littering and the hefty fines for doing so. "They watch you, and they catch you," explained our taxi driver. "They don't joke!" Local Opinion Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT The PNP must address PetroCaribe at today's conference http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-PNP-must-address-PetroCaribe-at-today-s-conference_17580274 In the September 14 edition of The Economist, an article, 'Of oil and coconut water', begins by stating the obvious: "A big oil producer unable to pay its bills during a protracted oil-price boom is a rare beast. Thanks to colossal economic mismanagement, that is exactly what Venezuela, the world's tenth-largest oil exporter, has become." Local Opinion Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT The beatitudes of poverty alleviation: An enduring formula for sustainable development http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-beatitudes-of-poverty-alleviation--An-enduring-formula-for-sustainable-development_17550212 SUBSTANTIAL progress has been made in human development and poverty reduction. Over the last 25 years, the emergence of the new industrial powers has resulted in a significant convergence between rich and poor countries. However, while some countries have been advancing rapidly, others have not. There are economies that have stagnated or contracted. Some of these are adjacent to successful emerging economies, so they are relatively similar, geographically and culturally, and exposed to similar external shocks and constraints. This raises important questions as to the factors that determine success or failure in apparently similar circumstances. Local Opinion Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT How can Jamaicans stand such times and live? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/How-can-Jamaicans-stand-_17558985 It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours. — Harry S Truman Local Opinion Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT