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 Challenges of a new kinda world http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Challenges-of-a-new-kinda-world_19240798 ANOTHER French friend of mine, reflecting on recent events, shared with me her understanding of the why and wherefore young people, not only in France, but other sections of Europe and elsewhere, can be lured into becoming messengers of death and destruction. Speaking from knowledge of the society in which she lived for many years before coming here, my friend shared knowledge of the 1960s in France, a time when youth were lured by leftist propaganda, built on Marxism and/or Maoism. Local Opinion Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Whom do you trust more? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Whom-do-you-trust-more_19240697 Some say the unannounced election date has been twice postponed. Quite amazing for a secret only one person knows, and peeps say there was a third. The first unknown date was the leader's birth date; then that of the late "maximum leader"; then the 13th, my own date. I missed fame by a whisker — rats! Local Opinion Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Time Jamaicans think logically http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Time-Jamaicans-think-logically_19240480 SO the general election will not be held this year. However, it is a pity that in Jamaica politics is really a game. The two major political parties pack the voters' lists with their own supporters in an exercise that is referred to as canvassing. The party workers then get those 'canvassed' to vote on election day, along party lines, instead of making up their own minds independently on the issues. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Islam: Why should I care? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Islam--Why-should-I-care-_19240464 TUESDAY, August 19, 2014 a video on YouTube showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS. Steven Sotloff, another American journalist, was also beheaded by ISIS, confirmation of which came the morning of September 3, 2014. Each man had been held for upwards of a year. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Buckley missed the mark http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Buckley-missed-the-mark-_19240211 THE statement of Byron Buckley, the head of public relations for the Ministry of Education, published by the Observer on Monday, November 23, 2015 was fascinating. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT ISIS — A growing global threat http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/ISIS---A-growing-global-threat_19240325 SINCE the dawn of the 21st century, the entire world has been exposed to a frightening level of violence not seen towards the end of the 20th. There is no doubt that the 20th century was a bloody century culminating in World War II (WWII). Since that war, there have been flare-ups around the world, such as the genocide in the former Yugoslavia and the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, but there has not been any that amounted to a real global threat. Local Opinion Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT IDEVAW message from The Institute for Gender & Development Studies, University of the West Indies http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/---from-The-Institute-for-Gender---Development-Studies--University-of-the-West-Indies_19240314 Today the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) joins the international community in the observance of The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW). Local Opinion Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT IDEVAW message from Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/---from-Ban-Ki-Moon--UN-Secretary-General_19240310 THE atrocity crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress. Local Opinion Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Andrew Holness is tomorrow's man http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Andrew-Holness-is------tomorrow-s-man_19240046 JAMAICA is crying out for leadership. Let us not be like the Jews who, when their messiah came, rejected him only to have him embraced by a different sect called Christians. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Nov 2015 03:00:00 GMT The curse of visionless leadership http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-curse-of-visionless----leadership_19240141 AN iceberg is a large chunk of ice that has broken away from a glacier or ice sheet and carried out to open sea with only about 10 per cent of the mass visible to the naked eye. The Titanic, the most luxurious cruise ship of its time, hit an iceberg in the early morning of April 15, 1912, on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to the Port of New York City. It sank two miles to the ocean floor. More than 1,500 of 2,228 passengers on-board lost their lives, making it one of history's worst maritime disasters. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Nov 2015 03:00:00 GMT A new world that demands keen leadership http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-new-world-that-demands-keen-leadership_19240025 IT is a dangerous world. Regardless of where you live, you do feel under threat from those ever-lengthening tentacles of terrorism. Even our little Jamaica has to be ramping up our security. So my question to these brilliant leaders, these much-vaunted international organisations with their impressive conferences is: How did you allow al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and IS to get so powerful? Local Opinion Mon, 23 Nov 2015 03:00:00 GMT Mandatory schools fees insult http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Mandatory-schools-fees-insult_19239529 I am drawn to a Gleaner article in which three noted educators from the Jamaica Teachers' Association and the Association of Principals and Vice-Principals are supporting this Government's so-called mandatory auxiliary fees policy in opposition to the Jamaica Labour Party's declared abolition of mandatory cost sharing. Local Opinion Mon, 23 Nov 2015 03:00:00 GMT 22-year bondage, 84-day hopscotch; when will we have had enough? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/22-year-bondage--84-day-hopscotch--when-will-we-have-had-enough---p---_19239632 One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. — Chinua Achebe Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Our political leaders should remember that loose lips sink ships http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Our-political-leaders-should-remember-that-loose-lips-sink-ships_19239625 In democracies as vibrantly emotional as ours, where political nouns and adjectives are more prevalent than verbs, the tendency to engage the lips before the brain seems more instinctive than not. To safeguard against malicious and irresponsible utterances, especially among the political directorate, politicians should develop the habit of counting to 10 before they say things that could be deleterious, not only to themselves, but also to the country and citizenry. Simply put, "Loose lips sink ships." Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT 'We'll walk until midnight to find our vote' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/We-ll-walk-until-midnight-to-find-our-vote_19239627 The first general election in Jamaica under adult suffrage was held on December 12, 1944. It was one of several to be held in the last month of the year. But any similarity to the coming general election stops right there. Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Ominous signs on the horizon http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Ominous-signs-on-the-horizon_19238940 THERE have been many headlines and countless demands for the head of the former minister of health in relation to the "dead babies scandal", and especially after the release of the adverse report on the health system. In fact, there are calls for more heads to roll. Minister Dalley has been given the responsibility "to improve the health system as quickly as he can". Is this possible? Is it just pure talk without the requisite thinking? What is the real crux of the problem? Is the main problem in the health system any different from other ailing and failing infrastructure and centres of public service? Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Black lives matter too: The inequity of Western media reporting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Black-lives-matter-too---The-inequity-of-Western-media-reporting--p---_19239628 In the aftermath of the continuous Western media coverage of the Paris attacks by ISIS that killed 129 people, the "Black Lives Matter" movement in the United States has raised questions about similar atrocities against black people that are either ignored or receive scant attention. Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Time for electric vehicles in Ja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Time-for-electric-vehicles-in-Ja_19239404 JAMAICA, astonishingly, has 200-300 roads per 100km square, ranking it the fourth country in the world in respect to road density. Our problem? Many of these roads are in a state of disrepair, giving us nothing to boast. Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT CCJ: A life or death issue for the people to decide http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/CCJ--A-life-or-death-issue-for-the-people-to-decide_19239773 The following is an edited version of Robert Montague's contribution to the debate on the Caribbean Court of Justice in George William Gordon House on Friday November 20, 2015: Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Don’t plan to vote? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Don-t-plan-to-vote----Still-no-need-to-shut-up_19239409 MANY are waiting on the sound of the trumpet and the ring of the deliverance bell. The party faithful are busy purchasing all the orange and green cloth they can find. Fancy decals with candidates' faces are being overlaid on SUVs, pickup trucks and Coaster buses. Meanwhile, sadly, the ram goats are beginning to face the inevitability that the curry pot awaits. The smell of general election is in the air. Local Opinion Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Jihadists in Europe, Caricom and America http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jihadists-in-Europe--Caricom-and-America_19239501 In the last six months, the British foiled seven terrorist incidents. Who keeps count of disaster avoided? On Friday last, French security failed its people. They intercept all e-mail and phone calls, so how did they miss this? Courier and encryption my friend. Local Opinion Fri, 20 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Mourning with the French http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Mourning-with-the-French_19239499 MON AMI (MY FRIEND) Pierre LeMaire was born in France, which makes him a Frenchman. He's a Jamaican citizen, which makes him "one a wi". When Jamaica mourns, he mourns with us. When Paris grieves, his Jamaican friends feel his pain also. There is such a thing as being my brother's or my sister's keeper. Local Opinion Fri, 20 Nov 2015 02:00:00 GMT More questions than answers... but not deluded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/More-questions-than-answers----but-not-deluded_19239318 I have some questions today. They have to do with, first, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the passing of the IMF tests by Jamaican governments since political independence. I also have concerns with the state of public health care in Jamaica. Local Opinion Thu, 19 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT T'was like a video game on steroids http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/T-was-like-a-video-game-on-steroids_19239344 THE negative energy currently suffusing three of my favourite sports — athletics, football, and cricket — is too much, and my imaginary couch therapist has instructed me to find the joyous other side of sports. Local Opinion Thu, 19 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT International Men's Day 2015 — The man and his family http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/International-Men-s-Day-2015---The-man-and-his-family_19239339 TODAY, November 19, 2015, the international community will commemorate International Men's Day (IMD). Local Opinion Thu, 19 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT