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 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 John Holt...long live his music http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/John-Holt---long-live-his-music_17773189 His voice has been associated with some of the sweetest songs to have been produced in Jamaica, and perhaps not enough has been said of the greatness of his songwriting skills. As a performer he stood head and shoulders above the great majority of Jamaican vocalist with a career spanning more than 50 years. Local Opinion Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Never let a good crisis go to waste, Madam PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/_17772361 Farrakhan calls on cultural community to lead masses towards liberation Local Opinion Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Congrats on your OD, NMW http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Congrats-on-your-OD--NMW2014-10-21T05-14-55 Local Opinion Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:05:32 GMT 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