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 Athletes, cash and statues http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Athletes--cash-and-statues_77913 I am proud suh tell of our track and field athletes who have brought such honour to us. I would not, could not begrudge them one iota of the national pride which they have evoked in us. Now that we are beginning to put a price on the financial rewards which have been bestowed on them, it could be interpreted that I have ‘bad mind’ for wondering aloud if money is really the best way of rewarding their skill and talent. Local Opinion Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Business strategy and Caricom’s failure in Haiti http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Business-strategy-and-Caricom-s-failure-in-Haiti_77914 Caricom/Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) cannot work for poor Haiti, so this iconic black nation depends on their former colony — Dominican Republic — and charity of the white folk they beat up centuries ago. What goes around and comes around! We just moved from ICU to growth, and Haiti is on life support, yet we are big guns of this union. I love Caricom, but in 2001 it morphed into CSME to our chagrin, so now inquiries from sincere readers need truthful answers. Local Opinion Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Hiring Whitmore a retrograde step http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Hiring-Whitmore-a-retrograde-step_75423 The clouds hovering over Jamaica’s national football programme continue to get even darker with news of the hiring of Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore as head coach of the senior team. Local Opinion Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Co-operatives should reduce stress http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Co-operatives-should-reduce-stress_77681 Today is International Credit Union Day. Credit unions, like all other co-operatives, initially came into being to empower the poor — not to further control or oppress them. Co-operation is a principle of such co-operatives and unions. Local Opinion Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Apologise to Spice! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Apologise-to-Spice_77661 I strongly believe that the organisers, sponsors, and just everyone who had a say in coordinating the celebrations for the Jamaican Olympic athletes on Saturday, October 15, at the National Indoor Sport Centre should formally apologise to international dancehall artiste Grace Hamilton, popularly known as Spice. Local Opinion Wed, 19 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Two basic impediments to economic growth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Two-basic-impediments-to-economic-growth_77653 The recently proposed Stand-by Agreement between the Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a step in the right direction. It signifies that the Government has done well under the Extended Fund Facility, which was started by the previous Government and continued by the Andrew Holness Administration. The baton was well received and carried. Now that a new arrangement — with less strictures than the first — has been agreed to, the Government and people of Jamaica must move expeditiously to take advantage of the shift that has taken place from Jamaica being an international pariah to an emerging star in the world economy. Local Opinion Wed, 19 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Lost bearings, poor scripting and a collision of performances http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Lost-bearings--poor-scripting-and-a-collision-of-performances_77637 The Spice spectacle is a case of lost bearings, poor scripting and a collision of performances. Local Opinion Wed, 19 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Terrorism in Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Terrorism-in-Jamaica_77372 “Let us walk hand in hand and help break down the barriers in those zones of exclusion that create havens for criminality.” Local Opinion Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Doing the same thing... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Doing-the-same-thing---_77404 The popular mantra of the chattering class is to avoid madness by not doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet no sooner have the words fallen from their lips than they proceed to do exactly that. Local Opinion Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Pit bulls and government inertia http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Pit-bulls-and-government-inertia_77542 A lesson in the absurdity of the Jamaican Government, when it comes to inertia or flouting its own laws, is exemplified in the Regulations Governing the Importation of Dogs and Cats into Jamaica, found underneath the Veterinary Services Division page on the Ministry of Agriculture’s website. Local Opinion Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT National Heroes’ Day messages 2016 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/National-Heroes--Day-messages-2016_77427 ANDREW HOLNESS PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA Local Opinion Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT What would Garvey say? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-would-Garvey-say-_77342 On this National Heroes’ Day, it is welcome news that the current records of three of our national heroes, who had been punished because of their freedom-fighting activities, will be expunged from Jamaica’s criminal records. Local Opinion Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT More than access to health care http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/More-than-access-to-health-care_77207 The following is an open letter to Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton: Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Our debt to Haiti http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Our-debt-to-Haiti_77305 All of us in Jamaica, more than any other people, owe the greatest political and civic debt to Haiti. For this reason I join with the president of our Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson, QC, in urging citizens here and within the region to support the United Nations’ effort in funding to the best of our capacity the post-Matthew rehabilitation. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Acknowledging inconvenient truths about crime in Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Acknowledging-inconvenient-truths-about-crime-in-Jamaica_76462 Jamaica is once again gripped in a tidal wave of murders — from Montego Bay to March Pen and many places in-between. While there may be some downward movement in other categories of major crimes, and while the number of murders to date (just above 900) may be similar to previous years, there is a level of brutality and impunity with which the criminals in Montego Bay and March Pen have been carrying out their murderous rampage that it feels awfully worse than other times. But, truth be told, we have been here before, sadly. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT An anatomy of Dr Fenton Ferguson’s victories http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/An-anatomy-of-Dr-Fenton-Ferguson-s-victories_77334 The astounding success of Dr Fenton Ferguson in the 2016 General Election and the recent People’s National Party (PNP) vice-presidential race, offers important lessons for not only political practitioners and the PNP, but for all those who seek to understand our path to national progress. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Enviro concerns aside... coal-fired plants not profitable http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Enviro-concerns-aside----coal-fired-plants-not-profitable_70254 Aside from the many environmental and health issues that coal or coke fired plants present, even with the new technology of “clean coal”, there are other costs that will play a major part of which energy source will be used to supply the Alpart project in Jamaica. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Hillary should not endure another debate with Trump http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Hillary-should-not-endure-another-debate-with-Trump_77192 Donald Trump has already shown himself as bigoted against immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, and prisoners of war such as United States Senator John McCain. He is also a man who calls women “pigs” and gloats over his deftness at grabbing their private parts. This may be a titillating résumé for a reality TV star, but certainly not for the president of the most powerful nation on the planet. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Of national heroes and freedom fighters http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Of-national-heroes-and-freedom-fighters_77296 Minister of Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange informed Parliament last week that the Government intends to introduce legislation aimed at removing the criminal records of Jamaica’s celebrated freedom fighters and national heroes. The timing of such an announcement is perfect. It is a National Heroes’ Week commemoration project that has quickly found coalescence between Government and Opposition. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Modern media changes and challenges http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Modern-media-changes-and-challenges_77197 Last year I had the honour of giving the keynote address at the Jamaica Broilers Fair Play Journalism Award. In my remarks I pointed out that a feature of modern media is the tendency to trivialise the profound and treat content mainly as entertainment. Increasingly the media have been reposing significant faith in the vacuity of their audience and rewarding it with a constant diet of inanities. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Oct 2016 02:00:00 GMT Stop it! Wi too nasty! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Stop-it--Wi-too-nasty-_76463 While on my usual commute I observed a young lady, perhaps about 15 years of age, drinking a soda. I thought nothing out of the ordinary until that after lowering her hand, the young lady proceeded to release the bottle from her grip and allow it to carelessly fall to the ground. This was a few steps from the nearest bin. Local Opinion Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Evidence of merit and prayers answered http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Evidence-of-merit-and-prayers-answered_77032 So National Heroes’ Day this year will be this coming Monday. As usual, those awarded national honours will receive their insignia from the Governor General. It reminds me of the merits and demerits system that many high schools have and was in existence during my first year at Jamaica College between 1964 and 1965. But merits and demerits, whether in schools or elsewhere, are sometimes awarded unfairly. Many times I ask what some people did to receive Jamaican national honours. In other words, where is the evidence? Local Opinion Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Waiting for PNP renewal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Waiting-for-PNP-renewal_74705 Well, the polls of the 78th People’s National Party (PNP) Annual Conference have come and gone. As with any election, some were not pleased with the results, but we must accept democracy for what it is. Some are disappointed at Dr Karl Blythe being blighted once more; a greater portion that Lisa Hanna was not elected vice-president (VP). While I too hoped for her success, it was not to be this time, and the party must commence the healing and fence-mending process. Local Opinion Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT Usain Bolt — Not by sudden flight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Usain-Bolt---Not-by-sudden-flight_75132 It might be easier for an elected Donald Trump to send back all illegal immigrants and have them build the “Mexican Wall” than for anyone to duplicate Usain Bolt’s achievements of being three-time triple Olympic gold medallist, 11-time world champion and triple world record holder. So unthinkably remote is the possibility of such historic performances being repeated, it may be justified to bestow on Bolt the title of the greatest sprinter of all time, thereby putting to final rest the simmering debates as to who should wear this crown. With each piece of the puzzle coming together on a scale of unparalleled precision, and with sheer consistency, it makes the megastar compellingly a hard act to follow. But what of Bolt’s achievements? Is it a curious effect of chance? Can his exploits on the track be surpassed or even be matched in these modern days? Local Opinion Wed, 12 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT We must be very careful what we attribute to God http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/We-must-be-very-careful-what-we-attribute-to-God_76911 Disasters of epic proportions tend eventually to the omnipotence and benevolence of God. There is hardly a natural or man-made disaster that does not bring out the basest elements of fundamentalist theology; a belief that God shows preferential treatment of one set of people over another. The devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in parts of the Caribbean and the United States brought these concepts into focus. What was interesting were the varying viewpoints adopted by people to explain God’s action or inaction as the hurricane tore into land and people without discrimination. Local Opinion Wed, 12 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT