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 The politics of epidemics and the epidemics of politics http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-politics-of-epidemics-and-the-epidemics-of-politics_17572254 REMEMBER the days when Michigan and Smiley sang: "Lick dem wid dangerous diseases"? It was a simpler time than this. Today, from East to West, across the globe, diseases are rampant and there's no need for a song. Local Opinion Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT Degrees of accreditation and the embattled UCJ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Degrees-of-accreditation-and-the-embattled-UCJ_17571017 THE recent debate about accreditation is good and raised the profile of the UCJ beyond its ken. It also says ignorance and commercial pressures are impacting education and we may now have a teachable moment. Academic quality is the raison d'etre of the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ). This is not negotiable. We are a mixed economy and investors in campuses are welcome, and UCJ accreditation was here in 1987 before they started. Local Opinion Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT A politician's argument http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-politician-s-argument TODAY is the 76th anniversary of the inauguration of the People's National Party (PNP). Its first aims were to have universal adult suffrage and selfgovernment for Jamaica. In 1940, the PNP declared itself a socialist party, but this has been shelved from time to time according to the political climate. No doubt, the PNP has shelved socialism for at least the last 25 years. Local Opinion Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:06:13 GMT Jamaican and in love http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaican-and-in-love I am a Jamaican, I love my people, and I am absolutely consumed with trying to determine what is the special glue that holds us together, and what is the sharp knife that cuts us and create our divisions. Local Opinion Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:12:09 GMT My Uncle Roger http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/My-Uncle-Roger Dear Editor, Local Opinion Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:10:18 GMT Scotland's independence potentially destabilising http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Scotland-s-independence-potentially-destabilising_17559041 FOR many reasons, Scotland's vote for independence today embodies troublesome global complexities. As salutary as a "yes" vote may appear to advocates, there are potentially destabilising ramifications for the international context. International Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Trade and economic rejuvenation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Trade-and-economic-rejuvenation_17557768 It was gratifying to read the Jamaica Observer's editorial on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 that highlighted the many dysfunctional aspects of trade in Jamaica both domestic and international. It is of the utmost importance that our business leaders work towards gathering the trading companies and to once more amalgamate the strength of this body into a productive force which can move our ailing economy forward. Local Opinion Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT The uglification of Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-uglification-of-Jamaica_17557764 JAMAICA has oftentimes been described as an island paradise. Indeed, some people even refer to it as the closest thing to the biblical Garden of Eden. I well recall the first time I visited the United States of America, many years ago, and how proud and elated I was when many Americans whom I met and was introduced to expressed much envy at the fact that I lived in "paradise". Local Opinion Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Is Portia's leadership really that bad? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-Portia-s-leadership-really-that-bad-_17550812 Portia Simpson Miller, our seventh prime minister, is one of only two to serve two non-consecutive terms -- the other was Michael Manley. In 2013, Simpson Miller was elected vice-president of Socialist International and, in 2012, Time Magazine named her among its "100 Most Influential Persons in the World", alongside United States President Barack Obama, tycoon Warren Buffet, Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, and other illustrious leaders. Local Opinion Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Micromanagement and the tax collection process http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Micromanagement-and-the-tax-collection-process_17528604 I read in the Jamaica Observer on September 10, 2014 that 60 per cent of landowners in Kingston and St Andrew fail to honour their property tax obligation. The article further stated that the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is sending a listing of property tax compliance from the different communities to members of parliament and councillors. The Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke also posited that community meetings are on the agenda to address the collection process. Local Opinion Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT ROGER CLARKE: loyal and faithful to the end http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/ROGER-CLARKE--loyal-and-faithful-to-the-end_17537751 THERE is no denying the shock, disbelief and mourning that we have witnessed in this country since the untimely passing of Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, the Honourable Roger Clarke, in the United States of America after undergoing successful non-invasive back surgery. It is as a result of the genuine love harboured for him in the cave of the heart by Jamaicans of all walks of life, at home and abroad. Local Opinion Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jamaica needs more 'INDECOMs' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaica-needs-more--INDECOMs-_17545717 I look at every commissioner of police with so much sympathy. Past scenarios have rumours swirling and, before you know it, 'Commish' falls from someone's good graces and the taps begin to sound. We do hope that Commissioner Carl Williams will be able to weather the many storms he must face in his rigorous new post. Local Opinion Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT No 'bang belly economy' ‘round here, Clovis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/No--bang-belly-economy--round-here--Clovis-_17537832 According to an old French motto, Noblesse oblige — One must live up to one's name. The Rothschilds' condition of life has imposed on them a second motto: Richesse oblige — One must live up to one's fortune. — Guy de Rothschild Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Is Sir Hilary Beckles the right person to lead the UWI? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-Sir-Hilary-Beckles-the-right-person-to-lead-the-UWI-_17544199 IN search of explanations as to why the UWI Selection Committee would come to the conclusion that Sir Hilary Beckles -- champion of what I see as an impossible claim for reparations for slavery -- was the right person to the lead the University of the West Indies at this time, I posed several questions to two US-based, Caribbean-born political economists, Trevor A Campbell (Jamaica) and Hilbourne A Watson (Barbados). Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Take the Cabinet minister out of the House http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Take-the-Cabinet-minister-out-of-the-House_17537749 Two issues related to the system of governance in Jamaica were raised last week in the media. One was an article by Frank Phipps, noted attorney-at-law, who put forward a strong recommendation for curtailing the appointment of ministers from among the elected members of parliament. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Let's clear up that misinformation about chikungunya http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-s-clear-up-that-misinformation-about-chikungunya_17544347 I am happy that we have been having robust discussion in Jamaica about chikungunya because it speaks to a high level of awareness of our citizens. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT South Africa's freedom and its relationship with Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/South-Africa-s-freedom-and-its-relationship-with-Jamaica_17535021 (This is a lightly edited speech by South Africa's High Commissioner to Jamaica, Mathu Theda Joyini to mark 20 years since that country became a democratic and free nation. It is also 20 years since Jamaica and South Africa formalised diplomatic ties. The high commissioner was speaking at a function last Wednesday at her residence in St Andrew.) Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Roger's Clarke's passing and the aftermath http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Roger-s-Clarke-s-passing-and-the-aftermath_17544594 HISTORICALLY, there has been hardly any real political excitement associated with the constituency of Central Westmoreland over the years. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Antigua's serious wrong against Caricom http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Antigua-s-serious-wrong-against-Caricom_17537814 THE Government of Antigua and Barbuda seems to have unintentionally committed an unpalatable wrong against the entire Caribbean Community. It's a wrong that should speedily be corrected with an appropriate explanation for the benefit of the citizens of our 15-member regional integration movement. Local Opinion Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT Scotland's September 18 referendum: Its consequences http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Scotland-s-September-18-referendum--Its-consequences_17537753 IF the people of Scotland vote for independence from the United Kingdom on September 18, they will be buying a one-way ticket to their own misfortune, and with consequences that will go beyond their borders affecting Commonwealth countries. Local Opinion Sat, 13 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT A time of questions unanswered http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-time-of-questions-unanswered_17535967 IS it my imagination or has the next general election been announced? It's not only me who is hallucinating. I've heard other persons already interpreting the anxieties and "fretration" already underway and gearing for "E Day". Local Opinion Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT The ugly American http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-ugly-American_17535972 RECENT incursions of Americans into our legal, medical and security set-up, and airspace are a stark reminder of the power of our neighbour. In Mario Deane's case, not State power, but their citizens assert the power of Local Opinion Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Say what? A Jamaican commissioner of police with a PhD! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Say-what--A-Jamaican-commissioner-of-police-with-a-PhD-_17527397 IN 2004, if anyone white-skinned or coloured told someone else that in the next four years America would elect a black president, that other person would suggest that he get his head examined. Local Opinion Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT What I saw then http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-I-saw-then_17521164 Today is the 13th anniversary of 9/11. I know that others will comment on that, but today I am looking at two other anniversaries. This past Monday, September 8, marked 50 years since I entered Jamaica College (JC) as a first-former. When I entered my older brother Paul was just entering third form. Local Opinion Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT If we must 'shuffle it' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/If-we-must--shuffle-it-_17521101 THE country understands that a Cabinet reshuffle is the prerogative of the prime minister, however, 34 months into the life of her administration, many Jamaicans, including the private sector, feel now is an opportune time for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to reshuffle and realign ministries and ministers to breathe new life into her term in office. Local Opinion Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:00:00 GMT