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 matter of perspective http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-matter-of-perspective_19153842 You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. — John Lydgate Local Opinion Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT 'The periphery fights back' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-The-periphery-fights-back-_19153829 In this year, so far, there have been more race riots in the United States of America than there have been for decades. This includes the sporadic shooting in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Apart from being reminiscent of the southern USA in the 1950s and 1960s, it reminds me of the title of a chapter in Michael Manley's Book Struggle in the periphery. And that chapter is called 'The periphery fights back'. Local Opinion Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT Whither Minister Hylton after the logistics hub fiasco? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Whither-Minister-Hylton-after-the-logistics-hub-fiasco-_19153853 The proposed logistics hub has, over the past months, occupied a huge proportion of media time in Jamaica and the Diaspora, and with good reason. According to the market intelligence report posted on http://globalmatters.com/. Local Opinion Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT Let's abolish government debt http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-s-abolish-government-debt_19153847 Let's get this out of the way first: It's time to abolish government debt. The State should be unable, effectively prohibited to issue new debt and take loans. There is no justification for government debt, which essentially boils down to contracting debt to be covered by future taxes paid for by third parties; by the people -- you and I. Local Opinion Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT More than just zones http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/More-than-just-zones_19153507 Many of us contemplate daily the problems of Jamaica and how they might be solved. And some of us consider, too, why attempts at problem-solving are often short-term and ultimately yield even more problems. Local Opinion Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT The wrong jungle called Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-wrong-jungle-called-Jamaica_19153555 It has now become a self-evident truth that Jamaica is not an easy place to do business. This was summed up in remarks attributed to two leading members of the Simpson Miller Administration who said at different times that Jamaica is an inhospitable place to do business and that those who play by the rules get shafted. You could also add the remark that your idea of leadership is that it is when you are well into destroying the forest that the leader gets up (probably climbs the tallest tree) and cries "wrong jungle." So much of what goes on in Jamaica reminds us that we are indeed in a wrong jungle. Most of the good cedar and mahogany have been chopped down, but one is yet to hear a clarion call that we are indeed in the wrong place. Local Opinion Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT As the ship sinks http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/As-the-ship-sinks_19152674 Have you ever heard a hen trying to crow? If you have lived long enough on a farmyard with a farm 'full of fowls', you would recognise that unsettling sound from a distance. And from the look on the faces of the other members of the flock, you can tell that they truly think something is rotten in Denmark. They all stop scratching and stand in dismay as if to wonder at the security of their settlement. Jamaica has been overrun by feminine functionaries, and now we can't but stand and stare as the ship sinks. Local Opinion Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Son-Son's thank you mango http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Son-Son-s-thank-you-mango_19153344 "SON-SON" was worried. Where was his teacher, Mrs Nicholas? The third-grader had been attending the cool, colourful enrichment centre at Horizon Park Primary in St Catherine for over a year, and had gone from being a non-reader to a boy who loved words. Mrs Nicholas, the centre manager was always there, celebrating every new learning milestone with him, but today she was not at school. He stood at the door, peeked through the keyhole and fretted. Local Opinion Mon, 29 Jun 2015 02:00:00 GMT What is the plan? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-is-the-plan-_19152695 AT the beginning of the month the Lady Jamrockerz, our female national basketball representatives, competed in the Caribbean Basketball Conferation (CBC) Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. As the defending champions from last year's tournament, the team and staff departed with high hopes of repeating, but fell in the final by four points to claim second place -- a good showing nonetheless. The continuity between the squads selected last year and this year was impressive, and a few more years of these individuals playing together, if they continue to progress in basketball terms, could make the stated aim of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics a reality. But in the setting of this goal, we must not forget to plan for what must come after in order to sustain this success. Local Opinion Mon, 29 Jun 2015 02:00:00 GMT 'Coward man keep sound bone' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Coward-man-keep-sound-bone-_19153147 OF all the Jamaican aphorisms, the one I disregard most is "coward man keep sound bone". I find this adage to be most debilitating and inferior to our otherwise enviable and robust indomitability. To me, the idiom, in and of itself, encourages a foolish kind of risk adverseness that has managed to seep its way through almost every facet of our daily lives, particularly when circumstances require acts of bravery, defiance and protest. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, abhorrence for this particular aphorism is dissimilar to propagating recklessness or senselessness; it is quite the opposite. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT The Commonwealth's future — Part 1 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-Commonwealth-s-future---Part-1_19153083 QUESTIONING the relevance and value of the Commonwealth of Nations is nothing new; for such has occurred ever since the modern Commonwealth was created in 1949. However, doubts have intensified in recent time about the voluntary association of now 53 countries. Claims are repeatedly made that the organisation is no longer relevant or useful. Its persistent portrayal is that of a relic of Britain's colonial past or a hypocritical grouping which declares commitments to shared values but fails to uphold them. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Leader after leader http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Leader-after-leader_19152776 Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right. -- Igor Stravinsky. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Hooray, hooray, what a festival! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Hooray--hooray--what-a-festival-_19151943 I came across the Jamaica Festival Story souvenir magazine, which was published in 1987 to commemorate 25 years of Festival. As one gets older, it is easy to fall back on memory and judge the earlier years to be the best in everything, and to carelessly dismiss current efforts as second or third place in the categories of good or best Festival year. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Putting the Dom Rep citizenship imbroglio in context http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Putting-the-Dom-Rep-citizenship-imbroglio-in-context_19152954 THERE can be no question that the action of the Dominican Republic (DR) in denying citizenship to persons of Haitian descent born in that country is an atrocity. Local Opinion Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT The amazing strength of Filipinos living in Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-amazing-strength-of-Filipinos-living-in-Jamaica_19152909-of-Filipinos-living-in-Jamaica_19152909 This is a lightly edited address given by Consul General of the Philippines to Jamaica, Everoy Chin, in St Andrew last week, on the occasion of the 117th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence. Chin was the guest speaker at the event. General News Sun, 28 Jun 2015 02:00:00 GMT 'Bright' students have no greater right to an education http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Bright--students-have-no-greater-right-to-an-education_19152682 I was really disappointed to hear the Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites backtrack on his intention to place children in schools according to where they live. I had hoped to hear some sort of clarification that recognised the fact that such a system could not be totally implemented at the present time, but that the placement policy would be gradually modified in that direction. As US President Barack Obama likes to say, 'We should not allow perfection to defeat progress.' Local Opinion Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Public boards matter! — It's your taxes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Public-boards-matter----It-s-your-taxes_19152896 IT is board season as the first triennium since the elections ends. The People's National Party (PNP) continued most members and new boards are due, but many may be reappointed. A scorched-earth policy is foolish as good people wear all colours except tribal. At national level governance is bloated, as we could have 40 MPs (1 to 80,000), 25 senators (1 to 120,000), 10 insightful ministers and do well. Using our ratios, India would have MPs to fill the stadium. Local Opinion Fri, 26 Jun 2015 02:00:00 GMT Apologising to the enemy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Apologising-to-the-enemy_19152897 EVERY day we wrestle with evil, no matter where in the world we happen to be located, no matter colour, creed or culture. On home base here, or there, we are no strangers to the powers of darkness, and people still ask why bad things happen to good people. We spend a lot of time seeking the answer. Local Opinion Fri, 26 Jun 2015 02:00:00 GMT Dont call the election until you answer these questions, PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-p-Dont-call-the-election-until-you-answer-these-questions--PM--p---_19145644 THE hardest political task is not winning, but governing, and that's why it's easier to win than to govern; aspiring to win, your only danger should be your opponent, governing involves every citizen. Local Opinion Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Check your facts, please! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Check-your-facts--please-_19152675 WHEN some political activists make any reference to history they do not go back to the origins. They have their agendas and many times speak half of the truth. My concern is always for those who take any sort of examination, whether at the secondary or tertiary level, or take general knowledge tests when seeking employment and may give a wrong answer because of what they have heard or read in the media. Local Opinion Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Do not straitjacket, handcuff INDECOM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Do-not-straitjacket--handcuff-INDECOM_19152577 THE Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) was created under a Jamaica Labour Party Government "to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the security forces and other agents of the State that result in death or injury to persons or the abuse of the rights of persons; and for connected matters". It replaced the Police Public Complaints Authority in August 2010. It was one of the best things that came out of the Golding Administration, undoubtedly a result of the persistent call of civil society for independent oversight of the constabulary force. Local Opinion Wed, 24 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Father, why hast thou forsaken me? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Father--why-hast-thou-forsaken-me-_19152374 THE massacre last week in a US church that left nine people dead, a suspect in custody, and a nation searching for answers, highlights our insatiable need to make sense out of tragedy. That this tragedy happened in a place of worship only magnifies the disbelief some are feeling. If anything, this incident ought to remind us that places of worship are not immune to calamities and tragedies. Local Opinion Wed, 24 Jun 2015 02:00:00 GMT Education crisis: Lack of resources or how we spend what's available? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Education-crisis--Lack-of-resources-or-how-we-spend-what-s-available-_19152357 I made a data request to the Ministry of Education on June 11, 2015. I did not think it was a big deal. If policies are data-driven, the data should precede policy. I respect Permanent Secretary Dr Grace McLean's explanation about this being in the middle of the release of Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results, but I cannot accept it as an excuse. Local Opinion Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Remembering the day of infamy in South Carolina with forgiveness http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Remembering-the-day-of-infamy-in-South-Carolina-with-forgiveness_19152376 WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 was indeed a Day of Infamy in South Carolina. For, on that fateful day, nine innocent, black worshippers in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were brutally gunned down by a seeming white supremacist. Local Opinion Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Pray for Charleston http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Pray-for-Charleston_19152382 THE history of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church reflects the development of religious institutions for African-Americans in Charleston. Dating back to the fall of 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Richard Allen founded the Free African Society, adhering to the Doctrines of Methodism established by John Wesley. In 1816, black members of Charleston's Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew over disputed burial ground, and under the leadership of Morris Brown. Rev Morris Brown organised a church of people of colour and sought to have it affiliated with Allen's church. Three churches arose under the Free African Society and were named the Bethel Circuit. One of the circuit churches was located in the suburbs of Ansonborough, Hampstead, and Cow Alley, now known as Philadelphia Alley in the French Quarters of Charleston. Emanuel's congregation grew out of the Hampstead Church, located at Reid and Hanover streets. Local Opinion Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT