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 doomed marriage of education and poverty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-doomed-marriage-of-education-and-poverty_18494862 THE adage 'to be poor is a crime' is quite familiar to most of us. However, poverty is much more. It can be argued that poverty is a form of punishment that delays and stifles the full potential of human development. Poverty is a chronic and crippling condition that affects the mind, body and spirit of human beings. Local Opinion Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Public policy or Solomon's wisdom? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Public-policy-or-Solomon-s-wisdom-_18492779 The best strategist for the People's National Party (PNP) could not have crafted a better script to make the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) look like it belongs to the far distant past -- a time when we could not read or write, when so many of us weren't well-trained lawyers, doctors, journalists, and other educated professional who should know how to sit around a table, lay all the issues bare, talk until we arrive at a solution, and come out with a prepared statement assuring an anxious public that they have agreed on a way forward. Local Opinion Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Make distinction between innovative firms and hustlers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Make-distinction-between-innovative-firms-and-hustlers_18443275 It has been acknowledged by many political administrations globally that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can contribute to economic growth and job creation. For example, it is estimated that in the European Union 99 per cent of all businesses are in fact SMEs. Even in Jamaica, it is often repeated that these enterprises provide up to 80 per cent of jobs in the country. Therefore, local policymakers have pursued several strategies to ensure the proliferation of SMEs, some of these include financing from the Development Bank of Jamaica and the creation of mobile clinics. Local Opinion Tue, 03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT JLP needs to affirm the positives and heal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/JLP-needs-to-affirm-the-positives-and-heal It is a new week, and we are hoping that Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has enjoyed a reflective weekend, and will review his decision to challenge the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which had deemed unlawful the signed undated letters of resignation he had used to oust Arthur Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton from the Senate.  Had he not attended that service at the Boulevard Baptist Church and apologised to the two gentlemen, we would have understood a challenge, but this radical change of heart does not sit well with the Jamaican public. Local Opinion Mon, 02 Mar 2015 03:24:42 GMT The police and ganja reform http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-police-and-ganja-reform_18480134 THE introduction of the Bill to reform the Dangerous Drugs Act has stimulated concerns and discussions about ganja cultivation and use in Jamaica. The police force appears to have a kind of renewed vigour in its fight against ganja. Some recent reports on ganja discovery by the police in St Elizabeth, and an interview with senior police officers on television about driving under the influence of ganja smoking, for example, have shown the police's reluctance to embrace change. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Don't underrate the oldsters http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Don-t-underrate-the-oldsters_18473821 IN this month of March I will celebrate my 86th birthday and 68th year as a journalist. Having arrived at this milestone on foot, I optimistically hope for empathic understanding as I take a stand for senior citizens, especially those who are willing and able to continue contributing wit and wisdom to the salad bowl of life in Jamaica. Age ought not to be measured in years, but in terms of performance and capability. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT The PNP's fiddling is discordant http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-PNP-s-fiddling-is-discordant_18473603 The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience. -- W E B Du Bois Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT A reason to view the CCJ with suspicion http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-reason-to-view-the-CCJ-with-suspicion_18484785 IN a recent case in the local Court of Appeal between Sagicor Bank Jamaica Limited and Y P Seaton, in which the Government of Jamaica indemnified the original bank (from 1990) to its final name-change as Finsac came about, a stay of execution of judgement to Y P Seaton of $4 billion, representing original sums deemed owed to him plus interest over 22 years, was granted. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Marking those feats of Sir Garfield Sobers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Marking-those-feats-of-Sir-Garfield-Sobers_18487712 TALL yet agile, casual yet graceful, special yet modest ... a few words used to describe a cricketing genius and National Hero from the island of Barbados. General News Sun, 01 Mar 2015 03:00:00 GMT Make our local justice system more efficient before considering CCJ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Make-our-local-justice-system-more-efficient-before-considering-CCJ_18484981 I am appalled and somewhat surprised that the current Government of Jamaica is against a referendum to determine if the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) should become the final court of appeal for Jamaica. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Teacher Higgins, do not overstate the power of your argument http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Teacher-Higgins--do-not-overstate-the-power-of-your-argument_18468121 BY no stretch of the imagination am I 'teking set' on Jamaica Observer columnist Garfield Higgins. In fact, I deeply admire the resoluteness with which Garfield defends his political convictions, and I regard his flagrant bias toward the JLP as par for the political course. For, although I marvel at his assessment of Edward Seaga's extraordinariness as a politician, and chuckle at his unabashed temerity to impose Seaga's overrated reputation as the economic prodigy and financial virtuoso of modern times upon this nation, I find Garfield's thoughts to be relevant and engaging. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT A need to reinvent the Senate http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-need-to-reinvent-the-Senate_18479994 THE Senate is a creation of our Independence Constitution. Prior to 1962, that body was known as the Legislative Council, or LegCo. The Senate is regarded as the Upper House, a take-off of the House of Lords in the British Parliament. As the Upper House, its duty is to consider, review, and advise on legislation prepared by the Lower House, or the House of Representatives, which is modelled off the House of Commons in Britain. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT The Jamaican Constitution has serious flaws that must be fixed now! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-Jamaican-Constitution-has-serious-flaws-that-must-be-fixed-now-_18465061 THE recent ruling in the Williams vs Holness case has brought the spotlight to shine on the Jamaican Constitution and its glaring flaws. While I do not agree with the ruling and would love to see the Privy Council render an opinion, I nevertheless think the ruling is a blessing in disguise. I believe it was a tad untidy, though, that the preservation of the nation's constitution had to be done by side agreements between the leader of the Opposition and the senators he appoints. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Thoughts following the two-year election in St Kitts & Nevis http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Thoughts-following-the-two-year-election-in-St-Kitts---Nevis_18472629 I share the following thoughts on the two-year election which was eventually held on Monday, February 16, 2015. Local Opinion Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT What will become of the missing children? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/What-will-become-of-the-missing-children-_18476806 IN last Sunday's Observer, a headline and accompanying photos introduced us to one young man and seven girls who were listed as missing children. The youngest listed was 12 years old, another 13, two others 14, two 15 and one 16. The oldest was the young man at age 17. Local Opinion Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT Can Greece or Jamaica avoid austerity and 'run wid it'? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Can-Greece-or-Jamaica-avoid-austerity-and--run-wid-it--_18477058 NEWS that the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) platform may challenge International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictats as Tspiras of Greece has tried is funny. A swell is building with Shaw and the Opposition leader's importunate calls for growth and Bobby Montague's opposing the Petcom gas stations sale despite protesting the JLP's support for privatisation. Are JLP and PNP roles reversed; is the JLP socialist? Did Andrew know about growth as prime minister, or is it a new discovery? Local Opinion Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT Should we applaud or boo you off the stage, Holness? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Should-we-applaud-or-boo-you-off-the-stage--Holness-_18472169 AS Opposition Leader Andrew Holness strode through a door of the Boulevard Baptist Church on Sunday, February 8, and walked over to his seat, he had God on his mind. But he also was thinking that, maybe, he was a little bit of Joseph, King David, and most certainly Job of the Bible. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT Glen Archer, celibacy and service http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Glen-Archer--celibacy-and-service_18472170 REVEREND Glen Archer died as a dry martyr. The term is used to describe those who were not murdered or killed for the Christian faith, but endured hardships such as poverty or illness in order to promote Jesus Christ. The word 'dry' means that no blood was spilled, as in the case of 'wet' martyrs. That Archer opted to stay in Jamaica qualifies him as a dry martyr. Glen Archer was not only an exceptionally successful spelling bee coach, he was also a father figure for many of his students. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Feb 2015 01:00:00 GMT Principles: Choose wisely and soon http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Principles--Choose-wisely-and-soon_18457980 THERE are two terms that have been bandied about in this society for quite some time now without sufficient attempts at careful definition of either, and seemingly without realisation of certain implications arising from these terms. Local Opinion Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT (Social) justice is a complete circle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Social--justice-is-a-complete-circle_18465070 I read with great distress an article under the banner Covering the Courts in the Sunday Observer edition of December 28, 2014 in which the learned Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey sentenced a mother to 30 days in prison for rubbing faeces on a child, splashing some on a school building, and causing some to catch a guidance counsellor. Local Opinion Wed, 25 Feb 2015 03:00:00 GMT The other side of scamming http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-other-side-of-scamming_18465036 SCAMMING is big money. It has made many ordinary, impoverished, uneducated Jamaicans very rich. Students still in high school have been known to become multimillionaires overnight. Local Opinion Wed, 25 Feb 2015 02:00:00 GMT A doggone shame! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-doggone-shame-_18456243 DURING Barack Obama's first term as president of the United States, he was forced to produce his birth certificate to prove that he was born in Hawaii and not Kenya. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT As the Tivoli Commission takes a break... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/As-the-Tivoli-Commission-takes-a-break---_18457982 THE testimony of the former Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington to the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry (COE), last week, has left me astonished and puzzled. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT Mistranslating scripture, misquoting God re divorce http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Mistranslating-scripture--misquoting-God-re-divorce_18400089 At the risk of being called liberal, apostate or a 'tun back parson', I confess that I do not share the puzzlement of most people concerning the divorce rate, even among Christians. If anything, I am puzzled that so many married people stay married given the known vagaries of marriage if we are honest with ourselves. Local Opinion Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT Paving the way for sustainability http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Paving-the-way-for-sustainability_18443279 AS we examined the healthy vegetables grown by students in the greenhouse at Manning's School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, last Tuesday, as we listened to the young singers and dramatists; we saw the bright promise of Jamaica. With their fine tradition of excellence and discipline, Jamaica's first high school has produced brilliant graduates who have been making their mark on their country and beyond. These include Food for the Poor board director, attorney-at-law Debbie-Ann Gordon Crawford and Member of Parliament for Central Westmoreland Dwayne Vaz, who attended the function for the handover of the greenhouse by the Digicel Foundation and Food for the Poor. Local Opinion Mon, 23 Feb 2015 02:00:00 GMT