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 For every solution, a problem http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/For-every-solution--a-problem_17438544 There has been no natural hurricane so far this year. We seem eager to fill the vacuum, however, by cranking up some stormy weather of our own. Political breeze-blow seems to be drawing nearer. We haven't yet established the speed of the winds, but there are definite signs that we may have to batten down soon. Local Opinion Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:00:00 GMT London bridge is falling; will Scotland exit the UK? Jamaica exit CSME? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/London-bridge-is-falling--will-Scotland-exit-the-UK--Jamaica-exit-CSME_17438612 On September 18, the people of Scotland will vote whether or not to exit the United Kingdom. This is the oldest Union aka Single Market and Economy (SME) and Scottish leaders now feel the need for their own identity. Our leaders are going in the opposite direction and wish us to subsume our identity into a puny, poor Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). It will have MPs, tax us, determine foreign policy, and subject our economy to 'group-think'. Local Opinion Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:00:00 GMT The presence of an absence http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-presence-of-an-absence_17434558 WHEN a loved one dies and is missed by relatives, it can be called 'the presence of an absence'. When the garbage collectors do not pick up the garbage with regularity we have the presence of an absence. When there is no discipline, we experience the presence of an absence. Local Opinion Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Andrew Holness would make an excellent school principal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Andrew-Holness-would-make-an-excellent-school-principal_17434037 ON Monday, when JLP leader Andrew Holness moved outside of his comfort zone, actually stole some time from behind a safe desk, went out into the sunlight, and spoke to a shrunken community of his own political people in Half-Way-Tree, and did so outside of a real upcoming election season, it occurred to me that it was the very first time in his political life that he had ever agitated at the public level for anything. Local Opinion Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Brown and Foley cases evoke urgency of justice and national security http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Brown-and-Foley-cases-evoke-urgency-of-justice-and-national-security REACTIONS to the killing of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the aftermath of the assassination of United States journalist, James Foley, resound throughout the US and abroad, as watchful eyes focus on the US's international image, strength, and action. Local Opinion Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT JLP, PNP — same difference? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/JLP--PNP---same-difference-_17419020 IN plain Jamaican parlance, "same difference" usually means "no better herring, no better barrel", but hard-core supporters of both parties would be the first to say otherwise with respect to the ruling People's National Party (PNP) and the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Local Opinion Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT National transportation model needed http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/National-transportation-model-needed_17409798 A few days after announcing transportation fare increases for people who utilise the services of the government-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the Government reversed the stated increase for senior citizens. Hence they will now be paying an increase of $20, thus making the fare cost at $40. The Andrew Holness-led Opposition Jamaica Labour Party has lashed out at the Government enunciating vociferously that, in these severely harsh economic times, no form of increases should be granted to the JUTC. I fully concur with this, simply put. Local Opinion Tue, 26 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Whither a police force that’s too far down the tube? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Whither-a-police-force-that-s-too-far-down-the-tube-_17412650 "THE Jamaica Constabulary Force is too far down the tube. It cannot be reformed, it has to be transformed," said former head of the army and police commissioner from 2007 to 2009, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin on a radio programme last week in the wake of the furore over the death of 31-year-old Mario Deane after being in custody at the Barnett Street lock-up in Montego Bay. Deane had been arrested for smoking a ganja spliff, a minor offence. Somewhere in the process he voiced that he did not like the police. I strongly suspect that that comment resulted in the circumstances that ended his life. Local Opinion Tue, 26 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Much ado about ganja http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Much-ado-about-ganja_17388668 AT a time when the country is battling to get Chukugunya under control and with the "Sword of Damocles" and Ebola hangs over our heads in this hemisphere, we find the rush to decriminalise ganja incomprehensible and inexplicable. It is no wonder that Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, when visiting the island in the 1900s, referred to Jamaicans as having "a calypso mentality". Local Opinion Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:00:00 GMT That senior tomorrow... is you http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/That-senior-tomorrow----is-you_17409933 A professional who is looking forward to retirement remarked that he told his family abroad to "get my room ready because Jamaica is no place to grow old". Folks, this has to change. We are all hoping to live long, and not all of us have a room abroad. This was obvious as television news teams interviewed seniors at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre and at the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) at West King's House Road. Local Opinion Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT How many more victims? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/How-many-more-victims-_17389184 The fundamental purpose of government is to protect its citizens. — Arlen Specter Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT It’s Carnival time..Notting Hill style http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/It-s-Carnival-time--Notting-Hill-style_17405816 TOMORROW is a public holiday here in the United Kingdom. It is also the weekend of the Notting Hill Carnival. An explosion of colour and festivity, it is one of the largest street festivals in the world. I have attended most years, and I have seen how it has grown. It now attracts over a million people. I have also observed how it has evolved. Notting Hill Carnival stands as a testimony to how much the West Indian community in Britain has achieved, but also how much things are changing. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Impressions of the new highway and Garvey http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Impressions-of-the-new-highway-and-Garvey_17399461 DRIVING on the new Moneague to Ewarton highway, two days after it was opened, I had a smooth and uneventful ride from the Moneague end and was quite happy with the layout as the road snaked its way through virtually virgin country untouched by any urban development. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Four requirements to deal with crime, Minister Bunting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Four-requirements-to-deal-with-crime--Minister-Bunting The following is an open letter to the Honourable Peter Bunting, minister of national security, and the Government of Jamaica: Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:55:57 GMT Is it really fair to all concerned? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-it-really-fair-to-all-concerned_17406681 (This is a lightly edited version of the keynote presentation to the joint meeting of the Rotary Club of Portmore and Trafalgar, New Heights by Professor Trevor Munroe, executive director, National Integrity Action (NIA), and Honourary Visiting Professor, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute, UWI.) General News Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT The death of Mario Deane can be the catalyst for change http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-death-of-Mario-Deane-can-be-the-catalyst-for-change_17399446 The untimely death of Mario Deane has resurrected passionate and fiery public debate about a number of issues of growing concern to the average Jamaican. These include police brutality and violation of the human rights of poor people, the decriminalisation of ganja, the prime minister's style of communication with the electorate, and reform of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT The value of a Jamaican life http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-value-of-a-Jamaican-life THE nation is still reeling from the shocking news that St James resident Mario Deane was arrested for possession of a spliff and later died from severe beatings suffered while in custody. Surely the outrage is justified. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:49:59 GMT In pursuit of successful schools http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/In-pursuit-of-successful-schools_17400807 DURING the tabling of the 2013-2014 Budget in Parliament the Ministry of Education was allocated $76 billion out of $602 billion to conduct its affairs, including the payment of teachers' salaries. Local Opinion Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Freedom is a celebration; independence is a challenge http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Freedom-is-a-celebration--independence-is-a-challenge_17399808 The following is an edited version of an address made by President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the eve of India's 68th Independence Day. Local Opinion Sat, 23 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Time to act or time to chat? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Time-to-act-or-time-to-chat_17394148 THE heat over the death of Mario Deane, the young man who met his demise while incarcerated at the Barnett Street lock-up in Montego Bay, has subsided somewhat but the public's outrage and concern are by no means over. Social media continues to reflect the conviction that this is yet another instance of dereliction of duty by police officers, in particular those concerned with administration of the jail. There is anger also at perceived neglect by the Government in not seeing to the condition of the cells in which persons in police custody are held. Local Opinion Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT www.thedaytheInternetbroke http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/www-thedaytheInternetbroke-_17394328 LAST week something big went wrong on the Internet and we were not alerted. I got word by midday UK time from a geek who said, "It's happened." Others said, "The Internet full up." The 4.2 billion unique 12-digit identifiers of everything were used up; as if there were no phone numbers. I trawled local media — no news. My server had problems, but what do I know about the Internet? So what happened? Local Opinion Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT None but ourselves... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/None-but-ourselves---_17388880 It was Marcus Garvey who said we must emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, because while others can free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. It was Bob Marley who put those words to lyrics as you might know. But it should be known that, after all of the persuasion that might take place by whatever method, it is still left to the individual to free his or her own mind. We were all told in school in my day, "you can take the horse to the water but cannot make him drink". Local Opinion Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:05:00 GMT Independence: The finely woven silk of sentiment http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Independence--The-finely-woven-silk-of-sentiment_17311036 THIS story starts, as many do, with a beautiful woman, and with man seeking power, affluence and recognition. Local Opinion Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:05:00 GMT Prayer still works, Wignall, ask the Reggae Boyz http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Prayer-still-works--Wignall--ask-the-Reggae-Boyz_17371715 THANKS to all for your responses to the article, 'God speaks through the drought', regardless of the positions taken. Local Opinion Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT Is Viber the problem or the victim? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Is-Viber-the-problem-or-the-victim-_17239240 ARE Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) providers, like Viber, the real issue or are they completely innocent bystanders being singled out to take the blame for someone else's mistakes? Local Opinion Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:00:00 GMT