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 Travesty of justice against KC http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Travesty-of-justice-against-KC_68533 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In a letter dated June 27, 2016, Televison Jamaica (TVJ) suspended Kingston College (KC) for two years from the School&rsquo;s Challenge Quiz competition. The main reasons given were that actions of the KC quiz coach after last year&rsquo;s quarter-final loss to Campion &ldquo;caused prejudice, damage and tainted the reputation of the quiz and TVJ and brought both entities into disrepute&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> My understanding is that the coach&rsquo;s actions that are referenced came about after he had resigned as coach of the team, which was a direct reaction to what was considered as TVJ&rsquo;s judges making an inexplicable mistake which resulted in the KC &lsquo;loss&rsquo;. Points were deducted from the KC team when the judges &mdash; and only they &mdash; heard the KC team say &lsquo;Absalam&rsquo;, instead of the correct &lsquo;Absalom&rsquo;. The points deduction resulted in the scores being tied, and Campion then prevailed in the sudden death.<br /> <br /> The judges&rsquo; actions are even more egregious when viewed against the backdrop that the match in question was not even live TV. The judges therefore had the luxury to look at the situation and correct themselves before exposing the public to this fiasco. So, the obvious question of bias raises its ugly head.<br /> <br /> Every school that enters a competition prefers to win that competition fair and square. TVJ managed to take away that satisfaction.<br /> <br /> I cannot think of anything that would cause more &ldquo;prejudice, damage, and a tainted reputation&rdquo; to both the quiz and TVJ than if this travesty of justice of a suspension is allowed to stand. <br /> <br /> In any case, as a KC man, I know that this too will pass. <br /> <br /> Winston Henry<br /> <br /> whenry@corporatecomputersol.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13178488/fortis.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, July 29, 2016 2:00 AM Bunting for leadership; certainly not Phillips http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Bunting-for-leadership--certainly-not-Phillips_68631 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Allow me the opportunity to express myself with regards to a Jamaica Observer column, which appeared on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, written by Robert Dalley.<br /> <br /> Having found the headline &lsquo;Bunting the most prepared successor&rsquo; extremely interesting, I read with much interest the entire piece and must admit that, based on the disappointing performance of Portia Simpson Miller as prime minister, and Peter Phillips as finance minister, during that period of four years and two months, I am now of the opinion that Peter Bunting is the appropriate person to be given the mantle to be the next People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) leader.<br /> <br /> As a professional and chartered accountant I say without fear of contradiction that Phillips only achieved passing all the International Monetary Fund&rsquo;s (IMF) extended fund facility&rsquo;s tests for the country. He achieved nothing positive in economic benefits for the country during his tenure.<br /> <br /> Dalley in his opinion piece reminded us of the 40 per cent depreciation of the Jamaican dollar when compared to the United States dollar and the outrageous total taxes of $58 billion that were unconscionably levied on us Jamaicans over the period of his run as finance minister. <br /> <br /> If Phillips thought that passing 10 or 11 IMF tests would solve all of the country&rsquo;s major economic problems and create 10 per cent economic growth annually, I must sincerely ask this question here, does Phillips take us Jamaicans for clowns or fools?<br /> <br /> He kept trotting out his achievements of passing those quarterly IMF tests, ignoring to the country&rsquo;s peril: no economic growth, no meaningful job creation, poverty kept increasing, and the economy literally stagnated. Clearly he had not a clue of what policies were needed to be implemented to achieve annual economic growth.<br /> <br /> I borrow a political phrase from Finance Minister Audley Shaw: Phillips passed several IMF tests but failed the people&rsquo;s test. The facts are the facts.<br /> <br /> Phillips has served in numerous ministerial positions over his political career. In which ministry has he ever succeeded in making any substantial mark benefiting this country?<br /> <br /> I have to agree with Robert Dalley in his column when he writes that Peter Bunting is the best prepared to take over from Simpson Miller. When Bruce Golding resigned as prime minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), he handed over to Andrew Holness after consultation with those JLP members who were serving in Parliament at that time. It is my humble thinking that Simpson Miller should now resign before conference and hand over the leadership position to Peter Bunting. This would allow Bunting to be appointed leader of the Opposition and party president.<br /> <br /> Richard L Tomlinson, CA, CPA<br /> <br /> Montego Bay, St James<br /> <br /> ritchietomlinson@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12505702/171615__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, July 29, 2016 2:00 AM Be strong, Rev Miller http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Be-strong--Rev-Miller_68632 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> During the episode about Christopher &ldquo;Dudus&rdquo; Coke a number of pastors met at a conference and the incident of &ldquo;Dudus&rdquo; and Al Miller came up as an informal discussion. Many of us were confused when the question was asked: If we were in the shoes of Rev Al Miller, what would we do?<br /> <br /> Our theological training does not include criminology, and we were not trained on how to handle issues such as criminals surrendering their guns and dealing with crimes and reporting criminals. We were left to make our own decisions, believing that the grace of God is sufficient for us.<br /> <br /> This incident has opened our eyes to many things, especially how we should caution ourselves on blending theology with legal affairs, differentiating compassion from State affairs and seeking counselling from law enforcement agents that may be different from pastoral counselling.<br /> <br /> Undoubtedly, Rev Dr Al Miller is a noted leading pastor in Jamaica, and we salute his pastoral responsibilities over this nation. We appreciate the help he has rendered in raising up leaders, families and his motivational conferences on economic affairs.<br /> <br /> I wish to say to Rev Al Miller, do not be discouraged by the many church leaders and those whose mouths are opened to swallow you; they have done that to other respectable pastors. Their mouths are like sepulchres and fingers tear into pieces. Do not relent in your efforts in your pastoral callings over this nation.<br /> <br /> I appeal to our respected legal system to please remember mercy whenever the sentence will be given.<br /> <br /> Be strong, Rev Al Miller, and the membership of the Fellowship Tabernacle Church, for there are more with you than those that are against you.<br /> <br /> Bishop Dr Joseph Ade-Gold<br /> <br /> Joadegold@yahoo.com <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13162639/al-miller_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, July 29, 2016 2:00 AM I met a hero http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/I-met-a-hero_68339 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I met a hero Sunday evening. He wore no superhero cape, just long shorts and a T-shirt.<br /> <br /> I learnt that he sold ackees as his day-to-day hustle. <br /> <br /> On this day, he had rescued a young boy &mdash; no more than nine or 10 years old &mdash; and a senior gentleman who had what seemed like a stroke.<br /> <br /> My hero had assumed responsibility for the young boy who needed help to get home. The plan was to use the sales from the ackees to pay the passage home for his new young friend. I provided the money for passage for both, but had no interest in the ackees.<br /> <br /> Embarrassingly I had seen the senior gentleman earlier struggling to sit on the sidewalk and assumed he was too drunk to keep going on his way home. My hero, who is younger than I am, at least mid-20s &mdash; was far more compassionate and asked the gentleman if he needed assistance &mdash; something I never even thought of doing.<br /> <br /> The senior gentleman&rsquo;s memory was jumbled as he desperately riffled through his pockets for a number to call his daughter, whose name he gave as Marcia. His personal mobile phone needed charging as well. My hero was determined to see him to safety, but the senior was a long way from home. He said he was from Dam Head. The senior gentleman produced numbers on a blue strip of paper, which I called, but the responses were, &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t know him!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The police were eventually called and two stalwart young policemen escorted the senior gentleman to the hospital. My hero had left him in my care, having gone by this time to ensure his young friend had boarded a bus to safety.<br /> <br /> I suspect I&rsquo;m excited over nothing, but these encounters reaffirm my faith in the young people of Jamaica. I&rsquo;m hopeful that there are many more compassionate young people in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Long live my hero from Central Village.<br /> <br /> K T<br /> <br /> Greendale<br /> <br /> Spanish Town<br /> <br /> olodypo@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13178487/hero_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, July 29, 2016 2:00 AM Time for new approach to end road carnage http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Time-for-new-approach-to-end-road-carnage_68633 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am frightened by the continuous carnage on Jamaica&rsquo;s roads and the reckless abandonment with which many motor vehicle operators use their vehicles.<br /> <br /> It is a forgone conclusion that, in general, there is poor regard for the road traffic laws of our island nation, and one would think that the horrific accidents would be cause for pause. Instead, every week there are multiple deaths to report.<br /> <br /> I disagree with the prime minister that it is approaching a health crisis. It is way past that, as it is placing a heavy burden on first responders and hospital staff, and in turn the finances of the Government. The only people who are benefiting are the morticians.<br /> <br /> There appears to be an acceptance of the fatalistic view that, &lsquo;When it is my time my number will be called and there is nothing I can do.&rdquo; Speed traps and police enforcement alone will not stem the tide of this madness. I think it is time to apply a different approach.<br /> <br /> It is said that Jamaica has more churches per square mile than most countries. It is also said that this is a Christian country, which would suggest to me that many of the careless drivers have some Christian affiliation. I think it is time for the church to get involved by addressing the issue to their members.<br /> <br /> Pastors and church leaders should keep this subject before their congregations and ask for a pledge from everyone to adhere to the driving and pedestrian laws, and to speak up when they see risky behaviour.<br /> <br /> Accidents will happen, but they should be just that: unavoidable collisions. <br /> <br /> S Peter Campbell Sr<br /> <br /> Havertown United States<br /> <br /> speterc@aol.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13056675/209098__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Friday, July 29, 2016 2:00 AM Financial mediocrity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Financial-mediocrity_68538 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller has finally released her financial records. According to these records she has liquid assets of approximately $15 million.<br /> <br /> A number of people have been praising Simpson Miller for living modestly. However, her relatively small net worth does not suggest modest living. Many people are poor, yet they do not live modestly.<br /> <br /> The mostly positive reaction to the individual net worth of Simpson Miller just shows how much we scorn wealth creation as a society. There is nothing wrong with a politician being wealthy, if he has acquired wealth through legal means. Likewise, it should not be an issue if a rich politician&rsquo;s constituents are poor as long as that politician is not corrupt.<br /> <br /> Jamaicans have a tendency to blame politicians for their problems, by refusing to accept that only they can change the course of their lives. When politicians like Simpson Miller boast about having such a small net worth, they perpetuate the view that in Jamaica people should not rise above a certain level financially. Simpson Miller has access to some of the best financial minds in Jamaica; she therefore has no excuse for having such a small net worth. By celebrating her net worth the leader of the Opposition is only encouraging financial mediocrity.<br /> <br /> Lipton Matthews<br /> <br /> Lo_matthews@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13144882/PORTIA-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, July 29, 2016 2:00 AM Praying is pointless! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Praying-is-pointless-_68536 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> For some time now our country has been struggling with a worsening crime crisis, especially in the west. In addition to the numerous talk shops that have been created to deal with this problem, our churches are now putting their hopes for a solution in a national day of prayer. For the likes of me, I still cannot see why we just can&rsquo;t get it &mdash; prayers never work!<br /> <br /> Now, don&rsquo;t get me wrong; most of us will appreciate the thought that is behind the need our churches see in praying. After all, many of us are now simply at our wits&rsquo; end as to what to do about our crime crisis. Also, like so many others, I suppose our churches must, at least, appear to be doing something. However, I have never seen a situation where things in this country, or anywhere else, ever changed just because of prayer.<br /> <br /> I always wonder about this praying business, though. I mean, if the Almighty that these churches pray to is supposed to know all and can see what is happening to our island, with all the mayhem and all, why should he wait until a bunch of people scream out their lungs to him and roll around on the ground before he acts? If he really was there, and cares, don&rsquo;t our churches think that the deity would have been wise enough to have a little initiative and act by now?<br /> <br /> However, I don&rsquo;t want to appear to be taking this plan of our churches to pray for an end to the mayhem as an exercise in futility &ndash; even though it is really sort of funny, but I think the time has long passed when our churches need to do something real.<br /> <br /> For instance, there is a credit union that our churches have a major stake in. Why don&rsquo;t our churches think of more ways that that institution could help more people create their own jobs? Many of our schools are church-controlled, or at least, greatly influenced by them. Why don&rsquo;t these churches invest some real intellectual power and find more relevant ways in which these schools could help to mould our children into becoming better citizens? Why not do more things for the &ldquo;life today&rdquo; and less for the &ldquo;life to come&rdquo;?<br /> <br /> Come to think of it, I haven&rsquo;t heard too many solutions coming out of our churches for our social problems &ndash; apart from prayer, and as we all have seen, that has proven to be of little help.<br /> <br /> Going out on a very long limb and pretending that this deity was really there, who knows, maybe he has decided to take a back seat and has decided to do nothing in the hope that we will see the pointlessness in praying and the value of doing something to actively solve our own problems. Who knows, maybe that is his way of helping us.<br /> <br /> Michael A Dingwall<br /> <br /> michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13174527/218584_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:00 AM TVJ invented Absalam http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/TVJ-invented-Absalam_68527 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Had it been Abraham instead of Abram, Sarah instead of Sarai, or Elijah instead of Elisha, there could have been cause. They existed, and it takes thought to put them in their proper place. But...Absalam instead of Absalom? The former neither appeared nor existed anywhere in the<br /> <br /> Bible until the judges ofTelevision Jamaica&rsquo;s (TVJ)<br /> <br /> Schools&rsquo; Challenge Quiz (<br /> <br /> SCQ) called him into existence, in their studios, during the quarter-final between Campion College and Kingston College (KC). And so they did, because at no time did Kingston College utter the name Absalam in their response to that now decisive, and divisive, question. <br /> <br /> I have conducted my unbiased survey with folks far removed from our Jamaican<br /> <br /> SCQ culture &ndash; just in the event my ears were failing me. No, my ears were not failing me. As if that error were not enough,<br /> <br /> TVJ has taken a firm stance and used its contrived Absalam as springboard, and indeed platform, to wreak havoc almost akin to Absalom himself in biblical times. Because, in its self-willed vein and stubbornness to listen to reason,<br /> <br /> TVJ is trying to kill the hopes of many KC students based on its draconian two-year ban.<br /> <br /> Then, to add insult to injury, a former KC quiz coach decides to voice his personal opinion on the very obvious simulacrum of order and fairness on social media, and<br /> <br /> TVJ decides to take KC to task. The station took exception to the fact that he had free speech &mdash; not to mention an opinion of his own.<br /> <br /> TVJ wanted him muzzled and KC found guilty by association. <br /> <br /> When KC advised them that the coach in question was no longer associated with the team, they wanted to know why they had not been apprised. In other words, why weren&rsquo;t they invited to the public flogging and why haven&rsquo;t you disassociated yourself from the coach? This, probably, would demonstrate penitence and offer public penance. And maybe, just maybe, KC would be in a better place. <br /> <br /> Good sense has to prevail, but so far it has not.<br /> <br /> TVJ is sticking to its guns; strutting, while destroying the hopes and aspirations of KC youngsters who labour with pride to represent the winningest team in<br /> <br /> SCQ history. <br /> <br /> I am not asking that KC be adjudged the winner and the ban lifted. That is the right thing to do, but it would be too easy. Furthermore, it is asking too much, because there is so much to undo, fix, and explain. Any public reversal is hard &ndash; especially when an entity is shamelessly self-willed. What<br /> <br /> TVJ needs to do, however, is go back to the original recording and recognise that Absalam did not exist until the station introduced it into public forum. That is where it began: that is where the fixing should begin to right their wrongs and free KC. <br /> <br /> That is where<br /> <br /> TVJ needs to man up and admit they made a mistake, and not perpetuate it. When will good sense prevail? I cannot help but wonder what Absalom&rsquo;s brother, the wise King Solomon, would have done to right this awful wrong. <br /> <br /> Esmond K Scott<br /> <br /> keelo50@bellsouth.net<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12129508/RJR-Building_w400_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:00 AM Not losing any sleep over politicians&rsquo; net worth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Not-losing-any-sleep-over-politicians--net-worth_68537 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I don&rsquo;t know about anybody else, but I lose about five seconds of sleep each night thinking about the financial affairs of our political leaders.<br /> <br /> Firstly, I don&rsquo;t honestly think that, apart from Julian Robinson, they will ever tell us the whole story. Secondly, I have reached the point where I do not care &mdash; unless it happened&mdash; if any of them enriched themselves from State funds.<br /> <br /> But, even if State funds or other questionable sources of funds were involved, because of the nature of our society where everyone covers for everyone else (especially in their own political party), we will never get to all the details.<br /> <br /> Having lived in Canada for several years, there is one thing I am certain of: Many of Jamaica&rsquo;s public officials who live the lifestyles they do, while reporting questionable net worth, would have some hard questions to answer. They may even be provided with State accommodations.<br /> <br /> Stephen Harrison<br /> <br /> St Mary<br /> <br /> stepharrison28@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12251764/sleep_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:00 AM J-FLAG should celebrate Emancipendence, not homosexuality http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/J-FLAG-should-celebrate-Emancipendence--not-homosexuality_68379 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am deeply concerned about the plans the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has for our upcoming national holidays.<br /> <br /> On Emancipation Day we reflect with great pride on the overthrowing of the most horrific oppression of the black man &mdash; slavery. Men like George William Gordon, Sam Sharpe and Paul Bogle were Christians who were executed for their stance against this wretched evil and the stain of injustice left in its wake. We celebrate their sacrifice, their commitment to righteousness, truth and justice, and the ultimate birth of our great nation, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> But there are some who have decided not to celebrate with us all. People who, instead of honouring our national heroes and celebrating our blood-bought national holidays alongside us, have decided to celebrate homosexual &ldquo;love&rdquo; instead. There are even reports of plans being under way for the raising of the rainbow flag, the symbol of the LGBT Movement, on Emancipation Day! How can this be?<br /> <br /> Cultural ambassador Amina Blackwood put it mildly when she described these non-national celebrations occupying the most significant national slots as &ldquo;inappropriate&rdquo;. It is downright disrespectful!<br /> <br /> In this week when millions of Jamaicans will be patriotically celebrating the abolition of slavery and the independence of Jamaica from British rule, wearing and waving Jamaica&rsquo;s flag and colours, a few will be raising a rainbow flag and wearing colours that promote the homosexual, bi, all-sexual lifestyle. This is an epic case of misplaced priorities. Where the focus should be national, has it become genital for some?<br /> <br /> I would like to invite J-FLAG to reconsider their approach to our treasured national holidays and to do the patriotic thing: celebrate these holidays as Jamaicans, not as a self-separated community of homosexuals. Respect the sacrifice of our Christian national heroes who bought these days with their blood. Respect Jamaica and value our emancipation! Respect our national flag and give it no competition. Let us boldly celebrate our national holidays together with singleness of heart, mind and flag.<br /> <br /> Instead of competing with Jamaica, celebrate Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Daniel Thomas<br /> <br /> Love March Movement<br /> <br /> danielthomaschristian@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10803556/gay-pride_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:00 AM Let Trump build (us) a bridge http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-Trump-build--us--a-bridge_68382 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> After the tragic loss of six lives in the Bog Walk Gorge in St Catherine some people are asking for Donald Trump to build a bridge to replace Flat Bridge. Donald Trump can build skyscrapers, plazas, other buildings, golf courses, a wall maybe, but he has not built a bridge; not even across a three-foot-wide tributary. If he becomes president he still will not be able to bridge relations &mdash; not even with his allies; he is just too divisive.<br /> <br /> No matter where Hillary Clinton goes, e-mail scandals follow her, and both she and Barack Obama are pacifists. As long as terrorism shows up its ugly head anywhere in the world, but especially in white-ruled countries, Donald Trump stands a very good chance of becoming the United States president, as white lives seem to matter the most.<br /> <br /> Mark Clarke<br /> <br /> Siloah PO, St Elizabeth<br /> <br /> mark_clarke9@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13173706/trump_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:00 AM TVJ needs to answer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/TVJ-needs-to-answer_68285 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> On Wednesday, July 20, 2016 an article published in The Gleaner, written by former secretary of the Kingston College Old Boys&rsquo; Association (KCOBA) Basil Waite, raised some very important questions related to the suspensions of Kingston College for two years and Camperdown High School, for three years, from the<br /> <br /> Schools&rsquo; Challenge Quiz by<br /> <br /> Television Jamaica (TVJ). <br /> <br /> The reaction of the KCOBA community at home and abroad to Basil&rsquo;s article was widespread, as there seems to be the view that the questions were of such grave importance that<br /> <br /> TVJ ought to be called on to answer in the public interest, as the implication was that a grave injustice was meted out to both schools. <br /> <br /> The sequence of the facts presented by Basil raises other important questions of accountability and transparency which must also be addressed as critical issues. Accountability on the part of<br /> <br /> TVJ because its actions have very serious implications vis-a-vis the reputation of Kingston College which, on the face of it, seems to have been maligned.<br /> <br /> What rules and procedures have<br /> <br /> TVJ published to justify such a draconian response? I think if such a document exists, it should be published in the public domain so that the fair-minded public, including the precious minds of the young people of this country, may get an opportunity to debate the issue dispassionately.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, if<br /> <br /> TVJ does not have such a document in its possession, the matter is even more serious than we think. Indeed, it would be a serious breach of the tenets and principles governing the responsibilities of a national television station which has, over the years, justified the possession of its licence by the excellent reputation and fair-mindedness in the public domain under the leadership of Lester Spaulding. <br /> <br /> The response of the present leadership of<br /> <br /> TVJ seems downright arrogant, authoritarian and crass.<br /> <br /> The principles of openness, fairness and transparency have always been the hallmarks of<br /> <br /> TVJ as an institution. I do not share the view of some of my brother KC old boys that we should take up our marbles and go. That would go against the grain of what we stand for as KC old boys. We must pursue this matter to its ultimate resolution because fundamental principles are at stake here.<br /> <br /> When I say to the end, I mean, if we cannot get justice in this matter, clearly, we have no other alternative but to pursue this matter ultimately in the highest court in the land. We therefore must put our old boy attorneys in a state of readiness to rigorously unearth the whole truth in this matter pursuant to a just outcome, but more importantly, the protection of the good name of our alma mater, Kingston College.<br /> <br /> I am confident that this approach also has relevance to Camperdown High School, which seems to have suffered an even greater injustice.<br /> <br /> Winston &lsquo;Winty&rsquo; Davidson<br /> <br /> Past President<br /> <br /> Kingston College Old Boys&rsquo; Association<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13172776/TVJ_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, July 27, 2016 12:00 AM A Brexit based on emotions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/A-Brexit-based-on-emotions_68287 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> With respect to Great Britain&rsquo;s vote to leave the European Union (EU), I bemoan the divorce it represents, as with any other divorce.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, I am in objection to any form of peer pressure which may stifle, disrespect or fail to appreciate the individuality of a member of that group.<br /> <br /> Britain is, and perhaps will be for a while from now, a traditional and conservative society. One just has to look at the sacrifices that it has made in delivering basic health care through its National Health Services (NHS). They are still widely using normal saline nose drops instead of more effective, but more expensive, nasal products, and penicillin antibiotics that require four to five doses when there are others which may be administered three times, twice or even once per day. A security challenge once arose in the face of possible terrorist attacks, where a large proportion of English police officers rejected the authorities&rsquo; calls to be equipped with firearms, for fear of getting into trouble from police shootings. Now, that is being &ldquo;too OK&rdquo; by most international standards. The irony is that those who supported &ldquo;the leave&rdquo; campaign, blamed the marriage with the EU for all this, or out of pride, felt too pitied by it.<br /> <br /> Regardless of what Great Britain decides to do, though, in this tentative Brexit, I wish them, our surrogate motherland, all the best in their endeavours. Cheers!<br /> <br /> Andre O Sheppy<br /> <br /> Norwood, St James<br /> <br /> astrangely@outlook.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12998442/205468_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, July 27, 2016 12:00 AM Corporate Jamaica disappointed my child http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Corporate-Jamaica-disappointed-my-child_68389 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Today I felt very defeated and at a loss for words when I saw my daughter cry; not because of a broken heart, but the agony of disappointment from corporate Jamaica was too much to bear silently.<br /> <br /> My daughter graduated from The University of The West Indies, Mona, twice. First with a first-class honours distinction in psychology and then a Master of Business Administration in marketing, again with distinction. I thought that, with her accolades, finding a job in that field would not take long. I was wrong. With all her achievements, corporate Jamaica has disappointed my daughter because she has no experience.<br /> <br /> My child is brilliant, smart, knowledgeable, balanced, consistent, honest, direct, assertive, a team player, reliable, trustworthy, committed, eclectic, and I could go on and on.<br /> <br /> She has been on numerous interviews but corporate Jamaica is not looking for someone who is qualified and speaks with confidence. They are looking for someone with years of experience. Mr and Mrs Interviewer, do you remember your first job? Someone who graduates with a 3.8 grade point average and trainable was not good enough for the job. She submitted marketing plans when asked to do so; they said the plans satisfied them, but still no job. Who knows what they did with her plans?<br /> <br /> As parents you encourage your children to &ldquo;go to school to make something of your life&rdquo;. When they do, what&rsquo;s next? What else is there for us to tell our kids?<br /> <br /> One thing I know for sure, I&rsquo;m very proud of her. I remembered when she made a prominent high school for girls proud by getting an award from Jamaica Teachers&rsquo; Association because she got first place in Jamaica in Principles of Business that year.<br /> <br /> Parents out there going through the same pain, please be encouraged, continue to be advocates for higher learning.Remember that, &ldquo;The heights of great men, reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> I congratulate my daughter. Any mother would be proud to have her as their child. She has done her best and my heart weeps with her.<br /> <br /> But when all this happens, the product of it is called &ldquo;brain drain&rdquo;. It leads to the migration of talented and brilliant young people for a better life overseas, so that they are able to repay student loans, because their own country does not see their potential.<br /> <br /> Let us be proud of our children in spite of how they are treated by corporate Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Deborah Smith<br /> <br /> ds311964@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Local News Wednesday, July 27, 2016 12:00 AM Deterrent or not, use death penalty! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Deterrent-or-not--use-death-penalty-_61526 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The following is an open letter to Opposition spokesman on justice, Senator Mark Golding:<br /> <br /> Senator Golding, in seeking to justify your argument in the media against the death penalty, you mentioned that it is not a deterrent in so much that, although the death penalty was carried out in Jamaica in 1980, we had the highest number of murders.<br /> <br /> Senator, I am sure had you done your research on the issue you would not have made such a statement. The murder figures for 1980, for the most part, were not regular robbery and murder of business people and others as is the case now. It was political gunmen being active in the most grave political warfare this country has ever seen.<br /> <br /> The political war began in earnest from 1979 and continued through until election day, after which the People&rsquo;s National Party &mdash; led by Michael Manley &mdash; lost power, and the Jamaica Labour Party took the reins, under Edward Seaga. On May 22, 1988, Manley, commenting on the number of murders of 1980, before a crowd of some 40,000 people at Frome Sport Ground in Westmoreland, on the 50th anniversary of the PNP, said: &ldquo;The 1980 election death toll was senseless and only for the greed of power, unlike 1938 when people died for a cause.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> So it was not because the death penalty was not a deterrent to murderers then why 899 persons were murdered.<br /> <br /> By 1981 the number of people murdered went down to 490.<br /> <br /> If one looked back to 1970, when the number of murders was 152, the 1980 figure of 899 stood out as the highest then, but since that time the numbers have fluctuated, but never to the low number as in 1970.<br /> <br /> So the argument about hanging is not a deterrent and that countries which do not carry out the death penalty have lower murder rates is baseless. There has been no hanging in Jamaica since 1984 and the murder numbers keep increasing.<br /> <br /> Sir, think about this, if the death penalty is not a deterrent, why do convicted murderers spend so much money and time to appeal their death sentences? It is the odd persons for whom the death penalty is not a deterrent.<br /> <br /> I think people who commit murder should be punished by death, as is prescribed by the Constitution of Jamaica. We have a law which says a person found guilty of robbery should be sent to prison, but although the law exists, criminals still carry out robberies. Since it seems not to be a deterrent, should we abolish the law and stop sending people to prison for robbery?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> John D Kelly<br /> <br /> Savanna-la-Mar<br /> <br /> Westmoreland,<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13083329/210784_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:00 AM Don&rsquo;t disrespect Comrade Karl Blythe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Don-t-disrespect-Comrade-Karl-Blythe_67982 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) has a proud reputation of being a democratic party adhering to tenets of democratic socialism and working unremittingly to uplift the poor and marginalised within the Jamaican society.<br /> <br /> The decision of former PNP Cabinet minister and vice-president, Dr Karl Blythe to be nominated for the position of party president should not be condemned because any PNP member has that democratic right to so offer himself to party delegates at party conference for election to office.<br /> <br /> Dr Blythe has been a party member for the past 43 years, in good standing. I am extremely hurt, disappointed and flabbergasted that some erratic party members &mdash; who should know better &mdash; have taken to the media to harshly criticise Blythe for his personal decision to offer himself.<br /> <br /> I am an unrepentant and long-standing member of the PNP and I believe that no party member should seek to belittle, castigate and berate Dr Blythe, but instead should be welcoming his challenge to Simpson Miller, as it in the true sense of party democracy.<br /> <br /> There are some misguided PNP members who are damaging the party by their various caustic, irresponsible and callous public remarks and criticisms against fellow party members and they should stop now, once and for all. Spewing political venom against Dr Blythe is unfortunate and irresponsible and shows political immaturity to a wide disgraceful level. Blythe has served the party well for decades and should be respected even when some members disagree with his recent decision to offer himself for the top party job.<br /> <br /> Some close party members aligned to Simpson Miller are a large liability to her and have repeatedly given her poor advice. They stupidly advised her to call the general elections when the party was certainly not ready, and continue to lead her politically astray. Sometimes I wonder if they are purposely giving her bad, irresponsible political advice to embarrass her in the eyes of the public. It reflects poorly on the party president and Norman Manley&rsquo;s party.<br /> <br /> Karl Blythe, as a distinguished party elder, deserves respect. He is seen as an outspoken, fearless and uncompromisingly patriotic senior PNP member and stalwart of impeccable integrity. We party members must learn to act responsibly and show respect to fellow members as an example for young Jamaicans to follow.<br /> <br /> I will respectfully decide who I will vote for at the delegates&rsquo; election to choose between Simpson Miller and Blythe at conference.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Frank L R Manborde <br /> <br /> Former four-term PNP councillor <br /> <br /> Westmoreland<br /> <br /> frankmanborde@mail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13157803/217166__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:00 AM Enact national town planning strategy before third city http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Enact-national-town-planning-strategy-before-third-city_67927 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I write in response to the directive issued by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to the Urban Development Corporation to create a third city.<br /> <br /> In this regard it is critical that a national spatial strategy is completed before consideration is given to building a new city. Jamaica urgently needs to adopt an integrated approach to the planning and management of urban spatial development across the country if sustainable urban development is to be achieved. Current planning approaches with emphasis on the development industry have failed to address important planning issues which would be integral components of a national spatial strategy. These include, but are not limited to, the following: sustainable management of land and natural resources; directing of urban growth to ensure equitable, efficient and sustainable use of land and natural resources and prevent urban sprawl; strengthened role of small and intermediate cities and towns; planning strategies that support affordable and sustainable housing; and environmentally sustainable and resilient cities and human settlements.<br /> <br /> Pauline McHardy<br /> <br /> pmchardy@cwjamaica.com <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13160428/212094_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:00 AM Perilous times ahead in the name of &lsquo;rights&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Perilous-times-ahead-in-the-name-of--rights-_63113 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Some time ago I attended a panel discussion on human rights at The University of the West Indies in the Law Faculty. The purpose of the discussion was to introduce the idea of the setting up of a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in Jamaica. The mandate of this institution would be to ensure that human &lsquo;rights&rsquo; are protected based on a set of internationally recognised guidelines known as the Paris Principles.<br /> <br /> NHRIs are given the right to petition, lobby and intervene in the policy-making process of any country which does not abide by the Paris Principles.<br /> <br /> Now, what should we make of this?<br /> <br /> At the forum, the issue of standards eventually became a dominant issue: Which human or institution has the right to set a standard to be used for everyone to follow? Who or what determines &lsquo;rights&rsquo;? One claim was made that the society determines what is right in accordance with what people practise, or believe. The statement was also made that: &ldquo;Rights have no limits.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Using this secular relativistic logic, this would mean that a society in which people believe that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin, no matter what age, could establish this practice as a &lsquo;right! In their own words, there would be no logical limit.<br /> <br /> Yet, ironically, in the same breath, the establishment of an NHRI would bind us to their own accepted standard of &lsquo;rights&rsquo;. In keeping with this point, recently the United States Government declared that public bathrooms could not be limited to female or male bathrooms in the name of the same concept: &lsquo;rights&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> My fellow Jamaicans, this is a very serious spiritual warfare. My brothers and sisters, we must make our voice heard. In Psalm 94: 16, God says: &ldquo;Who stood up for me against the wicked? Who took My side against the evildoers?&rdquo; Please, my Jamaicans, be in the know, and help fight the good fight of faith. Daniel 11:32 reads: &ldquo;By deceit the king will win the support of those who have already abandoned their religion, but those who follow God will fight back.&rdquo; Christians, we have a duty to carry out. Those who read this letter, please spread the word. <br /> <br /> Fay Buckland<br /> <br /> fay.buckland@jts.edu.jm<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11394259/human-rights_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:00 AM Let&rsquo;s trumpet the road safety message http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-s-trumpet-the-road-safety-message_67985 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS) wishes to commend Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is also the chairman of the National Road Safety Council, for his video on road safety. This is an encouraging move.<br /> <br /> As we seem to be losing the fight on our campaign against road accidents and fatal crashes, we are calling on all political, private sectors, educational, and civil society leaders to get involved in the campaign in road safety.<br /> <br /> The number of people killed on our nation&rsquo;s roads since the start of the year is alarming, and the hard work of the State agencies alone cannot address the problem<br /> <br /> TODSS is calling on all ministers of religion to engage in a road-friendly campaign using their pulpit to encourage their members and other road users<br /> <br /> We are saddened and grieved at the high level of serious and fatal crashes on our roads; this is a cry for help.<br /> <br /> Egeton Newman <br /> <br /> President<br /> <br /> Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services<br /> <br /> transopsdevelop@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13013705/206609__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Monday, July 25, 2016 12:00 AM Takeaway lesson: No &lsquo;sacred cows&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Takeaway-lesson--No--sacred-cows_67858 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> On a recent visit to England, two news items caught my interest and caused me to feel some jealousy regarding the manner in which UK authorities/leadership responded to each issue.<br /> <br /> The first had to do with the Chilcot Inquiry report &mdash; named after the chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Chilcot. The inquiry dealt with the UK&rsquo;s involvement in the Iraqi war of 2003. Among the many findings was that: &ldquo;The UK went to war before peaceful options were exhausted&hellip;&rdquo; and that the &ldquo;&hellip;invasion was based on &lsquo;flawed intelligence and assessments&rsquo; that were unchallenged.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The significance of the outcome of this report, to date, is that Tony Blair, who was the UK prime minister at the time of the war, had accepted &ldquo;full responsibility for any mistakes&rdquo; that occurred as a result of his decisions or actions. Second, and to my mind more importantly, a sincere desire arose among the UK leadership to learn from these events.<br /> <br /> The other news item involved the &ldquo;deeply flawed&rdquo; Cumbria police investigation into the death of a 13-month-old girl, Poppi Worthington. In this case, the chief constable of the Cumbria constabulary not only expressed regret for the manner in which the investigation was conducted, but also publicly apologised. Of significance, too, in this case was that the Member of Parliament was quoted as saying, &ldquo;It is right that we have had a full, sincere and heartfelt apology from the police, but this does not exonerate the force or give them a clean bill of health.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Both of these incidents and the response of leadership provide us in Jamaica some takeaway lessons. These include the importance of exercising openness and frankness, admitting when mistakes are made, and equally demonstrating the sincere desire to learn from mistakes. Certainly, in the Chilcot case, the supremacy of country over individual career or party political interests is worthy of emulation. Above all, we must emulate the demonstration by leaders that &lsquo;sacred cow&rsquo; status is not in the best interest of the cow or the pastures in which it operates.<br /> <br /> Colonel Allan Douglas<br /> <br /> alldouglas@aol.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13123203/000_CU9XK--1-_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, July 25, 2016 12:00 AM We need to be resocialised http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/We-need-to-be-resocialised_68181 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> One cannot help but note with dismay the unabated destruction and carnage which continues to play out on our major thoroughfares. At literally halfway through the calendar year we have recorded some 219 road fatalities and the toll shows no signs of slowing down.<br /> <br /> While one notes the numerous pleas emanating from quarters as diverse as the police, civilians, politicians and even motorist themselves, it cannot go without saying that this crisis is purely one of our own making. In this country of ours we have come to cherish, value and encourage certain kinds of antisocial behaviour, whether it is manifested through how we use the roads as motorists and pedestrians or in the manner we utilise technology to circulate graphic photos of deceased people. In short, we have been successful in cultivating a subculture of indiscipline married to indifference, and now the chickens have come home to roost and the carnage is telling the tale.<br /> <br /> The resocialisation project must start now, before more eggs hatch.<br /> <br /> Noel Matherson<br /> <br /> noelmatherson@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13105932/212734_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, July 25, 2016 12:00 AM Why the ban on KC? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Why-the-ban-on-KC_68155 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I write regarding the injustice meted out to the Kingston College (KC) team after the conclusion of the recent Schools&rsquo; Challenge Quiz competition. <br /> <br /> I have never seen anything like this. In sports, if an athlete uses dope that individual athlete may be banned, the punishment normally stipulated in the governing charter. If the doping is prevalent among an entire team, then there may be grounds for the team to be banned as well. <br /> <br /> What crime did the KC team or the institution perpetrate?<br /> <br /> Here we are talking about a coach making his objections known in a Facebook (not an official channel for the school) posting and the punishment is not a suspension of that coach for a game or two? Even if Television Jamaica (TVJ) had some reasonable basis for its action, a two-year suspension of the entire team is extreme. <br /> <br /> The action taken was absolutely lame and the team should be absolved even if TVJ heard &ldquo;Absalam&rdquo; instead of &ldquo;Absalom&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Kingsley Mitchell<br /> <br /> kingquick2@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12828132/195245__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, July 25, 2016 12:00 AM Securing our borders http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Securing-our-borders_68184 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The escalating murder by the gun is of great concern and it needs to be addressed immediately.<br /> <br /> What seemed missing from the minister of national security&rsquo;s plans, however, is the protection of the nation&rsquo;s borders. The Government should invest in the protection of the nation&rsquo;s 1,022 km (634 miles) border coastlines with an efficient Coast Guard and border patrol equipped in preventing terrorists and illegal weapons from entering Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Perhaps, instead of tampering with the current arrangements of auxiliary fees in schools that money should have gone into acquiring radar-detecting equipment, patrol boats, surveillance aircraft, and the recruiting of more Jamaicans as border patrols to comb our shores via land and sea. We need a cohort of men and women who will work tirelessly as vigilant protectors of our nation&rsquo;s borders.<br /> <br /> This should be one of the main priorities of Robert &ldquo;Bobby&rdquo; Montague&rsquo;s first year as minister, along with the appeal to citizens to hand in illegal guns, accompanied by a systematic and deliberate search for illegal weapons in all communities across Jamaica. Our citizens also must realise that the success of any crime plan requires our participation in reporting these illegal guns to the security forces.<br /> <br /> Let us secure our borders and secure the lives of our fellow Jamaicans.<br /> <br /> Dudley C McLean II<br /> <br /> Mandeville, Manchester<br /> <br /> dm15094@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13059712/209189_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Monday, July 25, 2016 12:00 AM What&rsquo;s happening to building codes? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/What-s-happening-to-building-codes_67984 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The following is an open letter to the Clerk of the Houses of Parliament:<br /> <br /> I write to inquire about the status of the national building code and its passage into law. The code contains information that is relevant to the carrying out of our jobs as architects for planning facilities that are affected by national standards, such as space allocation, emergency egress, operational configurations, etc.<br /> <br /> I recently heard that a home for the elderly in the Richmond Park area, with which my church is affiliated, has been inspected by the fire department and deficiencies identified which may result in it being closed. Additionally, I understand that &ldquo;other government entities&rdquo; have been making efforts to ensure that the operational, health and space requirements in such homes are in keeping with &ldquo;some&rdquo; national standard. To my recollection, regulations for homes for the elderly fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and the ministry responsible for the building code.<br /> <br /> Can you say when the final approval and adoption of the building code will be done so that we can advise our members/clients about the necessary requirements for their facilities?<br /> <br /> If there are objections to the current code that are preventing it from being fully passed, can a firm timetable for the adoption be agreed and the Parliament advised that the passage of the building code is needed to carry out our planning exercises?<br /> <br /> The continuing delay is severely affecting the application of necessary guidelines and regulations needed to ensure that all designs conform to health, safety and welfare requirements to protect the people who use and operate these buildings.<br /> <br /> Hugh M Dunbar<br /> <br /> Architect<br /> <br /> hmdenergy@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/4162401/Monday-exchange_5_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, July 25, 2016 12:00 AM Where&rsquo;s the Finsac report money, Audley? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Where-s-the-Finsac-report-money--Audley-_67860 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I remember Audley Shaw making a statement that under a Jamaica Labour Party Government he will provide the remainder of the funds to complete the Finsac Commission of Enquiry report from the first budget.<br /> <br /> I have some questions to ask: Did he provide that money? Was it all political talk? Was he pandering to the victims of Finsac assault?<br /> <br /> It is still my belief that it was the debtors who caused Finsac to collapse.<br /> <br /> I personally do not believe in Shaw. I believe he has played politics with the victims and those who believed were unwise. I hope they now realise that there was no genuine concern.<br /> <br /> The Finsac victims have been tricked again.<br /> <br /> Howart Miller<br /> <br /> hawartmill@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13083176/210740_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, July 22, 2016 2:00 AM