Columns

Whose Easter is it anyway?

A member of our business community had a fondness for jokes about people of his Jewish heritage, especially merchants. One day he shared this one with me. "Jacob had a store in a business district where his people were outnumbered by others of the Christian persuasion. When the Chamber of Commerce ... Read More

A little bit of jealousy, Gleaner?
LAST Sunday Observer's front-page story, '17 guns for freedom' was essentially the story of the day ... Read More

THWAITES... declared a ‘renaissance’ at right: PINNOCK... literacy is dated The politics of English literacy
ENGLISH is our language. Cuba speaks Spanish; Haiti, French; Dominican Republic, Spanish; these are ... Read More

Several artists have attempted to capture the essence of the scene of the Christian Last Supper.
Today being Holy Thursday many churches will re-enact this gathering, including the traditional
washing of the feet. Life is an ongoing test
TODAY being Holy Thursday, there will be the re-enactment of the Lord's Supper in many Christian chu ... Read More

The other side of the ganja gold coin

Anthony GOMES | Wednesday, April 16, 2014    

According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may
be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.

NOW that the euphoria accompanying legalisation of medical marijuana and decriminalisation of recreational cannabis in certain US States continues, it is appropriate to review the dangers accompanying this much-vaunted development destined to have a profound effect on users and potential abusers of narcotics. The US issue of medical marijuana still has a number of legal conditions to address with the authorities, where the Federal Supreme Court still maintains that the use, production and distr ... Read More

In an unequal world, we need inclusive growth

BY JIM YONG KIM | Wednesday, April 16, 2014    

WASHINGTON, DC, United States —World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim speaking at the World
Bank Group Spring Meetings recently. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WORLD BANK PHOTO COLLECTION)

For a very long time, the rich have known to some extent how the poor around the world live. What's new in today's world is that the best-kept secret from the poor, namely, how the rich live, is now out. Through the village television, the Internet and hand-held instruments, which a rapidly increasing number of the poor possess, lifestyles of the rich and the middle class are transmitted in full colour to their homes every day. Last year, when I travelled with President Evo Morales to a Boli ... Read More

10 things we should not be confused about — Part 2

Grace VIRTUE | Tuesday, April 15, 2014    

10 things we should not be
confused about — Part 2

THANKS to the Internet and being desk-bound, I read the newspapers and listen to Jamaican radio almost daily. In the discussions about our problems, one thing that stands out starkly to me is how confused we are about some fairly basic issues. Though some of the talk shows have got better in recent years; they typically represent a breeding ground for confusion. This is not simply a matter of people holding different viewpoints on a given issue. It is simply people talking with no regard for ... Read More

Personal benefits the bane of Jamaican politics?

Lloyd B SMITH | Tuesday, April 15, 2014    

Personal benefits the
bane of Jamaican politics?

PORK barrel politics, nepotism, feeding at the public trough, cronyism, call it what you will: Every government participates in patronage. Believe it or not, this observation was gleaned from a Canadian newspaper under the headline 'Patronage, the oil that keeps Canada's democracy turning?' Needless to say, this could easily be superimposed on the Jamaican media landscape, as for decades the word "corruption" has been associated with politics and politicians in this our island home. According ... Read More

Are we really ready to decriminalise?

Wayne CAMPBELL | Monday, April 14, 2014    

There is much to consider before
the Government takes the decision
to decriminalise ganja, effectively
putting it in the hands of citizens.

In a society where there is an undeniable association between the construction of masculinity and the smoking of marijuana, the intention of the Jamaican Government to decriminalise marijuana might just go up in smoke. In jurisdictions where decriminalisation has occurred, the recreational user of marijuana does not face prosecution for possessing or for using small amounts of the drug. Therefore, it would be illegal to trade, sell, or possess large quantities of the drug. As a result, the re ... Read More

Mercy alive and well at Alpha Boys' School

Jean LOWRIE-CHIN | Monday, April 14, 2014    

AFTER almost 130 years of nurturing Jamaican boys, the Alpha Boys' School is closing its residential facilities. On the positive side, however, the school will expand its educational offerings. You would think that an institution like Alpha would have no difficulty receiving a decent subvention for its good work. But, like many others of its kind, it has been struggling financially. "We understand that the decision to close the residential part of Alpha Boys School has been subject to misunde ... Read More

Jamaica deserves better than Scooby Doo and Shaggy-type leadership

GARFIELD HIGGINS | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

PERSAD-BISSESSAR… is not worried about leaving a legacy
of election victories as her major accomplishment
(then)
HAYLES… disgraceful and ungentlemanly public display

"If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else." — Paul Arden I have never been an admirer of weak wishy-washy leaders who tend to suffer with what I call the 'Scooby Doo and Shaggy' affliction, [and please, spin doctors I am not calling anybody a dog. For those not familiar, Scooby Doo and Shaggy are cartoon characters who are always afraid]. Let me hasten to say that I do not support Communist dictatorships and/or despotic rulers either. Wishy-washy leaders are like half-baked potato pudding without the crust -- soggy and a burden on the taste buds. Take ... Read More

I maintain that Abigail Hyman's life could have been saved

MARK WIGNALL | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

Two policemen, who responded to the crash
on Mount Rosser, protect a small quantity of
the goods left after the looting, while some
residents discuss the accident.

On March 31, regular Gleaner columnist Dr Garth Rattray wrote a piece titled 'Screen all student athletes', which began thus: "Tragically, a few months ago, grade nine student Abigail Hyman fainted and died while at Marymount High, her school, in St Mary. It was speculated that she died from a heart attack. "A popular Observer columnist used the incident as a springboard to launch a broadside against the medical profession in his article, 'How much do you trust your doctor?' He (mysteriously o ... Read More

Sad, but anti-doping commission did the right thing

DIANE ABBOTT | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

Sprinters Asafa Powell (foreground) and Sherone Simpson, accompanied by Bruce James, president of MVP Track Club, attend
the first hearing in their case last September at the Jamaica Conference Centre. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)

Last week, former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell and fellow athlete Sherone Simpson were sentenced to an 18-month suspension from athletics for doping offences. Their plight made world news. There will be a lot of sympathy for them in Jamaica. Powell's case is perhaps particularly sad. Long before Usain Bolt became an international sporting megastar, Powell flew the flag for Jamaican athletics as the fastest man in the world. And the 18-month suspension, in the crucial period in the ... Read More

Why Norman Girvan matters

CLAUDE ROBINSON | Sunday, April 13, 2014    

GIRVAN… the bedrock of
integration must be a sense
of a community of identities

The death of Professor Norman Girvan, one of the Caribbean's most acclaimed public intellectuals, has left a huge void in the public square of debate and ideas about realisng our human, social and economic potential at a time when the region is going through its worst development crisis in a long time. It's ironic that this quintessential Caribbean man from Jamaica and living in Trinidad died in a Havana hospital three months after he became paralysed following what I can only describe as a fre ... Read More



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