Friday, May 16, 2003


This new feature of the Kairos Focus Blog is designed to give a guided tour of online discussions of issues that are relevant to the Caribbean's renewal. If you want to discuss them online, check out the Caribbean Kairos eGroup at .

1. The Bilderbergers in action

This is what a British Journalist had to say about this shadowy, influential group -- which is meeting in France this weekend:

British journalist Jon Ronson, who is the author of a book on Bilderberg, had this to say: "I'm a sort of semi-conspiracy theorist when it comes to Bilderberg because I think they wouldn't go to that much trouble of having this incredibly expensive international conference every year and they'd go to all this trouble to keep themselves out of the press and be really secret and invite the world's most powerful people if it was just a chat and a game of golf, which is basically what they say it is. So I do think they have some impact on world affairs."

For more see

2. Cuba vs US

For those of us who wondered at the thunderous tone of Caribbean Government and opinion leader discussion of the US's real and imagined wrongs over the Iraq crisis, the following on the comparative silence over -- or even support of -- Cuba in its latest crackdown should be enlightening:

Jamaica not soft on Cuba - Gov't
OBSERVER Wednesday | May 14, 2003
JAMAICA'S SEEMING reluctance to criticise Cuba for its crackdown on dissidents should not be viewed as an endorsement of attacks on freedom of expression, according to Delano Franklyn, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
According to him, Jamaica was not in a position to say whether it approves or disapproves of the actions of Havana in last month's jailing of 75 dissidents, a number of them journalists.

John Maxwell: The US is 'spooked' by Cuba
Observer Sunday, May 04, 2003
WESTERN capitalism is haunted by the spectre of Cuba, terrified by the possibility that this small, poor, third world nation in the Caribbean may succeed in proving that socialism can work . . . . The Cubans are unworried by the taunts of fundamentalists right or left.

Amnesty International:

8 April 2003

US Embassy:

May 7 2003:

Cuban Ambassador:

May 15, 2003:

3. Emulating Ireland?

With the Jamaica dollar apparently heading fast for 70 to 75:1 on the US $, maybe we could take a leaf out of the book of the Celtic Tiger? For, Ireland moved from being a European backwater to becoming a hot growth country over the past twenty years. Maybe, we can learn from them?

Benjamin Powell observes:

. . . The remarkable success Ireland has experienced in improving its economic performance over the past 15 years is due to market-based forces. Although EU subsidies have been present, they have not been the driving force and may actually be holding Ireland back from growing faster. A policy environment that promotes economic freedom, enabling private entrepreneurs to promote economic development was the key to creating the Celtic Tiger . . .


4. Brian Williamson's claim that homosexuality is not chosen:

The family is central to stability in the community, and so the secularist and neopagan trend to redefine family values and sexual morality is relevant to the reformation of our region.

In particular, homosexuality issue and "gay rights" claims are of global concern, not least having been raised in April by the UN Human Rights Commission [URL:]. It was also the subject of a recent US media debate over Senator Santorum's legal opinions on the regulation of sexual behaviour [URL ]. It is also raised locally, as in the letter by Mr Brian Williamson, cited below:

With deepest thanks to the government and to the church, we who are homosexuals are an insult to our families and insulted daily. We are "the devil's own children and must change our evil ways or continue to be outside the love of God" . . . . It is not good for us as a people because we know that homosexuality is not a choice and that we, who are homosexuals are your brothers and sisters, your friends whom you know by name and members of our Jamaican community with a national motto, "Out of Many, One People".



While one sympathises with the evident pain in the above, we need to address issues of truth and soundness. So, you may wish to see what the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has to say about the "three myths":

There is no scientific research indicating a biological or genetic cause for homosexuality. Biological factors may play a role in the predisposition to homosexuality. However, this is true of many other psychological conditions . . . .
Psychotherapists around the world who treat homosexuals report that significant numbers of their clients have experienced substantial healing. Change has come through psychological therapy, spirituality, and ex-gay support groups . . . .
Scientific research supports age-old cultural norms that homosexuality is not a healthy, natural alternative to heterosexuality. Research shows that gay teens are especially vulnerable to substance abuse and early, high-risk sexual behavior . . . .

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