Saturday, May 31, 2003

Web Clippings

Week ending May 30, 2003

This week, the featured item is a Mind and Spirit article in which a Jamaican
who went to Hungary on an Engineering Scholarship has become an entrepreneur
and church planter in Central and Eastern Europe. This goes back to the long
history of Caribbean involvement in Missions: within two years of the end of
slavery, missionaries were heading to West Africa.

Other items will focus on the under-reported or balancing perspectives and
reports that will help us overcome the tendency of our regional news outlets
to have a range of opinions "from A to A-and-a-1/2".

By the way has anyone seen the "promised" Caricom statement on the
Cuba crackdown?

1. Jamaican Church Planter in Europe

A Jamaican church-planter in Hungary

published: Tuesday | May 27, 2003

WHEN JON Palmer acceded to his grandmother's request to apply for an engineering
scholarship in communist Hungary in 1977, little did he know that he would have
remained there long enough to help plant about 40 churches there and a few others
in other parts of Europe . . .


2. ICOC Fallout

back in the late 1980's I had the distasteful duty to expose the KCOC movement
as a manipulative sect. Now, the Boston Globe reports on the implosion of the
wider ICOC:

A Christian community falters

Loss of leader, governing body hurts group formed in Boston

By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff, 5/17/2003

It was one of the fastest-growing and most controversial churches in America,
banned as a cult from dozens of college campuses while boasting 135,000 members
worldwide. Its followers were known for spending their free time recruiting
new members and waiting on doorsteps at 4 in the morning, hoping to persuade
those who had ''fallen away'' to come back to the fold. But now the central
organization of the International Churches of Christ, a strict religious body
founded in Boston, is collapsing.

Thomas ''Kip'' McKean, its charismatic founder, has stepped down . . . [Cf. for much more, too.]

3. Biowar trucks confirmed:

CIA: Truck-Trailers in Iraq Had Bioweapons Labs

Wed May 28, 2003 03:56 PM ET By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

Two truck-trailers found in Iraq were "ingeniously simple" mobile biological
weapons factories, with other as-yet-undiscovered trailers holding the end of
the production chain, the CIA said on Wednesday. No trace of biological weapons
has been found in either of the trailers, but there is little question they
were constructed to make such toxins as anthrax and botulin in quantities that
potentially could kill thousands of people, U.S. intelligence officials said
in telephone conference about a new report by the CIA and Defense Intelligence
Agency . . .

4. 600-Mile Range Missile in Development Phase in Iraq;$sessionid$V3YP25TIEUYHTQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2003/05/25/wirq125.xml

Britain finds Iraq's 'smoking gun': a top-secret missile

By Con Coughlin in Baghdad (Filed: 25/05/2003)

British military officers have uncovered an attempt by Saddam Hussein to build
a missile capable of hitting targets throughout the Middle East, including Israel,
The Telegraph can reveal. Plans for the surface-to-surface missile were one
of the regime's most closely-guarded secrets and were unknown to United Nations
weapons inspectors. Its range of 600 miles would have been far greater than
that of the al-Samoud rocket - which already breached the 93-mile limit imposed
by the UN on any Iraqi missiles . . . . .

"We had finished the research stage and entered the development stage," said
a senior Iraqi engineer who worked at the MIC and is now co-operating with British
officials. "If it had not been for the war, development would have been
completed within a year."
Iraqi officials insist that the missile was
intended to carry a conventional warhead, but British weapons experts believe
it could easily have been adapted to carry chemical or biological weapons .
. .

5. An Economist's views on Liberation Theology & Economics

Liberation Theology has a strong hold on the more liberal elements of the clergy
in the region. The following article raises significant issues that need to
be thought through:

Liberation Theology and Economics: Like Oil and Water?

Michael S. Johnson Professor of Economics Spring Hill College

February 1997

The lack of development in Third World countries is one of the disappointments
of the post -World War II period. The optimism of the 1950s and 1960s turned
a pessimism, especially during the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, when the
oil crunch, recession, and the debt crisis hit many nations extremely hard.

In the midst of this volatile situation, a new voice has arisen that speaks
of the need for economic development. The voice speaks of economic issues and
policies. This voice, however, is one grounded in Christian theology, not in
economics The basic issues of economic development have become an issue of the
Christian faith, as many ask, what can be done to bring justice and plenty to
all people? . . . .

In this paper, we will explore this situation, and in the process, hopefully
offer insights useful to each discipline. We begin with a review of the importance
of the state of the poor in the thinking of classical economists. Next, we explore
the development of "development economics." We then turn our attention to dependency
theory, and examine how that particular perspective has influenced liberation
theology. Finally, we look at recent developments which should cause liberation
theologians to broaden their perspectives, yet also cause orthodox economists
to better understand the role of morality in the marketplace. . .

7. "Root Causes" of the ME peace problem

The bipolar nature of Middle-East diplomacy

Posted: May 30, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Avi Davis

Political scientists reviewing this period in history in the future will be
puzzled by a phenomenon. While diplomacy speeded toward a rapid resolution of
the Arab-Israeli conflict, facts on the ground pulled the conflict in the opposite
direction. Drawn by two opposing forces, of equal strength, the result was therefore
not movement but stasis. The region, it might be recorded, descended into its
worst outbreak of violence in over three decades at the very moment peacemakers
found themselves proclaiming a final historic breakthrough . Bad intentions
are rarely the cause of failed diplomacy.

But when the diplomats fail to examine - or even care to examine - the true
situation on the ground, diplomacy is doomed . . . .

The root cause of the Middle East conflict is not settlements, occupation or
refugees but the unwillingness of every Arab government in the region to abide
the presence of a Jewish state in their midst . . .

8. Gay agenda update:

PhD Thesis tries to label Jesus:

Doctoral candidate: Jesus was 'gay'

Posted: May 28, 2003 5:00 p.m. Eastern © 2003

A doctoral candidate in Australia was paid $51,000 in public funds to research
Jesus' sexuality, declaring unequivocally that the founder of Christianity was
homosexual. According to a report in the Adelaide Advertiser, Rollan McCleary,
who himself is homosexual, earned $17,000 a year for three years to work on
his thesis on homosexual spirituality. The grant came from the University of
Queensland. McCleary will be awarded his doctorate tomorrow and in the future
hopes to make "gay spirituality" a separate academic discipline . . .

CBS TV "same sex marriage" show: CBS television
thrusting 'married gays' on public Network's 'Amazing Race' promotes real-life
men as joined in matrimony

Catholic Boston Diocese: Bishops rally
ministers to fight 'gay' marriage

Vancouver Anglican Diocese:
Vancouver parishes to bless gay unions Controversial bishop first to formally
approve rite, says it is Christian 'duty'

Anglican Bishops:
Anglican leaders: No backing of rites for same-sex ties

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Proposed Kairos Initiative

About Kairos

The Kairos Initiative is a resource base for the church and people of the Caribbean as we become increasingly aware of our desperate need for renewal, reformation, transformation and blessing under God.

Thus, Kairos will seek to provides Bible-based, cutting-edge analytical, strategic, training, and technical operational services in support of the church and people of the Caribbean as we all work together, under God, towards building a better future for our region and the wider world beyond.


The Kairos Initiative is driven by the biblical, Apostolic insight that God so controls our history that, through the crises triggered by our sin and folly, we become open to new beginnings, as we grasp for a way forward, however blindly. [Cf. Acts 17:24 - 27.] Arising from such a clash between a dying past and a future yet to be born, there is hope under God for a way to a better future.

For, in our day, the Caribbean (and much of the wider world) is in kairos -- the crisis-driven nexus of opportunity and risk -- so the peoples of the Caribbean are ever more aware that there must be a better way, there must be an alternative.

As a result, our region's peoples are groping for God in the midst of crisis, and are increasingly ready to understand the life- and community- transforming power of the gospel.

Then, as we respond to the Gospel, through the spiritual transformation of the new birth and godly discipleship, the Caribbean's peoples can begin to see a new vision for the future; and can create a foundation for new leadership that can help the region (and the wider world) find a way towards a brighter tomorrow.


The Kairos Initiative therefore seeks to help the church and wider community as we work together to build a new vision, a better strategy and a new generation of godly leaders for the Caribbean -- one that is able and ready to lead us through the further crises ahead into a new era of godly reformation tied to associated sound and sustainable development, under the blessing of God.

In that pursuit, Kairos will work with the church and wider community in (and beyond) the Caribbean, as we jointly respond to the following identified needs:

Prophetic, biblical, strategic analysis of the past and present situation in our region, towards taking and implementing ethically and operationally sound development decisions and directions. Thus, under God, the Caribbean may find a path to truly sustainable, God-blessed development. For, "except the Lord build the house, its builders labour in vain."

The associated renewal of the Caribbean Church’s vision and focus, through the fullness of Christ theme of Ephesians 4:9 – 24. For, Christ came, descending and ascending, in order to fill – thus transform and bless – all things.

Support for training and equipping disciples in light of this Christocentric fullness vision, so that God’s people may consolidate their commitment to Christ, his church and his mission; and that we may be prepared for effective service and high-integrity leadership in the home, church and wider community.

Providing a base for the development of a David Generation of breakthrough leaders, who, under God, will overcome Goliaths and help the people of the region move on beyond tragically failed leadership.

Supporting the church and community institutions as the region seeks to enhance its capacity for the effective and efficient identification, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of strategic renewal, reformation and development projects and programmes.

Helping the Caribbean church rise to the global missionary challenge of Eph 1:22 – 23, and 2:8 - 10: “the church . . . is [Christ’s] body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way . . . . we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Goals & Strategies

To give an operational focus for such efforts, God willing [James 4:13 - 17], Kairos will seek to work with God's people across the Caribbean and beyond, to achieve the following in the three to five year period, 2003 to 2006 - 2008:

Creation, maintenance and widespread promotion of an effective, Christocentric fullness vision-driven, web-based strategic information resource for the Caribbean Church; to address the issues involved in helping the Caribbean church as it provides sound, godly, biblical, prophetic intellectual and cultural leadership in the Caribbean in the 21st Century.

Provision through this online resource and associated dialogue and training initiatives, of biblically sound, well-informed strategic analysis, perspectives, training materials and current information that will be helpful to the church and the wider region, in support of godly reformation, transformation and blessing.

Collaborative development and promotion of a cluster of discipleship-, missions-, revival-, renewal- and reformation- oriented networks and alliances across the region; towards the synthesis of an overarching integrated strategy for the reformation of the region, and the parallel development and deployment of a Caribbean Missions force under the church's global evangelisation mandate.

Cooperation with this cluster of networks and alliances in identifying and implementing strategic projects, consultancies and programmes that promote the Christocentric reformation of the Caribbean and the associated sound and sustainable development of the region, its communities, its churches, its institutions, its businesses, its schools and colleges, and generally.

Associated with this, the collaborative creation of a web-based "School Without Walls"tasked to develop and implement a regionally delivered series of discipleship-, skill-building- and reformation- oriented short courses for equipping Caribbean Christians (and others) through an articulated training scheme under the Christocentric fullness theme.

People and Networks

No one person or group is capable of undertaking the analuysis, strategising, planning and scale and scope of operations required to carry forward the above regional reformation agenda. And yet, a reformation agenda is clearly vital to the building of a Caribbean future that is worth having.

Accordingly, Kairos invites individuals, groups, alliances and networks with an interest in such a programme of reformation-oriented prophetic intellectual and cultural leadership to join together as outlined above.

As a point of contact, you may wish to communicate as follows:


Friday, May 23, 2003

Clippings of the Week:

Fri May 23 2003

This week, there have been several interesting developments, locally and internationally:

1. The great J$ fiasco

First, on the local scene, the J$ had a sharp decline to J$ 72+: US$1, then this week after a reported US$ 20 Mn intervention by the central bank, it has rebounded to the mid sixties, leaving an air of relief. According to some pundits, "speculators" are to blame.

However, only a few weeks back, the rate was ~ 48:1, and back in '97 - '99, it was ~ 36 - 40:1. (I think I see a steady ~ 10%/yr decline, with sharp crises that accelerate the trend from time to time. [This trend would amount to the J$ being worth ~ 1/3 of its former value at the end of the decade: ~ 20:1 turn of 90's, to 60+:1 now.] I also fail to see a serious attending to the need to fix the capacity side of our economy so that investments, management strategies and policies actually lead to growth through increasing the supply of competitive Jamaican goods and services in a global era.)

Accordingly, here are some clippings:

* The Speculators did it, according to Dr Ed Ghartley of UWI Econ Dept:

* Tom Wilson begs to differ:

* Mrs Gloudon's take on life in Jamaica through the eyes of the Jamaican diaspora:

* Martin Henry on TRUST as a neglected capital asset:

* Maybe, we really need to look at the Irish example, instead of playing the old blame game?

Matt Connolly . . . " We had to swallow a lot of difficult and hard decisions which were very unpopular. But the choices weren't there - you either said stop and take ownership of the problem or the problem would have simply overwhelmed us. The solution to the problem came about when there was an acceptance that we couldn't go along any longer like we had . . . "
A strategy for development was formulated between 1986-1990 which focused upon:

substantial reduction in government expenditure,

moderate pay evolution to make the economy more competitive,

more equitable tax and social policies, and

specific measures to increase employment.

2. On the Rev 13:16 - 17 front

Meanwhile, "they" are working hard on the basis for a modern surveillance state like that envisioned in Rev: "[the second beast] forced everyone . . . to receive a mark on his right hand or in his forehead, so that no-one could buy or sell unless he had the mark . . ."

Here, Angela Swafford of the Boston Globe breathlessly reports on her subcutaneous chip implant:

"Theoretically, this VeriChip will allow doctors to call up my medical records . . . allow me to get money from an automatic teller machine by flashing my arm . . . reassure airport security that I am a journalist, not a terrorist. . . . .
''I believe the day will come when most of us will have something similar to the VeriChip under our skin,'' said Scott Silverman . . . ''People will regard that its benefits -- in terms of financial, security, and health care -- far outweigh the possibility of loss of privacy.''

3. Jayson Blair interview:

The lack of remorse speaks for itself in:

4. "We are risen apes" thinking in the local media:

Here a local secularist who has been watching Discovery and National Geographic cable channels attempts to explain human misbehaviour in terms of evolution. In so doing he makes some telling slips:

. . . Man and ape have 98 per cent of their genes in common <2 percent of 3,000,000,000 is a lot: 60,000,000. Think of the difference between "I am a murderer" and "I am NOT a murderer," writ large> and only two per cent distinguishes us in spite of appearances. Mentally and emotionally, the difference may be just as slight . . . . Our basic needs are the same as those of our ancestors . . . Food, . . . gave rise to the hunt for prey, herding of animals, agriculture of plants. Shelter, . . . now fabricated by us of wood or stone and varies from discarded containers to royal palaces. Sex, besides producing offspring, leads to wonderful and weird episodes in man's life including love, marriage, fornication, adultery, buggery and bestiality ­ a far greater range than the ape indulges.

5. Gay Agendas and theological implications:

The below suffices to raise questions about where this neo-pagan agenda is headed, even in our region, a region that so often takes its cues from the North:

* Dr Ted Jennings, a Chicago Theology Prof, argues that Jesus may have been "gay"; but it turns out he is a long-term Gay Theology advocate, one of the many liberal theologies that are out there. See

* An African Cardinal, tipped as a possible succesor to John Paul II, speaking at the Jesuit Georgetown U, Washington DC, sparked student and staff protests for his remarks:

"In many parts of the world, the family is under siege," Cardinal Arinze said. "It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalised by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce."


* David Limbaugh (bro. to Rush and a practising Attorney at Law) comments on two pending California laws, and their impacts on the traditional family:

6. Derailing the Roadmap to ME Peace?

WND reports that Abu Mazen, in an interview gave the following comments:

"Arafat is at the top of the [Palestinian] Authority. He's the man to whom we refer, regardless of the American or Israeli view of him," said Mahmoud Abbas in an interview with Egypt's semi-official al Mussawar weekly, according to Reuters.
Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, said Arafat's stamp of approval should precede any political action.


Clearly, there is much to pray and think about!

PS Do let me know what you think of the new blog format, a new template chosen to deal with the wide window headache. (Thanks Rowley!)

Sunday, May 18, 2003

An alternative to ear-tickling games

You are invited to discuss the posting below (a proposed page for a reformation web site) in the eGroup:

Kairos in the Media: News and Commentary

The Caribbean's shores are being hard-hit by heavy, trip-hammer waves of crisis -- as Jesus suggested would happen as the age draws to a close. [Cf. Matt. 24:1 - 14.]

As a result, kairos is now not just a theological concept; it is in our daily news and commentary. We therefore need to understand how to interpret, discuss and act into our times in light of the biblical kairos concept, especially as it comes out in news, policy and education contexts.

Understanding Kairos

Acts 17:24 - 31 lays out the biblical framework for why God permits crisis in the lives of the nations:

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times [kairous] set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek for him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us . . . . now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day in which he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.

However, in a world where many are blind to God's self-revelation in Christ and seek to undermine his proof that he is our Lord, Saviour and Judge -- through raising Jesus from the dead -- secularised and cynical news and commentary will reflect more of blind groping than of the hope that is in Jesus. As a result, we would do well to heed Paul's observations on the need for intellectual honesty:

[W]e have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our Good News [euaggelion, i.e. the gospel] is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2 Cor. 4:2 - 4.]

So, as the age draws on to the Day of the Lord, crisis, confusion and deception will contend with the good news of the gospel in a contest for the attention, hearts and minds of men. Thus, the Caribbean's media, political and educational spheres are increasingly becoming arenas of spiritual conflict over the truth, the right and the wise.

News, Views and the Good News in a Democratic age

As we look at the Caribbean's many interacting challenges and perspectives, it is clear from the above that we have to build a sound godly consensus if we are to consistently make and carry out the just and wise decisions that will help us build communities worth living in.

However, whether we are concerned over our long-standing economic and social woes, or over political or religious issues, or world affairs, much of our news and public debate brims over with shrill anger and ill-informed shallowness. As a result, it is power, bias, half-truth, outright lies and hidden agendas (rather than wisdom, truth and fairness) that tend to drive our discussion, opinions and policy or even personal decisions. Could this be why it too often seems that we "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity"?

But also, in today's cynical post-modern age, the relativist's retort is all-too-ready: whose truth, fairness, and wisdom?

The best answer is nearly twenty-four hundred years old. For, the early Greek Philosophers had seen how Athens' democracy had collapsed: brilliant and clever (but ever so unsound and corrupt) leaders -- i.e. demagogues such as Alcibiades -- manipulated the citizens to make rash decisions that in the end cost them dear.

So, in his The Rhetoric, Aristotle pointed out how popular arguments usually appeal first of all to our emotions, then to our trust in "credible" authorities, and only in the last resort, to actual logical proof.

Sadly, while our emotions may rest on accurate perceptions, they often blind us to the truth. Worse, no authority is better than his or her facts and reasoning. In short, it is only when "facts" give a balanced view of the truth and are tied to correct reasoning that our conclusions are to be trusted. (Cf. the Apologetics Primer.)

In short, Democracy -- the ever-unfinished experiment in self-government by a free people -- comes with great responsibility under God. And, in light of Acts 17:24 - 31 and 2 Cor. 4:2 - 4, our duty to God includes submission to his Christ. To that, we may add a note of hope: "[Christ] redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the nations [ethne] through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Holy Spirit." [Gal 3:14.]

That is, the Gospel carries with it a hope for the blessing of the nations, through the power of the Spirit of Love, Truth, and Purity. Then, through this transforming, reforming and renewing blessing, we can:

put off falsehood and speak truthfully . . . work, doing something useful with [our] hands, that [we] may have something to share with those in need . . . . [speaking] what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen . . . Get[ting] rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice . . . forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave [us] . . . . liv[ing] a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us . . . .

For [we] were once darkness, but now [we] are light in the Lord . . . . [we must] be very careful, then, how [we] live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil . . . understand[ing] what the Lord's will is . . . be[ing] filled with the Spirit . . . always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Eph 4:25 - 5:20; cf. vv. 5:21 - 6:9 and 4:9 - 24; also Philemon vv. 8 - 21 on slavery.]

Clearly, receiving God's Good News would lead to a dramatically different focus for news and views, public policy and community life in our region!

Renewing News and Commentary in the Caribbean

This is obviously a daunting task, but I believe it is possible -- providing, we become a fountain of hope for a region that has long supped at the bitter wells of despair. That is, let us build on the principle that good (but realistic) news beats the bad in the long run.

How can it be done? I believe some practical steps include:

* Thinking through a godly, powerful framework for understanding our times and for promoting renewal and reformation towards blessing and growth. (I believe the fullness vision provides such a framework.)

* Tackling the Mars Hill challenge: exposing the inner instabilities in the messages and counsels of despair that currently dominate our media, campuses, schools, board-rooms, parliaments, streets and verandahs.

* Presenting a well thought-through path to positive change, through alternative media voices and education initiatives. (For instance, the growing blog phenomenon is one such platform, as is the eGroup; so are Christian media outlets and in some few cases, general media houses. [Cf. the Resources page for some links to regional media houses.] The web is also a powerful tool for education and training, as this site, the Kairos Focus web, demonstrates.)

* Carrying out strategic demonstration projects that show that the vision works on the ground, say through a proposed regional Institute for Discipleship, Reformation and Development. (Cf. the JTS/CGST 2002 Ethics Lecture.)

* Equipping, sending out and supporting disciples as they found alternative institutions, enterprises, schools, families and households that function as bases for ministry, think-tanks and other reformation initiatives across the region and beyond.

In short, it can be done, if only we are willing. Let's roll!

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 . . . .