As Jamaica prepares to celebrate Diplomatic Week with heads of mission from around the world, it is opportune for an assessment of whether the country has adjusted its foreign policy agenda in keeping with 21st-century complexities, and how much sway the country has in the Western Hemisphere.
There is a rumour among rednecks that President Obama needed a private ceremony to take the oath of office to start his second term because he swore on a Koran that had been taken from bin Laden's Pakistan compound.
When the Jamaica Labour Party introduced universal health care, the policy made no exception. Immediately, it became a sort of entitlement - free to everyone, rich or poor, young and old. Jamaicans living overseas are able to come here home and avail themselves to high-quality health care free of cost and at the expense of taxpayers.
Thursday was an exercise in deep grief and tragedy. I sat through the first half-hour of TVJ's evening news broadcast experiencing a gamut of feelings from the darker end of the emotional spectrum.
As usual, a well-trained Western army has gone through a fierce-looking but virtually untrained force of African rebels like a hot knife through butter. Two weeks ago, the northern half of Mali was entirely under the control of Islamist militants, whose forces were starting to advance into southern Mali as well. So France decided, on very short notice, to send troops and combat aircraft to its former colony in West Africa.
I have often heard it said that being old one can always be sure to have a wider knowledge base than the young. It is also said that if the old could remember what it is that they know so much about, they could relay it to the young in certain knowledge that no one will take a blind bit of notice!
In these challenging days of financial difficulties, where money is so hard to come by, for many people, I must give credit to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library for giving the public such a grand privilege, of using the computers free of cost. And many people are benefiting significantly from this act of kindness.