Monthly Archives: November 2010

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 1 Blessed is the one
   who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
   or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
   and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
   which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
   whatever they do prospers.

 4 Not so the wicked!
   They are like chaff
   that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
   nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
   but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.



Genesis 19

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

 1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

   “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

 3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

 9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

 10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

 12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry[a] his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

 15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

 16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

 18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,[b] please! 19 Your[c] servant has found favor in your[d] eyes, and you[e] have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

 21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.[f])

 23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

 27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.

 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

Lot and His Daughters

 30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

 33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

 34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

 36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab[g]; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[h]; he is the father of the Ammonites[i] of today








What migration, remittances are doing to our societies


Monday, November 01, 2010


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FORMER Jamaican Prime Minister P J Patterson suggests that remittances fuel wasteful consumption and discourage able-bodied family members from seeking employment. But these negatives pale in comparison to the actual needs and the positive spin-offs which they trigger, he says.

Patterson, who is also chairman of the Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development, was delivering the Walter Rodney Memorial Lecture last week on “Migration and Development in the Commonwealth: A Caribbean Perspective” at the University of Warwick Ramphal Building in Coventry, United Kingdom. Following is an excerpt from the lecture:


P J Patterson… suggests that remittances fuel wasteful consumption and discourage able-bodied family members from seeking employment

P J Patterson… suggests that remittances fuel wasteful consumption and discourage able-bodied family members from seeking employment


A striking feature of international migration is the increasing mobility of women. This is partly due to the rise in demand for household and care workers and, thereby, the increasing participation of women in all migration streams.

Forty-nine per cent within the Commonwealth are women, some of whom are obliged to leave their children behind in the desperate search for an income to sufficiently maintain them. For us in the Caribbean, we have already begun to observe some of the consequences — particularly on the nurturing of children and the social fabric. We cannot condone any attempt to exploit those who are engaged in the provision of household services and domestic care.

From the days of imperial conquest, those who settled abroad were sending remittances and profits back home to the Motherland. So the remittance phenomenon is by no means novel. Cross-border financial flows had topped US$414 billion by the start of the new millennium.

Remittances received by developing Commonwealth countries amounted to US$73 billion in 2007, accounting for 3.2 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). For the least developed, 6.2 per cent of GDP was attributable to remittances.

The figures for the Caribbean are even higher — averaging seven per cent and in some cases as high as 19 per cent of GDP in Jamaica and 20 per cent for Guyana. In several Caribbean countries, these figures exceed the value of Foreign Direct Investment and vastly more than comes from Official Development Assistance.

We are well aware of possible negatives which remittances may have — fuelling wasteful consumption, discouraging able-bodied family members from seeking employment. But these pale in comparison to the actual needs and the positive spin-offs which they trigger.

There is mounting evidence that more and more of these resources are being channelled into housing, small business development and pension schemes.

Our Commission will consider how the transaction costs of remittance flows may be reduced and how these significant financial flows may best be protected in a volatile and somewhat turbulent foreign currency exchange market.

We need to create an investment climate which will attract more of these resources into economic activity.

In all four developed Commonwealth countries, the percentage of those with tertiary education is markedly higher among immigrants than among the native-born. The difference is largest in the UK, where the proportion of tertiary-educated among the foreign-born was 35 per cent, nearly double that of the native-born (20 per cent).

The emigration rates of the highly skilled in Commonwealth countries differ widely. Countries with small populations, especially island states, experience high emigration rates of their highly skilled population. In the case of Barbados, Gambia, Guyana, Jamaica, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago, the percentage of the highly educated population living abroad varies from 40 per cent to over 70 per cent. The small island states are the ones that are most directly affected by the emigration of highly skilled workers, the so-called ‘brain drain’.

The Caribbean has some of the highest rates of migration of its tertiary-educated labour force. These rates run as high as 70 per cent. Between 1990 and 2000, some 60 per cent of Caricom (Caribbean Community) nationals, who benefited from higher education provided by Member States, moved to OECD (Organisation for Economic Development) countries. This figure could increase with the shortage of particular skills in the EU (European Union) for medical personnel, scientists, teachers and information technologists.

WHO data reflect that the highest emigration rates for doctors now working in the OECD are to be found in small island developing states and Africa. Of the 10 countries with migration rates of over 50 per cent, eight were small states and six of these were from the Caribbean. The rate reached 89 per cent for Antigua and Barbuda and was over 70 per cent in Grenada and Guyana.

Overall, the expatriation rates for nurses were even higher than those for doctors. Among the 10 Commonwealth countries with the highest expatriation rates, the percentages residing in the OECD countries ranged from 66 per cent to 88 per cent. Of the 20 countries with rates over 50 per cent, 19 were small island developing states.

Eight of the 10 with the highest expatriation rates were from the Caribbean with Jamaica, Grenada, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana exceeding 80 per cent.


Psalm 112
1[a] Praise the LORD. [b]
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.

2 His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. [c]

5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.

6 Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.

7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

9 He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor,
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn [d] will be lifted high in honor.

10 The wicked man will see and be vexed,
he will gnash his teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

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