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Opinion - Posted by on September 3, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Let’s talk about drugs

Opinion: Let’s talk about drugs

The discussion about drugs policy is an interesting one. Decades ago already a policeman in Amsterdam called Appie Baantjer called for the decriminalization of drugs, because the damage drug addicts caused to the community in the Dutch capital alone

Opinion - Posted by on August 30, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Plastic bags, an old story

Opinion: Plastic bags, an old story

A couple of weeks ago, the TelEm group of companies came with a good initiative. It gave away eco-friendly shopping bags in an attempt to reduce the use of flimsy plastic bags. There are also eco-shoppers on the market produced by Firgos, so one is t

Opinion - Posted by on August 29, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Moerman diet

Opinion: Moerman diet

Cees Renckens is not just anybody. He is a gynecologist and until two years ago he was the chairman of the Association Against quackery in the Netherlands. Assuming that Renckens is not a fan of alternative healing is therefore a safe bet. Remarkably

Opinion - Posted by on August 28, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Through the mud

It is not the first time we hear stories about the civil service that are beyond belief. We hear that unnamed civil servants have the nerve to erase the signatures of ministers on documents that subsequently disappear into a deep drawer and that are

Opinion - Posted by on August 27, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Statistics

There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Some of the stuff readers love so much on the website that was so brutally attacked by Public Housing Minister Maurice Lake this week definitely does not fall in the category of statistics. Go figure. What

Opinion - Posted by on August 26, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Responsible journalism

Opinion: Responsible journalism

Vromi Minister Maurice Lake flipped when he read a story on SMN News about the imminent fall of yet another government. The story, of course, was baseless as anybody able to read between the lines knew from the get go, but it inspired Lake to call fo

Opinion - Posted by on August 23, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Integrity

The government has embarked on an integrity program, as we have heard from Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Wescot-Williams this week. But what exactly does it entail? On the government web site, we found for starters the (government) d

Opinion - Posted by on August 22, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Which way, St. Maarten?

“Pressure for change and understanding is most effective when people have access to the facts and can arm themselves with the arguments, that the concept of providing people with a comprehensive right to know about sources of pollution, development

Opinion - Posted by on August 21, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Welfare slaves

Now that our socialist political leaders and government have conditioned us into believing we are all helpless victims, victims of the Europeans, victims of rich and the self-reliant they have encouraged an entire culture of “collectivism, dependen

Opinion - Posted by on August 20, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Grand theft

Opinion: Grand theft

Internet is a great tool, but there is a downside. The worldwide web has given plenty of people the idea that all information ought to be available free of charge. Music was the first victim of this misconception: nobody wanted to pay for it anymore.

Opinion - Posted by on August 19, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Cheers

Opinion: Cheers

Last week we wrote about the trial of Terrence Pantophlet. A couple of days later, Terrence visited our office to explain something, and we gladly share this with our readers. Terrence is a truck driver who delivers Presidente beer for a French-si

Opinion - Posted by on August 16, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Interesting stuff

The only question that did not get a clear answer was this one: why did former Finance Minister Roland Tuitt convene a press conference to vent his opinion about the country’s financial state of affairs? Tuitt has plenty of interesting stuff to off

Opinion - Posted by on August 15, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Tough measures

Opinion: Tough measures

That the country is in dire financial straits is no secret and it makes the job for a minister of finance challenging, to say the least. The 2013 budget is still a big pain in the sense that the necessary amendments still have not been approved by

Opinion - Posted by on August 14, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Attitude

Civil servants do not seem to understand what they are: servants. That impression was once more emphasized by Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin yesterday when she spoke about workshops her office is giving to civil servants. The standard of proper conduc

Opinion - Posted by on August 13, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Don’t give up the fight

Opinion: Don’t give up the fight

On January 1st, 2012 I returned to St. Maarten from the Netherlands after completing my studies which took me 10 years. I now have a degree in architecture, administration, computer and heavy equipment. Being a proud mother, upon returning from my st

Opinion - Posted by on August 12, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Trouble in the pool (Carib Swim Team)

Opinion: Trouble in the pool (Carib Swim Team)

The following letter describes the troubles Carib Swim Team trainer Jean-Francois Choquet experienced during the past couple of months. “For several months, a small group of dissidents, 3 to 4 people, is taking advantage of the disability and th

Opinion - Posted by on August 12, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Slippery road (Things are not looking up in Curacao)

Opinion: Slippery road (Things are not looking up in Curacao)

Things are not looking up in Curacao. That is putting it mildly, actually. Chester Peterson, who was the attorney of the late Helmin Wiels and who also has Robbie dos Santos in his colorful portfolio, launched a vicious attack on the country’s Prim

Opinion - Posted by on August 9, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Digital learning

Opinion: Digital learning

The perception that digital learning will help students improve their results is gaining support. In the Netherlands, the term iPad-schools has become part of current lingo, and in Aruba politicians are now pushing for more digital education – some

Opinion - Posted by on August 8, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Wishy-washy

Opinion: Wishy-washy

We don’t know what it is with this much talked-about but hardly understood National Development Plan. Every discussion we hear about it, every initiative we read about, gives us the feeling of a wishy-washy soooo sixties program. It also gives us t

Opinion - Posted by on August 7, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Open letter to Minister Ted Richardson

Honorable Minister, As a former commissioner of economic affairs and tourism and a concerned businessman I would like to humbly ask your attention for the following, what I would label burning priorities. First the following remarks to the (ne

Opinion - Posted by on August 6, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: New Openness

Opinion: New Openness

The openness the returned President of Parliament announced yesterday is obviously more than welcome. The gray film on the glass partition of the meeting hall that obscured parliamentarians from view has been removed, and there are press briefings th

Opinion - Posted by on August 5, 2013

2 Comments

Opinion: Remco Retardo

Remco de Ridder is a Dutch blogger who somehow managed to have a column published in the Volkskrant this weekend. It deals with his vacation-experience, and it provides a deeper insight into the perception of a hapless man who travels to a country (i

Opinion - Posted by on August 2, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Telecom dilemma

There is a moratorium on telecommunication licenses, Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said earlier this week. That is probably a good thing, but what does it really mean? We have to mobile telecom providers: TelEm and UTS. A third one, Corporate Inn

Opinion - Posted by on August 1, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Not all drivel

Opinion: Not all drivel

Okay, so we know that tax compliance is up for improvement. Last time we heard something about this, compliance stood between 30 and 35 percent, meaning that 65 to 70 percent is evading the taxman. It is not a new story, but it is a persistent one. S

Opinion - Posted by on July 30, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Cleaning companies

Opinion: Cleaning companies

What is the difference between a cleaning company and a manpower organization? The Inspectorate of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor discovered that they have a lot in common. That makes it worthwhile for decision makers, union leaders a

Opinion - Posted by on July 29, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Cocaine

Opinion: Cocaine

Smuggling cocaine is never smart, but it remains attractive because the rewards (or potential profits) are so high. While we have no definite information about the reason for the arrest of former policeman Marcel Loor in Paris, the rumors are persist

Opinion - Posted by on July 26, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Labor Day

Opinion: Labor Day

Civil servants in Amsterdam are about to be robbed of an official holiday. The factions of the Labor Party PvdA and D66 support an initiative of the VVD to take away the day off on May 1, Labor Day. This is not as shocking as it looks. Amsterdam i

Opinion - Posted by on July 25, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: Responsibility

We live in a constitutional democracy. That is wonderful: we've got laws (plenty of them) and everybody is supposed to abide by them. The real power in our society is in the hands of just fifteen people - the members of our parliament. That's the way

Opinion - Posted by on July 24, 2013

1 Comment

Opinion: No respect

Mark Rutte did not go as far as Hero brinkman when he said after his first visit as prime minister to the Antilles that the former colonies in Caribbean Netherlands could step out of the kingdom at any moment. "You give me a call and we'll arrange it

Opinion - Posted by on July 23, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Helmen Wiels

Opinion: Helmen Wiels

The story NRC Handelsblad published yesterday about the Helmin Wiels-assassination contains several worrisome observations. It is maybe good to note here that this is what they are for now: observations, though - having met the author personally - we

Opinion - Posted by on July 22, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: A forgiving lot

Opinion: A forgiving lot

Sport journalists are a forgiving lot. After all the commotion surrounding dope-king Lance Armstrong, followed by a host of confessions from other cyclists, one would think that the Tour de France would have been dead as a doornail. One would have th

Opinion, St. Maarten News - Posted by on July 22, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: There are no coincidences

Opinion: There are no coincidences

Is everything that happens subject to the strict rules of causality? In other words: does the principle that everything has a cause hold up under all circumstances? If that is true, there are indeed no coincidences. The Scottish philosopher David Hum

Opinion - Posted by on July 19, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Learning experience

Opinion: Learning experience

It is near impossible not to wonder about how politicians deal with issues that matter. The investigation at the National Security Service VDSM is a case in point. While an opposition MP like Frans Richardson has decided to use the matter as a politi

Opinion - Posted by on July 17, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: In favor of tablets

Opinion: In favor of tablets

The debate about kids and new media is rumbling on. MP Johan Leonard wants a laptop for every school kid - the wet dream of every street robber come true - and teacher Renée Braams wants to take iPads and other electronic gadgets away from children

Opinion - Posted by on July 16, 2013

Comments Off on Opinion: Imagination at work

Opinion: Imagination at work

A laptop for every child. That's the message UP-MP Johan Leonard brought back from a Parlatino meeting in Colombia. It is not a new idea, of course, and it is also not something that is likely to happen anytime soon in St. Maarten. First of all, l

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