Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Douglas says jump, Portia asks, how high? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Douglas-says-jump--Portia-asks--how-high_18021972 IT was almost predictable what the prime minister would have done with the composition of the board of the National Housing Trust (NHT). She kept the main loyalists in place long after they had sanctioned the purchase of a dud company for $180 million, long after she said she knew nothing about what had taken place and, to placate a nation, she topped up the board with four more individuals. Local Opinion Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT The need to be thankful http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-need-to-be-thankful_18022116 AS usual at this time of year, the media blares the news in one form or another that today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. Jamaica benefits through the tourism industry, from the USA's Thanksgiving Day by Americans who travel to Jamaica whether they remember to give thanks or not, simply because it is a long weekend, especially if they can get the Friday off from work. Local Opinion Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT The other side of Outameni http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-other-side-of-Outameni THERE has been much brouhaha surrounding the Outameni Experience in the wake of the Easton Douglas-led National Housing Trust’s (NHT) decision to purchase the property on which it is located for an alleged $180 million. Local Opinion Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:32:41 GMT Jamaica unchained http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Jamaica-unchained_18008620 THE forces converged last week to focus my mind on the need for urgent changes in the socio-political organisation of the country. In the midst of contemplating Anthony Bourdain's portrayal of Jamaica on CNN, September 16, a compatriot sent me his manuscript focused on our current social and economic conditions. It is not a work of fiction, and it is not intended to be a thriller, but a thoroughly researched work, grounded in historic realities, legal studies, and contemporary thinking on the relationship between social justice and economic growth. Nonetheless, I read it first; racing through each page to get as quickly as possible from one profound truth to the next, and going back to read slowly to absorb the depth and meanings of those truths. Local Opinion Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Human rights cannot exclude the female half of humanity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Human-rights-cannot-exclude-the-female-half-of-humanity_18008745 ON March 8, 2014 the international community commemorated International Women's Day (celebrated since 1911) under the theme 'Equality for women is progress for all'. While the theme was reflective of the objectives of various international fora designed to monitor the status of women worldwide and identify strategies to address gender and power inequalities, it was also indicative of the persistent gaps between the stated objectives of these frameworks and the lived realities of many women and girls across the globe. Local Opinion Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Cosby and the notion of positive negation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Cosby-and-the-notion-of-positive-negation_18003244 I have long been mystified by the human tendency to negate, in public, practices that we embrace in private. Why would someone vociferously condemn in public practices in which he engages in private? Preachers seem to be most guilty of this kind of behaviour, which I have classified oxymoronically as: positive negation. Local Opinion Mon, 24 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT Haiti is not napping! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Haiti-is-not-napping-_18002595 It was ironical. In the airport last week, I mentioned to a lady that I was en route to Haiti. She responded that on her last trip there, it was "a planeload of white people", and questioned their intentions for the country. I was sorry she was not in the room last Wednesday when a group of brilliant, caring individuals -- black, white and in-between -- gathered at the Hotel Karibe in Port-au-Prince for a working session of the Haiti Action Network, organised by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Local Opinion Mon, 24 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT The JLP conference where 'cock mout kill cock' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-JLP-conference-where--cock-mout-kill-cock-_17986284 IN an effort to win approval and support of swing voters, persuade undecided, and woo the politically frustrated, the re-energised, but ever-skittish Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) triumvirate took to the National Arena last Sunday for their 71st Annual Conference. They delivered a performance unlike the 70 before it. Chief among the troika was the fearless leader, Andrew Holness. He wasted no time in reminding his loyal minions of his greatness. He cleaned Portia's clock before reasserting the obviousness of his manhood for everyone to hear. With pouted lips and a heliotrope -looking tongue, he declared: "I am different from Portia Simpson Miller..." Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT I welcome the Cable and Wireless acquisition of Flow http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/I-welcome-the-Cable-and-Wireless-acquisition-of-Flow HAVING been a subscriber to Flow’s triple play service for many years, at the very moment I read that the Cable and Wireless (CWC) had bought Columbus Communications, known to us in Jamaica as Flow, I envisioned rates going down because of increased competition from the dominant player in the region, Digicel. Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:03:46 GMT The reparations claim is still the perfect sideshow http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-reparations-claim-is-still-the-perfect-sideshow It was recently reported that Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Vaz and People’s National Party (PNP) MP Raymond Pryce had a clash of sorts in the House while Pryce was giving a presentation on reparations. Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:10:46 GMT Inadequate int'l response to Ebola should never repeat itself http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Inadequate-int-l-response-to-Ebola-should-never-repeat-itself_17986180 THE good news is that a prophylactic vaccine against chikungunya, developed by the Austrian biotech company Themis Bioscience GmbH, is reported to induce a significant neutralising immune response to the disease and is confirmed as safe. Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Outameni — Classic case of wolves raiding the farm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Outameni---Classic-case-of-wolves-raiding-the-farm_17986356 Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it. -- Laurence J Peter, The Peter Principle Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Unpleasant dance with CCJ by Jamaica and T&T http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Unpleasant-dance-with-CCJ-by-Jamaica-and-T-T_17986109 IT was a significant coincidence for reflection that the day after Andrew Holness, parliamentary Opposition leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), declared he was in no mood at this time to support his country's access to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final appellate institution, both the Jamaica Observer and the Barbados Nation published editorials critical of his party's continuing negative positions against this most vital court of the Caribbean Community (Caricom). Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Marital rape — a myth, seriously? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Marital-rape---a-myth--seriously-_17984100 HAVING sexual intercourse with anyone without that one's consent is rape in law, whether the one who has not consented is wife, sweetheart or whoever. This is true too for Christian couples, despite some misunderstanding of Paul's point in 1 Corinthians: 7: 1 - 6. Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Battling Ebola: the worst of humanitarian missions http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Battling-Ebola--the-worst-of-humanitarian-missions_17993674 KENEMA, Sierra Leone (AFP) — An invisible, murderous enemy that puts caregivers in almost unbearable working conditions, Ebola is a gruelling test for even the most experienced humanitarian. International Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Sterilisation deaths highlight women's lack of options http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Sterilisation-deaths-highlight-women-s-lack-of-options_17986522 THE news of the death of 13 women in Chhattisgarh, India, after undergoing faulty surgical sterilisation procedures is shocking. The target-centric mass sterilisation drive and the resultant tragedy is appalling and unimaginable in any civilised society. It is puzzling that such incidents happen while India is considered to be a preferred medical tourism destination. Poor women are offered a paltry incentive to undergo sterilisation surgery highlighting the risks women face in reproductive health in a country struggling with high rates of poverty. Local Opinion Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT A prelude to cultivating creative minds http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-prelude-to-cultivating-creative-minds_17975000 DURING the twentieth century, the world watched as the United States churned out innovation after innovation. Now, however, the tables are turning. Many other countries are placing innovation at the top of their national agendas. From Singapore to Finland, from Chile to China, countries around the world are designing novel approaches to innovation strategy. They are creating forward-looking education and talent-development policies, pouring money into large-scale initiatives, and snapping up new assets in the form of intellectual capital and infrastructure. (John Kao, Harvard Business Review, March 2009) Local Opinion Sat, 22 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT They lie, the CSME union cannot help us http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/They-lie--the-CSME-union-cannot-help-us_17984374 JAMAICA is the only Caricom member to not prosper under independence. The Barbados dollar is still two to one, the EC$2.70 to US$1; even with bauxite and Usain Bolt our dollar is crap. Local Opinion Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Mash down or build up? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Mash-down-or-build-up_17983607 DEAR Cousin: Local Opinion Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT It is healthy to distrust our politicians http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/It-is-healthy-to-distrust-our-politicians_17974804 ONE day a pack of wolves invaded your pen of goats and went about in wild abandon to rip the flesh from the animals even while they were still alive. Some they left-half devoured, others they dragged away after they were partly sated. Local Opinion Thu, 20 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT Constitution Day's 70th anniversary http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Constitution-Day-s-70th-anniversary_17970994 NOVEMBER 20, 1944 was nomination day for the first-ever elections held under universal adult suffrage in Jamaica. That election was held on December 14, 1944. This meant that all adults had the right to vote. Prior to 1944, one had to pay at least ten shillings tax per year or have property to be able to vote. Local Opinion Thu, 20 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT Working together for men and boys http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Working-together-for-men-and-boys_17968866 According to Jerome Teelucksingh -- who conceptualised the day in 1999 -- the objectives of International Men's Day include highlighting discrimination against men and boys, and celebrating their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and childcare. Local Opinion Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:00:00 GMT Break up political meddling in NHT's governance structure http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Break-up-political-meddling-in-NHT-s-governance-structure_17969325 Under a PNP Government money has allegedly been used to develop a housing complex that benefited many short-term contributors. The PNP Government used NHT funds as a major part of negotiating their International Monetary Fund (IMF) contract. And here we are again. Can you smell something? Local Opinion Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:00:00 GMT Who will rescue us from CHIKV? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Who-will-rescue-us-from-CHIKV-_17959749 We're still waiting to be rescued...I weep, seized by grief. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no doctor in the house? So why can't something be done to heal and save my dear, dear people? (Jeremiah 8:20-22, The Message and NKJV) Local Opinion Tue, 18 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT The super ministry we need — Part II http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-super-ministry-we-need---Part-II_17959213 MANY of us will agree that there is an embarrassing sense of chaos, indiscipline and dysfunctional behaviour in our society that is inimical to sustainable growth and development. However, there is not a corresponding sense of what infrastructure can and should be used to tackle these issues, some of which have their genesis in deviant subcultures emerging out of a social structure that marginalises significant sections of the population. In our case, we have a criminal subculture, a conflict subculture that typically develops in instances where communal bonds are fragile, giving rise to gangs, and a retreatist subculture that manifests itself in substance abuse. The frustration of life here is the incubator for all of these. Local Opinion Tue, 18 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT