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 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 Outameni...many issues http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Outameni---many-issues_17954983 I think financial commentator Ralston Hyman said it well in a radio interview last Friday: "If the National Housing Trust (NHT) wanted guaranteed earnings from the people's deposits for housing, GOJ treasury bills would have yielded them seven to eight per cent. Otherwise, if they were wondering how best to spend $180 million, why not just put it towards building a few well-needed homes for the less fortunate?" Local Opinion Mon, 17 Nov 2014 02:00:00 GMT Reduce tobacco consumption, save lives http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Reduce-tobacco-consumption--save-lives_16761286 WITH nearly 35 per cent of India's adult population (age 15+) consuming some form of tobacco, there are around 275 million people in the country smoking and/or chewing this poison, and an estimated 1 million dying every year from tobacco-related diseases. Moreover, 27 per cent of the youth (age group 13-15 years) are exposed to second-hand smoke at home and 40 per cent are exposed to second hand smoke in public places. Bidis or cheap hand-rolled cigarettes -- which outsell cigarettes by a ratio of 8:1-- are the most popular tobacco product used in India comprising 48 per cent of the tobacco market. Chewing tobacco comes next at 38 per cent followed by cigarettes at 14 per cent. Local Opinion Mon, 17 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT Out of money dance moves http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Out-of-money-dance-moves_17942893 OFF into the distance way above the green rib of hills carrying the rains could be heard the low rumble of thunder. On the flat, in the crowded city, it was sweltering as the sun baked the black skins of many confused Jamekyans scurrying around trying to earn a bare-bones living. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Something stinks... and it's not the pond http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Something-stinks----and-it-s-not-the-pond_17931894 People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT The politics of Outameni and the awful communications http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-politics-of-Outameni-and-the-awful-communications_17942887 IF we are not careful, we run the risk in Jamaica of allowing politics and political subterfuge to ruin our country even further. Unfortunately, there is nothing original about this opening statement; we have been feeling this way about the tribal nature of politics for years, yet we continue to give it succour and are slavishly wedded to its advancement at all costs. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Cricket needs a national hero http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Cricket-needs-a-national-hero_17943047 The irresponsible behaviour of the West Indies cricket team last month when they pulled out of the India tour should not go unpunished. They have shocked the cricket world by their silly and immature behaviour and brought down the West Indies cricket image to its lowest point in the history of the game. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT 'Showdown' politics in Guyana http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Showdown--politics-in-Guyana_17949309 GUYANESE are currently anxiously monitoring political developments between the Government and the parliamentary Opposition following last Monday's dramatic suspension by the country's parliament by Head of State, Donald Ramotar, in the face of a then looming "no-confidence" motion against his People's Progressive Party-led Administration. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Government by participation and consultation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Government-by-participation-and-consultation_17942710 DESPITE the commendable improvement in collaboration among the private sector, labour, civil society groups, and the government dating back to the 1970s, I keep getting the feeling that the country has not sufficiently learnt the value of government by partnership and consultation over the 52 years of our Independence and in dealing with the intractable crisis that clearly plagues the matter of governance. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Stamp out all bullying! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Stamp-out-all-bullying-_17949349 If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor . — Bishop Desmond Tutu Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Right to recall http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Right-to-recall_17952817 There can be no doubt in our minds that a large number of Jamaicans have completely given up on politics. Day by day, the disease of voter apathy seems to engulf more and more of us as the voices of those opting not to vote are getting louder and louder. Whether we are willing to admit it or not this threatens the very core of our social order and I am now of the firm view that our democracy is on the brink of illegitimacy, with our political leaders on the verge of plunging into an abyss of irrelevance unless urgent and radical steps are taken to restore faith and confidence in our political system and to return power into the hands of the people. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 03:00:00 GMT Gross Imbalance: One woman on an 18-member commission for labour reform http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Gross-Imbalance--One-woman-on-an-18-member-commission-for-labour-reform_17886164 COMING fast on the heels of the recently held International Monetary Fund seminar dubbed "Women, Work and the Jamaican Economy", the Government in their announcement carried by the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 named an 18-member Labour Reform Commission. Local Opinion Sun, 16 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT Anti-Obama forces cloud global stability http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Anti-Obama-forces-cloud-global-stability_17942382 With just two years effectively left in Barack Obama's presidency of the United States, the world suddenly looks set to face even more danger than it does currently. Local Opinion Sat, 15 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT For men only http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/For-men-only-_17940961 This is not a Kingston College Old Boys (KCOB) 'man ting', but I have to disinvite women. Sorry, no beating the gate, peering over transoms or eavesdropping. Men only! Local Opinion Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Rising temperature on the election thermometer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Rising-temperature-on-the-election-thermometer_17940692 OUR next general election is two years away -- that is if we hold out until 2016. Seems like we're doing a test run now. To gauge from current events, what else could it be than a warm-up? With little or no adverse warning, the Outameni/National Housing Trust matter has brought political ill-feelings back to centre field. Is there hope that this could shorten the distance of running track? Local Opinion Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Outameni and party hacks http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Outameni-and-party-hacks_17931098 SO the Government has purchased 'Outameni' in Falmouth. Dr Horace Chang has been quoted as saying that the sale offer came while the Jamaica Labour Party was in office, and they refused it. Local Opinion Thu, 13 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT 'Apostle' Steve Lyston lick 'im head? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-Apostle--Steve-Lyston-lick--im-head-_17931099 If ever proof was needed that those who do more than dabble on the fringes of religious fundamentalism have long made that trip to a distorted neurological place, it was presented to us in a Gleaner column written by Steve Lyston 'Marital rape: A blatant attack on Christian principles', published on November 10, 2014. Local Opinion Thu, 13 Nov 2014 01:00:00 GMT