This weekend I…

  • went for ‘dessert’ (nachos) and hot chocolate at Brucefield Farm
  • did some crafting and watching of television
  • ate half a pizza
  • stayed up watching weird programmes on Sky (except Miami Ink, which isn’t weird), eating ice cream (yes, me who is cold), taco chips and drinking juice (I’m a real animal, me)
  • spent the afternoon in Glasgow (more socks for monkeys)
  • watched The Day After Tomorrow (which was bloody scary since it’s so possible — we’ve gotta move back to Singapore to avoid the new Ice Age)

The black, rich sheep

Heeheehee: “The Singaporeans’ kiasu (win at all costs) negotiating style does them few favours in a region where saving face is important. But it is hard to avoid the suspicion that the little country’s unforgivable offence is being richer and more successful than its neighbours, and not particularly apologetic about it.” — Let’s all bash Singapore

Prisoner human rights lawsuits — a growth industry

This is going to end up a Scottish prison rights (or opposition to) bloog at some point. Yet another ‘human rights’ case funded by legal aid is being raised on behalf of a serial armed robber, who thinks that all his outgoing calls being preceded by a recorded message (stating that the call is originating from a Scottish prison and may be monitored) causes “an additional level of discomfort” in his dealings with the outside world.

I’ll just stop there and let you absorb the lunacy of this supposedly legal claim.

If I had a relative who was a criminal (oh wait, I do — he just prefers to be fugitive in China), I wouldn’t be ashamed of it, I would want people to know so if they do ever get to speak to said criminal relative, forewarned is forearmed.

I don’t want taxes I pay to go to funding this serial criminal’s attempt to create a mockery out of what is already a screwed up prison system. Dude, you hold people up. You threaten them with violence. You got caught. You don’t deserve the same rights as people who don’t break the law.

I really hope that the judiciary sees this for the waste of time it is.


Very uncool of me to agree with this considering what I do for a living right now: “If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that “says something” about your personality, don’t bother. You don’t have a personality.” — I hate Macs

By the way, I don’t like the Mac ads. They’re kinda boring.

Also, my sister’s Mac started giving her serious problems after two years, needing to go get fixed. I used my Windows ME laptop for five years before upgrading, and I don’t HAVE to upgrade to Vista now. But then I forget that rabid Mac fans buy an upgrade as soon as it comes out, and probably assume that the rest of the world is as brand-loyal as they are.

Oh boy

a quiet counter-insurgency, my arse
Image source: theory.isthereason

THE People’s Action Party (PAP) is mounting a quiet counter-insurgency against its online critics.” So online critics are insurgents? I’m guessing this is the unsubtle way of letting Singaporeans with independent political thought who might dare express an opposing opinion that they are “rising in revolt” and are therefore leaving themselves wide open to perfectly legal raids and arrests by the ISD?

It’s not the content of the report that bothers me, politics is a dirty business and astro-turfing ain’t exactly new. I have a real problem with them associating online critics and insurgencies as stated fact. Insurgencies are usually violent and cause fear in the general population. It’s about declaring a murky and very real war against an established government, with shifting alliances and guerilla tactics.

That the news article never even questioned the reference to online critics as insurgents (bad, like the Taliban in Afghanistan) versus Ng En Hen’s new media committee as counter-insurgents (good, like the NATO forces fighting the Taliban) is what makes this so baldly propagandistic. They don’t care that ‘anonymous’ postings promoting the PAP line are a lameass tactic, they are fomenting the concept that being critical of the PAP is equivalent to being part of an anti-government revolt.

And we all know what happens to Singaporeans who are deemed a national security risk.

Your average Singaporean isn’t going to risk being branded as a revolutionary who will turn to violence, even when they know it’s complete and utter bullshit. The PAP has nurtured the offline political climate for so long, and they’ve attempted to do the same online for ages. So far they haven’t succeeded.

Read Xenoboy.

Questions of natural selection

Why is it the people who buy the expensive cars with the attendant high maintenance and repair costs are the ones who drive as though they are the only people on the road, pushing into queues WITHOUT LOOKING to make sure it’s safe?

Why is it the people who behave as though they are the dog’s nuts are the ones who DON’T WASH THEIR HANDS after going to the toilet? YES, I WITNESSED IT AGAIN. I think I need to print out a sign and stick it on the wall in the bathroom, something along the lines of ‘I have noticed, on more than one occasion, that at least one dirty besom doesn’t wash her hands after weeing. Please note that it’s people like you who aid epidemics of infectious diseases like SARS and bird flu. Wash your bloody hands.’

The more you get, the more you want

Maybe because I’m the kind of Singaporean they want (except for that pesky independent thought thing), or perhaps because it doesn’t take a genius to know that welfare can be a bad thing, but I agree with workfare and disagree with any proposed introduction of unemployment benefit to help the less well-off:

“We can’t stop the income gap from widening because the wages are determined by the global competition for knowledge workers, and by the excessive supply of unskilled workers,” says Mr. Lim, the minister and union leader.

“But what we’re trying to do is to make sure that the widening income gap doesn’t necessarily translate into a widening social gap.”

When you live in a town where paid employment is a dirty word (really) and widespread disbelief abounds when one might choose not to sign up for welfare if unemployed, there’s lots to be thankful for. I’m thankful that Neil has never fallen into the cycle of unemployment benefit and was raised in the belief that one had to work for one’s money (despite the attitude of the community around him). I’m thankful that I have never been raised to feel entitled to welfare handouts.

I think Singapore would be going down a very ill-advised road if the government ever decided to introduce unemployment benefit, unless that benefit meant providing more work opportunities and/or training to those who’re having problems. And if an unemployed, low-skilled Singaporean considers themselves ‘too good’ for certain jobs, then that’s a CHOICE they have made.

The problem I see is it’s the oldies who are willing to do the work, even really crap work, if they have to. With people from my generation, we’re all Gimme Gimme Gimme while being Lazy Lazy Lazy. We don’t know how lucky we are. When it comes to senior citizens who have worked their butts off, they deserve support. Housing support, daily expense support, and centres where they can pursue recreational activities. I will gladly pay tax towards that. But not to create a society where the unemployed stay unemployed because there’s no NEED to work to feed or shelter themselves. If Singapore goes down that road, we’re going to end up with generations of dole-bludgers who have no dignity or pride.

(By the way, what in the hell is up with young women in the UK who have babies to get a council flat? What in God’s name did their parents teach them? Children are not a commodity to be exploited.)