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Archive for March, 2007

Today’s Reads (Mar 29)

Posted by intellisg on March 29, 2007

Minister Pay Hike



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“In God We Trust?” – An American Lesson

Posted by intellisg on March 28, 2007

dollarbill.jpgNo one grows up thinking his destiny is to become a superhero. That’s because he isn’t Bill, who regular gives lectures every Saturday night in the community center in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a grueling form of penance he says. “Something I just need to do to get it out of my system.” A way even of mourning the collapse of his most cherished ambitions – “the American dream.” Bill, who drives a yellow cab, is one of those who believe the Freemasons are controlling America and world.

In Bill’s universe, the ubiquitous one dollar bill isn’t just currency as it is a cause celebre for the disgruntled, who believe the same – “we are being controlled by benign forces who have permeated the highest level of government!” That’s their mantra. I want to emphasize Bill isn’t just an ordinary taxi driver. He describes his job almost in religious terms, speculating on such questions as spiritual strength and the importance of finding one’s path through the search for the “great truth.” Bill believes the “great truth” lies in the mystery of how a pyramid features at the back of a one dollar note –“that’s the easy part,” he says, “it’s a Masonic symbol so they (the freemasons) control us and whole world.”

Sitting down for one of Bills lectures and listening to his obscure disquisitions on the nature of “the truth,” ranks as one of the most riveting experiences in my life. Not only does he come across as legitimate, intelligent and well researched, but what Bill actually says makes a cogent case. Its one that leads me to ask, “What the hell went wrong with America?” – “Why is the freest country on this planet, mired by so many conspiracy theories as to who actually runs the government?” – “Why do conspiracy theories continue to suggest, some unseen and benign hand has somehow seized the reins of authority in the most powerful country on this planet?”

At the heart of the question: what does a one dollar American bill have to do with the proposed pay rise of civil servants and public administrators in Singapore? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Politics, Sociology | 10 Comments »

Today’s Reads (Mar 28)

Posted by inspir3d on March 28, 2007

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Singapore Government Ministers’ Salaries: The Debate

Posted by inspir3d on March 27, 2007


  1. The Government’s Case
    • MM Lee Kuan Yew
    • PM Lee Hsien Loong
  2. The Blogosphere’s Reply

Read the rest of this feature >>

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

Today’s Reads (Mar 27)

Posted by intellisg on March 27, 2007

Pay Hikes



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[Film] When “300” Is Just Not Enough

Posted by intellisg on March 26, 2007

“Today, they are trying to tamper with history by making a film and by making Iran’s image look savage.” 21 March 2007.
– Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the film “300.” Reuters, AF-P.

For many Iranians and Arabs in the Middle East, the movie ‘300’ has been greeted with a mixture of anger and outrage. Its one that we may not really appreciate beyond dismissing as just another Arab nation overreacting once again – after all they are so sensitive aren’t they? That’s only because you’ve probably never ever heard of the word, “Thermopylae” before have you? No it’s not a Teflon frying pan. Neither is it even a space age insulator used by astronauts in their space suits. Nor a transparent film that cuts out deadly UV rays commonly used in automobiles.

The battle of Thermopylae 480BC was first recorded by the classical Greek historian, Herodotus, who lived in the Persian city of Halicarnassus. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Film, History, Politics | 14 Comments »

Today’s Reads (Mar 26)

Posted by intellisg on March 26, 2007

Public Sector Salaries


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The Perils of Attempting to Regulate the Internet

Posted by intellisg on March 25, 2007

Recently at a Foreign Correspondents Association lunch, the government unveiled its strategy to manage the new media. Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan – mentioned the need to set “the rules of engagement” for the new media.

It’s a development that has generated considerable consternation in blogosphere – some have labeled it, simply as yet another attempt to control and regulate the internet. Others feel real or imagined. This was simply just another ploy designed to cower wayward bloggers to behave or else…… The oblique threat is clear – we live in a world of implications. So now you know the facts of life – the writing is on the wall.

This throws out the question what are the drivers which had led to this development? What does the government hope to accomplish and more important will it really work? Are there any pitfalls? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Media, Politics | 24 Comments »

Weekend Bulletin (Mar 24/25)

Posted by intellisg on March 25, 2007

Public Sector Salaries

Scholarships & Bonds




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Today’s Reads (Mar 22)

Posted by intellisg on March 22, 2007


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“When Singapore Inc Simply Means Having to Apologize (Part II) – A Surreal Conversation With A Rabbit

Posted by intellisg on March 21, 2007

“People don’t hate what they see. They hate what they don’t see. The only problem is how do you even fight what you can’t see? See what I mean folks! That’s the thing that drives me up the wall. That’s the whole problem with those cotton picking commies! I just hate them for all the wrong reasons that I can’t seem to see, let alone think of!”

It’s a quote once uttered by an obscure senator by the name of Joseph McCarthy whose brief arc in American history exemplified the psychology of hate on a national and continental scale.


I am certain something like those feelings which was once ran deep and silent in the American psyche during the 50’s. Currently exist in the mind of our Asian neighbors whenever the topic of Singapore and Singaporeans comes out. Real or imagined, these sentiments are often exacerbated by a milieu of factors, economic disparity, religious differences, historical fissures and a thousand other factors come into play. It all adds up to conjure the image where we (Singaporeans) are perceived as the rich kid on the block by our ASEAN neighbors. We are the smarty pants everyone likes to hate. Having said that, it also says very little beyond the run of the mill trite and cliché – it holds, saccharine true, only because it leaves a lingering taste long enough to remain believable. But falls short of being substantively convincing – that’s what happens when you use a lousy model – it produces lousy thinking – along with lousy results. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Politics, Sociology | 6 Comments »

Today’s Reads (Mar 21)

Posted by inspir3d on March 21, 2007

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