|From Media Slog|
I'm off to India and I won't be back until early Sunday morning.
There won't be too many new posts for a while.
Jame Dobson's Focus on the Family group recently published a series of dire warnings to Christians about the implications of an Obama presidency (Link). It is written as a letter from a Christin in 2012 who has suffered through eight years of an Obama administration. The grievances on the list range from absurd (talk radio is shut down), to unlikely (Iran launches a nuclear bomb into Tel Aviv), to unimportant (Barnes and Noble stops selling Christian books). Maybe my attention span is just short, but the first of the thirty four items most caught my attention.
The first item on the list makes the claim that the Boy Scouts will disband if Obama is elected to the presidency. The reason for this is that Obama will overrun the Supreme Court with pro-homosexual judges who will make any critique of homosexuality a hate crime.
At first this seems far fetched, but if you consider the history and the demographics of the Boy Scouts, the concern is actually very real.
First, let's consider some history. The Supreme Court has mandated changes in Boy Scout policy in the past. In 1988, the required the to allow adult female scout masters. Before that time, the role of women in Boy Scouts was limited, but after the , female adult leaders were required to stand on equal footing with the men. Before that time, women could be assistant Scoutmasters, but they could not be Scoutmasters.
The effect of the female leaders hasn't always benefited the organization. There are great female leaders that carry out the duties of a scoutmaster, but there are also a host of moms that tag along on camping trips babying their children and altering the youth-led program. Instead of the cadre of off-duty teachers and retired army personnel that oversaw the troops of yesteryear, there is now a smattering of soccer moms that are not shy about making their influence in the camp known. When I was on a camp staff, it was the female leaders that disproportionately scolded the campers, critiqued the program, and wiped the little kids noses when the kids should have done it themselves. Time and time again, women were more likely to express their grievances with the camp rules and camp culture than the men who often grew up in the environment. It didn't matter that the camp culture and practices had stayed relatively constant for over sixty years.
I should also mention, Boy that have been operating since the 1920s also have had to change, mostly because of the complaints and lawsuit-threats posed by mommies who want to protect their Ritalin-addicted, hyperactive children.
The Supreme Court does have the power to alter the landscape of the Boy Scouts of America. I contend that the Boy Scouts will fracture, but not disappear, if the succeeds in integrating homosexuals into the Boy Scouts.
First, the two largest chartering organizations for the Boy Scouts are the Mormon church and the Catholic church. Many Boy Scout troops serve as youth groups for these churches, especially the Mormon ones. If gays are integrated into the BSA, the Mormon church won't tolerate it. The Mormons, and possibly the Catholics, would start splinter groups in order to avoid inviting homosexuals to lead their youth.
Second, if homosexuality were recognized as legitimate by the BSA, it would radically affect child protection policies for schools, youth groups, and camping organizations. If you are over 18, you need to join the Boy Scouts as a leader. You are shown a "youth protection" video that specifically tells you what is inappropriate and what is not appropriate. Though never explicitly stated, physical homosexual relationships definitely fall into the inappropriate category. Under the current system, it is easy to expel and prosecute pedophiles that might infiltrate the Boy Scouts. If you are over 18 and you do one of the inappropriate things, you will not be welcome in the organization. If what you did is a crime, sexual or otherwise- you will be criminally prosecuted.
If the BSA were required to fully or partially integrate homosexuals, the most severe problem would occur when a young adult leader (aged 18-20) decided to have a homosexual relationship with an older scout (aged 15-17). In an organization that does require that you spend a lot of time in tents, how should this be handled? If it were tolerated, you would see large groups of people leaving the organization.
Third, the BSA has some cozy ties with the military. Many BSA events, including the National Jamboree, are still held on military bases. If the Boy Scouts becomes an organization that gets no federal support, these events would have to stop.
I will conclude by recognizing that no matter who is elected, the outcome may be unavoidable. Who was president in 1988 when women were integrated into the BSA? Reagan.
Today people are looking to John McCain to protect the scouts, and allow the BSA to be an organization of constancy and tradition. Focus on the Family expects McCain to help protect the BSA from ACLU lawsuits and the relativist values of the twenty-first century and to allow the organization to continue teaching character, leadership, and conservation. Unfortunately, if Reagan couldn't protect the Boy Scouts from the tide of the times, I doubt McCain will be able to handle the job.
11/5/08 Update: This situation is not exactly how I described it in this article. In the 1987 court case BSA vs. Catherine Pollard, the BSA won. However, immediately after their Supreme Court victory, the national board voted to allow the inclusion of female scout masters. It is difficult to tell if this was a legitimate change of heart or an attempt to comply with not only federal, but also state laws. Link
My totally unpredictable flatmate has created a scene in Singapore once again.
Right now X-08, the X-Box 2008 convention is going on at at Marina Square, and my flatmate was particularly excited about the demo for the unreleased, upcoming game Gears of War 2.
After playing in multi-player mode for fifteen minutes, my flatmate looked at the Chinese guy who had been playing with him and said, "Hey, do you want to try the main game?"
The Chinese guy shrugged, and my flatmate quit the mode and selected story mode.
The title screen came up and the Gears of War 2 intro began. Ten seconds later, the X-Box team that was running the demo noticed. They ran up to him and, without saying a word, they took his controller.
"He entered story mode," one said to another.
Then another staff member reset the machine and asked him to leave the demo area.
I don't understand why they couldn't have just told him that going into story mode was against the rules. Why would they need to yank his controller away for accessing a legitimate part of the game?
At least they didn't the X-Box staff didn't take his posters away from him.
It's too bad that both Sheylara and Tomb Raider were there yesterday; they might have helped fight for this gamer's rights.
Entering Singapore as a foreigner is like a freshman attending college orientation, you are bombarded by people that offer you invitations for events, clubs, outings, and organizations.
When I first arrived in Singapore, I started attending the Tuesday Group prayer meeting. The Tuesday Group is an interdenominational group of Christian believers that gets together to sing worship songs, pray for one another, and listen to guest speakers.
I really liked attending the group, but I eventually had to stop. Their meetings didn't end until after eleven o'clock, and I usually have to be at work at 7:45 A.M. Moreover, there were two people that went that I really liked to hang out with, but they stopped going too.
Yet since the days that I attended Tuesday Group three years ago, I've been on the Tuesday Group mailing list. Most of the group members are young, spiritually energetic artists who pass around inspiring articles and engage in challenging debates. I've also learned about a lot of great concert events, speaking events, and public service opportunities through the mailing list.
However, some of the stuff published on the e-mail list can be qualified as outlandish. One fellow named Mike Reyes, a Filipino youth minister, used to be one of the most outspoken members of the group. He would talk about all of the healings and miracles that happened to him, and his desire to testify in the name of Christ. Since moving back to the Philippines, he still reguarly posts graphic, rambling descriptions of his ministry that pay no heed to standard grammar and puncutation rules.
Compared to other spiritual accounts that people write, his experiences register on the gonzo-maniacal end of the spectrum. When I first saw the material that he sent to the newsgroup of over four hundred and fifty people, I was skeptical and blown away. I forwarded it on to some of the more level headed Christians that I know, and their response was don't judge it until you see it.
My first year in Singapore, I heard Mike speak several times. The most insane account I remember was when he told of his successful attempt to heal a taxi driver's hemorrhoids with the laying-on of hands. I also saw him try to heal a twelve year old boy who had one leg slightly longer than the other. I personally didn't notice any difference, and most of the adults in the room didn't either. At the time, the boy couldn't really decide what happened.
Well, the bottom line is that, if the things Mike says are true, then the whole world needs to listen to him and allow what he says to be a conduit for God's message of repentance and salvation. If the things that he is saying are false, and he's just garnering attention by manipulating the sick and lame by giving a few moments of temporal hope by evoking the name of Jesus, then he's the world's most egotistical hypocrite.
Either way, I think that it is appropriate fodder for a blog post.
Without further ado, I present to you Mike Reyes' latest Tuesday Group ministry report:
HI guys here is a summary of some of the extreme and cool miracles Jesus did thru us in our TNT ministry.
I (mike reyes) was invited to this media event and there i met this mtv vj from thailand who does fortune telling and tarot cards for people so as we were talking God gave me a word for her and i prophesied over her in the club and she started cryin and God showed me intimate details about her life. She told me that she was an only child but i told her that God showed me that she had a blood sister and she freaked out and said that she didn't tell me that her did has a daughter from another woman and so she was amazed that Jesus and my Holy Spirit spirit guide ha ha was more powerful and accurate then hers. i got to share with her about Jesus but needs to think it over first but will come to my meetings and bring her family when i go to thailand in february.
One of my 13yr olds miguel, God has been using him to make people taller and lose weight supernaturally on the spot. There's been at least 5 people he prayed for that grew 4 inches taller and one lady grew 5 inches taller. Another lady lost 4 inches on the spot instant weight loss as miguel commanded in Jesus name and whats cool is that all these miracles God was using 13yr old miguel for was in the context of a restaurant, dinner party, birthday party, black tie or one of those taddler events or media event since his parents are kinda socialites.
Whats even cooler is when i prayed for miguel's mom and she lost weight not just in her belly but arms and legs as well miguel said if mike who is not like a pastor cuz he acts so normal i can also do it cuz i'm also a child of God and he started doin it and its happenin nearly everyday.
Two weeks ago miguel enrolled in his new international school and after he took the exam to get in he asked the teacher if he was alright then the teacher opened up to this 13yr old about his father dying. After that miguel ministered prophetically to the teacher and had a word of knowledge of major pain in his back and prayed and the teachers arms and legs grew out and the teacher was healed then he led the teacher to Jesus. After that, 4 more teachers entered the room to see what was goin on and 13yr old miguel ended up prayin for them to be healed and all were healed of back and neck and knee and arthritic pain and he led all of the teachers to Jesus.
Last week i (mike reyes) was invited to pray for this young man whom the doctors said would be a vegetable for life and would never open his eyes and had given him up to die cuz of major damage to the brain cells. The doctors said he'd neve be able to move or speak or swallow or do anything again according to the neurologist. But! the parents of this young man believed otherwise and by their faith in Jesus he opened his eyes but still couldn't see.
So i went to pray for this young man and God led me to pray for him to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues. So as we went in the room i explained to this young man in the coma what i was about to pray for him for and as i laid my hands on him and commanded him to be filled with the Holy Spirit i started speakin in tongues and HE ALSO STARTED MOVING HIS MOUTH AND TONGUE AND STARTED SPEAKING IN TONGUES! then i told him to keep doin it cuz its good for his brain to recover. AFter we prayed for him i ministered to his dog that hadn't been drinkin water for 5 days and not eating due to a malfunction in the kidney and the vet said the dog was goin to die. After i prayed for the dog the dog started jumping around full of energy then i told them to give it food and water and the dog finished the whole pale of water and food and it was a sign for them that God's power was in the house. After that i ministered to the father that had shooting pain down his leg and back pain all over and as we commanded in Jesus name all the pain left and he could walk without pain and he also grew about an inch taller.
The next day i got a call from the father that a doctor visited his son that was in a coma and the doctor said that there was improvement and the son wouldn't die anymore but would be a vegetable for life and when the doctor said that his son, who had not moved in more than 6 months, gave the doctor the middle finger cuz he was mad and heard wat the doctor said ha ha! That suprised the doctor and then the dad closed his son's hand and said he didn't mean it then ten min later when the doctor was about to leave he reiterated that he'll still probably be a vegetable for life and it was just a reflex and sure enough the young man heard wat the doctor said and gave him the middle finger again to the doctor's amazement.
On the third day after this the young man was able to open his eyes and his eyes could follow people unlike before and his eyes kept followin the ice cream and so they fed it to him and now he can see and swallow contrary to the doctors reports that he would never be able to see and swallow! They also found out that after we prayed for him the infection in his stomach and urinary tract disappeared on the spot without any antibiotics.
Lately we'll also had alot of gout and eye healings so that people need to change the grade of their glasses and partially blind getting healed. Alot of people with lung problmes and difficutly breathing gettin healed on the spot and most of it over the phone.
My nephew marcus was hospitalized because his blood platelets which should be at 500,000 dropped to like 6,000 cuz the antibodies were attacking the body. So my cousin in law Mike called me to pray for marcus who is only like 8 months old and so i prayed on the phone and asked wat they need the platelet count to be and he said 15,000 so i commanded in Jesus name for it to be 15,000 then they took the count 3 min later and found it was 15,000. Two days after they called me again and said they were goin to do another platelet count and i asked him wat do they need it to be be and he said 50,000 and he can go out of the hospital and so i commanded in Jesus name and 3 min later they checked and texted me it went up to 50,000 so he was discharged from the hospital. Yet the doctors were concerned whether this was chronic or acute or if the healing was just temporal so i told mike it don't matter we'll make it acute in Jesus name and better yet disappear so i asked him what platelet count the doctors needed to see to know that its not chronic and he said at least 150,000 and so in Jesus name i commanded it to be 160,000 and when the doctors checked an hour later it shot up to 210,000 so mike and the doctors know that Jesus was healin marcus totally!
Two weeks ago I (Mike Reyes) met this rich mestizo gangsta drug addict whose killed people 70yr old grandpa dude who has pain in his lungs and legs and can't walk without a walker. When i met him at his house he was cussing in spanish and tagalog and english and taglish. In the end of our meeting he found out that Jesus uses me and wanted to see if i would be phased by his cussin ha ha and he saw that i wasn't and said that he liked me and i was different and he could feel that i was like him. Then i said ya Jesus changed me and i'm still a thug but now i beat up the devil and sickness and disease so i shared with him about God's grace and love and how Jesus is the ultimate warrior and he won't become a sissy if he knows Jesus and Jesus wants to give him peace and change him and he agreed and i led him to Christ and immediately he said he felt lighter like a weight had been taken off him and then he called all his maids and drivers and wanted me to pray for them before prayin for him and so i led all the maids and driver to Christ and all started cryin and the driver got healed of a chronic pain in his stomach as i led him to Christ.
Then after i prayed for this old gangster and as i did he felt strength come into his lungs and he walked without the walker and walked straight. That nite he walked into his favorite restaurant and everyone noticed he was healed and he told them that Jesus healed him and they listened since he had a notorious reputation now i believe God will make him notorious in hell so soon i'll be doin a healing meeting with the rest of his family that are either sick with cancer, or addicted to drugs or alcohol or doin some illegal whatever. I'm looking forward to that meeting ;)!
AFter i was teachin on authority in Jesus cuz we're children of God one of my new christian girls wanted to practice so one day it was raining really hard and she didn't have an umbrella and so she said in Jesus name i will not get wet! And so she walked out into the rain and as she did she said she saw the rain (which was not a drizzle but like downpour rain) falling all around her but she wasn't gettin wet like there was an invisible bubble around her and she see the rain drops fallin on this shield around her as if the were thicker and she was so amazed that she actually stopped in the middle of the street where there's no shade out in the open to see if it was really happenin and as she stood there for more than a minute she still was not gettin wet and people were looking at her and by the end of her walk she was not wet not even a drop of water on her clothes or body. AFter she shared this testimony in our tnt meetin one of our guys did
the same thing and the same exact thing happened to him as he took authority in Jesus name!
There are more stories but i feel like i'm writing a book so i'll tell y'all when i'm back in singapore!! i got other stuff with witches and stuff ha ha! so much fun it is rockin wit Jesus!
LATER DEMON KILLAS!!!!
The winner of the Funny Song Saturday award:
Hamster on a Piano Eating Popcorn!
The runner up is the Boogie, Boogie Hedgehog
By the way, I'll soon post some original content. I've been busy with grade cards, cell group, and parent teacher conferences this week. Keep checking the site!
Read about the owner of one of the best coffee shops in Singapore:
And former economist Byron Shoh can vouch for this. As a living example of a banking and business strategist (with stints at Schroeders and Hewlett-Packard) turned roti kaya shop entrepreneur, he knows the market, churn rate, when to hold and when to sell.
MR BRENDAN TAN: If my neighbour had not chanced upon it one night at 1am, my Indonesian maid would have continued her nocturnal trysts. She and her boyfriend would be in her room for a few hours. She had met the Sabah man at a friend's birthday party during her monthly day-off six months ago. She would wait for my family and I to fall asleep, before sneaking him in. The CCTVs in the condominium could have captured their movements - if they had been functioning. She admitted that it had happened over 10 times and we've since sent her packing. She returned home with a grand total of $180 after working for 13 months with us, but she did not look remorseful. We've phoned the Sabah man too. He needs to know that his photo is available in the guardroom, perhaps next to Mas Selamat's. Their intimate act has been recorded in a police report, the closest they will come to solemnising their erstwhile relationship. Let this be a lesson for Singaporeans who employ maids - monitor your maids closely, check that the CCTVs, if any, actually work and be friendly to your neighbours. Still haunted by the image of a man tip-toeing around the house in the middle of the night, I have since thanked mine.'
A good friend is getting married in India on Halloween night, October 31. He wrote me about a week ago and asked me to be the best man. I agreed. It is a great honor to be involved, and my Indian friend really is one of the best friends that I've made since moving to Singapore.
Now I have two weeks to get my visa, book a plane ticket to Chennai, and make sure that I have a proper suit.
The marriage, like most Indian marriages, has been arranged. When I went to apply for the visa, a man who works at the Indian visa office asked why I was going to India. I told him that I was going to be in a wedding party. He asked me if it was a "love marriage" or an "arranged married." I told him arranged. He then asked how most people in America get married. I told him they fell in love. He then exclaimed in his thick Indian accent, "Aha! India has maximum arranged marriage; America has maximum love marriage!" It was as if he had just confirmed a lifelong suspicion and unlocked a minor secret of the universe.
There are some aspect of Fox News that I value. I like that they operate with an obvious conservative bias, rather than broadcasting from a left-leaning, pseudo-independent posture like most nationwide news outlets. I also appreciate the confrontational interview style of some of the reporters.
Unfortunately it seems that some Fox News tactic are bordering more on propaganda than journalism.
I just found this on the Media Matters for America blog:
On the July 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe "attack dogs," claiming that Steinberg's June 28 article on the "ominous trend" in Fox News' ratings was a "hit piece." During the segment, however, Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered -- the journalists' teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and portions of Reddicliffe's hair moved further back on his head. Fox News gave no indication that the photos had been altered.
Read the full story.
Whether you believe in God or not, you must admit that she has a point:
I'd like to fly everyone I know that is worried about the stinking American economy on a plane over to some remote African country where people are wearing rags and living to an average age of 42 and barely grow enough food to chew on and are praying for some kind of hope to hold onto... And I would make those friends of mine see how blessed they are in comparison to be able to wake up in a warm bed in the morning and drink clean water, to go to bed with a full stomach, to have shelter on a rainy day, money in their pockets, eyeglasses to correct poor vision, toothbrushes, radios, television and entertainment galore... ...
Hubby pointed out that he wouldn't start fretting about the economy until people stopped sitting in the Starbucks' drive-thru (burning gas, mind you) waiting for their five-dollar iced mocha lattes. Please, America, don't you see why the rest of the world thinks we're lazy, spoiled gluttons? Please...
The Singapore City Gallery, located at the URA building, has three dimensional maps that feature scale models of each of Singapore's buildings. I remember when I was growing up that I was impressed by the miniature Pittsburgh that was shown during the opening of each episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. However, the City Gallery takes the cake as the grandaddy of all scale models.
I saw this exhibit immediately after Social Media Breakfast 4. I laughed out loud when Claudia suggested getting action figures and marching them down the streets of Singapore. Imagine a gigantic Hello Kitty toppling the Singapore Flyer or a 500 ft. tall He-man riding Battle Cat down Orchard Rd.
Nerdbots are humanoids hacked together from thrift shop items. A few years ago a Kansas City couple decided to make their first robotic friend. Since then they've been supplementing their income by selling their creations.
I need to have a little initiative and be a little more creative. If I could earn some income doing something like this, I gladly would.
If you live near Kansas City, you can visit their shop at 115 W. 18th Street.
Visit the official Nerdbots site.
Believe it or not, I learned about this on a Singaporean's blog.
Yesterday I watched a forum led by Willy Foo about the role that social media such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter should play in advertising. The object of this post isn't to summarize what was said, (Yuhui and Dorothy have done an excellent job of that) but rather to critique the discussion.
One conclusion was that advertisers for certain products can help themselves by sponsoring fun and exciting events, sometimes featuring alcohol, to grab the attention of bloggers. Two archetypes for these events would be the Intel Centrino 2 launch that took place on a yacht and the recent Samsung blogger night.
Don't misunderstand me, such events are cool. They are unique experiences and if you are going to while away your hours in front of a keyboard writing about your consumer life, it is a nice perk if companies want to help provide interesting experiences to showcase their products.
However, two other vital aspects, and these were mentioned but not dwelt on, are integrity and quality. Bloggers, especially Singapore bloggers, are in a unique position. There is only limited press freedom and there are no independent newspapers or independently owned television stations on the island. If you want to get unfiltered information in Singapore, the internet is the only source. If bloggers as a group really want to stand out, they need to maintain their independence and produce quality content.
I was disappointed to hear Derrick Koh of Lenovo say that many Singapore bloggers suffer from SOS, Shiny Object Syndrome. Instead of searching for quality products, some Singapore bloggers, especially those on the A-List, are only interested in glitz, glamor, and drawing attention to themselves. Moreover, there's a bevy of twenty-something bloggers who make it their narcissistic goal to be the next Xia Xue or Dawn Yang. It wouldn't shock me if one day Sheylara decided to showcase a custom, rhinestone encrusted X-box. During one conversation during brunch, a fellow named Krisandro expressed his desire to be the first male to acquire this type of fame (He was probably joking; he's a pretty funny guy).
The self-aggrandizing, wannabe-celeb attitude is a mindset that Singapore bloggers should squelch. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that your blog is your pathway to celebrity; and don't allow ad companies to buy your integrity.
What should bloggers, especially those that write for a diverse audience, do? They should focus on quality and originality. No, you won't necessarily get famous or get the most hits. (I sure don't.) You might not get any hits except for your friends and acquaintances. Yet the benefits will still be there. At parties you will come across as articulate and well-informed because you're a writer that has something to say. When prospective employers search for your name on Google, they won't find a series of embarrassing pictures of you and your friends playing dress-up in the Gap fitting room. When people find your site via search they will discover helpful and interesting articles, and they won't find a bunch of distracting, juvenile drivel.
Three years ago I was introduced to the Singapore blog scene at the Singapore Writer's Festival. I was able to meet Miyagi, Mr. Brown, and Xia Xue. While I was there I was also able to see a talk by the world's number one blogger, Cory Doctorow. While many Singapore bloggers (you know who you are) focus on themselves and getting famous, Cory focuses on important social issues- digital rights, social activism, and the opportunities presented by new media.
Thankfully, during the SMB forum there were some moments of clarity. Pat Law, a tech saavy Singapore ad agent, expressed the belief that blogger marketing was in the honeymoon stage. She feared that unless there was adequate monitoring and quality control, social media marketing could easily go the way of the Tupperware party. Derrick Koh of Lenovo revealed that his company views social media as an extension of its support division. When people blog or write about their Lenovo laptop problems, they read the posts and try to fix the problems.
My plea to bloggers is this- don't sell your hearts and minds for a drink and a good time to allow your website to become a virtual extension of Vivo City. Use your blog as an outlet to express your interests, originality, ideas, and ideals. You may not become famous, but the internet will be a better place and, in the long run, other bloggers and the citizens of Singapore will benefit.
Today it was my privilege to attend Singapore's fourth Social Media Breakfast at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) building.
While I was at the URA building I decided to go on the City Gallery tour. In this gallery, the entire island is mapped out to scale with each building represented by a wooden model. The collection of three-dimensional maps is illuminated by bright, and sometimes colorful, overhead lights. At times the ambiance of the place was similar to the lair of a 1960's Bond villain. I can just imagine Singapore's city planners moving the buildings around like chess pieces as they plot the government's plan for efficient economic development and domination.
But it was not the maps that scared me. In one exhibit in the City Gallery you can see the Skycam- a high resolution camera mounted on the top of a Chinatown building. With this camera one can pan and zoom all around Chinatown. The live video footage is presented in impeccable detail. You can read license plates if you look closely enough. The museum guide said they actually had to lower the resolution because it was possible to spy on people through the windows of their flats.
I guarantee that the Singapore government has these all over the island. I suspect the government watches and records everything that goes on. My gut instinct says that this system is a major invasion of privacy, a massive encroachment on the human right to privacy. It is not just a cliche analogy to say that this is the exact type of technology that Orwell warned us about in his dystopian 1984.
I asked one Singaporean what he thought about this camera.
"That's why we pay the government, isn't it?"
I've been in Singapore for four years and I've never heard about this until today. The Singapore Tourist Pass is a bus and MRT pass that allows unlimited travel for a flat rate. If there is some weekend that I will be doing a lot of traveling, I may try to pick one up.
I do wonder if I am eligible for this. The FAQ for this pass is confusing:
The Singapore Tourist Pass is available at an introductory price of S$8 per day and comes with 3 options of a 1-Day, 2-Day or 3-Day pass.
Passes bought or issued in Singapore at authorised sales counters come with a rental deposit of S$10 which is refundable, so long as the card is returned within 5 days of issuance.
By March 2008, passes can be purchased online for delivery overseas. Passes sold or delivered overseas will be at an introductory price of either S$18 for a 1-Day pass, S$26 for a 2-day pass or S$34 for a 3-Day pass. The rental of cards is not possible for cards sold or issued overseas.
Prices quoted for cards sold or issued overseas exclude delivery charges.
Locals who wish to purchase the STP are welcome to do so.
|From Media Slog|
|From Media Slog|
|From Media Slog|
I wrote this as a comment on another blog, but it morphed into its own post:
Before the invasion of Iraq a friend who was a chemical weapons specialist in the first Gulf War told me he once guarded Saddam's stock piles of mustard gas and other toxins. He claimed that he didn't know what the military did with them after the 1991 war was over.
It also totally blows my mind how Colin Powell could go before the U.N. and unequivocally state that Iraq has WMDs, especially since none were found. Perhaps he too had mixed motives, but I don't believe that he would intentionally lie.
I do believe that the White House felt perceived danger from Iraq, thought they had enough dirt on the country to justify a military excursion, and decided that attacking Iraq would be better for the United States in the long run.
But I think we need to just admit that the war in Iraq is not about finding Bin Laden or stopping terrorism. I don't really think that it ever was.
The reasons that the United States is fighting in Iraq have more to do with power and finances. If the Bush administration wanted to leave, they could have left immediately after the transitional government was set up and Saddam was hanged. After the new government collapsed, Bush could have pointed his finger and accused the Iraqi people of not taking care of themselves. Case closed.
It might not be true, but at least 51% of the American people would have believed Bush's farcical accusations that despite the “victory” over Saddam, the Iraqi people don't “love freedom enough” and are unable to self govern. Most Americans would have just gone back to watching the next season of Paris Hilton's "The Simple Life" and forgotten about the war within a matter of months.
At best, I believe the Bush administration felt that "stopping terrorism" and "huntin' Bin Laden would be serendipitous side effects of our current military excursions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, southern Turkey, and western Iran.
Until the politicians of both political parties admit to the American people that the Iraq war was about preventing Saddam from selling cheap oil to interests that conflict with the United States, creating defense sector jobs for a failing U.S. economy, punishing Arab nations for betraying the U.S. in the mid-eighties, creating a buffer between Africa and China, finding a new place for troops formerly stationed in the Korean peninsula, stopping mosque leaders that call America the "Great Satan," and destabilizing financial institutions that transfer funds between various anti-Zionist regimes and companies, then none of the political debate is legitimate. We are only hearing false-pretense after false-pretense.