#99 inconsistencies

There are many inconsistencies floating around the happenings in the world today.

UBS the 3rd largest bank in the world snowed under by huge losses created by the subprime in the US. If this is so, then why are banks in the US not go bust?

High inflation rates. Understanding a little…apparently a result of more supply of money to that demanded is the reason to inflate prices. What is the rationale?

The World Bank is taking out gold reserve to help the ‘money’ crunch…

What exactly is happening around the world?

Advertisements

#98 global rice grain crisis

I’m boggled at the escalating increase in the price of grains, especially rice. The poor in countries like Haiti, Philippines, Bangladesh and others took to the streets in protests and violence…

Due to climate change, for instance, drought in Australia but what about other rice growing countries?

An assumption that the rise of India and China economically, people will consume more rice.

I believe the more wealthy a country, the more meat consumed and less rice.

It’s the poor that will consume more rice. Is this a case when the poor can afford to eat a little more that has excerbated the present condition…certainly not!

I can understand the reason for grains like corn due to biofuels…but rice?

I grew up wondering about excess grains produced in the US being dumped rather than feed the poor in parts of the world — and told this was one way to stabilise the price of grain internationally!  

Is this the result of hoarding in some countries that produce such and many nationals hoping for commodity price to increase to make their millions? Will the bubble burst eventually as suggested by some pundits?

#97

One common behavior you find on the expressway — car motorists snake in and out of a lane. If not, some hog the right lane…one virtually finds no cars in the middle or left lanes when there are 3 lanes. Then those motorbikes will sprawl themselves on the fast lanes zooming in and out!

Furthermore, a common scene sighted where those driving prestigious cars like BMW or Merc parking on double yellow lines — not wanting to pay for parking! Love to show off in driving one but behaving like rogues or cheapskates on the road!

I read news that an accident occurred on the PIE where the vehicle was overturned across the four lanes yesterday, on a Saturday. It took 6 hours to ease the jam. Mind you, Singapore has sophisticated way of informing the motorists when an accident occurs on the road. Why 6 hours?

Is this the result lacking in common sense to deal with the problem by the traffic department? Could the officers not able to cordone off and create a 2-lane to ease the traffic for motorists to reverse and also preventing more cars entering?

Or a situation where motorists are so self-centered that they prefer to vent their anger and sit on the mess?

Why are the general public not able to help resolve some problems together? Is this a case where those being paid are responsible to get the job done and to perform efficiently… Or this is none of my business as I’m not paid to do the job…but my responsibility to play the blame game?!

What is education today? Where are we going? What kind of persons have we become? What kind of society are we building or becoming?

I know of situations when living overseas where a good was accused for foul-play! Is this developing here? Protect self first and blame…

#96 farewell poem

This is a farewell poem of Dr Jose Rizal, medical doctor and a national hero of the Philippines, before execution. His friend Mariano Ponce gave MI ULTIMO ADIOS as its title.

Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed, 
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost,
With gladness I give you my Life, sad and repressed;
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to you for your welfare at most.

On the fields of battle, in the fury of fight,
Others give you their lives without pain or hesitancy,
The place does not matter: cypress laurel, lily white,
Scaffold, open field, conflict or martyrdom’s site,
It is the same if asked by home and Country.

I die as I see tints on the sky b’gin to show
And at last announce the day, after a gloomy night;
If you need a hue to dye your matutinal glow,
Pour my blood and at the right moment spread it so,
And gild it with a reflection of your nascent light! 

My dreams, when scarcely a lad adolescent,
My dreams when already a youth, full of vigor to attain,
Were to see you, gem of the sea of the Orient,
Your dark eyes dry, smooth brow held to a high plane
Without frown, without wrinkles and of shame without stain.

My life’s fancy, my ardent, passionate desire,
Hail! Cries out the soul to you, that will soon part from thee;
Hail! How sweet ’tis to fall that fullness you may acquire;
To die to give you life, ‘neath your skies to expire,
And in your mystic land to sleep through eternity!

If over my tomb some day, you would see blow,
A simple humble flow’r amidst thick grasses,
Bring it up to your lips and kiss my soul so,
And under the cold tomb, I may feel on my brow,
Warmth of your breath, a whiff of your tenderness.

Let the moon with soft, gentle light me descry,
Let the dawn send forth its fleeting, brilliant light,
In murmurs grave allow the wind to sigh,
And should a bird descend on my cross and alight,
Let the bird intone a song of peace o’er my site.

Let the burning sun the raindrops vaporize
And with my clamor behind return pure to the sky;
Let a friend shed tears over my early demise;
And on quiet afternoons when one prays for me on high,
Pray too, oh, my Motherland, that in God may rest I.

Pray thee for all the hapless who have died,
For all those who unequalled torments have undergone;
For our poor mothers who in bitterness have cried;
For orphans, widows and captives to tortures were shied,
And pray too that you may see your own redemption.

And when the dark night wraps the cemet’ry
And only the dead to vigil there are left alone,
Don’t disturb their repose, don’t disturb the mystery:
If you hear the sounds of cittern or psaltery,
It is I, dear Country, who, a song t’you intone.

And when my grave by all is no more remembered,
With neither cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let it be plowed by man, with spade let it be scattered
And my ashes ere to nothingness are restored,
Let them turn to dust to cover your earthly space.

Then it doesn’t matter that you should forget me:
Your atmosphere, your skies, your vales I’ll sweep;
Vibrant and clear note to your ears I shall be:
Aroma, light, hues, murmur, song, moanings deep,
Constantly repeating the essence of the faith I keep.

My idolized Country, for whom I most gravely pine,
Dear Philippines, to my last goodbye, oh, harken
There I leave all: my parents, loves of mine,
I’ll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen
Where faith does not kill and where God alone does reign.

Farewell, parents, brothers, beloved by me,
Friends of my childhood, in the home distressed;
Give thanks that now I rest from the wearisome day;
Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, who brightened my way;
Farewell, to all I love. To die is to rest. 

#95

I like the words of this song, Scandal by the pop group Queen:

Today the headlines, tomorrow the hard times

And no one really knows the truth from the lies

And in the end the story the deeper must hide

Deeper and deeper and deeper inside.

 

What is a scandal?

In the US, there is the watergate scandal — “a political scandal involving abuse of power and bribery and obstruction of justice; led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974”. Since, there had been more ‘-gates’ scenarios.

A dictionary understanding of the word gives

  • malicious gossip (disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people)
  • outrage — implying a strike with disgust or revulsion (a disgraceful event)

This word ‘scandal’ is on the lips of many and in writing to news about the escaped terrorist suspect. This news brought anxiety and…had opened a can of worms which the governing leaders had not anticipated.

My hope and prayer is our present lot of leaders will know how to rise above the discontents. Why the unhappy voices…an apology needed by those in responsible positions? Certainly there lacks tactfulness in some public speeches by leaders. I hope there will be more conciliatory understanding to that had happened.

Is the bone of contention that the governing leaders are well-paid and therefore this is a required and must performance? To remove one from office might not be the best option at the moment…unless there are alternative candidates for the job.

My common sense understanding suggests this word ‘scandal’ is or might not be the correct expression to the news even if this is an opinion. The word ‘scandal’ is an emotive word and has negative over or under? tones… Any comment?

#94 youth olympic games

Singapore will be the 1st nation to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2010…i.e. in less than 800 days. The opening ceremony will take place on 14th August with closing ceremony on the 26th instant.

This event is for the youth aged 14-18 years, a stepping stone to the Olympic Games.

Many countries in the world trained their young in anticipation to the Olympic Games…

There will be no record keeping for this YOG…interesting. The reason being — not to put pressure on winning but… What is the incentive to participate in the YOG? How is the young to be educated in the spirit of sports? 

I have many questions…

Where is the venue to be held? At the different locations in Singapore? Seating capacity?

How much will this YOG costs the nation? Budget is $75 million…without factoring in inflation costs? (I read that the Olympic Games to be hosted in UK was under-estimated.) Is the budget for the event of 12 days only? What about the venues to host such?

What is involved in hosting such an event?

 

#93

When a patient comes to see a medical doctor in a private clinic, the first thing a doctor asks, “What’s wrong with you?” He diagnoses the patient’s problem accordingly and offers a prescription to the best of his knowledge and ability in a given situation.  

Of late there are so many unhappy voices over the way matters are handled and managed by some governing leaders. These concerns aired are legitimate…what concrete steps have these voices come up with? Will these voices be willing to sacrifice themselves for change? Can they come up with alternatives? Can these voices bring in the alleged suspect and root themselves as heroes and champion their cause?

What should a leader do when a grievous mistake made on the national front? Should the senior executives be axed or let off? Are there competent personnel to replace the outgoing? Or, a situation calling for a choice of two evils? In this given situation, what is accountability?

It is easy to analyse a situation but…what concrete steps can one take to prevent another mistake from taking place again?

Are there any willing to take the responsibilities and sacrifice themselves for truth and integrity? Will those who are able to see the problem, take concrete steps to rectify the problem? (Money and personal security aside.)

What is freedom of press? What is truthful reporting? Can a journalist be fully truthful in reporting that he sees at a given place and time?

A journalist needs to know the pulse of the people and report accordingly. What is the new school of journalism? What is the old school? Which is better?

Today journalists are murdered on the international scene for their passionate reporting…are these the heroes?

One hero I held in high esteem is a Filipino medical doctor, Dr Jose Rizal. In the end, he faced the firing squad for speaking out the truth in his prolific writings.

Will I find one here in Singapore?