#79

I’m curious about the credit crunch…banks like UBS made huge losses. Several countries, like Singapore (forked out $14billion?), to help bail out UBS.

Now into whose pocket did the cash go into? Where did these monies go?

Surely there must be someone or organisations benefiting these massive losses. Or is this a case, over the years, there were lots of misappropriation of funds and bad audits?

In stocks and shares, one suffers book loss. What does ‘book loss’ mean? If that means virtual money, then why the jitters?

Can anyone explain these happenings?

Furthermore, there is high inflation around the world.

Is the world heading deep economic depression?

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#78

I remember the days I envied our neighboring countries like Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, IndoChina (Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Philippines, Indonesia — these were the rice-bowl nations.

I was fascinated and loved the sights of rice fields — often times wishing I was there. I knew it was hard work…from the little chorus we sang — “planting rice is no fun…bent from morn till the set of sun…cannot sit even for a little while…”

I envied because Singapore was not blessed with fertile soil to plant or land space. We were the tiny dot which could not even be seen on the world map.

Unfortunately over the years, these very countries had gone through political setbacks and strifes…where politicians lined their own pockets instead of building the nation for the people.

Many of the resources and assets the nation was endowed were not fully utilised.

Today, the price of rice has rocketed sky high. Why? Who sets the price of rice? Is this the result of manipulation in the international commodity market?

News aired there is shortage of rice in Thailand due to climate change?!

Planting rice requires time…this cannot be produced overnight unlike processed foods or manufacturing commodities…

Rice, the carbohydrate-complex, is the staple food…especially for the poor in Asia. This is consumed at least twice a day. Without rice, this means hunger and without hope; in severe situation, death. Rice is life. The poor can only afford to buy so much each time and if there is no rice available to buy when needed…hell breaks loose! 

#77

In light of the drama of Torch Relay and human rights issue calling for boycott to the forthcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, I cannot help reflecting on this story in the Christian Bible in John’s Gospel chapter 8:1-11

Jesus went to Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis of accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

 

I wonder about those countries like UK, France, US and others — do they not have this human rights issue at their doorstep? Is this because they are a democracy and are therefore absolved?

Let not the pot calls its kettle black — another English proverb.

If the next venue for the Olympic Games in 2012 was not in the UK, will her prime minister attend the closing ceremony?