13 April 2004

The Rise of the Creative Class

One wonders why our bureaucrats here are so enarmoured with the creative class theory.

The article in the link explains the allure of the theory for civil servants with particular mindsets, and the pitfalls of the theory.

12 April 2004

Straits Times fails at reporting news, leaves out key Rice 9/11 quote

Condoleeza Rice testified last Friday morning (Singapore time) to the Senate about the 9/11 attacks. Our national newspaper gives her a glowing report on Saturday, despite the fact that her testimony was clearly damaging to the administration. What's unforgivable is ST's reluctance to print the truth, to leave out key information in its reporting.

Rice said, "I don't remember the Al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about." And that's a quote you'll never see in your newspaper, and it took me under half a week to hunt for the transcripts to the hearings.

(As an aside, you can actually get a transcript of any Senate/Congress debate or speech within a week. How long would you have to wait for Parliament to publish its Gazette? And how easily accessible is the Gazette?)

The Straits Times should realise it IS in our national interests to show that Singapore does not have a monopoly on incompetent civil servants.

07 April 2004

Future PM redefines marginally employed as entrepeneurs

I can't imagine Mini-Lee could be so shameless as to do that...

It's one thing to 'salute' the ITE graduate selling chicken pies, the NTU undergraduate turned undertaker, and the security guard cum part-time artist for their tenacity and will to survive, but it's bullshit to hail what are acts of desperation in the race to the bottom as "entrepeneurship".

For the second year in a row, Singapore's largest group of retrenched people belong to the white-collar PMET class. By extension Singapore's most unemployable group of people are the tertiary-educated - think of all the graduates and the would-be graduates who have been trained for the nonexistent PMET jobs.

Go tell these bunch of people when they finally give up hope of decent employment, give in to desperation, and open stalls in hawker centres, pasar malams, that you salute them as entrepeneurs. That's a very neat excuse and diversion to cover up the depressing fact that our Great Leaders have been incompetent and incapable of resurrecting the economy, don't you think?

02 April 2004

Public rituals

First off, I'd like to condemn the news reporting of the Falluja incident where "4 US contractors" were killed, and their corpses then mutilated and lynched by public mobs in the Iraqi town.

Let's not get all mushy about this and treat it as though it's Black Hawn Down all over again: these weren't innocent "contractors". That's standard military doublespeak for mercenaries, paramilitary soldiers whose activities and functions are semi-legal and politically troublesome, and cannot be performed by the official coalition forces.

Even though the Shitty Times described these 4 men as "civilian contractors", a blatant lie that even the US media wouldn't be caught dead telling, the contractors were paid mercenaries working for Blackwater USA, which recently hired ex-soldiers from Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet's infamous and brutal military forces. On a professional level, Blackwater is part of the huge US industry that acts as a black hand of the Pentagon around the world, implementing its political policies on the sly, and often under the guise of providing "security services".

So, not only did the US illegally invade Iraq, part of their more illegal 'peacekeeping duties' are also farmed out to clandestine groups.

Now, if the 4 slain US citizens were members of the military, I would've given my sympathies - no questions asked. Ditto, if the 4 slain US citizens were civilians working there. 4 US mercenaries got slain, and their corpses defiled publicly? Don't cry on me.

01 April 2004

Spot the Fake News Article

Every April Fools' Day, the Straits Times will include one fake news report in its broadsheet, often on the front page itself.

Here are the two frontline stories in today's edition of the ST:

Singapore exams go regional, where it seems there are actually fools in the Ministry of Education who want to export our exam system, and fools in other countries who want to buy it.

The other headline?

Commuters to share train security costs. Where Singaporean citizens will pay for the extravagant, needless, and ineffective "security measures" that our paranoid leaders will be installing for our rail network - armed marshals on every train, along with selective luggage checks that will make a mockery out of the phrase "Mass Rapid Transit".

It is a sign of the times that the second story is NOT the april fools' joke, and the improbable news is actually from the first headline.