Friday, April 29, 2011

Comics this week

Brightest Day #24- The buildup to this final issue had been great. The action and story of this bi-weekly series has been up and up for the past few issues and that is why I was so disappointed by this final issue. The big problem for this issue was that writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi were more interested in setting up future storylines than wrapping thing up. Deadman, Firestorm, Hawkman, Aquaman; all their stories were unfinished. Yes I know Aquaman has a new regular series coming up but after 24 issues, I would like some closure for these characters; not the setting up of stories for their own series. There was no need for that as their regular series will swim or sink on their own. A disappointing finale after a promising final run-in.

X-23 #9- The first part of the X-23/Daken crossover was disappointing. However after that blip, things are looking up. Part 3 of the crossover has X-23 captured by Malcolm Concord and escaping after some help from Daken. As usual, this series works best when X-23 tears up people and then becomes conflicted by her actions. It might get old sometime in the future but right now, it works.

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #9- “War of the Green Lanterns” has thus far been the comic event of the year. Outside a blip in part 3, the event has been wonderful. Now we are back in Emerald Warriors and once again, there is another blip. In this issue, Hal, Kyle, John, and Guy flee from Mogo while trying to come up with a plan to free the Green Lantern Corps from Krona. The thing is that well…nothing happened! The status quo was maintained and even the spilt between the 4 Earth GLs was kind of expected. After the kinetic action of the past few issues, digging a tunnel under Oa is a letdown. This was not a bad issue, it just didn’t got to the heights of the issues before.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All Or Nothing

Nomination Day is over and 82 out of 87 Parliamentary seats will be contested on Election Day, the 7th May. The one thing everyone can gather from Nomination Day is this; the opposition parties in Singapore are going for broke.

The big surprise yesterday was Worker’s Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang’s decision to leave the safe opposition seat of Hougang to contest in the Aljunied GRC. This follows Chiam See Tong’s decision to leave Potong Pasir to lead a Singapore People’s Party (SPP) team to contest the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. This means that the 2 main opposition leaders in Singapore are both leaving their strongholds to contest in more dangerous wards.

However as they say; the greater the danger, the greater the reward. Both Mr. Low and Mr. Chiam seem to be taking a calculated risk, believing that the ground is ripe for an opposition GRC victory. They are not the only ones. Reform Party’s Secretary General Mr. Kenneth Jeyaretnam is also contesting in a GRC. In fact if you look at the candidates, almost all the heavyweights in the opposition camp are contesting in GRCs.

People say this will be a watershed election for Singapore and one way or another they will be right. If the opposition’s calculation is right, we will see many more opposition MPs after Election Day. However if they are wrong, we could see a wipeout of the opposition this election.

It will be a watershed election indeed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PAP Strategy

Singapore National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan calling Worker’s Party chief Low Thia Khiang "mischievous". Singapore’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan getting in a spat with Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate Dr Vincent Wijeysingha over a video in which Dr Wijeysingha was outed as a gay. Singapore’s Labour chief Lim Swee Say and Singapore Trade Minister Lim Hng Khiang criticising former civil servant and current SDP candidate Tan Jee Say over his suggestion of a minimum wage policy.

All this and it is just Nomination Day!

Now I realized that the People Action Party (PAP) is under pressure this election and the need for them to attack the opposition candidates. Fair enough but I see a problem with the PAP current election strategy. We need to see more of their plans of the future.

Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew asking/telling Singaporeans to “look at the fundamentals” and “not to rock the boat” is nice and fine but that is also asking Singaporeans to look at our past. There are a lot of Singaporeans who will be voting for the first plan this General Election so I think it’s important for the PAP to show their plans on the future.

Yes, I know about the PAP manifesto but everything in the manifesto is basically “more of the same”. There’s nothing there that they have not announced before. Some of the plans there are a few years old even! Sorry but that is just not as exciting as Tan Jee Say’s 46 page paper to redo the Singapore economy or the WP’s new ideas for Singapore housing. Now will the opposition’s plans work? Maybe, maybe not; but their plans are new, exciting and get people talking.

Compare to that, “not to rock the boat” just doesn’t cut it. The PAP need to come up with something that let Singaporeans believes they have a bold new plan for Singapore. Something that gets Singaporeans go, “That’s new; that’s exciting; that’s something we can get behind.” Currently, they don’t have that and that’s a problem.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Open Season

Singapore’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Vivian Balakrishnan’s attack on the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) candidate Dr Vincent Wijeysingha’s sexual orientation has become the talk of the town. Now all’s fair in love and war, so I have no problem with Dr. Balakrishnan outing Mr. Wijeysingha as gay, but now that the People Action Party (PAP) has taken this road, then they better not field any gay/lesbian/bisexual candidates tomorrow.

Yes, I know the SDP and its chief Mr. Chee Soon Juan are currently taking the high road on this issue but tomorrow is Nomination Day and I’m willing to bet that the opposition are just waiting to see if the PAP is going to field any gay or lesbian candidates tomorrow. Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has hinted before that there is a current Member of Parliament (MP) who is a lesbian. Considering that both the opposition MPs are men, this means that the lesbian MP is from the PAP.

Yes I read about Dr Balakrishnan trying to say that the issue is not Mr. Wijeysingha's sexual orientation but sorry I (and most Singaporeans) don't buy that. His denial is a little strange considering that Dr Balakrishnan was quoted by The Strait Times newspaper as saying;

“I am not sure what (the Singapore Democratic Party’s) strategy is. I would like to know whether they have confirmed that they are contesting, I would like to know their line-up. I can’t help feeling that part of the reason for their reticence is they have elements of their agenda they are not prepared to disclose and subject to scrutiny. Eventually, they will have to come out of the closet.”
– Vivian Balakrishnan, Straits Times, 20 Apr 2011

You say something liked “to come out of the closet” and then say this is not an attack on Mr. Wijeysingha's sexual orientation? Sorry but even if it is true, it is way too late for that. The cat is out of the bag, the gates have open and till Election Day, it will be open season on every gay/lesbian/bisexual candidate in the election. So if the PAP does field a gay or lesbian tomorrow, the attacks from the opposition will come! And if the opposition don’t, then the opposition are idiots!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Every Vote Counts

The Singapore General Election is due on the 7th May and I like to say that every vote count. Although the People’s Action Party (PAP) is going to romp home with victory, that doesn’t mean that Singaporeans do not need to vote. Anyone who thinks otherwise can just look at a recent election in Las Vegas.

In America, a primary election for the City Council in North Las Vegas ended in a tie. This begin Las Vegas, the tie was broken by…cutting cards! A new deck was opened, the joker was taken out, and then every card in the deck was placed on the table. The 2 candidates Linda Meisenheimer and Tanya Flanagan each drew a card to break the tie.

Yes, that’s right. An election ended in a tie and the way to break the tie came down to a matter of luck. So to all Singaporeans out there; every vote counts. So please take your vote seriously and go to vote on Election Day. Thanks

P.S; if you are wondering, Linda Meisenheimer won the election when she drew a king to Ms. Tanya Flanagan’s five.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

iPhone/iPad Tracking

Okay, so this is the story so far. Two researchers said they found a file on the iPhone and the iPad that stores a list of users' locations. Basically this file allows Apple to track and locate users of the iPhone and iPad; whether they want it or not!

Thus far, Apple hasn't commented on this issue so no one knows why this file does exist and why it does track every movement of the users. Now there had been plenty of outrage directed at Apple over this issue mainly due to privacy concerns.

I find myself going; uh...is this something new? I don't understand why some people are treating this iPhone tracking issue so seriously. I have seen countless police shows on TV where the police or some government agency track suspects through their handphones. How is this iPhone/iPad issue so different?

I mean sure it's annoying but if people (police/government/companies) want to track you, they can track you. It's always been that simple.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Comics this week

DC Universe Online: Legends #6- I had said before that DC Universe Online: Legends has been really good thus far. Thus far being the operative term as #6 did not match the previous issues. In this issue, Lex Luthor, Atom, and Black Canary finally got their hands on the Sinestro Corps rings, and launched their attack on Brainiac. Unfortunately, Brainiac has rings of his own and several heroes became casualties in the war. In the present, we were shown how Lex Luthor became struck in his armor. All were important parts of the plot which should be jaw-dropping for readers. Unfortunately, they are not! The problem was the pacing. Things felt too rushed for me. When Superman saved Aquaman, this important moment lasted all of 3 panels! Despite the solid work so far, I fear writer Tony Bedard is trying to squeeze too much into one issue.

Green Lantern #65- After the misstep in Emerald Warriors #8, I am glad to say that the “War of the Green Lantern” back on track. The four Earth Green Lanterns finally joined up and Hal Jordan came up with a crazy but possible plan to fight Krona. Each of them picked a ring of another color which gave them new powers and new uniforms to boot. The only problem I have with this issue was the amount of time Hal and Guy Gardener spent looking for the "Green House." It just seems like a waste of pages when you compare it to the top-notch action in the latter part of the issue. Luckily Doug Mahnke's artwork was again nothing short of masterful. If he and writer Geoff John can keep up the quality, “War of the Green Lantern” will be the comic event of the year.

Green Lantern Corps #59- First DCUOL, then Green Lantern Corps; writer Tony Bedard is becoming a superstar this year. Part 5 of the “War of the Green Lantern” has Hal, Guy, Kyle, and John saving Ganthet with their new power rings. As you expect, Ganthet was less than happy with the actions of the 4 GLs. Green Lanterns do NOT use other power rings! Of course Hal tried to reason with the Guardian saying that the rings gave them new weapons against Krona but it will not be enough as Krona had bought in the big guns. Mogo, the planet Green Lantern, is coming into the war! Much like Doug Mahnke, Tyler Kirkham's art was great. His work on the initial attack by Mogo on Ganthet was superb. You could feel the power of the epic strike leaping from the page as it struck Ganthet. Wow!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And So We Go!

As Muammar Gaddafi continue to rule in Tripoli, as his troops continue to gain ground in the civil war, the United Kingdom and France has finally put boots on the ground. U.K. and France are going to dispatch a joint squad of military “advisers” to Benghazi, the capital and headquarters of the Libyan rebels.

Yes, yes; I know they are trying to go around the “no boots on the ground” promise by saying these are just “support” personal and they are just “advisors,” but who give a shit what they are called? They are military personals in Libya, so that means “boots on the ground!”

I wonder how long it will be before American “advisors” join their British and French counterparts. And how long before troops "or whatever they're called" join these "advisors."

Monday, April 18, 2011

How Not To Do It

One of the biggest issues in the coming General Election (GE) is the housing problem in Singapore. To be more exact, the sky high (and still going upwards) prices of homes in Singapore.

In Singapore, it is normal for people to take a 25-30 year housing loan before they can buy their own homes. In an early strike at the issue, the opposition Workers' Party (WP) has made a call for the Singapore government to lower the sale of land prices for housing. In their election manifesto, they said that if the price of the land that was sold was lower, housing developers (including the HDB) would have less need/excuse to charge high prices for the flats built.

It is a populist call which the Singapore government could have ignored but they choose not to. To their credit, they chose to defend against the call from the WP. In a show of how NOT to do it, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan attacked the WP manifesto saying that it was 'irresponsible'. Mr. Mah say that lowering land cost as a way to reduce new housing prices is tantamount to raiding Singapore's reserves. Explaining further, he said that all land was sold at prices set by the Chief Valuer, and the land sale proceeds go into the Singapore reserves.

There’s one problem with his argument. Few Singaporeans will care for it. Mr. Mah’s argument cut no ice with Singaporeans and the simple reason is this; Singapore has powerful reserves. As of 2010, the Official Foreign Reserves stands at US$225,754.2 million. It is not as if Singapore has a huge debt to pay off; we are over US$225 million in the black!

So would Singaporeans be more concerned about the rising housing prices or more concerned about “less” money going into the Singapore reserves? I have no doubt about the answer, do you?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Comics this week

Daken: Dark Wolverine #8- As this issue is part 2 of the crossover with X-23, I bought my every first issue of Daken. Rather surprisingly, it’s actually quite good. Daken is a villain and this issue showcased him properly. Basically he is selfish, violent, and totally without honor. He double-crossed everyone that crossed paths with him and did it all without any personal doubts. As long as it helps him reach his goal of ultimate power, he will do it. Compared to the disappointing first part in X-23, this was much better.

Heroes for Hire #5- The first story arc finished with this issue and for me, this was it for this series. I was willing to give the series a chance but after the first arc, I must say that although writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning did okay, they didn’t filled in with a sense of wonder with Heroes for Hire. This issue showed the problem with the series so far. The story of Misty Knight breaking free of The Puppet Master was okay, the art was solid, the various characters involved were great, but in the end, it was just too by-the-book to hold my interest. By tomorrow, I would have probably forgotten all about the issue. It was okay, but not great. Basically, it wasn’t good enough for me to spend anymore money on.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Unreal!

Okay, so America has debts close to US$4 trillion and they want to cut the debt. I think that’s a good, smart and wise idea. What I don’t understand is they intend to do so? In the rest of the world, when the government is in debt, they raise taxes.

Not in America! Correction; not only are they against raising taxes, the U.S government is actually giving tax rebates to big companies who makes billions of dollars in profits!

General Electric (GE) had a good 2010. They made US$5.1 billion in profits for the year. However due to their excellent accounting department, they will not have to pay the US government a single cent in tax. Not only that, they will also receive a $3.2 billion tax refund from the government!

So you are US$4 trillion in debt and not only are you NOT taking money from companies who made over US$5 billions in profit last year, you are actually giving money away to these same companies? No wonder their country's finances are in such a mess!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

PAP's Private Sector Problem

With the General Election (GE) expected in the next few months, various political parties in Singapore have been “showing off” their new candidates to the Singapore public. However one of the stranger trends so far is the fact that the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has claimed that it found it hard to recruit talent from the private sector to stand as its election candidates.

Of the 18 new PAP candidates, only five of them are from the private sector. The remaining 13 are all from the public sector. This is a huge problem for the ruling party as Singapore government ministers are some of the highest paid in the world and the main reason/explanation/excuse the Singapore government has gave for their high salaries is that this was necessary to attract “high-quality” people from the private sector. The reasoning is that with the high pay of the private sector, most people would rather join the private sector than enter politics so high pay for ministers is a "necessary evil".

So much for that idea!

I’m one of the few people in Singapore who do not care about the high salaries our ministers are getting but even I will ask this question, “Why are we giving such salaries to our ministers if it doesn’t help get people into the government?”

This is one question many, many Singaporeans are asking right now. Right now about ¾ of the new PAP candidates are from the public sector and frankly that’s just too many. The PAP cannot just say “it found it hard to recruit talent from the private sector,” it need to give a good reason why that is the case!

It also need to do it fast before this becomes an election issue. Because if it becomes an election issue, their high salaries will then also become an election issue and it’s hard to see how the PAP will win that argument.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another DRM Rant!

PC gaming has a lot of ups and downs over the years with pirated games being fingered as the reason for most of the downs. A recent television program in Singapore alleged that 1 in 3 downloads in Singapore is illegal.

Now I’m not saying illegal downloads is not a big problem for the gaming industry but they have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Simply put, some of the DRM systems that are on the games are turning gamers off.

Case in point is the internet connection needed to play Assassin Creed II. Now I played the original Assassin Creed and I thought it was a good game. However, I have no intention of going on the internet to play Assassin Creed II when Assassin Creed II is not a MMO.

So what happened? I didn’t buy Assassin Creed II. I didn’t play Assassin Creed II. And I also didn’t buy Assassin Creed II: Brotherhood, the sequel to Assassin Creed II. So that’s 2 games that I probably would have bought if not for the DRM.

How does this help the gaming industry? It doesn’t!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

I had heard of the “The Night Angel Trilogy” before but never got around to reading it. Now I started. “The Way of Shadows” is the first novel of the trilogy written by Brent Weeks. After reading it, I can why so many people like it.

The story takes place in Cenaria City, which is the capital of the small country of Cenaria. Located in the land of Midcyru, Cenaria is a country in trouble. It has a selfish king, a poor government, and an enemy north of them that’s much bigger than they are. Instead of the king, the real power in the country is the criminal organization “Sa'kagĂ©”.

The main story is on Azoth. We first see him as a 11 year-old boy living in the streets of Cenaria City and the novel traced how he changed from the slightly naive boy to become the professional assassin, The Night Angel.

In many ways, this is a coming-of-age /survival story. The story traced the 10 years it took Azoth to become The Night Angel and detailed the changes within and around Azoth during this time. One of the things I really like about the book is how the characters changed during the story. Many books only detailed the changes that occurred with the main character, but “The Way of Shadows” also detailed the changes that occurred with the supporting cast. When people change, your relationship with them changed as well. The relationships Azoth had with his supporting cast was something that was written very well throughout the book. Azoth’s relationship with his mentor Durzo Blint, the city's most accomplished assassin, especially went through a lot of ups and downs.

For people who like their fantasy heroes to be superhumans; this is probably not the book for you. Even when Azoth and Durzo are fighting, they do sometimes make mistakes in their fights. Basically the characters in the book feel real, characters in this book have flaws, imperfections and they do make mistakes. Those who like their fantasy dark and dirty; this book is for you.

Cenaria City was also very well tendered. There was a clear spilt between the haves and have-not in the city and country of Cenaria. I found that Weeks got the city just right. At the start of the book, his description of the Warrens was amazing. You could feel the desperation and helplessness of Azoth and his friends, Jarl and Dollface, because the place they were living in was so bad. It was the worst part of town and the book showed the Warrens in all its terrible glory.

If you’re still reading this review, you would think that “The Way of Shadows” is a pretty dark book. Frankly, I don’t think so. The book “should” be dark but I never got that feeling when I read the book. The main problem (if you consider it a problem) is that too many things happened too fast. The book is a page-turner and sometimes it was too fast for its own good. Events came so fast that it never got enough time to sink in. A case was the first assassination Azoth did. It was supposed to be a major event in his life but it went pass so quickly, readers never got time to digress it.

Things went go fast that I wonder if things were left on the editing floor. The fact that Durzo was an immortal warrior that’s over 700 years old came out of nowhere. There was no hint of it anywhere, then “bang” it was announced.

In many ways, I find the book to be pretty uplifting. In the end, the people of Cenaria maintain their pride even though they were conquered; Azoth managed to hold on to his humanity even through he had been betrayed; Durzo went to his end in a noble fashion etc. Trying to look for the happy ending was understandable but in some of the cases, you could feel the writer searching for the happy ending instead of letting it happen naturally. In some of the cases, it just didn’t work. Azoth’s act of mercy towards Momma K in the end might not be out of character but (when you consider how determined he was to kill her and then, one sob story later, he allowed her to live) it felt like a cop-out.

In the end however, I still found “The Way of Shadows” to be a good book. It was an excellent read that make you want to turn the page quickly to see what happen next. People who like fast and furious action can pick this up.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Comics this week

Brightest Day #23- Brightest Day has been a series that yo-yo between average and bad for a long, long time. However in the past few issues, writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi had been putting the series on overdrive and it had helped the series greatly. In this, the penultimate issue of Brightest Day, the sequence continues as we finally see who the champion of Earth is. And the answer was GREAT! Johns and Tomasi scored a homerun with the big reveal. It marks the return of a great character and at the same time made perfect sense storywise. It was brilliant! Ivan Reis' wonderfully art helps tremendously. A dramatic conclusion to the series seems on the cards, and I for one am looking forward to Brightest Day #24.

Annihilator #2- Now this is more like it! After the poor first issue, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning got it just right. We finally see Quasar, Ronan, Gladiator, Beta Ray Bill and Silver Surfer be the powerhouses that they are. I especially loved how their various powers interact with each other. Many times, we sort of forget how powerful characters have different powersets and I must say I was nicely surprised by how well the writers managed to make the powers of the various characters gel. They really thought out the whole thing very well. Still not sold on the backup story on Rocket Raccoon and Groot but it was fun and we got to know more about both Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Look forward to #3.

DC Universe Online: Legends #5- For a game tie-in, DC Universe Online: Legends is really good. No, I am wrong; the series is just good period! The story is again split between Brainiac's assault on the JLA watchtower in the present, and Lex Luthor, Ray Palmer and Black Canary's mission to stop Brainiac in the far future, and again it was wonderful! In both timelines, the characters are intriguing and the action is exciting. If this goes on, DCUO: Legends is going to set the standard on how further game/movie/TV tie-ins are going to be judged. It is just that good!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Not All Bad Luck

Stefan and Erika Svanstrom could arguably be the most famous/infamous Swedish couple of the year. This is because they claimed to have unbelievably terrible luck on their honeymoon.

First reported in Stockholm's Expressen newspaper, the couple started on their 4 month long honeymoon in Dec 2010. Along with their infant daughter, the couple first went from Stockholm to Munich, Germany where they were caught in a deadly snowstorm. They went to Southeast Asia where they were caught in the monsoon season. They then went to Australia where they were greeted by 1) bush fires in Perth, 2) flooding in Brisbane and 3) a category 5 cyclone in Cairns.

The Svanstroms then was supposed to fly to Christchurch, New Zeland for the next leg of their honeymoon but on the same day of their flight, Christchurch was hit with a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Undeterred, they then went to Japan where…I think everyone knows what happened there.

Now I feel for the mess of a honeymoon they had but I question if you can call everything that happened “bad luck.” I grant you the cyclone in Australia, the earthquake in Christchurch, the tsunami in Japan; yes, you can call those “bad luck” but if you are coming to Southeast Asia in Dec, there will be rain because that’s the monsoon season and it comes at that time every year.

Ditto for Germany. Never been to Germany but a snow storm in Dec can’t be that unusual over there right? So I won’t call it pure “bad luck,” it’s a small matter of bad planning with a dose of bad luck. There is a difference!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good News at Fukushima?

Workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has finally managed to plug a leak at the plant that was leaking highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. That is a rare bit of good news in a crisis that has been riveting the world.

However I question if this can even be called “good news.” This piece of news came after TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) officials at the plant had dump gallons of radioactive water from the plant into the ocean already. I mean you plug a leak of radioactive water in the plant and at the same time dump gallons of the same water into the ocean?

That is just wrong and I am not alone. Japan’s powerful fishing industry is up in arms over the dumping and not without reason. Radiation in the waters near the plant is now 7.5 million times above the legal limit and some fish caught in the area have traces of radiation in them. One Japanese fisherman say that if he had dump just a barrel of radioactive water into the Pacific, he would be in jail but TEPCO dump gallons of it into the Pacific Ocean and it is allowed.

I agreed with his sentiment. Now there has been no confirmation on how many gallons of radioactive water has been dumped into the Pacific, and TEPCO officials have been quick to say that the water would quickly dissipate in the vast Pacific, but frankly I don’t care!

No matter what TEPCO say, the fact is that they had dumped gallons of radioactive water into the ocean. So no matter how safe they say it is, there is no way I am eating anything from Japan anytime soon.

I also believe that the Japanese fisherman is totally correct; there is no way what TEPCO did was legal, so why aren’t TEPCO officials being arrested for the dumping? Maybe some people will argue that “it is for the greater good,” but that doesn’t mean what TEPCO did was legal right? TEPCO officers should be arrested for the dumping.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Gratitude Needed

About a month in and the Libyan civil war has come to a stalemate. This is something no one wants and NATO is already been blamed for it, and not without reason. What is surprising is that the Libyan rebels are also complaining about NATO…for not doing enough of the fighting for them!

Here we have NATO going well beyond the UN mandate of providing a no-fly zone, providing air cover to the rebels in Libya, yet the rebels are still unhappy with NATO! A rebel military leader, Abdel-Fattah Younis, just lashed out at NATO claiming that NATO was not doing enough and it was “falling short” in its mission to protect “Libyan civilians.” AKA, it seems that the rebels now want NATO to win the war for them!

I personally find the cheek of the rebels to be amazing. This is coming from a rebel force that would have been annihilated by Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi already if not for NATO; who is so weak that they can't take territory from Gadhafi’s forces even with air support from the biggest military alliance in the world; and who currently has no way to pay back NATO for the expenses of the war (which is costing America US$40 million per day, and that is just America).

And now they want NATO to do even more! Talk about gratitude. Sometimes there’s just no way to satisfy someone.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Damage Control

Last week, I posted on how the PAP (People’s Action Party) had mishandled the candidacy of 27-year-old Tin Pei Ling. Since then, the PAP has been engaged in damage control. Unfortunately for Mdm Tin, they had managed to mishandle that as well.

On Friday, I watched the news on Channelnewsasia and there was a segment on Mdm Tin and the online flame she has been getting. The segment showed several PAP heavyweights defending her from the “unfair” criticism she has been receiving but frankly they made a mess of it.

The reason I say that is because the segment spoke about her age and gave the impression that it was the main reason why she had been attacked online. That’s wrong. The reason she has been attacked is not because of her age; it’s because of her marriage! Her marriage to a high-flying civil servant, her “guanxi” so to speak, is the problem; her age is a secondary problem if it’s a problem at all.

Now I know the reason why the PAP refused to speak of her marriage. That tried to keep it quiet in the first place and “exposing” it now would mean a climb-down. There could also be a fear that “exposing” it now would make the problem worse. On the latter point, I believe it’s too late to worry about that.

Even though it started online, the marriage of Mdm Tin is now an open secret. Even my father, who barely understands what the internet is, now knows about her marriage to a high-flying civil servant. Her marriage is now common knowledge to Singaporeans, even those with little interest in politics.

So I believe the PAP needs to face the problem upfront and confront the matter of her marriage. That’s the only way to control the distraction Mdm Tin’s candidacy has become.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wedding Fatigue

By now, most people know about the wedding of the year between Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. It's almost a month till the wedding but already there are celebrations plan for the big day.

You can't miss it. On the news, in the newspapers, on the internet; the wedding is everywhere. It seem that everyone, everywhere want a piece of the action. In the U.K, in New York, in Singapore; in Singapore there are events plan over 10 days to celebrate the wedding. 10 days!

Now no one has ever accuse me of being a jovial person, and I know I will be accuse of being a killjoy, but enough is enough! Enough with the wedding; it's too much! It's everywhere!

I'm actually hoping the 29th comes quicker just to rid ourselves of all these wedding news. Do we actually need like 10 different interviews of how the two met? No we do not!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Best Year For Safety

When is an oil spill not an oil spill? When it is bonus time, that's when!

On 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded pouring millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was an environment disaster that prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to call the incident America's environmental 9/11.

However because it is now bonus time, the offshore drilling firm responsible for running the Deepwater Horizon rig, Transocean, has now given its top executives big bonuses for its "best year" for safety. Yes, you read that right. Even with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, this was the company's "best year" in safety!

Transocean has maintain that they were not to blame for the disaster. This is even though a U.S. presidential commission had concluded that the explosion had been caused by cost-cutting and directly blamed Transocean, along with BP and Halliburton for the disaster.

But when it comes to bonus time...who cares about the results of a presidential commission right?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Comics this week

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8- Since the series first came out, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors has been a little like the unwanted stepchild in the GL family. No one wanted a third GL series but DC stuff it down our throats anyway. This issue will do nothing to disperse the bad feeling. After two awesome action-packed installments of the War of the Green Lanterns, Emerald Warriors comes in and gives me mindless fisticuffs between Hal Jordon and Guy Gardener. I won’t say this is a bad issue, the fisticuffs was well-done, but after the first two issues of War of the Green Lanterns, it just doesn’t cut it.

X-23 #8- After last issue’s poor story, I was hoping that writer Marjorie Liu would come up with something that put X-23 back on track. Unfortunately, this issue is tied-up as the first part of a crossover with Daken. In a way, a crossover between the two series makes sense. Both series started at the same time, both characters are based on Wolverine (X-23 is his clone, Daken is his son), and both series are not exactly setting the sales chart on fire. There are a lot of reasons why the two series should have a crossover, unfortunately this issue was disappointing. In Madripoor now, Laura and Gambit are looking for Daken and frankly it took too long before they met up. I know Daken is suppose to be an ass but even counting in that, I still don’t understand why he and X-23 got into a fight. The fight, and this issue, just makes no sense!