A Singapore primary school textbook has been making Koreans upset for suggesting that their government does not provide sufficient housing for everyone, whereas the Singapore government takes care of all of us.
The photo appears on page 31, and says, "Some people do not have a roof over their heads. There are many reasons why people are homeless. Some of these people are too poor to rent or buy houses. In some countries, there is insufficient housing for everyone."
The photograph shows a homeless person with the word "exit" written in Korean letters, Hangeul, on the left side.
Next to the photo it says, "Even with limited land, our government is able to provide sufficient housing for the people."
So little children, you should all learn from a very young age that your government provides enough housing for everyone. There are no homeless people here. Housing is affordable and subsidised, even.
When you grow up, remember to vote for the government that is able to provide sufficient housing for the people, ok? Don't vote for any bad people who may lead this country down the path of homelessness.
And Korean reader, don't blame the textbook publishers for using a Korean photo. I am sure they could not find any homeless people to photograph in our glorious land of Singapore. For the sake of balance, I will tell the Ministry of Education to try to use photos of the poor and homeless from other countries, for future editions of this objective textbook. Singapore kids should learn that there are homeless people in many countries, not just Korea. Except Singapore, of course.
Tony Benn lists five questions we should ask any powerful person:
What power have you got?
Where did you get it from?
In whose interests do you use it?
To whom are you accountable?
How do we get rid of you?"
Also worth a read, Seah Chiang Nee on Why We Need a Democratic Party.
When the US House of Representatives first rejected the $700b rescue package, I couldn’t help wondering what Singapore would have done under similar circumstances.
It took me a whole few seconds to conclude that the ruling People’s Action Party would have done pretty much what the Republicans did.
It would have rushed to save the major corporations – particularly the government-linked corporations (GLCs) - in order "to save the economy from collapsing".
Update: The NBC videos can only be seen in the US, it seems. The way around this is to install Anchorfree (www.anchorfree.com/). It bypasses the country check that sites like NBC.com and Hulu.com impose.
The cold opening.
Amy Poehler's Palin Rap.
Crazy McCain rally lady shows up in Weekend Update.
And finally, some scary news footage, Al Jazeera talks to some people at a Sarah Palin rally in Ohio.
One month away from Singapore and I come home to so much news.
Pardon me for being late in bringing this up because I just came home, but a 21 percent hike in electricity tariffs?
In the midst of a recession?
And we just sat at home, sucked our thumbs and accepted it?
Then 10,000 Minibonds investors lost their money from Lehman's collapse, as well as those who bought High Notes and Jubilee Notes.
Our MAS chairman, Mr Goh Chok Tong says, "that’s life, if you want good rewards, you have to take risks. Otherwise, leave your money with the CPF."
Thank you for your reassuring words, Senior Minister, sir. Not like that troublesome and kaypoh fella, Tan Kin Lian, who has taken it upon himself to provide leadership in this fiasco, even though he was not a victim himself.
I also found out Singtel hiked their landline charges and SPH increased the price of their papers too.
Who says hikes can't happen in the midst of financial crisis? Singapore proves it can!
At least Singapore came in First yet once more, in these difficult times:
Singapore was the first Asian economy to fall into recession.
Is it to warn you that all aspire to be millionaires?
The whole thing reads like some poem.
I also like that bit right at the end, where it says, "Strictly for the first 50 person". Only that one fifty-year-old dude can attend? Very exclusive.
And it claims to show you "what mistakes are commonly made by experienced investors and how to avoid".
You may need to check them out, they say, "if you do not know the aboves".
Confidence inspiring, doesn't it?
This is the view from the plane as we flew over the North Pole or Alaska. 10 hours on the flight from Minneapolis with cranky American stewardesses who tossed pretzel snacks at your tray and served your breakfast without telling you sorry, we ran out of omelettes. Just a take it or leave it attitude. Even the American next to me said it was the most rude cabin crew he had ever encountered.
Ryan jokingly said, if you have no expectations, the service would be considered ok. Yes, I said, and if you sleep half the flight too.
I was happier to see the newer A330 aircraft for the Narita to Singapore leg. At least it had an in-seat entertainment system instead of that shared blurry big screen on the old 747 we flew over from Minneapolis.
Going to reach Singapore at 1am. Can't wait to see the kids and the missus when they wake up in the morning. I have presents to give out. And a few hugs and kisses too.
The end of the day of galleries.
We have to be really quiet in the gallery!
Our gallery jaunt continues as we visit the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art!
We go to the Smithsonian!
I can't help feeling sorry for Joe the Plumber. Just come out and speak to Obama and end up having TV crews camping on his lawn. I bet they would move into his toilet if they could.
Now all his dirt is being dug up, like his not paying his taxes. And the plumbers' union is mad at him for sullying their good trade and name. Heck, his first name is not even Joe.
He couldn't fart now, without the media knowing about it.
McCain must be feeling a little paiseh for having used him as an example of someone who will be affected tax-wise, by Obama's economic plans. Joe the Plumber does not make the US$250,000 a year to get taxed that way, in fact he will actually get a tax break under Obama's plan.
I flip through all the channels, and I get plenty in my hotel in DC, and all I see is Joe the Plumber, Joe the Plumber, Joe the Plumber.
The man is stoic in the face of Britney-Spears-like attention. I hope he doesn't descend into flashing his down-there's.
You got to admire Joe the Plumber. Hardworking American, media darling, political pundit.
Ask yourself today, WWJTPD?
What Would Joe The Plumber Do?
We've just crossed the bridge on the New Jersey Turnpike that connects us from the number 40 highway to the Interstate 95, that will take us all the way to DC.
Along the way, we saw Salem and the little towns along highway 40. One town dressed up scarecrow-like dolls outside their homes for Halloween. I bet they look creepy at night.
One of the pleasures of driving your own vehicle on holiday is to see the sights on your on terms, and discovering places like this pier while driving around the barrier islands of New Jersey.
We can stay in the cheap off-season hotel rooms of Atlantic City while escaping its casino clutches (during the day anyway), and use the time to explore the area.
No pressure, no hurry, no timetables. Just time to enjoy a sunset at a pier, and the joys of avoiding the bird shit of dive bombing seagulls.
We got a little adventurous and decided to drive to Island Beach State Park, a narrow barrier beach with lots of lovely beaches and birds to watch.
We headed north of Atlantic City this time, towards Point Pleasant Beach. It is a popular Jersey Shore holiday location... in Summer. But true to our mrbrown Road Trip mantra — "It's the journey, not the destination, dummy." — we set forth with enthusiasm. Only to find a fairly deserted Boardwalk.
We did find a game arcade. We ended up playing a Race Horse betting machine where you put quarters in for credits, and if your horse wins, you get tokens in return, which you use to exchange for tacky prizes. We kept our tokens instead.
Ryan told me in Genting Highlands, they have a bigger machine with more horses, and you bet with 1 ringgit coins and when you win, you get REAL money, not tokens.
We had a blast anyway. Two grown men, in an almost deserted arcade, loudly cheering their plastic horses on.