Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Singapore Wars: A New Hope

April 27, 2009 AFP article

Workers protest against unpaid wages in Singapore

SINGAPORE - More than 100 construction workers from China gathered outside Singapore's manpower ministry Monday to complain about unpaid wages and cancellation of their work permits, witnesses said.

The workers sat for about two hours at the steps of the ministry, at a busy intersection near the Chinatown district, and shouted at ministry officials and police officers to air their grievances.

There was no violence, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

At one point, police warned the workers to disperse within five minutes or face arrest. They left but regrouped across a road from the ministry, and voluntarily dispersed about an hour later.

Workers interviewed by AFP said they had not been paid their wages after their Chinese 'boss' absconded with the money. They also complained that their work permits had been cancelled without warning.

Comment from the manpower ministry on the workers' complaints was not immediately available.

Some of the workers told officials that they had not committed any crime and could not be arrested, but police told them they were illegally trespassing on government property.

'The government should punish the company, not punish us by cancelling our permits. We just want our compensation so we can go back to China,' construction worker Zhou Qing Ren, 40, told AFP.

'We have got no money to eat now and no proper place to stay,' another worker shouted.

Singapore is tightening its rules on outdoor protests as it prepares to host its largest international summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' forum, in November.

Analysts said the laws against outdoor protests can also be applied to deal with any outbreaks of public frustration amid the city-state's worst recession in more than 40 years.

An estimated one million foreigners live in Singapore, representing more than 20 percent of the total population, which is predominantly ethnic Chinese.

This is a very important article. I believe the ruling party has managed to unearth a double edged sword.

Current foreign policy pursues a no-holds barred "Economic Growth at all costs"

A policy of: More inputs = more outputs = more GDP".

More inputs = More foreign talent willing to work at 1/2 the pay of a Singaporean.

Understandably so, hungry migrant workers can earn quadruple in Singapore what their home-bound brethren earn is a win-win solution for owners of these firms and their fledging immigrants.

But, it looks like the ruling party has failed to take into account the tenacity and devil-may-care attitude of these workers. And if these workers continue to run numbers into the 1 million (according to the AFP article), even 10% of the 1 million, conducting a protest of POOR LABOUR LAWS/TREATMENT during the APEC summit is going to be a PR disaster of massive proportions.

These migrant workers have little to lose, considering that they have lost it all already. They just want their money and they want to go home. When asked by the police to vacate the premises, they just regrouped opposite the Manpower Ministry.

What's the ruling party to do?

  • Put them in jail? - Woohoo! Free room and board.
  • Pay them? - Who bears the burden of paying?
  • Violent crackdown? - PR disaster also
Suddenly with 1 million migrants that don't give a damn about Home Upgrading, Jail, Defamation suits and threats of exile, the PAP might find in them- "considerable enemies of the State".

Fact is, if Singaporean dissidents/dissenters/opposition start to "embrace and love these foreign talent". They might very well mobilize this vocal and active group to campaign and highlight the fundamental flaws of poor protection/treatment of employees here in Singapore.

Can the PAP continue to treat all residents: citizens, permanent or otherwise, as "economic digits"? You decide.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be aware of Morons in AWARE

I consider myself a SENSIBLE conservative. If I lived in the United States, I'd consider the constitutional right to bear arms as nice in theory but I'd prefer that you limit the types of guns outside Mac-10 fully automatic weapons (you don't to hunt deer with those).

Since I live in Singapore, I fully support the state and consider the definition of a marriage to be between men and women as well, since physically, we have matching "parts" much like jigsaw pieces.

To my madly in love gay friends, if you want to get "married", I'd endorse a new legislation of "long term partnerships" to symbolize your union. And to be really frank, when it comes to institutional marriage, it's not exactly as sacred or life-affirming as it used to be (my parents fought. A lot. Physically. Like fists and flying pots.).

Sensibility is KNOWING change is coming. Sensibility is KNOWING that not only is change inevitable but that eventually, you'd need to find equitable foundations (legally & socially) for that change.

It happened during President Lincoln's Emancipation proclamation. It happened after Universal Suffrage (Go women power!). It happened after Martin Luther King. It happened after Rosa Parks rode in the front of the bus.

But today, after her press conference. I realise that MORON has a new name. It's Thio Su Mien.

Dr. Thio, like others of her ilk, Maureen Ong and other self proclaimed feminists are an embarrassment to their professions and to the concept of suffrage.

Suffrage according to Wikipedia: The feminist movement is essentially one that has worked and continues to work against the status quo in American society. According to bell hook, “Feminism is a struggle against sexist oppression. Therefore, it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels, as well as a commitment to reorganizing society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion and material desires.” [4] America’s culture is one that is measured on a patriarchal scale. Countering these standards is part of the Feminist Movement’s agenda and, although differing during the progression of waves, it was a movement started to also challenge the political structure. In thinking of a social movement as a collective, organized, sustained, non-institutional challenge to authorities, power holders, or culture beliefs or practices it can be said the Feminist Movement in all aspects a large and long lasting social movement.

Men of the era believed that women were too emotional and prone to irrational decision making to be entitled a vote- It's true. Go look it up. That was discriminatory. Fact is before the rise of the feminist movement, suffrage was all about abolishing slavery, it was after the 1st World War (lots of men died) where the equal importance of women started to become more evident. Many men and people in power at the time felt that the family unit was all about DAD wearing the pants, making the decisions and bringing home the bacon. Women had their role in society as a supporting element of care-giver to the little ones. It was a patriarchal structure and those in power were SURE that the foundations of society would crumble should women ever achieve equality.

Boy were they wrong.

Just as they were wrong on the slavery bit, just as they were wrong when they thought equality to the blacks would lead to disaster.

The issue here is not that the new Exco engineered a coup de tat of AWARE. It's that the new Exco, in their crusade to protect the family unit should have started their own grassroots organization rather than hi-jack another.

I repeat- the big deal isn't the coup de tat. But that while proclaiming to "feminists" (equal rights!), they've not only disrespected the views of another group but practicised in-equality.

And nothing could be more ridiculous then what I heard at the press conference when the new honorary secretary Ms Maureen Ong spoke.

" I came into the picture because somebody told me that something is happening that affects children and I am a mother of three children. I don't want my children to say that oh, it's all right to go and experiment with homosexuality, to experiment with anal sex, to experiment with virginity or the pill or even pre-marital sex"

According to the Straits Times-

THIO Su Mien explained that her concern about the direction that Aware was taking was partly prompted by a letter from a parent who was concerned that the society was promoting a homosexual agenda.

She wrote to the Today newspaper in 2007 to ask why Aware’s choice of a movie for a charity show was Spider Lilies, about two lesbians who fall in love.

Dr Thio said she went on to discover that in Aware’s comprehensive sexuality education programme, which is taken to schools, homosexuality is regarded as a neutral word, not a negative word.

Yes. DANGER! WARNING! Because I’m sure I’ll be tempted to turn gay after too many episodes of Queer Eye for a Straight Guy.

Here are the facts: When I watch my gay friends or shows involving gays. One thought DOES CROSS MY MIND.

“Wow that’s stylish.” or “Yes, that’s a more refined way to do something.”

IT IN NO WAY MAKES ME WONDER- if it’ll be cool or nice to experiment with a penis in my anal cavity.

Nor does it make me, in anyway, wish to touch or fondle a male reproductive appendage other than my own.

You don’t experiment with homosexuality, you are inclined or you’re not. Period.

Dr. Thio and Ms. Ong’s cognitive abilities and brain function are malfunctioning in such a way that renders me speechless on how someone that mentally challenged can ever be elected to power.

No wait.. 66.6 but that’s another story..

Oops.. lost my train of thought- Bottom line- Watching gay themed shows makes me want to be more stylish or buy better fitting clothes.

It in no way makes me want to be more gay.

To be honest, I want that level of stylishness to “advertise” myself to Krista Allens, Elizabeth Hurleys and Sienna Millers of the world.

Other men need not apply. Thanks very much.

Final note: Truthfully, I'm slightly homophobic.. I'd give a brotherly hug to a straight guy friend but I feel uncomfortable if my gay pals try to reciprocate. But that's my irrational fear due to societal conditioning. I love my gay pals, they're funny, they're bitchy and they have the best taste in clothes.

Playing Soccer encourages you to kick decapitated heads

Modern day football (soccer to you American readers) was developed by the victorious English on the battlefield. The victors would decapitate the heads of their enemies and have a kicking good time in the 1300s.

Fast forward to the 21st century. The year is 2009 and Apple has started a revolutionary new past time of baby shaking. It all started with a simple iPhone/iPod Touch application of "Baby Shaker" that could be purchased for 99 cents at Apple Apps on iTunes.

The craze was so phenomenal that eventually, people hooked on the games started shaking real babies. Much as how World of Warcraft gamers call on the Dark Prince of Hell Satan Ragnaros for powers to pyroblast their enemies to cinders.

GET THE HELL OVER YOURSELVES YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS PUNKS. When babies cry during the work transit early in the morning, we've all at one point or another wondered- "I wish I could somehow shut that baby up."

Prisoners of War will attest to the fact that the wailing cries of babies are used as a method of softening before an interrogation but war veterans have yet to be outraged by the children's groups and brain injury foundations for NOT BEING SYMPATHETIC to the plight they have suffered.

Human nature as such implies "Yes, we think about screwed up shit." BUT the super-ego convinces to us to NOT ACT IN THE ANTI-SOCIAL MANNER of actually shaking babies to shut them up.

Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure how banning such a game will discourage baby shaking, in fact, it might even encourage some to act out since they're unable to find a healthy virtual outlet for their pent up baby wailing induced frustrations.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I love MSN Messenger and the immediate humor that can arise as a result..

My reply to Shireen's nick:

Yeah.. You're too pretty to be one of the seven dwarves..

Laughs galore ensue

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Layman's View to modern day Economics


This is the best business to be in. The geniuses at Wall Street: derivatives traders, brokers, bankers etc really had it figured out.

Not only did they think up of how to sell NOTHING (debt- a loan of someone-else's money) four times over (eventually it runs out, but they continue to repackage and sell nothing from a bunch of other people earning close to nothing).

And then.. they finally realised that- "Hey, waitaminute, human beings walk around with a lot of emotions and feelings.. let's just screw around with their perceptions (rather than the reality of the situation)"

Suddenly, we have a market where stock markets are rallying or in decline based on how people feel.

Nevermind that, realistically: Manufacturing output, Total amount of precious metals/good/services, demand and supply stay relatively static day to day. However, we live in an age where the stock markets rise and fall on the same day within the week. Simply cos, OMG FEAR! OMG! Sky is falling! OMG! Intel made 1 million processor chips yesterday but just cos I FEEL SCARED, Intel is suddenly a crap company functioning on the level of a banana republic!

What the frak?

In the end, it's all simple physics. Money exists in one state/form or another. It doesn't disappear. What's really the problem is all that "fake" money running around from all the "stimulating". It's money only cos the govt says it is. But real productivity, real output, REAL MONEY/VALUE creation has yet to happen.

Living beyond your means consumerist lifestyle of credit HAS TO STOP. The madness should end somewhere and hopefully, we won't ever see a situation where Financial Services employees account for 9% of the workforce but yet command 34% of salaries for the workforce.

Guessed where yet? Only in New York baby.

Monday, April 20, 2009


It's monday morning and I'm already wondering- What the Fuck were they thinking.

Whenever I'm faced with bad adverts (badvertising- my term), I'm impressed by two factors:
  • The skill of their Account Executives in getting their clients to accept lack lustre and poor advertising concepts.
  • The inability of the creatives to come up with non-vomit inducing ideas.
Today, Abbott graces the inaugural post for "Badvertising"- a whole new category for Tantalizine. Witness- the power of advertising as they try to convince you, that- "YOUR KIDS CAN GET FLY HIGH. And THEY CAN GET HIGHER."

Nothing sells like a kid hooked on drugs.

Yes. I understand that the product is- VIDAYLIN. But other than getting high, I've no idea what else it's supposed to do for my child.

And making my kid look CREEPY AND FREAKY in a teddy bear suit.
  • What the hell is going on?
  • Is my kid dressed like a teddy bear cos he's high?
  • Or are his parents dressing him that way cos they're high?
More importantly, who's already high?
  • The people that agreed this was the badvertising campaign they wanted?
  • The creatives that conceptualised this bit of badvertising?
What were they smoking? And can I have some?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Terrible Thursdays: ZOMBIES!

It's been yet another crap day, doing business in Singapore flies against the face of rational decision making when everything exists around a concept of Guan Xi.

Guan Xi by its very nature, implies that even if it's NOT THE BEST deal/rates, the project/supply contract still goes to you- JUST BECAUSE you're a friend or long time partner.

This is great, all this trust and love is wonderful. But it flies in the face of innovative business ideas that depend on you making a RATIONAL rather than EMOTIONAL decision.

Singaporean business executives have a long way to go (which explains the economy is living in the crapper).

That said, I look forward to zombies rising forth and eating all the "set-in-stone" aged decision makers. And when it all goes to hell, I really hope my maid passes muster.

Cheers to the zombie apocalypse and my L4D marathon on friday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The one thing Singapore does right

Political Correctness- It's a bane for the United States of America and the only advantage that Singapore has over the big bad "decadent" West.

Rob McKay for NZ Herald

Recently I was in Singapore. What really struck me were the low crime rates, genuine honesty and politeness of its citizens.

Singapore has zero tolerance for bad behaviour. They achieve this by being tough on those who break the rules. The phrase "political correctness" is nonexistent. You talk on your cellphone in the car: you lose the phone and $500. You eat on the train and there goes another $500. Drop a lolly paper on the ground and that will cost another $500 - all of this compliance and not a policeman in sight.

Singapore is full of novel ideas that make the city so safe and prosperous. The place is run like an efficient organisation. Why? Because Singapore has an over-riding policy of "zero tolerance for poor performance and bad behaviour".

We have become so PC in this country that people are too afraid to do anything for fear of repercussions. Managers are constantly accepting below average performance - why?

In many cases the manager has hired a person who does not "fit" the job, and they try to "fix" the problem by embarking on a treadmill of coaching and training, or a mixture of other "touchy feely" processes. Let me tell you straight up, if you have hired a person who does not have the innate personality, mental ability and attitude to do the job, no amount of training will make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. You might as well toss the training budget - and the six months of your time pandering to the situation - out the window.

Poor performance must be addressed immediately. The longer it's left, the worse it gets. Then one morning, you will wake up and decide enough is enough, go to the office and deal with it in an inappropriate manner that will probably cost you an expensive personal grievance claim.

Most organisations have three kinds of employees - have a look around your team now - you'll see people who were born to perform well (20%), some who have the capacity to perform well (60%) and those who will never perform (20%). Jack Welch, the famous American CEO, used to grade his team into As, Bs and Cs. The As were groomed for higher things. The Bs were trained to maintain, or fill the A slots and Cs were targeted to be managed out.

Often, managers take work off the Cs and lump it onto the As because they can be trusted to do quality work without a fuss. So the Cs are automatically rewarded for bad performance and usually get the same take-home pay. Here we see motivation working in the negative. There is motivation to perform badly because you get paid to do nothing.

It's time to get tough - "zero tolerance for poor performance" should be your new mantra. Don't allow the C team the luxury of passing off their responsibility to perform - set goals, introduce targets, measure output - ride hard, reward well.

Usually, when the pressure to perform comes on the C brigade, these slackers fold like a deck of cards and leave. But be very diligent when looking for a replacement: the next candidate could be the joker who was dealt off the deck of the last company because of poor performance.

As managers and leaders we have three opportunities to do something about our people performance. The first is at the front door - hire the right people first time - hire for attitude, train for aptitude.

The second opportunity is training and coaching your current people - ideal for your A and B people, but a huge waste of management time and money if you never got the first opportunity right. And finally, show the poor performers the back door - almost impossible to achieve in today's litigious employment environment.

Getting rid of poor performers is a long, morale-sapping, customer-killing, bank-balance-denting process. You have to face up to the fact, fast, that you screwed up and hired poorly. Many times this situation is not the employee's problem; they simply didn't "fit" the position and you never identified this.

"People" are the only lasting competitive advantage your business has, so here's another mantra - hire tough and manage easy.

Rob McKay MA(Hons) is a business psychologist and director of AssessSystems Aust/NZ Ltd


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Movie Review: Oxford Murders

Reviews I used to write for ARENA magazine

At the height of World War I, amidst flying shrapnel and gunfire, a lone soldier is in relentless pursuit of an answer to an enigma that has plagued mankind since time immemorial: Can we know truth?

The great thinkers of history have often sought a singular, irrefutable answer, similar in certainty that 2 and 2 makes 4. What better way to look for truth than using a language free from the entendres of man? It is in mathematics that the Tractus Logico-Philosophicus is borne, leading Lieutenant Ludwig Wittgenstein to a horrifying conclusion that beyond mathematics, there is no such thing as absolute truth.

This deduction is shared by Oxford Professor Arthur Seldom (John Hurt). However, visiting American protagonist Martin (Elijah Wood) believes otherwise. Whether out of naivete or pure intellect, he believes that if we discover the secrets of numbers, we’ll discover the hidden meaning of reality.

Even the smallest snowflake contains a numerical basis in its structure he quotes, but when his ailing landlady is murdered for no reason, the young student starts to find his faith severely tested.

Seldom is Holmes to Martin’s Watson and during the course of deciphering the killer’s cryptic clues in order to thwart the next murders, mathematical and physics theorems like Wittgenstein’s Finite Rule Paradox and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle fly thick and fast. The narrative is interspersed with metaphysical and philosophical debates between Martin and Seldom regarding reality and the chaotic happenstance of life itself.

Stripped of its nerdspeak, Oxford Murders is a convoluted murder mystery. It would have done well, save for the incidental incompleteness of plotlines. The director tried so hard at making a thinking film that the murder mystery portion was left behind. We felt little sense of emergency other than morbid curiosity on who was next, not that we cared if they died either. Even as we stepped into the shoes of our geeky protagonists, there was little reason to care about their motives or pursuits. In terms of acting, Hurt excels as world-weary mentor and kudos to Wood for successfully shaking off Frodo. However, once the on-screen debates end, there is little chemistry between the two leads and the eventual unveiling of the killer feels like a non-event.

Can we know truth? Truth is, though Murders often forgets its pulse as a murder mystery, the movie remains undeniably engaging and watchable save for the spaghetti complimenting sex scene.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Societal Mental Conditioning

More to come once I gather my thoughts- Happy Easter weekend.

Schizophrenia sufferers aren't fooled by an optical illusion known as the “hollow mask” that the rest of us fall for because connections between the sensory and conceptual areas of their brains might be on the fritz.

In the hollow mask illusion, viewers perceive a concave face (like the back side of a hollow mask) as a normal convex face. The illusion exploits our brain's strategy for making sense of the visual world: uniting what it actually sees — known as bottom-up processing — with what it expects to see based on prior experience — known as top-down processing.

"Our top-down processing holds memories, like stock models," explains Danai Dima of Hannover Medical University, in Germany, co-author of a study in NeuroImage. "All the models in our head have a face coming out, so whenever we see a face, of course if has to come out."

This powerful expectation overrides visual cues, like shadows and depth information, that indicate anything to the contrary.

But patients with schizophrenia are undeterred by implausibility: They see the hollow face for what it is. About seven out of 1000 Americans suffer from the disease, which is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and poor planning. Some psychologists believe this dissociation from reality may result from an imbalance between bottom-up and top-down processing — a hypothesis ripe for testing using the hollow mask illusion.

In healthy viewers, the illusion is so powerful that even when aware of the illusion (see video below), they are unable to see the concave face — the mind just flips it back. Though the illusion is strong for faces, it doesn't work well with other objects, or even with upside-down faces. This bias is likely due to the special relationship we humans have with faces. Many neuroscientists believe we have brain regions dedicated to processing faces, and some brain injuries can leave patients unable to recognize faces, even though their vision and other memories remain intact.

Dima and Jonathan Roiser of University College London wanted to understand why people with schizophrenia aren't fooled. They put 13 schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy control subjects in an fMRI scanner that measures brain activity, and showed them 3D images of concave or convex faces. As expected, all of the schizophrenic patients reported seeing the concave faces, while none of the control subjects did.

Dima and Roiser analyzed the fMRI data using a relatively new technique called dynamic causal modeling, which allowed them to measure how different brain regions were interacting during the task. When healthy subjects looked at the concave faces, connections strengthened between the frontoparietal network, which is involved in top-down processing, and the visual areas of the brain that receive information from the eyes. In patients with schizophrenia, no such strengthening occurred.

Dima thinks when healthy subjects see the illusion, which is somewhat ambiguous, their brains strengthen this connection such that what they expect — a normal face — becomes more influential, overpowering the actual, though unlikely, visual information. Schizophrenia patients, meanwhile, may be unable to modulate this pathway, accepting the concave face as reality.

Schizophrenics aren't the only ones who see the concave face — people who are drunk or high can also 'beat' the illusion. A similar disconnect between what the brain sees and what it expects to see may be occurring during these drug-induced states.

Citation: "Understanding why patients with schizophrenia do not perceive the hollow-mask illusion using dynamic causal modelling" by Danai Dima, Jonathan P. Roiser, Detlef E. Dietrich, Catharina Bonnemann, Heinrich Lanfermann, Hinderk M. Emrich, Wolfgang Dillo, NeuroImage, In Press, Available online 24 March 2009.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dark Times- Part 1

Going through a bit (understatement) of work shit at the moment.

Let this day, April 9th 2009, stand testament to the power of God's grace.

I'll respond with my experience and how He touched my life in a quantifiable, discernable way. Let this be testimony of proof of His promise of Love & guidance for us if we let Him be a driving force in our lives.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Downward spirals of Obesity & Poverty

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been taking the effort to eat a little better. I work in the CBD, everything from simple salads (we're talkin tofu, corn kernels, diced hardboiled eggs and lettuce) costs within the range of $8 to $14 (added salmon- yum). It keeps me filled for a good 3-4 hours till either an early dinner or a late afternoon snack.

In comparison, a burger king meal complete with fries and coke costs $6 (a hell lot cheaper) or a "Economical rice" complete with overly greasy vegetables, a fattening but delicious sweet & sour pork and luncheon meat for $3.50. Cheap yes- filling? No.

Worst of all, it encourages you to snack and nowhere does it ever add up to the $14 I pay for a healthful lunch.

Healthy eating really does cost more.

That’s what University of Washington researchers found when they compared the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area. Calorie for calorie, junk foods not only cost less than fruits and vegetables, but junk food prices also are less likely to rise as a result of inflation. The findings, reported in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, may help explain why the highest rates of obesity are seen among people in lower-income groups.

The scientists took an unusual approach, essentially comparing the price of a calorie in a junk food to one consumed in a healthier meal. Although fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, they also contain relatively few calories. Foods with high energy density, meaning they pack the most calories per gram, included candy, pastries, baked goods and snacks.

The survey found that higher-calorie, energy-dense foods are the better bargain for cash-strapped shoppers. Energy-dense munchies cost on average $1.76 per 1,000 calories, compared with $18.16 per 1,000 calories for low-energy but nutritious foods.

The survey also showed that low-calorie foods were more likely to increase in price, surging 19.5 percent over the two-year study period. High-calorie foods remained a relative bargain, dropping in price by 1.8 percent.Although people don’t knowingly shop for calories per se, the data show that it’s easier for low-income people to sustain themselves on junk food rather than fruits and vegetables, says the study’s lead author Adam Drewnowski, director of the center for public health nutrition at the University of Washington. Based on his findings, a 2,000-calorie diet would cost just $3.52 a day if it consisted of junk food, compared with $36.32 a day for a diet of low-energy dense foods. However, most people eat a mix of foods. The average American spends about $7 a day on food, although low-income people spend about $4, says Dr. Drewnowski.

And fact of the matter is, unless you're a white collar worker earning a decent income- you're going to be choosing junk food. Ancedotally, though poverty is not restricted to race, it struck me as I watched a family of 4 (they were malay incidentally) board the feeder bus. Jovially tapping their EZ-link cards, McDonald bags in hand as they ambled towards their seats- I sat amongst them in the 2by2 seat facing configuration and mused at the "turbulence" as their massive body frames pressed into the seat.

Poverty is not a good thing. Particularly when it limits your lifestyle choices to foods that will bring you ill health like high cholestoral and heart disease. And I'm curious as to what our current leadership (the PAP) is thinking when foreign labor policy forces wages down particularly for the lower income group.

It’s easier to overeat junk food, Dr. Drewnowski adds, both because it tastes good and because eaters often must consume a greater volume in order to feel satisfied. Still, even those who consume twice as much in junk food calories are still spending far less than healthy eaters.“If you have $3 to feed yourself, your choices gravitate toward foods which give you the most calories per dollar,’’ said Dr. Drewnowski. “Not only are the empty calories cheaper, but the healthy foods are becoming more and more expensive. Vegetables and fruits are rapidly becoming luxury goods.”

And if healthy foods are becoming luxury foods- what does all this "at all cost GDP" eventually create?

In my opinion, a systematic downward spiral that kills:
  • National Defense capabilities- as the majority lower to low-middle income families suffer from obesity and other obesity related illness
  • Higher burden on the medical system- even with means testing, prolonged medical aid necessary to combating fat-related illnesses creates an untenable and eventually unaffordable level of medical aid needed just to sustain life

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Breaking News: CANCER detection

This just in- Getting screened for cancer is a leading cause of finding out that you have cancer. And now back to our regularly scheduled news this April 1st.

Business Week's findings on World's worst airport: