Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review: The Politically Incorrect Parenting Book: 10 No-Nonsense Rules to Stay Sane and Raise Happy Kids

The Politically Incorrect Parenting Book: 10 No-Nonsense Rules to Stay Sane and Raise Happy Kids The Politically Incorrect Parenting Book: 10 No-Nonsense Rules to Stay Sane and Raise Happy Kids by Nigel Latta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unlike other no-nonsense parenting books, this one actually got me off my butt to work on stuff that I haven't been doing right. The case studies have an easy-to-follow structure, and the solutions do not need a PhD to comprehend.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators

The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators by Chris Brogan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those New-Age hippie-dippie non-conformist literature that tries to inspire but falls flat in many places due to its over-simplistic and flippant one-size-fits-all recommendations. Some parts of the book also read like a shameless plug for Evernote.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

I believe in free speech*

"You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours."

Today, I came across two Facebook updates by Andrew Loh (here and here) where he asked: 

I don't normally post elaborate responses to Facebook conversations but this time I felt compelled to because:

1. I find it surprising that having suffered at the hands of the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA), Andrew does not realise the irony of what he is trying to propose.

2. The arguments put forth by some against "absolute free speech" were getting ridiculous.

You either believe in free speech or you don't. There are no two ways about it. You can't say that you believe in free speech, but then put a big asterisk next to it with a fine print about the conditions when speech is not free. Can you see how ridiculous it is?

It's like one of those promotions that says "FREE!*" Who the fuck believes that?

Ok, I guess I have offended some people with that irresponsible speech. But guess what? Alvin Phua rightly pointed out:

And then there are those who use the age-old fire-in-the-theatre argument to justify the boundaries for free speech:

To which, without going into a long-drawn philosophical debate, Christine Sng Mechtler summed up the difference best with these three choice words:

Andrew and several others mentioned somewhere (can't remember where I saw the comments as it became difficult to track the conversations) that if we impose limits to free speech, it will have to apply fairly to everyone, including that obnoxious IB, Jason Chua. Problem is, if the law of the day ruled that what Jason the cockroach says is well within the legal framework of "free speech", do you just go lppl?

Once you advocate that a higher authority has the right to determine what is ok within the context of free speech, you basically cede your rights to any form of free speech.

There are also some who tried to tout "responsible speech" as a substitute for "free speech". What the fuck is "responsible speech"? Who decides what's responsible, and responsible to whom? Once you go down this slippery road, you will risk having one party dictating to another what constitutes "responsible speech". And the outcome is already quite obvious. Censorship.

What I believe is that free speech should be guided only by your own moral and ethical principles, and if your principles happen to be immoral/unethical, expect people to challenge them. Or walk away (hey, that's a valid option too!).

What irks me is when people resort to straw man argument to state their case against free speech, as Jolene Tan rightly observed:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Money Saving Hack: CNY goodies

Here's a simple hack that will save you a couple of dollars here and there, even if you only do it once a year.

During the Chinese New Year festive period, retailers have a habit of jacking up prices of everything because (and here's where you hear the common refrain) "一年一次啦!". So poor consumers cave in and buy stuff at a premium. But there's really no reason why you should continue to fall into this trap, especially when times are bad.

Take for instance those CNY goodies like pineapple tarts, peanut cookies and what not. $10 (or more) for a small tub may not be much, but if you buy a few, it could blow your grocery budget apart.

So here's what I did for a change. I bought this 300g of cookies from Sheng Siong, which set me back only $2.30. Nothing fancy.

All you need to do to spice things up is to put the cookies into those red-top containers for Chinese New Year and viola! You have something presentable (and equally tasty) at a fraction of the cost.

Better still if you have one of those pretty tin cans like this:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Will the wind of change ever blow our way?

In the aftermath of GE2105, there have been numerous rationalisations/justifications on why Singaporeans voted for suicide.

No credible opposition. Election carrots. Last-minute jitters. Sympathy votes for a dead dictator. Take your pick.

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert and offer a detailed analysis of voting patterns because I don't want to be accused of trying to "chut pattern".

Rather than put the blame for the opposition's dismal showing at the polls on swing voters in the form of new citizens*, I am going to show you that all those reasons outlined above are just lame ass excuses for an act of cowardice.

(*New citizens are here for the pre-existing conditions, so to expect them to vote for change you would have to be either very optimistic or extremely foolish.)

Let's take the example of "no credible opposition". Without going into the specifics, let me ask you just one question: is the #PartyAgainstPeople credible? Don't ask me for evidence to prove otherwise. Do your own research and draw your own conclusion. If you are oblivious to the writing on the wall, nothing I say will convince you.

The bottom line is:

You had the chance to vote for change, but you voted against it.

You had the chance to empower yourself, but you voted against it.

You had the chance to put your voice in parliament, but you voted against it.

You had the chance to vote for transparency and accountability, but you voted against it.

So tell me, what exactly did you vote for? More of the same?

Don't tell me hazy stuff like "with you, for you, for Singapore".

On the other hand...

You had the chance to vote against opening the floodgates to foreigners, but you didn't.

You had the chance to vote against gerrymandering by the #PartyAgainstPeople, but you didn't.

You had the chance to vote against pork barrel politics, but you didn't.

You had the chance to vote against marginalisation of your fellow Singaporeans, but you didn't.

You had the chance to vote against incompetent and dishonest MPs (examples: here here here here here here), but you didn't.

You had the chance to vote against cronyism and nepotism, but you didn't.

So tell me again, what the fuck did you vote for?

Your last line of defence is probably to say that one should not protest for the sake of protesting.

It is a testament to the amount of brainwashing Singaporeans have gone through that a protest vote is inherently perceived as negative and politically incorrect.

"But what is very important is to remind all my friends that you have a voice, and that you should use it any chance you have--to point out the wrongdoings, to check the abuses of power, to always bring attention to the marginalised and the oppressed." ~ Alfian Sa'at

So just come clean and admit that you lack the guts to make real change. Nor do you have the compassion to do so.

“I guess Singaporeans get the government they deserve, so I don’t want to hear any more complaints.” ~ Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Reform Party

In an attempt to placate voters, the #PartyAgainstPeople preached about the Singapore core during GE2015. It knew about Singaporeans being displaced by new citizens, yet it is trying to accelerate the process. No prize for guessing why. It goes to show that the #PartyAgainstPeople will do whatever it takes to stay in power, Singaporeans be damned. That is the shameless party you've voted for.

So the short answer to the question: No way. Because we have reached the point of no return.

With that, I shall leave you with this:

Singaporean (August 9, 1965 ~ September 11, 2015) ‪#‎RIP‬

Stories referenced in this post:

5 Reasons Why All Singaporeans Must Reject 6.9 million Population Target
Why GE2015 will go down in history as the biggest fluke election ever
Fear of being fixed: The impact of the climate of fear on the 2015 Singapore General Election
That makeshift cubicle at the void deck
Liar, Liar, Bum On Fire
Vivian Balakrishnan: FAILED as a minister
Massive breakdown – Govt’s claim of accountability put to the test
MND skirting around concerns about the Sengkang columbarium tender
AIM saga - MND's failure to distinguish politics from policies
States Times Review apologise to PAP MP Lee Bee Wah
Why it might be difficult for the government to withdraw from business
All in the FamiLee
New Citizen Voters decided this Election and Will Decide all future Elections


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