Thursday, May 10, 2007

My tutor the Tv

Who says that the television is beastly as it only potrays the evils of the world through that little screen it has.
In fact, the television could widen our horizons by opening the world out to us. In addition, the television also permits us to reach large numbers of people on a national or regional level in a short period of time. Television being an image-building and visual medium, also offers the ability to convey messages with sight, sound and motion horizons which appeals to our senses.
For Ong Soh Chin, a senior writer, she believes that the television taught her no rules but good pronounciation and the grasp of english language.
Today, educational TV programmes have become more and more sophisticated. Very soon, the television will replace the medium of books in schools.

Killer felt he was persecuted and was out to get even
Strait times/15 June 07

Basically a recent school shooting had occured at virginia tech college. The gunman, aged 23 from south korea, brutally killed 32 of his fellow school mates which were neither his friend nor aquitance.
Officials of south korea were worried that this uproar might turn into racism towards Asians. That is almost similar to the animousity between the terrorists and the Americans today. In my opinion, just one accident should not suffice the Americans to generalize that all Asians are evil.
With the reoccurances of school shootings, students, if not, viewers will no longer sense the seriousness of mass massacre in schools. rather, some students may take these gunmen as their role models. Worst of all, if idolizing gets carried too far, similar incidennces will repeat itself again.
The profit driven media also seems to be glamorizing such an act. In order to gain higher viewship, they are splashing the killer's face across the television and any magazine with any chance they get; Not knowing they are encouraging such brutal violence in schools or even the work place.
What made this recent school shooting possible once again? In the eyes of many are the lax gun laws in America. Law makers in state legislatures and congress have it within their power to bring sanity to the gun laws, but they lack the political will to.
The society should step up on relationship bondingas well. People should learn to forgive one another,and accept each other faults. Most importantly, to abstain from descrimination against people of another race.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Beijing's Forbidden City palace is considering closing a Starbucks on its grounds after protests led by a state TV personality who says the American coffeehouse's presence is eroding Chinese culture.
The writer claimed that economic globalisation does not give us culture. However, I disagree with his stand. It is possible, if managers of various firms learns to be more flexible. For example, starbucks could substitute the production of coffee with chinese tea at the forbidden city. This way, starbucks could continue to make their business profits and at the same time, the chinese culture of tea tasting could be taught to and experienced by the foreigners. Moreover, if the sales of tea are successful, tea production would become a unique feature of starbucks as well. Then, starbucks would not just be glorifying the western but also the chinese culture too.

Sand in your face, smoke in your eyes and a fistful of dollars

Indonesia's rapid rate of environmental destruction is also a reflection of our stupidity. It is like burning our house down while we are still living inside. So why do we do it? because we are paid to. The environmental destruction of indonesia is something that investors have always been eager to put money into- lots and lots of money.
Men are the most intelligent living being amongst all animal species. Yet, ironically, our stupidity has cost us our environment, our lives, our future, so much that the list just goes on and on. The saddest part is, only when we are at the verge of losing our precious possessions that we start regretting and crying over spilt milk. The study of history and man's actions have proven that we never learn from our mistakes.
I am not surprised that very little efforts have been placed on protecting our environment. Countries like America, are too obsessed with earning their dollars that they have blurred themselves from the effects of a degrading environment.
Investments should be diverted in producing more anti pollutant machineries rather than in unnecessary profit driven cosmetic researches. This is one way where the advancements in sciences could be placed into good use.

Embrace beauty even if it's fake

Is natural beauty truely superior to cosmetically or chemicaly enhanced beauty? And is there real value anymore to staying real?
Would you envy someone whose looks have been altered through plastic surgery?No, because it is either too fake, or too perfect that makes it seems so unatural. In my opinion, beauty is subjective. However, that is if your looks are natural. At times, it is the flaw or imperfection in one's looks that draws the opposite party's attention. It is these differences and variations in our looks that makes us unique for who we are. Plastic surgery has come into existance because of many girl's desire for good looks. And, how do they define good looks? Having a sharp nose? big wide eyes? Like that of a barbie doll or that of models on the walkway? In fact, these are only stereotypes of beauty,like fashion. Beauty is like a piece of art work, they are valued for their originiality and nothing more.
Looks are like packages.I admit that first images are important. However, packages do not decide the quality of the goods that are hidden deep within. There are other innate qualities that we should consider, like intelligence and character development, which plays a more important role in personal growth.
The writer suggested that we should embrace beauty even if it is fake because we have to learn to move forward and progress in out thoughts. However, I question the fact to why we should accept technology blindly, acting liberal, eventhough we know we are going aginst our conscience by altering the looks God have given us. In my opinion, moving forward is to only adopt new comings that are beneficial to the society and ourselves. This way, technology will not be able to manipulate us in turn.

Hamas' Mickey clone urging violence pulled off TV
Today paper/10 may 07

The only surviving child of Walt Disney has called Hamas “pure evil” for allegedly making a mockery of Mickey Mouse by turning the lovable icon into a propaganda tool for hate. This star cartoon character was being used here to encourage Palestinian children to take arms against Israel and America in hope of world domination under the “Islamic leadership”.
I was totally disgusted by such a motion. As adults, the Palestinians should encourage and help the younger generation to patch up the existing animosity between countries rather than tightening the tension, in hope for a better tomorrow. They are like feeding innocent kids with poison which would cause them to slowly waste away.
Power does not come from domination but respect. So, as long as if these Muslims continues to dream aimlessly,hoping that they would one day be a head above the rest through terrorists threats, they will not get anywhere close to success in the near future.

Executed man's last request honored -- pizza for homeless 10 may 07

Hundreds of homeless people in Nashville, Tennessee, ate well Wednesday evening -- all in the name of a man who the state put to death just hours earlier.
Should death sentence be practiced only on hard core criminals? In my opinion, yes. I see no sense to why the law should place a corrected man to death. when actually, he could redeem for his mistakes. Reporters have interviewed him and he claimed that he robbed, shot all because of the need for money. Where such crimes are only committed helplessly for the sake of survival, why should criminals like them be condemned. In fact, I see that the state is indifferent to the welfare of their people and it is their responsibility to turn such situations round.
The next problem was about criminals losing their rights to choose the type of execution they want. Of the thirty eight states that allowed death penalty, thirty seven use the lethal injection method. Recent medical studies have suggested that standard procedure is flawed as it causes the victim to die a cruelly painful and silent death. Neverthelss, the state still insisted on practising the lethal injection execution on him despite the criminal choosing to be electrocuted.
Who are the real victims here? Eventhough many of the immates are sick and lost, but they are not some cold hearted killer who thinks that they are redeemable. Unlike the law practitioners who throw people away but yet want mercy and forgiveness.

Kid breaks teacher’s neck over seized ipod
CNN news/ 10 may 07

School violence has been on the rise these days. Just after the recent school shooting at Virginia tech, we now have vicious classroom attacks on teachers. The news commented that it was in Philadelphia that such incidences occurred.
As usual, experts continues to digress about how poor family brought ups may have lead to a kid’s tendency to react violently in such cases.
I was surprised that no one has spoken or considered why students have attacked teachers. The news always place the blame entirely on students by claiming that this kid is psychologically sick, that he or she actually attacked his or her teacher over minor incidences. And why would the media do this? Because they know that students are powerless. Perhaps, violence was some student's only form of retaliation towards some teacher’s unreasonable expectations.
Nevertheless, we have to admit that kids these days are getting out of hand. There are many reasons to why kids are so disrespectful towards their elders. First of all, schools in America do not emphasize on moral virtues as they encourage liberalization. Secondly, kids are getting excessively spoilt and egoistical by their over protective parents and school's soft approach towards education.
These are some points which the media should consider.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bangkok blocks you tube over thai king video
strait times/050407

Provocative video that mocks reverend King Bhumibol Adulyadej was blocked. It's not about freedom of expression, said Mr sitthichar Pookaiyaudom.
It is clearly visible that people who creates such sites are abusing their rights. These offenders are guilty because they had inflicted harm upon the king's reputation intentionally. By saying this, I would mean knowing the Thai custom and Laws, yet breaking them.
Since the web could conserve our anonimity, many have taken the advantage to post up whatevever comments which seems desirable to them, regarless of its reliability. In this case, should the government intervene by placing in censorship or even restriction to these videos or even written onformation?
This may be good in a sense that there will be more transparency over the handling of sensitive issues. However, it is bad when such windows could potentially harm the public through its fake perceptions and distorted facts.

Dual citizenship will affect security
strait times/050407

Allowing dual citizenship would lead to dire consequences for Singapore's security as young men would be able to opt out of national service.
However, this might be good news for working Singaporeans for, it will provide them with the opportunity to grow and advance. Afterall, Singapore has its limitations. Eventually, the benefits will be extended to the country itself when these learned individuals decides to make their contributions for Singapore.
I believe that a Singaporean will always remain as one. Therefore, singaporeans will never neglect their country when she is in a state of trouble. In addition, it may not necessarily harm singapore's security because having a dual citizenship means that one is committed to two countries. Therefore, if one holds a singapore citizenship, would one not be oblinged to undergo national service trainings?

Home study pays off for self-described Maverick
To be or not to be in the classroom? Do students even have an option these days? For most of us, school is considered our second “home”. This is not surprising as all students spend an average of eight hours in school. In other words, school is our life.
It is no wonder that everyone believe in the effectiveness of attending school and getting an education. However, home study may or is as equally effective. At the very least, effective for Jeremy Chua, who spent his final year in junior college studying at home, yet, being able to achieve very good grades during the A levels.
However, we have to be wise enough to acknowledge the fact that the same rule need not necessarily apply to all. I agree this could be a liable option for students who are mentally prepared for exams and needs the extra time out to complete their revision. However, for students who are lagging far behind and those who need coaching in their school work, an idea like this may not be realistic. Hence, schools should not generalize its effectiveness by minimizing curriculum time for all students.

Law society give judges leeway to set aside death penalty
strait times/05 april 07

The law society wants the madatory death penalty for crimes such as, drug trafficking abd fire arms-related offences be scrapped. Instead, it wants judges to be given the discreatuib to either sentenceoffenders to death, or just a jail term.
Now, the question of fairness sets in. Lets say the murderer happens to be a wealthy fellow and is able to engage a superior and experienced lawyer. This would set as an advantage for him or her because this lawyer will be capable of convincing the judge. Hence, they could stay away from a death penalty despite them being guilty.
Justice no longer prevail here.Furthermore, it proves to us that money can buy almost everything, even justice. Such a regulation will absoultely disadvantage the poor.
If the aim of the law was to protect the powerless in the first place, i do the see the light in such a decision made.

Scientists Make Part-Human Sheep
CBN News
March 26, 2007

A bio-ethical debate is raging at a Nevada university, where scientists have created the world's first sheep with half-human organs. University of Nevada Professor Esmail Zanjani has spent seven years perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into sheep fetuses. This caused the animals to be born 15-percent human. Scientists say this development will make it easier to use animal organs when people need transplants. But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God.
The issue of legalizing cloning has always been very controversial. Cloning is not just a modern advancement in the medical arena but, also, a potential threat to the human society. I agree that cloning is a remedy to many terminal diseases. However, in my opinion, we seem to be defying the order of nature. I suggest that people should die naturally when their time is up. Prolonging our life is important. However, along with the rapid advancements in cloning, there is a possibility that humans may live forever. When this happens, our society will be stagnated because there is no longer any growth in the family tree and redevelopment will cease to exist because people will become too complacent with their endless opportunities in life.
Furthermore, by legalizing organ cloning, we are dangerously taking our first step towards legalizing human cloning. There are many implications with regard to human cloning. Firstly, human clones could be used in warfare in the future. Secondly, all man would be branded by their status of birth. That is, if you are a clone, your status are equivalent to that of a pariah. This would lead to disintegration in our society when discrimination is openly accepted. Sooner or later, one would be judged by their race as well.
The above are the repercussions of cloning. Though I agree that cloning are beneficial to us in some ways. However, I think it is more important to attain a microscopic view towards the effects of cloning before any law is implemented.

Friday, February 23, 2007

British doctors lose right to be own watchdog
Straits times (world) 23/02/07

British doctors will lose the right to act as their own watchdog under government plans for Britain’s biggest medical regulatory overhaul in decades. The changes are part of the government’s response to the inquiry into how doctors failed to notice or raise the red flags in the case of Harold Shipman, the unassuming family physician who became Britain’s worst serial killer.
A report like this reflected the case that many doctors lack the passion in being one. Firstly, this doctor failed to prolong a patient’s life. Secondly, his counterparts lacked the empathy to notice his faults. Let’s say if euthanasia was legalized today. Would there be a higher incidence of unnecessary deaths? Yes, I guess it will, since such an incident took place despite strict medical regulations today. If euthanasia was legalized, doctors may just end a patient’s life without considering the chance that a miracle may occur. What more, to do a quick job so as to allow desperate patients who are eager for a transplant attain a donor. Nevertheless, I am appeased to know that Britain’s law enforcers have stepped up their security and attention to this matter.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pick leaders on merit, not cultural affiliation
Straits times (home)/15/02/07

Should national leaders be chosen by their cultural affiliation or by their personal merits? In this case, the writer raised the point that he would rather vote for a decisive non Singaporean visionary than an indecisive and incapable Singaporean. However, in my opinion, if these Singaporeans were in the position to opt themselves as a national leader, he or she is no empty shell. Secondly, the writer had overlooked the importance in the tradition of having the ruler of the country to be affiliated culturally. Whether it is the powerful countries like America or Japan or the not so powerful ones, such traditions are still followed closely. Can you imagine if majority of our national leaders are made up of a group of foreign talents? Would the Malays still be able to obtain their subsidized school fees? Will the kids in school still be studying Singapore’s history or their mother tongue languages? The answer is most likely a no. If a decisive non visionary were to become our national leader, he or she will be too pragmatic to consider the importance of our local culture. After all, their main ambition is to deliver results and nothing more. It is a good thing I must say, but this will not last long. Eventually, our cultural roots will be gone too. Singapore, being a small country will get more vulnerable as time passes because Singaporeans will no longer respect their leaders.

British, US kids the worst off in rich world
Straits times (world)/15/02/07

According to statistics, British and US kids are the worst off in rich world. The measurement is done in accordance to their quality of life, which include the measure of material well being, health, education, relationships, behaviors, risks and their sense of happiness. In Britain, the kids lagged behind in poverty and deprivation, happiness and relationships. While in the US the kids lagged behind in their health and safety. Professionals have also studied the cause and it was due to being from a single parent home and having no or little attention. I guess the grass is always greener on the other end. Even though, these kids may possess material wealth, however, attaining their parent’s affection is something more difficult a task than anyone would have imagine. Such an outcome has also shown that a potential social problem may arise in these countries. At the end of the day, these kids are the future. Hence, If they are not brought up well in all aspects, the effect would be disastrous.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Parents sue state for bullied girl’s suicide
Straits times 080207

School violence has become one of the major problems many countries are facing. However, unlike other problems, no solution was being brought forward. Firstly, it may be due to the lack of concern or else, the root to the problem has not yet been discovered. Perhaps the main problem may lie in the educational system or our degrading environment we live in each day. School violence may seem minor to viewers, but not for the victims themselves. I suggest that her parents should react more objectively by discussing this problem with the state rather than to sue them. After all, it is not an effective solution since the problem will still remain standing. In addition, I totally disagree with respect to Japan’s Prime Minister’s decision to suspend all bullies from school in order to lower the rate of school violence. Could one just imagine if such a regulation is put to practice? Students who detest school will go all out to become bullies in order to quit school. Even then, Bullies will still have the chance to bully others outside school. Also, they will possess higher chances of becoming convicts in the future as they are being stripped of their opportunity to turn over a new leaf at the early stages. In my opinion, the prime minister is not addressing the problem at all. Rather, he is trying to satisfy his people through carrying out this hasty decision which will only superficially “solve” the problem.

An organ is different from a life-saving drug
Straits times/ forum 080207

Should an organ be encouraged for sale like a life saving drug? After all, they are both placed into similar use eventually. That is to treat illnesses. As much as I can identify with a terminally ill patient waiting for a donor, I believe that an organ is much more of a sacred “drug” as compared to medical drugs or machines. Drugs and medical devices are never part of their inventors or manufacturers. However, an organ is and it belongs to the donor. Furthermore, as much as drugs are invented with the desire for better humanity and profits, no one was ever born and raised with the purpose of selling his or her body parts. Therefore, with respect the sale of organs, I see a need for the lawmakers, together with medical professionals to come down to a fair and just decision. For, if the laws regarding the permitting of the sale of organs are passed down haphazardly, everyone will be going all out to steal each other’s organ and to sell it illegally. Eventually the world will become a dreadful place to live in.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dad who punched son,9, over TV viewing jailed 6 weeks
Home/straits times/ 310107

“Unhappy that his nine year old son had watched television without permission, the man punched him” Basically, the main subject of this article was about child abuse.
Many readers always carry a misconception about such an article. That is, the victim is none other than the child. However, how true is this? I admit that a portion of the blame should be directed to his father for inflicting physical harm on him. Nonetheless, many have not considered the reasons as to why his father would raise his hands against his son? Sometimes, it may be an extreme case whereby his father eventually resorted to violence in order to keep his child in the right track.
However, his father was wrong in not correcting his son’s mistakes through verbal warning instead. Caning is not wrong, but excessive caning is. Hence, I feel that parents should know where their limits are when punishing their child.

For the love of Ashley
Review/Straits times/310107

The article was debating over the ethical issue to whether young girl, Ashley, who was mentally disabled, should be treated with hormones so that she could remain physically like a child. Both her parents explained that such a decision was made not for their convenience, but rather, to improve the quality of her life. However, some opposed to such an idea. They insisted that her parents were stripping away her dignity as a being by stunting her growth. In my opinion, the most important thing is for Ashley and her family to make a choice of what they are capable of enjoying. Therefore, if they could achieve this by stunting Ashley’s growth, it should be encouraged. If such a treatment could relieve Ashley from the physical pain during growth, and if her family should care and love her, the problem of self dignity will not stand in the way. I believe if Ashley was in the right frame of mind today, she would definitely not blame her parents for making such a decision.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Iran tests short range missile

Iran has routinely held war games over the past two decades to improve its combat readiness and to test equipment such as missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers. But the new tests, in the wake of the Lebanon-Hezbollah fighting, seemed certain to create new tensions with the West. Iran said it launched the new military exercises Saturday to introduce a new defensive doctrine . However, how true is this? It is always known for Iran's and the middle East's hostility towards the united states. As a result, Iran may be preparing themselves for more attempts of terrorists attacks.

Man trapped waist-deep in chocolate
straits times/ 18 Aug

It might sound like a chocoholic's dream, but stepping into a vat of viscous chocolate became a two-hour nightmare for a 21-year-old man Friday morning. Co-workers, police and firefighters tried to free the man but couldn't get him loose until the chocolate was thinned out with cocoa butter.

This is one example where people should learn not to judge a book by its cover. Chocolates has been made a delicacy over centuries. The fact that chocolates could satisfy many people's taste buds made it hard for one to believe the depth of harm it is capable of bringing. This is an interesting article as stereo typical perceptions about chocolates are altered. Furthermore, this could be placed to practice in the real world. Sometimes, objects that are more pleasing to the eye is far more hazardous than what we perceive it to be.

Southeast Asia a Haven for Pedophiles Aug

Thailand has a reputation for engaging in one of the largest child sex trade operations in Southeast Asia. UNICEF estimates the number of Thai children involved in prostitution to be between 60,000 and 200,000, though the organization says the exact number is difficult to track. I do empathise with these kids as they were not given any opportunities from the start, to lead a better and fulfilling live. Furthermore, the torment they have to undergo each ecncounter is unbearable. Worst of all, they may never have a chance to break away from that cycle of life.

I am in the view that such operations are taking place due to lax laws within the countries. Moreover, in countries like the phillipines where corporal punishment is abolished, chances for offenders to prey on the innocent would go on the rise. Therefore, I do not support the abolishment of corporal punishment. Corporal punishmen is the only way to instill fear in a person and it is only when one is fearful, they would adhere to the laws and regulations. As such, this is one way where violence is inevitable.

China to U.S.: "Shut Up" About Military Spending 18, 2006

According to an article from the associated press, the Chinese government, whose relationship with the United States has never been particularly amiable, has bolstered military spending with double-digit percentage increases. America, playing "Big Brother" once again would never fail to interrupt into their problem. Due to China's governers intolerance towards the US, they adviced the US to shut up. I was utterly suprised by their insults as they were not being held back in any ways in raising their unhappiness towards the world's powerful leader. Better for whom? one might ask. Though it's possible to interpret this as a veiled threat ("Shut up, it's for your own good"), I don't think the ambassador would be that tactless (but if he was so undiplomatic in the first place, it's hard to say). It's always possible that the issue can be one of language. In this era of increased globalization, it's important for nations to learn to cooperate with one another lest they be left behind in the "new world order".