Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Off to law interviews tomorrow and written test on friday.

Methinks would not be a good idea to be entirely too honest and say things like "I'm in it for the money" or "it's a more marketable degree than a B.A." Fact of the matter is, I'm not as Huifen puts it, one of the naive ones going into mthings like family law (I don't think my mind could take in the human suffering) or criminal law (I still believe that everyone should have his day in court but looking at the crop of up and coming DPP...*shudder*)

Hence I'll probably become a popular cariciture known as the *ahem* "Corporate Shark". Well...if things go well, I could take up International Law and join and NGO/IGO...

*Evil laughter* onwards to World Domination and Conquest!!!!!


Friday, April 23, 2004

*And so it comes to pass*

Ahem, whining warned....

Finally got a reply from MOE. They want me to go for an interview for a Local Teaching Award...again... I guess my rejection last year doesn't merit an upgrade in the scholarship table...

*Sigh*I guess I'll be giving up on hopes to study at the hallowed halls of LSE...dang.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

*Sex Education*

Writing to it gets posted...=)

I read with some interest Mr. Tan Thuan Seng's letter dated 220404 om 'Cancer threat from new sex infections' and would like to thank him for raising this issue to the public and for his recommendations to the Ministry of Health.

However, I am forced to read his piece with a critical, and some might say, jaundiced eye because of the agenda his organisation has been pushing.

Focus on the Family is a Christian based group (in)famous for its 'abstinence only' sex education policy with an emphasis on the 'virginity pledges' and its critique on the efficacy of the use of Condom in Safe Sex and its implied conclusion that there is none as such.

While it is reasonably true that there is no such thing as safe sex, there is however, Safer Sex and by neglecting such a concept, Focus on the Family has ultimately done a disservice to the groups it purportedly wants to protect.

Leaving aside the narrow religious moralism championed by the group, there is still a lot of practical detriments that could be ascribed to their policy. Foremost amongst which is the group's message being predicated on the fallacious logic that teaching about safer sex equates to the promotion of sex in general.

The real danger is that by not doing so and by pushing its message in the faces of others, they risk alienating the high risk groups, in particular, the high incidence of teenagers engaging in pre-marital sex (as polled by Durex and the Straits Times). Even in the highly improbably situation whereby the majority of these teens are swayed from their present course, there is still a situation whereby the remaining will continue to engage in their activities without the knowledge of how to properly put on a condom or the dangers of unprotected oral sex. Besides which, by what means do we then magically ascribe such knowledge to married couples?

The best service we could provide to our youth would be to treat them like young adult. Providing them with a balance education, one without religious moralism and let them make the final decision.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

*Advert For Writing/Editing/Research Services*

Yes, I know it has been a long hiatus. Things been a little crazy in camp lately but I'm clearing leave soon so hoepfully things will settle down.

But in the meantime here's a shameless plug for my new consultancy service....=)

A group of us with JC/Graduate backgrounds in Economics, Law, Cognitive Science, Linguistics and History are offering writing, editing and data mining services. We'll proof read your essays, type up your LOAs or letters and testimonials or even do research on a particular topic. Writing of resumes and CVs also available. We are also trained in the creation of lesson plans and training development.

We welcome short or long term contracts with any individual or group looking for the above mentioned services

There will be an additional surcharge for checking the veracity of facts and logic of arguments....=P We won't type your essays for you but we might do outlines.

Prices are negotiable. And please allow one to three working days for completion depending on the season.

For any inquires, please feel free to contact Chew Lin or me personally.


Thursday, April 08, 2004

*What's Next 2*

Sorry...this one is not on AI3. Missed it and have only received news of it from Mother...though she says JPL is doing okay...but John Stevens is 'crash and burn'

Anyway, here's a little something on IHL, the 'Mongol Option', the 'Munich Option' and Terrorism.

Internation Humanitarian Law basically governs the treatment of Prisoners of War (POW), enemy combatants, humantarian groups as well as refugees (although I'm not quite sure what the status of Internally Displaced People is currently). So the Geneva Conventions and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are part of this multi-national framework. Admirable work is being done in this regards by noble minded people who attempt to coat the inhumanity of the situations the above mentioned people are in with a veneer of civilisation. So for most parts, torture and demeaning work is out. You're not allowed to shoot or abuse your prisoners and all you're suppose to ask from them is their Rank, Name and IC number. The ICC attempts to bring to justice the main perpertrators of Crimes Against Humanity (Genocide, Mass Rape, Ethnic cleansing etc.) and is an attempt to improve on and codify all the ad hoc tribunals that have been created eg. Rwanda, Kosovo, Yugoslavia etc. Kofi Annan's stand on the Agenda for Peace/Agenda 21 and his belief that Soveriegnty is NOT a Shield has allowed for Peace Making (as opposed to mere peace keeping) to allow for the auspices of the UN (*Cough* NATO, US, Pakistan - the largest contributor to peace keeping forces around the world) to go in and kick some evil butt (if only it were that simple...see Kosovo...)

Two major problems remain. Firstly, that there's a lack of enforcibility. Despite all that's been said and done. NATO only got the blessing of the UN after the bombing had gone under way. It was only after Somalia that things got better and the UN would actively intervene in preventing Genocide. Similarly, Humanitarian agencies are still subjected to killings and bombings by monsters (yes yes I know it's an emotive word) who refuse to abide by IHL (admittedly the US doesn't help by refusing to have anything to do with the ICC - It's a George Washington thing lah....). And that's the second problem, fighting against an enemy that doesn't play by the same rules.

So we come to the crux of the matter. Is the moral hgih ground simply being stupid, or worse unethical? Should the nations involve use all possible means and tools at their disposal to combate an enemy who sees things similarly? Is torture cruel and unusual punishment? Yes it probably some others it's matter of fact. And yes I think it is disgusting that the US hives such work off to countries that don't share the same qualms. I'm hardly concerned by the supposed fact that torture doesn't give the right information (it does by the way) but that there's absolutely no check and balance in these countries. Neither am I concerned about the terrorist who are placed in such a position. I hardly think they would hesitate to do the converse should the situation be reversed. I somethings have the opinion that they should be beaten to death slowly with a baseball bat (thankfully these pass mercifully quickly) But the fact is that this is a war and not taking all measures available to you (and furthermorem measures that the enemy will not hesistate to use) is unethical in the extreme to your own citizens and your way of life. Democracy has shown it can emerge victorious in a way and like WW2 cannot shrink from using everything in its arsenal to protect its people. Lest we forget, the alternative would be a world without independence of thought, of choice, nor of religion.

For those who still feel a little squemish about this, consider the following. An Advisory Opinion (in that it's not legally binding) by the UN finds that Nuclear Weapons are illegal on the basis that it flouts the law of reciprocal damage. If so, then before we ever come to that option, it might be advisable to exhaust other available or non-avaiable options....

The 'Mongol Option' is a very very very extreme from of the 'Munich Option', which advocates 'Targetted Killings' otherwise known as assasiantions. This is named after the Munich Olympic of 1972 where Palestinian Terrorists (the PLO had not renounced terrorism yet) killed 20 members of the Israeli team. In retaliation, the govt of Ben Garion (sp?) spent the next three months hunting down and killing everyone involved in the incident. The 'Mongol Option' advocated the total destruction of a region which is causing trouble...the ultimate in pacification, all associated with the rebels/terrorist involved would be put to the sword. Extremely brutal, it did however, work for the Roman Empire (and the Mongolian Horde). Where it was hard to differtiate between combatants and civilians (while this has seen a reversal ever since, recently, the lines dividing them have gotten ever more narrow especially with the rise of intra-state wars as well as terrorism)

The Munich Option is generally seen as a failure (check out the Middle East) and the Mongol Option simply too indiscriminate. But Osama bin Laden seems to be doing a good job at it isn't he....?

Consider that