Sunday, August 29, 2004

BBC NEWS | Europe | France responds to hostage crisis

President Jacque Chirac thought that by being the 'White Knight of Peace' in opposition to the 'Toxic Texan' he could safeguard the interests of his nation and prevent any possible spillover effects into France.

It seems he thought wrong. Since when were terrorist any rational? Any rationale would do for them it seems.

Friday, August 27, 2004

*On Forums and Letters*

*Soft noise of contentment* Yes law might be driving me nuts with overachieving and altogether brilliant classmates, too much reading and a tendancy for British Law Lords to write in awfully incomprehensible ways. Dang...why couldn't I be born in some Civil Law jurisdiction instead. But having said that there are saving graces, American Cases and our Chief Justice who writes in a terribly cogent and cohesive manner, despite a fondness for obiter dicta...but hey he's the CJ and what he says in passing become law the next time so who am I to complain...=)

On the other hand, I think my mind is working again. I actually can string together a sentence with polysyllabic words that contain ideas more immediate than food, sleep or sex. So yes, life is looking up. Hmmm, am current in a forum debate with this lady about homosexuality....I wonder if I can get her permission to post her stuff up. Without it my versions has no foundation. Ah well.

No luck with my letter yet again. Maybe I should put Paul's name on it or together with my...maybe they'll notice it then...=P


Thursday, August 26, 2004

*Letter to Today*

I hope this get published. I cannot abide by such 'well meaning people'

I read Mr. Jeffrey Law’s letter, “Good to register for Speaker’s Corner” with some measure of dismay because it is very disconcerting that he bases his argumentation for the registration on some very flawed assumptions.

To begin with, it seems rather odd that by not registering a speech and then proceeding physically in the full view of the public to deliver it is somehow not taking responsibility for it. The fact is that this method ensures a lot more responsibility than certain contributors to newsgroups who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to deliver truly awful rubbish do. And even so, it must be noted that that a person’s arguments if lacking merit, would soon be picked apart by the more rational and thinking members of our society. Why then could this ‘free market of ideas’ not work in a similar fashion in the ‘real world’? It is precisely this exchange of ideas and points that have led to many a great advances, whether in electorate suffrage, science or civil liberties.

Just because a person disagrees with your views does not automatically make it wrong. It is just as possible that our views were made per incuriam i.e. on the basis of an error in knowledge. And when the facts change, we change our minds, that is how we learn.

Furthermore, it seems ludicrous to assume, as Mr. Law has seemingly done, that the rights to freedom of speech are absolute. No rights are and in Singapore we are very explicit on that. Other than the traditional legal recourses that are libel and slander, the fact is that it is a criminal offence to make racially or religiously insensitive comments or as PM Lee says ‘to incite a riot’ reflecting the traditional view Justice Holmes made that it is not alright to shout fire in a crowded theatre. Hence, what seeming fear should Mr. Law have of allowing people to speak without registration? If the topic is out of bounds, let either the people shout him down or the law to take custody of him than to stifle the freedom to speak.

In the same vein, if we are allow speaking at Hyde Park, why not let people of other nationality speak at our Speaker’s Corner? Even so, why should we make what is obviously a rather xenophobic statement which should cause no worry in any event, seeing as how society or the judiciary could always respond. Furthermore, just because they have ‘no obligation to support or reflect our multi-racial society and national objectives’, there is no direct causal link to them deciding that they should speak in direct contrast to these lofty aims. Even within this paragraph we see the internal contradictions and concessions made by Mr. Law. By claiming “non-Singaporean speakers, unlike our own people, may have their own agendas”, he is effectively conceding his earlier points. If Singaporeans can be assumed not to have their own agendas (which in and off itself is odd because without an agenda we would not know what to make of ourselves) then why worry about Singaporeans not registering to speak?

And the final paragraph by Mr. Law takes the cake. Here he displays the most awful form of discrimination by stating in black and white that a person’s background should have bearing on the public’s response to the logic, matter and outcome of his speech! Mr. Law has displayed a repugnantly paternalistic attitude, which assumes the part of the average person on the street, who cannot even distinguish between two differing arguments based on their own merit. Shame on you Mr. Jeffrey Law!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - School loses prayer appeal - Aug 24%2C 2004

I've always been a firm believer in the separation of Church and State, and the power of a secular state whereby it is not simply sufficient that the Church should never ever intervene in the affairs of the state but furthermore, but conversely the state should not (as far as possible) intervene in the affairs of religion.

Now, with all due respect to the French situation, it's only fair to say that their's is an extreme version of the secular state in that the state itself should be protected from the influence of religion. In particular, the emblem of such a school of thought has to be the banning of OSTENTATIOUS religious symbols. And in all fairness, I will admit that their policy is more even handed, cutting across all religious groups e.g. Roman Catholicism (oversized crosses), Sikhs (turbans), Muslims (tudung), Jew (skull caps) etc. unlike our particular sunny island (which has probably to do with public policy and politics than out of any fevernt desire to maintain a secular state I should think)

The major issue that I have with the French situation is that it is difficult to understand and defend. After all, what is it trying to solve? And does the current policy go far enough? It has been acknowledged on most part that the group most affected by this ruling are the Muslims and in particular their use of the Headscarf. It is very very hard to argue that the wearing of such symbols somehow infringe on my right to freedom of religion. It's one thing to actively evangalise but another to wear something that shows your faith (granted, the law allows it but that it ought not be ostentatious seems very odd). More fundamental to that, what problem is it trying to solve?

I think it's reasonable to argue that other than the protection of the secular state coming under attack, the other reason is the lack of integration on the part of the Muslim immigrants who have form effective ghettos (meaning enclaves here ppl) and not mixed with the rest of French society. The argument continues that such immigrants come from the more fundamentalist parts of Africa or the Middle East, and that they bring with them the form of intolerate Islam that they believe in. It further goes on to argue that if they have choosen to migrate to France (which has easily more Muslims in their borders than the rest of Europe) then they have to be French Muslims not muslims who carry French passports, which means the believe in the freedoms of the revolution and the secular state. If so, then the best this policy does is too somehow remove ostentatious differences between French people. But it doesn't solve the situation of poverty and difficulty in integrating.

After all, lest we forget, this policy is confined mainly to schools so if one wanted to force the issue, one should the policy to all public areas, on the basis that public areas should be a religion free zone.

Sorry, back to America, I'm personally all for a judiciary that tries to keep the public domain scruplously free of religious interference. I mean school prayers in government schools? If they feel the urge to pray so badly, go ahead! But why the necessity of making it mandatory?!!! Equally, yes I realise that the Founding Fathers were WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) males but surely, in a nation that believes so firmly in the separation of church and state, what's with the Ten Commandments? Keep it in the private sphere and all's well and good isn't it?

I wonder how those right wing pundits would feel if the religion in question here weren't Christianity...


Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - Bush urges Kerry to condemn attack ads - Aug 23%2C 2004

*Snigger snigger snort snort*

I apologise, that was very unbecoming but seriously though, this is hillarious.

President Bush is spot on about 527s, these groups basically gotten through the loophole left untouched by the McCain-Feingold bipartisan act which was meant to close the inflow of 'soft money' into American politics. This in turn meant that the parties would be less in hock to business or special interest as it wouldn't be worth the effort to get them to donate money to the party cause now.

The cynic in me, however, forces me to question why this sudden burst of political idealism on the part of this particular President, considering that he's been acknowledged as one of the masters in raising money for his coffers. Basically, he turned down federal money (yes the government gives money to candidates to run for office! How cool is that?) so that he would not be limited by donation restrictions. Could it possibly be the sudden mushroom like sprouting of democrat linked 527s in what was once Republican dominated political money mine?

At any rate, with regards to the actual attack ads against Kerry, it seems that it has actually worked. After going on air, support for Bush - Kerry by vietnam vets has risen to 53%-37%. Apparently they were mad that a viet war hero would come back and become an anti-war spokesperson and talk of atrocities etc.

And to end with the latest in hip hop fads - VOTE OR DIE! This election message brought to you by the grandmasters of hip hop and MTV...=P


Sunday, August 22, 2004

this madness is yours

New link up. Above and in the side bar that's suppose to look silver instead of the previous colour that looked alot like it. *Shrugg*...hey what do I know, just a stupid mugger lawyer wanna be...=P

Anyway, link to Sharada's blog, law senior and second member of HHCE (Heaven Hell and Chocolate Eggs: See earlier post on debate in SMU Hammers), brilliant and all round nice lady...

Saturday, August 21, 2004

*On Case Summaries and Li Jia Wei*

I know those two topics don't quite make sense but anyway, let me get my ranting out of the way first. DANG It!!!!! I'm spending nearly an hour and a half for each case summary and it's those with A SINGLE JUDGEMENT!!! has come to the point where I consider the Economist 'light reading'.

So yes, Gary, whoever you are, be warned. Oh yes, good luck with your readings...hope you don't decide to give up law after reading them...=P To be honest, I'm not entirely certain that you should start with those. I'll presume you have about a year to go so I would strongly recommend books on legal writing first, particular this book: Case Analysis and Statue Interpetation by Prof Beckman (amongst others), it has good basic stuff on common law and will probably teach you to write better.

Righto, onto Li Jia Wei, terribly sad...I mean 3-1 up and you lose 3 straights sets? *Sigh*, then again, if she does win (and with the prize money to boot), you're going to get the whole hoo-ha that she's not Singaporean yada yada.


Thursday, August 19, 2004 - Why prosecutors should dismiss Bryant case - Aug 18%2C 2004

I quite like CNN's law section despite it being almost enitrely about American law, which despite having links with English Common Law (it having formed the basis as such) is different enough that it's not entirely relevant...but I still think it makes for better reading.

Anyway, anyone who is still following the case might be interested in the above article.

*Massively Irate*

I spent the whole of yesterday coupled with numerous trips to and fro the computer shop and more than $2oo in order to set up a broadband router and it still doesn't FREAKING WORK!!!!!

Why?!!! *Sigh* would appreciate help from anyone with experience in this area. I'm using a Aztech DSL 305E and a Practical Communications Router, ISP: Singnet. Anyone with a idea of the various DNS and Subnet address please contact me on this blog. Many many thanks.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

*Law School*

I will admit to a certain amount of tardiness when it comes to me blogging on a regular basis. However, one must also accept that my blogging has become more regular once my national slav-ahem-service was over and I could actually enjoy a life without being at the beck and call, whim and fancy of various capricious superiors and inferiors...opps...I mean subordinates..heh.

But I have been swamped with readings and as such have not been able to blog as regularly as I would like to. Furthermore, my brother has been swamped with his work or more accurately PW, project work or as I (and many other similarly afflicted JC students) would like to call it...Piece of Waste... Besides which, now that She complains of me talking too much about law, I think coupled with me being a debater i.e. amoral bastard, the only way I could conceivably be more hated is if I became a tax lawyer for the IRAS.

Which brings me to the next really weird point. Thanks to exenuating circumstances which include me having a laptop and being really sleepy a week ago, I have somehow been elected Vice President for the Year 1 Law Committee...may the pan-dimensional deities have mercy on the souls (or if you don't believe in metaphysics, energy) of my fellow collegues. Fortunately the President, Liang Wei seems like a terribly earnest and responsible young man, which should mitiagte me.

Back to torts...cheerios!

Friday, August 13, 2004

BlogShares - Alpha: A Beginning

Oh my does one respond to something like this? The idea that our blogs are being traded on a fantasy stock market. One wonders how the valuation works....=P

On the bright side, maybe more ppl will read my blog.

BTW, the most valuable link is to V-Man...check his blog out...=)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

*Busy at school and schoolwork*

Yes I know the blog has been down for the past few not entirely sure why either but it's up now...=)

'Nuff said...will be posting something somewhat humourous somewhat soon....I hope...but in the meantime here's yet another hamku to whet your appetite


Pass the bars I see
A yummy gummy candy
Up, over I go!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

*The first day of law school*

And so it comes to pass, that the first day of law school ended peaceably and thus I am in the library making use of the free internet by NUS. Thank goodness for wireless....I love my laptop...=)

Well back to work!

Monday, August 09, 2004

*A very Singaporean National Day*

Regular readers of my blog or those who have had conversations with me will have had at one point or other heard my little rant about a lack of a true Singaporean Identity that was not embodied in some material aspect or other e.g. Food, HDB flats or the Singapore girl etc. The fear naturally is that it is entirely possible to replicate the Singapore Experience, if not Singapore itself overseas, and nothing that truely sets us apart ideologically or existantially.

But anyhow, I will still readily admit that food in Singapore is a very cultural thing. Not simply the dishes themselves e.g. Char Kway Teow or Chilli Crab but the entire social aspect of it and our quest for ever better Fishball Mee Pok. Hence, it was entirely appropriate that today, my mother and I visit two places of food heritage and had pretty decent lunch and dinner. The first is Lau Pa Sat (Festival Market), gods know why there's suddenly this tagline to go along with it. There I had decent (taste wise that could best be said about it) and cheap Dim Sum. Four dishes and a Big Chicken Pau cost $9.80, entirely reasonable. However, I was sorely disappointed by the chicken leg which was bland, and tasted only of oil, terribly terribly sad because that has got to be my favourite dish. The Har Kow (which had no whole shrimp) and Siew Mai were decent. The pork tasted good but was oily and the pau was simply okay.

For dinner, we went to Glutton Square! The food was good (BBQ Stingray and 'La La'), cheap and portions generous. Admittedly, nothing to scream about because you can get really good bbq stuff in clementi. Furthermore, you had to wait in line to get the food which was okay coz they were fast but even so, quite a hassle compared to your neighbourhood Kopitiam. The queue for the oyster ommellet was insanely long, but the oysters in them were huge and the price more than entirely reasonable so I could see the attraction. However, since I only eat the egg, no enticement lah!

Well anyway, Happy 39th Birthday Singapore! Cheerios!



Lo! In the distance
Happiness is where I spy
A sunflower seed.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

*Yet more Hamku*

Hamster Power

A little kitten
Approaches, a nip on nose
Sends it scampering

Yes I'm terribly bored but hah! My actions are not tortable...=P


Around the wheel run I,
Wherefore shall I go today?
Nowhere it would seem.

She borrowed a really cute book today titled "Catku", or Haikus on cats, hence this is my humble offering to hamsters.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

*Looking at Law Textbooks and Notes*

I'm f-ing intimidated.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Crossing Continents | French casino hit by lawsuit

In a contrast to fast food litigation, I honestly think that this has a much better chance of succeeding. I mean, it's pretty hard to prove that fast food is addictive and even if it were so, harder yet to prove that the fast food companies (like Tobacco companies) were deliberately sitting on the information and crafting their advertising to keep their profits rolling in. After all, no one quite forces you to eat Macdonalds for every single meal (unless you're making a film)

Gambling is addictive, we know that, it's a social vice that has been around for eons. But consider the fact that, for the high rollers ('whales'), casinos simply go out of their way to keep them coming back. Lest we forget, casinos WANT you to lose, if not they will not be able to make profits. Granted, the odds are stacked in favour of the house, but the money that pours in does not come from the patient accumulation of lossing odds but the big spenders.