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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

On foreign standards for air quality reporting

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Update: Re-wrote a bit and added screenshot and a few links for clearer picture

Recently the blog The Heart Truths published a post questioning statements made by minister Vivian Balakrishnan that Singapore is probably the only country which reports 3-hourly average PSI with most other countries going by a much longer 24-hour averaging time was accurate.  Within hours, the blog was rebutted by commenters as well as the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) Facebook page rebutting the blogger’s claim in a note here (also as a press release here). While Roy, the blogger has since updated his post, some issues bear addressing. Here they are in no particular order.

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Written by defennder

June 24, 2013 at 12:58 AM

The role of the army in popular uprisings

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Note: An earlier version of this was posted to Temasek Review here.

Egypt’s long-serving dictator President Hosni Mubarak has finally stepped down. This would not have been possible if it were not for the intervention of Egypt’s army, which sided with the protesters, tilting the balance of power towards the dissident protesters. News reports in the earlier weeks of the protests have spoken of how Egyptian soldiers have refused to take action against the demonstrators and instead helped to facilitate the occupation of Tahrir Square and Cairo. For example, there were reports of Egyptian soldiers firing upon Mubarak’s security forces so as to allow demonstrators to advance.

Why didn’t Egypt’s army listen to their leader? What made them turn against the regime they were supposed to defend? Political analysts will spend the next few weeks and months debating this. But it has not escaped my notice that Egypt’s army is conscripted rather than being fully professional.

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Written by defennder

February 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

3.3% inflation due to population increase?

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Note: I have not been able to update this blog as of late due to increasing work commitments. Loyal readers (and I personally thank you for that) should check this blog much less often for updates. Reader comments may be unaddressed for some time.This is likely to be the last post you see for a long time (I will be coming back eventually).  A big thank you to those who have been reading this blog.

It was reported recently that the year-on-year inflation rate in Aug 2010 was 3.3%. At first glance this may not seem unusual.  After all, Singapore is projected to achieve double-digit GDP growth for this year; some 20% growth is not out of question. It is perhaps with this in mind that the government has argued that letting in more foreign workers is crucial to prevent the economy from overheating.  Singaporeans are told that unless more foreigners (whom are willing to work for lower pay) are allowed in, inflation will climb even more sharply higher.  But a more in-depth analysis of the factors behind this inflation appears to undermine that argument.

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Written by defennder

October 3, 2010 at 3:56 PM

What the AWARE saga shows about Singaporeans

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Supporters of the AWARE old guard

If you aren’t aware (no pun intended) already of the latest developments in the AWARE saga, here’s a brief update: The new exco led by president Josie Lau has resigned after a no-confidence vote of 1414 to 761 was passed this evening during a general meeting at Suntec City.  The old exco is currently renominated for election.

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Written by defennder

May 2, 2009 at 11:33 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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Why “liberal” is a less dirty word in America

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The winds of change are coursing through America.  A poll by WashPo/ABC shows rising support for gay marriage, legalised marijuana and immigration:

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Written by defennder

May 1, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Atheism more accepted in America

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It has taken decades for this to happen, but finally it has.  America is beginning to realise that freedom of religion also entails freedom from religion:

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Written by defennder

April 28, 2009 at 12:09 AM

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How excess liquidity helped in South Korea

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I received a comment yesterday which directed me to a page containing an article written by Ron Paul blaming the Fed and excess liquidity for the causes of the financial meltdown.  While I do agree that the Fed under Greenspan failed to raise interest rates when needed, I think criticism of monetarism has gone overboard. 

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Written by defennder

April 24, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Posted in Uncategorized