Thursday, August 19, 2010

lying in hard times

In hard times, as usual, there are people who are not suffering hard times. My mother told me once that as a teenager, the only way she knew there was a Great Depression was that her family lost an upstairs maid.

I guess it has always been that way. Some suffer, some don't, and some don't know.

But listening to the radio as I drove back from the dump just now, the news was making noises about "the last American combat brigade" exiting from Iraq "ahead of schedule." Seven-plus years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and over 4,000 American service men and women lost. It was and remains a divisive war, but whatever side a person takes ....

It seems extra hard to get lied to in hard times. Eg. 50,000 American troops remain in Iraq and one reporter had the decency to say that the public should get ready for more American losses. Eg. 15-30 million people are without work in the U.S. depending on who you listen to and yet both government and stock market speak in optimistic tones ... about stocks, about the economy, about a trust that is growing in the land. It's hard not to wonder what planet these self-serving 'leaders' are living on. It's harder somehow to get lied to in hard times.

General Motors, an American auto maker that was bailed out by the government several years ago, is planning an initial public offering of stock a couple of months from now. The government will be partially reimbursed for its (meaning yours and my) earlier largess. Because of GM's connections to other industries, some investors will be forced to buy in. But what commodity is General Motors prepared to offer the average investor? Cars that rival Toyota and Honda for reliability? Or will they sell primarily overseas in places that will not benefit the American workers suffering from hard times?

It will be interesting to see, but it does, associatively, remind me of the old saying, "If someone tells you it's free, grab your wallet!"


  1. Stop your ranting: Judge
    by Ng Jing Yng 05:55 AM Aug 20, 2010

    SINGAPORE - Time and again, the judge warned the former civil servant, who is seeking redress for alleged wrong dismissal, to stop talking.

    But each time, Mdm Linda Lai Swee Lin, 54, blatantly ignored the judge's order - even after she was warned she could be held in contempt of court and policemen were called in.

    Yesterday, Mdm Lai created a stir in the High Court as she insisted on reading out a prepared speech and disregarded the court procedure, prompting a visibly-annoyed Justice Lai Siu Chiu to ask her to "stop your ranting".

    Mdm Lai, who is representing herself, is hoping to get reinstated at the Land Office of the Law Ministry.

    On Monday - the first day of the hearing - the Government conceded there was a breach in its employment contract when Mdm Lai lost her job in December 1998.

    The hearing resumed yesterday and Mdm Lai took the opportunity to begin her speech - in which she ranted against the civil service - when she was asked to cross-examine her former superior Liew Choon Boon.

    Mdm Lai passed up her chance to cross-examine five other witnesses - comprising mostly her former colleagues - as she continued reading from the piece of paper.

    "I am totally exhausted. However, if I walk away ... the truth would be buried," she said. The hearing continues. NG JING YNG

  2. I wish to say that I'm sorry for being an uninvited guest at this blog, but you see, I'm a young energetic man who's keen on my spiritual pursuits and yet with social responsibilities. I think those with children would have seen mirror images of me in their kids before.

    But if I were to put things in a problem statement, which my Western educated ex-boss called Gerald taught me to, it is "Young man, you did well for this assignment, but can you try a little bit harder for this area, I think that'll will make the whole product complete." After that, we all go for a good dinner.

    I have been granted a new job only recently, new colleagues, but my new colleagues seem to be saying "Can you try a little bit less for everything, I think it won't make a difference, after all we can still have noodles for lunch. Every day can still be the same."

    That said, I rest my case. I'm not saying that what I have is not good. But I'm just hoping that somebody can recognise the fact that while equipoised in all situations, there is still some equality that is more equal than others.


  3. Sorrys again.

    I am not much of a diplomat, I am very introverted by nature, forced into a people-facing role, and to helm a family and my environment like everybody does.

    Where I am, because of the cross-exchange cultural environment, I can have Theravada, Mahayana and even Tibetan buddhism centers, and even Taoist deities temples mistaken for Buddhism within one small lane. There is a myriad of views of each being better, and to say that Theravada is lesser is incorrect, just as it is correct. But where I come from, the religious tolerance that used to work under government regulation in the past, may not work with liberation of views come into play.

    Dialogue works fine, but within the hearts of each and every there is no real freedom. I'm looking at moving forward in life graciously, humanely, and within my means to spend. Extremism like extreme poverty and super religious heroes cannot work in my environment. I'm talking about ordinary heroes. People like myself.