Monday, July 14, 2008

Singapore's rights subpar, says IBA

Recently, there has been alot of coverage in terms of China's poor record in human rights especially with regards to Tibet. Anyone following the Olympic fire would be aware of the huge amount of protests going on.

Before we step up and point the finger at China, do note that according to International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBA), they have reported that despite Singapore's impressive economic development that Singapore fails to meet international standards for political and human rights and there are concerns on the independence of its judiciary. The rights institute also issued 18 recommendations for the Singapore govt to implement urgently. For more information on this article, please refer to:

To find out more that Singaporeans have to say this, check this out:

Rant and Rave for the Day: Bush blames Dems for Oil Prices

In the Taipei Times today, "Bush blames Dems for Oil Prices".

According to US President George W. Bush on Saturday, he tried to pin the blame on Congress for soaring energy prices and said that lawmakers need to lift long-standing restrictions on drilling for oil in pristine lands and off-shore tracts believed to hold huge reserves of fuel. With gasoline prices rising, Bush and his republican allies think Americans are more willing to allow drilling offshore and in an Alaska wildlife refuge that environmetalists have fought successfully for decades to protect.

In response, the Democrats representative Chris Van Hollen said that democrats do indeed support the idea of increased drilling however he also pointed out the fact that oil companies are already sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands with the potential to double US oil production. So the question is....why explore new restricted areas (i.e. beaches, coastal areas and so on) where the companies can develop these resources today. He suggested a "Use it or Lose It" legislation requiring companies to do so or lose their leases to someone else who will.

In addition, the Democrats believe that due to the urgent shortage of oil, the time has come to tap on the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. However, he also stressed that the country should also focus on new energy policies that focus on alternatives to oil.

Recently, whenever I read these articles, I find myself cursing silently at the current Bush administration. It doesn't really concern me directly and I am no American. Consider me a concerned citizen of the world or a KPO (busy body)....whatever, I don't care.

Before you get me wrong, I do believe that America has paved the way for many good things and there are a lot of areas that other countries and cultures will do good to learn from. That's just my personal opinion but then again I state, over the past few years under the helm of Bush, its jsut gone sooooooooo baddddd.

Most irritiating is Bush's statements (infamous soundbites) that really irks the hell out of me:
1) Their blatant refusal to commit to the Kyoto protocol such as :"This is the American position because its right for America. We will not do anything that harms our economy, because first things first are the people who live in America"
2) The address to joint session of congress and the American people on the war against terrorism: "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
3) Recent comment with regards to oil prices: "Every extra dollar that American families spend because of high gas prices is one less dollar that they can use to put food on the table or send a child to college. The American people deserve better". (J: Yeah, and like the rest of the world don't?)

There is an article I would like to share regarding USA's position on the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 that I believe will not fail to get you riled up too. :P

Side note: If you have read my previous post regarding Nuclear Weapons, you would also recall USA non compliance with the First Pillar - Non Proliferation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and their constant finger pointing at other nations.

The good news is during the recent G8 meeting, it appears that the powerful nations with particular reference to USA, have decided to commit to work harder in terms of controlling pollution but they did not commit a base year to their ambitious plans of a 50% reduction of greenhouse gases. While it remains to be seen if G8's action can be louder than words, I really cannot wait for someone less myopic to take over the USA reins. Yes, I've said it....myopic.

Bush will leave office next January, and both major candidates to succeed him have said they are willing to go further in cutting back American emissions. Goodbye Bush, as far as I'm concerned, the door is wide open for you and I doubt many people will be reaching for that Kleenex.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Getting some discipline back into my life

Time sure flies...its been weeks since my last blog.

Plenty of things have happened over the last few weeks. Some good...others bad. Unfortunately, I have to say that this month more nasty things have happened compared to good ones. As such, I unwittingly found myself spiraling down a bottomless "motivation-sucker" hell hole.

After mopping around over the past few days, I did some soul-searching and decided to do myself a favour and just pull myself out of the rut and get my act together. I figured life still has to go on even though we sometimes find ourselves in a particularly long stretch of bumpy road. *sigh* Is there no justice in this world?

ANYWAY, for starters, I decided to embark on some major "spring-cleaning". Packed up my winter clothes, folded my summer clothes neatly in the cupboards, went through my inventory of toiletary supplies, food stuff and so on. (Threw out the expired stuff so I don't accidentally poison myself in my gloomy state. )

I am happy to share that today I woke up earlier than usual and headed over to Carrefour. This is because last night I decided that today would be curry day so I had to go and buy the ingredients. After chopping, frying, boiling, stewing, steaming, washing, I had a hearty meal, watched a little telly, played on my xbox and chilled out with some "alone-time".

In the evening, I headed over to yoga lessons and my yoga teacher insisted everyone push themselves to the limit. It was a tough session and though I worked really hard at it, I found myself not being able to balance very well on one foot. :P

Right now, my muscles ache a little but seriously I feel really fantastic after the session! I know I have to keep working on my yoga because I absolutely have to get myself back into shape especially since I gained weight in Bangkok. *Fingers crossed*

I'm lying in bed now and it sure feels good when everything feels like it is in order. Another work-week starts tomorrow so deep breathe and chin up!!!!