ambiguity

March 29, 2010

Vivian’s Virulent Verbilization

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:38 am

Of all the jokers for ministers we’ve had (Shanmugam, Mah Bow Tan, Lim Swee Say etc.), this inbred little bugger has to be the worst of the lot. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, has put out a statement of incredulous stupidity. Alright, to be fair, I’ll stave off the insults until the… fourth paragraph.

“If you were a poor person, anywhere on this planet, Singapore is the one place where you will have a roof over your head, where you will have food on the table. Even if you can’t afford it, we will have meals delivered to you.”

The first thing i want to know is this: What was he smoking when he made that statement? It sounds like one hell of a trip, and my lord do I need one right now.

Second question: Is this stupidity in its purest form, or an obvious lie Vivian just had to tell? I can understand if it were a lie; Awareness is present, but concern is not. If, however, it is an ignorant statement coming from a man who has no idea of the happenings in his own country, then you’ll excuse me for saying this: Vivian, you are astonishingly full of shit. Your appointment as minister is inexplicable, your talents are invisible and you are an utter disgrace to the art of politics, to Singapore, and to anyone who shares your last name.

Let’s assume then that it was a lie. Here’s the third question: Why? Why this most obvious of all lies? Why not a better and slightly more subtle one? The more I watch the video, the more I’m wondering if, within the two second gap between 00:22 and 00:24, he could have come up with something better than “we will have meals delivered to you”. And in such a convincing tone too. Oh Vivian Vivian Vivian. You seem so sure,  so confident that you’ve done your duty to the people. But who better to judge that than the people themselves. And the people will deliver a verdict. The question is, are you man enough to accept it?

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how someone could say something like that. I cannot imagine the level of ignorance one must possess to come up with that statement. Very seldom have I been genuinely puzzled by something. This time, without doubt, I must confess that I am stumped. Baffled. Perplexed.

I feel, for your sake Vivian, that i must make things clear. And yes I am aware that there isn’t much of a chance that you’ll visit, but collective opinion speaks loud, and I am sure many will have the same content on their pages, so here it is:

Dr Balakrishnan, I urge you to get off that high horse you have perched on top of your ivory tower, take the elevator of shame and descend onto ground zero, and view for yourself the poverty that you claim to have stamped out. View for yourself the plight of the homeless, whom you claim to have helped. View for yourself the hungry, whom you claim to have fed. Then take the elevator back up, sit in front of your vanity table, look yourself in the mirror, and repeat that silly statement to yourself. And if you still find it easy to persuade yourself, I can only ask that you stock up on Ambien, lest you have difficulty sleeping at night. God forbid you don’t have enough energy to “do your duty for people who need your help”.

March 22, 2010

MRT Screen Doors: (Insert Synonym For Stupid Here)

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:16 am

Very often, in this country, you see some really bad decisions being made, some really stupid things being said and some really dim actions being carried out. So much so, that it has become the norm. It no longer surprised me that much. I must admit though, when i first saw the MRT screen doors, I was blown away by the tornado of stupidity.

This article on Asiaone today reports yet another case of suicide via train. The article also mentions a STOMP reader writing to the website and complaining about how the screen doors should be up sooner. I want to say that I’m surprised by the level of ignorance, but coming from a STOMP reader, it really isn’t all that surprising.

The “half-height” screen doors stand at an intimidating 1.5 metres. Supposedly capable of “enhancing commuter safety at above-ground MRT stations, and aimed at preventing people from falling onto the tracks”, these screen doors will cost $126 million to manufacture and put up. That concept is so dense, I can hardly contain my laughter.

First, let’s talk about the height. 1.5 metres. Is it enough to “deter” potential suicides? The average height of Singaporeans as measured in 2003 is 1.7 metres for men and 1.6 metres for women. Given the mandatory national service we have to serve, in addition to the ten reservist cycles after our service, we should be fit enough to at least push ourselves up and over the platform. As for the women, I have full confidence in your ability to slip off your heels and use the friction generated by rubbing your foot against the glass panels to climb your way to the other side. And if all else fails, there is no law against bringing stools into MRT stations.

If the Government really wanted to deter potential suicides, the screen doors should be the height of the doors at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. There’s your deterrent. And if people complain about lack of air flow, drill holes into the doors. Be sure to make them small enough so that no one will be able to climb them.

Second, let’s talk about the reason. It is beyond stupid to even think that these half height screen doors will prevent suicides. As i mentioned above, if the Government had any sense left in them, they would’ve made the doors taller. So why then? Why spend the $126 million such useless equipment?

I believe it is much more than just retail therapy. I’m also going to give the government the benefit of the doubt this time; I do not believe they’re actually THIS stupid. The reason they are building the screen doors is because they don’t want us to commit suicide… via train. They don’t want us to get smashed by the train and have our guts all over the tracks… Because it hurts business. Because it slows the country down. The MRT ferries around roughly 1.5 million passengers per day as of 2009, most of whom work in the Central Business District, where all the money comes from. Suppose someone decides he wants to die in front of the morning crowd. The resulting delay will surely cause a drop in productivity for the day. Now imagine if we have one per week. GDP is going to dip like Leeds United’s fortunes after 2001.

In a different scenario, let’s say someone decides to die in the middle of the day. Not as many people around this time. The trauma will remain with those who witness it. Now let’s imagine again that we have one per week. How long will it take to completely traumatize Singaporeans? And when that happens, will they ever take the train again?

It’s not that they don’t want us to die. No, not at all. It’s just that they don’t want us to die and inconvenience them in the process. Sure, they prevent accidents. But then again, if you choose to ignore the yellow lines, the constant warnings over the PA system AND the staff walking around, ensuring you stand at a suitable distance from tracks, if you choose to ignore all those warning signs, you probably deserve to die anyway. If your kids decide to run around and play, then it is your fault for not disciplining them. Their blood should  be on your hands, and you should be responsible enough to acknowledge it.

Finally, let’s talk about the consequences. I’ve noticed that since the screen doors have been put up, people have less qualms about pushing those in front towards the edge. Where previously a risk of death or injury existed, all potential has now been eliminated, and along with it, the grace and common sense of the people. The screen doors have turned commuters into impatient, crude and discourteous animals who won’t hesitate to asphyxiate those in front of them by crushing them against those panels.

It is typical of this government. It is the gum situation all over again. Instead of allowing people to learn their lessons, they put a cage around us and expect us to follow suit because “it is for our own good”. even though it clearly isn’t. And they rely on the imbeciles who read STOMP to voice their concerns on speed of building, instead of effectiveness. I have no doubt at all that this is an immense waste of time and money. Time and money that could be better spent on, for instance, building shelters for the homeless. But hey, who cares about the homeless. They can’t afford to take the train anyway.

March 19, 2010

The Reason For Education

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:46 am

It always amuses me when Malaysians talk about Singapore, mainly because it’s so easy to spot the traffic light of emotions. It begins with free-flowing negativity, until they stumble upon a positive little tinge of amber, before finally coming to a complete halt when they realise they’d much rather be living here.

One Mr Desmond Lee of Kuala Lumpur wrote in The Star today, expressing admiration for Singapore’ education system. While I truly do not feel like it’s a fair comparison, I appreciate the honest revelation of his disdain for lavishing praise on Singapore.

Desmond epitomises everything that has gone wrong with the education system. I’m trying to be as endearing as I can now, because I recognise that this has little to do with one’s personal opinions, and a whole lot to do with the way we as Asians are educated. If anything, it is sympathy that I feel. And I’m not being patronising.

“My nephews and nieces study there, and I feel that they will have a better chance of securing employment in MNCs upon graduation.”

This particular sentence is exactly what bothers me. Why has education become simply a stepping stone to securing employment? It is a tragedy, that we would attend school, do revision and assignments, study and take exams, simply to get a job. That we would overlook the prospects of gaining knowledge, and trade that desire for materialism. That we would cast our eyes on the future which, while not so distant, may not arrive for all of us, instead of enjoying what we know to be genuine now: the present. That we would blink away the curiosity we held so dear as children, and ask questions with our eyes firmly set on the material acquisition.

Today, we go to school, not because we love to learn. Not because we love to ask. We go to school because we love to own. We love to own, but not just anything. We love to own that which we can hold, feel and touch. We love to own that which we can present, and impress with. We love to own that which can be replaced.

Like I said, the blame must be placed squarely on the shoulders of policy makers. They have managed to turned us into materialistic, power-hungry beasts whose only aim in life is to earn enough money to purchase, and steer the economy into overdrive so that they themselves can reap the benefits. We have become a people obsessed with monetary and physical value, and without even realising it, our lives are being pissed away slowly and surely.

While it is important to understand how fragile we are, it is equally essential to recognise how ridiculously powerful we can be. We are, while far from the finished product, a marvel of evolution. To be stifled and held back by the weight and pressure to provide, to earn, to own, it fills me with utmost sorrow. For before you know it, you will be worm food. And you would’ve spent your entire life working to own, only to give it all up in the end.

Instead, live free. Take in information, and find joy in the fact that you can think, you can absorb, you can dream. Smile, because while society can be vile, and people are cruel, life is not as poignant when you realise the wonders you are capable of.

We are far too remarkable to be repressed. Learn. But don’t do it because you want to work for an MNC. Don’t do it because it will bring you wealth, and wealth in turn will bring you goods, and goods in turn will bring you satisfaction. Do it because you are alive, and you are still capable of basic cerebral functions. Enjoy education not because it’s a step closer to a Porsche, but because it is another piece of wisdom acquired.

“O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on, and YOU may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

March 16, 2010

WWJD? Absolutely Nothing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 10:55 am

Reverend Tan Cheng Huat, senior pastor of True way Presbyterian Church, wrote an article as a guest columnist for the Christian Post yesterday. Tan, and I refuse to refer to him by his title because unlike him and his flock, and also most of the christian population, I don’t see how adding the word “reverend” in front of his name bequeaths him additional respect and dignity.

Tan’s article is one drenched with sorrow. The sentiments detected run along the lines of despair, despondence, and dejection. Of course, that is in addition to the usual contemptuous, vainglorious and supercilious inclination. He begins by declaring the presence of a crisis in the church. The catastrophe is that more and more churches are participating in activity that he clearly does not approve of. Right away, without even attempting to hide it, the man’s arrogance is displayed. His belief and disapproval of churches conforming more and more to society in a bid to attract the “unsaved” borders on fundamental. Not to mention the usage of the word “unsaved.” I take offense to the way christians refer to those who refuse to succumb to their advances as “unsaved”, or “souls”. It speaks volumes of their tendency to patronise. It is as if we are not fit to be referred to as people, as if we aren’t of similar social status. If anyone is attracted to this religion, it is only because of their desire to belong to what they perceive as the elites, the ones who know the truth and will save us all. It is a desire to be powerful.

In my previous post, I attacked Islam for being a dangerous religion. Christianity, despite ranking slightly lower on the danger scale, cannot claim itself to be a religion of peace either. Not when the entire bible speaks of war, killing and punishment. The old testament tells the story of a god who, if sufficiently provoked with human emotions such as jealousy, will wipe you off the face of the earth. But at least that’s where it ends. All is forgiven once you’re dead. The new testament speaks of a different deity. One who will allow you to provoke him during your time on earth, but as soon as you pass, will sentence you to eternity in a working microwave oven. I simply cannot agree with those who decide to worship such a cruel and unjust deity, not to mention dishonest(he claims to love you).

Tan’s entire attack on conformist churches can simply be disproven with one logic: He’s not necessarily correct. Who is he to tell them what and what not to do? It is ridiculous. This statement makes my point even further.

“In our present time, being inclusive takes on a very different meaning – it is acceptable to many believers that one must gain the respect of the unsaved, indulge in the interests of the unsaved and even live like the unsaved in order to win them to Christ.”

And all of a sudden, the absurdity kicks into high gear. What a preposterous statement. All of a sudden, it is not important for one human to gain the respect of another fellow human. All of a sudden, the general definition of inclusivity does not correspond with his. Again, who made him the boss? Could it be… this particular verse from his holy book?

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV)

Similar to Islam, this verse gives authority to anyone who decides to alienate society, or in extreme cases, to commit murder. A christian could very well claim self-defense in court by employing this verse. But that’s not the point. The point is, if believers are in disagreement over messages the bible is attempting to propagate, then how much credibility is there? Why should people believe in something you can’t even agree on?

“People today talk about embracing “tolerance, diversity and unity” for The New World Order. It’s no longer a question of what is right or wrong, good or bad, lawful or unlawful, but rather how we all FEEL ABOUT IT… no absolutes, no conscience, no convictions, no laws, no Constitution, no Bible and NO GOD!!!…”

This last part, this quasi-exclamation echoing pseudo-despair, is absolutely laughable. I’m afraid Tan has confused the rights and wrongs of a secular society with the rights and wrongs of a religious one. In a secular nation, the rights and wrongs are clearly defined. However, in the event that logic prevails, verdicts can be altered at the eleventh-hour. It has never been about how people feel, but about whether something makes sense. And there is absolutely no room for false concepts such as consciences, and certainly not for bibles and gods. In a religious society, however, punishment is mercilessly dealt out. Logic and science is belittled and labelled as false. All this is clearly demonstrated in countless scenarios, such as the use of torture and torture devices in medieval christian societies, and especially during the Spanish Inquisition.

“Many professing Christians today grossly misapply and misunderstand these texts.”

All in all, Tan’s article has only one intention: To exclaim to the entire christian community that they are wrong, and he is right. That he is far superior than they are in terms of interpreting the bible. He goes on to remind christians that the right way to do it is by “speaking the truth in love as Jesus would”. It is utter bollocks. Tan makes his claims and refers to the bible as evidence.

I’m so very sorry if no one’s ever told you this, but the existence of the bible proves nothing of a god’s existence. What it does prove, is that decades after Jesus’ passing, a bunch of people found some ink and paper, and decided to write a book. Employing the bible as proof of Jesus’ character is, for the lack of a better term, dense. It is so unbelievably dense, I cannot help but wonder if it’s intentional.

If society is ever going to move forward, then the stifling conducted by religion must end. People like Tan must open up their minds and embrace the fact that one day, they will no longer walk this earth. They won’t be in any sort of spiritual realm either, and their time currently being spent propagating myths and fairy tales could be put to much better use. If they truly wish to serve society well, the abandonment of their religion, followed by the dedication to good causes, would be very much welcomed.

Tan Cheng Huat’s article can be read here.

March 11, 2010

What Peace?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 12:08 pm

I watched Bill Maher’s documentary-film “Religulous” last year, and one of the scenes that really stuck with me was the one where Bill Maher interviews a Muslim Cleric by the name of Mohamed Junas Gaffar. Halfway through, his cellphone rings and the ringtone is Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. But that’s not why i remember it. I remember it because this particular Cleric makes the outrageous claim that Islam is a religion of peace, and that all the violence is caused not by Islam itself, but by the politicizing of Islam.

Yesterday, leading Swedish newspapers republished Lars Vilk’s controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog after seven people were arrested in Ireland for conspiracy to murder. Sweden’s paper of reference Dagens Nyheter released a statement saying “A threat against him(Vilks) is, in the end, a threat against all Swedish people.”

In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published an editorial of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The one Muslims took the most offense to was the portrait of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, along with a shahadah written on it. They claim that it depicts Islam, Muslims and Muhammad as terrorists, interested only in bringing about the deaths of those they call infidels. Personally, I thought that one in the 9 o clock position was brilliant. “Stop, stop, we have run out of virgins!” Outstanding stuff.

The reason for the outrage that followed was that the Qur’an condemns idolatry, and having pictures of their prophet published in print apparently meant a risk of idol worship.

I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them. It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah.( Surah 8:12,17)

Many who argue that Islam is a religion of peace often use the same point: That the Qur’an was interpreted differently. They argue that fundamentalists have it in their heads that this is what allah had in store for them, and that there are many muslims who refuse to subscribe to similar mentalities. Therefore, it should be said that only fundamentalists are at fault, yes? Absolutely wrong.

The fact is it simply does not matter how one interprets the book. And I’m going to explain why.

Islam is a dangerous religion, and I say this as someone with complete disregard for religion in general. It is a dangerous religion because of the constant and almost casual use, or misuse of 5 particular letters. “Final”. The Qur’an claims to be the “final” testament, the “final” revelation. It is believed to be faultless and genuine. Muhammad is proclaimed to be the last and final messenger of god. Therefore, it should not be questioned. And anything that follows or precedes the Qur’an should be disregarded. The use of the word “final” effectively destroys all other alternatives, ensuring that the only words worth reading and believing in are from the Qur’an.

Fight those who do not believe in Allah…And the Jews say Ezra is the son of God; and the Christians say Christ is the son of God; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; Allah’s curse be on them; how they are turned away!” (Surah 9:29-30)

Once such a thought permeates the skull and fuses itself with the cerebrum of a believer, there is almost zero disbelief of what’s written in the Qur’an. A believer who reads a verse like “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them(Surah 9:5)” is obliged to believe in it wholeheartedly. Now, this is where the issue of interpretations comes in. The very simple truth is that anyone, ANYONE who believes, is given the moral authority to kill. Anyone who believes is entitled to the right to slay and proclaim that it was alright because the victim was not a believer. This essentially means that even if someone does not subscribe to fundamentalist Islam, he is still, according to the Qur’an, absolved of any future murders he may commit in the name of allah.

That is why I emphasize, with no hesitation, the dangers of Islam. Add up the factors and this is what you get: A religion with a book that claims itself to be the final word, and bestows authority upon anyone to commit murder in the name of god. And nobody should challenge that authority precisely because it claims to be the final word.

Where, Mohamed Junas Gaffar, where is this peace you speak of? How can you say, with such conviction, that Islam is a religion of peace, when all around the world, calls for the cartoonists’ deaths are rampant. Bounties have been placed on their heads. Panic rooms have been installed in their homes. Security systems have been installed. Men are afraid to walk the streets. How can you look in the mirror and convince yourself even, that this is not a violent and dangerous religion that seeks to eliminate anyone of alternative faith?

If you are indeed sick of the stereotypes, then why not take a stand? Why not stand up and denounce those who call for death to the infidels? Why not embrace those who criticise? Why not rid yourselves of that primitive mindset and start calling for true peace? Why not set yourself as an example and a role model?

If there’s one verse in the Qur’an you must believe in, why not let it be this one?

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error,” (Surah 2:256)

March 9, 2010

Gopalan Nair: Why So Serious?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 12:14 pm

Gopalan Nair’s little prank has caused quite the uproar. TOC’s editor-at-large Remy has condemned the Dissident, calling the hoax “despicable” and “distasteful”. A number of netizens have also responded with negative comments on Nair’s blog. My question is this: What’s the big deal? Allow me to systematically dismantle the entire situation.

Nair’s explanation is that he wanted to “highlight how tenuous Singapore really is”. And my word, what a reaction. Here’s my problem. That sounds a lot like what I would say if i made a boo-boo and tried to cover it up and make myself sound really smart. But that’s me. Now, perhaps Nair’s intentions were precisely as he stated. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

As soon as news of it being a hoax reached me, the first picture my mind painted was that of Orson Welles’ famous 1938 broadcast. The “War of The Worlds” sustaining show caused widespread panic, and even brought about a mention from Hitler himself. The only big difference is that listeners were constantly reminded that it was only a performance. However, while Nair did not mention anything about it being a hoax initially, we have to keep in mind that this was a blog post. On his public blog. What possible reason, besides Nair’s credibility, could there be for people taking it this seriously? I certainly didn’t. Sure, I was filled with hope. But I quickly dispelled that emotion, told myself to get real, and moved on. It’s not that I don’t take Nair seriously. I’m just not as gullible.

So why, oh why, did the masses fall for the prank? Simple. It’s not because Nair published it. He’s not THAT credible. It’s because that’s the kind of news we want to read. We want to go to Google News and read that the DICKtator has fallen victim to a cardiac episode. We want to log on and have people tell us “hey did you hear about LKY?” And we want to read about it online because that means the mainstream media is every bit as incompetent as we say it is. And most importantly, it is because everyone wanted it to be true. Because we are, either so deprived of entertainment that we gobble up any sort of  garbage that pops up on the internet, or so repulsed(or infatuated) with the old man that any news of his demise, genuine or falsified, makes our hearts flutter(sink) and our smiles widen(vanish). Proof of that lies in Remy’s editorial, where he mentions the lengths TOC went to attain any more information. Writers were mobilised and emails were sent to the PM’s office, SGH and Nair himself. Now, leaving aside that TOC’s purpose is to report such stories, not even the editors can deny that they were excited at the prospect of a Singapore without LKY. They were excited to be one of the first, if not the first, medium to gain confirmation of the story.

But where did the anger come from? Why the condemnation? For the netizens, some may have celebrated prematurely and felt like fools. Some may have felt like they were given a whiff of the cheese before being put back onto that running wheel. Some might’ve even felt like Nair was laying a hex on their beloved Minister. But nobody, nobody was genuinely offended by it simply because “Nair told us a lie. What does that say about his character?”

The answers are quite simple. For TOC, it’s because they wasted their time and resources trying to confirm the news. It’s annoying, it’s demoralising, and I can see where their complaints stem from. But that doesn’t mean I agree with their condemnation of Nair. As for the netizens, it’s because you were duped. Bamboozled. Hornswoggled. And you didn’t like it.

Fears of government regulation of the internet are well-justified. I do not, however, think the government would go to that extent. Considering the history Nair has with LKY, I believe it is more likely that Grandpa would take this as a personal conflict rather than an excuse to censor web content. Besides, with all the words being shot at Nair, the last medium the government would want to censor is the internet.

While I’m not completely appreciative of Nair’s effort, I certainly do not condemn it in Remy or Ng E-Jay’s manner. I found it incredibly amusing, for one. Of course, I understand where they are coming from. I take issue, however, with attacks on Nair’s character. It is pointless and childish to attack Nair based on this alone. Sure, death is no joke. Death of the Master is a bad, tasteless one. But allegations of Nair being a “moron”, “imbecile” and my favourite so far, “shameless, self-absorbed, leaden-footed ninny of a man” are completely unfounded.

Nair did not, contrary to popular belief, “stoop to that level”. In fact, there isn’t a level. There shouldn’t be a level. Nair is not a politician. He’s not a journalist. He’s not Willy Wonka. He’s a blogger and a lawyer and he lives in California. He has no obligation to provide accurate news nor to remain at his original “level”, wherever that is. If you can’t make that distinction, something is seriously wrong. If he had been a opposition candidate with the intention to run for office in the next elections, then perhaps he would fully deserve the reproach.

All this talk about him discrediting the opposition, and endangering internet freedom. If you truly see it that way, then you need to think this through. If his “political point is overshadowed by the backlash from ordinary Singaporeans”, it is only because ordinary Singaporeans can’t get past their egos and embrace the true message of Nair’s stunt. If you can’t abandon your views of it being “deliberate misinformation”, perhaps you need to take things easy. Why so serious?

March 5, 2010

Religion + Pro Life Group + Philippines = Disaster

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:02 am

I have just read the most incredible piece of garbage. Unsurprisingly, it came from the Philippines. Now, I’m not saying the Filipinos are stupid. But that’s only because I shouldn’t have to say it. It’s recognised enough.

Human Life International released a statement claiming that condoms increase the risk of contracting aids. Dr Ligaya Acosta, the executive director of this imbecillic organisation, says, “We condemn the Department of Health for advocating the use of condoms when they know that based on abundant scientific researches, does not prevent pregnancy and actually increases the risk of HIV, which leads to AIDS [acquired immuno deficiency syndrome] and dozens of other sexually-transmitted diseases. They are lying to the people.”

Abso-fucking-lute bullshit. And coming from a doctor! I probably shouldn’t be THAT shocked. She is Filipino after all. The truth is this: Condoms DO NOT increase the risk of contracting HIV. HOWEVER, the spermicide nonoxynol-9, which is widely used on condoms, may increase that risk for women who use it frequently. Having said that, it is agreed that a condom with spermicide is safer than no condom at all!

I find it cheap, offensive, and evil that they are condemning the Department of Health for distributing condoms. Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral produced numbers indicating that HIV contraction is on the rise in the Philippines,which led to her decision to distribute condoms. Now, I’d like to see Human Life International come up with a solution as practical as that.

I’ll bet my bottom dollar on their answer being “abstinence”. Now, the big question is, what could make Filipinos dumber? The answer is religion.

Nereo Odchimar, the head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, claims that distributing condoms “weakens the country’s moral fiber and destroys family life.” That is unbelievably dense. This time, no surprise at all(he’s a religious Filipino, I saw it coming). Let me try and get things into perspective. Distributing protection, encouraging safe sex and responsibility is immoral. But going to a HIV ridden continent and telling the inhabitants that condoms are wrong isn’t? Where’s the logic in that? How can one experience the harm that HIV causes first-hand, and still discourage protection?

It is cruel. It is wicked. It is remarkably malicious. And it is infinitely more immoral than distributing condoms. Coming from the pope, of all people. A man widely revered by people all over the world, people who hold him in the highest regard, who lap up his every word as if they were teardrops from god himself. When a man of such authority and influence makes statements like that, it is dangerous simply because people listen. People listen, people agree, and people put it into practice, because people are stupid. And to prove that point, Odchimar followed suit, didn’t he?

As if that wasn’t enough, the CBCP called for bans on condom ads, claiming the same thing as Human Life International, that “it condones and encourages promiscuity outside of marriage, and hence contributes to the further spread of AIDS”.

Bishops, newsflash. If you want to discourage promiscuity outside of marriage, try banning suggestive ads. Ban MTV. Do a China and ban porn. Ban tube tops, spaghetti straps and liposuction. Ban plastic surgery. Ban mini skirts and hot pants. Ban changing rooms. Ban talking. Ban dating. Ban inter-gender interaction. And hey, if all else fails, ban marriage! There wouldn’t be “promiscuity outside marriage” without marriage, no?

It is the most ridiculous suggestion. And it stems from arrogance. The arrogance of religion. The arrogance of the Bishops. First, defying medical opinion is open arrogance. How arrogant do you have to be to disagree with proven medical opinion?

Second, they’re not really saying “find some other way to protect yourself”. They are, after all, against contraception. What they’re really saying is “if we can abstain, so can you!” Except its not really abstinence when little boys are entering confession feeling guilty and exiting feeling violated.

Third, believing that not using contraception and pleasing god would protect you from HIV. That is arrogance that is so treacherous, it’s not even funny.

I condemn, to the highest degree, the Catholic church and Human Life International for their unfounded claims. They are heinous, false claims which will cause irreparable damage if taken seriously. I’m used to hearing false claims from the Church, but from a pro-life group? Don’t you dare call yourselves pro-life. It is a disgrace, and I cannot envision a world where people actually take you seriously. What a travesty.

March 4, 2010

Such Ignorance

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 12:49 pm

I had in mind a whole host of topics to write about. The CBCP’s call for a ban on condom ads… The 14 year old who set fire to a mosque, another set of stupid statements made by an MP. But then I read a comment on a facebook page, and three or four clicks later I decided that this would be my topic for today.

JC students, intellectuals or idiots? Now that’s a tough one to answer. Being a JC student means only one thing: You got better results for Os than others did. Does that mean you’re more intelligent? If your answer is yes, then get yourself some glasses because that is an EXTREMELY myopic view of intelligence. All it means, is that you took in the bullshit fed to you with a big wide smile and regurgitated it where it mattered most: Onto the test paper.

I stumbled upon this facebook group earlier today and this comment made by one Miss Denise “Weasel” Cheong. Now, I remember this lady from Kenneth Lin’s facebook group, where she made similar comments, referring to the members of the group as “kids”, urging them to stop complaining. Of course, I didn’t feel the need to reply because hey, how do you take someone with a cartoon of a giraffe on her blog seriously? But her arrogance reminds me a lot of how I act. The difference, and it is a major one, is that we are on opposite sides of the proverbial fence, and her lawn is one that only she can appreciate.

Is Denise a moron? I have no doubt about it. But that’s only because most people are morons. I merely classify her under that category for convenience. Perhaps she’ll prove me wrong someday, though it is highly unlikely. I read her entry on separation and merger, and while the language and tone made it very difficult to take seriously, I did manage to finish it. The entire post is a rant, complaining about separation and merger being removed from the school syllabus, and not being able to “flaunt her knowledge” about Singapore’s economic development. And that perhaps epitomizes what JC students stand for. Too much trust in our education system and what they are taught, and too much confidence in their abilities.

The separation and merger is but a speck of dust in the lint trap that is Singapore’s history. Teaching how to sustain Singapore’s economic development in schools is a joke. But what really makes me laugh is how seriously Denise takes the social studies curriculum.

Child, before you even begin to talk about separation and merger, how about reading up on the formation of the USC, PMSF, and the PAP? How about going through our REAL history? The first sedition trial, with LKY serving as Junior Counsel to Pritt? Operation Spectrum? Operation Coldstore? How about finding out about the disgraceful actions of your revered dictator? If you think Nelson Mandela was a hero for 27 years of political imprisonment, then give it up for Chia Thye Poh. He whoops Mandela’s ass with an astounding 32 years. How about Devan Nair? Lim Chin Siong? David Marshall? JBJ? The Anson by-elections? Ong Teng Cheong’s request that wasnt granted, up til his demise?

All this talk about educating people, and “flaunting your knowledge”. Believe me sweetheart, there are people on the streets who would easily shame you on the spot with their knowledge of history and understanding of politics beyond the textbooks. And believe me, we would be glad to do so anytime.

Her comments on Kenneth’s facebook group page are signs of a self-righteous, self-important, hypocritical, egotistical(not very opposed to this), brain-washed individual who has close to zero knowledge of how her country came about. What she does know comes from what she is taught, and for that I can call her a sheep, for she is easily herded and possesses almost no critical thinking skills, and no hunger and desire to gain even more knowledge. Which is why the bible verse on her blog failed to surprise me.

Intelligence has less to do with possession of knowledge than with the desire to acquire knowledge. I urge you, Denise, before you make a fool of yourself yet again, to start reading. It is your “naivety and immaturity”, coupled with your severe lack of understanding with regards to our history, and complete lack of thinking ability that shocks, amuses, and astonishes me. I would put you in the same bracket as Wee Shu Min if I thought you had half the influence she had, considering her father’s position. Unfortunately, you are but an insignificant speck of bumfluff whose pathetic attempt to convince society of her intellectual prowess has failed completely. Perhaps your peers consider you one of their finest scholars within the social group. That, then, would speak volumes of their intellects, or lack thereof.

If you sincerely believe, after finding out what this government is capable of, what they have done to ensure their retention of power, what they will do, how they twist words around so that idiots like you believe what they say, if you genuinely feel like this is good governance, then I pity you. If you think people should be grateful for what they have instead of constantly seeking improvement(which is extremely dim-witted because there can be no progress without conflict), if you think people should fear their governments, then you should consider moving to a country ruled by tyrants, where her people live in constant fear and apprehension, where political activity is stifled, but also fulfills your innate desire for a religious nation. Go to North Korea and preach your version of politics and education, Denise, and perhaps they will revere you. They, after all, follow the same modus operandi as your faith. But this is Singapore. When the winds of change caresses your cheeks and mess up your hair, I sincerely doubt you’ll prefer the old days.

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