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Messages - MariaSharpie

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A thorough, documented, criminal indictment of George Herbert Walker Bush, establishing beyond a reasonable doubt his guilt as a supervisor in the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy. You must see it to believe that former president George Herbert Walker Bush was connected to the assassination of JFK. Once you see this documentary though there should be no doubt in your mind that it's true. The evidence is overwhelming and as the author of this documentary, John Hankey says, "If we could present this evidence to a jury in Texas, he would pay with his life". Did you know that Daddy Prescott Bush was Hitler's chief banker in the U.S. before 1942? Did you know that George H.W. Bush was in the CIA and in Dallas when Kennedy was killed? This video explores the many connections between George Bush and the Kennedy Assassination and makes a very convincing argument that he was the operational leader of the most important coup in American history.

Dear friends,

The recent debate about Minister’s pay and mediocrity
 has made me realise that our present social political system, if not  tweaked, could have drastic consequences.

1. About National Day songs

 We have not had any new songs for our National Day celebrations for the  longest time. The songs of old like Dick Lee’s “Home” or Hugh Harrison's   “Stand up for Singapore" were memorable and iconic but why are new  songs from new songwriters deemed not deserving of an airing on the  national stage on our National Days? Is there a defeatist attitude by  the organising committee who is  afraid that any new songs will not  stand up to public scrutiny. When will this change?

2. About Microsoft and competition

 Does anyone remember when Microsoft was a near monopoly and regulators  were trying to make the playing field fairer? I was amongst many who  were saying that  “Microsoft Office Suite” was already so good and  affordable, why should we not it monopoly power? But after the  regulators had done their jobs we were pleasantly surprised with a  plethora of applications and software  eg Linux Open Office / Google  etc, which were more innovative providing better communications for all. 

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Three phrases or words have been making the rounds in social media  currently – elitism, snobbery and entitlement. They have been used to  describe the whole PAP establishment especially the top echelons meaning  the Cabinet and MPs and all the SAF generals and key civil servants.  The sense of disgust on the ground will not go away until, I think, a  satisfactory reaction or defence is put up by the PAP government.

These are serious allegations.

Let’s take the first one – elitism. This has always been a facet of  the PAP DNA. Way back in the mid-1960s, students at the then University  of Singapore (now NUS) were already slamming the PAP for practising or  worshipping elitism which is basically that there are those who are just  more capable than others and these people will be the natural top part  of any society. At that time, Socialism, a milder form of Communism  which advocated social equality, was a governing philosophy in a number  of countries eg Britain and France. Educated young Singaporeans caught  the wind. Hence, the protests in the campus against any form of policy  which smacked of favouring the “elite”.

But the late PM Lee Kuan Yew would not bend. He had made at least one  no-holds-barred speech referring to anthropological differences among  countries in South-East Asia which I do not want to rehash lest the  subject offends people in other parts of Asia, especially our  neighbours, and make life difficult for Foreign Minister Vivian  Balakrishnan. LKY spoke about intense and less societies, among other  things. Suffice to say that LKY was abashedly – or, in his eyes, being  pragmatically – elitist, even in his views of other countries!

LKY imported the Mandarinate system from the Middle Kingdom into  Singapore. In China, scholars had to pass rigorous examinations to make  it to Beijing to serve the Emperor. Hence, the education system here has  been unabashedly elitist. Apart from allowing elite schools to  flourish, young Singaporeans were sieved out through examinations and  so-called scholars were picked through several  categories  –  President’s Scholars, SAF Scholars and so on – who later went on to  serve the armed forces, civil service, GLCs and statutory boards (the  latter two also created their own scholars). The best went to the SAF  because the imperative was that, without a strong army, we would be  vulnerable and that was top priority. Hence, you can see why so many  generals and rear admirals have been chosen for the Cabinet, as a second  career. PM Lee Hsien Loong was in the first batch of SAF Scholars. He  did his national service. I was in the same company in the SAF cadet  officer school.

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Hi there, I know that my moniker might suggest that I am one of those 'carefree' youths easily found in the newest generation, but truth be told, I am indeed serious about certain matters that plague our society.

I hail from a small southeast Asian nation called Singapore. For those who are acquainted with my country, I am certain that you are familiar with the economic successes that my government has reaped through their extensive and through governing of her people and her resources. I must admit that it truly is a marvel that my country managed to dig out of her dilemma as a barren newborn country with a relatively uneducated populace to become one of the biggest players in the global market in just a mere 50 years.

However, there are some aspects of the government that I am not satisfied with. Strongly.

My government has earned a notorious reputation for her overwhelmingly restricted press freedom. The only newspapers produced in the country are state newspapers, their content are filled with nothing but articles that praise the effectiveness of our government. Absolutely no criticism or even commentaries on the governing of our country can be found in our local newspapers. If any, there are followed up by a overwhelmingly strong argument in the same article.

Ever since from a young, tender age, I always loved reading. I can recall fondly of the nostalgic days during my early secondary school life, a time of my youth where I spent my days reading Star wars and Warhammer 40k novels, immersing myself into a fantasy where I was part of their universe and lead the heroic adventures that I could only dream of. English was always my favorite subject to study; it gave me free space to express my thoughts and ideas in me.

But as I began to mature and developed a keener sense of my surroundings, I realized how blind I was to the faults of my government, that numerous people of Singapore still suffer through in spite of them not having to.

It's a common sight to see here in every neighborhood elderly people in their late 60s or 70s going around to passerby-s selling packets of tissues at severely low prices so that they can scrap by some change to feed themselves (begging is a criminal offence in Singapore). The native Malay community are subjected to prejudice in the form of being denied of certain military positions simply due to their religious beliefs as Muslims. It is also not unheard of for Malay and Indian Singaporeans to face discrete social discrimination (of course, this was never a recognized issue). LGBT members are often met with active persecution by the bulk of society, being shunned from them and ostracized simply due to their differing sexual orientation. Our own government even supports the actions of our fellow Singaporean citizens, stripping LGBT member Singaporeans of their basic rights such as being allowed to form relationships and adoption of children. And the list of flaws I can find in my government and our country goes on.

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Few would disagree that a good education means more than just exam results. The benefits of non-academic experiences – from sports competitions, charity events, or school plays – have been shown to lead to more than just happy memories.

Evidence shows that taking part in extracurricular activities can support academic attainment, even into adulthood, as well as bringing personal benefits such as social skills, improved well-being, and self-confidence.

Research in the US also found that attending extracurricular activities improves relationships with peers, parents, and teachers. Such experiences can also help to develop a host of skills which may interest employers and help university application forms bristle with interesting extras. But the amount of extracurricular activity available to post-16 students will depend on their course of study.

A-levels vs IB Diploma

A-level students tend to focus on three or four academic subjects studied in depth. Extracurricular activities are arranged at the discretion of individual school or colleges. The International Baccalaureate, on the other hand, takes a different approach. In the IB Diploma programme (IBDP) for 16 to 19-year-olds, six academic subjects are complemented by a core which includes a compulsory experience-based element. This is known as Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS).

Students are encouraged to examine global issues from local perspectives while undertaking enjoyable and significant experiences in each of the three CAS strands. They then combine two or more strands in a CAS project. Music, arts, or theatre, for example, can count towards fulfilling Creativity, while sports and exercise meet Activity requirements.

For Service, students engage in volunteering at school or for charities. As well as their studies, students may end up writing for the school newspaper, doing Zumba, and raising money for socially just causes. The important point is not what students do for their CAS activities, but that CAS is compulsory. This reflects the IB’s commitment to provide a holistic education that goes beyond learning “stuff”.

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SINGAPORE - Four businesses were raided on Tuesday (Aug 14) in a police operation against counterfeit products, with $1.03 million worth of such items seized, said the police on Friday evening.

A 53-year-old man was arrested for his suspected involvement in the sale of counterfeit computer parts and accessories. Two other men, aged 35 and 36, are also assisting with investigations.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had conducted simultaneous raids against four retail outlets in a shopping mall along Rochor Canal Road, resulting in the arrest.

The Straits Times understands that the four shops are located in Sim Lim Square.

About 6,000 pieces of trademark-infringing items, such as laptop power adaptors, batteries, LCD screens, power supply units, cables and earpieces were seized. Police said that these items had a total estimated street value of $1.03 million.

Anyone found guilty of selling or distributing goods with falsely applied trademarks can be fined up to $100,000, and jailed up to five years.

Criminal Investigation Department director and deputy commissioner of police (investigations and intelligence) Florence Chua said in a statement: "Police take a serious view of intellectual property right (IPR) infringements and will not hesitate to take action against perpetrators who show blatant disregard for our IPR laws and at the expense of legitimate businesses."

The death of NSF Dave Lee Han Xuan is shrouded in inconsistencies and a dearth of relevant details, said a letter to the Straits Times Forum page on Friday.

While the ministerial statement on 6 August had set out in detail the events leading up to the NSF’s death, it does not say much about what took place after the serviceman was discovered have been suffering from heat injury which subsequently led to his death.

CFC Lee, 19, died from heat injury on April 30, after having been hospitalised for 2 weeks. He had completed an 8km fast march in Bedok Camp on April 18.

“The Aug 6 ministerial statement said that the likely reasons for Corporal First Class (CFC) Lee succumbing to heatstroke were inadequate on-site casualty management and delayed evacuation to the medical centre,” Ms Rachel Tan wrote in her letter to the newspaper.

“Few details were given about the casualty management provided,” she said. “Nor was the exact length of the delay disclosed. Contrast this with the wealth of detail and precise timings given about the events of the preceding day.”

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"Recruit Lee, where's your bloody Pack 4?" my Sergeant Major screams in the middle of the parade square, drawing hundreds of eyes on me. He is a rough man, my Sergeant Major - the only soldier in the battalion who voluntarily completed the Ranger course twice. And now, for the first time since my enlistment, I am on the receiving end of his harsh dressing down - something we recruits actively try to avoid every day.

"It's... It's err..." I stammer, scanning around my open field pack, half hoping I could find my Pack 4, half certain I had forgotten to pack it. I clench my jaws, bracing myself for his rain of profanities. My Sergeant Major is exactly how you'd picture an elite soldier. Rugged built. Biceps the size of my thighs. A face so coarse, he could make sandpaper smooth. The only thing one may find comical is his voice - he has the pitch of an adolescent girl. You would think that hampered his masculinity but it only made him more terrifying. Every time his shrill vocal darts pierce through the air, my scrotum would tighten a little harder. Now that I'm the target board, my testicles have drawn straight into my body, seeking refuge from his verbal acid.

"Recruit Lee, you useless sack of swine poot. Do you think this is your father's army? Do you need your fuc-"

"Sergeant Major, it's here" my buddy, Lam, holds up a Pack 4 before tossing it to me. "It was just beside his field pack."

My Sergeant Major shoots me a look of suspicion before walking away, holding his tongue for now, scouting for a new target. Staring at the Pack 4 in my hands, I realise that it's not mine. I turn to Lam who gives me a thumbs up and continues aligning his field pack items.

This guy. How does he do it?

I met Recruit Lam 6 weeks ago, while we were shaving our heads for Basic Military Training (BMT) induction. I was impressed by the way he spoke about his military aspirations. I was impressed when he did 28 chin ups on the bar. And as he planned our fire movement during the 5-day field camp, I had no doubt that I was in the presence of an officer in the making - an officer worthy, even back then, of the sword of honour.

I couldn't be more different from Lam. From the linguine arms that fail me during obstacle courses to my defeated disposition every morning as the alarm clock rings, I am his complete opposite. I'm not cut out for the military. Unlike Lam, it wasn't passion that brought me through the gates of national service. It was duty.

As luck would have it, a random assignment of bunk beds led to Lam being my buddy. And the guy has been picking up my slack ever since.

I thank him for passing me a Pack 4 for our field pack inspection as we prepare to move out. The mission for the next two days is a navigation exercise (navex for short) and possibly one of the few times I may be of any assistance to my section. I can read maps fairly well and during my time with the boy scouts, I honed on my compass skills. A small smile breaks out on my usually despondent face as I realise I'm actually looking forward to contributing to the section.

We move out in a 5-tonner, stealing one last glance at the concrete building that has offered respite these last 6 weeks. As hard and uncomfortable as our beds were, we would miss them these next two days as we lie spread eagle on the barren ground, unwelcomed Gullivers to the native critters of the jungle.

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Hong Kong has reclaimed its lead over Singapore in liveability rankings, climbing 10 places in an annual global survey which attributed the score to lower levels of social unrest four years after the pro-democracy Occupy movement rocked the city....

The police are investigating a Facebook post showing a black T-shirt with a graphic of the Singapore flag being ripped apart by a pair of hands to reveal the Indian flag underneath.

The image, which is believed to have first surfaced on Aug 14, one day ahead of India's Independence Day, was widely shared online when it was posted onto the Singapore Indians and Expats page on Facebook by Singapore permanent resident Avijit Das Patnaik. The page has over 11,000 members.

Mr Patnaik, who has been living in Singapore for a decade, posted it alongside a caption in Hindi that said, "Phir bhi dil hai…", which roughly translates to "Still my heart is…" and alludes to a popular Hindi song that talks about always feeling love for the motherland, India.

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