Daily SG: 27 Mar 2008

Prison Break, Singapore Style
– The Online Citizen: In the spirit of giving a “full account”
– The Hammersphere: One month after escape – questions still unanswered

Singaporeans are fed, up with progress!
– The boy who knew too much: Signs of growing poverty in Singapore
– Siew Kum Hong: Speech by Minister Vivian Balakrishnan: 5 March 2008

Free Tibet
– Pseudonymity: Quick To Kiss China’s A**!
– Salt * Wet * Fish: Free Tibet: Romantisizing Shangri La

Freedom, Choice and a place for my Voice
– e pur si muove: A transcript of Singapore: The Inconvenient Truth
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Illegal Assembly Laws in Singapore…

Housing
– Enblocing Singapore: David vs Goliath: Airview Towers Sale Dismissed by High Court

Starhub EPL, Singtel CL, Football Fans LPPL
– Under the Willow Tree: Lee Sze Yong is a Bungling Blathering Bozo

Daily Discourse
– Mr Wang Says So: A Tale of Two Drugs
– Simply Jean: If you have these $50 notes (see picture), you are screwed…
– Humanities & Social Sciences Library: New Singapore university

Earth Hour Singapore 2008
– Singapore Life and Times: Sans Power
– Singapore Metblogs: Earth Hour Singapore 2008

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26 Responses to Daily SG: 27 Mar 2008

  1. THE BROTHERHOOD PRESS says:

    CAN A CARING SOCIETY EXIST BESIDE A FREE MARKET ECONOMY? PART 1

    Can a caring society co-exist side by side a free market economy? How true is the assertion; recent shocks to the free market economy brought forth by a slew of price hikes and the diminishing aperture for business opportunities may be deconstructing the idea that it’s possible to build a caring society within a free market economy?

    We posed this question to our panel of subject matter experts in the ASDF, the strategic think tank of the Brotherhood.

    Harphoon Q: Let me just dive into this topic, is it possible to seek a happy balance between a free market economy and a caring society? Are these just lofty and unrealistic goals? Or are they premised on something tangible?

    Memphisto A: I am sorry, Harphoon forgive me. You cannot dive into this topic – first thing first – before discussing about a caring society, we need to define the elements which make up this term – caring society. If I had to focus it further, it’s simply “social conscience.” Do you agree?

    This term could just as well apply to enlightened individuals, but used in the macro context it refers specifically to the collective social conscience. It’s basically an idea that developed over generations through social conventions, custom and other social institutions such as religious organization which have evolved to ensure the economy continues to serve wider objectives rather than simply limiting itself to pursuit of profit.

    Is our social conscience eroding away? Have we lost our moral compass? The short answer to that question cannot be definitive, but what I will say is of late, the mechanisms of capitalism have been steadily reformed in favor of minority interests, that’s to say it appears to service only the rich – how true is this?

    Harphoon Q: OK from the way you answered the question – you were quick to qualify yourself that your answer can never be “definitive.” That’s interesting to me as it suggest there may be possibly 2 or 3 schools of thoughts on this area – is that the case?

    Memphisto A: Absolutely right Harphoon, well spotted – I think it’s appropriate here to borrow Darkness famous dictum, “this is old dressed up as new” or “this isn’t new the world has seen this before.” I realize that recently the divide between have’s and have’s not has only recently surface in the public sphere to bring our attention to this ongoing debate. However, since the advent of the Industrial revolution in the UK in the late 19th century; much of what we consider social conscience has already been well hammered out; this is an important observation as it suggest that we may not even need to reinvent the wheel to beacon the murk on how best to seek a happy balance between the free market and social conscience – now the general philosophy for interventionist is simply this; the free market economy cannot be trusted; why? Because man has a predilection for greed; it must be subject itself to certain checks and balances if it’s to remain an equitable distribution of wealth. The fundamental economics of the argument hasn’t really changed that much in the last 200 odd years – we can just as well superimpose what happened in cotton factories in Manchester to what is happening these days and you will be amazed by the degree of fidelity, very little has actually changed. So let’s be clear here, this is not a new problem. Neither are the suggested solutions new either.

    Harphoon Q: I am sorry, I find it strange that you are giving me these sort of replies – I don’t wish to press, but why do I get the feeling that you seem to be torn in recommending a solution?

    The problem is divided into two camps; one is the philosophical or what academic like to call historical, the other is the financial reality i.e what really happens in the market place – the former is pretty clear cut as mankind has had nearly 200 years to trash it out. Let me just run through the philosophical arguments briefly ; the interventionist hold firmly to the belief with periodic tweakings, the economy will inevitably serve only the interests of a small part of society. No one really disagrees with them, that’s why we have labor laws today to prevent firms from regularly hiring kids and every pregnant worker has a right to paid maternity leave – the question is how far do you actually slide the ticker on the interventionist scale? The communist went all the way and nationalized everything from coal mines to banks, what did they get, they broke the capitalist tool instead. Yes, they fulfilled the first criteria of wealth distribution admirably , but in the due course they also destroyed the very means of wealth creation – the socialist did it differently using a hybrid that coupled communitarianism with communism and what they accomplished again hobbled business to such an extent they could no longer function effectively – this was what happened in the 60’s and 70’s the result was widespread labor unrest that eventually led to the demise of these firms who once provided jobs.

    Q: You mentioned earlier, “the problem is divided into two camps; one is the philosophical, the other is the financial reality.” Can you elaborate further on the financial reality and does it decouple with the philosophy?

    A: Certainly. To really get a handle on the problem; we cannot just restrict ourselves to the philosophical, we really need to look at the “financial reality” and this means looking beyond wealth creation in superficial terms of GNP and GDP. Or even pay too much attention to econometrics. I understand some economist and mathematicians may probably have fainted by now – but one reason why I remain very critical of standard econometrics is because it has a habit of reducing everything into numbers and that simply means it skewers the picture. In reality it’s very possible for a country to be very rich and yet still remain poor at the same time / I feel many Singaporeans cant really make sense of this conundrum, so most of them are reduced to just picking up on the visual cues like folk eating other people’s left-overs in food courts etc. To me at least this seems to be the impression I registering in blogosphere.

    To be con’t

    [Harphoon – Memphisto / ASDF – The Brotherhood Press 2008]

  2. THE BROTHERHOOD PRESS says:

    CAN A CARING SOCIETY EXIST BESIDE A FREE MARKET ECONOMY? PART 2

    Q: Could you elaborate further on this whole idea of “it’s very possible for a country to be very rich and yet still remain poor at the same time?”

    A: Certainly. If you really want to understand how its possible to be rich and still remain poor at the same time; we need to start by stripping down the wealth creation engine into the sum of it’s aggregate parts and look at each component and see how efficiently it facilitates the task of burning fuel to deliver horsepower – when this is done diligently, one soon discovers there is good and bad wealth creation. This may sound like a contradiction in terms, but bear with me, as Darkness is not the only one who can go for the classical straight kill here, incidentally I was the one who showed him how to do it. So follow me!

    I don’t want to make this too technical, so I will try to use simple analogies. In a nutshell, the whole anatomy of wealth of wealth creation is a bit like good and bad cholesterol, the former prolongs life the latter kills you – the wealth creation engine suffers from this twin heads – two distinctions stand out to make up the free market system – this isn’t my theory, it’s a distinction that was first noted by Schumpeter who bore out the distinction between production capital (PC) and financial capital (FC): ‘FC is provided through financial markets to the business sector and PC represents funds committed by the business sector to the production of goods and services.’

    In the ecology which makes up the free market – you can more or less classify PC as the good money. It’s good as money circulates locally, so entrepreneurs use production capital to generate new wealth in the shape of goods and services. That’s to say if I produce prawn crackers, one needs workers need to peel the prawns and feed it into a big machine and some people are employed in production, some to make sure rat heads don’t get into the final product – since all these people are employed, they have what economist term purchasing power to buy products and services – so the wheel of fortune goes round, money gets circulated. We might describe this as a sort of tankhood, but economist just call it demand and supply led economy, but what important here is it’s local.

    The bad money is in financial capital and here wealth creation is quite a different economic animal – firstly, it’s mobile, so it’s never localized – SWF’s and FDI’s are a very good representation of this sort of wealth generator – secondly, they rarely produce anything tangible, that’s largely a function of the objective: money is used to make money. Unlike a productive enterprise that pays wages which can be converted into tangible goods and services by those who need them most, financial markets only generate new wealth for juggernaut institutions. Usually there are no tangibles to show for the furious buying and selling of currencies, or investing in hedge funds or derivatives markets. At the end of the day, it’s just numerals on a plasma screen, it doesn’t even have the capacity to percolate downwards like PC – that’s why I consider it the bad currency in the wealth creation engine. Like cholesterol, financial capital and its associated dealing regularly deny potential funds for investment to productive local enterprises: they don’t create opportunities as much as starve out the pool of production capital.

    If you really want to understand why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer look no further – it’s got nothing to do with lack of money and everything to do with how money making is typically configured – we are prepared to challenge anyone quite publicly here on this point with math, charts and stats. And by the time we have finished with him, you can more or less put him nicely into a NTUC plastic bag – that’s how convinced I am of the veracity of our theory as we spent a lot of time on it.

    What I feel needs to be given renewed attention is the whole idea of how we typically define wealth creation, if the whole idea is just to investing billions into banks located somewhere in the Alps, then we really need to ask ourselves the philosophical question; whether we have got our priorities right? Because as much as we like to believe these are real profits, there’s the issue of opportunity cost here (interruption from Harphoon – I think you are getting too technical). OK, I mean, is there a better way to make money by investing in the local economy?

    Q: Why do you see this as such a big problem? Is wealth creation, well wealth creation?

    No that precisely my point – wealth creation isn’t just wealth creation – no per se, at least – It’s a problem, because till to date not a single MP has even raised this matter in Parliament. Not a single article has even been published to discuss the wider ramifications of good and bad wealth creation in the context of SWF’s! Don’t tell me this is business as usual, because if we were to do the same in the virtual even our planners will bring this subject to the forefront in Primus (our parliament) and we are only dealing here with fake money in a game! What more of events unfolding in the real world!

    You see at the heart of the whole issue; is how do you propose to plug the problem of chronic poverty? I don’t believe welfare is the solution, but one cannot rely solely on empty rhetoric of self sufficiency without supplementing it with real policies to open up the aperture for local business enterprises? Don’t talk to me about venture capital – that’s bullshit when you consider that 99% of businesses start off from kitchen table tops – I am reminded folk like Darkness bankrolled his first invention from the funds of high class call girls [how true is that? I don’t know, but if it true, I wouldn’t be surprised] my point is if there’s no holistic policy to even capture the opportunity for starting businesses on a small scale then these sort of bizarre stories will always accompany business start up’s. However, let me be clear not everyone is as savvy as Darkness. And this brings me to my main plank – why is that the case? Because it’s the same corrosive equation that pans out in a game of monopoly when only one player gobbles up all the money on the board, nothing moves – that in a nutshell is what bad money is bad money – it just sucks out much needed capital and opportunities and diverts it elsewhere. This is one reason why I feel, restricting the free flow of capital for CPF just because people are living longer is really going to do us all more harm than I can possibly elaborate – but that is a different story, let me just get back to the main issue.

    To be con’t

    [Harphoon – Memphisto / ASDF – The Brotherhood Press 2008]

  3. THE BROTHERHOOD PRESS says:

    CAN A CARING SOCIETY EXIST BESIDE A FREE MARKET ECONOMY? PART 3

    A: Why do you think there is a natural biasness for bad wealth creation rather than good wealth creation?

    Q: One reason why firms and governments regularly promote financial capital as opposed to production capital as a means of wealth creation is simply because the alignment of goals and means have been orientated in that manner – you can even say it’s a systematic bi-product that accompanies work flow and organizational streamlining. Let me us lay language; if you fill the board of directors in a firm with bankers, then do not be surprised if the firm is run exactly like a bank. What we really need to ask ourselves is whether there is sufficient alignment between national goals and the whole idea of promoting real economic growth? You cannot blame the people in Temasek for optimizing resources and the manner in which they are doing – that’s the agreed terms of reference between employer, employee and shareholders – but what we can ask ourselves is whether Temasek should be managing those sort of resources? And. What are they trying to accomplish in the long term?

    IMO it’s a question of alignment with goals – what you need to understand is investing in the production of goods and services regularly offers only a modest return, to exacerbate matters it’s often hit and miss, this couple with the long gestation period makes it an unattractive enterprise for any firm. When you compare this to let’s say making easy money by buying on minor fluctuations in prices, why go through the hassle of growing pains? So what we see here is the politics of convenience and at its very heart it’s premised on a short term as opposed to a long term goal.

    I know we are pulling heavy fisted punches here – so if anyone wants to take issue with us please kindly step into the ring – we are very prepared to defend the premise of our arguments here.

    Q: So what you are saying in a nutshell is this Memphisto – the focus is ALL wrong. We should be placing more emphasis on production capital instead of financial capital? We should be nurturing the real economy, instead of chasing numbers on a computer screen? This is the last question, very briefly please can you tell us, if we do so whether that will bridge the moral divide and deliver a more caring society in a free market economy?

    A: Harphoon, that’s a hypothetical question – I don’t call the shots here. A better way to phrase it is to ask the question; do we even know what it takes to build a more caring society?

    The reason why this question needs to occupy the first order precedent is because it requires nothing short of inordinate resolve to change course from the our current focus on FC’s. I am not only talking here about the complexity associated with managing the politics of change. Only it’s conceivable even the actors in the financial markets don’t see themselves as the effective power within and they have not effectively dictated terms. What you need to understand here is when any govt, firm or institution invest in the big blue ocean world of financial markets, they are in effect shaking hands with equally powerful oligarchies. We like to buy into the illusion the piper who pays calls the tune, this is a fallacy when the piper knows full well all you have is mountains of cash and you’re tone deaf – under those conditions; the balance of power favors even those who desperately need capital infusion, they will set the rules, they will dictate terms, it’s not so simple as I plonk my money here and my ships port, I just cash out – that’s simply naïve. I feel, if we really want to understand SWF’s more, we should not be focused on the entry criteria’s that’s the easy part, the psychology has to be quite similar to a bank heist – it’s the exist clauses or the get away that should really preoccupy those who are really serious in understanding the full implications. That’s one reason why we have written virtually nothing on this subject – the devil is not in the front end, he’s waiting at the fire exit – what becomes apparent is even progressive-minded governments are hobbled by the threat of non-cooperation from these big financial institutions.

    As long as firms and governments only see the merit of placing their chips on financial capital and not production or service capital – I don’t think things can ever change for the better; it’s conceivable given this reality, the gap between rich and poor will widen further, and those at the bottom fall deeper into poverty. Sure you can say it’s time for us to pen down some bill of rights charter to hammer out a 12 point social contract that’s all inclusive to promote economic equity for all in the name of the greater name of the social conscience, but to do that you need to first change the rules of the game – that I am afraid remains a very tall order.

    [Harphoon – Memphisto / ASDF – The Brotherhood Press 2008]

    END

  4. The Singapore Daily says:

    A good question. I personally think that we are now at the halflife of Capitalism and are witnessing the true face of capitalism at its full glory.

  5. inspir3d says:

    hi harphoon.

    i should be meeting the editor of sg daily soon.

    let’s hope something good comes out of it :)

    send my regards to Darkness

    insp

  6. bear bear says:

    This is just brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. dedntist Jan says:

    Unbeatable. Nothing even comes close to it! I mean nothing.

    Just abit of a coincidence, Bambi Darkness Boy talks abt the net and money and the next thing we know that IS chap inspir3d has suddenly appeared.

    Sounds very coincidental, like when the opposition in Malaysia needed help to stop BN jamming their signals and messing up their net traffic. Suddenly just around the corner, there a few independent contractors offering that sort of service. No questions asked some more, full anon guaranteed! Exactly like Blackwater!

    Just a whole lot of coincidences dont you think so?

  8. Harphoon says:

    Hello Inspirid,

    It’s always nice to hear from you again my friend. I trust you are well. As you know by now, we have gone underground – I don’t really understand it myself, but let that be as it may.

    I am happy to see that you taking a renewed interest in the affairs of blogosphere. If I may be permitted to say so, it’s a good start to touch base with the Webmaster of Singapore Daily. He seems to be doing a capital job and we have every confidence the Singapore Daily will one day be as popular as the IS under your capable stewardship, Inspirid.

    I hope your discussion proves productive. Please do not hesitate to call on us if you require any assistance – we will be happiest to assist you in any way we can.

    Inspirid, the guild request one small favor, all your conversation with Darkness must remain strictly with you – please understand it was shared in utmost confidence. These are tiring times my friend. I don’t expect you understand, but let me just say it’s difficult to trust anyone these days with so much happening in the foreground. We need to be very careful Insprid.

    Take care and thank you for your kind greetings, I will convey it gladly to Darkness and I am sure he returns the same, it was most thoughtful of you Inspirid.

    Keep well my friend.

    Cheers

    Harphy

  9. Mata says:

    Illegal gathering! Report police! :)

  10. oppenheimer. says:

    Hi insp,

    Nice to hear from you again Insp. I really dont know what your plans are for the future. However, I do know the brotherhood quite well as I have been following them for over 6 years. So maybe, I can share you with first hand some of my knowledge regarding them. So you will see. These people will not move one single millimeter. Some of them I am very sure consider the recent moves by NLB (National Library Board) as more than just a slight, they will no end why only 11 and not more.

    This is why if you notice a few things have happened since then, the broadcast of the Beijing Olympics have been cancelled. Instead it is shipped lock stock and barrel to Hong Kong. All their Pacific servers have suddenly gone silent. Inaddition to this MDA and A*STAR have both come up with a slew of incentives, but they will not participate. ON EVERY SINGLE OCCASION THE REPLY IS THE SAME, LET US WAIT FOR RAJU TO COME OUT WITH THE LIST OF THE 100!

    You see in the years that I have known them, they do not care abt what is important to you, me or even the ordinary man in the street. Most of us to be very honest dont give two shits abt NLB, they rank somewhere in the forgettable. Oh but not the brotherhood, to them if it important to them, then will be made an issue of priority and everything else will just have to stop till this matter is resolved first.

    We saw this with Darkness vendetta with his own church that he has waged for nearly 5 years. In this battle, everyone involved in the incident has either left or simply dropped out. Even the deacon who once accused him has been quietly was dropped by the church inorder to satisfy darkness and his gang, but what do these people do? They con’t to ask why? As if this matter is suspended in time. So what I am trying to say is we are dealing here with ppl who are not all together rational. I know that may sound at odds especially when you read some of their essays which even I consider to be very intelligent and probably the best in net! However, this does not detract from the fact, we are dealing here with very unreasonable people who you may not want to get tangled up with.

    As we can see from their handling of Darkness vs Church and BHP vs NLB, they will hold their position right down to the very last man. They do not care and not only will they do this. If you try to ignore them, then they will actively [pressure you. For example, if you happen to be a journalist, do not be surprise, if suddenly no one wants to give you an interview or if they say yes, they will often change their plans in the last time. If you are a business man, no one will want to deal or associate with you. This is how the evil BHP deal with their enemies, they starve them out systematically and professionally very much in the way the Romans used to poison well water to control their dominions.

    Neither do they care whether you are govt or some 2 bit institution – they ppl are so arrogant, they actually believe they are a super power in the virtual, so as we saw in the icident that happened in icered.com, they will frequently send their hopeless diplomats (who in my view are no better than very educated thugs) to dictate terms, they will never negotiate, they will dictate!

    So what is the point of even dealing with these people, what is clear to me given time, they will simply implode. I cannot really see where all this paranoia of going underground etc will lead too. All I can say it has happen at least 4 times and on every single occasion, it has always ended up in grief.

    NB: I hope this post will not be mysterious deleted as I have spent nearly 30 min writing it. Thanks. Great article by the way Memphisto. I know you are big hearted to take this as a gentlemen, by fear concerns ppl like Darkness, who may not see it as openly as you and the esteemed gentlemen who make up the ASDF – do have a very nice day!

    Dr T. Oppenheimer

  11. consortium of pretty teeth doctors says:

    Dear Dr Oppenheimer,

    (1) “We saw this with Darkness vendetta with his own church that he has waged for nearly 5 years. In this battle, everyone involved in the incident has either left or simply dropped out. Even the deacon who once accused him has been quietly was dropped by the church inorder to satisfy darkness and his gang, but what do these people do? They con’t to ask why?”

    You are talking through your hat Dr Oppenheimer! Let me be very clear, serious allegations were made by the church. Neither did they take due to care to keep the matter private. It was widely publicized. Let me tell you what actually happened as I know the facts first hand, Darkness or Bambi Boy was tried, sentenced and executed summarily in absentia i.e they didn’t even include him in the process. They just put 1 + 1 together and came out with 4! If they really asked smart questions, none of this would have happened!

    Was he an angry man? Yes, I think anyone would be. He was red hot, Singapore is after all a very small place, just slightly larger than a village, he had just started his business and I can only imagine it must have damaged him in more ways than I can possibly recount. They pushed him out of the community, they made it difficult for him, they behaved with thorough impunity thinking that it would be cold and he would capitulate and beg to return. Instead he turned inwards and embraced the dark side. let’s be clear, the history of Darkness is not dissimilar to the rise and fall of Darth Vader. You have no idea how shocking it was when those pharisees kicked him out from their bicycle team, only to see him riding alone again, as I said Bambi Boy turned inwards. He even became one with his desperate sense of desolation and learnt to be comfortable in this state of separation. When they saw him, some of those pharisees knew, he would never ever return, the really smart ones, like CEO knew that the church had pushed this man too far and now he will fight back, that was when they began to negotiate a truce. However, bear in mind had he not fought, they would have never reached this tacit agreement.

    (2) NLB? I believe it is best is you leave the matter as it is. The NLB has stated categorically to all, the 11 chosen blogs represent the definitive history of Singapore Blogosphere. On paper the Brotherhood disagrees publicly, this is also what they have broadcast to over 830 of their channel partners through out the world, they have even given intelligent reasons why they disagree and why they believe a better way should have been used to record history. Till todate, no clarification has been issued by NLB, they con’t to insist; they catch no ball!

    As for the BP, they have presented their case in the following terms – pls see Oppenheimer

    http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2008/01/all-quiet-on-blogosphere-front.html

    I believe they have a very strong point. In my view, if ppl pay tax, they have a right to ask questions, if it relates directly to their understanding of who they are; the questions they asked is who gave you the right to pick and choose what should or should not be worthy of recording as our history?

    You have to consider Oppenheimer whether that is such an unreasonable question?

    (3) Why did the Brotherhood pull out of Singapore?

    I do not believe they pulled out. You have forgotten the Brotherhood do not have an skills themselves. They are almost 100% reliant on their technology partners who comprise mostly of foreigners. What they do have is a network of alliances. This is why they can very quickly put things together within a very short period of time. If you look closely ppl like Darkness have always cultivated the friendship of these fringe groups. Now if I am lets say a American and I happen to read the National Library Board of a country defines their entire blogosphere as only 11 blogs, what impression do you think I will form?

    They will probably draw the conclusion Singapore blogosphere is not a very good place to invest tech and research assets. Why didnt the brotherhood explain? How can they when NLB decides to keep silent themselves? Besides there is no law that requires a man to even extent a hand to save another man! So they did nothing and watch it all roll down the hill.

    Bear in mind, in this world not only is capital portable, so are skills sets, it can just pick up, pack up and take up, up and away. Govts and institutions like NLB need to realize, if they want ppl to stay, they need to be customer focussed, so is it so surprising they re-located to HK? As it offered them better business opportunities.

    Tell me where did emotion even feature in their decision making? In my view it was a business decision i.e the best location wins the day.

    (3) They (the BP) will not move till they resolve the NLB thing first.

    I do not believe they are waiting for NLB to do anything that will save the day. However, I agree with you. They will never move, unless this issue is addressed. if MDA says, we are inviting ppl to submit great ideas. Their reply will be, lets talk abt NLB and after we have resolved that, we will work on those great ideas. If for example, IDA or A*Star says, we are giving out X,Y and Z for new project development. Again, the same stance is likely to be taken.

    However one needs to understand, at the heart of the issue here is accountability. As tax payers, I believe they have every right to challenge NLB and to wait for the roll out of the 100 bfr commiting on any long term projects.

    Unlike you, I do not know much abt the Brotherhood, but since you say, you know them since Adam, it’s strange to me, you do not even seem to know all these things that all of us have already known for so long.

    Why is that so Dr Oppenheimer? Perhaps you are not so objective as you claim? Perhaps they are not so irrational?

  12. consortium of pretty teeth doctors says:

    The Brotherhood wrote a marvellous article, its here;

    https://singaporedaily.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/daily-sg-27-mar-2008/#comment-1575

    “THE BROTHERHOOD PRESS Says:
    27 March 2008 at 8:27 pm
    CAN A CARING SOCIETY EXIST BESIDE A FREE MARKET ECONOMY? PART 1

    Can a caring society co-exist side by side a free market economy? How true is the assertion; recent shocks to the free market economy brought forth by a slew of price hikes and the diminishing aperture for business opportunities may be deconstructing the idea that it’s possible to build a caring society within a free market economy?

    We posed this question to our panel of subject matter experts in the ASDF, the strategic think tank of the Brotherhood.”

    I am sorry to take out the thread space to remove it, I am putting it back. Many thxs.

    Jan

  13. Harphoon says:

    I am very concerned by these recent spate of comments. Firstly, Darkness faith is strictly between him and God. It has nothing to do with me or any of you here. This is a matter that hardly requires any elaboration.

    You noticed, he hardly even talks about the matter, believe it or not even to me, but what surprises me is some of you here seem to be linking his sentiments to our recent position concerning the NLB’s decision to define the historical account of blogosphere. How did you all manage to make that leap?

    I do not believe the two are even remotely associated.

    As for the NLB matter, let me just say many of us are not happy. I know this is not important to you, but it is very important to us. We can never stop people from forming such impressions. Many of us speculate the NLB may have been used by certain quarters to try to create a rubber stamp with a view of controlling the affairs of blogosphere. Are they right? I don’t know, but these views continue to persist as hardly any clarification has been issued by NLB – please note; these views are commonly shared NOT only amongst us but also by many of our foreign channel partners. They are valid IMO because what the NLB has done is unprecedented – no national archive in the whole world, not even North Korean has defined their history under such terms! Today in the absence of further clarification by NLB it remains incomprehensible intellectually and rationally why they have committed themselves on such a path. We cannot even reasonably explain this anomaly to our channel partners. We will not even try to defend the indefensible. Otherwise others will say we lack wisdom. Neither can we fathom the intentions of NLB as to why they have decided to define net history in such narrow, insular and parochial terms. It’s best if you write to them and ask them officially – we have no further comments on this matter.

    Naturally these recent overtures by NLB has made many of our channel partners nervous. Again it bears repeating; we cannot stop ppl from speculating anymore than we can stop a baby from crying – it an exercise in futility. Besides who wants to deal with a govt that is unpredictable and regularly comes up with unreasonable definitions concerning X, Y and Z. I am not saying our govt is like that; all I am saying is the recent overtures of NLB has been perceived widely under those terms. That’s simply it’s untenable in the greater scheme of things, it accounts for why reason why China fails to attract the best brains in cutting edge streaming technology – as the regime there is widely perceived as ‘irrational,’ since they frequently encumber access to sites like Youtube – what follows from such draconian actions? Professionals will make an informed decision. They will say why build on shifting sands and as the consortium of pretty teeth doctors rightly mentioned they will pack up like a traveling circus and move somewhere else. This is the economics of intellectual capital. No one cares about your national security or whatever clap trap, they are only concerned about their own interest, the bread and butter issues i.e a good return on investment and energy for the efforts invested. The rest is dispensable. If the business case is lousy, then you simply have to ask yourself who created those conditions in the first place? How can you blame us? We can certainly try to mitigate the fall out by influencing our channel partners, but we cannot stop them from conducting their respective country risk analysis. If the NLB had bothered to consult us prior to their great historical exercise – we could have provided them with valuable feedback so that they may have done an excellent job –everyone would be happy. You need to ask yourself; why did they choose to behave in such an imperial manner instead by adopting an unilateral approach? Neither we or our channel partners can understand. What they simply need to understand is not everyone in blogosphere is a kid. They are highly intelligent people who are very savvy so when one insults their intelligence one can only hope to reap what one sows, they simply need to appreciate the facts of life.

    Do we dictate terms and conditions to other? Show me the prove! In our association with our channel partners and even with govt’s – we seek only to understand and work towards a mutually beneficial goal. We have never once dictated terms to anyone for the simple reason that it remains a lousy business case, and. I resent your reference of labeling our diplomats as thugs. Adopting another strategy is simply economically unsustainable. It makes no sense for us to pursue a strategy of belligerence for the sake of belligerence sake – there’s no pay out there – I assure you.

    If you take the trouble to check you will find that we keep to our word that is why we never have a shortage of people who would like to collaborate with us. We do not flip flop or jump ship half way into the voyage only because it expedient for us to do so for short term gains – this has always been the corner stone of our credo, that is why we remain a very attractive business case for regular investments. Please check it up yourself. I have plenty of sterling references and there is not a single complaint from anyone who has ever collaborated with us. I am not saying we do not have enemies, we do, but just as a man is judge by the company he keeps, one must also do the same and judge him by the enemies he makes – do you trust a man who has no enemies? That probably means he stands for nothing?

    Do not confuse diplomacy with affability – they have nothing in common.

    Problems only arise when nefarious elements think they can get what they want at our expense, under those conditions we have every right to ask for an explanation and seek restitution if we believe it’s warranted. If this means invoking penalties, then we will not hesitate to do so. If this means taking a position of non-cooperation, then we will do it in earnest – we are not breaking any laws. Neither are we subversive. We have a right to choose what we want and do not want to do or who we choose to work with and under what terms and conditions. Again this is part and parcel of business, but please let me be clear; we have never ever dictated terms to anyone. On the contrary, we have always endeavored to understand and work with others and to even bring them into our fold, it is the minority elements who have no interest in the common good, who continually conspire to short cut their way to advantage and is it such a wonder that they regularly find themselves in a quagmire of their own making?

    But what did they expect? Surely even they must know, how the game is played? Do you really believe life is so simple that you take pot shots at us and we will simply let the matter past? No such thing, we will bring you to account. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we will just wait you out and trust me at the end of the day – the accounts will always be squared, if not here, the virtual will do just as well – it matters little to us.

    Thank you. I hope this clarifies this matter once and for all.

    Cheers

    Harphoon.

  14. Thank you for smoking says:

    Who’s this darkness guy, btw?

    We did a google and came up with nothing.

    That said, even though we did find out was that your authorities doesn’t allow foreigners to comment on Singapore politics, we thought this was very interesting:

    “I believe they have a very strong point. In my view, if ppl pay tax, they have a right to ask questions, if it relates directly to their understanding of who they are; the questions they asked is who gave you the right to pick and choose what should or should not be worthy of recording as our history?”

    Exactly our point. Anyone who’s educated would know that Philip Morris’ model of business is just not sustainable: Just as the quoted paragraph seems to convey (not that we know what happened), it seems that someone failed to account for something.

    Thank you for smoking

  15. Thank you for smoking says:

    We didn’t bother check up your education levels, btw. You must be in China.

  16. shoestring says:

    I suppose, “It was an honest mistake, let’s move on,” won’t help. A man reaps what he sows. Instead of smear-campaigns, isn’t it easier to answer the question “Why?” by telling the truth, nothing but the truth?

    Have a good weekend.

  17. Darkness says:

    Thank you for smoking,

    “Even though we did find out was that your authorities doesn’t allow foreigners to comment on Singapore politics, we thought this was very interesting”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Be very careful what you wish for.

    We are a country which don’t even manufacture coat hangers.

    Do you want me to post this in on a international bulletin addressed to every technocrat, scientist, developer and game code writer? Is this an official statement or maybe it was made in your personal capacity as a off duty private individual?

    Am I playing with you? Yes, I am.

    Why don’t you check it off first with your boss first bfr you start making threats?Just in case you and your friends are abruptly transferred to the Siberian branch of the Singapore counter insurgency unit to monitor gay polar bears?

    From what little I see every time we push and you cannot supply an answer, you panic and press the chicken button and resort to oblique threats.

    Why don’t you come out clean and just go all the way? Why prolong the agony?

    You know why don’t you? You don’t have the security clearance? There is a very good reason why your masters are not giving you that discreationary power to plug us. Have you asked why?

    There are very wise.

    Let me share with you a fragment of the facts of life my little smoking friend.

    They (your masters) know HERE they can not only monitor us, but even control us, if they are really smart.

    If they are smarter, they may even consider us as worthy mercenaries.

    If they are not so smart, they may try to negotiate a very weak win win with a conditional lose on certain occasions / but even if they fuck up the worse case is still a very weak lose.

    Your masters know all these things Mr foot soldier – the things that you do not know. They also know once we go out in the open ocean, it’s lose lose all the way. All bets are off. They have calculated our strength, so they think – they have done the math. Good on them.

    I want you to remember this in future whenever you decide to threaten us again.

    If all this talk doesn’t even bother me why are you getting all flustered up? Shouldn’t, I be the one jumping up and down?

    Or maybe we were just baiting you all along and what did you do – you tak boleh tahan, you showed your hand? You lauh kiau? Shame on me – is this how they trained you?

    Now what will we do? What will we do my little friend?

    I want you all go down to KFC order a bucket and mull over this question. I’ve be back again.

    I am not afraid of you cheap pirates. Remember it’s only a game to me, but for you it is a real job to put food on the table for your family.

    I can afford to lose many times, you on the otherhand cannot.

    Darkness 2008

  18. Darkness says:

    I am not afraid of you ppl and your threats mean nothing to me.

    Maybe you are confusing me with Catherine Lim, understand this, she is a silly old bat who does not know how to play the game like I do.

    Understand this! Kendo teaches every exponent, how to die gracefully a thousand times spiritually. You cannot kill a dead man. Do you understand?

    I will con’t to ask the questions that you do not want me ask. This is my right. I pay taxes (as one of the readers rightly said – are you going to threaten her as well?).

    If you do not want me to ask inconvenient questions, then don’t take my $. I will be only to happy to shut up and go back to my averagely miserable 9 to 5 and leave you all alone.

    You have no idea how you have steeled every man here with renewed vigor and resolve – no idea whatsoever.

    I thank you.

    Again you miscalculated. It’s a never ending litany your repetoire of foolishness that is – when are you ppl going to really earn your keep?

    When?

    Darkness 2008

  19. Darkness says:

    Guild,

    I want this entire thread to be captured and posted on ALL bulletin boards across the strangelands in 14 days.

    I want these words to be highlighted in bold text.

    “Even though we did find out was that your authorities doesn’t allow foreigners to comment on Singapore politics, we thought this was very interesting”

    Make sure every single one of our channel partners and their allies reads and understand this – make sure every single person understands fully the implications of these words – make sure this is sent to every scientist, engineer and game developer.

    If within 14 days, I do not get a retraction from ‘thank you for Smoking’ cancel the Youth Broadcast of the 2010 Olympics.

    I will make it very painful for you and your kind. You will learn the hard way. Bc of you many ppl will suffer. I do not need your respect. You simply need to fear us that will be enough for me.

    You have 14 days. I will consider your failure to reply as tantamount to agreement of the above which I have just stated.

    This is the only way to treat fucks like you, Harphoon is young and naive, he does not know how to deal with ppl like you. I do not know why he even bothers to try to explain. As you can see I do not bother for obvious reasons.

    See to it ASAP guild.

    I want a retraction. 14 days.

    Darkness 2008

  20. Thank You For Smoking says:

    We don’t see anything to retract.

  21. Thank You For Smoking says:

    “I am not afraid of you cheap pirates. Remember it’s only a game to me, but for you it is a real job to put food on the table for your family.”

    You really don’t know us that well.

  22. The Singapore Daily says:

    Thank you for not spamming.

    *Spam deleted*

  23. inspir3d says:

    unfortunately, the editor of sg daily deems me unfit to be in his presence.

    we shall have to find another opportunity.

  24. Harphoon says:

    Hello Inspirid :)

    LOL! That probably includes me as well.

    Cheers:)

    Harphy

    ————–

    Dear Thank You For Smoking,

    Re: 30 March 2008 at 2:51 am

    This is regrettable. However, as much as we like to differ with you. We understand and respect your position. I hope you will extend us the same courtesy.

    We hope that you will understand why politics needs to be conducted in this manner towards such comments from now onwards.

    Do have a productive week.

    Yours Sincerely

    Harphoon

  25. Brynhild says:

    Brother
    you are too hard on yourself
    our ways may differ
    but our hearts are one
    that is the truth

  26. setsquare says:

    https://singaporedaily.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/daily-sg-27-mar-2008/#comment-1575

    Great write up Memphisto and Harpoon. may I very respectfully ask why the brotherhood has yet to release info concerning the American Presidential elections? Why is the analysis of the Malaysian GE limited to only the superficial analysis?

    I have good info to suggest conclusively that you ppl actually parachuted no less than 6 teams into Malaysia alone! Can someone pls tell why no effort has been made to publicize this info!

    I hope my e-mail will not mysteriously disappear.

    Many Thanks and once again fantastic write up Memphisto. However, it’s a bit difficult to find.

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