TGIF – The World This Week (Til Jul 1)

The World The Past Fortnight

– that the ACLU charged that the Bush Regime is placing science under siege by overzealously tightening restrictions on information, individuals and technology in the name of homeland security. The regime ‘has sought to impose growing restrictions on the free flow of scientific information, unreasonable barriers on the use of scientific materials and increased monitoring of and restrictions on foreign university students’, the ACLU said. (Is that any different from the ACLU’s excuses used against the practice of the Christian religion?)

– that Donald Rumsfool has defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it. (So does Rumsfool and the U.S. now understand why countries with ‘bad human rights records’ sometimes are unwilling to replace their gulags and concentration camps?)

– that Donald Rumsfool faces grilling over Iraq when he appears in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify about the situation in Iraq. (Will they be using the real thing? I’ll provide the charcoal and the fire.)

– that Warmonger Bush said that he would keep working with Britain, France and Germany to send Iran the message that getting a nuclear weapon or the means to acquire one was ‘unacceptable’. (How is it that America’s nuclear arsenal is acceptable then?)

– that German soldiers will be allowed to sport mullets and ponytails after a court ruled army hair regulations were unconstitutional. The ruling came after an 18-year-old soldier was locked up in a cell and fined £100 when he refused to chop off his 10-inch ponytail. The teenaged recruit only agreed to let army barbers cut his hair when faced with three weeks in solitary confinement, but made a formal complaint at the same time. The military court in Munich ruled in favour of the soldier and argued the varying rules for male and female recruits were ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘incomprehensible’. It said forcing male soldiers to cut their long hair went against their rights as individuals. (What about square moustaches?)

– that Britain’s royal family, often criticized for excessive spending, costs each taxpayer 61 pence (US$1.12) a year, about the same as a loaf of bread, according to Buckingham Palace. The Royal Public Finances annual report, which details public spending on the monarchy’s property and travel, said Queen Elizabeth’s household cost the taxpayer £36.7 million ($67 million) in 2004-5, a £100,000 saving from the previous year. (What’s the big deal when Singapore mini$ter$ costs us one plate of cha-kway-teow a year, or so they claimed?)

– that police in Ecuador say they have broken up an international drugs ring which was raising money for the terrorist group, Hezbollah. The authorities have declined to give details of the gang’s alleged links with the group, but say it was sending Hezbollah up to 70% of its profits. (They sure it’s not ‘humtam-bollah’ they are sending all their profits to?)

– that Ethiopian police say three lions rescued a 12-year-old girl kidnapped by men who wanted to force her into marriage, chasing off her abductors and guarding her until police and relatives tracked her down in a remote corner of Ethiopia. The men had held the girl for seven days, repeatedly beating her, before the lions chased them away and guarded her for half a day before her family and police found her, Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo said by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, some 560 kilometers (348 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa. (The modern day Daniel. Wow.)

– that a cobbler suspected of sorcery was attacked and nearly lynched by outraged villagers in central Kenya after being caught having sex with a female sheep, witnesses and officials said. “I was sent by the devil to do that,” the 36 yrear-old culprit, Joshua Kiplagat, told the angry crowd which included several people who accused him of being a warlock and one disgusted woman who claimed to have seen him engaging in sex acts with a dog. (The Devil ask you to go and die you go and die or not?)

– that Saddam Hussein loves Doritos, hates Froot Loops, admires President Reagan, thinks Clinton was ‘OK’ and considers both Warmonger Bush and his father ‘no good’. He talks a lot, worries about germs and insists he is still president of Iraq. (Someone pinch Saddam and wake him up from this dream.)

– that Condom-leezza Rice has made a strong appeal for democratic reforms in the Middle East, urging Arab lea-duhs not to stifle greater freedom of choice. “We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people,” Condom said in a speech at the American University in Cairo. “Throughout the Middle East, the fear of free choices can no longer justify the denial of liberty. It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy.” (Especially when those democratic aspirations continues to ensure American hegemony and promotes an American agenda. Condom, shove this crap up the place where the sun doesn’t shine, alright?)

– that six months later after billions of dollars of aid was pledged after the tsunami lashed the Asian shorelines, most of it have yet to reach survivors due to corruption, politics and reneging by donor countries, officials say. (Mankind has no equals in existence when coming to prolonging mass uffering and misery of its own kind.)

– that 16 years ago, a Teng Xingshan was sentenced to death for killing an 18-year-old waitress. He was executed two years later, but his alleged victim is still alive. This is the second case in two months in which a ‘murder victim’ has been found alive after police allegedly tortured and forced suspects to confess to murders. (It’s time to put those police officers and the judge on the defendant stand.)

– that Chinese hackers have defaced the website of a police-run security company leading a new effort to strengthen gover-min control over the Internet. The attack against the website of Beijing General Security Service came amid its drive to recruit a corps of 4,000 ‘Internet security guards’ to monitor the online activities of people in Beijing. (Swatting flies on the head of the tiger is a really bad idea.)

– that a group of Taiwanese seeking to remove the names of their ancestors from a controversial Tokyo war shrine were forced to cancel their protest yesterday when Japanese police blocked them outside the shrine gate. The protesters, dressed in traditional tribal garb and chanting ‘Return the souls of our ancestors’, waited in two buses some 300 metres from the Yasukuni Shrine as police stood between them and flag-waving Japanese nationalists. The group members said they wanted their ancestors’ names removed from memorial plaques at Yasukuni Shrine because it also honours convicted Japanese war criminals. (A particular Arab hiding somewhere in the Afghan mountains maybe able to help with removing this pesky little shrine.)

– that Donald Tsang’s plans to take up residence at Gover-min House, left vacant since Chris Patten left in 1997, could be delayed as the mansion has been found to be bugged. The eavesdropping devices were discovered during recent renovations, an aide to the Chief Executive-designate said. It is not known who planted the bugs and when, or if any of the devices still work. (Maybe they should just pull the whole damned thing down, build a new one and bill it to Beijing.)

– that Junk-ichiro Konkz-umi vowed that Japan would never again go to war as he attended a World War II memorial service on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. Japanese media reports quoted him as saying: “We will actively contribute to eternal world peace by preventing the lessons of the cruel war from being eroded.” (Active contributions like praying at that blasted shrine. Who are you trying to kid?)

– that Condom-leezza Rice may not attend a key ASEAN meeting in Laos next month. And this is likely to be interpreted as a snub by many in the region, analysts say. The U.S. State Department will not confirm or deny that Condom will miss the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Vientiane late next month. (It would probably be the last few times the U.S. can show an attitude to the world. So let it.)

– that Gloria Arroyo faced escalating calls to quit after she owned up to improperly calling an election commissioner, but analysts said any attempt to impeach her was likely to fail. Ending weeks of silence, Arroyo apologized to the nation late Monday for a ‘lapse of judgment’ in calling an unidentified election official in what she described as a clumsy bid to protect her vote amid a slow count. (So they think it would be better if the actor who died not long after the elections would be a better person to lead the country? It’s high time these bozos stop politicking and fix the country. And no, don’t give me that crap about democraZy.)

– that Gloria Arroyo announced that her husband was being sent into exile, amid growing pressure on her lea-duhship. She did not say how long Jose Miguel Arroyo would remain abroad or where he was going. (It is a small price to pay so that she doesn’t have to go into exile herself.)

– that a trickle of protests from top Malaysian students who have been denied gover-min scholarships has become a flood. Many are now demanding to know how recipients of the much-coveted awards for study overseas are selected. The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) alone has received more than 400 complaints Not all qualify for the scholarships, but at least 135 had a good case for appeal as they had straight As in 10 to 13 subjects, MCA Youth education chairman Wee Ka Siong said. (Maybe it’s simply just a matter of having the wrong dad. And reading ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ won’t help them because they can’t ‘change’ their father for a richer and more influential one.)

– that one of the top men in Malaysia’s ruling dUMNO party has been questioned over allegations of money politics. This is the first time the dUMNO disciplinary board has investigated senior party lea-duhs, and even though the probe is taking place behind closed doors, Malaysians are watching the proceedings very closely. dUMNO Vice-President Mohd Isa Abdul Samad is the first of the ruling party big guns to face the Disciplinary Board. (And this is worth more than all the tears Mama-thir can shed in a lifetime.)

Singapore The Past Fortnight

– that George Yeo will visit Aceh to co-officiate a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a pier in Meulaboh. The 175-metre-long concrete pier, costing S$6.4 million, is part of Singapore gover-min’s $16.54m assistance package for reconstruction efforts in tsunami-affected countries. (Don’t see them using even a fraction of that $16.54m to get that expressway above Pasir Panjang Road completed for starters. Maybe Typo Gangster Chee should run after George and scream “Where’s the money, George?” in the next elections.)

– that Lim Bodok Heng is concerned about the lowest 40% of Singapore households who need help to manage their lifestyles and enjoy a rising standard of living. The main thing now is to help this group of people to earn more and continue to raise their standard of living, he said in a statement. (It would be great help when these clowns stop raising certain costs already.)

– that Lim Bodok Heng said that as Singapore is plugged into the global economy, it cannot avoid having its income gap widen. Competition for jobs among millions of lower-skilled workers worldwide will tend to push their wages down, he said. In contrast, highly sought-after top talent will get paid more and more, he added. What the country can do, however, is to help raise the salaries of less-skilled workers by making them more productive, and help more find a job. (This needs to be said or else it would get even harder for them to justify their next impending pay raise.)

– that the Finance Ministry took between three and 31 months from the date on the invoices to pay $42 million to suppliers. The taxman was also tardy. About $28.1 million of excess tax had not been refunded for more than three years by the Inland Revenue Authority. Two ministries were chided especially for their ‘lapses’: the Finance Ministry (MOF) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). As ‘central agencies’ that issue directives to other ministries, both must set good examples of sound financial control, said the PAC, which is made up of MPs headed by Leong Horn Kee. (It is common knowledge that the gover-min is very fast at taking your money but takes forever in returning or giving you money.)

– that when a 92-year-old man walked into a Tanjong Pagar doctor’s clinic one night to seek treatment for a common cold and fever, the visit cost him $64. Citing this example, his son-in-law, a well-heeled doctorate holder, complained to the ‘Khaw-Beh’ Wang that medical costs were getting ‘too unaffordable’, especially for people well beyond the insurable age like his father-in-law. ‘Khaw-Beh’ responded: ‘His insurance is that he has a good son-in-law’. (Our insurance certainly won’t be in the person of ‘Khaw-Beh’ – pronounced ‘Cow Bey’.)

– that SIA has expressed little interest in a proposed merger with Qantas which the Australian gover-min has floated, saying it would not happen ‘any time soon’. (Perhaps the Australian labour unions are more ‘powderful’, erm… powerful.)

– that this year’s President’s Challenge has already hit its $8m target, though there is one more month to go before it comes to an end. But S R Nathan called on Singaporeans, especially the young, to keep up the spirit of giving and volunteerism. (The men-in-white earning their millions bucks per annum should be reminded of the spirit of giving even more.)

– that the LTA announced toll hikes of between 10 cents to $2.10 for motorists using the link. From July 1, car owners will pay $3.70 for each way â€â€? a spike of 50 cents. Drivers of vans and small lorries will have to fork out an extra $1.00 to pay the revised $8.30 toll. Companies like Ban Hong that use big lorries to transport goods between Singapore and Malaysia are perhaps the hardest hit. They have to pay $16.60, a rise of $2.10. Singapore’s tolls for the Causeway remain unchanged. Explaining the hike, the LTA said it was a result of a similar hike introduced by Malaysian authorities last month. “Singapore’s toll rates are pegged to those set by Malaysia for the use of the Causeway and Second Link,” it said in a statement. (Right. Blame the Malaysians. If one day they ‘jia sai’ [eat shit], will you eat shit or not har, LTA?)

– that a NICHOLAS TAN WEN-YU when a small fire that broke out at Plaza Singapura one night, the staff of Swensen’s blocked the way and insisted the customers pay before leaving. The manager told us they were given 15 minutes to collect payment before allowing us to leave. Nicholas is disgusted at this ridiculous prioritising of money over life and he hope something can be done to prevent such irresponsible acts from occurring again. (All restaurants should adopt the Cafe Cartel model – ‘Pay first, we’ll serve your orders later’. Makes life alot easier, doesn’t it?)

– that the now infamous Sarong Party Girl has taken down the nude photograph of herself from her weblog – after her parents found out about it. Her action comes just a day after she told The Stooge Times that she had no qualms about posting nude photographs of herself online and was, in fact, intending to put up more erotic pictures. The self-confessed exhibitionist described herself as ‘a visually pleasing specimen of the female species’. Her weblog – www. – chronicles her life and numerous sexual escapades. It now has about 14,000 visitors daily, nearly five times the 3,000 she used to get. (‘Visually pleasing’? Nah. ‘Sex Sells’ lah! It won’t be surprising that even 如花’s site will be hot if she posed nude, and not show her face in the photos and talk about her sexual escapades.)

– that a NELSON QUAH suggests that the landlord of Singapore Expo should reduce the rental to make it possible for the kacang puteh vendor, whose trade is almost extinct, to earn a decent living. Quah argued that at $1 for a packet of peanuts, the vendor would have to sell 250 packets each day just to recover his rent! (Alternatively the vendor can go illegal and ‘zao deh goo’ (跑地牛) – aka run from Ministry of Environment Officers. It’s been a long since I last seen people do that when I was a kid.)

– that recalcitrant abusers of synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy, Ice, Ketamine and Erimin-5, may face the same punishment as heroin abusers. MHA is considering long-term imprisonment for those caught abusing such drugs three times or more, to punish those who persist and to deter potential abusers. It is simultaneously taking a more rehabilitative approach towards first- and second-time abusers. (Hang them, actually. Deal with the demand the same way the supply is dealt with.)

– that as a deterrent measure, since September 2002, the SCDF has installed cameras onboard our fire engines and ambulances. This allows the capturing the video footage of motorists who fail to give way when our emergency vehicles are on call. The tape of such offences would be sent to the Traffic Police for follow-up action to be taken. Motorists who wilfully fail to give way can be given four demerit points and fined up to $160. In other instances, the driver can, upon conviction by court, be fined up to $1,000 or jailed up to three months. Subsequent or repeat offenders may be fined up to $2,000 or jailed up to six months. The driving licence of the offender may also be suspended according to the severity of the situation. (Fines and jailing cannot offer that which public shaming and humiliation is capable of.)

Trivial, Jokes and Thought from Discussions

– that researchers have developed artificial arms that can be moved as it if they were real limbs, simply by thinking about making them move. (Can we also have them made to be able to lift half a ton of weight, and stop bullets, for example?)

– that the reigning Miss World, Peru’s Maria Julia Mantilla, is considering suing her plastic surgeon for stretching the truth about the work he did on her in several nip, tuck and tell media interviews. “I’m not the creation of a surgeon, he just did my bust and my nose. So I’m considering suing,” she said. (So she admit her beauty is not really natural?)

– that it pays to be fat if you’re a female celebrity, as you can probably land a plump endorsement deal with a slimming centre like Royal BodyPerfect, Expressions International etc. (Turning yourself into a stick insect is the current in-thing among ladies. But why bother wasting money with these slimming centres? Just live in a place with famine.)

– that Jerusalem officials said they will ban the annual homosexual parade set for next week, claiming the march would offend many of the holy city’s residents. Organizers of the parade appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court to repeal the ruling, saying the decision was a violation of the homosexual community’s freedom of expression. The city council, including the mayor, decided “it is not right to allow the march or other planned activities to take place in the streets of Jerusalem, fearing that it will create an uproar, offend a wide sector of city residents and out of fear of public disturbances,” Eitan Meir, director general of City Hall, said in a letter to organizers. (There would be no affront greater than allowing this to happen in the city bearing the name of God.)

– that Cameron Diaz was reportedly attacked by a model who punched her in the face, claiming the actress ruined her dress at a star-studded bash. Furious Coralie Eicholtz attacked Cameron at the Monte Carlo nightclub Jimmy’s after saying the actress stood on her gown, causing her to trip and fall. The model even threatened to take further revenge by stealing Cameron’s fiance, pop singer  Justin Timberlake. (That shouldn’t be hard. Diaz may have grown tired of him already.)

– that the American Psychiatric Association sharply criticized Tom Cruise for televised remarks in which he called psychiatry a ‘pseudo science’ and disputed the value of antidepressant drugs. “It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need,” APA President Dr. Steven Sharfstein said in a statement. (Would you like some chilli for your itchy mouth, Mr Cruise?)

– that just days after being acquitted on child sex charges, Michael Jackson is facing fresh legal woes: he is being sued by a woman who claims she was attacked by a dog that escaped from a home he owns. Ms Donna Kyman, 66, sued Jacko on June 7. She is claiming damages for her ‘great mental, emotional and physical pain and suffering’ after being bitten by a husky called ‘Flash’ that lived at Jackson’s family Los Angeles home. “The dog was possessed of vicious and dangerous propensities and was inclined to attack people and other animals without provocation,” states the suit, published on website. Ms Kyman is claiming damages of a sum to be determined as well as reimbursement for medical fees. (Maybe Jacko should start singing ‘Who let the dogs out?’ to make the money to pay off this lawsuit.)

– that photos of items for sale on eBay may have some wondering, as purported images of Jesus are being used as a marketing tool. “Shower Jesus has been freed from the wall!” exclaimed Jeff Rigo of Pittsburgh, who offered “a section of plaster wall bearing the apparent face of the Son of God. No other items, promises, tidings, or guarantees are included.” Rigo was able to sell the holy water stain this week for $1,999, purchased by Internet casino, the same company which cashed out $28,000 for a grilled cheese sandwich with an alleged image of the Virgin Mary. (It is a sad day when the Son of God becomes nothing more than a tool for the unscrupulous to pull a fast one.)

– that Princess Diana took cocaine and was worried it would kill her, according to new claims. Friend and confidante Simone Simmons makes the claim in her controversial book Diana: The Last Word, in which she also alleges the Princess had a relationship with John F Kennedy Jr. (How convenient. Both JFK Junior and the Princess are too dead to refute the allegations.)

– that the Italian newspaper ‘Corriere della Sera’ says Nazi dictator Hitler ordered production of the first inflatable sex dolls for S.S. soldiers in 1941. The doll would be 1.76m tall, blonde, with white skin, blue-eyes, large lips and breasts. According to the project, which was classified as ‘top secret’, soldiers would inflate up the doll when feeling the urge, and it would meet their sexual needs. The doll was went meant to serve the sexual needs of the German fighting man, who might otherwise go to brothels and contract a sexual transmitted disease or worse, have sex with non-Aryan women and thus ‘pollute’ the race. The officer directly responsible for the sex doll project was S.S. commander Heinrich Himmler. (Hitler’s ‘Aryans’ must be too stupid to even use their hands.)

– that Internet file-sharing services will be held responsible if they intend for their customers to use software primarily to swap songs and movies illegally, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, rejecting warnings that the lawsuits will stunt growth of cool tech gadgets such as the next iPod. The unanimous decision sends the case back to lower court, which had ruled in favor of file-sharing services Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. on the grounds that the companies couldn’t be sued. The justices said there was enough evidence of unlawful intent for the case to go to trial. File-sharing services shouldn’t get a free pass on bad behavior, justices said. (Sure, go ahead and sue owners of IRC servers ‘harbouring’ channels that are set up for the purpose of file-sharing alone too.)

– that the South Korean conscript accused of killing eight soldiers near the border with North Korea was so engrossed in online war games that he could not distinguish between fantasy and reality, the South Korean Defence Ministry said. In a detailed report on the incident in which the soldier tossed a grenade among 25 sleeping barrack comrades and then fired 44 shots, the ministry said the 22-year-old private – officially identified as ‘Kim’ – had planned the crime for at least a week because of bullying. (Make him believe he is one of the non-player character [NPC] hostages and have him executed in a similar manner.)

– that a group of secondary students has Adolf Hitler as their idol and said that Hitler is handsome, good and decisive. (Freaking morons probably didn’t know Hitler considered us Chinese to be ‘untermenschen’. i.e. sub-humans or lowlives, which should be exterminated after he’s done with the Jews, the Slavs / Russians and the Gypsies.)

– that the Bat Mobile in the latest Batman movie is perhaps the first one that is really down to earth and built with functionality in mind instead of style without substance. (Maybe they should build a few of those and sent them to Iraq to replace the Humvees or have it replace all ambulances in Singapore so that we do not have to worry about recalcitrant drivers who never give way.)

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