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Old 2011-02-07, 01:43   Link #11901
ZephyrLeanne
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitsubishiZero View Post
Oh My God his Putonghua is very very good considering he didn't really speak the language.......he must have practiced a lot of times.........
Note: He majored in Chinese at the Australian National University. Then became a diplomat posted to China.
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Old 2011-02-07, 05:39   Link #11902
ganbaru
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North Korea fishing boat drifts South, 31 quizzed
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNew...7160EX20110207
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Old 2011-02-07, 06:47   Link #11903
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Personally I think a 'city-state' overlay is the only way to KEEP competing adherents of cultural memes from slaughtering each other; a gentler form of "pax romana" if you will. Such 'overlay governing' has worked before - it only failed because the overlay itself weakened or dissolved (Greece, Persia, Rome, ... even Yugoslavia).
Not quite sure what you mean.

For my part, I'm was thinking of pan-national ideas that hold people together, regardless of where they live. Western democracies champion ideals like "universal" human rights, while East Asian cultures hold to "Asian values" that are simply the modern versions of Confucian ethics.

It's interesting that, as the world grows ever smaller, people are getting ever more anxious about the traits and ideas that set them apart as a distinct group. We feel an ever great need to identify ourselves among the teeming masses.

I grew up believing in "national values" of meritocracy, of cultivating personal integrity, of forgoing short-term gain for long-term prosperity, of the lasting worth of sound education. These are the values that made Singapore what it is today.

It is only after I became part of a minority during the three years I spent studying in Britain that I realised that all those "values" are actually elements of Confucian values, or even more specifically, parts of Chinese culture.

To what extent is it reasonable for other ethnic groups in multi-racial, multicultural Singapore to subscribe to these "national values"? Won't we be, in effect, telling our Malay and Indian citizens to be more Chinese? Why should these particular values be the arbitrary determinant of what makes one "Singaporean"?

It's a form of ethnic bigotry that the majority group in Singapore is oblivious to, because it's easy to forget the differences, to be blind to volatile fault lines, when you're already a part of the majority group.
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Old 2011-02-07, 23:36   Link #11904
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Not quite sure what you mean.

For my part, I'm was thinking of pan-national ideas that hold people together, regardless of where they live. Western democracies champion ideals like "universal" human rights, while East Asian cultures hold to "Asian values" that are simply the modern versions of Confucian ethics.

It's interesting that, as the world grows ever smaller, people are getting ever more anxious about the traits and ideas that set them apart as a distinct group. We feel an ever great need to identify ourselves among the teeming masses.

I grew up believing in "national values" of meritocracy, of cultivating personal integrity, of forgoing short-term gain for long-term prosperity, of the lasting worth of sound education. These are the values that made Singapore what it is today.

It is only after I became part of a minority during the three years I spent studying in Britain that I realised that all those "values" are actually elements of Confucian values, or even more specifically, parts of Chinese culture.

To what extent is it reasonable for other ethnic groups in multi-racial, multicultural Singapore to subscribe to these "national values"? Won't we be, in effect, telling our Malay and Indian citizens to be more Chinese? Why should these particular values be the arbitrary determinant of what makes one "Singaporean"?

It's a form of ethnic bigotry that the majority group in Singapore is oblivious to, because it's easy to forget the differences, to be blind to volatile fault lines, when you're already a part of the majority group.
I don't think that it is any form of ethnic bigotry at all. There are no patents, trademarks or copyrights to Confucian values or the national values. They are simply logical principles of critical thinking (though I wonder how SOUND education can be when everyone is force-fed pre-chewed diluted meat down their throats, but that is another issue for another time).

Older singaporeans also adopt the idea of "Sedekit Sedekit, Lama Lama, Jadi Bukit" (bit by bit it turns into a hill) when it comes to money (i.e hoarding for the future). The Indians also have this "Jasi karni vaisi barni", (you reap what you sow)....I think that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to values across a potpourri culture.

Values are values as long as they make lives worth they are lived. It is nice to know their origins, however the fundamental idea behind it is what is the most important.

Also :

Credit-card debt up for first time since Aug. 2008

Quote:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Consumers are feeling more comfortable using their credit and charge cards, according to the latest government data released Monday and that may be a good news for the economy.

The Federal Reserve reported that credit-card debt increased in December for the first time since August 2008. Credit-card debt rose a seasonally adjusted $2.3 billion or a 3.5% annualized rate in December.

Credit and charge cards fell out of favor during the recession because of the high interest rates.

“We don’t think households have changed their mind about how much debt they are willing to carry, but we do believe that they are getting more comfortable using credit cards, which is a good sign for the overall economy,” said Ellen Zentner, senior U.S. macro economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

Overall consumer credit rose in December for the third straight month, the Fed said.

Consumer credit fell nearly every month since mid-2008 but has now stabilized, Zentner said.

There has been fairly steady improvement since December 2009.

Total consumer credit rose $6.10 billion or at a 3% rate.

Nonrevolving credit, such as auto loans, personal loans and student loans, increased $3.8 billion or 2.8%. This category improved more quickly because it tracks the general improvement in auto sales.
You know what that red underlined thing means?

Yes. Incoming inflation. Lotsa cheap credit for everyone to spend! Drive prices up! Increase interest rates! Nobody able to pay up! Recession again! Lower interest rates! Increased borrowing! Lotsa cheap credit for everyone to spend!

This cycle is getting stupider and stupider everytime it comes round. Yet nobody sees it coming, or bothers to do something about it.

And WSJ still has the cheek to label it good news.
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-02-07, 23:42   Link #11905
ganbaru
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VANOC feared injury ‘or worse’ year before luger's fatal crash
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1896694/
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Old 2011-02-08, 00:01   Link #11906
Vexx
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post

And WSJ still has the cheek to label it good news.
Ah, you've got to understand the definitions of words the WSJ uses these days: "economy" actually means the "fat wallets of Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Goldman-Sachs, and other gangsters of the unsustainable disposable economy".
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Old 2011-02-08, 00:08   Link #11907
Vexx
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of meritocracy, of cultivating personal integrity, of forgoing short-term gain for long-term prosperity, of the lasting worth of sound education
See, I don't think those are the values of any particular culture but the necessary attributes of any *successful/sustainable" set of cultures in the modern world.

"Pax Romana" is a short hand term for "keep your own cultures and customs, just don't inflict them on anyone who doesn't want them and don't interfere with trade" that was successfully used by the Roman Empire. It worked for several hundred years until corruption at the top followed by the transition to a "Holy Roman Empire" which did not tolerate diversity so well.
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Old 2011-02-08, 02:01   Link #11908
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
"Pax Romana" is a short hand term for "keep your own cultures and customs, just don't inflict them on anyone who doesn't want them and don't interfere with trade" that was successfully used by the Roman Empire. It worked for several hundred years until corruption at the top followed by the transition to a "Holy Roman Empire" which did not tolerate diversity so well.
It may be worth remembering that the Peace of Rome (Pax Romana) and the latter-day Peace of Britain (Pax Britannica) were made possible with the military might of the Roman legions and the gunboats of the British Royal Navy, respectively. So... it might be an unfortunate choice of analogy if your point is about not inflicting values on those who don't want them.

I don't think, for example, that the Gauls or Celts felt very kindly towards Rome in their day.

Ultimately, the point I want to make is that we should be careful about what cultural values we claim to be "universal", especially when we speak from a position of strength. It could well be that we take many things for granted or, worse, are being culturally smug. The Chinese are particularly prone to the latter phenomena, as it's very easy for pride in a millennia-old civilisation to become insufferable arrogance.
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Old 2011-02-08, 02:50   Link #11909
Tom Bombadil
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The Chinese are particularly prone to the latter phenomena, as it's very easy for pride in a millennia-old civilisation to become insufferable arrogance.
As one of my friend puts it: we Chinese carries a few thousand years of baggage which drag us down.
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Old 2011-02-08, 05:51   Link #11910
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Ah, you've got to understand the definitions of words the WSJ uses these days: "economy" actually means the "fat wallets of Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Goldman-Sachs, and other gangsters of the unsustainable disposable economy".
Brilliant. And because they control money, we have to submit to them?

It seems so......

Forex folly: Why you shouldn’t be trading currencies

Quote:
Late-night infomercials and Internet ads are like sirens, calling would-be trading wizards with this alluring pitch: “You, too, could make a fortune trading currencies!”

There’s little doubt that there’s money being made in this market. Just ask legendary investor George Soros, who “broke the bank of England.”

Yet currencies are hard to track by even the most seasoned traders and it’s not for the average investor. And you’re no George Soros, although you’ll surely end up breaking something — your own bank account. Even institutions can get scammed.

Called “Forex,” short for “foreign exchange,” this form of trading requires guessing on whether a currency or basket of them rises or falls. There are more scams out there than regulators can keep up with and some schemes even ensnare experienced institutional investors.

A $4 trillion market, Forex is dominated by big banks and institutions, who trade around the clock based on constantly changing streams of information. There’s a reason why the big boys play this game. It’s volatile, turns on a dime and is not predictable.

Currency swings often have nothing to do with the day’s headlines and could be manipulated by big traders. No matter what the FOREX ads say, you will have no advantage over the biggest players. None whatsoever.

Still, if you feel that you need to bet on currency movements, use only a small amount of your net worth (under 5 percent) and look at some of the funds available. The Merk Hard Currency fund mixes in gold with a basket of non-U.S. currencies. It’s basically a bet on the dollar falling.

If you’re bullish on the dollar, you might consider the Rydex Strengthening Dollar 2X fund, which will produce gains if the buck gets stronger against other currencies.

Hedging against a specific currency is another matter. I would employ this strategy if you are making a large business or personal transaction in another country. You would want to protect your investment from currency fluctuations. For this, you would need to buy a specific forward contract. I would employ the services of a broker or registered investment adviser who has experience doing this. Don’t do it on your own.

For those of you still compelled to take the plunge into currencies, here are some warnings. Always do your homework before you invest:

* Check out the FOREX company first. You can obtain information about any firm or individual registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, including any actions taken against a registrant.

* Also check the National Futures Association (NFA) Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC), available on the NFA website. You can also find out if someone is registered by calling the NFA at 1-800-676-4632.

* Ignore promises that sound too good to be true. Most of them are frauds. Hang up on unsolicited phone calls offering investments, especially those from strangers.
* Don’t sign a check or transfer any funds until you fully understand what you’re investing in and how you can lose money.

Have you already invested your money and lost it? If you think you’ve been taken by a flim-flam artist, call the CFTC: 1-866-366-2382..
What took this damn columnist so long to write this? I avoided the market as it kept going sideways last year and made only 1-2 trades per month, and completely got out of it since December. Forex isn't easy to trade, in fact, trading isn't easy to begin with in the first place - still I wonder why many buy into indicators and trade setups without even reading through the Macroeconomics article in Wiki.

Financial institutions just need people to take up leverage so they can earn commissions from them, and convert the credit they are offering into cash : from the wallets of the suckers who open and funded a trading account with them.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-02-08, 07:45   Link #11911
killer3000ad
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Supergran takes on hammer-wielding jewelry robbers

As brave as she is, she's lucky none of the robbers took a swing at her. Everyone else was stricken with bystander syndrome, and only intervened after two of the robbers fell from their scooter.
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Old 2011-02-08, 07:50   Link #11912
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killer3000ad View Post

Supergran takes on hammer-wielding jewelry robbers

As brave as she is, she's lucky none of the robbers took a swing at her. Everyone else was stricken with bystander syndrome, and only intervened after two of the robbers fell from their scooter.
PWNED. I can see this making its way into failblog. But this isn't the first time a granny stopped a robbery :



Well the robbers may be wrong in their acts, but at least they still respect old people. Or all of them are victims of "abusive granny syndrome".
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-02-08, 08:53   Link #11913
LeoXiao
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The Chinese are particularly prone to the latter phenomena, as it's very easy for pride in a millennia-old civilisation to become insufferable arrogance.
Interesting you say that, since as I see it, much of the Chinese identity and millennia-old culture was seriously damaged or undermined in the 1960s.
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Old 2011-02-08, 09:40   Link #11914
Tom Bombadil
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UN Food Agency issues warning on China drought. ( might need register to veiw).

This is quite serious. The government will be forced to open its reserve, whose amount is exaggerated with false reports from local officials. If this crisis is not handled properly, it will have serious consequences.

Meanwhile, China raise interests again to combat inflation.
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Old 2011-02-08, 10:19   Link #11915
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
UN Food Agency issues warning on China drought. ( might need register to veiw).

This is quite serious. The government will be forced to open its reserve, whose amount is exaggerated with false reports from local officials. If this crisis is not handled properly, it will have serious consequences.
Honestly speaking, given the streak of dishonesty amongst officials and certain food producers in China due to the lack of policing, I wouldn't be surprised if the officials came up with the idea of soylent green or something similar.

And no I am not joking.

It wouldn't curb borrowing when there aren't much rules against defaulters....China's legal system is notorious for having loopholes, so I seriously doubt the borrowers intended to actually pay back at all.

At 6% it is already considered ridiculous (do some math for business borrowers and you know what I mean); why doesn't the bank contract put bonds* instead for a safety measure instead of simply raising interest rates?

* - The main difference between bonds and loans are that, bonds can be demanded back by the lender (bank/creditor) anytime after a certain maturity age while loans have to wait until the contract ends. Bonds may cut earnings from interest paid by borrowers, but it is a safer way of lending money than loans.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-02-08, 11:07   Link #11916
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Interesting you say that, since as I see it, much of the Chinese identity and millennia-old culture was seriously damaged or undermined in the 1960s.
The Cultural Revolution may have destroyed or damaged a great deal of artefacts, but a civilisation's culture is greater than the sum of its physical relics. It resides in the collective memory of an entire nation. And that is not an easy thing to erase from history's weave.

As for China's shame in the past 200 years, when it was the "sick man" of Asia, a lot of that has now been alleviated by the country's resurgent economy. Already, we see a great deal of smugness among ordinary Chinese. My mother, who works as a sales assistant, readily recalls obnoxious Chinese tourists shopping in Singapore boasting about how they can find higher-quality goods and services in Shanghai, for example.

An analyst friend of mine recounted the response he got when, during a visit to a pig farm in southern China, he queried its owner about the long-term viability of his business. The owner, who was apparently offended by my friend's apparent scepticism, brashly reminded him of the size China's population: "How many people are there in China? One billion people! And you dare question the viability of my business?"

This was before Sars and the more recent H1N1 (swine flu) crisis, which eventually threw the spotlight on the ghastlier aspects of Chinese farming.

There is a growing feeling of invincibility among many Chinese nationals today, reminiscent of the kind of arrogance among Japanese during the 1980s. And this, in my opinion, is feeding a kind of superiority complex that multi-racial, multicultural countries like Singapore need to be very wary of. In championing certain values, are we unconsciously allowing such feelings of superiority obstruct our ability to understand the sensitivities of minority groups?

I'm not so sure we aren't. It's particularly instructive when, for example, a young (Chinese) intern at my newsroom had to be reminded that not all Malays are necessarily Muslim. That is the kind of ignorance we ignore at our long-term peril.
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Old 2011-02-08, 12:29   Link #11917
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
There is a growing feeling of invincibility among many Chinese nationals today, reminiscent of the kind of arrogance among Japanese during the 1980s.
Sadly it isn't just limited only to Chiness but to anyone high than forget or discard than they might have weakness point(s)...
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Old 2011-02-08, 17:27   Link #11918
Roger Rambo
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
UN Food Agency issues warning on China drought. ( might need register to veiw).

This is quite serious. The government will be forced to open its reserve, whose amount is exaggerated with false reports from local officials. If this crisis is not handled properly, it will have serious consequences.
...Isn't this the EXACT same thing that happened during the great leap forward?
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Old 2011-02-08, 18:10   Link #11919
Xellos-_^
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Originally Posted by Roger Rambo View Post
...Isn't this the EXACT same thing that happened during the great leap forward?
except this time China has the foreign reserve to buy enough food.



on something more serious

Quote:
Wael Ghonim, 30, has emerged as a rallying point for the protesters, particularly for those who reject the talks now underway between President Hosni Mubarak and some opposition groups. In an emotional interview on Monday, hours after his release, Ghonim described his detention and spoke of the promise of the protest movement and his hopes for the nation.
people are worried if Egypt is taken over islamist but they should really worried if google gains control of a country.
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Old 2011-02-08, 19:30   Link #11920
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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TMX to merge with LSE in marriage of world’s premier mining markets
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1899380/
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