Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Idol Season 9: Top 24 Named, Part 2

One storyline is clear in this season of American Idol: happy thoughts. In the midst of a recession, the producers clearly believe people want to hear good news. So during two nights of choosing the Top 24, we heard a lot more "You're going through" than "This is the end of the road."

On Wednesday, Idol went half an hour and gave smiles to eight people before we finally saw someone sent home with a tearful "no" followed by a montage of goodbyes. Then a slew of more "yes's." The best tweak is they ended the godawful practice of bringing in the last two contestants together. Both were guaranteed to be miserable since the winner could hardly rejoice without looking like a complete jerk.

Finally, everyone has a Twitter/Facebook/MySpace account this season so it'll be interesting to see who makes the smartest use of social media to garner fans. Most of the Idols have maybe a couple dozen followers on Twitter as of early Thursday morning. One or two have a hundred or so. But Garcia has more than 2500, about ten times as the next closest Idol. On Facebook, John Park more than doubles his closest competitor with 700+ fans. Does this mean anything? It certainly can't hurt when they get to the voting stage.

Here's a rundown of the people going through Wednesday (plus two rejections) and whether I agreed.

JANELL WHEELER -- She messed up two out of three times during Hollywood Week so it's hard to see why she's going through.

TYLER GRADY -- The lanky dude with the Seventies vibe, Tyler is right up Idol's alley. An obvious distinctive choice because at least he fits a type. I don't actually have a good sense for his talent.

LACEY BROWN -- Really didn't hear her enough to form an opinion. But they used her rendition of "What A Wonderful World" to montage more winners and frankly, I thought it went off the track a bit at the end.

ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ/ALEX LAMBERT/JOE MUNOZ - Fittingly, montaged together when told yes since they didn't get enough airtime.

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX -- Duh. A ringer.

KATIE STEVENS -- Seems quite young so this appears an iffy choice.

ANGELA MARTIN -- Sent home. We were set up to believe in Martin even though they knew she was going home. Strong backstory and some good performances made this one of their sneaky surprises. But here's a question. Why do Kara and Randy and the other judges urge her to keep going? This is her third season. She may be improved but if she really had star potential, wouldn't they have put her in the Top 24 by now? If they won't even do that, obviously they wouldn't give her a record deal. Either she's got it or she doesn't so unless they think she has some style that just doesn't suit the show (which isn't the case), they are sending her some seriously mixed signals.

LILLY SCOTT -- Sang a pretty good "Rich Girl" and a nice jazzy number. Makes sense but if she's really determined to make it she better lose her lucky earrings.

PAIGE MILES/SIOBHAN MAGNUS/MICHELLE DELAMOR/JERMAINE SELLERS/JOHN PARK -- Most of them didn't have enough airtime to make an impression but seem reasonable choices from the brief snippets we heard.

HAELEY VAUGHN -- Sweet kid but frankly she seemed too inconsistent to go through.

THADDEUS JOHNSON -- Sent home. He was another one we were set up to believe in. Seems the obvious choice to replace Michael Lynche if Lynche is indeed eliminated because family members leaked his getting into the Top 24 to the media. Johnson has a nice combination of confidence and vulnerability that could work in his favor.

ANDREW GARCIA -- Still hoping to see that his cool rendition of "Straight Up" wasn't a fluke, but an obvious choice.

Now unquestionably there will be surprises since a fair number of people in the Top 24 haven't had a chance to score any airtime. But taking that into account, the likely front-runners among the people we've heard are: Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus, Andrew Garcia, Todrick Hall and Casey James.

So what did you think of the picks? Who didn't deserve to go through and who got shafted?

Original Post By: Michael Giltz


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bible of the Day

Read the Bible:

Exodus 39-40
Psalm 44
Luke 8

Original Post by Emery


Friday, February 12, 2010

Preventing the SBC from Becoming the One View Baptist Convention

In my library I have several books that cover various viewpoints regarding tertiary doctrines over which Christians have historically disagreed. For example, I have read and enjoyed The Meaning of the Millenium: Four Views, and taught the people at Emmanuel all four viewpoints during a Wednesday night study. I taught each of the four millenial positions as if I believed it, and only at the end of the entire series did I give the members of Emmanuel my personal views on the subject of the millenium. I also admitted I could be wrong in my personal view and told those in the Bible study they should search the Scriptures for themselves to arrive at their own conclusions.

Predestination and Free Will: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom is another book in my library. We have used it in various small group studies in our church. There has never been a demand that people at Emmanuel hold to one particular view on this subject. Interestingly, all four viewpoints on God's soverereignty are represented by different Sunday School teachers in our fellowship. But all of our members understand that we are never to make disagreement over this tertiery doctrine a test of fellowship. Another book, entitled Are Miraculous Gifts For Today? Four Views , is an excellent summary of the different viewpoints Christians hold regarding spiritual gifts.

Again, all four views on the gifts of the Spirit are held by various people within our 4,500 church membership. I'm excited that an agreement has already been reached with Broadman and Holman for another four view book to be published in 2011 called Perspectives on Tithing. A Southern Baptist will serve as the main editor and there will be three other contributors, with Southern Baptist Ken Hemphill providing one view on the subject. There are a number of other books that take handle biblical doctrines by presenting four views on the subject in question. The ability and freedom to learn, discuss, and debate various views on tertiery doctrines is a sign of health and strength for any church or convention. Demands that everybody believe the same thing on tertiery matters is a sign of dysfunction.

Unfortunately, some within the Southern Baptist Convention would like to demand that all Southern Baptists conform to ONE VIEW on every tertiery doctrine. This week one Southern Baptist went so far as to write administrators at our cooperative seminaries and suggest that any professor who taught a different view on "storehouse tithing" than that held by "the majority of Southern Baptists" should be removed from faculty. The International Mission Board trustees removed from prospective missionary service any missionary who believed that "a private prayer language" was a legitimate spiritual gift.

Certain Southern Baptist ideologues who believe that a woman cannot teach men in a classroom setting, and wishing to push that singular view on all Southern Baptists who cooperate in the support of our agencies, removed Hebrew professor Dr. Sheri Klouda and Dr. Karen Bullock from their classroom responsibilities at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Southern Baptist pastors and leaders should feel the freedom to hold firm convictions on tertiery issues. They should believe, preach, and defend their views with conviction. But nobody within the SBC should even begin to think about threatening, ridiculing or seeking the removal from leadership or service any Southern Baptist who believes, teaches, or publishes a contrary view. Once we Southern Baptists allow ideologues with intentions of demanding doctrinal conformity to proceed unchecked and unchallenged, our Convention will lose all sense of true Baptist identity. We Baptists, out of all the Christian people in this world, should cherish and protect freedom for our people to hold to various views and interpretations of tertiery Biblical doctrines.

Each of us who care about the future of cooperative mission effort should take a collective stand to prevent the Southern Baptist Convention from becoming the One View Baptist Convention.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

Original Post by Wade Burleson


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reactions to Pastor Rony’s Comments

A member of my small group recently wrote a short response to the Rory Tan debacle, currently the centerstage of Singaporean social affairs. Its a balanced, well-thought out response from the Christian’s perspective, and with her permission I have reproduced it here.

Rebecca Tan, a NUS undergraduate

Having sat through a number of Christian-organised talks about other faiths, I have two suggestions:

1) If the aim of the talk is to educate your congregation about the other faith, then teach them respectfully about the basic tenets of that faith. Speaking respectfully about differing faiths doesn’t mean that you are purporting them. In fact, there may be certain aspects of other faiths that we (not of that faith) can learn from, such as the Muslims’ discipline in prayer and respect for their God, the Buddhists’ desire to do what is right etc.

2) If the aim of the talk is to evangelise to non-Christians, then speak about your faith. If the person is satisfied with their current faith, then there is little that you can do which will turn him away from that to another faith, apart from presenting what you believe in. Tearing down what he believes in and practises does nothing but engender disgust and anger.


But what actually stood out to me from this entire issue are two, perhaps peripheral, issues:

1) How quick people were to call this “sedition” and be supportive of the hauling up of Pastor Rony Tan by the ISD. In many other circumstances (like the situation of the racist teenagers on FB), the ISD involvement would be decried as undemocratic and too harsh. I’m not saying that what Pastor Rony said was right, but all of a sudden, many Netizens suddenly supported the ISD (and by extension, the ISA) when they hadn’t previously.

2) The conflation of race and religion. In all the news stories, the main issue that was reported was the need to maintain “racial harmony”. Maybe it’s me nitpicking, but I do think that there needs to be some accuracy here, because not all Chinese are Buddhists or Indians Hindu etc. If anything, such conflation leads to stereotyping and generalisations. We should really be careful about equating religion with race.


Its interesting — the general response I’ve been garnering from netizens’ responses is not that the ISD’s intervention had been too heavy-handed or overly publicized, but that insufficient action was taken. Looks like Blair was right. We’re really headed towards an age where the conflict will no longer be defined by ideological lines (e.g. democracy vs. communism in the Cold War), but by religious ones. And while the secularists won’t be very happy about this, well, pure secularism is pretty much a form of religion by itself.

Original Post by Alastair Su


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 2010 Newsletter

From the Disk of the Pastor February 2010

Dear Friends in Christ,
Pontius Pilate asked Christ, what is truth? That is a question that is often not asked today. Pilate’s question suggests that he was a Roman skeptic. In Roman society, there were three basic philosophical positions. The stoics were focused upon duty. The epicureans were focused upon pleasure and self gratification. The skeptics viewed life an unknowable farce. Truth existed, but us fallible human beings could not know truth. Thus, since we could not know truth, our actions would always be flawed. We had no chance of getting it right.

In contrast, today people ask is there such a thing as truth. In fact many have gone beyond this and insisted that there is no truth. We call this “Post Modernism.” Post Modern thought is in fact not new at all. It has its current day roots is in the work of the nineteenth century philosopher Frederick Nitsche. It is also closely tied to Fascist thinking. Philosopher Martin Heidigger is one the heros of post modern scholars. He was a card carrying Nazi and an active supporter of Hitler. The father of post modern deconstructionism was Yale professor Paul de Mann. De Mann was born in Belgium and during World War II was busy writing pro Nazi propaganda. If there is no truth, there is only power. Might makes right. If you have the power to enforce your will, then your will becomes truth.

This the challenge facing the church today. Many of the people we encounter will not believe that there is such a thing as truth. Truth is whatever I think it is. Often times we will have to do some pre-evangelism. We will have to show people that truth is objective. One of the simplest arguments is in medicine. Do you want to go to a doctor who doesn’t think that there is such a thing as truth? Such a doctor might well say you don’t have cancer if you think you don’t. How catastrophic such medicine would be! People would die because they didn’t understand their true situation.

For us, God’s Word is truth. Here is where we turn to diagnose our condition. In the Word we see that we are sinners who cannot save ourselves. We are lost and damned. We need an objective cure. We need our sins to be taken from us. Christ Jesus does just that in His death on the cross. This is the objective reality that offers hope to the world.

In a couple weeks we will enter the season of Lent. Lent is a time of cold, hard, objective facts. It is a time when we confront our sinfulness. We do this because it is true. We are not like Pilate wondering what truth is. We are not like the post modernists who think that truth is whatever they say it is. We are Christians. As St. Paul says “Love rejoices in the truth.” (I Cor. 13:6) He is echoing the words of the Psalmist: “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” (Ps. 119:104) And so look at the truth of our sins. We do not flinch from it. It is painful, but it is a mark of our love, not only for our Lord and our selves, but also for our neighbor. For by looking at the truth of our sins, we look at how we can better serve our neighbor. But we also look at the truth of our Savior - Jesus Christ. The Law teaches us God’s will, but the Gospel teaches us that Christ has already fulfilled God’s will in our place. This gives us a new reason for seeking to fulfill the Law - love for Christ and love for our neighbor. This is the truth we seek for ourselves and the truth we seek to share with others.

Rev. Jody Walter
Psalm 119:104-105

Original Post by Walt's World of Religion and Politics


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The 2010 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is June 10-13, 2010 in Manchester, Tenn.

Bonnaroo 2010 lineup announcements were made on the Bonnaroo 2010 MySpace page today. The Bonnaroo 2010 lineup announcements are still ongoing as well, because they are revealing the artists a few at a time in order to draw out the suspense of who will be appearing this year. The Bonnaroo 2010 Music & Arts Festival will be taking place this summer from June 10th to June 13th in Manchester, Tenn., and tickets for this huge event are already on sale. The Bonnaroo concert festivals are typically considered some of the biggest and best of the year, and this summer looks to be no exception with some of the singers and bands already announced.

Some of the artists and groups that are scheduled to appear this year have been at past Bonnaroo Music Festivals, but some might consider this to be one of the best groups of artists that the Bonnaroo Festival has put together. Some of the artists already listed for the Bonnaroo 2010 lineup include Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews Band, and Dave Rawlings Machine. The one solo artist that could draw the most attention is Jay-Z, who will be performing there as well. To put it into perspective how diverse the Bonnaroo 2010 lineup is they also have Weezer, The Flaming Lips, and Jimmy Cliff on the docket.

There are still more names to be released for the Bonnaroo 2010 lineup, and they will continuously announce on the Bonnaroo 2010 MySpace page which we have linked below if you want to watch as they are revealed. The Bonnaroo 2010 lineup is updated every six minutes on the page, so if you keep watching the page, they will reveal more and more names as the day continues. With all of the big names that have been revealed already, it is turning out to be an amazing lineup for Bonnaroo 2010, and it will only get better as the day progresses. This will definitely be one of those can't-miss concert events of the 2010 music season.

Bonnaroo 2010 will take place in Manchester, Tenn., on June 10th to June 13th this summer.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Kitchener 9/11 Truth Street Action Feb. 11, 2010.

For our February 11th street action we will be traveling to our neighbouring city of Stratford and will be out front of the Farmers Market or City Hall located on Downie Street at 2PM.

Anyone who wishes to come out and spread the truth to citizens in the Stratford community is more than welcome. Bring a sign, DVDs or just yourself, your video camera and your will to educate people on this subject.

We video tape all our street actions for our own purposes. Anyone who wants to come out just to cause problems be aware that we will post it on you-tube and other outlets as well as possible legal action.

Those who disagree with our view on 9/11 are more than welcome to come down and discuss 9/11 in a calm mature manner. We look forward to the discussion.

See you on the 11th.

For more info contact:

Source: Posted by Canadian Truther

Friday, February 5, 2010

Daily Kor for February 6, 2010: The truth lie you tell your torturers that they later use for propaganda shall set you free!

Daily Kor is back, suckas! At least for today. I'll try to get back into the swing of things this week. Robert Park was mentioned in yesterday's Loose Change, but it is such a big story that it's lighting up the switchboard at Daily Kor. Well, everywhere except the Los Angeles Times, which will probably carry the story in May or June, about a week after the piece about how Koreans feel about Kim Yuna's performance in Vancouver.

I think the backstory to Mr Park's release is that the Norks were tired of his sanctimonious preaching, but they knew they couldn't release him (good move on his part publicizing his trip ahead of time), so they just let him go. It will be interesting to hear what Mr Park has to say about the KCNA reports that he is "repentant"

  1. North Korea says it will release "repentant" Korean-American missionary Robert Park, who entered country demanding to meet Kim Jong-il in order to get him to end human rights abuses (NYT, WaPo, BBC, WSJ, Bloomberg, Yonhap, Korea Times, Joongang Daily, Chosun Ilbo)
  2. Senior Chinese envoy visiting Pyongyang to persuade Kim Jong-il to return to six-party nuclear disarmament talks (Reuters via WaPo, AP via WaPo, Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald)
  3. South Korea will deploy 250 peacekeeping troops to Haiti starting next week (Korea Times, Korea Herald, Joongang Daily)
  4. ROK Prime Minister says Japanese Emperor Akihito should express regret over Japan's past wrongdoings if he visits South Korea (Korea Herald, People's Daily)
  5. South Korean won weakens against the US dollar on news of European debt fears (Yonhap)
  6. Ministry of Knowledge Economy says ROK government will invest one trillion won in software industry to help make South Korea a software powerhouse (Yonhap)
  7. Alliance of South Korean women's groups blasts recent crackdown on abortion (Yonhap)
  8. ROK and US forces may hold drill to prepare for contingencies in North Korea (Korea Herald)
  9. United Nations agency which oversees trafficking in endangered species recommends ban on bluefin tuna exports (AP via WaPo)
  10. Two North Koreans will participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver (Yonhap)
  11. Both skaters reportedly received their training in the cash-strapped country by repeatedly escaping across the frozen Tumen River
  12. South Korea and Ecuador national teams will hold friendly in May, one month before World Cup (Yonhap)
  13. Kangwon-do government says the number of foreign visitors to area ski resorts from November to January has jumped 18.3% over last year to 168,000 (Yonhap)
  14. White House reaffirms commitment to FTAs with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama (Korea Herald)
  15. A drug-addled Whitney Houston, mistaking two Korean children for Haitian Creole orphans, spirits them off to the Dominican Republic (UPI)

Source: Posted by kushibo

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Minnesota's Governor Pawlenty Fiddles While Rome Burns

Pawlenty wants to build a sports stadium during a funding crisis where more than 88 percent of superintendents said education quality will continue to degrade if action isn't taken now. Yeah that's the ticket, let's build a stadium when home foreclosure rates are up 56% from the year before and where the state has lost 4,100 jobs in December alone...

Minnesota, under Pawlenty's lack of leadership, has dropped to a 37th rank in student-to-teacher ratio and 39th ranked employment growth. Now instead of using time and effort to bring Minnesota back into the top performing states in regards to jobs, education, health care, and transportation, Pawlenty is advocating that the state could help fund a viking stadium with public finance through lottery money and other means. WTF?

Minnesotan children can't afford school books (yes it's true many classrooms have children 'sharing' school books because they couldn't afford enough for each child), and while the cost of colleges is prohibitive to many working families, and Minnesota jobs have disappeared, and we've lost homes and can't put food on the table or care for our veterans and elderly...Pawlenty thinks we should build a new stadium for owner Zygmunt Wilf, a New Jersey real estate developer billionaire.

Just makes me want to cry....

Original Source:Posted by Truth Liberty Justice

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


As the firestorm over Toyota's deadly unintended acceleration problem grows, the story, which Truth With Speedzzter has dubbed "TOYOTA ACCELER-GATE," is literally exploding faster than 'Yoda's now-tattered "quality" image.

Here's a few choice highlights.

13. "U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday it took pressure from the government to get Toyota to take action over its sticking gas pedals.

'[I]t unfortunately took an enormous effort to get to this point. DOT officials flew to Japan in December to remind Toyota management about its legal obligations and followed up with a meeting at DOT headquarters in January to insist that they address the accelerator pedal issue,' LaHood said"


12. is reporting that "Congressmen Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak are challenging Toyota on its explanation of the problems with the cars because they conflict directly with statements that Toyota officials made last week when they told staffers of a congressional committee that the causes of the issues were, 'very, very hard to identify.'"

11. "To paraphrase L.A. Confidential's Captain Dudley Smith, we wouldn't trade places with Toyota right now for all the whiskey in Ireland." --

10. "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told a crowd today of an unintentional acceleration problem with his 2010 Toyota Prius, which isn't under a recall. 'This is software. It's not a bad accelerator pedal,' he told the crowd. 'It's very scary.'"

9. "I have many models of Prius that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn't get recalled. This new model has an accelerator that goes wild but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again--safely." --Steve Wozniak, Id.

8. "'It becomes a whole other ball game if it turns out to be an electronics issue,' said Autoconomy analyst Erich Merkle. 'Not only does it get more expensive to fix, but there's a trust factor between Toyota and its consumer.'"

7. "In recent interviews, two former NHTSA administrators, Ricardo Martinez and Joan Claybrook, have said they believe that some kind of electronic glitch may be causing the Toyota problems. Similar conclusions are being drawn by independent automotive safety experts, forensic mechanics and automotive electronics researchers, as well as many consumers."

6. "Of more than 2,000 motorist complaints of sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles over the last decade, just 5% blamed a sticking gas pedal . . . ." --

5. "Quebec car-owners are joining a class action lawsuit against Toyota, as the car company scrambles to repair faulty gas pedals on millions of vehicles worldwide."

4. "The firm says it has received 3,000 hits on its website since Monday, and of the 400 Canadians who have signed up for the class action lawsuit, 25 percent are Quebecers." Id.

3. "CINCINNATI -- An area attorney has filed a major class action lawsuit against Toyota and its affiliates. The suit, filed Tuesday by attorney Stan Chesley, alleges the automaker fraudulently concealed safety hazards and breached its own warranties and contracts. . . . 'It is clear that Toyota is hiding something under the carpet,' Chesley said. 'Toyota has long known about the defect and has done too little, too late to correct it.'" --

2. "In a statement from the law firm filing the [California] class-action lawsuit, attorney David Wright said, 'Neither driver error nor floor mats can explain away many other frightening instances of runaway Toyotas.' Wright also said, 'Until the company [Toyota] acknowledges the real problem and fixes it, we worry that other preventable injuries and deaths will occur.'" --

1. "Since November, at least 10 lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed against Toyota in U.S. courts and in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada. . . . David Owen, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and director of its Office of Tort Law Studies, said Toyota might be more at risk in U.S. states that impose on manufacturers of a "duty to warn" consumers about a defect. . . . 'If it turned out that Toyota delayed the recall beyond the point when a reasonable manufacturer would have done so, then punitive damages in substantial amounts might be available to whoever was physically injured,' Owen added." ]

And to think that all of this could have been avoided . . . . Aftermarket gas pedal "fix"

BTW, has anybody noticed that the 'Yoda pedal fix reduces pedal travel See Diagram of the Toyota pedal fix at that full-throttle motoring is all that likely or rewarding in the WUSSMOBILES that 'Yoda sells .

Source: posted by Speedzzter

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

PHS Vocal Solo and Ensemble District Results

Several PHS student musicians participated in the Vocal Solo and Ensemble District Competition on Saturday, January 30th. The medal tally was 24 gold, 10 silver and 1 bronze. Those students who entered in Division I and received a gold rating will be moving on to compete in the State competition on February 20th in Indianapolis.

The following students received a Gold in Division I:
Katie Galloway
Gouker Ensemble
Sarah Gouker
Priscilla Hammonds
Courtney Harris
Olivia Hilliard
Lenne Ensemble
Danielle Lenne
Tayler May
Amy McLiver
Ortiz Ensemble
Shelly Ortiz
Heather Rohr
Alison Sherk
Switzer Ensemble
Tyler Switzer

The following students received a Silver in Division I:
Grace Anders
Kendall Cooper
Tori Fox
Brittany Hazen
Maggie Howard
Angelina Jung

The following student received a Bronze in Division I:
Anne Marshall

The following student received a Gold in Division II:
Stephanie Diedrich

The following students received a Silver in Division II:
Marie LaValle
Amanda McPherron
Tia Merritt
Ty Shively

The following students received a Gold in Division III:
Cinthia Lua
Morgan O'Neal
Gina Rodeghero

The following students received a Gold in Division IV:
Vanessa Hite
Lauren Rearick
Aimee Ringer

Source: posted by Dan and Rodger

Monday, February 1, 2010

Let the truth be told

Most democratic governments around the world watches two socio-economic factors very closely - namely inflation and economic growth. Hence you get the the likes of RBA hiking rates repeatedly recently to pre-empt unnecessary inflation (predominantly housing inflation) in Australia, and the US Feds trying to balance their imminent hawkishness on interest rates (also to temper inflationary pressures) with continued dovishness to spur economic recovery and growth.
Heck, even a communist country like China is recently reigning in bank lending by increasing reserve ratio to bring down housing inflation, a problem faced by more and more Chinese citizens in recent years, to prevent any political hiccups due to social unrest.

Cutting the story short >>> high economic growth + low inflation = GOOD ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE. Singapore recently experienced the biggest spike in housing inflation during its worst economic downturn. That is bad economic governance, plain and simple.

Singapore's current leaders, instead of owning up to a bad performance, attempts to do their job using the cheapest instrument - words. They insist repeatedly that housing is affordable on one hand, against everyone's common sense, and yet they also claim that the rapid climb in Singapore's housing prices is a positive and purposeful result of PAP's good work in growing our economy and that is where your wealth and your kids' future wealth will come from. (Remember that when the economy is not doing so well, the fault is put squarely on global economies.) To dive into explaining that our recent growth has been merely a result of the blatant increase in population (hence no real net growth) will be asking too much of me at this late hour.

And to top it off, Lee Kuan Yew put forth the assumption that should Mah Bow Tan be ousted from Tampines GRC, everyone should sell their flats because it will become worthless???? I beg you, the reader, to spend some thoughts on how ridiculous the whole situation any case, 80% of us live in HDB flats; what percentage of us have a second investment property? Can you really cash out on your expensive flat? Where are you going to live? Who benefits from property inflation? Your kids? Or millionaires with multiple real-estates in Singapore and their kids? Think.

Maybe it is time for Singaporeans to reflect upon why Singapore's current leaders run our country with such different approaches as the rest of the democratic societies. Are our collective intelligence really this low? Can you imagine an alternate reality where Singaporeans are able to build up their wealth by saving and not by betting most of their hard-earned money on further asset inflation down the road?

I hope our ministers can start giving some honest and intelligent answers that are not merely aimed to stem the loss of support votes. Let the truth be told, and maybe we can find some redemption.

Auburn keeps on rolling, lands Whitaker

There doesn't appear to be much slowing down Auburn on the recruiting trail.

The Tigers landed a commitment Monday from defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker of Warner Robins, Ga., beating out Georgia and Miami.

Whitaker was one of the top prospects in the state of Georgia and rated by ESPN's Scouts Inc. as the 17th best defensive tackle prospect in the country.

Gene Chizik and his staff are making the kind of statement the Tigers needed to make this recruiting period, especially with Alabama coming off a national championship.

It could get even better for Auburn. Top running back prospect Marcus Lattimore of Duncan, S.C., has it down to Auburn and South Carolina and is scheduled to announce his college choice on Tuesday night.

Source: By Chris Low