1. If you owe someone money, always pay them back in a bar. Preferably during happy hour.
2. Always toast before doing a shot.
3. Whoever buys the shot gets the first chance to offer a toast.
4. Change your toast at least once a month.
5. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.
6. Buying a strange woman a drink is still cool. Buying all her drinks is dumb.
7. Never borrow more than one cigarette from the same person in one night.
8. When the bartender is slammed, resist the powerful urge to order a slightly-dirty, very-dry, in-and-out, super-chilled half-and-half martini with a lemon twist. Limit orders to beer, straight shots and two-part cocktails.
9. Get the bartender's attention with eye contact and a smile.
10. Do not make eye contact with the bartender if you do not want a drink.
11. Unacceptable things to say after doing a shot: Great, now I’m going to get drunk. I hate shots. It’s coming back up.
12. Never, ever tell a bartender he made your drink too strong.
13. If he makes it too weak, order a double next time. He'll get the message.
14. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.
15. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still might not like you.
16. If she buys you a drink, she likes you.
17. If someone offers to buy you a drink, do not upgrade your liquor preference.
18. Always have a corkscrew in your house.
19. If you don't have a corkscrew, push the cork down into the bottle with a pen.
20. Drink one girly drink in public and you will forever be known as the guy who drinks girly drinks.
21. Our parents were better drinkers than we are.
22. Never talk to someone in the restroom unless you're doing the same thing—urinating, waiting in line or washing your hands.
23. Girls hang out, apply make-up, and have long talks in the bathroom. Men do not.
24. After your sixth drink, do not look at yourself in the mirror. It will shake your confidence.
25. It is only permissible to shout 'woo-hoo!' if you are doing a shot with four or more people.
26. If there is a d.j., you can request a song only once per night. If he doesn't play it within half an hour, do not approach him again. If he does play it, do not approach him again.
27. Learn how to make a rose out of a bar napkin. You'll be surprised how well it works.
28. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink in a bar. Go to the liquor store.
29. If you owe someone twenty dollars or less, you may pay them back in beer.
30. Never complain about the quality or brand of a free drink.
31. If you have been roommates with someone more than six months, you may drink all their beer, even if it's hidden, as long as you leave them one.
32. You can have a shot of their hard liquor only if the cap has been cracked and the bottle goes for less than $25.
33. The only thing that tastes better than free liquor is stolen liquor.
34. If you bring Old Milwaukee to a party, you must drink at least two cans before you start drinking the imported beer in the fridge.
35. Learn to appreciate hangovers. If it was all good times every jackass would be doing it.
36. If you ever feel depressed, get out a bartender’s guide and browse through all the drinks you’ve never tried.
37. Try one new drink each week.
38. If you are the bar's sole customer, you are obliged to make small talk with the bartender until he stops acknowledging you. Then you're off the hook. The same goes for him.
39. Never tip with coins that have touched you. If your change is $1.50, you can tell the barmaid to keep the change, but once she has handed it to you, you cannot give it back. To a bartender or cocktail waitress, small change has no value.
40. If you have ever told a bartender, “Hey, it all spends the same,” then you are a cheap ass.
41. Anyone on stage or behind a bar is fifty percent better looking.
42. You can tell how hard a drinker someone is by how close they keep their drink to their mouth.
43. A bar is a college, not a nursery. If you spill a beer, clean it up. If you break a glass, wait for a staff member to clean it up, then blame it on someone else.
44. Being drunk is feeling sophisticated without being able to say it.
45. It's okay to drink alone.
46. After three drinks, you will forget a woman's name two seconds after she tells you. The rest of the night you will call her “baby” or “darling”.
47. Nothing screams 'nancy boy' louder than swirling an oversized brandy snifter.
48. Men don't drink from straws. Unless you're doing a Mind or Face Eraser.
49. If you do a shot, finish it. If you don't plan to finish it, don't accept it.
50. Never brood in a dance bar. Never dance in a dive bar.
51. Never play more than three songs by the same artist in a row.
52. Your songs will come on as you're leaving the bar.
53. Never yell out jukebox selections to someone you don't know.
54. Never lie in a bar. You may, however, grossly exaggerate and lean.
55. If you think you might be slurring a little, then you are slurring a lot. If you think you are slurring a lot, then you are not speaking English.
56. Screaming, “Someone buy me a drink!” has never worked.
57. For every drink, there is a five percent better chance you will get in a fight. There is also a three percent better chance you will lose the fight.
58. Fighting an extremely drunk person when you are sober is hilarious.
59. If you are broke and a friend is “sporting you”, you must laugh at all his jokes and play wingman when he makes his move.
60. If you are broke and a friend is “making sport of you”, you may steal any drink he leaves unattended.
61. Never rest your head on a table or bar top. It is the equivalent of voluntarily putting your head on a chopping block.
62. If you are trading rounds with a friend and he asks if you're ready for another, always say yes. Once you fall out of sync you will end up buying more drinks than him.
63. If you're going to hit on a member of the bar staff, make sure you tip well before and after, regardless of her response.
64. The people with the most money are rarely the best tippers.
65. Before you die, single-handedly make one decent martini.
66. Asking a bartender what beers are on tap when the handles are right in front of you is the equivalent of saying, “I'm an idiot.”
67. Never ask a bartender “what's good tonight?” They do not fly in the scotch fresh from the coast every morning.
68. If there is a line for drinks, get your goddamn drink and step the hell away from the bar.
69. If there is ever any confusion, the fuller beer is yours.
70. The patrons at your local bar are your extended family, your fathers and mothers, your brothers and sisters. Except you get to sleep with these sisters. And if you're really drunk, the mothers.
71. It's acceptable, traditional in fact, to disappear during a night of hard drinking. You will appear mysterious and your friends will understand. If they even notice.
72. Never argue your tab at the end of the night. Remember, you're hammered and they’re sober. It's akin to a precocious five-year-old arguing the super-string theory with a physicist. 99.9% of the time you're wrong and either way you're going to come off as a jackass.
73. If you bring booze to a party, you must drink it or leave it.
74. If you hesitate more than three seconds after the bartender looks at you, you do not deserve a drink.
75. Beer makes you mellow, champagne makes you silly, wine makes you dramatic, tequila makes you felonious.
76. The greatest thing a drunkard can do is buy a round of drinks for a packed bar.
77. Never preface a conversation with a bartender with “I know this is going to be a hassle, but . . .”
78. When you’re in a bar and drunk, your boss is just another guy begging for a fat lip. Unless he’s buying.
79. If you are 86’d, do not return for at least three months. To come back sooner makes it appear no other bar wants you.
80. Anyone with three or more drinks in his hands has the right of way.
81. If you’re going to drink on the job, drink vodka. It’s the no-tell liquor.
82. There’s nothing wrong with drinking before noon. Especially if you’re supposed to be at work.
83. The bar clock moves twice as fast from midnight to last call.
84. A flask engraved with a personal message is one of the best gifts you can ever give. And make sure there’s something in it.
85. On the intimacy scale, sharing a quiet drink is between a handshake and a kiss.
86. You will forget every one of these rules by your fifth drink.
Herbert A. Millington Chair - Search Committee 412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University College Hill, MA 34109
Dear Professor Millington,
Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite Whitson's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.
This is not exactly in local context, but about 90% of wat's written can still be applied to us. Most of us are already hip-deep in online efficiency tools like shared calendars, code libraries, and rss feeds; here are 30 simple ways that you can make your life (the real one) easier:
Synchronize recurring events. This can be done annually, monthly, or even weekly. As an example, there are many household tasks that really only need to be done annually. Make it easy to remember when they need to be done by doing them all on the same day. The switch to daylight savings time is a good time to check batteries in smoke detectors, clean screens and windows, change air filters, clean fireplaces, etc. You can do the same with your car, by checking your tires, wiper fluid, battery, etc., every time you get an oil change. Sacrificing one day a month to do household chores like laundry, cleaning, and gardening can relieve the burden of having those things hang over your head and follow you around during the rest of the month.
Re-key your locks. This is a fantastic way to cut down on the number of keys you have to lug around. One visit to a locksmith can put all of your home access points on a single key, and usually for a very reasonable price. Though you can’t do this with cars or office buildings because you need to be able to bring the lock to the locksmith, this can still reduce the number of keys you carry around significantly. Some padlocks allow for re-keying as well.
Scatter lots of cheap pens and pencils. Distribute them all over your home and workplace. It's a great idea to do the same with note pads, sticky notes, or note cards. This is especially easy if you find yourself attending conferences often, because you can pick up lots of the freebees and promotional pens and paper. If you tend to have high standards for your writing implement, go ahead and stock the nice pens, too, but this way you’ll never be frantically looking for something to write on and with.
Hoard stamps. It's true that snail mail is becoming less and less important, but every once in a while, you do need a stamp. In fact, it's probably because you don’t use them that often that they're hard to keep track of. Instead of buying a couple stamps at a time, buy a whole book or a roll to keep around. Now that the USPS is selling forever stamps, you can buy as many as you want at the current price, and they will always have enough value for a first class mailing.
Get a toolbox. One box, many tools. Stock it with the basics: screwdrivers of different sizes, a hammer, picture hangers, pliers, electrical tape, light bulbs, etc. Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place, but if you keep these things handy you won't have to wait for a repairman or a visit to the hardware store to get things fixed.
Make complete sets of spare keys. Make three extra copies of each of your essential keys (or single key - see "re-key your locks" above). One copy should stay in your home for guests, or as your own backup, one set should go to a trusted neighbor, and a third should go to a friend or family member who lives nearby. This way, you can be certain that lost or misplaced keys will not cause too much of a disruption to your day.
Keep your essentials in one place. Set a specific location and container where you can deposit your keys, phone, wallet, purse, etc., when you get home. Ideally, this would be near the door and in a high-traffic area, such as a hallway. Once you get in the habit of depositing these items in the same place, you'll get very used to finding them right where you left them!
Check your snail mail once a week. Or, only as often as you need to so that the mailbox doesn’t overfill. Since most mail is junk anyway, feel free to let it sit in your mailbox for a couple of days instead of on your counter or table top.
Get and use a DVR. There are two ways that this will make your life easier, and that’s before we even talk about fast forwarding through commercials. First of all, recording the shows you love will help ensure that you don’t waste time flipping through mediocre TV. You get to watch what you want, and you never risk settling for reruns of Flavor of Love. Better still, a DVR can be a great time management tool. You can decide to only watch shows that you have chosen, and when you’ve seen them, stop watching. Once you get used to this, you'd be amazed how easy it is to turn off the TV when you actually have to sit through a commercial to see the conclusion of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Keep cards, wrapping paper, and even a few simple gifts for last-minute occasions. This is a great way to reduce errand-running stress. Wait for a sale, if you want, or just hit the store with the intention of purchasing a few birthday, thank you, and blank all-occasion greeting cards. Add to these a couple of gift bags and tissue paper, along with some simple, generic gifts. Gift cards to popular stores, picture frames, and candles are all good ideas for storable, unisex gifts that can save you from a last-minute, errand-running stress-fest.
Outsource your chores. Seriously, the kid down the street could get really excited about the ten bucks you give him for mowing the lawn, walking the dog, washing the car, whatever. Your time and sanity are worth way more than that kid's hourly wage. If you have the means, ask your friends and neighbors for a referral for a housekeeper that is trustworthy. Most housekeepers offer a great hourly value, especially compared to your hourly value, not to mention the value of rest and relaxation.
Set up one charging station for all of your electronics. A power strip or two should be all it takes to get your phone, PDA, Bluetooth accessories, camera, mp3 player, laptop, and rechargeable battery charger all plugged in. Keep a stock of new batteries nearby as well. Never moving the chargers for your electronics means never having to look for them.
Get and use a filing cabinet. Even if all you do is open the drawer and drop important documents into the “To be Filed” folder. At least that way, you'll know where to find them when you need them.
Away from Home
Avoid Traffic. There are so many good reasons to do this, but we especially love the feeling of flying past a line of cars on a bicycle. Even when walking, close neighborhood errands can often be quicker when there is no need to park/repark your car. Plus there's all the added benefits of saving the planet and your own cash that you're not spending on fuel. You can take this strategy to the next level by trying for a job that will allow you to work from home or flex your hours so that you'll never be forced to sit in rush-hour traffic.
Plan your errands with the most efficient route in mind. No matter if you're on foot, on a bicycle, or on public transport, when you leave the house you should have a good idea of what your stops are and the easiest way to get there and back, with all the destinations in between. Don’t forget to consider traffic patterns, and be okay with putting off errands for a day or two so that you can accomplish many things in one trip.
Program your mobile phone with all possible numbers. If you plan to be away from your home or your computer for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to prepare by anticipating phone numbers you will need and programming them into your phone. Especially when you are traveling, some examples of numbers you may need in a pinch are hotels, rental cars, taxis, airlines, and restaurants.
Never travel without a swimsuit. Period. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to enjoy a hot tub or sauna because they won’t let you go commando.
Hide money and important documents in multiple places. Especially when you’re traveling abroad, it’s a good idea to keep your stores of cash or traveler’s checks hidden in several different locations in your luggage. By splitting up your funds, any potential robber will think they’ve got your stash when in fact they have only found a bit of it. Similarly, keep a few copies of your passport and plane tickets hidden in different locations throughout your stuff. If something should go missing, it will be far easier to replace if you’re holding on to a copy.
Don't be ashamed to carry a man purse. We mean it. There's a reason why women carry those things--they're just darn useful. If it makes you feel better to carry something shaped like a backpack, go ahead and do that instead. Whatever the shape, pick out something that holds what you need it to, and don't apologize for being the one ready with a business card, a pen, or your reading glasses. And if someone asks if you're carrying a man purse, tell them that it's European.
Keep an umbrella, a blanket, and a gallon of water in your trunk. Because these are the things you will miss the most, should you need them. If you need to be prepared for more than foul weather, romance, or overheating, we recommend an extra pair of comfortable shoes, snow chains (if you live in that kind of neighborhood), and a Frisbee for throwing while you wait for the parking lot to empty out.
Park far away from entrances. Walking across a parking lot isn’t necessarily the most pleasant thing, but it’s still walking. Walking is exercise and therefore reduces stress. Waiting patiently for a spot near the front, only to have that yellow H2 ignore you and pull into your spot will have the opposite effect.
With Your Money
Keep lots of change around. While quarters are the most useful, there are lots of good reasons to keep change around. If you don't acquire coins in the course of your normal routine, virtually any bank will trade you quarters (or other coins) for bills. Keeping a stack of them in your home, your car, your purse, your locker, or your desk will save you from scrounging when you encounter a parking meter, laundromat, or especially a vending machine.
Keep a back up fund of cash hidden in your car, wallet, or at home. The trick to this is that you have to learn to consider it backup money, and is therefore not for spending except in a real pinch. Keeping this money in your wallet will make it harder not to spend, but will also be very useful when you have an unanticipated need for a taxi or a meal. Keeping the money at home or in your car will often save you from spending it, but will save you from having to visit the ATM when you're rushed.
Subscribe to online delivery of bills and account statements. This will benefit your actual life when you find your mailbox is no longer clogged with dead trees. Plus, you won't have to file them.
Use direct deposit whenever possible. This is such a great service. If your employer offers it, they will often allow you to break the deposit up into a few different accounts which can help you budget your savings or other investments just by filling out a single form.
Use autopay. Autopay can be arranged through your bank or directly with the vendor. Agressive use of this technique can virtually put your finances on autopilot. You just need to ensure that there's enough money in the account when the payments are scheduled, and then don't worry about tracking down your checkbook, a stamp, or the invoice.
Change the billing cycles on your monthly bills so that they're all due at the same time. Usually this can be accomplished with a quick phone call if it can't be done online. This can prevent forgotten or lost bills, since you'll have to go through your entire list of liabilities at the same time. If one of your accounts won't allow you to change the billing cycle, then change all the others to match that one. The other useful thing about this practice is that it makes it easier to calculate your monthly expenses and make good decisions about your budget.
In Your Personal Life
Feel free to let the phone ring. Many people don't realize that you don't have to pick up the phone, or you can just turn off the ringer. The point is that people often call at bad times because they don't know that it's a bad time. Rather then let them interrupt you and complicate your life, simply ignore the call and get back to them when it is a better time for you.
Say no. Essentially, we just wanted to remind you not to be too caught up in your sense of responsibility. Social events, work opportunities, volunteering, or overtime can all be hard to turn down when the opportunity arises. However, keep in mind that if scheduling and participating in these things bring you more stress than they do money or pleasure, you're probably better off disappointing someone and saying no.
Make lists, keep a journal, and keep a calendar. Whatever technology you prefer for these things is fine. While Google Calendar, TiddlyWiki, Blackberrys and other PDAs are all very useful, we have found that nothing takes the place of a small Molskine journal or other pocket-sized calendar. Here you can make lists, write down notes, ideas, and contact information, and they're small enough to fit nicely into your wallet/pocket/man purse. Keep it with you, and refer to it often.
i'm sure some of you have heard some of these, but i thought it would be interesting to put them together. i still love my bullshit story which i'm sure some of you have heard me say it years ago...
Lesson 1: Naked Wife
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.
After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 dollars and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks,…
“Who was that?” “It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies. “Great!” the husband says, “Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”
Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish” “Me first! Me first!” says the admin. clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof! She’s gone. “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii,relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone. “OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”
Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.
A priest offered a lift to a Nun. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said,”Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But,changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.” Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”
Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.
A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A rabbit asked him,”Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?” The crow answered: “Sure, why not.” So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested.
A fox jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.
Lesson 5: Power of Charisma
A turkey was chatting with a bull “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, but I haven’t got the energy.” “Well, why don’t you nibble on my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.” The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it wont keep you there.
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.
Moral of the story: 1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy 2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend 3. And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!
For those slackers in the office.... this is really the thing for you....
The scene: You're at work, browsing pictures of Jessica Alba. Your boss walks into your office. What do you do? Instead of frantically trying to close your windows, just tap your foot, and bam! The window disappears instantly, leaving no trace whatsoever, not even an icon in the taskbar.
In the last 2 days, MPs have covered many aspects of this contentious issue of benchmarking Ministerial pay to the private sector at 2/3M48. The Member for Hougang has comprehensively stated the Workers' Party position on this matter. The gist of our position is that we should instead consider benchmarking based on the remuneration of political office-holders in countries which tick. They generally favour a more moderate use of taxpayers' money for political salaries, and do not seem to have run their countries aground.
Today I would like instead to examine a few points raised by Minister Teo Chee Hean in his reply speech yesterday and also to argue why the benchmark of 2/3M48 for political office will ultimately be against the national interest.
Points raised by Minister Teo on Apr 10
Minister Teo attempted to rebut the Member for Hougang's contention that this debate was a waste of taxpayers' money. He said instead that this was a hallmark of PAP's commitment to transparency.
While I do agree that this is an opportunity to have a public airing, the debate arouses a feeling of deja vu, harking back to the other transparent debate about whether to have casinos in Singapore. The revision was presented in Parliament in a form of Ministerial statement under Standing Order 44 where no vote will be taken. Not one thing said by any MP will change the decision of the government. I would personally very much like to know what each individual Minister feels about taking more than $2m of taxpayers' money home each year, while fellow citizens struggle with rising costs and taxes.
Secondly, Minister Teo mentioned that it was not right to look at how much political leaders elsewhere earn because our Ministers cannot become Ministers in other countries. But the comparison is logical because we are comparing similar skill sets and responsibilities funded by the public. Looking instead at 2/3M48, how valid is it as a measure of a Minister's worth? Is it possible that, in fact, some of our Ministers are doing better in Cabinet than they would have done in their previous careers? Can we say that each and every Minister in Cabinet now would have become a top-earning banker, accountant, lawyer, engineer or CEO? We have seen instances of civil servants and military personnel embark on 2nd careers in the private sector, and find the business world a whole new ball game; and some, in fact, flounder.
Thirdly, Minister attempted to show that Cabinet salaries were not in the rarefied zone of high fliers by plotting a graph of 1,000 residents and Malaysians. Even so, 1,000 out of the resident workforce of about 1.9 m (as at mid 2006, according to Labour Force Survey) is less than 0.1%. To be in this group of 1,000 is already to be in a very privileged few and as far as the public is concerned, is already in the rarefied zone.
Why 2/3M48 is ultimately against the national interest
Economists have noted that globalisation increases income disparity. As such, the top earners' salaries will in all likelihood move up further in the future. A few years from now, 2/3M48 may require us to endorse each Cabinet minister's pay for $3m or $4m annually. As these pay packets are funded from taxes, including poor people paying GST, how far is the government prepared to go with this? Does it have a threshold of unconscionability?
Next, what makes a good Minister? There may be differences of opinion, but fundamentally, political leadership is a different creature from administration. To add value to policy-making, the Minister must play the role of politician – he should understand the public sentiment and aspirations, and be able to front policies and explain things plainly to people. He must lead not just with head but with heart. His ground feel of the needs of the people and understanding of their plight distinguishes him from the professional civil servant who usually focuses more on efficiency and expediency in implementation. To be effective, a Minister's EQ may often be more important than for him to be part of a Mensa club. In fact, he would be better if he was wired differently from the top civil servants, to reduce the mistakes perpetuated by groupthink.
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew previously justified why it was not feasible to have foreign talent in the political leadership. He said that the political leadership should "have passion, the commitment and share the same dreams as the people". (ST 4 Nov 2006). I agree. The question is: how will 2/3M48 affect empathy, the ability of Ministers to share the same dreams as the people?
Ministers are currently drawing $1.2m a year which divided by 12 is about $100,000 per month. How does it compare with the average person?
According to the Report on the Labour Force in Singapore 2006, the median gross monthly income of workers in full-time employment is $2,170. In other words, a worker takes a month to earn what a Minister earns in half a day! For university graduates, the median gross monthly income is $4,450. This would take the Minister one day to earn.
As you move the salaries up to 88% of the benchmark, we will find that the average worker's monthly pay will be earned by a Minister in 2-3 hours. Does the Cabinet not feel a tinge of discomfort drawing taxpayers' money at such rate? At such rates, can Ministers and Singaporeans share the same dreams?
Another reality is that our leaders may face problems in marshalling the people to make sacrifices for the country.
About 4 years ago, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan told the House that his son had asked whether one should be prepared to die for Singapore. This sparked off a heated public debate. The cynics invariably linked this question to Ministerial salaries. To quote a member of the public, and I paraphrase: "Who are we trying to kid? Before we start talking about dying for Singapore, let us look at our leaders. We are told that we cannot get good leaders unless we pay top dollar, so why expect more from the rest of us"?
Citizens should be able to look to leaders for moral leadership and inspiration. If what they perceive are mercenaries at the helm, then asking them to make sacrifices will be met with cynicism and indifference. This will not bode well for Singapore's future. What will happen when crunch time comes? Is this a time bomb planted for the future of Singapore?
Salaries and Nation Building
If we are seriously unable to interest good people into public office, we must ask why other countries can do it and we cannot. Is it just money, or the fact that we have not invested in creating a culture of high public-spiritedness?
In some countries, there are young people aspire to hold public office. SM Goh had previously said that we could not expect to behave like people in other countries because we are a young nation and people still see things in material terms. How sad. After 41 years of nationhood, national service and national day parades, what do we teach our children? Do we judge a person's worth by his salary? If so, we have wasted millions of tax dollars on these nation-building efforts, which have truly been in vain!
Public service must remain a noble undertaking for which people are prepared to make sacrifices in exchange for the benevolent power to improve the lives of others. If we corrupt this by money, we can be efficient but never a country of high ideals. As such, I cannot agree with the Members who see political office as yet another career choice. It must be more than a job, and the holder must be able to think of others besides himself.
In the popular American comic strip, the Wizard of Id, there was a public address by the King to his subjects from the royal balcony. The King began: "Remember the Golden Rule!" One of the subjects called back: "What's that?" Back came the royal reply: "Whoever has the gold makes the rules!"
If the gold is the taxpayers' money, then Singapore is not that far from the Kingdom of Id!
And it does not matter what transparency the government has claimed in this attempt to justify the pay hike.
Looking good, 6% growth in first quarter... so it seems that we all don't really have to worry about anything too much.. (click on the pictures to view the full image)
or so they say???
so in the end straits times trying to fake us into thinking that the future is holding bright?? or somehow different people view the economy differently? or is it because the gahmen now all get pay hike... so must tell us that economy good. that's why pay hike now. if economy bad still pay hike. alot of us sure damn dulan one. not that we are not dulan about it even now..
so that extra 2% is going to all the gahmen fellas so that they can be happier and make sure they dun go other country to work. also to make sure that the other very smart and bright people will stay in singapore and work for the gahmen. so that everybody will be happy and that everything will be good. happy country for everyone. =) hurray
just found out about this cool site. imeem.com and of all people bryna was the one to tell me about it. haah... so i decided to play around with it... uploaded some stuffs and came up with a playlist. don't be shy, just click on the songs or just click on the play button. i remember last time there was this radioblog thingy where u need to pay money to have this sort of service.. well, i guess those fellas over at radioblog are screwed....
Here's Bobby's Selections
i've embedded it on the sidebar at the righthand side. it's kinda small cos any bigger and it will screw up my whole template. haha... try it! it's fun!
this wallpaper is just too gorgeous. had to use it. but i'm still too much in love with the current wallpaper i'm using to change it. so i put this in my psp. so instead of playing games on my psp now, i'm jus staring at the wallpaper. well done bobby pua...