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OT- break: Creative life 创意人生 chuàng yì rén shēng-inspiration from Twitter 推德tuī dé. May 25, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in creativity, ethics.
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测试中文推德,

cè shì zhōng wén tuī dé;

发扬百字散文,

fā yáng bǎi zì sǎn wén;

推广人文善德,

tuī guǎng rén wén shàn dé;

创造美好生活!

chuàng zào měi hǎo shēng huó

Karen M. Fu , 22 May 2009 via twitter.

Handwritten: http://twitpic.com/5og1o

English translation of the mandarin draft:

Testing the Chinese version of ‘Twitter’; promoting the use of 100-character novel; spreading humanity, kindness and virtue/ethics; creative life; creation of a beautiful and better living.

Karen Fu 22 May 2009

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2. Obama: taps on tax evasion to bring jobs back to the US – quick thoughts May 20, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in Economy.
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usethisReturning to quickly add the 3rd part of the post as promised last week. I decided to post the 3rd instead of the 2nd as  this should be really mentioned earlier. I’ll post about green design next week.

3. US President Obama’s recent handling of the tax evasion problems in the quest to keep jobs at home (US).

Sometimes when I think about the current situation, I cannot help but to feel a sense of sadness. We make things so complex that we need to resort to even more complicated means to get the system working again. Tax evasion in a time like this would probably drive the economy in to a spiral of protectionism. It is just normal to protect self interests first, but what I am fearing is that it may well bit back full circle because we are all interdependent on the global stage. I see this as actually a double taxation and a line of free trade agreement cuts and all. As a resourceful establishment, a cut in FTA should prompt one to shift gears and move on to new enterprise before the actual curtail of FTAs. The problem I see this attempt of moving the MNCs back probably would not add much help to revitalise the US economy which is currently the largest in the world. A poor US economy does no one good. Feel free to discuss…

I will post this over from my Karenfusblogs.wordpress.com.

Over at Facebook, C.Sven posted an interesting link about Obama Proposes $190 Billion Tax Increase on Companies (Update4)

I thought it was an interesting topic for discussion. What would you think this rise in tax would bring about ?

I am also wondering about the manufacturing industries. I would have thought a lot of US MNCs may have to cut down their global scale since the tax comes in. True that you can evade tax, but I doubt they could totally evade it, so higher operational costs to these US firms.

What I am worrying is that banks will suffer. It really looks like it. If double taxation really kicks in, companies and individuals have less to put in the banks. Isn’t that directly effecting the whole economy worldwide ?

Maybe I am wrong to say this, but I thought they should keep corporate tax low and make the companies do more hiring. What I see is that tax of this kind is going to reduce employment which will add to the viscous cycle of less spending etc.Came across a couple of blogs and website and I really like Robert Reich’s blog posts on his thoughts on the current economy crisis, and how the US should be tackling it though I do not exactly agree to all.  His post on Obama’s first 100 days attracted my attention. Personally we need some more time to see how the stimulus would work. Though Obama’s plan to bring the funds back to the States, there is also a possibility that this may cut down companies competitiveness as costs would increase. If the 2% in the States for corporate establishments were that attractive, then why would these companies station off the US shores ? As an outsider, I am curious how the US system works. To me, the culture is different. During the Asian economic crisis about 10 years ago, many Asian countries were in a financial wreck, notably South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand. Singapore exacped the crisis relatively unscathed because it is small and much easier to regulate and control. In the US, I feel the system is very much more complicated and political in nature. Passing a law off needs a lot of consensus, and that takes off time to pass crucial law to implement fast. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the state of the US economy affects the world too. I do hope the steps implemented in the States are going to lead us all out of this chaos. Quick thoughts for now.

3 big events for the last 3 weeks – terrorism, green design + Obama May 11, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in design, life challenges, terrorism.
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I am back with  some interesting design posts and thoughts for these 3 weeks.. During which 3 big events have happened :

1. One of the JI leaders in Singapore Mas Selamat has just been caught after a year in running away from authorities.

2. New technology to cut down greenhouse gases by designing a ‘green plane’.

3. US President Obama’s recent handling of the tax evasion problems in the quest to keep jobs at home (US).

I have been wondering since if any of these events are really going to value add life ? I will first focus on  Mas Selamat, followed by my other points 2 and 3 for now.— 1: Mas Selamat is finally captured with the help of the Malaysian authorities recently. I thought the hard copy of the Straits Times headline on Sunday (11 May 2009) was somewhat complacent. It wrote in its sub-headline that Mas Selamat’s attempt was only a School boys feat:’20 laps of the swimming pool’ with waters that are ‘4 stories deep’ was easy and  any school boy could do it. If that were a simple feat, then why was Mas Selamat able to escape from the local prison ? Bearing in mind that he is crippled, swimming across the Johor Straits under the coast guards’ eye would deem a very real fact that he was an extremely determined man of wits and guts. How could that be a simple school boy’s feat is really beyond me. Unfortunately his courage and intelligence went into a destructive force. Should he been still in the loose, I bet Singapore would have been in an unimaginable catastrophe.

Terrorism is a dangerous act that  destructs both the terrorist and others. Its a loser’s situation whichever angle you view it. In 2001 September 11, the US witnessed their first unexpected attack on their land. It was an event that 2 planes piercing through not only their buildings in New York, but their hearts as well. It was a lesson  not just for the Americans but for the world to remember – we simply cannot overlook and take peace and formidability for granted.  For since then, a series of other attacks has sprung up  in India, Spain, Indonesia, and attempted attacks here in Singapore. This came in with the freshest memory of the Mumbai attacks.  They are all linked and you’ve got to think why all this has been ongoing. It is frightening to see that a peaceful landscape be always overshadowed by this constant darkness of terror.

We should never be complacent and arrogant about any cause of terrorism because it could actually stem out from our daily carelessness and thoughtlessness that we may not be conscious about what we say, do or act. I believe no one wants to fight and kill people out from a complete nothing. I suspect it  stems out from a misunderstanding of cultures. Maybe you and I are guilty about it without knowing it.  When such problem is left untreated, it usually blows out of proportion. I often believe that most of the hatred could be tamed down or completely eliminated, if we could be more sensitive and careful in the way we treat others. It is sad that Mas Selamat went into this route of anger and destruction. It doesn’t do him good and definitely not in any good for his immediate family and relatives. I don’t know what his story is about but I am sure something must have provoked his anger. Whatever the anger is, we must learn from this lesson that anger only leads to more anger. And when that anger goes beyond the boiling point, it will explode. If we look back in history, all these daily fights between countries, people and within business competition stem out on the pure greed, inconsiderateness, and a sheer lack of wisdom – the type of intelligence that we need to save ourselves and others the sanity that we need in this crazy world. We need to ask hard questions why people choose to do such self-destruction and killing of others; and onwards to look for win-win situations to never repeat the same mistakes again like our forebearers have  done.  I hope we could cool ourselves down amidst our hectic pursuement of wealth and self-interest to ponder about what life  really is.  I think this definition is crucial in setting the foundation of a healthy living that benefits all. There are many ways to a good life. It doesn’t need to be done in a heartless way to get even  and  ‘win’.

Other references:

Some small interesting sites about terrorism: http://www.politicalbase.com/forums/topic/is-terrorism-ever-politically-correct/1118/

causes of terrorism: http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/terrorism?gclid=CKep-MGlspoCFVEwpAodchPlcA