Friday, November 30, 2012

Comics this week

Justice League Dark #14- This issue had Frankenstein, Princess Amaya and Black Orchid fumbling around in the House of Mystery and frankly…it was a bore. After the chase for the Book of Magic, the showdown against Nick Necro, writer Jeff Lemire has the new members trying to get out of a house? I mean talk about anti-climatic. I’ll say this also; I’m not convinced by the introduction of the new members of the team. Frankenstein is a science hero not a magic one and Amaya is well, a little boring. Also what the hell happened to the art? Graham Nolan and Victor Drujiniu are in charge of the art this issue and I have to wonder if the duo had a rush job on their hands. The art style changed at least 3 times this issue. Hopefully artist Mikel Janin will be back next issue. 

I, Vampire #14- In a post in the Civilian Reader, I commented that “I, Vampire” is a classic in the making. If anyone doubts that, then I strongly suggest you pick up #14. A lot is going on. Mary going from main villain to reluctant hero, introduction of Deborah Dancer, Tig helping Bennett get a new vampire follower, Bennett getting a vampire dog; yet there is no confusion whatsoever in this issue. The pacing and structure of this issue is superb! Everything was beautifully written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and marvelously drawn by Andrea Sorrentino. A classic in the making? Based on this issue, that might be an understatement. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Allegations That Need To Be Looked Into

Just 2 days after I labeled the reaction of the police an over-reaction, the laughable way the Singapore government is dealing with the strike by Chinese bus drivers has pummeled to new depths. While Brigadier General and Acting Minister of Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin has come out to defend the reasoning why the government had initially refused to call the actions of the bus drivers a strike, there is one thing he seem to be avoid mentioning; how valid are the complains of the Chinese drivers?

The drivers were not only complaining about their poor pay but also their poor living conditions. I read that one driver had said that 8 people were living in a room and there were rats in their dormitory. All these in a dormitory provided by SMRT which is owned by Temasek Holdings!

I personally like to know it this is true and if the answer is yes, what actions will the Singapore government take. Frankly if the allegations are true, I would consider it nothing less than a national embarrassment. This is not some small fly-the-night SMEs; this is SMRT; this is Temasek Holdings; and they are providing housing with rats and bedbugs and are stuffing 8 persons to a room?

Now I know the SMRT is into making profits. I understand that the Chinese bus drivers are not union members. I can even accept that the rights and interests of workers in Singapore are treated as bad jokes here in Singapore. However even in Singapore, surely a government-linked company like SMRT can do better that this!

I mean if a GLC can exploit foreign workers like this, how much worse would it be for smaller companies further down the food chain? If the allegations are true, then it is disgraceful for Singapore and all Singaporeans. And actions need to be take not against the Chinese drivers, but against the management of SMRT.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We'll Doomed!

Fans of the Terminator series rejoice; you guys are no longer the total nerds you thought you were. In the Terminator films, a rogue computer system called Skynet, gained self-awareness and end up destroying human civilization.

Now, it seems fiction may one day become fact. At least, that is if you believe The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER). The CSER has been setup to study and assess whether technology, like Skynet, could one day end up destroying human civilization. And just to show the centre is not a total joke, the CSER project is co-founded by Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price, cosmology and astrophysics professor Martin Rees and backed by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn. So no; it is not done by fanboys in their basements. 

In fact Prof Price has even publicly said that the way technology has been improving, "it seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape from the constraints of biology". AKA; it’s a matter of time before A.I jumps beyond the confines of the computer. And to think just a few years ago, we humans were worried when Deep Blue started beating grandmasters at chess. 

Armageddon; here we come!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No Need For The Police

102 SMRT bus drivers from China failed to show up for their work yesterday due to a labor dispute with the company. The drivers were protesting the disparity in salary between them and other foreign bus captains. Today, around 60 of the drivers also failed to report for work. 

Frankly, I’m not surprised it happened. The main reason Singapore accept so many foreign workers is because of the lower pay they are willing to accept. Companies are doing all they can to squeeze the workers to make them work more hours for less pay, and it was always a matter of time before dispute like this happen. It had happened before (remember when some foreign workers gathered outside Parliament) and it will happen again (unless Singapore companies change their practices).

However that is not what I want to comment on. Now I can understand where both sides are coming from (workers wanting better pay, companies wanting to pay less), but what I don’t understand is the over-reaction by the security forces yesterday. Reports had the police deploying several crowd control vehicles including four special operations command vehicles to the area.

Why? From all reports I read, this was a simple dispute between the two parties and negotiations were done quietly between the parties involved. There was no trouble and there was never even a hint of trouble from the start to the finish. Yet special operation was activated.

For what? I mean 102 workers refused to go to work and the police felt a need to send out 4 special operation command vehicles? I just can’t help but shake my head at this. There is no need to activate the special operations, especially when there wasn’t even a public protest by the workers. Let the SMRT and the workers handled the issue (quietly). The over-reaction by the police was unnecessary. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Use Carrots, Not Sticks

After numerous complains from the whining Singapore public, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Friday new taxi rules to improve the availability of taxis in Singapore. From next year onwards, taxi operators must see to it that 70% of their taxis are out on the road from 7am to 11m and from 5pm to 11pm.

They must also ensure that at least 70% of their taxi fleet clocks a minimum daily mileage of 250km. This will be increased to 85% in 2015. The LTA say the taxi-drivers should have no problem hitting the target if they drive at least 8-9 hours a day. Frankly, I think these rules sounds better on paper than they will in real life.

For one thing, the minimum daily mileage of 250km doesn’t make sense. The main complain of Singaporeans is the perceived lack of taxis during peak hours. Making taxi-drivers drive 250km a day is not going increase availability of taxis during peak period. More importantly, I find the new rules extremely unfair to taxi-drivers?

They are paying daily rent of about $100 for their taxis. Now not only they do they need to pay rent, they must also work a minimum of hours to meet a target of distance traveled. I mean the LTA say taxi-drivers should have no problem meeting the target if the driver at least 8-9 hours a day. That’s like office hours but the taxi-drivers got the added “bonus” of paying their taxi company $100 per day.

That just makes no sense. What I think the LTA should do is to have incentive to promote taxi-drivers to drive during peak period. Like things lowering the ERP for taxis between 12pm to 2pm and 4pm to 6pm, or fuel and rental subsidies to taxi-drivers if they drive during this period. These would be far better and more sensible than a blanket rule of distance traveled.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

No Differences

Reading the news, I read that a British woman and an Irish man had been sentenced to three months in prison in Dubai for engaging in sexual activities inside a Dubai taxi. Reading the article, the reporter says this is the latest case in which Westerners have fallen foul of the United Arab Emirates' decency laws, and it highlight the “cultural differences” between the UAE and the West.

What nonsense! The couple was caught having sex in a taxi and I know for a fact this is not allowed in the U.K. so how is this case a “difference” in culture? Personally, I feel it’s stupid that every time some Westerners get into trouble overseas, the Western press almost always blame the host country for the problem. Having sex in a taxi is illegal in both the U.K and the U.A.E, so if anything this jail sentence is a sign that the two countries have something in common.

Yes, it means 2 fools get thrown in jail but this was something that was going to happen even in the U.K right? So why not celebrate it? It’s far better than causing a problem over differences that does not exist. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's About Right

According to a new Gallup poll recently, Singapore has been ranked as the world's least emotional country. When asked questions such as "Did you feel well-rested yesterday?", "Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?" and "Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?", the survey found that Singaporeans were the least likely to reveal experiencing any emotions at all.

Only a miserly 36% of Singaporeans report feeling positive or negative emotions on a daily basis, compared to 60% in the Philippines. This means a whopping 64% of Singaporeans do not have any positive or negative emotions on a daily basis.

Since the poll was released, a number of Singaporean has expressed their dismay at the poll. Some had called the poll a lie while others say Singaporeans are just conservative, not emotionless.   

I looked at the poll and say…that’s about right.

I personally think the Gallup poll isn’t that far off. I don’t know if we are the least emotional country in the world but certainly we will be among there. Most Singaporeans I know are pretty even keel with some exceptions and if you compare Singaporeans with the foreigners we have in the country, you can easily tell that (no matter which country they are from) foreigners are more expressive of their feelings.

So it’s true, Singaporeans are pretty emotionless compared to others. I don’t have any figures to back it up so I won’t say it’s a fact but… personally I find the Gallup poll about right.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Comics this week

Justice League #14- The Cheetah storyline comes to a close this issue with the Justice League working to bring down the villain. More background is given to The Cheetah though I am mix about writer Geoff Johns making Barbara Minerva a true villain. It’s a role reversal of the pre-New 52 Cheetah and only time will tell if it’s a good thing. The meat of the issue however comes in the form of Wonder Woman and Superman. The aftermath of the kiss 2 issues ago was given time to grow and I have to say it had a nice feel to it. Having Superman showing Wonder Woman around town was cool and ironic as it was the alien showing the Earthling about her own planet. And it worked. The simplicity of the story might not be for everyone but I thought it was beautifully done, especially the understated art by Tony Daniel. An excellent understated issue that showed that the relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman might just work for the series.

Green Lantern: The New Guardians #14- I know it’s still early days but writer Tony Bedard’s decision to focus on Kyle Rayner instead of a new team of New Guardians has not paid dividends. The problem I have is that the storyline of Kyle going across the galaxy to learn how to get in touch with his various emotions, well…it’s kind of stupid. I much rather have the team of the start. They have their own problems but they were interesting and you could see the potential in the team. Watching Kyle getting a lesson every issue on how to access the power of all the rings? That’s just not in the same league. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Under Singapore Law...

The case against former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief Ng Boon Gay has now went from the ridiculous to the incomprehensible. Ng has admitted at his corruption trial that he had sexual relations with one of his agency's contractors, Cecilia Sue, but denied any wrongdoing. He denied ever revealing any confidential information about CNB's budget to Sue and the prosecution...well, they sort of agree with that.

Now I always have a problem with the case especially when the prosecution said in their opening statement that Ng had at no time influenced or was directly involved in the process of awarding two separate IT contracts worth S$320,000 to a project Sue was working on. I had wondered why they said that and in the two months since the trial started, Singapore had discovered why.

Basically the prosecution has no evidence that Ng was guilty!

The prosecution seems to have totally ignored the need for evidence. The fact that Ng did not influence the CNB’s decision in anyway, did not reveal any information on the deal; that does not seem to matter to the prosecution! All they had in their arsenal is the strange nonsensical Singapore law that “state that a civil servant who obtains gratification from someone who has or is seeking business dealing with the Government is presumed to have done so corruptly”.

That’s it! That’s all they have and it seems; they believe that’s all they need. The fact that they did not have any evidence that Ng did anything remotely corrupt does not matter. They have him on the extramarital affair and that’s all they need!  To them, an affair equals corruption!

Wow! Now that’s something new I learn today. Under Singapore law, an affair equals corruption! Wow! I guess it’s time I stop laughing at the Americans.

Monday, November 19, 2012

No We Are NOT!

Now Yale University is a world famous institution and the Singapore government has been touting the establishment of a Yale campus in Singapore for quite some time. The campus along Dover Road is a collaboration with the local National University of Singapore (NUS) and it is not without its detractors.

One of the detractors is Jim Sleeper, a political science lecturer at Yale University.
He is against the joint Yale/NUS campus and you have to give this guy some credit; he’s imaginative with his criticism.

Part of Sleeper’s criticism of Singapore is that we are the “Israel of Southeast Asia”!

Ouch, that is painful! Painful because Israel is the one country in the world no one want to be compared to. Although it is true that Singapore and Israel has long-standing relations, most Singaporeans want to ignore it. More importantly, we do not want to advertise it!

So in line with that thinking, here’s some ways we are different from Israel;

- Unlike Israel, Singapore has pretty good relations with our neighbors
- Singapore don’t have wars with our neighbors once every few years
- Singaporeans don’t pretend that this land is ours
- Singaporeans are not as insufferably self-righteous about our country as most Israelis I know (I admit; I don’t know that many).

So people of the world; do not listen to Jim Sleeper. Singapore is really NOT at all alike to Israel. We are NOT going to attack any of our neighbors. We are NOT one of the world’s most militarized nations (ok, this last one is debatable).

PS: in case you are wondering; Yes. Israel’s reputation really is that bad in this region. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Impossible To Police

One of the many MMORPs I had played over the years is Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). Now as any players of LOTRO will tell you, the game is strictly PVE. Sure there’s some PVP in it but it’s a tack-on affair and most players don’t take it seriously.

However it is this section of the game that had attracted some heat these few days. It seems that some players have been found to have created (free) monster creatures in the PVP section of the game whose sole and only purpose was to be killed by their guildmates. They did this to rapidly advance the characters and other players are furious at what they see is a clear exploit in the game. Turbine stated that it is not a violation of rules and therefore players can continue to do this.

Now let me be clear on this; it is an exploit. Not only is it an exploit, it is cheating. Creating a character for the purpose is to be killed by other players who happen to be your friends is cheating. It is an exploit; it is cheating; and there’s nothing Turbine can do about it.

Think about it; if Turbine proclaim this an exploit, how in the world is Turbine doing to police this? You can’t expect them to police every PVP fight in the game and rule on whether the loser lost deliberately. It’s just not possible.

So I’m not surprised by Turbine’s hands-off approach to the latest “dispute” in the game. Yes, it’s a controversial decision but it’s the only one they can make. Basically I say if some stupid players want to cheat, let them be stupid. After all, this is LOTRO. PVP is an after-thought in this game. 

Friday, November 16, 2012


The Earth has moved! Yes, I know the Earth is always moving but THE EARTH HAS MOVED! Sometimes momentous has happened in Singapore; the PAP (People’s Action Party) has admitted they were wrong!

While answering a question in Parliament from the opposition, Deupty Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean made the admittance saying the population growth of Singapore in recent years (due to relax immigration policy) has outpaced Singapore's infrastructure. Yes, I know the immigration/infrastructure imbalance is so obvious that it’s almost impossible not to admit but since when has that ever stop the PAP?

Not only that, the DPM said that the government has ramped up infrastructure development to deal with the problem. So not only has the PAP admitted that they were wrong, they are taking steps to rectify the problems! So yes my fellow Singaporeans; the Earth has moved!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Comics this week

Demon Knights #14- With one issue left before he leave, writer Paul Cornell is trying to wrap up his story by setting up a big finale to his arc. The plans of Lucifer, Etrigan, the Questing Queen and the Demon Knights all come to a head at the end of the issue, setting up the big fight next issue. As a setup, this issue did the job but that’s all the issue is. It’s functional and nothing else. Considering the earlier works of Cornell and Diogenes Neves, this is disappointing.

Bloodshot #5- The attack on Project Rising Spirit begins as Bloodshot, Pulse and Kara executes a plan to infiltrate a PRS base. The sci-fi infiltration plan seen kind of wonky and I still don’t get why Kara is working with Bloodshot but more info on PRS is always welcomed and that team of theirs look scary as hell. All in all, a pretty good setup issue.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No Sex Please, We're Americans

So this is why James Bond is British! With “Skyfall” breaking box-office records, I always wondered why James Bond was British and not American. Now I know!

Americans can’t handle the sexy nature of a secret agent! How I come to this conclusion? One name; David Petraeus.

The CIA Director has to step down because he was caught having an affair with a woman while married for 37 years to his wife. The former general did the honorable thing and resigned from the CIA, ending his distinguished career. I read the story on the news and can’t believe it. The man was the director of the CIA and Americans has a problem with him having an affair? For real? I would thought secret agents having affairs comes with the territory.

In all seriousness, what’s more important to Americans? His job performance or his “moral leadership”? What’s all this talk on CNN about moral leadership in the first place? Petraeus is the director of a spy agency. By definition of the job, he don’t have moral leadership. He can’t; it’ll get in the way of the job!

Getting an intelligence agent to resign due to an affair is not just stupid, it’s borderline insane! Why? Because spies can’t have moral leadership!

Monday, November 12, 2012

More Spillage To Come

The conflict in Syria once again threaten to spill over to its neighbors as Israeli forces confirmed that they fired “warning shots” into Syria after a mortar round fired from Syria hit an Israeli post in the Golan Heights.

This is the third time in 2 weeks when the Syrian civil war is going to spill over. The Israeli army has reported that three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized buffer zone in the Golan Heights to chase after rebel fighters in the area last week. Separately Syrian rebel forces had surrounded a government town in northern Syria, forcing the town citizens to escape into Turkey.

Although no one is saying who shot the mortar into Israel in the latest incident, the fact that no one has accused the Syrian government of doing it so far lead me to conclude it was them. It was the rebels who shot the mortar into Israel. If you are one of those wondering why they would be so, the answer is simple.

It makes tactical sense.

Despite all the talk on Western networks, the simple fact is that the Syrian army is winning. They have the upper hand in the conflict and there had been no major defections in the army. Things are so bad for the rebels their Saudi and Western backers had to rush heavy arms to them to maintain the rebellion. So what would you do if you are the rebels?

You spread the conflict out as wide as possible in the hope of getting active allies against the Syrian government. That’s why months after the conflict first started, now you have “spillage” into Turkey and Israel. It makes perfect sense especially if you are the rebels. In short, expect more “spillage” in the coming days. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Déjà Vu

Only days after Barack Obama's re-election as U.S President and already war loom for the Middle East. Western efforts to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad have failed so far and NATO members, U.K and Turkey are trying to ratchet up the tension.

Turkey publicly claimed that NATO members have “discussed” using Patriot missiles to protect a “safe zone” inside Syria (remind anyone of Libya?) while the U.K say it will now deal directly with Syrian rebel military leaders (remind anyone of Libya?). Both countries claim this is because they are “anticipating” a new, bold approach from the American President to end the Syrian civil war.

I don’t buy it.

I don’t think the NATO countries are “anticipating” Obama’s actions as trying to force Obama into a war in Syria. Again, anyone remember Libya? That’s was exactly what happened in Libya. France attacked first and Obama had to support France or faced charges he had abandoned America’s ally.

Anyone else having a sense of déjà vu? I know I do. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Comics this week

Earth 2 #6- First off, let me get this out of the way. I totally understand why some people hate this series. Characters like Alan Scott and Jay Garrick are almost icons in the DC world, so to see them as young, raw, and slightly different characters in Earth 2 will be a shock to some. I totally understand…and I love Earth 2 anyway! I’m one of those guys who like it when writers try something different and writer James Robinson definably is doing that. Outside a habit of overwriting, he managed to put together a good conclusion to the first story arc that is different from what you would expect (Al Scott becoming an asshole). Even the sub-plot of Sloan trying to use logic to manage the chaos of an illogical world with magic was interesting. Some people may hate it, but I’m looking forward to more stories on Earth 2!

Green Lantern #13- The #0 introduced us to writer Geoff Johns’ latest Green Lantern, Baz Simon. If you are (like me) wondering and worrying why we need yet another human GL in the New 52, this issue deals with it in some ways. In short, Simon Baz is a GL that uses his smarts more than the other human GLs as he outwits the Justice League. I do worry that Johns may be trying too much by trying to write 3 storylines together but between him and Doug Manhke’s work, things are looking good so far. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Virtual to Reality

Even in the genre of MMORPG, players of the online game EVE Online are famously/infamously known as hardcore gamers. And just to prove that reputation is well-earned, we have the story of Marcus Dickinson, better known in EVE as Roc Wieler.

Proudly calling himself a role-player, Dickinson has a second life as Roc. He writes on a blog called Roc's Ramblings (as Roc), he creates music albums and 3-D artwork for his character; he even sells Roc-related paraphernalia to his fans through his blog. But something was missing!

After a trip to the EVE holy land of Iceland, Dickinson discovered what was missing. Like most players, the avatar Dickinson created in game looked nothing like him. Roc Wieler was supposed to be a retired military colonel with an imposing visage and Dickinson…well, he is a 40 year old marketing executive.

However by having the impressive discipline of his avatar, Dickinson showed just how seriously he is about the game by…actually working out! Hitting the gym and changing his diet, Dickinson now looked a whole lot more like Roc Wieler.

Now people; this is a role-player! I won’t be surprised if shrines are built in his honor! What’s next; plastic surgery to make people more elf-like?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another 4 Years

U.S President Barack Obama got another 4 years in the White House after handsomely defeating Mitt Romney in the U.S Presidential Elections today. In a hard-fought and expensive race, the margin of victory for Obama was in the end surprisingly large.

I admit I thought Romney was going to win but I wasn’t that surprised by a win for Obama. As I had said several times, I thought the guy wasn’t great but he did well enough to deserve another term as President. Both guys had a chance. What I was surprised at was the margin of victory.

Under America’s confusing (and slightly mad) Electoral College system, Obama rolled to a comfortable victory after winning the “swing states” of New Hampshire, Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Ohio. Of the “swing states”, Romney only managed to win North Carolina and maybe Florida. It was not enough. In the end, the final results almost looked like a landslide for Obama. 

So congratulations Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Recipe For Disaster

You would think after the ongoing disaster that is the Three Gorges Dam, people and countries would think twice about building new mega dams in Asia. If you think so, you would be mistaken as Laos now intend to build a multibillion-dollar dam that will affect the Mekong River.

The hydroelectric dam will be a $3.8 billion project located at remote Xayaburi and has divided the four nations sharing the MekongLaosVietnamCambodia and Thailand all depend on the Mekong and the dam in Laos will affect all of them.
The last great dam built was the Three Gorges Dam in China and like I said earlier, the dam has been an ongoing disaster. Entire villages had to be destroyed, tens of thousands of people had to be moved and the environmental destruction of the Three Gorges Dam is still being felt to this day. The dam has been such a problem even members of the Communist Party in China had to admit it was a mistake to build the dam. Did the world learn anything from it?

No! Despite the problems large infrastructure projects have over the long-term, countries and leaders are still going ahead with them. Even when they don’t need them! Laotian leaders openly admit that the dam at Xayaburi will produce more electricity than the country needs and the surplus will be “sold” to neighboring countries.

You build a dam bigger than you need to produce electricity you don’t need in the hope of selling to countries you are not sure will buy them. All at the risk of destroying the ecosystem that is the Mekong River. Now if that’s not a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why The Angst?

Last month, two taxi-drivers claimed that he was earning $7,000 a month as a taxi-driver. 32-year-old Muhammad Hasnor Hashim and 32-year-old Mark Leow told the media that they earn S$7,000 and S$6,000 a month, respectively while driving their taxis.

The reports were widely ridiculed by Singaporeans including many other taxi-drivers. Now, probably due to the public pressure, one of the taxi-drivers, Mr. Mohd Hasnor Hashim, has changed his tune “clarifying” that the amount was only for the month of May, and that his earnings per month usually only range between $4,000 to $5,000.

I don’t get why Singaporeans are so worked up about this. I personally do not believe their claims but…so what? So what if they really did earn S$6,000- S$7,000 a month? I don’t believe it but if it’s true, good for them! Now if you are a taxi-driver, I can understand your rage a little (blogger James Lim) but for the rest of us; Why all this anger and disbelief?

Whether it was a boast or not, whether it was true or not; it got nothing to do with most of us! So I really don’t get all this angst over the claims of 2 taxi-drivers! My fellow Singaporeans; let it go. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Strange/Interesting Election

With less than a week from the American Presidential Election, polls from America still have President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney neck and neck into the final straight. Standing here in Singapore, I (and most of the world) am wondering why?

Now it’s no surprise the rest of the world prefer to have Obama to Romney when you consider their respective positions on Israel and Iran, but even beyond that, I am seriously perplexed on why Americans are so unhappy about Obama.

When he took over from George Bush, Obama had a laundry list of problems. Their international reputation was in tatters, their economy was in the toilet, their housing market was in a tailspin, and they were still involved in 2 wars! In his 4 years, America’s international reputation has largely recovered, America’s economy is slowly recovering and America’s wars are in their closing stages.

Now I’m not a huge fan of his. I could understand some of the complains against him. High unemployment rate, gridlock in Congress, economy that has not fully recovered but you can also argue he inherited these problems more than created them.

In short, I (and the rest of the world) don’t think Obama did that bad of a job. However not even his deft handling of Hurricane Sandy this week pull him ahead of Mitt Romney! Considering his performance, you would assume he did well enough to get another 4 years (after all Bush got 8) but yet there’s a real chance he may lose next week. And that is very strange to me which will make the results next week to be interesting.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Comics this week

Justice League Dark Annual #1- The chase for the Book of Magic ends here with the team in a final showdown against Nick Necro. Everyone shows up in this issue as writer Jeff Lemire manages to squeeze anyone remotely magical into the book. Some of the guest-star made prefect sense and served a function to move the story forward (Frankenstein, Princess Amaya), others did not (Andrew Bennett). However artist Mikel Janin did a fine job in portraying everyone and seems to have great fun in the action scenes. Fun is the best thing about this issue. Both Lemire and Janin seem to enjoy putting this issue together with John Constantine’s wisecracks about his teammates being funnier than usual. The only thing I had a problem with is the ending which seems a little cheap to me but on the whole this was quite an entertaining and fun annual.