Washingtonians remember Kennedy at vigil Wednesday night

Photo: Clement Tan

Whatever wrong the late Sen. Ted Kennedy had done earlier in his life, George Mason University professors Hugh Gusterson and Allison Macfarlane are satisfied the youngest of the Kennedy brothers subsequently redeemed himself in the Senate. “He might have been flawed, but he was also passionate and righteous,” Gusterson said.

He was probably echoing the views of the 150-strong crowd who had gathered at the heart of Washington D.C in a hastily arranged candlelight vigil for the late Senator Wednesday evening. For an hour or so, the north side of the Dupont Circle fountain turned into a makeshift memorial for the late senator from Massachusetts.

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Tempering dreams with harsh reality

Photo: Flickr User Yan Arief

TANKING economy, check; struggling newspaper industry, check; few opportunities for fresh young talent, check.

So why would any fresh graduate choose to quadruple his student debt by going straight into graduate journalism school, only to enter an industry that is seemingly devoid of opportunities?

Well, I did. My friends thought I was insane, but I could not imagine doing anything else. I guess I also wanted to attend Columbia Journalism School because the idea of hazarding a calculated risk appealed to me.

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Economic logic alone does not make a “home”

Photo: Flickr User besar bear
Photo: Flickr User besar bear

What makes a country a home? Is it emotional ties or pure economic self-interest?

Linda Lim posed this question in a Straits Times article published June 19 and it has lingered in my mind ever since, particularly at the Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum held Aug. 31 at the NUS Theatrette.

Singapore’s manpower minister, Ng Eng Hen was the minister in attendance as he suggested how the Singapore graduate can “stand tall in a shrinking world”. He talked about the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the Singapore graduate and suggested we have to improve if we were to take advantage of future opportunities in an increasingly globalised world.

It all sounded so familiar. Ng cached his argument in an unmistakable economic paradigm that has come to characterize the PAP government. But should the only logic that prevails on most occasions be economic in a home? While it is important to embrace this global human flow, is Singapore embracing this at the risk of alienating Singaporeans?

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