1 ‘Time for Ukraine to divide’ (Paul Sheehan in Sydney Morning Herald) The people have already spoken. The splintering of Ukraine began to take a formal shape in the presidential election of 2010 when Viktor Yanukovych, a Russian-speaking former governor of the Donetsk Oblast province, defeated Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She is a Ukraine nationalist who became internationally famous for her distinctive golden braids and for her advocacy of Ukraine joining the European Community and ending Russia’s control over the country.
The 2010 vote divided almost perfectly along ethnic lines. The greatest support for Yanukovych came from the regions in the east with Russian-speaking majorities, and the greatest support for Tymoshenko came from the Ukrainian-speaking west. Ukrainian politics became deeply polarisied when Tymoshenko was imprisoned for corruption by the new pro-Russian government, a move condemned by the European Community and supported by the Kremlin.
The polarisation of public life, exacerbated by government corruption and incompetence, became so intense it led to widespread civil disorder, culminating in the overthrow of President Yanukovych in February. A violent attempt to quell the unrest by the elite security police backfired so badly the president fled to Crimea, then to Russia.
The deeper reality is that Ukraine is now two nations in everything but law. It can be split via plebiscite. On the western side is a de facto sovereign state, Ukraine, which is aligned with the European Community and could quickly be invited to membership. On the eastern side is the autonomous region of Donetsk, which could become sovereign or be absorbed into Russia as an autonomous department. Ukraine’s river system even provides natural borders.
As for the detail of where a new border between Ukraine and Donetsk would run, that should be decided by the people, by plebiscite. Better a formal division than more blood, blackmail and disaster.
2 Five reasons not to get an MBA (Belo Cipriani in San Francisco Chronicle) While getting an MBA may appear like a good way to boost your credentials, in the San Francisco Bay Area, it may not give you the best return on your investment. Here are five reasons why you should not get an MBA.
Experience carries more weight. Local hiring managers and recruiters look at experience over education. They are more intrigued by someone with the hands-on experience with a particular technology or type of client than with a candidate with a graduate degree in business. When considering less-seasoned applicants, employers prefer internships over an MBA.
Follow your passion. There are other graduate programs that may be more aligned with your interests than an MBA. For instance, if you enjoy managing engineering teams, a Masters in Engineering may be a better fit. Too many MBAs. With the large number of weekend and online graduate business programs, the Bay Area has experienced a jump in MBA graduates. And with the MBA becoming more and more common, it has lost the prestige it once had.
The new way to network. Once upon a time, people got an MBA for the opportunity to build their network. Social media has changed that. With LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus, people have access to decision makers without having to set foot in the classroom.
Doesn’t guarantee an executive role. Again, when considering a candidate for an executive position, hiring committees are looking for business experience. For example, a startup would most likely hire a CIO who has prior startup experience. In this case, an MBA would not help close the deal.
Graduate degrees in Business Administration are expensive. And in the Bay Area, they don’t provide much of a career boost. Whether you want to be a manager at a startup or with a tech giant, decision makers are looking for work experience and culture fits—not for an MBA.
3 Mulling an oil change in the kitchen (Straits Times) As is their nature, sinful foods are the ones that are oh so delectable but, alas, do no good when taken in excess. This is a key reason why champions of healthy eating habits have their work cut out for them. No one knows this better than Health Promotion Board (HPB) advocates who have been stoutly offering pointers on how to “survive the hawker paradise”.
Comfort food like chicken rice, nasi lemak and mee soto are among the foods that rank high in cholesterol, salt and fat, including that arch rogue, saturated fat. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the palm oil commonly used by hawkers, as it is the cheapest, has a high proportion of saturated fat which raises the risk of heart disease, says HPB.
Boldly going where few health authorities have ventured, it plans to spend millions of tax dollars a year to subsidise oil merchants so the price of a canola-palm oil substitute matches that of palm oil. The intent is to overcome any resistance from food sellers for whom cost is paramount. While the vigour of the effort is to be hailed, the intended outcomes call for closer scrutiny.
The oil substitute might be eschewed for perceived taste reasons. Resources would be better spent in public education that emphasises a holistic approach to health. Ingredients, salt and sugar use, and preparation methods all contribute to a balanced diet. Physical activity, weight management and lifestyle pursuits are also central to staying healthy. Tuning up sedentary routines within homes can achieve more than an oil change within woks.