Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Boris" Hitler blew his top over Brexit

There are innumerable versions of this clip to match signature headline fiascoes. Someone has made one for Boris Johnson the snake.

Good luck Boris even the bedridden now know you all lied your way to victory. God bless the Queen, a true old school leader, "I am still alive!"

Monday, June 27, 2016

SQ B777 engine on fire

This is not a car on fire which happens fairly often but usually not reported in the media. To have a B777 engine on fire is so implausible it is not suppose to happen if everything is carried out according to procedure. Therefore SQ better pray this is a Black Swan event but to be realistic expect some not so commendable reason to be the real cause.

If this gets the interest of the Air Crash Investigation program there will be no cover up because if you deny them the information they will just indulge in expert speculation which will reflect badly on SQ.

Brexit: Vulnerable voters and Scumbags

From the NYT which provided quite a good summary. I record this to remind us never to ever go down the same path the British just did. Socioeconomic conditions have created a serious wealth gap leading to widespread disenfranchised voters. They became emotionally vulnerable to exploitation and as always if prey is present, predators will appear.

Now I hope a broad sweep of the American media picks this up and compare Boris Johnson to Donald Trump. Do not lose big by voting the wrong person. Political leaders across the world do their place in history not favors if they have no plan to fix the gaps in societies. To permit the circumstances which make for emotionally vulnerable voters to persist is to destroy all the good work that had gone before.

As long as such voters exist in large numbers it is a time bomb. With mad people in power through freak elections, even the privileged should fear for their wealth. Their stupid policies will sink economies while threatening security everywhere at the same time. Rich and poor will all be worse off. By then it would be too late to blame anyone but yourselves.

Update: 6:25 pm

No great rush to leave the EU? Perhaps he never wanted to leave in the first place because unlike Donald Trump, this scumbag is smarter and knew he would have a revolt at home and be kicked out of No.10 when the daily lives of the average Briton takes a huge hit. That would surely come if he Brexit asap.

This guy was just trading and using everything to satisfy his ambition to be PM. Looks like nothing is sacred to him. Untrustworthy and lacking in integrity but can be very impressive on show. I only remember him because when he visited the Istana as London Mayor he took the MRT instead of a chauffeured limo.

This is a dangerous man and should never be allowed to be PM of the UK. Sadly his type are always among us but it is not a problem until voters become vulnerable to demagoguery. The Achilles Heel of Democracy.

Update: June 28 2:45 pm

I just saw this and since I already posted on this subject, I had to add this as well.

Very sad when the average politician you don't trust but might not have a choice and the political stars are downright criminally dishonest.

So just in case nobody has the strength to say, "Long lives the Queen" she had to say it herself. I deeply admire and respect her character and example.

ST is too bereft of talent these days. That wasn't a joke! Even me a neophyte trying to get up to speed here could tell. I have been thinking of giving up my subscription. Only the comfort of a silly habit has kept me on with them. 

Update: June 28 10:30pm

Why these "Leave" or pro Brexit pols are scumbags. CNN Money summarizes it well. The British people must be wondering with such vile characters trying to represent them, who can they trust? This is a warning to us here. If it can happen to the UK, it doesn't take a lot to manifest here. 

The very active British and US media is going to make such shots heard around the world. Liar, liar your pants are on fire! 

June 29 6:00 pm

I don't think many Singaporeans bother to follow closely what happen in the UK until they do something mad to impact all of us. Vox provided the backstory leading the the ill fated referendum which led to Brexit. 

David Cameron would be enshrined in British history as their worst PM. The man is no better than his school mate Boris Johnson. Look beyond the Tories to Labour as well. The whole political class in the UK is gutted of any moral principles except to gain and hold on to power at all costs. 

Beside making up my mind how to place my bets, the far more important reason is what is happening to the UK today could easily be our reality some day. If so, they would probably be the end of Singapore. The most evil thing about this is that most of us would be clueless we are heading down this road until it is too late.

July 4 8:30 pm

The filename I had for this picture was "Farage asshole" which is now uploaded here. But I thought scumbag was a more apt description.

Update: July 23 6:25pm

Even the considered view also think so!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Obama: Among America's Greatest Presidents

I have mentioned a couple of times before that history will be much kinder to Obama than what he has been unfairly getting as a sitting President. I am glad he is starting to sell his record and educate the American public on the issues of the future and without mentioning names or name calling explains Donald Trump is an insane idea.

The story from Businessweek summarizes his achievements. Sure there is no mention of failures and anyone doing that job will always have more than enough to regret over but any honest person would be hard put to compare his record against most of those who did the job before him, especially his immediate predecessor.

And the guy labored under the following conditions to get the job done, which in other words America could have been several times better today but it was also an inescapable result of America's founding fathers foresight to make sure the United States remain in business. See below.

Now, I’m always careful about drawing too many easy parallels there, because sometimes there are CEOs who come in and start explaining to me how I should be running the presidency. And I sometimes have to stop them and say, “All right. One, I appreciate your advice. But imagine a situation in which half your board and management were actively trying to get rid of you and prevent you from accomplishing anything. And you had 2 million employees, and you couldn’t fire a large portion of them. And your competitors weren’t simply promoting their own products, but were continually saying how your products were the worst that were ever invented and will cause a civilizational crisis. If you pull that all together, then you’ve got about half of what I’m dealing with on a daily basis.

It is more than a pity, a tragedy in fact that Britons had David Cameron and his colleagues instead of Obama and his team of rivals.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit: It was all about leadership

These are the sort of stories Britons are reading beside Googling what is the EU.

Incredible isn't it? After all these years in the EU so many voters do not really know what it is? As incredible is the top story: Man who voted for Leave says he thought his vote 'wouldn't count' and is now 'worried'. This brings to mind LKY warning us never to monkey with our vote because you might live to regret it. 

To me the nub of the issue for Brexit is just one word: Leadership. 

Every member in the 27 nations union have strong internal forces seeking to leave the union. Only responsible leaders are stopping them from achieving that. The now former PM David Cameron was reckless and foolish. If there is a lesson here for the other EU nations, it is to make sure your leader isn't another Cameron waiting to be unveiled. 

One leader, Winston Churchill stood up to Hitler and refused to be defeated. Similarly one leader, David Cameron surrendered the future of Britain to the worst elements of his society. The selfish and irrational losers who could not win were prepared to take the whole country down with them believing the wishful lies of Farage and Johnson. 

Die Zeit hosting a discussion between Helmut Schmidt and Lee Kuan Yew in 2012 at the Shangri-La had this on record.

Get it? "Leadership figures". Which is what the UK lacks and is more lacking then ever. Therefore it is going to get much worse before it turn around for them.

Without risking key security and economic interests, Merkel will make an example of the UK to warn the other members of the EU. The Union is Germany's ultimate security blanket, i.e., they want it more badly than any other nation on the continent.

Update: June 26 10:00 am

Jeffrey Sachs article to Project Syndicate proposed a helpful re-framing and change of minds about how to respond to Brexit. The most important is not to add fuel to the fire which is what European leaders are already loudly hinting (how else would we know right?) The big worry is where are the leaders to pull this off? If you count on the people to lead, that for sure is taking us down the wrong path of cutting their noses to spite their faces.

These are the moments we got to see bringing people to a place which they are incapable of getting there themselves. That is the truest definition of leadership.

Update: June 27 4:50

Someone left this comment at the Guardian newspaper site. Reads like really finely crafted British treachery. Boris Johnson is getting his comeuppance. What a dishonest, slippery and deceptive person who had stooped at nothing just to be PM. At least on his way out David Cameron did something brilliantly right.

If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.

Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.

With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.


Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legislation to be torn up and rewritten ... the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-manoeuvred and check-mated.

If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over - Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession ... broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was "never". When Michael Gove went on and on about "informal negotiations" ... why? why not the formal ones straight away? ... he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cooler Master for Asus VivoMini

Ordered this Cooler Master fan from eBay (USD 10.99) on the 19th and it arrived on the 23rd. This must be one of the speediest deliveries ever.

I mounted it in my 80 cents plastic basket with blue tack and sits the Asus VivoMini PC on top of it.

This is making a huge difference in heat management. The box is clearly running much cooler now. I am very pleased the fan is very quiet too.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Up PC RAM to 12 GB

Got this 8 GB RAM at SL Square today for $49. It is time to return to SL Square since Funan Centre is history. I get better prices there too but it is inconvenient to drive to and so I took the train there. With the DTL 2 it is very convenient as the station stops right next to it.

Met an ex-colleague from Shell too. I have not met him for probably twenty years. When you change your routine, you risk new experiences. I welcome it actually.

Amazon hong pao

Received this from Amazon early in the morning yesterday a "gift" of $27.99.

Actually Amazon was only the delivery boy and bank. The money came from a class action suit against Apple for manipulating ebook prices. Now I have one year to use this credit.

Sure this isn't exactly a gift but when it wasn't expected, it is as good as one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rajan leaving RBI

Congress was wise to put him in charge of the RBI. The BJP government did not have the wisdom to keep him for another term at least to finish the job he started. They gave the dumb reason that he isn't Indian enough. The true reason of course is corruption.

In a very competitive world you can only succeed if you do not mind the color of your cat. That was how Deng led China to succeed but the post-Deng leadership in China today seems to be beginning to develop their own self defeating ways as well. This is a much bigger story for another time.

Good luck to India, always so adept at shooting themselves in the foot.

Bloomberg article.

Update: June 23 9.00 am

The vile fellow has a face. Very well educated like many among their elites but too Indian to be good for India.

The greatest enemy of the Indians are themselves such that they often have to leave India to do well. India is fortunate many are willing to come back and contribute but they might regret that move as we saw in the high profile example of Raghuram Rajan.

Monday, June 20, 2016

South China Sea: Playing with the big boys now

Xi Jinping, you have underestimated US resolve and now you must realize you are playing with the big boys now. How are you going to respond to just US naval posturing? You can't but the US will help you save face as long as you do nothing when the UN courts in the Hague deliver their verdict which would likely not favor Chinese unreasonable interests.

You should have listened to Deng and bide your time but you were too impatient and now you have alerted the Eagle. Make love today whilst each side is making preparations for an eventual divorce but I am hoping for till death do us part like it happened to the Soviets.

IT equipment life: Watch the heat

I do not have the resources to be completely scientific about this but my experience seems to indicate that if I can keep my IT equipment cool they last for a very long time. So this morning I bought a simple basket (80 cents), flipped it upside down and rest my new Asus PC on it. When the Cooler Master fan I ordered from eBay arrives the set up would be complete.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lunch at Sin Kee Chicken Rice

This is Sin Kee, no more at Mei Ling St food centre but a coffee shop at Block 40 Holland Drive.  We had lunch there yesterday after failing to get dinner there about two weeks ago because they were sold out - just like they used to before at their former place.

As good as before and unlike previously it is now self service.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Beautiful after the Rain

After raining practically the whole day yesterday, witness the power of water to take the heat away.

It is a beautiful Saturday. :-)

DHL scam: Finally my turn

The DHL scam finally got to me but now with a twist. It is a computer generated voice in EL first and then CL. Press 0 to talk to a real person...with such an automated system imagine how widely and frequently they could reach?

These guys would either be buying or heavily investing in spyware to harvest our phone contacts. This is relatively easy and almost always done unnoticed especially unlike most PC many phones are not as well protected.

After they have mined this for what it is worth they will devise a new story and repeat the cycle. Time to take the fight to them.

It is quite hard to cyber rob the bank, much easier to scam people to withdraw their money and hand it over right? The cost of such operations are low and if you try your luck with enough people, the low conversion rates will still yield a tidy absolute sum. Scammers biggest worry might not be law enforcement but competitors. I am waiting for them to start hunting down and killing each other. You can't enforce territorial rights in cyberspace like they do in the physical world. Unless governments are more proactive this is going to get quite messy. 

Pope Francis understands Modern Marriage

He gets it because he sees modern marriage as it is and not what marriages ought to be and isn't. Quoting from the article,

 "great majority" of Catholic marriages being celebrated today are invalid because couples do not fully realize it is a lifetime commitment, drawing sharp criticism from Church conservatives.

The pope, who has come under fire before for making spontaneous comments about doctrinal matters, was speaking at a question-and-answer session with priests, nuns and parish workers on Thursday night in a Rome basilica.

"We are living in a provisional culture," Francis said in response to a man who spoke of "the crisis of marriage" and asked how the Church could better prepare young couples.

"Because of this, a great majority of our sacramental marriages are null because they (the couple) say 'yes, for the rest of my life' but they don't know what they are saying because they have a different culture," Francis said.

The conservatives can insist on what marriages should be but the fact is that it isn't. Marriages needs healing and understanding anew not hypocritical pretense and judgement. It has gone very far away from what God intended it to be. When it is lost, the common sense response to go find it. The foolish reaction is pretend nothing has changed. Such attitudes will condemn the church to irrelevance.

Friday, June 17, 2016

2049: Impatience is China's gravest weakness

2049 is the centennial of the founding of the CCP. A lot of what China has been doing becomes clear when you work backwards what China need to sew up by that year.

The Chinese are perhaps the proudest people in the history of humankind. Everyone saves them are barbarians. By 2049 it doesn't just hope but wants to displace America as the number one power in the world. If that means it cannot rise peacefully, so be it. Diplomacy is too slow for China, so strong arms is the way to go. Just as well since China's behavior will stop controversy about whether her intentions are peaceful or not. It isn't.

Talking to China is now a waste of time. Same words different interpretations get nobody anywhere. Meanwhile they just carry on with what they want to do with those little dots in the South Sea.

But China is not ready to confront the US or a united front including Japan, India and the rest of Asia. Russia will watch and behave opportunistically even as the Indians also watch how Russia and Pakistan play it out in their corner. America will tilt the balance and as long as there is a will, easily done. China impatience has caused her to show her cards before she is strong enough to protect them. She can score early successes but she can't go very far. It would have been a lot more practical to not think of 2049 but 2149. Everyone would be happier. China is underestimating America's will to defend her interests in the Pacific. The Chinese never understood the Americans well enough and failed to heed LKY's warning not to count them as a spent force. The Chinese are simply too proud and impatient which will force ASEAN to find partners to gang up against them to bring a balance of power to the region. Look around there are no lack of partners. Remember it is inconvenient but not impossible for the original founding ASEAN states to deal with Cambodia and Laos.

Link to article at Today

Update: June 18 3:20 pm

Quoting from Who is Xi?

Xi’s stated goal is for China to achieve “a moderately prosperous society” (xiaokang shehui) by the hundredth anniversary of the Party’s founding in 2021, and “a socialist modernized society” (shehuizhuyi xiandaihua shehui) by the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the P.R.C. in 2049.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Not renewing my i-Term policy

How quickly ten years have flown by. If there is one thing I remember well was the pre-qualification medical check up before NTUC income would offer me a $600K term insurance cover, is that my weight has stayed the same. To be more accurate it had only gone up 1 kg and returned to where it was. I ate what I wanted and never needed to watch my weight. Not any more.

I am not renewing the policy. The kids are almost grown up, the cash position is so much better now and very important they are upping my premium by 2.8 times! This is not daylight robbery but a hard cold number that the risk of death keep going up with age.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Worst mass shooting? Worse is coming

Every mass shooter whether sick in the mind or a misled Islamist terrorist endeavors to out do the previous worst atrocity. If their religion is full of ego inflation than it has nothing to do with God at all because God is about humility.

Americans especially the NRA are being stupid about guns. They are not going to fix this until they get stupider than NRA stupidity about guns. Do they know they have opted to learn this the hard way? I only hope they do not need to pay the price of hell to fix this.

Update: June 14 12:15 pm

Step by step watching it get worse and stupider for America before they would act on gun control.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

PTSD has strong physical basis

I am poorly informed. Isn't PTSD completely psychological? Now there is strong evidence pointing out that it isn't. Really feel sorry of the soldiers who suffered in silence not knowing or understanding what happened to them. Worse were those who were executed for cowardice or running away because they simply no longer had control of themselves. War has never been as cruel as it is waged in modern times.

It is late but it is better than never from official denial which we have come to expect were this Russian or especially Chinese.

Link to article.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Internet Banking: Staying Safe

The government is going do it but I have been telling my friends for a few years now to please use a separate and dedicated device for internet banking. For obvious reasons of customer confidence the banks don't want to tell you but now with the government leading the way they should. I have been using dedicated devices for internet banking for at least two years now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

NYT: Aging, but Still Working, in Singapore

Compared to the Economist, my opinion of the NYT keeps getting better! I have always used stories about us by the foreign media to evaluate them, especially if they are writing on a topic I am familiar with. The NYT has done an excellent job and the writer isn't even on their staff.

Read the article and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

TRE will die a natural death

I haven't read TRE for so long I can't remember when was the last time I did. I don't think I am alone and I am not about to go and check what exactly did TRE publish on this issue. What TRE deserves is extinction through the Darwinian process. Perhaps for a brief period it served a useful purpose but it had to adapt or simply lose readership and die.

All good will and any benefit of the doubt are now gone. Only those who need like Hillary Clinton suggested see a psychiatrist can continue reading TRE.

I don't know how early I am calling this, but TRE please RIP.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Pink Dot runs out of space

I see the Pink Doters ran out of space at Hong Lim Park and instead of fighting for more physical space that chose to be creative instead. Good on them. Meanwhile for the first time Lawrence Khong didn't appear on my Facebook news feed, perhaps I am too soon in saying so, this is good. I am sure they are wearing white to church services today.

Pink or white, keep it local and I prefer not to see both sides assailing each other on social media. I know the next turn of history belongs to the Pink Doters. LGBT has grown a letter to LGBTQ. Last year that had nine corporate sponsors. This year it has grown to eighteen.

Wear white should spend more time asking themselves what sort of white they are. Whitewashed tombs or true white. Make sure that you are whiter than the men in white first.

Remember for us it has got to be because we are different, we are one people. In the same way Singaporeans of different faiths, beliefs and convictions are making the trip together back to Mt. Kinabalu one year after an earthquake took many young lives and some of their teachers and guides.

We can have family quarrels and it can be a good thing. Just make sure you know each other well enough first before you fight.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Artic Foxes and their gardens

This is just amazing. They dug the holes to live and keep warm but didn't stop there. They also went out to make it beautiful.Some of these holes are as old as a century.

From Natgeo email.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bought Asus VivoMini at PC Show

Bought this Asus VivoMini at PC Show today. The transition from one machine to the another is always a chore. The older machine is already more than four years old. The only part that failed to work is the power supply which I then cannibalized from an even older machine. Occasionally the machine acts a little strange and I wonder if it isn't sending me the signal to move on.