Thursday, September 29, 2016

Choosing the next PM: Voters do not know how

Almost 70% of those they surveyed chose Tharman as the next PM. I recall he led all others in the poll by a long shot. For me I always know it isn't up to us. We vote for the MP standing in our ward but the PAP hope we will vote for them as a package, realistic to know we will not get all we want but as whole we are better than any competing alternative. However the problem is many voters do not make their calculations that way.

To put this across plainly, Tharman is basically saying we don't know him and I believe he is right. We only know him as a public figure, nothing beyond that.

In other words we the voters do not have the information needed to choose a PM. Even if we have the info do we know how to choose the best person? I don't think so. That is the take away I got watching and learning about the US Presidential Elections. Their founding fathers want to give the people the right to choose the government but at the same time decided that they cannot be trusted to choose wisely. Their priority was not good government but preventing tyranny. Therefore the US President is chosen out of an electoral college and not the majority vote. Gridlock is better than tyranny but Singapore must do better than gridlock or fail.

For us we have a well working system but a fragile one which can easily go wrong. Just look at our our last Presidential Elections, people were voting for a President to do a different job than the one enshrined in the constitution.

Voters are more emotional than rational and that in the long run is the danger we face. In the Philippines they are even more emotional and we always have a live show of what that produce. Duterte is going to create a mess for them. Aquino wasn't perfect but they would have done better to choose a someone who would continue on the same path and fix the traffic problems, income gap and crime. In America they would be cutting their nose to spite their face if they choose Trump who will waste the gains Obama got for them and worse. Even the Taleban have no respect for Trump much less fear him. The Brits have foolishly elected to go Brexit and they are clueless of the rush of the Tsunami after the present calm. Up north the HongKongers fail to appreciate that they are banging their heads against the wall trying to get independence from China.

Unfortunately people often will not listen and choose to learn their lessons the hard way. Wasn't that what Churchill nearly said about America? The US is leading only because at the final moment they made wise choices.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Uncommon old fashioned decency

I am glad a JC classmate and that is a long time ago, shared this on Facebook. I used to occasionally come across such types when I was a kid and I watched how they do business with my parents. They are very rare now and that is also the reason why the income and wealth gap is so huge.

To my kids, watch and learn. For me this is fond nostalgia.

Now it would be impossibly idealistic that all business people are like this guy. We should emulate him but as individuals and families. We mustn't make such conduct public policy because it is impractical and impossible.

Nevertheless we need to encourage and extol more of such behavior. We want to see this only from people who do it out of the goodness of their hearts and now for show which is simply hypocrisy. If public policy tries to achieve this that is what it would become and that is why character education in our school is not succeeding as well as hoped. We have seen that in Japanese society and see where they are now. Stuck with two lost decades.

That is why I cannot support Lawrence Khong public initiatives on the family modeled after the American "Focus on the Family" led by Dr. James Dobson which by the way is openly endorsing the unfit Donald Trump as President.

Good Christianity is private rather than public but it will becomes public when enough individuals live it. Do not try to enforce morals top down which makes you no better than the Islamic religious police in some countries. The only difference is that they have a head start over you. Given the opportunity and time we would just create a Christian and a repressive version as the Islamic one. That would be a Christianity without Christ. That is also a Church Pope Francis is fighting mightily against. Excerpt from the NYT I read earlier: Has Pope Francis Failed?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

US Prezzie Debate: Half smart and Half dumb

I could only spare about fifteen minutes this morning to catch the debate between Clinton and Trump live piped in via NYT. Later in the afternoon I read some reports from WSJ, Vox etc., and then I found this from NPR which I consider the most useful but I must admit I couldn't afford the time to read to the end: Fact checking the first debate.

There are not professional or scientific polling on who won the debate. That takes time but rough estimates had the WSJ proposing that each camp firmly kept their followers and the undecided weren't noticeably moved in either direction. These early polls do not give people the time to pause and think, instant news does not wait. For that I got this from Time magazine online poll.

It is a draw.

My take? I think governance in the 21st century is more complex than ever. The substantive issues are inter-related and not easy to understand. As a result the voting base become divided into two extremes of the smart and the dumb.

Clinton makes no sense to the simple minded and emotionally directed types. These folks do not learn something by reading and thinking. They learn from doing and experience. If in the throes of change they were left behind then the system that is in place is bad and we need someone to completely overhaul it is how they see it. To them their only choice is Trump. You cannot persuade such people. You might not even succeed at making their lives better but you might have better luck with their children if you can find a way to educate them well.

For those who are informed and bother to think through the issues they will conclude that Trump talked no sense. If they do not support Clinton then the objection is not with her experience and competence and to their perception of her character.

Americans are idealistic and to be around the block too long is not an asset when you offer yourself to voters because they can't imagine you in fairy tales they all love. Obama had that advantage as the shiny new thing in 2008. Some of these idealists will gravitate to Gary Johnson. This is Clinton's loss.

Therefore the game from now till November 8 is to leave the Trump supporters alone and get those who are undecided to vote Clinton. I am with her because I am a realist and also I am completely unlike the sort who are supporting Trump. The other group to persuade are those who find modern day issues too complex for them to sufficiently understand and are withholding support from Clinton because they thought she isn't honest. They are not giving their vote to Trump either because the man in temperamentally and morally unfit to to be commander in chief.

We have 50/50. There are practically no average American. He or she is either smart or dumb. Most of the smart ones are immigrants or children of immigrants. The dumb ones had been immigrants once but generations removed. That is why they want to go back to the Great America they remember which is fantasy than reality. It is a world which Obama painstakingly pointed out to them didn't exist, besides the world is moving on with or without America.

Update: Sep 28 9:45 am

I think it is really worth reading Elizabeth Drew's explanation in Project Syndicate: Why is the US Presidential Race So Close?

In other words those who are sure which candidate is going to win the Presidency are simply just cocky and don't know what they are talking about. Only God knows.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Job unready grads from our universities

Used to be employers do not expect fresh graduates to be even remotely job ready and plan to train them. I have often read how in other countries college students fought tooth and nail for the best internships and often they work for no pay as well to burnish their resume in order to land a job when they graduate. Looks like we are getting to that point ourselves.

The title says it all, the TNP story has a totally different slant from my perception. Perhaps the writer is too young to be know what it was like before and could not compare now and then. I don't know enough to tell.

I told my daughter before she started college that universities can be seen as selfish places of learning. Professors teach you not so much to get you job ready but to mold you in their own image as academics. The tiny best qualify but the rest would have to find their own way outside of university upon graduation. This is truest in schools like the Humanities. Degrees leading to professional practice and qualifications fare better and often have professors who had industry experience as well.

Excerpt from the story

The search for the perfect job has been tough for National University of Singapore (NUS) graduate Amelia Low, 23.
The NUS Merit scholar has sent out more than 50 applications since January, gone for 11 interviews, but to no avail.
"I got increasingly worried since graduating in May," said Miss Low, adding: "Some of my friends are in the same situation."
She said: "Applicants with experience are also competing with us fresh graduates for the same jobs, making it even more difficult for us."
The psychology major has taken up a temporary job as a research assistant at NUS.
"I took on this job even though research is something I have not done, but it is still a skill set that can help beef up my resume."
The move to take on a temporary job was suggested by her father, Mr Low Boon Leong, 54, a business development manager.
"The temporary job will keep her going and give her the flexibility to look out for other options," he said.
"As a parent, the only way I can help her is to be supportive and give her the confidence to continue applying for other jobs.
"I told her that if she gets a position she doesn't want, she should let it go because her interest in a job matters the most."

"perfect job" I don't know what Amelia Low meant by that but almost nobody has a perfect job. Also things change, it can get better or worse.

"NUS Merit scholar" Employers do not care for anything else other than you are fit and healthy and can contribute to their organization goals. They can't make use of the scholarship. That was why three years ago I told my daughter don't bother with the USP or any NUS scholarship. It is too academic to be useful. Just enjoy the experience.

"research is something I have not done" Well there will be many things you will be doing that you have never tried before. This is the norm now and tomorrow as well.

"I told her that if she gets a position she doesn't want, she should let it go because her interest in a job matters the most."

I felt her father had given her the wrong advice but it is also probably a little late as well. To be realistic you have to pick up something approximating what you want and then give it your personal touch. There are no repetitive factory jobs now and everyone should shape and enjoy their work. Learn to find meaning and like your job. Grow from it and keep changing jobs to keep growing.

To be practical, at the end of the day we are price takers. We cannot control when we were born or the environment that we have to operate in. Be patient about your dreams and hopefully you can find something that head in the general direction of where you hope to be. By making course adjustments along the way, sharpening your vision you are raising the chance of getting there every year.

PC Monitor: Philips out; Samsung In

Bought this Samsung LED Monitor (F350 series 22 inch) at Harvey Norman today for a very good price of $128. This is cheaper than I could get from any online stall.

The previous Philips 227QEPH has served us well for quite a few years. Pity I didn't have a blog post of its purchase and I am wondering has it been that long?

Imagine if I were an avid gamer (I have no time for that), the hardware would cost a bomb.

Update: Nov 24 6:35 pm

I spotted for Sitex 2016

My model is the F350 but it is the same as this F355 when I compare the specs off Samsung SG site. 

and I paid less: $128

Terrorism: Our highest form of deterrence

The story opens with "Every Singaporean family will have at least one member trained in sporting suspicious behavior" I underlined that in red (see above)

Were it a different time, people would have thought we are turning into a repressive police state, but this only shows how deadly serious we are about the threat of terrorist attacks. It is an arms race between them and us. As they adapt their attack tactics we also respond by hardening ourselves. I don't think other societies, not even China but North Korea yes, can do what we are about to do against the threat of terrorism.

The outcome of all these measures is that the terrorists will choose softer targets elsewhere. Nevertheless I believe they will keep trying but also realistic about their chances. In other words if we ever let down our guard they will seize the opportunity to come in.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

All banks are iniquitous

I have waited to almost despairing to be proven right about banks. No bank is good and you just have to wait long enough to discover this is true. During the Great Financial Crisis a few banks stood virtuous e.g., Stanchart but that one has since been disgraced. Wells Fargo kept its reputation longer and even has Warren Buffett as a major investor. Then their shenanigans were uncovered and I saw Elizabeth Warren excoriated a sheepish looking Stumpf in the Senate hearing. Yes, some senior bankers ought to serve jail time, and you have to haul them within ten years of their felony. We are running out of time.

Link to story.

Years ago my ex boss said I was too cynical when I suggested this is exactly what banks are after I read it in the Economist.

Now if these banks aren't immoral it is only a matter of degree because regulators have been tough with the laws and watching them like hawks. Anytime regulators decide to be more commercial and develop the financial industry, they cannot but let the demons loose. Nearer home that is exactly what happened after LHL liberalized the banking sector. Afterward the stories of banks ripping clients off became serial, the latest is the sale unrated corporate bonds to mislabeled sophisticated investors.

I never let the bankers sell me anything. I do the shopping myself.

A fire extinguisher for the house

Just received this from Qoo10 this afternoon - fire extinguisher which I hope is never needed.

Only $12, a good "insurance policy" Just in case. This item is good for 3 years and then has to be replaced.

I happened to just make a check in case I remember the price wrongly. It has gone up to about $16.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

American Celebrities: Asking citizens to vote

Since when do they come out doing something like this? Since Donald Trump is a nominee and then they realize if that guy gets into the Oval Office, it is not a good thing putting it mildly whichever way you cut and slice it.

Of course being entertainers there will be an entertaining angle. There is no business like show business!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Self driving vehicles: The coming juggernaut

I am filled with a sense of inevitability reading this article from the NYT on self driving cars. This is going to become a juggernaut. This is both revolutionary and transformational. I better go and work out some of the implications. Don't forget transport is as basic as housing. Most people especially our folks are still underestimating the impact of what is coming.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

CHC: All brain washed

The former CHC investment manager told the high court he was brain washed and I think he might had some sympathy for the bench that was what happened to him.

Very likely all of them except Khong Hee and Sun Ho were brain washed but these two eventually came to believe their own propaganda as well.

Every week at least once they need to go to church with a clear conscience. There is no other way to live except with a clear conscience even it it was lied to thoroughly. This is self deception that is most thorough.

Followers of Daesh are also brain washed but we deal with them differently because they go out killing innocents. Part of their brain washing required that they were doing God's work by killing "infidels".

Religion can be a big problem. It is always ranked above the secular and so hauling these men and women of the church to court and trying them will always be controversial to their hardcore believers.

Perhaps we are all brain washed as well but the majority gets to decide what isn't brain washing.

Nevertheless time reveals the truth. A brain washed group eventually ends and the evidence of no brain washing is the growth, discoveries and life that keeps on renewing the group or society. North Korean society is brain washed. It has tested our patience for many years but it should not end well.

So if you are wary of CHC type of religion, by all means erect your wall against it. Time will confirm if they are a brain washed lot. Meanwhile beware of their subterfuge in infecting you with their gospel.

The only gospel I accept are people not just talking but walking the life of Jesus. By that measure it is far easier and more practical to read the historical Jesus than to go hunting of a living and breathing one in Singapore today.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Please demolish 38 Oxley Road

Reach discovered in a poll that 77% of us would dearly loved to grant LKY his wish to have his house demolished.

Ban Ki Moon with only months left to his final term as secretary general of the UN pointed out that in his job he had come across many leaders who were only interested in retaining power and privilege at all costs. Many have contempt for their people, they are wolves in sheep clothing.

Smart people in government say this is not a straightforward issue. To me this is not multifaceted public policy or security issue when you weigh it against the moral imperative. So what is your problem?

Demolish it or some of us (perhaps many of us) will treat the Cabinet with contempt. You don't understand this simply, honorably and morally do you? For all he had done for us he only had one simple request and you have the callousness to say no? You understand nothing about debt and gratitude. We owe it to him and Ms. Kwa to honor their only request of us.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Islam only way forward

The article says "a way forward" but my title is "only way forward" Why didn't the writer admit that? Because he felt pressured to take it slowly? Who knows but I fear too many Muslims may already at least intellectually lean toward uniting Islam with Politics because that is the only way to practice Islam in its true form. If that is what they think then the road to their promised land is paved with blood and tears without arriving at their destination. Therefore separating Islam and state is the only way. Muslims better go back to their scriptures and history to check again what is actually there. People are lazy and always prefer cognitive ease. Instead of seeking the truth for themselves they prefer to trust some misguided authority figures. Of course at that point they didn't know these religious teachers were wrong.

When will Mohammad Alami Musa start to move away from "a way forward" to "only way forward". This is true not only for Islam but every religion as well or else we would simply have religious and civil wars.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stone violently kissed windshield

Was driving toward the MCE late morning and got the gift of a lousy stone striking my windshield. I could even see it coming! Naturally it was caught by the camera as well but less clearly. That is to be expected from a low quality cheapo but I am happy with it.

Impact assessment: Small crater and thus far the damage seemed confined. Income gave a  list of workshop to replace the windshield. Excess on me is $100 excluding GST.

Too busy. I don't think I am going to do anything about it soon.

Monday, September 12, 2016

North Korea: Jong Il to Jong Un from strategist to madman

Full story by Reuters.

Kim Jong Un's father inked a deal with China to build this bridge to foster closer commercial ties between the two countries in 2010. I assume if he hadn't died there would have been more business between China and North Korea. At the same time there would be no accelerated development of ballistics missiles and nuclear weapons. The son is quite different from the father. Given his youth and the idol worship he receives I am afraid he is also irrational from a warped sense of reality. If we go by historical examples of fatuous monarchs in Asia then his expanding waistline offer tangible evidence for us to guess what the other sides of his life might be like simply from human nature. He is certainly no wise philosopher king because he hasn't got the character of one. I am afraid the Kim family might finally have produced a madman running the show who believes he can win a nuclear war. A madman is not interested to just rule North Korea, he would want to subjugate the South as well and all that is needed is to find an excuse to act.

The Chinese must consider if they should invade North Korea before it is too late. Any action by the US, South Korea and Japan would set off a wider conflict. Surely the Chinese does not want a US ally at its door step when they loose North Korea as a Communist buffer. The problem is if the Chinese military is up to the task. I am afraid they are only good looking on paper but not in real life. Why test and reveal the truth before you are ready.

We have a rapidly developing problem. I don't think Kim Jong Un is targeting the capability to deliver nuclear tipped missiles by 2020. It could happen sooner. That is why the US THAAD has to be in South Korea soon.

With Kim Jong Un in charge, the most benign scenario is to keep up a high stake arms race with North Korea until they find it unsustainable. Then they could either remain moribund as a much diminished threat or God forbid collapse within. The most frightening outcome is Kim Jong Un turned out to be a madman and went ahead to launch a nuclear war. At that time we better hope the THAAD works perfectly. Of course a devastating conventional war would immediately follow. Back to my point the Chinese must liberate North Korea as the least worst outcome in order to prevent a shooting war with the Americans, which if it were to happen, where would it stop?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New glasses for our old mugs

Two such pretty glasses came yesterday to replace two mugs we have had for sometime. Wifey's mug is a year old and mine coming to two years. Both of them are quite worn.

I think I paid about $8 per glass after paying $7 for a wannabe Zojirushi thermos (vacuum) bottle from another vendor. Both purchases off Qoo10 which must be quietly doing a roaring business here. I am seeing their delivery person more and more often these days

Waiting for our repeat order of the thermos bottle to arrive on Tuesday via Sing Post.

Replacing StarMex Compressor

I called them back yesterday that I don't want to spend $480 for replacing the valve in the compressor when I cannot be sure other expensive parts might need to be replaced later. I told them to bring a new compressor which will set me back $1800 and for that I get a fresh 5 year warranty. The current compressor is about six years old which I learned from an earlier blog entry.

Things seem to fall apart after their warranty expires. At least that is true for my water heater several times over. I have managed to beat that with my PCs and now I have ended up with three well functioning computers for my own use!

You can't win, or at least I haven't learned how to. Now I am using all three computers regularly but as always 80% of the time goes to the newest PC.

Statins: Big Pharma strikes back

This is from yesterday ST with the big advert cut out.

The source of the article is Reuters but many other media companies have published it as well at the same time.

For a while I thought the issue was more or less settled. The new evil isn't fats or cholesterol but sugar. With these doctors in the pocket of Big Pharma study, it feels like the Empire has struck back. It is telling the media has done a very bad job reporting this story. Perhaps they have been paid too.

This is a complex issue made devilishly complex by those with the resources to promote their agenda regardless of the truth. Just as Big Oil was guilty about global warming, Big Pharma could be wrong about statins to protect their commercial interests.

Global warming is settled except for the US Republican Party. They will come around to that eventually. On the other hand statins is still mired in controversy. As the battles is fought consumers are bewildered and confused. They will not act on reason which is paralyzed for most but with fear.

Waiting for the other side to mount a counter offensive: sugar is the new fat. Just like sitting is the new smoking.

See also: Effects of Statins on Energy and Fatigue With Exertion: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial.

To be practical (i.e., commerce without guilt) most GPs will continue to encourage and dispense statins. Most people do not know how to think about this and their limbic brains will be making the decision for them. Eventually the truth will get out, after many years. Just like smoking, just like global warming.

Meanwhile the huge and escalating cost is increasingly people no longer trust experts. The signature consequence of their moral and intellectual corruption: Brexit.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stopping Kim Jong Un later

It is always like that. Democracies with the power, wealth and technology habitually wait for a problem to get very bad before they would get serious about dealing with it. The baddies regularly enjoy early success and a false sense of progress - just like Daesh had.

I do not know how this will play out. This is high stakes. The cost-benefit equation will be changing. What truly mattered here are the interests of China and the USA. South Korea has to be astute and adroit at managing and navigating all these. Beyond the Chinese and the Americans the primary players are the Japanese and Russians.

Kim Jong Un is itching to play with the big boys. I wonder if he is really up to it when adults get onto the act for real. Bear in mind this kid is going to do what his late grand father and father had cautiously avoided.

There are no useful mad men to consult on how to deal with Kim Jon Un. We will have to anticipate him based on the world's history books.

Friday, September 9, 2016

This year mooncakes

We are fortunate to get free moon cakes for many years. In fact I took photos of them every year but failed to share it here. I should have. It is much harder digging them out of the archive.

The banks are cutting back and that is why I suppose their namesakes aren't on the pretty boxes. Only the hotel name (Raffles) gives you the confidence that this is quality stuff. I don't think we will be disappointed.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Apple gradually losing it

I have made money with Apple shares. How I wished it was just paper profit but I have come around to believe that Apple cannot do without Jobs. I have kept this mostly to myself but today Apple newest ear piece make it easy to explain. Just compare it with Samsung which by the way had beaten Apple to the post for this part of the race.

This Apple Earpod is ugly isn't it? And would certainly look worse on Asian ears.

The much prettier Samsung Gear X

Update: 8:30 pm

From the NYT, the writer articulated my thoughts exactly.

Update: Sep 17 7:00 am

Quoting two passages from the article. 

Samsung’s approach to competing with the iPhone has always been to sprint at a breakneck pace and reach new hardware milestones first. But that has backfired horribly this year with the unfortunate Galaxy Note 7 recall, which was caused by exploding batteries. Chasing ever higher densities and ever more aggressive fast-charging methods, Samsung seems to have made the mistake of pushing that little bit too hard. But that’s the sort of risk every Android manufacturer is taking on: Xiaomi launched its Mi 5 flagship earlier this year with the highest-density battery technology available.


The iPhone’s greater power efficiency stems from two major factors: neither of its models has class-leading display resolution, and neither has as much RAM as the typical Android smartphone. This resolution issue is a great example of knowing when a spec ceases to be important: Samsung, LG, HTC, and others have all reached more impressive resolutionnumbers than the iPhone, but none of their Quad HD flagship displays looks much better than the iPhone’s. Apple achieves enough resolution (for everything but VR applications), crossing its Retina display threshold, and then it stops. Such pixel frugality leads to longer battery life.

However these haven't detract me from my primary point: Apple design leadership and innovation have almost stopped without Jobs. Fortunately for them they have a wide moat to defend their castle but that is only buying time. I do not know when one day the market decided to wake up and turn against Apple. So from a risk analysis basis, I sold. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Philippines Colourful President

How do you deal with a guy like Rodrigo Duterte? First be glad it was Obama and not Trump on the receiving end.

You avoid or ignore him. You deal with his deputies, you work with them behind the public eye. Duterte simply wants to be left alone to do his job. If he is not in violation of the UN charter you have no legal or moral authority over him.

But the Philippines will pay a price for this very public snub. I wonder what that would be. Perhaps just the international diplomacy equivalent of our old, "Youths with long hair would be entertained last"

I wonder how many Filipinos especially those living overseas are embarrassed.

Update: 8:45 am

Of course this was a snub. You had to be trying very hard to read this any other way, but this is also sad because is shows pettiness and weakness on the Chinese side. Whoever did that is probably going utto be severely punished by away from the public eye by one of Xi's lieutenants. The Chinese president doesn't need to get involved here. So simple they know what to do. 

Again, what if it had been President Trump? What would he be tweeting?

Update: 2:45 pm

Not that slow in expressing regret which he never did when he got personal with Pope Francis. Jack be quick or the Americans would make you pay eh? They are not as kind or patient as God.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Many HNWs were just lucky than smart

Saw that in the ST yesterday. After so many HNWs have been "legally scammed" and millions of dollars poorer, MAS is going to add insult to injury by getting them more protection against private bankers selling them time bombs.

You would have thought these are the smart ones who could look after themselves right? Well coincidentally a few days before Bloomberg had this very appropriate, "tell you the truth" article for those who have the courage to accept the truth.

Lots of rich people are just dumb people with luck on their side. Their most outstanding and latest poster boy is none other than the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Then he attracted some I thought who were smart but I was never quite sure. Their support for Trump have removed all doubt.

You have been lucky in business and gotten rich, if you attribute that to being smart rather than luck then good luck to you. Those who were more self honest know that to replicate their luck elsewhere is really risky. They are the ones who do not need to read the ST article or this one from Bloomberg. Now such people are the minority, for the majority I wonder if they even know coming under MAS protection is an insult to their business brilliance or more honestly to save them from more bad luck.Perhaps they were so lucky and too dumb to realize this. Well when the reversion to the mean comes, then money that came quickly would also go quickly. Good luck, you need it.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Don't be reckless about Zika

When I saw this story in the ST yesterday, I thought that was odd. The US CDC has a different and more sophisticated risk based approach. Naturally the CDC also advised pregnant women to avoid the US states which Zika has become endemic. That is another way of saying if you are a pregnant resident of Miami-Dade county continuing your pregnancy elsewhere with no threat of Zika is a good idea. Therefore that is reason enough for Singapore residents to avoid getting pregnant for the next few months until we have a better understanding of what we are dealing with. Err on the side of caution. Aren't doctors taught this philosophy of caring for patients?

I think in private most doctors would tell their patients to hold off pregnancy for now. In public they have to consider government public policy which is based on the needs of society ranking higher than the individual. Generally this is correct but in this instance it is also callous. Yet another cause for weakening the trust bond between people and government. I am reminded of their abysmal handling of the Hep C outbreak at SGH.

My research turned up the following yesterday:

Read the Univeristy of Illinois article.

If Zika turns out to parallel Rubella which probably doesn't take a very long time to find out, this gung ho attitude toward getting pregnant with Zika floating everywhere in Aedes mosquitoes looking for blood meals will bring grief to many families for nothing.

What is a little more caution and patience? The more knowledge I gain, the less I trust the doctors and the government.

Update: 8:10 am

This is the cynical angle I try as much as possible to avoid. We should always try to only question judgement and not motives. Now what if Prof Leslie Reagan was taking this unexpected opportunity to drum up interest in her book? Well I hope I am wrong. Whatever it is, we need to do our homework at a time when there is so little time and so much information overload.

Government and professional like doctors need to earn and renew the trust placed on them regularly because unlike in the past there will always be others who in their narrow self interest try to take that down in order to advance their agendas.

Friday, September 2, 2016

China was right about the PCA

I gotta have a blog post on this: China was right that the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague is not UN organization and as the UN spokesman clarified on its daily meeting with the press on July 12 this year.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Second NIE cancer death

I do not know Jesselyn Ng but it must be so hard for her family to live with losing her. But why is she in this blog? Because my friend's daughter was also at NIE and she passed away in May this year from cancer.

I got to know she was fighting stage IV colorectal cancer from her blog which I had not visited for years. I happened to be cleaning up my Internet browser bookmarks in November last year, something I almost never do because I have no time. So I tested some of the links and I was saddened to discover the fact.

Sometimes in our lives God opens up a fracture in time and insert something to change its course.

Well Jesslyn has an elder sister, so did this young woman.

Borrowing someone I do not know to remember someone I do, but we are all connected to each other in unobvious ways which suddenly hit us out of the blue.

Update: 11:35pm

How on earth did I know this is the second? I don't, I just assume that as it is because it is too hard to imagine there are more.

Zika: Resistance is futile

We are Zika-Aedes, resistance is futile, a line I adapted from Star Trek Borg. In that story humans beat the Borg but only and only because there were no sociopaths who stood in the way. This is not true for us or any society in real life.

Only the dumb blame the Aedes mosquito. It is up to us if we really want to deal with this successfully. Unfortunately the few irresponsible ones among us is already enough to defeat us as a society.