Sunday, June 28, 2015

LGBT: On the side of History

I had suggested that LGBT groups ought to be more patient here with advancing their human rights. They will get less and we will all be quite happy if they push their case too aggressively especially with copycat strategies from the west.

In fact the longest they need to wait is for the under 35 to probably advance another 10 years or so. By then SG society could very well have more than half the population supporting giving more space to LGBT.

This is from ST June 17 edition.

MFA had bothered to put LGBT rights on the radar.

Ever since the SCOTUS voted in favor of legalizing same sex marriage I have been receiving many articles about the coming persecution of Christians. They worry that they might no longer be able to live their beliefs. E.g., ministers might be forced by law to officiate same sex marriages. That is America, I don't think here we are that inflexible or stupid about such matters. I am more worried about absolutist Islam than the Christian response.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

SAF First Woman BG: Two correct and contradictory views

This is excellent and I hope to see more of such. The two comments and the attention both had received are also noteworthy. Superficially they seem to contradict each other but I happen to think they are both correct.

Which perspective is right depends on where you are looking from. So be smart and look not from the right perspective because both are but from the beneficial angle.

If you are placed into the way to go is PLP, you have to get out to there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

San Francisco: Make the match

I keep losing this pic and so I have decided to keep it here permanently.

Shortly after our 2011 trip to San Francisco I found this picture and sent it to my former teacher living there. We has also visited her too during that trip. She said she would try to locate the place for me. Nice of her.

But later before she could do it, I tried using Google and found this.

TPP: Fast Track is on track again

I have never felt emotional over trade pacts like the TPP. Singapore's future depends on it. It was at first defeated in Congress. Now the Senate has given it another lease of life. How much of what is happening before our eyes was because LKY had prepared them when he was still with us and Shanmugam had gone to the Hill to remind them, I don't know.

What I know all along is this: We are either exceptional or nothing. Not too hot, not too cold the comfortable Goldilocks life the stars tell us is not in our future.

Most people here may not appreciate how important the TPP is and is mostly consumed by cost of living issues. At least they know the opposition is not up to the task of forming an exceptional government.

Even a once exceptional government had started to take us for granted. We taught them a good lesson in the last GE. We almost gave them another punch during the PE.

The Imitation Game: The shame is lifting for homosexuals

Saw this on DVD with the family during dinner last evening. I give it five stars!

This movie is a moving story that homosexuals by and large are just like the rest of us. There is nothing to stop them from even entering the ranks of our most patriotic and greatest.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Isaac Newton was probably gay too. The British elites kept that a secret for a very long time to avoid embarrassment but it is now safe to let the cat out of its bag.

From the gays God will again display his amazing grace. Watch out hypocrites especially Lawrence Khong.

Bought new sofa

Absolutely no time to blog.

Bought this set from Cellini which was on offer to replace our current Cellini on Sunday. It was on Hari Raya offer at less than half the list price ($1299). The catch is Muslims get priority (no problem at all) delivery. We wouldn't see it for a month.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Marshall on Ong Pang Boon (Do they make them any more?)

I checked out as many profiles as I could from TNP series of books our on Founding Fathers. I started with Ong Pang Boon tonight. Here is what the late David Marshall said about him. Throw in Goh Keng Swee for good measure too.

Do they make them like that any more? I sense in some ways they are beginning to again but is my impression correct? Look, my MP lacks confidence and hesitant. Gave me such a bad impression that I went to wash my hands after I shook his hands and didn't realize it until I went on to dry my hands. Not good vibes. He is of course older than Tin Pei Ling but she has been refined in the crucible and looks quite a gem now.

鄧麗君 - 月亮代表我的心

I have forgotten about her almost completely until today someone put up some bak chung song sung by her at our chat group. Then I remember when I was still a school boy my mom loved to play her song and this is one of her favorites. Now that she is gone, I wondered why and what when through her mind when she played this and other songs by Teresa Teng.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tyre: Punctured but not Flat

Took this to the pros this afternoon to get it properly fixed. We spotted it last evening when we were filling the tank at SPC Tanjong Katong. Could easily have missed it if not for the angle which I approached the pump and had to turn my wheels. That made it easy to spot.

Felt confident it wasn't something urgent because it looked like the nail had been there for a while.

if (PAP == WP) WP;

Lavey Goh asked how is this wrong if it was the grassroots advisers instead of the MPs that is sending out cards to notify residents about this funpacks.

It is wrong because upstream the PAP has captured from the government the PA for their political party promotion. So what is seemingly right downstream cannot be right as a result.

If I am presented with a PAP team that is only as good as the WP, my choice would be the WP. Sure, I am not happy with the way WP is running AHPETC finances and I am not prepared to cut them much slack. I am also pissed with the PAP pot calling the WP (not necessary a kettle) black.

I don't like the way politics is done here. It has to be better and I an open to suggestions to how to improve this.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

No to new Kindle Paperperwhite

This new kindle paperwhite is increasingly out of step with the times. I have the older paperwhite and I am not upgrading. In fact, I hardly use my paperwhite preferring to use my Note 4 or Tab S. The problem of battery is ameliorated with a powerbank. I carry my phone everywhere but realistically not my paperwhite. Most important the paperwhite is sluggish and this new iteration as far as I can tell did not promise any speed improvement. Who reads outdoor in our city anyway? It is so hot.

I think for fiction readers the paperwhite still serves that need very well. But I have no time for fiction.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Singapore warns the USA over TPP

I  have been somewhat anxious about this. I have been wondering given how high the stakes are and seeing how it has been defeated in Congress what is our government doing to warn the Americans how stupid they acting on this one. Shanmugam spoke the right words to them. This is one of those times I wished we still have LKY to give some lawmakers an education only he had the gravitas to deliver but Shanmugam has done as good a job as possible.

In many words Shanmugam is asking the Americans: Are you stupid?

I hope not.

Update: June 17 6:15 am

America quickly telling Asia, "We are not that stupid"

It is incredible just by using the S word, how much less you need to write!

Update: June 17 2:10pm

Reported in the ST front page this morning. Tiny Singapore lecturing superpower USA. What audacity and chutzpah.

Update: June 18 9:40am

That is the beauty of dealing with the Yankees. Try doing that with China? Let China dominate our part of the world you will be taking orders without them being issued. You will have to learn from reading cues. They are masters at it but it is a horrible waste of time and stupid face saving. We would have lost what little freedom with have.

AWOL for medical studies

Unless ST did a lousy job telling this story well, this is really stupid as stupid does. I am hardly alone feeling this way. For once I even agree with Calvin Cheng.

Tomorrow's Water: Making Malaysia look bad

What I am about to write will not see the light in our main newspaper. I don't say if but when this water storage project is completed, it will make Malaysia look terrible. She with her abundant but careless stewardship of water resources will run into water shortages and might even have to endure water rationing even as we are self sufficient in water.

We didn't mean to but our success makes Malaysia looks bad.

PM sympathetic to the Pink agenda

Twenty hours ago the PM changed his profile picture to one wearing pink. He had not turned up at Hong Lim on Saturday when Pink Dot invited him. I believe he is on leave holidaying in Hokkaido.

How should we read this? Very simple. He is sympathetic to giving LGBT more civic space and freedom but the conservative public is not yet supportive. Therefore he wants Pink Dot to slow down and bide their time.

Except for economic under performers e.g, Russia, the developed economies are leaning toward Pink. As usual the government reasons are driven by the needs to have a high performing economy. The data seems to point out that gay friendly cities are economic dynamos.

The situation in SG is different and Pink Dotters should not imitate their western cousins to advance their interests here. Similarly Lawrence Khong and Noor Deros ought to do likewise. Everyone is free to push their interest but it must be done the Singapore way.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sabah Quake: Good to be richer

I just plucked this off the daily email from ST.

Even before I read the details, I thought to myself, "Isn't good to be a richer society?" If you are greedy, it is bad but otherwise how are able to afford something like this?

I am always happy that as a wealthy city we have often been able to open our wallets to help others.

Khong the inane troublemaker

Oh my, oh my this Lawrence Khong is a trouble maker. Excerpted by Mothership what Khong preached on Sunday.

If you want to wear white be white also but you are not by a long shot. Since you are not white why don't you wear any color including pink?

Three quarters of SG population wearing white? I wished to make a bet with him. This one I will win. There is not enough hypocrisy in this town to make the numbers, and if are really wearing white because we are living such good lives, I am happy to lose the wager. Never bet when heads I win, tails you lose. Because I lose this wager, I make it back many times elsewhere! Khong is stupid. I just explained how.

Calling other Christians cowardly? What a bigoted man of God you are! You can't accept that there are other points of views? Assuming you are right which I don't think so, what about other Christians still exploring this issue? You are an irresponsible preacher to sermonize this way.

Ideology needs bodies you idiot (I just explain why he is an idiot from his own speech). He has forgotten he was never able to separate the ideology from the people. You are not Christ who knew how to release a person from his demons and sent those spirits into swines. You only know how to crush the ideology by destroying the human vessels. No wonder they lash back at you. If not for the government restraining them I fear what might come of you.

Finally I realize this man doesn't understand very much about love and sex. If you only truly understood you would have something to teach the LGBT. You mistook what remains after Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden with what was before. Why do you think sex is so private? Exactly!

But a spiritual war is being fought which sex is becoming increasingly public because nobody learns its abuse and perversion when it is private. Typically God loves to win by at first losing. I am not completely sure, perhaps one day pornography could turn out to be a Trojan horse for good over evil but I am only trying to describe things which at the moment I could only see vaguely. Meanwhile if you indulge in porn, you shortchange yourself often without even knowing what you have lost. For the spirits of darkness will do everything to expel love from sex.

Christians by and large do not have exemplary marriage or family lives. When they wear white they pass themselves off to be better than they really are. By all means wear white but not on the next Pink Dot Day.

The PAP were admired for their white clothes but by 2012 they were scoffed at by so many they had their worst support ever. They had the last few years to repent without publicly admitting so. Sure wear white, but you better live up to the color. In time to come Khong's followers will be getting all the negative publicity than the Pink Dotters. Because people act on relativity. If we dislike your group more, we will deal with you first. Why? Because you make social trouble, upsets the peace. If the Pink Dotters exceed their OB markers the silent majority will deal with them later without you. And who will be doing the hatchet job? The government of course. Haven't they already warn you all in private?

Update: 2:30pm

Khong if he really wants to show the exemplary husband and wife relationship should have used Mother Teresa relationship with Jesus Christ as her husband which was quite public.

Update: 3:55pm

Found this at Barry's blog.

Barry must know a half white and half pink society isn't going to happen. It is just rhetoric which I found unhelpful. If you submit that to the practical test these two groups will be attacking each other and create so much chaos before they get a change to wear their preferred colors.

First they imagine lynching the other side on social media. Given enough time they will do it for real. All this will happen way before we get to 50/50. Right now we have less than a percent pink and white. Already the government feels uncomfortable enough to restrain both sides.

Tech unicorns in Europe

This just came in and I made the wrong knee jerk response, "Good luck, it is just a bubble".

The right response is to learn the risk and profit from it but that is not easy.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wonderful Weather Today

What a beautiful Sunday today! Look at how cool the temperature is. We took a walk at the PCN after dinner. We walked the Botanic Gardens at noon. Very pleasant.

Memories of 70s Oasis

I remember our family outing to the Oasis as a primary school kid. It was the first time my brother and I had a tall sundae treat. Never seen so much ice cream for one person in our lives then. Pity neither of us could finish it because we were so cold and shivering so much we had to go outside to warm up!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

IPPT is not your problem

I didn't know the passing rate for the old IPPT could be so low.

If you owe the bank 10 million dollars it is your problem. When you owe them a billion bucks, it becomes their problem. No wonder IPPT performance stops being the individual soldier responsibility.

I should have known as individual physical proficiency has also become a problem for the Israeli Defense Force too. If this is an issue with them, what about us?

Friday, June 12, 2015

LKY's Sitoca Workstation

Interesting that LKY also used Sitoca. We use them at home too. Trusty and cost effective. They last forever.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Such arrogance Bilahari Kausikan

This is from Monday's papers and looked like I only read in in the early hours of Tuesday. It is now Wednesday.

Bilahari Kausikan is a very smart fellow but humility is not one of his virtues. He could be so much more useful and effective if he was more understanding and empathetic.

From the first red box.

I agree with Kausikan that this journalist was wanting. What was SPH doing? To cut them some slack perhaps they sent a rookie or worse a stand in who wasn't familiar with this area. I try too hard. Such ignorance from journalists is inexcusable.

On the other hand I felt his attitude toward the PhD student was wrong. Look, he got there by being in the good books of his professors, never mind that this is Singapore. If there is someone to blame it is the university and government who had allowed a political science department to be filled with foreign academics. Meanwhile our own political scientist like Chan Heng Chee was drafted to fight for our interests in the trenches.

The smart guy has made the fundamental attribution error from over simplification and extrapolation. Even my kids know better than this PhD candidate and the main reason is their family environment. Many readers of this blog are also much better informed and thoughtful. I just hope the political office holders are humbler and shrewder.

Kausikan has such a big and fragile ego. His self esteem is all drawn from foreign policy otherwise there is no need to be so unkind. We are all different. If people are ignorant, kindly educate them. There is no need to get hot under the collar. They didn't choose to be uninformed.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sabah Quake: Remembering the Children Lost

I wrote in an earlier post, "So I must stop here because where can you find the words to continue?"

Earlier this evening I found the PM shared from the words of Rober Binyon. Yes, these are the words I was looking for and this is the place to remember them and their families for now and a long long time. 

I can easily imagine all the kids their families, friends and teachers must have been to this spot at the East Coast Park. They must have watched the sun coming up and going down many times. Most likely their parents took them here when they were quite young as we had our children. 

US Soft Power: China please learn

This isn't the first time the US has stood with us through our trying moments. The last time they lowered their flag to half-staff when LKY passed away.

My point? China ought to observe and learn. You want to earn respect and perhaps love to be a world power? The Americans for all their short comings have shown the way.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A year break from cockroaches

I was so happy I haven't had to destroy any cockroach for more than a year. That peace was broken tonight by a biggie.

I hope this is not the beginning of the return to the past.

What the heck Malaysia's rescue workers

What the heck were these three Malaysian government rescue workers doing relaxing in front of the trail map of Mt. Kinabalu?

Time will tell if these folks from the government there to help were actually doing their job. Anecdotal evidence so far points to the regular guides doing the lion share of the hard and dangerous work rescuing people.

This is the age of social media, smartphones and ubiquitous connections. When the survivors are recovered enough and start sharing their experience we will know if these blokes are getting the credit they didn't deserve and the true heroes were passed over.

I am waiting but not hopeful. I recall how they botched the job saving people when Malaysia suffered flooding in many parts of the peninsula. They are also part of the culture which allowed MH370 to be lost, and I read they want to build nuclear power plants?

Update: 11:15 pm

Needn't need to wait long. The tourism minister has responded. Who cares about the 38 comments. They weren't there. I am waiting for more info.

Autonomous Vehicles coming here

I am looking forward to that day when AVs are commonplace on our roads. The sooner the better. If we are very early and successful it would also become a tourist attraction. My guess is this is achievable as a Singapore only solution and then sometime later other cities can also do the same.

Let's not forget the impact on the livelihood of those who drive vehicles. What jobs would they do? Retraining and reskilling them must be the highest priority.

AVs will transform our culture.

Read article at Today Online.

Singaporeans feared dead in quake

Yesterday and this morning the first thing on my mind was to look for news of the kids and teachers surviving this quake. I was more hopeful yesterday but by last night my hopes of them surviving this was practically extinguished. It is time to grieve, and I think much of Singapore is grieving too. Especially painful to read that some of them are trapped under boulders and it is almost impossible to retrieve them.

This is especially hard for the parents because they had very reluctantly agree to letting Peony Wee go on this trip.

They will blame themselves for giving her permission. You might say it was an act of God that tragedy ambushed them but this is not the time, at least for a while to be rational. Reason must wait patiently and make way for grief. Deep bottomless grief like a black hole tugging at us too to enter its orbit.

So I must stop here because where can you find the words to continue?

Update: 7:50 am

Finally something from the WP. Haven't seen them on my Facebook for a very long time. Appreciate her empathy.

Update: June 8, 8:55 pm

The PM said it best especially the poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943). I just went to his page to take a look after I saw him changed his profile pic to the one his father passed away.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SG moving to high touch politics

Politics here has evolved to high touch affairs. Just convenient I come across a post with three ministers. I don't think we have a choice about this. It is useless to ask if this is a positive development. There will be people on both side of the divide. Wisdom is recognizing we cannot return to the security and comfort of the familiar past. We just make this as good as possible. 

Earthquake: Freak tragedy at Mt Kinabalu

First thing I was looking for this morning was an update on this quake. I had feared the worst when I read last night about the missing pupils and teachers. Very sad to learn the demise of the TKPS pupil. I used to drive by that school fairly often. To an outsider they were unusual because everywhere primary school children wear white shoes. At TKPS they wear black.

Wilkie Ong spoke for many of us including myself. Why did Peter Tan have to bring Jesus into this? They regularly pop up when something like this happen. What is the point here? Doesn't he know that you spend every wakeful moment thinking death might come anytime you could end up dying from mental illness? Christians like him are sending out a strong signal to non believers to avoid the Gospel. I bet he doesn't take his own advice and he is probably also blind to that fact. But Facebook is a free for all place and we have to allow people to say their peace.

Doris had probably never been to Mt. Kinabalu. I have seen kids climbing the much harder Kilimanjaro. Everything is unsafe for the reckless and every adventure must have adequate safety planning. I can sympathize with Doris and her kind but I hope such parents do their homework instead of remaining in the zone of fear. Well not all kids are suitable for climbing Kinabalu or even OBS if they are outliers. At the end of the day parents must know their children. Just don't extrapolate your kids to other children.

PM: We are not ready for same sex marriage

Nobody should be surprised on this one. What is interesting is studying the comments.

My take is at least half or more of us are not too bothered about this issue at the moment. This is the anecdotal silent majority. Those who care about this and are against out number those who would want to see same sex marriage legalized here. However if the latter group push harder, I think more from the silent majority will come out against them.

It would be very interesting to watch what the Pink Dot gathering is like this year. Would they attract even more supporters? When they light up in pink as darkness falls, I thought that was a pretty sight to behold. As for love, I think they are looking for it and are confused between finding and discovering love. Many heterosexual marriages aren't even about love, so in that sense same sex relationships are farther along discovering God's love.

The commonest love in our society is that between parent and child rather than between husband and wife. Regularly we see over time spouses more attached to their parents than their other halves. The stronger love between parent and child looks set to persist into the next generation. In fact this is the hidden strength sustaining our society.