Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The most un-American President

We take our flag probably more seriously than any other democratic government. For Trump to say that is a most un-American thing. The only government who can beat him to that on the downside is Kim Jong-Un. He will execute you for burning the DPRK flag.

Those who imagine Trump would have a successful presidency are in denial. His out of control temperament practically guarantee not if but when Congress will impeach him. Don't even need to dig up his many conflict of interests to do that.

Just wait. I hope he is kicked out before he launches a nuclear war. My worry is that Congress is full of feckless and vile Republicans. Show us you have got the bollocks to do what is right.

When the silent majority who failed to turn up to vote against Trump gets a lot more motivated than on November 8 are roused then Trump is finished. Before that it is hard to imagine Congress acting. On this I hope I am wrong.

Feels a lot safer with Pence moving from VP to P.

Terrex issue: Zaobao better than EL media


ST and the rest of the EL media have been carrying this story of our Terrexes stuck in HK customs but not Zaobao on their front page. This shows Zaobao understand this issue better than the EL media especially when you consider the CL version of Global Times is much more accessible to CL readers here, the pressure is greater.

People have been messaging me about how the Chinese continue to bully us. We can't stop anyone from trying but we can choose how to respond. We already show them our One-China policy is larger and deeper than their reading of this core interest. If we did not "play both sides" we would have been far less useful. That was why Xi jinping and Ma Yingjeou could not find a better place to meet each other than here.

Most likely we have become the beating boy of some internal power play among their leaders. This will boil over as long as we manage this shrewdly. This is just a small irritation compared to the damage we had to lived with when we caned Michael Fay.

What Singapore needs to always is the ability to stick around long enough to show they we were right. To do that we need to stay strong always. After several years, President Clinton publicly admitted we did the right thing with Fay.

Update: 8:05 pm

China acting silly. This is not for the professionals but the ignorant masses. It will be awhile before the average guy learns to distinguish false news. During the transition or learning period everyone is most at risk.




Saturday, November 26, 2016

When to buy wild ginseng from EYS


A reminder on the next wild ginseng purchase from Eu Yan Sang to wait till Thanksgiving/Black Friday to get 20% instead of 5% discount.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Back to a Philips Monitor


Gave up on the Samsung monitor I bought for $128 recently and paid $169 at Sitex today for a Philips monitor. Yep, it is back to Philips and this SoftBlue technology is really wonderful.

Don't bother to decipher Trump


Don't waste your time trying to decipher Trump. It will be a thankless job and easy to get wrong. Just know the creature and you can anticipate him but that is for practical purposes. To analyse and write him up that would be difficult because he is happy to talk all over the place when he hasn't made up his mind or simply do not want to tell. For a man who lies naturally and constantly the only way to to work with him is to accept he is just like that. Now one to one or even in a business context it is not a problem but in diplomacy it is very dangerous. He doesn't realize that yet and in this aspect Duterte is a little ahead of him.

Fortunately Trump is a gut thinker if you can even call that thinking and definitely a shallow thinker. You simply have to know what he wants and that he makes clear. Just know that he is not bound by rules or ethics.

Snake oil salesman he is but America unlike his business has a lot more than snake oil. Meanwhile as I emailed my friend in Seattle shortly after he won the oval office that America's soft power is cancelled under Trump.

People are wishful out of desperation. A leopard especially an old one does not change its spots. All he does is hide them from your view. How? Through mendacity of course!

Monday, November 21, 2016

So why Fullerton Health no IPO

Click on picture to enlarge.

I was wondering why their IPO was postponed and not called off (see the red box)

In 2014 I had a blog entry on the inevitability of medical inflation. Prices has been climbing since and the picture is clearer why. Imagine these TPA or Third Party Administrators take a "commission" (you aren't suppose to call it that but for all intent and purpose it is) of 15% in the case of Fullerton Health. This is a very good business and you should consider owning the stock!

If it is good for Fullerton it could be bad for doctors and patients as long as you are "captured" by their system and cannot easily go elsewhere. In other words there is effectively no competition to keep them honest in practice. Any competition is only on paper and for argument to defend their business practice.

MOH doesn't understand the mindset and craftiness of businesses Forget about transparency and disclosure. There are countless ways to do that and the patient is still as clueless as not given any information. With information asymmetry TPAs will be laughing all the way to the bank, no much different from banks selling over priced products to clueless retail clients. Now I don't care if you make obscene money from selling luxury goods or services but there must be some element of public service in healthcare. If profit maximization is the on primary or only motive you have no business to be in this business. MOH needs to watch and regulate this tightly.

In the coming days it would be truer that the health system might cure you only for you to die in debt.

References:
Singaporean doctors protest against administrative fees by third party administrators
Third party administrators speak out amidst concerns by Singaporean doctors over unfair practices

Saturday, November 19, 2016

How Casinos enable gambling addicts



Just quickly sped read this article by the Atlantic magazine on problem gambling.

At one point I came across this,


I wonder if this is true for our two casinos. It is evil it prey on the weakness of others especially when they can't help themselves.

From our papers I have often read about how counselors are against us hosting gambling outlets. I have read several sad and even tragic stories of gambling addiction even noting their strong opposition to the government approval of online gambling but I never got the data or even know what they are until I have this Atlantic article.

Nobody wants to be an gambling addict. They didn't know they are vulnerable until they are addicted. That's too late.

Trump unfit for this dreadful responsibility


There are many ways to explain with different facts about the man that he is unfit to be POTUS, but there is one way which will scare all of us and most perplexing not enough American voters could decide that it was so.

Read the well repeated facts the Economist shared regarding this buffoon,

 He is, however, notoriously thin-skinned and unable to stop himself responding to any perceived slight with vicious (verbal) attacks of his own. He also revels in braggadocio and is known to be reluctant to take advice. Marco Rubio, a rival for the Republican nomination, questioned whether he had the temperament to be put in charge of the nuclear codes. So did Hillary Clinton. They were right to do so. But it is now Mr Trump, not them, who takes the biscuit.

And the magazine forgot to mention what Obama said about him. His campaign took away his Twitter account because he couldn't control himself. Now you can't take away the biscuit that would launch the nuclear missiles.

This is so dreadful we cope by not thinking about it but who knows in the next few years there would not be scary moments when we are forced to look into the bottomless pit.

This damage to America's credibility is going to be very hard to repair. If you cannot be counted on to put a safe pair of hands to watch over these doomsday weapons, we must figure a way to solve it without you.

Update: Nov 20 8:50 pm

I received this as an email from YouTube and discovered Warren Buffett also identified the nuclear war risk as the defining test why Trump is unfit to be president. I had earlier referred JG to it as well.

Yes, Buffett also offered the same reason I gave too whenever people ask me to defend why Obama is one of their greatest presidents. The American voter is perverse but their founding fathers had expected them to be. However these great men did not think how America would impact the world and us.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Dumb: Gullible investors must remember to stay calm


This is just dumb. You are supposed to remain calm all the time as an investor but this is not the reason why I am blogging about this. Most people are poor voters as I also was before. I learned from the 2011 GE as prior to that voting at elections were so easy, no need to think too much.

At the end of the day foremost we are choosing leaders to act on our behalf and they must be accountable. Often the issues of governance and policy are too complex and time consuming for voters to understand, so to be practical most of the time we have to choose the people we have entrusted to act in our best interests. It is perverse to see how often we want the government to be transparent which is actually a good thing but please understand most of us do not have the ability or time to examine the details of policies and why they are the right ones. To do that we foster a vibrant civil society, each group with deep expertise to critique policies which they have to wherewithal to do a good job. However we must bear in mind that such pressure groups are narrowly focused and they regularly promote their self interest before the interest of society.

I saw how the Americans put Trump in the White House, a really foolish choice but it also dawned on me that most voters under similar circumstances would most likely have done the same. We are our own worst enemies. We are so gullible and too few are shrewd enough to matter.

Looks like we need to be lucky all the time for democracy to work. Our greed and fear when they are unfettered lead to yawning wealth gaps and divisions which at some point all but guarantee democracy will fail.

Beautiful Obituary

The kids put up such a beautiful obituary to their mom! Never mind, I will not have one as I don't care to let others know when my turn comes. On this matter I have the same attitude as my late father.

This is just beautiful.

Edmund Kwok: Yet another unfortunate witness


If you spot one cockroach you know there must be others. Edmund Kwok was spotted but now I know there are quite a few others like him who aren't caught yet. Even more are pornographers.

I had to explain to my ex boss recently that Christians are a rare specie now. They have lost the label to false believers.

Who do you think are Pope Francis most bitter enemies? Many of the cardinals, bishops and priests. The hypocrites who live in their bubble. They could never take up the Pope's challenge to be more inclusive. They will keep their bubble and risk everything else like they just had by voting Trump to the oval office. They are the modern heirs to the Pharisees of Jesus' day. They split hairs on points of theology but never want to live the Bible. They have their modern equivalent of  "not working on the Sabbath", "washing their hands and feet before meals" they are known as staunch Christians rather than spiritual or compassionate believers. I am tired of them saying "good reminder" to devotionals at the chat group. Perhaps one day I would tell them if they have to be reminded then they must not have been living the charitable Christian life.

Yes, Christians would rather go to church, say grace at meals, meet in cell groups for bible studies even go on mission trips to the third world but they will not live the Christian life at home or workplace. They are Christians but nobody know what a Christian is any more. You know what the Christian life is? It is not what you commonly see.

Hillary Clinton will overcome her loss


I am confident that Hillary Clinton would cope and overcome her loss. The reason is simple: she has not lost the meaning and purpose of her service and life. If Trump had lost and he was expecting that, he would have gone on to create Trump TV and re-frame himself into a winner. His first story would be the elections were rigged against him and in that sense he didn't lose.

Hillary Clinton will triumph because like Barack Obama she serves a purpose higher than herself.

The Christians prayed and God answered their prayer (sic) as they were against the social agenda of the Democratic Party which I am also unfriendly to. Where I differ from these Christians is the path from here. They think God is on their side but I think better worry if you are on God's side. They failed to be light and salt to the world and so they use the government as their proxy. They forget that Jesus said to Pilate his kingdom is not like those of this world. That is the reason why they have landed themselves with two bad choices.

I have no time to investigate but my hunch is that time will exonerate Hillary Clinton from accusations of corruption. Already evidence is emerging that most of the allegations against her were just plain lies passed off as news. These fake news lapped up by the majority causing the Oxford Dictionary to adopt "post fact" as the word of the year!

Meanwhile Americans have four years and I hope less to repent from their foolish choice. The rest of us as price takers just have to stomach the foolishness of Trump. When this is over we would have learned some pretty unforgettable lessons.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Looking for Jesus? Don't ask the Evangelical Christians


I have seen over and over again how gullible and even stupid many American evangelicals are but I never knew how many until this election. Four out of five voted for Trump. BBC caught up with them and offer listeners the story.

From the Washington Post:


If ever you want to know what Jesus and his followers ought to be like, please avoid these Evangelicals. I have been wondering if they are really Christians, just as for quite a while some wonder if Al Qaeda and Daesh are Muslims.

I am not going to judge them but I will protect myself and family against them. I have Christian friends sending me articles about Trump as God's chosen one. You can find lots of such material on YouTube. So many preachers plugging for Trump. How about when the right time comes, you also support his impeachment. That would go some way toward redeeming yourself.

Impeach Trump for President Pence

I vividly recall and tracked the prediction of two persons who suggested Trump would win the elections. There is a third person, the new bond king Gundlach but I didn't find him enlightening or offer any usable insight. Sot the two were Prof Allan Lichtman and the award winning documentary maker Michael Moore. Moore insight was the more usable of the two. Now that is history and we have president elect Trump. What is important now is what is next. Prof Lichtman suggests that Trump would be impeached and Michael Pence would succeed him. I warmly welcome that. Trump is totally unfit to be president.



Donald Trump, Secretary Colin Powell said you are a disgrace to America as president and I agree with that 100%

Note I am careful to use a respected Republican and also a news channel friendly to GOP interests to make my point.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump supporters taken for a ride?

I think you can discount at least 90% of the promises he made during the campaign. If you think he was an idiot, unfit for the job of president this is a good thing now when those promises will have no skin.

I reckoned he doesn't really need his supporters any more after they have elected him. Come 2020 even if there were another Trump like character, these chastened voters who backed him would not be fooled again. Also there is never going to be enough supporters so angry with him for bad faith that it would threaten his chance of re-election. If he fails to keep the job for another term that would be his performance and bad luck. Hillary Clinton had bad luck and treachery against her. Trump plunged politics to new lows.

Time will probably show his erstwhile supporters that Trump is more like yet another of those elites they hate. This would be the biggest con of his career - millions of voters.

I haven't change my mind that he could be a tyrant in disguise. These are early days and there is enough time to observe and make up my mind. Suffice to say the costs of his early stupid promises would have such severe consequences including those who voted for him, it would be truly dumb to act on them!

But words matter and so this man in my view is a disgrace and unfit for the job. The world doesn't deserve clowns like him to scare us for nothing. There must be a way to make him pay for all these nonsense, if anything to serve as a warning to others who might try and totally discredit the whole campaign process.

FBI blamed for Hillary Clinton loss

Even if Hillary Clinton did not say so many would have thought so. Had she won the elections the verdict would have been it she could have gotten more votes.

The FBI director must pay a heavy price for abusing his independence. He has suffered a huge loss of reputation and credibility. If he has any honor, he should resign. If Trump turned out to be a tyrant in the end then he ought go and shoot himself in the head. With both houses controlled by the Republicans his job is safe but morally compromised.

History will be kind to Hillary Clinton because time will show that she was the victim of perverse lies persistently told until they appear true. In fact it had become politically correct to question her integrity.

Trump's path to power has the tire marks of a tyrant. I would be happiest to be wrong on this one.

No doubt Giuliani big mouth admitting on Fox News that he had FBI insiders feeding him the mischief they were doing to Hillary Clinton would come back and haunt him.

The outcome of this election would not be changed but the new president will suffer a huge loss of credibility because he didn't win it fairly. Talk about legitimacy, Trump was the leader of the birther movement decrying that Obama was not born in America and therefore an illegitimate president. Perhaps he is the one that is illegitimate.

Bought Galaxy Tab A with S Pen


Received this email from Samsung yesterday and very soon we were at Singapore Expo to buy Galaxy Tab A with S Pen. I checked KAsia Mobile is selling the same for $450. What an opportunistic purchase.

I was so busy I didn't have time to check more regularly if it was already available here. For that I got a big discount.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Donating to Guardian newspaper


I just made a small contribution to the Guardian newspaper. It is an excellent paper but its article are often much longer than other publications. I understand they needed to explain their thoughts more thoroughly and better that way but I simply do not have the time.

I contributed because I heard several times Trump talking about the impending demise of the NYT (I am a subscriber).

Newspaper are an endangered species. They serve an irreplaceable role to inform us but these days many of the popular ones carry garbage, lies and conspiracy theories.

I am glad Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post or that venerable and much needed paper could easily go under.

This is not practical or advisable but in an ideal world some of the ads revenue earned by the likes of Facebook and Google ought to go to support good newspapers. Well we live in the real world and we have not found a solution around this problem.

"Christians" helped to elect Trump

I just read this from Desiring God the site co-founded by John Piper.


Clearly Trump didn't do enough and also it was simply in character of him not to after the election to do more than just give a typical victory speech. Nobody could do this for him. The right calming words and disapproval of bad behavior has got to come from the president-elect himself.

These Christians who had backed him could have helped but where were they? Just as there are terrorists borrowing the banner of Islam, there are "legal" terrorists under the banner of Christianity. This group capacity to terrorize is far greater. Now if Trump carried out his threat, they are going to make war on each other and bring the on the Apocalypse? I don't know but people ought watch and pray, learn to understand what is going on.

How do you tell people the good news of Jesus? Looks like he has gone on leave and the Devil has taken over. Because the Christians did not just support Trump, they have gone as far as touting him as God's gift to them! I get this bad feeling that Lawrence Khong welcome and praise God for the election of Trump.

Too bad.


Update: 3:05pm

Robert Reich the labor secretary under Bill Clinton contributed this article to the Guardian. In Trump style, I have great respect for Prof Reich and felt troubled when he withdrew support for Hillary Clinton to support Bernie Sanders instead. I thought back then it might foretelling something bad to come.

I excerpt from Reich's article below.


I know how the Christians think as I grew up in their community. To them this is a David beating Goliath story and it must be from God because only he can pull this off! 

I am no longer a kid, I know the hypocrisy of the Christians. This is so superficial. Most of them have no idea the underlying social, economic and political forces that converge until breaking point to create Trump's election. A seizure of power by an opportunist who is a tyrant at heart is a better explanation of what has happened. Now the Americans have to seriously think and understand what is happening and how to stop him. Count themselves lucky if they could do it with the ballot box four years later but you can expect Trump to adapt from Putin's play book. Don't be stupid, people think  and act like those they admire and Trump admires Putin a lot. Unlucky this could be the Americans last election as they have always known. 

Didn't they somehow conspire to use the FBI to damage Hillary Clinton's chances. In the near future books on this issue will be written. I hope to check out some of them when they are published. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump meets Obama in the Oval Office

I was fortunate to have caught the one by ABC News and then compare it with the White House version. The ABC News version played beyond the White House one. Don't know why the editors didn't let it roll because as the session with the media wrapped up, Trump said of Obama, "Very good man"

Obama will be one of America's greatest presidents. Remember he saved them from the next Depression. When he was still in office I tended to say history will be kind to Barack Obama.

Here is the ABC News version. (Check play position at 3:00 min)



The White House version, only for comparing.


I first picked this up from ST on my phone. "a tone of deference" Trump must privately have been in awe how Obama tackled the job. In fact if he could he would gladly spend more than the 90 minutes he had with Obama. He admitted as much.


I only wish Trump would have a sense of how ignorant and inadequate he is. I am sure Obama the ever gracious patriot will advise Trump if he approach him even as he see his legacy being dismantled. That would be living up to the spirit of America  and the Constitution which is bigger than any of them. 

Barack Obama is a true Christian. They no longer need to insinuate that he is a closet Muslim any more. Were he a Muslim which he isn't, they would be proud of him too. 

Now would Trump turn out to be the tyrant like the one who overthrew the Roman Republic long ago? I hope to God no. Show us Donald Trump that you are a patriot too.

Singapore's shrewd response to Trump

I  noticed we were quick to congratulate him. We might even be the first but it is too much trouble to confirm this.

What is important to Trump? Himself of course but to be meaningful what is he going to do to achieve that? It has got to be what he said when he decided to run for president. He will get the money to fix or rebuild US crumbling infrastructure and give jobs to these folks.


Tiny us had the misfortune of being mentioned in the same breadth as big China for stealing US jobs. That small guy quibble with us over 220 jobs lost when Baxter moved a facility here.

Our PM's second letter to him and his VP-elect.


Our leaders are learning rapidly and adapting ourselves to deal with this bad faith guy. Can it be done? I am fully confident we can.

I am very sure he will love us but all the same this man is unfit to be president. Then we have got to help the Chinese understand this rogue because they too Chinese to do that on their own.

References.

The Promises of President-Elect Donald Trump, in His Own Words.

Congratulatory letters from PM Lee Hsien Loong to US President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Michael Pence.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A cynical alternative to the lost TPP

What an oxymoron, this is a serious joke.

The TPP is vital to our security but cynically it is easy to replace. Just get the Trump organization to heavily invest in a growing Asia, offering him irresistible terms (this is protection money). Help him to get rich and at the same time he has every incentive to protect the peace and prosperity here. He can't get rich as quickly and "bigly" back in the US as he can in Asia. The pools of money are also better accumulated in the manner that is easy and convenient to deploy.

Again this is only a serious joke, an oxymoron.

Now for a moment imagine this was Hillary Clinton, no go further back, count every past president including Nixon. My suggestion would be so stupid and absurd I would be too embarrassed to post it here, and I was always only blogging for myself.

Such crazy imaginings is what happened when the one in the Oval Office is unfit for the job.

Donald Trump yesterday and tomorrow

I have not blogged for so many days and I rue the many missing posts because I have simply been too busy. Lots to record about the US elections and if I ever get the chance to write it here would have to be in retrospect.

This morning I received this sermon by an Aussie preacher regarding a prophecy of Donald Trump. I wouldn't have bothered with it except that I had seen it months ago and was so put off by it, I skipped large parts of it and in fact even forgot its content. Now I had reviewed it again since an old friend sent it to me.



The trouble with this very clear speaking an articulate pastor is that he is suffering from the Dunn Kruger effect and false equivalence many times over! The preacher didn't do his homework and just went ahead an insert his cognitive bias from too much warped study of the Bible with probably no skin in the game.

If you are dumb and gullible like many American voters you would love and buy it. No wonder Trump spoke of bombing ISIS and admiring Putin. It is in that video months before he used it. He might even have picked it up from this preacher.

Received from another friend:


Again I had seen this before. So this is some prophesied leader God is sending the Christians and mankind? I think time will show that they are badly mistaken. But I fear for them that to the very end they would still be clueless. They can no longer tell right from wrong. Some strange god they worshiped.

I had also been sharing with a few people two links if you permit me a pun, the secular prophet Andrew Sullivan explaining what we are dealing with in Donald Trump.


From the New York Magainze:


I told my ex boss who sent me the first article that there is another more plausible way to understand Plato. It was not so much his foresight but his deep understanding of human nature. George Washington which was quoted in the second article had also the same deep insight into the average person's psyche. 

Time will show that Trump is only for himself. He is unfit to be president of any nation much less the USA. 

Update: Nov 13 1:25pm 

Just checked and found out on Snopes that the picture quoting Trump disparaging the GOP as stupid turned to be false: See http://www.snopes.com/1998-trump-people-quote/

I was misled this time but it also highlighted another problem. Given how Trump has been conducting himself publicly and carried to us in the media, and with so many heavy weights declaring him unfit to be president, would you not think statements like that consistent with the man?

As usual I would not cover up my mistake by simply deleting and pretended I never made it. 

Why didn't Trump reveal his tax returns. As Warren Buffett said, he must have something to hide. When you have a bad rep, false bad rep also stick to you. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Gullible American voters

Most of these rural voters aren't well educated or familiar with global issues and may be even their national issues. If you are a Republican you vote GOP. Doesn't matter if the guy on the ticket is clearly unfit for the job. Their political party is supposed to be the gate keeper to offer them a suitable nominee for President. This time they failed badly.

The GOP has gerrymander and gamed the system for too long, a bunch of cynical pols who traffic in lies and conspiracy theories because there are too many poorly read and uneducated white voters who are gullible to such tactics purveyed over new media. I watched how they put their party ahead of their nation. I would not be sad to see their party gutted and demolished. Time to create a new political party.




Update: 2:00 pm


As good as no newspaper has endorsed Trump.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

China's One belt, One Road and Singapore

The personalities on the TV program were quite excited to see how China could make Singapore irrelevant. Now China is a juggernaut and cannot be resisted. We will have to figure a way to make a good living as we had before.



Increasingly the Chinese see us as aligning with the US against them. They are signaling to us how they might fix us and with their rising power there is no shortage of means. It is not necessary to use the military but that would also be an available option eventually.

As I have blogged before the Chinese is a Goujian character. Those who disagree can see it happening before their eyes now.

Sure this grandiose and audacious plan might not work. It is geopolitically devilishly difficult. But we have to bear in mind that as price takers is not for us to decide. Even if it is partially implemented it would constitute a grave challenge to us.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Got Job, no more Refugee


This guy tries to run his factories with refugees. Read the story in the NYT.

A truly quiet inspiration. Just like those launderers who offer their services for free to the homeless to present themselves appropriately for job interviews. I love this sort of charity best, way more than just giving money. Your work and your giving go hand in hand. To accumulate and then give is not as good but then I remember what Andrew Carnegie had done.

Just give lah.

In other words extreme shareholder capitalism is just evil.

Civil Service: End of not my turf?


I have waited for a long time for this. It is much closer now or perhaps they are already starting to make the journey there. If government agencies can shed their silo and not-my-turf mentality and help each other achieve national and residents' outcomes, we would indeed be very special. I don't think there is anything like this in the world except when the US military is fighting across various armed services in a major battle. For that the SAF is supposed to be able to achieve the same but of course we never hope to really use it.