Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wrong about North Korea fears

I was wrong about North Korea missile testing. I had speculated that previously they purposely failed their test in order to avoid an American attack. I risked it because that would be the least worst scenario leading likely to a peaceful resolution. The latest failed missile launch tells me I ought to change my mind.

When I consider something to be 50/50 based on the information I have, the more positive  or less worse outcome would be my bet. Then if the facts proved that I am wrong, I change my mind.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bicycle sharing

Took that picture off WSJ. They are ofo bicycles awaiting repair in Beijing. The numbers are just mind boggling.

Ofo is here too and I haven't try them yet. Here is a less than laudatory experience I just came across.

As a startup business concept bike sharing is quite hot. As an attractive business proposition, I think there is a lot of improvement needed in the execution and customer service.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Getting fired is worse than divorce or the death of a spouse

Why Getting Fired Is Worse Than Divorce or the Death of a Spouse. Broken hearts heal. A blotch on the resume is harder to repair went the Bloomberg version of the article which the ST one was taken from.

If so, I think your priorities are totally warped and you are simply pathetic. 

The results of the study is based off the British experience. I hope this is not true here and in this instance the high levels of disengagement at work may not be a bad thing. It is something we need to fix as taken over the long term the economic damage would be serious and intractable.

Monday, April 24, 2017

New record high temperature: 30.8 Celsius

The previous record was 30.7 Then over the last few days I noticed it was hitting 30.7 pretty often. That is the signal that the record would be broken.

Sometime next year we will learn if 2017 is the hottest year ever recorded. I hope not and that it is peculiar only to us, but not one should be surprised that it is.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The changed drug addiction scene

The drug abuse landscape is becoming like those among the elites in western society.

See CNA story.

and the TV program now available at Toggle.

We have never solved this problem and it also keep changing.

To be realistic we will from the public policy angle make more progress here as a public health issue than a moral one. To drill this down to its core it remains a moral issue. In the program one ex-addict finally gave up his habit for good because of his daughter.

We become what we loved.

All drug addicts are sinners but not all sinners are drug addicts. Every sinner is like a stem cell programmed as a potential drug abuser, adulterer, murderer, thief etc., and if you escape all of the crimes and vices it is hard to avoid the last sin: Pride. You become a hypocrite, more incurable than any of the other conditions.

That is why for society sake, it is more realistic to deal with drug addiction as a public health issue.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Kong Hee: I am TOTALLY at peace

Pretty typical, trust God when you run out of options. I am not filled with schadenfreude and wished they never did what they had landing them in prison.

They still owe Richard Poon who first called them out an apology. Our laws aren't immoral and it was never necessary to flout them regardless of your motives.

Fortunately you would not succeed like those before to give your religion a bad name. People here are more sophisticated than that. In fact your deplorable example has opened up opportunities for me to explain the Gospel. On the other hand CHC membership would likely decline.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

CHC: Church or Community

I extracted that from Mothership article: Why the media (and Mothership) are mistaken about City Harvest Church-goers. (Click here for her original post and comments)

Amanda Jayne reads like she has not read her Bible or more likely reads but nothing stays inside. Christians might grieve often given what the world is but the need for anger is doesn't come often.

No, CHC is just a community to her and friends which they have mistakenly labeled it as a church. Given that you practically grew up there, the years gone by had done nothing for you in growing to become more Christ like.

And because I made this post, I decided to look up Amanda Jayne Facebook page as well. Not surprised with what I saw.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Explains why Durians are so pricey now

This story explains what we have noticed at Ah Seng Durians. The Chinese are willing to pay much more than anyone else. The prices of durians have gone up a lot. We don't each much of it, so it doesn't matter. Too many people here over eat and in the long run people would be healthier and happier if they switch from live to eat to eat to live. Meaning is more important than pleasure in life. Meaning lasts, pleasures are fleeting. Whoever on their death bed laments that they haven't eaten enough of their favourite food?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Remembering Othman Wok

Tharman put it very well how we could remember Othman Wok.

Other than the former National Stadium I don't remember he leaving anything physical behind. The ideas and its spirit are more important. In a different time, who knows when that spirit Othman Wok possessed and exhibited would be needed again.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

North Korea: Convenient missile failure

The NYT report says, "The missile blew up almost immediately..." I suspect this is a staged failure as a successful launch would surely reveal them to a a paper tiger with costly consequences to them. For the first time the Americans are serious about attacking them. I belonged to the camp that the North's military is decrepit and its threat very grossly exaggerated. 

Update: April 18 9:25 am

The Americans bringing out the big stick with the approaching carrier strike force to negotiate. 

Wanting an agreement quickly from Kim Jong Un and on much tougher conditions than would be have been possible in the past or what Iran got. 

Fat boy is in trouble. 

Update: April 18 9:25 pm

Some very serious miscommunication. 

Update: April 19 9:05 am

​Don't know if this is just a case of suffering the consequence of a commander in chief who only knew how to run a family business without relying on processes or his secretaries being former generals leveraging that and playing Sun Zi. McMaster and Mattis are fully capable of pulling off such tactical stunts as war fighting officers. That is the difference between having civilians and former military people in charge.

See story.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

7th Anniversary of my father's death

Got this from my neighbor and it showed me places of  my late father which I have never been. In fact we were discouraged from visiting but when we brought the kids to Beijing during the Olympics year he thought it was a good idea. He doesn't recommend that we get to know the extended family especially his younger brother whom he had sent money regularly for decades. He regarded him as a leech and useless bump and wanted to protect us from him. This is the seventh year and as far as I know nobody told my uncle that he is gone.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Wary of Consumer Security Innovations

I am always wary of new and more convenient innovations in consumer security technology. Many consumers probably instinctively feel the same and that is why Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay are all struggling to make inroads to replacing our credit cards. Now DBS is rolling out soft tokens. They can give me a hundred reasons why that is better but I know the single and most important reason is soft tokens running off our vulnerable smartphones save DBS millions of dollars over giving us hardware security dongles.

It has taken a while but time reveals all truth. Rethink that fingerprint sensor.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Betting pools on Kong Hee and Five

I wonder if people have started betting pools for Kong Hee and five that they would get the sentences the prosecutors had asked for from the beginning. Something like eleven years for him? I can't remember.

I think it is not unrealistic to see betting pools on this one. CHC members who do not know their Bibles will come out and bet for the minimal sentences of the last court. My take is that they will lose big after losing big all these years donating to the church. Sigh! Brain washed!

Monday, April 10, 2017

CHC dirty linen on US TV

I have received many copies of this clip. At least my non Christian friends do not tar me with the same brush they are painting CHC.

CF just posted to say sorry. Guess he had intended it for somewhere else but the point is that this has gone viral. It is actually old news but it carried the sentiment of many and they are passing it around to to tell each other that they felt the same on this issue.

With Ho Yeow Sun in charge, CHC members should do themselves a favor and vote with their feet. This is so bad, you might as well not belong to any church at all. Just go find another church.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Syria and the downfall of Bannon

It was an unexpected only because we do not have peepholes into the White House. I recognized it is time to take Keynes advice that when the facts change, I should also change my mind.

The dots lined up and are best joined as follows:

Trump has had absolutely no success following Steve Bannon's advice. The most important thing to Trump is winning and America First is just the means to win. If he can't win at home then he must enlarge the concept of America beyond her borders and win elsewhere. Hence he ordered the missile attack on Syria.

General McMaster was always more than a match against Bannon. It was unwise not to be able to work with Kushner who belonged to the Trump family. Blood is thicker than water especially in a democracy.

In the end Bannon's reputation for intelligence and strategy was way overblown. Instead he and his kind are slaves to a discredited and dangerous ideology. He will not get his evil opportunity to take on Pope Francis. He is not a Christian in anyway except in name.

Update: 2:45 pm

That's right, the Russians can't. Thoughtful readers and professionals in national security knew that. It is the public which do not and Putin wanted to con his own public. Obama had repeatedly called the Russians paper tiger, spent force and basically weak and declining but he was reluctant to act against them and most others aggressively because there was no need to. The stronger you are militarily the less you need to use it. Isn't that what we do here as well?

CHC Appeal: Beyond the Law, Five saved One

I read this in the ST this morning.

Consider the counterfactual where five of them save Kong Hee had lived differently. No, they did not take the money to spend it on themselves directly but imagine they did so indirectly, the outcome of their appeals would not have been so benign. The absence of the pursuit of self interest by these five helped to make Kong Hee looked less bad. Kong Hee misled them with his bad theology but I think pride prevented them from admitting they were conned by his false theology.

The laws of the land and those of God are different. We read in the Bible that if you looked at a woman lustfully, to God you have committed adultery. So Kong Hee better wise up because another law could be read to him another time but I know he thought God is all forgiving and he could finagle forgiveness out of him somehow. After all he knows his Bible and have used it to mislead the other five. In jail, it is reasonable to imagine that they will turn away from his theology.

Special note: Sun Ho was character wise too weak to be present at the High Court yesterday but she is inexplicably strong enough to lead CHC in the absence of Kong Hee. Go figure!

Update: 7:55 pm

Good this ought not to be over yet. The Law Minister discussed how this impact on policy matters but it is clear there is much public disquiet as well which have serious political implications.

Friday, April 7, 2017

CHC Six Sentencing: "Whole Singapore Disappointed"

855 likes after 9 hours only , nothing more to add!

Update: 8:40 pm

Mothership article: 3 High Court judges’ explanation for City Harvest leaders’ reduced jail terms, is useful for explaining why the six got what they got. Nevertheless from the moral angle, people are outraged and regular folks naturally expect the law and their moral sensibilities not to differ too widely. 

Update: 8:55 pm

Came across more comments that were heavily "liked"

Update: April 8, 3:10 pm

Zaobao summarized the seven year marathon trial

Cherry Blossoms and Global Warming

What is there to add? Cherry Blossoms is like the proverbial canary in the mine screaming global warming at us. Well if you do not think it is right to extrapolate to the rest of the world there are many places with their various canaries with the same warning.

CHC: Prominent product of Project Crossover

As I write this many people are praying for a benign judgement from the three judges from the high court this morning. I am not among them. I am with the DPP but also happy that this is not my direct burden! One more hour more or less to know the verdict.

A few days ago I got this on Whatsapp and I found a better copy on YouTube. This the testimony of big time HK gangster whom as a result of Kong Hee and the Crossover project is now a Christian and even a pastor as well.

Don't bother with the full ten minutes of the clip. The first three minutes is good enough. Watch how he wears such a happy and joyful smile.

I am shocked he could smile at what he had done to others previously. There should always be shame and remorse. I doubt he understand repentance.

Now look at the next clip, a dramatization of John Newton's testimony from the movie, "Amazing Grace"

That is what someone who had recognized his many sins but repented and remembering what he had done should appear to be like.

Kong Hee and his kind bring infamy to Christianity. Today a secular court will condemn them for the evil they had done to others. Stand with Kong Hee and share his fate, whatever that might be we shall only know fully on the Last Day.

Update: 10:25am

They were looking for better than this, like exonerated from all wrong doing. After all they were serving God.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Room Temperature: Return of 30.7

Will this high room temperature ever be exceeded?

The times when it was also 30.7C

June 21, 2014
June 14, 2013
May 14, 2013

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Islam in Singapore: Build or Destroy Bridges

Picture A: Debating the tudung issue in Parliament

Picture B: Imam Nalla apologies

Picture A: Many who commented on Facebook didn't think Faisal was wrong. I prefer another test. Is that an act of risking bridges that have been built between Muslims and the rest or at least taking us nearer that point? We can make this a philosophical, practical or even complex issue. The most important is the question of what it might do to the bridges already there.

Picture B: That is clearly building bridges. If Faisal turned out to be wrong since nobody can stop him from talking about tudung or any seemingly sensitive race and religion issues in parliament, can we repair the damage? After all that was the mistake Iman Nalla made and the end has been much better than the beginning because the bridge he shook has become a much stronger than the original bridge.

Singaporeans must decide and leaders must make a Plan B in case public opinion is wrong.

Assad's Chemical Attack...

A Syrian peace solution which keeps Assad in power? Pretty hard to stomach. Only Trump could do that and subsequently future American presidents and history can blame him.

Trump can be useful to do some of the dirtiest work which could stain America forever because he is the atypical president. This is an option not available to the Chinese Communist Party or our PAP.

Let's get real, this is a messy world and try as hard as we could, we could never be good. That is why we need God's grace.

Update: April 6 12:50 pm

The widespread media reporting of this vile act means that Trump is not able to ignore it. As Obama discovered he couldn't act against Assad by bombing and invading Syria. Like North Korea there are no tidy solutions here, not even with any combination of the military and diplomatic. Choose the least bad, put America short term interest first as Obama had done because the long term is too uncertain with extremely high upfront costs. The American people are in no mood of foreign adventures. They are still living down the mistake Bush made invading Iraq.

America will have to roast in purgatory coming to terms the limits of its influence because of its hypocrisy over it overly vaunted universal values for mankind. Welcome to the real world. You can only keep your values if you have the courage and character to do so.

Roaches, rats and drugs

Like roaches and rats this is a damn problem that never goes away. There are broadly two ways to manage this and the difference is in manpower and costs.

The golden result and unaffordable approach is to be so tough with it that we are always ahead of the curve but the risk is that we will grow complacent and think the problem is solved when it was always under control. Inevitably we let down our guard and the drug addiction problem storm back.

The more practical approach but politically less attractive is to fight winning and losing matches. We draw red lines in the sand and always make sure we are doing better than that. Yet we could easily become complacent because our KPI is that red line. I think that is what we are doing here. At least the problem will not ambush like a storm, which is easier to deal with.

On the other hand the Americans are stupid about this issue. They never could understand and deal with it holistically because they could never agree with each other on how to deal with this. Opioid addiction is becoming rampant there and I suppose they are as per their history waiting for it to get so bad that they finally could agree to act in concert and deal with this decisively.

A law against marital rape

Because women aren't properties of men. Period. Female and Male both are humans, without each other there is no future. A diminished future if they are not equal as the historical evidence shout this fact at us. In many Asian countries, women protest this unfairness silently but devastatingly by letting the birth rates fall over the cliff. That is the ultimate signal. Wicked men blamed society for empowering women with their own economic security which without they would have produced children for their own security sake.

We have only crossed the bridge halfway. Some men tried to walk back e.g., what Donald Trump meant by making America great again abetted by narrow minded insecure Christian religionists. Or we could also continue walking to the other side to a better world (but always grossly imperfect) which is exemplified by former President Obama family and his  governing values.

Yes, married women should have the same protection from violence as unmarried women.

One HP K400 keyboard down

Letter "D" has been signalling that it is not well for several weeks already. This morning it has become almost unusable unless I punched it hard. It has been a finger health friendly keyboard but I wished it had lasted longer especially when I haven't even been using it regularly for sometime.

I hope my other K400 has better luck. If they could be as durable as the nibs of my Samsung Note stylus which never seem to wear out.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Upping the penalties for pedophilia

This issue in an elephant in the room the government have ignored and I am sure in private has been pointed out to them repeatedly!

Look, we are a global city. So many people pass or make their home here at least for a while. Given our less strict laws on this matter where do you think they would go to commit such sex crimes? We would be one of the most attractive destinations for such sickening activities. The penalties for pedophilia should have been raised long ago.

Hougang MRT Terror Scare

The English media did not specify that it was a PRC national who had caused this false alarm. Zaobao was more forthcoming. It would seem the editors of the Chinese language newspaper felt more confident about how the Chinese community would respond to this event.

To me, I am glad our terror mitigation response worked very well and potential attackers must have picked this up by now. It is more practical for them to focus their attention elsewhere.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Becoming an Embalmer

What a coincidence. Five years ago I asked my niece what she wanted to become after finishing her A levels. She told me she is considering becoming an embalmer. I knew she was interested in forensics and I supposed watched a lot of CSI as well.

I knew she was kidding but embalming was a good job.

Five years later she just finished her final paper for medical school a couple of weeks ago and I don't think she planned to be a forensic pathologist. LOL!