December 6, 2016
This is the future for food. For years I had only dreamt of being able to grow iceberg lettuce in the inhospitable desert. Many experiments and so many failures – finally a happy formulae was hatched that found a balance between the right growing conditions and an effective price.
‘No one cares for Mother Nature. Not enough at least to pull the brakes on how businesses are barreling full speed to destroy her in the name of the profit motive. I reckon under Trump, she (mother nature) is going to get round after round of merciless battering. You know why? He doesn’t care either…coming to think of it. Even the people who are supposed to care – don’t care. All they seem to ever do is talk, talk and talk.
But I care. And most importantly I know every wound in mother natures body like her GP. I am very close to the ground – so incredibly close that I can even feel every ripple and swell that planet earth has to bear because of man’s avarice and wanton disregard for the long term well being of the planet.
El Niño is probably a word to you. A distant place like perhaps ‘Siberia’ or ‘Timbuktu’. But to me it’s a battlefield where I am like one of those infantry man trying to get by with card board tasting food and lack of sleep – in the trenches, I see the ravages of mankind in every leaf right down to the severed roots when the ground gets so hot it cracks like a over boiled egg – there are times when I say to myself – wtf is happening?…am I the only sane person on this whole planet to see where all this is going to end up…it doesn’t have to be like this…why can’t people just sit down and think thru what’s happening all around them? Why don’t they care enough to stop their mindless consumption?
But it’s pointless to appeal to the sympathy and sagacity of others, especially when they don’t give two hoots – so I work. I work hard to grow stuff even if all the weather seems to do is throw out one curve ball after another – I work furiously to create a sliver of Eden in a testube – a place where things can grow like how it’s supposed too. Iceberg lettuce I realize may not be able to save people and planet that at least is how so many see my life’s mission – they shout at me – go back to your little hole! Why can’t you just clean toilets like a good autistic boy!….but I know deep in the marrow of my bones – this a start in the right direction.
In the future when mankind has all but destroyed this planet with his psychopathic narco 24/7 chase the buck at every turn and opportunity attitude – and nothing, not even a blade of grass can grow without screaming for the right to just exist without fire and brimstones raining down from an angry sky.
Everything will be grown the way we grow iceberg lettuce in refurbished air conditioned ambient shipping containers with farmers kitted in astronaut suits – everything from fish, poultry to high yielding bonsai oil palms.
This is the only way to save mankind from himself.
At the rate mankind is destroying our one and only space ship – earth. I have absolutely no doubt, one day all the food we consume will have to be grown this way.’
December 6, 2016
Not very long ago. A newbie farmer came up to me all excited and begun to recount how bountiful his harvest had been and what a good price he has able to procure at market. I could tell, he was at the top of the world…it must have all gone to head faster than 40% proof alcohol…there was even a boastful swagger in the way he carried himself when he offered to pay for lunch for everyone.
When I stiffened my newspaper to all this and showed hardly a trace of reaction – the newbie farmer seemed confused. Eventually he asked, why are you so unhappy with my good fortune.
I simply kept quiet. Later on the newbie farmer pursued the matter and asked again….what have I done wrong this time?
I simply told him – good and bad times are both imposters, one of the same reality even. I then turned to him and asked – observe carefully, do you see any experienced farmers going out at night for karaoke, drinks and pussy? No….in fact there is hardly a ripple of change in their daily routine…observe if you will…there is something very serious about them…like sailors preparing for a perfect storm….their jaws are all tight…there is something very purposeful in their eyes.
That is because they know all this will not last – that is really another way of saying, they know this road so well…while you know so very little.
I went on to share with this fellow – sure I am happy he has an opportunity to taste success – but I also went on to emphasize that I was also nervous as well – as if one is not wise…one may think this is all there is to turning the wheel of life from the good earth.
I went on to share with this fellow – in good times, be thrifty, set some aside for lean times, better still prepare for war – as it’s impossible for either you or me to stay young and energetic forever. A day will surely come, when everything has to eventually growl old and slow down. This is not unnatural…not at all…if it appears to be so, it is only because you have been brainwashed by delusional leaders who don’t see the world as it truly is, but much prefer to see it as what they think MUST be…if you follow these delusional leaders, they will take you and your family to the hottest places in hell!
I went on to share with this newbie farmer – just as when a tree grows old and produces less fruits each season or a man grows old and catches less fish – this does not mean it’s the end…it just means…this is the way of the world.
Coming to terms with the natural way of the world is not defeatism – it is wisdom, but to deny this and insist all things can continue to grow, grow and only grow forever…must I think be the clearest form of insanity.
‘For the last ten years of my life whenever I shared with people my version a dystopian futurescape – how wages will continue to regress while the cost of living will continue to ratchet up….how economic growth is illusionary and can never be expected to grow in perpetuity, only because this logic is the purest form of processed nonsense – how mankind will experience a class war between the have’s and have not’ that will see brother turning against brother – Whenever I am called upon to share my views. I seem to always provoke all sorts of negative reactions.
Some shout me down. And those are the educated and polite ones. Others react angrily. Then there are those who even want to beat me up and teach me a lesson. There was once when a man even threatened to jump out a window if I did not stop my recount. I do not know whether he survived. Yet another tried to straggle me. Fortunately I have an instructors grade for Aikido and I was able to subdue him to eventually cool down.
I did not know it then – and that lack of insight might have been attributable to the fact. I am autistic. However as I sit quietly and reflect now against the backdrop of post Brexit and Trump – it could be said I can now understand why these people felt so much anger and even anxiety and fear for what I had to share with them. As whenever people believe in truths, they are really no so different from pillars that might support beams along with whole floors along with walls….but when these basic illusions are exhausted…then suddenly part of their world threatens to come crashing down.
This is very natural…I do not harbor any resentment or anger for many who once wanted to beat me up….I understand completely now.
After all the power of myth is very strong – often just to go on with life, it’s necessary to believe in these fairytale.
One of these myths is the idea economic growth, the grand illusion of our age can go on in perpetuity.
Growth underpins every aspect of modern society. Economic growth has become the universal solution for all political, social and economic problems, from improving living standards, reducing poverty to now solving everything from whether you might be able to enjoy a holiday during your next annual plan leave or might you have to settle for a weekend in Bintan.
All brands of politics and economics are deeply rooted in the idea of a robust economic model that is like Peter Pan – it never grows old…it is forever young and can reliably grow with vigor and governments can always exert control over the speed and trajectory of this growth.
But now as the reality of the Brexit and Trump era seeps slowly in – things are not so clear any longer. I do not doubt many will continue to insist there is such a thing called economic growth in perpetuity as they will probably argue the existence of perpetual motion as well – but one thing is certain, this is the way of the world…it is very natural.
Besides less or no growth at all, may not necessarily by itself be a bad thing for people and planet…if we believe it is bad, it is only because we buy lock and stock into the version of reality of our ‘leaders’ without once interrogating their goals. On the contrary, low or negative growth, may even have positive effects, especially for the environment and most certainly for the conservation of animals and tribes people. As for workers they will be less stressed out as well.
December 5, 2016
Recently I overheard a group of landowners lamenting how the world of late had turned suddenly top turvy. When one of them asked for my opinion – I merely told them, not suddenly…the signs were all there as far back as ten years ago. But no one wanted listen and see.
Now all there is left is to reap the whirlwind.
‘For many of you who regularly read my blog – Brexit and Trump will not come as a surprising shock. So question is not really how to live with peace with the Brexit generation. Rather it is simply this – how can one continue to gainfully make progress in this new economic environment where the world is increasingly divided between the have’s and the have not’s, ignorant and informed, smart and stupid.
The good news is? This day of reckoning has always been in the cards for most of us – understand this! This is not a passing fad – it is a new dawn and it is likely to father momentum and it’s truly here to stay whether we like it or not.
However on the bright side. In my estimation we are at least ten years ahead of the curve. That is to say we have laid a very strong foundation to ride out this new order of irrationality.
While many may still either be sleep walking or in terminal denial. Many on the other hand have taken my advise and started their own enterprises and even spread their wings to far flung places around the world to better prepare themselves to meet the challenges of this new economic world order.
Personally it’s very fulfilling for me to bear witness to so many who have been empowered with this insight – we are truly to living in interesting times.
We will win!
December 5, 2016
Behind every smile..there is always a tinge of sadness.
Not very long ago. I paid a visit to the most lonely man in the village. He lives in a house located deep in the plantation. Except for a few dogs, it seems he goes about his business all by himself – when he saw me. The lonely man smiled and soon we were sat beneath a tree sipping tea.
Mid way during the conversation – I asked the lonely man whether he might like to join me for dinner the next week. He seemed hesitant in the beginning, so I did not press further.
As I was preparing to take my leave. The lonely man stood beside his gate looking at me. Suddenly he asked, why do you want to invite me for dinner?
I turned back and said to him – whatever that has happened in the past, let it all go. Do not the let the bad experiences with others fill your heart with poison – please believe me when I say this. You were not born in this world to nourish human suffering. Please remember this always.
The lonely man murmured, you see deep into my heart*
I merely patted him on the shoulder and replied, yes…I know this road well.
* Never allow the bad experiences with others to color your opinion of those who may come into your life later – Never. A woman who has suffered with a callous lover in the past will always see the man who once played with her heart in the men who will come after him. Such a person is often haunted by ghost from the past. She will live in the past or future but never in the where it’s most needful – in now.
In the same when a person has suffered in the past. He or she too will carry the shadow of pain, resentment and regret….let it all go!
Take a chance on life!
December 4, 2016
Not very long ago. I was summoned frantically by the village ghost police (Sai Kong) requesting me to pay an urgent visit to a family where an elderly bond servant had just passed away. According to the Sai Kong the restless spirit of the bond servant roams the house and she has been appearing almost every night. Despite his best efforts he has not been able to rein in the malevolent spirit…hence in such ‘teruk’ (no hope) cases my cooperation would be duly appreciated by all.
In accordance to strict Toaist custom – I entered the house from the back door. The deities were all suitably covered. Four cups of tea were served. I sat on the chair facing West facing the end of light.
When the occupants of the house stood before me. I asked who is the one in the house who sees this ghost – the patriarch of the family stiffened most visibly. She looked exhausted with heavy dark rings underneath her eyes. Her words were faint as if she had hardly slept a wink for weeks – I asked, has anyone else seen this ghost. The others replied. No. Only her.
The old woman pleaded with me – make her go away…please…make her go away….I don’t know what she wants of me…I am only an old lady.
I told everyone else to leave the room except the elderly woman. When we were alone the old lady reached for my hands frantically and asked pleadingly again – make her go away…I will give you anything you want.
I asked the old lady in an authoritative voice of a landowner, there has been great injustice here….she cringed as if I could see deep into her heart. Then I asked, tell me who does the bond servant love most in this world. The old lady replied, she once had a child. But it was born out of wed lock, so it was an embarrassment to the family and the child was packed off.
Where is this child now? I asked sternly raising my voice ever so slightly.
She hesitated and started fidgeting with her hankerchief. Then I got up as if preparing to take my leave with the words – there is nothing I can do here. That was when she relented and told me, the child had been sent to be raised as a servant in a house of a landowner faraway from these parts.
I told the old lady, go take her back and raise her like your own daughter. Do this and you will be able to sleep in peace again.
From that day onwards, the ghost of the bond servant was never seen again.
December 4, 2016
Q: In the past you have mentioned while China is a rising star. The US is a waning superpower. In the light of these unfolding realities. Do you see an impending clash between America and China?
A: It is one thing to assume that the US is in economic decline – that I believe is clear for all to make out. As it is a fact. The growing wealth, military power, and socio-political influence of China is also a fact.
However, acknowledging all this is completely different than assuming that China will be able to replace the United States. Neither is it clear to me whether China really wants to replace the US.
While its given, China will overtake the US in terms of quantifiable metrics, namely GDP, it will still be a second rate country in terms of being able to translate intellectual capital into competitive advantage – as in terms of patents per capita metrics – the US is perhaps the richest country in the world.
While China although rich in terms of paper wealth – will I feel be held down by many inherent strategic limitations that will effectively prevent it from ever taking over the role of the US.
Don’t get me wrong. China is a certainly a great power, and it has the potential to become even more powerful – but to say it is going to step into the shoes of the US is in my opinion very unrealistic – for one China doesn’t have nearly the geo political blessings of the US. The US by virtue of it’s geography is able to defend it’s borders with relative ease when compared to China. To the West and East there is the natural defense of the oceans. To the North and South. They have very weak countries that don’t present a military threat. The same cannot be said about China. China is located in a neighborhood that is bristling with vested interest. Unlike the US who can militarize without incurring penalties – in the case of China as soon as she shows the slightest signs of upping the ante – this is likely to spark off an arms race amongst her nervous neighbors. To exacerbate matters there are many internal challenges that will continue to draw both men and material to militate against Chinese expansion, like the need to neutralize the autonomous regions of Xinjiang, Tibet and most recently Hong Kong clamoring for more autonomy. All this of course is quite muted. As information is very tightly controlled in China. But nonetheless these are realities that will continue to militate against China translating its economic prowess into military dominance over the Pacific theater.
The US doesn’t have all that baggage to deal with, to top it off the US has over 150 years of primacy to sharpen their skill of arms in world domination. They have not only the military hardware to do so, but most importantly they possess vast intellectual reserves of social political thoughtware to enable them to play Realpolitik very competently to set the global agenda. I am not saying China cannot replicate these attributes – she can, but it will take time to develop these core competencies.
As it is China despite it’s economic largesse is still quite a backward nation when it comes to the business of projecting intellectual ambition – from our assessment there are simply too many contradictions within China that prevents her from stepping into the shoes of the US to play a superpower role. As I mentioned the constraint of China’s political and military difficulties especially power projection thru carrier doctrine, along with its need to devote monstrous amounts of men and material to controlling and policing its own country is certainly a check on ambition. Coupled to that while China certainly has the intellectual métier to blast taikonauts into orbit and to even develop home grown bullet trains that can barrel over two hundred miles per hour without disintegrating – it cannot be denied in terms of intellectual largesse she is very much a bonsai.
That is why if you look closely at China’s foreign policy it’s premised on I hear, see and think no evil – of course she couches all these under the sweet appellation of non interference in the affairs of other countries – but my point is if you are going to play the role of a global or even regional policeman – then you don’t nearly have the luxury to keep quiet about thorny issues such as human rights, good governance and freedom.
As that is the job scope of the global policeman.
Q: Am I right to say you don’t see China as usurping the role of the US militarily in the Pacific?
A: I don’t think China really wants the burden of playing the role of a global policeman – that is a role that requires not only very high military skill of arms, but it is also one that demands consummate diplomacy that can only come with the precondition of moral authority. China has a very patchy record when it comes to human rights and abuses – that I suspect is why she is content to limit the scope of her sphere of influence to cho cho train diplomacy. Besides from what I am able to make out from China’s designs – her aspirations has so far been consistently confined to trade and commerce and solely focused on establishing herself as an economic superpower. Beyond that I don’t see anything else to suggest she is even building any core competencies in so far as stepping in and replacing the US militarily.
That is why all this talk of Chinese imperialist aspirations in the SCS is to me nothing more than scare mongering. As it’s a big fat red herring.
The facts are quite starling. The US has nearly a dozen aircraft carriers and a military force capable of projecting power globally. Even if one discounts the inability of the US to deal effectively with emerging insurgencies such as ISIS and its patchy military forays in the Middle East, its unparalleled aerial and maritime skill of arms is precisely what allows it to prosecute all these in the first place. China, on the other hand, can’t even launch an antiquated sea and land circa 1944 D-Day invasion to even take back its own territory in Taiwan.
In the stark background of that reality – to me it’s quite stupid to suggest that China can even take on the US and even win.
Q: You just mentioned specifically a global policeman needs to have the requisite moral authority – recently Trump phoned up Duterte and congratulated him on doing the ‘right thing’ on his controversial war against drugs – do you see Trump’s position as signaling a change in American foreign policy towards human rights?
A: I want to be clear. I understand the challenges Duterte faces when it comes to the law and order imperative in the Philippines. I really do, especially how chronic the drug menace is in at the level of Barangay’s. But at the same time – I don’t believe it’s possible to condone his unmitigated shoot and kill directives under any criteria. This is just absolutely crazy. Not even the Nazi’s did that – Hitler may have been directly responsible for snuffing out 6 millions Jews. But even he knew – he couldn’t just circumvent the rule of law hence the Wansee conference.
I think this episode will not go very well with the Republican elites – I have absolutely no doubt, if Mr Trump keeps doing what he does – a motion to impeach the president will be filed very soon.
Q: What can you read about Trump’s recent phone call with the Taiwanese President?
A: It’s hard to say whether it was a deliberate act of provocation designed to unsettle China. Personally I don’t see anything to be gained from this. As far fetched as it may sound, it could very well be attributed to just an error of judgement or worst still being unaware of the One China policy. It’s very hard to say with Trump – but one thing is certain. This has certainly wound up the Chinese in Beijing. I really don’t have enough data to comment on this right now.
Q: Do you see the US Department of Justice changing it’s position to pursue the 1MDB case under Trump?
A: That is a very interesting question. At one level of conventional wisdom you can certainly saw the US is a country that subscribes to the doctrine of separation of powers – now what this basically means in lay man’s terms is if Obama or Trump picks up the phone and says, hey cut my golfing buddy some slack! In theory, the AG can say, to even the President – Please go and die lah. This is not your business! It’s mine! In theory this can be done. I am not kidding you. That is the dummies definition of separation of powers.
But in practical reality the office of AG of the DoJ in the US is a political appointment.
So what you have is the incompatibility between theory and reality.
To layer what I just mentioned with yet another aspect of complexity. There is also a security dimension at play this time with the NSA and the CIA – as it’s not to the interest of the US to have a Malaysia that is politically unstable.
If Najib is forced to step down because he is criminalized by the DoJ – Malaysia will realign itself with China and possibly even Russia. It will be rogue state.
Say what you want about Najib Abdullah. But he is an Anglophile and someone who is quite competent to run Malaysia without running it into the ground. This is my honest assessment of Najib. Of course it discounts 1MDB.
The problem with Malaysia is who will take over Najib if he is forced to step down?
There is currently no one. The others in the selection list are all Kampung heroes – you talk to these people about world affairs they think you are talking about someone’s cow dying the kampung – bear in mind. I genuinely want to be polite, but I also feel there is a need to be accurate here. So please forgive me if I should feel the necessity to call a spade a spade.
Now bear in mind the director of the NSA will also be thinking along the same lines – who will step into Najib’s shoes if he bows out. In my assessment. The best guy for the job currently in UMNO is Khairy, but he too young and mistrusted by the old guard who see him as a Badawi’s parvenu son-in-law – the other top drawer fellow is Hishamuddin. But again, he’s too close to Najib to run without falling foul of nepotism. Zahid is not even in the race – so who else is there?
This will be interesting to watch. But if I have to make a calculated guess – I don’t think the both NSA or CIA fellow would agree with the AG when it comes to prosecuting Najib. I think both Jho Low and Razif may well be toast. But I don’t see Najib’s name along side them. I think the case may just drag on and on till it eventually runs out of petrol.
Q: How serious are you when you moot the case of the impeachment of President Trump?
A: I believe it is a very real possibility that cannot be discounted. Especially when it comes to the curious case of Mr Trump occupying the highest office in the world – you got to understand the Republic party is after all a political hegemony and like all any hierarchy it has it’s own set of core beliefs along with conventional wisdom that supplies it’s raison d’être – so if Trump thinks he can do and say whatever he likes – I think he will be signing in for a very rough ride.
Bear in mind, Trump is a bit like Caesar just before the Ides of March – he’s pissed off many would be supporters within the Republican Party. Of course on the surface he may be surrounded by people who are all trading smiles and happy to shake his hand – but even within the ranks of the Republic party many see him as unknown quantity. He’s hardly their preferred choice as leader.
I am very serious when I raise the issue of impeaching the president – I think many Republicans are watching whether Mr Trump has the wisdom to jettison his temperamental ways and mellow down to tow the party line or least try to make an effort to pretend too. Many I am sure are prepared to cut him slack due to his lack of experience in politics and power on Capitol Hill. But I have no doubt if they perceive him to be a threat to their hegemony – the knifes will be out in the flash lah!
There is nothing personal about this – it’s just the mathematics of reality when it comes to power and politics.
Q: Few weeks ago you mentioned Trumps foreign policy will only get clearer when he begins shortlisting his security advisors – what can you conclude so far from his selection of security advisors? Can you make out anything resembling a rough outline of a design?
A: Finally your first intelligent question! I was beginning to doubt whether the Guild were really serious in setting up this interview.
Let’s start with what we know – Trump’s thumb drive when it comes to foreign policy stands at a perfect zero. Now that doesn’t necessarily by itself mean the world is headed towards doom and gloom. Believe or not, the world has been here before – if FDR was the gold standard of the president who best excelled in Foreign policy. Harry Truman was the worst. He was exactly like Trump. Nonetheless, because he had good foreign policy advisors today Truman enjoys enormous credit for stabilizing a post war ravaged Western Europe with the Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO. So this is just an illustration of how jugular presidential advisors really are to mitigated dumb foreign policies from ever becoming reality.
With Trump we are likely to see a reenactment of Truman I reckon – only my feel is with Trump as in the case of Truman, the emphasize will be on ensuring foreign policy is conducted not at the expense of prioritizing the domestic economy.
Trump being Trump would I am sure much prefer to dabble in what he knows, America Inc. As for foreign policy I can’t ever see him playing a pivotal role – much can be said about the wisdom of focussing on home and deprioritising the faraway.
For one this idea is not proprietary to even Trump – it already exist in the shape and form known as offshore balancing. Curiously this splinter logic of how best foreign policy should be conducted has been around for yonks!
To define off shore balancing succinctly – to my understanding at least – it’s a bit like outsourcing. The primary motive is risk management or mitigation. Since you don’t ever commit fully, but only in a limited capacity, risk is hedged and since proxies are nominated to get the job done – it doesn’t require the expensive juggernaut military industrial complex to make the whole thing work. To summarize. It’s cost sensitive and I would imagine it’s a proposition that will appeal to the mind of Trump.
The down side of off shore balancing it’s not always possible to adhere to the doctrine of limited engagement. Not all the time at least. Since the strategy relies implicitly on leveraging on the strengths of reliable US allies – on the plus side, if the reliable US ally component presents itself under all the optimal conditions, it can very well be sustainable arrangement like Japan or Saudi Arabia.
Q: You mentioned offshore balancing is not new – can you give us a case study of how this might actually work?
Yes, that’s a good idea. Let me give you an illustration of how off shore balancing was once deployed to good effect – during the 60’s right up to the early 80’s – the Middle East was relatively stable.
Part of that happy equilibrium came about because the US strategically groomed Imperial Iran under the Shah to undertake the geo political balancing role to check Soviet expansionism into Afghanistan and to blunt Iraqi aggression.
For many years that arrangement kept the entire region stable – even today many historians continue to insist had Carter not dabbled with geo political liberalism by attempting to do away with the off shore balancing formulae – none of the present day problems in the Middle East would present itself.
The downside of off shore balancing – is it implicitly requires the US to jettison it’s infantile preoccupation with freedom and human rights. That incidentally was what eventually undermined the authority of the Shah of Iran exert command and control over his country – Carter didn’t like what Savak was doing in Tehran by regularly chucking intellectuals in jail and torturing them just because the Shah of Iran took exception to their reading material. Carter made a big fuss about human rights abuses under the Shah and even secretly funded the Bazaari’s under the aegis of liberalism and social cultural diversity – to cut a long story short, his grand social experiment fucked up lah! Of course these days Carter prefers not to talk about all this – but undeniable he was singularly responsible for promoting the misguided liberal hegemony doctrine that both Republicans and Democrats eventually adopted as their mainstay foreign policy outlook which proved disastrous in so many ways. From a sustainable standpoint – it was a failure from the word go. As it was so expensive to upkeep – as this new interventionist foreign policy required a super duper military industrial complex along the burden of fixed cost by stationing US permanent troops in Saudi Arabia to Western Europe just to preserve the balance of power.
The problem as I see it with offshore balancing – a large part of the success factor is predicated on two incidental requirements. The first is location. In the case of Iran under the Shah – the US were just lucky, as it was a natural buffer zone to blunt soviet expansion to the North – coupled to that Iran was strategically positioned with a accessible sea corridor via the Persian Gulf while the rest of the gulf states were all landlocked – so this enabled the US to control every aspect of the war making attributes of the region to their advantage.
If we juxtapose the logic of off shore balancing today – it’s unlikely to have the same results, simply because new reliable US allies are hard to come by and even if they can be found – like the Kurds, they are unlikely to be a located optimally to shape events meaningfully on the ground.
To some extent all these constraints can be ameoriated with US carrier doctrine since they are mobile platforms – but the issue still stands. Who makes up the infantry at the end of the day? What nationalities would be the ones wearing boots to fight? – how can the US continue to recruit reliable allies to serve as it’s proxies? And even if this can be done as in the case of Turkey to overthrow the Assad regime and with Pakistan to blunt Taliban insurgencies – how can the US ensure that these proxies don’t turn against them like how Al Qeada metastasized into ISIS? Or before them how the mujahiden’s who once fought the soviets splintered into Al Fadheyeen and Al Qeada.
It is the details of these problems at ground zero level that suggest to me the US even under Trump will have a very hard time trying to put into action offshore balancing as a coherent strategy.
As some hot spots in the world will be easier to offshore than others – it’s certainly possible to do this in Western Europe with NATO. But I don’t think it’s possible to recruit China to somehow control affairs in let’s say North Korea – either way you still need the South Koreans and Japanese to do that.
My point is off shore balancing is not implementable across the global chessboard – some theaters it can work. Others on the other hand will continue to suck up men, material and resources only because the US will have to work under ‘it is what it is’ conditions.
For example Singapore is certainly a reliable US partner but because it’s geographically constraint and so faraway from the SCS – what meaningful aspect of the military function can be out sourced. Nothing. Except maybe resupply and providing a second rate staging post.
My concern is many of the problems we see afflicting the world have really become so big and serious that it is no longer a case of how the US can play to win any longer. Not under her preferred terms at least. My feel is that aperture of opportunity may have lapsed as far back as 2011.
As it remains the very sobering case of how the game will continue to the play a US whose disinterested to play the game any longer…but is forced too…only because if they don’t play it – others will and if those dark forces might win the prize may well be the sum of all our fears.
I don’t mean to scare people. But if it’s any consolation perhaps those who are afraid should take comfort in the knowledge I am after all just a lowly farmer.
Maybe. Just maybe, they would feel more optimistic about the future if they just remember that detail.
December 1, 2016
Q: What do you think China was trying to accomplish by impounding the Singaporean armored personnel carriers in Hong Kong? Was it the optimal strategy for China?
A: China seems to be attacking Singapore’s credibility directly. This is classic Sun Tzu art of war – showcase a glaring inconsistency to create dissonance, it’s all designed to highlight not only Singapore’s complicity with the US. But it’s also designed to underscore Beijing’s unhappiness with Singapore’s perceived alignment with the US against her claim in the disputed South China Sea.
Is this an optimal strategy for China? No. I don’t think so. As this smacks of bullying.
China is after all a superpower. As for Singapore…Singapore is Singapore lah.
My point is bullying real or imagined in whatever shape and form can never go down well with China’s target audience. All it can really accomplish is sow the seeds of mistrust and enmity along with casting a very unfavorable light on China.
I am quite surprised China has taken this strategy of chastising Singapore so publicly. It seems very odd to me. As they are playing into the hands who keep promoting the notion – China is hell bent on aggression.
As most observers till now have been two minded when it comes to the US assertion China has imperialistic regional goals. And one reason for that is because China has successfully thru the years opted for quiet diplomacy instead of directly engaging in conflict.
Please note that their equivalent of the ST, the South China Post has been taking a very aggressive stance of late. I think it’s a very serious miscalculation on the part of the Chinese.
Q: What do you think China should have done?
A: Continue to leverage on soft power. After all everyone knows Singapore is a reliable proxy of the US. It’s an open secret. Even the Taiwan and Singapore military arrangement though in open contravention of the one China policy is hardly a new thing. Everyone also knows Singapore has thru the years been adept at putting on a Janus mask to play both the US and China. Everyone also knows Singapore is inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. So if Singapore wants to insist on the rule of law when it comes to the disputed SCS – whose going to stand with Singapore?
I say this without malice. To me it’s a factually concise and accurate assessment of what Singapore can and cannot hope to do.
After all, do you see organized crime getting bothered when two bums fight it out in an alley because they both can’t agree on whether Mario Puzo’s depiction of the Godfather is closer to reality or fiction?
By the same token, why should China get bothered? If they do so – they should at least take stock that many claimants of the SCS will at some point ask – can we continue to trust China?
Q: President elect Trump mentioned unequivocally in a recent Youtube vid – the US will be pulling out from the TPP. Singapore has stated it plans to ratify the TPP without the US. Could this be the reason why the Chinese are overacting?
A: Let me say this for the five million and one time. I don’t for one moment believe Mr Trump is serious. He cannot possibly be. Even if he is – I don’t believe the Republican elites, especially the likes of Henry Kissinger can possibly agree with that position. The only possible reason for Trump’s reiteration on his opposition to the TPP probably has more to do with how he has painted himself into one corner – as a very large aspect of his election campaign was premised on the anti TPP position. Now he has to figure out a way to engineer a U turn without coming across as a phoney.
Is Singapore pushing for the ratification of the TPP with the US? Yes, but so are thirteen other countries. I think the Japanese especially seem to be very jittery about Trump. Having said that all this needs to seen in the correct context and scale – as talking about the TPP without the US is like trying to bake a fruit cake without raisins.
Stupidity may not be the right word to describe this initiative – but it’s not far off. I think what many of the signatories of the TPP may be trying to do is to preempt the US from renegotiation the specifics of the agreed TPP terms and conditions.
Coming back to your question – I don’t think China should be unnecessarily alarmed by the latest move to sign the TPP without the US. Like I said, the TPP without the US is really a big fat nothing.
Q: You have mentioned on previous occasions the Trump presidency will be marked by plenty of U turns. How easy is it to effect a reversal on the TPP without alienating a significant number of voters in the US?
A: Reversal. Not easy at all. Since it was such a dominant feature in his campaign and you could even say, it acquired a very personal tenor because it was directed specifically at Clinton & Co. But fortunately the average American is not very well versed in current affairs. Neither is the average American inclined to read broadly either – so there is plenty of room for improvisation to engineer a politically expedient U turn in my humble opinion. After all this was exactly what Bill Clinton did with NAFTA.
Q: How sound is the strategy to proceed with the TPP without the US?
A: Not very wise if you ask me – simply because this leaves very little room for Trump to maneuver. Either way you cut it, let us agree on one thing – if Trump is going to sign the TPP it is going to be nothing short of an epic U turn. So my feel is it doesn’t pay to put him in a straight jacket – and by ratifying the TPP without the US. That is as good as heightening the stakes and putting the proposition to the US – take it or leave it! I don’t see that as a very good strategy. Not at all.
From my assessment. It makes far more sense to reason with Trump by engaging the Republican machinery via perhaps Henry Kissinger.
Q: You seem to have a lot of faith in Henry Kissinger. Why?
A: He’s the brightest bulb in the chandelier wot. I genuinely want to come across as polite – so I don’t want to elaborate further on the dim ones.
There is a lot of darkness now – not only in the US. But the EU and Asia as well concerning Trump winning the elections – I think it’s accurate to say the world is still in a state of profound shock concerning the Trump win and markets generally don’t like uncertainty – this overall anxiety is manifested in how Asian currencies have been tumbling of late. They’re all very jittery. All this nervous energy needs to equalize and hopefully settle into some sort of equilibrium – the only way to restore much needed stability is to get intelligent and experience serious men like Dr Henry Kissinger to play a bigger role in clarifying US foreign policy under the Trump administration.
I don’t see any other way. Because if you leave it entirely to Trump. It will be nothing short of a disaster.
Q: Your position on the TPP is well documented in the internet. You oppose it. By implication does that suggest you much prefer to see the US playing a less dominant role in Asia?
A: This is not the first time that I’ve caught you trying to embellish what I have to say concerning the US. Let me say this categorically – I have never denied that US primacy in the Pacific has been a stabilizing force that has generally brought peace and prosperity to the region. Never!
In fact if you go back to previous blog entries – you will find this is a theme that I keep repeating time and again.
How can I? Look what is happening in Malaysia. UMNO is getting into bed with PAS. Huddud is now in the legislative pipeline – and it will become a fact of life.
Q: Yes you did accurately predict this would happen. (Cut off by interruption from interviewee)
A: I would appreciate it if you don’t spoil my flow of thoughts…..secularism is giving way to religion and sectarian based politics. It’s not confined to Malaysia, but eventually this trend will migrate to Indonesia as well and beyond to affect the Mindanao. On the environmental front – huge Chinese funded dams have been built in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. These human interventions produce long term ecological and topological rammifications. They are so all pervasive it affect millions of lives along the Mekong. In agriculture millions of hectares of once virgin forest are being gazetted as arable land displacing countless species and in some cases even indigenous tribes. These are profound changes occurring at a speed and scale that cannot be reasonable imagined. On the business front, China is laying rail tracks in virtually every country to realize her one belt one road fantasy island agenda. Ports along the Straits of Malacca are being up sized dramatically. Again this will transform the entire way trade and commerce is conducted. So my point is Asia is getting rewired in a very big way. These are just the very young shoots of some of my concerns. On the geo political front – do we really want to see the Japanese and Koreans weaponizing their atomics? Because if there is a power vacuum in Asia – all these trends are all going to be epic dead ends.
Say what you want about the US – but in principle, they do stand for elemental values and in my book that counts for something. When goverments throw social activist in jail under trumped up charges. The US still kicks up a fuss. That may be very difficult for some people to believe these days. As so much of US goodwill has been eroded in the Middle East – but in principle US has never shied away from speaking up about freedom, human rights and abuses.
Like I said, it’s hard these days to take faith and run with this idealistic sentiment. But by and large, the US is a much needed moral authority that I consider a precondition for good governance and statecraft.
If you leave it to China. They will just keep quiet about human rights abuses and if you ask them – why are you saying and doing nothing? They will just reply, don’t look at me. I am just here to lay tracks and build cho cho trains.
But let me be clear. I don’t ever see my opposition to the TPP as necessarily being inconsistent with the idea that the US can continue to play a meaningful instructional and even directional role to shape Asia.
In fact I believe there will be many precipitous social, economic, political and cultural shifts that will continue to occur in Asia within the next ten years, possibly even earlier that may not be necessarily good for people and planet without active US participation.
Only my feel it’s not in the long term interest of the region or the world to attempt to put China into some kind make belief box. That’s a very big mistake.
December 1, 2016
It’s very exhausting to be suspicious of every little thing that doesn’t seem just right….very tiring indeed.
November 30, 2016
Mr Koreana was a very easy man to love. Only because he was very good at throwing that ball called love. That was how Miss D saw the politics of love – to her, the process didn’t have anything to do with some lofty disquisition – it differed only slightly from two people playing catch with a ball. May seem childish, but to Miss D being able to throw a ball straight and with just the right amount of strength was the clearest indication of a consummate lover. Miss D was aware not every man can always be relied to throw right. Most men just chuck the ball – it always came to her only after having to perform somersaults or rolls…and even if they could some how sort out their aim. There was the other niggling issue of being either to soft or hard. Seldom did she ever experience the satisfying joy of catching one where the feeling between desire and fulfillment was just right like the ones Mr Koreana threw at her.
He seemed born. No. Destined to throw her number 10 balls…that’s how she rated his throws, from one to ten…they were all tens.
In fact one could well be forgiven for believing – this skill in being able to throw perfect balls could really only have come from having been a lifelong prisoner on the island called Mr Koreana. Miss D knew a thing or two about how a man comes of age to throwing perfect balls.
She even suspected. What looked like gentle rolling hills on this placid island were in fact jagged blood stained ridges. Sometimes only a little of that showed whenever he was in the mood to talk. But nearly all of who he really was or what he once belonged too revealed itself in the starkest possible terms when Mr Koreana threw one perfect ball after another – it was as thought when he threw the ball. All he ever wanted to do was to reach out beyond the ocean of time into some distraught past.
For Mr Koreana must have been none other than a tragic victim of…whatever. Yes, whatever. As what really haunted him was always hidden by an impenetrable veil of mystery that Miss D could never hope to ever beacon out and so she termed it under the broad geography of whatever…. besides it was too faraway for her to ever imagine….as it all probably stood like a moss riven shipwreck…..another life of another man, possibly even another plane of existence and whatever little Miss D was able to make out was simply the sugar coated shell of the impeccable ball thrower – who she suspected could only have honed the perfection of his skills by throwing out letters stuffed in bottles from that deserted island where he was marooned – it was this quality of lingering detachment about Mr Koreana that always filled Miss D with longing. Whenever this feeling descended upon her, she would simply stop, let her arms flop and stare hard at Mr Koreana. As if to tell him – I know your secret…but no matter how hard Miss D searched with her eyes. All she could make out was his outward appearance of lovability as he prepared for yet another perfect throw of the ball. Even after when she had refused to play catch the ball any more unless he told her his mystery. All he could do was look at her pleadingly with that, ‘are you ready?’ expression of expectancy.
Even when Miss D insisted she no longer wanted to play. Mr Koreana could always be counted to supply his well crafted and heroic construction of why they should play on. And this feeling Miss D believed was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the very finality of Mr Koreana’s imprisonment in this fictitious island that he had constructed somewhere in his head; for Mr Koreana the perfect ball thrower. The act of was sharper than addiction, much more satisfying than fiction. It was probably his only means of redemption from the terrible past that haunted him.
Eventually the game would always end the same – they would both fall silent and stare at each other. As if each knew what was in the others head. That was at least how Miss D saw it in her mind’s eye – not anything near resolution. Rather closer to a point of indistinguishability where both their hidden lives would suddenly coaveslece into a sort of happy reverie resembling nothingness.
Nothingness being none other than the very form of Miss D and Mr Koreana.
November 30, 2016
A human life is not unlike a steel ball in a pin ball machine. Once it pops into the slot and is fired out into the world – that life will be flipped and bounced from one thing to another…only to eventually weave it’s own spell involving one part serendipity, two parts epiphany and the remainder probably pot luck to determine where the ball eventually comes to rest.
That’s how it really is.
Things are seldom linear…they don’t seem to go to plan as much as they appear to be controlled by fate and chance.
A person plans to head in a certain direction. He has that image fixed in his head like a clothes hook…it’s immovable…permanent. As he walks towards his goal. He sees something or someone that makes him pause just long enough to miss the train he usually takes. Suddenly this man’s life takes a sharp and unexpected turn mid-course. He takes a seat very much like the main protagonist Mr Koreana in the e-novel I am toying with and waits for the next train to arrive. When it finally pulls up before him. It appears to all intends and purposes to be another train. Then he notices something else that catches his interest and again he is flipped and bounced to yet another trajectory where he stalls, pauses, hangs, drifts only to start all over again…Nothing is ever known…but what thing remains certain as day and night itself…at the end, we all eventually arrive at a quite different destination from the one we set out for….that’s life.
‘As I grow older. I have to make a constant effort to be mindful to be gentle, sensitive and considerate to others. If I had to point any one reason why I have finally reached this realization – it’s probably because when I reflect on my own fragile and vulnerable nature – how easy it is for one to be bruised and damaged by just the simple act of living.
One doesn’t even need to operate heavy machinery or to jump out of airplanes to experience a form of spiritual death – as just the simple act of living and breathing and proceeding with the ordinariness of life is by itself filled with so many untold hazards for oneself and others…if one remains ignorant of this truism in life….one will be crushed by life itself!
When one human life comes into contact with another – it’s seldom the case of two stones rubbing against each other happily to take off the rough edges. Sure that might well happen should one be lucky. But since all humans are to some degree self centered, insecure and filled with all sorts of nonsense in their heads. Usually human encounters. Even the most benign ones can often provoke unintended strong feelings and reactions. That’s because like a pinball in a machine one is flipped and it’s only normal to slide, rub and glance off people….it takes us here, there and probably everywhere else…except the place where we most needfully be…to settled in oneself.
That could be one reason why these days, I seldom feel the need to mix around any longer. Instead I find myself preferring the solitude of my own company. I want to be clear it is not fear that compels all of my being towards this direction. If anything it is the idea – if I cannot be bring joy and happiness to others. Then it’s best if I just limit my exposure to others in the way most people don’t ever play around with radioactive plutonium.
Truth is some people are so intense – they can be dangerous. Even if they’re just siting down quietly all by themselves…they’re emitting death rays that may rub others the wrong way or make them feel insecure enough to lose their heads.
Many insights can be gained from cultivating loneliness. For one you rarely ever get angry with anything or anyone. I suspect that’s because one can’t pin the blame on anyone when things don’t pan out….except maybe yourself!
Then again, maybe there’s something more profound to this kernel of thought. Maybe when one finally comes to terms with the finality of loneliness – the first lesson such a state of mind imparts, is the importance of being gentle, sensitive and considerate to yourself.’
November 29, 2016
The wet season is the only time of the year when perfume oil will flow from the Oudh tree deep in the jungle – so deep that it’s perpetually bathe in the twilight of the preamble in between darkness and light. So deep that the few flowers one comes across seem to glow with an eerie opalescence.
Orpuk’s oldest son, Noon will be my guide this season along with sixteen braves of tribesmen – they will carry out the precious wood as well as my tentage, supplies and cooking equipment.
We will cross over the ridge of the blue mountain. It is in the background of the photograph – thereafter there will skirt the lagoon along the narrow passage guarded by wild elephants and ferocious baboons. I will take Kee Kee with me on this trip as my bodyguard.
As a frontier man, I know the jungle well – she is like a jealous mistress – once she grows fond of a man. She will whisper in his ear, stay…stay. I will give you a thousand pleasures including a supersonic blow job three times a day.
Fortunately, I am autistic and I have developed immunity to such carnal pleasures. I just want the precious Oudh wood. That is all I want.
‘Of course I fear the blue mountain…The very thought of her fills me with trepidation. I can even feel her jagged edges like daggers against my imagination when I write about her…..but what is she. She is like a ghost of the past.
Like perhaps the Harmattan I once feared in Africa….let me tell you about her…Days before the skies of the desert turn ochre red. Window frames warp, doors creak, floorboards begin to curl at their edges, nails begin to loosen and catch against flesh, wooden spoons split, lips crack and when it seems as if one is content to only breathing in flaming needles. That’s just around the time, when the indigo people of the desert would stand in one long line and look northwards – they don’t say anything. They don’t move very much. Like birds gathered on a line in a frosty September morn. They just look on knowingly into the yonder….then slowly the winds begin to pick up and the skies begins to darken a tobacco brown…..the harmattan.
For days thereafter the winds howl incessantly like a widow mourning her secret loss. City folk scurry beneath the eaves of protesting flapping wind swept corrugated awnings covering their faces. From time to time they pause, look up searchingly to make up whether the sun is still there or might it too be swallowed whole by it’s violent approach from the North. A wind once considered so evil that a mad Sultan declared Jihad against it and marched out into the swirling desert to meet it with war elephants and a column of pike men in full armor only to perish. The red wind the sailors in Coite de Noire know as the sea of blood. The ever wandering Beduins call the kinsam, 50. As it last 50 days which they all greet with two rents from their antique Lee Enfield rifles with the salutations, ‘Allah wakbar’ – as it billows it’s last dying whispering hush across the sea of Guinea. Soon a few gusts of air and a thin rain presages the final approach of the…..the harmattan. Now mystery is furiously at work in the preamble of the twilight, the sands swirling and fingering into every nook and cranny, appearing as if by magic to cling to the secreted, spoiling well oiled machinery, mucking clothes and rendering everything a bitter after taste. Everywhere and everything is touched by the ochre red of infinitesimal of omnipresence. All the while, the constant rattle of window panes, the sobbing of rooms, the tears of rawed eyes having borne witness to prophecies…the harmattan…yes…I remember her….the red wind….the wind of winds.
November 29, 2016
November 27, 2016
I am giving it up for good! After this pack….I have just made up my mind. I am going to pack it up for good!
‘I’ve lived long enough to realize life is really just about the business of picking up things and setting them down. The best one can – the only reason why I felt the need to qualify the latter is simply because not everything that one picks up can be easily set down…easier said than done sums it up nicely….as some habits are so ingrained that it even acquires a die die must do ritualistic quality – my bread needs to be buttered on both sides otherwise it’s no good…I will never speak to that person…I need my half boiled eggs to run without clinging to the shell etc etc Or worst still they’re even regarded as necessary to make life bearable.
I am not perfect. I never once claimed to be. I have a lot of stuff that I need to set down to gainfully move on to the next level – you could say I need to do this only because I don’t ever want to be weighed down by dead weight – as where I am going requires me to be feather light and nimble.
Such as my ongoing feud with the rest of the landowners – that needs to stop. I don’t care whose right or wrong any longer. Some how that all means nothing to me – I just know things can’t go on the way it’s presently arranged where they hit me and I hit back and so on and so forth.
Was I the one who started all this? Or were they all to blame? Who cares…fact is we all bitting at each other throats for reasons that none of us can even remember any longer. And that’s just stupid.
Yesterday I decided to just pop up for breakfast at the village Bak Kut Teh shop. I didn’t stay very long – it was maybe just a five minute stop over where I made it a point to come across as a congenial jolly good fellow – fortunately we all didn’t touch on anything sensitive and from the looks of it everyone did at least make an effort to warm up to me. It’s a small step. Where I am conveying the message – I am prepare to let bygones be bygones, there are no conditions….I genuinely want to bury the hatchet and return back to the fold again.
Of course some landowners may see this as an act of capitulation or worst still interpret it as a sign of weakness – but it’s unlikely, as the last time I Pearl Harbored them many are still licking their wounds. Besides thru the years I have acquired a reputation of being able to win despite being numerically and financially disadvantaged.
I made it a point not to gloat on this occasion – I remained humble, courteous and impeccably well spoken….like I said. It’s a start…a new beginning where hopefully we can all live, work and play without fear any longer.
Today I put down my sword. I hope never to pick it up again.’
November 26, 2016
I am very worried about the recent fall of the ringgit. This morning as I was walking Kee Kee around the plantation. I confided to him my true feelings concerning the matter. I must admit. I do feel much better after dumping on Kee Kee.
‘During a field lunch with my harvesters. Many seemed happy. As the price of oil palm has shot up like crazy recently – this means they all get a windfall.
Everyone in the kampung is happy like cock these days – as they don’t seem to realize one reason why oil palm prices are so high is due to the ringgit losing ground to the US dollar. Even those who are aware of this link don’t seem to register the dangers of a falling domestic currency – their attitude seems to be, I earn here…I spend here…so how does the fall of the ringgit affect me?
During lunch time of my harvesters – Jun turned to me and asked, ‘why do you look so worried these days master?’
I could only manage a weak smile as I told Jun ‘it’s nothing my leg is giving me problems.’ In truth there is nothing wrong with my leg – I am genuinely worried. As Malaysia is a country that produces absolutely nothing domestically, everything is imported in one shape or form. Even local manufacturers need to buy imported machines and raw material to gainfully produce.
If this keeps up things will go up! And up and up….but what is a father supposed to tell his children when they are all laughing and joyous that the good times are back?
I worry. But I smile…but I worry for my children. I can’t help it.’
November 25, 2016
This morning I saw a finely dressed lady walking a dog. The dog was out of control and I could tell this distressed the lady greatly. As she was tugging frantically on the leash in an attempt to control her pet – somewhere in all this I stepped forward and gave the animal a command. It sounded like this, ‘hissssss!’ And soon the toy dog settled down and came to rest beneath my feet on the park bench.
Since I was dressed in my respectable bush jacket and I told the lady in an authoritative voice of a landowner – please sit with me.
The lady obliged. She seemed hesitant at first. But soon even she could tell that I know a lot about dogs.
Eventually the lady asked me. You seem to know so much about dogs….tell me what is that you have done to make her so calm and settled. I have never seen her like this before.
I told the lady in a calm voice – Be calm and your dog will follow you.
Thereafter sensing that the lady wanted to ask another question – I stilled her by telling her again, ‘you are not listening to me…please be calm…let us just enjoy the moment.’
The lady looked at me at first with an air of rebuke. Then as her eyes darted to how her pet had taken to my ways by sitting calmly by my feet. She too relented and leaned back into the park bench.
‘When one is calm. One is controlled. Anything is possible when one is in the embrace of calmness. When you move unnecessarily or feel the urge to talk all the time – then one can only be in turmoil.
Most living things in life gravitate towards calmness – they don’t like nervousness very much as it is a very anxious state that unsettles them.
Practice daily calmness in speech, thoughts and deeds….and you will find that all those around you will fall in line…this is hardly arrogance…if anything it is simply my understanding of a truth. As a superior logic will always overcome the inferior.’
November 24, 2016
It is inevitable. The evil consortium of landowners are adamant that I should not expand further…..this is very strange. As when they gobble up more land. They define it as a logical progression. But when I do the same…it is considered an evil act of imperialism.
Today I told them all – that I shall no longer buy more land. I am content with what I already have….of course I was lying thru my autistic teeth.
I will hit them during the dry season….I must steel myself for war.
This time it will not be easy…for one I am outnumbered ten to one.
We will win!
November 23, 2016
Learning to trust myself has never been easy for me. Simply because so much of my success is based on luck and very little else. I guess that must come across as a hara-kiri declaration since one is supposed to mythologize success with blah blah blah stories.
But in truth luck played a big role in my life – the good luck to just be in the right place at the right time. The good luck to stay at it longer than most people who bother to eventually see it all come full circle….it all boils down to good luck.
Recently I spent four days broadcasting a range of fertilizers – following that a big rain came along and it seems as though everything has been washed away – but I don’t think so….I made very sure. Extra certain infact that it was broadcasted tightly around the palm circle. Closer than I would usually do. Some of it I am sure was washed away – but not all. Most of it I am sure seeped into the ground via capillary action – basically it just emulsified and disappeared into the ground.
That’s what probably happened. No. Correction. That’s what actually happened.
So there is really no point in running thru ten million scenarios in head as to whether I did the right thing or could have done any better.
It was right the first time. Fertilizer was broadcasted tightly around the girth of the palm. Around this year, there is natural mulch as the flowers dry up like powder and gather around the base of the girth. I made sure it was all there and not around the surrounding area – so it’s good to go!
Like I said. There is absolutely no need to run this thru my head ten million tens – it’s all there, where it should be.
End of story.
November 23, 2016
It is very easy for the mind to fall into a loop of thoughts. Especially if one is consumed by problems – where thoughts runs it’s course only to be repeated again and again. No conclusions are reached. That cannot possibly happen in the counter productive act of the looping mind.
When one is the gyre of this vicious cycle.
One only needs to press the stop button in the central command center of one’s head to stop the looping mind. That is all that is required. Nothing else is required beyond this one act – the rest of life that is worth living and enjoying will thereafter seep back into the waters of one’s existence.
‘The greatest discipline in life is not to learn how to think. Rather it is the wisdom that comes from knowing when to suspend thinking as it will only produce inaccurate conclusions that heightens anxiety and sharpens fear.
By all means worry! But just as one knows it pays out more to work smart…worry smart. By this worry about things that are likely to happen so that you can be best prepared to meet those problems when they come your way – stuff like storing all your phone, bank account numbers and other such important details in a back up drive or something. But don’t worry about what Trump will do the White House in his first 100 days – that is not for you to lose sleep over.
Know WHEN and HOW to worry intelligently – don’t do stupid things like run your mind crazy at full speed like an engine throttling full toss without lubrication oil….all you’re going to do is end up creating a mess.’
November 22, 2016
High walls that stop you dead in your tracks are there for a good reason. At one level of understanding – they probably exist to keep one out. Yes….it is very easy I imagine for one to derive at this conclusion, especially when one comes to terms with the idea – to scale these walls require special equipment and can only be very difficult.
But something very strange occurs. When a man sits before these walls day in and day out that runs so high and far. As time works on this man in the way oil seasons leather – soon he awakens to the very kernel of the idea….high walls are simply imaginary….they don’t really exist. Yes…they’re there. One can even touch and feel the texture of these walls against skin….but there are not really there.
They just exist because the mind makes it all up – that’s when something very funny happens. Because should you push against the same wall that you once believed to be impassable by just holding on to the thought….they are not really there.
Your hand goes right thru the wall!
Stranger still is when you run full speed into the same wall that you once believed to be impassable by just holding on the thought…..they are not really there.
You will end up on the other side of the wall.
So strange. But so very true to be fact.
For me at least….
‘People often say to me – how can you be autistic? You seem to be able to speak, write and think normally. More often then not, they say this only because the fear of being abnormal keeps them normal – that’s how it is with ‘normal’ people – they probably think everyone sees the world like them….but that’s probably because they’ve never had to walk thru walls to get to the other side.
For me that’s part of the living condition – I walk thru walls at least fifty or sixty times a day.
That’s really how I see my innate condition and having to function ‘normally’ just to get by in YOUR world. No! It’s not my world and if appears to be mine it’s only because I’ve made an effort to blend right in. YOUR world and mine….It’s right between this duality where this wall runs thru in my life – sometimes there are walls within walls. At other times, they seem to be so close together that I either get stuck in between or leave a bit of myself behind somewhere in the brick and mortar when I eventually make it to the other side.
I am always having to walk thru walls. May probably seem like a miraculous feat to you – but that only because you probably don’t know how it’s like to be shut out – for me when I am on the outside, all I seem to be conscious of is the need to gather all of myself to make it to the other side of the wall.
It’s always an effort for me to come across as ‘normal.’ It’s never rolls off the log – I have to make double sure just before I run into a wall, that when I make it over to the otherside I mind my manners to making sure my fly is done up along with a thousand other things.
At times, when I am sitting all by myself on the outside facing yet another wall – I do sometimes ask myself, why can’t the world just accept me for the way I am…it’s not as if I am making bombs in my kitchen to blow up people or that I am doing stuff that necessarily even rubs them the wrong way.
It’s just so tiring sometimes to be someone else other than who I really am – I am just going to sit for longer than I usually do before this wall….if you don’t mind that is.’
November 21, 2016
It is not easy to overcome fear. It is just very easy to talk, talk and talk about being fearless. That is because fear is a very natural human response to either a real or imagined threat.
Once we come to terms with this reality then we give ourselves permission to embrace fear itself without having to pass judgement on ourselves negatively. Suddenly we are not bothered about being labelled weak, cowardly or even lacking in character – this is the first step to overcoming fear – to first admit that one is vulnerable and weak and capable of being crushed like an ant…this is what it means to look squarely into the jaws of fear…it is accurate….it is reality….with this we lose our shame of being fearful.
Fearful that it may not end as well as we imagined it to end. Fearful that it may leave us ravaged and scarred for life. Fearful that our lives with be turned upside down and fearful that we not have the strength or courage to pick ourselves up and carry on.
Personally I find when I sit quietly next to that which I fear most – very slowly I will eventually come to terms with the sum of my fears. But the more I run away and hide or try to avoid it – the bigger my fear becomes…sitting quietly in one corner and observing my feelings and reactions to fear without being attached usually has a calming effect on me…maybe in this mode where I choose to be a witness to my own thoughts….that’s when I come to terms with my own failings and vulnerability without having to bear the burden of being macho. Or maybe it just makes me laugh at the things that I once feared.
‘When I first became a farmer. I was petrified of loneliness. I was so afraid that I would often seek out the company of others like a child. Whenever I found myself alone in the field – I couldn’t stand the emptiness of solitude. The emptiness all sounded like fingernails scraping against a blackboard. I had to cocoon myself in a bubble of sound. Any sound would do. The jabbering radio was good. When reception was bad on rainy days, even bad music would do quite nicely….anything to keep silence…loneliness away.
One day I decided to reflect on loneliness and asked – what is loneliness? What is it really? Why does it distress me so much?
I did not produce many successful answers….not the variety that managed to comfort me even when I regularly found myself flaying in the cold vacuum of loneliness like an astronaut marooned in space. Neither did I manage to successfully produce any meaningful theories and philosophies relating to the subject of loneliness either….not at least the variety that managed to comfort me even when I was in the dead grip of loneliness.
But in searching for answers to many of my questions – since I was compelled to go into the depths of loneliness deeper than anyone that I could have confided in concerning this subject – that I imagined might have been the very reason why I no longer feel fearful of loneliness any longer.
The moral of the story is sometimes we don’t really know where we are heading because it seems like a never ending journey that keeps going on and on without any prospects of a happy ending – but maybe the answer doesn’t reside in the destination or even the place where at the end of it all we say to ourselves – I have finally arrived safely…
Maybe the answer to many of our vexing questions is to found in the litany of the journey itself – maybe the answer lies somewhere in these little slivers of time – maybe those are the moments that holds out the skeleton key to door called the resolution of a lonely soul.
As no matter how treacherous the walk – at some point in this never ending road that seems to go on forever, something is bound to catch your eye. Maybe a colorful bird, the sort that one regularly comes across in glossy magazines where the reds, yellow and greens pop out so much they even hurt one’s eyes.
Or perhaps it’s just the marvelous way the clouds are set ablaze by the setting sun that suddenly takes your breathe away – for me I can really only remember staring up at the paraffin blue skies one hot afternoon and training my eye on a jet stream as it penciled across the desolate page of that moment….it was so beautiful….so straight…like spring snow. I even imagined it smelling like peppermint – I must have held on to that image for an awfully long time as my neck ached like shit – but somewhere in all this, one experiences a rare sort of epiphany – that even in this place that has always been filled with dread and foreboding. There can be something beautiful and happy that has the power to take one away from fear itself.
Suddenly for as long as it lasted – loneliness doesn’t seem so intimidating any longer and soon everything that one feared assumes it’s rightful scale and perspective and sense.
That is how I see the whole idea of coming to terms with fear. For me at least.’