In the South China seas…To me it is very natural for China to regard the western Pacific as her backyard. In probably the same way, the US regards Pearl Harbor. The Russians the Crimea and the British, Gibraltar.

China has ever right to regard the United States as an interfering agent in the south China seas island disputes – all indications and intelligence leads me to suggest: China is prepared to go all the way.

As I believe, one aspect of the calculations are based on the assumption the US and her allies are a declining power, unable to marshal either the collective resolve regionally or men and materiale to wage a protracted war in the South China Seas….should the current rules of engagement fall apart.

By occupying the Spratly’s and weaponizing them like a porcupine with a pheltora of missiles, China is trying to lure the United States and her allies into a long and debilitating war of attrition like Stalingrad to the German 6th Army by precipitating a classical Richardson arms race….any country that is dumb enough to be allied with the US will be sucked into this crazy arms race and suffer cancer of the wallet on a Byzantine scale.

The Chinese have I believed calculated (quite correctly) the US military especially the Navy specifically the seventh fleet is already stretched beyond it’s operational limits. As a consequence it’s theatre strategy is to further exacerbate this constraint by forcing the US and their allies to commit more hardware and men and materiale into the South China Seas theater. The cost for China to pursue a war of attrition when compared to the US and her allies is negligible. The same cannot be said about the US who seem to be basing their entire efficacy of its deterrent effect on a mix of carriers and missile system spread out from the Sea of Japan to Australasia.

Granted the US deterrent strategy that relies exclusively on leverage on carrier doctrine has been successful in the Pacific for 80 years – but in light of significant improvements in Chinese missile tech combined with the reality the rest of the world may not be inclined to join the US like they did in Iraq to fight the Chinese, it is doubtful US carrier doctrine alone will be able to perpetuate US hegemony in the South China Seas.

China is using the South China Sea islands as the means to bankrupt the US war making machinery into obselescence – The islands from the Spratly’s to the Paracels are by themselves quite useless devoid whatsoever of obvious strategic utility …in my assessment they do not seem to fulfill any objective Chinese geo political agenda. Rather it seems – the primary objective of China’s strategy is to tie up valuable military hardware in the Pacific theater thereby thinning out the US military sphere of influence elsewhere – this is obvious a grand Sino Russian strategy to put the United States into a steel box!

If the China gamble proves to be correct, many countries allied to the US doctrine of containing China military will end up being sucked into a black hole where they too will have to spend a lot of money on arms along with aligning their domestic and foreign policy to be more anti Chinese.

This is why where possible Singapore should remain neutral and not get entangled in stupid things that does not involve her!

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‘I see the affairs of the world coldly without an undue attachments. I don’t for instance support the Chinese merely because I am Chinese. No! If I appear to favor their point of view it’s only because I am conscious of the historicism that may account for their acts and omissions…but whatever it is one reality holds true, the US is a diminishing empire, it’s really at it’s final leg of it’s grand swan dive…that accounts for her desperation to hold on to the status quo.

Nothing unusual there…only that too will fail. It’s a mathematical certainly.

As it’s not possible to contain China anymore than one could possibly deny the existence of a whole continent or wish it to sink into oblivion somewhere in the featureless Pacific…this notion of trying to control China to me is very very stupid….it’s akin to talking about snakes in Norway or how many angels can one manage to fit into the head of a needle…now if you happen to be ignorant about Norwegian fauna or believe in angels…I guess it’s possible to have to a conversation on those subjects…only just because you’re talking earnestly about them, doesn’t by itself increase either the probability of success or can somehow transform implausibilities into reality – fact is China will grow and it will dominate and even come to it’s own under it’s own terms…that is reality…this whole notion of trying to create a supranational cage to contain China militarily via the seventh fleet or economically thru the machinization of the TPP is in my opinion very very stupid.’

Lowering the Temperature

August 22, 2016

I have decided to send an olive branch to my business rivals by personally presenting all of them with seasonal gifts of moon cakes. This gesture is strategic and in my view necessary….all warfare after all is based on deception. Besides they have suffered so many rounds of defeat and have been outwitted so many times despite being numerical superior, better networked and having a bigger war chest…round after round of trying to fix me and failing on every occasion is bound to take a toll of them… I sense some of them starting to feel very uneasy and nervous about me….my gut feel tells them…I must feign weakness to convince them all of this relentless intrigue had also taken a toll on me. If I don’t at least make a believable effort to come across as weak…some of them may do something stupid and escalate the conflict to where I and many others don’t want to go….it’s getting very dangerous….just like sudden death.

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‘I will pretend to be complaint, Kwai Kwai (cooperative),harmless and above all frivolous to my business rivals. This is very easy. All I have to do is hire a couple of big tit China tiger beer aunties and stage a scene where I am cavorting with them. Once my business rivals see this, they will be convinced….they will look at each other gleefully and say, ‘See! Success has all gone to his head…it’s downhill from this point.’ This is all it takes for them to set aside their suspicions (real and imagined) and they will feel reassured that I no longer harbor further imperialist ambitions to grab land – I will wait for all this to sink in. I will create a spectacle of myself and when their defenses are lowest…I will execute a swift U turn and begin hammering them again.

I will work secretly by night to improve the Western roads and continue the decoy of improving the Eastern roads to give them all the impression this is how I plan to transport my fruit during the rainy season…meanwhile my men will train, train and train to transport fruit thru the treacherous Western route…this is key!

After that I will commence trade talks.

In the past it was all too easy to convince them that I am down and out and had bitten off more than I can chew. All I had to do was amble around the village in the dead of midnight with a bottle of Johnny Walker filled with Jia Jia Liang Teh and sing vulgar Hokkien folk songs at the top of my voice…Lamentations of a defeated man who had foolishly put all his chips on one number and lost it all…..but this time, the deception has to be more elaborate.

The deception this time round has to be seamless as they have been deceived in the past so many times. This time round their defenses are bristling with layers and layers of filters – I need to spread rumors that I am going bankrupt…I will also need to hire and acting troupe to act as bailiffs, lawyers and creditors foreclosing on my business.

Once rumors spread….it will gather momentum…I will wait a while then strike like cobra again….it gives me no pleasure to do all this. It seems I have been fighting so long that I know no other way and this a profound source of sadness for me.’

The super duper expensive F-35 is a very sad lemon with wings that unfortunately most countries allied to the US will have to buy…it’s not as if they have a choice…that is the politics of power when a sovereign state is aligned with America, the superpower.

These unfortunate countries will have to bail out America and the failed F-35 program. A nightmarish fighter that has been plagued by endless technical glitches pushing it’s final roll out date years behind schedule, and its price tag has ballooned to a staggering $400 billion—nearly twice its original cost.

But it was not always like that…in the beginning there were two jet fighter programs, the current super duper complicated F-35 and the unassuming X-32 manufactured by Boeing.

Personally, when the US military decided to give the whole contract to Lockheed Martin by scraping the X-32 and going exclusively with the F-35.

Many including myself felt that they were committing themselves to a very risky proposition without a fall back plan.

As it turned out the F-35 has been the worlds biggest financial black hole in the history of the armament industry…no other program in the history of weaponry has consumed so much money and yielded so very little….

Maybe there is a lesson here somewhere that we can all learn from…never put all your eggs in one place.

Race politics?

August 22, 2016

When funny leaders float the even funnier idea – progress in this day and age can only be gainfully made…by going back to the good olde colonial period when race politics featured so prominently to enable the powers that be to remain in power unchallenged….then that is a very strange way in my opinion to make progress….going backwards to go forward!

Maybe what they should really say is – ‘I just want to make double and triple sure the person who gets voted in is our man! That’s why I have to rewrite the rules of the game.’

Life would be much simpler if people don’t best around the bust…as since less words, brain juice and effort will be needed to explain the rationale for the constitutional change.

It’s OK to be different

August 21, 2016

Not very long while driving thru an estate. I came across a group of men wielding sticks and standing over a frightened child. I promptly stepped out of my car and demanded in an authoritative tone of a landowner – what is the meaning of this?

A man shouted angrily, this mischievous boy claims there is a talking tree in this orchard. Another jumped in, he’s fibbing as usual to scare us all! Yet another who was about to wallop the child screamed out, he’s always making trouble and the whole village has had enough of his nonsense!

I asked in a calm voice – where is this talking tree? Someone in the crowd exclaimed, ‘what the hell are you talking about? Trees don’t talk!’ I asked again, ‘where is this talking tree?’ Everyone looked at each other and soon they all turned to the boy and asked him to lead us all to the tree.

That was when I intoned sarcastically, so no one it seems even knows where the talking tree is?

Soon we were all standing before the majestic sprawling ficus talking tree. The crowd was murmuring. I took off my sunglasses and glared at them menacingly and in a whispering hush told them all sternly, ‘Shaddap! Can’t you see I am having a very important conversation here…are you all deaf!’

Soon the men who were once angry loosened their grips on their sticks and the crowd began to fall so very silent as they all strained their ears….that was when I noticed the boy flashed me a smile….I winked at him.

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‘Some kids are just hardwired differently – they have a high degree of sensitivity. Despite what parents and educators may tell you, it’s not due to a deficiency in character. Neither are they necessarily anti social…it’s just the way they see the world and it’s certainly not something you, me or anyone else has control over….my feel is it’s this aspect that usually causes us great discomfort and anxiety…the idea that we are not able to exert full and total control over the child.

Sensitive children are very different – they’re very curious and perhaps more exaggerated in their reactions to situations. They certainly don’t act the way you’d expect a typical child should in many situations.

To me this is not something to fear. Rather it is something that parents, educators and stake holders need to broaden their knowledge by striving to understand.

Unfortunately, in Singapore, this is often seen as a character flaw.

But to me – it’s just the direct opposite. The reality is Mother Nature is incredibly fair and democratic – and I much prefer to see sensitive children as having a rare and valuable gift that rightly deserves nurturing rather than reinforcing the corrosive idea – why can’t you be like other kids.

As only since sensitive kids are able to experience the world at a higher level of consciousness than average children….that’s why they cry at the drop of the hat….throw tantrums easily and often react in an exaggerated manner….it’s a cry for help….as they don’t understand.

It is NOT them who are dysfunctional or even anti social and incapable of being productive and well intentioned human beings…rather the problem lies with those who expect everyone to be exactly like everyone else….it’s as if these unimaginative people can only see humanity in terms of ONLY black or white without any nuances of grayness – and it is this corrosive attitude that lies at the root of the problem and NOT the child.

Usually all it takes is an adult to sit this kid down and tell him in a brotherly tone, ‘it’s OK to be different…..it’s no big deal.’

In my book…the boy didn’t get charged. Neither did he stand trial or was found guilty…so he’s innocent.

That at least is how civilized and educated folk draw a straight line conclusion…I can’t comment on how pariahs determine guilt and innocence because experience informs me quite reliably for this inferior quality of men anything goes!

What’s the point of insinuating that master Ben did this or that in the lift with the girl….in the absence of a trial…all that is speculation, conjecture and not cross examined evidence – what does it really prove? What is the goal? Who benefits from all this?

Again I cannot comment on pariahs! Because they just take and run without ever bothering to interrogate the facts and evidence…that’s why they’re pariahs.

After all you’re not talking to one of your gullible robots who would readily lap up whatever gibberish you throw out…we all know, kids get sexually aroused for all sorts of crazy reasons…there is no malevolence there…no evil even…and certainly no presumption of guilt…to me, it’s just very much run of the mill part and parcel of growing pains….it just means they’re very human like you and me.

Again I can’t comment on pariahs…that other lowly and inferior category of men who confect all sorts of delusional ideas concerning their sobriety, probity, moral rectitude etc etc.

Like I said, they’re kids…compared to me Ben was probably quite well adjusted. I used to get a hard on whenever I looked at trees in the moment of youth….never fucked any them though, not in public parks at least…may have molested a few along with a couple of girls when we were playing ‘please show me yours and I might consider doing the same’ in the kiddies sandbox…what is the big deal?

Use your cheebai mentality lah, grow some brains and a set of guli’s while you are it…..after all it’s been such a very long wait for so very little that seems to raise more questions than supply answers!

Above all let sleeping dogs lie…this has been a tragedy in more ways than I care to elaborate. You have absolutely no idea how much I am holding back.

As for the coroner – he should stick ONLY to the facts of the case and not sully his reportage with unsubstantiated innuendos and spurious character assassination conjectures…because that is precisely what it is (I am so sorry to burst your bubble) when a boy is not charged…did not stand trial or even found guilty by a court of law….then by every definition of the law…he’s presumed to be innocent.

It is, what it is….doesn’t even matter what he admitted too…as kids admit to all sorts of things for 1,001 reasons…he could be scared…hungry…cold… or maybe he was just dying for a pee…that’s why they are different laws for juveniles and adults.

Besides the poor boy is dead…he can’t even defend his good name…as for his parents, they have the arduous task to find the courage and hope to go on, the best they can.

Try to be a gentlemen…try to be honorable…try always to do the right thing….try!

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‘You want to cover your ass…that’s your bum wot, so it’s your business lah! But don’t do it at the expense of those who don’t have the means, opportunity or presence to defend themselves…in my book that is unacceptable – as even should you seem to ‘win’ – the serious men of this world will exchange looks of disapproval and probably label you a pariah…as your methods are devious, cunning and nefarious…that is another way of saying…you don’t know right from wrong…you cannot be entrusted to do the right and honorable thing!

Once the serious men of this world label you a pariah. You are well and truly finished…as they wouldn’t even talk to you. Without communication, nothing is possible and even the simplest things in life become laborious.

Please learn this early on in life to avoid complications.’

Rambutan Blues

August 20, 2016

Rambutans seem to be in full bloom…they’re two months late, but from the looks of it, they’ve finally made it safely to the other side despite the crippling drought.

Must have been due a spell of cold we have been experiencing from the East these past few weeks…Maybe….perhaps it’s the unusually cold morns….hard to say…who really knows.

The fruits this year are unusually small. The seed un characteristically larger than usual, the flesh meager and the skin tough like hide – this is nature’s way of preparing for the worse, she’s saying, ‘Be prepared for hard times ahead farmer…if you think it’s been hard. You have seen nothing yet.’

That’s how it is when one knows how to talk to trees…they tell you things.

Nature never lies…she’s not like man who likes to hide behind a false front and pretend to be someone whose he’s not. When the going gets tough…she produces more seeds to guarantee the survival of her species…it’s a very matter of fact thingy for nature to be so straightforward about the whole business of survival. She’s never ashamed to stake a claim on her right to exist in this planet under her own terms.

Man I reckon can learn a lot from trees…..if only we just still our minds and prick our ears to hear what they have to say.’

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‘Rambutan is a medicinal gift to the tribesmen – when the skin of rambutan is dried, it can be boiled to cure dysentery and lower a high fever. Whole rambutans can rid the gut of parasites and it’s good for a spot of the runs. Deep in the jungle, young tribes women would dare young braves to pluck the highest rambutan fruits when they are in season…the tribes people believe when these the seeds of these fruits are dried for four days and pounded into a fine powder, all it takes a tea spoon mixed with honey and water to render the complexion youthful and supple.’

My Boots

August 19, 2016

I’ve been getting a ton of mail concerning my boots – so here goes, it’s Danner, Fort Lewis 200 Grammes Gore Tex insulate…now before you rush off to place an order online.

This is a technical military spec zero nonsense kit…it’s something that you would really only wear under mission critical…not exactly something that I would recommend to the casual hiker or weekend Bukit Timah warrior. As it’s heavy and chunky….besides it’s very very pricey and you could just as well make do with a pair of budget Solomon’s or even Timberland.

So don’t go and waste money unnecessarily….

Due to the cost penalties and overkill factor…I seriously don’t recommend this pair of boots.

The only reason why I happen to have a pair is because I work in the field…that’s my office.

The other question is some of you (especially the perceptive) probably noticed it’s Gore Tex lined and you’re asking it’s already waterproofed treated…so why bother with dubbin.

Well the short answer is Gore Tex has an irritating expiry date…it’s hardly forever…as it tends to wear off eventually depending on frequency of use – in my case within six months…besides the first line of defense against water is the exposed leather, so that should ALWAYS be dubbed. Even then experience informs me there is no such thing as a waterproof boot…it doesn’t exist. All one can hope to do is mitigate by wearing technical socks, which in my opinion is a waste of $ – if you want 100% water repellant nothing beats a dedicated pair of Wellies…but the issue there is traction and fit and comfort.

So Dubbin always needs to be used.

Some frontier men recommend application should be sparing….but field experience informs me, one can never apply enough as leather tends to soak it up quite readily.

Does it interfere with breatheability…of course, but then ALL boots are hot when compared to slippers…so get use to it lah!

Hope this helps.

Keep walking.

(1) Develop a keen interest in the weather. Hopefully when you do that…you will only talk about the weather all the time and very little else.

(2) learn to whistle while walking…this way neither you or anyone else will ever be inclined to talk about serious subjects.

(3) Invest in a Nespresso coffee machine. As the guilt of spending so much $ on a lousy coffee maker will effectively stop you from ever visiting the local kopitiam to chit chat about serious subjects.

(4) Play Pokemon Go. This way hopefully you will develop a obsessive and compulsive habit of only trying to find Pokemon on the go and that guarantees you will never ever have the time or inclination to discuss serious subjects ever again.

(5) Make friends with your local Kalang Guni uncle. This way you will only read old newspapers and this will mean even should you eventually discuss serious subjects…the case is already liao already…so you’re always out of the danger zone as you are completely out of touch with current affairs.

(6) Try to get into the good habit of cultivating an eating disorder. This way it is impossible to ever talk about serious topics as your mouth is always full with fish balls all the time.

(7) Develop a split personality. As contempt of court only applies if you are discussing serious subjects with others and NEVER to imaginary friends.

(8) Cultivate bad breathing techniques whenever conversing with others – that way you will always be a mumbler and since no one can ever understand what you’re trying to convey…it’s impossible to talk about serious subjects.

(9) Take up scuba diving as well…as it’s impossible to conduct a coherent conversation under water.

(10) Sleep with a mosquito coil every night…this is the most reliable way to dumb down your sense of smell to smoke.

Good luck! May the force be with you!

Landsraad

August 18, 2016

It is not possible to petition the Laanstrad or ‘Landsraad’ directly. That is not the correct protocol. As since time immemorial, filling a petition has always been a very convulsed and convoluted process of appeal after appeal first beginning at the lowest level of the Sysselraad.

It will be a very long process involving many layers of secret negotiations beginning first with the spacing and mineral Guilds.

Many of those who once played the game are no longer kids. Many are now industrialist and captains of industry….I have to proceed cautiously using the weirding way to feel my way deftly across this labyrinth of intrigue….if I am to succeed in my mission – not everyone I expect will necessarily share my negative views concerning the TPP…that is unrealistic…some I feel will support it for what they feel to be very valid reasons. That is only to expected.

They have to be won over with diplomacy and logic.

Nonetheless, I remain confident a superior logic will eventually overcome an inferior one.

It has been many many years since the man called Darkness last walked into the game…..many would have read about his many colorful exploits in our Bible….the Book of Ages.

But since nearly 2,000 space years has elapsed since my last appearance in Primus Aldentes Prime…I expect, I would only be a distant figure to most in this long and arduous journey thru this new and exciting virtual realm…nonetheless, I remain very hopeful in this mission.

We will win!

What I do consider ‘quite astonishing’ however is how some ‘leaders’ actually believe it’s even possible and sensible to stop people from thinking and voicing out their valid opinions in this day and age in a timely manner…of course, these half baked leaders will supply all sorts of cockememe reasons for their new legislation….these people should consider doing mankind a great favor by stepping back into a time machine (please make it a one way ticket lah) journey back to the quaint olde days of candles, sail ships, slavery, hand written books and ivory dentures…now if that medieval attitude is not very very astonishing in this day and age…then I really don’t know what is!

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‘Want to stop people from thinking and talking…just say so lah. No need to come up with cock stories of how this may influence people’s decision making process. If that were really true, then everyone from teachers to ministers in Singapore should be bubble warped and put into a sound proof chambers twelve hours a day….what kind of pariah dog logic might that be!’

In my assessment the TPP cannot be stopped…but having said that it is possible to delay it’s passage thru congress. But to accomplish this, millions is required. As many ordinary people are still ignorant about the corrosive effects of the TPP…

This is only possible if I go to Rome and appeal directly to the Laanstrad – only they have the network and unlimited resources to move mountains with the stealthiness of the unseen hand.

The TPP can only be delayed. But that is all that is required …to throw a spanner into the works to delay it is as good as killing it for a couple more years…at least. Meanwhile this widget space will allow the Chinese to firm up their counter solution in the form of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement that would include all ten ASEAN member states as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

The overlapping memberships – over half of the TPP members would also be in RCEP – would help mitigate any negative effects for China.

I must go to Rome and appeal to the Laanstrad.

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‘Obama will of course try to get the TPP passed in Congress during the quiet sitting this November. But he will fail. As the prevailing sentiment is against him. Besides if Obama pushes too hard, all he would be doing is sabotaging Hillary’s campaign – that’s a calculated risk.

If Hillary wins. The TPP will be approved within the first hundred days of her administration. Naturally it will be adjusted to take stock of the negative sentiments and even repackaged as something completely different, but in essence it will be the TPP. Hillary is not stupid. She understands both the economic and strategic value of having a pivot in Asia to counter both the economic and geo political ascendency of China.

If Trump wins. Despite all his anti TPP rhetoric. He too will eventually approved the passage of the TPP within the first hundred days of his administration. Assuming Trump is stupid. His advisors are not and they will underscore the economic and geo political necessity of the pivot in Asia very forcefully…this is almost 100% in my assessment – as it is a very compelling argument not only economically, geo politically, but most importantly the TPP is able to accomplish militarily what could never be logistically possible in terms of men and materiale by the US and their allies militarily. For them to establish Pax Americana in the Asia Pacific theater they would need another Guam or Subic Bay and at least four additional carriers to what the seventh fleet currently has in it’s inventory and at least five divisions with two in tow as reserves…that’s a military impossibility…not even if Australia and Japan steps in!

So TPP is a very cost competitive wonder weapon to shift the sphere of influence within Asia from currently China to the US with one stroke of the pen….by doing very little except maybe rewriting the rules of the game.

The Japanese are of course very bullish even if it threatens the status quo of their agri sector. As this economic shift makes economic revival that more likely…that at least is what the economist in MITI envision. The TPP will in addition bestow benefits to Vietnam especially by bolstering their textile industry. But besides these few beneficiaries…I don’t see any obvious benefits for the rest of the signatories economically or militarily by shifting chairs closer to the US, except maybe putting China in a steel straight jacket.

Truth is not many signatories have a choice…either they sign up. Or they are cut off from their primary markets!

What is worrisome is the Chinese thus far remain quite clueless how to respond coherently to the TPP….they seem to be at loss as to how to respond, except maybe militarizing the Spratly’s and Paracells.

So it is this aspect of the TPP that will appeal very strongly to whoever becomes the next president of the US…this is the mathematics of statecraft. Anyone who tells you different has a very poor grasp of the machinations of power and politics.’

Caring for Boots & Feet

August 17, 2016

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My work requires me to walk a lot. Usually under the most demanding terrain and under all weather conditions. Hence boot knowledge is jugular.

I’ve noticed many people don’t really know how to care for their boots – this could be one reason why they’re always buying boots and suffer from 1,001 foot injuries…that’s certainly a very expensive proposition as professional work boots can easily set one back by four figures!

So this is my basic guide how to care for boots so that they will last you a lifetime and be kind to your feet.

(1) Always apply ONLY Dubbin on your boots. Dubbin is to moisturize and waterproof the leather. Shoe polish i.e Kiwi should not be confused with Dubbin – the former is primarily used to dress shoes and make them shiny and pretty. Unfortunately shoe polish offers zero protection from rough use and the elements.

Dubbin is purely functional, it is not beautiful as it dulls leather.

Usually I clean my boots thoroughly with soap, water and a brush and dry it in the shade for at least three days before an application of Dubbin.

Personally, I prefer to apply Dubbin with an old toothbrush in slow circular motions to get right down to the crannies of the welts – this is the most vulnerable part of the boot construction. I never brush off the Dubbin and usually just leave it as it is.

During the dry season. I will dub once every two months. In the rainy season every month. On every occasion, I use soap, water and bristle brush to remove previous dubbin coat.

(2) Before the rainy season. I make it a point to varnish all the metal fittings such as the eyelets with clear nail polish – I find this prevents rusting that’s usually responsible for laces breaking unexpectedly, due to burring and sharp edges.

In deep jungle hikes. I will replace my day laces with Rhino laces – these are indestructible military spec laces, but since they tend to be rather stiff, they do interfere with comfort.

(3) At the end of a work day. I never just take off my boots and stuff my socks into them. Very common big mistake. Usually I air my boots under a fan thru the night and loosen the laces so as to enable the leather to breathe…remember leather is just skin…it needs to ventilate.

If they’re wet or even slightly damp.

I never ever wear them the following day – as damp boots stretches the leather out of shape resulting in thinning and eventually tearing or splitting.

The most reliable way to destroy boots.

When my boots are damp. I let them rest and rotate them with a fresh pair. I NEVER wear wet or damp boots….never!

(4) lastly, learn how to adjust your shoelaces to the terrain to avoid blisters, calluses and foot complications such as jungle rot and trench foot – this is frequently the most disregarded skill set in boot school. The general rule of thumb is when walking on uneven and unstable terrain i.e loose gravel – tighten the ankle straps to prevent lateral feet movement. When descending from a steep incline, tighten the laces around the toe box to narrow the vamp to prevent your back heel from sliding forward.

Above all care of your feet to ensure they’re healthy and injury free.

Keep walking!

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How can Trump win?

August 17, 2016

Frequently in life, you don’t need ten bullet points to win hands down – all one needs to really do is to winnow it all down to one killer point or mother of reasons….and that by itself is usually enough to secure a decisive victory.

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‘If Trump just focusses on the TPP. Trump wins by a landslide! To me it’s as simple as that. As for Hillary she doesn’t have a point that is why her campaign is all about Trump, and her spin doctors are trying very hard to make him appear as a mentally deranged loose canon that cannot be entrusted with power….more reason for Trump to deconstruct himself completely and try to fashion the rest of his campaign as an anti TPP effort. As Trump the man doesn’t seem to be able to sell very well….but someone who is really committed to junk the TPP will!’

Well done Mr Scholling

August 14, 2016

image

For a brief moment we can all set aside our differences and share a common belief – to go where no mind dares to go!

I don’t want to spoil it by writing too much nonsense.

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‘The entire brotherhood salutes you…this is not a small thing. It’s never happened to even me…just remember, don’t let it go to your head….remember with power comes responsibility. We expect you to conduct yourself correctly!

Remember always…we don’t know you. And we will appreciate it if you do us all the courtesy of the same….bye bye.’

The short answer is ‘far from it.’ This assessment is not about who is right or wrong…ultimately it boils down to three elements, political infrastructure, chain of command and party discipline. Whether Najib actually stole money is an ikan Merah (red herring) that allegation I have no doubt may very well sway a significant number of voters….but it’s impact is nominal and has probably been factored by the political planners in UMNO. Truth of the matter is votes cast in the cities don’t count for very much in the political score card, it’s doubtful that it can even cause a rift within UMNO.

The reality is BN has been haemorhaging votes in the city as far back as the mid 1990’s…and the rot started during the tail end of Mahathir’s administration just after Anwar’s first imprisonment – since then the BN political machinery has redrawn the electoral lines to enable them to set up a government even should they fail to garner the majority of votes in the cities in Malaysia.

Hence in my opinion, the real decider will be waged in the kampungs, especially the Northern districts of the rice belt starting from Kelantan, Kedah, Terrenganu et all all the way down to Matang, Perak. Same applies to the Southern states of Johor. The cities are toasted….but the same cannot be said about the kampungs.

Firstly, I do not see how Mahathir’s new Bersatu can possibly challenge UMNO. UMNO after all maintains discipline within it’s ranks thru a very ritualized system of ‘habuan’ (kickbacks) – it’s essentially a very complex system involving layer upon layer of beneficiaries that took nearly 60 or more years to evolve.

Bersatu doesn’t have the networking or linkages – they need to start building from scratch, that’s quite hard as they don’t have either a war chest or generous donors who can write them billion dollar cheques….so this idea Bersatu somehow being able to gazump UMNO is quite premature.

The second factor is chain of command – Both BN and UMNO have a highly organized chain of command that allows for fast mobilization, especially in the countrysides. The same cannot be said about Bersatu….all they can really hope for is to trigger a rift within UMNO and hope that many will defect or switch sides. But even if they do that…they still don’t have an effective chain of command. As it is Bersatu is in a very unnatural alliance with DAP, PKR and four other component parties – outwardly they may all appear united, but there is a lot of mistrust and bad blood between them that will make it quite impossible for them to respond as decisively as BN and UMNO.

Finally party discipline – UMNO whips are still able to maintain the monolithic discipline within the ranks. Granted there is certain schism, but this not a political animal that is not riven by plenty of scandals….I have no doubt the majority of UMNO members will hold together as UMNO despite it’s many faults remains the only means for them to benefit from the system – providing the rank and file continue to gain benefit…they will look the other way.

Finally and most worrisome is the malaise of apathy that is so prevalent in Malaysia. While most Malaysians realize the current system is rotten right down to the core…since they don’t believe it’s possible to effect change. Most don’t care.

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As you can all tell, I am not a big fan of that sour old man.

After all during his 22 year shift. He imposed his rule of despotism on Malaysia at the expense of everything sacred under the sun. He literally set up a banana republic dictatorship – to be nothing less than a complete dictator.

Anyone that got in his way…he bulldozed over.

He desecrated the institutions of democratic governance – judiciary, bar council, media, universities along with kicking out capable and honorable men and replaced them with his retinue of lackeys – so as to further his nefarious designs.

He radicalized politics along sectarian, religious and communal lines by dividing the three races so that they would be amenable to his crooked machinery of rule by fear.

He redefined Malay nationalism to a theoretical science to such a ridiculous extent that today most Malaysian youths can’t even string a simple sentence in English without coming across as a joke like him.

Sanctioned state inspired race politics and discrimination at the expense of meritocracy and filled it with parvenus and men who are no better than gangsters.

Raided land and business with unmitigated callousness from hard working folk under the guise of national development and handed it to his useless lackeys for a tuppence, who ran it all to the ground.

He even perverted the course of justice and threw one of his deputy ministers in jail.

Humiliated, silenced and taunted the father of Merdeka who eventually died of a broken heart just because he wanted to control everything and everyone.

Now in the final chapter of whatever that is still left of his tattered legacy….the bitter old man of a 1,000 biles finally realizes all that he has accomplished in his lifetime is to create the very monster that he is utterly powerless to destroy…it has finally come back full circle with a terrible vengeance to cause him sleepless nights in his lifetime.

I hope he finds resolution….I am glad that I am not him.

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‘Be very careful how you treat others. As it will always come back. If you want to win or succeed…that’s perfectly natural. Only fight fairly or compete with the spirit of the sportsman – don’t dabble in trickery and deceit and arm twisting. That way even if you win, the other side will take his hat off and say, ‘I did my best, but he was a better man.’ Be a gentleman. Because once you open that box…then you can’t blame the other side for throwing out the rule book and when that pivot point is breached…anything and everything goes. If you want to be metaphysical and call it poetic justice or Karma, that you can. But for me, I much rather keep it simple and call it the law of cause and effect.’

People who are really confident are usually very quiet….And that is only natural.

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‘Confidence is not something that you will yourself into and wear like make up or a suit – it doesn’t come from reading a self improvement paperback one hour a day on the MRT. Neither does it come from DIY hypnosis, where you stand before a mirror every morning only to repeat ten times in a mono robotic tone – I am a very confident person.

All that is phoney confidence.

Real confidence can only come when one gains deep knowledge about how fragile and delicate one is and how the rest of humanity is the same, that is why they need to play, ‘I am larger than life’ games endlessly…and it is this understanding of the human condition that leads to an inner awakening – that it’s pointless to play these childish games any longer.

I find this be very true in my case. As when I was younger. I had a tendency to talk a lot about my accomplishments…and when I reflect back that may have something to do with the fact that I was very much a nobody with very little to show for….except for maybe a couple of imaginary friends running around my head cheering me on all the time.

I am not saying for one moment I am someone exceptional today…not at all.

My life is very uneventful. There are many things that I want to do.

Only I much prefer keep very quite and listen to others these days. Rather than talk all the time about myself like I used too….that is the most noticeable change in my character – it could well be because I no longer feel the need to prove anything to anyone.

It’s very strange….it’s as though the focus on the interaction itself has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

I’ve somehow disappeared…I don’t even know how I became such a quiet man. I don’t. But it doesn’t bother me…no.

It’s just the way it was always meant to be.

How curious.’

When a man constantly looks outwards for approval…validation…respect from strangers and people who he hardly knows.

Then it probably means there is nothing worth looking inwards….deep inside his being.

This is the ONLY logical deduction there is…all others follow ONLY after this and this alone.

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‘There is a deep urge in ALL men to diffuse his energy on worthless pursuits…that is because society programs man to be a social animal…wonder no more why you rarely ever see people dining alone. As society labels them freaks…that is also the reason why no body ever ask you to go talk to yourself…again that’s freaky – man always looks outwards…as he’s mentally conditioned to look externally and not internally.

He is always a busy body, sticking his nose into affairs that don’t concern him. Always digging up scandals on others so as to make himself feel righteous…always trying to put down others so as to seek liberation from the reality of his apparent shortcomings…to gossip no end about others so as to manufacture his version of the truth to make an otherwise miserable existence that much more bearable.

This is the sad story of man the social animal.

At the crux of his motivation – mans craves to be special….he yearns to be exceptional…to even stand out from the crowd.

But the ultimate paradox is he doesn’t even realize to improve his lot – all he needs to do is to look inwards instead of searching for answers to many of his questions out there.

Recently a group of people asked me why do I seem so aloof, detached and distant these days…why don’t I make more effort to socialize…to be more friendly (which is code for you’re very sombong or proud these days)….of course I told them all a white lie..I am so busy these days. So terribly preoccupied with work and eking out a living. I went on to add just before I disappeared yet again…I wish I could spend more time with all of you.

In truth, I am sick and tired of mixing around people who seem to do very little else except trade gossip along with speculating endlessly about the lives of others all day….truth is, these are all wasteful pursuits that don’t add any value to my life. Neither do they have the power to make one special.

If you happen to feel special or superior just mixing around with people who like nothing better than to indulge in worthless pursuits all day – it just means, you have successfully managed to fool yourself by manufacturing and believing your own version of reality that bears absolutely no resemblance to the truth.

Faced with that horrible proposition…I rather be alone….and that is the truth…the superior mind is never afraid to go his own way…to put it another way, his default position is always to look inwards.’

No! Please don’t misunderstand me…as when I say – I don’t trust myself! It is not a sign of weakness. Not at all…it is, what it is…nothing more or less…just reality….the way I see it at least.

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‘Your mind, my mind, their mind will always interfere and color your thoughts. That’s only natural as the mind is a creation of society.

Yes it will interfere…always…all the time that is what happens when there is a policeman…priest…leader….parent running in your head 24/7 – it is impossible to be yourself.

I don’t for one moment deny it is certainly your mind…only it is not ALWAYS in your service…neither can it be counted to make wise decisions…not all the time.

Don’t believe me. Let’s conduct a simple thought experiment…SEX…Aha you felt something nipping at you just then….did you shift uneasily….SEX…There you felt it pinch at you again!

You see there is a conspiracy against you….and it’s all in your mind – that is because society has implanted so many things in that mind that you believe you have complete control over including the idea that you can trust yourself as you have full control over your thought processes.

That is why people who are brainwashed. Never ever believe they are brainwashed. As a necessary aspect of brainwashing requires the victim to FIRST believe his or her thoughts can only come from having full control over one’s mind.

That is why the very moment a man says – I trust myself completely and absolutely…I know, he doesn’t even know anything about himself let alone understand the breadth of that word – trust.

How can he?

As that means he will never see the need to ALWAYS interrogate his thought processes and even perceive the need to put his conclusions under the rigor of closer scrutiny…..to review….compare and contrast…winnow truth from propaganda….to leverage on the power of his intellect….only a person who doesn’t full trust his mind would ever understand the need for such precautionary measures….as he knows the mind is programmed by society and though this it sits on his shoulders and belongs to him, it is not ALWAYS in his service….not all the time, at least.

Like I said, it is, what it is….nothing more or less.’

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