Why the UN is a Joke

Asshole didn’t know what hit him.

United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard said that the January US drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was an “unlawful killing.”

Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, was a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran’s campaign to drive US forces out of Iraq, and built up Iran’s network of proxy armies across the Middle East. Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on US forces in the region.

Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi air base where US forces were stationed. Hours later, Iranian forces on high alert mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Teheran.

Although America claimed self-defense, the UN argued that “by killing General Soleimani on Iraqi soil without first obtaining Iraq’s consent, the US violated the territorial integrity of Iraq.”

Let me get this right – and you smart people, please help me out – so, if I want to kill my enemy, I have to first get permission from the country he is in?

Am I right?

No wonder the UN is such a limp dick.

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Batshit Crazy

Not exactly fothing in apoplectic fury.

Toxic people are the bane of my existence. I’m slowly eliminating them from my life. Yes, some scumbags are going to find themselves off my invite list from now on. Over the weekend, I just “promoted” a few assholes to my “persona non grata” list. The scary thing is that some of these retards probably drive, vote, and may have already reproduced! When I say “toxic people” I’m referring to those who are rude to their parents and their elders, those who sow discord, and also those who think they must be trendy and jump into the political correctness bandwagon, amongst others. MasterChef Australia contestant Sarah Tiong comes to mind. She’s one of those who cry racism without even knowing what racism really is. She recently criticized Australian radio station Triple M for a “tone deaf” incident which she said was racist.

She revealed on Instagram that she was greeted by one of the presenters with a “ni hao ma” – something she felt “uncomfortable and shocked” with. The Australia-born wannebe chef abruptly ended the call. “This is racism. What an insensitive, tone deaf thing to say,” wrote Tiong, whose mother is Malaysian.

Tiong later elaborated on it, revealing that the presenter also tried to confirm if it should have been “lei ho ma.” She said: “The mere presumption that I speak or want to speak Mandarin or Cantonese with you, followed by the flippant dismissal of distinguishing the two different languages is racist. It is dehumanizing.”

The radio station apologized.

I’ll let you form your own opinions about this incident, but here are my two cents’ worth: If I say “G’day mate” to an Aussie, am I being racist? If I say “Kia Ora” or perform the Hongi in New Zealand, am I being racist? If I wish Indian friends with a Namaste, or Thai friends with a Wai, am I being racist? If I bow to a Japanese, am I being racist? I would be delighted if a non-Chinese offers me a greeting in Chinese when he meets me. I would appreciate his taking the effort to create affinity and to break the ice. My parents taught me never to pretend to be somebody that I’m not. The worst retards are those who deny their own ethnicity. I have lived and worked internationally but I make sure I don’t adopt a phony accent. If I had greeted you in a mocking and overly-exaggerated, clownish manner, then perhaps you can call me racist, but if a greeting is offered in good faith, in civility and in the name of good manners, cordiality and collegiality, and you get insulted, then I’m not the one with the problem, you dungu!

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General Fuckups

At Fairprice supermarkets, a chicken (800g) costs less than six bucks. At Chatterbox, Mandarin Orchard, chicken rice will cost you around 30 bucks.

There is now a S$45m domestic tourism campaign to save local businesses, screamed yesterday’s headlines. No details on who gets the S$45m. Not enough information on how the money will be spent. Spotlighted: Staycation deals are part of this campaign.

Dear Major-General Napoleon Chan, please give me one reason, just one reason, that I should pack my luggage, take a taxi to a hotel nearby, check in, order room service and pay 30 bucks for a plate of chicken rice, yes, basically, forking out a bomb for a “staycation” when on the same front page, Singapore Tourism Board CEO Keith Tan was quoted saying that more job losses are inevitable in the coming months despite government support measures, and that “many Singaporeans are worried about retaining their jobs, while others are facing pay cuts.”

Staycations in tiny Singapore is a stupid idea.

How will our population of less than six million spend what 19 million visitors spent last year? Is spending S$45m to convince morons like me to go on staycations a smart strategy?

I expected more from you, Napoleon. Much much more. Surely, people in the Ministry of Trade and Industry are talented, high-IQ individuals like your good self. Surely your expensive brains – the whole world knows that Singapore ministers are the highest paid in the world – could come up with much better ideas than those that primary school kids can cough up.

Singapore in the hands of generals will go to hell in a handbasket.

I bet some of these generals don’t even know how to run a lemonade stand, let alone a country.

There is no need for me to elaborate. Singaporeans are not stupid. Who’s doing a good job, who’s fucking up big time, who is retarded, who will go down in history as a clown, we all know.

Singaporeans are up in arms over all the paper generals involved in running the country. Just so you know, “up in arms” is a metaphor, an expression in the English language, used here as a pun. So please don’t bang on my door at 3am in the morning and take me somewhere to pull out my fingernails.

In the army, a few shiny bottle caps on your epaulets will get men doing shit at your beck and call.

Tell them to jump and they will ask “how high?”

A country cannot be run like an army camp.

You cannot fucking tell me to go on staycations.

Also, remember, non-military organizations – SMRT, NOL, SPH, Temasek International – are not army camps.

It’s time PAP rethinks its’ strategy of drawing candidates from army camps.

Politicians are elected to provide solutions, not to provide entertainment as comedians.

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Down But Not Out

Jason Chee back at work 18 months after a terrible accident.

Jason Chee was working in the Republic of Singapore Navy with a rank of Military Expert-2. In December 2012, while on board the RSS Endeavour, he suffered a serious accident when he was caught between a motorized winch and a berthing rope he was checking on. Chee lost both his legs, his left arm (with his dominant left hand), one whole right finger and parts of two other right fingers. But 18 months later, Chee was back at work with the Navy.

In 2017, he was afflicted with eye cancer and had his right eye removed.

Despite all that, Chee played competitive table tennis. In September 2017, he won a gold medal in the men’s individual Class 2 para table tennis event during the 2017 ASEAN Para Games. At the same Games, he also won a bronze in the men’s team Class 1–3 para table tennis event (compared to Class 1–2 in the previous Games, Class 1–3 can feature less impaired para-athletes).

He also enrolled with the Singapore University of Social Sciences to study for a degree in Mathematics.

He even got engaged in March this year.

Tammy Duckworth in her Washington office with her infant daughter, Maile, and Abigail, age three.

Senator Tammy Duckworth is a decorated veteran (Purple Heart) who lost both legs during combat duty in Iraq.

A little less than two years ago, after Duckworth became the Senate’s first member to give birth while in office, Vogue did a profile of her.

When the writer Rebecca Johnson started to ask Duckworth a question about the accident that took her legs, she quickly corrected her. “It wasn’t an accident; those suckers were trying to kill me.”

She also said “I am no hero. The guy who carried me out of there? He’s the hero.”

Duckworth told Johnson, that people always want or try to hide her wheelchair in the pictures taken of her. “I say no!” she said. “I earned this wheelchair. It’s no different from a medal I wear on my chest. Why would I hide it?”

Chee and Duckworth both possess an indomitable spirit. Their attitude caused me to feel shame and reminded me of how I was struggling to go up to Kumgang Mountain in North Korea, in 2011. I had decided to give up half-way. I had every excuse in the world I could think of to stop the ascent. Then, I saw a man with one leg, hobbling up in crutches, at a speed faster than anyone with two legs, and that inspired me to complete my climb.

Chee and Duckworth did more than just trek up a hill. They lost limbs, they nearly died and they could be totally incapacitated and became resigned to a life of defeatism, but they did not allow themselves to be beaten. They did not lay about wallowing in their own self-pity.

Also, these two heroes embody dignity. From them I learn how to be grateful and not resentful, positive and not bitter, focused on the future instead of being stuck in the prison of the past. They are proud not to hide their wounds, not ashamed of their battle scars. They show the world that they had overcome the odds.

That’s a lesson that I, for one, will never stop needing.

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A Grateful Heart

In the Bible we find the story of the ten persons who were healed by Jesus. One of them came back to say “Thank you.” Perhaps, one tenth is the correct percentage of people who have grateful hearts.

I never consciously and intentionally set out to help people. (No, I’m not the type who deliberately scour the streets and look for stray cats and dogs to feed or adopt.) Offering help is simply the DNA of our family. It’s something we do naturally because it’s just the right thing to do. Even when they were very young, when we went on vacation as a family, my kids would focus on buying gifts for their friends back home. If you like something, share! It’s something I learned from my late mother. My mum always taught me to be generous, always pay even if I were invited to a meal, always make sure people have more than enough to eat when you are the host; in my family, we feed guests until they can’t walk. Then we feed them again and pack extra food for them to bring home. If someone admired the purse my mum was using, she would give it to the person. She would say “I’ve enjoyed this, now let someone else enjoy it.” My mum had given away most of her jewelry to people in need so that they could pawn or sell them. So, I’m always around for anyone who needs a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.

I have even helped entrepreneurs set up shop, even helped equipped their stores with furniture, coffee machine, etc and even stocked up the shops with inventory and merchandise at my expense. Of course, many people are ungrateful and some deliberately make themselves scarce after a while, because seeing me again would remind them of their less happy days, of those days in the past when they were in dire straits or in great need. (Being a trained psychologist, I can understand that. Yes, seeing me can be triggering indeed.) Some even turned around to bite the hand that fed them, and even had the gall to become rude to my friends. I never forget these things.

It is what it is. Karma will take care of it. My help is unconditional. I don’t sit around for people to come and go down on their knees to thank me. And I’m not like a Buddhist making merit; like I said, it’s only natural to help, and that’s the way I was brought up, and that’s how I bring up my kids. So what if I’m the most loved or the most hated man in the world? Heaven knows the good I’ve done! So, it doesn’t bother me when people who were the recipients of my largesse have turned into my enemies for whatever reason. At my age, I have no qualms letting people go because I am not in need of anything from anyone. With attachment comes unnecessary complications. Still, it is good to know that the little I do can sometimes touch lives.

I received a text the other week from someone I first met more than 20 years ago. I got to know her then, because of the beautiful poems she wrote. She was an undergraduate at that time.

Poet: I think about how richly you have loved and poured out to others.

Lohcifer: Thank you. I have not done much at all.

Poet: Hey Lohcifer, if not for you, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. Without your encouragement, I’d not have written. I’d not have gone to the US for that summer camp. My parents wouldn’t have considered letting me work overseas had they not seen that I could survive ten weeks away from them in faraway USA and that God provided for me and took care of me. I wouldn’t have been able to work in China and I wouldn’t have been prepared to take over and manage an entire organization after I returned. I wouldn’t have met my husband in Tianjin while working in China. I wouldn’t have worked in XXX, Singapore, and I wouldn’t be married if I didn’t go to China cos my husband and I don’t have any mutual friends and our paths wouldn’t have crossed at all! And I wouldn’t have two beautiful kids. Do you still think you didn’t do much at all?

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Don’t Be a Dick!

Prior to getting elected, two separate police reports were lodged against newbie politician Raeesah Khan for allegedly making two online comments, both relating to the discrimination of race and religion. The reports were about her Facebook post in May 2020, which had criticized the Singapore law enforcement authorities for discriminating against Singaporean citizens and said that “rich Chinese” and “white people” were treated differently under the law, which was largely based on the differences in sentences handed out to individuals who broke the “circuit breaker” measures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and another in February 2018 in reference to the 2018 City Harvest Church ruling. (Note the date: 2018!)

Khan should not have made those comments. Race and religion are sensitive topics and could easily ignite a powder keg that would destroy all the hard work put in over the years to ensure that we live in harmony in this melting pot, regardless of race, language or religion. (She later apologized and released a statement stating that her intention was “never to cause social divisions but to raise awareness on minority issues,” adding that she regretted making her “insensitive” comments.)

Since the incident, many have labeled the bringing up of her past comments as a political move. It caused a wave of revulsion felt by many voters.

If we are searching in our society for moral purity, we are never going to find that. If we continually cut people down every time they say the wrong things, or when they make a mistake, or when we dig out something they said years ago, then people are going to feel like there’s no value in learning or in progress, because they’re punished forever for the iniquities they no longer stand by. The dogged, relentless pursuit to persecute someone for a mistake made in the past and for which the person has apologized, is uncalled for. An unforgiving society is not one we should try to build.

In the King James Version of the Bible, Matthew 7:5 reads: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

I never give unsolicited advice – I’m surrounded by people who all know better than me – nevertheless, here’s something you may want to think about: If you are so perfect, if you are so high and mighty, be sure you never ever say something retarded, or fumble over your words like an incoherent, blabbing idiot (example: “we also have a plan for the East Coast. We have a East Coast, Singapore, we have a together and East Coast plan”) or make some stupid mistakes, because – make no mistake (oops) – future generations will look harshly on the mistakes you are making today and if they judge you in the future the same way you judge others now, you are not going to come out smelling like roses. You are going to come out smelling like a crock of crap.

So, stop being a dick!

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The What of His Heart?

Her cockles must be under that hoodie.

It doesn’t matter if you have a CV that runs into more than ten pages; it doesn’t matter if you are a champion debator, because, at the end of the day, the question is, can you deliver?

It doesn’t matter if you have studied at all the “branded” schools, or if you have three master’s degrees, or if you are already a professor in your 30’s, because I have known lecturers from Ivy League unis who can only teach but can’t do shit – “those who can’t, teach” –  I have known PhDs on skid rows, I have known professors who lived on the streets, I have known academic deans who are housed in homeless shelters, I have known a certified genius, a member of MENSA, no less, who had earned multiple doctorate degrees but who had to rely on handouts and subsist in squalid poverty because he could not get a j.o.b.

If you have spent decades away from this country being a “professional student” and are now ensconced in the ivory towers of academia, then you really need to roll up your sleeves and work doubly hard to not only show that you can deliver – yes, optics are important – but you need to actually deliver.

Otherwise, you’ll just sound superficial, put-on, smooth and polished, yes, just like another glib used-car salesman, never mind you being sesquipedalian enough to use phrases like “the cockles of our hearts.”

It behooves Singaporeans to not be so easily taken in by charisma and by those with the gift of the gab. History has shown us that some of the world’s most famous silver-tongued orators could not produce anything in the end. They could only talk a good talk.

Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him, or give it up.

This is not a game or cards, this is your life and mine!

I weep for the poor fools who know less.

By the way, does anyone still remember Chen Show Mao?

He was the superstar of the last election.

Fucker doesn’t seem to show up anymore.

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A New Dawn?

By now, we know all about the election results.

The ruling PAP (People’s Action Party) has formed the next government, with final results showing it won almost 90% of the 93 seats contested in Friday’s general election.

The party won 15 multi-seat constituencies and 13 single-seat wards, with a vote share of 61.24% of all votes cast, down from 69.9% in 2015.

“In the Singapore context, this is a defeat for the PAP,” said Bridget Welsh, honorary research associate at Malaysia’s University of Nottingham. “It’s the worst seat performance and loss of popular vote in an election that they called early in a pandemic mistakenly thinking the crisis would help them.”

Those PhDs in Political Science are having a field day analyzing it all.

May God smile down on each and everyone of us as we contemplate what the results really mean. What next for Singapore? Have we given this question a serious thought?

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” – Karl Marx

“One who makes himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him.” – Immanuel Kant

“It is the obvious short-range advantages of tyranny, the advantages of stability, security, and productivity, that one should beware, if only because they pave the way to an inevitable loss of the democratic power of the people, even though the actual disaster may occur in a relatively distant future.” – Hannah Arendt

“The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.” – Turkish proverb

“The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.” – Edmund Burke

“Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy.” – Jorge Luis Borges

“A republic cannot succeed, till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honor.” – Charles Darwin

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man’s original virtue.” – Oscar Wilde

“I have strengths and I have weaknesses, like every president, like every person. I do think one of my strengths is temperament. I am comfortable with complexity, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my moral compass while recognizing that I am a product of original sin. And every morning and every night I’m taking measure of my actions against the options and possibilities available to me, understanding that there are going to be mistakes that I make and my team makes and that America makes; understanding that there are going to be limits to the good we can do and the bad that we can prevent, and that there’s going to be tragedy out there and, by occupying this office, I am part of that tragedy occasionally, but that if I am doing my very best and basing my decisions on the core values and ideals that I was brought up with and that I think are pretty consistent with those of most Americans, that at the end of the day things will be better rather than worse.” – Barack Obama

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D-Day

Hope it’s not an empty can, or worse, a can of worms.

Today, Singapore goes to the polls.

All 93 seats at stake.

From Nikkei: “A total of 192 candidates are competing for 93 seats, with most constituencies being two-way fights between the PAP and one of 10 opposition groups, including the Workers’ Party – the biggest opposition player – and the new Progress Singapore Party, to which the prime minister’s estranged brother, Lee Hsien Yang, belongs. With the PAP widely expected to win, a key focus will be on its overall share of the vote, which will be seen as an indicator of support for the current government.”

It’s going to be a long night staring at the idiot box as results come in.

In the past, we used to chuckle seeing election officer Yam Ah Mee, and talking heads Eugene Tan and Gillian Koh wilting with fatigue as the night dragged on.

Arming myself with ample supplies of snacks.

I will raise a glass and bend an elbow to the victors.

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PhDs in Political Science

I realized that ever since the prime minister announced on June 23rd that the general election will be called soon, the number of messages I’ve been receiving on my phone has shot up exponentially.

I also realized that a lot of people, especially, the retired and the jobless, as well as the self-employed, all have PhD degrees in Political Science from WhatsApp University.

Not only that, quite a number of them even hold post-doctoral degrees.

It’s remarkable how much crap can be generated by people who have never had any experience with politics – let alone hold public office – commenting like real, well-schooled experts and gurus.

They make me cringe.

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