CNA reports cement barrel.
Deceased's brother claims grand conspiracy.
Agencies rebuke claim.
I don't mean that America ceased to be relevant to the rest of the world, at any point in recent history. I do mean that the relevance of this superpower to my small existence has ebbed and flowed over my past 34 years. By the time I was born in 1983 Malaysia, nearly all of my mother's siblings had already emigrated with their families to the United States, and my father's brothers had returned from their respective studies in that country.
We spoke English at home, as my parents had attended British schools in Penang. Mother's father was a businessman, and it may have been class aspirations that led to the decision that his children should learn English, though we can only hypothesise this, until I schedule an interview with my aunts in Atlanta and Houston. Father and his siblings had been sent to English speaking schools by their father, who was involved in anti-Communist activities with the British intelligence unit that would become the Special Branch of the Royal Malaysian Police, in post World War II Malaysia. Grandfather intended to keep his children away from Communist sympathies which were more likely to be present in Chinese speaking schools, or so that is how the story goes.
My parents met in church networks, where they were both highly educated, fairly successful, albeit bookish leader-types. Father eventually became a Methodist minister by profession, and taught other ministers in seminary. In 1991 he pursued a Doctor of Missiology degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Missiology, for the uninitiated, refers to "mission studies," the history and technology of proselytising a religious message... which corresponds in spirit with the word "evangelical," in the form of Evangelical Christianity which is now commonly spoken of in the United States.
So at the age of seven, I attended Mrs. Johnson's third grade class at Wilmore Elementary School, and socialised with peers up to the age of ten in my class (I was often singled out for being the littlest kid in class). It was also this institution which allowed me, a few times a week, to attend a fifth grade science class, since that was one of my special interests at that time. Learning to speak and socialise with American children was a novel and illuminating experience - which I would recall and reflect on at various points in future life.
We stayed in Kentucky for twelve months, then we returned to Malaysia. Father continued in his ministry, variously teaching, completing his doctorate, and administering the Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, a joint effort by Methodist, Anglican, and Lutherans in Malaysia. He helped to raise a few million Ringgit in funds over a few years, for a new campus purchased from the Catholic church, and in 1999 the family joined him there, in Seremban, away from Kuala Lumpur, where I had been based since my birth.
I completed the two years of Malaysian junior high school in Seremban, sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam in 2000. My experiences in that town led me to an interest in cultural anthropology, which become the contents of my application essays to US liberal arts colleges that same year. In fall of 2001, for the second time in my life, I flew to the United States in early September, and passed through the green lane of LAX immigration with a toolbox in my check-in luggage. We now know that this probably wouldn't have happened so easily just two weeks later.
Upon arriving at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, I judged from early conversations with peers that most students were here to move through the motions of life, either as (i) economically aspirational careerists moving up into the 5%, often international students, or (ii) intellectually content young people, looking forward to a few years of sensational access, often locals. Within just a few days, I had decided that I would not allow myself to be discouraged by the absence of peers with a strong focus on comprehensively delineating the bounds of human knowledge, consciousness, and our approaches to it - I would have to make extra efforts to explore such studies given available resources, which were not too few.
A good library, fully equipped with inter-library loan facilities, and the congeniality of a few dozen faculty members were my main resources in the years to come. Nevertheless, independent studies over this period did take their toll on my sense of initiative, and various decisions were made on my part to withdraw from general society - perhaps more than I should have. Who is to say whether I gained or lost more during this period of life?
I returned to Malaysia after about three years and nine months, having fulfilled the core mission to simply obtain a degree, and to have studied this small society of Americans for a few years. The task I had set for myself to fulfill next, was to study and comprehend the political and commercial landscape of Malaysia, before making any hasty decisions to abandon that country. To-date, I remain complacent, yet unpatriotic.
I've spent most of the past week in bed, struggling with bacterial meningitis and sinusitis, having tinnitus and pus oozing out of my eyes as I sleep, getting up twice a day to enforce eating, physical exercise, and errands at my office across the street from where I reside. It has perhaps... coalesced this short reflection.
Malaysia, throughout my life, has been ruled by borderline-dictators, divisive racial and religious rhetoricians, and well-heeled grifters... so much so that by the age of 14, in 1998, I had already decided that it would be more efficient to avoid non-violent protests, and to simply aim to amass enough resources to go toe-to-toe with the gangsters in government. I am the pariah who registers to vote, but refuses to turn up at the voting booth, just to illustrate my position on local politics. In chess, the pawns go first. I am not averse to working with evil men, if that is the keenest way to defeat evil in general. You may fault me as having failed to become part of the obligatory 3.5% of a population's non-violent protesters who are required to topple a dictatorship, and I've generally been fine with that.
On the other side of Earth, my classmates recoil in horror at the invasion of their moral grounds by the Trump administration. I've been making a point to stay on top of current affairs, in my role as the leader of a consumer lifestyle company - so it has been an interesting time for me, to read up on the structure of the US government, the Charters of Freedom, and the geo-political movements of players from Moscow to Mosul. What is furthermore interesting is that the White House is now in the hands of radical WASP extremists, which my earlier religious and societal upbringing has equipped me to fathom to a non-trivial degree.
Der Spiegel has a great cover this week - Trump chopping off the head of the Statue of Liberty. Do his executive orders and general nation-building strategy constitute acts of terrorism against the Charters of Freedom? Possibly. Have his cultural opponents and stakeholders (both domestic and international) been caught unawares, and off-script? Definitely. I have always viewed many of my colleagues in liberal democracies as being particularly naive when it comes to politics of the street-fighting variety. Well, they're getting it now, the darkness I was born into.
I am looking forward to a time where liberals are better equipped to fight fascism. Where every call to arms against "radical Islamic terrorists," is met with a call to arms against "radical WASP terrorists." It is not that hard, really, tit for tat, you know. After Berkeley (2017), with the expectation that any political event can become violent, amidst mudslinging commentary, bipartisan dollars could be better invested in providing security, to ensure civility and protected speech, regardless of the degree of hate in such speech. That's the onus of demanding rule of law - it'll cost you dearly, but in theory it is worth it, otherwise there is only a mewing sentimentalism. The party that seeks to win on account of truth must allow lies to be spoken in their plainest form - that is the liar's demise: a clarity of semantics that allows for lies to be seen for what they are. Learn up, already.
Meanwhile my younger friends deal with the beginnings of new semesters in college. It was only 15 years ago when I was beginning my second semester in college, and subject also to add/drop drama and an exploration of available resources at the university I attended. I had strategised in my first year to boost my GPA with easy courses, and to gorge on strange subjects unavailable at my previous institutions in Malaysia. GPA booster: Chinese 301, strange subjects: Rhetoric 20x - Gay and Lesbian Images in Film, FYS 10x - Experimental Music, Music 2xx - Computers the Arts and Music, etc. Computer Science was a god-awful experience, and it turned out to be wise not to study it at that school. I miss the ivory tower, and I miss my friends here and there, both young and old. I cannot write of them individually, without going into full memoir mode, so this reflection shall pause here.
Why do women want to talk about me? Can we talk about work, instead?
X: You have social tendencies?
Y: It's all very carnal.
X: Why are you so basic?
Y: Because I'm organised.
X: How so?
Y: Grasp all tendencies that have no bearing on a given objective... then systematically disincentivise those tendencies. In this way one can train oneself to like or dislike anything. The part of me that decides what I want to effect upon the world, then treats my brain as a medium. Lol. "Social engineering" via self "engineering"...
X: I guess I did ask...
Y: AMA I suppose...
Generally, I agree, and have been impressed by his execution. (Not saying that I agree with the political positions. More of: he knows how to start a fire fight.)
On Yates' termination:
1. Who cares about honour? It's not part of a professional stance. If we're really talking about a sense of guilt, then ok, really this is a pointless conversation - all kinds of people feel all kinds of guilt for things that have no objective context to the rest of the world.
2. Back to the specifics of the oath taken by members of the Executive Branch (a), and the letter (b), and the termination (c)... we're just looking to see here if these three are coherent.
(We need to bear in mind the the AG is head of the DOJ, which report to POTUS in the Executive Branch. The Judicial Branch ("Federal Judiciary" / "the courts") are entirely separate from the EB - whereas the DOJ is a law enforcement body WITHIN the EB. Please note that this implies there is no chain of command between EB:AG and JB:judges/justices. So with regards to the EO, what the EB:DOJ really does (short form) is send attorneys to prosecute or defend cases brought to JB:courts... to be judged by JB:judges.)
What appears to be the sequence of events is:
(i) EB:POTUS signs an EO
(ii) EO is brought to the JB:courts
(iii) EB:DOJ is then faced with the questions: Do we prosecute, if yes, on what grounds? Do we defend, if yes, on what grounds?
(iv) Everyone at the EB:DOJ looks at the EB:DOJ:AG...
(v) And the EB:DOJ:AG says... "we need to comprehend the EO before we can either prosecute or defend it; we are not going to defend it right now."
3. IMHO... she did okay, and acted within the scope of her professional mandate. The EO was extremely rushed, and remains subject to litigation from various parties, and potential smackdown by the JB or by the LB. (That it was rushed, is a tactic that benefits DT... it's a blitzkrieg against multiple points of defense, simultaneously, which is really discombobulating the smurfs :D.)
... somehow a few minutes on wikipedia seemed simpler than trying to fix the balance sheet I was working on... #somethingiswrongontheinternet #failing
A friend was wondering about broken friendships, due to social pressures. I said,
As long as social relations are grounded in sentiment, there can be no reasonable recourse for any objections to any behaviour.
If we start training people to ground their sentimental indulgences on a bedrock of economic realism, then we begin to lay real SIC foundations for civil society. No infrastructure*, no talk. (* For talking about things reasonably.)
Otherwise sentimental love is as useful as sentimental hate. It's just there, and one cannot impose ethical rationale about it.
Well say you love your daughter. Why? Maybe you don't care. Ok, great. That's why anyone trying to argue you out of that position doesn't need to waste their time.
Say however, you love your daughter, but you're also willing to consider all the possible scenarios in which that is going to fuck up every single moment of your life, potentially. If you did consider it carefully, you'd be heading in the direction of what we'd call a realist position.
But God and responsibility...
So now you've expanded the universe of discussion to include other objects such as 'God', and 'responsibility', which you'll need to qualify... so at some point you'll find that some elements of that chain of dependencies may be taken on faith, and some on empirical evidence. So then as you edge towards faith, you probably forfeit some objective evidence (observable in the same way by multiple observers). As you do that, you would probably be classified as less of an empiricist... but the economic benefits of your faith may be highly apparent to you, so you could always argue to be a realist, albeit one whose economic universe remains highly subjective.
Enforced feeding time. Interocepted white noise volume is pretty high, and other symptoms are consistent with a superficial meningitis. Well, let's get over it... with some luck, a few minutes of work today will be non-remedial. But our average day in this cafe generates 1-2 hours of remedial work for me. So after a few months, you may find me stuck for weeks on this or that repair.
People are literally crying (over recent actions by the Executive) in the department of state offices.I went to school with folks like this in the US - over in Malaysia, we grew up under the nonsense they've just now met for the first time. The Bane born in darkness quote comes to mind.
Let's make money, baby, we can fall in love later. - Wantrepreneur
Sometimes, it feels like this. Othertimes, you fall in love with no money. Othertimes, you make money with deplorables. Lol
Another cafe for sale.
It's a stress test ;)
Addendum: really, a blitzkrieg is not a trial balloon. War already began. Smurfs still somewhat oblivious.
It's funny how working in B2C has shifted my reading time to international and US politics, in an attempt to stay on the pulse of popular culture in general. It'll be really funny if I turn into some kind of policy wonk as a result. My first job in Malaysia after graduating from college in the USA was in a track-two diplomatic think tank that sadly, didn't actually do much besides whisper in the halls of power, and faff around with abstract discussion topics. I left pretty quickly... that time...
Staff just asked me what to do with someone who sits in the cafe for four nights and doesn't order. Why is this even a question? Throw them out. Lol
And ffs, don't wait four days... give them like ten minutes, geez.
Sick. Enforced physical exercise. Enforced bed rest. Enforced feeding. We're losing days here...
On Jacobin's suggestion that Bannon is shooting himself in the foot because "now there are protests, and less mass appeal, so DT will be agitated":
Well he may not be totally suiciding, as others have observed:
1. First week in office EO salvo.
2. Smurfs retaliate naively; public protests (DT don't care); public increase in affirmative action for dienfranchisees of (1.). Guess who's really noticing this?
3. The poor white right. It just makes them angrier, and builds solidarity...
4. Forecast: DT negos down to a moderate position; smurfs stuck fire fighting - take 3-6 months to fully organise behind a long-term strategy; alt right consolidates public support - starts showing up in force at smurf protest events. Increase in martial law, over a narrative of civil unrest - wide moat, not a total regression to Nazi Germany, but a Bannonite "rule of 50 years", in terms of stricter border controls and a reduction in civil liberties ex-WASPS. But it probably will hit peak velocity for 50 weeks, not years...
Addendum: the smurfs are on the defense. What's clear is that the smurfs don't have a plan of attack. They never really understood the enemy, and they're still reeling in shock. Resist. Resistance is not a strategy. Resistance is an emotion. Resistance is not a plan. I'm looking forward to seeing the plan in action.
Meanwhile I've been peppering all my comments with "still no plan of attack".
But the media...
Not a plan. That's the moat.
INTP: Ti Ne - base configuration
ENTJ: Te Ni - it's a one axis reflection
ENTP: Ne Ti - also a one axis reflection
ISTP: Ti Se - single translation along the axis of abstraction in data processing
ESTP: Se Ti - translation + reflection
ESTJ: Te Si - translation + reflection
ISTJ: Si Te - translation + reflection + reflection
Each of these takes like five minutes. Then it takes about 15-30 minutes to wipe and reload my memory for the context switch. I'm just really bad at this.
- Transit. Run.
- Breakfast - eaten.
- Fire. Documentation missing.
- Broadcast. Spotters on alert.
- Fix. Document recreated. Other data lost.
- Kitchen test. Subjects assessed. Documentation updated.
- Timesheets: checked.
- New staff. Pay upgraded.
- Financial statements. Downloading.
- Front of house - reminder on due process for shift auctions.
Surrounded by ignorance, and sometimes incompetence, I am often discouraged from work. However, there is only one way to improve the situation, and that is to decide that one's degree of courage doesn't matter. One can only decide to work, or not to work... and I really do need to get back to much work...
Sound isolated sleep - a welcome modification. (However, I need to figure out how to get more.) Ambient noise level in aural imagination has been high all week... chalk it up to reduced mean volume level in exterocepted aural sensation. Unit recalibrating. Waiting for ANLAI to drop significantly. Some active effort may be necessary...
Often, I regret my investments in indignant people.
(Bannon appointment to NSC)
Don't blame one man for his ambitions, when you fail as a nation to prevent his systematic rise to power.
(I could be talking about Mahathir - who are YOU thinking about?)
Staff: This cake is no good.
Me: It is basic, I know.
Staff: It is not basic, it is like a tennis ball.
Me: Let me try it again. Ah, I like that it is dry. I didn't set the creative direction, but I like it.
Staff: That's just you. No one likes dry cake.
Me: I would never make generalisations like that.
Of course, the irony of this conversation is in its extreme and unjustifiable positions, resulting in humour.
1. No one should ever share their opinion with the expectation that someone is going to do something about it.
2. No one should ever stop sharing their opinions.
3. The point of sharing opinions is transparency, not violence.
This is not normal for many people. Hahaha.
Staff: I am a bit shocked by this. Nine brownies and five orders of mushrooms?
Me: I'm catching up on CNY crap...
IKEA before breakfast. -_- at 3:30pm
Great trap screw down - rescue operation at 4:30pm
Still no breakfast in sight :P
This is where, in jest, I repopulate my LinkedIn account with all the wee jobs I did as a student in the US...
Contemplating joining the 6pm fiesta in Seremban. Need date for entertainment. Maybe.
You'll need homey smiling people, with large colourful signs that say,
"Mr. President, we love you. You're one of the best things to ever happen to America. Your soul is gentle and kind. You are a blessing that brings peace to a terrified world, your presence calms and composes us. You are merciful to your oppressors, and overflowing with grace for your enemies. God's gifts to a troubled world flow through your heart and hands, uniting people of every nation, creed, and economic conviction."
Ok, you're still with me, right? Left? Centrists? Anarchists? So you're going to need hundreds, maybe thousands of these therapists to follow him wherever he goes. He misses a turn, you cheer and yell "RIGHT!," he turns left, you cheer and yell "OTHER RIGHT!" All your god damn riots are just going to do is make him feel small and stupid and angry. Don't do that. He'll fuck up. Then they'll lock him up. Then you're stuck with Pence!
This is basic management for cretins. You can't blame children for their ineptitude, even if they are 70. Remember, Jesus said, "let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
Not sure about that? He's already got the nukes, ffs...
And if this doesn't work, maybe we can start calling him Napoleon John Dynamite, and hope he puts us all out of our misery, quickly.
Putin: The warheads are scaring me.
Erdogan: Well, they're not MY warheads.
Putin: DO SOMETHING.
Erdogan: How about I nick your lil' birdy. [explosion]
Putin: What the... FUCK YOU!
Erdogan: Hey, hey, hey... it wasn't me... the finger did it...
Putin: Wanna get that under control?
Obama: Lemme help you with that...
Erdogan: Having some CONTROL issues over here... sorry... hold on... [more explosions]
Putin: Let me show you how this is done. [whispering]
Obama & Cameron in chorus: A coup?! [backchannel... shit, he's not going to...]
Erdogan: Relax guys, nothing's happening. [explosions]
Obama & Cameron: A coup. [sighs]
Putin: [looks the other way]
Cameron: Shit just went down. GTG.
Obama: Haahaahahaa... look what we got running for president over here...
Putin: [looks the other, other way]
May: HELLOOO there!
Erdogan: Jets, please.
Assad & Putin: Hahaaaaaaaaaaaa............!!!!
Trump: Fuck YOU, and I'll see YOU for golf next week...
End 31 Jan notes.
Dari segi bangsa, sesuatu bangsa memang menerima kemudahan yang lebih daripada sesuatu banga yang lain.
Dari segi perkauman, sesuatu kaum memang menerima kemudahan yang lebih daripada sesuatu kaum yang lain.
Dari segi [pick a word for gender/sex], lelaki atau wanita memang menerima kemudahan yang lebih daripada yang lain.
Dari segi [pick a word for class]... blah blah.
Ketidakseimbangan kemudahan antara kepelbagaian kumpulan-kumpulan inilah topik yang hendaklah kita membincang pada hari ini. Apakah perbezaan antara kemudahan yang diterima oleh seorang wanita, yang berbahasa Melayu sahaja, penduduk Kota Bahru, pemegang ijazah tinggi... dengan kemudahan yang diterima oleh seorang lelaki, yang berbahas Melayu/Cina/German, penduduk di KL, tanpa ijazah? Marilah kita bermula...