I received an email asking me to subscribe to Business Times online for $0.99 per month.
I clicked on the link and proceed to register.
I had the trouble with the following:
a) They require my password to be at least 8 characters with capital and lower case.
b) I have to give my address with level and unit number.
After creating the password that match their requirement, I have to write it down somewhere - as it is not my usual password format.
Why do they need to have such a format? This is not something that hackers are interested in.
I could not pass through the address check. My address does not have a level and unit number.
They provided a telephone number and email address for me to seek help.
Before I could call their telephone number and hope that it does not get me to a "terrible call center", I saw that the subscription is $0.99 for 3 months and it will automatically revert to $34 a month (or thereabout) after that. This was too costly to me.
I abandon the registration process.
I wish our business organizations are more transparent in their operations.
It is possible to express a view respectfully, objectively and without being personal. I do it all the time.
You can just state your views and give your reasons. You do not need to criticize another person's view, even if you disagree with it. You should not pass personal remarks about the other person that you disagree with.
Over the past decades, I observed that many people tend to be judgmental, i.e. they judge the view of another person and pass personal remarks. Often, their judgment is wrong because they do not check their facts or they misinterpret the view that is being stated.
There is a saying - give a dog a bad name and hang him. This best describes the behavior that I see quite often.
Their judgment and criticism reflect an arrogant attitude. They think that they are right and other people are wrong. They may be the ignorant person.
It is better to avoid being judgmental and to state your view respectfully, objectively and without being personal. This is being constructive and useful.
Here are five myths about China that needs to be debunked. The article is written for anyone who has the misconceptions about China - Americans and people around the world, including some people in Singapore.
There is an ISEAS report on the funding of political parties in Thailand. It is quite interesting to learn how they deal with the problem of funding the political parties.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Thailand introduced the Political Party Development Fund in 1998 as a means of providing state subsidies for political parties.
Law makers hoped that such financing would be an effective means of curbing illicit fundraising and vote buying. More importantly, subsidization would support small and new parties and promote their organizational development.
The Political Party Development Fund proved a double-edged sword, however. While it provided resources for the development of parties, it also encouraged small parties to set up numerous branches and to increase their membership for the purpose of maximizing their shares of subsidies.
The 2017 Organic Law on Political Parties introduced a new method of allocating Political Party Development Fund subsidies to political parties, with the goal of solving corruption problems associated with the existence of many small parties.
The loss on my speculative portfolio has reduced to $12,000. At the worst point, the loss was $22,000.
Not to worry. I had realised a profit of $22,000 from earlier trades. So, at the worst point, I broke even.
My biggest loss was on Sinopec. That position was caused by a mistake. I had intended to clear the position at a profit but instead submitted a BUY instead of a SELL order. The stock had been going down for several weeks. It may turn around now.
The dividend yield on this stock is 10%. So, I can afford to hold it until it recovers and enjoy the dividend.
Some truths can only be discovered by experiments. It cannot be found from Google or from what other people say.
I share two examples.
I have a $8 smart which that is sync to my mobile phone. I was not sure whether the measurement of the steps is made by the watch or the phone.
I checked Google and got confusing answers.
I carried out an experiment and found that my watch measured the steps. This applied to my situation.
In another situation, it is possible for a mobile phone to measure the steps, but you have to carry the mobile phone and activate an appropriate app that uses the pedometer sensor in the phone.
I put my mobile phone (with a temperature app) into the fridge to test if the app could measures the temperature. It did not work.
I download another app and found that there is no ambient temperature sensor in my phone.
I will be looking for another mobile phone that has this sensor. I want to test the accuracy of the temperature measurement.
A few years ago, I put my iPhone into the fridge to see if it could measure the temperature. I found that it did not work and shared the result.
Some young people laughed at my experiment and declared that I was stupid not to know how the app works. Even the SGAG website suggested that I was stupid. More than 10,000 followers of SGAG, mostly young people, joined the band wagon to laugh at me.
These people thought they were smart because they declare that it was not possible for a mobile phone to measure the temperature.
How do they know? The believe from what their friends say or what the experts say. They do not know how to find out for themselves and to use their common sense and judgment.
Well, the truth is - a mobile phone can measure the temperature if it is an ambient temperature sensor.
These people who think that they are smart should learn to be more humble. They should not laugh at people who learn by carrying out an experiment.
Here is a message from Bernie Sanders, who is competing in the primary election for the Democratic Party in USA. What he said about America also applies to Singapore.
Dear Kin Lian
During the last 45 years there have been a lot of campaign promises made by candidates, a lot of political party platforms, a lot of great speeches and a lot of important pieces of legislation passed.
But, at the end of all of that, we have to ask ourselves some very simple questions that are too rarely asked.
Why, despite huge increases in technology and worker productivity, is the average American worker today – in real, inflation-accounted-for dollars – earning no more than he or she did in 1974?
Why are half of our people living paycheck to paycheck, with no money in the bank and scared to death that their car might break down or that a family member could end up in the hospital?
Why, in the last 30 years, has there been a massive transfer of wealth from the working families of this country to the very rich – with the top 1% seeing its wealth increase by $21 trillion – while the bottom half saw a $900 billion decline in its wealth?
Why, for the first time in the modern history of our country, is the younger generation experiencing a lower standard of living than their parents with more debt, lower wages and less home ownership?
Why, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, do we have more people incarcerated than any other nation?
Why are we the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all, while we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs?
Why will 500,000 Americans sleep out on the streets tonight while millions of others are paying 40 or 50 percent of their limited incomes for housing?
Why is there a gap in life expectancy of 15 years between the wealthiest Americans and the poorest, with life expectancy in our country actually in decline?
Why do we have more wealth and income inequality than any other major nation with the disparity between the rich and poor growing wider? Three individuals now own more wealth than the bottom half of America, the top one percent owns more wealth than the bottom 92 percent and 49 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent.
And here is the reason why.
Unfettered capitalism works extraordinarily well for the very rich and powerful special interests, while it is a disaster for ordinary Americans. While the billionaire class becomes richer, tens of millions of Americans are unable to afford the basic necessities of life – decent food, shelter, housing and education – and many are going deeper and deeper into debt.
What differentiates our campaign from all others is the understanding that real change in this country will not occur unless we have the courage to build a political revolution – unless millions of people stand up and take on the greed of the powerful special interests that control so much of our economic and political life.
We must not only win this election. We must build the kind of powerful grassroots movement that can bring transformative change to the country.
Together, we must finally confront the power structure of this country whose greed has done so much harm to the economic and moral fabric of America.
Our job is to take on Wall Street and break up the major financial institutions that have so much power over our economy. Our job is to take on the insurance industry and move this country to a Medicare for all single payer program. Our job is to take on the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drugs by half. Our job is to take on the fossil fuel industry and save the planet by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Our job is to take on the military industrial complex, cut military spending and end endless wars. Our job is to take on the prison industrial complex, end private prisons and mass incarceration. Our job, finally, is to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.
It goes without saying that what we are trying to do is enormously difficult. We are taking on the entire economic and political establishment. In that regard, I am reminded of the remarks that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made during his campaign in 1936 when he talked about the corporate elite of his time.
“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”
We are not going to run away from the power of corporate America. We will confront it and we will win.
86% of the participants in this survey said that the subsidised wards in the hospitals should be air conditioned. They do not agree with the current practice of making the subsidised wards non air conditioned to push the patients to the non-subsidised wards.
I do not wish to join the bandwagon and criticize the Hong Kong government for presenting the extradition bill to their legislature.
I also do not join the bandwagon in supporting the large numbers of people who have come out in protests against the bill.
I watched several videos explaining the issues on both side. I put the links below.
Here are my conclusions:
a) The HK govt has a valid reason to update the extradition law. b) The protestors are worried that the law can be used to send HK residents for unfair trial in China. c) There is still a deep distrust of the justice system in China. d) I believe that the fear and distrust is exaggerated and not justified. It is probably fanned by people who have vested interests or bad intent towards China. e) I commend the decision of the HK Chief Executive to suspend the bill. The govt now has the opportunity to make changes that will address the fear and distrust of the protesters.
I wish the HK govt and the protesters all the best in finding a better solution.
In a communist country, the communist party is the highest authority. The country may have a legislature but it is ultimately under the control of the communist party.
In a monarchy, the sovereign (king or queen) it the highest authority.
In a democracy, the legislature is the highest authority (but sometimes they are not able to control the President who is elected separately).
Within the communist party, the leaders are elected democratically by the party members.
In a democratic country, the legislature is elected by majority vote of the people. However, in many countries, the democratic process is flawed and is controlled by big money or corrupt practice.
There are also hybrid systems. For example, the system in China is socialism (i.e. communism) with market characteristics. They have socialist principles at national level and allow the free market at the enterprise level. However, their political control is under the communist party.
Each system has its strengths, weaknesses and flaws.
Many people have the impression that the communist system is bad, but their view is colored by the western media over the past decades. They do not realize that the media is also controlled by big money and has not been truthful.
We should not just blindly believe that democracy is good and communism (or socialism) is bad.
The best test is - which system actually produces the leaders that work in in the interest of the country and the people and make the most economic and social progress.