Sunday, August 31, 2014

Barack Obama is Clueless

As the murderous Islamic State spread their vicious venom in Iraq and Syria and a pitch-black shroud of gloomy hopelessness and foreboding doom engulfs the populace – the US of A seem paralyzed.
Still, they finally did manage to mount a response to the escalating violence when President Barack Obama (above pic) ordered limited airstrikes against IS targets and sent some humanitarian aid to communities under siege – I don't think they have achieved much though. American involvement is a mere show of tokenism. Obama is clueless and on Thursday, he said it as much!
At a press conference, Obama spoke a great deal about Iraq, Syria, and even the Islamic State but in the end, I only heard the six damning words – "We don't have a strategy yet."
Some are of the view that Obama is being frank – and that it is an unusual attribute in the Washington corridors of power. It is said that Obama's line is a textbook example of veteran journalist Michael Kinsley's definition of a political gaffe, which occurs when a politician tells an "obvious truth that he isn't supposed to say".
I think it is more a case of Obama being naïve! And the fact that he doesn’t have a foreign policy vision. He made that confession to tell us in so many words that he is stumped.
Maybe the severity of the IS savagery has not sunk in with Obama yet. Maybe he didn’t know that many innocents have been killed and are being killed. Maybe he hasn't seen the pictures of beheadings and crucifixions. Or read the reports of rapes and executions. Maybe he doesn’t care anymore?
Congressman Mike Rogers, chair of the House intelligence committee, said on CNN. "It was an odd press conference at the very best." Whether odd or not, the fact is that many more lives are in peril and only Obama can save those lives.
If ever there is a case for American intervention – THIS IS IT!
On Thursday, I was at Lot 7221, Jalan Merah Caga, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling in Kuala Lumpur to attend the Satu Hati Toastmasters meeting. I delivered an Advanced speech – I was voted Best Speaker – but there were two other speeches that were also pretty decent. I said “also” because I honestly didn’t think my speech was that good.
Only six Satu Hati members came that evening and it was heartening to see that their numbers were matched by an equal number of visiting Toastmasters who turned up to lend support to the meeting. I would give this meeting a 6 score over 10.


Merdeka 2014

Image credit:

Happy Merdeka, Malaysia!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Najib Razak Envious of Wan Azizah

Najib Razak who is UMNO president (and unfortunately, also the Prime Minister) is trying very hard to sully the good name of Wan Azizah (left). He has bandied the “nepotistic” label at her and Anwar Ibrahim. He has also accused the husband-and-wife of having ulterior motives to feather their own nests. This is mischievous, mean and malicious!
I suppose Najib is envious that Wan Azizah is a woman of substance. She is a somebody. She is an ophthalmologist by profession, party president, former opposition leader, state assemblyperson and MB-elect. Wan Azizah has certainly proved her mettle.
For those who have been following Malaysian news, we know that she is the reluctant politician. She comes to the forefront only when Anwar is boxed in because of his sodomy case.
On the other hand, Rosmah Mansor (Najib’s wife) has never been any of the above. And yet she is given de facto ministerial status by the government; the free use of the executive jets; the trips abroad to represent the country at the expense of taxpayers; and other expensive shenanigans that she is involved in.  And don't forget the ample publicity she regularly gets on our mainstream news that exaggerates her ‘humble’ status as the wife of the Prime Minister and making her even larger than life.
If Najib genuinely believes that his wife is no less capable, why doesn't he move to promote and push her to become the UMNO president? And after that, she can be Prime Minister. Who knows, she might just prove to be even better than him? It shouldn't be too difficult because he has not done anything significant.

Until then, the PM would do well to SHUT UP! Just focus on his job. That's the least we taxpayers and citizens expect from him.
On Wednesday evening, I was at No.2 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3, Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur to attend the MIA Toastmasters meeting. Two Sunway University Toastmasters delivered their speeches and even in unfamiliar surroundings, I reckon they did well. One of them, Marilyn Lai was voted Best Speaker and even I was voted Best Evaluator.
Thanks to the club president, Johnny Yong for granting us the two speaking slots – it is much appreciated. At our club, speaking slots are hard to come by – there is a waiting list of 3 months! Coming back to this meeting, I would score it a 6.5 over 10.


Life Goes on at McDonald's

I had to go back to McDonald’s again, even if that meant I would be inviting ridicule from my friends because I was obliged to consume the muck that the company is selling under the pretext that it is “food” (see pic below):

In the McDonald’s outlets I visited, there were no protests and no untoward incidents. Things looked normal. I have no way of ascertaining if business is affected by the month-long boycott of McDonald’s (and other companies) – refer to my August 12 post at this link Even when I asked the counter staff, they said business was okay. But for some reason I cannot explain, I do not quite believe them.

Anyway, from the photos below – at least at McDonald’s, life goes on:

McDonald’s Drive-Thru, Jalan 22/6, Seksyen 22, Shah Alam on August 24. 1:00-1.45 PM

McDonald’s at Main Place Mall, Jalan USJ 21/10, Subang Jaya on August 25. 9:06-9:46 PM

McDonald’s at eCurve Mall, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya on August 26. 12:45-1:30 PM

McDonald’s at Jalan PJS 8/2, Sunway Mentari on August 27. 3:25-4:10 PM

And I did not boycott Coca-Cola either. In fact, I had a Coke almost every day, Mondays to Fridays.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Say No Ad Ridicules Scottish Women

An advert aimed at persuading undecided women voters to reject Scottish independence has met with ridicule from across the political spectrum, with critics describing it as "sexist" and "patronizing" and some even saying it has convinced them to vote yes.

The advert, broadcast by the pro-union Better Together campaign, was first launched on Tuesday. Called The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind, the short film depicts a working mother talking in her kitchen about the referendum. She says that her husband, Paul, "will not leave off about it", while there are "only so many hours in the day" to make a decision. She refers to Alex Salmond as "that guy off the telly", whose promises about currency and oil wealth seem to her to be "too good to be true", before concluding that she will vote “no” to independence on September 18, 2014.

If you do care to listen to it – you will come to the discomforting conclusion that Scottish women are daft. That Scottish women find thinking hard to do – so they just vote No!

Scottish women are far from being simple-minded and they know how to think. For Scotland.

The image below best illustrates my sentiment on this particular advertisement. I know others feel the same too!

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On Wednesday, I was at the Carigali Hess Operating Company premise in the Petronas Twin Towers to attend the CHOC Toastmasters meeting. I was the General Evaluator. It was a good meeting because I think the members were really gung-ho about Toastmasters but I recognized that they needed nurturing. More importantly, they seemed willing to learn. I liked the speeches and given that they had experienced Toastmasters to give evaluations, I do believe there was a lot of learning. I would rate this meeting a 7 over 10.

BTW, there were two international Toastmasters who dropped by one from Chicago, USA and another from Perth, Australia.