Atlantic Ocean currents

Amazing – the German pilot commits suicide but takes 149 innocent people with him. What kind of evil mentality is that?

I think the rule that there must always be two people in the cockpit must be universally enforced.

What a year for aviation: first, Malaysian MH370 disappears somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Then Malaysian MH910 gets shot down by Russians. Then the Air Asia nosedives into the ocean off Java. And now this German plane does a CFIT – Controlled Flight Into Terrain. It’s a worry. At least we know that in no case was the aircraft mechanicals to blame.

And another thing: why did the pilot need to leave the cockpit for a piss only 20mins into a 90min flight? Why didn’t he go before they left the airport?


I used to have a couple of friends who repeatedly said that “We need a Lee Kuan Yew in this country, a benevolent dictator.” No matter what I said, they stuck to this view, that Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore was the way to go. Well, in yesterday’s West Australian, this letter to the editor:

No-one will deny the late Lee Kuan Yew’s success in guiding Singapore to economic prosperity and social stability, and there are many who will even assert that Australia needs a Lee Kuan Yew. The question they need to answer is whether they are prepared to pay the high price. Heavy-handed one party rule, ruthless persecution of political dissidents, close government control of press and trade unions and cynical denial of human rights are all part of the reverse side of Singapore’s success story.
Mr Lee’s admirers should consider this before recommending his imitation by ‘any other country, Ieast of all Australia for whom he expressed lightly veiled contempt. Lee Kuan Yew received a double first at Cambridge but he rejected the democratic ethos of British society and the hard-won acceptance that a political opposition can properly claim to be loyal to the state.
What he did appreciate was the assistance of British Special Branch who detained his political opponents under the colonial government’s draconian Internal Security Act, a piece of legislation that remained on the statute books of independent Singapore to continue politically useful detentions without trial.
I worked for a year for a daily newspaper which came into existence on a promise by Mr Lee’s People’s Action Party in 1969 that dissent on “non-core issues” could now be permitted in a prosperous and confident Singapore.
When it was seen to overstep the notional mark, the newspaper was quickly forced to close by a process in which Mr Lee  took a high-profile part. China’s Teng Hsiao Ping may well have learnt something from Singapore’s economic model, but it was Mao Tse Tung who established the cynical precedent of “let a hundred flowers bloom”.
Emeritus Professor Bob Reece, foreign editor, Singapore Herald (1970-71)

In other words, “benevolent dictator”? BULLSHIT. Singapore’s government is corrupt in a much worse way than Indonesia’s. Singapore crushes opposition by forcing opposing politicians or dissidents into bankruptcy via a compliant (read corrupt) judiciary. They rule by fear. You can be jailed indefinitely without trial, and caned for the most trivial offences. They still legally kill people (ie the death penalty). Singapore is one party rule and woe betide you if you cross the government.

So, former friends of mine, is this what you advocate for us? Oh, but it would be only temporary, I hear you say, just until this country had been whipped into line. Yeah? And how would you tell the dictator it was time for him to go?

This idea ranks with letting the Ord River water flow downhill to Perth, using atomic bombs to mine iron ore and dredge harbours up north, sending young hooligans out into the desert in boot camps to fix their bad ways and voting Liberal expecting election commitments to be kept, as crazy lunatic ideas.


“For a bloke with so many risk factors, you’re in remarkably good health.” That’s what a GP told me about ten years ago. I got the results of my latest three monthly blood tests this morning: liver – perfect; kidneys – perfect; lipids and cholesterol – perfect; thyroid – perfect; HbA1c – 6.6! I’ve been checking my blood pressure regularly for the past month or so and the readings are fantastic – around 115/60 nearly all the time. Brain – perfect; memory – perfect; personality – perfect; integrity – perfect. Perfect in every way. 😉

Importantly, no sign of congestive heart failure, and no worsening of the CLL/cell morphology results.

So I think I can safely say, for someone of my age, carrying far too much weight, with diabetes, I’m in remarkably good health. Some say I drink too much. Bulldust. I used to, but I’ve cut way, way back. Some nights I don’t have anything now. (To the person who told others I’m an alcoholic, you made a giant mistake! You got it horrendously wrong. Have the integrity to admit it and apologise. Fat chance – you don’t do apologies, do you. Stupid woman.)

So why do I still feel so bad? I’m carefully eliminating medications (carefully!) to see if that makes any improvement. I stopped Amiodarone (the anti-arrythmia drug with potentially nasty side effects and the lo-o-o-ng half life) last year and everything seems OK. I stopped the diuretic last week, but no improvement, so I’ll start it again, I think.

Meanwhile I’m beefing up my vitamin and mineral tablet regime. Magnesium – seems to be very important.


Grrrrrr! I posted off the faulty OCZ Solid State Hard Drive to the makers in Taiwan yesterday. $52.75! That’s what it cost to send it by courier delivery. Bloody hell. Their drive went faulty in the warranty period (12 months, I think), so why should I have to pay to send it back like this? Why can’t I just return it to the place I bought it in Osborne Park for a replacement?

I’m going to send a hot email to OCZ in Taiwan saying I want not just a replacement, but my shipping cost refunded, OR two replacement drives in exchange. Yeah, fat chance. I’m afraid OCZ are going to get some unwelcome publicity on the web forums as well as here. Don’t buy OCZ.


2 comments on “Amazing

  1. Laura Reece says:

    Hi there, interesting to read your comments about Lee Kuan Yew. I found your blog by searching for the front page of the Australian in 1971 featuring a picture of my Dad (Bob Reece) being deported from Singapore in the crackdown he described in his letter to the same paper recently. People have absolutely no idea of what they’re talking about when they say we need another Lee Kuan Yew. For a nation who seemingly hate most incursions into our lives by government, his particular brand of totalitarianism would not and should not ever be contemplated. Cheers, Laura Reece

  2. Pete says:

    Thanks very much Laura. Yes, I’m afraid this state in particular has more than its fair share of stupid people, people for whom there is always a simple answer to all problems. There’s a famous saying in science, “For every complex problem there’s a multitude of simple solutions, all of them wrong.” I’m glad your father spoke up the way he did.

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