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25 July 2009


1. Now that you earthlings seem to have given up the fight against H1N1, some temporary and permanent changes to the way we live, work and do business seem necessary :

a. develop a cheap and effective vaccine so that enough at-risk people can be vaccinated
b. H1N1 can either be regarded like dengue fever etc, which is sometimes fatal, or like the fearsome SARS which is more fatal
c. H1N1 may be between the 2, that is, between dengue which we don't do much about, and SARS, which causes too much economic and social losses for society to accept
d. H1N1 is probably here to stay like dengue and there may be more of such unfightable flus, H1N1 v. 2.0, etc, coming along, given earthlings' now greatly increased travel, overcrowding, and the increased and enhanced abilities of bugs to mutate and develop into threatening forms

2. What then are possible solutions, given that solutions must be cheap, reasonably effective, easy to implement, for universal application in rich and poor countries and areas alike?

3. Probably the first of these would be a powerful liquid or gas bactericide sprayed from a cheap, simple sprayer. Such are probably already available so it is a simple implementation measure to ensure that all walls and floors, and preferably ceilings, doors and door handles, too, are sprayed regularly to kill any bugs that may be floating in the air or touched by infected persons who may have transferred their bugs onto their hands. Thus, doors and especially door handles must be sprayed. Long-term, you may want to design doors and door handles to be opened with the foot, which is not difficult, so get your designers and inventors going. If the bactericide for all the walls, etc, is long-lasting, you'd only need to spray once in a long while, preferably no more than once a month in high-risk areas like hospitals.

4. In almost every office or govt counter where counter staff have to interact with the public, it is unfair to subject them to exposure to an unregulated public that may not be as diligent or conscientious in keeping hygienic enough not to pass on flus and bugs they may have, so glass barriers are needed to prevent direct droplets of bug-laden coughing to infect the counter staff. These glass screens should also, like the walls, floor and ceiling, and especially doors and door handles, be sprayed with the bactericide -- both sides, in case it is the counter staff that have the flus, not the public. This is good for psychological reassurance and reduces resignation or not taking jobs as counter staff when epidemics break out.

5. For poorer countries and areas which cannot define, print and publicise tenders, and pay the successful contractor to construct such glass screens, you can use thin strips of cheap, clear plastic sheets sprayed with bactericide or better still, impregnated with the bactericide at the factory. These strips work like flypaper, but will be clear and transparent for glass-like maximum visibility, and, depending on the seriousness of the risk of infection, either overlap each other to form a continuous barrier, or form spaced-out or gapped type barrier with 2 or more barrier screens one behind the other like this _-_-_-_-_-_, or even be spaced slightly apart in a single barrier screen to give a non-barrier feel or effect. This last method of spacing or gaps will let through some germs but this may be OK depending on the estimated risk. Balance between looks and appearance and the risk of infection. These bugstrips, like flypaper, will be suspended from the ceiling onto the counter or even to the floor depending on need. To fix, you can even simply tape the plastic strips to the ceiling. Some light designs are possible on the strips, unlike with glass, which is harder to print onto. So it is possible to have bright, pleasant designs on the bugstrips. You can have these bright designs [changing to festive designs and motifs for Chinese New Year, for example] pre-printed at the factory or print designs yourself on standard plastic sheets on an ordinary inkjet printer and then scissored and fixed, glued or taped onto the bugstrips. However, this will cover any bactericide already impregnated into the bugstrip at the factory so must be sprayed again. Since the bugstrips will hang from the ceiling while the maximum visibility need only be around the eye level over the counter, there is ample space to print [and affix] any custom designs or letterings you may print on an inkjet printer. For a neater look, you can manufacture a bugstrip holder that is about 50cm to about 100cm, easily cut with a knife or small saw to length, bendable into curved or straight lines to fit around the counter for best looks. This bugstrip holder will be easily screwed or fixed to the ceiling or ceiling boards and allow quick and easy clip-on changes of the bugstrips, like for festive occasions or when torn and tattered. Each bugstrip can be about 5cm to 20cm wide and as thin as possible for maximum clarity but thick enough to hang down nicely, and to be made of the clearest plastic. If you choose a very thin plastic, you could weigh down the bottom with some decorative weights.

6. If a place is in heavy danger of bugs, such as hospitals and some clinics, these bugstrips may even be hung all over a room or corridor or walkway. You would have to estimate how much surface area you want [coated with bug-killing bactericide] for how much risk of bugs floating in the air. This could require people to walk into and brush past such strips, if these are hung below their face/head. Not very elegant but possible.

7. H1N1 is not easily detectable by human-temperature scanning since, I believe, it takes some time for the temperature to rise and an infected person could already be spreading the germs before any detectable temperature rise. But there are no easier way to detect fevers except through temperature rise, so this must continue to be one of the main solutions. However, until such thermal scanners can be cheap enough and tiny enough to incorporate into such as cellphones, as one forumer suggested, the most practical way could be for all or most of the cctvs, which are always located in public places, to incorporate such thermal scanners, with an automated alarm system to trigger a highlighted recording for playback later, any person who came into view in the scanner and found to have a high temperature. The alarm, if noted in realtime by such as security officer, police, or even residents in a block since some cctvs display their feeds into the tv sets of residents in a block, could lead to further actions to determine if the scanned person is infectious.

8. Almost all pcs have a webcam nowadays and pcs are ideal for processing information, including from a thermal scanner built into the webcam, which may be included quite cheaply, with the corresponding appropriate software or application. If pc webcams are used, then, given the ease and quickness with which digital processes are done, almost every pc webcam user can be required to turn it on, scan themselves, and the result, daily or so, can be easily captured in a database for managers to note and act on if necessary. Many pc users will not hassle to take thermometer readings of themselves but will quite happily switch on an app on their pc especially if that app is fun, entertaining or required by their office manager. With laptop webcams fitted with thermal scanners, every laptop becomes a thermal scanner or fever detector, so can be taken to any function or gathering or a classroom or kindergarten and everybody scanned. A gps chip now costs only US$5 so if the thermal chip is incorporated into every laptop and pc, its price could be as low. Software to go with the thermal chip could be open source and free.

9. Now we come to the regulation of infected people. In Hongkong, people who have a cough do wear medical masks to protect others. This should be encouraged with public campaigns, then maybe also made compulsory. In short, anyone with a cough should/must wear a medical mask. This means that all crowded public places should have individually-sealed masks available free. People should take one only if they put it on and not take them away for sale or others to use. On buses and metro trains, there should be such masks available and public opinion should encourage any cougher to take one and put it on. Make coughing in public as obnoxious as smoking in public. There are many similarities and thus amenable to similar public campaigns. However, I suggest that such masks also be impregnated with bactericide at the factory, to kill the germs at source. Otherwise, when such masks are thrown away, usually into rubbish bins, they are a biological hazard to cleaners who clear the rubbish bins or even to people who breathe near the [open design] bins because masks coughed into may release their germs, either right from the moment they are thrown away, or when the coughed up droplets dry up thus releasing the germs to float into the air. Any such bactericide should be non-irritating to the face areas covered, such as the mouth and nose.

10. Finally, keeping the hands clean is important. This means that handwashing taps, sinks and basins should be everywhere, especially at eating places. Wet tissues impregnated with bactericide in handy packs should be encouraged to be on sale everywhere so that everyone would carry a pack and wet-wipe their hands as often as desired. Shops, supermarkets and vending machines should make these widely available. However, every pack of such bactericide tissues should carry warnings whether they can be used to wipe eyes, nose, mouth and other sensitive parts.

11. The above are mostly passive measures. For a slightly more active measure, you could develop cheap and simple Air Cleaning Machines. These machines would look much like one of the currently available rollable or portable aircon machines that are simply rolled to any part of the room near a window, and it would suck in air, cool it and pump it back into the room while expelling the hot air though a plastic flexible hose of about 5cm diameter out the window. In our case, the Air Cleaning Machine would simply suck in air from a room, pass the air through a bactericide solution, thereby killing all the germs, then expel the cleaned air back into the room -- even warm or cool the expelled air depending on whether heating or cooling is needed for the room. You would need several of these machines for a big room. Somewhat like this idea here : .

12. In para 10a of this essay [ ], I have discussed thermal imaging of passengers aboard a plane. This still holds good, I believe. Airlines may also want to consider using some Air Cleaning Machines aboard their planes, preferably built into the airconditioning system, if they do not want to reduce the amount of recycled air, which is about 50% for most airplanes. If a liquid bactericide solution is impractical, as would be the case in airplanes, HEPA filters can be used. These filter out almost 100% of airborne particles. Here, costs and practicality would determine which is used. You could also impregnate HEPA filters with bactericide to help kill germs.

13. Finally, here is a general idea not only for H1N1 but all epidemic diseases that may come along in future, which is a certainty. If the new epidemic causes too many fatalities to ignore, then, once recognised as a new strain of dangerous epidemic,

a. complete a detailed questionnaire for each and every infected patient, ESPECIALLY NOTING WHAT ILLNESSES HE/SHE HAD SUFFERED IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS OR UP TO SAY, A YEAR
b. forward this questionnaire, which should preferably be fairly standardised, to a central database, such as that of the World Health Org of the UN, which would then make all the data totally accessible to all countries' medical orgs who want to query the database and preferably continually updated and put on the internet
d. note that there is an illogic here because we should be looking, not just for any previous illness that confers some protection but that people who are thus protected MAY NOT EVEN CATCH THE EPIDEMIC IN THE FIRST PLACE AND THEREFORE WILL REMAIN UNKNOWN AND WILL NOT BE FILLING OUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE. I do not know how unsick people can be asked to fill out such a questionnaire or be examined by doctors for their immunity, so I will just give up and let you people think of a solution to this illogic
e. suppose from the database, we discover that most of those who had suffered from Illness A in the past few months suffer less fatality than those who did not, then we have a basis for another solution
f. which is to deliberately infect at-risk people with Illness A so that if they catch the current epidemic, they will not die
g. this is actually the purpose of developing a vaccine for the current epidemic but vaccines take a huge effort in time and money to develop, and costs even more to inject enough people because vaccination needs expensive manufacturing of the vaccine, plus the medical facilities and staff to inject people in costly and troublesome mass exercises
h. so I propose a far more radical idea, which is to cultivate the germs of Illness A and spread it to the wider population as a cheap, effective and convenient method of 'vaccination'
i. this presumes that the Illness A is so mild that nobody, even vulnerable young or old, will die or be very sick from it
j. however, lawsuits and moral outrage could still ensue if even a few die from Illness A, so it is better to infect only those who want to be infected, in a controlled room filled with Illness A germs, which participants can simply walk through, through airtight double entry and double exit doors to keep the germs in and from escaping out. This will be cheap and easy. A participant would get a letter from his GP doctor, go to one of these centralised Infection Rooms, and simply walk through

14. Para 13d above is so important I must stress it again here. The key to fighting a new epidemic is not to study the sick but those who are unaffected even in an already-infected community, preferably with the epidemic still raging strongly. It is hard to study people who are not sick because they have no reason to present themselves for examination but they are precisely the key to why the epidemic failed to sicken them. If health authorities can devise a way to haul in large numbers of these unsick people who are likely to have been exposed to the epidemic yet remained healthy, we could find the key to defeat the epidemic, or ways to stay healthy even in the face of epidemics, that is, what are their common characteristics -- diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc?

15. On the other hand, after having surveyed large numbers of unsick people, if and when some of these do fall sick to the epidemic, it is possible that their recent past medical history may point to common characteristics THAT MADE THEM MORE VULNERABLE TO THE EPIDEMIC. This is as important as discovering what common characteristics they have for NOT falling sick. Thus, in both ways, we can better fight epidemics. Since we are going to see more and more epidemics, this surveying of large numbers of unsick people must become a standard procedure in fighting epidemics.

16. So, earthlings, some changes are needed because H1N1 and its cousins are here to stay. With these measures and a diligent public health regime, hopefully, as few people will be sickened or killed as say, dengue or some other diseases we have all learned to live with. Amen.


Idea: SOLVING BIRD FLU [late Jan 2011]

1. Quite recently, I was doing some 'solo crowdsourcing', meaning not that I went around asking many to contribute their ideas, etc, but simply googling. I googled Avian Flu and soon saw a map of avian flu outbreaks that, in addition to some Middle East or northern Africa outbreak spots, were mostly, in direction and coverage, what I thought looked suspiciously like the Northeast and Southwest monsoon area I live in.

2. This is confirmed today when I read this para:
"In 1997 an H5N1 virus surfaced in Southeast Asia, traditionally thought of as the epicenter of new flu viruses. The initial outbreak, in Hong Kong, was contained after the city ordered a cull of all poultry within its territory. By late 2003, however, the virus had returned and was rampaging through poultry flocks in China, Vietnam and Thailand and later beyond. Untold millions of birds have died from infection or been culled to stop its spread, and more than 300 people have died."

3. A bit more googling found me a more accurate Avian Flu outbreaks map, which I put on the internet as: . If you look at the map, the areas with the most red dots stretch from China-Japan-Korea down to Indonesia, that is, the exact path of the NE and SW monsoons. Not coincidentally, South Korea and Japan are now currently experiencing the most outbreaks, as indicated in the map, which by default, shows the most recent 100 KNOWN outbreaks, as stated in the preface to the map:
"Avian Influenza Map:
The NWHC Avian Influenza Map shows highly pathogenic (HPAI) low and low pathogenic (LPAI) avian influenza events from around the world and when possible links to more information about the event. By default the map shows the 100 most recent events. Each event or point is listed below the controls by date, clicking on a point in the sidebar will show the point on the map. View Instructions"

4. A bit more googling revealed more about the monsoon coverage areas and some facts, from this webpage: . It is important that you read this entire webpage because I will use several facts from it.

5. The monsoons indeed originate from pressure systems in the landmass of Siberia pushing southwest all the way down to Indonesia, and even a bit to Australia. This happens in winter due to the cooling of the Asiatic landmass covering Siberia, China, etc, creating winds blowing southwest down to Indonesia, in early Nov to early Mar. In summer, the reverse happens, so the winds blow from Indonesia, etc, to China, in May to Sep.

6. Since the winds can reach up to 40 knots, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT BIRDS WILL NOT FLY AGAINST THE WINDS, THAT IS, THEY WILL MIGRATE WITH THE WINDS [another theory? That birds migrate along strong prevailing winds?]. Additional logic says that birds migrate to warmer climes in winter, that is, with the Northeast Monsoon, that is, from wintry Siberia-China, etc, down to the tropical Indonesian islands, in the winter months of early Nov to early Mar, thereby flying from say, Siberia to Indonesia. And reverse in summer.

7. If this theory is right, which is that avian flu mostly happens along the monsoon path, we need to ask why. For example, do these monsoonal paths determine RIGIDLY the spread of known and reported avian flu? We know many species of birds fly all over the world, even to Europe and North America, but the indications seem to suggest bigger concentrations along the monsoon paths, in fact, more than that, from my skimpy research and evidence, it seems to bunch up at the ENDS of the monsoon paths, that is, at one end in Siberia-China and the other in Indonesia.

8. If so, this suggests that the reservoir of avian flu viruses are at the ENDS, that is, Siberia-China and Indonesia. Are there reports of say, big groups of birds found dead in Siberia-China or Indonesia and tested as being dead from avian flu/s? Where are the bird populations usually living in Siberia-China and Indonesia -- presumably, these bird species find it unconducive to live in areas in between because these are so dense with human populations -- so we are looking for huge flocks of bird lifes, not small flocks that can well live among men. Huge flocks probably also allow many avian flu viruses to stay alive from generation to generation undetected and there are indeed, strains of avian flu that have reappeared after being absent for decades. If there are huge numbers of birds living close together, this explains why some flus that kill off their bird hosts nevertheless can continue to survive and passed on from bird to bird [before the infected bird dies], and from generation to generation. Are there ways to test birds at both these ENDS to see if indeed, they are the reservoirs of avian flu viruses that find it congenial to stay alive and even mutate into various other mutations? Which species of birds seem to be most receptive to these flu viruses? Indonesia is tropical while Siberia-China is temperate. Which is more likely to be the reservoir breeding grounds? The islands of Indonesia are many while the area of Siberia-China is huge, but can satellite tracking be used, now that we may have narrowed down to a reasonably worthwhile research area, to locate the major nesting grounds of birds and so locate the main reservoirs of avian flu viruses?

9. If I have to choose between Siberia-China and Indonesia, I will choose Siberia, because from my first research, I read that some migratory species of birds do fly from Siberia west to Europe and we know Europe has had avian flu outbreaks, too. Thus, Siberia is the likely location of the huge flocks of birds that also house the huge reservoirs of avian flu viruses, some dating from decades back and even thought extinct. Siberia is also uninhabited, and so, ideal for huge flocks of birds to live undisturbed. Indonesia is comprised of 17,508 islands in a tropical climate and birds probably do not migrate from such tropical abundance to Europe. Also, there are no prevailing winds that may help bird migration from Indonesia to Europe, so this again points to Siberia as the origin, not Indonesia. As soon as possible, can someone or some agency do satellite imagery photos of Siberia bird sanctuaries followed by virus-testing sampling of these birds? With a view to either culling all those flocks likely to host the dreaded viruses or some other methods.

10. A good website to start this Avian Flu Containment Project is:

In the above website are details of the more famous or known bird nesting sites in Siberia. We are looking for bird nesting sites that are home to MANY THOUSANDS of birds, this being the most probable reservoir for avian flu viruses. If samples do indeed prove that many of the birds in these Siberian nesting grounds test positive for avian flu viruses, then some containment methods include:

a. breaking all the eggs thus culling entire flocks after one generation [this may not work if the birds lay eggs in Indonesia and not Siberia]
b. taking away all the eggs after accurately labelling each, by species, area taken from, etc, and only incubating those found to be virus-free [when samples from this group test negative]
c. destroying the birds' habitats so they cannot gather in huge numbers thereby allowing viruses to freely pass from bird to bird. This assumes that when the birds congregate in smaller groups, they are less likely to become hosts to viruses. Thus, this breaking up of huge flocks into small flocks can be a good containment strategy. Destroying these big bird habitats can be done easily using bombs or missiles or simply bulldozers. This will not wipe out the birds, only force them into small groups which, hopefully, are unconducive to passing viruses to each other, and down to new generations.
d. poisoning the waters
e. capturing and culling the birds. There is no need to fear the extinction of any species because birds, like all lifeforms, can continue their species even if 90% of them are culled. Life is tenacious and will continue, and since birds live naturally, have evolved to survive naturally, so culling even 90% will not extinct them. Thus, by destroying their big bird habitats, thereby forcing them into small flocks, there is less likelihood of them being hosts to viruses. This breaking up of big flocks into small flocks will probably have to done regularly, since a one-time bombing, etc, will not prevent them from regrouping. This idea is probably proven when we look at bird species that live in cities or among Man. These small flocks usually do not host viruses -- I may be wrong, so please check this assumption.

11. In Siberia, we are looking for bird nesting grounds, almost certainly with water nearby, that are home to many thousands of birds. Since birds do not have big lungs and probably do not cough even when infected with avian flu, respiratory spreading from bird to bird is unlikely. Droppings and water are therefore the main means of infection from bird to bird. Avian flu can survive 32 days in water and 3 months in bird droppings in low temperatures. Thus, in a flock of many thousands of birds, near water, these 2 methods ensure a continuous cycle of infection and cross infections. With these in mind, it is critical that we break up these huge flocks into small flocks, to reduce such cross-infections by water, and bird droppings. FARMERS WHO USE NETS TO PREVENT CONTACT FROM WILD BIRDS THAT MAY BE INFECTED WITH AVIAN FLU NEED TO REMEMBER THESE 2 METHODS OF INFECTION THAT MAY GET THROUGH TO THEIR CHICKENS AND DUCKS, etc.

11 Assumptions in Avian Flu Solution

Assumption 1: The NE and SW monsoons blow from Siberia-Indonesia and vv. The start and end points are important
Assumption 2: That migratory birds fly WITH the monsoon winds and not AGAINST
Assumption 3: That monsoon winds blow fairly continuously, fairly strongly and in the same prevailing direction thus giving migratory birds no choice but to fly WITH these monsoons
Assumption 4: That birds migrate mostly from the cold northern hemisphere to the warmer tropical regions and not vv
Assumption 5: That the various avian flus survive and even mutate in reservoirs and not in small flocks, or individual birds
Assumption 6: That these reservoirs are in huge flocks of many thousands of birds congregating densely in certain areas, and not in small flocks
Assumption 7: That these reservoirs are in Siberia and northern China rather than Indonesia or lands in between
Assumption 8: That small flocks of say, hundreds of birds, do not form a suitable reservoir and thus unlikely to perpetuate and allow for the mutation and recombining of avian flu viruses
Assumption 9: That small flocks living in cities or among Man thus do not pose any flu dangers to Man or his livestocks, because small flocks are not good reservoirs
Assumption 10: That the non-migratory birds do not pose a danger because they don't spread the viruses all over, although they may carry the viruses and can spread to other birds
Assumption 11: That Assumption 8 is correct and that a strategy of breaking huge flocks of many thousands of birds, if proven to be reservoirs, into small flocks of hundreds of birds, WILL NOT MAKE THINGS WORSE BY SPREADING THESE SMALL FLOCKS OVER GREATER AREAS AND THUS POTENTIALLY SPREADING ANY VIRUSES THEY CARRY OVER EVEN GREATER AREAS.

12. Further to para 10a, which is on destroying birds' eggs, it is much easier to capture and breed hundreds of snakes. Snakes do eat birds' eggs when they find them, and they are skilled in finding them. So, after you have hundreds of snakes, train them a bit by feeding them intact birds' eggs, then use a helicopter to deposit the snakes at the nesting sites of the the huge birds flocks, thereby eating up many of the eggs. You will have to repeat this because most of the snakes will eventually be killed and eaten by the thousands of birds. This assumes that the huge nesting sites in Siberia and northern China are the reservoirs of flu viruses and not spread out over 17,508 islands in Indonesia.

13. If you want the snakes to continue eating the birds eggs for a very long time, then have both male and female snakes [of the same specie] so they continue breeding more snakes to eat up more eggs. If you only want a one-time egg-eating operation, then have all-male snakes or all-female snakes, so they will die out after some time. You can also have all-male snakes at first, then introduce a calculated number of females snakes to breed with the males, if you find that the birds are producing more eggs all the time even after the snakes have been introduced into their nesting grounds. It is better to use non-poisonous snakes because humans may need to go into the birds nesting grounds for research.


Ideas: CURBING FOOT & MOUTH DISEASES [late Jan 2011]

1. In solving avian flu, I probably found the magic bullet in that I deduced that Siberia and/or northern China are the source of the reservoir incubating and mutating flu viruses; and that breaking up this reservoir residing in thousands of birds, into small flocks, will eliminate infections. For Foot & Mouth Diseases [FMD], I did not find a magic bullet, so will use many small buckshots.

2. FMD is highly contagious and although of little danger to Man, causes thousands of animals to be culled in each outbreak thereby costing huge financial and economic losses. [A beef cattle weighs 400-1,200 pounds thereby costing US$400-1,200]. Viruses in droplets can survive several hours and can be blown by winds some 250km over water but shorter distances over land. Worse, viruses can survive >2.5 years in carrier cattle showing little or no symptoms; 1 year in premises and hides; 2 months in carrier deer; 15 weeks on wood, hay, straw; 10-12 weeks on feed or clothing; 8 weeks in skin fragments in winter; 4 weeks on hair and soil particles.

3. Since the virus is insensitive to cold but dies from heat, a first strategy can be to remove all animals and humans from the barns or animal stalls and irradiate the entire premises with ultra-violet light, the switch for this UV light being located on the outside of the barn/animal premises for safety to humans. The advantages of UV germicidal irradiation is that it will kill viruses easily and conveniently, whether these viruses are in the air [like in droplets], or on barn surfaces, and do it quickly and comprehensively without leaving many surfaces untreated -- and even disinfect the surfaces of irregular items like hay, straw, etc. Germicidal lamps are already widely sold and cost as little as US$100. Vets and experts can advise farmers on how often to use these UV sterilisations and this may vary depending on the level of infection risks in the country, province, district -- or even neighbouring farms, which are a direct threat. If needed only infrequently, several farmers may share a germicidal lamp. Or a farmer may lend his lamp for a small fee. Or a travelling vet may offer a disinfectant service using such a lamp, moving from farm to farm. He will likely be able to operate it best and can even be a govt service for farmers.

4. For the animals moved out from the barn, the usual spray germicides using acids or alkalis can be sprayed on their hides and limbs, even feet, then washed off with water. Acids can be 0.2% citric acid solution while alkali can be 4% sodium carbonate. Iodophore disinfectants containing acid can also be used, as can formaldehyde. Do not mix acid with alkali because they neutralise each other so become ineffective.

5. Farmer education is important so booklets, posters, and DVDs should be made carrying text, audio and visual instructions to farmers on how to keep their herds healthy. These instructions and information should also be put on the internet and farmers informed of these internet pages and what they contain, through regular reminders by post and SMS. This means that farmers' email addresses and cellphone numbers must be collected, which is useful in emergencies and outbreaks of diseases, when an SMS can quickly alert farmers and inform them what to do. Mass or broadcast SMS messages are quick, cheap and easy to send out.

6. Farmers who have access to the internet should also be encouraged to take part in Farmers' Forums, so they can communicate with each other and tell each other tips and information, as well as any outbreaks of diseases or any happenings and symptoms they don't understand. They will be more likely to participate if some govt vets and experts also participate, to answer questions from forum participants. An FAQ can be set up quickly as ready answers to Frequently Asked Questions. The govt vets and experts on the Forums can give answers and information but a HotLine that is manned 24/7 should also be set up for farmers to get instant responses to any emergencies.

7. There will be times when a farmer suspects that an animal/s may be infected, when he notices some symptoms. These suspect animals should be immediately quarantined. A cheap and easy way is to buy used ship containers which come in 20 foot or 40 foot sizes. A used container with simple modifications for the farmer, costs about US$1,200. Thus, the farmer locks these suspect animals in the container, which should be almost airtight to prevent viruses from escaping outside. UV lamps may be used here, too. An alternative is to use air purifiers that can kill germs, costing about US$160 [also using UV radiation].

8. Test kits for FMD have been developed but probably none so easy that farmers can do it themselves. This should be a goal for scientists nevertheless. Infected cattle and pigs excrete huge amounts of the FMD virus and also breathe out big amounts of it in aerosol or droplet form. So a probable goal of a Farmer DIY Kit would target faecal sample and swabs taken from the animal's mouth. If a DIY kit is available, farmers can be trained to do regular health checks on their animals. Currently, the most obvious symptom is when an animal starts limping or goes lame. Farmers must be constantly reminded that an animal/s with this symptom must be immediately isolated in the container.

9. This isolation strategy should be enlarged to neighbouring farms. Upon any farm reporting or confirming an infection, all neighbouring farms within a specified and predetermined radius must be isolated, with all people and vehicle movements in and out controlled and sterilised. This is currently being done, using sprays of germicides on vehicles entering or leaving isolation zones. It would be good to have pre-prepared signs that can be quickly placed on roads and paths leading into such Isolation Zones. Each sign will clearly state the suspected infections, in this case, FMD, with the cellphone numbers of at least 2 people in each of the isolated farms, for the visitor to call or SMS. These signs will be lit at night for better visibility and readability. The signs may be colour coded for different levels of seriousness. Thus, they will need to be updated when the threat level rises or drops. These signs can avoid unnecessary visits.

10. These Isolation Zones comprising of several farms within a specified radius will be set up only in emergencies. You may want to consider making them permanent Zones or Cells. Meaning that you would group a number of farms into a Cell, then re-make the roads and paths for easier control of, and to limit access by humans, animals or vehicles, into each Cell. This permanent measure will result in some inconvenience but will be a permanent control over paths and roads, even grazing walkways for animals. You may want to build fences or even walls to delineate each Cell. This permanent measure will help to permanently control all entry and exits by humans, animals or vehicles. Almost like a high-security place.

11. If such Cells are made, then it is possible to make such Cells self-contained, each with its own abattoirs and meat processing factory, so that animal, human and vehicle movements are reduced even further. If the Cells are big enough, and contain enough animals, this may be feasible. Thus, instead of driving the animals all over the country, movements of animals, their farmers and vehicles, will be reduced. With each Cell self-contained, infections are also reduced.

12. For tracking, record-keeping and forensics when infections occur, it may be good to have Animal Passports. This will be a thumbdrive or flash drive of 2 Gigabytes, with a tight cap so that no dirt or water can get into the drive. This drive will be dangled from an unbreakable string through a small hole in the ear of the animal [no more painful than a woman's ear-rings piercing but same precautions when piercing, namely swab with an antiseptic first and after piercing]. Farmers currently also ear-tag their animals, so this merely adds a flash drive onto the usual ear tag.

13. With a flash drive on the ear, [rather than around the neck where the drive will be subject to the animal's feeding, drinking, rolling in the mud, etc], the farmer can use his cellphone to load photos, texts, even scanned images, videos, etc, into the drive. This allows him to take photos or videos of the animal with his cellphone, then use a wire to connect his cellphone [probably micro-usb or mini-usb] to the flash drive [full usb] and transfer the photos into the drive. He can also type in notes and records into his cellphone and transfer these into the drive. Thus, he can record everything he wants, from photos at different ages of the animal, to records of the animal's movements such as being driven to a vet for tests or treatments, etc. He can even record the licence plate numbers of all the trucks used to carry the animal. Or any symptoms the animal may display, and the vet's report, etc. These vet reports can all be scanned and transferred into the drive. Thus, it can be a complete record. As complete as the farmer feels like recording. If the app for creating text and image files and transferring into the flash drive is not available, it can easily and quickly be made and downloaded into the farmer's smartphone. Reminder: make the usb plug in and out hot-swappable so the farmer can simply plug and unplug. Thus, on each animal is his entire life history, as complete as the farmer wants. If an animal is infected, his record will help forensics to find out how and where it likely got infected. And when the animal is sold or exported, the buyer can easily read the animal's entire record on HIS cellphone or a pc, using Google Translate if necessary. Since these are digital records, they can be backed up on the farmer's cellphone or pc.

14. Since FMD is so contagious, when an animal dies or is culled, it should be sealed in a body bag, to reduce spread of viruses. These body bags should be made cheap and easily available, to fit different animal sizes. Each body bag may need a wooden pole to help lever the body into the bag before zipping or sealing.

15. If the Cell idea is implemented, then, as part of being as self-sufficient as possible, a small lab with qualified personnel can also be part of the abattoir or meat processing factory. This personnel will do cheap or subsidised tests for FMD [no need for subsidy for other tests, since FMD is the main risk for causing big financial and economic losses].

16. Different countries and govts probably have different policies regarding FMD financial losses. If farmers need insurance against losses due to FMD, then insurance should be given them, from the govt if necessary. The payout should not be too high in case this discourages farmers from trying harder to reduce risks of infection.

17. Govts may want to consider mandatory check ups for animals, with fines for non-compliance. This is because FMD is not just a single-farm disaster but usually a district- or province-wide catastrophe, so may be treated like a Communicable Diseases Act for humans.

18. Govts may want to consider banning imports of live animals and allow only imports of processed meats. This may mean stricter border checks, surveillance and controls to reduce animal smugglings.

19. If imports of live animals are necessary, then perhaps limiting the imports to a few allowed countries will make for easier control. However, if one or more of these allowed countries suddenly suffer FMD infections, switching to other countries may then be harder, meaning that there should always be a B List of alternative countries in addition to the A List. All these A and B List countries should be monitored for any sign of infections. Bull semen and other fluids or parts should also be screened for infections before being released to farmers. Good Luck!

20. Further to para 6 on the Farmers' Forums, the forum webpage design should allow for members to upload photos and even videos, in addition to discussions in text form. Thus, a farmer who notices a growth or symptom or unusual physical feature on his animal can take a photo of the growth and upload it together with his comment. Other farmers or vets experts can then identify from the photo what the animal is suffering from. This is cheap and easy and allows farmers to learn from each other as well as from the vets or experts. If photos are not clear enough, a short video clip of the animal say, limping, can be uploaded for other farmers or the vets to identify what the symptom means.

21. Further to paras 12 and 13 on Animal Passports, which are just digital diaries of the animals, it is possible to make this idea even more useful as a database, with all the possibilities that databases offer, such as mining the database for informations and trends. Even though we cannot control how and whether each farmer will record enough or accurate details into the database, the sheer numbers of animals in a district or province or country are so big that valuable information can be mined from such a database, even if each farmer gives only partial and incomplete records.

22. With a database compiled from most of the digital records recorded by farmers, database analysts can obtain information such as:
"Which farm or district has the most outbreaks of animal diseases?"
"Do vaccinated animals grow more slowly?"
"Did a change in animal feed cause animals to grow faster?"
"Did adding mineral supplements to animal feed help resist infections to animal diseases?"
"Did animal diseases spread along the main roads from farm to farm?"
etc, etc, etc.

23. This database will be based on only partial and incomplete records recorded by the farmers but because there are so many animals in a district or province or country, this database will be big enough to draw many useful informations.

24. To save work compiling this database, it will be helpful if the app that the farmer downloads and installs into his cellphone is in a suitable format for later extraction into a database. For example, this app can work like this:
a. farmer downloads and installs the app into his cellphone
b. once a flash drive is connected to his cellphone for the first time, the app automatically installs a copy of the app into the flash drive
c. the app creates a sync between the farmer's cellphone and the animal's flash drive and always syncs automatically whenever the 2 devices are connected
d. when a farmer wants to write a note into the animal's flash drive, he opens the app, opens the calendar, and clicks on Today's Date, which will then record the date and time of this entry
e. once the date and time are done, the app opens options such as:
Date and Time
Symptom of Animal -- Text -- Photo -- Video
Weight of Animal
Travel of Animal by vehicle licence number
From where to where
Scanned report of vet or expert
Any change in Animal's feed
Any Other Notes
etc, etc, etc.

25. Even with incomplete records, a useful database can be compiled from which analysts can mine many useful informations that may be useful in many forensics or epidemiological uses. In addition, information so obtained may also help farmers and the livestock industries to keep healthier animals and improve methods of animal farming.












Idea: Influencing the Chinese tourist wave usage of local and US$

Rank ↓ Country ↓ International Tourism Expenditures (2007)
1 Germany $82.9 billion
2 US $76.2 billion
3 UK $72.3 billion
4 France $36.7 billion
5 China $29.8 billion
6 Italy $27.3 billion
7 Japan $26.5 billion
8 Canada $24.8 billion
9 Russia $22.3 billion
10 S Korea $20.9 billion

1. Here are some unfocused, random thoughts on China outbound tourism.

2. As the above table shows, China in 2007 was already the 5th biggest tourism spender abroad, spending some US$30b. According to an outdated World Tourism Org projection around 2005, China will be the world's biggest tourist spender by 2035, a year that should now be brought forward in view of the economic crisis in the US and EU which is impoverishing the top 4 Western countries while China continues robust GDP growth. As the above table shows, China already outnumbers Japan in outbound tourists and Chinese tourists spend as much, often more than, Japanese tourists, due to many Chinese tourists often being given money and tasked to buy [often luxury goods, a favourite shopping for most Chinese for various reasons] goods for family, relatives, friends and even neighbours resulting in the phenomenon of 'shopping for a group'. The average Chinese tourist spends US$1,000 per trip on shopping alone.

3. All this means that Outbound Tourism can be used as an economic pressure by China, either to favour and build better relations with another country, such as Taiwan [by directing or encouraging Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan] or the opposite, by reducing or discouraging visits, since China does require Exit Visas to leave the country to visit another. Even without exit visas, China can probably influence its outbound tourists. Economic pressure is often better than military pressure and far easier and cheaper, since the Chinese tourists will travel overseas anyway, and spend their monies, so channelling them here or there is extremely feasible and easy, costs nothing. Other countries are unlikely to be able to tit for tat because they cannot control or influence their outbound tourists coming into China. Control does not mean all or nothing. It can be a slight or big reduction in exit visas, or discouragement through higher taxes, levies or fees on all kinds of tourism-related applications or govt services.

4. Chinese tourists seem not to have any credit cards except for the beginning use of the China-issued UnionPay credit and debit card. If so, this could be a problem. For example, if a big proportion of the US$30b [2007 figure] spending overseas are paid for in US$, which is not surprising since many countries accept and even prefer the US$ to their own local currency, then China would need to hold at least several multiples of that proportion in US$ leading to losses if the US$ is devalued or falls. This means that if China can influence its outbound tourists and tourist agencies who pay for the tourist groups' hotel, transportation and even meals, to use local currencies, and not the US$, to pay for products and services, this will greatly reduce China banks and institutions having to keep vast amounts of physical US$.

5. On the other hand, what would be the ramifications if Chinese tourists and tour agencies are encouraged to carry the renminbi abroad and then to either settle their bills in renminbi or exchange them into the local currencies? This would internationalise the renminbi somewhat and make it more of an international currency. The 2007 figure of US$30b is set to increase many times in the next few years, given the huge % increase in outbound Chinese tourists every year.

6. Another way to eliminate the risks of China banks and institutions having to carry huge amounts of physical US$ in view of demand by Chinese travelling overseas, is to issue One-Time credit cards only for use abroad and not valid for use in China. This should be easy to arrange by Chinese banks and institutions, which can guarantee the cards and guarantee repayments to foreign merchants demanding payment. This can be a lucrative service for China banks. A simple way to issue these One-Time credit cards is to require the prospective Chinese tourist to have or put enough money into the bank either in his personal Savings or Fixed Deposit accounts -- Business or Company accounts probably not qualifying for this. He must leave a minimum sum or % until after his overseas bills are settled. Thus, this ensures that all credit card holders are solvent and not depend on credit or owe the bank for his overseas spending. After this condition is met, the bank issues a One-Time credit card with an expiry date of say 1 to 12 months, depending on how long the particular trip is and also, how often he travels abroad. Longer expiry dates would require better financial standing and maybe, a higher fee. Having a credit card is more convenient since most tourist facilities in most countries accept credit cards. Also, since all the tourist spending is thus on credit, only when the merchants forward their claims for payment would the bank then pay out, in the merchants' local currency, thereby eliminating the need to carry or hold US$. For prudence, banks would only allow total or almost total withdrawal of the initial Savings and Fixed Deposits by the tourist only after all the bills have been settled, plus a margin of a month or so for safety. Thus, a bank issuing such One-Time credit cards will get more depositors opening accounts, so good for business -- at least, for those banks allowed by the govt to issue these credit cards. With computers so advanced, it is possible to set different maximum spending limits for each card or each category of card [which could be proportionate to the expiry date]. Lost or stolen cards would be subject to much the same terms, penalties and safeguards as say, VISA cards.

7. Another way to encourage more buying of non-US local currencies and therefore to discourage buying of US$, is to levy a small fee on top of the usual exchange rate commission. In other words, if a Chinese intending to visit Thailand wants to exchange his renminbi for US$ instead of Thai baht, he pays slightly more. This should increase the China banks holdings of most other currencies and reduce its need to hold US$, thereby reducing risk of losses should the US$ devalues or falls.

8. The sum of US$30b in 2007 is big enough to look into. It will get bigger and bigger and so deserves a thorough look and review.












17 July 2009

Idea: Why China should place Confucius above the Rule of Law

RH: How Law began

From: Robert Ho (
Subject: RH: How law began
This is the only article in this thread
View: Original Format

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2004-07-10 16:02:33 PST


1. Above many courts of law is usually a statue of a woman holding a
scale in one hand and a sword in the other, usually blindfolded to
indicate that she is blind to persons of status or privilege. It is a
nice artistic presentation but sorely mistaken in point, like many
works of art created by artistic souls who do not understand the true
nature of what they are portraying. In this case, if you think that
law is the handmaiden of justice, you are sorely mistaken. Like many
myths that mankind has invented to glorify its sordid acts, like
democracy, for instance, this notion of law being justice is totally,
totally wrong.

2. How so?

3. Well, to begin with, law is not justice. I would define justice as a sense of natural justice that almost all of us are born with,
intuitive and instinctive. From early childhood, we know that if we
are good, we usually receive praise or some other tangible reward. Or, more to the point, if we are bad, we receive a scolding or even a

4. There, the sense of justice and injustice is inborn.

5. The sense of justice or natural justice is also ingrained in us
from early childhood by the inevitable squabbles with siblings. When
food or something nice like candies are dispensed to us children, we
all expect a fair share. If one gets more and the other/s less, the
shortchanged sibling raises hell. I now deem to have proven my point,
that the sense of natural justice is inborn and not taught. I believe
monkey studies should also prove my point.

6. What then, is law? if it is not a direct derivation of justice?

7. For that, let us look at the most famous laws of all, the 10

8. These seem to be the handmaiden of justice. Do they not enforce a
conduct that is just? Are they not justice?

9. No, no, no, no, NO!

10. Firstly, most of them begin with "Thou shalt not...". In other
words, they are commands or orders. Ah, orders! We begin to see the

11. In other words, laws are orders, usually prohibitions. Usually
all negatives. Many with prescribed penalties for infringements of
these orders.

12. We begin to see the light.

13. If the 10 Commandments are orders, so, too, are all other laws,
from the most ancient to the most modern. This gives us a clue as to
the true nature of law.

14. In other words, law is an instrument of control, NOT JUSTICE!
With something of a blinding flash, we realise that laws are designed
to control people, NOT to create a just and equal society.

15. Now, think back to the 10 Commandments. God gave Moses the
tablets so as to enforce his will upon his people. In exactly the same way, politicians [who make the laws] devise laws to control their people and not for any fancy notions of creating justice for all. And since all politicians are corrupt and self-serving, this means that laws are never just in the natural justice sense of the word.

Politicians devise laws to control their people and populations, to
enforce their will exactly like God gave Moses 10 Commandments to
enforce his will upon his people. In so-called democracies, the need
to get re-elected does somewhat ameliorate the corrupt natures of the
rulers so they do need to temper their laws somewhat, but still the
true nature of their laws are also for social control, not justice.

16. Why is law necessary to enforce the will of the ruler? Cannot he
simply dictate his will?

17. Well, in the olden days, long, long ago, that may have been
exactly the case. Long ago, the head of the tribe probably summarily
ordered the people around and gave verbal instructions as to what
cannot be done, for example, criminally defame him, for instance.

18. But with time and growing complexity of tribal life, no single
chief could go around giving orders and deciding who should live and
who should be tormented and tortured. It was simply too much work. So, law was invented as a generalised form of the orders of the chief.

Instead of the chief having to be brought to each alleged evildoer to
decide whether he was innocent or guilty, to be released or punished,
a written set of laws would become the generalised orders or commands
of the chief. And when the chief himself could not personally decide
all the cases, judges were invented to take his place as the decider
of guilt and punishment.

19. In time, this became law. Notice that even in our modern times,
the phrase "law and order" often go together. This close relationship
of the two shows that order is the true nature of law and not justice.

In fact, we often are puzzled at why and how some obviously guilty
persons are let off free while others receive what we feel to be
inordinate sentences. This, again, indicates that natural justice is
no longer, if it had ever been, the handmaiden of law but that order
and commands are -- in short, the instruments of social control.

20. By now, we have an elaborate system of law and the procedures of
the court. Judges even wear special gowns or even wigs to appear
infallible or to project an aura of superhuman ability. Pooh, pooh.
Underneath, they are often no smarter than you or me, especially me.

21. To sum up, if you ever had the airy fairy notion that law is
justice or has anything even remotely to do with justice, forget it!
Law's first and only purpose is social control, to enforce the will of the guy in charge, or the biggest bully. Even the playground bully
makes laws, such as how often to pay him money and how much. Or to be
careful not to talk bad about him or he will beat you up. This is the
true nature of law. If I have raised some doubts in you about the true nature of law, and set you thinking, then my time spent in writing this essay will have been very worth while.

Robert Ho
11 Jul 04
Singapore 0703*&

Posted by Robert HO nric S0197974D at 4:41 PM Links to this post

Labels: RH: How Law began

RH: :Philosophy of Law all wrong and how to put it right

From: Robert Ho (
Subject: RH: Philosophy of Law all wrong and how to put it right

View this article only

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2003-11-17 07:55:12 PST

RH: Having had about half a dozen tangles with the law, at the wrong end of the law, that is, I have ruminated about the nature of law and come to some surprising observations.

For instance, notice that law is fixatedly associated with punishment. In other words, the whole business of law is only to lay down what is NOT permissible, infringement of which draws a prescribed punishment.

Why should it be that way, or remain that way?

Why, for instance, can not law prescribe rewards for compliance with
the laws? After all, any psychologist will tell you that rewarding
good behaviour is far more effective in eliciting a desired behaviour
than punishing an infringement of a rule. The carrot, they say, works
better than the stick.

Even the statue of justice is a woman, a goddess presumably, carrying
a scale balance in one hand but a fearsome sword in the other. [She
wears a blindfold to indicate that she is impartial; but on our City
Hall and Supreme Court Buildings, if I remember right, she is NOT
blindfolded, which is very appropriate; next time you pass by, see if
I am right].

This one-sided emphasis on punishment thoroughly skews the whole
business of government, which is mostly about laying down the law and, of course, prescribing the punishment for any infringement of those laws.

For example, because of this, all leaders see themselves as Punishers, rather than as Encouragers. They spend all their lawmaking time devising punishments to, hopefully, fit all the various degrees of crimes that may be committed for any law they want to pass.

And then, having thoroughly sown the entire edifice of law with
copious declarations of what is not permissible, and the resulting
punishments thereof, leaders and governments devote the entire justice system to catching offenders, determining their guilt, and of course, laying on the punishment, which tends to be harsh in Singapore so that drug takers are forcibly interned in Drug Rehabilitation Centres, drug carriers are hanged, and many other offences have their offenders' buttocks split with a well-oiled rotan.

Think what could happen with a legal system that rewards good
behaviour as much as it punishes bad. That is, using both the carrot
and the stick.

For supreme 'good' behaviour that we want to encourage, we could give
medals, for example, in the US, giving say, the Congressional Medal of Honour to UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for being Anglo-Saxon enough to volunteer his people into a war that had nothing to do with
anyone's security, let alone Britain's, a war that is a US naked grab
of Iraq's oil and strategic location.

Or, for another supreme reward for 'good' behaviour that we want to
encourage, we could give Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, another hefty
pay rise of a million or two. Oh, I forgot, he already gave himself a
'salary' of S$2 million or so. [I put a quote mark on the word
'salary' because the ordinary meaning means 'payment for work done'
which is not the case of Lee, since he has hardly done any work for

You get the drift. Reward people for good behaviour. Like income tax
deductions for every year that they remain crime-free. Even a road tax reduction if you did not even get a parking ticket that year.

This could translate to outright cash gifts or National Vouchers
[think of a slicker name, please, readers] for sports heroes who won
big games for the country, etc, with smaller incentives for smaller
organisations like clubs, etc. Or the scientist who invented a nifty
gadget that saves lives in hospitals. Or recognition for a Mother
Theresa. [Need not be money because there're tonnes of other rewards
than money].

Wow! This could change society dramatically. This could change the
nature of government. From seeing itself as keeper of the laws to
encourager of all that is best in human nature.

Instead of keeping eyes peeled for infringers, this new law under this new philosophy will keep its eyes peeled for do-gooders. Before we know it, we could have a society of polite, considerate, even
altruistic people that each and every subsequent generation will grow
up to be, even if this present generation is a write-off.

Human nature itself could change. And, with it, the world. Did someone say that "to change the world, begin with yourself"? Before you know it, we'd all be fighting [oops, wrong word?] to be last through the door: "After you", "No, after you, please".

Children would grow up knowing that good guys win something. Schools
will be founts of encouragement where good behaviour will constantly
be proven to be better in the long run, than short-term rule-breaking

We'd all believe in Heaven again. And no priest need dwell on the
other destination.

This "emphasise the positive, not the negative" approach will be
difficult to bring about because for too long, since that idiot Moses
brought down 10 rules, law is all about the bad in people, not the
good. God should have given him other tablets. So, it was God's
original mistake. Any wonder that weak-minded non-thinkers like Lee
Kuan Yew tried to be God by being sadistic, thinking that this is

Of course, changing the world before dinner [apologies to the
PowerPuff Girls] is not done in this one posting or two. I have
planted the seed. Future generations can grow it with water and manure -- both very necessary - meaning arguments for and against.
Philosophers and lawyers and judges and lawmakers and most
importantly, people, real living breathing people, will want to put
their collective thinking caps on and see how it could work.

Who knows, when the best and most complete exposition is made, and it
is deemed a good act, the expositor may get a reward as encouragement, too?

Robert Ho
17 Nov 03
UK 1549 Singapore 2349

Posted by Robert HO nric S0197974D at 2:29 PM Links to this post

Labels: RH: Philosophy of Law all wrong and how to put it right

1. The above 2 articles I wrote years ago have questioned the most fundamental basis of law and if they have put some doubts in your mind about the nature of law and questioned your previously unquestioning notions of what law is or isn't, then gee, you are intellectually honest. If not, you are probably LIE KY, LHL or the PAP.

2. I have little time to ruminate further, except to illustrate my above articles with 3 true-life legal events that I happened to notice, not that I am interested in law or are exposed to it any more than a taxi driver.

3. The first is that of the case of Prof Shorvon : read more about it here :

What I want to point out is that when the Singapore Medical Council, egged on by LIE KY's daugher, Dr LEE Wei Ling, who took over Shorvon's post when he was forced out in disgrace, went all the way to London to file a civil suit against Shorvon, the judge acknowledged all the legal points brought by the SMC and allowed their full impact, but HE STILL ACQUITTED SHORVON. He threw out the case. This proves my point that judges and lawyers and politicians are no better or fairer in implementing justice than anybody else. British judge, too.

4. The second case also relates to the LIEs. Since LIE KY is a very careful man, and he takes excruciating pains to paint himself in the best light possible, to put on a great show, so to speak, he usually sends his best lawyers to London to ask the opinions of QCs as to whether the words complained of are indeed "defamatory" and whether LIE KY "has a case" in suing the hapless victims. Always, the QCs asked to give such opinions would pocket the huge cheques and then proclaim that indeed, the words complained of are indeed "defamatory" and that LIE KY "has a case". However, these very same QCs who proclaim that in their opinion, the words are "defamatory" and that LIE KY "has a case" never take the case in court and it is always left to the trusty PAP MP, Davinder Singh, I think his name is, an SC [equivalent to UK's QC] to argue in court.

5. The third case is simply the huge numbers of cases whose verdicts have been overturned by a higher court thereby proving that even judges don't know the law. Or the facts. And this despite both sides being given ample time and resources to prove their cases before courts which follow proper procedures of fact-finding and legal arguments. What more of the one-sided case of Robert HO who did not even know what he was being tortured for in the initial years. Nobody has ever asked for my side of the story. Nobody has ever even tried to probe into my [in]sanity and state of mind. Nobody has ever given me a chance to answer any question that may be put to me. Nobody has heard my defence, to this day.

6. So, I urge all of you who have heard the gossip and false one-sided stories about me to contact me for the full story, to give me the chance even simple income tax evaders get, and that is a fair hearing in court. If you are a Democrat or Republican Presidential contender, I would welcome your interest even more. Let's get all this into the papers. Let us light up the sky. Let us do justice.

P.S. I met my first psychiatrist in 1976 and his first report was that I was suffering from "paranoid delusions of a persecutory nature" and this probably led to the verdict of "Not guilty on ground of Unsound Mind". He continued to treat me until today, with a change of psychiatrist around 1990/1 when I was at Adam Road Hospital. At Adam, I underwent electroshock therapy, a very serious treatment that could have broken my thigh bones if they were not properly anaesthetised as the electroshock causes such great body and brain convulsions that my leg muscles could have snapped my leg bones if they were not properly sedated. If I was sane, would Dr WONG Yip Chong there have electroshocked me? If I was sane, then how come Dr WONG couldn't tell? Similarly, my regular psychiatrist, Prof CHEE Kuan Tse, has been trying to prescribe heavier and heavier doses of anti-psychotics all these decades from 1976 when you and I know I don't need such heavier doses because I am doing fine with my current doses. How come Prof CHEE cannot tell if I am sane or insane or whether I am having a relapse or not? And Prof CHEE singlehandedly trained 75% of all the practising psychiatrists in Singapore so he is not some amateur. The truth is, there is no easy test to tell sanity from insanity. All a psychiatrist has is a 15 minute interview. Plus some observation notes from the nurses in the ward, if warded. That is why you can fool any psychiatrist into thinking you are sane or insane. Indefinitely. And psychiatrists' inputs and feedback to the politicians as they draft their laws are thus far from accurate or fair. Law is an ass anyway and worse still, in Singapore, where LIE KY doesn't even bother with medical or legal niceties but just does whatever he fancies, especially when what he fancies can bring fame to himself and Singapore, a huge publicity stunt that has been worth billions. What do the Americans get out of it? Just shame, that's all. Eternal shame.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Robert HO
Date: Thu, Oct 18, 2007 at 4:13 PM
Subject: Fwd: Law, fallible judges, dishonest self-aggrandising politicians, psychiatrists who can never tell if you are [in]sane

RH: Just discovered other old essays I wrote, so here are complete collection of my ruminations on Law :
RH: Why Law is a disreputable subject

From: Robert Ho (
Subject: RH: Why Law is a disreputable subject
View: Complete Thread (2 articles)

Original Format

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2004-04-27 07:27:42 PST


1. I have ruminated again and will deign to pronounce my weighty
conclusions on the nature of Law and why it is a disreputable subject
unfit for study by good students.

2. To begin with, consider who makes laws?

3. The answer is, of course, Parliament. Or, Congress, in the US.
However, remember that Parliament, or Congress, consists of
politicians, elected often in total indifference to a huge minority or even a majority of their voters. And often elected by crook as much as by hook. With heavy donors to their campaigns often being able to put their interests first instead of the voters' interests.

4. In short, almost all politicians are corrupt.

5. This makes the laws that they pass, suspect, to say the least.
Corrupt politicians cannot be relied upon to pass laws good for the
country or the people. They can only be expected to pass laws that
keep them in power, as we have seen in Singapore, or that benefit
their campaign donors, as we have seen in the US. Thus, corrupt
politicians cannot pass good or intelligent laws.

6. This means that the entire edifice of law is bad. Since corrupt
politicians do not pass good laws, that is, laws good for the country
and its people, but only laws that perpetuate their power or enrich
themselves, law is a disreputable practice capable of great evil and
little good.

7. What little good that some laws do is entirely due to the
politicians' need to get re-elected. In Singapore, there has never
been such need and so, there has never been any good laws. Any 'good'
law in Singapore has been due more to the politicians' desire to
control and manipulate everything, rather than to do the right thing
or the thing good for the country.

8. Now, if almost all politicians are corrupt and cannot be expected
to pass good laws, then consider the nature of law-passing itself.

9. You will agree that most laws are little more than plasters to
stick to perhaps a deep societal wound, sore or condition. By that, I
mean that if the govt notices that there is too much litter, or
spitting, or toilet users not flushing the toilet after using it, it
passes a law outlawing such behaviour.

10. Thus, most laws are born out of a perceived need to outlaw
something or some acts. This is always a reactive act to a growing
social problem. Too many people jaywalking? Pass a law punishing it.
Drivers having accidents while talking on the handphone? Pass another
law. People taking drugs? Pass another law allowing for forced cold
turkey treatment in detention centres. Drug pushers? Pass another law
allowing for hanging them. Thus, most laws are reactive to current
problems. Most laws are little more than plasters to the societal

11. And over time, the whole body of law resembles a human body
covered with plasters all over, and about as effective or intelligent
a way of keeping the body in good health and vitality. Let alone
develop the body into a really fine specimen of life and meaningful
existence. Remember that most politicians are not lawyers and so, are
fully capable of passing bad laws, evil laws, and even illegal laws
that are sometimes overturned in court. Blair and LKY were lawyers but are just as incapable and unthinking as non-lawyers.

12. Thus, there are many bad, evil, wrong and even illegal laws in
almost every country except in totalitarian ones where no independent
judiciary exists to challenge such laws, or an intelligent public
question such laws. We have only to look at the laws that have been
overturned in court challenges and outdated laws that often need to be repealed in the light of current society, to realise that law as an institution, is far from perfect or even competent as an instrument of govt.

13. Since society is changing faster and faster, often with new
technologies, and law is always playing catch-up, being reactive
rather than anticipatory, this means that law is becoming less and
less competent for the proper regulation of society. We have only to
look at the business and accounting scandals of the big businesses in
the US in the past few years to see this.

14. Thus, as society grows more complex and change comes faster, new
institutions growing perhaps out of law or separately, may be needed
to cope.

15. Thus, to recap the last few points, putting a law [plaster]
everytime there is a new problem [societal condition] means that there is no central vision [the whole body] in law, only a hotch-potch of plasters covering the body instead of a whole-body holistic solution or central vision. If there could be a central vision which then determines how the plasters and other treatments and ameliorations can be applied, the health of the whole body politic may be much improved.

15. To take another tack, consider the Constitution. This is the
closest to a central vision for law underpinning all laws passed by
Parliament. [Singapore does not really have a Constitution since the
PAP majority can and has changed it as easily as passing an
anti-spitting law, and with about as much debate or reverence].
However, the Constitution is usually a legalistic document and usually just another set of laws that may be repealed, amended, or added to, by Parliament exactly like any set of laws. As such, it does not provide for a central vision.

16. So, perhaps, for more democratic countries like the UK and the US and most EU countries, especially where there are flourishing 2-party democracies, a Sub-Constitution may be established. Or as many
Sub-Constitutions as there are real parties contending for majority
govt. There needs to be one for every party because there can never be total agreement on what the central vision should be. If there is
total agreement, then it is likely to be so basic that it would be
useless as a guiding vision.

17. This Sub-Constitution or central vision for each party, would be
simply amended by simple majority, unlike the actual Constitution,
which requires two-thirds majority. From this central vision would
flow all laws passed by the party in power, for example, whether to
nationalise industries or privatise them. Whether to foster
independent trade unions or favour companies. Whether to have free
medical care or partially or fully paid for by patients. Whether to
have free schooling up to university. Whether to have a totally free
media or some control. How and when to go to war. Etc.

18. These central visions would be a more permanent statement of each party's platform. A kind of permanent platform. They will not be party manifestoes because party manifestoes change too quickly and are subject to becoming mere election blandishments.

19. These central visions would be an instant summary of what
policies or set of policies a winning party would legislate for. While manifestoes would change quickly and tactically, these central visions would be more permanent and the party in power would have to be seen to legislate according to its central vision, hence the need to have it committed in a Sub-Constitution. If the incumbent party passes a law that can be demonstrated to be against its central vision, the courts may challenge it. Of course, some of the articles in central visions of opposing parties may be exactly the same. But there would be enough differences to tell quickly what each party stands for, and to hold that party to its central vision, by law, if necessary. Party manifestoes are often abandoned when the party gains power. This central vision would be harder to break. It also serves the useful purpose of distinguishing the parties, especially when the voters do not follow politics closely enough, like most voters everywhere.

20. In other words, the voters need only look, or be reminded of, the central vision of a party to know what they are voting for.
Manifestoes will then only be the steps to achieve the central visions and may be tactically devised to win elections. A party would have a Party constitution but once in power, it cannot be held to its
constitutional promises. It can even do the reverse of what its
constitution promises. However, the central vision, as a
Sub-Constitution, ensures that no legislation passed by the incumbent
party can go against it. The courts will ensure this since the
Sub-Constitution has the force of a Constitution subject to
interpretation by the courts.

21. If nothing else, this Sub-Constitution will clarify and simplify
politics. Politics today in almost all countries does not have a big
following even among the voters most affected by their govt. Apathy,
lack of time or interest are common everywhere. Also, most parties are becoming closer and closer in their policies often abandoning any
ideologies they may have started out with. This Sub-Constitution
should clarify and simplify the business of choosing a govt the voter
can live with and ensure the kind of legislation and thus government
he voted for.

22. It would also help to create a new political environment where
policies and issues are deciding factors instead of personalities. The Sub-Constitution will be the major electoral differences facing voters choice rather than personalities. It will therefore focus on
intellectual debates rather than personality attacks. Policies and
government rather than how a candidate appears and speaks. This can
only be good for voters, the govt, the country and ultimately,
democracy itself.

23. The articles below are from earlier postings and are part of my
original thinking on the topic.

Robert Ho
27 Apr 04
UK 1522 Singapore 2222

From: Robert Ho (
Subject: RH: Expiry dates for all laws?
This is the only article in this thread
View: Original Format
Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2004-01-22 18:28:24 PST

From: Robert Ho (
Subject: Re: How sacrosanct are our laws ?
View this article only
Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2003-09-30 08:36:17 PST (SLICER) wrote in message news: ...
> Like all other ' current ' topics, the recent case of a youth
> executed for drug trafficking will be debated and as usual , the
> debate will fall into two groups. Was he really guilty or not
> guilty?.
> One group would content - " well if he is guilty, then he should be
> punished, The other side would then counter arguing on the
> technicalities.
> This would go on for a few days and then some other 'hot' news item
> takes center stage as replacement. There are umpteen number
> of cases which raises questions of a fundamental nature, if allowed
> to.
> The game starts all over again only when another similar case of
> justice or its miscarriage of it grab the headlines.
> The sad part of all this is that the REAL and FUNDAMENTAL issues
> are not addressed at all. They get to be ignored totally by the
> constant barrage of 'guilty or not guilty ? ', crime and
> punishment debate.
> What we should be asking ourselves is about the very basis of the
> laws that are on the statute books. We fail to do that all the
> time.
> As a nation we pay a heavy price for this ignorance.
> How are the laws enacted ?. Are they just written down into the
> books and decreed as laws, by force of unquestionable authority of > an omnipotent state ? - " This is the law, you better obey it or
> else ".
> If this is the case, then indeed, a big gaping flaw already exists.
> Laws are based on enshrined constitutional rights and principles.
> Which again takes its root from the principles of natural justice.
> They are subject to review and determined to see none of them
> violate the principles of natural justice or constitutional rights.
> Then again, it does not stop there. It becomes law only through
> a parliamentary nod. But the parliament must be duly elected body,
> through YES, a free and fair election, to grant it legitimacy in
> the first place.
> This is a very important part of the justice system.
> It is the root from which the secondary branches such as the legal > as well as the judicial system take their directions and guidance.
> A law is not sacrosanct, holy or final, unless it is thus vetted
> out.
> Over the past three decades, we have been brainwashed and beaten
> into accepting as our natural duty, whatever is shoved down our
> throats.
> Even questioning the authors of these laws was considered illegal
> or not acceptable behavior. So like Pavlov's dogs, we have become
> used to telling ourselves " this is the law, we must accept it ".
> No further arguments, please.
> As long as these state of affairs continue, there is not much
> point in debating issues of 'guilty or not guilty'.
> The real culprit that should be in the dock for examination, is the
> law itself.
> There are no constitutional rights for the citizens.
> There are no free and fair elections.
> There are no principles of natural justice even taken into
> consideration
> All what we have here is ' This is the law " .
> To be a first world country, these issues need to be addressed
> first and foremost.
> That is what primarily makes a developed nation and a first world
> country above anything else.
> Merely having BMWs and large flat screen TVs does not place us in
> the first world. Let us not fool ourselves.

RH: Many good points, food for thought. How about if the world places an 'Expiry Date' on each and every law that is passed [by necessity also having to put Expiry Dates on all old laws, too]? That would firstly, enshrine the important point that laws are only temporary 'solutions' to current problems in society and not Moses' 10 Commandments'-type 'for all time' solutions.

By having all laws as temporary solutions, we allow ourselves to
acknowledge that human nature and morality, ethics, values, etc, are
also non-permanent and non-rooted in fundamental human nature, AND CAN CHANGE, THEREBY REQUIRING CHANGING SOLUTIONS WITH TIME.

Once we acknowledge that laws are mere contrivances to solve current
problems, we disabuse ourselves of the notions that somehow laws are
permanent and therefore human beings are of permanent natures. For
example, recently, a Muslim in UK killed his teenage daughter for
going with white boys, an 'honour killing' that, of course, cannot be
understood by the white judges. By not over-regarding the law, we
improve its effectiveness and powers.

See law as temporary solutions, like say, a company's rules on
overtime pay rates, or release of information to outsiders, or wearing of casual wear on Fridays, etc, and society will be better off. Paradoxically, the law will then, shorn of its pretention to eternal rightness, be better obeyed and enforced. Then, lawmakers will not enjoy this Godlike powers of making permanent rules for the obedience of all peoples for all eternity.

Expiry Dates on every law will require a relooking into every law when the law is about to expire. Relooking will require deep thought on whether the law is still needed in the light of current times
[Singapore's Internal Security Act will, of course, need to be
rejustified instead of being allowed to continue indefinitely]. There
will be debate. There will be agonising. There will be pressure groups for and against the Renewal of the law/s. All this can only be good for the country. Good for the legislature [otherwise they have nothing to do but collect their MPs pay for nothing, except the infrequent warming of the Parliament seat once only a few times a year, while nodding to sleep].

Expiry Dates will reinforce the notions that all things in society are temporary, from standards of porn and censorship, to drugs use and abuse, to strictures governing relations between state and individual, individual and individual, corporation and individual, etc.

Different laws will, of course, have different Expiry Dates. Some laws will be fairly 'permanent', others can be expected to have a short shelf life. This is good because it will require detailed study and analysis by judges, lawyers, sociologists, philosophers, etc, not just politicians. This call for expert consideration, plus debate in the media and awareness of the issues by citizens, will all lead to better behaviour, which is what law is all about. Laws are only for the regulation of behaviour or the encouragement of lawful behaviour. With such close study on every law, due to the need to justify its very existence, its term of reference, its shelf life, better laws will be created.

What do you think?


RH: Slicers' post and my thread have argued for a look at what the
law is and what it should be. Just to add a short note: if a victim of a crime, for good reason, does not want 'justice' to be meted out to the offender, then the State has no business in insisting on meting out 'justice' when such meting out hurts her as much as the offender!

Thus, it is the height of the ridiculous to insist that 'justice' as
defined by the powers that be and inflicted by the powers that be,
even if it hurts her, must be carried out irregardless. Thus, she becomes a victim twice over, once by the offender which she has already forgotten but suffers another by the powers which totally distorts her life. Thus, it is Moses Complex at work here, not 'justice' and only those with little understanding of their own psychology and need to play God can justify such a vicious campaign of hate, torture and humiliation. There, the truth is out. It is ultimately not 'justice' but a power play of the most vicious.

Robert Ho
23 Jan 04
UK 0227 Singapore 1027*%26start%3D20%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26group%3Dsoc.culture.singapore.*

Posted by Robert HO nric S0197974D at 2:55 PM Links to this post

Labels: RH: Why Law is a disreputable subject
RH: Father Figures and the Moses Complex

From: Robert Ho (
Subject: RH: Father Figures and the Moses Complex
View: Complete Thread (2 articles)

Original Format

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2004-01-19 06:35:17 PST


Ever wondered why most human organisations like States, Nations and
Kingdoms are usually run by one man?

Why couldn't States and Nations be run by a council of wise men or a
partnership of say, 2-3 men?

Ever wondered why most rulers are men, with women distinctly a rare
species, when they make up half of the human race?

Ever wondered why this one-man rule is the rule even in smaller human
organisations like clubs and societies?

I don't believe that a council of wise men or a partnership of 2-3 men cannot work. Why can't there be co-Presidents instead of just one
Idiot President, like Bush? If there were co-Presidents, the US
wouldn't be able to inflict on Iraq the sorry mess it had done.

Why can't there be co-Prime Ministers in Singapore, for instance?

Why must there be only one supreme ruler?

My point is, since absolute power has such powerful ramifications to
the society and country ruled, such power should better be split among 2-3 equal co-PMs or co-Presidents. It is entirely workable. Especially now with better communications technologies and better ways of working and arriving at policies and decisions. For example, joint authoring of papers is entirely feasible and common now, with modern computers and writing software.

Similarly, reports are easily copied on photocopiers and multiplied
exactly to give every joint PM or President equal access. There is
nothing to stand in the way of co-PMs and co-Presidents, etc.

Joint TV press briefings or addresses to the nation could very well be done by joint PMs and joint Presidents, for instance. In private
cabinet meetings, it is even easier to discuss policies and actions,
etc, both as a group and by joint PMs or joint Presidents. Nothing
difficult at all.

So, why the continuing one-man rule?

The answer, I believe, lies deep in the most fundamental unit of
society -- the family. Every family has a father, a mother and
children. Sometimes, there are the grandparents as well.

Thus, in this most fundamental unit of human organisation, the father
is the one who rules. And as father, he sets the rules by which the
rest of the family may live by, especially the children. He enforces
the rule by force [spanking] if necessary and by withholding food and
privileges. He can play favourites, and choose to favour one against
the other siblings. Thus, he is the most powerful person in the family unit.

He is the Father Figure.

And from this sole supreme ruler in the most basic unit, other human
organisations copy the structure of this family unit, so that, today,
from clubs and societies to the State itself, only one man may be
found to be ruling the organisation or State.

Thus, one-man rule is a throwback to the past when the man of the
family was the sole economic provider [although it is probable that
the woman of the house was as important in that she was the one who
gathered crops and cooks the food]. She, nevertheless, plays a
subordinate role, having little say in the ruling of the family.

Thus, this relic of the past has continued to this day, with the
Father Figure firmly established as the only ruler model, from clubs
to States.

Why should it?

Why cannot a council of wise men work? Why cannot a partnership of 2-3 men [and women] work? There is no reason at all, except that probably no one thought of it until today, with this my posting.

Father Figures enjoy power. They make the rules, just like the PM and
President make the rules by which all must live. Some enjoy it so much they will kill and murder and act viciously to gain power and then to enjoy using or abusing that power. It feels God-like to make rules for all others to obey and even more God-like to punish those who infringe the rules or even to question the rules.

Thus, a key aspect of the Father Figure is the Moses Complex. I call
it this because of the 10 Commandments that Moses was supposed to
bring down from the mountain. Rules, again.

The Father Figure who does not understand himself, [practically none
of them do], does not realise that in playing God, he is merely
engaging in simplistic pre-civilised behaviour from the Stone Ages. He thinks that it is right that, being at the top of the human pyramid, he has the right to make laws and to enforce laws. A God-given right.

Even more than making laws, it is even more fun enforcing them, to
punish those who infringe his laws. The law assumes something of a
sacrosanct nature, a big taboo which cannot, must not, be broken.
Thus, this Stone Age behaviour has been retained till now in most or
even all societies.

The Moses Complex explains many things. Why the one single ruler at
the top enjoys making and enforcing rules so much. Why it must be
enforced even when it is totally stupid. And the consequences
disastrous, even.

Every ruler, especially supreme rulers, invests his rules with a
messianic fervour. His rules are cast in stone with the backing of God himself. His rules cannot be disobeyed or challenged. He himself may not live up to his own rules but all others must. On pain of death and terrible retribution.

This also explains why there are so many dictators and near-dictators
in the world today. And why there are no co-PMs and co-Presidents in
the world today. Not because this wouldn't work but because the Father Figure is the easiest metaphor in rule. The State or society as simply an enlarged family unit. And the Father, the supreme ruler.

Much of today's ills in the world would be gone if we had more co-PMs
and co-Presidents instead of the single supreme rulers, if only
because two heads are always better than one.

The EU is the only possibility now of a system of co-Presidents. In
the EU, rotating the Presidency takes too long. There are simply too
many states in the grouping. Soon, it will be as many as 25, if I
remember correctly. A system of 2-3 co-Presidents would work there. I
see no reason why not. Thus, the EU could lead the way with a system
of co-Presidents.

As for the rest of the world, nothing much will change. The top
leaders will always want a one-man show. The Father Figure from the
Stone Age. A throwback to the past. An inabliity to think and innovate in the most important arena of life -- the ruler.

Father figures love one-man rule. It is almost God-like to make rules, like the 10 Commandments. And to enforce obedience to these rules. Thus, much of the ills of the world arise from one-man rule. There are far too many dictators and erstwhile dictators. Far too many supreme rulers. Just by having one other co-PM or co-President could make a lot of difference to the world. For one, policies and decisions need not be tied to one man and his ego, but would stem from a joint rulership, which would automatically de-emphasise any one man's ego and devolve onto the more pertinent issue as to whether that decision or policy is the best for the country.

The Moses Complex is deeply etched in the human mind. From the Stone
Age father who made the rules by which his family lives to the present day Moses. Little has changed. Surprisingly little. Where are the theorists and philosophers?

To end, it is depressing that so little has changed in rule from the
early days till now. The Greeks invented democracy but that was
thousands of years ago. As for dicators, there have always been
dictators and supreme rulers. Why has there been so little innovation
in governance? Why no big ideas? Why no questioning, even, of the
present systems, which clearly are not working.

Is it that difficult to innovate against the natural 'bend' of the
human being? And lead him away from the Stone Age Father Figure with
the Moses Complex to a more civilised, efficient and more workable
system of rule?

After all, this is the 21st Century.

Robert Ho
19 Jan 04
UK 1435 Singapore 2235*&start=160&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&group=soc.culture.singapore.*&

Posted by Robert HO nric S0197974D at 3:47 PM Links to this post

Labels: RH: Father Figures and the Moses Complex


Why China should place Confucius above the Rule of Law [this new part in bold]

1. Please read this new part in bold in context with my earlier thoughts above, esp the points that firstly, laws are almost all negative, prohibitions and never positive or encouraging and secondly, laws are reactive and piecemeal, being passed only after some evil has been identified or has happened, and refers only to that single, specific evil and thus piecemeal like a plaster, so cannot be a central or complete vision to promote a whole, healthy body.

2. The Chinese probably realised this millennia ago when Confucius [551 to 479 BCE] taught his famous moral and ethical teachings. It is interesting to speculate whether Confucius invented all his teachings or simply compiled them all from existing precepts already written by others or already practised widely by the Chinese. It is also interesting to speculate whether the huge sway of Confucius to this day among all Chinese is due to the power and logic of his precepts or due to cunning Emperors and officials who saw their value in maintaining an orderly society, and hence, promoted them as much for their own control as well as societal good.

3. Whatever, the genius of the Confucius system is that it solves the 2 big problems I identified above in para 1. For example, by providing a moral and ethical framework for all Chinese -- as individuals, as family members with different relations to one another, relations between fellow Chinese of equal rank or standing, or between the Emperor and his people, Confucius put a complete, central vision of what a Chinese should be or aspire to, whether he is an Emperor, official, businessman, commoner, father/son/brother, etc. A kind of Perfect Man, in each and every role he may be. This is the Central Vision so lacking in the Rule of Law. A Chinese need only live life according to Confucius' precepts and automatically, will be perfect and thus never run foul of the law. In other words, laws are not even needed. Society would automatically be orderly, harmonious and fair [all these are related since you cannot have order without fairness or harmony without order].

4. Confucian thinking has been so deeply embedded into every Chinese and Chinese culture that China's 1.3b people today do less crime than the 300m people in the US and this is not due to harsh punishment or repressive communist control. It is thanks to Confucius. Proof of this are the big overseas Chinese communities living in the West and other countries. They do far less crime than other comparable foreign immigrant communities.

5. If you accept my logic, then it follows that China, with a huge 1.3b pop, will do well to keep or reinforce the force of Confucianism rather than rely on the Rule of Law, which is overhyped and over-regarded. All other countries in the world except China, Taiwan, Hongkong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and some of the IndoChina countries, do not have Confucius and therefore need the inferior Rule of Law, which is all they have for society organisation. The Chinese have Confucius and so should strengthen Confucianism and find ways to integrate Confucianism into the Rule of Law, ideally, even to place it at the apex of the Rule of Law. In other words, Rule of Law should be invoked only after Confucianism has failed.

6. In America, the Rule of Law has failed and failed disastrously. There, the Rule of Law has not prevented the US from having the highest crime rates in the world, in history. The jails are numerous and full. The average American will likely commit crime if he has a good chance of escaping the law. Since law [as in para 1] is piecemeal and reactive, many crimes are not even recognised in time or outlawed and thus, disasters like the current financial crisis happen.

7. Although China has had written laws for millennia, the term Rule of Law is Western and its concepts are Western. This by no means, means it is superior, the best or even worthy of being adopted by China or the world. They are simply making do with what they have, because they do not have our superior Confucius system. For example, they also have the concept of Human Rights, not because they thought of it first, or because they are smarter or more humane and civilised, but because human rights abuses were/are so rampant in the West that in horrified reaction, they had to develop and define the concept of Human Rights. In the East, we are more civilised and always have been, so don't abuse human rights and consequently, didn't invent the concept of Human Rights. Just like the Chinese didn't invent Fast Food because all our roadside-type foods are already fast, usually cooked in less time than a MacDonalds hamburger. So it was left to the West to invent Fast Food. The moral of the story is, don't copy everything from the West esp America. Because they are heading for collapse. Just copy the obvious superiorities, such as computers, internet, free markets [but not all, be very careful], some capitalism [but tempered with socialism or communism], reasonably honest media, reasonable personal freedoms to pursue happiness as long as the pursuit of such does not infringe on others [I almost wrote "rights of others" but Rights is another Western, Rule of Law concept that China should debate deeply before accepting it, if ever].

8. America has not always been in systemic collapse. Like their more backward cousins in Europe, they had had the Christian work [and other] ethics, just like the rest of the world has 'conscience' and this worked fairly well. Then, they started innovating and developing farther and faster, developing the most complex society ever, changing faster and faster, until their laws and institutions like their govt fell far behind such rapidly and dangerously innovating big businesses like the banks, social changes like relations between people and families like the gays, medical ethics in advances like organ transplants and stem cell tech, etc, to what you see today. In short, the Rule of Law has failed because NO GROUP OF MEN, HOWEVER BIG, HOWEVER INTELLIGENT AND WELL-MEANING, CAN ANTICIPATE OR RESPOND FAST OR WELL ENOUGH TO RAPIDLY CHANGING SOCIETY TO GOVERN IT ADEQUATELY. When politicians cannot even do SMS, MMS or set up a wireless lan, or understand carbon trading or caps, etc, everybody is in trouble.

9. Along the way, America developed the most 'advanced' Rule of Law ever. So today it has the most lawyers. Every transaction is done to a mass of legal contracts, nothing left to trust or the olden days handshake and honouring one's word. This emphasis on the Rule of Law, or rather, the letter of the contract, means that once you figured out a loophole in the contract, it becomes fair game to take every advantage of it, fair or not. It is also enforceable in court. All this eroded trust, honouring one's word, and fair play. It became a game where winning is all that mattered, no matter how unfairly. In the movie Syriana, one man expostulated to the other "But that's why we have laws -- we have laws so that we can work around 'em!" And since the politicians are corrupt, cater to their self interests and those who funded them or lobbied them, these corruptions compound their inability to keep pace with or even understand the rapid changes in society, leading to tragic consequences for the Rule of Law. Thus, not only is the Rule of Law a failure, govt is also a failure, esp the model of US govt being pushed as an exemplar for the world. Those in China who argue for democracy towards the US model should have their heads examined. China must find its own way, its own form of democracy, maybe the Govt By Referendum form of democracy I have advocated in my blog and to Hongkong's Donald TSANG, which, incidentally, is not incompatible with China's current form of govt, requiring only minor, technical changes.

10. Now comes the hard part, of which I have no confidence I will make sense. If Rule of Law is inadequate, how to improve it? I suggest that firstly, the Rule of Law be de-emphasised. This means that someone suing on the basis of the letter of the contract may not be awarded the lawsuit if the judge and a competent jury think otherwise. In other words, the INTERPRETATION of the judge and jury would be more important. This is only common sense as a group of [hopefully] unbiased and intelligent judge and jury, after hearing all arguments, would make a far fairer judgment than merely ruling on the words and sentences drafted into the contract. Extending this example to criminal cases in which a law is interpretated, the letter of the law should not decide the case. Rather, the INTENTION of the law should be guessed at. This can be difficult. For example, it is not enough to divine the Intention of the law drafter but to go beyond to ask what SOCIETY GOOD did he have in mind when drafting the law? This is quite Confucian because Confucius taught not only about how a subject should behave towards an Emperor and the State but how the Emperor should behave towards his subjects. In other words, the Emperor is also bound by Confucian precepts to be a good Emperor.

11. This would be inefficient because most trials would then probably debate the Society Good of a law before applying it and this actually would be modifying the law through interpretation. In dictatorships and rigid govts, this would be a no-no but if China were to adopt this, it would lead to probably the fairest legal system in the world and in history. I have written about Why Govts Should Almost Never Be Efficient in my blog, which explains why inefficient trials are good. Trials also serve an educational, news, even entertainment, thereby deterrent purpose in modern societies with active media and internet. This means that feedback from the public during a trial should be allowed, not blocked. There is a danger of Trial By Media but the positives include the fact that public attention forces every participant in the trial, from judge to lawyers to jury, to do a better job. Without public attention, trial judges, lawyers and juries are often derelict in their effort and duty. Public attention means that even the President of China may be watching and this is salutary. All trials should be televised by official media or videoed by bloggers or the family members who may want to point out mistrials. This is not revolutionary. All courts keep records of the trial, usually in written transcripts and sound recordings, so this is merely updating it to 21st Century media.

12. To make trials faster and more efficient, and above all, FAIRER, all accused should be allowed to ask for a lie detector test. Modern lie detectors include polygraph machines and even truth serums. While their accuracy is not 100% a combination of these, plus repeated experiments, can be taken into account by the judge, jury, lawyers and the watching public. The accuracy of each device, plus general warnings about relying solely on such devices to determine guilt, should be repeated on each day of each trial.

13. There is one aspect of the Rule of Law which is sometimes cited as its justification, and that is to foster Certainty in business transactions, from foreign investments to deals between companies or individuals and companies. But certainty does not rely solely on the Rule of Law. Certainty is a function of Fairness. And you can achieve Fairness through a Confucian-based Rule of Law. If a foreign business or investor sues in a Chinese court, as long as justice is done and fairness is openly seen as the goal of the court and the entire Chinese judicial system, confidence in the courts and the law will result. There is no need to stick to the letter of the contract. In any case, legal contracts are now worded in such dense legalese that no ordinary person understands it. And there is the question of which language will be the legally binding language of the contract, which adds to the uncertainty of sticking strictly to the letter of the law as against intention and fairness. This is another unfortunate result of over-reliance on the letter of the law. In some cases, a company may have an unfair advantage or clause/s simply because it has a cleverer lawyer drafting the contract than the counterparty. Or a bank cleverly disguises its high-risk bonds as low-risk through dense legalese no buyer can understand, and drafts legal clauses to escape penalty. In such cases, in China's court, there will be redress and justice, but not in a Western court. Allowing any media, esp the foreign media, to televise and video the court proceedings will also greatly increase confidence in China's courts.

14. You in China may not realise the extreme versatility of the English language compared with Chinese. English is a language made for liars and spin while Chinese is far more straightforward and honest. Thus, contracts and laws written in English are capable of very different interpretations and great exactitude must be expended to make it as exact as possible for legal purposes. Even translated into Chinese, this slippery language of English may still be very difficult to pin down so it is far better not to rely on the exact letter of the words in the contract and far better to interpret the Intentions and thus strive to be fair and deliver true justice. This language problem is yet another argument for my Confucian-based Rule of Law. Furthermore, not all foreign investors in China are American or British. There are also Japanese, Germans, French, Arabs and many other languages from the rest of the world. It is absurd for everybody to use English when both counterparties are not English-speaking. So, a court system that frees itself from the constraints of language sentence and grammar and focusses on truth, honest intentions and fairness will be far superior.

15. There is a notion that courts should merely apply the law, not MAKE law. This is cited as the Separation of Powers Doctrine. Let me point out that courts and judges debate law and crime, guilt and innocence, on a daily basis and so are infused with the richest body of experience and expertise on crime and punishment unlike politicians, no matter what their exalted titles. Politicians are further compromised because they have to politick, compromise, horse-trade, listen and even obey special interests and lobbies, and worse, are usually rich elites who have no experience or understanding of how the rest of their people and societies live their lives. Thus, their understanding of their people and societies are far inferior to the courts and judges who daily deal with these. A proposed law may be debated only days or at most, a week in Congress or Parliament, then passed and forgotten by the politicians while the courts and judges debate and study its every word and comma in great detail daily. So who has the richer experience and even expertise -- since most politicians are not even lawyers? Furthermore, a law, once passed, is forgotten by the legislators but continues to be enforced by the police, prosecutors and courts even though this law may be totally outdated and irrelevant. Congress and Parliament do not have my suggestion of setting expiry dates on all laws to ensure they stay relevant, current and above all, FAIR. If courts and judges were to Interpret law, thereby modifying and even making it, every law that seeks to be applied would be scrutinised and have to be justified, thereby ensuring its continuing relevance. Congress and Parliament cannot do this. Only the courts can perform this important function.

16. All this probably means that in considering and drafting every law in Congress and Parliament, the INTENTION of the law must be considered, debated and expressly defined and written as the first part of every law. Then the rest of the law may be written as now. But in the courts, the judges and lawyers would carefully and primarily first consider and place uppermost in importance, this said Intention of the law, then decide guilt and punishment to serve such Intention, rather than as now, according to the letter of the law. Such Intentions can refer to say, keeping order in society, adjudicate between competing interests, set conditions for businesses, define rights of children, minorities, handicappeds, groups such as gays vs non-gays, the powers of provincial, state and even the national govt, etc. All this will reduce the supremacy of Congress, Parliament and politicians and elevate the courts into more than just the current tool to enforce the will of the politicians into becoming a true institution of justice, in the natural justice sense of the word. This is OK because politicians are the problem, not the solution. And the world will be a better place.

17. My ideas will also make Congress and Parliament better institutions and literally force politicians to become better, too. This is because they will not simply make law in their usual politicking, self-interested, compromising, horse-trading, special interests and lobbies dominated fashion, but will have to focus on what is best for society and country -- or state, in the case of state govts. This will help greatly to keep them honest. Further helping to keep them honest will be the courts, where with this new system, the prosecutors and especially the defence lawyers, and the judge and juries, will keep asking and debating the INTENTION/S of the law. No longer is it enough to do the current lazy, if efficient thing, which is to merely apply the letter of the law. There will be more and even agonising debate on broad ideals of what is best for society. At first, every law will be questioned down to its fundamental basics, of why such a law is good for society, why and how it should be applied to achieve social good. Thus, firstly, the politicians will be forced in Congress and Parliament to be honest, then secondly, the courts will help keep them honest by constantly querying their Intentions. Prosecutors and defence lawyers would also keep debating the common good and society good. Ideals would come into both Congress and Parliament and also into every court. Lawyers and especially judges would not only have to be trained in law but also know some broad ideals of the social arts and sciences. But with time, practice and precedents, all cases would soon be dispatched with more efficiency because broad parameters would already be established.

18. I have critiqued the PIECEMEAL, REACTIVE, BELATED, HAPHAZARD AND ONCE-OFF way of current lawmaking. These deficiencies make Law one of the least intelligent inventions of mankind, not surprising since it was invented by rulers-bullies/strongmen and not wise men or philosophers. A further defect is that laws are once-off but for all time, completely permanent until revoked. Obviously, since society is constantly changing, and nowadays changing very rapidly, a permanent law, especially if interpreted strictly to the Letter, is soon outdated and even counterproductive in addition to probably being ineffective as well. Thus, permanent laws are now a bad idea, if it was ever good. What is needed are laws that can evolve and change with society, society ideals and new understandings of itself, as well as new wisdoms. Since all these are works in progress, it follows that laws must also be works in progress because that is the only way laws can keep pace with the ever changing and rapidly changing society. And the only way it can stay fair and relevant and obeyed, because there are too many stupid laws that nobody obeys any more because they are obviously stupid. This acknowledgement that laws are a work in progress will lead to a better respect for laws in general and an appreciation that laws are an institution for improving society and not merely a hotchpotch of prohibitions -- and judges would not have to put on airs, ceremony, robes and wigs to enforce a false respect and respectability. I have also written about how the current laws lack a central vision that can posit the ideal/s that society needs and wants. With my Intentions doctrine, wherein every law is headed with a statement of Intentions, there arises a Central Vision of sorts. You cannot write a statement of Intention without having in mind What Society Should Be or what a perfect society should be. Thus, when all the Intentions in every law are put together, a partial Central Vision appears, necessarily incomplete because it is a work in progress and constantly, organically adapting to changing society mores, from porn to gays, in part defined by lawmakers but also modified and remade by the courts in interpreting it. This partial Central Vision thus comes into existence, whether through deliberate debate in the legislatures and courts, or as unspoken backdrop to the legal thinking behind the passing and interpretation of the laws. Because this Central Vision is thus more formalised instead of the current nebulous, even confused ambiguity, countries can make and interpret their laws more intelligently. For example, China would probably base its entire legal structure on Confucian ethics, which is already in every Chinese. Other countries in the West may base their central vision on democratic, liberal values and rights including human rights. Muslim countries may base their central vision on Islamic beliefs and practices. This is not revolutionary. It is in fact, the practice already as you would know if you commit an offence in an Islamic country. I have merely articulated, defined and extended it to its logical conclusions. This implies that there are no or few universal laws, and international laws must survey ALL legal jurisdictions to compile what are truly universal. This would be good because such a survey would lead to better understanding of what are truly universal values and laws and which are merely Western preoccupations, as is currently the case. With truly universal values and laws established, the world would then be ready for truly International Law. Many writers have written Utopias but these all have the drawbacks of being once-off. They describe a Utopia at one stage of time, which is quickly outdated by real life and real society. A true Utopia is a work in progress, constantly evolving and organically adapting to changing values and mores, especially in our modern, fast-changing times. Almost everything is a work in progress, from software whose version number goes from say, 1.0 to 1.1 or even 2.0 if the changes are big enough, to computers that are frequently upgraded to better specs, to new car models -- everything. Congress and Parliament, with their attention-deficit habits and once-off method of debating and passing laws, cannot create a Utopia alone, but together with my courts and my new doctrine of writing statements of Intentions -- as simply and as easily as that, have the best chance ever of evolving society towards a Utopia.

19. To end, Confucius may have lived millennia ago but he is hugely important to China and the world today. America is proof that 'when you lose your morals, you lose your economy, then your military, then everything'. America is collapsing because of one word that Confucius well understood : Morals.