Democracy – Winston Churchill 1947

No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…

                                     Deceased British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1947)


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Related references

  • Legal advice shall consist of oral advice on legal questions given by the Director or a solicitor whose name is on the appropriate panel of solicitors maintained under section 4 and shall include help in preparing an application for legal aid and in supplying information required in determining the means of the applicant under the Second Schedule but shall not include advice on any law other than the law of Singapore. [Legal Aid and Advice Act (CHAPTER 160). Section 20 (2). Revised 30 Apr 2014. Singapore Statutes Online. Legislation Division of the Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers. Accessed 25 May 2018.]
  • … provision of medical advice is concerned, the Supreme Court of Singapore has, in the landmark decision of Hii Chii Kok v Ooi Peng Jin Lucien London & Anor, instituted what it considers to be a more patient-centric standard of care… a doctor is required to disclose information that the doctor knows is important or would be reasonably relevant and material. Whether the information is important or reasonably relevant and material should be determined from that particular patient’s standpoint. The information in medical advice includes diagnosis, prognosis (both with and without treatment), nature of the proposed treatment, risks and alternatives entailed. A doctor would fall below this standard of care if she possessed information that is important or reasonably relevant and material to the patient, and failed to inform that patient without any legal justifications. [Adapted; words in bold are author’s additions. Calvin W. L. Ho and Peter Loke. An overview of key aspects of Singapore medical law. Centre for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore. Accessed 25 May 2018.]

Revised: 25 May 2018

Social Studies: Case Study – Northern Ireland

I guess I first read about the Irish Troubles from Ian Rankin’s novels on Inspector Rebus. He was a Scottish police office who previously served in the Paras (I think Paramilitary or Parachute Regiment) during the period of civil unrest. Works on the topic (to the extent of my research) is rather limited. Below are three: (shortest from the University of Texas at Austin) (visually the most entertaining) (possibly the most comprehensive for its length) (there has been a past year question set on military involvement in the earlier O Level Social Studies syllabus)

The final 2 are timelines. They are important in that they provide reference points for actions taken; and because I have come to rely on the phrase ‘Action speaks louder than words.’ These actions would for example prove (with greater accuracy) what were the intentions of the participants and also allow us to ascertain the spillover effects, however unintended they may have been…


Primary Sources

I have come to view primary sources more favourably. After all it came from the horse’s mouth. This washes away the interpretation by others.

Karl Popper, George Soro’s lecturer at the London School of Economics, gave me some interesting insights into 20th century communism. He had joined the Communist Party in Austria for a very short period around 1919. From his recorded interview, he recounted that Moscow’s direction was quite simply to be obeyed. This form of influence was evident even in the French and Italian Communist parties until the 1940s at least. This in some sense enables us to understand why the West (French, British and Americans) were so fearful of exported revolution especially in view of the Russian Revolution and slogan to unite the workers of the world.

The past as someone said was indeed a different country…

See Karl Popper interviewed by Giancarlo Bosetti: The Lesson of this Century with two talks on freedom and the democratic state (Translated by Patrick Camiller). 1997. London. Routledge.

Index Investing

There is nothing much to say here really. There are people who believe they can be like Warren Buffett (stock whiz), I used to be one. Two major waves hit me however. Reading John Bogle’s and Bill Shultheis’ works; and learning about the London Inter-bank Lending Rate scandal – these made me realise that it was too costly in terms of time and too difficult to pick the right company since interest rate manipulation and insider trading would have made useless my judgment and analysis. Even Buffett’s mentor Benjamin Graham suggested that picking a stock winner requires a full time job i.e. it would have to be your day job.

Buffett himself encourages the average investor and his offspring to buy index funds instead while restricting other costs such as credit card bills. Index funds in general tend to have lower management costs since it is passively managed. Essentially, it is buying the stocks and holding them there.

See the arguments and evidence for yourself (as below). You would notice a certain consistency in the citations – the farming analogy.