Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sleep Apnea, Tinnitus, Snoring, TMJ


I suffer from sleep apnea/snoring, tinnitus and teeth grinding TMJ. (Sleepers who grind and snore  are totally oblivious to their actual condition

In the past doctors would try and isolate each problem and try and treat each symptom as a separate issue.

But they all seem to be related - linked in some form or another. TMJ - the teeth grinding - disturbs the hearing nerves which are located close to the jaw.

I found that having botox injections in my jaw - done to help with my teeth grinding TMJ - actually cured my tinnitus for a month or more. Then it came back. A subsequent treatment of botox didn't help.

Sleeping late, drinking too much caffeine,  being overweight are also culprits.

For people suffering from tinnitus - one of the best things is to keep yourself busy and not allow yourself to focus on the problem - it will drive you mad.

Listen to low level music. Have something that will distract you from the problem.

Whatever you do , don't worry about it or focus your attention on the problem - it will just exacerbate things. Go out into a public place - walk around - do something to take your mind off the problem. Staying alone in a quiet room and thinking about tinnitus is one of the worse things you could do.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not all cultures are the same: rape in Sweden


Not all cultures are the same. Pretending otherwise is stupid.

While we may gaze in wonder at videos of lions playing with lambs, cats with mice, like animals there are significant differences in our cultures. Some good, some bad.

Things of course do evolve. But it takes generations. Once the only decent job a woman could have was to stay at home, raise her children. Now you see women working in all spheres of life in the western world. Sometimes it requires a massive social upheaval like a war or revolution to get remove different ways of seeing and behaving - and not all the time good or bad.

I marvel at the West desire to accept more refugees - in the past this was not the case. In America and Australia - the public was stridently against any form of asian immigration. In fact in 1919, Australia made a big effort to prevent Japan's push for a racial equality clause recognising the Japanese as racial equals. In 1923 America specifically banned Japanese immigrants. Until the 1970s Australia had a white only policy.

Now the trend is reversed. But I'm not sure whether the western nations are thinking very carefully over the migrants they are allowing into their country.

Cultures which treat women as chattel, as properties of men, and see a woman walking alone as worse than a prostitute, and have lax views on rape and violence towards women should be treated differently.

In Australia there have been cases of gang rapists - muslim arab migrants attacking white females. The outrage is of course quite tremendous. There was a case of three Australian caucasian men gang raping a young asian girl awhile back but it didn't get as much coverage. But it doesn't help the Australian Muslim community when one of their imans who is also a notorious welfare bludger -preaches that women wearing bikinis are like meat exposed in the open.

In Sweden and northern Scandinavian countries they've chose very admirably not to mention race and religion as if they are swear words. But facts are facts. You can choose to ignore them at your detriment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rolls Royce to custom tailor car for Singapore

RR, makers of the famous WW2 Merlin engine, and luxury cars has announced that it will custom make a car for the Singapore market - I guess instead of calling it Silver Ghost - it will be known as Sibei Atas.

Details are sketchy but … as part of the unique Singapore features I guess it will automatically double park in handicap parking spots, auto accelerate when someone attempts to merge into your lane, car doors will likely automatically open when a bicyclist is side by side and another likely unique Singapore feature will be its auto slow speed whenever an ambulance is behind them. I also suspect another unique feature will be its ability to occupy two or perhaps 3 lanes when attempting to drop off passengers on the sidewalk. 

Its price tag will make it affordable to 100% of Singaporeans who are Govt Ministers. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Walking by faith and not by sight


There is a surprising amount of reliance on intuition in the Christian faith.

We are often taught to rely on faith and not by faith. And doubt is a sin.

After some thought over the years I think a certain amount of skepticism is needed - for the discerning person.

Regarding the Bible - I'm don't think we can place 100% reliance on a group of letters and papers written by men thousands of years ago - collated by a church committee - all of them humans like you and me - 4000 to 2000 years ago and say - golly, that's the undisputable Word of God.

God wrote it.

Some questions - Who told you? Why do you believe it? What do you chose not to believe?

I'm sure those bible writers were biased as much by their own culture and particular circumstances - as much as any biblical scholar or pastor would by his own personal thinking.

I'm not saying the Bible is 100% to be discredited. But c'mon read it and you'll find a lot of bizarre stuff. Di you know that slavery was not condemned and polygamy allowed? Did you know that God of the Old Testament condemns people before they were even born? Read about why he hated Esau and loved Jacob. Marriage by the way - one man one wife was never stated clearly. It was ok for men to have multiple wives. The lineage line of Jesus was descended from the sex act between a father-in-law and his daughter-in-law whom he mistook for a prostitute. As for women who want to lecture me on the bible - I suggest reading about how Paul taught that sin came from Eve - condemning all women to be subservient under men. If a woman didn't scream when she was being raped - she would be stoned to death. Yeah all in the Bible which the Psalmist is suppose to love - "thy word is a lamp unto my feet..."

Anyhow thank goodness we are now in the 21st century. I think we as Christians ought to be more circumspect before we try to subscribe to all the joys of 1st century morality.

The Bible has a lot of teachings - killing false prophets, stoning adulterers/ non-virgin brides to death, laws against  usury/ bank interest, what to plant in your field, what not to eat etc..

Not to long ago - a big issue was the case for divorce. Divorcees were also not allowed to remarry. Its in the New Testament too - Jesus himself supposedly said it.

Or someone wrote that He said it. So it MUST BE TRUE.

And guess what? This teaching caused untold suffering to millions of people. One King - King Henry 8th of England felt compelled to execute one wife and torment one to an early death because he wanted to re-marry a new bride.

You know the adage "Don't believe everything you read".

Then what do we believe?

Try reading the Bible again and thinking it critically and deeply. Who was Jesus? What did He come to do? How was he so radically different from so many others? Why do you choose to follow him?

Most people actually don't think. They just follow what someone says.

The Confederate flag

Symbols carry a lot of weight and meaning.

Take for example the crucifix. Its actually a terrible torture instrument. Millions of people - men, women and children were crucified by being nailed to a wooden structure - the cross. And they died in appalling agonizing pain. Its one of the worse ways to be killed. But now its being used a decoration, jewelry, and even ironically enough a religious symbol of peace. God must be having a good laugh about that.

The Confederate flag is another symbol.

The symbol of the Confederate flag - which is derived from a Battle Flag of a Confederate Army - is based on a desire to pretend that the Confederate soldiers did not fight or die in vain. Unfortunately, they did. They died fighting for the wrong cause - they fought for States Rights yes - but the State's rights to own african slaves. Those Confederate soldiers died just as valiantly as the brave Nazi soldiers died fighting in WW2. Their heroic efforts were just as useless as the Japanese kamikazes and soldiers who died fighting to the last man and bullet for their God Emperor.

Their efforts were in vain. They died for nothing. They started a war that they could not win. The enemy trashed their land. Their economy fell. All for nothing. This awful fact is too terrible for many to contemplate. So they carry the Confederate flag and sing Dixie - basking in nostalgia and false memories - because the truth is too awful to accept.

Jesus said the truth will set us free. That is true. But the truth also hurts. It is painful to accept the truth. In some respects it requires a certain moral courage to accept it. Brave soldiers who were prepared to hurl themselves against enemy gunfire and face certain death - often do not have it in them to refuse to obey morality wrong orders.

I used to think of war as a glory - instead the awful truth is that a lot of people will die and suffer for nothing.

I wish I could see more war memorials which state the truth

"A stupid war that should never have happened"

"A war fought because men wanted to debate the finer points of democratic government by slaughtering 750,000 men and destroying the lives of countless families"

"This General was great because he made 100,000 of his countrywomen wives and beggars."

America has very little to celebrate about over its Civil War particularly the South.

The Confederate Flag like the Nazi flag should be seen as utter failures - symbols of human stupidity.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Petfish or Public Transport?

The SMRT (Singapore's train service) has a massive breakdown affecting 200,000 commuters and what does the nation's main newspaper write about?

"Did Otters eat Koi worth $80,000?"


When the train service breaks down - stranding over 10 - 30% of the working population and causing traffic chaos that affects the entire nation - who cares about the overpriced pets of an extremely rich individual??

How can the editor have condoned such a piece? There are so many things to write about - and they write this - someone's overpriced pet fish????

I think its symptomatic of the elitist mentality of the current regime.  A bit like the la-la attitude of the French govt and Russian govt prior to their revolutions. 

Clearly there is a huge disconnect in the Singapore regime - when the mainstream media are more concerned about the overpriced pets of the rich when there is national chaos.

That's how you can have leaders like Mdm Saw - the former CEO of the train system who can condescendingly remark - "People can board the train – it's whether they choose to"

That's about just as inflammatory as that other infamous (but not true) historical remark ""Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"" ("Let them eat cake").

Public perception is very important in running any country. You of course can overrule it by ruling with an iron fist like Mao, Stalin and Kim Jung 2 of North Korea - who executed people for not mourning sufficiently when his father died. Is that how you want to rule the country - through fear?

The Singapore Govt at the moment is confused - it draws its strength from the past - when the PAP was supreme, always right and when LKY ruled with an iron fist - even jailing dissenters and political opponents without trial for decades. But you can't coast along on past glories. The French tried it in Indochina and Africa after WW2 - the Italians tried reviving the Roman Empire during the 20th century - both failed badly.

Right now the PAP seem caught in its own propaganda - that Singapore's success and future are inextricably entwined.  That's why their minions come up with ridiculous statements like Singapore was a fishing village when the PAP took over.  Or when LKY got upset in the 1980s when 1 or 2 constituencies "defected" to the Opposition. Looking at the rhetoric it looked like it was the end of the world to him.  Whenever anyone wants to wonder where the kia-su culture came from - now you know.

Its breeding this sense of entitlement among the ruling party - that they own Singapore - or Singapore owes them - so you get someone well connected talking about an aristocracy. 

Good grief. Please lah don't say that. Its going to haunt you for a long time to come yet.

What next? Will one of Ministers say that the senior citizens collecting cardboard and selling tissue paper are doing it for fun? 

Photo sourced from: credit

Seriously, my advice to the ruling party is this:
1. Improve your grassroots connection.
2. Listen more to the people.
3. Do more to help them.
4. With regard to public service. Put the people first. Profit second; a govt should not exploit its own people. In that regard stop the practice of placing ex-SAF scholars in charge of key govt infrastructures like transport. In this regard it might actually be better to source foreign talent (from Japan or Hong Kong).

5. Please hire a darn good PR team to vet all your remarks and advice you on public relations. If you don't want to do 1 - 4, all the more you should do this.