Friday, July 31, 2015

Plums after more than a decade

I haven't had a plum for at least thirteen years. Usually my mom would keep one for me when I visited her on Sundays. On my own I never buy them. It is one of my favorite and when I was still living with my parents, plums were a regular. So many things I stopped doing once I got married and moved out. Quite a few things she told wifey about what I prefer turned out to be untrue in her experience. Truth is I adapt to my circumstances.

Yesterday wifey spotted good red plums, 5 for $1.99 That was screaming stupid if you do not buy especially after not having any for so long. Now only three is left. I just had one for breakfast.

Yep, the reason why I haven't had them is because nobody else eats them.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

MRT: Grow old with me the best is yet to be

Grow old with me the best is yet to be....but I keep breaking down. You have forgotten our first love!!! You have gone after the shareholders, an adulterous relationship. Shame on you! You may love others but love me first. You will learn that hell has no fury as a train system scorned.

Stupid reasons for all these break downs. Show that those folks running the show don't know their job, i.e., they fail to age and gain experience with the system. Everyone goes by the book. All complex systems must be cared for with passion and pride. Anything less the system will protest. It doesn't have a mouth to complain and so it will throw tantrums by breaking down. Imagine a doctor sees a patient but the patient wouldn't tell what is wrong. Easy if the doctor knows the patient. Good luck if he doesn't.

I can't make this simpler.

Mr. Chew, please don't say that. Nobody believes you. Even your big big boss the PM also said that and what happened? Better have some courage and determination, keep quiet, get to work and show with your results. Less sound now and face less fury from us later.

LG Kuek you keep trying your best and keep improving. Obviously you never tried your best. Dishonest. You also have no credibility.

I have avoided writing this for years but the buck actually stops with the PM and his Cabinet. They overloaded the system by increasing the population rapidly, so how can they in good faith sack the board and you? But we were just trying to kill the monkey as a warning to the master. Since he can't fix it by GE, let see how he is going to explain himself shortly when the hustings begin. I bet the PAP is paranoid about the system breaking down during GE time. LTA has written a blank cheque at tax payers' expense. They paid for the consultants to put their necks on the block that it was salt that caused the power trip, something our own Dr. George Yu already from using his eyes, fingers and experience strongly suspect.

Update: 4:35pm

I just read in the afternoon Chris Tan Opinion piece. I discovered much of the hunch I wrote about above, he has the facts and story for them. He also gave excellent suggestions on what a truly best effort contingency operation should look like. Shame on the incompetents running the system. Even if voters have no choice but vote the PAP, when their candidates press the flesh we should keep banging about their horrific running of the train system. They should go to bed every night with this ringing in their ears.

I wonder if the MRT is the first bad apple that would eventually disease our other apples.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PAP MPs their bosses do not like

I just kinda of read the TOC article and got that pic too.

Too bad, Inderjit Singh doesn't need the PAP any more. There is nothing to stop him and what he has done announcing his retirement on Facebook is not illegal.

Why is it that the PAP MPs we like are the ones they do not. I liked Toh Chin Chye as a backbencher, the former speaker Tan Soo Khoon too. I have always found Inderjit to have spoken our hearts in parliament. To me this is really simple. If the PAP bosses don't like these guys, many of us don't like you. You are chosen because you made specs and others are at best long term promising.

Yesterday in the ST I read Chan Chun Sing sermonizing the opposition that they must contest for Tanjong Pagar with a pure heart. Ah, that's hypocrisy. I can accept that he is honest and tries his best but pure heart? That is for saints. Please climb down lower. If you have a pure heart, we don't need opposition in parliament. Every once in a while I wonder to what degree you all can be trusted. Your methods against the opposition aren't those crafted from a pure heart.

Also in ST yesterday Tan Chuan Jin was telling us how to vote. Please, like some of us said to Teo Chean Hean you guys are not the only ones with usable brains. Just tell us your story, we decide if we will buy them!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

GE: What LKY dividend?

The PM is likely going to call a general elections soon and my response is I am tired because I really want to do something else and hope that he had opted to serve the full five years.

Who really knows why the PM is calling the elections now except that he must have judged this to be the best time to achieve the best possible electoral outcome for his party. It must be amusing as well as bemusing to read the various speculations. A waste of time but pundits feel clever indulging themselves and holding forth over such. As always there is a wasteful demand for these things. People so free huh?

So is there a LKY dividend? Perhaps not much and for that kudos to Singaporeans as represented by their feedback to Ms. Chang's article.

I would also like to tick my "like" to all of them but I was too lazy to do that and I think there are lots of people like me.

Regarding the PAP if I assess them independently of the alternative parties is just this: How are the PAP values, thinking and policies the evolved smarts of LKY's team adapted for changed circumstances? To me our founding fathers only happen to come from the PAP but in essence transcend party affiliation. That was why I had written Low Thia Kiang off given his stingy tribute to LKY. Come on, Americans do not diminish any founding father over belonging to a particular political party. They are smarter than that and so every President aspirant claims Abraham Lincoln for inspiration. As for LTK and I consider him a Goujian, a Chinese chauvinist in disguise biding his time (remember his passion for Nanyang University and Chinese language education). Trivializing a founding father's contribution is as good as repudiating the story of how we got here which must inform how we navigate the future. Now if I support the PAP, I offer it grudgingly, and I believe LKY as a practical man had done the same. Not the team he wished for but the best team he could help foster. He was a supreme realist.

When you go shopping you can only buy what is offered. You cannot buy what is imagined. Too many people making a lot of noise online do that. It is a waste of time. I have learned to quickly recognize them and save time. Many of them are infected by western liberalism and yet cannot recognize their infection. I think they all love the Economist. I am unimpressed that Chan Chun Sing sometimes point people to articles from that magazine. CCS isn't stupid but he was patronizing us, doing what is convenient and expedient. We mustn't appreciate such condescension. It tells me that if he catches us unaware or ignorant he has no qualms about taking advantage. Before him Ng En Heng had been less than honest with statistics! Don't start me on Khaw Boon Wan, he can go hara kiri. I rolled my eyes at what Tan Chuan Jin who went to meet the cardboard uncles and aunties said about their enthusiasm collecting paper. I can't believe his naivety. He isn't stupid as well but he was just desperate to hear something he liked especially against the noisy assertion of an alternate reality of poor and suffering old folks.

The PAP must be checked and they must continuously earn the trust from us. This uses up time and energy but it can't be helped. They are simply not honest enough to be entrusted to always act in our interests. Their party interests will out rank our interests. May we elect the best opposition MPs into parliament but the PAP must still form the government. As for WP first world parliament and they had a few years to prove that, it was nonsense because to achieve that you had to be humongously shrewd to get the PAP to play ball. So better stop selling this Koyok because they don't know how to make it happen. It was in the end only good for buying votes. You can only fool us once and it was not a bad idea to let you swim with it a lap. There was no risk, not even opportunity cost when I saw how worried the government became over AHPETC finances.

Update: 8:55 pm

Lee Boon Lee commenting on Teo Chee Hean claim that the electoral boundaries are fair. Stupid political communication from the DPM.

At the end of the day, Singapore is safest when we have intelligent voters who know which side their bread is buttered.

Update: 9:15pm

Sharing the same sentiment with lots of people. I hope they raise the IQ level of their communication or we cannot but see it as patronising and insulting. In other words, they are out of touch.

More than a few PAP MPs cannot think or just verbally constipated.

Dearth of local top talent? update to post on LHL's choices

JG left a comment longer than my blog post yesterday Time Interview: Perplexed by LHL's choice I decided if he misunderstood me then my children would also. Hence this blog post, but specifically against the PAP's thesis Singapore does not have enough top talent.

Well just nice ST has this story today and made my job so much easier. Why did we have Magnus Bockers here and not Phupinder Gill? We are so short of talent we filled the top rung of SMRT with former military officers? It is really hard to find anyone impressed with their performance. We are being taken for granted by this government.

Read the article, there is nothing to suggest that Phupinder Gill and many others who have done spectacularly well later would have been caught by the government talent radar.

Today our problem is not that we do not have the talent but that we do not know how to find them. I am convinced in a crisis they will offer themselves to be counted. Whether it would be too late by then is anyone's guess. If we have the right folks, they will surface themselves in a timely fashion. If we don't even if they are exceptional, by definition they never met the cut.

Our future is not chiseled in stone. It is always being sculptured. Whoever thought we can be secure about tomorrow is a foolish believer of fairy tales. On average I find too many of the supporters of alternative parties citizens of Disneyland. May your dreams not come true, i.e., if in the next GE the PAP is out.

What we must do to make things better is more evolutionary than revolutionary. Talent is not the problem in Singapore, but leaders with character and honesty are. People we can trust given that electioneering is a horrible way to assess such people. Even now I am sure there are crooks among the ranks of PAP MPs and perhaps ministers. We haven't manage to catch them that's all but as a team they are honest enough despite an overworked CPIB.

People talk about alternative parties but conveniently forget that as important is the party that can produce a good PM. LHL is not the best PM but to be practical he is the best we have. I am more worried about who would take over from him. People need to get real but even if they don't it is alright. They are not enough naive idealists to keep me awake at night. It is always good to have some such types but it is also sad to realize that only years from now will they realize they have wasted their time.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Time Interview: Perplexed by LHL's choice

Read this last night, quite impressed with the PM vocabulary but also quietly sad near the end of my read.

Lula and Merkel? I think LHL is better than either of them. Anyway his father would have chosen past characters and he had in Charles de gaulle, Winston Churchill, Deng Xiaoping.

What if Merkel messed it up tomorrow? She is only holding together the Eurozone but not leading it. She is not able to carry the Germans along to a European future. Opinion polls is running her. LHL should have chosen an unambiguous historical character.

My worry? Sometimes I don't understand why some of his choices were smart and that is why we have this foreign population problem and a dysfunctional subway system.

I think we will get by but we will only do very well like the last fifty years if we have a better man. I fear the next person to take over wouldn't even be as able as him.

Singapore is such a hard place to run.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tourism: We are losing competitiveness

In our not that long ago holiday to Japan and the US we learnt first hand how expensive SG is. Look at the 40 likes.

We are just uncompetitive. Another to see this is we offer an insufficient value proposition.

Looks like we need to have "sales" too to bump up the numbers eh? I don't have the numbers to analyze if this makes sense....

High Cancer-Drug Prices

When I caught this article last evening, my thoughts were when will this or perhaps it is already the situation here.

Just like FIFA took advantage of us to make us pay through our noses for watching soccer games on TV, the pharma firms would love to do the same. Unlike the big countries, we do not have bargaining power. Our market is the size of one small fragmented piece in the fragmented American market.

National Day Petrol Cap Cover

Pretty neat petrol cap cover on an Altis I spotted beside me early yesterday morning. Would be quite cool to see more of them around.

Applying our SG50 car decal a few days ago.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PM: Govt 'has interests of citizens at heart'

Government has interests of citizens at heart but qualified with quotes. True reasons of qualifications not explained. If you are smart enough you can go and figure this out on your own.

ST is too embarrassed not to insert the quote marks. In other words we are not stupid.

I still believe they put the PAP ahead of the interests of the nation. The interest of its people is not equivalent to the nation either but ranked beneath.

Let's get real and I need to use quotes as well. Every society needs 'suckers'. These are the people who make the sacrifices often unaware of the cost they were paying. These are what some cynically remark that "good guys finish last". The local lingo for this is called "national service" but I am not necessarily referring to the military sorts.

Just know that when the government take us for granted we are doing national service for the good of the nation but what do nation include? Many of us don't feel included and so we taught the PAP a lesson in the last GE.

My question: When did they really have the interests of the citizens at heart? Only after the last GE?

Healthcare: More foreign patients please

This is a good article by Dr Jeremy Lim. This was not a technical essay and I had on my own suspected these reasons but nothing gives you as much confidence as reading from someone in the business.

So I am repeating myself. We have ministers who can work but are inadequate at political communication and worse courage. Sure I think they have conviction but not as strong as our founding fathers. This is not original as LKY had said as much even from those who formed the second generation of leaders.

It is easy for ministers to say, "Look the people don't want my superior for plan" when they were poor salesmen.

Your technocratic skills are only as meaningful as your political skills. Sigh! And what is stuck in my mind about Khaw is "Hara Kiri". Stupid choice of words from someone sitting on a high horse.

Well I was perhaps too kind but I will finish by saying that he failed to put in enough beds. Now we are worse off than most people are aware of. If the ministers think they can just pass the blame to us, they can try.

Thoughtfulness, gentleness....words carry baggage

Words regularly carry baggage was the thought that immediately flashed across my mind as I read those words from WSJ.

I am especially sensitive about it these days given the proliferation of Whatsapp chat groups. People have left groups in a huff because they were offended and the offending party was clueless what he or she did wrong.

So what is the solution? Thoughtfulness. Not just for chat groups but relationships.

A couple of days ago a friend shared this on Facebook. I want to explain why I thought the article missed the mark but decided to hold back.

Link to "The One Thing Missing In Many Marriages". I told myself the author doesn't know what she is talking about. Fortunately for them they were writing books and making money from as clueless people who obviously didn't really lived the advice. You know how it is with many self help books, they are like recipe books.

Thoughtfulness sometimes but not always expressed as gentleness is what make gentleness work. Gentleness that does not come from thoughtfulness is hypocrisy. That WSJ article was more honest, useful and practical. Among the Christians there is simply too much BS. No wonder they have to create a friendly environment to practice their faith in order that it might not be broken. The Muslims are also suffering from a similar problem. Read about their insecurity all the time from across the Causeway.

And what is the foundation for thoughtfulness. Go read that WSJ article.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Coming Windows 10 upgrade

Just got this in the email from Microsoft. I am not in a hurry to have Windows 10. After all like most we have learned to get used to whatever version of Windows is running on our PC. I am on Windows 7 but the others have newer machines and are running Windows 8.1

I am not bothering myself with what is new in Windows 10. They have kinda of promise that I wouldn't lose anything if I upgrade. Of course like in previous times, never treat such promises at face value.

What I would really welcome is Windows 10 also have features I enjoy on my smart phone. Perhaps Microsoft Edge will offer that but that would also mean I should get myself a touch screen display and may be even a stylus. I have found the S-pen on my Note 4 especially useful.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Troika gone, now Shashlik closing

Shashlik is closing. I have not been there probably a good twenty years. I still remember the authentic baked Alaska they served quite different from the toy version I sometime had at the NUSS Guild House.

But it isn't Shashlik that I am interested in. Our parents used to take us to its predecessor: Troika.

Then we stopped. I can't remember why. My last time there was also the first time I went without my parents. I took my GF there, now my wife for a birthday celebration and used the Gold Amex supp card my dad gave me. This is common now but quite rare in the 80s. I finally returned him the card a few years later and got my own when I started working.

The Economist: Happy 50th Birthday Singapore

Yesterday an old friend suggested that I read what the Economist is saying about us. After struggling to download my copy - their download service has worsened recently, I managed to read the shorter of the two stories. The other one is a Special Report.

The Economist still has a sterling reputation but I think their best days are history. They have this bad habit of preaching to readers. I replied my friend if he noticed that this magazine or weekly newspaper they like to call themselves are blinded by their ideology. They will select the facts to fit their beliefs. Concerning Singapore, they have been serially wrong about us and they are still singing the same tune. Finally these people have no skin in the game.

So thanks but no thanks. If you value your time, life and future don't read the Economist.

I have decided not to renew my subscription. In fact I only signed up for the children's school work sake. Then I discover they mostly do not read it.

SG50 funpak

The daughter went to pick this up arriving half and hour early. We didn't expect much. It was to satisfy our curiosity more than anything else.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Kindle USB cable

Retiring this very worn out micro USB cable which came with my Kindle today. It was a good cable but the plastic is hardening and breaking up too often now, the shielding is coming off. Time to go.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lessons from David Marshall: Choosing the PM

A few weeks ago, we spotted these books at the Botanic Gardens gift shop. That gave me the idea of borrowing them from our public libraries. I managed to obtain only three but the daughter found the full set in her school and took them home.

All our founding fathers have enough material to tell their stories colorfully. None of them were boring and each was a real interesting character. One chap struck me though and he was not part of the PAP but included here was our first Chief Minister David Marshall. His example has become an important input for evaluating non-PAP alternatives to run Singapore. It is a very risky business with no guarantee that we will get it right and hard to figure out how to right this if we ever land in a pickle.

Now let the book tell the story.

Marshall was a top rate lawyer, a man of absolute integrity with a deep love for the people and Singapore. On these attributes he probably put many PAP MPs in the shade. However his extraordinary skills in the law and realism did not translate into political governance where he was an unrealistic and uncompromising idealist. My point? Today if we have a candidate like Marshall standing for elections, he would be elected. He might even almost single handedly carry a GRC! Just check the red underline I put on page 16 of the book.

But Marshall would not work and may be a disaster for us today or any day. There is no way in the hustings and brilliant speech making you can tell if a person is good for the job he or she is campaigning for. In fact it is a terrible way to choose people as lawmakers and especially high political office. And a good lawyer should at least be a good lawmaker right? Apparently not necessarily so.

Above is taken from page 17 of the book. He did good for the people. Not here, but later in the book he was an excellent ambassador to France. I think Marshall could have made an excellent minister in some portfolios but definitely not as PM. I think when he is given a lot of power he cannot but succumb to the temptation of trying to make his ideals and visions work. Unfortunately these dreams are too ahead of their time.

Page 19. See how farseeing Marshall was but he could never get it make his best ideas see the light of day.

Governing Singapore is not just choosing between the PAP and alternatives. Of equal importance to the team is the party who has someone that can do the job of the PM well. His or her team is the lock and the PM the key. You need the complete set. In the next GE the PAP will still form the government and so our main preoccupation is who will eventually succeed LHL. As for the opposition we might have to cut them some slack because given the situation we are in at the moment an opposition MP on average is more useful to us than an PAP one. This would no longer be true if the PAP cease to overwhelmingly dominate parliament. At that point we ought to reverse our stance and cut the PAP some slack as they have a really tough job to do. Meanwhile the untested alternative jockeying to form the next government must judged on the highest standards we demand from the PAP today.

May be the way forward for us is actually preserving the status quo. We have a few decent opposition MPs and an active citizenry enabled by increasingly sophisticated technology that constantly watch and hold the government to account. This arrangement might be good for about ten years. By then another generation would have grown up and they can decide on the changes if any.

Update: July 15 4:55pm

Evidence to support my reason why many of us would cut the opposition some slack. See the underlined below. Would a PAP MP ask such a question? How much brains does it need to ask such a question? Meanwhile outside Parliament, folks like Bertha Henson is performing a civic role. I have found her very useful for time scarce folks like me.

Monday, July 13, 2015

PAP vs WP: A lose-lose fight

Rachel Chang has written an interesting article on this subject.

Generally I agree with her but perhaps she wasn't supposed to go further and state that politically it still made sense to the PAP to play a lose-lose battle with WP as long as PAP can afford this and the damage to WP is great.

The PAP finally realized it could never have fought a win-lose war with the WP. And the WP also didn't think the PAP will finally resort to such a strategy since they are a party that always only accept winning tactics. Now WP have their challenging task of explaining this to the voters well cut out for them. I am not sure they are capable of it.

For me, I am less concerned with this issue than their secretary general attitude towards LKY demise. I had always wondered if he was a Gou Jian character but as long as he is in opposition that is alright.

David Marshall's experience as chief minister had helped me to appreciate better the risk of having a non PAP government. That is a subject of a separate post I want to write soon.

Grexit: You have 3 days

The EL version is 72 hours but Zaobao gets it better with 3 days.

The foreboding and irony of 3 days cannot be lost on the Greeks. They have enough stories which end in tragedy after three days.

Excerpted from

The Moirai or Fates were three sister deities, incarnations of destiny and life. Their names were Clotho, the one who spins the thread of life; Lachesis, she who draws the lots and determines how long one lives, by measuring the thread of life; and Atropos, the inevitable, she who chose how someone dies by cutting the thread of life with her shears. They were often described as being ugly and old women, stern and severe. Three days after a child was born, it was thought that the Moirai would visit the house to determine the child's fate and life.

If you cared to explore you will find other examples.

This movie doesn't look like it will end well. The great difficulty isn't the conclusion but when it will end. The how is not really important. Europe is gravely injured from this. Their days of pretending that they are above all Europeans is over.

Update: 3:15pm

Would the Greeks agree? This is the wrong question to ask. Instead their government will make the decision on their behalf, a choice that is opposite of what they had voted for in the referendum. They have also gotten a first hand taste of what it is like to turn their backs on the EU. Remaining with the union is a less bitter pill as I had suggested in an earlier post.

To me serious damage has been inflicted on the union. The future of the grouping is less rosy, stable or predictable. They are less a beacon and need to spend more time and effort learning to live with each other.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

FW driver: Mr. Kulothungan

No long ago two FWs saved a child from falling off her apartment and now this. These good guys aren't that uncommon! I feel very happy about this. The car owner Tony Wee did the right thing to let him off. May such gracious gestures be commonplace here.

SG is far from an ideal place but we must be one of the best if not the best place for a FW to come here to work. Sure there a black sheep employers but I have noticed worse when we were living in Dubai for a while. There it wasn't difficult to come across workers with fear in their eyes!

Link to story

Toyogo Drawers

Toyogo has moved away from Toa Payoh Lorong 8 to a modern building across the street from Singapore Casket.

We bought something like this for $65 and they threw in a free gift of a storage box as well.

This chest of drawers replaces very two old ones which were starting to break up. In a couple of weeks time we expect our new Cellini sofa set to come.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dental: Quitting Q&M for Polyclinic

On Monday I arrived for my dental appointment at Toa Payoh polyclinic early. At 12:10pm as appointed my turn arrived. This is rarely the case when we were with Q&M Bukit Batok or Clementi.

I have stopped going to Q&M. Once upon a time they were good but now they are in my view a profit maximizing organization.

At the polyclinic they don't over treat after all it costs the tax payer in subsidies.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Massive MRT failure near to GE 2015

Power fault again, the trains are immobile. Some trains even suffer blackouts. SMRT caught flat footed once more. Back up bus services confused and inadequate. If you spread the rumor that Desmond Kuek had finally killed himself in despair, it might even go viral. The former CDF should hang his head in shame. Luckily we didn't had to go to war with him in charge.

It seems the only guys that was ready were the folks bringing us the news especially the veteran senior correspondent Chris Tan. They are also ready for the upcoming GE because they were told when they cannot go on leave. Will trains break down then? The PAP knowing how they are hostage to fortune are asking for prayers.

Finally learning points.

Whenever you hear them inform of a developing situation and it has the key words, "traction power fault" and 20 minutes or longer. It would be smarter you quickly get off at the next station and catch a bus or cab before everyone tries to do the same.

Update: July 8 8:55 am

Took the following from Today Online

Thumbs up to Ms Trisa. She knows how to make things better. It is the top bosses that are screwed up.

Famous Amos, Pretend Amos

How do you know if this boy wasn't just putting up an act? The only sure way to protect against him is not to take him too seriously; don't be a sucker and a hypocrite.

All the trouble I have seen people dug themselves into begun with taking him too seriously. Not a bad idea to heed Geroge Yeo's advice on this matter.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Greek and European Tragedy

Non Greek but top economists suggest the Greeks should vote No to the austerity Europe in imposing on them. 246 Greek professors of economics beg to differ. Me, I think the local professors are right because the outsider have no skin in the game.

You can't just look at economics. Politics and and nature of Greek society is even more important and will determine economic behavior. Local economics dons remember how successive governments print Drachmas like there were no tomorrow. It is not workable.

Either way we have a Greek tragedy and a head wound on Europe. Under test we discover there are no Europeans but Germans, French, Dutch, Italians etc.,

Europe is fragile. The whole is clearly less than the sum of its parts. And it looks like after writing I forgot to click "Publish" last night.

From the WSJ earlier I found,

At 2:40 am this morning, the NYT sent this to subscribers.

Face is more important than life. The Greeks would not be humiliated. I think these people with no reason to be so proud. Forget about ancient Greece. You have not lived up to your early achievements.

It would be better as the 246 of your own economists suggested to remain in the Eurozone. On the other hand it is unrealistic to expect them to have voted differently.

A meek but strong people cannot be vanquished. I looked over the world and cannot find such a society in our times.

If there is any doubt about Merkel's and European leadership, that is now confirmed.

Update: 10:00 am

The Germans fail to see how immature they are. The Greeks are no better but the initiative and power is with Deutschland. How much are you prepared to keep Europe together? Whilst Greeks were cheating the rest of Europe had chosen to look the other way. Now the birds have come home to roost.

Update: 4:10pm 

Excellent how Thomas Piketty exposed Germany's hypocrisy.

Picketty is right.

Update: July 10 10:10pm

There is a glimmer of hope from this lowering the bar for European leaders to show statesmanship.

To me damage has already been done from over indulgence in brinkmanship.

The small Baltic states rightly pointed out that they could live with much less, why can't the Greeks also. Well these southern species are spoilt. If austerity makes them stronger, well and good. To be practical they would rather roll over and die.

At the end of the day the Germans must recognize there are strict limits getting their neighbors to adopt German ways and values. Want to make the union work, be realistic. Impractical ideals only create time bombs which will explode often at the most inconvenient time.