Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A BAD SHARE TRADE


Warning: Don’t sell
to this share buyer


You have a small parcel of shares that you have inherited and want to sell, or perhaps you purchased the shares some time ago and you are disappointed with their performance during the recession.

But then, out of the blue, you receive through the post an offer from Stock and Share Trading Company Pty Ltd to take the shares off your hands. They are offering hard cash that will be like a windfall for you.

The offer is official in appearance and carries a statement from the Financial Markets Authority. You read through some of the fine print and notice that they are offering to take all your unwanted shares at a discount, but without any brokerage fees.

I received an offer from Stock & Share Trading for $1.00 a share for my Steel & Tube Holdings shares which are currently trading at $2.16 a share.

Under the sub-heading Offer Dates, shareholders are informed that the offer is for a limited time only and may even close earlier if the buyer receives acceptances for 500,000 shares. The inference is that shareholders should act promptly or risk missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

As a small-time share market investor who makes a dozen or so buy or sell transactions a year, I knew the value of my Steel & Tube shares, and I also knew that selling them to Stock & Share Trading Company would be a major blunder. I also knew that readers of my blog should know about the activities of Stock & Share Trading Company.

I Googled Stock & Share Trading Company and found that the company’s sole director and shareholder is one John William Armour.

According to Terry Hall, writing in Fairfax Media, Ned Kelly no longer wears body armour and carries a rifle. His latest personification, Adelaide lawyer John William Armour, simply posts loads of letters to Kiwis every year offering to pay us a fraction of what our shares and bonds are worth.

While this is not illegal, it is unscrupulous. His success depends on taking advantage of widows, beneficiaries and others who lack financial knowledge: unworldly innocents who accept at face value his misleading official-looking offers for their shares and bonds.

Elsewhere, John Armour is described as a Melbourne lawyer. However, attempts to Google John Armour mostly turned up Professor John Armour, professor of law and finance at the University of Oxford who has a most impressive academic track record. I was unable to establish if John William Armour and Professor John Armour are one and the same person or if the connection is one of convenience or coincidence.

Shareholders should ignore buy offers from Stock & Share Trading Company and John William Armour. They should also ignore offers from investor Bernard Whimp of Christchurch, New Zealand. Whimp wants sellers to agree to being paid over a ten year period while he collects the dividends.

In all of this the Financial Markets Authority has been a toothless tiger. It requires Armour to advise shareholders that they should read and understand the terms of the offer and meanwhile Armour continues in business.

The FMA could have taken a leaf out of the cigarette packet – Warning: Dealing with this trader may kill your finances.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

AUSTRALIAN AVIATION HISTORY


QANTAS - From Humble Beginnings

Not everyone knows, but the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service (Q.A.N.T.A.S.) had its humble and challenging start in Outback Queensland. Conceived in Cloncurry, born in Winton and brought to fruition in Longreach where a hangar and the country's first purpose built landing field were constructed in the early 1920's, the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach is dedicated to the story of Australia's airline.

Nowadays, we rarely think about the trials and tribulations that QANTAS went through to get the airline up and flying in the west and overcoming the problems of long distance travel. The museum is a modern World class facility built around the heritage listed original Qantas hangar, combining historical artifacts and multimedia displays for all ages to enjoy.

A replica de Havilland DH50 is a reminder of the first of eight aircraft constructed by Qantas at Longreach. Qantas was the only airline in the world to manufacture its own planes. Another replica on site is the DH61, also built by Qantas and used on the Darwin sector of the London mail service. More importantly to passengers, it was the first Qantas aircraft to have a toilet.
Tour the Boeing 707 "City of Canberra", the first Qantas jet aircraft registered in Australia. Inside is a unique opportunity to experience what a VIP plane looks like. This plane has great historical significance to Qantas and global travel as we know it today. It has had five different owners and has serviced Michael Jackson's family during their 1984 'Victory Tour' as well as the Royal Saudi Air Force when it was used by Prince Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador to America.


A magnificent Qantas 747 Jumbo jet, "City of Bunbury" is available for tours. This tour gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with the 'Queen of the skies' and learn some of the amazing facts and figures these planes retain. Also offered is the spectacular Wing Walk tour. This exclusive tour explores the 747's computer bay, flight system and a unique chance to sit in the pilot's seat. Without a doubt the highlight of the tour is being able to walk on the wing of a 747 - the only place in the southern hemisphere this is available.

A Consolidated PBY Catalina has arrived at the museum after a long three year project since it was purchased in Spain. The Catalina was a formidable war weapon with the RAAF but the most famous Catalina's were the five which QANTAS used on the secret radio silence service. With Japan controlling South East Asia, air services between Australia and the UK were cut from the end of 1941 until 1943 when a route was established between Perth and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). As the PBY typically cruised at 110 knots, this took from 28-32 hours and was called the "flight of the double sunrise", since the passengers saw two sunrises during their non-stop journey.

Open seven days, the museum is totally dedicated to the story of Qantas, the airline that started with an Avro 504K, which could carry just the pilot and two passengers. A replica of the plane is the central exhibit inside the museum and is a graphic reminder of just how simple the plane was.

Qantas founder Hudson Fysh washing an aircraft
Enjoy the McGinness cafe as well as the Founders gift store where you can purchase souvenirs, clothing, jewellery, books and Qantas memorabilia. Special events are always on the calendar. Open 7 days 9am-5pm (except Christmas Day)

Tales from an open cockpit

As passengers in modern aviation, we are accustomed to encountering our pilot only via a brief welcome over an intercom system. Not so in the early days when pilots mixed freely with passengers, and planes were not sealed off from the public.

Everyone had their job to do, even Hudson Fysh, future Knight of the Realm, seen here washing the BE2E 

(Photo: QANTAS Historical Collection)


Still, some of the feats which occurred back then may give us pause.

In the 1920s, many passengers would fly only with pilots they knew and trusted.

One wrote a will before boarding a plane piloted by Fysh.

Upon meeting Russell Tapp, a highly-competent pilot, another declared, "I'm not going. Take my luggage out".

Before insuring an aircraft against accident, the insurer always asked who the pilots were. Each pilot had his own risk rating. Certainly they brought their own personal style to the job.
Once, Q.A.N.T.A.S. pilot, A. Vigers saw his two passengers were asleep and took the opportunity to perform a loop. They awoke at the top of the loop. They were still screaming when they landed. Vigers was fired.

Fysh tells of a very down-at-heel, decrepit looking individual who walked into his Longreach office wanting a job. Eric Donaldson, ex-shearer and bush pilot had flown for the Royal Air Force. Eric adapted to situations which might faze others.

"A piston came through the side of the engine while I was flying over bad country. I was at about 5000 feet and made for an open patch. It was mighty rough but no trees and I got down with inches to spare. It was December, I think and mighty hot. I got out a book I carried and made myself comfortable as possible and waited.

He rested till the sun went lower, then wrote on the wing that he was heading north, took the compass and left.

The spinifex was hard to get through and gave my ankles and legs a bad time but after about three miles I found the main road to Isa and set off at a trot. I had not gone very far when I saw a fire. Messrs. Cronnen and Pedwell were on their way to Isa and having supper".

Eric joined them for supper. All in a days work.

Russell Tapp was flying a photographer from Brisbane over Moreton Bay. Just after take-off, Tapp saw a commotion in the front cockpit and yelled to the photographer to sit down. The photographer shouted, "There's a snake in the cockpit".

It had emerged between his legs. He tried to bash it with his camera which promptly fell overboard. The even more frightened snake went into hiding.

Tapp hurriedly landed. It was found coiled tightly inside the guard covering the plane's front throttle.

Fred Haig was flying with Phil Sullivan, when the exhaust pipe fell off. As Fred describes,
When the exhaust pipe fractured, of course we in the cockpit got the full blast and I said to Phil, "By Jove, I feel hot Are you?"

He screamed back, "Not unduly so".

I said, "Well, we'll have to make a forced landing immediately".

Phil looked down at the inhospitable country below and said, "Well I am hot now, as a matter of fact, Im perspiring".

For more about the museum go to Qantas Founders Museum

Peter’s Piece

In 2011 we visited the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach in outback Queensland while on a 3,500 kilometer motor-home journey from Darwin to Brisbane. Longreach is about 1,500 kilometers northwest of Brisbane.

It is one of the world’s finest aviation museums and well worth the long journey through the outback.

The highlight was taking the Boeing 747 tour, including a wing walk, and watching the 747 video of the flight into Longreach, an airport not made for a Jumbo.

The main runway is only 6,352ft with an elevation of 650ft and it is in an area where the air temperature can often soar to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees F), making for longer landing rolls. In addition the runway is so narrow that the outboard engines of the 747 were above tinder-dry grass.

The aircraft was stripped of all non-essential items in Sydney to reduce its weight. It was then flown to Brisbane where the fuel load was adjusted so that it would carry just enough fuel for one approach to Longreach and sufficient for one approach to an alternate airport at Townsville.

The two outboard engines were shut down during approach to Longreach and to the relief of the large crowd gathered to witness history being made, the aircraft stopped two-thirds of the way down the runway.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A UNIQUE AIRCRAFT


New Zealand’s leading aerospace design
guy ralls yahoo! new zealand
Skydivers have long been ridiculed for throwing themselves out of perfectly good aeroplanes. Thanks to the Kiwi-made P-750 XSTOL, though, they’ve finally got an excuse – she was the first plane designed absolutely for that purpose.
The Pacific Aerospace P-750  Images / Skydive Taupo

US skydiving operators wanted a plane that would scatter parachutists in the most confetti-like manner possible, and in 1999 they approached Waikato-based Pacific Aerospace to come up with a solution. The result was a drop-zone thoroughbred that has rewritten the bottom line for skydiving companies around the world, by maximizing the number of skydives per gallon of gas.
But since then she’s also earned herself a global reputation as a durable and adaptable workhorse that can get into places other planes can’t – like the sides of high, rainforest-clad mountains – and doing this while carrying more than her own weight in freight. She’s now being used for everything from moving tonnes of coffee out of the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea to fire-fighting, agricultural work and scheduled passenger services in the Pacific.
You could say she’s taken on a life of her own, in fact. So while the other stories in this series deal with flesh-and-blood Kiwi innovators, we’ve decided to make a departure and honor this high-flying queen of the King Country. She may be ugly as a dropped pie in a Ngaruawahia gutter, but she’s quickly accumulating respect amongst pilots for literally not falling out of the sky in situations where her competitors would.
The P-750 is a recent creation, however her lineage dates back to 1953 when a Kiwi named Wendell S Fletcher partnered with an American designer to produce an aircraft for use in agriculture in New Zealand. They came up with the Fletcher FU 24, which could take off from tiny hilltop airstrips, fly at very low speeds (due to high wing-lift) and drop a large amount of fertilizer on the surrounding farmland in a short amount of time. The FU 24 was so efficient that trucks delivering fertilizer to airstrips often couldn’t keep up with the demand.
The FU 24 morphed into the Kiwi-built Cresco 600, also used in agriculture, and finally the P-750. The new plane is bigger and combines high wing-lift with a powerful engine, so she can take off in extremely short distances, climb very quickly, carry more than two tonnes of freight and passengers and remain stable at low speeds . . . .
Full story Yahoo News

Peter’s Piece

Not everything stated above is completely accurate.
The original Fletcher was designed and built in California based on a design by John Thorp and they were built by Fletcher Aviation as the Fletcher FD 25 Defender between 1951 and 1953. American production ended in 1953 and the manufacturing rights were purchased by a Hamilton, New Zealand company.
The aircraft underwent a major re-design before New Zealand production started in 1954, but the basic appearance remained the same.
The first major change was adding an enclosed cockpit and later changes included several increases in horsepower from 210 hip 400 hip. The next major change was the installation of a turbine in the Cresco. Finally the much larger P 750 came along.
So the original Fletcher was American designed and built, but for more than half a century the design and development of the aircraft has been a New Zealand achievement.

Friday, 26 October 2012

PIONEER AUTHOR


Pioneering historian
Barzun dead at 104
Friday Oct 26, 2012 NZ Herald


Jacques Barzun, the pioneering cultural historian who became a best-selling author in his 90s, died today at 104. Photo / AP


Jacques Barzun, the pioneering cultural historian who became a best-selling author in his 90s with From Dawn to Decadence, has died. He was 104.

Barzun's son-in-law says Barzun passed away Thursday evening local time in San Antonio, where he'd lived in recent years.
Barzun wrote dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy and music to detective novels. The French immigrant also wrote a memorable essay on baseball, in which he advised that, "whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball."
He taught for nearly 50 years at Columbia University in New York, including a Great Books course.
In 2000, he capped his career with From Dawn to Decadence, a survey of Western civilization from the Renaissance to the end of the 20th century.
AP

More in NZ Herald

Thursday, 25 October 2012

US ELECTIONS


Romney faces backlash
over candidate's rape gaffe
AFPUpdated October 25, 2012, 12:35 am


RENO, Nevada (AFP) - White House hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday sought to distance himself from controversial remarks on rape made by a fellow Republican that drew fire less than two weeks ahead of election day.
Anti-abortion Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's statement that pregnancy caused by rape was "something God intended to happen" gave President Barack Obama a new opening to attack his rival's record on women's rights.
With the presidential candidates locked in a virtual tie, women voters in key swing states could decide the November 6 election, and a fresh row over abortion would distract from Romney's focus on the sluggish US economy.
Speaking at a Senate debate late Tuesday, Mourdock said he believed life begins at conception and opposed abortion in all cases except when the mother's life was in danger.
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen," he said.
Romney's campaign moved to distance him from the remarks, with spokeswoman Andrea Saul saying "Governor Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views."
Romney has said he opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the mother's life.
President Barack Obama has long accused Romney and other Republicans of having extreme views on abortion and other women's rights, and the Democratic National Committee quickly moved to link Romney to Mourdock.
The committee sent a link to a television ad in which Romney endorsed Mourdock, but the ad did not mention abortion or other social issues.
Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker meanwhile said that, "as a pro-life Catholic, I'm stunned and ashamed that Richard Mourdock believes God intended rape."
"Do we need any more proof that Richard Mourdock is an extremist who's out of touch with Hoosiers?" he asked, referring to Indiana natives.
In an appeal to women during the final presidential debate Monday night, Obama accused Romney of wanting to take America back to the "social policies of the 1950s."
Romney has vowed to be a "pro-life president," and his current presidential platform supports overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, letting states decide on the legality of the practice.
The multimillionaire former venture capitalist has preferred to focus on the economy, arguing that women have suffered from stubbornly high unemployment and that he has the business acumen to speed up the sluggish recovery.
Campaigning earlier Tuesday in Nevada, one of the handful of toss-up states expected to decide the election, Romney said Obama's campaign was 'taking on water" after a trio of debates "supercharged" his own White House bid.
"His is a status quo candidacy. His is a message of going forward with the same policies of the last four years. And that's why his campaign is slipping. And that's why ours is gaining so much steam," Romney said.
Campaigning through Ohio and Florida, Obama accused Romney of suffering from "stage three Romnesia," saying he had forgotten or completely changed his views on a wide range of issues.
"We are accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four years ago. We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four days ago," Obama told a Florida rally.
Romney led in an average of national polls by 0.7 percent Tuesday, but Obama still held small leads in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, states that could hand him a second four-year term.
Mourdock's rape gaffe could help the Obama campaign regain momentum.
Another Republican Senate candidate, Todd Akin of Missouri, sparked controversy in August when he said that a woman's body could prevent conception in cases of "legitimate rape."
Those remarks dominated the US news cycle for days, provoking an avalanche of condemnation from both parties and calls by Romney and other Republicans for Akin to quit the race.
Akin apologized but refused to step aside, potentially dashing Republican hopes of wresting back control of the 100-member Senate from Democrats in congressional elections, which will also be held November 6.
Later Wednesday, Obama sets off on a 48-hour sprint through Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia and Ohio, while Romney was due to campaign in Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

More on  Yahoo News

Peter’s Piece

Do Romney, Mourdock and Akin know which party they're working for? I know which party they're helping most.

FIVE STAR READS


 Author scores five star reviews 
for Australia-New Zealand trilogy
The Asker Trilogy, set in Australia and New Zealand, has been given the maximum five star rating from Smashwords readers.


NATHANIEL’S BLOODLINE – Peter Blakeborough

Review by: Jennifer Petrofsky on Oct. 16, 2012 : Five stars 
This is an amazing book. Not a dull moment in it. I had a hard time putting it down. I have purchased the next two books in the series. I have also recommended it my friends and family.


Review by: Tui Allen on Oct. 15, 2011 : Four stars
This book is well worth a read. It is not perfect but it is an extremely gripping story and full of action. It is not the kind of book I normally read, yet I found myself reading in the small hours to find out what happened next. One of the fastest-moving reads I've experienced - a rapidly plot-twisting roller-coaster. The characters endear themselves and you feel for them. The frequent POV changes were unsettling at first, but the reason for that is hinted in the title of the book. Its not the story of a single person but of his bloodline through several generations so we switch from male to female and back quite regularly though mainly focusing on one from each generation. I felt that the book was well-researched and displaying a period in the history of Australia accurately and with a gritty realism that brought it alive for me. There were a few errors but not so many they became obtrusive or annoying. Well worth a read. I'm intending to give the next one a go as well.




MURDER AT WAIRERE – Peter Blakeborough

Review by: Jennifer Petrofsky on Oct. 21, 2012 : Five stars 
Wow! What an amazing story. If you're looking for a good book read this one. Actually read Nathaniel's Bloodline first. This is part of a trilogy. Getting ready to start the final book and I don't want to reach the end it.





A TWIST OF FATE – Peter Blakeborough

Review by: Jennifer Petrofsky on Oct. 24, 2012 : Five stars
Wow! This was such a great story. And I truly did not expect it to end the way it did. What a surprise! I strongly urge people to read Nathaniel's Bloodline, Murder at Wairere and A Twist of Fate. You will not be disappointed. Mr. Blakeborough did a wonderful job on all three books. Thank you!



For paperbacks: GypsyBooks
For E-books: Smashwords


Happy reading to all my readers

                                                  Peter Blakeborough


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

TRAVEL SOUTH EAST ASIA

A Vacation in Nha Trang, Vietnam
maitravelsite  William Susetyo

There are a lot of mixed feelings about Nha Trang, considered to be one of Vietnam’s most luxurious getaways for the upper class locals. For some, the ‘too tourist-y’ destination is a problem.
For me, it was not – I had a blast!
Why Nha Trang
Mainland Nha Trang is a hot spot for tourist with its rows of modern-styled hotels offeringaccommodation ranging from 2-5 stars, restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes (cooked in soup, fried, steamed, eaten raw) and that all alluring beachfront (good for an early morning walk, jog or run). If you think of Nha Trang as a vacation whilst already on vacation, everything you do will be amazing!
Having visited Saigon beforehand, I was already able to enrich myself in the culture, bath in traditional Vietnamese culinary delights and haggle with locals over inflated prices for goods and souvenirs, so for me Nha Trang was my vacation on my vacation.
So often overlooked by eager travellers, Nha Trang has more to offer then its tourist-y aesthetics. For Federico, it was a stopover on his way to Hanoi, but for me, it was an adventurous 4 days spent participating in more water activities then I thought possible led by the most humble locals I had ever met. I island-hopped and sun bathed on 3 different islands, went snorkelling and scuba diving at the beautiful and colourful Mun Island (which was a scary first experience, the sea is so vast).
Really, the Aquarium! I’ve never been a fan of visiting aquariums but upon seeing the shipwreck structure of the island, I urged our driver (boater?) to stopover Mieu Island so that I could see Vietnam’s biggest aquarium – Tri Nguyen’s Aquarium. A fellow traveller was wild animal-anomaly fanatic; he posed cheerily amongst fish that had heads bigger half his body!

Tri Nguyen Aquarium by Khanh Hmoong @ Flickr
After watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes on the plane, I guess I was more than apprehensive visiting Lao Island, better known to tourists as Monkey Island. Our tour guide on the day told us that there are well over 1,500 monkeys on the island and as soon as you step off the boat, you can an overwhelming sense of their numbers – you’re on their turf now!
We were given black bags to put all out lunches in because the monkeys were prone to swing by and just take it – no joke, this happened to a little four year old boy who had his cashew nuts taken off him and then cried for the rest of the monkey walk, possibly scarred for life! One experience I’ll remember for a long time to come would be when I was apprehensively approaching a baby monkey, palms open, about to offer it some nuts. Before I knew it, he had yanked at my denim jeans, scoured up the length of my body and sat on my shoulder. When this happened, the other travellers had a field day with the camera . . . .
William Susetyo is the Editor-in-Chief of Accommodation.com. He was born in China and raised in Australia. Bitten by the travel bug, he has traveled extensively through Asia and Europe. Currently based in Sydney, he is a keen food enthusiast, hip hop dancer, dog lover, and jazz listener.


DRUG TESTING


Opinion: It's time to
allow doping in sport
By Ellis Cashmore, special to CNN October 23, 2012

Editor's note: Ellis Cashmore is a professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University in the UK, and the author of Making Sense of Sports.


(CNN) -- The Lance Armstrong case forces us to consider a philosophical problem that has tormented sport since 1988 when Ben Johnson was disqualified from the Olympics after testing positive for drugs.

Not 'How we can improve detection and make punishment serve as both deterrent and restitution,' but 'Should we allow athletes to use drugs?' My answer is yes.

Were we to treat athletes as mature adults capable of making informed decisions based on scientific information, we could permit the use of performance enhancing substances, monitor the results and make the whole process transparent.

Instead we continue to demonize those found guilty of doping violations, willing ourselves into ignorance.

Athletes take unknown substances, procured from unknown sources and with uncertain results. Permitting the use of doping would rescue sport from this clandestine state, creating an environment that would be not only safer, but more congruent with the reality of professional sport in the 21st century.

Twenty-four years after the Johnson scandal, performance-enhancing drugs are as abundant as ever and, as the Armstrong experience reminds us, the testers remain embarrassingly behind the curve. Despite the major advances since 1988, several athletes have evaded detection not just for the odd competition, but for entire careers.

Before Armstrong, American sprinter Marion Jones was convicted and imprisoned, though, like Armstrong, she never returned a positive drug test (she was found guilty of impeding a Federal investigation). Nor did baseball's Barry Bonds, who was convicted on one count of misleading a grand jury investigating drug use by athletes in 2011.

No sensible observer of sport today denies the prevalence of drugs in practically every major sport, yet none would argue they can ever be eliminated completely. Money alone guarantees that much. The days of the gentleman-amateur have long gone: Athletes today are competing for high stakes, not just millions, but dozens of millions (Armstrong is worth about $70 million, according).

In a culture that encourages the constant search for the limits of human achievement, we, the fans, the consumers of popular sports entertainment, revel in record-breaking, gravity-defying, barely believable feats on the field of play. Promoters, leagues, sponsors, advertisers and a miscellany of other interested parties dangle incentives.

Armstrong got rich thanks to the beneficence of people who didn't just back him but lauded, even lionized him as the greatest cyclist ever, and perhaps pound-for-pound one of the world's finest sportsmen. Small wonder he was motivated to gamble: a quick cost-benefit calculation would have told him the chances of detection were slight compared with the bounties available.

The objections are predictable:
This is cheating. In a technical sense, perhaps; but that could be fixed by changing the rules. In a moral sense, it is unfair on those competitors who do not wish to use drugs. The evidence of the Armstrong investigation suggests that many other cyclists were habitual dopers, anyway. We can't say the same for other sports, though we can remind competitors that among the array of performance enhancing aids which are available to them, such as acupuncture, hypnotism, hypoxic tents (that simulate high altitude) and the countless other perfectly legal performance enhancements are some that are probably more dangerous than drugs.

Taking drugs is wrong. Maybe, but how many of us get through a day without taking a pharmaceutical product, such as statins, antidepressants, painkillers and so on? By an accident of language we use the same term for these products and performance enhancing materials as we do for illicit drugs like crack cocaine and heroin. This misleads us into imagining related objections.

There are too many dangers. Of course there are -- as the situation is now. By inviting athletes to declare with impunity what they are using, we encourage and open discourse and promote research so we'd be in a position to advise on the relative values and risks of different substances. This openness isn't possible while we continue to force drug-taking underground. Opening up sport in the way I'm advocating would render it a safer, more secure environment.

Sports stars are role models. Possibly. But they are not paragons of virtue, and even if they were, young people who follow them and organize their own naive ambitions around theirs will eventually run into the rock hard reality that drugs are to sport what Twitter is to celebrities -- not exactly essential, but a valuable resource when used strategically.

Fans would turn off sport. Ask yourself this: Did you feel a thrill when you saw the imperious Armstrong cross the line at the 2002 Tour de France seven minutes ahead of his nearest rival? Or when you watched Marion Jones surge to victory at the Olympic 100m final in 2000? At the time, we didn't realize they or, for that matter, any of their rivals had doped. And it didn't affect our enjoyment of their performances any more than if we'd known they were wearing aerodynamically designed clothing.

The argument in favor of permitting drugs in sport is not popular at a time when the world is busy annihilating Lance Armstrong. But it is rational, sound and in harmony with sport, not as it was in the days of "Chariots of Fire," but as it is in the twenty first century: Unrelenting, mercilessly competitive and unsparingly achievement-oriented.

More on CNN

Peter’s Piece

I agree that it is time to bring drugs and sport into the open.

Performance enhancing drugs is a non-precise term which could include so many everyday things including most foods, drinks and sleep. Some may say that’s stretching things a bit far. But is it?

We are dependent on all three and we certainly won’t perform without them. And our performance will always be dependent on the ingredients in our food and drink and the things that we may use to regulate sleep.

Athletes surely cannot be held responsible for the ingredients of food and drink that they consume that has been prepared by others. Likewise, they should not be held responsible for the contents of medications.

Testing athletes for performance enhancing drugs has been an unholy can of worms, a farce and a disaster. It’s time to up-end the can and get rid of the worms.