Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mafia blackmail tactics! ... from the government

Blackmail! Something usually used by criminal groups such as the Mafia!

Dictionary.com defines it this way:

black·mail [blak-meyl]
–noun
1. any payment extorted by intimidation, as by threats of injurious revelations or accusations.
2. the extortion of such payment: He confessed rather than suffer the dishonor of blackmail.
3. a tribute formerly exacted in the north of England and in Scotland by freebooting chiefs for protection from pillage.

–verb (used with object)
4. to extort money from (a person) by the use of threats.
5. to force or coerce into a particular action, statement, etc.: The strikers claimed they were blackmailed into signing the new contract.

As I have written in my previous post, ESKOM: The Illusion of Power, due to complete mismanagement and incompetence on the part of ESKOM (South Africa's ONLY electricity provider) and of the government, ESKOM had to approach NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) for a price hike of 53% instead of the 14% hike that was awarded to it.

Remember this face! Public Enterprises Minister, Alec ErwinRight on the heels of that shocker, Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin, said that if South Africans do not want to accept the 53% price hike this year, the South African public will have to take a 100% price increase in 2009! If that isn't blackmail, then I do not know what is! He is clearly giving us an ultimatum via a threat. He is clearly trying to coerce South Africans to roll over on the electricity price hike!

When the government, and its parastatals, treat its people in this way, it has become clear that they have overstayed their welcome. This saga will go down in infamy and names such as Alec Erwin's will forever be connected to it.

He further tries to bully us into accepting this price hike since it is so important for South Africa's hosting of the World Cup soccer tournament in 2010. This seems like emotional blackmail. It is sick! He knows that soccer in South Africa is big (even though our soccer team does not reflect that). In South Africa, soccer seems to be more about emotions than actual skill at times. Alec Erwin is clearly playing on this.

Further, ESKOM claims in its submission to NERSA for the 53% price increase, that these increases are necessary due to high increases in the cost of coal. I understand that if coal costs more for ESKOM to buy, then sometime or other they would have to pass those increases onto the public. However, it strikes me as truly odd that they are suddenly asking for all these price increases right after the load shedding started. Blaming coal prices is a ruse to hide their own incompetence in running the electricity provider.

Ten years ago, the management of ESKOM at the time warned the government that by 2007 South Africa would start running out of electricity if something was not done to remedy the problem. After all that time, they had done nothing to solve the crisis, and now the consumer has to pay up for their mismanagement and incompetence in running the energy supplier.

But, then again, this country has been run on injustice and subterfuge all along.

The injustice in this regard is that they want us to pay for their gross misconduct in running the energy problem in this country, and the subterfuge is that they are trying to hide the real reasons for the price increases behind so-called coal increases.

Our energy supply needs to be diversified urgently. One supplier for the country obviously is not the solution, and the consumer must be given a choice as to which supplier he wants to use.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

ESKOM: The Illusion of Power

I was not going to write about this issue. It simply is too depressing. It has become an analogy of the way this country is going!

Regression, back into the era of darkest Africa! The problem is, South Africa can hardly be spoken of as ever having been part of darkest Africa. Yet, here we are. South Africa is fast approaching that epithet at the speed of darkness.

It truly boggles the mind! True, in South African politics, and parastatals (such as Eskom), it doesn't take long for the next mind boggling trick up the sleeves of these institutions to be exposed.

Ten (10) years ago, the management of Eskom at the time warned the South African government of impending doom with regards to the country's power supply.

However, that little fact was only made known to the public a few months ago, after load shedding started being implemented in South Africa.

Once this episode started, and the government feigned an investigation into the load shedding by Eskom--government had known about this for 10 years already, remember?--the National Electricity Regulator of SA (Nersa) awarded Eskom a 14.2% price hike, effective from 1 April 2008.

Apart from this, Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister, announced in his budget speech in February, that the citizens of this country will be taxed on energy usage. Obviously, this is to make up for the billions of rands the government is "lending" Eskom to build its capacity up once again. So, it will be a 14.2% price hike, plus extra tax by the government on electricity!

But wait, it gets WAAYYY better!

Just a few days ago, it was brought to light that Eskom has asked for a 53% price hike! This hike will replace the 14.2% increase initially awarded.

First, those involved in allowing the situation to go this far and dumping this country into darkness should have been fired! Plain and simple! In any other company, if the top brass caused such chaos to ensue, they would have been fired, without apology! Yet, here in this Politically Correct Stupid country, these buffoons were probably apologised to for having thoughts of firing them! How absolutely ludicrous!

It is not just the management of Eskom that should have been canned! The Minister of Public Enterprise Surprises, Alec Irwin should also have been given the boot! So too the Minister of Minerals and Energy Atrophy, Ms Buyelwa Patience Sonjica.

Second, having run this country into darkness, the "fat cats" at Eskom are to receive performance bonuses to the amount of R9.22 Million at the end of March 2008. What would those bonuses have been if they actually ran a company that could provide the services they promised they could? R100 Million?

Are we to pay their bonuses for them?

It is absolutely sickening! The moral outrage! These evil men are going to receive millions, while at the same time they want South Africans to pay 53% more for their electricity! These monstrous "fat cats" are completely void of ethics! They should be taken to the wall and put before a firing squad! They do not deserve our mercy!

But, then again, God showed me mercy and so I will show them the same. Still, they should be fired! They should not be paid those bonuses. In fact, the bonuses that they were paid for the last 5 years should be demanded back by the company.

Third, Eskom management has proven by now that they are incapable of running Eskom successfully, and that they have truly messed it up, yet, they want the man in the street to pay for their mistake mismanagement!

Fourth, how dare Eskom ask South Africa for more money while they will continue to have these power cuts (load shedding)? Will Eskom's failures just never end? If I ask someone for more money, should I not first make sure that I can actually provide a good service to the client? Which client will pay for a service that is undeliverable?

Fifth, an electricity price hike will not happen in a vacuum! Almost everything will become more expensive overnight. However long that night will be while Eskom's rule of darkness continues! Once all these prices have gone up, our inflationary targets will not be met, since inflation will skyrocket, and then the Reserve Bank will increase interest rates. All of this will have a very negative effect on the country and will force our economy down into the doldrums.

What can I say, but, that there are dark days ahead of us?

I just wish government had the backbone to fire those responsible. Perhaps then our faith in justice will be restored.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shooting at Islam from the hip

On Feb 5, 2008, I showed through a pictorial post called "A sleeping Europe will be a Europe lost!", what a sleeping Europe can expect.

Here is an atheist (Pat Condell) that recognises Islamic issues for what they are and refuses to be politically correct, just like Islamofascists refuse to be politically correct.

Just hope that more in Europe will wake up to the fuming giant in their midst.



HT: Ms. Underestimated

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Barack: Not fit to be security guard at Wal Mart?

Pat Buchanan has written an insigtful commentary on Barack Obama's relationship with the vitriolic Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ.

Here are a few paragraphs:

"It is easy now to understand why Michelle Obama, before Barack began to win, had never once been proud of her country. Who could be proud of the America that lives in the malignant imagination of the Rev. Wright?

"Barack has now moved to separate himself from Wright's rants and removed him from the campaign roster. And he will likely be forced, with anguish, to turn his back on, repudiate, and reject his beloved friend and teacher.


"But it is too late for that. For Wright has, for millions of Americans, filled in the blanks about Barack. Wright tells us the kind of company Barack keeps, the kind of men he holds close, the kind of attitudes and beliefs he finds acceptable, if not congenial."

Read Buchanan's article, Pastor to the President? here.

A Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Non-Windows OS from Microsoft

"Want to see what a non-Windows-based operating system developed by Microsoft looks like?

"If you are willing and able to sign a non-commercial, academic Shared Source license, look no further. Microsoft on March 4 made the few-hundred-thousand lines of source code for Singularity Version 1 available for download from its CodePlex site. Microsoft made the announcement at its Microsoft Research TechFest 2008 event in Redmond, Wash.

"Singularity is an operating system and set of related tools and libraries that is developed completely in managed code. Singularity is not based on Windows; it was written from scratch as a proof-of-concept."

Find out more here.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Open Letter to Barack Obama

Sherif Girgis wrote an open letter to Barck Obama. It starts like this:

"Dear Senator Obama:

"As an immigrant from Kenya, your father found new hope in America’s noble principles and vast opportunities. The same promise brought my parents here from Egypt when I was still too young to thank them. Now you have inspired my generation with your vision of a country united around the same ideals of liberty and justice, 'filled with hope and possibility for all Americans.'

"But do you mean it?

"As a legislator, you have opposed every effort to protect unborn human life. Shockingly, you even opposed a bill to protect the lives of babies who, having survived an attempted abortion, are born alive. Despite your party’s broad support for legal abortion and its public funding, most Democrats (including Senator Clinton) did not oppose the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. You, however, opposed it. Your vision of America seems to eliminate 'hope and possibility' for a whole class of Americans: the youngest and most vulnerable. You would deny them the most basic protection of justice, the most elementary equality of opportunity: the right to be born."

Read the rest here.

HT: Justin Taylor

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The difference between the heroes of the Alamo and the world today

Chuck Baldwin wrote an excellent article on the heroes of the Alamo and how they were so different to the jelly-kneed politicians and liberals of today.

"During this week back in 1836, the Alamo fell. For more than 13 days, 186 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna's seasoned army of over 4,000 troops. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave those ramparts alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. Yet, they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to this generation of spoiled Americans.

"It is difficult to recall that stouthearted men such as Davy Crockett (a nationally known frontiersman and former Congressman), Will Travis (only 23 years old with a little baby at home), and Jim Bowie (a wealthy landowner with properties on both sides of the Rio Grande) really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed through their veins. They loved their families and enjoyed life as much as any of us. There was something different about them, however. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort."

Finish reading here.

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