Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013): An Imperfect Hero

ComicHeroesNormally, when most people think of heroes, they think of Superman, Ironman, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Batman and many more. First, these heroes don’t die. They were conjured up in the minds of people and as long as people are willing to conjure up more stories about these heroes, they will live on. Second, these heroes do not exist. We do not have a Man of Steel flying around with people saying: “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is Superman!”

Some of these super-heroes have made some real memorable quotes, as non-existent heroes.

"In this world, there is right and there is wrong, and that distinction is not difficult to make." (Superman – D.C. Comics)

"Wars are never won, regardless of who might be the victor. The very act of war is itself a horrible defeat." (Green Lantern – D.C. Comics)

“What do you think the A stands for? France?” (Captain America – Marvel Comics)

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Is the ANC feeling the pinch?

elections2014

The next general elections in South Africa is in 2014. As usual, the elections machinery goes into overdrive and the elections trickery gets under way. However, I am not sure if the following is just elections trickery, or whether the ANC is starting to feel the pinch and pressure of electioneering. Especially now that Julius Malema started his own party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF for short).

Cyril Ramaphosa (Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)It is very clear that the ANC no longer has any ideas as to the running of the country, especially when taking into consideration how many poor and unemployed people we have in South Africa. How do we know this? ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, visited the hometown of EFF leader, Julius Malema. How did he counsel a woman who was disappointed with the ANC and did not want to vote? He told her, “If all South Africans don’t vote, we will regress. The Boers [white people] will come back to control us.” South Africa is long past that point, and all this so-called leader of the ANC (Abortion Nepotism and Corruption/Condoms) could tell her is to watch out for the white monster! The ANC is policy-less. They have no answers for the problems of this nation. The fact that he told this woman to beware of the “dangerous” whites is because the policies of the ANC have not brought the freedom they promised. It has brought greater unemployment, creating a greater welfare problem, and invited more criminals into the fold.

Zweli Mkhize (Picture: Sapa)In an unrelated event, “ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize wants companies to fund political parties and has suggested the establishment of a trust fund, the Sowetan reported on Monday.” This was reported in a news article at News24. If it wasn’t so sad that the ANC now thinks that businesses should pay them for democracy in this country, it would be quite laughable. Don’t think for a moment that the ANC is doing this for the good of democracy in this country. They have this demented idea that they would reign in this country until Jesus comes. Further, with a current, almost two-thirds majority vote, they sometimes actually believe they will never be dethroned. Hence my belief that this democracy trust fund, is simply a ruse to get companies to bank-roll the ANC. Further, Mkhize believes that the fund should be “administered by the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly, which would allocate the funds in line with proportional representation of parties.” Of course, the fact that the speaker is just another ANC crony should not alarm us, should it? OF COURSE IT SHOULD! The fact is that large companies such as Anglo American have followed this idea of proportionate funding for many years. All that this does is to perpetuate the current situation. The parties that roll in the money, such as the ANC, will always come out on top since their budgets allow for so much more marketing of their brand. Small parties, with real answers for this country such as the ACDP, can’t get anywhere since they do not have the funds to market themselves and to make sure that people know what they stand for.

What Mkhize is proposing, is to perpetuate crony capitalism in South Africa. That is a capitalism that benefits the ANC and the businesses that support it. Herman Mashaba, chairman of the Free Market Foundation, is against this type of capitalism.

Mashaba

“has been an outspoken and uncompromising champion of the free market in the new South Africa. His great strength is that he is beholden to no political party or politician. He believes the opposite is true of too many business leaders in South Africa.

“This is their great weakness, and the whole country is suffering because of it.

“They keep quiet because they are terrified of losing their political connections, fearing that if they lose them, they will lose government business, he says.

“In effect, this means that crony capitalism rules -and crony capitalism is a devastating threat to democracy in South Africa, he believes.” (Business Day Live)

He said that

“Draconian labour legislation has destroyed entrepreneurship in this country.”

In the end, I believe that the ANC is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. On the one hand they need to scare people into voting for them, and on the other hand they believe that they are the party of the Almighty. Or maybe it describes schizophrenia?

On the one hand the ANC claims to uphold democracy, but on the other hand they want to force businesses to pay for that democracy. Weird!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Teen sex in South Africa apparently has no consequences

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On 3 October 2013, the South African Constitutional Court (similar to the American Supreme Court), proclaimed sections 15 and 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, relating to sexual offences, to be unconstitutional. The unanimous judgement was written by Judge Sisi Khampepe. According to the judgement, these two sections “infringed on the rights of adolescents between 12 and 16 to dignity and privacy, and further violated the best interest principle contained in section 28(2) of the constitution.” (IOL)

According to the Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt) judgement summary, the court used expert evidence to conclude that “the impugned provisions criminalise what constitutes developmentally normative conduct for adolescents, and adversely affect the very children the Act seeks to protect.

Further, “[t]he provisions were declared invalid only to the extent that they criminalise consensual sexual conduct between adolescents [defined as 12- to 16-year olds]: the criminal prohibitions against non-consensual sexual conduct with children of any age, and against sexual activity between adults and older children on the one hand, and adolescents on the other hand, remain in place.

In this judgement, the ConCourt is reticent to criminalize “what constitutes developmentally normative conduct for adolescents.” Really? So, the measuring rod for behaviour amongst our children is what constitutes as “developmentally normative conduct for adolescents?” What other conduct related to developmental conduct will next be decriminalized? Your guess is as good as mine, and it sends shivers down my spine when I just think of the possibilities.

Violence among teenagers is a growing problem in South Africa. More and more teenagers think that the best way to solve differences is through physical violence. Just this week a group of teenagers from one school used a taxi to get to another school to exact vengeance on pupils of that school for bullying a friend of theirs at the school. A couple of weeks ago a pupil attacked and seriously wounded a teacher. This type of violence among teenagers has become normative developmental conduct in our nation. Will this be decriminalized?

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

A letter of objection to a casino at Menlyn Maine

I was alerted this week by a friend concerning a casino that may be built at Menlyn Maine, opposite the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in the east of Pretoria. Sun International, the gambling mega corporation started by Sol Kerzner many years ago, has applied for gambling rights in order for them to build a casino at Menlyn Maine.

menlynmaine

I felt it necessary to write an objection to the relevant person at the Gauteng Gambling Board (Bheki Nkosi – bhekin@ggb.org.za). My letter of objection follows:

To whom it may concern:
 
I was made aware of an application for a casino at Menlyn Maine, across from the Menlyn Park Shopping mall. I would like to object to such a venture for several reasons:
 
1. There are 2 schools in the immediate vicinity of Menlyn Maine: Glen High and the Hatfield Christian School. For obvious reasons it is not a good idea.
2. Gambling does not uplift people, but makes them poorer. The lure of quick money makes people go to extremes and end up squandering their money, making gambling corporations rich at the expense of the people.
3. Apart from being a costly enterprise for the individual, it further ruins marriages, the building block of society. The number one cause of divorces is money, and gambling brings severe monetary strain to marriages.
4. Gambling can lead to bankruptcy, where people can lose their homes and more.
5. Statistics have also shown that crime rises in metropolitan areas after casinos have made their inroads into those areas.
6. When people start losing all they have because of their gambling addictions, they themselves tend to turn to crime to make money or turn to loan sharks for their money, putting their lives at risk.
7. Those that do gamble the most to alleviate their hopeless situations are the poor and the elderly.
8. Gambling is an immoral venture by definition, since it feeds on the hopelessness of the poor, promising them great rewards while gambling houses know for a fact that the gamblers are not the money makers but the casinos themselves. Thus, casinos pull the old bait and switch, luring the defenseless with images of great riches, and once they are trapped, they are sucked dry by a vicious entity who does not care about the lives it has ruined.
 
Regards,
William Dicks

If you feel like objecting to this casino, please make use of this opportunity to write to the Gauteng Gambling Board.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013

A low flat tax is not something to laugh at

governmentnowealth

Flat_TaxSome believe that in order to get enough money to service the country, taxes should be raised. However, that is a sure-fire way to  bring the economy to a halt, since investments will come to a grinding halt and the people will either do their utmost to keep most of their money to themselves, or go look for greener grass elsewhere.

Others believe that government should should stimulate or boost the economy through fiscal or monetary policy. Jasson Urbach writes:

“The simple reason government spending fails to end recessions is because every rand the government “injects” into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of it. Government merely redistributes money from the productive to the non-productive sectors of the economy. No new income and, therefore, no new demand for goods and services is created.

It is not government but private firms that generate wealth and are the engines of economic growth. Government cannot create new purchasing power out of thin air. The mistaken view that fiscal stimulus can pull economies out of recession persists because the jobs created through government ‘make-work’ programmes are clearly visible. What we cannot see are the jobs that would have been created elsewhere in the economy with that same money had it not been taxed or borrowed by government.”

He further writes about the limitations of government monetary policy. “At best,” he writes,

“it is simply a lever that can be adjusted to influence growth in the short-run. Consider what happens when the Reserve Bank cuts interest rates beyond what would have occurred if interest rates were freely determined by the interactions between the demand and supply of credit. When interest rates are cut too far, the capital allocation in the economy is skewed because capital is allocated to marginal activities. For example, if real interest rates are negative or zero, it would be unwise to hold cash balances because the investment will not earn a return. In this case investors would look for alternative places to invest. In low interest rate environments, these alternatives might be marginal activities that normally would not attract investment. When interest rates are forced to rise because of increasing inflation, marginal investments are exposed and the economy is likely to relapse into another period of recession.”

He can continue reading Urbach’s article entitled A low flat tax will lead to investment, growth and job.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

America on its way to an Orwellian end?

The way that America is going at this moment makes me think of the great demise of the Roman Empire. When it though it was invincible, Rome came crashing down. The same seems to be happening in America.

The big difference between Rome and America is that Rome was pillaged from without and America is being pillaged from within. And, the pillaging is done by the political class, the leaders of the nation. It points to an Orwellian demise.

John W. Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute, has some interesting things to say about the state of the U.S.A.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New South African Electoral Amendment Bill



South African politics have always been party politics, and not really whether those in parliament actually deserved to be there, or were accountable to anyone but the party they belonged to.

In simple terms, the South African system is a proportional system. That means that each party gets to allocate a proportional number of members of parliament (MPs) according to the percentage of votes it garnered in an election. If there are 162 positions for MPs, and party A got 23% of the vote and party B got 53%, then party A will get to put forward 37 of its members to be MPs and party B 86. This way, the voters will never know whether these MPs are really capable of doing the job, or whether they have a sense of accountability.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

By backing down FNB set a dangerous precedent

This video can only offend the ANC!

The ANC once again has shown that it is incapable of taking criticism and of thinking about the future of South Africa! In just more than a week the ANC, and especially its youth wing (ANCYL) and its Women’s League (ANCWL), bullied First National Bank (FNB) into an apology to the ANC.

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