Albert Mugabe that is, a Burundian national. In a sick twist the perpetrators tried to make it appear that the victim was the assailant! More madness from South Zim. Eish, plenty of SWC delirium tremens still to come!
A Burundian refugee was beaten up in an apparent xenophobic attack on a train near Claremont station, and later died in hospital.
Police have opened a murder docket.
Albert Mugabe, 27, had boarded a train at Retreat after visiting friends. He was reportedly attacked when the train neared Claremont by a group of Xhosa-speaking people, but Metrorail was under the impression that Mugabe was attacked when he tried to rob someone.
Metrorail's Riana Scott confirmed that "an incident of attempted robbery aboard train No 0188 was reported on Thursday, July 22 at 5.40pm at Claremont Station and that the alleged assailant was taken to Groote Schuur hospital for treatment".
This version of events has been denied by Mugabe's friend, Fidel Nzayikorera, who said the claim was utter nonsense.
"He had money, he worked hard and had no family, why would he need to rob someone? It just does not make sense."
After his body lay in the Salt River Mortuary as an "unknown", Mugabe's friends found him there and identified his body.
Nzayikorera, Aimable Cyuma, Methuselah Mukenga, Alexis Nduwe and Pastor John Kadende, all friends of Mugabe, have been battling for more than a week to find answers about Mugabe's death.
They said they were informed about the attack by an acquaintance who witnessed it.
Mugabe's friends said they could see no visible signs of injury or disfigurement when they identified his body.
A car guard, Elie Nkundaniyigena from the Congo, is the only person who saw what happened in the final moments of Mugabe's life.
Speaking through an interpreter, he told Weekend Argus he had witnessed the entire incident, but fled from the carriage after the train stopped at Claremont.
Nkundaniyigena said he recognised Mugabe as he stood in the middle of the carriage chatting to other commuters, even though he did not know his name.
"There were South Africans, Zimbabweans and Malawians in the carriage. At first it appeared as if they were just talking, but then someone asked Mugabe if he could speak Xhosa, where he worked and how long he'd been in the country.
According to Nkundaniyigena Mugabe said he could speak Xhosa and that he worked as a safety officer on a boat and lived in Simon's Town.
"Close to Claremont station, the same people started grabbing Mugabe and three other foreigners who were on the same train.
"They kicked Mugabe while the other men managed to escape as soon as the train stopped. I watched in horror, but could do nothing. Everything happened so fast and because I was afraid I stayed low, hiding behind a uniformed man who was sitting next to me."
Nkundaniyigena said when he looked up Mugabe had been pushed down and someone was banging his head against the train floor.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Horrible, horrible story; and the worst part is probably the very last sentence:
Port Elizabeth – Two young tourists were raped in separate incidents in the Eastern Cape at the weekend – near the Addo Elephant Park and at Storms River.
In one of the incidents, a German boy, 14, was forced to sit quietly and keep quiet while his cousin, 15, was raped by two men who were armed with knives.
The boy and his cousin were fast asleep on Saturday at about 05:45 when a man apparently climbed through the window of their chalet and opened the door for his accomplice.
"They attacked the teenagers, pulled a blanket over the boy's head and apparently raped the girl," said police spokesperson lieutenant colonel Priscilla Naidu.
The incident happened at the Lenmore Bed and Breakfast in the main road near the Addo Elephant Park.
Naidu was unable to say on Sunday where the tourists were now. The suspects were still on the run.
"The asked the children to keep quiet. One of the men asked them not to leave the room for an hour after they had left."
"Fifteen minutes later, however, the children started screaming and their family members in the room next to them went to them," said Naidu. The owner of the bed and breakfast apparently had to help open the locked door. The owner did not want to talk about the incident on Sunday.
The boy's two brothers, in their early twenties, were sleeping in the room next door. According to the police, the girl's mother was staying at a bed and breakfast further down the road.
"The family is on vacation in South Africa as schools in Germany were closed," said Naidu.
The boy and girl had given a description of the men to police. A camera and some of the teens' personal belongings had been stolen.
In Storms River, a Dutch woman, 22, was also raped in the early hours of the morning. The 27-year-old suspect will appear on Monday in the local magistrate's court. The woman, a volunteer at a nursery school in the area, had spent Friday night with friends. She went home on Saturday morning.
"On the way there, a man who was known to the victim, offered to walk with her. He then overpowered her at a densely wooded area and raped her," said Naidu.
The woman reported the matter to the police. According to Naidu, the man, whom the foreigner only knew by his nickname, was also known to police. The woman had arrived a week ago in Storms River and would have left on August 14. Naidu could also not say on Sunday where the woman was now.
Veliswa Mhlapo, spokesperson for the Eastern Cape tourism board, described the incidents as shocking.
She said the tourism board sometimes helped victims who reported such cases to them.
"It is too bad that something like this has to happen so soon after the World Cup. It places the province in a bad light and frightens off foreign tourists," said Mhlapo.
- Die Burger
Friday, July 30, 2010
h/t Ozzie Saffa
ANC sets sights on newspapers
Lizel Steenkamp, Beeld
Cape Town - The ANC is considering a total onslaught against the printed media, which it wants to rein in with legislation and investigations.
The documents for discussion at the ruling party's national executive council meeting in September have just been released. These include a document entitled "Transformation in the media, ownership and diversity".
It outlines the route the ANC wants to follow against a "neo-liberal" media which depicts the government as "weak and passive", that "over-emphasizes people's individual rights" and is "fundamentally market-driven".
The ANC states in no uncertain terms that "legislation and intervention" is needed to ensure a diverse media.
These discussion documents have emerged amidst the controversial proposed Protection of Information Act, which will allow the State to classify any information it deems sensitive and hand down heavy penalties to journalists.
According to the documents, it's the printed media in particular which is a thorn in the party's side because of reports which seldom paint the government in a positive light.
"A superficial audit of the printed media reveals an astounding degree of dishonesty, a lack of professional integrity and independence."
According to the ANC, corrupt journalists receive money to promote the agenda of certain political parties, and the "rot" is far worse than the media would like to admit.
The party takes particular exception to the fact that confidential information is leaked to the media after party meetings.
The document also states that corrections are never given sufficient prominence and that the press ombudsman (self-regulation) is ineffective.
"This situation is intolerable."
The ANC also feels it is its duty to intervene, in order to protect the media's credibility.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
By Jim Goad - reproduced from Taki Mag
Best article I've read for awhile. I can identify with it 100% and hope you do too!
When I encounter facts that run contrary to my beliefs, I embrace the facts and abandon my beliefs. I wish the rest of the world was like me.
I was around eight years old when the evidence against Santa Claus became too overwhelming for me to continue believing in him. My arrogant and dickheadedly precocious mind had figured out that it would be physically impossible for Santa to fit enough toys for all the world’s children on a single sleigh and then deliver them over the course of one night. After hammering at this line of questioning with my mother, she finally relented and admitted she’d been lying to me for eight years about Santa Claus.
I didn’t enjoy learning she’d lied to me. And I stopped believing in Santa Claus.
I was around sixteen when I stopped believing in Jesus Christ as my savior. I reached the point where I’d read enough of the Bible to realize it contained several items that couldn’t possibly be true simultaneously. For instance, no infallible God would establish an “eternal” covenant, only to change His mind, revoke it later, and then suddenly pull a New Covenant out of his ass. A perfect God simply wouldn’t roll like that.
I was angry learning I’d been lied to about Jesus. And so I ceased being a Christian.
I was in my late twenties when I stopped identifying myself as a liberal. When evidence started mounting that shot machine-gun holes through the block of liberal cheese I’d purchased at the local liberal co-op, I concluded that liberalism was not a logically consistent belief system.
But it wasn’t only liberal illogic that caused me to dump the whole program—much of it had to do with gradual changes in liberal attitudes and behavior. I’m old enough to remember when liberals were free-speech absolutists and conservatives tended to be the book-burners. But historical forces can blur, erase, and often invert party lines.
Over the years, I watched as liberals slowly became the group most likely to flat-out refuse discussing certain topics and answering certain questions, their purportedly “open” minds snapping shut like a giant clam. They became the group most likely to try and silence their opponents by shouting them down, defaming them, assaulting them, and even urging legislation to ban the use and expression of certain terms and sentiments. They became the group most disposed toward emotional appeals, double standards, wishful thinking, and wretchedly malodorous sanctimony.
Up through my teens and twenties, I had considered liberals to be the most open-minded and free-thinking group in America, only to watch them morph into the most ideologically rigid pack of true believers I’d ever seen. With modern American liberalism, it’s as if their cute, multicolored, and sincerely curious little 1960s caterpillar had blossomed into a hardened grey butterfly fossil. Liberalism had become an emotion-driven folk religion that somehow had convinced itself science and logic were on its side.
These days, I suppose I’d rather hang out with conservatives than liberals, if only for the fact that I offend conservatives less, and it’s a drag to hang out with people who are always getting offended.
And unless I suffer from blind, chronic denial, I like to believe that my political journey has been free of the cognitive dissonance that afflicts ideologues of every stripe.
A study recently published in Political Behavior addresses the topic of cognitive dissonance as it regards political beliefs. Titled “When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions,” it is an amended version of a paper originally presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.
The study, written by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, focused on four separate experiments in which college students were presented with mock news articles containing items of misinformation that were subsequently “corrected” by the researchers, who presented the students with hard evidence that contradicted the initially bungled facts. The researchers found that being fed corrective information failed to budge their subjects’ opinions and that, disturbingly, it often caused them to strengthen their erroneous beliefs. The researchers refer to this defensive tendency to double-up on disproved beliefs as the “backfire effect.”
This troubling phenomenon—of people stubbornly believing what has been certified as unbelievable—is as old as humanity. A farmer named William Miller gained religious followers by predicting the world’s end in 1843. When it didn’t end and he didn’t lose any followers, he predicted it would end in 1844. When that didn’t happen, his cult only gained believers instead of withering away. It still exists today and is known as Seventh Day Adventism.
In his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, author Leon Festinger infiltrated another cult that claimed to have nailed down Doomsday’s exact date. When Doomsday came and went without doom, the cultists were duped into believing space aliens had granted a reprieve in order to allow the cult to spread their mission. Naturally, the cult only gained strength. Twenty years later, a book called The Psychic Mafia detailed the imbecility of a group who refused to believe that a psychic named Raoul was a fraud even though Raoul himself admitted as much to them. The book’s author, M. Lamar Keene, wrote, “I knew how easy it was to make people believe a lie, but I didn’t expect the same people, confronted with the lie, would choose it over the truth….No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie.”
Although Nyhan and Reifler’s recent study takes a few token stabs at objectivity, it stinks a bit of what is known as Expectation Bias, seeing as the authors repeatedly make a distinction between “conservatives” and “more knowledgable subjects” and suggest that their study “may provide support for the hypothesis that conservatives are especially dogmatic.”
However, I like to cut slack where slack deserves to be cut, so I should mention that the authors tossed in the following: “It would also be helpful to test additional corrections of liberal misperceptions.”
I agree that it would be helpful. I propose an additional study where subjects are read the following factual statements, most of which directly contradict prominent liberal misinformation:
• Communist governments killed perhaps a hundred million more people than the Nazis did.
• Women commit acts of domestic violence at a higher rate than men do.
• Blacks commit interracial violence at a rate far in excess of their representation in the general population.
• Sex has a lot to do with rape.
• Race is a biologically quantifiable reality in addition to something that can be manipulated as a social construct.
• Black-on-black murders in the USA every year are roughly double the total number of blacks lynched in America throughout history.
• Islam is far more misogynistic and anti-Semitic than most white male Christians are.
• There is not a shred of evidence to support the idea of innate cognitive and physical equality between human ethnic groups.
• Many of the nations that wound up being colonized were not innately peaceful and were only subjugated due to their inferior defensive technology.
• Collective, intergenerational guilt is a fantasy that doesn’t exist.
• The ends do not justify the means.
How would most self-identified leftists react to such “corrective information”? Would they immediately alter their beliefs? If my suspicions are correct, they’d be displaying the “backfire effect” like it was fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Conservative or liberal, the documented reality of human cognitive dissonance does not bode well for the idea of democracy, because a well-informed public doesn’t stick to the facts when it doesn’t quite care for them or doesn’t have the brain power to process them rationally.
That’s why I don’t look right or left—only up and down. When I look down, I see hard-line ideologues and weak-willed compromisers. When I look up, I see skeptics, who are our only hope. Skepticism and curiosity, not Jesus and Mary, are what made the West great. We need to elevate our skeptics and demote our ideologues. Our national motto should be “Don’t stop disbelievin’.”
I feel this way because refusing to allow emotion to rule over logic is of tremendous emotional importance to me. One should never have the courage of their convictions—they should have the courage to abandon their convictions to find some newer, better convictions once their convictions have been proved wrong.
And that’s why I’m no longer a liberal.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Well, don't take my word for it. From the FBI, no less:
Hate Crime Statistics 2008
Hate Crimes committed per million head of population:
Now, this is simplistic, and conceals the facts that many hate crimes against whites are committed by other minorities, and that many white Americans commit hate crimes against other minorities, but the numbers are interesting.
What I can't tell from the table is whether anti-Jewish and anti-gay hate crimes are subsumed into the racial statistics (which would dramatically alter the results) but given the focus on race I suspect not. After all a crime against a white gay man is not an "anti-white" crime.
Of course, you can turn the figures completely around and show how blacks are disproportionally targetted for hate crimes - but showing it this way makes at least an interesting statement.
We can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the World Cup visitors and celebrities didn't venture further than the 5-star hotels and the soccer stadiums to assess the authentic South Africa. Perhaps they should have visited Sannieshof in the North West Province where an ANC local government's real capacity to "do it" can be measured.
Claiming credit for the World Cup success - as did ex President Thabo Mbeki - as an "African triumph" is misplaced. The Cup was held in South Africa, not "Africa" and the country should be judged on how it is run on a day-to-day basis, and whether the iconic rulers basking in the spotlight have really achieved anything for the people they purported to represent during the "struggle".
If the ANC government cannot run a municipality, how can they take credit for running the World Cup? Local government in South Africa under ANC control is epitomized by the travesty of Sannieshof, and it is worth telling the world that national and international euphoria about iconic birthdays is not only misplaced, but is skewed. Whose party is responsible for the degradation of South Africa's municipalities, not to mention other arms of government? Is this ANC legacy to be lauded and applauded?
Let us look at municipalities, the successful running of which is taken for granted in most of the world. Cleaning the streets, removing the rubbish, maintaining the sewage systems, repairing the roads - elementary one would say. Not in South Africa! After inheriting world class local government in 1994, the ANC has destroyed - or is destroying - these structures so effectively that, for example, there is presently four million litres of raw sewage in the streets of Sannieshof!
The story of Sannieshof should be placed before Leonardo di Caprio, Morgan Freeman and John Travolta. They are in thrall to our first ANC president, but he himself has had nothing to say about the dire straits in which the residents of this NW town- both black and white - find themselves under his party's rule.
In November 2007, the ratepayers of three NW towns - Sannieshof, Delareyville and Ottosdal - and the surrounding farms officially declared a dispute with Tswaing municipality. It was about sanitation and the lack of potable water, inter alia. Calling themselves the Sannieshof Residents Ratepayers Union (SIBU) under the leadership of Ms. Carien Visser, they decided to hold back municipal utility payments and to fix the problems themselves. Ratepayers would pay SIBU and not the council. Instead of hanging their heads in shame, the ANC-controlled municipal officials took SIBU to court! (This attitude is very much part of the ANC's government's no-shame, no-accountability mentality!)
Currently, with less than five workers and a few volunteers, SIBU has taken over municipal government in the area. SIBU has become a municipality within a municipality! Residents have learned to stand together, across the racial divide. SIBU has attended to the complaints of the neighbouring townships, and these black residents are joining hands with their white counterparts against the ANC's arrogant non-performance.
SIBU's white ratepayers have taken the black townships under their wing. SIBU has clout because it has money. It is typical that the ANC-run council has abandoned the blacks - there are only three public taps for more than 1 500 residents and only one is operational! There is no municipal sanitation service - residents must make do with shallow holes next to their makeshift homes. (So much for the ANC's election slogan "a better life for all"!)
Most residents in the black areas do not pay rates and taxes - they were told by the ANC in the 2009 pre-election campaign that it was acceptable to withhold payment. It is not coincidental that 2009 will go down in history as the year of violent non-service-delivery protests in South Africa's townships!
VINDICTIVENESS AND BLIND ARROGANCE
The ANC's approach to this situation is vindictive or dismissive towards those who complain, especially towards Ms. Carien Visser, a woman alone who has fought the ANC council for more than five years.
Despite a 2009 report issued by the government's Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) underscoring the critical state of affairs prevailing in South African local government (of the country's 283 municipalities, 80% experience problems with sanitation and potable water, and there has not been a clean audit approved for most of them), the ANC continues to ignore its own warnings! Its commitment to placing its own cadres in public positions has blinded it to its duties to supply the better life for all that it promised! President Jacob Zuma is deceiving the public when he says that government "will apply World Cup success strategies to increase the strategic focus of government" and that government will identify "the key outputs and activities required to achieve the outcome". (Citizen 23.7.10)
These are words, just words. In one appointments advertisement after another, government departments declare there must be "employment equity (EE)" in employment policy. (Read "no whites need apply".) Examples: recent Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's full-page ads for highly skilled posts carry the EE proviso, as do ads for Eastern Cape hospitals, the above-mentioned government department COGTA and various municipalities. This EE approach has been going on for years. Business Day of 6 July carried EE government ads juxtaposed with ads from Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Kingdom, West and East Africa for everyone from engineers to IT specialists, to town planners. Merit was the key requirement in those ads.
One often sees black slums in Africa on TV where sewage runs down the streets, and garbage lies rotting in the sun. Residents find it unacceptable, but they live with it. Not so Sannieshof ratepayers - there are some things where one draws the line! ( A black township resident took it upon herself to try and repair one of the broken taps - she was reprimanded by the local councillor because she "interfered" with the work of municipal officials!)
The private sector in South Africa has had to take up the slack of recalcitrant and incompetent ANC councillors. In Sannieshof, letters to the council go unanswered for months, even years. Talks get nowhere, only promises are made which are not kept. There is no maintenance - sewage pumps are broken, water supply is sporadic, rubbish is all over the place, and even borehole water is contaminated. The streets are full of potholes, and Ms. Visser's committee had to use a fire brigade truck to take water to township dwellers.
In one instance, municipal officials declared that to repair a pump and cable, R2 million would be needed. Ms. Visser's committee repaired everything for R12 000! Financial mismanagement is the order of the day. Municipal boreholes are not working, storm water drains are blocked and the towns 1699 water meters are out of order. If a fire broke out in the town, the fire brigade would have to travel more than 45 km to get water!
The SIBU committee's initiative has saved the town from complete collapse, yet Tswaing's municipal manager took Ms. Visser to court in April 2009 "because what Ms. Visser is doing is illegal"! The town's rates and taxes were around R21,7 million in arrears. The two neighbouring towns owed R27,2 and R46,7 million respectively.
But SIBU had a case - they had declared a dispute and after two years, the Council had still not responded satisfactorily. Ms.Visser and her team then proceeded to repair the Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW), while an officer of the council - in the presence of the police - told her she would be prosecuted for trespassing! The committee spent R45 000 trying to service the pumps, and a further R20 000 repairing the black township's sewage pump. While her team was repairing the pumps, she was removed by the police on instructions of a council official and taken to the police station where a case of trespassing was opened against her. When she arrived at the magistrates court later, the case had been thrown out by a - thankfully sane - magistrate.
(It is worth noting that in 2006 already, 79 of 231 municipalities employed not a single civil engineer, while the six major metropoles between them had only 732 civil engineers to serve a population of more than 15,6 million. More ominous is the fact that there were 30 000 annual registered apprentices in the late 1970s and early 1980s but the number had dropped to less than 2 000 in 2005. Who is going to fix things at municipalities when these men - many approaching retirement age - retire? The ANC's cadres?)
A November 2009, 65-page NW University report on the antics of the Tswaing Council makes scary reading and the fact that Ms. Visser continues to try and maintain what are to most people decent living standards in her town and the neighbouring townships is nothing short of a miracle. Reams of correspondence to the council have been provided to TAU SA and it is clear that not many people in the world would put up with the blind arrogance, incompetence and contempt meted out to the residents of these towns by the ANC.
Will the residents of these towns throw out the ANC in next year's municipal elections, as they appear to be doing in some areas of South Africa? We quote from the foreword of Anthea Jeffery's book Chasing the Rainbow- From Mandela to Zuma: The ANC's plan is complete control of the State. "Relentless pursuit of these objectives has placed broad swathes of South African life under the control of cadres whose first loyalty is to the party, not the people. Anyone seeking to understand the ANC's tolerance of incompetence and malfeasance in parastatals, key bureaucracies and municipalities would do well to grasp this principle. The achievement of racial quotas is seen as an absolute good, even if the cure inadvertently cripples the patient. Why does our rail system experience eight accidents or collisions every day? Why are seventy percent of our sewage plants on the verge of collapse?"
The answer is in Ms. Jeffery's book which should be required reading for Messrs. di Caprio, Freeman, Travolta and, yes, those who are now punting South Africa for the Olympic Games.Source: TAU SA, July 26 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The following is from the book: Oom Paul' People by an American author & newspaper correspondent named Howard C Hillegas. This chapter was rather fair to the Boers & their then struggle to remain independent within their republics during the second Anglo-Boer War & goes into some detail describing the life of the average Boer. The opening line of this chapter was eerily prescient as the Boer people are to this day - over a hundred years later - still struggling to "outlive" the slander & distortion from the British propaganda.
The Boers of Today. [ circa 1900 ]
THE wholesale slander and misrepresentation with which the Boers of South Africa have been pursued can not be outlived by them in a hundred years. It originated when the British forces took possession of the Cape of Good Hope, and it has continued with unabated vigour ever since. Recently the chief writers of fiction have been prominent Englishmen, who, on hunting expeditions or rapid tours through the country, saw the object of their venom from car windows or in the less favourable environments of a trackless veldt.
In earlier days the outside world gleaned its knowledge of the Boers from certain British statesmen, who, by grace of Downing Street, controlled the country's colonial policy, and consequently felt obliged to conjure up weird descriptions of their far-distant subjects in order  to make the application of certain harsh policies appear more applicable and necessary. Missionaries to South Africa, traders, and, not least of all, speculators, all found it convenient to traduce the Boers to the people in England, and the object in almost every case was the attainment of some personal end. Had there been any variety in the complaints, there might have been reason to suppose they were justifiable, but the similarity of the reports led to the conclusion that the British in South Africa were conducting the campaign of misrepresentation for the single purpose of arousing the enmity of the home people against the Boers. The unbiased reports were generally of such a nature that they were drowned by the roar of the malicious ones, and, instead of creating a better popular opinion of the race, only assisted in stirring the opposition to greater flights of fancy.
American interests in South Africa having been so infinitesimal until the last decade, our own knowledge of the country and its people naturally was of the same proportions. When Americans learned anything concerning South  Africa or the Boers it came by way of London, which had vaster interests in the country, and should have been able to give exact information. But, like other colonial information, it was discoloured with London additions, and the result was that American views of the Boers tallied with those of the Englishman.
Among the more prominent Englishmen who have recently studied the Boers from a car window, and have given the world the benefit of their opinions, is a man who has declared that the Boer blocked the way in South Africa, and must go. Among other declarations with which this usually well-informed writer has taken up the cudgel in behalf of his friend Mr. Rhodes, he has called the Boers "utterly detestable," "guilty of indecencies and family immorality," and even so "benighted and uncivilized " as to preclude the possibility of writing about them. All this he is reported to have said about a race that has been lauded beyond measure by the editors of every country in the world except those under the English flag. The real cause of it all is found in the Boers' disposition to carry their own burdens, and  their disinclination to allow England to be their keeper. Their opinions of justice and right were formed years ago in Cape Colony, and so long as their fighting ability has not been proved in a negative manner, so long will the Boers be reviled by the covetous Englishmen of South Africa and their friends.
The Boer of to-day is a man who loves solitude above all things. He and his ancestors have enjoyed that chief product of South Africa for so many generations that it is his greatest delight to be alone. The nomadic spirit of the early settler courses in his veins, and will not be eradicated though cities be built up all around him and railroads hem him in on all sides.
He loves to be out on the veldt, where nothing but the tall grass obstructs his view of the horizon, and his happiness is complete when, gun in hand, he can stalk the buck or raise the covey on soil never upturned by the share of a plough. The real Boer is a real son of the soil. It is his natural environment, and he chafes when he is compelled to go where there  are more than a dozen dwellings in the same square mile of area.
The pastoral life he and his ancestors have been leading has endowed him with a happy-go-lucky disposition. Some call him lazy and sluggish because he has plenty of time at his disposal and "counts ten" before acting. Others might call that disposition a realization of his necessities, and his chosen method of providing for them.
The watching of herds of cattle and flocks of sheep has since biblical times been considered an easier business than the digging of minerals or the manufacture of iron, and the Boer has realized that many years ago. He has also realized the utter uselessness of digging for minerals and the manufacture of iron when the products of either were valueless at a distance of a thousand miles from the nearest market. Taking these facts in consideration, the Boer has done what other less nomadic people have done. He has improved the opportunities which lay before him, and has allowed the others to pass untouched.
 The Boers are not an agricultural people, because the nature of the country affords no encouragement for the following of that pursuit. The great heat of the summer removes rivers in a week and leaves rivulets hardly big enough to quench the thirst of the cattle. Irrigation is out of the question, as the great rivers are too far distant and the country too level to warrant the building of artificial waterways. Taking all things into consideration, there is nothing for a Boer to do but raise cattle and sheep, and he may regard himself particularly fortunate at the end of each year if drought and disease have not carried away one half of this wealth.
The Boer's habits and mode of life are similar to those of the American ranchman, and in reality there is not much difference between the two except that the latter is not so far removed from civilization. The Boer likes to be out of the sight of the smoke of his neighbour's house, and to live fifteen or twenty miles from another dwelling is a matter of satisfaction rather than regret to him. The patriarchal custom of the people provides against the lack  of companionship which naturally would follow this custom.
When a Boer's children marry they settle within a short distance of the original family homestead; generally several hundred yards distant. In this way, in a few years, a small village is formed on the family estates, which may consist of from five hundred to ten thousand acres of uninclosed grazing ground. Every son when he marries is entitled to a share of the estate, which he is supposed to use for the support of himself and his family, and in that way the various estates grow smaller each generation. When an estate grows too small to support the owner, he "treks" to another part of the country, and receives from the state such an amount of territory as he may require.
Boer houses, as a rule, are situated a long distance away from the tracks of the transport wagons, in order that passing infected animals may not introduce disease into the flocks and herds of the farmer. Strangers are seldom seen as a result of this isolation, and news from the outer world does not reach the Boers unless  they travel to the towns to make the annual purchases of necessaries.
Their chief recreation is the shooting of game, which abounds in almost all parts of the country. Besides being their recreation, it is also their duty, for it is much cheaper to kill a buck and use it to supply the family larder than to kill an ox or a sheep for the same purpose. It is seldom that a Boer misses his aim, be the target a deer or an Englishman, and he has ample time to become proficient in the use of the rifle. His gun is his constant companion on the veldt and at his home, and the long alliance has resulted in earning for him the distinction of being the best marksman and the best irregular soldier in the world. The Boer is not a sportsman in the American sense of the word. He is a hunter, pure and simple, and finds no delight in following the Englishman's example of spending many weeks in the Zambezi forests or the dangerous Kalahari Desert, and returning with a giraffe tail and a few horns and feathers as trophies of the chase. He hunts because he needs meat for his family and leather for sjam-bok whips with  which to drive his cattle, and not because it gives him personal gratification to be able to demonstrate his supreme skill in the tracking of game.
The dress of the Boer is of the roughest description and material, and suited to his occupation. Corduroy and flannel for the body, a wide-brimmed felt hat for the head, and soft leather-soled boots fitted for walking on the grass, complete the regulation Boer costume, which is picturesque as well as serviceable. The clothing, which is generally made by the Boer's vrouw, or wife, makes no pretension of fit or style, and is quite satisfactory to the wearer if it clings to the body. In most instances it is built on plans made and approved by the Voortrekkers of 1835, and quite satisfactory to the present Boers, their sons, and grandsons.
Physically, the Boers are the equals, if not the superiors, of their old-time enemy, the Zulus. It would be difficult to find anywhere an entire race of such physical giants as the Boers of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The roving existence, the life in the open air, and the freedom from disturbing  cares have combined to make of the Boers a race that is almost physically perfect. If an average height of all the full-grown males in the country were taken, it would be found to be not less than six feet two inches, and probably more. Their physique, notwithstanding their comparatively idle mode of living, is magnificently developed.
The action of the almost abnormally developed muscles of the legs and arms, discernible through their closely fitting garments, gives an idea of the remarkable powers of endurance which the Boers have displayed on many occasions when engaged in native and other campaigns. They can withstand almost any amount of physical pain and discomfort, and can live for a remarkably long time on the smallest quantity of food. It is a matter of common knowledge that a Boer can subsist on a five-pound slice of "biltong"—beef that has been dried in the sun until it is almost as hard as stone—for from ten to fifteen days without suffering any pangs of hunger. In times of war, "biltong" is the principal item in the army rations, and in peace, when he is follow-  ing his flocks, it also is the Boer shepherd's chief article of diet.
The religion of the Boers is one of their greatest characteristics, and one that can hardly be understood when it is taken into consideration that they have been separated for almost two hundred years from the refining influences of a higher civilization. The simple faith in a Supreme Being, which the original emigrants from Europe carried to South Africa, has been handed down from one generation to another, and in two centuries of fighting, trekking, and ranching has lost none of its pristine depth and fervour.
KIRK STREET, PRETORIA, WITH THE STATE CHURCH IN THE DISTANCE.
With the Boer his religion is his first and uppermost thought. The Old Testament is the pattern which he strives to follow. The father of the family reads from its pages every day, and from it he formulates his ideas of right and wrong as they are to be applied to the work of the day. Whether he wishes to exchange cattle with his neighbour or give his daughter in marriage to a neighbour's son, he consults the Testament, and finds therein the advice that is applicable to the situation. He  reads nothing but the Bible, and consequently his belief in its teachings is indestructible and supreme.
His religious temperament is portrayed in almost every sentence he utters, and his repetition of biblical parables and sayings is a custom which so impresses itself upon the mind of the stranger that it is but natural that those who are unacquainted with the Boer should declare it a sure sign of his hypocrisy. He does not quote Scripture merely to impress upon the mind of his hearer the fact that he is a devout Christian, but does it for the same reasons that a sailor speaks the language of the sea-farer.
The Boer is a low churchman among low churchmen. He abhors anything that has the slightest tendency toward show or outward signs of display in religious worship. He is simple in his other habits, and in his religious observances he is almost primitively simple. To him the wearing of gorgeous raiment, special attitudes, musical accompaniment to hymns, and special demonstrations are the rankest sacrilege. Of the nine legal holidays in the Trans-  vaal, five—Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, and Christmas—are Church festival days, and are strictly observed by every Boer in the country.
The Dutch Reformed Church has been the state Church since 1835, when the Boers commenced emigrating from Cape Colony. The "trekkers" had no regularly ordained ministers, but depended upon the elders for their religious training, as well as for leadership in all temporal affairs. One of the first clergymen to preach to the Boers was an American, the Rev. Daniel Lindley, who was one of the earliest missionaries ever sent to South Africa. The state controls the Church, and, conversely, the Church controls the state, for it is necessary for a man to become a factor in religious affairs before he can become of any political importance. As a result of this custom, the politicians are necessarily the most active church members.
The Hervormde Dopper branch of the Dutch Reformed Church is the result of a disagreement in 1883 with the Gereformeerde branch over the singing of hymns during a  religious service. The Doppers, led by Paul Kruger, peaceably withdrew, and started a congregation of their own when the more progressive faction insisted on singing hymns, which the Doppers declared was extremely worldly.
Since then the two chief political parties are practically based on the differences in religion. The Progressive party is composed of those who sing hymns, and the members of the Conservative party are those who are more Calvinistic in their tendencies. As the Conservatives have been in power for the last decade, it follows that the majority of the Boers are opposed to the singing of hymns in church. The greatest festival in the Boer calendar is that of Nachtmaal, or Communion, which is generally held in Pretoria the latter part of the year.
The majority of the Boers living in remote parts of the country, where established congregations or churches are an impossibility, it behooves every Boer to journey to the capital once a year to partake of communion. Pretoria then becomes the Mecca of all Boers, and  the pretty little town is filled to overflowing with pilgrims and their "trekking" wagons and cattle. Those who live in remote parts of the country are obliged to start several weeks before the Nachtmaal in order to be there at the appointed time, and the whole journey to and fro in many instances requires six weeks' time. When they reach Pretoria they bivouac in the open square surrounding the old brick church in the centre of the town, and spend almost all their time in the church. It is one of the grandest scenes in South Africa to observe the pilgrims camping in the open square under the shade of the patriarchal church, which to them is the most sacred edifice in the world.
The home life of the Boers is as distinctive a feature of these rough, simple peoples as is their deep religious enthusiasm. If there is anything that his falsifiers have attacked, it is the Boer's home life, and those who have had the opportunity to study it will vouch that none more admirable exists anywhere. The Boer heart is filled with an intense feeling of family affection. He loves his wife and chil-  dren above all things, and he is never too busy to eulogize them. He will allow his flocks to wander a mile away while he relates a trifling incident of family life, and he would rather miss an hour's sleep than not take advantage of an opportunity to talk on domestic topics.
He does not gossip, because he sees his neighbours too rarely for that, but he will lay before you the detailed history and distinctive features of every one of his ancestors, relations, and descendants. He is hospitable to a degree that is astonishing, and he will give to a stranger the best room in the house, the use of his best horse, and his finest food. Naturally he will not give an effusive welcome to an Englishman, because he is the natural enemy of the Boer, but to strangers of other nationalities he opens his heart and house.
The programme of the Boer's day is hardly ever marred by any changes. He rises with the sun, and works among the sheep and cattle until breakfast. There at the table he meets his family and conducts the family worship. If the parents of the married couple are pres-  ent, they receive the best seats at the table, and are treated with great reverence.
After breakfast he makes his plans for the day's work, which may consist of a forward "trek" or a hunting trip. He attends to the little plot of cultivated ground, which provides all the vegetables and grain for the table, and spends the remainder of the day in attending to the cattle and sheep. Toward night he gathers his family around him, and reads to them selected chapters from the Bible. From the same book he teaches his children to read until twilight is ended, whereupon the Boer's day is ended, and he seeks his bed.
During the dry season the programme varies only as far as his place of abode is concerned. With the arrival of that season the Boer closes his house and becomes a wanderer in pursuit of water. The sheep and cattle are driven to the rivers, and the family follows in big transport wagons, not unlike the American prairie-schooner, propelled by eight spans of oxen. The family moves from place to place as the necessity for new pasturage arises. With the approach of the wet season the nomads  prepare for the return to the deserted homestead, and, as soon as the first rain has fallen and the grass has changed the colour of the landscape, the Boer and his vast herds are homeward bound.
The Boer homestead is as unpretentious as its owner. Generally it is a low, one-story stone structure, with a steep tile roof and a small annex in the rear, which is used as a kitchen. The door is on a level with the ground, and four windows afford all the light that is required in the four square rooms in the interior. A dining room and three bedrooms suffice for a family, however large. The floors are of hardened clay, liberally coated with manure, which is designed to ward off the pestiferous insects that swarm over the plains.
The house is usually situated in a valley and close to a stream, and, in rare instances, is sheltered by a few trees that have been brought from the coast country. Native trees are such a rarity that the traveller may go five hundred miles without seeing a single specimen. The Boer vrouw feels no need of firewood, however, for her ancestors taught her to cook her  meals over a fire of the dry product of the cattle-decked plains.
Personal uncleanliness is one of the great failings that has been attributed to the Boer, but when it is taken into consideration that water is a priceless possession on the plains of South Africa, no further explanation is needed. The canard that the Boers go to bed without undressing is as absurd as the one of like origin that an entire family sleeps in one bed. Yet these fictions constantly appear, and frequently over the names of persons who have penetrated into South Africa no farther than Cape Town.
The Boer here depicted is the representative Boer—the one who shoulders his rifle and fights for his country; the one who watches his cattle on the plains and pays his taxes; the one who tries to improve his condition, and takes advantage of every opportunity for advancement that is offered. There is a worthless Boer, as there is a worthless Englishman, a worthless German, and a worthless American, but he is so far in the minority that he need not be analyzed.
 There is, however, a Boer who lives in the towns and cities, and he compares favourably with other men of South African birth. He has had the advantage of better schools, and can speak one or more languages besides his own. He is not so nomadic in his tendencies as his rural countryman, and he has absorbed more of the modernisms. He can conduct a philosophic argument, and his wife and daughters can play the piano. If he is wealthy, his son is a student at a European university and his daughter flirting on the beach at Durban or attending a ladies' seminary at Bloemfontein or Grahamstown.
He is as progressive as any white man cares to be under that generous South African sun, and when it comes to driving a bargain he is a match for any of the money sharks of Johannesburg. For the youthful Boer who reaches the city directly from the country, without any trade or profession, the prospects are gloomy. He is at a great disadvantage when put into competition with almost any class of residents. The occupations to which he can turn are few, and these have been still further restricted in  late years by the destruction of cattle by the rinderpest and the substitution of railways for road transport. His lack of education unfits him for most of the openings provided in such a city as Johannesburg, even when business is at its highest tide, and a small increase in the tension of business brings him to absolute want.
The Boer of to-day is a creature of circumstance. He is outstripped because he has had no opportunities for development. Driven from Cape Colony, where he was rapidly developing a national character, he was compelled to wander into lands that offered no opportunities of any description. He has been cut off for almost a hundred years from an older and more energetic civilization, and even from his neighbours; it is no wonder that he is a century behind the van. No other civilized race on earth has been handicapped in such a manner, and if there had been one it is a matter for conjecture whether it would have held its own, as the Boer has done, or whether it would have fallen to the level of the savage.
Had the Boer Voortrekkers been fortunate  enough to settle in a fertile country bordering on the sea, where they might have had communication with the outer world, their descendants would undoubtedly to-day be growing cane and wheat instead of herding cattle and driving transport wagons. Their love of freedom could not have been greater under those circumstances, but they might have averted the conditions which now threaten to erase their nation from the face of the earth.Closing comment. I was asked back in February for a good book on the Boers & I pointed out this fine book & this chapter in particular.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
See also: Dating outside your own race
Truly baffling right? Not if you understand evolution: There are two scenarios, either the immediate father is white (the father pictured here has been "cuckolded") or the "blonde" gene of this baby is recessive. IE, there was a coupling between white and black some generations ago and it is merely expressing itself here by a fortuitous concourse...Brown pigmentation is naturally dominant in genetics, and blond/ white is recessive. But be careful not to apply any pejorative connection to that!
Natura non facit saltus...nature does not make any leaps...It's no mystery....
See also Anagenesis vs Cladogenesis...
My point? The differences between the races are REAL and measurable by the Darwinian yardstick..The value you place on those differences, is up to you...
A BLACK couple coo over their new baby yesterday - a white, blue-eyed BLONDE.
British Nmachi Ihegboro has amazed genetics experts who say the little girl is NOT an albino.
Dad Ben, 44, a customer services adviser, admitted: "We both just sat there after the birth staring at her."
Mum Angela, 35, of Woolwich, South London, beamed as she said: "She's beautiful - a miracle baby."
Ben told yesterday how he was so shocked when Nmachi was born, he even joked: "Is she MINE?"
He added: "Actually, the first thing I did was look at her and say, 'What the flip?'"
But as the baby's older brother and sister - both black - crowded round the "little miracle" at their home in South London, Ben declared: "Of course she's mine."
Blue-eyed blonde Nmachi, whose name means "Beauty of God" in the Nigerian couple's homeland, has baffled genetics experts because neither Ben nor wife Angela have ANY mixed-race family history.
Pale genes skipping generations before cropping up again could have explained the baby's appearance.
Ben also stressed: "My wife is true to me. Even if she hadn't been, the baby still wouldn't look like that.
"We both just sat there after the birth staring at her for ages - not saying anything."
Doctors at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup - where Angela, from nearby Woolwich, gave birth - have told the parents Nmachi is definitely no albino.
Ben, who came to Britain with his wife five years ago and works for South Eastern Trains, said: "She doesn't look like an albino child anyway - not like the ones I've seen back in Nigeria or in books. She just looks like a healthy white baby."
He went on: "My mum is a black Nigerian although she has a bit fairer skin than mine.
"But we don't know of any white ancestry. We wondered if it was a genetic twist.
"But even then, what is with the long curly blonde hair?"
Professor Bryan Sykes, head of Human Genetics at Oxford University and Britain's leading expert, yesterday called the birth "extraordinary".
He said: "In mixed race humans, the lighter variant of skin tone may come out in a child - and this can sometimes be startlingly different to the skin of the parents.
"This might be the case where there is a lot of genetic mixing, as in Afro-Caribbean populations. But in Nigeria there is little mixing."
Prof Sykes said BOTH parents would have needed "some form of white ancestry" for a pale version of their genes to be passed on.
But he added: "The hair is extremely unusual. Even many blonde children don't have blonde hair like this at birth."
Saturday, July 24, 2010
So the "Arch" is going to retire from public life soon? After his 79th birthday in October, he said he would reduce his workload to one day a week before retiring (isn't that what they ALL do anyway?)
That work would be devoted to The Elders, a group appointed by former President Nelson Mandela to tackle the world's most pressing problems. (Yeah right, good luck with that...)
Well, what more can I say? Cheers, goodbye, have a nice funeral...
Take heed lest this one pass you by. This is a signpost. A big one. Of the type that is triangular in shape and says something like "falling rocks" or "slippery road ahead"
Who would have thought that the white liberal media of yesteryear would today be concerned about the onslaught on democracy that we are witnessing right now, in the hands of the kleptocratic ANC in the new South Africa?
Mail & Guardian
In Parliament this week the tension was tangible as civil society and media organisations made representations to an ad-hoc committee processing the Protection of Information Bill, a new secrecy Act.
The Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane, its non-profit investigative associate, were there to do battle. Questions from the assembled MPs were tough. We hope we scored some hits, but we also bear scars where we were hit. That's okay, we can take it. After all, the free flow of information and the robust debate we experienced there are not only the lifeblood of our industry, they also represent democracy in action.
So we won't be crybabies, but we will engage in yet more democratic debate and shout this from the rooftops: if this Bill in its current form becomes law and if other initiatives aimed at unduly reining in the media — such as the proposed media tribunal — become a reality, this free flow of information will be stemmed. Not only will the lifeblood of the media be cut off, but also the lifeblood of democracy itself.
Proponents of the Bill have posed what they regard as fundamental dichotomies: personal dignity versus unfettered flow of information, the broad national interest versus the right to know, as enshrined in the Constitution.
This way of seeing the matter echoes the way a reactionary United States has typified it post-9/11: national security versus civil liberties.
And so, the question becomes: How to balance these competing interests?
The dichotomies are false. As a former CIA lawyer put it at a seminar this week: don't balance the two. Transparency and openness make government stronger, enhancing national security. Keep your secrets to an absolute minimum; that way you can protect them better. Engender trust in your decisions about what to keep secret by disclosing the maximum. The same goes for the argument about personal dignity.
The Protection of Information Bill is just one half of a two-pronged attack on freedom of information in general and on freedom of the media in particular. The other is the resurgence of proposals within the ANC for the creation of a statutory media tribunal that would regulate the conduct of the press.
Such an organ would be structurally inimical to media freedom, even if presented in the most neutral fashion, but the examples chosen by its proponents to justify its creation are chilling.
For example, the ANC has suggested that a tribunal would be able to clamp down on reporting about the lavish, taxpayer-funded lifestyles of Cabinet ministers. Such reporting is the most basic example of what the Constitution and a growing body of common law enjoin us to do.
It has also been suggested that reporting on the controversial "autopsy" painting of Nelson Mandela should not have been allowed. Clearly this represents the most basic kind of reporting on culture and matters of national debate.
What both the Bill and the tenor of debate about a media tribunal represent is a deepening hostility to both a free press and the free flow of information.
These are not ornaments glued to our democratic architecture; they are part of its very foundations.
Friday, July 23, 2010
James Webb is a US Senator from Virginia. Interesting article.
By JAMES WEBB
The NAACP believes the tea party is racist. The tea party believes the NAACP is racist. And Pat Buchanan got into trouble recently by pointing out that if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, there will not be a single Protestant Justice, although Protestants make up half the U.S. population and dominated the court for generations.
Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.
I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.
In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived.
Lyndon Johnson's initial program for affirmative action was based on the 13th Amendment and on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which authorized the federal government to take actions in order to eliminate "the badges of slavery." Affirmative action was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans. This policy was justifiable and understandable, even to those who came from white cultural groups that had also suffered in socio-economic terms from the Civil War and its aftermath.
The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed. But the extrapolation of this logic to all "people of color"—especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.—moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites. It has also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup.
Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.
Contrary to assumptions in the law, white America is hardly a monolith. And the journey of white American cultures is so diverse (yes) that one strains to find the logic that could lump them together for the purpose of public policy.
The clearest example of today's misguided policies comes from examining the history of the American South.
The old South was a three-tiered society, with blacks and hard-put whites both dominated by white elites who manipulated racial tensions in order to retain power. At the height of slavery, in 1860, less than 5% of whites in the South owned slaves. The eminent black historian John Hope Franklin wrote that "fully three-fourths of the white people in the South had neither slaves nor an immediate economic interest in the maintenance of slavery."
The Civil War devastated the South, in human and economic terms. And from post-Civil War Reconstruction to the beginning of World War II, the region was a ravaged place, affecting black and white alike.
In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt created a national commission to study what he termed "the long and ironic history of the despoiling of this truly American section." At that time, most industries in the South were owned by companies outside the region. Of the South's 1.8 million sharecroppers, 1.2 million were white (a mirror of the population, which was 71% white). The illiteracy rate was five times that of the North-Central states and more than twice that of New England and the Middle Atlantic (despite the waves of European immigrants then flowing to those regions). The total endowments of all the colleges and universities in the South were less than the endowments of Harvard and Yale alone. The average schoolchild in the South had $25 a year spent on his or her education, compared to $141 for children in New York.
Generations of such deficiencies do not disappear overnight, and they affect the momentum of a culture. In 1974, a National Opinion Research Center (NORC) study of white ethnic groups showed that white Baptists nationwide averaged only 10.7 years of education, a level almost identical to blacks' average of 10.6 years, and well below that of most other white groups. A recent NORC Social Survey of white adults born after World War II showed that in the years 1980-2000, only 18.4% of white Baptists and 21.8% of Irish Protestants—the principal ethnic group that settled the South—had obtained college degrees, compared to a national average of 30.1%, a Jewish average of 73.3%, and an average among those of Chinese and Indian descent of 61.9%.
Policy makers ignored such disparities within America's white cultures when, in advancing minority diversity programs, they treated whites as a fungible monolith. Also lost on these policy makers were the differences in economic and educational attainment among nonwhite cultures. Thus nonwhite groups received special consideration in a wide variety of areas including business startups, academic admissions, job promotions and lucrative government contracts.
Where should we go from here? Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.
Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities. Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.
Memo to my fellow politicians: Drop the Procrustean policies and allow harmony to invade the public mindset. Fairness will happen, and bitterness will fade away.
Mr. Webb, a Democrat, is a U.S. senator from Virginia.
He, when visiting Zimbabwe, defending Mugabe’s policy of land grabs, telling everybody that want to listen that South Africa should follow the same strategy.
Now back to that wonderful country Venezuela, where everybody, from the lowest to the highest, is sharing in the wealth of oil, and living a live that should be desired by everybody.
It is strange that South Africans do not take note of this, as it is apparent that it will become the future of South Africa.
Read the below for yourself and decide if that is what we want for South Africa.
Chávez threatens to take over Empresas Polar food producer
CARACAS -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is gunning for Empresas Polar, the country's giant food and beer conglomerate. The company, owned by the Mendoza family, is an obstacle to the government's plans for state control of the food industry.
``You're very much mistaken if you think I won't dare nationalize Empresas Polar,'' the president warned company chairman Lorenzo Mendoza recently on live TV.
But the government has a problem: A state corporation charged with importing and distributing food allowed tens of thousands of tons to go to waste by allowing it to pile up in the ports. Many foods have disappeared from the shelves, meanwhile, and food prices have risen 24 percent in the first half of 2010.
Critics say the scandal of the rotting food, which came to light in May and has continued to grow, shows that to expropriate Polar, by far the biggest private food producer, would be to condemn Venezuelans to live under Cuban-style rationing.
``A large part of the country's food and agriculture industry would be dislocated,'' said Carlos Machado Allison, an agro industry expert at the IESA business school in Caracas. ``There would be terrible unemployment and many producers would have nowhere to place their products.''
Machado Allison points out that, despite proclaiming its commitment to ``food sovereignty,'' the Chávez government has promoted imports at the expense of local production. In the decade it has been in power, food imports have risen from $1.3 billion a year to $7.5 billion.
Once a rice exporter, for example, the country now imports hundreds of thousands of tons of rice a year.
The government, however, blames private farmers and food processors for shortages and inflation, accusing them of ``hoarding'' and ``speculation.''
Citing a business-led strike in 2002, aimed -- among other things -- at forcing Chávez to respect private property rights, it claims business leaders seek to topple the president by deliberately creating shortages. Chávez himself insists that Lorenzo Mendoza wants to be president.
Business organizations vehemently reject the charge.
``People are tired of confrontation,'' Noel Alvarez, chairman of the main employers' organization, Fedecámaras, said earlier this month. ``We want peace, problems solved, prosperity for the nation.''
Chávez, however, has declared economic war on Fedecámaras and the rest of the Venezuelan private sector, saying there can be ``no kind of pact or agreement with the parasitic bourgeoisie.''
For many in the private sector, including Empresas Polar, the war has been under way for some time. In keeping with a long-standing policy, the company declined a request to interview a spokesman. However, it has made its position clear in a series of press statements.
Claims of hoarding, it says, are unfounded.
``It is impossible that there could be hoarding, since every kilo of every product we produce is strictly supervised by government agencies throughout the production and distribution process,'' it said.
The government operates a system known as SICA, under which all basic foodstuffs require government permits to be moved from one part of the country to another. Nonetheless, state inspectors recently confiscated 114 tons of food from a Polar warehouse, claiming there was a discrepancy in the documentation.
The company regards this as part of a pattern of harassment. It says that between January 2008 and April this year, its installations were inspected more than 600 times. In February, Chávez ordered the expropriation of a Polar distribution depot in Barquisimeto, 175 miles west of Caracas, saying the site should be used for housing.
Trade Minister Richard Canan, who last month announced the state takeover of 18 small food companies, said any irregularities would be met with fines, seizure of merchandise, temporary occupation and, finally, expropriation.
Already, public prosecutors -- acting on the president's orders -- have begun an investigation into alleged hoarding by Polar, and Chávez has said that if the company, ``continues to hoard [food] we will have to take it over.''
More recently, however, the president has fallen silent on the issue of Polar. There is speculation that, with a vital legislative election due in September, he cannot afford to risk the disruption of food supplies. Some commentators suggest he needs above all to get the scandal of the rotting food off the front pages.
That is not much consolation, though, to Polar delivery drivers, who are frequently stopped by the police or national guard.
``When they see the Polar emblem on the side of the truck, they pull me over,'' said one driver who asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals.
``It happens every day,'' he said.
By Mercury Reporter and Sapa
South Africa's first lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma has been found guilty of unlawfully dismissing her domestic worker and must cough up R16 000, Ilanga reported yesterday.
The presidency, meanwhile, went to ground again yesterday when asked for comment.
Ilanga reported that MaNtuli did not pay Sbongile Doris Ngobese the full salary they had agreed on.
Nor had she followed the correct procedure in dismissing her.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration gave MaNtuli 14 days to backpay Ngobese R16 000 for eight months of her outstanding R2 000 a month salary.
Ilanga reported that the commission had asked that MaNtuli attend the hearing and give her side of the story, which she did not do when the case was heard on June 4.
MaNtuli allegedly asked Ngobese to quit her job at St Augustine's Hospital to work for her, She started in August last year.
MaNtuli reportedly paid Ngobese R1 000 on February 27, and promised the rest when she had money.
On March 8, Ngobese asked for the rest of her salary as she needed to see a doctor, but MaNtuli allegedly did not do so.
Ngobese saw a doctor, who gave her a sick note to stay at home until March 12.
On March 10, MaNtuli's bodyguard went to Ngobese's home and paid her the remaining R1 000. She gave the bodyguard the sick note.
The following day the bodyguard returned with the sick note and told Ngobese not to return to work, which she nevertheless did, but found the gates locked.
On April 29 she returned to the house with a letter, asking whether she was still employed by MaNtuli. A policewoman went into the house and returned with Ngobese's clothing, but did not reply to her letter.
In May, The Mercury reported that MaNtuli owed the eThekwini municipality R9 564,87 in water and electricity for the Morningside house she was then living in.
The president's head of private office, Lakela Kaunda last night said: "Lady, I do not comment to the media. There are media liaison officers who deal with media inquiries. Phone Zanele. If you can't get hold of her, she is probably in a meeting. Send her an SMS or e-mail."
However, Zanele Mngadi, an official in the president's spousal office, did not respond to calls or SMSes to her three cellphones.
Neither Zizi Kodwa, the president's special adviser on communications, nor MaNtuli could be reached for comment.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Now I have to ask a few questions.
Should you throw stones if you live in a glasshouse?
I guess not.
If we compare racism in the USA and South Africa, then I guess the ANC and our fellow black country men should tell us if it is true that you cannot be a racist without power.
Whites do not have any power in South Africa and they are a very small minority of the population.
Will the ANC do what white America has done over the last 30 years? Make black racism shameful?
Black racism: a real problem, or pure politics?
Shirley Sherrod was dismissed from her Agriculture Department job because remarks she made about her dealings with a white farmer almost a quarter century ago were perceived as racist. She was offered her job back Wednesday because a full viewing of that speech showed it to be a tale of racial reconciliation.
But put aside the furor and confusion over the employment of the black woman who headed the USDA's rural development office in Georgia. The Sherrod affair brings to the fore a simmering debate over whether black racism is cause for concern in America under its first black president.
During the campaign, Barack Obama was forced to address the blistering racial remarks of his former pastor. Since then, there have been complaints that Barack Obama presides over an administration that is racial, not post-racial -- when he supported a black Harvard professor who was arrested by a white police officer, or when the Justice Department dismissed most charges against a group of black militants accused of intimidating voters.
"If the Justice Department is really not interested in pursuing cases against blacks who violate whites' civil rights and only go after whites who violate blacks' rights, that is a major problem," says William Stogner, a 46-year-old telecommunications technician who lives in St. Louis.
Growing up in the 1970s, Stogner was often called "cracker" by black kids in his grandparents' East St. Louis neighborhood. Last April, while walking to his car after a tea party rally, he says he heard the same epithet from a group of young black men. To Stogner, black and white racism are equivalent: "To me it's bad no matter where it originates."
But to some conservatives, there is something special about black racism: It is invisible in the liberal media, and perpetrated by the Obama administration. While white racism is highly publicized, they say, black racism gets a pass.
"The sheer hypocrisy is maddening to me, and is a terrible, terrible double standard," said conservative radio host Mike Gallagher.
Andrew Breitbart clearly sees black racism as an issue. He's the conservative blogger who posted the clip from Sherrod's 1986 speech to an NAACP meeting that set off the contretemps. He said the NAACP, in accusing the tea party movement of racism, was glossing over its own bigotry.
In the video, he wrote, "Sherrod's racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another group's racial tolerance."
To Sherrod, Breitbart was just playing his own racist card: He created "a racist thing that could unite even more the racist people out there," she told the liberal website Media Matters.
Imani Perry, a professor at Princeton's Center for African American Studies, said some conservatives are manipulating white fears for political advantage.
"I think many white Americans are fearful that with Obama in the White House, and the diversity in his appointments, that the racial balance of power is shifting. And that's frightening both because people always are afraid to give up privilege, and because of the prospect of a black-and-brown backlash against a very ugly history," Perry said.
Some liberals have long maintained that racism requires power, and so black people can't be racist. Obama's election undercut the first argument and made the specter of black racism appear more threatening.
Of course, the black power movement of the 1960s and 1970s -- "We must wage guerrilla warfare on the honky white man," said H. Rap Brown -- was plenty threatening.
Joe Hicks was a black nationalist and proudly demonized whites back then. Now a conservative Republican and vice president of Community Advocates Inc. in Los Angeles, which works to improve race relations, Hicks says today that black racism is not widespread: "The average black person doesn't dislike white people."
But he does believe it has become more prevalent than white racism. "Bigotry among white Americans has been driven to the margins of society. White people fear being called a racist more than anything else. But as white people have slowly moved away from viewing themselves in a racialized way, black people have maintained their sense of racial consciousness," which sometimes leads to bias, he said.
Gallagher, the radio host, says the appearance of anti-white bias at the Agriculture or Justice Department "creates white racists."
"White people sit around, and they get angry and they think this is the world they live in, and it's not fair. I hear it in the frustration of my callers," he said.
"White America understands by now, you'd better be very careful in the way you treat people of color. In this history of this country that's great advice. That's as it should be. We've had a shameful past," he said. "Now the fear is that the pendulum has swung so far the other way, that white people mind their P's and Q's and don't say anything that can be perceived as racist, but blacks can talk about hurting people."
Perry, the Princeton professor, pointed out that blacks have 10 cents of wealth for every dollar possessed by whites.
"We can hardly say whites as a group are suffering under the weight of racial discrimination. That said, we do have to find ways of talking about race with more openness but also with greater sensitivity," she said.
"There is a lot of work for everyone to do in this regard, and people of color are no exception."
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I originally posted this one in November 2009, but since then there are a host of new readers (judging by the hit numbers) and given the current circumstances in ZA, its more relevant than ever...
The military joined police on Tuesday to patrol an impoverished Johannesburg township after assaults on foreign migrants injured at least 11 and increased concerns of a fresh wave of xenophobic attacks.
Police said the injured at the Kya Sands township included migrants from Zimbabwe and Mozambique as well as South Africans. At least 10 people have been arrested on suspicion of assault.
A series of attacks on foreign workers in 2008 killed 62 people and damaged investors' confidence. Another wave could wreck the positive image that Africa's biggest economy was able to portray when it hosted the soccer World Cup.
"We are keeping a close eye on the situation," a police official said.
The military have joined about 100 security personnel deployed in the township and about 50 police were on standby, Talk Radio 702 reported from the area. Police and military officials would not confirm the reports.
Tensions have long been growing between South Africans and millions of foreign migrants they accuse of taking jobs and homes. But open animosity appeared to be put on hold during the World Cup as South Africa showed its best face to the world.
Many migrants feared a rapid dissipation of feelings of African unity generated by the first World Cup held on the continent. Many have fled to homes in neighbouring states since the tournament ended earlier this month.
Government officials have mostly dismissed the fears of a fresh wave of attacks on foreign migrants as being fuelled by rumours and not by actual violence. - Reuters
Ten Arrested for Xenophobic Violence
About ten people were arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with Monday night's violent clashes at the Kya Sands informal settlement near Honeydew. The attacks left five people - four of whom were foreign nationals - wounded.
There was a heavy contingency of police officers who moved from house to house and conducted stop-and-searches, looking for illegal weapons and drugs in the area. Police also questioned residents for information about instigators of the violence.
Residents stood in groups discussing the aftermath of Monday night's violence that left several spaza shops looted.
Most business owners - especially foreigners - and residents said they were now fearing for their lives. They called on government to deploy the army, saying the police did not seem capable of protecting them as the clashes took place while they were patrolling.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Now here's a big topic!
One consequence of greater integration following the end of Apartheid is the increase in numbers of "mixed couples", particularly in the Cape but also in Gauteng and other parts of the country. It is still, however, a major taboo.
I found an article from an African-American blogger called Abagond. Or rather, two articles. Both are brief but are significant in that the first concluded simply that white men are (booo!) racist while women and all other races aren't.
White men with black women are not as common in America as you might expect. Even though an eighth of American women are black, fewer than one married white man in 400 has a black wife! That cannot be an accident. Compare that to how many have Asian wives: about one in 100 – even though there are way fewer Asian women.
Given the numbers of white, black and Asian women there are in America and looking at who white men marry, you can work out how much they like different kinds of women as wives:
- 132: white women
- 100: American women in general
- 23: Asian women
- 2: black women
So why do so few white men marry black women?
Here are some reasons that you hear:
- Lack of opportunity: Most white men live in a nearly all-white world. Most know only a few black women.
- Lack of education in black women: White men look for women with the same level of education. That limits the number of black women they might date and marry even further.
- Lack of good looks in black women: Most white men think black women are not all that good looking when compared to white women. That comes across in their phrase “good-looking for a black girl”. And you see it in their lists of beautiful women on the Internet: they have few if any black women and those they do have tend to be light-skinned. An amazing-looking black woman can walk right by a white man without him batting an eye.
- Lack of friendliness of black women: White men tend to see black women as being hard to get along with – the Sapphire stereotype. It is just not worth the trouble.
- Lack of acceptance among white friends and family: White men are afraid of what their friends or family will say. Whites are less accepting of mixed relationships, especially mixed marriages, than blacks are.
- Lack of desire among black women: Among Americans, black women are the least likely to marry outside their race.
Which seems a bit of a logical leap to me.
It is white people who stick most to their own kind, not black women – or even Asian men.
The other reasons have some truth to them, but notice how they never seem to blame white men.
They all avoid the simplest reason of all, the one that you hardly ever hear:
- White men are racist: They do not want their sons and daughters to be black. Not because their parents are against it, not because their friends are against it, not because white society is against it – because they themselves are against it!
So, Abagond sets off to educate herself, reading a 2002-4 study from Columbia University on the subject of race and dating. She came up with a "part II" to her article on race, summing up the findings of the study thus:
The Columbia study meanwhile found that while men are dogs and only care about looks, not race, women prefer men of their own race. Women, not men, apply race to dating.The final paragraph is telling:
Yet on the other hand I cannot shake from my mind the way white men, at least in New York, act as if black women are not living, breathing women. Like some of the white commenters, they see them as black first and women second – if at all.So, the author chooses to lay the findings of the study aside and run with a 'feelings'-based conclusion that white men must be racist after all.
Is there a relationship between dating (or not dating) and racism?
Well, "progressives" say not. According to Racism 101, a broad set of guidelines on Racism from a liberal so-called "antiracism" perspective (summary: all white people are racist white supremacists and non-white people cannot be racist), dating a non-white person does not make you a non-racist (rule 9). So, presumably, not dating a non-white person does not make you a racist?
Basically, whether or not you date outside your own ethnicity gives no indication as to whether or not you're racist. I fundamentally disagree. If you date inside your own race, it gives no indication. But if you date outside, it makes a statement that you are not racist. The Columbia study backs this up - we care more about looks, education and personality than we do about race.
One problem lies with those who date outside their own race for the express purpose of trying to show others how unracist they are. This is fundamentally racist, because you are using your partner as a fashion statement. It also carries the implication that if you have to actually date a person to prove how unracist you are, you are buying into the false ideology that you are a big racist in the first place.
In conclusion: it's all about personal preference, not racism.