Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wimoweh: In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle, The DEALERS Sleep Tonight

That's right folks. The drug dealers sleep easier tonight. Emma, South Africa's famed sniffer dog, has retired.

South Africa’s top sniffer dog, a golden cocker spaniel, said to make grown men quake with fear, retires today after nearly a decade serving as a top cop dog. Emma’s nose led to drug captures worth six million dollars.

Emma was called the ”pride of the SA Police Service (SAPS)” by spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach, the Daily Dispatch reported:

Drug lords and drug dealers in Gauteng feared her. During her years in police service Emma has assisted in closing down 12 drug laboratories and putting more than 350 drug dealers behind bars in Gauteng. (Gauteng is the country's most industrialised province, including both Johannesburg and Pretoria)

Emma’s nose led to some six million dollars’ worth of drugs. Her crime-fighting partner, Inspector Leonard De Jager, trained Emma from when she was a puppy.

The value of the drugs that Emma sniffed out added up to around R60million. Emma has received trophies for the most drug arrests in Pretoria, for the best drug dog, as well as for the dog with the most arrests involving violent crimes, such as house robberies and hijackings, both of which are very common in South Africa.

The canine crime hunter has also received an award for the most searches done in open fields, vehicles and buildings.

Her partner in fighting crime, Inspector Leonard De Jager, trained Emma from when she was a puppy. When asked what he would miss most about working with the cocker spaniel, De Jager said she would stick her head out the back window, and he would reach back and Emma would press her small nose into his palm.

Because De Jager has dogs of his own at home, he has had to find Emma a place to stay, but this poses no problem, as it will be at the house of one of his best friends so he can visit any time.

More Joys of Diversity; Wolverhampton Fifth Worse City on Earth

Why Wolverhampton? Could it just be the Wolverhampton is one of the most "diverse" cities in the United Kingdom?
25% of the population are "minorities". That's one hell of a minority. Wolverhampton is living proof that Diversity is a failure. Who ever thought it would be otherwise?

From YahooNews:

Civic leaders in Wolverhampton rejected the findings of a Lonely Planet survey which ranked the city as the fifth worst place on earth.

Wolverhampton on world's worst list

The list, topped by the US city of Detroit and based on traveller feedback, saw the West Midlands city deemed to be less attractive than the capital of El Salvador, as well as other "hated" cities in India, Tanzania and Mexico.

Wolverhampton was placed fifth on a revised Lonely Planet list of nine most hated cities following "swift and fierce" reaction to an initial request for travellers' least favourite destinations.

On its website, Lonely Planet gave reasons for the selection of the cities other than Wolverhampton, describing Seoul in South Korea as having no heart or spirit.

But Wolverhampton, which can trace its history back to 985 AD, was described as being "so bad that we don't even have it on this site!"

In a statement, the leader of Wolverhampton City Council, Neville Patten, said it was "quite obvious" that representatives of the respected travel guide publisher had failed to visit the city.

Mr Patten said: "The picture they paint of Wolverhampton is not an accurate one.

"If they had come here, they would have seen that Wolverhampton is one of the most progressive cities in Britain. Wolverhampton is such a friendly, open place which is why so many people want to come and live and work here.

"We have first class facilities for residents and visitors and this is certainly not a downtrodden or Third World city.

"I would like to invite Lonely Planet to actually come here and take a tour so they can see for themselves what a vibrant place it is."

Guns Don't Kill People; War Criminal Drug Dealing Illegal Muslim Immigrants Kill People

This story is hitting the headlines as 2009 comes to a close.

The details are slowly emerging, but what is clear is that Albanian illegal immigrant Ibrahim Shkupolli blew away five people in a mall in Finland.

The 44-year old Albanian looks white, doesn't he?

Says the NY Daily News:

A gunman dressed in black went on a shooting rampage Thursday, killing his ex-girlfriend at her apartment and four others at a shopping mall in Finland.

Then the shooter, identified as Ibrahim Shkupolli, went home and turned the gun on himself.

Three men and a woman were killed at the mall outside Helsinki where the ex-girlfriend worked. It was not immediately clear if the four workers killed at the mall knew the shooter or his ex-girlfriend.

The ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against the shooter - and the man had a history of gun crimes.

A Reuters reporter at the Sello mall, one of Finland's largest shopping centers, saw helicopters overhead and fire trucks around the entrances after the shootings.

Hundreds were evacuated as cops shut down the mall and hunted the gunman.

"When we were going out I heard sounds like shots from the third floor, and then I left," said a mall employee, who declined to give her name.

"I paid for my groceries and I wanted to go to my car when I was told that you cannot go there," shopper Jorma Romo told Reuters outside the mall. "They were hurrying people out and people were asking why."

A police source in Kosovo told The Associated Press that Shkupolli was an ethnic Albanian who left Kosovo in November and apparently traveled on a Serbian visa issued in Helsinki.

In the Kosovo town of Mitrovica, where the shooter was born, relatives were surprised and saddened by the news.

"I can't say a bad word about him, and I know no one else can," said Nexhmije Shkupolli, the wife of the killer's cousin, standing on the porch of her home, where Ibrahim Shkupolli stayed in November.

"There are no festivities for us tonight," she added


There are some rumblings on the grapevine that Shkupolli has an interesting past.
Cited at American Power:
Ibrahim Shkupolli is a UCK/KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army - i.e. muslim terrorists) veteran. He killed 32 Serb civilians in the Qela village in 1997. Also fought against Serb police. He is wanted in Serbia already since 1995.

The MSM?

The mainstream media is, predictably, blaming lack of gun control in Finland as the main villain in this crime. A good summary is provided here.

Example of Racism in SA

This was sent in to us by one of our readers, and gives a neat snapshot of some of the comments received from one angry reader at Fin24.

The articles, I am reliably informed, was about the recent strikes by Pick'n'Pay employees. There is not one of us that hasn't seen or read very similar sentiments before, so there is nothing surprising about them:

"Dec 08 2009 18:42 Soon the Anc shall realise that ... us Africans are fed up with these people . . Soon as WC2010 is over the cops are going t...o target their arms towards the enemy . we shall have to finnish what they started . Blood will be spilt in the streets of SA . racists shall be lined up and cleansed . Our ancestors` sufferings in the hands of the enemy shall be avenged . God Bless Africa and all our chinese , indian freinds . Not forgetting our colourd brothers who we shall also protect . **** lsu

Dec 08 2009 18:47 @Africais4Africans You mean like Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Congo.. how do you determine who is a racist, will you base it on skin colour? rofl. You are dumb and need to grow up and consider the long term impact of what you are suggesting. You can kill all the whites and once the wealth is used up, you will be left with less than before and whites won’t donate to RSA. Famine, hunger and disease would swallow you. ****

@BoerBaron Dec 08 2009 19:15 I laugh not to laugh . You boers the best place for you are camps . You are going to rue the day that Van ri Bheki tricked your wild ancestors on to his boats . A boer person should be the last to comment on any topic on this earth . A white man who was supressed by another white man in a foregn land . Those english mongrels had seen your evil ways from day 1 . You are the scum of urope and the scum of Africa . You rootless , the only person that should be your God is mandela , who protected you **** Africais4Africans

Dec 08 2009 19:23 What was built by man can be built by man . There is nothing special about you . If it means we need yrs of femine then by God let it be . You are not messiahs or have any secret code to the creator , you are pale flesh . What you can do I can do and millions can do . **** PietfromAfrica

Dec 08 2009 19:38 You ran to Africa . Boers are nothing more than witches , who were hunted down . In Netherlands they will not accept you , but you want us to accept us . Even in France and Germny they will not accept you . You are rootless , and the best way to remove a rootless tooth is by sheer and brute force . **** Africa4Africans

Dec 08 2009 19:56 I have a masters in Economics from an American university . So there is nothing that any of you neanderthal caveman can tell me . I was lucky to learn with people from different lands . It opened my eyes , the whiteman living in SA is the devil . Their demons must be exorcised not by reconciliation , not by legislation, not by being nice . Like inspector Cele said , ” You dont go around kissing criminals , you shooot , dubula bhunu mfana. Enjoy the world cup , after that , time for ANC tok is K **** Africa4Africans@…

Dec 08 2009 21:35 We now control the army . We can easily give military training to any able bodied citizen over 16 ( incl caster ) . Our Godfather from Zimbabwe is a bush war specialist , with an active army which is well trained , we can feed them . Already our people are gatvol . We have over 3 mil african criminals who are able to kill with no mercy plus nigerians,cape gangs , prison gangs . Soon you damn boers will learn a lesson , but then again when you are all gone what lesson can you learn? **** Africais4Africans

Dec 08 2009 22:25 we already started by releasing the criminals on you . they are part of the onslaught. They might not be organised but they are doing a sterling job . Why do you think Baas Cele wants shoot to kill without control ?? After the WC when evrone is on a high we take full control , police and our street thugs will work hand in hand , whilst the enemy is asleep . Next step we bring in Soldiers . Next we bring in the zim soldiers . i worked with them in Drc and mozambique , those guys are good . **** Africais4Africans

Dec 09 2009 00:11 They are many ways to skin a cat . When the boers raped our ancestors in every sense possible they did not use any rules . In a battle you use everything you have . we have been provoked for long enough , we cant sit back and smile like what the politicians are doing . They have traded in their war mentality for the nice things , when we started it was one for all and all for one . but now they are all talk , like Malema and Zuma . But the people will walk the talk , by any means possible

Showerhead Updated!

Every since cartoonist Zapiro began depicting Zuma with a showerhead on his skull, in reference to his infamous remarks about showering after rape sex to "prevent" AIDS, we have had a great laugh at the expense of this buffoon of a president.

Zapiro removed the showerhead from his cartoons after Zuma was made president in a gesture of "automatic respect" that was undeserved. I reckon the showerhead should go straight back on. At the very least it should go back on as soon as Zuma "pardons" his crime buddy Shabir Shaik (and that will be soon) from his fraud charges (thereby confirming that the previous release on grounds of "terminal illness" was a total fabrication.)

Until then, I have done a video on You Tube in which I have built upon and extended the theme of the Showerhead and created generic "Headstyles" for Zuma.

Ignore Hollywood Bullsh*t

Don't get excited about Avatar. It has caused a stir on the blogosphere because it's being interpreted as yet another 'noble savage' tale. Why go to the cinema to be lectured? Why watch a movie that makes you feel like crap?

For every moronic, preachy, self-righteous pile of shit that Hollywood sends out into the world, there's usually some genuinely decent hero-worshipping pro-good anti-evil material to get stuck into, and I'd like to compile some kind of list of must-see movies that we can actually stand behind and say, yeh, this is a great movie.

My list has to include the latest Rambo movie. It has everything. Bunch of dimwit do-gooders get sucked into jungle warfare, where the local barbarians are busy fucking everything up.

Enter our hero. Rambo shoots seven shades of shit out of the bad guys, and there are several really skin-shiveringly good moments, particularly near the end.

Another is Dogs of War, featuring Christopher Walken as part of a band of mercenaries sent into fictional African hellhole to stage a coup. This takes them about ten minutes of tearing up the useless, incompetent local army. Great stuff.

And one of my all-time favourites, Zulu, which is all the more impressive for being largely true. Michael Caine shows stiff upper lip in face of overwhelming enemy. Brave, ordinary soldier is the hero of the day, Thin Red Line does its job. Spiffing.

Any other suggestions?

I can only hope 2010 will produce something worth watching. As a suggestion, here is the movie I would like to see made this year:

"Jungle Jihad" (or something)

Evil Somalian pirates capture ship. On board is Julie (played by Diane Kruger), ex-girlfriend of former SAS guy John (played by Jason Statham), who gathers some of his old colleagues (played by Arnold Vosloo, Viggo Mortensen and some American one) to rescue her.

Hostages are taken to the Jihadi camp in Sudan, or -as the title suggests, in the jungle- where the terrorists/pirates await their ransom money. There are various outrages involved, terrorising nuns, that sort of thing, and lots of hand-wringing liberals trying to "negotiate", UN politicians snivelling and grovelling, etc.

The Special Forces guys have other plans, raid the complex, and most of the rest of the movie involves Jihadis getting blown up and killed in various horrible ways.

It needs some filling-in in parts, and lots of shots of Ms.Kruger, but I'd pay to see that movie.

Zuma Declares 2010 "Year of National Unity"

This positive message from President Zuma must surely ring hollow to many of us, while the sentiments themselves have much to commend them.

Even the most negative of commentators must welcome such hopes, although we at ILSA would no doubt form part of what JZ calls the "culture of negativity". We will however continue to report the truth as we see it.

President Jacob Zuma says 2010 is the year for South Africans to renew their commitment to national unity.

"Together we must make 2010 the year in which we renew our commitment to national unity and nation building," Zuma said in a statement on Thursday.

January 1, 2010, he said would mark the beginning of the most important year in the country's history since 1994, with the Fifa Soccer World Cup the impetus behind nation building and economic recovery.

"The year 2010 must be the year in which for the first time, we all communicate positive messages about our country to the world the successes and possibilities. "We have to put the culture of negativity behind us."

Political parties, traditional leaders, business, labour, youth, sports bodies, women, media, religious leaders and other sectors should put their efforts in ensuring the success of the tournament.

"Together as all South Africans, we must make this one of the most successful projects we have ever undertaken as a nation."

The World Cup must revive the spirit of unity as the Rugby World Cup did in 1995.

It should serve as a reminder that there was a lot to celebrate about the country.

"It must be a year in which we put South Africa first, and take forward our collective mission to shape this country into one of the most successful constitutional democracies in the world," Zuma said.

The World Cup, he said, had helped the country cushion the negative effects of a recessionary economy as thousands of people had been employed and trained during the construction of stadiums and other related infrastructure.

"It [the tournament] must contribute to long-term economic growth and the creation of decent jobs."

Citizens had a duty to welcome visitors and soccer teams to the country during the tournament.

"We must all be active ambassadors of our country," he said.

The success of Bafana Bafana in the tournament depended on the support they get from all South Africans.

"Most importantly, we must make 2010 an exciting and most enjoyable year for all of us. Happy New Year and Happy 2010 Soccer World Cup to you all," Zuma said. - Sapa

A racist timeline leading to 2010

Goodbye, faded rainbow
RAPULE TABANE - Dec 23 2009 13:17

Two years ago the Nelson Mandela Foundation had to issue a statement dismissing as unfounded a rumour that white people would be killed when Nelson Mandela dies.

The rumour carried no details about who would carry out the killings, or how, or when, or why. Given the road the country has travelled since 1994 on the issue of race, it came as a shock that whites could still fear being driven into the sea in 2007.

Just before the turn of the millennium, the country was still in the thrall of Mandela's inspired message of unity and reconciliation after his inauguration in 1994. By now we should be celebrating the progress we've made since then. But are we? Have we protected Nelson Mandela's legacy of non-racialism and the rainbow nation that Archbishop Desmond Tutu bequeathed us?

And who should be doing that? Civil society? President Jacob Zuma? Opposition leader Helen Zille? Or should we leave all race-related matters to those who best know how to play the race card: ANC Youth League president Julius Malema or the arch-racist who found his voice again this year, AWB leader Eugène Terre'Blanche?

We may not have completely abandoned non-racialism, but someone asked the other day: when was the last time the president of the country actually called on black people not to abuse their status as the new governing elite the way Mandela did in the 1990s?

In an interview with the Sunday Times in 1995 Mandela condemned arrogant members of the African majority who suggested that minority groups have no role to play in South Africa.

"Some Africans themselves have made mistakes. They now throw their weight about as a majority. There are some Africans who inspire fear in the minorities because of the way they behave."

These and many other gestures towards white people made Mandela unpopular among some black South Africans who felt he was bending over backwards to accommodate whites. Whites who, it was argued, were not reciprocating by reaching out to black South Africans who were victims of apartheid.

Other Mandela gestures in this vein included having tea with Betsie, the widow of apartheid mastermind Hendrik Verwoerd. Mandela also went out of his way to embrace an unrepentant PW Botha, even though Botha refused to embrace the new South Africa.

By going out of his way for national unity and reconciliation, Mandela had inadvertently created a platform for any successor who wanted to style himself differently to seize on dissatisfaction around this issue.

Although it was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek comment, when Thabo Mbeki took over from Mandela at the ANC conference in Mafikeng in 1997, he made it clear that he was going to do things differently.

Mbeki famously remarked that he did not want to step into Mandela's big shoes - because they were too ugly.

And indeed Mbeki was to be his own man - in a manner that suggested that while he believed in non-racialism in principle, he was not going to indulge in Madiba-style symbolic gestures towards whites. He was going to knuckle down to the business of running government and concentrate on getting black people out of poverty.

Although his famous "I am an African" speech was a strong assertion of his identity, it also acknowledged other minorities' right to exist in the country.

"I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me," he said.

But Mbeki would actively question whether white people had overcome racism and were ready to take a leap towards Tutu's rainbow nation.

Mbeki wrote that intense international scrutiny of Zimbabwe could be put down to kith and kin - white people who were concerned about President Robert Mugabe's white victims.

"A million people die in Rwanda and do the white South Africans care? Not a bit. You talk to them about the disaster in Angola, to which the apartheid regime contributed, and they are not interested. Let's talk about Zimbabwe.

"Does anyone want to talk about the big disaster in Mozambique, from which it is now recovering? No, let's talk about Zimbabwe. You say to them - look what's happening in the Congo. No, no, no, let's talk about Zimbabwe. Why? Its because 12 white people died!" he said during an interview with Allister Sparks.

'I will not keep quiet'
On the Aids issue he accused whites of believing that black people were sexual miscreants.

"I for my part will not keep quiet while others whose minds have been corrupted by the disease of racism accuse us, the black people of South Africa, of Africa and the world, as being, by virtue of our Africanness and skin colour, lazy, liars, foul-smelling, diseased, corrupt, violent, amoral, sexually depraved, animalistic, savage and rapist," he said in Parliament in 2004.

Among black people Mbeki came to be regarded as an Africanist who occupied the space previously inhabited by the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania. But this did not mean, correspondingly, that his popularity among black people increased.

On Zimbabwe his belief found an echo among other African liberation fighters, but Aids was a far more complex issue, affecting at least five million South Africans, mostly ¬poverty-stricken blacks.

But if South Africans were worried about a president who had essentially undone Mandela's reconciliation legacy, this was nothing compared with the fear of the ascendance of a man who had just escaped a rape conviction and faced fraud and corruption charges.

Jacob Zuma had been fired from government for his association with a convicted fraudster who used his name to secure himself multimillion-rand contracts.

Anxiety about Zuma was not just about his controversial past, it was also about his association with a motley crew of communists, radical trade union leaders and some young people who threatened violence if he did not become president.

Zuma has since modelled himself as a Mandela and he spent substantial time before he was elected meeting Jewish, Indian and Hellenic minorities, as well as international investors, to soothe their fears about radical economic policy changes.

In the months leading up to the elections, Zuma spent time cosying up to the Afrikaners as well.

He went to an informal settlement outside Pretoria where he pronounced himself "shocked" by the levels of poverty among poor Afrikaners. He also met representatives of Afrikaner groups in Johannesburg where he made the controversial statement that "of all the whites in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners who are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word".

In all these meetings Zuma was warmly received.

In what could only enhance his non-racialist credentials, Zuma was also criticised by the ANC Youth League for having filled crucial economic posts in Cabinet with minorities and creating the impression that Africans were not ready for these positions.

But, while he sends out some positive messages by wearing the Springbok jersey and talking tough to Mugabe, Zuma also sends shivers down minorities' spines when he endorses Malema as a future president of the ANC (therefore, presumably, as president of the country).

Malema routinely rubbishes whites as unpatriotic and has become a controversial, loathed figure.

As 2009 draws to a close, Zuma has been in office for seven months. So far he has been socialist to the SACP, workerist to Cosatu, Africanist to Malema, friendly to investors and accommodating to minorities.

From a minority perspective, he is seen as being capable of restoring Madiba's legacy if you look at a TNS survey that showed a surge in his popularity in November (58% from a low of 40% pre-election).

But until the real Zuma stands up, let's hold our breath.

Bundles of Sorrow

Bundles of Sorrow
by George Annandale
2009-12-29 10:22

I woke up on Saturday morning to the exciting news that over 500 "Bundles of Joy" were born on Christmas day in South African hospitals.

We need this glorious news like a hole in the head. Truth be said, besides the 500-odd babies born in hospitals a further five-thousand-odd were born all over the place; babies born in abject poverty from parents who cannot sustain themselves, never mind their "Bundles of Joy".

What the tellers of the stories of delight omits from their good tidings is that more than 200 of these "Bundles of Joy" will be dead as Dodos by next Christmas, many of them having died most horribly of hunger or HIV/Aids related deaths.

The bearers of good tidings also forgot, conveniently perhaps, to tell us how many of these babies were born to unemployed and poverty stricken parents who can hardly afford enough food to render onto them the energy required to procreate. Many of them having probably harnessed their last bit of energy, most likely derived from an energy bar or Wilson Toffee, stolen from the nearest spaza-shop.

To add more gloom to the supposedly joyous Christmas birthing occasion, it must be noted that more than a hundred of the babies who survived the first year, will die a horrible and suffering death before they are five.

The four-and-a-half thousand who remain, after the initial carnage, does not face a life of moonshine-and-roses either. At least 50% of them will live on the breadline, having to scrounge a living from rubbish heaps, dust bins, begging and petty theft; never knowing whether they will see the next Christmas and not even having a clue that, odds are, they will be dead by twenty-five.

"What is wrong with that?" - some may quite rightly ask, not realising we live in a country, part of a continent that, with the best will in the world, have never been able to sustain itself and its people without alms and food donations.

That the ANC government and its partners refuse to acknowledge or address this very real problem is inconsequential to most. To them, the so-called leaders, the populist promise of social allowances, whilst hoping for a miracle, is the only way to handle the crisis facing the country and the continent.

Instead of facing the fact that too many people are competing for resources, they while away their time, making transformation plans whilst blaming everything, from labour-brokers to white farmers, weather, apartheid, thieves-in-their-midst and wages, for the plight of the poor and desperate.

To them, the so-called leaders, as virulent African breeders of note, the very idea of any legal constraints on breeding, like measures propagated, implemented and enforced by many civilised or half-civilised country outside the African continent, as solution to their overpopulation problem, is quite unthinkable, or as some would say, "Too ghastly to contemplate". Instead of preaching moderation, African leaders urge their illiterate followers to "Go forth and multiply" and promise them monetary rewards as an additional incentive, encouraging them in their belief that their breeding is an assurance policy against famine and pestilence.

‘Big Mac’ test shows rand is really not too strong

hat tip: Black Coffee

‘Big Mac’ test shows rand is really not too strong

Published: 2009/12/30 07:06:03 AM

THE rand is more than 30% undervalued against the dollar based on The Economist magazine’s Big Mac index calculation of actual purchasing power, says SA’s Free Market Foundation.

This flies in the face of concern that the rand’s recent strength — it was one of the best- performing currencies this year — may undermine SA’s economic recovery by reducing the competitiveness of local exports. Its rise of more than 27% versus the dollar since January prompted calls from trade unions, business organisations and top government officials for steps to weaken the unit.
Both the Treasury and the Reserve Bank have voiced concerns about the effect of rand strength on the economy.This has been viewed as a form of verbal intervention aimed at weakening the currency. But according to the Big Mac index, devised almost 25 years ago to measure the real buying power of currencies, rather than exchange rates, the rand is 32% undervalued against the greenback.

Jason Urbach, an economist at the Free Market Foundation, calculated the rand’s Big Mac purchasing power parity (PPP) last week, based on an exchange rate of R7,39/. The unit was trading at R7,41/ late yesterday.

Urbach’s assessment backs the view that the currency could strengthen further in the first half of next year. Citigroup sub-Saharan Africa strategist Leon Myburgh expects to see the rand rallying to R6,75/ or R6,50/ in the second quarter of the coming year, due partly to the 2010 Soccer World Cup.Myburgh predicts that the event, which takes place in June and July, will attract 400000 overseas tourists, who will spend 1bn-2bn in SA.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the first half of the year the overall theme being rand strength rather than weakness,” he told Business Day. In the second half of the year, he sees the rand weakening to R8,25/.Brait economist Colen Garrow has created a PPP index based on producer inflation, and this index also suggests that the rand is undervalued.

“It says the rand should be at R6,82/,” he said yesterday. Despite domestic factors, which could keep the rand weak, external forces such as rising commodity prices would drive the rand in the first half of next year, he said.
That could take the rand to its PPP level, but later in the year it was likely to weaken to R8,25 to the dollar.

The Big Mac index uses the price of one standardised product, a McDonald’s burger available in more than 100 countries, to measure real buying power. This strips out the distortion of market exchange rates.

Myburgh regards the index as an international reference point but cautions that it is limited because it does not look at a large number of products.

Urbach says most other developing countries’ currencies are also undervalued against the dollar based on the Big Mac index, ranging from China and Ukraine, which were both 49% undervalued.

Norway’s currency is 72% overvalued.

It is also possible to calculate how long it takes workers in various cities around the world to earn a Big Mac, based on average earnings. A recent report by UBS called Prices and Earnings showed it would take about 12 minutes to earn a Big Mac in Chicago, compared with 26 minutes in Johannesburg and more than two hours in Nairobi. The global average was 37 minutes.
Urbach says the contribution to global gross domestic product from developing countries is significantly underrated based on market exchange rates.

China ranks as the sixth-largest economy in the world based on market exchange rates, but using PPP rates makes it the second- largest, ahead of Germany, the UK and France.
SA has moved from 33rd to 21st place, ahead of Switzerland and Sweden, on this basis.

Blast from the Past: Thatcher on Immigration

Here are a couple of great articles, sent in to us by our friend Lime.

Interestingly, the prophetic Enoch Powell accurately predicted the numbers back in the 1950s..


Story Image

Thatcher privately voiced grave concerns 30 years ago

MARGARET Thatcher privately voiced grave concerns about the numbers of immigrants arriving in Britain 30 years ago, confidential Cabinet papers reveal today.

In a foretaste of the current ­controversies over border controls, the former Tory Prime Minister insisted that “too many” people were being let into the country.

Mrs Thatcher expressed anger that many newcomers got council houses at the expense of “white citizens”.

And she even suggested liberal proponents of more immigration should be invited to provide accommodation in their home. [very good... -ed.]

Her forthright views on race and immigration, expressed to senior ­Cabinet colleagues in her first year in Downing Street, are revealed in documents released under the 30-year rule from the National Archives at Kew, west London.

Her demands for strict limits on immigration were rejected by her Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington and Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw.

But her views will today be seen as prescient given the intense debate over the policies of mass immigration and multiculturalism pursued by Labour.

Indeed ­contemporary critics of Labour’s ­border controls are almost certain to regret that her warnings were not more seriously heeded.

Mrs Thatcher, the “Iron Lady”, raised her concerns at the height of the influx of so-called “boat ­people” from South East Asia at the end of the 1970s. Hundreds of thousands were fleeing to the West from ­brutal communist rulers in Vietnam.

Whitehall minutes of a meeting in July 1979 between Mrs Thatcher and her two senior colleagues paint a vivid picture of conditions in ­refugee camps Lord Carrington had visited in Hong Kong.

He suggested Britain should accept 10,000 refugees over two years and was concerned that if the UK did not come forward with a significant offer, there would be a “damaging reaction” both at home and abroad. Anything less than 10,000, he said, would be “difficult to sustain internationally”.

The suggestion drew an angry response from Mrs Thatcher who said there were already too many people coming into the country.

She said that “with some exceptions” there had been no humanitarian case for accepting 1.5 million immigrants from South East Asia and elsewhere. It was essential to draw a line somewhere. Mr Whitelaw intervened saying that categorising refugees with immigrants in general was mistaken.

He further antagonised Mrs Thatcher by adding that his constituency post was showing a shift in opinion in favour of accepting more boat people.

Mrs Thatcher then raised the issue of an expected exodus of white settlers from Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, once majority rule was established. She said she had “less objection to refugees such as Rhodesians, Poles and Hungarians, since they could be more easily be assimilated into British society”.

Now Baroness Thatcher, she celebra­ted her 83rd birthday in ­October.

And from the Telegraph:

The Thatcher papers: 30 years ago, we had a proper Prime Minister

Wasn’t she brilliant? As the release of documents under the 30-year rule demonstrates, no sooner had Margaret Thatcher arrived in Downing Street than she started blazing away at this country’s enemies – many of them ostensible allies.

She told the wretched Giscard d’Estaing that Britain would henceforth decline to be ripped off by the EEC.

She laid in to “President” Jimmy Carter for handicapping Britain’s attempts to control terrorism in Northern Ireland.

She condemned the American public’s disgusting support for the IRA.

She attacked the Republic of Ireland for failing to protect Lord Mountbatten from his murderers.

And when Kosygyn told her that the Soviet Union was a peace-loving country, she laughed in his face.

In short, she was magnificent – and the last British prime minister worthy of the office.

Sociopath Dirk Prinsloo "forgives" Cezanne Visser, envies Jacob Zuma

Who can forget those lovable pranksters and pedophiles Dirk Prinsloo and Cezanne Visser? Shame, Dirkie is feeling sorry for himself in a Belarus prison. Hell, let him stay there if it saves the SA taxpayer money.


Dirk Prinsloo has "forgiven" his former girlfriend Cezanne Visser for the "fairytale facts" she and the National Prosecuting Authority alleged against him.

In another letter from prison in Belarus, Prinsloo reacted to Visser's conviction on 11 sexually related charges in the Pretoria High Court last month.

He also reacted to the charges that were formally put to him in Belarus, stating that regardless of claims by one of his former girlfriends that he was in possession of pornographic material, nothing came of it.

After learning that Visser was found guilty, Prinsloo wrote: "Cezanne is just a good person who chose to try and survive at all costs, no matter on whom she may have to step, or how much she may have to humiliate herself.

"She was also influenced to adopt her crazy 'defence' by her friends, mother and opportunistic and greedy lawyers."

He said Visser was an "amazing person".

Prinsloo has been in custody in Belarus since his arrest in June this year after an alleged attempted bank robbery in Baranovichi.

This happened four years after he skipped bail in his South African trial with Visser.

According to the head of international co-operation in the Belarus Interior Ministry, a Colonel Starikovich, Prinsloo is formally charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances, hooliganism (allegedly beating a woman while he was running away from the bank), theft of a former girlfriend's necklace, torture of one of his girlfriends and threat of murder, grievous bodily damage or destruction of property against bank personnel.

No sexual charges were put to him, although a mental examination apparently confirmed the presence of sexual deviations.

Referring to his Belarus case, Prinsloo said he was not expecting a fair trial. He said according to the Belarus system, the judge would receive the whole docket before the trial, including all "admissible and inadmissible evidence mixed together".

In addition, Prinsloo said, his right of cross-examination - "being one of my much hailed strong points as an ex-advocate" - would be "virtually nullified" as witnesses may choose not to physically appear in court.

Prinsloo also claimed the South African intelligence services were trying to block his support lines (letters and parcels) because he had "humiliated" them for many years.

"The collective aim of these illegal bleeding-me-dry tactics is to emaciate and break me physically and mentally," said Prinsloo.

He felt the motive was to weaken him so much that he could not put up a defence in Belarus and would be only too happy to be extradited.

"I have quite a few surprises for them, however," he said. Regarding Visser, Prinsloo stated that she was innocent, but not for the reasons her defence had claimed.

He felt that if Visser had stuck to normal legal principles and defences, the case against her (and him) would have been won "quite easily".

He said he did not have any bad feelings against Visser's mother. "I respect her mother's dogged loyalty towards Cezanne. "I know she and Cez will easily get through this setback coz they stand together," Prinsloo wrote.

As a post script, Prinsloo referred to President Jacob Zuma, saying he understood why he (Zuma) compared his suffering to that of Jesus during his "persecution".

"The honourable president could hardly have used a better example to convey his pain. I feel the same. The only problem is that my crucifixion had taken almost nine years, and I was not spared an ounce of pain.

"And while the honourable president had many loyal people to support him, I stand virtually alone and my few allies are intimidated by the collective efforts of the Legion of Liars."

Black polygamy and black male ineptitude two sides of the same coin

According to this vid, black American women have half the chance of getting married as white women because virtually half of black American men are ineligible due to being high school drop outs, jobless or incarcerated.

Now compare this to the marriage rate of black women in Africa, which is even lower. Isn't it predictable, then, that with so few black men being viable spouses, polygamy as practised by Jacob Zuma, would make a come back?

Seen through African eyes it makes sense, although polygamy certainly shouldn't be practised at the expense of taxpayers as we're seeing with certain black politicians and tinpot chieflings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jewish Emigrants To Israel On The Rise

I will make no bones about it, I am pro-Israel. My reasoning has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but everything to do with global contribution. The Jews are vastly more intelligent than the average nation, and this manifests in any highbrow occupation.

I don't doubt that they use firm tactics to assure their survival, who wouldn't; but a world with Jews in it, is immeasurably better than one without, for a myriad of reasons.

But there is no denying that the Jews have often been at the centre of major conflict, and there are always signs when something is afoot. Consider the following.

[Source] It now seems that the aliyah, or the emigration of Jews to Eretz Israel, is on the increase. In fact, the number of Brits making their way from the UK to Israel has increased by a huge 34 percent. This is the largest increase in new emigrants heading to Israel in 2009.

The Jewish Agency for Israel has announced a global increase of about 17 percent overall. The largest number of new emigrants was 3,767 from the United States and Canada. However, there were 835 British citizens that made this journey, which does show the largest increase in emigration volume.

Natan Sharansky, the Jewish Agency chairman, said that every new emigrant strengthens the country and is a strategic asset to all of Israel. A spokesman for the Jewish Agency, Michael Jankelowitz, said that he thinks that British Jews have a really strong Jewish consciousness. He also thinks that they are making a concerted effort in Britain to encourage people to take the plunge and move to Israel.

Of course, Michael Jankelowitz also added that, interestingly, what he thinks that they are seeing in the figures is that most emigrants are coming from the free world and democratic countries. These are people that are not running away from anything. These are people that are choosing this life, because they prefer to live in Israel. This is something that they all find very encouraging.

Experts are not sure why there has been such a big increase in the number of people that are leaving their homes and heading to Israel. However, no matter what the reason, there has been a 17 percent global increase in people making the trip.

There is an obvious omission though; the elephant in the room. Anti-Semitism is dramatically on the rise worldwide (view the article on Twitter), with the UK having some of the highest recorded incidents. Is it a coincidence that there is a correlation between rising anti-Semitism and rising emigration of Jews to their homeland? I think not. Is it a sign that another showdown is imminent? Perhaps.

Pedagogery and Pseudo-Intellectuals of The African Persuasion

Whilst reading an article about the passing of South African poet, Dennis Brutus (Apologies but I had never heard of him), I came across a very humorous article. As an aside, the Dennis Brutus article can be found by either clicking on the Twitter link to your left, or here.

The humorous article, published online by one Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D, is quintessentially the work of a black academic. It's content is so funny, that I couldn't help myself, but laugh out loud.

I republish an extract here:

"Needless to say, it amounts to grossly and flagrantly shortchanging the truth and actuality of his esthetic poignancy for any critic to cavalierly claim Nigeria’s Christopher Okigbo to have esthetically subordinated the celebrated South African anti-Apartheid firebrand activist. I am, of course, fully cognizant of the source of the Okigbo Myth, a largely ethno-nationalist campaign geared towards perpetually preempting the vigorously contested landscape of both twentieth- and twenty-first century African poetry."

Is this guy for real?

Are black academics so desperate to be seen as being intellectual, that they embrace the English language in a way that achieves the exact opposite? For Pete's sake, if this isn't a grand display of pedagogery, then I don't know what is.

At first I just brushed the article off, but then I noticed this guy is a Professor in the USA, and the author of 21 books. So I did an Amazon search; needless to say, not one of his books has ever been reviewed. I wonder if any were bought?

This "genius" has made the "profound" contribution to history, that "demonstrates the Transatlantic Slave Trade to have been the primary product of Western Europe’s industrial revolution".

Naturally his peers don't take him seriously, in fact, they don't even know who he is. It is guys like this that result in ALL African qualifications being discounted to the point of worthlessness.

But I don't have to be critical of him, or this type of display. Just read what a commenter to the above article had to say.

When do you know when a society is totally out of control?

I am constantly amazed by all the people that defend the all important “African” cultures.

By reading the news daily, having lived in South Africa for the biggest part of my adult live, by experiencing the generally violent behavior of black South Africans during various phases in my live, and by constant feedback from family still in South Africa, I can make the following statements:

Africans, generally, are savages. Culture is an excuse to be uncivilized. Tribalism will be the death of all efforts to democratize Africa. Hate is considered a positive emotion in Africa.

Now where is this leading to?

In the last few months I have read and reported on various savage behaviors in Africa.

Slaughtering of animals, murder, rape, intolerance, slavery, black on white racism, riots, etc.

There is however some reports that stand out and this post is to highlight those. And very particularly rape as a weapon in Africa.

Read the following recent posts on this blog.

I highlight this one because of the ANC support for Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

Does the ANC support this?

And this one to show the hate in South Africa.

Hate as a custom for a nation.

And lastely, do I think this post is relevant for South Africa?


Sexual Terrorism: Bureaucratic Realism vs. Academic Word-mongering Malpractice

Versions of this post appeared on OpEdNews and on Alex Engwete (French). Recently, the phenomenon of sexual terrorism has taken on a new form in eastern Congo: “bush wives” or those “men raped by other men,” to use New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman ’s tautological expression, for to date, in the African Great Lakes region, rapists only come in one gender: men!

Rwanda exported “sexual terrorism” to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), mostly in the late 1990s, when the chase and revenge killings of the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide turned into a full-scale counter-genocide of Hutu refugees with more than 230,000 victims.

Beside outright killings, rapes and sexual mutilations of Hutu women were systematically carried out as a form of punishment for their ethnic group’s perpetration of genocide in Rwanda. And since then, northeastern Congo has become the epicenter of this scourge where it has festered among roving armed bands, penetrated the anthropological fabric of the Congolese society, and results today in the near psychological and physical destruction of rape victims from that part of the country. A sociohistorical antecedent that still has to find a definition and a body of scholarship in social sciences. The most shocking thing about this is that the ongoing sexual terrorism in the Congo has caused scant media attention in Africa and in the rest of the world.
A situation that has since been remedied with the release last year of Lisa Jackson’s award-winning documentary The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo .

What’s more, African and Congolese social scientists claim to be unable to develop a theoretical tool able to map out, trace, and explain the horrific phenomenon. As the photographer Hazel Thompson puts it in the legend of one of the horrific photographs she brought back from eastern Congo in early October 2007: “No one — doctors, aid workers, Congolese and Western researchers — can explain exactly why this is happening. 'We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear,' said Dr. Mukwege , 'They are done to destroy women.'"

Really! Would then this be the first human deviant behavior to baffle scientists in the history of the social sciences?

And yet, in the course of only a 3-week fieldwork period in eastern Congo in the winter of 2004, a couple of female bureaucrats at USAID who didn’t shy away from tackling head on this phenomenon, gave it the name sexual terrorism, now tagged by the UN, and developed in the process a basic theoretical toolkit for understanding it - to the shame and grief of academic social scientists!

What’s sexual terrorism?

The findings of these two bureaucrats are contained in a small, little-known 30-page assessment report by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiative and Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance that was published on 18 March 2004 in PDF format. Besides defining sexual terrorism, tracing its roots, and offering the first description of its horrific psycho-medical impact on women, the most interesting thing about the conceptual development of this document is the fact that it was wholly elaborated by a team of women in the rape fields of the Congo. The document is entitled
Sexual Terrorism: Rape as a Weapon of War in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: An Assessment of programmatic responses to sexual violence in North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, and Orientale Provinces (January 9-16, 2004) .

The report was penned by Dr Marion Pratt (Social Science Advisor) and Leah Werchik, J.D. (Human Rights Advisor) - with a team of 5 other women bureaucrats, and a host of Congolese women investigators. What’s also very significant about this report is that, though written by bureaucrats, it is bound one day to become a seminal academic conceptual tool in analyzing the phenomenon.

The report’s definition of “sexual terrorism” is descriptive:

“Rape and associated violence against civilians (women, men, girls, and boys) have been widely employed as weapons in the multiple regional and civil wars that have plagued the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Such violence was noted in cross-border hostilities in 1991 but became more frequent in1994 in the context of regional conflicts stemming from the Rwandan genocide and the pursuant exodus of Rwandan civilians and armed groups into eastern DRC. Fighting continued and grew in the two waves of conflict - known locally as World War I and World War II - that followed in 1996 and 1998, involving seven countries at one point. Perceived as a particularly effective weapon of war and used to subdue, punish, or take revenge upon entire communities, acts of sexual and gender-based violence increased concomitantly. Attacks have comprised individual rapes, sexual abuse, gang rapes, mutilation of genitalia, and rape-shooting or rape-stabbing combinations, at times undertaken after family members have been tied up and forced to watch. The perpetrators have come from among virtually all of the armies, militias and gangs implicated in the conflicts, including local bands that attacked their own communities and local police forces. According to a doctor at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, many victims in that area reported that attackers would encircle villages and rape the women publicly and collectively, including children and the elderly.”

African academics would certainly gain in realism by reading through this short report. The one attempt to my knowledge by an African (male) scholar to describe the phenomenon is couched in almost unreadable language characteristic of the much-discredited deconstruction fad (though the scholar I’m referring to would vehemently refute my lumping him with postmodern Derridean deconstructionists). The Cameroonian academic and prolific postmodernist theorist Achille Mbembe, whom I am referring to, attempted, as I just said, to grasp this phenomenon of sexual terrorism in parts of his essay entitled “Sovereignty as a Form of Expenditure.” I am not even going to dwell on this notion of “expenditure” [dépense] borrowed from the one-time surrealist French philosopher Georges Bataille. But suffice it to say that when our African (male) scholar tries to capture the phenomenon, he fails miserably as he plods through the conceptual field of the equally discredited old psychoanalytic rut:

“In the face of the sense - widespread among men - of menacing feminization, rites of proving or demonstrating one’s virility are multiplying. With the assistance of a context dominated by wars, the tension between what is threatened with extinction and what both formerly has been and now is suppressed is exacerbated, and relations of substitutability between the phallus and the gun are instituted.

On the one hand, and for a number of child-soldiers who now make up the greater part of the armed bands, the demonstration of one’s virility is achieved by means of the gun. The possession of a gun acts, in its turn, as the equivalent of the possession of a phallus on one’s passage out of the age of virginity. But the mediation of the gun for the phallus is only imaginary. Putting to death by means of the gun takes place almost simultaneously with being put to the test through the act of sex - in this case, generally speaking, by group rape. On the other hand, to possess a gun is to enjoy a position of almost unrestricted access to sexual goods; it is, above all, to have access in a very concrete manner to a certain form of abundance at the heart of which a woman is constituted as a superfluity, as what one can dispense with without concern as for whether one will be able to replace it with a similar provision at a later date. Finally, the sexual act itself manages to become an element, not merely of rape, but of violence as such. Rape, to the extent that access to the inwardness of woman is achieved by breaking and entering; violence, to the extent that one uses force to possess and to dominate someone else’s will as one would in combat. And so enjoyment through the gun and through the phallus are conjoined, the one ending in a corporeality that is inert and emptied of all life, death; and the other by a discharge as violent as it is brief, the orgasmic satisfaction by the means of which the power of enjoyment is converted into a power of radically objectifying the Other, whose body one bores into, digs into, excavates, and empties in the very act of rape.”

Now, this is certainly great wordsmithery at best or, at worst, utter shamanism in the art of word-mongering. It’s a shame that this wordy exercise should come from an African scholar reflecting on an urgent African problem! I just used my “word count” tool on both these quotations: the definition of sexual terrorism by Dr. Marion Pratt and Leah Werchik consists of about 227 words, while Achille Mbembe’s obscure aphorism runs for about 375 words that have absolutely no bearing on the destruction of women currently taking place in the Congo. My guess is that had Dr. Patt and Werchik produced the kind of Mbembe’s lyrical narrative to their supervising boss, they’d have been fired on the spot and driven off any American bureaucracy!

The report of Dr Pratt and Werchik should shame all of us that usually lament the built-in systemic wastefulness of bureaucracies and big government. In fact, the U.S. government should staff its bureaucracy with more of this type of no-nonsense bureaucrats. In contrast, the kind of scholarly obfuscation displayed by Achille Mbembe, given the urgent need of action and solutions on behalf of African women victims of sexual terrorism, amounts to reckless academic malpractice. Wouldn’t we then understand why some have called this kind of postmodern “new scholarship” an empty, solipsist, and nihilistic exercise devoid of any realism that would make Bertrand Russell turn in his grave? Would we then question the policy of some African countries faced with limited resources, like Botswana, to restrict scholarship awards for higher education abroad only to those students pursuing studies in “hard sciences”? Wouldn’t academia benefit by opening up to practical scholarly analysis displayed by bureaucrats of the likes of Dr Pratt and Werchik instead of constricting its “cultural studies” departments’ productions to empty exercises in intellectual self-cannibalism by overpaid star scholars?

What’s very astonishing is that Achille Mbembe’s essay is contained in a collective book edited by Thomas Blom Hansen and Finn Stepputat entitled Sovereign Bodies: Citizens, Migrants, and States in the Postcolonial World (Princeton University Press) published in 2005 - that is, one full year after Dr. Pratt and Werchik’s report was released and posted on the internet. Which means that a simple Google search could have saved Achille Mbembe from whirling around in the embarrassing conceptual rumba we read above.

To get a sense of the horrors of “sexual terrorism,” we thus need to leave the hallways of academia and go to the cubicles of American bureaucracy. A change of venue that shows that Academia is irrelevant when it comes to solving pressing African problems today.

In the short report meticulously and economically crafted by Dr. Pratt and Werchik, the alleged mystery of the mechanism of sexual terrorism unfolds without any syntactic contortions. In just one page of this report, we learn that sexual terrorism has no bounds in terms of its victims’ age who “range in age from four months… to 84 years of age”; in terms of its social consequences as “wave after wave of armed occupation resulted in the disintegration of the moral and social fabric in many localities”; and in terms of its medical, psychosocial, economic, and physiological toll: “Social stigma has left large numbers of rape victims and children born of rape rejected by their families and communities. Many cases of HIV and other infections remain untested and untreated. Fear of going to fields and markets, sites where rapes often take place, has resulted in spiraling malnutrition and economic loss. Widespread criminal impunity and inadequate local and regional governance leave communities without means to reduce the violence.”

The descriptive mode of the report by no means signifies that these two USAID bureaucrats have no understanding of the general academic theory on rape - in fact their short report contains a bibliography with 28 references, including books, reports, and scholarly articles. They do indeed rehearse the most recent scholarly typology of the scourge of rape - specifically Dr. Patricia Rozée’s categories: “punitive rape (used to punish, to elicit silence and control); status rape (occurring as a result of acknowledged differences in rank - master/slave, nobleman/commoner; etc); ceremonial rape (undertaken as part of socially sanctioned rituals or ceremonies); exchange rape (when genital contact is used as a bargaining tool or gesture of conciliation or solidarity); theft rape (involuntary abduction of individuals as slaves, prostitutes, concubines, or spoils of war); and survival rape (when young women become involved with older men to secure goods and/or services needed to survive.” To this, Dr. Pratt and Werchik add their own categories: rape “used to subjugate [entire] populations as a means of gaining access to valuable or scarce assets.”

In tracing the origins of the on-going destruction of women in the Congo, these two bureaucrats point to its "ground zero" of origination: “Certainly, partly due to women’s low legal status in both the traditional and civil domains, rape existed in the eastern provinces before the Rwandan genocide exodus in 1994 and the civil wars of 1996 and 1998. However, most of those cases reportedly took the form of the rape of a girl by a male ‘admirer’ when she went to gather firewood or collect water, for example; the issue was resolved between families by marrying the two, or by requiring the perpetrator to pay restitution to the girl’s family in the form of one or two goats. The extremely high number of cases of rape and the horrific mutilations that began to be reported from 1996 on, however, appears to replicate the massive sexual violence documented in Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide.”

The counter-genocide on the Hutu in the Congo by Rwandan troops that spearheaded Laurent Kabila’s rebel troops spread and entrenched this madness, which, according to this report, has even contaminated the Pygmies, who used to be ranked by anthropologists as belonging to the category of “peaceful communities”: “Even the pygmies (or Mbuti tribe), long known for their relatively peaceful demeanor and pacific philosophies, have been drawn into the violence. Their once seemingly idyllic life in the Ituri forests (…) has been slowly transformed at least partly by their painful absorption into more urban settings, and marked by abuse, exploitation, and profound ethnic discrimination. The team discovered that under the cloak of war-induced chaos in North Katanga and other areas, Pygmy men have finally begun to fight back, and are said to be responsible for raping and pillaging Bantu villages-- allegedly with the encouragement of Rwandans - in retaliation for decades of abuse.”

What’s even alarming is that in some areas, rape has also turned into the social norm for curtailing or punishing women’s so-called “deviant” or “transgressive” behavior: “The use of sexual violence as a tool of domination and punishment has spread to the community level as well; the team was told of many individual cases of ‘punishment’ perpetrated by civilians against one another. In one instance in North Kivu, a young girl was raped by the owner of a mango tree for taking a green fruit without asking… The use of sexual violence has proliferated to the point that even the most seemingly minor of transgressions or old personal scores are now dealt with through the use of rape and violence.”

Adding to this mix newly-created rape superstitions of prepubescent and postmenopausal women - a superstition reminiscent of the South-African male fallacy on Aids-preemptive rape of female children, then the plight of Congolese women would seem to have no end in sight: “The team heard from several sources that superstitions and fetishism are also playing a role in sexual violence. It was said that some men believe that sex with prepubescent or postmenopausal women can give strength to or protect fighters from injury or death… Paid, professional féticheurs [shamans] in Beni and the surrounding area are allegedly taking advantage of the situation, advising their customers, for example, that raping young girls can protect them from harm or improve their business dealings.”

And page after page of this report, the horrific account of the destruction of Congolese women dissected with the precision and the cold matter-of-factness of traditional and seasoned scholarship that stands out as an indictment of the pomposity of Achille Mbembe or the conceptual helplessness of Congolese social scientists.

One is particularly horrified at the lack of statistics that could give the extent of this unprecedented destruction of women, due largely to the scarcity of funding for carrying out such grim tallies: “There is a natural tendency to want to know how extensive a problem sexual violence is in order to properly address it. However, the assessment team felt strongly that scarce funding should not be used at this time to try to determine total numbers of cases, victims, and survivors. Such studies can be carried out later if necessary, based on dossiers kept by human rights organizations, hospitals, NGOs, and other groups.”

But five years after the release of this report, the destruction of Congolese continues unabated in the jungle and townships of eastern Congo. With these destroyed women carrying in their bodies for the rest of their lives the psychological and physical stigmas: “Rape survivors with fistulas - tears in genital tissue that can cause uncontrollable leakage of fecal matter or urine - need highly specialized care that is both time-consuming and expensive. A doctor at Panzi Hospital told the team, “Sometimes the destruction is such that the women have no more vagina.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So What Is Your Political Persuasion? Let's Find Out

Related Articles:

Too many of us labour under the illusion that we are either liberal (left) or conservative (right), when the range of classifications is much more complex. A more accurate picture includes both a social and an economic dimension.

The diagram to the left reflects this complex interplay. A description of this interplay can be found here.

More importantly, a test can be conducted to determine where you are positioned on the graph, which allows for some interesting comparisons with historical figures.

We encourage you to take the test. It is anonymous, and is 6 pages long, taking about 10 minutes. Once you have completed the test, we would like it if you saved your scores or a screenshot, and forwarded these to us. We would like to aggregate the scores, and come up with a collective score for ILSA readers. Are we right wing radicals or not?

Then, contributors willing, it would be interesting to reveal where the individual contributors are positioned. I won't disclose where Viking and I are positioned just yet.

So go for it; let's see if we can get a 100 responses. You can email them to me.

If some of the other websites would like to make a comparison to us, that would be interesting too.

What it Means to be a Conservative or a Liberal: A Reply

In Response to : What Does It Mean To Be A Liberal or A Conservative?

The Left existed before Marx. Fact. There were always roughly two
opposing viewpoints within the British parliamentary system, and they
were arranged as follows. Tories supported the Crown, and the Whigs
wanted more freedoms for the middle classes and Parliament. That is
just about as specific as it got.There was little talk of the working
class as there was no industrial revolution yet, and gradually Tories
turned into Conservatives and Whigs into Liberals.

But these differences were not concrete. How could they be? What do
you seek to Conserve -or preserve - when the status quo keeps
changing? Are Tories against change per se, and Liberals seeking
change for change's sake? That is certainly how they understood each
other back in their day.

But as times changed, the Industrial Revolution created the urban
Working Class, revolutionary movements swept Europe and Marx wrote Das
Kapital, so the meaning of Left and Right did too. No longer was there
a party favouring Absolute Monarchy, at least not in Britain.

Now factor in America. A Revolutionary Constitution now exists, and its defenders are now Conservatives. And yet, what they are defending is very similar to what Liberal Whigs in England are talking about.

A traditional -read: simplistic, uncritical - understanding of Left and
Right today is that each form two ends of a "political spectrum",
where extremism marks the limit and in the centre are gathered all the
'non-extreme' people. The centre is therefore the desireable place to
be and the overwhelming majority of politicians and voters claim to
represent either the so-called centre-left or centre-right. This leads to severe
mental paralysis, as people spew a lot of b.s. in order to place themselves in the
desired "centre".

This characterisation is hugely problemmatic for at least one important
reason. Historically, the so-called extreme Right and extreme Left had
remarkably similar characteristics. This has hardly gone unnoticed. Leftists ignore this even today, and what is Right-wing is usually anything that Leftists don't like, whether it's actually accepted by Conservatives or not.

In Liberal Fascism, Goldberg seeks to explain this similarity as an internecine rivalry between different left-leaning groups. To resolve the conflict he begins by asking, who created this 'political spectrum' and decided where everybody else on it stood?

His answer is the Left, particularly under Stalin, but also in the West as well. Fascism and Communism vied for the same support base, and this conflict led to a false polarisation of what had been two very similar worldviews. Goldberg then resolves the conflict by suggesting an acceptance of the Classical Liberal view, that holds radical Collectivism on the Left end of the spectrum, and radical Individualism on the Right.

Today, the American model has largely won out, and calls for centralisation of government in the person of an absolute ruler are thankfully banished from Western political discourse. As a result out political spectrum can happily show collectivism on the liberal and socialist left, with Libertarianism and Conservatism on the right.

The term Liberal has had an about-face. Whereas once a Liberal was once one who believed in individual freedom, freedom of expression, democracy and one law for everyone, now a liberal is someone who seeks to hold the good of 'society' above that of the individual, by controlling freedoms and making special laws for special interest groups. This is not what liberalism was.

Conservatism too has come a long way. Those who once argued for the power of monarchs and the rule of the Church have, since even before Reagan and Thatcher, Barry Goldwater and others, more recently been talking about free markets and small governments, which of course stand in the proud Classical Liberal tradition.

What Does It Mean To Be A Liberal or A Conservative?

I have often pondered these two juxtaposed terms; like with racism, I have come to the conclusion that the terms are very often used without a clear grasp of their definitions.

It has almost become an insult to be termed a liberal, yet the term liberal is defined as being synonymous with progress, freedom, open-mindedness and generosity.

Who can deny that these are wonderful virtues?

By strict definition I am a liberal, but in reality I am not. I am much more than that. The world is a complex place, and we are all expected to have opinions on a broad array of subjects. Like with astrology, we don't all fit into neatly defined boxes. I doubt whether there are very many pure liberals or pure conservatives. So what do these terms mean?

The origins of these political philosophies is the Enlightenment period which so influenced the American revolutionaries. The very idea of individual rights and freedoms never existed before and changed the political landscape. At this time of history liberalism emphasized individual rights, human dignity and the role of the individual in choosing their leaders.

Early liberals opposed strong, centralized government and generally favored change. Because of these ideals liberals tended to be the poor, minorities (racial, ethnic, religious, gender, etc.) and intellectuals. In general liberals were people who did not have power or a say in the major factors that influenced their lives. Why wouldn't they want change? Things couldn't get much worse.

Conservatives believed the opposite of liberals.

Conservatism emphasized the status quo; strong centralized government, rights for higher classes only, divine right of kings, etc. Conservatives were mainly the wealthy and nobility, the church and the military. The people who were traditionally in positions of power. Why would they want change? Things probably would get much worse.

Although the basic groups that made up liberals and conservatives still mostly apply today, the beliefs do not, at least not in the United States. Both liberals and conservatives proclaim the importance of individual rights, although in different areas. Liberals want more individual freedoms in social areas such as free speech, while conservatives emphasize individual freedoms in areas such as business. Both liberals and conservatives believe in the power of centralized government, but again, in different ways. Liberals wanting the government to regulate business and protect the minorities of society, conservatives wanting government to enforce societal norms and protect business. The emphasis on change and the status quo still generally applies but it depends on the issue.

The problem with the liberal and conservative labels is they no longer work. The world has changed too much, with too many new ideas to fit into the old monikers. A four sided graph is now used to describe political philosophies. In addition to the old liberal and conservative ends, there are now authoritarian and libertarian extremes forming a four segmented graph.

The addition of the two new categories emphasizes one of the most important aspects of a political spectrum. It is completely relevant to time and place. A conservative in California today is not the same thing as a conservative in South Carolina. A liberal in Texas is not the same as a liberal in Massachusetts. A liberal in the United States is not the same as a liberal in France and an American conservative is not the same as a conservative in Saudi Arabia. The Republicans like to call themselves the party of Lincoln, but in his time Lincoln's Republican Party was considered the liberal party.

Time, place and a growing and changing world all impact how the terms liberal and conservative are defined. It is difficult, and perhaps, inaccurate to label individuals in this way. The reality may be there are more similarities between us than the labels would suggest.