Thursday, February 22, 2018

The gun issue in the USA.

2nd Amendment
It was with considerable frustration that I watched the live broadcast of the latest Town Hall debate on this issue, prompted by yet another mass killing ... and once again the slaughter of none other than children.
I watched and heard politicians, the National Rifle Association representative and other personages wriggle, squirm, obfuscate, lie and confuse the issue in just about every imaginable way.
There is an entrenched culture of trying to "fool all of the people all of the time".
However it is blindingly obvious that Americans, as a whole, are terribly confused about the fundamental driver of the problem they have ... despite the lesson available from what Australia did and the situations in other first world countries. [See image above]
The elephant in the room is the much revered 2nd Amendment that is regarded as sacrosanct and entitling every citizen to a firearm. The fact that this amendment could ONLY have had the right to possessing muskets in mind is completely glossed over and ignored.
The fact that no right can ever be upheld in a way that prejudices other fundamental rights is completely ignored.
There are no rights that are UNLIMITED OR ABSOLUTE.

Example: - Everyone has a fundamental right to own property. However ownership, possession and use of a motor vehicle is strictly controlled because of the potential of enormous harm.
If it is correct that the 2nd Amendment right is absolute why is it that Americans are not allowed on air flights in possession of a gun? They certainly are restricted from possession in any number of places starting with the White House.
As regards flights Trump's answer would be that you arm all the passengers.
All rights are subject to the limitation that they do NOT prejudice other fundamental rights.
The evidence that the reverence in which the 2nd Amendment is held IS virtually demolishing Amendment 5 - Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property, is simply glossed over ... except as was raised by ONE attendee at the meeting.
Symptomatic of the problem in "American thinking" as regards the issue has been furnished by none other than its prize buffoon, President Donald Trump, who proposed that teachers be armed and that "background checks" be ramped up.
a) The idea that arming teachers is a "solution" borders on lunacy. Teachers are teachers ... NOT soldiers. Even I, as a trained soldier, would have real difficulties saving lives when the School I am at is spontaneously attacked. By the time I would get to the gunman he could well have already killed 15 kids when armed ONLY with a pistol ... and dozens more if armed with an assault weapon. And there would be no guarantee that he would not also kill me.
This proposition by Trump whilst facing affected families virges on the moronic.
When it goes wrong he will say that the kids must all be armed!!!
Currently the possession of pistols is not even being mentioned even though one of these can be used to kill and maim up to 15 humans in as many seconds.
b) "Background checks", even if superbly executed will only provide a snapshot of a moment in time. The human being that presents as a model citizen in that moment in time may well become a raving lunatic at any time thereafter. No "background check" would have prevented that Las Vegas massacre in which 58 people were killed and hundreds injured.
c) So too as regards vetting supposedly mentally disordered people. There is no government on this planet that has ever been able to contain mental disorder. I lost a  brother to gunshot suicide, even though he was under the best treatment for ONLY depression.
It is obvious that there is a need for a paradigm shift/change in the way Americans, as a whole, perceive the issue of gun possession. 
There will never be complete protection. However as is the case in other countries the possession of a gun needs to be subjected to common sense management. 
For a start, possession needs to be licensed in terms of a regime that ensures responsible restricted possession, training and checking thereafter.

The problem will never be completely disposed of, but it will have been greatly reduced.
This image sets out the reality with the telling simplicity of truth.
Gun Control in the USA

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mankind is as dom as ever

Yes we are the species known as homo sapiens because we have the power of reason but undoubtedly our default mode is to be dumb.
This dumbness is very successfully masked, concealed, submerged on account of our very aggressive education systems, so most of the time we manage not to do really stupid things.
However every so often someone comes along and gets us back to our natural state of idiocy.
That is the hard evidence as unpalatable and regrettable as it might be. 
That is why the very smart people of Germany fell for a diminutive ranting maniac, Adolph Hitler, and his diabolical “Nazism”.
It is why Africans danced in the street for a genocidal maniac like Idi Amin Dada.
Otherwise very smart White Rhodesians were led like sheep down an obviously disastrous path by Ian Douglas Smith.
Then the supposedly smartest Africans, being Zimbabweans, repeatedly kept a really bad leader, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in power.
In South Africa the people have kept a cheap crook like Jacob Zuma in power even after they were fully informed about his perverse Nkandla enrichment to the tune of R245 million.
Now we see that the supposedly most advanced people on the planet, being the Americans, have voted in the biggest recorded buffoon in history, Donald J Trump, as their President.
And then we have people supporting a diabolical entity like ISIS. As said it must be the case that our natural default mode is to be stupid, naïve, irrational, dense, dumb, dom … as much as this is covered up by education.
However the likes of Hitler, Mugabe … and Trump have had the knack of getting us back to our natural stupid state.
I started life in an orphanage and institution for deprived children, Sacred Heart Home. That school and the secondary school I attended were the most under-resourced in the Colony of Southern Rhodesia. But I now realize that I actually received a most fantastic education because, as much as I have done really dumb things, I could never fall for the stuff spewed out by the likes of Hitler, Smith, Amin, Mugabe, Zuma and Donald Trump. NEVER!!! NEVER NEVER EVER!!! ... and yes ISIS ... NEVER ... NEVER ... NEVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I realize that I had the best teachers on this planet in Sister Mare SND, Richard Brown, Danny Pillay, Vernon Bowers and others. They are my heroes.
To my mind it is unimaginable that supposedly sentient beings can even start to believe Trump’s bleating that 194 other nations all conspired to diddle, cheat and laugh at “poor” America as regards the Paris Climate Accord.
At the High School I attended, Embakwe Coloured School, a person like Trump would have got a very good hiding for trying to “eat us in the ear and hurt us in the brain”.
So understand that we are all dom, but if you are a fan of any of the buggers I have listed above and paid for your education, you need to go and get your money back.
Of course it might also be the case that we are not all descendants of the rather smart homo sapiens but that most of us have evolved from the rather thick homo heidelbergensis, homo erectus, homo habilis, Australopithecus afarensis or the Neanderstals.
What proves my point beyond all doubt is the way the current debate is being framed. Everyone is into arguing, quarrelling and going bla bla bla about “climate change”.
Scientifically climate change can always be disputed. What cannot be disputed is that “dirty energy” like coal mining is no good for our children, the planet and its creatures as compared to “clean energy” like solar. It is a simple matter of choosing which is the more responsible way to manage planetary resources; which increases rather than decreases survivability of the planet and its inhabitants.
It is like choosing between an e-cigarette and the traditional tobacco fag. Does a surgeon use a kitchen knife or a scalpel? Why do we now use seat belts?
As Arnold Schwarzenegger says - “Does Donald Trump not know what is it that causes tuberculosis and emphysema”?
Pumping black smoke into the air is just not smart if you can use solar instead.
However, except for Arnold it seems, nobody is framing the issue in these obvious terms. We are not doing this because we are dom.
If you imagine that I am wrong ask yourself a very simple question – do you think, imagine or suppose that our current management of the planet and its resources is at all sustainable in the longer term?
We know that it is not … but we all acquiesce, connive and collude at this ruination of the planet because, as said, we are as thick as planks. No question!!
We Goffals (Coloured folk) in Rhodesia used to have a saying - “It is in the Levis” referencing Levi Jeans , i.e, human genes ... lol.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

DACA … for dummies … peeling the onion

DACA means ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’.
The ‘children involved’, over 900,000 of them are now adults.
Their children are also in the onion.
They are popularly referred to as “Dreamers”.
To unpeel this onion, we are going to use “jurisprudence”.  Jurisprudence is the “science” of law. That is why universities classify law as a “social science”.
A.  The History.
Over 900,000 humans were brought into America illegally by their parents. At the time they were children.
B.  The law.
A child is doli incapax; Latin for “incapable of committing a crime”. So, none of the now DACA adults is guilty of anything whatsoever.
C.   Jurisprudence
It is fundamental jurisprudence that a human being cannot be visited with a punishment or divested of any of the basket of human rights that otherwise accrue except as a consequence of wrongdoing, proved by a fair due process.
Article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) prohibits persons from being treated “unequally”. Equality is a cornerstone of the UDHR.

Article 2 prohibits discriminating against a person on the basis of that person’s national or social origin” and/or “international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs…”

Article 7 states that – “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. “

Article 9 states No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”

Article 10 states – Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations…”

Monday, January 15, 2018

Patricia De Lille ... on trial

The “trial of De Lille” by the Democratic Alliance (“DA”) is playing out in the media. Her guilt or innocence is an issue in the court of public opinion and now, at last, before a constituted disciplinary committee, that she has welcomed.
She has welcomed it as she sees DC as her only chance at justice.
However truth and justice may yet prove as elusive as ever, given our propensity for appointing dubious adjudicators as regards “political” matters. The sham Seriti Arms Commission springs to mind. Its findings are widely regarded “as a joke”.
The 2004 Hefer Commission - set up to investigate allegations of spying against the then head of the National Director of Public Prosecutions - turned out to be little more than a cynical exercise in personal retribution and the silencing of troublesome political opponents.”

It is therefore a truism that everything depends on which persons are appointed to adjudicate on the De Lille DC. I’m not holding my breath.
Personally, I am infused with scepticism from start to finish about the whole thing.

To be fair I will first confess a bias … a pro-De Lille bias. I first made contact with this lady when, as a head of a parastatal, I was required to report to Parliament. De Lille was on the Portfolio Committee for Transport. The sessions with her were marked by her diamond hard commitment to the public interest … from A to Z. She spared you no hiding place on this issue.

Later I had the privilege of sharing a breakfast with her in the wondrous shadow and aura of Table Mountain. I was mesmerized by the sensitive, gentle human spirit that was otherwise masked by that seemingly hard exterior. The “warrior” woman had the heart of a loving child. It was not long before her eyes welled up when explaining what terrors she and her family had been subjected to on their path to truth and justice.

And we all know who exposed the rotten Arms Deal.

So I have never had any reservations about this lady’s commitment to the public interest and her crusade for truth and social justice.  That is my bias.

That bias is augmented by my perception of politicians. I do not believe that one can be a politician and act with complete proprietary at all times. Even “Honest Abe” Lincoln, who is credited with abolishing slavery, was implicated as regards slaves and as regards bad treatment of Blacks. Our somewhat “perfect” human standards can never apply to politicians. President Barrack Obama made “mistakes”.

So I do not expect that De Lille’s conduct, as a politician, was ever completely above the board we set ourselves. Alas, we have to face the fact that they operate at a lower standard of functional integrity. It is the nature of the game. It is why Jacob Zuma is still President. It is why Donald Trump is still President.
So the question that arises is by what standard will De Lille be judged?
Will political misdemeanour(s) be elevated to political crime(s) … unforgivable political crimes?
I suspect that they will.

On this central issue there is a huge elephant in the room. You see, it is a reality that there is an agenda of control and domination at play here. It has been in the room from 1994. It is fuelled by an ideology that social justice is synonymous with Black domination to supplant White domination.

In this equation, Coloured folk are somewhat irrelevant. Blacks are “us”, Whites are “them” and Coloureds are “the others” … others on the periphery, ambivalent, irrelevant and inconsequential … like shadows. If there was ever any doubt about this, then Chief Government Spokesman, Jimmy Manyi, removed this quite emphatically in his “Coloureds are overrepresented in the Western Cape” tirade.

And the DA is fully complicit in the culture of Black domination. It is why Mmusi Maimane was selected as leader over the more mature experienced Wilmot James. James is Coloured. Coloureds are why the DA has the Western Cape. It counts for nothing at a certain point. To beat the ANC at “blackening” the WC the DA had to have Mmusi. So De Lille’s “otherness” is a certain though unarticulated problem for her.

I have real life experience of this. I was hounded out of the Road Accident Fund for my culture of commitment to truth, justice and the public interest not being seen as synonymous with Black domination.

The other elephant in the room is that of misogyny. Like America, we are deeply misogynistic, as much as we don’t realize this. It is why we can have a man with six wives, and guilty of fathering a child in an extramarital affair, as our President. In America, Hilary was held to all kinds of real and imaginary standards while Trump was held to none.

So, given all these underlying realities, it is my considered view that Patricia De Lille is up against it. No one will be more surprised than me if she survives.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Land Appropriation … Cyril Ramaphosa… Don’t do it!!

I met your personal assistant, who served with me on the panel of legal experts as regards Carte Blanch coverage of the Oscar Pistorius Trial. I cannot believe that she is advising you to even consider grabbing land without compensation.
Such course of action is illegal under international law, United Nations conventions and policies of international agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In addition the human rights sector expressly forbids this.
This now universal prohibition is founded on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the World got after two (2) World Wars and the Holocaust. This paradigm shift in human culture is the direct product of millions having spilled their blood and given their lives. It is a most precious commodity that is simply not negotiable.

1. Grabbing property from Whites will, in the first instance be an express violation of Article 7 of the UDHR that expressly states ---
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

2. It will also be an express violation of Article 2 -
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

3. It will also be an express violation of Article 17 -
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
4. The above rights are limited in terms of Article 29 ONLY by …
law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

In so far as this Article is being proffered as justification for land grabbing the short jurisprudential argument is that there is nothing moral or good or democratic about grabbing land from “innocent humans” without compensation.
Yes, Whites are in disproportionate possession of land. However, they are no more to blame for this than those suffering from land hunger. Neither groups can be held responsible for the capriciousness of history.

CONSEQUENCES ---- If you start grabbing ln without compensation the World, led by the UN and its agencies, WILL react to the extreme detriment of South Africa. Understand that international agencies, such and the IMF and the World Bank, now have policies that expressly bind them to react to the detriment of any country violating the sacred Articles of the UDHR. They do not have a choice.
South Africa will become a pariah State overnight, as did Zimbabwe.

The Consequences will be emphatic and disastrous.
Is that what we want?
Have we really not learned anything from the judgment of our own African Judges who sat as the SADC Tribunal and ruled against this as regards Robert Mugabe’s land grabs??
Don’t do it.
It is madness to even consider it.
PS: --- why do you think, imagine or suppose Emmerson Mnangagwa has now committed to compensation for the White farmers that were dispossessed of land???

The Other

“The Other” is a term I chanced upon as a title for my book after I had finished writing it. When I started writing I had no idea what the title was going to be. In the end the title was self-suggestive. This was in 2010.
Since then the term has crept into occasional usage by political commentators in the international media when referencing human rights situations. I suspect that it will gain traction and be more widely used in the future. So here I want to attempt to define it.
The starting point is to recognize that ordinarily humans deal in assets, power and influence. They do this to a greater or less extent, depending on the “goodness” or “badness” of the socio-economic realities of the countries they live in. With good governments, such as those of Norway and Sweden, they are more or less in equal competition as regards assets, power and influence. With bad governments, such as Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, it is not so much a competition, but a lottery. 
The USA is now undergoing "trumpism" that seeks to posit anybody, such as Mexicans, dreamers, Muslims and those that are not White male Americans, as "others"
Trumpism, the rise of the Alt-Right and Brexit in the UK guarantees an exponential increase in the incidence of “others”.
However, whatever the overall situation, “others” still exist. As an “other” you are a sort of peripheral player in the socio-economic competition. You drift or ghost in an out. There might even be periods when it seems that you are indeed an equal competitor but you never really are. 
This is because there is an organic ambivalence about an “other”. You are regarded as being somewhat irrelevant. Like a shadow, you exist and can be seen, but are irrelevant … inconsequential. The main or dominant group tolerates you as long as you are not a real threat to their unfettered right to be dominant in the competition for assets, power and influence. Once you are perceived as a real threat action is taken to your detriment, as a matter of course. In this way you are mostly kept out of the main competition and tolerated as a matter of convenience from time to time.
This phenomenon can be either “systemic” or “organic”. In Rhodesia it was systemic as regards the status of Coloured folk, with Black folk being perceived as real competitors. So too as regards racist apartheid South Africa where this unequal status was legislated.
It is organic when it exists despite there being no systemic or legal prohibition against full equality. That is largely the situation for Coloured folk in current South Africa where, despite the seeming absence of legal impediments, Coloured folk are no more than peripheral players in the competition between the Black and White groups. 
South Africa’s current racialized reform model guarantees that Black folk become “us”, White folk become “them” and Coloured folk become “others”. As said there is a kind of ambivalence and irrelevance about them on just about all fronts. Substantive achievement becomes opportunistically incidental … not in terms of full equality as a human or citizen. Blacks and Whites take each other seriously. Coloureds are not taken seriously. 
These days we see many Coloured embracing the “Black” label just as, in the past, some "played White". This is an organically induced attempt to join a dominant group so as to become relevant. It is naive as those groups will still regard them as “others”. 
“Others” are never taken seriously unless posing as an actual threat situationally.
So when “the other” is being assessed for a post or advancement of any kind, it is never only about merit. There is a “glass ceiling” that has to be smashed through. This has been the story of my life.
When you are “the other” you are not specifically oppressed. You are just treated as “almost human” or as an “almost citizen”
Other minority groups find themselves in the same situation. Jews are a striking example of this. Anti-Semitism is a widespread phenomenon. Its starting point is “the other” phenomenon. The “anti” kicks in or becomes keen when these “others” then prove so resourceful as to “beat” the phenomenon at the expense of the dominant groups. At that point, Jews cease to be “others” and are perceived as rivals. In this way a difference between Jews and “others” kicks in. Jews are then taken seriously, and anti-Semitism becomes a norm. “Others” are never taken seriously.
Even members of the dominant groups can drift in and out of being “the other”. We see this as regards women. They have been in this position from time immemorial in a World that has been traditionally patriarchal. Today women are theoretically equal but often find themselves “situationally unequal". This explains the current sensational exposés we are seeing as regards sexual predators such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Donald Trump et al. 
The fact that Trump's victims remain victims, proves my point beyond a shadow of doubt.
It also explains the vexed matter of unequa l pay for women that has been a matter of organic reality, even in a highly democratic institution like the BBC. 
So I realize that, at a certain point, just about anyone can become “the other”. This is when those with systemic, organic or situational power exercise it to your detriment, because you are perceived as “naturally” unworthy of full equality. It might be because of your ethnicity. It might be on account of your sex, or sexual orientation, or religious persuasion... 
Protesting about this, or drawing attention to it, invites opprobrium to be heaped upon you for being “a feminist” or a “reactionary” or, as in my case, “having a chip on my shoulder”.
At the heart of being “the other” is “powerlessness”. This can degrade to the point where humans are then stripped of their rights and become victims, persecuted and oppressed, as we are seeing with the Rohingya in Myanmar, who started off as just being “others”.
Have you ever been “the other”?
Have you known that you are being cheated as a human being but are "powerless"?
Have you known that you are being "screwed" just for being who and what you are and could do precious little about it?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Land ... a sensible solution

This issue is endemic to this region. It arises in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, in particular. During colonization the White settlers grabbed the land, privatized it and then excluded the Black majority from ownership. The resultant legacy is that the White group owns most of the land with the Black majority still dispossessed and, worst still, mere consumers of produce from this land to the economic benefit of the direct descendants of the settlers.
It is therefore perfectly understandable that there is real anger and dissatisfaction with the current situation.  In Zimbabwe the grotesque disparity was used as a populist tool to garner flagging political support, with the White landowners brutally victimized in the process. Land was simply grabbed and “redistributed” in accordance with the political interest of those already in power. 
Still what happened in Zimbabwe, as crude, grotesque, cruel and inhuman as it was, is generally approved of among the dispossessed, disadvantaged masses of Africa, and in many other parts of the World. The reason is that the land issue is not only inherently emotive, it is a touchstone, litmus test of prevailing socio-economic injustice.  No amount of legal and “technically correct” reasoning will alter this reality in the hearts and minds of, not only the disadvantaged masses, but also in the mind of any fair minded human being. 

It is a well established truism that if you want to see if there is racism, ignore all the rhetoric, policies and laws,  just see who is benefiting. If one racial group is benefiting, and another excluded from such benefits, the presence of racism is proved. (per Beverley Tatum internationally recognized expert on racism). In this instance the gross disparity as regards land ownership, on racial lines, proves racism in this sector as a matter of systemic reality.

Obviously a constitutional democracy like South Africa is obliged to address this. Its Constitution expressly requires that all forms of “previous disadvantage” be redressed. There is a constitutional, legal and moral obligation that has accrued. In addition the matter requires attention purely in terms of “risk management”. Such grotesque social imbalances precipitates social upheaval, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.  Just ask those who found themselves in the tumbrils during the French Revolution.

So what is the solution?  To date we have not seen any sensible solution advanced.  The Zimbabwe model is thoroughly objectionable for obvious reasons, which include gross breaching of fundamental human rights. The SADC Tribunal has correctly ruled accordingly. Land grabbing WILL also guarantee a collapse of the economy, as South Africa becomes an international pariah State as happened with Zimbabwe.

This problem, as a component of sound socio-economic macro management, is not new. None other than Peter F. Drucker with an established international reputation as both a perceptive analyst of the present and an astute seer of the future, whether in management and decision-making theory, economic policy, or political events, tackled this issue head on in his seminal work “The New Realities”, New York.- Harper & Row, Publishers, 1989.

In simple terms, he advocates that the current management of the land issue is fundamentally flawed/misplaced. This should undergo a paradigm change as follows : –
1. The owners of productive land should receive tax breaks. 
2. The owners of unproductive land should be taxed for every square meter that is unproductive ... on an increasing scale over time.  

The result will be that –
a) owners will be forced to make land productive, including providing employment;
b) more produce per acre will be the necessary outcome;
c) with owners forced to sell unused land;
d) which land government is compelled to take up for redistribution to those who can, and will, produce.

Simple!   Logical!   Fair! … and a very sound business model for the country, particularly if combined with an astutely calculated limit on how much land any one person can own. ...
  Obviously government is then in a position to prosecute innovative, imaginative, sensible programs to make land available to the dispossessed masses in a way that will guarantee good outcomes all round.  Typically the graduates of agricultural colleges receive preference and are then supported after receiving land.  At this point the racial disparity is addressed in a fair, reasonable and advantageous manner.

The model I am advocating takes care of an important fundamental. In African law and custom there was NO concept of private ownership of land. ALL land was communal. The underlying philosophy was that land could only be used for "communal benefit".  This model includes that philosophy!

Now what could be simpler?? … relatively speaking?? 
Posted on social media 4 years ago.
No one has been able to fault this.
Free counters!