For the first time in a long while I find myself agreeing with Richard Dawkins.
The recent events in Woolwich just go to prove my point about the futility of those extreme security measures aimed at preventing terrorist attacks.
The above article made me spit. Increasingly halal foods are being forced upon us without our knowledge and certainly without our having requested them. By us, I mean non Muslims. I can understand that it makes sense economically for halal options to be offered to Muslim diners, but there should be a choice. Certainly many supermarkets in South Africa have kosher sections. But to ban pork products entirely from restaurants, supermarkets and even airlines, is taking things too far. Leaving aside the methods used to slaughter animals to satisfy halal standards, foisting the regime on the rest of society sends the wrong message to Muslims who will believe that they only have to complain loudly and aggressively enough and they will have their way in all things. Soon it will be Sharia Law. It really has to stop now. Read more…
There is an article in today’s Business Day informing us that South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority plans to investigate historical allegations of mass rape by members of ZANU-PF during the build up tp Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections. Although Zimbabwe has not done so, South Africa has ratified the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court. As such, the NPA has been ordered by a high court here in SA to investigate what amounts to ‘crimes against humanity’. Read more…
I am an epicurean. Or at least that is how I think of myself, based on a quick perusal of the Wikipedia page that deals with epicureanism (not the Freedictionary definition). (It’s a topic I would be happy to pursue if anybody is interested. But that is not what I want to write about just now.) My lifestyle affords me the freedom to visit bookshops and browse a range of publications covering a variety of topics. One such book that I came across today and subsequently purchased, is titled, somewhat confusingly, ’50 Ideas you really need to know the future’.
One of the ideas discussed is that of ‘Gamification’. I confess that when I saw the title I envisaged a discussion on the merits of the hanging of pheasants: 1 day or 7. Of course it was nothing of the sort. Read more…
I have just been sent a copy of Zimbabwe’s new constitution which is due to go before a referendum sometime next month. I have not read more than a small part of it, but one element caught my eye, that which relates to ‘War Veterans’ and the ‘Liberation Struggle’. It seems that anybody who fought in the Liberation Struggle must be honoured and protected and receive some sort of pension. (The fact that it was the awarding of vast ad-hoc pensions in 1999 which precipitated the collapse of the local currency and brought about the country’s economic ruin, seems to have been overlooked.) What my quick perusal has not uncovered, though it may be there, is that there does not seem to be any distinction with regards to the opposing factions of the war. I fought in the Liberation Struggle, albeit on the losing side, and am therefore a War Veteran. Is there any reason why I should not be awarded the same benefits that those against whom I fought? Would a constitutional lawyer be able to make a case?
It does seem to me to be very ill-thought out document. I note that women must be afforded equal rights and that all government commissions etc. must comprise at least 50% women. Thus technically, there can be more women than men on a commission, though not the other way round. Not exactly equal. Of course, I don’t suppose any of that really matters. The purpose of this, as with so many African constitutions, is to determine the powers of the President and the number of terms he can serve and the protection from prosecution he can expect.
Here is a site from which the Constitution can be downloaded.
Love in a Cellular Age
A shard of sound pierces my consciousness
My hand gropes wildly for the phone
Searching for the source of news
I shake it off with the anxiousness
Of a championship finalist undone
By the looming fear that he may lose Read more…
Further to FEEG’s post, there is a company here called Dial-a-Nerd that provides computer hardware and software support. In their latest newsletter, they sent this poser.
In this series of numbers, what is the next number in the sequence?
You can probably find the answer if you google it, but it is so much more fun if you work it out for yourself.
Regardless of one’s opinion of Jimmy Savile, the idea that he should be stripped of his knighthood must surely strike all but the most vindictive and petty minded as being being beyond contempt. The man is dead. David Cameron might just as well force the posthumous abdication of King Henry VIII, responsible for the executions of between 60-70,000 English citizens, or of Queen Mary, also responsible for a large number of gruesome deaths though considerably fewer than her father. Certainly Oliver Cromwell’s statue should be removed from outside the House of Commons. Apart from being a regicide, he was responsible for the death and deportation of 10′s of thousands of Irish Catholics. (Cromwell was of course ‘executed posthumously’, but the favour with which he has been perceived since then is surely misplaced given the current laws affecting religious tolerance and ethnic cleansing.) And then there were those responsible for prolonging the slave trade and Lord Kitchener who introduced the world to concentration camps during the Boer War causing the deaths of “27,927 Boer civilians in concentration camps , plus an unknown number of black Africans (107,000 were interned).” . In fact the list of honoured people who have behaved dishonourably is very long indeed. Read more…
Shortly before midnight just over 3 weeks ago, I was wakened by a call from my sister in London. Given that I had been staying with her a week earlier and with the knowledge that she does not normally call to exchange idle banter, even in my sleep-soaked state I was immediately prepared to expect bad news. And indeed it was pretty damn shocking. She told me that my 31 year old nephew and god-son, had committed suicide a few hours earlier; not her son, but that of one my brothers. It turned out to have been a very considered and deliberate act, but horrific in its fulfillment. Read more…