Hate Not the Believer…

This Sunday, while with a group of friends who get together once or twice a month to provide food aid to orphaned or abandoned kids, we drove past a Mosque in a rundown area called Grasmere. I think it was towards the middle of the day and the call to prayer was being sounded through loudspeakers, probably mounted on one of the minarets. One of my friends quite uncharacteristically remarked that these Mosques were springing up everywhere, and that he hated the Muslims for their militant behaviour and the spreading of Islam. My friend is religious of course, but his religious allegiance is not important; the hatred shown toward a competing faith is.

I must have surprised the others in the car for the rebuke I offered, because they are all aware of my irreligious or Atheist stance. I commented that one should not hate a man for his religious beliefs, but rather hate what his religion and his religious teachers or clerics make him believe.  Before I could continue exhorting my abhorrence of the word “hate” we came to our turn-off to the children’s Place of Safety and the subject changed to something else. Since Sunday, several incidents have made me reflect on hatred, justification for hatred, and religion, Islam in particular.

When I got home that Sunday, I came across an article and a video in the online heraldsun, an Australian publication, “It’s OK to hit your wife, says Melbourne Islamic cleric.” The video clearly shows Islamic cleric Samir Abu Hamza instructing his male followers “…to hit their wives as a last resort, but they were not to make them bleed or become bruised. ” In case you’re thinking I’ve resorted to some sort of quote mining to deliberately distort his meaning and intention, the video available together with the article is quite clear that this is what he said. He went on to state that “If the husband was to ask her for a sexual relationship and she is preparing the bread on the stove she must leave it and come and respond to her husband, she must respond,” in a clear reference to a man’s right to demand sex from his wife.

Apart from the fact that this disgustingly patriarchal attitude belonged in times long gone by, why is it that clerics from the Abrahamic religions, but more especially Islam getting involved in the domestic affairs of men and women? It’s bad enough that clerics make wild pronouncements on prophets and gods, but this insidious need to pronounce on the private lives of adherents as well, is quite frankly, alarming. Is the hold of religious clerics on their congregations so tenuous, that they need to now control every aspect of your life to ensure total and utter submission and compliance? Are the clerics merely re-iterating what is written in the Koran? I found three English translations at ConversationalAtheist, for the Koranic verse that refers to (governs?) wife beating, and although they differ only slightly, they clearly condone such behaviour. What drives a cleric to re-inforce behaviour that is universally condemned as unacceptable? His religious conviction? His unquestioning belief? His religion? Or his teacher before him? The vicious cycle continues…

Over the last few days I’ve been conducting an online discussion via the comments page on one of my previous blogs “The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know…,” with a young Muslim women from Singapore Malaysia, I think. She’s obviously a bright young women, but some of her naive religious beliefs are quite depressing; frightening actually. It’s quite clear that her thinking has been moulded by her religious instructors, the clerics. She like so many others, people from all religions are quite oblivious that their religious “panel-beating” shows clearly when they defend their beliefs.

Now I don’t want to create the impression that Islam is the worst religion by singling it out for attention; all the other religions are on the same footing when it comes to perpetuating irrational beliefs and behaviour. The point I’m trying to get across is that religion needs the clerics to keep it alive; and these are the people we need to despise, not hate.

A Heck of a Day for South Africa, China; Not So Good for Australia

Wow, what a day this has been. First up it’s the Chinese New Year today, affectionately known as The Year of the Ox, or more formally as Ji Chou. Today is also Australia Day, which commemorates the founding of Australia in 1788. Finally, large parts of the world witnessed an annular eclsipse of  the setting sun in the east and the rising sun in more westerly parts.

On this day South Africa marked 500 days to the ultimate football spectacular, the FIFA World Cup Finals to be held in 2010, with various celebrations. The South African National cricket team also celebrated a memorable tour down under by wrapping up the ODI cricket series against Australia, having already won the test series. The occasion is historic for South African sport as this is the first time a test and 1-day series has been won by South Africa, against Australia, in Australia. With results like these and Giniel de Villiers winning the Dakar Rally only last week, the last Rugby World Cup in the trophy cabinet as well, South African sport is certainly looking good.  There is a definite swing from the Aussies to the Springboks in Southern Hemisphere sport.

So, happy new year to the Chinese, happy Australia Day to all down under, commiserations to the Australian Cricket team, and good on yer South Africa for eclipsing the Aussies.

Ode to Zimbabwe

Following the latest deadlock in the talks aimed at breaking the political impasse in Zimbabwe, I think it’s necessary (and really so damn easy) to take a last swipe at Mad Bob Mugabe and his cronies; for a little while anyway or until their next act of utter stupidity. [Edit: I’d just like to add that I was inspired to compose this limerick by the Reverend Joseph E Lowery, after watching him conduct the Benediction at the Barack Obama inauguration ceremony on Tuesday]

Ode to Zimbabwe

In a forlorn land, once called Rhodesia

Where Zanu-PF have now developed amnesia

Of a once troubled land just a little South

That was once also ruled by many an Apartheid lout

And now Zim’s money is really no good

They have more useless paper bills, than food

All ’cause Mad Bob has once more stolen the vote

They really need to get rid of him, the crazy old goat

And his spokesman, Matonga is not too Bright

They ought to kick his ass and give him a fright

But that may not work too well

‘Cause all Bob’s lackey’s are surely from Hell

 

The Most Powerful Man in the World is……Black

While watching the most significant inauguration in the history of the United States of America (possibly the world), yesterday, I realized that the most powerful man in the world is now black. It may seem like I’m making a big deal about the most powerful person in the world’s skin colour, but this observation is surely inescapable.

However, the real reason I make this racial observation is not because I myself am non-white (Indian actually); it’s just that this development contrasts with one of the most wretched men in the world, if not the most, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, self-declared President of Zimbabwe, who is also black. So we have the most powerful black man in world in the Northern Hemisphere who was voted overwhelmingy into power; and the most wretched black man in the world, in the Southern Hemisphere who stole an election, and is clinging onto power with disastrous consequences.

But that’s not all; under normal circumstances, most black governments in the world would aspire to attain the levels of honesty, morality and ethical standards demonstrated by Barack Obama, but here in South Africa it is becoming increasingly clear that most of our black government officials aspire to the wretchedness of one Robert Gabriel Mugabe. What a sad state of affairs for all black people.

Everyone’s a Millionaire in Bob’s Own Zimbabwe

Mad Bob's Crazy Money

Mad Bob's Crazy Money

 

With Zimbabwe’s inflation running in the hundreds of millions, printing new banknotes has become an almost weekly occurrence. Everyone’s walking around with billion dollar notes; lots of them. One could quite literally say that every Zimbabwean is a millionaire; no wait, billionaire actually. Only yesterday, Mad Bob’s lunatic government started printing 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar notes. Yes, that’s 100 followed by 14 zeros!!! SO now, we have trillionairs also in Zimbabwe. And Mad Bob’s pleased as punch because his country is the only one in the world with trillionairs.

 

 

Pocket Money?

Pocket Money?

 

 

 

Only in Zimbabwe, your kid’s pocket money won’t fit in his pocket.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Shopping budget?

Weekly Shopping budget?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going shopping can be fun, if you can find anything to buy, that is. But you need a shopping trolley to carry your money in, and a free hand to carry your shopping.

 

Restaurant Bill?

Restaurant Bill?

 

 

 

Being able to eat out is always nice. Just make sure you have a valet to carry your cash to settle the bill!!!

It’s Friday Night and I’m Cleaning Up My Blog While Sipping on a Vodka Lemonade

I had some trouble over the last few days with my blog’s home page appearance. For some reason my sidebar disappeared and then reappeared at the bottom of the page. I could not view one of my posts on the home page; the one about Zimbabwe’s fantastic inflation rate. I tried changing themes and became quite exasperated, when nothing seemed to work.

I cannot believe that at one point, I even suspected Mugabe’s henchmen of sabotaging my blog page because of the post I made about the inflation. Eventually, the Vodka’s worked their magic and I have now managed to change the theme and appearance and everything seems to be in the right place.

I hope you will like the new simple white and grey theme, nothing fancy. I’m sure my Christian colleague from work will appreciate the change from the previous dark black scheme, which incidentally led him to believe I was linked to Satanism. Strange people, these religious types; who seem to immediately associate black with Satanism. Now that the appearance has changed, I wonder which freak cult or religious abomination he will now associate me with?

ANC receiving negative criticism because of dumb-ass leadership

Billboard Sign in Soweto

Billboard Sign in Soweto

For South Africans who are hell bent on discrediting the ruling African National Congress (ANC), this photograph of an altered election campaign billboard, must be extremely amusing. Well, actually, even I find it hilarious.

However, the reference to crime which has been added to the election slogan is unfairly slandering the party, because most of its current leadership from the national to provincial and local government, are perceived by the public to be indulging in somewhat criminal activities. This perception is borne out by several scandals which have rocked the organization, most notably the arms deal fiasco of several years ago.

The ANC which was largely responsible for liberating South Africa from Apartheid, started with noble ambitions and had highly respectable leaders; Nelson Mandela, now retired, still holds large parts of the world in awe at his achievements. In recent times, the former good leaders have made way for a younger, disrespectful, immoral, corrupt and incompetent group of so-called leaders, whose every action speaks of self-enrichment and contempt for the citizens of this country.

The rot seems to have started with former President Thabo Mbeki, who surrounded himself with incompetents and yes-men at all levels of government. Since he was unceremoniously booted out of Government, the infestation however, continues to grow with President-in-waiting, Jacob Zuma’s alleged involvement in unsavoury activities tarnishing the ANC’s reputation even further.

However, all is not lost. There are still a few good leaders in the ANC who need to show just how good their credentials really are, and whether they have enough influence to turn the tide.

Technology Making South African Traffic Cops Lazier, Fatter, Slower

Remember the days when lazy-ass traffic cops used to hide behind bushes, manning those old-style speed detecting devices with wires leading from it and spread out across the road, at some point ahead of them. When a speeding vehicle drove over the wires across the road, it registered your speed on the trapping device, which if exceeded the limit, would trigger the cop to jump out from behind the bush to flag you down and issue a speeding ticket. Can you remember how many fat fecks; I mean traffic cops, there were back in those days?

Well these days, the traffic cops are still lazy-ass swines who hide behind bushes and billboards or under trees; only, now you will notice that most of them are distinctly larger in girth than I remember from the old days. At this point, it must be pointed out that the bushes, billboards or tress must provide shade which is absolutely necessary to protect traffic-cop-blubber from wilting in the hot South African sun.

In the new South Africa, the devices being used to detect speeding have become more sophisticated; they now record your transgression on film. Which means that the traffic cops need just sit next to the device and keep it company, while it does all the work. No need to jump up from their comfortable position in the shade, and run 10 meters to flag down speeding motorists all day, as the captured film has just got to be downloaded at the end of a successful day trapping (extorting from?)motorists, and a speeding ticket issued to the offender (unlucky bastard) through the post. There are even fixed cameras mounted at strategic revenue generating positions that don’t need to be manned at all, which feeds the pictures electronically to control points. The net effect is that traffic cops don’t get no exercise anymore, and voila! A happy, fat traffic police service.

They now have more time to do important things such as meet in small groups near intersections with broken-down traffic lights to discuss the latest ass-fattening technology, or catch up on who is meeting the revenue generation targets for local councils, blissfully oblivious to the chaos ensuing at the intersection in question. Or maybe troll the local shopping mall parking lot, or even catch up on some shopping; why not?

The most noticeable thing about the traffic police is that they make very little effort to warn offenders, and educate them against bad driving behaviour, by just issuing a warning ticket. They are also reluctant to actually organise and man notorious traffic hot-spots on a daily basis. I’ll concede that some hot-spots are manned, but not in the daily organized manner required by the driving public. The lame excuses of personnel and vehicle shortages don’t wash, when you see them posted behind shady bushes, in places which are more amenable to revenue generation, rather than for being any danger to motorists. Traffic policing has become a rather convenient excuse to generate revenue, and speeding the alter of expediency.

The following photo shows some of the ways being devised to disguise the speed trapping devices. It smacks of laziness, and reinforces the generally accepted rationale of revenue generation by deceit. If you see or suspect one these bins being used nefariously, report it to the local refuse removal company (or vagrant) for collection. Lets see the cops chase after their speeding devices for a change.

Zim’s Inflated Inflation In Full Flight

I read somewhere today that Zimbabwe’s inflation rate is in excess of 231 000 000 percent (231 million). Apparently the government of Zimbabwe (can we call them that?) stopped estimating the rate of inflation in August last year when this ridiculous level was reached. Who knows what it actually stands at now?

I mean what’s up with that? Is Mad Bob Mugabe trying to set some sort of bizarre record by topping one billion percent before finally relinquishing his illegitimate hold on power? Is this guy for real? How is it possible for the leader of any one country, no matter how despotic, to screw up the economy of his country this badly? How is it possible that the world, and more specifically, the regional economic power South Africa, allowed him to achieve such a monumentally criminal feat? Is leadership insanity from East, Central, West and North Africa catching on, in the Southern part of Africa too?

Answers on a postcard, please, to Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Just note that Mad Bob has for the next month or so, taken leave (no, not of his senses; that happened a while ago already) to go on a holiday. Yeah, that’s right, even tyrants need a break from the exhausting business of ruining countries and people’s lives.

Is the Global Warming Threat, a Monster Hoax?

I’ve just returned from a short holiday down in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa. It was hot, really hot, the entire time I was there, even on the few overcast days. I usually visit Durban every December to visit family, and every year it just feels hotter and more humid than the last. And I’m not kidding, it’s a furnace down there.

In the middle of one agonizingly hot day, I remember mentioning to some of my relatives that anyone who does not think that global warming is real, had better think again. They all agreed, that global warming was real. So, imagine my horror when I got back to Johannesburg and logged onto Worpress.com to find a blog post about an article claiming that global warming was one big lie. Written by Harold Ambler in the Huffington Post, the article is called “Mr. Gore: Apology Accepted.” Ambler presents a supposedly scientific essay on why “global warming” and “climate change” is the “biggest whopper ever sold to the public…”

Now, I don’t know where Harold Amber lives, but its surely not Durban. I live in Mogale City, about 650 kilometers from Durban, and even up here at an altitude in excess of 6000 meters above sea level, I’ve noticed that year on year, it just keeps getting hotter. And I’m not the only one whose noticed the increase in temperatures. I’m no scientist, but I just know that something is very wrong with the climate. It may not be because of CO2 emissions, but until I get more scientific corroboration, than Harold Ambler is providing, the jury is still out.