Thank you Google

obedience

While visiting my cousins in Toronto back in 1995, they informed me that while they thought they had the best government in the world, they did not like the fact that their socialist democratic leaders had so much (collected) information on their citizens.

I remember thinking at the time that this was a good problem to have if your government was well, good. I actually did not see or experience anything during my lengthy stay there, which gave me any indication that the Canadian government was anything but good.

Fast forward 20 years, this is a kind of problem very few people in South Africa would like to have, considering that our current government is nowhere near good. In fact they’re leaning toward despotism. But I digress…

Google released their latest Transparency Report recently which shows that the South African government requested user data from them on 18 different occasions over a one and a half-year period, and they (Google) refused every single one. The requests also include the removal of content (presumably of a politically embarrassing or compromising nature) uploaded by users (citizens), from Google platforms.

Google 1, South African Government 0, Citizens WIN.

It’s extremely reassuring that Google upholds the values of freedom of speech, but whenever this government gets shown the finger, I find it personally satisfying.

So there you go, you prying kleptocratic fucks. I hope Google continues to give you what you deserve. Nothing!

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The Waterkloof Air Force Base Mystery

WAFB

There’s a strange military base just about north of Johannesburg where mass corrupters occasionally sneak in and mass murderers sneak out, and nobody in charge seems to know how they do it.

The spooks in government tell us that this base is a National Key Point (NKP). For those who don’t know, an NKP is an area designated as of strategic importance against sabotage, and is thus of great importance for security purposes. If nobody (in government) knows how corrupt cronies or heinous murderers sneak in and out, it is very troubling for ordinary citizens.

A couple of years ago, a politically connected family managed to sneak their extended family into the country through this military base. They all went to a wedding, attended by The President of South Africa and other high-ranking politicians. They later told us that none of them had any idea how some of the other guests had arrived in the country through the Air Force Base. It was a complete mystery they told us. Some low ranking officials were blamed, others were promoted to cushy jobs and the mystery was neatly left to lie under a massive carpet.

Just last week, a mass murderer, a guest of the same government, managed the same feat; this time in the opposite direction, even while a High Court was busy compelling him to stay and be arrested. Again, us citizens were told that it was a complete mystery how. The only difference this time, is that the same government is trying to convince a High Court judge, that he is as stupid as the government thinks the rest of its citizens are.

Will he be fooled? More importantly, will he be able to find government liable and enforce a judgement? Time will tell. It’s an outcome that has serious ramifications for a democracy that is currently under siege.

Meanwhile, the citizens wait with baited breath to see which low ranking officials will be blamed, and whom will be promoted to cushy jobs in other areas of government. We also wait to find out if the bigger mystery of why the majority of citizens continue to submissively accept complete and bullshit from the government.

“Point of order, honourable Parasite…”

What you’re watching is a session of our Parliament. Correction! Was our Parliament. It is no longer any such thing.

That hallowed institution ceased to exist when Jacob Zuma and his cronies usurped it. What it is now, is merely a deception to keep up appearances for the credulous masses that conspire to keep this rabble in power.

It never fails to at the same time, amuse and infuriate me when these leeches call each other honourable. I’d be pleasantly surprised if more than a handful of them actually looked up the word in a dictionary.

Notice how the sheep rise to applaud the Pres… er jackal when he takes up position to answer frustrate questions from the Opposition. How very diffident? And what about the Speaker? What a model of prejudice?

This my friends is a very devious form of apartheid. It is called ANC democracy.

This ain’t no banana republic

Everything leading up to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Scoundrel No.1 the President a few weeks ago and subsequently has given force to the idea that South Africa is a banana republic.

Social media was abuzz with claims that the beginning of the end had started that horrid day. Those video clips of the bust-up in Parliament was merrily doing the rounds, much to the delight of all those who have over a period of time come to despise this ANC administration (as admittedly, I do too).

But are we really a banana republic?

No. And far from it. However, the daily antics of our politicians, especially those in the ruling governing party will not ease the cries of the nay-sayers. But do we have a democracy then?

No. I’m not convinced that what I’m living every day is actually a functioning democracy. At least not in the traditional sense like those in countries such as Norway and Switzerland say (two random European countries. Extracted from Global Democracy Ranking), based on (1) politics, gender (socio-economic and educational gender equality); (2) economy (economic system); (3) knowledge (knowledge-based information society, research and education); (4) health (health status and health system); (5) environment (environmental sustainability).

As you can see, South Africa is not doing too well; way off the mark actually and declining. But we’re the new kids on the block, so a little leeway should be allowed, right?

No. Instead of making headway to improve our fledgling democracy, the politicians seem to be heading the other way. My experience is that the politicians are too busy looking after numero uno (well Scoundrel No.1 The President first, then themselves obviously because the system of patronage must be protected) and they have absolutely no compunction in trying to hide it, nor do they show any remorse when caught.

The levels of corruption are so bad, that when the nay-sayers do label this country as a kleptocracy, I have no hesitation in agreeing. It seems so apparent that our politicians are hell-bent on making South Africa the leading kleptocracy in Africa, maybe even the world.

Footnote: Choosing Banana Republic by The Boomtown Rats would have been an obvious choice for my mostly usual Monday music post, but I decided to go with the other one as this post developed into a rant. I Don’t Like Mondays has nothing to do with going back to work on a Monday, or whatever people usually think, but has to do with the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, USA on 29 January 1979, who like our politicians showed no remorse for her actions.

Mrs. President

mugabe

I am all in favour of female Presidents, because let’s face it, men are such egotistical bastards when it comes to governing. Unsurprisingly I rooted for Hillary Clinton to become the President of the USA when the choice was “do you want America to have its first Black President or first female President.”

Female heads of state are not rare, but neither is it a common occurrence. Europe, South America and the Far East seem to have a more enlightened approach and leads the way when it comes to electing a head of state, compared to the rest of the world. Africa has had only about three female heads of state, if you exclude those who acted in the position. In what is traditionally a male dominated sphere, women who do become Head of State, must surely have had a tough time getting there, and an even rougher time, being there.

However, in certain instances one has to draw the line at who is allowed to become a female leader of a country. I draw the line when cronyism or competence is involved.

Grace, Robert Mugabe’s wife’s entrance into politics in Zimbabwe is a classic case of cronyism. Anyone with two brain cells must immediately conclude that this is a blatant attempt by Mugabe to entrench his hold on power by creating a political dynasty involving his family. Off course in a country where democracy is just a word, and elections a mere formality, her rise to the top is all but guaranteed.

South Africans from many quarters have been proposing that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ex-wife of incumbent President Jacob Zuma, become the next President. As much as I would love to have a female President of South Africa, it must not be this woman. If her performance and achievements as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Health and Home Affairs at various times ar anything to go by, she is not fit to be a leader of state. Her current portfolio as head of the African Union Commission (AUC), formerly The Organization of African Unity (OAU) is also not something to be proud of. This is essentially a glorified Dictator’s Club.

South Africa has many women of substantial quality who can lead the country, when Jacob Zuma is hopefully booted out unceremoniously. We must choose wisely.

How democracy in South Africa is being nursed along

Following the publication of my post yesterday about the ANC’s shocking understanding of democracy, it has occurred to me that democracy is being kept alive on life support.

This then is the postscript to The ANC’s perception of democracy is terrifying.

This may sound overly dramatic to the majority who voted the ANC into power, but the parties that you spurned at the polls, are in fact the only thing keeping this country from being not only a kleptocracy, but a dictatorship as well. Yes, the minority parties are in fact protecting you from the ANC.

Ironic, isn’t it?

The much vaunted Constitution is barely coping in keeping greed, corruption, cronyism, fascism and hunger for power at bay, being under constant attack by the ruling party. Were it not for the Public Protector, the minority opposition parties in Parliament and the reliable preservers of justice still left in the Judiciary, who knows where this country might be today.

Don’t believe me? Go on shooting yourself in the foot then.

The ANC’s perception of democracy is terrifying

democracy

It is my belief that democracy is failing in South Africa, and the reason for this is two-fold: first, the incumbent government’s perception of democracy is out of kilter with the traditional meaning, and secondly, the voting public is largely politically immature.

Before I get stuck into this little rant, let me be clear that when I talk about the ANC, I am referring to the fat-cats who are at the top of the organization. That is to say, those who through an elaborate patronage system, gets a ticket to stand in the queue at the feeding trough; or to put it bluntly, the ANC politicians on national, regional and local government levels.

Over the course of 20 years of ANC rule (let’s be frank – they govern on increasingly rare occasions), I have come to realize that they have a fundamentally flawed understanding of what democracy means. Those who are ANC supporters, sympathizers and collaborators may not necessarily have the same flawed understanding – indeed many have rather romanticized notions of what democracy is – are nonetheless complicit in the failure of the system by virtue of their association with this organization.

The traditional meaning of democracy is according to one source, government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. There is off course that famous line from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech which most people recognize more readily “… government of the people, by the people, for the people…”

The ANC, more so by their behaviour since Jacob Zuma became the leader and President of the country, have however demonstrated a radical departure from these principles. It would seem as if their understanding of democracy is much simpler: the majority rules, or to put it sarcastically, those who get the most votes by whatever means, gets to decide what’s best for everyone.

And this folks, is how the ANC functions. Their fanatical intolerance of anything proposed by anyone outside the ANC, no matter how just or moral is shocking to behold. For them it’s the ANC way, or the highway. In pursuit of retaining total dominance and control, the ANC are willing to do just about anything – stack the judiciary, security forces, civil service and police in their favour, and railroad draconian legislation into force.

Just this week a minority party dared to ask the President a question in Parliament, which he refused to answer (which incidentally is becoming the norm; either that or replies that are obfuscated) , and they were censured by the ruling ANC. Admittedly this minority party behaved rather shabbily after the President refused to answer, but the question was valid and pertinent to the lives and well-being of the population as a whole.

The ANC’s Deputy-Secretary-General, Jessie Duarte even had the temerity to state that a party that had only garnered six percent of the vote, had no right to question a party that had managed to get sixty percent at the polls. How is this democracy? And what the fuck is a Deputy-Secretary-General anyway? It just sounds so dictatorial; belonging in a long discredited Communist era.

And let’s be fair. The ANC can hardly be considered Communist. They are just so enamoured of the bling and high lifestyle. The long-suffering public have simply lost count of the incidences of corruption involving the ANC, and have sadly become immune to new revelations which are an almost daily occurrence.

If the ANC believes they know what democracy is all about, they’re either delusional or wilfully ignorant. I hope it’s the former, because the latter suggests an agenda that has frightening consequences for this country.

EFF: #ProudlyBroughtToYouByTheANC

julius2Julius Malema, former Reichsmarschall of the ANC Youth League launched his own political party at Marikana this weekend, where he was anointed as Commander In Chief.

The EFF was formed a little earlier, probably as an afterthought in the depths of political hell when Malema fell out with Jacob Zuma and the ANC, after losing most of his ill-gained wealth and the patronage of the deservedly despised President.

And so we have one more party to contest the elections next year. This now brings the grand total of political party’s in South Africa to “blimey! that fucking many?” [230 by this official count]

You might think that having this many political party’s is indicative of a healthy democracy. And you might be dead wrong. It’s not healthy, it’s fucking insane! Democracy has become a useful plaything, a vehicle for the politicians to hitch their self-serving wagons to – it’s just something that sounds nice to mostly ignorant people. And oh boy, do we have ignorant people?

And that is why the EFF is being embraced by so many people; not a lot, but a small fart’s worth. People are emotional and desperate, and unfortunately the EFF’s cringe-worthy offerings resonates well with them.

You see, all the party’s offer different shades of the same things. Yes, they offer, but the reality is they never make good on those offers. Not a single one of them. Oh agreed, they do manage to achieve bits and pieces, but never is any pre-election promise honoured in its entirety.

But the EFF promises something totally different; not good, just different. Actually they’re promising to drag South Africa back to pre-colonial times; to a parallel Dark Ages if you like. And render South Africa a pariah, like Zimbabwe.

Among other distasteful policies, the EFF promises to nationalize key sectors of the economy such as mines, and confiscate privately owned land from Whites without compensation. Their manifesto describes them as a “radical, leftist, anticapitalist and anti-imperialist movement.” That’s so retarded, it’s straight out of a dictator’s manual.

Now that’s some scary shit.

South Africa’s only redemption is that the EFF is unlikely to make a big enough dent in the elections next year, let alone win… for the simple unsavoury fact that the voting fodder will with fair certainty still cling to the devil they know, the ANC.

An Open Letter to Those Who Voted ANC

Dear South African voter,

This letter is aimed especially at you, you… and you. Yes, you who voted for the ANC repeatedly since 1994 – even after the whiff of the rotting carcass became overpowering.

There, there! It’s all right! I guess you couldn’t possibly know how many maggots were crawling around and living off that putrefying pile of pus. But now you do, don’t you?

You got your democracy. And it felt satisfying. Funny thing that. Really no better than a monarchy or aristocracy or dictatorship when managed by madmen, or power-hungry revolutionaries. But hey, it sounds less evil than apartheid, right? And why not? You get the satisfaction of seeing Black people go one up on the Whities for perpetrating acts of gross insanity.

How could you know that the politicians selected by the party, pretending to represent you, would grow fat with such ease on the taxes that you pissed stones to contribute to the country? How could you know that the treasury could spring so many leaks while in the control of the ANC? Why should reports of their profligate spending of R5 billion on catering, travel and entertainment be such a big deal? Even fat farks deserve a little pampering, right? And you can’t trust these Whitie newspapers to tell the truth, can you?

So R5 billion could have been used to build 1000’s of houses and pay for some services too. So what? It’s only Whities who are complaining. They’ve all got houses and services. They should all just shut the fark up and let us get on with not having any. Right?

Wait! What!

Are you seriously okay with being an average plonker who’s content with things as they are? Well, are you? Do you know how you’re affecting me with your antipathy, stupidity, or ignorance. Even if you don’t care about me, I do. But what about your children?

Are you also content to see them inherit a country ruined by ANC arrogance, incompetence and greed? Well? Are you?

You know what you need to do at the next elections. Don’t fark up again!

Up Yours,

Lenny

Freshly Played #10: Pearl Jam

Another in my series on cool guitar riffs, this time by Pearl Jam, one more of my (many) favorite bands of all time.

Released in 1994, this song really speaks to me as I consider myself to be something of a dissident in my own country. From reading this blog, you will have noticed that I’m an outspoken critic of the political masters in charge, and I judge the democracy we are told we have, as a lie and a sham.

I dedicate this song to other dissidents in South Africa, and all over the world who stand up to political tyranny, and other forms of oppression.

Dissident

she nursed him there, over a night
i wasn’t so sure she wanted him to stay
what to say…what to say
but soon she was down, soon he was low
at a quarter past…a holy no…
she had to turn around
when she couldn’t hold, oh…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never, the safest path
a dissident, a dissident is here
and to this day, she’s glided on
always home but so far away
like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste
when she had contact…with the conflict…
there was meaning, but she sold him to the state
she had to turn around
when she couldn’t hold…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never, the safest path
a dissident, a dissident is here
she gave him away when she couldn’t hold…no…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never, the safest path
a dissident, a dissident is here
couldn’t hold on…she couldn’t hold…no…she folded…
a dissident is here
escape is never the safest place
a dissident is here