Archive for December, 2008

A success story.

Eighteen year old Zanelle van Zyl who attends the DF Malan High School in Cape Town is a very hard worker. But the reward at the end of it has been to come 11th of the top 20 list of Matriculation students in the Western Cape.

Zanelle says “It’s very, very, hard work, studying many hours each nights and going to sleep late”, but she says that she received a great deal of support from parents, friends and family. All the teachers, were also always prepared to give me extra help.”

She took 11 subjects: Afrikaans and English home language, mathematics, life orientation, accounting, information technology, applied computing, physical science, life sciences, Xhosa second language, and “additional programme” maths. She also wrote an optional extra maths paper on geometry and probability theory.

Zanelle interspersed her studies by playing for her school’s first hockey team for the past two years, in both of which it had won the Western Province League title. She also sang in the school choir, and been a member of its wind orchestra.

She had also been chosen as a South African youth representative for climate change conferences in both England and Kobe, Japan.

All this puts a little more truth in the saying “If you want to get a job done, ask a busy person”.

She plans to study accounting at the University of Stellenbosch next year and is hoping her 10 A’s and being in the top 20 will win herself a bursary.

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The Middle East

As I see it, there can be only one solution to bring peace to the Israeli and Palestinian population.

  • Lets begin by analysing the present Israeli solution. Put very simply, it is not working.

  • Let us now cast our mind around the world for a similar problem in the past where hitting hard incensed the minority population and by doing so, the aggressor acted as a recruiting sergeant for the minority. We don’t have to look far… Britain versus The IRA.

  • Let us now assess what happened when Britain stopped over-reacting, improved security and just went after the individual bombers. After a couple of decades peace broke out.

Mmmmmm… not rocket science is it?

I am certainly not anti-Israeli, or pro-Palestinian. But neither am I anti-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. But I hate Hamas with the same fervour as I hate all politicians all over the world.

When speaking to a Palestinian in London recently, one who has now settled in Britain and has no wish to return, we had a long discussion on this subject and finally came to the conclusion, jointly, that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other!

The Israelis need to change their whole approach to the matter but this will not be possible as long as they retain their particular brand of proportional representation. It is geared up so that the right-wing minority war-mongers always retain a strong hold of the country.

Rather than using any of their jets and tanks, they need to develop a guerilla army, akin to our special forces, and to be on constant alert so that when a rocket is fired into Israel, they take out the gunners with a surgical strike. If they spend their military budget mainly on intelligence, security and special forces for this situation they may get more value for their American dollars than wasting it on great numbers of tanks and jets.

They also need to offer to rebuild Palestine once there is ever-lasting peace and offer work for all the inhabitants. This will have no immediate effect but as Arab babies start to grow towards adulthood, and only the war mongers are attacked, that could be the beginning of a change of attitude towards the Israelis.

There is no immediate solutions but if they adopted the methods Britain adopted with the IRA problem, they could begin to see a change within twenty years.

I will leave you with one last thought. Hamas wanted this. They are run by the Iranian government and however much many in the West may despise the Iranian government, they are not stupid.

Think of this – Israel is approaching its general elections. Any Israeli government needs to be strong with military might. So Hamas knew if they attacked Israel with rockets just before an election, the incumbent Israeli government will hit back hard, very hard, as the Prime Minister seeks to impress his voters.

You must ask cue Bono?, “who benefits?”. There are two people who benefit. On the one hand we have the sitting Israeli government, from the point of view of being re-elected, and on the other hand we have the Iranians, from the point of view of turning the world against their enemy, Israel.

Ampers

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Political Correctness:

Today, I have a longer post for you. It is a paper written on the above subject and makes very interesting reading…

The Scourge of Our Times

Agustin Blazquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton
Monday, April 8, 2002

Does anyone know the origins of Political Correctness? Who originally developed it and what was its purpose?

I looked it up. It was developed at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, which was founded in 1923 and came to be known as the “Frankfurt School.” It was a group of thinkers who pulled together to find a solution to the biggest problem facing the implementers of communism in Russia.

The problem? Why wasn’t communism spreading?

Their answer? Because Western Civilization was in its way.

What was the problem with Western Civilization? Its belief in the individual, that an individual could develop valid ideas. At the root of communism was the theory that all valid ideas come from the effect of the social group of the masses. The individual is nothing.

And they believed that the only way for communism to advance was to help (or force, if necessary) Western Civilization to destroy itself. How to do that? Undermine its foundations by chipping away at the rights of those annoying individuals.

One way to do that? Change their speech and thought patterns by spreading the idea that vocalizing your beliefs is disrespectful to others and must be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustices.

And call it something that sounds positive: “Political Correctness.” Inspired by the brand new communist technique, Mao, in the 1930s, wrote an article on the “correct” handling of contradictions among the people. “Sensitive training” – sound familiar? – and speech codes were born.

In 1935, after Hitler came to power, the Frankfurt School moved to New York City, where they continued their work by translating Marxism from economic to cultural terms using Sigmund Freud’s psychological conditioning mechanisms to get Americans to buy into Political Correctness. In 1941, they moved to California to spread their wings.

But Political Correctness remains just what it was intended to be: a sophisticated and dangerous form of censorship and oppression, imposed upon the citizenry with the ultimate goal of manipulating, brainwashing and destroying our society.

PC Cuba

My first conscious exposure to Political Correctness was in 1959 – the first year of Castro’s revolution in Cuba – while attending an indoctrination session at a neighborhood elementary school in Havana. There I learned for the first time of the claimed superiority of life in the Soviet Union vs. the U.S.

There I also learned that the word “compañero” (filtered version of the communist “comrade” – Fidel was denying his communist preferences) was the correct way to refer to the other members of the new Cuban society-in-the-making.

Mr., Mrs. and Miss were no longer acceptable, and their further use could reveal that you were not a Fidelista. Since repression and violations of human rights came roaring in right behind Castro’s sweep down from the mountains in 1959, objection or rejection of Fidel Castro’s revolution would (and still will) land you in a lot of trouble. You could easily lose your life in those summary executions at La Cabaña prison under the direction of Che Guevara.

But don’t worry about Che. Che was later transformed and cleansed by the masters of Political Correctness. His likeness became a revered icon of the far left, with T-shirts and posters still adorning the campuses of America.

The same techniques were used to cleanse one of today’s “heroes,” Mumia Abu-Jamal (even if he was convicted, by overwhelming evidence, of killing a cop).

And under the pervasive guidance of Political Correctness that took hold from elementary school to university, from the media to the arts, from the country fields to factories and offices, Cubans learned to say what it was safe to say. Always in line with the overpowering state. Always following the dictums of the only political party left: the Communist Party.

The self-censorship resulting from Political Correctness easily trampled freedom of speech. Political Correctness has succeeded in Cuba by creating a uniform political discourse that has lasted for 43 years.

Political Correctness has given the state (Castro) complete control of speech. That is the main reason why the U.S. media cannot extract the truth of what Cubans really feel when they interview regular citizens and deceptively present their comments as valid to the American public.

The same was true in the former Soviet Union and the former satellite countries. The same continues in the remaining communist world.

It’s nothing new. The U.S. media must know that, so why don’t they openly report that fact instead of misleading the public? Perhaps that is the reason why the American people are so uneducated about the Cuban tragedy and acted regrettably during the Elian Gonzalez affair.

The PC U.S.

With profound dismay, I have seen how the scourge of Political Correctness has taken hold in the U.S. It is very well entrenched in our educational system, at scientific, religious and community levels, the media, the workplace and even our government. It is changing the American society from within, and the citizens of this nation are increasingly censoring themselves and losing their freedom of speech out of fear of Political Correctness repression. It is the nature of Western Civilization to be civilized – respectful of others and concerned with correcting injustices. We don’t need Political Correctness to make us think we are not civilized on our own and must have our thoughts and words restricted.

In December 2001, in Kensington, Md., an annual firefighters Santa Claus festivity to light the Christmas tree was objected to by two families. The city council, in the name of Political Correctness, voted to ban Santa from the parade. Fortunately, due to citizen outcry, the decision was reversed in the end and many people protested by dressing up as Santa.

Logically and respectfully, how can one person’s benign icon be objectionable to the point of banishment? Offer to add other people’s icons. Make it a broader celebration. That’s the Perfectly Correct American way.

The rulers of Political Correctness reach absurd levels when they refer to the betrayal of America by the spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – executed in 1953 – as “non-traditional patriotism”!

We see shameful situations created in our schools and universities in America that have fallen prey to Political Correctness. Some professors, students and publications are being attacked for expressing a point of view that differs from that imposed by a fanatical far left, under the guise of Political Correctness.

In schools and workplaces we see that “diversity” has degenerated into reverse discrimination, where often the less qualified are admitted and the incompetent cannot be fired. We have seen characters like Rev. Jesse Jackson shamelessly blackmailing and threatening to boycott entire corporations if they don’t hire those selected by him or simply make “donations” to his organizations.

The Double Standard Emerges

Our Constitution requires the separation of church and state, which has always discouraged our public education system from teaching religion. However, in December 2001, while Christmas cards, symbols and decorations were being objected to for the first time in American public schools in Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oregon, in an elementary school in Texas, a girl was allowed to give to her classmates an overview and show a video about her Muslim religion.

And in January 2002, a public middle school in San Luis Obispo, Calif., had its students pretend to be warriors fighting for Islam.

Another school near Oakland, Calif., also encouraged 125 seventh-grade students to dress up in Muslim robes for a three-week course on Islam.

This arbitrary double standard was applied in the name of Political Correctness following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

According to Ellen Sorokin’s “No Founding Fathers?” published by the Washington Times on its front page on Jan. 28, 2002, even our Founding Fathers have fallen victim to the travesty. The article says of the New Jersey Department of Education’s history standards, “The latest revisions to the state standards have disappointed educators across the country, who said the board’s exclusion of the Founding Fathers’ names is ‘Political Correctness to the nth degree.’ “

Sorokin points out that “the standards specifically note that students should identify slavery, the Holocaust and modern Iraq as examples in which ‘people have behaved in cruel and inhumane ways.’

Conveniently, communism is absent from that short list.

In another article by Sorokin, published by the Washington Times on March 10, “Report Blames Anti-Americanism on College Teachers,” she presents two examples of upcoming courses for next spring and fall.

They are ” ‘The Sexuality of Terrorism’ at University of California at Hayward; and ‘Terrorism and the Politics of Knowledge’ at UCLA, a class that, according to its course description, examines ‘America’s record of imperialistic adventurism.’ “

Recently, a historic photograph of the New York firefighters raising the American flag over the ruins of the World Trade Center was going to be made into a sculpture as a memorial.

But history’s revisionists used Political Correctness to dictate that other minority faces replace some of the faces in the historical photograph! Fortunately, in the end that didn’t fly either, due to the outcry of firefighters and the public.

The Goal of the PC Dictators

For people with the background and firsthand experience of living inside a totalitarian communist society, the tilt and goal of the dictators of Political Correctness in America are obvious. The beneficiaries in the end will be the fanatic believers in the totalitarian state, who, in spite of the dismal failure of communism and the 100 million people exterminated pursuing that criminal system, have not given up.

Political and religious fanatics, as demonstrated by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the subsequent war in Afghanistan, are extremely dangerous in today’s world.

All citizens who cherish liberty must reject the scourge of Political Correctness. Freedom of speech must be preserved in America if we are to continue to be free.

Let’s say it: Castro is not a ‘president,’ as the U.S. media’s Political Correctness calls him. Castro has not been democratically elected to anything in Cuba. The correct word to define him is ‘tyrant.’ He is not just a ‘leader,’ as the U.S. media also calls him. He is more of a criminal Mafioso-type character.

Why criminal? Because he has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 Cubans. Thousands have died through his support of guerrillas in Central and South America. Thousands of blacks were

killed by Castro’s soldiers in Africa. Castro in the 1980s introduced the use of bacteriological weapons to kill blacks in Angola.

How many thousands have died in America as a result of his drug trafficking into the U.S.? How many thousands have died all over the world due to terrorists trained in Castro’s Cuba?

Former Soviet colonel Ken Alibek, who defected to America, was once in charge of the Soviet Union’s production of biological weapons. In Alibek’s 1999 book, “Biohazard,” he revealed that with the help of the Soviet Union, in the 1980s Cuba created laboratories to produce chemical and bacteriological weapons of mass destruction – just 90 miles from U.S. shores.

The information about Castro’s involvement with bacteriological weapons also comes from various independent sources. We must not forget either that Cuba is on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist nations.

Why Mafioso? Well, Castro is like an untouchable godfather, surrounded by bodyguards and thugs and a private army of about 40,000 soldiers for his personal protection (roughly the size of the entire army of Cuba prior to 1959).

He stole foreign and national properties in Cuba. He has become one of the richest men in the world, according to Forbes magazine. He has created a despotic and corrupt elite to exploit the Cuban people and keep himself in power. He has made the Cuban people hostages and slaves of his corrupt regime.

The U.S. media do not call Al Capone “the former leader” of the Italian Mafia. Why the double standard with Fidel and other far-left regimes? The answer can be traced to where the sympathies lie – with the elite dictating Political Correctness in America.

It’s one thing is to be educated, considerate, polite and have good manners, and another to be forced to self-censor and say things that are totally incorrect in order to comply with the arbitrary dictums of a deceiving and fanatical far-left agenda.

Let’s preserve our freedom and say NO to the scourge of Political Correctness.

© 2002 ABIP

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The Google Phone

I have been wanting a G-Phone ever since I first heard of it but am holding back. Not just because the off-contract price is £399.00 either.

The present version of the phone is 1.0 and so is the operating system. Those of us who have been involved in the micro-computer industry – and I have since 1977 – know that something in “beta” test mode is really “alpha” and when version 1.0 comes out it is really in “beta” test mode. The wisest amongst us wait until version 2.0 is released as we know that this is really the first “proper” release – or “true version 1.0”. Version 2.0 is the first release that has had extensive testing and, by then, 90% of the “idiosyncrasies” have been “put right”.

I tend to use most of the Google applications so a Google phone seems the sensible route to go. I have also been informed that, in the New Year, there will be several others arriving on the scene so this may also bring the price down. There is nothing like capitalist competition for bring prices down.

One or two of my friends are astounded that I trust Google with my data. I hate to admit that I have some foolish friends, but they are very nice really. It is just that they haven’t thought it through properly. After all, they trust their ISP with their email data don’t they? What’s the difference? Please tell me! In addition, one’s email travels through the Internet via a dozen or so ISPs before it arrives in your mail box.

In addition, with Google being so large, I would imagine they take especial care with people’s data. Let’s face it, it would be the end of Google if they allowed hackers to steal their data. I trust Google a darn sight more than I trust the British Government with my sensitive data! GCHQ and their American, Russian and Chinese counterparts know everything you say even before you think of it!

And, remember, you are not paranoid – they really are out to get you!

Ampers

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My Boxing Day message

I often come across people referring to “common people” as the “working class”. But this is totally wrong.

Yes, there are types of people we can legitimately refer to as common. However, to refer to these people as “working class” shows a lack of understanding of what these words mean.

The problem with Britain is it concerns itself too much with class.

The aristocracy, middle upper class, lower upper class, upper middle class, middle middle class class, lower middle class, upper working class, middle working class and lower working class.

It is a real nightmare.

It all started over a couple of thousand years with just working classes. Everyone was a peasant roaming the lands, surviving as best they could. Then over the centuries some of the peasant gave themselves airs and graces and this was how the Aristocracy was born.

A thousand years ago we had the aristocracy and their hangers on who referred to themselves as upper classes. Then as the centuries flew by more working classes did a little better for themselves and the middle classes were born. By the twentieth century the middle classes were the working classes who had done better for themselves with trade, and some upper classes who fell from grace through wives with children divorcing their husbands and falling from their upper class positions accordingly.

This now brings me to “common people”. Common people are those the BBC and ITV seem to cater for. These are not just working class, they also include middle and upper class people These are people with no real pride in themselves or their community. Those, for example who either collapse in front of the “box” every evening or wander down to the pub, rather than help their community and neighbours.

I tend to think of people who have this pride as decent people, and those who don’t have this inner pride as common people. Nobody should be proud of being working class. Nobody should be proud of being middle class, and nobody should be proud of being upper class. All this does is to create division amongst us all. And, inverse snobbery is every bit as harmful as snobbery itself.

What everyone needs to develop is an inner pride in themselves and then in their community. If they create the inner pride in themselves, they will endeavour to build up their community.

Times are going to get hard for everyone. (See my blog of 18th December) Those living in a tightly knit community will be the ones with the best chance of surviving. Get to know your neighbour, invite them for morning coffee or evening drinks. Organise and take part in neighbourhood watches. Get your neighbours involved in keeping an eye on your house when you are away. These are just a few suggestions of how a close community help each other. Nothing here costs money (apart from coffee or a glass of wine) to get to know people. Involve your neighbours – take part yourself. This will help all of you take pride in your community.

Ampers

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It’s Christmas Day

I would like to wish all my readers, now in 54 different countries, a Merry Christmas if they are Christian, and merry greetings to all who like to join in with the traditional Christian Christmas. And I also wish them a prosperous New Year although, with the way the various politicians are fucking up the world, perhaps that should read a survivable New Year?

For those who treat today as an ordinary day, then may your God go with you and I wish you the best in 2009.

And, I’ll leave you with “All I want for Christmas is you” – a clip from the Hugh Grant film, “Love Actually” (A young schoolgirl singing with a schoolboy band – and the young drummer is madly in love with her.)

Ampers.

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Going on holiday?

This is about one of the more traumatic parts of going away on a long holiday. What to take and what to leave behind as you are only allowed so much if you are flying. With the information on this blog you will be able to pack in minutes!

Pam and I have decided mutually, not to fly again. Under the excuse of catching terrorists the authorities are making it as uncomfortable as possible to fly. I mean, everyone knows they don’t bring their guns through Customs – they get a mate in catering to smuggle them aboard and hide them in the toilets! We now take the Eurostar to Paris, Lille or Brussels – and for longer trips, we go on cruises from Dover or Southampton.

Anyway, to get back to our packing problem. I timed us the last time we spent three weeks in the Cape and it took us eleven minutes to pack both cases. How long would it take you?

Well, OK, we do cheat a little. I have drawn up a packing list each.

____ Casual shoes ____ __/__
____ Casual socks ____ __/__
____ t-shirts ____ __/__

and so on

The first part is for what we will be wearing, the second part is the actual item, the third part is the quantity we actually pack, and the fourth is for an outbound tick and an inbound tick when the item goes in the case when we return (to make sure we return with everything). Our list takes up a whole A4 page in two columns and we have everything listed which we may want to take on every conceivable holiday.

There is a second page for things we have to do before the holiday with the date (visas etc) then a section for the day before (charging batteries, camera cards, checking travel docs and money) and a section for things to be in our pockets, (handbag in the case of Pam), etc on the day of departure.

When we travel we always ask what facilities there are for washing clothes and ironing them. We stay in a flat in Stellenbosch when we go to South Africa so only take a week’s underwear and t-shirts etc. as the flat has a washing machine, tumble dryer and an ironing board. This can make a big difference on the extras you can get into your suitcase.

OK, you are now fully packed and your suitcase is full. Oh dear! You haven’t left room to bring back presents from that far off land have you? We buy our Christmas presents abroad so we can give something different.

And did you remember to use a huge colour marker to put some sort of mark on both sides of your case? So you can immediately recognise it when it arrives on the airport carousel? This makes it very easy when many cases look identical.

Remember, it will take you a little time to think of everything and to make the lists, but it can be used again and again. We first compiled our list over twenty years ago. It has been tweaked over the years but very little.

Ampers.

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