Archive for March 1st, 2010

BBC and it’s attitude to South Africa

I have just watched Panorama and the first thing I notice was the commentator speaking with their “special voice of doom” they reserve when they talk about South Africa.

When the government was handed over to Mandela in 1994 I had the feeling that the BBC were beside themselves with fury that the blacks didn’t rise and kill all the whites. But it really does show just how unintelligent the BBC’s executives really are.

We, who grew up in South Africa, were not surprised at the orderly transition, and neither are we surprised at the violence in the country at the moment.

It hasn’t developed out of frustration as the average black South African is far more intelligent than the average Brit. I am talking averages here remember. They didn’t expect a sudden change as they were intelligent enough to (a) know that it would take decades and (b) knew that there would be corruption in their government and that they would have to live with it.

The drugs came into South Africa when the whites handed over control, and came mainly from Nigeria. The Drug Lords there knew there would be a vacuum where “law and order” was concerned and moved to Johannesburg to take full advantage of the lack of law. They did move to the Cape afterwards but were recognised as the Coloureds in the Cape had a much lighter skin and they were often caught. They had to review this and recruited Coloureds to act for them and now the drugs have spread to the Cape.

Another thing the BBC don’t understand about the blacks is that a black will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. I once saw a BBC journalist almost cry when a black told him that the wished the whites were back in government. Well, I can tell that BBC journalist not to worry, the black was only telling you what he thought you wanted to hear. You have to get to know a black extremely well, be invited to eat with his family, and they with yours, before he will open up and tell you what is really in his heart.

The BBC will continue to paint an awful future for South Africa when they should be encouraging them to do better. The basic difference between this poor pensioner and the BBC high rollers is that I send money that I can ill afford to a charity in Johannesburg regularly to help the blacks, the high rollers don’t send a penny to help them. Do I know this? Of course I do, it’s called a basic instinct!

Ampers.

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Who to vote for?

Listening to both parties claims, and the pundits comments, and hearing Cameron stating that if Labour win the next election then interest rates will go up, I find myself with a difficult decision to make.

Do I put England first, and vote for the government who will put England back on the map – at the expense of my savings dwindling even further? At present on half a percent, that works out at 41.5p per month per £1,000 – and that’s before tax. Not even enough for a cup of tea in a workmen’s cafe!

Or do I put the well-being of my wife and myself first? And vote for Labour, the party which will continue to destroy this country, but who will cause interest rates to soar?

What would you do?

Ampers

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Who was Joshua Norton?

Monarchy In The USA


This precis was written by a South African called Pat Conlon, who owned and ran a South African restaurnat in San Francisco, he has done his homework well and, although there are more links at the end of the article, unless you are really interested, there is no reason to travel further. This is an amazing story and is not an Urban Myth! It is a true story.

The Story of Emperor Norton

Joshua Abraham Norton, America´s first and only Emperor, was born in London, England on February 14th, 1819. Details of his early life are rather sketchy–almost all that´s really known is that his family moved to Algoa Bay in South Africa during his infancy, where his father prospered as a merchant. It isn´t until his arrival in San Francisco aboard the Dutch schooner Franzika in 1849 that the record begins to fill in

Norton came to America with a nest egg of thirty thousand dollars, with which he opened a business selling supplies to gold miners, and set about buying up the land that would eventually become San Francisco´s Cow Hollow district.

By 1855, Norton was one of the most respected businessmen in San Francisco, having rebounded from the fire of 1853 and profitably diversified his operations. Already his friends were referring to him as “Emperor”.

It was at this time that he hit on the bold idea of attempting to corner San Francisco´s rice market–the city´s large immigrant Chinese population providing a captive and hungry market, at a time when the only way rice (or almost anything else) arrived was aboard cargo steamships. Investors were quick to sign on, and in a matter of days Norton owned, practically speaking, all the rice in San Francisco. For the first few days it looked like yet another daring success for the Emperor, when two ships, well ahead of schedule and brimming with rice, steamed lazily through the Golden Gate. One shipment he might have been able to buy up as well; two was a backbreaker, and in a matter of minutes Norton was ruined.

He spent the next three years in court, and emerged penniless in 1858. Packing together his meager belongings, Norton disappeared for about nine months; no record tells where he went. He returned suddenly in the late summer of 1859, proudly walking the streets in a beaver hat and naval regalia, arguably mad. By September, Emperor Norton was no longer able to contain his secret. He walked into the offices of the San Francisco Bulletin and presented them with this single sentence, which they ran on the next edition´s front page:

“At the peremtory request of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the past nine years and ten months of San Francisco, California, declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these United States, and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall of this city, on the 1st day of February next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.”.

Norton I
Emperor of the United States
September 17th, 1859

That day people on the streets began greeting Norton with deep bows and curtsies. The tacit public acceptance was immediate and profound, and San Francisco had a wise and caring monarch to reign over its gilded age.

Norton I ruled by proclamation, and it didn´t seem to faze him if not all his edicts were carried out. If taxes or water rates were too high, he commanded that they be lowered; if there were inadequacies in the city services, he ordered improvements. On the eve of the Civil War he temporarily dissolved the Union, and after the Prussian victory in 1872, he ordered a week of continuous celebration and thanksgiving. Bay Area newspapers competed for the honor of posting his proclamations, and more than once they devised fakes to generate sales and interest, a practice against which the Emperor railed angrily.

Few monarchs ever had Norton´s common touch; he abjured seclusion and luxury. He attended every public function or meeting, always arriving by foot or bicycle rather than coach, and performed daily rounds of his capital´s streets, making sure the police were on their beats, and that cleanliness, harmony and order prevailed. If he noticed someone performing some kind act or other, he might spontaneously ennoble them, from which practice the expression “Queen for a day’ was obtained. The titles were especially popular with children, who would follow him in groups, looking everywhere for liter to pick up or old ladies to help across the street.

Norton´s personal expenses were few. He ate free of charge at whatever restaurant suited him, had three seats reserved for him at every theatrical performance (one for himself and one each for his famously well-behaved dogs, Bummer and Lazarus); the city itself actually paid for his uniforms and the local Masonic Lodge paid for his small apartment. Nonetheless, whenever necessary, Norton had his own currency printed, which was accepted everywhere without question–at a time when U.S. paper money was still regarded with distrust in California. He also had the option of levying taxes, for which his normal procedure was to walk into the offices of an old business friend and politely announce an imperial assessment of ten million or so dollars, but could quickly be talked down to two or three, or perhaps a cigar, with which he would walk out entirely satisfied.

Still though, this wasn´t really legal, and feelings towards Norton I amongst the police were rather mixed. In January of 1867, in fact, he was arrested by an overzealous policeman “to be confined for treatment of a mental disorder,’ and held at the police station pending a hearing. The public outrage was immediate; every newspaper editorial denounced the action, and there was the real possibility of a riot. Chief of Police Patrick Crowley himself opened the cell doors, and issued a lengthy public apology to the Emperor. Norton himself was magnanimous about the whole affair, and from then on his relations with the police became much more congenial. He let their annual parades and inspected the new cadets; members of what he now called his Imperial Constabulary saluted him when he passed.

Norton I was a great believer in progress and innovation, and many of the ideas for which he was sometimes regarded as mad have become realities. He issued numerous proclamations proposing and then finally commanding the construction of a suspension bridge linking San Francisco and Oakland, complete with his own design sketches. His planned San Francisco terminus is within a block of where the Bay Bridge abuts now, and a plaque on it bears testimony to his foresight. He was also convinced that travel by air would one day become common, and commissioned panels of researchers and designers to create plans for airships.

The historical twilight of monarchy was gathering, however, and Norton made it part of his mission to restore whatever luster he could to it. He sent frequent cables to fellow rulers, offering surprisingly well-informed advice, or reflecting on the complex responsibilities of rulership. Many of the responses he got were in fact forgeries, created by his friends to make him happy, but many were not. King Kamehameha of Hawaii (known as the Sandwich Isles) was so taken with the Emperor´s insight and understanding that towards the end of his life he refused to recognize the U.S. State Department, saying he would deal only with representatives of the Empire.

Norton I died quite suddenly of apoplexy, on January 8th, 1880, on the corner of California and Grant, on his way to a scientific conference. He left no heir. San Francisco went into a period of deep mourning for three days. Ten thousand people, from every walk of life, lined up to view his mortal remains; his funeral cortege was two miles long. At 2:39 that day, during his funeral, San Francisco experienced a total eclipse of the sun. Fifty-four years later, Norton´s coffin was reinterred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma–once again, flags throughout the city were lowered and businesses closed their doors. About sixty thousand people attended the ceremony, which was accompanied by full military honors and dolorous taps.

This is only a short precis of his story, for more amazing revelations, take a look at www.zpub.com/sf/history/nort.html. This is an Emperor Norton site. It is part of a “Site Ring” and from there you can visit all the sites of the ring.

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Climate change is not the problem

The whole world is going mad. Am I really the only sane person? Everywhere I look there are articles, news and comments about “climate change” and nothing about the fact that the earth’s resources are drawing to an end or that the population will double in forty years!

Oil, copper, uranium just to mention a precious few. Already these are no longer plentiful and are already costing us more to get them out of the earth than they did twenty years ago. It is estimated some of them will be too expensive to mine in twenty years time and by forty years time they will all be too expensive to mine.

In January 1970 there were 3.91 billion people. In December 2008 there are 6.868 billion. This is an exponential graph and therefore is estimated to double in forty years time.

(To my friend who said nonsense, people are killing and dying all over the world, it won’t happen, all I can say is, yes, they have also been doing this since 1970 and it doubled.)

Do look at Chris Martenson’s presentation, then you will be forewarned and will be an expert on economics, the earth, and population explosion after 20 easy chapters. Apart from knowing more about what is happening, you will be in a better position to plan for the future. That has to be a plus… doesn’t it?

Ampers

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The Right Honourable Robin Cook MP

I often think that perhaps Robin Cook was one of the very few politicians who actually deserved to have the word “honourable” in his title. Here he is giving his ministerial resignation speech to parliament. Although not shown here, I have been reliably informed that he actually received an “unheard of” standing ovation after the speech.

There have been questions asked about his death, two years after his resignation; someone has made a fair, if not conclusive appraisal, on this website.

I think the most interesting comment that Robin Cook has made is as follows:

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.” -Robin Cook

The above quote and YouTube video were taken from an excellent article on Fred Face’s blog and is well worth the read.

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