With the passing of Nelson Mandela, world and media leaders of leftist persuasion (but I repeat myself) are falling all over themselves praising Mandela. They have all chucked the book of South African history into the dustbin. I hope this post reminds you of that history.
Nelson Mandela was nothing without President F.W. de Klerk, the last President of apartheid South Africa. In fact, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee realized this when they co-awarded the Peace Prize of 1993 for the two leaders' JOINT effort to end the official Government policy of Apartheid in South Africa.
The facts of history are that Mandela was a communist revolutionary, and F.W. de Klerk was anti-communist. They were enemies, and Mandela's revolution is well documented. de Klerk surrendered the apartheid policy for the whites, and the war ended. Had de Klerk chose to fight on, South Africa would have been utterly destroyed.
Now, History generally judges successful revolutionaries by how well their post-revolutionary efforts held up. Like the majority of revolutionary leaders of note, Mandela was successful on the field, less so in administration of the new government. The new South African regime seized corporations and properties, on the sole excuse that their owners were white. This inspired other African nations to do the same. Jomo Keynatta comes to mind, but there were others, and the practice continues to this day all over the continent.
Mandela was noted for not executing his defeated enemies, and he even formally forgave many of them. To me, this is his main legacy. I have mixed feelings about the "Truth Commissions" he established: most were simple witch-hunts, but most whites who faced them were forgiven their sins (after being stripped of all their pre-revolutionary wealth).
There is one huge stain on Mandela's record, though, and no review of his legacy is complete without it. That is the black thugocracy that established itself after Mandela took over. Mandela's own wife was part of it. Government power was used to establish gangs which not only indulged in corruption, they operated crime rings as well. South Africa is only just beginning to work out of this problem in this last decade, but it has a long way to go.
Nelson Mandela opened the doors of South Africa by overcoming the white door-men. The transition to multi-racial democracy has only just begun, though, and only time will tell if it flourishes or fails.
The USC Trojan football team, still reeling from severe sanctions imposed by the NCAA years ago, hired a journeyman Head Coach, Lane Kiffin, but he didn't turn out to be effective for the team. Half-way through the season, USC fired Kiffin, and hired Ed Ogeron to finish the season. Ogeron did a brilliant job, finishing the season 6-2, getting the boys to fight for their school, and they finished the season with their heads high.
The USC AD then had to find a full-time coach. NFL Denver's offensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio was mentioned, but he's happy as second banana at the Broncos. It seemed certain that Ogeron would get the offer, but nooo...
USC just hired Steve Sarkisian from the Washington Huskies. Who? Sarkisian, the fired Lane Kiffin's former second banana who went to Seattle and was 34-29 there, not exactly a resume-building record. Sarkisian lost three big games this year, the Huskies finishing out of the money for any PAC-12 glory.
If Washington has a lick of sense left, they offer Ed Ogeron the Head Coach job. If that happens, I can't wait to watch the Huskies roll up the Trojans...
This one appears to involve either You Tube, the RIAA, the European Community, our Federal Government, or, more likely, all of those suspects.
I got an email sending me to You Tube to hear a vocalist sing the blues about religion being removed from Christmas, and afterwards, I noted several medleys of Christmas music on the "suggested" area in the right sidebar. I clicked on several, only to be greeted by a black screen with a message listing the usual suspect recording companies the RIAA always trots out in all of their whines about "intellectual property rights". Common Use trumps all of that legalbabble, as I understand the law. But the RIAA greases a lot of palms, and has since the 1950s, so now they're trying to lock down Christmas music.
Here's how you skin that cat: make the RIAA produce LEGAL, court-quality proof for every single instance where they claim to represent the interests of artists. Damn near every one of the composers of Christmas songs is dead, and if proof of an RIAA contract is not filed and recorded in all those dead songwriter's courts of Probate, then it legally doesn't exist, and the material reverts to Common Use.
The RIAA is a bunch of pirates sitting astride the music industry, nothing more. It's high time all those scalawags swung from the yardarm.
If any of my two or three regular readers live in Seattle, you may object to this post, because it pans one of your local self-made men, Jeff Bezos, and his firm, Amazon dot com.
Back story: I found the perfect Xmas present for one of my daughters. It is a JIS 9000, waterproof and rubber armored "boom-box". Note that the definition of such has changed in the last 30 years. Boomboxes used to weigh 20#+, and take up the entire back seat of your Honda Civic. These were also known as "ghetto blasters". This one I just bought (well, I THINK I've bought it, it's not here yet) Is tiny by blaster standards, but it's what the yutes go for now. Good for them, they're keeping their music more personal.
But I digress.
So, I buy this item online, and immediately start getting bombarded with emails by Amazon. First email was one asking if I wanted to keep shopping. Deleted. Then, one stating that they had received my order. Saved it. Then another exclaiming that they were processing the order. Deleted, then one stating it had been shipped. Saved it. Then several more stating it had been shipped. Trashbin.
Then a curious phenomenon: I start getting phone calls from something called QRI. They called for two days, maybe 8 to 10 calls. I never answered any of them and they never left a message, but I did get curious: after research, it seems that they are associated with Amazon! Will wonders never cease? My research said they would remove me from their robocall stack, dial their # back and hit a two. Did that and the calls ceased, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. a scammy taste.
Then, this ayem, I get up and look at the email. Some outfit I never heard of, "TechGiant", wants me to evaluate my purchase. Strange, since I had ordered it as a present and wrapped and the purchase had not involved "TechGiant".
There are smoke and mirrors here. Why? Has Amazon gotten too big too fast? Why doesn't their site tell you up front who you are actually purchasing from? EBay does that, so why can't Bezos? Why doesn't TechGiant show up in searches? There is just no information out there on them. Amazon DOES have a review system, but there is none for TechGiant. If I had answered that email and reviewed my purchase, where would the review have gone? This reminds me of the gamblers who used to ride the buses in DeeCee where I grew up, doing their Shell Game for nickels and dimes...
Now, add this experience to another difficulty I just had with the Amazon about my Kindle account, and well, I have lost faith in this company to do business in a fair, trustworthy and equitable manner.
1. You are now permitted to listen to Christmas music. All previous Bah! Humbug! classifications of Christmas music before Thanksgiving are now removed.
2. You are now permitted to plan for decorating your abode and/or place of work to a Christmas/Chanukkah/Eid theme. Just call your theme what it is, not the generic "holiday" theme.
3. "Winter" is not a holiday, it is a season. If you "celebrate" Seasons, you may celebrate Winter. If you do NOT live/practice an Earth Religion such as Wicca, you may NOT celebrate a "Winter Holiday". You might bring this up at the next School Board metting you attend as the resident Culture Watch.
"The shooting community, especially at the shallower end of the pool, tends to treat firearms safety less as logical guidelines and more as holy writ. This results in two related problems:
Any time someone makes a mistake, the Monks of the Holy Order of Self-Righteous Range Safety (HOSRS) jump up and down pointing at the offender as if he committed a mortal sin. The accused is instantly and irrevocably excommunicated from the Church of Guys Who Like to Shoot.
Any time someone makes a mistake, he has to try like hell to hide it or make excuses for it so he doesn’t get flagellated by said Monks of Self-Righteousness."
Recognize that? If you shoot and/or run practical matches, you probably not only recognize that attitude, you RESEMBLE IT.
Safety is practical. When I teach safety, I teach it from the point of view that you are better off alive than dead or whole rather than having your ass shot off. Then I leave it up to you to make the right choices, with some help along the way. If you are a newbie, and totally dense, I might boot you off my range, but the ONE thing I won't do is the whips and chains thing that happens at matches with self-important ROs/RSOs running things.
You "monks" know who you are. You can catch a lot more flies (and safety goofs) with honey than vinegar. Wise up.
Reid gets the "nuclear option", and now the Senate needs only 51 votes to impose cloture of debate, not 60.
As I see this, that gives the (D)onks 13.5 months of mayhem, then control of the Senate will come back to the GOPes. As things are unravelling now, the Senate will surely change hands next November.
The problem happens then, and the GOPes don't realize it. As of now, they are crowing that Reid shot himself in the foot, believing that a GOPe-controlled Senate will then be able to un-do Obama-care, etc with just 51 votes.
Nazzofast, heffelants. Reid put the "nuclear option" in, and he can reverse it after the 2014 election. What the GOPes need to do NOW is ask him point-blank, on the Senate floor, if he intends to do that. If he doesn't answer with a flat NO, every GOPe Senator needs to refuse to participate in any Senate votes when the new cloture rule is invoked.
This is either a forever change or it's just a new gimmick of the tyranny of the Left. Make the little weasel tell us, now, that the rule is not just a device for packing the Federal Courts with lefty Judges.
If tampering with the Senate rules can mean a tyranny of the majority, it's time for a change of government, and that change should not wait until next November. As it stands, since this ayem, lifetime Federal Judges are the biggest threat to freedom that we face.
Oh, BTW, with that change of government, all current Federal Forever Judges must lose their jobs until a non-partisan review panel decides whether they are actual judges or just politicians in black dresses, based on their records of judgments.
I just listened to Obama's speech, given at Arlington National Cemetery. In the speech, he said ALL the right things to the assembled Veterans. Trouble is, his words don't match his deeds, AGAIN (see Healthcare Reform Act).
The sad facts for veterans have not changed:
VA medical care is a shambles, a pretense of comprehensive modern medicine;
Veterans are treated, almost universally, as if they are all dangerous crazies, almost forced to "admit" PTSD, leading to their Second Amendment rights being removed without benefit of due process;
The current GI Bill is like a penny in a beggar's cup compared to the post-WW2 benefits;
Above all, Obama LEADS the military of the USA, he leads it in war, and he has forgotten how to win a war, or even why winning is necessary.
As a Veteran, I am terribly disappointed in my Commander-in-Chief.