Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cape Town Parliament Walkout reminiscent of Weimar Republic - 1928

I said when the EFF and DA walked out of parliament that this is what happened in 1928 and people laughed at me. The DA walking out of parliament is probably the biggest mistake they ever made! That particular sitting was a Joint Sitting of Parliament for a Ceremonial Occassion. It didn't matter what the President was going to say or not say. The Status of Parliament was and is at stake.

The following article was written by Jeremy Cronin and appeared in The New Age. We must be very careful that we learn from history and don't allow it to repeat.

Here is the article:

Legislative disruptions: From the Nazis to the EFF - Jeremy Cronin

20 February 2015

SACP 1st DGS says the inclination to collaborate with hooliganism by the DA and much of the mainstream media is of particular concern

Red Alert

BID TO Paralyse Parliament: No different to Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party in the Reichstag, and just look how all that ended up

What is going on in South Africa's Parliament?

Let me begin with a detour into history, perhaps it will help to provide some perspective. In 1928, a year after its banning had been lifted, the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) contested elections for the German parliament, the Reichstag. This was during the period of the democratic Weimar Republic. The NSDAP (better known as the Nazis) received less than 3 percent of the vote, winning just 12 seats out of a total of 491. The Social Democrats were the largest party with 153 seats. The Communists won 54 seats. A range of centrist and centre-right parties held the balance of power.

The Nazis were undeterred by their low vote. Having members in the Reichstag was an important bridge-head for their ruthless agenda. They declined to behave like a regular parliamentary party. Their MPs wore boots and uniforms in the house and, according to one account, "conducted themselves as a storm troop unity."

The same source records that: "Whenever representatives of the government or the other democratic parties spoke, the Nazi members marched out in a body in studied contempt of the speaker, or entered in a body to interrupt the speaker, thus making it physically impossible for the Reichstag President to maintain order. In the case of speakers of other parties, the Nazi members constantly interrupted, often resorting to lengthy and spurious parliamentary manoeuvres, with the result the schedule of the session was thrown out of order."

Out on the streets, Nazi storm troopers conducted a reign of terror directed against left-wingers, Jews, gays, and even against recalcitrant members from within their own ranks. The thuggish conduct in parliament was not merely an overflow from the streets and beer-halls. It was a calculated strategy. A leading Nazi writer on constitutional law, Ernst Rudolf Huber, wrote of this period: "The parliamentary battle of the NSDAP had the single purpose of destroying the parliamentary system from within through its own methods. It was necessary above all to make formal use of the party-state system but to refuse real cooperation and thereby render the parliamentary system, which is by nature dependent upon the responsible cooperation of the opposition, incapable of action."

By 1933 Hitler had seized power, butchering opponents and turning parliament into a toothless non-entity. The rest, as they say, is (tragic) history. But let's not be overly pessimistic. I am not saying the anarchistic behaviour of the EFF in (and out of) Parliament is an indication that within five years South Africa will also be under a fascist dictatorship.

But let's also not be complacent. Remember many Germans in 1928 dismissed a paltry, less than 3 percent party as irrelevant. There are troubling additional historical echoes in our present - the cult of a megalomaniac personality with an oratorical gift; militaristic pretensions; a demagogic populism that mobilises on the basis of grievance and victimhood. There is also the shared backdrop of extraordinarily high levels of unemployment.

Perhaps we can draw consolation from the fact that, as another saying goes, when history repeats itself, first time it's tragedy, second time farce. What has been happening in parliament is still closer to farce than tragedy. But history warns us to be vigilant. What is particularly concerning is the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend inclination to collaborate with hooliganism by the DA and much of the main-stream media.

This collaboration consists essentially in a narrative that seeks to shift blame for the disgrace in parliament from the storm-troopers to the president or the Speaker. Could the ANC have handled the Nkandla matter better from outset? Most ANC MPs would agree. Could the Speaker have dealt with disrupters more effectively? Possibly, but even the gentle-hearted St Francis of Assisi himself would have battled to control delinquents without borders.

The Weimar Republic parliament was caught flat-footed by the onslaught of a dozen rowdy Nazi MPs back in 1928. Our own internationally hailed post-apartheid parliament was forged out of a common understanding that we were wresting a democratic, multi-party space out of civil war and social division. Compared to other parliaments I have visited, our National Assembly has had a security light touch. Our dignified, black female sergeant-at-arms has been a symbol of a changing society, and not of blunt physical power. Like the dozen Nazi MPs back in 1928, the EFF cohort has deftly exploited this reality. They are faithfully, if unwittingly, following Huber's script of attempting to destroy "the parliamentary system from within through its own methods" - spurious points of order, provoking evictions and perhaps over-reaction and then claiming victimhood.

On Tuesday in the debate on the State of Nation address, Julius Malema concluded his speech with the following words: "President, we will remove you. No matter by what means. Nothing will stop us. We will be taking over this country." EFF members (those still left in the party) rose in adulation. Members of the DA applauded. Don't say we haven't been warned.

Comrade Jeremy Cronin is SACP Second Deputy General Secretary, ANC MP and Deputy Minister of Public Works.

This piece was first published by The New Age, The Think Section, 20 February 2015. It was republished in the SACP's online journal, Umsebenzi Online

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Decisions. Why people are apathetic.

The following question came up on Facebook today:

"We live in chaos everyday of our lives. Confronted and having to deal with social and political issues festering, making us as a people sick. The puppies non confrontational and innocent. Not difficult to understand why they get more likes. I am aware of fracking, also aware of rape, murder, load shedding and SONA and yes the beggar on the corner. Which flag to hold up? Where to give and how much to take."

And here is my answer:

Its easy.

Decide that you want to retire asap. Then make your own electricity, find your own water, work with your neighbours and friends on food and clothing, pay off your house and car, dramatically reduce your cost of living, and then you are retired.

And at the same time as this, you have done your bit for the environment and unpolluted your mind.

Do one small thing each day towards this vision. It is my vision and it is working for me. My wife and I implemented it in 1999. We aren't there yet, but each year we get closer to our goal.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Virgin Mobile losing their virginity

Mr Richard Branson
Virgin Group of Companies.
Somewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Dear Mr Branson

There is a block of flats up the road.

We receive the mail for a Virgin Mobile client who lives in this block of flats.

I won't use real names, but the address says:

VirginBlockOfFlats 14 Virgin Street.

We live in Virgin (not real name) Street.

We get the mail for VirginBlockOfFlats (not real name) 14 because the post man (post person?) sees 14 Virgin Street instead of 14 VirginBlockOfFlats, even though the post man can plainly see that we don't have a block of flats at 14 Virgin Street, and even though we have asked him to deliver the owner at 14 VirginBlockOfFlats mail to her, but maybe we have a new post man.

We have asked the person living at 14 VirginBlockOfFlats to get this fixed. We have had this problem repeatedly with various accounts during the 19 years we have been "almost neighbours", but with Virgin for the past few years since she opened her Virgin account.

We have "Returned to Sender" with the correct address written on the envelope several times, and today I phoned 123, the Virgin's free call centre number (I am also a Virgin Mobile user) and two people in the call centre told me there is NOTHING they can do.

I find this especially bad, because the Main "Business Virgin" (Richard Branson) calls his staff CHAMPS and says "YOUR WISH IS OUR COMMAND."

Of-course this might be applicable somewhere in the Galaxy, but it isn't applicable in South Africa.

I don't want to change someone else's address. I just want Virgin Galactic or Mobile, which ever, to change

VirginBlockOfFlats 14


14 VirginBlockOfFlats.

I really like Virgin Mobile for a whole lot of reasons. One reason is that if they can't find Cell C (their normal host carrier), then they automatically connect to Vodacom or MTN. This means that I have coverage in South Africa where everyone has coverage.

And usually their staff are courteous and efficient. But the first CHAMP I spoke to today put the phone down on me after I asked to speak to her supervisor.

The Second CHAMP I spoke to said all the supervisors are in a meeting. She said that if I don't take the mail to the correct address that I would be liable for the invoice! She could have said, "Give me the account number and I'll phone the owner and clear this up", but I guess this isn't in her script. Nor has she learnt the Virgin way to WOW customers.

I look forward to this issue being resolved.

This is not an address "change". It is simply the moving of a number from the end of a line to the beginning of a line.

Yours faithfully,

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Learning from History

President Zuma blames Apartheid and says that Land Seizures are now required. Farmers can have maximum 12,000 hectare farms or two farms.

My comments ...

Blame is one of our oldest emotions and it starts with anger, jealously and coverting another person's stuff. The Old Testament has a law against it, "thy shalt not covet". In Buddhism, Anger and Jealousy are considered to be Mind Poisons. And in my opinion, depression generally, is caused by one person feeling less than another person.

The word blame appears in google 207 million times. Jealously 39 million times. Jealous 117 million. Anger 172 million times. Angry 440 million times.

History has shown that land (asset) seizures are always a requirement when a government has failed its people!

It chooses one or more scapegoats and blames them for all its ills, whilst telling the rest of its people that it is right and that they MUST continue voting for the government to get their rights.

This is often done by adding secrecy laws and then enacting draconian measures to ensure that the government stays in power and this usually happens "democratically", i.e. the people who aren't INITIALLY effected by these measures, agree to them.

This government then takes those people's property which increases the government's wealth incredibly, and therefore to keep the "electorate", ie its supporters happy. But this "ponzi-scheme" typically lasts 15 to 100 years at which point the country goes insolvent and is usually taken over by another country. During the 15 to 100 years, typically millions more people either become poor / destitute, or leave the country, or are murdered by the regime / dictatorship / kingdom.

One should note that poor people are often self sufficient. They might not have electricity, but they also might own land and be completely self-sufficient in food, shelter, clothing, etc. But they are deemed "poor" because they don't have electricity and therefore don't contribute to the fiscus!

What I don't understand is how this supports what President Zuma said at Davos last month, "South Africa" is open for business"?