It’s a Sad Story

It’s a Sad Story

While I am sitting at home in the dark I am thinking about all my travels and the incredible places I have seen. Yes, I’m in the dark. Not because of load shedding but because the power went off during a storm. We had load shedding earlier in the day but the power goes off at the slightest whim. At least 6 times a week.

The guard is patrolling outside in the rain. I can see his flashlight beam bouncing off the trees and reflecting off the rain drops. There are flashes of lightning every few seconds. It’s almost 11:30pm. The dogs are lying close to me. It’s as if they can sense that when it rains like this it’s more dangerous than ever. The bad guys know that people think they won’t invade their homes in the rain. In fact, they love the rain because it masks the sound and it’s dark, especially when the power is off. It’s a dangerous time to be on a farm.

I check the electric fence again. Just to make sure the battery backups are all working. I check the doors again. I look through the window to see where the guard is. I call him on the two-way radio. He sounds nervous.

I check the cars outside through the window. Just a week or two ago the bastards stole the wheels off one of the cars and the wheels off the trailer. They managed to lift the car and put bricks underneath the chassis. It’s standing there, miserable, waiting for new set of wheels. They came back again a few days later, probably to get the wheels off the other cars as well. Luckily we saw them coming.

We’re a mere 12km from town but it’s pitch dark. The radio crackles. One of the workers report back that the power is off in the entire area. We have to make sure you see, because the bastards sometimes cut the power to the farm.

I worry about the irrigation pump that needs replacing. It’s the second one they have stolen in less than two months. The insurance company is refusing to pay for this last one. That’s more than R10,000 down the drain. The last time we welded the bloody thing onto two steel railway blocks. I wouldn’t be able to get the motor off with a tractor. They did. Fuck knows how.

I check the cellphone. Battery is ok. That’s important because we don’t have land lines. The cables were repeatedly stolen 10 years ago and Telkom refuses to replace them. No phones, no electricity. Thank god we have water.

I’ve been trying to sell this place. The home where my kids grew up. The home where mom and dad lived with us. I was made an offer about 7 years ago. Today I can’t sell it for 20% of what I was offered back then. We are economic prisoners.

So, I think about other places. Other countries. Countries where you have electricity all day, every day. Countries where the only people that have armed guards are politicians. Countries where there are phone lines and broadband everywhere. Countries where the marginal tax rate is a mere 15%.

I think about the places I have visited where you get into a load of trouble if you jaywalk. Where you receive a spot fine for littering and where urinating in the street will get you locked up for the night.

Yes, there are countries where basic services are actually delivered. Where municipalities actually function and where the police actually manage to uphold the law and protect their citizens. There are places out there where you can walk into a supermarket and buy absolutely anything and when you come out there are no car guards harassing you for R5. Where you don’t have to double check if your car is locked because someone might be jamming your remote.

There are many countries where the life expectancy is over 80. We are at number 159 on the list with a paltry life expectancy of 61. Yes, there are countries out there where you will actually live longer. I mean, The Sudanese have a higher life expectancy than us.

I think about my kids and in particular about my son. A white Afrikaner male. I think only the SS during the Second World War was more hated than white Afrikaner males in South Africa today. We are the oppressors, the occupiers, the colonists. We are viewed as the cause of all suffering and pain in this country. My son is too, even though apartheid was over by the time he was born. And for this reason he will probably struggle to find a job in the country. He is doomed like so many other young white men. Doomed by law. Doomed by Black Economic Empowerment and Affirmative Action. A necessary correction at the expense of our youth.

I have deep roots here. My family has a rich and long history here. From arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in the 1680’s, to trekking across the Drakensberg mountains to fighting the British during the Anglo Boer War. The roots are deep.

But, it is time to go. It’s time to leave this god forsaken country and go on our own little Great Trek across the oceans. To start a new life and build a new future. I will no longer be part of this failed country. A country filled with criminals, murderers and corrupt politicians. I will not wait until I have to bury a child or a wife. I will not allow my children to get married and bear children in this place.

For years we have been told that we are not wanted here. So I will leave, with my taxes and my job creation, and my businesses and my skills. They can have this country. My ancestors have moved many times before and I will do the same. They can keep it. Destroy it. Take the farms. Pilage the stores. Make more labor laws to protect the incompetent. The country is burning while our president laughs.

Bullshit Everywhere

Bullshit Everywhere

The lies, pretence, fakeness is everywhere.

What’s happening to our society or has it always been like this? Everywhere you look you are confronted by smoke and mirrors, lies, distortions and bullshit. Let me give you a few examples. With the huge information overload that we are faced with today we spend countless hours trying to find relevant and true information. We spend more time dissecting information than actually reading anything.

Online it’s the worst. I wish someone would come up with credible research about the accuracy of information on the web. I will bet my best Cuban cigar that less than 5% of everything on the Internet is not utter and absolute bullshit. Even the largest news services are riddled with inaccuracies and even outright lies. Retailers are lying online all the time to flog their products and services to the unsuspecting (read stupid) public. Every product has some ridiculous claim that it can do something but once delivered you discover that it was an exaggeration or a outright lie. “This wifi router has a 50m range.” Bullshit. It’s range is 1 fucking meter. “This insurance product is the cheapest.” Rubbish. Read the fucking small print. After all the excess you pay, it’s twice as expensive as any other product!

Governments are using the Internet to lie to us all the time. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is full of government propaganda. It’s so bad that you actually cannot believe anything you read or see anymore unless you spend a few hours researching at Snopes and other verification services.

On TV everyone is lying, all the time. “Watch this great movie! It’s the number one box office show!“. Don’t bother, it’s crap. “Read this great book! It’s a classic!“. Don’t bother, it’s the worst book ever written and the author should be publicly executed. You just have to walk through Dischem (local pharmacy) to be confronted by the world’s greatest collection of bullshit. Every shelf is filled with bullshit claims. This will make you better, that will help you lose weight, that will help you build muscle blah bullshit blah.

But it get worse, because the bullshit doesn’t stop at companies or people trying to sell you stuff. People themselves are full of bullshit. There is not a day when meeting with someone that my bullshit detector does not go absolutely fucking ballistic. The bullshit from people is sometimes off the chart. Friends, family, I don’t care, they are all full of bullshit. Why?

Why do people feel the need to lie and exaggerate and con? Why not just be yourself and be truthful, all the time? You’re not impressing anyone, because in fact everyone knows you’re talking bullshit. As a society we’re so used to it because the bullshit flowing through the air has contaminated everyone. We are literally all covered in shit.

Take off the mask and be yourself. Don’t support companies that lie and cheat to sell their products. Name and shame them. Tell your friends. But don’t lie to them ok?

Women’s Rights And Religion

Women’s Rights And Religion

I am always amused at people saying that their religion gives women rights or that women have equal rights to men. I am particularly referring to Islam and Christianity. The arrogance of it all astounds me. In the first pace, every person, including women are born free. Religion does not “give” women rights, it takes rights away. It amazes me how easily religious texts can be misinterpreted, even though the simplicity of it’s writing makes its intention patently obvious. I can understand when people misinterpret the writings of Nostradamus because that was written in code. Nostradamus was trying to hide the real meaning of his writings to prevent being persecuted.

The religious books such as the Bible or the Koran are not written in code. It was written in such a way to make it clear and obvious so that everyone could understand it. The prophet Muhammad had nothing to gain from being vague in his teachings.

Every time there is a discussion about the Koran I wonder to myself how many versions of the Koran are out there because these people are clearly reading a different version to what I have read. The Koran is really not difficult to understand. The only explanation that I can find for these varying interpretations of something that is obviously clear, is that people refuse to acknowledge the truth. That would mean that they will start doubting and questioning the faith entirely, so it’s easier to either ignore some parts or purposefully change the facts to suit their agenda.

For example the debate over womens’ rights and Islam. I have seen Sheikhs on TV proclaiming that Islam has given women rights and that women are essentially free under Islam. I have even seen female Muslims claiming that under Islam women have rights.

The interesting thing is that they are essentially right. Women have some rights under Islam. If you start from the premise that women had no rights before Islam, then it will be true to say that Islam gave women some rights.

If, however you start from the premise that women were free before Islam, then Islam in fact took away most of their rights.

From the Koran:

2:228 “(Women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them.”

2:282 “And call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women.”

4:3 “Marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four.”

4:11 “To the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half.”

4:15 “As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them.”

40:20 “And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another….”

4:34 “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them.”

4:176 “Unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females.”

24:31 “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands. … And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment.”

33:30 “O ye wives of the Prophet! Whosoever of you committeth manifest lewdness, the punishment for her will be doubled, and that is easy for Allah.”

33:32-33 “O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. … Stay in your houses.”

33:53 “When ye ask of them (the wives of the Prophet) anything, ask it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not for you to cause annoyance to the messenger of Allah, nor that ye should ever marry his wives after him. Lo! that in Allah’s sight would be an enormity.”

33:59 “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad).”

65:1 “O Prophet! When ye (men) put away women….”

66:5 “If he [Muhammad] divorce you, will give him in your stead wives better than you, submissive (to Allah), believing, pious, penitent, devout, inclined to fasting, widows and maids.”

The reality is that no matter how you look at it, Islam restricts womens’ rights considerably. Under Islam woman are clearly not equal to men and their movement, liberty and freedom of speech is severely curtailed.

The same goes for Christianity. Womens’ rights are also inhibited in the Bible. Quite severely in the old testament and a little less so in the new testament.

Let no Muslim or Christian ever say that their religion “gives” women freedom. You can’t give that which was not yours to give in the first place.

Mercer’s Quality of Living Rankings 2015

Mercer’s Quality of Living Rankings 2015

Vienna remained at the top of the Quality of Living Rankings in 2015, boasting the best quality of living for expatriates. Mercer’s Quality of Living Rankings cover 230 prevalent destinations for globally mobile talent and are based on our Quality of Living Survey.

The Quality of Living Survey assesses quality of living conditions to help multinational companies and other employers fairly compensate employees when placing them on international assignments. Mercer compiles Quality of Living Reports and Location Evaluation Reports for each city, providing an overview of conditions and hardship premium recommendations.

According to Mecer, Durban ranks 85th out of 230 cities, with Cape Town (91st) placing just above Johannesburg (94th). Durban is unchanged from the previous ranking by Mercer, with Cape Town falling down one spot from 90th.

2015 City Rankings
Rank City Country
1 Vienna Austria
2 Zurich Switzerland
3 Auckland New Zealand
4 Munich Germany
5 Vancouver Canada
6 Dusseldorf Germany
7 Frankfurt Germany
8 Geneva Switzerland
9 Copenhagen Denmark
10 Sydney Australia
11 Amsterdam Netherlands
12 Wellington New Zealand
13 Bern Switzerland
14 Berlin Germany
15 Toronto Canada
16 Hamburg Germany
16 Melbourne Australia
16 Ottawa Canada
19 Luxembourg Luxembourg
19 Stockholm Sweden
21 Stuttgart Germany
22 Brussels Belgium
22 Perth Australia
24 Montreal Canada
25 Nurnberg Germany
26 Singapore Singapore
27 Adelaide Australia
27 Paris France
27 San Francisco United States
30 Canberra Australia
31 Helsinki Finland
31 Oslo Norway
33 Calgary Canada
34 Boston United States
34 Dublin Ireland
36 Honolulu United States
37 Brisbane Australia
38 Barcelona Spain
39 Lyon France
40 London United Kingdom
41 Lisbon Portugal
41 Milan Italy
43 Chicago United States
44 New York City United States
44 Seattle United States
44 Tokyo Japan
47 Kobe Japan
48 Los Angeles United States
48 Yokohama Japan
50 Washington United States
51 Madrid Spain
52 Birmingham United Kingdom
52 Rome Italy
54 Pittsburgh United States
55 Glasgow United Kingdom
55 Philadelphia United States
57 Aberdeen United Kingdom
58 Osaka Japan
59 Leipzig Germany
60 Minneapolis United States
61 Nagoya Japan
62 Dallas United States
63 Belfast United Kingdom
64 Houston United States
65 Miami United States
66 Atlanta United States
67 St. Louis United States
68 Prague Czech Republic
69 Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe
70 Detroit United States
70 Hong Kong Hong Kong
72 San Juan Puerto Rico
72 Seoul South Korea
74 Dubai United Arab Emirates
75 Budapest Hungary
75 Ljubljana Slovenia
77 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
78 Montevideo Uruguay
79 Vilnius Lithuania
79 Warsaw Poland
81 Bratislava Slovakia
82 Port Louis Mauritius
83 Taipei Taiwan
84 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
85 Athens Greece
85 Durban South Africa
87 Limassol Cyprus
88 Tallinn Estonia
89 Riga Latvia
90 Busan South Korea
91 Buenos Aires Argentina
91 Cape Town South Africa
93 Santiago Chile
94 Johannesburg South Africa
95 Panama City Panama
96 Victoria Seychelles
97 Zagreb Croatia
98 Cheonan South Korea
99 Taichung Taiwan
100 Wroclaw Poland
101 Shanghai China
102 Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
103 Johor Bahru Malaysia
104 Muscat Oman
105 Tel Aviv Israel
106 San Jose Costa Rica
107 Brasilia Brazil
108 Doha Qatar
109 Monterrey Mexico
110 Bucharest Romania
111 Noumea New Caledonia
112 Nassau Bahamas
113 Tunis Tunisia
114 Asuncion Paraguay
115 Sofia Bulgaria
116 Rabat Morocco
117 Bangkok Thailand
118 Beijing China
119 Rio de Janeiro Brazil
120 Sao Paulo Brazil
121 Guangzhou China
122 Amman Jordan
122 Istanbul Turkey
124 Lima Peru
125 Kuwait City Kuwait
126 Mexico City Mexico
127 Manaus Brazil
128 Casablanca Morocco
129 Quito Ecuador
130 Manama Bahrain
131 Bogota Colombia
132 Colombo Sri Lanka
133 Chengdu China
133 Windhoek Namibia
135 Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
136 Manila Philippines
137 Nanjing China
138 Hyderabad India
139 Shenzhen China
140 Jakarta Indonesia
141 Belgrade Serbia
142 Xi’an China
142 Chongqing China
144 Gaborone Botswana
145 Pune India
146 Bangalore India
147 Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago
147 Qingdao China
149 Lusaka Zambia
150 Guatemala City Guatemala
151 Chennai India
152 Mumbai India
153 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
154 Hanoi Vietnam
154 New Delhi India
156 Kingston Jamaica
156 La Paz Bolivia
156 Shenyang China
159 Skopje Macedonia
160 Kolkata India
161 Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina
162 Dakar Senegal
163 Riyadh Saudi Arabia
164 Libreville Gabon
165 Accra Ghana
166 Jeddah Saudi Arabia
167 Moscow Russia
168 Jilin China
169 Kampala Uganda
170 Cairo Egypt
171 Vientiane Laos
172 San Salvador El Salvador
173 Managua Nicaragua
174 Saint Petersburg Russia
175 Almaty Kazakhstan
176 Kiev Ukraine
177 Blantyre Malawi
178 Maputo Mozambique
179 Caracas Venezuela
180 Tirana Albania
181 Beirut Lebanon
182 Cotonou Benin
183 Yerevan Armenia
184 Banjul Gambia
184 Tegucigalpa Honduras
186 Nairobi Kenya
187 Algiers Algeria
188 Djibouti Djibouti
189 Kigali Rwanda
189 Minsk Belarus
191 Islamabad Pakistan
192 Yaounde Cameroon
193 Havana Cuba
194 Tbilisi Georgia
195 Phnom Penh Cambodia
196 Douala Cameroon
197 Baku Azerbaijan
198 Dar es Salaam Tanzania
199 Lahore Pakistan
200 Luanda Angola
201 Yangon Myanmar
202 Karachi Pakistan
203 Tehran Iran
204 Lome Togo
205 Addis Ababa Ethiopia
206 Harare Zimbabwe
206 Tashkent Uzbekistan
208 Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
209 Abidjan Côte d’Ivoire
210 Ashkhabad Turkmenistan
211 Dhaka Bangladesh
211 Lagos Nigeria
213 Abuja Nigeria
214 Dushanbe Tajikistan
215 Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
216 Tripoli Libya
217 Antananarivo Madagascar
217 Niamey Niger
219 Bamako Mali
220 Damascus Syria
221 Nouakchott Mauritania
222 Conakry Guinea
223 Kinshasa Congo, Democratic Republic of
224 Brazzaville Congo, Republic of
225 Sana’a Yemen
226 N’Djamena Chad
227 Khartoum Sudan
228 Port au Prince Haiti
229 Bangui Central African Republic
230 Baghdad Iraq