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[VIDEO] Fighting Breaks Out in South Africa’s Parliament 

A mass brawl in South Africa’s Parliament halted the State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday.

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OH YES THEY DID: Scientists Name A Parasitic Worm After President Obama

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Nobel Peace Prize, Move Over: Meet baracktrema obamai, the two-inch-long, hair-thin flatworm. it’s a type of blood fluke that infects the lungs of black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia.

President Obama, Commander in Chief and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, can add another honor to his resume: namesake of a new species.

Granted, the species is a parasitic flatworm. But in the scientific community, the act is considered *coughBaracktrema obamai, a new genus and species of parasitic flatworm, was named in honor of President Obama. Image by Roberts et al., 2016, The Journal of Parasitology.cough* an honor all the same.

“I have named a number of species after people I admire,” Thomas Platt, the parasitologist who discovered and collected the new species, said, with a straight face.

[Baracktrema obamai, a new genus and species of parasitic flatworm, was named in honor of President Obama. Image by Roberts et al., 2016, The Journal of Parasitology.]

The move is meant to be a permanent tribute, he said. “Baracktrema obamai will endure as long as there are systematists studying these remarkable organisms.”

Platt and three other American researchers proposed Baracktrema obamai as both a new genus and species in The Journal of Parasitology. The two-inch-long, hair-thin flatworm — a type of blood fluke — infects the lungs of black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia. The team used genetic testing and morphological analysis of the worm’s body and genitalia to determine the new species. Their proposal marks the first new genus of turtle blood fluke in 21 years.

The find was the last that Platt — a turtle parasite expert — named before retiring from Saint Mary’s College. Platt named 32 species during his tenure and was inspired to name Baracktrema obamaiafter discovering that he and the president share a common ancestor, he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Charleston Shooting: ‘We Don’t Have All The Facts, But We Do Know That, One Again…’

Joel B. Pollak continues:

Obama is wrong on both counts. Innocent people were killed because a murderer–likely motivated by racial hatred–had a gun–but guns in the right hands have stopped, or interrupted similar attacks before. In South Africa, for example–whose racist past seems to have provided gruesome inspiration for the Charleston killer–a parishoner stopped a mass shooting by a black nationalist group against a multi-racial congregation by firing his .38 revolver at the assailants, who ran away.

The parishoner, Charl van Wyk, later wrote a book about his experience, called “Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-defense.shooting back

[Check out Charl van Wyk’s book “Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-defense at Amazon.com]

Charl Van Wyk was just an ordinary Christian man until July 25, 1993 – the day that would become known as the St. James Massacre. It was on this date that Van Wyk shot back at the terrorists who were attacking an innocent congregation gathered in prayer, and saved many lives in the process. More than just a remarkable story of courage under fire, Shooting Back deals forthrightly with the consequences of his actions, while addressing the concerns that plague so many God-fearing people in these lawless times, such as: Should we carry arms? When is it appropriate to defend ourselves and our families? What can we do when our God-given right to self-defense is legislated away from us? In Shooting Back, Van Wyk tackles these difficult questions using the light of Scripture and insights from his own experience to make the case for self-defense. Read the rest of this entry »


Tragedy in Yemen: American Hostage Luke Somers Killed in Rescue Attempt

LUKE-SOMERS

South African Pierre Korkie Also Killed in Raid

Julian E. Barnes and Maria Abi-Habib reporting: An American and a South African held hostage for more than a year by al Qaeda’s Yemen branch were killed during a U.S. special operations forces raid Friday night, in the second rescue attempt in as many weeks.

“There were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger… Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation.”

— U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Luke Somers, 33 years old, was killed by militants, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday. Several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, were also killed in the raid.Pierre-Korkie

South African teacher Pierre Korkie was also killed in the raid, according to a charity that had been trying to help negotiate his release.

“The United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence, and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located. And terrorists who seek to harm our citizens will feel the long arm of American justice.”

— President Barack Obama

Mr. Hagel said the raid was ordered by President Barack Obama because “there were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger.”

“Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation,” Mr. Hagel said in a statement.

A U.S. official said Mr. Somers was shot by militants as the raid unfolded and wasn’t killed in crossfire.

“We received with sadness the news that Pierre was killed in an attempt by American Special Forces, in the early hours of this morning, to free hostages in Yemen.”

— Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman

It wasn’t immediately clear where Mr. Somers’s remains were.

The raid took place after AQAP had warned that they would kill Mr. Somers if U.S. forces attempted another “foolish” rescue attempt, in a video statement released Thursday. In the video, an AQAP commander threatened to kill Mr. Somers by the end of the week if their unspecified demands weren’t met. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Kenneth Meshoe: Is Israel an ‘Apartheid State,’ as its Enemies Claim?

“We all need to recognize that those who say that what is happening in Israel is like apartheid South Africa are minimizing the suffering that black South Africans endured. They are taking the sting out of the pain that we suffered in South Africa. If South African apartheid was what people are seeing in Israel, there would never have been any need for an armed struggle. There would never have been any need for a Nelson Mandela to go to prison because he would have all the rights Arabs in Israel have.”

Who better to answer that charge than a Black South African who lived through apartheid? Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the South African parliament, fits that bill. He examines the evidence against Israel and draws a compelling conclusion.

Transcript

There is widespread allegation — really a slander — that Israel is an apartheid state. 

That notion is simply wrong. 

It is inaccurate and it is malicious.

And it will not help to promote peace and harmony in the Middle East. Its only purpose is to demonize Israel, and to isolate her in an attempt to de-legitimize Israel’s existence. 

And because it is so inaccurate, it betrays the memory of those who suffered through a real apartheid.  

As a black South African, who was born under apartheid, in the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria, I know what apartheid is. I’ve experienced it. My parents experienced it. 

But having been to Israel on a number of occasions, I know that nothing is happening in that country — that I have either seen or read — that can be compared to apartheid in South Africa. 

Let’s remember the major reason Nelson Mandela went to prison — why he was involved with the armed struggle. He was fighting for the right to vote, for the right to choose the leaders who one believes in, for the right to move and travel freely, to live wherever one wants, to be educated, and to be admitted to the hospital or medical facility of your choice.  Read the rest of this entry »


Pistorius Ruling: Negligent but Not Guilty

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South Africa has no jury system. Masipa weighed the evidence and reached her verdict with the help of two assistants, called assessors. The judge had the last say on questions of law, while the decision of the majority held sway on questions of fact

SOUTH AFRICA – Robyn Dixon reports: Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympian who shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year, was found “negligent” in the killing Thursday, but was acquitted of murder charges before the court recessed for the day without a final verdict.

Judge Thokozile Masipa halted the proceedings before delivering a ruling on a lesser charge of culpable homicide and said she would resume the proceedings on Friday.

“It’s clear that his conduct was negligent,”

Masipa said. But the judge said she did not find sufficient evidence to prove the prosecution’s contention that Pistorius intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp after the couple had an argument, though she did conclude that the athlete was negligent in firing his weapon four times through the door of the bathroom in his residence, in which Steenkamp had locked herself.

Pistorius admitted to firing four expanding bullets into the toilet cubicle off his bathroom. But he had insisted that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, fired unintentionally and not meaning to kill anyone.

“During the trial, Pistorius at times retched and vomited as the court heard testimony on Steenkamp’s horrific injuries, including a massive head wound, a shattered hip, a broken arm and a hand injury.”

In a nearly daylong hearing, Masipa found that Pistorius was negligent in firing his weapon and must have foreseen his actions would result in the death of the person inside. She also concluded that he failed to take reasonable steps to avoid that person’s death.

“At other times, he wept loudly, slumped with his head in his hands, or covered his ears.”

However, the judge stopped short of declaring Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide before concluding proceedings for the day.

After the initial finding clearing him of murder charges, Pistorius bent over and sobbed. Relatives and supporters crowded around him, and his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, one of his closest mentors, hugged him fervently. Read the rest of this entry »


Project Daniel: Not Impossible’s 3D Printing Arms for Children of War-Torn Sudan

project-daniel-0614-mdnFor Popular Mechanics, Erik Schechter writes: This week the folks at Not Impossible won a Cannes Lions award for their recent work on 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children of war-torn Sudan. The cheap but sturdy plastic hands developed as part of Project Daniel have a spring-loaded wrist joint and allow for a basic range of movement, and, if one breaks, a new one can be printed in hours. We caught up with Elliot Kotek, content chief and co-founder of Not Impossible, to hear about the project.

What was the genesis of Project Daniel?

In July 2013 Mick [Ebeling, Not Impossible founder] was at a dinner with Matt Keller, one of the guys who runs XPRIZE—the initiative of Peter DiamandisElon Musk, and others that offers $15 million in prizes for solving big-issue problems, kind of like a Nobel Prize on steroids. And Matt suggested that Mick read this article inTime.The article was about this doctor, Tom Catena, at the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains [in Sudan]. He was the sole doctor operating in a region with about a million people. The story also mentioned this kid, Daniel Omar, who, at the age of 14, lost both his arms to a barrel bomb dropped from a government plane. Dr. Catena performed the [double] amputation on Daniel.

In the article Daniel said, “If I could have died that day, I would have.” Because now, at the age of 16, he considered himself a burden to his family. This had an impact on Mick, who has three boys who are 10, 8, and 4. And I’ve got one little guy.

So how did you get started?

On our content site, where we highlight innovation for humanity stories, we had run this story about Richard van As, this guy in South Africa who invented a Robohand. Well, we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we could get one of these hands to Daniel? We didn’t know what Daniel’s actual condition was at the time, but we reached out to Tom and started having Skype calls.We then called 3D-printer manufacturers, experts in prosthetics, potential sponsors for the journey to Sudan, and people who knew the local landscape. Finally, we brought a bunch of makers to Mick’s house in Venice Beach, California, to start working on the project. Basically, people were just sleeping everywhere and anywhere. Thankfully, it doesn’t rain too much in California.

Read the rest of this entry »


Honeymoon Murder Suspect Dewani Not Looking Forward to His Appearance in Western Cape South African High Court

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Extradited British millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani is due in court in South Africa Monday on charges of ordering his Swedish wife’s murder during their 2010 honeymoon in Cape Town.

honeymoon-dAfter losing a three-year extradition fight in Britain, Dewani, 34, was remanded in custody at a psychiatric hospital when he arrived in South Africa last month.

“Dewani has been accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife. He allegedly ordered local men to carry out a hit on his wife and make it look like a fatal carjacking incident.”

He will appear at the Western Cape high court for a pre-trial hearing, at which the judge will assess the readiness of the prosecution and defence teams to start the trial.

“A substantial amount of money was paid for the hit.”

Dewani, who returned to Britain shortly after his wife’s murder, had fought his extradition, claiming he had mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress. He has been undergoing tests at the Valkenberg hospital in Cape Town to see if he is fit to stand trial. If he is not found fit to face court within 18 months, he will be returned to Britain under the terms of his extradition.

 In this Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, Shrien Dewani, the British man accused of having his wife murdered during their honeymoon in South Africa, arrives at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London. Shrien Dewani has spent years fighting extradition over the death of his 28-year-old bride Anni. She was found shot dead in an abandoned taxi in Cape Town's Gugulethu township in November 2010. Lawyers for the 34-year-old businessman say he suffers from post-traumatic stress and depression and is unfit to stand trial. But last month Britain’s High Court rejected his grounds for appeal. He is expected to be put on a flight to Cape Town Monday, and South African officials say he will appear in court there Tuesday. The dead woman’s brother, Anish Hindocha, said the extradition brought them “one step closer” to justice.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

In this 2011 photo, Shrien Dewani, the British man accused of having his wife murdered during their honeymoon in South Africa, arrives at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in London. Shrien Dewani has spent years fighting extradition over the death of his 28-year-old bride Anni. She was found shot dead in an abandoned taxi in Cape Town’s Gugulethu township in November 2010. Lawyers for the 34-year-old businessman say he suffers from post-traumatic stress and depression and is unfit to stand trial. But last month Britain’s High Court rejected his grounds for appeal. He is expected to be put on a flight to Cape Town Monday, and South African officials say he will appear in court there Tuesday. The dead woman’s brother, Anish Hindocha, said the extradition brought them “one step closer” to justice. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

On his arrival in South Africa Dewani was formally charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating justice by the country’s elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks. Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: Is Israel an Apartheid State?

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communismkills + eretzyisrael


Mandela Coverage: The Banality of Goodness

FW de Klerk Nelson Mandela, right, in May 1990 in Cape Town. 'The Nobel peace prize was rightly shared between Mandela and De Klerk, a sharing ignored by almost all the obituaries. There were two good men in Cape Town in 1990.' Photograph: Denis Farrell/ASSOCIATED PRESS

FW de Klerk Nelson Mandela, right, in May 1990 in Cape Town. ‘The Nobel peace prize was rightly shared between Mandela and De Klerk, a sharing ignored by almost all the obituaries. There were two good men in Cape Town in 1990.’ Photograph: Denis Farrell/AP

 writes:  Enough is enough. The publicity for the death and funeral of Nelson Mandela has become absurd. Mandela was an African political leader with qualities that were apt at a crucial juncture in his nation’s affairs. That was all and that was enough. Yet his reputation has fallen among thieves and cynics. Hijacked by politicians and celebrities from Barack Obama to Naomi Campbell and Sepp Blatter, he has had to be deified so as to dust others with his glory. In the process he has become dehumanised. We hear much of the banality of evil. Sometimes we should note the banality of goodness.

Part of this is due to the media’s crude mechanics. Millions of dollars have been lavished on preparing for Mandela’s death. Staff have been deployed, hotels booked, huts rented in Transkei villages. Hospitals could have been built for what must have been spent. All media have gone mad. Last week I caught a BBC presenter, groaning with tedium, asking a guest to compare Mandela with Jesus. The corporation has reportedly received more than a thousand complaints about excessive coverage. Is it now preparing for a resurrection?

More serious is the obligation that the cult of the media-event should owe to history. There is no argument that in the 1980s Mandela was “a necessary icon” not just for South Africans but for the world in general. In what was wrongly presented as the last great act of imperial retreat, white men were caricatured as bad and black men good. The arrival of a gentlemanly black leader, even a former terrorist, well cast for beatification was a godsend.

Visiting and writing about South Africa in the last years of white rule in the 1980s, I was acutely aware that the great struggle was not so much between the white South Africans and Mandela’s ANC, whose leaders were in prison or exile, but within Afrikanerdom. This was no rebellion against a foreign power. It was a potential conflict between an impotent majority and a potent minority, in which the likelihood of the latter giving way to the former seemed minimal – and unnecessary in the short term.

Read the rest of this entry »


Funeral Spice

Relish the accidental comedy in a humorless world

pic_main_121313_SM_Funeral-Spice-Barack-Obama-RevMark Steyn writes:  ‘I don’t want to be emotional but this is one of the greatest moments of my life,” declared Nelson Mandela upon meeting the Spice Girls in 1997. So I like to think he would have appreciated the livelier aspects of his funeral observances. The Prince of Wales, who was also present on that occasion in Johannesburg, agreed with Mandela on the significance of their summit with the girls: “It is the second-greatest moment in my life,” he said. “The greatest was when I met them the first time.” His Royal Highness and at least two Spice Girls (reports are unclear) attended this week’s service in Soweto, and I’m sure it was at least the third-greatest moment in all of their lives. Don’t ask me where the other Spice Girls were. It is a melancholy reflection that the Spice Girls’ delegation was half the size of Canada’s, which flew in no fewer than four Canadian prime ministers, which is rather more Canadian prime ministers than one normally needs to make the party go with a swing.

But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Gut Check: Lessons in Lockstep

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Greg Gutfeld writes: Last week, Nelson Mandela died. There were more than enough touching eulogies, and any attempt by me would be shoddy, with the depth of a contact lens. Better to sit back, shut up, and think about a lesson to learn from this great man’s life.

I remember in college avoiding the apartheid issue because it wasn’t part of the way I saw the world. As a staunch anti-communist, I could not abide by the African National Congress, who were backed by the USSR among other nondemocratic entities. I was on the right team, no doubt, as history has shown, but I was wrong on where my allegiances took me, regarding South Africa. I wasn’t supportive of the place. I just wasn’t crazy about any of the players.

My point: The danger of dedicating yourself to “the team” is an immunity to critical thinking. You avoid having to make tougher decisions, or listening, or admitting you might be wrong if you adhere completely to the ideology of the group you’re in.

Don’t get me wrong. The fight against communism was the fight worth having. But it prevented me from seeing that, despite the relationship between communism and Nelson Mandela, I should have been able to handle several thoughts and truths. Why can’t I renounce communism, want to win the Cold War, but accept the necessity of Mandela’s fight? I can enjoy both death metal and poppy electronica — so why can’t I be a cold warrior and a proponent of legitimate revolution? It’s a shallow comparison, but I am a shallow person.

Read the rest of this entry »


Interpreter at Mandela Event: ‘I Was Hallucinating’

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(JOHANNESBURG) — report:  The man accused of faking sign interpretation while standing alongside world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela‘s memorial service said Thursday he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, suffers from schizophrenia and has been violent in the past.

Thamsanqa Jantjie said in a 45-minute interview with The Associated Press that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were “armed policemen around me.” He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one year.

A South African deputy Cabinet minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, later held a news conference to announce that “a mistake happened” in the hiring of Jantjie.

Government officials have tried to track down the company that provided Thamsanqa Jantjie but the owners “have vanished into thin air,” said Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu.

Read the rest of this entry »


Crime: Burglars Break into Desmond Tutu’s Home During Nelson Mandela Memorial

South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu speaks during an interview in New Delhi, Feb. 8, 2012. B Mathur / Reuters

South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu   Mathur / Reuters

Second time the retired South African Archbishop’s home has been robbed

 writes:  Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu’s home was robbed as he attended Nelson Mandela’s memorial service on Tuesday, according to one of his aides.

Roger Friedman, and aide to the retired South African Archbishop, confirmed the break-in but said it was unclear what exactly was taken. The house was not pillaged, and neither Tutu or his wife were at home at the time of the robbery, AFP reports.

“I can confirm that there was a burglary last night,” Friedman said.

Tutu rebuked the crowd for being too loud at Mandela’s memorial service on Tuesday, calling on South Africans honor his passing in silence and follow in the footsteps of the nation’s former president.

This is the second time in five months burglars have broken into Tutu’s home. Tutu and his wife were at home sleeping when robbers hit their home in August, but were unharmed.

[AFP]  TIME.com


South Africans Are Indoctrinated to Hate Bush, Republicans: Bush’s Africa Legacy Stands

Upon arrival to the Gabane Community Home in Gabane, Botswana, President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush watch a performance by Gabane Village traditional dancers on Thursday, July 5, 2012. One of the most respected home-based care programs in Botswana, the Community Home is a pre-school program with a mission to provide quality care and support to the sick, orphaned and vulnerable children while empowering people to live positively with HIV and AIDS.  The long-term vision is to one day eradicating HIV/AIDS from the community of Gabane.  Photo by Shealah Craighead/The Bush Center

Upon arrival to the Gabane Community Home in Gabane, Botswana, President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush watch a performance by Gabane Village traditional dancers on Thursday, July 5, 2012.

Though I agree with Joel’s main point here — and today’s shameful booing of the former president is regrettable — I don’t agree with his suggestion that George W. Bush is uniformly hated in Africa. To the contrary, there are many in Africa who benefited from their partnership with the former president, and remember him fondly.

This article by Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post, honors the former president’s efforts in Africa:

“…credit and praise must be given where they are due, and Bush’s accomplishment — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — deserves accolades. It is a reminder that the United States can still be both great and good…if Africa is gaining ground against AIDS, history will note that it was Bush, more than any other individual, who turned the tide…”

Recall that Bush’s decision to direct enormous financial support to combat AIDs in Africa–though ignored in recent history–was admired, and contributed to saving millions of lives. Read the whole thing.

To the uninformed, this is probably considered uncharacteristic of a Republican president. They don’t know Republicans, and they didn’t know Bush. Bush’s habit of deficit spending, not just on unpopular military campaigns, but also on controversial health and education programs and foreign aid, remains a divisive one among conservatives. Bush saw the AIDs initiative as a matter of national security (though as Robinson points out, the validity of that argument is questionable) as well as an altruistic imperative, and medical necessity, for a nation confronting a serious health crisis.

Why are South Africans taught to hate Republicans? Keep in mind, not all do. As we’ll see, Bush’s is legacy in Africa is more complicated than the global chorus of Republican-bashing Bush-haters would have us believe. But sadly, Joel does have a point.

Joel B. Pollak writes: Former President George W. Bush, as the American left gleefully observed, was booed by some in the audience at the memorial for Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank in Soweto, Johannesburg on Tuesday. President Barack Obama, in contrast, received a standing ovation–in which, Twitchy notes, Bush joined enthusiastically. Read the rest of this entry »


How Nelson Mandela Came to Embrace Free Markets

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Note: The original title of this article: “Why the ‘left-leaning’ Nelson Mandela was such a champion of free marketsis weirdly naive, dishonest, or intentionally tempered and softened to the point of being comical.  Left-leaning? By that measure, should we reframe Fidel Castro as a “left-leaning” communist revolutionary? Or describe Pat Buchanan, Peggy Noonan, or George Will as “right-leaning” columnists?  That minor quibble aside, Jake Bright‘s essay is a timely and welcome addition to the ongoing review of Mandela’s remarkable leadership and paradoxical legacy. 

Jake Bright writes:  One often overlooked aspect of Nelson Mandela’s legacy is South Africa’s economy. Parallel to everything amazing the man is connected to—freeing the country from the shackles of apartheid, subordinating retribution in favor of peace and reconciliation, and unifying a volatile nation at risk of civil war—he laid the groundwork for South Africa as the continent’s economic powerhouse.

There are a lot of directions Mandela could have taken the country in those early post-apartheid days. At each juncture, he seemed to make the right call. When it came to the country’s economic policy, he chose free markets. Today, South Africa is Africa’s most powerful economy—though Nigeria may overtake it any day—and  in 2010 was added to the elite BRIC grouping of fastest-growing economies (Brazil India China Russia, now known as BRICS to include South Africa). It has Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest stock market capitalization, most heavily traded currency, highest sovereign credit rating, and highest purchased government bonds. South Africa also maintains Africa’s most modern business infrastructure and attracts the greatest foreign direct investment and number of global companies.

That Mandela would embrace the open-market path that led to this is somewhat remarkable given the African National Congress’s (ANC) and his own Marxist-communist leanings. In 1990, he lauded Fidel Castro’s Cuba as “a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.”

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CNN: Cornel West Warns Against the ‘Santa Claus-ification’ of Nelson Mandela

By Friday evening, nearly every cable news commentator on the planet had gotten a chance to weigh in on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. But none of them had a take quite like that of Dr. Cornel West, who joined Jake Tapper on CNN to denounce what he sees as the “Santa Claus-ification” of the South African leader.

Asked if Mandela’s passing has caused the media to “cover up” how some people, especially those on the right in American politics, viewed him in the not-so-distant past, West answered affirmatively. “I think no doubt we are,” he said. Calling Mandela a “spiritual giant, moral titan and political revolutionary,” West described what we are now witnessing as a “Santa Claus-ification” of his legacy.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mandela’s Virtue

mandelax
He prevented a South African explosion. Will his successors do the same? 

Travis Kavulla writes: Dignity, humility, and courage. Those are the words, predictable as they are proper, that are being used to describe Nelson Mandela after his death on Thursday.

Few other people in the annals of the 20th century suffered such great personal indignities and yet turned the other cheek. Few others, too, managed such an explosive political moment so deftly.

Certainly no African leader is more deserving of a cult of personality (on a continent where this practice is widespread). Yet Mandela was one of those Gandhi-like figures who, if occasionally vain and tempestuous, was no self-indulgent demagogue.

In the 1980s and ’90s, as the chorus to end apartheid reached its high notes, a guerilla campaign was waged on all sides in South Africa — white segregationists versus blacks, a Zulu nationalist faction versus Mandela’s African National Congress, “coloreds” (a South African term for the Afrikaans-speaking, darker-skinned, but not black, population) on both sides. There was a very real chance that South Africa would become another Zimbabwe. The forecast was for civil war, followed by an inevitable victory by black nationalists, and then decades of score-settling through expropriation and clannish misrule.

That South Africa has avoided this outcome thus far is remarkable. The country’s internal social and economic inequality makes the United States look like a nation of levelers. (South Africa’s distribution of income is the most unequal of any country for which the World Bank compiles statistics.) Even today, it is not clear what fruits the end of apartheid has delivered to most black South Africans — except the basic dignities of the freedom of movement and the freedom of the ballot, which are not to be mocked, but which at the same time don’t fill empty bellies. Read the rest of this entry »


After Snubbing Thatcher Funeral, Obama and Michelle to Visit South Africa for Mandela

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Ben Shapiro writes: On Friday, the White House announced that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama would travel to South Africa next weeks to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela. Obama has already announced that the White House will fly the flags at half-staff though December 9 in Mandela’s honor.

When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, President Obama did not lower the White House flags, nor did he attend her funeral, instead sending ex-Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker III. The Sun reported, “[Downing] Street is most angered by rejections from Obama, First Lady Michelle and Vice-President Joe Biden. And none of the four surviving ex-US leaders – Jimmy Carter, George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr. – is coming either.”

Brietbart.com


Oh No, Not Again: White House Marks Mandela’s Death with Another Obama Selfie, Barry Photo-Op in Mandela’s Cell

obama-mandela-me-me-twitter

On Thursday, in the aftermath of South African iconic leader Nelson Mandela’s death at age 95, President Obama’s White House account tweeted a tribute to Mandela – a picture of Obama in Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell, along with a quote from Obama about Mandela: Even in paying tribute to a historic figure, President Obama couldn’t help but make it about him.

Obama in Mandela’s Cell: History is just a pretty backdrop


Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary

Nelson

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary who became the first black South African president after 27 years in prison, died Thursday at the age of 95.

Mandela died in Johannesburg, current President Jacob Zuma announced there just before midnight on Friday.

“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves. And in him, we saw so much of ourselves,” Zuma said.

“He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Zuma continued. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

Mandela has suffered from poor health for a year, with reports that he was near death circulating last Christmas.

But the African leader known worldwide as a symbol against oppression had repeatedly battled back from illness.

Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s president in May 1994. He served one term, and stepped down in 1999.

Mandela twice spoke to joint sessions of Congress, months after his release from prison in 1990 and four years later, after he had been elected president.

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[VIDEO] Professor of Economics Walter Williams talks about the Encroachment of Government

Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. He is an expert on discrimination, labor policy, regulation, and South Africa as well as a well-known columnist and the author of South Africa’s War Against Capitalism (1989), The State Against Blacks (1982), and More Liberty Means Less Government (1999).

In this lecture given at a Libertarian Party of Georgia event in 1991, Williams talks about libertarianism generally and relates his own moral arguments against state coercion. Williams also briefly suggests a few things he thinks libertarians should be doing if they want the libertarian movement to grow.

 


“You have a smart car; you got a smartphone; well, now we have a smart rifle”

$27,500 smartgun can hit a target over 1,000 yards away

Now everyone can shoot like a trained marksman. For a price.

A Texas-based applied technology firm has launched new smartgun technology that gives novice shooters the chance to participate in “extreme distance hunting.”

TrackingPoint’s new precision guided firearm technology, XactSystem, allows the shooter to lock onto a target before allowing the gun to fire upon the intended target, much like a fighter jet’s “lock-and-launch” technology.

And the firearm can consistently hit a target from over 1,000 yards away, the maker says.

“Think of it like a smart rifle. You have a smart car; you got a smartphone; well, now we have a smart rifle,” CEO Jason Schauble told CNNMoney.

The rifles fitted with the XactSystem technology can accurately shoot from over 1,000 yards, and TrackingPoint claims the company record is shooting a South African wildebeest at 1,103 yards.

The system and bolt-action rifles run from $22,500 to $27,500.

The rifles are WiFi equipped to allow the shooter to record their shot and immediately send it to a tablet or smartphone to view and upload to social media sites.

Schauble told CNN Money this is the first technology of its kind, even within the military, and that his company is planning on selling 500 TrackingPoint rifles this year, mainly to clients who want to hunt big game from long ranges.

With the technology, the shooter “tags” a target using a red button on the trigger guard. After the tag is set, the shooter aims the gun and holds down the trigger. Once the tag and the crosshairs of the scope line up, the gun fires.

“There are a number of people who say the gun shoots itself,” Schauble said. “It doesn’t. The shooter is always in the loop.”

The network tracking scope’s technology takes environmental factors, such as temperature, wind speeds, and gravity, into account to ensure a clean shot.

Some in the security sector, however, have reservations about the long-range rifle.

“There are a handful of snipers who can hit a target at 1,000 yards. But now, anybody can do it,” Rommel Dionisio, a gun industry analyst for Wedbush Securities told CNN Money. “You can put some tremendous capability in the hands of just about anybody, even an untrained shooter.”

via The Daily Caller