Die Ertjie op wit en swart!

Wel hier is hy nou op Wit en Swart vir die 1ste keer. Vir die van julle wat nog nie weet nie – ek en Lené is verwagtend. Of eerder Lené is nou tussen 11 en 12 weke verwagtend.

Voorlopig weet ons nog nie of dit ‘n outjie of ‘n vroutjie is nie so ons noem hom/haar maar Ertjie vir nou.

Ons het vandag vir ons 1ste scan gegaan en alles goed verloop. Ek is net nie heeltemal gelukkig oor een ding nie: Lené het na vele bespreking nog steeds ge-manage om die Van der Watt neus na ‘n volgende geslag oor te dra 🙂

Pathetic Austria disgusts me : Schande Oesterreich!

My previous post was written as a response to the Muslim Cartoon issue, but lo and behold now this very issue has cropped up in Austria.

Today David Irving was JAILED for denying the Holocaust. So let me just get this straight: you can print some very offensive cartoons of Muhammed and everyone (me included) supports your right to Free Speech, but if you excercise that very same right to Free Speech against Jews you get put in jail. How does that work then?

This infuriates me beyond belief. What in god’s name makes the Jews so special? Every country and every nation in the world has done terrible things to people. The Jews themselves are persecuting the Palestinians; the Russains lost up to 40 million people in WWII; my own ancestors were persecuted by the English. my own nation persecuted black South-Africans; black Africans have been exploited, raped & murdered through slavery by Europe and the Arabs for hundreds of years. Why would denying any of these events get no reaction from the authorities and yet denying the Holocasut lands you in jail for 3 years.

This is an absolute outrage. The guy is an old harmless fool who said these things 20 years ago. Note, he said something. He didn’t do anything.

Shame on Austria! How dare they EVER preach about Freedom of Speech to Turkey.

European Hypocrisy: Free speech but not against Jews

In a recent post I commended the press across Europe for not bowing to censorship when they published the caricatures of Muhammad. I still applaud this decision. Not because I’m going after Muslims – I have some good Muslim friends, but because in a free democracy there are very few things as precious as free speech. Even if you disagree with what people say, you must allow them to say it.

But this post is about the flipside. It is about how the media and the public look the other way when it comes anti-semitism. Holocaust denial is currently a crime in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania and Switzerland. To deny the Holocaust will land you in jail. Honest to God. A few years ago France wanted to ban Yahoo because people were trading Nazi memorabilia on their servers. Now if you allow people the freedom to publish caricatures of Mohammed then how can you deny other people the freedom to do the Nazi salute. Believe me when I say that I find these people deplorable, but that doesn’t change the fact that you cannot censor them.

My opinion is that Europe still feels so guilty about what happened 60 ago years that they are prepared to forsake their principles for this one issue. To my mind this is very wrong and sets a very dangerous precedent.

England also bans public smoking, at last

English MPs did a brave and good thing yesterday by voting for a full ban on smoking in all public places. Subject to an expected acceptance by The House of Lords, it means that from 2007 if anyone is caught smoking in a public place they could be fined up to £2500-00.

Readers of this blog will know that I wholeheartedly support this kind of ban. To my mind it doesn’t at all diminish someone’s human rights. In fact it enforces them. The law doesn’t say that you cannot smoke; it only says you cannot smoke in public places where you might damage other people’s health.

“Public Places” includes bars, pubs, restaurants & clubs, but not streets & parks etc.

The best wildlife documentary(ies) …ever

Whilst waiting at Johannesburg International Airport I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw they were selling the Emmy-award winning Eternal Enemies, by South-Africans Dereck and Beverly Joubert.

I trawled the ‘net unsuccesfully for this DVD for 2 years, so I was absolutely delighted and instantly bought it.

This is my best wildlife documentary of all time. It is about the constant battle between lions and hyenas. There are several parts that still gives me gooseflesh. Most famous is the “Christmas shot” of a male lion… shall we say “taking control”, but the whole documentary is brilliant. The narrator, Powers Boothe, also lets you feel the raw beauty of Africa.

I also found out that the Jouberts made a follow up called Ultimate Enemies, based on lions and elephants. They had this on sale as well and I obviously bought it. The footage in this film is unbelievable – there is no other way to describe this. If you told people from the African bush about this many would laugh in you face, yet the Jouberts captured it on film. A must see for anyone who is interested in African wildlife. The narrative script is slightly laboured at times though.

And right now, while googling the Jouberts I have found out that National Geographic in the US have just shown a 3rd “episode” called Relentless Enemies. This one is about lions and buffaloe. Thankfully, this time there is a proper site. Just the video preview gave me goose bumps! Dereck says that they have been working with lions for 25 years and they have never seen lions as big as this!

Needless to say, I can’t wait to see this one.

My 2 cents on the Muhammad cartoons

I hope this post doesn’t offend some of my Muslim friends, but I do believe that freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of a free society.

No country – be that the US, China, South Africa, Denmark or Saudi Arabia – can ever claim to endorse real freedom for their people if they don’t allow freedom of speech.

The caricature of Muhammad really tests this freedom. Some countries like South Africa have failed this test allready (see SA’s Sunday Paper’s gagged), but most countries seem to be standing fast.

If Muslims feel offended by these caricatures, then don’t read/buy the papers. I’m offended by many things that the BBC says about Afrikaners, but I don’t threathen the journalist with death. I switch the tv off. I feel that in time most people will see what the truth is.

The other thing of course is that by making such a huge noise about this issue Muslims are alienating themselves even more from the West. Many countries like the Scandinavian countries have been on the “Arab side” for a long time. One reason for this is that they have freedom of press in these countries. If they didn’t most of the public wouldn’t know about the illegal occupation of Palestine.

I myself have also been a vocal supporter of the Palestine cause. I have been in trouble many times for defending the Muslim perspective. But I cannot understand this refusal of Muslims to understand the principle of freedom of speech.

When I refer to Muslims I mean Muslims in general. I’m obviously aware that not all Muslims see this issue in the same way.

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