Today I celebrated (is that the word?) my 33rd birthday. I was woken up with a card, a present and a birthday song by Lené. This evening Lené took me out for a meal at a nice restaurant.
Thanks to Charles, Soma, Christiaan, Niel, Pierre, Rulan, Rhalda, Katinka, Abbie, Itanje, Thinus, Cathy, Ingrid, Fredri and the people at work for the birthday wishes, but most of all thanks to Lené for a great day!
I am absolutely disgusted that the Bavarian authorities allowed Bruno the Bear to be shot. I have always thought that Germany was one of the more responsible nations when it came to environmental issues, but this has certainly brought down Germany in my estimation.
So many people were delighted about the first wild bear in Germany and what do they go and do? They go and kill it. I do not accept that a country this rich and efficient couldn’t take care of a brown bear. Official Anton Steixner claims the bear “had a lust for killing”. What an absolute f@#king idiot.
Bloodlust and incompetence ruled this decision. This is something one hasn’t associated with Germany for 60 years.
Shame on you, Germany.
ps: One good thing is that the rest of the world and the German public has expressed its absolute shock at what has happened. Only 21% of Germans supports the ridiculous killing.
I was very lucky to have purchased a highly rated Nikkor 18-200 VR lens today. I have been looking for this lens since November 2005 but they are almost impossible to get. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of Tina Aarsen of Fixation that changed today.
I can’t wait to test it out so I’m hoping for some good weather this weekend.
South-Africa’s biggest problem – crime – came to the fore in a brutal way today. 4 policemen & 8 suspected criminals were killed today in a bloody shootout in Jeppestown. The criminals were part of a 20 member gang that tried to hide out after holding up a Pick-and-Pay. The gang was suspected to have carried out many similar armed robberies. Read more on this story here.
I am really saddened by the policemen’s deaths. These people earn very little money, but they have an extremely dangerous job. And yet their loyalty is without question. These are absolute heroes.
I am shocked and very concerned by the lack of support for the police by the government. They have been warned by police and opposition about crime spiraling out of control for some time now, but in South-Africa any sort of inquiry remotely seen as criticism gets a standard denial and inevitably get smeared as racist. I have nothing but contempt for the likes of Safety and Security minister, Charles Nqakula. Ultimately he and his government must take some of the blame for today’s murders. Not 3 weeks ago he said, in parliament, that those who “moaned” about crime should “leave the country”. I wonder what Charles Nqakula will say to the families of the murdered policemen tonight. I don’t think he should say anything; I think he should rather just resign. South-Africa will be better for it.
As far as the criminals are concerned: provided they are guilty I am glad they have been killed. I know that might sound cold to some, but these people were certainly no better than any terrorists. They cared nothing for human life and they ambushed the police with an intent to murder them. I am also glad they weren’t caught because with SA’s justice system their punishment would not have fitted the crime.
As someone who is “in computers” I am very frustrated by SA’s lack of technological progress. It is astounding that business has not seized the ‘net like in the 1st world. But this Property 24 article suggests that some recognition is occurring.
I hope this will awaken more businesses to the potential of a usable internet. An that they will in turn put more pressure on government to open up the Broadband market to competition.
With FW de Klerk being in a very serious condition at present, I felt I have to write something about this remarkable man. Because of FW’s “side” in a racially divided South-Africa many people don’t realise that FW played an immeasurable role in bringing about democracy in South Africa.
Put simply; without FW there would not have been a peaceful transition to democracy in South-Africa. FW’s unquestionable passion and dedication for democracy is very rarely acknowledged or even known of outside South-Africa. Many people still think that FW was someone who tried to stop or delay democracy when nothing could be further from the truth.
When FW came into power he started moving towards democracy as soon as he realistically could. Amid much controversy he revoked laws against ANC & other memberships and he was the first who officially started talking with the ANC & other parties.
But to me his real contribution was in the way that he persuaded the white eloctorate that giving up power was the right thing to do. He was a true leader in this respect. He communicated to the white population in South-Africa like no-one else could. He let them (I should say “us”, but I was already “converted”) understand why democracy is imperative and he also calmed their fears. Remember this was a major major change for South Africa. The US or Western Europe haven’t experienced this kind of change for 150 and 160 years respectively. And in both those cases many many lives were lost.
In 1994 when he finally handed over the reigns to Nelson Mandela as an inevitable result of his own work he did so gracefully and responsibly. There were no lives lost directly as a result of the transition – a miracle indeed.
This is why he was acknowledged by the Nobel Peace Prize committee as well as being honoured by many people and institutions including Nelson Mandela himself.
To me FW is unquestionably one of South Africa’s greatest sons and an Afrikaner to be immensely proud of.
The head of the Medical Research Council (MRC), Professor Colin Blakemore has said that the UK might “need” to test on Apes.
The government said in 1997 that it wouldn’t approve testing on Apes because they were too similar too humans. This is partly Blakemore’s argument as well. He says that is exactly why you may need to test on apes.
I am sickened by animal testing. I feel that science is on the wrong track. This might be a very controversial statement, but this manic obsession by scientists to cure everything is actually leading to our downfall. There are currently more than 6 billion people on the planet. This is expected to double again in the next 150 years. Orang-Utan’s on the other hand are expected to be extinct within the next 20 years if current trends aren’t reversed.
If testing is so vital then why don’t we test more on humans. None of this testing has any benefit to animals. In fact it is detrimental – it keeps more unhealthy people alive leaving less resources for wildlife. Animal testing – even if it helps me or my own child – is fundamentally wrong.
The MRC is a national organisation funded by the UK taxpayer. As such, I think the UK taxpayer has the right to stop them from testing on animals. I urge readers of this blog to let them know how you feel, like I have done below:
This email is in response to your support of ape testing.
Although I don’t dispute that testing on animals have scientific merit, I think that in the world today testing on anything other than people is not appropriate. I feel that science is on the wrong track.
Surely by trying to cure everything you’re diminshing the natural selection process; making a world full of unhealthy people. And lots of them. There are currently more than 6 billion people on the planet. This is expected to double again in the next 150 years. Orang-Utan’s on the other hand are expected to be extinct within the next 20 years if current trends aren’t reversed. It is pretty clear that the biggest challenge facing Homo Sapiens today is not cognitive diseases, heart failure or even HIV. It is over population.
If testing is so vital then why don’t we test more on humans. None of this testing has any benefit to animals. In fact it is detrimental – it keeps more unhealthy people alive leaving less resources for wildlife. We need more wildlife; we don’t need more people.
Your way might be emotionally appealing to some, but if you look at it from a different perspective it is running us into the ground.