When Governments Go Awry

The American Thinker posted an article today about what is happening in South Africa. South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa and his political party are planning to amend to South African Constitution to allow the taking of farmland owned by white residents of the country without compensation. Cyril Ramaphosa  regards this as the last step on the country’s program of land reform.

According to a BBC report:

The country’s white minority is believed to have a disproportionate hold over land, with a few thousand white commercial farmers possessing the most fertile lands.

Somehow I don’t think this is going to work.

The article at The American Thinker points out the history of this sort of action:

Ramaphosa may think it’s money-for-nothing to legislate his way into free land for the people whose support he wants down the line, but it doesn’t work that way. The expropriated farms will soon be ravaged, just as they were in Stalin’s Ukraine or Chavez’s Venezuela, not to mention, Mugabe’s utterly miserable Zimbabwe right next door, and South Africa, too, will become a wasteland. It all looks real nice right now, but the change over just a few years after this move will be amazing.

I saw it myself in Venezuela, where ravaged sugar fields in Cojedes state, out on the llano, were on one half of the roadside, the expropriated-land half, with miserable looking people sitting under a half-tent with a ragged Venezuelan flag flying overhead. On the other side, there was a still crisp, clean, working sugar farm, obviously the next target. Private ownership, vs. public expropriation were visible with one glance. Bloomberg did a piece on the same horror in neighboring Portuguesa state in 2017.

For whatever reason, people appreciate things more when they have to earn them. Also, if people are suddenly given a large commercial farm, will they have the knowledge and ability to run it? That is the problem. When Venezuela took over the American oil wells, the government did not have the ability to keep the oil wells repaired and in good working order. The oil production of Venezuela began to drop shortly after the government took over the oil wells. We can expect the same thing to happen with the large commercial farms in South Africa.

I understand that South Africa has had some racial problems and people have not always been treated well. However, stealing land from people who have worked hard to farm it is not the answer. It might make more sense to compensate the farmers for part of their land and create a cooperative to help the new owners of  farms learn how to work the land. By allowing the current farmers to keep a large part of their land, you insure that the economy will be sustained as it goes through the change of helping the South Africans learn to work their part of the land.

This Is Not How You Promote Racial Harmony

The following video was posted at YouTube:

Reparations will not bring racial harmony to America. The people asking for reparations were never slaves and the people asked to pay them were never slave owners. Many of the people asking for reparations do not even have ancestors that were in America during slavery. Currently the government of South Africa is taking land from white farmers and giving it to black farmers. That is a form of reparations, and I can guarantee that program will not bring peace either.

Slavery was wrong. Some of the indenture-ship agreements made with early Irish and other nationalities were also wrong. However, we can’t change the past. Taking money from one group of people for no reason and giving it to another group of people for no reason is not going to solve any problems. It simply convinces the group receiving the money that they are entitled to something they didn’t earn.

If you really want to see things change, bring fathers back into the homes in the black community. There are more black children living without fathers in the home than with fathers in the home. Instead of reparations, let’s talk about better schools. Let’s talk about changing the culture in the black community so that an education is something to be desired. While we are at it, let’s improve the culture in the Hispanic community and in the poor white communities. Education is the key–not necessarily college–trade school works just as well. I never went to college–I just wasn’t interested, so I spent two years in a liberal arts trade school program instead. It served me well.

Instead of worrying about reparations, let’s get all Americans working, earning a good living, and taking pride in what they are doing. That is a much more certain road to racial harmony than reparations.


This Is Not The Path To Peace

The Daily Wire is reporting today that the South African Parliament has voted to seize all land owned by white farmers.

The article reports:

On Tuesday in South Africa, a shocking vote in the National Assembly ruled that white South African farmers will be removed from their land. The vote, prompted by a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema, was not even close; 241 legislators voted for it with only 83 voting against it. Malema told his supporters in 2016 he was “not calling for the slaughter of white people — at least for now.”

…As The Daily Mail noted, “A 2017 South African government audit found white people owned 72 percent of farmland.”

The vote will be considered by the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30.

South Africa has had a history of racial problems. It also has a Marxist history and possible tendencies toward repressive government. Taking the land from white farmers without compensating them is only going to increase the racial divide. It is a revenge move rather than an effort to solve the problem. I really don’t know much about the geography of South Africa, but might there be a way to equitably divide the land between black and white farmers while compensating people if you take part of their land?

The Death Of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years as a prisoner in South Africa for opposing apartheid, then emerged to become his country’s first black president. All of the major (and minor) news outlets are posting stories about his death. As usual, I have a few observations.

In the early 1970’s my parents made a business trip to South Africa. They spent time in Johannesburg and in Durban. This was during the time that Nelson Mandela was in prison. Upon returning to America they observed that South Africa was in a place very similar to where the American south was before the civil rights movement–things were very tense and there was no harmony between the white and black populations. Something was going to explode. There were some explosions, but compared to what has happened in other Africa nations, they were relatively minor. Apartheid ended in 1994 after international sanctions and negotiations between Mandela and South African President F. W. de Klerk.

What is the lesson we can learn from the life of Nelson Mandela? I think the most important lesson is the lesson of forgiveness–this man spent 27 years in jail for opposing apartheid and was able to forgive his country for the way he had been treated. Because he was able to move forward rather than dwell on the past, Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa. If more leaders followed the example of Nelson Mandela in forgiving past wrongs and wanting to do what is in the best interests of all people in his country, the world would be a very different place.

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Things To Think About

Last night I had the privilege of hearing Marc Kahlberg speak at the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Marc is from South Africa and has lived in Israel for the past 25 years. He spoke of his military service in South Africa and the transition to being involved with the Israeli military.

I have attended a number of lectures by various experts on terrorism and preventing terrorism in an effort to gather information that I could share on this website. Although all of the information is useful, after a while, much of it is repetitive. Last night was not.

Mr. Kahlberg spoke of what it is like living in Israel since the suicide bombings began in the 1990’s. He cited the 1994 Number 5 bus bombing as the turning point for Israelis in dealing with the problem of suicide bombers. The 1994 attack took 2 to 3 days to clean up. It was demoralizing to the citizens of Israel. Today, after a suicide bomber attack, the Israeli authorities can bring the area back to normal in a matter of hours. It is a useful skill, but it is tragic that they have had to develop it.

What is life like in Israel today? Since last Friday, there have been more than 200 missiles fired into Israel from Gaza. Thanks to the deployment of the Iron Dome (See March 12 rightwinggranny.com), there has not been nearly the devastation those who fired the rockets had hoped for. Why is the world standing quietly on the sidelines while rockets and suicide bombers attack Israel and while Iran pledges to destroy Israel? Where are the news stories in the media? Is the world willing the stand idly by as another holocaust is brewing?

Mr. Kahlberg talked about the coming war between Israel and Iran. He pointed out that the war has already begun. Iran is the biggest supporter of terrorism in the Middle East (and worldwide) and many of the rockets coming into Israel are Iranian.

What are the dangers of Israel attacking Iran in order to end its nuclear program? In a war with Iran, Israel will probably have 20,000 fatalities, 100,000 injured, and one and a half to two million people suffering from trauma. If Iran has nukes, it will probably totally destroy Israel. Great choice. The other thing that was pointed out was that in dealing with the leaders of Iran, we are not dealing with people we can depend on to act rationally. There is a martyrdom aspect of the Iranian regime that does not make them rational when it comes to dealing with nuclear weapons. A regime that sends twelve-year old boys with keys around their necks to march into minefields to clear the mines (keys that were supposed to assure them the instant entrance to paradise when they were killed by the mines) should not be considered rational.

Mr. Kahlberg ended the evening by pointing out to all of us in attendance how complacent we have become. All of us need to become more aware of our surroundings and the people around us in order to help prevent terrorist attacks. We will never be able to stop every person who wishes us ill, but by being more aware, we can help protect ourselves. When the Times Square bomber left his SUV in Times Square, it wasn’t the police who saw the threat, but a Viet Nam veteran who alerted the police to the danger. All of us need to learn from that man. If we see something out of place or unusual, we need to ask questions.



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The First Qualification To Hold Office In America Ought To Be A Respect And Love For America

The Daily Caller reported today that Supreme CourtJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated in a television interview that when the people of Egypt write their constitution they should not look to the U. S. Constitution as an inspiration. She stated that the U. S. Constitution is too old and that there are more recent constitutions to use as examples.

The article reports:

Ginsburg, appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton, said South Africa’s constitution is “a great piece of work that was done” and cited other documents outside America’s constitution that Egyptians should read.

“Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution, Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Ginsburg said. “It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Might I point out a few flaws in her logic. Under the European Convention on Human Rights, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was sentenced to prison for stating an inconvenient truth about the founder of Islam (see rightwinggranny). In Canada, Mark Steyn was put on trial for stating something true about Islam in a publication. In both cases, the facts these people were citing were true–that was not the issue–the issue was that they were charged with hate speech for telling the truth. In America, we can still speak the truth without fear of arrest. What part of free speech does Justice Ginsburg not understand?


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Some Common Sense From The Wall Street Journal

The cenotaph in Durban's central Farewell Square

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an op-ed in its Review and Outlook column entitled “The Post-Global Warming World.” I’m not linking to the article as it is subscribers only.

The article reminds us that the United Nations annual climate-change conference will meet in November in Durban, South Africa (Do you ever notice that these conferences never take place in the low-rent district? When was the last time they had a conference in Newark?) The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is set to expire, and they are looking for the next step forward. There are, however, a few problems. India and China were not covered by the first pact to limit carbon emissions and now the United States, Russia and Japan have said that they will not agree to a new binding pact.

The article reports:

…Last week, EU Climate Action Director General Jos Delbeke told reporters that “in reality what may happen is that the Europeans will pronounce themselves politically in favor of the Kyoto Protocol” but won’t lock themselves into any new anticarbon pacts unless “other parties join the club.” 

The problem with going green is that as of yet the technology is not there. All that has been accomplished in countries that have attempted to go green is that they have seriously taxed their economies. Some of the facts that have emerged on green energy–wind mills need up to 90 percent of their capacity backed up (usually with coal or gas plants)  in order to prevent blackouts , and wind mills kill birds. Solar power involves lead batteries which release lead pollution. We simply did not have economical, successful green energy yet. We may have it in the future, but we don’t have it yet, and no amount of carbon restrictions or government subsidies is going to change that.

The article concludes:

The science on climate change and man’s influence on it is far from settled. The question today is whether it makes sense to combat a potential climate threat by imposing economically destructive regulations and sinking billions into failure-prone technologies that have their own environmental costs. The earnest people going to Durban next month may think so. The rest of the world is wearier and wiser.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Durban.

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