New Comments Policy

Basically, I believe in having a free speech zone.

A big part of the problem we face in America today is that, although we have a First Amendment, we are afraid of exercising our right to free speech because we don’t want to offend someone, or we are afraid someone is going to call us “racist” – and we know that being called “racist” is the worst imaginable fate!

So, I have had an open comments policy.

But, I have been getting SPAM comments – literally hundreds of them. Some idiot posts a very general comment that almost sounds legit, with a fake email address, and a link to some website that purportedly sells something.

Enough – I am tired of having to review and delete this stupid stuff.

Also, having it on a post, if even temporarily, detracts from intelligent comments that people are making – and the real comments I have had so far are definitely in this category!

So, if you wish to comment, feel free. But, to do so, you will need to establish a free WORDPRESS account and log in.

After that, go ahead and comment. Don’t expect me to respond to everything. If your comment seems to threaten illegal activity – for example, you threaten an elected official – I may pass the information on to appropriate law enforcement, depending on how serious I think you might be.

Otherwise, while I appreciate comments and will read them as soon as I can, if you are here to say something stupid, I really don’t give a rodent’s posterior.

So far, except for the SPAM, I have had very intelligent, very useful comments, and I really appreciate those.

Please keep in mind that different people have different perspectives on things. Not everyone speaks English fluently and, even if someone does, they might have a different dialect, or come from a different cultural background, so communication can be difficult at times. Please have patience with others, and try to understand what people are saying. Also keep in mind that we may learn more by reading comments that we disagree with, or that even seem dumb at first, so keep and open mind and try to understand what people are saying.

Cheers!

Help My Unbelief

(Originally posted in Facebook in December, 2014.)

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’

So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying ‘Lord, save me!’

Matthew 14:25-30

_____

There was a young woman in Egypt named Mary. Mary enjoyed having sex, and, though men offered her money for her favors, she declined, often earning her keep by working.

When Mary heard that there would be a big holiday at an important Christian church in Jerusalem, she caught a ride on a ship heading that way to check it out. On board the ship during the journey, Mary was popular with the male travelers.

When she arrived at the church, Mary tried to enter to see what was going on. However, at the door, she felt a Presence that kept her from entering. Looking up at an icon of the Virgin Mary, Mary asked to be permitted to enter, and, in exchange, she would do as the Virgin Mary then directed. Now she was able to pass inside, and, afterwards, she left the temple and was led out into deserted places.

There she spent decades. Many years she spent struggling with her own sinful desires. However, little by little, she overcame these.

One day, a monk, Father Zosima, was wandering in the deserted places. Off in the distance, he saw a figure moving. This could be a little frightening, as it has been widely believed that deserted places are the stomping grounds of evil spirits. So, apprehensively, the monk approached the figure.

At a discrete distance, the figure indicated that she was a woman. As she did not have any clothing, she asked the monk for his cloak. This he placed on the ground, and then withdrew to allow the woman an opportunity to put the cloak on. Once she was clothed, Father Zosima approached her.

It turned out the woman’s name was Mary. Mary recounted to the monk her story, about her sinful youth, about how she was permitted to enter the church, and about how she was then taken by the Holy Spirit to live in the desert. Father Zosima was amazed at this woman who was illiterate and who had never studied, yet who knew the Holy Scriptures flawlessly.

Mary asked the monk to bring her communion on the bank of the Jordan River the following year at sunset on Holy Thursday. On the appointed day, Father Zosima met her as they had arranged, then gave her communion. Mary asked him to meet her again one year thence, at the location where he had first seen her, then turned and, making the sign of the cross, walked across the Jordan River as if it were dry land!

Later, Father Zosima went to where he had first encountered Mary, and found her dead. He began to dig a grave for her, but became tired. Then, a lion arrived. Seeing the lion, the monk was understandably worried, but the lion began to dig, and finished preparing the grave for Mary.
________

When Peter asked Jesus to command him to walk on water, Peter did so not to participate in a miracle, but to be with Jesus. Jesus obliged, and Peter walked on water, but only as long as his focus was on Jesus. The moment Peter took his focus off Jesus and considered his surroundings, he began to sink. Of course, Jesus saved him.

We want to work miracles, but we can’t do it alone. God is able to work miracles, but He won’t necessarily do so. However, when we are willing to work with God, God works miracles through us, and sometimes these miracles can be pretty spectacular.

We need to try to keep our focus on God, and not on earthly concerns. And, we can ask His help to keep this focus on Him. But, if we get distracted by earthly concerns, we may find that we begin to feel overwhelmed, not just sinking in our troubles, but drowning in them. After all, if Saint Peter can begin to sink – Saint Peter! – then how much faster would you and I go down?

Saint Mary of Egypt offers us a couple of examples, though. Mary had been a sinner with whom I am not proud to say that I can identify. However, the Lord worked with her to such an extent, that she was able to walk across water as if it were land.

The Lord’s mercy is open to all, and that mercy includes miracles which we can’t even imagine.

But, we have to be willing to work with Him.

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’

Matthew 14:31

And, we have to believe.

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

Mark 9:24

Here I am on Thanksgiving

Originally posted to Facebook on Thanksgiving Day, 2014:

Today we celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Many people have no idea what Thanksgiving is really about.

Some of these people are easy to spot. They have a day off work, they eat, they drink… it seems that for many of them, the day is not intended to give thanks to humanity’s Creator, but rather, to the pagan god Bacchus.

However, some of the people who have no idea what Thanksgiving is really about are not so easy to spot. They say prayers over their feast, perhaps after having attended a church service, and give thanks for what they believe their blessings are.

When faced with problems in life, it is certainly important to accentuate the positive. Seeing how many things go “wrong”, we can draw a degree of strength by seeing how many things are going “right” – from “counting our blessings” and giving thanks for them to the Lord.

But, do we really understand what our blessings are?

The Lord does not see things as we see them. We may think that wealth and comfort are blessings, but indeed, only with God can these things be blessings. Too often, we have these things without His close involvement in our lives, and they become traps for us. Complacent, we stop doing His work or considering His ways and, though there is a great spiritual struggle ongoing, we are no longer taking part in it. Often, wealth and comfort are the rewards of this world from the one whom we allow to rule this world, and these rewards are for being on the wrong side of the entire issue.

Christ advised us that we must take up our crosses and follow Him; He told us that in this world, we would have tribulation, but to be of good cheer, since He had overcome this world. When being interrogated by Pilate, Christ confirmed that He is indeed a King, but then pointed out that His Kingdom is not of this world.

If you do not recall the Biblical passages to which I refer in the previous paragraph, perhaps it has been too long since you last read your Bible.

In ancient Eastern philosophy, the question arises as to which is more dangerous, success or failure. It is pointed out that whether one goes up the ladder or down it, one’s position is shaky; to properly ascend, one must keep both feet firmly on the ground.

Translated, this means that Earthly success is only safe for us when it is firmly rooted in Christ. Otherwise, we can ascend the ladder, but our position is shaky; the higher we get, the greater the potential for damage from a fall, and the more intoxicated we may become with the heights, making such a fall more likely. To be sure, this fall may not occur in this life, but does that possibility not make a fall even more dangerous, since it would then occur in the next life?

As we give thanks to our Lord this Thanksgiving (and every day), we should pay particular attention to giving Him thanks for the trials and tribulations that we have in this world.

Sometimes, these trials and tribulations come to us as the just punishments for what we have done wrong. We need to accept these corrections from our Creator, because He corrects those whom He loves.

Christ was crucified between two criminals; one of them reviled Him, and told Him that if He is the Christ, He should come down from the cross and save Himself and them. Yet, the other criminal rebuked the first one, pointing out that the two of them were suffering justly because of their wrongdoings, but then, indicating Christ, affirmed that “this Man is innocent.” Then, turning to Christ, he confessed Him, and asked Him to remember him in His Kingdom.

And so, as we go through our trials and tribulations, we should be careful that we not revile Christ, nor kiss Him as Judas did, but rather, like the thief on the cross who rebuked the other, we should confess Him and ask Him to remember us in His Kingdom.

When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, and then heard the Lord approaching, Adam hid in the bushes. And the Lord asked Adam where he was.

It is important to consider this carefully. Wasn’t this God? Didn’t He know where Adam was? Why would He have to ask?

The question was not for the Lord’s own edification, as He obviously knew exactly where Adam was and what Adam had done. Rather, the question was for Adam to ponder: Adam, where are you, and what have you done? Adam, are you helping matters by hiding from the Lord, Who is the only One Who can truly save you?

We all make mistakes; we all fall short. We are all sinners, unworthy of the gifts which God has so richly bestowed upon us. Yet, Christ assures us that God has created a place for us with Him in His Kingdom, and that it is His good pleasure to give us this Kingdom.

Therefore, no matter how far from the Lord we wander, and no matter what evil things we have done, we should approach Him with confidence. He knows exactly where we are, He knows the danger we are in, He knows how we have goofed things up… indeed, He knows these things far better than we do. Yet, it is His good pleasure to work with us to fix things. We just need to step out from behind that bush and say to the Lord, “Here I am!” Though we are unworthy, all we need is for Him to say the Word; and that Word has existed since before time even began.

And, if this is what is in store for us as sinners when we approach the Lord, how much more thankful should we be when we suffer tribulations in this life though we have given those who try us no cause. Indeed, as the thief on the cross who confessed Christ said, “This Man is innocent.” Thus, if we suffer though we are relatively innocent, then to the extent that we suffer as innocents, we are sharing in Christ’s suffering, so our thanks for such trials and tribulations should be even greater. And make no mistake about it: suffering for us as relative innocents is also just, since at one point or another we have all shared in crucifying Christ.

So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving today, we should make sure we jump out from behind the bush where we are hiding and say to the Lord, “Here I am! Thank You for everything!”

In fact, we should probably get into the habit of doing this every day, and even every moment, because in so doing, we may find ourselves taking root in Christ, being elevated to heights which are far loftier than we can imagine, yet which are not dangerously intoxicating.

In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Beliefs that are True, Worship that is Correct

The word “orthodox” is a combination of two Greek words: orthos, which means “correct”, “true” or “right”, and doxa, which means “think” or “believe”, or “glory”, “glorification” – thus “worship”. So, “orthodox” means 1) “true belief”, and 2) “correct worship”.

The Orthodox faith has been handed down from the original disciples, the twelve who followed Christ and who were sent out as apostles by Him.

At first, the early Christians had no “Bible”. All the early Christians had was the body of teachings from Christ, and the tenets of the older Jewish faith. Christ chose His apostles and sent them out into the world to preach His teachings; these apostles passed on what they had learned when they were with Him, which was a key element of Holy Tradition. As Christ promised, He sent the Holy Spirit to His church to teach His followers the truth. This Holy Spirit guided the church leaders as they established this Holy Tradition, ensuring that their faith continued as the true and correct belief, the right way to glorify and worship God.

As years passed, church leaders sent letters to various congregations, and those who had been with Christ put their recollections of the events surrounding Christ’s birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection to writing. However, there was no centralized collection of these letters and writings; local church leaders were left on their own to consider the authenticity of each purported epistle or gospel. Eventually, representatives of the Church gathered together and considered the various letters and writings, and, basing their consideration on Holy Tradition and guided by the Holy Spirit, chose those they considered to be authoritative. This collection became what we call the New Testament which, together with a collection of Jewish holy scriptures, became our Holy Bible.

Later, the Jews saw that Christianity, which was based on Judaism, had a collection of Jewish holy scripture, and decided it was time they organized their own scriptures. Whereas the Christian church included books in what it called the Old Testament that were originally found only in Aramaic or Greek, the Jews decided to exclude any book which could not be found in Hebrew. Over a millenium later, as the Protestants were deciding which books they considered for their version of the Bible, Protestant leaders decided to use for the Protestant Old Testament only those books that could be found in ancient Hebrew, like the Jews had done; however, the Orthodox Bible has more books than the Protestant Bible, and those books are in a slightly different order.

An illustration of the Holy Spirit bringing the true, correct belief to someone by means of Holy Tradition can be found in Acts 8:26-8:40. Philip was traveling and, moved by the Holy Spirit, he caught up with an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked the man if he understood what he was reading, and the man replied, asking how he could unless he had someone to guide him. Beginning here, Philip, steeped in Holy Tradition, preached to the man Christ and Him crucified. Seeing water, the man asked what would prohibit him from being baptized, and, as Philip baptized him, the man confessed Christ.

There are groups that believe one should attend a “Bible-based church”, but this can be problematic. Without the Holy Spirit to guide one, without Holy Tradition as a reference point, a Bible by itself is no guarantee of infallibility. Indeed, Christ has an opposite number; the devil knows the scriptures, and, given an opportunity, can lead people of good intentions into witch hunts and inquisitions.

There is only one foundation – one base – upon which we can build with confidence, and that foundation is Christ Himself. Building upon this foundation, guided by the Holy Spirit, with reference to the Holy Traditions passed down through Apostolic Succession (which itself was guided by the Holy Spirit and referenced Holy Traditions), and utilizing Holy Scripture, one can be sure that what one builds will endure.

Christ as the Foundation, the Holy Spirit to guide, referencing Holy Traditions and utilizing Holy Scripture: this is the way to believe what is true; this is the correct way to glorify God.

In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

(Slightly modified from a previous post in Facebook.)

You Will Struggle – But Why and For What?

Found on social media…

It’s not just the ANC, not just South Africa; this is how government works, and America’s founders understood this fact.

Just think about the absolute monarchy that was France in the mid-Eighteenth Century, at the time of America’s founding. Even if the famous saying of Louis XIV (1638-1715), “L’Etat, c’est moi” (“I am the State”), is apocryphal, the attitude most certainly was both authentic and widely-held among the ruling classes. Even as late as the early Twentieth Century, Russia remained an absolute monarchy.

America’s founders really understood both government and human nature. That’s why they gave us such an inefficient government, with power limited, balanced and checked. That’s why they codified our rights in our Constitution, after having first explained in our Declaration of Independence that these rights are OURS, given to us by our Creator, and that it is WE who give power to the government, not a government who empowers us.

Government power grows at the expense of people.

The English-speaking world struggled over the course of centuries to take power away from monarchs and put it in the hands of people; the American Revolution was a natural consequence of this. Before our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, there had been in the English-speaking world the Magna Carta Libertatum (1215), the Petition of Right (1628) and the English Bill of Rights (1689). The American Revolution happened exactly because the colonies were English-speaking, and there had been this centuries-old tradition of people fighting to be treated as citizens, and not as subjects or serfs: the American Revolution did not happen in the Spanish-speaking world; it came before and was very different from the French Revolution.

And after America was established, it wasn’t finished; we still had to fight to end slavery, enfranchise women….

Bear in mind, the fight to end slavery almost destroyed our nation, and in the event, keeping the country together while ending slavery cost America very dearly. When is America going to pay reparations for slavery? We already did: well over half a million men died in combat to end that terrible institution, not to mention all those wounded, the families and communities destroyed, lives ruined. But their sacrifice was most certainly not in vain, because since the first shots were fired at Lexington in 1775, Americans have led the way in freeing themselves and each other, and the whole world, from the brutal yoke of the tyrant.

Don’t take my word for it; ask the victims of German Nazi and Japanese Militarist aggression: in just a few short years, just those two countries managed to enslave most of Europe and much of Asia and the Western Pacific. Many, including the English-speaking world, resisted bravely, but it was when Japan foolishly and treacherously motivated the great Bald Eagle to leave her nest that their days truly became numbered. Imperialists took comfort women and destroyed Nanking, Nazis took European capitals and established death camps – and they called this war, celebrating a “victory” at Pearl Harbor. But when we Americans wage war, we wage the real thing: Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan were both left in ruins, while the war finally ended with Japanese officials agreeing to their own unconditional surrender aboard an American battleship at anchor in the bay of their own capital city, which itself was thoroughly bombed-out.

America is not perfect; far from it. Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and people are only human; we are not perfect, and neither is the government we establish.

Far better to live in imperfect freedom, with an imperfect government that we establish to safeguard our rights, than to live in perfect tyranny with promises that a perfect society is just over the horizon.

That’s why, as I write this, there is a caravan of thousands walking toward the American border. They would rather cross over here without our permission and live illegally in this imperfect nation, than to remain where they are, in abject and dismal poverty, oppressed by corrupt governments and criminal gangs – but with their presence under those conditions perfectly lawful.

Make no mistake about it: The struggle for freedom is still not over; liberty in America is not Revolutionary, as much as it is Evolutionary.

But the way human society works is that power gets concentrated in the hands of a controlling few.

People must inform themselves and be actively vigilant to further the evolution of freedom and prevent that from happening.

If you don’t stay abreast of what is going on, if you say and do nothing when you have a concern, then you will naturally gravitate toward oppression – call it socialism, call it slavery, the result is the same: those in power will take charge of housing, feeding, clothing and educating you, and will organize your work; your house will be a prison, even though you may have voted for it and you may even find it comfortable.

To be free, you must struggle every day.

And you will struggle every day; the choice is yours whether you struggle to be free, or whether you struggle under the yoke of socialism, slavery or some other fancy word that still means one thing: tyrannical oppression, the embodiment of Hell manifesting itself in this Earthly realm.

Impressions of South Africa

I had first heard via talk radio that things weren’t going so well in South Africa. This was about four years ago.

This past summer, I heard a little more about the Farm Attacks, and became very concerned. As I started looking into it myself, I noticed that when you pull on one thread, sometimes it is an entire garment that unravels; this was very apparent with South Africa.

In this post, I do not provide links. I highly encourage you to do your own research, and to THINK FOR YOURSELF about what you find.

These are my impressions. They are based on information derived from a variety of sources:

1) official reports by
a) the South African government,
b) other national governments,
c) supranational organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union, and
d) non-governmental organizations (some of which meet in conjunction with government officials);
2) news articles from many different sources, in many different countries, and from many different perspectives;
3) podcast and talk radio segments from diverse sources;
4) emails, direct/personal messages on social media, discussions in forums and on social media (both public and in closed groups); and
5) others.

People with whom I have interacted privately include government and law enforcement officials, members of civil society and academia, and citizens, not only from South Africa, but from neighboring countries, as well, and people from around the world who have something to add.

So, here’s what I have come up with.

First and foremost:

1) Americans do not need to lecture or save the people of South Africa, or anyone else, for that matter. Instead, we need to partner with them and learn from each other.

2) The basic premise (quoted in my last post) upon which America is founded is very sound indeed:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

This should be a model for all people everywhere; when I say we should learn from each other, I think this is something America has to offer.

3) Farm Attacks are a real phenomenon, and are distinct from ordinary crime (which is incredibly high in South Africa).

Farm Attacks started out as a means by which the ANC’s military (terrorist) wing put pressure on the Apartheid government. After the end of Apartheid, the attacks continued. It got to the point where Nelson Mandela, who by this time was the President of post-Apartheid South Africa, prioritized Farm Attacks and rural security. But later, things changed.

A special rural police group, known as the Commando system, had been reasonably effective in addressing rural security. This system had historical origins going back a long way. In part because of this history, it was disbanded. But, the disbandment occurred despite recommendations by experts that the Commando system not be disbanded, at least not until something else was ready to take its place. Furthermore, Farm Attacks were not only deprioritized, but stopped being considered as a separate category of crime; instead, they were mixed in with other crime in aggregated statistics. This had the result that they could not so easily be distinguished from the high crime rate that characterizes South Africa. And, let’s be clear: on average, South Africa ranks just below most of the world’s war zones for a rate of violent deaths (homicides, murders), but some jurisdictions within South Africa, taken by themselves, rank higher – much higher, many times higher!

The disbandment of rural security, the deprioritization of the crimes, the aggregation of the statistics… it all looks like a pattern of conduct, a deliberate policy of the government to push commercial farmers (predominantly those of European descent) off their land, possibly via proxy, while maintaining plausible deniability.

So, murderous Farm Attacks, with gratuitous violence and torture, appear to have the implicit nod of consent of the government.

At this point, I really started digging. I mean, I began digging like a dog in his backyard when he thinks he smells something good: sniff, sniff, sniff, dig, dig, dig… run around with a wagging tail… sniff, sniff, sniff, dig, dig, dig… occasionally stop to wet on something.

Here’s what I came up with, in no particular order – and some of it may seem pretty far afield from the Farm Attacks (but I have stopped believing in coincidences):

Crime: South Africa is a crime capital. It has long had a high crime rate. Its violent death rate ranks it just under Afghanistan (a war zone), but some parts of South Africa, especially certain urban districts, have murder rates (and rape rates) that make Afghanistan look tame by comparison. Corruption is rampant there. South Africa also is a world leader for economic crime (I never would have imagined that). On top of that, the infrastructure is under attack; gangs of thieves brazenly steal critical components from electric power and water utilities, from commuter train rail networks… the stolen items, including ferrous metals and copper, get sold as scrap, and employees on the commuter lines face armed robbery and murder on the job, even though protected by security guards!

Government officials in some localities pointed out that this is an attack on the very fabric of society. Local governments could collapse under the pressure and, if that happens enough, South Africa could become a failed state. The more information I get on crime and related topics, the more I think this is a very real concern; it is not overstated, nor is it sensationalism.

South African Police: Cops in South Africa are getting killed in the line of duty at a very high rate. It’s bad; they can’t even protect themselves. Also, the suicide rate among the South African Police Service (SAPS) is more than 70 times the South African average. Law enforcement there face well-equipped, murderous syndicates and cartels; often, the police are outgunned and outequipped. Also, some of the criminal gangs have gunmen who are remarkably well-trained, while SAPS equipment is sometimes never procured, or is procured but disappears, due to corruption. Bravery alone does not level the playing field; no offense to SAPS, but in many cases, they can only hope to win by outnumbering the bad guys. On top of that, there are serious corruption problems within South African law enforcement. Criminal gangs sometimes have very good intelligence on police operations. Some cops sell out; it’s that, or get murdered brutally without making a difference (and their family is threatened, too). Some cops are exhausted; others are lazy. For the honest, brave cops, risking their lives to do their jobs, they have insult added on top of injury by being lumped in with the bad cops. No wonder there is PTSD and a high suicide rate!

Heroin: South Africa has become a major transshipment point for heroin from Afghanistan on its way to Europe (and elsewhere). Since 2001, poppy production in Afghanistan has gone up. It used to be that the poppies were shipped elsewhere for refining into heroin. Now, though, the refining occurs in Afghanistan, and product quality is very good. Movement used to be via the Balkans to Europe. However, with increased policing along that route, traffickers now also ship it to the coast of Pakistan or Iran, and from there load it onto seagoing vessels, often dhows. These take the drugs to Africa’s east coast. Increasingly, the heroin is moved down to the southern part of Africa, often unloaded at small ports on offshore islands, or onto small boats that take it in to the coast. From there, it goes along the road network – and South Africa has a good road network – and later gets transshipped to Europe. South Africa also has excellent commercial ties to all destinations where they might want to send the heroin; and, there is good financial infrastructure to move the money around. Finally, the rampant corruption allows drug traffickers to operate comfortably.

Also, keep in mind that as heroin gets trafficked through some place, it becomes available in that place for a lower cost, due to availability. For example, there is leakage: a trafficker pays a corrupt official with product instead of money. The result is that addiction goes up. Understand, addicts get money to buy their drugs through street crime. So, robbery, burglary, carjacking, mugging… it all goes up as addicts are desperate to get their fix. And, in South Africa, heroin is mixed with other drugs; different communities each have their own concoction, all known by different names – many in civil society do not realize they are facing the same problem.

Rival gangs fight over trafficking routes and turfs for distribution; the murder and violent crime rate goes up and foreign gangs move in. Even decent, honest criminals have trouble making ends meet; there goes the neighborhood.

Socialism: A socialistic government responds to society problems by taxes in order to provide services. Those who produce get taxed; those who don’t get subsidized. There is a net movement from working and producing to taking government hand-outs. Much of the money disappears into the pockets of dirty politicians; corruption is an additional tax that everyone pays, and it’s a hefty tax in South Africa.

Demagoguery: People seeking political power look for scapegoats to blame. They blame foreigners for the crime; xenophobia kicks in, and many good, honest people, who are actually working and contributing, get victimized. (The drug dealers have guys with guns protecting them, and have paid off the police and important politicians; they are only in danger from rival gangs.) This is where the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) come in; they (together with many in the ruling African National Congress) blame South Africans of European descent, seeking to murder the Boer, Afrikaner and others and take their property.

Proxies: Let’s not forget the ruling ANC had Julius Malema as the head of its youth league, and knew of how he used to sing “Shoot the Boer”. Despite this, they decided to give Malema and the ANCYL military training at South African military installations. (Recall, the Nazis and communists have all enjoyed providing military training to their youth organizations.) Later, Malema takes these guys and forms his own political party; as I said before, I have stopped believing in coincidences.

Economy: Of course, they also threaten to nationalize foreign businesses. All of this creates political chaos which, in turn, is very bad for the investment that South Africa needs to get its economy going. And, anyone doing business in South Africa has to consider the added costs of security. After all, though businesses pay taxes, the police can’t protect them. Indeed, the tax money that does not get stolen may wind up getting spent on equipping the people who are going to take their business away from them if the next couple of elections go the wrong way. The hashtag #InvestSA – not even! Another hashtag #MeetSouthAfrica – tourists are getting targeted now, too, by criminals.

Meanwhile, poor people are trying to make ends meet. One relic left over from Apartheid is that often, blacks live in places that are quite a distance from the places where they work. So, they have to commute. They do this from a dangerous neighborhood, to a dangerous place, and going through dangerous places on their way. Remember, too, the issues with the commuter trains – sometimes, people lose their jobs because they can’t get to work because someone stole a key part of their means of transportation. And, while they are away, their families are in this neighborhood full of drugs and street crime.

On top of that, the Farm Attacks have driven many South African farmers out of business; others are paying a great deal for better security. All this results in rising food costs (on top of rising fuel costs, etc.) which the poor in South Africa can least afford.

The commercial farmers do have a network trying to call attention to their situation; who is helping these poor black people dealing with the crime in their communities, the dangers and uncertainties of their commute to work, and so on? Google “South Africa squatters camps” and odds are you will see pictures of the many white people who are now one very small step away from being homeless (maybe they’re already there); but, remember, blacks are suffering terribly, too, and there are camps full of them, as well – more than 5 million of them, that is 385 blacks for every white, living in “informal dwellings”.

Mineral resources: Though down from its peak, South Africa still produces diamonds, and is the world’s fifth largest producer of gold; also, it is the world’s third largest exporter of coal, and is the world’s largest producer of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium and vermiculite. China is South Africa’s major trading partner, and is the world’s largest consumer of iron ore; South Africa is China’s third biggest supplier. There are some offshore oil reserves, and potential for non-conventional production of oil and gas ashore. There’s a whole laundry list of important minerals in South Africa’s geologically rich land.

Genocide: Some blacks seem to think whites are cry-babies for talking about “white genocide”, and, given what blacks are going through in South Africa, it is very understandable. But, it is a fact experts have shown that six of ten stages of genocide against whites (and against some groups of blacks) have been largely fulfilled, with elements of and spikes into the other four. Some say white genocide is already happening, while I say it is not, but this is a question of naming it: basically, they say the glass is half full (more than 60% full, actually), while I point out that the glass is (somewhat less than) half empty. In situations like this, one must err on the side of caution; it is WRONG to wait until the genocide occurs to REACT – instead, the world must be PROACTIVE to PREVENT it.

In this context, let me explain: most blacks want nothing to do with genocidal attacks on whites. But, remember, all these good people are struggling just to survive – in a country with an outrageous crime rate, and where the police, as it is right now, cannot effectively protect themselves. Should there be a genocidal outbreak, do we really believe all the good people together with the cops will suddenly be effective to stop it? Or, is it more likely they will be even more in defense mode, just trying to protect themselves and their families and communities?

If one argues that there is a slow-motion genocide and ethnic cleansing – not of all of South Africa, but of the rural and commercial farming areas – then the evidence supports that. Indeed, as high as the murder rate there is, the rate of killings of police in the line of duty is quite a bit higher, and the rate of killings of white farmers is higher yet – it is a very clear spike, if you can disaggregate the statistics.

(Never mind the terrible torture inflicted on the farmers.)

South Africa has Africa’s second largest and most developed economy, an incredibly important player on the world scene. What happens as all these problems worsen, and drive the nation further into chaos? Such a large supplier of so many important minerals, sitting astride such important shipping lanes… you think Somalia caused problems when it became a failed state, just you wait until the Republic of South Africa collapses.

Oh, speaking of Somalia… wait a minute! Did I mention Islamic terrorists? I didn’t??

Militant Islamic extremists are sowing terror in Mozambique, immediately to South Africa’s north along the Indian Ocean coast… you know, right there, where the little boats bring the heroin in?

Did I mention terrorist links to heroin? Terrorist groups fund their activities through organized crime (and other means), and heroin trafficking is particularly liked: it destroys the infidel world from within, while providing money for holy war. Where there is Afghan heroin being trafficked, there are profits that can be traced back to Islamic terrorist groups. And the amount of heroin flowing along the Southern Route, through South Africa, is truly amazing, though we don’t see most of it.

By the way, just south along the coast from Mozambique is… the South African port city of Durban, where, earlier today (October 24, 2018), a terrorist bomb plot was publicly linked – in court – to the Islamic State.

Potential famine, genocide that could flare up, possible state collapse… with Islamic terrorists ready to make South Africa the next Islamic State.

And, if America does get dragged into it, bear in mind: Communist China recently sold its HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system to Zimbabwe, a landlocked country bordering both South Africa and Mozambique (and through which some of that heroin moves). China has sold a great deal of other weapons to Zimbabwe, too, and now is reported to be establishing a military base there.

What is the HQ-9? It’s kind of like a poor-man’s Patriot. And, there is no one in that part of Africa that Zimbabwe would need the HQ-9 to defend against, except possibly South Africa… or a Western intervention in the region.

But, don’t believe me… do your own research.

Property and Rights

In America, we make an issue about our rights.

Our Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

We do not believe that our rights come from government.

We believe that our rights are something we have, just because we exist, and that the reason we form governments is to protect these rights and ensure we can exercise them.

As such, our First Amendment guarantees some of these rights.

Let this be very clear.

Our First Amendment does not “give” us these rights; they are ours because we exist.

Our First Amendment merely codifies them; it states them as something that we are instructing our government to guarantee and protect.

The First Amendment begins with this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…

Before we go over the rights, let’s consider the phrase “Congress shall make no law”.

Our Constitution divides our government into three branches: 1) a Legislative, “Congress”, that makes laws; 2) an Executive, headed by a President, that enforces or executes the laws; and 3) a Judiciary, headed by a Supreme Court, that interprets the laws.

The logic was simple: If Congress makes no law, then there is no law for the Executive to enforce or for the Judiciary to interpret.

Also, as this was written when America was young, most of the new states already had fundamental laws of their own, and these fundamental laws tended to guarantee the same things that our Bill of Rights was written to guarantee. Thus, the restriction was placed on the federal government, because it was generally accepted that the state governments already had restrictions on their conduct that were adequate in the eyes of their citizens.

So, let’s begin with this first right, “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

We think that this, if properly understood and followed, is adequate to protect our religious rights, so we can practice our religion freely, or not practice a religion; and, not have government force a religion on us.

But, it is not.

Intricately entwined in this are our property rights.

Suppose, for example, you have this First Amendment as a fundamental law (as we in America do), but you have no right to own private property.

With no private property…where’s your church?

If you think the government will provide you a church, does that not mean “establishment of religion”?

Where’s your Bible?

Similarly, if you think the government will provide you a Bible, does that not mean “establishment of religion”?

If you are not allowed to own private property, then you have no place of worship and no holy book, and if the government endeavors to provide you with these things, then the government is in fact telling you what to believe and how to believe it.

Implicit in this freedom of religion is the right to private property: you must be able to have a church, mosque, synagogue, temple or other place of worship; this place must be owned privately, by yourself or a group of people, and not by the government; and, similarly, you must be able to have, possess and enjoy any documents that you find necessary to your belief.

Implicit in this is yet another First Amendment freedom, the right to peaceably assemble. Assembled, you do not have to petition the government for a redress of grievances; but you must be able to assemble a body of people. This right serves not only as a check on government, but as a fundamental part of enjoying your freedom. How can you worship in a community of believers if you cannot peaceably assemble? Or, for that matter, how can you enjoy a day at the beach with your family, or a picnic, or a baseball game, or a show in a theater, if you are not permitted to assemble peaceably in a group?

But, we have gotten away from our property rights.

Or, have we?

How can you enjoy a picnic if there is no private property where you can have it, and if the government decides it will not provide public property for that use?

But, back to our property rights: “or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….”

At the time this was written, free speech was not just written; people put their thoughts in writing, and distributed them on handbills – flyers that they could pass around. This allowed contact with people across time and space. Similarly, there was the “press” – newspapers produced on printing presses.

If, at the time, the government did not permit printing presses to be privately owned, would people have had this freedom?

Under such circumstances, would the government be required to print whatever a citizen asked? And, if so, who would pay for it? And, who would guarantee that the bureaucrat running the press didn’t set one order aside and prioritize another, based on personal preference, or based on instructions from a superior? Would you demand another bureaucrat to supervise the guy running the press? You would then need yet another one to supervise that one. And so on. And, all this costs more money.

Fast forward to today: free speech and a free press now basically require access to a computer, a printer, a photocopier, the internet… and if you demand the government provide these things for you, then you incur extra cost and uncertainty in your access, while if you allow the government to restrict private ownership of these things, then you allow government to restrict your exercise of your fundamental rights.

Here’s another look at this.

If you don’t have access to your computer, printer, photocopier… how can you produce and distribute material about your religious beliefs? If you don’t have freedom of speech, how can you discuss, debate and share your religious beliefs? How can you worship if you are not allowed preach or sing the praise of your Creator?

And, if you don’t have freedom of speech and of the press, does it really matter if you have a computer, printer and photocopier?

These rights are all intertwined; they are not mutually exclusive, but rather, they are mutually interdependent.

And the right to private property is fundamental to all of them.

The reality is that there are an infinite number of rights that are all intertwined. To begin to name a few, we immediately leave others out. So, we name the others, but find there are still more we have left out:

I have a right to sit in my car.

Wait a minute; I have a right to own a car!

I have a right to drink a soft drink.

Wait a minute; I have a right to have a soft drink, so I may drink it – or for some other purpose.

I have a right to drink my soft drink while I am sitting in my car.

I also have a right to sit in my car, and NOT drink the soft drink that I have.

There are an infinite number of rights that we have; the more we try to say what they are, the more we leave out.

So, we do not try to say what they all are.

Rather, we have the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

We do not have to justify what right we have or why we want to enjoy it. We have it because our Creator gave it to us, and it is between us and our Creator whether and how we enjoy it.

And, most emphatically, to enjoy these rights, we also have a right to private property: we may accumulate possessions and enjoy them in a peaceful manner, as we see fit.

Government’s job, with our consent, is to secure these rights for ourselves and our posterity; nothing more.

South Africa Farm Attacks: The Hashtags of It All

Let’s start at the #beginning…

Let’s #meetSouthAfrica. #SouthAfrica is where this situation with attacks on #farms is occurring.

You will see the #hashtags #FarmAttack and #FarmAttacks. Often, the singular will be found with information about a new incident, while the plural refers more to the attacks taken as a whole. I generally use the plural, because I’m looking at the big picture, the patterns. But, quite often, you see them both together.

(Of course, the hashtag #SouthAfricaFarmers is used to call attention to both the “who” and the “where” of the story, but not to the “what”.)

In the same context, you will see #FarmMurder and #FarmMurders.

It should be noted that not every #FarmAttack results in a #FarmMurder. The attacks often have a #motive of #intimidation, as if the goal is to instill #fear in the #farmingcommunity and #terrorize them. As such, it is not uncommon that the #attackers simply get in close, open fire and shoot the place up, then leave quickly. Frequently, the attackers are not interested in #money or other #valuables, though they generally are interested in any #weapons they can procure during the attack. Of course, acquisition of money and valuables does occur – there are times when attackers get away with the equivalent of less than 10 USD.

We need to keep in mind that there are very persistent reports that attackers are well-organized, well-equipped… the attackers have a #surveillance #network, they have a #communications #network… they know when the #farmers will be home, and when the farmers are vulnerable. The attackers have been known to arrive with #cellphone jamming equipment. And, regarding training and capability, the attackers have been known to recover the spent shell casings before running off into the countryside to rendezvous with transportation.

This suggests military-style training, and equipment that would be impressive even in criminal operations in Europe or North America.

And, such a system cannot be supported by either leaving the money and valuables behind, or by making off with less than ten dollars.

In other words, this is not a self-supporting operation; it is not #profitable.

Somebody is allocating resources – from a deep and well-connected pocket – to make this happen.

Attackers brag that they are connected to #corrupt #government #officials and to organized crime; they will not suffer #punishment.

And, sure enough, they sometimes do not get caught, even when encountered by #police. And, farmers who have successfully defended themselves have been known to be prosecuted for their actions! Somebody is paying #protection money, and it’s obviously not the farmers through their #taxes.

There are patterns underlying these farm attacks that suggest an ulterior motive, which includes terrorizing the farmers off the land; the patterns suggest #FarmAttacks in #SouthAfrica are perpetrated either by a government-sponsored #militia or by organized crime.

Whatever the #intent of the attacks, the result is that many white farmers are leaving. After generations on the land, they now feel that to protect their families, they must move on and do something else. So, regardless of the intent, the reality is #EthnicCleansing of the rural farm communities, since it is mainly white people who are leaving under pressure of the attacks.

#Farming anywhere is a challenging #business. It is hard work, and it requires not just #knowledge, but also #experience. Making a #profit can be difficult, even under ideal circumstances. When you are having to spend your resources on #security, #costs go up, and so the price of the farm products goes up, as well, to pay for increased #overhead.

This impacts the #SouthAfrican #economy. Food prices go up. For rich people, that’s not a problem – they have money. But for people struggling to get by, that’s a real problem!

It is worth taking into account that one-fourth of South Africans are unemployed, getting by on the equivalent of 1.25 USD a day. Many blacks are dealing with the fallout from #Apartheid. The communities they live in are a long #commute from the places where they work; the #FuelPriceHike is making it more expensive to commute those long distances. So, just getting by and raising a #family is difficult; nevermind that their country has become a #MurderCapital. They certainly don’t need #inflation of #FoodPrices, which adds #FoodSecurity to the list of concerns they now have.

If long-established #farmers are driven out of business, could this result in #famine or a #refugee #crisis?

If so, this would destabilize not just the country, but the region.

Keep in mind that South Africa is at the tip of #Africa – astride important #ShippingLanes between the #IndianOcean and #Atlantic. Trouble in #Somalia, #Yemen or #Eritrea (and there are problems in all those places!) could cause shipping through the #RedSea to be diverted around #SouthernAfrica instead. Similarly, trouble in #Egypt could close the #SuezCanal, thereby sending #shipping, including #oil from the #MiddleEast and #PersianGulf, around Africa. Under these circumstances, control of South Africa would be important.

We won’t even get into the #mineral resources that South Africa has, which include, but are certainly not limited to, #gold, #coal, #diamonds. Of course, its #MineralResources go far beyond that, and are needed by nearly all the world’s #IndustrialPowers.

Back to the de facto #EthnicCleansing… the situation in South Africa is generally accepted to be on stage 6 of the 10 stages of #genocide, although elements of the next four stages are also present. While I think cries of genocide and #WhiteGenocide are #alarmist and perhaps counterproductive – as it appears people are crying “wolf” – the fact remains that the people who are saying this actually believe they are seeing it happen, and have dead bodies to prove it. (Politicians singing “#KillTheBoer” is one of those stages, by the way.)

The victims of the #FarmMurders aside, #FarmAttacks are characterized by gratuitous, brutal #violence. #Torture is supposed to be outlawed by civilized nations, but it is routinely used in these attacks. And if you look at accounts of #BoerTestimony, you will see that “torture” is almost an #understatement.

By the way – do you actually know who the #Boer are?

And, as I have said: if someone can get away with torturing and killing and driving these people (or anyone else, for that matter) off their land in this day and age, then no one is safe. So, from that perspective, we all have a horse in this race; we are all #BoerNow.

So, welcome to the world of #hashtagging the farm attacks in South Africa!

South Africa Farm Attacks – Link to Heroin Trafficking?

The first part of this is background information, and is presented “as is”. I am not providing links to any references or sources; feel free to look it up on your own. If you have something to add, or if you really can’t find something, please leave a comment. : )

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Opiates – heroin – come from Afghanistan these days. In recent decades, very nearly all the world’s production of heroin is centered in Afghanistan.

In the past, poppies were cultivated in this region, but refining into heroin had occurred elsewhere. In recent decades, though, the refining has been done increasingly on-site in Afghanistan.

Today, high-quality refined heroin leaves Afghanistan via three main routes for Europe. The least used of these is called the “Southern Route” and begins by running from producing areas to the coast of Pakistan or Iran. From there, heroin is loaded aboard various kinds of ships, but especially aboard dhows, to cross the Indian Ocean.

Much of that heroin goes to Africa, and most of that ultimately is for transshipment to Europe.

The product has generally gone ashore into East Africa. The dhows dock at small islands, or unload their product onto smaller boats at sea, in order to avoid detection in larger ports.

Often, though, the dhows go farther south…

South Africa has many benefits for traffickers: there is good infrastructure, both physical (roads, etc) and financial; and, as the most developed and second largest economy in Africa, there are plenty of connections to the larger global economy. Another important benefit is the increasing corruption of the ruling ANC, which creates an environment conducive to large-scale illegal activities.

Sometimes the product is brought in, perhaps hidden in shipping containers, to ports such as Durban and Cape Town. More frequently, though, the heroin is unloaded into Mozambique, and broken down into smaller shipments to be sent on. From Mozambique, it may go by road to Zimbabwe, perhaps even continuing on to Botswana. From Botswana, it generally crosses the border into South Africa, then is moved along South Africa’s road network. For example, one route takes it down the N18, then the N14, then the N10, and across the border into Namibia, from where it eventually finds its way northward to the markets in Europe.

Along routes where narcotics are moved, the drugs become less expensive due to their increased availability. Increased availability and decreased cost together result in increased use. To get money for their drugs, drug users resort to street crime, so there will also be a rise in thefts, robberies, car jackings, home invasions and so on. So, wherever drugs are trafficked, there is a rise in drug use and in crime incidental to the drug use.

Also, drug-trafficking organizations employ armed… uh, “security”. : ) Loyalty is important, but so is expertise and ability.

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With these thoughts in mind, let’s consider some excerpts from An Investigation of the Motivational Factors for Farm Attacks and Its Consequential Injurious Phenomena, an MA dissertation by Gumbi Mduduzi Godling Cristopher at the University of Limpopo:

One hundred (100%) per cent of the respondents stated that attacks which occurred on their farm were well-planned.

All of the surviving victims mentioned that the attacks are linked with a crime syndicate, with the chief aim of robbing farmers off their money, valuables and weapons in order to fund their organization.

The fact that perpetrators come from Gauteng, gets picked up after an attack, communicates about the possible cash to be taken (intelligence gathering) as well as the laying out of signs strongly indicate a collaboration that can be described as organised crime.

Seventy-eight (78%) percent of the respondents who reported attacks on their farm are a form of intimidation, aimed to drive farmers off their land. Respondent four stated that farm attacks are not motivated by land claims; but by intimidation to make farmers leave their land even if there are no claims on the farm.

Respondents mentioned that attacks are attributed to an organised crime syndicate which attacks farmers for their weapons and money or simply to kill them. The precision of attacks such as knowing the best time to attack, cleaning the crime scene (picking up cartridges) and weapons handling skills indicate some form of training, prior planning from the attackers such as surveying the property and the farmers’ routine activities are all characteristics of military reconnaissance.

One hundred percent (100%) of the respondents reported that their daily movements or routine activities contributed to the attacks. All the respondents stated that attackers do a survey of the farm to determine the probabilities of executing the attack successfully.

The researcher cannot reach a conclusion that renting or owning a farm is a motivational factor of the perpetrators to attack. What is clear is that attacks are often violent and in some instances victims have been shot at or killed on sight.

The researcher considers that disputes with labourers are not an ultimate contributing factor that determines the impetus to attack the farmer.

From the stolen items listed above the researcher concludes that attackers target farms because of their arsenal of weapons and for money and other valuables such as jewellery and cellular phones.

South Africa’s farm attacks constitute an organized, military-style campaign; this is a terroristic psyop. Its long-term goal is to terrorize the farmers off the land, whether the land belongs to the farmers or not.

The description of the attacks matches what we would expect if a drug trafficking organization (DTO) were behind it.

But why would a DTO do this? Wouldn’t it make more sense to try to slip the drugs through without calling attention to the operation?

The description also matches what we would expect if a government-sponsored paramilitary group were behind it.

It is clear that this kind of thing does not happen over an extended period of time on the territory of a reasonably stable and functioning country without the national government being aware of it through national and police intelligence sources.

A DTO operating with the de facto consent of corrupt politicians in key positions of power in government would exactly match the description of the farm attackers from the report excerpts above.

This is especially true if you factor in similar attacks on black victims who are too poor, and in many cases too illiterate, to draw attention to their plight.

Is a DTO establishing control over places within South Africa for retail distribution of heroin, together with control over more rural areas for use as safe houses and to warehouse their product? They presumably have the government paid off; but armed, rural farmers, with a mutual support network and over whom the government may have less influence, could cause a problem for trafficking of controlled substances either through the country or to retail markets within the country.

By the way… what happens when “state capture” is done by organized crime?

No matter how you slice it, it seems key people in the government of South Africa may now be involved in the heroin business.

South African Farm Attacks Constitute Ethnic Cleansing, Are Part of Bigger Problem

The topic of farm attacks in South Africa came to my attention a few years ago via talk radio, but this summer it came up again, and I started looking into the matter more deeply. I have dug through media reports from the US, South Africa, and elsewhere; I have looked at documentation from the South African and other governments, and from various non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), including some NGO’s based in South Africa and which meet in conjunction with South African government officials; and, I am in touch via social media and email with people in South Africa and with people who have connections to South Africa.

I am now far more concerned than ever.

The evidence I have reviewed strongly indicates that criminal gangs are deliberately targeting South African farmers of European descent for home invasions and armed robberies; the attacks are noteworthy for gratuitous violence, torture and murder far beyond anything necessary for simple robbery, or even for opportunistic sexual assault.

The criminal gangs seem to be exclusively perpetrators of African descent, but their victims are not exclusively of European descent; black South Africans are brutally assaulted and murdered simply for working on a farm that belongs to a white South African.

The racial aspect is noteworthy, mainly because the leaders of political groups have sought to foment racial discord by making statements and even singing Apartheid-era songs that call for attacks on South Africans of European descent, blaming them for the country’s woes. Such race- and ethnic-baiting has long been a tactic of militant extremist groups seeking political power, and recalls the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany in the wake of World War I.

South Africa has a diverse population which includes people of Asian (mainly Indian, but also Chinese and some Vietnamese) descent. Xenophobic attitudes have resulted in violence that has been described as “well-orchestrated” targeting these communities; many ethnic Chinese business owners have packed up and left, moving to other countries, and others are considering their options. There has also been a history of attacks against blacks who happen to not be from South Africa. In all cases, calls for ethnic violence went a long way towards creating the environment in which that violence then occurred.

It is my opinion that South Africa is now an ethnic powderkeg.

Specifically regarding the farm attacks in South Africa, the following facts are particularly noteworthy:
1) the government was made abundantly aware of this problem more than two decades ago as the situation began to develop, having been informed both through feedback from South African citizens, and through statistics kept by South African police;
2) the government decided, against the recommendations of groups formed to study the problem, to disband special rural police units that provided more adequate security to farm communities; and,
3) the government simultaneously directed the police to stop keeping statistics on farm-related attacks, making it difficult to distinguish a significant rise in these kinds of crimes from the background noise of a crime rate that was otherwise high but not as high.

It is my opinion that there is a pattern of conduct and that, in aggregate, the South African government is conducting ethnic-cleansing-by-proxy and is, through its actions, obfuscating this serious crime against humanity. I believe that, if allowed to continue, this could easily be sparked into outright genocide and that it will, under any circumstances, eventually result in a famine as farm production inevitably declines. It is my further opinion that, considering the mineral and economic resources at stake, and the potential for regional destabilization that could result from such a crisis affecting Africa’s most developed and second largest economy, there are serious long-term risks for America’s national security.