current affairs

Free speech versus the right to bear arms?

The Liberator 3D-printed hand gun

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents government passing laws prohibiting freedom of speech.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.

But what if they are in fact the same thing?

Cody Wilson is a self-styled American crypto-anarchist, free-market anarchist, and gun-rights activist. In 2012, he founded Defense Distributed, a non-profit organization that develops and publishes open source gun designs, so-called "wiki weapons", suitable for 3D printing and digital manufacture.

Reading into India's GDP growth

Growth in IT Revenue

Quite a bit of buzz today around the fact that India has overtaken the UK as the world's fifth largest economy.

India's GDP has clocked $2,94 trillion. The UK sits at $2,83 trillion followed by France at $2,71 trillion.

There's been a lot of grumbling from India's opposition Congress party who've pointed out that manufacturing has declined in its overall contribution to GDP (in spite of Prime Minister Modi's much-hyped "Make in India" campaign).

A plague on both your houses!

Locust

"And I miss you... Like the deserts miss the rain..." went the 90s track from Everything But The Girl.

Desert rains also bring chaos. An abundance of rain leads to an abundance of foliage, which encourages breeding of locusts.

These have wreaked havoc around the Horn of Africa.

A "small" swarm contains about 40 million insects, and they can eat as much food in a day as 35 000 people.

Not that there's anything unusual about this. Plagues of locusts have been documented in the Bible and the Quran among other sources for centuries.

Up in my air balloon, air balloon...

Whenever I watch "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade", I'm filled with longing for the majestic beauty of airships.

Three times longer and twice as tall as a 747 – to put that in perspective, the Hindenburg class machine was as long as the Empire State Building is tall – these magnificent machines had 25 cabins (yes, cabins) holding two passengers each, a dining room, a passenger lounge with a piano, a writing room, a smoking room.

So Ramaphosa delivered, sort of...

Yesterday, I said there are three very simple things President Ramaphosa can do today that will immediately give an uptick to our economy:

  1. Let SAA fail
  2. Take the money that would be spent on SAA and use it to upgrade Metrorail rolling stock and stations
  3. Hand over control of Metrorail to the municipalities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban

Here's what he said in the State of the Nation address:

A key priority this year is to fix commuter rail, which is vital to the economy and to the quality of life of our people. 

My wishes for the State of the Nation Address tonight

There are three very simple things President Ramaphosa can do today that will immediately give an uptick to our economy:

  1. Let SAA fail
  2. Take the money that would be spent on SAA and use it to upgrade Metrorail rolling stock and stations
  3. Hand over control of Metrorail to the municipalities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban

That's it.

I could ask for an end to EWC, NHI, cadre deployment, PIC stealing workers' pensions, but I've learned to lower my expectations. 

The virus and the pangolin

Pangolin (Manis temminckii), Madikwe Game Reserve

When you see one strutting along on its hind legs, you might be forgiven for thinking this is a baby tyrannosaurus. 

When it rolls up into a ball, it looks like a projectile from a medieval version of pelota designed for the Spanish Inquisition. 

And then it puts forward something that looks like an earthworm the length of a domestic cat, which you realize is its tongue.

Pangolins are amazing creatures. They're mammals with scales, and they can swing from trees by their tails. In the wild, they are pretty much invincible.

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