current affairs

Day 5: Beware the police state

Nurses in Welkom getting shot at by police
Nurses in Welkom getting shot at by police for protesting the lack of resources at Bongani Regional Hospital in Welkom / Leeto Nthoba / Twitter

Just a brief, philosophical note today on Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778), Genevan philosopher, writer and composer.

Rousseau was famously against property rights. I quote:

Day 3: Check your privilege; seriously

South Africa GDP 2010-2020
South Africa GDP (official exchange rate) 2010-2020 / World Bank data via tradingeconomics.com

As pictures roll in from around the country of our urban masses crammed into peri-urban slums (which we sanctimoniously refer to as informal settlements), many of us have taken to sharing sentiments about how privileged we are to be relatively safe within our middle-class and upper-class dwellings.

Privileged? No. At best, we are lucky.

Day 1: Boris's Bravado

UK PM Boris Johnson
UK PM Boris Johnson / Ben Shread / OGL 3

Day 1 of lockdown in South Africa greeted with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement today that he had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

The news was greeted with mirth and derision by the usual suspects. They pointed to BoJo's previous bravado about shaking hands with infected patients. Slurs such as "covidiot" were abundant.

Toward an objective reality

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at 2018 G20 Summit | Dan Scavino / Public domain

Seth Goddin earlier this month wrote about the notion of "objective reality". I quote:

Objective reality is measured. It’s not based on talking points. It’s repeatable and verifiable. When humans share an understanding of how things are objectively, we’re able to make enormous progress, because this objective reality is consistent.

I'm grateful for the SANDF

President Cyril Ramaphosa reviews members of the SANDF
President Cyril Ramaphosa reviews members of the SANDF on parade at Loftus Versfeld Stadium during his inauguration on 25 May 2019
via SANDFCorpEvents/Twitter

There are some things in life that help me sleep easier, and one of those things is that we have a singularly incompetent South African National Defence Force.

Here's how to look at our budget deficit properly

JSE

South Africa's budget deficit for this year is R370 billion.

(That's the difference between the money government receives in taxes and the amount government spends by borrowing.)

This triggered a thought as to what we could have spent that money on as a nation, and as I started by taking a look at companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

My Super Tuesday prediction

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

Today is Super Tuesday in the US.

This is the day when the greatest number of states within that country hold primary elections to determine who is going to be the presidential candidate later this year.

More than a third of the voting delegates to that presidential nominating convention are determined today.

The Republicans are holding their primaries too, but President Donald Trump has no competition to speak of, so today is all bout the Democratic nominee.

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.

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