via wikipedia commons

“First we must cross the river,” Benito was saying.  “Do you believe me now when I tell you that you must not attempt to swim it, or even get wet from it, or must you try that too?”

“What happens if I just dive in?”

“Then you will be as you were in the bottle.  Aware and unable to move.  but it will be very cold, and very uncomfortable, and you will be there for all eternity knowing that you put yourself there.”

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno  1976

A long time ago there was a country called Rhodesia. It was the breadbasket of southern Africa however it was ruled by a white minority government. This was an injustice.

That government was eventually replaced by a black majority government under Robert Mugabe rightly allowing proper self-rule. It was renamed Zimbabwe and started on a new chapter in its history

Unfortunately after a while it became clear that Mr. Mugabe was more qualified as a revolutionary than as a leader and while his ruling parties cronies did well the people did not. In order to try to retain electoral popularity started targeting white own farms which produced most of the country’s food. Many farmers left to avoid persecution which eventually led to the government confiscating property owned by white farmers and dishing it out to others who did not have experience in large-scale farming in the name of righting past wrongs.

Unfortunately this not only led to economic calamity but it led to food shortages as Zimbabwe which was once a net food exporter suddenly could not feed itself. After two decades it’s actually reached the point where the country is considering giving land back to this farmers in order to keep itself fed:

Among remaining farmers who have been recommended for a reprieve of Mr Mugabe’s edict that whites can no longer own land in Zimbabwe is Elizabeth Mitchell, a poultry farmer who produces 100,000 day-old chicks each week.

Her farm, Barquest, which lies around 160 miles south of Harare in Masvingo Province, had been allocated by the government to Walter Mzembi, the tourism minister, but he recently retreated after the provincial leadership backed her request to stay.

Shuvai Mahofa, Masvingo’s Provincial Affairs Minister, has recommended five more white farmers be issued with 99-year leases because their operations were, she said, of “strategic economic importance”.

Decades later the country has still not recovered.

Yet today South Africa is poised to follow in their footsteps:

South Africa‘s parliament has passed a motion that could lead to the seizure of land from white farmers without paying them compensation.

Passed by an overwhelming majority of 241 votes to 83 votes against, the proposal to amend Section 25 of the constitution would allow expropriation of land without any financial recompense.

It was put forward by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, whose leader Julius Malema told the country’s parliament: “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”

And the attacks on farmers have already begun, in fact they’ve been ongoing:

White farmers in South Africa claim they are being targeted in a series of brutal attacks over land that are being overlooked by police and implicitly encouraged by the country’s parliament.

Activist groups promoting the rights of white people in the country claim there have been 90 recorded attacks in 2018 so far, with one farmer murdered every five days on average.

There is no official data supporting the idea that white farmers are more likely to be victims of attacks in South Africa, and the government strongly denies white people are being deliberately targeted and says farm murders are part of South Africa’s wider violent crime problem.

But the sheer brutality of the reported attacks – and the growing anger of a community in South Africa that believes it is being persecuted – are increasingly raising concerns.

and others aren’t all that subtle about it:

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who recently declared his party was “cutting the throat of whiteness”, denied white farmers were being killed. “We don’t know violence, we know negotiations,” Malema told a packed Human Rights Day rally in Mpumalanga Stadium on Wednesday.

“And we are very robust in our engagement sometimes. A racist country like Australia says: ‘The white farmers are being killed in South Africa.’ We are not killing them. Now Australia says: ‘Malema, EFF want to kill white farmers, they must come to Australia.’

“If they want to go, they must go. They must leave the keys to their tractors because we want to work the land, they must leave the keys to their houses because we want to stay in those houses. They must leave everything they did not come here with in South Africa and go to Australia.”

Why is South Africa not learning the lessons of Zimbabwe? Well I talked about the reasons 5 years ago at the time of Nelson Mandela’s death:

Without question the removal of the evil Apartheid laws was a positive good and franchise being extended to all citizens is simple justice. A People must have the right to govern themselves and a government that doesn’t reflect the consent of the governed is unjust.

What is not axiomatic is that a popularly elected government will govern well.

The people have freely chosen to elect The African National Congress for 20 years by landslide majorities. That party has failed to stem unemployment, has seen life expectancy drop by nearly a decade during their rule and been a haven for murder and rape.

Some have already sounded the warning alarms on this course of action:

If the South African government seizes private property for free, someone somewhere within the economy will have to pay, whether directly through loss in current and future on farm job opportunities as well as export revenues, or through protracted economic decline that will erode the purchasing power of money, losses in pensions and savings, and deindustrialisation that will destroy future economic growth and off-farm job opportunities for the current generation.

And have spoken basic truths aloud:

Mr Broad said an “even bigger humanitarian crisis”, like a food shortage, could emerge if the situation escalated.

“The great lesson from Zimbabwe is when you value your farmers, you have food on the supermarket shelves,” he said.

If the goal was a prosperous and well fed South Africa that advice and example from history would be noted but for Marxists and Socialists the goals are not a prosperous and well fed South Africa but a South Africa governed by prosperous and well fed Marxist Socialists.

And when such people fail to govern well, as they invariably do, a scapegoat is required to pacify the people and the farmers of South Africa have been elected, and if such a decision leads to economic disaster and famine among the people, as long as that result doesn’t affect the ruling parties, they will shrug it off and proclaim any who question their decision as racists.

The saddest thing about what is going to happen is that unlike Mugabe in Zimbabwe where he ruled with an iron fist and brought this disaster down upon his land South Africa had Mandela who choose not to be a dictator and left an actual democracy allowing the people to freely choose their own path and yet they have chosen the same path as Mugabe.

Democracies and Republics always get the Government’s they deserve, I had hoped that after decades of oppression by a minority and bad government by the majority South Africans might have decided they deserved better.


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

By John Ruberry

Zimbabwean president and kleptocrat Robert Mugabe celebrates his 92nd birthday today with private ceremonies, but later this week a much more lavish affair–previous birthday celebrations have cost $1 million–will be held at the Great Zimbabwe archaeological site.

A state-run newspaper, the Sunday Mail, has plastered the nation with yellow-and-black posters that proclaim “Mugabe’s birthday is like that of Jesus Christ” to draw attention to a 16-page supplement about the man who has run Zimbabwe into the ground during his 36-year-long reign of terror and error.

Oh, Mugabe claims to be a Roman Catholic.

The southern African nation is in the midst of drought that has forced three million Zimbabweans–about a quarter of the population–to be dependent upon international food aid. But why let brutal reality ruin a great party?

Zimbabwe is considered one of the most corrupt countries on the planet and Mugabe’s racist–he has driven many of his nation’s productive white farmers from their legally purchased land–and socialist policies have devastated the nation.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Can things can worse? Of course they can. Despite allusions of divinity Mugabe will die and probably pretty soon. Demagogues typically stunt the next generation of leadership and Mugabe is no exception. Already there is squabbling among members of his Zanu PF party because there are many men who look into the mirror every morning and see who they believe is the person who will succeed Mugabe and most likely, continue the plunder, and perhaps, compare himself to Jesus too.

And the unhappy people of Zimbabwe will continue to suffer.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Twitchy reported that fans of the Black Lives matter movement decided to poke fun at the “all lives matter” resonse using he death of Cecil the Lion:

This week, though, in the wake of the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion, a number of activists have decided to swap #BlackLivesMatter for #AllLionsMatter. Honestly, #BlackLivesMatter plus a sense of humor is a pretty potent combination.

However there is an incredible irony that is revealed in this post at Althouse emphasis mine

“Why are the Americans more concerned than us?” said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. “We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange.”

Apparently the black population of Zimbabwe have noticed that American activists are very selective about which black lives matter.  Particularly when compared to a lions.

Update:  Apparently it all comes down if you’re eating them:

Radio Equalizer’s Brian Maloney wonders where the outrage over Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe’s treatment of endangered animals? 

While a social media mob has Dr Walter Palmer fearing for his life, it was only five months ago that Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe was served a lavish feast that included lion meat and a mass slaughter of baby elephants and other endangered animals.

It was also described as a “lion trophy” and its age described as “old”, according to state and independent press reports.

Update 2:  what they said 

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Normally I wouldn’t put it this way but right, with a car falling apart, a floor that needs to be torn up and some big debts I’m really in a bind and I’d really appreciate it if you can give me a hand getting out of it.

My goal for 2015 is Twenty Two grand which will give me a nominal living doing this.

Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid. (including my writers like Fausta)  If I can get to Forty Thousand I can afford to travel outside of New England and/or hire me a blogger to help me get it done.

Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.

Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.

If you could kick in I’d really appreciate it.

…the wikileaks releases continue to put lives in danger.

Heroes of the American Left, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, have destroyed the best hope for ridding Zimbabwe of madman Robert Mugabe by releasing U.S. State Department cables of communications between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the leading opponent of Mugabe, and U.S. and E.U. officials, in which Tsvangirai secretly expressed support for sanctions against the brutal Mugabe regime as the only way to establish democracy in Zimbabwe.

He quotes this atlantic article that laments the results of the leak:

Any damage to democratic reforms from WikiLeaks likely comes not from malice but naivety. Assange is probably not best described, as Vice President Joe Biden recently put it, a “high-tech terrorist.” Rather, he, his organization, and their activist supporters believe that they can promote democracy by making an enemy of secrecy itself. What we’re seeing in Zimbabwe, however, is that those methods won’t necessarily be without significant collateral damage.

Chris it is not naivety, it is indifference. The goal is to hit the US and if some people who support democracy elsewhere end up dead who cares? This is the left, it is all about making ones self feel good (and no that wasn’t a reference to the great skank debate)

I’m with L Douglas Garrett:

The very idea that opposing Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF kleptocracy is in any way ‘treason’ against the nation of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) is shall-we-say open to dispute… although the medieval definition of ‘treason’ as an indignity against the person or property of the monarch might fit. Were that to be so in this case, of course, that would simply advertise more widely what is already known; that R. Mugabe and company see the state as their personal property.

I’ll say it plainly: In my opinion, conduct by any citizen of that nation that expedites the departure of the Mugabe regime is patriotism.

That’s about it.

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