Is the missing lion waiting to pounce?

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Is the missing lion lurking, waiting to pounce

                     … or is he a figment of our subconscious fears ? 

Let’s face it, the world is currently in a bit of a state, with war and war-induced famine, strikes and greed-induced unrest, millions of displaced and diseased wanderers, missing children and destroyed ancient artifacts. Angry megalomaniacs cause untold harm and pain in the name of God, political power, economic prowess, nationalism and progress. Underlying all the “sound and fury” I detect the same old, same old “I know what is good and right for you” and “I am sure as hell going to make sure you get it even if it kills you.” The supreme arrogance behind much of the suffering in the world today is astonishing in its scope, sickening in its selfishness and horrifying in its self-righteous complacency. Nobody can convince me that this is God slapping down sinners again (Whose God and whose definition of sin?). This pain is man-made. The missing lion who threatens us is not the instrument of some deity; it lives inside ourselves.

Natural disaster

Onto the world stage where we “strut and fret” during humankind’s brief moment in time, the planet shrugs and nature puts us in our place: earthquake, flood, volcano, tsunami and typhoon. One would think we human beings would stop for one moment in our chase after material things, religious justification, political power and nuclear weapons, but oh no:

NOTHING HUMBLES US!

The lion lurks tonight

It is interesting how much publicity the lion lost from Tbilisi Zoo is getting; rather more than the earthquake victims of Kathmandu where nearly 5000 people died (one family lost 18 people) and 10 000 people are homeless. The capital of Georgia has been flooded 5 times before, but once more no preventive measures have been made for the animals. Hundreds of dangerous animals escaped when the river Vere caused landslides after heavy rain, yet they have not attacked people. A rare white lion was shot.

Why? – Symbolic shape of our inner ruthlessness.

The threat posed by a lion was in all likelihood one of the motivations behind the invention of human language. A way had to be found to warn others of the species homo sapiens against things that lurk near the water source or along the path to where the berries grow. It is an old, old fear that we humans carry. Yet I propose that the most dangerous animal on earth is man. How many people were killed by lions so far in 2015, and how many by men?

If I were you, dear missing lion, I’d stay far away from people. They are not a very admirable species.

Ref: Washington Post, Hindustani Times, Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

THE BEST FATHER’S DAY IDEA EVER

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The best father’s day idea yet!

Where there is a child there is a father

One can’t always rely on the truth of a cliché, even if it has come into idiomatic over-use because popular mythology buys into it. I mean, “there can’t be smoke without fire” seems logical until you find out there can. Magicians have escaped in a plume of smoke, and princesses become swans on a foggy stage and one never finds the source – fire and lakes and suchlike realities. Maybe magic exists, really, really.

Donald Duck presents: “SCIENCE !”

Or perhaps hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate can create a smokescreen or a mist of oblivion. Science dictates that every child has a father, although society is finding that they disappear magically.

 But let’s face it: Very few of the mothers of the children running around without any visible fathers, had artificial insemination, claim a case of immaculate conception or wind pollination; most children that seldom see their fathers were created by the usual channels, as it were. Somewhere is a sperm donor, even if he cannot be graced with the name “Father”. After all, being a father is a difficult task. Any old hairy, scaly, slimy or winged male of the living world (plant and animal) can impregnate a female. It does not require rocket science level intelligence. Not only brain surgeons beget offspring. But behaving as a farther should is an entirely different matter.

So, here’s an idea for father’s day

Will all those absentee dads come out of the woodwork or pub or new relationship or sagging sofa in front of the T.V or rugby club or bottom of the beer bottle or any of the places where you hide, please. Appear magically in a puff of smoke and:

  • Pay child maintenance
  • Bring gifts to all your offspring on Father’s Day 2015
  • Tell the mothers of your children to spend the day in bed
  • Spend time with your children
  • Change the baby’s nappy
  • Do the laundry
  • Be a good example: Do not smoke, drink-and-drive, eat food that is bad for you, be lazy, disrespectful to women (in fact to anybody else), selfish, uncaring, dishonest, messy, unfaithful, make false promises, tell lies, harm the environment or those that are weaker than you (including your children)

Be a man – Be a father – Be responsible – Be present     

 

Author:  Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Suenel Bruwer Holloway lives in the country and does a lot of laundry, walks dogs, gardens and cooks. She also writes. She will opine on any topic, so contact her on florabundu@lando.co.za if you want an opinion piece and are brave enough.

Rand Jitters

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The Rand and the Ripple Effect

The South African Rand made quite a nose dive this week when it hit the lowest point in thirteen years. This made investors and economists quite jittery, not to mention the poor souls in the clutches of debt. Who can afford such bad economic times these days anyway? The weak currency has a tremendously wide ripple effect, affecting almost everything in a negative manner. The Rand gets influenced by so many external factors in turn, of which most are foreign influences.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Inflation-Hike (The Ugly):

The weaker the Rand gets, the higher the inflation rate. Anything above 3 to 4 % of the annual range of inflation is considered as high. A skyrocketing inflation rate would have dire economical consequences! Here are a few general concerns:

–       Rising inflation results in lowering of income, especially for those already facing pay freezes and -cuts.

–       General living costs will rise as the prices of necessities such as food and municipal utilities like water and electricity rise, along with everything else. Usually the elderly and lower income families are the ones suffering the most. In general, everybody is getting poorer bit by bit.

–       People living from the interest on their investments will also get poorer if the inflation rate should go higher than their interest rates.

–       There is a general uncertainty and lack of business confidence as businesses find it difficult to establish their costs and prices.

–       With a weaker Rand value, crude oil will be much more expensive, resulting in higher fuel prices. That in turn will cause rising in consumer prices and directly a higher inflation rate. It’s a vicious cycle, really, which will hopefully be turned around soon enough.

Interest Rates (The Bad):

Interest rates naturally go up when the Rand looses value. The reason for this being financial markets protecting themselves. For those fortunate South Africans with investments and more savings than debt, this is good news of course. Sadly, for most, too high interest rates paint a darker future. Mortgages and borrowing money are getting less affordable, while most cannot afford to buy a house or car for instance without a loan.

The Flip Side (The Good):

This might all seem pretty overwhelming, but our country was in worst situations before. We always somehow managed to get through it in the end. While we cannot do anything about foreign affairs influencing our economy, we can at least take care of our own affairs. There are so many inspiring stories of individuals who managed to claw their way out of debt in the worst economical times and situations. There are just as much help around to teach us how to take care of our own economy. Worrying about the weakening Rand or the global economy won’t change a thing. We might as well take charge of what we can.

Author: Maritha Koortzen

marithak@webmail.co.za

The author writes to various websites and newspapers mostly on Health and Social Issues. She also talks at Ladies Events about Health and Wellness.

Feel free to contact her for any free lance writing.

 

Nkandla and the Views of the Opposition

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Nkandla – Angry opposition

After the release of the Nkandla report by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, it was clear that a large proportion of the nation was angry and unimpressed by the report’s findings. The finding that president Zuma need not pay back the money spent on Nkandla was definitely not what the opposition parties or the nation wanted to hear.

The Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane said that the “President is sending a clear message that corruption does not matter and that he should be above the law” the DA further branded the report a “whitewash” and an “insult to the South African people”. Party leader Maimane said that “The DA will not allow the President to get away with the theft of public funds … We have, therefore, referred the matter to our legal team for the consideration of the rationale of Minister Nhleko’s determination, and our constitutional and legal remedies.”

It was not only the DA who made themselves heard. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said that the party will still continue with their “pay back the money” campaign. They also stated that they would go to court if necessary and that they won’t rest “until Zuma pays back some portion of the money” spent on Nkandla.

Other political parties, like the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), also voiced shock at Nhleko’s report. Kenneth Meshoe is quoted as saying: “I am shocked that the minister of police has found that President Zuma does not have to repay a thing for the additional upgrades at his Nkandla residence”.

Unsurprisingly, the ruling party welcomed the report about Nkandla by the Police Minister. In the report it was also made clear that even more upgrades would be forthcoming, which are said to include motion detector beams and camera monitors with recording capabilities.

Whatever the next steps of the various opposition parties are going to be, it is clear that we have not yet reached the conclusion of the Nkandla and “fire pool” saga. Many citizens hope that this report by the Police Minister will not be the final word on the subject, and welcome the parties taking steps against it.

 

Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.