The Morning After: Confessions of an Internet News Junkie

On the morning of the 4th of November, I had a near death experience.  All the news feeds on the internet were showing that, instead of MAGA (Mega Arsehole Going Awry), Trump was doing a remarkable job of keeping his end up so to speak.  Given his age, he must be mainlining Viagra along with his daily cocktail of orange preservative with a twist of hydroxy-chloroquine.  No wonder Melania keeps giving him her icy slit-eyed Slavic stares and silent don’t you dares.  Although Slow Joe had been quick out of the blocks, it seemed improbable to me that he could flip all the states needed to reach 270 votes as Trump was ahead in most.  Being a straight up and down kind of guy, it further seemed unlikely that he would come from behind.  Instead, MAGA flipped him and the world the bird as well as a few hamburgers which he chowed down to give himself strength for his 2am press conference after the polls had closed.  Hoping to catch Slow Joe tucked up bed with a hot milk, he magnanimously claimed victory.

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Saving a person suffering from Covid-19

This is not a scare tactic or crying wolf to get everybody to adhere to the recommendations regarding Covid-19 but hopefully it will have the required salutary effect. Having had a wife who was intubated for six and  half weeks, I can comprehend what these patients are experiencing. For them it is far worse as unlike Janine, these patients are not in a coma. And the ICU was 50% full.

This is a Facebook post pasted from a doctor in the Eastern Cape.

Main picture: An intubated patient

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Recollections of the Walmer Train

The Walmer Branch Line, as it was known, would only operate from December 1906 to 26th November 1928. During those 22 years, this narrow gauge train would wend its way through to Walmer from Station Road, parallel to Strand Street, in Port Elizabeth to 14th Avenue in Walmer via Humewood.

In this blog, Anthony Longworth provides his recollections of this iconic railway, how it operated and what route it took. For a detailed technical blog, go to ‘http://thecasualobserver.co.za/port-elizabeth-yore-narrow-gauge-walmer-branch-line/

Main picture: The terminus of the Walmer Branch Line

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The Root of Good and Evil

History did not end with the fall of Berlin’s “Schandmauer”, the “Wall of Shame” which brought down the shabby, rusted “Iron Curtain” of Communism upheld by outrageous “Stasi” and KGB violations of the most fundamental human right: Security defined as “Freedom from Fear”.

No! History is being perpetuated with daily human rights violations by over-grown school bullies running purported democracies with the support of anti-social voters who were mal-conditioned by parents, peers and majority electorates to believe that “might is right” and security must be sought from the worst bully they could possibly vote for.

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The Rice Video – Carbon Dioxide in Perspective: Is There a Grain of Truth in What Roberts Has to Say?

When I was directed by an email link to this video (https://www.youtube.com/embed/BC1l4geSTP8) I thought I had been sneakily misdirected to a televangelist’s video – he looked just like your common or garden mercenary TV pastor/charlatan.

I must admit that I did not get past the first minute of his presentation when his earnest piercing eyes forced me to shut him down before I did the coyote trick and chewed my arm off.  So, this will not be a comprehensive refutation of his claims but I got enough of his drift and arguments early on and I did not wish to waste my life any further than I had to.  It’s all been said before.

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The Circumcision Genocide: The Unkindest Cut of them all

During the period June 2006 to June 2019, the traditional initiation procedure for African males has resulted in a veritable genocide in South Africa. Yet year after year all that government provides as a solution and solace for grieving parents are platitudes and promises.

What is the extent of this travesty?

Main picture: Xhosa initiates

The extent of this disaster is obvious from the cumulative statistics for this period. These statistics relate only to the Eastern Cape.

Consequence Number affected
Hospital admissions   8218
Deaths      794
Amputations      317

What has been the response from the government? Apart from some platitudes and proposals, no concrete action has been taken. Has any person been charged for culpable homicide? Has anybody been incarcerated or even fined? A deafening silence will be heard. Instead somebody is fined R200,000 for uttering the word Kaffir. The use of such a pejorative and demeaning term cannot be justified but none of the perpetrators of death was even fined by a derisory R1. Where is the justice?

On the other hand what has been the response when one black scholar was drowned while on school-organised adventure in the North West? Immediately the Education MEC for Gauteng, Pansy Lesufi, was baying for blood. The principal of the school was suspended, the South African Human Rights Commission became involved and vitriol was heaped upon all and sundry. Yet 794 black youths can callously die without nary a raised voice. The school officials deserve to have  opprobrium heaped upon them as all the basic control procedures such as the issue of life jackets seemed to have been ignored but what about the rights of 794 youths on the cusp of attaining adulthood. Does tradition trump life itself? Any government truly concerned about the rights of all its citizens would have put in place the relevant controls and punishments to prevent this senseless slaughter.

Why the asymmetrical treatment? Surely one irregular death is the same as another. This demands equivalence in the treatment not only between the various methods of death but also the severity of crimes such as crimen inuria versus death.

At this rate, South African doctors will become the most experienced in the world in performing penis transplants. In fact we will be in the invidious position of inviting foreign doctors to hone their skills in this little-practiced area in medical treatment.

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Diocesan Grammar School, from School to Synagogue, Then Church to Café

Not many buildings in Port Elizabeth have experienced such a varied usage over their lives. If buildings could divulge their secrets, this humble unprepossessing tiny building on the corner of Belmont Terrace and Western Road, would have many tales to tell.

Main picture: The Diocesan Grammar School on the corner of Belmont Terrace and Western Road

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