We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Talked with a friend last night who had just returned from Africa, and who spent ten days at Singita's Ebony Lodge in South Africa's huge Kruger National Park.
It sounds like a trip of a lifetime, and Singita's lodges (each with a small number of guest suites) sound like the most comfortable places in Africa with service which silently anticipated their every want. They even had his favorite cigars in a humidor waiting for him on arrival.
They got to the lodge by chartering a plane from Johannesberg, which he described as becoming a lawless, white-hating and frightening city. The famous Saxon Hotel is surrounded by walls, barbed wire, with dogs on patrol and armed guards.
We may be fated to watch this amazing country deteriorate into a third world country.
You can fantasize about, or plan, your trip to Singita here. The lodges here. Conde Nast Traveller named Singita the 2004 Best Hotel in the World.
Along with the crime, it is profoundly depressing to see the de-First Worldization of Johannesburg. Steel and glass office towers abandoned, their windows broken, and in the plazas below, people selling vegetables on the sidewalk. And all the scared whites, barricaded in Sandton and Rivonia. Depressing. And surrounded by so much natural beauty - like California, Arizona, and Florida rolled into one.
Surprisingly, for their numbers, the Afrikaaners were REAL players on the world stage. Someone took em down, and it wasn't Jesse Jackson. I have always been intriqued by the long running relationship between So. Africa, China, and Israel. If I am not mistaken it began back in the 1950's when Israel gave the bomb to the Chinese via Jberg.
The destruction of South Africa was one of Teddy Kennedy's projects--via the anti-apartheid sanctions and boycotts his presidential run generated. Who could argue for apartheid? So it was a natural for him.
Now he's lost interest in the horror he did so much to create. Yawn, what's new? He and his ethos have done the same to America's inner cities.
No good to create official, government-sanctioned hate and grievance--even if warranted, they build no futures (for anybody but the Overseers), and the cure is never more of the same.
If the old SA had been such a hellhole, why would so many people have migrated there for the jobs they would not have had otherwise?
Equality's ass, people were free and had futures, and only in the realm of optimism and growth will social divisions soften rather than harden.
Teddy, tho, could care less. He has "moved on", you see.
Very true, Buddy - only with optimism and growth do social divisions soften. In South Africa, one problem was that the societal divisions were always so pronounced and not just between black and white. No love lost between English and Afrikaner, or among members of the various black tribes, or between blacks and Indians. Once growth stopped, every person started looking only for themselves, or for a way out. Wretchard made a comment the other day about how one indicator of a failed state is the number of gated communities it contains. You and I have seen them in Latin America and elsewhere aplenty. Once the bars go on the windows and people walk down the street looking over their shoulders, it is all downhill.
Skook, astute as well. Maybe. Tough choice you present. Close to the border versus living in La Center WA. Reality smacks you in the face. Openness and forgiveness vs. protecting my home. Always hated gated communities until I lived in one. In a practical sense, just cuts down on crime. Should I feel guilty about that? Just trying too sort things out.
Irony that the more successful becomes a trust society, the more amnesia sets in about that other condition, which is so much more common across time & space. The shining City on a Hill it seems can't be seen clearly from inside the city--only from a distance, from out there in the jungle.
Luther, for most of us in the US, a gated community is a choice as opposed to an absolute necessity. When we bought our latest house, an alarm system was installed. We live in the dullest neighborhood around and objectively the alarm system probably is a waste. But it is nice knowing it is there. Most people who live in gated communities probably feel the same. A nice bonus.
But not strictly a necessity, like having a lock on your front door, or a porch light. But. If you didn't live in a gated community in South Africa or behind barred windows and a fence in Central America or Argentina, you wouldn't last a week without getting your house robbed. That is the difference. You, if you are on the border, may be at greater risk, sadly.
I understand the difference Skook. A choice for me, life or death for others. Did not aim too live in one, always hated the thought, it just happened that way. And now I am glad. I have experienced three miles between neighbors and ten feet. We all want to live on forty acres and a plow. Don't have that choice anymore. I do live within 60 miles of the border, in a city rife with drugs and petty thief. Some feel safer with open windows and a .357 under the pillow. Some in a barred and well armed citadel. I aim for the middle, my trusty cat will alarm me too ill :-)