From Barack Obama to persistent inequality in South African society

I have, in following the bizarre spectacle that is the process of selecting a republican candidate for president of the United States of America, come across a lot of material on Barack Obama.   I have seen in him passion, committment, massive intellect and wry humour.  It has become obvious to me why he has succeeded in being elected for two terms as president, but a sense of puzzlement about why he is so vilified by so many of the people he leads.   However, there is one particular clip (it’s long, if you have limited data or bandwidth, be careful) […]

Continue Reading 0

Do two wrongs make a right?

So sad, so sad for the society of humanity. That some of us see it fit to take the lives of perfect strangers; for what? Vengeance? Religious zeal? Political fervour? By what imperative does the callous slaying of sports fans, concert goers, passers by, and diners right the wrongs, real or imagined, vested upon the attackers’ community? What perverted morality deems it a proper to visit such suffering and death so capriciously? Does it atone for the misery that the victims’ ancestors, leaders, and allies might have inflicted in the past? Do two wrongs make a right? I think not, […]

Continue Reading 0

Hunting; ethical, unethical?

Stephen Palos, you write eloquently and passionately. You approach an emotive and divisive subject rationally and calmly, and you point out that not all hunting is the same, that some is good, and some is bad, and that the hunting industry is a major contributor in terms of economy, jobs and preserved habitat. But, the images that Jeremy Mansfield is most likely responding to, that of “sportsmen” sitting on raised platforms taking pot shots at animals driven past them is inevitably and unavoidably going to raise the emotive temperature of the debate. It cannot be otherwise. The spectacle of some […]

Continue Reading 0

Morality and sex in the office

I just read an article by Liz Ryan ( you can follow the link at the foot of this note, if you like ) on touchy subject of sex in the workplace. Her theme, in the briefest of paraphrases, is that the organisation that can effectively harness the emotions, energy, pressures and frustrations that would otherwise drive people into the dark corners of the workplace, and use it to further the organisation’s own goals, is highly likely an extremely successful organisation. Of course, Ms Ryan uses this topic to illustrate her central theme, which is that it is only by […]

Continue Reading 0

Shall we kill the killers?

It’s a sadly familiar scenario, a sign of our times, perhaps. Members of a community gather in sympathy of a victim of some senseless act of violence, expressing solidarity with the family of the victim, despair at the lawlessness of the society that spawned the atrocity, and anger at the authorities seemingly powerless in their duty to protect the citizens.  “We are gatvol!” (fed up), they chant, “Enough is enough!”, and inevitably, “Bring back the death penalty!” These sentiments are just some of the many manifestations of discontent that, over twenty years after the end of apaardheid, so many South Africans feel. […]

Continue Reading 0