Not According To Brother Jesse

I often use the “African-American” term to describe myself, almost always in fun, or else to poke holes in someone’s refusal to see my point.  Never have I tried to use the “African-American” claim for any other purpose, as David Bernstein describes here.

However, even in jest, the supposition makes several (I think) good points.

Fact:  the Du Toit family’s Huguenot forebears fled Catholic France’s oppression to settle in the Protestant Dutch Cape colony in about 1792, thus making their appearance in what is today South Africa earlier than many of the Bantu tribes migrating south from Central Africa.  On my paternal grandmother’s side, the Dutch Van Wyks arrived in  the Cape colony even earlier, around 1665, before even the Zulus crossed the Limpopo River in the north.  So “longevity in the country” vis-a-vis Blacks vs. Whites is of dubious value, in my case.  The only Black tribe which predates both Whites and Bantus would be the Bushmen (Nan) tribe, who were more or less exterminated, slaughtered by both Whites and Bantus.

Fact:  a huge number of White South Africans speak at least one African language like Zulu, Ndebele or Sotho, depending on where they live or work.  (My late stepfather was fluent in four African languages, for example, because he worked in the mines for decades, and my father was fluent in Zulu and Sotho — and German, incidentally.)  Back when I lived there, I had at least a little familiarity with Sotho (thanks to my Black Mommy Mary, who raised me as a small child through my teens).  I doubt whether too many Black African-Americans can claim the same about native African languages — hell, they can barely speak English, let alone, say, Masai or Ovambo.  I can also relate many tribal tales and customs (alas, not as many as I used to) that are essentially African in nature.  My African cultural heritage, therefore, is stronger than almost all African-Americans of color.

But when I use the above as justification for calling myself an African-American, I’m told that none of them matter, because I have a white skin.

Racism, anyone?

Another Little Gift From Africa

As though pet pythons weren’t enough for Florida to deal with, there’s another immigrant arrival:

Giant African snails were found in the city of Port Richey, just north of Tampa. The town will be quarantined for two years, prohibiting residents from moving plants and soil outside of the quarantine zone. The snail is also damaging to the environment, feasting on more than 500 different plants, and has a taste for concrete, which is detrimental to infrastructure.

How giant?  This giant:

And:

The invasive shelled gastropods, which are native to Africa, are carrying the parasite lungworm that leads to meningitis in humans.

Even better:

The snail is also damaging to the environment, feasting on more than 500 different plants, and has a taste for concrete, which is detrimental to infrastructure.

Africa wins again.  Australia may have bird-eating spiders, but Africa’s snails eat buildings.

Predictable Outcome

It’s amazing how often the word “unexpectedly” appears in the public discourse when it comes to government policy, e.g. “we provided free housing for poor people, but we still have a homeless problem”.

So this probably comes as unexpected news to those of the socialist persuasion, but to the rest of us, it’s as predictable as the dawn:

The prime minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, declared in remarks to the nation’s parliament on Wednesday that its economy had “completely collapsed.”

The socialist country is facing the worst economic crisis in its modern history, prompting acute shortages of food, medicine, gasoline, natural gas, and other core goods since March. Lavish spending under the Rajapaksa dynasty’s rule coupled with socialist mismanagement of the economy, a “green” policy that banned chemical fertilizers and made the country reliant on food imports, and trade deals in which Sri Lanka took out predatory loans from China all contributed to the nation’s rapid decline.

Almost sounds like 2022 Murka, dunnit?  But most importantly:  is Sri Lanka running short of Tampax?

Honestly though, when you have no natural resources, and your primary exports are tea and Sri Lankans, you probably need to be a little more careful in how you run things.

Of course, Sri Lanka is no longer “Ceylon” (part of the terrible British Empire), so there’s that.

Short Answer: No

…and:

The simple  answer is the title of this post.

Longer  answer:  Do not expect help from those whom you hate and actively seek to destroy.

Fuck ’em;  their medieval belief system, their backwards society, their honor killings and their hijabs:  fuck ’em all.

They’re savages and should be treated as such.

Needless to say, our Congress is no doubt authorizing a few billion dollars in aid, which just makes me all the more eager for November 2022.

Never Again

It is only when one leaves America does the shattering truth emerge that as much as we hate U.S. bureaucracy and deplore its inefficiency and tortoise-like attitude, just one encounter with the Third World has us weeping with relief when all we have to do, say, is renew a driver’s license down at the local DMV.

So New Wife and I decided to deplete our savings and try to repeat our earlier, abortive attempt to visit her #1 Son and family (grandchildren!!!) in Sydney, Australia.  (The first trip, of course, was nuked by Covid and the OzGov’s pathetic overreaction thereto.  That only cost us $1,500 for NW’s air ticket.)

Of course, even without Covid, Straya throws all sorts of shit at anyone who might want to spend some tourist dollars to visit their poxy country (pop. 25,000) — you have to apply for a visitor’s visa (from a list of about 50 different categories) before you can even get onto an airliner.  Cost of said application:  ~$340 per person.  However, the Dept. of Home Affairs boasts, it only takes as little as 36 hours for it to be approved (except where otherwise indicated by ).  Of course, using Covid as an excuse, the time was not 36 hours, oh no:  New Wife applied in February of this year, and it arrived promptly on May 15;  I applied for mine on April 1, and ATOW it still hadn’t arrived.

So I wasn’t able to get on the plane with her last Friday evening, but I was told that if I changed my flight to Sunday evening, they would help me take care of my little visa problem.

Which is where the (further) problems began.  I wasn’t able to change my flight because Expedia can’t do anything if the departure time is less than 10 hours away (on Friday evening, it was about two hours away by the time I’d got home).  No problem, thinks I, I’ll just go to Qantas’s website and change it there.  Except that Qantas must have used the same guy to build their website as homeaffairs.gov.au — there is no way to “manage” your booking — nowhere to enter your ticket number or reservation number, nada.

Last night I discovered the following:  because I hadn’t been able to change my flight, Qantas was going to take the whole fare and give me a “coupon” for $500 to use for my next flight;  additional expense to fly out on Sunday night: $800.

Even worse was my visa experience.  I could actually get an ETA visa (don’t ask) approved in about 20 minutes, except for a couple of teeny-weeny little problems:  the Qantas mobile app downloaded onto my phone, but couldn’t open;  and the visa application cost was going to be another $340, because this was a new visa application fee, you see, and no they couldn’t (okay wouldn’t) credit me for the failed visa application because they are two different visas.

Oh, and did I mention that the Sunday flight was overbooked anyway?

The hell with that.  I would rather take that $1,100-odd and pay for the grandkids to come and visit me.

Hence the title of this post.  Ain’t gonna happen, never, no way, uh-uh am I going to try to visit Australia ever in the future.  It’s just too much frigging hassle, and expensive, to visit a place that was never high on my Wannagothere List in the first place.

It’s not like I don’t have other options;  here’s one just arrived in my Inbox last night:

Cheap Flights: Dallas to London $566-$589 r/t

Don’t need a visa, either.  Buy a ticket, arrive at the airport, fly eight (not seventeen!) hours, and it’s tea and sausage rolls at Greggs for brekkie the next morning.

Other destinations ditto, with local cuisine variations.

Too bad, for everyone.

I think I’ll go to the range later today and get some AK-47 practice.  That’s one thing I can do that I’d never be able to do Down Under.

ZA Factoids

ZA, of course, being the international acronym for South Africa.

Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities:

The people somewhat less so, but that’s true of just about any city.

Durban looks like Miami Lite:

The Drakensberg range is quite spectacular:


They were named thus by Boer settlers who thought the mountains looked like dragons’ teeth.

The Wonderboom (Wonder Tree), a fig tree that is over a million years old:

…which is why you need to prune your fruit trees.  (It’s that thing in the center that looks like a bush.)

South Africa has its own version of the Grand Canyon, called the Blyde River Canyon:

Not as deep, but then again it’s a couple hundred million years younger.

Now for some other size comparisons:

Relative to the U.S. Lower 48:

Relative to Texas:

And here are the Big Five:

Anyway, those were some of the slides I made for New Wife’s “Where I Came From” presentation to the kids at her school.