Helping Hands

From his island lair somewhere in the Caribbean, Longtime Friend Knal N. Domp writes (with my response underneath):

I think the preference of the Afghan Muzzies for the AK demonstrates that it’s the choice of insurgents all over the world — mostly because it’s easy to operate, reliable and needs little maintenance.  (Pretty much the same reasons that I like them, incidentally.)

Not that I’m an insurgent, or anything.

Thoughts On Mandelaland

Interesting read from Anthony Turton (former military intelligence and analyst)

After a 24 hour orgy of violence, I sit alone in my whale watching room and reflect as I read the many messages that have been sent to me by an informal network. I pause to gather my thoughts before the new day dawns. What will that new sunrise bring?

We now sit with a stark reality that everyone has to deal with, so let me distil, at least for my own use, the essence of what our next faltering steps will be.

The firestorm of violence that engulfed us yesterday was no surprise. We have seen all the warning signs, and were even sent clear unambiguous messages of what was to hit us on Monday morning. Few took heed, and many even dispelled these messages as being the usual drivel from the EFF.

Well they weren’t. In fact the EFF was nowhere to be seen in the day of mayhem. But neither were any elected leaders, or the security forces they command. The Man in the Hat became invisible, just like his police force, who ran out of ammunition where they were present, and had to be resupplied by civilian networks.

Yes this is true. A private security contractor had to procure front line ammunition for the embattled police force, because they had run out early in the day. So let us unpack this single observation so we can learn from it.

We have a leadership vacuum in the country. People in leadership positions, like the Man in the Hat, are there only because of political connections, and not because they have the core skills to do the job. Same with the bloated civil service they command, with too many generals, all unable to plan for, and procure the stuff that’s really needed. Like ammunition.

That same leadership vacuum is present in our intelligence service. If I could collect credible information through my informal network, without any resources at my disposal, and then make reasonably accurate forecasts about what to expect, then why can’t they with their bloated staff compliment and billion Rand budget squandered on inappropriate procurement and self enrichment schemes?

Which brings me back to the core issue – supply chain management. The mayhem of the last 48 hours has wiped out our supply chain in KZN. Last week it was there, but today its gone. That complex web of transactions that moves goods across the landscape, like an army of ants on a single minded mission, each moving their package relentlessly throughout the colony of ants. Our network is now gone.

So as the day dawns I can reliably predict that we will rapidly start to encounter shortages of crucial goods like fuel for motor vehicles, food for hungry stomachs, medication for the sick, cash to grease the wheels of trade and spare parts to keep the machinery of commerce going.

ATMs are gone, so we will rapidly run out of cash. Grocery stores have been destroyed, so even if they can procure goods from the warehouses now burned to the ground, they will be unable to transact because the tills are gone and the point of payment card machines destroyed. The retail malls have been so destroyed that it will take months to rebuild them. More importantly, the Clicks and Diskem pharmacy chains that are the most efficient delivery vehicles for the national vaccine rollout, are simply no more.

I therefore predict an acute shortage of fuel, food and medication. These three things will hit almost everyone, and very soon.

This is my first prediction about which I have great confidence. Enough to make a public statement for which I will gladly be held accountable.

But what about the leadership issue? How might this unfold in the days to come?

What I witnessed over the last 48 hours tells us a lot, so let me distill the essence. In the beginning the mob was in control. Yes they were clearly in control as they marched relentlessly forward like an army ant formation advancing through the jungle. They devoured all before them and they were unstoppable. But importantly, they were controlled and focused. There was a clearly defined plan, so command and control is alive and well, but invisible. They knew when to hit designated targets. They knew where the police were absent. They knew where shopping mall security was most vulnerable. They were collectively acting as part of a plan.

Who are those central but invisible command and control people? Will our intelligence services possibly start to figure this out?

But the other thing that was clearly visible was the rapid way that civil society responded to the communal threat. Groups of citizens rapidly formed into militia, and mostly acted with restraint and to great effect. I don’t know the final numbers, but my gut feel is that more arrests were made by citizens acting in well-organized groups, than by the police.

I also note that some of the militia went beyond the act of arrest, and meted out instantaneous justice. Its unclear what the body count it, but certainly there were many. Some shot, some beaten and some even hacked to pieces by machete. I have seen credible video evidence across this entire range.

But the core lesson is that civil society responded by organizing themselves, rapidly and effectively. We will now see the dawn of a new era, where those civil groups become better organized than the government, which has clearly failed. In effect we had no government over the last 48 hours, because while this mayhem was playing out, Jesse Duarte gave a press briefing about an NEC meeting pretending to still be in control.

The Ruling Party has simply lost control. The civil service is so dysfunctional as to be a liability now easily bypassed by an increasingly confident and effective civil society.

Clearly attempts by government to disarm civilians will fail. Of this I am certain. Just as certain as I am about the emergence of self-organized militia centered on credible leadership and existing networks of security force personnel that have been sidelined by government purges.

This is the real New Dawn. Not the feeble message spewed out by the now embattled and increasingly illegitimate Ruling Party. Their days are numbered.

Will we now see the emergence of an invigorated Moderate Middle, united by core values but free of the shackles of past prejudice and racially defined bias?

Or will the rabble rise in a boiling froth of anger, purging the Ruling Elite with vengeance, just as past revolutions ultimately consumed themselves with relentless waves of counter revolution?

We live in profoundly uncertain times, but the vibrancy of civil society was clearly demonstrated yesterday, as loose molecules came together to form militia capable of clawing back control in the vacuum left by an incompetent Ruling Elite whose time is nearly over.

Anyone who thinks this can’t or won’t happen here is deluding himself.  The only reason that this hasn’t happened in the U.S. so far is that unlike South Africa, Blacks are in the minority;  but it means that where they are a significant proportion of the population, this will happen — think Minneapolis and Ferguson, times ten.

I see burned-out city centers, and rampant poverty and lawlessness therein.  After that, I’d really rather not speculate.

Closing Fast

Interesting take by ZMan over at Taki’s Mag:

One of the remarkable things about the collapse of the Soviet Union is that it just melted away without a struggle.  It was as if everyone could not think of a reason to keep it going.  The reason for that is the trust in the key institutions had drained away.  There was no reason to defend them or participate in them.  The people running the institutions had used up all of the social trust to maintain their positions.  When it was gone, the institutions collapsed.
Something similar is happening in America.

Many years ago, a dystopian novel entitled The HAB Theory  was published, whose premise was that as the ice caps grew larger, the added weight would create an imbalance in the Earth’s rotation — and when the “wobble” became too much to support, the Earth would upend itself, the heavy poles would realign along the equator (and eventually melt), whilst new ice caps would naturally form in the northern and southern latitudes, as before.

While that theory is (rightly) regarded as nonsensical now, what was interesting was that when the tipping point arrived, the collapse was very sudden — anyone who’s ever spun an old-fashioned top with string can attest to that.  Everything’s fine when the top is spinning fast, but as it slows it begins to wobble — and in less than a second, it’s flying all over the floor on its side, still spinning uselessly in its death throes.

I just wonder, given ZMan’s hypothesis, how close we are to that point in the U.S.

 

No More A Refugee

Yesterday we got news that our apartment is nearly finished, having had to be rebuilt from the studs up following that burst water main during the Big Freeze back in February.

Yes, we’ve been living in a hotel room since then.  But now, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and we’ll be able to move back into our place over the next week or so…

…which is when I’ll be at Boomershoot.

Think kind thoughts and say a few good words for New Wife, as she struggles to rebuild the nest without me.

But before anyone gets any strange ideas, you have to know this about her:  she lives for this kind of thing, and I don’t.  In fact, I am the worst possible person during a move:  I rage at stuff, I slam fingers in doors, I drop boxes, I kick stuff, I throw things into the pool out of frustration — all that, because of one of my life’s guiding principles:

I refuse to take any shit from inanimate objects.

She, however, is the complete opposite:  nothing makes her happier than organizing stuff.  So she’s going to be puttering around, re-packing kitchen cabinets, hanging clothes, singing happy songs and bossing the movers around — yes, I’ll be arranging for a moving company to move all the heavy stuff from the garage back into the apartment (a distance of a few feet only, but there are doors to wrangle the sofas and beds through — and when they don’t go, that’s precisely when I see red, descend into rage and start to break things).

Had I not invested so much into Boomershoot already, I’d have canceled it — but it’s too late for that at this point, so there it is.

Women Drinking

As the West descends further into Covid Madness, articles like this (via Insty)are becoming more common:

During the pandemic, alcohol has become an easy way to self-medicate, aided by the fact that liquor and wine stores were deemed essential services from the start. Many even offer delivery, with apps like MiniBar filling in the gaps. New Yorkers who ache for fresh air and company have been able to order cocktails to go from restaurants and enjoy them on the sidewalk.

[Aside:  sorry about the NYfT link, but it’s necessary this once.]

It’s not just New York, of course, which is suffering from pandemic alcoholism, as they call it.  (Much as New Yorkers like to think that they’re the only people on the world, or at least they’re the only people in the world who matter, they aren’t.)  In fact, this is happening in London, Berlin, Sydney, Paris and pretty much in all large cities suffering not only from fear of getting the Chinkvirus and dying, but from autocratic politicians who are intent on putting everyone under house arrest out of fear — fear that if lots of people start dying on their watch, they may be blamed for doing nothing.  (The more cynical may just think that assholes like MichGov Wilmer are doing this stuff just because they can, but let’s ignore that for the moment.)

Any time people are imprisoned, or feel like they’re being imprisoned, all sorts of bad behaviors start to emerge, of course, and boozing is just one manifestation;  rampant sexuality and domestic violence are two others.

Actually, the situation of women drinking too much has been going on for a long time — far earlier than March/April 2020, for sure.

New Wife and I have been watching modern Brit TV dramas — especially crime — for a while now, and if there’s one thing you can bet the house on, it’s that whenever the female lead or heroine arrives home in the evening after a long day of catching murderers / treating patients / dealing with sexual harassment at her place of work / [insert your favorite example of female superiority here], there’s going to be a glass or bottle of wine waiting for her when she walks in the door.  I know it’s fiction, but entertainment reflects the Zeitgeist, and women drinking alone or on a regular basis when coming home is pretty much ubiquitous.

These days, there is a general, distorted sense of what healthy and acceptable drinking is, Dr. Kirane said. “Responsible drinking is reinforced by structure in people’s lives — going to work, taking their kids to school, interacting and maintaining a home,” he explained. “The pandemic has turned such boundaries on their head and created more space for alcohol.”

I really have no opinion on this issue, because it’s one of those “If A then B” facets of the human condition.  Nor, of course, am I going to pass judgment on people who have become hopeless drunks, because there but for the grace of God, etc. etc.

I am, however, going to suggest that the motherfucking control-freak politicians and medical charlatans who are ultimately responsible for all this foolishness should be tarred and feathered, but that reason is just the latest in a long line of reasons, as appear on these pages on pretty much a weekly basis, for such an action.