Friday, April 11, 2008

No way, it can't be Friday already!

.......so that means Skywatch.... I don't know where this week has gone! I intended to do all sorts of posts, (and visits) but as usual time got away from me. And the few times I did manage to sit down long enough to marshal my thoughts, the power was off. We have had some pretty brutal load shedding this month, but are learning to work around the power outages.




Speaking of brutal, I hope things in Zimbabwe don't go the way of Kenya! Oh dear, I feel a rant coming on..... so I'd better post a pretty sky pic first for those who can't handle all the politics, and then those with strong constitutions can read on................

This little wooden treehouse is on a farm on the outskirts of town that has been set up as a 'touch farm' for kids to make friends with a whole selection of farm animals. Our 3 year old grandson LOVES going there! The sun going down behind the stormy cloud really gave it a great atmosphere.

By the way, the trees are Australian blue-gums, which thrive in this country, as they lack natural enemies.

Ok, ..... ranting again......
I must confess to being HUGELY frustrated by our current State President. He has set a clear pattern of being out of the country whenever there is a crisis, and the silence from his office is deafening. He is so busy, involving himself in the affairs of the rest of the world, that he has totally abdicated his responsibilities to his own nation, and its neighbours. Of all the countries that actually need his input right now, Zimbabwe is top of the list, but as usual he is sitting on the fence, and refusing to take a stand. He has a total paralysis when it comes to dealing decisively with the misdemeanours of former "heroes of the liberation struggle." It seems he is incapable of separarting their past actions from any current law breaking, and it seems that, if anyone took a role in the struggle, he is willing to turn a blind eye to even the most extreme abuses of power or position. He has done this repeatedly on behalf of his cronies such as the Commissioner of Police and the health minister, among others, and of course old fatcat Bob Mugabe is one of his untouchable heroes too.



It is also with growing concern that I view the way the Eskom issue is being managed at Government level. As the economy teeters, the man in the street is squeezed from every side. Many are already on the brink of losing their homes due to price hikes, and the poor are battling to cope with rising food prices. Yet Eskom demands a huge 60% price increase and then has the cheek to refuse to disclose all the facts behind it. (They claim that diclosing all the figures will weaken their position in negotiating coal prices!)


If Eskom was being led by people who had established their credentials as trustworthy, pro-active managers, that might make it easier to accept. But clearly this is not the case. They have already created serious doubts about their ability and integrity, both in the mismanagement of the power supply, and more seriously, in the disturbing details which keep surfacing regarding huge bonuses being paid to the head honchos, and preferential deals with neighbouring countries, who have uniterrupted supplies guarenteed, at well below the price we are currently paying. Not to mention all the ducking and diving that has accompanied these disclosures.

The lame reasons that are being given for refusing to be transparent about the enormous price hike are not acceptable. I believe that a reluctance to disclose the true nature of the deals with the neighbours is more likely to be behind it, because the public will, quite justifiably, be outraged if the full truth emerges. And of course, any future juicy bonuses and pay packets would also be embarrassingly hard to justify. To write a blank check in these circumstances would be irresponsible in the extreme, and would be a blatant breach of taxpayers trust.

But again, Mbeki is gallivanting somewhere else in his personal presidential jet! (Although apparently, his hand having been forced by Zambia's President calling for an urgent meeting tomorrow, he will return for that....) It is time for firm leadership. We need the office of the State President to take an interest in affairs closer to home, and not to follow the usual pattern of deafening silence in the face of issues needing urgent attention. The lives of too many are being affected by the goings-on at Eskom. Transparency, efficiency and sound management must be demanded from those in charge of our power grid, and we cannot afford for our leaders to sit on their hands while Eskom steamrolls this price hike through.

You know a President is doing a lousy job when his probable successor, (a man currently on trial for corruption, after already recently facing rape charges, and whose favourite song is "bring me my machine-gun" ) is starting to look like a better proposition as our leader! He may lack any political wisdom, and probably a lot of ethics too, but at least he has the balls to take a stand and say what needs to be said, even if it means offending a former hero of the struggle. He has already taken a clear position on Zimbabwe, and called for an immediate release of the election results. (Don't worry, I am not becoming a rabid Zuma supporter.... far from it.... but at the moment he certainly appears to be the lesser of two evils!)


I was thinking the other day that I really need to think through my position on one country taking a hand in the affairs of another... on the one hand I find myself totally opposed to Bush and his war on Iraq, yet I am frustrated at the lack of intervention over Zimbabwe.... but I think it is not an opposition to interference per se, as much as being disgusted by the cynical way a revenge attack for 9-11, and opportunistic attempt to control a major oil producer, was sold to the world as a noble attempt to save the poor Iraqis from their brutal dictator.... give me a break!



On a lighter note, I must tell you that I am doing aquarobics twice a week, and loving it. This may not seem like an earth shattering statement, but anyone who knows me well will have heard my views on going to any form of gym, and any regular exercise routine is like an allegen for me, I come out in a rash at the very thought of jogging and that sort of thing... but this is amazing. After an hour in the water, doing a workout that isn't percussive to painful joints, I feel great! And it is cool because the classes are led by a physiotherapist, and all of us are overweight, on the wrong side of 50 and have ricketty joints, so we don't have to endure the gorgeous sylph-like and immaculately togged babes in the gym wailing because they are SOOO FAT because they are 300 grams overweight! Ok, I'm off to squeeze into my swimsuit....thank goodness it is a heated pool, winter is definitely on its way. Hope to catch you later, (but it might be difficult, load shedding is scheduled for another 2 and a half hours tonight....Some amazing statements were made by the deputy minister of Safety and Security this week, encouraging Police to "shoot to kill". I am dying to tell you all about it, but again time is the enemy, so it will have to wait!) Have a great weekend!

24 comments:

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Suzi...
I'll comment on the picture and call back over the weekend to read all of the rant.. busy day today with sky watch..
Thanks for this view.. reminds me of a watch tower.. and I suppose will also tie in nicely with your rant to...
Thanks for taking the time over this this and I will be back over the weekend or my names not Joe King.. ;o)

Low Iron Only said...

I absolutely love this picture it's almost as if the worlds gone dark and the heavens are opening up, love it

SandyCarlson said...

Great view. I love the silhouette.

quintarantino said...

Yes it is, yes it is ... and seeing your photo I guess you had your homework long done ... it's a unique silhouette ... is it a watch tower?

Now, of to read your point of view on the latest of South Africa.

Champ Townboy said...

This is a beautiful photo!! And I love the layout of your blog! Very cool.

This is my first visit to your blog, but when I saw the header I had to laugh. I've never used the words, but it has been on my mind that I've been not only taking, but also seeing a lot of 'artsy fartsy' shots lately. LOL!!!

Rose said...

Beautiful photos!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Oh, your photos are beautiful. I wish I could just crawl into my monitor and walk around those pictures... very nice!

John said...

Those photos are beautiful. Great silhouette.

Daniel J Santos said...

Excellent post, excellent pictures.

mrsnesbitt said...

The silouette is wonderful!
I am doing aqua-aerobics in a couple of weeks, when my scars have healed. Looking forward to it.
Dx

Ida said...

Great shots.
Nice silhouettes. :)

RuneE said...

I can see that there is an artist here by the silhouettes! Otherwise, I must say that our local newspaper placed most of the responsibility for the future of the president of Zimbabwe squarely on The Republic of South Africa, as the regional Great Power. Concerning Mr. Bush, I must say I agree.

Thank you for the comments on my posts! Around here the birches are "a dime a dozen". Beautiful trees and very popular for firewood. It is also the last tree that gives in as you reach higher altitudes.

Carletta said...

Your photo last week was awesome, but this is too!
Love it!

Anne-Berit said...

This is wonderful for SWF!

Sonia said...

Very nice photos!

Have a good weekend as well!

dot said...

Fantastic pictures!
Very good post also. We are ruled by the rich and greedy politicians.

Misty Dawn said...

Awesome photos! Love the silhouettes!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Called back as I said and read the rant... way to go Suzi... that's some annoyance for you there.. if you can channel that and let it all go at once while you are doing you aquarobics you could cause a tidal wave... :o)

Tom...

imac said...

Yup, that sure is fantastic, love how the light shines thru the window. Such dramatic feeling here.

Suzi-k said...

haha, Tom, the funny thing is that's exactly what we did! We were doing kickboxing moves under the water, and the instructor said "picture there is a real enemy at the end of those kicks and punches, and do it with passion", so I chirped that we shold do Mugabe with the left side and Escom with the right.... it worked because someone commented that we were creating the "Perfect Storm" in the centre of the pool!

Kerri said...

Oh a Beautiful Skywatch shot!

Petunia said...

Great shot for SWF!

Petunia's SWF

andrée said...

What beautiful photos they are. They make me feel like I am looking at somebody's memories of the wonderful past.

Sheila said...

Your photos are lovely, great light..
I can't comment on the politics as I don't know the issues. I'm embarassed to admit, I have enough trouble keeping up with things here, when it comes to rest of the world, I'm out to lunch.
Congratulations on the aquarobics, I'd love to do that, but never seem to have time. I guess we have to make time. Especially since I am on the wrong side of 50, and overweight as well..LOL