SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY & ‘MATCH AWARENESS’

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Anyone who was at the Highveld Lions T20 match vs the Cape Cobras & who happens to be a Lions fan must have been SO frustrated!

8 runs to get off the last over & you have two Proteas batting: Pretorius & Mulder. Now you’d think this must be the proverbial ‘walk in the park’. No it turns out to be ‘a major fumble in the dark’! Why? because they both try & be the ‘glory boys’ & hit a six! Yes that is an option BUT NOT when (1) a few singles and/or a 2 can do it; (2) Even better add maybe a four AND (3) MAINLY when all the fielders are on the boundary AND (4) NOT when the closest fielder on the on-side is also on the boundary … 40+ meters away! Push it out to leg & scamper a 1 and/or 2 – It may not have worked 100% BUT they did not even try it …. ONCE! You wonder if they even considered/discussed this option?!

Now add to that a similar lack of ‘match awareness’ (As the commentator calls it)displayed by Miller in yesterdays IPL match. He came in when a win was on the cards & his partner Rahul had been batting very well & sensibly since opening the innings. No rather than rotating the strike & letting his well established partner go for the big hits (after all his eye was in!), Miller goes for a big six off his 3rd or 4th ball …. & is caught.

If this style of play and lack of match/situational awareness is added to our well know lack of BMT, then I doubt will get past the 1/4 finals of the world ODI championships that start at the end of next month in the UK!!

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CRICKET COMMENTATORS

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Let me start with the good news – since radio and TV introduced former players as commentators there has been a material improvement in the quality of the information provided although some of them sometimes forget that we are watching AS WELL, not only listening i.e. we don’t need to be told that is was a great shot, six, catch etc!

Now let’s move onto the minor but irritating observations of some (& sometimes too many!) commentators:

(1) The so-called one-handed shot e.g. Pollard yesterday. Everytime this comment is made I watch the replay closely & I have never seen any batsman to whom this amazing feat has been attributed actually remove one hand off the bat BEFORE actually striking the ball/moment of impact! ‘Yes’ the hand may come off the bat e.g. due to sweat etc but I challenge any commentator to show us one video where the bat is held by one hand prior to and/or at the moment of impact.

(2) ‘He doesn’t drop many’ – What is the intention with this obsequiuos comment? Unless the player involved is a really poor fielder, which at the current level of cricket should not apply to any player, surely all of them ‘don’t drop many’? Alternatively if it is a really good player who has ‘slipped up’, rather say ‘Very rarely will you see him drop a catch’

(3) ‘A swing and a miss’ – please: we are watching!

(4) The emphasis on power and not timing – the latter is the beauty of the game and in fact most ball games. ‘Yes’ there are exceptions when a player has literally ‘muscled’ the ball over the ropes for a six or a four such as Andre Russell on Friday but please give greater recognition too sublime timing – that’s really what identifies the superior players.

Finally ‘Thank you’ to those commentators who do their homework, educate us about the game and go the extra mile!

WAIVERS, INDEMNITIES, DISCLAIMERS & POTHOLES/HIJACKS

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A recent trip to Wakkerstroom (Music Festival – if you have not been, add it to your bucket list!) made me think about how government (local, provincial & central) are ‘passing the buck’ in terms of accountability & liability, just like they’ve done with schooling, medical care, security & electricity!
Along the way to Wakkerstroom & especially close to & after Standerton there were LOTS of our national (ALL in fact) road trade mark i.e. potholes. As we’ve all been taxed to death for road repairs, directly & indirectly, where has the money gone & why are the weeds growing in the ‘new’ roads when a year ago these were being worked on? We all know where the money has gone!
The direct affect of this blatant theft & insolence is that the secondary by-pass road, which was supposed to be an interim measure, has now become (in this instance the R23) a fully fledged & totally overused main road! Add to this the MANY trucks who use it to by-pass the toll road & it is a HOLE disaster!
So what do the authorities do? They issue an informal, implied waiver, disclaimer & indemnity (by means of signage) ‘BEWARE POTHOLES’ which they (I am sure) feels qualifies as a ‘USE AT YOUR OWN RISK’ qualification. If you sue them (for damage to your vehicle, injury or death) there is no doubt in my mind this is the defence they will rely: volenti non fit injuria
Now look more locally at the ‘HIJACKING DISCLAIMERS’ i.e. ‘CRIME/HIJACK HOTSPOT’ – instead of installing & monitoring cameras and/or manpower, the effect is the same as with the potholes: ‘We have warned you so don’t come & knock on our door’!!
Despite all of the above we LOVE our country & are having a HOLE lot os fun …. even in the DARK!

‘ZOOS NEED RADICAL RETHINK’

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An article under the captioned heading by Don Pinnock, an environmental journalist, in the Independent on Saturday January 26 2019 prompted me to write this article.

The first point in my view is that the quaint sounding name ‘Zoological Gardens’ is a complete misnomer as it is in reality an animal jail which, in some cases, happens to be in a garden setting. You may well say the word ‘jail’ is a strong and inappropriate choice as a jail is where persons are incarcerated against their will. However bear in mind that such criminals are there because they committed some crime whereas the animals in the zoo has committed no offense of any nature, are there against their will and have had no say in the matter.
Of course there is the argument of how pleasant the surroundings have been made, etc. However the same is applicable to (some) jails i.e. the inmates have TV, a gym, an area to do physical exercise, go for a walk etc. Yet no matter how you spruce it up, it is still a jail and limited to such a small area, sometimes for life, can be sole destroying. Yet it is punishment that most of us will say is deserved.

So what is different in a zoo? The similar limitation of space and deprivation of the natural gregarious nature of the animal is a LIFE sentence which has a major impact on such wild life.

Look at yourself – you may live in a nice house, apartment or flat and in some cases have the privilege of a garden. Let’s say you can choose ONE room of your abode to live in i.e. sleep, cook, eat and bath BUT don’t despair: we’ll make it as nice as possible with surround sound, TV with all the channels available and you’ll even have a view of greenery thru your barred window. The downside is that you’ll NEVER be allowed to leave this room – is that fair? Oh and don’t forget: you don’t have to cook – your keeper will provide you regularly with the food of his/her choice! Is that fair? Of course not – so why do we do that to animals and birds?

The main thrust of my argument is that times have changed – when zoos were initiated (Around 1828) there was no National Geographic, Internet with numerous wildlife channels, YouTube etc. Furthermore there were no game reserves where animals could be observed in their natural surroundings. Now, in Gauteng alone within a two hour drive, there are over 30 of them – nationally there are many, many more. Yet we carry on inculcating the concept that captivity, whether it is a zoo or an aviary, is the norm, acceptable and to be replicated all over the world! And we don’t stop there – sea creatures are stuffed into aquariums and ‘Sea World’ where, just like zoos, humans can gawk at them and they must perform at our behest …. in my view simply disgusting and completely unacceptable.

If you look at the intelligence of most of these animals (e.g. elephants) and sea creatures (e.g. Dolphins), they are WAY more intelligent than us. Elephants have no telephones or Internet, yet they can communicate and identify the ‘sender’ over 10 kilometers by means of ultra-sonic sounds (www.elephantvoices.org)! Dolphins and whales have similar capabilities and their sounds travel up to 10 000 miles (www.journeynorth.org). Long before man could fly, many birds already started migrating huge distances all over the world e.g. the Steppe Buzzard comes all the way from Russia (According to National Geographic this migration applies to 4.5 million birds representing about 185 species – http://www.birding.krugerpark.co.za). Why do we not respect this superior intellectual and physical ability as opposed to treating them like ignorami and ‘jailing’ them?

Sadly there is the perception that not only are humans entitled to incarcerate wild life but that zoos are a form of entertainment – can you believe it? Well I hate to tell you, you better because here is what a highly educated person has to say (As quoted in Pinnock’s article): Dr Condy former director of the Johannesburg zoo, believes zoos ‘..are in the family recreation (read ‘entertainment’) business …. competing with Randburg Waterfront and Bruma Lake’. What a sad state of affairs!

Let’s look at a few animals and the areas they cover daily in the wild and of which we deprive them in our zoos:

LIONS – A pride’s area can cover between 20 to 400 sq. km. and, despite being depicted as lazy, they can walk between 80 and 200 km per day (www.reference.com; http://www.britannica.com; http://www.pictures-of-cats.org; http://www.proprofs.com)

ELEPHANTS – They can walk between 4 and 11 km and in some cases 48 km per day (www.berkeley.edu; http://www.peta.org)
The vast majority of elephants now in zoos were taken from their homes and families in the wild. Zoos rob elephants of their most basic needs, including extended social relationships and the opportunity to walk long distances. … and travelling as far as 30 miles a day’.

SPRINGBOK – male territory is between 10 and 70 hectare (25 – 173 acres)(en.wikipediea.org)

RHINO – The range a rhino requires is 5 sq miles and they walk up to 10 miles per day (www.animalfactsencylopedia.com)
So do yourself a favour – next time you have the misfortune to visit a zoo, think of the above space they require and compare it with what we’ve given them …. and hang your head in shame.

The one argument that gets repeated ad nauseam is the one of endangered species and rehabilitation. Given the changes mentioned above re the increased number of game reserves, this is by and large a fallacious argument and most of the animals and birds in zoos are not endangered. Furthermore non-endemic creatures should never be/have been kept in zoos e.g. a polar beer in Johannesburg!
Once you’ve convinced yourself of the de-merits of zoos, go to one of these game reserves and learn not only about the highly visible animals, but different grass types, the symbiotic relationship between wasps and certain fruits, ants and butterflies, etc. If you do this your respect for wild life and nature will grow and you’ll never visit a zoo, aviary or aquarium again and you’ll find any form of captivity abhorrent.

(C) Adv Louis Nel
AKA ‘louis-THE-lawyer’
February 10 2019

ROAD DEATHS & DRIVER BEHAVIOUR/APATHY

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Until such time as the traffic police are actually on the road, whether in marked on unmarked vehicles fitted with two cameras: one to measure the speed & the second to record the transgression, the absolutely lawless manner in which drivers behave will continue unabated! We recently drove from Plett to PE & it was actually quite frightening: speed & solid (even double) white lines completely ignored & over-taking on blind rises commonplace. I’d go further & suggest that drivers should be arrested & hand-cuffed on the spot. An agreement caN be entered with taxi companies to be on stand-by to collect the passengers & transport them to the next town. Ultimately & hopefully this inconvenience will make drivers comply! louis-THE-lawyer

GUATEMALA & THE CIA

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I had the good fortune to come across and read the fascinating review of the history of Guatemala contained in ‘Silence on the Mountain’ by Daniel Wilkinson (2004).

The following shocking extract (page 181) pertaining to the ‘psychological warfare’ perpetrated by the CIA makes for scary and very upsetting reading:

* The CIA ‘drew up a list of 58 Guatemalan leaders to be assassinated….’
* ‘The instructions included a 19 page “Handbook on Assassination” ‘ which includes the following: ‘….. killing techniques …. the simplest tools often are often the most efficient … hammer, axe, screw driver …’
* As with many other CIA ‘engagements’ it was based on the so-called threat of communism & in the process they gathered ‘over 150 000 documents’ BUT could find ‘no traces of Soviet control’

Does that not ring a distinct bell e.g. the USA could not find any so-called ‘weapons of mass destruction’ when they overthrew Saddam Hussain?

I will not be surprised if a bit of ‘digging’ will reveal many other CIA atrocities, whether in the name of communism, the cold war or other baseless grounds.

What a sad world we live in.

louis-THE-lawyer

GDPR & POPIA COMPLIANCE

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