Friday, March 15, 2013


I know it is supposed to be prison friday, but I am all out of wack and I have been holding onto the post below for a while AND I have things to do AND it is getting late AND I am lazy, so....

I have also been reading the book Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici.  It is the history of women, patriarchy and accumulation of capital during the transition from feudalism to capitalism, so somehow this story of rape and South Africa seems horribly apropos.

I found it at The Frantz Fanon Blog.

Thandiswa Qubuda – another dead brick in the wall of rape imprisoning South Africa

Very little is known about Thandiswa Qubuda, a recent casualty of South Africa’s violent rape pandemic. She was raped, beaten and died after lying brain dead in hospital for six weeks. There are no photos of her in newspapers, no stories of her life, no media headlines about the savage gang attack that led to her death. Qubuda’s passing would have been largely unnoticed, were it not for activists who demanded that people learn about what happened to her: that she was an unemployed woman, failed by the police and by a justice system supposed to protect her. By MANDY DE WAAL, The Daily Maverick

The 19th of January 2013 brought a rare pleasure for Thandiswa Qubuda of Hlalani in Grahamstown. Friends asked the unemployed woman, who was in her late twenties, to join them for an evening out. It was a Saturday, and Qubuda and her mates headed to Fingo Village, one of the Eastern Cape city’s oldest townships.

It is not certain exactly what happened, but just after midnight, as Saturday night became Sunday and a heavy rain fell, Qubuda faced unspeakable terror. The young woman was dragged by as many as eight men to a toilet in the midtown, gang-raped and brutally beaten. She was left to die, prostrate and half-naked in the pouring rain; unconscious and with her arms folded over her exposed breasts.

After she had lain unconscious for hours in the downpour, an ambulance would come and dispatch Qubuda to Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown, where she died some six weeks later, gasping for breath.

“Thandiswa Qubuda’s passing is horrifying. She met her death in the most savage and brutal way. If Thandiswa were from a wealthy family, her story would have been in all the newspapers, the police would have rounded up the perpetrators, and they would be in jail, but because she is unemployed she is the wretched of the earth. She does not appear in the headlines and her rapists walk free,” says Ayanda Kota, founder of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM).

Kota’s sister and brother-in-law were amongst the first people on the scene after the community was alerted to the rape. “There were about eight men who were raping Thandiswa when a neighbour heard the screaming and went to see what was happening. The men said that this neighbour must join in the rape or he would be shot, but the man ran off to alert the community and call the police instead,” Kotasaid on the phone from Grahamstown.

“The rape took place on the corner of New Town Street and E Street in Fingo village. It must have happened after midnight because people started calling the police and ambulance from about 01h45, but the police and the ambulance only arrived after 04h00 in the morning,” he said.

“What is disturbing is that the police station is less than a kilometre away from where the rape occurred. My sister and brother-in-law were at the scene where Thandiswa was found. She was half-naked and her pants were dropped at the knees. She was lying on her back facing upwards, unconscious with her arms folded over her chest as if to cover her breasts. The people who first found her thought she had already passed away,” Kota explains.

“She was lying in that rain for two hours. After 04h00, the ambulance came, a stretcher was taken out and the paramedics rushed her to hospital. Police in Grahamstown were told that it was a rape case when they got to the scene later, but they didn’t do anything. They didn’t even go to the hospital,” alleges Kota.

“A case was opened for attempted murder,” UPM spokesperson, Xola Mali, told Daily Maverick from Grahamstown. “There was a rape charge, but there was no evidence to back it up, so that case was 
dismissed by the court this past week.”

Independent city newspaper Grocott’s Mail reported that two men aged 19 and 20 were arrested a day after the rape and brutal assault, but were later released from custody with a warning because there wasn’t enough evidence to hold them.

The investigating officer on the case, John Manzana, told Grocott’s Mail that the pair had been arrested because “circumstantial evidence in his docket indicated that both of them were seen walking with the victim and entered the place where the victim was later found”. The state prosecutor, Asanda Koliti, withdrew rape charges because the state “had not received confirmation that the woman had indeed been raped,” the newspaper reported.

“The young woman was transferred from Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown to Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth, but the doctors there said that they could do nothing for her because she was already brain dead,” Mali told Daily Maverick. “She was just sent back from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown.

“She was an unemployed woman, but she had friends who had piece jobs (occasional employment), so sometimes her friends would get money and they would occasionally go for a night out. Because she was unemployed she largely depended on her friends and community members for food, so an evening out was a rare pleasure for her,” Mali added.

“This is not the first case we have seen like this. There are many more cases like this here in Grahamstown. As usual the perpetrators will be roaming Grahamstown looking for new victims and posing a threat to society. Violence against women and children is escalating on a weekly, if not daily basis,” he said.

“The fact that the men who did this are free shows you the inefficiency of the justice system. This is a poor woman who comes from a poor family. Her family does not understand the system – they trust that the police and the justice system will do the job, but they are being let down,” said Mali.

“The parents of this woman who is now dead can’t afford lawyers to probe the case and to get to the bottom of the matter, so there is a big possibility that these men will go free,” Mali explained, adding that together with other activists and civic organisations in the area, the community of Grahamstown would be mobilised to march on the local police station to demand that ‘enough is enough’.

“We have no faith in the justice system itself, because the police are not properly trained and can’t investigate properly. The police no longer work for the community – they are militarised to deal with activists and people who fight for the rights of the people. The SAPS only protect the interests of the rich, the government, of the elite. We need to make sure that the justice system works for everyone who lives here, and not just the rich or people in government,” Mali said.

Kota warned that rape was now the new norm in South Africa, and added that the police were negligent, incompetent and unequipped to deal with the onslaught of sexual violence against women. “If you open the newspaper or turn on the TV or radio, you see that police are now assaulting, raping and killing people. They no longer serve the people,” he alleged.

“The police have become the oppressors and are part of this plague of injustice that is stalking our communities. We are a broken society. We can no longer trust those who are supposed to protect us, and we do not value our own. We have become a society that is broken and just sees women and children as objects with no value. We can no longer be patient with this disease because our society is criminally sick. We have to change this now: we need a revolution against this rape and violence,” Kota said.

Daily Maverick phoned the Grahamstown police station to offer the SAPS right of reply, but by the time of publication, there was no response from the regional spokesperson, Mali Govender, or from the police, despite assurances that a comment would be forthcoming.

A memorial service will be held for Thandiswa Qubuda on Thursday 07 March 2013 at BB Zondani in Grahamstown at 16:00 to commemorate the life - and mark the tragic death - of a woman lost to the war against rape.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the doormouse said;
"Feed YOUR HEAD...
Feed your head"

Ah, the War on Drugs.  We all denounce it as a farce, as a lost war, as a joke.  Maybe we just don't really get.  Looked at from another direction the War on Drugs has been a huge, I mean, a huge success.

I'll leave it at that.  I have things to do today.  College basketball tournaments to watch.  Dinner to make.  A new Pope to call on the phone.  (Where is Joan of Arcadia when we need her?)

The following is from Counterpunch.

Training Your Kid to be a Snitch (Against You)

15 Benefits of the War on Drugs

With American drug use levels essentially the same as — and levels of drug-related violence either the same as or lower than — those in countries like the Netherlands with liberal drug laws, public support for the War on Drugs appears to be faltering. This was most recently evidenced in the victory of major drug decriminalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington. Some misguided commentators go so far as to say the Drug War is “a failure.”
Here, to set the record straight, are fifteen ways in which it is a resounding success:
1. It has surrounded the Fourth Amendment’s “search and seizure” restrictions, and similar provisions in state constitutions, with so many “good faith,” “reasonable suspicion” and “reasonable expectation of privacy” loopholes as to turn them into toilet paper for all intents and purposes.
2. In so doing, it has set precedents that can be applied to a wide range of other missions, like the War on Terror.
3. It has turned drug stores and banks into arms of the state that constantly inform on their customers.
4. Via programs like DARE, it has turned kids into drug informants who monitor their parents for the authorities.
5. As a result of the way DARE interacts with other things like Zero Tolerance policies and warrantless inspections by drug-sniffing dogs, the Drug War has conditioned children to believe “the policeman is their friend,” and to view snitching as admirable behavior, and to instinctively look for an authority figure to report to the second they see anything the least bit eccentric or anomalous.
6. Via civil forfeiture, it has enabled the state to create a lucrative racket in property stolen from citizens never charged, let alone convicted, of a crime. Best of all, even possessing large amounts of cash, while technically not a crime, can be treated as evidence of intent to commit a crime — saving the state the trouble of having to convert all that stolen tangible property into liquid form.
7. It has enabled local police forces to undergo military training, create paramilitary SWAT teams that operate just like the U.S. military in an occupied enemy country, get billions of dollars worth of surplus military weaponry, and wear really cool black uniforms just like the SS.
8. Between the wars on the urban drug trade and rural meth labs, it has brought under constant harassment and surveillance two of the demographic groups in our country — inner city blacks and rural poor whites — least socialized to accept orders from authority either in the workplace or political system, and vital components of any potential movement for freedom and social justice.
9.In addition, it brings those who actually fall into the clutches of the criminal justice system into a years-long cycle of direct control through imprisonment and parole.
10. By disenfranchising convicted felons, it restricts participation in the state’s “democratic” processes to only citizens who are predisposed to respect the state’s authority.
11. In conjunction with shows like Law and Order and COPS, it conditions the middle class citizenry to accept police authoritarianism and lawlessness as necessary to protect them against the terrifying threat of people voluntarily ingesting substances into their own bodies.
12. Through “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear” rhetoric, it conditions the public to assume the surveillance state means well and that only evildoers object to ubiquitous surveillance.
13. In conjunction with endless military adventures overseas and “soldiers defend our freedoms” rhetoric, it conditions the public to worship authority figures in uniform, and predisposes them to cheerfully accept future augmentations of military and police authority without a peep of protest.
14. It creates enormously lucrative opportunities for the large banks — one of the most important real constituencies of the American government — to launder money from drug trafficking.
15. Thanks to major drug production centers like the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, the opium industry in Afghanistan, and the cocaine industry in South America, it enables the CIA — the world’s largest narcotrafficking gang — to obtain enormous revenues for funding black ops and death squads around the world. This network of clandestine intelligence agencies, narcotraffickers and death squads, by the way, is the other major real constituency of the American government.
The Drug War would indeed be a failure if its real function was to reduce drug consumption or drug-related violence. But the success or failure of state policies is rightly judged by the extent to which they promote the interests served by the state. The Drug War is a failure only if the state exists to serve you.
Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society ( and holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



If you are Catholic, I mean you no offense with the following post.  I would apply a critical torch to all the "great" Western religions of the Book.  Judaism, Islam, Christianity, all of your houses are burning and all of you have a whale of a lot for  which to apologize  and for which to  beg forgiveness.  You have all damaged us and you have all damaged our world and not one of you have come anywhere near to living up to the good side of what you preach, but you do a damn good job living up to the bad.  

But today it is the Vatican to which the world's media madness turns.  The red robbed cardinals and the sistine Chapel, and the puffs of smoke all make for a good show as we wait for a bunch of old men to pick one of their own to speak on behalf of God to all of us and let us know all that we are doing wrong and order his minions to follow his instructions to the letter or face a fiery hell.  He will tell us and order them while his house burns, while scandals rack his Church and yet, for some reason expect us all to listen and his minions to follow.  We don't and they don't so much either, not really.  Still while Stalin dismissed the Pope for lacking armored divisions, the truth is he has something much more powerful then that and he simply cannot be ignored.  He isn't going away and many sincerely, and with good hearts, want to believe in him, to believe in something.  We all want to believe in something.

It gets so old.

The funny thing is every now and then, as if by magic, even in the depths of the Vatican, some good old fellow slips through the vetting.  Remember the little pope John Paul I who looked like, just for a minute, as if he might cast a burst of sunlight into the Catholic world.  Well, that couldn't happen.  The mistake had to be rectified.  Couldn't have it.  Thirty three short days later he was dead.

Then came John Paul II and Benedict (the Hitler Youth Pope). 

We can't wait for good popes, good leaders, good Chairmen, a good President, a good General Secretary,  even a good communist party.  We can't be waiting on them. We know that, we all know that in our hearts, by god, we know that.  And yet, most of us, do just that, do just wait, and hope, and pray, and read our texts and issue our manifestos, put on our red berets, Lenin hats, our Mao jackets, our ties and heels, our suits, our Sunday best, our High Holiday attire, our white robes,  yes, even our burkas...and wait...

It gets so damn old.

The Church is the world and the world is the Church and sometimes it all just makes you want to scream.

People it is up to us, to you and to me.  Be religious, don't be religious, call yourself a democrat, a communist, an anarchist, a Buddhist, an atheist, a worker,  a peasant,  whatever, but in the end the future is up to us.  It is not up to some Chief Rabbi, some TV evangelist, some Imam, or some Pope, some damn leader, some know it all Vanguard.  It is up to us.  All up to us.  The MULTITUDES.  Us...

Can I say it again?

It gets so god damned old.

It is up to us.

And now I present you this from someone else who seems a bit pissed off today.



MNN. Mar. 10, 2013. The Vatican is going through hierarchical highs and lows, mostly lows. Picking a new Pope is almost like a funeral to bury the biggest heist of minds and money in history. Notice no women are involved. Millions are flocking to Rome to see the smoke signal. The German former SS officer who made it to the top might even become a saint.
What does this mean?

Live satellite coverage of the occasion in Rome shows nothing but men everywhere wearing dresses. Women are seen among the lay “pilgrims” and the “faithful”. The main visual impression left is that men have done a good job of taking over the world and eliminating women from positions of honor. They are the handmaidens who have the kids, do the scrubbing and baking. Women have to be put down so these men can live with their own impotence. Those dried up celibate cardinals, bishops and priests are not going to keep the world going, that’s for sure. They’re having a tough time just keeping their Church going.  
It’s partly about money to keep themselves on easy street, five star hotels and the jet set lifestyle. They travel the world to secure their land holdings that they never paid for and never paid tax ever anywhere. Their hands are always out to fleece the sheep. 
What's the answer?
Who won?
The sheeple worldwide are waiting for the different color of smoke to come from the chimneys at the Sistine Chapel. They feel comforted that the smoke will continue to be in their eyes, Instead of turning to the fire within their own minds. Christians, it is you that you are waiting for. 
As Jimi Hendrix sang in “House Burning Down”: Well, I asked my friend, “Where is that black smoke coming from?” He just coughed and changed the subject. Said, “Wha’, I think it might snow some”. So I left him sipping his tea and jumped in my chariot and rode off to see just why and who could it be this time. Look at the sky turn a hellfire red. Somebody’s house is burning down, down, down, down.  House burning down

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