Back in the Game
Well, welcome back everyone.
My email inbox has picked up again, but please rather comment on the site. It makes life easier and it also allows other users to follow what I am saying.
I think it is important to address a particular comment so that I can move the discussion in more productive direction. Jen has said that I wanted some of Neil Watson's publicity to rub off on me. What I really wanted was to rub off some of Neil's publicity, if that makes any sense. I didn't try to "come across as an opposition to his site". I was opposing his site, and I still do. I think it is trash. Jen is convinced that Neil's site is working (i.e. the crime rate is dropping?). I just don't think anyone can say that yet. It's way too early, and if it was working, I'm sure Neil would be the first to proclaim on his site how peaceful South Africa is getting (see the note on sarcasm in my previous entry).
Jen also says that Neil accepts his critics. If she is interested, I welcome her to email me to receive information on people who have attempted to comment on his site. As I expected when I started this blog, I was not the only critic of Neil's who was barred from commenting on his site.
Although I have much more to say, I noticed that there were requests for me to keep my posts brief, so I'll save it for another day. What I will say, however is that I will not let Neil Watson "run a net campaign... without unneccessary opposition" because as everyone no doubt knows, opposition is what makes a democracy. If I want to say something, I will, but I will be mindful of others and I will respect their opinions, whether they are 5, 43 or 102 years old. Credibility is not lost in debate and argument. Credibility is lost in unchallenged bias. A child's playground is one of the most honest and progressive places. If that is what some people think this blog has become, so be it. As the saying goes "Children are our future". By simple logic: The people who believe in what this site stands for will succeed in the end.
I didn't think this would happen
Hi there again everyone.
I'm guessing by now that the fiasco has died down and I will be able to post without receiving loads of hate mail in my inbox. I didn't think I would post here again, but surprisingly, there are still people wanting to know what I think.
I read the twenty-four comments that are under my goodbye post, and frankly, how could I not say anything? I'm giving up my 'impartiality' and I'll be the twenty year old I am. From what I can gather, a lot of people will not like that, but I don't expect there are still many people watching this site.
There is an anonymous poster who is a deranged lunatic. I understand that people will find it funny to comment and swear for no reason (a ten year old perhaps) but I don't understand how some people can believe the trashy things they say.
For the last couple of weeks I've had people emailing me telling me about new sites, old sites, future sites and ideas for sites relating to crime in South Africa. I looked at one today. It was that site that caused me to want to say something in an unmoderated place. There are so many bad
Proud South Africa sites now. They will probably fade away into the ether of the internet, but they are made by people who believe they can make a difference, and that is what is cool. If those web masters are reading this, don't be offended. The sites all have strong points and even influencing one person is a difference you may not have made without the site.
I also wanted to say that I wasn't frightened off by the threats and the morons giving me grief because I am young. I just thought it was time for people to move on. The debate was becoming stagnant and meaningless. I like it that people want to talk and are free to offer thier opinions. I just expected more from people. I expect people to help make South Africa better, and truthfully, sitting around computers arguing isn't quite cutting it. Many of the comments I made were sarcastic in my last post. Not many people get my humour apparently. C'est la vie.
The Unbroken Barometer has been running for one week and one day. In this short period of time, it has managed to attract a daily audience of over 200 people, viewing the front page up to 720 times. Since a counter was introduced last week Saturday (exactly a week ago), the blog has received over 2200 page views.
Anyone who has been monitoring this blog over the past week will have seen his or her fair share of opinions. I have been called many interesting names and been asked to comment on many interesting topics (including the state of Pork Sausages). The debates have become quite heated, some of them even spilling over into my email account. Only one user was ever censored on this site, and that is because I believe that they were making a deliberate attempt to gain hits for another site, opposing the principles of this one. Those principles were freedom of speech and tolerance.
I have been using Blogger, a website which allows people to have their say, and I believe I have been heard. With over 700 comments, I believe many other people have been heard too. The problem I now face is the lack of structure in these comments. Blogger is no longer able to handle the load of comments it is carrying.
I have been approached by people who are willing to assist in creating a proper website devoted to free speech, tolerance and issues affecting South Africa, the focus being crime. I hereby throw my spanner into the workings of The Unbroken Barometer.
What people have been debating over the past week is our problem of crime. Another interesting debate that has arisen is what can we as ordinary South Africans do? My suggestion is to do something!
A comment I accept and have appreciated on The Unbroken Barometer is that Neil Watson’s site is something good. It is a catalyst for meaningful debate. It has shaken South Africans into action. Just take a look at all of the Blogs that have started. Look at all of the Positive websites slowly emerging. Look at the people hunting down similar names to crimexposouthafrica.co.za in order to do SOMETHING!
I can already hear those comments and emails flooding in again. “What are you doing? You’re a 20 year old kid, sitting in front of a computer, making a website” Yes. I am. I am also a volunteer fire fighter for the South African National Parks. I have volunteered for many different things, volunteering for the past ten years. I have been reluctant to get into this debate, but here goes.
What is wrong with being young? Believe it or not, I know I am young and have received a great deal of flack for it, but it is a problem I am working on daily. Why can’t I have an opinion? Why do I give up my right to be proud and positive because I haven’t reached the age where everything (apparently) becomes grey and gloomy because I have a wife and two children? Does that look stupid to you? It is, but it is what some people say about me. I’m going to lose my enthusiasm for life “when I get my own family”. Those are the same people who are looking forward to seeing me once I have had that family attacked for a cell phone. Come on people. Who are you?
Here is something that all of the young and old people who aren’t upset with their families can do. Help make a difference. Go to www.OurSecurity.co.za
. You’ll find much the same thing as this blog, only with more structure and a better ‘infrastructure’. It’s amazing how things are improving as 2010 approaches.www.OurSecurity.co.za
is a website created by volunteers gathered from The Unbroken Barometer who want to make a difference any way they can. If you can, please offer your help by emailing me. We need all the help we can get. Otherwise, you’re welcome to simply go to the website and have your say. Make a comment; tell us what you like, tell us what you don’t like. We’ll make it work.
Something else we are going to try on for size is advertising. Yes, we are planning to make loads of money. There’s one simple catch. We don’t ever see the money. If I can work out how to actually use the software, we’re going to offer advertising space to companies who donate money to charitable organisations. We’re not taking money “for administration costs” because we believe that a site like this will survive with the support of South Africans willing to make a difference.
So here it is, in summary. I will no longer be posting regular comments on The Unbroken Barometer. Instead, I will make comments on OurSecurity.co.za. I would like to invite all of the people who have commented here to carry on with the debate at the new site. You can still comment anonymously but your IP address will be logged to protect the site. It would be easier if you logged in. It is a very quick process. I’ll see you there.
I’ll try to stop typing now, but before I do I have something to say.
I had people trying to ‘discredit’ me because I was a fan of the Scary Movie Trilogy: Scary Movies 1, 2, 3 & 4. I laughed when I read the comment from the person who believed I didn’t know a trilogy was three. Would someone that stupid think of starting a blog based on political controversy? I also ‘caught it’ because I am a student. Students are meant to be activists. What do you want us to do with our spare time? Must we come and graffiti your walls?
I have had a lot of support from many different people, and I would like to thank them. I would like to thank those of you who have commented ceaselessly day in and out and those who have debated for what they believe in. I would also like to say that there are many people who do themselves no favours by being obscene and even threatening towards people who are trying to solve one of the biggest problems our country has faced.
Thanks to Angie, and also to Melini from ECR Newswatch and Renee from Independent Online. For those who haven’t seen the latest report, take a look: The Herald
. If this blog has done anything, it has at least helped to discredit a website that is doing our country no good at all.
It may seem like I am trying to give myself a pat on the back. There’s nothing wrong with having high self-esteem. And no, I’m not trying to be the second famous person, and just to prove it I’ll end here.
Good night, and good luck.
"...because a single crime is too much."
MEC Firoz Cachalia
says statistics are irrelevant "...because a single crime is too much." Here is something I believe we can all agree upon. How can you fight what you don't know? If the government wants us to fight crime together, they should supply us with the facts. A single crime is too much but what are the figures? The rest of that article
, I believe is very positive on the whole. Granted, we aren't seeing any change yet, but it is a step in the right direction.
In other news, thanks to ECR Newswatch for the report on this blog yesterday. At least East Coasters now know that there are positive alternatives to our problems.
Have a good day everyone.
AddyAlso I would like to say that while I will not edit any comments, any attempts at advertising are being removed quickly, so don't bother trying.
Am I telling the truth?
I have had to question whether I can rely on comments from people posting on my site. There are a lot of facts being stated here. I'm no statistician, but I do know when one fact contradicts another, there is something not right.
One aspect of our problem is crime statistics. We don't have any, officially. Claims are being made that the official stats from SAPS are incredibly high, but then again, the other corner is claiming that the same source shows a general decline in crime. I'll admit, I haven't checked these stats myself because my support does not substantiate anything. It was never my intention to be a statistician or to comment here about how bad crime is in SA. I'd rather look at how badly we want to fix it and how we can go about doing that without dragging the name of our country through the mud.
Another thing I have
commented on is the reliability and authenticity of Mr Watson's site, more specifically, the gruesome pictures he is publishing. I have only seen one of these pictures to date and am unsure as to whether there are more because my Internet explorer keeps crashing when I try to visit it. Somewhere in the over 600 comments now on this site, someone said that the picture Mr Watson used was not submitted by crime affected South Africans but rather a copy and paste job from rotten.com. This is a web site I have no intention of trawling, looking for the same graphic I originally saw. If someone can substantiate that the graphic was taken from Rotten.com, it would help immensly. Please post a comment or email me directly
For those of you that support Mr Watson's site and are against me trying to discredit him, please know that I have it on very good authority that a proper site will soon be launched which will invite ALL
interested parties to have their say. Also, it is hoped that there will be more accurate information provided.
This does fit into Mr Watson's overall goal to better the country by reducing crime levels. Something we all agree needs to be done.
AddyAnd in case you didn't read my extra long post above, here is the summary: Please contact me if you have any information regarding the graphic pictures on the Crime Expo SA site, and where they come from.
I'm not going anywhere
Thanks to everyone who is coming back to see what's going on. There are some lively debates happening and I have even been emailed requests to remove news reports, as well as a couple of less savoury emails, asking me to remove the entire blog. I have asked for comments from political parties, and whether or not they get back to me is up to them. I'll include the list of parties I mailed below. I don't think I missed any, but let me know if I have.
ANC, DA, FF+, UDM, ID, ACDP, IFP, MF, UCDP, AZAPO
SABC News won't comment on the whole Crime Expo SA web site because they don't want to give creedence to it. I understood that, until someone told me that Mr Watson was interviewd on SAFM. Did anyone catch that interview? What do you think? I'm worried that there are press agencies and news services reporting inaccurate and biased information using only Mr Watson's site as a reference. It doesn't listen to ALL South Africans.
Visit one of the sites on the right. They're all good.
I have a simple question. What does posting news stories do to help anybody? I am not deleting any comments at all. Good or bad, so if you want to say something say it.
This morning 'Anonymous' decided that it would serve his or her agenda well to try and compete against positive comments by posting news article after news article about crime in South Africa. In fact, there is no point. I have never, nor has anyone else said on this blog that crime is not a problem. We're all in agreement there. The debate is how to handle the problem. Flooding the site with news reports is not constructive.
If anyone wants to see the news today, please visit:IOLNews24Mail & Guardian
There are many more.
occassionally has negative
stories about South Africa, but you know what. They also have positives
'Anonymous', most people who comment on this site use the Anon option because it is easier. Identify yourself if you have something constructive to say. Be negative if you want, but I don't need the extra hits or the comments if there is nothing constructive to be said. If you want to refer to a story, don't publish the entire story, rather publish a link. It makes life easier for all of us.
Have a good day, everyone.
More from the web
I came across this page
after the author left a comment on the Unbroken Barometer.
Here is an excerpt:
"Watson’s move would actually be welcomed if his site contained cautionary advice - for let’s not kid ourselves, South Africa is plagued by high levels of crime. It’s equally true, however, that by taking the normal, sensible precautions one would take anywhere while on holiday, tourists can have a wonderful visit here, and return home much enriched. But Watson’s blog is pure, lurid gore - yellow in every respect - whose only purposes are fearmongering and discouragement. (Not to forget profiteering - he accepts ads on his blog.)" - South Africa Travel Guide
I've had the feeling that people aren't fully trusting Official South African Tourism sites. It's understandable because it is
their job to be super positive. They do mention crime and precautions though. I'm adding the above site to my links because it is more intimate. It isn't a billboard. Any tourists: check out all of the sites! And come visit.
In terms of suggestions for what we should do about crime, I've started collecting ideas for a proposal to government. So far I have things ranging from "politicians should give up their own bodyguards" to "increase the alcohol tax" - many crimes occur in conjunction with excessive alcohol use. We need more ideas though, so let's have them.
What to do?
"I’d like to see the websites develop into though[t]-provoking, informative, factual sources on South Africa, its crime situation and possible solutions. Unfortunately things seem to be going the other way …" 2:24 PM, July 09, 2006
I have been wondering this weekend about possible solutions to the problems this blog is trying to dismantle. It is great that people have opinions and that there is a place for people to express themselves freely, but what then? One of the main problems facing us, as South Africans is a lack of trustworthy information. Most of what is being said has no real basis, because we aren't given proper stats by the police. What South Africa really needs, other than a couple of web sites of opinion, is one of fact. A good example has been pointed out: Chicago Crime Database
I don't have the time or the resources to develop something like this. However, Crime Expo SA does. That is one possible route I would like to see that web site go.
Also, I have been looking at a comment about trying to use this site to raise money for charities or foundations, by offering advertising space. At the moment, I'm going to say no, but I'm open to comments and opinions, for example, is it ethical, is it worthwhile, and what sort of charity. I am very
hesitant to commercialise any aspect of this debate.
I found a comment from anonymous claiming that "Mr Watson's website is about letting victims tell the truth" and that my blog is "suppressing the truth about crime in SA". I think it is important for me to say AGAIN that no comments on my blog are edited at all
, whether they support what I believe or not. Mr Watson, however, does not post any comments which do not praise him or agree with his methods. The purpose of this blog is to balance out his lies. Personally, I would tend to believe that Neil Watson is suppressing the truth.
Anonymous also sends a message "to all the companies that are offering all kinds of assistance to adolescent Addy. To you I say to hell with your profits and money, human lives, all of them, are way more important. Careful Addy I can see you becomming [sic] the little smiling faced idiot on their billboards promoting a safe SA."
Although I appreciate the offers of assistance I have received, as well as the offers for hosting et cetera, I have not accepted any of these offers yet. I have earned no money, nor will I earn any money at all from this blog. The people who have offered to help have not asked for any money nor have they requested advertising space, although I wouldn't see a problem with this. Another problem I had with the comment from anonymous is that I would become the smiling faced idiot on 'their' billboards. The only smiling face I've seen is the one on the Crime Expo SA web site asking for people to advertise.