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I could never understand why we abandoned steam. We have tons of high sulphur coal sitting out on the East Rand complex, which is cheap. It would be worthwhile to research methods of cleaner burning coal. Imagine if we had poured the millions, which went into rail infrastructure and diesel locos, into steam instead (save on diesel, accessible coal etc.). We would be world leaders in steam-powered public transport, guru’s to 3rd world countries (cheap for passengers as well). Instead we emulated
A legacy of an agricultural boarding school in a farming community, is the material you read at an impressionable age. The school had stacks of the Farmer’s Weekly magazine. The ideal magazine for SA is the Farmer’s Weekly – it has everything. Consider:
The magazine was a huge suck-up to the government during apartheid. It is more balanced now that it detests the government. Thrill to the spats between the Agricultural Union and the Minister of Agriculture. Keep informed
I generated a proposal for civil defense training once (it was rejected although <ahem> it was pretty good in my not so humble opinion). As usual, I looked at what the American’s had. As usual, it was excellent background documentation. The problem with all American material is the implicit assumption that you have unlimited resources and a plethora of skilled warm bodies (and their high salaries) to fling at a project. American material has to be extensively rewritten for the SA environment.
America, more than other nations, requires an on-the-ball external intelligence service. They are isolated geographically from the world and traditionally insular (yet desire to be global cops). They get little input from South America because of their dominant economic position (they penalize what they don’t want to hear) and they have an uneasy relationship with Canada. If they refuse to accept Canadian intelligence, I can see Canada shrugging (they won’t insist). The USA relies exclusively on
The Chinese (of all people) should understand the concept of ‘face’. By attempting to blackmail America on issues where the US has taken a very public stance, is dumb. Even if they [US] wished to cooperate (and I believe they do) they stand to lose much face if they cave. There are many, less public, issues which America has historically clashed with China over, where I am sure the US would be willing to compromise because China has them by the financial short-and-curlys.