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I highly recommend people spend some time watching the SABC coverage of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission on YT. It's uploaded in full (albeit split annoyingly into early 2000's 10min video limits). I continue to be fascinated by South Africa. It's history mirrors the US imo.

I don't think there's any saving that country tbh. You'd probably have to return to Apartheid style governance. But even if you had the political support in the US and EU, I don't think it's possible to perenially govern a majority population that's incapable of maintaining basic societal function. There's a little town called Orania (I'm sure people who read Nic have heard of it.) All Afrikaners, tgeyve managed to build schools, sewage treatment and power plants. I sincerely wish them luck.

On smoking, if you'll pardon the crassness, is the absolute gayest liberal cause celebre. I'd take these people a lot more seriously if they weren't legalizing smoking weed and treating drug addiction with "safe use centers." Everyone seems to think they'll get insta-lung cancer if they breathe in second hand smoke. You can sign up for the military at 18, but can't smoke (or drink) until you're 21 in most states. That is, simply, fucked up.

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Speaking about pro-natalism and South Africans, Elon Musk's had a secret project designed to stop the population decline. He had 11 kids with 3 different women. The man executes potential solutions as soon as there is a problem.

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The areas where smoking is allowed in Canada are clearly indicated. Just look for butts strewn all over the ground.

Smoking areas should be as common as pigsties.

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smoking 👍🇮🇱👍

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If BRICS were a convoy, I imagine the S leading them boldly into the future. They all have issues with corruption, some of it legendary.

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Excellent, as always. As to early fertility drop in France, I discussed this here, nearly five years ago, in the context of Ibbitson's "Empty Planet."


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I've never smoked and don't understand people that do. Nonetheless, the argument that people should be banned from smoking outdoors because it's offensive to non-smokers is ludicrous. What about homeless people, or ugly people or badly dressed people? I may find all of those offensive but that doesn't mean they should be banned. Also, it makes zero sense to focus on eliminating outdoor smoking while at the same time allowing/promoting pot smoking everywhere. The streets of major cities now smell like pot shops, and it more than drowns out cigarette smoke.

One idea that I'd be okay with is removing smoking-related diseases from national health coverage. A smoker's lung cancer is voluntarily accepted along with the smoking habit, and there's no reason for non-smokers to foot the bill. No need to attack this in the comments; I know it could easily extend to illegal drugs, alcohol and lots of other things. I still like the idea despite the impracticality.

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"Had France’s population increased at the same rate as England’s since 1760, there would be more than 250 million French citizens alive today."

That's the kind of stat I'd never have known about without the Saturday Commentary. What a find!

Also interesting, re: South Africa—when reports were first surfacing about the blackouts, and pointing out that thorny fact immediately led to a "White Supremacist-beyond-the-pale" labeling, I found it fascinating that numerous Springboks (I'm a rugby fanatic) were linking those types of articles on their Twitter feeds. Of course it was happening, but it's going to be one of those questions historians puzzle over: why weren't we allowed to notice it?

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The farther I move away from liberalism, the more I realize the importance of demographics. But improving them seems exceptionally difficult.

There are many factors, each of which I could write paragraphs about:

-the impracticality of large families in modern life

-the expense of raising a child and the further expense of investing in their success

-the vast amount of pleasures that people choose to consume over choosing to raise children

-the antagonism between men and women

-the cultural derision of parenthood and children in the West

To expand on one point, I almost exclusively see men talking about this. But it’s women who are giving birth and (primarily) raising the children. So regardless of anything else, if women don’t want to have children, this problem isn’t going to be solved.

I don’t know... Most solutions I have seen are fantasies focused on returning to the past; this isn’t viable. Even if we had a solid plan, implementing it would be difficult in the West

The future will be interesting

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On smoking, there's the old Tex Williams song... Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) -- my preferred "brand" is that of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD3e-L2Tuis

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"when there is nothing left to steal, that’s when the killings begin." - what a statement. The old saying, "when the money's gone, it's time to move on" certainly doesn't hit the same. Yikes

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> Now 77, Kleinschmidt says he often wonders what caused honorable fellow anti-Apartheid campaigners to mutate into such horrible politicians. A photo from 1990 hangs above his desk showing him together with Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie, the icons of the South African fight for freedom, a photo from those years of transformation.


"Oh man these people brutally murdered all their political opponents but I never imagined they'd try to murder _me_!"

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Smoking is a magical thing. Look up the article in Wikipedia on tobacco use in the antebellum South; the amount that was consumed was unbelievable. I quit cigarettes three years ago, but I smoke a pipe almost daily. A nicotine buzz is like caffeine and zanex melded together: it calms you down and helps you focus.

On a related note, notice how smokers will universally preface their habit of smoking in quasi-confessional terms (i.e., as if going to Confession). They will always begin talking of their use of tobacco as an admission, e.g., "I know its bad, but...", "I want to quit, but...", etc. Meanwhile, we have rampant use of pornography, contraception, fornication, and all sorts of sexual perversity condemned even as recently as a decade and a half ago. Note that few if any couch their participation in such actions as an admission of guilt. Notice third that this all has taken place in the last 50 years.

Take away from the second part: we have, as a society, seemed to decide that it is more sinful/consequential to smoke than to engage in sexual action (perverse or otherwise).

Tell me what's going to affect your actions and outlook more: sex or a smoke?

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I lived in the UK 25 years ago, and visited pubs often. One of the most attractive aspect of a pub, or at least something viscerally nostalgic, was the scent of old beer and tobacco smoke deep in the upholstery. You could often smell it just walking past the door of a pub! I've been back to the UK only a couple times in the last 20 years, and honestly pubs are just not the same (also, they became loud, when they used to be almost like libraries). It's a lovely bit of British heritage that has been lost, that the present generation never even knows existed.

These days I am a heavy cigar and pipe smoker (I never smoked when I lived overseas), and am thankful I live in a state where I can find bars where I can smoke, especially in winter.

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"Now 77, Kleinschmidt says he often wonders what caused honorable fellow anti-Apartheid campaigners to mutate into such horrible politicians."

Surely, in the year 2023 he would have a clue.

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