About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

03 May 2013

Noam Chomsky on Worker's Rights

Dave's Worker's Day post had a link to a very interesting (but dated) video of Noam Chomsky speaking about worker's rights, specifically related to the contribution of trade union movement to human rights - and the suppression of trade unions in the US; and its impact on human rights. You need to skip about 30 minutes for the Noam Chomsky part of the presentation (which is actually the only bit I watched).

The part that stood out for me was the discussion on trade unions contribution to human rights - specifically in the context of keeping the government honest, and businesses focused on things other than profit.

In the South African context, the contribution of the trade union movement in challenging apartheid is well known, and acknowledged. But post-1994, apart from Vavi, the trade union movement - specifically COSATU  - has often faded into the background. In fact, as demonstrated last year at Marikana, it seems that COSATU has specifically shirked its responsibility regarding human rights. Vavi actually stands out like a sore thumb - continually asking questions about corruption, and whether you like his economic positions - he has held principled stance.

Even if you don't agree with Noam Chomsky's positions on worker rights - the discussion itself is enlightening; especially with regards to the "non business world" view. That alone is a reason to watch it - and it certainly makes one think - should worker's movements (like COSATU) even consider joining political movements in the first place?

02 May 2013

Amazing Phishing Email

I got this email, this morning - perfectly formed and almost indistinguisable (click for a larger size). Pity, I am not a customer ...

The headers, and specifically Gmail's processing makes interesting reading (highlight my own). I wonder why it is a classified as a "Softfail" when the rule is clearly violated ...
Received: from dc1.DFMCASTROL.com ([])
      by mx.google.com with ESMTP id iv6si3639532pac.241.2013.
      for ;
      Wed, 01 May 2013 15:45:36 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: softfail (google.com: domain of transitioning  
ibsupport@standardbank.co.za does not designate as permitted 
client-ip=; Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=softfail 
(google.com: domain of transitioning 
ibsupport@standardbank.co.za does not designate as permitted 
sender) smtp.mail=ibsupport@standardbank.co.za
Received: from User ([]) by dc1.DFMCASTROL.com with Microsoft 
  Thu, 2 May 2013 06:28:03 +0800
From: "Standard Bank"

01 May 2013

Worker's Day Irony

May 1 is celebrated as Worker's Day in South Africa, and in various other guises across the world. Worker's Day specifically is about the celebration of "the role played by trade unions, the Communist Party and other labour movements in the struggle against apartheid". Like most public holidays in South Africa, it is also used by most middle class households for shopping, and consequently the shops and shopping centres are usually full. It is therefore ironic, that a holiday that celebrates and commemorates the struggles of the working class, means that a significant port of the working class ends up working. At least they get paid more for working on a public holiday.

Muizenberg Catwalk

One of the popular walking paths in Cape Town, the Muizenberg Catwalk stretches from Surfer's Corner to St James. It offers some stunning views, and is a fairly easy and accessible path.