Archive for 2010/04/17

The Acapela Text to Speech Demo is the most fun you will have online this weekend. You can type anything you want to say and have it read back to you in a variety of ways as you scroll down through the various voice selections. English (UK) Rachel says some filthy things to me from time to time, but she’s a sweetheart. French – Bruno is arrogant and treats women like they are objects. And don’t get me started on German – Klaus, I have yet to type something for him to say back that doesn’t make me feel really uncomfortable.

If you need an idea, try typing this into the text box…

CLICK HERE to play with Acapela TEXT to SPEECH!


Helen Zille is the Premier of the Western Cape, a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance political party, and a former Mayor of Cape Town. Zille is also a former journalist and anti-apartheid activist. In an article released Friday morning, the opposition party leader says the president has too much to lose by taking action against corruption and that he couldn’t stop corruption even if he wanted to.

“The utterances of the ANC today have all the hallmarks of the double-think of George Orwell’s 1984. If you haven’t read the book, double-think involves holding two contradictory ideas in your head at the same time. This means that when your actions contradict your words, you actually believe your own propaganda.

Examples of ANC double-think abound, but nowhere is it more apparent than its stance on corruption. How often have we seen commentators praising ANC leaders, including the President, for their tough talk on corruption? It always ends with rhetoric. Action never follows.

In his State of the Nation address this year, he said: “We will pay particular attention to combating corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes…” He said the same thing the year before. Yet, we have seen no measures introduced to actually do anything about corruption.

These repeated anti-corruption promises are deeply ironic given the cloud of corruption that hangs over the President himself. Extreme double-think must be necessary for Zuma to speak of his “zero tolerance” approach to corruption when he knows how many quashed charges hang over his own head. More than that. As he attacks corruption, President Zuma knows that the ANC undermined the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority to avoid ANC leaders, including himself, having to answer corruption charges in court. The Constitution itself is being sacrificed to the ANC’s corruption.

So, while some in the ANC leadership rail against the proliferation of tenderpreneurs, the ANC has become the tenderpreneur-in-chief. A pattern is emerging here: the more corrupt the ANC becomes, the tougher its anti-corruption stance. Indeed, this is how double-think works. The graver the deed, the greater the falsehood required to neutralise it in one’s mind.

It is time for everyone to realise that corruption is not just an aberration in the ANC that must be ‘rooted out’ from time to time. The ANC needs corruption to survive, it is its lifeblood. It needs it to fund its election campaigns. It needs it to pay the loyalty networks necessary for ANC leaders to entrench their power. And it needs corruption to pay for its leadership’s lifestyles…In the process, the ANC is turning South Africa into a criminal state.”

When asked for a comment about Zille’s opinion, President Zuma had this to say…

It is worth reading the full article, but I fear there is way too much logic here for the ANC leadership to follow.