Dictators, Democracy and Free Press: A Commentary on Black Tuesday.

“The homage we can pay to truth is to use it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882).

Imagine Robert Mugabe decides to sue Nandos and the creatives behind this ad for defamation. I’m almost sure that in addition to disputing whether or not the Nandos ad is defamatory of the Zimbabwean President, the legal team for Nandos would also rely on the right to freedom of expression which is a basic political right found in almost all the Constitutions of the world.

Freedom of expression is closely linked with freedom of the press and other media as one of the essential ingredients of democracy. The press, especially for countries committed to the path of democratisation, is meant to serve as the medium of delivery and transmitting ideas to and from the People. There is however a danger of unnecessarily and irresponsibly hiding behind democracy to justify every action of the press. It is within the context of these two extremes that the following comments are made on South Africa’s latest Bill to be tabled before Parliament: The Protection of Information Bill aka ‘Secrecy Bill’

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What a Horrible, Horrible, Horrible Time to be a President

by tripppleO

“When thousands of peoples is riled up to see you
That can arouse ya ego, we got mouths to feed so
Gotta stay true to who you are and where you came from
Coz at the top will be the same place you hang from
No matter how big you can ever be
For whatever fee or publicity, never lose your integrity”

– Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (aka ‘Nas’)

Long hours on the campaign trail, packed and charged rallies, meetings with campaign donors, countless election strategies and counter strategies all culminating in the announcement of the win and the swearing in ceremony. It’s all usually glamorous and inspiring to most people looking in from the outside. Although the campaign period is extremely stressful and draining on the candidate the really hard work begins once that candidate is sworn into office.

Just ask Barack Obama. After his ‘landslide’ win he embarked on achieving some of his campaign promises and he was successful in some most notably healthcare and Wall street reform. However, there is the big issue that has dominated news in the States these last 6 months (not Osama) have been the budget deficit. Make no mistake, the U.S debt is a serious global issue. While the risk of the U.S defaulting on its debt may be a bit farfetched, given the close linked global economy, it is crucial that they sort out their debt issue. As most economists will confirm the two ways to cut a deficit are either reduce spending or increase taxes. However, both options are politically risky for any American president. (There’s also the increased tax receipts/collections option as a result of economic growth but this is more long term in most cases and highly dependent on economic growth).

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Daily Dozen: 17/01

What have you done for your country? [DN]
Kenya no longer asleep, the chickens will come home to roost very soon [EAS]
Will Zuma never learn? [M&G]
Tunisia’s Revolution: Watching and waiting. [Economist]
I’ll say this much: Silvio Berlusconi has WAY better taste in women than Bill Clinton [Newsweek]
Nigeria’s Promise, Africa’s Hope [Chinua Achebe]
CSI South Africa: Apartheid’s last murder mystery [Independent]
Roots of Bitterness in a Region Threaten Sudan’s Future [NYT]
Is Mandela dying? [News24]
Doing business the pirate way [BBC]
Should American Women be allowed to serve in combat? [CNN]
Wikipedia’s 10th Anniversary: 10 Unforgettable Entries [TIME]

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Daily Dozen- 29/03

Google knows just how you feel

Can Nairobi Become The Next Silicon Valley? [KenyanEntrepreneur]
Pain & Suffering [Like Chapaa]
Kenyan civil society went to sleep [Citizens Blog]
Rogue dealers con Kenyan vehicle buyers [Nation]
Africa Experts Gather at Columbia University. [JamhuriWear]
LaidInKenya Is Here! [Idd Salim]
Wanaume Hufanya [Potash]
Women of A Certain Age [Mashada]
Zuma urges lifting Zimbabwe curbs [AJ]
Senegal’s Dream President [Africa Is A Country]
What can Nigeria expect now? [Reuters]
Erykah Badu’s New Video > Your life. [TSS]

Oh. Erykah. Sigh.

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Daily Dozen: 16/03

Happiness is what you make it.

When is a coup a good coup? [David Lewis]
NMG:Celebrating 50 years of news [Nation]
This Man Ruto [You Missed This]
SA top BlackBerry growth market [Fin24]
2010 World Cup: A Discussion about Crime [Wordpress]
What Happened To The Bro Code? [MwanaMishale]
An Economist’s Guide To Dating [Future Capital Kenya]
Flood Kills 20 In Angola [Reuters]
A Look Inside Obama’s Oval Office [Broken Cool]
Pentax 40 MP Camera. Wow [DP]
Somali government signs deal with militia [MSNBC]
Berlusconi Gives Zuma Pyjamas and Bedsheets [WTF?]

Bonus: Usher – Raymond V. Raymond [Download]

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