Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

In praise of Cameron Slater (yeah, I’m surprised too)

If you’d suggested to me a year ago that I would be writing an article in praise of ‘WhaleOil’ blogger Cameron Slater I would have laughed at you. Hard. Yet, here I am doing just that. Let me explain. We’ve discussed these issues before: responding to criticism or negative feedback about one’s actions or statements, […]

Capital Gains Tax: ‘Politics is the art of polarization’

The NZ Labour Party has (deliberately) let the cat out of the bag with its ‘soft launch’ confirmation that a Capital Gains Tax in some form will be part of its election policy for November 2011. Cue the scary music!  And the completely predictable howls of outrage (some justified) with cries of ‘unfair’, ‘inconsistent’, ‘distortionary’, […]

On a collision course

I briefly mentioned in passing the small c ‘controversy’ generated by blogger Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury loudly expressing his opinion about whether or not blogger Cactus Kate (Cathy Odgers) was suitable ACT MP candidate material. ‘Hell no’ Bradbury says (or words to that effect) because he says she’s a ‘far right hate merchant’ who has previously […]

Richard Nixon’s dirty dirty tricks alive and well in 2011

I’m still reading Nixonland by Rick Perlstein, initially prompted by the mention of Fox News’s Roger Ailes‘s early work as a Nixon operative. Ailes is credited with teaching Nixon how to succeed in the world of television — by bending reality, faking news events and running highly staged ‘impromptu’ candidate meetings with ‘off the cuff’ […]

Harawira: Fortune favours the brave

What do we take from ‘rebel’ MP Hone Harawira winning his by-election? … Even with a ‘slashed’ majority — from 6,000 to 867. Wait and see. Let the punditry begin. It must certainly be a victory sweetened by the decision by the Electoral Commission to register his new party, meaning he will be a ‘leader’ […]

Howick’s latest NIMBY hysteria

[NIMBY = Not in my back yard.] You may recall my post about the forces of [small-c] conservatism seeking to block an expression of Maori culture in the heart of Howick (where I live) despite support for it and an enlightened, respectful approach being taken by local Maori, their supporters and the local authority. The […]

Noted in passing

So Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned. As Jon Stewart soul jammed: “Look, Congressman, if you’re sending pictures of your penis as bait to young women who follow you on Twitter, then you’ve got to go.” Yep. Bad judgement is bad. A cover up worse. Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis): Twitter didn’t do in Weiner. Sex didn’t. The coverup […]

Let me not into temptation

This book on LBJ’s succession to John F Kennedy after the assassination was an eye-opener. I’m reading Nixonland by Rick Perlstein at the same time, and I can perceive the seeds of LBJ’s and the Democrats’ destruction in the character traits and deep suspicion and disunity Steven Gillon highlights in his book. Certainly, the book […]

‘Frivolous’ Palin won’t be meeting Margaret Thatcher

Litmus test/IQ test Little Miss Polarising Sarah Palin faced a wee knock-back in her [alleged] efforts to ride The Iron Lady’s coat-tails … Margaret Thatcher to Sarah Palin: don’t bother dropping by — The Guardian, Wintour and Watt blog: It would appear that the reasons go deeper than Thatcher’s frail health. Her allies believe that […]

There’s no denying Sarah Palin is a talking point

I’ve resisted referring to Sarah Palin’s latest, umm, riff on American history, wherein she inserted words, actions, motivations and personnel into Paul Revere’s midnight ride … errr, he warned the British that ‘the British are coming’? PALIN: He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by […]

Self-inflicted wounds

Hey. Remember my post Lying, my dear boy, just compounds the crime …? This whole ‘Congressman tweets picture of private parts’ hullaballoo proves the truth of it, huh? Oh boy. A journalist I follow on Twitter, Glenn Greenwald, asked the question: What % of those pushing the view that “any online sexual activity is newsworthy” […]

Dick Quax heir apparent no more

Final result THE full result of the Howick ward by-election for Auckland Council is: • Dick Quax (C&R): 11,600 • Maggie Burrill (Ind): 7023 • David Collings (Ind): 5393 • Penny Bright (Ind): 1491 • Wayne Young (Ind): 1349 • Ram Parkash: 1116 A total of 28,072 votes were cast, or 30.9 per cent of […]

Another unflattering profile of propagandist Roger Ailes

The next issue (June 2011) of Rolling Stone features an extensive profile of Fox News supremo Roger Ailes. The guy fascinates me — well, better said, his tactics do — it’s really good to read some hard-out comments about the lack of veracity but enormous influence of Fox News and their propaganda machine. It’s like […]

They’re playing our song (or whistle-blowing it?)

I don’t know if you’ve heard about Frank Bailey — he’s a former Sarah Palin aide who has written a ‘tell-all’ memoir of his time working for the high-profile former Governor and vice presidential candidate. Frank Bailey says he’s not bitter or being vindictive. He says writing the book Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A […]

Things that aren’t supposed to be said

Following up on my post the other day about deciphering political codes, highlighting how political campaigns sometimes try to imply the unsayable (like ‘Keep Howick White’) … here’s a fantastic article by Gabriel Sherman in New York Magazine about Fox News supremo Roger Ailes dealing with unstable wunderkind Glenn Beck … which relates to the […]