Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

When propaganda turns into ‘demonizing’ …

Sometimes a zealot can go ‘too far’ …. even for his/her own supporters. I’ve seen it in political debate. I’ve seen it in business. The ‘object’ of the exercise — the debate, the contest of ideas — becomes somehow personal, and the ‘campaign’ can start to lose focus. It can be like a blood lust […]

Quite a good quiz

Quiz: prime ministers v the media From The Guardian… Prime ministers and journalists have often had a difficult relationship. As Lance Price reveals in a new book, Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v the Media (from which these quotes are taken), the two sides have been criticising each other, in similar terms, for years. This […]

The very best you can afford …

Apropos of my earlier post ‘More unintended consequences?‘ … Tom Scott nails it. (via Stuff.co.nz)

Mark Withers on John Key’s ‘Tax Direction’ speech

“3 bullets dodged but there’s still a round in the breech!” I had a chat with specialist property accountant Mark Withers this morning — ‘the morning after’ NZ Prime Minister John Key’s speech at the opening of Parliament. Here’s a free 13 minute audio interview (mp3) hosted by Empower Education. And here’s a link to […]

Doctrinaire aggression vs physical aggression

Wole Soyinka: On origins of religious strife… In Mr. Soyinka’s view, the origins of the current phase of the world’s religious strife—including all of the bloodshed in Nigeria—lie with Ayatollah Khomeini and his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, in 1989. “It all began when he assumed the power of life and death over the life of […]

More unintended consequences?

How’s this for taking things a leetle bit too far… (It makes a good point though.) Did the US Supreme Court consider that by ruling the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections (on the basis that it’s a ‘free speech’ right!) that it was, in effect, giving corporations ‘human rights’? […]

Talking with Dave: thoughts about media blur

I’m part way through an online conversation with Dave, who I like, about hyperbolic opinion pieces masquerading as news (what I call the Glenn Beck/Fox News effect). We’re discussing Dave’s frustration with the “blur” between news and opinion. Dave said: I wouldn’t mind if the media did genuinely report as an opinion piece. At least […]

Did they jump or were they pushed?

Heads must roll… Fallout from last week’s blinding flash of the obvious, which I described as classic ‘provider capture’. Kneecapper and straightshooter Dame Margaret Bazley found that the Legal Services Agency was being routinely rorted by lawyers and that lawyers were effectively asserting control over the legal aid system. Four resign over scathing legal aid […]

Well, who is?

Frankly, I’d worry if he said he was 100% certain. (Good on him for admitting it.) There are two aspects of this job that I think are relevant to this discussion. One is that if the problem has a clear solution, then it doesn’t land on my desk. Somebody else has solved it. So the […]

Wow, BRILLIANT writing!

Petulance and the Prize By Garrison Keillor New York Times October 14, 2009 – NYTimes.com Evidently some people were disappointed that Dick Cheney didn’t receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and believe me, I sympathize — I thought Philip Roth should’ve gotten the literature prize instead of that grumpy Romanian lady with the severe hair — […]

A loss of moral authority

There is added moral authority when someone who hasn’t had to struggle sounds a call to help those less privileged. Beyond mere noblesse-oblige, Teddy Kennedy became a leading voice of ‘liberal’ ideology, with an emphasis on equality and innate justice best expressed in the civil rights movement of the 1960s — but applied far wider […]

How to have a FAIR argument

For a number of years I worked as a political reporter at Parliament Buildings in Wellington (New Zealand). During my time in that highly competitive pressure-cooker environment I learned a lot about truth, perception, political ‘reality’, and human nature. I hope I also learned to be careful with what I say. While I was in […]

A tale of two mental states (continued)

…some thoughts on the news media, and a lesson from Barack Obama Following on from an earlier discussion about market cycles being driven by alternating waves of pessimism and optimism, I’d like to examine another angle of this ‘social mood’ aspect of the market, warn you about those who would exploit it… and pick up […]