Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Dirty Politics: John Key confesses to secret relationship with campaign worker

In the aftermath of the National Party’s emphatic re-election to lead a coalition government in New Zealand, surprisingly little has been made of Party Leader John Key’s confession to a secret relationship. It was contact John Key admitted he was warned not to engage in. “I was told not to … I know I shouldn’t […]

There goes the majority

    Proportional representation, New Zealand style.

NZ General Election results

Congratulations to the winners, commiserations to those who missed out. These are the results as at close of counting 1:10am today. This is where the rubber hits the road in a democracy. Check electionresults.govt.nz for latest results. [link updated] {Fill the in the rugby metaphor of your choice here. e.g “game of two halves”, “better […]

Tim Cook denies ‘rumours’ of NSA back-door into Apple servers

This 3 minute excerpt of Apple’s CEO Tim Cook talking to Charlie Rose yesterday interested me for a couple of reasons 1) encrypted iMessages with Apple keyless and 2) his very strong denial of rumours/suggestions of NSA back-door access … ‘the Snowden thing’ (starts 2:10, but watch the whole 3 mins): Which accords with this […]

Allegations re mass surveillance by NZ’s GCSB

Here are the articles published by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden about mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by spy agencies that form part of the FIVE EYES intelligence alliance. These were released in the lead up to the anyway-you-look-at-it history-making event at Auckland Town Hall last night, ‘The Moment of Truth’ featuring Edward Snowden, […]

You really should watch this interview with Glenn Greenwald, despite the smears

It’s easy to fall for a rapid PR ‘framing’ response, especially from an experienced spin team like Prime Minister John Key’s media machine. This comment seems a fair description of what happens: Mr Key has been very quick with the personal attacks lately, hasn’t he? He has repeatedly described Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald as […]

John Key working the phones “at length”

I was struck tonight by TV3 Political editor Patrick Gower saying on the news that he’d just got off the phone from a conversation “at length” with National Party leader John Key — Mr Key was, apparently, intent on countering the claims by Glenn Greenwald that the GCSB had undertaken mass surveillance of New Zealanders […]

Matthew Hooton’s assertions re the Prime Minister’s Office

‘Explosive’ is one of those words that gets kicked around in politics and political reporting to the point where it’s almost lost its meaning. But it’s not an exaggeration to describe right wing spin doctor and self-declared National Party loyalist Matthew Hooton‘s performance on RadioLIVE this morning as incendiary. He effectively called Prime Minister John […]

Read it and weep. Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’

Nicky Hager‘s important new book Dirty Politics – How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment is out (and quickly ‘sold out’ in some places). The information in Nicky Hager’s book exposes — and for some of us, confirms — our worst fears about the grubby activities being undertaken by nasty, dishonest people to manipulate politics in […]

Obviously the start of a ‘We [fill-in-the-space]ed some folks’ meme

During an otherwise sleepy news conference about immigration and the economy, the president answered a question about the impending release of a Senate report that criticizes the CIA’s treatment of detainees after 9/11. “We did some things that were wrong,” Obama said. “We tortured some folks. We crossed the line and that needs to be […]

What is your phone and your internet connection blabbing about you?

Early in the second part of PBS’s (highly recommended) ‘United States of Secrets‘ documentaries, The Guardian‘s reporter Ewan Macaskill recalled Edward Snowden’s reaction in his Hong Kong hotel to a simple question: Do you mind if I record our interview on my iPhone?: Ewan Macaskill — excerpt from PBS ‘United States of Secrets’ part 2 MP3 […]

Daniel Ellsberg on why Snowden couldn’t get a fair trial

Worth reading. Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong As I know from my own case, even Snowden’s own testimony on the stand would be gagged by government objections and the (arguably unconstitutional) nature of his charges. That was my own experience in court, as the first American […]

Rotating through the (political, really) excuses for climate change scepticism (denial, really)

Quite a nice post at the Skeptical Science website about The Quantum Theory of Climate Denial Similar nonsensical behaviour [to framing Schrödinger’s cat as ‘simultaneously’ alive and dead] happens with people who deny the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming. There are various states of climate denial, with some states contradicting others. For […]

Maurice Williamson. ‘Blood on the floor’ … and now maybe in the water?

Nobody’s perfect. Personally, I think Maurice Williamson is a saint with the patience of Job. I’ve seen him sit through two Scholars’ Assemblies at my daughter’s college and not fall asleep or disgrace himself by unfortunate scratching or leering at teenage lasses. When I think about how he’s been the local MP for 27 years, […]

“The more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become.”

From a must-read new article by Ezra Klein at Vox: How politics makes us stupid showing that often what conditions us to resist changing our minds in response to new information (i.e. learn) is partisanship … Imagine what would happen to, say, Sean Hannity if he decided tomorrow that climate change was the central threat […]