Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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 […]

Snowden’s statement to European Parliament Surveillance Inquiry (Read it for yourself)

In situations like this, I like reading the original statement. Available here as a PDF via the European Parliament. (Drop me a line at the email address here if this suffers from link rot. I have made an archive copy.) A good review (with an appropriate amount of modulated outrage) from Glyn Moody here: Snowden […]

What could be behind Apple’s unwillingness to pass the ‘Spy Lockout’ shareholder resolution?

See: Now, I hadn’t upgraded to OSX Mavericks, so the ‘GotoFail’ bug didn’t affect my desktop, but it appears that ‘error’ was a factor in my iPhone and iPad since iOS6 sometime. The awful coincidence of Apple appearing (according to Edward Snowden’s ground-shaking disclosures) to have joined the NSA’s PRISM ‘direct access to user data’ […]

A State Sector guide to maintaining political neutrality

Everything you need to know, including not responding to bloggers. – P PS Vote Blobby!

Does anyone else think this spy agency ‘Discredit a target’ strategy might have been used against Julian Assange?

Wow, read this: Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and ‘Dirty Tricks — NBC and ask yourself if Julian Assange might have been a ‘target’. British spies have developed “dirty tricks” for use against nations, hackers, terror groups, suspected criminals and arms dealers that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones […]

Pretty impressive, Mr Key.

Anybody trying to portray this politician as out of steam is dreaming. This was a very competent performance today from John Key — admittedly, he appeared to be among friends, and was put under no pressure whatsoever by the cuddly host at NewstalkZB, Leighton Smith … but even so — very smooth, Mr Key.