Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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.

‘Dead man waddling’

This line from an Esquire Politics Blog by Scott Raab, Why Christie Now Has Nothing to Lose, (and the Chris Christie Countdown Clock image) show how personally punishing US political media commentary can be. That’s its nature at times — a whirling clobbering machine, standing ready to attach clichéd labels. As for Christie, he’s a dead man waddling, […]

Judith Collins’ ‘really ugly’ attacks echo Muldoon’s tactics

I can’t help but see Mrs Collins as channelling (imitating?) the abusive, nasty personal attack style that Robert Muldoon used against his political opponents. In the House, Muldoon became friends with other new National MPs, notably Duncan MacIntyre and John Bowie (Peter) Gordon. The three became known as ‘the Young Turks’ because of their criticism […]

Speaking of comparisons to Stasi surveillance …

There’s been a wee fracas as Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen (of Netscape Navigator fame) popped a foot in his mouth with what looks like a thoughtless or uninformed defence of the NSA’s illegal spying activities with a suggestion that former East Germans would fail to see similarities between the NSA’s mass surveillance and […]

‘Blackphone’ — Dystopian ‘loss of privacy’ memes are not new. But they seem fashionable now. And possibly commercially viable.

Watch this. It makes me want to try one out. (Except for that line about ‘the Android we’re all familiar with’— er, no not me.) Introduction to Blackphone from BLACKPHONE on Vimeo. But in the comments on that Blackphone promo — posted on Vimeo yesterday — there’s a link to this 4-year-old promo for Else […]

Burglars or Whistle-blowers? Exposing the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO … precursors to Snowden.

A fascinating piece of history — eight ‘new left’ activists acting in 1971 to protect the citizenry’s right to dissent … by exposing the FBI’s actions to infiltrate protest groups, spy on all sorts of people opposed to the Vietnam war, and, along the way, to ‘enhance paranoia’. Nice work. Well worth watching at NYTimes.com. […]

Converting lies, by repetition, to …

via Banksy