Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The ‘values’ & ‘goals’ of immoral political deceivers

This, from a (typically) excellent politics column by Charles P. Pierce goes some way to explaining why I feel such disdain for the dishonest political ‘operators’ whose activities I observe and highlight here now and then, and whose reptilian coarsening of political ‘debate’ I have come to see as so irredeemably negative. The second basic […]

Echo chamber? Or seeing the world as one wants it to be?

I like receiving Bryce Edwards’ NZ Politics Daily newsletter. It’s a valuable digest of political issues seen through the filter of media coverage, including the blogosphere, and Bryce’s commentary is always worth a read. (Material from The Paepae features now and then too, which I also appreciate.) Yesterday’s missive reflected the theme of the Thorndon […]

Left and Right: useful when doing the hokey cokey, but past its use-by date for politics?

“I put my right hand in, I put my right hand out, In out, in out. shake it all about. …” — words to the popular 1940s participation song (from Wikipedia) Prompted by Bill Ralston’s use of the label ‘the Left’ above and an earlier comment in another thread wherein Ivan says: I’m not a […]

A hint of siege mentality from Steve Joyce?

I watched an interview with Steven Joyce on TVNZ’s Q&A show yesterday and, as has happened before, was pretty impressed with his commendable communication skills … up to a point. Then, as has also happened before, I watched him unravel a bit as he descended into ‘political’ debate. Yeah, well, ‘Yawn’, you might say. Fair […]

Here’s the story political journos fixated with sports metaphors missed yesterday

I got bored quickly with the boxing/gladiatorial references to Parliament’s Question Time yesterday. Apparently it was David Cunliffe’s first QT as Leader of the Opposition. The coverage I saw was largely a (sad) case of style being reported over substance. Having earlier in the day defended Patrick Gower’s ‘colour’ and instability, I was intrigued and, […]

On vulgar, irrational, deceitful misinformation campaigns

This, from Jon Stewart talking about Fox News, put me in mind of some of the oily local propagandists and liars who demonstrate a similar nasty, negative, fixation with ‘the left’ and reflexively spin their personal attack lines against public and private figures who represent it … After showing a montage of Fox clips, Stewart […]

Perception vs reality

He wasn’t the first to say it, but he was the first I heard say it, and he said it with such passion. Then Prime Minister1 Geoffrey Palmer, whose book Unbridled Power? was one of the texts I’d studied in politics at Victoria University, said, with feeling: “In politics, perception becomes reality.” — The Right […]

War on privacy

What a great MAD magazine cover! {insert pointed local reference of your choice here} – P via @iA

Denial is not just a river in Egypt #GCSB

“I don’t think the inquiry was a botch-up at all” [Chief executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Andrew Kibblewhite] said, although mistakes were made about providing certain information. Right. All good, then? Read coverage of the Privileges committee ‘hearing’ into the just ever so slightly botched-up inquiry set up by GCSB minister John […]

Have you voted in Campbell Live’s GCSB poll?

I have not participated in the angst-ridden/gloating discussion about how spymaster prime minister John Key ‘performed’ in his appearance on Campbell Live this week — ostensibly to defend and/or justify his GCSB Bill and its new, to-be-expanded powers of domestic surveillance provisions. Judging by a superficial reading of the reaction to the interview, people’s view […]

Criticism and questioning are part of your job description, Mrs Collins. Get over it.

Apropos my post ‘With respect, Mr Key, you misjudge me.‘ I had a trifling interaction with another government politician under siege this week. I’ve been researching an article about Justice minister Judith Collins — specifically the criticisms of her handling of the David Bain compensation issue. (You may recall my sense of genuine regret and […]

Because I like and respect John Armstrong

I’ve learned that in the ongoing parasitic relationship between politicians and the news media (some call it symbiotic, but meh) certain actors on both sides overestimate their importance. But not John Armstrong. Read John’s column from the Weekend Herald: Government betrayal on a monumental scale. What he says about ‘the democratic fabric being ripped asunder’ […]

‘a good way to divert attention from the uproar over the N.S.A.’s data-collection programs’

It’s really hard not to see this, from the New York Times in the context of my posts Justifying mass surveillance with ‘terror threat’ is a right wing talking point Qaeda Messages Prompt U.S. Terror Warning WASHINGTON — The United States intercepted electronic communications this week among senior operatives of Al Qaeda, in which the […]

Claims of ‘terrorist plots’ debunked in US — ‘not buying it’

From June … Ron Paul on NSA: They Have To Justify Their Existence, Otherwise They’re Out Of Work Relevant, huh? Especially the comment ‘Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’. Where are New Zealand’s right wing libertarians on this surveillance issue? (Serious question.) – P

John Key’s changing narrative on al-Qaeda threat in NZ

PM justifies spy bill: Kiwis trained by al-Qaeda NZ Herald 1 August 2013 Kiwi with al Qaeda links ‘no threat’ NZ Herald 31 August 2011 Yeah, this can pretty much be seen in the context we discussed on Saturday: Justifying mass surveillance with ‘terror threat’ is a right wing talking point. Also interesting: SIS spying […]