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Archive for September, 2007

Liberal and conservative brains differ

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 pm, September 30th, 2007 - 5 comments

A recent neurobiology study suggests that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives. The result seems to be strongly tied to low-level brain activity and suggests that political orientation could be related to differences in how the brain processes information. The study asked paricipants to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a […]

Good Copy, Bad Copy

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, September 30th, 2007 - 1 comment

I just watched a fantastic Danish documentary, “Good Copy, Bad Copy”. The hour long film is about art, culture, copyright and freedom – itself available as a free download. The producers talk to musicians, artists and music industry officials from all around the world about copyright, its effects on artistic production, and the changes that […]

McCarten on privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, September 30th, 2007 - Comments Off on McCarten on privatisation

McCarten’s column in the Herald today asks readers to get out and vote in local body elections – particularly for candidates opposed to privatisation. The National Party has shown its hand in testing the public mood for asset sales. A strong vote for all the centre-left candidates in the region will ensure that any secret […]

Tasers for every man, woman, child?

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, September 29th, 2007 - 1 comment

Police Minister Annette King has sensibly decided to wait for a police report on their trial of the Taser stun gun before making any decisions about whether it should be added to their armoury. Predictably, NZ First MP, Ron “knee-jerk” Mark, has demanded that police immediately issue them to front line staff as a result […]

DigiPoll: Nats down, Labour up

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, September 29th, 2007 - 2 comments

The Herald DigiPoll survey puts National on 44.8 per cent support, down 5.5 points on the August poll. That’s its lowest rating in the survey since February. Labour is up 2.8 points to 39.6 per cent. This is a dramatic closure. The Herald puts it down to “a month when National’s leader, John Key, has […]

The Standard hearts Kiwiblogblog

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, September 29th, 2007 - 1 comment

We’ve just been introduced to a blog we think you might like to meet too: Kiwiblogblog <snip> Kiwiblog is a New Zealand blogging phenomenon. It’s hard to say why. It’s certainly not the most well-written blog in the Kiwi blogosphere. David’s posting style is a little too reflective of its author: short, unpretty, rushed posts […]

Hooten on climate change policy

Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, September 28th, 2007 - 2 comments

Here’s one for the books. Matthew Hooten on 9 to Noon this morning: PRESENTER: Ah, right, we better start with climate change policy announcement… How do you think it went, Matthew. HOOTON: Well, I have to say it was probably the most successful policy announcement by a government in a democracy that I’ve ever heard […]

Does recycling really work?

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, September 28th, 2007 - Comments Off on Does recycling really work?

Here’s an interesting article from The Economist entitled “The truth about recycling”. It sets out to answer some of the big questions about the World’s renewed to push to use less and reuse more in the wake of climate change: Is recycling worth the effort? How does it work? Is recycling waste just going into […]

George Bush: a “B” in ECON101

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, September 28th, 2007 - Comments Off on George Bush: a “B” in ECON101

QUESTION: Do you think there’s a risk of a recession? How do you rate that? BUSH: You know, you need to talk to economists. I think I got a B in Econ 101. I got an A, however, in keeping taxes low and being fiscally responsible with the people’s money. Someone (Michael Roston) actually checked […]

Asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, September 28th, 2007 - Comments Off on Asset sales

From the Herald:

More opposition to Nats’ health plans

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, September 28th, 2007 - Comments Off on More opposition to Nats’ health plans

The Christchurch Press reports that Public health groups are angry at National Party plans to remove caps on doctors’ fees if it wins next year’s election. Union and Community Health, which has two Christchurch clinics catering to lower-income Pacific Islanders and Maori, said removing fee caps would be “catastrophic” and increase the “gap between the […]

Traveling green(er)

Written By: - Date published: 2:31 pm, September 28th, 2007 - Comments Off on Traveling green(er)

Yesterday the PM helped launch Cityhop – a rental car company who park their cars around the Auckland CBD. The cars can be hired by the hour with the swipe of a card. They call themselves a “self-service car share company”. The hope is that – as it seems to have worked elsewhere in the […]

Support the Burmese uprising

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, September 28th, 2007 - 1 comment

If you’re in Auckland make sure you get along to tomorrow’s rally supporting the Burmese people in their courageous struggle for democracy. These people are standing unarmed against a vicious dictatorship that has a history of massacring its own people – the least we can do is stand with them to show our support. When: […]

Espiner on National’s health policy

Written By: - Date published: 5:46 pm, September 27th, 2007 - 2 comments

From Colin Espiner’s blog: The Government has been dying for National to make this kind of error for months, but when it came it was even better than it had hoped. Not only was National planning to let doctors charge what they liked, it was trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes by […]

Biblical living

Written By: - Date published: 5:03 pm, September 27th, 2007 - Comments Off on Biblical living

  In being ‘economical’ with the truth, Gordon Copeland struggled with what some would think was a pretty easy biblical edict – don’t lie. How hard would it be to follow say, 700 of the Bible’s rules? After A. J. Jacobs spent a year reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica for his book “The Know-It-All,” he […]

More on National’s privatisation agenda

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, September 27th, 2007 - Comments Off on More on National’s privatisation agenda

The Herald reports that Graham Stairmand, president of Grey Power has sent National a stern warning. He believes the Nats’ proposed partial privatisation of SOEs “will seal the fate of the National Party… Nobody will be naive enough to believe that this is not going to be a step to full privatisation.” Also in the […]

Iran really non-gay?

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, September 27th, 2007 - Comments Off on Iran really non-gay?

At Columbia University on Monday, the President of Iran, Mr Ahmadinejad said homosexuality did not exist in his country: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals”. His response was to a questioner who accused his government of executing gay people. A special report in the Guardian suggests an alternative explanation. Iran has between 15,000 and 20,000 […]

One Laptop Per Child project

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, September 27th, 2007 - Comments Off on One Laptop Per Child project

Newsweek’s Steven Levy does a quick video preview of the OLPC laptop, writing that “The $100 (well, $200) laptop is ready to change the world, if people will buy it for the kids who need it.” From the OLPC foundation website – the people responsible for the machine – their mission is to “ensure that […]

National: The market will set doctors’ fees

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, September 27th, 2007 - 8 comments

There’s been a bit of debate on The Standard about what National actually stands for. Up until now there have been those who have bought the Nats’ “moderate” rebranding. Yesterday though, Key and Ryall let the cat out of the bag. They haven’t changed at all. They’re the same old National Party. In what marks […]

Mr Forgetful

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 am, September 27th, 2007 - 2 comments

First it was forgeting his view on the Springbok Tour (turned out he was “quietly pro”), then it was his place of residence for electoral purposes (the jury’s still out on that one), and now it’s the details of his health policy. The National Party and John Key today released a 45 page health policy […]

How many Earths do you need?

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 pm, September 26th, 2007 - 2 comments

Here’s an online game that aims to show you what the world would look like if everyone lived like you… The site asks you a series of questions about your lifestyle, and as you play, it will show you how many “Earths” of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans. if […]

Cyber hypocrisy

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 pm, September 26th, 2007 - 14 comments

All the fuss created by one Rory English, son of National’s deputy leader Bill, exposes some very real and concerning issues. Firstly, just what standards do the English family think they are setting at the moment? Rory English’s posts to his now mysteriously deleted (well, not very mysterious actually!) pages on Bebo were truly offensive. […]

NDU, SFWU and Unite to form super-union

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, September 26th, 2007 - 9 comments

I was wondering when this was going to break. From Molesworth and Featherston this morning (offline, subscription only): Two private-sector unions are poised to join forces, potentially creating a major new force in industrial relations. Sources say that the Service and Food Workers’ Union and the National Distribution Union reached a heads-of-agreement last week over […]

The more things change…

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, September 26th, 2007 - 1 comment

Had to chuckle at Karl du Fresne in the Dom this morning who wrote, as if things were particularly different now, “Under the editorship of Charles Earle, who was to run the paper for 43 years, The Dominion pursued a consistently conservative editorial policy”. Happy 100th birthday anyway Dominion Post. Just for old time’s sake, […]

Double Standards

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, September 26th, 2007 - 1 comment

We’ve had a few emails from readers this week asking whether this website has anything to with the NZ Standard posters that having been turning up around Wellington. Just to set the record straight, while the The Standard shares the anti-Rickards sentiment, the posters are nothing to do with us. In any case, we’d like […]

Free movie tickets (still)

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, September 26th, 2007 - Comments Off on Free movie tickets (still)

ZKM tells me that due to some people’s inability to correctly follow instructions there are still some free movie tickets available. Here’s the original post where you can answer a quick question and get your mitts on some.

David Brent on discrimination

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, September 26th, 2007 - Comments Off on David Brent on discrimination

Helen Simpson was asked by Christchurch Casino staff to cover her cleavage and feels that she has been discriminated against on account of the size of her breasts. The Human Rights Commission points out that while physical appearance & including breast size & is not a criterion for discrimination under the Human Rights Act, she’s […]

Emperor’s new clothes

Written By: - Date published: 5:56 pm, September 25th, 2007 - 3 comments

From Colin Espiner’s blog, his comments on English’s “gaffe” about privatisation: One of the problems of being a party without any policies is that when the leadership so much as raises a suggestion of what the party might do, it is scutinised within an inch of its life, as opponents and the media try to […]

Posable paper people

Written By: - Date published: 5:41 pm, September 25th, 2007 - 3 comments

John Key wants to be all things to all people. He’s always reminded me a little of one of those paper dressup dolls that I my sister played with when she was little. I was stoked to stumble accross this version of David Hasselhoff (PDF, 300K) today over at Random Good Stuff. I don’t have […]

Bill’s agenda

Written By: - Date published: 5:15 pm, September 25th, 2007 - 1 comment

On Agenda on Saturday English admitted that the Nats will consider selling parts of New Zealand’s state owned enterprises. In response, Clayton Cosgrove got stuck in first and the PM’s now in on the act too. This is the second big headache for the Nats that Bill has caused recently. First it was cuts to […]

Support for National on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, September 25th, 2007 - 1 comment

Looks like National’s finally got some support for its policy to sell the family silver to pay for tax cuts… from Gordon Copeland. “The partial sale of SOE shares to mum and dad Kiwi investors, combined with ongoing majority ownership and control by the state is right on the money,” said Mr Copeland. “Does it […]

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