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Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, July 27th, 2010 - 7 comments

The Yes Men have become famous for impersonating people and organisations in an effort to make political points. They’re now being sued by the US Department of Justice for one of their latest stunts. Unable to release the version of their latest movie containing the offending footage, “The Yes Men Fix the World”, they’ve instead […]

Gutless backdown will cost money and lives

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, July 27th, 2010 - 62 comments

So, National has failed to act on drink driving. The Director of the National Addiction Centre calls it “scandalous”. While recidivist and youth drink drivers will, from early next year, be permitted to drive only if they have consumed no alcohol, the rest of the population will be able to continue to drive as intoxicated, […]

I’d phone a friend but they’re all Young Nats too

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, July 23rd, 2010 - 113 comments

Halfcaste interviews a selection of Young Nats at their recent conference. Interviewer: “What’s your favourite tribe?” Young Nat: “To be honest I don’t have a favourite Maori tribe” Interviewer: “Top three?” Young Nat: “Ahh… I don’t think I know…” Interviewer: “Don’t know any Maori tribes?” Young Nat: “Noooo… No, hang on, Maori tribes… no sorry…” […]

Crowdsourcing the deficit

Written By: - Date published: 2:43 pm, July 13th, 2010 - 7 comments

Why let politicians have all the fun? Now the British public can get in on the service slashing action too – via Facebook. The government there has launched a Facebook group to support the Treasury’s “Spending Challenge” – where the public is invited to share their ideas for cutting spending. With the possible exception of […]

State housing decline will leave families out in the cold

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, July 7th, 2010 - 3 comments

Stuff reports that under Minister Phil Heatley, Housing NZ will manage additions of only 275 houses for each of the next two years. Under the previous government 8000 state houses were added between 1999 and 2008. In a recession, with household budgets stretched, state provision of high quality, affordable housing is even more important for […]

Bypassing the media

Written By: - Date published: 3:10 pm, July 7th, 2010 - Comments Off on Bypassing the media

Not long after The White House Correspondents’ Association met with Obama’s Press Secretary to complain about limitations on their access, The White House launched its own weekly video blog. Presidential administrations have always tried to harness new communications technologies to shape a favorable image, says Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University […]

YouTube launches political campaign toolset

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, June 4th, 2010 - 2 comments

Today, Google launched a new set of tools to help political candidates and activist organisastions engage with constituents and citizens.

From the Google Public Sector Blog:

We want to do our part to make sure candidates and campaigns have the tools to stay close to voters, who now expect to hear and see much more from their elected officials than ever before.

Key breaks Kiwibank pledge

Written By: - Date published: 4:13 pm, June 2nd, 2010 - 54 comments

In the May budget Key broke his pre-election promise not to raise GST.

Today, in the House, Jim Anderton foreshadowed what looks like the next unequivocal promise that’s set for the chop.

Anderton pointed out that during the 2008 TV3 Leaders’ Debate Key promised not to sell Kiwibank “ever”.

The video is embedded below.

Kerre Woodham on three strikes law

Written By: - Date published: 1:12 pm, May 31st, 2010 - 37 comments

Kerre Woodham’s just penned an endorsement of the three strikes act.

She admits that it probably won’t do what it sets out to do. She accepts that it might be unjust. She understands that it will be expensive. Nevertheless she supports it.

Here’s why…

The science of motivation

Written By: - Date published: 5:32 pm, May 30th, 2010 - 13 comments

From the RSA, a short video based on a seminar by Dan Pink.

Dan was once Al Gore’s speechwriter.

Here he “illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace”.

Barrier residents deserve real representation

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, May 29th, 2010 - 25 comments

The Dominion Post has revealed that only hours after criticising National’s plans to mine on Great Barrier, Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye was seeking advice from Key and Brownlee’s offices on what to say to the media. Kaye has previously admitted to having had Key sign off on her original opposition but this latest revelation […]

There’s such a thing as ‘too relaxed’

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 89 comments

Tracy Watkins recently observed of Key’s reluctance to front the media post-budget that:

“Mr Key has refused all but three requests to be interviewed by National Radio’s Morning Report so far this year. That must be unheard of among modern-day prime ministers…”

She puts his avoidance of the tough questions down to a desire to protect his brand.

Second thoughts on three strikes

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 42 comments

“Three strikes” is likely to become law today. This video shows that three strikes legislation hasn’t worked overseas. It’s unlikely to work here. It’s a crime bill that is not expected to deter or reduce crime and may increase murders.

The Bechdel Test

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 pm, May 23rd, 2010 - 44 comments

“The Bechdel test” requires a movie to pass three questions:

1) Does it have two or more women in it (who have names)?

2) Do they talk to one another?

3) Do they talk to one another about something other than a man?

This two minute video explains…

World Bank opens up its data

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, May 17th, 2010 - 1 comment

As well as releasing its yearly report on World Development Indicators last month, the World Bank opened up its data. It has included a public API and access to over a thousand indicators. In the video below, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick speaks about the Bank’s open data initiative.

A declaration of contempt

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, April 21st, 2010 - 35 comments

As John Key smiled and assured his National Party constituents that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is aspirational, symbolic and legally non-binding, I started to feel a little incredulous. Key plainly has no intention of effecting any of the aspirations contained in the Declaration: he has categorically said as much. So where, […]

Dimming down night classes

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, February 23rd, 2010 - 2 comments

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association have just launched a YouTube video protesting National’s hugely unpopular cuts to night classes.

Click through to check it out.

Stalk your MP with new iPhone app

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, February 22nd, 2010 - 2 comments

A group called PublicZone have just released an iPhone app aimed at staying in contact with (UK) MPs a little easier. The app uses the GPS, email and web capabilites of the iPhone to allow constituents to track, contact and discuss issues with their local MP. Click the thumbnails below for larger images.

Keynes and Hayek rap

Written By: - Date published: 3:52 pm, February 19th, 2010 - 10 comments

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century go out for a night on the town and sing about why there’s a “boom and bust” cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.

Logorama

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, February 12th, 2010 - 10 comments

Update: Link’s dead but I found this trailer on youtube

Gerry’s gift to future generations

Written By: - Date published: 2:58 pm, February 11th, 2010 - 38 comments

(Sort of a) caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, February 10th, 2010 - 54 comments

Someone’s noticed that during her recent Tea Party speech Palin had “Energy”, “Tax,” and “Lift Americans Spirits” written on her hand – she used it to crib from when questioned about Republican priorities. A spy pic from the House yesterday suggests that Key’s taken a leaf out of Palin’s book. Any ideas what it says?

Corporation to run for US Congress

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, February 5th, 2010 - 7 comments

Following the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow unlimited corporate funding of federal campaigns, Murray Hill Inc. today announced it was filing to run for U.S. Congress. Read the whole press release. Here’s their first campaign ad:

Police recruitment campaign steps up a gear

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 1st, 2010 - 17 comments

It was probably well intentioned – and to be fair we don’t know the full facts yet – but on the face of it putting kids in police cars at a school fair then doing donuts and figure eights around the field looks like pretty poor judgement. On the other hand, I’m just a little […]

Charlie Brooker’s school of news production

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, January 30th, 2010 - 5 comments

His formula appears to have been faithfully replicated here. Our only significant divergence is the recent inclusion of a live cross to the news site webmaster who gleefully fills us in on ‘what’s hot’ on their site right now – often a heady mix of celebrity gossip, violence, stupidity, tragedy and cuteness.

The Public Domain Manifesto

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 pm, January 29th, 2010 - 8 comments

The public domain, as we understand it, is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers to access or reuse usually associated with copyright protection, either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have decided to remove these barriers. It is the raw material from which new […]

Classic

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, November 24th, 2009 - 7 comments

Spotted on Stuff.

The fighting fourth estate

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, October 14th, 2009 - 4 comments

The Herald can be bad, but it’s not yet a patch on Fox News. From The Guardian: “What a bunch of warmongers we have in the White House. America is fighting the war in Iraq, they’re fighting in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban. And now these people have taken on another enemy: Fox […]

The blue greenwash

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, October 9th, 2009 - 10 comments

Mike Britton, the general manager of the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, writes today in the Dom about the gap that appears to be developing between National’s pre-election rhetoric and the post-election reality. Worth a look. In the lead-up to the election, John Key said National’s top three priorities were the three Es – […]

Can’t wait

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, September 23rd, 2009 - 3 comments

More at: theyesmenfixtheworld.com

A solar future?

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, September 18th, 2009 - 34 comments

You can read more about it here.

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