Written By: - Date published: 6:23 pm, January 28th, 2019 - 87 comments
Before he was elected President, Donald Trump’s approach to United States illegal attacks on Iraq and Libya was that their only mistake was that the US didn’t “take the oil.” After becoming President, his approach to oil-rich Venezuela was “can’t we just invade them?”
Update: John Bolton confirms its about the oil.
Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, August 25th, 2017 - 137 comments
It can’t be many tiny countries that have a leader of the opposition make positive international headlines, but Jacinda Ardern has managed it.
Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, February 13th, 2015 - 417 comments
NZ is again being asked to go to war in Iraq. The Clark Labour Government said no a decade ago, but in 2015 there may be a compelling reason to join the fight; this time it’s the right thing to do. New Standard author te reo putake puts the case for NZ entering the battle against ISIS.
Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, March 10th, 2014 - 50 comments
That thing about truth and war…
Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, October 22nd, 2012 - 74 comments
Slavery was abolished in the 19th century, wasn’t it? From wage-slavery to human-trafficking, modern day forms of slavery have many faces, all in the interests of profits for the few. What are these different faces, and what impact do they have on the lives of ordinary people?
Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2012 - 18 comments
Why is John Key backing the flagging tourist industry as a major export earner for NZ’s future? His trip to Hollywood was partly about using the Hobbit to promote NZ as a tourist destination. Why is the government so fixated on attracting more US tourists?
Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, October 15th, 2011 - 39 comments
Will the protests around the world hit the brick wall of ingrained habits? Or will we manage to get over, around or beneath that particular barrier to progress?
Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, November 22nd, 2010 - 3 comments
Seems Eric Cantona wasn’t listening.
I particularly liked the response given by Valérie Ohannesian of the French Banking Federation who, seemingly devoid of any sense of irony stated that, “One of the main roles of a bank is to keep money safe. This appeal will give great pleasure to thieves, I would have thought.”
Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, May 6th, 2008 - 1 comment
It seems that NZers are not the only ones interested in petrol prices. From The Guardian: Barack Obama, facing increasingly close primary contests today in Indiana and North Carolina, fought off a populist push by Hillary Clinton to capitalise on American unease at rising petrol prices. The BBC has this on the unrelenting politics: To […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, May 6th, 2008 - 13 comments
Tory candidate Boris Johnson has triumphed in the mayoral race for London in a campaign masterminded by the Australian political tactician Lynton Crosby. The Sydney Morning Herald has the story: Brought in at the end of last year, the mysterious Crosby – “you know I don’t do interviews”, he responded to an email from the […]
Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 29 comments
In 1974, economist Richard Easterlin, published a study in which he argued that economic growth didn’t necessarily lead to more satisfaction. In poor countries, gaining the necesseties of life raised happiness but beyond those gains there was no increase. This became known as the Easterlin paradox. Just last week, two young economists presented what they […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, April 23rd, 2008 - 2 comments
The NY Times reports on the symbiotic relationship between media “military analysts” and the Bush administration. Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse â€” an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from […]
Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, April 22nd, 2008 - 50 comments
We have all heard of the peak oil crisis that is already manifesting itself in fuel prices. Now, consider peak food, the point where our ability to produce food peaks even as demand grows. Wheat was the first plant to be domesticated, around 10,000 years ago. Our civilisations are built on the excess calories available […]
Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, April 16th, 2008 - 31 comments
As you know, petrol and food prices are up. These are international prices spiralling up due to growing demand and limited or falling supply. When demand exceeds supply prices rise. Now, when food and petrol goes up, that’s inflation. In fact it’s most of the current inflation: out of 3.4%, 0.9% is from petrol and […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, April 9th, 2008 - 28 comments
New Zealand First’s opposition to the China FTA is no surprise but it is interesting to reflect on the grounds for it that Winston Peters has laid out: a) the deal is not good enough. A pretty weak argument when the other option is no deal. b) the immigration provisions are bad and shouldn’t be […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, April 5th, 2008 - 23 comments
Liberal democracy (ie. democracy where there are truly competitive elections) is the dominant ideology of government of our time, having seen off monarchy and totalitarianism in both its fascist and communist guises. And if there’s one thing the world’s liberal democracies agree on is that spreading liberal democracy is a good idea, (unless it interferes […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, April 3rd, 2008 - 6 comments
There is a Novotel hotel beside the Canadian High Commission on The Terrace in Wellington. Check out this billboard on the wall of the hotel nearest the High Commission, you can see the Canadian flag in the bottom left corner. So, that’s where the baby seals are hanging out during the hunt. Good on the […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, April 2nd, 2008 - 16 comments
Do you think our politicians are unpopular? This story from the Washington Post puts any of those thoughts in perspective: There’s a reason President Bush almost never appears before members of the general public: They really don’t like him. Despite the delirious mood of Washington Nationals fans on opening night at their new stadium, Bush […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, April 1st, 2008 - 2 comments
Al Gore has just launched a $300 million, bipartisan campaign to try to push climate change higher on the nation’s political agenda. The website is www.wecansolveit.org – you can see the debut ad, “Anthem,” here. The campaign plans to bring together “unlikely bedfellows” of differing political stripes and use shows like American Idol to promote […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, March 27th, 2008 - 23 comments
For those of you who saw the title and thought this post was about Celine Dion, sorry, it’s about the seal cull. Every year Canada kills and skins hundreds of thousands of baby harp seals, leaving their bodies to rot. The seal cullers’ favoured tool is the vicious hakapik a long pole with a sharp […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, March 23rd, 2008 - 12 comments
Some commentators have been drawing parallels between John Key and Barack Obama’s style of appeal. That was all very well when it appeared to be going Obama’s way but now in this recent article in the Guardian suggests that Barack Obama is also facing challenging times. Barack Obama looks at his wireless device in Beckley, […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, March 20th, 2008 - 19 comments
One of the most interesting questions from the audience at the Stiglitz interview in Wellington last week was whether he thought we were focusing unduly on “economic growth” as the sole indicator of societal wellbeing. The point being that, as in the headline, it’s easy to imagine situations in which GDP’s rising but quality of […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, March 20th, 2008 - 21 comments
With Barack Obama doing so well in the Democrat primaries and being seen as the candidate of change, National wants to paint John Key as the kiwi Obama. And some in the media have lapped it up pointing to such amazing similarities as: ‘they were both born in 1961!’, ‘they both have two children!’, ‘they’re […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, March 19th, 2008 - 49 comments
The sub-prime crisis is at the heart of the world’s current economic problems. It all boils down to financiers playing fast and loose with the rules of how money works, and the US government not keeping an eye on them. Essentially, they created a whole new class of interest-bearing pieces of paper that were supposedly […]
Written By: - Date published: 5:07 pm, March 18th, 2008 - 9 comments
Has the prospect of a Kiwi winter made you think longingly of a move across the ditch? Well if Sydney was your destination you may want to think twice. A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald points out that: “The latest Herald/Nielsen poll found 21 per cent of people surveyed are thinking of leaving […]
Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, March 17th, 2008 - 13 comments
Finnish MP Tommy Tabermann (SDP) has proposed granting all employees a paid 7-day “love vacation” once a year. According to Tabermann, the purpose of such vacations would be to prevent relations from disintegrating and the spouses from drifting apart. During the seven days, couples could devote themselves to each other ‘both at an erotic and […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 17th, 2008 - 23 comments
The clashes between rioters and police in Tibet that have left up to 100 dead are a particularly tough issue for New Zealand to address. Our principles tell us we should support human rights, the Prime Minister has said that New Zealand supports the right to peaceful protest and condemns any disproportionate violence against even […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:40 pm, March 16th, 2008 - 5 comments
Here’s a lead line from a Washington Post article that will strike fear and horror into the heart of any self-respecting rightwinger: “Nineteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the old East German Communist Party is making a comeback.” “Known these days simply as the Left, the ex-communists have broadened their appeal by […]
Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, March 13th, 2008 - 6 comments
Following a_y_b’s post about the deliciously punny Yes, Pecan! ice cream, we’ve found some more Obama-flavoured silliness which is also, incidentally, the best campaign song ever. Here’s ‘Viva Obama’, by some random mariachi band: And if that’s not enough Viva Obama goodness you can also download the ringtone and get the MP3 for your iPod […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, March 13th, 2008 - 2 comments
Ben and Jerry’s icecream endorsed Obama when Edwards pulled out. To celebrate Obama’s win in Vermont, Slate recently ran a competition to name an icecream in his honour. The winner? “Yes, Pecan!”.
Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, March 12th, 2008 - 4 comments
Hillary Clinton’s ad warning of a national emergency at 3am and featuring sleeping children has been considered highly politically effective. It’s spawned hundred of YouTube parodies and was considered potentially damaging enough that the Obama campaign responded publicly. It’s now been discovered that one of the children featured in the nine-year-old stock video footage – […]