Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cheers Rodney, shame on Brash

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Rodney Hide has come out solidly in favour of free speech – which I thoroughly commend. He said:
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“Prime Minister Helen Clark should unequivocally stand up for New Zealanders’ freedom and that includes the freedom of our press. Instead, she is undermining it. She should not condemn our media for reporting the news. She should instead condemn attempts by violent groups to bully and to censor our news. Of course, we must be respectful of other people’s cultures and beliefs. That’s a simple matter of politeness and a pragmatic recognition of what it takes to live in a diverse and tolerant world. But we must never surrender our freedom and the freedom of our press out of a misplaced respect for another culture or set of beliefs. To do that is to trade away our culture of an open and free society where we can debate the issues of the day both seriously and with humour as free citizens in a free country. That means that people will on occasions be offended. In an open and free society we accept that.”
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Too right Rodney. Encouraging words indeed, of course he was only following the Libertarianz press release from Leader Bernard Darnton :)
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NZ First has expressed a view (beyond Winston’s statement which may or may not represent NZ First, as he is part of the government, but his party isn’t .. whatever that means).
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Doug Woollerton is concerned about the trade impacts, but has at least taken a sensible approach saying:
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“The rights or wrongs of editorial decisions to publish the cartoons will undoubtedly be debated for some time to come, and that is healthy and will hopefully lead to greater understanding and tolerance on both sides of the debate.”
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Not exactly a ringing endorsement of free speech, but at least acknowledgement that having the debate is better than shutting it down.
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Meanwhile, as has already been noted, the Maori Party is now the new party of censorship.
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As Not PC has pointed out, it would help if Tariana Turia had a sense of humour. Her own belief in ghosts that speak to her is utterly hilarious. She asks “what’s the joke?” the answer is – it doesn’t matter.
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In addition, Pita Sharples said:
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“It's one thing to promote freedom of the press and freedom of expression, but quite another to use those rights to justify the decision to insult religions and beliefs”
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So I cannot insult the belief that homosexuals are sinners, are that of their own free will and should burn in hell for that? I cannot insult the belief that women who expose any part of their body to men and are then raped are partially responsible for the rape and deserve some punishment over and above that? I cannot insult the belief that people of dark skin were made by God to be slaves? I cannot insult the belief that rats were Jews?
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Well Tariana Turia and Dr Sharples can just fuck off – sincerely. I don't apologise for that language - I find their sensitivities over religion to be pathetic. I find religion to be insulting, as it is irrational and often contradictory to life. I find many beliefs to be either hilarious funny or downright insulting.
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Of course, try making jokes about Maori religions or myths in New Zealand, and see how much free speech we REALLY have.
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Everyone in New Zealand ought to bear in mind that there are ALREADY LAWS prohibiting insulting people on colour, racial, ethnic or national origins. The Human Rights Commission (Human Wrongs Commissariat in Libz speak) states:
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It is unlawful for any person:
To publish or distribute written matter which is threatening, abusive, or insulting, or to broadcast by means of radio or television words which are threatening, abusive or insulting; or
To use in any public place as defined in s.2(1) of the Summary Offences Act 1981, or within the hearing of persons in any such public place, or at any meeting to which the public are invited or have access, words which are threatening, abusive, or insulting; or
To use in any place words which are threatening, abusive, or insulting if the person using the words knew or ought to have known that the words were reasonably likely to be published in a newspaper, magazine, or periodical or broadcast by means of radio or television,
Being matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons in or who may be coming to New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons.

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Now this is not within the scope of the Human Rights Acts, which the Race Relations Commissioner has pointed out – as being Muslim isn’t ethnic. The argument sometimes made is that religion is a matter of choice, but ethnicity is not. Well, really?
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If a newspaper published jokes about taniwhas, tapu and other Maori supernatural beliefs, would this be tolerated? The Maori Party clearly wouldn’t, but how would the Human Wrongs Commissariat react?
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So what of National? On the one hand Murray McCully has rightfully said that he respected the decision by the Press and Dominion Post to publish the cartoons as they had the right to do so. Whereas Brash deplored the publication and essentially agreed with the PM’s approach. He said it was reportedly “irresponsible, insensitive and in bad taste”.
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Well sorry Don, you are wrong – and frankly this approach means you no longer deserve to be leader of the National Party.
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The two newspapers concerned have reported on a news story and reported about what was published to cause an outcry of violence and intimidation in many countries. Peaceful people have been threatened because of the reaction, yet you say nothing about this – this vile appeasement is beneath you.
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Why does a Muslim have a moral right to religion, but we don't have the right to freedom of speech? Why defend those who are insulted against those who stand up for what you, reportedly, believe in?
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Why, when journalists uphold free speech and those offended respond with death threats, do you censure the journalists? Then again, National was the party that brought us the Human Wrongs Act in the first place, the party that toughened up censorship laws across the board in 1993 and voted for the toughening up introduced by Labour last term (yes it was motivated by child pornography which is fine, but it also covered magazines on cannabis and erotic letters).
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As Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute said:
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Blasphemy violates no one's rights; whoever finds such cartoons offensive, can avert his gaze. To cave in to intimidation and not publish anything Muslims (or any other group) feel is offensive is to surrender the crucial principle of free speech.
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Ultimately, this clash is about respecting man’s right to express his views, however unpopular, in the face of religious attempts to subordinate that right to mystical dogmas.
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The free speech so many of us want to defend isn't that free when the leaders of the two major parties regard it as less important than ensuring people aren't offended. Free speech as long as you don't offend anyone is not free speech.

3 comments:

James said...

Well said LS.The backsliding cowards that are caving in to these Islamic stone age scum make me ill.

James said...

Oh and by the way...check out this site for a good fisk of the cartoons and the claim that its a sin to depict the prophet in art...its crap! Islam has been doing it for centuries itself.

http://nogodzone.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Follow the Libz!!!!! Not even likely anyone knew they sent out a press release. They are ignored by all the best people.