This week: Free speech, free whales, free wombs … and Paul Henry
- (NZ HERALD) “Henry Apology Rejected” – TVNZ presenter Paul Henry apologises to the Queen’s representative for any offence caused to the latter by a question he asked John Key about the choice of the next Governor General. Race Commissar and eminent Marxist Joris de Bres says Paul Henry’s apology “should be aimed at all New Zealanders.”
My diagnosis: Not in my name Joris. If one takes the time to examine exactly what was said, Paul Henry did not suggest that the next Governor-General should look and sound like a New Zealander; he did not suggest that the current holder of that office did not look and sound like a New Zealander; he was merely asking John Key’s opinion on what could be one of many selection criteria.
Further, Joris de Brezhnev’s comments reflect a politically correct oversensitivity –- should Paul Henry really apologise to all New Zealanders: maybe a national tour in sackcloth and ashes to all corners of the country to make penance even to infants, toddlers, those with dementia, and others incapable of understanding what is essentially a non-issue? Of course not. Should he apologise to anyone at all? No. If you think you might be offended by something on television, for goodness sake turn it off and read a book instead. (And surely you could find something better to do at breakfast time than watch the box; something like, I don’t know, maybe talk to the family?)
If you are offended by something on state TV, then demand a refund on the taxes you are forced to pay to fund it. But no-one has a right to sail through life without being ‘offended’. Life would be so much duller, were that the case.
I find myself offended by Paul Henry’s apology. Perhaps I should stamp my foot and demand that he retract it and apologise afresh.
- (DOMPOST) “Abortion Rally Outside Court” – Fifty people who support easier access to safe legal abortion on demand for NZ women protest outside the Court of Appeal in which the anti-abortion group that ironically calls itself Right to Life is battling the Abortion Supervisory Committee.
My diagnosis: First, a small point – the Action for Abortion Rights protestors chanted “Hey Mister, keep your laws off my sister,” possibly unaware that there are at least two women judges sitting on the Court of Appeal.
Second, libertarians –- in stark distinction to conservatives -- support access to privately-provided abortion on demand for women. Abortion is a health service for which a free market would improve safety and quality. The service should be user-pays, so that Catholics, SPUCsters and others opposed to abortion are not forced to fund abortion clinics as they are under a state-run health system.
Third, the Abortion Supervisory Committee should be disbanded once an open competitive market in termination of pregnancies is up and running.
Action for Abortion Rights should know that the Libertarianz Party wholeheartedly supports the complete legalisation of abortion on demand in New Zealand, on the basis that a person has ownership over their body and all that’s in it (and, in fact, is their body). Those who oppose a woman’s right to control a blob of protoplasm in her uterus are advocating the subjugation of women, and of sex, in the same way that many religions do.
- (DOMPOST) “Flag-burning case could reshape freedom of expression” – Valerie Morse has taken an appeal against burning the New Zealand flag in 2007 all the way to the Supreme Court.
My diagnosis: Once again, as per the comments above on Paul Henry, no-one has the right to sail through life and never be offended. I personally would not have supported Valerie Morse’s immolation of the national flag on Anzac Day, but the issue should be: did her actions breach anyone else’s fundamental rights? Answer: no, unless they violated any implicit contract with the owners of the land on which she stood while doing so. In this case, it is reported that she was standing in the grounds of Victoria University’s law school. So, the question should be: what sayeth the university on this matter? If the Chancellor says she has the right to burn flags on law school property –- presumably harming no-one in the process, cleaning up afterward and leaving the area as she found it –- then she’s off scot free, with her fine refunded, court costs paid and compensation awarded. If, however, the Chancellor says she broke the rules by torching the Union Jack/Southern Cross, then she’s toast as far as I’m concerned.
- (SUNDAY STAR TIMES) “Why Beached Whales Should Be Left To Die” – Michael Laws argues that members of the Voluntary Whale Extinction Movement should be left to sun themselves on our beaches undisturbed.
My diagnosis: Initially, I tended to agree with Laws on this one. But then I thought the issue through.
In a sense, he’s right –- in a Darwinian sense these whales are big-time losers, repeatedly trying to traverse terra firma. They should learn not to run before they can walk. And not to walk before they grow legs.
But aren’t the whale-huggers doing just what capitalism encourages: merging their labour with unclaimed natural resources for profit? Perhaps the profit angle is missing at the moment, but if punters were willing to shell out Pacific pesos for an opportunity to help keep alive and refloat these kamikaze sea mammals, wouldn’t that warm the heart of every greenie? Those that died could be carved up, with the meat and bones sold off for meat and carvings. Those that didn’t could be tagged and kept around for whale tours. A win-win situation for all. Now, I just need to work out how to broadcast a recording of the pilot whale mating call from the nearest beach…
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny – when
the government fear the people, there is liberty.
- attributed to Thomas Jefferson