Category Archives: Censorship

ACT is bad. Mmmkay?

Latest from John Banks (ACT Party leader).

Opposition parties say New Zealand has been turned into a “police state” after Parliament last night narrowly passed the Government’s controversial Search and Surveillance Bill.

Parliament last night passed by the Bill by 61 votes to 57.

It was opposed by all Opposition parties and the Government’s support partner the Maori Party.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said 70 different government agencies could obtain surveillance warrants based on suspicion a crime could be committed.

“This Bill goes way beyond what they have in Europe, in Canada and even in the US.”

If someone was detained under the Bill, enforcement officers could search a person’s workplaces and friends, he told Parliament.

“You don’t have to be guilty of anything, you don’t even have to be to be arrested. You only have to be detained.”

Mana opposed the Bill because it led to a “police state”.

“Where the liberties and freedoms most of us now enjoy will disappear, where the powers of the police will be extended without the approval of the judiciary, where the powers of government agencies will assume more authority that the rights of ordinary New Zealanders and where there will be an assumption of guilt not only on an alleged offender but on anyone who knows that person.

“Where enforcement officers can bug your granddaughter’s phone, install a hidden camera in your daughter’s bathroom, download the files from your wife’s computer and steal your files without even having to prove a crime has been or will be committed.”

Latest from Don Brash (former ACT Party leader).

At the risk of starting a storm even more intense than the debate on climate change, I thought I’d note that the current issue of “The Economist” (in my opinion the best weekly news magazine in the English-speaking world) has an article on the ongoing drug wars in Latin America. Thousands of people have died, and it is not at all obvious than the flow of drugs, much of it to the US, has been reduced despite the cost in human life.

Last year, I enlivened my campaign for the ACT Party – unwisely in retrospect – by suggesting that in New Zealand we should be taking a serious look at whether the present policy on drugs like marijuana should be changed. The Law Commission has suggested there should be change, and internationally the Global Commission on Drugs has made a similar recommendation. I should stress that I myself have not ever used recreational drugs (except relatively small amounts of alcohol) and I do not want to see my teenage son using them either. I’m simply saying that by continuing to make the possession of small amounts of marijuana a criminal offence we drive the drug traffic into the hands of seriously bad people, who do enormous damage to everybody they touch.

40 years of bullshit

I heard that feminist Germaine Greer, author of The Female Eunuch, is in town, where she’s a guest at Readers and Writers Week.

Germaine Greer glitter-bombed by Queer Avengers

Members of Wellington protest group the Queer Avengers have rained glitter down on visiting feminist writer Germaine Greer, who has a history of outing and denouncing transwomen, even describing them as “ghastly parodies” of womanhood.

Glitter-bombing has gained prominence internationally as a way to highlight transphobia and queerphobia, particulalry in the US where a number of politicians have been targeted.

“Transphobic feminism is so 20th Century,” says Stacey of the Queer Avengers. “It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now. Women’s liberation must mean the right to refuse imposed gender roles, to fight for diverse gender expression.”

The Queer Avengers also handed out leaflets stating “transphobia is bullshit,” pointing to the fact Greer was arrested in 1972 while touring New Zealand, for saying the word “bullshit.”

Bullshit and glitter-bombs! Greer was not the first to be arrested in New Zealand for using the word ‘bullshit’. In 1971, Tim Shadbolt published his autobiography Bullshit and Jellybeans, supposedly written while incarcerated in prison cells in Mt Eden and Mt Crawford. The title alludes to the charge which led to his arrest.

Looking back, it all seems quaintly absurd. Today I can say, with impunity, “Censorship is BULLSHIT!” I can, but I won’t. Because the adjective ‘bullshit’ is too good for censorship. I’ll cut to the chase. Censorship is EVIL. And, from my point of view as a free thinker, it is one of the worst of evils.

Yes, Christians have been major culprits in the long history of censorship. Yes, that’s embarrassing. Index Librorum Prohibitorum? I deplore the very idea. Nihil obstat! Imprimi potest! Imprimatur! We live in an age of bullshit and when we encounter it we should call it what it is.

Consider the Ninth Commandment.

Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Consider censorship.

Thou shalt not bear true witness.

Now combine the two.

LOL. I just Googled “thou shalt drink a nice big cup of shut the fuck up” and top in the list of search results was Uncyclopedia’s entry on Feminism. Uncyclopedia says

Most men hate feministic bull shit and wish Germaine Greer would drink a nice big cup of shut the fuck up.

I wish that Germaine Greer would say whatever she wants to say. I don’t have to listen to her transphobic feministic bullshit.

James 3:1-10

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (NIV)