Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category

Nats to ban Black Caps Zimbabwe tour?

February 16, 2009

Woohoo! Good news, from the National government, of all people. Prime Minister John Key has strongly hinted that the Nats will ‘order’ the Black Caps to not tour Zimbabwe this July. If so, this would let NZ Cricket off the hook for potentially millions in default fees, under ICC rules that block a nation cancelling a tour for political reasons. Essentially, the ICC recognise that if the NZ government ban the Kiwi cricketers from touring Mugabe’s land, then the decision is taken out of the hands of NZ Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan.

This can only help Zimbabwe’s quest for human rights; despot Mugabe is a known cricket fan, so it will hopefully send him a clear message that respecting human rights in Zimbabwe is more important to the world than a cricket tour (much as we like the latter).

The Essential Qualities of Marriage

November 19, 2008

It is hard to express how gob-smacking and insulting this French appeals court ruling on a marriage is. Tragic for the couple involved, but even more so for France, if a handful of witless ‘feminists’ and judges can overturn global human understandings of what a marriage is.

Summary of events – Islamic husband rejects wife on wedding night when he discovers she is not a virgin. She agreed the next day to his request for annulment of the marriage. Lower court annuls marriage, but ‘feminists’ howl, so gutless minister forces state to appeal, and appeal court overturns ruling. Meaning the marriage still stands, despute niether husband nor wife considering their marriage valid, and dishonesty of 1 party to the marriage going into it.

Stunning. At the heart of this decision is what the court accepts to be the ‘essential qualities’ of a marriage, breach of which are grounds for annulment. The French appeal court claims that a spouse lying, and misrepresenting their sexual history do not undermine the trust and love necessary for marriage. Which makes you wonder what French appellate judges consider marriage to be? I wouldn’t trust a business partner who lied to me, let alone misrepresented their business history to me; how much more important to be upfront in an intimate relationship like marriage?

Article 16 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states:

Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

How can the a spouse give ‘free and full consent’ if that consent is undermined by lies by the other contracting partner? Quite apart from trust, it is a legal nonsense.

And the court appears to have overlooked the implications – the most obvious of which is that they have come within a hair’s breadth of legalising adultery, and nullifying millions of divorces! After all, adultery involves a spouse lying about their sexual activity – same as this wife – but about sexual activity after the marriage takes place rather than before (as for the wife in this case).

But if sexual history and honesty about that history are not ‘essential qualities’ of marriage, a strong case can be made that post-marital adultery is no more a breach of marriage than ‘pre-marital adultery’ (fornication). With adultery being the sole grounds for a huge proportion of divorces, the Douai appeals court may have rendered such divorces void. Which would make for a really awkward Christmas, to say the least…

Sadly, a large part of the reaction against the initial annulment that led to this crackpot appellate ruling, seems to have been anti-Muslim bigotry. References to virginity having no place in marriage in this ‘democratic and secular’ France reveal nothing about the state of the claimed marriage, but a lot about the attitudes of those pushing the annulment overturn. Notice these hypocritical ‘feminists’ have not been howling over the woman who ‘divorced’ her husband over his ‘Second Life’ computer game adultery

Get a brain ‘feminists’ & French courts – no spouse (male or female) has a ‘human right’ to cheat on their husband or wife before or after the marriage. Lying about it certainly undermines the whole basis of marriage – the two people becoming one in love.

All hail the Obamessiah!

November 5, 2008

US Republican presidential candidate John McCain just conceded, and liberals all over the States have gone berserk, weeping and falling to the ground to worship the new President. It really is that stomach churning. And I’m not exactly a Republican kinda guy…

What is interesting is that in NZ’s Scoop website coverage, the first thing Gordon Campbell wrote about after the announcement of Obama’s presumed election (always wait for the official result – remember 2004?), was abortion. Namely, the US President’s ability to appoint new Supreme Court judges, and the impact Obama would have on the Roe vs Wade abortion legalisation decision.

Obama is rumoured to want a Freedom of Choice Act, similar to the legalisation moves recently passed in Victoria, Australia; removing all reference to abortion being the taking of a human life (current laws allow that unborn child’s life to be taken, but claim it is justifiable, so makes it legal). Will Obama listen to the pro-life voices, or will he trample on human rights of the most vulnerable?

Freedom of religion? Not in Victoria!

September 25, 2008

Update: Sadly, this ‘abortion as a human right’ bill has been passed by the State of Victoria in Australia. Abortion is now considered to be an entirely legal action – no longer even considered the ‘acceptable’ taking of a life, it is not even deemed the taking of a life anymore. It seems some Australians think unborn children not worthy of recognition as humans. Which begs the question – what do Victorians consider the point where life begins, and why?

—————

I shouldn’t be surprised, but am, at how venal the anti-life bigots are. The state of Victoria in Australia has passed (in its Lower House; they also have an Upper House) a draconian pro-abortion law that actually forces doctors & nurses to perform an abortion – even if abortion is against their religion – if the mother’s life is “at risk”. What is deemed “at risk” is subjective, of course.

(3) Despite any conscientious objection to abortion, a registered medical practitioner is under a duty to perform an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.
(4) Despite any conscientious objection to abortion, a registered nurse is under a duty to assist a registered medical practitioner in performing an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.

Interesting to note that the law itself revises the Crimes Act to change the definition of ‘serious injury’ to include:

15(2)(b) the destruction, other than in the course of a medical procedure, of the foetus of a pregnant woman, whether or not the woman suffers any other harm;”.

So, you’re guilty of causing serious injury if you destroy an unborn child, but not if you kill the child by aborting them… And causing serious injury to who? The Crimes Act is all about injuring people – this is a tacit admission the unborn child is human – just not one we are too concerned about when the mother doesn’t want them, but concerned if the mum does want to keep her/him. Nice.

The stunning thing is the vile stream of verbal vomit that spouts forth from those anti-life campaigners. No Right Turn posits this is Catholics somehow ‘killing’ a mother whose life is at risk from the continued pregnancy or birth of her child. Total lies!

Any doctor & nurse has a duty – which no religion opposes – to try and save both mother and child. What anti-lifers want is for Catholic hospitals, doctors & nurses to be forced to kill the unborn child to ‘save’ the mother’s life, while ignoring the option of trying to save both lives.

Pure bigotry – the anti-life campaign is openly stating that freedom of religion is now ‘trumped’ by their imposed standard of the ‘wishes of the mother’, i.e. the convenience of the mother.

While the tiny proportion of mothers who genuinely face risk to their life from continued pregnancy or birth are in an unenviable position (which includes a friend of mine), I support the medical staff who uphold the Hippocratic Oath and do everything in their power to save the lives of both mother and child.

Otherwise, the logical corollary is for those getting treatment for cancer caused by passive smoking, say, to force the doctors to kill their smoker family members who ‘posed the risk’ to the patients life (by causing the cancer, and probably continuing to smoke and pose the risk). Crazy? Yep, and that’s the anti-life position.

I hope the Victorian Upper House has the brains, courage and compassion to vote down this evil law for ‘abortion on demand’ that tries to overrule our long established human rights freedoms – the right not to be killed, and the right not to be forced to break our religious beliefs.

Will the anti-life religious police crucify doctors & nurses who won’t obey? Or just throw them in jail to rot? What humanitarians…

Le Boom, Boom – Le Spy, Spy

September 6, 2008

Having recovered from the embarrassment of being caught blowing up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior 1, and killing a crew member in the process, the French spy agencies are at it again.

Only this time, their own citizens are the target! On 1st July, the French government decreed a new spy database, called Edvige, be set up. The decree spells out that the aim of the database is:

to centralize and analyze data on people aged 13 or above who are active in politics or labour unions, who play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role, or who are “likely to breach public order.”

Lovely! I’m sure NZ’s domestic SIS and GCSB spy agencies are salivating at the thought of a database network to spy on their own citizens. Oh wait, they already share one with the US, UK, Canada and Australia – it’s called Echelon, and includes the spy satellite dish at Waihopai (near Blenheim) that had it’s direction-obscuring balloon deflated (see also my earlier post) a little while back by Catholic Worker peace activists. I bet they made the database already!

Time to junk these Keystone Cops spys. Save NZ $80m a year. The French government should ditch their Edvige before it bites them too.

Taxpayers subsidise dodgy boss

August 29, 2008

Wait! Let me get this straight.

The NZ government sets up a dubious immigration scheme to bring in foreign (mostly Pacific) seasonal workers to help farmers get staff at wages Kiwis won’t work for (because they can’t live on what the farmers want to pay).

A dodgy farmer boss hires 70+ Kiribati workers, but crams them in 20 to a house, and charges them for the privilege. From what were already low wages. Basically, after all the ‘deductions’ by the boss, the staff have to fly back to their home (having borrowed to fly here in the first place) without their wages.

And the Dept of Labour – generous souls that they are – think the Kiwi taxpayer should pay these Kiribati workers their wages BECAUSE THE DODGY BOSS WON’T!!! Why the heck can’t the Labour Dept. pay the wages in the interim, and sue the living cr*p out of this filthy boss?

The victims here are the Kiribati workers, and they should be helped. But giving a gift to the shonky boss just makes NZ taxpayers victims too. Shameful, Dept of Labour. Truly shameful.

Filthy, scumbag cops sham taser approval

August 28, 2008

NZ Police Commissioner Howard Broad

NZ Police Commissioner Howard Broad

NZ Police Association head Greg O'Connor

NZ Police Association head Greg O'Connor

NZ Police Commissioner Howard Broad should be sacked! After his taser trial report came out at the start of the year – just after the $8m bungled police hounding of Tuhoe activists in the terrorist Operation Eight – Broad did not want to ask for more lethal weapons, so he sat on the report.

Seeing an opportunity, Broad waited until the start of the scheduled 2008 election campaign to release the report, knowing that no political party wants to look soft on law and order in an election. And Broad tops it off with his sham ‘consultation’ with MPs, that lasts about 12 hours and just involves Broad listening to one parliamentary debate, without even waiting for MPs to give him written submissions.

Broad even says “I was not asking for the minister’s approval, I wasn’t asking for a serious piece of advice, …” How shameful is that?

And who said an unelected, unaccountable police commissioner should decide what weapons he and his chums get to use on the public? ‘By convention…’ please!!!! This deranged ‘convention’ must be changed immediately. The new Policing Bill before parliament should include specific limitation on police, so they can only use weapons specified by full parliamentary approval in law. No more back-door sham consults by a police, who want the power of kings.

Which brings us to Greg O’Connor, the ranting, frothing Police Association head, who says:

Putting the decision to Parliament was a further erosion of the convention of the commissioner’s operational independence of Parliament.

“What if Parliament had said no? What would he have done then?”

Mr O’Connor said it set a dangerous precedent if Parliament changed its mind on the Taser in the future, or if other controversial decisions would now be expected to be put to MPs.

What more can you say – ‘Rant’ O’Connor wants police to be above the law, able to choose their own weapons without oversight or approval by elected representatives of the people he wishes to inflict those weapons on. A monster.

Ironically, NZ First’s Ron Mark put it best when he said:

he was “baffled” by the commissioner’s eight months of hesitancy over what was a “no-brainer”

A no-brainer indeed! Any MP who lets cops have tasers shows no brains, any MP who lets cops decide what weapons they get has no brains, and anyone who tries to portray police as at risk (they’re not – they are well down the ACC list of hazardous professions) has no brains. It is the NZ public who are at risk from increasingly well-armed and thuggish police. Not surprising, given their union head and commissioner, is it?

Update: The Mental Health Foundation has called on the police to not introduce tasers without first properly consulting them, as mental health sufferers are far more likely to suffer from police tasering. Will Howard Broad run another 12 hour ‘consultation’?

Update 2: Oh my stars! It just gets worse. The NZ police ‘study’ they used to justify introducing tasers includes the gem that 39% of cops can’t think of any downside to tasers. Hint to mindless cops – 300 deaths in the USA from taser use!

The report said 39 per cent of officers surveyed could identify no risks or disadvantages to having a Taser available to police officers. Some thought that the Taser posed no more risk than other tactical options.

The potential risks identified were that subjects may gain control of the Taser and use it to incapacitate officers, misuse of the device, and that some officers may become over reliant on Tasers, electing to use them when firearms should be used.

And the dangers the rest of these cops identified were all about dangers to them – nothing about dangers to the public or ‘suspects’ – the people these electro-shock weapons are aimed at. Frightening. Not one cop identified any risk to the people they use 50,000 volt guns on.

Update 3: Stunning!!! Police commissioner Howard Broad doesn’t want to get tasered, even though he is happy to inflict this on every police officer who trains to use the taser, and he is happy for tasers to electro-shock any member of the public; old, young, mentally ill, unfit, heart conditions… Can anyone spell dangerous hypocrite? If Howard Broad won’t front to get tasered live on 6pm TV news, then MPs should immediately ban tasers. Only fair.

Labour & police approving tasers

August 27, 2008

The shameful saga of Labour approving NZ Police use of electro-shock weapons – tasers – has continued, with police minister Annette King telling parliament that police commissioner Howard Broad will decide soon, after he has heard what MPs think.

King makes clear though, that what MPs say will not decide Broad, but that Broad has some kind of power over parliament to decide what weapons the police can use. Truly disgraceful!

It is time for clear laws to be put in place that limit the weapons police can use to be only those approved by parliament, after public consultation. I for one do not want the least intelligent, most thuggish sector of society – the police – to have 50,000 volt electro-shock guns.

And no, I am not reassured by Annette King’s mindless blather about police being audited by having short video clips recorded every time a taser is fired (camera built into taser). Police have shown themselves willing to ‘lose’ or ‘edit’ footage in the past to justify their actions. And even if unedited video is available of tasering incidents, we have only just seen several cops get off scot-free after being caught on unedited CCTV video beating and pepper spraying repeatedly a mentally ill prisoner locked in a cell in the Bay of Plenty. And the judge blocked public release of the video as it would show the truth. Hardly reason to have confidence in the police getting tasers.

I’m with the UN – tasers are torture!! Ban everyone from having them – especially the cops!

Update:   Rant O’Connor of the police union association has come out all in favour of tasers, as has NZ First’s Ron Marks. Perhaps if every MP supporting taser introduction was tasered 6 times first…

Shonky migrant labour scheme exposed!

August 15, 2008

NZ potato pickers

And so the stories start to trickle out about the shonky migrant labour scheme Labour dreamed up to ‘help’ Pacific nations. A dodgy Nelson boss screws over 80 Kiribati migrant workers, doesn’t pay them, and the workers get sent home unpaid!!!

And it seems the Presybtarian church had already raised concerns over abuse of Vanuatu workers earlier.

“We are hearing stories of workers who are cold and hungry. Some arrive to find they will be crammed into houses sleeping many per room, each having an exorbitant amount deducted from their pay for rent and power. Worse some arrive to find no roof over their heads,” [Rev] Pamela [Tankersely] says.

What nice bosses. Can’t understand why they had trouble finding Kiwi workers for their orchards…. what’s that? The slave conditions? Oh.

Time to junk this dodgy migrant labour scheme, and support NZ Aid to provide training for Pacific people for good jobs in their country, and not use such schemes as a cop-out for NZ bosses to offer sweatshop type conditions that Kiwi workers won’t tolerate.

Tell me again how safe Tasers are…

July 24, 2008
Taser being used

Taser being used

Good to see the Mounties are showing NZ how safe we will be if the police get the tasers they so desperately want.

Canadian teen killed by police tasers
9:10AM Thursday July 24, 2008

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Winnipeg police say a teenager has died after being shot with a taser gun while he was brandishing a knife at officers.

I’m sure some will say the kid had a knife, yadda, yadda. That is why police are given stab-proof vests, riot shields, pepper spray, long batons and generally have the ability to surround offenders with large numbers. Police could even investigate using deer net guns (shoots big net over suspect, which tangles them).

But tasers, safe? Yeh, right!