Monday, September 14, 2015

Slippery Slopes and Wedges

Wedges are useful and simple devices for stopping doors slamming shut, especially on your freedoms. Slippery slopes need a few to stop people sliding down into the mud. 

Our society seems to ignore tried and tested arguments, customs, traditions and plain common sense, unfortunately, getting onto slippery slopes despite warnings. And it uses wedges to force open doors and windows that are generally used to keep danger out.

We see this in Tasmoania, the State of Moral Disarray: this 'Hillary's Village'.

Here, through the efforts of Greens, Feminists and the ubiquitous Socialists, we have abandoned common sense, traditions, custom, tried and tested arguments and all vestige of morality. 

It was in this small backwater in the Great Land of Oz, where the wizard makes smoke and uses mirrors to bedazzle and confuse the folk, that abortion-protest punishment was first introduced. Warnings were given that freedom was being eroded and other States would copy. 

But did the 'Powers and Principalities' listen? Not a chance. Evil is so attractive.

Now others are copying.  Slippery Slope. Victoria has introduced laws on the Tasmoanian model. Canberra is trying too.

Like a drop of ink in a glass of water it is discolouring: like a bruised apple in the old Apple Isle it is rotting the National barrel. 

The Canberra newspaper Editorial yesterday at least tried to sound a warning, but got itself hoplessly encumbered in its own pro-abortion bias.
Greens' ban on anti-abortion protests must be weighed against loss of freedom
Earlier this month, Victoria's Labor government struck a deal with Sex Party MP Fiona Patten to introduce "exclusion zones" outside the state's family planning clinics. The government is yet to provide details but says it supports, in principle, legislation that would ban anti-abortion protesters from harassing women in the vicinity of these clinics.

It is something of a measure of our society that such a political animal as the 'Sex Party' can exist at all. But in a free society people can start a party as they deem fit. They are free to speak out. Odd though that they then  seek to deny freedom of speech to others. Hmmmm. Not so odd. Just mad. 
This proposal is not novel; Ms Patten based her plan on Tasmania's 150-metre exclusion zones, which were introduced two years ago. And the ACT may follow suit: Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury tabled similar, draft legislation in the Assembly last month, also based on the Tasmanian laws.
Greens again. Watermelons. Green on the outside: red inside.

The decision of the Catholic Archbishop, Christopher Prowse, to lead one of these vigils may have ramped up the protesters' visibility. 
On the face of it, it is difficult to argue against moves to protect women from coercion and abuse, particularly patients who may be vulnerable emotionally.
Indeed. And where the Oz protester has never been seen to be coercing or abusing, it is sheer mendacity to imply a need to prevent them.
This newspaper has long supported the right of women to access safe abortion services and believes that people who try to intimidate women into avoiding these clinics are morally simplistic, show a repugnant disregard for privacy and potentially cause deep harm.
The editorial writer can believe whatever he or she wants but the FACTS show that no such intimidation takes place. Being simplistic is how the newspaper sees its readers. 

How is it "repugnant" to pray for someone's wellbeing? How far do you go to prevent a "potentially deep harm" of having someone love you? The use of such inflammatory words has intent behind them.
Yet any move to outlaw protest must be contemplated very carefully by the community before proceeding. The explanatory statement tabled with Mr Rattenbury's draft bill acknowledges that the legislation would limit freedoms that Canberrans presently enjoy and which are protected by the ACT's Human Rights Act: the right to express one's views and to assemble peacefully in public places. Similarly, Mr Rattenbury's bill seeks to curtail Canberrans' rights to film or take photographs near the clinic, even though it is a bustling, public place.
See the wedge? It is forcing the window open for the freedom-thieves to enter. Even tourists can get trapped into 'criminally' taking a snap.
In other countries, notably the United States, abortion clinics, their staff and their patients have been the target of not only protests but horrific attacks.
Rare and never happened in Oz.  Even if it had happened, there are criminal laws at hand to use against violent people.
Yet here in Canberra the protest that prompted Mr Rattenbury's bill involved a handful of people praying outside a clinic, rarely, if at all, interacting with passers-by. 
But whatever one thinks of their views and beliefs, it is too far a stretch to say the prayer group was harassing women. 
Mr Rattenbury himself, when describing the worst of the protesters'  behaviour, said "sometimes they have included emotive placards and sometimes single-viewpoint pamphlets have been handed out". 
This is a ridiculously low bar for defining criminal conduct and for setting aside, at least in part, rights such as freedom of speech and assembly. Nor, insofar as the public is aware, has the vigil intruded on individual patients' privacy. Indeed, the area outside the clinic is a busy thoroughfare: there is no way of identifying who, among the many passers-by, is accessing family-planning services.
Nonetheless, the absence, at least to date, of more conspicuously offensive behaviour toward clinic patients is no guarantee it will never happen.
This is a sophist argument. I cannot wait for the editor to suggest that the absence of God's thunderbolt striking the abortuary is no guarantee that it won't happen.
What's unclear is whether Mr Rattenbury's bill is the right kind of safeguard. He says he is open to refining the legislation, which is only a draft, so as to minimise the limits it imposes of individual freedoms. Yet the problem may be more fundamental. 

Some academics say the two-year-old Tasmanian laws, if challenged, could be found to be constitutionally invalid – a breach of Australians' implied right of freedom of political communication. Of course, the abortion clinic exclusion zones might never be challenged legally. But if ACT Assembly does implement them, it should get the balance right on the first occasion, rather than come to regret a poorly thought-out solution to a loosely defined problem.
The law has yet to be challenged simply because the Prosecutors have been reluctant to let the law be challenged.  But it will be.

I will be around to see it too.

Watch my back.

I have a Rosary and I am not afraid to use it.


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