15 December 2000. Thought for the Week: "The promise that cloning will be a boon to conservation is a complete cop-out. Conservation is a precarious affair, because its failure is finite. It has, quite literally, a deadline. Cloning endangered species is a classic case of science no longer being used for prevention, but for apparent cure. It is a lazy science."
Malcolm Tait, "The Ecologist", December-January, 2000
by Jeremy Lee
The danger of perversion has become even
greater with the recent introduction - as a result of the
One Nation phenomenon - of compulsory preferential voting.
Dennis Shanahan (Weekend Australian, 2-3/12/2000) made
As in every aspect of life, the introduction
of big money into the election process has upped the stakes
and vastly increased the corruption. Not only does the novice
backbencher gain an immediate salary of nearly $2,000 a week,
plus a whole raft of travel and away-from-home perks, plus
postage and telephone benefits and perks for spouse and family,
but if he or she can endure for eight years, an indexed pension
for life, plus superannuation that non-politicians cannot
match. And the party itself makes millions since the introduction
of tax-payments for votes-gained, which means the investment
of a few thousand dollars to get compulsory preferences from
another party or candidate is a small one indeed.
The voter who wants some choice has long since been sidelined. In the absence of alternatives, the final resort of "Power Voting" - where you put the incumbent member last on the voting slip, allocating the rest as you see fit - is catching on fast. At least it means that new members won't get their pension unless they really stick their necks out in their first term.
Finally, the Federal Government has offered
some money to help drought stricken farmers in New South Wales
and southern Queensland - enough to 'subsidise' interest payments
and give them enough fuel and seed to plant again. At the
end of November Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and others
met with representatives of the banks to urge them to make
some contribution. With breath taking generosity this is what
the banks offered (Country Leader, NSW, 27/11/2000):
COMMONWEALTH: Loan restructuring for
business customers with existing loans, without incurring
the usual bank establishment fees.
WESTPAC: Affected customers with home
loans may apply to suspend repayments for up to three months;
Frankly, the banks should be ashamed to see such a miserly list in print!
While we recognise that the programme for successful banking is to get as many people as deeply into debt as possible and to keep them there, surely when great natural disasters happen the banks should be asked to share some of the risk? In all the points outlined by the banks, there is not such a thing as debt-relief. The most that has been offered is a slight relaxation of the rate at which the pound of flesh is taken! It's not as though the money they lend is the result of their own earning efforts. It is cost-free credit, created at the blip of a computer. But then again, they only made a net profit of $8.4 billion between them this year.
The Liberals in Western Australia face an election this coming year, as does Queensland. The prospects for both State governments are not bright. Richard Court, WA Premier has run into a wall in the conflict between loggers and environmentalists. But he makes sense in some areas.
Writing in The Australian (3/11/2000) Court said: "....This country is incredibly rich in natural gas, most of it from the north-west coast of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Instead of seeing the present oil situation as a negative, surely we can plan as a nation to utilise the abundance of natural gas as an alternative for example, to petrol. That's why in Western Australia we have provided a $500 incentive for people to convert or purchase a gas car...."
That's a start. In fact, the Federal
Government could easily provide a subsidy for the wholesale
conversion of cars to natural gas. It could further drop the
tax on gas to offer commuters an added incentive to change
to a less-polluting fuel. In addition, the Government should
assemble a team of practical engineers to evaluate any pollution-free
form of power.
Many such possibilities are dying for lack of venture capital and government help. The December issue of our New Times Survey carries an article on the use of vegetable oils and ethanol being used to replace diesel in Brazil. It is something already working. Taxis in Mexico City are being changed to a pollution-free motor run on the compressed air principle.
Senator Hill would be far better searching out and fostering genuine alternatives to fossil fuels than wriggling and squirming at such non-productive gatherings as the Kyoto Protocols Conference in the Hague. Bureaucrats at central international conferences have solved few problems and will solve fewer in the dangerous years now on us. By unhooking itself off the tax-revenue nipple, and unleashing the abounding local initiative in Australia, the government could enable some genuine improvements. But perhaps the oil companies wouldn't like it.
RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS VILIFICATION LEGISLATION"Victorians could be prosecuted for making offensive statements, gestures and sounds in their homes under racial and religious vilification laws," says the Herald Sun's Felicity Dargan (7/12/2000). The Premier Steve Bracks, also the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, announced he will "launch the Racial and Religious Tolerance Discussion Paper and Model Bill next Thursday," she informed her readers.
BIG BROTHER IS HERE!
The following report is from Geoff Muirden
Under the present form of the legislation,
according to the Herald-Sun. "Defences might NOT be
available to people accused of vilification." This is the
same mentality that motivates the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission, which enables people to lay complaints if they
are "offended", but does not allow as a defence any factual
information, no matter how well documented, proving that the
statements were based on factual or "hard evidence". That
rule has been applied to suppress free speech on the topic
of the Holocaust, but can just as easily be applied to any
other politically correct subject.
Victorian Premier Bracks is to release
the so-called "Racial and Religious Tolerance Discussion Paper
and Model Bill" on Thursday 14th December, 2000 and calls
for "community submissions."
The recommendation, at least in the initial draft of the bill, that people accused might not be allowed any defence, flies in the face of natural justice. It is only natural justice to ensure that truth IS a defence, that those complaining must establish that comments or actions are based on false or defamatory foundations. As Orwell stated, the right of free speech must include the right to say what other people do not want to hear.
Unless free speech is an absolute right it is a sham. It is an attempt to enforce only "politically correct" speech.
Comments on history, race, politics, religion, science, or any other subject or concerning any person or group, should be defensible if it can be shown that they are factual comments and not based on malice or lies. It is obvious that anyone who is caught out in a lie will be "offended" at the truth. It means that there will be no protection for the "whistleblower" who exposes fraud and corruption, which is destructive of society and human rights.
It is disgraceful that such draconian bills can even be considered as they are blatantly intended as shackles that will manacle us in irons where there can be no safety or privacy even in ones own home. It will create a paradise for informers. The next stage may be to have an electronic "eye" compulsorily installed in your TV and computer, checking every program watched to see if it passed by faceless censors who will become corrupted as they assume dictatorial Thought Police powers.
The Bible says that a man's enemies will be those of his own household, and this may come to pass, as anyone may be condemned and denounced by wife, husband, brother, sister, son, daughter, other relative, "friend" or visitor. A next-door neighbour may even listen in and even invent malicious rumours and if "truth is no defence" will not be required to prove what he is saying.
The intent is to create a muzzle of fear suppressing free discussion of ideas. It is a slap in the face to Western and Christian traditions of free speech. I hope that readers will give priority to opposing this bill and those who suggested it. It is another step towards a slave state.
by Betty Luks
The Bulletin ("Behind the Science
of Mad Cow Disease". December 5th, 2000) says it was back
in the 1980s that "British scientists thought cattle caught
BSE when they were fed the remains of sheep infected with
scrapie, another brain-wasting illness." But, "...it quickly
became clear that BSE was a completely different disease..."
and then "scientists began to suspect the BSE prion had arisen
spontaneously in a single cow in the early 1970s".
The Bulletin article continues,
"although the cow-origin theory has been endorsed by the British
government's recent report on the BSE crisis, some scientists
are already beginning to cool on it... Experimental efforts
to replicate the spontaneous formation of BSE prions in cows
have failed." It seems the BSE prions are adept at species
jumping already showing up in cats and analyses of the prion
shows that it changes very little from one species to another.
But, what if the source of the disease is not these prions?
What if Organophosphates are the culprits?
"...Organophosphates (OP's) form the
confluence of several lines of thought that all point to a
massive official cover-up:
The symptoms and central nervous system effects of someone exposed to these pesticides include: Headache, giddiness, nausea and diarrhoea, voluntary muscle tremors, impaired co-ordination, urinary incontinence, etc., etc. In the United Kingdom farmers have been required to dip sheep against scab and blowfly using a range of 'safer' OPs: from 1982 they were then required to use OPs to treat cattle under the 'Warble Fly Order". While the application was widely carried out using a 'wash-over' treatment in other countries, in the UK and Switzerland it was by a systemic penetrating operation with the use of an oil-based additive. The first risings of the BSE epidemic date back to the "Warble Fly Order" of 1982. It was from this time too that UK organic farmer, Mark Purdey, began to question the possible human and animal side-effects of OPs, and in particular from the commonly preferred commercial product "Phosmet".
On Target (UK) continues, "Even if one allows for a chaotic and uncoordinated state of the research agencies involved, it is clear that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) set up in 1990 were at pains to divert attention from the role of OPs, and to discredit Purdey..."
In her submission to the BSE Inquiry, fellow organic farmer Joanna Wheatly complained she received no support from Headquarters of the National Farmers Union in calling for an investigation into the usage of OPs in relation to BSE. In fact she resigned from the NFU in 1997 over the denial of farmer's health problems associated with the use of Veterinary Medicines.
The British Government could be in for a spot of bother if the French take the threatened legal action against them. But who knows what information could see the light of day in such a court case!
VITAMIN FIXINGPharmaceutical giants Hoffman-La Roche Inc. BASF Corp, Aventis Animal Nutrition SA, Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd. Eisai Co Ltd and Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co Ltd have been ordered to pay US$225 million to settle price-fixing charges brought by lawyers from 21 States in America. The six companies, which together control more than 80 percent of the world's vitamin market, were found to have conspired to fix prices and control the sale of vitamins and vitamin products. The illegal agreements resulted in consumers paying an extra quarter of a billion dollars over the past decade.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MOVING TO DUMP INDEPENDENT ADVISERSThe pharmaceutical industry in Australia has been intensely lobbying the Federal Government for changes to the members of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) (Financial Review, 1/12/2000). Key independent advisers have been a thorn in the side of the pharmaceutical industry, blocking the listing of a number of high-profile drugs on the taxpayer funded $3 billion-a-year Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The Government plans to rush through new legislation in the form of amendments tacked onto an unrelated health bill, which has already passed through the House of Representatives.
Konrad Kalejs - The original of the following was sent to Senator Amanda Vanstone. Minister for Justice.
Dear Senator, I write as a Christian
concerned that in your capacity of Minister for Justice you
will ensure the Christian criteria involved in justice will
be observed in the case of Mr. Konrad Kalejs. This principle
as I understand it is contained in the prayer of our Lord
Jesus Christ which opens every sitting of Parliament. It is
phrases, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"
or in many renditions the word "trespass" is used in place
of debts and debtors.
I had 5-1/2 years service with the AIF in WW2 and all who served know much happened which would never be repeated in peace time, and to pursue alleged perpetrators some 50-60 years on constitutes a form of inhuman injustice equal to, if not worse than the alleged crime of so many years previously. I ask you not to betray Australia's Christian tradition in these matters. Yours faithfully, Edward Rock, Cape Paterson, Vic., 4/12/2000
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.