13 December 2002. Thought for the Week: "The story of Adam the Dreamer's fatal choice is the self-critical story of an Eastern people. Christ precipitated open revolt; he stood with his back to the East, the cradle of civilisation the first modern man. He 'undertook to normalise society... by cancelling out the legal fictions that support the arbitrary power of incompetents... he saw in the tender carefulness of a serving-man for the comfort of his master, a celebration of the spiritual mastery of material things in their relations to living persons:... I was cold, hungry, naked, and he produced the fuel, the food and the clothes.'... The medieval Church was a pioneering adventure in a democracy that could wrestle."
"Charles Ferguson: Herald of Social Credit" by Michael Lane, 2002
NEED FOR MORE CHOICE INCREASINGLY RECOGNISED
by Jeremy Lee
The number of laws and regulations is frightening but obviously our politicians have no concept of any other source of action, for they keep adding to the number. We have yet to read of any party or group that has put forward a list of laws and regulations for repeal. The old scriptural principle was that the number of laws should be kept to a minimum enough so that the ordinary man or woman could have a "working knowledge" of the laws of their community or nation.
The Old Testament records that the people were assembled annually while the laws were read aloud, and then admonished to observe them. By this procedure nobody could claim ignorance of the law as a defence against wrong doing. It is quite safe to say that nobody could read the current laws of Australia to the people. It would take a lifetime; and under current practice the volume would continue increasing at a faster rate than it could be annunciated. All this is well within the consciousness of an over-regulated and controlled community, continually harassed by the impersonal, anonymous bureaucrats who administer this monstrosity, and who now comprise by far the biggest sector of the workforce in Australia.
Millions are now employed shuffling paper, designing forms, carrying out means tests, adding their own penalties and regulations to original Bills under "enabling legislation", and stashing away bigger and bigger sums for their own future superannuation. They write, in lengthy and convoluted language that is meaningless to everyone, including themselves, the Bills that parliamentarians vote on. These are lined up before every session of parliament, like sausages being processed in a factory. All the politician can do is stamp "Aye" or "Nay" as the sausages fly past. What all this has to do with "the democratic process" is anyone's guess. Leading barristers and lawyers have complained that the volume of law is making their own role impossible. Courts are clogged with cases in which endless debate over meaningless minutiae takes the place of justice.
REFORMS NEEDED IN THE PROCESS ITSELF
Tony Harris, writing in The Australian
Financial Review (3/12/02) gave an example of the growing
lack of accountability in the federal parliament, where a
question asked by Senator Faulkner, about travel expenses
in the 2001 election, had been held by Special Minister of
State Eric Abetz for over seven months without reply. Harris
suggested a number of measures to start some accountability
among parliamentarians. He started with political contributions,
pointing out that donations had totalled about $69 million
But successful candidates also receive tax money. For the 2001 election the Federal Government paid out about $39 million. Harris suggested "it would improve democracy if parliaments gave politicians the choice: either accept public money, or private donations, but not both ..."
His second suggestion was to stop political
interference with judicial appointments
Harris went on to suggest the introduction of citizen-initiated referendums, binding upon governments if carried. But he concluded that the people were not likely to receive such handsome Christmas presents from their representatives; there are too few Santa Clauses among state and federal government ministers." (Tony Harris is a former NSW auditor-general)
NOT ALL SCENTS COME UP ROSESThose who have read the books on health by Hulga Clarke will recall her warning that certain chemicals in make-up and shampoo have a bad effect on the body. This seems to have been confirmed in the latest warnings.
The Australian (25/11/02) reported: "High levels of a chemical blamed for causing infertility in men have been found in some of the world's best-known perfumes and cosmetics. "Chanel No 5, Christian Dior's Poison, Eternity from Calvin Klein and Tresor by Lancome were among 34 toiletries found by a Swedish study to contain di-ethylexyl phthalate or other phthalates. The European Commission is proposing a ban on the use in cosmetics of two of the most potent forms of phthalates amid fears they cause genital abnormalities affecting up to 4 per cent of male babies. These genital abnormalities ... are blamed for soaring levels of testicular cancer in young men. Cases ... have risen tenfold in the past century...."
A number of tests have confirmed the warning.
WHAT'S THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT JAPAN?
The world seems to have accepted that Japan is one of the world's worst cot cases. Latest news is that the Japanese Government is pump-priming the Japanese economy with a further $88 billion (6 trillion Yen). Of this two thirds will be pumped into the economy, and one third allocated to making up a shortfall in taxation. The Japanese Government has been regularly pumping money into the economy a dozen times since 1992. More than 136 trillion Yen ($2.4 trillion) has been pumped in over the period. All this has produced a lot of pain, with massive bad debts hitting the banks and continuing bankruptcies.
Many orthodox economists have written
the Japanese off. However, a two-page spread in The Australian
Financial Review (22/11/02) by a Tokyo-based economic commentator,
Eamonn Fingleton, suggests that the Japanese economy is far
stronger than most suspect. He pointed to the following facts:
Japan's trade surplus during the 90s (when it was supposed to be 'collapsing') was just under $US1 trillion, two and a half times that of the 80s. Fingleton's conclusion, shared by a small number of world analysts, is that Japan is in a far stronger position than is generally supposed, and that the "collapsing" image is fostered in Japan itself, to hide its enormous economic strengths.
BATTLE FOR POWER IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Even the mainstream media is now pointing
to the factions within Bush's White House, struggling to shape
future events. The Australian Financial Review (22/11/02)
said one faction was composed of Vice President Dick Cheney,
Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz.
This faction is bent on war at all costs.
This news, which was widely available on the Internet over a year ago, is now coming out in the mainstream media. Every day that war in the Middle East can be postponed or averted, the more such information enters the public domain, making life ever more difficult for the 'manipulators'.
SANTA GETS THE SACK?
by Betty Luks
"Scratch its (politically incorrect) surface and you'll find that outlawing Father Christmas and other so-called 'trivial' cultural identities really amounts to an attack on our own cultural heritage as Christian Australians with a predominantly Anglo-Saxon and European heritage," he exclaims. He asks, "Who will be sacrificed next at the altar of the non-Christian new Australian? The Easter Bunny? The Three Wise Men?" "Why not," he asks (with tongue in cheek?), "pile all of God's angels and the tooth fairy onto the pyre and completely rob our children of the symbols of their cultural identity?"
At the outset, let me say we traditionally have a Christmas tree in our home and gather round the Christmas Day meal and share gifts in celebration of the Advent of the Christ Child. But to link the modern 'Father Christmas' with Christian traditions is stretching it a bit. Whilst in the UK a number of years ago I happened to be shown a little book which had been presented to a friend for his loyal services as a chauffeur to certain notables of the City of London. The book stated: "The Lord of Misrule was the original figure now made familiar to us as 'Father Christmas', hero of the new Halloween Festival which was the origin of the carnival." I think the place "Father Christmas" heads for after the modern pageant or carnival takes place says it all. Unlike the Three Wise Men, he doesn't head for the local humble church to offer his gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold to the Christ Child; his destination is the modern department store (the modern 'temple') and his task is to pull in the Almighty Dollar, the appropriate symbol for the City of London. Is Father Christmas Christian? No! The Money Changers dressed up in 'drag'? Yes!
I should add, I am all for the faery stories and myths and legends of our race, they are a great way of passing on folk history and teaching the young the deep truths and morals of our British-Australian heritage and culture... but please Frank, don't mistake the Lord of Misrule for the Good Tooth Faery!
SOUTH AUSTRALIANS HAVE YOUR SAY!
At the 2002 South Australian State Election, neither the Liberal nor Labor party were returned with a majority large enough to form government. The Independent Member for Hammond, Hon. Peter Lewis, agreed to support a government, which promoted open and accountable government and improved the democratic operation of Parliament. As a result of the Compact agreed to, the Rann Labor Government was formed.
The Government has approved the establishment of the Constitutional Convention as proposed by Mr. Lewis. The Constitutional Convention of South Australia is now asking South Australians to have their say on the matter of parliamentary reform. A flier put out by the Committee reminds its readers South Australians can make submissions to: The Constitutional Convention, PO Box 464, Adelaide, SA, 5001, or Phone: (08) 8204 1310, or Fax: (08) 8204 1336, or E-mail: email@example.com or visit the official Website: www.constitutional .sa.gov.au
Procedure for the Constitutional Convention
The Parliamentary Steering Committee has formulated the following questions for the Discussion Paper
Should South Australia have a system of initiative and referendum (Citizen Initiated Referenda) and, if so, what form and how should it operate?
What is the optimum number of parliamentarians in each House of Parliament necessary for responsible government and representative democracy in the Westminster system operating in South Australia?
What should be the role and function of each of the Houses of Parliament?
What measures should be adopted to improve the accountability, transparency and functioning of government?
What should be the role of political parties in the Legislative Council and what should be the method of election to the Legislative Council?
What should be the electoral system (including the fairness test) and method of election to the House Assembly?
Public submissions are also invited on these questions and any other issues of Constitutional and Parliamentary reform. A series of public meetings in country centres and metropolitan Adelaide will be held in February and March next year at which all the issues identified in the Discussion Paper will be discussed and debated. It is planned that the Constitutional Convention will be held in Adelaide in April 2003. The recommendations of the Constitutional Convention will then be put to the Parliament.
LIBERALS HAVE LOST THE PLOT
by Phillip D Butler
1. Forced amalgamation of local government municipalities by Kennett even though he used his numbers when in Opposition to block the ALP under Cain from doing the same. In fact, he had promised that no municipality would be amalgamated unless there was a referendum held in each municipality involved. He just sacked all local councils and brought in the "commissars" to run them. At that time, Russell Savage was Mayor of the border-city Mildura and put up a fight against amalgamation. He is a true "conservative" and used his position in the past Parliament to block some of the excesses of the ALP. He is one of the few MLA's to hit out at the 'lurks and perks' which all the political parties greedily grant themselves; Russell Savage has handed his 'lurks and perks' on to charity. Craig Ingram, a former member of the National Party, ran in the first place on a local issue the degradation of the once mighty Snowy River. He has, along with Savage, stopped some of the ALP excesses in regards to drugs, gun controls, etc.
2. The Liberals ran a totally negative
programme for the Upper House which the ALP now controls
in just blocking legislation from the Lower House the
Victorian people have seen through this. In fact the Liberal
and National Party have put in doubt why we even need an Upper
House - they couldn't even see through what was being attempted
by the socialists - centralise all power without any checks
and balances! Why didn't the Liberals and Nationals offer
some constructive alternatives and use their numbers for:
While the Nationals held their previous numbers in the Victorian Lower House mainly because Peter Ryan decided to opt out of a Coalition they have lost out heavily in the Upper House. The ALP now have the numbers to re-write the Victorian Constitution, and if Victorians don't take up the fight, we may yet see the demise of the Upper House; a further erosion of the checks and balances so desperately needed as a bulwark against the excesses of out of control power. Not a healthy situation for Australia and our future generations.
LIES, MORE LIES AND STATISTICS
by Antonia Feitz
The fact is that no government authority
actually counts the number of unemployed people any more because
the figures are too politically embarrassing. Instead the
federal government calculates the unemployment rate on 'seasonably
adjusted surveys'. What does that actually mean? The statistics
are meaningless when as little as one hour's work a week
even unpaid work! classifies a person as 'employed'. Then
there's the scam of hiding unemployment by shifting middle-aged
redundant workers on to disability pensions. And then there's
the 'work for the dole' programme which also fudges the unemployment
figures. If the truth were known Australia probably has an
unemployment rate in the twenties. The fact that hundreds
of thousands of part-time workers want more hours says a lot.
But they don't count.
According to the highly respected economist Dr. Peter Brain, "Based on social security data, the majority of country and provincial regions now have an unemployment rate of between 12 and 25 percent compared to 2-4 percent for the winner Sydney suburbs." (www.abc.net.au/rn/deakin/stories/s291487.htm) What that means is that the heart of the capital cities are rolling in dough while the rest of the country the outer suburbs and much of regional Australia are struggling. Really struggling.
Recently Dr. Brain warned that if Australia continues along the economic rationalist path in twenty years just 20 percent of Australians will control 80 percent of the nation's wealth (Sydney Morning Herald, 11/11/02). He said that's a recipe for social and political chaos which will result in a banana republic. Is anybody listening? Does anybody care?
Donations have taken the Basic Fund to $6,262.50. That's a long way from the $60,000 target. CD: The scanning, proof reading and correcting of nearly forty years of On Target will have been completed by the time this report reaches you. Phew!!! The next step is putting it into the hands of a professional to set it out on a CD. It has been a painstaking and tedious job. A job well done!!!
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The following letter was sent to: The
Editor, The Age, December 3rd, 2002
Melbourne BookshopMELBOURNE BOOK SHOP TO OPEN SATURDAY 14th & SATURDAY 21st DECEMBER FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF COUNTRY AND CITY FOLK WHO HAPPEN TO BE IN TOWN ON THOSE DAYS
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.