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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
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Edmund Burke
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30 July 1999. Thought for the Week: "There are only two kinds of social structure conceivable - personal government and impersonal government. Preferring personal government, with its tact and flexibility, is called Royalism. Preferring impersonal government, with its dogmas and definitions, is called Republicanism."
G.K. Chesterton - "What's Wrong with the World"?

VICTORIA'S SOCIAL REVOLUTION

by Jeremy Lee
Victoria has to go to an election before the end of the year. Most of the betting is on a safe victory for the Kennett Government. If he succeeds - and if the people let him - Kennett has a privatisation programme in store that will turn his State on its head. There are more and more signs that the Transurban toll-road programme is running into trouble. If it succeeds it will be the biggest privately funded infrastructure project in the world - the most ambitious Australian project since the Snowy Mountains scheme.

Everyone driving on the network of freeways approaching the city will pay - every vehicle must carry a transponder known as an e-tag, which will trigger a recording in the overhead gantries spanning the freeways. They won't need to stop or slow down. Their accounts will be automatically deducted with the fee. Transurban not only has to build and operate the system for 34 years, but make it viable. But the scheme is running into trouble. Opinion polls already show that 25 per cent of motorists are planning never to use it. There is an increasingly bad press, particularly about the continual postponement of the opening. Transurban has had to triple its budget for 'marketing' the scheme - from $5 million to $15 million.

Confidence has not been boosted by the news that the company looking after the computer side of the operation, Computer Science Corporation, is the same firm, which was responsible for developing the combat computer system on the Collins-class submarines, now a major embarrassment to both Coalition and Labor Governments.

Transurban's own literature is hardly likely to endear it to potential users, as it describes the procedure for defaulters: "Photographs of licence-plate details will identify those who use CityLink without a valid toll account or day pass. Transurban will pass on this information to a government enforcement agency."


SALE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT

While the $2 billion CityLink project meanders on with its current problems, the Victorian Government has just completed the sale of all rolling stock on the railways, leased out the stations, rail-lines and other assets, as it contracts out Victoria's entire 1800-kilometre network of metropolitan and country passenger rail services in a complex series of deals.
The idea is two-fold: to improve services, and to get people off the roads and onto public transport.

The Australian Financial Review (13/7/99), in a full-page review of the concept, said: ".... Historically, in most States, the Liberal Party has been pro-road while Labor has been pro-public transport. But now Jeff Kennett reckons he can tighten his lock on political power by expanding Melbourne's freeway system with the $2 billion CityLink toll way at the same time as launching a $1 billion plus private sector funded investment in public transport. A born-again public transport advocate, the Victorian Premier waxes lyrical about the changes. Within the next five years, you're going to see the most wonderful change to the quality of public transport in this State that we will have experienced in our lives, and I don't say that lightly'...."

Why do we have a feeling of deja-vu'? Both Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler were noted for the excellent transport systems they developed in the thirties. The subsequent price paid in freedom-of-choice was rather high. A few things need answering. Firstly, if the public transport project shifts large numbers away from motorways, the future for CityLink looks bleak. Secondly, when is the massive sell-off of infrastructure - which Victorian taxpayers have paid for - going to result in Victorian taxes being lowered from the highest level in Australia to the lowest?

If Victorians are successfully forced to comply with this scheme in Melbourne, will the automatic toll system be extended to rural cities and towns? Will the major roads throughout the State be leased out to multinationals on the same basis? And finally, what happens if Victorians refuse to co-operate in the electronic fleecing operation?


NOTHING BY HALVES

The United States does nothing by halves. Its May Current Account Deficit (imports over exports) was a record, lifting the projected CAD for the year to $US225 billion ($A348 billion). President Clinton, like Australian politicians, is playing down the deficit, which has been going on for many years. But a Washington correspondent in The Australian Financial Review (23/7/99) commented:
"...The contrary view is that the deficit has been financed by the vast foreign funds flowing into US assets, buoying stock prices, keeping interest rates low and financing over-consumption. But, as in the emerging market crisis of 1997 and 1998, at some point those funds will exit. 'I think [the deficit] is getting into territory where it would be troublesome,' said a senior economist at Goldman Sachs in New York...."

Earlier this month a Director of a Capital Management firm, Tim Hughes, wrote in The Australian (3/7/99): "The US economy is looking more like a giant fast money scam.... Twenty years ago Americans spent about $90 of each $100 of disposable income and saved the rest. "Five years ago spending had risen to $95 for each $100 of income. "Data released this week shows that Americans are now spending $101.20 for each $100 of income. In other words, American households, as a whole, are not only no longer saving, but are actually running down their past savings to finance today's consumption.... American households are into debt like never before. The problem is that this is one great big unsustainable merry-go-round for as long as all this remains based on unsustainable consumer savings and debt behaviour, it is nothing more than a giant scam and, like all scams, will eventually be found out. The Fed is continuing to do too little too late…"

But when? Picking the bursting of the bubble is a gamble in itself. But there are a few who would know... Readers will quickly realise how similar America's position is to Australia's - both living off debt to consume, while their industries go under. Prime Minister Howard is launching another initiative to attract foreign money into Australia. It is the conditioned reflex of someone too nervous or politically correct to look at an independent use of Australia's constitutional right to run its own money-system.


WHAT OF THE FUTURE?

Veteran economist John Kenneth Galbraith, in a recent article on the world economy as we approach the end of the millennium, was guarded in his comments. Like all economists, Galbraith has often been mistaken in his predictions. However, he offered some points to ponder - The Australian (18/7/99):
".... I'm cautious about prediction. But some things are definite. When you hear it being said that we've entered a new era of permanent prosperity with prices of financial instruments reflecting that happy fact, you should take cover. Let us not assume that the age of slump, recession, depression is past. "I come to two pieces of the unfinished business of the century and millennium that have high visibility and urgency. The first is the large number of the poor, even in the richest of countries and notably in the US. Once the impoverished were scattered over the countryside. Now, everywhere, they are in the great cities.
"The answer or part of the answer is rather clear. Everybody should be guaranteed a decent basic income. A rich country such as the US can well afford to keep everybody out of poverty...."

So can Australia - the richest per capita nation in the world, with one-third of its population below the poverty line! Galbraith carefully evaded the source of a "decent basic income". From taxes paid by those working? That's the basis of the ailing welfare state. It should be provided from the "new money" created each year, which the Trading Banks now unjustly claim as their own. Until an examination is objectively made of this possibility, there are no answers that have not been tried - and failed.


MONEY AT ONE PER CENT

For the past ten years one small section of the Australian community has been able to borrow money from the Reserve Bank at one percent interest. It's an intriguing story, explained by Terry McCrann in The Weekend Australian (10-11/7/99):
"In 1989, Australian gold producers were presented with the ultimate free lunch. "As the Reserve bank was pushing up its official cash interest rate to 18 per cent, they were able to walk in a special door at the very same Reserve bank and effectively borrow all the money they wanted at 1 per cent. "For the past ten years they have made an absolute meal of it - and who could blame them? It made irrefutable sense for individual producers and underwrote the dramatic expansion of the gold industry...."

The story is interesting. Three entrepreneurial banks - Macquarie, Rothschild and Mace-Westpac - invented what became known as gold loans. They borrowed gold from the Central Bank, which was quite happy for a one-percent-return on gold in its vaults otherwise earning nothing. The borrowers immediately sold the gold on the spot market, invested the proceeds at 18 per cent, and contracted to pay futures prices to miners at a 15 percent premium paying the money to gold-miners who had millions of ounces locked in the ground, but were cash-strapped. The loan was literally to be repaid in gold as it was mined - and paid for at the futures price. As the gold was repaid to the "middle men-banks", they simply replaced what had been taken from the Reserve Bank's vaults, and made a completely no-risk profit on the deal! Everybody - Reserve Bank, private banks and miners - were happy. At the same time, tens of thousands of farmers and small businesses, forced to pay the murderous 18 per cent official interest rate and upwards, went to the wall. If they had got the same one-per cent deal received by Macquarie and the Rothschilds, they'd still be there.


SA MAN BEING INVESTIGATED FOR ALLEGED WAR CRIMES

by Betty Luks
It was reported in the Adelaide Advertiser (21/7/99) That Mr. Antanas Gudelis, naturalised (1958) Australian citizen from Lithuania, is being investigated for "war crimes" by authorities in his former homeland. Mr. Gudelis' lawyer, Ms. Leni Palk, said the allegations were strenuously denied.

The authorities in Lithuania are reported to have announced a prosecution investigation was under way, based on information gathered by judicial officers and by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Geneva. If charges are laid the Lithuanian authorities may seek Mr. Gudelis extradition even though under Lithuania's laws a trial can be held in absentia. Australia does not have an extradition arrangement with Lithuania and a spokesman for the Justice Minister, Senator Vanstone, said applications from non-treaty nations were considered on a case-by-case basis.

Reference was made in the news item to the "suspected" war criminals previously charged under the Australian War Crimes Act, Mikolay Berezowsky, Heinrich Wagner and Ivan Polyukhovich. Mr. Berzowsky was charged - but there was "insufficient evidence for a trial"; Mr. Wagner was also charged, but the charges were later withdrawn "because of ill health". Mr. Polyukhovich went to trial, his committal hearing commenced October 28th, 1991, and he was found not guilty in a Supreme Court trial in May 1993. Former Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Walter Crocker, took part in a picket during the early days of the hearing, claiming the case was being driven by hatred and revenge.

In a letter written to the now defunct Adelaide News (19/12/1991), Dr. Fred Toben, now incarcerated in a prison in Mannheim, Germany, awaiting trial for "defaming the memory of the (holocaust) dead" on his website - in Australia - warned, "It seems to me that the trials are being used to embody in our national laws a mind-set which will make it a criminal offence to deny the controversial matter of the Holocaust."

Prophetic?
Canadian barrister Douglas Christie warned Australians before the "war crimes" trials began that the trials would impact on our system of law and international politics and law. The Australian War Crimes legislation is selective, not impartial as law should be; it applied to a particular theatre of war within a certain timeframe. It is international law versus a sovereign nation's law and will establish the legal convention, the practice, of the trial of any one national of any country in any other country. It will be world justice, world government.

Justice Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone is reported to have said no request for the extradition of Mr. Gudelis has yet been received by her department. Will the Lithuanian/Australian community take up the defence of this 88-year-old Adelaide pensioner? I hope so.


A FIRM APOLOGY TO THE AUSTRALIAN MONARCHIST LEAGUE

In a note from one of the Australian Monarchist League supporters, the League of Rights was taken to task for claiming we were - more or less - the only ones to proudly refer to the Queen and the Crown in the present campaign, "not dodging the issue as it appears other 'Monarchist' groups do." The AML supporter rightly pointed out we were in error and was distressed to read the incorrect statement in our journal. She wrote, "The Australian Monarchist League is putting the Crown and the Monarchy as top priority in the republic campaign. The League of Rights is not the only organisation to openly support the Crown."

We apologise.


WHO'S AFTER GOLD NOW?

There has been enormous speculation why Central Banks such as the Bank of England are suddenly dumping hundreds of tonnes of gold onto the open market. As one writer to The Australian Financial Review (1/7/99) pointed out, current demand for gold worldwide is running at 4,000 tonnes annually, while production is 2,500 tonnes. We don't know the reason for an action, which is artificially depressing gold prices.

We reprint an article faxed by a UK reader, which appeared in the London Daily Telegraph (21/7/99) without comment. The article, headed EXTREMISTS RAISE FUNDS TO REBUILD TEMPLE, was by Ohad Gozani in Tel Aviv:
"Jewish extremists are raising funds to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem, replacing the al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, it was reported yesterday. "The fund-raising plan called the 'Temple Treasure Trove' was launched at a secret meeting at a Jerusalem hotel several weeks ago, the Haaretz newspaper said. "The al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount rank among Islam's three most important shrines. Two Jewish temples stood at the site. It is believed that the first was destroyed by Babylonians and the second by the Romans.
"The last vestige of the Temple, the Western Wall on the Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. "Several Jewish groups in Israel, some backed by Christian evangelists, have studied the possibility of rebuilding the Temple at the traditional site, preparing detailed construction plans. "Using biblical accounts, they also reconstructed holy vessels and garments to be worn during renewed services in the building. "Yehuda Etzion, a key activist, said: 'It is incumbent on the people of Israel to re-establish the Temple. "All the monies and property turned over to the Treasure will be used to buy gold bullion, which will be used for rebuilding the Temple in all its aspects'."


HAYDEN SAYS MULTICULTURALISM SHOULD BE KILLED STONE DEAD

In a Radio National news item during the week, it was reported former Labor leader and Governor General Bill Hayden said, "multiculturalism should be killed stone dead and that Australia's immigration policy should be reviewed." As we now live with the fruits of the policies his party promoted in the 70s-80s and he can see the results, he has had a change of ideas.

In 1983 he is quoted in the Melbourne Age as believing "we will become not just a multicultural society, which seems to be a soft sort of terminology anyway, we will become a Eurasian society and we will all be better for it".

The League of Rights has consistently challenged the unworkable ideas of these "one-world" idealists and is "demonised" for the stand it takes. Will the likes of Mr. Hayden now offer an apology to us?


WATER AUTHORITY CLAIMS PAYMENT FOR RAIN

The Wimmera-Mallee Water Authority (Victoria) has claimed a $30,000 payment from Stawell district farmer, Mr. Julian Kaye, for water which runs off an eroded paddock - part of his property - into a dam, also on his property. The Authority is claiming an up-front fee of $636 a megalitre and yearly charges of $4 a megalitre for water the farmer pumps from his own dam to provide water for a l0ha section of his own grapevines.

Mr. Kaye said the authority claimed the 45-megalitre dam would trap water destined to flow into its Wimmera River catchment, so it should be compensated. But a defiant Mr. Kaye is refusing to pay, and angry locals have backed his fight, accusing the Water Authority of a "Big Brother" attempt to privatise rain. The farmer said the authority was using him as a guinea pig to test a new interpretation of the Water Act in a bid to raise revenue and to undermine private water rights. In the past a waterway was a river or stream, now, according to the new definition, a waterway is "everything that has water running off it".

The State Government has called for an urgent investigation to resolve the dispute. But Wimmera Mallee Water general manager, John Konings, claims there is evidence of a well-defined depression and gullies on Mr. Kaye's property and, therefore, any rain that washed over the paddocks belonged to the Crown. He said this meant the Authority had the right to impose a licence fee of about $640 a megalitre on water that could be trapped in the dam.

There is unprecedented vineyard development in the region, and this has led to a greater demand for water rights than can be satisfied. The amount of Wimmera River water available is already allocated for use and the Water Authority claims the fee would allow them to improve catchment systems to boost supplies for the region. The local Council's economic manager Ivan Sunidge said the Water Authority's new interpretation of a waterway flies in the face of common law. "Under the new interpretation, every small gully or shallow depression can be classified as a waterway. If you have got a vegetable garden where water pools for a small amount of time, that could be a waterway," he said.

The Sunday Herald Sun (18/7/99) is urging the State Government "to intervene to restore Mr. Kaye's peace of mind and the confidence of an important rural industry". The editorial states that "Water is not free... but (farmers) baulk at the financial consequences of bureaucrats seeking to reinterpret the laws of nature, and water authorities seeking to hijack that which does not belong to them . . . It makes no sense to his neighbours, to the general farming community, nor to distressed bush families who suspect they will soon be slugged for rain running from their roofs to their water tanks... In determining who owns the falling rain, Wimmera-Mallee Water may be better to hire philosophers than lawyers, for its argument so far is extremely wet."

The newspaper is more to the point than it realises, but not necessarily right - first the rain is free. "God sends the rain on the just and the unjust", making use of it is a different matter.


MILLENNIUM BUG NOT THE ONLY SORT

by Geoff Muirden
We've been hearing a lot recently about the real or supposed danger of the "millennium bug", but of far greater danger during the coming century are the "bugs" gnawing away at our freedoms. Humanity has learned nothing from history - the rise of dictatorships such as the Bolsheviks, Nazis, Maoists, with loss of liberty and huge loss of life, has not prevented this form of misrule. On the contrary, treacherous politicians have co-operated with the enemies of freedom to create the basis for a dictatorship within Australia and other countries. Even the citizens of the United States, the legendary "land of liberty" find their freedoms diminishing and the First Amendment comes under greater and greater attack.

Free speech on the Internet is essential if what remains of free speech is to be preserved. It has been challenged by governments around the world, but the Internet censorship bill of Richard Alston, which passed on June 30th, is one of the most repressive in the world. The rules of the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Act, which comes into effect in Australia January 1st, 2000, centre on ordering Internet Services Providers (ISP's) to take down "indecent or offensive" Websites housed on their servers, and block access to certain domestic or overseas-based content.

The alleged purpose of the Alston bill, to stop pornography on the Net, was a sham from the start; users could quickly move to overseas service providers even if all Australian outlets were eliminated. The real target is "politically incorrect speech". Vague and undefined terms were used in the bill, such as "reasonable adult" (meaning, effectively, politically correct adult) and "community standards", a euphemism for Big Brother control.

Headlines warned the citizens of Melbourne in June of this year, "The Hooded Face of Hate" had arrived in Australia in the form of the Ku Klux Klan - and were recruiting people on the Internet. Under the banner "KKK: Internet Ban Call" The Age (5/6/99) called for an extension of the Internet censorship laws, in which Zita Antonias, Race Relations Commissioner, used almost exactly the same phrase of "community standards" when reported as saying: "The standards we (note the royal 'we') set for the general community should be the same as for the Internet."
If one were cynical, one might think the whole exercise was used as a gimmick to extend the Internet censorship laws.

The KKK was used as a diversion to deny the central issue of free speech on the Web, which includes, as George Orwell said, "The right to say what others do not wish to hear." This is not the spirit our politicians have followed as we approach the new century. There is not a single word in the Alston Act to guarantee freedom of speech.

The Liberal Party of today would have great difficulty in understanding (let alone acknowledging), the spirit or intent of the Statement of Beliefs issued by their Party in 1949, "We believe in the great human freedoms: to worship; to speak; to choose; to be ambitious; to be independent; to be industrious; to acquire skill; to seek and earn reward." (We Believe: a statement of Liberal Party Beliefs, 1949).

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159