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10 December 1999. Thought for the Week: "Christian theology converged with the nature of reality in the Trinitarian constitution; the three estates of the realm... A clear distinction was drawn between matters mundane dealt with by the King's Courts and those spiritual which fell to the Courts Christian... Among the latter was usury, 'the taking from a borrower of a payment solely for the use of money lent to him to be applied by him in the normal way as a means of exchange.' This was prohibited.
In this sphere Church law was met by enactment in the King's Court concerning the 'just price'. Whereas Roman law sanctioned the idea that each man had the right to outreach others...a Statute of Edward III clearly envisaged the conception that price should be reasonably related to cost. The wrong use of money was recognised as a source of corruption, and these measures had a profound effect upon the whole range of economic life, embodying the injunction 'whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them'. "
"I Went and Hid Thy Talent in the Earth" by Hewlett Edwards in The Social Crediter, 1950
THE BATTLE IN SEATTLE
by Jeremy Lee
A state-of-emergency was declared in Seattle, and the National Guard called in to help over-stretched State authorities. It is evident that the vast majority of those attending were committed to non-violence, with only a splinter group of anarchists causing damage. The most distasteful, if not surprising result was the immediate attempt by President Clinton to identify with the demonstrators. One comment claimed that this was an attempt to boost the presidential hopes of Al Gore, who is wooing the labour movement in the US.
Unions were massively represented in Seattle, protesting the loss of jobs and wage levels as a result of free trade. It is beyond the scope of On Target to provide detailed coverage. The best we can do is give selections from the multitude of reports covering the "battle in Seattle": ... in full-page advertisements yesterday, sponsored by groups ranging from the Rain-forest Action network to the United Steelworkers of America, the charge was that the WTO is emerging as the world's first global government. Beneath a picture of a faceless man, the text is: "'WTO decisions are made in secret, closed tribunals - like the old star chambers - where unelected, faceless bureaucrats sit in final judgment over the constitutional rights of nations. Their decisions affect your job, human rights, public health, food safety, the environment and democracy' It was clear yesterday the WTO already had lost a public relations battle...." (Cameron Forbes, Seattle, The Australian, 1/12/99)
".... Thousands of steelworkers are expected in Seattle, to remind Washington that they would be extremely upset if the world "anti-dumping" appears in the WTO's final communiqué. And it is not just the workers. Manufacturers are standing alongside their workers, seeking to preserve what they believe is their right to protect their industry...." (Florence Chong, The Australian, 1/12/99)
".... The Clinton Administration yesterday sought to turn wild protests against the World Trade Organisation in Seattle to its advantage and put labour and environmental standards onto the summit agenda. "The WTO summit, which is intended to launch a new round of trade liberalisation talks, was severely disrupted for a second day as thousands of protesters clashed with heavily armed riot police in the city centre. "Some trade delegates were virtually imprisoned inside their hotels and the start of the talks was delayed for hours. Police fired tear gas canisters and pepper spray to break up the largely nonviolent, mostly young, white demonstrators...." (Joanne Gray, Seattle, Australian Financial Review, 2/12/99)
".... With organisers numbering in the hundreds, the network co-ordinated the myriad small groups and individuals. A sub-group called the Ruckus Society has been training demonstrators in nonviolent protest since midyear. "The American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations is the largest US labour federation. It made its point yesterday with between 25,000 and 30,000 workers taking to the streets. "US labour federations want a place at the WTO table. They say they are losing their jobs to low-wage labour in developing nations, and are asking for the right to organise worldwide. They also want international agreements against child labour and sweatshops Steelworkers Union members have been locked out of their jobs at five Kaiser Aluminum plants in the US after going on strike a year ago. They say their jobs have been taken by non-union scabs and gone to such countries as Ghana and Venezuela. "The Washington Association of Churches' United Church Council is concerned with human rights, child labour, and hunger. It has rallied many mainstream Christians and has brought hundreds of people to the protests from all over America. Jubilee 2000 is a coalition calling for the cancellation of debts of the world's poorest countries, it is well-funded and well organised...." (The Australian, 2/12/99)
".... Business groups attending the WTO meeting were taken aback by the protests, which showed they would have to do more to explain how trade creates jobs and cuts costs. "We assumed everyone understood why trade is good", said Mr. Randy Pebble, director of the US Trade Alliance, a grouping of business consortia. "This shows we have to explain why".... (Joanne Gray, Seattle, Australian Financial Review, 2/12/99)
Unfortunately, there were no reports of those speaking for the hundreds of thousands of Australians whose jobs have been exported overseas by the insane, blinkered global policies of successive governments - Hawke, Keating and now Howard. But even in Australia there's an awakening - and it's going to be much tougher for men like Mark Vaile, Peter Reith, Peter Costello, old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and All in the future.
Afterthought: What a golden opportunity the ALP is missing!
CORPORATE FUNDING FOR THE PARTY
There is now no pretence about where
party funds are coming from. It remains as true as ever that
"he who pays the piper calls the tune". Here's one example:
So what's the quid pro quo?
RECORD SUICIDE LEVELS
by Alfred King
In a scene reminiscent of the Treasurer telling us recently that the Australian economy is in great shape, The Age quotes the Federal Health Minister, Dr. Michael Wooldridge as saying, "it was pleasing that there had been a slight decline in last year's suicide total" (men and women)!
In recent years we have also seen the reintroduction, through increased immigration and imported goods to our country, of fatal diseases that had previously been eliminated from Australia, and record numbers of abortions while large numbers of infertile married couples are forced to go overseas, paying $20,000 to $30,000 to adopt and provide a loving home for a child. Dr. Wooldridge's title would more aptly be the Federal Death Minister.
The Liberals want government departments to be run along commercial lines. They can start with their own government. If the minister responsible for increasing the health of Australians produces the opposite result, he should be sacked with no pension. Perhaps, if he and the rest of 'our' government were made to live under the same conditions as the rest of ordinary Australians he might have a clue, at least, of the terrible destruction that is being exacted on our people by their (small 1) liberal internationalist policies.
In the natural world, the feedback we get from the decisions that we make, tells us whether or not we are on the right track. In our present political system, elites make our decisions without consulting us. It is the people who have to suffer the consequences, and when they turn out to be the opposite of that predicted by the elites, they blame the people!
There is no honesty in the outworking of liberal ideology. The fact is that the greatest source of stress in our lives today is debt-finance. It produces many different manifestations. At one end of the scale, it is literally killing us.
Finance is a man-made system. It should be used for the benefit of people by giving them access to the productive potential of their own country. As C.H.Douglas has rightly pointed out: there is a conspiracy to deny each person access to the productive potential that resides in credit. Money is merely a token that allows a person access (consume) to the production of his nation. Money (credit) is issued against the productive capacity of a nation. It belongs to the nation as a whole, not to any one individual or elite group. This fact is perverted under the debt-finance system, which is in the control of men who have claimed ownership of all money in society, plus their 5%. This can never be repaid because the extra 5% does not exist.
What becomes of a debtor who cannot repay his debts? The borrower (the Australian people) is the servant to the lender (the Reserve Bank /IMF/ World Bank). In material terms, we in Australia need have no problem whatsoever in providing all we need, and indeed, prosper. We could provide this in a fraction of the current working week, and would have plenty to share with each other and those in need overseas, leaving time over in which to pursue the higher things in life than mere commercialism. But our access to the necessities of life is being strangled, with the resulting massive stresses in our society.
Let our people go free. Let us live.
An encouraging story from the UK this week demonstrates the dramatic effect even one (determined and well equipped) person can have. Sir Cliff Richard is a 'born again' Christian who isn't afraid to share his joys with others. His most recent record is called Millennium Prayer: it is a rendition of the Lord's Prayer set to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. The prospect of release of this religiously discriminatory record brought the full weight of the establishment's opposition against it. Sir Cliffs record company, EMI, refused to release Millennium Prayer in Britain: and Britain's most listened to radio station, Radio 2, which normally plays middle of the road music and would have been a perfect medium, refused to play it. The commercial radio stations also refused to play it. At this point, things looked very bleak for the success of the record. Not to be beaten, Sir Cliff went to Papillon Records, a small independent company, and persuaded them to release the single. It very quickly went to number one, and has enjoyed massive sales. How money talks... EMI are now extremely keen to release the single in Australia in time for the Christmas rush. Readers may well enjoy this record themselves.
Recommended reading: "I'm Only One" $3.50 posted.
NEWS FROM THE TAPE LIBRARY
by Tom Fielder
It is said that truth is the first casualty of war, well, truth died in Darwin along with about 1,000 residents in the first two raids on the first day. The official figures were something over 200 casualties. But then non-essentials, that is, Aboriginals and Chinese people were not counted. The mass media of the day reported six casualties, which was not corrected by anyone in authority. This is not a pretty story. The main damage was done to the harbour area when an ammunition ship, after receiving a direct hit, took with it a fully loaded fuel-ship (berthed nearby) in an explosion that rocked the whole of Darwin. Bodies, parts of bodies and stores were washed up on the beaches for weeks afterwards.
The 'official' story of Darwin appears to be a massive 'cover-up' of the inadequacies of Authorities at all levels; the Military, Civilian and Police. Although many acts of heroism and bravery were performed under extreme difficulties by individuals, those holding positions of grave responsibility did not match these acts.
Mr. Stafford compares the lack of responsibility and preparedness in 1942 to Australia's present involvement in East Timor. He states emphatically, "That is the one place where Australia should not be..." Then proceeds to say why! As in the Darwin debacle, he suspects another massive political cover-up, which we should know about.
If readers were not at the Sydney Conservative Speakers' Club to hear John Stafford (as I was), then they had better order the tape - or tapes. Single tape: $10.00 posted; 20 copies for $40.00 posted. MEA Tapes, P0 Box 184, The Basin, Vic., 3154.
WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION CONFERENCE
by Jeremy Lee
"I refer to Alan Oxley's article on protests
against the World Trade Organisation's meeting in Seattle,
'Fighting WTO not the way to go', 21/11. What's wrong with
US unionists attempting to preserve their jobs? Should they
just roll over and allow clothing to flood in from the Third
World where wages are a pittance? Far from being 'street theatre',
the protests in Seattle are akin to a global Hanson phenomenon.
THE GLOBAL VILLAGEFrom Douglas Cliff in The Herald, 4/12/99, Letters to the Editor
"It has been about twenty years since Australia embarked on the path to globalisation. We wound up a lot of car manufacturing industries and exported the knowledge to developing countries so we could get cheap shirts by exploiting people. Then we ploughed in some fruit trees and imported products that we should be making here. This has had a devastating effect on our trade imbalance.
To be competitive with other countries we are losing all the workers' conditions that took years to build up. We must also have a balanced budget so schools, health, aged and the disabled don't suffer.
More people are committing violent acts against each other as the pressure builds up; they are also gambling more when they can least afford it. We are running the country areas into the ground so more people leave the bush for the city. This means that in another twenty years we will have to import all our food and it will all be irradiated to last the journey. We were given a referendum to become a republic. How about asking the people something important, such as, do they want globalisation and free trade?"
CHURCH MINISTER REBUKED BY SA BATTLERS
by Betty Luks
On Target has reported there are now millions of refugees 'sloshing around the world' looking for a safe-haven; the numbers are going to overwhelm us. Isn't it time we got to the causes and stopped applying 'band-aid' measures to the symptoms?
MEN'S RELATIONS ARE NOT DIRECT AND MUTUAL
Whether it is in Somalia and the real causes of the famine, or the economic genocide in Rwanda which preceded the tribal genocide, or the trade sanctions imposed upon Iraq, the Church has failed to come to grips with the roles that the WTO and the IMF's policies and mechanisms have played in the devastation of whole communities and their livelihoods - throughout the world.
I know of one priest who got involved in Bankwatch (saving the family farms from foreclosure by the greedy banks) and was criticised by his own church hierarchy because 'the church had shares in the banks'. Why does the Church 'officially' condemn usury and yet have large portions of shares in the usurious banking systems?
Men's relations are not direct and mutual but are interposed by the policies and objectives of social mechanisms. Many a League supporter has reported the frustration experienced when trying to get the clergy to take an interest in social matters. They have been met with indifference, even hostility. The root of this is found in the idea held by many church leaders that their business is not to deal with social matters at all (except the carnal ones) but with individual persons. The belief being that the source of social disorder and the present disasters are in unregenerate man alone. This implies there is nothing wrong with the social mechanisms and that if men were only good enough the mechanisms would work perfectly. This is not so.
Further reading: The Globalisation of Poverty: Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms by Michel Chossudovsky, $29.00 posted.
FOURTH ESTATE...? NO. CAPTURED ENTITY...? YES!!!
Can we now finally dispel the myth that the Press is the objective Fourth Estate that keeps watch over the integrity and independence of our political, legal and social institutions? The comments recently made by Paul Murray, editor of The West Australian, should bring us back to reality.
The referendum campaign highlighted the fact for him that, "many newspapers, especially The Australian, had become captive to elite opinion." He goes on to comment, "It's been derisory to Constitutional Monarchists, and it's been fawning to the Australian Republican Movement and the yes vote." I think it's one of the lowest ebbs in Australian journalism because The Australian has become totally partisan," he says. "It's boosterism at its worst and it's propaganda that goes beyond the rights of a newspaper to have a point of view. It was semi-hysterical most days and as it became apparent that the yes case was in trouble, it got more hysterical."
The fact is that a very small number of individuals own all the newspapers in Australia. Contrary to the much-publicised image of these men being strong, rugged individualists, it takes a lot of money to buy a big newspaper; and this kind of money has to be borrowed. Each one of them is heavily in debt. If the reader is interested to learn whose partisan opinion the press is pushing daily; he should look as to whom this debt is owed. The fact stated by King Solomon several thousand years ago is just as true today; the borrower is servant to the lender.
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