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1 September 2000. Thought for the Week: "...the IMF could have an enormous influence on the economic (which is to say political) choices of its heavily indebted clients if it chose to do so, for the simple reason that money talks. If the Fund believed, which it patently does not, that economic growth can also result from greater social equality, access to education, health care and other basic services, fairer income distribution, etc., it could perfectly well make such objectives part of its programmes. On the contrary, exactly those countries that have most insisted on maintaining social objectives (for example, Tanzania and Jamaica under The People's National Party) have had the greatest difficulties in coming to terms with the IMF..."
"A Fate Worse Than Debt: the World Financial Crisis and the Poor" by Susan George, 1988
MIS-USE OF ARMED FORCES?
by Jeremy Lee
All of a sudden the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill has appeared in the Federal Parliament, raising big questions about the use of the military. Under the Australian Constitution the States are denied the right to raise their own armies, leaving this responsibility to the Commonwealth, which may respond to requests by the States to repel outside invasion (Section 114). The Defence Forces, under the command of the Governor-General, are for the defence of the realm. They are not to be used to control or police the citizens of Australia. That is a matter for the police forces in each State.
Australia has been careful in its constitutional development to keep such powers separated, so that politicians can not accrue to themselves unnecessary power. The proposed amendment, if it becomes law, will allow the Armed Forces to be used as police, with powers to arrest and, if necessary, kill citizens in the course of a police action. Such powers would normally only be possible by the declaration of a state of emergency, in which civil liberties are suspended.
If the Governor-General believes that the international events occurring in Australia in September warrant security concerns sufficient to include the Armed Forces, he should publicly announce a state of emergency for the period, spelling out the nature of the emergency so people know the situation.
There has been a considerable expression of concern throughout Australia at the proposed Amendment Bill, and on August 21st the Attorney-General, Daryl Williams and Defence Minister John Moore, wrote the following letter to The Australian:
"Contrary to media reports, the Defence
Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill does
not change the circumstances under which the Defence Force
can be called out on Australian soil to aid police. State,
territory and commonwealth governments have always had the
power to request call-out of the Defence Force in Australia
in rare situations where police need help to deal with an
extreme emergency, such as a terrorist incident. The public
would expect no less.
A glaring omission from this letter is any description of the circumstances which might warrant the new powers in this Bill. Is there, for instance, any evidence of subversive terrorism being organised in Australia? Or is there any evidence that outside terrorist forces, too large for the police to handle, may seek a presence in Australia during the Olympics or the World Economic Forum? If so, the public should be told. If not, the most detailed explanation for the introduction of these new powers should be provided to all Australians. Such an explanation was absent in the letter by Williams and Moore.
INTERNATIONAL BACKLASH ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND "WOMEN'S BUSINESS'
Among other international forums the annual get-together of women dealing, under the heading "Human Rights", with the place of women in society, abortion, feminism, work, wages and the family was, for many years dominated by a strident, well-organised femininist coterie. In recent years there has been a swing in favour of the traditional family, pro-life and acknowledgement of distinct differences between the sexes. The backlash has included a lot of leadership from the Third World, where women do not see feminism as being among their top priorities. The following article is from our sister publication, the Canadian On Target (July/August, 2000):
"'Motherhood, Bibles on feminist blacklist
at United Nations' is the heading of an NP report, June 6.
Its subhead is 'Federal Agency provides $98,000 for survey
of rightists'. Here are excerpts:
'Right-wing anti-feminist groups have developed multiple strategies for participating in United Nations meetings,' the study states. 'These groups seem to have made important gains on the international scene.' "The paper came about because feminist groups had expressed unease at the presence of 'right-wing, anti-feminist groups' at the United Nations, the introduction states ...." (end of quote)
A number of traditional, pro-life womens' groups in Australia have also been working conscientiously and with self-sacrifice in international forums to counter the feminists. It looks as though their persistence and faith is being rewarded.
NEW ZEALAND STUDENTS AND THE THREE R'sUniversity of Canterbury academics are complaining their students cannot read, write or even spell properly. Responding to a questionnaire, 150 academics said they regularly found poor grammar, careless spelling, an inability to read significant amounts of material, and a lack of critical skills in their students. Canterbury's dean of undergraduate studies, John Freeman-Moir, explained they could not insist on higher entrance procedures or some kind of proficiency test before students were accepted into university.
"Current legislation did not allow universities to exclude students because they were ill-prepared. Raising entry standards would not be realistic under the current funding regime."
Where have we heard this before? The Press, Christchurch, August 16th, 2000.
THE MEANS AND THE ENDS
by Betty Luks
You will judge whether the management is good or bad by what you believe to be the purpose of a nation and its systems and institutions. If you believe, as does the present Labor Party, that the purpose of a production system is to 'make work' (they continually push for 'full employment'), or, if you believe what the Liberals believe, that the system is not only to 'make work' but also 'make profits' (especially for the money power and the multi-nationals), then you would say that the economic affairs of the nation are in reasonable order.
Both parties regard labour as an end
of production. If they considered labour as a means of producing
and the goal, the end of economic activities, the satisfaction
of human needs, they would formulate policies to attain those
ends. What if you believed that the system was meant to serve
Mankind? Then you would have to say that the present system
is managed very badly.
When can the management of the affairs
of a small or large home (the family or the nation) be called
The true end or goal of the production system should direct the means, instead of which, it is the money power that now controls and directs the ends and the means. The true end of a production system, the goal aimed at, is the satisfaction of human needs. Hunger, thirst, weariness, bad weather, illness, ignorance, create for man the need to eat, drink, clothe himself, find shelter, warm himself, rest. These are all human needs. Food, drink, shelter, clothing, wood, coal, water, bed, health remedies, teaching books - these are all necessities that must be present to fulfil the needs. To join those necessities, those goods, to needs - that is the goal, the end of economic life. How that is achieved is another matter.
A JUST AND LASTING PEACE? UNLIKELY!
Yasser has already capitulated in public one more time. Just a few weeks ago he was shouting and screaming "Never, Never...the Palestinian State must absolutely be declared September 13th and nothing can change this." But a few public threats from Clinton and Barak, and a great deal of out of sight squeezing and bribing, and Arafat has already changed his tune again. Camp David was only recessed by Clinton. And the Israelis are desperate to get Arafat's signature on their document of "final peace"...for they intend to insist for decades to come that what Arafat signs does indeed "end the conflict" and they know very well that what he is endorsing is far beyond their past wildest Zionist dreams.
For those who think the Clinton/Barak extravaganza now likely to be celebrated on the White House lawn during September with Arafat, a few Arab big-wigs, and the Washington Ambassadorial corps as props...for those who think this is "the final peace", well they don't know very much about the history of the Middle East. This is but one more "peace deal" in a lengthy line of Western concoctions stretching back to the "Paris Peace Conference" of 1918, now known as "the Peace to end all Peace".
What will likely be taking place soon
in Washington - just in time to help propel Al, Joe, and Hillary
back to town in higher offices as well as to allow outgoing
Clinton to claim a historical legacy other than that of impeached,
disbarred, philanderer - is one more tortuously imposed arrangement
that the Arabs will be expected to swallow, however bitter
the taste. Indeed, the deal itself is so rancid and deceptive
it could well lead to a case of political poisoning, making
those who eat from it sicker and weaker in the years ahead.
The Palestinians will wake up in the
years ahead, after all the hoopla of extravaganza moment,
only to find that they cannot now even visit 80% of what was
their country not that long ago - they are now "separated"
from it. They will find themselves imprisoned in a deformed
and pockmarked Statelet administered by a miserably corrupt
and repressive Authority", everywhere surrounded by the Israeli
army at new "border crossings", internally infiltrated by
the CIA, cut up into more pieces than ever before, and divided
from each other as never before. They will find that all the
nice words put on paper and heralded so loudly in front of
the world's cameras will ring more and more hollow as the
realities of their lives and circumstances unfold.
WHY WE HAVE ALL BECOME SUICIDE BOMBERS
Understanding Palestinian Terror by Dr. Eyad Sarraj* first published August, 1997:
"All in the name of peace we were humiliated, even arrested and tortured by Palestinian forces to protect the peace. Our Authority was turning against us... Our officials were driving in big cars and building big villas. They have VIP cards and cross the check posts like human beings while we are left to rot." A few weeks ago I said that the struggle of Palestinians today is how not to become a bomb and that the amazing thing is not the occurrence of the suicide bombing, rather the rarity of them. The BBC interviewer appeared to understand. I was shocked because it is our understanding that the world out there will never understand. And who on earth in their right mind would understand terror and the killing of innocent people?
Why do Palestinians kill themselves and
Israelis in such an horrific way at the bus stop or in a crowded
market? Do you really care to know? Well, let me try and explain.
But our story was getting worse and we grew bitter as we heard that a Jew from Poland would be declared a citizen of our country - a country now called Israel. We were told that officially we were stateless with undefined nationality. So we went to universities. We believed then that Jews were so clever because they were educated. We were told that Jews controlled the world with their education. They are doctors, lawyers and scientists, never beggars or boxers. In twenty years many of us became university graduates and we were in every university. We had some pride.
Some of our educated people formed the resistance movement. They believed that the Arab countries would never fight Israel, and that we had to force them to fight. Fatah with Yasser Arafat was born. They forced the Arabs to fight by inviting Israel to attack Egypt in 1967. In the course of six days the Arabs were defeated again but worse. This time we lost Gaza and the West bank, Egypt lost Sinai, and Syria lost the Golan. In a sudden stroke our fate was sealed and we had to live under Israeli military occupation for thirty years. Do you know what does it mean to live under Israeli military occupation? Do you really care to know?
Let me tell you a few things. . You are given an identity number and a permit to reside. If you leave the country for more than three years in succession, you lose that right to residence. . When you leave the country on a trip, you are given a laissez passez, a travelling document, valid for one year and it tells you in its recording of your particulars that you are of undefined nationality. . Israeli occupation means that you are called twice a year by the intelligence for routine interrogation and persuasion to work as an informer on your brothers and sisters. No one is spared. If you are to be a member of a political organisation you will be sentenced for ten years. For a military action you will be sentenced to life.
To survive under the Israeli occupation you are given the chance to work in the jobs that Israeli do not like, sweeping the streets, building houses, collecting fruit or harvesting. You will have to leave your home in the refugee camp in Gaza at 3 am, go through the road blocks and check posts, spend your day under the sun and surveillance returning home in the evening to collapse in bed for a few hours before the following day. We simply became the slaves of our enemy. We are building their homes on our villages, and we clean their streets.
Do you know what does it do to you when you have to be the slave of your enemy in order to survive. No you will never know how painful it is unless your country is occupied by another force. Only then will you learn how to watch in silence pretending not to see the torture of your friends and the humiliation of your father. Do you know what it means for a child to see his father spat at and beaten before his eyes by an Israeli soldier? Nobody knows what happened to our children. We don't know ourselves except we observe that they lose respect for their fathers. So they, our children, the children of the stone as they became known, tried the Intifada - the Uprising. Seven long years our children were throwing stones and being killed daily. Nearly all our young men were arrested, the majority were tortured. All had to confess. The result was every one suspected that all people were spies. So, we were exhausted, tormented and brutalised. What else could we do to return to our home? We had almost forgotten that and all what we wanted was to be left alone.
What else could we try? Oh yes, peace. When the news came that Arafat had signed a peace treaty in Washington we were jubilant. At last we thought we were to get rid of that miserable life of military occupation, at last. So we had hope. We could not believe our eyes when there were no more curfews and we could actually spend our evening on the beach or wander in streets which were now ours after eight o'clock at night. We were ecstatic. We even had elections and we had a parliament, so we were told. Then came Binyamin Netanyahu. He refused to meet Arafat and was clearly forced to shake hands in obvious disgust. He refused to free our prisoners, to have a safe passage for us to move between the West Bank and Gaza. He even surrounded our towns and villages with his tanks and arrested our policemen.
Then he went after our holy places and opened a tunnel under our holiest Mosque. Tens of our children and also Israeli soldiers were killed because of that tunnel, but he went on insulting us and driving out our sanity. Arafat called for patience and we were patient, then Netanyahu started to build settlements in Jerusalem and drive the remaining Palestinians out. Settlers in Hebron spat on our prophet and called him a pig. All in the name of peace we were humiliated, even arrested and tortured by Palestinian forces to protect the peace. Our Authority was turning against us to please Netanyahu. Our officials were driving in big cars and building big villas. They have VIP cards and cross the check posts like human beings while we are left to rot.
I've told you a few things. Now do you understand why we have turned into suicide killers?
*Dr Eyad Sarraj - Palestinian Psychiatrist, Chairman of the Commission of Citizens Rights and Physician for Human Rights Awardee. Dr. Sarraj was himself arrested three times last year by Arafat forces, tortured and threatened with death. Last year Dr. Sarraj was featured on MER-TV speaking at Georgetown University. (c) MER MID-EAST Realities https://www.MiddleEast.Org ... MER@MiddleEast.Org
LETTER - THE JOY OF LIVING IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY
"You have to have a job, so you can make money, so you can buy a car, so you can drive down to the supermarket, so you can buy some food, which is trucked in from a regional distribution centre, which bought it from a company that cooked the food with ingredients it bought from a wholesaler who sourced the ingredients from a wholesalers' market, which sells produce trucked in from individual farms, one of which is located 150 kilometres from the supermarket.
"You have to have a job, so you can make money, so you can buy a house, so you have somewhere to drive home to from the supermarket with the food, so you can pay bills to the local council for the rest of your life, so they can get rid of the rubbish (inorganic and organic) that comes from the food you bought at the supermarket, so people can live in more compact spaces without having to accumulate rubbish, too much of which causes disease, and so developers can subdivide larger blocks and rip people off blind by selling them smaller houses on more compact blocks, so they can buy themselves bigger blocks and build bigger houses, so councils will still pick up the rubbish from more food they bought home from the supermarket in their bigger cars.
"You have to have a job, so you can buy furniture to sit on, plates and cutlery with which to eat the food you bought from the supermarket, but as the type of cutlery you use depends on the type of food you have, you have to drive to the department store to buy cutlery sourced locally and internationally in a number of colors and styles, so you have a choice, so you can match the decor in your home to represent your individuality, so that people whom you invite into your home to share meals with you get to know the unique person you are.
"You have to have a job, so you can make
money, so you can buy a microwave oven to cook the food you
brought home from the supermarket in the car, which is assembled
locally and manufactured overseas, so an economist has evidence
to support the theory of globalisation of trade and markets
which is used by politicians as an excuse for the economy
doing badly, so if you lose your job it's no one's fault or
Elizabeth Skringar of Caulfied North in Victoria, has given us a word picture of the grinding treadmill we are now on, it is called 'the global economy'. But, she does not understand the money system. Elizabeth receives money in return for her labour - she does not make it. If she did she would be in trouble with the Law for counterfeiting. It is the banking system that makes money. The production system distributes money in the form of wages, salaries and dividends.
'FULL EMPLOYMENT' AT ALL COSTS
by Betty Luks
The South Australian Parliament's "Economic and Finance Committee" is conducting a lengthy investigation into government's industry assistance in the State and the Adelaide Advertiser warns alarm bells are ringing loudly. It seems the State Government assistance to industry in the past ten years could top $1billion and that is nearly twice the amount revealed in a parliamentary report. These figures, broken down into jobs created (we must have 'full employment'), means that it has cost South Australian governments (read taxpayers) as much as $30,000 for each job created. To what companies is this money being given and on what terms?
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBNo meeting in September - Due to the anticipated Sydney Olympics' congestion there will be no meeting in September.
NATIONAL WEEKENDSeptember 29th-30th, 1st October. Plans are under way for the National Weekend to be held from Friday, September 29th (Dinner); Saturday, September 30th (Seminar); through to Sunday, October 1st (Divine Service and Action Conference). Please mark your diaries NOW. Guest speakers include Mr. Jeremy Lee and Dr. Ziema McDonell. Dinner and Seminar to be held at The Victoria, Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Divine Service & Action Conference to be held at 'Runnymede', Panton Hills, in the C.H. Douglas Memorial Hall.
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