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17 November 2000. Thought for the Week: "It is by no means certain that there has ever (in the sense required) been more than one civilisation in all history. It is at least arguable that every civilisation we find has been derived from another civilisation and, in the last resort, from a single centre 'carried' like an infectious disease or like the Apostolic succession... For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline and virtue.
For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men. If we compare the chief trumpeter of the new era (Bacon) with Marlowe's Faustus, the similarity is striking. You will read in some critics that Faustus has a thirst for knowledge. In reality he hardly mentions it. It is not truth that he wants from his devils, but gold and guns and girls..."
Abolition of Mane by C.S. Lewis, 1947
GUSH AND BORE
by Jeremy Lee
Extravagant claims are being made that the democratic process in the US is under threat. While it may be true that the nation may go through a short period without a head of state and chief executive officer, the truth is that true democracy, which is being able to make a judgment on issues and policies one at a time, had virtually no place in the $5US billion campaign which has engaged the American people since the beginning of the year. Both major contenders are from the same establishment stable. They gained nomination because of their suitability for obeying orders from the real policy-makers.
More and more one can see the virtue in having a head of state who does not have to spend vast sums seeking votes, or having a stake in the politics of division.
THE PLIGHT OF THE UNREPRESENTED
Following last week's figures on the
ever increasing number of destitute seeking help from Australia's
hard pressed welfare agencies comes this pitiful summary from
Queensland's Rural Weekly (10/11/2000):
With thousands being forced out of the dairying and grain sectors, and a crisis looming in the cane industry, it doesn't take much acumen to acknowledge that Dr. McGovern is right. The plight of farmers is made worse by the fact they have no political voice. The National Party has long since abandoned the rural community. The word "shame" should attend all National Party members, who still occasionally claim to speak for rural Australia, as they accumulate their generous salaries and pensions by doing no more than refusing to rock the boat.
BANKS DO IT AGAIN
There is more cheering news from Australia's trading banks. The first two to announce their annual profits - NAB and ANZ - have between them netted over $5 billion. By the time the remaining two in the "gang-of-four" publish their figures, it won't be far short of $10 billion, about $550 for every living Australian. But they cannot, apparently, afford to keep their smaller branches open. They are too busy launching 'buy-back' programmes to divest their shareholders of any stake in the banking bonanza.
A revealing article in The Bulletin
(31/10/2000) pointed out that banks' non-interest income for
2000 is forecast at $12.5 billion. What it must be when they
have had their pound of flesh in the form of interest is anyone's
guess. Alan Kohler (Australian Financial Review, 7/11/2000)
said of the banks:
Meanwhile, consumer debt in Australia as a percentage of disposable income has reached unprecedented heights. In 1990 it was less than 60 percent. By 1999 it had topped the 100%. All of which, one assumes, constitutes Costello's "unprecedented wave of prosperity". And the worst is yet to come.
FINANCIAL TRADE IN MISERY
While on the subject of debt The Guardian Weekly (26/10-1/ 11/2000) gave the sordid story of the international trade in debt itself. What are called 'vulture funds' are making a killing buying Third World debt at a discount and then sending in the bailiffs for the full amount.
The article said: "Their nickname is the vultures - hedge funds that swoop on struggling economies in the developing world, buying up their debts at a discount then suing the governments for the full face value. "One New York-based fund, Elliott Associates, has made more than $130 million out of the practice over the past year, according to Jubilee 2000, the lobby group campaigning for the cancellation of third world debt Elliott ... forced Peru to pay it $65 million this month, by threatening to seize money the Lima government had transferred to Wall Street banks to pay other bondholders. The company had bought up the Peruvian debt for $20 million The vultures travel in flocks, and are already lining up their next victim ...."
So what can the poor Peruvians do? Cut down some more forests, sell remaining assets, and reduce the rations of malnourished children to pay the moneychangers in the temple?
SELLING ARMS FOR A 'DISARMED' WORLDThe West's three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the US, Britain and France - account for 80% of weapons sales in the world, despite the fact that the UN has a full-scale programme for disarmament, according to a report in The Guardian Weekly (same date). The US accounted for nearly half the annual market of $53 billion, with Britain second at $10.5 billion. The report, from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, added: "Much of these weapons systems were supplied to the Middle East, the world's biggest arms market ...." As, no doubt, the Palestinians could verify.
SENDING OUT THE BACON
"One man's meat is another man's poison" is the old saying. There has been an amazing turnaround in the position of Australia's pork producers - due to the Nipah virus, which struck producers in Malaysia. The result was an unexpected export market into Singapore, now taking over $100 million in Australian pork exports annually. The biggest exporter is a multinational, Bunge Meat Industries. Exports of pork have risen from $663 million in 1998/99 to $901 million this financial year - over $340,000 for the average pork producer. But imports of pork have also increased, from Canada and Denmark!
When will the greenies wake up to the senseless expenditure of greenhouse gases involved in importing pork from the northern hemisphere, while our home-grown produce is exported overseas. The 'free market' is the greatest polluter of all!
IRAQ PERSECUTION CONTINUESFor almost 10 years the world, led by the US through the UN, has imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, resulting in an average 5,000 needless deaths of Iraqi children each month. Iraq is allowed to sell a small amount of its oil in the "oil-for-food" programme. Now a feature article in the Le Monde section of The Guardian Weekly (2-8/112000) has revealed.
"... Since December 1996 a third of Iraq's $11 billion export income has been collected to compensate companies and individuals claiming for losses during the invasion and occupation of Kuwait and during the Gulf War. The collection and awards are made discreetly by an organisation with a dubious legal basis, the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) dominated by the United States .... This year the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and a few others were awarded $15.9 billion in a single payment, which is double the amount the Baghdad government received between 1996 and 2000 to feed and care for 17 million people The largest compensation claims are still being examined, and $267 billion was outstanding as of 16 June US allies, particularly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel, have qualified for special treatment because they were hit by Scud missiles. Israeli businesses, including florists, greengrocers, cinemas and hotels, have received millions of dollars to compensate for revenue lost during the crisis .... If the country (i.e. Iraq - ed.) continues to spend one-third of its revenue on compensation, it will clear its compensation debt slate by 2050-60 ...."
That's if there is anyone left alive in Iraq by then.
The one-worlders are pushing their agenda
for all its worth. The Michael Journal, Canada reports
on the document 'The Charter for Global Democracy" which calls
for the following proposals:
Source "World Affairs Brief' published in "Michael" Journal. Canada, Oct-Dec. 2000
KALEJS EXTRADITION PROPOSAL - ANOTHER GOVERNMENT SCANDAL
The following is an abridged version of a letter sent to Prime Minister John Howard by the Melbourne poet, Nigel Jackson.
"In its handling of the proposals to extradite Mr. Konrads Kalejs, Mr. Antanas Gudelis and others to Latvia and Lithuania to face "Nazi war crimes trials", is the Australian Government jeopardising the civil liberties of all Australians in the future, in order to placate Jewish pressure groups wielding enormous financial power?"
To the Prime Minister, Rt.Hon. John
Statements by the presidents of Latvia
Senator Vanstone's Position
Mr. Milne also wrote: "Vanstone has warned her fellow Coalition MP's that if they fail to allow Kalejs to be extradited the Government will face an electoral backlash from Australia's powerful Jewish lobby.
Further Mr. Milne reported that Ivan Shearer, professor of law at Sydney University, has warned, "that power in matters of extradition had swung too far towards executive government and away from the judiciary."
I have seen no attempt by the Minister herself or by you to publicly deny the extremely serious allegations made by Mr. Milne. A strong presumption now exists that, for purposes of electoral advantage, your Government may be prepared to jeopardise civil liberties for all Australians by setting a dangerous precedent.
In his letter of 12th October Mr. Marshall claimed, "the Government will not be swayed by political pressure in these matters". I believe that contrary evidence is so great that his assurance cannot be accepted.
The American Pressure
Remembering the Demjanjuk case in Israel,
I suggest that the Office of Special Investigations in the
US State Department is probably responsible... The OSI is
a thoroughly suspect body. Californian attorney Andrew E.
Allen has pointed out that it was established on 4th September
1979 by means of legislative proceedings "not in accordance
with long-standing American traditions".
Mr. Allen has provided substantial evidence to suggest that the OSI has acted unjustly on many occasions in order to satisfy the ideological imperatives of the Jewish lobby in America. It appears that in 1988 almost all, if not all, the top administrators of the OSI were Jewish. Their names were: Neal Sher, Michael Bernstein, Ronnie Edelman, Bruce Einhorn, Alan Held, Joseph Lynch, Eli Rosenbaum, Betty-Ellen Shave, Philip Sunshine, Mon Goldberg, George Gilinsky and Elliott Rockier.
What is the position in 2000?
Would it not be fairer to ensure that no extradition occur unless (a) the accused have had an opportunity in an Australian court to defend themselves against any charges made, and (b) the country seeking extradition has established a likelihood of conviction within a judicial context analogous to Australia's justice system?... Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic., 22nd October 2000
*BILL NO 602P:E-MAIL TAX
One of our supporters sent the following information
If passed, Bill No.602P will permit the (USA) Federal Government to put a 5-cents charge on every delivered E-mail. The Government of the United States is attempting to quietly push through legislation that will affect use of the Internet. Under the proposed legislation, the US Postal Service will bill email users out of "alternative postage fees". The Bill 602P will permit the Federal Government to charge a 5-cent surcharge on every e-Mail delivered, by billing the Internet Service Providers. The consumer would then be billed in turn by the Internet Service Provider.
Washington DC lawyer Richard Stepp is working without pay to prevent this legislation from becoming law. The US Postal Service is claiming lost revenue of nearly $230,000,000 per year, due to the proliferation of e-mail. In 1998, the average person received about 10 pieces of e-mail per day; on those figures, the e-mail tax would take costs to an additional 50 cents a day - or over $180 per year - above and beyond the regular internet costs.
Note that this would be money paid directly to the US Postal Service for a service they do not even provide!
The whole point of the internet is democracy and non-interference. We are already paying an exorbitant price for snail mail because of bureaucratic inefficiency.
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