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22 December 2000. Thought for the Week: "During the last three centuries the Western world has seen the growth of a damaging division in the way in which we see and understand the world around us...We are only now beginning to understand the disastrous results of this outlook.
The Western world has lost a sense of the wholeness of our environment, and of our inalienable responsibility for the whole of creation. This has led to an increasing failure to appreciate or understand tradition and the wisdom of our forebears accumulated over the centuries it is as if tradition represented the enemy of man's lofty ambition; the "primitive" force which acts as an unwelcome reminder - deep in our subconscious - of the ultimate folly of believing that the purpose and meaning of life on this Earth lie in creating a material form of Utopia - a world in which Technology becomes a 'virtual reality' God; the arbiter of virtual reality ethics - and thus the eventual murderer of the Soul of Mankind.
To my mind, tradition is not a man-made
element in our lives - it is a God-given awareness of
the natural rhythms and of the fundamental harmony engendered
by a union of the paradoxical opposites in every aspect
of nature. Tradition reflects the timeless order, and
yet disorder, of the cosmos and anchors us into a harmonious
relationship with the great mysteries of the Universe..."
"A Blessed and Holy Christmas Season to all of our Readers"
DEATH AND WEALTH TAXES LINKED TO GST REFORMS
by Betty Luks
He wrote, "Money left in a long-term
trust through a will to protect assets on the possible divorce
of children attracts 47 per cent tax on the estate when paid
to children. A husband and wife leaving the home to the children
with the surviving spouse entitled to live in it is taxed
at 47 percent of the rent value of the home. Allowing a family
member to live in a house owned by a trust company is also
47 percent of the rent value."
The accuracy of Mr. Starcevich's letter was questioned by a reader so we then published material from a speech by Kelvin Thompson MHR (Hansard, 8/6/1999), in which he quotes the then Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer as saying, "he would not support any crackdown on trusts that amounted to a defacto reintroduction of death duties."
The matter quietened down because of the uproar of the GST and aftermath. It has now come to the fore again as the National Farmers Federation Council. Farm Weekly, 23/11/2000, "...called for the government to withdraw the Entities' Taxation proposals, saying the approach being taken is draconian..." According to NFF president Ian Donges, "In reality, it is a wealth tax and actually taxes unrealised gains...In fact, including unrealised gains under the 'profits first' rule will mean double taxation."
PGA economics chairman, Lynne Johnston
said, "The Federal Government, prompted by the Ralph Review
into taxation reform, is attacking discretionary family trusts
as if they were tax avoidance vehicles, when they are merely
common-sense arrangements that protect the structure of the
It would seem Mr. Starecevich was not wrong in his original assessment!
Instead of the oppressive taxes under which we labour, the citizens of this country should be receiving dividends! But this is not going to happen until the people understand the proposals of Social Credit and want them strongly enough to insist upon them.
THE PROBLEM OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Another serious problem is the Christian Church's response to social matters. How many times, having approached your minister of religion to ask questions about government agendas and/or financial policies, have you been met with indifference, even hostility? The root of this problem lies in an idea that the Churches accepted long ago, that is, that the organised Church is to be concerned with the person and his 'salvation' only - not with social matters. This implies that the source of all social disorder and the present social disasters are in unregenerate man and any corporate social action is futile.
The consequences of this view are all
around us. The idea is stated thus:
We were told we cannot serve God and Mammon ... Mammon is a system, a man-made system!
The Church has failed to recognise the
role of mechanisms
We are responsible
Another fatal omission of the Christian
But, as was said last week: AUSTRALIA
IS WAKING UP!
MORE DANGEROUS LEGISLATION WITH WIDER SCOPE
by Geoff Muirden
The entire bill, in its form as suggested
in that article is totalitarian and Communist in its nature
and intent, seeking to abolish privacy and establish a spy
state, where rules of evidence to even prove statements made
about people would be abolished. It is a disgrace that such
a bill can even be considered and should already have been
thrown out because of its oppressive nature.
Those reading this are invited to get in touch with Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, Member for Williamstown, by his address, or send a phone call, fax or e-mail to oppose this evil legislation.
Steve Bracks works at 1 Treasury Place,
East Melbourne, 3002; phone (03) 9651 5000; fax (03) 9651
Dr. Denis Napthine, Leader of the Opposition can be contacted at www.robertclark.net
Further to the above Herald Sun
article, John Masanauskas, Herald Sun, 11/12/2000,
explains that Racists (are) to face prison according to the
proposed legislation. "'Victorians could face jail for inciting
racial hatred under legislation being considered by the State
Government. In the meantime, the government will spend $l
million consulting the public on the need for racial vilification
One would think if 'the rich ethnic diversity' was the resounding success the multiculturalists would have us believe, there would not be a need to legally force Australians 'to shut up'! Certain groups, including the Catholic' Church have opposed the proposed law "for fear that it might stifle genuine debate on religious issues.'
WIELDING THE AXE OF BITTERNESS
Peace on earth, goodwill to all men?
Israelis chop down Palestinians' precious olive trees, insisting it is retaliation for rocks being hurled at settlers. The Palestinian villagers heard the power saws at midnight, racketing up the stony terraces to the hill-perched village of Hares. It is where Joshua, the Hebrew conqueror of Canaan in the Old Testament, is buried in ancient Samaria, on the modern West Bank, the 'Timnath Heres" of Joshua 33:29.
When Mr. Abed Daoud Jaber, 76, awoke the next morning, he found he was ruined. More than 400 olive trees were cut down by the Israeli army along the highway leading to three Jewish settlements. At least 110 were his. His entire olive orchard lay felled on the stone-strewn ground. "Where is God?" the old man screamed, gesturing with his cane as villagers tried to calm him. 'They cut down trees my grandfather tended! Trees hundreds of years old! I depend on my trees completely.... What will I eat now? What will I drink?"
"He is become without a brain since he saw this," said Nasfat Khufash, who belongs to a rural development committee in the vicinity. "He was sitting in the middle of the road, crying, this morning." The twisted trunks of the massacred trees rose as branchless spikes from the loamy brown earth. One, about 8 inches in diameter, revealed more than 70 growth rings when the sawdust was brushed off its surface. Lopped olive branches lay in heaps, their feathery silver-green leaves rustling in the breeze, beneath a sky as blue as a gas flame.
The destroyed trees lent an air of Old Testament wrath to the 2-month-old struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. So far, more than 280 have been killed, all but 35 of them Palestinians. Even olive trees have become targets in the cycle of provocation and reprisal.' Some 4,495 olive trees had been cut down as of November 9th, according to figures kept by the Palestinian National Authority's Ministry of Environmental Affairs.
Hares is in the West Bank, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel has established more than 150 Jewish settlements in the occupied territory. The village has been road blocked by the Israeli army, preventing people from taking olives to market or to oil presses outside the village, Khufash said. Losses from destroyed, rotted or unpicked crops in Palestinian areas amount to $120 million this year, according to the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction. Jewish settlers driving past the felled trees yelled insults at foreign reporters.
"What are you doing here, you rubbish?" one shouted. 'Take pictures! Take pictures!" called another, sarcastically. Interviewed later, the settlers complained angrily that Hares village children were throwing stones at their cars as they passed by, using the olive groves for cover. One settler showed a deep dent on his van just above the windshield. Another came over, cursing, and tried to kick in the car window of the reporters' vehicle, just for talking to the aggrieved Palestinians.
But the villagers were angry, too. They said the army's response was a devastating blow, out of proportion to the situation and punishing adults for the actions of children. They took reporters to a site 100 yards from the highway, where 20 trees had been cut down, seemingly too far from the road to serve any security purpose. An olive tree in these parts is like an interest-bearing bank account, yielding up to 35 pounds of fruit year after year. Olive harvesting is a time honored family ritual. The velvety-purple fruit is knocked off branches with sticks, or plucked from ladders onto underlying tarpaulins by stroking each leafy branch gently.
One farmer, Abdullah Hamed Suleiman, 62, who lost 71 trees to Israeli chain saws Thursday, said the destroyed trees represented $ 4,000 a year in income, from olive oil he sells to Jordan. "For us Palestinians, an olive tree is exactly like a son," Khufash said. "It is not a matter of money. You do not sell your son for money.''
Distraught at their loss - the villagers said more than 1,000 olive trees had been cut down in recent months - the settlers invited reporters, over coffee and orange sodas, to hear them spin theories about the olive tree massacre and vent their wrath against the Israeli settlers who live in neat, barracks-like apartments on hilltops throughout the region. Three settlements, Ariel, Revava and Burkan are near Hares, and settlers must pass beneath the village on their way to and from work. "The olive trees gave us food. Now they are only fit for the fire," said Nawaf Suf. "We believe they want to deprive us of our livelihood, drive us off the land and make common laborers of us, so we have to go to the cities and work for Israelis."
When old Jaber escorted reporters to his ruined grove, he collapsed in a pile of lopped branches and moaned. At precisely this moment, Yona Shay, a 31-year-old Jewish settler who sells plumbing fixtures for a living, pulled over beside the road and began arguing with the Palestinians. The odds - eight of them, just one of him - didn't seem to faze him. "There are a minimum of 100 stones being thrown every day from beside this highway. By now 200 cars have been hit with stones," Shay said. "Men, women and children have been injured by these stones. ... I didn't cut down any trees myself, but I would have if I could have." The old man clambered across the ditch and went chin-to-chin with Shay. "It is as if you cut my throat!" he shouted. "If someone gives you a punch, do you turn the other cheek?" Shay answered calmly. "If we get hurt, we have damage, we have to do something back."
In the nearby settlement of Revava, a 38-year-old computer repairman named Yitzhak Hillel defended the army's destruction of the olive trees. "We spoke to the army many times about the stone-throwing, and they did nothing. My feeling is, every time I come back home from work, I feel like a duck in a shooting gallery."
An hour before sunset, the rock throwing
resumed. The minarets of Palestinian villages glimmered white
at the summits of the brown hills, which rolled into a wide
wasteland of rocks, tufted here and there with olive groves.
Two squads of Israeli soldiers took up positions along the
highway and began firing sporadically as rocks landed on the
road. Just past the stretch of lopped trees, a large white
stone caromed defiantly off the asphalt a few yards in front
of the reporter's car.
POLITICIANS ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY
The "Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition" (West Australia) Bill 1999 has been in the WA Parliament for over a year and was near finalisation in November when the WA Greens realised it posed a threat to that State's very strict quarantine laws. Dr. Christine Sharp MLC disclosed that independent legal advice provided to the Greens was that the passage of the bill would make it extremely difficult for WA to use its own quarantine laws to prevent importation of New Zealand apples if the Federal Government endorsed the proposed importation protocol being circulated by "Biosecurity Australia".
Biosecurity Australia's draft import risk analysis has caused alarm throughout all States; the lifting of the 80-year-old ban on the importation of NZ apples into Australia will make contamination of Australian apple and pear orchards and other plants with Fire Blight only a matter of time. "Moreover" Dr Sharp said, "the scope of the trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Bill goes much wider to all biological contaminants and may pose a serious threat to other agricultural industries."
Those who want to know more can contact Dr. Sharp on 9764 1440/327
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