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25 February 2000. Thought for the Week: "Having
got it firmly fixed in your minds that while to the ordinary
man there is no wealth without money, and yet that there
exists either actually or still more potentially, enormous
quantities of wealth, for which there is no equivalent
amount of money I should like to bring to your attention
another simple, apparently obvious, but very frequently
overlooked fact, and that is that you do not make money
by making goods. In other words, the industrial system,
which makes goods, is not to blame for poverty - it is
the financial system."
"Purchasing power is not, as might be gathered from the
current discussion on the subject, an emanation from the
production of real commodities or services much like the
scent from a rose, but on the contrary, is produced by
an entirely different process, that is to say, the banking
AUSTRALIA'S DEFENCE FIASCO
by Jeremy Lee
Nine years ago The Australian Financial Review (24/10/91) made the following comments: "More officers are leading less troops in the shrinking Australian Defence Force despite progress in thinning out the top brass in recent years. The ADF has one of the highest ratios of officers to other ranks of any military force in the world...."
Many of these so-called officers were bureaucrats in an increasingly paper-run, Canberra-based Department. Meanwhile, combat-field-effectiveness was reduced to dangerously low levels. All this came to a head on February 17th, when a shocked defence seminar in Canberra was treated to a scathing unprecedented attack by the Secretary to the Department of Defence on his own Department. Such a thing is virtually unheard of. The attack seems to have come with Minister John Moore's agreement - again, unprecedented.
Defence Secretary Allan Hawke said his department lacked credibility, and its financial position was parlous. Hawke's speech was immediately followed by an equally scathing summary by former Army chief Major-General John Sanderson, before the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence on February 18th. He bluntly said that Australia's army could not take part in land operations against a well-equipped and heavily armed military force: " It may be satisfactory for Australia to lead or participate in an enforcement operation against a confused and lightly armed rabble like the East Timorese militia, or even the Somali clans; it would require considerable development of the army before it could contemplate playing a part in land operations against a well and heavily-armed military force,' he said...." (The Weekend Australian, 19-20/2/2000)
We can only pray that the lessons that have surfaced as a result of East Timor, and these timely warnings, do not fall on deaf ears. We may not be nearly so lucky next time.
BRACKS GOVERNMENT IN VICTORIA SHOWS REPUBLICAN BIAS
"The judges of the Victorian Supreme Court will meet next week to consider abolishing court rules which require prospective lawyers to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. "The meeting follows a letter in December from the Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls to Victorian Chief Justice John Phillips, calling for a review of the oath.... 'In my view this requirement is neither vital to the practice of law in Victoria, nor desirable at this time,' Mr. Hulls said in his letter to the Chief Justice "(Australian Financial Review, 18/2/2000).
It would be interesting to know whether Mr. Hulls himself took the normal Oath of office as a Member of Parliament? And why he should think such an Oath from someone serving in the Queen's Courts should not be "desirable"? Didn't we have a referendum just four months ago in which a majority of Australians in all States -including Victoria- rejected republicanism?
PETROL PRICES TO SOARAustralians are now being warned that petrol prices could reach a dollar-a-litre by mid-year. The warning came from Houston based Michael Economides, an international petroleum expert. We should remember that Costello's excises on petrol automatically go up as the price increases. Journalist Terry McCrann, writing at the beginning of February, pointed out that a 0.7-cent increase in the price of petrol automatically delivered an extra $112 million into Canberra's coffers. No new laws are required, or any scrutiny by parliament To make it worse, if and when the GST is introduced, the 10% tax will be applied both to the price of petrol and the excise that has already been applied. In other words a "tax-on-a-tax". McCrann says that by this time next year Australians will almost certainly be paying an extra $600 million in taxes on petrol.
CREDIT CARD DEBT STILL SOARINGLatest figures released by the Reserve Bank showed a record 62.7 million credit card transactions totalling $6.1 billion took place during December, up almost 25% on the previous year's figures. Credit card debt has doubled in just over three years and now amounts to more that $700 for each Australian. Most people are not paying off their credit card debts before the end of the interest-free period, thus incurring interest rates of 16 percent.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS GATHER
The latest news shows that there are some 10,000 illegal immigrants in Indonesia, waiting for transit to Australia. The trouble, we gather, is a shortage of boats. The problem is now so serious that the Department of Immigration's resources cannot cope.
The Australian, 15/2/2000 said: "Immigration officials are braced for up to 6,000 refugee claims from people in Australia illegally, prompting the Federal Government to freeze its processing of priority cases from overseas, immigration Minister Philip Ruddock ordered a suspension of processing overseas claims after receiving departmental projections of up to four times as many as last year...."
In other words, those who go through the 'legal' channels are held back in favour of those who have jumped the queue and entered Australia illegally! What message is that go to send overseas?
THE 'PINK' DOLLARIn 1978, when the Gay Mardi Gras was first held, 53 of the 1,000 participants were arrested for indecent dress and behaviour. Today, big sponsors, including Telstra, Qantas, Lion Nathan, Pepsi and Killawarra Wines, are contributing $1 million to the $5 million Gay Mardi Gras budget, which is expecting half-a-million spectators on the streets. The orgy is now Australia's biggest tourism event, with overseas broadcasters jostling for broadcasting rights. Doesn't it bring a tear to your eye? And a queer tugging at your heartstrings?
THE IRVING/LIPSTADT TRIAL CONTINUES
by Betty Luks
I distinctly remember the disgraceful way the media treated Mrs. Lindy Chamberlain. Blazing billboard headlines of the now defunct Adelaide News screamed out for all to see "She Lied". "Oh!" I thought, "she has been found out in a lie." But no, as one read into the article, it was discovered that the prosecutor accused Lindy of lying - a very different fact. Not only did the headlines help reinforce people's prejudices against Mrs. Chamberlain, she was judged guilty by them. It was a 'trial by the media'.
Not so in the Irving/Lipstadt case now being heard before Mr. Justice Gray. There have been some sensational revelations that have not seen the light of day through the establishment media in this country. But those who have access to the Internet can follow the trial word by word. It seems 500,000 a week are tapping into David Irving's website. His website address is at the end of this article.
As expected, the defence lawyers honed in on Irving's 'racist' attitudes, but they would not have been pleased when Irving got one of their 'expert' witnesses to admit that not only were there no holes in the underside of the reinforced-concrete roof of the alleged gas chamber (through which Zyklon-B canisters were alleged to have been dropped), but it was revealed that the drainage system that operated during the alleged gassing fed into the main sewage system.
Professor Robert van Pelt, who modestly admitted to being the world's leading expert on Auschwitz, and had publicly described the Crematorium 2 at Birkenau as the "centre of any map of human suffering in which 'millions' had died", did say in court that the true figure was probably 500,000. Irving also established the fact that Professor van Pelt was in the 'cultural history' section of the architectural department of the university in which he works - even though he is appearing for the Lipstadt camp as an expert on the architectural structure of the alleged 'gas chambers'.
Irving observed in court that "when people
die en mass, it produces unpleasant after-effects which need
to be cleaned up." He asked Professor van Pelt "Can you tell
the court what they (the drains) are connected to on the outside?
To the main sewage?" The professor's answer was, "They are
connected. This continues. This is not a main sewage system
there. But this obviously connects back to something." Irving
then asked him, "It does not just go into a hole in the ground,
though, does it? They do something with it at the other end?"
To which the Professor replied, "No. This probably goes on
right there all the way, yes." Irving: "What would environmentalists
have to say about kilograms of cyanide being dumped in the
David Irving's site: https://www.ftp.co.uklonline.html or Raeto West's trial coverage: http://www2.prestel.co.uk/littleton/irving-v-lipstadt.htm
(*Maybe the environmentalists would be saying the same things that the Hungarians and Romanians are now saying to the Esmeralda Australian mining company alleged to have polluted their river systems with cyanide.)
SELL-OFF OF OUR ASSETS
"Premier John Olsen satisfied with his recent sale/lease of ETSA (Electricity Trust) for $3.5billion to the Chinese, is now offering to sell South Australian seaports for an estimated $500million, also to the Chinese. "John Olsen has privatised our water utility which is now basically owned by the French. When all our once profitable assets are sold, to reduce our State debt, what will there be left to sell? "From what will the government receive its revenue in the future? The Taxpayers will once again be slugged with increased levies and charges. "The Howard government has given $1.5 billion in foreign aid during 1999-2000 throughout the world, of which $55.5 million was given to China. "Mr. Neil Andrew, Federal Member for Wakefield, stated that Australia's foreign aid programme to China, is to advance Australia's national interest (whatever that means) by assisting China to reduce poverty, and achieve sustainable development. "Why do they need our aid, when they are already in a position of sustained development in being able to buy many of our major assets, from the hundreds of millions of dollars that successive federal governments have been giving them in foreign aid? "Mr. Andrew stated that some 265 million Chinese still live on less than $US1.00 a day, therefore Australia should provide assistance to them. "Mr. Andrew fails to explain why such poverty exists in China. "Is it because the Chinese live under a Totalitarian government, whose spending on defence becomes top priority - instead of controlling poverty - with over three million trained personnel in their defence forces? "If the trend of selling our assets to overseas countries continues, Australians will become like strangers living in a foreign-owned country." Hedley Scholz, Eudunda, SA (Also published in 17 South Australian country newspapers)
SA Premier Olsen has urged Victor Li Ka Shing, who bought ETSA for $3.5 billion to open a regional office in Adelaide to explore future investment opportunities in SA. (HS)
PRICES WILL RISE MORE THAN THE GST IMPOSTAny housewife worth her salt could explain to John Howard that costs are going to rise more than he has admitted. Why? Because the administration of the GST - plus the GST - has to be added to costs incurred by business, industry and now charities. Truly, it is a great swindle. What money is donated to charities usually comes out of the people's purses after taxes are paid!
WHAT ABOUT PETROL PRICES?Due to the excise 'bracket creep'- which is increased every six months in line with the CPI inflation - and then the GST increase on the excise hike - motorists will be paying much more than Howard and Costello have admitted. Terry McCrann, Daily Telegraph, 3/2/2000, has estimated that the GST will lift the CPI close to 4%; that alone will add $320M to motorists' annual petrol bill. But there is more to come. GST is paid on the excise duty - a straight tax on a tax which would also add $32M to the annual GST bill. The interaction between inflation, excise increases and GST on the excise duty is going to affect all motorists. Anyone who bothers to sit down and do the sums will find that this time next year motorists are almost certain to be paying more than $600M extra a year in petrol taxes. The GST must be stopped.
PITY THE FARMER AND THE GST HIKE
"When goods are auctioned, purchasers see the amount paid as the final price. With the advent of the GST, this price paid will (from 1 July 2000) have to include the 10% GST. We have been concerned that farmers and other taxpayers taking livestock (and other goods) to auction will find themselves at an extreme disadvantage, as the 'hammer price' will include GST and 1/11th of the proceeds will have to be remitted to the Australian Tax Office as GST.
The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Kemp,
has advised the following in relation to livestock auctions:
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