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Edmund Burke
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On Target

29 March 2002. Thought for the Week: "Public men, by the mid-century, had come to fear these inhibitors too much to tempt their wrath, and any who did risk that ire were defamed by so powerful a machine of the spoken and written word that even the masses, after lending an eager ear of hope renewed for an instant, in the nature of masses then dully turned their backs on the speakers and shunned them, thinking they must be evil after all. In that way they were brought again and again to pit themselves against each other, always in the name of 'freedom', for their own mutual destruction and enslavement; thus the short-lived but bloody fiasco of the World State came about. Only when they experienced it did they know the truth and rise; and God must have willed it so, for 'by a divine instinct men's minds mistrust ensuing danger'.
Douglas Reed in "Far and Wide" 1951.

"Foreword in "Far and Wide": What, then, is the offence for which our people must be so severely punished? It is the offence of a single-minded pursuit of personal self-interest, neglect of duty, compounded with the offence of abandoning to persecution the prophets who would warn them."
Ivor Benson, 1976


WHO GETS THE SUBSIDIES?

by Jeremy Lee
When it comes to free trade we're all becoming used to the United States saying one thing and doing another. Steel has become the latest bone of contention, with both Australia and China threatening to drag the US before the high and mighty at the World Trade Organisation. Australia won its last case over lamb exports to the US. It's all part of the distorted economic view that putting real wealth onto a container ship and sending it to another nation is a way of getting richer – so long as fewer wealth-laden container-ships come your way from overseas! Our Trade Minister Mark Vaile has just returned from Washington, where he 'lobbied' against further increases in US farm subsidies.

If you belong to the 'export-or-perish' brigade, you'd be shocked that the US will pay its farmers $US32.6 billion a year in subsidies for the next ten years. You'd be even more shocked at just who receives the subsidies! Brisbane's Courier-Mail (Feb? 2002) revealed the findings of the Washington-based Environmental Working Group, which has uncovered a staggering network of rorts involving multinationals, banks and imaginary 'paper farms' receiving billions from the Farm Subsidy programme. Amongst recipients were the media mogul Ted Turner, former Chase Manhattan chairman David Rockefeller and stock-broker Charles Schwab.

The report said: " .... Tens of thousands of paper farms had been created for the purpose of maximizing subsidy payments and avoiding the payment limitations that Congress had established. .... The group has revealed some very well-known names on the list. "David Griffin, who sits on an American bank board and serves as President of a John Deere tractor dealership with sales last year of $60 million, has received about $46 million in federal crop subsidies. And there were 100 more members of the farming 'millionaires club'. "They were given handouts ranging from almost $4 million to $29 million between 1996-2000. Thousands of others who were not dedicated farmers were also given money.
Some 22,000 residents living in cities such as Denver, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington collected $480 million over the past five years. Thirty-one of the farmers lived in the Los Angeles celebrity suburb of Beverley Hills.
Fortune 500 companies such as Du Pont (approximately $360,000), Georgia Pacific ($71,000), Boise Cascade ($21,000), Caterpillar ($328,000), Archer Daniels Midland ($69,000), John Hancock Mutual Life Assurance ($242,000), International Paper ($720,000), Chevron ($500,000), Mead Corporation ($28,000) and many others were receiving crop subsidies.
The average payment to the bottom 80 percent of farm-subsidy recipients on the other hand was a mere $10,000 over those five years ...."
It's the "good ol' boys" club that seems to run everything else in the US, at it again.

Mark Vaile is wasting his breath.


HE CAN'T BE SERIOUS?

by Jeremy Lee
The well-known international economist David Hale has put forward the idea that the Australian dollar should be at the heart of a new single-currency zone with a number of southern hemisphere nations, including some battered Latin American economies. His suggested name for this most golden of suggestions is the "Gondwana Monetary Zone" or GMZ. David Hale told the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) on March 5th that the collapse of Argentina had led him to this concept. If Argentina had pegged its currency unit to the Australian dollar instead of the $US, it would have ridden the market fluctuation instead of collapsing. (The Australian Financial Review, 6/3/02).

It brings a lump to the throat when one realizes the touching faith that international experts have in Australia's own financial geniuses! And where would the zone's Central Bank be? Zimbabwe?


MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH ...

President George Bush, in his programme to save the world "in the name of truth and justice" from the "axis of evil" is running out of money. He has asked Congress to raise the debt-ceiling. His request was relayed by Treasury Secretary Paul O' Neill to the House Financial Services Committee. O'Neill said that uncertainty threatened the economy. The current US National Debt limit, already straining at the leash, is $US5.95 TRILLION. Bush wants this raised to $6.7 trillion - well over $US1,000 for every living person on earth! But then we never thought Operation Enduring Freedom in the "war for peace" would ever come cheap – did we?

As an afterthought, who will "create" the extra $800 billion and receive the interest thereon? British economist William Rees-Mogg, writing in The Australian (14/3/02), believes that this accumulation of debt, added to the enormous US Current Account Deficit, will sooner or later bring about the severe devaluation of the US$. One result will be a breaking free of the gold price. Already, China, Taiwan and Japan are buying gold heavily on the international market.


MAINSTREAM MEDIA EXPRESSING FIRST DOUBTS

So gross is President Bush's claim to be the world's saviour that the first analytical criticisms are beginning to appear Peter Hartcher, author of a full-page article in the Weekend edition of The Australian Financial Review (16-17/3/02), started with these words:
"With each passing day, it is increasingly clear that George W. Bush accepts no limits to the power of the United States and no restraints on how he will wield it. Under the dicta he has set out in recent days, the US has the right to attack any country, using any weapon, at any time. It is prepared to act if necessary without a mandate from the United Nations, and without the blessing of its friends and allies.
A US attack may be related to terrorism, but not necessarily. It may be against a hostile regime, but not necessarily. It may be with conventional weapons, but not necessarily – nukes may be OK, too, even against non-nuclear states.
And the Bush Administration seems to put a much higher priority on making war than peace ....."

Hartcher goes on to ask why this is so, coming to a number of conclusions, not least of which is the public response in America which has lifted Bush's poll-ratings to unprecedented levels. It is only one step further to ask which nation benefits most from Bush's war-drum; and which lobby exerts most pressure on the US Administration.
The question facing Australians, posed by Fred Benchley in a recent Bulletin, is whether Australia can genuinely fashion its own defence policy in the light of the war against terrorism.


WHAT'S BEHIND THE GREENPEACE ATTACK ON SHALE OIL?

At the end of the 1800s Australia produced millions of gallons of oil from shale. The skeleton of the basic technology, where shale rock was heated in huge retorts can still be seen at Glen Davis, west of Sydney. Now, using the latest technology, an all-Australian company, Southern Pacific Petroleum, has successfully produced the first recent oil from shale in central Queensland near Gladstone and is set to increase Australia's self-sufficiency in oil, a vital development in both economic and defence terms as we move into the 21st century.

Australia's shale-oil deposits are immense, stretching unbroken from the Gulf of Carpentaria to central New South Wales. Fully developed, they are capable of meeting the world's needs on their own for 100 years. Southern Pacific Petroleum is spending $124 million to ensure compliance with Greenhouse standards, and is on line to produce 780,000 barrels this year, up from 233,000 barrels in 2001. Oil produced is exceedingly pure, and at the current world price of $25 a barrel is worth $20 million annually to Australia.

Significantly, this is the first time since the early days of Golden Fleece that Australia's immense oil reserves have moved out of the hands of the international oil companies, sometimes known as "the seven sisters". Why, then, has Greenpeace harassed the Gladstone shale oil project every step of the way? And why have the multinational oil giants, Shell and B.P., apparently sided with Greenpeace by refusing to take Southern Pacific's oil production in its refineries? Why does Australia depend exclusively on huge refineries owned by the major oil-companies?

Many have forgotten, or have never been told about a small refinery built by a knock-about Texan called Charlie Smith in the early seventies, for under a quarter of a million dollars. It refined about 20 barrels of crude a day, drawn from the Moonie oil fields. But the oil "ration" allowed through Charlie Smith's refinery was tightly controlled by Ampol, who finally took it over. Australia should have dozens of similar small refineries in its hinterland, instead of the one or two monstrosities which are on our vulnerable coastline, and which can be used to paralyse a State when there is a strike. Is it true that Greenpeace has been the recipient of Shell Oil donations in times past? And who is financing it now?


NARRABRI FARMER INVOKES MAGNA CARTA – The Land (NSW), March 14th, 2002

Narrabri grain grower Bevan O'Regan has invoked the 800-year-old Magna Carta in an attempt to get the NSW Farmers Association to take the State Government to court over the Native Vegetation Conservation Act (NVCA). On Monday night the NSW Farmers' Narrabri branch carried Mr. O'Regan's motion to have necessary funds put aside by the association to mount a legal challenge, based on constitutional law, against aspects of the NVCA that restrict "the right to farm". Under Mr. O'Regan's motion, the association has just seven days to engage a Sydney barrister, Jeff Johnson, to mount a legal challenge and to employ Queen's Counsel, Leolin Price, in London, to prosecute the action. Mr. O'Regan, who said he knew both lawyers, believed an overseas QC was necessary because "the Australian legal system doesn't consider the Magna Carta to be relevant".

The Magna Carta, first signed in 1215 and the Bill of Rights of 1688, both uphold the common law rights of land ownership. The State Attorney-General's Department advised Mr. O'Regan the charters remain an underlying factor in Australian law but are "subject to legal and judicial interpretation by our courts". That is also the understanding of NSW Farmers which has taken legal advice and drafted a 30-page response to a query Mr. O'Regan put six months ago. NSW Farmers' general manager, Mick Keogh, said the association would love to have a constitutional lever to use on the NVCA but all the evidence indicated that it wasn't available. "We've looked at the whole issue of constitutional property rights, the judgements are all very clear; there is no access to some ancient common law that might override current legislation," Mr. Keogh said.


COURT CASES FOR OLGA SCULLY

Mrs. Olga Scully, of Launceston, Tasmania, will have a busy time next month. First she has a defamation case against the Hobart Mercury in the Supreme Court, Hobart, on the April 17th. The matter will be heard before a jury. Second is the case of Olga Scully versus Jeremy Jones. This matter will now go before a federal judge on April 39th.

You will remember Mrs. Scully was brought before the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and ordered to desist from circulating 'racist' material. Any Tasmanian who can get to the court please do so and give Olga moral and prayer support. Olga Scully has offered to e-mail daily updates from the court hearings to anyone wishing to receive them. Send in your details to be placed on her e-mail-out list to: olgascully@yahoo.com.au


A LETTER FROM JERUSALEM by The Rt. Revd Riah Abu El-Assal – from The Anglican Communion Office, London

"Salaam and grace in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ and blessed greetings to you from Jerusalem. We in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem are desperately concerned as the situation in the Land of the Holy One continues to deteriorate almost by the hour, bringing with it tragic loss of life, innumerable injustices and the damage and destruction of infrastructure, hospitals, schools and the homes of innocent people, among them our own people. We call upon all our partners and friends to do all that is in their power to bring an end to this pain and suffering in our homeland.
The recent hostilities as well as the reoccupation of liberated Palestinian towns and villages has proved catastrophic and tragic for both parties. No one with common sense believes that a whole nation can be controlled with the power of the gun. Justice is the only possible way. The root cause of all of this is the occupation and the Israeli occupation must come to an end. (emphasis added...Ed)

3000 people gather in Bethlehem from refugee camps
At present we are faced with a total disregard for the suffering of so many of our people. The recent incursion of tanks and military personnel into many of the Palestinian towns and cities has caused an enormous amount of suffering. In Bethlehem, 3000 people recently gathered in Manger Square from neighbouring refugee camps. Local organisations were being asked to help feed them. A Lutheran school was occupied and missiles hit Bethlehem University – which is a Roman Catholic institution – causing its closure. All electrical power was cut to two Ramallah hospitals during the height of fighting, leading many to great harm from lack of emergency health care. I have just returned from visiting Ramallah, shortly after the Israeli tanks pulled out of the city centre. One of my priests, The Revd. George Al-Kopti, who is in charge of the parish of St. Andrew's in Ramallah, reported the situation in the city during the aftermath of the Israeli incursion. He said, "About 150 tanks entered the city, occupying every corner and preventing movement, even movement of the injured to the hospitals and clinics in town. They occupied houses and apartment buildings, asking families to congregate in one house with no regard to their age or their health. Cars that belong to families of the parish were destroyed by tanks." He adds, "The children of the Evangelical Home lived for a few days of fear and trauma. We had three days of severe imprisonment, without the ability to move or even provide ourselves with food."

Markings reminiscent of Nazis
It was chilling to see the apartments that the occupying soldiers had marked with a large spray painted X, reminiscent of the markings the Nazi forces used to identify Jewish families. One of the apartment buildings that was taken over included the flat of Mrs. Patricia Rantisi, the widow of the late Revd. Audeh Rantisi. She is a 70-year-old British citizen.
Kent Wilkens, a Canadian friend staying with Mrs. Rantisi, reports on the situation after the invasion of the building by soldiers. He says, "We have adequate food supplies. The Ramallah water has been cut so we will run out of water in this flat in a day or so. We still have electricity. We are not allowed to set foot in the hall. We are 13 adults, including two elderly, and 10 children from 18 months old to 10 years. Two of the adults are physicians who work at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem. They are denied the ability to reach their hospitals, and cannot telephone their patients, or have their patients telephone them."
He concludes, "The soldiers have no need to hold four families as hostages to accomplish their so called security."

The ongoing conflict has had a dramatic effect on the work of the Church in the Land of the Holy One. Every one of our institutions and parishes has felt the crushing economic repercussions of the situation. When the new century began we looked towards an increase in our joy. Unfortunately this has not been the case and we watch as the quality of the lives of our friends and colleagues spirals downward into increasingly more difficult circumstances. Our ministry would not be possible without the support and prayers of our countless friends throughout the world. Knowing that you stand with us makes an immense difference in our lives and our ministries. We are greatly encouraged by the number of people who have written us, to express their solidarity and offer their prayers. Let us all come together, and join hands and efforts. I challenge you to speak out on behalf of the people of this Land: to your families; your friends; your co-workers and neighbours; your politicians and your government leaders. (emphasis added...Ed.)

We pray for peace with justice, justice with truth and truth with righteousness, as well as for the safety and protection of all people. Peace is the only alternative left. This can only be a peace established in truth and justice, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions 242, 338 and 194. The best security comes from reconciled neighbours. Know that this comes with our prayers and our gratitude for all you have been doing to help us stand firm in our commitment to His calling. May you be richly blessed."

Please send questions or comments to acnslist@anglicancommunion.org
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LETTER TO EDITOR

In the light of the Beavan O"Reagan/Magna Carta article (see On Target), the letter to the Daily Mercury by A.C. (Mick) Hodge, Chairman of the FREE Association (Fundamental Rights Enterprise Ecology) is worthy of consideration.

The Editor, Daily Mercury, Mackay, Qld. – February 4th, 2002.
Dear Sir, The Daily Mercury page 7, dated 1st February 2002 contained an article with a heading, "Mangroves fetch $12,000". This article stated that the government legislation protecting mangroves would make any development highly unlikely. We question the government's authority to control or to enforce any managerial decision of this or any other freehold-title land. Over the past hundred years, there have been many challenges to freehold title rights. All have failed in the High Court. In a case presided by Chief Justice Isaacs in his summing up he said: Quote: "A Fee Simple (Freehold) is the most extensive in quantum, and the most absolute in respect to rights, which it confers, of all estates known to the law. It confers and since the beginning of legal history it always has conferred the lawful right to exercise over, upon and in respect to, the land, every act of ownership, which can enter into the imagination."

As freehold title is protected by our Constitution and inherent laws and can only be changed by a referendum, any legislation to the contrary is invalid. This is also the belief of the FREE Assn. Inc., a non-political association. Our business is to protect the Constitution and people's rights. The Constitution belongs to and protects all Australians as all Australians are equal under our Constitutional law. In an attempt to inform the public we have invited the Qld. Premier, Hon. Peter Beattie MLA or his nominee to address a public forum on "Property Rights" at the time convenient to him. I have enclosed copies of our correspondence (both inward and outward) to the Premier and now we are awaiting his positive reply. This meeting will be widely advertised and no doubt will attract statewide attention.
Yours sincerely, FREE Assn. Inc. A.C. (Mick) Hodge, Chairman.

This letter carries the notice
"Note: This is one of the letters that the Daily Mercury would not print. So much for a free and unbiased press."

Queenslanders should keep in touch with the FREE Assn. Inc. and follow up the proposed public meeting with Premier Peter Beattie.
FREE Assn. Inc. PO Box 3420, North Mackay, Qld., 4740, or Phone (07) 4954 6607.


BASIC FUND

A sincere and humble thank you to those generous people who have given so liberally to the Basic Fund. Well over four thousand dollars has been received since the last update, bringing the total to $29,686:79. That makes us teetering on the half-way mark to the goal of $60,000:00. Don't let us fail in our tasks and duties at this critical period in our nation's history. If you haven't contributed as yet, please do so and help us to reach the target sooner rather than later. The little band of earnest and loyal League workers, and the voluntary helpers and supporters, give so much of their time and effort to the cause – don't let them down. All donations to be sent to Australian League of Rights, GPO Box 1052, Melbourne, 3001.

SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Please take note of the change in day for the Sydney CSC. From now on the CSC will hold its meetings on the Wednesday of every month instead of the Tuesday as previously. The new venue is: The Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown (600 metres from Bankstown Railway Station). There is ample car parking at the Club and the Club has an excellent auditorium and facilities. Guest speaker for the Wednesday, April 30th will be Mr. Frank Neger with the subject "Tax Evasion & Corporate Crime". Dates for your Diary: Wednesday, May 29th: Mr. Leon Gregor – "The Establishment's Fake Nazi-KKK Brigade". Wednesday, June 26th: Mr. Neil Baird – "Globalisation & Rationalisation of Banking, Airlines & Retail Industry".

ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Please note this meeting will be held on the second Monday of the month, which makes it Monday, April 8th, 2002. The speaker will be Mr. John Bligh who will speak on "Investing in Today's Markets". Mr. Bligh has had extensive experience in financial markets and will give his personal opinion on the matter.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

West Australia State Weekend – August 10th-11th, 2002.

South Australia State Weekend – August 17th-18th, 2002.

National Dinner and Seminar – October 11th-13th, 2002. To be held once again in that lovely town of Albury, NSW, and at the same venue – "The Hume Inn Motel".


INVERELL FORUM

The Inverell Forum was, once again, an outstanding success. It was attended by people from every State, including WA and Tasmania. Speakers were of the usual high standard, and the precision with which the timetable progressed through two days of intense infor-mation was highly impressive. A vast array of literature, books, tapes and videos were on display, as the many organizations represented set up their stands. But it wasn't all work.
The Saturday dinner was the scene for a highly irreverent short two-act play, where Australian politicians interplayed with fierce Taliban fighters and Bedouin beauties in bewildering fashion. Readers will be relieved to learn that no children were thrown overboard! Great fun and good fellowship were enjoyed by all. The Forum goes from strength to strength, and is a tribute to the organizer. Well done Robert!
Send for details of the speakers at the Forum and the play which is on video to
Inverell Forum Inc. PO Box 987, Inverell, NSW, 2360. Phone (02) 6723 2351 or E-mail rnb@northnet.com.au
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159