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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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31 May 2002. Thought for the Week: "The Social Heritage: The National Debt, which he (the citizen) did not create, becomes a national credit which is a reflection of the national capital which he did create. His budget is not required to balance because his wealth is always increasing. He does not require to fight for foreign markets since obtaining foreign markets merely means a longer working day.
Having more leisure he is less likely to suffer from either individual or national nerve strain, and having more time to meet his neighbours can reasonably be expected to understand them more fully.
Not being dependent upon a wage or salary for subsistence, he is under no necessity to suppress his individuality, with the result that his capacities are likely to take new forms of which we have so far little conception."
Monopoly of Credit - C.H. Douglas, 1950

INTERNATIONAL TREASURER OF THE YEAR

by Jeremy Lee
Australia has a globe-shattering record for producing famous Treasurers. It was Euromoney Magazine which once lauded Paul Keating as the international treasurer of the year. After all, he de-regulated the economy and allowed the entrance of foreign banks into Australia under the argument it would give Australians cheaper and more efficient banking services. To cap it off, he sold 'the peoples' bank' (the Commonwealth) to private purchasers.

But, surely, he has been overshadowed by the latest incumbent Peter Costello. Costello is the man who campaigned to oust Keating's Labor government by driving the Debt Bus round the electorate, pointing out the heinous increase in Australia's foreign debt at the hands of the ALP. The fact that foreign debt has doubled under his wise administration is neither here nor there apparently. This is the art of true 'treasurership' - to say exactly the opposite of what you intend.

In March 2001 Treasurer Costello told Australians, without, for once, his usual smirk, that the Liberals had always been a "low-tax party". During the same month Max Walsh, at that time Editor-in-Chief of The Bulletin, pointed out that total taxes were at a higher level than at any time in Australia's history. His article said, inter alia:
"In fact, the Howard-Costello government is the highest taxing government in Australian history. The chart pictured is derived from data collected by Jim Hoggett, the director of economic policy at the Institute of Public Affairs and records the growth of all government spending - as a percentage of GDP - over the past four decades.
If we look specifically at the Commonwealth, then its tax collections this year (including the GST) will reach 25.7% of GDP. The Hawke Government's biggest tax grab occurred in 1986-87 when it went into its anti-Banana Republic strategy. That amounted to 24.4% of GDP. As for the profligate Gough Whitlam, well, in 1974-75 he managed to lift taxation collection to 21.1% of GDP ...."

Whitlam, Hawke and even Keating pale into insignificance as tax-gatherers when compared to Costello. And he does it so disarmingly! The GST, he told us, would mean drastic reductions in other taxes, including income tax. But the latest evidence makes mincemeat of his claims. The Weekend Australian (18-19/5/02) told us
: "Peter Costello is the highest taxing Treasurer in Australia's history, with each of his seven budgets raking more revenue from workers and businesses than those of Paul Keating .... "

Mr. Costello also risks becoming the nation's most miserly tax-cutter, as his latest Budget has left him with little scope to reduce personal income tax rates before the next election due in early 2005.
The data from the federal parliamentary library shows that income tax has returned to 17 percent of GDP, a level Mr. Costello previously regarded as unacceptable. In arguing for a GST in 1998, Mr. Costello said the old system was 'unfair to families and costly to business ....'

When he made that statement, Australia's income tax was 17% of GDP. The GST would enable big reductions in income tax - or so he claimed. But here we are, back at pre-GST levels.


BRACKET-CREEP IS 'RACKET-CREEP'

Not only has Costello successfully operated another 'pea-and-thimble' trick, but he is set to gain a huge windfall in extra taxation - estimated at a possible $6 billion - as a result of 'bracket creep' - the extra taxation from wage increases. The Australian Financial Review (17/5/02) gave this example, as a result of the recent 4.4% increase in the basic wage:
"Take the example of how the $18 a week pay rise will affect a single income family with one child earning $567.80 a week. This award wage rate aligns with a special class tradesperson or senior clerk. "The cost to the employer is at least $23.40 a week (once on-costs of superannuation, workers compensation and payroll tax are taken into account). The family can expect to receive just $7.14 a week and lose access to their health-care card. At the same time the Government will benefit to the tune of $10.86 through the increased tax payable and the lower family assistance payments which will be provided.
The situation is more acute for a dual-income family with two children earning $620.10 a week. In this case, the cost to employers is $35.10 a week but the family receives just $12.02. Most of the couples' entitlements flow to the Government....."

It might shock Coalition members - although this is doubtful - if it was pointed out that they are operating a 21st century equivalent of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. Marx listed and advocated ten steps for vesting all economic power in the hands of the State. These included the abolition of private property, elimination of the rights of inheritance, a heavy, graduated income tax, and a state monopoly of credit. The Fabians, not so violently revolutionary as Marx and Lenin, suggested a programme of "gradualism" along Marxist lines was the way to proceed. They were prepared to maintain the illusion of 'private property' for example - so long as the 'owner' had no control over his property. We can see clearly how this operates in the draconian environmental laws applying to landowners.

The heavy, graduated income tax has been extended to all forms of tax through indexation. Under such a system, neither the wage-earner nor the employer can ever catch up. Every wage rise is lost in price rises and a heavier burden of taxation. The huge taxation Mr Costello has managed to achieve would probably even shock Karl Marx, who saw a tax-take of 25% of income as sufficient to transfer equity from the individual to the State.

Both C.H. Douglas and the late Dr. Geoffrey Dobbs dealt at length with the question of taxation. Douglas, in his "Dictatorship by Taxation" pointed out firstly, that all modern taxation is inflationary, having at some point to be recouped in prices; and secondly that it is a form of theft, taking from the individual a combination of inheritance and income and transferring it to the State, without any choice in how it is to be spent.

The totalitarian mind in power convinces itself that it knows best how to spend other peoples' money, and make other peoples' choices. This is the real evil which in Acton's words, "corrupts absolutely". All of which, ironically, is happening at a time when technology is making it possible to collect what little taxation should be needed without the heavy, time-consuming machinery of the past. The Debit Tax would do away forever with tax-returns, massive tax departments, and tens of thousands of laws and regulations.


A NEW FORM OF TITLE

It is now being proposed, in New South Wales at least, that an entirely new form of title, entirely divorced from land, be introduced. It would be title over water. Currently, water allocations for irrigation are at the whim of the Minister, who can grant, decrease or withdraw water rights. The new proposal is that rights to water should be permanent and transferable separately from land titles. As demand for irrigation grows with the technological ability to irrigate bigger areas, the price of water has sky-rocketed.
The Weekend Australian
(18-19/5/02) gave an example: ".... Traditionally, water licences were linked to land. But in the wake of the 1994 agreement between all the States to reform water use, land and water are now being traded separately, with dramatic results. Bruce Gunning, a Moree-based real estate agent who specializes in irrigation water, said: 'Water is the fastest appreciating asset in rural Australia'. In Moree in 1980 a standard 972M1 licence was $150,000. 'They are now $1.67 million'.
Mr. Gunning said separating land and water titles 'will enable greater tradability of the water'."

"But the NSW Farmers Association, along with the State's irrigators, rice growers, cotton growers, the shires association and the Australian Bankers' Association, argue that they need more certainty over water titles ...." Why should the Australian Bankers' Association be interested? Because water secured by title-deeds would be a new form of equity against which banks could create and lend credit, storing the new form of title alongside the other title-deeds in their "security-portfolios".

It is clear that the enormously-increased pressures on Australia's rivers and subterranean water catchments have produced both an environmental crisis and an escalating bone of contention between irrigators, as well as cities that continually demand more water. But this proposal will solve nothing and create exploitation, conflict and monopoly in the period ahead. It will be another nail in the coffin of the family farm, which may have the water falling on its land traded above its head. Licences for dams and conservation of water for stock will become the norm. The big irrigators will have a field day. A small-holder in, say, Inverell may find the water that falls on his acres the property of an investor in Melbourne or, worse if the General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATS) goes through New York.

As we have said before, the designs by Australian innovator P.A. Yeomans, offer the perfect alternative. He started with the idea of "catching the water where it fell". A Key-Line-designed farm could retain over 90% of the water that fell within its boundaries in a normal year, holding it in specially-designed dams at "key-points" in the land's profile, feeding it back as controlled flood irrigation onto adjacent slopes. He went further, showing how cities should be designed to conform to land-flow, conserving their own water, and making less necessary dependence on huge, far-distant dams.

The Yeomans Key-Line idea is the "Small-Is-Beautiful" solution to current water-wars, also guaranteeing the future of the family farm in Australia. The massive, chemical-intensive, monoculture nature of our irrigated areas of Australia is surely mute testimony to the need for a new direction. Anything but a new, bank-dominated share-market in that which "droppeth like the gentle rain from Heaven upon the place beneath".
Rain comes through the grace of God. It is a form of blasphemy to make it the property of the Stock Exchange.


MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND 'CONSPIRACY THEORIES'

A few weeks ago, United States Democrat, congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, drew widespread criticism for suggesting on a radio show that the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the September 11th Twin Towers attack. "I was derided by the White House, right-wing talk radio, and spokespersons for the military-industrial complex as a conspiracy theorist," McKinney said in a one-page statement. "Even my patriotism was questioned because I dared to suggest that Congress should conduct a full and complete investigation into the most disastrous intelligence failure in American history." Cynthia McKinney vowed to continue to express her opinions and reissued a call for a congressional probe.

"Today's revelations that the administration, and President Bush, were given months of notice that a terrorist attack was a distinct possibility points out the critical need for a full and complete congressional investigation. "If committed and patriotic people had not been pushing for disclosure, today's revelations would have been hidden by the White House," she said.

Friends, foes stand firm.
The furore over McKinney's comments came soon after her March 25th appearance on the "Flashpoints" public affairs program on KPFA, a public radio station in Berkeley, California.

Putin delivered warning
"Now is the time for our elected officials to be held accountable," McKinney said on the show. "Now is the time for the media to be held accountable. Why aren't the hard questions being asked? We know there were numerous warnings of the event to come on September 11th. Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, delivered one such warning.

'Unusual' stock trading
"Those engaged in unusual stock trades immediately before September 11th knew enough to make millions of dollars from United and American Airlines, certain insurance and brokerage firm stock. What did this administration know and when did it know it about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered?"
McKinney also detailed how some associates of the White House stood to gain from the response to the attacks.

White House Associates poised to gain.
"Persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war," McKinney said.

"Former President Bush sits on the board of the Carlyle Group. The Los Angeles Times reports that on a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 billion selling shares in United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest contractor. The stock offering was well-timed. Carlyle officials say they decided to take the company public only after the September 11th attacks. The stock sales cashed in on increased congressional support and hefty defense spending."

At the time of her radio comments, a Carlyle Group spokesman dismissed McKinney's remarks as fiction. McKinney's comments also drew attention to another issue evolving on Capitol Hill - whether Congress or an independent group should probe what the administration knew and when.
Taken from an article by Melanie Eversley staff writer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


HIGHLY INDEBTED POOR COUNTRIES

by Antonia Feitz
In their latest 'Focus on the Corporation column', Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman described the 'structural adjustment packages' (SAPs) that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank inflict on Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs). They wrote,
"Structural adjustment is the policy package that includes such measures as indiscriminate privatisation, labor market deregulation, government spending cuts, trade and financial liberalization, economic deregulation, an emphasis on exports, and charges ("user fees") for people to attend clinics for basic healthcare."
(http://lists.essential.org/pipermail/corp-focus/2002/000115.html)

Doesn't that describe the policies of Australian governments? Er, doesn't that describe the policies of Australian governments since the 1980s? Does this mean Australia was (is?) a HIPC? Come to think of it, if Australia is enjoying such wonderful growth and prosperity why is the Howard government desperate to claw back $25 a week from people on the disability pension? Mr. Howard has even refused to rule out the likelihood of paraplegics and people with brain damage being targeted by his 'reforms'. It's true that there are a lot of people - some 600,000 (?) - on the disability pension. But no politician has had the courage to face up as to why that number has exploded.

The reason why the numbers of the disability pension has risen is because Australian primary industry and manufacturing jobs were exported due to economic restructuring. Bureaucrats with kind hearts recognised that retrenched coalminers and abattoir workers in their fifties living in regional Australia along with labourers and manufacturing workers in the metropolitan areas were unlikely ever to gain employment. So they did the decent thing and unofficially retired them with a disability pension. It left them with a bit of dignity. Now this scummy Howard government plans to strip such men of what little dignity they have.

Along with gormless teenagers, family men who DID work all their lives until their jobs were exported, will now be required to fill in their lie sheets - oops, job-seeking diaries detailing their attempts to find work that simply doesn't exist. In the 1980s 'Labor' prime minister Bob Hawke promised that the burden of economic restructuring would be shared across the entire Australian community. He lied. Only blue collar and unskilled workers have suffered. Bob Hawke and the Labor Party well and truly lied.


ATTORNEY-GENERAL BLUFFING?

In a media release the Federation of Community Legal Centres,(FCLC) claim the Attorney General admits the proposed banning power in the counter-terrorism legislation is not required by the United Nations. The FCLC reports that up to now, the government has, in part, justified its proposed counter-terrorism legislation by reference to expectations of the UN and the international community. The revelation is contained in written answers made public by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The Attorney General's Department has stated that, although Security Council Resolution 1373 required actions against the financing of terrorism, "there are currently no Security Council resolutions or other international instruments which provide a basis for organisations to be proscribed in more general terms."

The proposed power to ban organisations is one of the most controversial proposals being considered by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. It has been widely opposed by nearly all organisations that made submissions to the hearings including the Law Council, Victorian Council of Social Services, Uniting Church, ACTU and the Federation of Community Legal Centres. Damien Lawson, spokesperson for the Federation of Community Legal Centres said, "it is clear that the government's plan to ban organisations has no credible support. The UN does not require it; the community is opposed to it. It is authoritarian and has no place in a democracy."


AMERICA'S PRO-TERRORISM AID PROGRAMME

by James Bovard - from website: Future of Freedom Foundation

President Bush recently announced that he plans to boost American foreign aid by 50 percent - to more than $15 billion a year. While Bush's proclamation was widely praised as a sign of American generosity, little attention is being paid to the hypocrisy behind his policies. Unfortunately, American foreign aid could result in new chains and fetters for downtrodden foreigners.

$10 billion in 'aid' each year
The US government gives more than $10 billion in foreign aid each year to foreign governments and foreign and international organizations. Tyrannical regimes are the worst terrorist organizations in the world, with respect to racking up impressive body counts. Foreign aid has been aptly described as handouts "from governments, to governments, for governments". The US government will give more than $120 million this year to the government of Uzbekistan, a convenient ally in the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The nitpickers at Human Rights Watch have complained about Uzbek government officials seeking to enlighten dissidents with methods such as "beatings, electric shock, temporary suffocation, hanging by the ankles or wrists, removal of fingernails, and punctures with sharp objects".

Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), who supports the aid to Uzbekistan, stressed that it is "terribly important that we not uncritically align ourselves with governments which torture citizens". But what is the difference between uncritically and critically using US tax dollars to underwrite torture?

Dubious 'human rights' records
Many regimes with dubious human-rights records collect windfalls from American taxpayers, including Egypt (which routinely uses torture), Israel (which has a formal policy of assassinating suspected Palestinian militants), and Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, two repressive countries with "poor" human rights records, according to the US State Department.

In 1998, the US government condemned the Kosovo Liberation Army for its "terrorist action"; in 1999, the United States christened the KLA "freedom fighters" and deluged them with arms and aid. The federal government is providing more than a billion dollars in aid to the government of Colombia to finance its war on coca growers and on leftist guerrillas. Human Rights Watch reports that the "human-rights situation in Colombia has deteriorated markedly" since the Clinton administration pushed through a package greatly increasing US aid to Colombia in 2000. The number of massacres by paramilitary forces allied to the government is skyrocketing.


JEREMY JONES VERSUS OLGA SCULLY

The latest news is the Jeremy Jones versus Olga Scully case was adjourned after a three and a half days hearing in Launceston. It will continue on June 11th, 12th & 13th, 2002, with Mrs Scully in Launceston and Jeremy Jones and the judge in Sydney on a video link-up. It would be of great value to her if her supporters attended the hearing both in Launceston and in Sydney - Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney. The hearings begin at 10.15am each day. Olga asks her supporters "Please attend in Launceston or Sydney if possible."

BASIC FUND

In the three weeks since our last report, $2,433.15 have been received. Once again we express our deep appreciation for those who have generously contributed. However, we do urge those supporters who can contribute to do so as soon as possible, to at least maintain the present momentum. The total now stands at $35,086.94.

SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The next meeting for the Sydney CSC will be held on Wednesday, June 26th, 2002. The speaker is Mr. Neil Baird. Subject: "Globalisation & Rationalisation of Banking, Airline & Retail Industries". The meeting will be held at the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown. There is ample parking at the Club, situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. The cost of your attendance is $4.00 per person.

ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Guest speaker for Monday, June 3rd, meeting will be Port Lincoln's Mayor Peter Davis. The title of his address is "What Big Money is Doing in Port Lincoln". The venue is the Public Schools' Club, 207 East Terrace (cnr. Carrington), Adelaide. We encourage our supporters to make every effort to get to the dinner meeting. Dinner is from 6.30pm, $16.50 for a two-course meal, served with tea/coffee. The public address commences at 7.30pm. To make bookings by Thursday, May 31st, please phone: 8395 9826.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN STATE WEEKEND

August 17th-18th, 2002. New Zealand's National Director, Mr. Bill Daly will be guest speaker at the South Australian seminar. Bishop John Hepworth has also accepted an invitation. Further details as they come to hand. Bill Daly for Victoria: Bill Daly will be speaking at a few meetings in Victoria. As arrangements are firmed up we will announce the details.

WEST AUSTRALIA - ANNUAL SEMINAR & DINNER

The Australian League of Rights' 36th Annual Seminar & Dinner. The theme is A Legacy of Terror: Terrorism, Globalisation & Servitude. Guest speakers: Mr. Bill Daly, National Director of the New Zealand League of Rights; Mayor Peter Davis of Port Lincoln, South Australia. To be held at the historic Rose & Crown Heritage Hotel, Guildford on Saturday August 10th, 2002. For further enquiries please contact the State Secretary - Phone/Fax: (08) 9574 6042

NATIONAL WEEKEND

The National Weekend will be held over Friday, 11th (New Times Dinner evening) through Sunday, 13th of October 2002. The event will again be held in the border town of Albury, NSW. It proved such an outstanding success last year. Put these dates in your diary.

2002 EDITION OF 'YOUR RIGHTS' IS NOW AVAILABLE

You can purchase your copies direct from Australian Civil Liberties Union, Post Office Box 1137, Carlton, 3053. Price $6.50; $8.00 posted.

'Your Rights' has been published every year since 1974 and is the most commonly used laymen's guide to the law in Australia. It has chapters on wills and estates, rights of victims of crime and pension payments. The rights of taxpayers, investors, consumers, motorists and mental health are also discussed. The 2002 edition also discusses anti-terrorism laws, Tampa, September 11th, Falun Gong, ASIO and DSD. A review in the Law Institute Journal said: "Your Rights 1999 is an extraordinary publication - a must have for just about everyone."

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159