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Edmund Burke
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2 August 2002. Thought for the Week: "The Grand Madam of Babylon was drunk and in maudlin mood. She sat on her throne beside the meeting-place of the abundant waters from many rivers. All peoples, all nations of every language congregated here in submissive obeisance to her. All the kings and rulers of the world had come to her and committed fornication with her... Clad in purple and scarlet and glittering with every kind of fine jewellery and precious ornament she ventured forth, holding up a wine cup filled to the brim with the filth of her abominations and her harlotry's ministrations...
Why were her dreams now plagued with visions of impending doom, of disease and death, of sadness and mourning, of famine and fire? ... Had not every king and ruler of the earth sought her dalliance and enjoyed the favours of her prostitution? Were not all the merchants in the world's marketplaces delighted with their riches obtained through her debaucheries? ... in her nightmare, she was being doubly repaid in her own coin for all that she had exacted unjustly from others... She was being made to drink a double dose of her own poisonous mixture."
From The Book of Revelation, paraphrased by Peter Lock in "The Great Harlot", 2002

STARING INTO THE ABYSS

by Jeremy Lee
Events in the financial world over the last two or three weeks have grabbed governments and industries by the throat, shaken them, and gradually increased pressure on the economic windpipe. Robert Gottliebsen (The Weekend Australian, 20,21/7/02) started his article:
"The American market has fallen too far to be going through a normal correction. What we have seen is the bursting of the biggest stock market bubble the world has ever seen. The repercussions are already beginning to vibrate round the globe and they will influence international economies for a long time ...."

Describing the Federal Reserve's Alan Greenspan's address to Congress, Peter Hartcher pointed to the crucial areas excluded:
"....Greenspan made his appearance amid a disastrous performance by Wall Street. While the chairman of the Federal Reserve was trying to assure everyone that all was well, the stock market was sending precisely the opposite signal.
By the end of trading on Wednesday (17/7 - Ed.) the Standard & Poor's index of 500 firms' share prices was down by 21 percent so far this year. The Nasdaq was down 28 percent.
If falling stock prices destroy enough wealth, they start to affect the performance of the economy. Since the start of this year the total wealth destroyed by lost share values is $US2.1 trillion ($A3.8 trillion) ...."

Pardon me? Two million US workers have been laid off in less than two years, and more are losing their jobs every day. The stock market crash has swept past America into Europe, and is starting to crunch Asian economies. And Australia, which saw $15 billion wiped off savings in 24 hours. All sorts of 'bogeymen' are being blamed - accountants, pessimists, over-investment during the nineties, etc. We haven't yet got to the excuse offered by one economist during the Great Depression, who believed that sun-spots had something to do with it!

David Wessel (Australian Financial Review, 19/7/02) suggested we had yet to find out: "With extraordinary speed, the US has gone from a macro-economic miracle to an economy enveloped by doubt about American-style government-supervised corporate capitalism ....A reminder that the lessons learned in mastering the economic rapids of the last few decades didn't teach us all we need to know to steer through the whitewater ahead ..."

Rushing back home from - of all places - Kyrgyzstan on July 24th, the US Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Paul O' Neill, immediately went into a huddle with a number of bankers, including Abbey Cohen of Goldman Sachs, John Lipsky of Morgan Stanley, Bruce Steinberg of Merrill Lynch, and William McDonough of the New York Federal Reserve. He refused to comment on emerging, except to say they'd had a good lunch. One former economic official, Harald Malmgren, commented: "The Administration has no strategy to deal with this. They're improvising."
While they were meeting it was revealed that another two trillion dollars had been wiped from values.


IT'S THE DEBT-SYSTEM, STUPID

Those now panicking under the financial meltdown are looking everywhere for the cause other than the right direction. Greed, corruption and gambling are symptoms of a deeper cause, and however great the surveillance and regulation, dealing with symptoms can provide no solution. The cause lies in the way the nations of the world are financed - solely through the extension of interest-bearing debt. Borrowing our way into the future may stimulate growth, efficiency and all the other buzz-words. The moment of crisis can be put off by getting leaner and meaner and undercutting markets to extend sales. The marvels of technology, which mean more production for less effort can prolong the agony for a considerable period. The casualties thrown out by the system burgeon. But sooner or later reality must catch up.

The latest figures show that the world is groaning under a total debt-burden of $400 trillion, while the combined GDP of all nations is one-tenth of that figure - some $40 trillion. How to make the 40 catch up with the 400? Under existing arrangements by borrowing more; and debt is expanding faster than the means to repay. Such a cut-throat system means that only the most vicious and corrupt can survive. The vicious and corrupt are themselves now toppling over. The 'gurus' who provide the theology for this madness can only manoeuvre the world between the extremes of boom-and-bust. When things are steaming they restrict borrowing. When things are stagnant they entice and beseech us to borrow more. But what do they do when interest rates and other restrictions are at historic lows and people are still too scared to borrow? Or have already borrowed so much they can go no further? They have no other answers. US interest rates have been below 2% for four years. They can try zero interest rates as Japan did. But what if that doesn't work?


THE REAL PICTURE IN THE US

The June Aida Parker Newsletter gives this stark oversight:
"... With zero savings, householders hold $7.6 trillion in debt. Such debt is at its highest level in US history, with consumers holding $1 trillion more in debt than they earn in disposable income. All told, householders hold $5.3 trillion in mortgage debt, with $1 trillion in new home mortgages acquired in the last year.
Personal bankruptcies last year were more than double those in 1990/91. 2002 will be even worse..... "
Morgan Stanley projects that the US trade deficit could reach 6% by next year, which means a deficit of $2 billion a day. Net real investment in the US is now nil.... "

Much of corporate America is in deep trouble. There have been five consecutive quarters of declining corporate profit. US companies now owe a record $4.7 trillion to banks, venture capitalists, bondholders, money funds and other institutions. The Fed says the debt is growing almost three times faster than GDP.....
"In 2001, more than 40,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. Estimates are that 652 big companies will have a tough time surviving another year. Xerox has $162 billion in debt, exponentially more than it has in assets. Nextel has $16.7 billion of debt, only $4.2 billion in cash reserves. Both could fall into bankruptcy. Del Monte, General Mills, Trump Hotels and Casinos, Ford, Kellogg, Campbell Soup, 7-Eleven, all are in trouble.....

"As hundreds of thousands of home owners are laid off, so the recent real estate bubble bursts. Sales of existing homes dropped 8.3% in March, and continued down in April and May. There's over-capacity and dwindling demand for new office space and shopping malls ....

"On top of all else, it is a banking catastrophe. A reported 4,913 banks suffered an increase in bad loans in the first nine months of 2001 .... "The final nail in the banks' coffin is derivatives: high-risk bets on stocks, bonds and foreign currencies that now stand at truly staggering levels. In 1998 US banks held about $27 trillion in derivative contracts. Today, according to the US General Accounting Office (GAO), US banks are exposed to more than $40.5 trillion in derivatives .... "Prospects are that the position will continue to get worse, not better.

In the face of worldwide economic recession, escalating geopolitical tensions, with Israel on the boil and Mr. Bush threatening war against Iraq's Saddam Hussein and the US market now in its 35th month of bear market decline, US recovery prospects appear nil .... "To quote Bill Buckley of The Privateer newsletter: 'America has imposed a draconian clampdown on the freedom and liberties of its own citizens. It has dived headlong into deficits. It has lost control of government spending. It has antagonized its friends and allies with import tariffs, demands for military alliances and ultimatums that you are with us or against us. No neutrality is allowed.

For any historian, all that is necessary is to substitute Greece, Rome, France, Spain, Germany, Britain or indeed USSR for the US in the above paragraph. All these events have been duplicated by EVERY empire in the process of its dissolution ...Yes, there will be the odd spike, accompanied by frenzied claims that "the market has bottomed"; "the corner has been turned"; and that "there's a light at the end of the tunnel". We can expect more genial smiles from our beloved Treasurer as the cracks deepen. But the future is bleak indeed.


THE FUTURE OF TELSTRA

As predicted, the Nationals have caved in over the sale of Telstra. The government is obviously desperate for a $30 billion or so 'kitty' to cover the reality of Australia's own debt crisis. The Australian Financial Review (19/7/02), under the heading EU WANTS LIMITS ON TELSTRA LIFTED, reported:
"... As the debate over privatization of Telstra continues, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said that if Australia wanted Europe to make cuts to trade barriers in agriculture, it would have to make concessions in areas including foreign investment in Telstra. In an interview earlier this week, Mr. Lamy said the EU did not have a position on whether Telstra should be in public or private ownership but it wanted foreign companies to be able to own more than 49 percent of the company ...."

Under the GATS treaty coming up for ratification in November, the foreign ownership of Telstra will be a fait accomplish - unless enough Australians can say no loud enough to shake our politicians.


THE GLOBALISATION OF STRESS

Occasionally, Phillip Adams can be perceptive. Writing in The Weekend Australian (20-21/7/02) he said:
"Every few days I climb on a plane and head off to address a conference of school principals, accountants, Family Court lawyers, architects, librarians, psychiatrists, historians, scientists, politicians, information technology workers, film-makers, public servants, nurses, vets, people with disabilities, groups involved in reconciliation or the refugee issue, Friends of the ABC, voluntary euthanasia advocates, environmentalists, Humanists or, cross my heart, a couple of hundred Pentecostal pastors. "And with the exception of Pentecostal pastors - who view Armageddon with enthusiasm - almost every audience is full of people who see their cause as hopeless or their profession as doomed ...."
How can that be? Prime Minister John Howard has been telling the rest of the world that the Australian economy is better than at any time he can remember! And he couldn't be wrong, surely?

CALLING DOWN THE 'WRATH' OF GOD

by Betty Luks
I don't like the implied threat in Pastor Wedrat's (Chinchilla, Qld.) letter to those who would dare criticise modern Israel's treatment of the subjected peoples of Palestine (The Chronicle, July 25th, 2002 - "Israel God's chosen nation") and I can only say, with spokesmen such as this man, no wonder organised Christianity is in such a schizophrenic state.

People, who try to live by 'the golden rule' quite apart from any church organization must shake their heads in disbelief at the double standards applied by such people as the good pastor. He warns his readers (no matter how the leaders of modern Israel behave, no matter how they treat the subjected peoples of Palestine), "The nations of the world need to be very careful how they treat Israel as a nation, simply because 'the law of the harvest' applies: 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' (Gal. 6:7)." But then, is this man referring to the Golden Rule of Jesus Christ, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", or is he referring to those ancient 'laws' of cursing and revenge legislated and imposed upon a people by the leaders of that tiny province of Yehud three thousand years ago?

Too many people cannot see the double standard in their claims to be 'Christian' and defense of the inhumane treatment meted out to the Palestinian people - in their own land - by the occupying forces of modern Israel. Definitely a philosophy of the-one-way-street.

Another example
John Chuckman gives another example of this philosophy: "Disturbing the planet and blaming the mess on others" - March 1st, 2002, Yellowtimes.org - Canada. Having written articles critical of America, he was asked why he hated the nation. He replied he didn't hate America but there were things about America he found deeply disturbing.
"What a big fat disappointment America is today," he criticised, "an affluent, noisy, moral netherworld. A place where fundamentalist pitchmen in blow-dried coifs and pan-cake makeup plead to fill the moral void, but only add to the noise. A place where jingoism and mediocrity are lavishly praised... A people without grace who always blame others for what goes wrong." Again the philosophy of the-one-way-street!

A 'do unto others' approach
Rector Jonathan Holland (Queensland Anglican newspaper Focus July 2002) presents a more balanced approach to a grave problem:
"The war on terrorism," he writes, "is really an attempt to address the symptom, rather than the causes. In hindsight the response to the attack on the World Trade Centre should have been to treat it as a crime needing investigation, rather than a decision to declare all out war on terrorists. The question that should have been asked and addressed is 'what is it that gives rise to terrorism?' "

The answer for the Rector is two fold
First, poverty around the world is a breeding ground for terrorism: He believes U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson got it right when she said the world superpowers should pay more attention to healing Third World ills, if they were serious about tackling terrorism. In a world of plenty, where women spend fortunes to stay thin, others die for want of a decent meal.

The second breeding ground is injustice. There can be no peace without justice. Here he gives examples of the double standard applied by the 'international community'. "Unless justice is brought to places like Palestine and Israel there will never be peace; and there will always be terrorist responses. He compares the attitudes adopted on the one hand towards Iraq and Israel on the other. Iraq is continually criticised, especially by America, for failing to meet UN resolutions; while Israel on the other hand has no pressure put on it to meet similar UN resolutions, in particular Security Council resolution 242 calling for it to leave the occupied territories.
"Israel's obligation to obey UN resolutions is exactly the same as Iraq's, yet Israel receives $US3 billion every year in aid from America", he observes.
"Meanwhile," he cautions, "Australia should be wary about appearing to give unconditional support to American policies, especially foreign policies."


THE BANTU MIGRATION TO THE USA - WHAT'S GOING ON!

by Antonia Feitz
It was recently reported that 12,000 Somalis will be resettled in towns and cities scattered across the US (Weekend Australian, 20-21/7/02). What's going on? The UN High Commissioner for Refugees agreed that the Somalis - Bantu illiterates who've never seen a flush toilet - will find it difficult to adapt to the Western world. But hey! they'll attend "a two-week course in cultural orientation and basic survival skills to help them to cope in the West". As well, they'll be informed how the US social security system works.
As far as I know the US social security system isn't open-ended as Australia's is.

Whatever the facts, why are non English-speaking African Bantus being fast-tracked as American migrants. Said one African bureaucrat, "It will be tough for this generation, but it is still worth doing. The children will benefit ..."

The Bantu migration - do Americans know about this "epic migration"? - has already started.
Since late June convoys have carried thousands of Bantus to temporary accommodation in Kakuma. The first groups are expected to leave by December after all their US immigration details have been completed. As these Bantu don't even speak English it's reasonable to ask what on earth is going on here. Considering that such an exercise will cost US millions of dollars wouldn't it make more economic sense to spend those US dollars on establishing infrastructure in Somalia? Wouldn't it be a better use of money to fund roadworks, waterworks, health clinics and schools in Somalia rather than export illiterate peasants to the US? What's going on?


MUGABE EMBRACES FAMINE ON BEHALF OF HIS PEOPLE

from Jan Raath in Harare, July 24th, 2002 - taken from Neil Baird's e-mail.

The danger of widespread famine and death in Zimbabwe increased yesterday as President Mugabe rejected appeals by the United Nations to reverse his Government's disastrous policies on land redistribution. Speaking at the annual State Opening of Parliament, Mr Mugabe hailed the scheme "an unparalleled success", saying that almost half of about 5,000 white-owned commercial farms had been transferred to blacks. The Government would ensure that "no one takes advantage of our stomachs to get to the soul of our sovereignty", he said. "Yes, we need food assistance from governments of goodwill, but we certainly abhor sinister interests which seek surreptitiously to advance themselves under cover of humanitarian assistance. "We reject any attempt to use the present drought relief effort to smuggle in failed and inappropriate International Monetary Fund policies . . . as neo-colonial manipulation under the guise of globalisation."

His remarks were seen as a direct attack on a UN appeal launched last Friday to raise £180 million, mostly for 1.5 million tonnes of food, to avert what experts say may be one of Africa's worst disasters. The UN said that Mr. Mugabe's campaign to seize white-owned land had "seriously affected one of the most productive sectors of the economy and is a leading cause of the current crisis". It urged the restoration of the rule of law on white-owned farms and the removal of illegal squatters. Mr. Mugabe maintains that the farm seizures are the only way to ensure that landless blacks have access to land, but the programme has brought commercial farming to a halt and left the country with a two-million-tonne grain deficit this year.
The UN cited the state-run Grain Marketing Board's rigid monopoly of grain imports and trade inside the country, and price controls on basic commodities that force farmers and traders to sell their produce well below market prices.
Measures to cut inflation, now at 114 percent, had to be taken. The currency, officially fixed at £1 to Z$85 but trading on the parallel market at £1 to Z$1,000, had to be liberalised.
Mr. Mugabe responded: "Devaluation can only be advocated by saboteurs and enemies." The remark was an attack on Simba Makoni, his Finance Minister and the only member of his Cabinet bold enough to criticise him. Mr. Makoni recommended devaluation this month.

Six million people, half of Zimbabwe's population, are at risk of starvation and death and the UN appeal said: "There is a serious risk of famine and loss of life in the coming months." The Zimbabwean crisis was not a traditional emergency, it said. Drought and the HIV/Aids epidemic had contributed, but "policy choices are at the heart of the problem".
Mr. Mugabe denied blame, saying that the country's problems had been caused by "continual British machinations and the consequences of the drought".

Within minutes of the start of his speech, the Movement for Democratic Change, which holds 57 of the 120 seats in Parliament, walked out. Its MPs refuse to recognise Mr. Mugabe's right to address Parliament after presidential elections in March that were rejected by most of the world as fraudulent and violent. Outside, a cavalry and infantry parade became a grim affair as Zimbabwean Air Force helicopters hovered, watching for a promised demonstration by a pro-democracy group, and hundreds of police blocked the streets. The crowd of spectators, mostly supporters of his ruling Zanu (PF) party, was among the smallest since independence 22 years ago.


"NO GATS TREATY SELL-OUT" POSTCARD

We are pleased to report on the initiative of one of our supporters: a "NO GATS TREATY SELLOUT" POSTCARD CAMPAIGN. He has produced a postcard to be sent to your political representative asking for 'an absolute guarantee that our Government-provided services will not be controlled in any way by foreign corporations.' The postcard spells out just what will happen under this treacherous Treaty. He asks readers to send stamps to cover the costs: Five x 45 cent stamps for 10 cards. Ten x 45 cent stamps for 20 cards. Twenty x 45 cent stamps for 50 cards. Thirty x 45 cent stamps for 100 cards. Mail to: Bernie Bourke, RSD Box 52, Bacchus Marsh Vic. 3340. Ph: 03 5369 4316 Fax: 03 5369 4297. Don't forget to include your name and address for return mail.

MEA TAPES RELAUNCHED

We are pleased to announce MEA Tape Library has been relaunched. To celebrate, MEA Tapes make the following offer to On Target readers. Hear MEA founder, Mr. Tom Fielder, speak on why Australia is in such a parlous state... and what we can do about it! . The Failure of Intellect . Where have all the Social Crediters gone? . Solving the Debt Dilemma . Escape from the 'Wood' party Hear four Tom Fielder tapes for $20.00 posted: MEA Tapes, Box 248, East Caulfied, Vic., 3145.

QUEENSLANDERS - BOOK SERVICES ANNOUNCEMENT

Due to personal matters affecting our service-provider in Queensland, the Queensland book service will be 'out of action' for a while. In which case, those Queenslanders who may have unfulfilled back-orders, or outstanding book orders, please contact Mrs. Maureen Burton, Heritage Bookmailing Services who will attend to all matters needing attention. Please contact her by phone, (08) 9574 6042, or write to PO Box 163, Chidlow, WA, 6556.

SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Dates for your diary: Wednesday, August 28th, 2002. An open night, with your turn to have a say; 5 minutes for each speaker. It is also the Annual General Meeting which will only concern members (who will receive an annual report during August). Wednesday, September 25th, 2002. Guest speaker will be Mr. Leon Grigor and his subject will be "The Establishment's Fake Nazi-KKK Brigade".

WEST AUSTRALIA'S 36th STATE SEMINAR & DINNER

West Australian supporters please note the following details in your diaries. Plan to be there!Seminar: "A Legacy of Terror! Terrorism-Globalisation-Servitude". Speakers: Introduction, Mr. Murray Pope, State Director, Australian League of Rights; Mr. Bill Daly, National Director, New Zealand League of Rights; Mr. Peter Davis, Mayor of Port Lincoln, South Australia. Saturday, August 10th, 2002; 1.45pm to 5.15pm. Venue is The Rose & Crown, 105 Swan Street, Guildford. Entry is $12.00 per person. Dinner: Saturday, August 10th, 2002, address as above. For bookings and further details: The Secretary, phone/fax (08) 9574 6042 or phone (08) 9574 6260.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S 34th STATE SEMINAR, DINNER, ACTION CONFERENCE

to be held Saturday/Sunday, August 17th-18th, 2002. The entry is $12.50 per person.Seminar - "The Matrix of a People": Parish Centre Christ Church, 1708 Main South Road, O'Halloran Hill, SA. Register from 12.30pm; Keynote address 1.30pm.
Speakers: Mr. Bill Daly, National Director, New Zealand League of Rights, "Following the Axis of Evil Trail";
Mrs. Kathy Scarborough, B.Sc., "Vaccination: the Right to Choose or Refuse";
Bishop John Hepworth, Traditional Anglican Communion in Australia, "A Christian Man's Goods... What does this mean?"

Dinner - To be seated by 6.45pm. The 34th "Frank Bawden Memorial Dinner" also to be held in the Parish Centre Christ Church, Saturday, August 17th, 2002. $24.00 per person for a 3-Course meal. Please bring your own hard drinks.

Sunday Action Conference: August 18th, Divine Service 10.00am. Action Conference 10.30am. Wheaton House, 190 South Terrace, Adelaide. Wheaton House is part of Pulteney Grammar School - it is sandwiched between the main school buildings (on the left) and the restaurant/motel next door on the right. This Sunday Action Conference is limited to those the League considers to be eligible to attend.
Please register name and address by phoning (08) 8395 9826, or by return of Response Slips.Sunday Lunch: Those attending must indicate they intend to lunch with us. $10.00 per person for substantial sandwiches and fruit platter. Response Slips, with payments, to be in by Friday, August 9th, 2002.


VICTORIAN MEETINGS

BILL DALY, NEW ZEALAND'S NATIONAL DIRECTOR, Bill Daly, will be speaking at:
HORSHAM - Monday, August 19th, CWA HALL, 8.00pm
MELBOURNE - Tuesday, August 20th, HERITAGE BOOK SHOP, 8.00pm - Phone bookings only.
NUMURKAH - Wednesday, August 21st, 8.00pm - RING (03) 5856 1315
TRARALGON - REGIONAL DINNER, 6.30pm. RING (03) 5633 1969
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159