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17 January 2003. Thought for the Week: "There is, in a certain type of metaphysics, a theory, or rather statement, that animals have a 'Group' soul, and that the real test of difference between the animal kingdom and the human race is the individuality of the human soul. That is to say, the first 'duty' of the human being is to dominate his relationship with the group soul. This means, if it means anything, that the supreme aim of evolution is differentiation, and that the determined effort to present human beings, and to treat human beings, as a collectivity, is the Sin against the Holy Ghost, for which there is no forgiveness... An organisation which is expressly designed to make use of individuals without allowing them to understand the true object for which they are being used is inherently Evil... A quarrel between two individuals proceeds from something inside them. A modern war is a collective prize fight, promoted by outsiders for the benefit of themselves and the destruction of the contestants."
C.H. Douglas "The Big Idea" 1942
TRAGEDY AND HOPE
by Jeremy Lee
Towards the end of 2002 a landmark case in the Australian High Court opened a Pandora's Box. Mining magnate Joseph Gutnick sued Dow Jones for an article published in the United States in October 2000. The article appeared in the financial magazine Barrons, which has five subscribers in Victoria. The article also appeared on the Internet, and about 100 Australians are believed to have downloaded it. The Court ruled that any material appearing on the Internet is liable to prosecution in the country and under that country's jurisdiction, where it is read.
Mark Day, commenting on the case in The Australian (11/12/02), said: "...The decision means publishers must take responsibility for their words in every one of the 300-odd legal jurisdictions around the world. Any defamations in the published material occur where the material is downloaded and read, not where it is uploaded onto an internal server ...."
The Hong Kong-based Asia Times
commented: "Australia's highest court has paved the way for
China and other oppressive governments to apply their home-grown
standards to anything published anywhere in the world. That
ruling will help the world's autocrats sleep better, while
keeping media companies and reporters awake and their lawyers
THE SLAVERING DOGS OF WAR
All through 2002 the pressure for war against Iraq, relentlessly pursued by Israel's Likud and the club of Zionist-oriented hawks within the US State Department was increased month by month. Looking back, several "D-Days" were canvassed by the media, and people were supposed to accept the inevitability of war. Speed was essential to a successful outcome. But one hitch after another kept postponing an invasion, which allowed time for two things: firstly, more and more information, largely from the Internet, reached the public through the chinks and cracks in "official" news coverage; and secondly, in country after country an ever-growing resistance to war began to emerge with, in some cases, huge anti-war demonstrations.
Prime Minister Blair in Britain found the support for his war rhetoric ebbing drastically. President Schroeder in Germany managed to bolster his slipping popularity in the polls by a strong anti-war campaign. Grudgingly, the US was forced to accept a United Nations role and the return of weapons inspectors. But it made it obvious that the outcome would make no difference to its war intentions. So far a very big team of inspectors with the best technology money can buy has found no sign of "weapons of mass destruction". Presumably, it was briefed, before going to Iraq, on any and all evidence in the files of western powers as to details and locations of suspected weapons.
As 2003 opens, President Bush's finger - or the unseen powers that are holding his hand - is on the biggest arms build-up and troop deployment the world has ever seen. There is enough fire-power to blow the Middle East to pieces. The United Nations has warned of an expected 900,000 refugees from any Iraq war, to add to the millions already dislocating borders and facilities round the world.
Ordinary people are also taking note of the seemingly-different reactions to different countries. Why no threat of a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, whose nuclear programme is far in advance of Iraq's (if the latter exists at all)? North Korea is supplying arms to such countries as Afghanistan and Yemen. Yet George Bush is conciliatory against a country with the potential to retaliate. Only the powerless are legitimate military targets it seems.
Israel, Pakistan and India, and obviously China, are all capable of nuclear aggression. Yet no gun is currently pointed in their direction. It is the 'reconstruction' of the Middle East, both in regard to oil and the festering sore of the occupied Palestinian territories, that is really on the drawing board of global war.
BURNING THE CAMPS
The Christmas period in Australia saw a co-ordinated spate of arson in Australia's refugee camps. High quality facilities were torched one after the other, causing millions of dollars damage. There seems little doubt that there was outside assistance in the organization behind this sabotage. The aim is to allow any and all refugees, whether illegal or not, immediate facilities in Australian communities.
The Weekend Australian (14-15/12/02)
told us that 14,000 illegals, whose claim for refugee status
had been denied, had gone underground in Australia: "Almost
14,000 failed asylum-seekers are on the run in Australia after
having their refugee claims rejected, immigration authorities
say. "An investigation by The Weekend Australian suggests
that many absconders are being supported by an increasingly
sophisticated underground network providing accommodation,
medical care and financial support ...."
BE ALARMED - AND ALERT
$15 million dollars will be spent on
the advertisement campaign which has started with Steve Liebman
telling us to report suspicious incidents and to "be alert
but not alarmed". Like many others, I have wondered what's
behind it. It looks suspiciously like a tax-funded electioneering
advertisement. There's no doubt, war, terrorism and the refugee
crisis between them are, if played deftly, election winners.
The Coalition may well have the pretext for a double dissolution
in the next six months.
Former NSW Auditor-General, Tony Harris, writing in The Australian Financial Review (7/1/03) said: " .... One of the explicit values the advertisements promote - that we should be alert - is incapable of sensible action. How many Australians will ever be in the position to notice the preparations made by terrorists? .... When the Commonwealth government asks its people to participate as anti-terrorism vigilantes, one has to be suspicious of its motives, because the untrained looking for the unlikely will consume considerable resources for nothing of value...."
The front page of The Australian Financial Review (2/1/03), as the world's stock markets opened for the first time in 2003, summed up the current outlook for the world's financial system: "Global financial markets open trading today dogged by fears about the health of the American economy and the possibility of war with Iraq, after Wall Street ended 2002 suffering from its third year of consecutive losses and its worst annual performance since the mid-1970s..... "
A total of about $US2.8 trillion was
wiped from the value of America's listed companies in a year
marred by accounting scandals, terrorism fears, escalating
conflict with Iraq and a US economy that weakened in its second
THE CHERIE ON TONY'S CAKEThe Chronicle (Toowoomba, 2/1/03) gave us this little gem:
"LONDON: Cherie Blair yesterday topped a poll of Britons who should be deported after people were prevented from voting for her husband Tony. The Prime Minister was removed from the survey early on because so many people wanted to pick him." Various exiles have found hidey-holes in odd places in times past. Trotsky hid in South America where he was eventually assassinated with an ice-pick. Idi Amin continues to get a sun tan in Saudi Arabia. Mugabe will probably end up in Timbuktu, or a guest of Gaddhafi in Libya. But where on earth would Tony and Cherie end up? Who, we may ask, would have them? Patagonia? Pitcairn Island? Every country, in the end, has to draw the line somewhere!
The Ides of March for 2003 do not look good. But more people are waking up than ever before. The inevitable ain't necessarily so!
PETROL AND BIOFUELS
by Antonio Feitz
In reply, the mechanic said that there's no way any government in the world really wants self sufficiency. There's no way any government really wants sustainability either, he added. When I looked blank he said, just consider the tax revenue from petrol: governments can't AFFORD to go green! He's right. That's why there are so many carrots such as 3-year warranties for people to keep on trading in their cars every few years. There are sticks too to 'encourage' people to consume oil. As he said, it's getting harder and harder to register older cars - for 'safety' reasons of course. But there's a catch to upgrading, and it's more than the sinful waste of energy and natural resources to produce a 'throwaway' product. According to the mechanic, older cars can "with very little modification" be converted to run on biofuels. Newer cars with their computer fuel injected systems can't. So once you're hooked into ever-trading up you're a 'gonner' as far as biofuels go.
He also told me that years ago somebody invented a ceramic engine block. Unlike today's engines, it would never wear out. It never saw the light of day because our economy is based on waste and inefficiency. Instead of weeping at the felling of renewable trees isn't it time the greens established some cred with regional Australia? A campaign to introduce home grown, non-polluting biofuels in Australia would surely be a winner.
FORCE, FREEDOM AND THE STATE
by Joseph Sobran
"A few years ago it seemed inconceivable
that freedom of speech would come under attack in Western
civilisation... Today free speech is very much in danger...
The enemies of freedom never wanted free speech, except for
themselves. Now that they have achieved considerable power
in the West, they are trying vigorously to deny it to their
enemies. Their pretext? "Hate". That is, "hate" as they define
it, "hate" speech only applies to their enemies. Apparently
their own speech no matter how vitriolic, malicious and libellous,
is "love" speech. Speech is deemed hateful not by the intention
of the speaker, but by the reaction of the hearers, especially
organised minority groups who enjoy the privileged status
of officially certified victims: Jews, Negroes, Indians, homosexuals
and any others who want to claim to have been "offended" by
others' speech - except white Christians of course. They are
States have gone bad
In a high-tech version of book-burning even Internet websites have been ordered to shut down. To us in the US, with our strong constitutional protections under the First Amendment, all this seems baffling. We can hardly believe it is happening in our sister democracies, because to us democracy seems inseparable from the right of free discussion. If people can't communicate freely, how can they vote freely? How can you have an open debate with a gag in your mouth? To us, freedom of speech is very nearly a sacred thing. It isn't just one of our freedoms, but the sovereign freedom - the one on which all others depend...
The first great American 'anarchist'
DR. FRED TOBEN TO APPEAL FEDERAL COURT WEBSITE DECISIONDr. Fred Toben has filed an appeal that challenges the Federal Court decision brought down against him about a year ago. Those who have followed Fred Toben's battles will know he represented himself at the Federal Court and "did not offer a valid legal defence." (Australian, 26/11/02). This time Fred will be legally represented - but he needs financial assistance. It is our understanding the Australian Civil Liberties Union is involved in helping raise the funds for the legal representative. If you can help please send cash or cheque to: Toben Defence Fund, PO Box 1137, Carlton, Vic., 3053. Direct electronic transfers can be made to: Toben Defence Fund, National Australia Bank, 271 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia 3000. The Account Number is: 083.170.54878.5499
A SNIPPET IN THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
"Visitors to the New England region with an interest in fringe political movements might care to visit the Australian League of Rights Collection at the University of New England. A fiercely anti-communist organisation, the League bases its principles on the 'social credit' theories of C.H. Douglas, a rabidly anti-Semitic British economic theorist. The university collection comprises a range of League publications. Today, 9am-5pm. Karl Schanide Special Collections Room, Dixson Library, University of New England, Armidale..." 8/1/2003.
Editor's note: I wonder how many viewed the Collection? Remember the Adelaide Constitutional Museum Exhibition the League held a number of years ago? The rabble rousers and rent-a-crowds had Spike Milligan as their chief spokesman against us. But just quietly, we think the Museum authorities were pleased with it all. We heard on the grapevine the Museum had more people go through their doors during our exhibition than at any other time up to then!
"HOUSE" TACTICS LEAVE VETERAN FARMER AMAZEDThe following is part of an article from a full-page advertisement in the Land Newspaper (NSW) (26/12/02) by John and Pauline Uebergang, farmers from north western NSW.
"Recently the Uebergang's took the time to visit Parliament House, sitting in the gallery while Independent Members Tony Windsor and Bob Katter, took up the issue of the drought. What occurred angered and outraged them. They witnessed the most outrageous actions of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, as well as many members of the House of Representatives, when most of them walked out of the House and did not bother to stay and hear the debate. Even the journalists who had been in the House to cover the Telstra debate, left en masse - only one remained when Mr. Windsor tried to introduce the issue of the drought and its effects on rural and farming communities. The behaviour of the major parties in parliament on the day in question was nothing short of disgraceful, spiteful and despicable.
The major parties should be mindful that Mr. Windsor and Mr. Katter were elected democratically by the constituents in their electorates, equal in quality to themselves. Don't they consider the drought a matter for serious and ethical debate? Mr. Uebergang said he considered the gagging of the debate as disgraceful and disrespectful to the people in the electorates held by what he termed gallant Independent statesmen. Both Tony Windsor (New England) and Bob Katter (Kennedy) have been scathing in their criticism of their treatment by the major parties on November 12th.
For those who would like to phone or write to the Uebergangs and commend them on their initiative, the contact details are:
K.J. Uebergang, MSF 2284, Moree, NSW, 2400. Phone: (02) 6754 0284
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Australian, January 7th. 2003:
G-G is the commander-in-chief
BASIC FUNDWhen the office folk went on their well-earned rest just before the Christmas/NewYear Season the Basic Fund had reached the total of $12,962.50 - thanks to the most generous donations of some of our supporters. We still have a long haul to reach the target - will you help us get there?
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBThe first CSC for the year will be held Wednesday, January 29th, 2003, at the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown. There is ample parking at the Club, situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. There are nearby facilities for a meal before the meeting. The cost of your attendance is $4.00 per person. guest speaker is Mr. Kenneth McCauley and he will speak on "The Labor Movement - National Versus International".
APPOINTMENT OF LEAGUE OFFICIALSWe are pleased to announce Mr. Maurice Shaya has accepted the responsibility of Assistant State Director in New South Wales. Mr. Louis Cook of Numurkah has accepted the responsibility of State Director in Victoria. We thank them both for taking on the responsibility of League assistance and service in New South Wales and Victoria.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
Independent member for Hammond, Peter Lewis, is working very hard to give South Australians a say in the performance and accounta-bility of Governance in this State. Of particular interest is the proposal for Citizen's Initiated Referenda which is on the agenda. This is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for South Australians - but it is not going to happen if they let the opportunity slip through their fingers! Invite Peter Lewis to speak to your local community! Make the opportunity available for him to explain to your community what he seeks to achieve - and give your local community the chance to tell him what they want.
Submissions called for
SENATE INQUIRY INTO GATS AND US-FTA
General Agreement on Trade in Services and the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement Submissions due March 21st, 2003. For further information on the Senate Inquiry please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.piac.asn.qu
The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and
Trade Committee invite individuals and organisations with
knowledge and information relevant to the inquiry's terms
of reference to lodge submissions by Friday, March 21st, 2003.
The Senate has decided on the terms of the Inquiry which the
Public Interest Advocacy Centre lobbied for.
Send submissions to: The Secretary, Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee Suite S1.57 Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT, 2600, or E-mail: email@example.com
It's no use complaining AFTER the GATS treaty is signed and is costing you and your family dearly!
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