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11 July 2003. Thought for the Week: "Once get the mental attitude well established in oneself that institutions exist only legitimately to serve individuals, and it is possible to make demands on Government Departments with which their organisation cannot deal, but are yet entirely reasonable. It is not necessary, and not desirable, to organise this kind of action. The underlying idea is to call the bluff of institutionalism, and to make it deliver the goods or expose the fact that it can't And the root of the matter is this - mind your business, and allow no man to make a business of minding you. Listen, in reason, to what advice seems to be backed by proper experience and ability, and pay no attention to windy idealists. And then - mind your own business. It is in sore need of your attention."
C. H. Douglas in "The Big Idea" 1941
RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING (IF YOU CAN AFFORD THEM)
Section 100 of the Constitution is nothing
if not succinct:
Both government and private control over "the rain that falls on the just and the unjust" has already gone a long way. In New South Wales a new law which came in on July 1 allowed the separation of water titles from the land. New companies and banks are already offering loans to farmers with water titles as a separate security. The Australian Financial Review (16/5/03) said: "The new laws will also make it possible for a farmer to rent out his water rights but keep ownership of the land. Under the old rules you needed to sell the water (because the licence needed to be attached to land). Now you can go and live in a block of flats on the coast, still trade your water into that market, and keep the land ."
But banks already holding existing mortgages with farmers are fearful their security will diminish once water rights are uncoupled from the land. The article continued: " The banks were working through the first tranche of 10,000 water-attached mortgages in NSW in "a massive exercise to shore up those mortgages."
"Six days later The Australian
Financial Review (22/5/03) reported: "Australia's
first speculative water rights investment company was given
approval by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission
this week to launch a prospectus. The company, National Water
Bank, hopes to raise more than $27 million to buy water licences
in NSW, which last year rose more than 40 per cent in value.
National Water Bank will be the first self-declared speculator
to take advantage of the new Water Management Act 2000, which
takes effect in NSW on July 1 as part of national water reform
due to be ratified at the next meeting of the Coalition of
Australian Governments in August. The agreement will make
water rights a commodity that can be traded nationally to
rationalize the use of water and steer it to its highest and
best use. For the first time, water rights will not be attached
to a parcel of land
FORMER MAYOR SPEAKS OUT
With the above in mind, a statement by
former Narrabri Mayor and grain farmer Bevan O'Regan deserves
the closest attention of farmers throughout the nation:
Firstly, John Anderson is a federal minister
and should butt out of State matters.
It's about time people realized water cannot be traded from a farm because water below each farm boundary to the center of the earth belongs to the land and not the land-owner. This is not the case with oil, gas, minerals or coal, but it is the case with water. Water, air, vegetation and soil make up a property right.
Mr Anderson gives recognition to the
1994 intergovernmental Agreement on Water (IAW). This again
is another "think-tank" and, like COAG, should not
in any way be given any credibility by any water user.
If Mr Anderson is going to use the precedent
of Bob Hawke's use of the High Court judgment in the Tasmanian
Dams case, then the argument in this case is flawed. With
unabated arrogance, there now is a prospectus to sell shares
in water on the Stock Exchange using the National Water Bank
Limited (CAN 102 723 777).
It is coincidental that Mr Anderson who,
as Minister of Primary Industries, had a large role in setting
up a company called "AWB Limited International"
to relieve farmers of their right to manage their wheat industry
is now at the cutting edge of an international company Water
Bank to sell farmers water through the Stock Exchange.
We have recently been regaled through the media with pictures of irate settlers in Palestinian territories resisting the Israeli army's dismantling of illegal settlements. This is supposed, one imagines, to convince us of Sharon's sincerity in following the "road-map" for peace. But an article in The Weekend Australian (28-29/6/03) under the heading ISRAEL CAUGHT FUNDING ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS, reported:
"The Israeli Government is funneling money into the establishment of illegal settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank and then paying to have them dismantled, an Israeli television station reported yesterday. The funds for setting up the wildcat settler outposts were channeled through a branch of the government-linked Jewish Agency, the station revealed .
As part of his commitment to the US-backed
"road map" for peace, Mr Sharon pledged to get rid
of the wildcat settlements in the West Bank.
Israel has a long record of promising
one thing and doing the opposite. A halt to illegal settlements
was a condition of the ill-fated Oslo Accords, which Israel
simply ignored. Meanwhile, Shimon Peres, former prime minister
of Israel, writing in The Wall Street Journal (24/6/03)
has issued a strident call for the United States, Europe,
Russia and the United Nations to issue a combined warning
to the ayatollahs in Iran. They "
.need to be warned
that they are crossing the tolerance threshold of the world
- a world that will not tolerate the existence of terrorists
with weapons of mass destruction
There is no doubt that Iran is next on the list for Israel's and Washington's zio-hawks. But with the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan deteriorating by the day, and, under the new 'Downer doctrine' Australians deployed on what looks like a lengthy sojourn in the Solomons, it may take much more time to get round to Tehran.
DAVID IRVING'S VIDEO CAUSING A FURORE
The Australian 4th July, 2003
trumpets the news of a Jewish group's bid to stop the Melbourne
Underground Film Festival (MUFF) organisers from screening
David Irving's video, "The Search for Truth in History",
whilst, during the same evening, having a live telephone hook-up
with the British historian. ("Outrage at Jewish bid to
On the subject of Irving's video, Free Speech Victoria president, Terry Lane, said the legal bid by the Jewish group was a pointless demonstration of the Jewish community's lobbying power, since Irving's ideas were widely available on the internet. Quite! But, as he rightly observed, "This is another outrageous attempt by one small section of the community to determine what the whole of the community will see, hear and read."
MUFF's director, Richard Wolstencroft said it was vital to air views that many in the community disagree with, as a fundamental part of free debate. We are sure the present publicity will be a bonus for MUFF and will boost the number of patrons who attend the video showing.
The David Irving video and audio, "The Search for Truth in History" are readily available from the League's Melbourne Book Shop. Prices include postage. Video: $35.00. Audio: $10.00. Send cheque/money order to: Box 1052, GPO, Melbourne 3001. The League carries the full range of David Irving's books.
BUSH TO NGOs: WATCH YOUR MOUTHS
by Naomi Klein:
"The Bush administration has found
its next target for pre-emptive war, but it's not Iran, Syria
or North Korea - not yet, anyway. Before launching any new
foreign adventures, the Bush gang has some homeland housekeeping
to take care of. It is going to sweep up those pesky non-governmental
organisations that are helping to turn world opinion against
U.S. bombs and brands. The war on NGOs is being fought on
two clear fronts. One buys the silence and complicity of mainstream
humanitarian and religious groups by offering lucrative reconstruction
contracts. The other marginalizes and criminalises more independent-minded
NGOs by claiming that their work is a threat to democracy.
On May 21 in Washington, Andrew Natsios, the head of USAID, gave a speech blasting U.S. NGOs for failing to play a role many of them didn't realise they had been assigned: doing public relations for the U.S. government. According to InterAction, the network of 160 relief and development NGOs that hosted the conference, Mr. Natsios was 'irritated' that starving and sick Iraqi and Afghan children didn't realise that their food and vaccines were coming to them courtesy of George W. Bush. From now on, NGOs had to do a better job of linking their humanitarian assistance to U.S. foreign policy and making it clear that they are "an arm of the U.S. government." If they didn't, InterAction reported, "Natsios threatened to personally tear up their contracts and find new partners."
For aid workers, there are even more strings attached to U.S. dollars. USAID told several NGOs that having been awarded humanitarian contracts that they cannot speak to the media - all requests from reporters must go through Washington. Mary McClymont, CEO of InterAction, calls the demands "unprecedented," and says, "It looks like the NGOs aren't independent and can't speak for themselves about what they see and think."
Many humanitarian leaders are shocked
to hear their work described as "an arm" of government;
most see themselves as independent (that would be the "non-governmental"
part of the name). The best NGOs are loyal to their causes,
not to countries, and they aren't afraid to blow the whistle
on their own governments. Think of Medecins Sans Frontieres
('Doctors Without Borders') standing up to the White House
and the European Union over AIDS drug patents, or Human Rights
Watch's campaign against the death penalty in the United States.
Mr. Natsios himself embraced this independence in his previous
job as vice-president of World Vision. During the North Korean
famine, he didn't hesitate to blast his own government for
withholding food aid, calling the Clinton administration's
response "too slow" and its claim that politics
was not a factor "total nonsense."
These days, NGOs are supposed to do nothing
more than quietly pass out care packages with a big "brought
to you by the U.S.A." logo attached - in public-private
partnerships with Bechtel and Halliburton, of course. That
is the message of NGO Watch, an initiative of the American
Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Federalist Society for
Law and Public Policy Studies, which takes aim at the growing
political influence of the non-profit sector. The stated purpose
of the Web site, launched on June 11, is to "bring clarity
and accountability to the burgeoning world of NGOs."
This bizarre initiative takes as its premise the idea that there is something sinister about "unelected" groups of citizens getting together to try to influence their government. "The extraordinary growth of advocacy NGOs in liberal democracies has the potential to undermine the sovereignty of constitutional democracies," the site claims. Coming from the AEI, this is not without irony.
As Raj Patel, policy analyst at the California-based NGO Food First, points out, "The American Enterprise Institute is an NGO itself, and it is supported by the most powerful corporations on the planet. They are accountable only to their board, which includes Motorola, American Express and ExxonMobil." As for influence, few peddle it quite like the AEI, the looniest ideas of which have a way of becoming Bush administration policy. And no wonder, Richard Perle, member and former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, is an AEI fellow, along with Lynne Cheney, wife of the vice-president; the Bush administration is crowded with former AEI fellows.
As President Bush said at an AEI dinner in February, "At the American Enterprise Institute, some of the finest minds in our nation are at work on some of the greatest challenges to our nation. You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds." In other words, the AEI is more than a think tank; it's Mr. Bush's out-sourced brain.
Taken together with Mr. Natsios' statements, this attack on the non-profit sector marks the emergence of a new Bush doctrine: NGOs should be nothing more than the good-hearted charity wing of the military, silently mopping up after wars and famines. Their job is not to ask how these tragedies could have been averted, or to advocate for policy solutions. And it is certainly not to join anti-war and fair-trade movements pushing for real political change.
The control freaks in the White House have really outdone themselves this time. First they tried to silence governments critical of their foreign policies by buying them off with aid packages and trade deals. Last month U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said that the United States would only enter into new trade agreements with countries that offered "co-operation or better on foreign policy and security issues."
Next, they made sure the press didn't ask hard questions during the war by trading journalistic access for editorial control. Now they are attempting to turn relief workers in Iraq and Afghanistan into publicists for Mr. Bush's Brand U.S.A., to embed them in the Pentagon, like Fox News reporters.
The U.S. government is usually described
as "unilateralist," but I don't think that's quite
accurate. The Bush administration may be willing to go it
alone, but what it really wants is legions of self-censoring
followers, from foreign governments to national journalists
and international NGOs.
MODERN TAXATION AND 'MAMMON by Betty Luks
It is always a source of astonishment - and frustration - to those who have seriously looked into the existing financial/taxation systems to observe the perversity with which intelligent people will put forward any explanation, from sun spots to human greed, for the financial misfortunes, which are attacking nations as well as individuals. They would rather give such erroneous reasons than make the effort to understand why the practical every-day performance of the money system produces such 'thorny thistles' instead of 'delightful figs'. To understand why it bears no relation to the physical realities! This lack of knowledge, this ignorance, is only paralleled by the confidence which these people place in the present oppressive systems, willfully ignoring the 'fruits', the effects.
The present purpose of the policy
THIS WAS NOT ALWAYS SO
The old original 'tithe'
Economically/physically, (the national housekeeping), the people lived on the products of past effort. Under a tithing system, they had no 'national' debts. The Church had no debts; the State had no debts and the Producers had no debts. In a good year, everyone lived well - including the Church and State. In a bad year, everyone had to tighten their belts - including those involved in church and state affairs.
The old original tithe was a genuine
Douglas observed, "The old and original tithe was a genuine and justifiable tax. It consisted of a certain percentage of the agricultural production of the taxed land. The physical meaning of this to those who paid the tithe was that they did a small amount of extra work or, alternatively, had a little less to eat themselves. There was nothing in such an arrangement which could, or did, make it impossible for the agriculturalists to live."
Communities become more complex
Elizabeth Holter (ABC of Social Credit) quotes Canadian MP W.L. McKenzie King who warned in 1936: "Once a nation (the State) parts with the control of its currency and credit, (money system) it matters not who makes the nation's laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation "
The situation is now such that C.H. Douglas
insisted in Warning Democracy: "Modern taxation
is legalised robbery, and it is none the less robbery because
it is effected through the medium of a political democracy."
The old tithing system concerned itself with the accounting
and distribution of the produce of the earth, i.e., the increase,
for the benefit of all; but not so the modern banking system!
Taxation in Australia
Jeremy Lee wrote: "The latest
Federal Budget raised the total of direct and indirect taxation
to approximately $10,000 per head of population, or $40,000
for the average family of four. On top of this, the States
raise their own taxes. The latest Queensland budget adds an
extra $5.6 billion to the Federal tax take, or just under
$1,500 per head. But Queensland is not the highest taxing
State. New South Wales, Victoria, West Australia, South Australia
and the ACT all tax their citizens higher than Queensland.
Only Tasmania and the Northern Territory have lower per capita
Must reading: "The ABC of Social
Credit" by Elizabeth Holter;
BETTY LUKS FOR TASMANIANational Director Betty Luks will be in Tasmania for a number of League 'in-house' and public meetings, including the Launceston Conservative Speakers' Club, Wednesday 16th July 2003. The visit will be from Friday 11th through to Wednesday 16th July.
Details are: Hobart Friday, 11th July; Launceston Monday, 14th July, North/West Coast Tuesday, 15th July, Launceston Conservative Speakers' Club Wednesday, 16th July.
For further information please phone: 03 6331 6414.
BASIC FUND: A smaller step forward this week. A sincere thank you to those who brought the figure up to $40,434.50. We press onwards.
LETTER TO EDITOR: The Australian
4th July, 2003.
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|