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25 July 2003. Thought for the Week: Mr. Bush, You Are A Liar. Americans must stop electing ruthless criminals to rule this nation. We must convince fellow citizens that villains like Saddam Hussein are made in the U.S. as rationale for endless corporate war profits. Saddam was placed in power by the CIA. For years U.S. government agencies, under auspices of George Bush Sr., supplied him with chemical and biological weapons. Our national nuclear laboratories, along with Unisys, Dupont and Hewlett-Packard, sold Saddam materials for his nuclear program. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton in the late 90s when its subsidiaries signed $73 million in new contracts to further supply Saddam. The wicked villain of Iraq was nurtured for decades as a cash-cow by U.S. military-industrial piranhas.
If America truly supports its troops, it must stop sending them into nuclear holocaust for the enrichment of thugs. Time is running out. If the DU-maniacs at the Pentagon and their coven of nuclear arms peddlers are not harnessed, America will have no able-bodied fighting forces left. All people of the earth will become grossly ill, hideously deformed and short- lived. We must succeed in the critical imperative to face reality and act decisively. Should we fail, there will be no place to hide from Bush-Cheney's merciless nuclear orgies yet to come or from the inevitable nuclear retaliation these orgies will surely breed.
William Rivers Pitt, "Perspective", 2003.
ALMIGHTY GOD, CAESAR AND COMMON LAW
by Jeremy Lee
In Australia the same right has continued. Tens of thousands have assembled to watch Phar Lap win a race, or the Don score a century. They have gathered at agricultural shows, football matches, country race-tracks, camel races, regattas, Sydney-Hobart yacht races, protests, rallies and, of course, church services and public meetings across the land. All that is under attack. Country race meets by the score have been cancelled; sporting clubs have closed; pony camps and gymkhanas for children are no longer held; community halls lie unused, and agricultural shows which have been held since before Federation cancelled. Without any law specifically banning freedom of assembly, a gauntlet of barriers has been erected and is being tightened to make it impossible in a growing number of cases for people to follow customary pursuits.
The ostensible reason, obviously, is the cost of public liability insurance. But this is simply the end result of a series of attacks on the principles surrounding Common Law. There is always the risk of personal injury wherever people meet to act - from being crushed in a crowd to falling down a stair. Occasionally the causes are someone else's negligence or malignancy. But a large degree is due to the unexpected or unanticipated, without anyone else being intentionally careless or malign. This area came under the heading "An Act of God" and was duly recognized in law. But God has disappeared from our legal system. The only authority that is recognized is Caesar. Anything that ever happens is someone else's fault, and is actionable.
The laws of Caesar stipulate that any injury must be compensated - even where no culpable person can be found. For this to happen, any form of human activity must now be insured. This is so even where those wishing to assemble don't want insurance and are prepared to take some risk for the benefits of voluntary, free assembly. Insurance is compulsory, and if you can't pay, you can't play. There were always some provision in the law for negligence. A publican whose beer was toxic could have his licence removed. A race-course required a barrier between the track and the audience - and usually this was provided without law. But a large area of injury came within the province of "Acts of God", wherein it was sensibly recognized that not all risks and situations could be anticipated.
All humans who enjoy freedoms must also foresee some risks, and bear ultimate responsibility for their actions. It was also recognized that judges and juries were never infallible, and that there were certain circumstances where fair judgment was beyond human capability, and that many injuries were beyond the apportionment of blame. This large and indefinable area was termed "Acts of God". All that has gone. Caesar (the State) is now supreme and rampant. The protection it promises to all has no bounds. But for it to be exercised it must be obeyed. Everyone, it says, is entitled to compensation for anything - even when it is the victim's fault. Therefore, any form of activity must pay compulsory insurance. And in this one provision free assembly is put at enormous risk.
There was a time when, if you were hit on the head by a golf ball, or smitten in the crown by a Bradman six, it was just bad luck or an "Act of God" (not quite the same as the "immortal Don"). If you slipped and fell down a stair, or cut yourself breaking into someone else's house it was, as like or not, your own fault. But now we're all 'victims' and the result is an unhealthy 'compensation-culture' that threatens us all. Lawyers advertise for customers who might have the slightest claim for a compensation handout. People even think twice about helping someone else in trouble lest they make a mistake that might be actionable.
The premiums paid by doctors in insurance for claims that might not arrive for a decade are obscene - and have to be included in their charges, which put the services of private medicine beyond the reach of most. The smallest church meeting in a lowly hall once a week is now forced to pay an insurance premium which amounts annually to $1,000 or more. Those attending then meditate on the "Feeding of the Five Thousand" by our Lord, never asking whether the Pharisees had demanded compulsory insurance for such a gathering, or whether the disciples had a permit and public liability insurance for food distribution! Did the crowd on Palm Sunday have insurance for a public gathering? Had Pontius Pilate issued a licence for the gathering at Pentecost? And did Jesus carry indemnity for those He healed?
Today's churches seem to have no complaint about rendering to Caesar what really belongs to God before their services The modern insurance company is having a field day. The people have to pay their insurance tribute whether they like it or not. If they say they prefer to rely on their faith in God, there is no provision for such an attitude in Caesar's mountainous laws.
Politicians wring their hands. They know there is a back-lash in the community against the closure of so many functions and events. They wrangle with insurance companies, and try to start government insurance schemes that will mitigate the burden to some degree. But they don't challenge the basic premise under which they are operating - that they have allowed Caesar to intrude into areas that properly belong to God.
The answer is to get back to basic principles. Compulsory insurance is wrong. No matter how well intended, it is an attack on freedom. Governments should advise and warn. But they should not compel - not in this area, at any rate. And they should move to correct the current distortion in compensation. Not all wrongs can be righted by Caesar without creating more problems than it has solved. The old adage "The Government big enough to give you everything you want, is also big enough to take everything you've got." All this is but one more example of the evils of the Welfare State.
AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN LOBBY
We now have a body in Australia called the "Australian Christian Lobby". Led by a former Army Brigadier, Jim Wallace, who resigned his commission and his career to head the new lobby, it starts with the healthy recognition that laws from government are the concern of Christians and the Church. A process has been established to lobby politicians with the fact there is a legitimate Christian point of view that needs to be taken into account when legislation is contemplated. This point of view is shared with many who are not churchgoers.
On August 8 and 9 the Australian Christian
Lobby is holding a conference in Parliament House, Brisbane.
The whole gamut of Common Law, the development
of Parliament itself, and, most urgently, Finance, Technology,
Full Employment, Usury, the Just Price, Banking and Distribution
are essential areas of concern for the Christian church. We
have no idea whether such issues will be discussed. The Australian
Christian Lobby has a long way to go. The right of free assembly
could with benefit be considered. But it has made a start.
THE IRAQ SAGA GRINDS ON
Latest news is that US troops in Iraq are complaining that they want to go home. Despite the protestations of Donald Rumsfeld, Bush's Secretary of Defence, one military leader on the ground in Iraq is emphatic that what has now developed is classic guerilla war. Against such, American troops have no training and are in an invidious position. There is no way of telling who is friend and foe. There is no way of restricting the number of weapons in circulation. Every attack on American troops feeds the thirst for vengeance of those who suffered the bombing.
On top of this, both Americans and Iraqis
are now faced with the effect of the massive use of Depleted
Uranium ammunition. This devastated those affected after the
first Gulf War. Hideous deformities, cancers and other diseases
have struck Gulf War veterans and Iraqi civilians up to 10
years after the war. Enormous efforts have been made to stop
the accumulating evidence from becoming public. Now it transpires
as much as ten times Depleted Uranium as in the First Gulf
War has been used in the latest bombardment. Some say the
implications are 'catastrophic'. The radiation effects are
being encountered by US troops on patrol every day, from wrecked
tanks and buildings that still litter the area, each oozing
deadly radiation in the form of toxic dust.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
"Just before the war, when the WMD issue lost traction, a humanitarian argument was suddenly invoked by those who until then had never shown concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people. WMD have still not been found in Iraq, so the discovery of mass graves is now said to retrospectively legitimate the war. It's a tempting digression, as long as no one asks whether they had been dug when Saddam was an ally of the West in the 1980s. Or how many of those buried there were incited to rebel against Saddam by George Bush's father in 1991, only to be cruelly betrayed by Washington.
Mark Twain identified in 1917 the problem
we are now experiencing: "The statesmen will invent
cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked,
and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities,
and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any
refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself
that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep
he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
SUFFICIENT THE DAY THE EVIL THEREOF
by Betty Luks:
To reassess 'our' standards we would
need to determine what the standards are:
Judge ruled commentary presented to him
was 'quite bland':
What then do these people mean?
All would have to agree on what values
To justify their actions against fellow
human beings, it was necessary for communists to proclaim
the victims were not human beings, merely 'matter in motion'.
We now know, time and again the focus of terror was (and is)
less on individuals than on groups of people - ethnic, racial
As stated in "The Black Book of
All books are available from the League Book Services. Send for a catalogue or look up the full range of books on our website: www.alor.org/
QUAGMIRE ALERT (Part Two)
Permanent chaos in Afghanistan
Come clean on Iraq
A monumental 'bog up'
The CFR's 'serious' advice
"So much of the future effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, will turn on whether we can help Iraqis to a better future and whether others around the world see this is happening," Pickering and Schlesinger write in a paper called "Chair's Update," which is an addendum to the Task Force's.
CFR's Independent Task Force report
"Iraq: the Day After" - a chilling read
In light of Bush's glaring post-war policy failures, the fact that Pickering and Schlesinger suggest that the US needs to get on the right track so that it will not jeopardize or inhibit the preparation "for the next peace stabilization and reconstruction challenge," is chilling. That these folks are still thinking about future interventions and invasions might be the most startling part of their entire report. (emphasis added).
And in a move that is guaranteed to
stir up more discontent
BASIC FUNDIt is heartening to see that the Basic Fund, having passed the $40,000 mark is now steadily advancing to its next 'milestone'. Thank you to those who have made their contribution. We now need those who have as yet not made a contribution to do so, no matter how small or large.
It is necessary to set a time limit for the annual appeal and the end of August is the 'cut off' date. Please don't let us down, give generously.
WEST AUSTRALIAN STATE WEEKENDThe West Australian State Weekend will be held Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August 2003.
The venue for the Seminar and Dinner is the Goodearth Hotel (formerly The Terrace), 195 Adelaide Terrace, Perth. The seminar commences at 1.45pm, with an introduction by Mr. Murray Pope, State Director of the League.
The theme for the seminar is summed up in its title: "Insanity Fair!" Guest speakers will be Mr. Tom Lawson, speaking on crime and punishment in Western Australia - "The Injustice of Justice". Tom Lawson has been concerned about the breakdown of law and order for a number of years and wrote about the underlying problems in "Justice on the Edge". The second speaker is Mr. Geoff Muirden, who will deal with the dismantling of our ancient rights and freedoms -"Where To From Here? Iraq and Beyond".
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB
The next gathering of the SCSC will take
place on Thursday 31st July commencing at 7.30pm. The venue
is the Lithuanian Club, 10 East Terrace, Bankstown and it
is situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station.
Date for your diary: 28th August is the Annual General Meeting, followed by two brief talks. To celebrate the 30th year of the SCSC, Roy Gustard will present a short history of the Club followed by Maurice Shaya on Afghanistan.
UNITED SETTLERS ASSOCIATION (UKSA)The 3rd Annual Dinner of the UKSA will be held on Friday 22nd August and the retiring president of the Victorian RSL, Bruce Ruxton, will be the guest of honour. The Dinner will celebrate the Coronation Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll. League folk will remember the memorable occasion when Bruce presented our own Eric Butler with his war service medals. It is hoped Eric and Elma Butler will be at the dinner. Venue is Englisg Speaking Union House, 146 West toorak Road, South Yarra - 6.30pm for a 7.00 start. Cost is $38 per person for a 3-course meal and welcoming cocktails.
For further details phone Lena Philby, Office: 9866 1722 or Home: 9859 5901.
WEBSITE - www.bankwatch.info - LAUNCHEDOne of the latest initiatives of the League, www.bankwatch.info, was launched at the Adelaide Conservative Speakers' Club recently. The website was named after the movement, "Bankwatch", set up by activists Bill Carey and Jim Cronin from the west coast of South Australia. In the late 1980s at an 18th Birthday celebration an idea started to take shape which led Jim Cronin and Bill Carey to attempt the impossible -- to get some desperate farmers out of trouble with the banks. The story of what happened after that is set out in detail in the book "Operation Bankwatch", available from all League Book Services.
An audio copy of the joint address to the Conservative Speakers' Club is available from:-
Mayo Tape Library, P.O. Box 6, Hahndorf, S.A. 5245. The title of the joint address is "An Update on Bankwatch".
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