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Edmund Burke
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On Target

5 December 2003. Thought for the Week: "Governments under Financial Influence: The aims of national Governments are by no means the same things as the aims of the majority of individuals in the countries they are supposed to represent. Further, these Governments are far more responsive to influence from financial sources than they are to popular influence. We might almost go so far as to say that the modern Government is quite insensible to popular influence, and that no serious change of policy is effected by a change from one party to another…"
C.H. Douglas in Warning Democracy

Hence we see the last word on policy is with finance, not with administration, and is concerned with the control of credit by the banks…"
C.H. Douglas in Credit Power & Democracy .


ONE IN SIX GO HUNGRY

by Jeremy Lee
Despite the welter of international conferences, discussion and propaganda over the last two decades, more people are starving in the world than ever before. The Australian (28/11/03) reported: "…. Almost 850 million people go to bed hungry every night, the vast majority in Africa and Asia, while the number of hungry people in the developing world is climbing at a rate of almost 5 million a year, according to the UN. The State of Food Insecurity in the World, an annual report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, paints a grim picture of a failing global campaign against hunger…. The FAO said it was time nations examined why hundreds of millions of people went hungry in a world that produced more than enough for everyone. "Bluntly stated, the problem is not so much a lack of food as a lack of political will," the report says …."

That last statement says it all. The only reason to produce food, surely, is so that it can be eaten. Every nation is flogging itself to increase production. For what? To be destroyed so that prices can be kept up? It is a distribution problem, not a production problem. And the mechanism for distribution is money. Yet this problem is ignored.

Eighteen years ago The National Farmer (10-23/1/85) reported this atrocious set of statistics: "The Europeans dump on the trash heaps every minute 866 lbs of apples, 41 cauliflowers, 1648 lbs of lemons, 1358 lbs of oranges, 438 lbs of peaches, 755 lbs of tomatoes and 46 lbs of pears …." Sooner than face the obscenity of what they're producing, economists countenance the destruction of those who have produced this wasted food rather then honestly seeking a way of getting it to those who so desperately need it.

Perhaps the ultimate travesty was contained in this report, which appeared in The Washington Post (2/10/83): "…. Jeffery Birnbaum, a Wall Street Journal reporter, recently toured a dormant limestone cave in Missouri. There, the government "store so much surplus cheese, butter and powdered milk that a visitor would be hard pressed to walk past it all in one day." A tour by golf cart reveals canyons of cheddar cheese in 500 lb barrels, towers of frozen butter in 68 lb boxes, endless aisles of 100 lb sacks of dried milk - 61 million lbs of dairy products, enough to cover 13 football fields 17 ft deep. This is just 2 per cent of the 2.9 billion pounds of dairy products that American taxpayers have bought. In recent years they have paid $3 billion, or $13,000 for every dairy farmer. Taxpayers are currently paying $275,000 an hour to buy more surpluses, and are paying $5 million a month to store the stuff …."

The same taxpayers were assailed by appeals to aid the starving in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and other parts of a food-deprived world. Since then, as the latest report shows, the situation has worsened. And the money-barons, who fund a desolated world through their debt-creation process, have increased their stranglehold.

The latest figures don't take into account the growing hunger problems in the "rich" nations such as the US, Britain and Australia. Between a quarter and a third of people in those economies live below the poverty line, with soup kitchens and food-stamps the only things that fall between impoverished families and starvation. Australia is currently 'deregulating" another food industry - the Cane industry which has been in place for well over 100 years. There is supposedly a world 'glut' of sugar - which doesn't mean that everyone who wants or needs sugar can obtain it. It means that the percentage which still has jobs and incomes has more than enough. The answer? Get rid of our cane farmers!
"Those whom the gods wish to destroy …."


LOOKING AHEAD

As the balance between production and employment continually reverses itself a new problem is beginning to dawn on our futurists. What happens when the next generation becomes the tax-paying sector, and the generation of older people has doubled? The young won't be able to pay for the old. Nor will they be able to own their own homes.

Speaking at the recent "Pursuing Prosperity and Prospects Conference", the Governor of Australia's Reserve Bank, Ian Macfarlane, spelled out his concerns (same edition of the Weekend Australian): "….If we are not careful there is a potential for conflict between generations. The young may resent the tax burden imposed on them to pay for the pension and health expenditure on the old. This will particularly be the case if they see the old as owning most of the community's assets. Housing is the most obvious example …."

Comment following the Reserve Bank Governor's remarks continued
"But it has already happened. Harding showed that in 2001 the wealthiest 10 per cent of Australians owned just after half the wealth - 46 per cent, up 2 percentage points over the past 15 years The really big trend, however, was the shift in wealth to older people. Driven by house prices, it was a mega-trend. The dividing age that split Australia was the mid-40s"….."
Which is fiction! There are thousands of pensioners living in their own homes, which the housing boom has lifted in book value to palaces. But they're cash-poor and, in a lot of cases, destitute. They can sell, of course, and apply for entry to retirement complexes or nursing homes. But if anyone thinks this would lead to lower taxes, they'd better think again. So perhaps government-funded euthenasia will become 'sound economic management'!

The real question is continually overlooked. Are we producing enough goods and services for everyone to live a reasonable life-style? If so, why don't we modify our money system to reflect that reality - instead of trying to fit young and old into a man-made debt-system that hurts us all - particularly our children?


FULL TIME? PART TIME? OR NONE AT ALL?

A recent article in The Weekend Australian (15-16/11/03 has thrown doubt on the Howard Government's claims that unemployment has fallen to the lowest levels for 22 years. This gives emphasis to a recent poll in Queensland which shows that over 80 per cent of those polled do not believe the official figures.

The full-page article said: "…. The Australian National University's Bob Gregory looked at Australia's poor record in creating full-time jobs, with the proportion of the population working full time now about the same as in the depths of the early 1990s recession. This, he says, is a record unmatched in terms of poor performance during any other decade in the 20th century, including that following the Depression. There has been substantial jobs growth overall but it has been mainly in part-time and casual work, which suits some of those who get it, particularly women, but which for many others means fewer hours, lower pay and worse conditions. Increasingly, people rely on welfare benefits to top up their income …."

Dr Peter Dawkins, from the University of Melbourne, pointed out that 17 per cent of all dependent children in Australia - 860,000 - live in homes where there is no employment, compared with 10 per cent in 1982. All this points to the fact that production is increasing while full employment is decreasing, not only in Australia but all over the industrialized world.

The intervening factor is process and technology. But instead of welcoming such an advance in human affairs we still maintain the outdated notion that the economy is a mechanism to employ people rather than relieving them. So we penalize those still working with punitive taxes to sustain those who have received their 'pink slips' and been down-sized.


TELSTRA BUY-BACK

Telstra is in the process of spending somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion in a share buyback. The current price offer is $4.20, some 50 cents below the share market value. Why would anyone sell at such a price? Small shareholders with any sense would not. But the majority of shares being sold are from large institutions which are looking for tax minimization. A loss on book value of a share portfolio can be written off against taxation. Better to lose 10 per cent of the value of a share than the 47 per cent of profit on a tax return. Another racket.

But what does it say about the cash-cow company in which the Government owns just over 50 per cent of shares? A billion dollars is a lot of spare cash to play with. Such spending must ultimately enhance the value of Telstra shares, with annual dividends going to fewer share holders. This includes the Government. It is already making a clear 10 per cent net from Telstra in taxation and dividends. That could go on for ever. Australians don't want it sold. But the Government wants a big windfall now - perhaps to hold off the hungry and homeless young taxpayers of the future who threaten to be bashing on the door before long.

Telstra is planning further job-cuts in its search for "efficiency". Its maintenance and repair divisions are 'outsourced' to private companies. Australian owned? No, they're multinationals - chiefly the Swiss giant ABB and the French group Alstom. The third tendering group, locally listed Skilled Engineering, has failed to get any work. Perhaps it made the mistake of offering its employees a fair wage - a "No No" in the cut-throat world of globalism.


NEW ZEALAND KEEPS PRAYER

New Zealand politician Matt Robson tried to put a Bill forward abolishing the prayer which is read each day before sitting. He argues that the prayer is offensive to non-Christians, and inappropriate in a multi-faith society. The standing orders committee did not agree, and refused to let the Bill go forward. Mr Robson, however, is not deterred, and is asking the Human Rights Commission to rule on the prayer's appropriateness. It will be interesting to see how New Zealander react.

NEITHER SIDE 'REGISTERS' FOR ME

by Betty Luks
If Archbishop Jensen's Sydney movement of the Anglican Church is going to enter the battle for the hearts and minds of the Australian people it is going to have to do better than offer that which has been served up to the people as 'Christianity' for far too long. ("Jensen launches defection crusade," The Weekend Australian 22-23/11/03).

I can't do better than quote what C.H. Douglas said most people thought of the same Church, in England, over fifty years ago: "…they love its exquisite liturgy, the mirror of a nobler day, and they would agree that it holds many good and able men; but it simply does not register. It is so tolerant that it is difficult to name anything to which it objects; its clergy in the main purr with satisfaction at every fresh robbery by taxation, it is so democratic that if you don't like its principles, and can get a majority vote, more particularly of the people, it will change them…"

Carnley defends homosexual priests and priestesses
In his defence of homosexual priests and priestesses in the church, the present Primate Dr. Peter Carnley, used the abolition of slavery and the acceptance of putting money out at interest as examples of the church's changing 'morality' - presumably for the better: "In the past, the church has had very strict moral positions which have changed, on slavery for instance, banning of money for interest, all those things."

No wonder thinking people shake their heads in confusion and disbelief - and walk away from the church!

Usury is NOT Interest
Thanks to the work of Latin scholar Peter Lock, this struggling-to-understand layman now knows: Interest did not belong to the sphere of borrowing but to the sacred court of justice. Interest, was in fact, compensation for any costs involved in default of a contract. Usury was the sin of exacting money purely for the loan of money.

In "The Great Harlot," Peter weighs up the evidence of the Church's effort in fulfilling its role as the 'guardians of the sheep' against the usurious money-lending-wolves - and for my money he finds the Church 'wanting'.

He writes
The Great Betrayal: "The evolution of Christian Church teaching on usury has witnessed a development from intolerant condemnation to tolerant justification. To make a profit from lending to someone in real need was always considered reprehensible. In Nature, there is no precedent for either debt or usury. Money which was exacted purely for a loan as such, whilst always being deemed contrary to Nature, began to be viewed in a new light. Changed economic considerations preferred the use or rather the deceptive misuse of the word interest in the place of the more objectionable usury, which now became permissible, provided it followed statutory regulations and did not become excessive…"
"If the world economy continues to evolve, as at present, all property must fall progressively into the hands of the banks or be under their control. Capitalism will be seen to be no different from Communism, for the banks will own everything in both systems…" (emphasis added…ed)

All men of goodwill, as well as Christians, should earnestly study this matter for themselves - in order to take responsible actions and decisions.

The Great Harlot by Peter Lock - $20 posted - available from all League Book Services.


CHURCH 'WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE' - AND FOUND 'WANTING'

The Anglican Book of Common Prayer, under its "Articles of Religion No.38: Of Christian Men's Goods," clearly states:
"The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability."

· Riches and goods - surely a philosophical/political statement concerning private property and goods? What does the church have to say about a Christian man's riches and goods when he has to live and work within the constraints of a corrupt, fraudulent and usurious financial system?

· Right, title and possession of the same -statements from which stem policies!
All the above matters come under a legal system - a Common Law system?

· Are not common… as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast - the Anabaptists taught and practised a form of Communism. In which case, if the Anglican Church was (is?) opposed to the monopoly of a Communist system, what does it have to say about the monopoly of the present-day usurious Debt-Capitalist system?

As for the Primate equating the abolition of slavery with the church's 'moral' about face on the matter of a usurious money system - what can one say? Confusion reigns supreme? Dr. Carnley would know the Christian idea of the equality of the human soul before God led little by little to the abolition of slavery. Surely, he would also know, down throughout history usurious money systems (the Babylonian [woeful] System, i.e., Mammon) have always led to debt-slavery, wars, famines, etc? As for homosexuality - isn't it anti-Life? And we haven't even touched upon the much more fundamental religious/philosophical question of what is the true purpose of a money system?


SMELL SOMETHING FISHY?

It's Our Corporate Ethics Rotting From The Top Down by Molly Ivins, 2003 (c) Creators Syndicate - from workingforchange.com. 22/11/03.

"I suggest the epitaph for this entire era should be, "The fish rots from the head down."
The latest round of corporate scandals -- Hollinger, the growing mutual fund mess and the foreign exchange dealers who ripped off their own companies -- provide an elegant summary of the pattern. Hollinger International, a media company owned by Lord Conrad Black, reported a relatively measly total profit of $23 million from 1998 to 2002. During the same period, the company paid Black and his close associates over $200 million in salary, management fees and non-compete payments, according to published reports. The company also featured the usual insider dealing -- including a $2.5 million investment in Hollinger board member Richard Perle's company, Trireme. That would be the same Richard Perle who is still on the Pentagon's Defense Advisory Board, despite having had to resign as chairman earlier because of other business conflicts of interest.

So far, every business scandal starting with Enron has displayed the same features -- investors ripped off, pension-holders ripped off, employees often left with nothing and executives walking away with millions. Those at the top of large corporations who screw up completely and create total disasters walk away with millions under golden parachute arrangements. Just for example, Treasury Secretary John Snow, formerly head of CSX railroad company, presided over a 53 percent drop in the company's stock while raising his own pay by 69 percent. He also slashed both health care and life insurance benefits for CSX retirees.

Corporations themselves have become entities set up to avoid taxation. It's really quite extraordinary. Theoretically, the corporate income tax is 35 percent, but no self-respecting corporation would actually pay that. The Bermuda Loophole is just the beginning of the games corporations play -- and don't think for a minute that the corporate alternative minimum tax is making them cough up. Many of the country's most profitable corporations are so good at tax games, the government owes them tax rebates.

What happens sooner or later when there is rot at the top -- what economists call "control fraud" -- is that the little fish get into the act, too. Hey, if the guys at the top are ripping people off right and left, why shouldn't some of the peons play the same game at their own level? And that's when you get things like the foreign exchange traders and even some of the mutual fund rip-off artists. The rot does spread downward.

Now, being of the liberal persuasion, I believe the ways to stop corporate rip-offs and harm caused to the public by greed is government regulation and suing the bastards. But let's suppose for a moment here that we try The Wall Street Journal's preferred methods for fixing all this -- transparency, accountability and responsibility. And let us apply these methods to the Bush administration, which proudly bills itself as the CEO administration. It is certainly an administration of CEOs.
After the unspeakable Harvey Pitt was forced to resign as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bush brought in Bill Donaldson as corporate watchdog, the CEO of a huge Wall Street firm, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, currently under investigation by the SEC for fraud. Ooops.

Transparency: We started with Dick Cheney's secret energy task force, then Bush decided neither his father's presidential papers nor Reagan's could be made public, then we got the PATRIOT Act, and everything went to hell. We couldn't find out who had been "detained" when, where, why or for how long, with no lawyers and no family notification. And of course, secret phone taps, wiretaps, sweeps, etc., all on "suspicion."

Accountability: What does it take to get fired by this administration? Outing a CIA agent for petty political revenge? Completely contravening administration policy with jackass statements about Islam, like Gen. Boykin, while you're the head of a sensitive Pentagon department on the subject? Obviously, you can get fired for standing up for the environment -- or at least not lying down quickly enough for those who are busy trashing it. R.I.P. Christine Todd Whitman. And for standing up and saying something populist, like the IRS should quit going after working poor people and try nailing a few rich tax cheats, as former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill did.

Responsibility: Have you ever heard this administration admit it has made a mistake? It won't even take responsibility for dumb stuff like the Mission Accomplished sign, much less admit it had no idea what it was doing in Iraq after Saddam fell. Even now, administration folks keep trying to wiggle out of their own.... I don't know whether it was lies or misinformation -- there was no nuclear weapons programme, there were no weapons of mass destruction, and there were no ties between Saddam and Osama bin Laden. But there they come again, with some leaked list of questionable intelligence trying to prove what isn't true.

This country boasts a multitude of people who are real heroes: The extraordinary book Mountains Beyond Mountains about Dr. Paul Farmer should not be missed. But at the top of the corporate and economic worlds, ethical standards seem to be rotting out -- greed, self-righteousness, fatal certitude. And, of course, beware of those with no humor.

- Molly Ivins is the former editor of the liberal monthly The Texas Observer. She is the author of several books including Molly Ivins Can't Say That Can She?


REPUBLIC 'BANKRUPT'

by Philip Benwell, Australian Monarchist League
That is the headline of an article which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald describing how we have, what they call "forced the (Commonwealth) Bank into an embarrassing climb-down". Yes, the outrage expressed by so many of our members to the Commonwealth Bank at their use of the word 'Republic' to name their Customer Relationship Marketing System as the 'Republic CRM' has resulted in the Bank phoning to advise me that they have now discontinued the name.

A later emailed message from Ms Jill Lester, the Executive General Manager - Group Corporate Relations - of the Bank, stated: "Please be assured nothing should be read into the name used in the early stages of the development of the software".

However, we are in no way placated by this excuse and we still question what on earth caused them to use such a divisive term in the first place and what else they may have done should we not have organised a campaign of protest? We also dispute Mr. Fitzgerald's assertion that the Bank received only "around a dozen letters of complaint". Several hundred at least would be more factual let alone the hundred of phone calls to the Customer Complaint line that we are aware of!

Nonetheless, this exercise by the Commonwealth Bank, and our successful opposition to it, have clearly shown that the forces in support of The Crown must always maintain vigilance and must always unite in action to defend our Constitution and our Monarchy. Our many thanks go to all who participated in this campaign. It is important to note that victory has always been achieved whenever Monarchists have united against any attempts to promote a republic.


BASIC FUND

It is encouraging to receive some very generous contributions to the Basic Fund - thank you. It is only early days and we have a long way to go, please consider making a contribution to the fund at the earliest opportunity. The fund has 'kicked off' with $4,361.10.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

"On Target" Sir: Your comments on Mahathir's "Summit" speech are interesting. I too have read his speech entire. What struck me was the similarity between what has happened to the Muslims and what has happened to us as a Christian race, though sad to say, for the most part we are Christian in name but not in deed. At least Muslims adhere religiously to their faith, for which they deserve respect. We are led to believe we do too, by being tolerant of other to the stage of nausea. Our Mayor some months ago recited a Muslim prayer on the opening of Council and not an eye-lid was batted! Would Muslims permit the reading of a Christian prayer for a similar occasion? Not bloody likely!
If we were more fiercely Christian there would be less need to fear other faiths. And less need to use them as whipping boys. Perhaps then, mutual respect would prevail and we could go about our affairs in a more civilised fashion? Change the name of Mahathir's speech and it could be our story. God bless you.
T.G-McC., Montville, Queensland. November 2003.

"The Chronicle" Sir: Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, interviewed after the 1975 election, said he would "get on top of inflation" during his term of office. Towards the end of the Fraser government's term, one could have been excused for believing that, far from Mr. Fraser "getting on top of inflation," he didn't even get his foot in the stirrup! However, this once "eminent person" still has a chance to redeem himself. Recently came the news that Zimbabwe's current inflation rate is 450%. Assuming that Mr. Fraser has learned something since he was dispatched from office, he would do well to go to Zimbabwe and suggest to his mate Mugabe how to reverse the situation whereby the unfortunate people of this once-free and prosperous country are in the position in which their money is losing its value to the tune of 1.23% per day.
Gerald Patch, Toowoomba, Queensland. 13th November 2003.


FILM - 'IN SHIFTING SANDS' ADELAIDE

The League has been asked to publicise a film to be screened in Adelaide, South Australia. "In Shifting Sands," is described as "an astonishing first-hand account" written and directed by Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector in Iraq. Opening 4th December and running strictly for a two-week season, the film is to be screened at the: "Palace Nova," Eastend Cinemas, Rundle Street, Adelaide.
Mr. Ritter reveals exactly how the USA (with Australian help) manipulated the weapons process for its own political ends and details for the first time the scope of the intelligence work carried out by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq, as well as the betrayal of UNSCOM and its disarmament mission by the United States in favour of the unilateral American policies of containment and regime removal. We are informed, "In Shifting Sands" seeks to tell this story in an engaging and objective manner. Rated PG it runs for 92 minutes. Further information and booking enquiries "Palace Nova" Eastend Cinemas: Phone-8232 3434.

BOOKS - TO FURTHER YOUR UNDERSTANDING

"Responsible Government in a Free Society" by Dr. Geoffrey Dobbs.
Dr. Dobbs insists: There is really no point in making those religious noises each Sunday, if in practice, this leads to the same social policies as stems from another set of antagonistic beliefs. - $6 posted.

"The Foundations of Liberty" by Canon Arthur Fellows.
From Imperial Rome down to today, the diffusion of Christianity resulted in the development of freedom of individuals and living groups. - $3 posted.

"The Use of Money" by C.H. Douglas.
There is a law of the nature of conditions which compel a stone to fall when it is dropped from a height, and, so far as we know, that law and other natural laws are compelling. And then there are man-made laws or conventions. A money system falls into the second category. Those two 'laws' have to be carefully separated in one's mind in order to consider such matters as 'money'. - $3 posted.

"The Policy of a Philosophy" by C.H. Douglas.
'Religion' says Douglas is the 'binding back' either of action, or of policy, to Reality. In the sense that Douglas uses the term, religion is any sort of doctrine which is based on an attempt to relate action (policy) to some concept of reality. - $3 posted.

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