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16 January 2004. Thought for the Week: "When all the promises of mere traders are perforce broken, when all the praises of mere trade have perforce become a jest, when all that was called practical has turned out to be a practical joke, and all that was called modern is in ruins more useless than Stonehenge - then, there is a real psychological possibility that men may think of things forgotten: of property, of privacy, of piety in the old sense of reverence for the human sanctities; for the family, from the herthstone to the headstone.
GK Chesterton 1933
VALE TWO GREAT AUSTRALIANS
A BLAST FROM THE BISHOP!
From a Canadian Correspondent
A withering swipe at last generation's
Yes, you can expect to be hearing a lot
more of Dr Tom Wright
Dr Wright is probably evangelicalism's cleverest contemporary thinker and communicator. "The way we line up issues owes much to America, where things are still seen along old Civil War fault-lines. You are either a liberal Yankee in favour of gays, abortion and all other right-thinking causes, or you're a Southern fundamentalist redneck who believes in guns, the death penalty and shooting people outside abortion clinics," he said.
But life is more complicated than the Mason-Dixon line suggests. "The position of someone such as Rowan Williams is seen as inconsistent only by those who accept that tick-all-the-boxes package deal. And yet this left/right polarisation is only as old as the French Revolution. It shows that our assumptions are still those of the world of the late Enlightenment and of the Whig idea of history [that we progress constantly to a future better than the past].
"Post-modernity is assumed to be on the 'left' side of the equation, although it re-inscribes empire rather than undermining it, allowing the bullies and the bosses to create facts on the ground to their own advantage. (All those years of Derrida and we still get George W Bush!) But post-modernism flourishes only where we can create our own private spaces, put on our headphones and be in our private world. There's no post-modernism on the West Bank. The lines there are real and drawn in the sand." All of which gives some hint of the package of simultaneous radicalism and conservatism, faith and reason, which constitutes Dr Wright's world view.
It gives non-evangelicals some sense that a philosophical position, rather than outdated homophobia, lies behind the opposition to gay bishops by many in the Church. And it says something about the complex interweaving of religion and politics in the Church of England, which should remain established. Dr Wright believes, partly to "keep alive the rumour of God in society" but also to speak truth unto power. The medieval church excommunicated Holy Roman Emperors over the death penalty "and there are people in Texas today who need to be reminded of that".
Bishop likens Bush and Blair (and by
inference John Howard) to white vigilantes
The full article on the Bishop of Durham's public statements was too long for this edition of On Target, but because we regard it as important - Truth speaking to Power - we will publish the rest next week.
FEELING A DRAFT ANYONE?
Young Australian males take note
Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily
News 27th December 2003 wrote:
Members of the Alaska Libertarian Party argue that the state shouldn't be aiding a federal effort to force Alaskans into the military. "A lot of people aren't going to like it," predicted Alaska Libertarian Party chair Scott Kohlhaas. Word of the new requirement doesn't seem to have spread. Rob Hartley, a guidance counselor at Dimond High School in Anchorage, said he hadn't heard about it and doesn't think word has filtered down to the students either. "No, I would seriously doubt that they know about that," Hartley said.
The Legislature passed the law two years ago. It also included requirements, which went into effect in July, that Alaskans be registered with the federal Selective Service in order to get a state job or a state student loan. Then-state Rep. Lisa Murkowski, who is now a U.S. senator, sponsored the bill. In other states, federal officials have urged state legislators to make Selective Service registration a requirement for getting a driver's license. But they came up with a better idea in Alaska, said Debby Bielanski, acting director of the regional Selective Service office in Denver. "When they looked at Alaska, they felt the most efficient way to reach the greatest number of people would be through tying compliance with Selective Service to the Permanent Fund dividend," she said. Nearly every Alaskan applies for the annual dividend check.
The state sent out $1,107 checks (cheques ed) to about 600,000 Alaskans this fall. That's about 94 percent of the population. But when it comes to registering with the Selective Service, Alaska could improve, according to federal officials. In Alaska, 76 percent of 18-year-old men registered last year, according to the Selective Service. Men are supposed to remain registered until they turn 26 years old. Eighty-eight percent of Alaska males had registered prior to their 26th birthday. Some states, such as Arkansas and Delaware, report almost perfect compliance. Alaska might get close by tying it to the dividend, according to Selective Service officials.
Here is how it will work
Kohlhaas, the Libertarian, said he talked to lawyers in hopes of blocking Murkowski's law but hasn't found effective grounds for a legal challenge. He said he is opposed to the idea of a draft registration in general. "Because we are Libertarians and Libertarians believe that you own your life. It's a life ownership issue," Kohlhaas said.
A Citizen's Initiative has been set up
Reporter Sean Cockerham can be reached at email@example.com.
U.S. JUDGE RULES TROOPS WERE JUST GUINEA PIGS FOR ANTHRAX JABS
The following news item was released just before the Christmas break - did you read about it in your national newspaper?
"The Pentagon has suspended compulsory vaccination of US troops against anthrax after a federal court judge ordered the military to stop treating its personnel like "guinea pigs". US District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the mandatory inoculations, administered to more than 900,000 troops, violated a law passed in 1998 prohibiting the use of experimental drugs on troops. A spokesman for the Justice Department, which represented the military in the case, said the Pentagon would instruct medical personnel at US military facilities around the world to temporarily halt the vaccinations while it reviews the ruling.
Australian troops had already refused
Lawyers representing US soldiers say the shots have sickened hundreds and caused a handful of deaths. In his 33-page judgement, Judge Sullivan ruled that the anthrax vaccinations violated a law passed by Congress in the wake of concern that similar inoculations may have led to illness among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.
What has Defence Minister Robert Hill got to say about the matter now? Australia's Opposition defence spokesman, Chris Evans, said yesterday the Defence Force should review its policy in light of the US judgement. Defence Minister Robert Hill and the Defence Department would not comment. Australian Defence Association executive director Neil James said the vaccine was "a reasonably dangerous injection". But he said the issue was almost irrelevant with Saddam Hussein's capture. "The most likely user of anthrax.... was the regime of Saddam Hussein. That regime no longer exists, so the threat's gone," Mr James said.
ENTANGLING AMERICAN ALLIANCE WITH ISRAEL
From Mark Dankofs web site
The desperation is also due to the increasing inability of Mr. Bush and his Israeli-affiliated advisors to quash the free flow of information in an Internet age.
They have lost control of the disseminated
The Emperor's new clothing
The story is fraught with implications. Lord Conrad Black, the recently deposed CEO of Hollinger International, Inc. and continued owner of the British Telegraph, was forced to step down at Hollinger after pocketing $7.2 million in unauthorized pay, not including millions in payments to Black's front companies for "management services." Hollinger's stockholders are demanding a company investigation. The Security and Exchange Commission is also involved.
But far more than Conrad Black's criminal exposure is involved in the Hollinger affair, whose newspaper portfolio includes the Likudnik Jerusalem Post. Justin Raimondo reminds readers at Antiwar.com that Chief Neo-Con adviser to George Bush and Israeli asset, Richard Perle, is a Board Member of Hollinger and the head of Hollinger Digital, the company's venture capital arm---which in turn has invested $2.5 million in Trireme Partners, a subsidiary seeking to cash in on defense contracts and the Homeland Security buildup. Hollinger International also invested $14 million in an outfit called Hillman Capital, whose managing partner, Gerald Hillman, is not only a Perle partner at Trireme, but a fellow colleague at the infamous Defense Policy Board.
It is this latter American national security conclave where the interests of defense contractors and assets of the Ariel Sharon regime in Israel intersect in the Pentagon board's individual and collective membership. As Raimondo puts it, the Hollinger media combine is a ". . .particularly muscular tentacle of the Neo-Con media octopus....its demise would mark a great setback for the War Party."
There is a corollary to this truism: the demise of Hollinger would not simply be a setback for the agitprop tentacles of the War Party, but a potential takedown of much more than the personage of Conrad Black. Who else might go down, criminally as well as politically, and what might be the subsequent implications for the credibility of American, Israeli, and British national security and banking elites if the takedown occurs in the light of day? Key chessplayers with concealed hands may be attempting to arrange the pieces on the board to insure that the answers remain hidden in the darkness.
The infamous Carlyle Group, linked to
Bush and Bin Laden family investments, American defense contractors
and oil consortiums, central bankers and Likudniks, has now
stepped forward to indicate a possible interest in rescuing
Hollinger International. The November 22nd Guardian
story quotes a Carlyle source as indicating that:
Black must be rejoicing in a proposed arrangement which allows him to keep the dough, stay on this side of the law and jail, and maintain the protective covering of a management umbrella comprised of heavyweights John Major, George Herbert, Walker Bush, James Baker, Frank Carlucci, Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle.
One suspects that Mr. Black's membership in the secretive, globalist Bilderberg group, mentioned in the Guardian account, would also remain intact. What does not remain intact is the credibility of Mr. Bush and his top advisors about the moral and political rationale for war in Iraq. Especially problematic for the President - and for the Israeli Lobby's agents in both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the American government - is the exposure of a widening breach in the electorate generally, and on the starboard side of the political spectrum in the United States specifically, when it comes to the questions of Oil, Empire, and Israel as legitimate grounds for the expenditure of American lives.
The vetting this week of the deeper implications of a Carlyle-Hollinger International, Inc. business partnership simply heightens this developing gulf, much to the chagrin of both George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon. William Kristol's The Weekly Standard, William F. Buckley's National Review, Joseph Farah's pro-Israel Internet site World Net Daily, and the tel-evangelists of the Dispensational Christian lobby will continue to march to the drumbeats of more pre-emptive war, more military intervention, and more death on behalf of oil pipelines and Sharon's occupation policies on the West Bank and Gaza.
But other winds on the American Right have begun to blow in the opposite direction. These winds gather with increasing speed and resolve, in a desire to restore the Old Republic while avoiding planetary apocalypse and American policy paths designed to revisit the tragedies of the Roman and British Empires past. They include Patrick J. Buchanan's The American Conservative; Clayton R. Douglas's The Free American; Jon Basil Utley's Americans Against World Empire; Eric Garris's Antiwar.com; LewRockwell.com; Robert Higgs's The Independent Review; and the powerful, yet theologically reflective essays of Catholic commentator Joseph Sobran.
The plot thickens. Stay tuned.
" Mark Dankofs own web site is "Mark Dankof's America".
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