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Edmund Burke
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7 May 2004. Thought for the Week: "It was a true instinct which led Shakespeare to glorify the murderers of Caesar, for in the absence of the medieval empire, not merely British, but European art might have had a more felicitous, because more natural, development than it enjoyed. In truth, the artistic went deeper than either the political or religious revolt. It was a protest not so much against this or that effete doctrine, as against imperialism in principle, against finality in the realm of the ideal."
L.A. Waddell in "The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots & Anglo-Saxons."

MARK LATHAM AND ALL THAT READING

by Betty Luks
Journalist Janet Albrechtsen The Australian 28/4/04, has taken Mark Latham to task for his slick policy-headline-grabbing: "Latham stutters over reading revolution". "If we read three storybooks a night to our infant children," says Mark, "by the age of five they'll be able to read." And as he is inspired by the children's story-writer, Mem Fox, who is a passionate advocate of the whole language approach to reading, Albrechtsen insists Latham's slick literacy policy shows little interest in the hard yakka of policy detail. Why is this so?

Mark Latham, insists the journalist, by publicly promoting Mem Fox's works, is promoting a failed teaching method supported more by ideology than evidence. Thirty years of research should have settled the 'reading wars' because all the evidence points one way: to phonics. Albrechtsen is saying: The science of phonics is the proven method of successfully teaching children to read and write.

Phonics and the Phoenicians
Phonics leads us back to ancient times -- through the Phoenicians back to the land of Sumer and to the 'mother' language of the European nations.
Early Sumerian writing was pictographic, that is, pictures were drawn for words. As life became more complex and people needed to express more ideas, an ideographic writing system developed in which symbols stood for words, for both things and ideas. In many cases, the symbols bore no relationship to the things which they represented.

The Phoenicians, a branch of the earlier Sumerians, are credited with the development of the written phonetic language. About 2000BC, it was discovered the spoken word consisted of a series of separately uttered sounds. Eventually, a written symbol was devised to represent each speech sound. This marvelous invention enabled people to write down any word they could say, by recording the speech sounds in their correct sequence.
Further development provided us with a two-way operation. Once we knew the symbols, we could work out the written word by translating each part into its correct speech sound.

The English language with only 26 letters to represent the 44 basic sounds of the language consists of hundreds of thousands of words. English is therefore an alphabetic language. An example of a modern ideographic language is Chinese. 'Whole language' reading might be fine for a written ideographic language such as Chinese but not suitable for English. Mark Latham needs to be reminded of this by the Mums and Dads who send their children to government schools.

Take up feather, ink and parchment, or stylus and clay -- today!
For further reading: "Spelling Made Easy" by Barbara Dykes & Constance Thomas.


THOSE THINGS WHICH HAVE BEEN 'LOST'

The following article, "Cry God for Harry, England and Saint Alban," which appeared in The Spectator, UK 24/4/04 got me thinking:
"This is the time of year when we stop complaining for a moment about the dreadful spring weather and start complaining about the neglect of England's patron saint, St George. Our grumbles go something like this: we don't know what to do to mark his feast day (23 April), we have no traditions like the shamrock or daffodils to fall back on - and the nearest we can manage to a dragon seems to be a bout of football violence.
All that is true; and it reinforces, my view that adopting St George as our patron saint was a terrible mistake, it was something we stumbled into and don't know how to get out of.

St George was a soldier who openly reproached Diocletian for his cruelty. He was beheaded in 304; one of many Roman soldiers who chose to be a martyr rather than deny the exclusive Lordship of Christ over this world. And there is nothing wrong with that as an exemplar. But there were problems in adopting him from the start. For one thing, he had no connections with England; for another, he is the patron saint.

Even our English genius for pageantry has failed to find a secure place for George in our national consciousness, except for that brief period of pride in the Empire when we still constructed pantomime dragons to be slain. By that time, of course, he had gone through a period of mediaeval transformation and become a dragon-slayer. With the dragon standing for Satan and all his works, that at least provided the nation with a spiritual legend. But there was a downside. The mediaeval legend also had George rescuing a damsel in distress, which sits uneasily with our developed understanding of the role of women.

But what do we do when a mistake has become enshrined in tradition? Put up with it, like the English rain, on the grounds that there is nothing we can do about it? Defend the choice because tradition is sacrosanct? Or face the fact that we have made a mistake, perhaps even committed a sin, and then repent and start again?

I hesitate between sin and mistake because I don't for one minute think the 'choice' of St George was a conspiracy. I think it was a cock-up. As with so many human faults, it stemmed from an accumulation of human frailty, confusion and ignorance -- all manipulated by the sins of greed, pride arid chauvinism.

But England needs a patron saint. If George goes, who should replace him? We need only go back to the year of George's martyrdom to find a suitable English saint. This man was Alban. In 304, he was scourged, then beheaded, for the crime of protecting a priest. He died for the faith. His feast is on 22 June -- and June is a rather more clement month than April. St Alban for England would take some getting used to, but I think it is time to leave George to those he belongs to, our persecuted brethren of the Middle East who certainly need a dragon-slaying champion.
(The article was based on a sermon given by the Prebendary Graham Claydon at St Paul's on St George's Day.)

Let's recap on a couple of things he said
* "Even our English genius for pageantry has failed to find a secure place for George in our national consciousness."
· Rubbish! The Red Cross of St. George is easily traced back to the Sun Cross of the Hitto-Phoenicians as the origin of the pre-Christian Cross on coins and monuments of the early Phoenician-Britons and later of the Celtic Cross in Christianity.
* "St George was a soldier who openly reproached Diocletian for his cruelty. He was beheaded in 304."
· L.A. Waddell in "The Phoenician Origins of Britons, Scots & Anglo-Saxons," 1924, explains the Red Cross of St. George of Cappadocia is called by modern ecclesiastic writers, 'The Greek Cross' because it was adopted by the Greek Christian Church about the fifth century A.D. as the form of the Christian emblem for their converts in the old Gothic region of Byzantium. The Goths had been using this Gothic Red Cross as their sacred emblem from time immemorial. The Greek Church, as well as the Crusaders later, continued to use this cross in its old original Catti or Gothic sense, as a simple symbol of Divine Victory.
* "This man was Alban. In 304, he was scourged, then beheaded, for the crime of protecting a priest. He died for the faith. His feast is on 22 June -- and June is a rather more clement month than April."
· Response: You will find throughout Europe there are many saints and heroes who share June 22nd as 'their' day. The Latvians, as an example, celebrate "John's Day" on June 22nd. It is the day when the legendary national hero is celebrated. And, it is also the summer solstice!

St. George, the Patron Saint of England reminds us of all that is honourable and just, all that is noble and brave, all that is good and true in our traditions and culture. It is a National Day for the English people, just as Anzac Day is Australia's National Day. And both National Days grew out of the legends, myths and history of different branches of the British people!


THE PAPACY AND USURY

by Peter Lock
Taken from the journal of the Economic Reform Association, May-June 2004.

"In 1891, Pope Leo XIII issued his much acclaimed Encyclical Rerum Novarum known as The Workers' Charter. Early in the latter, Leo XIII refers to a sequence of situations responsible for social problems and their injustices.
He concludes, "Hence by degrees it has come to pass that workingmen have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hard-heartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with the like injustice, still practised by covetous and grasping men."

There are two short paragraphs of Pope Pius Xl in his Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno in May 1931, commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's much-acclaimed Encyclical Rerum Novarum which are among the most quoted of Papal statements pertinent to social injustice.
"In the first place then, it is patent that in our days not alone is wealth accumulated, but immense power and despotic economic domination is concentrated in the hands of a few, and that those few are frequently not the owners, but only the trustees and directors of invested funds, who administer them at their good pleasure. This power becomes particularly irresistible when exercised by those who, because they hold and control money, are able also to govern credit and determine its allotment, for that reason supplying, so to speak, the lifeblood to the entire economic body, and grasping, as it were, in their hands the very soul of production, so that no one dare breathe against their will."

In Nature there is neither debt nor usury - deceptive misuse of 'interest'
This last sentence becomes alarmingly real and meaningful when it is considered that Pope Leo XIII was the last pope ever to mention and condemn usury. Over one hundred years have passed since then and no other Pope, nor Pontifical Commission has dared breathe one single word against the will of the global usurers. Indeed the word usury no longer has a place in the considerations and determinations of Canon Law.

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, 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.

'Interest' belonged to sacred realm or court of justice
It is instructive to examine a little more closely the historical evolution of the word interest. In ancient Roman law, when one party defaulted on a contract, the other could exact over and above the actual agreement of the contract, a form of compensation based on the difference between the position of the creditor, before and after, the situation caused by the debtor's default. This difference was termed in Latin, id quod interest, from the verb interesse which meant, to be between, and could be reckoned according to the actual loss which had occurred.
Justice demanded that this interest of creditor be taken into account. In its original meaning, interest did not belong to the sphere of borrowing but to the sacred realm or court of justice.

Through a debtor's default, a creditor might have missed out on a possible profit, but profit-losing was not classified as interest because one could not be said to lose that which one never ever had. The only concern of interest was with an actual gain ceasing (lucrum cessans) or with a damage emerging (damnum emergens) and not some mere hypothetical eventuality. Receiving interest was an honest seeking of real equity. The creditor lent freely but the debtor was obliged by law to compensate the creditor for any costs involved in defaulting on the contract. Id quod interest was purely a matter of justice.

Usury a sin now 'rationalised'
As generally understood by theologians in past centuries, usury was the sin of exacting money purely for a loan of money. The creditor aimed for a real gain, to get more money, over and above the loan, for nothing, from the borrower. In time canonists rationalised usury and misappropriated the interest of Roman justice to cover up the malice and injustice of the prevailing financial system's usurious interest.

Clerical casuistry and a most lucrative means of power and control
The tools of ecclesiastical casuistry were a well-seasoned array of semantic distinctions, like the right to an object and the right to its use and usufruct, intrinsic and extrinsic titles, gain ceasing and damage emerging...
Does the sanction of an uncivil Civil Law or corrupt custom make what is intrinsically an injustice, become now legitimate and acceptable even though it is contrary to Natural Law?

No one denies that in modern economic systems money has taken on new aspects or rather been given different functions from what its own true nature would determine. Speculators make it into a commodity with which to gamble. The directors of banks and financial institutions use it, particularly in its scarcity-function, as a most lucrative means of self-aggrandizement and control and power over their fellow human beings. As catalytic finance-capital in any industry, money can become virtually productive by making virgin real wealth more productive through human enterprise, but there are limits to the growth of agriculture and of industry beyond which the economy trespasses to its own destruction.

A sorry sort of licit case can be made out by churchmen to justify the charging of interest by the wealthy haves-of-this-world on investments and loans of already existing legal tender money made to this world's have-nots. No amount of clerical casuistry however can justify the charge of more than a simple service fee for bank-created credit. On almost costless invented make-believe wealth or credit money, virtually created out of nothing, any rate of interest at all is more than grossly immoderate. This diabolical usury enslaves the entire human race and is the greatest social injustice and fraud in the history of commercial and marketplace activity.

Contemporary Moral Theology found badly wanting
In the past, the decisions of traditional Moral Theology concerning the charging of interest on loan contracts between individuals, were generally in respect of real coin-money which had some intrinsic value. As stated above, modern economic monetary systems have taken on completely new forms which involve the rest of the community in the payment of the debtors' interest. This new solidarity perspective and the implications of exponential growth are neither understood nor considered by ecclesiastical authorities today. Contemporary Moral Theology has yet to pass judgment on these issues and give an authoritative answer to the basic question arising from marketplace activity. How can anyone conceive and claim an extrinsic title to interest on money loaned, from gain ceasing or damage emerging, when the loaned money itself has come costlessly into existence from nothing? There are other considerations, far more cogent still, which can be directed against the specious arguments of the inadequately informed Canonists of the past…

Institution of Vatican Bank
With the institution of its own Vatican Bank, the Roman Papacy has now made financial speculation and usurious moneymaking (and losing) its own sin. This situation is understandable in the light of events last Century. The Lateran Treaty which Benito Mussolini's Government concluded with the Vatican in 1929 gave the Roman Catholic Church a wide range of benefits, not the least being that Italy undertook to pay the Holy See the sum of 750 million lire and to hand over at the same time Consolidated 5% State Bonds to the bearer for the nominal value of one billion lire. A Special Administration was set up by Pope Pius XI - and a layman, Bernardino Nogara, appointed its head. The latter accepted the office only on condition that any investments he chose to make would be untrammeled by religious considerations and that he would be free to invest Vatican funds anywhere. Almost overnight, the Vatican became a Capitalist enterprise engaging in Stock Exchange, futures and currency speculation. Self-interest produced a complete reversal of the Church's teaching with regard to money lending.

Great moral, social and economic issues neither understood nor answered
One final glimmer of a quickly extinguished light appeared in the Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio of Pope Paul VI in March 1967, "This unbridled liberalism paves the way for a particular type of tyranny, rightly condemned by Our Predecessor Pius XI for it results in the 'international imperialism of money'. Such improper manipulations of economic forces can never be condemned enough: let it be said once again that economics is supposed to be in the service of man."

Is less than ten lines in a century enough? Though he condemns any misuse of the monetary system, it is clearly evident from what follows later in the Encyclical that the real moral, social and economic issues of the great social questions are neither understood nor answered. A similar comment applies to the subsequent Encyclicals of Pope John Paul II. The reader searches in vain for an echo of any condemnation of international finance or the imperialism of money.

It was understood by those who knew the mind of the tragically too-well-informed Paul I, that he would dare to breathe against the will of those who have fraudulently usurped the function of supplying the lifeblood to the entire economic body. Their hopes or fears, like the life of this most lovable and much respected would-be reformer were very quickly and quite mysteriously cut short. After barely one month in office, he was found dead in bed. He died alone, agony written on his face. His body was straight away embalmed, an autopsy refused."

Peter Lock's "The Great Harlot" is available from all League Book Services: $15.00 posted.


IN BRIEF

According to the Australian Jewish News,30/4/04 international relations expert, Dr. Michael McKinley from Canberra's Australian National University, has alleged Mossad spies are operating in Australia and New Zealand with the help of local Jewish communities. A former Mossad agent now living in New Zealand, but not wanting to be identified, has confirmed that Mossad agents operating in NZ try to steal genuine NZ passports to enable other agents to assume fake identities. Two alleged spies have been charged with passport fraud and organised crime.

BASIC FUND

I never cease to be amazed at the achievements of the loyal and hard-working League team - and all done on a shoe-string! A sincere thank you to those who contribute their precious time and energy for the work, with so little or no financial reward. And another sincere thank to those who so generously contribute to our Basic Fund. We certainly do make our dollar go further!
The contributions to the fund to date bring the figure up to $23,922.10.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Workers worse off with pay rises
"Workers worse off with every yearly pay rise" was the headline to an article in The Advertiser 27/4/04.
"Australian workers who welcome their inflation-linked pay rise each year are actually going backwards, according to new research." The article went on to say that the Howard Government must ease Australian's tax bills at the next budget to avoid one in three being slugged the top two tax rates within three years.
Why is there a need for a pay rise? It stems from recognition that the cost of living has risen and needs to be compensated. Could there be a better way to offset the costs?
Let us look firstly at what happens when a pay rise is granted. Keeping it simple, we will presume 100 workers are paid $500 per week and are due for a rise of $50. The employer had a weekly payroll of $50,000 which will increase to $55,000 with the pay rise. The first step undertaken by the employer is to approach his bank to increase his working overdraft. The workers achieve their pay rise and at first feel they have regained their financial status. However, it is not long before they notice the tax deducted from the pay packet has reduced the $50 rise. It probably is down to less than $40! Meanwhile the employer has discovered his overdraft costs have risen along with the need to pay higher superannuation and workcover charges. Hence his cost per worker has exceeded $50 to something like $56. He is faced with the choice between a lower profit or having to increase the price of his goods for sale, neither of which is good for the economy. The end result after the pay rise is that workers have $40 extra to buy goods which have risen to $56. That is cost inflation which spirals and causes friction between workers and their employers.

Could there be a better method to maintain purchasing power?
Using the same example where it is acknowledged that the cost of living has risen and needs to be compensated, what if the government offered the workers a tax cut of $50 per week. Immediately their pay packet increases by $50 and their boss need not incur any penalty for bank costs, superannuation or workcover etc. This means that prices have no need to rise and profitability is not affected. Workers benefit by the whole $50 rise and spiralling inflation is halted. Harmony between workers and employers would increase. It is obvious that the taxman is the only one who has lost in this scenario. So the question then becomes - Is the government fostering a process which causes spiralling inflation and the accompanying social problems, so it can fill its coffers?

How then would the government get funds for its projects?
There is much documented evidence confirming government access to new credit, but even if it was not prepared to grasp that nettle and simply borrowed funds like the rest of us, the outcome would be preferable to spiralling inflation. Instead of business increasing borrowings to fund a pay rise that benefits nobody, the government could borrow for its purposes and leave industry to flourish.
Ken Grundy, Naracoorte South Australia

Editor's note: It certainly would give the employers and workers a respite Ken. But government charges on industry also have to go into final prices. As long as governments continue to borrow from the banking system on the basis of 'society' having to repay that which is 'borrowed', via taxes and other charges which includes industry, industry has to recover those charges, therefore, those costs must be included in prices or the producer will suffer loss.

C.H. Douglas wrote in "These Present Discontents & The Labour Party & Social Credit":
"The most important and fundamental function of a bank should be to envisage the capacity of the community it serves, (the true State..ed) taken in conjunction with its plant and culture, to meet the demands made upon it.…"
"Control of credit issue and the regulation of prices are interdependent - you cannot tackle one of them alone. Such issues of credit are constantly in progress at present, and simply put up prices… Credit issue and price making are the positive and negative aspects of the function which controls the economic life of a community - and so controls the community itself."


BRAVE NEW WORLD, NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR - OR NEITHER?

"When, in 1956, Ford's opened their first fully automated car plant in Detroit, they invited the automobile workers' leader, Walter Reuther, to the ceremony and tour of inspection. 'How yoo goin' to collect doos of these machines Mr. Reuther,' a smart-ass junior executive asked. Reuther looked him up and down in silence for a few moments and then replied, 'Sonny. How are you goin' to sell automobiles to these machines?'
And therein lies the dilemma, the question, the problem, that has its roots in the industrial revolution three hundred years ago. Mankind must find the answer to that question if it is to live with the machine in terms of human satisfaction, and not upon the terms of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four. Both are expressions of the Will to Power and a combination of the twin evils is always possible if we do not come to grips with the question and insist on a political answer.

We cannot serve both God and Mammon
"Historically, in fact, not only Reuther's question but also its answer was formulated over (now eighty) years ago. For the science of economics the answer turned out to be as novel and as radical as the Copernican theory had been for the science of astronomy. Unfortunately politicians have gone on believing the economists' superstition that the money-system is the centre of the Universe, fixed and immutable by Divine decree, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary."
Taken from Anthony Cooney's "Clifford Hugh Douglas." Available from all League Book Services, $5.50 posted.

We are British you know
The behaviour of protesters in throwing eggs and rubbish bins at the car of a major French statesman on a visit to Britain ("Le Pen sparks riots on British visit", 27/4) reminds us that fanaticism does not always come from misguided adherents of Islam. Moreover, Le Pen's host organisation, the British National Party, which is largely the creation of its remarkably gifted former leader John Tyndall, is a much more impressive political movement than insult terms such as "extreme right" or "Nazi" suggest. It stands for the simple position that Britain should, fundamentally, remain the land of the British people. The British have never been asked in a referendum if they wished to be swamped with non-British immigrants, as has happened during the past fifty years. BNP opposition to that swamping is not "virulent", but principled - the exact reverse of the "anti-racist" hooliganism in Manchester.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Victoria.


IMPORTANT BOOKS

"The Money Power Versus Democracy" by Eric D. Butler:
This is one of a number of 'gems' Eric Butler produced over the years; it was first published during World War II. Professor Anthony Sutton had dis-uncovered and written of the nexus between International Finance and International Communism, listing the massive economic 'blood transfusions' from the West that had sustained the Communist economy. In later years, Rockefeller established the Chase Manhattan Bank of China to help sustain Communism under Chairman Mao. The centralisation of the Money Power and its control of the politics of all nations are instrumental in furthering its objective of a World Government. As the author proves in this great little book, centralised power is contrary to reality and inevitably produces greater friction and chaos. $8.00 posted.

"One Land, Two Peoples" by Ilan Pappe: A history of modern Palestine.
Ilan Pappe's book is the story of Palestine, a land inhabited by two peoples, with two national identities. It begins with the Ottomans in the early 1800s, the reign of Muhammad Ali, and traces a path through the arrival of the early Zionists at the end of that century, through the British mandate at the beginning of the twentieth century, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent wars and conflicts which culminated in the intifadas of 1987 and 2000. While these events provide the background to the narrative and explain the construction of Zionist and Palestinian nationalism, at centre stage are those who lived through these times, men and women, children, peasants, workers, town-dwellers, Jews and Arabs. It is a story of coexistence and co-operation, as well as oppression, occupation, and exile.
Price: $45.00 Includes Postage & Handling: Order your copy today from your State bookshop.

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