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21 January 2005. Thought for the Week: There was no hint of any exclusiveness at any time. There was applause when I suggested in my own main talk concerning the philosophy of freedom that under-girds the Social Credit proposals, and the importance of every individual, that we must also, where possible, make common ground with those Moslems making a stand against the monopoly debt system."
Bill Daly 2004

A MESSAGE OF HOPE IN A DARKENED WORLD

The following is taken from a report by Mr. Bill Daly, the National Director of New Zealand's League of Rights

"Over the weekend of last September 4-5, 2004 and the following five days, I attended the annual Conference of the Pilgrims of St. Michael, based at Rougemont, Quebec, Canada. Rougemont is a small town surrounded by apple orchards and corn-fields about an hour's drive from Montreal, the predominately French-Catholic city on the edge of the massive Saint Lawrence River.
The Pilgrims of St. Michael are a lay Catholic apostolate founded by the late Mr Louis Even - a remarkable man - and the largest Social Credit organisation. A highly skilled administrator and teacher, Louis Even, at age 50, was introduced to the works of C.H. Douglas' critical analysis of the debt money system and the Social Credit proposals for correcting its faults.

Down the decades the movement has had varying relationships with the Provincial Quebec Government and the Church hierarchy; from open friendship to occasional hostility, but normally a guarded tolerance. A misguided adventure into party politics in the 1960s by some who had a limited appreciation of the nature of social freedom and what ought to be the proper relationship between people and their political representatives saw the numbers of supporters seriously decline at that time.
The Pilgrims see Church worship and reception of the sacraments (while also considered necessary for personal sanctification), not as ends in themselves, but as the starting point and source of strength and endurance for the work begun by Christ and well-described in the words of the Lord's Prayer; "let it be done on earth as it is in heaven". In true Social Credit fashion, this is accepted as including practical implications for the here-and-now. There is no time for the dissected view of God and of man which insists that the physical and spiritual domains should almost be treated as separate disconnected entities.

For me there were two main themes to emerge from the Conference
The need for basic tuition on Social Credit philosophy and policy back in our respective countries; and the future possibilities for limited, local experiments in the proper use of a society's credit.
There are three potential benefits in such scheme:
· Immediate relief to impoverished people.
· The experiments would be educational.
· And would be tiny examples of what an entire nation could achieve.

Efforts for such development in no way detract from the larger campaign to have proper credit reform at national levels. There have, of course, been many alternative money and credit schemes and so often they have proved too heavy a burden for the usually too few people managing them. What was evident at Rougemont was the new possibility of such developments emerging within, but not exclusively, the third world.

More than one Bishop was present from Mexico and the Philippines and there were a number of priests and lay professional people, some associated with universities. The western intelligentsia, including predominantly the hierarchy of all the churches, seem still too engrossed in the imagery and idolatries of orthodox financial wizardry to be able to consider more clear-headed solutions to the crippling debt-financial system.

'Free Market' Capitalism and Socialism are destructive of people and societies
But this may not be the case among many of the intellectuals and natural leaders of the third world who already know that the corrupted western ideologues and their ideologies of socialism and 'free-market, debt-built, monopoly capitalism' are completely destructive of people and societies.
Certainly those attending from Poland, Mexico, Ecuador, Benin and the Philippines only demonstrated great enthusiasm and hope for genuine credit reform in their diocese, parishes, towns and countries. These were men and women with high standing in their own countries, some in positions of considerable authority. Their humility was inspiring.

Third world Bishops don't control large property and financial portfolios like many of their Western counterparts. They stare at abject poverty and hopelessness every day; but many of them live in societies where they do command great moral authority. I learned that some dioceses in Mexico, for example, can number several million people.
There was no hint of any exclusiveness at any time. There was applause when I suggested in my own main talk concerning the philosophy of freedom that under-girds the Social Credit proposals, and the importance of every individual, that we must also, where possible, make common ground with those Moslems making a stand against the monopoly debt system."


LEADERS OR REPRESENTATIVES?

by Roy Gustard
The impression that a strong democracy requires strong leadership is a myth created by the media and the political party system. In their wisdom, the drafters of our Commonwealth Constitution, who were all political leaders from colonial parliaments, made no mention of the party system or the need for 'leadership'. They wrote of the representation of the people.

In most democracies, the on-going problem of how the elected members may interpret what their constituents want, is an unsolved issue. Perhaps the Swiss system of cantons reflects the most effective method of contact between the people and their representative. With the mechanism of the electors' Right of Recall, if the electorate considered the member ineffective, or legislation required repeal, a decision would be determined by referendum.

The Australian League of Rights looked at this issue many years ago, and suggested to supporters that for democracy to work effectively, an obligation existed with electors to establish contact with their elected representatives. For democracy to be effective, responsibility resided with the voter, as much as with their parliamentary representative. In South Australia, the Rann State government wants Local Government to consult more with the community. But surely the same principles apply for State government and Federal government as well as Local Government? Lip service is not enough!

The Rann government has the ball in its court. Through the initiatives of Peter Lewis MP, the door was opened for South Australians to have Citizens' Initiative working within the state system. The Constitutional Convention exercise showed once and for all, the first thing the people wanted was Citizens' Initiative Referendum. They wanted to have the chance to have a say on the policies the parties push and the legislation they enact.
There is just one problem, Mike Rann and his party have stalemated any further moves. So much for their commitment to participatory democracy. Not to be forgotten at the next state election.


THE SCENT OF FEAR

American newspapers are now publishing articles questioning the wisdom of the war of aggression against Iraq and weighing up what are the real costs for them all. The following story suggests the Bush regime, in its desperation, could attempt to lift the two-year ceiling for active duty call-ups. No American government was game enough to do this during the Vietnam War. One correspondent observed: "If it happens, it would make the National Guard and Army Reserves the indentured servants of Donald Rumsfeld -- indefinitely. Real revolutions have started over less!"

New York Times 10th January, 2005 by Bob Herbert
"The assembly line of carnage in George W. Bush's war in Iraq continues unabated. Nightmares don't last this long, so the death and destruction must be real. You know you're in serious trouble when the politicians and the military brass don't even bother suggesting that there's light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing ahead is a deep and murderous darkness.

With the insurgency becoming both stronger and bolder, and the chances of conducting a legitimate election growing grimmer by the day, a genuine sense of alarm can actually be detected in the reality-resistant hierarchy of the Bush administration. The unthinkable is getting a tentative purchase in the minds of the staunchest supporters of the war: that under the current circumstances, and given existing troop strengths, the U.S. and its Iraqi allies may not be able to prevail.

Military officials are routinely talking about a major U.S. presence in Iraq that will last, at a minimum, into the next decade. That is not what most Americans believed when the Bush crowd so enthusiastically sold this war as a noble adventure that would be short and sweet, and would end with Iraqis tossing garlands of flowers at American troops. The reality, of course, is that this war is like all wars - fearsomely brutal and tragic. The administration was jolted into the realization of just how badly the war was going by the brazen suicide bombing just a few days before Christmas inside a mess tent of a large and supposedly heavily fortified military base in Mosul. Fourteen American soldiers and four American contractors were among the dead.
Brig. Gen. David Rodriguez told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday of an ominous new development in Iraq. "We've noticed in the recent couple of weeks," he said, "that the I.E.D.'s [improvised explosive devices] are all being built more powerfully, with more explosive effort in a smaller number of I.E.D.'s."

Mr. Bush's so-called pre-emptive war, which has already cost so many lives, is being enveloped by the foul and unmistakable odour of failure. That's why the Pentagon is dispatching a retired four-star general, Gary Luck, to Iraq to assess the entire wretched operation. The hope in Washington is that he will pull a rabbit out of a hat. His mission is to review the military's entire Iraq policy, and do it quickly.
I hope, as he is touring the regions in which the U.S. is still using conventional tactics against a guerrilla foe, that he keeps in mind how difficult it is to defeat local insurgencies, and other indigenous forces, as exemplified by such widely varying historical examples as the French experiences in Indochina and Algeria, the American experience in Vietnam, the Israeli experience in Lebanon, and so on.

But even the fortuitously named General Luck will be helpless to straighten anything out in time for the Iraqi elections. The commander of American ground forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, made it clear last week that significant areas of four major provinces, which together contain nearly half the population of the entire country, are not safe enough for people to vote. "Today I would not be in much shape to hold elections in those provinces," said General Metz.

With the war draining the military of the troops needed for commitments worldwide, the Pentagon is being forced to take extraordinary steps to maintain adequate troop strength. A temporary increase of 30,000 soldiers for the Army, already approved by Congress, will most likely be made permanent. The Pentagon is also considering plans to further change the rules about mobilizing members of the National Guard and Reserve. Right now they cannot be called up for more than 24 months of active service. That limit would be scrapped, which would permit the Army to call them up as frequently as required.

A brutal 'in-your-face' draft
That's not a back-door draft. It's a brutal, in-your-face draft that's unfairly limited to a small segment of the population. It would make a mockery of the idea of an all-volunteer Army. Something's got to give. The nation's locked in a war that's going badly. The military is strained to the breaking point. And it's looking more and more like the amateur hour in the places that are supposed to provide leadership in perilous times - the Pentagon and the White House.

Comment
When the war of aggression was first launched against Iraq, veteran observer of world politics and events, Eric D. Butler, said the war could yet prove to be 'another Vietnam' for the Americans. At the start of the American bombardment, when the Iraqi army faded into the background in Baghdad, putting up limited resistance to the invasion forces, I thought then of the words of one old-timer: "The Arabs don't fight the way western armies do… they fight with guile and cunning."
Looking back, we can now ask: Who in their right mind would stand before the awesome fire-power of the Americans and be blown to pieces - and for what? Better to make a hasty retreat and live to fight another day… And that is just what the Iraqis did and are doing!


AND NOW…. THE GENERATIONAL WAR

by Betty Luks
First it was the 'class war', then the 'race war', then the 'gender war': one of the next wars planned by our financial and political masters is the 'generational' war. But these 'wars' are not military wars, they are wars for the control of 'public opinion'; for control of the 'hearts and minds' of the people. They are wars aimed at dividing and conquering a people by 'other means'. Every time they divide the truth of the matter; one group of citizens is pitted against another - but for whose benefit?

How many times have you noticed articles bewailing the 'looming doom' resulting from having to finance the increasingly-mushrooming 'older' generation's social security payments in their retirement? (e.g., Adelaide Advertiser "Grey Future" a report by Maria Moscaritolo, 26th November, 2004). More and more we are being presented with the scenario of these 'hordes of oldies' and the terrible drain on the public purse in feeding, clothing and housing them.

To reinforce this idea, we are constantly led to believe 'the public purse' originates with the overburdened, oppressed taxpayer. (Please note, I am not saying the taxpayer is not overburdened and oppressed but that is another story.)

A SOCIAL HERITAGE - the National Dividend
Not only should the older generation receive their social security support, they have undoubtedly earned it, we think every citizen in this great commonwealth of ours should be receiving their own 'dividend' as part of their social inheritance. It would be based on the people's real credit and funded through debt-free finance, as a dividend; and not as some grudging government handout, and not financed through the over-burdened taxpayers' taxes.

It is encouraging to read that William Krehm of the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) has grasped this truth. He wrote:
"Major Douglas had a great neglected truth by the tail, when he emphasised that our inventions, and even our social practices would be unthinkable without the great "social heritage" of philosophers, martyrs, anonymous inventors and slave scientists (he was an engineer by training, but coined the poetical great question, "Must we build machine guns in order to buy a cabbage?").
This "social heritage" must not be appropriated entirely by those who patent an invention or a gene and employ it as though it were not based, to a significant extent, on this vast social heritage. Hence he (Douglas) developed the idea of a social dividend, which would be a modest payment to all members of society."

You will note in the following article from an American journalist the Bush regime is working towards 'privatising' the US Social Security system. How will they 'sell it' to the American people? And to whom will they 'sell' it? Australians are also being conditioned to accept such an idea.

William Krehm from COMER outlined how they now 'con' us
"Our Governments' present accountancy, mistakes the private sector for the entire economy. What is not marketed is taken to be an "externality". That is as though you calculated your personal net worth by mentioning only the mortgage on your home, but omitting the home that the mortgage financed. That is what has for years been fobbed off on the public as "prudent fiscal management". Nor is it an innocent error. It serves the interests of those who have for three or four decades been destroying the re-distributive functions of the state.

If you carry capital assets on the government books at a token value (such as Telstra?…ed) you can sell them for a tiny fraction of their real worth to deserving cronies or charming strangers. And then organise a public company, and earn a bouncing profit. And the taxpayers who have already paid once for those assets in taxes,

SABOTAGING SOCIAL SECURITY

by Robert Scheer, United States, Alternet
The anti-Social Security crowd is trying to make this a young-versus-old generational fight, even though seniors still pay taxes like anybody else.
Just my luck: I finally get to be a senior citizen only to discover that the president considers my longevity a grave threat to the nation. Apparently, my collecting Social Security cheques for as long as I have left on this Earth is going to help bankrupt the economy and/or be an unbearable burden on young Americans.

That's why, after seven decades of unmitigated success in protecting seniors from the vagaries of market forces, the White House now wants to turn Social Security itself over to the vagaries of market forces. The conservative mantra, whether it comes to energy policy, war in Iraq or education, is to siphon public money into the private sector whenever and wherever possible, through such gimmicks as agribusiness subsidies, school vouchers and the hiring of private mercenaries. Greed perfectly meshes with ideology in the Republican Party, and the attempted sabotage of Social Security is just another example.

While the followers of Milton Friedman talk about the free market in religious terms, Wall Street is slavering at the possibility of one of the biggest potential windfalls in human history if the Social Security spigot is turned its way. The attendant investment fees alone would be enormous - certainly higher than the minimal 1% overhead costs the current Social Security system consumes.

What's astonishing is that despite the recent spate of abrupt corporate bankruptcies and Wall Street corruption scandals, the president would have us believe only stockbrokers can save Social Security, and the stability of the entire fund would be tied to a stock market that has been known to tank now and again. Further, even the president's key advisors admit that the short-run cost of "privatising" Social Security would add trillions of dollars to the Bush legacy of federal government red ink…For three-quarters of a century, Social Security has guaranteed us all a life of modest dignity as we live out the end on this mortal coil.
So - if you'll pardon this senior's use of a curmudgeonly truism - I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it."


BBC FILM QUESTIONS REAL THREAT OF 'TERRORISM'

Why are we not surprised to learn that a new BBC film argues that much of what we have been told about the threat of international terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians". A new BBC film produced by one of Britain's leading documentary filmmakers systematically challenges this and many other accepted articles of faith in the so-called "war on terror".

The Power of Nightmares

The Rise of the Politics of Fear, a three-hour historical film by Adam Curtis recently aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation, argues that much of what we have been told about the threat of international terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media."

Consider just a few of the many questions the program poses
o If Osama bin Laden does, in fact, head a vast international terrorist organisation with trained operatives in more than 40 countries, as claimed by Blair, Bush and Howard, why, despite the torture of prisoners, have the authorities failed to produce hard evidence of it?
o How can it be that in Britain since 9/11, 664 people have been detained on suspicion of terrorism but only 17 have been found guilty, most of them with no connection to Islamist groups and none who were proven members of al Qaeda?
o Why have we heard so much frightening talk about "dirty bombs" when experts say it is panic rather than radioactivity that would kill people?
o Why did Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claim on Meet the Press in 2001 that al Qaeda controlled massive high-tech cave complexes in Afghanistan, when British and U.S. military forces later found no such thing?

The documentary doubts not that an embittered, well-connected and wealthy Saudi man named Osama bin Laden helped finance various affinity groups of Islamist fanatic terrorists, nor does it challenge the notion that a terrifying version of fundamentalist Islam has led to gruesome spates of violence throughout the world. But the film directly challenges the conventional wisdom by making a powerful case that the Bush administration, led by a tight-knit cabal of Machiavellian neoconservatives, has seized upon the false image of a unified international terrorist threat to replace the expired Soviet empire 'cold war' threat in order to push a political agenda.

While the BBC documentary acknowledges that the threat of terrorism is both real and growing, it disagrees that the threat is centralised.

"There are dangerous and fanatical individuals and groups around the world who have been inspired by extreme Islamist ideas and who will use the techniques of mass terror - the attacks on America and Madrid make this only too clear. But the nightmare vision of a uniquely powerful hidden organisation waiting to strike our societies is an illusion. Wherever one looks for this al Qaeda organisation, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the 'sleeper cells' in America, the British and Americans (and Australians…ed) are chasing a phantom enemy."
The fact is, despite the efforts of several government commissions and a vast army of investigators, we still do not have a credible narrative of a "war on terror" that is being fought in the shadows. Consider, for example, that neither the 9/11 commission nor any court of law has been able to directly take evidence from the key post-9/11 terror detainees held by the United States. Everything we know comes from two sides that both have a great stake in exaggerating the threat: the terrorists themselves; and the military and intelligence agencies that have a vested interest in maintaining the facade of an overwhelmingly dangerous enemy.


BASIC FUND

It is encouraging to see that over the holiday break supporters have brought the fund up to $10,144.60. We well understand there will be many demands on our supporters' resources at this most dramatic moment in our history. Not only the horrendous earthquake and tsunami devastation and loss of life, but also the recent bush fires in South Australia, again with the tragic loss of precious lives. For this reason we are thankful to those who have given to our cause so generously.

IT -- HAS - BEEN ACHIEVED!!! THE CD - IS -- COMPLETED!!!

How does one put into words the amazing sense of achievement those few, those very few, must feel at the completion of the scanning, proof reading and setting out on to computer in a programme form, the forty years of the weekly journal "On Target"? It averaged out at 40-50 minutes of human time for each weekly "On Target" to be scanned, proof read and programmed. We will let our readers calculate the hundreds and hundreds of hours that have gone into the CD's making. We are not exaggerating when we say it was 'forty years in the writing' and 'two years in the making'!

Available for sale very shortly.
Just think, with the wonders of modern technology and your own On Target CD, you will be able to bring up on to your computer screen, in an instant, any issues, events and/or people written about in the On Target over the last forty years. You will have your own Australian history library 'on tap', as written by the Australian League of Rights.
Thank you to those dedicated and untiring 'slaves' who achieved this tremendous result!


SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The first meeting for the year will be held on Thursday evening, 27th January, 2005 commencing at 7.30pm. The venue is the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace Bankstown. First time visitors are advised that the Lithuanian Club is situated approximately 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. Proceed east along South Terrace past West Terrace. There is ample car parking space at the Club. Cost of attendance is $5.00.
Guest Speaker will be, Kath Styles, and her subject: "The Inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia - William Lyne, the first constitutional crisis at Federal Level 1900-01". Kath is a retired school teacher with a great knowledge of the early history of Federation. She says political chicanery also existed at the time of Federation - hers is a story of political ambitions and reverberations, not unlike Shakespeare's MacBeth.
Date for your Diary:
Thursday evening 24th February, 2005. Guest speaker: Mr. David Duffy and his Subject will be, "Atlantis, a Drowned World."

HELP SAVE TELSTRA - WHAT HAS TO BE DONE

· Inform your federal politicians, both Representatives and Senators, you do not want him/her to vote for sale of Telstra.
· Insist Senators represent their State on this matter not a political party.
· Contact all Local Government and State Government representatives, including the Premier, and ask them to support the campaign to retain Telstra for the people.
· Write to as many media outlets as possible informing the readers of what is happening and asking readers to join in the campaign.
· Write to local business leaders and community groups seeking their involvement in the campaign.
Send for your supply of "Telstra" flyers. Addresses on back page of Bulletin. Prices include postage & handling: 5 copies $3.00; 10 copies $5.00; 50 copies $15.00

IMPORTANT NEW BOOKS

"How to Kill a Country" by Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon & John Mathews.
Australians have been sold out by their so-called political representatives for far too long. The Australia-US Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America must be the last straw. This book by three Australian academics discloses the devastating trade deal our so-called political representatives and bureaucrats have made with the Americans.
The authors are right when they write:
The priorities we establish for ourselves in our dealings with foreign powers --whether allies or otherwise -- flow from the way we view ourselves as a people and our potential place in the world. So, for example, a national strategy which takes pride in Australia's achievements, has confidence in its people's abilities, and adopts a positive view of our future, will seek to secure the conditions necessary to safeguard what we have developed and to enhance its value in the future. What recourse does one have when our elected representatives start representing the interests of other countries? Do we, in the words of one Australian business leader, 'need laws to prevent a government making agreements it knows are economically disadvantageous to Australians'? The answer is yes. Of course we do. In fact, this already exists. The Crimes Act of 1914 explicitly outlaws treachery -- the knowing betrayal of the interests of one's country. Can we do anything about this deal or must it play out before our eyes like some Greek tragedy? Without taking too drastic action, the authors suggest ways for staging a fight-back. Price: $29.95 posted.

"1215: The Year of Magna Carta" by Danny Danziger & John Gillingham.
For one who had the sheer joy of visiting the Church/Cathedral at Bury-St-Edmunds and reveling in the historical display which included replicas of the shields of the Barons of Magna Carta/Runnymede fame, I found this book such a delight. It opens an historical window revealing the life and times of the people of Magna Carta and what this all means for western man today. The mediaeval design of the cover which features the baron's shields is just delightful and gives the right 'feel' and fixes the right time-frame for the contents of the book. Price: $29.95 posted.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159