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22 June 2007 Thought for the Week:
"AIJAC were strong supporters of the Iraq invasion and publicly campaigned for Australian involvement. A few months after the start of the Iraqi war, Jewish leader Sam Lipski even said Howard's decision to help topple Saddam 'earned a pride of place in Zionist military history' because in his view, Israel had been made safer thanks to Australian grunt.
Like a dutiful actor following a script, Howard uttered the lines that the pro-Zionist lobby wanted to hear (and that he undoubtedly believed):
"Can I take this opportunity, in the wake of the recent events that have occurred in Iraq, to say as a great and staunch friend of Israel, that I believe the world has an historic opportunity to try and convert some of the events that have occurred in the Middle East to the achievement of some kind of lasting peace."
- - - Antony Loewenstein in "My Israel Question," 2006
JOHN OR KEVIN: WHICH ONE IS THE MOST INGRATIATING?
by James Reed
not to be outdone: Kevin Rudd, Federal Opposition Leader on 27 April 2007, in
an address to the Labor Friends of Israel said:
PHILOSOPHY OF A ONE-WAY STREET
by Betty Luks
He wrote: "Dawkins is certainly right in his assertion that religions should not be immune from rational criticism. We must be rational in making decisions as to what is right and what is wrong; and because beliefs on religious matters can have a strong bearing on those decisions, we must be rational in addressing religious questions, no less than in addressing any other questions that may be relevant to our conduct. It is important that any 'leap of faith' to religious belief be consistent with rationally held beliefs about the world and particularly about morality, and that any beliefs contrary to reasonable morality be rejected."
The judge agreed with Dawkins "that there are aspects of the stories and teachings of major religions that are immoral, and have the potential to encourage evil attitudes and actions." Not only that, we shouldn't "be deterred by considerations of respect for those religious beliefs from pointing this out and urging that it be recognised."
An example of a 'one-way
And therein lies a major problem for people generally and religious leaders in particular, how do we distinguish between that which is good and that which is evil, and that which is 'lawful' (equity, fairness, just, right) and that which is 'legal' when considering the host of issues confronting us today?
The 'two-way street'
THE USS LIBERTY AND AMERICA'S RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL
Many Americans recently commemorated the day 40 years ago when America's 'ally' Israel attacked one of her ships and killed many of the sailors on board.
Raimando, Antiwar.com wrote in a May column
sons and our daughters, we are all expendable: Raimondo
Former captain in the Judge Advocate
General Corps assigned to the Liberty investigation, Ward Boston, has signed an
affidavit stating unequivocally:
that is the bitter truth
WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?
From Robert Fisk's: Lies and outrages...
would you believe it?
"When I was a schoolboy,
I loved a column which regularly appeared in British papers called "Ripley's
Believe It or Not!" In a single rectangular box filled with naively drawn
illustrations, Ripley - Bob Ripley - would try to astonish his readers with amazing
Ripley's column lives on, and there is even a collection of "Ripley Believe It
or Not" museums in the United States.
are no suicide bombers in Ripley, no Israeli air strikes
reality - Believe It or Not - it was Israel which attacked Egypt after
Nasser closed the straits of Tiran and ordered UN troops out of Sinai and Gaza
following his vituperative threats to destroy Israel.
cannot work without oppression, repression and expulsions:
A MUSSOLINI-TYPE FASCIST CORPORATE STATE? .... HUH?
The Australian League of Rights has in its possession a video of an Annual State Seminar with the theme "Our Christian Heritage at Risk," held nearly twenty years ago in Adelaide South Australia. The video features three speakers: Eric D. Butler, Jeremy W. Lee and the present Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.
Mr. Downer's paper was titled: "Our Constitution is Under Attack". Downer, at the time, had just been appointed to a shadow minister's position in the Coalition Opposition, but for his unforgivable sin of speaking on a League platform, was swiftly kicked down stairs. He spoke of his rise and fall at the time. It is the same video Paul Keating used as a weapon to attack him in Parliament.
Now why do I bring this matter up at this time? Because Downer at the time presented an excellent defence of the Commonwealth Constitution and spoke out against the Labor centralists in Canberra who were pushing for a Mussolini-type Fascist Corporate State!
a Howard-type Neocon-Corporate-Fascist State?
SPECIAL OFFER: A package of THREE
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THE LATEST HOWARD-COSTELLO BUDGET IN CONTEXTby Jeremy Lee
The startling election publicity about tax-cuts and massive surpluses needs scrutiny from those likely to succumb to propaganda.
Here are the figures for the last three Federal Budgets:
---- $ billion ----
2005/06 : Personal Income Tax $114: Other Income Tax $177 : Indirect Taxes $30 : Total Taxation $208 = Total Budget Receipts $223b.
2006/07 : Personal Income Tax $117: Other Income Tax $185 : Indirect Taxes $32 : Total Taxation $220 = Total Budget Receipts $232b.
2007/08 : Personal Income Tax $119: Other Income Tax $198 : Indirect Taxes $32 : Total Taxation $231 = Total Budget Receipts $249b.
Anyone who can describe these Budgets as "tax-cutting" is a genius in inventive language, if not accuracy!
"The Communist Manifesto"
Unspent taxation should be
returned to taxpayers
from 60% to 160% of household incomes
A READER ASKS: WHAT WERE THE CAE'S?
to a League friend for the following info...
For that reason, class sizes were kept down (not more than 35), laboratories were extensive with lots of hands on work and lecturers were basic professionals (not necessarily with Ph.Ds.) with a requirement of at least 8 years of industrial experience. They were given high levels of autonomy. The CAEs were more or less run by the State with a fair bit of professional association oversight. That is, in engineering for example, the engineering departments were quite rigorously assessed by the Institution of Engineers, Australia, on a regular basis (it may have been every two or three years, my memory on this is hazy).
This set up worked extremely well to the point where the CAEs were attracting star students and graduates were snapped up by industry and the CAEs were perceived as a threat by universities. I might add that, the laboratories were also extremely successful and became largely self-funded.
The tactic then was, that if the CAEs could not be beaten, turn them into universities and centralise control.Thus QIT became QUT, NSWIT became NSWUT, etc. Like all universities, the requirement for Ph.Ds. became mandatory, the requirement for industrial experience largely removed. Because of centralisation, the laboratories largely lost their self--funding capability and were thus greatly diminished. Faculties such as Business and particularly Law ballooned. Class sizes went from 35 up to (in some cases) 200.
graduates 'to sing' the Party song
REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT ON 'LIFE SUPPORT'?
from David Flint's Opinion Column:
Even if the out-of touch republican politicians have not realized it yet, the press is gradually coming to the conclusion that the republican movement is in trouble. As the ABC and Fairfax commentator David Marr put it, the republican movement is "near comatose," a conclusion we reported in this column on 22 January, 2006.
And now, Lenore Taylor has come to a similar conclusion. Writing appropriately in The Queen's Birthday issue of The Australian Financial Review, 9-10 June, 2007, Ms. Taylor says that republicanism is "on life support.". Even a republican prime minister - Labor's Kevin Rudd or the Liberals' Peter Costello - "will struggle to revive the issue." Her comparison between the republican and constitutional monarchist organisations is telling.
She finds that even the most ardent republicans cannot pretend there is strong support for their cause. Moreover they are resigned to it not coming back until the end of this reign. She finds this to be "quite an admission given all the time they have spent telling us that it's all about our own identity, rather than about passing a judgement on the Queen or her offspring." Republicans, she says concede the upsurge in "overt patriotism" that has characterised the Howard years has not translated into support for a republic. She refers to love of our flag among the young. (Perhaps our youth know of the now surreptitious but once open republican agenda to change the flag.)
When Ms Taylor interviewed me, I referred her to polling which now indicates that among the young support for the republic was in free fall. The strongest indication of this came an in-depth youth poll undertaken by the West Australian which we reported on 6 September, 2006. That showed a collapse to 38% support for some vague undefined republic. Ms. Taylor's research confirms that support seems to have fallen away "most dramatically" among the young. Ms Taylor also refers to the then Senate majority's attempts to push republicanism in 2003 and 2004. (This involved republican senators, not content with the $150 million of taxpayers' hard earned funds already spent, shamefully throwing away even more of the taxpayers' money on that hopeless exercise, how to ram a republic down the throats of Australians. I hasten to add that this is my considered judgement not Ms. Taylor's.) But as Ms. Taylor says, senators from all parties "toiled" - yes, "toiled" - over a 200-page committee report wrestling with the issue of how Australia might move further down the road to a republic. They took submissions all over the country, and they debated all the issues at length. (As we reported here on 24 May 2004, those toiling senators were to be confronted in Perth by Janet Holmes à Court, La Passionara of the republican movement, who choked back tears when she recalled the 1999 referendum defeat.) The government, which sensibly regards the issue as settled by the 1999 landslide rejection of the republicans' preferred republic, has not "even deigned to respond" to the senators' wasteful exercise. On that, Ms. Taylor finds that "no one much seems to care, or even to have noticed."
Ms Taylor asks is this because, as I argued, that there is an almost universal lack of interest among the rank and file in republicanism? Or will it, "as republicans dearly want to believe, surge back into the headlines once the nation has a leader apt to take up the cause?" Ms Taylor says this raises two questions. First do republicans have such a leader? And even if they do, does that leader have a plan to overcome the previously fatal divisions within the republican movement? Her answers will depress republicans - both are in the negative. Peter Costello, one possible leader, last year went so far as to include "the" republic (as if they have a model) among the "five big issues" the nation would have to face over the coming years. In what was probably yet another attempt at brand differentiation from John Howard, he claimed that some sort of republic is where "we" are already in "our sympathies and in our imagination." Mr. Costello said that republicans needed a person to "provide a model capable of winning genuine public support." But what was a big issue last year seems to have shrunk, for he now tells Ms. Taylor that he thinks this is "a very low-order issue for Australians."
Nor does Labor offer much hope. The Leader of HM's Opposition, Mr Rudd, does say a republic is an "important part of Australia's future," but then says it would not be a priority for Labor's first term in office. It would be dealt with "in due season." Nicola Roxon, a passionate republican who is on Labor's front bench, ominously told Ms. Taylor that the first term of a Rudd government would be used "to lay the groundwork for what could be done to bring about a republic in the future." What does this mean? Taxpayer funded republican propaganda?
Ms Roxon, like Peter Costello and the Liberal minister and former prominent republican Malcolm Turnbull, believes a "full debate on the issue is unlikely to be triggered until the Queen leaves the throne." They forget the Commonwealth and the world will then be plunged into sadness, to be followed by enormous interest and fascination as the Coronation approaches, and about the Sovereign and the new Heir. Nobody will be much interested in the attempts by a gaggle of republican politicians and others to revive a dead issue.
the generous superannuation taxpayers provided
Ms. Taylor concludes: "Which leaves Australia on the verge of having a republican prime minister but still a very long way from having a republic." ...Incidentally, her article appeared under the superb headline: "Long Live Our Noble Queen." We concur.
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