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2 April 2008 Thought for the Week:

"The basis of ordered society is the concept, which cannot be disassociated from Christianity and democracy, that the nation exists to serve individual citizens. The opposite concept, namely, that the state is supreme and that its individual citizens merely exist to serve and glorify the State is the antithesis of the Christian ethic and any realistic view of democracy. It is the concept of paganism and barbarism.
Moreover, this conflicting philosophy contains sufficient dynamite to blow civilisation sky-high. It is this philosophy which is the basis of National Socialism in Germany, Fascist Guild Socialism in Italy, Soviet Socialism in Russia--and it is fundamental to the orthodox so-called socialist concept of society as elaborated and expounded by Karl Marx, Engels & Co…."
The Price of Socialism: "The reign of terror established by Fascist Guild Socialism in Italy, with its glorification of the State and of war accompanied by the persuasive methods of castor oil, and an extensive secret police system, are also familiar."

- - L. Denis Byrne in "The Inevitable Conflict" September 1939


SUMMIT TO 'RULE ON REPUBLIC'

from David Flint's Opinion Column
Summit to rule on republic...media to run governance session...

It has just been revealed that the "2020 ideas for the future summit" in April will consider whether Australia should become a republic. We now have an idea how this summit will operate. And it's not pretty. It's taking on a quite Stalinist edge. John Hartigan, executive chairman of News Limited, is to chair the crucially important governance session.

Becoming a republic is put in the context of "cutting our ties with Britain" which is of course an entirely different question. Don't the organisers know all legal authority of the UK in Australia only lasted as long as we wanted it and was ended when the politicians finally worked out what they wanted in 1986? Don't they know the High Court ruled in 1999 that the Australian Crown is an entirely separate legal institution from the British Crown?
Apart from becoming a republic the session will have a daunting agenda to complete in just two days.
This will include whether we should have a bill of rights; "what levels of transparency good government demands," especially in government dealings with the media; and the impact of freedom of information laws.

It seems the governance session is to be run by the media.
When the government realised it was being politically incorrect and had forgotten about the dated baby boomer issue of gender balance, the former ABC television presenter Maxine McKew MP was added as co-chair.

Call to media to stop playing politics... Inconveniently, News Limited's flagship The Australian (15 March 2005 "Detachment Matters") recently called on journalists to stop playing politics and to get out of the political arena. Day has seized on this and says Hartigan should have refused Kevin Rudd's invitation. (The Australian 20 March 2008 "My boss shouldn't be involved with Rudd's gabfest"). Some more traditional journalists take the view that they should not belong to political organisations. Day says he has "long" argued that journalists should not be joiners, but admits he did not always hold this view. He changed his mind when he was on Australian Republican Movement's executive.
It all became clear when he argued in The Daily Telegraph in 1998 that the ARM needed new leadership "less abrasive" than Malcolm Turnbull's. He was forced off the executive and "nearly drummed out" of the ARM.

Day misses the point.
It's not so much about joining. It's about being objective about the facts and declaring any conflicts of interest unknown to readers. Recently he failed to declare his republican affiliations when he made his extraordinary claim that the Royal Family leaked the story that Prince Harry was in Afghanistan. He later backed away from his line that this was based on observing how the Royal Family manipulates the media, and claimed the story was based on...yes, "impeccable sources".

Shades of the Supreme Soviet...
In any event, Day has well and truly let the cat out of the bag. We now know the details of one of the most important sessions at the Summit. One thing is likely. There'll probably be no one there speaking for those who voted no in 1999. Yet they won in all states, 55% of the popular vote and 72% of electorates. Paul Keating appointed the 2020 summit co-chairman Professor Glyn Davis a member of the 1993 Republic Advisory Committee chaired by Malcolm Turnbull. Keating had made it a strict condition that all members, without exception, be committed republicans, so everyone knows where Davis stands.
Of course, he's entitled to be a republican. It's his modus operandi which is interesting. In 2002, when he was vice-chancellor of Griffith University, the university, The Australian and the ARM, convened the "Australian Constitutional Futures Conference." This was to restart and broaden the debate about "the" republic and the constitutional framework "we" need for the 21st century. Although this conference was hosted by a taxpayer-funded university, no one who was not a committed republican was invited to speak.

Davis gave a paper on republicanism rising again.
The conference papers are no longer accessible on the Griffith University site. No wonder. One speaker ( Greg Barns) referred to the monarchy as "rancid" and "corrupt," "a menace to democracy" with " a cavalier disregard for liberal values, "a" corrupt institution ...prepared to subvert the rule of law... and allow criminal activity to go unchecked within its walls." The monarchy, he said, has "little interest in anything other than self-preservation and that it will ride roughshod over the rule of law, if necessary, to achieve that aim."
Neither the University nor The Australian invited a contribution from the other side, those whose views , after all, prevailed in 1999. So will this be how each of the sessions at the summit will operate? Entirely one sided? If so they needn't bother. They could publish the conclusions now.

Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
The 2020 summit is looking as if it will be as predictable as a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. They could go the whole hog. When Stalin concluded a speech, the record would invariably say: "Prolonged applause, standing ovation, shouts of 'Long live Comrade Stalin!' More applause."


RUDD'S CHINESE CONTROLLER

by David West
Writers of On Target have said that PM Kevin Rudd is a Chinese puppet, pulled by the strings of Asian capitalism. Want more proof? The news unfolded thus: six months before Rudd became Labor's federal leader, he made a trip to China and other countries, financed by Mr. Tang, a business partner of casino tsar Stanley Ho.

Ho is one of Asia's richest men and also one of the Labor Party's biggest donors (The Australian 15-16/3/08 p.6). Rudd "has jocularly referred to Mr. Tang as "my Chinese controller"." See, our lad Kev even thinks of himself as a puppet!

The latest revelations have our boy Kev involved in the public launch of Ho's $1.3 billion Beijing retail development, even though Rudd has said that he was not "really across" what Tang and Ho did. Sure. Why then accept the trip?

This is the end result of electing an Asianist as PM. We are right on track for a repeat of the past. Rest assured, Kevin is not going to disappoint our worst expectations. By the time he is replaced with PM Penny Wong, we will look back with longing to - can I say it, dare I say it - the days of 'god' Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating. We have already elected our Obama.

OBAMA NEEDS YOUR CRITICISM
by James Reed:
For some time I have complained that US Presidential candidate Barak Obama, that creature of the indigestible Oprah, has not been getting the criticism he deserves. Thus, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King (who plagiarised his Ph.D. thesis), Hillary Clinton has claimed that Obama plagiarised a friend's speech. Just go to YouTube "Obama: There Will Be Bamboozling II" to see this multiracial con man in action. He pinches the line "We are the ones we've been waiting for", etc., from earlier sources.

He has been exposed for lying about his white grandmother. He said that she said things involving "racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." That is from a recent speech. But the incident recorded in his Dreams of My Father , does not involve slurs but does involve his grandmother being harassed by a black man. maybe she had a right to be upset being the main bread winner in the family.

Obama has also tossed from his campaign black preacher Jeremiah Wright who has given anti-White, anti-American sermons. Wright's ideology though continues with Obama. His goal is for a post-racial America. That is to say, not an American that sees the end of affirmative action in favour of blacks, but one which is post-white. Obama, if elected, will be the last US president, because "America" will no longer exist. Don't go back to sleep: our turn is just around the corner.

In the John Wayne movie The Searchers, the small posse is caught across the river from a mass of Indians. The comic relief character, whilst readying his rifle says a mock grace: "Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful." And, we shall receive…


GETTING READY TO FEEL THE EFFECTS

by David West
As I am sure any housewife could have told them food prices are going through the roof, (The Australian 28/2/08 p.13), but our farmers are as threatened as ever. It is a global 'trend': food prices are rising worldwide. A surge in biofuel use is one factor, drought another, but none of these accounts for the massive price increases* seen in most countries. I go for the conspiratorial school of thought: that this is another strategy by the global capitalists to bring freedom to its knees. Control first the credit of nations, and then the food. If the people revolt, let them eat… polluted air! Wise readers will start to stockpile in an inconspicuous manner long-lasting food supplies. Check the internet for US survival sites on what to store and how to store it. It is not going to get better in the short term.

A must DVD and/or Video: An Alternate Money System by Charles Pinwill. AUS $14.00 posted

* Further reading: "The Money Bomb," by James Gibbs Stewart. Gibbs Stewart writes: Recessions and depressions are an inevitable consequence of the debt structure, making nonsense of the accepted economic wisdom. AUS $20.00 posted.


ON DRIVING MISS DAISY

by Brian Simpson
It was interesting to read Philip Jones' article "Nature Entitlement" in The Australian Literary Review (5 March 2008). This dealt with two new books on Daisy Bates. Daisy Bates, author of "The Passing of the Aborigines" did a participant-observation study of the Aborigines in the early 1900s. Jones says that "she had conflated Aboriginal hearsay about cannibalism and mythological accounts" which "harmed her anthropological reputation."

Yet when Margaret Mead, and a host of other politically correct anthropologists, reported on what their subjects said, that was considered a methodologically accepted sociological standard. Bates' reports on cannibalism on cannibalism among the Aboriginals are rebutted because a present generation of intellectuals find the subject somewhat 'unsettling'.


DO TWO WONGS MAKE A RIGHT ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

by James Reed
An article in Adelaide's The Advertiser (23/2/08) celebrated the influence of Senator Penny Wong ("Minister for Saving the World"). Here we have everything that the new politically correct morality loves. Penny Wong was 'created' by Bob Menzies' Colombo Plan which brought thousands of third World students to Australia during the White Australia Policy days of the 1950s and 1960s.
It brought together the Australian mother and Malaysian architecture student-father of our world saving minister. The Colombo Plan was Asianist Menzies' attempt at the time to break down the White Australia Policy using a tried and proven strategy of the inevitability of gradualism.

Anyway, the article asks: "Can Senator Wong - elected in 2001, elevated to the ministry in 2007 as the first Asian-born Cabinet minister, the first openly lesbian Cabinet Minister - not only make it in one of the most challenging roles of the new Government but make it to the very top like no woman before her?"
Sure she can. Don Dunstan did it: Penny Wong will do it. She will no doubt go head-hunting for Rudd's position once his approval ratings drop. The chattering classes will back her, because she gets a tick in every politically correct column. She's our Obama! Bob Menzies and Arthur Calwell, good Asian citizens, would be proud.


OH NO! WE'RE NOT BIASED

by James Reed
The Higher Education section of The Australian (12/3/08 p.71) features a picture and story about an attractive young lass studying law who had to change classes because of the ideology of one of the lecturers. The Young Liberals now have a nationwide campaign to expose and end bias in education: "Education Not Indoctrination." Lecturers are apparently forcing students to agree with their political views. Shock, horror.

My god… where were the Young Libs in the 1960s when the politically correct invasion began! Today the show is over on campuses. There is no one left who would defend the sort of opinions like me, Brian Simpson, even poor old Len the Cleaner. I don't know of any Social Crediters at an Australian campus.
These places are intellectual and cultural deserts, examples of a post-white, post-western world. There are even "Post-Colonial Studies departments" at most universities. All funded from your taxes. Talk about digging our own graves!

Henry Louis Mencken (12/9/1880-29/1/1956), my kind of journalist, once said that the real way to reform the universities would be to burn the buildings and hang the professors. Continuing in this tongue-in-cheek fashion, one might object to such a proposal on the grounds that burning the buildings (and books) would increase greenhouse gas emissions, and hanging professors (after I hope, Mencken gave them a fair trial), is surely letting them off the hook too lightly.


SOME MORE OF THE 'MARVELS' OF ISRAEL

by Betty Luks
Philip Chester, president of the Zionist federation of Australia ("Israel's Far-Flung Friend" The Australian 12/3/08 p.14) wrote about the "marvel" of Israel on its 60th anniversary of independence. This celebration of Israel's birthday was made in the midst of the daily missile onslaught from Gaza, as regular now as Australia Post.

Yes, in June, it will also be time to remember the sinking of the USS Liberty by Israel. This occurred in June 1967. President Lyndon Johnson, a true citizen of Israel, ordered a cover-up of the attack, threatening the surviving crew members with gaol if they spoke out.

Admiral Moorer convened a Commission to investigate the attack, shortly before his death. On June 1997, he concluded "that it was Israel's intent to sink the Liberty and leave as few survivors as possible." No doubt the survivors of the USS Liberty attack won't be invited to Israel's big 60th party.


PHILLIP'S FANTASIES

by Christopher Taylor
What competition there is for Wordsmith of the Year! On the one hand we have Paul Keating with his colourful attacks on opponents and praise of the bloodthirsty dictator Suharto, and on the other we have Phillip Adams. Ah! Phillip Adams. Here I have some recent columns cut out and sitting in an untidy pile on my work desk, all from The Australian. 26-27 January, 2008: predictions about the rise of Malcolm Turnbull, who, like Arnie Schwarzenegger will morph into a climate change guru as Kevin Rudd forms a "war cabinet" on "the greatest crisis in history."

Dear Phillip, if climate change was really the problem that greenies say it is, then kiss the consumer society goodbye. What is the "carbon footprint" of an article? Surely, surely, too much! Then on 8 January 2008 he jumped for joy at the prospects of an Obama presidency, complementing Rudd's rule. But the gun crazy racists will be out to get him. From my impression of the article, just like those who killed Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

Now from what I have read on both men, King was killed by James Earl Ray, although there is a conspiracy literature attached to this. Ray is seen by all, not as a racist, but as an anti-communist. Malcolm X was shot by three Black Muslims. But anyway, Obama is the "black Rudd" and that's all that matters. Never mind about Obama's sabre-rattling about Russia and other threats.

Well, maybe not all. Let's finish off the position of governor-general with, wait for it… who else but - Germaine Greer! (22 January 2008). But we could do better: how about Phillip Adams himself for G-G? Isn't this really what he wants? An end to a life of a radio cowboy and churning out articles. Then - although it may mean the end of the world as we know it - at least we wouldn't have to read and reply to his articles anymore! Maybe he might, just might, mature. Such offices, as Bill Hayden found, tend to make the man. No. I'm not serious Virginia.


FRENCH BANK SEEN BEHIND BENDIGO BANK'S 'SURGE'

Remember the time - not so many years ago - main banks centralised their operations and withdrew their services from country towns thus forcing country folk to travel long distances to access banking services?
Remember the way dedicated citizens worked so hard within their local communities to raise enough capital to work in a type of 'community partnership' with the Bendigo Bank who then provided a local banking service?

One wonders what those dedicated and hardworking folk will now feel as they read the following news from The Age (March 12, 2008). "Australian regional lender Bendigo Bank owes its surging share price to French bank BRED Banque Populaire, which has been buying up its stock in recent weeks. Bendigo stock surged more than 10% on Tuesday from its March 10 close of $9.06 to finish that day's trading at $10.00, prompting a ''please explain'' from the Australian Securities Exchange.
Bendigo said it had no idea why its stock had bounced and the bank reaffirmed its profit guidance in its response to the ASX. Its share today closed 55 cents, or 5.5%, higher at $10.55. However market watchers said its newly-forged "French connection"' may have sent a ripple of optimism through the market, encouraging investors to buy into the stock.
A Bendigo Bank spokesman confirmed BRED Banque Populaire, which is part of a co-operative group of 21 French regional banks, has bought into the Victorian-based bank, although its holding is still below the 5% "substantial shareholder" limit…"

Does this mean, in the long term the Bendigo Bank could be taken over by foreign banks who will then reap the profit rewards? Does it mean that the dedicated work by local individuals and the injection of local capital into the banking system, to ensure a local banking facility, for local people, will go to the benefit of foreign banks?

The Age article reports:
"The bank's net profit for the six months to December 31 was $72.8 million, up from $54.3 million the prior corresponding period."
One wonders just how much of that profit was sown back into the local communities. One also wonders did the policy makers at the Bendigo Bank get too greedy and 'played' the futures and derivatives casino markets, thereby placing their financial base - or 'credit worthiness' - at risk? Only time will give us answers.


LETTERS IN THE PRESS

Snowy Hydro and the Need for Further Debate:
In a recent article in the Jindabyne Summit Sun (14 February 2008), a group of Snowy Hydro employees called for an open debate on the future of the company. There is no requirement for further debate. We had the debate during the first half of 2006, and following Australia wide opposition, governments cancelled the sale. That should have been the end of the matter, however, Snowy Hydro management refused to accept the decision and since that time have conducted a relentless campaign to get their way; by denigrating those who opposed the sale; through presentations to Chambers of Commerce, Country Women's Association State Conference, Shire Councils, Service Clubs; via a community newsletter - that is little more than a company propaganda sheet - by lobbying government ministers and via press articles and letters.
I also understand that Snowy Hydro are developing a series of DVD's that further promote their agenda to sell-off the Scheme: and intend to distribute 10,000 copies within the community. As privatisation of the Scheme is contrary to the policy of shareholding governments, this is a blatant misuse of public money and must cease.
Snowy Hydro recently conducted a community feedback survey and make much of the fact that 80% of the local community are concerned if Snowy Hydro cannot continue to grow and succeed in the National Electricity Market. This is a predictable response to such a question, however, as with many company sponsored surveys the sixty-four thousand dollar questions were not asked.
For example;
§ Do you want Snowy Hydro privatised?
§ Are you happy for the Snowy Mountains Scheme to be owned by overseas investors?
§ In private hands the Snowy Scheme's water resource would be controlled by private corporations, most likely multi-nationals, for the next 70 years. Can you accept such an outcome?
§ Should governments find it necessary to vary Snowy Hydro's water licence, (written in favour of the company with 70 years still to run) then they - that is taxpayers - will be required to pay the private owners hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. Is this something that you can accept?
I suggest that had these, or similar, questions been included in the survey the response would have been quite different.
We have also recently heard from Snowy Hydro employees denying that they were offered financial rewards as a result of privatisation. Such offers were unnecessary - financial rewards are built-in - as bonuses, which are tied to company performance, would have risen considerably. As succinctly stated by Alan Kohler when speaking on the ABC's Inside Business Program on 28th May 2006 (before the sale was cancelled) when he said; inter alia, "...the thing to watch will be executive bonuses, and in particular whether they all start getting paid like investment bankers. You see, Snowy Hydro really is an investment bank. It sells insurance derivatives products to retailers...."
The ongoing campaign by management and employees to see the Scheme sold-off is looking more and more like self-interest rather than national interest.
The failure of Snowy Hydro to accept the decision not to privatise and the failure of shareholder governments to direct them to do so, has unnecessarily perpetuated the debate, which must be a significant distraction for employees and a drain on productivity.
It is past time that governments directed Snowy Hydro management and employees to cease their privatisation push, to stop wasting public money and to get on with doing what they are already well paid to do - manage the company as a public entity to the best of their collective abilities.
- - Max Talbot, Cooma NSW

Dust Off the Housing Help: Mail Times, Victoria. 1/2/08
Dear Editor,
Your Editorial of January 25 comments on the shortage of public housing in Australia. Almost 180,000 of the poorest Australians are on waiting lists for public housing. "In the year to June 2007 almost 27,000 households were newly allocated public rental housing." At that rate the newest on the "block" will wait five years for a roof over their heads.
Meanwhile the federal Government has repudiated its election promises of making housing more easily attainable because the money power behind the Reserve Bank says that "fiscal irresponsibility" (read government spending) will aggravate inflation. That dragon is already accelerating under the regime of constant rate hikes, yet economists continue to advocate more pain in the housing market by further hiking rates.
I must, however, disagree with the final sentence of your Editorial, "---- to bring the issue to the attention of governments who have the power and money to fix it." They might have the power but everywhere you look a shortage of funding is evident.
In the same issue you report, "Users want road fix." Do we ever? Not only the Western Highway around Lillimur but virtually every country road this side of the black stump. Look also into Melbourne and the so-called freeway system is totally inadequate. Education and the railways too are in dire need of funding.
The latest is that the police department is so cash strapped that it proposes to sell 25 of its houses to relieve the pressure. They are all in country areas, of course. Perhaps Minyip is one of them.
- -
Yours truly, Ron Fischer Sebastopol Vic.

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