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23 October 2009 Thought for the Week:
[“The Constitution and the Bill of Rights means precisely what we want it to mean”: US Supreme Court 1973]
- - David Flint, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.
THE LAWYER 'S BILL OF RIGHTS
by Ian Wilson LL.B.
The argument that a statutory charter of rights would transfer power from parliament to the courts is correct. If parliament is bad, the courts are worse, being in essence non-democratic institutions. In principle parliament can be influenced by the people, if they fight hard enough, but not the judiciary. They are literally, a law unto themselves. That is why a Statutory charter of rights in the form of the Brennan report, must be fought. The rule of lawyers, is indeed the rule of tyranny.
RED FACES, BLACK FACES: HEY, HEY IT 'S RACISM
by James Reed
I don’t want to rock the boat, but I do think that the skit was “racist” as that term is now defined. Racist, just like black rap music is racist. Or the movies that treat blonde Nordic women as sex toys for coloured men, or the movies that portray blonde men as Nazis, racists or ‘red necks’. Or, blonde jokes that degrade Nordic people.
Yes, let us talk about “racism” and consider Australia’s post World War II immigration policy which has largely been a form of anti-Anglo Saxon demographic warfare. Hey, hey, isn’t that genocide?
LIGHT A CANDLE FOR COMMON SENSE INSTEAD
The email doing the rounds features a picture of the cutest little girl. The text asks that the email be kept circulating in memory of anyone struck down with, or being struck down with, cancer. A worthy thought, but I like the extra message added to the original. It reads:
Before she has even grown boobs she will spend many hours in front of the TV, her house is buzzing with electromagnetic radiation, she will drink fluoridated water, have mercury fillings, used a deodorant with aluminum in it, drink diet coke and other dangerous 'diet' products, she will be told to avoid foods with healthy fats and oils, she will be told that supplements are dangerous, she will carry a cell phone on her and spend hours on the computer.
“There is no cure for breast cancer”....
We the consumers have the power, we can demand (with our spending money) unbleached nappies and personal products right through to pure foods and water. Do your bit in looking after yourself, dependents, others, the planet and she will have a good chance of not getting breast cancer.
Know this information but don't live in fear of it, laugh a lot, connect with people and don't suppress emotions. Be responsible for yourself and don't expect others to look after you, don't pay for your ill health and then pay to be 'fixed'.
AGE DOES NOT WORRY THEM, NOR TIME ERASE THEIR VENGEFULNESS
An 87-year-old Perth man has lost his latest legal fight to stop his extradition to Hungary to face war crimes. The Hungarian Government wants Charles Zentai extradited to Hungary to face a charge of murdering a Jewish teenager in Budapest in 1944. Mr Zentai denies the charge and has been fighting the extradition application for the past four and a half years.
The full bench of the Federal Court has upheld a magistrate's decision that he is eligible for extradition. However it allowed a 14-day stay of proceedings to allow Mr Zentai and his lawyers time to determine if they want to go to the High Court.
THE 'FAITH OF AN ANGLICAN BISHOP
by Betty Luks
The Bishop used the parable of the Good Samaritan to strengthen his argument. He used the parable as an example to criticize those churches and religious organisations that chose to employ fellow Christians. He was most unhappy that they ‘discriminated’ and thought they should be happy to employ anyone at all, no matter the race, culture or religion.
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s – and to God the things that are God’s:
THE BANKING MAFIA IN CHARGE OF 'SAVING US ?
by Betty Luks
The Online Opinion heading reads: “Banking on climate change” and continues:
At the same time, alarm bells have been deafening about the rapid deterioration of our natural climate. Global warming is also upon us. We feel it in the air, we watch it on the news: fires, floods, heatwaves, droughts, death. Polar caps are melting, the world is changing. Yet where are the wild-eyed stares? The horror, the outrage? The global climate crisis is a reality for every person, just like the global financial crisis.
Our salvation in the global climate crisis could lie in visionary business practices of the very people responsible for the global financial crisis. The finance sector - particularly banking, investment and insurance - has the power to offer incentives for greenhouse gas emission reductions, to move the global economy to low-carbon and, literally, to save our skins. The solution to the global climate crisis is disarmingly simple: more efficient energy conversion of current energy sources as well as widespread creation and uptake of renewable energies.
How can the finance sector be our weapon of mass salvation? The answer is that bankers are in a unique position to restrict financing of heavy greenhouse gas-polluting projects and to fund renewable energy and innovative technology. They also have positional power to influence the carbon-emitting behaviour of corporate clients, consumers and competitors. By cutting off their funding greenhouse gas-emitting projects can be restricted and the transition to a low-carbon economy can gather momentum.
In Europe and the US, leading financial institutions are using their power to do exactly this. Dresdner Bank and JP Morgan subject high greenhouse gas-emitting companies to the kind of scrutiny that can result in restricted or no funding for polluting projects. Other investment bankers such as the Allianz Group have developed expertise in the field of renewable energy investments and financing.
Yet enlightened banking practices are far from industry-wide. Two key strategies to mobilise the power of banks throughout the world are the “Equator Principles” and the “Climate Principles” - environmental and social development benchmarks in global project financing.
The Climate Principles are a different story. They aim to accelerate a low-carbon economy by assessing client projects for climate risks, and monitoring and evaluating options to mitigate emissions. The Climate Principles were launched last year, but no Australian banks have signed up. They need to get on board. Australia needs more business leadership from our banks - especially the “big four”, whose reputations have suffered during the global financial crisis due to highly-criticised lending practices and failure to fully pass on interest rate cuts.
The inconvenient truth is that the world’s governments lack leadership and vision on the climate change crisis. Even though new reduction targets were set at the recent G8 meeting, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was caught on-camera commenting that he has no confidence in the Copenhagen negotiations. And most of us agree. There’s too many stakeholders, too much political jockeying, too uncertain a timeline; it’s all too hard.
In government hands, our chances to genuinely reduce global warming are slipping through our fingers. The private finance sector cannot replace the law-making roles of government, but its power and expertise to mitigate climate change is a grand opportunity to make good." (emphasis added…ed)
All that money that you're losing, it's going somewhere, and in both a literal and a figurative sense, Goldman Sachs is where it's going: The bank is a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth - pure profit for rich individuals.
Bubble # Six – Global Warming
Carbon Credit simply a repeat of commodities-market casino:
Here's how it works:
The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the "cap" on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand-new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison's sake, the annual combined revenues of an electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.
Goldman wants this bill. The plan is:
Goldman started pushing hard for cap-and-trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues. (One of their lobbyists at the time was none other than Patterson, now Treasury chief of staff.) Back in 2005, when Hank Paulson was chief of Goldman, he personally helped author the bank's environmental policy, a document that contains some surprising elements for a firm that in all other areas has been consistently opposed to any sort of government regulation. Paulson's report argued that "voluntary action alone cannot solve the climate-change problem."
A few years later, the bank's carbon chief, Ken Newcombe, insisted that cap-and-trade alone won't be enough to fix the climate problem and called for further public investments in research and development. Which is convenient, considering that 'Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, "We're not making those investments to lose money."
The bank owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the carbon credits will be traded. Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utah-based firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes.
"Oh, it'll dwarf it," says a former staffer on the House energy committee… "If it's going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it," says Michael Masters, the hedge fund director who spoke out against oil-futures speculation. "But we're saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That's the last thing in the world I want. It's just asinine."
Cap-and-trade is going to happen. Or, if it doesn't, something like it will. The moral is the same as for all the other bubbles that Goldman helped create, from 1929 to 2009. In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees - while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying for it.
It's not always easy to accept the reality of what we now routinely allow these people to get away with; there's a kind of collective denial that kicks-in when a country goes through what America has gone through lately, when a people lose as much prestige and status as we have in the past few years…
But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going.
The Big Takeover:
STOP PRESS: Bear Stearns ex-managers on trial…
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