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13 April 2012 Thought for the Week:

A Blessed Holy Week to Our Readers

The Holy Resurrection (Orthodox) Church (originally built by Constantine the Great) was built around 330AD.
St. Helena, Constantine's mother, visited the Holy Land in order to build churches over the sites of Christ's Birth, Passion, Death and Resurrection!

Saint Catherine's Katholikon is the oldest active church, where the Divine Liturgy has been celebrated every day since it was constructed in the sixth century. The living tradition there holds that not one day has passed without the Divine Services and Mysteries being celebrated.

The Mystery Of Monastic Silence
There is a time to speak and a time to be silent, the Scriptures tell us


“WHICH GENESIS STORY SHOULD CHRISTIANS BELIEVE”?

by Betty Luks
It was originally Andrew Bolt’s fault; as Holy Week was approaching he wrote an article on his blog asking: “Which Genesis story should Christians believe?” The article was based on a book written by an atheist who pointed out the historical inaccuracies found in the Genesis story. Feeling quite irritated at the time, I thought to myself, there you are, here come the attacks on Christians and their Faith as one of the most holy times in the Christian calendar draws near.

My irritability was aroused again just recently, but this time it was caused by fellow Christians. Christians who have never troubled themselves to earnestly consider what Jesus meant when he warned: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon (money).” I would have thought the first thing to do when they read that passage was to find out who or what ‘Mammon’ is/was.

Then there are those Christians who think that people such as those within the League of Rights/Social Credit movement are really part of a cult because of the references to that body of knowledge time and time again. But, just as Eric Butler recorded in his booklet “Releasing Reality: Social Credit and the Kingdom of God” I can say that the course of my life was changed by my first introduction to the ideas of the Social Credit movement…and Douglas's most profound impact upon me has been in the sphere of religion.

Yes, Andrew Bolt “the New Testament narrative, "the word of God," does reflect obvious human imperfections, whilst there is at least one major contradiction as witnessed by the glaring discrepancy between the written genealogy of Christ as given in Matthew and Luke.
And yes, one of my greatest difficulties was in attempting to reconcile the Christian God of Love of The New Testament with the God of The Old Testament, where the most savage and treacherous acts are recorded as having been committed in His name.

Later I came to realise that, irrespective of the imperfections of the record of Christ as given in the four synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, nearly two thousand years of history had convincingly demonstrated that when the Truths enunciated by Christ were applied in human affairs, a new and creative type of Civilisation came into existence.

Douglas’ presentation of the vital importance of the Doctrine of Incarnation was a revelation to me and I have long come to the conclusion that Social Credit is, as Douglas said, “practical Christianity.”  


NIGEL FARAGE - FUTURE OF ENGLAND WITHIN EUROPEAN UNION

“It is a shame, that a Brit has to represent my interests as a German in the EU parliament, and the Germans are doing everything to harm me, and every other people in Europe. Mr. Farage, future generations are going to thank you for what you have done for the European citizens. Europe must rise up to fight for democracy and freedom against the EUDSSR. With respect and love to all my fellow citizens in Greece, UK, Italy, Spain, France and so on from Germany!”


‘ECONOMICS’ IS SIMPLY….

Wallace Klinck,Canada
Social Crediters are aware of the "changes" that have taken place in the financial system over the years and they are entirely predictable as inevitable in the light of the Social Credit analysis. But Social Credit does not simply intend to fiddle with the existing financial system - which embodies a policy incompatible with, and inimical to, that of Social Credit.

As an engineer accustomed to dealing with bedrock realities Douglas analyzed the nature of the financial credit system as it relates to the physical realities of basic production, distribution and consumption. From this level he formulated financial principles intended to make financial accountancy an accurate reflection of these basic physical realities. The fact is, the existing financial system has evolved various stratagems by which to perpetuate itself and its own policies.

"Economics" is simply the application of energy, both human and non-human, to the conversion of matter into forms deemed useful and/or desirable by man. In this sense, nothing fundamental has changed whatsoever except that the physical process has become more sophisticated and efficient through discovery and utilization of natural laws.

In order to grasp the realities involved, one must purge temporarily the concept of money from the mind and this necessitates attention to fundamental physical realities. Only in this manner can the student wipe from his eyes the cobwebs of established financial mythology which distorts and obscure one's vision and understanding. Otherwise one will be engaged in an endless quest forever meandering aimlessly, led by a will o' the wisp.  


FEMINISM, WOMEN’S LIB AND BANKING: HOW IT ALL ENDS

by James Reed
John Wayne received his only academy award for playing the role of US Marshal Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (which now has a horrible remake). A follow up movie with Katherine Hepburn (if my memory holds out) called something like The Rooster and the Lady, features an early proto-feminist type, but a loveable one. Rooster says at one point that there will be trouble if they are given the vote. But – he should have been thinking about banking.
“Kelly’s New Kind of Liberation”, The Australian, March 8, 2012, p.19, features Westpac chief Gail Kelly with some “no-nonsense, pragmatic” senior female Westpac executives at a lunch on March 7, celebrating International Women’s Day. (Footnote: Let’s have say March 9 as International Traditionalist Men’s Day!) Ms Gail has on the purple ribbon marking the day.

The point of the article is, perhaps, to “celebrate” the great achievement of women. Have women humanised banking? Looks the same to me.

Really, what’s so great about reaching the top of capitalism’s greasy pole, for either men or women? But for feminist ideology that is as good as it gets. Clearly feminism has been about getting women enmeshed into the workings of capitalism and reducing to economic transactions, things that were once outside of the economy. Feminism then, even given its Leftist parentage, is a profoundly capitalist phenomenon.

Women’s liberation is thus, all about money and the economy. Hence we welcome social credit to restore things once more to God’s natural balance. Until then, let us call International Women’s Day, International Global Financiers Day!  


COURT RULING: ‘BIG PHARMA’ CAN’T PATENT LAWS OF NATURE

“Supreme Court rules biotech Prometheus Laboratories can't patent 'laws of nature'”, by Ethan A. Huff, NaturalNews
The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are known for trying to hijack nature and claim it as their own personal property via the patent process. But a recent US Supreme Court ruling has set a new precedent against this fraudulent practice, as Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has ruled invalid two medical diagnostics patents held by Prometheus Laboratories, a biotech company owned by food giant Nestle.

According to reports, Prometheus had developed a diagnostic method for testing levels of metabolites in patients' blood to determine proper dosage levels of a class of drugs known as thiopurines. This method, which became widely adopted in the medical field, eventually birthed competing diagnostic protocols that performed the same or similar functions.

In 2004, for instance, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota developed its own metabolite testing protocol and abandoned Prometheus' product. And in response, Prometheus filed a lawsuit against the Mayo Clinic alleging that the use of the protocol represented a patent infringement, which represented a first in the area of diagnostic medicine. But because these methods were simply the routes used to deliver drug products and not actually drugs themselves, the patent filings were found to be an illegitimate attempt to patent natural processes. In its decision, the court noted that doctors or clinics who use such methods are merely utilizing advancements in science for the betterment of patients, and are not in violation of any sort of patents.

"Laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas are not patentable," said the decision by Justice Stephen Breyer, who overturned a previous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in favour of Prometheus' two patents. "[A]n application of a law of nature ... must do more than simply state the law of nature while adding the words 'apply it' ... [t]he claims are consequently invalid."

The decision has prompted a fresh review of another case involving Myriad Genetics & Laboratories, a company that had tried to patent human genes. Back in 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had declared these patents valid, but thanks to the recent decision in the Prometheus case, that decision could eventually be reversed. (http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120326-710189.html).

"The chemical structure of native human genes is a product of nature, and it is no less a product of nature when that structure is 'isolated' from its natural environment than are cotton fibres that have been separated from cotton seeds or coal that has been extracted from the earth," wrote a U.S. Department of Justice briefing on the issue several years ago.

Further sources for this article include: http://arstechnica.com https://www.naturalnews.com/035368_patents_laws_of_nature_Supreme_Court.html  


THE FALLING APART OF THE WHITE WORLD

by Brian Simpson
I have not yet got this book – no library in Australia has it yet – but Charles Murray’s "Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960 – 2010" (Crown Forum, 2012) is a sign of the times. F.R. Devlin, “Elite and Underclass”, at Alternativeright.com, February 23, 2012, gives a review. In short, the old WASP ruling class is gone, replaced by elite technocrats of many races and ethnicities. Their power is based on cognitive ability and education (and money?)

Meanwhile for over half of America, income has not increased since 1970. For Murray, a meritocracy based on cognitive ability has emerged, which he describes as “Overeducated Elitist Snobs”. The class is liberal, pro-immigration and generally politically correct and living in green leafy neighbourhoods. It is very much out of touch with the rest of America.
Nevertheless, Murray is optimistic about America’s future and does not see a decline in America’s power coming, even though all of the evidence in his book points to the emergence of two cultures (or more) and a country “coming apart”.  


THE COMPLEXITIES OF EXPERT EVIDENCE IN MURDER TRIALS

by Ian Wilson LL.B.
Journalist Hedley Thomas (“Judged Guilty in the Minds of the Mob”, The Weekend Australian, February 25-26, 2012, p.24) argues that Lindy Chamberlain and Gabe Watson (the dive death case) were cases of a miscarriage of justice involving “media incitement”. Thomas rightly points out that “extreme prejudice” had “coloured Chamberlain’s criminal trial”, with Lindy’s religion and personality leading to her being portrayed by the media as “evil.” I recall the treatment of Lindy in the press in 1980, especially the treatment at trial and agree.

Beyond the media influence lies a more important question about the correct functioning of the DPP and the courts. People are influenced by media opinions of course, but there is a larger question of cases being put up on weak prosecution evidence by what Thomas calls “zealous prosecutors”. The Gabe Watson case is an example, but the case of Wood v R ([2012] NSWCCA 21,24 February 2012) is another example.
That case involved the conviction of Gordon Wood for the murder of Caroline Byrne on June 7, 1995, where Wood was alleged to have thrown Byrne from a cliff top at Watsons Bay. It was held that physics evidence by expert witness Associate Professor Rod Cross showed that the hypothesis that Byrne committed suicide was not consistent with the facts and it was beyond reasonable doubt that she was thrown.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales, Court of Criminal Appeal upheld Wood’s appeal and quashed the conviction. Although the media has focussed on the Court’s criticisms of Associate Professor Cross’ expert evidence, after reading the 162 page judgement my opinion is that the media view is a vast over-simplification of a series of complex issues. The trial court had expert evidence from two physicists and two professors of biomechanics. There were differences in opinion between Associate Professor Cross’ experiments and experiments conducted by Professor Pandy (at p.50)

These are only some of the complexities involved in the trial. With all of these difficulties, as the Hedley Thomas article shows, the last thing needed is a trial by media to be running at the same time. And with all of these elements of complexity it is relatively easy to see how a miscarriage of justice could occur.  


UK GOVERNMENT TO RECONSIDER NERVE AGENT PESTICIDES

“Government to reconsider nerve agent pesticides”, The Independent 31 March 2012: The Government is to reconsider its refusal to ban neonicotinoid pesticides, the nerve-agent chemicals blamed for the collapse of bee colonies worldwide, the chief scientist at the Department of the Environment, Sir Robert Watson, told The Independent. Sir Robert, a former head of the UN climate panel, moved quickly to begin a comprehensive re-evaluation of the Government's stance after two new scientific studies, from Britain and France, strongly linked neonicotinoid use to bee declines. He said the new studies, and others, would be closely analysed.

The Government has refused previous requests to consider a precautionary suspension of the chemicals, which have been banned in France and Italy, despite mounting evidence that they are harmful to bees and other pollinating insects, even in minute doses. Bees' role in pollinating crops is worth billions of pounds annually to global agriculture.

Even after the new studies were published, a spokesman for Defra said the new research did not change the Government's position, and that "the evidence shows that neonicotinoids do not pose an unacceptable risk to honey bees". But yesterday Sir Robert said: "The real Defra position is the following: we will absolutely look at the University of Stirling work, the French work, and the American work that came out a couple of months ago [a study by the US government's leading bee researcher, Dr Jeffrey Pettis, which showed that exposure to microscopic doses of neonicotinoids weakened bees' resistance to disease]. We must look at this in real detail to see whether or not the current British position is correct or is incorrect.

He added: "I want to get a really careful analysis of all three papers, and I've asked for a briefing on some ongoing work that we've been doing ourselves. I want this all reassessed, very, very carefully."  


OBAMA! CARE FOR YOUR TRANSGENDER NANNY!

by James Reed
If only a grizzly bear could have been worked into this story, we would have had everything! “Obama’s Transgender Nanny Found Living in Jakarta Slum”, The Australian, March 7, 2012, p.10, tells us that the transgender “woman” who looked after young Obama is living in slums in Jakarta “unable to express her sexual identity”.
The future president used to laugh at Turdi the nanny, dressed as a man, who put on his mother (Ann Dunham’s) lipstick while working. Anne was married to her second husband, an Indonesian, after divorcing her first Kenyan husband.

I am shocked! Obama, champion of political correctness, needs to stop worrying about making the international financiers happy and help this transgender person who can’t express his/her sexuality. And here is some wisdom from the nanny: “When people call me scum I can just say ‘But I was the nanny for the President of the United States’” Great idea – when people call me “scum” I will say the same thing!  


THE GHOST OF MANNING CLARK?

by Peter Ewer
According to Andrew Trounson, students are losing interest in studying Australian history (“Why Our History’s Losing its Lustre”, The Australian, March 7, 2012, p.32). Now in my opinion this could be due to the “ghost of Manning Clark”, the Left’s historian who championed the black armband view of Australia.

The granddaughter of Manning Clark, Anna Clark, is a post doctoral fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney, and has also been featured in the media. “Double Take on History’s Not Too Taxing”, The Australian, March 7, 2012, p.29). Her reported research here is in empirical history and she found by interviewing ordinary people that they understand multiple history perspectives i.e., January 26 is Australia Day for Aussies and Invasion Day for whoever else. So, she asks, “why does a partisan and simplistic debate continue to dominate the media and politics?”

A good question that the article in The Australian doesn’t answer. Could it be that a partisan and simplistic view of Australian history, leading to the “invasion Day” rhetoric has been promoted by older Leftist teachers, such as Manning Clark, who have dominated more balanced positions such as that of Geoffrey Blainey? Could it be that there are severe defects in the historical understanding of media and political elites?  


THERE IS ALWAYS A MORE RADICAL FEMINISM

by Ian Wilson LL.B.
Laura A. Rosenbury, “Friends With Benefits”, Michigan Law Review, vol. 106, 2007 has written an article pushing feminism to the next level. Or, as was said in review at the excellent Oz Conservative site (http://ozconservative.blogspot.com.au), “There’s always a more radical liberalism”. I saw the title “Friends With Benefits” advertised as a movie a few months back so was curious enough to read the entire article in the Michigan Law Review. You are right: “I don’t have much of a life!

The article argues that family law should change so that even gay marriage is no longer privileged. Instead the law should be concerned with friendship relationships between autonomous liberal individuals. Friends may thus receive benefits which now go to spouses and children. This sort of thing occurs in France and Canada which have extended “domestic partnership benefits to any two people in a relationship of economic “interdependence” regardless of conjugality”. (pp 221 – 222)

However, this only goes part of the feminist/liberal way, as it does not “challenge the privilege of coupling.” (p.222) A series of reforms are proposed which essentially deconstruct marriage and recognise fluid relationships and nonexclusivity and “Individual preference, rather than legal definition, would control which relationships are supported by the State and which are not.”

All this, it could be argued in reply, is not logically consistent. Why restrict family law to friends? How about including pets as well? And can men play the deconstructionist game as well? What about relationships with inanimate objects such as sheds, power tools, cars, guns and swords? After reflecting upon the world of feminist law many men would no doubt prefer to have ties with these “friends” rather than Laura’s “friends”.  


OBAMA AND THE JEWS

by Peter Ewer
The Republicans see the Jewish vote as crucial in many US states. (The Australian, March 1, 2012, p.9) In 2008, 78% of the Jewish vote went to Obama by contrast to 25% of white evangelicals. Jews had given their support for almost 100 years primarily to Democrats, with Al Gore receiving an Obama-topping 79% in 2000.
Only Republican Warren Harding in 1920 received a majority of the Jewish vote. However Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980 but received only 39% of the Jewish vote. However as all of the leading Republican wannabees are as pro-Israel as can be, it will be interesting to see if that gets them over the line.  


WHILE ICELAND INVESTIGATES, FEEBLE UK WATCHDOGS FAIL TO BARK

While Iceland investigates City fraud claims, our feeble watchdogs fail to bark writes the Observer, Sunday 18 March 2012: Allegations of a London derivatives scandal involving Kaupthing are being vigorously pursued – but not by British regulators, whose funding and powers look increasingly circumscribed. This article appeared in the Observer on 18 March 2012 and a modified version at The Guardian

Last week, about a dozen UK-based witnesses were questioned at the headquarters of the Serious Fraud Office over a suspected €500m market manipulation effort in the opaque and unregulated London credit derivatives market. Investigators believe an attempt may have been made to manipulate prices at the height of the banking crisis in the autumn of 2008. Those questioned are not suspected of wrongdoing, but are thought to have important evidence relevant to the case. They include London-based investment bankers, some of whom worked at Deutsche Bank in 2008, and, remarkably, the fashion designer Karen Millen.

An even bigger surprise, however, is that those asking the questions were not officials from the SFO or the Financial Services Authority. They were prosecutors from a tiny, debt-laden island in the Atlantic: Iceland. The focus of their attention is credit default swap (CDS) contracts entered into in London in relation to Kaupthing, then a struggling Icelandic bank run by executive chairman Sigurdur Einarsson from offices in Hanover Street, Mayfair. Said to be advising Kaupthing on its CDSs at the time were London-based credit market experts at Deutsche Bank. Millen and her ex-husband Kevin Stanford, unwittingly embroiled in the affair, were major UK-based customers of the bank. Further, in 2008 the wider Kaupthing banking group's liquidity was greatly helped by billions of pounds of deposits by UK retail savers with online bank account Kaupthing Edge. These savings accounts were ultimately guaranteed by UK taxpayers.

Why then, you might ask, are the UK authorities not investigating? The answer is that both the FSA and SFO have indeed examined the case – very closely, in fact – but, after a lot of hand-wringing, have ruled out a criminal prosecution. The reason given is that it would be costly and "untriable" in front of a jury in a British court because of the complex financial instruments involved. The FSA, meanwhile, is limited by the fact that the multitrillion-pound market in CDS trades falls outside its power to prosecute for market abuse.

So all UK criminal investigations into a suspected €500m scandal at the heart of the City, involving some of the most controversial financial instruments invented in recent years, have been ditched because the British framework for dealing with financial fraud cannot cope. We know some of the details of the suspected fraud from a 2,300-page report into the banking crisis commissioned by the Icelandic parliament. Published in 2010, it said: "In the fall of 2008, Kaupthing … loaned its key clients roughly €500m for the purpose of [entering into] credit default swaps on Kaupthing itself. The clients themselves took no risks but they would have made substantial profits if the bank would have withstood … difficulties."

The report went on to note that on the other end of at least some of the contracts were Deutsche Bank or its clients. Einarsson has suggested the CDS trades were Deutsche Bank's idea – something the German bank is understood to deny strongly. Whatever the truth, the fact that UK authorities admit they are defeated by the complexity of this case is a damning indictment of their statutory powers, and the scant resources devoted to upholding the integrity of the London financial markets.
Take a look at the prospects for the bodies responsible for policing the City in future, and the situation only looks more alarming. Martin Wheatley, chief executive designate of the FSA's successor, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has made clear that while he wants the FCA to keep up a stream of criminal and disciplinary cases, he believes more resources should be focused on supervision that will prevent large consumer losses.

Meanwhile, SFO director Richard Alderman will step down next month. His four-year tenure has been marked by a purge of senior staff and a 40% budget cut. If it survives at all, in two years' time the SFO will have to scrape by on less than £30m. His successor David Green's main claim to fame is folding his last employer, the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office, into the Crown Prosecution Service. It remains to be seen whether a similar fate awaits the SFO. Sadly, it seems that the coalition's bold commitment to "take white-collar crime seriously" with the creation of a new super-agency – merging the functions of the SFO, FSA and Office of Fair Trading – has fizzled out.

Never have the words of Lord Roskill's report, which 25 years ago led to the setting-up of the SFO, rung more true.

Writing in the wake of scandals in the Lloyd's insurance market, he said:
"The public no longer believes that the legal system … is capable of bringing the perpetrators of serious frauds expeditiously and effectively to book. The overwhelming weight of the evidence laid before [my committee] suggests that the public is right. While petty frauds, clumsily committed, are likely to be detected and punished, it is all too likely that the largest and most cleverly executed crimes escape unpunished." [emphasis added]  

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