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21 March 2014 Thought for the Week:

The Supreme State, Planning and Scarcity: In Great Britain the phrase under which this change is taking place is called Rationalisation or Planning; in Italy as the Fascisti or Corporate State; in Russia it is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat ... and is being aimed at in Germany by the Nazis … Whether it be by accident or design, the world is steadily moving over from a financial tyranny which has both the elements of breakdown and has also been found out to another tyranny, a tyranny of administration ... the setting up of an entire State which can say, "You shall do so and so". "You shall have such and such rations". "You shall live in such and such a house, you shall work such and such hours". "You shall be taught such and such things". "And any deviation from those laws which we lay down for you will be penalised by either starvation or by all the rigours of the law".
Extracts from a speech by Major C.H. Douglas at Calgary, Alberta, Canada, April 1934.


THE GERMANS REFUSE TO PLAY BALL

Freeman of All Noise and Smoke, 8 March 2014 --- Translated by Michael Colhaze. The German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel (Daily Mirror) launched an online survey on March 6th, asking its readers in faulty German of how the West should react with regard to Russia’s incursions into Ukraine. What follows were the different answers from which the readers could choose.
- Russia’s exclusion from the G8 summit should be considered
- The conflict can be only solved diplomatically, and the G8 summit is important in this respect
- Western censure is hypocritical, since Russia defends legitimate interests
- If the escalation continues, a military intervention by NATO forces should not be excluded

By four o’clock in the afternoon, 9420 readers had answered the survey, and what they had to say filled the presstitutes from the Tagesspiegel with sheer horror. Because only a puny four percent, and we know who those are, favoured a military intervention by NATO forces. Whereas a staggering seventy eight percent believed that Western hacks like Kerry or Merkel were mere hypocrites and that Russia defended indeed legitimate interests. So what happened? At four o’clock and five minutes, the survey was abruptly taken off the net and never seen again. Which clearly indicates that the propaganda lies of our hostile elite and their once invincible media outlets are losing ground. And which, as you will agree, is a ray of hope in the murky Western skies, particularly since the once so totally indoctrinated and docile Germans are seemingly waking up.


THE ARSENIY YATSENYUK FOUNDATION HAS ‘DISAPPEARED’

From The Occidental Observer, 11 Mar 2014. Editor’s Note: This article by Freeman shows that, despite the presence in the new Ukraine government of the Svoboda nationalists, its president, Arseniy Yatsenyuk (who has three ethnically Jewish grandparents) is firmly affiliated with neocons, Western economic interests, and prominent figures associated with hostility toward Russia.
By Freeman, translated from German by Michael Colhaze

Chatham House Since the 27th of February 2014 Arseniy Yatsenyuk is “prime minister” of the present and entirely illegal regime of Ukraine. As we have learned from the intercepted Nuland–Pyatt telephone conversation, he is the preferred candidate of Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, which is the reason why the US State Department made him the top echelon of its coup. Did you know that Mr. Yatsenyuk owns an organization called “Open Ukraine Foundation”? If you do, you might be surprised to learn that all traces of this foundation have been eradicated from the internet. The website of the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation (openukraine.org) and its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Ukraine-Foundation) have simply disappeared. The Wikipedia entry still exists, but the links lead nowhere. As we know, the Internet forgets nothing and therefore a screen-shot of the website is still on hand. And what do we see there? A list of the foundation’s partners, and looking at it, you may say with some awe that it is an exceptionally impressive collection of the usual suspects. Which, we strongly suspect, must be the reason why the foundation is now defunct and its tracks have been obliterated.

What follows is an extract from the list of partners:
- Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (A Project of the German Marshall Fund) - Chatham House
- NATO Information and Documentation Centre
- State Department of the United States of America
- NED National Endowment for Democracy
- Horizon Capital
- Swedbank

With such partners, and in this present scenario, it is small wonder that the page has been deleted. Because it can be clearly seen who stands right behind Mr. Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the coup.

Let us start with the German Marshall Fund, whose Chairman is Guido Goldman. His father, Nahum Goldman, was co-founder of the World Jewish Congress, Chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Zionist Organization. Guido studied at Harvard and one of his teachers was the former presidential security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Henry Kissinger later supervised Guido’s doctoral thesis. The money for the Fund has been approved by the former German finance minister Alex Möller. Who, on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Marshall Plan, funded the organization with 150 million German marks for the next 15 years, ostensibly to promote relations between Europe and the U.S. This context alone is revealing, since it cites some of the most virulent Russia Haters around.

But let us look at Chatham House.
The Foundation, established in 1920, known until 2004 as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a private and world-leading British think tank based in London, whose members engage in study programs, working groups, roundtable conferences and seminars current issues and political events on an international level. The expertise and recommendations created there are circulated by the international members worldwide. (In Australia it is known as The Australian Institute for International Affairs…ed) Some key projects are funded and sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, NATO or the EU. In addition to the corporate members, consisting of 75 large corporations, plus investment banks, energy companies and 263 other companies, Chatham House currently has 2770 prominent personalities from 75 countries as members, all employed in business, diplomacy, science, politics and the media. A patron of Chatham House is Queen Elizabeth II.

This would sound like an absurd joke, weren’t it so truly awesome. Because now we understand clearly why the upheaval in Ukraine took place: the supreme fat-cats of the so-called World Elite wanted it to happen.

The NATO chiefs wanted the incorporation of Ukraine into this particular war club, so that missiles can be deployed even closer to Russia. In 2008 NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer paid a visit to Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Foundation.

The U.S. State Department has been instrumental in the coup, as already mentioned with regard to Victoria Nuland and her now famous injunction. Doling out massive funds, it determined which puppets could join the regime and which not. Whereby that goof Vitali Klitschko got the short straw, just as the abominable noodle Nuland wanted it to happen.

The NED or National Endowment for Democracy is an American foundation with the stated objective to promote democracy worldwide. It is a [neocon front group that] was established in 1983 by the U.S. Congress, and receives its annual funding from the U.S. federal budget. Thus money directly milked from the U.S. taxpayer is diverted for the illegal regime change in Ukraine and many other countries.

This backdrop is very revealing. When Hedge Funds and banks such as Horizon Capital and Swedbank are affiliated with Yatsenyuk’s foundation, it is clear that they are the vultures who are waiting to plunder Ukraine.

Open Ukraine
Saakashvili and Yatsenyuk at an Open Foundation Meeting
A good friend of Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Foundation is Mikheil Saakashvili, the puppet installed by Washington [see here.... and here...., who was allowed to play the President of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. The latest news concerning his person seems to prove that he is also a murderer. According to the Georgian newspaper Asawal - Dasawali he has been involved in the death of former Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania of Georgia. The Prosecutor’s Office of Tbilisi has discovered proof of Saakashvili’s direct complicity, the newspaper writes, citing a source within the investigation authority where a secret recording with the audible voice of Saakashvili can be heard ordering: “Get the corpse out of the way and do everything as agreed.” Yes, such a fine “partner” used to be a guest of honour in the now defunct Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation. Unusual is that even in the Google cache nothing about it can be found anymore. Now we understand why Arseniy Yatsenyuk has been installed by Merkel and Co, the EU, the NATO and Washington as head of the Ukrainian “government”. He is simply the new puppet intended to implement their interests in Ukraine, but certainly not the interests of the Ukrainian people.

Further informative reading on our website:
Global Economy and Those Who Control It
This Age of Conflict... Cecil John Rhodes and Lord Milner
Playing the EUs Regional Game
Thoughts of Douglas Lord Milner and Mr. Sydney Webb... The rapturous iconoclasm of certain groups of monetary reformers'…


“C’MON BABY, LIGHT MY (CRIMEAN) FIRE”

writes Pepe Escabar: The Roving Eye Central Asia 7 March, 2014: March 16 is C Day.
The Crimean parliament - by 78 votes with 8 abstentions - decided this is the day when Crimean voters will choose between joining the Russian Federation or to remain part of Ukraine as an autonomous region with very strong powers, according to the 1992 constitution.

Whatever "diplomatic" tantrums Washington and Brussels will keep pulling, and they will be incandescent, facts on the ground speak for themselves. The city council of Sevastopol - the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea fleet - has already voted to join Russia. And next week the Duma in Moscow will study a bill to simplify the mechanism of adhesion.

Quick recap: this is a direct result of Washington spending US$5 billion - a Victoria "F**k the EU" Nuland official figure - to promote regime change in Ukraine. On the horizon, Crimea may be incorporated into Russia for free, while the "West" absorbs that bankrupt back-of-beyond (Western Ukraine) that an Asia Times Online reader indelibly described as the "Khaganate of Nulands" (an amalgam of khanate, Victoria's notorious neo-con husband Robert Kagan, and no man's land).

What Moscow regards as an illegal, neo-nazi infiltrated government in Kiev, led by Prime Minister Arseniy "Yats" Yatsenyuk - an Ukrainian Jewish banker playing the role of Western puppet - insists Crimea must remain part of Ukraine. And it's not only Moscow; half of Ukraine itself does not recognize the Yats gang as a legitimate government, now boasting a number of oligarchs imposed as provincial governors. Yet this "government" - supported by the US and the European Union - has already declared the referendum illegal. Proving its impeccable "democratic" credentials, it has already moved to ban the official use of the Russian language in Ukraine; get rid of the communist party, which amassed 13% of the votes in the last election, more, incidentally, than the neo-nazi-infested Svoboda ("Freedom") party, now ensconced in key government security posts; and ban a Russian TV station, which happens to be the most popular on Ukrainian cable. Amid all the hysteria from Washington and certain European capitals, what's not explained to puzzled public opinion is that these fascists/neo-nazis who got to power through a coup will never allow real elections to take place in Ukraine; after all they would most certainly be sent packing…”
Read further here….


MANUS ISLAND DETENTION CENTRE DEATH: IT’S THE ASYLUM SEEKERS’ FAULT

by Richard Miller: Rioting is dangerous business and people can be seriously injured or killed. When this happens, it is sad, but life itself is sad and ultimately we all die. The attacks on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison over his handling of the Manus Island detention centre death ignores the obvious point that if there was no riot there would be no death.

Janet Albrechtsen (The Australian 26 February 2014, p.10) describes all those on the Left as “compassionate junkies” who have the double standard of not questioning the former Labor government policies that led to 1200 tragedies from 2007-2012. But that is the nature of Left politics, never having to admit that a mistake was made.

Example: I recently went past the office of my now ageing politics professor. In the 1960s his office was essentially a shrine to Chairman Mao. In 2014, as he prepares for retirement the office is a shrine to multiculturalism, Asianisation and feminism. To my mind this is living proof that Reason does not live at the universities. The chattering class are now championing the idea that Manus Island may come to be seen as “worst stains” on Australia than the White Australia Policy and the Stolen Generations, as Australia’s gulags, as bad as the worst Soviet camps (The Weekend-Australian 1-2 March 2014, p.23).

All I can say in response to this nonsense (remembering that the number of people who died in the Soviet camps has been estimated to be up to 30 million) – is, I hope so. There was no “Stolen Generation”, I believe only a “saved generation” as has been put, and the White Australia Policy would, if held to, have eliminated the need for Manus Island in the first place.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The Australian 28 February 2014 Asylum hypocrisy:
Janet Albrechtsen skewers the post-modern Left for its rank hypocrisy on asylum-seekers (“Compassion junkies back on their choice fix’,’ 26/2). But she fails to address the hypocrisy of the Right. The government’s refugee policy is capricious. If you come by plane on a false passport, then claim asylum onshore, or if you are selected from an overseas refugee camp, you win the refugee lottery. You are guaranteed permanent residency and can jump the queue into public housing. Breeding a large welfare-dependent family becomes a viable career option.

Nothing has been done to stop this or to narrow the definition of refugee in domestic law. The definition is so wide that any human rights abuse allows someone to qualify. Polls show 80 per cent want permanent residency stopped for all refugees. But the wishes of the majority are ignored.

Australians are never informed of, or offered, a genuine policy alternative. The government should tighten the definition and offer only temporary asylum for all refugees with the savings spent directly on overseas refugee camps. This genuinely humane policy would save many more lives and much more suffering.
Graham Hyde, Adelaide, SA


A BIT OF IQ REALISM IN LA TIMES

Kevin McDonald, Occidental Observer 10 Mar 2014.
Christopher Chabris, a psychologist at Union College, and Jonathan Wei, a researcher at the Duke University Talent Identification Program and at Case Western Reserve University, wrote an op-ed refuting a central dogma of cultural Marxism, that standardized tests have no validity (“Hire like Google? For most companies, that’s a bad idea“). What the professors write is not as surprising as where it appears. In general, while academic research continues to show the value of IQ testing, the mainstream media has been hostile to IQ testing because of the touchy subject of race differences.

Their article was a response to highly publicized comments by Laszlo Bock, the head of human resources at Google, who told the NY Times that “GPAs are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless…. We found that they don’t predict anything” (much to the delight of Tom Friedman, among others).

Chabris and Wei: Decades of quantitative research in the field of personnel psychology have shown that across fields of employment, measurements of “general cognitive ability” — which is another way of referring to the old-fashioned concept of intelligence or IQ — are consistently the best tools employers have to predict which new employees will wind up with the highest performance evaluations or the best career paths. We shouldn’t rush to assume that Google, with its private data, has suddenly refuted all that work. …

Chabris and Wei attribute Google’s experience to “restriction of range”— that is, once you select from a pool of high-IQ people, other traits within that pool become important contributors to individual differences. Bock’s emphasis on other qualities, such as intellectual humility (not being obsessed with having a high IQ score) and being an emergent leader (someone who can lead when appropriate but also follow when appropriate) certainly makes sense. But among potential Google employees, these other traits occur within a pool of people already selected for high IQ — even for those employees without a college education. One need not be a college graduate to win Google’s CodeJam competition, but you can’t possibly win without a high IQ. In the words of one winner, the problems were “more like mathematical work or solving logic puzzles.”

They conclude: Researchers have long known that standardized tests — notwithstanding how they might be marketed or promoted — mainly measure general cognitive ability [i.e., Spearman's and Jensen's g factor that emerges from statistical analysis of a wide variety of tests of cognitive ability], and that general cognitive ability is highly predictive of educational and occupational success in the broad population. The small number of companies at the very top of their industries — like Google in technology — can afford to ignore or downplay these facts if they wish, because their candidates come preselected for high intelligence. For those companies, intelligence may not matter as much as leadership, creativity, conscientiousness, social skill and other virtues once an employee is on board.

The rest of the business world should not jump on Google’s bandwagon. All those other qualities matter, and which are most important may vary by firm and line of work. But having an idea of how well a candidate thinks abstractly, solves novel problems and learns new things is important no matter what the job or situation. Those qualities are precisely what general cognitive ability is, regardless of how you label it. If you ignore intelligence when hiring, you do so at your peril.

So 20 years after The Bell Curve, we are reminded that IQ is of vital importance to success in a highly technological society — despite the rejection of IQ in the field of education where elite opinion still blames the low achievement of some groups (especially Blacks and Latinos) on poor teachers, inadequate funding, and “White privilege” — anything to avoid talking about IQ. Research on the heritability of IQ is not really relevant to Chabris and Wei’s argument, but it’s worth concluding that the data continue to validate J. Philippe Rushton’s findings linking IQ with genetic differences related to brain size.

Bringing up these realities is not about hate. The problem now is that the underperformance of Blacks and Latinos is used as a weapon against Whites, as a sure sign that White racism is the root of the problem because to doubt that is to doubt the fundamental premise of current dispensation — that there are no race differences rooted in biology. (This video by Jared Taylor discusses the evidence.) The fact that East Asians often outperform Whites is never factored into this equation. Somehow they have high test scores and are admitted to elite universities at a rate higher than Whites despite all that White racism. IQ research remains the unspoken 800-lb. gorilla in mainstream discussions of educational achievement. But it’s lurking in the background. And whereas the educational establishment is beset by political correctness to the point of ignoring reality, it nice to see that corporations who are accountable to stockholders do value this research even when, as in the case of Google, they would like to think that it doesn’t matter. Source: here....


THE MACHINE STOPS

by Arnis Luks: The Greatest Polluter on the Planet v Whole of Life Costs:

In response to Louis Cook’s article “What happens if the Machine does not Stop?” requires further explanation of ‘Why The Series?’ Is it just to build a bunker or are we getting in the best position of resistance from the oncoming onslaught? The answer to both is yes, but also to ensure the successful handing over of the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’.

By showing self-reliance, but not isolation, Beata and I hope to inspire others to think outside the norms, to find better ways, e.g., the Meringa Olifara tree and especially to think along Social Credit lines of “Where All Power and Authority Lay” - within the individual and the local community.

As a 15-year-old I joined the Royal Australian Navy. Upon ‘Signing On’ I was issued with my full kit including a pair of pyjamas; all produced by the nearby Government Clothing and Ordinance Factory. When I left the service some years later I handed the pyjamas over to my elder brother who continued to use them until we were both over 40 – 25-plus years from one pair of pyjamas. Also I recently left a company that routinely had rotating machinery run for 75,000 hours between major servicing = 8.5 years round the clock if you wish.

Beata and I together built a new stage for presentations and filming. We needed curtain rails so ordered from the local suppliers. Once purchased we found the packaging so secure that significant care was needed to remove the rails without damaging them. From this we deduced that the product would arrive guaranteed in good condition, but, it ‘dissolved like hot chocolate’ in our hands while removing it from the packaging. Out came the araldite (epoxy glue) to repair all the poorly manufactured rails until we could confidently use them for their purpose. These rails were not ‘cheap’ but still ‘nasty’. The design was such that failure was assured to have the customer return for replacements. The producer could easily have spent more effort on the production of quality rails and packaging to ensure their durability; but instead chose to ensure further sales in the immediate future. We have experienced the same ‘designed to fail’ with our recently purchased light fittings, white goods, sewing machines, cars - and now with the ‘light building code’ - even houses.

The technology is there for longevity and has been for a long time so it cannot be lack of ‘know-how’; it has to be policy. So why is this so?

There are two parts to the answer. The first part is to understand why the producer designs items to fail. In order to produce anything, money must first be borrowed from the bank with interest. Industry pays out part (A) of its total costs of production in the form of wages, salaries and dividends, therefore there is always a shortage of purchasing power within the local community to buy (cover the cost) what is produced from that manufacturing cycle (A + B). You can call this a ‘Chronic Lack of Purchasing Power’.

Increased indebtedness and expanding markets are the only way industry survives. Governments also go cap in hand to the banks in order to provide infrastructure programs to support industry. All money that comes into existence is in the form of debt (loan). Government loans also come into existence in the form of debt.

With diminishing markets (automation eliminates spending power from the community, i.e. in the form of wages, salaries and dividends) and with rising costs, the producer must run faster and faster on the production treadmill. He is driven by the need to make a profit and avoid bankruptcy. The consumer also must be encouraged to buy these products including going further and further into debt (loyalty programs and reward points to test effectiveness of advertising campaigns - Newspaper, TV and radio advertising; product placement on TV and in Movies and also Point of Sale impulse buying). This is all in order for the producer to service the loans to keep things going for the next round of production.

With the imminent shutdown of Ford, Holden, Toyota, Alcoa Aluminium and now Qantas - it must be apparent to all - that the communities’ spending power is going to be significantly reduced. The taxes no longer paid by the ‘now recently unemployed’ will doubly compound the problems of ‘balancing government budgets’ – it has become an impossible task. There will be a drastic adjustment in the standard of living for Australians in the immediate future.

Now to the second part: ‘Why is this so?’
When I have a client come to see me for a massage I work on them for a fixed cost per consultation - generally with no time limit set. This ensures if they are in significant need I do my best to work through their issues, and the price charged ensures I won’t be working for nothing. If I do my job well they will have no further need after a short course of treatment. This also results in my income-stream being directly affected by my treatment program. The same position can be seen for the manufacturer. The outcome is a Result of Policy - financial policy.

The greatest polluter on the planet is debt-finance. Debt-finance causes industry to ‘design to fail’ and encourages everyone to put people on the ‘never-never’- including over subscription with the medical system.

Has this issue of debt-finance ever been overcome before? -- Yes.

There are a series of three booklets entitled ‘The Commonwealth Stories’. In these booklets it shows how debt-finance was wrestled to the ground, industry was developed and the people prospered by having their own bank - the People’s Bank - a true National Bank that put the interests of the Nation ahead of the Corporatised Banksters.

That producer of pyjamas all those years ago showed that we, as a Nation, could manufacture things to last – to do anything we put our minds to - Commonwealth Oil Refineries, East-West Railways, Woollen Mills, Fleet of Steamers, Wireless Service and even fighting a world war without debt; in fact Australia had its own aircraft manufacturing industry by the end of WWII.

I put it back to you Louis: can the Machine keep going when all is false and everywhere Government is simply a PR Unit for these Corporatised Banksters who are also the Planet’s Greatest Polluters?

Commonwealth Series 2

THE COMMONWEALTH STORIES
Institutions, no matter how excellent they may be, are of little permanent use to a people who do not understand the value of them. The right of the people of the Commonwealth to expand or contract financial credit in accordance with their needs, by means of the Commonwealth Bank, was something that Australians should have safeguarded with the same jealousy as they safeguard the right to vote.

Set of 4 - $25 inc. p&h anywhere in Australia

1. Commonwealth Bank - The Facts and its Creation - King O'Malley
2. Oil Refineries; Railways & the Note Issue; Woollen Mills - DJ Amos
3. Fleet of Steamers; Wireless Service - DJ Amos
4. The Story of the Commonwealth Bank - DJ Amos

Commonwealth Series 2

DROUGHT ASSISTANCE DOES NOT EQUATE TO ‘PROPPING UP’

“Drought assistance does not equate to propping up 'unviable' farming businesses” by Rebecca McNicholl 10 March 2014. Over the last fortnight, many online journalists and their readers have expressed opposition to the federal government's $320 million drought-relief package. This opposition stems from a reluctance to prop-up 'unviable' industries, and a distaste for the inequity of supporting one struggling industry over another: 'why do farmers get assistance when the likes of SPC Ardmona and Holden don't?'

The debate around industry assistance is complex and emotive; however, it is incorrect to represent drought-affected farmers and their businesses as unviable and reliant on hand-outs. By Australian standards, those seeking drought-assistance operate relatively productive enterprises. The majority of drought-affected farmers are located in the broadacre farming and grazing regions of Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics Sciences (ABARES), the productivity of the broadacre industries grew by an average of 1% per year over the period of 1977/78 – 2010/11. This may appear modest until compared to the productivity growth rates of Australia's twelve major market sectors. According to the Australian Productivity Commission, the average annual productivity growth rate for these market sectors was 0.8 % over the period of 1989/90 – 2011/12. Leading the charge was the market sector of agriculture, forestry and fishing with a productivity growth rate of 3.1% per year. Its closest rival was financial and insurance services market sector at 2.8%. Manufacturing came in at 0.3% and mining at -1.8%. In asking for the federal government's assistance, broadacre industries are not doing so because they're made up of inefficient enterprises. They are doing so because they are facing periods of no income for 12 months or more due to unprecedented extreme weather conditions. Meanwhile, operating costs have continued to increase and farm-gate returns have continued to diminish.

The assistance offered by the federal government to drought-affected enterprises is reasonable when compared to the industry assistance packages requested by SPC Ardmona and Holden. Of the $320 million, approximately 90% ($280 million) will be made available in the form of 5 year term loans with a concessional variable interest rate of 4% (standard bank interest rates for agricultural loans currently vary from 6.5% - 8% according to one broadacre farmer). This money is not to be used for co-investments or subsidies, as was the case with SPC Ardmona and Holden. Rather, this money is to be paid back –with interest - to the government.

A portion of the package will go towards the payment of the Newstart allowance to eligible families. Farming enterprises are generally asset rich (due to money tie-up in land and farming equipment) yet cash poor (due to seasonal and sometimes sparse income generation); this situation is compounded by extreme climatic events, such as drought and flood. Temporary access to the modest Newstart allowance in order to put food on the table is an entirely reasonable and necessary concession to make.

Three percent of the package, or $10.7 Million, will be spent on social and mental health services in drought affected communities. This money will go somewhat towards redressing the gross inequity that exists between urban and rural populations in accessing healthcare services. In addition to vulnerability to climatic and economic change, the National Rural Health Alliance lists poor access to health care services amongst the factors contributing to a suicide rate in regional and remote areas that is 1.2 to 2.4 times higher than in major cities. Another three percent will be used for the management of pests such as 'wild dogs eating sheep'. Given that the Australian public was prepared to forego tens of millions of dollars in export revenue to prevent the maltreatment of live cattle in Indonesian abattoirs, it is a foregone conclusion that they would be supportive of a $10 million dollar program aimed at preventing malnourished sheep in their own country from being disembowelled and eaten alive. Naturally, it would follow that the public would also support using the remaining $12 million as a contribution to existing state government emergency water infrastructure rebate schemes, so livestock and native animals, numbering in their thousands, can be watered and spared a torturous death by dehydration.

Thus, of the total $320 million drought assistance package, only $12 million of it can be realistically compared with the $25 million 'co-investment' requested by SPC Ardmona, or the widely reported $150 million per year subsidy required to keep Holden operating in Australia. The main beneficiaries of the government's drought assistance package won't be multinational corporations, as would have been the case for SPC Ardmona and Holden. They will be family businesses, of whom the majority run a tight ship and do not plan their businesses around generous government hand-outs. Unlike SPC and Holden, these family businesses are required to pay back 90% of their overall assistance package plus interest. And they will, as these people are in it for the long haul. They are resilient, have a strong affinity for the land and its conservation, and make decisions based upon the best interests of future generations. Australian agriculture will outlast any tourism fad, manufacturing upturn, or mining boom. That is, unless it never rains again. In which case, we'll all be rooned. Author: Rebecca McNicholl is a Brisbane based environmental engineer and secondary school teacher. She originally hails from a grazing property in Western Queensland. Source: here....


INFORMATION HIGHWAY: WHERE YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS END UP

Customers using the Coles Flybuys card or online shopping service are having their personal details sent to up to 30 other companies owned by the same corporation and to third parties in at least 23 other countries. Last week, Coles unveiled plans to invest $1.1 billion over the next three years building 70 new supermarkets and creating more than 16,000 jobs as well as releasing a more detailed description of its privacy policy.

Customers were told that by using Flybuys or online shopping they consented to the privacy policy, meaning data collected was shared with other companies in the Wesfarmers group, including K-Mart, Bunnings, Officeworks and Bi-Lo. But the retail giant also revealed that the personal information it collects on its customers may be sent to nations such as China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, the US and Britain. Under the Coles policy, personal information - defined as data which identifies someone or which allows a person's identity to be ascertained - can be used in conducting risk assessments for credit and insurance, products that are also sold by the supermarket giant. Personal information can include name, contact and household details, transaction history and buying habits.

Coles' more detailed policy description was released just before the new Australian Privacy Principles come into force this week, which make businesses list likely overseas recipients of personal data and conform with stricter rules. Businesses must also take reasonable steps to ensure foreign recipients do not breach the Australian principles or are operating under similar privacy laws in those countries. A spokeswoman said Coles' global commercial partners had the highest standards of data security and that Coles followed all regulatory requirements and best practice disclosure.

In line with the new legislation, Coles' policy enables customers to access or correct personal information the retailer has collected about them. It does state requests may be rejected, although reasons must be provided if this happens. Coles said it takes steps to ensure third parties protect the privacy and security of personal information and use the information only for agreed purposes, and it destroys or de-identifies personal information no longer needed. Whenever Coles' online services are used, the company logs the location at which it was used - in cases where this function has not been disabled by the user - as well as dates, times, file metadata and the links customers click on.

The Australian Privacy Foundation vice-chair David Vaile said companies such as Coles should have been revealing where the data was being sent for years and it was unlikely Australian customers would have any comeback if their data was misused overseas. ''You're suddenly at the mercy of someone who's done something wrong who doesn't have to answer to you or your country,'' Mr Vaile said. ''No one running data storage can say, 'your data is safe with us'. At long last we have this new legislation and now we encourage companies to bite the bullet and not just reveal countries they give the data to but companies.'' University of Technology Sydney marketing lecturer Ingo Bentrott said data mining ''sounds very Big Brother but if it's done ethically and you're giving the customer what they want then I think it's OK". ''We already know sales of milk generally go up when customers buy more Milo but data mining is about finding unknown patterns in purchase behaviour. And any information a competitor doesn't have is an advantage,'' Dr Bentrott said. Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/coles-reveals-customers-data-is-shared-with-third-parties-overseas-20140308-34e1h.html#ixzz2vR8dnI6a
Still going to hand over your 'flybuys' card when ever you are told (sorry, asked) to by the checkout operator?


LETTER TO THE PRESS:

To the Editor of The Australian, 12th March 2014 Your latest defence of free speech ('Political class only paying lip service to free speech', 12/3) is welcome, but its ritual abuse of 'Holocaust deniers' is unconvincing. If 'our civil society' is 'clever enough' to take on historical revisionists 'with facts and win any arguments', why do you not publish articles by these people and articles in response. Maybe they have sound theses rather than 'crackpot theories' and are justified in believing that they are victims of media 'conspiracy'. At any rate, ongoing defamation of these dissidents without allowing them adequate right of reply is both dishonourable and an intrusion on free speech in itself.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Victoria

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