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28 March 2014 Thought for the Week:
What the US government does not want its people to hear: Complete Snowden Interview, updated February 7, 2014.
Because the video may be blocked on some servers, I have posted the full transcript below.
The Peoples' Voice has the video of the interview at: www.thepeoplesvoice.tv/german-tv-does-first-edward-snowden-interview/
CHERRY-PICKING OF LIBERAL PARTY’S POLICIES
Some of Liberal Party’s ‘growth’ and ‘employment’ policies are, in the light of the following Chicago Tribune report, based on an earlier age – say 200 years ago. They are certainly not in harmony with the Age of Technology and Automation, let alone looking into the future Age of Artificial Intelligence. When is enough production, enough?
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: AUTOMATE HALF OF US JOBS IN 20 YEARS
I thought that the Chicago Tribune article was quite exciting and encouraging as startling evidence of the marvellous potential we have for abundance and leisure. Of course, the comments section reveals how large is the task we yet have in throwing light on the subject from a Social Credit, and Christian, standpoint. As we progress along this path of automation the expanding amount of waste and sabotage and/or financial debt required to distribute incomes will become so gross and blatantly obvious, surely, as to shake the pseudo-moral foundations of even the most mean-spirited, Puritanical and costive (e.g. constipated) elements amongst us from their delusion that paid work is the only justification for consumption. The beneficence of God and Nature will surely demonstrate the foolishness of the faithless of this world. Perhaps, then, we may more easily remove the increasing artificial bottleneck between production and consumption--and reasoned magnanimity may triumph over the strictures placed upon human life by false values. Do God and Nature have to kill us with kindness before we come to our senses?
Chicago Tribune, 15 March 2014. “Artificial intelligence could automate half of U.S. jobs in 20 years” by Aki Ito. When Minneapolis attorney William Greene faced the task of combing through 1.3 million electronic documents in a recent case, he turned to a so-called smart computer program. Three associates selected relevant documents from a smaller sample, "teaching" their reasoning to the computer. The software's algorithms then sorted the remaining material by importance. "We were able to get the information we needed after reviewing only 2.3 percent of the documents," said Greene, a Minneapolis-based partner at law firm Stinson Leonard Street.
It's a transition on the heels of an information-technology revolution that's already left a profound imprint on employment across the globe. For both physical and mental labour, computers and robots replaced tasks that could be specified in step-by- step instructions — jobs that involved routine responsibilities that were fully understood. That eliminated work for typists, travel agents and a whole array of middle-class earners over a single generation.
Yet even increasingly powerful computers faced a mammoth obstacle: they could execute only what they're explicitly told. It was a nightmare for engineers trying to anticipate every command necessary to get software to operate vehicles or accurately recognize speech. That kept many jobs in the exclusive province of human labour — until recently.
To estimate the impact that will have on 702 U.S. occupations, Frey and colleague Michael Osborne applied some of their own machine learning. They first looked at detailed descriptions for 70 of those jobs and classified them as either possible or impossible to computerize. Frey and Osborne then fed that data to an algorithm that analyzed what kind of jobs make lend themselves to automation and predicted probabilities for the remaining 632 professions. The higher that percentage, the sooner computers and robots will be capable of stepping in for human workers. Occupations that employed about 47 percent of Americans in 2010 scored high enough to rank in the risky category, meaning they could be possible to automate "perhaps over the next decade or two," their analysis, released in September, showed. "My initial reaction was, wow, can this really be accurate?" said Frey, who's a Ph.D. economist.
"Some of these occupations that used to be safe havens for human labour are disappearing one by one.?
SOCIAL CREDIT CASE FOR LEISURE IN A WORLD GONE MAD BY WORK
by James Reed
Tony Abbott, say the word –“L-e-i-s-u-r-e”- see, the sky didn’t fall!
Major Douglas wrote much wisdom about the need for an age of leisure, but Australia’s greatest social-philosophical thinker (in my humble opinion), Eric D. Butler, also made an outstanding contribution to scholarship on this topic. In “The Fear of Leisure” (1958) paper he goes right to the heart of the matter pointing out the utter irrationality of believing in the worth of human freedom whilst also accepting that the role of the economic system is to keep people “at work”, not to solve the economic problem of satisfying human needs (Food, clothing and shelter) with a minimum, not a maximum of effort. As well, individuals who have winnings in lotteries have never given them back because they feel that they need to work, Eric notes.
Go to any Australian hardware store on the weekend and watch people pursuing their leisure activities. This is not some idle layabout drinking session – although many young working people choose to “party” – but people actually living. Leisure is simply what one does when not having to perform one’s formal job “free, voluntary or unenforced activity in contrast with forced activity which we call Work or Labour”.
Work generally involves a large element of compulsion, to do things to get money to live. Social Credit would allow people to be able to seek their own gainful employment and to work at those things they like and do well, increasing efficiency and productivity. In a society where overproduction from automation is an issue, there is no longer any real concern about scarcity in this “age of abundance”.
The captains of capitalism promote the fear of scarcity because it suits their agenda, but it is not a realistic fear. In fact the economic system perverts technological development as Major Douglas noted so that more, not less work is done, often for faddish and trashy consumer goods, designed to satisfy wants created by advertising that is little more than brainwashing and psychological manipulation.
Most importantly Eric notes, it is Mammonism, the worship of money as an abstraction, criticised by Christ, that lies behind the fear of paying individuals a Social Dividend so that they can enjoy realistic leisure. Ironically, champions of this critique of “something for nothing being bad” champions as well the present fractional reserve banking system, which is the ultimate in “something for nothing” – but for the financial capitalist class of course.
Mammonism and materialism, Eric concludes, is a direct challenge to Christianity and the Christian Church and he rightly felt that the Church “must give a lead to remove the fear of leisure by stating in unequivocal terms the true purpose of man and his systems”.
Unfortunately the Church has done little since Eric wrote those words to defend the idea that freedom is essential for moral and spiritual growth, and is content merely to champion “refugee rights” and other safe, politically correct causes. Nevertheless Eric’s solution to overcoming the ‘fear of leisure’ as being applying the Christian teaching concerning love is as true today as then. The issue is that as individuals we need to champion this worthy cause and can expect little help from the established churches. As John Fitzgerald observes in “The Physical Basis of Leisure” this is a matter of considerable importance:
“The prevalent assumption that human work is the foundation of purchasing power … is the root assumption of a world philosophy which may yet bring civilisation to its death grapple”.
CHRISTIANITY AND LEISURE
by Chris Knight
From Christ to great men of the Church such as St. Francis of Assisi an emphasis has been put on the primacy of man’s spiritual nature over materiality – which is not to deny that the beauty of the material world also bears witness to the joy and splendour of Creation. But by the frantic standards of globalisation, with its “work unto death” attitude St. Francis would be seen as a “bludger”. Purcell rightly notes that work has become the religion of the materialist age, which poorly serves to fill the void in a spiritually bankrupt life. When one has to cut sleep to get to “work” to do essentially meaningless activities, there is not time or energy left at the end of the day for spiritual contemplation. Man has truly become a machine. Hence the importance of Social Credit and the National Dividend, to enable people to once more be able to take a breath, and smell the roses of Life.
Social Credit will allow man’s spirit to soar once more like an eagle, rather than live the life of a battery hen.
Further reading: “The Tragedy of Human Effort” by C.H. Douglas. “The problem, in fact, is a problem of the victory of political democracy, that is to say democracy of policy… The general principles which govern association for the common good are as capable of exact statement as the principles of bridge building, and departure from them is just as disastrous.…”
SOCIAL CREDIT AND THE WOMAN QUESTION
by Mrs Vera West
However a story by Major Douglas puts a new/old light on “the woman question”. If women on a boat on a freshwater lake with good quality water had their water supply rationed by the captain, then they would rightfully demand that buckets be placed overboard to capture more of nature’s plenty. In the parable the lake represents productive forces. Palmer asks: “it is perfectly possible to get economic freedom for all, men and women alike, simply by demanding it… so why should we women waste time by working for mere equality, especially when we see the dog’s life most men, even professional men in good positions have to lead?”
So back in 1938 it was realised that feminism was also part of the story and that Social Credit rendered much of the polemics, merely beside the point!
MAJOR DOUGLAS’ PROPOSALS FOR A NATIONAL DIVIDEND
A Logical Successor to the Wage - Brian Burkitt and Frances Hutchinson, Department of Social and Economic Studies, University of Bradford, UK. International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1994, pp. 19-28.
An engineer by profession, Douglas made four central observations on the workings of capitalist economies in the years immediately following the First World War (Douglas, 1919, 1921, 1922, 1924). Technological progress would reduce the availability of paid employment: financial mechanisms were designed to produce economic growth regardless of the equity of income distribution; the common cultural inheritance was the property of all citizens; and unearned income was, in principle, an acceptable form of income distribution.
Reduction in Availability of Paid Employment
2. Production and distribution were conducted for profit.
The “unemployed”, in common with many workers, seek an income rather than “work” for its own sake and are reduced to a “servile wait” for a “servile job” (Orage, 1934, p. 22). Those who deplore the “dole” for exerting a demoralizing influence would be better employed examining the “financial jugglery” which places the recipient in a dependent situation. Objections to an income for all were “moral” not economic (Douglas, 1979, Part III, Ch. 2). “lf the Machine does the work of one hundred men, its production is enough to pay one hundred men's wages. The Dividend is the logical successor to the Wage” (Orage, 1934, p. 11).
The Common Cultural Heritage
The Acceptability of Unearned Income
THE UPHEAVAL IN UKRAINE
Wallace Klinck comments… March 15, 2014. There are many cross-currents of conflicting information or propaganda—largely in my view because of a biased media which is serving a much larger agenda. We are all of us merely chess-pieces, raw material and cannon-fodder in a strategy directed toward the achievement of World Dominion. The Ukraine is just one more victim in the overall process of subduing nations one by one with the financial instrument being the primary weapon used to rock them successively through their pivot points by means of continuous inflation and exponentially increasing financial debt.
I understand that the plan was formulated a few years ago to “take down” about seven nations in that general part of the World. Significantly secular Iraq has been destroyed at enormous cost in human suffering and wreckage of infrastructure—followed by Libya in a similar but relatively brief period of destruction. Iraq had progressed materially in a substantial way with provision of medical and other services and all children being educated in English. Libya was the most literate of nations in the region with benefits being distributed widely amongst the general population. Iran as a major prized target posed more of a challenge and so by appearances the prior destruction of Syria – where I understand Christians lived in peace and security but now suffer persecution in rebel-occupied territory - a Russian-backed supporter of Iran, became the next strategic target in order that Iran would become more isolated and vulnerable to future attack.
Meanwhile the provoked conflict in the Ukraine could be used as a global propaganda weapon to weaken the influence of Russia in the area. Russia has rejected some of the corrupting influences of “Western” (sic) culture, had dethroned some of the so-called “Oligarchs” and provides vast amounts of oil critical to fulfilling the needs of Western Europe, a resource the control of which is no doubt a prize coveted by the vengeful, avaricious and power-centralizing financial powers.
Proposals for establishing a competing international currency for trade in the Arabic-Muslim part of the world were perceived as a major economic threat by the debt-mongering and usurious Western Financial Powers and may have induced them to accelerate their programme of Globalization. We are all of us mere pawns in an audacious program for the establishment of Global Government and the tactics used by its promoters should serve as a sobering and fearful portent of what life would be like under the direction and domination of such megalomaniacal elements.
As C. H. Douglas, founder of the Social Credit movement, observed, these powers care no more for the immolation of a continent than for the death of a sparrow. They appear most certainly to be demonstrating the truth of this allegation. And we, the hypnotized peoples of the West sit by immobilized by a mental and moral paralysis while the whole monstrous crime is being perpetrated before our eyes–with the use of our own mal-directed material and human resources. Douglas also said that society is hypnotized and that only a drastic de-hypnotization can save it. What will it take to bring about the denouement?
WASHINGTON’S REAL STANCE ON UKRAINE LEAKED - RT NEWS
A scandal is brewing as Washington's real stance on Ukraine may have leaked on the web. An alleged phone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine has appeared on Youtube. "F**k the EU," Victoria Nuland allegedly said in a recent phone call with US ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were discussing a deal to end the crisis in Ukraine.
RT (Russia Today)
Already spent 5 billion to subvert Ukraine
RT News: Crimea Reactions After Referendum…
GAME OF VILIFICATION : THE PLOT THICKER THAN ANY TELEMOVIE
I can’t recall any previous disagreements between the Murdoch press (The Australian) and the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, but here is one (Editorial, “Free Speech is a Principle to be Upheld Consistently” The Australian 6 March 2014, p.11). The Editorial says that support of free speech “is why supporters of the restrictive section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, including the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, would be wise to think again”. The Editorial notes that, “Chinese, Vietnamese, Lebanese and Islamic leaders have also called for the “Andrew Bolt” provisions of the Act to be left in place”. But, the Editorial argues, causing offence should not be a crime and ethnic communities are protected by existing criminal, defamation and discrimination laws.
The Editorial concludes
A lively debate on this issue appeared the next day in the letters pages of The Australian (p.15). One letter sums up the present situation: “Now in office, after lobbying, [the government] apparently proposes instead to restrict our freedoms by criminalising vilification, or to retain the word humiliation so that the result in the Bolt case could be the same. The government has no mandate to do this. Doing so is a breach of promise”. Are you really surprised?
A representative of the Australian Asian Union of Jewish Students asked, given anti-Semitic incidents on university campuses, what effect would rolling back laws against racist speech have? Well, the graffiti reported at the University of Adelaide (see The Australian 5 March 2014, p.2) allegedly involved the vandalisation of a “campus sign” with a “crudely drawn Star of David containing the number “666” and the words “No Jew world order”.” Both this incident and the defacing of 20 text books on Israeli law in the Law Library can be dealt with by existing laws. Further, these incidents occurred under the present race vilification regime, which shows that racists and anti-Semites are not concerned with the laws and are quite prepared to break them. Rolling back laws against racist speech is likely to therefore have no impact at all on such incidents.
There has been much publicised attacking the government’s back down on rolling back section 18C and indeed strengthening the Act by criminalising racial vilification (e.g., The Australian 7 March 2014, p.3). Professor James Allen gives a powerful refutation of the race relations commissioner’s defence of the existing Act. He shows the commissioner is mistaken in saying that an objective test is involved, for the Bolt case (Eatock v Bolt) clearly shows that a subjective test was employed. Further, the commissioner believes that the Racial Discrimination Act is the only thing holding back a flood of racism, but Canada has already made its own analogous reforms without the sky of multiculturalism falling down.
The Editorial “Political Class only Paying Lip Service to Free Speech” (The Australian 12 March 2014 p.11) laments about the “double think” of Australia’s chattering classes. The chatterers are not defending free speech because they think that must be defending Andrew Bolt, turning Voltaire’s famous line on its head. Contrary to this, it could be argued that our new class are not defenders or even supporters of liberal democratic notions of free speech at all.
They are happy suppressing the Andrew Bolts of this world. Nevertheless every dark lining has a silver cloud waiting to burst out. Remember the “debate” about Aboriginal recognition in the Constitution?
The Editorial concludes: “The debate about constitutional recognition will naturally lead to some focus on areas where race is a factor in law and entitlements. Only a transparent debate can deal with these delicate issues. If Australians feel muzzled under law, they are bound to thumb their noses at the referendum”. Thumb our noses at the referendum? – Let’s drink to that.
THE REAL THREAT TO FREE SPEECH IN AUSTRALIA
by Nigel Jackson
There is also the old saying: ‘Give a dog a bad name, and then hang him’. There is no doubt that history warns us that what begins as vilification of an out-group can intensify into violence and then terrible persecution. Hence it is important, as much as possible, to nip vilification in the bud.
Some people regard racial vilification legislation as essential to achieve appropriate security and peace of mind for endangered minorities. However, I argue that too much else is lost by such laws, and hence that education and the promotion of public goodwill within society are the better ways to go to achieve that end.
Why is this? In giving my answer, I hope to raise a number of matters that do not seem to have been adequately canvassed in our national forums since Tony Abbott’s August 2012 address to the Institute of Public Affairs sparked the controversial debate that continues so intensely nineteen months later (‘A war of words over words that wound’, 15/3). Race (or ethnicity), like religion and sex, is an area of human life that touches us deeply as individuals. Our sense of our personal identity and worth is intimately bound up with these aspects of our being. Thus we are likely to feel powerfully challenged when we hear views expressed on these matters with which we disagree.
In my lifetime (I am seventy-four now) I have seen it become harder and harder to publicly express in Australia dissident or ‘politically incorrect’ views on a variety of important matters. The catch-all phrase ‘racism’ has become a verbal thunderbolt with which certain viewpoints are anathematised without proper debate occurring. And legislation against racial vilification and racial hatred has formalised this diminution of intellectual freedom. What sort of unpopular opinions do I think are being partially stifled by this trend? Two obvious arenas in which this muzzling has occurred are the immigration debate in all its aspects and the aboriginal affairs debate in certain contexts.
It has become harder to advocate tightly restricted immigration controls and a ‘small Australia’ approach to population growth. It has also become more difficult to speak against all sorts of ‘special treatment’ for our so-called ‘indigenous peoples’, including many individuals who identify as members of those peoples while apparently having relatively little genetic connection with them.
The situation is made more tricky by the fact that the mass media in general tend to side strongly with what are currently the ‘politically correct’ approaches to race-related controversies. There is not a level playing field in our public forums.
Three centuries ago new information required a major paradigm shift in the self-understanding of our Western European culture. The names of Copernicus and Galileo are most famous in this connection. We all know what furious reactionary obscurantism followed, symbolised by Galileo’s life imprisonment by the Church.
Well, what if our culture needs to undergo another paradigm shift at the present time, in this case concerning the alleged claim that we live in ‘democracies’? What if we really live under a semi-secret oligarchical rule based upon massive control over the financial system – and what if a clearly identifiable ethnic element can be observed within that controlling power, namely Jewish influence?
What if it is not ‘antisemitic’ to point this out (since most of the world’s Jewish persons are not directly implicated and some wealthy gentiles are)? And what if discussion of the nature of Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945, together with the history of World War Two, cannot be adequately reassessed in our public forums because of this elite’s grip over the mass media? It may even be that this whole trend of racial vilification legislation has been orchestrated by this baneful power in order to protect its dominance. In this case a full allowance of free speech on racial and ethnic topics, such as the Institute of Public Affairs advocates, is essential if a degree of unjust tyranny over whole peoples is to be lessened.
It is horrifying to note that in certain European nations many people are now in prison purely because they have expressed dissident views on matters pertaining to race. Do we want that to become the norm in Australia? And what if the government’s proposed making of ‘incitement against racial hatred’ a criminal offence would in fact be an important way of strengthening the grip of tyranny over Australians? I believe that these possibilities need much more public discussion in Australia at this time. Defence of us all from tyranny is a much more pressing need than protection against mere vilification by words.
SOMETIMES TIMIMG IS EVERYTHING
Bernard Gaynor’s website
But I’m not talking about that timing. Blind Freddy could see this coming a mile away. Instead, I’m talking about the Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley, and his timing. Because the same weekend I made my speech about Islam and the Australian military, General Hurley spoke on that very issue too. But he had a different view. In fact, General Hurley said that religious tolerance was vital for morale. And then he went right ahead and killed mine by stating that he wanted more Muslims to join and that he would be giving them roles as specialist staff. Of course, my morale was already fairly low since General Hurley wrote to me last year that the public expression of my Catholic faith was an issue preventing my continued service to this nation…” Continue reading here…
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