24th & 29th October 2005
September I wrote about government secrets and monopolies
(bubbles). I am not going to write about the tollroads in Sydney,
has covered that issue. I agree with Spleenie, it is our
system of government, it's secrecy, it's sponsorship of private
ownership of infrastructure monopolies that is the cause of our
angst. We the people of Australia need a way to more directly
make our voice heard.
Where we are going is the path followed in Europe, which is in
cultural stagnation brought about by high taxes and overgovernment.
ISRAEL, SYRIA, IRAQ, IRAN -
The Israelis have given Gaza to the Palestinians, there are reports of
violence and corruption in Gaza. Maybe the Israelis should give
as much back to the Palestinians as possible - before the Palestinian
people realize what a good deal they have, and demand that Israel
govern Palestine. (Just kidding).
The Syrian dictator is in a load of trouble, it seems that his minions
have been interfering a little bit too overtly in Lebanese
affairs. The Americans are telling all and sundry all about it,
and it seems that general opinion is that what he has been doing is
un-Islamic (or words to that effect).
It does seem that the Sunni Iraqis who are not Kurds are not getting
their way. First they wouldn't vote, now it turns out that even
if they do vote, they have no effect on the outcome.
In a rather shrewd move, the Americans released a letter purportedly
from an important Al Qaida leader (Ayman al-Zawahiri) to
the chief leader of the
terrorists in Iraq (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi). It was shrewd because,
whether it was in fact
an intercepted letter or was just a made up letter, it raised issues
that must set the average Shia Iraqi thinking.
The attacks on Shia Iraquis, while no doubt generating bad feelings,
the past have been discounted as the general enthusiasm of suicide
bombers seeking a shortcut to 84 virgins, and not being too particular
about where they did their mess.
This letter raises the issue, just what are the intentions of the
majority Sunni Muslims in the region towards the heretic Shia?
that the most vicious wars are
fraternal, (Think the English "war of the roses", the American civil
war, even the central African war between the Hutus and the Tutsis in
Rwanda.) There is a history of war between Sunni &
And the Sunni terrorists in Iraq are certainly acting in a manner that
credibility to Shia fears.
The UN has just released a report on the
criminal breaching of Iraqui trade sanctions, and Kofi Annan has urged
those individuals responsible be prosecuted by their governments.
In Australia, France
and Russia it is not going to happen.
In Australia, for instance, the AWB (Australian Wheat Board which was a
government department until around 2000, the funny business started in
1999) was reported as responsible
for transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to Hussein's private
treasury by way of a pretend Jordanian trucking company. Said
transport company charges (of around $80/tonne) were exorbitant, to say
the least, and about five or six times the competitive commercial
rate. The story put out by AWB is that "the UN OK'd
the deal." (If I had thought I could have reliably found a single
magistrate who would believe an excuse of that quality for a criminal
act, I might have ventured
into a life of crime.)
I understand that the French and Russian Presidents are likewise
blaming the UN. Whatever happened to the crime of
It is interesting that the NZ dairy board is accused of the same
crimes (paying bribes to Saddam) and also became a private company at
the same time. I wonder how
many other government organizations around the world that were dealing
with Iraq turned
private in the year 2000? Did somebody in those governments with a
belated sense of paranoia
want another layer of protection.
Meanwhile in Iran the new President has given a keynote speech about
rubbing Israel off the map. I believe that statement can
legitimately be construed as an informal declaration of war. Following
that speech, the Israelis are unlikely to feel constrained by
legalities like a "formal declaration of war" if a target of
opportunity presents itself. The difficulty for the Israelis is
the USA, which must protect Iran from any attack crossing occupied
Iraq. So maybe the Iranians are safe for a couple of years more,
(unless intelligence indicates that Iran is about to obtain critical
& UNIONS & LEGISLATION -
Ever since the Teacher's Federation promised then failed to send
someone to help me
in a dispute with my employer, I have had no time whatsoever for
unions. (My employer found me innocent of the
alleged wrongdoing). Union organizers are bloodsucking leeches
combined with the worst
aspect of politicians. They are definitely not the sort of people
that I would want to know.
What I know of student union politicians coincides with that
conclusion. Student union politicians use the enormous budget
that is compulsorily extracted from mostly penurious students (around
$500 p/a per student) to throw grog parties for themselves and
their mates, or run various other scams that I do not want to discuss
on these pages, since I am not protected by parliamentary
"Tammany Hall" would have been called "SRC Hall" if it
had not been previoused in the USA.
John Howard (for whom I have nearly as much distaste as I have
Union managers) has moved to enact legislation that, while being touted
power from employees, will actually empower them. Two of the
largest companies in the world (GM and FORD) are on their knees because
of union power. If the USA could have Johnny's legislation, then
GM and FORD would have a chance at survival. (Employees are
empowered by a surfeit of employers,
not by sending employers broke.)
As it is, I suspect
that those marques will be taken over by China & India within the
29th October 2005. The other piece of legislation proposed by PM
Howard was for the
control of terrorists. Because of our constitution
all legislative power is not in the hands of the Federal
Government. So PM Howard sent a copy of the proposed legislation
to the state governments for approval. The six states and the
Northern Territory all said "OK". But the chief minister of the
Australian Capital Territory put it up on her website. Citizens
thereupon took interest,
and certain of the more draconian elements are being rewritten.
For instance, the Feds (Australian Federal Police) might not be allowed
to incarcerate suspects for six months without charges, or even
justification. Nor may they be ordered to shoot to kill, like the
London Train incident.
Of course that was quite game of the CM (chief minister), because the
and NT are not an original states, and our Federal Government, in it's
wisdom, chose not to give their legislative bodys the same powers as
was given to
the original states. I suspect that PM Howard did not actually
need the permission of either the ACT or NT pretend-state-governments
to enact his anti-terror legislation. I do not think he will make
that mistake again.
The public response has left the Federal & State Governments flat
footed. PM Howard was relying on the States (governments')
concurrence to any legislation that increased the power (or the tax
burden) of an Australian government over Australians. Normally
is a sure bet, even though the state governments were from the opposite
(blue) end of the political spectrum.
Since then all the state governments have picked up the ball, and are
quite horrified at such a horrible attack on our civil liberties by the
Federal (red) government.
Why aren't I surprised?
30th October- The anti terrorist legislation has reportedly been
redrafted. Apparently (as I anticipated) the ACT CM has been
warned not to publish
the new draft. The rumor mongers claim that the "shoot to kill"
(aka the London Train Incident)
clause has been removed.
Australia has not got a bill of rights, which would protect Australians
from such blatantly draconian* legislation. The PM instead argues
that an important factor in preserving liberty is the attitude of the
people. My response is that Australians would rather not have to
get shot to persuade their government that it is infringing their
liberty. Adolf Hitler took power legally because laws permitting
infringement of civil rights were already established when he took
power. The Wehrmacht would not have acceded to his rule
otherwise. (Hitler used existing powers, similar to the
legislation that John Howard
has proposed, and arrested the communist members of the Reichstag =>
German parliament. With
the communists gone, the Nazi party went from 49% to 51% of the votes
in the Reichstag.) That is why
it is accurately said that Hitler took power legally).
Likewise, if some plausible rogue takes over
Australia, let us not provide legitimacy to an executive power seizure
by arresting opponents.
*draconian, named after Draco
(circa 500 BC) who was reputedly
the first person to codify Athenian law.
was the judgment penalty for the unpaid debts of commoners.