BLOG 22 / (CONTENTS), Just World Campaign

For Those Seeking Social Justice, seminars.

  January 12-14, 2010.    
   The West Australian, Georgist Education Association Inc., http://www.multiline.com.au/~georgist , Advertisement, p 34, Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Perth Seminar For those Seeking Social Justice Covering the areas of PRINCIPLES, ECONOMICS and PUBLIC POLICY Two Sessions (Day and Evening) This course will be held over three days Tuesday 12th January, Wednesday 13th January and Thursday 14th January, 2010 Day Session: 10am to 12 noon Evening Session: 6.30pm to 8.30pm At: Belmont Sports and Recreation Club Cnr Abernethy Road & Keane Street, Cloverdale.– Admission Free – Refreshments served Telephone: (08) 9409 9687 E-mail: trevorn § ausconnect net Georgist Education Association
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#for_those_seeking
   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The previous seminar advertisements were paid for by the Association for Good Government, New South Wales.  The advertisment had been scheduled also for Jan. 2 and 9. ENDS.] [Jan 06, 2010]
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•International Trade.
     
NEWS

International Trade

   Progress, journal of Prosper Australia (Victoria), progress § prosper org au ; by Dion Giles, p 10, issue of January-February 2010
   Just heard a great example of the true meaning of international trade.  Chinese ships have for years carried goods made in Chinese prisons and sweatshops for sale in Britain.  Problem was the ships were returning empty.
   Then a Chinese woman had a brainwave.  Britain produces recyclable waste much faster than the country's plants can process it.  Why not ship it to China in the empty ships?
   So now the woman is a multimillionaire, Chinese rubbish is shipped to Britain, British rubbish is shipped to China, British wages and conditions are suppressed, productive British career opportunities are lost, and lots of the world's fuel oil is burnt.
   Win win win for everyone!  That's trade. #


   [LETTER-WRITER lives at Joondanna, Perth, Western Australia. ENDS.
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http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#international_trade
[List as if Jan 31; issue of Jan-Feb 2010]

•Lord Monckton on global warming and the ETS
  - Trading will enrich the rich; Communist flags; EU a kind of dictatorship.    
SCIENCE AND ECONOMICS

Lord Monckton on global warming and the ETS

Interviewed by Damian Wyld
   News Weekly (Australia), www.newsweekly.com.au , nw § newsweekly com au , exclusive, interviewed by Damian Wyld, pp 12-14, February 20, 2010
Lord Christopher Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, is a leading critic of the theory of man-made global warming and of the recent Copenhagen Summit on climate change.
   In Adelaide, on February 4, during his recent Australian tour, he delivered a lecture to a sell-out crowd of more than 600 people at the Intercontinental Hotel.
   A short time before he gave his talk, South Australian president of the National Civic Council, Damian Wyld, interviewed him for News Weekly.  Below are some extracts.  (The full 45-minute interview will be made available on DVD and advertised in the next issue of News Weekly).
   Wyld: Lord Monckton, you've had a varied and interesting career thus far, one which is certainly gathering pace as it goes along, with the number of engagements and other things that you find yourself undertaking. In particular, what first got you interested in the issue of climate change?
   Monckton: Well, I used to work for Margaret Thatcher as a policy adviser, and there were only six of us in her policy unit and, like most people in the civil service, nobody had any science except me, and I had a little. So in the world of the blind the one-eyed man is king, and I was her science policy adviser.
   It's as rickety as that in little old Britain these days, and at that time scientists were beginning to say this might be a concern. The carbon dioxide (CO2) had been measured for the first time in 1958 at Mauna Loa. It had been rising ever since, and the observatory there in Hawaii had been monitoring this, using a very accurate method; so there was no real argument that it wasn't happening. There was more CO2 coming into the atmosphere; it was almost certainly caused by us; and it would almost certainly cause some warming. The debate is, of course, about how much warming it would cause.
   At that time we didn't know, and my advice to Margaret Thatcher was that it would be quite a good idea to try and find out. And so she eventually, two years after I left, set up the Hadley Centre for forecasting. And it was in fact my successor, George Guys, who went with her to Chequers, the Prime Minister's country house, and it was a bitterly cold October weekend and they sat chuckling as they threw logs on the fire, writing the speech that eventually provided the funds for the Hadley Centre to study global warming.
   Wyld: If you met someone at a bus stop who had never heard your side of the argument, and you had just three or four minutes to put your case, what points would you highlight?
   Monckton: I would say, first of all, that it is now reasonably well established by a number of different methods in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the rate of warming imagined by the UN's climate panel to arise from adding CO2 to the atmosphere is seven times too big. That is the first point.
   The next point is that, even if it isn't seven times too big, even if the UN has actually got it right, then it would still take 41 years of shutting down the entire global economy and emitting no carbon dioxide at all to forestall just one Celsius degree of the global warming that they imagine would otherwise occur.
   Therefore, I would finally say that the correct thing to do is to wait and see. We've had no significant global warming for the last 15 years. We've had a global cooling trend, and quite a significant one, for the last nine years. Let's carry on waiting and seeing, because, even if nobody at all deviated and everybody complied with the Copenhagen accord between now and 2020, the only warming we would forestall by complying, as opposed to paying no attention at all, would be at most 0.1 Celsius degrees. So all of this activity by nations around the world is economically pointless and probably climatically unnecessary.
   Wyld: You've probably heard of Earth Hour, which Australians have been encouraged to participate in by turning off lights and sitting in the darkness and probably emitting even more fumes by their candles for the one hour. You're talking about shutting everything down for 41 years for no impact at all?
   Monckton: It would just forestall one Celsius degree of the warming that might otherwise happen if the UN was right about how much warming you're going to get. Of course, if you're only going to get one seventh of a degree, then it's an even more trivial result.
   And that's why, of course, a fortiori, an emissions trading scheme (ETS), applying only in Australia with 1 per cent of total emissions in the world – that clearly would be still more pointless. There really isn't any point in doing this sort of thing, and all you're doing is kicking your own workers where it hurts most, and frankly it is the job of governments to protect their own citizens and particularly to protect the jobs and the incomes and the well-being of the working people, on the backs of whose labour the rest of us have the lifestyle we like to enjoy.
   Wyld: With that knowledge, it's really a wonder that an ETS has even been contemplated.
   Monckton: The extraordinary thing is that the pollies these days don't know what questions they should be asking. You and I have just had lunch with a couple of pollies, and their eyes were like saucers when I indicated to them the sort of questions they ought to have asked before they got into this.
   Wyld: We won't name them.
   Monckton: [Laughs] No, no names, no pack drill, absolutely. But there was one on each side of the political divide – I think it's fair to say that much. Yet they could see quite clearly that they had not been asking the right questions.
   Wyld: I think the BBC will, in fact, be here this evening.
   Monckton: Well, I'm hoping they will. They've certainly been following me around most of this tour. They perhaps missed one of the highlights of the tour, which was my meeting with federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott. I had also hoped to meet Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and had asked to do so, but I'm still waiting for a reply on that one.
   Wyld: Perhaps he's got a ticket in the queue with Al Gore somewhere.
   Monckton: [Laughs] Yes, Al Gore has been dodging a debate with me for the last three years on the matter of the science, and indeed when I last tried to testify alongside him on this matter, when I was invited by the ranking minority leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the Congress last summer to answer Al Gore's testimony {I was} refused the right to testify.
   For the first time in history, they didn't let me testify because they were terrified that I would simply destroy Al Gore, and, of course, implicit in that terror is an admission that they know that the science that he and they are peddling has no truth and can very easily be exposed by somebody who is sufficiently widely read in the subject, which by now I probably am, and so they ducked away from it because in their heart of hearts they know that none of this is true.
        Corporate Australia
   Wyld: What, or who, brought you to Australia?
   Monckton: Two very kind, retired engineers from Noosa, friends who dug deep into their pockets and superannuation – they put their houses on the line, in effect, to bring me here. They didn't know whether anyone would come to my talks; they just felt they ought to give me a right of reply to an extraordinary 45-minute personal attack that was made on me by Kevin Rudd in a major speech last year to the Lowy Institute.
   Fortunately, my visit has now been paid for entirely by the pennies of the poor, the people coming and actually paying their $20 to hear me speak. That's how this tour has been funded, because it is expensive – it's cost $100,000 in airfares and accommodation and setting up rooms and equipment.
   So if anyone says, "Oh, but are you funded by fossil fuel interests" – no, I am not! Not a single corporation was willing to put up its money to say, "We will give you a donation to this tour". All donations we've had have come from individuals, concerned individuals. Corporate Australia is terrified of a vengeful government … and they would not help.
  [Picture] Lord Monckton (left), with Damian Wyld.  
   Wyld: Do you think some of them perhaps might see an opportunity to profit from an ETS or something similar?
   Monckton: Oh yes, of course. The first people who gain from any rigged market are those who rig the market. Everybody else in the market loses and, of course, if it is a rigged and compulsory market, then everybody else, except those who rigged the market, is made to lose, and those who rig the market are enabled to make a profit. That includes the government and the actual operators of the rigged market – which, of course, are the banks. And so, one of the strongest arguments one can give – because bankers are not particularly popular at the moment, as you know – against the ETS is to say: if you have an ETS, the only people apart from the government that will get rich are the bankers.
   Wyld: With the public in general, faced as they are with the possibility of an ETS or even, as we will discuss in a minute, of the potential loss of sovereignty, have you found a willingness among them to resist that, and perhaps to question it and to take a stand in some way?
   Monckton: I think that what has happened is the mood has radically changed over the last year - and we've already been through the history of that - and people are now no longer believing a word that they are told on either side. In fact, it was put rather well by a radio interviewer that I have just come from, who said that "Frankly, people have now heard so much from both sides about this that they are suffering from analysis paralysis." I thought that was a good, a nice phrase. And people actually get slightly cross-eyed listening to yet another talk about climate change. But the difference, I think, with my talks is that here is the chance to hear a reasonably comprehensive analysis in three different directions.
   {My} three messages – the moral, the economic and the scientific – are extremely popular with the audiences. The moral message in particular is very powerful, that we have caused starvation by going for this dash for biofuels, taking agricultural land out from growing food for people who need it and into growing biofuels for clunkers that don't and causing mass starvation in a dozen different regions of the world.
   That is something which appeals very strongly to people's sense of the unfitness of being careless about the collateral damage, as the military might put it, caused by policies that we haven't properly thought through because we have simply believed scientists and, really, frankly, pressure groups whose vested interest is not the interest of ordinary working people and businesses here in Australia.
        Biofuels
   Wyld: To pick up on that issue of biofuels, we discussed earlier the situation in some parts of Australia where existing industries, such as sugar, could be turned towards that without loss of arable land. Have you got any comments?
   Monckton: Now that's a perfectly sensible thing to do. If you've got a crop which is the only thing you can grow on marginal land, and sugar cane is good from that point of view – it always has been – then, if you can't sell the sugar-cane crop for sugar, then if you can mulch it down for biofuels or grow something else on it which will grow there but food won't, well that's a perfectly appropriate use of the land. No point in just leaving the land fallow if it can produce and make some contribution.
   But what is clearly offensive is to plough up agricultural land which was growing food crops and then turn that into growing biofuel crops when you have starvation around the world. Herr {Jean} Ziegler – who is the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the spokesman for those who have no voice and are starving – he has said this: "When millions are dying of starvation, the diversion of land from growing food to growing biofuels is" - and these are his words - "a crime against humanity."
   And crimes against humanity are usually punishable by a very severe penalty. But in this case, it is not we who are paying the penalty at the moment; it is the poor around the world who are starving and dying in their millions because of the doubling of world food prices that the dash for biofuels directly caused.
        Loss of sovereignty
   Wyld: Returning to Copenhagen and the potential loss of national sovereignty that many, many people face, you have previously linked the international "green" agenda, if I may call it this, with communism. Would you care to comment further?
   Monckton: Right, certainly. First of all, the communistic elements … were identifiable in the draft Copenhagen treaty as it stood on 15 September [2009]. I got a copy of that in early October, immediately went public with it, and the mere fact of going public with it prevented it from happening, because so many people got in touch with their legislators here in Australia, in the United States and in Canada – not of course in Britain, because the commissars of the European Union are not elected. It doesn't matter what you say to them; they go their own way. We have no power anymore; we have no sovereignty anymore. But the communistic elements in that treaty were, first of all, that there was going to be a world government – this is the Socialist International. That's point one.
   Point two: it was going to have power over the commanding heights of the economy worldwide – that's come straight from The Communist Manifesto. It was going to have power to set the rules under which all markets, whether financial or other, operate. So there would be no such thing as a free market any more, just as there isn't in a communist country. They were going to take that away. They were also going to levy enormous and crippling rates of taxation, rates of taxation associated previously in history only with communist countries.
   And the clincher for me was that, in the 186 pages of that draft of September 15 of the Copenhagen treaty, there was not one mention of the word "election", "democracy", "ballot" or "vote".
   Halfway through the Copenhagen conference, there was an enormous march of environmental activists in the centre of Copenhagen outside the parliament – hundreds or even thousands of them, carrying red flags with hammer and sickle emblems on them, the first time these hated symbols of communist tyranny and murder had been seen on the streets of Europe since the Berlin Wall had come down 20 years previously. Now, if I am not entitled to call communists "communist", then what should I call them?
   Wyld: Speaking of the European Union, are there any lessons, both in terms of emissions trading schemes there and perhaps, more broadly, Brussels-based governance and other EU issues – are there any lessons Australians can learn?
  [Picture] Lord Monckton  
   Monckton: The first lesson I unhesitatingly say, which in the wider sense, is this: do not give up your democracy as we did. It was done to us by stealth. We were told it was good for us. But in fact we are no longer a democracy. We are a police state, governed by an alien authority which we cannot elect, cannot question, cannot hold to account, cannot remove and cannot replace. We are powerless. Ninety per cent of our laws are made by commissars – that's the official German word for them. They are called "commissars", just as they were in the hated Soviet Union. And those commissars have greater power than the Politburo of the Soviet Union to direct what happens in Britain.
   The other lesson from the European Union, and you also asked about this, is the emissions trading scheme. Now, we've had one for years. It collapsed twice because the countries of Europe allowed themselves higher rates of emission before you had to pay than the amount they were already emitting, so the price of a tonne of carbon in this rigged market collapsed to zero, they couldn't rig it to make it come up. They tried again a second time, and then the world economy collapsed so the price went down to zero. Now they are trying a third time and, of course, they are now saying it's working terribly well. But it isn't, because what's happening is they are driving business overseas.
   Wyld: Given such things as the personal attacks that you have endured, and some of the nastiness that does arise in your work, how do you maintain your drive and your passion?
   Monckton: My passion is for trying to get the science and the economics right, rather than just coming and singing about it. And so, if I come and speak on these tours, I do it because people want to hear about the science and the economics, and I am very happy to tell them. And so I just quietly get on with it for as long as I can and for as long as the good Lord keeps me fit to do it. I don't regard this as a kind of zealous mission. I'm not there like some kind of preacher. I just go where people ask me to go.
   Wyld: I think that's a very noble principle to have and I wish you the very best in your endeavours.
   Monckton: Well, thank you very much indeed, and God bless Australia!
The full 45-minute version of the Lord Monckton Interview will be made available on DVD and advertised in the next issue of News Weekly. #

   [RECAPITULATION: Everybody else in the market loses and, of course, if it is a rigged and compulsory market, then everybody else, except those who rigged the market, is made to lose, and those who rig the market are enabled to make a profit.  That includes the government and the actual operators of the rigged market – which, of course, are the banks. … if you have an ETS, the only people apart from the government that will get rich are the bankers. [***]
   Halfway through the Copenhagen conference, there was an enormous march of environmental activists in the centre of Copenhagen outside the parliament – hundreds or even thousands of them, carrying red flags with hammer and sickle emblems on them, the first time these hated symbols of communist tyranny and murder had been seen on the streets of Europe since the Berlin Wall had come down 20 years previously. [***]    … the European Union, … do not give up your democracy as we did. … We were told it was good for us.  But in fact we are no longer a democracy. We are a police state, governed by an alien authority which we cannot elect, cannot question, cannot hold to account, cannot remove and cannot replace. … Ninety per cent of our laws are made by commissars … ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: If climate change has friends from the super-greedy, the super-haters, and dictator-bureaucrats, how can it fail?     : - )     COMMENT ENDS.]
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http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#lord_monckton_on
[Feb 20, 2010]

• Facts needed  [Nuclear and fossil costs.]  

Facts needed

 
   The West Australian, letters § wanews com au , Letter to The Editor, p 22, Monday, February 22, 2010
   I am attracted to the use of nuclear power in the generation of electrical energy but the debate in Australia is unlikely to mature without convincing public argument on the safety of handling, reprocessing, reuse, transport and or storage of spent power station nuclear fuel.  Paul Murray's recently expressed opinions on nuclear electrical power do not spell out the safety issues in depth and hence may not advance public confidence (Opinion, 18/2).
   For electricity generators the choice of input fuel is critical to the cost of electricity delivered to the grid.  I would like to have seen Murray expose some current actual delivered costs of power by nuclear, natural gas and coal-fired power stations for comparison.
   Costs of production are a great driver of choice and knowledge of them may affect public attitudes towards the fuel their power suppliers use.
   In the event the community is not worried by the ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions from power stations, coal and natural gas power plants may not have to pay to or not increase costs to eliminate greenhouse emissions.  This would ensure they would retain whatever their current cost competitive advantage might be over nuclear.  Conversely, an emissions trading scheme (which would find a carbon price) or a tax on carbon emissions would make gas and coal less cost competitive with nuclear in the electricity industry.
   Economics, the public attitude to global warming and safety and security concerns over nuclear power will drive the nuclear debate in Australia.  Accordingly, the public deserves more and better information and at present less politics. Brian Ray, City Beach. #

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#facts_needed_nuclear
[Feb 22, 2010]

•The Guantanamo "suicides"; A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle. Report.
  [Sgt Joe Hickman speaks.]     

THE GUANTANAMO “SUICIDES”

A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle. Report.
   Harper's Magazine, By Scott Horton, p 27, Issue of March 2010
   1. ASYMMETRICAL WARFARE
   When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great." Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantanamo Naval Base "shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order."
   Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners there are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future. Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama's young administration with crimes that occurred during the George W. Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously – and may even have continued – a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006.
   Scott Horton is a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine. His last article for the magazine, "Justice After Bush," appeared in the December 2008 issue.
   Late on the evening of June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantanamo died suddenly and violently. Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, from Yemen, was thirty-seven. Mani Shaman Al- Utaybi, from Saudi Arabia, was thirty. Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, also from Saudi Arabia, was twenty-two, and had been imprisoned at Guantanamo since he was captured at the age of seventeen. None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.
   As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Guantanamo to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantanamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths "suicides." In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. "I believe this was not an act of desperation," he said, "but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us." Reporters accepted the official account, and even lawyers for the prisoners appeared to believe that they had killed themselves. Only the prisoners' families in Saudi Arabia and Yemen rejected the notion.
   Two years later, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which has primary investigative jurisdiction within the naval base, issued a report supporting the account originally advanced by Harris, now a vice-admiral in command of the Sixth Fleet. The Pentagon declined to make the NCIS report public, and only when pressed with Freedom of Information Act demands did it disclose parts of the report, some 1,700 pages of documents so heavily redacted as to be nearly incomprehensible.
  [Picture] The external fence of Camp Delta, in Guantanamo, June 2006. Photograph © Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos  
   [End of page 27]
   [P 28, ***] 2."CAMP NO"
   [***] One of the new guards who arrived that March was Joe Hickman, then a sergeant. … I interviewed him at his home in Wisconsin …
   [P 29]
  [Pictures showing "Camp No", ACP Roosevelt, Camp Delta, Camp 1, Tower 1 and the nearby Sally Port 1, and Tower 4.] Diagram by Stephane Humbert-Basset. 
  Satellite imagery, December 2004 © TerraServer.com  

   [ … ] When they arrived at Camp Delta, Davila told me, soldiers from the California National Guard unit they were relieving introduced him to some of the curiosities of the base.  The most noteworthy of these was an unnamed and officially unacknowledged compound nestled out of sight between two plateaus about a mile north of Camp Delta, just outside Camp America's perimeter.  One day, while on patrol, Hickman and Davila came across the compound.  It looked like other camps within Camp America, Davila said, only it had no guard towers and was surrounded by concertina wire.  They saw no activity, but Hickman guessed the place could house as many as eighty prisoners.  One part of the compound, he said, had the same appearance as the interrogation centers at other prison camps.
   The compound was not visible from the main road, and the access road was chained off.  The Guardsman who told Davila about the compound had said, "This place does not exist," and Hickman, who was frequently put in charge of security for all of Camp America, was not briefed about the site.  Nevertheless, Davila said, other soldiers – many of whom were required to patrol the outside perimeter of Camp America – had seen the compound, and many speculated about its purpose.  One theory was that it was being used by some of the non-uniformed government personnel who frequently showed up in the camps and were widely thought to be CIA agents.
   A friend of Hickman's had nicknamed the compound "Camp No," the idea being that anyone who asked if it existed would be told, "No, it doesn't."  He and Davila made a point of stopping by whenever they had the chance; once, Hickman said, he heard a "series of screams" from within the compound.
   Hickman and his men also discovered that there were odd exceptions to their duties.  Army guards were charged with searching and logging every vehicle that passed into and out of Camp Delta.  "When John McCain came to the camp, he had to be logged in."  However, Hickman was instructed to make no record whatsoever of the movements of one vehicle in particular – a white van, dubbed the "paddy wagon," that Navy guards used to transport heavily manacled prisoners, one at a time, into and out of Camp Delta.  The van had no rear windows and contained a dog cage large enough to hold a single prisoner.  Navy drivers, Hickman came to understand, would let the guards know they had a prisoner in the van by saying they were "delivering a pizza."
   The paddy wagon was used to transport prisoners to medical facilities and to meetings with their lawyers.  But as Hickman monitored the paddy wagon's movements from the guard tower at Camp Delta, he frequently saw it follow an unexpected route.  When the van reached the first intersection to the east, instead of heading right – toward the other camps or toward one of the buildings where prisoners could meet with their lawyers – it made a left.  In that direction, past the perimeter checkpoint known as ACP Roosevelt, there were only two destinations.  One was a beach where soldiers went to swim.  The other was Camp No.
   3. LIT UP
   The night the prisoners died, Hickman was on duty as sergeant of the guard for Camp America's exterior security force.  When his twelve-hour shift began, at 6:00 P.M., he climbed the ladder to Tower 1, which stood twenty feet above Sally Port 1, the main entrance to Camp Delta.  From there he had an excellent view of the camp, and much of the exterior perimeter as well.  Later he would make his rounds.
   Shortly after his shift began, Hickman noticed that someone had parked the paddy wagon near Camp 1, which houses Alpha Block.  A moment later, two Navy guards emerged from Camp 1, escorting a prisoner.  They put the prisoner into [P 30] the back of the van and then left the camp through Sally Port 1, just below Hickman. He was under standing orders not to search the paddy wagon, so he just watched it as it headed east. He assumed the guards and their charge were bound for one of the other prison camps southeast of Camp Delta. But when the van reached the first intersection, instead of making a right, toward the other camps, it made the left, toward ACP Roosevelt and Camp No.
  [Picture] Watchtower at the entrance of Camp Delta, June 2006.
Photograph © Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos  

   Twenty minutes later – about the amount of time needed for the trip to Camp No and back – the paddy wagon returned.  This time Hickman paid closer attention.  He couldn't see the Navy guards' faces, but from body size and uniform they appeared to be the same men.
   The guards walked into Camp 1 and soon emerged with another prisoner.  They departed Camp America, again in the direction of Camp No.   Twenty minutes later, the van returned.  Hickman, his curiosity piqued by the unusual flurry of activity and guessing that the guards might make another excursion, left Tower 1 and drove the three quarters of a mile to ACP Roosevelt to see exactly where the paddy wagon was headed.  Shortly thereafter, the van passed through the checkpoint for the third time and then went another hundred yards, whereupon it turned toward Camp No, eliminating any question in Hickman's mind about where it was going.  All three prisoners would have reached their destination before 8:00 P.M.
   Hickman says he saw nothing more of note until about 11:30 P.M., when he had returned to his preferred vantage at Tower 1.  As he watched, the paddy wagon returned to Camp Delta.  This time, however, the Navy guards did not get out of the van to enter Camp 1.  Instead, they backed the vehicle up to the entrance of the medical clinic, as if to unload something.
   At approximately 11:45 P.M. – nearly an hour before the NCIS claims the first body was discovered – Army Specialist Christopher Penvose, preparing for a midnight shift in Tower 1, was approached by a senior Navy NCO. Penvose told me that the NCO – who, following standard operating procedures, wore no name tag – appeared to be extremely agitated.  He instructed Penvose to go immediately to the Camp Delta chow hall, identify a female senior petty officer who would be dining there, and relay to her a specific code word Penvose did as he was instructed.  The officer leapt up from her seat and immediately ran out of the chow hall.
   Another thirty minutes passed.  Then, as Hickman and Penvose both recall, Camp Delta suddenly "lit up" – stadium-style floodlights were turned on, and the camp became the scene of frenzied activity, filling with personnel in and out of uniform.  Hickman headed to the clinic, which appeared to be the center of activity, to learn the reason for the commotion.  He asked a distraught medical corpsman [sic] what had happened.  She said three dead prisoners had been [P 31] delivered to the clinic. Hickman recalled her saying that they had died because they had rags stuffed down their throats, and that one of them was severely bruised. Davila told me he spoke to Navy guards who said the men had died as the result of having rags stuffed down their throats.
   Hickman was concerned that such a serious incident could have occurred in Camp 1 on his watch. He asked his tower guards what they had seen. Pen-vose, from his position at Tower 1, had an unobstructed view of the walkway between Camp 1 and the medical clinic – the path by which any prisoners who died at Camp 1 would be delivered to the clinic. Penvose told Hickman, and later confirmed to me, that he saw no prisoners being moved from Camp 1 to the clinic.
   In Tower 4 (it should be noted that Army and Navy guard-tower designations differ), another Army specialist, David Caroll, was forty-five yards from Alpha Block, the cell block within Camp 1 that had housed the three dead men. He also had an unobstructed view of the alleyway that connected the cell block itself to the clinic. He likewise reported to Hickman, and confirmed to me, that he had seen no prisoners transferred to the clinic that night, dead or alive.
   4. "HE COULD NOT CRY OUT"
   The fate of a fourth prisoner, a forty-two-year-old Saudi Arabian named Shaker Aamer, may be related to that of the three prisoners who died on June 9. Aamer is married to a British woman and was in the process of becoming a British subject when he was captured in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 2001. United States authorities insist that he carried a gun and served Osama bin Laden as an interpreter. Aamer denies this. At Guantanamo, Aamer's fluency in English soon allowed him to play an important role in camp politics.
   According to both Aamer's attorney and press accounts furnished by Army Colonel Michael Bumgarner, the Camp America commander, Aamer cooperated closely with Bumgarner in efforts to bring a 2005 hunger strike to an end. He persuaded several prisoners to break their strike for a while, but the settlement collapsed and soon afterward Aamer was sent to solitary confinement. Then, on the night the prisoners from Alpha Block died, Aamer says he himself was the victim of an act of striking brutality.
   He described the events in detail to his lawyer, Zachary Katznelson, who was permitted to speak to him several weeks later. Katznelson recorded every detail of Aamer's account and filed an affidavit with the federal district court in Washington, setting it out:
   On June 9th, 2006, [Aamer] was beaten for two and a half hours straight. Seven naval military police participated in his beating. Mr. Aamer stated he had refused to provide a retina scan and fingerprints. He reported to me that he was strapped to a chair, fully restrained at the head, arms and legs. The MPs inflicted so much pain, Mr. Aamer said he thought he was going to die. The MPs pressed on pressure points all over his body: his temples, just under his jawline, in the hollow beneath his ears. They choked him. They bent his nose repeatedly so hard to the side he thought it would break. They pinched his thighs and feet constantly. They gouged his eyes. They held his eyes open and shined a mag-lite in them for minutes on end, generating intense heat. They bent his fingers until he screamed. When he screamed, they cut off his airway, then put a mask on him so he could not cry out.
   The treatment Aamer describes is noteworthy because it produces excruciating pain without leaving lasting marks. Still, the fact that Aamer had his airway cut off and a mask put over his face "so he could not cry out" is alarming. This is the same technique that appears to have been used on the three deceased prisoners.
   The United Kingdom has pressed aggressively for the return of British subjects and persons of interest. Every individual requested by the British has been turned over, with one exception: Shaker Aamer. In denying this request, U.S. authorities have cited unelaborated "security" concerns. There is no suggestion that the Americans intend to charge him before a military commission, or in a federal criminal court, and, indeed, they have no meaningful evidence linking him to any crime. American authorities may be concerned that Aamer, if released, could provide evidence against them in criminal investigations. This evidence would include what he experienced on June 9, 2006, and during his 2002 detention in Afghanistan at Bagram Airfield, where he says he was subjected to a procedure in which his head was smashed repeatedly against a wall. This torture technique, called "walling" in CIA documents, was expressly approved at a later date by the Department of Justice.
   5. YOU ALL KNOW
   By dawn, the news had circulated through Camp America that three prisoners had committed suicide by swallowing rags. Colonel Bumgarner called a meeting of the guards, and at 7:00 A.M. at least fifty soldiers and sailors gathered at Camp America's open-air theater.
   Bumgarner was known as an eccentric commander. Hickman marveled, for instance, at the colonel's insistence that his staff line up and salute him, to music selections that included Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and the reggae hit "Bad Boys," as he entered the command center. This morning, however, Hickman thought Bumgarner seemed unusually nervous and clipped.
   According to independent interviews with soldiers who witnessed the speech, Bumgarner told his audience that "you all know" three prisoners in the Alpha Block at Camp 1 committed suicide during the night by swallowing rags, causing them to choke to death. This was a surprise to no one – even servicemen who had not worked the night before had heard about the rags.
   But then Bumgarner told those assembled that the media would report something different. It would report that the three prisoners had committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells. It was important, he said, that servicemen make no comments or suggestions that in any way undermined the official report. He reminded the soldiers and sailors that their phone and email communications were being monitored. The [P 32] meeting lasted no more than twenty minutes. (Bumgarner has not respond' ed to requests for comment.) 1
   That evening, Bumgarner's boss, Admiral Harris, read a statement to reporters:
   An alert, professional guard noticed something out of the ordinary in the cell of one of the detainees.  The guard's response was swift and professional to secure the area and check on the status of the detainee.  When it was apparent that the detainee had hung [sic] himself, the guard force and medical teams reacted quickly to attempt to save the detainee's life.  The detainee was unresponsive and not breathing.  {The} guard force began to check on the health and welfare of other detainees.  Two detainees in their cells had also hung [sic] themselves.
   When he finished praising the guards and the medics, Harris – in a notable departure from traditional military decorum – launched his attack on the men who had died on his watch. "They have no regard for human life," Harris said, "neither ours nor their own." A Pentagon press release issued soon after described the dead men, who had been accused of no crime, as Al Qaeda or Taliban operatives. Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey Gordon, the Pentagon's chief press officer, went still further, telling the Guardian's David Rose, "These guys were fanatics like the Nazis, Hitlerites, or the Ku Klux Klan, the people they tried at Nuremberg."
____________________
1 After this report was published on Harpers.org on January 18, Bumgarner did send an email to the Associated Press. "This blatant misrepresentation of the truth infuriates me," he wrote.  "I don't know who Sgt. Hickman is, but he is only trying to be a spotlight ranger."  In fact, Bumgarner should have no trouble remembering Hickman.  As camp commander, he awarded him a commendation medal for defusing a prison riot.  In his email, Bumgarner also said Hickman "knows nothing about what transpired in Camp 1, or our medical facility.  I do, I was there."  By his own sworn testimony, however, Bumgarner did not arrive at Camp 1 until 12:48 A.M. on June 10.  "On the night of 09JUN06, I was not in the camp," he told the NCIS.  "I had spent the evening at Admiral Harris's house."  As of press time, Bumgarner has not returned my calls seeking clarification on the matter.

The Pentagon was not the only U.S. government agency to participate in the assault. Colleen Graffy, a deputy assistant secretary of state, told the BBC that "taking their own lives was not necessary, but it certainly is a good PR move."
   The same day the three prisoners died, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly completed a reporting trip to the naval base, where, according to his account on The O'Reilly Factor, the Joint Army Navy Task Force "granted the Factor near total access to the prison." Although the Pentagon began turning away reporters after news of the deaths had emerged, two reporters from the Charlotte Observer, Michael Gordon and photographer Todd Sumlin, had arrived that morning to work on a profile of Bumgarner, and the colonel invited them to shadow him as he dealt with the crisis. A Pentagon spokesman later told the Observer it had been expecting a "puff piece," which is why, according to the Observer, "Bumgarner and his superiors on the base" had given them permission to remain.
   Bumgarner quickly returned to his theatrical ways. As Gordon reported in the June 13, 2006, issue of the Observer, the colonel seemed to enjoy putting on a show. "Right now, we are at ground zero," Bumgarner told his officer staff during a June 12 meeting. Referring to the naval base's prisoners, he said, "There is not a trustworthy son of a bitch in the entire bunch." In the same article, Gordon also noted what he had learned about the deaths. The suicides had occurred "in three cells on the same block," he reported. The prisoners had "hanged themselves with strips of knotted cloth taken from clothing and sheets," after shaping their pillows and blankets to look like sleeping bodies. "And Bumgarner said," Gordon reported, "each had a ball of cloth in their mouth either for choking or muffling their voices."
   Something about Bumgarner's Observer interview seemed to have set off an alarm far up the chain of command. No sooner was Gordon's story in print than Bumgarner was called to Admiral Harris's office. As Bumgarner would tell Gordon in a follow-up profile three months later, Harris was holding up a copy of the Observer: "This," said the admiral to Bumgarner, "could get me relieved." (Harris did not respond to requests for comment.) That same day, an investigation was launched to determine whether classified information had been leaked from Guantanamo. Bumgarner was suspended.
   Less than a week after the appearance of the Observer stories, Davila and Hickman each heard separately from friends in the Nayy and in the military police that FBI agents had raided the colonel's quarters. The MPs understood from their FBI contacts that there was concern over the possibility that Bumgarner had taken home some classified materials and was planning to share them with the media or to use them in writing a book.
   On June 27, two weeks later, Gordon's Observer colleague Scott Dodd reported: "A brigadier general determined that 'unclassified sensitive information' was revealed to the public in the days after the June 10 suicides." Harris, according to the article, had already ordered "appropriate administrative action." Bumgarner soon left Guantanamo for a new post in Missouri. He now serves as an ROTC instructor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
   Bumgarner's comments appear to be at odds with the official Pentagon narrative on only one point: that the deaths had involved cloth being stuffed into the prisoners' mouths. The involvement of the FBI suggested that more was at issue.
   6. "AN UNMISTAKABLE MESSAGE"
   On June 10, NCIS investigators began interviewing the Navy guards in charge of Alpha Block, but after the Pentagon committed itself to the suicide narrative, they appear to have stopped. On June 14, the interviews resumed, and the NCIS informed at least six Navy guards that they were suspected of making false statements or failing to obey direct orders. No disciplinary action ever followed.
   The investigators conducted interviews with guards, medics, prisoners, and officers. As the Seton Hall researchers note, however, nothing in the NCIS report suggests that the investigators secured or reviewed the duty roster, the prisoner-transfer book, the pass-on book, the records of phone and radio communications, of footage from the camera that continuously monitored activity in the hallways … [And other important aspects, to the end of page 37]

   ["REDACTED" was in the dictionaries meaning to revise or edit, or to draw up a statement, etc.  But United States administrations, anxious to dodge using the words "censored" and "removed," have been using it for each word or group of words they have blacked out when grudgingly releasing documents.  ENDS.]
   [1st RECAPITULATION: However, Hickman was instructed to make no record whatsoever of the movements of one vehicle in particular – a white van, dubbed the "paddy wagon," that Navy guards used to transport heavily manacled prisoners, one at a time, into and out of Camp Delta. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: No comment necessary.  Work it out yourself. COMMENT ENDS.]
   [2nd RECAPITULATION: Bumgarner told his audience that "you all know" three prisoners in the Alpha Block at Camp 1 committed suicide during the night by swallowing rags, causing them to choke to death. … But then Bumgarner told those assembled that the media would report … that the three prisoners had committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells. ENDS.]
   [OVERALL COMMENT: Lies are the stock in trade of criminals, even if they are wearing the uniform of "the land of the free, and the home of the brave."  It is illegal, under modern international law, to murder prisoners of war, to torture them, and to hold them indefinitely.  In modern times, prisoners have been exchanged periodically during some wars.  In addition, it is hoped that readers know that the U.S.A. and its allies were permitted by the international community to attack Afghanistan to find Osama Bin Laden (allegedly the organiser of the 9/11 attack on the USA), but were not permitted to invade Iraq.  The Iraq war by the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, and Australia, is an illegal war.  Guantanamo Bay prison, too, is steeped in illegality.  The prisoners are really being held in a sort of slavery, which Yankees claim to have rejected during their Civil War.  It is also a reversion to the inhumane practices of kings and other rulers, recorded back through history. ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#the_guantanamo_suicides
[March 2010 issue]

• 20,000 vacant blocks, only 1400 for sale.
     

20,000 vacant blocks, only 1400 for sale

 
   Letter sent to The Editor, The West Australian, GPO Box N1027 Perth WA 6843. Fax 08 9482 3830. letters§wanews com au , e-mailed on Wednesday, March 10, 2010
   In the news today I thought I heard that only 1400 blocks of land were for sale in Perth, whereas about double that number was on sale about a year ago.
   A few weeks ago [sic] it was reported that a State Minister asked why were there about 20,000 vacant blocks in the Perth metropolitan area.
   So, can we assume that speculators are holding the rest of the vacant land, and that the plaintive appeals by real estate and developer organisations to release land are based on closing their eyes to the main fact – land is being held out of use.
   We have a land-price bubble, propped up by easy bank credit, designed to trap young couples and others into over-heavy debt, while the numbers of home and other repossessions, and homeless people keeps [keep] rising.
   So, why didn't the State Government put land tax on the land-only component of properties, instead of reducing land tax in recent months? And why not cancel the anti-social Payroll Tax altogether, instead of just reducing it?
– John C. Massam, President, GEORGIST EDUCATION ASSOC. Inc.; 2 Plain St, East Perth, WA, 6004, Australia, Tel +61 (0) 8 9221 1973.
Website since 1996: www.multiline.com.au/~georgist, or president + 61 ( 8 ) 9343 9532, 0408 054 319, 46 Cobine Way, Greenwood WA 6024, [CHANGED SINCE] § multiline com au ; or secretary 0451 125 651, or assistant secretary emb621 \AT\ optusnet \DOT\ com \DOT\ au . #

   [CORRECTION: The statement that 20,000 lots were vacant in Perth was made in October 2009, NOT "A few weeks ago" as stated above.  See The West Australian, www.thewest.com.au , "Buswell queries vacant lots," By YASMINE PHILLIPS and SHANE WRIGHT, p 18, Wednesday, October 28, 2009.   Correction distributed by e-mail ~ 1pm, March 13, 2010 ENDS.]
   [PUBLISHED later, without giving the name of the organisation, the Georgist Education Association, as if the author lived at East Perth.  He is a Greenwood man.  A request for a correction of this was evaded.  The correction about "a few weeks ago" was either too late or "missed the boat." ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#20000_vacant_blocks
[Mar 10, 2010]


•Labor critical of vacant houses; AND, Native timber goes to waste.
  - < 300 vacant, 53,000 on waiting lists.    

Labor critical of vacant houses

   The West Australian, By KIM MACDONALD, p 6, Thursday, March 11, 2010
   PERTH, W. Australia –
   The Opposition has accused the State Government of mismanaging the public housing portfolio as nearly 300 State properties sit vacant, despite a waiting list of 53,000 people.
   The vacancies coincide with a growing waiting list, which blew out from 50,843 in September to 52,915 last month.
   Shadow housing minister Mark McGowan said it was unacceptable that so many homes were sitting idle.
   The statistics show 151 of these properties were waiting to be allocated to families and 140 properties were waiting for maintenance.
   A spokeswoman for Housing Minister Troy Buswell said it amounted to less than one per cent of total stock. #

Native timber goes to waste

   By GEORGIA LONEY
   Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of South-West native timber are being left to rot as the Forest Products Commission seeks a buyer for low-grade jarrah and marri cast aside during logging.
   Troubled coalminer Griffin was going to buy 250,000 tonnes of low-grade wood from the commission last year to burn at its Bluewaters power stations but the company is understood to no longer be interested.
   Conservationists say the amount of waste is more proof the native timber industry is unsustainable.
   An FPC spokesman said close to 158,000 tonnes of low-grade wood were used for domestic firewood, or for charlogs in silicon production. #

   [COMMENT: There is a Liberal Party / National Party coalition supposedly "in government" in Western Australia, holding on by one vote in the Lower House.  Like Big Business itself (an example being Griffin Coal mentioned in the wasted timber article), the avowed representatives of the business community and farmers cannot manage State-owned houses and resources any better than "Labor" (supposedly the workers) in nearly all the States and Territories, and in the Federal Government, fresh from its four electrocutions and house fires through a botched "stimulus package" free roof insulation programme. COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#labor_critical_of
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#native_timber_goes
[Mar 11, 2010]

• Banking, free trade and fair trade.   

Banking, free trade and fair trade

Peter Davis, Mayor of Port Lincoln [South Australia], gives his personal view on the banking system, national debt and international trade.
   Destiny magazine, <http://­www.destinymagazine.info/­2010/03/12/7-b­anking-free-trade-and-fair-trade>, pp 7-8, Issue No. 7, March 12, 2010
   An ancient proverb states, "A problem correctly addressed is half solved".
   Most people even vaguely aware of the way our "money system" functions knew that a day of reckoning was fast approaching some years ago.  When the system would effectively collapse and how deep the disaster were the two unknowns. The unfolding events of the last two years have more than confirmed the worst fears we held. In order to understand why the world money systems are in such disarray some important facts need to be grasped: In no specific order:
1.  All the developed nations of the world function under a Private (as compared to a National) banking system.   That is, about 98% of the money we use is created and controlled by the Private banking system.  The following are some of these Private (meaning not under the control of individual National Governments) banks.

* The 7 Federal Reserve Banks of U.S.A., the most obvious being "the Federal Reserve of New York".
* The Bank of England, established in 1694.
* The Reserve Bank of Australia.

2.  The various private banking systems within Nations effectively operate on a global level through:

* The World Bank
* The International Monetary Fund [IMF]
* The Bank for International Settlements, based in Basle, Switzerland.

   Governments fund their various activities by selling BONDS to these different private banks who buy these bonds, thus funding Government expenditure and the private banks charge interest on their "Loans" to Government.  By way of example, our Government is currently issuing $1.2 BILLIONS in bonds per week in order to fund its various economic stimulants that it believes will rescue our economy.  This is how we accumulate our colossal National Debt and explains why all governments across Australia have over the last decade or so, sold off virtually all the Nation's assets built over past generations to reduce National Debt.
   Because the Private Banking System has such a strangle hold on the creation and control of credit explains the reason why Governments across the globe are doing their utmost to rescue the Banking Systems of various nations and are encouraging the creation of even more centralised power for the likes of the I.M.F. [International Monetary Fund], World Bank, et cetera.
   Yet, if one believes that the fundamental role of Government is the provision of services that will ensure the health, welfare, prosperity and safety of its people it is absolutely fundamental that it, the Government should be in control of its own money supply.  That is, it should not be selling bonds to the private banking system.
  [Picture of Australian banknotes and coins] Photo by Emerald  
   Has such a Government Banking system ever existed?  Yes.  The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, created by the Fisher Labor Government in 1912, created and funded the necessary "money" to fund the First World War, the Transcontinental Railway Line, long term, low interest loans for farmers, small business and home owners.
   What was a long term loan and what were the terms?  Home loans of up to 20-25 years with fixed interest rates below 5% with just two payments annually.  Similar loans were available to farmers and small business.
   The Bank began with just 12,000 pounds ($24,000) capital in 1912 by Andrew Fisher's Labor Government.  But, its activities very seriously threatened the then private banking sector.
  [Photo of the frontage of a Commonwealth Bank building.] Photo by Emerald  
   In 1924 the Bruce-Page Federal conservative Government passed legislation that created a Board of Directors rather than its previous sole Governor, Sir Denison Miller. Slowly, but surely over the years the Government control over its own bank was whittled away eventually with its total privatisation as we know it today.
   Both major parties have been in involved in this sell out of the greatest national asset we, the people of Australia, have ever had. That is why the C.B.A. was known as "The People's Bank".
   In differing ways but with the same end result virtually all of the nations of the world have slowly lost control of their Financial Sovereignty.

   Perhaps the most glaring example of the sheer power of the banking system now is how governments are accumulating massive national debt in order to shore up the collapsing private banking system. America is perhaps the best example but there are examples daily of these colossal bailouts that result in long term liabilities for the people of each and every nation as National Debt rockets upwards.
   In similar manner, Governments have, over the last decade or so, passed and ratified two hugely important Bills regarding "Free Trade" that strike at the heart of National sovereignty. They are the G.A.T.T. and the G.A.T.S. agreements. 1. The General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs. 2. The General Agreement on Trade and Services.
   These two International Agreements are the foundation upon which our national manufacturing industry is steadily being destroyed. There is no possible way that a highly developed economy (ours) can compete against less well developed countries where a manufacturer does not have to pay our costs of production. By way of example, the dollars per hour we are required to pay workers would be about what is received in cents per hour in some countries now exporting to Australia.
  [Picture of the corner of a building with pillars, looking up.]  
   Naturally, they do not have things like workers compensation, holiday pay, sick pay, long service leave, superannuation, et cetera. The net effect upon Australian manufacturers is one of two things:
   The company will either move its operations overseas or will cease production, both happening regularly.
   On the other hand multinational companies under these two agreements have the right to bring in labour from overseas, to transfer operations offshore and so on. They also have the right to fund their operations effectively free from control of the sovereign Government.
   This sad truth can be seen in politicians demanding that "Free Trade" must continue through our current crisis. Any person suggesting that we should care for our own local jobs and protect our own businesses is accused of being a xenophobe. Further, that if local protection and consumption is practiced, the result will be to worsen and prolong the world financial crisis.
  [Picture of a piggy bank.] Is it time for Australia to turn its back on the current banking system and beging to look for a better banking alternative ?  
   The Free Trade policy is causing political trouble world wide as politicians grapple with their own local economies. We have global trade difficulties involving payments (banking), unemployment difficulties and general community unease. Why? There is no such thing as "Free trade". It is Free Trade that is part of our problem. Remember the proverb heading this article.
   "Free Trade" is a contradiction of the English language. Trade involves the exchange of goods or services in exchange for payment. Thus, it is not "Free". What we should aim for is Fair Trade. Fair Trade involves meeting National requirements first, then selling at a "fair price" goods or services desired by overseas nations. With the revenues so gained we are in a position to trade with another Nation that possesses something we desire or need.
   The current world crisis has been in the making for many years. The above remarks are not the sole reason for our difficulties. There are other issues like derivatives trading, hedge fund activities, floating currency fluctuations and so on have had similar negative, cumulative impacts.

   "May you live in interesting times", said Confucius to an opponent 2000 years ago.
   How we resolve our current issues, how responsibility for the present disasters is resolved and how the people of Australia survive will be "interesting" for us all. Yet the solution to our problems can be seen in our past history if we have the will to research and implement what our grandparents practised. #

   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: R.B.D. ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#banking-free-trade
[To this website 25 Sep 2011; dated Mar 12, 2010]

• Fake game show sparks outrage.
   
World

Fake game show sparks outrage

   The West Australian, www.thewest.com.au , p 43, Friday, March 19, 2010
   PARIS – A French TV channel is causing controversy with a documentary about a fake game show in which participants obey orders to deliver increasingly powerful electric shocks to a man, who is really an actor, until he appears to die.
   The producers of The Game of Death, which aired on Wednesday night, wanted to examine both what they call TV's mind-numbing power to suspend morality, and the striking human willingness to obey orders.
   "Television is a power. We know it, but it's theoretical," producer Christophe Nick told the daily newspaper Le Parisien. "I wondered: Is it so important that it can turn us into potential executioners?"
  [Picture] Controversy: Christophe Nick  
   In the end, more than four in five players gave the maximum jolt.
   "People never would have obeyed if they didn't have trust," Nick said. "They told themselves, 'TV knows what it's doing'."
   The experiment was based on the work of late psychologist Stanley Milgram, who carried out a now-classic experiment at Yale University in the 1960s. It found that most ordinary people – if encouraged by an authoritative-seeming scientist – would administer ostensibly dangerous electric shocks to others.
   Before transmission of the documentary, State TV channel France-2 warned: "What we are going to watch is extremely tough. But it's only television."
   The newspaper Liberation had a different take, with the headline: "Television tests its limits."
   Recruiters found 80 "contestants" and said they would take part in a real TV show called Zone Xtreme. Each was presented to a man said to be another contestant – but really an actor – whose job was to answer a series of questions while strapped into an electrifiahle chair in an isolated booth.
   In a game of word associations, the actor identified as Jean-Paul was told that any wrong answers would merit punishment in the form of electric shocks of 20 to 460 volts, zapped by a console operated by the contestant.
   At times Jean-Paul pleads: "Mr Producer, get me out of here, please! I don't want to play any more."
   In the final tally, 64 of the 80 contestants, whose faces were blacked out, turned up the alleged juice to what they were told was the maximum, potentially deadly level. #

   [RECAPITULATION: Read the last sentence.  That is 80 per cent!  "Juice" in that sentence means electricity. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: Just as in the Milgram demonstrations with American students, this French test makes us despair about humanity.  Now we can understand how the atrocities such as widow-burning, rape-victim stoning, North Korea, the Islamists, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, the continent conquests, the Inquisition, the pogroms, Easter mob killings of Judaists, human sacrifice, and right back through history, had thousands of people willing to do the bidding of their leaders.  Reason: Many people accept "authority." COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#fake_game_show
[Mar 19, 2010]

•Stop this migration madness.
   

Stop this migration madness

   The Week, www.theweek.com.au , editorial § theweek com au , by Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, p 12, April 2, 2010
   We have cranked up immigration just as the new green faith has reached its "crazed worst", making the building of power stations and dams "seem a spit in the eye of Gaia", says Andrew Bolt.
   The country expanded last year by an amazing 451,900 people, and that included 300,000 immigrants - 9,000 more than the previous year's record.
   "Think we can find all the land, water, power and transport that all those newcomers need?"
   After all, not one capital city has dared build a dam in 25 years, and don't hold your breath for a state government to approve one of those dreaded coal-fired power stations.
   Not only is there a lack of resources for these huddled masses, there's no room. By 2050 there will be three million more people living on top of those already in Melbourne.
   "Do we actually want so many more people each year?" This is not a matter of nostalgia or xenophobia. Neighbours who feel that they share nothing, also feel no duty towards each other and end up as rival tribes.
   "Have we come even close to talking sensibly about such things? No way." #

   [MORE READING: Sustainable Population Australia, www.population.org.au . ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#stop_this_migration
[Apr 2, 2010]

•Biodiversity ecosystem services and human well-being.
  - Professor Pierre Horwitz to speak May 22.    
Sustainable Population Australia                 United Nations Association of Australia In the year of Biodiversity from Australia's only Hotspot Hear Professor Pierre Horwitz on "Biodiversity ecosystem services and human well-being" 2pm Saturday May 22nd, 2010 Conference Room, Lotteries House 2 Delhi Street West Perth Treasury boss Ken Henry: "Treasury Officials have failed to give proper weight to the importance of retaining Australia's unique biodiversity." ACF wants human population growth listed as a threatening process for biodiversity and the environment. Panel Discussion and refreshments Enquiries 9386 1890

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#biodiversity_ecosystem_services
[For May 22. Rec'd Apr 21, 2010]
• Tax the land. My solution   
MY SOLUTION

TAX THE LAND

 
   The West Australian, letters§wanews com au , Letter to The Editor, p 22, Friday, April 30, 2010
   Your report (Homes shortfall to get worse, 28/4) correctly identified that the rising cost of housing is mainly because of rising "land values", which have been consistently growing at a substantially faster pace than anything else.
   This might be partly because of a growing population, but is even more aggravated because of a speculative land bubble.  Land speculators are keeping unused land and real estate out of use to push up the prices even more and make unearned gains from the development of the surrounding community.
   Big land owners are the ones who benefit; young people and the lower classes cannot afford to live any more and suffer.  Because land is the one asset that sustains us all, it should be central in our thinking when we consider topics like unemployment, poverty and economic recessions.
   The solution is, as some of the best economists in the world have already pointed out, to tax land and untax work and trade.  This would force speculators to put land into use and increase the supply.
   It is fair, because land values are created by the community and tax-funded infrastructure.  It is equitable, because it will make land cheaper and create employment.
   We must come to understand that we are not all getting wealthier when our real estate rises in value: some will have to pay the ultimate price. Niels Charlier, the Georgist Education Association, East Perth.
   Letters to the Editor, WA Newspapers, GPO Box N1027 Perth WA 6843. Fax 08 9482 3830. E-mail to: letters § wanews /./ com /./ au

   This letter was not authorised by the Executive Committee of the association in whose name he purported to have written.
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#tax_the_land
[Apr 30, 2010]

•[Parliament to increase loan limit to international fund]
   

[Parliament to increase loan limit to international fund]

   Parliament of Australia, Parlinfo Search, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/­parlInfo/search/display/­display.w3p;adv=;db=;group=;­holdingType=;id=;orderBy=;­page=;query=BillId_Phrase%3Ar­4393%20Title%3A%22second%20­reading%22%20Content%­3A%22I%20move%22|%22and%20­move%22%20Content%3A%22be%20­now%20read%20a%20second%­20time%22%20(Dataset%3Ahansardr%20|%20­Dataset%3Ahansards);querytype=;rec=­1;resCount= ;
   Senator LUDWIG (Queensland) (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) (6:33 PM) –I move:  That this bill be now read a second time.  I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.  Page: 4209, Wednesday, 23 June 2010
   CANBERRA –
   Under the expanded New Arrangements to Borrow, the IMF will be able to borrow up to approximately SDR 367 billion, significantly increased from the existing SDR 34 billion. Australia's share of these expanded credit arrangements will be around SDR4.4 billion, worth around A$7.5 billion, up from our existing SDR 801 million line of credit, worth about A$1.4 billion, that was established in 1998.
   In the event that the IMF calls on the New Arrangements to Borrow, a drawing under Australia's credit line would be through a loan to the IMF, to be repaid to Australia in full, with interest, within five years; as it was on the only previous occasion on which the New Arrangements to Borrow was activated to support Brazil over a decade ago. […]
   The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Cash)–In accordance with standing order 111, further consideration of this bill is now adjourned to the first day of the next period of sittings, commencing on 24 August 2010.

   [COMMENT: So the banking system of the world, which proved so brittle around 2008, is now pretending that Australia can increase its credit creation to the IMF from about A $1,400 million, to about A $7,500 million.  Try to imagine the havoc that this loose change could cause in the world.  What institutions do you think transfer the drug money to the growers in Afghanistan, Colombia, etc.?  How do you think the legal and illegal arms trades transfer their ill-gotten gains? COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#parliament_to_increase
[Jun 23, 2010]

•China Calls Our Bluff: The U.S. is Insolvent and Faces Bankruptcy as a Pure Debtor Nation
  [Global Financial Crisis (G.F.C.)]     

China Calls Our Bluff: The U.S. is Insolvent and Faces Bankruptcy as a Pure Debtor Nation

   Global Research (Canada), www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20449 , Washington's Blog - 2010-07-23, Global Research, August 3, 2010
   America's biggest creditor - China - has called our bluff.
   As the Financial Times notes, the head of China's biggest credit rating agency has said America is insolvent and that U.S. credit ratings are a joke:
   The head of China's largest credit rating agency has slammed his western counterparts for causing the global financial crisis and said that as the world's largest creditor nation China should have a bigger say in how governments and their debt are rated.
   "The western rating agencies are politicised and highly ideological and they do not adhere to objective standards," Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, told the Financial Times in an interview.
   ***
   He specifically criticised the practice of "rating shopping" by companies who offer their business to the agency that provides the most favourable rating.
   In the aftermath of the financial crisis "rating shopping" has been one of the key complaints from western regulators , who have heavily criticised the big three agencies for handing top ratings to mortgage-linked securities that turned toxic when the US housing market collapsed in 2007.
   "The financial crisis was caused because rating agencies didn't properly disclose risk and this brought the entire US financial system to the verge of collapse, causing huge damage to the US and its strategic interests," Mr Guan said.
   Recently, the rating agencies have been criticised for being too slow to downgrade some of the heavily indebted peripheral eurozone economies, most notably Spain, which still holds triple A ratings from Moody's.
   There is also a view among many investors that the agencies would shy away from withdrawing triple A ratings to countries such as the US and UK because of the political pressure that would bear down on them in the event of such actions.
   Last week, privately-owned Dagong published its own sovereign credit ranking in what it said was a first for a non-western credit rating agency.
   The results were very different from those published by Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, with China ranking higher than the United States, Britain, Japan, France and most other major economies, reflecting Dagong's belief that China is more politically and economically stable than all of these countries.
   Mr Guan said his company's methodology has been developed over the last five years and reflects a more objective assessment of a government's fiscal position, ability to govern, economic power, foreign reserves, debt burden and ability to create future wealth.
   "The US is insolvent and faces bankruptcy as a pure debtor nation but the rating agencies still give it high rankings ," Mr Guan said.
   ***
   A wildly enthusiastic editorial published by Xinhua , China's official state newswire, lauded Dagong's report as a significant step toward breaking the monopoly of western rating agencies of which it said China has long been a "victim".
   "Compared with the US' conquest of the world by means of force, Moody's has controlled the world through its dominance in credit ratings," the editorial said…
   China is right. U.S. credit ratings have been less than worthless. And - in the real world - America should have been downgraded to junk. See this, this, this, this, this,this, this, this and this.
   China is not shy about reminding the U.S. who's got the biggest pockets. As the Financial Times quotes Mr. Guan: Might Makes Right Economic Collapse
   Indeed, Guan is even dissing America's military prowess:    As I've repeatedly shown, borrowing money to fund our huge military expenditures are - paradoxically - weakening our national security:
   As I've previously pointed out, America's military-industrial complex is ruining our economy.
   And U.S. military and intelligence leaders say that the economic crisis is the biggest national security threat to the United States. See this, this and this.
   [I]t is ironic that America's huge military spending is what made us an empire … but our huge military is what is bankrupting us … thus destroying our status as an empire …
   Indeed, as I pointed out in 2008:
   So why hasn't America's credit rating been downgraded?
   Well, a report by Moody's in September states:    So Japan and Scandinavia have wimpy militaries, so they got downgraded, but the U.S. has lots of bombs, so we don't? In any event, American cannot remain a hyperpower if it is broke.
   The fact that America spends more than the rest of the world combined on our military means that we can keep an artificially high credit rating. But ironically, all the money we're spending on our military means that we become less and less credit-worthy … and that we'll no longer be able to fund our military. The Scary Part
   I chatted with the head of a small investment brokerage about the China credit rating story.
   Because he gives his clients very bullish, status quo advice, I assumed that he would say that China was wrong.
   To my surprise, he simply responded:
   They're right. What's scary is that China knows it.
   In other words, everyone who pays any attention knows that we're broke. What's scary is that our biggest creditor knows it. Tricks Up Their Sleeves?
   China has been threatening for many months to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency (and see this). And China, Russia and other countries have made a lot of noises about replacing the dollar with the SDR. See this and this.
   Gordon T. Long argues that the much talked about gold swaps are part and parcel of the plan to replace the dollar with the SDR. Time will tell if he's right.
   China, of course, is not without its own problems. See this and this.
   In related news, Germany's biggest companies are starting to shun Wall Street as too risky.
   Please support Global Research. Global Research relies on the financial support of its readers.
   © Copyright GlobalResearch.ca

   [COMMENT: There are many links in this article, which were not copied to this website, so the Webmaster recommends going to the original/s and clicking the links from there. COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#china_calls_our
[Aug 03, 2010]

• KIRWAN, Eilis (writer); KONDRACKI, Larysa (director); © 2010;   Larysa Kondracki's new film 'The Whistleblower' premieres at TIFF.  

  [DOCUMENTARY MOVIE]   
   Director Larysa Kondracki, writer Eilis Kirwan, star Rachel Weisz and Katy Bolkovac discuss working on 'The Whistleblower'.
   A drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal.
   – You Tube, <http://­www.youtube.com/­watch?v=wdbQCAZOwuU, and visit You Tube All Access, Sep 13, 2010
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#the-whistleblower-kondracki
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/books.htm#the-whistleblower-kondracki
   [LOOK FORWARD: In The West Australian, movie review by Shannon Harvey, Sep 28, 2011. ENDS.] [Sep 13, 2010]

• Who Maimed the Economy, and How.  [Documentary movie "Inside Job" about the Global Financial Crisis, G.F.C.]     

Who Maimed the Economy, and How

   The New York Times, <http://­movies.­nytimes­.com/­2010/10/08/­movies/­08insid­e.html?­pagewan­ted=all>, By A. O. SCOTT, Published: October 7, 2010 for October 8, 2010
  [Picture] Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner in the documentary “Inside Job.”    Picture: Sony Pictures Classics  
   “Inside Job,” a sleek, briskly paced film whose title suggests a heist movie, is the story of a crime without punishment, of an outrage that has so far largely escaped legal sanction and societal stigma. The betrayal of public trust and collective values that Mr. Ferguson chronicles was far more brazen and damaging than the adultery in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, which treated Hester more as scapegoat than villain.
   The gist of this movie, which begins in a mood of calm reflection and grows angrier and more incredulous as it goes on, is unmistakably punitive. The density of information and the complexity of the subject matter make “Inside Job” feel like a classroom lecture at times, but by the end Mr. Ferguson has summoned the scourging moral force of a pulpit-shaking sermon. That he delivers it with rigor, restraint and good humor makes his case all the more devastating.
   He is hardly alone in making it. Numerous journalists have published books and articles retracing the paths that led the world economy to the precipice two years ago. The deregulation of the financial services industry in the 1980s and ’90s; the growing popularity of complex and risky derivatives; the real estate bubble and the explosion of subprime lending — none of these developments were exactly secret. On the contrary, they were celebrated as vindications of the power and wisdom of markets. Accordingly, Mr. Ferguson recycles choice moments of triumphalism, courtesy of Lawrence H. Summers, George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan and various cable television ranters and squawkers.
   Even as stock indexes soared and profits swelled, there were always at least a few investors, economists and government officials who warned that the frenzied speculation was leading to the abyss. Some of these prophets without honor show up in front of Mr. Ferguson’s camera, less to gloat than to present, once again, the analyses that were dismissed and ignored by their peers for so long.
   Dozens of interviews — along with news clips and arresting aerial shots of New York, Iceland and other disaster areas — are folded into a clear and absorbing history, narrated by Matt Damon. The music (an opening song, “Big Time,” by Peter Gabriel, and a score by Alex Heffes) and the clean wide-screen cinematography provide an aesthetic polish that is welcome for its own sake and also important to the movie’s themes. The handsomely lighted and appointed interiors convey a sense of the rarefied, privileged worlds in which the Wall Street operators and their political enablers flourished, and the elegance of the presentation also subliminally bolsters the film’s authority. This is not a piece of ragged muckraking or breathless advocacy. It rests its outrage on reason, research and careful argument.
   The same was true of Mr. Ferguson’s previous documentary, “No End in Sight,” which focused on catastrophic policies carried out in Iraq by President George W. Bush’s administration just after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But whereas that film concentrated on a narrow view of a complex subject — the conduct of the war rather than the at least equally controversial rationale for fighting it — “Inside Job” offers a sweeping synthesis, going as far back as the Reagan administration and as far afield as Iceland in its anatomy of the financial crisis.
   Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the highest-profile players declined to be interviewed.  Mr. Summers appears only in news footage, and none of his predecessors or successors as Treasury secretary — not Robert E. Rubin or Henry M. Paulson Jr. or Timothy F. Geithner — submit to Mr. Ferguson’s questions. Nor do any of the top executives at Goldman Sachs or the other big banks. Most of the interviewees are, at least from the perspective of the filmmaker, friendly witnesses, adding fuel to the director’s comprehensive critique of the way business has been done in the United States and the other advanced capitalist countries for the past two decades.
   Both American political parties are indicted; “Inside Job” is not simply another belated settling of accounts with Mr. Bush and his advisers, though they are hardly ignored. The scaling back of government oversight and the weakening of checks on speculative activity by banks began under Reagan and continued during the Clinton administration. And with each administration the market in derivatives expanded, and alarms about the dangers of this type of investment were ignored. Raghuram Rajan, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, presented a paper in 2005 warning of a “catastrophic meltdown” and was mocked as a “Luddite” by Mr. Summers.
   Meanwhile, some investment bankers — at Goldman Sachs in particular — were betting against the positions they were pushing on their customers. An elaborate house of cards had been constructed in which bad consumer loans were bundled into securities, which, were certified as sound by rating agencies paid by the banks and then insured via credit-default swaps. One risky bet was stacked on top of another, and in retrospect the collapse of the whole edifice, along with the loss of jobs, homes, pensions and political confidence, seems inevitable.
   How did this happen?  Mr. Ferguson is no conspiracy theorist; nor is he inclined toward structural or systemic explanations. Markets are not like tectonic plates, shifting on their own. Visible hands write laws and make deals, and in this case a combination of warped values and groupthink seems to have driven very intelligent men (and they were mostly men) toward folly. In addition to business and government, Mr. Ferguson aims his critique at academia, suggesting that the discipline of economics and more than a few prominent economists were corrupted by consulting fees, seats on boards of directors and membership in the masters of the universe club.
   When he challenges some of these professors, in particular those who held positions of responsibility in the White House or in the Federal Reserve, they are reduced to stammering obfuscation — Markets are complicated! Who could have predicted? I don’t see any conflict of interest — and occasionally provoked to testiness. Mr. Ferguson, for his part, cannot always contain his incredulity or rein in his sarcasm. Occasionally his voice pipes up from off camera, saying things like, “You can’t be serious!”
   But it is hard to imagine a movie more serious, and more urgent, than “Inside Job.” There are a few avenues that might have been explored more thoroughly, in particular the effects of the crisis on ordinary, non-Wall-Street-connected workers and homeowners. The end of the film raises a disturbing question, as Mr. Damon exhorts viewers to demand changes in the status quo so that the trends associated with unchecked speculation of the kind that caused the last crisis — rising inequality, neglect of productive capacity, endless cycles of boom and bust — might be reversed.
   This call to arms makes you wonder why anger of the kind so eloquently expressed in “Inside Job” has been so inchoate. And through no fault of its own, the film may leave you dispirited as well as enraged. Its fate is likely to be that of other documentaries: praised in some quarters, nitpicked in others and shrugged off by those who need its message most. Which is a shame.
   “Inside Job” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Some drug and sex references and pervasive obscenity, though not the verbal kind.
  
   This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: [These revisions were on the original webpage on Mar 15, 2012.]
   Correction: October 7, 2010
   An earlier version of this review misidentified the chapter of "The Scarlet Letter" in which the quotation cited from the book appears.  It is Chapter 2, not the first chapter.
   This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
   Correction: October 7, 2010
   Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this review misidentified the opening song by Peter Gabriel. It is not "Sledgehammer."
   A version of this review appeared in print on October 8, 2010, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Who Maimed The Economy, And How.

   [LINKS: "A Searing Look At Wall Street In 'Inside Job' ", <http://­www.npr.org/­templat­es/stor­y/story­.php?st­oryId=1­30272396>, National Public Radio (USA), All Things Considered, with Melissa Block, October 1, 2010
   "Inside Job," <http://­slantmagazine.com/­film/re­view/in­side-job/5062>, Slant Magazine, Film review by Aaron Cutler on October 1, 2010
   "Larry Summers and the Subversion of Economics," <http://­chronicle.com/­article­/Larry-Summers­the/124­790>, The Chronicle Review,, By Charles Ferguson, October 3, 2010.  ENDS.]
   [LOOK FORWARD: "When the jig was really up," <http://­au.news.yahoo.com/­thewest­/entert­ainment/a/-/enterta­inment/­1317644­4/when-the-jig-was-really-up/>, The West Australian; UNITED STATES and AUSTRALIA: "Margin Call" movie. Bankers' wildly optimistic credit creation, followed by global recession.  And see <http://­www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/­cont24.­htm#when-the-jig>, Mar 15, 2012.  ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#who-maimed-the
[To webpage Mar 15, 2012.  Oct 7, 2010 for Oct 8, 2010]

•I hate the NAB.
  [A bank is blamed.]     

I hate the NAB

   I hate the NAB, http://ihatethenab.info , Contacted Just World Campaign on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 (Website URL updated on Dec 22, 2010)
   WESTERN AUSTRALIA – The quick story of why I feel the [named bank] stole our life and we can't afford to sue them to get compensation for it. YouTube, I hate the NAB
   YouTube - Bankslayer's Channel.  The main purpose of my channel is to share my story of how the [named bank] … Bankslayer commented on ihatethenab.com . www.youtube.com/user/bankslayer - 115k
   Money Matters Story.  National Australia Bank rips off family but GE Money holds off on eviction. John Rolfe, From: The Daily Telegraph, http://­www.perthnow.com.au/­money/money-matters/national-australia-bank-­rips-off-family-but-ge-money-holds-off-­on-eviction/story-fn3iztr4-1225941721698 ; 10:18AM, October 21, 2010
   After a six-year fight, Mr Kay has proven NAB charged him 20 per cent interest when it had no right to charge more than 6 per cent.
   The NSW [New South Wales, Australian State] Supreme Court has ordered NAB to pay Mr Kay and business partners Mehmet Canli and Ozden Inak $280,000 in financial damages as well as repay hundreds of thousands of dollars of excess interest.

   [USEFUL LINK: http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/books.htm#bankers_and_bastards.  ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#i_hate_the_nab
[Dec 15, 2010]

•How Do You Say 'Billionaire' in Esperanto?
             

How Do You Say ‘Billionaire’ in Esperanto?

   New York Times, http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/how-do-you-say-billionaire-in-esperanto/ - , By ALISON LEIGH COWAN, December 16, 2010
   NEW YORK: For a small group of linguists, scholars, and dreamers who have become accustomed to having their invitations overlooked, it was no small thing when George Soros, the billionaire, walked into the room to celebrate with them.
   Yet there he was Wednesday night at their symposium, doling out savory morsels about the object of their fancy: Esperanto, a century-old language fashioned in the almost evangelical belief that giving the world a common, easy-to-learn second language would reduce conflict.
   Though it never caught on as widely as its inventor, L. L. Zamenhof, hoped and did little to tamp down two world wars, Esperanto still has its followers and fans.
   A bit messianic themselves, they get a charge learning about the latest literary find or clever Esperanto-infused rap lyric and enjoy replaying for newcomers the scene in “Incubus,” the 1966 cult classic, in which William Shatner seduces a beautiful conquest, not in Klingon, but in Esperanto.
   Transcending national boundaries and bridging cultures is the whole idea. “The Koran in Esperanto is one of our nicest works,” said Neil Blonstein, the retired teacher who runs the Universal Esperanto Association and organized Wednesday’s symposium.
   Consider it no coincidence, then, that the symposium took place across the street from the United Nations, 151 years to the day that Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof of Bialystok in what is now Poland was born.
   An attentive crowd of 75 participants had just finished screening a new documentary about Esperanto and hearing about a new English translation of the memoir that Mr. Soros’s father, Tivadar, had published in Esperanto in 1923 about the group escape he had led three years earlier from a prisoner of war camp in eastern Russia.
   At the lectern, Mr. Soros filled in some details of the group’s escape and fitful trek through Siberia.  “The plan was to build a barge – well, not exactly a barge, a raft – and drift down to the ocean, except his geography was not very good, and he did not realize all the rivers led to the Arctic Ocean,” Mr. Soros said.  “So as it got colder, they all had to get off.”
   He also recounted what it was like growing up in Budapest in the 1930s and ’40s in a home where Esperanto was spoken, making him one of the few native speakers in the room, if not the planet.  “This story was very much part of my childhood,” he said, holding up the newly translated memoir.
   His father picked up Esperanto in his 20s and helped start “Literatura Mondo,” a literary journal that published works in Esperanto, in Budapest when he returned from his Russia. [sic]  Poets and other practitioners of the new language frequented his house, and when the 17-year-old George Soros left Budapest to seek his fortune in England in 1947, he said, “one of the first things I did was seek out the Esperanto Society in London” as a friendly refuge.
   “It was a very useful language,” Mr. Soros said, “because wherever you went, you found someone to speak with.” - Courtesy of Mondial Books The literary magazine that George Soros’s father helped start in Budapest in 1922 to publish works in Esperanto.
   The memoir, whose original title was “Modernaj Robinzonoj,” evoking modern Robinson Crusoes, was published in installments in Mr. Soros’s literary magazine in 1923.  Reissued in English by Mondial, the work has been retitled “Crusoes in Siberia.”  With the benefit of experience, the author actually counsels his readers in the introduction to “never dream of becoming Robinson Crusoe” lest they share his fate of wandering waywardly in Siberia.
   Despite its age and habit of mentioning places that are hard to locate on maps, the memoir was not that difficult to translate, according to Humphrey Tonkin, the Esperanto scholar who accepted the challenge at the request of the Soros family.
   A former president of the University of Hartford and teacher of humanities, he was rather fearless having already produced Esperanto versions of two of Shakespeare’s plays – “Henry V,” complete with its St. Crispin’s Day speech, and “The Winter’s Tale,” with its memorable stage direction involving a bear: “Eliras, sekvata de urso.”
   Truth be told, he said, Soros and Shakespeare were both child’s play compared with Winnie the Pooh, whose style of wordplay was hard to capture.
   Reciting the children’s classic, he said, “Winnie the Pooh tells Piglet, ‘I met a Huffalump today.’ Piglet says, ‘What was it doing?’ Pooh says, ‘Just lumping along.’ That’s a much bigger problem than Shakespeare.”
   Greeted warmly by audience members after the presentations, Mr. Soros, 80, told one cluster of admirers, “I should have told the story of how my father became an Esperantist.”
   Urged to put it on the record, he obliged.  “The new camp commander in the prison camp arrived, and he was an Esperantist,” Mr. Soros said.  “He asked thousands of prisoners if there were any Esperantists among them.  There were three.  So he invited them for the weekend and feasted them.  After that, everyone started learning it.”
   Gently, Professor Tonkin told Mr. Soros that he thought another theory was more likely to be accurate but understood how Mr. Soros’s version “makes a much better story.” #

   [CONTRADICTION: Yes, Prof. Tonkin is likely to be right.  Rather than foster Esperanto, the Nazi regime used to arrest and murder Esperantists, as well as many other groups such as various religions including the anti-conscription Jehovah's Witnesses, plus the Judaists. ENDS.]
   [KORAN: Read some Koran extracts (said to be from the same book on tablets kept by Allah), and some explanatory traditions in The Hadith.
   [SPELLINGS: The American spellings of "savory" for "savoury", and "installments" for "instalments" have been retained above.
   [LINK: Also read a 2005 item about George Soros's life, plus his support of freedom and development movements at <cont17.htm#george_soros_meddler>. ENDS.]
   [ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Someone forwarded this by e-mail, seemingly from: <http://­forumoj.esperanto.org.au/­com­ments.p­hp?Disc­ussionI­D=647&p­age=1#I­tem_0>. ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/cont22.htm#how_do_you
[Dec 16, 2010]
If problems, click: INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE NEWS
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE NEWS FEED

CONTENTS LIST and ANCHOR LIST (After reading an article, use Browser's "Back" button to return to Anchor List)
20,000 vacant blocks, only 1400 for sale.  PERTH, W. Australia: Letter, Georgist Education Association Inc President. Why land for building is in a price bubble in Perth. Mar 10, 2010
Banking, free trade and fair trade.  AUSTRALIA: Banking must come back under public control; Destiny article by Peter Davis of Port Lincoln, S. Australia. Mar 12, 2010
Biodiversity ecosystem services and human well-being. PERTH, W. Australia: Prof. Pierre Horwitz to speak May 22. Apr 21, 2010
China Calls Our Bluff:  The U.S. is Insolvent and Faces Bankruptcy as a Pure Debtor Nation.  A private rating agency in China tells the truth about the debt-laden U.S.A. Aug 3, 2010
Facts needed [on Nuclear and fossil fuel costs.] AUSTRALIA. Feb 22, 2010
Fake game show sparks outrage. FRANCE: "Authority figure" could get people to "execute" people for an inconsequential reason. Mar 19, 2010
For Those Seeking Social Justice, seminars, January 12-14, 2010. WESTERN AUSTRALIA. [published Jan 06 etc., 2010]
• The Guantanamo "Suicides"; A Camp Delta sergeant tells about the torture and deaths. CUBA PRISON, and UNITED STATES. March 2010
How Do You Say 'Billionaire' in Esperanto? U.S.A.: How George Soros, Esperantist, escaped from Soviet prison camp. Dec 16, 2010
I hate the NAB. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Interesting, and has useful links to websites alleging banks' dishonesty. Dec 15, 2010
International Trade. CHINA and BRITAIN: China's underpaid prison and sweatshop workers produce goods, shipped to Britain; British recyclables are brought to China, both wasting scarce fuel oil. Jan-Feb 2010
Labor critical of vacant houses. PERTH, W. Australia: < 300 vacant welfare houses, 53,000 on waiting lists. Mar 11, 2010
Lord Monckton on global warming and the ETS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Emissions trading will enrich the rich; Communist flags among the protesters at Copenhagen. Feb 20, 2010
Native timber goes to waste. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Hundreds of thousands of tonnes rotting. Mar 11, 2010
[Parliament to increase loan limit to international fund] . CANBERRA, Australia: One billion to seven billion promise to IMF, after a few speches, at the stroke of a pen! June 23, 2010
Stop this migration madness. AUSTRALIA: Popular journalist asks where will the water, power and transport come from, as migration last year was an amazing 451,900 people. Apr 2, 2010
Tax the land. My solution. Letter by unauthorised member of the GEA. Apr 30, 2010
• The Whistleblower; Kondracki, Larysa.  Movie.  In BOSNIA, United Nations peacekeepers were active in sex-slave trafficking in 2000.  Kathryn Bolkovac told the employing company, and then the UN - and was dismissed. Sep 13, 2010
Who Maimed the Economy, and How.  UNITED STATES: Movie "Inside Job" by Charles FERGUSON.  Raghuram Rajan, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, presented a paper in 2005 warning of a "catastrophic meltdown" and was mocked as a "Luddite" by Mr. Summers. Oct 7, 2010 for Oct 8, 2010

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   Website aims in English: Social Justice and Economic Freedom.  Je Esperanto: Sociala Justeco kaj Ekonomika Libereco.  By courtesy of AltaVista ™  --  En Français: Justice sociale et liberté économique.  Auf Deutsch: Sozialgerechtigkeit und wirtschaftliche Unabhängigkeit.  In Italiano: Giustizia sociale e libertà economica.  Em Português: Justiça social e liberdade econômica.  En Español: Justicia social y libertad económica. 
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   Hived off with Microsoft® WordPad© on 16 Dec 08, first entry inserted on 06 Jan 2010, Intended to be tested at times on Microsoft® Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox ©, other Browsers, and until it was closed on Netscape Navigator ™ version 9;  URL Minder removed on 16 Mar 2012; To be spellchecked periodically with Ms Word © (Regionalised and specialised spellings and grammar retained where applicable); Last modified on 17 Apr 2012 Translate: http://babelfish.altavista.com/  www.faganfinder.com/translate  www.tranexp.com/  www.alis.com/  http://lingvo.org/traduku
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