If a parent smacks his or her child in New Zealand today, he or she is breaking the law.
The left and the anti-family zealots would say "well that doesn't matter, the police have discretion, they won't penalise good parents for a little smack".
I beg to differ. It does matter because though the law may not be enforced vigorously now, who's to say that won't change?
Name one period in history where oppressive laws have been available to the state and haven't eventually been used by that state.
Ayn Rand expressed the dangers of even 'unenforced' laws well;
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?
What's there in that for anyone?
But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted-and you create a nation of lawbreakers-and then you cash in on guilt. "
The current situation has created a nation of law-breakers. It has created a subtle 'climate of fear'. Every parent who smacks a child today-and most still do, does so with one eye furtively looking about.
Looking for what? the well-meaning old lady over the fence. Your wife's bitchy sister. The neighbour whose right-of-way you sometimes park in.
Another thought must be spared for what your child might say to school friends, teacher, counsellor, or 'keeping ourselves safe' police officer.
Worse-some parents must even factor in what a spouse might say to a judge in a future child custody battle.
The parent must always think-do I take the risk, do I do what's right by my child, or do I take the coward's road and fail in my duty to my chidren?
Responsible parenting places one's family and freedom at risk. It forces a parent to either break the law and invite a visit from the police or worse-a black mark in the files of Child, Youth and Family-or to go against one's own conscience and place the state's dictates above the best interests of one's own children.
If that doesn't set up the 'control by guilt' situation envisaged by Ayn Rand-what does?
Prime Minister Key-this is not a peripheral issue. It is far more important to me and hundreds of thousands like me, than taxes, Treaty Issues, crime, health, 'climate change', inflation or the economy.
This is a parent's right to bring up their own children, according to their own conscience, we are talking about here.
You might not like smacking. You may never have smacked your two fine looking children.
But do not make the mistake of thinking that this issue is not important to a huge chunk of voters.
You won the last election because people were so-o-o-o sick of Helen Clark and you seemed like a good bloke, a self made man with a lovely family-you seemed so bloody 'normal'.
Contrary to what you might think, your 'glorious compromise' with Helen Clark over the anti-smacking bill did you no good in the heartland.
They voted for you in spite of your stance-not because of it.
The anti-Labour feeling in middle New Zealand gave you a huge opportunity and you almost blew it.
That anti-Labour feeling has dissipated. Phil Goff is comparitively 'normal' too.
You have the chance to lock in support for National and yourself for decades-if you return to New Zealanders the right to parent responsibly and within the law.
You could lock in the conservative Christian vote before it is siphoned off to another vote-wasting 'Christian' party. You could earn the undying gratitude of Maori, Pacific Island and Asian communities, the European working class that recently rejected Labour PCism and virtually every other demographic but 'white liberals' and the far left.
Reagan converted the 'Reagan Democrats' to the Republican Party. Thatcher brought large chunks of the British working class to the Conservative cause.
Neither of them would have succeeded had they told their potential voters that they couldn't smack their children.
The choice is yours John Key-restore to parents the rights stripped from them by Helen Clark and Sue Bradford-or blow the best opportunity you will ever have to lock in hundreds of thousands of votes for National.
If you doubt my word, or your advisers tell you I am deluded-here's a challenge.
My 6 year old boy plays rugby every Saturday. You're welcome to come along. Chat to the parents on the sideline. Most of them voted for you. Ask them what they think you should do.
Listen Up John Key-Ignore Smacking Referendum At Your Peril
If PM John Key thinks he can ignore the results of a referendum that WILL OVERWHELMINGLY support the re-legalization of smacking he can bloody well think again.
David Farrar at KiwiBlog published this email from a reader.
I would like politicians to know why the anti-smacking debate is important to me and people like me– This is why National and John Key need to be be careful about something that they consider unimportant.
I voted for John Key in the last election but I voted for Helen Clark in 1999 and 2002. I like John Key and believe his positive attitude is good for New Zealand but if he continues making those statements like yesterday I will vote for Labour again, or ACT (at least Rodney is against this bill). This is not a threat just a fact. Myself and my wife believe that the Government should spend my money to pave the roads, keep my safe and provide a bit of entertainment (ah la Richard Worth). I expect nothing from the government unless I am completely screwed. (that is why I would hate to vote for Labour again)
I am a father of 3 girls ages 5 and under. I have never smacked two of them and the other one (who I love equally) does get smacked about twice a year. She is stronger willed and more likely to bully the others. She is probably more like to succeed tooJ
The reason I am so angry with JK’s attitude is because I have to deal with the normal bullshit everyone else has to deal with like housing costs, bills, rates etc but the fact that if my wife or I feel that a smack is deserved occasionally is my business not anyone else’s. The fact that CYFS can take our children away if we break this law would destroy us. Therefore we will do whatever we decide to keep our little world together, even it means voting for someone I don’t like because I don’t expect any from the government I really don’t care who’s there. Most of my friends are the same we all work hard and try our best to bring up good children (we don’t all succeed every day). …
I know that an occasional smack works with some children and makes them better people. This is not a debate that Plunket (who have lost touch with parents) and the Government need to worry about as there are thousands of Parents who “know” the same thing. New Zealand is basically a good country and it is the fear that my children could be taken away that is more important to me than any economic policy, climate change strategy or social welfare policy could ever be. If I lose my job I have my family, if I lose my family I have nothing.
This fear may be unfounded but Sue Bradford’s law does not allow for people like me - people who abide by the law and care about their family. The party (or person) who can allay this fear will win the next election. Chester Burrows amendment to s59. I thought was perfect. It would actually secure them the next election by implementing the wishes of the people.
I am sending this email because John Key lost more votes with his attitude over the smacking referendum then he will ever lose over Richard Worth, Melissa Lee or Christine Rankin combined – none of them effected my life, this bill does.
I want John Key to be our Prime Minister after 2011 but he needs to understand he needs to treat this issue with respect. The thought of Phil Goff being the next PM is horrible but it might happen if John Key thinks this current law works – it doesn’t because it makes parents criminals.
This comment from Lucia Maria sums it up well.
Nothing the current Government has done has made me as angry. Canned the tax cuts. Fine. Going ga-ga over climate change. Fine. Can’t help that there seems to be a world-wide push to make money off the new kyoto tax scheme. NZ being part of it I have to bear with gritted teeth while reduced sunspot activity is making the planet colder.
Like the writer of the email I can cope with insanity around me. Just.
But when that insanity is a constant, indirect threat to my family that the Prime Minister thinks is nothing, when he thinks that the referendum question can be ignored, never-mind that it is a really clear, easily understandable question. And he knows what it means. Only an idiot would not understand it.
I am just furious. I voted for National this time around because Labour is scary. Labour’s social engineering ideas are off the planet. Financial measures are easily rolled back in comparison to the social changes that government is imposing upon the country.
This issue is THE TEST of what this Government stands for. And they are failing, horrendously.
I still remember what John Key looked like when he helped Helen Clark pass that bill. He was happy. He was pleased with himself. He looked like he was finally in with the big boys, nevermind that he walked all over the good parents of NZ in doing so.
The gloves are now off at NZ Conservative. National and JK gets no more wait and see from me.
Hear bloody hear!
I encourage readers to send his e-mail to the PM and his local National MP.
Obama makes an apparent reference to DSA in his 1995 autobiography "Dreams From My Father".
Discussing his time at New York's Columbia University, in the early 80s, Obama reveals that he "went to socialist conferences at Cooper Union and African cultural fairs in Brooklyn.”
For many years, from the early '80s until 2004, Cooper Union was the usual venue of the annual Socialist Scholars Conference (SSC)-almost certainly what Obama was referring to.
Since DSA's formation in 1982 its City University branch has sponsored and organised the Socialist Scholars Conference. SSC (now called Left Forum)regularly features DSA speakers such as Frances Fox Piven, Leo Panitch, Bogdan Denitch, Stanley Aronowitz, Stephen Eric Bronner, Cornel West, Bill Fletcher jnr, Noam Chomsky and Barbara Ehrenreich as well as guests fom the Communist Party, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy&Socialism and other militant groups.
Why the forteen year gap? Was there really a long break in Obama/DSA relations?
Apparently not. It seems that DSA made contact with Obama shortly after he returned to Chicago, from his studies at Harvard in 1992.
Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle Miguel told the 2008 Democratic Party convention of his first meeting with Obama;
I first heard of Barack back in 1992. The year 1992 was a little like 2008. Then, as now, we needed to save the country from the misguided policies of a president named Bush. I was working with my old friend, Lou Pardo, a retired machinist, on an effort to register Latino voters in Chicago. One day, we were talking about how we could reach more voters and cover more ground, but we needed more resources. Lou told me we should go see Barack Obama, who was directing a voter-registration drive called Project Vote. So Lou met with Barack and, without missing a beat, Barack Obama helped us out. Barack Obama made sure that the thousands of Latinos in Chicago were registered to vote. He helped empower the Latino community and ensure that we were full participants in our democracy.
Lou Pardo is indeed a retired machinist, but he is also a socialist.
Lou Pardo, a volunteer with Senator del Valle, DSA member and activist with the Midwest-Northeast Voter Registration Education Project, emphasized how important it was to support independent progressive democrats.
Pardo was honored by Chicago DSA, at their 1994 Debs-Thomas-Harrington awards dinner for his work on turning out the vote for leftist Democrats.
Your voter registration efforts have been recognized. In 1990, you were given the William C. Velasquez Volunteer of the Year Award at the 8th Annual U.S. Hispanic Leadership Conference. You have worked in the Midwest-Northeast Voter Registration Education Project in Senator Miguel del Valle's district. This project was a tremendous success, and on August 20, 1992, you were the recipient of an award by the Illinois State Democratic Convention for "historic efforts in registering thousands of new Illinois voters".
The DSA award was presented by then Illinois State Senator Miguel Del Valle.
In 2001 Miguel Del Valle was again guest speaker at Chicago DSA's Debs Dinner-indicating a more than passing relationship with the "Windy City" marxists.
The 2001 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner was held Friday, May 4th at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago. The honorees were Kim Bobo and Henry Bayer. The featured speaker was Miguel del Valle.
While both Illinois State Senators, Miguel Del Valle and Barack Obama worked closely together with Project Vote's radical partner organization ACORN.
According to the Chicago Defender February 13 2002
Joined by three state elected officials, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) leaders Tuesday called for the passage of energy assistance legislation they say will help the poor pay their heating bills.
During a press conference held outside of the James R. Thompson Center, Rep. Mary Flowers (D-21st), Sens. Barack Obama (D-13th) and Miguel del Valle (D-5th) along with ACORN member April Troope, urged legislators to approve Senate Bills 2240 and 2180 and House Bill 668.
The Flowers and del Valle bill (HR 668) calls on President Bush to release the $600 million in emergency Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) funds that are already appropriated by the U.S. government for heating crisis...
Senate Bill 2180 (del Valle's) increases eligibility for LIHEAP from about $26,000 for a family of four to about $37,000 (from 150 percent of the federal poverty level to 60 percent of the state median income).
Obama's bill, SB 2240, increases the state's allocation to LIHEAP by about $10 million...
"I recognize that we are in a budget crunch right now and allocating an additional $10 million may seem inappropriate at this time, but there is a rationale as to why we need to transfer this money," Obama said.
Obama was elected to the Illinois State senate in 1996, joining and gaining endorsement from the New Party-a radical coalition of DSA, ACORN and the Communist Party offshoot Committees of Correspondence (CoC) which aimed to leftist candidates through the Democratic Party machine.
Obama with New Party collegues including current Illinois Congressman and DSA member Danny K Davis-center
Obama was chief of staff to pro-communist Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer-who anointed him to take-over her State Senate seat while she ran for US Congress. After her Congressional bid failed, Palmer changed her mind and asked Obama to stand aside-he refused and got her knocked off the ballot by challenging the validity of her nomination signatures.
In the next two elections in the city -... the New Party has taken a slightly different approach. It organized a citywide candidates forum and invited a number of progressive candidates. Of those responding, two were of special interest, Alice Palmer and Willie Delgado. Alice Palmer is an Illinois state senator and Willie Delgado is an activist with an anti-Machine coalition of Latinos led by State Senator Miguel Del Valle.
Both of these campaigns have strong local organizations that run as Democrats but are consistently opposed by the regular Democrats. Both are rooted in working-class communities with a large percentage of labor and left activists in their organizational structures. Alice Palmer especially has a long history with the African American left. Lou Pardo, a labor leader and New Party activist, is a strategist and organizer for Delgado.
Both Palmer and Delgado attended the forum and were thoroughly questioned by 70 or so New Party members. At the close, both publicly signed a "contract" with the New Party... Two weeks later, the New Party formally endorsed them and is now mobilizing support.
Obama won the election unopposed and went on to the US Senate in 2004 and the Presidency.
Despite his rise to power, Obama hasn't forgotten his friends. When Miguel Del Valle won the Chicago County Clerk's job in 2006-the second most powerful job in the city-Obama was there in support.
This is why it's good to be an ACT supporter rather than a wet Nat.
ACT people don't have to swallow tons of PC crap from their own party.
Go John Boscawen-you da man!
Press Release by John Boscawen MP ACT New Zealand
ACT New Zealand MP John Boscawen today expressed disappointment at Prime Minister John Key's announcement that, regardless of the result of the upcoming anti-smacking referendum, there would be no change to the law.
"It is unfair for Mr Key to make such a dismissive statement before the referendum has even been held. Referendums are an important part of many democratic countries' legal systems - frequently used to decide important questions of public policy and as such ACT supports the upcoming referendum," Mr Boscawen said.
"With all the recent media attention it would be a shame if the issue of how the question is worded overshadows the real issue that needs to be addressed.
"The anti-smacking law was promoted as the answer to New Zealand's shocking rates of child abuse and resultant deaths. This has not happened – and over the past two years since the controversial anti-smacking law came into effect a total of 13 children have been killed as a result of child abuse in New Zealand.
"Child abuse was already illegal before the anti-smacking law was passed. Abusers were already breaking the law, and they continue to do so – yet, as a result of the anti-smacking legislation, good parents who lightly smack their child for the purpose of correction are now technically criminals.
"While the police have discretion not to prosecute, the reality is that the parent is breaking the law. How can this Government expect the public to have respect for the laws it passes when it condones the police not enforcing them.
"Contrary to what some would like us to believe, the vast majority of New Zealand parents are decent and loving – and, as such, do not need the Government butting in and telling them how to raise their children.
"That is why I have introduced my Crimes (Reasonable Parental Control and Correction) Amendment Bill – which I hope will be drawn in the ballot tomorrow. Parents should be trusted to raise their children into the successful and upstanding citizens that we want them to be." Mr Boscawen said.
New Zeal Good point John. Even if few parents have been prosecuted for smacking so far, a hefty majority are stil secretly breaking the law and bringing the law into disrepute.
I regard this issue as more important than any other of ACT's platforms-Three Strikes, School Choice, Lower Taxes, RMA Reform etc.
If a parent doesn't have full authority over their own children, what hope is there for society?
I trust virtually any parent in the land further than almost any bureaucrat.
My friend RBO has crossposted a brilliant article by Hawai'i based journalist Andrew Walden.
It seems that even in Sunday School Obama was mixing with radicals.
As President Obama prepared to commemorate D-Day, the Associated Press dug up old details and photos to write a warm fuzzy story about the WW2 service record of Obama's maternal grandfather and grand uncle. One could conclude that the actions of these two-nearly 20 years before Obama was born--are the closest Obama ever came to uniformed US military personnel prior to launching his political career.
But Obama has a much closer military connection-one he has not talked about publicly. Had a reporter asked Obama: "So what were you doing during Bill Ayers' fugitive days?" An honest answer would be: "I was going to Sunday school at a church which had provided sanctuary to US military deserters."
While John McCain was being tortured as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, First Unitarian Church of Honolulu -- at which the elementary-age Obama would later attend Sunday school after returning from Indonesia in 1970 or 71 -- was sheltering deserters and AWOLs recruited by ‘flirty fishing' coeds from a Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) group known as "The Resistance". The deserters' exploits were front page news for months on end in mid-1969 Honolulu. They were also proudly trumpeted by the Honolulu SDS tabloid, "The Roach".
The contrast between the war hero POW and the Obama deserters' church would have made a pretty good campaign commercial. But nobody in Honolulu spoke up to claim Obama's First Unitarian connection until after Election Day. Even then it was hush-hush...
CHICAGO — The Communist Party USA has established a new Religion Commission to strengthen its work among religious people and organizations. In its leadership are activists representing various religious traditions from around the country. Tim Yeager, a Chicago trade unionist and a member of the Episcopal Church, serves as its chair.
“We want to reach out to religious people and communities, to find ways of improving our coalition work with them, and to welcome people of faith into the party,” Yeager said. “We invite questions and responses from people who would like to dialogue with us on matters pertaining to religion, Marxism and the struggle for more peaceful, just and secure world.”
There is a common misconception concerning the position of the Communist Party USA about religion, Yeager noted. Many who are unfamiliar with the party wrongly assume that all Communists are atheists, or that the party requires its members to be atheists. Nothing could be farther from the truth, he said. Religious people are welcome to join. The party’s Constitution specifically states that membership is open to “[a]ny person living in the United States, 18 years of age or over, regardless of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or religious belief…”
Yeager acknowledged that relations between some Marxist parties and religious institutions in other parts of the world have been marked by conflict. In tsarist Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church had been an arm of the state, and its leadership was opposed to the Revolution. The Bolsheviks adopted an official atheist position, and for many years waged a struggle against organized religion. Elsewhere, such as in Latin America, Marxist parties and religious progressives have worked together against repressive regimes and imperialist intervention.
“There has been no state church in the United States since shortly after we gained our independence, and we have a tradition of religious diversity,” Yeager said. “The so-called Christian Right in recent years has certainly made progress, but some of the greatest leaders in our history have been men and women of faith, and our party has been proud to work with them. The best known example, of course, would be the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
The Religion Commission will be producing articles on matters pertaining to religion and social progress, he said. Its goal is to share with the broader people’s movement the party’s thinking on the religious aspects of current struggles, taking up theoretical questions, and discussing the relationships, contradictions and commonalities among science, Marxism and religion. The commission also announced plans to hold a series of gatherings around the country, open to the public, to discuss how people from religious traditions and the party can better work together, building toward a national conference in 2010.
“As Marx said, the goal is not merely to explain the world, but to change it. We hope that the new Religion Commission will help build greater unity toward that end,” Yeager said. “We welcome people from faith communities to join us.”
With the smacking referendum looming, both sides are squaring up.
Here's my old friend Barbara Faithfull's latest contribution to the debate.
The Fraudulent Case Against Corporal Punishment
The anti-corporal punishment lobbyists operate dishonestly, because they lie about their true motive and are aided and abetted in this by the news media.
Why does the New Zealand news media mislead by not disclosing that it is really United Nations-backed leftist ideology that drives anti-corporal punishment activism? Why are these activists given an easy ride and never confronted about their true motivation? Clearly, because if this was revealed their campaign opposing all corporal punishment would collapse.
For just on thirty years (most of that time as secretary of the now-defunct Credo Society Incorporated) I have observed and monitored a leftist push to have corporal punishment outlawed in NZ, first in the school and now in the home. Along with this have been (largely successful) similar moves to undermine other forms of traditional authority, such as in the Church, Police force and other institutions of society.
I have always found the people opposing corporal punishment to be leftist aligned, and pleading a most noble and plausible cause : the “fighting of violence”. As far back as 1980 the Auckland Feminist Teachers had formed Campaign Against Violence in Education (CAVE) to lobby against school corporal punishment. A leading figure in all of that was lesbian activist Maryan Street, nowadays a Labour list Member of Parliament.
A present day campaign figurehead is Green MP Sue Bradford, who also happens to be a Maoist Communist, but it would be rare indeed to have that unpalatable fact acknowledged. All we ever hear is devious and emotive claptrap from such people about “caring” for our children, “treasuring” them and “seeking a violence-free society” etc. Yet not many years ago Bradford herself was front page news as she battled with police in violent protests! Talk about hypocrisy!
Nor can the media plead ignorance of the above facts, which are there for all to see on the web. A simple Google search of United Nation’s Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (and by the year 2009!) and all is revealed.
So we have a plethora of carping “advocates”, lobby groups and trendy-sounding agencies pushing the UN anti-corporal punishment line with their fraudulent bleatings about even light smacking being “violence”. This results in the media portraying them as being so noble minded and humanitarian, when in reality they are no more than covert and sycophantic agents of the UN.
According to the NZ Herald of 15th June 2009 they embody the “Yes Vote Coalition” which, in anticipation of an August Government referendum on the issue, is gearing up to defend the current anti-corporal punishment legislation from challenge. Coalition members named there are as follows:-
Deborah Morris-Travers, Yes Vote Coalition spokeswoman (and former extreme left Alliance cabinet minister); Dr. Hone Kaa, chairman of Te Kahui Mana Ririki; Barnadoes; Plunket; Unicef; Save The Children; Women’s Refuge; Parent Centres. Also of course the Children’s Commissioner etc.
So let’s have an opening of this Pandora’s Box : some open and honest media handling of this hot potatoe issue for a change. After all, the NZ public is entitled to informed debate – the wider picture - instead of the charade that has been presented to date, which has been reduced simplistically to the narrow question of whether or not to smack.. If not, the news media can hardly complain if it is accused of biased coverage of the issue.
16th June 2009
Small correction-I think Deborah Morris was actually NZ First-but she certainly was/is pretty far left.
For my take on Maryan Street, socialism and corporal punishment go here.
China calls on substantial co-op with U.S. on climate change
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (1st R) meets with Todd Stern, U.S. special envoy for climate change, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on June 8, 2009.
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with U.S. special envoy for climate change Todd Stern on Monday, calling for more dialogues and substantial cooperation with the United States on climate change.
"China has noticed the change of the U.S. government on climate change as well as the positive measures it has taken," Li told Stern during their meeting in the Great Hall of the People.
To strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the two countries helps the growth of China-U.S. ties and benefits the international cooperation to fight against climate change, the vice premier said.
Stern said his country is ready to enhance dialogue and cooperation in energy, environment and climate change areas and work closely for the success of the Copenhagen Conference at the end of this year.
A new protocol was expected to be born in Copenhagen by the end of this year to replace the Kyoto Protocol to prevent global warming and climate change.
Li said China approves the fulfillment of the Bali Roadmap as the key mission of the Copenhagen Conference, and also approves promoting the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in a comprehensive, efficient and consistent way.
China would like to maintain the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" among developed and developing countries, actively participate in negotiations and play a constructive role to promote positive results from the conference, Li added.
Stern expressed appreciation for China's achievements in recent years in fighting climate change.
Without question in 2007-2008 Obama's lieutenants ran a brilliant electoral campaign, wisely playing down the African American candidate's ethnic/racial identity, while linking him to the democratic civic values best represented by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. The economic crisis of 2008-2009 created an unprecedented opening promoting an agenda for democratic renewal and the incorporation of marginalized and oppressed groups into mainstreams of US civic life.
Obama won the presidency, in part, because thousands of his volunteers and paid staff learned their formative political lessons inside social movements: fighting to elect Harold Washington and Jesse Jackson, opposing South African apartheid, protesting police brutality cases, defending the labor rights of poor Black workers, denouncing environmental racism. It was these social movements that gave the Obama campaign its overall, activist quality and spontaneous character.
The yet unanswered question is whether the activist, militant base of "Obamaism" can be reconciled with the centrist liberalism which Obama must cleave to, in order to govern. No coherent organized left exists today in US national politics. Therefore, Obama's public policy program by necessity must be to the right of his own core constituency. Whether and how President Obama can balance these divergent forces will be a major test of his leadership.
From the perspective of Black social movements, does the triumph of Obama represent a kind of "end" to Black politics? A leader of African descent, having achieved state power, has symbolically demonstrated that no fundamental barriers now exist that deny Blacks access to political power. The paradox of integration, unfortunately, is that millions of African descendant Americans remain stigmatized and excluded from employment, quality health care, education and home ownership, relative to whites.
These dire conditions, combined with the continuing incidents of police brutality and the mass incarceration of young Blacks guarantee that spontaneous local protests and grassroots mobilizations of African Americans and Latinos will continue to erupt. As during the Great Society, if Obama's reforms are successfully implemented, new levels of activism and Black protest will emerge as a result. A new Black Panthers may soon be on the political horizon.
So much for a new dawn in American race relations.
I've been sent a very interesting piece from The Australian on Soviet penetration of the Australian intelligence services.
The author Paul Monk, a former intelligence officer with the Austraian Defence Intelligence Organisation claims that this is not of historical interest alone.
Monk points out that information on Soviet espionage in Austrlaia, smuggled out Soviet intelligence files-the Mitrokhin Files, in the early '90s, was suppressed.
The promised Mitrokhin information on New Zealand has also yet to see the light of day.
Paul Monk writes;
JOHN Faulkner's appointment as Defence Minister, in place of Joel Fitzgibbon, is a statement of intent on the part of Kevin Rudd. He wants to sort out Defence.
In his new job, Faulkner will find his stated commitment to freedom of information and transparent government tested, especially with regard to security and intelligence.
He could make a bold and long-overdue contribution to openness in the public interest by - with the Prime Minister and Attorney-General Robert McClelland - releasing crucial materials on Soviet penetration of our intelligence system during the Cold War.
He should start with the Mitrokhin archive. Voluminous KGB files were smuggled West in 1992 and published in two hefty volumes, totalling 1700 pages, by Allen Lane Penguin in 1999 and 2005. They deal with KGB operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as those behind the Iron Curtain. But there is a notable omission in these books: material dealing with KGB operations in Australia. Such material exists. It was sent by the British intelligence authorities to Canberra in September 1992 but has been suppressed.
That should never have happened and should be remedied. What reason can there be for suppressing the entire file on Australia when so much was published about the rest of the world? Were the materials on Australia so bland and uninformative that they were deemed of no interest and consigned to the wastepaper bin? That would have been an absurd reason for suppressing them, but it plainly was not the case. Something quite substantial and unsettling is in the Australia file. That something must see the light of day.
The Mitrokhin materials so alarmed Canberra that two inquiries were set in train. The Australian Federal Police was asked to conduct a check on ASIO. This inquiry was called Operation LIVER. It was halted in 1995 by then attorney-general Michael Lavarch on the disturbing grounds that there was no knowing where it would end. Indeed.
Separately, then prime minister Paul Keating asked senior diplomat Michael Cook to conduct an inquiry into Soviet penetration of ASIO. He did so in 1993-94 and is reported to have found such a counter-intelligence mess that the whole organisation was compromised. But his report was classified and remains tightly guarded. We need to know, at long last, what he found.
What Cook found in 1994 had long been suspected. The 1977 Hope Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security made damning judgments about ASIO's counter-intelligence ineptitude. "Many of the more thoughtful and responsible ASIO officers who gave evidence before me sought the opportunity to voice their fears of a penetration," Justice Hope wrote. Cook is reported to have concluded that there had been four Soviet moles inside ASIO right through to the end of the Cold War. All four were quietly retired on full pension. George Sadil was arrested and charged, but he was at best small fry whose prosecution was bungled.
In short, while Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were being prosecuted and jailed in the US, their Australian counterparts were being retired on full pensions. Why? Because the AFP and Cook suspected but could not deduce who the guilty parties were? What confidence does that inspire in our capacity to ensure the integrity of our counter-intelligence and security services? Or was it all too embarrassing, especially to the Labor Party, so many of whose members and supporters had spent the Cold War denouncing the "reds under the bed" mentality and the "witch hunts" of McCarthyism? What a parlous defence that would be for suppressing the truth.
This is of more than merely historical significance. Russian and Chinese espionage has been resurgent in Australia in recent years. ASIO set up a new counter-espionage and interference division a few years ago to deal with it. But how can we have confidence in such a division as long as the truth about what happened in the Cold War remains suppressed? And the Mitrokhin archive itself only deals with KGB operations. Those of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) remain a disturbingly closed book. Yet we know the GRU was active in Australia and have reason to believe it successfully recruited agents here.
KGB and GRU moles in Australia may have been recruited as early as the 1960s, but we still do not even know their codenames because the Mitrokhin archive on Australia has been withheld under what used to be called a D-Notice. The KGB recruited British spy rings in the 30s, not only at Cambridge but also at Oxford and London universities. The head of the Oxford ring was codenamed "Scott", we learned in 1992; but for many years no one could find out who Scott had been. It turns out he was Arthur Wynn, who served his KGB masters for decades while a prominent British civil servant.
His recruiters reported to Moscow Centre that they considered him a second "Sohnchen" (Kim Philby's codename) with "even greater possibilities than the first". Did the Mitrokhin archives point to an Australian Sohnchen and Scott? It is high time we learned, Senator Faulkner.
Not content with Marxist-Leninists, McCarten has hired two anarchists, both arrested in the October 2007 police anti-terror raids to organise UNITE's mainly youthful membership.
Omar Hamed, is an organiser for Call Centres and Northland. Previously Hamed was International Affairs officer for the Auckland University Students Association and a founder of Auckland Radical Youth. Omar Hamed has also been active in the ultra-radical Students for Justice in Palestine and was one of several Save Happy Valley Coalition activists arrested for participating in "quasi-military" training camps in the Urewera Mountains.
Hamed still faces charges under the Arms Act including possession of a rifle, possession of a firearm, possession of a pistol, possession of a sawn-off shotgun, possession of restricted weapons -ie a molotov cocktail.
Marama Mayrick is the regional organiser for Waikato and Bay of Plenty. She is responsible for fast foods, cinemas and call centres in that region.
Ms Mayrick comes from a Bay of Plenty activist family closely linked to alleged Urewera 17 leader Tame Iti. After involvement in the Wellington anarchist scene, Mayrick travelled with fellow arrestee Emily Bailey to Zapatista rebel held areas in Chiapas Mexico and to Brazil to meet the Marxist oriented Landless Worker's Movement, which specialises in illegal peasant occupations of large estates
Mayrick originally faced 13 charges under the Arms Act including possession of a pistol, possession of a firearm, possession of a rifle and possession of a restricted weapon - molotov cocktail, but was discharged on all counts at the Auckland District Court on October 17, 2008.
Why does Matt McCarten believe that Omar Hamed and Marama Mayrick are suitable "organisers" for teen-age staff members at McDonalds, KFC or Burger King?
Would you want Omar and Marama prosletyzing your sons and daughters?
Thanks to Andrew for sending me this US blogoshere hit.
"Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core..
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'windmills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years."
The author, Lou Pritchett, rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble. This letter was submitted to the NY Times who ignored it. It then hit the US blogoshere, chalking up hundreds of thousands of hits.
American billionaire financier George Soros said Sunday that China's economy will grow faster than people expect and so will its global economic influence.
Soros said in Shanghai that China's influence is set to grow faster than before, as its banking system is kept healthy and kicking, and a prompt and strong government intervention to rev up a slowing economy late last year.
Meanwhile, he was cautious estimating a recent rally in global stock markets, including in New York and London, given the liquidity problem in the Western markets which have made many investors still sitting on the sidelines.
"In many ways, Chinese banks have benefited from being isolated from the rest of the world and is in better shape than the international banking system," he told an audience at Shanghai's Fudan University.
Beijing's strong oversight on banking practices and capital moves have helped to shield Chinese financial institutions from the worst of the global crisis, he emphasized.
"The influence of the state is also greater. So when the government says 'lend', banks lend," Soros said. "This puts China in a better position to recover from the recession and that is in fact what has happened now."
New loans by Chinese commercial banks surged to record levels in the first four months, spurring optimism over recovery prospects for the world's second-largest economy, many analysts believe.
"China is going to be a positive force in the world and the market, and as a consequence, its power and influence are likely to grow. Personally, I believe it's going to grow faster than most people now expect," Soros said.
He also noted that China's aggressive 4 trillion yuan (US$586 billion) economic stimulus program, announced at the end of last year, had bolstered Chinese economy gravely.
"If that program proves inadequate, it is in a position to apply additional stimulus. China is also in a position to foster a revival of its exports by extending credit and investing abroad," he said.
He reiterated his view that because China's economy is about one-third the size of the U.S. economy, it cannot replace the American consumer as the motor of the global economy.
He sounded a more upbeat note for China's equity markets than for global markets overall, where he remained wary.
"I'm pretty cautious. Even though I've said prices are cheap, I'm not so optimistic as to put all my money into stocks or assets because I think that the outlook is fairly uncertain.
"I do, however, think that the Chinese economy is a promising economy. I think here it is more a matter of finding the right assets rather than saying that I'm not interested in investing."
Here's something to cheer everybody up. A Human Events interview with Futurist Gerald Celente. This guy has a good track record and should be taken seriously.
Unless a big political change happens in the US at next year's mid-term elections, I think Celente will be proven right.
"Human Events had the opportunity to interview forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente, President of Trends Research Institute, several days ago --- and the future he predicts looks bleak indeed. In fact, as Mr. Celente sees it, the Great Depression will seem like a mild recession as what waits for us in 2011 hits with the force of a Katrina financial hurricane.
In case you're wondering who Mr. Celente is (if this is still possible), he's appeared --- along with his predictions -- on Oprah, CNBC, Reuters, NBC, PBS, BBC, the Glenn Beck Show --- the list goes on and on. His Trends Report has been successfully predicting the major future trends impacting our lives for 3 decades, including calling the dot.com crash back in the 1990's.
Mr. Celente's forecast on our impending future is based on his study of history. He says we are bent on destroying our currency, bankrupting our government, and unleashing a violent citizen-against-citizen eruption as the economy collapses into chaos and marshal law fascism.
Quite a claim. And God help us if he is right --- again.
"We're sounding the alarm about the ongoing downward economic cycle", Gerald told Human Events. "In 2002, we predicted that the collapse of the American empire would fall like the World Trade Center in a thunderous crash --- in slow motion before our eyes. And now it's happening."
Mr. Celente follows over 300 trends: family, crime, war, education, consumer & business patterns which TRI synthesizes to predict the future.
"The US is becoming a shadow of what it used to be. Take education for example. The OECD group of developed countries ranks quality of life, education, health care of its member nations. The US is now falling down the table as one piece of data after another shows America is in decline. We're no longer Win, Place or Show in quality of life, education, longevityŠ all the essentials where we used to be #1. And our economic underpinnings are failing."
Mr. Celente puts part of the blame squarely on the federal government, and especially FED Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Geithner, and warns us not to believe a word they say "They're the same people who didn't see it coming ---are now telling us the worst is over, that 'green shoots are spouting upwards'. But they were wrong before. They're wrong on this too".
"When you pump out tons of money manure into this system based on nothing --- printing press paper, it's like giving a patient with a chronic disease a pain killer --- it won't cure the patient."
"But let's go beyond the economics. Our whole Constitution has been abrogated. The president simply writes an Executive Order to do whatever he wants. Nationalize the banks, take over the insurance industry, automobile industry, health care industryŠ None of it is constitutional."
When did the problem begin?
"After Dwight Eisenhower --- who warned us of the dangers of the military-industrial complex. We've become completely corrupted."
"We became enmeshed in foreign entanglements. We forgot the lesson of England - and how their global imperial overreach destroyed their empire."
Of course, the average American doesn't think that we're an empire. We're not like the classical empires of old --- raping, pillaging and stealing the wealth of invaded peoples. What does Mr. Celente have to say about this?
"What we're doing is squandering our wealth, our resources, the genius of our scientists and the future of our children. We're over-consuming in every way --- but under consuming our education and focusing on the quantity, not the quality, of what we've built. So much of today's culture is counter-productive to what American built it's foundation on --- a high-quality producing nation building things, not pushing paper.
"And we've become not only a consumer society but a low-quality consumer, as well as the most obese society in the world, eating low-quality high-carb, high-fat processed foods."
"We're now focused on the lowest cost, the lowest common denominator. Not the best and highest quality. We advertise buying cheapest as the most important thing."
Mr. Celente argues that we've socially destroyed our productivity and have abandoned it to other countries.
"And we have fallen into a moral vacuum. Look at how people used to dress. Smartly. Not like the cheap hoods of today. Fashion now copies the lowest common denominator. Our children wear clothes without belts, and shoes without shoelaces, to copy the styles of the violent criminals -- who have these items removed by the police in prison so they can't be used as weapons. That's become the fashion statement of today's youth. Like rap music from the ghetto. We've become an underdeveloped nation."
Mr. Celente observes that "people used to think of America as that shining beacon on the hill with 'liberty and justice for allŠ' ." So what happened?
"Morality is missing from our American public consciousness. Start with Wall Street. It's run by a criminal gang. The only question is 'how much can you make, how much can you steal?' At the bottom, the welfare recipient says 'how much can I take?' And the government is in on the take."
"Morality is absolutely the issue. We had a government where we were taught all our lives that we are a free enterprise system --- so we depend on our own strength, our entrepreneurial ideas. The world used to look to us for our innovative spirit."
"This is being destroyed before our eyes. And our government has become more interventionist than any of the old empires could imagine."
"Our society is now based on consumption --- 70% of the GDP. This is more than we produce. So to pay our bills, we use funny money invented in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve and the fiat dollar based on credit (debt) --- the fractional reserve system. In 1930's you bought what you could afford. You saved up to buy your home. The easy credit of the 90's has destroyed the country. Now you borrow what you can't afford --- and the nation's done the same."
Mr. Celente predicts the use of printing press money will cause the "greater depression".
"I predict continuing deflation of real estate, followed by extreme currency inflation --- ultimately becoming worthless. This is why gold is the only honest money --- the government can't counterfeit it. Look for it to top at least $2000 an ounce."
"Our unemployment numbers are also bogus. For example, the construction industry is really above 20% , and the government is creating low-level jobs, not real jobs. The US total real unemployment is more like 16%. Before the crisis is over, it will reach 25% --- great depression numbers."
"When people have lost everything they have nothing to lose. Violence and crime will explode. Look at the OECD figures. The number of people not graduating from high school is exploding --- they're wacked out on drugs. New York City will look like Mexico City in a few years. The collapse of morality from top down --- and especially in the government --- makes it inevitable."
"What can we expect in the coming future", we asked.
"Washington has declared 'Economic Martial Law'. Wall Street is putting Main Street out of business. The key to watch is Christmas sales. They'll fail. Christmas will be when reality sets in."
"Another trend we wrote about over 2 years ago was the tax revolt. What's happened? Tax revenues have collapsed by 33%. And the wealthy people are leaving."
"We predict state secessionist movements will rival the breakup of the Soviet Union."
"The only way we can ever recover is to return to individual community, personal responsibility, local government. Next, average will disappear, Quality will return. Look at GM. Junk cars financed by junk bonds. Now owned by a junk government. As a consumer, don't consume quantity --- consume quality."
"How will it all end?", we queried. Will the dollar survive?
"The dot com bubble should have burst and gone away in a short sharp recession. But the boys at the Fed re-inflated the economy by lowering interest rates to a 46 year low -- and in turn created the real estate bubble -- much bigger than the dot com bubble."
"Now they're creating the bailout bubble -- which will ultimately dwarf the real estate bubble. It will cause the implosion of the global economy world wide --- which will not be able to be repaired by creating yet another bubble. Every time the government fails, it tells a bigger lie and then a still bigger lie."
"These previous bubbles were not allowed to pop --- but they didn't destroy the infrastructure of the country. This bailout bubble will."
"But this bubble will be the last one. After the final blowout of the bailout bubble, we are concerned that the government will take the nation into war. This is a historical precedent that's been done over and over again."
"So, it's not that the dollar that will survive. We may not even survive. Look at the German mess after WWI. It gave rise to Fascism and WWII. The next war will be fought with weapons of mass destruction."
New Zeal Not nice to read-but this is the future unless the US and the rest of the West wakes up fast.
An anonymous commentor on my last post has criticised my anti-communist views and actions-saying that they are inconsistent with my libertarian philosophy.
He, or she, raises some points that deserve addressing.
AnonOne of the issue is the means in which some libertarians are willing to allow or agree with, in order to bring about the end result, which is quite disturbing. Take the privatisation reformist dictator Pinochet for example and just how many people died due to his methods. How many libertarians wrongfully supported him and justified the bloodshed in their own minds as necessary to bring in the reforms.
Loudon I'm glad you brought up Pinochet. Generally reviled these days because of atrocities committed by troops under his command after he overthrew Socialist chilean president Salvador Allende in the early 1970s.
After being propagandised in my 6th form Geography class by a leftist priest, just returned from Chile, I was ready to leave school, go to Chile and fight in the anti-Pinochet underground. When i became a free marketeer the next year, I started to see things more objectively. A lot of research since has given me a more rounded view of what happened in Chile at that time.
Basically I think Pinochet's armed coup was well justified. Allende was rapidly filling the country with Cuban advisers, arresting opponents and generally turning Chile into a southern Cuba.
Armed revolt against marxist-leninist tyranny-no problem.
Chilean free market reforms under Pinochet-no problem.
Alleged atrocities, murders, torures, rapes, diappearances-huge problem-if true. The left is expert at lying and name blackening, therefore I take anything said against Pinochet with a huge grain of salt. The jury's out for me on that one.
AnonBut in your case, your anti-communism over-rides the usual level of turning a blind eye to the Pinochet type incidents to accept almost any methods no matter how terrible, of ridding the world of your pet hate, from as menial as slandering anyone with pro-communist agendas to the brutal pre-emptive military strikes where necessary to prevent communist agendas taking hold. This breaks one of the fundamental laws of libertarianism that of non-aggression except in self-defence and is where your level of anti-communism departs from Libertarianism.
Loudon Pre-emptive action is perfectly acceptable to any sane libertarian. The Israelis for instance would be justified in destroying Iranian nuclear weapons facilities, if they had reliable information of an imminent threat.
It's not a black and white world out there. Every political situation is usually very gray. However all marxist-leninist regimes descend into tyranny-it is inevitable by their very nature. Therefore I will usually support most anti-communist resistance forces unless on rare occasion they turn out to be worse than their opponents. For instance I hope that he anti-communist resistance in Bolivia manages to oust Morales. I wish the anti-Chavez forces in Venezuela well, as I do the anti-Castro forces in Cuba. I would absolutely support the overthrow of the Workers Party of North Korea.
War is war. It doesn't mean that I would support everything done by the freedom fighters-just the overriding objective.
Hell-I believe the Allies were absolutely right to destroy Hitler and the Nazis. Doesn't mean I agreed with the carpet bombing of Dresden, or any of the many atrocities that were undoubtedly committed by "our team".
I supported the Vietnam war-but I certainly never approved of the My Lai Massacre.
AnonTo add to that is your carte blanc devouring of anything that came from the Bush administration no matter how biassed and unauthorative it was. The U.S. government was and is still aiding dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, and many other countries, which will one day come back to bite them again and again and what is more amazing is that you a proclaimed Libertarian supported that Bush administration even though history has shown that such support of the US Government for these leaders and groups leads to attrocities beyond belief.
Loudon Eh what? I have very seldom even mentioned Bush or the Iraq War. You must be reading a different New Zeal. Basically I was pissed off at Bush for wasting lives and money on a third rate menace like Iraq, when he should have been sorting out the real dangers-Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran etc. I don't mean he should have nuked them-just cut off US trade in the case of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela and stepped up efforts to internally undermine the Cuban Communist Party.
In spirit I am a Jeffersonian-in normal times I believe the US would be best served by a non-aligned, pro-free trade foreign policy. The growth of 20th century totalitarianism-the Nazis and Communists, made that position hard to maintain.
Now we're in a situation where what's left of the West needs to hang together, or we shall, as Benjamin Franklin said, "hang seperately".
AnonTake the US Governments aiding and financing of the Afghanistan Mujahadeen, the eventual result, Russia lost the war and Afghanistan ended up with the Taliban and the rest of the world got to meet Al Qaeda for the first time, thanks in part to US funding and training from the CIA on how to run a successful covert network of bombers and assassins. Their anti-communist fervour resulted in these residual spin-offs for which the world has to deal with now.
Loudon The whole Afghanistan thing could have been stopped in its tracks if the US and Europe had slapped a comprehensive trade ban on the Soviet Union. Far less bloodshed and probably no Al Qaeda. I have consistently called for trade sanctions against rogue states, rather than war, as any long term reader of this blog will attest. That's a libertarian position-first option-withdraw support from your enemy where-ever possible. Probably a bit late for Israel/Iran situation unfortunately.
AnonBut you do not support the latest US Government administration not because they have changed their anti-libertarian ways, no, only because there is a secret smurf Marxist in the hot seat carrying on these same anti-Libertarian activities, supporting oppressive dictatorships and expanding Governmental powers imposing on personal liberties, on that level nothing has changed, but your support for the US administration has, and it is at this point that it becomes clear that your claims to Libertarianism is disingenuous and it seems from the outside that it is a mere cover for your personal anti-communist fervour which seems to trump any libertarian ideals at every turn.
Loudon I certainly don't support the Obama administration because I see it as socialist and increasingly oppressive. Nowhere near the Allende stage, but certainly not healthy.
I certainly have a strong emotional attachment to the the good old US of A because of the principles the country was founded on and the many great people I have met there who still adhere to those ideals.
A final point. Libertarianism is a philosophy whereby one allows everyone to mind their own business and do their own thing as long as they leave me to do mine.
When people start trying to steal my property, kill me, take my freedom, invade my country, or subvert my government, they cross a line.
At that point they become criminals and deserve to be apprehended and punished.
That is a basic principle of libertarianism.
Therefore any true libertarian worthy of the name should be a militant anti-communist.
Speakers from the Alliance Party, Green Party, RAM-Residents Action Movement, Socialist Worker and Workers Party have been confirmed for Marxism Alive, an upcoming educational forums hosted by Socialist Worker-New Zealand. (See list of speakers and topics below.)
Marxism Alive will run from 10am-5pm on Saturday 27 June, @ Socialist Centre, 86 Princes Street, Onehunga, Auckland.
The current global economic crisis will loom large in our discussions. The left has to put forward an ideological, political and organisational challenge to the corporate market if we're to avoid the crisis being dumped on grassroots people.
Here are the discussion topics and confirmed speakers (we are waiting further confirmations):
Session 1: The great implosion: Economic crisis & its impact on NZ Speaker: Vaughan Gunson (Socialist Worker)
Session 2: Is National the new natural party of government? Will Labour return to social democracy? Panel of speakers: Sarita Divis (Alliance Party), Daphna Whitmore (Workers Party), Grant Brookes (Socialist Worker).
Session 3: Transitioning to a human centred economy in Aotearoa Panel of speakers: Catherine Delahunty (Green Party), Elliot Blade (RAM-Residents Action Movement, David Colyer (Socialist Worker).
Session 4: An International for the 21st century: building a global broad left movement Speaker: Bronwen Beechey (Socialist Worker)
When will the Greens come clean? Most of their MPs are marxists as are many of their Party hierarchy.
Why don't they have guts to admit that environmentalism is simply a cover for their revolutinary agenda?
CHURCHVILLE, VA—No country in the world would risk as much for “global warming” as New Zealand if it goes ahead with the cap-and-trade energy taxation installed by Helen Clark’s now-departed Labour Government.
New Zealand’s economy is almost completely dependent on its farm exports: lamb, dairy products, beef and high-end white wines. Half of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from cattle and sheep. If New Zealand taxes its cows and sheep hundreds of dollars per animal for methane emissions and manure handling fees, Argentina would almost immediately displace New Zealand’s farm exports. Argentina has more grass, more cattle, the potential for more lambs, a surging wine industry—and no Kyoto obligations.
Based on U.S. and Australian “discussions,” a 500-cow dairy might have to pay $250,000 per year for cattle emissions and manure handling permits, plus a hefty increase in its costs for low-carbon electricity and diesel. An Argentine dairy would pay none of these increased costs—and every dollar of cost differential would be a further incentive for Argentine dairymen to expand their exports at the expense of New Zealand.
That would leave Kiwi cities like Auckland and Christchurch without visible means of support.
I said this recently to several New Zealand government ministers and business leaders at a private dinner in Wellington. My message was not welcomed. John Key’s new government seems to understand that New Zealand’s economy would be at terrible risk from carbon taxes—but its voters apparently don’t realize it.
The Clark government told New Zealand voters that the cost of “leading the world” with a carbon tax would be about $150 per year. That figure is laughably low. The British government now admits its new carbon tax law could cost as much as $27,000 per UK family.
The Key government has temporarily suspended the cap-and-trade, but has not dared repeal it. Meanwhile, Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is installing his own cap-and-trade, and playing footsie with President Obama on “solidarity” with a U.S. carbon tax. If Australia and the U.S. agreed on some benchmark carbon tax, most New Zealanders would expect their country to join in.
Never mind that the earth’s global warming stopped after 1998 because the sun has gone into a startling quiet period. That’s why New Zealand’s many glaciers have been growing recently instead of receding. Never mind that even full member compliance with Kyoto would “avoid” only about 0.05 degree C of warming over the next 50 years—by the alarmists’ own math.
The urbanites in New Zealand don’t really appreciate the sophisticated management that juggles pastures and feed crops that produce milk, cheese and Merino wool. They love the wine, but don’t understand the massive per-acre investments needed to turn their grapes into award-winning vintages.
Meanwhile, Obama’s U.S. government has just punished New Zealand with trade-distorting dairy export subsidies--because our corn ethanol program has pushed our cost of dairy feed too high. World corn prices have doubled in real terms, and may go higher as our ethanol mandates keep rising. That jacks up the U.S. cost of “alternative fuels” even further--while New Zealand will have to file a well-justified case against America under the World Trade Organization rules.
Ah, what a tangled web we’re weaving, rather than admit the Emperor of Global Warming has no clothes.
CARACAS - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he and Cuban ally Fidel Castro risk being more conservative than U.S. President Barack Obama as Washington prepares to take control of General Motors Corp.
During one of Chavez's customary lectures on the "curse" of capitalism and the bonanzas of socialism, the Venezuelan leader made reference to GM's bankruptcy filing, which is expected to give the U.S. government a 60 percent stake in the 100-year-old former symbol of American might.
"Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right," Chavez joked on a live television broadcast.
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez says he has a new book for President Barack Obama: "What is to be Done?" by communist Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet state.
Chavez says he'll "give it to Obama at the next meeting."
"What is to be Done?" is Lenin's political treatise on the role of intellectuals and the proletariat in promoting revolution, written more than a decade before he led the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917.
Chavez gave Obama a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Eduardo Galeano at an April summit.
The book jumped the next day to the No. 2 seller on Amazon.com.
The Radical Origins of Obama's "Yes We Can" Slogan
I have contended for some time that the grass roots organizing that brought President Obama to power was based on the tactics of long dead Chicago radical and father of "community organizing"-Saul Alinsky.
The Chicago strand of Alinkyism morphed into ACORN and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), both of which played huge roles in the Obama movement.
In California, Alinskyism influenced the militant tactics of United Farmworkers labor leader Cesar Chavez.
I've always believed that Chavez's famous slogan "Si Se Puede" (Yes We Can) was the real origin of Obama's slogan.
After electing the most pro-union President in decades, organized labor is being torn by internal fights. And on different sides of these conflicts are veterans of the United Farmworkers of America (UFW), whose strategic innovations have shaped today’s labor movement and whose “Si Se Puede” (”Yes We Can”) rallying cry became the hallmark of Barack Obama’s campaign.
I specialise in Tamil society, culture and language. I have been researching the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka for the past seven years, and I've taken several field trips there.
Margaret Trawick, stayed with Women Tigers in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) controlled areas. She is a staunch advocate for the LTTE cause and is plugged in to the international Tamil Tiger support network.
In May 1999 Trawick addressed a reportedly LTTE organised conference in Ottawa-"International Conference On Tamil Nationhood & Search for Peace in Sri Lanka"
Margaret described an incident involving an American businessman and Sam Thambimuttu MP for one of the Tamil militant groups the EPRLF and what she called a "Prawn project". The exact details were confusing, but according to Margaret, the EPRLF MP tried to play out the Tamils and in the end 85 people were killed and the "Prawn project" was destroyed by the STF. How ever she did admit that there was a LTTE involvement as well.
Margaret explained this and other incidents in Sri Lanka and about her stay in the Eastern province. "Come to Kokkaddichcholai" she said. She urged others to go to Sri Lanka as tourists and smuggle their way into the Eastern province and be a "protective bubbles" towards the people there.
Trawick's loyalty to the Tamil cause and antipathy to the Sri Lankan government is beyond doubt.
I quote from Trawick's 2005 eulogy for murdered journalist Taraki Sivaram-a former Tamil militant and LTTE sympathiser.
The LTTE did not protect Sivaram. Those ghouls who say that he was an “LTTE terrorist”wallow in their blindness. Sivaram was not a terrorist. The LTTE are not terrorists and Sivaramdid not belong to the LTTE. He could not be a war-maker because he trusted everybody. He talked with everybody. He wore no armor and neither carried nor kept any weapons. And the head of the LTTE was right to confer upon Sivaram, posthumously, the title of Maamanithar. I only wish they had protected him better during his life. Because, despite what the ghouls may say, the LTTE in no way benefits from the death of Sivaram. He was their best international advocate.
Recent events in Sri Lanka are just the latest chapter in a long and tragic story. In a talk at the University of Auckland next Thursday, anthropologist Margaret Trawick will discuss the history of oppression that Sri Lanka's Tamil minority has suffered, and explain why she believes that this oppression amounts to a 'slow genocide'. Trawick has worked as an anthropologist amongst Sri Lanka's Tamils, and has witnessed firsthand the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to destroy their culture, language, and physical heritage.
Yep-seems to be the more of the balanced, rational analysis that is so typical of our Mags.
Chinese President Hu Jintao held a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on Wednesday morning.
Hu said China-U.S. ties are developing smoothly. Both countries have conducted frequent exchanges at various levels, strengthened cooperation in all fields and are carefully implementing the broad consensus reached at the summit held in London on April 1.
China is willing to make joint efforts with the United States to expand mutual exchanges, deepen cooperation, and move forward bilateral ties continuously, he added.
Obama expressed his satisfaction with the development of the U.S.-China relations, saying both sides have recently conducted fruitful high-level exchanges.
The United States would like to boost coordination and cooperation with China on a broad range of major issues, and further push forward bilateral ties.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Vyacheslav Volodin, vice chairman of the Russian State Duma, in Beijing, capital of China, June 2, 2009.
Representatives from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the ruling United Russia Party met Tuesday to exchange views on the international financial crisis.
"This is the first official and high-level dialogue between the Chinese and Russian ruling parties," said Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee of his meeting with United Russia Party's council presidium secretary Vyacheslav Volodin.
Wang and Volodin signed an agreement on party-to-party cooperation on later Tuesday. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping attended the signing ceremony.
Xi hailed the Sino-Russian relationship when meeting with Volodin before the ceremony, saying that China would work with Russia to promote stable and healthy growth of the ties, in a bid to benefit the two nations and peoples.
Volodin, and vice-chairman of the Russian State Duma, said his party valued the cooperation with the CPC.
Volodin and his delegation were here on a visit from May 31 to June 3 at the invitation of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.