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Friday August 14th, 2004

Giving Rise to Harmful Confusion

"It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Hi folks,
So . . . John Kerry, knowing everything we know now (i.e. no WMDs, no Al Qaeda, no connection to 9/11), says he would STILL have authorized force to go into Iraq? Wrong answer. (Not happy, John!) Still . . . he's ALL we've got at the moment - and we HAVE to get those fundamentalist Republicans OUT of there. Then we can turn our attention to finetuning the Democrats. One rung of the ladder at a time. Even the monkey had to go through a series of evolutionary steps. We can't expect to jump from chimpanzee (Bush) to Ghandhi (Kucinich) without slipping on a few banana peels in between. Let's just think of John Kerry as being in charge of the banana brigade for awhile. Vote Kerry. A Better Banana. A Banana in EVERY pot.
I just got my concert performance schedule for the Illawarra Folk Festival, in New South Wales, next month, and one of the theme concerts I was given is called 'Joe's Newsletter'! (Somebody out there must read this stuff.) And now that festival director, David de Santi, has 'volunteered' me for it, hey! I think it's a pretty good idea. Joe's Newsletter . . 'live'. Unplugged (er . . . from my computer) Should I get some nekid dancers? Hmmm? . . . what will I do? Cull the best humourous bits from the past two years of writings? Play some Shaggs' songs on acoustic? Make a George W Bush pinata? (Why not!) Do a gnocchi-making demonstration? (Why gnocchi? boom boom) Sing the Australian National Anthem in German gibberish? (See kids, it is possible to make a living from doing what you like, even when some people laugh at you and tell you to fuck off! )

Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

Hey Joe,
 I get your newsletter every week and read it top to bottom. Lately I have especially loved the inclusion of poems by Mary Oliver. I've been printing them out and leaving them around my fashion showroom for people to read. Keep up the great work. It's much appreciated.
Cheers, Argyro G.

Hi joe,
Scanned your recent epistle. the first para mentioned hydro power wind farms and sounds like you were in favor of them? there is quite a bit of ecologically-based resistance to the construction of such farms along the victorian coast line - especially in the gippsland area near fish creek etc. i also thought these generators looked like good value until i heard the arguments against them - all is not what meets the eye! you may want to explore this. -peter
(Note: Peter, here is an online source for further debate:
Opposition to the Establishment of Wind Farms in Victoria
In 2001, court action from property owners kept the Pacific Hydro company in court over its plans to build the Portland wind farm in Victoria (see the Heinemann Atlas 3rd edn, page 88, B3). By January 2002 the environmental concerns about the construction of wind energy farms, held by many citizens of regional Victoria, had reached such a level that the Weekly Times newspaper carried a lengthy article titled 'Winds of war lash the coast'.
In return for considerable financial returns from the power companies, many farmers and landowners in these localities are willing to allow the establishment of wind turbines on their land. When farmers are facing economic difficulties, receiving a regular income from such enterpries such as the siting of wind turbines may become an attractive proposition.
Nevertheless, the objections of the property owners who live near the proposed wind turbines west of Portland were:
* the loss of visual amenity in an otherwise beautiful rural landscape
* the possibility of establishing a planning precedent for the future-once one group of turbines were constructed it could lead to the addition of hundreds more
* the amount of noise generated (some of the turbines have a span equal to the length of a jumbo jet)
* the hazard that the rapidly spinning blades present to birds, particularly coastal and soaring species.
Some Gippsland residents are pleased that this form of energy generation does not produce air pollution in the same way as the coal-burning power stations located in the nearby Latrobe Valley. . . .it was also noted that with each announcement of the construction of a wind energy project there was no corresponding mention of plans to phase-out coal-burning energy generation. Some environmentalists are concerned about the lack of plans to phase out these greenhouse-generating stations over the next few decades.(more)

Favourite Quote of the Week
"I'm 100 per cent certain that I'll get a top-three single by the time I'm 43. It won't be anything serious. A novelty record, perhaps, but it could make me a millionaire. Look at Joe Dolce who had that hit 'Shaddap You Face'. He didn't have a fantastic voice but he made a fortune. Women loved him and he kept Vienna by Ultravox off number one for weeks." Brendan Kilkenny, Pop Idol reject

All About Eve
Open Season on Women in DC and Rome
Look out, girls! The divinely-appointed duo of George W. Bush and Pope John Paul II are on the prowl again, bringing their patented one-two punch to boudoirs and back alleys everywhere. Last summer, the pious pair launched simultaneous broadsides against the apocalyptic threat of gay marriage; now they're firing their missiles of moral correction at the ultimate source of the world's distemper: uppity females. This week the Pope's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (known as "The Inquisition" back in the glory days) released a "major statement" on the status of women. The Inquisitors declared that women who resist their subordination to men too strongly are "giving rise to harmful confusion" and perverting their "natural characteristics" of "listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting. . . . . . This unctuous moralizing about family life and sexuality is pretty rich coming from a gang that has presided over the most widespread, elaborately concealed child abuse scandal in the history of religion. " (article)

"The dilemma for Musharraf is that many of his army officers are still deeply sympathetic to al Qaeda, Taliban militants and the Kashmir cause.... Many retired and present ISI officers retain close links to al Qaeda militants hiding in various state-sponsored places in Pakistan and Kashmir as well as leaders from the defeated Taliban regime. They regard the fight against Americans and Jews and Indians in different parts of the world as legitimate jihad." At the moment the CIA is swarming all over Pakistan and the government of General Musharraf is not only kept in power by the Americans but is clearly frightened by what could happen if the American connection and protection were lost.  But with General Musharraf so isolated and vulnerable the Americans are risking an eventual backlash revolution in Pakistan as happened in Iran after so many years of U.S. backing for the terribly repressive and unpopular Shah. (article)

Signs You Are Living In The 21st Century
1. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
3. You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time to eat. He emails you back from his bedroom, "What's for dinner?"
4. Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web site.
5. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbor this year.
6. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle soup to see if it contains Echinacea.
7. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
8. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
9. Every commercial on television has a website address at the bottom of the screen.
10. You buy a computer and 6 months later it is out of date and now sells for half the price you paid.
11. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is cause for panic and turning around to go get it.
12. Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to make a purchase would be a hassle and take planning.
13. Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast food bags out of the back seat of your car.
14. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that they do not have e-mail addresses.
15. You consider second-day air delivery painfully slow.
16. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
17. Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-it notes.
18. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.
19. You get an extra phone line (or a ADSL/cable modem) so you can get phone calls.
20. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
21. You get up in morning and go online before getting your coffee.
22. You wake up at 2 am to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.
23. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
24. You're using a computer to read this list.
25. Even worse; you're going to email this list to someone else.
(thanks to Stephen Ross)
" People have just switched off. They've made themselves more relaxed and comfortable by being more materialistic, more self-centred, more backyard-focused than ever before. It's an extraordinary situation, but the downside is that ours has become a rather inactive democracy; because they are more self-absorbed, people have become less compassionate, less inclined to give to charities and more prejudiced. This is a tough time to be different."
Hugh Mackay, social researcher, based on an annual survey of 16 group discussions, also in accord with a six-week study, by The Melbourne Age, involving interviews with dozens of high and lower-profile Australians: from drought-stricken farmers to struggling battlers, from asylum seekers to CEOs, to volunteers. The Age, August 7, 2004

Not Happy, John (II)
Margo Kingston (Penguin Books)
October 23/03, the day when the White House came to Our House. Excerpt from the book:
" For the first time ever:
* Members of the Australian public were banned from entering Parliament House.
* Citizens were banned from assembling on its vast, grassy perimeters.
* A visual barrier was erected at the Parliamentary entrance to prevent members of the public from observing the arrival of President Bush.
* The use of a public address system outside Parliament was banned.
* Overall security control of the visit was handed over to the Americans, who were allowed to bring their loaded firearms into the House.
* US Security demanded an advance list of names/home addresses of everyone likely to encounter Bush, including those invited to Howard's private BBQ.
* While Australian media teams were prevented from bringing cameras into Parliament, in accordance with strict, long standing rules, US crews were surreptitiously allowed to enter the chamber without being searched and to film at will. The Green interjections & Liberal roughhousing was recorded by CNN.
* Australian crews were prevented from filming the Presidential motorcade in Canberra, often being "moved on" by police at the insistence of US authorities.
* The US demanded so much security during this visit, that Federal Police "dressed up" public servants in uniforms, to inflate the numbers. Several of these bogus cops were deployed outside the US Embassy.
* Another kind of impersonation was carried out by John and Janette Howard. After welcoming George Bush at the security-shrouded arrival in Canberra, the couple emerged from Air Force One onto the stairway and waved jubilantly to a crowd which wasn't there. While pretending this was a "State visit", it was actually a partisan "working visit", for Howard's political benefit, for which Australians footed the bill. " (more)
(thanks to Maireid Sullivan)

6:00 PM Opening Prayer led by the Reverend Jerry Falwell
6:30 PM Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Burning of Bill of Rights (excluding 2nd amendment)
6:45 PM Salute to the Coalition of the Willing
6:46 PM Seminar #1: Iraq Strategies: Voodoo/DooDoo WMD
7:30 PM First Presidential Beer Bong
7:35 PM Serve Freedom Fries
7:40 PM EPA Address #1: Mercury: It's what's for dinner!
8:00 PM Vote on which country to invade next
8:10 PM Call EMT's to revive Rush Limbaugh
8:15 PM John Ashcroft Lecture: The Homos are after your Children!!
8:30 PM Round table discussion on reproductive rights (MEN ONLY)
8:50 PM Seminar #2 Corporations: The Government of the Future
9:00 PM Condi Rice sings "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"
9:05 PM Second Presidential Beer Bong
9:10 PM EPA Address #2 Trees: The Real Cause of Forest Fires
9:30 PM Break for secret meetings
10:00 PM Second prayer led by Cal Thomas
10:15 PM Lecture by Carl Rove: Doublespeak made easy
10:30 PM Rumsfeld demonstration of how to squint and talk macho
10:35 PM Bush demonstration of trademark "deer in headlights" stare
10:40 PM John Ashcroft demonstrates new mandatory Kevlar chastity belt.
10:45 PM Clarence Thomas reads list of Black Republicans
10:46 PM Third Presidential Beer Bong
10:50 PM Seminar #3 Education: A Drain on our Nation's Economy
11:10 PM Hillary Clinton Pinata
11:20 PM Second Lecture by John Ashcroft: Evolutionists: The Dangerous Cult
11:30 PM Call to EMT's to revive Rush Limbaugh again.
11:35 PM Blame Clinton
11:40 PM Laura serves milk and cookies
11:50 PM Closing Prayer led by Jesus Himself
12:00 PM Nomination of George W. Bush as Holy Supreme Planetary Overlord
(Thanks to Stephen Campbell, Forest Campaign Team Leader, Greenpeace Australia Pacific)
The Paradoxes of Israel
By John Chuckman

The creation of Israel marked the application of a peculiarly nineteenth century solution, the founding of a state based on ethnic or religious identity, to an ancient problem. The problem was, of course, anti-Semitism, something that has dogged the Jewish people for centuries and which reached its full, nightmarish expression in the Holocaust. But the Holocaust was itself the ultimate, nightmarish expression of nineteenth century nationalism. Germany for Germans, Jews, Slavs and Gypsies representing unwelcome grafts from other civilizations, if you will. The nineteenth century was the boom time for nationalism in Europe. It really was the century that defined what many mean by the words "nation" and "nationalism" today. Modern Italy was born, modern Germany, Greece, and others. The idea of a nation state defined largely by a shared language and culture was a new development in the modern era where before empires and kingdoms regarded only the extent of their territory as important and often encompassed a great diversity of people. (article)

WASHINGTON, DC - In the interest of national security, President Bush has been asked to stop posting entries on his three-month-old personal web log, acting CIA director John E. McLaughlin said Monday. According to McLaughlin, several recent entries on have compromised military operations, while other posts may have seriously undercut the PR efforts of White House press secretary Scott McClellan. A July 24 posting read, "Just got back from a lunch with Colin and Adil Moussa (one of Prince Saud al-Faisal's guys). Colin wants the Saudis to send some troops to Najaf-so some of the soldiers are Arab, I guess. This Moussa guy sure wears a lot of jewelry. A golden chain, a golden ring with his initials or something, and some other sparkling stuff-kinda effeminate. Anyway, best of luck in Iraq, Iyad." McLaughlin, normally hesitant to express public disapproval of the president, said the blog was "ill-advised."(article)

Favourite Porn Spam of the Week

From: cupofcoffee Subject: Viagra Spew
" A lady was in a expensive drink and don't stand too close. I heard you were on top on a red book on clinton's life and also bread you can fall over. Vincent is hungry dont let it hit your shnoz. So cool now lets try around a spaghetti and meatballs it could fly up in the air and hit your forehead. I knew you were seen near a tree to climb. A guy was spotted around a bone dry beercan. They said Logan was spotted somewhere near a dry mailbox or ok maybe a sandwich dont stand there. Smack yourself then beside a ankle or just a fishsticks. While submerged I saw you in a stinky broken down Kmart sign and rock. A lady was on top of a plum or juz put out back. Stuart has gone bonkers and dont stand too close. If Clapton thinks they can they might just be around a spacey pile of paper or ok maybe a yard. I just escaped the twilight zone and fell into the 0zone A man last seen beside a calzone or a goose you find yourself back at the start again. Latisha is has gone bonkers you could get a paper cut ya know. I saw you got a lettuce or ok maybe a crackers you could trip and put an eye out. Patti is very nice but hey, stray bullets can kill. Trip over green olive then look around a orange paper and bilge. The chicken looks as if it were in a slimey microwave or maybe an anvil or maybe ya should put it back. Colleen is very stupid or you could stab yourself instead. "
(Note: Wha????)

Order No. 39
The Hand-Over that Wasn't: How the Occupation of Iraq Continues
By Antonia Juhasz
" A sampling of the most important orders demonstrates the economic imprint left by the Bush administration: Order No. 39 allows for:
(1) privatization of Iraq's 200 state-owned enterprises;
(2) 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses;
(3) "national treatment" - which means no preferences for local over foreign businesses;
(4) unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other funds; and
(5) 40-year ownership licenses. "(article)


'Lest We Forgive . . .
Roll Call: The Project for the New American Century
by William Rivers Pitt

* Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States, former CEO of Halliburton;
* Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense;
* Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense;
* Elliot Abrams, National Security Council;
* John Bolton, Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security;
* I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top National Security assistant;
 Iraq has been on the The Project for the New American Century menu for almost ten years.
The goals codified in 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' the manifesto, can be boiled down to a few sentences: The invasion and occupation of Iraq. The building of several permanent military bases in Iraq, the purpose of which are to telegraph force throughout the region. The takeover by Western petroleum corporations of Iraq's nationalized oil industry. The ultimate destabilization and overthrow of a variety of regimes in the Middle East, friend and foe alike, by military or economic means, or both. "Indeed," it is written on page 14 of 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' "the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." (article)

The Humour of Stephen Wright
' I can remember the first time I had to go to sleep. Mom said, "Steven, time to go to sleep. I said, "But I don't know how." She said, "It's really easy. Just go down to the end of tired and hang a left." So I went down to the end of tired, and just out of curiosity I hung a right. My mother was there, and she said, "I thought I told you to go to sleep!" '

Pistachio Pesto
Pistachio nuts, shelled
Fresh basil
1/2 fresh red chilli, seeds removed
the BEST cold pressed olive oil
freshly grated parmesan cheese
freshly shredded basil leaves for garnish
Method: Roast the nuts if you wish. (Optional.). Chop fresh basil, chilli and garlic. Put some basil leaves and a little salt into a mortar and pestle. Pound until reduced. Add the nuts, chilli and garlic. Pound until smooth. Add some oil. Pound some more. Add a little parmesean, to taste. Put aside in dish or a jar with a tight fitting lid. Continue until all ingredients are used up. Flatten pesto in the dish or jar and cover with a layer of olive oil to keep out the oxygen. Cover dish with plastic wrap or put the lid on the jar and put in the fridge until you need it.

Ligurian Olive and Basil Pesto with Red Chile
Fresh basil
half cup small ligurian black olives, without the pits
pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
the BEST cold pressed olive oil
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 red chile, seeded and chopped finely
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chop fresh basil roughly. Put the basil leaves, garlic, red chile, pine nuts and salt into a mortar and pestle. Pound until reduced. Add the chopped olives, parmesan cheese and black pepper. Pound until smooth. Add some olive oil. Pound some more. Put aside in dish or a jar with a tight fitting lid. Flatten pesto in the dish or jar and cover with a layer of olive oil to keep out the oxygen. Cover dish with plastic wrap or put the lid on the jar and put in the fridge until you need it. Use with any kind of pasta, risotto or polenta. Also nice on toasted ciabatta or dry biscuits.

Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
Death's great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?
By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.
And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined, dirty houses --
something not known to anyone at all,
but wild in our breast for centuries.
~ Anna Akhmatova ~


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