Well, Prime Minister John Howard really put son pied dans sa bouche, sein Fuß in seiner Öffnung, il suo piede nella sua bocca and zijn voet in zijn mond this week. Shades of Pauline Hanson! Holy Donald Rumsfeld! Mild mannered John, quick-changing into the bright red, white and blue rhetoric of his Super-Ego, George W, said this:
"If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for [Barak] Obama, but also for the Democrats."
The subtext (or is it just plain text?) to this sudden outbreak in the Australian Liberal Party of Level Four FMD (Foot in Mouth Disease) and CDD (Compassion Deficit Disorder) is that: Al Qaeda Equals the US Democratic Party. And by inference, therefore, if you vote Labour in Australia, you might as well also buy a burqa for your grandmother. If you are not with U.S. (ahem!), then you are with THEM. If you are for ending the Iraq War now, you are basically a terrorist sympathiser, or else too bloody stupid to know you are being USED by the Axis of Evil. Hmmmmm . . . now where have I heard this rave before? Shades of Martin Luther King Jr! Holy Jane Fonda! When folks were speaking out against the Vietnam War, the government said we were all 'domino topplers' and being USED by the Viet Cong. The mere fact that the Vietnam War was DEAD WRONG - and proved so beyond a shadow of a doubt - was probably just an accident. And when history has irrevocably proven the Iraq War to have been WRONG - behind the same shadow . . . of the same doubt - well then . . . . I guess accidents will just continue to happen to people who are stupid and 'used'. But the Dubya Brothers (George and John) won't care much, by then, of course, as they will both be on the speaking circuit with J. Gordon Liddy.
Meanwhile, have a look at the most recent creative project of another used person, my friend, Nadia McCaffrey, Gold Star Mother for Peace, who lost her son, Patrick, early on in the Iraq conflict. Nadia has been presenting my song, 'Gift - from One Iraq Child', as part of her public speaking appearances and is an inspiring and tireless activist. I have dedicated 'Gift' to her on my new album, 'The Wind Cries Mary.'
"Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again". Thich Nhat Hanh
As the conflict continues in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places, the prevalence of soldiers coming home with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will become a major concern for our society. PTSD is characterized by hyper-vigilance, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, anger, emotional numbness, paranoia, depression, and insomnia.
Drawing upon palliative treatments such as meditation techniques described by the veteran, Stephen Edwards, the goal of the Veterans Village is to create an oasis for healing as modeled by spiritual leaders like Thich Nhat Hanh and Claude Anshin Thomas. In the first phase, the Foundation will launch the building of the Veterans' Village complete with living quarters, conference center, therapy center, recreation and art center, art gallery, restaurant, and a common dining area. Consonant with the spirit of healing, the retreat center will be constructed with ecology and energy efficiency in mind. As a self-sustaining community, the living unit will have organic vegetable gardens, solar energy panels, farm animals, and possibly its own irrigation and potable water supply. All participants will be expected to play a role in the upkeep and maintenance of the physical grounds. Upon completion of the building, the project will enter into its second phase as the Veterans Village opens its doors. Health and wellness activities such as exercise and massage, art therapy, and counseling will be provided by trained staff and volunteers for veterans. The Village will maintain a core permanent staff (FTE) including doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists, a career counselor, accountant, nutritionist, receptionist, and a public relations representative; along with trained volunteer counselors. Overseeing the coordination of all activities in the Village will be Nadia McCaffrey. Ms. McCaffrey has training as a nurse, over 5 years of experience providing care for veterans and many more years in hospice care. site
FAVOURITE READER COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
I've just heard you on Radio National. What a revelation! Up till now I had always imagined, as I read your rantings, that they should be heard as Dinkum Aussie polemic. Now I know that you have a foreign accent! You could have continued to fool me - you've got the local scene so well covered. Keep up the good work. As for Dylan, I'd put my money on Eric Bogle anytime. Virginia
Just to let you and your readers know the "Love God's Way" [previous newsletter] website is satirical (it's gay actor Joey Oglesby) . . . unfortunately it was so close to what lots of right-wing nut Christians say that lots of people think/thought it was for real . . . even I did for a few minutes!! (It's actually worth a look). Those of us who are Christians, but not fundamentalists, have enough trouble as it is trying to distinguish ourselves from the homophobic fascist war-mongering etc who like to claim to be Christians so please don't make things worse!! Cheers, Justine Stewart
Interesting to read in your latest [newsletter] the piece on Dylan's lifting of Dominic Behan's "Patriot Game". I had honestly thought that there was nobody left on the Planet who did not know this: it became known to me back in 1966. But then I forget that most of the population of the world today, were not even BORN in 1966, let alone aware of the origins of some of the apparently self-penned Dylan numbers. And before I go further, let me add that I yield to nobody in my admiration for the very early - pre bike smash - Bob Dylan (just as I probably yield to nobody in my contempt for what the bloke has produced this last quarter of a century! However, admiration for the early Dylan aside, I am still stunned at his sheer chutzpah in his non-attribution. And it ain't just the lifting of "The Patriot Game". "Girl From The North Country" was an almost complete lift from the traditional folk song "Scarborough Fair", and "Farewell" was a steal from the classic traditional song "The Leaving of Liverpool", made famous by The Clancy Brothers. . . .
. . . I would like to add (in fairness to Dylan), that in the case of "With God On Our Side" I have always believed that he has genuinely re-worked the Behan original, and has ended up with an even BETTER song and that is really saying something). I always think that the Judas Iscariot line at the end, adds a phenomenal dimension to the song that Dominic B would have KILLED for! But praise for Dylan aside,that said, it always seems to me that HONOUR is everything. Whether it be song writing, joke-telling, quote-lifting: attribution is vital. Shame on you Bob. I know you believe as I do on this 'attribution' thing, Joe. I wish everyone did. Kindest, Dai Woosnam
(Note: You know, Dai, I had that same thought about Dylan making a 'better' song out of 'Patriot Game' - and it upset me. Because I thought: is it OK to confiscate something that belongs to someone else even if you can improve it? And here's what I came to: Dylan's song isn't really 'better.' Because those terms like 'better' and 'worst' have nothing to do with the creation of art - which has to do with uniqueness of vision. Dylan's song is, of course, more generic and concerns the cojoined twins of religion and government - which means it will resonate with more people, and is more flexible, as generic things are. But the 'Patriot Game' has quite a different and unique theme - is more COURAGEOUS a statement, and I would think, to the folks that Behan's song speaks directly to, his song will always have more depth. And, yes, the Judas Iscariot line, in 'With God On Our Side', is strong, no doubt about it, but so is was the following important Old Testament line which was edited out of the final revision by Dylan: 'Thou Shalt Not Steal'.)
Hi there Joe,
Firstly, I confess, I'm yet another person who only knows THAT song [ie Shaddap You Face] - maybe I've heard more of your music, but I don't recognise them. (Sort of like AA Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh.) Anyways, I'm a fellow Melbournian, but I check out the US based website BoingBoing everyday for some alternative news. I saw an article in it today that referred to the US Government using music as a means of torture.
Now, I have long been aware that they did this, but this was the first time I became aware that one of the songs they used was your song - THAT song. It seems highly unlikely that you're not aware of this yourself, but just in case, I thought I'd draw it to your attention. Surely that is a classic abuse of an artist's intellectual property - the US government should be ashamed.
Good to see that you, like the BoingBoingers, show that not all Americans are like Dubya. All the best, Sandy
" Ethnomusicologists Against Music as Torture
In 1989, US Psy Ops troops blared odd songs like "Shut Uppa You Face" and "These Boots Are Made For Walking" "Voodoo Child" and "I Fought The Law" at Manuel Noriega's compound as an effort to induce surrender. The same kind of "acoustic bombardment" occurred at Waco and is reportedly used during POW interrogations too." site
(Note: Sandy, I checked it out. Firstly, it wouldn't have surprised me - as anything can be used as torture if it is repeated relentlessly enough - including drops of water and Winnie-the-Pooh stories. But as it turns out - after emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, the author of the boingboing site, to find out specifics about where and when this all happened - there doesn't seem to be any verifiable source to the rumour. No way to confirm or deny whether 'Shaddap' was actually used this way or not. David has since updated his site. (Have a look.) I am against using music for torture but I guess the bright side might be that it would take less listening to 'Shaddap' to get the desired results, as compared to some other songs. Drop drop drop drop. Hey! Maybe Jack Bauer could consider it in an upcoming episode of '24'? Here's a couple of interesting sites for further information on music-as-torture (other than the current Top Forty, that is:)
Music as Torture / Music as Weapon site
Position Statement on Torture (February
On behalf of the Society for Ethnomusicology the SEM Board of Directors approves the Position Statement against the Use of Music as Torture, which originated in the SEM Ethics Committee and has the unanimous support of the Board of Directors. site
BEER FACT NO.1
Fear of an empty glass is called cenosillicaphobia.
The Real Valentine
by Jennifer Emick
Every year in February, well meaning churches will explain the pious origins of Valentine's day, citing the ancient Catholic Saint Valentine, a Roman priest who bravely defied an emperor's marriage ban to marry Christian couples on the sly. The poor priest's subterfuge was discovered, he was sentenced to death, and died on (you guessed it) February fourteenth. And supposedly, it was Valentine's moving letters from prison that inspired the modern valentine exchange. Of course, it's all hogwash, in large part to cover over a bit of embarrassing truth. Valentinus was one of the best known of the early Gnostic Christian teachers. A probable student of Basilides, Valentinus claimed to be an initiate of secret teachings of the apostle Paul. Valentinus was at one time a candidate for the office of the Pope - had he won, we might have seen a very different development of the Christian religion. Valentinus' teachings included a doctrine of emanations, specifically, that the pleroma (godhead) was composed of thirty emanations (male-female pairs), or aeons, the last of which was Sophia, the mother of the Demiurge Ialdabaoth. The role of Christ in Valentinian thought was as the redeemer of Sophia, who was trapped outside of the pleroma, within the world of delusion. Christ is not human nor God in the usual sense, but the logos, or intelligent, penetrating energy of god. It was Valentinus' teachings on the importance of sacred sex and the marriage-bed, however, which have had the most lasting effect. According to his doctrine, the aeons existed in sexual pairs, and Valentinus' followers imitated this divine sexual congress. It was Valentinian celebrations at the time of the Luperclia that bequeathed to us the modern love-holiday, Valentine's day.
(thanks to Stefan Abeysekera)
FAVOURITE PORN SPAM SUBJECT HEADING OF THE WEEK
Sender: Nona Baker Subject: Rump My Debugger
BEER FACT NO.2
In medieval England, beer was often served with breakfast.
To Anacreon in Heaven
" To Anacreon in Heaven, where he sat in full glee,
A few sons of Harmony sent a petition,
That He their Inspirer and Patron would be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
"no longer be mute,
"I'll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
"And, besides, I'll instruct you like me to entwine
"The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."
The lyrics for the US National Anthem, "The
Star Spangled Banner," were written by Francis Scott
Key, but the tune was actually that of a popular English
drinking song called "Anacreon in Heaven." (Holy
Bob Dylan!) The Anacreontic Society was a popular gentlemen's
club in London, named in honor of Anacreon, a lyric poet of Greece
who lived and wrote in the fifth century B.C. The society's membership
was dedicated to "wit, harmony, and the god of wine."
The lyrics of the Anacreontic Song were written by Mr. Ralph Tomlinson,
who had been president of the society.
As early as 1806, Francis Scott Key adapted this tune to an earlier poem he wrote entitled "When the Warrior Returns" in honor of an American naval victory over the Barbary pirates. Hence, there is no doubt that Key was well acquainted with it, when in, September 1814, he saw the flag over Fort McHenry "by the dawn's early light." Soon after the battle, the poem and tune were published, a reminder of the American victory. Both the Army and the Navy adopted the song as their unofficial national anthem. But Key's ditty didn't become the official national anthem of the United States until 117 years later - in 1931.
BEER FACT NO.3
In Germany there is a beer ice cream in Popsicle form. Its alcohol content is lower than that of traditional beer.
Thanks to Dai Woosnam for the following real time mega-calendar!: site
This is NOT a joke!
A German In a McDonald's
A German tourist walks into a McDonald's in
New York City and orders a beer. (In Germany and many parts of
Europe, McDonald's actually does serve beer.) The local
guy in the line behind him immediately gives him the jab: "They
don't serve BEER here, you MORON!" The German fellow
felt pretty stupid, but suddenly turns to the New Yorker with
a surprised look, and begins to chuckle.
"And what's so funny?!?" the New Yorker demands.
"Oh, nothing really, I just realized that you came here for the food."
BEER FACT NO.4
The oldest known recipe in existence is a recipe for beer.
Parrot's Oratory Stuns Scientists
By Alex Kirby
The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short. The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour. He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do. N'kisi's remarkable abilities feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine. N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world. About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope with a wide range of material. He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive.
One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.(article)
BEER FACT NO.5
The Puritans loaded more beer than water onto the Mayflower before they departed for the New World.
Did You Pass the Test?
It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time, and this should help get you started. During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criteria was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalised.
"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."
"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."
"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?" (boom boom)
(thanks to Jim Testa)
BEER FACT NO.6
Benjamin Franklin compiled a list of more than 200 synonyms for "drunk," including "cherry-merry" and "nimptopsical."
Four Blackwater Guards Killed in Iraq Lacked
By Larry Margasak
The Associated Press
Washington - The families of four private guards whose bodies
were burned and dragged through the streets by a mob in Iraq told
Congress on Wednesday that the security company that hired them
failed to provide armored vehicles and other promised protections.
The guards' families have sued the company, North Carolina-based
Blackwater USA, telling a House hearing it was the only way they
can learn all the circumstances of the deaths. Blackwater and
several Republican lawmakers said the lawsuit should not be argued
at a congressional hearing. The deaths of the four, all former
members of the military, brought to U.S. television some of its
most gruesome images of the Iraq war. A frenzied mob of insurgents
ambushed a supply convoy the guards were escorting through Fallujah
on March 31, 2004. The men were attacked, their bodies mutilated;
two of the corpses were strung from a bridge. At the hearing,
Kathryn Helvenston-Wettengel, mother of Stephen Helvenston, read
a statement on behalf of the families. She stopped several times
to collect herself as she recounted the emotional day. She said
the security guards were denied armored vehicles, heavy weapons
and maps for their convoy routes, and that the rear gunners were
removed from vehicles to perform other duties.
"Blackwater gets paid for the number of warm bodies it can put on the ground in certain locations throughout the world," she said. "If some are killed it replaces them at a moment's notice."(article)
BEER FACT NO.7
The collecting of beer mats (coasters) is called tegestology.
(I wonder if Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, the olfactoric wünderkind of Patrick Süskind's brilliant novel, 'Perfume' could spot any of this stuff:)
Fragrance = Hidden Chemicals
Take a quick look at a personal care product label, and you'll nearly always find a long list of chemical ingredients in tiny print. Chances are, somewhere in the midst of these technical chemical terms, is the simple word "fragrance." Although companies are required by law to list all chemicals ingredients in a product, a special loophole allows them to hide what's in the "fragrance" component. And what's hidden in that simple word can include complex mixtures of up to hundreds of chemicals that studies show may be linked to a variety of health problems, including allergies, skin reactions, endocrine/hormone disruption, and possibly even birth defects. Companies are not required to test cosmetics for safety before they are sold. The label is the primary protection we have to make decisions about products we rub, pour, and lather on our skin and hair. Yet when it comes to fragrances, we don't even have this simple protection.
The FDA, the agency responsible for overseeing product safety, does not systematically review the safety of fragrances. The FDA cannot require that fragrances be tested for safety before they are sold. Instead, the fragrance industry regulates itself, through their trade association, the International Fragrance Association, which funds and conducts safety assessments for fragrance ingredients. This self-regulating scheme has led to the widespread use of chemicals in fragrances that raise concerns when it comes to our health:.
Top hazards hidden in fragranced products:
* Phthalates: Common plasticizing ingredients linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys at exposure levels typical for about one-quarter of U.S. women. Lowers sperm-motility in adult men. Studies in laboratory animals show significant developmental toxicity and damage to adult reproductive, adrenal, liver, and kidney organs. Under consumer pressure, some cosmetic companies recently agreed to remove phthalates from their products - but many others have not. Our product tests show phthalates in nearly three-quarters of 72 name-brand products tested , even though none of these products contained the term "phthalate" on the ingredient label. Instead, in most cases these phthalates were almost certainly hidden in the product's fragrance.
* Musks: Artificial musks accumulate in our bodies, and are often detected in breast milk and blood. Musks come in two basic types, nitromusks and polycyclic musks. Nitromusks are linked to skin irritation, sensitization , and even cancer in laboratory studies. They are also linked to reproductive and fertility problems in women at high levels of exposure. Laboratory studies also suggest that both polycyclic musks and nitromusks may affect hormone systems . While the European Union has banned use of some nitromusks in cosmetics and personal care products, the use of polycyclic musks as an alternative to the more toxic nitromusks has increased. In the US, all musk chemicals are unregulated, and safe levels of exposure have not yet been set.
* Allergic reactions: Fragrances are considered to be among the top five known allergens, and are known to both cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks. Unfortunately, EWG's 2005 detailed survey of approximately one-third of the industry safety panel's ingredient reviews revealed that allergen and sensitizer determinations were made with little scientific rigor and inadequate safety margins. sources US Product List
BEER FACT NO. 8
Gambrinous is an obscure word meaning "being full of beer."
According to Q Magazine, the eerie instrument that Brian Wilson played on 'Good Vibrations', was NOT a Theremin, but a TANNERIN, which is played using a slide on the front, rather than by waving your hands around an antenna. Wilson also used a Tannerin on the 2004 Smile Tour. Thought you might like to know that . . . . (thanks to Bryan Bannister.)
US Sent Pallets of Cash to Baghdad
By Jeremy Pelofsky
The U.S. Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4
billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes
shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis,
lawmakers said on Tuesday. The money, which had been held by the
United States, came from Iraqi oil exports, surplus dollars from
the U.N.-run oil-for-food program and frozen assets belonging
to the ousted Saddam Hussein regime. Bills weighing a total of
363 tons were loaded onto military aircraft in the largest cash
shipments ever made by the Federal Reserve, said Rep. Henry Waxman,
chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight
and Government Reform.
"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did," the California Democrat said during a hearing reviewing possible waste, fraud and abuse of funds in Iraq.
On December 12, 2003, $1.5 billion was shipped to Iraq, initially "the largest pay out of U.S. currency in Fed history," according to an e-mail cited by committee members. It was followed by more than $2.4 billion on June 22, 2004, and $1.6 billion three days later. The CPA turned over sovereignty on June 28. (article)
BEER FACT NO. 9
Prohibition lasted precisely 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, 17 hours, and 32.5 minutes.
Stop it Now
by Debi Smith
"Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate
between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization".
George Bernard Shaw
The news media has been focusing an astounding amount of attention on the death of a former playboy playmate and troubled reality tv star. No offense to the memory of Anna Nicole Smith, or to her friends, family, loved ones, and fans. Truly. It's understandable that news outlets would report her death. And yes, her death was more than a mere bicycle accident. But on the day after her death was reported, it was still "Breaking News", on every "news" channel, and front page news in hundreds of papers. It was speculation galore, the coroner giving scanty information about the ongoing investigation and autopsy, and a bunch of brouhaha about whether the drugs found in her room were illegal or not. It went on and on, and is still going on several days later.
Yes, it's tragic that she died, but what about the troops dying in Iraq almost every single day?
Do they get the kind of attention that Smith's death, and life,
have garnered? Are their lives, and deaths, less meaningful? And
it wasn't just television's network news and CNN and MSNBC and
FOX (no surprise there), it was on the front page of newspapers
like The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
Tim Rutten, of the LA Times, gives an interesting explanation of why Smith hit the front pages of so many newspapers:
"The mainstream journalistic coverage of Smith's death is among the first such stories driven, in large part, by an editorial perception of public interest derived mainly from Internet traffic. Throughout the afternoon Thursday, editors across the country watched the number of 'hits' recorded for online items about Smith's death. These days, it's the rare newspaper whose meeting to discuss the content of the next day's edition doesn't include a recitation of the most popular stories on the paper's website. It's a safe bet that those numbers helped shove Anna Nicole Smith onto a lot of front pages."
Who knew our internet surfing habits were so influential?
You know what would be really revolutionary in the world of breaking news, and news reporting in general? If, every time a soldier died in this illegal war we're mired in, the media would give them as much attention as they give so-called celebrities. If our media really supports the troops, their actions should show it. And if we really support the troops, we should demand that they do. What if the media gave each military fatality the same attention they've given Smith? And what if they asked the following questions every single time someone died in this war? Questions like:
What took this person to war in the first place?
On what grounds was he or she there?
For what noble cause did they die? (article)
Chocolate And Banana Pizza (with Vanilla Ice Cream)
This recipe comes from chef Karen Martini who I met on the Lifestyle Cafe cooking program we were on together last year.
200g bitter chocolate buttons or shavings
50g portion of dough (recipe below)
4 ripe (not brown) bananas
150g icing pure sugar
1 litre vanilla ice cream
Melt chocolate over double boiler or in microwave and stir in butter and cream.
Pour into a small bowl and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or until set, then tip out and dice.
Preheat oven to hot.
Peel and slice banana, squeeze over lemon juice and toss.
Roll out a 50g portion of dough, top with 4-6 small cubes of chocolate and spread with sliced banana.
Bake 10-12 minutes in the oven then transfer to a plate.
Roll one scoop of icecream in the icing sugar and drop on top of the hot pizza.
Dust with more icing sugar and serve.
A good electric mixer with a dough hook attachment is invaluable when it comes to making pizza dough, but if you're feeling particularly strong you can use your hands instead. The dough won't be as silky smooth though.
400g strong flour
375 ml water
50 ml olive oil
Whisk water, oil and yeast together. Sift flour, semolina and
salt together in a mixing bowl.
With mixer on low and dough hook attached, add the wet ingredients all at once and then raise speed to high. Mix until you have a silky smooth dough; about 10 minutes. Leave to prove for as long as you can overnight is ideal.
The Final Hurrah
"Recently a Romanian man had to go to the hospital to have his wedding ring cut off from his penis after his mistress found the ring in his pants pocket and got so mad at him she stuck it on him while he was asleep."
I don't know what's worse:1) having your mistress find out you're married. 2) explaining to your wife how your wedding ring got on your penis. 3) Or finding out your penis fits through your wedding ring.
(Note: from Snopes.com: " While the tale of the trapped Romanian and his vengeful girlfriend can neither be confirmed nor dismissed, its premise - that men have gone limping into emergency rooms with wedding rings well and truly lodged on their penises - is factual." snopes.com