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January 15th, 2005

Like a Shadow or a Friend

" The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human
breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."
James Madison


Dear folks,

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Australia Day Tsunami Relief Twilight Concert

Variety concert featuring Raymond Khong, Helen Berriman, Lesley Walton, May Gavin, Serendipity, Lucas Richter, Graham Ford, Diane Morgan, Lynne Counsel, Diamond Valley Singers, Joe Dolce and Lin Van Hek. Compere: John Counsel

Admission by donation ­ minimum $10 for adults, $5 for children.
Light supper available following the performance.
Representatives of World Vision will be in attendance.

Australia Day, 26 Jan.
Templestowe Baptist Church
107 Andersons Creek Road
Doncaster East, VIC
7 pm

Interesting Letters of the Past Week



I have known about the amazing Royal Rife story for a couple years. This brilliant, highly honored scientist discovered a cure for cancer in the early 1930s, only to have it quickly crushed by the medical-industrial complex. Finally, someone has made an excellent, concise summary of Rife's fascinating story, and that someone was Jeff Rense. Below is the article from his website. Stephen Ross

" . . .On November 20, 1931, forty-four of the nation's most respected medical authorities honored Royal Rife with a banquet billed as The End To All Diseases at the Pasadena estate of Dr. Milbank Johnson. But by 1939, almost all of these distinguished doctors and scientists were denying that they had ever met Rife. What happened to make so many brilliant men have complete memory lapses? It seems that news of Rife's miracles with terminal patients had reached other ears. Remember our hypothetical question at the beginning of this report: 'What would happen if you discovered a cure for everything?' You are now about to find out.... " (article)

(Note: The following was delivered recently as part of the funeral service for my friend, Alan Trachsel. I have permission to quote it here for you.)

This is a company directive Alan created and issued around July 1999 to all the senior staff. I think it is obvious from all the eulogies that he achieved these sentiments/objectives.

I think I am a better human being for having served Allen both in work, and as a friend and daughter. I doubt, however I can ever approximate Allen's manners as outlined in the attachment, although I certainly hear them in my head whenever I do not... cheers Sam

On a good day I use the following policies in conducting my affairs

1. I make sure my emotions are in check before a difficult meeting.
2. I endeavour to describe the situation exactly - no over statements; understatements when possible.
3. My purpose is to achieve a product or goal.
4. I must appeal to the higher being; common purposes; areas of alignment; plenty of space for all.
5. I choose a mutually convenient time and request a meeting.
6. I try to speak about choices "would you", "could you", "I'd appreciate."
7. I try to sincerely acknowledge good actions.
8. I try to demonstrate that I have a high regard for any person
9. I try to never criticise someone in front of anyone.
10. I listen fully. I clarify their comments. I try to fully understand their point of view before telling them mine. I don't interrupt.
11. I try not to value my opinion too highly. I am searching for the truth; a better way.
12. I try to create space/options in resolving an issue.
13. When there is a genuine conflict. there usually is a better option that will unfold in a balanced conversation.
14. If a conflict is not resolving, don't "grind" on. Agree to look at other options; seek other ideas; find more facts.
15. I resolve that I want a good conclusion, not simply prevailing with my decision.
16. I try not to take credit if something goes my way.
17. I ideally let the solution come from another party, even if it's my idea.
18. I try to speak positively about others - Walter, my dad, actually did this at all times.
19. I try to remember that I am talking about peoples reputations; their lives. A careless comment can do untold harm.
20. I endeavour to be well rested and in good humour before a meeting. If not I delay it or keep it low key.
21. I try to keep my comments on the subject and brief.
22. Then I listen and ask questions.
23. If it is a censure, I try to speak quietly to the point and convey hope.
24. My communication needs to have just the amount of force to be understood. Too little and it's not effective. Too much and I stir an unnecessary reaction.
25. Too much force on communication causes others to introvert until later when they "continue" the discussion without you and to others. They will not put your communication in a good light both to themselves and to others. They will "feel" and relay the unnecessary force.
26. If I do good work I know it and if it takes others a while to realise it that's fine. It will happen eventually. A truly great person may spend their life without recognition of their good work.
27. I try not to make people wrong. I want a good result and a strong, happy being.
28. I try simply to be courteous and polite and talk on an equal level.
29. I realise I know little.
30. I expect miracles from others and when they improve all is forgotten.
31. I try not to exceed their understanding or reality. No one likes a smart a**.
32. I try to readily admit similar failings - when possible - when commenting on others.
33. If other parties are not smiling or laughing at or near the conclusion I worry about the effect created.
34. I try to be kind to others. Kindness and consideration towards others are wonderful qualities.
35. Many things resolve without comment. I remember once on a train, biting my tongue while a young man failed to give his seat to a frail old woman. When his stop came he was so crippled he could barely stand up. i.e. when I'm unsure I try to keep my mouth shut.
36. It's not hard to make an enemy with poor communication skills and it's extremely difficult to correct it even with great communication skills.
37. I try not to make enemies of my friends. I have been fortunate enough to have had real enemies so I can tell the difference.
38. I violate all of the above from time to time generally with regret. A sincere apology is a worthy response.
39. I try to "see" the importance of an upset in 10 years time. Most fail to have any long term relevance.
40. Life is short. It should be light, full of productive fun, not serious. When I am serious I haven't the big picture.

Allen Trachsel

Automakers Put Hydrogen Power On the Fast Track
By Greg Schneider
The Washington Post

" . . .The brakes are controlled by a computer, so the car can stop a full length shorter than most. Each rear wheel has its own motor and can turn by itself, which not only improves traction but also makes parallel parking a snap. And the only thing this car emits is water vapor. But for all the exotic gizmos on the Sequel, an experimental hydrogen-powered car to be shown today by General Motors Corp., the biggest breakthrough is that it is designed to drive as far and accelerate as quickly as the cars in most driveways. The Sequel uses fuel-cell technology that until now has not matched the overall performance of gasoline engines. GM is introducing the car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as rival companies make similar announcements. . ." (article)

A State of Emerge `n See
by Swami Beyondananda
In this dogma-eat-dogma world where fear is fueled by terrorism -- not to mention anti-terrorism -- I say it's time to declare all out peace.  Those of us who've been developing inner peace all these years, time to let it all out.  Time to affirm everyone's right to bear arms -- provided those arms are used for hugging.  And this year, instead of commemorating an attack, let's celebrate an embrace. Let's declare an emerge `n see.  Time to emerge from beliefs that no longer serve us and see how we humans have been tricked into behaving foolishly.  Time to emerge `n see beyond the dueling dualities to find solutions bigger than the problem.  Time to emerge n' see there's no escape.  God has us surrounded.  Might as well surrender.  We are all part of the inescapable Oneness. One Spirit, many paths.  One Planet, great diversity.  One humanity, each of us totally unique ... just like everyone else. And what better time to celebrate Oneness than One One One? At exactly 1:11 p.m. on January 11th, look at the person standing in front of you, smile, point, and say, "If I'm One, you're One too!"  Then hug (if either of you has been a victim of hug abuse, you can do an air hug instead).  I have often said that if we keep doing what we've always done, we will only get what we've always gotten.  It stands to reason that if we try doing something new, we increase our chances of getting different results.  So while it makes no sense to take up arms against warfare, it makes all the sense in the world to lift up arms and embrace anything that nourishes peace.
    Now in this shrinking world that could definitely use a good shrink, it is understandable to look upward in hopes of the Messiah.  But I say, we need to look at each other instead, and face the truth that we are looking the Messiah in the face.  We have met the Savior and he is us!  Here are all these children of God praying for Jesus to intervene, but we cannot expect to be fed intervenously forever.  Time for children of God to grow up, for Goodness sake, and become adults of God instead.
    I have a dream, so allow me to tell a vision.  Each year at Passover, the Jewish people affirm the possibility of the Messiah:  "Next year in Jerusalem."  Next year always comes, and the Messiah never seems to come with it.  Maybe it's time to make a break with the past and actually act as if the Messiah is already here.  You know, fake it till you make it.  So put it on your calendars.  Next year -- January 11, 2006 -- let's celebrate Past Over in Jerusalem, and declare the past over and a new day begun. 
    Hold this vision with me please:  Leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths together in celebration -- doing the Hokey Pokey.  They put their whole selves in ... that is commitment.  They pull their whole selves out ... that is detachment.  They turn themselves around ... that is transformation.  And that's what it's all about!
    Now this may seem implausible to you, ridiculous even.  But I tell you what.  It beats the heaven out of what we've been doing. (swami's site)
(thanks to Stephen Ross)

Mike Moore v. Mel Gibson? Not so fast...

Ever since 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and 'The Passion' won People's Choice awards, there have been people trying to incite some kind of left-right public crunch between them: On the left, the anti-Bush anti-war 'crazies,' and on the right, the righteous pro-Bush fundamentalists.
Well, it doesn't look like Gibson is interested. "I feel a strange kinship with Michael," Mr. Gibson said. "They're trying to pit us against each other in the press, but it's a hologram. They really have got nothing to do with one another. It's just some kind of device, some left-right. He makes some salient points. There was some very expert, elliptical editing going on. However, what the hell are we doing in Iraq? No one can explain to me in a reasonable manner that I can accept why we're there, why we went there, and why we're still there."

The Victims of the Tsunami Pay the Price of War on Iraq
US and British aid is dwarfed by the billions both spend on slaughter
by George Monbiot

" . . .The US government has so far pledged $350m to the victims of the
tsunami, and the UK government £50m ($96m). The US has spent $148
billion on the Iraq war and the UK £6bn ($11.5bn). The war has been
running for 656 days. This means that the money pledged for the tsunami
disaster by the United States is the equivalent of one and a half day's
spending in Iraq. The money the UK has given equates to five and a half
days of our involvement in the war.

It looks still worse when you compare the cost of the war to the total
foreign aid budget. The UK has spent almost twice as much on creating
suffering in Iraq as it spends annually on relieving it elsewhere. The
United States gives just over $16bn in foreign aid: less than one ninth
of the money it has burnt so far in Iraq.

The figures for war and aid are worth comparing because, when all the
other excuses for the invasion of Iraq were stripped away, both
governments explained that it was being waged for the good of the
Iraqis. Let us, for a moment, take this claim at face value. Let us
suppose that the invasion and occupation of Iraq had nothing to do with
power, domestic politics or oil, but were, in fact, components of a
monumental aid programme. And let us, with reckless generosity, assume
that more people in Iraq have gained as a result of this aid programme
than lost. . . " (more)
(thanks to Big Russ)

What Animals Know About Disasters
by Anuradha Sawhney

" . . . Many animals, including elephants and mice, communicate via ultrasonic waves that can travel long distances and even penetrate buildings, dense forests and hills. Humans can hear sound waves that measure between 20 and 20,000 hertz, but these animals communicate using sounds that are lower than the ones in our range. Game wardens in Africa have found elephants trembling in fear and huddled up against the edge of their reserve, as far away as it was possible for them to get from a planned killing of their fellows in an adjoining forest. While the sounds of the distant elephant slaughter were inaudible to the human ear, far-flung members of the animals' own species were well aware of their distress and panic. What we don't know is greater than what we do, but we do know that fish have a thin line of sensitive cells on their sides, cells that can sense movement, vibration and change in the direction of the current. So when a typhoon approaches, changing the current, the fish try to move to safer waters. . ." (article)


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An Even Better Informed 2005

Thanks to all my friends who sent me such important emails this year!
1. Because of all of you I stopped drinking Coca-Cola after I found out from you that it's good for removing toilet stains.
 2. I stopped going to the movies for fear of sitting on a needle infected with a disease.
 3. I smell awful, but thank goodness I stopped using deodorant because you said it causes cancer.
 4. I don't leave my car in any parking lot even though I sometimes have to walk about seven blocks, because you said that someone might drug me with a perfume sample and then try to rob me.
 5. I also stopped answering the phone because you said that they will ask me to dial a stupid number and then I get a high phone bill with calls to Uganda, Singapore, Tokyo and maybe the Mars Rover.
 6. I stopped eating chicken and hamburgers because you told me they are nothing more than horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers that are bred in a lab so that places like McDonalds can sell their Big Macs.
 7. I also stopped drinking anything out of a can - you said that I will get sick from the rat faeces and urine.
 8. When I go to parties, I now don't mix with anybody - you said that someone will take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.
 9. However, the police are also after me at present because you said not to pull over as they could be fake policemen trying to kidnap me.
 10. I went bankrupt from bounced checks that I wrote, in anticipation of the $5,000 that Microsoft and AOL were supposed to send me when I participated in their special e-mail program.
 11. It's weird, though, that my new free cell phone never arrived, and neither did the passes for my paid vacation to Disneyland.
 12. But I am positive that all this is because of the chain I broke or forgot to follow and I got a curse.
 (thanks to Joe Creighton and Brendon Mason)


Speaking of Coca-Cola, I recently stumbled on this formula from my partner's naturopath - whether it's the famous 'secret' combination or not, I have no proof:

"Coca-Cola analysis used to be: Oil of Lemon, Oil of Cinnamon, Oil of Coriander, alcohol, citrate of caffeine, tincture of Nux Vomica (which sobers up drunken people), sugar (3 kilos to 1 gallon syrup), lime juice, colouring, carbonated water. (Caffeine is an alkaloid poisoning and Nux Vomica is the poisonous substance from which strychnine is made."


The following idea was designed for the Lancefield Winery Newletter and for my friend, vintner and folk music entrepreneur, Andrew Pattison. (I hope one day to assemble a 'Mighty Wind' style concert as part of Andrew's eulogy, but until he passes away, we'll just have to settle for his upcoming marriage to Heather McCormack next month. Best wishes from Tiberius Claudius Secundus to them both:

" Balnea, vina, Venus corrumpunt corpora nostra, sed vitam faciunt balnea, vina, Venus."
(Baths, wine, sex, harm our bodies, but baths, wine, sex make life worthwhile.)

Fegato alla Hannibal Pattison
(grilled liver, with some fava beans and a nice . . . . Shiraz)

1 human liver (If your butcher - or Igor - can't get this, a young calves liver will substitute, but it won't be the same.)
fresh lemon thyme
2-3 cups fresh broad beans
1 cup chicken stock
1 onion, finely chopped
clove of garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta
salt, pepper
2000 Pattison Shiraz

Marinate the liver in some olive oil and lemon thyme for about an hour. Build a nice fire until the coals are at grilling stage. Grill the liver to taste. (The lemon thyme sweetens the liver, while the slight bitterness of the liver contrasts wonderfully with the lemon thyme.)

Heat some olive oil, sauté the onions, add the broad beans, guanciale or pancetta, garlic, salt and pepper, and the stock. Bring to just before the boil. Cover and cook over low heat until broad beans are cooked (10-15 minutes).

Serve together with a glass of Pattison Shiraz.

(Don't forget to make that thuh-thuh-thuh-thuh sound with your mouth like Anthony Hopkins did.)


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. 
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~