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May 11th, 2007

The Baghdad Boil

"We associate truth with convenience, with what most closely accords with self-interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. We also find highly acceptable what contributes most to self-esteem. [Economic and social behaviour] are complex and to comprehend their character is mentally tiring. Therefore, we adhere, as though to a raft, to those ideas which represent our understanding."
John Kenneth Galbraith


Dear Folks,

My newsletter this week will consist primarily of the wonderful (and not so wonderful) letters I have received. Naturally, I have supplied comments where inappropriate.

On a lighter note, I noticed that singer Kate Ceberano won the Dancing with the Stars contest here in Australia. Last time I heard about Kate's dancing, she was doing flamenco lessons with a good friend of mine. I know Kate and she has always loved to dance and works hard at it. They haven't asked me to do this show yet. Can't understand why not 'cause I won a Dancing with the Patients contest when I was an inmate at the Athens County Nervous Hospital back in 1970. We didn't have the tango and those exotic European categories though. We had one category: Hippie Wearing a Headband, Shirt Off Having Epileptic Fit in Front of the Stage. (That's a picture of my partner, Daisy Mae Lanzana, above. I'm out of frame because you don't really have to dance WITH your partner in this category.)

Anti-US Uproar Sweeps Italy: Dal Molin US Military Base
By David Swanson

The U.S. government has proposed to make Vicenza, Italy, the largest US military site in Europe, but the people of Vicenza, and all of Italy, have sworn it will never happen. As with the story of the Downing Street Minutes two years ago this week, a major news story and huge controversy in Europe right now is unknown to Americans, despite the fact that it is all about the policies of the American government. In February of this year, 200,000 people descended on the Northeastern Italian town of Vicenza (population 100,000) to march in protest. Largely as a result, the Prime Minister of Italy was (temporarily) driven out of power. Meanwhile, just outside Vicenza, large tents now hold newly minted citizen activists keeping a 24-hour-per-day vigil and training hundreds of senior citizens, children, and families every day in how to nonviolently stop bulldozers. The bulldozers they are waiting for are American. (article)

Baghdad Boil: Spread of Disease Tied to US Combat Deployments
By John Donnelly

Washington - A parasitic disease rarely seen in United States but common in the Middle East has infected an estimated 2,500 US troops in the last four years because of massive deployments to remote combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, military officials said. Leishmaniasis, which is transmitted through the bite of the tiny sand fly, usually shows up in the form of reddish skin ulcers on the face, hands, arms, or legs. But a more virulent form of the disease also attacks organs and can be fatal if left untreated.  In some US hospitals in Iraq, the disease has become so commonplace that troops call it the "Baghdad boil." But in the United States, the appearance of it among civilian contractors who went to Iraq or among tourists who were infected in other parts of the world has caused great fear because family doctors have had difficulty figuring out the cause. (article)


Re: Telemarketing Harrassment
Have you seen this? Finally an end to those calls & it's a Government thing! Tell all your friends
Joe Creighton
Do Not Call Register

Hi Joe,
RE: American Pie in Latin
Your recent latin translation of American Pie doesn't really have the same rhythm does it : 
" Ago by much, by much yearly produce
To remember till then from now
That musica the making me to laugh at
And to know if you wish government meam accidental
To be able to work zealously those hominos at least
And perhaps to be to fertilize short transitory

But Februarius fecit me horrible
When omne acta long duration surrender Mali
to announce upon door
Not able to work zealously one much pace

Not to be able to remember if you wish tears
When legerem about wedding without husband
Someone touched me to announce
For that day When musica dead to be.

Inceperunt chant : Bid farewell , bid farewell Lady America crust
To carry to be me four-wheeled carriage to uprising upon river
but uprising upon river was aridus
And boni the ancients boy bibebant wine and secale

Cantantes this to be to be day upon from I to die! " Marcus Whitaker

(Note: Marcus. Strength and honour! Citizen, this sounds to me suspiciously like one of those internet 'alta vista' type Latin-to-English machine translations. If anyone out there actually is fluent in Latin and would like to have a go at a line-for-line literal translation of American Pie (in last week's newsletter), please send it. Unleash hell. Josephus.)

you wrote a silly song
it sold well
move on
for fucksake man!

(Note: AD, a parent always has a unique relationship with their first born. Just because that child also happens to be ill-mannered and a special child doesn't mean the parent should abandon them. It also doesn't mean that I don't spend quality time with my other so-called normal kids. Just because little ShaddapYouFacey Dolce can't talk properly, walks a little funny and knocks things over doesn't mean it shouldn't have all the opportunities of a long and fruitful life. Even if the child has to work in a circus. And why would I want to move on from something that is still so completely in the PRESENT? Just look at these comments from UTube. We're not talking about 1980. We're talking about this week:)

* fuckin classic.. swear i was spawned to this RubberduckyO07
* LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL I Was looking for this all over the Internet, found it on youtube, why didnt i think of it first! I LOVE IT, i only ever heard it once before! I LOVE IT!, ITS HILARIOUS. Im So sad lol x its great mileycyrusfanxx
* An classic song, I loved this song when I was young, and I still do JasonAlexVoorhees
* it's a great song about how boring school is and how parents always nag at you leiefilm
* Shaddapa you face- makes no sense he needs to be shot z3r044
* Pure class!!! Eyeballs99
* it always gets voted as the worst song ever yet it is a really good...that everybody makes a big deal about... yeah that makes alot of sense... vaffunculo... franktriangle66
* by the way frank,it's vai fare in culo!!!! nando19671229
* amazing, thanks for the upload. he is a genius StartWearingGogol
* watching this has made my day trampysally
* its great! it reminds me of my polish grandma! she used to say " what you think you do?" and "shut up your face" :) sallyonsunday
* proper good! yamam67890
* oh my god ,i remember this song in portugal , thanks for sharing porto1987
* AWESOME!!! emceejoke
* Thanks for re-kindling old memories in me, buddy! I haven't heard this song in donkey's years. It comes from a very meaningful and important time in my life.Thanks, again! ptltyj
* llfe is beautiful aljbetta
* this song is my anthem song lol gottalaughatit
* this song is an amazing drinking song radarramses
* absolute shit burgies101
* Your a Cunt! This is an Awesome song! leadfoot123
* this song rocks you prick! fucking dickmaster ROWAN1111
* this is an awsome song!! i wasnt even alive wen it came out!! xxxx powerofpink
* Thank god we found this eh?! i never even heard this song and we've been singing this for weeks! robbiecross
* Thank goodness I'm half Maltese. If was Italian I would die of embaressment! what a bloody awful song. aguamaniac
* I love this song. My maltese nanna talks exactly like that. I don't really see how people can think it's embarassing, but i guess everyone is different. But, i'm a wog, and proud of it. And i'll play the part just to piss you all off. sabbath1pwns1u1all
* Ur maltese nana is a man? A wog hahahha its a wop mate. monsterlfc
* Holy dick shitting nipples. BigOleBill
* i dont remember the eighties but i kno this song of by heart cos my dad constantly sang it when i was about 7-14 and its very memorable in my life now. Stupid dad lol flareddoughnut
* Check the accordian player.. Its Norman Cook (fat boy slim) he actually producer the song.. Nice ! Even at 16, Norman Cook knew where the money was when he ventured out into Australia to produce a novelty single which reached number one in several countries. That's quite amazing foresite. rabs97
* i cant even hear it beccabusted
* Joe is the man! Goodkat85

G'day Joe,
Your heart(...?)-felt remarks on the matter of colonoscopies reminds me that a favourite local singer/songwriter John Dengate had some words to sing on the subject. (John believes in folk song dealing with the personal realities of his life ... family stories ... personal experience ... and physical experience: "The Skin Cancer Blues" (blue-eyed, fair-skinned Celtic extraction!) ... "Because I Neglected Dental Hygeine" ... and ... [the following] Regards,
Bob Bolton
Rectal Bleeding Calypso
Words & Music: John Dengate

I was passing some rectal blood
Sometimes half a cup ­
So I go up to the doctor,
B'lieving he will fix me up.
He poke around in my rectum
'Til his face is wreathed in smiles.
As he idly toyed with a haemorrhoid,
He says "Have you got piles?".
Chorus: Oh! If you suffer from rectal bleeding,
Or some sim'lar disease ­ Ooh!
Stay a-way from the hospitals
And doctors' surgeries.
(full lyrics)

(Note: Yew!!!!! Bob, Ouch! I feel your pain. The link above will give you the complete (and arse-wrenching) lyrics and also the following excerpt fom a thematic lyric by singers George Bowser and Ricky Blue, sung at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons in 1995.

"Working Where The Sun Don't Shine" (The Colorectal Surgeon's Song)

We praise the colorectal surgeon
Misunderstood and much maligned
Slaving away in the heart of darkness
Working where the sun don't shine . .

. . .He sailed right through medical school
Because he was a whiz
Oh but he never thought of psychology
Though he read passages
A doctor he wanted to be
For golf he loved to play
But this is not quite what he meant...
By eighteen holes a day!

Praise the colorectal surgeon
Misunderstood and much maligned
Slaving away in the heart of darkness
Working where the sun don't shine!
(full lyrics at site above)

Re: Charles Mingus Bach Quote in Last Week's Newsletter
" . . .What's hard is to be as simple as Bach. . ."
Bach's simple?! "inevitable", maybe . . . . but simple? Maybe it's the way Mingus is using "simple". I, personally, think it's the wrong word for Bach.

Subject: Humilititis
It's not too surprising to find you railing against humility coming from such a humble man. Passive-Aggression is just that. Healthy humility is most welcome in this world of SHOUTERS! Shaddapa you face, y'all.

(Note: GP, I never make a practice of shouting. Especially in newsletters. THIS IS SHOUTING! I think a humble person can also shout. Like: GET THE VAFANCULO OUT OF IRAQ!!!!! And humility is not to be confused with humiliation, which is the act of making someone else feel ashamed (for not being humble). Of course, true humility is distinctly different from false humility. False humility consists of deprecating one's own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from others. But, every healthily humble person, as you put it, ALWAYS has opposition who think they are arrogant. One man's ceiling . . . and that kind of thing. Regarding the the Humble Award, always consult the opinions of the ex-wives and ex-lovers for added perspective. Name five of your choice of famous humble beings - and then name five folks who thought they were selfish. Jesus? Crucified. Gandhi and King? Assassinated. Joe Dolce? Gotta No Respect. Hey.

It is Written:
"God resisteth the proud, and giveth his grace to the humble"
(James 4:6).

It is also Unwritten:
"And the Burnt Bush shall giveth shock and awe to Iraq"
(George W 9:11)

The Holy Koran says:
"Successful indeed are the believers, those who Humble themselves in their prayers."
(Al-Muminoon 23:1-2).

Of course, Unbelievers and the Un-humble get their arses fatwa'd. Humbly, of course.

One of my favourite quotes:
"Don't be so humble; you're not that great."
Golda Meir
(I think she said that about Sacha Baron Cohen.)

From Wikipedia :
"Nietzsche wrote of humility (not to speak of patience, wisdom, and any other virtue lauded widely by the masses) as a weakness, a false virtue which concealed the frailties and hidden crookedness in its holder. His idealized ubermensch would be more apt to roam around unfettered by pretensions of humility, proud of his stature and power, but not revelling idly in it, and certainly not displaying hubris."

But Nietzsche also ended up eating through a straw and competing in the 'Dancing With the Patients' contest at the local German nervous hospital, so you have to take what he says with a grain of ubermensch.)

Native Americans believe:
"The Lamenter [who is seeking a vision] cries, for he is humbling himself, remembering his nothingness in the presence of the Great Spirit.
Black Elk, Sioux Tradition

My own view? Humble is synonymous with Teachable. All the rest is PR.)

Dear Joe,
I note the grammar debate in your latest [newsletter]. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Perhaps I should say at the outset, that as someone who commits more than his fair share of solecisms, I always take comfort in a line that the great Henry Miller was fond of uttering. He used to reckon that "good grammar is the slang of prigs". He stole this line from a character in George Eliot's, Middlemarch, (1872).

And I embrace the line, not just to buttress my ravaged self-esteem when I think of my own massive ignorance of the finer points of English grammar), but also because I reckon that grammar (and pronunciation also, perhaps?) is generally NOT something to go to the barricades for. But MEANING certainly is.

I would far sooner we fight to preserve the meaning of words. Which ones? Gosh there are many. Take the word "prevarication". Seemingly intelligent people usually use it when they clearly mean "procrastination": indeed, it has now started to take on this meaning in some dictionaries.

I can just about live with that. Why? Well, because the correct usage of the former word has not disappeared.

But other words we grew up with are now endangered species. Saddest of all is what has happened to "disinterested". When I was a kid, it used to mean one thing to 99% of us Brits. It meant "no vested interest"/"no axe to grind". But no longer. Ask someone what they thought of the poor movie they saw yesterday, and they will say "I was totally disinterested", when they mean "totally UNINTERESTED". A genuinely great word is disappearing in our lifetime.

So many others too. Take the French word "poseur". It is being lost here in Britain, and replaced by the cockney "poser". I always thought that a "poser" was someone who compiled crossword puzzles, or asked questions!

Anyway, enough. That's my two cents' worth on the matter. Kindest, Dai Woosnam

PS A further word on my lack of passion (indeed, some would say "supreme indifference"!) on the subject of pronunciation. By this I mean, I could not care a tinker's cuss on which of the first three syllables you put the stress, in the word "con-trov-ers-y". Why not? Well, because the meaning is never in doubt. However, I have to admit an Achilles heel, when it comes to the word "predilection". If I hear yet another well-paid parasitical politician pronounce it to rhyme with "dereliction", then I won't be answerable for my actions.

(Note: Dai, nice letter! One syntextual tweak: technically, I guess, the PS would be a third cent.)


Hi Joe,
Subject: Racism in Bolivia. Evo Morales

Bolivia is one of the largest pure indigenous populations in Latin America. (Quechua & Ayamara peoples) The ruling classes over the past centuries have been mainly European, who live there for whatever reasons (usually to make money out of the peasants) It is also a country rich in natural resources, largely untapped, except in the past by large American multinationals who either paid nothing for the resources because they provided jobs for a few people and paid HUGE bribes to the Ruling oligarchy for this, or were outright just hijacked by these people. .It has the largest untapped reserves of Natural gas, and petroleum in Latin America, making it potentially a very rich nation.

To cut to the chase, Bolivia now has an indigenous President, Evo Morales, who is taking a page from Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro, and nationalising all of these companies. George Bush has called him a terrorist, His sister was denied access to enter the US to speak to a women's group, and basically the CIA, DEA and all other US bodies who up until now were complexly autonomous in Bolivia have been called to heel, and to explain their actions.
Also another problem is that Bolivia grows the best Cocoa leaves in the Andes. Contrary to what the Americans will have you believe, cocaine is not produced by the indigenous people in Bolivia to sell to the Colombian drug cartels, but by Americans, many of the related to / or working with the DEA, CIA and other of these types of organisations, to fund whatever illegal meddling they are up to at the time in Latin America.
Also Coca Cola, up until recently, bought most of the prime coca crop from this region of Bolivia for their beverage (this is largely unknown outside Bolivia) but now purchases & grows elsewhere having applied for the genetic patent on the plant.

You are probably aware that Evo Morales rose to power on the 'coca for Bolivians, not for drugs' platform. Coca is a staple of all Andean households, and is used to treat almost everything and anything. When the last Bolivian puppet president, a former Lecturer at a US university, who had Bolivian birth right, yet hardly spoke a world of Spanish, let alone the indigenous language was installed, a national outrage commenced when he proceeded to heed to every one of the USA's demands.

Anyway, to get back to the point, all this violence escalated when the state of Santa Cruz (on the border with Brazil) decided they wanted autonomy. Santa Cruz, is populated with mainly ex-Nazi, war criminals, European scoundrels who found safety in 'where's Bolivia?' inaccessibility, and mainly European populated city, took umbrage to the fact that an Indigenous president was elected, and he attempted to clean up corruption, crime, and other injustices, Because they are white and European, they believe as all good Nazi sympathisers, that coloured people, especially the indigenous Indians are not equal, and should be treated as such. More so now that there is an uppity? Indian leader. Hope this helps a little. Wikipedia has some good stuff on the situation as does the Washington Post, who regularly publishes articles about this situation. If you need more background happy to help. Linda Drew
Wikipedia Sources

Shocking UTube Videos from Bolivia
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

(Note: The above Wikipedia site has much detail about what's been going on in Bolivia. The videos are in Spanish, hence thanks to Linda for the background synopsis. Some things worth pointing out:

* Juan Evo Morales, popularly known as Evo, is the country's first indigenous head of state since the Spanish Conquest over 470 years ago.

* He was nominated as a 'Drugs Pacifist' for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 and 1996 by an international coalition against the 'War on Drugs,' educating people on the differences between coca leaves and cocaine. In a speech on this issue, he told reporters, 'I am not a drug trafficker. I am a coca grower. I cultivate coca leaf, which is a natural product. I do not refine (it into) cocaine, and neither cocaine nor drugs have ever been part of the Andean culture.'

* Coca is the raw material for cocaine but is prized by many Bolivians (especially among those of Amero-Indian descent) for its traditional uses in medicines and herbal teas. Long before coca was used to make cocaine, the indigenous people of the Andean region, the Aymara and Quechua, chewed coca leaves as a dietary supplement, a means to ease pangs of hunger and thirst and an antidote for altitude sickness. Many Amero-Indians continue to view the plant as sacred. In modern Bolivia coca leaves may be legally consumed and are most often prepared in teas like mate de coca. The legal sale and consumption of coca leaves is part of daily life for some groups of Bolivian peasants, especially those in mining and other fields of heavy labor. Noted celebrities who have consumed coca tea include the late Pope John Paul II and Princess Anne.

* Morales has articulated the driving force behind MAS [his political party] in the following terms:
"The worst enemy of humanity is U.S. capitalism. That is what provokes uprisings like our own, a rebellion against a system, against a neoliberal model, which is the representation of a savage capitalism. If the entire world doesn't acknowledge this reality, that the national states are not providing even minimally for health, education and nourishment, then each day the most fundamental human rights are being violated."

* Morales has referred to the U.S.-driven Free Trade Area of the Americas as "an agreement to legalize the colonization of the Americas" and has supported the stated desire of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to form an "Axis of Good" between Bolivia, Cuba, and Venezuela, (in contrast to the "Axis of Evil.")

* On January 21, 2006 Morales attended an indigenous spiritual ceremony at the pre-Colombian archaeological site and modern spiritual center of Tiwanaku where he was crowned as Apu Mallku or Supreme Leader of the Aymara, the indigenous group to which he belongs. He also aroused much interest in his choice of dress after being pictured often in his striped sweater with world leaders during his world tour. The sweater (actually an alpaca-wool chompa, from the English word jumper) has become his unofficial symbol.

* Morales is a soccer enthusiast and plays the game frequently, often with local soccer teams. Morales is also a big admirer of Che Guevara and in 2006 held a memorial on the anniversary of Guevara's killing by the Bolivian army in 1967.

* A campaign to nominate Evo Morales for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was started in December 2006 by Adolfo Esquivel, himself a Nobel laureate.

Morales' socialist economic polices has generated opposition from several provinces including Santa Cruz province which has oil and agricultural resources. Political parties who oppose Morales along with pro market groups "have neutralized the workings of a Constitutional assembly, responsible for the founding of the 'new' Bolivia". Six of the nine Bolivian governors are also demanding more autonomy from the central government and a larger share of government revenues. The six are the governors of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Pando, Beni, and Tarija with the other three Bolivian governors being part of Morales' socialist Movimiento al Socialismo party. They are among the first generation of popularly elected governors (before Dec. 2005 all governors were appointed by the President). The call for autonomy comes mainly from the resource-rich, lowland regions of Bolivia which are centers of opposition to Morales. The autonomy question has relatively little to do with language, culture, [and] religion - it is mostly about money and resources - specifically, who controls Bolivia's valuable natural gas reserves, second largest in South America after Venezuela's. Morales sees the calls for autonomy as an attempt to break up Bolivia and has vowed to fight it. He has repeatedly charged that rich landowners and business people from the eastern city of Santa Cruz, an anti-Morales stronghold, were fomenting and funding the autonomy movement in a bid to grab national resources. They , on the other side, are the only standing force against the totalitarian view of Morales, very much inspired by the Hugo Chavez regime.



Cinnamon Ostrich with Pineapple and Lichees

1-1/2 lb ostrich, cut into cubes or strips.
Marinate for 1/2 hour in:
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
and one clove of garlic, chopped.
Bake together 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
and continue to bake (covered) until tender (2 to 2-1/2 hours).
Stir in one 5-oz can of pineapple chunks
5-oz of Chinese lichee nuts.
Thicken juices with 1 tablespoon corn-starch
dissolved in a little cold water.
Bake for 10 minutes longer.
Serve with rice or noodles.

Or over George W Bush's nappy head.
(Makes enough to serve the entire inmate population of Guantanamo Bay for a week)




A Suspended Blue Ocean
The sky
Is a suspended blue ocean.
The stars are the fish
That swim.
The planets are the white whales
I sometimes hitch a ride on,
And the sun and all light
Have forever fused themselves
Into my heart and upon
My skin.
There is only one rule
On this Wild Playground,
For every sign Hafiz has ever seen
Reads the same.
They all say,
"Have fun, my dear; my dear, have fun,
In the Beloved's Divine
O, in the Beloved's
Wonderful Game."
~ Hafiz ~
(The Subject Tonight Is Love -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)






1. If I Had Shot You When I First wanted To, I'd Be Out Of Prison By now.
2. I Hate Every Bone in Her Body But Mine.
3. It's Hard to Kiss the Lips At Night That Chewed Your Ass All Day.
4. If the Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me.
5. I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better.
(thanks to Jim Testa)