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"I ain't a Communist necessarily, but I been in the red all my life."
Woody Guthrie


Hi folks,

Legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie's most famous song, This Land Is Your Land, written in 1940, was inspired in part by his dislike of Irving Berlin's God Bless America, which he considered an unrealistic portrayal of US life. Guthrie, an ardent political activist born of the Depression, was blacklisted in the 1950s.

Halliburton in Australia

" Yesterday, 26/5/04, 4pm, (repeat of show on 25/5/04 -11pm show) Phillip Adams' three guests revealed that Halliburton has been given a contract to build a rail line from Adelaide to Darwin. There were no other bidders and the terms are secret. One of the uses proposed is to transport nuclear waste into central Australia. Phillip was shocked and intends to follow it up. The interview should be up on the ABC RN website now. " (Thanks to Maireid Sullivan)

I'm going to be in the States for a little while so there'll be a short break in the newsletter until I get back. I'm visiting my folks in Painesville, Ohio, next week and then on to Hawaii to play some music with some friends. I'm looking forward to that part too because I used to live on several communes in Maui and the Big Island for about year in the mid-70s and it's been a long time since I've been back. I even won a Special Prize in a song contest that was held in the Hawaiian village of Hana when I was 24. I was the only Caucasian performer in that contest and I followed the 300 lb mayor of the town who did an awesome hula! The song I performed, 'O Papaya Tree,' I had written in a traditional Hawaiian slack-key style, celebrating the wonder of the papaya, high in vitamen A and the mighty Papain, a great protein digestive enzyme (sometimes used as a meat tenderiser!) The papaya was an amazing wonder of nature: it grew from seed to fruit in only nine months - exactly the same as a baby! (I noticed all kinds of things like that - especially after smoking a little Maui Wowie or Kona Gold.) We were mostly fruitarians, and a bit spiritual about our papayas that we grew ourselves on our commune, but I digress - getting back to the Hawaiian Song Contest story - I noticed that every time I sang the chorus of my papaya ode, "O papaya tree, golden tree of life, god has sweetened thee, O papaya tree,' all the little local Hawaiian kids sitting in the audience would crack up in shrieks of wild laughter. Later someone told me that in traditional Hawaiian everyday life, papayas were mainly used to feed the pigs! So from their point of view, here was this long haired hippie white boy singing this passionate and esoteric song about pig food. (ha ha . . very funny, boys and girls). But I got a little trophy, two dollars, and I heard that the kids were singing the song for the next couple of weeks in their schools.

Favourite Reader Comments of the Week
from an old high school friend . . . .

. . . I am ashamed to tell you I have never heard your recording of 'Shuddup Your Face' but I know it must be much fun. I Knew you when . . . and we were friends too.
Bobby K !!

(Note: Imagine that! Someone who has never heard the song that dare not shaddap it's face. I better fix that! Hope it doesn't affect the friendship because see the next review . . . .)

Review of the Week

" It's fatal: it took decades to get Shaddup Your Face out of my head but a few bars of it the other night brought it rushing back. The work of years undone in an hour. Whassamattayou? Joe Dolce, that's what." Jenny Tabakoff - Sydney Morning Herald


From: Doliver09   Subject: milk squirting boobies! bicycled humanely.

(Note: I didn't bother opening this one as it was obviously from a Surrealist.)


I was privileged recently to have the lyrics of one of my more recent songs, 'The Matriot,' included on the following site celebrating Matriot Day.
(Note: Jesse Winchester emailed me a while back to say he was impressed to be mentioned in the same song as Virginia Woolf!)

Why We Should Pay More For Gas and Petrol
William E. Rees
Prairie Writers Circle

Show true cost of fossil fuel at pump to encourage conservation

North Americans complain about fuel costs. But to avoid a possibly unprecedented human crisis in coming decades, they should be urging their governments to allow the price of oil and natural gas to rise even more. The present world energy market obscures the true price of hydrocarbon fuels. (article)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

"When the camel falls, the number of knives increase." Arab proverb

If anyone has seen the film, 'The Sum of All Fears,' you'll recall the strategy employed by the remnants of those Third Reich Nazi bad guys. Basically it was: 'why go to war against our enemies, Russia and the US, when we can make Russia and the US go to war against each other and destroy each other?' Far fetched? Well, it's starting to look like this could precisely be the scenario that has been going through a few of the Ayatollahs' minds in Iran. I've included one of the most hard-hitting articles I've read in a long time, by William Rivers Pitt, that the US administration was basically 'tricked and set up' by their most valued Middle Eastern insider, Ahmad Chalabi, the man Rumsfeld personally groomed to take control of Iraq once Hussein was removed.

The Iranian Spy in the House of Bush 
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

" . . the CIA is in possession today of "rock-solid" evidence that Ahmad Chalabi is an agent of the Iranian government, that he used his position with the Bush administration to push false data upon the gullible hawks in Washington. According to a report by Julian Borger in the UK Guardian, "The CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions." The implications," writes Borger, "are far-reaching. Mr. Chalabi and Mr. Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war. 'It's pretty clear that the Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner,' said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. 'Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi.' Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: 'When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.'"
 Iran's motives are crystal clear. Iraq has been a mortal enemy of Iran for decades. The process engineered by Chalabi has destroyed that enemy, and opened the way to a Shia-controlled Iraq that would be a natural ally of Shia-controlled Iran. In the process, Iran has come into possession of national security secrets so important that only a select few American officials were cleared for them. As a side benefit, Iran has watched the United States flail like a beached whale in Iraq, squandering billions of dollars and thousands of lives while shattering its reputation around the world."

(Note: Just when you thought Bush and Co. couldn't get much stupider.)


Remarks by Al Gore

Al Gore Links Abu Ghraib Prison Abuses to Deep Flaws in Bush Policy
  " . . . Now the White House has informed the American people that they were also "all wrong" about their decision to place their faith in Ahmed Chalabi, even though they have paid him 340,000 dollars per month. 33 million dollars - and placed him adjacent to Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. Chalabi had been convicted of fraud and embezzling 70 million dollars in public funds from a Jordanian bank, and escaped prison by fleeing the country. But in spite of that record, he had become one of key advisors to the Bush Administration on planning and promoting the War against Iraq.
And they repeatedly cited him as an authority, perhaps even a future president of Iraq. Incredibly, they even ferried him and his private army into Baghdad in advance of anyone else, and allowed him to seize control over Saddam's secret papers. Now they are telling the American people that he is a spy for Iran who has been duping the President of the United States for all these years. . ."

Written, Produced and Directed by
Raney Aronson

Here's the transcript to a documentary on PBS US television that examines George W Bush's evangelical roots and his born-againness . . scary but essential reading. I'm going to try to pick up this DVD in the States but I think it can also be back-ordered on Amazon.com.

 " . . .Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH: My relationship with God through Christ gives me meaning and direction.

ANNOUNCER: He is by most accounts the most openly religious president in generations.

E.J. DIONNE, Jr., Author, Sacred Places, Civic Purposes: The interest in religion is not made up. It has to do with Bush's self-presentation and what he thinks he is about.

Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH: I'll talk about it, OK? I've got a personal faith. Billy Graham came into my life.

MARK LEAVERTON, Midland Men's Community Bible Study: He told me at that point, he said, you know, "I realized that I had to be born again."

Dr. RICHARD LAND, Southern Baptist Convention: Among the things he said to us was, "I believe that God wants me to be president."

DOUG WEAD, Advisor to Pres. George H.W. Bush: The message did come home. My God, you could win the White House with nothing but evangelicals!

Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH: We need common sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God . . " (full transcript)
(thanks to Newt Wayland)

See also: www.bushislord.com


Gooks to Hajis

" . .Sergeant Mejia told me in a long telephone interview this week that he had qualms about the war from the beginning but he followed his orders and went to Iraq in April 2003. He led an infantry squad and saw plenty of action. But the more he thought about the war - including the slaughter of Iraqi civilians, the mistreatment of prisoners (which he personally witnessed), the killing of children, the cruel deaths of American G.I.'s (some of whom are the targets of bounty hunters in search of a reported $2,000 per head), the ineptitude of inexperienced, glory-hunting military officers who at times are needlessly putting U.S. troops in even greater danger, and the growing rage among coalition troops against all Iraqis (known derisively as "hajis," the way the Vietnamese were known as "gooks") - the more he thought about these things, the more he felt that this war could not be justified, and that he could no longer be part of it. . ." (article)
(thanks to Pat Hogan)

Dr. Michael A. Weinstein

"If we want to understand what happened at Abu Ghraib prison, it would be well to address the events and evidence as products of a social relation between those who act and those who are acted upon: agents and patients. What happened at Abu Ghraib? Was it torture? Aggressive interrogation? Production of pornography? All of those apply, but none of them is sufficient to grasp the events as a coherent whole. What happened at Abu Ghraib was impunity.

The term "impunity" became current at the end of the last century to describe the behavior of right-wing government forces and their supporting militia in the civil wars of Central America -- Guatemala and El Salvador. It means acting towards a person under one's control according to one's arbitrary will. Impunity means that there are no legal or moral limits felt by agents on their wills and no consideration given by agents to the patients' wills. Impunity is the most extreme form of domination, in which the patient's will is entirely erased and the agent's will is triumphal. For the agent, impunity is intoxication of power. . ." (article)


Bush's Third-Party Threat From Within the Right Wing
David Paul Kuhn
CBSNews.com Chief Political Writer

"The Libertarians will impact Republicans more than Nader will impact Democrats. While Democrats fret over the possibility of Ralph Nader causing them to lose another election by stealing votes on the left, President Bush may face an even greater third-party threat from the right wing. The Libertarian Party nominee could cost Mr. Bush his job in 2004. (article)



How many members of the Bush Administration does it take to replace a lightbulb?

One to attack anyone who has questions about lightbulbs.

One to blame the rest of the world for needing a new lightbulb,

One to arrange the destruction of any country rumored to have a secret lightbulb.

One to pay Halliburton Industries one million dollars each for all future lightbulbs.

One to dress in a flight suit on board an aircraft carrier and smile while holding a lightbulb.

One to shrug off the difference between screwing up the world and screwing in a lightbulb.

One to glorify the deaths of millions of people who are too poor to even buy a lightbulb.

One to deny that a light bulb needs to be replaced.

One to attack and question the patriotism of anyone who has questions about the light bulb.

One to blame the previous administration for the need of a new light bulb.

One to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of light bulbs. (Or LMI's - Lightbulbs of Mass Illumination.)

One to explain to Bush the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

Three. Two to hold up an Iraqi prisoner and one to stick the prisoner's thumb into the lightbulb socket.

None. No lightbulbs needed in solitary confinement.

One. Dubya to stick a lightbulb up his arse while he rubs two sticks together.
(Note: I made up the last one. Probably not funny, but truth is stranger than comedy.)

Well, that's a few to start with. Please add one more and send this on. (thanx to margret RoadKnight and John Ewbank for getting the lightbulb revolving.)


Most alleged tongue twisters are ridiculously easy, but try repeating, reasonably fast, this simple girl's name: PEGGY BABCOCK, PEGGY BABCOCK, PEGGY BABCOCK

(Note: Wouldn't that make a cool sing-a-long? thanks to Tony)

Silver Lining, Anyone?
Jack Beatty

" Paradoxically, the very scale of the debacle in Iraq may yield one long-term good: the repudiation of neo-conservative "democratic imperialism." The Americans killed in Iraq will not have died in vain if their sacrifice keeps other Americans from dying in neo-con wars to "remediate" Syria, Iran, or North Korea. . . Like the isolationists, the neo-cons are history's fools. The strategy they championed was the wrongest possible strategy for the wrongest possible moment in the wrongest possible region of the world." (article)


A Jim-Dandy Five-Step Plan
Thom Rutledge

" So, President Bush promises to "tear down the infamous prison" where "a few American troops dishonored our country." This he tell us in his Monday night press conference, along with some other gems. For instance, our president tells us that there "is likely be more violence [in Iraq] before the transfer of sovereignty and after the transfer of sovereignty." And he clarifies that time does not stand still with this one: "History is moving, and it will tend toward hope or tend toward tragedy." And how about this one: "The sooner this goal [transfer of power] is achieved, the sooner our job will be done." For the sake of brevity, just one more: President Bush reminds us that a U.S. victory in Iraq will deal "a decisive blow to terrorism at the heart of its power."

It's all very clear to me. The five-step plan is:

1.) Destroy a crime scene in hopes that at least 47 % of the American people are still gullible enough to believe that has anything to do with confronting the reality of the crimes,
2.) Make totally fool-proof prophecies, such as "there just might be more violence in Iraq,"
3.) Be very clear that outcomes can be either good or bad,
4.) Continue to avoid telling us anything specific about the proposed transfer of power in Iraq, and
5.) Keep telling us that there is a connection between Iraq and the 9-11 attacks.

I've come up with better plans in drunken stupors." www.thomrutledge.com
(thanks to Maireid Sullivan.)


" . . I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo, and spent years working for the government.
He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called The Slow Poisoning of America. In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies.
No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with a chemical when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and humans?) to become obese They even have a title for the race of fat rodents they create: "MSG-Treated Rats" .
MSG? I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge. . . .But it didn't stop there. When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items had MSG. Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn't use MSG. But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they grudgingly provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere. Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, every restaurant, even the sit down ones like TGIF, Chilis', Applebees and Denny's use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG! So why is MSG in so many of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative or a vitamin? "
(thanks to Bobby K!!)


Folks, try to always put something that identifies either who you are or what your message concerns in the Subject Heading. Also make sure your NAME is included in the From header. It makes it a lot easier to sort the wheat from the chaff when deleting spam. Never put 'Hi' or 'Hello' in the Subject Box. With so much tricky advertising clogging up mailboxes, I don't even open emails with 'Hi' or 'Hello' anymore.


For those interested in Australian indigenous affairs and news, Shane Charles has sent me a great link. Shane played digereedoo with me at a recent show I performed at Swinburne Uni and is helping me translate my song 'Shaddap You Face' into the Yorta Yorta language. (I already sing an Indjibundgi dialectal translation but as there are something like 5000 indigenous aboriginal dialects, I have a ways to go yet!)

The Message Stick site has loads of great information and links and even a special bush recipe section. Like Black Olive Croc, Black Olive Eel, Bully Beef, Bush Marinade, Emu Pie, Jillgie and Chinese Cabbage, Kangaroo Tail, Munthari & Rye Berry Sauce, Snapper Wings from Jacko's Paper Bark Kitchen, Snow White Namas, Sweet Yam Gnocchi, Wattle Seed Cheesecake, and Wild Turkey, to name a few. (website)



Fried Rice with Green Sea Turtle

(The Green Sea Turtle was a staple diet for islander and main land Aboriginal people.)

Fried Rice made with egg, bacon, shallots, bean shoots, Chinese Pork Sausage and Marinated and BBQ'd Green Sea Turtle.

Fried Rice
1 onion chopped and diced
1 garlic glove chopped fine
2 - 3 slices of bacon diced
1 cup of chopped Chinese Pork Sausage (lapchung)
2 - 3 cups of steamed rice (cooled and refrigerated in advance)
2 -3 capfuls of soy sauce
Half a cup of chopped shallots
Handful of Snowpea sprouts
2 -3 eggs

Marinated Green Sea Turtle
Catch a Green Sea Turtle, taking care not to turn your butt cheek toward its beak.
Chop into bite-size pieces.
(The turtle not the butt cheek. (boom boom!!! ok - I know. I used this one before so I won't do it again!) and marinate turtle pieces overnight in:
Cup of mushroom soy sauce
Cup of Sweet Soy Sauce
2 -3 teaspoons of diced garlic
3 teaspoons of ginger
2 - 3 teaspoons of diced chilli
Juice of half lemon
Tablespoon of curry (optional)
Dash of oil and a sprinkle of sugar to bind it all together.
(This marinade is very similar by the way to one we used to use in Hawaii.)

In a wok or pan - fry the onion and garlic until beginning to turn transparent. Add the diced bacon and cook together. Add the Chinese sausage and keeping stirring and cooking. Add the cold rice and stir. Stir in 2 - 3 capfuls of soy sauce and mix well.. Beat the eggs and make an omelette. Chop omelette into bite size pieces, or shreds, and add to the rice mixture. Throw in the shallots and a handful of sprouts for texture and colour. Turn off heat and put lid on (to keep warm).

Prepare the BBQ. Place the turtle pieces on the BBQ and cook through. Place a serve of fried rice with a healthy serving of Turtle.

(Note: In Australia it is illegal to catch and eat Green Turtles unless you are aboriginal. As turtle is a protected species and can only be hunted by the traditional people of the region - try using chicken, pork, thin strips of beef . . . or a POST TURTLE!)

The original recipe was featured by Trisha Morton-Thomas on the ABC by Chef Jacko.
Source article and recipe




" Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite '
(gaelic: ' I told you I was sick.')


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