Taking stock. 

I got my first acoustic guitar in my twenties, got shown a few chords and realised that I don’t need more than that to write songs. 

I don’t consider myself a musician and the gift of a good voice is probably due to being born in Wales where singing is seen as natural. A sense of rhythm is a gift as is the ability to find a melody and, thus, I had the basics to work with and to express some creativity. 

And so I started writing songs but only as the spirit moved me which wasn’t often – perhaps four or five songs a year – after all, one has to have something to say. 

I never had a desire to be a performer, to become famous or to be in the spotlight but the one thing which, I think, is common to all songwriters is the desire to distill enough meaning in a song to connect. 

When it comes to passion, it was in the creative process that that passion was found. That is a true joy. 

So – what to do with the songs becomes the question. Years went by and my daughter and her friends were old enough to go to the ‘blues’ nights at local pubs. With the exuberance of youth they’d ask me along, to bring my guitar and ‘have a go.’ 

I’ve never been particularly sociable so this was a huge hurdle to overcome and took ‘ages’ before I managed to pluck up the courage but it eventually happened. It helped that they liked what I’d written and so I had a few gorgeous girls to serve as back-up singers and my daughter’s boyfriend to play his guitar. 

My thoughts at this time were to send the songs to established singers but this is easier said than done. Fate stepped in and Bob Spencer – well known in Australia – literally lived a street away and was setting up a studio. He put a small advertisement in the local paper which I saw and we met up. That was the start of the recording process and my thoughts were still along the lines of sending the songs to established singers but, at least, they’d be in a presentable form. 

Bob was excellent both as a musician and a producer. I’d put down the basic song, guitar and vocal, to a metronome and then he’d get rid of my guitar – it wasn’t good enough to be used and I’m not precious about needing my name on the credits as a musician – and that would be our starting point. 

I loved the process of recording and, more often than not, three ‘takes’ of the vocals were sufficient and then it was over to Bob who was able to call upon fine musicians to flesh out the finished song. 

Then the process of artwork and the manufacture followed. This has been the same process for the following cds with the last one being produced by Eliot Reynolds and, again, I didn’t use my own guitar for the same reason that I didn’t for the other cds. 

Over the years I did start playing more in public, enjoyed it and found other people happy to join me on stage. 

What to do with these songs led me to CDBaby and then to Hostbaby and now to Bandzoogle as a hosting platform. 

Basically nothing happened with the songs but, then again, I never promoted them and contented myself with not using social media and perhaps naively believing that if the songs were good enough that they’d connect along the way. 

Then the virus arrived and I made all the songs free as digital downloads because – I could. 

Got a new guitar a few weeks back – a beautiful, mahogany topped smallish Sigma acoustic complete with electrics. I dropped into the music shop in Katoomba a few days ago to give them some feedback on the guitar and to give them a few cds. Explaining that I had a cupboard full of cds and heads turned and a chorus of ‘… so have I’ echoed back to me. 

Life’s a funny creature. Has music been a success for me? Depends upon how one measures success. 

If that saying …’As above, so below’ is true then the intelligences operating though out the galaxies are just as prone to despotic or wonderful behaviour as is mankind. Perhaps our example on Earth ripples out across space and time and has real effect. 

And so – we live short lives and my allotted three score years and ten approaches. Not all my songs are cheerful but neither is life. 

I loved the songs when I wrote them, have made them freely available on the website and will leave it at that.

 

Did 'shock and awe' make Building 7 disappear?  

“Reincarnation of living Buddhas including the Dalai Lama must comply with Chinese laws.” ... so says an article put out by the Chinese embassy in the Republic of Iceland during 2020. 

Hmm … from a political party which disavows spirituality and raises its present leader to Emperor status … almost godlike but … the Emperor has no clothes. 

Perhaps the story of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ isn’t familiar within China. 

That ‘Party line’ approach to that which is divine, that which sustained Chinese culture through times of good and atrocious emperors alike is obscenely cynical. 

I don’t know whether there’s any real difference between the 1984 dystopian future offered by a Chinese system of total surveillance, social credit scores along with the obligatory ‘Big Brother’ sinister overtones and what is appearing before all of us as …. a combination of ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984’ approaches, one that few asked for and which gives us much the same as that which those novels indicated. 

 ‘Maximise profit’ is the mantra of all corporate entities which is why I instinctively turn away from that lust which knows few bounds. Globalism, to me, has come to mean a corporate capitalism where a world-wide Uber economy prevails. It’s what already exists. It provides no hope. 

The following quote has stuck in the back of my mind for .. ages. It’s a niggle made all the more pertinent because of the deeply divisive times in which we live. 

Did CIA Director William Casey really say, "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”? 

According to Barbara Honegger, 

“I am the source for this quote, which was indeed said by CIA Director William Casey at an early February 1981 meeting of the newly elected President Reagan with his new cabinet secretaries to report to him on what they had learned about their agencies in the first couple of weeks of the administration. The meeting was in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House, not far from the Cabinet Room. I was present at the meeting as Assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser to the President. Casey first told Reagan that he had been astonished to discover that over 80 percent of the 'intelligence' that the analysis side of the CIA produced was based on open public sources like newspapers and magazines. As he did to all the other secretaries of their departments and agencies, Reagan asked what he saw as his goal as director for the CIA, to which he replied with this quote, which I recorded in my notes of the meeting as he said it. Shortly thereafter I told Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who was a close friend and colleague, who in turn made it public.” 

I watched a very informative documentary about the CIA – “Inside the CIA – On Company Business.” which dovetailed with the information given by John Perkins in his book ‘Confessions of an Economic hitman.’ 

It’s a lurid title for a book but its contents detail involvement in the ‘shaping’ of South American governments to suit U.S. purposes. 

I have these thoughts in my mind, how very little is ‘accidental’ in world affairs, how fragile all our societies have become. 

Point being that Empire is Empire where the same tools are used whether it’s dressed in the fine garments of the Republic or the Party. 

Meanwhile real effects cascade out from the virus, from societies through the Middle East already destroyed by … manipulated shenanigans. 

2021 is already a catastrophe for many. 

And yet and thankfully, I’m moved by a street busker who sings so beautifully that the hair stands up on my arms. 

Meanwhile diversity is embraced but only if one’s views agree with the prevailing narrative. ‘Political correctness’ is an abysmal mindset in which free speech is shut down rather than debated. That approach doesn’t solve anything and, ultimately, you can’t legislate to make people like or tolerate each other. 

What happened to ‘I have a dream … where people are judged by the content of their character …’ 

There is no differentiation made between personality and character – not that I’m sure that there ever was.

no offence intended.

cooee 

Now and the La Nina weather system brings blessed relief to some of us who benefit from rain. A year ago and the park across the road held twenty eight fire trucks ready to roll across the Blue Mountains where bush fires raged on either side of us. 

The garden of TreeFerns stretch, unfurl their beautiful fronds and settle in for summer. Birds fly in for a feed, either seed or a bit of wholemeal bread and feed their young in a process which has gone on for years. Parrots, Honey Eaters, Magpies and Currawongs grace the garden and delight the eye. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos – the vandals of the bird world – do much the same while keeping a wary eye open for me to appear with my ‘lock and load’ star wars water pistol. It’s a game with some small importance as they tend to chew on the wooden deck if left to their own devices. 

I make a move in a long game of chess which is played by correspondence with an old mate who moved to the other side of the continent decades ago and who never took to computers. It’s our second game with the first taking ten years and the present one lasting longer. A month or two can go by before a move gets made and sent by letter with whatever news we feel worth writing about. Perhaps it’s a world record and we’ll, likely, never know. The games aren’t thrilling – that was never the purpose. Without the game to prompt the contact we’d have probably lost contact completely. 

A new acoustic guitar finally arrives. Smaller than my Dreadnaught and with electrics it’s a delight – just got to learn how to play it. Being left handed means very few opportunities arise to just ‘have a go’ with someone else’s guitar. 

Read Derek Sivers book ‘Your music and people’ – he started CDBaby and Hostbaby without which I and many others would have had no platform for our songs. While the book is chock full of excellent advice my main ‘take away’ was that this man embraces life fully – something I certainly can’t claim although I do know what going the extra mile entails when constructive group activities occur. 

I find time to listen to Jordan Peterson, Clif High, Suspicious Observers and continue to be interested in UFO type material, remote viewing and much else ‘on the fringe.’ 

Life continues to evolve. Strange thing about illusions – I don’t know I’ve got them until something happens to dissolve them. 

Time to go work for a few hours with an intelligent but autistic chap before an afternoon in conversation, drinking a few beers and playing some music with another old mate.

 

The Uluru Statement 

                                                                              The Uluru Statement from the Heart 

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:  

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.  

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.  

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?  

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.  

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.  

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.  

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.  

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.  

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.  

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.  

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

 

 

 

unexpected action and reaction from youtube 

Strange times ... 9/11 deserves close scrutiny however the song/video that  youtube queries has had barely 100 views. Begs the question - how did it  end up crossing the path of censors.

Hi saucepanbach, 

  We wanted to let you know that our team has reviewed your content and we don't think it's in line with our Community Guidelines. As a result, we've age-restricted the following content: 

  Video: two planes - three towers 

  We haven't applied a strike to your channel, and your content is still live for some users on YouTube. Keep reading for more details on what this means and steps you can take if you'd like to appeal this decision. 

  What "age-restricted" means 

  We age-restrict content when we don't think it's suitable for younger audiences. This means it will not be visible to users who are logged out, are under 18 years of age, or have Restricted Mode enabled. It also won't be eligible for ads. Learn more about age restrictions. 

What you can do next 

  We realize this may be frustrating news, and we want to help make sure your content is accessible to all audiences. Here's what you can do: 

Review YouTube's Community Guidelines and Creator Academy lessons. 
Double check that your content is in line with our guidelines. 
Appeal here if you think we've made a mistake. 

  If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us here. 

  Sincerely, 
The YouTube Team 

I checked youtubes guidelines and don’t feel or think that this video is problematic and so appealed their decision on the following basis but was not expecting a reply: 

The lyrics to the song point to the impossibility of Building 7 - not hit by a plane - collapsing as it did. The laws of physics are revealed in the song. 

What possible harm can the truth do to you or I? That's all the song is. 

Unlikely to be viewed by children but it's no worse than the 'daily news' or video games. 

Is this the only reason that this song comes to your attention? 

It’s been ‘good’ to have youtube as a platform however I’m disappointed to see thoughtful channels I subscribe to just disappear and NOT ONE advocates violence but all ask questions. That's what happens in a democracy ... freedom of speech and so on. 

So here’s a question for you – who sits on your community standards board, what qualifications are 'needed' and who checks the checkers? 

cheers David Griffith 

I did get a reply which reads as follows: 

Hello saucepanbach, 

  We have reviewed your appeal for the following content: 

  Video: two planes - three towers 

  After taking another look, we can confirm that your content does not violate our Community Guidelines. 

  Thanks for your patience while we reviewed this appeal. Our goal is to make sure content doesn't violate our Community Guidelines so that YouTube can be a safe place for all - and sometimes we make mistakes trying to get it right. We're sorry for any frustration our mistake caused you, and we appreciate you letting us know. 

  How this affects your channel 

  To make this right, we've removed the age restriction on your content. 

  If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us here. 

  Sincerely, 
The YouTube Team 

 

These are the lyrics. 

Two planes  ...    three towers 

Can’t get those images  from out my head 

Two planes  ...   three towers 

A few thousand here then millions dead 

 I looked at it once and it wouldn’t go away 

I looked at it twice and it was gone within days 

Is it only the architects who question the rubble 

where the towers used to be? 

.....  all fall down, free fall down ..... impossible 

Two wars  ....  no cause 

No bringing of freedom to a soul 

Not one  ....  just blood 

and the tears and the oil and the gold   

I looked at it hard and it wouldn’t go away 

I looked hard again and it was gone within days 

Is it only engineers who question the rubble 

where the towers used to be? 

.....  all fall down, free fall down ..... impossible 

Two planes  ...  three towers 

A conjurer’s trick to deceive 

Who gains?  ....  another tale 

It’s only physics here revealed 

.....  all fall down, free fall down ..... impossible

the village bully 

Every village has a bully, learnt behaviour from a dull awareness. Can’t tell the bully that unless he’s somehow scared of you and, even then, it’s unlikely to change behaviour. 

As a child the bully looms large and is to be avoided. Easier said than done in a village and just as complicated in the wider world ‘village’ where nations become bullies as their growing power leads to expansion with all the temptations to ‘do as thou will’ taking precedence over ‘do unto others as you’d have done to oneself.’ 

China behaves as a petulant child on the world stage and acts as America is used to doing. Employ sanctions, disregard trade treaties and all to show its displeasure because it is criticised or questioned at all. Small wonder that its neighbours are in a state of alarm. 

China’s behaviour is more in keeping with Trumps vainglorious bullying approach to complex situations than what I would hope for from a civilisation which, in its antiquity, gave the world the I Ching. 

The Peoples Communist Party – which people? 

Not the ones who question, internally or externally, that much is clear. 

Meanwhile the image of a bully remains. Horrifying. 

To be clear – any serious research shows that 9/11 was a coup – as in a sudden, illegal, often violent, taking of power, Not that the U.S. government was involved. A cabal with no interest in taking the reins of the U.S. government were absolutely committed to swaying public opinion in the direction desired – perhaps what they perceived as the ‘National Good’, perhaps not - and they did it and then disappeared into the woodwork like cockroaches while unending wars result. Who benefits and follow the money. 

George Bush wasn’t bright enough to be part of this coup, those around him are another matter. 

A recently released four year study into the destruction of Building 7 proves that demolition was the ONLY way in which computer modelling can describe exactly what the video evidence of its collapse indicates. 

If that were widely known perhaps civil war would erupt and so this crucial evidence is not mentioned – not in public, not by the media. 

‘Building 7 – never heard of it.’ 

‘My point exactly.’ 

Google and Youtube continue to demonetarise or delete channels and make difficult to find such information. Who checks the fact checkers. 

There is no such thing as alternative facts – how can there be? A fact is a fact, the rest is a lie, a way of using language to sow doubt and muddy the waters.

 

Is it a nod or a wink? 

A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse. 

We’re being herded, corralled and given little choice about the matter. Public health, safety and so on. 

Just the musings of an ordinary bloke but the changes within my lifetime are as immense as the dystopian possible futures defined by much of the science fiction I devoured so many decades ago. 

How disappointing, within those fabulous tales, was the idea that hierarchies, the pyramid type so prevalent here on Earth, prevail throughout the Universe. Intergalactic wars without end. 

A ‘dog eat dog’ Universe, ‘Cowboys and Indians in Space’, not much to look forward to if that were the whole of the truth. 

Other dimensions. 

So – ‘belief and knowledge and the difference between’ and is the world I’m living in, the changes being foisted upon us, just accidental, are our leaders just blundering from crisis to crisis or – if the world is a grand chessboard, an idea familiar to most of us, - is there strategy, plans developed, stealth employed perhaps to achieve aims largely unspoken or disguised. 

Who needs conspiracy theories when real conspiracies abound. 

I lament the fact that when trust breaks down relationships suffer, wither and decline and this is true personally, nationally and internationally. 

I lament the lack of ethics which invariably cause the destruction of that trust. 

I know life isn’t fair but that’s no justification for drinking from that trough, from behaving unfairly oneself. That was one of the ideas I gleaned from a Christian childhood upbringing which still makes sense to me and echoes Christ’s injunction to love one another which, necessarily, makes slavery of any description impossible. 

Here in Australia an opportunity arose recently to ‘put it to the people,’ by way of a referendum, that Aboriginal Australia have a ‘voice’ – they don’t even have a treaty – the Prime Minister of the day refused to entertain the idea. It’s more nuanced than that but a disgrace nonetheless. What trust is there in a National Apology if words don’t lead to action and real change in a positive direction. 

Palestinians suffer under seventy years of illusory ‘peace talks’ where Israel has all the power and jackboots its way to solving the Palestinian problem by total control of resources and ever expanding ‘settlements’ thus condemning Palestinians to ghettos. 

It’s such a familiar story, nothing learnt from the horrors of the Second World War. 

A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse. 

Business as usual – just a change in the terms and conditions. 

Just musings because … there’s a lot going on apart from the care of a garden. Having said that – a small crop of red currants are almost ready for picking while the garlic crop isn’t far behind. Hooray. 

Nature doesn’t miss a beat.

 

pretending to be dead? 

‘The land of the free’ … gee whiz that sounds great and yet … free to be, free to do, free to move, free to speak – but all with limitations set by culture, custom and law. Not total freedom which is just as well with monsters on the loose. 

Free to be what? Free to do what? Certainly free to speak both lies and truth. 

Whose freedom and at whose expense?

Freedom to question is beyond precious. 

Across the seas and …’Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.’ Really? Britons have been quite comfortable with keeping a semblance of freedom at home which has been partially and ruthlessly gained at the expense of the populations of their previous Empire.  

 ‘… and so it has always been’ echoes the comment across time by a law maker I met. 

Words are slippery, change meaning as they move from hand to mouth, from mind to speech. 

What a woeful specimen of humanity Trump, the apprentice president, the tin-pot ‘would be dictator’ is. 

Who could argue with that statement when the ‘leader of the free world’ is a compulsive liar – that fact alone diminishes the U.S.A. and about half its voting population. They would argue, no doubt, that Trump’s failings as a human being don’t matter because some greater goal is being served and, perhaps,  … ‘mysterious are the ways of God.’ 

Of course they are but that’s no excuse for abandoning reason or common sense. 

Trump is the triumph of personality over character. A narcissistic  personality belonging to a man with no character. 

Character matters, it’s character which nourishes. Personality should be the outward expression of character. Ultimately, it’s the icing on the cake and not the cake itself. 

Enough of that. America is working out its destiny with a blind indifference by the present leader to the reality of the day – it includes a pandemic which is real. 

Meanwhile, here in a garden, the Tiger lilies are leaping from the ground and either crouching or up to chest height, laden with orange and brown flowers, just starting to bloom. Fragrance from a Mandarin and an Orange tree add to the Jasmine which perfume the air. A Dogwood goes from green to cream, startles the eye, magnificent.