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Hey Dzhankoye

Having watched Geoff Giudice’s funeral I thought about what music would mean the most to me played at my own funeral. This one crosses so many lines for me – in Yiddish, sung by Pete Seeger on the banjo, from the optimistic days of Russian communism so loved by my parents – that I put it on and it made me weep for a life gone by and for the people, now all departed, from whom I learned the song. I even used to play it on the banjo myself and can still recite the words in Yiddish.

In Yiddish

Az men fort kayn sevastopol,

Iz nit vayt fun simferopol,

Dortn iz a stantsie faran.

Ver darf zuchn naye glikn?

S’iz a stantsie an antikl.

In dzhankoye, dzhan, dzhan, dzhan.

Refrain: Hey, dzhan, hey dzhankoye, Hey dzhanvili, hey dzhankoye, Hey dzhankoye, dzhan, dzhan, dzhan.


Enfert yidn af mayn kashe,

Vu’z mayn bruder, vu’z abrashe?

S’geyt ba im der trakter vi a ban.

Di mume leye ba der kosilke, Beyle ba der molotilke.

In dzhankoye, dzhan, dzhan, dzhan.

Refrain: Hey, dzhan, hey dzhankoye, Hey dzhanvili, hey dzhankoye, Hey dzhankoye, dzhan, dzhan, dzhan.


Ver zogt as yidn konen nor handlen,

Esn fete yoych mit mandlen,

Nor nit zayn kayn arbetsman?

Dos konen zogn nor di sonim —

Yidn, shpayt zey on in ponim,

Tut a kuk af dzhan, dzhan, dzhan.

Refrain: Hey, dzhan, hey dzhankoye, Hey dzhanvili, hey dzhankoye, Hey dzhankoye, dzhan, dzhan, dzhan.


And in English translation

When you go to Sevastopol,

Not too far from Simferopol,

There’s a little depot there.

Why seek your luck elsewhere?

It’s a special kind of depot.

In Zhankoye, zhan, zhan, zhan.

Hey, zhan, hey Zhankoye, Hey, zhanvili, hey Zhankoye, Hey Zhankoye, zhan, zhan, zhan.

Jews, answer my question,

Where’s my brother Abrasha ?

He who rides his tractor like a train.

Aunt Leah is at the mower,

Bella is working the thresher,

In Zhankoye, zhan, zhan, zhan.

Who says that Jews can only be traders

And eat fat soup with soup nuts

But cannot be workingmen?

Only our enemies can say that—

Jews, let’s spit right in their faces,

Simply look at zhan, zhan, zhan.

And here are The Travellers with the same song but with some background on the song. Also with the banjo.

The Travellers I remember almost as well as Pete Seeger: this is who they were. And as for where I am from, I used to go to Camp Naivelt when I was very very young, perhaps even was there in 1953!. Incidentally, Camp Naivelt (Camp New World) is where I first heard Pete Seeger live who was grateful for any gig he could find during the McCarthy era.

Folk music group The Travellers was formed at Camp Naivelt in Brampton, Ontario, during the summer of 1953. Founding members included Jerry Gray (banjo and lead singer), Sid Dolgay (mandocello), and the singers Helen Gray, Jerry Goodis and Oscar Ross. At first, they sang with the left-leaning United Jewish Peoples Order, with which they shared a commitment to the labourpeace and civil liberties movements. Then, piggybacking on the popularity of the folk music revival, The Travellers modelled their act after the popular American folk group The Weavers and were encouraged by legendary American folksinger Pete Seeger.

Also remember the UJPO, and The Weavers.

This is of course how it should be sung, from Martha Schlamme as I first heard it. This is from 1957.


Oh my goodness, a pandemic!!

From Jupes in a previous thread, with thanks.

The ‘38th’ figure is where Covid was placed on the ABS list of 2020 causes of death.

Thirty. Eight. No, seriously. It’s official.

Well, as official as a number from the ABC can be. Anyway all part of our current forms of insanity. As others have pointed out, Omicron is an anagram for moronic. I can only hope when we get to Omega it will really be the final end to it all, as in the Alpha and the Omega. Omega is last!

Nothing nu

Who Nu? is about the new variant on the covid theme. Are people really this dumb? Why, yes they are.

They’re now trying to shut down everything again and make the world safe again for private jet-flying elites to escape from voters. This time they claim there’s a super-spreading, super-scary new variant of the Wuhan (pardon me, COVID-19) virus from Africa. As far as I’m able to discover there is no test for it, it has actually been around since July and it doesn’t seem particularly fatal. So far it has produced only mild cases. But the taste of totalitarian control has only whetted the desire for more, with the thought of destroying those “deplorable” productive citizens of the middle class an added bonus.

Meanwhile, there is this to consider: UK Cardiologist Highlights Link Between mRNA Vaccines and Heart Disease, While Noting Researchers Withholding Data Fearful of Losing Funding. That is, not only is it necessary to understant that the media are overwhelmingly liars and will not tell you the truth about Covid, so too is the medical profession where virtually no doctor will risk their licence to inform you about the dangers of vaxxines. 

20,000/70,000 what’s the difference?

The headline in the Sunday paper today read 20,000 rally in CBD. There were a lot more than that, as I did my own count as the procession passed by on Flinders Street.

This was my calculation. There were approximately 16 persons in each row of the procession. Each row passed by at the rate of one row per second (I took out my watch to time it) which is around 60 per minute. The parade lasted around an hour and a half.

So on my estimate, there were [16 X 60 X 90] people which comes to 86,400. Be conservative and make the estimate 60,000. Come half way back, call it 70,000. A lot more than the papers will want to have been true which is why they have taken that absurdly low estimate.

The paper also mentioned there were no arrests, and why would there be? This was not a crowd of radical lefties trying to instigate a confrontation. It was the most middle class crowd you would ever see. There were a few Eureka Stockade flags but many mothers with their children. These were people who may have had the vax themselves but will fight to the end to prevent their children being mandated these experimental vaxxines.

The papers are still, of course, in full-on scare everyone mode, with this now the top story at The Age: Two Omicron cases confirmed in Sydney. For me, though, the best sign of the day read:

Why are we closing the country because of the 38th most important cause of death in Australia.

Not my stat, but I could not agree more. And if this is true, the people who manage our communal affairs could not be more vile. Sent to me by a colleague.

Schools are having children wear yellow wristbands to easily identify those who have mask exemptions and/or are unvaccinated so that they can be segregated from their peers.

“The task of the Marxist historian”

I’m all for de mortuis nil nisi bonum but there are limits.

The obit for Stuart Macintyre in The Oz certainly is heavily weighted on the bonum side. And what is perhaps worth noting is that there is plenty in what was written even there that should make someone just a bit suspicious. Let me quote from here and there, following the opening sentence: “Stuart Macintyre was the most outstanding Australian historian of his generation.”

In his first published essay, he challenged the “bourgeois ideology” of the Melbourne history school, personified by its founders, Ernest Scott and Max Crawford.

The task of the Marxist historian, he declared, was “the analysis of the full complexity of class oppression”….

His first book, A Proletarian Science, based on his Cambridge doctoral thesis, was on the history of communism, as was his last, The Party – the second volume of his magnum opus, a history of the Australian Communist Party, completed during his last illness….

He remained firmly on the left, and was often critical of historical orthodoxy.

Just to round things out, please read Keith Windschuttle’s essay from 2008: Stuart Macintyre and the Blainey Affair. It does get a mention in the Obit in The Oz: “In 1990 succeeded Geoffrey Blainey as the Ernest Scott professor of history” but you might find out just that bit extra reading Keith’s article.

The creative process between John, Paul, George, and Ringo

John, Paul, George and Ringo are names that even now need no introduction. They were the most original sound at the time I was growing up. There is a longer series coming on how it was all done as described here:

Check out this clip of The Beatles writing and rehearsing new tracks from #TheBeatlesGetBack. Part One of Peter Jackson’s three-part Original Docuseries is now streaming only on Disney+. The Disney+ original docuseries, directed by Peter Jackson, will be arriving on Disney+ just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Made entirely from never-before-seen, restored footage, it provides the most intimate and honest glimpse into the creative process and relationship between John, Paul, George, and Ringo ever filmed. Be sure to check them both out, and don’t forget to watch “The Beatles: Get Back” when it rolls out over three days, November 25, 26, and 27, 2021, exclusively on Disney+.

Directed by three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “They Shall Not Grow Old”), “The Beatles: Get Back” takes audiences back in time to the band’s January 1969 recording sessions, which became a pivotal moment in music history. The docuseries showcases The Beatles’ creative process as they attempt to write 14 new songs in preparation for their first live concert in over two years. Faced with a nearly impossible deadline, the strong bonds of friendship shared by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr are put to the test.

The docuseries is compiled from nearly 60 hours of unseen footage shot over 21 days, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and from more than 150 hours of unheard audio, most of which has been locked in a vault for over half a century. Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to this Beatles treasure trove, all of which has now been brilliantly restored. What emerges is an unbelievably intimate portrait of The Beatles, showing how, with their backs against the wall, they could still rely on their friendship, good humor, and creative genius. While plans derail and relationships are put to the test, some of the world’s most iconic songs are composed and performed.

The docuseries features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.

Failure is sometimes the only success that apparently matters

This is a post by Ammo Grrrl which is a regular Friday feature at Powerline. She is there for her often astonishingly insightful humour, but this time there’s no humour, just insight. DELIBERATE, WILLFUL IGNORANCE is the title, but it is about the need to fail among the black community in the United States as the only form of in-group success. We white people should apparently mind our own business and stop using our own criteria for success to judge other people. This is from the column but you should go to the link and read it all.

Wouldn’t you think that the “leading intellectuals” of a historically disadvantaged group would look around them, carefully note what habits of mind lead to success, and urge everyone within their sphere of influence to emulate these habits?

Louis Armstrong was taken in as a young boy by a Jewish family in New Orleans (the Karnovskys). He wrote and spoke very movingly about the attitudes and habits that contributed to Jewish success even in the face of horrendous bigotry. He made some invidious comparisons between the black and Jewish approach and outlook that did not endear him to the black community.

Oddly, no one doubts that success in all forms of sport requires self-discipline, hard work, persistent effort, application and diligence.

Kill the Bill


There I was minding my own business sitting on the pavement having a coffee in the sun but what should come by but a truck with a billboard on back-and-both-sides with the picture of Daniel Andrews and the words “Kill the Bill”.

Here’s where we are about that Bill:

A key supporter of the Victorian government’s pandemic legislation says she will not vote to extend the current state of emergency powers if proposed law changes are blocked by her fellow crossbench MPs.

The comments by Reason Party MP Fiona Patten raise the prospect that, unless the government can find another vote in support of its proposed pandemic regime, it could be left powerless to enforce its mandatory vaccination rules and other coercive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A meeting on Friday afternoon between crossbench MPs and senior staff of Health Minister Martin Foley did not resolve the impasse, with the government not yet offering any significant concessions to appease demands for greater parliamentary oversight and other checks on the proposed new powers.

The aim of the Bill is to allow the Premier to declare a Pandemic and thereafter rule by decree on his personal judgement with no recourse by anyone else or by the Parliament to limit the actions that can be taken supposedly to deal with the spread of Covid. Daniel Andrews is amongst the last leaders one would wish to have such power. 

This was last week’s demo in Melbourne, as filmed by Sam at True Arrow.

Donations to Sam can be made here.

Understanding conservative thought

My article in the November Quadrant, Conservative Thought in the Time of Covid (Part II), has now been put online where anyone can read it. It is strictly a discussion of political philosophy from a conservative perspective, or from what I think ought to be a conservative perspective. This is not everyone’s interest since this is totally abstracted from any particular issue, but goes to the essence of what I think a conservative philosophy consists of.

This is the conclusion, but it comes at the end of more than 9000 words, which are found in the first instalment that was published in October and now the lead up to where I conclude with what I think is the core issue of conservatism.

Conservative thought is often seen as having originated within the historic traditions of our Western religious beliefs. And while there is a great deal of truth to this, it is not the essence of modern conservative thought. Modern conservatism is based on defending individual rights and personal freedoms, politically and in our economic relations. Freedom of religion is one part of these freedoms, but no particular religious belief is at the core of conservative thought. Any religion, and no religion at all, is potentially consistent with conservatism.

These are the elements of conservatism as it needs to be understood if we are to defend ourselves against the rising socialist beliefs that are its major political alternative.

  1. An individual’s right to be left alone to live one’s own life as one pleases with no interference from government unless to prevent harm to others.
  2. Absolute right to free speech—anyone can say or write anything about anything they like at any time as part of a public discussion.
  3. Market economy—economic outcomes should be almost entirely based on individual personal decisions to produce. The government’s role in the creation of wealth is minimal.
  4. Adherence to a legal and moral tradition with historic roots based on individual rights and freely determined religious beliefs so long as those beliefs are not imposed on others.

This is the War of the Worlds at the present time, as it has been since the middle of the eighteenth century as the first glimmers of communal prosperity began to emerge. The earliest and possibly the greatest philosophical defenders of this tradition were Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, both of whom wrote great treatises on economic theory. Both understood that at the centre of our contentment with life, along with our ability to produce, were personal freedoms and individual rights.

The great error in much of the writings on conservative thought since these times has been to separate out the role of the market economy as, at best, a minor element in the structure of conservative thought. In fact, it is at the very core of what must be understood and defended.

The first of the articles may be found here: Conservative Thought in the Time of Covid. These are the major battlelines of our time, which is a battle that will soon end unless the non-conservative side of politics actually takes full control, which is always a danger and a possibility.