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22/05/2011 18:51

In simpler times, the original version of this song caused a harpie to be scowled at. Now these hungry, filthy creatures who snatch food, objects and even people; screech on TV for more 'privatize the profits & socialize the cost' shenanigans... Dirty work indeed ;)

From: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker 
To: Laura Ingraham, Host, MSNBC Television 
Date: February 12, 1999 

Dear Ms. Ingraham:

It has come to our attention that you have used the Steely Dan recording of our song "Dirty Work" as cutaway music at the end of your show last Monday. We understand that "Watch It !" is a political talk show. We have been sternly advised by a valued visitor to our official website that we should steer clear of politics, so as not to embarrass ourselves and our fans. While we recognize that you are clearly not bound by any such injunction, we nevertheless owe it to our admirers to stay out of trouble when we can. So we must regrettably insist that our recordings not be used on future broadcasts of your show.

It seems likely that, as the impeachment saga draws to a close, your show will be cancelled or else will morph into one sort of non-political daytime talk show or another (although certainly not a fashion show). If, for some unfathomable reason, "Watch It!" continues in its present form, may we suggest some other more suitable music for use during breaks:

"Horst Wessel" - Traditional Teutonic anthem 
"Ride of the Valkyrie" - Richard Wagner 
"Theo, Wir Fahr'n Nach Lodz" - 70's German chartmaker 
"The Lady is a Cryptofascist" - by The Welders of Zion 
Anything by Lou Reed, Helmet, or The Velvet Underground

After learning that you were using our music without permission, we looked in briefly on your show this morning. Being the political naifs that we are, we could hardly be expected to follow the learned colloquy between you and your guests. Are they all Ivy Leaguers? Anyway, we did notice that you looked so sad and maybe a little blotchy too. You're not allergic to plaid, are you? We are very sorry to be cracking down like this at what is clearly a difficult and trying time for you and your pals. Please don't take it personally. It's just business. Okay? 


Donald Fagen and Walter Becker 
Founders, Steely Dan


As in industry throughout the U.S., child labor is used extensively in the coal mines to keep wage rates down and profits up. In the coalfields, ten to fourteen year old boys work as breaker boys or slate pickers for $1 to $3 a week.

1911: UNITED STATES. The U.S. Supreme Court orders the American Federation of Labor to cease promoting a boycott against the Bucks Stove and Range Company. Can't be havin' no consumer activism in the land of the free.

1915: UNITED STATES. Labor leader Joe Hill (Joseph Hillstrom) writes songs capturing the fighting spirit and the plight of working people of the United States. Often set to the tunes of popular songs or hymns, Hill's songs become an all-too-effective means of protest against the appalling conditions under which many Americans work. Hill is silenced when he is convicted on trumped up murder charges and executed by firing squad despite worldwide protests.

1915: UNITED STATES. Factory guards shoot twenty strikers in Roosevelt, New Jersey but they were probably asking for it.

1915: UNITED STATES. The U.S. Supreme Court once again does its bit for corporate interests when it upholds so-called "yellow dog" contracts, which forbid membership in labor unions.

1919: UNITED STATES. Just to show there's no discrimination based on sex in America, United Mine Workers organizer Fanny Sellins is gunned down in cold blood by company goons in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania during a coal miners strike. Miner Joe Starzeleski is murdered beside her. Four company goons are put on trial and are, naturally, acquitted.

1932: UNITED STATES. 47,000 protesters, including 17,000 veterans of World War One, hard hit by the Depression, march on Washington, DC, to press for early payment of U.S. Army Service Certificates. The protesters, known as the Bonus Army, set up camps in the hope that their presence will convince the Senate to pass the bill for early payment of the Certificates, a measure which had already passed the House. President Herbert Hoover decides that we can't be havin' no democratic protests in Washington, DC and orders police to expel the veterans. Police shoot and kill two veterans. Hoover then orders the Army in to drive the veterans from the Capitol.

The U.S. Army's 12th Infantry Regiment, commanded by the heroic General Douglas MacArthur with the heroic Dwight D. Eisenhower at his side, and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, complete with six battle tanks, commanded by the heroic Major George S. Patton, form in Pennsylvania Avenue as thousands of U.S. government employees line the street to watch the show. The Bonus Army, mistakenly assuming that the military action is a display in their honor, cheer the troops. Patton then orders his cavalry to charge the veterans.

Following the cavalry charge, infantry with fixed bayonets using chemical warfare agents invade the Bonus Army camps, expelling veterans and their families who flee across the Anacostia River. At this point, Hoover orders the Army assault against the veterans stopped. General MacArthur, however, has other ideas. According to him, the Bonus March, like anything else we want to suppress these days in the land of the free, is a plot by the filthy Commie rats to overthrow the freedom-loving government of the U.S. MacArthur duly attacks the Bonus Army, murdering two veterans, murdering two babies by asphyxiation with poison gas, and injuring hundreds of men, women and children with gunfire, bayonets and poison gas.

The Bonus March is duly crushed and, naturally, no one is charged with murder. General MacArthur is not court martialled for launching a murderous attack on American veterans in direct violation of an order from the president.


1934: UNITED STATES. Leading U.S. financiers and industrialists, to a large extent the same group which is financing the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, organize a coup against President Franklin Roosevelt whose New Deal and failure to fully support Nazism are repugnant to the U.S. ruling class.

Among the conspirators are: Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush; Irenee Dupont ultra right wing industrialist, eugenics proponent and founder of the fascist American Liberty League; Grayson Murphy, director of Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel and J.P. Morgan banks; William Doyle, former state commander of the American Legion; John Davis, former Democratic presidential candidate and lawyer for J.P. Morgan; Al Smith, former New York governor and co-director of Dupont’s American Liberty League; John J. Raskob, high ranking Dupont officer and former chairman of the Democratic party; Robert Clark, multi-millionaire Wall Street banker and stockbroker; and Gerald MacGuire, an associate of Clark’s and former Commander of the Connecticut American Legion.

The coup plotters attempt to recruit U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, a popular hero, to stage a fascist overthrow of the Roosevelt government. Butler is offered three million dollars to assemble an army of half a million American Legion members to carry out the coup. Remington Arms will supply all the weapons needed. The coup is short-circuited when Butler tells Roosevelt about it. Fearful of arresting and prosecuting the U.S. ruling class for treason, the White House leaks the news to the press, leading to a congressional investigation.

Later in the year, Butler testifies before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee and tells it that the plot called for businessmen and generals to run the country as a fascist state. Even though the Committee is ultimately able to confirm everything Butler says and he begs them to call the Duponts and Morgans to account, they refuse. A whitewashed report, carefully omitting the names of the plotters, is issued by the Committee and the story is almost entirely suppressed by U.S. mass media. That shining beacon of truth, Time Magazine, openly ridicules Butler.

It will be forty years before the long-suppressed full report of the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, complete with the names of the plotters and confirming everything Butler said, is uncovered only to be suppressed once more by the ever-vigilant U.S. mass media.

''Great is the truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about the truth.'' - Aldous Huxley


1935: UNITED STATES. In an article in the publication Common Sense, Major General Smedley Butler, former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, states that the Harriman family's notorious Brown Brothers, Harriman bank is behind the U.S. Marines acting like 'racketeers' and 'gangsters' in order to exploit the peasants of Nicaragua. Unsurprisingly, Nazi financier Prescott Bush, the grandfather of George "I'm A Lyin' Guy" Bush, is Managing Director of Brown Brothers, Harriman.

''I spent thirty three years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.''

''I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.'' - Smedley Butler