Suicidal Twin Kills Sister by Mistake! I love that headline. It's so . . je ne sais quoi . . . FoxNews, or something. You just want to believe it really happened. Someone wrote me last week and asked if I was a Christian. I've never been asked that question before so I thought awhile about how to answer it. I was raised as a Catholic but left that behind long ago as an active faith. I used to believe that the classic organized religions were kind of like default settings that you were born or raised with, like your colour or your sex. You could change your religion, of course, like you can change your name - but the old one always still pushes your buttons when you run into it. It seems to be programmed in there almost genetically. The best way to reply to what kind of religion I believe in is probably the same way I answer questions about what kind of music I play: my OWN. I know that at first glance, that might sound strange and sacrilegious to some people but every Christian actually writes their own Bible depending on what sections they choose to focus on. Some focus on the Old Testament and an Eye for an Eye, some on the New Testament and Turning the Other Cheek. The Mormons add a third book: The Book of Mormon, which goes after the New Testament (a Cheek for a Cheek, or Turning the Other Eye, perhaps?). Now, I dont remember reading anywhere in my bible that Jesus himself actually carried any kind of book around with him that he preached from, or even wrote anything down. I guess we have to conclude that Jesus spoke his own mind and practiced his OWN religion. So, these days with the spread of spiritual knowledge and of so many other cultures' beliefs, which once were taboo, misunderstood or unavailable to us, well, there's a lot more material to select from in creating one's own 'Book of Quotes.' I also think Jesus really meant for us to consider ourselves his brothers and sisters, rather than followers (don't you?) capable of going way beyond his achievements. As he said:
'Verily, verily, I say unto you, You that believeth in me, the works that I do shall you do also; and greater works than these shall you do...' John 14:12
FAVOURITE READER COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
Thanks Joe -
There's some great stuff in this news letter - Silen Leterz iz a blast - also, I've been inspired to don my smoking jacket and cravat after 5, and try my hand at the Risi e Pisi con Finocchio Liberace recipe, whilst singing a rendition of ' Lonely Is A Man Without Love...' ..crikey...! Cheers and thanks - I needed a good larf, and you dun it.. Best, TG
RE: Letters that aren't there
Although I listen to the administration as infrequently as possible, I have noticed that both W and Condoleeza pronounce the word strength as though it were spelled schtrength. Curious? A few of Ws other minions pronounce it the same way (as did Colin Powell). What does this signify, I wonder? Did they all study English in Manchuria? Bill L.
That blond joke really put a smile on my dial, thanks mate you really do it to me. Peter N.
(From Newt Wayland's Newsletter)
For awhile I've subscribed to Joe Dolce (an Australian musician)'s newsletter, which comes out around twice a month. (I subscribed during the runup to the 2004 election, when it arrived much more frequently, with a white-hot editorial urgency and perspicacity that I found appealing during that hopeful time). Subsequent to the time when all our hopes were dashed he has taken to sending out something for which the best word would probably be "eclectic", and maybe another adjective: "eccentric". I started copying bits of this edition to send around, and found myself copying much of the newsletter by the time I had read it all. This edition is particularly wide-ranging and eclectic, FYI, IMHO,and deserves reading and a bit of pondering. . . . again, IMHO and FYI. If you disagree with me, please delete. If you agree, and want to hear more, his e-mail address is below, and I'm pretty sure he would be happy to include you on his ever-growing list. Newt W.
(Note: Newt, thank you for the great rave. I am very much aware that lately I have not spent as much time on Sir Lord Generalissimo Life President Royal Lowness Divine Wind His Most Royally Unexcellency George W. Dubya Shrub Bonsai Bug-infested Twig and Weed Patch White-Ant Riddled Wood Pecker Head Bush Junior, as previously, and have, as you say, been slightly more eccentric in my subject matter. I guess one way of dealing with dashed hopes for me has always been with humour. And music. However, I haven't been idle. One of my newest songs, 'Did You Get Stupid from Being Ugly (Or Ugly from Being Stupid?) is coming out on the 'Protest Songs for a Better World' CD, produced in Canada, and is a diatribe against Bush and the whole US non-Religious un-Righteous. (see my website for audio link.) I have also entered a new peace song in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the US - kind of a John and Yoko fantasia - called 'No Reason 2 Awake' - Realplayer audio demo)
The 'Cootie Sark' was a famous wool clipper that held the record from England to Australia- I've had a look over it as it is preserved in London. Thought it was a bit of trivia you might have been interested in. Regards, bigruss
(Note: Russ, this bit of archanalia interested me and I went checking it out, but the spelling seems to be Cutty Sark - the same as the blended Scots whisky! Although I'm a single malt kind of guy, remind me to shout you to a dram of this next time I see you.) (article)
Great stuff! If ever I was to put together a newsletter from the heart it would probably have to look like a rip-off of yours. Thanks for all the incredible stuff you come up with, it often adds a bit of balance (not to mention humour) to my picture of the world in which the obvious is so often ignored because it is politically unpopular. I like your newsletter partly because it reminds me every week or so that I'm neither alone nor stupid to be having strong feelings about the sorts of issues you look at. Also because it makes me laugh. You seem to get the right mix. Personally, just for the record, I don't support bombing of any kind, as I am into an entirely different kind of blitz called music and poetry! The music I usually do for a living though sometimes for pure pleasure too. The poetry I do because I can't seem to help myself. . . Good on you Joe, Good fortune with all your endeavours, Kind regards, Don M.
My name is not Giuseppe, but for chrissake why it is often mispelt as Guiseppe? The reason there is an "i" is to soften the "G". My staff often gets it wrong in spelling but not anymore, because I will sack them on the spot and do not care for unfair dismissal, my Giuseppe/a-Giuseppino/a friends promised they will visit me in jail or is it gaol? Ciao e saluti da Renato.
(Note: Dear Renaulti, the Wikipedia lists the name Guiseppe as one of the most common mispellings there is, probably a typo that "stuck" or a phonetic spellings of convenience. I prefer the Giu now and will spell it that way from now on. By the way, the meaning is - GIUSEPPE: He shall add, added to - DOLCE: Sweet(ness). So why am I such a sourpuss sometimes? Agrodolce~!)
An Infamous Giuseppe of Note
Giuseppe Zangara - Attempted Assassin of Roosevelt
Born in Ferruzzano, Italy, on 7th September,
1900. His mother died when he was two years old and his father
remarried. At the age of six he started school but after two months
he was forced to go to work to help improve the family income.
Zangara did a variety of menial jobs in Italy emigrating with
his uncle to the United States in 1923. He secured a job as a
bricklayer in New Jersey before moving to California where he
hoped the warmer climate would improve his health. Zangara then
settled in Miami, Florida, where he worked as a brick layer. Zangara
found it very difficult to find work during the Depression and
developed a strong hatred of President Herbert Hoover, who he
blamed for his problems. When Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Hoover
in 1932, Zangara turned his anger towards the new president.
On 13th February, 1933, Zangara read that Roosevelt was to visit Bayfront Park on 15th February, 1933. Zangara bought a .32 caliber pistol and joined the crowd. As he was only 5 feet tall, Zangara had difficulty seeing his proposed victim. He climbed on top of an old unstable wooden chair and started to fire. One bullet hit Anton Cermak the major of Chicago who was with Roosevelt. Four members of the crowd were also injured but none of the bullets hit the president. Roosevelt comforted Cermak who had suffered an abdominal wound. On the way to the hospital Cermak told Roosevelt, "I'm glad it was me and not you, Mr. President." Zangara was put on trial and sentenced to 84 years for injuring bystanders during his attempt to kill Franklin D. Roosevelt. When Cermak died on 3rd March, Zangara was charged with murder and after being found guilty was sentenced to death in the electric chair at the Florida State Penitentiary and was executed on 20th March, 1933.
Names related to GIUSEPPE -
BEPPE m Italian
FIFI f French
GIOSETTA f Italian
GIUSEPPA f Italian
GIUSEPPINA f Italian
HOHEPA m Maori
HOVSEP m Armenian
IOSIF m Russian
JEF m Dutch
JO m & f English
JOBETH f English
JOCHJO m Esperanto
JOE m English
JOEP m Dutch
JOETTA f English
JOEY m English
JOJO m & f English
JOOP m Dutch
JOOS m Dutch
JOOSEPPI m Finnish
JOS m Dutch
JOSÉ m Spanish, Portuguese
JOSEBA m Basque
JOSÉE f French
JOSEF m German, Scandinavian, Czech
JOSEFA f Spanish, Portuguese, Czech
JOSEFIINA f Finnish
JOSEFINA f Spanish
JOSEP m Catalan
JOSEPE m Basque
JOSEPH m English, French, Biblical
JOSEPHA f English, German
JOSÈPHE f French
JOSEPHINA f English
JOSÉPHINE f French
JOSEPHINE f English
JOSES m Biblical
JOSETTE f French
JOSIANE f French
JOSIE f English
JOSIF m Serbian
JOSIP m Croatian, Slovene
JÓSKA m Hungarian
JOZE m Slovene
JOZEF m Slovak, Slovene, Polish, Dutch
JOZEFA f Hungarian, Polish, Slovene
JOZEFO m Esperanto
JOZO m Croatian
JÓZSEF m Hungarian
JÓZSI m Hungarian
JUOZAPAS m Lithuanian
JUOZAS m Lithuanian
JUUSO m Finnish
OSIP m Russian
PEPCA f Slovene
PEPE m Spanish
PIPPINO m Italian
PEPPINO m Italian
PEPITA f Spanish
PEPITO m Spanish
POSIE f English
POSY f English
SEÒSAIDH m Scottish
SEOSAMH m Irish
SEPP m German
SEPPEL m German
XOSÉ m Galician
YOSEF m Jewish
YOSIF m Bulgarian
YOSYP m Ukrainian
YOUSEF m Arabic
YOUSSEF m Arabic
YUSEF m Arabic
YUSSEL m Jewish
YUSUF m Arabic, Turkish
ZÉ m Portuguese
ZEF m Dutch
More Than 100,000 Flock to Icon in Romania
By LUCIA STANA SEVEANU, AP
NICULA, Romania (Aug. 15) - More than 100,000
people converged on an ancient monastery in the hills of northwest
Romania on Monday to kiss an icon many believe has miraculous
healing powers. Believers, many of whom walked to the monastery,
began arriving on Friday and slept in the open, while more than
a dozen Orthodox priests and monks held services around the clock
at the monastery some 280 miles northwest of Bucharest. More than
100,000 believers were present on Monday, according to police
and organizers. According to legend, the icon of the Weeping Virgin,
painted in 1691, wept for 26 days in 1699. The first recorded
miracle occurred in 1701 when it is said to have cured an army
officer's wife who was going blind.
(Note: You may recall that my song Shaddap You Face is currently being played all over Romania as part of an advertising campaign for Connex G3 Mobile Phones. I wonder if this has anything to do with the Miracle? Don't scoff - I've got bowl of spaghetti for sale on Ebay that looks like the back of John the Baptist's head.)
SPEAKING OF SPAGHETTI . . . .
OPEN LETTER TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD - INTELLIGENT DESIGN
from Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen
I am writing you with much concern after having
read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory
of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of
Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students
to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves
the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned,
however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent
Design. Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent
Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief
that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We
feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing
towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put
in place by Him. It is for this reason that I'm writing you today,
to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in
your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will
go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be
forced to proceed with legal action. I'm sure you see where we
are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based
on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed,
then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also
based on science, not on faith. . . .
. . . You may also be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature. . . (letter)
(thanks to Ian B)
ACTUAL TRIAL TRANSCRIPT BY COURT STENOGRAPHER
Question: Doctor, before you performed the
autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
Question: Did you check for blood pressure?
Question: Did you check for breathing?
Question: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
Question: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
Response: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Question: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
Response: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
(from Disorder in the Court, edited by Richard Lederer.)
The plot by America's military bosses was devilish
in both design and intent to fabricate an outrage against
innocent civilians, fool the world and provide a pretext for war.
In the pentagon, a top secret team drew up a plan to simultaneously
send up two airliners painted and numbered exactly the same, one
from a civil airport in America, the other from a secret military
airbase nearby. The one from the airport would have military personnel
on board who had checked in as ordinary passengers under false
names. The one from the airbase would be an empty drone,
a remote-controlled unmanned aircraft.
Somewhere along their joint flight paths, the passenger-carrying plane would drop below radar height, and disappear, landing back at the airbase and unloading its occupants in secret. Meanwhile, the drone would have taken up the other plane's designated course. High over the island of Cuba, it would be exploded in mid-air after broadcasting an international distress call that it was under attack from enemy fighters. The world would be told that a plane load of blameless American holidaymakers had been deliberately shot down by Fidel Castro's Communists and that the US had no choice but to declare war and topple his regime.
This 'agent provocateur' plan code named OPERATION NORTHWOODS and revealed in official archives dates from 1962 when the Cold War was at its height. . . (article)
Cindy Sheehan: Rosa Parks or Jane Fonda?
By Robert Freeman
Is Cindy Sheehan the Rosa Parks or the Jane
Fonda of the War in Iraq? Is she the lonely sentinel, standing
righteously against injustice? Or a self-centered publicity seeker,
endangering American soldiers in the War? The question is something
of a political Rorschach test, telling us more about ourselves
and our appraisal of America's wars than about Sheehan. But asking
it and understanding the issues behind the question might help
us find a solution to the illegitimate and failed War.
Rosa Parks is an iconic figure of twentieth century America because she so tidily embodies one of its greatest ideals: the courageous stand against injustice. When she refused to give up her seat on the bus, she let loose a fire that had simmered since the end of the Civil War. Despite its ideals of equality, American society in the early 1960s was manifestly unequal. Blacks were undeniably second-class citizens, their subjugation systematically abetted by the government itself. The cultural esteem for Parks' heroism originates with the founding fathers. They, too, had been made second-class citizens by their own government. They were denied representation, protection against unreasonable searches, and trials by jury, rights guaranteed to all Englishmen. They demanded those rights of King George but were rebuffed. Mending those injustices became the inspiration for the American Revolution.
Jane Fonda is a similarly iconic figure but for different and more complex reasons. Her conflicted celebrity, almost 40 years after her act, reflects not one but two models that collide with each other in the American psyche and that make the protest of war so problematic for Americans. . . . (article)
Two Articles by William Rivers Pitt on Cindy Sheehan
Desecration of the Dead
. . . The Arlington West cemetery has been
growing for more than a year. Begun in California by activists
seeking to honor those soldiers killed in Iraq, and also seeking
to highlight in an unavoidably searing way the price we are paying
for the invasion of Iraq, the cemetery is made up of small grave
markers made of simple wood. There are crosses, and crescents,
and stars of David. Each one represents a dead American soldier.
When word got out that the mother of a fallen soldier had camped
herself out in front of the Bush "ranch" in Crawford
with a demand to see the president, the Arlington West cemetery
was packed up and sent to Texas. This was no small job, as there
are now nearly 2,000 grave markers - each bearing a name - that
make up the cemetery.
I was in Crawford last week when Arlington West arrived, and I watched as the demonstrators prepared it. The land available to the protesters in Crawford is essentially little more than a series of long, narrow, muddy ditches by the sides of the road. The grave markers were set up along the entire length of the road leading to the site. This was no mean, haphazard setup. I watched family members of fallen soldiers take tape measures to carefully map out plots of land, making sure each cross was given its own respectful distance from the others. The assembly of Arlington West in Crawford took more than a full day, and was done under the glare of the hot Texas sun. By the end, the cemetery stretched the better part of a mile down the road, each marker bearing a name. Some markers were surrounded by flowers and American flags. The flowers were placed there by loving relatives of that soldier, relatives who came to Crawford to stand in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan and the other military families, relatives who want to know why their loved ones were spent by the man who would not come out to speak with them.
Some time around 10:00 p.m. on Monday night, Larry Northern of Waco, Texas, drove his pickup truck down to the Crawford protest site. He got out, went around back to the tailgate, and attached a pipe and a chain to the rear of the truck. He got back in and proceeded to drive his truck through the Arlington West cemetery, grinding and smashing through the grave markers. Five hundred of them were knocked down, and 100 of them were totally destroyed. . . (article)
. . . Over the weekend, as the camp prepared for the arrival of the counter-demonstrators, a huge diesel pickup truck rumbled into camp with its nose menacingly pointed towards the tents. It sat for a while, and everyone waited to see what would happen. Ann Wright, the main organizer of camp activities, finally approached the truck and met the driver. He was a father, Wright discovered, and his son had been killed in Iraq. He did not agree with this protest, he said, but wanted to know if his son's name was on one of the crosses in the Arlington West cemetery. Ann Wright invited the man to walk the rows of crosses and find his son's name. They found it. Ann and the man from the truck sat down in front of the cross, wrapped their arms around each other, and wept. Later, the man shared a beer with Cindy Sheehan and told her he loved her. That is a victory, one that surpasses any sort of mean politics. . . . (article)
The Other Army
By Daniel Bergner
The New York Times
When Matt Mann needed to buy armored vehicles,
he phoned his brother-in-law, Ken Rooke. Rooke didn't know the
first thing about bullet-resistant windows or grenade-resistant
floors, but he wasn't 100 percent unqualified to do the buying.
At least he knew something about cars. At a speedway in North
Carolina, he once called races for a local radio station. He was
the closest Mann could come to an expert. Mann, a retired U.S.
Army Special Operations master sergeant in his late 40's, needed
the vehicles quickly. And he needed guns. It was early last year,
and the company he and two partners created, Triple Canopy, had
just won government contracts to guard 13 Coalition Provisional
Authority headquarters throughout Iraq. (The renewable six-month
deals were worth, in all, about $90 million.) The C.P.A. was the
governing body of the American-led military occupation. Triple
Canopy -- not the American military -- would be protecting it.
So would other companies. With the insurgency spiking, the job
of keeping C.P.A. compounds from being overrun, and of keeping
the architects of the occupation from being killed, had been privatized.
Yet when Triple Canopy was hired, it scarcely existed. . . (article)
(To get the full effect, this should be read aloud. You will understand what 'tendjewberrymud' means by the end of the conversation! This has been nominated for best email of 2005. The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review.)
Room Service (RS): "Morny. Ruin sorbees."
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."
RS: "Rye.. Ruin sorbees .. morny! Djewish to odor sunteen??"
G: "Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs."
RS: "Ouw July den?"
RS: "Ouw July den?...pryd, boyd, poochd?"
G : "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."
RS: "Ouw July dee baychem? Crease?"
G: "Crisp will be fine."
RS : "Hokay. An Sahn toes?"
RS:"An toes. July Sahn toes?"
G: "I don't think so."
RS: "No? Judo sahn toes??"
G: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo sahn toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...Why djew Don Juan toes? Ouw bow Anglish moppin we boter?"
G: "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We boter?"
G: "No...just put the boter on the side."
G: "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
G: "Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Scram egg, crease baychem, Anglish moppin we boter on sigh and copy....rye??"
G: "Whatever you say."
G : "You're very welcome."
(thanks to Frank Dolce)
GRANDMA' S STUFFED
(Another classic from my 'little' grandma. I've been trying to remember this one for years. It finally came to me this week!)
4 artichokes, firm ones
2 anchovies, minced
70 gr bread crumbs, from semi-fresh white bread
2 eggs, beaten
clove garlic, minced
a few sprigs parsley, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the stuffing. Combine bread crumbs, anchovies, eggs, garlic, parsley and some black pepper. Mix thoroughly. Trim the artichokes. Cut off the stem and discard the tough end - keep the tender part and cut into one inch sections. Pull off the tough outer leaves of the artichoke. Turn the artichokes face down and press firmly against a cutting board to open the leaves. With your fingers, remove the center, fuzzy choke. Spread the leaves gently with your fingers and fill generously with the stuffing. Place the artichokes and stalks in a pot that will just fit them, and fill about halfway up with water. Sprinkle olive oil generously over the water and the artichokes, cover, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes to an hour or longer. Check for tenderness. The leaves should come away easily and be very tender. To serve, sprinkle a little salt over the top, drizzle some fresh olive oil over the top and serve with some lemon wedges.