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January 16th, 2004

Boiled Frogge, Anyone?



" Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, pushed out of the administration for not being a team player, says President Bush was so disengaged during Cabinet meetings that he was like a "blind man in a roomful of deaf people."



Hi folks,

That quote above isn't really fair to either blind or deaf people. Blind people can certainly hear and deaf people can see. And both can think and feel and, believe it or not, are actual human beings just like you and I.

On the other hand, George W. Bush has pretty much demonstrated that he is the illegitimate lovechild of a Golem and a vacuum cleaner.

You've probably all heard the story about the correct way to boil a frog. This analogy is usually used to describe someone who keeps his head in the sand, ignoring danger until it's too late to do anything about it. This week I will be focusing somewhat extensively on frogs ( or 'freedoms', if you're a Bush supporter, or a moron, and for some reason you still connect them with France), and how to prepare them (frogs, not Bush supporters) And a few other ancillary tasty bug recipes (for Bush supporters, not frogs.) More about all that later . . .


Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

" Hello Mr. Dolce,
Just to let you know how much me, my wife, and three boys justa love "shaddup you face"!
The boys get all dressed up funny and pretend to be a band with the song playing on the stereo! Beautiful family memories!
Thank you.
Frank, Enza, and family. (Canada). "

(Aw shucks! You guys -STOP it! Those Canadians - you gotta love 'em. It's moments like this that makes all the abuse and scorn one has to endure as an artist-of-social-commentary worthwhile. If they were a World Vision family, I'd adopt the whole lot of them.)

Dear Joe,

Last week's article "Demand for Herbal Remedies is Threatening Natural Habitats" is a truly amazing concept. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. The answer is obvious: stop herbal remedies! Opportunist selfish bastards! Greenie hippy bullshit and hypocrisy! Yeah! Or could that be why, uh, we need to keep more habitats from destruction by the other industries (which destroy large tracts of land and are worth, um, maybe lots more money also to someone's pocket?) like logging, urban sprawl, dysfunctional and non sustainable farming practices etc which contribute to the PROBLEMS and side effects facing the planet instead of reducing them? Or why we need to look at the damaging effects to ecological, biological, sociological and cultural habitats by wars ­ and we all know how much money wars are worth and to whom. One can only wonder why only one of these "findings" is being published and the other not, and who's paying for the articles when the "scientific" community publish such findings without honest context or informed reflection. Something to ponder. Rupert Guenther

From a US Investment Banker Acquaintance Friend

"Joe, keep your eye on James Baker. My guess is that there might be a currency deal in the works versus oil. Baker made the original oil for dollars deal back in the 1980s. I wouldn't be surprised to see the US to agree to oil pricing in a basket of currencies. Strangely enough, the Europeans might fight us on that one given the recent strength of the Euro. Chinese and Southeast Asian replication of the dollar are killing us here." T.

From the Horse's Mouth

I got an interesting post from the US last week that included this paragraph:

" Renowned self made billionaire-traders Warren Buffett, George Soros, James Rogers, and Hugh Grantham have now all issued urgent sell recommendations across the board on US equities, debt instruments and the US dollar and have issued urgent buy recommendations on gold. "

That didn't sound right to me as I am very familiar with Soros, Rogers and Buffett's writings and philosophy, so, for the heck of it, I thought I'd just drop Jim Rogers an email, which was listed on his public website, send him the article and ask him for his feedback. I was surprised when he actually responded. (How many billionaires do we know that do that?)

Jim Rogers's Response

" Dear Joe,

Thanks. That's news to me. I have explained why people should diversify out of US dollars, but I am net long stocks here. I do prefer raw materials, but gold is one of my less favorite raw materials. I certainly did not say that. Berkshire Hathaway (Buffett's company) would have to report it if they sold their stocks [or go to jail]. I have seen no such reports. The finances of the US are in horrible shape however.
Thanks for writing.
Jim Rogers "

And from an old school buddy of mine in Ohio

" This is America, damn it.  And in America one doesn't have to agree with every position put forth by anyone, no matter what their party affiliation, in order to be a good citizen. Throughout our history, some of our best citizens have been those who have quietly dissented or loudly poked their finger in the eye of hypocrisy, marched for the rights of others or sat in for peace. This country didn't get to be what it is and should be - a light of the free world - by its citizens lining up and following our leaders in lockstep .. . to connect not supporting war with Iraq with the attack on this country on 9/11/2001 is shameful. . . " John Jacobs

('Onya, John! I knew you'd make your old schoolmate proud. As Henny Youngman once said, 'If God can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, he can make something out of you."

Favourite PORNO Spam Subject Heading of the Week
(I liked the name of the sender, combined with the particular service.)

From Lourdes - Subject: Solve the Problem DOWNSTAIRS.


More Deadly Than Gas

" When this war ends, George Bush will have caused the poisoning of hundreds of thousands more humans than he said Saddam Hussein poisoned. "
By Frederick Sweet
Intervention Magazine

In its 110,000 air raids against Iraq, the US A-10 Warthog aircraft launched 940,000 depleted uranium shells, and in the land offensive, its M60, M1 and M1A1 tanks fired a further 4,000 larger caliber also uranium shells. The Bush administration and the Pentagon said, there is no danger to American troops or Iraqi civilians from breathing the uranium oxide dust produced in depleted uranium (DU) weapons explosions. (more)

Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 12, 2004

A scathing new report published by the Army War College broadly criticizes the Bush administration's handling of the war on terrorism, accusing it of taking a detour into an "unnecessary" war in Iraq and pursuing an "unrealistic" quest against terrorism that may lead to U.S. wars with states that pose no serious threat.

The report, by Jeffrey Record, a visiting professor at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, warns that as a result of those mistakes, the Army is "near the breaking point."

"[T]he global war on terrorism as currently defined and waged is dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious, and accordingly . . . its parameters should be readjusted," Record writes. Currently, he adds, the anti-terrorism campaign "is strategically unfocused, promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate U.S. military resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security." (more)

Howard Dean on Bush

"This president is not interested in being a good president," the former Vermont governor said. "He's interested in some complicated psychological situation that he has with his father. He is obsessed with being re-elected, and his obsession with re-election is hurting the country."(more)


Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's portrait of George W. Bush

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's portrait of George W. Bush depicts a passive and superficial president surrounded by right-wing ideologues who lacks the intellectual rigor or even the curiosity to think through the effects of his policies. (more)


The Bush Hitler Thing
SL | Wisconsin
T r u t h o u t

" . . . So why, now, when I hear George W Bush's speeches, do I think of Hitler? Why have I drawn a parallel between the Nazis and the present administration? Just one small reason -the phrase 'Never forget'. Never let this happen again. It is better to question our government - because it really can happen here - than to ignore the possibility.
    So far, I've seen nothing to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course as Hitler. And I've seen far too many analogies to dismiss the possibility. The propaganda. The lies. The rhetoric. The nationalism. The flag waving. The pretext of 'preventive war'. The flaunting of international law and international standards of justice. The disappearances of 'undesirable' aliens. The threats against protesters. The invasion of a non-threatening sovereign nation. The occupation of a hostile country. The promises of prosperity and security. The spying on ordinary citizens. The incitement to spy on one's neighbors - and report them to the government. The arrogant triumphant pride in military conquest. The honoring of soldiers. The tributes to 'fallen warriors. The diversion of money to the military. The demonization of government appointed 'enemies'. The establishment of 'Homeland Security'. The dehumanization of 'foreigners'. The total lack of interest in the victims of government policy. The incarceration of the poor and mentally ill. The growing prosperity from military ventures. The illusion of 'goodness' and primacy. The new einsatzgrupen forces. Assassination teams. Closed extralegal internment camps. The militarization of domestic police. Media blackout of non-approved issues. Blacklisting of protesters - including the no-fly lists and photographing dissenters at rallies. (full article)

" . . . the patriotically confused and traumatized majority will passively acquiesce . . ."

(Note: . . . hmmmmmm, now THAT sounds a lot like boiled frog to me.)


How To Boil a Frog
Folk and Political Wisdom

The way you boil a frog is like this: If you just try to stick it into boiling water, it will feel the intense heat and naturally jump out. But if you put it in cold water first, and gradually . . . and slowly . . . increase the heat, the frog doesn't really suspect what's happening so it adjusts its body temperature to the water until it just drifts off . . . and there you have it!

"The legend is entirely incorrect! The 'critical thermal maxima' of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. If the container size and opening allow the frog to jump out, it will do so." Naturally, if the frog were not allowed to escape it would eventually begin to show signs of heat stress, muscular spasms, heat rigor, and death.
Dr. Victor Hutchison, University of Oklahoma

( Thank you, good doktore - it's reassuring to know that frogs are more intelligent than approx 50% of Americans . . . We'll get back to Frogology 101 in just a minute . . .)


Looking for Mr GoodManager

A friend asked me to recommend any good artist's managers I might know - and I ended up writing a little 'Tome on Management' - from the independent artist's perspective.

My basic philosophy about management is this:

Mangers are Order Takers. Not orders like: the Captain gives the Private, but orders like: would you like fries with that burger? Will that be 2 fries and 3 burgers?

When you supply the demand, managers will show up and show great interest in taking your orders for you, for a percentage, of course - after expenses, of course!

Everything else you ever imagined a manager does: discovering that special 'you' that no one else sees, helping develop your undiscovered commerical potential, helping you find a market for your esoteric and 'deeper' side, etc - is an illusion. Or else happens way down the track, after the bread and butter money is already flowing.

We spend a great deal of our time dreaming about a father or mother who will take care of all those disagreable bits we aren't 'good' at, instead of doing the work to get good at it ourselves, enduring the infinite humiliations and rejections (like managers have to do), to create the Demand for Ourselves in the marketplace.

This isn't to say that there aren't some spectacular managers who can make magic with their order book - but it has never worked that way for me so I tend to think that it is an optical illusion. A mirage. A wattle tree bearing cherries in the remote Outback.

In my experience: when you are Hot, it's easy to find people who want to help develop the success. When you are Cold, no one wants to know you on that level. It always - eventually- comes down to bums on seats, and making the rent and all the mundane things that, yes, even managers have to do: like eat and put their kids through school, etc. One can only work 'gratis,' or on faith for so long - then the phone bill needs to be paid.

We have to get out there on our own, find something that makes magic in the community, something that cannot be resisted - and then Managers Inc. will come out of the workwork.

When THEY start calling YOU, you know you're on the right track.

Then comes the really hard part: picking someone who is GOOD and can REALLY help, not just tell you what you want to hear. That requires, from you: good people skills and judgement about other people - something artists are not traditionally reknown for.

I've been through it all once and I expect to be going through it several more time in the future. But I always have to do the work FIRST to find/create the audience and get the ball rolling with creating the demand.

It's probably better that way because any management that you needed more than they needed you probably couldn't be depended on to follow your instructions, anyway. They would end up running your business - and your life. The basic idea here really ought to be like any business is run. You pay someone a salary, a fee or even a percentage, to do a job. But you do the paying, not the reverse.

"But I'm an artist! I want to do what I do best - my art."

(Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think J.S. Bach had a manager.)

I like writing and composing too. That's what I do best. But I also love watching DVDs, cooking and playing chess - but someone has to take out the garbage, clean the house, fix the leaks, etc. Learn how to take care of yourself and make a nice artistic space for yourself. Maids, cooks, and managers come later. Some artists never have them. I also think it helps keep you in touch with the real world - to have to create something with your work that is so necessary to your community that someone will pay you for it. Like baking bread. I'm sure even bakers like to make those hard twisty artistic loaves in the shapes of alligators (or frogs!) that you always see in bakeries - but they also have to know how to make a loaf that people want to eat.

You eventually end up having to get good enough to manage yourself and creating a market demand, that's just too great for you to handle by yourself.

Kind of like making your own records. We are all looking for a record company to take care of business for us. But most of us end up making our own records and selling them ourselves. Then, one day we make something that really takes off. The demand becomes too great to handle ourselves. (It's easy to sell a couple of CDs a day over the internet or even a hundred at a show, but when the demand goes to 5000 a day, in every state, in every country - forget it. You need machinery, organisation and apparatus to handle that kind of demand. Then the record companies are interested and know how to handle that volume. Managers become VERY interested.

Let's take the Beatles. They didn't have a manager until they were already a huge draw locally. Brian Epstein helped them take it to the next level, but when he got on board, they were already making him money from day 1.

And remember to have fun learning:


" Person who not smile, should not open shop.'
. . . attributed to Confucius


IFOCE: The International Federation of Competitive Eating

The IFOCE encourages communication, cooperation, and uniformity in the supervision and regulation of competitive eating.

Some IFOCE Records:

1. Beef Tongue, 3 pound 3 ounces pickled beef tongue whole, 12 minutes, Dominic Cardo.
2. Butter, 7 quarter-pound sticks, salted butter, 5 minutes, Donald Lerman.
3. Cabbage, 6 pounds 9 ounces giant cabbage, 9 minutes, Charles Hardy.
4. Candy Bars, Two Pounds Chocolate Candy Bars, 6 minutes, Eric Booker.
5. Cannoli, 21 cannoli, 6 minutes, Cookie Jarvis.
6. Cheesecake, 50 1/2 quarter-pound cheesecakes, 6 minutes, Eric Booker.
7. Chicken Wings, 94 chicken wings, 12 minutes, Cookie Jarvis.
8. Chicken-Fried Steak, 11-ounce chicken fried steak with country gravy, 12 minutes, Cookie Jarvis.
9. Chili, 1 1/2 gallon Stagg Chili, 10 minutes, Richard LeFevre.
10. Corn Dogs, 12 corny dogs, 10 minutes, Richard LeFevre.
11. Corned Beef Hash, 4 pounds of hash, 1 minute 58 seconds, Eric Booker.
12. Cow Brains, 57 (17.7 pounds), 15 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi.
13. Crawfish, 331 crawfish, 12 minutes, Chris Hendrix.
14. Doughnuts, 49 glazed, 8 minutes, Eric Booker.
15. Eggs, 65 Hard Boiled Eggs, 6 minutes, 40 seconds, Sonya Thomas.
16. Fruitcake, 4 pounds, 14 1/4 ounces Wegman's Fruitcake, 10 minutes, Sonya Thomas.
17. Hamburgers, 11 1/4 Burgers (1/4 pound) "Cloud Burgers," 10 minutes, Donald Lerman.
18. Hot Dogs, 50 1/2 Hot Dogs and Buns, 12 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi.
19. Ice Cream, 1 gallon, 9 ounces of vanilla ice cream, 12 minutes, Cookie Jarvis.
20. Matzo Balls, 21 baseball-sized, 5 minutes 25 seconds, Eric Booker.
21. Mayonnaise, 4 32-ounce bowls mayonnaise, 8 minutes, Oleg Zhornitskiy.
22. Meat Pies, 16 six-ounce meat pies, 10 mintues, Boyd Bulot.
23. Oysters, 18 Dozen Acme Oysters, 10 Minutes, Boyd Bulot.
24. Pancakes, 3 1/2 pounds pancakes & bacon, 12 minutes, Crazy Legs Conti.
25. Pasta, 6 2/3 pounds linguini (no. 115), 10 minutes, Cookie Jarvis.
26. Peas, 9.5 one-pound bowls, 12 minutes, Eric Booker.
27. Pizza, One Large Cheese Pizza, 3 minutes 20 seconds, Cookie Jarvis.
28. Pork Ribs, 4.65 pounds pork rib meat, 12 minutes, Cookie Jarvis.
29. Reindeer Sausage, 28 Glacier Brewhouse Reindeer Sausage, 10 minutes, Dale Boone.
30. Rice Balls, 20 pounds rice balls, 30 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi.
31. Sweet Corn, 21 ears sweet corn, 12 minutes, Joe Menchetti. (more info on their website.)

Rudolph Steiner Ate Here

The Abbotsford Steiner School (Sophia Mundi) has a café called:

Rudolf's Diner

(Say it out loud.)

Pretty cute huh? Apparently it was coined by a local newspaper who ran a notices column and misheard the name when the school phoned through the advert and published quite unaware of the boo-boo. (thanks to Rupert's Dumpster)



Legge de Frogge
(Middle English frogge, from Old English frogga)

FROGS. To take them, have a line and a hook and bait of meat or red cloth, and having taken the frogs, cut them across the body near the thighs and empty out what is near the back end, and take the two thighs of these same frogs, cut off the feet, and skin the thighs raw, then have cold water and wash them; and if the thighs stay overnight in cold water, they will be better and more tender. And after thus rinsing them, they should be washed in warm water, then take and dry in a cloth; the thighs, thus washed and dried, should be rolled in flour, that is floured, and then fried in oil, fat or other liquid, and put in a bowl and powdered spices on them.

Tourte of Frogs
Stir the great legs in a pan with very fresh good butter, mushrooms, parsley, artichokes, sod and cut, and capers, all well seasoned, put it into a sheet of fine or puffed pastry, and bake it; after it is baked, serve it uncovered with a white sauce.

Platina (from IX.41 - tr. Milham)
"... We let the legs of those which are captured be stripped of skin and soaked a night or a day in fresh water. Then when they have been rolled in meal, we fry them in oil. When they are fried and put in a dish, my friend Palellus covers them with green sauce and sprinkles them with fennel flowers and spices".


Dr. Frog's Authentic Bug Recipes

Bogong Moth Damper

Bogong moths are probably as famous an Aboriginal food as Witjuti Grubs and Kangaroos.

A generous handful of moths
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon raising agent

Using a mortar and pestle, pound up the moths with the powdered milk. (You gotta love it!) Mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Add sufficient water to make a stiff dough and shape into a ball. Flatten the ball to a height of 2.5 centimetres, lightly flour the surface and cook in ash, camp oven, or domestic oven until cooked through. Serve hot. (By candlelight? boom boom!)

Parcht Locusts

This dish was discovered by William Dampier in 1687, while visiting the Bashee Islands (located between the Philippines and Taiwan). He described it in A New Voyage Round the World:

" . . .They had another Dish made of a sort of Locusts, whose Bodies were about an Inch and an half long, and as thick as the top of one's little Finger; with large thin Wings, and long and small Legs. ... The Natives would go out with small Nets, and take a Quart at one sweep. When they had enough, they would carry them home, and parch them over the Fire in an earthen Pan; and then their Wings and Legs would fall off, and their Heads and Backs would turn red like boil'd Shrimps, being before brownish. Their Bodies being full, would eat very moist, their Heads would crackle in one's Teeth. I did once eat of this Dish, and liked it well enough...."

Locust Stew

Here's another locust recipe, this one developed by American pioneers. It's quoted from Calvin W. Schwabe's Unmentionable Cuisine (University Press of Virginia, 1979).

" . . Locusts and grasshoppers are prepared for cooking by removing the wings, the small legs, and the distal portion of the hind legs. Then pull off the head, withdrawing any attached viscera. Boil prepared Rocky Mountain locusts in salted water. Add assorted cut-up vegetables, butter, salt, and vinegar to the broth and cook until the vegetables are tender. Serve as a thick soup or over boiled rice as a main dish. . ."

Bee Grubs in Coconut Cream (Mang Non Won)

This is a Thai recipe.

Marinate bee grubs, sliced onions, and citrus leaves in coconut cream containing some pepper. Wrap in pieces of linen and steam. Serve as a topping for rice.

Other Insect Recipes You might Enjoy:

(Includes: Bug Blox, Banana Worm Bread, Rootworm Beetle Dip, Chocolate Chirpie Chip Cookies, Crackers and Cheese Dip with Candied Crickets, Mealworm Fried Rice, Corn Borer Cornbread Muffins and Chocolate-Covered Grasshoppers. (check them out for kid's parties.)


" There are far more galaxies than people."
Carl Sagan


(Probably more frogs, too, Carl.)


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