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July 28th, 2006

L'Agrodolce Vita

"Live with skilful nonchalance and ceaseless concern."
~ Prajnaparamita Sutra ~


Hi folks,

The above photo is my favourite album cover of the week: Beverly and Erick Massegee, 'Amen!' Doesn't it just fill you with the Spirit of the Lord? And The Revenge of Chucky, at the same time? Appropriate for the present political climate.

Joe's View on Spam Filters: I hate using filters because I don't want to block something important which may have some colourful vernacular that might not get past the censor. But many of the readers of this newsletter use them so when I am in a particularly blue mood, I get a lot of bounced back newsletters. I can't always keep a clean mouth. Sorry. In the States, they have something called 'Spam Arrest'. In order for your message to get past this Electronic Rottweiller, you have to check a box in the security window stating that if your email contains any profanity or the like, then you are liable for a whopping fine, payable directly to the security company. Yeah right! As we might say here in Australia, 'Fuck you and the Kangaroo you hopped in on.' So in this issue I have decided to print an article with the word 'fuck' in it 15 times. So that should clear the decks of these yo-yos quick smart. I know I'm only hurting myself but, well . . . I don't give a fuck. (Make that 16.)

The Newsletter will be on holiday for a couple of weeks for personal reasons (as you can probably tell by my tone this week.) But if you get withdrawal symptoms, and need some 'Agrodolce Vita', go back and read some of the back issues which are all archived on the website. (I recommend the Jan 20th issue - and the Dec 21 Xmas edition is a hoot.) To conserve space on my server, I remove all the images from the newsletters except for the current year's issues. So all of 2006 is intact. Previous years, I keep as text only. I look forward to a little break and will be back in touch shortly. Ciao!


Hi Joe,
Still love your newsletter. Great to hear you're performing for the Stop the Tox concert. As someone who has been active in opposing toxic dumps at several sites, especially the latest fiasco at Nowingi, it's always encouraging to know there are people like yourself willing to take a stand for a cleaner environment. I've attached our submission to the Nowingi Landfill Panel (they don't want to admit it's just another landfill - but it is - the chorus line of your next hit?). Keep up the good work. Cheers,
Harry van Moorst

Mr Dolce,

Subject: "To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance..."
xx Maireid

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." - Arundhati Roy

(Note: True, Maireid. And the reverse also is worth contemplating:

" To hate. To be hated. To never forget other people's insignificance. To become totally comfortable with the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek sadness in the happiest places. To pursue ugliness to its lair (and have a sloppy shag.) To always complicate what is simple and overcomplicate what is complicated. To respect power, never strength. Above all, to inhale stink. To try and be more ignorant. To never look at anything. And never, never, never . . . . . (err . . .what was the question?)" from The Collected Epitaphs of George W. Bush.

Hope you're staying healthier than these guys, Joe.
It's a very interesting website, especially for hypochondriacs. Best,

(Note: JJ has tracked down a site that systematically documents every illness of every US President. Fascinating! And some brilliant eye witness accounts of Lincoln's assassination, under the Abraham Lincoln section.)

Hi Joe,
I enjoy your newsletter, thank you so much!

(Note: It's great to get encouragement from a friend named Candy. It feels so . . . . Nabokov.)

Hi Joe,
. . . I continue to read and get a lot from your missives. Keep them coming . . . . What a tragedy the Middle East had become. People now reach for their guns first, and ask questions a long, long time later and by then, the ground is crowded with the dead and dying and a new generation ready for vengeance and hatred. Power to your voice. Warm wishes,
Arnold Z

Hi Joe:
I thought you'd like this important info: Ka-boingyoyoyoinnnggggg....
[In your last newsletter, you asked:]
"What do the 32 % of people who still approve of George W Bush think of the 60% who don't?"
Ramon S via Teresa S

Latest Polling Shows Bush Losing Core Supporters

WASHINGTON July 15 - President Bush appears to be losing support among a key group of voters who until now have stood firmly with the president.

A new Gallup poll shows that Bush's approval rating has fallen below 50% and now stands at just 44% among total fucking morons. This represents a dramatic drop compared to a poll taken just last December when 62% of total fucking morons expressed support for the president and his policies.

The current poll, conducted by phone with 1,409 total fucking morons between June 14 and June 18, reveals that only 44% of those polled believe the president is doing a good job, while 27% believe he is doing a poor job, 10% don't give a fuck, and 19% don't understand the question.

Faltering approval ratings for the president among a group once thought to be a reliable source of loyal support makes Republicans nervous about the upcoming mid-term elections.

"We've got a big problem if we can't depend on the support of total fucking morons," says Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), "Total fucking morons are a key factor in our electoral strategy, and an important part of today's Republican coalition."

"We've taken the total fucking moron vote for granted," says Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), "and now we're paying for it." Feeney says the poll is a dire warning for Republicans. "This should send a signal that we have to regain control of the debate if we want the support of our key constituencies in the coming election and beyond. We need to bring public discourse back into the realm of stupidity and vacuity. We should be talking about homosexual illegal immigrants burning flags. We should be talking about the power of pride. We should be talking about freedom fries. These are the issues that resonate with total fucking morons."

But some total fucking morons say it's too late. Bill Snarpel of Enid, Oklahoma is a total fucking moron who voted for Bush in both 2000 and 2004.

But he says he won't be voting for Bush in 2008. "I don't like it that he was going to sell our ports to the Arabs. If the Arabs own the ports then that means they'll let all the Arabs in and then we'll all be riding camels and wearing towels on our heads. I don't want my children singing the Star Spangled Banner in Muslim."

Total fucking moron Kurt Meyer of Turlock, California also says his once solid support for Bush has collapsed. "He invaded Iraq and all those soldiers died, and for what? We destroyed all their WMDs, but now their new president is making fun of us and saying he's going to build nuclear bombs and that we can't stop him. Well, nuclear bombs are even worse than WMDs, so what did we accomplish?"

Laura McDonald, a total fucking moron from Chandler, Arizona, says she is disappointed that the president hasn't been a more forceful advocate of Christian values. "This country was founded on Christian values," she says, "but you'd never know it with all the Mexicans running around. I
thought Bush was going to bring Jesus back into the government. Instead, Christians are persecuted worse than ever before in history because all these Mexicans come here and tell Christians that we have to respect their religious beliefs. So now it's illegal for children to pray in school. Soon it will be illegal for them to speak English."

Not all total fucking morons have turned their backs on the president. Jeb Larkin of Topeka, Kansas says he still fully supports Bush. "He is doing a great job. He is a great president. He is a great decider. I have a puppy. His tail sticks straight up and you can see his butthole."

And not all Republican lawmakers are concerned about the poll; Sen. Lamar Alexander (R- TN), for one. He agrees that the Republican party should not take total fucking morons for granted, but he says they "really don't have anywhere else to go. Just try having a conversation with one of them about global warming. They'll say, 'Oh, but Rush says volcanoes consume more ozone than humans do.' I mean, they're morons! Total fucking morons!"

"They've got nowhere else to go," Alexander reaffirms with a smile," and they always vote."

Subject: Lady Macbeth and Lebanon...

" ... I've been avoiding the international TV news the last few days, just too abominable despite following international affairs for 45 years. I tuned in for a few minutes and there was that whitened sepulchre Ms. Rice, that disgrace to her race, betrayer of the Robeson's, Malcolm's, Martin's, and Ali's who inspired so many of us in every country and gave her the impetus to get where she is - there she was grinning away while children are being blown to pieces, giving Israel cart-blanche to do what it wills.  We cannot stay quiet, we have to write, talk, fill cyberspace, papers, make the majority suppressed voice stronger by the day...  Stefan A.



Ok - let's get stuck into this obscenity. By starting with a letter:

A Letter From Chomsky and Others on the Recent Events in the Middle East

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources - most particularly that of water - by the Israeli Defence (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land alloted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly - who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognised for what it is and resisted.

    Tariq Ali
    John Berger
    Noam Chomsky
    Eduardo Galeano
    Naomi Klein
    Harold Pinter
    Arundhati Roy
    Jose Saramago
    Giuliana Sgrena
    Howard Zinn

(thanks to Maireid Sullivan)


Hezbollah or Hizbollah, meaning Party of God, is a Lebanese Islamist Shiite armed movement and political party , with a military arm and a civilian arm. Many consider it to be a terrorist organization, but others dispute this. It was founded in 1982 with the declared aim to fight the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon that lasted until 2000. Today, Hezbollah is led by its Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah. wikipedia


Stop Now, Immediately
by Gideon Levy

This war must be stopped now and immediately. From the start it was unnecessary, even if its excuse was justified, and now is the time to end it. Every day raises its price for no reason, taking a toll in blood that gives Israel nothing tangible in return. This is a good time to stop the war because both sides can claim they won: Israel harmed Hezbollah and Hezbollah harmed Israel. History shows that no situation is better for reaching an arrangement. Remember the lessons of the Yom Kippur War.

Israel went into the campaign on justified grounds and with foul means. It claims it has declared war on Hezbollah but, in practice, it is destroying Lebanon. It has gotten most of what it could have out of this war. The aerial "target bank" has mostly been covered. The air force could continue to sow destruction in the residential neighborhoods and empty offices and could also continue dropping dozens of tons of bombs on real or imagined bunkers and kill innocent Lebanese, but nothing good will come of it. article

Five Myths That Sanction Israel's War Crimes
by Jonathan Cook

This week I had the pleasure to appear on American radio, on the Laura Ingraham show, pitted against David Horowitz, a "Semite supremacist" who most recently made his name under the banner of Campus Watch, leading McCarthyite witch-hunts against American professors who have the impertinence to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Arabs have minds and feelings like the rest of us.

It was a revealing experience, at least for a British journalist rarely exposed to the depths of ignorance and prejudice in the United States on Middle East matters -- well, apart from the regular wackos who fill my email inbox. But five minutes of listening to Horowitz speak, and the sympathy with which his arguments were greeted by Laura ("The Professors - your book's a great read, David"), left me a lot more frightened about the world's future.

Horowitz's response to every question, every development in the Middle East, whether it concerns Lebanon, the Palestinians, Syria, or Iran, is the same: "They want to drive the Jews into the sea." It's as simple as that. Not even a superficial attempt at analysis; just the message that the Arab world is trying to finish off the genocide started by Europe. article

The Project for the New American Century 2006

"As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. ...He said it with reproach--with disbelief, almost--at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. ...I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned." General Wesley Clark

The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle. William Kristol, Chairman

(Note: The latest article posted on the PNAC website was way back in July 2005. That was a full year ago. Maybe REALITY is catching up with the original masterplan and the neocons haven't found it necessary to write any new ones yet. But, in case you need some refreshing, here is the original Bush Government 'Mein Kampf':
"Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For A New Century" Articles of Disassociation
(thanks to Eliane McCaffrey)



1) Stop Israeli Aggression against Palestine and Lebanon


Rally for Peace
Sunday, July 30, 1pm
State Library, corner of Latrobe and Swanston streets, Melbourne
Endorsed by a wide range of groups including Unity for Peace.


2)Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Peace Concert
Japanese for Peace (JfP)


It is now twenty years since Chernobyl, and more than sixty years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Divided we stand against each other in conflict, but together we can build peace.

Together, let us reflect on our mistakes.
Together, let us make sure that this never happens again.
Together let us unite to build a lasting peace.

Peace is about understanding, respecting and enjoying our differences to overcome the boundaries which separate us. Join Japanese for Peace in celebrating our diversity and creativity.

Junko Morimoto, the author of My Hiroshima
Jim Green, Friends of the Earth.

Natsuko Minegishi, soprano singer,
Eugene Ughetti, Percussion,
William Zurbo, Ukrainian musician on traditional instruments,
Leigh Sloggett, musician and artist
Tom Bolton, musician and artist.
(Please note: speakers and performers are subject to change).

Profits from this concert will go towards the Non-Governmental Organisation,
Doctors for Iraq.
For interviews or more information,
contact Anna at:

or 0421-981-961,
or visit our website
This concert has been endorsed by the Embassy of Japan in Australia as part of the
Australia-Japan Year of Exchange.

Peace Rally will start from 1pm at State Library organised by Nuclear Free Australia & Melbourne Stop the War Coalition website

Sunday, August 6th
3pm to 5pm
St Michael's Church
120 Collins Street
Admission: $10 full/ $5 con. (children 12 & under: free)



Lingam Lingam

An Indian restauranteur in the Blues Mountains named Yogalingam Rasalingam has been charged with keeping an employee as a slave and people trafficking. What do you expect - imagine going through life with the word 'lingam' in your name - twice?

" The Lingam (also, Linga; Sanskrit; meaning "mark" or "sign") is used as a symbol for the worship of the Hindu god, Shiva. While its origins are debated, the use of this symbol as an object of worship is a timeless tradition in India; mainstream scholars connect the origin of the lingam to the early Indus Valley civilisation.

Lingam is usually found with Yoni, the pedestal. As such, Lingam represented the male entity of the universe, while Yoni represented the female; it was natural togetherness of the male (Shiva) and female (Shakti) (Lingam and Yoni) as the point of energy, point of creation, and point of enlightenment. Such revelation was later enriched by many philosophies and theologies as man's knowledge of God widened with civilization.

Some Tantras consider the lingam to be a phallic symbol and to be the representation of Shiva's phallus, in its spiritual form. Accordingly, the lingam contains the soul-seed containing within it the essence of the entire cosmos. The lingam arises out of the base (Yoni) which represents Parvati according to some or Vishnu, Brahma in female and neuter form according to others. more

Ok. Fair enough. But here's something some of you might consider for your 2006 Xmas stockings:

Lingam Massage

" Massage the head of the Lingam as if you are using an orange juicer."


The Sanskrit word for the male sexual organ is Lingam and is loosely translated as "Wand of Light." In Tantra or Sacred Sexuality, the Lingam is respectfully viewed and honored, as a "Wand of Light" that channels creative energy and pleasure.

Orgasm is not the goal of the Lingam massage although it can be a pleasant and welcome side effect. The goal is to massage the Lingam, also including testicles, perineum and Sacred Spot (prostate) externally, allowing the man to surrender to a form of pleasure he may not be accustomed to. From this perspective both receiver and giver relax into the massage.

Men need to learn to relax and receive. Traditional sexual conditioning has the man in a doing and goal oriented mode. The Lingam Massage allows the man to experience his softer, more receptive side and experience pleasure from a non-traditional perspective. website


Sectarian Break-Up of Iraq Is Now Inevitable, Admit Officials
By Patrick Cockburn

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, meets Tony Blair in London today as violence in Iraq reaches a new crescendo and senior Iraqi officials say the break up of the country is inevitable. A car bomb in a market in the Shia stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad yesterday killed 34 people and wounded a further 60 and was followed by a second bomb in the same area two hours later that left a further eight dead. Another car bomb outside a court house in Kirkuk killed a further 20 and injured 70 people.

"Iraq as a political project is finished," a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: "The parties have moved to plan B." He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. "There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west," he said. article

Science May Bring Back Neanderthals

From a Neanderthal bones found in Croatia, if Dr Svante Paabo and a team of 454 Life Scientists succeed in reconstruction of the entire Neanderthal genome," . . it might, in principle be possible to bring the species back from extinction by inserting the Neanderthal genome into a human egg and having volunteers [my note: Paris Hilton, are you listening?] bear Neanderthal infants . . . . Scientist are quick to point out the technical and ethical problems in such a venture."

(Note: Not to mention the political ramifications: the next generation of Neocons.) article 1 article 2




Sara Van Hecke and friends are filling a bottle with names to help Amnesty International Australia send a BIG Message in a Bottle to Canberra that Australians do not want to abandon refugees! Please help by adding your name to the bottle. Hurry, as we only have a short time to get 10,000 names. Thank you!

The Senate is soon to vote on proposed changes to the Migration Act. These would see asylum seekers and refugees, including children, turned away from Australia and sent to the remote island of Nauru until they are accepted by another country. These changes would mean Australia won't meet its international obligations. The law would undo many of the positive changes we saw in 2005 relating to refugees and asylum seekers, including the release of children from detention centres

To add your name:



Pennette Salad

Funny how recipes sometimes just happen. I was planning to make some salmon fillets, baked in foil, in the oven, with a small leaf side salad for dinner. My daughter rang and said she was in town for the afternoon so I suggested coming over for a birthday lunch. I made her some Penne Livornese-style (see Recipe Archives under Pasta) and used up the green salad ingredients. So what to do for dinner now that I had no salad. I noticed that there was some left over penne in the colander and a half of a carrot left from the salad. That's where this idea came from.

2 cups left over pennette or penne macaroni
half grated carrot
small stick of inner part of celery, finely chopped
clove of garlic, minced,
two sprigs of parsley, minced
half cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, salt and pepper to taste, cover with wrap and refrigerate until needed. Excellent side dish with steamed, baked or grilled salmon.

Leftovers - Mix left over salmon (if any!) with the left over penne (if any!) for another variation the next day.




A Prayer for Sleep
Grant me one good rest tonight, O Lord;
let no creatures prowl
the tangled pathways in my skull:
wipe out all wars,
throw guilt a bone;
let me dream, if I dream at all,
no child of Yours has come to harm.
I know, of course, that death's the norm,
that there are people who have yet to climb
the Present's rungs, who lag behind
(hyenas at the rim of civilisation's light),
whose laughing hides a Stone Age howl,
who wait till darkness comes to pounce
and tear the guts of progress out.
Yet, grant me good rest tonight, my Lord,
blind my internal eyes;
guard my anxious baffled years
with Your protecting arm
and let me dream, if I dream at all,
no child of Yours has come to harm.
~ Michael Hartnett ~
  (Collected Poems)





He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.