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March 12th, 2004


Take The President . . . Please! (boom boom!)


"Every man knows enough Bible to fit his own pistol,"
William Raspberry's Late Father

Bush Humour 1

Show and Tell

Little David was in his 5th grade class when the teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living. All the typical answers came up -- fireman, policeman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, etc. David was being uncharacteristically quiet and so he teacher asked him about his father. "My father's an exotic stripper in a gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of other men. Sometimes, if the offer's really good, he'll go out to the alley with some guy and shag him on all fours, grunting and making dog noises, for fifty dollars." The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises and took little David aside to ask him, "Is that really true about your father?" "No," said David, "He works for the Bush administration, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."

Favourite Reader Feedback of the Week


You have a nice way of expressing your thoughts. Except sometimes when I walk away I smile while scratching my head. Frank "

" Dear Joe,

Is there a CD available containing your song 'Pizza Pizza'? We would love to dance to it with our local Brownie Troop's talent show. This will be a great time for the Brownie Girl Scouts! I can't wait for them to hear it!! The audience will surely love to watch their Pizza dance, too! We would love a signed copy of your CD and a little note of encouragement would be great, too!
Thank you so much!
Kathleen C. Troop 371 Leader USA "

(Note: I'm definetly encouraging this kind of thing. I admire anyone who can make it through these youth boot camp programs. When I was a young boy, I got kicked out of my Boy Scout troop for taking my section on a nude swimming excursion during one of our camps. (I was trying for the Au Naturel Merit Badge, I think.) The Pizza Dance. Never thought of that one. Anyway I sent Kathleen a CD of 'Pizza Pizza' with a note of encouragement: please send me some of those cookies!)

"Hi Joe
My name is Alex, I jsut wanted to say i loved your song, i still actually have it on cassette which my mum taped 24 years ago would you believe, anyway i was wondering how many records did you sell from your famous song Shaddup You Face as i've been told you still hold the record for the most songs sold from a single, even beating Guy Sebastain, Must be a great feeling to still hold the most affection from the public and if you do hold the record tyhat must be fantastic that an old style song can still be just as good as the new ones coming out, anyway i'm just curious to how many you sold. I saw you on burkes backyard a few years ago, it was good they did a show on you, so the new generation get to see a true artist ciao  
Alex "
Two Opinions Concerning last week's 'Monkey' Story:


Calm down, mate. For God's sake, you can't compare a monkey with a nation. Some people may think it smart of indigenous South American Indians to catch monkeys in that way - but it sounds like a pretty obvious strategy. I am not normally a betting man, but I will wager with you now my house and its contents that they are most unlikely to win the next Nobel prize for catching monkeys.
As for oil, it is owned by us all and is sold at "commercial" rates by an largely anti-western cartel that would be illegal were it run by, say, Australia and New Zealand. That we have survived its often malevolent attitude to us fair-minded and generous souls of the industrial world shows just how flexible and certain we are.
Next you'll be telling us that Idi Amin was simply out to prove the fridge-life of body parts and that Hitler's obsession with genetic purity was only to meet world health standards.
Alan H. "

" Dear Joe
Many thanks for the newsletter and the spirit behind it; we love the jokes, especially the image of the Post Turtle. On the subject of the Monkey Trap - in 1976 an American called Frank Pierce Jones wrote a book about a great Australian called Frederick Matthias Alexander. In the first chapter, "Escape from the Monkey Trap: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique" Jones uses the same analogy, of the monkey with its hand stuck in the coconut (here it is a bottle), not to talk about greed, but about the nature of habit. "Most people are caught in monkey traps of unconscious habit. They cannot escape because they do not perceive what they are doing while they are doing it... The Alexander Technique opens a window onto the little-known area between stimulus and response and gives you the self-knowledge you need in order to change the pattern of your response-or, if you choose, not to make it at all." In other words, the monkey, once committed to its course of action, cannot change. It cannot see the link between the food and its own fate- which is indeed what Robert Freeman is saying. Greed is everywhere, and so is habitual action. Alexander's discoveries focus on the habitual nature of our reaction to stimulus and provide a way towards consciousness in everyday life. We can work to change society largely by working to change ourselves- otherwise our fate will be the same as the monkey's. As some other wit put it, "some people would rather die than think; and sometimes they do." (wish I knew who said that!)
Annie R. "

Bush Humour 2

Propaganda Tour

During a propaganda tour, President Bush visits a school to explain his politics to kids. He invites the kids to ask him questions.

Little Bobby stands up and tells him "Mr. President, I got 3 questions":

1. How come, that although the count of votes was not in your favor, you still won the election?
2. Why do you want to attack Iraq without an imminent reason?
3. Don't you also consider the bombing of Hiroshima the biggest terrorist attack of all times?

Before the president can answer, the recess bell rings, and the kids leave the room. After they come back, Bush invites them once again to ask questions.

This time, Little Joey stands up and says, "Mr. President, I got 5 questions":

1. How come, that although the count of votes was not in your favor, you still won the election?
2. Why do you want to attack Iraq without an imminent reason?
3. Don't you also consider the bombing of Hiroshima the biggest terrorist
attack of all times?
4. Why did the recess bell ring 20 minutes early?
5. Where's Little Bobby?


Tom Hayden and the Jane Fonda Myth
You Gotta Love Her
by Tom Hayden
The Nation Online

I was digging into the batter's box one Saturday morning in San Pedro a couple of years ago when the catcher behind me muttered, "I'm a Vietnam vet, and I've been waiting for twenty years to say you should be dead or in jail for being a traitor." The umpire said nothing. I flied out to center. Later we talked. Then we became friends. It turned out that his hatred was toward my ex-wife, not me, because he believed certain website fabrications about Jane Fonda that circulate among veterans. Twice the Republicans in the California legislature tried to block my seating because of my trips to Hanoi. But I was never a target of opportunity like my ex--more like collateral damage. While most Americans, perhaps including that former Yale cheerleader and elusive National Guardsman George W. Bush and, I suspect, most Vietnam veterans, would like to forget the past, the Vietnam War is about to be relived this election season. Senator John Kerry, a veteran of both the war and the antiwar movement, is causing this national Vietnam flashback. The right-wing attack dogs are on the hunt. Newt Gingrich calls Kerry an "antiwar Jane Fonda liberal," while Internet warriors post fabricated images of Kerry and Fonda at a 1971 antiwar rally. Welcome to dirty tricks in the age of Photoshop.

The attempted smearing of Kerry through the Fonda "connection" is a Republican attempt to suppress an honest reopening of our unfinished exploration of the Vietnam era. Neoconservatives and the Pentagon have good reason to fear the return of the Vietnam Syndrome. The label intentionally suggests a disease, a weakening of the martial will, but the syndrome was actually a healthy American reaction to false White House promises of victory, the propping up of corrupt regimes, crony contracting and cover-ups of civilian casualties during the Vietnam War that are echoed today in the news from Baghdad. Young John Kerry's 1971 question--"How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?"--is more relevant than ever. Rather than give these reopened wounds the serious treatment they deserve, the Republicans substitute the politics of scapegoating and sheer fantasy. Most centrist Democrats, in turn, try to distance themselves from controversies that recall the 1960s. There are journalistic centrists as well, who avoid hard truths for the sake of acceptance and legitimacy. Such amnesia, whether unconscious or not, lends a wide respectability to the feeble confessions of those like Robert McNamara, who took twenty-five years to admit that Vietnam was a "mistake" and then, when asked by filmmaker Errol Morris why he didn't speak out earlier, answered, "I don't want to go any further.... It just opens up more controversies." The case of Jane Fonda reveals the double standards and hypocrisies afflicting our memories. In Tour of Duty, the Kerry historian Douglas Brinkley describes the 1971 winter soldier investigation, which Fonda supported and Kerry attended, where Vietnam veterans spilled their guts about "killing gooks for sport, sadistically torturing captured VC by cutting off ears and heads, raping women and burning villages." Brinkley then recounts how Kerry later told Meet the Press that "I committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others," specifically taking responsibility for shooting in free-fire zones, search-and-destroy missions, and burning villages. Brinkley describes these testimonies in tepid and judicious terms, calling them "quite unsettling." By contrast, Brinkley condemns Fonda's 1972 visit to Hanoi as "unconscionable," without feeling any need for further explanation. Why should American atrocities be merely unsettling, but a trip to Hanoi unconscionable?

In fact, Fonda was neither wrong nor unconscionable in what she said and did in North Vietnam. She told the New York Times in 1973, "I'm quite sure that there were incidents of torture...but the pilots who were saying it was the policy of the Vietnamese and that it was systematic, I believe that's a lie." Research by John Hubbell, as well as 1973 interviews with POWs, shows that Vietnamese behavior meeting any recognized definition of torture had ceased by 1969, three years before the Fonda visit. James Stockdale, the POW who emerged as Ross Perot's running mate in 1992, wrote that no more than 10 percent of the US pilots received at least 90 percent of the Vietnamese punishment, often for deliberate acts of resistance. Yet the legends of widespread, sinister Oriental torture have been accepted as fact by millions of Americans. Erased from public memory is the fact that Fonda's purpose was to use her celebrity to put a spotlight on the possible bombing of Vietnam's system of dikes. Her charges were dismissed at the time by George H.W. Bush, then America's ambassador to the United Nations, who complained of a "carefully planned campaign by the North Vietnamese and their supporters to give worldwide circulation to this falsehood." But Fonda was right and Bush was lying, as revealed by the April-May 1972 White House transcripts of Richard Nixon talking to Henry Kissinger about "this shit-ass little country":

NIXON: We've got to be thinking in terms of an all-out bombing attack.... I'm thinking of the dikes.
KISSINGER: I agree with you.
NIXON: ...Will that drown people?
KISSINGER: About two hundred thousand people.

It was in order to try to avert this catastrophe that Fonda, whose popular "FTA" road show (either "Fun, Travel, Adventure" or "Fuck the Army") was blocked from access to military bases, gave interviews on Hanoi radio describing the human consequences of all-out bombing by B-52 pilots five miles above her. After her visit, the US bombing of the dike areas slowed down, "allowing the Vietnamese at last to repair damage and avert massive flooding," according to Mary Hershberger. The now legendary Fonda photo shows her with diminutive Vietnamese women examining an antiaircraft weapon, implying in the rightist imagination that she relished the thought of killing those American pilots innocently flying overhead. To deconstruct this image and what it has come to represent, it might be helpful to look further back in our history.

Imagine a nineteenth-century Jane Fonda visiting the Oglala Sioux in the Black Hills before the battle at Little Big Horn. Imagine her examining Crazy Horse's arrows or climbing upon Sitting Bull's horse. Such behavior by a well-known actress no doubt would have infuriated Gen. George Armstrong Custer, but what would the rest of us feel today?
In Dances With Wolves, Kevin Costner played an American soldier who went "native" and, as a result, was attacked and brutalized as a traitor by his own men. But we in the modern audience are supposed to respect and idealize the Costner "traitor," perhaps because his heroism assuages our historical guilt. Will it take another century for certain Americans to see the Fonda trip to Hanoi in a similar light?

The popular delusions about Fonda are a window into many other dangerous hallucinations that pass for historical memory in this country. Among the most difficult to contest are claims that antiwar activists persistently spit on returning Vietnam veterans. So universal is the consensus on "spitting" that I once gave up trying to refute it, although I had never heard of a single episode in a decade of antiwar experiences. Then came the startling historical research of a Vietnam veteran named Jerry Lembcke, who demonstrated in The Spitting Image (1998) that not a single case of such abuse had ever been convincingly documented. In fact, Lembcke's search of the local press throughout the Vietnam decade revealed no reports of spitting at all. It was a mythical projection by those who felt "spat-upon," Lembcke concluded, and meant politically to discredit future antiwar activism.

The Rambo movies not only popularized the spitting image but also the equally incredible claim that hundreds of American soldiers missing in action were being held by the Vietnamese Communists for unspecified purposes. John Kerry's most noted achievement in the Senate was gaining bipartisan support, including that of all the Senate's Vietnam veterans, for a report declaring the MIA legend unfounded, which led to normalized relations. Yet millions of Americans remain captives of this legend.

It will be easier, I am afraid, for those Americans to believe that Jane Fonda helped torture our POWs than to accept the testimony by American GIs that they sliced ears, burned hooches, raped women and poisoned Vietnam's children with deadly chemicals. Just two years ago many of the same people in Georgia voted out of office a Vietnam War triple-amputee, Senator Max Cleland, for being "soft on national defense."

If there is any cure for this mouth-foaming mass pathology in a democracy, it may lie at the heart of John Kerry's campaign for the presidency. Rather than distance ourselves from the past, as the centrist amnesiacs would counsel, perhaps we should finally peel back the scabs and take a closer look at why all the wounds haven't healed. The most meaningful experience of John Kerry's life was the time he spent fighting and killing in Vietnam and then turning around to protest the insanity of it all. Instead of wrapping himself in fabrications, he threw his fantasies and delusions, and metaphorically his militarism, over the White House fence. That's what many more Americans need to do.

If I were George W. Bush, I would be terrorized by the eyes of those scruffy-looking veterans, the so-called band of brothers, volunteering for duty with the Kerry campaign. They look like men with scores to settle, with a palpable intolerance toward the types who sent them to war for a lie, then ignored their Agent Orange illness, cut their GI benefits, treated them like losers and still haven't explained what that war was about. They know Jane Fonda is a diversion from a larger battlefield. They are the sort who will keep a cerebral United States senator grounded, who have finally figured out who their real enemies are and who are determined that this generation hear their story anew. They are gearing up for one last battle. Chickenhawks better duck. (thank to Stephen Ross)

Bush Humour 3

Bush, Einstein and Picasso at the Pearly Gates

Einstein dies and goes to heaven. At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter tells him, "You look like Einstein, but you have NO idea the lengths that some people will go to sneak into Heaven. Can you prove who you really are?"

Einstein ponders for a few seconds and asks, "Could I have a blackboard and some chalk?"

Saint Peter snaps his fingers and a blackboard and chalk instantly appear. Einstein proceeds to describe with arcane mathematics and symbols his theory of relativity.

Saint Peter is suitably impressed. "You really ARE Einstein!" he says. "Welcome to heaven!"

The next to arrive is Picasso. Once again, Saint Peter asks for credentials.

Picasso asks, "Mind if I use that blackboard and chalk?"

Saint Peter says, "Go ahead."

Picasso erases Einstein's equations and sketches a truly stunning mural with just a few strokes of chalk.

Saint Peter claps. "Surely you are the great artist you claim to be!" he says. "Come on in!"

Then Saint Peter looks up and sees George W. Bush. Saint Peter scratches his head and says, "Einstein and Picasso both managed to prove their identity. How can you prove yours?"

George W. looks bewildered and says, "Who are Einstein and Picasso?"

Saint Peter sighs and says, "Come on in, George."

Jim Hightower

To the barricades, people! Here come the money-grubbers, trying to get their hands on one of the few small freedoms that is still essentially free in our world: sending e-mail.

None other than Bill Gates, the emperor of Microsoft's virtual kingdom, has acknowledged that his monopolistic corporation, the largest e-mail provider in the world, is trying to develop an e-mail stamp. (article)

Bush Humour 4

Jigsaw Puzzle Part A

His closest advisors came to visit Dubya at the White House one evening and found him slamming down beers and whooping it up. They were astonished since he had given up drinking years ago. When asked why he was off the wagon, Dubya replied that he was celebrating finishing a jigsaw puzzle. They smiled and told him that wasn't much of an accomplishment. "Ah, but you're wrong. I did it in record time." When asked what that record was, he replied that he had finished it after only 6 months. Again, they told him that wasn't that great. "Oh yeah?" said the commander in chief, "Well the box says 3-5 YEARS!"

10,000 Galaxies with the Hubble Telescope
Gorgeous State-of-the-Art Photograph of the Visible Universe (Photo)

Bush Humour 5

Jigsaw Puzzle Part B

Cheney gets a call from his "boss", W.
"I've got a problem," says W.
"What's the matter?" asks Cheney.
"Well, you told me to keep busy in the Oval Office, so, I got a jigsaw puzzle, but it's too hard. None of the pieces fit together and I can't find any edges."
"What's it a picture of?" asks Cheney.
"A big rooster," replies W.
"All right," sighs Cheney, "I'll come over and have a look."
So he leaves his office and heads over to the Oval Office. W points at the jigsaw on his desk.
Cheney looks at the desk and then turns to W and says, "For crying out loud, Georgie - put the corn flakes back n the box."

An Academy Award for Bigotry
by Mike Davis
The most evil film ever made was probably Jud Suess, commissioned by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in 1940 to fan hatred of the Jews on the eve of the Final Solution. A thousand years of European anti-Semitism were condensed in the image of the cowering rapist Suess, with his dirty beard, hook nose, and whining voice. The audience was instigated to rejoice in the lynching of this subhuman monster at the film's end.

To anyone who has ever seen Jud Suess (as I did in college), the most startling thing about Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ -- even more than its relentless, shockingly eroticized cruelty -- is its fidelity to the anti-Semitic conventions of Hitlerian cinema.

Indeed, the high priest Caiaphas and his colleagues are such exact, blatant replicas of Suess that I suspect they must be direct borrowings. Moreover, Passion is one of the most manipulative films ever made and, after two hours watching mobs howling in delight at Christ's suffering, it is no wonder that many devout American viewers, like their German predecessors, have left theaters muttering, "I hate the Jews."

The Romans, on the other hand, are shown as noble imperialists. In contrast to the vile Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate is depicted by Gibson as a sympathetic, even saintly figure, tragically trapped between orders from Rome (no more uprisings) and the implacable machinations of the high priests. (article)
Bush Humour 6

Psalm O' Nella

"George W is my shepherd, I shall be in want. He leadeth me beside the still factories, He maketh me to lie down on park benches, He restoreth my doubts about the Republican party, He guideth me onto the paths of unemployment for the party's sake. I do fear the evildoers, for thou talkst about them constantly. Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy deficit spending They do discomfort me. Thou anointeth me with never-ending debt, And my savings and assets shall soon be gone. Surely poverty and hard living shall follow me, And my jobless children shall dwell in my basement forever."


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks pressed President Bush's re-election campaign on Friday to stop running political ads that use images of the devastated World Trade Center to show him as a strong leader in troubled times.

"As a fire-fighter who spent months at Ground Zero, it's deeply offensive to see the Bush campaign use these images to capitalize on the greatest American tragedy of our time," New York fire-fighter Tom Ryan said at a news conference.(article)

Bush Humour 7

George W. Bush Anagrams

He grew bogus
Bush ego grew
Where bugs go
"W": he bugs Gore
Ugh! Sewer bog!

Godfather Colin Powell
The Gangster of Haiti

"The deed is done. Haiti has been raped. The act was sanctioned by the United States, Canada and France." - Editorial, Jamaica Observer

Colin Powell is "the most powerful and damaging black to rise to influence in the world in my lifetime." - TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson

'All the people that supported [Aristide] will be dead in three months.' - Haiti government attorney Ira Kurzban (article)

Bush Humour 8

Bush and Powell Plan World War III

Bush and Powell were sitting in a bar. A guy walked in and asked the barman, "Isn't that Bush and Powell?"

The barman said, "Yep, that's them."

So the guy walked over and said, "Hello. What are you guys doing?"

Bush said, "We're planning World War III."

The guy asked, "Really? What's going to happen?"

Bush said, "Well, we're going to kill 10 thousand innocent Iraqis and one Indian bicycle repairman."

The guy exclaimed, "Why are you gonna kill a Indian bicycle repairman?!"

Bush turned to Powell and said, "See, I told you no one would worry about the 10 thousand Iraqis!"


'Fingernails Across a Chalkboard'
by Joe Dolce

(Composition in Two Movements For Absolute Beginner on Tin Whistle)

Movement I. Pain

(play anything you want loudly for 5 seconds)

Movement II. Less Pain

(play anything you want softly for 2 seconds)

(This composition can be peformed by any beginner on any instrument of their choice. It helps if you know zilch about your instrument, thus enabling the harmonic convergences and microtonality to conflabulate with the correct saturation of dissonancity. Hey, if John Cage can sit there for 4 minutes and not play anything . . . . .)
Bush Humour 9

Plastic Surgery Miracles

Three Texas plastic surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed. 

One of them said, "I'm the best plastic surgeon in Texas. A concert pianist lost 7 fingers in an accident, I reattached them, and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England."

One of the others said. "That's nothing. A young man lost both arms and legs in an accident, I reattached them, and 2 years later he won a gold medal in 5 field events in the Olympics."

The third surgeon said, "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a cowboy who was high on cocaine and alcohol rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the horse's ass and a cowboy hat. Now he's president of the United States."

Flying Copter Game

(thanks to Joe Creighton)




You can stuff zucchini flowers with just about anything creative from ricotta cheese with chives, to any number of seafood combinations. I usually just improvise with what's around. Last week I just used some left over roast chicken.

6 baby zucchinis with the flowers attached
oil for deep frying

Tempura batter:
Make a thin tempura batter with some flour and water (add some beer if you have one in your hand!) and one beaten egg. Place two ice cubes in the batter and rest in the fridge until ready. (You can also put the batter in the fridge. boom boom!)

Minced Chicken Stuffing:
Finely mince some left over roast chicken. Place in a bowl with some finely minced red capsicum, minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs (basil and chives are nice), salt and peppper to taste and some grated havarti cheese. Mix thoroughy with your hands so that eveything holds together slightly.

With a small sharp knife, remove the stamens from the centre of the zucchini flowers and stuff gently with the chicken mixture, folding the leaves around, and press the ends together so that they stay together.

Heat the oil until hot. Remove the tempura batter from the fridge, take out the ice cubes, check the consistency. If it's too thin, add a little more flour, too thick add a little more beer. Dip the zucchini flowers in the tempura batter and quickly deep fry in the oil. Only a minute or two is necessary, until golden. Drain on absorbent paper, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.



orange ice cream
vanilla ice cream
(Any two flavours of ice cream can be substituted.)
fresh lychees
(with skins removed)
white wine
juice of half lemon
orange and lemon zest
2 cloves

kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced
half small fresh red chille, finely sliced
roasted peanuts, crushed

To make the carmalized sugar cap:

This is a variation of the Sugar Swirl (in the Recipe Index) only make a mould using a small apple to create a 'cap' to fit over the ice cream scoop.

To make the moulds, get a few small apples or round shapes about the size of a small ice cream scoop. Wrap a little aluminium foil around them so that you can drip the syrup over to make a half spherical shape.

Mix a half a cup of sugar in a cup of water and simmer until it evaporates by about two-thirds and just starts to go golden around the edges. (Watch the final stage carefully as it can quickly burn and then you have to start over.) Remove from the heat for about a minute. With a spoon, quickly drizzle thin streams of the syrup criss-cross over the round moulds until you have nice thin little crystallised 'caps'. Leave room at the bottom so that you can remove the apples. Let cool. Gently twist the apples free from the aluminium foil and remove. Then carefully peel away the aluminium foil from the candied shape being careful not to break it. Don't worry if it doesn't come out perfect. As long as you get some nice spherical sections, it will still look great. Set aside.

Make sure the icecreams are hard so that they can be scooped into balls.
Place some white wine (enough to cover lychees) in a pan and add some cinnamon, the cloves, sugar to taste, the lemon juice and the grated lemon and orange zest. Bring to a boil and reduce slightly until thickened a little. Add the lychees, cover and poach over a low simmer for about 15 minutes. You want a nice syrup without cooking the lychees so long that they get soggy. Remove from the heat and put in the fridge.
To serve: place a scoop of vanilla and orange ice-cream side by side, spoon some of the lychees and syrup next to the ice-cream. Sprinkle a few slices of the red chilii, the lime leaf shreds , place one of the caramelised sugar caps on one of the scoops, and some crushed peanuts around the sides.