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May 7th, 2004

Hitler a Vegetarian? No Whey!


" There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."
Albert Einstein, 1932

Dear Folks,

I quote quite a bit from that old Jewish watchmaker, Rabbi Einstein, in my newsletters, so I thought you'ld like to read one quote where he had a bad hair day. Wish he had been right, though! (By the way, if you don't already know about it and you are interested in all things Jewish, go to: Jewhoo.com


Favourite (and not so favourite) Reader Feedback of the Week

Hi Joe,
Re: The Rapture. That website is unbelievable. What a twisting of pretzels this rubbish is. I haven't read them but Tim LeHaye's Left Behind series, featuring I believe, this dubious premise and the battle with the Antichrist has sold millions to gullible minds. I have studied theology, religion, mysticism and philosophy in general for almost twenty years. The only slender biblical evidence for the rapture I can find is in
Paul's 1 Thessalonians 4:17. This of course is totally context specific and I think Paul would be surprised at the interpretation given it.  Fundamentalism is a real problem in any culture especially at a time when cool heads should be prevailing. Instead we find an upsurge in America of this "Christian Right chosen people" ideology fuelled by things such as this and Gibson's misguided antisemitic rubbish. The Avatars come, speak love and compassion and when they are gone we always stuff it up and retreat to the good old anthropomorphic, vengeful and capricious God we created in our image. I hope I'm allowed to take my guitar when I'm whisked away. Eternity without it would be very boring.
Doug Ashdown

Hi joe,
The anti spam thingy at work means I miss most of your newsletters, so can you please put my home email on the mailing list? PS: thanks for the fantastic polenta recipes - just the weather.
Warm Regards


Thanks Joe . . .
On Sunday evening at the Rechabite Hall the bloke in Eva Popov's exquisite accapella trio grabbed his guitar and (inspired by your performance at the National Festival) brought off a spirited rendition of 'Shuttupayaface'. I was watching Eva's dad, white-bearded, longtime Northcote Bulgarian Orthodox minister, beaming with pleasure and pride!
John Anderson

Hi Joe,
I somehow ended up on your email list and have been for a year or so. I almost deleted the first one but somehow read enough to realise it wasn't the usual junk mail. Anyway, it's a good read and I always enjoy it. My brother in law told a story recently and I wanted to share it with you. This is a simple but true story. His 5 year old daughter came to him one day and asked him what 'sex' means. He proceeded to tell her as best he could, knowing the question was going to come up one day, but thinking "isn't she a little young to be asking?" After a long winded and awkward version of the birds and the bees he curiously asked his 5 year old "Why are you asking?" She replied "Cause Mum said dinner will be ready in a couple of secs."
 Keep them coming,
Andrew M.

(And, in response to last week's pro-choice article . . .)

I don't know who you are but I'm glad I'm not you. Seems you love to kill innocent little people. That's pretty sad.
Steve G.

Note: The week before that I was accused of 'eating dead things' - now I'm 'sad' and 'killing little people.' (Begorrah, an I ahways tought da little peeple ware leprechauns! Cheesus, Mahree, and Chosef!)

How come it's usually MEN who are the most aggressive pro-lifers?

I think Steve G. might find the answers he seeks in: "Do Our Pets Go To Heaven?"

The War Prayer

Dictated by Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens] in 1904 in advance of his death in 1910. During his writing career, he had criticized perhaps every type of person or institution either living or dead. But this piece was just a little too hot for his family to tolerate. Since they believed the short narrative would be regarded as sacrilege, they urged him not to publish it. However, Sam was to have the last word, and even the word after that. Having directed it to be published after his death, he said, "I have told the truth in that... and only dead men can tell the truth in this world." (War Prayer)



If anyone is interested in praying for President Bush (you know, like praying that he loses) you can do it here: Click to Pray
(thanks, indirectly, to Maireid)

Favourite Porn Spam Subject Heading of the Week

From: Phoebe Brightsun Subject: Joe, To Punish Me for My Contempt for Authority, Fate Made Me an Authority Myself.

" Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
Through the centuries, men of law have been persistently concerned with the resolution of disputes in ways that enable society to achieve its goals with a minimum of force and maximum of reason. "
VIAGRA and CIALIS from $2.00

(Note: This all makes perfect sense to me, especially the 'bubbling up' part.)



Actual Country and Western Song Titles

I Got In At 2 With A 10 And Woke Up At 10 With A 2.
Her Body Couldn't Keep You Off My Mind.
You're A Cross I Can't Bear.
Mama Get The Hammer (There's A Fly On Papa's Head).
She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart.
I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling.
I've Been Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart.
She Feels Like A New Man Tonight.
Velcro Arms, Teflon Heart.
When We Get Back To the Farm (That's When We Really Go To Town).
You Stuck My Heart In a Old Tin Can and Shot It Off a Log.
And There Was Grandma, Swingin' on the Outhouse Door, Without a Shirt on.
Why Do You Believe Me When I Tell You That I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?
He's Been Drunk Since His Wife's Gone Punk.
You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly.
I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You.
My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend And I Sure Do Miss Him.
Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life.
Thank God And Greyhound She's Gone.
If You Don't Leave Me Alone I'll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will.
She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger.
I Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me.
My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart.
I Wouldn't Take Her To A Dog Fight Because I'm Afraid She'd Win.
They May Put Me In Prison But They Can't Stop My Face From Breaking Out.

Darwin Award Contender
Vegetarianism Can Kill You

[Bloomberg News Service]: A terrible diet and a room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body and an autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been fatal. But the man was shut up in his near-airtight bedroom. According to the article, "He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating "this deadly gas." Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized. (thanks to sahyma)


" Viral marketing. Sinister as hell. It's when an ad company creates a twisted little promotion specifically designed to bypass the mainstream and penetrate the subculture and be spread by word of mouth and word of e-mail, and everyone forwards it on to their friends and family and says oh my God you've got to see this hilarious video oh my God it's so funny/sick/horrible/twisted oh my God click here now. " Mark Morford

I first discovered one of these things about a year ago. I sent a brilliant ad called 'Ford Ka-Bird' around to everyone I knew. A ford sits quietly in front of a house. A bird flies onto the hood. The hood pops up and knocks the bird for a loop. Funny! There are hundreds of these subversive mpegs going around and you can have a look at some of them yourself HERE.

Some debate.

Are you sick of viral marketing?
by Abram Sauer (Article)

Fahrenheit 911

" . . . Disney Has Blocked the Distribution of My New Film . . ."
Michael Moore

" Friends,

I would have hoped by now that I would be able to put my work out to the public without having to experience the profound censorship obstacles I often seem to encounter.

Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, "Fahrenheit 911." The reason? According to today's (May 5) New York Times, it might "endanger" millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will "anger" the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. The story is on page one of the Times and you can read it below.

The whole story behind this (and other attempts) to kill our movie will be told in more detail as the days and weeks go on. For nearly a year, this struggle has been a lesson in just how difficult it is in this country to create a piece of art that might upset those in charge (well, OK, sorry -- it WILL upset them...big time. Did I mention it's a comedy?). All I can say is, thank God for Harvey Weinstein and Miramax who have stood by me during the entire production of this movie.

There is much more to tell, but right now I am in the lab working on the print to take to the Cannes Film Festival next week (we have been chosen as one of the 18 films in competition). I will tell you this: Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show. But there's nothing they can do about it now because it's done, it's awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you'll see it this summer -- because, after all, it is a free country.

Michael Moore "


(Note: My first gut feeling reaction to this news? What a BRILLIANT marketing idea! I mean, most people were looking forward to seeing Moore's film anyway but now EVERYONE will go see it. 'Cause now it's extra-special naughty. If the MOUSE don't like it, it's got to be important.)


T-Shirt Slogans

That's It! I'm Calling Grandma! - (seen on an 8 year old)
All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
Polynesia -- Memory Loss in Parrots.
A good pun is it's own reword.
I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts - Do You Want Fries With That?
Heck Is Where People Go Who Don't Believe In Gosh.
If There Is No God, Who Pops Up The Next Kleenex?
Suicidal Twin Kills Sister By Mistake!
My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God, and I didn't.

What Kind of Vegetarian was Hitler?

Obviously a limited and contradictory one. If you were a committed vegetarian and belonged to a vegetarian society, you wouldn't want him to know about it.

Following the latest letter on September, 1991, the New York Times published two rejoinders to this question. Under the headline, "Don't Put Hitler Among the Vegetarians," the correspondent (Richard Schwartz, author of Judaism and Vegetarianism ) pointed out that Hitler would occasionally go on vegetarian binges to cure himself of excessive sweatiness and flatulence, but that his main diet was meat-centered. He also cited Robert Payne, Albert Speer, and other well-known Hitler biographers, who mentioned Hitler's predilection for such non-vegetarian foods as Bavarian sausages, ham, liver, and game. Furthermore, it was argued, if Hitler had been a vegetarian, he would not have banned vegetarian organizations in Germany and the occupied countries; nor would he have failed to urge a meatless diet on the German people as a way of coping with Germany's World War II food shortage.

Hitler described himself as a vegetarian in a letter to a friend, dated 1911. His vegetarian practice at this time seems to have been temporary and due to stomach problems. In 1938 he again declared himself a vegetarian. This declaration was regarded as an emotional response to the death of his niece, who was said to have been in love with him and who died under mysterious circumstances. (She may have committed suicide. There is even speculation that Hitler had her killed.) Hitler's friend, Frau Hess, described Hitler's response to his niece's death in this way: "From that moment on...Hitler never ate another piece of meat except for liver dumplings."). This is consistent with other descriptions of Hitler's diet, which always included some form of meat, whether ham, sausages or liver dumplings. Some of Hitler's associates, such as Martin Bormann, ate the same food Hitler did at Hitler's dinner table, but later was observed to be eating meat in the kitchen. Hitler's reputation for being a vegetarian seems to consist solely of his not having eaten red meat. The effort to describe Hitler's eating habits as vegetarian requires changing the definition of "vegetarian" to exclude liver, ham, and sausages from the list of meats, and changing the definition of "animal" to exclude pigs. Hitler did exhibit a sympathy with a vegetarian diet, but paradoxically, vegetarians and the vegetarian movement in Nazi Germany were persecuted. Vegetarian societies were restrained, subject to raids, and "books that contained vegetarian recipes were confiscated by the Gestapo." Janet Barkas has a good account of this period in German history in her book, The Vegetable Passion. German vegetarian societies were forced to leave the International Vegetarian Union; they were prohibited from organizing and from publishing material, but individuals were not molested and "could exchange their credit notes for meat for dairy products. About 83,000 vegetarians participated in this program."

See the History of the Vegetarier-Bund Deutschlands for more details of how the German Vegetarian Federation closed during Nazi times and re-formed in 1945.
(thanks to Justine Stewart)

Israelis and Purposeful Ignorance to the Crimes Against Humanity Being Committed in Palestine

An interview with Shulamit Aloni

Former Meretz Leader, Shulamit Aloni, has established a reputation for her critique of modern Israeli society. She has also been described as the Grand old Lady of the Israeli peace movement. Recently she surprised quite a few people in endorsing Yossi Beilin for the leader of Yahad. Beilin had been far less critical of the immorality of the Occupation than she has. Nevertheless she offered her name as a supporter in this election and the new party formed out of the old Meretz (and Shahar (Dawn) a group of mainly ex-Labour Party members around Beilin. While Aloni is an avowed non-believer (something that get her into hot water during her time as Education Minister in Rabin's government) she sound more and more like Biblical prophet. In many respects her comments about "gross insensitivity" and "moral degeneration" echo the words of some of the Jewish prophets in a modern context. This interview was given to Attila Somfelvi of Ynet - the Web site associated with Yediot Acharonot Israel's largest circulating daily.

"Like the Germans, we don't want to know"
Translated by Sol Salbe

Recently, in front of hundreds of supporters of Yossi Beilin, who had just been elected head of Yahad, Shulamit Aloni - "Oum Meretz" [The Meretz Mother (in Arabic)] - settled accounts with everyone: stylishly, sharply and in her own inimitable style. No one escaped her acerbic tongue. They all copped it: the government, apathetic Israeli society, the army and even her left-wing colleagues who have fallen asleep at the wheel. "Stop being politically correct!" she lashed out. "It's time to tell the truth to the people, straight to their faces!"

Now following the election of Beilin, whom she supported, Aloni has given an exclusive interview to Ynet, explaining why she endorsed him ("he's been consistent on the issue of peace") but why she does not believe that the Left could recover anytime soon ("populists"). She warns against the disintegration of Israeli society ("gross insensitivity"), and rules out any comeback in politics ("I don't miss it") and states: "I am beginning to understand why a whole nation (the Germans) was able to say: 'We did not know.""

What do you mean when you say that you understand the Germans?

" These days you meet people around the country who say: 'I don't want to know, I have given up reading the papers.' Do you know how many people are unwilling to read Gideon Levy and Amira Hass [Haaretz reporters in the Occupied Territories] because they simply don't want to know what is happening there? They do not deny the accuracy of these two journalists' articles, but they simply don't want to know. . . " (full article)
(thanks, again, to Maireid - jeez! why don't I just put you all on HER mailing list?)


I just saw a great film the other night: LAGAAN , which means 'tax,' or more specifically, a kind of protection payment levy that farmers paid to the English Raj, for their protection against neighbouring enemies. However, the Brits exacted this lagaan from the rival villages as well - shades of the mafia! The plot: the village is in the middle of a drought and cannot pay the increased double-tax so they take on the challenge of the British soldiers to a cricket match to settle the issue. The film is three and a half hours long with at least one hour of solid cricket competition! But it kept me glued. Singing and dancing breaks out in the most unlikely places.

There is a bit of controversy about 'Bollywood' films and whether they are true world class cinema or just a commercial aberration, like the Asian chop-socky industry, but India is the largest producer of films in the world (over 1000 annually) so you might like to have a look at the article below. Personally, I loved this film enough to go out and buy it. It works for me! A mixed genre kind of Hindi version of 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Meets Seven Samaurai' if you can follow that. If musicals are your game, it absolutely eats 'Moulin Rouge' alive. (Article on Bollywood Films)
(thanks to Stefan Abeysekera) - See Maireid! I do have other sources . . .)

from the Herald Sun

" . . . A woman on a Qantas flight from Melbourne opened her lunch salad container to find a 4cm brown whistling tree frog. . ."

(Note: I would have just assumed it was something French, typical airline food or musical sushi, and just eaten it - but that's just me.)

Light Bulb Joke

Q. How many vegans does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Four. One on whom they can fob off the unavoidable task while the other three anguish over how many animals were killed by the habitat destruction necessary to extract the minerals required to manufacture the bulb. (thanks to Ben Kettlewell - Mairied's partner - come on, you guys, cut it out.)


Ok, here's a few good ones for all my vegeterrestial friends:

MATAR PANEER (with peas)

(Paneer is a nice, easy to make Indian cheese, that goes with anything and is great grilled as well.)

225 g paneer
2 tbles ghee
50 g onions chopped
200 g fresh peas
1/2 teasp sugar
5 cm (2 in) ginger, grated
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1/2 teasp garam masala
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Cut the paneer in 1 in cubes. Heat ghee in a frying pan over medium heat and carefully fry the paneer until golden on all sides. Remove from pan.

Fy the onion lightly in the same ghee until softened and golden. Remove from pan. Add 5 tables hot water and a pinch of salt to the ghee and simmer 1 minute. Add the peas and sugar. Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until peas are almost cooked.

Add the onion, paneer, ginger, chili and spring onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garam masala and coriander leaves. Season with salt to taste.



3 litres (12 cups) milk
6 tables strained lemon juice

Pour the milk into a large heavy saucepan. Bring to the boil stirring with a wooden spoon so the milk doesn't stick to the pan. Reduce heat and stir in the lemon juice, then heat over low heat for a few more seconds before turning the heat off as large bits of curd start to form. Shake the pan slowly to allow the curds to form and release the yellow whey. If the curds are slow to form, put the pan over low heat again for a few seconds. This helps with the coagulation. Line a colander with muslin or cheesecloth so that it overlaps the sides. Pour off the whey, gently collecting the curds in the colander. Carefully pull up the corners of the cheesecloth so it hangs like a bag, twist the cloth so the whey is released, then hold the 'bag' under running water to wash off the remaining whey, twisiting some more to remove the excess liquid.

Leave the bag to hang from your tap for several hours so the weight of the curds releases more liquid and the cheese compacts. To remove even more liquid, press the bag under a heavy weight such as a tray with some tinned food piled on top for about 1 hour. This will form a firm block of paneer. When the block is firm enough to cut into cubes, the paneer is ready for use.

'Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
eating her curds and whey
along came a spider
and sat down beside her
and frightened Miss Muffet away.


I wondered what 'curds and whey' actually were - until I made paneer. But I still was in the dark about a 'tuffet'. My partner Lin though it was a 'tush' - but it's actually:

tuffet - (alteration of tuft)
1: 1569, "rock of consolidated volcanic fragments," from M.Fr. tuf, from It. tufa "tufa, porous rock," probably from L. tufus, tophus.
2: a small cluster of elongated flexible outgrowths attached or close together at the base and free at the opposite ends; especially : a growing bunch of grasses or close-set plants.
3: a low seat.

If anyone wants to have a tuffet to eat their paneer on, here's a site where you can make one: Crazy Quilted Tuffet

KHICHHARI (rice with dal)

60 g yellow dal
300 g basmati rice
3 tables ghee
1 teas cumin seeds
6 cloves
1/2 cinammon stick
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cm (3/4 in) piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 teas garam masala
3 tables lemon juice
1 teas salt

Soak the dal in 2 cups water in a large saucepan for 2 hours. Wash the rice in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain

Heat the ghee in a saucepan over low heat and fry the cumin seeds, cloves, and cinnamon for a few seconds. Increase the heat to medium add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until they soften and begin to brown.

Add the rice and dal and toss to thoroughly coat in ghee. Add the garam masala, lemon juice and salt and 3 cups boiling water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to very low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently fluff up with fork. Cover the pan with a clean cloth and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff up again and season with salt to taste.

These dishes can be eaten as mains but also go well as side dishes with Cardamon Chicken with Whole Green Chillies (See Recipe Index) which is the way I prepared them last night, with an additional side of Punjabi Cabbage.


The Lily
Night after night
enters the face
of the lily
which, lightly,
closes its five walls
around itself,
and its purse
of honey,
and its fragrance,
and is content
to stand there
in the garden,
not quite sleeping,
and, maybe,
saying in lily language
some small words
we can't hear
even when there is no wind
its lips
are so secret,
its tongue
is so hidden ­
or, maybe,
it says nothing at all
but just stands there
with the patience
of vegetables
and saints
until the whole earth has turned around
and the silver moon
becomes the golden sun ­
as the lily absolutely knew it would,
which is itself, isn't it,
the perfect prayer? 
~ Mary Oliver ~
 (Why I Wake Early, 2004)

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