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November 12th, 2004

Ye & The

" I plan to live forever or die trying."
Groucho Marx

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered heaahhhhh . . . . . .

I had intended this week to open with a lofty essay on the theme, 'We must act as though the election had never occurred, ' in order to remind myself once again that the real work has to be done in the streets, not in the ballot box. (amen!) I recalled the Pankhurst women chaining themselves to government gates to protest for the right for women to vote. It didn't matter to them which MEN were in charge of the government. (halleluja!) Or Louisa Lawson, poet Henry Lawson's firebrand mother, who pioneered 'The Dawn' newspaper, in the early 1900s, out of Sydney for 15 years, profitably I might add, employing only women, and the first great strong feminist voice in Australia. How many unsympathetic Prime Ministers did she live through? (right on, sistahs!) Or M. Ghandi leading the salt march against the British Raj? Did he care who was Monarch or Minister? Would it have made any difference? (amen, brothers!) Or Martin Luther King Jr? Did it really matter who was the President? No. (I have a dream!) The real work was by direct action, and, much of the time, by putting themselves physically at risk. (have mercy!)

But before I could get any further with my 'Call-to-Action' sermon, I was fortunate to have forwarded to me the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture, by author, Arundhati Roy.

I know everyone is busy and only has so much to read and take in stuff every week, but - if you only have time to digest one item from this newsletter, I hope you will make some time to listen to the RealPlayer stream of Arundhati Roy's awesome speech and/or print out and read the transcript which I have archived for you on my website (it was hard to find unedited).

Arundhati Roy - 2004 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture

This is the most important thing I have seen, post-election, and one of the great speeches of the past 50 years, by a truly insightful, spiritual and socially-aware woman activist, who also only happens to be an extraordinary novelist and Booker prize winner. A true visionary for all creative people, with ideas on how to most effectively combine art, politics and life, in these frustrating political times. If you are feeling lost and depressed over recent political events, trust me. YOU WILL BE INSPIRED.

" . . . It's easy to blame the poor for being poor. It's easy to believe that the world is being caught up in an escalating spiral of terrorism and war. That's what allows the American President to say "You're either with us or with the terrorists." But we know that that's a spurious choice. We know that terrorism is only the privatization of war. That terrorists are the free marketers of war. They believe that the legitimate use of violence is not the sole prerogative of the State.

It is mendacious to make moral distinction between the unspeakable brutality of terrorism and the indiscriminate carnage of war and occupation. Both kinds of violence are unacceptable. We cannot support one and condemn the other.

The real tragedy is that most people in the world are trapped between the horror of a putative peace and the terror of war. Those are the two sheer cliffs we're hemmed in by. The question is: How do we climb out of this crevasse?

For those who are materially well-off, but morally uncomfortable, the first question you must ask yourself is do you really want to climb out of it? How far are you prepared to go? Has the crevasse become too comfortable?

If you really want to climb out, there's good news and bad news. " Full transcript
RealPlayer Speech and Interview: Audio
(thanks to Maireid Sullivan)


This weekend is also the final tally of the US election ballots from Ohio. Florida and Ohio were two of the key electoral states that Kerry could have taken, giving him the presidency. Now, I don't trust Florida as far as I can throw it, and I am expecting no great surprises in Ohio either, but I thought you might like to be reminded that Dennis 'The Menace' Kucinich, who was my presidential candidate of choice, and who is the present Congressman for Ohio, and his team of lawyers, are monitoring the vote tally, basically watching the Democrats' backs. If there is any light at the end of this dubious tunnel, there is no one better than Kucinich to find it. Like I said, expect nothing - but even one intentional fraud case that could be proved against the Republican party might be enough - look at Watergate. Here a letter from Dennis Kucinich about Ohio: letter

Here is the most comprehensive archive site to keep track of all the facts (and theories) about 2004 Voter Fraud: site

Favourite Reader Feedback of the Week

"Give me a break, you are all such poor losers. No one belly-ached when Nixon conceded to JFK." CGerk

"Face it John Kerry lost the election! You people should just get through your thick liberal heads that our country is under excellent leadership! What did the stock market do days after Kerry conceded? And if you are concerned about job loss, do your own investigating like I did and you find the real numbers. Not the John Kerry campaign figures. Or what NBC or FOX wants you to here (sic)." J.C.

F*ck you seppos are paranoid! F*ck off B.C.
(Note: I wrote back enquiring: - "What's a Seppo? *lol*"
Reply: " Septic tank, rhymes with yank. cheers, "

(Note: Duh! I get way too many of these types of responses, dear readers, to submit you to too much of this kind of cyber-bile. That's my personal newsletter 'Croix de Bear'. I have however prepared a special 'Newsletter Removal Confirmation' for all those who insist on spewing forth like this rather than simply writing 'Unsubscribe' in the subject box, like decent folk. Here is a fragment, with a link to my complete reply:)


This is to assure you that you have been REMOVED (c.1300, from O.Fr. remouvoir, from L. removere "move back or away," from re- "back, away" + movere "to move".) The noun is first recorded 1553, "act of removing;" sense of "space or interval by which one thing is distant from another" is attested from 1628; also, you may now officially consider your email address DELETED, TAKEN AWAY, TAKEN OFF, WITHDRAWN, EXTRACTED, DOFFED, DOUSED, PUT OFF, CAST OFF, THROWN OFF, CLEARED AWAY, ELIMINATED, TAKEN OUT, ERADICATED, EXTERMINATED, EXTIRPATED, BLOTTED OUT, EFFACED, ERASED, OBLITERATED, DONE AWAY WITH, LIQUIDATED, and for all general purposes EXPUNGED (without prejudice) from the JOE DOLCE NEWSLETTER.

For those who missed it, the complete disclaimer is here in all its glory - thanks again to Maireid Sullivan.)


Dear Joe,
In order to cope with the ominous result of the American election I, like you, have sought solace in a fine malt. Laphraoig is my tipple, not to everyone's taste I admit, the sensation of drinking it has been likened to "being kicked in the teeth by a peat-cutter's boot". Unlike you, I have already opened and drunk from it's memory-obliterating and spine-stiffening contents, and would recommend this course of treatment for all downhearted Democrats.
Eric Bogle

Lagavulin is indeed a princely Scottish single malt WHISKY. I constantly encourage the consumption of such and others of its ilk, but while we Scots drink whisky, our Irish brethren prefer whiskey.
John McAuslan

(Note: Eric and John (and, by default, David) I have included a special section further on down below on Lagavulin and whisk(e)y in general.)

Born-agains also dismiss evolution as "junk science." Ironic then, that they would choose to elect a monkey for president. 
Brendan Shea

Dear Joe,
Love the show, never miss it. The American people have sown the wind. I seriously fear the whirlwind, Joe.
James D.

So Joe,
Here's an idea- why don't the 'blue' states secede and join Canada- now wouldn't that  be a terrific country- and would give Canadians somewhere warm to go in the winter months.
Laurel (ex-Canadian)

I thought I was meant to be receiving music newsletters?

Hey Joe,
 I quite enjoy some of your "Song Newsletter" but I really can do without the Political bent ... or is there a secret song hidden somewhere in the depths of this email. (I think even Bruce Springsteen would have a hard time getting this into verse and chorus.) Can I suggets two email lists... "Joe Dolce's Song Newsletter" and "Joe Dolce's Other Spam". You know which one I want to be on. kind regards,
David T.

Ladies and Gentlemen: please take your partners for World War 3.

On one Side - we have a mob of mad religious idiots with funny hats and
facial hair. They have guns and narrow minds, if any minds at all.
Their God is the God of funny hats and ammunition. Apparently all that stuff that
god said about being nice to other people doesn't matter if the victim is
not wearing the right funny hat. Saddam Hussein was not a funny hat, but a
successful arsehole-with-gun. The funny hats probably hate him.

On the other side - we have a mob of mad religious idiots. They often
wear silly, impractical hats, which are NOT TO BE LAUGHED AT. They drive
very large cars extremely slowly. They have cup-holders. They have lots of
guns which they use for shooting their enemies, their allies and each other.
They add naivete to their narrow-mindedness in their poor excuses for
brains. Their God believes in cup-holders, guns, waving the flag, and very
large cars. Their God is the fat stupid God. Apparently all that stuff that
God said about being nice to other people is a complete fabrication, made
up by the opposition. God apparently sent a representative to explain a few
things, but thankfully the spin-doctors have sanitised it. You can shoot
people but don't say f**k.

Funny hats versus Silly hats. Fanatical bearded idiots versus Fat Naive idiots.

What a meaningful ideological quest.

Note that amongst the various hats there are people of sound common sense
who understand, to their mounting horror, that WW3 is staring at us with even bigger, redder eyes than is the coming environmental catastrophe caused by consumerism, greed and overpopulation. These people will hopefully get together, though whether to solve the problem or merely depress each other is unknown at this stage.

Chemicals are available, as a short-term solution to the problems of worry and insomnia.

You, sir, are a voice of sanity. Alan

p.s. (For what it is worth, I hated your song "Shaddap You Face.")

(Note: Whew! Now I can sleep. Thanx Alan, Joe.)


Brilliant fun! Submit your own apology and photo to the world for allowing the Repugnicans back into power. site

Civil Democracy

" I wouldn't bother waiting for the Democratic Party to get its sh*t together for the next go-round because I think this week's election results are just going to drive the party even further to the right.

Put your faith in civil democracy.

In the early days of our country and until the end of the 19th century, we had three powerful social forces: the federal government, local government, and civil democracy. Of the three, civil democracy was by far the most powerful. Activists were responsible for breaking away from Britain in the first place. Look at environmental issues: Creating Yosemite National Park was not Teddy Roosevelt's idea, it was that of the activist John Muir, who talked Roosevelt into camping under the redwoods. Today, citizen kayakers and fishers work to bring down obsolete dams and let the rivers flow. Falconers have brought the peregrine falcon back from near extinction. Duck hunters have done the most to protect waterfowl in North America.

Worldwide, more than 100,000 nongovernmental organizations are working on ecological and social sustainability. The fact that they have all arisen independently is a tremendous statement of the extent of the environmental crisis. Many of these grassroots organizations are far more capable of solving problems than are self-serving multinational corporations or government agencies. Most of them are local groups working long hours with minimal resources. So I say, now, more than ever, we need to encourage civil democracy by joining up, volunteering, or supporting these groups financially. We can still have a voice in democracy. " Yvon Chouinard


The Limits of Tyrants

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the [endurance] of those whom they oppress."
Frederick Douglass, former slave and one of the most prominent African-American lecturers and authors in American history.

"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.": John Flynn, 1944

Small Acts

"Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't "win," there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope." Howard Zinn, The Optimism of Uncertainty 

An 85-year-old man went to his doctor's office and while there the Dr. asked for a sperm count.
The doctor gave the man a jar and said, "Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow."

The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor's office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day. 
The doctor asked what happened and the man explained: "Well, doc, it's like this:
First I tried with my right-hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then her left, still nothing.
She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, and still nothing. 
We even called up Arleen, the lady next door and she tried too, first with both hands,
then an armpit and she even tried squeezin' it between her knees, but still nothing." 
The doctor was shocked! "You asked your neighbour?"

The old man replied, "Yep. And no matter what we tried, we still couldn't get the jar open." (boom boom!)
(thanks to Jim Testa.)


"The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He's in Fallujah and we're going to destroy him." Col. Gary Brandl, American commander, U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Marines turn to God ahead of anticipated Fallujah battle

NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - With US forces massing outside Fallujah, 35 marines swayed to Christian rock music and asked Jesus Christ to protect them in what could be the biggest battle since American troops invaded Iraq last year. Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M-16 assault rifles laying beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics in praise of Christ late Friday in a yellow-brick chapel.

Falwell Plans for 'Evangelical Revolution'

RICHMOND, Va. - Seeking to take advantage of the momentum from an election where moral values proved important to voters, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced Tuesday he has formed a new coalition to guide an "evangelical revolution." Falwell, a religious broadcaster based in Lynchburg, Va., said the Faith and Values Coalition will be a "21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority," the organization he founded in 1979. article

By Anthony Harwood
WHY does America have such a confusing way of electing its presidents? It's because the racists of the Deep South wanted to hang on to their slaves.

In 1787, when the Founding Fathers met to hammer out a constitution, delegates from the South feared the populous North would win power and abolish slavery.

So they came up with the Electoral College. The parties in each state would appoint "electors" to choose the president depending on the voting in their state. The number of a state's electors depended on its population.

Then the slave owners played their trump card. Each slave would count as three-fifths of a white man. article

The Day the Enlightenment Went Out
By GARRY WILLS, Evanston, Ill.

This election confirms the brilliance of Karl Rove as a political strategist. He calculated that the religious conservatives, if they could be turned out, would be the deciding factor. The success of the plan was registered not only in the presidential results but also in all 11 of the state votes to ban same-sex marriage. Mr. Rove understands what surveys have shown, that many more Americans believe in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin's theory of evolution.

This might be called Bryan's revenge for the Scopes trial of 1925, in which William Jennings Bryan's fundamentalist assault on the concept of evolution was discredited. Disillusionment with that decision led many evangelicals to withdraw from direct engagement in politics. But they came roaring back into the arena out of anger at other court decisions - on prayer in school, abortion, protection of the flag and, now, gay marriage. article

Evangelicals Say They Led Charge for the GOP
By Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall
The Washington Post

Grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida credited President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. But they also described a mobilization of evangelical Protestants and conservative Roman Catholics that took off under its own power. In battlegrounds such as Ohio, scores of clergy members attended legal sessions explaining how they could talk about the election from the pulpit. Hundreds of churches launched registration drives, thousands of churchgoers registered to vote, and millions of voter guides were distributed by Christian and antiabortion groups. article

and finally . . . . .

JESUS OR ELVIS? - You decide . . . . .

Jesus said: "Love thy neighbor." (Matthew 22:39)
Elvis said: "Don't be cruel."
(RCA, 1956)

Jesus is the Lord's shepherd.
Elvis dated Cybill Shepherd.

Jesus walked on water. (Matthew 14:25)
Elvis surfed.
(Blue Hawaii, Paramount, 1965)

Jesus' entourage, the Apostles, had 12 members.
Elvis' entourage, the Memphis Mafia, had 12 members.

Jesus was resurrected.
Elvis had the famous 1968 "comeback" TV special.

Jesus said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."(John 7:37)
Elvis said, "Drinks on me!"
(Jailhouse Rock, MGM, 1957)

Jesus is a Capricorn. (December 25)
Elvis is a Capricorn. (January 8)

Matthew was one of Jesus' many biographers.
(The Gospel According to Matthew)
Neil Matthews was one of Elvis' many biographers.
(Elvis: A Golden Tribute)

"[Jesus] countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as
snow."(Matthew 28:3)
Elvis wore snow-white jumpsuits with lightning bolts.

Jesus lived in state of grace in a Near Eastern land.
Elvis lived in Graceland in a nearly eastern state.

Mary, an important woman in Jesus' life, had an Immaculate Conception.
Priscilla, an important woman in Elvis' life, went to Immaculate Conception High School.

Jesus was first and foremost the Son of God.
Elvis first recorded with Sun Studios, which today are still considered to be his foremost recordings.

Jesus was the lamb of God.
Elvis had mutton chop sideburns.

Jesus' Father is everywhere.
Elvis' father was a drifter, and moved around quite a bit.

Jesus was a carpenter.
Elvis' favorite high school class was wood shop.

Jesus wore a crown of thorns.
Elvis wore Royal Crown hair styler.

Jesus said: "Man shall not live by bread alone."
Elvis liked his sandwiches with peanut butter and bananas.

Common Errors in English


Those who study the history of English know that the word often misread as "ye" in Middle English is good old "the" spelled with an unfamiliar character called a thorn which looks vaguely like a "Y" but which is pronounced "TH." So all those quaint shop names beginning "Ye Olde" are based on a confusion: people never said "ye" to mean "the." However, if you'd rather be cute than historically accurate, go ahead. Very few people will know any better. (source)

Water of Life

Main Entry: whis·key Variant(s): or whis·ky /'hwis-kE, 'wis-/ Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural whiskeys or whiskies Etymology:Irish uisce beathadh & Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, literally, water of life 1 : a liquor distilled from the fermented mash of grain (as rye, corn, or barley)

1715, from Gaelic uisge beatha "whisky," lit. "water of life," from O.Ir. uisce "water" + bethu "life." The Gaelic is probably a loan-translation of M.L. aqua vitae, which had been applied to intoxicating drinks since early 14c. (cf. Fr. eau de vie "brandy"). Other early spellings in Eng. include usquebea (1706) and iskie bae (1583). Distinction between Scotch whisky and Irish and American whiskey is a 19c. innovation. The Gaelic "usquebaugh", meaning "Water of Life", phonetically became "usky" and then "whisky" in English.

"The best Scotch whiskies taste of the mountain heather, the peat, the seaweed. They taste of Scotland, more obviously than even Cognac tastes of its region or the best Tequila of its mountain soil."

For a whisky to be labelled Scotch it has to be produced in Scotland. If it is to be called Scotch, it cannot be produced in England, Wales, Ireland, America or anywhere else. Excellent whiskies are made by similar methods in other countries, notably Japan, but they cannot be called Scotches. They are most often referred to as "whiskey". While they might be splendid whiskies, they do not captivate the tastes of Scotland.

"Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae"

The entry above appeared in the Exchequer Rolls as long ago as 1494 and appears to be the earliest documented record of distilling in Scotland. This was sufficient to produce almost 1500 bottles, and it becomes clear that distilling was already a well-established practice. whisky.com

(pronouced Laga-voolin, after the Gaelic Laggan Mhouillin, 'the hollow where the mill is'.) (more)

(Warning: Has anyone, in a state of anxiety or excitement, ever mixed up eating, with breathing, and accidentally inhaled some food or drink into their lungs, causing some serious coughing? If so, take heed: DO NOT DO THIS WITH LAGAVULIN. I had that unfortunate experience this evening. The alcohol in the whisky must have caused a constriction of my lungs, or something, because I actually couldn't breathe for about a minute. It was one therapeutic experience. Naturally, after calming down, a few deep breaths, and a glass of water, I was able to finish my sniffer . . . and chase it with a nice Merlot, to boot - but make sure you are relaxed when you drink your Lagavulin. You really don't need this experience. Trust Doctor Joe.)

Good Come Back Lines

A while ago I published some good pick-up lines for all you singles out there. To be fair, here are some excellent reposts.

1. Him/Her: Haven't I seen you somewhere before?
Her/Him: Yeah, that's why I don't go there anymore.

2. " Is this seat empty?"
" Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down."

3. " So what do you do for a living?"
"I'm a female impersonator."

4. " Hey baby I think we're both here for the same reason. "
" Yeah, Let's pick up some chicks. "

5. " Do you want to go back to my place? "
" I don't know, will two people fit under a rock?"

6. " Im here to fulfill your every fantasy.
" You mean you can lend me a donkey and a great dane?"

7. " Hey baby how about you and I hitting the hot spots?"
" Sorry, I don't date outside of my species.

8. " So what do you think of me so far?"
" On a scale of 1 to 10, shut the f*ck up."

'Shaddap You Face' Christmas Hamper

And carrying on from that last one, anyone interested in some early Christmas shopping might try the 'Shut It' Hamper, from the U.K. That's right, have a look: (site)



This is the first cheesecake I've ever made. My partner Lin, who is a fanatic about cheesecakes, gave me a 10 out of 10. (There is no greater honour in Cheesecakeville.) It is a cross between a traditional cheesecake and a pumpkin pie! The recipe comes from Anthony Mudge, the talented chef at Queanbeyan's Byrne's Mill, and has been sitting around my 'In' basket for months. I knew I was supposed to get around to making this one day but had no idea of the amazing results. Thank you, Anthony.

450 g gingernut biscuits, finely crushed
120 g unsalted butter, melted
875 g cream cheese, at room temperature
200 g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
450 g pumpkin, steamed
250 g mascarpone

Combine the gingernut crumbs and butter and press onto the sides and base of a 24 cm springform tin. Bake at 150 C for 10 minutes.

Beat 750 g of the cream cheese with the sugar and spices, then add the eggs one at a time.

Puree the pumpkin with the remaining cream chese and add with the mascarpine to the original cream cheese mixture and combine well.

Pour into the biscuit base and bake at 150 C for about 1 hour or until set. Ideally, allow to cook in the oven.

Note: There are two main ways to serve this: hot or cold. When served hot, right out of the pan, it resembles a warm pumpkin pie with a slight touch of cheesecake. After a day of sitting in the fridge, it firms up and begins to resemble more of a baked cheesecake, and less of a pie. The first night I served it hot, straight out of the oven. The flavours are sublime and really do not need anything else. But the next day, for variation, I served it with some whipped cream and blueberries, and the following night with pure unwhipped cream, and cold cherries in a red wine, sugar, cinammon and lemon zest reduced syrup, with a few shreds of kaffir lime leaf on top. Perfect thing to make at Thanksgiving, or for Christmas dinner, as a variation to the traditional pumpkin pie.


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs -- all this resinous, unretractable earth.

~ Jane Hirshfield ~
 (Given Sugar, Given Salt)