November 29th, 2003


A Name By Any Other Rose . . .

" That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable. "
Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man", circa 1792

Hi folks,

What's In A Name? (Part I)

That quote above is from a great Paine. No relation, unfortunately, to the founder of the town where I was born, Painesville, Ohio - ('Paineville: Where it Hurts the Most', we used to say while I was growing up.)

When Painesville was laid out in 1805, it was known variously as The Opening, Oak Openings, and finally Champion, in honor of Henry Champion, an early Ohio pioneer. The township in which Champion was located derived its name from General Edward Paine, native of Connecticut, who was a heroic officer in the American Revolutionary Army and one of the first settlers in the northeast pocket of Ohio. Later the town's name was changed to that of its township. If anyone is interested the family tree of General Paine, a veritable treasure chest of early Americana, which goes all the way back to the 1400's, complete with notes about his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather!, you can track in down via the site below:
Payne/Paine Family Website, by Steven L. Payne.

Now to the Big Picture!

Biblical Marriage

The US Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to:

"Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage.
Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With any forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government." Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a Proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on Biblical Principles:


I.  Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)II.  Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

III.  A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

IV.  Marriage between a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

V.  Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

VI.  If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow.  If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law.  (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10) (Thanks to Carolyn 'Doesn't-Dance-With-Yahoo-Ads' Kay)


The Battle of the Georges

I have never been a big fan of financier George Soros's business philosophy in the past. I have tried reading a few of his tomes and found them pretty incomprehensible and boring. I have always prefered instead to study Warren Buffet's 'Letters from the Chairman,' at the beginning of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Reports, or the writings of Peter Lynch, when I want to get some good financial insights. But George Soros blew my mind last week with this spectacular article about the Neoconservatives, or, as he calls it, Social Darwinism, within the core of the Bush Administration. The man has found his calling. Soros, as a lot of you know, has come out strongly against the other George (Dubya) and is determined to put his money where his mouth is to help us remove him from office. Here's the article:

The Bubble of American Supremacy
by George Soros

A prominent financier argues that the heedless assertion of American power in the world resembles a financial bubble-and the moment of truth may be here

It is generally agreed that September 11, 2001, changed the course of history. But we must ask ourselves why that should be so. How could a single event, even one involving 3,000 civilian casualties, have such a far-reaching effect? The answer lies not so much in the event itself as in the way the United States, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, responded to it. Admittedly, the terrorist attack was historic in its own right. Hijacking fully fueled airliners and using them as suicide bombs was an audacious idea, and its execution could not have been more spectacular. The destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center made a symbolic statement that reverberated around the world, and the fact that people could watch the event on their television sets endowed it with an emotional impact that no terrorist act had ever achieved before. The aim of terrorism is to terrorize, and the attack of September 11 fully accomplished this objective. Even so, September 11 could not have changed the course of history to the extent that it has if President Bush had not responded to it the way he did. He declared war on terrorism, and under that guise implemented a radical foreign-policy agenda whose underlying principles predated the tragedy. Those principles can be summed up as follows: International relations are relations of power, not law; power prevails and law legitimizes what prevails. The United States is unquestionably the dominant power in the post-Cold War world; it is therefore in a position to impose its views, interests, and values. The world would benefit from adopting those values, because the American model has demonstrated its superiority. The Clinton and first Bush Administrations failed to use the full potential of American power. This must be corrected; the United States must find a way to assert its supremacy in the world. (more) (thanks to Maireid 'Crazy Lyrebird' Sullivan)

Conservatives shocked by power of money
Soros draws fire as billionaire contributing to the wrong side. Whenever Republican leaders complain about the power of money in politics, the source of their concern is always the same: Somewhere, a Democrat of means has just written a substantial check. To Republicans who regard their financial advantage as a partisan birthright, such leveling gestures seem terribly unfair -- as unsporting as a liberal who fights back. (more)

What Would $87 Billion Buy?
By Michael Moore

If you can't get through this list without wanting to throw up, I'll understand. But pass it around anyway. This is the nail in the Iraq War's coffin for any sane, thinking individual, regardless of their political stripe. (Thanks to Tom and the Center for American Progress.) To get some perspective, here are some real-life comparisons about what $87 billion means:

$87 Billion is more than the combined total of all State budget deficits in the United States. The Bush administration proposed absolutely zero funds to help states deal with these deficits, despite the fact that their tax cuts drove down state revenues. [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities].

$87 Billion is enough to pay the 3.3 million people who have lost jobs under George W. Bush $26,363.00 each! The unemployment benefits extension passed by Congress at the beginning of this year provides zero benefits to "workers who exhausted their regular, state unemployment benefits and cannot find work." [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities].

$87 Billion is more than double the total amount the government spends on Homeland Security. The U.S. spends about $36 billion on homeland security. Yet, Sen. Warren Rudman (R- N.H.) wrote, "America will fall approximately $98.4 billion short of meeting critical emergency responder needs" for homeland security without a funding increase. [Source: Council on Foreign Relations].

$87 Billion is 87 times the amount the Federal Government spends on After School Programs. George W. Bush proposed a budget that reduces the $1 billion for after school programs to $600 million - cutting off about 475,000 children from the program. [Source: The Republican-dominated House Appropriations Committee].

$87 Billion is more that 10 times what the Government spends on all environmental Protection. The Bush administration requested just $7.6 billion for the entire Environmental Protection Agency. This included a 32 percent cut to water quality grants, a 6 percent reduction in enforcement staff, and a 50 percent cut to land acquisition and conservation. [Source: Natural Resources Defense Council].

There you go. In black and white. A few million of you will receive this letter. Please share the above with at least a half-dozen people today and tomorrow. I, like you, do not want to see another approval rating over 50 percent.

Yours, Michael 'Bowling With Wolves' Moore, Filmmaker


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A year before the next presidential election, voters in the United States are about where they were in 2000 on the question of President Bush -- split down the middle -- according to a new poll by Time magazine and CNN. The poll showed that 47 percent were somewhat likely or very likely to vote to re-elect Bush and 48 percent were somewhat unlikely or very unlikely to do so. Bush's overall job approval rating was at 52 percent, according to the poll, down from its peak of 89 percent in October 2001, just after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. His disapproval rating reached a new high, at 43 percent, the poll said. (more)

Iraq War Diverting Resources from War on Terror, Experts Say
by Warren P. Strobel
WASHINGTON - A growing number of counter-terrorism experts are challenging President Bush's assertion that Iraq is a major battle in the war against terrorism and are questioning whether the U.S. invasion of Iraq has hurt rather than helped the global battle against al-Qaida and its affiliates. Experts who have served in top positions in both Republican and Democratic administrations are increasingly suggesting that the Iraq war has diverted momentum, troops and intelligence resources from the worldwide campaign to destroy the remnants of al-Qaida. (more)
School of the Americas

The US Army School of Americas (SOA), based in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin American soldiers in combat, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. Among the SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians. (full report)

This past week there have been demonstrations.

10,000 Converge on Ft. Benning; Nuns, Priests, Veterans, Students Arrested after Committing Civil Disobedience to Close School of Americas
COLUMBUS, GA - November 23 - Over ten thousand people gathered this weekend outside the gates of Ft. Benning, Ga., in the most diverse demonstration yet of opposition to the School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHISC), a combat-training school for Latin American soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans havebeen tortured, raped, assassinated, "disappeared," and massacred by SOA graduates, according to participating groups. (Complete Article)

Hogtied and Abused at Fort Benning
by Kathy Kelly

On Sunday, November 23, I took part in a nonviolent civil disobedience action at Fort Benning, GA, to protest the U.S. Army´s School of the Americas (SOA, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation -- WHISC.) Shortly after more than two dozen of us entered Fort Benning and were arrested, US Military Police took us to a warehouse on the base for "processing." I was directed to a station for an initial search, where a woman soldier began shouting at me to look straight ahead and spread my legs. I turned to ask her why she was shouting at me and was ordered to keep my mouth shut, look straight ahead, and spread my legs wider. She then began an aggressive body search. When ordered to raise one leg a second time, I temporarily lost my balance while still being roughly searched and, in my view, 'womanhandled.' I decided that I shouldn't go along with this dehumanizing action any longer. (Complete Article)

Don't Bogart that Baggie, My Friend

" To be perfectly frank, if one were trying to find the bottom of the Stupid Barrel, this comes pretty close to not only plumbing the depths but giving a within-microns-accurate depiction of its contours. "

Police: Man chokes to death trying to hide bag of pot in mouth
(11-20) 07:20 PST FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) --

A man changing a flat tire choked to death on a bag of marijuana he had stuffed down his throat in an apparent attempt to hide it from police who stopped to help him, authorities said.(more)


"The Stupid Barrel turns out to be a lot deeper than we thought. "RN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A little tropical fish that glows fluorescent red will be the first genetically engineered pet, a Texas-based company said on Friday. (more)

"No Nuke Dump in Nevada."Protest Sign

Protests Mark Bush's First Visit to Las Vegas as President. President Bush touched down in Las Vegas on Tuesday, hoping to raise funds and support among Nevada residents, who turned out in force to show their anger at his decisions to approve Yucca Mountain and reform Medicare. Bush addressed Medicare and medical liability issues at a recently opened Las Vegas hospital and attended a $2,000 a plate fund-raiser luncheon at the Venetian hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Protesters picketed both locations as Bush made his first visit to Nevada as president . Security was tight outside The Venetian hotel-casino on the Strip as about 1,200 people peacefully walked a line separated from tourists by metal barricades. Police reported no arrests. Many demonstrators carried signs reading "No Nuke Dump in Nevada." Others brought handmade signs referring to broken promises and issues including the Iraq war, union policies, Medicare, abortion policy, and the Patriot Act. Opponents of Yucca Mountain say Bush broke a campaign pledge to let "sound science" decide if the nation's nuclear repository should open 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Last July, Congress approved the plan to store 77,000 tons of radioactive waste in the state. The Energy Department is preparing to apply to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to open the repository in 2010. (more)

'Monstrous US Justice' Attacked by Law Lord
by Joshua Rozenberg

One of Britain's most senior judges condemned the American courts last night for a "monstrous failure of justice" by refusing to rule on the claims of Taliban suspects held without trial at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. (more)

True Toilet Tales III

Putting a Lid on Bioterror
Tom Feran

You're wasting your time if you ever argue about leaving the toilet seat up or down. It's like wondering if you left a light on when your house is on fire. Forget the seat -- close the lid. After consulting Dr. Philip Tierno, you might even want to throw a tarp over it. But he says the lid is adequate, and he isn't talking about etiquette. Tierno, a world-famous expert on bioterrorism, is director of clinical microbiology and diagnostic immunology at New York University Medical Centre. He also is the author of books including "The Secret Life of Germs: Observations and Lessons From a Microbe Hunter," which identifies "hot spots" in the home - not for terrorism, but for bacterial infection. Duck and cover anyway. "Every time the toilet is flushed," Tierno said in a call from his office last week, "especially some of the really forceful older toilets, faecal matter and bacteria can spray 20 feet in the air. Even low-volume flush toilets can spew up to 7 or 8 feet. . . . "(more)
(thanks to John ' Flushes With Toilets' Jacobs)

Humour (Isn't it all?)

Urgent Message

Soon-to-be-Ex-President George W Bush went rushing into Homeland Security Central Headquarters with an urgent fax."I think Saddam Hussein has just sent me a terrorist warning but it appears to be in some kind of code." On the paper were the figures:


After five hours of trying to decipher the message, the specialist returned the fax to Dubya with this note: "It wasn't in code, sir - you were just holding it upside down."

Give Pizza A Chance

Worker Uses Pizza Cutter To Fight Off Would-Be Robber\

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Police said that workers at a Southwest Columbus pizza shop fought off a would-be robber Monday night. A worker reportedly grabbed a pizza cutter and slashed the man across the back of his head. He dropped the gun and fled the Demorest Road scene, NewsChannel 4 reported. Police said that they are trying to determine if the attempted robbery is related to the recent rash of robberies in that portion of the city.
(thanks to PMQ)


If anyone is struggling for gift ideas, here are some recommendations:

1- Bowling For Columbine DVD. I'm sure everyone has seen this ground breaking film (if not, ask someone to give it to YOU for a present!). The Special Features of this DVD are worth the price alone, as it features five different interviews with Michael Moore, including an awe-inspiring speech, showing that this man walks his talk (it had me in tears) - One of the great public addresses, up there with Martin Luther King Jr's, in my book. Moore also refrains from giving the usual 'commentary track' - as he says he's said all he can about the film within the film - but he lets his interns and receptionist do a commentary!

2- SeeYaGeorge.Com T-shirts. I've ordered one of these for myself. A white T-shirt with one of those big red circles with the slash through it (like No Standing) but the slash is through a large W.

No 'W'', basically. (There's a picture in last week's newsletter - see Archive Section below.)

I can't wait to wear this shirt at my next show. You can order directly from the US online and pay via PayPal or Credit Card. Better hurry for Xmas though as it takes about a week for airmail.

And . . . .naturally, any of MY Recordings would make good presents (not for me, of course, bozos.) But they are only available via my website. (Or, as the banditos might have said in the 'Treasure of Sierra Madre:' "We don't need no stinkin' record company!")

What's In A Name? (Part II)

In ancient times (even on ancient hippie communes) people used to name their children in such a way that it would either give some direction to their lives or else capture something of their essential nature, i.e. Dances With Wolves, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, etc. (By the way, if any of you aspiring writers are ever suffering from the so-called dreaded 'writer's block,' just make a list of ten 'essential nature' names for George W Bush i.e. Talking Bull, Crazy F*ck, Dances With Rabies . . . Stupid-R-Us. See what I mean? The list is endless and voila! - writer's block is gone.)

I worked with an aboriginal elder once named Gnarnyarrhe Inmurray Waitaire whose tribal name means "Little Blue Joey Kangaroo Born By A Spring in the Dreamtime.' But most people used to call him, Trevor, for short. True. These days, the names we gives our kids suggest, at best, a kind of ancestor worship. I'm Joe, short for Joseph, named for my Grandfather. Other variations of my name are: Che, Giuseppe, Giuseppino, Iosep, Jo, Jodi, Jodie, Jody, Jojo Joey, Joop, Joos, Jose, Josef, Joseito, Josep, Josephe, Josephus, Josif, Josip, Joszef, Jozef, Osip, Pepe, Pepito, Peppi, Pino, Pipo, Sepp, Seppi, Yousef, Yusif, Yusuf, Yusup, and Yuszef. However, the ancient Hebrew meaning of 'Joseph' is: 'He Who Adds'. Combine that with my last name, 'Dolce', which means 'sweet,' and you get something like:' He Who Adds Sweetness'. Not bad. (Could have been worse. Like Dances-With-Republicans.) Try this site for Biblical Meanings of Common Names.

Name-in-a-Heart Sugar Swirl

No serious new recipes this week but here is a variation of the Personalized Sugar Swirl from last week that I discovered while making a 'Welcome Home' present. Use a plain syrup and a red-coloured syrup to make a small name-in-a-heart decoration for a bowl of ice cream or cake.

Ingredients: castor sugar, water, red food colouring, 2 small sauacepans, aluminium foil.

Put equal measures of castor sugar and water into the two small saucepans. (Start with a half a cup of each, in each pan to practice.) Add a teaspoon of red food colouring to one pan. Stir until colour is uniform. Part 1: Heat the plain syrup mix until the sugar dissolves. Simmer the syrup until it starts to go golden around the edges. Watch it very carefully! Nothing happens for a long time and then it all happens in about two seconds. Do not burn the syrup. If you do, throw it out and start over. You want to take it off the heat when it's reduced to about three-quarters and just starting to turn golden around the edges. Remove the first pan from the heat, and place the second pan on it. Let the plain boiling syrup cool for a couple minutes, until the bubbles subside, then, with a teaspoon, carefully but quickly, drip the syrup in a stream onto a non-stick surface (aluminium foil, the shiny side) spelling out the name of whomever you want. Make it small. You can do each letter separately. Once the name is clear, vary the stream so that it is thinner and criss-cross back and forth with wispy thin streams of syrup creating a kind of web to hold the letters in place and connected to each other. (You'll have to practice with a few to get the thicknesses right so that they hold together without looking too bulky.) Part 2: When the second pan of red syrup reaches the same consistency as the previous plain syrup, remove from the heat and let cool for a couple minutes. Working quickly with another clean teaspoon, drip evenly, a red heart shape around the name you have previously made. Let cool completely. Then carefully separate the completed swirl decoration from the aluminium foil and place on a flat plate until ready to use. To serve: just place on top of a scoop of ice cream or a piece of cake. (Tip: I usually try to make four at a time, for each name, so that at least one will come out beautifully. Everyone is different and keep going for it until you get one you like.) And as before, you'll have to practice this to get it right but it's really not that hard and you can eat your mistakes.

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
Emile Zola