A lot of Americanos are still angry at France
for not supporting the invasion of Iraq - and in many restaurants
(in the Stupid States) they have even changed the names of French
Fries and French Toast - to Freedom Fries and Freedom
Toast. But why stop there?
French Letter = Freedom Letter
French Poodle = Freedom Poodle
French Kiss = Freedom Kiss
French Dressing = Freedom Dressing
French Language = Freedom Language
Pardon My French = Pardon My Freedom
Frogs Legs = Freedom Legs (well,
maybe that's stretching it. boom boom.)
But, ergo sum:
French People = Freedom People.
French - O.E. frencisc
"of the Franks" (see frank). Euphemistic meaning
"bad language" (pardon my French) is from 1895.
Used in many combination-words, often dealing with food or sex.
French fries is 1918 Amer. Eng., from French fried potatoes
(1894, first attested in O. Henry); French dressing first
recorded 1900; French toast is from 1660. French letter
"condom" (c.1856), French (v.) "perform
oral sex on" (c.1917) and French kiss (1923) all probably
stem from the Anglo-Saxon equation of Gallic culture and sexual
sophistication, a sense first recorded 1749 in French novel.
To take French leave, "depart without telling the
host," is 1771, from a social custom then prevalent.
AMERICAN HISTORY 101
I've been re-visiting my early American
History, mainly due to two excellent DVDs, which I received from
the overseas: 'The Crossing' and 'Benedict
Arnold: A Question of Honour'.
I may have mentioned 'The Crossing,'
with Jeff Daniels, as General George Washington, in a previous
newsletter, but I'd like to mention it again. It is the stirring
story of Washington's incredible and against-odds victory against
the German Hessian mercenary garrison, achieved by a unexpected
night crossing of the Delaware River. An inspiring movie.
I just saw 'Benedict Arnold,' starring
Aidan Quinn, this week. I was taught in school that Benedict Arnold
was the ultimate traitor - his name practically synonymous with
the word - but what no one bothered to mention was that he fought
17 personal duels and, more importantly, until he defected, was
a great American war hero, a courageous and fearless Patriot,
initiating the awesome key victory at Saratoga, on his own initiative,
against orders, resulting in the capture of 5000 British
troops, and being wounded severely himself. After this victory,
France declared it would publicly support American Independence
(as it had already been covertly supplying arms to the American
Revolutionary Army for almost four years. Freedom Fries, my
butt!) Unfortunately, due to a series of tragic and painful-to-watch
misguided decisions on Benedict Arnold's part, he later was to
switch sides and support the British, influenced somewhat by his
devotion and marriage to his British Loyalist wife. Up to that
point, he had been General Washington's right hand man and, had
he been killed at Saratoga, instead of seriously wounded, he would
have gone down in history as one of America's greatest heroes.
('There but for Fortune go you or I . . . . .') Some historians
also believe that Arnold's defection, ironically, was the galvanizing
force that finally and irrevocably united the Colonies against
A little background:
Chronology Leading to the Battle
of Long Island
(from: The American Revolution:
Writings from the War of Independence, edited by John Rhodehamel.)
" 1776. Congress votes on July 2 to sever
all political ties with Great Britain and on July 4 adopts a revised
version of the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
Silas Deane, the agent appointed by Congress to purchase military
supplies in Europe, arrives in Paris on July 7th and begins working
with Beaumarchais on clandestine arms shipments. American
troops retreating from Canada reach Fort Ticonderoga in early
July as Carleton begins building boats to transport his army south
on Lake Champlain. Congress begins debating Articles of Confederation
and Perpetual Union drafted by John Dickinson, July 22. British
troops on Staten Island total 32,000 by mid-August, including
8,000 Hessians, facing 19,000 Continental soldiers and state Militia.
Howe begins landing troops at Gravesend Bay on Eastern end of
Long Island. August 22, and orders attack on American lines on
August 27. Americans lose 1400 men killed or captured in the battle
of Long Island (fought in present day Brooklyn) and are
forced to retreat behind their fortified lines on Brooklyn Heights.
Washington withdraws 9,000 men from Brooklyn Heights to Manhattan
on night of August 29-30. British successfully land at Kips Bay
on the east side of Manhattan on September 15, but fail to block
northward retreat of 5000 Americans along the west side of the
Island. Americans take up positions on Harlem Heights in northern
Manhattan as British occupy New York City."
Four years later, in an evocative letter to
his English commander, and soon after he had switched allegiance,
Benedict Arnold gives a lucid appraisal of the state of the Colonial
A Report on the Continental Army
(Excerpts: From Benedict Arnold to Lord
"The Present State of the American
Rebel Army, Navy and Finances, with some Remarks:
The present operating Force under the immediate
Command of General Washington as stated by himself to a Council
of general Officers amounts to . . . . . . 10,400 men.
One Battalion of Continental troops at Rhode Island...................500
Two State Regiments of Continental Militia at North Castle..........500
About one half of these Troops are Militia,
whose time of service expires on the first day of January next,
which will reduce the Army engaged for the war to less than Six
Thousand men, exclusive of the Troops in the Southern Department
under General Gates, who may amount to a thousand regular troops;
about 350 Light Horse are included in the above calculation. All
these troops are illy clad, badly fed, and worse paid having in
general two or three years pay due to them. Many of the best officers
of the Army have resigned, and others are daily following their
Example, through Disgust, necessity, and a Conviction that the
Provinces will not be able to Establish their Independence.
There has long subsisted a Jealousy between Congress and the Army.
the former have been Jealous of the Power of the latter, and the
latter have thought themselves neglected and ill treated by the
former, who have excluded the Army from every Appointment of honor,
or profit in the Civil Line.
The Navy is reduced to three Frigates and a few small vessels
who are generally in Port for want of hands to man them.
The Treasury is entirely empty and the finances are at the lowest
Ebb. The Public debt inclusive of Paper emitted by Congress and
the Colonies amount to upwards of Four Hundred Million of Paper
I have forgotten to mention that the want of provision in the
Army is not owing to the Scarcity of Provision in the country,
But to the weakness of the Usurpation in every Colony by Force
and Terror, wherever the Army are they take without opposition.
But this force acts against Itself by Creating internal Enemies
and by making Friends to Great Britain, It is One of the Principal
Saps hourly undermining the Strength of the Rebellion. "
New York 7th October 1780
(Here is another article I published in
my July 4th newsletter but it is also worth reading again in this
What happened to the 56 men who signed the
United States Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as
traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes
ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the
Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the
56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary
War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,
and their honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation
owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration
of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death
if they were captured. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter
and trader, saw his Ships swept from the seas by the British Navy.
He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced
to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress
without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions
were taken from him, and poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers
looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett,
Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the
British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for
his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to
open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. Francis
Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed
his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying.
Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his
gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived
in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and
his children vanished. " (thanks
to Bob Komniey)
Michael Moore's New Book, "Dude,
Where's My Country?," No. 1 on New York Times Best Seller
Message from Mike re: Arnold Swarzenegger's
"In the meantime, don't be depressed about
Arnold. The people are pissed off and they have every right to
be. They are in a "removal" mood. That is a good thing.
As soon as we do our work to inform our friends and neighbors
how Bush has wrecked the country, the economy and our standing
in the world, they will be more than ready for "Terminator
IV: Hasta La Vista Bush." And, please, let this be the end
of wimpy, wishy-washy Democrats like Gray Davis who are really
Republicans. The American public hates b.s. and hates fakes. We
-- you -- need to think about getting people to run for office
who STAND for something."michaelmoore.com
Please find below Australian Senator
Lyn Allison's (Victoria) latest speech on Iraq made in the
Senate yesterday, I also attach a question on notice given almost
six months ago again seeking clarification from the Government
as to why the decision was made to go to war.
Senator ALLISON (Victoria) (4.45 p.m.) -
" I rise to lend the support of the Democrats
to this censure motion and to the amendment moved by Senator Faulkner.
There would be few Australians who would not agree that we have
been lied to over the pre-emptive attack on Iraq. I will not even
call it a war because it was hardly that. It was Australia joining
the United States and the UK on the world stage in attacking another
country. We were told that this attack on Iraq was absolutely
essential. Already, there have been a number of quotes drawn on
in this debate of what the Prime Minister and the Minister for
Foreign Affairs said in the lead-up to this attack on Iraq. It
is quite possible, of course, that our Prime Minister and our
Minister for Foreign Affairs were also lied to. I accept that
this is a strong possibility. That makes it no less irresponsible
of this government to have taken us to this pre-emptive attack
on another country. Obviously, so keen were they to join the United
States on the world stage and to strut their stuff that I, quite
frankly, believe the government did not care. They were willing
to suspend rationale. The obvious evidence that was available
to everyone in this country was put aside. The government chose
to go into this attack with its eyes open to some extent but also
hiding behind a lot of suggestions that the information was within
the jurisdiction of the US administration but, of course, we could
not be told about it precisely. I will go to some of the quotes
that we heard from those who took us into this attack. In May
this year, the Prime Minister said: Well Australia supported military
action against Iraq for a number of reasons, particularly the
possession of weapons of mass destruction.
I'm sure evidence of that will be found, it will take time. This
is like a leap of faith that we are all expected to join the Prime
Minister in taking. For some reason we believe they are there.
We do not know why we believe this, but we believe they are there
and we are sure
they will be found. In September last year, Mr Downer said: Since
1998 and the departure of the UN inspectors, there has been an
accumulation of intelligence information from a range of human
and technical sources pointing to Saddam Hussein having continued
stepped up his weapons of mass destruction programs. Again, there
was absolutely no evidence and now we know that not to be the
case. In September last year, Mr Downer also said: The point is
that I think that the central point here is, I think that this
document produced by the British Labour Government puts beyond
any question, the fact that Saddam Hussein does have a chemical
and biological weapons capability. How silly does Mr Downer look
having said back in September, 'puts beyond any question'? I do
not think there is any doubt that that lie was to reassure Australians
that Saddam Hussein was a threat. Mr Acting Deputy President,
you are frowning at me. You obviously do not like me calling that
a lie but I cannot see anything that can suggest that it was not
a lie. Mr Downer answered this question from Barrie Cassidy: Minister,
you mentioned the weapons of mass destruction, but how long does
the Coalition need to search for these weapons of mass destruction
without success before it can be assumed that they don't exist?
Senator Kemp -Mr Acting Deputy President, I
raise a point of order.There was the use of an unparliamentary
term referring to Mr Downer purporting to lie. I do not think
it is parliamentary. It has always been ruled to be unparliamentary
and it should be withdrawn.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Lightfoot)-If that was unparliamentary,
Senator Allison, I invite you to withdraw it on the two occasions
that you have mentioned it.
Senator ALLISON -If that was unparliamentary,
as it appears to be, then I unequivocally withdraw the word `lie'.
In answer to Barrie Cassidy, Mr Downer said:
Well, I don't think there's any doubt that they exist. I mean,
after all, Saddam Hussein, we all know, used weapons of mass destruction
on a number of occasions, including against his own people. Nobody
has really doubted that such capabilities exist but nobody also
has had any illusions it will take a lot of time to try to find
these capabilities. It is fairly clear to those who listened to
this debate that if you had to admit that it was going to take
a long time to try to find weapons of mass destruction capabilities
then you did not know where they were. The intelligence did not
stretch to us knowing precisely where they were.
It is a strange kind of suggestion for the government to make:
they know that they are there but they do not know where they
are and they do not know how to find them-but we have the intelligence,
of course, that tells us otherwise. The Democrats have put some
hundreds of questions to the government on this very subject over
the last few months. Some of them have been answered; most of
them have been avoided or evaded in terms of a response from the
government. Nonetheless, we have done this because, since the
public were not being told the truth here and were not being given
the evidence that the government claimed it had, we felt it was
important that those questions should be put. Some of those questions
are yet to be answered. I will go through some of them which I
put on notice on 22 April. I said: With reference to a claim made
by the Prime Minister before the war that only the threat of force
by the United States of America (US) allowed the United Nations
Monitorings Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) weapons
inspectors back into Iraq- the Prime Minister said that it was
only the threat of force that put them back- and given that it
was the threat of force by Washington which pulled the weapons
inspectors out of Iraq in March 2003 before they could complete
their work- which had been conveniently glossed over by this government
and in the debate at the time- does the Prime Minister now concede
that the threat of force failed again to disarm Iraq of its weapons
of mass destruction? The Prime Minister has never conceded this.
I asked: What is the government's response to the claim of the
Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, Dr Blix, that the US was guilty
of `fabricating' evidence against Iraq to justify the war, and
his belief that the discovery of weapons of mass destruction had
been replaced by the main objective of the US of toppling Saddam
Hussein? Again, that was not answered. I further asked: With reference
to claims made by the Prime Minister before the war that there
was no doubt that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that
this was the primary reason for Australia's participation in the
'coalition of the willing', what is the Prime Minister's position
now that, even after the collapse of the regime in Baghdad, no
weapons of mass destruction have been found despite United States
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's claim to know where they are?
The Prime Minister said to us that regime change-and we have all
heard a lot in this chamber about the Saddam Hussein regime-was
only a secondary concern for Australia. So the primary concern,
supposedly weapons of mass destruction, turned out not to be the
primary justification for war after all. The Prime Minister claimed
that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein could
not be contained or deterred. I asked: ... what is the government's
analysis of why they were not used in the regime's terminal hours
against the invading US, United Kingdom and Australian forces?
If Saddam Hussein had such weapons-and it seems clear that he
did not-why would he not use them in response to what was a pretty
decisive attack on Baghdad and other parts of Iraq? I asked whether
the Prime Minister now regretted saying before the war that Saddam
Hussein could stay on in power provided he got rid of his weapons
of mass destruction. Again there was no answer to this question.
The Prime Minister has changed his position many times on this
issue to justify taking this country into a war zone and taking
part in an attack on a country which killed thousands of civilians.
The Prime Minister started by saying that if Saddam Hussein would
just comply with weapons inspections and get rid of his weapons
of mass destruction then he could stay on. Then suddenly we were
convinced that any 45 minutes from now there could be an attack
on any other country and that biological, chemical and nuclear
weapons might be used. Then we moved to the position which ultimately
we went to the war on: we needed to get rid of this regime because
of the way they treated their own citizens. Just in the last 24
hours or so, questions have been raised about the evidence which
has been found-that is, the test tube of botulinum which was presented
by Washington and London as evidence of Saddam Hussein's development
and concealment of weapons of mass destruction. This test tube
was found in an Iraqi scientist's home refrigerator where it has
been for 10 years. That information came out just yesterday. David
Kay, the expert appointed by the CIA to lead the hunt for weapons,
told a congressional committee last week that the vial of botulinum
had been hidden in the scientist's home and could be used to covertly
production of deadly weapons. Since that time the discovery of
the vial has been at the heart of the debate over prewar claims
that Iraq had an arsenal of banned weapons. This was cited in
justifications of the invasion by President Bush and by Britain's
Foreign Secretary, who described this toxin as 15,000 times more
toxic than the nerve Agent VX. Mr Straw claimed, after the report
came out, that it presented further conclusive and incontrovertible
evidence that Saddam had been in breach of the UN resolutions,
how dangerous and deceitful the regime was, and that the military
action was both justified and essential to remove the dangers.
Now we know that the scientist had been asked to hide the botulinum
in his refrigerator at home in 1993. So it is hardly likely that
this was the basis of a huge capability of Iraq to produce this
biological substance. Since the war we have had the situation
where enormous amounts of money have had to be poured in to fix
up the mess that has been left behind in Iraq. The White House
has ordered a major reorganisation of American efforts to quell
violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and to speed up the reconstruction
of both countries, according to senior administration officials.
This is news as of yesterday. The new effort includes the creation
of a so-called Iraq stabilisation group, $20 billion being required
by the Bush administration for reconstruction and $67 billion
for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are seeing
here a legacy of unrest and violence, and a destroyed country
that has recently been described by a US army physicist as a toxic
wasteland. There is so much depleted uranium and there are so
many chemical materials in Iraq-not from weapons of mass destruction
but because of the damage which has been done to various chemical
facilities in industry-that this is not a safe place for anyone
to live. I think we have been misled, both in this place and more
publicly. While all of this has been going on, we have also seen
the United States step up its own weapons of mass destruction.
On 7 August US government scientists and Pentagon officials gathered
at Nebraska Air Force Base to discuss the development of a modernised
arsenal of small, specialised nuclear weapons. According to the
New York Times of 3 August 2003: The Pentagon believes that more
than 70 nations, big and small, now have some 1,400 underground
command posts and sites for ballistic missiles and weapons of
mass destruction. It further says that it wants to: ... develop
a class of relatively small nuclear weapons ... that could pierce
rock and reinforced concrete and turn strongholds into radioactive
dust. "With an effective earth penetrator, many buried targets
could be attacked," the administration said in its Nuclear
Posture Review, which it sent to Congress last year. Back in April
the United States produced a weapons grade plutonium pit, the
core of a fission bomb, for the first time in 14 years. According
to the Los Alamos National Laboratory: .. the move restores the
nation's ability to make nuclear weapons and was needed so the
Energy Department could replace pits found unsafe or destroyed
through regular check-ups. So, on the one hand, we have joined
the United States in chasing some non-existent weapons of mass
destruction and, in the meantime, the United States has pursued
its own nuclear agenda with great gusto and at great cost. I think
that it is very likely that we are going to see some of those
nuclear weapons tested in the United States and, by all accounts,
some of those bunker-busters will need to be atmospheric. According
to reports that I have read, it is completely unfeasible to test
them underground. We are now back in the realm of nuclear development,
facing what I think is the very frightening prospect of nuclear
weapons proliferation around the world-because it will not just
stop with America. America is certainly a superpower and has a
great deal more resources than any other country, and this is
a very serious situation we are currently facing with America
being reluctant to contain its own development of nuclear weapons
of mass destruction. We are going to see a backlash in both the
Middle East and around the rest of the world. All in all, the
attack on Iraq has been a gross failure. It has failed to stop
terrorism; it has failed to stop the proliferation of weapons.
It has destroyed a country and there is no end in sight to the
unrest and the mess that has been left behind there. The United
States would like the United Nations to come in and help clean
up that mess but I sincerely hope that the United States are not
going to be relieved of the responsibility that they have towards
that country. I think Australia should accept some of that responsibility
as well because we have joined the United States on the basis
of something which has not been proved and which cannot clearly
be proved. I think it is a sorry part of Australia's history and
it is a great pity that our government was not prepared to listen
to its parliament and was not prepared to bring to this place
the decision to go to war, because it is quite clear that it would
have been defeated. Many of us on this side of the chamber have
spoken at length about why this was an ill-conceived war and why
we would be left with the kind of mess that we currently are left
with. The Democrats are pleased to support this censure motion.
I think that, if we have not seen good sense come out of the government
over this issue-that is, if we have not seen honesty or clear
answers provided to the many questions that have been put about
why we went with the US to this attack-it has not been for want
of trying in this place. I think the government should take
far more heed in the future of the kind of debate that the Senate
has typically had over this kind of action.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION PLEASE FIND COPY OF
MY QUESTION BELOW:
Q 1403 asked to Prime Minister on 22/04/2003 regarding Foreign
Affairs-Iraq almost six months lapsed QUESTION To ask the Minister
representing the Prime Minister-
(1) With reference to a claim made by the Prime Minister before
the war that only the threat of force by the United States of
America (US) allowed the United Nations Monitorings Verification
and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) weapons inspectors back into
Iraq, and given that it was the threat of force by Washington
which pulled the weapons inspectors out of Iraq in March 2003
before they could complete their work (as in December 1998), does
the Prime Minister now concede that the threat of force failed
again to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
(2) What is the Government's response to the claim of the Executive
Chairman of UNMOVIC, Dr Blix, that the US was guilty of 'fabricating'
evidence against Iraq to justify the war, and his belief that
the discovery of weapons of mass destruction had been replaced
by the main objective of the US of toppling Saddam Hussein (The
Guardian, 12 April 2003).
(3) With reference to claims made by the Prime Minister before
the war that there was no doubt that Iraq had weapons of mass
destruction and that that this was the primary reason for Australia's
participation in the 'coalition of the willing', what is the Prime
Minister's position now that, even after the collapse of the regime
in Baghdad, no weapons of mass destruction have been found despite
United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's claim to know
where they are.
(4) Given the Prime Minister's statements that 'regime change'
was only a secondary concern for Australia, does the Government
agree that the primary justification for the war may prove to
be a lie.
(5) If, as the Prime Minister repeatedly claimed, Iraq had weapons
of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein could not be contained
or deterred, what is the Government's analysis of why they were
not used in the regime's terminal hours against the invading US,
United Kingdom and Australian forces.
(6) With reference to the Prime Minister's argument that stopping
the spread of weapons of mass destruction was a primary motive
for Australia's participation in a war against Iraq: (a) is the
Government concerned that one of the direct effects of the war
may be the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to third parties,
including other so called 'rogue states' and possibly terrorist
groups, and (b) what analysis has the Government done of this
likelihood, and (c) can details be provided.
(7) Does the Prime Minister now regret saying just before the
war (at the National Press Club and elsewhere) that Saddam Hussein
could stay on in power providing he got rid of his weapons of
mass destruction, thus allowing him to continue the repression
of Iraqis; if
so, what circumstances altered the Prime Minister's view. "
L. Allison Website
Carnival of Tiny Stories
by Edward Martin III
Try a Boy
Ernie had good intentions when
he marched in Seattle's Gay Pride Parade with a shirt reading
"Try a boy on for size!" He walked with his gay male
friends. Everything was great until he became confused and ended
up in a section of weightlifting dykes. He learned then he couldn't
eat a whole cotton shirt. The End.
Charlie's five friends were small
and weak, so no one of them could carry his body across the jagged
lava field and hurl it into a volcano in accordance with his Will.
However, he had already arranged for backpacks and surgical saws,
so he could rest in peace and they had an easy walk back. The
She was a skinny girl and it vexed
her mightily. The boys tended toward fluffy headed buxom women,
not women who reminded them of young boys. But her intelligence
proved an asset when the Aliens came for mates. Afterward, she
and the other boyish girls (who had disguised themselves as boys)
were very popular. The End.
The Lone Monkey
The lonely monkey needed a tribe.
At nights he wept inconsolably and during the day he wailed alone
in the ancient ruins. When he discovered the mirror, he was happy
to have a buddy (he wasn't a smart monkey), but it was only when
he broke the mirror that he finally found a whole tribe. The End.
(a lot more!)
Diaper Pail Friends
Adult baby store for adults who enjoy wearing
diapers, plastic pants, rubber pants and other big baby clothing,
plus videos, audio tapes, hypnotic tapes, stories, books and lots
Diaper Club for adult babies (AB) and diaper
lovers (DL) who enjoy diaper fetish, adult diapers, adult baby
clothes, plastic pants, infantilism. Also rubber pants, disposable
diapers, pacifiers, sleepers, bodysuits, bedwetter pants, and
other big baby clothing. We also enjoy playing Adult Baby games,
and meeting other adults through our classified ads (Roster).
We have live conferences, chat rooms and a private online club.
We publish a Newsletter and sponsor Worldwide Parties. Our online
store sells diapers, plastic pants, big baby clothes, videos,
audio tapes, hypnotic tapes, stories, photos and lots more. If
you love diapers or being an adult baby, this is THE place for
The Museum of Menstruation
It's in the panel-finished half-basement of
a one-story brick home on the outskirts of Washington DC, just
a mile or so off the eastern curve of the 495 Beltway. The neighbors
know about the museum, but have never visited. In fact, they politely
never mention it in conversation with its founder and curator.
He is one Harry Finley, a calm 50-ish bachelor,
who lives in the home above. He greets us in the driveway with
a big smile; we called ahead (only open on weekends by appointment).
Harry leads us down the narrow basement stairs,
where our first sight is a number of "lower trunk" mannequins
hanging from cords. They slowly twist, modeling menstrual attire
through the ages. Our host mesmerizes us for a good hour with
all manner of feminine hygiene lore and minutia. He is as enthusiastic
as any fervent collector we have met.
Harry started the museum in 1995, an outgrowth
of a collection he started years earlier in Europe. While posted
in Germany as a graphic designer for the US government, Harry
researched print ad layouts. Among the thousands he accumulated,
he became keenly interested in Kotex and menstrual product ads.
We move to a wall of appliances, and a table
full of washable pads and assorted knickknack's. A can of snack
food catches our eye. Harry explains. "That's PMS Crunch,
from the Time of the Month company - a combination of goodies
which will help assuage the pains and discomforts of menstruation."
Another wall features drawings and documents from the History
of Menstruation, including a horrid 1867 invention involving metal
and wires, "patented by a man."
Harry uses a scholarly and meticulous approach
for a collection that is admittedly controversial - some of his
relatives are still upset. He claims nearly 95% of his visitors
are "very intelligent women," but they usually have
a man in tow, who stands around looking out of place, nervous.
By BILL BERGSTROM, Associated Press Writer
PHILADELPHIA - Cheap Trick Avenue instead of
Boardwalk? Hernando's Chop Shop instead of Reading Railroad?
Black leaders are outraged over a new board
game called "Ghettopoly" that has "playas"
acting like pimps and game cards reading, "You got yo whole
neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50." (more)
Goliath Casket of Lynn
Perhaps nowhere is the issue of obesity in
America more vividly illustrated than at Goliath Casket of Lynn,
Ind., speciality manufacturers of oversize coffins.
There, one can see a triple-wide coffin --
44 inches across, compared with 24 inches for a standard model.
With extra bracing, reinforced hinges and handles, the triple-wide
is designed to handle 700 pounds without losing what the euphemism-happy
funeral industry calls its "integrity."(more)
Which naturally segues right into:
Close your eyes and join hands with me while
we once again allow the entity known only as 'Josef' to take possession
of my body and bring you culinary wisdom from ages long forgotten
. . . . (cut to eerie music . .)
I took my partner to Ezard at Adelphi
Restaurant, in Melbourne, for her birthday. We are still recovering
two days later. I ordered the 8 course degustation tasting
menu, with 8 different wines, and 8 different tasting desserts.
All I can say, as words cannot do the experience justice, is that
it was transcendental and good thing I arranged taxi transportation
home, as I was completely degusted and a little walking-challenged
after the three hour meal. The 8 basic courses were as follows:
Japanese inspired oyster shooter
with mirin, wasabi, tamari and seaweed, green tea soba rolls.
tasse of spicy thai fish soup with rice noodles, prawn, steamed
shellfish and asian herbs
tataki with ginger and black bean dressing, cucumber oil, crispy
shiso leaf and asian cress salad.
witlof and persian fetta salad with soft quail egg, hazelnuts
and truffle oil.
wonton dumpling with sweet and sour tamarind broth, lime, chilli
and shaved coconut.
spiced roast pork belly with shredded apple and coriander salad,
green ginger wine glaze.
style roast duck with shaosang wine dressing, pickled shitake
mushrooms and steamed rice noodle roll.
orange and aperol sorbet with pistachio wafer, crème fraiche
and blood orange caramel.
Teage Ezard is
a true 3-chef hat maestro and deserving of his reputation. And
he is willing to share his knowledge and secrets. I recommend
going to his website and signing up for the newsletter. Also there
are 7 downloadable issues with recipes and tips, a little culinary
philosophy, and news. Also, you can order his signed cookbook.
(I just did!)
Here's a little of his writing on the Art:
Five flavour groups
" The five
flavour groups in food are hot, sweet, sour, salt and bitter.
At least one, and usually more, of these flavours are in all foods,
ready to alert our senses and tastebuds. The cornerstone of good
cooking is first introducing these flavours into dishes, followed
by a purposeful execution of fine balance.
In many Asian cuisines this is the fundamental
key to the preparation of dishes, relying on fresh herbs, fruit
and vegetables as a natural form of spice and flavour additive
instead of processed dried herbs and spices which are more commonly
used elsewhere. This intelligent form of cooking uses natural
sweeteners such as sugar in rock form, instead of refined manufactured
varieties; salt comes from fish or soy sauce; sour flavour is
sourced from citrus juice such as lime or fresh tamarind, (a common
plant in South East Asia ); red chillies provide heat; and bitter
flavours are achieved with the addition of grated rind, herbs
such as mint or bitter greens like endive. "
" In traditional China it is not common
to see a master stock passed down from generation. This stock
can be used over and over again if a simple few rules are followed.
Use only chicken for chicken and duck for duck and pork for pork.
Never mix meats in different stocks otherwise you run the risk
of cross contamination. When you have finished with your stock,
simply bring it back to the boil, skim it, strain it into a clean
container let it cool at room temperature and then refrigerate
or freeze the stock until the next time. "
Yet and still, after a food holiday away
from home, it always feels comforting to get back to grandma's
good old simple Italian peasant fare:
with Rosemary and Garlic Oil Appetiser
4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves, and each clove cut in half
a few slices of fresh red chilli
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Next time you buy garlic, buy an extra bulb
or two for this.
Heat up 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan, and add the garlic and
Fry until the garlic is soft and golden and the rosemary is almost
crisp. Do not burn the garlic.
Turn the pan into a bowl and add the chilli, salt and pepper to
taste and fresh cold pressed olive oil to top up. Mash a couple
of the cloves of garlic into the oil to add more flavour. Add
the olives. Stir well and let settle for about an hour.
Serve this with fresh ciabatta bread. (Careful! This is addictive.)
(variation with potatoes)
4 fillets of bacalla, cut into about 4 inch
1 medium-sized onion, minced
4 large potatoes, cut into quarters or big chunks
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoon tomato paste
I cup warm water
half dozen black olives
Handful of salted capers
1/4 cup olive oil
flour for dredging
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1/2 hot red chile, minced
1 table garlic, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
Soak the bacalla for 24 hours in three changes
of water to remove most of the salt, drain and cut into pieces.
Flour the bacalla fillets lightly. Heat the
olive oil until smoking in a oven proof pan and brown the fish
on both sides, then remove to a dish. Mix the tomato paste with
the warm water.
Sauté the minced onion in the oil in
the pot. When the onions have softened, add the olives, capers,
garlic and chilli, and cook for a few minutes. Add the wine and
cook for about five minutes. , stir in the tomato paste mixture.
Simmer for a couple of minutes, then season to taste with salt
and pepper. Add the potatoes and parsley and stir. Place the fish
on the top, cover and and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an
hour, depending on how you like your potatoes. I go for a little
resistant to the tooth, so 45 minutes.
Serve this with steamed brussel sprouts and
butter, chunks of fresh buttered ciabatta to soak up the juice,
a salad made of just Radicchio leaves tossed with oil and vinegar,
and either red or white wine, as you prefer.