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October 23rd, 2004

With Slime and With Pitch

"Elections belong to the people. It is their decision.
If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds,
then they will just have to sit on their blisters."
Abraham Lincoln


Hi folks,

Would you like Chips with that?

VeriChips, that is - the new FDA approved, surgically implanted microchip. VeriChips, radio frequency microchips the size of a grain of rice, have already been used to identify wayward pets and livestock. And nearly 200 people working in Mexico's attorney general's office have been implanted with chips to access secure areas containing sensitive documents. (article)
(thanks to Mark Morford)


Favourite Reader Comments of the Week

" You know, Jo, many months after my first communication with you, I just want to remind you that you're a highly cognisant personage, cognisant, that is, of all that is going on around us. And you're very talented and witty with it. Your letters do not go unrecognised, take it from me, a nobody though I am. " S.P.

(Note: S.P., I think the spelling is cognizant, i.e. knowledgeable of something, especially through personal experience; (synonym: AWARE) - and THANK YOU for your compliment! - much appreciated. Especially when I get feedback like the following!)

Joe (Delete Me From Your List,)
I'm not real sure what the motivation was for you to get racist with the "Massa" shit. Maybe I've blown by other statements from you like this because I just don't recall you stooping to this. Thanks for the previous entertainment, while it lasted......

(Note: Sorry, Massa Brer Rabbit. I wasn't thinking none too clearly, Andy. Holy Mackel der, Kingfish, I mussa been lost in some kind o' Porgy and Bess fugue state. I mussa been racially myopic after a long night burning crosses with fellow Italian Ku Klux Klan mandolin orchestra members after that Benito Mussolini Bar Mitzvah gig. I dunno . . . I guess I jis' gonna hast to remove yo' somewheeeeere-ova-da-rainbow smiley face one time from my back-o-the-bus cracker newsletter. You come back soon, now, heah? )


Gday Joe,
Thanks for including me in your newsletter list. I've been enjoying them. Right now, I'm pretty bloody miserable about the election results. There was some value on Sunday morning, in attending a wake, and drinking champagne for no other reasons than to try to help us over the hump. I used to be very proud to be an Aussie, but now, if I were overseas, I think I'd be claiming New Zealand citizenship. What I'm really writing about is to tell you how much I enjoyed sharing a stage with you at Jamberoo. Until then, you were just a name. . .

(Note: Likewise, Blue, I enjoyed your wonderful poem on 'Vacillation' at the Illawarra Festival. Creative spoken word artists are too rare these days. (By the way, you'ld like the literary-folk music cabaret, DIFFICULT WOMEN, that I perform with my partner Lin. Check it out.) (Diffcult Women Site)

But, don't be too depressed - at least we've only got little Johnny Howard over here to deal with! The Wee Fellow. The Toast That Walks. Anyway, let Robbie Burns comfort you in 'Lassie wi' the Lint-white Locks':

" When Cynthia lights, wi' silver ray, the weary shearer's hameward way,
Thro' yellow waving fields we'll stray, and talk o' love, my Dearie, O.
Lassie wi' the lint-white locks, bonie lassie, artless lassie,
Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks, Wilt thou be my Dearie, O? "


(ongoing dialogue, Part 3 . . . .)

Dear L.S.Perth,
 I thank you for sharing your history of 1940's - 50's Australia, though the times were obviously tough, it is not comparable to racism. If you were beaten to a pulp whilst getting to and from school for being a "wog"  and if you were labelled a "bloody wog" and worse by teaching staff in public and Protestant schools - then you might have experienced racism. I had not even mentioned this in my letter  Far from it in fact. I outlined how different (culturally) Australia was in the 1970's-80's - in comparison to the current day. Though I have heard some say that Racism in the 1950's-60's was out in the open - whereas now it is simply disguised in other guises -  though I will not revel in my cyncism here. What you in fact experienced, L.S. Perth, was poverty (in a relative sense) but not Racism. You are quite correct, L.S.Perth - many Ist generation Italians did quite well in Australia because they worked "BLOODY" hard. They did all of the jobs that you and your mates refused to do - So get over yourself! I won't go on, suffice to say that none of my friend's dads had vegie gardens in their back yards when I was growing up - though they do now.
Victor V.

(Note: Some background for those of you just joining us . . . There's been a slight disagreement over the last couple of newsletters, between Victor V and L.S. of Perth, regarding the 40s and 50s in Australia. I suggest that perhaps now they should email each other if they want to continue this debate as there is probably no forseeable resolution, at least in this forum. If either of you gentlepersons want each other's email addresses, let me know - but only if you both agree, as I will respect your privacy and not give out an email address without permission. ON the other hand, here's an alternative solution you could try - the latest craze from America:)


"After attending the cuddle party this past Sunday, I stepped out onto the street and definitely had a very good feeling, a lightness, peaceful and smiley. It was great to meet and connect and cuddle with everyone. You guys are great cuddlers!!! The atmosphere and the tone you set was so friendly and welcoming. I had a great time. I hope to join you again soon for oodles of cuddles!!" - Jim, New York City

The Rules of the Cuddle Party

WHAT TO WEAR: Pajamas - nothing too risqué. Think more comfy than sexy. (More drawstrings, less lace!)
WHAT TO BRING: A pillow or stuffed animal if you like. Juice or sparkling cider is always welcome. Sorry, no liquor folks. Otherwise, just bring your smiling self.

STICK TO THE RULES: Here are the absolutely essential, tried and true Rules of the Cuddle Game. Read 'em and follow 'em!

1. Pajamas stay on the whole time.
2. No SEX. (Yep, you read that right.)
3. Ask for permission to kiss or nuzzle anyone. Make sure you can handle getting a no before you invite or request anyone to cuddle or kiss.
4. If you're a yes, say yes. If you're a no, say no.
5. If you're a maybe, say NO.
6. You are encouraged to change your mind from a yes to a no, no to a yes anytime you want.
8. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
9. If you're in a relationship, communicate and set your boundaries and agreements BEFORE you go to the Cuddle Party. Don't re-negotiate those agreements/boundaries during the Cuddle Party. (Trust us on this one.)
10. Get your Cuddle Life Guard On Duty or Cuddle Caddy if there's a concern, problem, or question or should you feel unsafe or need assistance with anything during the Cuddle Party.
11. Crying and giggling are both welcomed and encouraged.
12. Outside of your personal relationships, it's nobody's business who you cuddle, so please be respectful of other people's privacy when sharing with the outside world about Cuddle Parties.
13. Arrive on time.
14. Be hygienically savvy.
15. Clean up after yourself.
16. Always say thank you and practice good Cuddle Manners.(www.cuddleparty.com)

(Note: Wha??? No dry humping? Does that mean I can't bring my camel toys?)

Who's Insensitive to Gays? Start with the Cheneys
by Ellen Goodman

Mary Cheney is an endangered species, a gay Republican in a campaign so hostile that even the Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Bush this year.

As for Lynne Cheney, who called Kerry's comments "a cheap and tawdry political trick," what does she call the RNC mailing that warned evangelicals that if Kerry is elected, the Bible will be banned and gay marriage will be the law of the land? High-minded? At the Republican convention, Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for Illinois senator, said homosexuality "is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism." When asked if Mary Cheney was a selfish hedonist, he answered "of course she is." Did Lynne call Alan Keyes a bad man? (article)

Granny Bee Was Just Wonderin' . . About Mary Cheney (audio) RealPlayer


General consensus is that the Presidential polls reported on Fox News and most mainstream news channels aren't really accurate. Some only poll around 800 people. And none of them poll people who use mobile phones as their main source of communication - which includes practically the entire voting age youth of America.

College Students Plan to Vote in Record Numbers, Kerry Builds on Lead - Harvard Poll Finds Students Favor Kerry 52-39

BOSTON -- A new national poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP) finds exceptionally high interest in the presidential campaign on college campuses, and turnout among college students is expected to rise dramatically. Nearly 72 percent of college students report that they are "certain" they are registered to vote and "definitely" plan on voting this November. More than in other years, students believe that they have a stake -- and will have a say -- in the outcome of the election. The Harvard poll also reports that Senator Kerry maintains a 13-point lead among college students, and a slightly stronger 17- point advantage among likely voters in key swing states. Kerry's lead appears to be a function of several factors, including strong support from female voters and Independents, dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, concern for the economy, and movement of formerly uncommitted voters to the Kerry camp. "There are over nine million college students in America, and their vote will matter this year -- especially in swing states," said IOP Director Philip Sharp. (article)

Kids Opt for Kerry in Bellwether Online Poll

LOS ANGELES - The kids have spoken, and it's Sen. John Kerry with a convincing victory over President Bush on Nov. 2. An unusual opinion poll that has correctly predicted the winner of the last four presidential elections has given Democratic challenger Kerry 57 percent against 43 percent for Bush, according to results released on Wednesday. The Nickelodeon cable channel, better known for programs "SpongeBob Squarepants" and "Jimmy Neutron," conducted "Kids Vote," an online survey of almost 400,000 children on Tuesday. The latest Reuters/Zogby poll showed Bush and Kerry in a dead heat two weeks before the Nov. 2 election. Other polls also showed them in a statistical tie or Bush holding a slim lead. Nickelodeon, a unit of Viacom Inc., has organized its poll every election since 1988, and has a 100 percent record of picking the winner.
"The 'Kids' Vote' seems to work as a good barometer of the actual presidential vote because, developmentally, kids between the ages of two and 11 share the same opinions and outlooks as their parents," said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon Television. The survey was the final step in a yearlong political awareness campaign on Nickelodeon. (article)


Jesus H. Productions Presents:

A Christian Argument for the Divinity of Slime

Former US President George H. W. Bush, father of the current president, has attacked film-maker Michael Moore as a "slimeball" for Fahrenheit 9/11. Speaking to WCSH-TV in Maine, US, the former president said Moore was a "total ass, slimeball".

Now Hark Ye Bush the Elder!

"And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. Exodus 2:2-3

(Gen. 6:14), asphalt or bitumen in its soft state, called "slime" (Gen. 11:3; 14:10; Ex. 2:3), found in pits near the Dead Sea (q.v.). It was used for various purposes, as the coating of the outside of vessels and in building. Allusion is made in Isa. 34:9 to its inflammable character.

slime O.E. slim "slime," from P.Gmc. *slimaz (cf. O.N. slim, O.Fris. slym, Du. slijm, Ger. Schleim "slime"), probably related to O.E. lim "sticky substance," from PIE base *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky, slippery" (cf. Rus. slimak "snail;" O.C.S. slina "spittle;" O.Ir. sligim "to smear;" Welsh llyfn "smooth;" Gk. leimax "snail," limne "marsh, pool, lake;" L. limus "slime, mud, mire," linere "to daub, besmear, rub out, erase;" see lime (1)). The verb meaning "to cover with slime" is recorded from 1628. 1. A thick sticky slippery substance. 2. Biology. A mucous substance secreted by certain animals, such as catfishes and slugs. 3. Soft moist earth; mud. 4. A slurry containing very fine particulate matter.

"And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar." Genesis 11:3



For Republican Kids!! : How to Make Slime!
(slime site)

"Go Away; The Things You Did Were Unauthorized."
A Personal Message from Jesus to George W Bush Re: the Forthcoming Election

"Not all people who sound religious are really godly . . . On judgement day, you will tell me, `Lord, Lord, I prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply,`I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.' Matthew 7:21-23

Without a Doubt
By Ron Suskind
NY Times

"If Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3. The nature of that conflict? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion. Just in the past few months, I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do."
Bruce Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .  This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts, he truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence." Bartlett paused, then said, "But you can't run the world on faith." Bruce Bartlett, was domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush. (article)

Former Republican Senator
by Marlow W. Cook

First, let's talk about George Bush's moral standards.

In 2000, to defeat Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. - a man who was shot down in Vietnam and imprisoned for over five years - they used Karl Rove's "East Texas special." They started the rumor that he was gay, saying he had spent too much time in the Hanoi Hilton. They said he was crazy. They said his wife was on drugs. Then, to top it off, they spread pictures of his adopted daughter, who was born in Bangladesh, and thus dark skinned, to the sons and daughters of the Confederacy in rural South Carolina. . .

Anyone who wants to win an election and control of the legislative body that badly has no moral character at all. . . "



ANTING, China (AP) - The Habo No. 1 looks like any one of the legions of Volkswagen sedans in China. But a peek under the hood reveals an array of chrome canisters instead of the usual engine - the Habo is fueled not by gas but hydrogen peroxide. "This car only emits water vapor and oxygen,'' said He Limei, project director for Shanghai Habo Chemical Technology Co., showing the Habo at an exhibition of ecologically friendly cars outside Shanghai. (article)

What is a Cat? What is a Dog? What is a Canary?

What is a Cat?

Cats do what they want.
They rarely listen to you.
They're totally unpredictable.
When you want to play, they want to be alone.
When you want to be alone, they want to play.
They expect you to cater to their every whim.
They're moody.
They leave hair everywhere.
CONCLUSION: They're tiny women in little fur coats.
What is a Dog?

Dogs spend all day sprawled on the most comfortable
piece of furniture in the house.
They can hear a package of food opening half a block
away, but don't hear you when you're in the same room.
They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.
They growl when they are not happy.
When you want to play, they want to play.
When you want to be alone, they want to play.
They leave their toys everywhere.
They do disgusting things with their mouths and then
try to give you a kiss.
They go right for your crotch as soon as they meet you.
CONCLUSION: They're tiny men in little fur coats.
(thanks to Stephen Ross)

What is a Canary?
(Has anyone checked out the RAPTUREREADY INDEX website lately? There's an exposition on the concept of 'Moral Canaries'.)

" For example, before the days of electronic sensors, coal miners took canaries into the mines with them to signal when the air became filled with poisonous gas. The respiratory system of a canary is more sensitive than that of a human, so they knew that if the bird stopped singing or suddenly dropped dead, it was time to rush to the nearest exit. Throughout the Church Age, Christians have acted as moral canaries. When society has become contaminated with high levels of sin, Church leaders have stood up and warned the nation to turn away from these various toxins. In recent years, however, something strange has happened. Continual exposure to the deadly evils that poison society has caused the Christian "canaries" to build up resistance. They have slowly developed immunity to the toxins that permeate society. Because apathy is so prevalent, it is no longer safe to use the views of the average Christian as a gauge of morality. "
(gasp! choke! More on the NINE TOXINS here . . . for all you clogged Budgerigah Melopsittaci Undulati.) (article)


Breaded Fennel Root Slices with Mountain Pepper Leaf

I received some Australian indigenous bush spices for my birthday and I've been experimenting with them. Here are a couple of dishes I came up with this week.

2 bulbs fennel root
dry fine breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
bacon fat, or olive oil
Mountain Pepper Leaf (or black pepper)
parsley, chopped finely
1 whole clove of garlic

Mix dry breadcrumbs with salt, parsley and mountain pepper leaf. Remove the tough outer skin of the fennel root bulbs, wash, pat dry and slice into quarter inch slices through the root so that the slices stay intact. Dip the slices in the egg, then in the bread crumbs. Place the bacon fat or oil, with the whole clove of garlic, into a fry pan, Heat until just smoking. Remove garlic. Fry each of the slices until golden and drain on absorbent paper. Salt and serve.


Tomato Soup, with Mountain Pepper Berry, Kneidlach (Matzo Balls), and Crème Fraîche-Chive Garnish

4 cups fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 cups water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
fresh basil
olive oil
salt to taste
Mountain Pepper Berries, finely ground in a mortar and pestle

Place some olive oil and ghee in a pot and heat until smoking. Add the onions and saute until clear. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and some chopped fresh basil. Cook for about five minutes. Add the water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until tomatoes have broken down - about an hour. Put the contents of the pot into a blender and blend for about 2 minutes. Return to the pot and reheat.

Chive and Crème Fraîche Garnish
Chop some chives finely and add to some crème fraîche (sour cream).
Note: crème fraîche has two advantages over sour cream: it can be whipped like whipping cream, and it will not curdle if boiled.

MATZO BALLS (Kneidlach)
3 cups fine matzo cracker meal, or matzo crackers, or (last resort) any saltine biscuits.
5-6 eggs, beaten
a few drops of water
2 tablespoons of smaltz (chicken fat)

Matzo meal is hard to find sometimes - so are matzo crackers. If you are using whole crackers, place them in a plastic bag, and jump on them, waving your hands in the air ecstatically, until they are all smashed up. Or put them in a mortar and pestle, or blender. Get them into a fine cracker meal any way you can. Place them in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs. Add the melted smaltz. (This is a key ingredient to the flavour and the 'magic healing properties' - don't ask me why, just do it! - I get my smaltz when I make a chicken stock, I leave the stock in the fridge overnight. In the morning, the fat rises to the surface. Skim it off and save it for the matzo balls.) - Add the few drops of water. Stir well and leave to sit for half hour.

The trickiest part to making matzo balls is getting them light enough. This is a trial and error situation. You have to find your own way here. If the mix is too wet, they will fall apart when you put them in the hot water. If the mix is too solid and firm, they will be as dense as Joshua's Goitre. You have to get them light enough to just hold together so they keep their shape without falling apart. Light, so a fork passes through them easily. (Corrective surgery: If the mix is too wet, add a bit more cracker meal. If the mix is too solid, add a little more water. Mix again and let set for another 20 minutes or so.) When you get it right, you'll know it. The blind will be able to see again, the deaf: hear; the afflicted: restored, and the lame . . . well, unfortunately, it doesn't work for the lame - they still be draggin'.)

When the mixture has firmed up, and the cracker meal has absorbed the eggs, wet your hands and form into small balls - golf ball size - and drop into a pot of rapidly boiling water. Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently for about a half hour. Make the matzo balls separately in boiling water, and THEN add them to the simmering tomato soup. Cover the pot and let the balls absorb the soup flavours for about half hour.

Place two Kneidlach in a bowl, cover with tomato soup. Sprinkle some finely ground Mountain Pepper Berry, (as you would black pepper), a dollop of crème fraîche and chives, and a couple sprigs of fresh basil to finish.


Home Design Tips

'Never Position a Rock Near a Hard Place.'

~ Rohan Candappa~
The Little Book of Wrong Shui