Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 76 – January 2007.

Happy New Year!

You know I really didn't see any harm in passing on a cook book. (As it turned out the whole thing was apparently a gigantic hoax; but as I thought the book legitimate the principals remain the same). However if you think I was wrong to do so I will accept your condemnation. There are three interesting letters in this edition relating to this.

I would still bet my bottom dollar that those of you who thought I was wrong have all passed on something under copyright at sometime in your lives and despite the protestations to me the three complainants, like everybody else, will continue to do so. Everybody on the planet has done it. It is something that humans will eternally do.

Copyright in certain instances has clear lines of definition, but, as many writers a lot more talented than me have previously expounded, it has murky waters surrounding it. It’s a bit like having a pond which is perfectly clear in the middle, but cloudy at the bank.

Let me try to explain in my own Rambling way my thinking.

Purposely manufacturing something and claiming it as yours when it is under copyright to someone else cannot be condoned in any way. It is an act of piracy. There can be no argument about this.

As far as music is concerned stealing something written by another and passing it on as your own is also an act of piracy. There have been many examples of this in the folk world. ‘The Leaving of Liverpool’, ‘Scarborough Fair’ and ‘The Oldest Swinger in Town’ are but three which spring to my mind at this time. I think in these instances (similar to The Kingston Trio with ‘Where have all the flowers gone’) the original writer had either not even considered publication or had already died. All these examples date back 40 years or more when folk songs were flying around like undergarments at a swinger’s party. Most performers didn’t in those days actually bother that much to trace the source. (And that includes the songs as well!)

Now one of the letters following raises specific points about specific artistes and I cannot comment on any of these points as I know very little about them and I don’t really want to get into litigation. I was not aware that any of the artists mentioned had had pirate copies made of their works or royalties withheld or avoided. That is down to the honesty of the recording company or artiste. For example on the first Kimber’s Men CD there are four songs amongst a total of twenty five that are not our copyright and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society collect the royalties on behalf of those writers. There is a similar balance on our second CD. I know not where the money goes - hopefully to the correct source. That is what MCPS do. If other companies or individuals have purposefully avoided paying royalties they should be ashamed of themselves. In instances where songs have been recorded previously by others, but the writer is unknown, I have always made provisions with MCPS to collect any unpaid royalties at a later date.

Of course if writers of songs have not bothered to register their songs with the MCPS or their own individual association the matter of payment becomes more difficult. I will not be held responsible for the laziness of others. MCPS collect my/our royalties and I’ve left provision for claims at a later date. If it is possible to contact a writer I will make every attempt to do so. I would never record a song written by somebody else without the writer’s permission unless it has already been recorded by someone else; whence it can only be assumed that permission has previously been granted. I don’t think I can get any fairer than that because that is what is expected of me.

But at what point does receiving something that is second hand and then passing that item on to another person cross the line of piracy? When does it become a felony? It is I suppose a transparent line we all draw ourselves. For my part I had not considered passing on a list of recipes an act of piracy. I would obviously not have done so had I thought it wrong. I gave it some thought certainly and having read the letters that follow I’m prepared to accept that I was possibly wrong to do so. However I’m still not completely convinced although all three letters do give responsible and thought provoking arguments

So where do we go? Do we say we never lend anything? Or we can only lend certain things on an official list? And in what quantity can we lend or borrow them? At what point do we say lending one Bob Dylan album to your neighbour is ok but lending 25 is out of the question? Is it ok to just tape one television programme, but don’t make a habit of it, especially if you are going to let somebody else see them? And where in the equation of all this does individuality and copyright become involved in composing a song compare with the individuality and copyright of someone writing a recipe?

I know somebody who is incapable of boiling an egg. There are actually only two ways to successfully boil an egg (although I bet somebody will write and tell me a third one) and I’m going to let you into the secret in case you also fit into this category. You either place the egg into a pan of boiling water and remove it again after four and a bit minutes, or you place an egg into cold water and you remove it again three minutes after the water starts boiling. Personally I use the former method. There, I’ve passed on a recipe someone discovered before Christ was born. To whom does the copyright belong? No! I’m not being silly – I’m simply taking things back to utter basics.

There have been countless cookery and recipe books written over decades. Recipes are a variation of food preparation redefined, redesigned, realigned and modified to suit the tastes of generations depending on geography, the discovery of ovens, spices, additives, etc. However, unlike boiling eggs, there are various ways to make leek and potato soup. Martin Carthy once told me I had made the best leek and potato soup he had ever tasted. As that was over twenty years ago he’s probably not only forgotten but he will have eaten far better variations of leek and potato soup since. Who holds the copyright on leek and potato soup? Now I know who wrote Streets of London, I know who wrote Ode to Big Blue, I know who wrote Where have all the flowers gone. But leek and potato soup? No, sorry that’s a mystery.

Recently at Tenterden Folk Festival some very kind soul loaned me 26 tapes he had recorded some 30 years or so ago from BBC radio called ‘The British Seafarer’ that involved sailing and tall ships. I didn’t think twice about borrowing them and I’m not going to think twice about putting them onto CD’s to listen to in my car.

So I suppose if I’m as irresponsible as that I’m not going to think twice about sending on some second hand recipes that someone has sent to me. Perhaps it is something I should not have done. But copyrighting of recipes must fit into one of the cloudiest copyright laws possible. You see we’ve swiftly moved from the clear water in the middle of the pond into the murky water on the bank side.

So there is a line we all have to draw somewhere along the road of what is right and what is wrong when reproducing/copying/lending someone else’s material, or indeed in life in general. If we travel outwards from the middle of the pond we have to find a point somewhere in the murkiness before we reach the bank where we stop and say “Hey that’s enough”. It just depends where you draw the line; and some of you obviously draw it in a different position from me. And from which end do you draw it? Well that can often depend on which perspective you are looking from.

Now I am informed from a reliable source that there is a gentleman in Grimsby who is illegally reproducing the first Kimber’s Men album and selling it on EBay.

On a very personal level I have to admit to being highly amused to think that someone is actually going to the length of reproducing Kimber’s Men CD’s, together with the sleeve and booklets, to sell on the black market. Now this is a very personal viewpoint and does not necessarily reflect the thinking of the other members in the group.

I have no illusions about our group. We're not going to suddenly jump into the charts and make millions. We are good at what we do, our fan club is growing and if people want to buy pirate copies I'm ok with it. How many, I ask myself, are actually being manufactured? So there are a few sub-standard copies on the market bought by inquisitive people who have probably never heard us perform. It means Kimber’s Men are moving up the ladder of popularity. It’s no secret we sell the majority of our CD’s at gigs, and as we only have one reliable distribution outlet, being the RNLI, the people buying these CD’s on EBay wouldn’t otherwise have them. They are not taking sales away from us as they wouldn’t have bought them otherwise. But the sound of Kimber’s Men is gaining in popularity and with it sea shanties and sea songs are gaining in popularity. Perhaps in a way folk music overall is gaining.

Are people other than Kimber’s Men losing out? What about the RNLI? What about the authors of the songs? What about the other publishers? What about distribution outlets? Are these people getting their fair dues? Well I run a publishing company, I’m also a composer of songs and I reckon that’s a clouded argument if you think they are. I know what I am losing personally and it’s not very much and I’m actually losing more than anybody else. We are talking fractions of a fraction of a penny where the copyright on songs is concerned. And the RNLI are not actually losing out as these are sales we would otherwise never have made. The publishing companies and the writers gain with the popularity gained by Kimber’s Men. I admit it is an obtuse way of looking at it; but I think it is correct. A quick look at our gig sheet proves this point. With this popularity we now have more bookings many at better fees. The more bookings KM do, the more CD’s KM sell. We gain it back in the long run, plus a bit more and so does everybody else including the writers, the publishers and the charity.

Of course I am prepared to admit I would be more concerned if it were done on a large scale. The only reason I find it amusing is because it seems ridiculous to me that someone would go to these lengths. But I do also believe that everything in this respect is relative. If our recordings were illegally being mass-produced it would be a felony that should be stopped. However I don’t really believe, even if mass production was the case, that the overall loss would be as large as some people think. If one of my products is reproduced and sold in a market where I would never have sold that product myself I’m not really losing anything. Others are gaining but I’m not actually losing anything. I’m gaining in notoriety however and with this notoriety I’m gaining income in another market. But am I seeking it? This is assuming money is all that is important in this argument. If I’m important enough to be pirated I must have substantial income anyway. So whilst the loss of this income might be important to some, its not I’m afraid that important to me. If I have one million pounds, why should I want three? The world only has so much wealth and we should all be prepared to share and let live. Too much money in any one pocket is obscene and a good example as to why America (and to a lesser extent Britain) is hated by the under privileged nations of the planet. This not to say that I’m blanketing every American citizen under this one banner. Certainly not.

Distribution outlets I avoid, apart from the RNLI who are spotless. Others invariably pay late, sometimes as long as two years. Some go bankrupt. Some simply never pay at all. So I’ve given up supplying all other distribution outlets unless they want to pay up front. At least the black market is honest in that way! You know for certain you're not going to get paid! Having said that I would add that years ago in the 1970’s and 1980’s when I ran Sweet Folk All Recordings and Greenwich Village Records there was one distribution outlet, and only one distribution outlet, that always paid regularly and without fuss. It may come as a surprise but Dave Bulmer of Celtic Music never did and probably never will let me down; which is more than I can say for a small percentage of the artistes who failed to settle their bills and still owe me money today. That was plain downright theft. And if you are one of those thieves and you’re reading this in a magazine somewhere – well you know who you are, and I haven’t forgotten.

But …………

“Am I bothered?”

Ooops – shouldn’t have said that – it’s probably under copyright.

Valpariso Round the Horn. A Private Label. Yorkshire, UK.
This recording takes us on a voyage from Liverpool to Valpariso, via Cape Horn, in 1860.
Joe Stead, narrator, shantyman, and long time fixture on the English Folk scene, draws heavily on the works of the late Stan Hugill and on a series of lectures he has been giving over the past twelve years. The CD is a useful educational tool as well as fine entertainment.
Joe does a good job in describing life on board ship, the nature of the various tasks, and in selecting the shanties to fit the work. The narration which describes the use and origins of the shanties is excellent and the singing is strong. The choruses are sung mostly in unison, which is probably how they were sung in work situations on board ship.
There is a mine of information for all interested in life at sea in the great days of sail. Characters of the time are brought to life, word origins are explained, and the shanties presented in logical order from ships departure to arrival in Valparaiso.
At the start of the voyage we hear three capstan shanties, a quick one to take up the slack in the anchor line and to get the ship moving, a slower one as the work gets harder and the ship is pulled towards the anchor, and one slower still as the ship sails over the anchor and pulls it from the sea bed. And so it goes throughout the voyage until we reach Valparaiso and go ashore to a familiar farewell shanty.
For further information see
David Jones – New York Folk Song Society.

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

Jan 12th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Jan 13th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Jan 14th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Feb 15th (KM) Darlington Arts Centre, Vane Road, Darlington.
Feb 20th (Joe) St Aiden’s 50 Club, Mirfield, Huddersfield.
Mar 5th (Joe) Rossett School, Harrogate. (Life and times Paul Robeson)
Mar 7th (Joe) Morley Probus Club, Morley, Leeds. – Valparaiso
Mar 21st (Joe) Garforth Probus Club - (Life and times Paul Robeson)
Apr 16th (KM) Bacup Folk Club, Conservative Club, Bacup
Apr 19th (KM) Black Swan Folk Club, York
Apr 21st (KM) Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge
May 5th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 6th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 7th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 11th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 12th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 13th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 16th (Joe) Maurice Jagger Centre, Winding Road, Halifax.
Jun 15th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 16th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 17th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jul 6th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 7th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 8th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 29th (KM) Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge
Aug 11th KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 12th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 13th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 3rd (Joe) Conservative Club Folk Club, Bacup.
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 9th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 15th (KM) Halifax Traditions Festival
Nov 18th (KM) The Open Door Folk Club, The Royal Oak, Werneth, Oldham.
Feb 24th (KM) Southport Folk Club.

Subject: Safer women
Things women should know to stay safe: Take the time to read these pointers. There may just be one or two you hadn't thought of.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. If a robber asks for your handbag, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you.... he is probably more interested in your handbag than you and he will go for the handbag. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the boot of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm through the hole and start waving. The driver won't see you but everybody else will.
4.Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their cheque book, or making a list). DON'T DO THIS! A predator could be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, and attack you. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a car park:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and check the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most attackers surprise their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the shop, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6. ALWAYS take the lift instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He>walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear babies' cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.
Mobile Phone Scam
If you receive a phone call on your mobile from any person, saying that he or she is a company engineer, or telling that they're checking your mobile line, and you have to press #90 or #09 or any other number, end this call immediately without pressing any numbers.
There is a fraud company using a device that once you press #90 or #09 they can access your "SIM" card and make calls at your expense.
Phil Corris
Police Constable/Crime Prevention Officer
01524 596696


Dear Joe,
Thank you for the Ramblings. I still have to take issue with you on the ethics of the selling of illegal copies of recording. When an artist or group is recorded by us for our label it is a privilege for us. It is our duty to look after the interests of the artist whose income may in part be dependent upon Royalties from sales of their recordings. The sale of illegal copies is theft from the artist, theft from the record company and is also theft from writers and arrangers etc. There is absolutely no excuse for piracy of copyrighted material. Downloading a radio or TV programme for private use is not illegal. Downloading a programme for sale is. The lending of books to friends is not illegal but it is only recently that public lending libraries sorted out a system for paying royalties to writers and publishers. If it is flattering and good advertising for the illegal sale of Kimbersmen just remember that for you own CDs the choice of doing nothing is yours and the rest of Kimber’s Men but you are condoning a felony. Piracy of copyright music is now international crime on a major scale. Multi millions of fake CDs are produced in China, Taiwan, Bulgaria, Russia to name but a few. They are sold in car boot sales, street markets etc. The York Waits who have two CDs on our Brewhouse label had huge legal battles with C+*+*+, backed by the Musicians Union. Personally I strongly condemn all piracy of any artist’s recordings.
I think we all need to give serious thought, particularly in relation to publicity and Gigs. Take for example Nic Jones and albums like Penguin Eggs. Nic Jones for no reason for which he can be blamed needs the income from legal release of Albums. No amount of publicity will give him more paying gigs. The income is important. Any piracy derives Nic from well deserved income. Example 2. Peter Bellamy's royalty payments while still in copyright belong to his widow Jenny. They had not been married long. Any piracy of Peter Bellamy material is plain theft from Jenny. Some years ago we recorded a singer song writer with great talent. After a traumatic episode when her 9 year old daughter was molested by a paedophile she committed suicide. The royalties from her lovely songs belong to her daughter and are all that she could leave. Anyone who performs these songs is stealing from a motherless daughter. George Norris who played backing guitar on the recording will know who I am talking about and the circumstances. They were a nightmare for my wife and I, George and other people involved with the recording.
Another example. The copyright of Brewhouse recordings is all that Brewhouse is worth. In the event of my death my wife Ray will own these copyrights and may need the money from their sale. I promise that if anyone pirates any Brewhouse recording after my death I will come back to haunt them.
Joe, you need to think this through very seriously. Unauthorised use of copyright material is by law simple theft. That the law exists to protect the originators of the material is something to be fought for and cherished.
Sincere regards
Yours aye,
Eric Cowell

Hello Joe,
Just got the latest "ramblings" and want to express my opinion on this for the last time. We will not come to agreement on this one and that's fine. You can do as you wish. But there are important points to be made.
First, to call those who challenge your behavior "goody two shoes" is nothing more than name calling and is objectionable. I'm sorry you don't consider this behavior to be beneath you. I consider this behavior to be beneath you.
Second, your giving away your music or other intellectual property is your business. Jamie Oliver can give his property away if he wishes. You should not give other people's property away. If you have no objection to others giving away your property that's ok with me. Please publish your credit card numbers in the next "ramblings" and let people know that they're welcome to use them and then your behavior will be consistent with your words.
Third, you're quite right to say that everyone tapes TV programs, copies and lends music, etc. To use that as an excuse to do it on a grand scale yourself takes in from the "petty theft" arena and into a much larger and more damaging one. The difference between stealing a pencil and stealing a Bentley.
Fourth, to say "don't criticize me for this unless you've never done something similar" would remove your right to ever criticize others (including Tony Blair) for what may be poor choices that they've made. Remember that legitimate critique helps us all to look at ourselves and our behavior, and allows us to consider changes that may help the common good.
In this matter you appear to have chosen not to truly look at your behavior, but to have defended and justified it through the use of the old methods of name calling, invoking the words of Jesus Christ, saying "everyone does it," negating our right to challenge your behavior by turning it back on us for the things we may have done, and by reminding us that Jamie Oliver is a millionaire (which you admit doesn't matter. If it doesn't matter then it shouldn't be brought up).
The bottom line Joe, is that rather than looking at what you've done, and giving reasonable consideration to the possibility that we who have challenged you might be right, you have chosen to defend your behavior using illegitimate arguments.
I, and a number of other goody two shoe hypocrites object, on a number of levels, to the way you've handled this. We think that you're wrong on this one. We still love you anyway.
Until later,
Rick Spencer – USA.

I received that recipe book - but I didn't complain. I just deleted it from my computer.
But I'm glad that some did voice their objection and that your new 'Ramblings' records it.
Perhaps you don't realise the position you put every person into who received your email.
When the EU laws on possession of images and copyright material on Computer Hard Drives came about there was little said about the legislation, even though possession of images and pictures may have been no fault of the person who has them.
If I was to send you an illegal picture (I don't have to spell it out - you know what I mean), as soon as you've downloaded that email into your computer, you have a copy on your Hard Drive. As soon as you access it, the same is true. It doesn't matter that you delete the email or the attachment, it's still recoverable using certain software.
By sending the file to us, you put us *all* in breach of the law - and we had no option in the matter. That's the real stupidity of what you did.
Now about your 'Don't judge me because you do illegal things' defence. Just where would this end if we based society on the principle? No, we can't convict people because we've done the same (even if in a minor way) - where would it all end?!
And your defence that you allow your recordings to be downloaded and ripped off is not a defence either. I do the same on my web site - I encourage people to take what I've put on there, copy it, distribute it and use it freely. But such a position doesn't give either you or me the right to *make* Jamie Oliver have to give his own work away free.
I agree that there are a very great amount of stupid laws when it comes to CD’s and books - and I've always tried to do what I've felt is right by the person who's making their living through them.
If a CD is deleted, I will freely copy it. I'm not taking money away from anyone. If it's available, I may let people have a couple of tracks to listen to to sample the album but I don't copy the entire thing. If someone lends me a CD, it's because I will listen to it with a view to buying it - if I like it, I will, if I don't, it was an artist I would never have bought in the first place had I not been given an opportunity to listen.
I still get very annoyed at the Music Industry for ripping off the listener - but it doesn't mean that we should rip them off back. They sold us all 'listening licenses' when we first bought the albums on vinyl - then they sold us the same licenses at the full price when we wanted to have a CD copy. Was that fair? I say 'no'! But it doesn't mean I should steal from them.
Anyway, I'm not going to go through all the matters you raised - I just wish people would respect other people's rights instead expecting those people to be made to give away free what rightly belongs to them to do as they please with.

Hello Joe,
Being a bit out of touch with the goings on in the U.K I didn't really pick up on your comments about Ian Huntley in your October Ramblings until I read Dominique's letter in reply in the November issue. Now I'm a bit more in the know, here I am! How could I not have something to say about this! Your remarks give me the idea that you feel more sorry for Ian Huntley than anything else; that he is sick in the head, can't be held totally responsible for his actions and needs some sort of medication to cure him. I think we need to be careful using the word 'sick' in these sort of cases, if there is the chance that it leads us to making even the smallest of excuses for people who abuse. Because we don't understand exactly why some people behave in this appalling way we must not give them the benefit of the doubt. Of course we should dig for reasons for it so maybe we can stop it happening. I don't know what the statistics are for abused becoming abusers but there are no excuses for abusing. No arthritis of the brain, no nothing, full stop. Your arthritic knee doesn't affect anyone in the way that Ian Huntley's arthritic brain has. Not a good comparison really. Mental illness needs hospital treatment not prison, so if we say Ian Huntley is mentally ill then he shouldn't be in prison but in hospital. One thing or the other. I totally agree with Dominique and quote, "People who abuse are not ill, they clearly know right from wrong."
Letting victim's families decide on the punishment of these criminals would be a bit of a crazy road to go down although Dominique's feelings on this are perfectly understandable. I believe I would kill for my children.
I don't think that tax payers money should come into it. We have to pay what we have to pay and if we've decided to do away with the death penalty then we have to pay. Why should people who do these things be given an easy way out even if it is suicide? I presume Ian Huntley attempted to commit suicide to escape the discomfort of prison (whatever that discomfort might be). Anyway, I'm glad he hasn't escaped it if that is indeed what he was trying to do. Will he actually be let out of prison after 40 years if he survives that long? God forbid! (for want of a better phrase). The man has committed a terrible crime. He knew what he was doing was wrong. I think he should rot in prison and then rot in hell afterwards. That's the human side of me coming out! Animals don't think or behave like this!
Rhonda Tauman, Tenerife.


Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates.
"In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."
The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle", he said.
"You may pass through the pearly gates", Saint Peter said.
The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."
Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates."
The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
"They're Carol's," he replied.


A very confident James Bond walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman. He gives her a quick glance, then casually looks at his watch for a moment.
The woman notices this and asks, "Is your date running late?"
"No," he replies, "Q has just given me this state-of-the-art watch. I was just testing it."
The intrigued woman says, "A state-of-the-art watch? What's so special about it?"
Bond explains, "It uses alpha waves to talk to me telepathically."
The lady says, "What's it telling you now?"
"Well, it says you're not wearing any knickers...."
The woman giggles and replies, "Well it must be broken because I am wearing knickers!"
Bond smirks, taps his watch and says, "Sorry Carol. Bloody thing's an hour fast."



'I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.'
>> -----------------------
'We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead.'
>> ----------------------------
'We know where [Saddam's weapons of mass destruction] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.'
>> ----------------------------
'Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know.'
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'Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things... Stuff happens.'
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'I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it's what I said.'
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'Needless to say, the President is correct. Whatever it was he said.'
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'I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty.'
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'If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll just respond, cleverly.'
>> ------------------------
'I don't do quagmires.'
>> -------------------------
'It's not my business to do intelligent work.'

And I guess it’s not mine either!

Keep smiling, keep singing.