Providence's Alternative Source!

Dubya's delusions

Heard about the Iraqi war cocktail? EvilDewar's and soda.

This is about the only funny thing about Boy George's trumped-up war, except for his inability to pronounce "nuclear" -- it always comes out "nukular." You would think his speechwriters would try to avoid this word since Dubya the Dumb can't pronounce it correctly, among many other things on his lengthy list of illiterate expressions. But during his bloviation in Cincinnati on Monday, October 7, Bush must have used the word 30 times in 10 minutes, as the hair steadily rose on the back of our necks.

What a speech it was. Georgie looked as if his Mom had given him a good bath, Brylcreemed his hair, and put a sharp part in it before sending him out off for his first day of school. But his manner was pedantic enough to embarrass the king of the blowhards, Al "Two-by-four" Gore, the man with a wooden board lodged in his freckle. Dubya's overly dramatic approach to making contact with his audience, and his "He's a bad man" warnings about Saddam Hussein made him come across like a scoutmaster telling ghost stories to his Cub Scout den around a campfire. Gag us with the s'mores, please.

The White House persists in trying to BS the public about the weapons possessed by Saddam. Well, at least we know about the biological ones since we gave them to him years ago. Georgie's latest Pinocchio number involves his citation of a purported 1998 International Atomic Energy Agency report, which claimed Iraq was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon.

Oops, that turned out to be news to the IAEA. "There's never been a report like that issued from this agency," an agency spokesman said. So the Bushies then said he was referring to a 1991 IAEA report. Whoops again. No one in the report said Saddam was six months from having a nuke. These sorts of lies only undermine Dubya and Big Time Cheney's hopes of building public support for their keenly desired attack on Baghdad. And Ari Fleischer's wiseass, brain-dead comments about the "cost of one bullet" can only reduce any moral standing claimed by the administration. You gonna pull the trigger, tough guy?

There is the inference that this war would be over in the blink of an eye. Not unless we're planning on killing a lot of the Iraqi citizens who Boy George says we're aiding. And think we won't have to start ordering body bags for our soldiers if we attack? As P&J have said here before, if Dubya's so hot to trot against the wily sons of the desert, let him send his twin daughters over, along with Ari, to fight the just fight.

(Note: Yes, everyone is getting awfully tired of this whole Iraqi focus while our pension funds plummet and we see very few CEOs and other Big Biz book-cookers heading off to the can for their white-collar robbery. Molly Ivins even lost it in her September 23 column, screeching, "This Will Not Work," and "This is nuts!" And she's as used to Dubya's Texas blustering as anyone. Don't expect it to end soon.)

Good comeback, "professor."

The Friday massacre

Less than 36 hours after Phillipe & Jorge sent in last week's column, praising the Lombardi transition team, the acting mayor goes and replaces Public Safety Commissioner John Partington and Police Chief Richard T. Sullivan with Tom DiLuglio and Guido Laorenza. Needless to say, relatively few people have praised Big John's move.

From where P&J sit, we also have to question the wisdom of this, especially in the case of Colonel Sullivan, who appeared to be making at least some headway in turning around the police department. We also object to the numerous ad hominem attacks leveled at DiLuglio. Yes, Tom's a controversial figure and his frequent prattling on Channel 36's Deadly Experiment has to make you scratch your head, but let's not forget that this man has served honorably and well in a number of important executive positions. Does anyone question that he did a good job at RIHMFC when that agency was in dire straits?

We say, cut Tom some slack. He's doing this for free. If anyone has any evidence that DiLuglio is taking this job for any other reason than to serve Providence and help John Lombardi in cleaning up the problems in the police department, we'd like to see it. Partington and Sullivan deserve our thanks for their fine service. We don't get the need for such a big change at this time, but we also think that beating up on DiLuglio or Laorenza is uncalled for.

Good deeds on the watefront

Citizens of Our Little Towne may recall that this year's Providence Waterfront Music Festival almost didn't happen. A number of neighborhood associations and some businesses in the area strenuously objected to the annual Old Harbor event and attempted to have the permit revoked. But the folks who run the local clubs prevailed and the festival went off without a hitch, albeit under stricter parameters than ever before. About 10,000 people attended each day, and a fine time was had by all.

Here's the good part: the Hot Club, Fish Company, Grappa, and Wes's Rib House (which provided food during the event) have taken a good chunk of the profits from the event ($6000) and donated it to the Fox Point Boys and Girls Club. Good for them, especially our pal Josh Miller, whose generosity and many acts of kindness are a matter of record.

The Bud-I cult (cont.)

Boston-based Web designer Christopher Stuart must have a lot of time on his hands. Our Buddy appears to be on the verge of going bye-bye, yet Mr. Stuart has come up with a new Web site, For indefatigable Bud-I fans, this is described as "A place for fans to show support and to ensure that we preserve his legacy while the government has their way with him. Fans of Buddy need a place to come and voice their opinions and concerns." What is WPRO-AM, chopped liver?

The site features the latest Bud-I news, polls (we're sure their scientific validity will be unassailable), live forums, and an opportunity to speak out about the former mayor. You can also purchase "Save Buddy" T-shirts, caps, and mugs (what about mug shots?). No word yet on whether the Bud-I will allow the site to peddle his marinara and olive oil, but somebuddy's gotta do it. How can we miss him if he won't go away?

What is hip?

A star turn in the New York Times Magazine of Sunday, October 6 for Phillipe and Jorge's old buddy, Dewey Dufresne.

In an article headlined "Hipification: How a neighborhood goes from down and out to extremely cool, block by block," Dewey is called "the unofficial professor" of Clinton Street. This is the place in the lower East Village where he and his son, Wylie, opened 71 Clinton Fresh Food a few years back, becoming the darlings of the world of New York foodies and garnering a national reputation. An out-of-the-way and formerly rough locale, it is now a very chi-chi, still somewhat boho street that is attracting all sorts of new businesses and au courant clientele.

From the late 1960s to the mid-'70s, Dewey was perhaps Providence's leading hipster. As the proprietor of Joe's, the sandwich shop on Benefit Street, he almost single-handedly created the image of the restaurateur as tastemaker and creative force. At times he'd unlock late at night, bring in cases of beer and head cases of friends, and have the likes of Duke Robillard and Scott Hamilton jamming in the wee hours as people sat on counters and stove tops.

We'll never forget the night in the winter of 1972 when Dewey locked up Joe's around midnight and raced to New York City (at speeds exceeding 100 mph) to catch the last set of RISD's then-house band, the Fabulous Motels, who were making their NYC debut at the Mercer Arts Center. He'd already booked a suite at the Chelsea Hotel, where a suitably decadent party ensued well into the dawn. Dewey always did things big.

Alas, Joe's became Geoff's when the Geoffrey food distributors ended up in possession of La Prov's original cool sandwich shop. This came after Dewey lost his shirt on Joe's Downtown, a place with fabulous food and great entertainment. The legendary Hamilton-Bates Blue Flames were the house band. Joe's also hosted film premieres by local artists, like Mark Kehoe's memorable Dead City, featuring a small role by his roommate, David Byrne.

Joe's and Dewey hit the skids in Providence for one big reason -- he was 25 years too early for the much-ballyhooed Renaissance. Dewey tried to create a cool, cool world way too soon. He was the template for the great things to follow: John Rector and Leo's, George Germon and Johanne Killeen and Al Forno, and so on.

It's great to see Dewey in the right time, in the right place. Providence's loss has been New York's gain.

Kudos and congrats . . .

. . . to the Goldberg brothers, Tom and Bob, for their contribution to Vo Dilun's sordid reputation for horribly conflicted and tainted business and political shenanigans. Tom finally had the good graces to quit the state Ethics Commission, after helping to strip it of nearly all its credibility and effectiveness. Bob, meanwhile, serves as a lobbyist for GTech, the lottery kings, among other wonderful folks, like Phillip Morris, while also working as a lawyer for House Speaker John Hardwood, the Lothario of Smith Hill, and the man who calls most of the shots on House legislation. And just for added color, Bob's married to Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Guess you don't hear the word "conflict" very often at the Goldberg family reunions.

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Issue Date: October 11 - 17, 2002

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