Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Peace Is Possible -- A Conference On Establishing A Cabinet Level -- U.S. Department of Peace -- November 5th, 6th and 7th, 2004

Martin Luther King Auditorium
1871 Rose Street
Berkeley, CA 94703

Scheduled to appear ... Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Marshall Rosenberg (Center for Nonviolent Communication), Marianne Williamson (Best-selling author and activist) and many more to be announced soon!

Learn how to be an effective citizen advocate for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace! Please join us this November 5th, 6th and 7th in the San Francisco Bay Area for our Peace is Possible Conference. We will focus on the historic opportunity to establish a U.S. Department of Peace. Regardless what happens in the November election, this is a critical time to create a powerful citizens' peace campaign. The Department of Peace legislation, HR1673, is currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of the Department would be to research, facilitate and articulate nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflicts. The Department would provide the American president with a much-needed complement to a problem-solving approach dealing primarily with symptomatic rather than causal, underlying issues.

By understanding and addressing the root causes of violence, we can predict and ameliorate a myriad of hostilities, improve national security, help protect human rights, and prevent and de-escalate armed international conflict. Not only will the Dept. of Peace be strong policy, but it will save the American tax payer billions of dollars, as well. The Department is an idea whose time has come, and yet the idea will not become a legislative reality unless each of us does our part to make it happen. To learn more about this legislation and how to get involved, visit our website at:

For More Information and to Register Now!

At the Conference:
Re-engage in the democratic process
Hear amazing keynotes and diverse panel discussions
Participate in the dialogue and Q&A
Meet and connect with citizens from around the country working for peace in effective and focused ways.

1. Discover how 2 percent of the annual defense budget can go toward proactive policies that dismantle the sources of domestic and international violence.
2. Establish a U.S. Peace Academy as sophisticated and effective as the U.S. Military Academy.
3. Learn how we can approach gang violence, racial and hate crimes, and even international conflicts with psychological and emotional powers as effective, and in many cases more so, than the application of brute force.
4. Help move the American political dialogue to a higher level conversation regarding the realities of both war and peace.

We hope to see you there! For More Information and to Register Now!

Beware The Tools Of Tyranny
by Jeffrey Jowell,3604,1314266,00.html

Another View: Why I Will Vote For John Kerry For President
by John Eisenhower

Bush Ad Twists Kerry's Words On Iraq
Selective use of Kerry's own words makes him look inconsistent on Iraq. A closer look gives a different picture. Read the truth at:

If You Have Children Age 18 To 25 ... DO NOT VOTE FOR BUSH ... He WILL Bring Back The Draft ... The Following Comment From Sanitydotcom Via "Daily KOS" Blog.
Will take many troops to occupy Iran-Syria-earth. People should be aware of the Bushite plan to invade both Iran and Syria. And who knows where else? And to create a perpetual war scenario straight out of 1984 to keep Halliburton stock prices up. Those boots and bodies will come from the draft, of course. Bushites use the talking point: no draft now. Their classic Orwellian non-denial crapola wordspeak. The Bushites will bring America into perpetual war for oil, and make us world pariahs. I think anyone with children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, aka all of us, really must ponder this truly dreadful reality. This is the most important moment in US and world history. Will we cave into this intolerant power-mad dictator and his cult of fools? Or can we reclaim democracy and send Ann Coulter to Iran for finishing school????

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bush Is History's Top Terrorist
by Harvey Wasserman
As history's most environmentally destructive human, Bush's hate-nature crusade has been blessed by fanatic fundamentalists who believe destruction of the planet will hasten the Messiah. James Watt, Ronald Reagan's Interior Secretary, scorned attempts to preserve the Earth by announcing that Jesus was coming soon anyway. Bush spinmeister Karl Rove bans such blunt talk. But his all-out attacks on environmental protection, fuel efficiency, renewable energy and much more have already guaranteed an avoidable death toll unparalleled in human history. The evil winds of climate chaos now blasting through the Caribbean may soon seem like mild breezes compared to the ultimate eco-curse of George W. Bush. Attila the Hun. Genghis Khan. The Kaiser. Hitler. Stalin. Saddam. Bin Laden. None have killed more than those dying and destined to die at Bush's anti-green hands. His terror attacks have driven Mother Earth to the very brink. Four more years and he just might finish her off---and all of us with her. To read the whole article, visit the above link.

None dare call it Armageddon. None dare call it crusades, none dare call it Armageddon. Time for a little peace, love and truth-telling. I just watched a History Channel video on The Crusades, just to gain a little information on that period for a dollar...the rental charge on the video. Turns out Damascus played an important role. I flash forward to the present news of Israel bombing Damascus and shake my head. Will this madness ever cease? Why can't we all just get along? Is God that deranged that he or she would not allow a sort of wise tolerance to enter into the souls of these endlessly warring peoples? I google search the matter and stumble upon a page which bears this quote: The Prophet (pbuh) said: The place of assembly of the Muslims at the time of the Armageddon (al-Malhamah, the great war) will be in al-Ghutah near a city called Damascus, one of the best cities in Sham. (Abu-Dawud)

This makes me feel no better. No better at all. Even a little anxious. Bush's poll numbers are falling, badly, and when that happens, someone has to be kicked. Kicking dogs is illegal. Vicariousness is an intriguing concept, and one wonders if such things do not still go on among world leaders. We don't need no stinking religious war or religious victory. Blessed the peacemakers. All people are created equal. It is the handful who act otherwise. And sadly, it is that handful that currently rule the world. If mothers ruled the world, less children would die. Women...rise. Gaia is calling her daughters to save her from the rapists and child-killers. And to think Google caused all this! Let us make a detour around Armageddon. Let our children live. Winning is not everything. Possession is overrated. Cain means ownership. Peace is disarming. FADE TO BLACK...............

Monday, September 27, 2004

Great Discussions On Recent Bill Moyer's NOW -- Which Showed On PBS Friday, September 24th. One Of Which Is About The Presidential Debates -- Its A Real Eye Opener


The Issue -- Presidential Debates

It's Time To Close Ranks
by Dennis Kucinich

Pacha Mama Trading is expanding their partnerships with progressive businesses. Besides the 5 % they receive for every purchase generated through their website with Nature's First law. . . . . . .Pacha Mama Trading will donate $6.00 for every sarong sold off of their website to a non-for-profit organization that is lending support to the well being of our Mother Earth and those who live on her. We are honored that from now until December 31st 2004 the organization chosen to receive profit sharing is “Friends of Brook Park”.

This will continue only through December 31st 2004. Click on

To learn more about Pacha Mama Trading, led by a new mother, see:

Read Article On “Friends of Brook Park” In The NEW YORK TIMES! Click here:

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Pearl Jam: Rebels For A Cause
by Gene Stout

Now that I've regaled you all with my little adventures in "Oh Canada" ...its time to relate what I've been involved in this month. The road ahead, for me, is taking on some interesting turns. For the last 1 1/2 to 2 years I've been experiencing an incredible learning curve. No one has shoved this in my face. I've been reaching out, exploring, discovering new things and meeting terrific people through the process. Don't worry, I'll try not to get all preachy or sink my readers into boredom. So, without any further ado. . . . . .

Wednesday, Sept 8th, was my first day back at work and also the Dept of Peace Meetup that evening. Silly me, I misread the address on the email and I ended up at the wrong Starbucks location. Didn't realize that there are two Starbucks on the same upper Westside street, only 2 blocks apart. By the time I got to the other location ... no one was there. Sigh! Next month I'll make damn sure that doesn't happen.

The following evening, Sept 9th, I met up with Ellen [fellow Kucitizen] at the "Empower The UN With The Voice Of The People" event at UN Plaza. [This event ran abit late, which meant that I missed participating in the "Candlelight Vigil" down at Union Square.] There were several speakers that evenings and when I arrived Sue Zipp was talking about “The Earth Charter”. [] Topics she touched on were … “competition to cooperation” and “ethical behavior/humanism are essential”. A strong need for a Peoples Assembly but we need to reform the UN. Then Joseph Kule from Ghana spoke about the Pan Africa Parliament. Rob Wheeler spoke on Global Democracy. The last speaker of the evening, whom Ellen and I were mostly there for, was Tad Daley from CA and a good friend of Kucinich. He spoke about a “new” global Peoples Assembly, as well as a future without nuclear weapons. None! A website to check out is:

On Sunday, Sept 12th, I met up with Ellen and Eric for the "Dept of Peace - The Pursuit of Peace" event out at the Chelsea Piers.

[Also featuring a great op ed by Walter Cronkite under “media section”.] It was a sunny, gorgeous day as we sat out on a tent covered pier overlooking the Hudson River. [Later on that day I also briefly checked out the Art Show up to Lincoln Center.] I arrived shortly after 11am while Marianne Williamson was giving an inspiring speech. This was followed by an award given to Congressman Nadler, who’s a progressive Democrat. [We need more like him in Congress these days & less of those insane, conservative Republicans.] Also featured at the 4 hour event were some folk singers. Good vibes. The last speaker was Lynn Mullin and her words were also very inspiring. I became a member of the NYC DOP some weeks before this event. Dennis Kucinich is one of the great forces behind “Dept of Peace”. Need I say more on why I’m involved with it? Nope, didn’t think so. [Photo Below Of Dept Of Peace Event]

The NYC Primaries were on Tuesday, Sept 14th, and I went to the polls in my neighborhood.

Took Wednesday, Sept 15th, off as a vacation day from work. Went up to CT to visit my good friend Katherine, whom I hadn't seen in several months and renew my driver’s license at DMV. Katherine and her hubby Maurice recently purchased a new home in the Shelton area, so took Metro North up to that station. It’s about a 2 hour ride. After showing me around her new home; which I liked a lot and has potential, plus character; I took her out for a nice leisurely lunch. Unfortunately trains in and out of Shelton are not that frequent, so I had to take an earlier train back to NYC.

On Saturday, Sept 18th, for the first time in about 3 ½ to 4 months I was able to go up to Yonkers Ferret Shelter. During the months of July and August there raged a Distemper epidemic. Joanne said it must have come in on the wind thru an open window or on a persons clothing. However it happened and even though all the ferrets have their shots regularly, sometimes bad things happen. Sadly, the shelter lost about seven furkids and five of them were my fav regulars. [ie: Sweetpea, Emily, Big Willy, Chocolate & Vanilla] Three of my fav regulars did survive … Oliver, Fuzzbutt & Tubby. To get rid of the Distemper, one has to quarantine all the animals, thoroughly clean everything in the shelter with a strong disinfectant or bleach and keep a watchful eye. Since early September, Joanne has gotten in some new furkids and the day I was there some young adults stopped by to adopt a sweet little female. It felt good to see and socialize with the ferrets again. I missed them so much. Caught up on news/gossip with Joanne and showed her my photos from Canadian vacation.

The next day, Sept 19th, I met up with Ellen/Eric/Kenny to discuss taking the flagging "NYC Friends of Kucinich" group in a new and more exciting direction. [Apparently Mike & Stephanie are no longer interested. Which is sad, as I so enjoyed working with them over the past year.] We also checked out the EcoWorld Fair going on while hanging out at Lincoln Center. [Sampled some vegetarian and vegan foods.] From there we walked up Central Park West to an “open house” party at the home Sara Lee and her husband Norm Siegel. [Very nice, large apartment and yummy food/wine.] And yes, it was politics related and regarding this upcoming election. Fortunately, we missed running into Carolyn Maloney, who’d been there earlier. Those of you who are regular readers of my Blog will understand my feelings regarding that unsavory individual. Overall a fascinating visit and I enjoyed brief discussions with a few folk.

On Monday, Sept 20th, I met up with fellow Kucitizen BC to have drinks and catch up on news/gossip. We checked out this bar/grill at Macy’s “The Cellar” and had martini’s plus nibblers. Oh, by the way, bartenders are cute, young fellas. Also, work has been motoring along very nicely and my buddy Chaz is up from the Maryland office working a long project. We've been staying in touch via phone and email this past year. Haven't seen each other since E&Y closed the downtown office in July 2003. [Yeah, I miss the dude.] About a week or so ago we got our reviews and raises. It wasn't a great raise, but its better than no raise at all. Seems many of us admins didn't get high raises, even tho we did great on our reviews.

The next evening, Sept 21st, I attended a terrific event at the Avalon on West 20th Street. The Avalon used to be the Limelight Club back in the 1980s. I remember checking it out a couple of times with Wendy [ex-friend]. The event was called "Our Voices, Our World - UN International Day of Peace" and a list of brilliant speakers [plus musicians] included Marianne Williamson, Clarence Jones, Tad Daley and Jane Goodall. Enjoyed the whole scene with fellow Kucitizens Ellen, Paul, Linda and Arly. The latter two ladies I hadn’t seen for quite some time. During a brief break in the event, we noshed on falafel wraps by PUMP ENERGY FOOD [] and also talked with Tad Daley. Great guy! All I have to say is it was another great, inspiring evening and a pleasure to hangout with good people.

And then the following evening [9/22/04] a last minute conference call with others at the "NYC Dept of Peace" group. Those on call that evening were Coco, Dawn, Liz, Karen and Carol. These conference calls will be happening every two weeks and last about an hour. Since the election is coming up in November, one of the gals mentioned the following website:

And finally wrapping up this long discourse … yesterday evening [Sept 25th] I attended [as co-chair] the new "NYC Friends of Kucinich" meeting at Paul's home in Brooklyn. Ellen and Kenny also showed up and we all brought vegetarian/vegan goodies to partake in at dinner. It was a fun, fascinating, productive evening and Paul has a very nice place. What a terrific view of NYC and parts of Brooklyn from his kitchen window. WOW! At this time I’d rather not divulge any info on the group, as we’re still in process of revamping. Will discuss in more detail at a later date, in the meantime, its looking promising.

It took awhile to relate all my latest news … but there you have it. My next “personal news” update will have movie reviews et al. So stay tuned………

Friday, September 24, 2004


Dear Friends ... Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!" Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet. Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run. Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have.

Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year. My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..." Yes...Yes...Yesssss...He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...WAKE UP!

The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT? Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?

Michael Moore

Finally able to wrap up my news and mini adventures regarding vacation in "Oh Canada". Once this is complete then I'll be filling you all in on what's been going on since I've come back to NYC. Oh my ... lots of really wonderful, cool and inspiring events/commitments. Do stick around for the ride. . . . . .

Up early on September 2nd, as I had to take the express bus into downtown Ottawa from Gatineau and the last one leaves at 8:20am. I'm quite proud of myself in how quickly I got ready [plus do laundry] after Josee and her Mom left at 7:15am. Bus #83 showed up abit late and the ride lasted about 20 minutes. There was this cute fella sitting across from me reading the first Harry Potter book. Disembarked from the bus near Rideau Mall and asked a cute, young chap in the Information Booth for directions to "National Gallery of Canada" and also a place to nosh on breakfast. Strolled over to the Market Place to nibble on some goodies at the Continental Bagel. Very tasty, but the tea sucked. The weather was shaping up to be another sunny, warm, though slightly breezy day. Sweet! Before heading to the museum [Thursdays are free admission day] I checked out the other funky shops in the Market Place. The walked down Sussex Drive to the National Gallery of Canada. For almost two hours I gazed upon the paintings and sculpture in the European/Canadian/ American sections. Some artists I'd never heard of before and loved the different styles. I have to admit I was not impressed with the building itself, as its overall look was too modern for my taste. Quickly checked out the book/gift shop before walking back to Sparks & Banks Street to phone Josee.

We both weren't that hungry, so stopped by Starbucks instead for frappacino's. Josee showed me around some of the different CD/DVD shops. We were looking for CDs on Jack Iron's and Pearl Jam, plus I was hunting for Sean Bean movies. After Josee went back to work, I strolled back over to Wellington Street, near the canal, to view the John Massey exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.

And yes, the admission was free. Love that word ... free! It was a decent exhibit and some of the pix were kinda cool. During the rest of the afternoon I checked out more "Canadian Gift Shops", buy stamps, write postcards and browsed in the many shops along Sparks Street. It’s actually a long pedestrian walkway and some cafes down the center, plus many street performers. Josee and her Mom picked me up after they were done with work. Back at the house we sat down to eat dinner and watch some early Pearl Jam concerts on DVD. Great music, stage antics and such a treat seeing Jeff Ament bounce around the stage without a shirt on. Sweet! After 7pm we drove through the large peaceful Gatineau Park.

Saw lots of bicyclists, a few deer, viewed some lookouts and admire a stunning sunset. Before heading back to the house to relax for rest of the evening, we made a pit stop at a local Dairy Queen for ice cream. Up early again on Friday, September 3rd and caught the 8:10am express bus. Josee and her Mom headed off to work at 7:15am. Same cute fella [from day before] was on the bus and reading another Harry Potter book. Arrived just outside Parliament Hill at 8:35am and it’s another lovely, sunny, warm day. I've been wearing the sunscreen, so that I won't get toasted. The first tours do not begin until 9:20am. So until that time I strolled around and also visited the "cat sanctuary". Many cats there today and even one dark kitten basking in the morning sunshine.

There were also a few squirrels ... in fact ... one of the black squirrels came hopping over to me [really close], as he must of thought I had some food. All I had on my person was an apple and wasn't sure if squirrels eat that fruit. So I waved my hands, gently yelled "shoo" and "scat", plus walked away from him AND still he followed me with this bright eyed, expectant look on his little face. So embarrassing ... I ended up running away from a black squirrel. He chased me for abit and then left me alone. I found a picnic table under a tree and sat down to do some reading. Just before 9:20am I went to get my ticket for "free" tour of Parliament buildings in the center. This is were the Canadian House of Commons and Senate meet September thru June. At the moment, they were still on their summer breaks. There is a "Changing of the Horse Guard", but that is only during the summer and ended August 28th.

Before the tour starts everyone in our large group goes thru security check. A few of us, including yours truly, were pulled aside to have our bags further searched. Apparently the three batteries in my backpack caused the security alarm. I explained that I use them for my CD walkman. Back on the tour with our guide [Roberta & a college student], who conducted us thru the House of Commons, Senate, Portrait Gallery, Smoking Room, etc. Very impressive! Sadly we couldn't tour the "Library of Parliament", as it was currently under restoration. What a pity, as it looks stunning from the postcards. Checked out the gift shop, strolled outdoors to relax, read and eat my apple. Obtained another free ticket for the 10:45am tour of east block Parliament buildings. Our guide for this tour was Wesley ... who was a very nice, amusing, young chap. Smaller group this time around and no problems with security. This tour was abit more interesting, as the four rooms we visited were set up in the 1872 style. Some of the furnishings were the original pieces. In one of the rooms we were treated to a student/actor portraying the 1872 Prime Minister MacDonald. He spoke about what was going on "at that time" and engaged in some dialogue with our charming guide. It added a nice touch to the tour. Afterwards I did a totally touristy thing and had my photo taken with Canadian Mountie on her horse. Would have preferred a male Canadian Mountie & not some gal who seemed more suited for toothpaste commercial.

By this time it was nearing lunch, so I strolled along Sparks Street Mall and then down Banks Street to Josee's office, where I met her for lunch. Which noshing on sandwiches we walked down Banks Street to locate a political bookshop called New Octopus Books. It was a very long walk and by the time we found the place my legs were abit sore. Cool bookstore though with items on US, Europe, imperialism, psychology, etc. I picked up a book by Arundhati Roy and also a button saying "More Trees, Less Bush". Josee and I took a taxi back to her office, plus made a pit stop at Starbucks for some liquid refreshment. Josee went back to work and before I headed over to Majors Hill Park, I stopped by a bookstore and the post office. In the park I relaxed under a nice, shady tree near the canal. This park is behind the Fairmont Hotel and the weather was still sunny. Tried to read for abit, but then said forget it and took a nap under that nice tree. Yep, right there on the grass and using my rolled up cotton sweater as a pillow. Delightfully refreshing. Later on, back at the house, we watched some telly for awhile before heading out to local fairgrounds at 6:30pm. We watched about 20+ colorful balloons ascend for the annual Ottawa Balloon Festival and it was a terrific sight to behold. Afterwards Josee, her Mom and I drove to downtown Ottawa and had dinner at an Asian restaurant called "Sweet Dreams". Service wasn't that good, price was decent and the food so-so. But we made up for it afterwards in getting "Beaver Tail" pastry. Oh so yummy!

On my final day in Canada, we [Josee, her Mom & I] got up early; as we had a 1 1/2+ hour drive to Montreal. Got to the train station with about 5 to 10 minutes to spare and they were in the process of boarding passengers onto Amtrak. Said my goodbyes to Josee and her Mom. Left Montreal at 9:50am and about 1 1/2 hours later we're at the US/Canadian border. The train was only 1/4 full and yet those US custom dudes [armed to the teeth & dressed similar to military] took longer than the Canadian custom folk did with a full train going north. Had to ask for a customs form, as they "forgot" to give me one. When it’s my turn to hand over my passport with completed form, which I do with a smile & a "good morning sir", the customs official grills me like the damn Spanish Inquisition for 10+ minutes. Meanwhile, I'm thinking ... what the hell did I do?!? Even the other customs official was glancing over his shoulder at his co-worker with a "what are you doing" look on his face. I was damn glad when that was over and the train started up again. Geez! Amtrak ride to Saratoga Springs was so slow, but the views of Lake Champlain in the sunshine were delightful. Arrived about 40 minutes late into Saratoga Springs and my parents were there to greet me. I then spent the rest of the long Labor Day holiday weekend with my folks, before heading back to NYC and no RNC in town. Amen! Stay tuned for more "personal news" ... as I have lots to report on events and activities since my vacation.



“I will never forgive America for what Dennis Kucinich went through this year. Because he has had the audacity to call for an end to all wars, to announce plans for the creation of a Department of Peace, to question the very culture of viciousness and intolerance and crass commercialism that rules our public discourse, he has been labeled a lunatic by nearly every "responsible" press organ in this country and cruelly mocked to a degree that no civil society should allow an honorable man to endure. The New Yorker, that revolting beacon of glib, self-satisfied affluence, runs a cartoon showing Kucinich sweeping to victory in a primary held on Mars. The New York Times first angrily demands that he not waste any more of our time, then actually physically disposes of him after the passing of some self-imposed fictional electoral deadline. Even the more genuinely funny and more intelligent people in American public life–I’m thinking particularly of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon–can’t resist savaging Kucinich whenever they get a chance. All because he’s funny-looking and because he uses the word peace without kidding.

I am a Dennis Kucinich supporter because I believe America’s greatest problem is its incivility, its intolerance to new ideas, its remorseless hatred of weakness and failure, and the willingness of its individual citizens to submerge their individual cowardice within the vicious commerce-driven standards of our national self-image. George Bush is a terrible president, but he is merely a by-product of these wider national tendencies, which exist outside of him and independently of him. And these tendencies are symbolized exactly in the laughter directed at Dennis Kucinich. To vote for Dennis Kucinich, I believe, is to vote for man’s right to publicly be who he is and not be ridiculed for it. If we are peaceful people, it is a vote for our right to merely be who we are. This is not a small thing, because we are in danger of losing that right in this country. If you are the wrong kind of person, even the New York Times would have you disappear from the stage entirely. That is why it is important to understand this vote not as a pragmatic choice for a winner, but as a passionate act of self-preservation. We must stand with the man who is taking all the abuse that most of us are too afraid to take in our own lives.


What would you say to George Bush if you had five minutes with the man? Janeane Garofalo, Minnie Driver, Montel Williams, and Morgan Fairchild have their say.

Scott Thill, AlterNet
The ever-opinionated Steve Earle muses on the current state of events, the intersection of art and politics, and media consolidation. (And he also has an album out.)

Diane Farsetta, AlterNet
The media ignore the difference between real grassroots organizations and smear-happy front groups -- the difference, say, between MoveOn and MoveOn For America.

Molly Ivins, AlterNet
DeLay uses 'values politics' to make rubes out of voters.

Hot Off The Press! A New Pearl Jam Album, Its Titled REARVIEWMIRROR Greatest Hits 1991-2003), Its Scheduled Release Date Is For November 16th In The US & November 15th For International

Up Side:
1. Once
2. Alive
3. Even Flow
4. Jeremy
5. State of Love and Trust
6. Animal
7. Go
8. Dissident
9. Rearviewmirror
10. Spin the Black Circle
11. Corduroy
12. Not for You
13. I Got ID
14. Hail Hail
15. Do the Evolution
16. Save You

Down Side:
1. Black
2. Yellow Ledbetter
3. Breathe
4. Daughter
5. Crazy Mary
6. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
7. Immortality
8. Betterman
9. Nothingman
10. Who You Are
11. Off He Goes
12. Given to Fly
13. Wishlist
14. Last Kiss
15. Nothing As It Seems
16. Light Years
17. I Am Mine

Going Back To The Tape: Pearl Jam (Live at Benaroya Hall, October 22 2003)
by Paul Winner

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Animation by Eric Blumrich
[Make sure the Democratic Party hears your voice and offers a choice on the war ... End The Occupation]

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Let's not exchange a Republican war for a Democratic war. Dennis Kucinich

Alan Eisner, Reuters
Millions of US citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the November 2nd presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks, according to civil rights and legal experts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Yves Engler, Rabble News
Aside from our simplemindedness, the media's most common critcism was our apparent frequenting of Starbucks.

Nina Burleigh, AlterNet
An emergency team of former Reagan aides has swooped in during these last months of the reelection campaign to help recast George Bush as the true heir of the Gipper.

David Ropeik, Los Angeles Times
I wonder whether the politicians who are using fear to get themselves elected would stop if they knew the harm they may be doing to people's health. Real physical harm. Making people sick. Perhaps even killing them. Not intentionally, of course, or knowingly. But this kind of "be afraid" message does more than encourage people to think that you are the candidate who will make them safe. It creates stress and may be at least as much of a threat to public health as terrorism itself. To read more, go to:

David Cole, The Nation
With the latest Detroit convictions overturned, Ashcroft has not convicted a single person of terrorism since 9/11.

by Juan Cole, Common Dreams

Sen. John Kerry
What are John Kerry's plans to resolve the mess in Iraq and fight al Qaeda? Read his Sept. 20 speech and find out.

Mark Weisbrot, AlterNet
Bush's 'ownership society' means that someone is going to have to pay the taxes that rich people are no longer paying. And that someone is low-wage workers.

"In Your Name"

For the Lady: Dedicated to Freeing Aung San Suu Kyi and the Courageous People of Burma, due October 26, features previously released tunes by Lavigne, Coldplay, Bright Eyes and Travis, while Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Damien Rice and Better Than Ezra contribute live cuts unavailable anywhere else. Also exclusive to the album is "Let Freedom Ring," a studio track by Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello's solo incarnation, the Nightwatchman. U2 dedicated their contribution, "Walk On," to Aung San Suu Kyi on All That You Can't Leave Behind, the album on which it first appeared. The double album's final track, "Tempest of Blood," was written by a jailed student activist for democracy in Burma (which is also known as Myanmar).

Aung San Suu Kyi is the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient. For her efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Burma, she has garnered the support of President Bill Clinton, Senator John McCain, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Desmond Tutu, among others. For the past 14 years, she has been under house arrest by Burma's repressive junta. Proceeds from the sale of the album will benefit the nonprofit organization U.S. Campaign for Burma. For the Lady track list, according to the album's publicist:

Disc 1:
* U2 - "Walk On"
* Pearl Jam "Betterman" (live)
* Coldplay - "In My Place"
* Ani DiFranco - "In the Way"
* Bright Eyes - "No Lies, Just Love"
* R.E.M. - "Drive" (live)
* Avril Lavigne - "Complicated"
* Talib Kweli featuring John Legend - "Around My Way"
* Lili Haydn - "Unfolding Grace"
* Peter Gabriel - "Here Comes the Flood"
* Natalie Merchant - "Motherland"
* ManĂ¡ - "Cuando Los Angeles Lloran"
* Rebecca Fanya - "Paper Airplanes"
* Ben Harper - "Oppression" (live)

Disc 2:
* Paul McCartney - "Freedom" (live)
* The Nightwatchman - "Let Freedom Ring"
* Eric Clapton - "Wonderful Tonight"
* Sting - "Fragilidad"
* Bonnie Raitt - "Angel From Montgomery" (live)
* Damien Rice - "Lonely Soldier" (live)
* Travis - "The Cage"
* Guster - "Keep It Together"
* Hour Cast - "Memories and Lies"
* Indigo Girls - "Perfect World" (live)
* Better Than Ezra - "Get You In" (live)
* Matchbox Twenty - "So Sad, So Lonely"
* Mun Awng - "Tempest of Blood"

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

George Bush and Dick Cheney are spending day after day on the campaign trail trashing John Kerry and John Edwards and ignoring their own miserable record on issues that matter to people like you and me. But Bush and Cheney aren't just ignoring their failed record -- they are ignoring the millions of people that have been hurt by their failed policies and poor decisions. Here's how you can help: write a short letter to the editor of your local newspaper, magazine, or favorite publication.

It's not just that Bush has lost more than 1.5 million jobs since he took office -- you already knew that. It's not just that health care costs have skyrocketed during the last four years and Bush has done nothing to prevent it -- you already knew that. It's not just that Bush asked for our trust so he could keep the peace and then rushed to war -- you already knew that. The point is that real people suffer because of Bush's wrong decisions. America can do better with John Kerry, John Edwards and our other Democratic candidates will make sure that we do. Now it's up to you to tell your friends, your family and your community.


Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7 pm
39 W. 14th Street
#206(btw. 5th & 6th Aves in Manhattan)

During the week of the RNC, the NYPD engaged in mass pre-emptive arrests in a poltically-motivated attempt to silence dissent. The NYPD arrested more than 2,000 people simply for opposing the Bush-Bloomberg Agenda [Fascist Regime] of endless war abroad and continued repression at home. Join us to hear from activists who were arrested during the RNC and held at Pier 57, the filthy detention camp set up for political dissenters. Bush & Bloomberg sought to silence and intimidate dissent, but they have failed. Across the country, momentum is building for the next step, the Million Worker March on October 17 in Washington DC. In just four weeks, workers, activists, veterans, community organizers, and thousands of others will becoming from all over the country to demand "Bring the Troops Home Now! Jobs, Healthcare, and Workers' Rights, Not War!" Join us for updates on this growing movement and find out how you can be involved:


David Corn, The Nation
The McCain-Bush conflict has been one of the most-watched soap operas in Washington. Now it appears the Arizona senator may have a rude surprise for the president.

Terrence McNally, AlterNet
Arundhati Roy discusses her role as writer and activist, the importance of non-violent dissent, and on finding justice in the world.

Richard Blow,
The New York Times refuses Michael Moore permission to reprint a story, claiming that they don't want to be "part of a political battle."

Laura Rozen, AlterNet
Bob Graham's new book connects the dots between the Saudi government, a White House cover-up, and the 9/11 attacks.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Yeah, I know, abit of a delay, but I'm back to relate more stories on my vacation to Canada. Hum, now where did I leave off from last time? Ah yes... still hanging out in Quebec with overcast weather and a chance of it clearing up. Josee and I still had a few "sites" to see on our list, before embarking on the five hour drive to Ottawa. So, without much further ado, I bring you "Oh Canada".

After a refreshing nights rest at the B&B, we partook of another enjoyable breakfast. Love those tiny blueberries in cream with granola. Total yummers! Finished our packing, paid for our two night stay at the B&B, which I might add was very reasonable and left shortly after 9:15am. Headed back into old Quebec and parked in the same spot as day before, right in front of Le Bistro on Rue Saint Jean. [smiling] We walked to the Citadelle to check it out and arrived just in time for the "Changing of the Guard" and the tour. [A word of advice when touring old Quebec, wear comfortable shoes. As it is built on hilly terrain with some cobble streets.] It was alot of fun watching the Changing of the Guard. All resplendent in their red/black wool attire and tall bear fur hats. Ugh ...sweaty! They even have a goat as mascot and I might add he behaved quite nicely. The Citadelle is an actual working garrison/barracks, so we visitors had to respect the rules. We were also treated to a live military band and we're told that the "Changing of the Guard" is only performed June 15th through September 6th.

Afterwards there are two tours of the Citadelle and we took the one in English. Our guide was a nice, knowledgeable, charming chap named Guyum [spelling?]. Halfway thru the tour the sky starts to clear up and the beautiful sun shines through. Viva la soleil! After the tour we checked out Notre-Dame de Quebec on Rue de Buade and was very much impressed with its beauty. It’s near the University of Laval and the Boutique de Noel. I ran into the latter to make some purchases of Xmas items. We wrapped up our stay in ole Quebec with a delicious lunch at an outdoor cafe and feeling the warmth of the sun. Then it was the long drive west, past Montreal with its rush hour traffic and ending up in Ottawa. I spent the remainder of my vacation with Josee and her mom [Louise is a darling] at their house, which is in Gatineau and a borough of Ottawa. They are in the process of moving from house to an apartment. Their realtor [Betty] briefly stopped by with paperwork. A nice, friendly, chatty lady. Also became acquainted with Josee's two cats... Mango & Noah. We went to do some grocery shopping at a place called Loblaws. [Which sort of reminds me of a cross between Hannaford’s & Wal-Mart.] Had a late dinner of sushi and got the tour of Josee's impressive Pearl Jam collection.

September 1st was my first official day in Ottawa, capital of Canada. Before Louise drove me into Ottawa she showed me the new apartment that they'll be moving into on September 9th. It’s much closer to downtown Ottawa and nicely situated. After giving me a quick tour of the area around Parliament Hill, Louise dropped me off on Wellington Street. I spent the next 2 hours strolling around Parliament Hill.

Checked out the statues, gardens, actors dressed up as 19th Century politians, stray cat sanctuary, a canal [a small motor boat working its way down the locks] and finally the National War memorial. Weather is much nicer with gorgeous sunshine and a slight breeze. Big difference from last few days. Stopped by the post office on Sparks Street to get stamps for postcards and envelopes. Then it was time to call up Josee and meet her for lunch. Sat on the steps outside the building were she works and we noshed on yummy sandwiches.

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading a magazine in a local park, further exploration of Parliament Hill and checking out all the shops and boutiques along Sparks Street. My first thought about Sparks Street and how it was situated ... it reminded me of Washington Street Mall in Cape May, NJ. If any of my readers have visited that charming Victorian style seaside resort town, you'll know what I mean. Josee and her Mom picked me up at 4:30pm. Back at the house we sat down to eat dinner [ie: grilled tuna steak & salad] and watch "OUTFOXED" on DVD. So glad I finally got to see this documentary. Quite a good film and it makes you wonder how some folk can believe the constant spin, lies & bullshit on Fox News. [O'Reilly is such a bully & moron.] That’s NOT real journalism, such a joke, but GOP propaganda at full throttle. Well, the evening didn't end there, Josee and I changed into sweatshirts to head back to Ottawa. [Still decent outside, but very windy.] Near Sussex Drive we found parking and stopped to purchase this great pastry called "Beaver Tail" with cinnamon/sugar. Sooooo good! Walked up to Parliament Hill with a blanket and sat on the bleachers [along with others] to watch the 9pm sound/light show. It was very enjoyable, in French and 35 minutes long. Capped off the evening with a stroll down a few funky streets to check out shops and street performers.

Still have a few more vacation day adventures to relate and that'll be in my next update. Plus I'll have news on what’s been going on since back from vacation. Lots of cool, fascinating events and yes, some are politically related. Stay tuned.............

[Many thanks to Ellen J in sharing it with the Duchess]

It is assumed that it's not likely that you have heard this information before, so we are here to help each other figure out which is the alternate universe (the one where Captain Kirk, Spock and everyone else all have beards), and which is the real universe (the one where everything is exactly as you think it is).

Item Number One: Great News! John Edwards has said that there would be no draft under a Kerry/Edwards administration! YYYYYYYYYeah!!!!!

Do you grasp the significance? I repeat: NO DRAFT UNDER KERRY/EDWARDS!!! Now put this email away for a few minutes and tell everyone you know immediately! Who in their right mind is going to take the draft over no draft? Yell it out the window. If this isn't a great selling point, I don't know what is, so go ahead....are you done? Okay, great. I am giving you free help from camp Nader, because we have said "Take our issues, PLEASE!". We mean it, we want Bush/Cheney to crumble to fine dust, so, the Nader/Camejo platform, (the undisputed champion of the people's platforms) is there for the taking. There is no charge, no copyright, nothing. The windows are rolled down, and the doors are unlocked, so take the whole damn thing, please, we WANT it to get swiped by anyone and everyone. Who loves you Kerrycrats? That's right, we do. You like? Go, ahead, have some more:

These are the things you need to WIN. Hey, I also think that Dennis Kucinich has left the keys in his car, with the motor running. Go take it for a ride, Mr. Kerry:

Item Number Two: Did you know, that G.W. Bush missed the September 1st deadline to get on the Ballot in Florida, and Illinois? "WHAT?" Wait, it gets more bizarre. Guess, who helped him get around or change the law to get him on those ballots? Nope. Wrong. Not even close. No, not him/her/them...give up? (wait, let me get out my sticks and do a drum roll) The answer: THE DEMOCRATS! "Huh? What the f--k? No way, man!" At your service:

Now, at camp Nader, we're staying out of this, because we think that everyone should have easy access to the ballot. We find it insane, as we're sure you do, that the Democrats would help G.W. Bush get on ballots worth a total of forty-seven electoral votes, while simultaneously causing Naderites to literally fear for their physical safety and illegally keeping Nader/Camejo off the ballot in several states. Kerry, Bush: Different people; same paymasters.

Item Number Three: Here are some vital things that will definitely NOT be in the corporate news in the coming weeks. This is an article written by Anthony Wade, for op ed I realize there has since been much ado about Dan Rather, but the fact is, Bush was AWOL. This seems to be a problem, because he went on to one day say "Bring it on!" as he enthusiastically sent those who have shown up for duty to their tragically unnecessary mutilation and death:


The Draft – A Reason to Vote if You’re Under 30. You already blew it: You didn't vote last time, or voted for Nader or Bush, and now you're gonna get drafted. There's no way around it now, the draft is almost a certainty. You're hearing about Reserve and National Guard units being called up, and about people not allowed to leave the military even though their term is up. Have you thought about what this means to you? You KNOW this means they're having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to Iraq, right? Of course Bush doesn’t want to start the draft BEFORE the election. Duh! But what do you think happens the day AFTER the election?

I repeat, they are having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to Iraq. Think about it. Right, you're gonna get drafted. Or, maybe you think they can't do that? Maybe you think the draft doesn't happen in America. Maybe you think they can't just grab your ass up off the street, stick a rifle in your hands and send you off to war? Of course, that NEVER happens. Right. WAR. Yes, that word. The word you have been hearing from Bush’s lips for months now. "I'm a WAR president", he says. Well, what did you think war MEANS? Somebody ELSE’S war? Did you think it means you get to watch a TV show with planes and stuff? No, WAR means young people getting grabbed up off the street and sent off to fight. That. Is. What. War. Is.

And, by the way, women and students are NOT going to be exempt this time. Maybe not even rich kids. ONLY the children of politicians will be exempt. THIS TIME. So, are you finally ready to do something about it THIS TIME? Which candidate do you think is more likely to grab your ass off the street and send it to Iraq? Which candidate do you think is more likely to start a war with Iran, or Syria, or maybe even North Korea? Like Bush says, we're at war, and that's the issue in this election. Well, THAT’S what you should be thinking about THIS TIME. So vote. THIS TIME.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Kerry Says President Plans Huge Call-Up
by Patrick Healy

Remember When Presidential Campaigns Used To Be About The Issues?
by Jason Leopold

Journalism Under Fire [Address to the Society of Professional Journalists on 9/11/04]
by Bill Moyers

A Mother Laments As Her Son Goes To An Unjust War
by Pauline Erlick

LIVE ON 22 LEGS ... The Eddie Vedder/Molo Care Showcase: Not Just AnotherBand-Aid
by Laura Cassidy

Written on a piece of tape and stuck to the floor near my feet were the words "Rock School." No doubt, it was left over from the last session of the VERA Project's informal recording and songwriting academy that ended in late August, but the idea still applied this past Friday night, Sept. 10. Ten members of the award-winning Walmer High School Choir from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, were sound checking, and in about two hours, they would be joined onstage by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Rock School, indeed. Molo Care, a Seattle-based partnership between members of the University of Washington College of Education faculty and school leaders and instructors from Port Elizabeth, was responsible for the choir being in Seattle; after five years of dialogue between the educators, it was time to get the students involved.

Friday was the first time that the kids, who are all from impoverished villages, performed for a predominately white audience. In fact, this trip marked the first time any of them had boarded a plane. It was their first time performing and recording with an internationally known rock star, too—though because they don't have electricity in their homes, much less MTV, they had never even heard of Pearl Jam until this trip was arranged. "We want to create a window," Walmer Headmaster Lunga Dyani told me as we listened to the kids prepare for their set. UW's Ed Taylor further explained that the mission of Molo Care is not to hand out Band-Aids. Although Molo Care does provide scholarship money for families that cannot afford school fees, they are equally, if not more, concerned with creating a cross-cultural community based on professional, yet personal, friendships—an ongoing conversation centered on democracy and education.

"You help to raise money for something or work on death-penalty issues, and you get used to not seeing the end-all," said Vedder, who had spent the days prior to the performance at his bandmate Stone Gossard's studio, where he and the choir recorded and practiced three Pearl Jam songs that the students had created new arrangements for. "But three hours into the recording session, the kids were dancing on tables, having a really good time. It was just amazing—they know the pure joy of music."

It's fair to say that the students—most of whom will enter 11th grade upon returning to South Africa—experienced a fair share of the jitters, but they were visibly elated as they took the stage once Vedder warmed up the room with a few old songs and a rousing anti-Bush rant. Singing folk songs in Khosa, the language of most South Africans in Port Elizabeth, the choir members accompanied themselves beautifully by shuffling and stomping their sandaled feet. Typically, the two sopranos would begin with a line that the rest of the choir would repeat and circulate and stem off from; the songs, apart from being utterly gorgeous, were similar to three-part rounds but almost completely foreign and unfamiliar otherwise. A girl in the middle was especially ebullient; as she sang, danced, and stomped her feet, her fingers snapped out the rhythm and her face shone brightly. Given that the students' rich vocals and textured musical abilities—South Africa has a deep choral vocal tradition—aren't consistent with Western music's quarter notes and rhythm structures, and that they're strangers to American rock and pop, it was especially exciting to hear what they had done with Pearl Jam's "Better Man."

In most of their collaborations with Vedder, the choir sang in Khosa, but when they joined Vedder and his acoustic guitar for the final refrain of the 1994 hit, they sang in crisp English, "She loved him, yeah/She don't want to leave this way/She feeds him, yeah/That's why she'll be back again"; their diction and tone imbued the words with deeper meaning than they'd previously had. Vedder said he wrote the song when he was about the same age as the Walmer students and has played it thousands of times since, but that the South African teenagers gave it an entirely new sound. I asked if he would play it any differently from here on, and he answered that maybe Pearl Jam should just retire it; they could never match the energy and purity that the choir gave it. As of yet, there aren't any plans to release the songs that Vedder and the choir recorded together, but it's certainly worth noting that when the kids heard the playback from the sessions, it was the first time they had heard their voices on tape. I imagine they were quite impressed.

"They will learn that they are good," Dyani said, summing up his central hope for the trip. Watching the show and the knowing smiles exchanged onstage, I have few doubts that the new friendships will grow and continue. Besides, Vedder, an avid surfer, told me that he had researched Port Elizabeth and found that the beach nearby has excellent waves.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

INTERESTING & NOTEWORTHY POST FROM "KUCINICH4PRESIDENT" YAHOO CHAT GROUP -- "Angry Republican ATTACKS Cuban American demonstrators with his car!"
Our group, Cuban Americans for Change, recently had a demonstration on 8th Street with No Mas Bush signs and we were attacked by an elderly man with his car. He came up on the side walk and we had to move or else. His car was covered with Viva Bush signs, so he couldn't use the "I'm an old man and had a seizure" defense. We have filed charges, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. My video camera captured the assault and proved valuable. Saturday will be dangerous. A good friend who has also been attacked at a protest suggested that we have union leaders, Dem cops and others who would be able to look out for possible assaults. Also, I will take my video camera because the video I took of this extremist nut case trying to attack us was crucial. Others should consider taking their video cameras as well. We need to protect ourselves.See you soon ... Gloria T

"Back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know what? I did vote for Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all those things didn't come true!"--James Carville

Kucinich Calls For Congressional Hearings On The Future Of Iraq After The Release Of The National Intelligence Estimate

Friday, September 17, 2004


Scott Thill, AlterNet
Art and politics blur at your local concert venue, where artists from Ani DiFranco to Pearl Jam are making voter turnout their mission.

John Gershman, AlterNet
Three years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans are less safe than ever, both at home and abroad.

James Bovard, AlterNet
Bush's campaign "assets" are his worst liabilities.

Michael Rosen-Molina, AlterNet
Veganism doesn't just end with the food you eat. A new generation of vegans seeks to make non-leather shoes and clothes more readily available.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Did you watch the Republican National Convention? As an activist and recipient of Democratic Party Alerts from Care2, you may share my frustration at the way the Republican Party seems to be using the memory of September 11th to hide the domestic and social policy failures of the Bush administration. We have six weeks left to show our power and resolve to take back our country. Care2 is partnering with 21st Century Democrats to recruit and engage young voters in critical swing states. Your support today will help us reach thousands of new progressive voters. Remember,Florida was lost by only 537 votes - please help today:

I traveled to New York City during the Republican Convention to march with thousands of other Americans against the policies of the Bush administration and the Republican Party. I marched with two 18 year olds, for whom this election will be their first chance to choose their president. They, and thousands of others their age, took to the streets and will head to the polls in less than 47 days. But many of their peers are understandably disillusioned, and skeptical of the power of their vote. Every dollar you give today will help us reach one new voter in a crucial swing state. We can't out-fundraise the Republicans, with their $2,000 per plate dinners, but we can out-organize them any day. Please give what you can today to send a powerful message of progressive strength:

P.S. If you have already donated, thank you so much - please forward this message to your friends!
As part of an effort to inspire people to vote for change this November, the coalition of artists who are participating in this Fall’s 36 city, 12 state Vote For Change tour will come together for a grand finale performance in Washington, DC on October 11 at the MCI Center. This, as with all Vote For Change shows, is presented by MoveOn PAC to benefit America Coming Together (ACT). Tickets for this show will go on sale Saturday, September 18th at 10 a.m. EDT at or by phone at 202-432-SEAT - no outlets.

For more information about Vote for Change, including ticket information and updates, go to MoveOn Pac or The finale show will bring 13 of the Vote For Change artists together for a 4 hour performance. Although these artists vary in genre, their message is the same; they want to inspire people to vote for change. Performers will include Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Dave Matthews Band, the Dixie Chicks, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Jurassic 5, Keb’ Mo’, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Pearl Jam, and R.E.M.

"We all wanted to come back together for a finale show after we hadfinished our separate tour dates," said Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam. "We thought our nation’s capitol seemed like the most ideal place to do that" "The power of music is coming to Washington to liven the political debate about the need to change the direction of our country. This will be the grand finale to inspire and reinvigorate the democratic political world before we head into the final weeks of the campaign." said Ellen Malcolm, President of ACT.
Important Message From The Folk At -- Join The National Women's Election Action Day
Women's voices could make all the difference this November. Together, weare 51% of America, and single women in particular are now one of the most progressive demographic groups in the country. Yet 50 million of us didn'tvote in the last election. This Saturday, women (and men) everywhere will join in a National Women's Election Action Day. Thousands of volunteers will take to the streets to register, recruit, educate, and mobilize voters to ensure that women stand up and are counted in this election. Sign up now to take part, at:

Volunteers will participate in voter contact activities such as phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, campus organizing, activist trainings, and registering voters. The National Women's Election Action Day is being organized by America Votes, an unprecedented coalition including virtually every major progressive advocacy organization in America. It will be an amazing day. In recognition of this week's focus on women, we're releasing our ad for the 10 week countdown early this week. It's a terrific ad, called "The Waitress and the Lawyer," directed by Allison Anders, inspired by Al Franken's one act play by the same name and starring Ione Skye, Illeana Douglas, and W. Earl Brown. Click here to see it:

And to further highlight this fantastic week of outreach to women voters, last night, 50 women leaders gathered at the Apollo Theater in New York City to launch a media campaign called “50 Million Women Count! 50 Women Ask 50 Million More: Use Your Voice & Vote!” The leaders who were there included: Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt, Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, Vanessa Carlton, Toni Childs, Kate Clinton, Rosario Dawson, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Gina Gershon, Hazelle Goodman, Jehmu Greene of Rock theVote, Charlotte Martin, Shiva Rose, Isabella Rosellini, Marisa Tomei, Marie Wilson, Carrie Olson & Marika Olson and myself from MoveOn, and many other women activists and volunteers. A special, commemorative photograph was taken of this event. Download it at:

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Bonjour Mes Amis! It’s been a week or so since I returned from my vacation in the northern regions of this vast continent. Had a great time in Canada and got to take in the sites of the following cities ... Montreal, Quebec & Ottawa. The latter one being the capital of Canada. I must admit to being impressed with Parliment Hill and its surrounding busy streets. I really liked the Canadian people, except for that very rude woman who chased Josee and I through a vineyard. Ahem ... more on that later.

Don't worry ... won't bore you all with a lengthy, detailed ramble on my vacation. Hum, I'll try not to. Will put forth a decent, condensed version and hopefully more photos. Right now just have the one taken of me and my friend Josee at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. Which is east of Quebec City in Beauport and also a short drive from the B&B we stayed at for a few nights. And so, without much further ado, my adventures in Canada.

Arrived at Penn Station [NYC] with enough time before my Amtrak departed at 7:45 Am. I did bring my passport with me for the border crossing. As I wasn't sure if a Driver's License would be sufficient. Had no troubles going into Canada, but coming back into the States, that was like being put through the goddamn Spanish Inquisition. Mon dieu!! The journey from NYC to Montreal is a long ride [ie: about $61 one way], but quite scenic, once you've past Saratoga Springs. Lake Champlain is quite large and very picturesque. Along the way one sees lots of fields with round bales of hay. Once you cross into Canada you encounter HUGE fields of lovely ripe corn with the occasional farm house, a few trees & a silo in the distance.

The train arrived abit late into Montreal, but Josee was there to greet me with her friend Melanie. We stashed my large suitcase into Josee's car before heading off to see abit of Montreal. Had a terrific Vietnamese meal in the Asian section of the city. It’s a warm Saturday evening and everyone’s out and about. Strolled afterwards down to the St Lawrence River and the old section of Montreal. It was great checking out the whole "scene". Then we jumped into Josee's car and back to crash at Melanie's apartment [which she shares with a few other groovy individuals] for the night. Apartments are soooo affordable. Hum, I wouldn't mind living and working in this city. Up early Sunday AM, as it was going to be a busy day. Around 8:45am Melanie, Josee and I headed out to visit Mont Royal. First we stopped at a bakery for some yummy danish and then another stop for liquid refreshment. Up on Mont Royal we ate breakfast "el fresco", then toured a large cemetery, hiked around the lovely park abit before reaching the summit and lookout over Montreal. We then dropped Melanie off at her place and said our goodbyes.

Back in the car Josee and I drove 2+ hours east to Quebec City. Reached the B&B in Beauport around 2pm. [Maison Ancestrale Thomassin B&B at 2161 Avenue Royal] Settled into our rooms, unpacked, freshen up and then head out again to explore old Quebec. The weather has gone from being sunny and warm the day before ... to being overcast, abit windy and rainy at times. [A side note: August 29th was the Protest March down in NYC. I was with my fellow Kucitizens in spirit & also wore my NOTOBUSH t-shirt.] We found parking, after much driving about, in Rue Saint Paul and set out to explore the area. Threw on hooded sweatshirts, as the weather was quite cool and windy. Had a late lunch at Buffets de l'Antiquaire and watched the closing ceremonies of the Athens Olympics on the telly. Afterwards we strolled the streets of old Quebec. Viewed the lovely Place-Royale, cable car ride up to area near Chateau Frontenac [very impressive], as well as look inside the fancy chateau. Walked up Rue Saint Louis and took shelter in Parc Chavalier du Moulin, from the rain, at the Parc Historical National Fortifications de Quebec. Before heading back to the car we viewed the Monestary des Ursulines. As the weather got worse [locals say it’s unusual for that time of year], we headed back to the B&B, stopping at an Asian buffet to get soup.

After a restful nights sleep was up early next AM and ready for a full day of exploring. Weather still isn't that great, but what the hell, can't let it stop us. A delicious, terrific breakfast at the B&B. A younger and older couple were also staying at the B&B [very charming folk.] My French isn't that good, so Josee translated abit for me. Bless her! After breakfast we made the short drive over the bridge to Ile de Orleans. We're looking for a particular old cemetery and even asked about it at the Information Center. Drove around looking for it, made inquiries on the way, stopped at a church & horse farm, even made a wrong turn and driving thru someone’s small vineyard. Very unpleasant. People all thought we wanted to locate Felix Leclerc's grave and we're like ... "who the f--k is he?!?" Apparently he's a singer from that area who died in 1988. From there we drove along Route 40 East to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. A large, lovely cathedral paying homage to this saint [ie: miracles & shrine] who is said to heal afflicted folk. Back along Route 40 West we stopped to tour "Parc de la Chute-Montmorency" [photo below of Duchess & Josee at this impressive falls].

We took a fun cable car ride up a steep hill and then hiked up paths and stairs to view the "Chute" falls. Which are said to be higher than Niagara, tho not as wide. Even so, it’s still very impressive and makes quite abit of noise. Its now early afternoon and time to head back into old Quebec. Had a tasty lunch at L'Omelette on Rue Saint Louis and looked over "Le Soleil" newspaper. They had a great article on the Protest March in NYC and said that 400,000 people showed up to protest against the Bush regime. Awesome! Right on ... Buck Fush! Then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out local internet cafe, Hotel du Parlement, Parc des Champs de Bataille and a stroll along the whole length of the Promenade des Gouverneurs. Very enjoyable and would of been more so if the weather was nicer. Still overcast, windy, cool and occasional rain showers. Back at Rue Saint Jean we put more coins in the meter when it started to rain again. So we popped into Le Bistro for a leisurely drink, read another newspaper and check out Quebec men through open window onto the street. Some were dorks and others were total yummers. It stopped raining for abit, so off we were to explore some more of our surrounding. Many shops, boutiques and a really nice artist faire. Cap off the evening with a late dinner of delicious Cream Of Spinach soup. Bon Appetit!

Well, so much for a condensed version of my vacation. This is the end of part one and I'll have more tales to tell over next few days. Until then ... au revoir mes amis.

Chronicle Of A Life Untold
by M.Shellenberger & T.Nordhaus
While Bush's life story is widely known, follies and all, in the public imagination Kerry's life appears to start at Vietnam, although his choices before that moment speak to his character. Read more at the following link:

Democratic Challenger Jereski Condemns Corruption at the NYC Board of Elections and in the Maloney Campaign - Files Charges With Federal Elections Commission
Robert Jereski, candidate for Congress (Dem NY 14th Dist) filed corruption charges today with the Federal Elections Commission. Although the Board of Elections removed the Jereski campaign from the ballot on August 4th, in a proceeding marred by corruption and the disruptive tactics of Maloney's election team, his campaign is filing charges "to hold Maloney and the party machines in New York accountable". "Our complaint concerns more than my interest in representing the people of the Fourteenth District. We are confronting the political establishment in New York State which is undermining our Democratic way of life." Jereski stated. Timothy Gay, the Deputy Chief Clerk instrumental in making the final determination that Jereski was 4 (four) signatures short of the 1250 necessary to gain ballot status, circulated petitions for Jereski's opponent, revealing the notoriously incestuous nature of electoral politics in New York State. Micah Kellner, Maloney's campaign manager, is on her Congressional payroll, resulting in taxpayers footing the bill for part of her re-election effort.

"It's not just Albany that's dysfunctional" Jereski stated. "Maloney's team has run a truly undemocratic campaign for her bid to be elected to a 7th term in Congress. Not only are they denying the voters of the 14th District a choice, they have also used unethical and possibly illegal tactics to be reelected, without having to face a debate or Democratic Party voters in a primary." Jereski noted. Many Jereski supporters are continuing to fight through a write-in effort, upholding Jereski as a real Democratic choice to their neighbors in the general election. "When the voters learn about Jereski's plan to fight terrorism in collaboration with our allies abroad or to bring jobs to the District by attracting investment in research, development and light manufacturing of renewable energy technology, I am confident that they will vote for Jereski who offers a substantive platform and common sense policy solutions for voters to get behind." a Jereski supporter said. For background information on Robert Jereski and his campaign to challenge the Bush agenda and represent the people of the 14th District in New York see:

Monday, September 13, 2004

9/11 Pollution 'Could Cause More Deaths Than Attack'
by Geoffrey Lean [environment editor]
(Duchess Note ... I worked [office on Broad Street] down in the "Ground Zero" area on that tragic day and can confirm that the air smelled so foul for months afterwards. Not until all the fires were put out did that horrid smell go away. I'll never forget that and will probably be dealing with it "health wise" 10 to 15 years from now. Just remember my dear Americans, this administration has never given a damn about us average folk. NEVER! They only care about themselves and their greed for power is beyond evil. Please do the right thing in November and vote them out. But first, read the rest of this insightful story:

The Dishonesty Thing
by Paul Krugman
Was this a wild accusation from a liberal think tank? No, it's conventional wisdom among experts. Two months ago Stanley Collender, a respected nonpartisan analyst, warned: "At some point over the next few weeks, the Office of Management and Budget will release the administration's midsession budget review and try to convince everyone the federal deficit is falling. Don't believe them." He went on to echo the center's analysis. The administration's standard procedure, he said, is to initially issue an unrealistically high deficit forecast, which is "politically motivated or just plain bad." Then, when the actual number comes in below the forecast, officials declare that the deficit is falling, even though it's higher than the previous year's deficit. To read more, check out the link:

Can An Entire Country Go Mad?
by Ernest Partridge
[co-editor of The Crisis Papers]

Saturday, September 11, 2004

HERE NOW THE NEWS & TOUCHING ON THE 9/11 TRAGEDY ET AL ... If you please, a moment or two of silence, for those dear souls who lost their lives that day. This cannot happen again ... so please do the right thing November 2nd & vote Bush OUT of office. Thank you & God bless!

Empty Combat Boots: Circles Of Death In Central Park
by Magie Dominic

Asleep At The Wheel
by Bill Moyers

The 2004 Election & Censored News
by P.Phillips & K.Sims

The Meaning Of One Thousand
by Tai Moses

A thousand US soldiers dead and a thousand candles at a vigil. Our anguish should not be our only response. Read more on this article at:

Exploiting September 11th


"...if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships, the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace." President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Message from Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich on the Department of Peace ... Over fifty members of Congress have co-sponsored legislation to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace to help make non-violence an organizing principle in our society. Eight states have put the Department of Peace in their party platforms. War is not inevitable. Peace is inevitable if we are willing to work for it. On a domestic level, the Department will creat new approaches to deal with violence and police-community relations disputes. Internationally, the Department will strive to prevent war. We can create a more peaceful world. Contact our website at:

Other websites to check out are:

Rock Star & Teens Make Sweet Music
by Joe Furia

[Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam with South African choir]