Wednesday, August 31, 2005

[During the weekend of August 27th, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich [Democrat] married (3rd time for him & her 1st) his lovely English bride Elizabeth Harper in downtown Cleveland. Some celebs who attended the nuptials were Sean Penn and Shirley McLaine.]

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

August 13th was Harry Potter movie marathon day at Linda's home in southwestern part of Brooklyn. What an ordeal in getting there via subway. I didn't even make it to her stop. Mon dieu! Normally it takes four subways [ie: G, F, R & N] to get there and total time of just under an hour. On that day it seemed like every subway in Brooklyn was messed up. Plus the weather was so incredibly humid. Disgusting! Sap the energy right out of yah. After delays, changes, switches, 1 1/2 hours and eight subways later I said forget it and called her to pick me up. Fellow Kucitizen Ellen also joined us for the movie marathon and she was already at Linda's. Due to some setbacks we got started abit late on the films. In between watching the films we'd nosh on salad, trail mix, drink lots of water, eat grapes and Chinese food. During the last film it seemed like the three of us napped half the time, plus I was beginning to feel ill. Good reason for us napping abit ... as we finished "Prisoner of Askaban" at 2am [August 14th]. Linda drove me home and I got to bed at 3am.

Despite the late hour, overall we did have fun and talked about a number of things. 1 1/2 hours after going to bed I was up and in the bathroom with early stages of Diarrhea/nausea/cramps. Back to bed and slept soundly until 10am. Then it was back to the bathroom to crap some more. At this point in time I stayed up to have a lite breakfast, shower and dress. Before heading into Manhattan at 11:45am, I was back in the bathroom with final stage of the poopathon. Three subways later, in the sweltering heat, I joined several other LOTR/Tolkien acquaintances [ie: Jackie, Carol, Becca, Syndi, Mike, Fola & Robert] at Café la Fortuna for lunch. How can one think of lunch after being ill half the night? No problemo ... by 2pm I was feeling just fine. Illness had passed and I was in the clear. After noshing on good food and refreshing ourselves with cool liquids, we played LOTRs Trivial Pursuit, which is based on the movie trilogy. It was alot of fun, many laughs and quite a few of the questions are toughies. We played in pairs and I teamed up with Carol. No, our team didn't win, but we came in a close second. While indoors playing the game, outside a nasty thunderstorm raged for over 30 minutes. It helped to clear the humid air and make it abit cooler.

We all split and went our separate ways around 6pm. I headed to my office to do some DoP work and catch up on emails. When I left at 8pm it was raining heavily again. Walked to Port Authority to catch the E train and while waiting observed the "track" situation didn't look good. Looked like the tracks would be flooded, as the water was slowly rising under them. Finally an E train showed up, but unfortunately we only got as far as the Lexington Avenue stop. Had a feeling it wasn't to be my weekend, as far as subways are concerned. Cause after sitting in that station for 30 minutes the PA system announced that all subways going into Queens would be suspended due to flooding. Had been reading "The Progressive" all that time, so put it away to reflect on things. Planned a different course of action ... changed to the downtown 6 train to 14th Street and switched to the L train into Brooklyn. Once above ground and the feel of cooler air revived me, I proceeded to walk home. The rain had stopped for awhile, but in the northwest I saw lots of lightening heading east. Hummmm ... another storm is on the way. I was right and 10 minutes after I got home [10pm] we got a third wave of torrential down pour. What a weekend :-)

[Photo at left is of me and Josee hanging out in Quebec, Canada one year ago today, August 30th.]

On Tuesday, August 16th, I was scheduled for my first ever Mammogram. My Gynecologist had been after me for the last 5 years in getting started with testing, but I kept on putting it off. [As you all know, I am no fan of medical stuff and exams.] I know, I know, I can be such a procrastinator. Anyhow, I came in early that day and worked thru lunch, so I could leave at 2:45pm. Took a taxi to the clinic on Park Avenue, so I wouldn't be late for my appointment. I get there and find out they never had me scheduled! Mon dieu! 20 minutes later after filling out paperwork and much discussion with the staff, I'm squeezed [pardon the pun] in for an appointment. Those of you who've gone thru this procedure know what its like. Those of you who have never experienced it ... hear me out ... IT HURTS LIKE HELL. My poor boobs took about 12 hours before they felt normal again. Damn torture to put a woman through something like that. Good heavens! And once your in the vice grip of the machine they tell you not to move. WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO GO YOU SILLY OLE COW?!? Geez! Each boob is X-rayed separately and done twice. Well, they had to X-ray my right one a third time. Sadistic buggers had the nerve to say I moved. Don't know how that was possible without losing a boob. I'm so glad its over, my boobs feel fine and company insurance covers all the costs.


Soundcheck: Undone, Sad, Green Disease, Lowlight, Faithfull, You Are, In My Tree (x2, w/ Boom), Save You, Masters of War [Photo at left from soundcheck]
Setlist: MFC, Save You, Do the Evolution, 1/2 Full, Insignificance, Given to Fly, Sad, Even Flow, Faithfull, Daughter / (ABitW-II), Lukin, Grievance (stopped), Whipping, I Got Shit, Nothing as it Seems, Rearviewmirror
Encore 1: Small Town, Sleight of Hand, Black, Glorified G, Alive
Encore 2: Bee Girl (Ed & Jeff), Black Red Yellow, Better Man, Porch, Yellow Ledbetter
Notes: Insignificance has some weird vocal effects/emphasis. Lyrics in the ABitW-II tag were modified to a political theme. Bee Girl and Black Red Yellow make their 3rd appearances ever on a PJ setlist. Bee Girl was last played at the Bridge School Benefit on 10.02.1994, and BRY last in Cascais, Portugal on 11.24.1996

Joe Nickell / Missoulian News

[Jon Tester, in pix with Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, candidate for US Senate seat, introduces rest of the band on stage Monday night. Read more at the link below. Photo by Kurt Wilson]

9/11 Truth on WBAI Radio
There will be a special program devoted to 9/11 alternative evidence and activism on WBAI, 99.5 FM this Wed., Aug. 31st from 3 - 5 PM. Speakers so far are David Ray Griffin, Col. Robert Bowman, possibly Peter Phillips to address media issues, and either Premilla Dixit or Carol Broulliet. This is a huge win for us. Naturally, we'll announce our activities. Spread the word...

Event Planning ... Folks, we've handed out at least 10,000 flyers so far and there will be more to come. Plus people are coming in from around the country so we could have a sizeable turnout. Please go to: to see full details and downloadable flyers. Please spread the word to any lists you're on.

Fund Raising ... We are at $780 on our way to $2,500. For our 9/11 events, we'll have at least $1,200 in expenses for hotels & transportation for speakers, literature, food, signs & banners, sound system, etc. We need everyone who hasn't donated (except those who donate their time week after week) to help with at least $10. If anyone can donate $100 I will give them a book or DVD from our collection.

Strategy Session ... We'll be meeting this Sunday the 4th from 4:30 to 6:30 at St. Marks Church, 2nd Ave. & 10th Street [NYC] to discuss all planning issues for our 9/11 events. We can also work on posters. This is before the regular film event which begins at 6:30. As of now, here are some logistical tasks that we'll need help with:

Transporting signs, banners and literature to the NY Times location by 12:30pm
Set up stage and tables at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (UN) for 4:00 event
Set up chairs and tables, sound system for St. Marks event in main hall
Set up for refreshments, food prep and staffing
General outreach (blogs, phone calls to radio stations, letters to the editor)

This is your chance to help make a huge impact on the consciousness of not just NYC, but the whole world!

Getting Agnostic About 9/11 - A society of nonbelievers questions the official version
Mark Ehrman / LA Times
August 28, 2005

Anyone who types the words "9/11" and "conspiracy" into an online search engine soon learns that not everybody buys the official narrative of what took place on Sept. 11, 2001. As a professor emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology, 66-year-old David Ray Griffin would seem to have more affinity for leather elbow patches than tin hats, yet after friends and colleagues prodded him into sifting through the evidence, he experienced a conversion. Now he's spreading the bad news. Griffin compiled a summary of material arguing against the accepted story that 19 hijackers sent by Osama bin Laden took the aviation system and the U.S. military by surprise that awful day in his 2004 book "The New Pearl Harbor" (published by Interlink,a Massachusetts-based independent publisher). He recently followed up with the book "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions" (Interlink), a critique of the Kean commission document in which he suggests that a chunk of the blame for the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil lies closer to home than the caves of Afghanistan. We contacted him at his Santa Barbara-area home for a report on his journey from mild-mannered scholar to doubting Thomas.

Q: How did you join the ranks of those questioning the official account of the 9/11 events?

A: I was rather slow getting on board. For the first year and a half I just accepted the conventional view, really the blowback thesis, that this was blowback for our foreign policy. When a colleague suggested to me about a year after 9/11 that he was convinced our own government or forces within our own government had arranged it, I didn't accept that. Then several months later another colleague sent me [a link to] a website that had a timeline. Once I started reading that and saw all those stories drawn from mainstream sources that contradicted the official account, I decided I needed to look into it more carefully, and the more I looked, the worse it got. I considered it an obligation to kind of organize, compile the evidence and put it out there for the public.

Q: The Internet is full of 9/11 conspiracy theories. What have you contributed to the discussion?

A: My main contribution has been the second book, [showing] that the 9/11 commission report is not worthy of belief, and the implication of that is that they were covering up the government's own guilt.

See more at:,1,3835884.story?coll=la-headlines-magazine

Monday, August 29, 2005

[Ament at left with Tester of Montana]

RUSTLING UP VOTES - Jeff Ament Tries To Help Jon Tester Find His Voice

Skylar Browning / Missoula Independent

NYC CHAPTER DEPT OF PEACE is sponsoring a CALL FOR PEACE – Phone-a-thon
Call Congress 202-224-3121
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The CALL FOR PEACE Phone-a-thon is a way to draw Congressional attention to the Department of Peace bill being re-introduced to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 in the morning. People are pledging to make 3 separate calls to Congress at 202-224-3121 asking to speak first to their Representative and then to both their Senators in support of the Department of Peace bill. Those inspired to make a really big difference are signing up 100 or more friends, family members and colleagues to join the Phone-a-thon. Please feel free in passing on this message to all on your email list.

Sign up for the Phone-a-thon at:
Get details and download pledge packets at:

It All Goes Back to Casey
Posted August 24, 2005 at 4:09 a.m. EDT

I met Cindy Sheehan on Sunday afternoon while her mother was still in the intensive care unit. Listening to her, I just wanted my teenage daughters to meet her. Because it's never too early to teach young women fearlessness. And despite everything Cindy Sheehan has been through in the last year and a half, including weeks of sliming and smearing and swift-boating by Bush's attack machine, what she exudes, above all, is fearlessness. Fearlessness and authenticity. With her was her sister Dede, eleven months younger and, as Cindy put it, "Casey's second mom." "The fun mom," bantered Dede. "Well I was fun too," Cindy shot back. "You were just the funnest one."

Somehow whatever we were talking about, the conversation would always steer back to Casey. Never more chillingly than when Cindy described that night in April 2004 when she and her husband were watching CNN and the news from Iraq came on about a Humvee burning...eight soldiers killed. "I just knew at that moment," she told me, "that one of them was Casey. My husband got angry with me. 'You can't do that to yourself every time there is news of a dead soldier in Iraq,' he said. 'There are a hundred and thirty thousand American soldiers there, so what are the chances? 'Still, I knew. After awhile I just went out walking with my dogs, crying all the way. On the way back, as I turned the corner, I could see three Army officers in my livingroom. They were waiting for me. Casey had designated me 'first of kin,' so I was the one to whom they had to give the news of his death. I just collapsed on the floor." It's that unfathomable pain that, through the months that followed, she turned into a take-no-prisoners stand. And it's that pain that continues to fuel her determination -- no matter what's thrown at her. The more unreal and disconnected Bush becomes, the more real and engaged Cindy is.

And instead of just summoning the small amount of courage it would take to meet with her and answer her questions, the president retreats to his fraudulent allusions to a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq as the justification for the war. (This will culminate next month in the "FreedomWalk," Bush's plan to commemorate those who died on Sept. 11th by using them in a political stunt to save his sagging presidency.) And now there is Bush's newest fabrication about the Iraqi constitution, or at least the latest draft of a draft of a constitution:

Q If [the constitution] is rooted in Islam, as it seems it will there still the possibility of honoring the rights of women?

THE PRESIDENT: I talked to Condi, and there is not -- as I understand it, the way the constitution is written is that women have got rights, inherent rights recognized in the constitution, and that the constitution talks about not "the religion," but "a religion."

In fact, that's not at all what Article 2 Para. 1 says: "Islam is the official religion of state, and is a fundamental source for legislation."

So is this version of Islamic theocracy what we are fighting for? Is this the "noble cause" Cindy's son died for? Cindy Sheehan, in personifying the human cost of the war, has exposed the fault lines in the administration's policies. Her real concern for the troops highlights the president's lack of concern, and her sacrifice makes nonsense of Bush's questioning the patriotism of anybody who disagrees with him. Editor and Publisher reported on Tuesday:

Meeting briefly with reporters Monday aboard Air Force One, Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman subbing for Scott McClellan, said that President Bush believes that those who want the U.S. to begin to change course in Iraq do not want America to win the overall "war on terror."

Cindy Sheehan returned to Crawford as the smear machine moved into overdrive. Its talking points are now in the mouths of supposedly neutral anchors. Example: Norah O'Donnell subbing for Chris Matthews, on Hardball, referred to those at Camp Casey as "anti-war extremists." Welcome back to Crawford, Cindy.

Ethan Aames / Cinecom
[Left to Right - Jodie Foster, Sean Bean & Peter Sarsgaard in a scene from the upcoming film "Flightplan". Due out in cinema's in September 2005.]

Plans are moving forward for our 9/11 events. The buzz is already out there. We're getting emails from all over by people who will be coming. Please go to to see full details and downloadable flyers. Please spread the word to any lists you're on.

9/11 Info Series at St. Marks Church [NYC]
Be there every Sunday at 6:30pm, folks, and bring someone new. We have a great lineup of films and topics. The energy is great and the knowledge you'll get is essential. The church is located at 10th St. and 2nd Avenue

9/11 Truth at Camp CaseyGo to and scroll down to the photo of the Expose the 9/11 Coverup poster. This is awesome!

London Bombings Taking Aim with Ralph Shoenman and Mya Shone
Tuesdays at 5 PM on WBAI has been covering the London bombings from an investigative perspective. You can download the shows by going to and clicking on the archive button. I highly recommend it! They show a mountain of proof that this was another state-sponsored terror incident.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Bible tells us "thou shall not kill." And we consider it a key value to live by. It's a shame that Rev. Pat Robertson, self-appointed leader of America's so-called Christian right, does not. Robertson's fatwah, calling for the assassination of the president of Venezuela -- in the name of keeping access to a "huge pool of oil," among other excuses -- exposed the warped values of many religious radicals with the ear of the president of the United States.

From efforts to squelch the teaching of sound science in our schools, to the "Justice Sunday" rallies trying to impose religion on the courts, to the quixotic jihad against SpongeBob SquarePants, fundamentalist power grabs make the news and have a huge impact. But they don't have the teachings of any religion we know of -- and they don't have us. That's why we're sending Robertson a message: "Thou shall not kill." Join your voice with ours, and we'll print your name in Robertson's local daily newspaper:

Even Donald Rumsfeld -- a man we hardly ever agree with -- had the sense to play down the statement. "Certainly it's against the law," he told the press. "Our department doesn't do that type of thing." But this calls for more than an offhand comment, because the allegiance that Republicans owe to Robertson and his Christian Coalition allies lets them influence the Bush agenda. Bush and company need to condemn Robertson's outrageous statement. Rather than wait on the White House though, we'll set an example: we'll reject Robertson ourselves. Join Americans across the land in telling Robertson it's time he learned to love his neighbor as himself:

Your feedback, and your name, will go into an ad in the Virginian-Pilot, the Norfolk area's leading newspaper. We'll put you on record with thousands of Americans rightly -- and righteously -- angry that Robertson keeps twisting our values to serve his petty political agenda. "I don't want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore," Howard Dean once told us. We don't have to!

The photo at left is of 73 year old Bill Moyer [not the PBS journalist], who wore a "Bullshit Protector" over his ear while President Bush addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their 106th convention on Monday, August 22nd 2005, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mr Moyer served in the post-WWII occupation of Germany, Korea and Vietnam. [Thanks to Kristina for sharing this with me. Your a gem!]

NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA RELEASES "AD" ON ROBERTS' RECORD ... Organization Examines Roberts' Statements On Privacy & Choice ... Check out their website and view the Ad here:

[DUCHESS NOTE ... We have a new update over at "Friends of Friday Forum", which was written by a fellow NYC Kucitizen who now lives in Texas. Swing on over today and check it out. Peace & Solidarity!]

CBC News
[Duchess Note ... Thanks to Josee & Peter for bringing this to my attention. After reading articles like this one, is it any wonder why intelligent Americans "loath" the horrendous Fox News and morons like John Loftus. My sympathies go out to the "innocent" California couple & what their going thru due to the "fake" journalism at Fox. Fox News should make a full apology to this besieged couple and then fire Loftus. Will that happen? Probably not.........]

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tom Hayden / In These Times
The door is swinging wide open for the peace movement and politicians in the Democratic Party, to offer an exit strategy for Iraq.

FROM DAWN SANDERS AT CARE2 GREEN PARTY ALERTS - Tell Congress: We won't tolerate the Abuse of Science for Political Gain!
I don't know about you, but I'm starting to think the White House has a serious case of science "phobia". Consider this recent specimen -- in June we learned that Phil Cooney, chief of staff of the White House's Council on Environmental Equality, re-wrote government reports in order to significantly downplay the scientific certainty on global warming. But Mr. Cooney is NOT a scientist - he's a lawyer who used to work as an oil industry lobbyist. Take action and go to:

Not surprisingly, after the New York Times disclosed Cooney's role in doctoring government reports, he left the Bush Administration and took a job with ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company and chief supporter of "junk science", which aims to create doubt in the minds of the media and general public that global warming is actually occurring. The blatant manipulation and suppression of science for political purposes has dangerous implications for OUR health, safety and environment. Fortunately, this fact hasn't gone unnoticed in the scientific community. To date, more than 6,000 scientists, including Nobel Laureates, have signed a letter asserting that the Bush Administration has a pattern of distorting AND censoring important scientific work in order to advance their partisan political agenda. But now we need your help. Please join us in sending our elected officials a message loud and clear: we won't tolerate your manipulation of science for political purposes! Go to:

It's undemocratic, unpatriotic and betrays our country's long tradition of scientific scholarship and achievement. Thank you for taking action today!

MESSAGE FROM JENNY McKINLEY AT CARE2 CIVIL RIGHTS & LIBERTIES ALERTS - Special Announcement Regarding Racial Justice Group Launches Progressive Blog
I am excited to be able to announce to you that the Advancement Project, a national civil rights/racial justice organization, just launched This blog is designed to give progressive voices like yours a way to share news, exchange views, and stay in touch. Visit the website to stay informed on the latest racial justice issues such as: voting rights, educational opportunities, immigrant rights, criminal justice, economic justice, and policing. Learn more:

"We are seeking to advance the national dialogue on race," said Judith Browne, co-director, Advancement Project. The Just Democracy Blog will serve as the "voice" of the new racial justice movement in the United States. Advancement Project will be inviting a variety of guest authors as well as visitors to post issues of interest. Advancement Project's core purpose is to develop, encourage, pioneer and widely disseminate innovative ideas and models that inspire and mobilize a broad national racial justice movement so that universal opportunity and a just democracy are achieved. The organization was founded on the principle that structural racism can be eliminated and a racially just democracy may be attained through multi-racial collective action by organized communities.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Cindy Sheehan, AlterNet
'I would give everything I own to have one more glimpse of my son. How dare Bush live a normal life when he has ruined mine by his lies? How dare he take 5 weeks off when he is waging a needless war?'

Celina R. De Leon, AlterNet
The last in a series of profiles of Iraq combat veterans who have recently come home.

David Morse,
Africa -- whose cultures and landscapes were torn apart byEuropean colonial powers seeking slaves, ivory and jewels-- is now being devastated by a 21st century quest for oil.

Robert Scheer, AlterNet
Before she set out to report, Judy Miller should have seen Tim Robbins' new play, 'Embedded/Live,' about journalistic corruption in times of war.

On Saturday, August 6th, I had an enjoyable time hanging out with Jackie and Becca from LOTR/Tolkien group. Arrived at Central Park West and 77th Street before 3pm and found Jackie waiting at the entrance to museum. [NY Historical Society Museum] We chatted about health issues while waiting 10 to 15 minutes for Becca to arrive. Beccas Mom lent her membership card and we all got in for free. Sweet deal! I'd never been to this particular museum before, so this was a treat for me. We decided to hangout on the fourth floor, which is known as the "Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture". So many beautiful pieces [ie: sculpture, furniture, Tiffany, toys, decorative objects, jewelry, coins, paintings, etc] to gaze upon; have a laugh, plus several in depth discussions. By the time we got done with that and check out the terrific gift shop, it was going on 5:30pm and the museum was closing.

We head over to Columbus Avenue [slowly as it was warm out] and strolled down until we found a really nice restaurant [City Grill] between 73rd & 72nd Street. Good service, great food and the prices aren’t too bad. I noshed on their New England clam chowder, which was quite delicious. Whenever the three of us get together we’re discussing many topics, as well as LOTRs & Tolkien. Brought with me my "Tolkien & the Great War" book and showed it to the gals. Much interest as the germination of Middle Earth et al came about while Tolkien was at university and a soldier in WW1. Afterwards we strolled through Central Park [south] along the horse paths and by this time a breeze was cooling off some of the heat. At one of the numerous small bridges in the park was a crowd of folk taking photos. As we got closer, we realized it was a hawk calmly perched on the bridge. New Yorkers and tourist alike seemed awed by the calm beauty of the hawk. After about 10 minutes the hawk flew off and everyone dispersed. We finally reached out destination, which was the R/N/W subway line near Carnegie Hall. We said our "goodbyes" and parted company at the subway.

The next day, August 7th, I headed up to South Norwalk on the 11:07am Metro North and my dear friend Katherine met me at station. We walked the few blocks to attend the annual SoNo Art & Craft Festival. Another warm summer day greeted us, with some clouds in the sky and very little breeze. Silly me forgot to put on sunscreen, so I ended up with abit of sunburn on shoulders/arms. Sigh! Before checking out the many exhibits we found restrooms and purchased delicious fruit smoothies. Oh la la! Ever so refreshing! Took us over two hours to see all the wonderful exhibits [ie: sculpture, jewelry, paintings, clothing, decorative objects, etc] by talented artists. Several artists had their watercolors on display and I engaged in conversation with them on style, technique and the use of 300lb weight paper. It’s been one and half years since I last did a watercolor. I've been so preoccupied with activism, political campaigns and committees. Its time to get back into the groove and work on a new art project with a "peace" theme. After we finished the Festival we took a taxi to where Katherine’s daughter Aimee is staying these days, as her car was parked there.

We drove up to Shelton were Katherine and her hubby Maurice live. For the rest of the afternoon we relaxed on the back porch, sipped juice, talked and had dinner. Maurice whipped up BBQ chicken, green salad, sautéed mushrooms/onions and for dessert we noshed on sherbet. [Katherine’s daughter Cherie joined us, plus took care of cleanup.] After dropping me off at the Stratford Metro North platform, NYC bound, I ran into an ex co-worker of mine [Kristine] from my days at KOLL. [What a stressful nightmare it was working at that place. Only certain people were such bastards and they'll remain nameless. But there were good folk there and Kristine was one of them.] Kristine was waiting on the platform and heading back to NYC with her boyfriend. [They were spending the weekend with his family.] She looks great and is wearing contacts. While waiting for the train and riding to NYC ... we talked about days at KOLL, caught up on lots of news, theater stuff and exchanged email addys. The hour and half ride goes by quickly when enjoying good conversation.

QUOTE OF THE DAY - We have it in our power to begin the world over again. Thomas Paine

On Tuesday, August 9th, after work I had a good workout at a nearby gym I belong too. Then home in time to whip up dinner and take care of email/snail mail before jumping on the NY DoP conference call at 9pm. Kevin and Ellen were again hosting the call ... others tapping in were Carol, David, Hector, Liz, Tracey, Rhiannon, Marnie and I. The call was predominately on the upcoming September Peace Conference in DC. Who would be car pooling with whom and on what dates et al. As for me, I'm traveling with Joe and Ellen on September 9th, after the NY Chapter DoP mini press conference on the steps [hopefully] of City Hall. More on that topic closer to the date in question. Everyone on the call has been busy working on connecting and trying to obtain meetings with their respective congressperson. As for me, I've sent out faxes to my District 12 office on August 5th and 8th. Not only on the Dept of Peace and Peace Conference, but on several other hot topics. More "news" on this topic down the road.

On Thursday, August 11th, I attended another "Support Group" session as Karen’s home. I actually arrived abit early and before anyone else. While Karen tidied up we talked about numerous things like work and health. It was another warm day outside, so I was enjoying the refreshing powers of a nice tall glass of cold spring water. Sadly Carol and Maria could not join us this evening and only five of us were on hand. It was a good session and sort of like a "show & tell". I brought with me a terrific book [ie: Unstuff Yourself - Finding Joy on the Road to Wellness] by my good friend Dr Nancie Barwick.

[] I talked about the book, my friends Hypnotherapy work and how I truly need to "unstuff" my life so as to move on. Not only to heal in many ways, but grow spiritually. Everyone has mental and emotional baggage, or stuff, as Nancie refers to it. As she says, unstuffing yourself can change your life and lead to better health. After the session I walked with Ellen and Liz to the subway up at Grand Central Station. [Peace & Joy]

Friday, August 12th, was a half day at work due to summer hours. Hurray! Shortly after 1pm I headed off to the local cinema to see THE ISLAND which stars Ewan McGregor and Sean Bean. Yep, one of my fav talented British actors is in this film and that is the main reason I went to see it. If Sean wasn't in it I'm not sure I would have bothered. I'm glad I went as it was a fascinating film, in many ways, about human cloning in the future. That was quite intriguing. There were some exceptional performances in this film, besides Sean [Below as Merrick], that deserve mention.

They are Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ewan McGregor and Djimon Hounsou. I was not at all impressed with Scarlett Johansson ... just a boring pretty blonde actress. [What a yawn] Also felt that the director [M.Bey] could have toned down the over long and much too violent chase scene halfway thru the film. Would I go see the film again in the cinema, probably not? I'll wait for it to come out on sale via DVD. Just so I can watch Sean Bean's scenes ... as the man just dominates the screen with his skillfully subtle acting. [“Two of our products have gone missing............”]

P.S. More "personal news" coming soon ... stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Rose Aguilar, AlterNet
Mississippi Democrats are showing the potential power of Howard Dean's '50-state strategy' to take back national politics.

Commentary by Cindy Sheehan
One thing I haven't noticed or become aware of though is an increased number of pro-war, pro-Bush people on the other side of the fence enlisting to go and fight George Bush's war for imperialism and insatiable greed. The pro-peace side has gotten off their apathetic butts to be warriors for peace and justice. Where are the pro-war people? Everyday at Camp Casey we have a couple of anti-peace people on the other side of the road holding up signs that remind me that 'Freedom isn't Free' but I don't see them putting their money where their mouths are. I don't think they are willing to pay even a small down payment for freedom by sacrificing their own blood or the flesh of their children. I still challenge them to go to Iraq and let another soldier come home. Perhaps a soldier that is on his/her third tour of duty, or one that has been stop-lossed after serving his/her country nobly and selflessly, only to be held hostage in Iraq by power mad hypocrites who have a long history of avoiding putting their own skin in the game.

Joe Nickell / Missoulian News

Danny Schechter,
After a week of mainstream media's Gaza disengagement-related 'hot footage' and 'emotional storytelling,' have we actually learned anything?

The war has destabilized the Mideast and created a potential Vietnam, Nebraska’s Chuck Hagel says. Other lawmakers express frustration.
Josh Meyer / Los Angeles Times

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Laila El-Haddad, AlterNet
'I do not want my son growing up in another phase of this occupation. I do not want his childhood hijacked by an occupier he cannot see.'

Rep. Lynn Woolsey / Knight Ridder Newspapers

Uri Avnery, AlterNet
Sure, the Gaza pullout is a ploy to keep the rest of the territories -- but to ignore its historic significance would be to miss the point.

William E. Connolly / Baltimore Sun

Kir Slevin, AlterNet
The fact that Bush's handlers are still pushing the lie that the President reads anything at all -- much less scholarly tomes -- shows how much contempt they have for the public.

August 2004 - 43% Approved & 50% Disapproved with 7% Undecided
August 2005 - 36% Approved & 58% Disapproved with 6% Undecided
[Duchess Note - I do so like the change in those numbers from a year ago. Americans are finally waking up to the arrogance, lies and destroyers of values/morals that is the Bushit Regime. What can we Americans do? Support peace organizations, help end the occupation in the Middle East, do NOT vote Republican, become involved in local organizations, protest at rallies or vigils AND write or call your congressperson. We can make a difference and don't let others tell you it won't work, cause that is one big ass lie. Remember what Mikhail Gorbachev said years ago ... "What we need is Star Peace and not Star Wars.]

Monday, August 22, 2005

by Arianna Huffington
August 16, 2005

At the beginning of this month, I wrote on the HuffPost that I was all in favor of President Bush's vacation plans. But two weeks into his Crawford holiday, I'm rethinking my position. What's changed? A number of things, starting with Cindy Sheehan, who has brought the reality of the Iraq war to the president's doorstep. Let's just say he's not dealing with that reality very well. Fishing, going on two-hour bike rides, clearing brush, taking in a Little League ball game (to say nothing of raking in millions at a GOP fundraiser) all take on a different hue when juxtaposed with the harsh truth that Sheehan represents: We are at war. A war that continues to claim the lives of young American men and women. A war that, even if you are completely in favor of it, is not going well. The latest setback: the administration's desperate effort to dress up a budding theocracy in democracy's clothes hit a major snag with word that the Iraq National Assembly had been forced to extend the deadline for drafting a new constitution because of huge differences over the division of oil money, the role of religion, and the status of women.

How bad is the situation there? Barham Salih, Iraq's minister of planning and development, tried to look at the bright side of things by saying, "We are failing to reach compromises. But we are not killing each other." You know things are in trouble when the good news is that the Founding Fathers of the New Iraq are not blowing each other to bits. Too bad the same cannot be said for the insurgents targeting our troops and ordinary Iraqis. Yes, Cindy Sheehan is merely a symbol of the Iraq debacle. But presidents are symbols too. And symbols matter -- especially in a time of war. And projecting an image of total disconnection to what is going on in Iraq -- and the pain it is causing here at home, as well as the precious resources it is consuming -- is a very disturbing message for Bush to be sending. I'm not suggesting that he adopt Jimmy Carter's Rose Garden strategy or spend his every waking hour in the White House situation room. But kicking back on the ranch -- and ignoring Sheehan and all she represents – is definitely not the appropriate response.

But there's another reason I now think it's time for the president to cut his vacation short: judging from his recent comments, he clearly has too much time on his hands -- and has been spending it reading touchy-feely women's magazines and watching Dr. Phil and Tony Robbins. "I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy," he said when asked about opting to ride his bike instead of meeting with Sheehan. "And part of my being is to be outside exercising." Part of his being? Too bad all that healthy exercise didn't keep his being from making the bad, soggy decision to actually say these things out loud. And there was more: "I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so." Dead soldiers, grieving mothers, and suffering Iraqis be damned.

The president also let us know that it's important for him "to keep a balanced life." Well, I'm all for balance -- we Greeks invented it. But it seems the presidential equilibrium has gone way out of whack. To regain his footing he needs to re-connect to the crisis in Iraq, give Cindy Sheehan a few minutes of his time, and get the hell out of Crawford. Show us you're willing to make a sacrifice in a time of war, Mr. President -- even if that just means cutting your vacation a little short. Those of us who are mindful of what is really going on around us -- not to mention several thousand miles away in Iraq -- will appreciate the crispness of that decision.

POEM OF THE DAY - "The Past"
by Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792 - 1822]

Wilt thou forget the happy hours
Which we buried in Love's sweet bowers,
Heaping over their corpses cold
Blossoms and leaves instead of mould?
Blossoms which were the joys that fell,
And leaves, the hopes that yet remain.

Forget the dead, the past? Oh yet
There are ghosts that may take revenge for it;
Memories that make the heart a tomb,
Regrets which glide through the spirits gloom,
And with ghastly whispers tell
That joy, once lost, is pain.


That's the Way You Debate! All of us who've ever heard Norman speak know just how eloquent and passionate he is. Now's the time of year when he gets to share that energy with the voters who may not know him yet. Today, Norman taped the first of three televised debate conversations leading up to the primary. The incumbent decided not to show up, but Norman still got the opportunity to discuss important issues with opponents Jay Golub and Andrew Rasiej. The first, an informal "conversation," will air Sunday morning at 10am on channel 7-WABC. The next two debates will be officially sponsored by the Campaign Finance Board. Here's the full TV schedule:

* Sunday, August 21, 10am, Ch. 7 (ABC)
* Tuesday, August 23, 7pm, Ch. 1 (NY1)
* Sunday, August 28, 6am, Ch. 4 (NBC)

Norman's Got Rhythm ... Local 802, the largest local union of professional musicians in the world, has added to the beat of Norman's campaign. "We are pleased to support Norman because of his track record as a fighter for workers' rights and a steadfast defender of free speech and free expression," said David Lennon, President of Local 802. 802's members play in the orchestra at Lincoln Center, in the Broadway pit, and in the city's many clubs. They are also teaching artists and recording musicians. "It's great to have 802 on-board the campaign," said Norman, a doo-wop aficionado. "I'm ready to fight for their rights and to make sure that New York City remains the live music capital of the world."

Three More Clubs Say Yes to Siegel ... Norman's campaign continues to show its grassroots strength, as evidenced by three recent endorsements from Democratic clubs. "I'm excited by the energy and support that's coming from people across the city," said Siegel. "We're ready for the final four weeks of the campaign." The 504 Democratic Club, the first Democratic club focusing on disability rights, chose Norman because of his approach to the office. According to 504's Website, Gotbaum "has had no active presence in our community since she was elected. In contrast, Siegel views the office in a much stronger advocacy role. Given his record of vigorous support of those in the margins of society, he lends much promise to being an effective advocate for disability issues." OutPOCPAC, the out people of color political action club, also recently endorsed Norman. According to OutPOCPAC's Co-President Gerald Cabrera, the group not only "considered a candidate's achievements but also their aspirations and vision for the City." The Bronx-based Committee of 100 Democrats also gave Norman the nod.

DC 37 Endorses Norman Siegel's Campaign ... Norman Siegel's campaign to replace incumbent Betsy Gotbaum as New York City Public Advocate received another boost today when District Council 37 handed Norman its endorsement. Siegel's candidacy for Public Advocate "best represents the interests of our members and of ALL New Yorkers," said DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts. Roberts vowed that DC 37 would put "all of its resources and institutional power" behind its slate. For Siegel it is both politically and personally significant. "The members and leadership of DC 37 represent a true cross-section of New Yorkers-121,000 strong; they are a diverse and dynamic force in our communities. I am honored to receive their support," said Siegel. "My late mother was a DC 37 member, so this endorsement has very special meaning for me personally." Want to get involved in one of the most exciting New York campaigns of the year? We'd love to have you. Get involved immediately, you can also contact Elana at 212-686-3911.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression. H.L. Mencken


I'm hopeful that more and more people across America will continue to open up their hearts and contemplate what this war is doing to America's families and what it is doing to innocent civilians in Iraq, as well. When I saw the response of the people of Brook Park and of people everywhere, I'm aware that emotions are very raw at this moment, and we have to be very sensitive to the suffering that people are experiencing; particularly people who have lost loved ones. But sooner or later, we come to a point where we say, "How can we stop more losses from occurring?" And I think we're reaching that point.House Joint Resolution 55 is a bipartisan resolution where we bring together Democrats and Republicans, alike, for the purposes of asking - of requiring - the Administration to give us a plan. Give us a plan which, by the end of the year, tells us how America is going to exit from Iraq and to set that plan in motion by October of 2006.

There are some who worry that we're going to be in Iraq for 10-20 years or longer. Frankly, there is reason to be concerned about that because the United States has built several new military bases in Iraq, and our country has already spent upwards of $300 billion on the war. We have to ask ourselves, "With so many pressing needs in this country, are we prepared to sacrifice the treasure of our youth and the wealth of our nation to create an uncertain future for the people of Iraq," or do we link up again with the world community and find a way to create new circumstances? H.J. Res. 55 is actually about that question.

This is a time for us to reflect. It's also a time for us to get ready to act. As you know, I've spent the last year in the House of Representatives working every day to challenge the war; working every day to find a way to bring our troops home; working every day to address the broader issues of the amount of resources we're putting into a military buildup while this country absolutely is neglecting the health care needs of its people and the educational needs; while our Administration is looking at trying to privatize Social Security. I've been there every step of the way in continuing the challenge; in pointing the path towards a better way. But I can't do it alone. I need your support.

You know, in the presidential campaign, we had people from all over the country contribute and make it possible for us to run a creditable campaign, to be able to gather delegates from around the country. And I did it because you helped me raise, essentially, about $13 million. We need to keep our fundraising efforts going so that our outreach can continue; so that we can keep working for a Department of Peace; so that we can keep working for withdrawal from Iraq; so that we can keep working for a new role for America in the world, where we're not taking on the world, where we reconcile with the world; so we can keep working to protect Social Security; so we can keep working to have a universal single-payer not-for-profit health care plan; so we can keep working for universal pre-kindergarten. There are so many goals that we all have and that we share in common. And you ask what you can do? You can help by participating in our web site, "Insight and Action," finding out what tools exist to help you become more of an activist. But also, you can help financially So, again, I'm appealing to you. Help us help you, and help us help this country and the world. Help me do the work that I came to Congress to do: to help make this a better country and a better world.

I want to tell you how grateful I am for your ongoing support. You've made it possible for me to reach deeply into every area of this nation. You made it possible for me to be a spokesperson on your behalf. Make it possible for me to continue to do that work. Go to our web site again at and click on the button that says "Contributions" and help us further our work here. I look forward to joining you in your own community. Don't hesitate to send us an e-mail, inviting me to come and speak to any of the groups in your community. Let's keep broadening our work: the work of rebuilding America - emotionally, politically, and spiritually. It is a long haul, admittedly, but it's one that I'm dedicated to. And I know you are, too. Let's work together. Let's create new possibilities. Let's move forward with faith and hope and with courage.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A few months ago some Kucitizen friends of mine [ie: Cielito & Linda] told me about this free, upcoming lecture set for the evening of July 30th. I promptly marked my calendar so as to be available. Both ladies are also members/volunteers of a non-profit organization called Share International Foundation [], which was hosting the lecture featuring Benjamin Creme. The lecture centered on Maitreya, the World Teacher and head of a Spiritual Hierarchy, who is located in London. More info on Maitreya can be found at the Share International website [see above link]. I arrived at FIT Institute off of Seventh Avenue at 27th Street precisely at 7pm. Cielitos friend and roommate Max was at the "sign in" desk. We chatted briefly and it's great seeing him again. I headed up the stairs and looked for a suitable seat in the auditorium. People were still trickling in and it became apparent that the Opening Blessing/Lecture would not start on time. Ah well, these things happen. Imagine my delighted surprise in seeing fellow Dept of Peace member [Joe] there with a friend of his. Linda was manning one of the Share International tables and Cielito was in Seattle on vacation. The evening finally started with an "Opening Blessing" from Maitreya given through Mr. Crème. Its termed "mental overshadowing" and one usually meditates while it is going on. Afterwards I felt pretty good and relaxed. It was apparent that with so many "new" people in the audience, like me, regarding Maitreya that Mr. Crème took abit longer than expected with the lecture. Personally, I thought it was all totally fascinating. During the intermission I got to chat with Linda. Always a pleasure seeing her and catching up on news, also had a fun conversation with Joe and his friend. By the time the Q&A segment started it was 10:45pm. Goodbyes and hugs to both Joe and Linda.

Also that evening, I had promised dear Thomas [fellow NYC Kucitizen] I'd attend his DJ segment at a "Barefoot Boogie". This was being held at a dance studio on 25th Street near Sixth Avenue. By the time I arrived at 11pm I had missed 1 1/2 songs of his segment. [Bummer!] Thomas always plays some funky, upbeat stuff and I had a fun time shaking my groove thang. Many other hip folk were there, with a nice age mix and groove. Thomas and I talked and hugged briefly, and then I had to leave after midnight, as I was soooo hungry and tired. Guess I was trying to do abit much and so soon after my Bronchoscope. Duh!

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fell. Think of it, ALWAYS! Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, August 2nd, was the monthly National Dept of Peace conference call and it was hosted by Lynn McMullen, plus Matthew Albracht was co-host. [I've met both and their terrific people who are passionate on this important cause.] Many were in attendance on the call from all over the US. The main topic of the one hour call was on the upcoming Peace Conference in DC. Lynn talked about fundraising to help cover DC conference expenses and fees. Which included sending out letters to friends and family. Many on the call told of how they're bringing the DoP campaign to their area and making communities more aware. Which reminds me, I must start flyering for DoP and Norm Siegel campaign in my neighborhood. Have all the materials at home and need to hit the streets. These conference calls & meetings always get me so jazzed. [To Duchess Blog viewers ... if you'd like to know more about either campaign, go to the following websites ... AND ... peace & solidarity]

Attended the monthly DFA [Democracy for America] meetup on Wednesday, August 3rd, in Williamsburg [Brooklyn]. Left work at 5pm, so I could race back to my neighborhood, and get a much needed manicure. From there I briefly stopped by my apartment to get snail mail, email, make a phone call, etc. The walk to the Royal Oak pub on Union Street takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Arrived about 5 minutes late, but was happy to see the meetup was just starting. Whew! Paul was again hosting the meetup and always does a nice job. Total attendance that evening was six people and this included me. Topics of discussion were on the DFNYC Research Group, September 13th primary day, Norman Siegel campaign, voting machines, Downing Street Memo and writing a few letters to Primary Voters in our neighborhood. We wrapped things up around 9:30pm and I got home around 10pm. Next meetup is Wednesday, September 7th.

The monthly NY Dept of Peace meetup was on Thursday, August 4th. This time it was being held at a Starbucks on upper Westside of Manhattan. I waited 30 minutes, drank an Iced Passion Tea Lemonade and sadly no one showed up.

Headed home in time for the 9pm NY Dept of Peace call regarding the September Peace Conference in DC. The call was hosted by Kevin and Ellen ... board members of the NYC Chapter. [] Also on the call was David, Carol, Liz, Janet, Liz, Pricilla and myself. Discussion on transportation, lobbying, meeting with congresspeople, hotel accommodations, etc. [As for myself, I've been saving money and will be staying with friends just outside of DC.] Before many of us leave NYC the afternoon of September 9th and head to DC, we'll be having a press conference "hopefully" on the steps of City Hall at 12 noon. Stay tuned for more info on that event.

Friday, August 19, 2005

E.L.Doctorow / Houston Chronicle
August 13, 2005

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Ben Franklin [1755 to the Pennsylvania State Legislature]

[BuzzFlash Reader Contribution / Elizabeth]
August 16, 2005

VIGILS TO SUPPORT CINDY SHEEHAN -- Updates & Photos Regarding Wednesday Evening Vigils From Around The US At
[Duchess Note - I'm originally from Westchester County and its awesome hearing of the many NY state counties that participated in the vigils. In NYC alone there were almost 3000 people. In Saratoga there were 190, in Albany the total was almost 400, Columbia County had 105, Schenectady had 53 and Schoharic County stood proudly with 13. If I left out a particular county, I do apologize. Bravo to all!]

Please Help Us Gather 144,000 Signatures for Peace -- We Invite You Take Part In An Historic Global Peace Mission – STEPS FOR PEACE!
International Peace Troubadour James Twyman's Beloved Community and Earthdance have joined forces for an unprecedented peace mission uniting over 144,000 global citizens to sign a declaration of peace. This is a profound opportunity for everyone dedicated to creating a world of compassion and peace.


Our goal is to gather 144,000 signatures (in this case electronic signatures) which will be presented to Pope Benedict as well as to officials from the UN gathering in Assisi on September 21, the United Nation's International Day of Peace. Help us send a strong message to the leaders of the world proclaiming our intent for creating a New World. To sign the declaration today, please go to …

James will lead a peace walk from Assisi to Rome September 12th - 21st ending with a Papal audience where he, joined by Earthdance International founder, Chris Deckker, will present the names of those asking for peace to the Pope. The following day they will take the list of names to the United Nations peace conference taking place in Assisi. Meanwhile, Earthdance International is coordinating a global peace event taking place in hundreds of cities around the world to dance and pray for peace the weekend of September 17th. The highlight of the Earthdance International event is a simultaneous dance-floor link up, when every event across the world plays the Prayer for Peace.

We are asking the people of the world to both join us in prayer on September 17th and to sign the Declaration. If you are interested in joining the peace walk in Assisi or the Earthdance International celebrations, you can click on the links below. There is great power in prayer, so join us in making the dream of peace a reality! Please sign up and be counted! Once again, please pass this email to everyone you know, and sign the declaration today.

Peace... The Beloved Community and Earthdance International Staff
For information on Earthdance -
For information about the Assisi Peace walk -

Marianne Williamson's Brief Lecture Schedule In The Great Northeast
Washington D.C.
September 10 to 12, 2005
The Third Annual Department of Peace Conference
Featuring: Marianne Williamson, Walter Cronkite, Hon. Dennis Kucinich, Patch Adams, Azim Khamisa, and many more. Registration and more information (

Amenia, New York
Sepember 17 to 18, 2005
Imagine Peace Festival
Amenia, NY (2 hours North of NYC)
For more info, check out Marianne's website at ...

Also, there will be a Tribute memorial to Elisabeth Kubler Ross on August 24, the first year anniversary of her death, in New York as well a private reception and book signing by Marianne's friend and her co-author, David Kessler for friends and those who were readers of her many books. To RSVP for this event please call 212.649.5526.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

MESSAGE FROM SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY ... Stand With Me, Stand With Senator Robert Byrd
Senator Robert C. Byrd has spent 47 years serving the people of West Virginia and the nation with great skill and dedication, and he has often been a profile in courage. In recent years, for example, he has stood eloquently by his values and opposed the Iraq War, at a time when many others were silent. Even now, as Republican smear groups circle his re-election campaign and attack his principled position, he refuses to be silent. He has encouraged us all to live up to our responsibilities as Americans, and he has helped us immensely. Now, he needs our help, and I hope you will join me in supporting his campaign for re-election in 2006. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is spending a significant part of its multi-million dollar war chest to blanket West Virginia in a TV assault that distorts and attacks Senator Byrd's dedication to our country. We can't let that happen. Please make a contribution to his campaign, and help him obtain the funds he needs to fight back effectively. Go to ...

The Republican Party has chosen the wrong target. Senator Byrd is a unique public servant whose proven dedication, leadership ability, hard work, and outstanding record for the people of West Virginia are legendary. He'll stand up to the attacks against him with the same vigor and passion he has shown in the Senate for nearly five decades. But we cannot let him walk alone into this battle. Let's all join together and help Senator Byrd respond to the smear tactics of the Republican Party: Go to ...

As Americans and as Democrats, it is our duty to protect honorable politicians like Senator Byrd from baseless attacks designed to confuse the voters of West Virginia and distract them from what is needed to make their lives better. The Republican leadership is abusing their power to use the Senate as a weapon to enforce their ideology. And, they are trying to do the same in West Virginia by smearing Senator Byrd. We cannot let them dismantle the Senate to serve their goals and we cannot let them attack public servants like Senator Byrd. We have to stop the Republican defamers from silencing his powerful voice in 2006 to advance their own agenda. You can help him win a well-deserved victory in the coming campaign. Please make your contribution now ...

Make sure Senator Byrd continues to serve our Party -- and our country. Join me in support for this truly great American. Thank you for doing as much as you can in this all-important effort. You'll be glad you did, and so will the country.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

FRESH BREAKING NEWS! Midnight Raid Demolishes Soldiers' Memorial At Camp Casey ... Stand Up With Cindy Against This Intimidation [From TrueMajority Website]
Last night a pickup truck dragging chains ran over the rows of white crosses on the side of the road next to Cindy Sheehan's vigil in Crawford, Texas. And you probably already saw the news yesterday about President Bush's neighbor firing a shotgun into the air trying to scare the mothers of fallen soldiers who have gathered around Cindy. Cindy and the other moms in Crawford have vowed to stay, and now a neighboring rancher, who is a veteran, has offered them some of his nearby land if they need it. He is standing up. Tomorrow night [Wednesday, August 17th] all of us can do the same, at more than a thousand candelight vigils across the country. Here's a page listing the vigils planned near you:

(If you don't see one near you, sign up to host. All it takes is a candle and a box of matches.) The spirit of that rancher in standing up in his own pro-Bush community is the sort of spirit against the war that is growing across America. [Duchess Note ... That rancher/veteran is a true patriot. Bravo!] Tomorrow's vigils for Cindy Sheehan will be your chance to do the same. By standing together we will show the president and the media that our nation is against this war. Thank you for your support.

When I first heard that Cindy Sheehan had camped out in front of President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, it reminded me of another woman who sat down in the front of a bus because she was tired and had had enough. Then I thought, here is yet another painful example in our world today. We are tired of young men and women around the world dying needlessly, without purpose, and leading to escalating violence between nations, in our country, in our communities, in our schools. Women from around the country are uniting in Texas. It is time to ask ourselves why we are not using the knowledge and methods we already have to resolve conflict in nonviolent ways! We have not yet invested in organizing the wealth of information and resources we currently have and creating the structure to do so. It is time to do this.

The focus of a cabinet level Department of Peace is the nonviolent resolution of conflict internationally and domestically. What would a Department of Peace be doing? How might it make a difference? We would be working within our government, the Iraqi government and governments of other concerned countries - with professionals trained in alternative dispute resolution, mediation, truth and reconciliation. We would call upon those who have worked in community building successfully around the world. We asked Louise Diamond, founder of The Peace Company, and co-founder with Ambassador John McDonald of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, if she were part of a peace team right now what would be possible?

Louise responded: "Our approach to peace building is threefold

1] Social - working with the hearts and minds and direct experience of the people
2] Political - working with politicians and leaders; and
3] Structural - working with institutions in society that affect lives, i.e. education, economics, military."

She also indicated: We would look at needs and programs in Iraq, in this country and in partner countries and facilitate understanding and agreement on a peaceful direction. These discussions would be based on the premise that the cornerstone of freedom is the opportunity for all voices to be heard and for all people to have the opportunity to make a difference. Through dialogue and with the willingness of leadership to hear the voices of the people to create respectful and open-ended dialogue, we would resolve conflict. President Bush recently called for a conflict response team in our government. We encourage that dialogue. Our troops need our support. Let us quickly move in the direction of providing them with training in de-escalation of conflict, nonviolent communication, how to effectively manage potentially violent situations, and more!

In the documentary "Gunner Palace", the closing scenes are of interviews with U.S. soldiers in Iraq commenting on how killing has not proven to be an effective solution in the past and that it is no different today. It is time for all of us, individually and as a group, to speak up in conscience as part of the new politics of hope. It is time to focus on creating a world that will work for everyone. Thank you Cindy Sheehan for your willingness to demonstrate how one person can make a significant difference on behalf of the common good. We are grateful to be part of the dialogue. Please support the much-needed Department of Peace!

[Duchess Note ... I'm a proud member of the NYC Chapter Dept of Peace and very much excited about attending the upcoming Dept of Peace Conference in Washington DC. Won't you join us in learning, experiencing and spreading peace, joy, nonviolence and justice throughout the U.S. Amen!]

Last Thursday, DC 37 endorsed me. DC 37's Executive Director, Lillian Roberts, said OUR campaign "best represents the interest of our members and of ALL New Yorkers." On Tuesday, the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion said we trail the incumbent Public Advocate, by just seven percentage points (20%-13%), with a whopping 50% of voters as yet undecided. As we enter the last four weeks before Primary Day, September 13, our message continues to resonate with ALL New Yorkers. We need your help ... Our success depends on getting our message to the undecided 50%. We need to saturate local TV, radio, Internet and print media in the final two weeks leading up to the September 13th primary. At every street corner, every subway stop, each New Yorker must know this city needs a Public Advocate who will actually work and fight for them. I'm asking you to make the contribution that will take us on to victory. Contribute today at ...

Thank you for your past generosity and support; it's what got us within 7 percentage points of leading the incumbent. Our first televised debate is on Tuesday, August 23 on NY 1 from 7 - 8 PM. The next two weeks are critical - the incumbent will saturate the airwaves in September; undecided voters make their decision based on name recognition. Please help us get our message out to ALL of them.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... It makes no difference who you vote for, the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people. Gore Vidal

Friday, August 12, 2005

When I first heard that Cindy Sheehan had camped out in front of President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, it reminded me of another woman who sat down in the front of a bus because she was tired and had had enough. Then I thought, here is yet another painful example in our world today. We are tired of young men and women around the world dying needlessly, without purpose, and leading to escalating violence between nations, in our country, in our communities, in our schools. Women from around the country are uniting in Texas. It is time to ask ourselves why we are not using the knowledge and methods we already have to resolve conflict in nonviolent ways! We have not yet invested in organizing the wealth of information and resources we currently have and creating the structure to do so. It is time to do this.

The focus of a cabinet level Department of Peace is the nonviolent resolution of conflict internationally and domestically. What would a Department of Peace be doing? How might it make a difference? We would be working within our government, the Iraqi government and governments of other concerned countries - with professionals trained in alternative dispute resolution, mediation, truth and reconciliation. We would call upon those who have worked in community building successfully around the world. We asked Louise Diamond, founder of The Peace Company, and co-founder with Ambassador John McDonald of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, if she were part of a peace team right now what would be possible? Louise responded: “Our approach to peace building is threefold:

1] Social – working with the hearts and minds and direct experience of the people;
2] Political – working with politicians and leaders; and
3] Structural – working with institutions in society that affect lives, i.e. education, economics, military."

She also indicated: We would look at needs and programs in Iraq, in this country and in partner countries and facilitate understanding and agreement on a peaceful direction. These discussions would be based on the premise that the cornerstone of freedom is the opportunity for all voices to be heard and for all people to have the opportunity to make a difference. Through dialogue and with the willingness of leadership to hear the voices of the people to create respectful and open-ended dialogue, we would resolve conflict. President Bush recently called for a conflict response team in our government. We encourage that dialogue. Our troops need our support. Let us quickly move in the direction of providing them with training in de-escalation of conflict, nonviolent communication, how to effectively manage potentially violent situations, and more!

In the documentary "Gunner Palace", the closing scenes are of interviews with U.S. soldiers in Iraq commenting on how killing has not proven to be an effective solution in the past and that it is no different today. It is time for all of us, individually and as a group, to speak up in conscience as part of the new politics of hope. It is time to focus on creating a world that will work for everyone. Thank you Cindy Sheehan for your willingness to demonstrate how one person can make a significant difference on behalf of the common good. We are grateful to be part of the dialogue. Please support the much-needed Department of Peace. Go to:

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sunday, July 24th, was quite a busy day for this gal, which I like. Started off with a good workout session in the morning near Port Washington with Marie [ie: Personal Trainer]. My only gripe was the gym didn’t have air conditioning on that day, just fans. Mon dieu! Too much heat makes this gal lightheaded, plus brought on a headache. Marie’s hubby Joe [fellow DoP member] had some Tylenol. Amen! From there I took the train back into Manhattan, picked up some lunch in Penn Station and hopped onto the C subway to Central Park West. As I’m about to walk into Central Park in search of Sheep’s Meadow, I cross paths with actor Alfred Molina. Looked like he was heading home from a workout, as his gym clothes were sweaty. Some films I’ve seen him in: Frida, Chocolat, Enchanted April, Ladyhawke & Raiders of the Lost Ark. After some searching thru part of Sheep’s Meadow I found my DoP members [ie: Carol & Ellen] lazily sitting under trees. Lynn McMullen [Peace Alliance] also joined us for our “meeting/picnic”. [I contributed homemade cookies, brownies and a bag of chips.] Shortly afterwards Kevin showed up with his wife Irene and their two adorable young daughters. They also brought yummy picnic goodies. Irene’s rice salad was fabulous! We had an excellent meeting! Much brainstorming plus summarized the previous day “congressional training” and everyone took notes.

Towards the end of the meeting/picnic Ellen heard from Linda [NYC Kucitizen] via cell phone. Ellen and I had planned to meet Linda down at Chelsea Piers for drinks at The Frying Pan. Said our “goodbyes” to the others around 5:15pm and made our way out of the park. Before jumping on the downtown subway, we took a “bathroom break” at B&N. Once down to 23rd Street we switched to a bus over to Chelsea Piers. It’s great seeing Linda again and catching up on lots of news/gossip. “The Frying Pan” outdoor café is terrific and sits out on pier in the Hudson River. The breeze felt good while gazing at the sunset over New Jersey and sipping wine with friends. A table or two away from where we were sitting was Bernard White [ie: WBAI’s morning program “Wakeup Call”] with a friend having dinner. Love listening to “Wakeup Call” while getting ready for work in the mornings. Their a non-corporate radio station that has liberal/progressive views and totally opposite from that Rush Limbaugh bull crap. At one point, Bernard White’s dinner guest stepped away and I stroll over to say a few words to a man I admire. Mr. White is a most congenial man. What a pleasure, for me, to briefly meet and chat with Bernard. Next to the pier is a tugboat that “The Frying Pan” utilizes for its customers. They had tables and chairs set up. The three of us toured the tugboat before heading off to Linda’s car, which was parked on 12th Avenue. Got home after 9:30pm and crashed for the rest of the evening.

On Thursday, July 28th, I took off as a personal day from work. I was scheduled to get a Bronchoscope at Methodist Hospital in Park Slope that morning. Over the past week I'd briefly discussed, as well as received approval for personal work day. As well as discuss details with my DoP friend and support buddy [Karen]. Had to be at the hospital by 8:30am, so was up very early and took subway [ie: G & F lines] to Park Slope. [Also, no food or liquids starting at 10pm the night of 27th.] Arrived at the hospital around 8:10am, to find that Karen was already there. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. Ha! I've never been a fan of hospitals and all it entails. Never! Up on the 3rd floor I checked into Room 312. Karen helped me take off my jewelry, as I was that nervous. She gave me a supportive hug before I went in for prep work leading up to procedure. [May I add that all the nurses that day were great, friendly and displayed good bedside manner.] After changing into a hospital gown, socks and locking up my personal belongings, I was interviewed by an intern. She took my vital signs, asked me questions for the numerous paperwork and while inserting the IV [ie: boost electrolytes] into my left hand I started weeping. Yep, I was nervous and high strung at that point, though desperately trying to stay calm. Wasn't working. The kindly gal brought me tissues and calmed me with soothing words. By this time its 9am and I sat there waiting for my procedure. The delay lasted over an hour due to some emergency & the procedure room wasn't "ready". While waiting I tried to meditate, which is difficult when a doctor or nurse would pop in "interview" cubical to check my paperwork. I asked several individuals when I'd be getting my sedative and no one had an answer. Finally the lung specialist I'd been seeing came by to speak with me at length. I asked him about the sedative and he said "soon". Good lord, I want it now!

Finally, around 10:10am, I was escorted into a surgery room were another doctor and two nurses were prepping, along with my lung specialist. They didn’t even start the sedatives until during the X-ray segment and my throat felt a wee bit odd. I was told that when one is on the sedatives one doesn’t really feel or remember the procedure. If that’s the case, then my sedative didn’t kick in until halfway thru the procedure. It was horrible! The procedure goes thru one nostril, down your throat and into the lungs. Much sobbing, coughing, shaking and feeling like I’ll vomit … oh yeah … I remember quite clearly. Both doctors held me down by the shoulders and requesting the nurse to give me more sedatives. Too late pal, I’m already aware of what’s going on and it’s a mini nightmare. I guess the sedatives finally did kick in as the last half of procedure was very fuzzy to me. Next thing I know I’m in recovery [11:05am] and a nurse is checking my vital signs. After sleeping abit I wake up and talk briefly with the nurse, plus ask for my handbag, which was in locker 22. [I never want to go thru that procedure ever again. Never!] The nurse finally brought me my handbag. Took out my makeup bag so I could freshen up my face. After the sobbing I’d done I knew my face would look something like Alice Cooper. Not a pretty sight. After freshening up as best I could I slept some more. The recovery room was large enough to hold four other gurneys and all were full. At 12:30pm I asked the nurse for an aspirin or Tylenol, as I had a headache. This was caused by crying and the sedatives wearing off. I also asked to see Karen, but was informed she had stepped out for abit. By this time I just wanted to get up, get dressed and leave, but no, not so. More X-rays were done, followed by a brief conversation with a doctor whose bedside manner was cold and spoke in medical lingo. All I understood was there are no holes in my lungs. Well, that’s a comforting thought, thanks doctor. Finally allowed to leave at 1:15pm and Karen was waiting for me with a B&N shopping bag. She killed some of the waiting time by going to a B&N down the street. Got a chuckle out of that. I signed release forms while Karen phoned car service and then it was out into blessed sunshine.

We sat outside and waited for the car service. I told Karen all what transpired since that morning. She in turn told me about her book buying at B&N, plus we also discussed the new Harry Potter book. Finally the car service showed up and with bad traffic it took awhile to get back to Greenpoint. We had the car service drop us off at the grocery store [ie: lunch items & supplies] and then walked the two blocks to my place. While I made a fruit smoothie in the blender, Karen made phone calls to my Mom, work and some friends to let them know I was okay. We sat in my living room chatting for abit and noshing on food, because I was hungry and hyper at that point. [I really should have more guests over to my place, like I used to years ago, cause its fun.] After walking Karen to the subway I felt my whole system starting to crash. Got home in time to happily fall into bed and sleep for 3 hours. I was told by my doctor that I could only eat soft foods or liquids for 24 hours, no solids and only utilize Tylenol. Made phone calls that evening to family and friends, answered emails, did some reading and then back to bed around midnight. And yes, I felt well enough to go to work the next day. Amen!

P.S. More “personal news” coming soon … stay tuned.

Robert Scheer / Los Angeles Times
Yet on Friday, Bush's father and Vice President Dick Cheney made another in a long line of obsequious American pilgrimages to Riyadh to assure the Saudis that we continue to be grateful for the punishment they dish out. "The relationship has tremendously improved with the United States," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal told a news conference in Riyadh. "With the government, of course, it is very harmonious, as it ever was. Whether it has returned to the same level as it was before in terms of public opinion [in both countries], that is debatable." Well, score one for public opinion. It makes sense to distrust the mercenary and distasteful alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. We protect the repressive kingdom that spawned Osama bin Laden, and most of the 9/11 hijackers, in exchange for the Saudis keeping our fecklessly oil-addicted country lubricated.

Steve Pratt / The Northeast News [UK]
Sean Bean is pretty good at playing bad guys but, as he tells Steve Pratt, his latest villian, the boss of a human cloning institute, does have some redeeming features.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The only thing worth globalizing is dissent. Arundhati Roy [The Progressive Magazine - April 2001]

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

MESSAGE FROM Dawn S. at Care2 Green Party Alerts - Tell the USDA To Keep Our Food Supply Safe
If you're like me, you believe that everyone has the right to enjoy a balanced and healthy diet. What's more, you expect the government to act in the best interests of its citizens and ensure that the food supply remains safe. That's why the latest news on U.S. beef is so troubling. In June, the USDA confirmed that a cow born and bred in the U.S. had tested positive for mad cow disease. This was the second confirmed case in the U.S. herd. But it gets worse - even though the animal was suspected of having mad cow disease last November, the USDA failed to use the most reliable tests to diagnose the disease for seven months! Send a letter:

We need swift and decisive action from federal regulators to ensure that the U.S. beef supply remains safe. And yet, the USDA currently tests just one percent of all cattle slaughtered each year. Even worse, since their testing program is so secretive, the public has no way of knowing whether they are targeting high-risk or low-risk animals, or if their methods are even based on sound science. That's why Care2 is working with Consumers Union to recommend that the USDA test all cattle over 20 months of age for mad cow disease and disclose details about its testing program. Please urge the USDA to improve transparency and take immediate steps to keep U.S. beef safe:

August Movie Schedule Update From 9/11 Info Resource Series at St Marks Church [NYC]

Saint Mark's Church
2nd Avenue and 10th Street
6 Train to Astor Place [walk east]
Donations Appreciated

Sunday Aug. 14th
The Power of Nightmares, produced by the BBC
Explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organized terrorist network is an illusion. It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media.

Sunday Aug. 21st
Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties"
We created Unconstitutional to show Americans the extent to which our civil liberties and our freedoms have been trampled upon by our government since 9/11," said Robert Greenwald, the film's executive producer. "The more Americans understand what is at stake, and what has already been lost, the more determined we become to protect our rights."

Sunday Aug. 28th
Masters of the Universe: The Secret Birth of the Federal Reserve
In Masters of the Universe Daniel Hopsicker investigates the Bilderberg group, the international banking elite, the Federal Reserve and the New World Order. Was there a takeover of the US by international bankers? Visit the scene of a crime so perfect that, for 30 years, no one knew it had even taken place.

Sponsored by NY 911 Truth & LES/WTC Truth Movement Hotline: (212) 714-7147

Important Message From TrueMajority & "Mothers of Fallen Soldiers" Demand That Bush Level with Them -- Help Pour on the Pressure by Supporting the Great Work of Gold Star Families for Peace
The tide is turning against support for the Iraq War. Now's the time to generate attention, and here's an important way to do it. We've known from the beginning that America's attack on Iraq was unnecessary, ill-advised and just plain wrong. Finally, surveys show that the rest of America now agrees -- the latest polls show most citizens do not feel safer with the war in Iraq and most now agree we should get the troops back home within the year. Now is the time to push that message home harder than ever. Please contribute to push that message:

The most effective spokespeople for bringing the troops home are the mothers, fathers and family members of soldiers killed in Iraq, who are demanding to know why President Bush sent their sons, daughters, husbands and wives off to die. Cindy Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey was killed last year in Sadr City, has drawn international media attention with her brave vigil outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, on behalf of Gold Star Families for Peace. Our support will allow her to keep it up and help her group take the action to the next level.

President Bush plans visits around the country during his five-week vacation, hoping for friendly media coverage away from Washington. But a member of Gold Star Families for Peace can dog him wherever he goes, demanding he meet with them to explain why their family members are dead. Our media advisors tell us this will build more support for ending the Iraq quagmire. If we can raise $50,000, we can keep members of military families on the president's trail throughout the summer. You can keep this story in the news and keep the tide in this country turning against this war. Please contribute what you can: