Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Risking their Lives to Protect Democracy and Freedom
Posted at "Peace Journalism"
By Linda Zoblotsky

President Bush has said time and time again that the courageous men and women serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting over there for a worthy cause. President Bush also claims to be interested in selecting "strict constitutionalists" for The Supreme Court. President Bush also claimed that the United States does not practice torture while threatening to veto a bill for the first time. That bill is John McCain's anti-torture amendment. In that Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark is risking his life to defend Saddam, defending Saddam is not a worthy cause. Ramsey Clark recognizes that while the U.S. is spreading American ideals of "freedom and democracy" in the Middle East, the practice of justice is a worthy ideal to spread as well. The result could very well be that Saddam will make a historically correct claim, that he was once a friend of the United States, when it served us best, as Iran was and is an equal enemy of Saddam's and the United State's government. Saddam is now being held in the custody of The United States. These worthy men and women serving in Iraq have accomplished removing Saddam from power in the interest of removing a ruthless dictator and in the interest of securing their sources, THE OIL, for the best interests of the U.S.

As the United States has been at war with Iraq throughout the Bush I and Clinton administration, using starvation, radiation and bombs against the innocent population, perhaps in Ramsey Clark serving in Saddam's defense, the people of the United States might note that justice is a worthy American ideal to preserve, even in the hearings of Saddam. And while Saddam is having his day in Court, it is time for the American people to also demand that the prisoners of Bush's war in Iraq, Guantanimo Bay and in torture friendly countries around the world also have their day in court, once again practicing these worthy American ideals of justice. If the United States continues on this barbaric course of torture, in order to extract information, we put our own citizens and those serving the military at risk, when at the same time, we are trying to protect and preserve our homeland security. It seems that by torturing and murdering others, we have replaced the dictatorship of Saddam with the dictatorship of Bush.

Poem by Maya Angelou

[Duchess Note - This beautiful poem was shared with me and other NYC Dept of Peace members by Maria. Thank you so much! By all means, do share with others. Peace & Justice!]

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

[Duchess Note - Sincere and humble apologies to all for the long delay in getting this section of my blog updated and posted. When work, holidays and outside activities become abit hectic, it’s not easy staying ahead of ones game. Without further ado … drum roll please … here is the latest news.]

Saturday, October 22nd, was the third annual Brooklyn Peace Fair. Some of the board members [ie: Carol, Liz, Rob, Kevin, Joe & I] from NYC Chapter Dept of Peace were on hand to table, plus give a presentation. We sold t-shirts, buttons, bookmarkers and gave away pamphlets et al. I very much enjoyed speaking to individuals about Dept of Peace [DoP] and other issues.
[Duchess at left with Kevin & his daughters]

Hopefully I inspired some with my enthusiasm about DoP & activism. A major highlight for me, and I’m sure many others in attendance, was a 30-minute talk given by Cindy Sheehan. [The auditorium was full!] The right-wing conservative liars and pundits don’t like this lady. Why? Sheehan speaks the truth from her caring, compassionate heart. Sometimes her language can be abit rough, but overall she is definitely an inspiration to many of us in the peace movement. Throughout the afternoon, in the auditorium at the YMCA, several musical acts were on display and also some progressive political speakers. I also visited other groups tabling at the event, picked up literature, plus chat with a few acquaintances [ie: Linda, Max & Sally]. The event and free refreshment was sponsored by Brooklyn Parents for Peace.

Thursday, October 27th, was NYC Chapter Dept of Peace [DoP] monthly meeting held at Kevin's [vice chair] office in midtown Manhattan. Cool, funky conference room [known as “the garage”] and very spacious. From now on this monthly gathering is no longer a “board” meeting [though original members will be in attendance]. It’s now an “open” meeting to NY State DoP District Team Leaders [DTLs] who wish to become more involved. Our chairperson, Carol, initiated this terrific idea of bringing in DTL folk. NYC members that attended … Joe, Kevin, Liz, Carol, Maria and I … the NY DoP DTLs in attendance that evening … Priscilla, Norma, Hector, Carly, Janet, Marni, John, Eileen, Brian M and David H. [I’m so blessed to be in the presence and working with all these wonderful people. Can you believe it; I’ve been involved with Dept of Peace campaign for a year now. Right-on!] It was a great meeting with alot of positive vibes, ideas, thoughts, suggestions and delicious goodies. Nothing is turned away and all is embraced.

On Saturday, October 29th, the NYC DoP core group gathered at free space provided by Coco [DoP member] to hold our 2006 Planning/Event meeting. [As with many DoP meetings and conference calls I’m usually in charge of notes or minutes.] We started congregating between 10:15am to 11am. As with all of our get-togethers, events and meetings we give each other warm hugs. [I contributed some of my homemade cookies, as did Karen. Others brought fruit & mixed nuts.] The productive meeting, with Coco as moderator, ran until 4pm with a brief lunch break. One of many accomplishments at the meeting was we consolidated our committees from 10 down to 3. Plus, we also set three very important goals for 2006. I’m now part of the Steering Committee; as is Karen, Carol and Hector. Though more may join us and it’s all so exciting. [Duchess Note – May I suggest to those who read my blog, check around in your city or state for a Dept of Peace group or chapter. Become a part of this important campaign. Google “Peace Alliance” on the Net and they can further help you. There are also some links posted in the lefthand column of this blog. Peace & Justice!]

On Sunday, October 30th, I had a one-hour session with my personal trainer [Marie] at the gym. It was a good workout and I know some of my muscles will be sore next day or so. Over the last two weeks my friend Cielito [fellow NYC Kucitizen] was staying at my abode. Cielito’s apartment situation isn’t very stable at the moment and until things get straightened out, she’s living the nomad life through helpful friends like me. [Her next port of call is Jessica’s abode in Riverdale.] Good thing I have the sofa bed in my living room, which has been utilized by friends and family in the past. At first it all seemed abit odd having someone live in my home. Over a short span I adjusted nicely and was happy to help out a friend. [Around this time, my landlady had some much needed work done on bathroom plumbing. As I type this the situation isn’t fully resolved.] Our schedules varied over the two weeks and the occasions we sat down over dinner et al, we’d get to chatting on numerous topics. [Thanks dudette, I really enjoyed those conversations, laughs and the Al Franken book.]

Song by Jackson Browne

[Commentary from John Nichols -- 1991 Chieftains holiday collaboration, The Bells of Dublin, "The Rebel Jesus" has taken on a life of its own. Along the way, it has become the most welcome antidote to the deadening dose of commercialism that Americans imbibe each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So let us begin the season with Browne's wise words.]

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
They'll be gathering around the hearths and tales
Giving thanks for all god's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by the prince of peace
And they call him by the savior
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But please forgive me if I seem
To take the tone of judgment
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absense of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people. Jawaharlal Nehru


Bob Moser, The Nation
With his campaign to end poverty, John Edwards has shed his Clinton Lite image. But he still faces an uphill battle to win back the presidency for the Dems.

Madison Capital Times Editorial

Norman Solomon, AlterNet
Far from dying down over Thanksgiving, the scandal enveloping the Washington Post reporter has deservedly picked up steam.

Commentary by Gary Alan Scott

Fr. Gerard Thomas, Beliefnet
A gay priest says the Vatican's new policy is nothing short of an attack on church discussions of sexuality.

Commentary by Jeff Cohen

Molly Ivins, Texas Observer
George Clooney's new film 'Good Night and Good Luck' echoes Texan John Faulk's heroic struggle against McCarthyism.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: To the Publisher of the LA Times
Saturday, November 26th

Jeffrey M. Johnson
Los Angeles Times
202 West First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mr. Johnson:

We, as Members of Congress, object to the dismissal of Robert Scheer, a 32-year veteran of the LA Times with a long history of excellence in reporting and op-ed pieces. For example, over the last 10 years:

Scheer, in 1995, was a leading critic of the Gingrich plan to cut social spending to record low levels and he wrote adamantly about the need to save affirmative action. In 1996, Scheer criticized welfare reform for its effect on the poor as soon as the economy turns south.
Scheer wrote in 1999 in defense of Wen Ho Lee, the nuclear weapons scientist accused by many of selling nuclear secrets, despite the lack of evidence. In 2000, Scheer predicted the Bush/Cheney ticket's close ties to the oil industry would ensure consumers would "feel the sting from the exhorbitant price of gas." In 2001, Scheer identified the dangerous precedent of the Patriot Act. He forecast the attack on our basic liberties. In 2003, Scheer was already making a strong case for the U.S. getting out of Iraq.

Scheer's final column highlighted military intelligence documents that suggested Iraqi intelligence was manipulated, as opposed to simply bad intelligence. On Nov. 11th, the LA Times reported this dismissal along with other staff cuts. According to the article, a conservative contributing editor to the National Review has been hired to write for the op-ed pages. In effect the LA Times has hired a Bush Administration cheerleader to replace a leading critic of the Administration. Your readers, and the nation, deserve better. We hope that you will reconsider your dismissal of Robert Scheer.

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Diane Watson (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
John Tierney (D-MA)
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Richard Neal (D-MA)
Michael Honda (D-CA)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
John Lewis (D-GA)
George Miller (D-CA)
Bill Clay (D-MO)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Hilda Solis (D-CA)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

From The Wilderness Website
November 18th

[Duchess Note - The below tidbit was shared with me by a good friend in Ottawa, Canada - thanks MF!]
We’re not saying that any of these folks are rapists or child molesters or future felons or even victims of far too much inbreeding. Not at all. We’re merely saying: here are the nation’s Top 10 Young Conservative Activists (

The Notables:
• Jason Mattera (#7) — spokesman for Young America’s Foundation. This buzz-cutted reactionary has no patience for war protesters. But when he was urged to enlist in a war he so heartily supports, the 22-year-old replied that he had more important things to do, like winning "the war of ideas" at home. Obviously, he’s bucking for a job as Vice President. Bonus: Mattera also put together a whites-only scholarship.

• Brad Shipp (#4) — the 33-year-old national field director for Students for Academic Freedom. (Aren’t you a little old to be calling yourself a student, Brad?) The SAF is run by conservative…wait for it…intellectual David Horowitz, a former Berkeley radical who must have dropped some really bad acid in 1985. That’s when he began ranting that the Left wanted nothing more than to wage an "unholy war to tear down democracy and replace it with their version — an Americanized version — of communism." Oh David. You had us at "unholy." We’ll love your Shipphead protégé if it means getting closer to you.

• Eric Hoplin (#1) and Paul Gourley (#3) — the deputy chairman of the Minnesota GOP and the chairman of the College Republican National Committee respectively. Let’s just put it this way: these two blossoming fascists run such dirty campaigns of personal advancement that even fellow Republicans think the only races they’re fit for are the "Minnesota used car dealers association presidency" and the race for "chairman of Cell Block D in federal prison."

With the GOP starring cast disintegrating beneath the weight of epic corruption it’s good to know such a fine group of debate-club presidents is waiting in the right-wings like practiced stand-ins. Because the show must go on.

Monday, November 21, 2005

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM HARRY REID Regarding the Republicans & Iraq
On Sunday the Republican National Committee is going to start running ads against me in my home state of Nevada - well I must be doing something right if they are already that scared. The ads claim that I am politicizing the war in Iraq. Quiet frankly this attack is so ludicrous it would be funny, if the topic were not so serious. Our soldiers are fighting everyday in Iraq, but instead of engaging in a legitimate debate on the merits of our current course in Iraq, George Bush and Dick Cheney do what they always do and attempt to smear their opponents. This week alone, we've seen Stephen Hadley. . . Donald Rumsfeld. . . President Bush. . . and Vice President Cheney lash out at their critics. . . yet they all remain silent when it comes to giving our troops and the American people a plan. Tired rhetoric and political attacks do nothing to solve our problems in Iraq.

As a former boxer I know, your opponent always starts to swing wildly when you've got them on the ropes. The way to beat them isn't to hesitate, but to continue landing punches until he goes down. The Iraq war is too important an issue to allow cheap political attacks to prevent us from doing what is best for our troops and best for our country. Back when I was Nevada Gaming Commissioner the mob planted a bomb inside my car. That didn't scare me from doing what was right then, and I certainly am not scared of George Bush and his gang now. Democrats are going to keep pressing forward demanding accountability for intelligence failures and demanding a strategy for success that will bring the troops home. Call the White House and let them know you are tired of political attacks and want real solutions for Iraq. You can reach the White House by dialing: 202-456-1111

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Self respect is impossible without liberty. Harriet Beecher Stowe

This past Friday, the White House accused Senator Kennedy -- and, by extension, you -- of "leveling baseless and false attacks that send the wrong signal to our troops and our enemy during a time of war." It's the usual spin -- invoking the name of America's bravest to dodge pointed criticism -- but it's rare for this Administration to specifically target a Senator. The White House is coming after us because we're right – and they know it. And the pressure on them will only increase as we continue to tell the truth to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Our support for Senator Kennedy brings us together, but the convictions we share compel us to join him in action. This campaign is getting results, but it takes resources to make that happen. So I present you with a simple challenge: Show the White House their attacks only make us stronger. Match your convictions with commitment and give $25 to Senator Kennedy's campaign today:

A few days before the White House press attack, I asked you to spread the word about the intelligence documents being withheld from the Senate investigation. This community leapt into action and put Senator Kennedy's email in front of more than twice the number of people who originally received it. That type of response is off the charts. Our community has grown much larger than a typical Senate campaign, but Ted Kennedy isn't your typical Senator. From Hawaii to Maine, this community connects thousands of passionate Americans who share his beliefs. America deserves judges who reflect mainstream values, not radical ideology. Our elected officials -- from the White House to City Hall -- should put everyday Americans ahead of special interests. And when it comes to a war that has taken the lives of more than 2,000 of our sons and daughters, we deserve nothing less than the truth. With a Supreme Court nominee to consider, lobbyist-driven legislation on the Republican agenda and a Senate investigation into pre-war intelligence in process, we've got our work cut out for us. That's why it's critical to lay out the resources now and continue to grow the strength of our community. Stand up to the White House and make your $25 contribution today:

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Congressman Kucinich: Republican Iraq “Withdrawal” Resolution Is A Fraud
Washington, Nov 19 – Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) gave the following speech tonight on the House floor on the House Republican Leadership’s plan to play politics with the war in Iraq and present a phone “withdrawal” bill:

“I have spent three years making the case against the war in Iraq, trying to convince Congress to avoid war, working with other members in leading nation-wide opposition to the war, developing an exit strategy once we got in, working with colleagues on both side of the aisle on plans to withdraw from Iraq and bring our troops home.

“I will vote against this resolution because it is a fraud. What more does anyone need to know, but that the sponsor himself has called for the defeat of his own proposition? If his real intention were to bring our troops home right now, why would he vote against his own resolution? Wake up America.

“The American people are fed up with politicians who say one thing and do another. Every one of conscience and intelligence knows the magnitude of withdrawing 150,000 troops requires a plan, and a sincere legislative effort.

“The American people deserve a real debate on Iraq: Where are the WMDs? Where is Osama Bin Laden? What did Iraq have to do with 9/11?

“This Congress, which is a coequal branch of government, which has the War Power and which has oversight responsibility, has the moral obligation to find out why almost everything of significance we were told about the war turned out to be false.

“Instead those who raise questions have their military service, or their honor impugned. They took John Kerry on a swift boat. But we will not let them take John Murtha on a swift boat, nor will they do it to the American people any longer as we are ready to stand up and to expose fakery when we see it.” Check it out at:

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson

The Corporate Media’s Threat to Freedom
Mike Whitney, Counter Currents

There is no similarity between the corporate media and a “free press”. The corporate media operates according to its structural make-up, which requires it to serve the interests of ownership and maximize profits. Its top-down style of management ensures that it will align itself with the political centers of power which create the opportunity for greater prosperity. This explains why the media giants have consistently concealed the Bush administration’s attacks on civil liberties, supported the expansion of executive power, and paved the way for global war. After all, they are just acting in their own best interest, accommodating the political establishment to allow for more consolidation and expansion. One hand washes the other. The cozy relationship between the administration and the media has made it nearly impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. In fact, the media is the primary instrument of state policy. Its task is to shape the public’s perception of government and to project a benign image of the US to the world beyond.

Naturally, this symbiotic relationship has intensified as the needs of the administration have increased. Now, the media crafts the storyline of American magnanimity while the US military carries out war crimes in Falluja or torture in Baghdad. It showers praise on the Dear Leader while thousands wallow in squalor in New Orleans or are cluster-bombed in Tal Afar. It waves the flags and sings the patriotic anthems that prepare the nation for war. The media has become indistinguishable from the political establishment; executing its duties in a manner that best serve the objectives of the state.

Confidence in the media has never been lower. A broad section of the public doesn’t believe anything they read in the papers nor do they see reporters as impartial observers of world events. This should be no great surprise. The model of a privately-owned media ensures that the facts are massaged to suit ownership; a practice that inevitably undermines credibility. The marriage between the media and the state increases the danger to the public interests. This is especially true when the media becomes a marketing tool for the government, promoting its vastly unpopular wars, its attacks on the social safety-net, and its vicious assault on civil liberties.

The media has become an adversary to the people it is supposed to serve. It now functions exclusively as a weapon in the imperial arsenal; exalting the state and its wartime agenda, while savaging the institutions of democracy and personal liberty. Its role as state-propagandist is conspicuous in everything from its blind devotion to the president to its obfuscation of facts that discredit the administration. If we consider a few of the critical stories the mainstream media suppressed, we get a clearer idea of its overall agenda.

The media refused to cover the allegations of irregularities in the 2004 presidential election; dismissing the anomalies as conspiracy theories. Independent investigations have cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of the balloting, and just last week, the GAO confirmed suspicions that widespread voter fraud may have taken place. Whether or not the elections were fairly conducted is immaterial; given the suspicious results of the 2000 election, this was a story that should have been covered. Instead, it was purposely ignored to silence critics and divert attention from the dysfunctional electoral system.

The media has refused to cover the massive and devastating siege of Falluja; an assault that displaced 250,000 civilians and intentionally destroyed water lines, electrical power, sewage treatment plants, government buildings, hospitals and schools. Even now, a full year later, journalists have been kept from entering the city or photographing the largest single war crime of the ongoing conflict. And, even though news services around the world are confirming the use of banned weapons, including napalm and other “unidentified” substances during the attack, the American media refuses to give details or demand an independent investigation. It is interesting to compare the media’s silence on the carnage in Iraq to its front-page coverage of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Lavish attention has been devoted to Hariri’s death because it advances the administration’s foreign policy goals. Once again, the media is clearing the path for future imperial conflicts by building the case for war against Syria.

The media has also refused to cover the Downing Street Memo; the damning document written by a member of Tony Blair’s national security team who verified that Bush planned to “remove Saddam through military force” as early as July, 2003 (even though the administration was saying that that it would “exhaust all peaceful means”) The unprovoked attack would be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

Even though the memo provided the first piece of irrefutable evidence that the administration deliberately manipulated the facts, no American newspaper referred to the memo for more than 7 weeks after its discovery. The details of the Downing Street Memo are still unknown to many Americans, allowing Bush to continue to deny the cherry-picking of pre-war intelligence. The memo proves that Bush is lying.

The media has also refused to provide any coverage of the mercenaries who were deployed to the streets of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. This is the first time in American history that a foreign (corporate) army has carried out operations on US soil. The media made sure that no photos of these corporate warriors appeared in any of the newspapers or TV programs. The absence of coverage raises serious questions about censorship in Bush’s America.

The media refuses to provide news of the Iraq war and the devastation of Sunni heartland. Al Qaim, Husbaya, and Tel Afar have all been attacked with the same ferocity as Falluja; forcing the townspeople to flee and then destroying the water, electricity, sewage and other critical parts of the infrastructure. The Pentagon is now engaged in a scorched earth strategy knowing full well that its policy of killing journalists will keep the story from being reported. The obliteration of these cities shows that the military has abandoned the idea of achieving a political solution in Iraq. The present strategy is aimed at “destroying the resistance’s ability to wage war”, by systematically laying to waste one city after another. This is the Rumsfeld solution, but you won’t find it in the media. The news from Iraq focuses entirely on the random acts of violence which perpetuate racial stereotypes of Islamic extremists. This provides the justification for the continuing American occupation. The media has worked in conjunction with the Pentagon to create the story of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; the embodiment of a ruthless Muslim fanatic who kills simply because he “hates freedom”.

No one can categorically deny that Zarqawi may exist. The fact is, however, that there has never been a positive identification of him, nor has anyone ever provided concrete proof of his whereabouts. Reporters are responsible to provide the facts to their readers, not to promote a narrative that suits the Pentagon’s agenda.

These are just a few of the stories that the media has refused to cover because they conflict with the goals of the administration. If we look deeper we see that the Cheney Energy papers, the 9-11 “whitewash, the corporate scandals, the “Able Danger” program, and the attacks on civil liberties, have all met a similar fate. Stories that are incompatible with the aims of ownership or administration policy are usually left on the cutting room floor.

Freedom is impossible where the information systems are monopolized by private industry. Democracy requires that people have access to divergent points of view so they can form opinions free from coercive influences. The corporate model aims at uniformity in order to limit the range of debate and promote a business-friendly agenda. In America, the news has become a study in uniformity; presenting the very same topics from precisely the same perspective. This creates the impression that the facts are generally agreed upon, which is not the case. 65% of the American people do not support the media’s pro-war stance, and yet, the anti-war position is nowhere to be found on commercial TV.

The war on terror is not simply a misguided crusade against non-state actors like Al Qaida. It is a sweeping plan for global corporate domination. Managing information is vital to that effort. Knowledge is power, and there is a deliberate attempt to seize that power by controlling the sources of information. In effect, it is the privatization of the truth; standardizing information through greater media consolidation and disseminating it through its own filtering systems. Its inhibiting effects on our democracy have already been seen in the curtailing of civil liberties and the twisting of facts that led to the Iraq war. The further merging of the state and the media portend a strengthening of autocratic government and a loss of personal liberty. The multi-headed dragon of corporate media must be confronted and defeated. Al Qaida may pose a threat to our security, but the alliance of state and media poses a clear and present danger to our freedom.

Associated Press
The United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday, citing the lack of planning for what would happen after dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown. "Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done, " Clinton told students at the American University of Dubai. "It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country." Clinton did however say that the United States had done some good things in Iraq: the removal of Saddam, the ratification of a new constitution, and the holding of parliamentary elections.

[Duchess Note ... "Personal News" will be back this coming week. Sincere apologies to all my regular Net readers for the delay.]

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Joshua Holland, AlterNet
A couple of staffers for People for the American Way snuck into a conference of the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. Here's what they discovered.

THE SENATOR’S REBELLION – AntiWar Momentum Is Building
Justin Raimondo, Ether Zone

Molly Ivins, AlterNet
Evidence shows that tax breaks have been dragging the economy down, so Republicans offer a solution: more of the same.

Kucinich Press Release

Sam Graham-Felsen,
The director of 'Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price' explains why he made the film -- and what you can do to help fight the corporate beast.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Where liberty dwells, there is my country. Benjamin Franklin

Peace Action Press Release

Andrew Seifter, Media Matters for America
Why the president's claims that 'everyone was mistaken' just aren't true; and the difference between 'pressure' and 'manipulation.'

David Morris, AlterNet
In Paine's version of 'intelligent design,' science and religion are inextricably linked; in the Kansas school board's definition, they are adversaries.

Jessica Azulay, New Standard News
The arrest and alleged abuse of an activist is just the latest incident for local relief workers, who have complained of harassment since the early days after Katrina.

Eugenia Chien, Pueng Vongs, Pacific News Service
Forget Scooter Libby and the war in Iraq – the Chinese-language press is riveted on avian flu, offering remedies that range from clinical to homespun.

Deborah White,

Sunday Nov 20 at 8PM - SANDER HICKS

Publisher of the critical Bush biography Fortunate Son in 2001, Sander Hicks casts a hard look at the official story of the 9/11 attacks in his new book The Big Wedding, a whirlwind tour of criminal informants and suppressed intelligence insiders. "Hicks is out to do nothing less than expose the planet's most insidious nexus: the jihadists, bankers, mercenaries, drug dealers, and so-called leaders who are currently pantomiming their way through a charade they've dubbed the 'war on terror.' Imagine Henry Rollins meets the young Bob Woodward - a clean-cut, hard-as-nails punk with the reporting chops to take on an empire." - Anthony Lappe (

WITH FILM CLIPS from Sander's work at INN World Report … At St. Mark's Church Parish House - 10th St. & Second Ave. in Manhattan - Donation $5

Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey Signs on to the Department of Peace Bill

By Andrea Loretz-Frey: We are certainly living in some very exciting times! October was a busy month for district 7 with continued campaign discussions, "thank you" letters and follow-ups regarding the many campaign meetings that took place in September and over the summer. This month posed a lot of discussion with fellow campaign supporters with how to reach the wider population in our communities to educate others on this campaign. It is very clear that the campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace & Non-violence is spreading with great fervor, as many in our communities reach out to seek other ways to help our communities, and our world.

I would like to extend a huge "thank you" to Joe de Rivera for recently taking the time to discuss the campaign with Congressman Ed Markey and “seal the deal”! It is proof that all of the collective cumulative efforts over the past couple of years and most recent intense efforts these past months do matter!

New Co-sponsor for Dept of Peace Bill … Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT), former Republican, is now the second member of the Senate to support this legislation!

City Council Resolutions In San Jose and Sebastopol, CA recently passed measures supporting the Department of Peace legislation! Congratulations to local activists who worked to make this happen. A total of 9 cities across the country have passed similar measures. Two of those cities, San Jose, CA, and Detroit, MI, are respectively the 10th and 11th largest cities in the nation.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Welcome to the Revolution" PDA Reception at DNC Meeting

PDA will be hosting a public reception for folks from the progressive community to meet and greet attendees of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) conference and the Winter Democratic National Committee (DNC) meeting on December 1. Our gathering will be fun, energetic, and a reminder to those in attendance at both meetings, that the progressive community is organized and building within the party. We will showcase progressive issues during the evening and provide an opportunity to network with DNC members. In attendance will be some notable progressive leaders from the southwest and nationwide. Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Rep. Barbara Lee are clearing their schedules to try to make the event as well.

When: December 1, 2005 -- Doors open at 8:00pm
Where: The Lucky Break -- Phoenix, AZ
Who: Progressive Leaders and Activists
The message: The Progressive Revolution of the Democratic Party is organized!

More information about DNC weekend events:

PDA Peace Mobilization Efforts

National "Not Your Soldier" Youth and Student Day of Action is Thursday November 17 at a high school or college campus near you. Are military recruiters invading your schools and using promises of scholarships and career opportunities to convince your friends to join the military? You are not alone! On November 17, International Students Day, join youth and students from around the country in the first nationally coordinated day of action for and about young people! NOT YOUR SOLDIER! More info:

I shouldn't have to write an email like this. It shouldn't even cross George Bush's mind to pardon Scooter Libby. Yet George Bush refuses to come out and just plainly tell the American people, if Scooter Libby or anyone else is found guilty of a crime in connection with Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation, he will not pardon them. Last week, myself, and Senators Durbin, Schumer and Biden, sent a letter to George Bush asking him not to pardon Scooter Libby. So far the White House has not responded. Now it's your turn. Sign our emergency petition telling George Bush: You must pledge not to pardon Scooter Libby or anyone else convicted as part of Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation.

Scooter Libby cannot rely on his close relationship with George Bush or Dick Cheney to obtain the kind of extraordinarily special treatment unavailable to ordinary Americans. To put it simply, a pardon in these circumstances would signal that this White House considers itself above the law. Only swift public action by George Bush will make clear that he takes seriously perjury and obstruction of justice at the highest levels of our government and that he meant what he said about bringing honor and dignity to the White House. Sign the emergency petition by visiting:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ideals of Peace and Freedom Draw a Crowd to Stapleton - Artists and Activists Gather for a Festival Celebrating Compassion and Living with Awareness
November 13, 2005
Deborah Young, Staten Island Advance Staff Writer

Nature yesterday obliged a gathering of people with the self-styled mission of protecting the Earth -- An azure sky and a crisp, autumn sunshine served as the backdrop for the second Peace and Freedom Festival in Tappen Park, Stapleton. The day-long event featured multi-textural takes on cultivating compassion and living with awareness. Children drew a peace mural; folk musicians sang about everything from corporate America to the Valerie Plame scandal; punk bands thrummed with cacophonous angst; advocacy groups handed out stickers and buttons; and activists provided Chomskyesque pamphlets questioning the politics of our time.

"We're trying to get typical Staten Islanders engaged in the political stakes of their future," said Mike May, one of the organizers of the event that brought together dozens of organizations, political speakers, artists, poets and musicians. "This is grassroots democracy at its best."
For the several hundred visitors and participants -- including groups such as Pax Christi, Peace Action Staten Island, the Island Committee against Bigotry and Democracy Now and notable speakers Norman Siegel, the civil rights attorney, and College of Staten Island Professor Dan Kramer -- the fundamental message was clear. Democrat, Republican, Conservative or Green -- at the core, more unites us than separates us, they said.

"There is a mix here of the political, the spiritual and the artistic," said St. George resident Sally Jones, chair of Peace Action New York City. In spite of the borough's reputation as a Republican stronghold, the Island also has a long-standing presence of progressives, she said. "We're like a microcosm of the whole country here; there's a little of everything," said Ms. Jones, noting the growing progressive movement in the borough in light of what many call the failings of this Republican administration. "We really are a political bellwether."

Ellen Jaedicke, a Silver Lake resident and member of the United States Government Department of Peace Campaign, handed out information on a federal bill written years before the politically polarizing aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. The would-be law calls for the creating of a U.S. Department of Peace. The agency would not be intended to contradict or counteract the Department of Defense or any other already existing governmental structure, only to add to the chorus of voices, said Ms. Jaedicke. "It is something which would work together with what we have to give another perspective," she said. "We all want to live in peace; nobody really wants war, even people who think it's necessary."

[Duchess Note - The last paragraph mentions NYC Chapter Dept of Peace board member Ellen Jaedicke and also a NYC Kucitizen. Whom I've worked with on several projects in the past two years.]

Monday, November 14, 2005

MESSAGE FROM CARE2 AND THE PETITION SITE TEAM - Because There Is NO Military Solution To Iraq

We cannot wait for our government to plan for peace, and so we must make our government pay attention. Tell Congress - it is time to end the war:

The reality of the situation is that there are no military solutions to this bloodshed. The American military presence threatens Iraqi nationalism, their religion and their culture, and is the main cause of the violence plaguing the country. The White Houses policies, funding and armament of the Shiites and Kurds are pushing Iraq toward civil war. Any rhetoric about human rights, including the rights of women, is derailed by the struggle for power U.S. policies have unleashed. Since the invasion and occupation of Iraq the status and safety of women in the country have declined precipitously. The State Department's own internal surveys show that a majority of Iraqis feel less safe in the presence of the American occupying forces. Please sign this petition and demand that Congressional hearings begin to define an exit strategy now:

David Kusnet, The New Republic
Moreover, Veterans Day is certainly not the venue for a president to attack the opposition party or single out a defeated opponent, as Bush did today. Towards the end of his speech, Bush declared, "While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." He criticized "some Democrats and antiwar critics" for "claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war." Then he did something that no president in recent memory has done: He took what could be read as an implicit shot at the man he defeated, explaining, "Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in Congress this way." Bush then quoted Kerry's statement defending his vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq -- essentially holding Kerry up for ridicule, since Kerry is now a war critic. Do you remember Clinton criticizing Bob Dole in 1997; or Reagan criticizing Walter Mondale in 1985; or even Nixon criticizing George McGovern in 1973? Of course not -- second-term presidents tend to co-opt, not condemn, defeated opponents. Check out rest of article at:

Michael S. Rozeff,

Friday, November 11, 2005


Borrowed this from Cyndy at "Mousemusings", who in turn borrowed it from a fascinating Blog called "Follow Me Here". Both links are listed under "Blog Websites" ... left side column

Eddie Vedder Talks About New Pearl Jam Album Which Is Due Spring 2006 ... Check it out at this link ...

Pearl Jam Feature on the Daily Vault
[Photo of Group at left taken in 2002]
The Daily Vault is featuring Pearl Jam as its Artist of the Month for November. Stop by each day to catch reviews of every studio album in Pearl Jam's catalog, plus a few choice live issues. Go to: and enjoy! Remember to keep on rocking in the free world, or what’s left of it.

QUOTE OF THE DAYThere is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity. Joseph Campbell


Kathleen Sharp, Pacific News Service
Forget groping -- Schwarzenegger's biggest 'woman problem' is the head of California's nurses union, who led a successful movement to defeat his special election initiatives.

John Prados,

Tom Engelhardt,
In keeping with Bush's bass-ackwards management style, we present a gallery of the rogues, criminals and liars he has promoted or awarded for their grave mistakes.

Kevin Zeese,
Military and intelligence officials call for withdrawal.

Jennifer L. Pozner,
Women audacious enough to seek political power are routinely dogged by gender-specific coverage that focuses on their looks, fashion sense and familial relationships.

Kristin Van Tassel, AlterNet
Hurricane Katrina and other recent natural disasters remind us that our technology cannot always save us -- but our neighbors just might.

Anchorage Daily News, 11/10/2005

CBS News, 11/10/2005

Bootleg Series Continues ... Pearl Jam's Digital Download Bootleg Series Continues on Latin American Tour

High-Quality, DRM-Free, Digital Recordings Available Just Hours After the Band's Live Shows at

Following the success of their Digital Download Bootleg series that was introduced this fall on the mostly Canadian North American tour, Pearl Jam's Ten Club announces that they will continue this series for the band's upcoming South America and Mexico dates. High quality, digital downloads of Pearl Jam's live shows will be made available exclusively at beginning with the band's sold out concert in Santiago, Chile.

The digital downloads will be made available for all of Pearl Jam's 2005 Latin American shows just hours after each show has ended; they will include special downloadable artwork and a slideshow specific to each night's show. The Latin America tour digital downloads will be professionally mixed in real-time at each show by Pearl Jam's longtime studio and live engineer, Brett Eliason. Eliason's company, Basecamp Productions, developed the software application that delivers and manages digital downloads. Pearl Jam has opted to encode the digital files at a higher than standard bit rate (192k) in an effort to balance manageable file sizes with very good sound quality. The cost is $9.99 USD per show.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sunday, November 20th at 1pm
Community Church of NYC
40 East 35th Street near Park Avenue
Film Screening of Bob Greenwald's film. For more information, go to …
Presented by Resistance Cinema: Free admission -- donations appreciated

Ron Paul,
Republican member of Congress from Texas spoke before the US House of Representatives on Wednesday, November 2nd

Commentary from “Democracy Now”

Monday, November 14th at 11am
Press Conference & Protest at the new Army Recruiting Center
122 East 103rd Street, off of Lexington Avenue [NYC] in front of Ortiz Funeral Parlor

Join East Harlem activists and political leaders … Councilwoman-Elect Melissa Mark Viverito, State Senator Jose Serrano and Congressman Charles Rangel. For information, to add your name or organization to the supporters list, please call Gloria Quinones at 212-348-8004. The #6 Lexington Avenue local subway goes to 103rd Street Station.

QUOTE OF THE DAYA great many laws in a country, like many physicians, is a sign of malady. Voltaire

MESSAGE FROM SENATOR HARRY REID - 100,000+ for Change in Iraq

Last week I asked you to join me in telling George Bush that he must change the course in Iraq. So far, more than 110,000 of you have signed the petition and more are signing on every hour. Let's keep this momentum going. Together we can tell George Bush right now: You can no longer mislead Congress and the American people. It's time for an Iraq success strategy that will bring our troops home. If you haven't signed please do - and if you have ask your friends to sign by visiting:

In the last week many of you have emailed and called me asking, "How can we be sure the Senate gets the answers on Iraq?" Well there is one way – help Democrats take back the Senate in 2006. I should never have had to force the Senate into a closed session last week, but Republicans were not doing their jobs. For two years they have dragged their feet and refused to provide the American people with the answers they deserve. I pledge to you, when Democrats take back the Senate in 2006, we will get to the bottom of every misdeed this administration has committed. Right now Democrats challenging Republicans in Senate races around the country need your help. Only if they win will we ever be able to get the truth the American people deserve. Please contribute to these Senate candidates and help me hold Republicans accountable:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

If there's any sign that proves we need to rebuild America with better priorities, here it is ... While working families struggle to survive the Gulf Coast hurricanes, shrinking paychecks, high gas and oil prices and lack of insurance, President George W. Bush and his congressional allies want to cut vital survival programs while giving $70 billion in new tax breaks to the rich. The House of Representatives will start voting on these attacks on working families THIS week. Let's post some signs of our own, telling the president and his friends we need some better priorities AND we need them now. By clicking on the link below, you can post a virtual sign protesting the misguided priorities of elected leaders who are fighting for the rich and well-connected rather than regular working families. President Bush and Congress will get your message. Click here:

President Bush's allies in Congress want to slash $50 billion from critical working family programs, including Medicaid, food stamps, child support and student loans. They claim they need the cuts to pay for rebuilding the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast--but in fact every penny of these cuts would get poured into the pockets of the wealthy in the form of still more tax breaks. Let the president and your members of Congress know what you think about these priorities now. Click this link to join the online protest:

Join the online march today to tell the Bush administration and Congress:

Get your priorities straight:

1] DON'T cut vital public programs that families need, such as Medicaid, food stamps, education and housing.
2] Rebuild our crumbling schools, hospitals and highways.
3] Support affordable health care for all.
4] And STOP giving tax breaks to the rich instead of investing in good jobs and a better future for our children.

Let your elected leaders know you expect them to put working families first--before the ultra-rich and politically connected.

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout Editorial
Find a defender of the White House on your television these days, and you are likely to hear them blame Bill Clinton for Iraq. Yes, you read that right. The talking point du jour lately has focused on comments made by Clinton from the mid-to-late 1990s to the effect that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat. The pretzel logic here, of course, is straightforward: this Democratic president thought the stuff was there, and that justifies the claims made by the Bush crew over the last few years about Iraqi weapons. Let's take a deeper look at the facts. Right off the bat, it is safe to say that Clinton and his crew had every reason to believe Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction during the 1990s. For one thing, they knew this because the previous two administrations - Reagan and Bush - actively assisted the Hussein regime in the development of these programs. In other words, we had the receipts.

After the first Gulf War, the United Nations implemented a series of weapons inspections under the banner of UNSCOM, and scoured Iraq for both weapons and weapons production facilities. They lifted bombed buildings off their foundations, they used a wide range of detection technologies, and after seven years of work, they disarmed Iraq. A good place to start any detailed discussion of this matter is with former UNSCOM chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who spent seven years in Iraq searching out and destroying Iraq's weapons and weapons manufacturing capabilities. "After 1998," Ritter reports in a book I wrote in 2002 titled War on Iraq, "Iraq had been fundamentally disarmed. What this means is that 90%-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability, including all of their factories used to produce chemical, biological, nuclear long-range ballistic missiles, the associated equipment of these factories, and the vast majority of the product produced by these factories, had been verifiably eliminated." Read the whole article at ...

Dan Robinson, VOA News [Capital Hill]
Congressman Dennis Kucinich [photo at left] has been a primary force behind these efforts. "The White House Iraq Group is now the subject of a resolution of inquiry that more and more members of the House [of Representatives] are signing on to, to get the documents to determine exactly how did we get to where we are today."

Press Release from Congressman Kucinich

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. J.R.R. Tolkien "The Two Towers"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Don Hazen, AlterNet
In Round II in the battle to make Wal-Mart honest, progressive media gets into the act with a unique editorial collaboration.

John Nichols, The Nation
When he does not have a script in front of him, Bush can barely mumble a restaurant order in Spanish. And his mastery of the intricacies of the western hemisphere is even less impressive.

Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Robert Greenwald's documentary shines a light on who pays for Wal-Mart's cheap products from China: the workers who make them.

NY Times Editorial

Michael Blanding, AlterNet
With a proposed ballot initiative to prevent the deployment of Massachusetts National Guard troops to Iraq, a new coalition hopes to hold a national referendum on the war.

James Carroll, The Boston Globe

Dean Kuipers, LA CityBeat
Longtime Los Angeles politico Jackie Goldberg discusses Schwarzenegger's suicide strategy for Election Day and the corporate takeover of California.

On Monday, October 10th, Maria [NYC DoP member] invited me to join a group of friends in attending a Matthew Shepard Foundation event at jazz club Birdland. The event and light refreshment was a birthday treat to me from Maria, as she wouldn't be able to attend my party on 16th. [She is such a sweet, caring, thoughtful gal.] Karen [NYC DoP] also joined us for two hours of music, tasty food and much joy. All of the performers that evening are talented folk from Broadway, cabaret and entertainment. Wish I could remember their names, but I do recall that one gent is currently in the show "Spamalot". To learn more about the Matthew Shepard Foundation [a young man brutally murdered because he was gay] go to the website at ... ... The goal of this foundation is to replace anti-gay hate crimes with education, understanding, compassion and acceptance. Very much a worthy cause ... please ... lend your support.

Saturday, October 15th, I had scheduled maid service to work on my kitchen and bathroom. Was ready and waiting for the scheduled maid [Sheila] to arrive at 9am. By 9:15am I was getting concerned, so called the agency and spoke with Michael. He said to give it until 10am, as he heard there had been some subway troubles. I took care of some things around the apartment while I waited. By 10:15am there was still no sighting of the maid, nor any phone calls. Now I was getting abit angry, along with being concerned. Called the agency again, spoke with Michael. He'd make some phone calls and get back to me, which he did. [While this was going on I baked cookies.] He said she's not at home and not answering her cell phone. I clearly stated that I required the maid service that day, as I had a party scheduled at my place next day. Michael was so very understanding. He called me back at 12 noon and further discussed the situation. Michael said that if this maid did show up to dismiss her, as her services are no longer necessary, and he'll send another maid [Katherine]. Plus, I would only pay half the fee, as compensation for my troubles. Oh yeah! He called me back after 1pm to say Katherine was on her way, but having subway troubles. We discussed the situation and I mentioned a few alternatives. Michael also asked me about my answering machine message. So I told him about the Dept of Peace campaign and I'm a member of the NYC chapter. He was really jazzed about the whole idea and concept. So I passed on the NYC and national website URLs. Well, Katherine [delightful Caribbean lady] finally showed up at 2:30pm and I picked her up at the subway. Hurray! She did a wonderful job in cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. I was so thankful that I generously tipped her. Amen!

The next day [Sunday, October 16th] dawned sunny, though windy, for my political soiree and birthday party at moi chateau. [Was on medication for a sinus/allergy troubles.] Since the party wasn't supposed to start until 3pm, I had time to make a spinach quiche, tossed salad and veggie/brown rice dish. As well as finish cleaning rest of apartment et al. After a month of organizing and prep work it was time to be hostess again. Those who were able to attend ... Linda, BC [4 months preggers], Andrew, Paul, Cielito, Peter, Nadine, Gail, Larry, Liz, Rob, Carol, Karen and Max. Paul was the first to arrive and brought me a lovely bouquet of yellow long stem roses. In Victorian times yellow represented friendship. After putting the beautiful blooms in two separate vases, for display, the rest of my guests trickled in over a span of 45 minutes. Bringing such goodies as tortilla chips, bottles of wine, guacamole, b-day cards, pumpkin pie, granola/date bars ... it was all wonderful. I was so happy to see everyone. At one point, before it got too congested in the living room, I asked my friend Larry to help me remove the air conditioner and put it away. Also, my friend Cielito brought along 3 books, freebies courtesy of where she works at Charlie Rose TV show. We set up a raffle; put everyone’s name on pieces of paper and in my Indiana Jones hat. Later on at 6pm I held the raffle. Paul, Gail and Peter won the prizes ... which were books on Margaret Cho and Paul Wellstone.

Everyone was enjoying the food, drink and diverse topics of conversation. Networking was going on and the exchanging of business cards. Several had to leave around 5pm or so due to other commitments. At one point I got into this cool conversation with Rob, Cielito, Max and Linda about movies. Mostly regarding LOTRs and Harry Potter. Yeah! I also enjoyed listening to other conversations and occasionally interjecting my thoughts. Around 8:15pm this terrific party broke up and those still hanging out headed home. Took some time to clean everything up and I was able to sit on the sofa to relax at 9:30pm.

[From left to right ... Liz, Gail, Rob, Karen, Carol & Linda ... in my watermelon theme kitchen]

A documentary called "Out of Status" will have its first broadcast in Great Britain on Channel 4. This documentary follows four Muslim families detained or deported in post 9/11 immigration roundups. Channel 4, UK will be airing a broadcast version of "Out of Status" on Wednesday, November 9th at 9pm, on their new Channel More4. Please pass this info on to your friends, especially those in the UK. Feel free to forward this to community organizations as well as people who might be interested. Thank you for your support. We'll keep you posted when it airs in the US.

Below is the link to the Channel 4 website page for Out of Status:

Our website :

Friday, November 04, 2005

[Duchess Note -- New brilliant commentary has been added to FRIENDS OF FRIDAY FORUM. The website is listed at left under "Favorite Links". Check it out and share with others. Peace & Justice!]

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... An elective despotism was not the government we fought for. Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, November 03, 2005


What's Wrong with Samuel Alito: ALITO'S WAY
Karen Pearl, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court constitutes an emergency for anyone concerned about women's self-determination.

Amanda Griscom Little, Grist Magazine
Environmentalists are joining many progressives and Democrats in crying foul over Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
In nominating Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, Bush gave up any pretense of being his own man.
[Duchess Note: That idiot has never been "his own man". Its always been Cheney and Rove (sons of Satan) manipulating the strings of puppet fool. Let's not forget, he's also being controlled by the right-wing fundamentalist Christians. They are so wacko! They've ALL been in charge, never Bushit.]

Mary Lynn F. Jones, AlterNet
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is a doggie treat to the rabid conservative base of the Republican party. Now, the real fight begins.

Stephen Pizzo, News for Real
Bush's record of handling actual crises hardly inspires confidence, which is why his big plan to fight avian flu is just one more cause for worry.

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
The closed session invoked by Harry Reid yesterday was much more than a partisan tactic. It is the first step in telling the public what really happened to lead us into war.

Medea Benjamin, AlterNet
Two months later, many poor and African American evacuees are returning to find a host of policies stacked against them.

David Holthouse, Intelligence Report
As minorities move into the Southern California region known as the Inland Empire, white supremacists unleash a hate crime backlash.

Maggie Brock, Campus Progress
The actress and radio host talks about Hollywood, Washington and the right-wing media machine.


During a fascinating and detailed Peace Alliance conference call on November 1st, Senator Mark Dayton from Minnesota informed us that this week he’ll be sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter to his 99 fellow Senators. This letter will inform his colleagues in the Senate that he has introduced the Dept of Peace and Non-Violence Bill (S.1756) and that he would like their support. Senator Dayton spoke very highly of the work we [ie: Peace Alliance & Dept of Peace campaign] are doing and was grateful of us, (as we are of the senator) for pursuing peace. He also said that next week would be a vital time to call our Senators and inform them of the bill and ask that they educate themselves on it. Senator Dayton provided us with contact info for one of his staffers as well. He suggested we share her name with our respective Senators. Contact Kimberly Jackson in Senator Dayton’s DC office.

Mark your calendars for next week and call - call – call

If you live in NY State or NYC, here are the numbers to call

Senator Clinton: 202 224-4451
Senator Schumer: 202 224-6542

[NOTE: The above piece was written by NYC Dept of Peace board member Kevin Fagan and edited by the Duchess.]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Richard Simon & Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times

John Nichols, The Nation

[Duchess Note ... All I have to say is "Bravo Harry Reid!!" May I suggest to all who read these articles or know about this via Air America, WBAI or other progressive news. Please call or fax your senators and let them know how you feel about this. I, for one, urge my senators ... DO NOT COMPROMISE - WE AMERICANS WANT & DESERVE THE TRUTH.]

CINDY SHEEHAN FOR PRESIDENT Or Senate. The Anti-War Left Seeks a Challenger for Hillary Clinton

[Photo at left taken by Reuters down in DC on October 27th. Sheehan (at right) with supporters walk from White House to Iraqi Embassy to lay a wreath. Click on the link posted below photo to read more on this inspiring woman.]

Kristen Lombardi, Village Voice