Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Thursday, March 31 will be a Retirement Security National Day of Action in New York City. Please join others who support Social Security and oppose those who wish to dismantle it for a rally and press conference starting at 4:30 PM at One Madison Ave. Together, we can show those who are funding the GOP effort to privatize our retirements that we won't let Republicans sell our retirement security to Wall Street. Retirement Security National Day of Action ... March 31, 2005 ... 4:30 PM ... One Madison Avenue in NYC

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself. Archibald Macleish

An Important, Exciting Message from Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Tuesday, April 5, I will relaunch, the Web site originally used for my 2004 Presidential campaign. Dedicated to empowering activists nationwide, will be a platform for educating and organizing around the issues that brought millions of people together to create a politics with heart and intelligence, celebrating our highest capabilities and enabling the triumph of hope over fear. The theme of the new will be "Insight and Action." To aid in the education and empowerment of activists everywhere, I will share my insights on a range of critical issues. I'll give calls to specific action and provide specific tools to help engage supporters in working to change the world, starting in your own communities.

In a new feature, Report from Washington, I will provide my inside view of late-breaking events from right inside the Capitol. Updated frequently, even several times a day if issues warrant, this report will be your link to what's happening, as it happens. In a new streaming video presentation, I challenge the Administration's plan for privatization of Social Security. This presentation also will be available for purchase on disk and tape, and in a downloadable slide show, suitable for use in grassroots organizing. Those who are prepared to take organizing to a new level and wish to hold Town Hall meetings in their communities will be able to sign up through the website to arrange to have me call in to answer questions after the presentation of this video. This is just the beginning of a new series of Town Hall videos, starting with Social Security and extending to a range of other critical topics. With these insights and tools, you'll be empowered to discuss the issues confidently, to organize, and to carry the message to others. Spring is here. We're back. Together, we'll create a new beginning.


Pratap Chatterjee, AlterNet
Halliburton is being sued by the family of a truck driver killed in a gun battle for deliberately endangering the lives of its employees in Iraq.

Larisa Alexandrovna,
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter says Neocons are parasites "that latch onto democracy until it is no longer convenient."

Josie Byzek, AlterNet
When looking at the Terri Schiavo case, I ask my fellow progressives to tweeze the disability perspective out of the culture war rhetoric of either "life at all costs" or "better dead than disabled."

Camille Dodero, Boston Phoenix
After a brief stint as a slick, celebrity-driven mag, the pot-appreciation magazine High Times is back to its roots -- and readers are inhaling deeply.

Molly Ivins, AlterNet
In the long history of monumentally bad ideas, the Cheney energy policy is a standout for reasons of both omission and commission. Dumb, dumber and dumbest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


[Duchess in center wearing pink scarf & hanging out with other members of NYC DoP]

[Inspirational Readings by members of NYC DoP]

[Peaceful songs by guest musicians & enjoyed by many]

[Reading quotes by many famous peace activists, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King & Congressman Kucinich]

[We even paid homage to the late, great John Lennon. "Imagine" peace is possible.]

Monday, March 28, 2005

The most recent polls on the Iraq war and occupation show that a majority of Americans want to see the troops brought home within the year. And, a majority believe the war was a mistake. Yet, the war rages on. Lives - American and Iraqi - continue to be lost. We have the power to end the war and bring the troops home. We just need to exercise our power. I'm writing to you today to ask for your support in helping to end the war. Our work is more important than ever.

Donald Rumsfeld is in the process of developing a plan to "re-make" U.S. armed forces. The still secret plan was recently reported on in The Wall Street Journal. It calls for two major areas of growth in the Pentagon: (1) rapid response forces that can respond to insurgencies before they become a threat and (2) expansion of U.S. investment in military technology so that China and Europe do not even consider trying to challenge us militarily. This plan is sure to continue the expansion of the military industrial complex, the depletion of resources for the necessities of the American people and continued military adventurism around the world, as in Iraq whose invasion Bush's own CIA Director Porter Goss testified recently that Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists saying: These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced in and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups, and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries."

We need to redouble our efforts - not only to end the Iraq quagmire, but to challenge the wastes and diversions of the massive military budget that now absorbs half of the entire federal operating budget! Visit http://DemocracyRising.US and read the article about the legendary Professor Seymour Melman - look at how we are trading investment in U.S. public works (infrastructure) and the needs of our citizens compared to spending money on exorbitant and redundant military hardware.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Commentary by Heather Boushey

Editorial from Capital Times [Madison, WI]

Molly Ivins, Daily Camera

Commentary by Norman Soloman

Judy Ettenhofer, Capital Times

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy. David Korten [The Post Corporate World]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Judith Krieger, York Daily Record

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... No constitution, no court, no law can save liberty when it dies in the hearts and minds of men. John Perkins

On Wednesday, March 9th, I briefly attended the NYC Chapter Dept of Peace meetup at Bonobo's [vegan restaurant]. Nibbled on these tasty honey flavor truffles, that just melts in your mouth. Yummers! Ellen, Joe and Maria were also there. We talked about many topics before I had to split. Always a pleasure hanging out with DoP and Kucitizen folk.

On Thursday, March 10th, the NYC Chapter Dept of Peace had its monthly board meeting. This time it was held at Karen's office in a nice, cozy conference room near Bryant Park. Those in attendance were Marie, Joe, Carol, Karen, Liz, Dawn, Kevin, Ellen and I. One of the highlights of the evening was the "Election of Officers" and I was elected Board Secretary. [Yippee!] After the election process Karen brought out champagne to celebrate and Joe brought cookies. We accomplished much with our agenda and committees. Plus, we decided on where we'd hold "Peace Vigil" on March 19th. [That date is 2nd Anniversary of the corrupt US government invasion and occupation of Iraq. Bushie Regime is filled with repressive, immoral, greedy liars.] I had suggested upper Westside of Central Park and Kevin added that we should do the two hour event at Lennon's memorial [ie: Strawberry Fields]. Everyone agreed on the plan and time frame. Overall a most productive evening spent with warm hearted, like-minded individuals.

On Saturday, March 12th, I headed up to Yonkers Ferret Shelter to do volunteer work. Which I enjoy very much and even find it to be abit therapeutic. In some areas [during the night and early morning] received abit of snow, though none showed up in Brooklyn. [Seems to be winters last hurrah.] On the train ride up to Yonkers I happily read a Sharpe book by Cornwell. Arrived at shelter to find a 30-something couple with Joanne checking out the adoptable furkids. Out of the 25 ferrets, she had about 16 adoptees out for inspection. I've never seen so many out at one time and found it quite amusing. After much consideration and asking of questions, the couple decided on two handsome males and one small adorable female. The couple did have 4 ferrets at home, but recently had to euthanize one that was very sickly. The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning ferret ears, clipping paw nails, brushing fur and general socializing. Joanne told me that dear Fuzzbutt died shortly after my last visit. Poor little fella, he was always such a good fuzzy. After tea break and conversation with Joanne I filled up all the water bottles, changed poopy trays and mopped the floors. Another happy, productive day!

The next day, on March 13th, I joined other NYC Chapter Dept of Peace members in tabling at the Marianne Williamson lecture/event at Covenant House. We handed out many flyers, along with postcards. [NYC DoP members on hand were Joe, Maria, Liz, Karen, Carol, Ellen & I.] Some of the highlights of Marianne's lecture were ... Myth of Objective Reality, lift the veil to experience paradise, God did not put the veil there but our own thinking is the culprit, spiritualism to help depression and focus on what was done right not the negative. She quoted a German physicist ... "Every point in universe is equal". Plus, she stressed that "God dwells within you. The light is within." These events always bring in about 700+ people. Lots of good vibes & our DoP group got an honorable mention. Before leaving our group got to spend about 5 to 10 minutes conversing with Marianne. She had much praise for ALL the DoP campaign groups throughout the US. Afterwards a few of us went out to dinner at a really good Thai place on West 23rd Street that Carol knew about. Wonderful food, plus fun and fascinating conversation. Great way to cap off a terrific weekend.

On Monday, March 14th, I enjoyed dining out with Peter and Nadine. [Whom I know through NYC Friends of Kucinich & Democracy for America. Actually, they both got me interested in DFA.] Their both terrific, intelligent, down-to-earth folk. I met up with Nadine at her place of employment, which is not far from my office. We took the subway to meet Peter at the restaurant in the east village. Totally funky restaurant in the east village called "Caravan of Dreams". [On East 6th Street near 1st Avenue.] I highly recommend this restaurant to those who are vegetarian, vegan and also enjoy organic plus kosher food. We had fun talking about lots of current topics and our respective jobs. I also invited them to join NYC Dept of Peace during our vigil on 19th.

On Wednesday, March 16th, was the monthly NYC DoP conference call at 9pm. We didn't stay on for long ... there was myself and three other NYC DoP members [ie: Joe, Maria & Kevin] on the call. Guess folk must have been getting ready for St Patrick’s Day celebrations, which was the next day. In fact, that was one of the topics of discussion. Kevin was all set to play the Leprechaun. Other topics touched on during the 40 minute call were ... budgeting funds, contacting NY State congressional team leaders, Ministries of Peace are being formulated in Canada/UK, Humanities Team, Global Renaissance Alliances and the books called "Conversations with God". If you wish to take part in these calls and are interested in DoP, go to

On Saturday, March 19th, while others throughout NYC and the USA, plus the world were holding rallies, protests and marches on the second anniversary of the US invasion/occupation of Iraq. NYC Dept of Peace members held a Peace Vigil in Central Park from 3pm to 5pm. [Weather was a nice, sunny spring day. Amen!] We chose Strawberry Fields on the upper Westside, near the late John Lennon’s home [ie: the Dakota]. This area usually gets lots of pedestrian traffic from locals and tourists. So it was a shoe-in we'd always have 20+ there at any given time. I arrived at the location at 2:45pm to find that Carol and Karen were present. Also, a musician [portable keyboard] and singer came with Carol to provide most of the musical entertainment. My bad for not remembering their names, but trust me, their songs were inspirational. As other DoP members showed up, we discussed our strategy for the next two hours, plus set up around half of the Lennon memorial. [I took photos & should have them to display online by early next week.]

The main objective of our Peace Vigil, as so wonderfully put by Carol our Chapters chairperson:

"In the spirit of remembrance and protest we will share silent reflection, inspirational readings and music of various traditions. This event is FREE and ALL are welcome. It is our offering of peace, love and healing to all who are harmed by war; civilian and soldier alike."

DoP members who were in attendance ... Joe, Maria, Kevin, Liz, Ellen, Carol, Karen and myself. Kevin's wife and two adorable little girls were there, as were Liz's hubby and their two playful little boys. Also, Liz's sister and her daughter were on hand. Maria's friend Kelly was there to be supportive. I also invited some friends and acquaintances. So happy that Max, Cielito, Thomas [his girlfriend Kim], Peter & Nadine showed up. Ellen’s friend Kenny also showed up. The two hour agenda basically consisted of song, inspirational readings, poetry and handing out of flyers. Three cops strolled through halfway through our event. They didn't stop long enough and figured we weren't a threat to society. It was a wonderfully peaceful event. The evening before I made cookies [ie: chocolate chip & Grape Nuts vegan bars] to share with friends and DoP members. Nothing was left by end of the event. Plus, we sold two t-shirts and answered inquiries of many individuals. Afterwards I joined Liz [hubby & boys], her sister and Kevin [wife & girls] in going out to dinner at a place called JOSIES on Amsterdam Avenue. It was an entertaining meal with five active children. The food was good, though abit pricey. Kevin, his wife and I got to talking about Pearl Jam. Their actually big U2 fans, but have also been to several Pearl Jam gigs. [Many of their political views mirror our own.] I need to send Kevin my list of CD boots.

More "personal news" coming down the turnpike, so stay tuned amigos.

Monday, March 21, 2005

by Gene Stout, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Pearl Jam didn't just rock the house Friday night. It rocked the school. And all for a good cause.

Haider Rizvi, The Inter Press Service
We need policies at home to help the poor, not war," said Ted Desoyza, a 76-year-old woman holding a coffin draped in a U.S. flag. "This war is for the big companies and their profits. They have no right to rule our country." "We mourn the death of all," added anther woman who stood next to Desoyza, while holding a coffin draped in black, a symbolic act to mourn the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians at the hands of U.S. military. [The above photo was taken in central London (England).]

Abid Aslam,

Tens of thousands of protesters ralled in cities and towns across America over the weekend to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and to demand that U.S. troops stationed there be brought home. [The above photo was taken in central Budapest (Hungary).]


Dick J. Reavis, AlterNet
Thousands convene in North Carolina to focus the peace movement's gaze on Iraq war veterans, bereaved families, active-duty soldiers and their kin.

David Borden, DRCNet
If there were any teenagers in America who didn't know that steroids can enhance athleticism, they almost certainly know it now.

Arianna Huffington, AlterNet
In any freshman course in logic, the White House reasoning would collapse,shot full of holes.

Jack Shanahan, AlterNet
A poll indicates that 65 percent of Americans favor cutting the Pentagon's budget -- and putting that money in domestic programs.

Juan Cole,
President Bush and his supporters are taking credit for spreading freedom across the Middle East. But where changes are genuinely occurring they have nothing to do with the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Scott Klinger, AlterNet
As the number of billionaires in the world expands, so does the number of those in poverty.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The only real failure is the failure to grow from what we go through. Marianne Williamson [author of "The Gift of Change"]

Friday, March 18, 2005


Wednesday, February 23rd, I attended "American Composers Orchestra" eventat Carnegie Hall. Celebrated conductor Steven Sloane was on hand toshowcase new music by three composers [ie: M.Romero, I.Marshall &D.Elfman]. I was there mainly to hear and see Andy Summers [from the early1980s rock group The Police] on the second piece called "Dark Florenscence: Variations for Two Guitars & Orchestra". Andy was on electric guitar and the other gent [Benjamin Verdery] on acoustic classical guitar. It was a terrific piece and my fav of the evening. Not because Andy brilliantly performed on it, but because I felt it won out over the other two. It was great seeing Andy perform live in NYC again, as its been over a year since he was last in town. Had a good seat in the orchestra and about halfway back on aisle.

Sunday, February 27th, went to see two free documentaries [ie: "About Baghdad" and "The Great Conspiracy - 9/11 News Special You Never Saw"] at the Community Church on East 35th Street. Also sponsored by The Resistance Cinema. The first film was done back in July 2003 by a native Iraqi man [ie: Sinan Antoon] who fled back in early 1990s. During that July of 2003 he went all over Baghdad interviewing a variety of people [ie: Iraqi & US soldiers]. What many had to say would surprise Americans who only listen to the Corporate Media trash that fills their heads with blatant lies. Seek truth, for it is right there in front of you with these type of documentaries, not Fox News. Many of the visuals in the film would break your heart, especially of the poor dear children.

The second film was on a topic close to the hearts of many New Yorkers ...9/11. Producer Barry Zwicker, and author of "9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in the USA", narrates this documentary that really gets one to thinking. [Questions bubble to the top, such as ... The official story doesn't add up and there is evidence of a coverup. There were 7 years of warnings since 1994, as well as many warnings months before that fatal day. Pentagon attack is questionable. Why did Bush and Cheney limit the 9/11 Commission investigation? Why the media silence? Who benefits from the attacks? And so it goes on.] This documentary is an important one to own and watch, as well as share with others. Some of the websites related to 9/11 and this film are:

Tuesday, March 1st, participated in the monthly national Dept of Peace conference call from home. The call was about 60 minutes long and people from 35 different US cities joined in. The moderators of the call were Dot Maver and a gent named Matthew. Guest speaker on the call was the wonderfully inspiring Marianne Williamson. Some of the topics she touched on were ... empowerment, inner eye shows truth, constitution is framework of decision making, there are repressive elements in society and the Peace Alliance is an "arm of a vast greater global movement". Her other inspiring comments were ... we must learn to live more peacefully, imparative to live in peace and that human despair leads to violence. After these terrific calls I always feel so jazzed and inspired, as well as happy that I'm involved with NYC Dept of Peace campaign. To learn more about Marianne Williamson [ie: author, activist & lecturer] go to her website at ... Also, during the conference call, it was announced that the 7th Annual Global Nonviolence Conference is being held April 16th thru 20th. And that Congressman Dennis Kucinich may appear. To learn more, go to ...

Wednesday, March 2nd, I attended my second monthly "Democracy for America" meetup. This one was held near my neighborhood in Brooklyn, which meant I walked home and not dealt with subways. That works for me. [smiling] Never been in that part of the hood, so it was interesting to check it out. Came across a charming, cosy diner called Union Star, which I plan on sampling at a later date. Their menu looks like "comfort food" central. Norm Siegel, NYC Public Advocate candidate and a democrat, was the evenings guest speaker. [I'd briefly met him once before at an upper westside houseparty back in October. His website is ...] Most folk at the meetup were Howard Dean supports and excited that he's now chair of the DNC. The turnout for the meetup was quite good ... around 15 people and some whom live not far from me. Engaged in fascinating conversation with several and exchanged business cards. Overall an excellent evening and I handed out all of my NYC Dept of Peace postcards. Hell yeah!

The Kucinich 2008 meetup was cancelled on March 3rd, due to low attendance. At work that day I did further training on billing/invoicing with Christie. As I'll be taking on this challenging responsibility sometime soon. Friday, March 4th, Ellen and I conference called Cate in the Kucinich DC office to discuss DJKs availability for NYC events in April. That evening I joined Bill [fellow Kucitizen] at an impromptu Green Party [ie: DemocracyRising] dinner/meeting down near South Street Seaport.

Over the past week I finally finished reading SHARPES REVENGE AND SHARPES WATERLOO, books by Bernard Cornwell. Just like all the books in this series ... they were terrific, fascinating and lots of amazing detail. I'm told that British actor Sean Bean has narrated two Cornwell audio books ... Sharpes Tiger and Sharpes Devil. Been trying to locate them in several bookstores around Manhattan. May have to purchase them online. I know, I know, she's so obsessed with Sharpe. Sigh!

by Gene Stout
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Pop Music Critic

MESSAGE FROM PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA -- 43 Congress Members Vote in Opposition to Additional Funding for Iraq War -- Pass On The News & Contact Your Congressman

[Duchess Note ... Was very happy to read that many of my NY State Congressional representatives made a wise and correct vote on this issue. So did Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who's 2004 Presidential campaign I happily worked on. Bravo to all!]

On March 16, 2005, the U.S. House of Represenatives voted 388-43 to provide another $81.4 billion for continued U.S. occupation of Iraq. While the margin has been described as lopsided in the press, we know that the Congressional anti-war movement is, in fact, growing fast, thanks in part to YOUR e-mails and phone calls! Now is the time to join with PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA in congratulating and thanking the fearless forty-three who voted against this funding.

They are: Abercrombie (D-HI), Baldwin (D-MN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capuano (D-MA), Clay (D-MO), Coble (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Duncan (R-TN), Farr (D-CA), Filner (D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hastings (D-FL), Hinchey (D-NY), Holt (D-NJ), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), Maloney (D-NY), Markey (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), McGovern (D-MA), McKinney (D-GA), Meehan (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Owens (D-NY), Pallone (D-NJ), Paul (R-TX), Payne (D-NJ), Rangel (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Schakowsky (D-IL), Serrano (D-NY), Stark (D-CA), Thompson (D-CA), Tierney (D-MA), Towns (D-NY), Velazquez (D-NY), Waters (D-CA), Weiner (D-NY) and Woolsey (D-CA).

If any of these are YOUR congressional representatives, they need to hear from you now to know they have the active support of their constituents. If your congressional representative is not on the list, they, too, need to hear from you. Let them know you are watching and that you disapprove. It remains important that you and others who agree with your position call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative. Thanks for all you do!

TWO YEARS LATER....2nd Anniversary of the US Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
This weekend will mark the second anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Since March 19, 2003, more than 1,500 U.S. soldiers have been killed. Tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children have lost their lives. This weekend AlterNet Headlines join our friends at and Sojourners in calling for citizens around the globe to gather together at candlelight vigils in your local communities. More than 800 vigils have already been planned around the country to mark and mourn two years of war in Iraq.

Sign up for a vigil near you...
Organize a vigil yourself ...

In Alternet's coverage of the two-year anniversary, we tackle three aspects of the war -- the people fighting, the people protesting, and how we can get out.

Gareth Porter looks at the exit strategy ...
Peter Gorman talks to families with children serving in Iraq...
Katherine Brengle points out that the peace movement is alive and well...
Adam Waxman looks at youth activism planned in Ft. Bragg...
And reporter Greg Palast unveils the secret U.S. plans for Iraqi oil -- inthe works long BEFORE 9/11 ...

Thursday, March 17, 2005


"Who Knew...Dennis Kucinich"
Imagine my surprise when I saw Congressman Dennis Kucinich featured in none other than the April issue of Yoga Journal! Apparently this poster boy for the hero archetype is a serious meditator. He says it allows him to "rise above the political fray." Go Dennis! Of course, Cielito can shed some insight since she ran as his delegate during his remarkably enduring 2004 presidential campaign endorsed by the likes of Danny Glover and Sean Penn. So here's the official Elle Empire shout-out to Dennis Kucinich, who's own life sounds like a Hollywood hero story! Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!

Cielito [seen here with Congressman Kucinich] has seen this hero do an astounding yoga handstand!

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... All of us have special gifts, all of us are born to shine. Marianne Williamson [author of "The Gift of Change"]


Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet
It's not the number of women in the newsroom that counts towards diversity. It's what they have to say.

Chris Nolan, Politics From Left to Right
Why aren't there more women bloggers? Chris Nolan runs it down for you.

Amanda Griscom Little, Grist Magazine
A razor-thin Senate vote to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling sends enviros reeling. If they can get into the Arctic, then no place is off-limits.

Kristian Williams, Columbia Journalism Review
Fusing images with text, comics can convey far more than traditional news stories to a readership hungry for voice and meaning.

Sabrina Ford, Pop and Politics
The fact that McDonald’s markets their chemically-engineered goodies to black people using people who look like us is nothing new. But their latest efforts – ads featuring the Williams’s sisters and bootleg spoken word – is just wrong!

Karen J. Greenberg,
The Bush administration's legal battle with terrorism is over-hyped, ineffective, and suggests a deep contempt of human rights and the law.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Rockers Wrapping New Album - Readying Tour

Pearl Jam are almost finished with their follow-up to 2002's Riot Act. The band plans to spend the next three weeks in the studio recording vocals and mixing. If all goes according to plan, the yet-to-be-titled disc could be released as early as May. "There's a lot more up-tempo stuff," says drummer Matt Cameron. "It's a lot more rockin' than our last one." Song titles like "Severed Hand," "Worldwide Suicide" and "2x4" seem to reflect that harder edge. Though the track listing has not been finalized, other candidates include "Marker" and "Cold Concession." Cameron, who teamed with guitarist Mike McCready on the track "Unemployable," characterizes the sessions as more collaborative. "Were worked everything together in the studio," he says. "It's a really healthy environment -- everyone really just wants to dig in and make the songs as good as they can be." Pearl Jam hope to support the new record with a summer tour.

NYC Chapter Dept of Peace Campaign Holding A Peace Vigil
Saturday March 19th
3pm -5pm
Strawberry Fields in Central Park [Rain or Shine]
Please join The NY State local chapter Department of Peace Campaign as we gather together on the 2nd anniversary of the US lead invasion of Iraq. In the spirit of remembrance and protest we will share silent reflection, inspirational readings and music of various traditions. This event is FREE and ALL are welcome. It is our offering of peace, love and healing to all who are harmed by war; civilian and soldier alike. Please join us. Entrance to Strawberry Fields is on West 72nd Street and Central Park.

Due to many activists like you, Wall Street investment groups are ducking for cover and disavowing Social Security privatization. Now it's time for the giant Charles Schwab firm to come clean and put working people's interests ahead of potential private account profits, too.

On March 14th the Financial Services Forum, made up of CEOs of big finance companies, dropped out of Compass, the group leading financial industry support for President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. Last week, as working family activists prepared to demonstrate outside its Kansas office, the investment firm of Waddell & Reed announced it left the pro-privatization Alliance for Worker Retirement Security. "The firm has a history of listening to its clients and being sympathetic and supportive of their issues. Please accept our withdrawal as such proof," John Sundeen Jr., the company's executive vice president, wrote to the AFL-CIO. But Charles Schwab has refused to budge. Please take a minute now to tell Charles Schwab to end its support of Social Security privatization. Click here ...

Investment firms have gotten the message that working people--including their clients--would be hurt by Social Security privatization because it would slash guaranteed benefits, explode the deficit, open Social Security up to corruption and make our retirement security problems worse. The Edward Jones investment firm pulled out of the Alliance for Worker Retirement Security previously, following protests and e-mails from activists like you. But Charles Schwab is holding firm. Although privatization would slash clients' guaranteed benefits, Wall Street firms like Schwab "could reap billions of dollars in management fees and commissions over the long term" if Social Security is privatized, according to the Jan. 18 Los Angeles Times. That's a clear conflict of interest.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

DUCHESS NOTE ... A year ago [2004] I was doing volunteer work for Congressman Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign. About 50 of us Kucitizens gathered to join other activists and protestors in the 1st Anniversary rally/march of the US invasion/occupation of Iraq. It was a sunny, chilly day with many out in full force. Here are some of the pix I took that day.

This Saturday, March 19th, marks the 2nd anniversary of the US corrupt occupation of Iraq. Check out events in your town or city across America. Let the politicians in your area, as well as Congress, know that you want the troops out of Iraq and the Middle East NOW. We have no right to be there ... let the Iraqi work things out. Its their country and resources ... NOT OURS.

Monday, March 14, 2005

[Duchess Note ... The following commentary on Congressman Kucinich is by Jason White from THE PROPEACE COMMUNITY SITE [] A terrific blog for those interested in peace related events, topics, activists, etc. Enjoy!]

by Jason White on March 13, 2005

Kucinich is an inspiration. Individuals like Kucinich are rare in our world. This is a person who is deeply connected to our common humanity, and who is courageous enough to illuminate a path through our dark tendencies and their manifestations in the world. This is a person who can blur the line between podium and pulpit, policy and morality, politics and spirituality, all the while maintaining poise, accessibility, humility, equanimity and a sense of humor. His presence is one of greatness, yet it feels completely natural, comfortable and unintimidating. How fortunate we are for Dennis Kucinich.

There are many specific things that were touched on in the discussion today at Unity on the River in Amesbury, MA. But the idea that sticks with me most is the idea that what we think tends to become a forgone conclusion. If we think that war is the only choice, then we will not see the path to peace; we will go to war. Thoughts lead to words lead to action.

Hopefully I will be able to post audio and video of the event here in the next few days. I will also post more of my thoughts on today's event. I encourage you to do the same. Please comment on this blog entry, create your own blog entry, discuss in the discussion forum section of this site. What are your thoughts? Let them lead to words. Let the words lead to action.


Those who are pushing for continued occupation of Iraq know they cannot do so unless they can lull the American public into silence. They believe if they can downplay the casualties they won't break through the thin ice of popular support. Do they have YOUR support in this?

In the next couple weeks there are major demonstrations planned in protest, plus the Congress will be asked to cough up yet another 80 billion dollars ($80,000,000,000.00) to be raided from every other pressing social or economic program in our already busted budget. We already know the TV cameras are controlled by people with instructions to point them away from the masses who will turn out next week, people who may have traveled many miles to make their voices heard by their presence. That is why we are appealing for all those who care about what our government is doing in Iraq to take just a minute and one click to SPEAK OUT NOW by submitting a personal message to all their members of Congress as well, whatever other action you taking.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... It is time to die to who we used to be and to become instead who we are capable of being. Marianne Williamson [The Gift of Change]

Commentary by Murray MacAdam
[Duchess Note ... I totally agree with MacAdam's commentary. Its time to take a stand and boycott US products. Hit the rich, greedy bastards were it hurts, right in their wallets. They only love money & don't give a damn about their fellow man nor the environment. Spread the word! We can do it!]
A boycott of U.S. products might seem like an extreme step. But many citizens of Muslim nations started boycotting American products when the U.S. invaded Iraq two years ago. They were joined by a growing number of Europeans and even some Americans, led by Adbusters’ Boycott Brand America campaign. The recent near-murder of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena by U.S. troops in Iraq is sure to bolster the ranks of Europeans who boycott the U.S. The British consumer group Ethical Consumer found that 20 percent of European and Canadian consumers questioned in a recent survey said they avoid buying U.S. products to protest the Iraq war and U.S. foreign policy. The Victoria Peace Coalition has endorsed a U.S. boycott. To read more of this article, go to:

Jim Wallis Commentary, AlterNet
Much of the religious right's agenda is in direct contradiction to Christ's own teachings and most devout Christians know it.

[Compiled by NYC Kucitizen Linda Z ... thanks sistah!]

Monday March 7, 2005 Ohio Leaders Plan to Fight NASA Budget Cuts
Note: This is an audio file which can be played on Real Player and Windows Media Player, but Dennis Kucinich has a quick quote about the status of workers at NASA Glenn in Cleveland.

Wednesday March 9, 2005 Officials preparing for RTA takeover
"We wanted to make sure service was maintained and people kept their jobs," Council Streets and Transportation Committee Chairman George Nashar said. "We've done the best we can with those and now it's down to passing the legislation. I think city officials and the people at Congressman (Dennis) Kucinich's office did all they could in these negotiations."

Thursday March 10 Alliance turns proposed NASA cuts into airline-safety debate (Office of DK mentioned) ... The Plain Dealer

Monday March 7, 2005 (from the website of Congressman Kucinich. This is a must-read for Kucitizens!) ... Kucinich On House Floor: NMD Is A Failure

Monday March 7, 2005 NE Ohioans seek out details on Social Security plan.
Democrats discuss bill not yet written. [The Plain Dealer]

This evening, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland will host his ninth town hall meeting on Social Security -- more than 2,000 people have attended the earlier forums.

Monday March 7, 2005 Alliance Kicks Off To Create Dept. Of Peace
The Loan Star Iconoclast is a newspaper from Crawford, Texas.

Tuesday March 8, 2005 Xavier’s Peace and Justice Program
The program’s co-founder and director, Benjamin J. Urmston is an enthusiastic supporter of the United States Department of Peace extolled by far-left Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Front Page Magazine – “A cutting edge magazine of politics and culture”, with commentary from the right (Ann Coulter) and the left.

Tuesday March 8, 2005 Job-training bill passes with GOP opposition (As reported by Jackie Kucinich, DK’s daughter) ... The Hill (Ironically, recently THE HILL has published an article critical of DK, of course NOT written by Jackie.)

Wednesday March 9, 2005 The War Path of Unity An excerpt from Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush by Joshua Frank
(I don’t usually include negative coverage of DK or his Presidential Campaign, but I thought this article about the anti-war movement, which had no representation among the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, once John Kerry was nominated, is appropriate as we mark this tragic second anniversary in Iraq and are anticipating a possible attack on Iran.)

Wednesday March 9, 2005 Veterans fighting again - this time for their benefits
Kucinich hears, shares complaints on Bush budget

(Dennis Kucinich, as a leader of the anti-war movement, is mentioned in this article) A government consultant close to the Pentagon told Seymour Hersh, "The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible.”

Thursday March 10, 2005 US Congress issues subpoenas for baseball steroids hearing
(This is a big story on the newswires in the U.S. and Canada, from a public relations point of view, D.K. will get wide spread exposure on this issue and more people will come to know who he is.) "It should be about lifting baseball up out of this cloud - no witch hunts, no intention to force somebody into a position where they will be prosecuted," committee member Dennis Kucinich told ESPN. "The hearings have to be conducted in a way that is not prosecutory. It should not be a witch hunt. It should not be about putting people in jail. It should be about looking at the issue, raising the discussion.”

Thursday March 10, 2005 Congresswoman Tubbs Jones Secures Over $17 Million in Funding Through Transportation Equity Act Bill
"I would like to recognize the entire Ohio Delegation, particularly the efforts of Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Steven LaTourette and their contributions of additional funds to my funding requests for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio," stated Rep. Tubbs Jones. "This legislation will provide necessary economic development, job creation and will assist efforts to revitalize the Downtown Cleveland area." (From the website of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of the 11th District in Cleveland)

Friday March 11, 2005 Baseball tries to cut a deal with Congress SUBPOENAS: Game's officials hoping to send different players to testify
"It's time to have a national discussion about the expectations which are placed on professional athletes," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. "We expect athletes to be superhuman, and then when they find a way to accomplish feats that are seemingly beyond those of mere mortals, we reward them." [San Francisco Chronicle]

March 12th 2005 Saturday Canseco Lawyer: Justice Weighs Immunity
NEW YORK - Jose Canseco's request for immunity when he testifies at a congressional hearing on steroids next week is being considered by the Justice Department, according to the former AL MVP's lawyer....Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat on the committee, also supported immunity. "If we want people to testify, we cannot expect they're going to put their personal freedom on the line, at least if we want to get any answers," he said. "It would not serve this country well to make this a run-up to sending somebody to jail. If that's what this is about, count me out. I'm not interested in it, and I'll say so at the hearings. I don't think either the chairman or the ranking member are interested in that. They are interested in a fair and a thorough investigation about the health risks of steroids."

On March 13th (Sunday) Congressman Kucinich will speak at Unity on the River in Amesbury Mass:Unity on the River, 58 Macy St. (Route 110 West), Amesbury. Pastor is Rev. Shipley Allinson. 978-834-7830.
U.S. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio and 2004 presidential candidate will speak at worship services and a workshop at Unity on the River, Sunday, March 13. The services are at 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. The workshop follows at 1 p.m. Special guest soloist is Patty Barkas of Boston. She performs a wide range of music ranging from musical theater, Oratorio to commercial pop/alternative rock. All are invited to attend the service and workshop. Proceeds from donations for the workshop will support Water Partners International, an organization committed to providing clean drinking water to communities in developing countries. Water Partner's ( was selected for Rep. Kucinich's work towards protecting the environment, specifically related to water issues.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
NRDC Action Fund

We won! Earlier today, the Senate Environment Committee deadlocked 9-9 over President Bush's so-called Clear Skies bill, which means it will die in committee. One Republican and one Independent joined seven Democrats in voting against the bill. This is a huge victory over a terrible piece of legislation -- crafted by some of America's biggest polluters -- that would have taken a devastating toll on our health, our families and our environment.

I cannot thank NRDC's Members enough for the tens of thousands of messages you sent your senators on this issue. In the weeks leading up to this critical vote, we kept the pressure on the Senate through an all-out campaign of grassroots activism, paid advertising and intensive lobbying. I can tell you firsthand that your online activism helped make the difference. This is a great day for clean air, but it is much more than that, too. By blocking one of the worst pieces of anti-environmental legislation in the new Congress, we've sent President Bush a message loud and clear that he's in for a tougher fight than he bargained for. We will not let him steamroll his pro- industry agenda over the American people.

The president won't back down, of course, and you can be sure we haven't heard the end of his dirty skies bill. Its proponents could try to revive it in committee, or use a procedural trick to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote, or simply attach it as a "rider" to a spending bill. But the NRDC Action Fund will remain vigilant, and you'll be alerted if this bill rears its ugly head again. In the meantime, I hope you'll join me in celebrating this hard-won victory in defense of clean air. And thank you again for helping make it happen!

P.S. If you want to learn more about how the Clear Skies bill would threaten our health and environment, go to:


The Remarkable Ringer ... There was a remarkable exchange during President Bush’s meticulously choreographed townhall meeting in Alabama yesterday. One of the people selected to speak with Bush was a woman named Sarah Garrison Webster. It’s clear that she was chosen because she is a federal employee who is eligible for the federal Thrift Savings Plan, a program that gives federal employees the option of putting some of their retirement money into stocks. Ms. Webster was supposed to be Exhibit A on how much people love to invest their retirement money in stock funds. It didn’t go exactly according to plan:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you something about the Thrift Savings Plan. This is a Thrift Savings Plan that has a mix of stocks and bonds?
MS. WEBSTER: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, how hard was that to learn how to do that?
MS. WEBSTER: And I chose the safe plan, government bonds. (Laughter.)

In other words, Ms. Webster has no interest in risking her retirement money in the stock market. Bush’s privatization plan is so unpopular now, he can’t even find ringers who are interested.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

THE ISLAND ... Director Michael Bay and actors Sean Bean and Ewan McGregor discuss the morality of cloning, as well as some dangerous scenes they filmed. This nine minute "behind the scenes" look at Michael Bay's upcoming film 'The Island'. Check it out at. . . . .

Two years and the Bush Administration is still spending, still lying and our soldier are still dying! March 19th is the second anniversary of the war and occupation of Iraq. Please join “Brooklyn Parents for Peace” in raising our voices against the war and for social justice. Demonstrate against this murderous occupation. Demonstrate for money for schools, jobs, housing and health care, not for war. On Saturday March 19th we will gather at 10:30 am in downtown Brooklyn at the Promenade and Montague Street. We will have symbolic coffins, flags, signs, and informational leaflets about the cost of war both in lives and in money misspent.

At 11:00 am we will march down Montague Street to meet the “War Resisters League” at Borough Hall at 11:30. We will then walk through the Fulton Mall to Flatbush, to the military recruiting office at 41 Flatbush (near Lafayette), where we will read names of those killed in this war, both Iraqis and Americans. We will conclude at 1:00pm. If you can join us on Saturday, March 19th, please reply by e-mail or telephone 718-624-5921, as this will help us to plan. If you don’t know in advance, please join us on Saturday, March 19th, anywhere along the route.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

U.S. premiere of the documentary "Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness"
On April 8, 2003, the same day it bombed the Al Jazeera offices killing one of its journalists, a US military tank fired on the Palestine Hotel and killed two more journalists. Was this intentional? The family of Spanish journalist Jose Couso who died in the attack on the Hotel Palestine presents a compelling case in this 50-minute film that his death was no accident.

AMY GOODMAN will introduce the film and a post-screening presentation by Jose Couso's family. In New York his family members will launch a tour of the U.S. to "break the impunity" and hold the US government accountable.

Reception with refreshments 6:30 p.m.
Program will begin promptly 7 p.m.
Reidy Fellowship Hall at Unitarian Church of All Souls
1157 Lexington Avenue (79-80 Streets)
No charge, but voluntary contributions appreciated

This event is a collaboration of Resistance Cinema (a project of the Education Committee of Not In Our Name and Action for Justice of the Community Church of New York), and the Peace Task Force of All Souls. To learn more about this subject, please visit:

COLLEAGUES UNDER FIRE BUT U.S. MEDIA MUTE ... My Complaint About The Complaint
Antonia Zerbisias, Toronto Star


On Tuesday, February 8th, I reported to Jury Duty at the Brooklyn Courts. Haven't been called to Jury Duty since January 1999 [ie: civil trial]. Back when I was working for JER Hudson, with Keith and Peter at the helm. A year later two arrogant, smug, rich buggers [ie: John and Joe] had taken over. Turned a good job into a miserable, horrible, loathsome place of employment. Anyhow ... back in August 2004 I received word from Jury Duty that I was to serve. Since I was going on vacation to Canada that same month, I sent reply back asking for 6 month postponement. To be honest, I know Jury Duty is our civic obligation and all that, but I find it such a bore. After filling out paperwork, watching a video and hearing the announcements, we sat in the large main room and waited to be called. Passed the time by reading "Sharpe's Gold" by Bernard Cornwell and updated my Ferret Shelter Journal. Unfortunately my name did get called and for a darn murder trial. The process of picking a 12 panel jury with two alternates can take time. [This was a Tuesday and they'd started the process the day before.] By lunch time I was one of the perspective jurors and would be questioned after our break. 1 1/2 hours for lunch, so I strolled down Montague Street to TERESA's for a bite to eat and then window shopping. Back at the courts I managed to get off the jury selection. As I had some serious objections and/or qualms about aspects of the trial. [One of which was the weapon that murdered a man was still missing after two years.] And that was that ... no more jury duty for another 4 years. Hell yeah!

Okay, I admit it, I'm obsessed with purchasing and reading the wonderfully detailed SHARPE book series [ie: 1799 thru 1820] by British author Bernard Cornwell. After watching the SHARPE tv series [starring Sean Bean] on DVD, well folks, I had to read the books its based on. If you have an interest in Napoleonic Wars, military life, politics, romance and what life in general was like during the Peninsula Wars, then I highly recommend this series. Cornwell did a top notch job on research and provides "Historical Notes" at end of each book.

So where am I now in reading the books, I'm almost done with “Sharpes Siege” and next on my list is “Sharpes Revenge”. Oh yeah, by the way, have I failed to mention that I recently became a member of the UK Sharpe's Appreciation Society. Yippee!

Wednesday, February 9th, I filled in for Ellen as hostess of the monthly NYC DOP Meetup at Bonobo's. [The 9th was also Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. And like every year for past 20 years I give up chocolate. And also donuts.] Penn, Liz and her hubby Rob joined me. Most of the conversation was between Liz [DOP board member] and Penn. Totally fascinating! I did not know that Sargent Shriver [Maria Shriver’s papa] was the creator of the famed Peace Corp. Noted author Margaret Wheatley was mentioned, as was State Senator Tom Duane.

Thursday, February 17th, was the monthly NYC Chapter Dept of Peace board members meeting. This time held at Karen's charmingly decorated apartment on the eastside of Manhattan. [She provided some yummy nibblers and delicious tea. As well as read a lovely poem by her late mother to kick off the evening.] Those in attendance were Liz, Dawn, Karen, Carol, Kevin, Ellen, Joe and myself. What a terrific, productive evening we had and accomplished quite abit in 2 1/2 hours. I was secretary for the meeting and took lots of notes for the minutes. Our next board meeting is slated for March 10th.

Sunday, February 20th, attended an event at Covenant House on lower Westside of Manhattan to hear noted author and activist Marianne Williamson speak. Hung out with Joe, Maria, Andy, Liz [her hubby & two sons were there] and we distributed NYC DOP postcards. Quite a diverse crowd turned up for the event and I'd say around 700 people were in attendance. Plus, the "New Harlem Gospel Singers" provided inspiring musical entertainment. [Definitely got the crowd on their feet end of the evening.] Marianne touched on many topics ... such as: Buddha, wisdom, meta-physical, political/social transformation, patterns of peace & thought, illusion, progressive condition, ego, divine self, etc. One of her quotes ... "The light within is of God". There was also a Q&A segment, along with a closing prayer. Maria told me I didn't need to take notes, as they always provide burned CD copies of these events for a small fee. So I picked up one before heading out with Andy. [I listened to it recently for inspiration.] Andy and I talked about all sorts of things on the way to the subway. He's a nice, elderly gent.

Thursday, March 10th, the House Appropriations Committee will vote on President Bush’s proposed supplemental increase of eighty billion dollars for the Iraq. This is in addition to the 160 billion dollars already misspent and wasted. Please contact your Congressional representative quickly, urging them to vote AGAINST the supplemental budget request, and to support any amendment that calls for an end to the occupation and support for Iraqi sovereignty, such as Representative Lynn Woolsey's (D-CA) House Resolution…..

Please encourage your friends, family and co-workers to join this effort. As we build for the future, the largest possible showing of Congressional opposition is important. Yours for Peace … Brooklyn Parents for Peace

Monday, March 07, 2005


Pratap Chatterjee, AlterNet
The privatization of military intelligence and interrogation has been a booming business. It may also be the cause of the prison scandals in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dian Harrison, San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday is International Women's Day, a worldwide celebration of women's fight for equality and human rights. In light of this commemoration, it is especially disappointing that the Bush administration is working so hard to restrict women's rights.

Richard Owen in Rome, Sunday Times [UK]

David Morris, AlterNet
George Bush's "ownership society" leaves out the things we actually own --our bodies, our privacy, our dignity, our bedrooms.

Commentary by Peter Phillips

Cynthia L. Cooper, Women's eNews
As state legislatures face a deluge of anti-abortion proposals, pro-choice activists are hustling to stem further losses to reproductive health rights.

Commentary by Danny Schechter

John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies
Ten reasons why Paul Wolfowitz would be perfect for the job of World Bank president.

Laura Flanders, Air America Radio

Rory O'Connor, AlterNet
Newsweek's latest cover features a fake photo of Martha Stewart -- any wonder people are losing faith in the news?

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... I believe in an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out. Arthur Hays Sulzberger [Publisher at the NY Times]

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Second Anniversary of US Invasion & Occupation on Iraq Activities & Protests
Saturday, March 19th
Troops Out Now!
March to Central Park [Eastside] starts at 10:00 am [Marcus Garvey Park 124th Street and 5th Avenue to 125th St. and Lenox Military Recruiting Station]
At Noon we'll converge on Central Park, East Meadow at 97th Street and 5th Avenue
Then at 3:00 pm its on to Mayor Bloomberg's house

Friday, March 04, 2005

Senate Democrats are asking people to sign their Pledge to Protect Social Security. This simple pledge lays out the reasons why George Bush's privatization plan is not the answer:
• It would cut Social Security’s funding and weaken the program.
• It would cut benefits by one-third or more, even for those who choose not to risk their money in a privatized account.
• It would require even deeper benefit cuts for those who do choose a privatized account.
• It would require borrowing nearly $5 trillion, much of which from foreign countries like China and Japan.
Join me and others in signing the Social Security Pledge today. Peace & Solidarity!

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Benjamin Wallace-Wells, Washington Monthly
America's economy is losing its high-tech competitive edge and Washington hasn't noticed.

A.Nagourney & J.Elder, New York Times

Jennifer Nix, AlterNet
Amy Goodman, Michael Moore, Al Franken: Why line the pockets of corporate publishers? The time has come for progressive authors -- concerned about media reform -- to make a commitment to independent book publishing.

BUSH FAILING IN SOCIAL SECURITY PUSH [AARP, Greenspan Most Trusted on Social Security]
The PEW Research Center for the People and the Press

Chris Kromm, The Nation
To win back the South, Democrats and progressives must find answers to two questions: What kind of politics can -- and should -- win in the region? And what are our bedrock values and long-term vision for the future?

J.R. Pegg, Environment News Service
The Bush administration thinks it's perfectly OK to let factory farms discharge waste into the nation's waters. A federal appeals court says the policy stinks.

Documentary by Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein
Rolling Stone Review by Peter Travers
GUNNER PALACE is a riveting and indispensable record of the war in Iraq because it comes from the men who lived it.

Matt Taibbi, New York Press
A former rabble-rousing liberal joins the 'with us or against us' crowd.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Courage is the knowledge of what is not to be feared. Pericles [Ancient Greek]

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


K-12, college, labor and social advocacy educators from the northeast and mid-Atlantic states have come together to organize a major conference to develop anti-war strategy, analysis, curriculum and organization within the educational community. Conference being held at Hunter High School on 71 East 94th Street at Park Avenue in New York City. To learn more, click on ...

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in 1947, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo. Harry S. Truman


On March 31, the Selective Service System will report to President Bush that it is ready to implement a draft within 75 days. We have to organize now to stop the draft before it starts.

Despite what politicians say, there is a high probability that the Bush Administration will attempt to reinstate the draft. The U.S. military is in a quagmire in Iraq, facing a national popular uprising against the occupation. Soldiers are dying every day. A report issued in January 2004 by Jeffrey Record, a visiting professor at the Air War College, said the Army is "near the breaking point." The Pentagon has been forced to issue repeated "stop loss" orders and recall soldiers who had retired or otherwise returned to civilian life. Out of 10 Army Divisions, part or all of 9 of them are either deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Twenty-one out of
33 regular combat brigades are on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, or the Balkans. That's 63% of the Army's combat strength. This means the Army is extremely overextended.

The Bush Administration has been trying to fill the gap with Reserve and National Guard troops, but this is a temporary fix at best. The head of the Army Reserves has recently written a memo saying that the readiness of his forces has been drastically reduced through over-deployment and is "degenerating into a broken force. Meanwhile, official U.S. foreign policy is now the doctrine of "pre-emptive war" and "regime change" wherever a leader runs afoul of U.S. corporate interests. An invasion of Iran, Syria, Korea, or Cuba -- all of whom are on Washington and Wall Street's list of targets -- would require tens or hundreds of thousands of new soldiers. Enlistment rates not even able to maintain current force levels, much less provide troops for new invasions and occupations. All four services missed their enlistment quotas last year, and enlistments in the Reserves, National Guard, and regular military are at a 30-year low. Many current members of the armed forces plan to get out as soon as their current enlistment ends.

According to a poll conducted by the military newspaper Stars & Stripes, 49% of soldiers stationed in Iraq do not plan to re-enlist. The President has given the Selective Service System a set of readiness goals to be implemented by March 31, 2005. As part of these performance goals, the System must be ready to be fully operational within 75 days. This means we can look for the Draft to be in operation as early as June 15, 2005. March 19 is the second anniversary of the war. On the weekend of March 19-20, activists all over the globe will take to the streets to demand and end to the war and occupation. No Draft No Way will be mobilizing to take part in these demonstrations, which will take place just a few days before the Selective Service System reports to President Bush that it is ready to go. We must be in the streets to let them know that we oppose the draft and will not be used as cannon fodder in Iraq or in any new war. Let's Organize NOW to Stop the Draft.

1) Come to NYC for the March 19 Troops Out Now demonstration. Join the No Draft No Way! contingent in the march. Or join the march and rally in Fayetteville, NC, outside Fort Bragg--for more information, see

2) Organize an anti-draft meeting at your school, church or mosque, union hall, etc. Contact us at 212-633-6646 for help and speakers.

3) Organize protests outside the selective service office in your area.

4) Sign the No Draft Petition.