Sunday, July 31, 2005

MESSAGE FROM PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA [PDA] REGARDING – Downing Street Minutes Next Steps - Resolution of Inquiry
Thanks in part to an overwhelming show of public outrage over the implications of the Downing Street Minutes; the light of inquiry is finally shining into the darkest corners of these administrations shady dealings. Suddenly, things are moving very quickly. On July 17, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) - along with 34 co-sponsors - introduced a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives. If it passes, the White House and the State Department will be required to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq."

This potentially paradigm-shifting resolution must be voted on in committee within fourteen legislative days of its introduction. The resolution will almost certainly be voted on in committee between September 6 and 16, because if it is not, Lee can demand a vote of the full House. If left standing, however, the resolution must be taken up again by September 16. Here’s where your help is needed: the more Congress Members in the full House who co-sponsor the resolution, the more likely it is to be approved by members of the committee. Now is the time to bring full pressure to bear on those representatives who remain uncommitted and to do all we can to get as many members as possible to sponsor this resolution.

When writing your representatives, tell them that information in the Downing Street Minutes strongly suggests that President Bush intentionally deceived Congress about the reasons for going to war. Tell them that if such is not the case, the administration should be eager to release the information contained in the additional official documents and see the President vindicated. Either way, Congress or the American people deserve to know the truth. Full disclosure is essential. No one is above the law. We will not stand for secrecy in our White House.

We have only a few days in which to urge our representatives to keep this pivotal resolution alive. Demand that committee members not only vote for it, but vow to discuss it at length and engage in substantive debate when the committee meets, forcing opposing members to go on record with their reasons for voting it down. The future of our country hangs in the balance. And, as always, PDA is here. Progressive representatives are working alongside the citizenry, pushing for truth and justice. Your participation and support are making this all possible. Thank you for all you're doing. TAKE ACTION HERE: http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/bills/?bill=7877436

QUOTE OF THE DAY - The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Abigail Adams, Paris 1787

MESSAGE FROM MARTY WALSH AT TEDKENNEDY.COM - Ignoring Reality
The White House needs a plan for success in Iraq. And over the past few weeks, more than 27,000 of you sent that message straight to the White House. It amazed me to watch the numbers grow -- first as a trickle, and then skyrocketing by the thousands. That outpouring from our growing online community demonstrates how Americans across Massachusetts and the country want to unite around what matters to us. The folks who delivered the petition have a post on our website's journal: http://www.tedkennedy.com/whdelivery

As out of touch as this President can seem, he can't ignore the growing skepticism about our progress in Iraq. And it's not partisan opposition -- its fundamental discontent seen in our returning soldiers, in congressional testimony, and among friends in the international community. While our soldiers fight overseas, the White House ignores its responsibility to offer a strategy for success. Granted, they have a host of questions to answer these days in Washington -- but some of them speak directly to the importance of this critical task. The sacrifices made in Iraq by our soldiers in Iraq -- brave Americans fighting for a country they value above of their own lives -- merit more than press conferences and photo-ops. Our troops deserve the hope that only a real plan for success can give them.

Ultimately, we the voters must hold this President and our leaders in Congress accountable -- and elect leaders who represent our values in Washington. That's why we need, more than ever, to stand together and stand with Senator Kennedy. I look forward to working with you over the next few months. Together, we will continue to give the Senator the support and energy he needs to keep standing up for our values.

[Duchess Note ... Some of what Mr. Walsh says on behalf of the Senator I don't believe in. Progress in Iraq? I don't think so. Be that as it may, I feel the general facts and message need to be broadcast far and wide. This Bush Regime needs to be held accountable for their numerous lies and deceptions.]

MESSAGE FROM THE FOLK AT ImpeachBush@VoteToImpeach.org -- Majority Believes Bush Misled the People

STEPS FORWARD FOR THE IMPEACHMENT MOVEMENT MAJORITY OF U.S. PUBLIC BELIEVES BUSH MISLED THE PEOPLE BUSES COMING FROM ALL OVER THE U.S. FOR SEPTEMBER 24

Haunted by the threat of impeachment, Bush has received the news that he dreaded most. A majority of the U.S. public doubts the United States will win in Iraq and believes Bush intentionally misled the country about Iraq's weapons capabilities, according to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll. Previous Gallop polls have asked the same questions, but this was the first time that over half of those polled - 51 per cent - believed Bush deliberately misled the people when he asserted Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, USA Today said. As we reported two weeks ago, more than "two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq," according to a recent Zogby Poll.

The war in Iraq is one of the greatest atrocities in recent times. The Bush Administration's combination of arrogance with an utter disregard for the law requires Congress to immediately proceed with filing Articles of Impeachment. Tens of millions of people know with certainty that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other leading officials lied to them. That is why the impeachment movement has developed as a nationwide grassroots political phenomenon. On September 24, hundreds of thousands of people will be in the streets for major antiwar demonstrations in Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The impeachment movement is organizing a major contingent for September 24 at the White House.

ImpeachBush.org/VoteToImpeach.org signs and banners will be everywhere that day. Thanks to the support of so many people, the publicity and outreach campaign is in full gear and will get stronger in the weeks ahead. Supporting this campaign makes all the difference. Listed below are some of the cities that we know are already mobilizing buses and car caravans to come to the September 24 demonstration at the White House. It is already an incredible list that will surely double in size as we intensify our work, getting out leaflets, posters, stickers as well as the phone banking and national outreach efforts. This is a huge, national effort and the expenses are great. Every day volunteers sacrifice their time and energy. But we can only succeed with the donations and contributions of people who believe that nothing is more important than holding Bush and other high officials accountable for their criminal conduct. Please make a contribution and tell a friend and family member to so as well. To make a contribution on our secure server, where you can also obtain information to write a check, click here: http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=nIjaaNDKxF0lmpjyhwuhog

Cities already organizing transportation to the White House on September 24 include:

Albuquerque, NM
Ann Arbor, MI
Baltimore, MD
Bangor, ME
Berkeley Springs, WV
Birmingham, AL
Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Cape May, NJ

Charlotte, NC
Chattanooga, TN
Cleveland, OH
Chicago, IL
Cobleskill, NY
Dallas, TX
Detroit, MI
Dubuque, IA
Evansville, IN
Fayetteville, NC
Gainesville, FL
Geneseo, NY
Gulfport, MS
Hackensack, NJ
Harrisburg, PA
Harrisonburg, VA
Hattiesburg, MS
Jacksonville, FL
Kingston, NY
Lancaster, PA
Lafayette, LA
Linwood, NJ
Louisville, KY
Luck, WI
Macon, GA
Memphis, TN
Meridian, MS
Burlington, VT
Montpelier, VT
New Brunswick, NJ
New Paltz, NY
New York City, NY
Newark, DE
Newark, NJ
Pleasantville, NJ
Poughkeepsie, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Reno, NV
Richmond, VA
Rochester, NY
Sarasota, FL
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Schenectady, NY
St. Petersburg, FL
Tuscaloosa, AL
West Chester, PA
[Duchess highlighted the cities near where I live in Brooklyn, NY]

Saturday, July 30, 2005

PERSONAL NEWS #64

Back on July 16th, on my way to catch a MetroNorth train to Yonkers, I purchased the new Harry Potter book. Bought it at 30% off at Posman Books in Grand Central Station. Didn't care what it cost so long as I could start reading it ASAP. Proceeded to read it on the train ride to and from Yonkers that day. Finished it a few days later at 12:30am. Definitely a good story, tho the last two Potter books were far better.

Plus, I had some questions end of "Half Blood Prince". The ending of this book didn't upset me like "Order of the Phoenix". My initial reaction was more like "what the hell". Why?!? Also, my second thought was the next book [also the last] will be one hell of a roller coaster ride. The week following the release of the book saw all types of folk on NYC 7 & G subways reading the new novel. [smiling] But I digress from July 16th and my volunteer work at Yonkers Ferret Shelter. It'd been 2 1/2 months since my last volunteer visit and I missed the wee ones. It's always a pleasure seeing Joanne, as well as her two sometimes rambunctious dogs [ie: Harley & Mikey]. We caught up on news, gossip and health issues before commencing with duties in the shelter. Halfway thru my duties a hispanic family stopped by to drop off their 2 one-year old ferrets. [Little Baxter (photo) is such an adorable DEW ferret.]

Apparently they couldn't or didn't want to handle the responsibility. This happens alot with families who purchase baby [kits] ferrets without knowledge of how to be good responsible owners. They just think their cute and thats it. Sigh! Got alot accomplished that afternoon, enjoyed my visit and ferret fix has been satisfied. [smiling]

On Tuesday morning, July 19th, I briefly stop by the Greenpoint Clinic to give blood for my upcoming lung biopsy. The Bronchoscopy is slated for Thursday morning, July 28th, at the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. Also, my neighbor [John] was helping me with repair work on my kitchen sink and removing a nasty stinky clog in the system. I may be good at baking and cooking, but when it comes to other kitchen "stuff", I can sometimes be clueless. :-)

QUOTE OF THE DAY - We learn from history that we do not learn from history. Georg Wilhelm Hegel

On Wednesday, July 20th, I participated in the New York Dept of Peace congressional district team leader conference call, which was hosted by Kevin. Four other district team leaders were online including me and with Kevin it was five. We had a nice, productive one hour call. I believe Pricilla mentioned the following website ... http://wwwcongressmerge.com

Other main topic during the conference call was "experiences in writing to and/or calling our congressperson". I'm in the 12th district and Nydia Velazquez is my congressperson. She was a co-sponsor last time for the DoP bill. I need to contact her in August about signing on again for this 109th Congress. Much work to do between now and the Peace Conference in September. Plus the Dept of Peace bill will be re-introduced into Legislation on September14th by Congressman Kucinich. So it'll coinside as close as possible to the 9/11 anniversary. We need peace and love in this country and the world, NOT constant war and fear. [More peacemakers and less warmongers.] To learn more, go to http://www.dopcampaign.org

Friday, July 29, 2005

AFTER TASTE OF CALM, APPETITE FOR PEACE
Warren Hoge / NY Times
[Duchess Note ... Peace does work for any state or country, as evident by this article (link below). To learn more about the Dept of Peace campaign in your area, go to ... http://wwwdopcampaign.org]
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/29/international/europe/29ira.html?ex=1123300800&en=8d48e4a37e8b0420&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

PERSONAL NEWS #63

Saturday, July 9th, started out in the morning with a visit to my massage therapist and chiropractor in my neighborhood. After the 45 minute long treatment I felt wonderful and energized. That afternoon, around 2pm, I went to the NYC Tolkien/LOTRs group luncheon at Café le Fortuna on the upper Westside. I so enjoyed chatting with others who have a similar passion for Tolkien’s work, as well as love for the LOTR movie trilogy. The café has an outdoor garden in the back, with awnings, where one can dine el fresco. Those in attendance were Jackie, Syndi, Mike, Lefty, Carole, Becca, Josh and I. [photo below - Mike took pix] Some had a late lunch and those, like me, indulged in delicious iced liquid refreshment. Good thing we were under a large sheltered awning … as a brief nasty thunderstorm passed thru Manhattan.


Then it cleared up and was a lovely sunny day. Of the group, I was the only Boromir admirer and the others were mostly into the hobbits, Aragorn and Legolas. Actually, in the books I gravitate to Gandalf, but in the movies it’s strictly Boromir. When Josh showed up he brought a LOTRs board game with him and we spent 1 ½ hours trying to figure it out. After much head scratching, puzzled expressions and jocularity, we decided to attempt it on another occasion. I had such a fun time hanging out and we all exchanged email addys.

On Sunday, July 10th, I was invited to brunch at a fellow DoP members [Karen] apartment in midtown Manhattan. Due to the subways being so messed up, I arrived about 30 minutes late. [I curse NYC transit! Damn you!] Several DoP members were there including Carol along with hubby Gary, Joe with his wife Marie, and Ellen showed up with her friend Andy and dear Liz. Members of Karen’s family were also in attendance and even some of her co-workers. Donna, from the FOR Non-Violent Training, came and it was a pleasure seeing her again. On the kitchen table, which Karen turned into a charming buffet, were all sorts of yummy homemade goodies. Around the apartment were scattered delightful floral arrangements. As people left around 2:30pmish … we were handed little bags of candies, sort of like party favors.

Monday, July 11th, I hooked up with two other Yahoo "Bean Buffs" to view celebs arriving for THE ISLAND premiere at Ziegfeld Theater. [Weather was very warm and humid that day.] Main reason I was there with the “Buffs” [ie: Sara & Debbie] was to see the talented, handsome, sexy British actor Sean Bean. He plays another bad guy [Dr Merrick] role in this film. Sean showed up in a limo with his current girlfriend, actress Georgina Sutcliffe. [She’s an attractive young lady, but overall I can’t say I was impressed.] We fans of the movie’s many “stars” had to view the proceedings from across the street. Once all the “photos” were taken, Georgina went into the theater and Sean worked the line of reporters for about 25 minutes. From across the street we mostly saw him from behind and the occasional side profile. All of which are so dishy. Of all the celebs that showed up for the premiere, only one of them came across the street to shake hands and briefly chat with us fans. And that was the impressive Michael Duncan Clarke. The film officially opened on Friday, July 22nd, and I hope to view it the weekend of July 30th.

On Thursday, July 14th, I attended my third "support group" session at Karen’s place. A portion of the session was devoted to Carol and hearing about her amazing trip to South Africa back in June. Also at this session were Janet, Joe, Maria and Liz. As always I find the support group experience to be very uplifting and healing. Plus it’s a learning experience as I travel this path of awakening and spiritual enlightenment. Afterwards I hopped a taxi on up to upper Westside to join "NYCTolkien" meetup, which was already in progress. I joined Jackie, Becca, Katie, Stephanie, Katalina and enjoyed the refreshing delight of an iced Cappuccino with scoop of chocolate ice cream. Total yummers! One of the gals brought a Tolkien book, which was letters written between father/son during WWII. Totally fascinating! Shortly after 10pm some of the group left. Then it was just Becca, Jackie and I. We talked and laughed on a variety of topics, and finally left the café at 11:30pm. What a great evening.

BEAN BAGS ANOTHER BAD GUY
Ian Spelling / Film Stew Website
http://www.filmstew.com/Content/Article.asp?Pg=1&ContentID=11994

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

THE GREAT CONSPIRACY: The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw
Tonight at 7 PM
The Sixth Street Community Center
638 6th Street, between Avenue B & C

This is a 70-minute sequel to The Great Deception by Barrie Zwicker who was the first mainstream journalist in the world to go on air (in January 2002) and ask hard questions about the official story of 9/11. The Great Deception is a compilation of his series of seven commentaries on 9/11. In The Great Conspiracy, Zwicker updates and expands his critique. With the examples of historical precedents of the attacks of 9/11 we get a deep understanding of the imperial agenda that created the conditions for this act of state-sponsored terrorism. He analyses the use of fear to befuddle the public. He deconstructs the so-called "war on terrorism." He examines in depth the failure of the military on 9/11 and George Bush's highly inappropriate behavior that day. He finds the 9/11 Commission to be a total cover-up operation. You'll see the shocking evidence showing that the collapse of WTC7 was a controlled demolition. Throughout, he analyses the role of the mainstream media as complicit in keeping the public massively misinformed and befuddled. And he suggests what we can do. Since NYC was the scene of the crime, please bring friends and family so that we can create a broad-based consciousness of the forces shaping our aggressive military policy and police state conditions at home. ADMISSION IS FREE AND DONATIONS ACCEPTED.

WHAT BUSH DOESN'T KNOW
Bob Herbert / NY Times
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0725-21.htm
There is still no indication that the Bush administration recognizes the utter folly of its war in Iraq, which has been like a constant spray of gasoline on the fire of global terrorism. What was required in the aftermath of Sept. 11 was an intense, laserlike focus by America and its allies on Al Qaeda-type terrorism. Instead, the Bush crowd saw its long dreamed of opportunity to impose its will on Iraq, which had nothing to do with the great tragedy of Sept. 11. Many thousands have paid a fearful price for that bit of ideological madness.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having. Henry Miller [writer]













FILMMAKER TESTS BOUNDARIES OF SCIENCE
By Claudia Parsons / Movie Review

Michael Bay, who directed Armageddon, likes big bangs, fast chases and fancy gadgets, but his latest movie, The Island, takes a new turn, addressing the pressing political issue of cloning and the ethics of science. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson play two clones who escape from a secret institution. "I want people when they walk out of this movie to think 'If I could, would I want a clone?"' Bay told reporters while promoting the film in New York. "We all want to live longer but how far would you go? Would you be selfish enough to take someone's life to live longer?"

The movie starts with a view of Lincoln Six-Echo, played by McGregor, who lives with hundreds of other people in an apparently Utopian facility where everybody wears white and has their every move monitored and controlled. The residents live in hope of winning the lottery that will allow them to go to The Island, reportedly the last place on the planet uncontaminated by environmental disaster. Conversations with a technician played by Steve Buscemi awaken Lincoln's curiosity. He then discovers that his real purpose is to provide spare parts for rich and famous humans who have paid US$5 million ($7.4 million) to be cloned.

He and Johansson's character escape with a band of mercenaries in hot pursuit, at which point Bay gets to go to town on big action stunts and flashy chase scenes. Early reviews have been positive, though its echoes of films such as Logan's Run and The Matrix may irk some. "The Island starts off an aggressively derivative sci-fi thriller, then morphs into an above-average chase melodrama," the Hollywood Reporter said in its review, which also noted that the film was an "ethical horror story". "What's troubling from a political point of view is that these film-makers have, perhaps unwittingly, delivered a film certain to give succor to the religious right," it said.

Bay brushes off questions about the politics of his film, insisting he sees it as a "popcorn" movie aimed at entertainment rather than a contribution to serious debate about genetics or stem-cell research. Stem cells offer the potential for progress in curing diseases such as Alzheimer's. But because embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos, which are destroyed in the process, the research has raised ethical issues and President George W. Bush has vowed to veto a bill expanding their use. "I've met several stem-cell researchers; it's amazing how they feel they can cure so many diseases," Bay said. "This film is just taking cloning in a science fiction way to the nth degree. It's just to open discussion," he said.

Several of the actors also said they did not see it as a cautionary tale against research. "I certainly hope we don't get to the point that we're cloning whole human beings and harvesting them for body parts but I do believe that stem-cell research should be funded and supported,” said Buscemi. "I hope no one would use this film to make the case against stem-cell research," he said. "Of course the technology is probably there. If we can clone an animal we can probably clone a human being. "Should we? No. But that doesn't mean we should stop research in trying to cure diseases."

Paul Levinson, a professor of media and communications at New York's Fordham University, said that historically, movie audiences had proved their ability to discern fact from fiction. "These kind of movies serve an important public service, which is getting these issues before the public in a vivid and dramatic way," said Levinson, author of five sci-fi novels.




British actor Sean Bean's character [photo at left] provides the most complex insights on the issue. He plays the director of the institute who pioneers the technology for birthing adult human clones, or "products" in the terminology of the movie. "He's standing up for science; it's a clash between humanity and science," said Bean, who played Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. "That's what drives him. It's not really a question of money. It's more the science and how far he can push the boundaries," Bean said. "I think he feels very good about what he's created. As far as he's concerned he's saving lives.”


Support Is Growing For Bringing The Troops Home -- Get Representative Nydia Velazquez (Or Your Congressional District Representative) To Push for Iraq Troop Withdrawal

Thirty Congressmembers have already joined a call for President Bush to come up with a plan for bringing the troops home. [Personalize message here at: http://action.truemajority.org/campaign/IraqExitStrategy Ask your representative to sign on, and make it count. Research proves that your words are almost ten times more likely to convince a Congressperson than a standard form letter. The resolution in Congress pushing President Bush to plan an Iraq pullout is gathering steam. You probably didn't hear about this in the newspapers last week, but it will be news soon. Now's the time to give this resolution a big push. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., Republican from North Carolina, led the way by introducing a bipartisan resolution calling for President Bush to come up with a plan by the end of this year to withdraw the troops from Iraq, and for the withdrawal to start no later than October of 2006. Rep. Jones became famous for changing the name of the french fries served in the congressional cafeteria to "freedom fries" when France came out against invading Iraq. He also represents Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where many new recruits go for basic training, so it is significant that he is publicly breaking with Bush policy.

When we first alerted you about this opportunity, Rep. Jones had three other members of Congress as co-sponsors TrueMajority members sent 50,000 messages of support for the idea to Congress, and now the resolution has thirty co-sponsors, including some of the most conservative Representatives. This week, we and our friends at MoveOn, Working Assets, and other progressive groups are making a major push to double that number. Representative Nydia Velazquez has not yet signed on to support the "Homeward Bound" resolution. If you aren't yet a member of TrueMajority, or if you'd like to personalize the message, click here: http://action.truemajority.org/campaign/IraqExitStrategy

This is how quagmires like this end. First, public support drops, and polls already show that Americans' support for this war is declining. Next, Congress begins to pressure the administration to come up with a way out. That is what this resolution does. Finally, if the administration continues to fight calls for withdrawal, Congress pulls the plug on the money. That is how the war in Vietnam eventually ended. We understand that this resolution gives the Bush administration a long time to keep our troops in Iraq, but it is an important first step toward bringing them home. Not having a real exit strategy and timetable only helps the insurgents, who claim that we intend to stay. We need to get off that path if we want the people of Iraq to ever live in a stable, peaceful nation. Please share this message with anyone else you know who cares about peace. Message from Darcy Scott Martin in Washington DC.

Monday, July 25, 2005

PEARL JAM FANS DISCOVER THERE ARE LOTS OF RULES FOR ATTENDING POLITICAL CONCERT
by Tyler Christensen / Missoulian News
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/07/24/news/local/news05.txt



QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Once you hold the hand of love, it's all surmountable. Eddie Vedder [Pearl Jam at left]



MESSAGE FROM THE NORM SIEGEL CAMPAIGN FOR NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE
Tonight on NY1 at approximately 6:54pm and 10:24pm* some of the families of victims of 9/11 will help launch the television phase of Norm's campaign. Their message needs to be heard. Watch NY1 tonight and read today's New York Times (Metro Section, page B2, or at http://www.norman2005.com/node/482). Please spread the word to family and friends. After reviewing the ad, please let the Norm Siegel campaign know your reaction. Call them at (212) 686-3911 or e-mail at: comments@norman2005.com





* The TV spot will appear Monday through Thursday between 6:54pm and 7pm in the commercial break adjacent to the opening of NY1’s awarding winning "The Road To City Hall". Tonight only, it will also air in the commercial break adjacent to the opening of the repeat between 10:24pm and 10:30pm.

Comment from Sally Regenhard, of 9/11 Families & Friends for Norman Siegel. . . .

"Over three years ago we all experienced an unspeakable tragedy. At the Public Advocate's office we were met with silence. While we tried to deal with our shock, grief and unanswered questions, one of our most important advocates has been attorney Norman Siegel."

MESSAGE FROM THE PEOPLES EMAIL NETWORK ['THE PEN'] -- TELL CONGRESS THE PRESIDENT HAS NO RIGHT OF TORTURE
There is a strong bipartisan move afoot in Congress to limit the power of the president to torture detainees in our name, specifically to bar the U.S. Military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment". Does it surprise anyone that this out of control administration is threatening to VETO the whole defense bill if it can't continue to commit war crimes? If we do not speak out they are our crimes as well. Why don't you tell your members of Congress to stand tall and stand together? http://www.usalone.com/guantanamo.htm

This is especially meaningful in the context of the hearings Friday where seasoned intelligence operatives stepped forward to testify that GOOD intelligence comes from building relationships over decades with foreign sources on a TRUST basis, not by pulling off the people's fingernails. It is precisely our confidence in our intelligence community that the outing by administration officials of one of our own top secret undercover agents has so wantonly destroyed for petty political purposes. And they did it AGAIN by outing a key inside source whose information would have prevented the recent British transit attacks. We are getting bad intelligence from administration policies that are doing nothing but destroy our country and our respect in the civilized world. Please tell Congress to demand that the torture must STOP: http://www.usalone.com/guantanamo.htm

Saturday, July 23, 2005

MESSAGE FROM SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY - More Than Politics
Now that President Bush has nominated John Roberts, the Senate and the nation face the critical task of understanding what kind of Supreme Court justice he would be - there are many questions that need to be answered. During the confirmation process, the Senate must find out whether he will be on the side of basic rights and individual liberties or if he will side with powerful special interests. Mr. Robert's brief public record raises several serious and troubling questions. Senators must ask those questions for the American people -- and ensure that we receive honest and complete answers. Our oath of office requires no less. Over the past two weeks, thousands of concerned Americans have submitted personal stories that emphasize the importance of this process. Each one details a way the Supreme Court affects our lives -- and the lives of our children and grandchildren. We can define the importance of this debate with our own words. Together, we can combine our voices and elevate the debate to show the real-world impact of decisions made by the highest court in the land. Here are some examples:

Theodore of Georgia ... "I shadowed the first black undergraduate at FLU in1962-63. Maxwell was admitted in the Fall of 1962 and my job was to see that he survived the year. It was not easy, but he survived. I will never forget it. We must not stop or slow this type of progress."

The battle has been brewing for months. Right wing groups boast a war chest of $20 million and counting. They will turn any confirmation process -- no matter who the nominee is -- into a political football, ignoring the best interests of the nation in the hopes of imposing their extreme views on our independent judiciary. They might have the money, but we have the truth. No matter what they spend, they will never match the powerful case that thousands of citizens have already made:

Greta of California ... "I am a teacher for students with severe physical and mental challenges. When I first started teaching in the public schools eight years ago, the district was just beginning to provide wheel chair access to the bathrooms. It was an important moment for these children to have access to the bathrooms … We need a judge that will uphold their fundamental rights."

During the hearings, Roberts was evasive about his views on equal opportunity, desegregation, criminal justice, and the right to privacy. We cannot let this evasion happen again. Its up to us to make sure the facts are known and that the voices of the American people rise above the partisan fighting and special interest money. The candor and insight of your stories inspire me. Together we will make a case for the American people. Thank you so much.

P.S. - Everyone has something to say about the importance of the Supreme Court -- and every new voice makes a difference. Please ask your friends and family to join us and share their own stories: http://www.tedkennedy.com/morestories

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Friday, July 22, 2005

SEAN BEAN: SUAVE VILLAIN, HUNKY HERO
by Lynn Barker / Teen Hollywood News
http://www.teenhollywood.com/d.asp?r=102976&cat=1035

INFO ON THE SEPTEMBER 3rd ANNUAL PEACE CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON DC
Support a U.S. Department of Peace
September 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2005
Washington D.C.

Featuring:
Marianne Williamson (Master of Ceremonies)
Patch Adams
Walter Cronkite
Azim Khamisa
Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Tim Reynolds
Jonathan Schell and more...

Join us in our nation's capitol to lobby for a Cabinet-level Department of Peace, as the legislation is re-introduced in the House of Representatives as a tribute to victims of September 11th. From a culture of peace will come a world without war.

Special Highlights:
1] Join us for a conversation with legendary journalist Walter Cronkiteand Congressman Dennis Kucinich about building a culture of peace, and more specifically the Department of Peace.
2] John Titus, from September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrow http://www.peacefultomorrows.org will share at a non denominational serviceon Sunday Sept. 11th.

At the Conference:
1] Join with hundreds of citizens from across the country.
2] Develop a comprehensive understanding of the Department of Peace legislation.
3] Discover and practice effective lobbying strategies.
4] Network with citizens from around the country ... Visit Capitol Hill and walk the halls of Congress, Meet your representatives, Make your voice heard.
5] Form a new political constituency with the power to make an historic impact.

Every generation has its moment. This is ours and we hope to see you there!

Register now and learn more at: http://www.thepeacealliance.org/events/sept_conf_05.htm

For further information watch Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Marianne Williamson on CNN at: http://www.thepeacealliance.org/cnn.htm

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... We are not called to be successful, we are called to be faithful. Mother Teresa

MESSAGE FROM DON HAZEN AT ALTERNET - We Are Writing Today To Let You Know About Robert Greenwald's New Documentary, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price."

Visit http://www.walmartmovie.com/?track=alternet to find out more.

It is at the heart of what is shaping up to be one of the largest, and most important, national grassroots efforts for social change in recent history. More importantly, this is an invitation for you to participate in this grassroots campaign by hosting a screening of the movie.

Problem: Wal-Mart, the world's wealthiest company
Solution: Millions coming together in opposition to the most egregious corporate abuses ever seen in America.
How: The formation of a grassroots coalition, across the political spectrum, to support and organize around the upcoming documentary, "WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price," from director Robert Greenwald of “Outfoxed" and "Uncovered." Check out: http://www.walmartmovie.com?track=alternet

Every new Wal-Mart store creates a ripple effect – family businesses close up shop, factories shut down, communities get squeezed, and fulfilling careers are turned into nightmare chores. Meanwhile, taxpayers are footing the bill for the healthcare of thousands of Wal-Mart's employees, while the company receives exorbitant tax breaks from the very same communities Wal-Mart will eventually discard. These are blatantly anti-family, anti-American practices. We must demand change from Wal-Mart. This film will be a powerful, emotional, entertaining, and visual mechanism designed to jumpstart this effort -- demanding change in the way the company conducts business in the U.S. and across the globe.

Greenwald is looking for your help to make this happen; he needs you to be his Warner Brothers and help get this film seen by hosting a screening. "Wal-Mart," the movie, will debut not in movie theaters, but in thousands of homes, churches and family businesses through the week of November 13, 2005. Please visit http://www.walmartmovie.com/host.php?track=alternet to join us and host a screening by signing up. Pick a day that is most convenient for you -- don't worry about the details; when we get closer to November, we'll be back in touch. With your support, we will give "Wal-Mart," the movie, a citizens' premiere that will blow the lid off of traditional film distribution and trigger a debate across our country on the true high cost of Wal-Mart's "low prices."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

PEARL JAMMIN' FOR A SENATE SEAT - FOR BASSIST JEFF AMENT, BACKING DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE IS WALKING THE POLITICAL WALK
by Jamie Kelly / Missoulian News
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/07/21/entertainer/ent01.txt

PERSONAL NEWS #62
July 1st thru 5th I visited my parents in upstate New York for the July 4th holiday weekend. It’s great to get out of NYC during summer holidays and not have to deal with tourists. Plus, avoid unexpected fireworks from obnoxious teens in the hood. As for the weather, once the nasty thunderstorms passed on Friday the rest of the weekend was gorgeous. Overall it was a good weekend, with some unpleasantness [ie: opinionated, rude, narrow-minded relatives] at a picnic. Mom and I did some shopping in Saratoga, checked out some tag sales and dined out. [ie: Picked up some New Age Spiritualism books at B&N, such as “The Power of Now” and “Gifts from the Course of Miracles”.] Finished the Dan Brown novel, “Angels & Demons”, which was most entertaining and totally fascinating. Dad drove us up to Lake George, which was so crowded, and we took in the view from atop Prospect Mountain. I also helped out with yard work, watched some cable TV and even went to the hairdresser.

On Tuesday evening, July 5th, participated in National DoP conference call at 9pm. Lynn McMullen hosted the call, with Matthew Albracht and Judy Kimmel as backup. Over 25 people participated in the call from all over the US. [Always exciting, as well as fascinating, to hear how others are handling the DoP campaign in their regions.] Lynn announced that Peace Alliance and Dept of Peace campaign now has 223 congressional district team leaders signed up. I’m one of those “team leaders” in New York’s 12th district and our congressperson is Nydia Velazquez. Majority of the call was about the upcoming Peace Conference that is being held in Washington DC in September. Looking forward to meeting and networking with others at the conference. I’ll be there from Saturday thru Monday [Sept 10th-12th] … OMG … less than two months away. Mon dieu!


QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return. Gore Vidal

The following evening, on July 6th, I attended a spiritual event [ie: featuring Marianne Williamson] at Covenant House. Also speaking that evening was an elderly, charmingly delightful Rabbi who is a survivor of the Holocaust. He said we experience many miracles every day, one of which is just waking up in the morning. He’s right, we should be thankful for such a miracle. The third speaker was Sai Ma and I believe she’s a Hindu spiritualist. She had many wonderful things to say and lead everyone in a 10 minute uplifting chant. But her dismissive reaction to Marianne’s short commentary about DoP and the Peace Bracelets left a sour note in my heart. What she did was wrong and deeply hurt Marianne’s sensibilities. [No person of peace should treat others in such a fashion. It’s inexcusable!] We NYC DoP members discussed this afterwards and also comforted Marianne. We were tabling at the event, along with two volunteers. [Those in attendance were Karen, Liz, Ellen, Maria, Joe, our 2 volunteers & I.] We were their in full force to spread the news on DoP campaign and did very well. Sold many bracelets, gave away literature and signed up folk for our monthly DoP newsletter. Despite that one “hiccup” in the evening it was a success.


P.S. More updates on "Personal News" coming soon ... stay tuned.

UPDATES FROM NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE CANDIDATE "NORM SIEGELS" CAMPAIGN
Friday's finance deadline brought a major victory for Norman Siegel's grassroots campaign for Public Advocate. Although the incumbent raised a good deal of money from her wealthy base - averaging more than $850 per donor - Norman received contributions from 1,693 people, more than any other candidate for Public Advocate, including the incumbent. Ultimately, all your hard work and support helped us raise $149,000 through the July filing deadline, more than enough to qualify for 4-to-1 matching!

This news serves as a reminder that although the people believe in Norman's vision for a cohesive and cooperative New York, there is a formidable financial machine separating us from the Public Advocate we deserve. With your continued support and energetic spirit, we can make this town the beacon of freedom and opportunity it should be. Please contribute what you can http://www.norman2005.com/contribute, and ask your friends to do the http://www.norman2005.com/tell-a-friend same. The current Public Advocate has let New Yorkers down. Don't let her do it again. Every http://www.norman2005.com/contribute penny helps.

Petitioning: Norman's on the Ballot! Winning an election is hard work, but most people don't realize that actually getting into the election is one of the most difficult steps. Our fair city requires every candidate for Public Advocate to collect 7,500 petition signatures in order to get on the ballot. Yesterday was the reporting deadline, and we are proud to announce that our campaign collected an astonishing 39,600 signatures! Of course, campaigns routinely like to collect 3-4 times as many signatures as the law requires, just to be on the safe side, but for those of you keeping track at home, we collected nearly five and a half times as many signatures as we needed. Norman's support in this city is as wide as it is deep.

Norman's Time Is NOW ... The New York chapter http://www.nownyc.org/ of the National Organization for Women officially endorsed Norman Siegel's grassroots bid to unseat incumbent Betsy Gotbaum as New York City's Public Advocate. "Norman Siegel has a lifelong track record of being an advocate for people, and a strong record on women's rights," said NOW-NYC President Sonio Ossorio. "The citizens of New York City deserve someone like Norman, who has a breadth of experience, sincerity, and a vision for the job." NOW is the largest voice for gender equality in the United States, with 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters. This endorsement could not come from a more respected authority on women's issues. Like so many others, they see that Norman is the clear choice to lead us to a fair and equitable New York.

Stonewall Support Is Solid for Siegel ... The Stonewall Democratic Club, one of the citywide LGBT Democratic clubs, has thrown its weight behind Norman's campaign, voting to endorse his bid for Public Advocate. The Stonewall Dems were impressed by Norman's long and consistent record of defending civil liberties, most recently in his service was counsel in Shields v. Madigan, a case that challenged the ban on same sex marriage rights in New York.

Norman Heats Up The Presses ... New Yorkers have known for a while now that our city deserves a better Public Advocate. Over this past week, it seems as though the press has caught on, too. Word of Norman's vision for a strong and fair New York, resonating strongly with NYC'ers, is now spreading throughout the city's print media.

First, there was a very positive profile http://www.norman2005.com/node/434 in the neighborhood weekly West Side Spirit. They chronicled Norman's brand of community-oriented activism, and contrasted it sharply with the incumbent Public Advocate's brand of press-release-oriented...inactivism? We turn next to a profile http://www.norman2005.com/node/437 in New York Press, which featured Norman on the cover http://www.norman2005.com/files/images/nypresscover.jpg According to this story, people are rapidly picking up the message that Norman can bring accountability back to City Hall. The Press followed up with a fun man-on-the-street http://www.nypress.com/18/28/news&columns/betsy.jpg item showing that after three and a half years, many people still don't even recognize the current Public Advocate's name.

Finally, the authority on what's hot in NYC, Time Out New York, also chimed in, voicing support http://www.norman2005.com/node/439 for Norman's fight against anti-dancing laws. Thanks to decades-old cabaret laws, New York's vibrant entertainment scene has been slowly transforming into a low-budget version of "Footloose." Norman is helping to put the breaks on these arcane laws, and as Public Advocate, he will ensure that New Yorkers have fair-paying jobs during the day and great places to unwind at night.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

MESSAGE FROM BEN BRANDZEL AT MOVEON.ORG REGARDING ROBERTS AND SUPREME COURT
In the past weeks, Republicans and Democrats have called on President Bush to nominate a moderate for the Supreme Court—someone who would honor the legacy of independent Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But last night, President Bush nominated Judge John Roberts, a far-right lawyer and corporate lobbyist, to fill her post on the Supreme Court. We've got to stop Roberts. He opposed clean air rules and worked to help coal companies strip-mine mountaintops. He worked with Ken Starr (yes, that Ken Starr), and tried to keep Congress from defending the Voting Rights Act. He wrote that Roe v. Wade should be "overruled," and as a lawyer argued (and won) the case that stopped some doctors from even discussing abortion. Join our urgent petition to let our senators know we expect them to oppose John Roberts right now at:

http://political.moveon.org/roberts/?id=5817-4703541-v9ghJm.DQM0SvZT9KoXHng&t=3



This is one of the most important domestic fights of President Bush's career. We can win—Americans overwhelmingly want a moderate judge. But to win, we need to get the word out early that Roberts is out of the mainstream. After you've signed, please send this message on to your friends and colleagues. We need to fight back against the misinformation that the Bush administration is putting out. John Roberts has little experience as a judge—he was only appointed in 2003. But he's got a lot of experience as a corporate lobbyist and lawyer, consistently favoring wealthy corporations over regular Americans. Here's a list of some of the things that make Roberts the wrong pick for the Supreme Court:

Wrong on environmental protection: Roberts appears to want to limit the scope of the Endangered Species Act, and in papers he wrote while in law school he supported far-right legal theories about "takings" which would make it almost impossible for the government to enforce most environmental legislation.

Wrong on civil rights: Roberts worked to keep Congress from defending parts of the Voting Rights Act.

Wrong on human rights: As a appeals court judge, Roberts ruled that the Geneva Convention doesn't apply to some prisoners of war.

Wrong on our right to religious freedom: Roberts argued that schools should be able to impose religious speech on attendees.

Wrong on women's rights: Roberts wrote that "Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled." He also weighed in on behalf of Operation Rescue, a violent anti-abortion group, in a federal case.

President Bush could have chosen many fair-minded and independent jurists to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Instead, he chose a corporate partisan loved by Bush's right-wing base, but out of step with the rest of the country. Tell your senators they need to stop John Roberts now, at:

http://political.moveon.org/roberts/?id=5817-4703541-v9ghJm.DQM0SvZT9KoXHng&t=4

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

GREAT INTERVIEW WITH BRITISH ACTOR SEAN BEAN - Who Plays The Role Of Merrick In Upcoming Film THE ISLAND - Opening In Cinema's On July 22nd
[Other soon to be released films that the handsome & talented Sean Bean is appearing in ... FlightPlan, The Dark & Silent Hill. Recently he's appeared in "National Treasure", "Troy", "Don't Say A Word", "The Big Empty" and "LOTR Fellowship of the Ring".] Click on the link to read the interview: http://www.darkhorizons.com/news05/island2a.php

The People Email Network Energy Bill ACTION Alert -- Make Oil Companies Pay For Their Environmental Damage
This year again the administration is trying to deliver a huge payoff to their corrupt oil company campaign contributors, absolving them of any future liability for polluting our water supplies with MTBE, an insidious smelly solvent infiltrating water systems all over the country. Let me get this straight, the oil industry, who is rolling in so much windfall profits cash their biggest problem is they don't know what to do with it. That oil industry can't afford to clean up after their environmental disasters. This measure barely passed the house, but not in the Senate and will now be settled in conference. With such shaky support, those pushing for this mammoth act of corporate welfare are offering to create some kind of fund that oil companies will "contribute" to in some kind of LIMITED way, and the rest of us just get to pick up the rest of their tab, whatever that might be. And if that wasn't outrageous enough, we now discover that hidden in the energy bill like some stealth elephant is repeal of the original Public Utilities Holding Company Act, the last thing standing between our public utilities and worst kind of speculators, like nobody's supposed to notice or Enron never happened. We still have time to raise a howl about all this, so please use the action page below to do so: http://www.usalone.com/energy.htm

What they did to grease this hit job on the PUHCA was to propose that oversight responsibility be shifted to the director of FERC, who just HAPPENS to be a hardcore administration crony. Yes, you heard right, yet another wolf put in charge of administrating the dismantling of the Hen Protection Act, this one a key member of Cheney's SECRET TASK FORCE who wrote the energy bill itself. It gives incentives to mostly the wrong people, does nothing to promote real conservation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, will decimate the sea life off our coasts with excruciating sonic booms in preparation for destroying even more of our coastal environment, and all instead of making renewables the urgent policy priority they should be: http://www.usalone.com/energy.htm

Monday, July 18, 2005

PERSONAL NEWS #61
June 24th thru 26th was the big wedding weekend in Virginia for Joni and Jim. [Joni's mother, Nancie, has been a school chum of mine since 5th grade.] Took vacation days from work on the Friday and Monday, so I'd have leisurely time in VA, as well as recuperate from all the festivities. Traveled down and back on Continental Airlines with another Fox Lane school chum of mine. Eileen's hubby got us an excellent deal with his frequent flyer miles, so all we had to pay were taxes and security fees. Through AmExTravel at my office, I reserved a reasonably priced car rental via Alamo. All the others were too pricey for our humble wallets. We ended up with a red, compact Dodge Neon that rode quite nicely and good on gas. Poor Eileen ... a week or so before we were to head down to VA, fractured her foot outside her apartment building, plus dealing with chemo for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Traveling with a cast on ones foot and utilizing crutches isn't easy. What it did allow us was efficient service at the airports and going ahead of everyone on security lines et al. [Eileen’s dear hubby Seth drove us to and from the airport that weekend. Dealing with traffic in an excellent way.] If you ever fly Continental shuttles between Newark and Dulles ... be prepared for at least one hour delay in departures. [So annoying!] Though one is only "in flight" for 45 minutes or so. And before I go any bit further, let me get the weather report out of the way. It was warm, humid and sometimes sunny the whole weekend. One is thankful for air conditioning.

Eileen and I shared a hotel room at Homestead Studio Suites in Reston, VA. [Many from the wedding party also stayed at same place ... as it was centrally located.] Very nice accommodations and reasonably priced. Friday's agenda was the wedding rehearsal at St Anne's church. Eileen was on hand to perform as the "wedding singer" and she needed to rehearse with David [the pianist]. The two songs chosen for the occasion were "Grow Old With Me" by John Lennon and "And This Is My Beloved" from the musical Kismet. Afterwards, those who wished to attend were invited back to Nancie and Tim's home for a BBQ, plus frolicking in the swimming pool. While there we met up with another Fox Lane school chum, Sharon, and her family. It was like a mini reunion with the four of us. Next day I briefly stopped by Nancie's home before heading to a salon to get my hair styled. [A delightful Iranian woman took care of me.] Attired in an elegant silk black/white dress with silver jewelry [photo above], Eileen wore a blue dress and gold jewelry, we headed off to the wedding which started promptly at 4pm. Joni looked absolutely delightful in a strapless gown with pastel color embroidery around hem and trim. And in her styled hair she had a tiara and veil. Nancie and her hubby Tim [they've been married 28 years] walked her down the aisle to a full church of guests. [photo below] Eileen sang the two songs beautifully. It was a lovely service which incorporated Christian and Jewish traditions. In honor of both families backgrounds.



Eileen and I fell abit behind schedule when back at the hotel. The reception was being held at 6pm and shuttle bus service was to take hotel guests to the location. Being late we missed the shuttle bus. What we thought was our misfortune, tuned into favor for us, as the bridal party stretch limo came to the hotel and the driver took us to the reception in style. It was a first for both of us in riding a limo like that. So very cool! Got to the reception in time to enjoy the free open bar, the main course of dinner and the chocolate fountain with goodies. We sat with Sharon, her hubby, their two teenage sons. Also at our table were a young lady, who works with Nancie, and her brother. They are originally from NYC and now live in VA. Enjoyed their company very much and even got to French kiss the sexy brother. [I'd already had three; kinda weak martini's when this happened.] The whole evening was enjoyable ... much dancing, chatting with other guests, taking photographs, enjoying good food, etc, etc.

Next day we checked out of the hotel and drove to another hotel to partake brunch with the wedding party. My hairdo held up through everything. Amazing! More socializing, along with eating and drinking. Then it was back to Nancie and Tim's home for a relaxing afternoon and more socializing. Decided not to leave the hairdo up and it took about 20 minutes, and 25 pins later, to unravel and brush it out. Nancie and Tim's hospitality were wonderful, plus it was my first time in meeting her parents. Witty and intelligent folk who are up-to-date on current news and literature. [BTW ... I did okay with the driving and only got lost once. Almost ended up in Alexandria! Very embarrassing.] After a fun, busy weekend I got home to Brooklyn around 11:30pm that Sunday evening. Happy I took the following day off, so I could sleep, take care of many errands and participate in a conference call.

On Monday, June 27th, the NYC Chapter Dept of Peace had a conference call to discuss our chapter’s current financial situation. Karen, Vlad and I were the only ones who could attend the call and we got much accomplished. Some topics of discussion were credit card usage, personal contributions, volunteers and possible venues for the July 23rd event.

Wednesday, June 29th, was a busy day for this gal. Not only with work, but outside activities too. At 4:30pm I had an appointment with a Lung Specialist to go over my condition. He'd read the catscan report, took five vials of blood for further testing, checked other vitals [all normal] and we had a discussion on the situation. Not only do I have Emphysema, but Asthma as well, and was given two different kind of inhalers. Dr Challopalli also mentioned that he may need to do a biopsy later this month. [Oh joy ... NOT ... doctors / hospitals are so not my scene!] Went home to eat some dinner and freshen up before heading out again. That evening I attended a fundraiser in the East Village. [I made a $20 contribution.] This event was hosted by fellow NYC Kucitizen [Cielito] and her filmmaker friend Sharon Chen. Ms Chen is working on a short film documentary called COLLISION. To learn more about the film et al ... visit their blog at http://collisionfilm.blogdrive.com. Was so delighted to see a few other Kucitizens showed up. It was great to see and chat with Paul, Thomas and Jessica. Hadn't seen them since the Kucinich speaking engagement out in Long Island end of April. [We caught up on "news" and health issues. Paul is part of the Norm Siegel campaign, as am I. I've been helping out with "phone banking".] You may recall me mentioning, in the past, that Thomas gives great hugs. I love hugging this fella ... feels so damn good. It was a fun evening and the turnout was pretty good for the fundraiser. Down the road, Cielito told me they raised around $500 from the event. WooHoo!

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... For in a Republic, who is "the country"? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant, merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. Mark Twain

Another busy, fun day on Thursday, June 30th, which was also my brothers 45th birthday. At 12 noon I joined the rest of my department to attend an afternoon baseball game. We took the #7 subway out to Queens to see the Mets play against the team from Philly. [Tix had been purchased by one of the partners.] The weather was muggy, humid and overcast. Kept threatening rain and thankfully held off. Good size crowd was heading into the stadium, as Pedro Martinez was pitching that day. 20 years ago large crowds went to Shea when Doc Gooden was at the height of his pitching career. Damn! Has it been 20 years since then? Whoa! Anyhow, we had decent seats in Loge section at third base and sat down just as the game started. Between Larry, Scott and Matt ... they got our 12+ group food and drink from the concession stands. I believe the eventual credit card tab [Larry] came to $130. Mon dieu! Most ballpark food is not healthy and usually salty. The best I could do was nachos, melted cheese and bottle water. Everyone else had water, beer, soda, pizza, hotdogs, peanuts and popcorn. During the 4th inning I ran down to the gift shop to purchase a Mets t-shirt with Piazza's name on the back. Most of the items, in my opinion, were nice but overpriced. Halfway thru the game [which the Mets won], Scott devised this "lottery" game using dollar bills. Did I win anything? Nope! During the three hour game we had lots of fun and I didn't have to go back to the office afterwards.

Went to pick up the photos from wedding in Virginia and realized I'd left my checkbook in my desk drawer at work. Damn! So I freshened up at home and changed into clean clothes. Back into the city to pick up my checkbook and then pop over to Port Authority to purchase my bus ticket to Albany. [Was heading upstate NY next day for long holiday weekend.] Made it in time to join my second "Support Group" session at Karen’s place. A safe, nurturing, supportive haven. I'm finding that attending "new age" spiritual events, lectures, meditations and support groups is a good, healthy path for me. I'm finally on the right path in my life. More in tune with that than going to or dealing with organized religion. Which does nothing for me at all.

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

Saturday, July 16, 2005

MESSAGE FROM MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
As many of you know, I'm Chairman of the Board of The Peace Alliance http://www.ThePeaceAlliance.org, a grass roots campaign supporting the legislative effort to establish a United States Department of Peace. As I travel around the country, I notice a "politics fatigue" -- an attitude much like, "Why diet? It never works." Yet this pervasive sense of "Whatever I do doesn't make a difference anyway," is an insidious threat to our collective well-being. If early American revolutionaries, abolitionists, women suffragettes and civil rights workers had succumbed to it, then there would be very few liberties left for us to protect.

Though people have valid concerns about our electoral process, still the biggest secret in our midst is not how much of our power is seeping away. Rather, it's how much power we still have but we're not using. America needs a pro-democracy movement of our own. Many of us don't remember the civics we learned in the seventh grade; we don't even know who our Congressional representatives are, how to contact them or that it makes so much difference when we do. An overwhelmed generation wants easy steps, and here they are:

1) To use our new Congressional contact system mail or call your member of the House of Representatives (we'll try for Senate support a bit later), and urge them to support the Dept. of Peace legislation that is being re-introduced this September. Click here: http://mariannewilliamson.c.topica.com/maadH63abiD9icimQKLeafpOmF/ If even ten people in your Congressional district call your Congressman asking for his or her support, that will put the legislation on their radar. Congresspeople react to their constituents when their constituents make themselves heard.

2) If at all possible, come to Washington DC for the Department of Peace Conference (click here: http://mariannewilliamson.c.topica.com/maadH63abiD9jcimQKLeafpOmF/ ) which takes place from September 10-14 and urge others to come as well. People from all over the United States will be there lobbying Congress to pass the bill. What walking through the streets was to the Sixties, walking through the halls of Congress is today. Just as important, just as exciting, and just as powerful.

The Department of Peace will be part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, articulating and facilitating nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflict. It will house a Peace Academy to augment the work of the Military Academy, turning conflict-resolution, nonviolent communication and humanitarian concern into serious political tools. It will provide our leaders with broader problem-solving options than the mere application of brute force. It will create an institutionalized voice for the interests of peace within the workings of the United States government, making the effort to wage peace as serious a political conversation as the effort to wage war.

This legislation will not pass easily or quickly. It is a very serious cause and it necessitates a very serious effort. Yet it's an idea whose time has come, and we are the ones it has come to. Let's do this for our children, and for theirs.

MESSAGE FROM TOM McMAHON OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY -- Republicans and Independents Speak Out on Rove
So far, thousands upon thousands of you have told the White House that our national security has no place in partisan politics. Perhaps most impressive, the response has come from all walks of life. It's not just Democrats who are outraged at Karl Rove revealing classified information as part of a partisan smear campaign and President Bush's failure to take action. Independents and Republicans have joined the chorus expressing outrage at this administration. They join Republicans like "former" President Bush, who called those who leak classified information the "most insidious of traitors" and former Republican Party chairman Ed Gillespie, who agreed that this leak was "worse than Watergate." I'd like to share some of the responses we've received from a few of these folks. Please read them below. And if you haven't yet added your name to the bipartisan call for the White House to come clean, do it now: http://www.democrats.org/comeclean

And please reach out to everyone you know -- regardless of their political affiliation -- by forwarding this message. This issue is much bigger than politics, and the cover-up needs to stop. President Bush's credibility and our national security are on the line.

[Duchess Note -- Just like the important "Downing Street Memo", this "Rove Scandal" is an incredibly serious matter and should not be ignored nor swept under the carpet. What this regime has done since stealing the presidency in 2000 AND 2004 is totally horrendous. Peoples lives [here & abroad] and national security are threatened. And this regime does not give a damn! I get so tired of some narrow-minded, up-tight Republican whining "but Clinton oh my gosh". Wake up you dumb sheep! Clintons fling with some ditzy broad, plus little white lie, didn't effect national security nor get thousands upon thousands of lives killed & maimed. These are not the Republicans of your Gran-daddies era ... these are demented thugs and criminals. So, instead of keeping your heads in the sand, help other Americans and our members of congress in ousting this inmoral, corrupt, insane regime. Please ... help bring true democracy back to American. Peace & Solidarity!]

THE RESPONSES

"I switched to Republican over 30 years ago, but now feel increasingly betrayed by and ashamed of the power-crazy dishonesty and the distorted values of the current leadership of the GOP. Tom DeLay does not speak or stand for most American Republicans. Neither does Karl Rove, who should be fired and severely punished if indications are correct. Can we trust you, Mr. President? Please give us the real, open truth." - Jeb E., Palo Alto, CA

"I am a registered and disappointed Republican. Don't make this situation worse - 'fess up and fix the problem." Karen H., Fort Collins, CO

"I am a registered Republican and want this current administration to admit the fault and fire Rove now! Decent Americans lose their jobs over less." Alice C., Wilmington, DE

"I vote for whoever I think will do the best job -- Democrat, Republican, Independent -- and this is the time for elected officials to do their best job: honor their word, honor their country, and honor those they govern by upholding not only the law but what is moral and right. In this case, it is to remove whoever is responsible for leaking the CIA agent's identity." Nancy O., Van Buren, AR

"As a registered Republican, I join with those that say enough is enough! Time to clean house!" Tim M., Milan, OH

"I am registered Republican. However, the behavior of this administration isn't part of my Republican Party. Start by taking responsibility for both the good and the bad decisions of the administration. Mr. Rove has now stepped over the line. President Bush, like his father, needs to request Mr. Rove's resignation." Ed S., Newport Beach, CA

"As a registered Republican, the recent revelations regarding Karl Rove's role in the leak of a CIA operative's identity has me greatly concerned. I am sure that a great majority of Americans would agree that now is not the time for silence and evasive actions on the part of the administration. Please address this issue immediately so that our country can move forward, united in the truth, and so that we can move on to focusing on the many challenges and opportunities of our times. Thank you." Diane W., Ephrata, CA

"I was a good Republican for all my life, but can no longer stomach the people that excuse the behavior of those who squelch any and all who question and think for themselves. Please stand up and do what is right."Lana H., Fort Worth. TX

"Truth is an awesome thing. As an American whose husband and son have served in our military I wonder if you could possibly condone a leak of information which jeopardizes our national security. I would like to see the Republican Party speak honestly as they used to speak when I was a registered Republican. We seem to be emulating the Nixon era ... I can no longer support the Republican party." MaryKay D., Columbus, OH

"As a registered Republican I am concerned about the failure of the Bush administration to follow through with its promise with anyone who comprises the security of a CIA agent and our country. Karl Rove has gone too far and must resign or be dismissed." Jan O., Yorba Linda, CA

"As a Republican ... I have to insist that the president and my party affiliates in Washington tend to the accountability of Karl Rove or face yourselves the possibility of being called part of a cover-up conspiracy. You are ELECTED officials entrusted to the security of all Americans. For God's sake get responsible." Marilynne R., Glendale, AZ

"As a lifelong Republican, who has been voting and supporting this great country for close to 50 years, I am outraged that a member of your administration would damage this nation's interests for petty, partisan, political reasons. Mr. Rove and anyone else involved in this despicable act should be fired ..." Donald E., Pittsfield, MA

"As a registered Republican, I'm shocked that Karl Rove would sink so low as to reveal our CIA agents. It is really time to ask Karl Rove to resign to spare this president further embarrassment." Charles B., Sarasota, FL

Friday, July 15, 2005

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM TRUEMAJORITY - It's Confirmed: Karl Rove Exposed a CIA Operative - White House Credibility Gap Captured on Video From Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (USN, ret)
I saw combat in three wars and know that national security depends on people who are trusted with confidential information never using it for their personal agendas. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove recently acknowledged that he revealed the identity of a CIA operative, proving that he can't be trusted with classified information. For the sake of national security and to protect America's defenders in the line of fire, President Bush needs to revoke his security clearance and get him out of the White House before he leaks another secret. Congressmembers are calling on the President to strip Rove of his security clearance and fire him. To send a message to your legislators asking them to join in asking for this prudent step, just click here: http://action.truemajority.org/campaign/rovemustgo

You can also watch the video of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan under fire at the July 11th press briefing at that link. Then please forward this message to anyone else you think might be concerned about our national security.

Thanks for helping ... Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (USN, ret.)
Military Advisor to TrueMajority.org

Here's what we know:

An ongoing investigation into this scandal eventually will conclude whether Rove should go to prison or was just inept. In the meantime, the Commander-in-Chief has an obligation to protect our nation and our troops by making sure Rove doesn't get another chance to leak something that, next time, may cost someone more than their career. In his State of the Union message in 2003, George Bush said that Saddam Hussein was trying to get uranium from Niger. In the following weeks, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson disclosed that he was sent to Niger by the CIA to look into this and had reported to top administration officials months before the speech that there was NO Niger-Iraq uranium connection. In a discussion with a reporter at Time magazine about Wilson's disclosure, Rove said that Wilson's wife was the CIA operative who sent him to Niger.

Three days later columnist Robert Novak published the fact that Plame was a CIA operative thus ending her career, possibly endangering her life and ending an important operation. Rove may have been punishing Wilson for embarrassing the President. If Rove exposed Wilson's wife, a covert member of the CIA's weapons of mass destruction team, it would be an act of treason. Rove's lawyer counters that he didn't know she was a covert operative and didn't mean any harm. Either way his disclosure was dangerous and President Bush needs to pull his security clearance and get him out of the White House right now.

The Battle Inside
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 wolves. "One is Evil. It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is God. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

[Duchess Note ... This wonderful tidbit was shared with me by a fellow NYC DoP member.]

Thursday, July 14, 2005


PEARL JAM TO PLAY BENEFIT IN MISSOULA
Rob Chaney, The Missoulian

[Photo at left - Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament with Senator Jon Tester of Montana]

http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/07/14/news/top/news01.txt

FOURTEEN YEARS AND COUNTING - CATCHING UP WITH PEARL JAM
Whitney Matheson - USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/popcandy/2005-07-12-pop-candy_x.htm

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

BELOW IS COMMENTARY & LINKS SHARED BY FELLOW NYC KUCITIZEN [Jessica] FROM A MARCH 2005 LECTURE GIVEN BY ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Attorney and Professor Environment, Health and Democracy
Seventh Annual Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Lecture in Health Policy
March 3, 2005

Robert F. Kennedy is introduced after about 5 minutes of talk. He gives a truly comprehensive talk titled "Environment, Health and Democracy". No one, not even the most staunch Republican can watch/listen to this speech [link below] and come away believing or supporting George Bush. Kennedy is relentless and his attacks are almost emotionless as he takes pains to point out the previous and current "good Republicans" who are champions for the environment. He describes the more than 400 rollbacks of over 30 years of environmental laws in the last 4 years that have caused a 4% rise in dangerous sulfur dioxode for the first time in years.

Mercury pollution is so high that one in six American women have so much Mercury in their wombs that their children will be born with a range of disabilities including autism, blindness, allergies, an imune system gone haywire and as much as a seven point drop in IQ! Mercury pollution has made all fish inedible in 19 states, and in another 29 states where they have tested many types of fish if not most are unsafe. Only 2 states, Alaska and Wyoming where the Legislature is controlled by Republicans, have not tested their fish for Mercury.

He defines fascism as "government run by corporations" and describes how Hitler (a right wing Christian fanatic who many considered "off the charts" nuts) and Mussolini both made unholy alliances with the industrial complex that then poured money into their campaigns. Once in office, they put the industrialists in charge and they proceeded to make small wars with no bid contracts, enriching themselves. He says is the government we have now here in America. He calls it living a "Science fiction nightmare", where children are being born into a world where the air is too dirty for them to breath while profiteering corporations treat the planet like a company in liquidation.

It is as powerful a condemnation as I have ever heard. He names the players and gives their offices and titles as well as their industrial linkbacks. He eviscerates the administration's pretense of Christian values and exposes them for what they really value, namely corporate profit taking. They are not the free market proponents they claim to be, nor do they support Democracy. He condemns the war and our torture of prisioners.

I dare you Republicans I'm including in this mailing to watch this http://webcast.ucsd.edu:8080/ramgen/UCSD_TV/9408.rm ... it WILL change you! This speech must be heralded and paid attention to. This should become the lynchpin for impeachment proceedings. This is a criminal regime. This speech sheds light on how they have destroyed Democracy as they are destroying us. We need to get them out. Impeachment NOW. http://www.VoteToImpeach.org

PERSONAL NEWS #60
On Monday morning, June 20th, I arrived for my catscan appointment 15 minutes early. Allowed for enough time in case I got lost in finding the place. The clinic is located in the Tribeca section of downtown Manhattan. An area I don't visit that often. In fact, last time I was in the area was summer 2003. Once at the clinic, I filled out all the paperwork, and then waited almost an hour. Good thing I brought a book to read. One thing I find annoying about doctor or clinic visits is all that damn waiting. Don't know why they over book appointments. Since the catscan was for my lung area, I only had to remove my upper garments, and then put on a hospital gown. The whole catscan experience took about 20 minutes or so. My lower back got abit cramped, as did my left arm from having intravenous needle in it. Made it back to the office just before 11am. Precisely the time I told my bosses I'd be in the office. That afternoon, via an email, I learned there was to be a Norm Siegel Campaign volunteer meeting at 7pm. It was being held at Bar 9 on West 53rd Street. I'd been to this place before, back in the winter, for a DFA meetup. Really cool joint to hangout. The volunteer meeting was about how to approach voters, tell them about Norm's campaign and prime NYC areas for petitioning. My schedule over next two weeks or so would cut back on my being able to help petition, but I signed up to help out with phone banking et al. Tracey D hosted the meeting and about 8 to 10 people showed up. Overall a productive day, even at work.

Wednesday, June 22nd, was another follow-up visit with my doctor regarding the catscan results, etc. Saw Dr Richheimer again, along with another doctor, whose name I can't recall. [Glad I didn't have to deal with Dr Rodriguez.] My vitals signs [damn nurses] were checked and Richheimer was happy to see the rash all gone. Hell yeah, so was I, and I didn't have to take the medication anymore. Another test they performed, while I was there, was an EKG. The heart et al was doing just fine. The bad news is that I have Emphysema, due to "heavy toxins", while working in Wall Street area after 9/11. Both doctors wanted me to see a lung specialist and an appointment was set up for June 29th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The media no longer ask those who know something, to share knowledge with the public. Instead they ask those who know nothing to represent the ignorance of the public and, in so doing, to legitimate it. Serge Daney [1944-1992] French Film Critic

On Thursday, June 23rd, I participated in the DoP District Team Leader conference call, which Kevin hosted and I took notes/minutes. Besides Kevin and me, only four others joined in call. One of which was a fellow DoP member [Joe]. We started off the call with a quote from President Eisenhower. Jordan mentioned Fossadella, who was Secretary of State under the 1950s Eisenhower years. We team leaders need to contact the congressperson or scheduler, in our district, and get an appointment to talk about the Dept of Peace bill. [Must be done before Peace Conference weekend of September 10th.] There was abit of a discussion about the recent delivery of the "Peace Alliance" DVD we all received. We all agreed the basic content was pretty positive and not too flashy. Emphasis, during the call, was on listening to what our government people have to say and slowly incorporate DoP bill into the conversation. Good overall call and Kevin is proving to be a fine host.

P.S. Hopefully Blogger.com can fix things so my "sidebar" shows up on the left side of webpage and I still cannot add Jpegs stored on my computer. Sigh! Anyhow, more "personal news" to come ... stay tuned.

[DUCHESS NOTE – Special thanks to Tim Shera, NY State District Team Leader for DoP, and Kevin Fagan (board member of NYC DoP) in sharing this Psalm. As Kevin said … “Seems as if it was written with us ‘Peace Angels’ in mind.”]

Psalm 122
I rejoiced when I heard them announce,
"The time of warfare is past.
No more will brother hate brother
or violence have its way.
No more will they drown out God's silence
and shut their hearts to his song."

Pray for peace in the cities
and harmony among the races.
May peace come to live on our streets
and justice within our walls.
With all my heart I will pray
that peace comes to live among us.
For the sake of all earth's people,
I will do my utmost for peace.

Sean Bean on Silent Hill
Source: Edward Douglas
July 12, 2005
http://comingsoon.net/news/topnews.php?id=10340
"While talking to ComingSoon.net about Michael Bay's The Island, in which he plays the evil geneticist Dr. Merrick, Sean Bean dropped a few details about his upcoming horror film Silent Hill, based on the popular video game. Bean is best known as the warrior Boromir from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings and he also played the bad guy in Jerry Bruckheimer's National Treasure.


Bean doesn't play the bad guy in Silent Hill, but instead, he plays a father and husband to Radha Mitchell, trying to find his wife and child. Since he hadn't played the game, he didn't know how it compared, but he did think fans of the game will appreciate it. "I think the game is quite psychologically demanding, because it's not about chopping people up," he told us. "It's about using your brain, and I think this will be really good because Christophe Gans, the director of 'Brotherhood of the Wolf', has given it a really quirky, bizarre feel, very spooky and sort of like a European genre film." [Sean Bean (left) at the July 11th NYC premiere of the new film THE ISLAND. He plays Dr Merrick.]

He went on to tell us about the plot: "It's about this place called Silent Hill,and our daughter is kind of disturbed about it. She keeps mentioning it, and she's trying to get out of the house and go there, so my wife decides that it might be a good idea to take her there to confront her fears. She gets involved with a very murky and dangerous world, very creepy, which is all in different time levels, as well. I'm in the real world and I'm trying to find them, but we're on different planes, so it's quite interesting, because I can hear her, but I can't see her. The way he shoots it is just constant fog and cobwebs around the Silent Hill world, while the real world is more normal." Oddly, he also plays the father and husband in a British thriller called The Dark with Maria Bello, which he said was also quite disturbing and ghostly. "It's quite funny that I'm playing a concerned husband searching for my daughter twice in a year." Maybe these two movies will finally allow Bean to break away from his typecasting as the bad guy. The Island hits theatres on July 22, while Silent Hill, is scheduled to come out sometime in 2006".