Sunday, September 24, 2006

On Friday, Sept 1st, my office was closed for the long Labor Day holiday weekend. Hurray! I had many errands and chores to catch up on throughout the day. In the middle of all that I had a workout session at the gym with my Personal Trainer [Marie], and she put me through the paces. Wish my funds weren’t so tight at times, so that I can have two sessions a month instead of one. In the long run a good workout benefits ones body, mind and spirit.

Next day [Sept 2nd] I headed upstate NY to visit my parents for the long, relaxing holiday weekend. Did some shopping to boost my bead supply at a terrific shop in Cambridge called “Over the Moon”. Both Heather and Sara are wonderful, talented and so helpful. I love their funky, eclectic shop. Check out their website some time at The only nice weather that whole weekend was Sunday morning with sunshine. Rest of the time it was overcast, sometimes cool and occasionally rainy. Borrowed Dad’s car at one point so Mom and I could toodle off to Saratoga for lunch/shopping. Caught up on viewing some Cable TV and got to watch parts 1 & 2 of “Sharpe’s Challenge”, which I enjoyed very much. Sean Bean is brilliant as Sharpe. Did some reading, hair salon, creating of bead style earrings and occasionally took care of neighbor’s dog. Don’t know the dog’s name, but he is friendly and lonely for company. Idiot neighbor was hardly around and I felt so bad for the dog. Some people shouldn’t own pets. One evening I drove to “down town” Cambridge to place Tasini campaign flyers on cars and in mailboxes. Accidentally tried to access someone’s car and realized it wasn’t Dads car. Duh! Silly me. . . .

Tuesday, Sept 5th, I participated in the monthly national Dept of Peace conference call. Matthew Albrecht was moderator and guest speaker on the call was Byron Katie. Who is the author of a new book called “Loving What Is”. She talked about “The Work”, which basically entails four questions and a way of clearing ones mind. How to apply this method in regards to getting people out to vote. Whether it’s for the November election or getting congress people to co-sponsor the Dept of Peace legislation. Several quotes by Byron Katie:

* The journey is everything
* The truth never suffers from an honest discernment
* Fear stops a person from living their hearts desire

To learn more about “The Work” and Byron Katie, go to

The following evening, Sept 6th, I attended the monthly DFNYC meetup in northern Brooklyn. Arrived shortly after 7pm to find Ben sitting in usual booth and within 5 minutes or so two others joined us. [Thank you Ben in sharing the website link ] Ben told us that a friend of the Tavern owner is progressive radio personality and former Air America radio talk show host, Mike Malloy. And that he would be stopping by to briefly chat with our group, and also hangout at the Tavern. This was exciting news, as I used to listen to his Air America program all the time. LOVED HIS SHOW! Then the “big wig” buggers who run Air America took Malloy off the radio back in March and brought on “Satellite Sisters”. Oh my god, I can’t stand those syrupy broads. Barf! Then Malloy’s online show was cancelled the week before. When I got home later on that evening I sent an email to him via his website at It was a pleasure meeting Malloy that evening and briefly talking about the upcoming NY primary. Rest of the meetup was spent discussing the different progressives running in the NY primary.

Thursday, Sept 7th, I had a business lunch meeting [ie: Jacks Restaurant] with one of my bosses [Bill] to discuss my expanded admin secretarial duties over next six months.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[Kevin & Carol are the founding members of New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace campaign. They are posing with the "Tapestry of Peace" quilt (designed by children) at Sept 11th Gandhi event in lower Manhattan.]

Next day, Sept 8th, I attended the final NYDoP marketing/PR meeting for our upcoming Gandhi/Sept 11th event at Norma’s office. We discussed and worked on our last minute to-do list, along with assignments, such as “sign up sheets” for press and people interested in NYDoP. [Over past week or so I’d been faxing out press releases and media alerts to a large list.] I volunteered to help run our display table and sell DoP items at the event. Also, work has been very busy, as I was covering for another secretary who’s been out on vacation since August 29th. Kind of made things abit hectic, even extra overtime and trying to keep it all from going nutty. Mon dieu!


On Saturday, Sept 9th, I met up with Marianne, Karen and Randy [volunteer] in Times Square to distribute postcards for our Gandhi event. I arrived around 10am outside the Toys-R-Us and located Marianne, when all of a sudden we see 5 scantily clad handsome men running down 7th Avenue tossing a rugby ball to each other. Oh la la! This process was performed several times, as they were being filmed for a commercial. Marianne and I, along with other women on the sidewalk, were greatly enjoying the view of 5 handsome men wearing what appeared to be swimwear. And nothing else … big sigh! On the back of their swimwear it said “Budgy Smuggler” I was most annoyed with myself in not having my camera with me that day. Damn! Karen joined us shortly after all this delightful viewing and then Randy showed up. We discussed a strategy in getting out the postcards and then split into two groups. Randy joined me and we headed towards 8th Avenue to canvas the shops, phone booths and the free periodical [ie: Metro or AM New York] stands. We did very well and got rid of at least 300+ postcards before calling it quits. I had the small cart with box of postcards, which I took home with me. As I was getting off the crowded “7” subway to switch for another subway, a nice, elderly gent near the door said “make way for the Dept of Peace lady”. It was like the parting of the Red Sea, only on a smaller scale, and folk smiling at me. I was abit surprised and said many smiling “thank you’s” as I exited the subway. You may be wondering how they knew about Dept of Peace [DoP], well, I was dressed in blue that day and had on my DoP t-shirt. The next afternoon I took many of those postcards and did some canvassing of the upper Westside with them. Same procedure as the day before … shops, phone booths and periodical stands. Weather wasn’t as nice and before heading home I stopped into H&H Bagels for a yummy snack. Ahhhhhh … best bagels in town.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
In photo above, my fellow NYC Kucitizen, Thomas G, pumping that peace sign in the direction of the UN building and chanting … AMERICANS DON'T WANT YOUR WAR!
And the crowd responds … WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DYING FOR?!? (Or what the hell are we fighting / killing for?!?) The photo below shows more protestors near UN when Bushit was in NYC week of Sept 18th spinning more lies and propaganda.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[Note – Above AP photos by Bebeto Matthews]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

MESSAGE FROM THE PEACE ALLIANCE & DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN - Governor Richardson Designates Day of Peace for New Mexico

Special thanks to Richard Mansbach for sharing this information and congratulations to all the people in NM who worked on this!

SANTA FE—Governor Richardson has proclaimed his support of nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflict by formally recognizing September 21st as the State of New Mexico’s Day of Peace. The proclamation states, “…in times of crisis, all attempts at cooperation and dialogue, both large and small, can help to break patterns of violence, find common ground and reestablish respect.” It also encourages the support of nonviolent approaches to conflict through practices such as mediation, community conferencing, and conflict management instruction in our schools. “New Mexico is becoming a leader in considering innovative approaches to issues of conflict in our society,” said Richard Mansbach, a practitioner with the Restorative Justice Community Center of Southwestern NM.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“Governor Richardson’s stand through this proclamation furthers the effort for passage of the NM Office of Peace and adds weight to the momentum for a national Department of Peace, both of which promote the use of nonviolent practices.” The legislation for a New Mexico Office of Peace passed the House in the long session in 2005 and has Governor Richardson’s support. A New Mexico Office of Peace would be committed to finding and maintaining a high ground of humanity, respect, hope and safety for NM citizens and their future generations. It would enhance peace studies and practices, and coordinate and support existing resources and trainings in conflict resolution. It would also research the relationship between the use of diplomatic methods and the reduction of violence.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MESSAGE FROM "THE PEACE ALLIANCE" & THE U.S. DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN - "Walk for Peace": Reports from the Field
[Duchess Note: Some of the New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace core team organized a "Walk for Peace" out in Long Island, and its listed at the link above. We be groovy peacemakers and we sooo rock the house!]

Ronald Blum, Associated Press
[Duchess Note - Hurray! Yahoo! You all can keep the overpaid, arrogant NY Yankees, I always cheer on the underdog. I've been a fan of the Mets since they won their first World Series on my b-day in 1969.]


Inconvenient Truths (for Al Gore and the Rest of the Planet)

by David DeGraw

Ten Nobel Peace Prize Winners Take Aim at US

by Matthew Rothschild
We have enough proof that the Bush administration is a bunch of lying evildoers. We don't need to make it up.

The Longer the War, the Larger the Lie
Frank Smith

Daniel Ellsberg: Time To Drive Out The Bush Regime
The man who gave the world the Pentagon Papers delivers an impassioned
plea to a new generation of activists to heed the lessons of Nixon and
even Hitler when taking stock of the Bush administration's nuclear ambitions.

The Prima Donnas Endangering a Democratic Victory in 2006
by David Sirota


Brooklyn Peace Walk & Vigil
Sunday September 24, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Protest Senator Schumer's Support for War
Remember Soldiers and Civilians Who Have Died

Gather at 6:30 pm, Grand Army Plaza (Prospect Park entrance)
(2 or 3 trains to Grand Army Plaza; Q train to 7th Ave)
March begins at sundown. Walk to Flatbush Ave, down 7th Ave to Carroll Street
7:30 pm: Vigil near Senator Schumer's residence, Prospect Park West and Carroll Street

At the end of this peaceful and dignified vigil, we will read the Declaration of Peace, and the names of those who have died in the Iraq War. For more information, visit

Organized by Brooklyn Parents for Peace; endorsed by NYC United for Peace and Justice

Angry SEAN PENN has made a rare TV appearance to demand Americans fight to get their troops sent home from Iraq. The reclusive movie icon appeared on Thursday night's (14SEP06) LARRY KING LIVE show on international news channel CNN and stated he could see no worth in keeping US soldiers stationed in the Middle East war zone. Penn, who hit headlines when he made two fact-finding missions to Iraq before the US invasion in 2003, insists PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH should follow former US leader RICHARD NIXON's example - when he pulled troops out of Vietnam - and seek "peace with honor."

A physically anxious Penn said, "I think the American people have a choice... It's about an eight to 10 year proposition of Iraqis and Americans and others dying in Iraq, the same amount will be dead of Iraqis innocent in 10 years without the Americans as there will with the Americans there; we'll just have more Americans dead. "So, shamefully we have to... it's what Nixon called peace with honor to get out of Vietnam.” I think that `cut and run' is something that's meant to make people feel like cowards if they do it. Well, we did make a mistake; it is time to pull our troops out. "It's time to rebuild our military because we've got a bad world and they've (politicians) inflamed terrorism around the world... so what's happened there (in Iraq) is a civil war that's going to get worse with us or without us; it's time for us to strengthen ourselves and to try to help them through diplomacy and with money."

I haven't had time to write the thoughtful reflection about my race for Congress. Many of you helped and many sent contributions and I am very grateful for all the support you gave me. Unfortunately, I was late getting into the fundraising and came up short of being able to do the mailing I had hoped to do, so I can't help but feel that I shortchanged the campaign. I suppose I was naive about how difficult it would be to get enough small contributions to add up to what I thought was a modest goal.

That said, I finished with 17% of the vote. I made some terrific new friends and had the support of many of the stalwarts who I met during the Kucinich campaign and we are all determined to build the progressive voice in the political arena. The result isn't terrible, but of course it leaves Engel still in office. He knows however, that he is being watched and every vote he makes on the wrong side will be reported on and used to mount the next campaign run (whether mine or someone else's) and we can only hope that he will join up with the progressive caucus a little more often.

I'll write more later about the election, my experiences and my thoughts. Now however, I really want to urge you all too please send a message about Darfur to Bush and Kofi Anan through the website below. It is really desperate and I couldn't let another day go past without getting this out.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New York, NY, September 13, 2006. -- On September 11, 2006, New Yorkers and Americans in 20 states marked the 100 year anniversary of Gandhi’s decision to use nonviolence. New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (NY-DOP), in cooperation with Sony Pictures, organized a one-day-only theatrical showing of the movie Gandhi. Movie screenings, held at the Regal Cinema near the World Trade Center site and other theaters across the country, included the debut of a short film, Satyagraha. The title is the name that Gandhi chose for his nonviolent campaign and translates as “the pursuit of truth.” The film focuses on the power of nonviolence and features Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, and George Houser, a civil rights activist and founding member of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[Note - Some of the amazing members of NYDoP at "100 Years of Nonviolence" event on Sept 11th & yours truly is standing at right in black suit]

To kick off the screenings, NY-DOP organized a panel discussion at the Regal Cinema, which according to Julianne Nicholson (Law and Order) was “poignant and moving.” Anthony Aversano, who lost his father on September 11, 2001 quoted Gandhi saying, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.” JoJo Brim, an executive at Warner Music Group, challenged the audience to “make peace sexy” through entertainment. Kamran Elahian explained how the Gandhi Project uses the movie GANDHI, dubbed in Arabic, to educate Palestinians on the power of nonviolence. Monica Willard shared that the United Nations had originally slated September 11, 2001 as the International Day of Peace. Since then, however, the UN has moved it to September 21 and marks the day annually. Marie Ukeye, a Rwandan genocide survivor, concluded by reflecting on the fact that humans are very “successful” at organizing violence and considered how different the world would be if all that energy were focused on organizing peace.

“I forgot how inspiring the movie Gandhi is, especially on the big screen,” remarked Blake McGee, a student at Columbia University’s School of Public Health. “After watching it, I really feel called to go out and take action. I am glad that I spent September 11 focusing on such a hopeful message.”

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

All proceeds for the Gandhi screenings and other 100-year anniversary activities went to NY-DOP. NY-DOP shares the same goals as The Peace Alliance, that is working to establish a cabinet-level, federally-funded, United States Department of Peace that will promote nonviolent conflict resolution including: prevention, education and training both domestically and internationally. Visit the NY-DOP web site at

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... When the power of love overcomes the love of power we will know peace ... Jimi Hendrix

April Jimenez / Long Island Press

Peace is Practical by Linda Zoblotsky
Posted on OpEdNews 9/12/2006

I live in Plano, Texas, an affluent mostly Republican suburb, bordering Dallas. My Republican friends and neighbors tell me that it is our patriotic duty to fly the flag on September 11th. Ever since that Tuesday morning when the entire world learned of the attacks, displays of American flags and “United We Stand” stickers and posters populate our SUVs and store windows.

On the 5th anniversary of the devastation, President Bush stated that over a million men and women volunteered for military service. Over 100,000 people have died in the “war on terror”. Over 50,000 U.S. service men and women have lost their limbs and their mental and emotional state of well-being. As the Pentagon Budget keeps growing, valuable social services that American citizens depend on for their security are of lower priority to our elected officials, than the “war on terror” or the “war on Islamic fascism”. During the 20th Century, over 100 million people lost their lives to war -- most of whom were non-combatants.

While the Bush administration has promised to keep Americans safe, the world saw people in The Gulf Coast starving last summer and struggling for their lives as a photo of President Bush looking down on the storm damage from Air Force One was published.

After all is said and done about what is bad about the Bush administration and the U.S government, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A vital force in the U.S. Congress lead by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), and behind this force in Congress, citizens across the nation volunteer. This outstanding effort to do something to stop endless war and violence is called The Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace, (House Resolution 3760 and Senate 1756).

There are currently 75 congressional co-sponsors of this legislation in the House and 2 in the Senate. At 2% of the cost it takes to finance the Pentagon budget, A U.S. Department of Peace (DOP) would research, articulate and facilitate non-violent efforts to address both domestic and international conflict. The original idea of a Peace Department in the United States dates back to the administration of George Washington. During The Cold War, Eighty-five bills calling for a Department of Peace were introduced in the House or the Senate. Between 1990 and 2003 over 1,700 schools in Ohio participated in a conflict management program. Evaluations of this program show a decline in the number of conflict-related behaviors leading to suspension and expulsion. 90% of teachers participating in the program said their schools were safer.

Peace on earth is practical. The 2005 Missile Defense budget was 10 billion dollars for a system that is not operational. The Divine Strake test is possibly scheduled in New Mexico for 2007. Supporters of DOP ask whether our priorities should be to build more nuclear weapons, which could harm our own citizens, or perhaps we should consider how innocent people are susceptible to a nuclear attack or a theft of nuclear materials?

Domestic peace at home is practical. The Bush administration has called for an amendment protecting the institution of marriage from gay people who love each other and want to get married. The DOP will develop policies and allocate resources to effectively reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other forms of societal discord.

DOP activist groups exist in all 50 states and over 280 Congressional districts. September 11th stands out not only for the 2001attacks, but also as the 100-year anniversary of Satyagraha, the modern nonviolent movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. September 21st marks the fifth anniversary of the International Day of Peace, established by the United Nations in 2001. In recognition of these events, people in cities and towns across the nation are staging local "Walks for Peace." Organizers of these events, planned in collaboration with the Peace Alliance, say these walkathons will help raise awareness of legislation (HR 3760 and S. 1756) currently in the House and Senate to create a cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence.

For information about local walks, please visit:

NEW YORK, NY - At 10:30 pm on Election Day, Senate Candidate Jonathan Tasini conceded his challenge to Senator Clinton to a crowd of supporters at McFadden’s Bar and Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. Tasini released the following statement:

“People throughout this campaign have come up to me and said that they were so grateful they had a choice – that they could express their opposition to this illegal and immoral war, their frustration that in this county 40 million people don’t have health care, and their anger that corporations are waging class warfare against their workers. I am proud that we have given them that choice. We knew when we got into this race what we would face – a political machine that believes only in money, that believes only in the accumulation of power, that does not know principles, and that would do anything to win. But what we have is the belief that we can change our country. We are working to create a powerful progressive movement that stands up for the values that we believe in and in the end I believe we will win."

Kucinich on the President’s 9/11 Speech
Link Shared by Linda Z from Texas [Thx!]

Also Shared by Linda Z from Texas - Audio Interview with Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich Regarding Lebanon


Hillary’s Challenger Crucified On A Cross Of Gold
Scott Ritter
Money is the difference between having a fighting chance and total obscurity for Hillary Clinton's challenger Jonathan Tasini in the New York Senate Dem primary.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Diagnosed as “Waraholics”
Rick Gell
With the Democrats and the mainstream media enabling them, administration leaders are five years into a major war binge. They won't stop until they've hit bottom.

Why Rudy Giuliani Can’t Stop Cashing In On 9/11
Dan Collins, Wayne Barrett / The Nation
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has made millions from his Sept. 11 grandstanding and has positioned himself for a presidential run based on his 9/11 persona. How much longer will he get away with it?

Robert Greenwald's new movie Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is creating quite a buzz in the media. The New York Times review says:

"Mr. Greenwald compiles a horrifying catalog of greed, corruption and incompetence among private contractors in Iraq, focusing primarily on Halliburton, Blackwater Security Consulting and CACI International... the movie goes on to trace connections between the contractors and the Republican Party, assert the buying of influence and explores what it says are questionable accounting systems that encourage an exorbitant waste of taxpayer money. And that's just the first 30 minutes."

The Los Angeles Times says the film could "unite viewers across all political spectra."

Halliburton, Dick Cheney and Republican leaders everywhere don't want you to see this movie, especially in October, just a few weeks before Election Day. That's why over 100 DFA groups around the country have already set-up a screening of Iraq for Sale so you can see it FREE. Search for a free screening:

You probably remember a few of Robert Greenwald's other movies such as Outfoxed and WalMart: The High Cost of Low Price. In Iraq for Sale, Greenwald takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. The film uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who let it happen.

Movies are a great way to spread a progressive message and have fun. It's also an excellent tool to recruit new members and students. Can't find a screening near you? Just set up a DFA-link screening during the week of October 8 to 14. Then get at least 15 people to RSVP by September 25 and you will receive a free DVD courtesy of DFA. In the past, DFA activists have organized house parties or used community centers. Often community colleges and universities have free rooms available for just this type of thing. Make a party out of it, who doesn't like a free movie and some popcorn? Set up your own event (you may need to login in first):

Next Tuesday, September 19, President George Bush will be addressing the United Nations in defense of the disastrous Iraq War. United for Peace and Justice has planned a peaceful march and rally to voice our opposition and call for the troops to come home.

Yesterday we met with the New York Police Department, who informed us they will not allow any marches near the United Nations that day. In fact, they said they would not allow any marches east of Park Avenue, south of 52nd Street, or north of the mid 30s. The police are invoking "security concerns" to justify shunting us so far away from the site of Bush's speech that we might as well be in another borough. We wouldn't just be out of earshot and out of visual range -- we'd be many long blocks away. Is this what democracy looks like? We were completely willing to discuss a range of reasonable march routes, but the NYPD refused. Their only proposals were for marches far from the UN or a slot for a short rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, among at least eight other organizations working on an array of issues.

This is another in a long line of actions by the New York City Police Department -- and the federal government -- that undermine our right to dissent. Time and time again, United for Peace and Justice has had to fight to exercise our basic right to peaceful protest. They tried to stop us from rallying in the lead-up to the Iraq War. They tried to sideline our protest against the Republican National Convention to the sun-baked West Side Highway. We didn't back down then, and we're not backing down now. United for Peace and Justice is determined to have the strongest possible antiwar presence on the streets of New York City on September 19 while Bush speaks at the UN. We know this is a workday, but we urge you if you possibly can to make plans to join us in the streets.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Back on August 16th I attended the annual E&Y FSO division one-day outing at Travers Island in eastern Westchester County. This was actually my first time in attending one of E&Ys summer outings. Since the company was providing free transportation I figured why not check it out. The weather that day was really nice, sunny and warm. Arrived at E&Y office in Times Square at 8:30am to take the bus up to Pelham and along the ride I chatted with Heather & Kathy. Discussion was mostly about fashion, celebrities and sites to visit in Washington DC. After arriving at the country club, which I remembered visiting in 1998 with another company [ie: CBRE], we partook of breakfast. Another bus load of employees showed up and throughout the day I hung out with Barbara, Stephanie, Michelle and Theresa. After noshing on Danish the assorted “games & events” commenced, which if one wanted to participate in you could and accumulate “raffle” tix. I only participated in one game, which had to do with golf, as I had some health issues regarding my neck/shoulder. I received a raffle tix for my brief participation and came damn close later on during the raffling for prizes. If Kurt had said 48 instead of 45, I’d now be the proud owner of a digital camera. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Sigh! Barbara, Stephanie and I spent some time lounging under trees near the swimming pool. It’s nice to lounge and people watch for a spell. The food provided at lunch time was nicely done and such a good variety. Watching ones co-workers participate in such fun games as “chicken toss”, “tug-o-war”, “hoola hoops” and “egg toss” was so amusing. Everyone had lots of fun and laughs. Before heading off to the buses, those of us who didn’t win prizes received big yellow beach towels with the E&Y logo on it. Took a nap on the bus ride back to Manhattan, as all that sunshine and fresh air knocked me out.

Next day, August 17th, was the monthly NYC-DoP core team meeting. Those in attendance for this meeting were Joe, Dawn, Kevin, Liz, Carol, Karen, Priscilla and Eileen. The majority of discussion was on the steering/fundraising committees, upcoming dates for strategy meetings, further work on “100 Years of Nonviolence” project and new business. This group/organization/campaign is really terrific and made up of many talented individuals. Spreading the word of peace and truth is important to us. Having more join and contribute to our campaign here in NYC would be most wonderful. A peaceful world, not fear, is were it’s at and taking those first baby steps in the right direction by visiting our website at
And as Gandhi said ... “be the change”.

On Saturday, August 19th, I headed up to Yonkers to do volunteer work at the ferret shelter. It has been 2 ½ months since my last visit to help Joanne’s shelter. This time around there was many new furkids at the shelter, which meant extra work in ferret hygiene. Many people just don’t realize how involved one must be in keeping a ferret, so they bring them to ferret shelters. So many wee ones need loving, forever homes to go to. If you’re interested in adopting a ferret or two, and you live in the NY/CT/NJ area, please contact Joanne via email at

Next day, August 20th, I went to see a new documentary called “THE TOXIC CLOUDS OF 9/11” A Johnson/Startzman film: Produced and Directed by Alison Johnson, (60min, 2006)

SPECIAL GUEST: Alison Johnson of the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation and affected New Yorkers interviewed in the film will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Brief Summary of the Film - Those of us who were living or working in and around the World Trade Center on 9/11 have a special reason to check out this important film and meet its producer and director. Deadly illnesses and other health problems that have arisen from the toxic aftermath of 9/11 are the focus of this powerful and disturbing new documentary film. Workers and residents exposed to the toxic fumes of 9/11 share their stories and associated health problems. Also interviewed are legal and health experts who claim the air in and around Ground Zero contained chemicals such as dioxin, mercury, asbestos, lead etc. causing otherwise healthy people to develop asthma, cancer and heart and lung problems. The film addresses the stakes involved and the roles played by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, politicians and commercial interests in misleading the public on the air quality in Lower Manhattan following the WTC attacks.

Duchess Comments on Film - The documentary was very powerful and moving, plus some of the people in the film spoke with the group afterwards. We were told that samples taken on or near the Twin Towers yielded huge amounts of contaminants; such as asbestos, fiberglass, mercury, lead, etc. Congressman Nadler was there and said that many of the buildings and apartments down there were never cleaned properly. They are still contaminated and will be for decades to come. The cost to have ones apartment properly inspected is $1,200 and to get it properly cleaned is $10,000+. Yep, you heard me, it’s that much. So what did the friggin city and government do? They brought in undocumented poorly paid workers to do the cleaning and didn't even provide them with proper gear. Thousands are ill today because of this, along with "first responders" to Twin Towers et al. We learned that the press and government are working to keep all this from New Yorkers and Americans. Doesn’t this sound familiar in regards Katrina victims?!? Bush & Co is the worst regime in modern history and quite frankly they are the biggest terrorist.

On Tuesday, August 22nd, I participated with other Tasini campaign volunteers outside Penn Station on 7th Avenue. Over the course of 75 minutes Chris, Al, Jeremy and I handed out 300+ flyers. It was a tough crowd, but we persevered and smiled through it all.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

On Wednesday, August 23rd, I participated in another NYDoP Marketing/PR meeting at Norma's office. Those who attended the last meeting were also at this one. We are slowly making progress on setting up the Gandhi/Sept 11th event. I've been given the assignment of faxing the press release and media alert to a large list of contacts. This will take awhile to fax out all of them at work. Whew!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

On Saturday, August 26th, I met up with Carol around 10am to distribute and post flyers around the Union Square area for the upcoming Gandhi/Sept 11th event at the Regal Cinema. The weather wasn't the greatest, but we made good progress amongst the smaller shops in the area. Many were very receptive and let us tape the flyers/posters on windows/doors. At the Farmers Market we ran into Democrat candidates Jonathan Tasini and Mark Green, who were both working the crowds. Carol, MaryJo [she joined us around 12 noon] and I engaged them in brief conversation on peace. Since I've been doing volunteer work for the Tasini campaign, I already knew Jonathan and introduced him to Carol & MaryJo. Back at my apartment I got things ready for my dinner/movie guests. Jackie and Becca came over around 5:30pm to dine and watch the extended version of LOTRs "Return of the King". I was wearing my new black LOTRs long sleeved t-shirt with the map of Middle Earth on the back. Showed them the 6 inch high Boromir figurine I had recently purchased online, as well as some of the goodies from the July ELF Convention. While noshing on quiche, salad and wine we watched the movie. Making our usual comments and observations. For dessert I served homemade chocolate chip cookies topped with ice cream and fudge sauce. A nice way to round out an enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, August 29th, was another NYDoP Marketing/PR meeting at Norma’s office. Those who attended the first were also at this meeting, plus we made further progress on the “100 Years of Nonviolence” event set for Sept 11th. We were informed that actresses from “Law & Order” and “Sopranos” would be attending as guests. That evening [6:30pm outside of Grand Central Station] I met up with Chris, Al, Jeremy and Timmy to hand out Tasini flyers for an hour. We did okay, tho this crowd was abit tougher than those outside of Penn Station the week before. The weather didn't help, as it was very cool and looked like it would rain soon.


by Cindy Sheehan


Dear Citizens of Planet Earth:

I am writing to you about the lack of investigative reporting concerning the 9-11 attacks. I would like to see the mainstream press contact the 9-11 Scholars for Truth at

I would like to see the mainstream press ask questions about the physics of the 9-11 attacks on The World Trade Center. The PR surrounding jet fuel melting the steel of the WTC doesn't stand up to what we know about fire damage to other high rises. Look at the pictures of the tragic circumstances that Lebanon faces. Downtown Beirut has been bombed and yet the shelled out buildings still stand. The fires that burned at the WTC after the airplanes crashed on 9-11 emitted black smoke, indicating that the heat was not extreme enough to melt steel and certainly not the core of both of those buildings. What does the 9-11 Commission say about the physics of the core destruction of The World Trade Centers?

Being that the buildings were hit in two different areas, why did the buildings come down the exact same way and almost the exact same amount of collapse time? Why did the buildings begin to pulverize and eject pieces from the very top, when the airplanes did not crash into the very top of the buildings? American citizens have seen these photos and videos over and over and many American citizens are smart enough to ask these same questions. With intelligence, technology, multi agencies in charge of airliner security, how did FOUR airplanes loose control on 9-11? Why wasn't at least one of these airplanes shot down?

Over 100,000 people have died from U.S. weapons of Mass Destruction since 9-11. Al Qaeda threatens the well-being of "infidels". The Christian Right threatens that non-believers will burn in hell. The rhetoric of those we deem to be terrorists do not appear to be different from that of our own government, which maintains that we must kill and destroy every "terrorist" "over there".

Who benefits from the 9-11 attacks? If Osama designed the 9-11 attacks because of his grievances against the U.S. government, why are U.S. oil and defense contractors getting richer and richer since the "new Pearl Harbor"? None of these thoughts are my original thoughts alone. That is why the 9-11 Scholars for Truth came together to educate people who simply want to know the truth about 9-11. The truth is the people who have had the most to gain from the 9-11 attacks are some U.S. citizens running multinational oil and defense and security companies.
Thank you for considering my questions about the truth about what happened on 9-11.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nida Mariam, DNA India
[Duchess Note - There is mention in this article on the New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace, of which I am a proud member and supporter.]

See The Movie Gandhi - ONE DAY ONLY Sept. 11, 2006
Tickets are NOW on sale!

Nearly 100 years before the World Trade Towers became associated with September 11; Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the modern nonviolent movement on September 11, 1906. To honor this anniversary, New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (NYDOP) in partnership with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, has organized nationwide screenings of the 1982 Academy Award-winning movie Gandhi along with the debut release of the short film Satyagraha.

GANDHI being shown at Regal Cinema Battery Park in NYC
102 North End Avenue, near WTC
Movie Show Times: 11:30am, 3:30pm & 7:30pm
$11 general admission & $7 for students (with valid ID) at 11:30 & 3:30 shows only (proceeds benefit NYDOP)

Purchase Tickets NOW!
Learn more ...


Do You Feel Safer?
Rosa Brooks

Imagine the Twin Towers Hadn’t Fallen On 9/11
Tom Engelhardt, The Nation &

Justice for G.I.s? Say Iraq Uranium Caused Ills
Juan Gonzalez

War-Mongering America Terrorizes The World
Howard Zinn, AlterNet

My September 10th
Laura Kaminker

The Undeclared War On America’s Middle Class
Thom Hartmann, AlterNet


Friday, September 08, 2006

In a little over 48 hours, ABC will air a five-hour "docudrama" on the 9/11 attacks. The movie was written and produced by a right-wing activist who fabricated key scenes to blame Democrats and defend Republicans. It's so partisan that even Rush Limbaugh was surprised ABC decided to air it. And an FBI agent who was brought in to consult on the docudrama quit because, he said, "they were making things up."

Public outrage is mounting across the country, and Variety reports that ABC is now "mulling the idea of yanking the mini altogether." But we only have a little time to act. We'll start delivering this petition to ABC headquarters tomorrow at noon and continue as more signatures come in. So we're looking for 200,000 signatures TODAY. Can you sign? Click here:

Then please pass on this message to folks you know who can help. The Path to 9/11 appears to be part of a coordinated push—including speeches by President Bush and millions of dollars in advertising—to exploit the five-year anniversary of 9/11 for political gain. That's not acceptable from anyone—especially not a news organization like ABC. It's not just that ABC's movie is slanted. Big parts of it are simply untrue. The producer himself even admitted to simply improvising a key scene which depicts the Clinton administration letting bin Laden go when they had him in their sights—a complete fabrication. Last night, the movie's star, Harvey Keitel, said "It turned out not all the facts were correct." It's really pretty simple: ABC shouldn't have any role in the political exploitation of 9/11. But this docudrama is designed to do just that—spreading a false message to millions of viewers across the country. Sign the petition to tell ABC not to air partisan propaganda on 9/11. Click here:


Thursday, September 07, 2006

“The ABC television network -- a cog in the Walt Disney empire -- unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11". ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, ‘based on the 9/11 Commission Report’.

That's false. "The Path to 9/11" is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election. The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. "The Path to 9/11" mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth. Join me in telling Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger to keep this propaganda off the air.”

For more info on this issue, please visit the following links:

CLINTON OFFICIALS RIP ABC'S "THE PATH TO 9/11" - Network Calls Miniseries 'a dramatization, not a documentary'
Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post


NEW JONATHAN TASINI TV ADS - Campaign for NY State Senate
[Duchess Note - Slick Hil continues to ignore Tasini and not be part of a debate. (Just like she's ignored NY constituent’s pleas regarding no war or occupation in the Middle East.) Registered Democrat voters in NY State are continually railroaded by Clinton. A debate between candidates is essential, so that voters can hear issues that are important to their lives. Check out the link below and listen to what a true progressive Democrat has to say. Then vote for Tasini on Sept 12th and stop Slick Hil. We need a change for the better and it won't come from her. Peace, truth & justice!]


See The Movie Gandhi - ONE DAY ONLY Sept. 11, 2006
Tickets are NOW on sale!

Nearly 100 years before the World Trade Towers became associated with September 11; Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the modern nonviolent movement on September 11, 1906. To honor this anniversary, New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (NYDOP) in partnership with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, has organized nationwide screenings of the 1982 Academy Award-winning movie Gandhi along with the debut release of the short film Satyagraha.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
GANDHI being shown at Regal Cinema Battery Park in NYC
102 North End Avenue, near WTC
Movie Show Times: 11:30am, 3:30pm & 7:30pm
$11 general admission & $7 for students (with valid ID) at 11:30 & 3:30 shows only
(proceeds benefit NYDOP)

Purchase Tickets NOW!
Learn more ...


Press Release From Senator Boxer – August 31, 2006

Boxer to Offer Sense of the Senate Resolution Calling for Rumsfeld to be Replaced - Calls on Bush to stop scaring the American people and start protecting them.

Los Angeles, CA – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today announced that when the Senate returns to session and resumes consideration of the Defense Appropriations Bill, she will offer an amendment calling on the President to immediately appoint a new Secretary of Defense. Boxer said, “This latest Rumsfeld rampage cannot stand. By comparing critics of this Administration’s policies in Iraq with those who wanted to appease fascism and Nazism in the run up to World War II, he is slandering the majority of the American people, who oppose the war in Iraq.” Boxer’s sense of the Senate resolution also points out that Secretary Rumsfeld failed to adequately plan for post-war operations in Iraq, leading to widespread violence, the rise of sectarian militias, and the rapid growth of the insurgency.

A number of retired generals who served our country with honor and distinction have called for Secretary Rumsfeld’s resignation over his mishandling of the Iraq war, including General Anthony Zinni, General Wesley Clark, Lieutenant General Greg Newbo ld, Major General John Batiste, Major General Charles Swannack Jr., Major General John Riggs, and Major General Paul Eaton, as well as numerous United States Senators.

Boxer also commented today on President Bush’s speech in Utah this afternoon, saying “This latest speech by the President was just a long repetition of old messages and rhetoric to scare the American people. The war in Iraq and the war on terror are not one and the same—it’s time to stop scaring the American people and start protecting them.”