Friday, June 30, 2006

OH MY GOSH - WONDERFUL NEWS! DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN HAS TWO NEW CO-SPONSORS of HR3760 which makes a total of 75! Congratulations to all DoP peacemakers who have been working with these members in CA and OR. Please, everyone give them a call of thanks for signing on.

Rep. David Wu (D-OR-1st) -- (202) 225-0855
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA-10th) -- (202) 225-1880

WEEKEND IS UPON US - LET’S KICK IT UP A NOTCH WITH SOME LIBERAL NEWS

A Disgraceful Attack on the New York Times
Commentary by Robert Scheer
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0628-21.htm

Playing Politics with TimetablesCommentary by Marjorie Cohn
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0628-33.htm

BUSH'S GLOBAL GREEN ZONE
Tom Engelhardt, Tomdispatch.com
The administration has painstakingly created a fictitious bubble of safety in its Baghdad 'Green Zone.' Now Bush expects us to buy into the belief that he's made us all safer, here and abroad.
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/38221/

[DUCHESS NOTE - Safe under the Bush Regime?!? LOL Those who think that Uncle Georgie will keep them safe are in for a rude awakening. What the Bush Regime is putting out there is all propaganda and lies. Your about as safe as a mouse trying to cross a busy highway.]

A CHILDCARE WORKER SPEAKS OUT
Melvina Vandross, Women's Media Center
I take care of your kids 11 hours a day -- here's what you should know about me.
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/38246/

BUSH VS. NEW YORK TIMES
Robert Scheer, Truthdig
Attacks on the New York Times aren't about national security, they're about muting criticism.
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/38251/

[DUCHESS NOTE - Mr. Scheer is so right. It is about muting criticism. Usually one of the main aims of fascism or dictatorships is suppression of the media or press. As well as completely controlling the media or press. One of the top threats to US national security is NOT the NY Times nor peace activists, it’s without a doubt the Bush Regime. Plain and simple.]

When the FBI Raids the Times
Commentary by Dennis Persica
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0628-34.htm

MESSAGE FROM CODEPINK - Stand Up With the War Resisters & Peacemakers!
The Bush administration has repeatedly stated that when the Iraqis stand up, our soldiers will stand down. But when the Iraqi government and several armed groups tried to stand up by unveiling a serious reconciliation plan, the U.S. government scuttled this plan by forcing them to eliminate two key aspects of the original proposal the withdrawal of U.S. troops and amnesty for Iraqis not involved in the killing of civilians. Click here to read more - http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=1059

A courageous number of people, however, have decided to implement their own peace process: U.S. soldiers who are refusing to fight in this war. On Tuesday, CODEPINK participated in actions all over the country to support the first officer who refused to deploy to Iraq, Lt. Ehren Watada. "A war can end when the soldiers choose to stop fighting it," Lt. Watada said when he announced his decision to resist. He is joined in his resistance by Army Specialist Suzanne Swift, who refused to deploy with her Army unit to Iraq; she is now being held in Ft. Lewis and needs our support. These two brave soldiers are joined by hundreds of U.S. military personnel who have gone to Canada to avoid being sent to Iraq, and over 6,400 U.S. military who have deserted their posts. Read Ann Wright's article here - http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/062706F.shtml

[DUCHESS NOTE - It takes real courage to stand up for what you believe is the correct course of action. And refusing to be part of an illegal occupation with a country that never posed any threats to the US. These two soldiers are brave, honorable patriots and they so need our support. They are our future peacemakers ... bravo!]

Lt. Watada's mom, Carolyn Ho, wrote to CODEPINK, "As a mother, I have evolved from fearing for his safety and for his future to the realization that there is a higher purpose to all that has transpired. My son no longer stands at the crossroads. He has chosen 'the road less traveled'." As part of that "road less traveled", Lt. Watada and his mother have both decided to participate in the Troops Home Fast on July 4, and invite you to join them. The growing list of fasters includes Cindy Sheehan, Dick Gregory, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Graham Nash, Dolores Huerta, Julia Butterfly Hill and over 1,500 more.

You can join us in DC or at home; you can fast for one day, one week or leave the process open-ended. Go to http://www.troopshomefast.org/ to learn, sign up, or donate funds to make this fast as effective as possible. Let's stand up with those in the U.S. military who are taking peace into their own hands by refusing to fight. If enough of us stand up, the war-makers will be forced to stand down!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blame Game Won't Save Lives, But Withdrawal From Iraq Will
by Sarwat Husain
http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/stories/MYSA062906.2O.husaincomment.7ac1a7.html
[DUCHESS NOTE - Many of those morons in Senate and Congress DO NOT have children in the military nor serving in Iraq. If they had then I believe their views and actions would be totally different. They only care about their darn political careers and NOT the lives of thousands of American soldiers in an illegal occupation. That's right, occupation, not a war. They should be so ashamed of themselves, but to have any shame or humility one needs a concience, soul or be compassionate. They have none, therefore they feel no guilt nor shame. They are lower than scum. Getting our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan now is not a cowardly act. Far from it. In fact, its a humane act for our soldiers and citizens of those two countries. We have NO right being in those countries. And the situations are getting worse and creating more terrorists. Peace IS patriotic!]

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

LIVE ON "LIME RADIO" THURSDAY, JUNE 29TH, INTERVIEW WITH MARIANNE PEREZ ON US & INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENTS OF PEACE CAMPAIGNS
Marianne Perez [ie: member of New Yorker for a Dept of Peace] will be interviewed tomorrow on Lime Radio from 12:30 to 1:00 pm EST. You can listen on http://www.lime.com OR on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 114. To call in during this interview, dial 1-866-LIME-114. Topics of discussion will include the outcome of the International Summit for Dep'ts and Ministries of Peace, the recent success of the US national campaign, the NY-DOP Gandhi-Sept. 11 event, and the emerging student movement, both in the US and globally.

URGENT MESSAGE FROM TASINI FOR NY STATE SENATE CAMPAIGN
Jonathan Tasini does NOT accept contributions from lobbyists , while the incumbent takes them freely (she ranks only below right-winger Rick Santorum in the amount of cash pocketed from lobbyists). All this at the expense of New York families. While the incumbent has Rupert Murdoch and a George Bush fundraiser on her side, we only accept money from people like you. This is our progressive New York: please give today at this link - https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/tasini-private Please forward this request to your mailing list and ask that they give a $100 minimum donation.

AS FOURTH OF JULY APPROACHES, CAST & CREW OF HOT NEW TEEN MUSICAL "In Your Dreams" ENDORSE CREATION OF CABINET LEVEL DEPARTMENT OF PEACE
PR Web Release
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/6/prweb404806.htm

[DUCHESS NOTE - To learn more about the US Dept of Peace campaign; go to the following websites ... http://www.dopcampaign.org or http://www.thepeacealliance.org or http://www.nyc-dop.com May peace, truth and justice rise above the filth of the Bush Regime.]

HOT OFF THE PRESS - Democracy for NYC Endorses Jonathan Tasini and Ken Diamondstone
In their recent endorsement vote in the races for US Senate and State Senate District 25 (Lower Manhattan & north Brooklyn), Democracy for NYC members voted to endorse Jonathan Tasini and Ken Diamondstone, respectively. Here are the results of each race:

US Senate:
Jonathan Tasini - 70%
No endorsement -15%
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton -12%
Tom Weiss - 3%

Senate District 25:
Ken Diamondstone - 88%
Sen. Martin Connor - 8%
No endorsement 4%

Jonathan Tasini has taken a strong stand against the war in Iraq and in favor of health care for all Americans. Ken Diamondstone has long been a community activist and effective housing advocate for neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Petitioning season is underway, and we encourage everyone in NY state to contact these candidates to help out:

Jonathan Tasini: (646) 415-8361 or http://www.tasinifornewyork.org
Ken Diamondstone: (718) 522-5437 or http://www.kendiamondstone.com/

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

PERSONAL NEWS #98
On Sunday, June 4th, I attended petition/primary ballot training for the Tasini for NY state senate campaign at 3pm. It was held not far from Union Square at some international organization headquarters. Wish I could remember what the name of it was ... geez ... senior moment. Duh! Anyhow, Jonathan Tasini was also there and he remembered me from the phone banking evening back in April. We shared a chuckle over that. A nice turnout of volunteers, like me, showed up for the training and take away petitions. Jonathan spoke to us before the training and had encouraging thoughts. I also contributed to the training in mentioning that good spots to petition are theaters showing documentaries. Back in 2004 I helped the Jereski campaign in District 14. We had an advantage that year with Michael Moore’s film and getting signatures of Democrats waiting on line for tix. This time around we are fortunate in having Al Gore's film called "An Inconvenient Truth", which is doing very well at the cinemas. After the training and before I left I had some interesting conversations with several of the volunteers. I wish I could remember the date, yeah another senior moment, but one of the chaps I talked to showed a Xerox copy of his letter in the NY Times. Remember it was short, to the point and well written. Tasini was very impressed by it. Left there and walked to 14th Street near 3rd Avenue to check out "Trader Joes" and purchased some bargains. They've got my fav cereal for a dollar less than Keyfood. WooHoo! I just love "Trader Joes"! So glad one has opened up here in Manhattan. Usually I stop by a "Trader Joes" in Norwalk, CT area when I visit my dear friend Katherine. The place was hopping with activity and must remember not to go there on Sunday afternoons. After work would probably be more suitable.

On Tuesday, June 6th, listened in on the monthly National Dept of Peace conference call at 9pm. Lynn McMullen was our moderator for the call and she always does a super job. A DoP representative from the state of Michigan mentioned a cool activity for their chapter. And that during the summer do a "walk for peace" event to bring awareness to locals along the "walk" route. This is a great idea and think that other DoP chapters should plan similar events. Whether it’s during the summer or in early fall. NY-DoP vice president chairperson, Kevin, also spoke on the call about connecting "Fathers Day" with DoP campaign. Bravo Kevin! Those on the call also discussed "youth initiative" and connecting with DoP throughout high schools, colleges, organizing groups, setting up goals and signing petitions. As always, these calls are so inspiring and energizing.

The following evening, June 7th, several of the NY-DoP core team members tabled at a Marianne Williamson lecture event at Lighthouse Way. One of the main things was hearing stories from Liz, Norma and Marianne on their recent weekend with New England Peace Conference in MA. Despite the weather and travel problems they said the weekend was a success. [They sold some of my peace bead style earrings. Oh yeah!] Always great hearing Marianne Williamsons inspiring talks and she always draws a diverse gathering. Many stopped by before and after Marianne Williamson’s event at our table. We handed out flyers, signed up some folk for our monthly email newsletters and sold some buttons. The main thing was talking to folk about being pro-peace and the campaign. One of the people we met was through a connection by Liz and her hubby Rob. JoJo Brims used to be with DefJam and I believe is now with Time Warner. Anyhow, he's an admirer of Marianne Williamsons work and into spirituality. When he originally heard about DoP and our "100 Years of Non-Violence" Gandhi event, hey hey, the man was energized and jazzed by it all. It was nice meeting JoJo and he comes across as a congenial fella. Overall it was a good evening and always a pleasure being with NY-DoP members. These people have such caring souls and make me feel good being around them. At one point Liz and I got into a discussion regarding "The DaVinci Code". I so enjoy hanging out with our NY-DoP core team members. [I know I keep on saying that, but I adore these people.] Some are married with children and it’s like being around one big happy family and I feel like their Auntie Mame.

Finally, after six months, I made it back to Yonkers on Saturday, June 10, to do volunteer work at Ferret Shelter. The delay was due to dealing with illnesses and busy schedule. While Joanne had a busy spring dealing with injured wild baby animals. Whether at the Bronx Zoo or brought to the shelter. She's good at caring for animals. There weren’t many ferrets at the shelter, I'd say about 10+ and several had recently been adopted into good homes. One of which was little Tubby. Now all the "originals" have either passed away or been adopted into happy homes. The "originals" were from when I first started helping out at the shelter in 2002. I adore ferrets, but those "originals" were dearest darlings. [ie: Sweet Pea, Fuzzbutt, Bouncing Bear, Big Willy, Emily, Raisin, Oliver, Badger and Spats.] It was great seeing the wee ones again and taking care of ferret hygiene. Caught up on news and gossip with Joanne. Also held a sickly 2 month old pigeon while Joanne gave it medication. Never done that before! Upon arriving back to NYC, I went to my office to work on the Gandhi September 11th event "contact list" spreadsheet. Norma, Marianne and Eileen all sent me contacts, with info, that had to be input. Took about 3 hours and felt good upon completing this task.

PRESERVING SEPARATION OF POWERS – Dennis Kucinich Speaking From The Floor Of The House
June 22, 2006
http://www.kucinich.us/floor_speeches/def_sep_powers20jun.php

The Secret Saudi Flight on 9-13 Could be the Key to the Bush-Saudi-Al Qaeda Connection
By Catherine Arnie
http://archive.democrats.com/view.cfm?id=14289
About a month after the September 11th attacks, I read an article in the Tampa Tribune by Kathy Steele entitled "Phantom Flight From Florida." The intriguing report told the tale of a flight out of Florida that allegedly took place on September 13 - a day when ALL civilian air traffic in the United States was grounded.

16 Words and 28 Pages
by Maureen Farrell
http://www.buzzflash.com/farrell/03/07/29.html
"All of the answers, all of the clues allowing us to dismantle Osama Bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia." - Former FBI deputy director, John O'Neill

Monday, June 26, 2006

HE MAY BE BALDING, BUT HE’S A REAL DEMOCRAT – Message From The Jonathan Tasini for NY Senate Campaign

The New York Times story [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/26/nyregion/26challenger.html?_r=1&oref=slogin] about Jonathan today describes his "balding head," calls him a "pesky agitator" and a vehicle "for liberals who are disenchanted" with our opponent. But, we particularly like this quote from Jonathan: "I am convinced that the majority of Democratic primary voters agree with me. And if this race were not about name recognition, celebrity and her $25 million in campaign contributions, I would win." Because that's what this race has been about from the beginning … voting for the principles and ideas that people actually believe in.

Jonathan has always believed that if Democratic primary voters in New York were given a choice between Candidate A (opposed to the war; for single-payer healthcare; for fair trade, not so-called "free trade"; opposed to the death penalty; for the right to unionize and against abusive corporate power like Wal-Mart) versus Candidate B (supports the war; opposed to single-payer healthcare; supports the death penalty; says NAFTA was a good thing; sat on the board of Wal-Mart for six years; and has Rupert Murdoch as a fundraising patron), Candidate A would win the election.

So, it's up to you to encourage people to support and vote for what they believe in, to vote for and support real Democratic, progressive principles, NOT celebrity, triangulation and poll-based positions. Enjoy the article and pass it around. And, of course, help us make sure our effort to get Jonathan on the ballot and the on-going campaign is a rousing success! This is our progressive New York: please give today by clicking here. Then please send the article link and this request to your mailing list and ask that they give a $100 minimum donation. Thank you for all you do for our campaign!

[DUCHESS NOTE: When out ballot petitioning for Tasini on Saturday, several folk I spoke with have such a disgust for Hillary “ms republican lite” Clinton. Some who’ve signed my petition said they didn’t vote for her the first time and will not do so this time around. Hillary doesn’t represent a good portion of New Yorkers nor issues dear to them. Its time for a change and one that is progressive. If you see volunteers out and about petitioning for Tasini AND you’re a registered Democrat in the state of NY, please sign their petitions. (Recently Progressive Democrats of America have endorsed Tasini.) True democracy is ALL about choices. We need choices on the NY state primary ballot this September 12th. Remember that date & do the right thing, vote for change and true democracy.]

AN AMERICAN ICON: GORE VIDAL ON ITALY, IRAQ AND WHY HE HATES GEORGE BUSH
Peter Popham, UK Independent
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0623-01.htm

DON'T LET CONGRESS BLOCK YOUR VOICE - Message From Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team
Online petitions are a main channel for non-profits and their supporters to bring important issues to the attention of our country's leaders. But last month, Congressional offices began adopting new software that blocks the delivery of bulk constituent email, significantly compromising the ability of nonprofit organizations and their supporters to have their voices heard. Take action to say NO. http://go.care2.com/e/lFp/M6/BhwO

This technology requires you to answer a logic puzzle question before you can submit a comment, meaning only those constituents who go directly to the lawmaker's own website can send a message. Individuals who can find the right web form online will be able to talk to their representatives, but those people trying communicate as part of a movement or through nonprofit organizations may be blocked. Since the average person doesn't have the money or power to lobby Congress, the Internet has served as a tool to open up communication between millions of Americans and their elected representatives. Don't let Congress disable this great advancement in democratic communication. Sign the petition to stop Congress from blocking your emails. http://go.care2.com/e/lFp/M6/BhwO

Thursday, June 22, 2006

JONATHAN TASINI [NY State Senate Campaign] PRESS RELEASE – Regarding Hillary Clinton Vote against Amendment Co-Sponsored by Senators Kerry, Feingold, Boxer & Leahy

"Today, Hillary Clinton voted to prolong the violence and killing in Iraq. By voting against an amendment co-sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer and Patrick Leahy, my opponent clearly showed that she is out of step with the views of Democratic primary voters in New York. More American men and women will die, as will thousands of Iraqis, because of this vote and the Senate's failure to agree to bring this war to a quick end."

"Frankly, the Kerry-Feingold-Boxer-Feingold amendment did not go farenough. It called only for the removal of all U.S. troops by June 2007. If passed, the amendment would have meant that many more people would die in the next year in this pointless, immoral, illegal war. My position has been clear: I support legislation advanced by Rep. Jim McGovern (MA) which calls for the immediate cutting off of all funds for offensive military action in Iraq and allows for money to bespent only on the quick, immediate, safe withdrawal of U.S. troops, reconstruction of Iraq and the replacement of the U.S. military by an international security force."

"Yet, at least the proposed amendment would have been one small step To acknowledge that the war has been a failure and that the violence must end—an end that can only come when there are no more U.S. military personnel in Iraq. But, my opponent will not even vote for legislation that promises that our troops will be out of harm's way in one year. I believe it is now quite clear to the voters of New York that my opponent's support for the war continues and that, if she isre-elected, the war will continue unabated, with no end in sight."

[DUCHESS NOTE - I'm a proud supporter and volunteer of the Tasini for NY State Senate campaign. Get out and vote on September 12th, NY state primary.]

TASINI RISES & CLINTON SINKS
In the past week or so, as people are in the streets all across the state petitioning to get Jonathan on the ballot, we have seen the power and influence of our campaign. As Jonathan's campaign grows, the popularity of the incumbent sinks. Jonathan has just been endorsed by the New York State Peace Action and Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats. More important, people everywhere are eagerly signing our petitions because they want a Senator with principles who will represent the majority of Democrats in the state.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton's approval rating has fallen to an 18-month low, primarily because of her support for the war, according to a new poll. The Siena College Research Institute survey of 623 registered voters found 54 percent of New York voters with a favorable opinion of Clinton, her lowest rating since February 2005 and very close to the 50 percent danger level for any incumbent. New York voters are beginning to hear the message of our campaign and the voices of many grassroots anti-war activists such as CodePink and Grannies Against The War. We are making a difference. And we can win this race if the public votes based on issues, not celebrity, because the majority of Democrats in New York support our positions.

So, will you help us today to make sure our effort to get Jonathan on the ballot is spectacularly successful? If you don't like the way this country is heading, give today at ... http://www.tasinifornewyork.org/donate to make sure we have a strong debate about the Iraq war. If you want a Senator who will vote for safe, rapid withdrawal from Iraq with a timetable, today is the day because Jonathan wants the troop’s home now and an end to the violence in Iraq. Hillary Clinton has even rejected John Kerry's proposal (which Jonathan believes isn't strong enough) to set July 2007 as a complete withdrawal date of US forces from Iraq. Hillary Clinton's position will lead to the deaths of thousands of more Americans and Iraqis. Let's help elect a Senator who will never vote for illegal, immoral wars, will fight for single-payer health insurance, and stand up to abusive corporate power. With your generous help, today is the day we kick our campaign into a higher gear.

[DUCHESS NOTE: I firmly support progressive Democrats like Jonathan Tasini (NY State Senate) and Jessica Flagg (NY Congressional District 17). Please join me in supporting progressive candidates whose values and issues reflect that of many New Yorkers. Come out and vote at the NY Primary on Tuesday, September 12th.]

MESSAGE FROM SENATOR TED KENNEDY - The Choice is Yours
They're at it again. As Election Day nears, races across the country are heating up, and the Republican political machine is gearing up to take down two extraordinary Democrats that America needs in the Senate. I want our community to come to their defense. For over 40 years I've served in the Senate with Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, and I've long admired his commitment to his constituents and his unyielding advocacy of American principles. We've seen those virtues recently in his vigorous defense of Social Security and brilliant stands for our constitutional freedoms – and most of all in his staunch opposition to the President's fraudulent case for war in Iraq.

Bob Byrd is a beacon for the enduring American ideal of fairness for hard-working families. That makes it all the more important to prevent the GOP from silencing a strong voice that has rejected their power grabs at every turn. It's no secret that national Republicans are about to dump millions of dollars into West Virginia in an attempt to defeat this Senate icon in November. I'm committed to doing everything I can to keep that from happening. This request to our community is one of the most powerful tools I have to provide the help he needs. Join me in supporting Senator Byrd for his unwavering commitment to the causes we share. He needs your contribution: http://www.tedkennedy.com/yourchoice

We need more senators like Bob Byrd here in Washington and we have an excellent chance to elect one in November in Tennessee who's now waging a vigorous campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Bill Frist. Harold Ford will fight hard in the Senate for the goals Democrats share. He'll be a leader on key issues in domestic and foreign policy, protect our national security, and give a genuine high priority to education, health care, an increase in the minimum wage, and other important national needs. Harold Ford already has Republicans so petrified that earlier this month; the GOP even unleashed its attack dogs on a Tennessee teenager who wrote candidly -- on his personal website -- about Republican dirty tricks being used on the campaign. For speaking the truth, this nineteen year old bore the full brunt of Republican dirty tricks. You and I can make a difference in this tight race. What it takes is commitment, and today I'm asking you to demonstrate your commitment by making a contribution to Harold Ford's campaign. http://www.tedkennedy.com/yourchoice

We can daydream about waking up the day after Election Day with a Democratic Congress that will fight for all Americans. Or we can make that dream a reality by working hard to achieve it. With your support, we'll re-elect Senator Bob Byrd to the US Senate in November, and we'll elect Harold Ford to the Senate too. Please join me in being an active supporter of Senator Byrd and Congressman Ford as we work for change in November. The choice is yours! The time to act is now, and your support can make a major difference. Yours for the election of a Democratic Senate in '06.

9/11 First Responders: Voices From The Pit
DATE: Sunday, June 25th
In addition to the powerfully negative impact 9/11 has had on US foreign and domestic policy, allowing a criminal power base to consolidate control into absolute power over our lives, another devastating aspect of the attacks has surfaced over the last few years, and more so in the last six months with media coverage of the serious health and financial challenges to thousands of first responders, and even residents of lower Manhattan. This scandal within a mega-scandal is now unraveling to reveal the complete indifference our government has for even those who they call "heroes". Once again, in the pattern of Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium, those who served are being treated as expendable. This Sunday's event is to hear their story and receive an education from people working on their behalf. Below is the announcement which I urge all New Yorkers on this list to pass on.

For those who reside elsewhere, the 9/11 truth movement would do well to be aware of this issue. In addition to the crimes of 9/11, EPA director Christie Todd Whitman was told by the Bush administration to lie to the people of NYC and said the air was safe to breath, and she followed orders. As a result, there is a pending law suit against her which will be high profile. Here are a few sites with detailed information:

http://www.911ea.org/Front_Page.htmhttp://www.wtceo.org/http://www.nyenvirolaw.org/

The 9/11 Info Resources Series Presents -- 9/11 First Responders: Voices From The Pit
Time - 7pm
Date - Sunday June 25th
Location - Community Church, 40 East 35th Street, New York, NY (Between Park & Madison Avenues)
Requested Donation - $8

The environmental disaster caused by 9/11 conjures up images of the massive dust clouds caused by the collapse of the three steel-framed buildings which were part of the World Trade Center complex. Thousands of first responders from many agencies hurried to the scene and remained for months afterward to take part in the rescue efforts and cleanup operation. Join us for this important event to hear various first responders to the 9/11 attacks share their experiences of that day and the ensuing weeks of unimaginable hardship and incredible heroism. Between the EPA saying the air quality was safe to breathe, the absence of leadership from local authorities, and the lack of respirators and supplies, they were subjected to conditions that were far beyond acceptable levels of toxicity. They'll describe the lack of health precautions and which have now left thousands with serious health challenges, most of which are incurable.

You'll learn how the support system has failed these heroes who gave so selflessly to help their brothers and sisters who fell in harms way that fateful day, as well as legal and financial challenges they now face. Also, we'll present information on services which are now available to attend to their physical and emotional healing and look at actions that can be taken by the general public to support their cause. Speakers include:

Donna Flayhan, Professor at SUNY-New Paltz
Michael J. Arcari, Program Director w/Faithful Response
John Feal - Demolition Supervisor
Major Mike McCormack, Medic; specialist in collapsed infrastructure rescue
David Miller, 1st/69th infantry, 47th Division NY National Guard since 1985
Kevin McPadden - Firefighter
Rachel Lidov, Kimberly Flynn - 9/11 Environmental Action

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

[DUCHESS NOTE: Updates at FOFF are a few days early this week, but the topic is an important one, since it concerns the Internet. Go to ... www.friendsoffridayforum.blogspot.com]

HR 5228, Defeated On The House Suspension Calendar, Would Have Allowed Executive Branch Far Reaching Powers Over Legislative Branch
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=45686

Today, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) took to the House floor to single-handily oppose and lead the defeat of HR 5228, a bill that would have breached Constitutional separation of powers, undermine the Speech and Debate clause, and allowed the United States Attorney General access to the schedules of Members of Congress. The bill, which needed a two-thirds vote for passage, failed 263-159. Under current law, all diplomats are exempted from a reporting requirement in the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires all other non-diplomatic representatives of foreign governments to report to the Department of Justice on their contacts with legislative branch officials. HR 5228 would have changed existing law and would have required diplomats from Cuba, Sudan, Syria and other nations to report all their meetings with Members of Congress to the Department of Justice.

“Therefore, the real effect of this bill was to open the schedules of Members of Congress to Justice Department scrutiny, even when no crimes are alleged or being investigated,” stated Kucinich. “It was an unnecessary and serious breach of the separation of powers and in direct violation of the Speech and Debate clause of the Constitution.” HR 5228 would have caused the Justice Department to monitor certain meetings of Members of Congress as a matter of routine, simply because they are meeting with accredited diplomats from Cuba, Sudan and Syria. The bill would have stripped diplomatic credentials of diplomats from those countries, if they fail to report on their meetings with members of Congress and their staffs.

HR 5228 would have most directly impacted the Cuban Interests Section, which has frequent meetings with Members of Congress, since there are more Cuba-related bills and amendments per year than there are for Sudan and Syria. “Today, the House rejected a power grab by the executive branch over the legislative branch,” continued Kucinich. “This is a victory for the Constitution and for Members of Congress who believe in engagement over isolation, and believe that diplomacy is an important tool to achieve peaceful resolutions to conflicts. With this vote Congress has stood up and asserted its role as a co-equal branch of government,” concluded Kucinich. “With this vote, the Constitution, and the long-standing principle of checks and balances, was the big winner.”

Monday, June 19, 2006



THE SECOND COMING OF PEARL JAM
Brian Hyatt, Rolling Stone Magazine
[Photo by Albert Watson - l to r - Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Ed Vedder, Matt Cameron & my fav Jeff Ament]
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10533095/the_second_coming_of_pearl_jam

MESSAGE FROM Kucinich on House Iraq War Debate
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who has led opposition within the Congress to the Iraq war from the beginning, gave the following floor speech last Thursday. "The President will not bring an end to this war. He says it will be a decision for the next president. But he is building permanent bases in Iraq; and he is determined to keep a force of at least 50,000 in Iraq into the distant future. This Congress may not bring an end to this war. Because the real power to end the war is in a cut off of funds. Congress keeps appropriating funds in the name of the troops and the troops will stay in Iraq instead of coming home. Only the American people can bring an end to this war as they brought an end to the war in Vietnam. Let this be a time for a stirring of civic soul. It is time for a reawakening of civic conscience."

"There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But, there are WMDs in DC. Lies are Weapons of Mass Destruction: 2,500 American soldiers have died. Over 100,000 innocent Iraqis have died. It is a time for an end to our national sleep walk through the graveyard of the Iraq war. It is time for truth, a time for clarity. A time for action. A time for teach-ins, for meet-ups, for marches, for rallies about the war to begin at college campuses, at churches at labor halls, at libraries. Time to gather in civic centers, in town halls, to discuss the truth about this war, and to plan civic action to end it. It is time for the American people to exercise their First Amendment rights to stand up, to speak out. Time to redirect the policies of this country. Time to learn and practice peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution. Time to believe in our capacity to evolve beyond war. To believe, and act upon the belief that war is not inevitable, that peace is inevitable - - if we are ready to commit to the daily work of peace building everywhere."

"The Global War on Terror has become a Global War of Error. Attacking or threatening countries which did not attack us. Bombing neighborhoods to save neighborhoods. Committing atrocities in the name of stopping atrocities. Losing our vision, losing our way in the world, sacrificing our children and their future, giving up their future resources for education, for health care, for housing, piling it high on the altar of war. Worshiping a false god of destruction. When we begin these proceedings with this remembrance - Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. We are not talking about any nation; we are talking about a Force which is above all of us. The world is not ours to conquer. There is no glory in the abuse of power. The President will not bring an end to this war. This Congress will not bring an end to this war, absent the Murtha Resolution. But the American people will certainly bring an end to this war. They will do it in the streets. And they will do it at the ballot box. The American people will become the Out of Iraq Caucus."

[DUCHESS NOTE - Bravo Congressman Kucinich! This man has always spoken the truth and never wavered from his position all these years on this topic. He never voted for a war or occupation in Iraq. The congressman is right; we the people must take it to the streets and protest loudly against further US occupation in Iraq. We want ALL our soldiers home now! Nixon listened to our protesting cries and brought our troops home from Vietnam. Now its time for GWB to listen. Millions upon millions of Americans need to make him listen. (We can do it!!) If GWB and his evil regime won't listen to our cries, then you will know that they don't give a damn about Americans. Or, for that matter, anyone else in the world. They only love the ultra wealthy (5% of the US population), corporations, rightwing religious fanatics and oil industry. Okay, let’s take it to the streets now in a non-violent, peaceful manner in true form to Gandhism.]

COMMENTARY FROM NYPDACD12 YAHOO GROUP - NY Senators Schumer & Clinton Continue to Support War & Occupation in Iraq - Congress Debates Iraq War As US Death Toll Reaches 2500
Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced last Thursday the US death toll in Iraq has now reached 2500. The milestone was reached on the same day the Iraq war was the subject of intense debate in both Houses of Congress. In the Senate, lawmakers voted ninety-three to six against a measure to withdraw US troops by the end of the year. The measure was introduced by Republicans who claimed to be acting upon a proposal by Senator John Kerry. Five Democrats -- Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer of California, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts joined Kerry in voting for withdrawal. The House is expected to vote on its own Iraq resolution last Friday. On Thursday, Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert urged lawmakers to support the measure.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/16/1355211

Why have NY Senators Clinton and Schumer not voted for a withdrawal? Do they represent you? If not; then call or fax your Senator and tell them how you feel on this issue.

Friday, June 16, 2006

New Yorkers for a Department of Peace
web: http://www.nyc-dop.com
log on and sign up for your FREE enewsletter

100 Years of Non-Violence Gandhi and Sept. 11, 1906-2006
web: http://www.nyc-dop.com/gandhi
log on and sign up for your FREE e-updates

SATYAGRAHA - 100 Years of Non-Violence
The trailer for this documentary is now being shown on YouTube. Another site to spread the word and alternative for people who don't know about the DOP-NY site:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVdVBHvAs2A

[DUCHESS NOTE - I'm a proud member of this fantastic "core team" of New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace campaign. We are currently working on the "100 Years of Non-Violence Gandhi" event to take place this September. Join us in this wonderfully inspiring endeavor. Host the above links on your on websites, blogs and share with friends or family. Get involved and be prepared to be inspired! Peace, Truth & Justice!]

Larchmonter Promotes U.S. Department of Peace
by Todd Stone
http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2006/articles/20060615perez.html
(June 15, 2006) A 1998 graduate of Mamaroneck High School, Marianne Perez, is now a part of a national effort to create a U.S. Department of Peace. According to The Peace Alliance, a grass-roots organization that is lobbying for this development, the U.S. Department of Peace would promote non-military conflict resolutions as well as domestic violence prevention.

PICK UP SOME LIBERAL NEWS & GET YOUR WEEKEND OFF ON THE CORRECT FOOTING

THE MARINE WHO SAW TOO MUCH
Peter Laufer, AlterNet
A former lance corporal explains why he intentionally failed a drug test to avoid going back to war-torn Iraq.
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/36898/

DON'T BOW TO GOD'S BULLIES
Rev. Jim Rigby, HuffingtonPost.com
If you want to know why Americans are so frightened and why we attack anything that challenges our dominance over others, read the Bible.
http://www.alternet.org/story/37565/

US Image Abroad Takes a New Turn South
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0614-07.htm

Revealed: The Shrapnel Evidence That Points to Israel's Guilt
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0614-01.htm

Bush's Iraq Offensiveby Robert Dreyfuss
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0614-31.htm

Bush Fails Women in Afghanistan
by Joan Smith
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0614-27.htm

Now, What About Cheney?
John Nichols, The Nation
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0614-29.htm

NEWSWEEK'S APOLOGY TOO LITTLE, 20 YEARS TOO LATE
Caryl Rivers, Women's eNews
Newsweek has finally apologized for its infamous cover story that predicted single women over 40 would probably never marry. But the damage has long since been done.
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/37582/

DELAY'S MISSION CONTINUES
Robert Scheer, AlterNet
Tom DeLay was not at a loss for pious words -- none of them contrite --during his farewell speech to applauding GOP-ers.
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/37567/
[DUCHESS NOTE - DeLay is such a spoiled, greedy brat and an incredibly sore loser. His excesses and soul deep corruption finally caught up with him. This man is his own worst enemy and enough folk got fed up with his crap to slam it to him. Bravo to those that slammed it to the butt ugly hammer. But the fight isn't over yet and this bugger will continue to do his evil work elsewhere. Just remember, if you want to get rid of some nasty weeds, you have to dig it up by the roots to destroy it.]

RESISTANCE CINEMA presents " THE BIG BUY , TOM DELAY'S STOLEN CONGRESS"
Film by Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck, Brave New Films, 2006, 75 minutes
WHEN: Sunday June 25th, 1:15 pm
WHERE: Community Church of NYC, 40 E. 35th Street
ADMISSION: Free; donations appreciated

In a stunning 1994 interview, shortly after the now infamous Republican revolution, Tom Delay sat down and laid out his vision for America; to destroy the Department of Education, HUD, OSHA, the NEH, the NEA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. His self-stated goal was to "completely redesign government". THE BIG BUY is the story of how he did just that. It's the story of one of the most blatant power grabs in American history, and how a District Attorney in Texas turned out to be the biggest threat to the national Delay machine. The film is a warning about how easy it is for American democracy to be highjacked by a combination of relentless ambition and corporate millions. It makes the case that Delay built a "custom-made Congress" that is still providing votes for his agenda. THE BIG BUY connects the dots between big money and big government. It's not a pretty picture. June 8th was Tom Delay's last day in Congress. Has a remarkable career come to an end or just entered a new phase?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

PERSONAL NEWS #97
On Wednesday, May 24th, I participated in the monthly PDA meeting at 7pm in Manhattan. It was a great meeting and we got to hear the Granny Peace Brigade speak out against the occupation in Iraq. The main speaker was Joan Wile who is a perky 74 year old granny. The oldest at the meeting that evening was Molly at 87. These ladies are feisty and will do whatever it takes to get the word out on the continuous lies of the evil Bush Regime. They also mentioned the group "Grandmothers Against the War" and "Raging Grannies". They started out with a small rally in November 2003 and it’s grown over last three years. The grannies hold weekly vigils at Rockefeller Plaza and will be hosting a "walking tour" between NYC and DC. It'll start on June 24th and end on July 4th. These are marvelous women and greatly admired by those of us in the liberal, progressive and democrat movements. Other topics of discussion at the PDA [Progressive Democrats of America] meeting were on the voting system. Must get our city council members to vote for RES 131 (PBOS) and RES 228. And a young lady from UFPJ spoke out regarding legislation in the House and Senate on Iraq/Iran. UFPJ along with PDA members met with one of Hillary Clintons assistants in DC and outcome was disappointing. [A website to check out is http://www.worldcantwait.org ... which actor Sean Penn belongs too.] DPAC group may endorse Tasini and I need to look into joining that group too. The evening was rounded out by getting into our PDA Chapters for discussions. The chapters are set according to district and I'm in 12. So far there are about 5 in our chapter and we'll organize monthly meetings to discuss or strategize important issues. Overall it was a productive evening.

E&Y offices were closed on May 26th and 29th for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That Friday morning I had some subway troubles and arrived at Port Authority at 8:15am. There was already a long line for the Albany bus. The buses don't leave until 8:30am and they were running late that morning. As the line moves forward some Trailways official says there are NO buses until 10:15am. Four had already taken passengers and left. Those of us still on line with tickets for an 8:30am bus were extremely pissed off. Two fellas standing behind me go in search of Trailways customer service demanding answers and a bus. I'm like upset and pissed off, because Dad was to meet me at 11am. Damn! One of the ladies on the line had a cell phone and she kindly let me borrow, so as to make a quick call to my parents. Explained situation to Dad and said to pick me up at 1pm. We did finally get a bus, but didn't leave until 10:05am and then hit a damn parking lot on highway in NJ. Well, we did finally get to Albany at 1pm, due to the speedy driving skills of our driver. Amen! Rest of the weekend I worked on creating bead style earrings to sell, reading, watch a Sherlock Holmes marathon on SPIKE TV, hair appointment, shopping, working in garden, dine out and took Mom to see "The DaVinci Code" at the cinema. She loved it! Felt good to get away, not have to deal with toxic relatives and relax.

On Tuesday, May 30th, had an appointment with Dr Raoff, my lung specialist in Brooklyn. They examined me abit more and said my lungs sound clear. The other tests I took all came back negative and the MAI in my right lung is decreasing and not increasing. This is all wonderful news! I'll always have the Asthma and utilize inhalers, which is okay by me. Dr Raoff said I don't need to see him anymore unless my condition gets worse. Hopefully that won't happen for a very long time or not at all.

Article by Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services
http://commonwonders.com/archives/col345.htm
"The bomb makers are also liars. Think about this for a moment, especially those of you with Strangelovian sympathies, who regard WMD capability — and a reckless willingness to use that capability — as crucial to U.S. security. Building and testing a nuclear arsenal is guaranteed to destroy the health — to kill — many of our own citizens. The government has decided this domestic price is worth it, but lies to those it has written off as expendable. This combination of ruthlessness and cowardice is what characterizes the "security state," and to my mind its ascendancy can only diminish real national security."

MORE PERSONAL NEWS
On Thursday evening, June 1st, the New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace team worked on the "100 Years of Non-Violence" Gandhi & Sept 11th event via a one-hour conference call. [Check out our website on this event at ... http://www.nyc-dop.com/gandhi] The project is progressing very nicely and we have connected with Arun Gandhi; amongst others in film, peace groups, media, etc. One of the tasks I've been assigned is working on detailed spreadsheets for contacts related to the project. Actually, I handle several of the spreadsheets on other DoP topics, plus input info onto our NY-DoP website. It’s a pleasure, honor and inspiration to be working with this talented group of individuals on a worthy campaign.

Peace is Patriotic! Dissent protects Democracy!

Went to the movies on Saturday, June 3rd, with Linda and Phyllis in the NoHo section of Manhattan. I met them at Sunshine Cinema to see "The War Tapes". It was interesting seeing what some of our soldiers lives are like before, during and after Iraq. There was some film footage of dead Iraqi that was very upsetting. Not only to me, but to others in the sold-out audience. Overall my friends and I weren't "overly moved" by the film. Our overall opinion was this National Guard division from New Hampshire behaved more like college frat boys in the desert with humvees and guns. I'm not saying it’s a cakewalk in being a soldier, not at all. The psychological upheaval any soldier goes through is overwhelming. Basically three different soldiers within the NG division were given digital cameras to film their daily lives for one year [ie: Feb 2004 to March 2005]. Plus the lives of loved ones at home. I first heard about this documentary via Air America radio and was intrigued. I've heard it received mixed reviews.

SHAKESPEAREAN QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. King Lear, Act IV, Sc VI

Peace Activists at Hillary Clinton's Speech Try to Take Back "Take Back America"
By Medea Benjamin
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0613-33.htm

[DUCHESS NOTE – Read Iddybud’s comments regarding this article and it’ll make you think. After her commentary is a link to “Voters for Peace” sponsored by Cindy Sheehan. http://iddybud.blogspot.com/2006_06_14_iddybud_archive.html#115029986652156018
The GOP and DNC are both utilizing suppression tactics against dissenters and other voters around the US. BTW … Iddybud is a terrific blog and link can be found in left-hand column. Ms Benjamin’s article is below. We The People want peace, truth and justice.]

The Take Back America conference, an annual event held in Washington DC this year from June 12-14, is supposed to be a venue for prominent progressives to gather and debate the major issues of our day. Their aim is to "provide the nation with new vision, new ideas and new energy." But choosing New York Senator and probable presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a keynote speaker and then stifling dissent against her pro-war position hardly seems the stuff of a new vision for America. The peace group CODEPINK is widely known for bringing its anti-war message to the halls of power, including inside the Republican National Convention and at President Bush's Inauguration. But it has also targeted Democrats such as Hillary Clinton who support the war. "We have a campaign called Birddog Hillary," says CODEPINK's New York coordinator Nancy Kricorian. "We follow her around the entire state asking her to listen to the voices of her constituents and stop her support of Bush's 'stay the course' policy in Iraq. So far, she hasn't been listening."

Fearing that CODEPINK would openly confront Clinton on her pro-war policy, the organizers of Take Back America entered into negotiations with CODEPINK a few days before the conference. "We had lengthy discussions where they pleaded with us not to protest during her keynote breakfast address," explained Gael Murphy, one of the cofounders of CODEPINK. "Instead, we were told that we could distribute flyers explaining Hillary's pro-war position to the crowd inside and outside the hotel, and we would be called on to ask her the first question after the speech. We agreed." However, when CODEPINK showed up on Tuesday morning in advance of Clinton's speech, the security guards refused to allow them to pass out flyers, even outside the hotel. "Take Back America violated the agreement from the moment we arrived," said Ms. Murphy. "Even though we had a table inside the conference, burly security guards blocked us and informed us that it was a private event that we were not welcome, and they escorted us out of the building. We telephoned the conference staff who then told us that we couldn't enter the hotel, couldn't leaflet the event, the hallways-anywhere. They went back on their word and tried to quash even peaceful, respectful dissent."

A few CODEPINK women did manage to get inside the breakfast, however, as they were legitimate ticket holders. Once inside, the CODEPINK women soon realized that they had been deceived about the second part of the agreement: They would not be allowed to ask the first question, or any question, because Hillary Clinton would not be fielding questions from the audience. "We were really upset that we had been lied to by Take Back America, and that there would be no space at this 'progressive conference' to have a dialogue with Hillary Clinton about the most critical issue of our time-the war in Iraq," said Katie Heald, DC coordinator for CODEPINK. "We got up on our chairs holding up our hands with the peace sign, and were pulled down from the chairs. We tried to take out our banner that said "Listen Hillary: Stop Supporting the War" and it was grabbed from us. And when Hillary started talking about her Iraq strategy, criticizing Bush but not posing a solution, we shouted 'What are YOU going to do to get us out of Iraq,' but she ignored us."

Ann Wright, the army colonel and diplomat who resigned over the war, was appalled by the actions of the conference organizers. "They took away leaflets supporting Jonathan Tasini, the anti-war Democrat who is running against Clinton in New York. They searched people's bags for banners; they even took away an 'Impeach Bush' banner from Veterans for Peace. Free speech needs to be upheld by progressives and trying to curtail dissent undercuts the whole purpose of this conference," said Wright. Many of the attendees agreed with the position of the protesters, and as Hillary Clinton left the podium, they joined in chanting "Bring the troops home; Stop the war now." The next speakers, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator John Kerry, got thunderous applause when they called for the troops to come home. "We were amazed to discover that the organizers of Take Back America treat dissent the same way that the organizers at a Bush rally do," said Ms. Murphy. "Most progressives do not support Hillary Clinton, and stifling our legitimate, heartfelt opposition to her pro-war position is an outrage. I guess we have to take back 'Take Back America.'"

Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and Global Exchange. For Hillary Clinton's position on the war, go to: http://www.listenhillary.org/

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

OH MY GOSH ... MORE WONDERFUL NEWS FROM US DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN & PEACE ALLIANCE GROUP
Congressman Kucinich's Washington DC office informed the folk at our national DoP [Dept of Peace] group that there are two new co-sponsors today! They are:

Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel (D-MO-5th) -- (202) 225-4535
Rep. Rothman, Steven (D-NJ-9th) -- (202) 225-5061

Give them a call and convey warm, hearty thanks for co-sponsoring this wonderfully important legislation [HR 3760].

LOTS OF LIBERAL NEWS FROM THE WEEKEND ET AL

WHY PRETEND THAT HILLARY IS PROGRESSIVE?
Norman Solomon, AlterNet
I'm befuddled by Clinton's speaking engagement at tomorrow's Take Back America conference; she has stood against the progressive agenda for more than a decade.
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/37479/

[DUCHESS NOTE – Mr. Solomon speaks the truth about Hillary not being a progressive. She’s so far from it! When listening recently to Air America radio, I couldn’t believe the ads stating Clinton would be at the “Take Back America” conference. That didn’t make sense to me and apparently to others. I hope those that attend her speaking at this conference either walk out, turn their backs OR give her a loud hissing. If you want a real progressive Democrat, who is also running for NY State Senate, then check out Jonathan Tasini and his campaign. You will not be disappointed. Go to: http://www.tasinifornewyork.com]

CONGRESS SNIVELS WHILE BUSH BREAKS LAWS
Stephen Pizzo, News for Real
Bush's propensity for wishy-washy 'signing statements' makes congressional legislation look disposable. Why aren't Congress members crying foul?
http://www.alternet.org/story/37263/

[DUCHESS NOTE - When the majority of Congress is Republicans who firmly support the Bush Regime, well duh, that's why you'll never see them "crying foul". Many of the Democrats are crying foul, but their still in the minority. We The People of this country can change ALL that this November by voting Republicans OUT of House & Senate. We need representatives in the House and Senate who will listen and support their constituents.]

WHY GLOBAL WARMING MATTERS
Blair Golson, Truthdig
The producer of Al Gore's hit documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' explains why Americans need to start getting serious about the ways that we're destroying the planet -- before it's too late.
http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/37215/

Painting Captures US Arrogance, Artist Says
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0608-04.htm

No Majority for Discrimination
John Nichols
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0608-30.htm

Confronted with Disclosure Demands, Fake News Moguls Cry "Censorship!"
Diane Farsetta
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0608-21.htm

CHRISTIANS-ONLY BASEBALL?
Dave Zirin, TheNation.com
The Colorado Rockies recruit Christian players and claim God is at work on their game. Something's gone rotten on the diamond.
http://www.alternet.org/story/37193/

RFK JR: TAKING THE STOLEN ELECTION SERIOUSLY
Thom Hartmann, AlterNet
In his Rolling Stone article, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. reveals how the Republican Party engaged in a criminal conspiracy to both steal the 2004 election, and to cover up evidence of the theft.
http://www.alternet.org/rights/37153/

Don't Forget Those Other 27,000 Nukes
Hans Blix
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0608-29.htm

It's Time to Get Serious About US Troop Withdrawal
Helena Cobban
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0608-25.htm

AN ABOUT-FACE ON IRAN
Molly Ivins, AlterNet
Why is Bush now full of reason, offering to have diplomatic talks with the very people he's been denouncing as beyond vile?
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/37303/

I JUST DON'T GET IT
Sean Gonsalves, AlterNet
How do we have pundits rationalizing the 'need' for unprecedented presidential powers in this 'new kind of war' with no end in sight?
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/37305/

House Shoots Down Amendment Protecting Net Neutrality
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0609-06.htm

[DUCHESS NOTE - Damn Republicans will do whatever it takes to give Bush Regime total control over Americans and turn our country into Orwellian or Fascist society. Net neutrality is extremely vital and without it we're screwed. Now before you start packing your bags and moving to Canada or Europe, let’s contact our Congress people and save "net neutrality", amongst other important issues. I'm talking real issues, not this crap about flag burning. Issues that is important to all Americans. What’s important to us? How about universal healthcare, better education system, lowering costs to colleges/universities, freedom of speech, keeping jobs in the US and bringing our entire troops home from the Middle East. In my humble opinion, I think that’s a darn good place to start.]

Repeal of Estate Tax Is Latest GOP Initiative to Die in Senate
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0609-04.htm

Korean Farmers Protest U.S. Base Expansion, Free Trade Agreement
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0609-07.htm

New in VIDEO - Zarqawi's Death 'Not Changing Much'
In this clip, CNN's Octavia Nasr states that Zarqawi's death, while a blow to Al Qaeda, will not be "a big deal" to other insurgency groups.
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/37302/

MORE TERRIFIC NEWS FROM THE US DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN & PEACE ALLIANCE (Dot Maver)
In the past 24 hours we have gained momentum significantly, and this is a direct result of our Mother's Day campaign, ongoing media efforts, a push by Congressman Kucinich on the floor of the House, Marianne Williamson's speaking engagements, and all of your various campaigning activities. And lest we forget, our Student Peace Alliance is beginning to rock. Mary Alice and the CA team just informed us that Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (CD10) stated yesterday at a Town Hall meeting in Walnut Creek that she will co-sponsor HR 3760 the bill for a Department of Peace and Non-violence tomorrow June 12. Michael Barnett (MtDPJC) and Janet Thomas (Lamorinda Peace and Justice Group) participated on a lively panel with the Congresswoman on Iran and nuclear weapons. Please call her to thank her at 925-932-8899 or in Washington at (202) 225-1880. And, as you know from our most recent alert, the following representatives signed on recently:

Rep Andrews, Robert E. [D-NJ-1] -- (202) 225-6501
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-23] -- (202) 225-1313
Rep Larson, John B. [D-CT-1] -- (202) 225-2265
Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita [D-CA-37] -- (202) 225-7924
Rep Moran, James P. [D-VA-8] -- (202) 225-4376
Rep Green, Al [D-TX-9] -- (202) 225-7508
Rep Clyburn, James E. [D-SC-6] -- (202) 225-3315

Let's make a united effort over the next 24 - 48 hours to send a ripple effect throughout our network - call our reps and senators, send postcards, do the Father's Day outreach, call a friend, write a letter...we are very close to one of our major goals for 2006 - to be part of the election year dialogue...let's ride this wave to the shore! By the way, we are talking with Flea, bass player with the Red Hot Chili Peppers - about tabling their upcoming North American tour - stay tuned...and check this out: http://www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/165/1/

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Depleted Uranium Forum at Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture
Monday June 12, 2006
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Location: Society for Ethical Culture
Street: 4450 Fieldston Road
City, State, Zip: Bronx, NY 10471
Phone: 718-549-1601
Notes ... Join us for a discussion on the effects of DU on civilians andsoldiers with Rev. Lucius Walker of Pastors for Peace

THIS YEAR ON SEPTEMBER 11, PROCLAIM THE POWER AND EFFECTIVENESS OF NON-VIOLENCE
New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (NY-DoP) and the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence (MKGI) are sponsoring 100 Years of Non-Violence, a campaign inviting people everywhere to organize and attend special viewings of the movie Gandhi (R. Attenborough, 1982), to be shown in venues worldwide on September 11, 2006. NY-DoP and MKGI are working to facilitate the theatrical re-release of the film, television airings of Gandhi on that day, and individual and community screenings of the DVD.

Since 2001, the date of September 11 has been associated with violence, fear and destruction. It is a heartbreaking reminder of the catastrophic price of violence. September 11 also marks the date, in 1906, that Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the modern non-violence movement, 100 years ago, which charted a new course for peace building and conflict transformation.



To honor the memory of those killed on September 11, 2001 and all who have suffered as a result of violence worldwide, NY-D0P and MKGI invite people around the globe to commemorate this September 11 by remembering this 100-year anniversary of the birth of the modern non-violence movement.


NY-DoP and MKGI are producing a short film, featuring Arun Gandhi, to be shown before the feature that will help dispel common myths and reveal the true power of non-violence. The short film will inspire simple, clear calls to action to educate ourselves, get involved, and “be the change we wish to see” (Gandhi).

Please view the 100 Years of Non-Violence website (www.nyc-dop.com/gandhi) to:

• Find out more about the campaign and how to get involved
• Purchase the movie Gandhi and other resources
• Learn how to organize screenings or find screenings near you
• Sign up for e-updates

Prepare To Be Inspired!

Sponsored by: New Yorkers for a Department of Peace www.nyc-dop.com/gandhi MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence www.gandhiinstitute.org Contact: NY-DOP – gandhi@nyc-dop.com – Tel: +1 212 479 7318


[DUCHESS NOTE - Interesting tidbit I came across on one of my fav blogs ... Anonymoses. [Link is in lefthand colunm.] Which then steered me to another blog called "Police State USA". While the rightwing Corporate media is going on and on about death of Zarqawi, some interesting news or gossip is going on in DC. Check it out ... STATE DEPARTMENT SOURCE CONFIRMS BUSH-RICE "RELATIONSHIP" (June 7th)

http://michaelpaladin.com/blog/2006/06/07/state-department-source-confirms-bush-rice-relationship/

You know most Republicans are hypocrits, liars and incredibly corrupt. Morals? Values? What morals and values? Your joking! They have none! Republicans think its wrong for Clinton to have a fling, but seems its okay for that spoil rich brat GWB to have a fling with Rice. Geez! They must think Americans are dumb and do not pay attention. Wrong ... we do ... big time!]

SUPPORT NEW YORKERS FOR A DEPARTMENT OF PEACE WHEN YOU SHOP AT Amazon.com!
Every time you make a purchase on Amazon.com from the “New Yorkers for a Department of Peace” (NY-DoP) website: http://www.nyc-dop.com/gandhi/100years/resources.html A portion of the revenue goes to NY-DoP. And the best part of it is that it does not cost you anything extra! NY-DoP and Amazon have an agreement in which any time there is a click-through from the NY-DoP page; Amazon will give a revenue share back to NY-DoP. This system works for all items available on Amazon, not just the ones listed on the NY-DoP page. So start shopping.
[Duchess Note – Those of you who are regular readers of my blog, please feel free in sharing the above info with friends and family. Peace & Truth!]

Saturday, June 10, 2006

EXCITING NEWS FROM PEACE ALLIANCE & US DEPT OF PEACE CAMPAIGN - Seven New Co-Sponsors in the House of Representatives!!!

Amazing news! On June 7th, http://thomas.loc.gov/ (Library of Congress), the official government website on congressional legislation, listed seven NEW co-sponsors for the Department of Peace! This brings our total number of co-sponsors to 71 in the House of Representatives. This is indeed wonderful news. Congratulations go out to everyone who worked with us on our Mother's Day campaign, visiting most of these members offices, and to the thousands who called and wrote encouraging support. Our efforts, along with those of Congressman Kucinich, continue to pay off! Here is a list of the new co-sponsors. Please take a few moments to contact these members to say thank you.

Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] -- (202) 225-6501
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] -- (202) 225-1313
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] -- (202) 225-2265
Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita [CA-37] -- (202) 225-7924
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] -- (202) 225-4376
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] -- (202) 225-7508
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] -- (202) 225-3315

New Mexico Town Lobbies for Federal 'Peace Department'
Thursday, May 25, 2006
SILVER CITY, N.M. — The Silver City Town Council has adopted a resolution calling for the federal government to form a U.S. Department of Peace. The council voted 3-1 Tuesday night in favor of the resolution, which asks Congress to establish a Cabinet-level department geared toward peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world. A supporter of the resolution argued that the council should consider measures that aren't focused strictly on local issues.

"A lot of polls lately show people have lost faith in the upper levels of government," Larry Weiss of Silver City said. "The one government body that's retained trust is the local body." The resolution encourages Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M. — whose district includes Silver City — to sign on as sponsors of a measure introduced in Congress last year for a Department of Peace. The resolution says such a department will benefit the community "by holding peace as an organizing principle for the American society, which will change the tone of society" and by development programs that will lead to changes in domestic violence and violence with guns, in schools and against minority groups.

Friday, June 09, 2006

READ ON GOOD PEOPLE - LOTS OF NEWS & IMPORTANT LINKS TO CHECK OUT - Let's Start With A Message From Howard Dean At DNC

Hurricane season has arrived -- and two fresh studies point to a link between global warming and an increase in the number and power of storms like Hurricane Katrina. What are Republicans doing about it? They're smearing former Vice President Al Gore.

[DUCHESS NOTE - Typical of the Bush Regime, they are not doing a helluva lot to help or prepare the Gulf Coast region for any hurricane season. They'd rather pocket the money or give it to their corporate buddies. Their attitude towards millions of good, decent, hardworking Americans is a hearty F--K YOU! Don't vote these buggers back into office or any other Republicans. It’s like shooting yourself repeatedly in the foot.]

One right-wing pundit compared Gore to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist. Another right-winger, who's been on the payroll of corporate special interests, likened Gore's pursuit of solutions to global warming to Adolph Hitler's pursuit of genocide. I'm sending Al a note this week telling him to keep fighting, to keep standing up for the truth no matter how vicious the attacks. I thought he might like to hear from you, too. Sign on to this note of thanks, and add your own note of encouragement here:

http://www.democrats.org/keepfighting

Facts are facts. Global warming is happening, and it threatens our very existence. But it also presents a historical opportunity to rise above politics and act boldly. Despite right-wing efforts to silence him, Al Gore has articulated one of the great moral challenges of our time and tried to move people to act.

[DUCHESS NOTE - Did you know that Al Gore has been involved since the late 1980s in regards to research, awareness and speaking out on Global Warming. This is a man whose concern is for the environment, animals and mankind. I'd rather have someone in the Oval Office who truly cares about ALL that. As oppose to the hate & war-mongers that foul that office today. Think about it and really listen to what your heart/soul say to you.]

This should not be a political issue. We need a conversation about climate change and its consequences. But special interests in Washington have a tight grip on the Republican leadership, and an entire network of corporate-funded front groups has emerged to deny reality and attack the messenger. They hope that scorched-earth political tactics will cover up the reality that the scientific debate is one they've already lost. Vice President Al Gore deserves our thanks for his courage and leadership. Let him know you appreciate his stand by signing on to this letter of thanks before this week is over:

http://www.democrats.org/keepfighting

Did you know the National Academy of Sciences joined academies in the other G8 countries last year by concluding that global warming requires "prompt action"? Or that insurance companies are fleeing coastlines and charging huge premiums to avoid taking more losses from massive hurricanes? How about the fact that climate researchers have a new worry: that we could cross a tipping point that sends sea levels rising by 20 feet by the end of the century? If you didn't know, that's by design. Corporate special interests are deeply invested in keeping us hooked to the status quo -- high gas prices, inefficiency, and dependence on foreign oil.

That's why last year, in the middle of a record-breaking hurricane season, Republicans in Congress and the White House gave oil companies $6 billion -- even as those companies ran away with the largest corporate profits in American history. And that's why we still have yet to see the Bush administration stand up and do anything to stop global warming. Enough is enough, and people know it. Al Gore is demonstrating exactly the kind of courage and moral clarity that Democrats will bring when we take back Congress and win elections up and down the ballot this year. The inconvenient truth is that global warming exists and thanks to Al Gore, it's now more likely that America will come together and do something about it.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The river that flows in you also flows in me. Kabir

MESSAGE FROM THE JONATHAN TASINI FOR NY SENATE CAMPAIGN
Ballot Access petitioning is officially underway and off to a great start! Jonathan was joined by dozens of great volunteers and special guest Cindy Sheehan for a press conference Tuesday morning, June 6th. Throughout the day, we talked to thousands of voters and collected well over a thousand signatures in only one day! Nearly every person we talked to was concerned about the war and grateful for Jonathan’s candidacy! Our work is just beginning though and we have a long road ahead of us before we secure a spot on the September ballot. There's a lot of support for our campaign out there, but we need YOUR help to spread our message and make sure that people have a choice in the primary. The campaign has scheduled a series of petition drives with Jonathan over the coming week and we need your help to pass petitions (you MUST be a registered Democrat in NY to circulate petitions, but you can still show your support at these events by handing out flyers). If you're interested in helping out (even if you can't cover the whole time listed) or if you want to schedule a petition effort in your neighborhood, please call Russell at the office at: 646.415.8361

MORE NEWS FROM TASINI FOR NY SENATE CAMPAIGN
Tuesday's Huffington Post reported that Connecticut Democrats, fueled by grassroots internet campaigning are rallying around Senator Joe Lieberman's primary opponent, Ned Lamont. Lieberman is now in serious danger of losing his seat thanks to the work of our progressive compatriots in the Constitution State.

[DUCHESS NOTE - Joe Lieberman, like Hillary Clinton, are not true Democrats, but essentially Republican Lites. Please vote during the primaries and elections for true Democrats, Progressives and Liberals. Let’s get the garbage OUT of the House and Senate. Then get us back on the road to being a country one can be proud of & shine with others in the global community.]

Wouldn't it be truly historic if we could put the same fear into Senator Clinton? Well, we can. If we can get Jonathan Tasini on the ballot the major media and political establishment will no longer be able to ignore him. The following is the petition collection schedule for the remainder of this week. I apologize in advance if you have already seen this but the campaign asked me to make sure that as many people as possible know when and where they can help out. If you have not collected signatures before, it is really a very simple process that can be explained in a matter of minutes once you arrive at one of the locations below.

Friday, 6/9 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Tribeca Community Street Festival (meet at Murray St. & Broadway)
Saturday, 6/10 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Brooklyn Pride Parade (meet at the corner of Prospect Park West & 9th St.)
Sunday, 6/11 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Park (meet in front of Museum of Natural History)

If you have any further questions, get in touch with Russell or Charles via Tasini campaign at www.tasinifornewyork.org

FRIENDS OF FRIDAY FORUM ... Check out this website for terrific, insightful commentary on current topics. Link is listed in lefthand column. To my wonderful regular Net readers of the "Duchess Journal", if you wish to contribute commentary to FOFF, you can send me an email at cblossom@mindspring.com

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MOVEON.ORG CIVIC ACTION - Save NPR & PBS
Everyone expected House Republicans to give up efforts to kill NPR and PBS after a massive public outcry stopped them last year. But they've just voted to eliminate funding for NPR and PBS unbelievably, starting with programs like "Sesame Street." Public broadcasting would lose nearly a quarter of its federal funding this year. Even worse, all funding would be eliminated in two years threatening one of the last remaining sources of watchdog journalism. Please ask 3 friends to sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS again this year?

http://civic.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/?id=7965-4703541-sb0pyB276Ccb6UBVkOMbRA&t=2

Last year, over 1 million of us signed the petition, and Congress listened. We can do it again if you pass this message along to any friends, neighbors, or co-workers who count on NPR and PBS for news or children's programming. This would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting. The Boston Globe reports the cuts "could force the elimination of some popular PBS and NPR programs." NPR's president expects rural public radio stations may be forced to shut down. The lawmakers who proposed the cuts aren't just trying to save money in the budget they're trying to decimate any news outlets willing to ask tough questions of those in power. Americans trust public broadcasting more than any corporate news media. This is an ideological attack on our free press. President Bush's budget proposed cuts to NPR and PBS, but Congress is going even further: slashing 23% of this year's public broadcasting budget $115 million and denying NPR and PBS any funding in two years. The cuts immediately terminate support for commercial-free children's shows like "Sesame Street," "Clifford," and "Maya and Miguel." The House and Senate are deciding if public broadcasting will survive, and they need to hear from viewers like you. Please ask 3 friends to sign the petition at:

http://civic.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/?id=7965-4703541-sb0pyB276Ccb6UBVkOMbRA&t=3

MESSAGE FROM ACTOR ROBERT REDFORD On Behalf Of The Kick The Oil Habit Campaign
When President Bush took office in 2001, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.47. Today the average price is $2.89 and it's much more in many places. This surge in gas prices has hit a nerve for many around the country, reminding us of an economy that is increasingly uncertain for the middle-class; a growing addiction to oil that draws us ever closer to dictators and despots, and a fragile global position with a climate that is increasingly out of balance. It's time to rise to the challenge and Kick the Oil Habit. Join me and thousands of others by taking action at: http://www.KicktheOilHabit.org

We just launched a campaign to take on Big Oil companies and demand better energy solutions. Please take a moment to visit our site and watch our powerful video that shows how Big Oil and their backers in Washington are profiting while working Americans are paying more.

Screen Capture from Kick the Oil Habit Ad ... www.KicktheOilHabit.org

Our first action is to challenge oil companies to double the number of E85 ethanol fuel pumps at their stations within a year and pledge to offer renewable fuel at half of all gas stations within the decade. Please join our effort and take action now: http://www.KicktheOilHabit.org

A Project of Center for American Progress Action Fund KicktheOilHabit.org is a campaign of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, which is working to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Those who make peaceful change impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. John F. Kennedy

TASINI STAYS IN TOUCH
by Andy von Salis, The Ithaca Journal
http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006606050307

LIVE FROM NYC ITS THE LIBERAL NEWS

STEPHEN COLBERT'S ADDRESS TO THE GRADUATES
Stephen Colbert, AlterNet
'Outsourcing is so easy that I had this speech today written by a young man named Panjeeb from Bangalore.
'http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/37144/
[Duchess Note - OMG! LOL This was such a cool, funny speech by Stephen Colbert. Comic satire and intellectual liberal wit are always appreciated by most folk. Well, except for tight ass, rightwing, fundamentalist Republicans. Whoa! They need to lighten up abit.]

A GUIDED TOUR OF CLASS WAR
Tom Engelhardt, Tomdispatch.com
In this in-depth interview, Barbara Ehrenreich reveals how the class war rages on, and why middle-class Americans are so worried.
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/37149/

THERE IS NO WAR ON TERROR
Pachacutec, Firedoglake
The past six years have been an attempt to seize power and steal money. We're stronger than this.
http://www.alternet.org/story/36934/

O'Reilly Makes Major Mistake...Again
Bill O'Reilly compared the alleged Haditha massacre in Iraq to the WWII massacre in Malmedy, Belgium, saying that US forces killed unarmed SS forces who had their hands in the air, when the opposite was true. FOX News then tried to cover-up the mistake.
http://alternet.org/blogs/video/37126/

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Depleted Uranium Forum at Riverdale- Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture
Monday June 12, 2006
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Location: Society for Ethical Culture
Street: 4450 Fieldston Road
City, State, Zip: Bronx, NY 10471
Phone: 718-549-1601
Notes ... Join us for a discussion on the effects of DU on civilians andsoldiers with Rev. Lucius Walker of Pastors for Peace

SEAN'S SHOW OF METAL
By Alex Williams, Mirror UK
Actor Sean Bean went AWOL from the set of his latest film - so he could rekindle his love of welding. The star, who was a welder's apprentice before he hit the big time, gave his minders and crew the slip to call in at a workshop he had spotted. Welder Chris Holmes, 42, said: "He said he used to be a welder and fancied getting back into it and asked if I would mind him having a go." He had dodged all the fancy film people. I think he was fed up with them." Bean, filming vigilante flick Outlaw with Bob Hoskins, welded his name on a bit of metal above three kisses and had a mug of coffee with the staff. Chris, 42, of Lydney, Glos, said: "I told him if his film career went up in smoke he could go back to welding. He's not too bad."

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MOVEON.ORG & THOSE LIVING IN NY STATE
Yesterday, President Bush will make a speech on a topic that the Senate is gearing up to vote on tomorrow. It's not Iraq, or rising gas prices or our broken health-care system. It's an attempt to write discrimination into the Constitution by permanently denying marriage equality to same-sex couples.

There are obviously bigger problems in front of the nation today. So why would the Republicans do this now? As Jack Cafferty said on CNN, "It's blatant posturing by Republicans, who are increasingly desperate as the midterm elections approach. There's not alot else to get people interested in voting on them, based on their record of the last five years."

Republicans want to divide the nation for the 2006 elections and they're attacking same-sex families to do it. The last time Republicans tried this they failed, but they're expected to make gains this year. Sens. Schumer and Clinton are going to be key. Can you call Sens. Schumer and Clinton and tell them that you oppose an Amendment that would permanently write discrimination into the Constitution?

[DUCHESS NOTE: We, who live in NY State, know we'll have better luck in getting Schumer on the side of the people. Do the right thing Senator Schumer! As for Hillary "Ms Republican Lite" Clinton, she has never had the interest of us New Yorkers in mind. She's got her sticky fingers in the corporate cookie jar and not letting go.]

Senator Charles Schumer
Phone: 202-224-6542
Senator Hillary Clinton
Phone: 202-224-4451

Sens. Schumer and Clinton are feeling intense pressure from the extreme right-wing, and folks like James Dobson are making sure Sens. Schumer and Clinton hear from their supporters every day. It's up to us to show Sens. Schumer and Clinton that a majority of Americans don't support discrimination in the Constitution. But we need to speak up now. If America stands for anything, it stands for equal rights and opportunities for everyone. While we've often struggled to guarantee equality, we've never amended our Constitution to take rights away from people or to codify discrimination.

But Republicans think this is a winning issue for them. As Jack Cafferty said later in that show, "If you can appeal to the hatred, bigotry, or discrimination in some people, you might move them to the polls to vote against that big, bad gay married couple that one day might move in down the street." Most Americans don't support discrimination or this Amendment. But in the next few hours, we need to make sure Sens. Schumer and Clinton hear from us.

[DUCHESS NOTE ... Let's show these Senators that we are NOT bigots or hate-mongers. Show them we are pro-peace and equality for ALL. Equality and justice shouldn't be for the rich greedy buggers of this world, but for ALL Americans & others throughout the world. Give me liberty, peace & justice!]

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... There is a pleasure in the pathless woods. Lord Byron

MESSAGE TO ALL NEW YORKERS FROM "NO MORE DEPLETED URANIUM" COALITION
We have jumped all the hurdles so far and the Bills, the NY National Guard Testing/Task Force Bills, amended by the Assembly Veterans Committee in consultation and agreement with the Senate Veterans Committee, have been approved by both Assembly member Dinowitz and SenatorMorahan. So the bills will now be "ON THE FLOOR" in both the NY Assembly and the NY Senate. We anticipate these identical bills being reported out of the Assembly Veterans Committee to the Assembly floor on June 6th and on the Senate floor on June 5th.

Between "on the floor" and NY State Law stand three people: Speakers Bruno and Silver and Gov. Pataki. One step at a time, and this is the Big One. And the time alloted to take this step is limited by the looming end of the legislative session June 23rd. In the beginning this process reminded me of a Russian Folk Tale where a dirt poor but clever suitor for the Czar's daughter plants a few noisy guys, banging on pots and pans, around the woods outside the Palace to make it sound like he has brought an entire army! Since then an "army" of New Yorkers has awakened so that there is no turning back, so that our NY troops will not suffer from inattention to the toxic and radio activedangers including depleted uranium, of today's battlefields as they did in the time of Agent Orange.

The NY American Legion, the NY AFL-CIO have written letters of support, and the NY Veterans Council which includes the VFW, DVA and Veterans For Peace, has promised the same! At this point in time, ALL THE PRO'S say we need you folks, the real army of aware citizens, to make some "noise" as spokespeople for our soldiers and the entire human race. A telephone call or e-mail will do. A paper snail letter is most reliable. If it's one thing that I have learned this Winter/Spring, it is that, at least at the State level, it works!! Democracy, or well timed and well placed political pressure, armed with truth and respect, gets results.

PLEASE CONTACT SPEAKERS SILVER AND BRUNO BETWEEN NEXT MONDAY JUNE 12 & remember to give your city or town. New York State residency is imperative. Please contact the office of Joseph Bruno and just express your support for the bill, S6964, and that you are happy to hear it is on the calendar in the Senate for June 5th. That you wish to thank Speaker Bruno for his anticipated support, call at 518- 455-3191. You can snail mail: 909 Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12247

PLUS CONTACT Speaker Sheldon Silver's office to say that you support the swift passage of A9116B after it is reported out of the Veterans Committee on June 6th. The number is 518-455-3791.