Wednesday, July 26, 2006

by Jonathan Tasini, Daily KOS

Kucinich: At Historic Moment-- Administration Is Failing Its Moral Obligation to Seek a Cessation of Violence in The Middle East - Policy of Inaction Will Have Great Consequences For The Region And World

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), Ranking Democratic on the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, gave the following floor speech today on the continuing violence in the Middle East:
“At this historic moment the United States is failing in its moral obligation to bring a cessation of the violence in the Middle East. This policy of inaction will have great consequences for the region, the world and safety of our nation and our allies. The United States stands alone in our ability to bring an end to the violence in the Middle East relieve the humanitarian catastrophe that has enveloped the people of Lebanon, Palestine and Israel. In the short term, we must call for an end to the violence. Then, without preconditions, we must bring all parties in the region to negotiate a long-term settlement that will be enforced by peacekeepers. This is the purpose of House Concurrent Resolution 450.”
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“As we demonstrate concern about the plight of the Israelis, so we must not be indifferent to the plight of the Arabs, Muslims and Christians, and all others who are suffering the destruction of their homes, their families, their hopes, their dreams. As the violence continues, with no end in sight, and with civilian casualties on the rise, this is the moment to call for the end of fear and the beginning of hope. House Concurrent Resolution 450 does just that. Congressman Kucinich last week introduced H. Con. Res. 450 a resolution calling, “upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit the United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Introduces House Resolution Calling for Immediate Ceasefire in Lebanon
Interview on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire

Kucinich On Indian Nuke Deal: The US Should Not Be Ramping Up For Armageddon Introduces Legislation, HR 950, To Abolish All Nuclear Weapons

New York Times

by Jonathan Tasini, The Huffington Post

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Enjoy the music of NYC jazz pianist and composer [Peter Calandra] for film and TV. View and listen to one or all ten of Peter Calandra's compositions at "You Tube". Swing on over to easy street at. . . .

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... I don't make jokes; I just watch the government and report the facts. Will Rogers

MESSAGE FROM JESSICA FLAGG - Progressive Democrat for Congress - NY 17th CD
First a great big THANK YOU to all who contributed hours and effort to the gathering of ballot petition signatures... we did it! We filed Thursday, July 13th, with a huge safety net. Much bigger than I had expected or hoped for! And most of our signatures counted for Jonathan Tasini as well! So again, many thanks! From throughout the district the feedback has been consistent, "....Impeach Bush? Absolutely! Let me sign!" I was surprised at how many people are enraged at the lack of Democratic Party response! It just proves the need for this primary. Many people expressed dismay with the Democratic Party for not standing up strongly for the truth and for being like doormats for the Republicans to wipe their feet on, when clearly we have the issues and grounds to turn the tables! There was also a considerable expression of unhappiness with Rep Engel and for his support of the war. My little handout had four items:

End the War
Impeach Bush and Cheney
Universal Health Care For All
Election Reform

While many people responded also to ending the war, I would say the numbers ran 8 out of 10 who responded to Impeachment first. Usually most of the time they would go on to say something about the war. Others pointed to Health Care as their issue and some talked about Election Reform. Of course there were those who didn't sign, who felt that impeachment would be impossible, and some were Engel supporters, but most gladly signed. I feel very differently about this campaign than I did my first time out in 2004. I don't feel nearly as lonely, may of you are to thank for that, but also, I think feeling connected to the PDA mission and to helping Jonathan Tasini has made a huge difference. I also helped get signatures for two other candidates, Steve Ploski, a PDA democrat running for the State Assembly in Yonkers (close to 100 signatures I think) and for Nancy Low-Hogan running for the State Senate in Rockland.

It feels like we have the beginning of a community of Progressives who are building to take back the political world from the machines. Engel has pulled out the stops to get his friend Nadler to write a letter to the local paper here (Riverdale Press) claiming him to be a progressive, only to be followed by two responses strongly contesting that allegation! It is invigorating to be part of the progressive movement right now. Now, I'm starting phase two of the campaign. I need to raise money to give my little campaign some visibility. If you would like to help and can host/organize a party or an event, now is the time to do so. If you know of groups and or activities where I might be invited to speak, please by all means let me know about it as much in advance as possible. Thank you again for you support! Together our efforts add up!

[DUCHESS NOTE: To further learn more about Jessica Flagg's campaign or make a donation, go to:]

Monday, July 24, 2006


The Progress Report
Today the Senate is poised to vote on stem cell research, which could benefit victims of AIDS and other diseases. But will Bush just veto it later?

Israel's On Wrong Course
Madison Capital-Times

A Nice Mess Our President Has Made for US
Dave Lindorff

Lynn M. Paltrow,
A proposed law would prevent pregnant women from smoking. Could a law requiring women to breastfeed be far behind?

Organic Farming, Answer to Farmers' Suicides?

Hil, Rupert Sly as Fox at Fund-Raiser

Cenk Uygur,
The transcript of the President's latest mishap with a microphone reveals the undeniable fact that Bush is an imbecile.

Onnesha Roychoudhuri, AlterNet
Michelle Goldberg says progressives need to wake up and pay attention to the enormous -- and growing -- influence of the radical Christian right.

Maureen Lane,
New welfare rules created by the Bush administration are doomed to fail by forcing women to take the first dead-end job that comes their way.

Bush Gave Israel 'Green Light' for Limited Attack on Lebanon

'Energy Security' Plan Panned over Climate, Nuclear Concerns

David Donnelly, AlterNet
Ralph Reed's downfall suggests other politicians may be vulnerable to voter anger, unless they repent for their big money ways.

Temperature Set to Hit 100 Degrees - and Global Warming is to Blame

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master. Demosthenes

Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
Fear of being voted out of office is the only thing that seems to convince Congress to do the right thing.

Israelis See Their Own Nation As "Neighborhood Bully
Molly Ivins

The Most Dangerous Alliance in the World
Norman Solomon

John Ireland, In These Times
The environmental lawyer-turned voting-rights advocate has found Diebold employees who may link the company to election fraud.

Andrew Gumbel, The Nation
Ohio is once again the most likely candidate for another election debacle in the November general elections.

Global Warming, Not Just Heat Wave

Friday, July 21, 2006

by Jonathan Tasini, The Huffington Post
[DUCHESS NOTE: Tasini is right, the word on the streets is very much against Hillary "Ms Republican Lite" Clinton. I helped out with the Tasini for NY State Senate campaign during petition drive recently. When engaging voters to air their views and concerns, 9 times out of 10, they want the US occupation in Iraq to end now. They dislike Clinton for her rightwing out-of-touch views. Many registered voters and even those who are not registered want to see changes in the state and government. More and more are looking to progressives. Its time for a change ... vote for a Democrat who cares about the constituents and not big corporations. Peace is Patriotic!]

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[DUCHESS NOTE - What is needed in the world today is more non-violent, calm diplomacy and ministries or depts of peace.]

What Are They Waiting For, The Apocalypse? US Has a Moral Obligation to Become Diplomatically Involved -- Immediately!
Statement Released by Congressman Kucinich on July 21st

As the situation in the Middle East continues to rapidly deteriorate, the Administration is failing our nation's moral obligation to become actively involved, diplomatically, to resolve this conflict. This Administration's stated policy of inaction has allowed the situation to degenerate and therefore has contributed to the increasingly violent conflict in the region. Their policy of inaction makes the region, and the world, less safe. It makes Americans more vulnerable here at home and abroad. It puts our troops in Iraq at great risk. It makes a peaceful resolution nearly impossible. Everyday this Administration sits on the sidelines the chance for a peaceful resolution becomes less likely. Every day this Administration sits on the sidelines more innocent civilians on all sides are dying. Every day this Administration sits on the sidelines America's already poor reputation in the world community gets worse.

The Administration seems content to sit on the sidelines as a full-blown regional war breaks out. What are they waiting for, the Apocalypse? The region urgently needs diplomatic assistance. The US must claim the role of mediator. It must speak and act like a mediator. The US must become involved immediately in seeking a peaceful resolution to the current conflict. To help accomplish this, I have introduced legislation, H.Con.Res. 450, calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit US diplomats to multi-party negotiations. Only by acting as an honest broker can the United States have any authority and success in bringing peace to the region, and in de-escalating the conflict.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength! But it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. William Shakespeare

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Congressman Kucinich introduced H. Con. Res. 450 on Wednesday, July 18th, calling upon the President "to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions."

"Mr. Speaker, we make war with such certainty, yet are befuddled how to create peace. This paradox requires reflection if we are to survive. Making and endorsing war requires a secret love of death, a fearful desire to embrace annihilation. Creating peace requires compassion, putting ourselves in the other person's place, and all of their suffering and all of their hopes, and to act from our heart's capacity for love, not fear. The fight against terrorism in the 21st century is beginning to have the feel of the fight against communism in the 20th century, conjuring of enemies, scapegoating, and wanton destruction. Our war on terror has become a war of error, so we blame the exercise, our capacity for warmaking. And because we have not yet begun to explore our capacity for peacemaking, we are reduced to a predatory voyeurism, once making war, watching war, being aghast at war, impotent to stop our own creation. We are the most powerful Nation, but we do not have the power to reserve for our self or to grant to our allies an exemption from the laws of cause and effect. The fate of the world hangs in the balance, and until we consciously choose peace over war, life over death, the balance is tipping toward mutually assured destruction."

“This debate is not about whether or not embryonic stem cell research should occur. The Administration is not stopping private embryonic stem cell research. It just opposes the expansion of public stem cell research. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act is the safest, most ethically and morally sound way to proceed with this potentially life-saving scientific advancement. The private sector is not restricted from such research. The legislation, vetoed today, would have expanded the number of frozen embryos to be used for stem cell research by the Federal Government. Federally sponsored research is subject to greater oversight and safeguards and higher ethical standards. Recent scientific breakthroughs have demonstrated that embryonic stem cell research has life saving potential. It could result in saving millions of lives. It could be the answer to the prayers of those who suffer from Parkinson's, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and other debilitating conditions. Embryonic stem cell research will continue with or without the federal government. This bill would have expanded federal research, which will be subject to greater oversight and safeguards. I disagree with the President’s decision to veto this important legislation and hope Congress will continue to work to advance this important, and life saving research.”

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, will introduce a resolution Wednesday that calls on President Bush to appeal to all sides for a cessation of hostilities in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict and to commit the United States to multi-party negotiations. The resolution already has 20 co-sponsors. Progressive Democrats of America is supporting the Kucinich effort and asking PDA members to write to their representatives urging their support for the measure. See link:

John Nichols, The Nation

"The continuing violence in the Middle East is spiraling out of control and is on the verge of being full-out regional war in which there will be no winners," says Kucinich. "The US has a moral obligation to become immediately engaged and to try to seek a peaceful resolution to the situation. This Administration must seek an immediate cease-fire and return all sides to the negotiating table." "The region urgently needs diplomatic assistance," the congressman adds. "The only way the US can reclaim its role, as a mediator is to speak and act like a mediator. Unfortunately, the Administration is making statements that only will contribute to escalation." Kucinich is right. This is a testing time for members of Congress. Those who join Kucinich in calling for action to ease the conflict will be remembered as leaders - and as the true friends of Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and a battered peace process. Those who fail to do so will deserve to be remembered - and vilified -- for their failure to act when a humanitarian crisis unfolded before the eyes of the world.

Monday, July 17, 2006

[DUCHESS NOTE - It’s been awhile since I did a major update of news. So sit yourself down nice and comfy, because it’s a long dozy of a ride.]

On Saturday, June 17th, I headed up to Riverdale in the Bronx to help out Jessica Flagg’s campaign for congress. She’s running against Engel in NY States 17th district. Headed up to Spuyten Duyvil station, Dutch for "spitting devil", on the 11:20am Metro North train where Judith and her husband Stuart picked me up. I met Judith via Jessica and we’d been corresponding for awhile regarding the campaign and other topics. Nice to finally meet her and help out with the petitioning, but first we stopped at their apartment to use the bathroom. Then Stuart dropped us off in the “downtown” area of Riverdale, which is quite nice, to do a few hours of petitioning the locals. An acquaintance of Judith joined us to help out and her name is Patti. After a few hours and of acquiring many signatures, plus talking to locals about the issues et al, we went to an Italian restaurant across the way for a lite repast. I enjoyed their company very much and we discussed many topics. Wasn’t easy getting service, as the folk running the restaurant were more interested in watching the World Cup on telly. During commercial breaks we finally got service, as did a few others in the place. I had to catch a 4:30pm train back to Manhattan and Patti dropped me off at the station. We were blessed today with warm, sunny weather and a nice change from the overcast dreariness.
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Arrived into Manhattan and took the subway to Linda’s place in Brooklyn for movie night with Linda and Phyllis were sitting out in back finishing up Chinese food when I arrived shortly after 6pm. We sat outside drinking water or wine, nibbling on Italian cookies and talking. Well, Phyllis did most of the talking. She’s a very nice person, but abit of a chatterbox. We decided to watch Xmen 1 & 2 that evening. Both Linda and I like Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellen. Before we headed out to get the pre-rented DVDs, Phyllis said she wasn’t feeling well from her allergies and decided to go home. Linda and I settled down to watch the movies around 9pm and finished around 1am. [I really enjoyed both films and can’t wait to see the third.] We did take bathroom and snack breaks. Linda drove me home and I rolled into bed at about 2am.

Monday, June 19th, I had part one of my root canal done at dentist office. The infection was still nasty and my dentist continued me on the penicillin. Part two of the root canal would take place a week later. The whole process is most uncomfortable and painful. Could only nosh on soft foods or liquids for a few days after procedure was done.

On Thursday, June 22nd, did petitioning for the Tasini for NY state senatecampaign at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Arrived shortly after 6pm and was to meet up with another volunteer. [Tom didn’t show up until an hour later, as he got abit lost.] Outside the Delacourte Theater was a Tasini volunteer whose name escapes me, but he had that area covered. I stationed myself closer to the bike/jogging path, but within view of the theater. I did okay while stationed there … also encountered folk from out-of-state and foreigners who had a firm disgust of the Bush Regime. Then I spotted a couple strolling towards me and the lady was wearing a LOTRs evenstar necklace that Arwen/Aragorn wear in the films. I smiled in delight at seeing the necklace and engaged the couple in conversation. Had such a delightful chat with Peter and Theresa, plus shortly after we started to converse the Corporate Challenge 5K race went by us. We were literally boxed in on both sides for 15+ minutes. It was very amusing. Peter signed my Tasini petition; we exchanged email addys and just talked on about LOTRs. I really liked them and invited them to join our Tolkien/LOTRs Yahoo chat group. Once the race sort of cleared up they went on their way and I hooked up with Tom [ie: Tasini volunteer]. I got home around 9pm and showered, as it was such a humid day.

Did more petitioning for Tasini campaign on Saturday, June 24th, in Union Square at 12pm. I joined many other volunteers outside the Food Emporium and Jonathan Tasini was also there. We then broke up into groups and I headed over to the Farmers Market with others, including Tasini. We did brisk business before a nasty downpour forced us to take shelter under scaffolding next to Starbucks. I did get a few more signatures while waiting out the storm. Oh gosh, we were stuck there for 30 minutes. Mon dieu! As the rain let up, we decided to head back to the Food Emporium and make further plans of action. As the rain let up more we broke up into smaller groups. I joined Russell [nice young man] in posting ourselves outside a cinema south of Union Square. Responses were very negative and that’s when I noticed THE STRAND bookstore sign down the street. Had a feeling that many Liberals, Progressives and Democrats would frequent that store. [I was right!] I know it’s a fav place of mine. Russell and I did brisk business outside the bookstore. Around 3:30pm I had to take my leave of the petitioning and head home. Get things ready in my apartment for when Jackie and Becca come over to dine, plus watch LOTRs "The Two Towers" [extended version]. Jackie arrived at 6pm and Becca showed up just after 7pm. We always socialize first and catch up on news. Then I serve up the meal [ie: BBQ chicken, wine, salad & crackers], which we eat while watching the first part of the movie. Then it’s a quick break and yummy dessert while watching the second part of the film. Throughout it all we make comments or discuss aspects of the film. Around 12:30am I was getting tired and called car service to take the ladies to their respective homes. It was a fun evening and I enjoyed hanging out with fun friends.

Monday, June 26th, I had another visit with dentist for final work on root canal. This time wasn’t as bad as the first, so I guess the penicillin worked.

Tuesday evening, June 27th, I did more petitioning for the Tasini campaign at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Was there for almost two hours and the weather seemed to threaten rain. This time around I got signatures, but not as many as last time and mostly had interesting conversations with folk visiting from out of state. Even though many were from out-of-state, they were interested in a Progressive Democrat running against Hillary “Ms Republican Lite” Clinton. Several wished they could have signed the petition, as they expressed dislike for Clinton’s stance on the war/occupation of Iraq, amongst other grievances.

On Friday evening, June 30th, was invited to Gail and Rob's place for tea and dessert. They live up the street from my place. Gail has been working on a lovely little garden for years next to their apartment building. And that’s how we met, though conversing about gardening and travel. They too love Cape May as much as I do. Due to Rob’s health, he was not able to attend my “social gathering” back in October 2005, but Gail came to enjoy herself. They are liberal democrats like me. This was my first time visiting their apartment and it is nicely situated, plus they share it with their adorable little dog Sky. After admiring Gail’s lovely artwork, we sat down at the kitchen table to nosh on peach cobbler, tea and discuss diverse topics. They also signed the Tasini petition I brought with me and took a flyer. Called it an evening at 11:30pm and walked back to my apartment to pack quickly for my holiday weekend, and then fell into bed at 12:15am.

Visited the parents from July 1st through July 3rd in upstate NY. Purchased my ticket the day before, so I wouldn’t have to wait on a long line Saturday morning before my 11:15am bus left Manhattan. Sadly, our bus didn’t leave on time, about 15 minutes late and the traffic all the way up Interstate 87 was like a big parking lot. Had no way of contacting my parents to let them know I was going to be late. So I read my book and listened to my CD player. We finally arrived into Albany 1 ½ hours late. Our bus driver was clueless on driving around NY State and near Albany took a wrong turn. We ended up across the Hudson River! Not good! One of the passengers gave him directions back to Albany and bus terminal. Mon dieu! Mom and Dad were waiting for me. We then visited Duane and Michelle, plus enjoy some KFC takeout dinner. [I haven’t had KFC in 20 years.] The day turned out quite nice and sunny. My brother looks so odd with his buzz style haircut. Just doesn’t look like Duane and I’m used to him with longer hair. The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, dining out, shopping, hairdresser, reading, watching some cable TV. On July 2nd there was a nasty 20 minute torrential downpour in the early afternoon. Made driving abit difficult, then Mom and I had to sit in the car and wait for it to pass before going into restaurant. It felt good to get away from the city for a few days. I headed back to the city on Monday afternoon, as I’m no fan of traveling on July 4th, or being around fireworks.

On Tuesday, July 4th, I went to see if the local Internet Café was open. Sadly, they were closed and I needed to utilize the Internet. [Surprisingly, several shops in the hood were open.] Called up Rob (Gail was out of town visiting family) and asked if I could borrow their up-to-date computer for an hour. I received a hearty “absolutely”. When I explained my ancient home computer situation he was abit horrified and offered to build a new computer hard drive for me. He later said “no one should be without a computer”. When I got to their apartment Rob explained about the computer and what it entailed. Being savvy and skilled in computers helps. I thanked him many times for his kindness and generosity. While Rob took a nap I worked on the Internet for over an hour and then afterwards further discussion regarding this somewhat new computer. The prospect of having something new and surfing the Net at home was exciting. As I hadn’t been able to with ancient Mac computer in over 3 years. Oh yeah!

Wednesday, July 5th, I did more petitioning for the Tasini campaign down at Madison Square Park and was joined by three other volunteers. We made the rounds of the park and did okay. We then staked out the entrances to get folk coming and going. I also handed out lots of Tasini flyers. And around 8pm a bluegrass music fest began and I listened for 15 minutes to it before heading home. [Hum, I actually enjoyed it. Wow!] I’ve walked by this small park in the past and never really paid it much mind. In some ways it reminds me of Bryant Park after further inspection. There is a food café near the southeast corner and I’m told serves up kick ass milkshakes and smoothies. Weather held up okay and no rain. Amen!

Early Thursday evening, July 6th, Rob stopped by to bring me the new constructed computer, mouse and keyboard. [Wow, that was quick, thank you sooo much Rob!] Took about 2 hours to take apart my ten year old Mac and install this new PC, plus adjust things after installation, like Earthlink. One of the perks with this new computer is I can watch Region 1 & 2 DVDs. OMG! That means I can watch my SHARPE TV series DVDs. This is a lovely bonus! Oh yeah! After Rob headed home, I jumped on the NYC-DoP conference call at 8:30pm. The one-hour call covered many goals we need to accomplish in regards to the upcoming “100 Years of Non Violence” event and campaign. [Which reminds me; I need to Google District 12 media info, and send to Marianne.] Those reading this Blog and wanting to learn more about this Gandhi/Sept 11th event, go to ... sharing this link and info with others. We want to take this throughout the US and even internationally. BTW … I recently collaborated with Jessica Flagg in writing a “letter to the editor” regarding Nadler/Engel AND it was published in the July 6th issue of The Riverdale Press. WooHoo!

On Saturday, July 8th, I caught the 8:48am Metro North to Mt Kisco to hangout with my friend Nancie, as well as attend our appointment with event/catering at the Holiday Inn. The train was a few minutes late, but Nancie was waiting for me in her van. She looks good and lost some weight. Ballroom dancing definitely agrees with her. We drove through Mt Kisco [ah, the memories from my youth] and stopped at the diner. [Gosh, it’s been like 26 years since I last plunked my butt in this diner. And it hasn’t changed all that much.] Over iced tea and lemonade we discussed what goals we need to accomplish in preparing for class reunion. Yep, our 30th anniversary from Fox Lane high school is next year. Good lord, where does the time go to?!? [Two teachers that greatly inspired me from my school days were Mr. Witherspoon & Dr Dickert.] From there we drove to Nancie’s parent’s home not far from Westchester County Hospital. It’s lovely seeing them again. Last time was at their granddaughters wedding in June 2005. [Sadly, that marriage didn’t work out and Joni is a divorced woman.] We socialized for awhile and then Joni showed up. By this time it was close to 12pm and we headed out to lunch. Before going to Coco Rumba’s [443 Lexington Avenue, Mt Kisco] for lunch, we stopped by Danielle's Chocolatier shop for Belgium chocolates. Nancie’s father, Conrad, treated us to many goodies that we’ll consume later for dessert. I absolutely LOVE Belgium chocolates. Lunch was delicious, service was good and we had a lovely time. Nancie’s parents and daughter Joni signed my Tasini petition. [Thank you so much in being liberal democrats!] Back at the homestead, Nancie and I relaxed abit before attending our meeting with Ms Brooks at Holiday Inn. That meeting went very well and much was resolved. [I worked as a chambermaid at Holiday Inn in 1977 and it was my first job.] The place was renovated back in the 1990s and looks vastly better than it did in the 70s and 80s. Back at the homestead we settled down to refreshment at the dining room table and discussions on a variety of topics. 20 minutes after Joni left, Nancie’s sister showed up with her two daughters and hubby. More socializing followed before Nancie took me back to the train station. I caught the 5:30pm back to NYC and then went to AMC Empire cinema to see “Xmen - The Last Stand”. Very much enjoyed the movie and there was even some scenes of a bare chested Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Yum! This film had a lot of action, new characters, but the plot seemed abit thin. Despite all that I did enjoy it.

Early Sunday evening, July 9th, I hooked up with Jackie around 5pm. Jackie had purchased the tix in advance, so we’d be able to see “Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man’s Chest” at AMC Empire cinema. This film is proving to be quite popular and it’s only the first weekend. We both enjoyed the film, though agreed it seemed a tad to long. Johnny Depp is fabulous in the role of Jack Sparrow. Many laughs, action and visual effects in this film are good. Personally, I enjoyed the first film abit more. Anyhow, the ending left many surprises and answers will come forth in third POTC. Not sure when that is due out … maybe next year. Afterwards we walked down 7th Avenue to have a drink at Mustang Harry’s and chat for awhile. Sort of like a nightcap to a long, good weekend.

Tuesday, July 11th, was the monthly National Dept of Peace conference call at 9pm. Lynn McMullen and Matthew Albrecht were the moderators. Some of the items discussed were on events, meetings with congress people, peace caucus, city councilmember’s, presentations, resolutions, bumper stickers, press coverage and so on. These calls are always inspiring and informative. Just amazes me how many peace folk and states are involved. It’s a beautiful thing. Peace truly is patriotic! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The following evening I spent some time at the Tasini campaign office down in Greenwich Village. Dropped off the last of my signed petitions and chatted with the other volunteers for awhile on next level of action. Tasini only needed 15,000 signatures to get on the NY primary ballot and he got 40,000. This is awesome news!


By Robert Scheer, The Nation
[December 2001]

[DUCHESS NOTE: In light of Ken Lay’s (Bush fondly called him “Kenny Boy”) recent death, it’s important to look back on the huge connection between the Bush Regime and Enron. As well as how it affected not only those at Enron, but across the whole United States. From the 1990s to today … it’s some serious stuff. Not only Enron, but the whole Bush Regime needs to be held accountable and put on trial. These crimes are huge!]

BY John Nichols, The Nation
Posted May 25, 2006 & Printed on July 9, 2006
The man who paid many of the biggest bills for George Bush's political ascent, Enron founder Kenneth Lay, has been found guilty of conspiracy and fraud almost five years after his dirty dealings created the greatest corporate scandal in what will be remembered as an era of corporate crime.


Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) gave the following floor speech today:
“Five years ago, today, on July 11, 2001, I introduced legislation to create a cabinet level Department of Peace and Nonviolence which would employ the principles taught by Christ, Gandhi, Dr. King, Mother Teresa and others to create a new hope for violence-free homes, schools, and communities through peace and character education; new hope that through peace education we can challenge the notion of the inevitability of war. Today, thanks to hundreds of community groups, led by the Peace Alliance, momentum is building. Fifteen cities have passed resolutions endorsing the Department of Peace and seventy-four members of the House have signed onto the bill. More and more, Americans want a compassionate, focused, organized approach to dealing with the violence in our communities; to dealing with domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse and other types of violence. The Department of Peace represents the end of fear and the beginning of hope for a new nation and a new world.”

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) joined with the Ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce, George Miller (D-CA), today on the House floor, in demanding that Congress immediate consider a bill to raise the minimum wage $2.10, from $5.15 to $7.25. “This is a moral issue, not just a fiscal issue,” stated Kucinich, who has joined with Congressional Democrats in opposing a Congressional pay raise until the House considers a bill to raise the minimum raise. “Millions of working men and women, and their families, can ill-afford to wait for Washington partisan politics. They have been waiting since 1997. It is far past time, that Congress steps ups and considers this urgent legislation.”

A minimum wage worker, working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year earns $10,700 a year, $5,000 below the poverty line for a family of three. It is estimated that over 7 million workers would receive an increase in their hourly wage if the minimum wage were raised to just $7.25 an hour. An additional 8.2 million workers earning up to a dollar above the new minimum wage would also benefit.

“Since 1997, the price of gas has gone up, the price of food has gone up, rent has gone up, mortgage costs have gone up, the cost of college has gone up, the only thing that has not gone up is the minimum wage,” continued Kucinich. “The reality is the minimum wage today is at lowest point in over 50 years. It is immoral for this Congress to allow citizens in the wealthiest nation in the world to work a full-time job and still live in poverty,” concluded Kucinich. “The hard working men and women who are the backbone of the American workforce have waited long enough. Congress must act.”

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Yorkers for a Department of Peace
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100 Years of Non-Violence Gandhi and Sept. 11, 1906-2006
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This event is sponsored by:
New Yorkers for a Department of Peace:
M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence:

This event is endorsed by:
Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, The Peace Alliance, Brooklyn Nonviolent Communication and We, the World

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:

[DUCHESS NOTE - I'm a proud member of this fantastic "core team" 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! Truth & Justice! Peace IS Patriotic!]

WALK FOR PEACE on Saturday September 16, 2006
Help Create a U.S. Department of Peace! Join the NATIONAL WALK FOR PEACE in your community!

WHO: YOU, your friends, and others ready to literally walk the talk of peace.
WHAT: A new twist on the traditional walk-a-thon fundraiser, raising money for The Peace Alliance and moving the campaign forward.
WHERE: A public park, city sidewalk, school or other accessible and visible area you choose—in communities all across the nation!
WHEN: Saturday, September 16, 2006, or another date of your choice between September 11 (Patriot Day/100th Anniversary of Gandhi’s first nonviolent action) and September 21 (the International Day of Peace).
WHY: To gain visibility in your city and across the country; raise money for the Peace Alliance; be a model of being the change; support International Culture of Peace month; and inspire and enroll others in the Campaign.
HOW: It’s simple! As always, any project is real when one person who can enroll three friends to help says YES!

SAY “YES” TO PEACE: Are you planning to organize Walk for Peace in your area? Sign up here …

by Jonathan Tasini, Huffington Post

[DUCHESS NOTE: Not only do I support this progressive Democrat, who is running against H.Clinton, but I'm volunteering on his energized grassroots campaign for NY State Senate. We The People need to make changes and kick out the old blood and bring in new, fresh blood. Candidates who listen to the constituents and care about the issues. As well as being anti-war and pro-peace. Vote in the NY primary on September 12th and be part of a change for the better. Peace is Patriotic!]

40,000 NY STATE VOICES FOR TASINI - Message From The Jonathan Tasini NY State Senate Campaign
Today, we are on our way to the state board of elections in Albany to file petitions with the names of 40,000 voters who want Jonathan's name to be on the ballot in September. What an achievement! We only needed 15,000 signatures to qualify but New Yorkers have spoken loud and clear: they want a chance to vote for a Real Democrat.

People came from everywhere to talk to us. One woman got on the subway in Brooklyn, came into Manhattan just to sign the petition and, then, got back on the subway and went home. People crossed parks and streets when they saw our signs, desperate to put their name to a piece of paper that they felt might mean an immediate end to the Iraq War, the stopping of abusive corporate power and achieving real health care by extending Medicare For All--the central pieces of Jonathan's progressive platform.

Now we need your help. Today begins a 60-day sprint to the September 12th primary. Our opponent will have millions of dollars thanks to corporate support from the health care industry (as reported in The New York Times), Rupert Murdoch and Tom O'Gara, a George Bush fundraiser who just threw an exclusive bash for Hillary Clinton at his swanky ranch in Idaho. So, we're asking you to give today at: to back up the work of the volunteers who stood in the blazing sun and rain to gather signatures and made sure that voters would have a choice. Today is the day to make a contribution to our campaign so that we can get our message out to the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who we know will respond to our campaign's message. If you've contributed before, we need your support again, from $20 to $2100 -- today is the day -- go to

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 Bush fundraisers on her side, we only accept money from people like you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Bumper Sticker Con in Connecticut - Joe Lieberman's Latest Ad Shows a Supposed Lamont Bumper Sticker and Website Address That Don't Really Exist
By James Ficaro, July 10, 2006

A campaign ad that extols Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman's "principles" contains an invented bumper sticker and fictitious website address, making them appear to be part of his primary challenger Ned Lamont's campaign. The bumper sticker in the ad reads "No More Joe" and features the URL Yet the Lamont campaign has NO such bumper sticker and the website is not even owned by the Lamont campaign or anyone connected to it.

The Lieberman Campaign has recently released a thirty second ad, which reportedly began running last week. Before touting Sen. Lieberman's accomplishments for Connecticut, the ad shows two bumper stickers side by side. One is Lieberman's and the other is supposedly from his primary challenger Ned Lamont. Photoshopping the Truth -- The faux Lamont bumper sticker reads "No More Joe" and, in smaller type, "Ned Lamont - Democrat for U.S. Senate." At the bottom of the sticker is the following URL: The fake bumper sticker looks remarkable similar to the official Lamont sticker, complete with the same color scheme and elongated American flag.

Further, the website on the sticker featured in the ad,, does not exist. The page is currently blank. is registered to Highground Inc. of Phoenix, AZ. A spokesperson for Highground told that the domain name was purchased in 2004 as an independent expenditure for a local campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and has no affiliation with the Connecticut Senate race. Overall, the Lieberman campaign is well within its rights to argue that Lamont's campaign lacks a positive message and is simply "anti-Lieberman." But creating false campaign material and passing it off as authentic? That seems at odds with the ad's praise of Lieberman's "principles."

[DUCHESS NOTE: Well, this is typical behavior of Joe “Mr Republican Lite” Lieberman. He has no principles or morals. His campaign strategy is very much in line with the DC beltway neocons and neo-Republicans. Meaning it’s absolutely disgusting, filled with lies and filth. Lieberman is an insult to true Democrats in the state of CT. He doesn’t deserve holding the Senate seat any longer. Time for change … vote for Ned Lamont in the CT primary.]

by Amy Rolph, Seattle P-I Reporter
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday, July 10, 2006

by Raymond Hernandez & Anna Mumford [Tasini Campaign]
July 7, 2006
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Bring on Hillary ... Jonathan Tasini has apparently collected the signatures he needs to enter the Democrat primary against Hillary Rodham Clinton. On Friday, July 7th, his campaign announced that he plans to appear at the steps of the State Capital this week before delivering signed ballot-access petitions to the State Board of Elections. So now the question becomes this, will the Clinton camp or its allies in the Democratic Party move aggressively to keep him off the ballot by legally challenging the validity of the signatures. In anticipation of such a challenge, Mr Tasini and his supporters collected 30,000 signatures, even though he needed only 15,000 to get on the ballot.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

On Sunday, June 11th, I had a good workout session with Marie [personal trainer] at a gym near where she lives in Auburndale, NY. Hadn't seen Marie since our session end of March. During April she competed in a competition regarding health, fitness and weight training. Out of 17 gals Marie came in 8th. Oh yeah! Next competition is in September. And we're finally getting some sunny, warm weather after a week of gloom and rain. Back in Manhattan I hung out at the office for awhile utilizing the computer and noshing on a lite lunch. Then headed up to Riverside Park, off of West 72nd Street, for a LOTRs meetup. It was my first time visiting the park and it’s really quite nice. It’s off of Riverside Drive and nicely kept up. I hung out for an hour waiting for others to show up around 4pm and none of our group appeared. I later learned, via our Yahoo Group, that the meetup was supposed to be near the 89th Street entrance to the park. It never transpired as several of us were confused by scant directions. The next meetup/picnic is being arranged by Josh and Lilit for either July or August. Also, one of my bosses had recently been on a successful business trip to London. I asked if he'd bring me back a few newspapers and I suggested The Guardian. He also brought back a lovely box of Belgium chocolates, which I shared with others at work. Oh my gosh ... those are such divine chocolates. Total yummers!

The next day, June 12th, I attended a DU Forum in Riverdale, NY. I am periodically involved with the "Coalition to Ban Depleted Uranium" group via my friend Paul. Have also attended a few meetings and helped out abit before this forum took place. Sent out via email invites and a press release to friends and fellow bloggers informing them of the DU Forum. I rode up by subway with a friend of Paul's who is a jazz and blues singer. Paul met us at the station and drove us to the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture. Sadly the forum didn't get as large a turnout as some of us had hoped. Florence Gold started off the evening with such passion and eloquence. Other speakers included Sgt Ray Ramos, Reverend Lucius Walker and Frida Berrigan. I was mostly impressed with the first two and not the latter. Frida is an intelligent lady, but spoke to quickly and for much too long. It was like information overload. Afterwards I picked up free info, one of which was an issue of THE NATION featuring Al Gore. Other freebies were political buttons and I gathered up two. [Secrecy Promotes Tyranny & Dissent Protects Democracy] To learn more about Depleted Uranium and other events, go to ...

On Thursday, June 15th, I attended the monthly New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace meeting at 7pm. It was quite a productive, fascinating, energized meeting which mostly centered on further planning for the "100 Years of Non-Violence" event on and around Sept 11th. [To learn more and spread the word ... go to ...] Those in attendance [including myself] were Joe, Dawn, Chris, Kevin, Liz, Carol, Marni, Marianne, Eileen and Ellen. We hadn't seen Ellen at a meeting in months, as she's been on the slow road to recovery from health issues. Last time I saw her was at Joe and Marie's Xmas party in December. Joe and I brought goodies for the others to nosh on at the meeting. Marni announced she is 2 months away from giving birth to her little peacemaker. I also brought along some of my "peace bead style" earrings and sold about 9 pairs. Half the funds from any “peace” earring sales go to NYC Dept of Peace group. Happy to help out and further the DoP campaign. Since this meeting we've received several endorsements from peace groups and other organizations for the Gandhi/Sept 11th event. This is so friggin awesome!!

Had an appointment the next morning with my dentist to find out what's up with my gums. Well, it’s not my gums, but a serious infection and I'll need to get a root canal. But first of all, my dentist put me on penicillin to get rid of the infection. I'm not looking forward to getting a root canal, as I've had four done within last 16 years or so. Its soooo uncomfortable! Later that evening, after work, I went to do some ballot petitioning for the Tasini for NY State Senate campaign. Believe it or not, I didn't have much luck down at the Sunshine Cinema where Al Gore's documentary is playing. Not to be discouraged, as it’s still early in the petitioning season. I took the subway from Houston Street to Union Square area to see what was happening. Mon dieu! Serious protesting regarding Palestinians and how Israeli military/government abuses them. I ran into Allie, who is from the Coalition to Ban DU, and we briefly talked about petitioning and the protest going on. There was also some neo-Nazi youth attending and being quite belligerent. I headed home shortly after all that.

SHAKESPEAREAN QUOTE OF THE DAYThus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. King Henry IV, Part II, Sc II

We are excited and honored to announce that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have selected The Peace Alliance to be present at their U.S. stadium tour starting this August. We will have information/action tables at all of their shows. This will be one of the biggest tours this season, they will be performing to well over 100,000 people. An excellent opportunity to reach a huge population of people about our campaign and work! This will mean we need to create a large amount of tabling signs and promotional material (already in the works) as we will have up to 5 tables per show and will need enough material for at least three shows at a time. To do it well will cost over $4000, if you are able to help, go to:

To Defend Our Freedom, We Must Defend Voting Rights
Commentary by Jesse Jackson

Understanding the Meaning of Freedom
Commentary by George Lakoff

Joe Lieberman's Connecticut Problem
Commentary by John Nichols

[DUCHESS NOTE - I'm all for Ned Lamont and hoping to see Lieberman lose big
time. The man is an insult to Democrats with all his extreme rightwing leanings
and mumbo jumbo.]

Our Nation Needs Fewer Secrets
Commentary by Jimmy Carter

Tuesday, July 04, 2006



Howard Zinn, AlterNet
The Declaration of Independence gives us the true meaning of a patriot, someone who supports a country's ideals, not necessarily its government.

Rev. Jim Rigby,
Leaders can only take you so far. At some point it's up to the people to govern themselves.

Mike Hudema, AlterNet
Even the president recognizes our oil addiction -- now it's time to get serious about kicking the habit.

June 29th, The Guardian [UK],,1808581,00.html
Continuing cinema's perennial fascination with Shakespeare, a new adaptation of Macbeth is in the works, according to Variety. Following versions from such film-makers as Orson Welles and Roman Polanski, the latest adaptation will star Sean Bean as the power-hungry Thane of Cawdor, and Tilda Swinton as his even more ruthlessly ambitious wife. John Maybury (Love is the Devil) will direct from a script by Vincent Regan, which, suggesting there will be some departures from the original script, is entitled Come Like Shadows. In a statement that may cause some alarm to Shakespeareans, the producers promise a movie that's "user-friendly to a contemporary audience".

Steven Soderbergh will be involved as an executive producer of the independently-financed project from Milk & One Sugar. Bean, who is currently filming a remake of the Rutger Hauer chiller The Hitcher and was recently seen in Silent Hill and Flightplan, has played the murderous monarch before, in a West End production three years ago. Tilda Swinton, too, has form for ruthless ruler roles (see her recent outing as the White Queen in The Chronicles of Narnia). Come Like Shadows is scheduled to begin shooting in late autumn.

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do,
And the eyesight to tell the difference.

[DUCHESS NOTE: In a recent conversation with an acquaintance of mine [Judith], we got talking about rulers and war. Judith said … “At least, in ancient times, rulers were the ones to lead the armies into battle”. To which I replied … “In ancient times if the ruler didn't lead his armies into battle and fight alongside of them, then he was deemed unfit to rule. Therefore the whole Bush Regime is deemed unfit to rule or govern the US and they are cowards”.]