Thursday, August 31, 2006

Keith Olbermann, MSNBC
The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Thursday, August 10th, was the monthly Tolkien/LOTRs meetup at Café La Fortuna on the upper Westside of Manhattan. Got off the subway at 6:55pm and as I’m walking on 71st Street, I noticed other people glancing westward at the sky. When I glanced over my shoulder, I was like oh geez, the sky was dark and nasty lookin. Quickened my pace and five minutes after arriving to café the rain came down in buckets with strong winds. Ordered some dinner and read my book [ie: essays on Tolkiens work] while waiting for others to join the meetup. After an hour I was hearing other diners, entering the café, say that many subways were not running due to flooding. When no one showed I figured it must have been due to weather and subways. [Later learned that was the case.] By the time I left at 8:45pm the main part of the nasty storm had passed. Still couldn’t utilize the 2 or 3 subway line due to flooding. So I had to take the C to the L and then a bus to get home.

On Sunday, August 13th, Jackie joined me in hanging out at Riverside Park [near West 72nd Street] around 3pm with views of the Hudson River. The weather was perfect that weekend with sunshine, no clouds and 80 degrees. Showed her the items I’d purchased from the recent ELF Convention in NJ. After about two hours or so we meandered over to Café la Fortuna at 6pm for dinner in the garden section. We spent a few hours discussing events, news, gossip and issues on immigration.

On Monday, August 14th, around 12 noon I attended my first NYDoP Marketing/PR meeting at Norma’s office. [Only a few blocks from my office in Times Square.] These meetings are in conjunction with our Gandhi/Sept 11th event.
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I missed the first two meetings earlier in the month. I spent part of meeting catching up and rest of the time taking notes. My duties, regarding event PR is farming out the press release to media outlets and blogs. Those in attendance were Liz, Carol, Norma, Bonnie and Ken. Later on I had an appointment with my chiropractor to figure out why my left shoulder was in such discomfort. Learned I was suffering from nasty muscle spasms and not sure what cause them. After an examination came several different heat therapy treatments and adjusting of neck/back. My doctor informed me not to do upper body workout at gym until treatments were complete, but I could engage in cardio/stretching. Geez … it always seems to be something … most annoying!

Tuesday, August 15th, I helped out on the Tasini [above photo] campaign with several other volunteers down at South Ferry Terminal. One of the volunteers, Chris, calls us the “Street Team”. Over the course of an hour Chris, Jeremy and Katherine handed out 300 flyers. While Al and I hold up Tasini banners for all to see, plus discuss latest news or events.

P.S. Yes, I know, my bad in being behind on "personal news" ... working on getting it up to snuff very soon ... thank you for your patience.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Steve Benen, The American Prospect
The new push to present the President as a bookworm is as desperate as it is dubious.

The Progress Report
The financial, emotional, and human costs of Hurricane Katrina have been absolutely staggering -- and they aren't subsiding yet.

Pay To Be Saved: The Future of Disaster Response
Naomi Klein

Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
Cheney's the real president. It'd be nice if the press noticed.

[Duchess Note - It just boggles the mind that many Americans don't know who's really running this country. Myself and others have known for a long time that its really Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove (ie: 3 Evil Musketeers or Wicked Wizards of the West) who are running this country. (They've been learning the tricks of the trade from Nixon era to present.) They make spoiled brat Bushit think its him, but its not. The disasters that have befallen this country and in parts of the world over 6 years can be traced back to those three demented, evil individuals. Those who want to impeach Bush, yeah, thats a good idea. But to get rid of this evil regime you have to dig deeply into the roots and get rid of them all. Its the only way to get rid of nasty, ugly weeds. Then we need to build our democracy back to were it belongs. It can be done. We need to come together as Americans and oust this stench on our country once and for all.]

JonBenét Died - And Bush Lied?
Thom Hartmann


How Long Will America Spill Blood for Liberty's Hijackers to Save Face?
Pierre Tristam

Molly Ivins, AlterNet
What I learned from women peace activists: spill love and calm and reassurance and, well, peace all over them.

Senator Hillary Clinton: All Show and No Substance
Sibel Edmonds & William Weaver

[Duchess Note - Edmonds and Weaver are soooo right about Slick Hil. There is no real substance to her. Its all greed and ambition in getting to the top. The corporate mainstream media try to paint her as a Liberal. LOL What a hoot! She is soooo not a Liberal nor Progressive. Far from it! From 2002 to present she has been strongly pro-war. Those who plan on voting for Ms Republican Lite during the NY state primary don't really know her track record. It would be wise for them to educate themselves, cause it'll make them barf. Dear NY state registered Democrats, make the right choice on Sept 12th and vote for a real progressive. Place your vote for Jonathan Tasini for NY state senate. To learn more about Tasini, go to ...]

Gore Lashes Out at Media Consolidation

Helen Kennedy, Daily News
Tasini, who wants troops withdrawn from Iraq immediately, appeared yesterday with two mothers of soldiers in Iraq who called on Clinton to debate. "Her refusal is disrespectful not only to New York voters but to the democratic process," Tasini said.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

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IMPORTANT PRESS RELEASE FROM "New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace" -- New Yorkers Poised to Transform September 11 into a Message of Hope and Healing

New York City, NY, August 21, 2006 – For New Yorkers and everyone hoping for global peace, September 11, 2006 has a special significance. It marks 100 years to the day that Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the modern nonviolent movement. To honor the extraordinary link between both dates, New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (NY-DOP), in partnership with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, has organized nationwide screenings of the movie Gandhi including the theatrical re-release of the 1982 Academy Award winning movie to be shown at the Regal Cinema in New York City near the World Trade Center site (102 North End Ave., NYC). A press conference is scheduled for September 11, 2006 at 10:00 am in the theater auditorium prior to the day’s screenings.
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Press conference participants will include: Kamran Elahian, founder of the Gandhi Project (part of the Clinton Global Initiative); representatives of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows; Monica Willard, co-chair of the United Nations International Day of Peace; Marie G. Ukeye, Rwandan genocide survivor and U.S. Congressional Representative, Jerrold Nadler. Guest celebrities will be announced. A short film featuring Arun Gandhi, Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson, will be debuted at the press conference and copies distributed exclusively to those media in attendance. The film will reveal the power of nonviolence and dispel common myths. Members of the press who are unable to attend may learn more about the 100-year anniversary by visiting

All proceeds for the Gandhi screenings and other 100-year anniversary activities will go to NY-DOP. NY-DOP is part of a national citizen organization working to establish a cabinet-level, federally-funded, United States Department of Peace that would promote nonviolent conflict resolution including: prevention, education and training both domestically and internationally.

Visit the NY-DOP web site at OR contact Norma Loeb at 516-857-8293

[Duchess Note - I am a proud supporter, volunteer and member of the "New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace" campaign. Join us today and support this worthy, important legislation in both the House and Senate. Call your congressperson or senator today and urge them to co-sponsor the Bill. Peace is the only way. . . . .]

Friday, August 25, 2006

See The Movie Gandhi - ONE DAY ONLY Sept. 11, 2006
Nearly 100 years before the World Trade Towers became associated with September 11, Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the modern nonviolent movement on September 11, 1906. To honor this anniversary, New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (NYDoP) in partnership with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, has organized nationwide screenings of the 1982 Academy Award-winning movie Gandhi along with the debut release of the short film Satyagraha.

GANDHI at Regal Cinema Battery Park, in NYC
102 North End Ave. Near WTC
11:30am, 3:30pm & 7:30pm
$11 admission (proceeds benefit NYDOP)
Tickets will be available on Fandango 1-2 weeks prior

Learn more ...
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RSVP for the Regal Cinema screenings in NYC

Find other screenings around the Country


TASINI TACKLES UNDERDOG CHALLENGE - Presses Bid To Oust Clinton In Primary
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Mark Sommer, Buffalo News

Thursday, August 24, 2006

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[DUCHESS NOTE - Handsome, talented British actor, Sean Bean [sitting to right of lady in pale green suit in Directors Box], at the opening soccer season in Sheffield, England. Sean Bean is a huge soccer fan and devoted to his hometown Sheffield Blades. Sean recently finished filming the remake of "The Hitcher".]

Pam Lawrence, BellaOnlines British Television
[Duchess Note - I adore Sean Bean and the character Richard Sharpe from the Bernard Cornwell series. The books and British films are wonderful. I'm currently reading Sharpes Fortress and recently ordered a new Sharpe novel by Cornwell called Sharpes Fury. Three cheers for Sharpe ... beloved soldier in Wellingtons army.]

August 22nd Issue of UTNE Magazine
On September 11, we will reflect on the terrorist attacks that forever changed our country's collective memory. For 95 years before that fateful day in 2001, the anniversary many associated with 9/11 was the launch, in 1906, of Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent resistance to British imperialism. New Yorkers for a Department of Peace, an organization that promotes nonviolence, is planning a citywide 100th celebration of Gandhi's courage and foresight. "Our aim is to remind people that since this country's founding, peace has been an organizing principle," says Liz Graydon, the group's state coordinator. Events include a theatrical re-release of Richard Attenborough's 1982 film biography of the Indian nationalist leader. For more information, see
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On Tuesday, August 1st, the E&Y Insurance Tax Group, along with summer interns, went out for a long lunch to Dave & Busters on West 42nd Street. We were treated by the two partners [ie: John & Scott] in our group. I’ve never been to a Dave & Busters and several co-workers have been raving about the place. It’s near the AMC Cinema were I’d recently seen “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Xmen3”. We arrived at Dave & Busters at 12pm and sat down to lunch. The whole place is very spacious with meeting rooms, bar, restaurant and arcade. Lunch was great with fun conversations, lots of laughs, drinks, appetizers and I had a delicious salmon dish. Then one of the partners gave us all “power cards” worth $20 each. Which meant it was time to go “play” in the arcade, rack up winning tickets and collect prizes. I haven’t been in an arcade in years and was amazed by the variety of games et al. Not sure if I’m naming it correctly, but several of us ladies played Skee Ball for quite some time. The men mostly played Hoops, target practice, horse racing, etc. It was all such fun. I did rack up enough tickets to collect a soft, cuddly teddy bear. We got back to the office around 3pm.

On Wednesday evening, August 2nd, I attended the monthly DFNYC meetup at a tavern near the BQE and on the edge of my neighborhood. Had to take a bus and then walked in that appalling heat to the tavern. [First, and hopefully last, nasty heat wave of the summer.] I arrived feeling abit out of it and was immediately provided with a chair, plus a glass of cold water. Mon dieu! We had a nice turnout [ie: nine] and sadly I didn’t get everyone’s name. Ben and Heather were hosting this particular meetup. They are both terrific people and good hosts. Plus, in the back garden area of the tavern; the owner was grilling up veggie burgers, hotdogs, corn and hamburgers for us to nosh on. After cooling off I did partake in a delicious veggie burger. Topics of discussion that evening were on the CT primary, NYC campaigns for Batson/Perkins/Owens, governor ballot endorsement and other topics of current events. Towards the end of the meetup Ben called car service for me, because I was not walking back to my place in that stifling heat. I really enjoy these meetups and interacting with other progressives/liberals. To find meetups or linkups in your area, go to

My friend Linda called me a day or two before Saturday, August 5th, to see if I wanted to participate with her in a protest regarding Israel and Lebanon nasty, horrible conflict. It was being organized by the “Troops Out Now Coalition” and basically stating they want the US out of the Middle East. Both Linda and I agree with them. Since the protest started in Times Square, Linda and I met in front of my building, then headed on over to the event. Barricades surrounded the protest area and lots of cops were there. They seem to think that peaceful protestors will get violent. Fools! Jerks! Orwellian! I’ve noticed over last 3 years that those who get violent first are always the cops. While we protestors remain neutral and peaceful. Before the protest/march headed off to GE building on 6th Avenue, many folk made speeches to those present, and some pedestrians made rude or obscene comments. Ignorant fools! At one point Linda and I ran into Starbucks to use the bathroom and get some bottled frappacinos. Throughout the protest many people were handing out flyers and getting signatures for petitions or ballots. At one point I purchased an “Out of Iraq” button. Definitely want to get more protest buttons and will check out Other websites to check out from flyers I received, and Protest started at 4pm and we finally got to march around 5:30pm or so. After hanging out with others in front of the GE building; Linda and I took off. We stopped by another Starbucks for refreshment and I tried the Pomegranate Frappacino. We hung out there for awhile discussing events and relaxing before heading to our respective homes. Throughout all this the weather was nice, warm and sunny. Plus the nasty heat wave had finally broken.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Thomas Jefferson

Next day, August 6th, I headed up to South Norwalk in CT to visit my good friend Katherine and check out the annual SoNo Art & Craft Festival. We’ve been attending this every year since the mid-1990s, along with another Art Show in Pound Ridge, NY every October. They are both terrific art shows and I find much of the work inspiring. I met up with Katherine at The Bead Shop, after I got off of Metro North. Purchased some funky beads at the shop and then we proceeded to check out the rest of the festival. The weather was lovely that day and the festival was hopping. There were many talented artisans at the festival, and a pleasure to gaze upon terrific works, whether it was paintings or sculpture. As well as engage in conversation with artisans now and then. One chap sold white t-shirts with black silk-screened designs on them. I purchased one with a peace theme. Halfway through the festival my sunglasses broke. Darn! Afterwards we headed over to Old Navy and I bought a new pair of sunglasses. We stopped at Petland to get a doggie toy for Katherine’s new Boston terrier Kozmoe. And before arriving to Katherine’s we stopped at Dress Barn. I purchased a few items and another pair of sunglasses. Well, yah know, a lady should always have a backup pair. The rest of afternoon into early evening was spent with Katherine, Maurice and little Kozmoe on the back porch. We just sat around talking, eating some shrimp with pasta and playing with adorable Kozmoe, who is so friendly. All in all a very nice day.

On Wednesday, August 9th, my Kucitizen pal BC gave me a call and wanted to know if I wanted to hang out at Macy’s bar grill. She was killing time before a meetup in town and I had no plans that evening. Macy’s bar grill, which is located in The Cellar section, makes tasty Martini’s. While we caught up on news, work and gossip we were sipping on funky Martini’s and nibbling on salsa potato fries. She showed me latest pix of her six month old son Alexander, who is a cute laddie and growing up so quickly. BC volunteered on the Chris Owens campaign for congress and I do volunteer work on the Jonathan Tasini campaign for NY state senate. We both know Jessica Flagg from 2003/2004 Kucinich campaign, and she is running for congress in Engel’s district. We're all for progressives!


[Duchess Note - Thank you Peter in sharing this with me and others. OMG! It is so funny. Give it a view and turn up the volume. LOL]

I am so grateful to report that the campaign is moving ahead with the help of many volunteers, however, the campaign needs funds to get a mailing done in order to compete with Engel properly. So far about 40 people have contributed financially. Can you please make a contribution yourself and get the word out to EVERYONE you know? If everyone sent me a little money (2,000 sending $30) I will have enough to get it done, but EVERYONE needs to send something or there is little hope. No effort means no results. Engel deserves to be challenged and without a mailing he gets a free ride. I actually believe that if Democrats knew they could vote to "End the War" and to "Impeach Bush and Cheney", Engel would be looking for a new job. Help get it done!

Pre-mailing, we are putting fliers under doors in areas we know are heavily Democratic, as well as standing on street corners and at supermarkets. It's about basic visibility and it's important because there will be newspaper coverage (see below) and we hope more radio (WVOX) and cable coverage (so far just Rockland has picked me up). Name recognition comes from multiple exposures and running against an incumbent is difficult if you don't have Ned Lamont's millions. I'm doing plenty of shoe leather time and have others helping too, speaking of which. . . .

I ran into Engel three evenings ago up here in Riverdale. He was shaking hands on the corner of 235th and Johnson Ave and had his son with him. We were civil (I told his son that I was sure he was proud of his Dad and that I just wanted my turn to do good). They were leaving as I was arriving. I stayed for about 45 minutes and handed out fliers and spoke with people. One woman said that her parents had remarked about why he was out there and she reminded them that he was being challenged in the primary, but couldn't remember my name, so was very happy to see me in the street and I gave them all fliers. They're voting for me or so they told me! Today I’ll be interviewed by both the Riverdale Press and the Norwood News. They have distributions of 13,000 and 15,000 respectively. Both will print full profiles and push for participation in voting in the Primary. I am also going to be interviewed by a new publication called the Westchester Guardian where the editor has come out for withdrawal from Iraq (distribution of about 40,000) and with the Journal News which has a much larger distribution. El Clarin the bilingual paper covering Rockland will also be interviewing me. So far, there is one debate scheduled with Engel and one candidate Forum. To date approximately 12,000 filers have been distributed. Close to 1000 of the English version of the big flier has already been given out and we just started with the Spanish version.

Debate: Rockland County, August 31, at the New City Library at 7pm, sponsored by the Clarkstown Democratic Club

Candidate Forum in Yonkers: September 5th, At the YWCA , 87 South Broadway, sponsored by the NAACP

Please help … it doesn't matter where you live. If you are a US citizen and you think it would be better to have another member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who will stand for troop withdrawal, for investigation and impeachment, and who will stand against any more "pre-emptive' wars … then just do it … send money! Contributions can be made online through my website OR checks can be sent payable to: "Jessica Flagg for Congress", 2727 Palisade Ave, Bronx, NY 10463

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Minneapolis, MN. By a near unanimous vote of its city council (12 for, one abstention), Minneapolis became the 16th local government to pass a resolution calling for creation of a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence. By doing so it adds its voice to the growing grassroots chorus of cities across the country declaring that peace is not only possible but practical - and that they're willing to send a message to Congress that the time for a Department of Peace is NOW.

"There is often little a city council feels able to do to decrease violence in a city," said council member Cam Gordon shortly after the vote. "When I saw this small opportunity, I knew Minneapolis needed to give a voice to peace."

"Minneapolis could directly benefit from programs the Department would develop or distribute that deal with social discord like school violence, gang and gun violence," said MaryJane LeVigne, Minnesota Dept of Peace Campaign State Coordinator.

[Duchess Note - Bravo to those in Minneapolis DoP who worked so hard to make this happen. They are so inspiring! To learn more about the Dept of Peace campaign in NYC, go to our website at ... to become more involved with a DoP chapter in your part of the US, go to]



Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown
An illegal war, a long list of eroded rights, and a country run by and for the benefit of corporate campaign donors -- all courtesy of the imperial presidency.

City Asked To Un-"Democrat" Lieberman

Veteran Protests against Iraq War

Rory O'Connor, AlterNet
The author of a new book about the mistakes that led to 9/11 accuses the National Geographic Channel of diluting a documentary about the book in order to protect the government.

Molly Ivins, AlterNet
The Bushies are having the hardest time trying to un-lie.

Talia Berman, WireTap
A look at what's behind the ever-increasing cost of college and potential solutions offered by activists and government.

Daily Show: Why aren't the Iraqis more thankful?
In light of Bush's recent puzzlement over the fact that the Iraqi people are not appreciative of the US occupation of their country, Jon Stewart interviewed their Baghdad Senior Bureau Chief to get the inside scoop on why they are so damn ungrateful.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. Thomas Jefferson

Monday, August 21, 2006


City Hall Press Conference: Single Issue

City Hall Press Conference: Differences with Hillary Clinton

NY1 Press Conference:

Jonathan Tasini speaking about Discrimination:

Jonathan Tasini speaking about Israel:

Jonathan Tasini speaking about Labor:

Jonathan Tasini speaking about Healthcare:

Hillary Clinton’s Low Profile
Editorial, NYTimes, Published: August 21, 2006

With only a few weeks until New York’s Sept. 12 primary elections, many people are probably still unaware that Senator Hillary Clinton is facing a challenge for the Democratic nomination. Her opponent, Jonathan Tasini, is low on almost everything, from funds to name recognition. Mrs. Clinton has successfully ignored Mr. Tasini all summer, and now it seems clear that she has no intention of responding to his demands that she meet him in a debate.

She should change her mind. In a year when New York has very few competitive elections, voters are going to get very little chance to hear serious discussions from the candidates. Since Mr. Tasini is running an antiwar campaign, it would be very useful for New Yorkers to have a chance to hear the two Democratic candidates debate that one issue.

New York voters have been exposed to all the political drama in Connecticut over Senator Joseph Lieberman, who like Mrs. Clinton supported the invasion of Iraq. She has been far more critical of the Bush administration’s handling of the war — a point the Clinton campaign makes pains to point out. But she has not been forced to discuss in great detail exactly what she thinks should be done now that things have gone so far awry in the Middle East.

Presuming she wins the primary, Mrs. Clinton will go up against a weak Republican candidate this fall. Anything can happen in an election, but there is a very good chance she could coast all the way to November without being tested on any important issue. Right now is a good time to make sure that does not happen.

[Duchess Note - First of all, thank you David in sharing this editorial from NYTimes. Secondly, those in NY state not paying attention, you'd better wake up regarding Hillary "Ms Republican Lite" Clinton. She's been supporting the war and occupation of Iraq all along. Plus her track record on other issues is deplorable. Like Lieberman in CT, she is not a true Democrat and is doing us more harm than good. I'm a firm supporter of Jonathan Tasini's campaign for NY state senate and its important that these two engage in debate BEFORE the primary on September 12th. This will be the only true way NY state voters will know how the candidates stand on many issues, including Iraq and Middle East. Please make calls to Clinton's campaign office and urge her to do a proper debate with Tasini. Please, take a moment, make that call. Peace, Justice & Love is the way.]


August 21, 2006 -- JONATHAN Tasini has less than a month to become New York's Ned Lamont. The Democratic primary is on Sept. 12, he's at 13 percent in the polls and he's just had his best fund-raising week ever online. However, as Primary Day approaches, the "netroots" have yet to make the Tasini campaign a cause célèbre, with all the money and press attention that doing so would mean. This, despite the fact that the centrist, Iraq-War-supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton, presumptive frontrunner for the '08 Democratic presidential nomination, should by all rights be a much juicier target for the "progressive" Left than the washed-up Joe Lieberman ever was or could hope to be.

Tasini, a union leader and organizer turned anti-war protest candidate, has some ideas as to why: Essentially, it all boils down to a lack of backbone on the part of progressives nationwide. "Many progressives fear confronting my opponent's machine - which does take names and does keep lists," Tasini told me over lunch in the West Village last week. "People are hedging their bets - Washington is a place that hinges on access." Otherwise, Tasini said, "Why take on Joe Lieberman and not Hillary Clinton?"

He certainly has a point. If the progressive movement is really set on seizing control of the Democratic Party, Lieberman has always been an odd choice of targets - a has-been who lost bids for the presidency and vice presidency and who's serving out his time in the Senate until he can retire in some graceful fashion. Sen. Clinton, meanwhile, has a roughly identical profile to Lieberman's on the war in Iraq and on issues like free trade - but, somehow, she gets a free ride. Not entirely, of course. Many in the progressive netroots movement have made clear their disdain for Sen. Clinton.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post this May, Markos Moulitsas (proprietor of the famed DailyKos Web site), called Clinton "a leader who fails to lead" and "part of the Clinton machine that decimated the national Democratic Party." Michael Moore was even more brutal in an open letter on his Web site the day after Lamont's victory in the Connecticut Democratic primary. "To Hillary, our first best hope for a woman to become president, I cannot for the life of me figure out why you continue to support Bush and his war," Moore wrote. "Last night's voter revolt took place just a few miles from your home in Chappaqua. Did you hear the noise? Can you read the writing on the wall?"

In Tasini, progressives have a perfectly viable vehicle to make that noise right on Sen. Clinton's Chappaqua doorstep. He's passionate, articulate and an experienced organizer (he was president of the National Writers Union for 13 years); he wants to bring the troops home from Iraq and impeach (or at least censure) the president, and he thinks "so-called free trade is a disaster." So, is it really just lack of backbone that's stopping progressives from sending the hated Hillary a message? Progressive activist David Sirota, author of the new book "Hostile Takeover," lists money as the most important factor as to why the New York Senate primary has been off the progressives' radar.

"Part of it has to do with the fact that New York is such an expensive state, such a big state," he said. "The gateway to being a real voice in the public debate is so much higher [than in Connecticut] in terms of money." But Sirota also gives Sen. Clinton credit for simply doing a better job of playing politics - supporting the war without appearing to be an apologist for President Bush. "Clinton has been more careful about that," he said. "She's just played it smarter." So is Sen. Clinton going to be able to keep the netroots at bay simply by being a better weasel than other pro-war Democrats? Sirota says no, that it will be easier for progressives to take her on in 2008 than it would be to take her on now in New York.

But Tasini isn't so sure that analysts like Sirota are right. "I suspect that they don't want to confront publicly someone that they might want to have access to," he insists. He points out that, according to a recent Marist poll, 70 percent of New York Democrats consider Iraq to be a major Election Day issue and 62 percent say they're more likely to vote for an anti-war candidate than a pro-war one. Many of them just don't know that Hillary is pro-war and that there's an alternative. Still, it doesn't look like the cavalry is coming anytime soon.'s political action committee conducted a poll of its members in the Connecticut Senate race that helped launch the Lamont candidacy; it refuses to take a similar poll of its members in New York, much to Tasini's chagrin.

"Is this really a Democratic organization that wants to know what its members think?" he asks. And with little cash on hand (somewhere around $150,000), the campaign doesn't even meet NY1's standard to qualify for a debate. As Hillary Clinton rolls to victory in her Senate reelection, progressives around the country might want to ask themselves: If the anti-war Left can't take on Hillary now, when will they ever be able to? After all, Tasini says: "This is a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party." They have less than a month and counting to come up with an answer.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"There Are No Hereditary Kings In America" - Judge Rules NSA Warrantless Spy Program Unconstitutional
Amy Goodman - Democracy Now
[Duchess Note: I say bravo to Judge Taylor in her straight-foward, intelligent ruling on this horrible NSA warrantless wiretapping by Bush & Co. This judge, in a noble way, is defending our Constitution and rights as Americans. So please take a moment to call Judge Anna Taylor to give her your support! Judge Taylor is the wonderful, 75 year old judge who, yesterday, protecting our Constitution and our country, and correctly ruled regarding NSA Warrantless Spy Program. Her office phone number is 313-234-5105 ... I just called her office at 11:40am to convey my support of the judge's ruling. Judge Taylor is being viciously attacked by the Right Wing and she has also received death threats. She needs to hear that people do support her ruling. Please pass this info on to others. Thanks to Judith for sharing the link and number. Peace, Justice & Hope are the way]


NY1, the Time Warner-owned news station in New York, is continuing its undermining of democracy and fair political debate. In response to the flood of emails and calls criticizing the stations refusal to let Jonathan Tasini participate in a scheduled Town Hall meeting for the U.S. Senate race because Jonathan had not raised or spent $500,000, the station has quietly CANCELLED the event. In one sense, the stations action is a direct result of the outpouring of grassroots outrage to the stations suppression of political debate.

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NY1 feared the power of the grassroots, the power of regular citizens like you. Unfortunately, rather than rescind its undemocratic and anti-free speech position, the station is closing off debate.But, you have two ways to make sure there is a full debate in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. You have a chance to ensure that our progressive message is heard and that voters get a chance to hear the different views on the future of our state put forth by Jonathan Tasini and Hillary Clinton.

#1: Would you pay $5 to safeguard democracy? Would you like to show Big Media giants like Time Warner that they can’t control our democratic debate? Justifying the stations money-buys-democracy policy, Steve Paulus, senior vice president at NY1, told the Associated Press, There are 5.5 million registered Democrats in New York. All Tasini would need is for each one to send him a dollar.

So, we issue a challenge to voters across the state: make sure Jonathan has a fair shot at getting his message out. Donate $5 at our website (our system won’t accept less than $5!!!...try it!).

#2: Do you believe Hillary Clinton has an obligation to the voters of New York to explain her vote to go to war in Iraq, as well as many other positions that are out-of-step with the majority of Democrats in New York? If you do, call Hillary Clinton’s campaign office NOW. Tell her that she cannot hide from the voters and undercut democracy by refusing to engage in an open debate with Jonathan Tasini. Call: 212-213-3717


Larry Beinhart, BuzzFlash
Republican are unimaginably bad on national security. Say it loud, say it often, it's the truth.

Federal Judge Halts Bush's 'Unconstitutional' Wiretapping

Top Chinese Diplomat Tells US to 'Shut up' on Arms Spending

Bush is Crap, Says Britain's Deputy PM

Arianna Huffington, AlterNet
...and why there is no third way in Connecticut.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Commentary from News Hounds - Bill O'Reilly's Clumsy Sabotage of Dennis Kucinich August 15, 2006

Bill O'Reilly supposedly invited Dennis Kucinich to discuss his plan to fight terrorism on The Factor tonight. It became clear, before Kucinich uttered his first word, that O'Reilly's objective was to show how Democrats have no plan. So when Kucinich showed up with a well organized initiative, O'Reilly jumped into action but his efforts to sabotage Kucinich were transparent. O'Reilly revealed his intentions with the segment tease. "We've been searching for the Democrat's plan to fight terrorism." Then he opened the segment with a picture of George Soros claiming that Soros thinks we're fighting the war wrong but has no plan. After calling Kucinich a "peace guy" and "straight talker", O'Reilly started complaining that the Democrats have no plan to fight terrorism. Of course he mentioned all the usual suspects in the Democratic Party like Clinton, Dean, Kerry and Kennedy telling Kucinich that Bush bashing isn't a policy. Kucinich, no stranger to FOX or O'Reilly, was ready with a four point plan. As he started to list the four points, O'Reilly tried to stop him by talking over him but Kucinich kept going through the list. His plan included getting out of Iraq, following international law,. funding first responders and establishing better relationships with other other countries.

Viewers were prevented from hearing Kucinich introduce his plan because O'Reilly talked over him the entire time. O'Reilly latched on to Iraq describing how Iran would take over and dominate making the terrorism worse. Kucinich pointed out that terrorism had increased four fold this year indicating that change was indicated but O'Reilly wasn't interested saying there was terrorism in a lot of countries besides Iraq. Kucinich quoted Kennedy, " Never negotiate out of fear but never fear to negotiate." This prompted O'Reilly to bring up Clinton saying he was soft on terrorism .Listing all the attacks during the Clinton Administration he asked, "Think that was a good policy?" Kucinich tried to make some other points but O'Reilly wanted to stay with Clinton. Finally he blurted to Kucinich, " Did you not hear the question or do you just not like me."

Further Comment From News Hound: When O'Reilly finally decided to quickly run through the intentionally ignored four points, it was a distorted interpretation. Since Dennis Kucinich never got the chance tonight to discuss his plan tonight, here's some of his thoughts on terrorism from his website. Go to

O'Reilly's attempted sabotage of Dennis Kucinich was obvious, amateurish and ineffective. Only the most blindly obedient O'Reilly followers could have considered that interview professional and appropriate.

[DUCHESS NOTE: Professional?!? LOL Oh my gosh, O'Reilly is so NOT professional. The individual is a huge insult to journalism, as is Fox News. The moron is paid to be a liar, bully and many hate-mongers adore him. I've encountered some of those hate-mongers who blindly follow O'Reilly and their intelligence, decency and compassion is below par. Bravo to Kucinich in putting up with that buffoon. DJK has more compassion, intelligence, honesty and integrity than Fox News buffoon could ever hope to have. O'Reilly has none of those traits and if he ever did, well, they were sold away a long time ago. His soul, what little there is of it, was sold to the devil ages ago.]


Cheney's gone too far. His disgraceful declaration of war on Ned Lamont supporters is an attack not just on Democrats, but on democracy itself.

Ruth Rosen,

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

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[Duchess Note - Sometimes one just has to sit back and enjoy the view of a sunny day filled with nature and some watermelons. Peace & love is the way.]

NY Post Editorial
August 15, 2006 -- Does the name Jonathan Tasini ring a bell? He's the anti-war Democrat looking to unseat Sen. Hillary Clinton in the September 12 primary. Tasini wants a prime-time debate with Clinton on cable TV channel NY1 - a self-appointed debate impresario - but the station is saying no. It seems that NY1 requires candidates to prove their viability by having raised or spent at least $500,000 (up from $50,000 last year) and by drawing more than 5 percent in the polls. Tasini's OK on the latter count: A Harris poll has him at 13 percent (Tom Suozzi had single-digit support prior to his NY1 bout with Attorney General Eliot Spitzer).
Yet the cash-strapped, no-name Tasini is too broke to meet NY1's $500K requirement.
Now, let's be clear: NY1 has the right to impose and enforce the standards that it chooses. And voters certainly can appreciate the station wanting to limit its debates to viable candidates.
But, upon entering the debate business, doesn't the station acquire certain obligations?
Traditionally, the test of seriousness in a statewide candidate in New York is successful completion of the grueling ballot-access process.

It ain't easy, to put it mildly - but Tasini has made that grade. And if a viable candidacy is the gold standard, what in the world is NY1 doing allowing fringe Democrats Charlie King and Sean Patrick Maloney into its debate among candidates for attorney general this Thursday evening?
On the merits, Tasini has a point: 70 percent of New York Democrats consider Iraq to be a major Election Day issue, and, as he says, they can only benefit from a spirited debate on the issue. Obviously, Clinton is not going to lose the primary. But her stance on Iraq - always adaptable to changing circumstances - could stand a little clarification. Determining a candidate's "viability" is no easy feat, yet NY1 needs to cut Tasini a little slack.

[DUCHESS NOTE: If you live in NY state or know people who live in NY state, please share important information like this editorial or Tasini press releases with friends, family and other blogs. We need to get the word out there by or before Sept 12th ... NY state primary. Thank you & remember peace is the only way, not war nor fear.]


Monday, August 14, 2006

PRESS RELEASE - Jonathan Tasini Statement On Middle East Ceasefire
"After the loss of more than 1,000 Israeli and Lebanese lives, I’m hopeful that the current ceasefire will hold. Hezbollah must respect the ceasefire and adhere to its requirements and Israel must do the same. What was the point of this senseless month-long violence? Lebanon has been turned into rubble; its infrastructure devastated and hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes. Israeli civilians had to flee for their lives from hundreds of missile attacks and live in bomb shelters and see their homes destroyed, too. Both sides are now dusting themselves off, assessing the damage and burying the dead."
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"Our own government bears responsibility for the loss of life. When the world needed U.S. leadership to call for an immediate ceasefire when the violence began, the U.S. acted irresponsibly, undercutting early attempts to halt the attacks on both sides. My opponent, Hillary Clinton, also made no effort to urge the warring parties to stand down and save the lives of innocent civilians on both sides. I can only hope that this bloody month-long pointless violence can perhaps wake up the respective players in the region and the world. The time for a comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which lays at the heart of the hostility and enmity in the region, is long overdue."


William Greider,
The president is trying for the third time to make terrorism his big campaign issue -- are Americans going to finally snap out of it?

[DUCHESS NOTE: I too often wonder when many Americans are going to "snap out of it" and finally realize that Bush & Co are also terrorists. As well as bullies, liars & murderers of thousands of American soldiers & innocent Iraqi. When things don't quite go their way these little code red, terrorist alerts pop up. Hum, interesting, don't you think. Remember during 2004, leading up to the November election, lots of code red & orange alerts. And then mysteriously went away after Bush & Co stole yet another election. Don't let this sick, demented regime scare you. Become informed, be active, become empowered and join organizations to help bring back Democracy to this country. Volunteer and help out progressive, grassroot campaigns in your state. Get others to vote in primaries and in the election in November. We can make a difference towards a more peaceful, democratic nation.]

Anneli Rufus, AlterNet
Tourism in the post-9/11, post-colonial era remains a minefield of moral issues -- and living as a sin-free travel writer is damn near impossible.

Matt Taibbi,
Hillary Clinton's carefully scripted display of canned anger at Donald Rumsfeld was for his screwing up the 'execution' of the Iraq war, not because he thought invading Iraq was a good idea.

Former counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke points out the failure of the Bush administration -- five years after 9/11 and the advent of the War on Terror, Al Qaeda is still active and plotting attacks.

Greenland's Ice Cap is Melting at a Frighteningly Fast Rate

Joe Lieberman Sensible? Nonsense
By Paul Krugman


US and France Clash over Ceasefire Plan Facing Collapse

Neo-Conservatives' "Favorite Democrat" Falls

The Lamont Victory - Next Steps for Citizens
By Paul Rogat Loeb

How to Talk to Your Jewish Friends About Israel
By Ira Chernus

Jessica Clark, In These Times
As Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have shown, Americans are now turning to comedy to find the real story.

Anthony Kaufman, AlterNet
In his new film, 'World Trade Center,' the director turns the events of 9/11 into an easily digestible myth of American heroism, with an almost happy ending. Huh?

Neil Peirce,
Why is the government still looking to spend billions on new coal-fired power plants when clean energy sources are at our fingertips?

Friday, August 11, 2006

[Duchess Note ... In the corporate mainstream media the rightwingers are spinning more lies. They claim that Hillary Clinton is listening to her NY constituents and doing an about face on Iraq. Oh really?!?!? She didn't listen to us before this war and occupation in Iraq started. Has she listened since then? NO!!! Nor did she listen regarding other important issues, like healthcare. Ms Republican Lite seemed more focused on legislation pertaining to flag burnings et al. When I was petitioning in June/July for Tasini campaign the majority of New Yorkers I spoke with expressed anger towards Clinton. Also, many said they did vote for her in 2000 and WILL NOT be voting for her this time around. Her lame track record speaks volumes to us all. We want a senator who stands firm on the issues and really listens to constituents. We need someone like Tasini ... a Democrat who'll be there for us. Clinton isn't there for us, but she sure is there with outstretched hands for Corporate lobbyists and Rupert Murdock. Lets make the right choice on Sept 12th NY primary ... vote for Tasini ... a true Democrat. P.S. Please share the video link above with other New York state friends & family.]

Thursday, August 10, 2006

On Thursday evening, July 27th, I attended a Jonathan Tasini fundraiser at the home of Bob Ginsberg in Manhattan. The invitation was sent to me, via email, by two fellow NYC Kucitizens … Mary G and Stephanie L. Both of these ladies are terrific, inspiring and involved with so many projects in activism. I don’t have much regard for Mr. Ginsberg. His conduct, at times, during the Kucinich Presidential campaign in 2003/2004 here in NYC was very questionable. I told Stephanie in an email, who feels same as I do regarding Bob, that I’ll put my best foot forward for the Tasini event. [Believe me, I was gracious and charming the whole evening, and worthy of an Oscar.] Must say that Mr. Ginsberg’s apartment was nicely situated, spacious and a lovely view of the Hudson River. Good turnout at the fundraiser, delicious refreshments and was delighted in seeing some folk I hadn’t seen in awhile. Engaged in some lengthy conversations while drinking wine and nibbling on tasty snacks. After awhile Jonathan Tasini gave a terrific, thoughtful, passionate speech. This was followed by a fascinating Q&A segment. It was during this part that a tipsy Ginsberg made references to Israel/Lebanon conflict. Most of what he said was misinformation from the corporate mainstream media. The usual propaganda and lies from the likes of Fox News et al. Tasini answered his questions with intelligence, truth and clarity. Bravo Tasini!

On Saturday morning, July 29th, my friend and fellow goddess [Cielito] helped me out in picking up the two drawer file cabinet I had purchased the evening before at Office Depot. Thank you so much fellow goddess in helping me out with your car. We caught up on news and gossip. The rest of the afternoon was spent organizing my paperwork and filing into the cabinet. I’ve been meaning to do this for years and it felt good to finally accomplish this task. Later that evening I went to an event hosted by Share International to hear Benjamin Crème speak on Maitreya and other topics. My friends Cielito, Linda and Max are members of Share International and were there helping out. When the evening started with a blessing and meditation the auditorium was 65% full. Some noisy, rude people left early. Then Mr. Crème gave a 1 ½ hour lecture, during which a few more people left. Guess they didn’t like hearing some of what Mr. Crème had to say and are not “open minded” individuals. The lecture touched on such topics as humanity, war, poverty, spirituality, injustice and the coming of Maitreya. During the intermission I got to hang out with Linda and catch up on news. Also helped her sell some Share International t-shirts and engage in conversation with others.

A blessing from Maitreya goes something like this. . . . .

I am the Stranger at the Gate
I am the One Who Knocks
I am the One Who will not go away
I am your Friend
I am your Hope
I am your Shield
I am your Love
I am All in All

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The ELF Convention on Sunday, July 30th, wasn't that bad. [Duchess posing with poster from convention.] I remember going to much better conventions back in the 1980s. I was abit disappointed with the limited vendors and merchandise. Carole and Kaleena were there from our NYC group, plus Kathy whom I met at the “Tolkien Reading Event” in March. Carole told me that the vendors and merchandise were so much better at the “gathering” in Toronto. She said this was more geared toward “” [Carole, thank you sooo much for the Boromir sketch/print from Toronto Gathering. I love it!] Despite that I picked up some items. Purchased a few items for Jackie, who couldn’t make it due to illness. [Get well soon Lady Greenleaf.] Sadly, I wasn’t really impressed with the limited elf items, so refrained from making purchases. Colleen Doran had a lovely drawing/print of Orlando Bloom as Legolas. It’s called “Gimli’s Gift”. I also purchased a long sleeved LOTRs black shirt with a map of Middle Earth on the back, plus several TOPPS cards. Four of which has pix of my dear Boromir [ie: Sean Bean] on them. Also engaged in interesting conversations with a few vendors.

I arrived that morning by bus shortly around 11:10am and made the short walk to the hotel in Secaucus. Came across Kaleena while getting a Starbuck frap. We hung out for awhile and she showed me where the venders were. While there Carole showed up. Most of the afternoon I hung out with Carole, plus Kaleena. We sat in to listen to Michael Drout and Colleen Doran give lectures. [Michael Drout is a Professor of English at Wheaton College in MA. And is very knowledgeable on JRR Tolkien and his website is ] Though both speakers were separate features their talks were enjoyable. Tim and Daniel came dressed as Aragorn and Frodo. [photo below] Great costumes!
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Watching and listening to Billy Boyd was worth it. He is so adorable, funny and charming. Love his Scottish accent. Was one of the last people to get his autograph after an auction of LOTR items. I asked him what it was like to work with Sean Bean and the “death scene” in FOTR. He said it was great working with such a talented, terrific actor like Sean and he was a hard kisser. He’s a tough man. [All this was said with a charming smile.] I was like, ah, excuse me. Must be an inside joke amongst LOTRs cast members. Two of the Creation folk also said Sean’s a great soldier in Sharpe. [BTW, Billy signed my LOTRs Official Movie Guide book.] To which I agreed with them, as I am also a big Sharpe fan and we chatted about that topic for awhile. Then I noticed, what I thought were fans like me, taking close-up pix of Billy. So I did likewise, while charming him with my banter, and then one of them posed with Billy for a shot. I asked Kathy, with Creation, if I could have my pix taken with Billy and she said sure. Later I learned from Kathy that I was the only fan still behind the curtain at that point and she made it seem like I was staff. Whoa! That’s how I got my pix taken with Billy and at no extra cost to me. Hum, it pays to be near the end of the line at times. At this point Carole and Kathy had already left, so I went back on the bus to Manhattan with Kaleena and Maddy, plus two other gals whose names I cannot remember. Oops, must be having a senior moment.

CONNECTICUT'S LESSONS - Senator Lieberman's loss has implications for Senator Hillary Clintons Primary
NY Times Union
[Duchess Note ... Thank you David H in sharing this article.]

William Pitt, Truthout
[Duchess Note ... Blair has been referred to as Bush Regimes poodle. Well, here in the US its Lieberman. They just love Mr Republican Lite. Thank you for sharing the link Judith.]

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The weekend of July 15/16 was pretty much low key … mostly concentrating on creating bead style earrings for sale, reading, NYDoP projects, writing, surfing the Internet, watched some new DVDs [ie: Xmen2 & The Terminal], cleaning the apartment, shopping and usual chores. Got a lot accomplished and that always makes me feel good. BTW … I very much enjoyed both films on DVD and highly recommend them.

On Wednesday, July 19th, one of my bosses [Keith] took two co-workers [ie: Leah & Dana] and I out to lunch as “thanks” for doing well at the office. In the 5 ½ year with E&Y I’ve been very fortunate in having good bosses and not much stress. Keith took us to Bond 45 restaurant near Broadway and 7th Avenue. The food and service were really good, as was the diverse conversations. I had an enjoyable time and not once did I bring up the topic of politics. Yes, I know, you’re amazed at hearing that. [Smiling]

The evening of July 20th was spent at the New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace usual location for a brief core team meeting. Was abit disappointed by the low turnout for our monthly meeting. Those who did attend were Joe, Dawn, Coco, Carol, Karen, Marianne, Priscilla, MaryJo and I. We mostly discussed latest developments and strategies regarding our planning for the Gandhi/Sept 11th event. [To learn more, go to] We are making great strides and have 20+ endorsers for the event. This is such joyful news. The rest of the evening was spent productively assembling our second fundraiser mailing. This fundraiser was rather large with 800+ names and addresses. Mon dieu! There were some minor hiccups with the process, but made great strides and will wrap it up on July 24th.
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Halfway through the evening I received a delightful surprise from our group. I was so flabbergasted and at a loss for words … they presented me with the first official NYDoP “Peacemaker Appreciation Award”. Later that evening, upon arriving home, I sent a heartfelt email conveying my gratitude to those present at meeting. At one point, during our fundraiser letter assembling, I walked around the table and gave everyone a warm hug of thanks. I know I keep on saying this, but I adore these people and they are so inspiring to me. I felt the same for many whom I had worked with during the Kucinich presidential 2004 campaign and still happily acquainted with to this day.

On Saturday, July 22nd, I had a good workout session at Powerhouse Gym with Marie, my personal trainer. Afterwards, before heading back to Manhattan on the train, we had a tasty lunch at a health food café next door to the gym. Both Marie and I enjoyed delicious fresh salads. During my workout session I mentioned to Marie that I just recently entered the pre-menopause stage of my life. No need to go into details, but all is okay, so far.

Monday evening, July 24th, I attended the final phase of the NYDoP fundraiser letter assembling and mailing at our usual location. Those in attendance this time were … Joe, Dawn, Carol, Karen, Priscilla, MaryJo and I. This time didn’t take so long and I brought along homemade cookies/brownies to show my appreciation of my fellow peacemakers. We had a fun evening, lots of laughs and sharing of latest news or tidbits.

On Tuesday, July 25th, I briefly attended the Veterans for Peace press conference down at City Hall. It was held from 11:30am to 1pm. The press conference had a decent turnout of supporters and even some news media. I, along with other volunteers, went in support of Jonathan Tasini, who also attended and we handed out flyers after the press conference. No other politicians or political candidates were there, except for Tasini, to support these veterans. Is that disgusting or what?!? Engaged in conversation with several gents from “Veterans for Peace” and received some “Leave No Veteran Behind – Health Care for All” buttons. These I’ll share with friends who also support the veterans.


Jimmy Breslin, NY Newsday

NEW YORK, NY: Jonathan Tasini, Democratic Senate candidate, released the following statement on the election in Connecticut ... “I want to congratulate Ned Lamont on his victory and I applaud Connecticut Democrats for standing up and declaring with a loud voice that Democratic Party politicians who vote for illegal, immoral wars will be held accountable at the ballot box. Now, New York Democratic voters have a chance to move our party another giant step towards a progressive agenda that will save lives, end the war and benefit hard-working Americans.”
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“On the question of the war, support for devastating pro-corporate policies such as NAFTA and so-called “free trade,” Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton have the same world views. Hillary Clinton is trying to obfuscate her position on the war. Let us be clear: she voted for the war and continues to support the occupation of Iraq, which has killed 2,500 of our young men and women in uniform and tens of thousands of Iraqis. I believe in the safe, immediate withdrawal of our troops. I also oppose so-called “free trade” and believe NAFTA was a disaster for our country, while my opponent says NAFTA was a good thing and she recently voted for yet another so-called “free trade” agreement with Oman.”

[DUCHESS NOTE - To learn more about Jonathan Tasini and his campaign for NY State Senate, go to]

Right now a tragedy is unfolding in the Middle East. Thousands of innocent civilians are being killed or wounded in the bombings in Lebanon, Palestine and Israel and the death toll is rising every day. If the US, Syria or Iran get involved, there is a chance of a catastrophic larger war. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of international troops to the Israel-Lebanon border. This has been strongly supported by almost every world leader. This is the best proposal yet to stop the violence; but the US, UK, and Israel have refused to accept it.

Please, join me in signing a petition calling on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair, and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to support Kofi Annan's proposal. If millions of people join this call, and we advertise our views in newspapers in the US, UK, and Israel, we can help pressure these leaders to stop the fighting. Innocent lives must be saved. Go to the link below and sign up now!

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New Yorkers for a Department of Peace
Log on and sign up for your FREE enewsletter

100 Years of Non-Violence Gandhi and Sept. 11, 1906-2006
Log on and sign up for your FREE e-updates

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, Communities of Peace Foundation, Culture of Peace, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Muscians & Fine Artists for World Peace, Pathways to Peace, Peace Action, School Mediation Center, Spirit Dove, Traprock Peace Center, Veterans for Peace 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:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

by Jonathan Tasini, Daily KOS


Message From Democracy Now
NY Senate Candidate Barred From TV Debate. Meanwhile in New York, a controversy is emerging in the race between Senator Hillary Clinton and Democratic challenger Jonathan Tasini. The local news station New York One has refused to set up a debate between the two candidates because Tasini hasn’t spent enough money on the race. The channel, which is owned by Time Warner, requires that candidates poll at least 5 percent and have spent or raised $500,000. Tasini is polling at 13 percent but his campaign has only raised $150,000.

[DUCHESS NOTE: Wake up people! This is serious what the rightwing, corporate, mainstream media is doing to OUR rights and those of grassroot candidates. Not only is this happening in big cities thoughtout the US for many years, but all over in towns and villages in the US. This is not democracy, far from it, but the rise of fascism. Yes, thats right, you heard me. The American Heritage dictionary defines "fascism" as "totalitarianism marked by right-wing dictatorship and bellicose nationalism". Well, we've got that in the US of A in aces. We The People still have some rights and we should exercise them. First of all, call or email NY1 and Robert Hardt to demand that Jonathan Tasini be allowed to debate Hillary Clinton before the NY primary. Secondly, come out and vote on Sept 12th in the NY primary.]

Fars News Agency / Tehran

[DUCHESS NOTE: Thanks to Linda Z in providing the above article/interview with Noam Chomsky. Whom I regard, along with certain other individuals, as a brilliant thinker and public speaker.]

Monday, August 07, 2006

by Larry Beinhart, Huffington Post
[DUCHESS NOTE ... Good article and commentary on the reality of healthcare and Medicare in this country and how Republican Lites like Hillary Clinton continually support insurance/drug industries for profit. Jonathan Tasini says Medicare for ALL and supporting people, not the drug or insurance industries. Vote in the NY state primary on Sept 12th for Tasini and get rid of bad blood like Clinton. It's very much time for a change, a big change.]

LETTER TO THE NY TIMES EDITORS REGARDING CLINTON, TASINI & LIEBERMAN [Thanks to Rob Jereski for sharing. He speaks with truth & clarity. Bravo!]
Dear Editors ... Your article comparing the fallout of Senator Clinton's support of the war in Iraq with Senator Lieberman's adopts a bewildered tone while discovering that, as per the piece's title, "Clinton Dodges Political Peril for War Vote" (news, August 5th). The paper of record should conduct a poll to determine how many voters recognize the name of her opponent in the Democratic Party primary, JohnTasini, whose challenge you characterize as "token". The results will indicate that most New York State voters eligible to support Tasini have yet to hear of him. And the blame will lie squarely on the same media sources, including the paper of record, which facilitated the Iraq debacle by ignoring obvious sound alternatives before the war and playing along with the Bush Administration, and Congress, and their march to war.


So there was Hillary Rodham Clinton grandstanding for the television cameras last week, giving Donald Rumsfeld a carefully scripted chewing out for his role in the Bush administration’s lunatic war in Iraq. Casual viewers could have been forgiven for not realizing that Senator Clinton has long been a supporter of this war, and that even now, with the number of pointless American deaths moving toward 2,600, her primary goal apparently is not to find an end game, but to figure out the most expedient political position to adopt — the one that will do the least damage to her presidential ambitions. Mrs. Clinton is trying to have it both ways. A couple of months ago, she told a gathering in Washington: “I do not think it is a smart strategy either for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government.” She then added, “Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain.”

Slick Willie has morphed into Slick Hilly, as the carnival of death in Iraq goes on.

Mrs. Clinton is just one of the many supporters of the war who should have known better from the beginning, and who are now (with the wheels falling off the Iraqi cart and public support for the war plummeting) engaged in the tricky ritual of rationalization. The favored “it’s not my fault” explanation is that the war was always a grand idea, but the Bush gang was so dopey it fouled up a good thing. If only they’d sent in more troops. If only they hadn’t disbanded Saddam’s army. If only they’d turned right instead of left, or left instead of right, Iraq would be an oil-rich, free-market, democratic paradise, even as we speak. I’m not trying to give a pass to Mr. Rumsfeld, President Bush, Dick Cheney or any of the rest of the war-loving, high-strutting, muscle-flexing men and women in this most dreadful of administrations. These are the individuals who drove us into the flames of Iraq that so far have consumed scores of thousands of lives. But they could have — and should have — been stopped by wiser heads.

This was a war that never should have happened. There was a legitimate war for the United States to fight in Afghanistan, but that was not enough for the administration. The Bush gang wanted a war with Iraq, and less-than-courageous politicians like Mrs. Clinton and many others lined up as enablers to help make that war happen. Many of the Democrats in Congress supported the war only because they remembered the price paid by party members who stood against the first gulf war, a stand that became an embarrassment when the war was easily won and was therefore popular. Despite the rationalizations now suddenly on the lips of so many, the problem with the current war in Iraq is not the way it was conducted, but the fact of the war itself. It was launched amid blinding, billowing clouds of deceit. There was never any legitimate reason for the war. Iraq had not attacked the U.S. and there was no imminent threat of attack.

The U.S. went in with guns blazing (“shock and awe”) like Matt Dillon shooting up the dusty streets of Dodge City. Only this was the real world, and the result has been unending tragedy. The American occupation of Iraq was guaranteed, sooner or later, to provoke a sustained and bloody resistance, and it was inevitable that terror would be the resistance’s most effective tool. It was also certain that if the Shiites were empowered, there would be widespread retaliation for their many years of suffering under Saddam, and then the inevitable counter reaction of the suddenly disempowered Sunnis, and so on. None of this was a secret. The warnings came from around the world before the first shot was ever fired.

Mrs. Clinton, other Democrats and whatever sensible Republicans may still be out there should be getting together to work out a plan for an orderly withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. This was not a war we were ever going to win. It’s time we brought our involvement to an end. Americans no longer support this war, and there are few things more empty of meaning than dying in a war that one’s fellow citizens — safe at home — have already given up on. We went into Iraq with bombs falling and guns blazing, insisting all the while that we were bringing the Iraqis the gifts of freedom and democracy. Instead, we gave them terror, chaos and civil war — in other words, a whole new generation of misery and mass death. Shock and awe, indeed.


NEW YORK, NY: Senate Candidate Jonathan Tasini today released the following statement regarding Hillary Clinton's publicized remarks regarding Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and her call for his resignation:

"My opponent is getting much attention for her criticism of Donald Rumsfeld yesterday. But it’s just more bluster from Sen. Clinton. If you’re a Senator who voted to authorize the invasion, who has continually supported the war and occupation, has continually voted for war funding, has continually undercut fellow Congressional Democrats (like John Murtha) when they move to extricate our country from the Iraq disaster, then she should not be allowed to get away with pointing fingers at others. If there was and is an efficient way to prosecute this war, Clinton owes it to the American public to spell that out. If she could have prosecuted the war effectively, why didn’t she lay out her plan all these years? Until she gets specific, citizens should view yesterday’s confrontation with Mr. Rumsfeld as little more than politics on Sen. Clinton’s part."

"Let’s face it: Most Americans view the war that Sen. Clinton supported and supports as a mistake. It isn't about how effective the war was prosecuted. It is entirely about this having been an illegal and immoral war that has cost our country dearly--and Sen. Clinton is trying to obscure her record by shifting the focus to Rumsfeld. Most people want a timetable for withdrawal. She does not and has repeatedly voted for prolonging the war, and the many deaths the war continues to cause. All the verbal acrobatics about Rumsfeld’s failures should not obscure the fact that Sen. Clinton has been wrong on the war all along, especially in her undermining of fellow Democrats who want to reverse course. She remains wrong today, despite her theatrics yesterday."

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Coercion cannot but result in chaos in the end. Gandhi

By Elizabeth Benjamin, Times Union
[DUCHESS NOTE: Thank you David H in sharing the above article. And thanks to Linda Z in sharing the two articles below. You both rock the house!]

By Dave Lindorff

By John Chuckman,


Ray McGovern, BuzzFlash
The White House and Fox News Channel are still trying to convince us that things are going just fine in Iraq.

In this interview with George Stephanopoulos, Ned Lamont proves why he has a double-digit lead in polls leading up to this Tuesday's pivotal Connecticut Democratic primary.