Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Syndicated Columnist Molly Ivins Dies at 62 – Best-Selling Author, Sharp-Witted Texas Liberal Succumbs to Breast Cancer

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16910834/?GT1=8921

[Duchess Note: Was quite saddened to read of Molly Ivins death. A wonderful, brilliant lady and a true Liberal in every sense of that special word. Over last 2 to 3 years I’ve so enjoyed reading her insightful articles on political observation. She will be greatly missed by Liberals, Progressives and many Democrats. Rest in peace dear Molly and may your spirit fly amongst the clouds.]

The Police Put Legacy On The Line – Band Hope For Rock Magic In Year Of Big Reunions
Brian McCollum, Free Press
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070130/ENT04/701300387

The Police To Reform For Grammys Ceremony
TodayOnline
http://www.todayonline.com/articles/169009.asp

POLICE REUNION – Sting & Co To Kick Off This Year’s Grammys
Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun Media
http://torontosun.com/Entertainment/2007/01/30/3482805.html

Send a Message to Congress Today: Save Public Access TV!
Take Action Today at: http://saveaccess.org/node/688

Police to Walk The Beat Again
Tucson Citizen
http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/ss/nationworld/40302.php

Code Pink Activists Call on Clinton to Oppose War
Capitol Hill was also the site of more protest. Activists with the group Code Pink occupied the office of New York Senator Hillary Clinton calling on the presidential hopeful to oppose the Iraq war. One banner said: “We want a woman for peace, not just a woman.” Six people were arrested.

[Duchess Note: Three cheers to the ladies at CodePink! Bravo! Good luck with “Slick Hil”; who comes across as cold, calculating, pro war, anti peace, greed for power and pretty much a Republican in Democrat clothing. I’ve never trusted her since day one of Bill Clinton’s presidency in the 1990s. And I never have and never will vote for her.]

Anti-War Marches Draw Hundreds of Thousands
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0129-03.htm

Wal-Mart’s New Marketing Strategy Hides Dirty Practices
Jim Hightower
http://www.alternet.org/stories/47224/

Hillary’s Big Lie Grows
Michael Goodwin, NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/col/goodwin/

TELL CONGRESS TO STOP FOOLING AROUND AND INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE
TOLL FREE NUMBERS TO CONGRESS, 800-828-0498, 800-459-1887, 800-614-2803
ACTION PAGE: http://www.peaceteam.net/minimum_wage_cloture.php

Message From Friends of “Brooklyn Peace Circle”
And finally here is a link to a beautiful website, created by our friend and former Peace Circler, Rico. His idea is, what if Valentine's day was about the kind of love that can lead to world peace? He organizes teams to give hundreds of flowers away to strangers, each with a love poem wrapped around the stem. To learn more, visit his website: www.valentinepeaceproject.org

VoteVets Creates New Stop Escalation Ad
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/01/29/votevets-creates-new-stop-escalation-ad/

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Washington Iraq Peace March: A Protest To Be Proud Of
Karen Houppert, the Nation
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/47339/

Crowds On Both Coasts Protest Iraq War
Calvin Woodward & Larry Margasak
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/16562292.htm

Police Reunion Rumor
http://www.antimusic.com/dayinrock/07/jan/29/15.shtml

The Police To Perform Surprise Gig at 2007 Grammys
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,248040,00.html

Sunday, January 28, 2007

FMQB Radio Report: The Police Rehearsing In Canada
http://www.fmqb.com/article.asp?id+340349

The Price of Oil
Song by Billy Bragg

Voices on the radio tell us that we’re going to war
Those brave men and women in uniform
They want to know what they’re fighting for
The generals want to hear the end game
The allies won’t approve the plan
But the oil men in the White House,
They just don’t give a damn
It’s all about the price of oil
It’s all about the price of oil
Don’t give me no s--t about blood, sweat and tears
And toil, its all about the price of oil
Now I ain’t no fan of Saddam Hussein
Oh, please don’t get me wrong it its freeing the Iraqi people
You’re after then why have we waited so long
Why didn’t we sort this out last time
Was he less evil than he is now the stock market holds the answer to
Why him, why here, why now
Saddam killed his own people
Just like General Pinochet
and once upon a time both these evil men were supported by the USA
And whisper it; even Bin Laden once drank from America’s cup
Just like that election down in Florida
This s—t doesn’t all add up
It’s all about the price of oil
Because it’s all about the price of oil
Don’t give me no s—t about blood, sweat, tears and toil
It’s all about the price of oil

Fairness In The Media & Interview With Kucinich & Jeff Cohen
Bob Garfield, On The Media
http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2007/01/19/03

Putting It On The Table: Kucinich Says Bush Risking Impeachment
David Swanson, Oped News
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_david_sw_070126_putting_it_on_the_ta.htm

"The degree to which this President continues to take steps to go to war against Iran without consulting with the full Congress is the degree to which he is increasingly putting himself in jeopardy of an impeachment proceeding." - Dennis Kucinich

[Duchess Note: Visit Congressman Kucinich’s website today at http://kucinich.us Thank and encourage him during his Presidential campaign and the continued support he’s shown Americans.]

[Duchess Note: In a few days I'll have photos and my review on the amazing rally & demonstration for peace down in Washington DC yesterday, January 27th. In the meantime; write, call and fax Congress and Senate representatives. Ask them to stop funding for Iraq occupation and further Bush Regime threats to Iran. We all support our soldiers, not the war, and they need to come home NOW.]

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Real News
Sue Hale-Deseve, Gilmanton
For the Monitor
http://www.cmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070126/REPOSITORY/701260346/1029/OPINION03

It is too bad we aren't honestly given true media coverage for the presidential campaign. We are getting proof of the control corporations have over the news we get from the papers and TV. One has to turn to other sources if you want to get the real news. For example, the news is supposed to let people know who is running for president in 2008. However, the majority of news outlets in this country have neglected to mention at least one candidate who announced last month: Dennis Kucinich. The media do not want to talk about him since he is a real person who is concerned about the people in this country, peace, jobs, the Patriot Act, health care, NAFTA and media reform. Of course, that may be why the news doesn't cover him. He might bring up all their mistakes. For those interested in learning more about Kucinich and what he would do for this country, visit http://kucinich.us It is a shame we can't count on the media for honest news, but we can't, so it is time to do the research yourself.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let’s Make Peace Official
Sholeh Patrick, CDA Press
http://www.cdapress.com/articles/2007/01/25/columns/columns01.txt

Jim Webb Offers The Democratic Response … To Hillary & Obama
Jeff Cohen Commentary
TV viewers could easily see the contrast between Webb’s words and those of Clinton and Obama, since the two candidates were featured one after another on TV network after network soon after Bush and Webb. Yet they said so little.
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0124-21.htm

[Duchess Note: Webb's words were great! Bravo Sir! Happy to see some Democrats stand up to the Bush Regime and tell people the truth. It's so frustrating how the Corporate Rightwing Mainstream Media only places focus on certain candidates and not ALL of them. They have been short changing the American people and voters for YEARS. If you wish to learn more about Congressman Kucinich, go to http://kucinich.us and you'll be happy you did. Don't forget, John Edwards is also in the running.]

The World Agrees: Stop Him
Robert Scheer
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0124-28.htm

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE ... George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Report from Sound Generator – The Police To Play Grammy Awards
And a big reunion tour is also in the works
http://www.soundgenerator.com/news/showarticle.cfm?articleid=8885&CFID=24221174&CFTOKEN=44025436

Critics: New Bush Proposals Shift More Health Care Costs onto Working Americans
Democracy Now with Amy Goodman
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/24/1535212

Bush Fear-Mongering on Ob-Gyn Access in Last Year's State of the Union Belied by Facts - Statement of Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen
In tonight's State of the Union address, be alert to anything the president might say about trying to limit citizen access to the courts. In his 2006 address, the president told the nation that lawsuits were driving doctors out of practice, causing a shortage of ob-gyns in 1,500 counties - an attempt to urge the Congress to enact medical liability reform. While his statistics may frighten women, Bush was wrong to link litigation with rural access to ob-gyns. The truth is that fewer and fewer counties every year are without an ob-gyn. To read the entire statement visit: http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2365

[Duchess Note: Ah yes, fear-mongering, something the Bush Regime and rightwing talk radio shows use all the time over last 6 years. When reading about past AND present Dictators and Tyrants, their main form of ammo is “fear-mongering”; along with lies, propaganda and suppression. So, American people, how does it feel to be ruled by a dictatorship that doesn’t give a rat’s arse about 85% us?!? Want to do something about this dictatorship? Join many other Americans this Saturday, January 27th, (11am – 4pm) in a huge rally and protest down in Washington DC. Check our more info at the United for Peace & Justice website http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ ]

Message from the Peace Alliance & Dept of Peace Campaign
The Gift of Peace - A Play
Coming to a city near you Very Soon!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Below is an announcement [click on link] about a new "Department of Peace" themed play that will be coming to a city near you in the coming weeks, as part of a road tour across the country headed towards our Washington D.C. Conference. We hope you will attend the play (it is VERY inspiring) and spread the word throughout your community to get a big turnout! This is a great way to spread the word about this important legislation. (This is put on by a group independent of The Peace Alliance). They are also working to raise money for this specific show and for their road tour. Giving details can be found on their website, http://www.thegiftofpeace.org/

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)

Bush Continues to Unite the World... Against Him
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0123-04.htm

Bush’s SOTU: Nixon Would Have Been Proud
Bush’s 7th State of the Union speech was loaded with proposals that will go nowhere and had little relationship with reality. So much for hoping that a 28 percent approval rating would teach him anything.
http://www.alternet.org/stories/47090/

Feminism Brings Benefits To All – Men Included
Neil Chethik, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/stories/47080/

A Victim's Response to 9/11's Aftermath
Peter Flom
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0123-27.htm

US Ambassador Pays Upbeat Visit to Peace Center
Lydia Aisenberg, The Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467751804&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Fed Up Soldiers Finding New Ways to Protest the War
Jeanine Plant, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/47085/

Iraqi Millstone Round Bush's Neck
Helena Cobban
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0123-20.htm

When Will We Know That Enough Americans Have Died?
Jane Bright
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0123-32.htm

Global Warming: the Final Verdict
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0122-06.htm

The Radical Christian Right Is Built On Suburban Despair
Chris Hedges, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/stories/46908/

Proposed New Years Resolution for the Promotion of Peace
Joan Russow, PEJ News Blog
http://www.pej.org/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=6342&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Message From NJ/NY volunteers in the Kucinich for President 2008 Campaign
We have ALL noticed the distinct lack of coverage of Dennis' campaign in the New York/New Jersey media, and I'd like us to join forces and get that situation changed. Please join us this Sunday, January 28th at 7:30 p.m. at the Huck Finn Diner in Union (2431 Morris Avenue – not far off the Parkway), so we can plan a media blitz and discuss other campaign strategies. We need to get started on this as soon as possible. To hear the New York media tell it, only Obama and Clinton are running. Public perception is shaped very quickly, so I want us to get Dennis' name out there as much and as soon as possible. Please make every effort to attend this important meeting. I’d appreciate an e-mail or phone call (862-452-7688) to let me know if you’ll be there, but of course drop-ins are always welcome. Thanks, everyone!

[Duchess Note: I too have noticed that the Corporate Mainstream Conservative Media is only focusing on Clinton/Obama and occasionally Edwards. I'm so disgusted by it. This coverage is typical behavior of conservative media. They should provide the American voters full, proper coverage on ALL Democrat candidates. Beward American voters, you are very much being misinformed and mislead. Not only about election and campaign issues, but in so many other areas. Demand the truth, send letters to newspaper editors and always be vigilant.]

Hillary for President?
Cindy Sheehan, Truthout Guest Contributor
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/012207A.shtml

[Duchess Note: Right-on Cindy! The peace sistah speaks the truth. That's right, let the truth be told about Slick Hil with intelligence and clarity. Americans need to learn the reality about NY States ambitious Senator. Making her president won't bring back a "golden age of Slick Bill". They are so not Liberal nor Progressive. Its actually an insult to us who are Liberal and Progressive to be labeled with them. They've become more conservative over the years.]

‘Saturday Night Live’ Slams Chris Matthews, Hillary Clinton and the Liberal Media
Posted by Noel Sheppard on NewsBusters Blog
http://newsbusters.org/node/10287

Dennis Kucinich: Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine
By Nate Anderson
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070117-8640.html

As 25 More US Troops Die in Iraq on Saturday, Kucinich Appeals to Bush to Rethink Escalation - Message From Congressman Kucinich Website

US Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Dem. OH) today called upon President Bush to rethink his policy of escalation in Iraq in the wake of the deaths of 25 more US servicemen in Iraq on Saturday, 12 in a helicopter crash and 5 in combat in Karbala. The deaths marked the third highest number of combat related US mortalities in Iraq on any given day since the start of the war. The President is preparing 21,500 more troops to send to the region to quell the rising insurgency.

"The President must see that emerging events argue strongly against an escalation. This is the time for an honest reappraisal, not a headlong surge over a cliff. The Administration is sending a procession of troops to their deaths on a mission impossible for a cause improbable. It is urgent that the President change his direction and begin to deescalate the war and bring our troops home alive," Kucinich said.

Last week Kucinich presented Congress with a 12-point plan which called for the United States to end the occupation, withdraw all troops and close all military bases in Iraq, simultaneous with reaching out to the world community for help in building an international security and peacekeeping force in Iraq. "When the US indicates a new policy which renounces the occupation and unilateralism, the world will be ready to help." Kucinich said. Learn more about Congressman Kucinich & his 2008 campaign for President at http://kucinich.us/

Sean Bean Hitches A Ride On Horror Remake
Ian Spelling, NY Times Syndicate
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/entertainment/16495435.htm?source=rss&channel=sunherald_entertainment

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[Sean Bean in a scene from "The Hitcher"]

Sean Is ‘Most Attractive’
Sheffield Today
http://www.sheffieldtoday.net/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=58&ArticleID=1986607

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nuclear Deployment for an Attack on Iran and the Nuclear Hitmen Behind It
Jorge Hirsch
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/hirsch.php?articleid=8263

How Congress Can Stop the Iran Attack - Or be Complicit in Nuclear War Crimes
Jorge Hirsch
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0120-22.htm

Check Out the Latest at Peter Calandra Website
Swing on over to check out the new music from the award winning film Jellysmoke. Also, music from a short promotional film for Tufts University. Plus music from a documentary on Cooper Hemmingway, the True. The Final Score and Mansion Poker Dome on FSN.
http://www.pecamusic.com/

Author Norman Mailer on George Bush, The New York, Jan. 20, 2007
"As for President Bush, Mr. Mailer does not have kind words, referring to him as "nasty and stupid." Mailer also says that Mr. Bush, whom he believes is "not deep enough to be evil," is a "social phenomenon," the product of a shopping, marketing-oriented society. "The populace has become more and more stupid. People believe that buying things is one of the most significant acts they can take, and that is the handmaiden to stupidity. The country has become more stupid over the past 15 to 20 years, and George Bush is the fruit, the flower of that tendency.”

[DUCHESS NOTE: Take a moment or two to check out "Friends of Friday Forum". Occasional new, exciting commentary from friends, associates and acquaintances. Link is located in lefthand column under "favorite links". Many thanks! Peace is the Way!]

Carter Defends Controversial Book
By CHARLES ODUM, Associated Press Writer Jan. 20, 2007
Former President Jimmy Carter said Saturday that the storm of criticism he has faced for his recent book has not weakened his resolve for fair treatment of Israelis and Palestinians.
"I have been called a liar," Carter said at a town hall meeting on the second day of a three-day symposium on his presidency at the University of Georgia.

"I have been called an anti-Semite," he said. "I have been called a bigot. I have been called a plagiarist. I have been called a coward. Those kind of accusations, they concern me, but they don't detract from the fact the book is accurate and is needed." Following the publication of the book: "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," 14 members of an advisory board to his Carter Center resigned in protest. Those former board members and other critics contend the book is unfairly critical of Israel.

"Not one of the critics of my book has contradicted any of the basic premises ... that is the horrible persecution and oppression of the Palestinian people and secondly that the formula for finding peace in the Middle East already exists," the 82-year-old Carter said. Carter said he was pleased the book has stimulated discussion of an issue that has been "omitted from the public consciousness" for at least the last six years. "Israel needs peace and the Palestinian people need peace and justice and I hope my limited influence will help to precipitate some steps," he said. The three-day conference was arranged to mark the 30th anniversary of Carter's 1977 inauguration.

Eyes On The Prize: Kennedy States That Congress May Have To Cut Off Funding For The War
Mark Weisbrot & Robert Naiman
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-weisbrot-and-robert-naiman/eyes-on-the-prize-kenned_b_39239.html

"[I]f we have a president that is going to effectively defy the American people, going to defy the generals, defy the majority of the Congress of the United States, Republicans and Democrats, then we, I think, have a responsibility to, to end the funding for that - for the war."

That was Senator Ted Kennedy on Meet the Press, Sunday January 21. As we have noted previously, the media makes it difficult for Congress to play its constitutional role by reporting as though a cut off in funding would be leaving our troops to die in the desert. Kennedy alluded to this media abuse without naming the media:

"[L]et me just mention this, because it's been so abused, the statements about what - what would happen. We would have an orderly departure. We would set a time and have an orderly departure. We would make sure that our troops had the armor and had the bullets, not like the administration has when we went in, when we didn't have the armor, we didn't have the bullets, and we didn't have the up-armored humvees. I hope it doesn't come to that, but we have to be prepared to do it."

Kennedy did not call for a cut off of funding for the war but merely reminded the public of Congress' "constitutional duty" and "power" - both of which Kennedy emphasized - to do this if necessary. This is important because although progressive Members of Congress such as Dennis Kucinich have called for Congress to end funding now, but having a prominent Senator like Kennedy - the second longest-serving in the Senate - make this point is important, and worth publicizing and defending.

Any number of measures that bring the Congress closer to this goal - Biden and Hagel's Senate resolution, for example - can also play an important role, but President Bush will likely continue to wage this war until a funding cut off is either voted upon or imminent, or at least becomes a credible threat because Members of Congress indicate that they are willing to take this step if necessary to compel the President's compliance with the will of the American people. Meanwhile, Moveon.org ran a TV ad criticizing McCain as the father of Bush's escalation plan. A smart move on their part: McCain, the Republican front-runner for the 2008 presidential race, has long carried more than his share of support from independent and even liberal voters. He is, however, a dangerous neoconservative, and his stubborn defense of the Iraq war and its escalation are worthy of special mention.

Ask Reid and Pelosi to schedule a vote on Kennedy's legislation:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/involved/nomoretroops.html

Friday, January 19, 2007

QUOTE OF THE DAY “…..if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people; their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties; if that is what they mean by a “liberal” then I am proud to be a liberal." John F. Kennedy

BREAKING NEWS From PDA [Progressive Democrats of America] - Major New "End the War" Bill Introduced - Take Action Now & Forward this Message
Yesterday, Representatives Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters introduced H.R. 508 ... The Bring the Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act, taking up the President's challenge to come up with a plan for Iraq. Thirteen additional members have already signed on as co-sponsors. The bill would bring our troops home in six months. It's up to PDA activists to spread the word to friends, relatives, co-workers, other activists and to media of every type, including independent blogs and websites. H. R 508 is a concrete plan "not just a symbolic, non-binding resolution" that progressives and Democrats can rally around.

Email your member of Congress http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=9264251&type=CO

Email Speaker Pelosi http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=9264341&type=CU

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

PERSONAL NEWS #113

On Tuesday, December 12th, I attended a NYDoP core team strategy/planning meeting at Norma’s office around 12:30pm. Norma’s office is a few blocks from my office, so my lunch hour was spent being involved with a creative meeting. Others in attendance were Carol, Marianne, Susan, Liz and Kevin joined us via speaker phone. That evening I listened in on the National DoP conference call at 9pm, which is always interesting and inspiring. So many Dept of Peace groups around the US involved in teaching about the legislation and inspiring non violence action/communication.

I took a vacation day on Wednesday, December 13th, to do more holiday goodie baking, wrap gifts, final touches on decorating my home and sent out the last of holiday cards. It was a good, productive day.

On Friday, December 15th, one of my bosses [Keith] took Dana and me out to lunch at Esca near 9th Avenue. We both work for him and this was his way of saying “thank you for assistance in 2006”. The restaurant itself is very nice, elegant, good service and delicious food. After work that evening, I headed down to Union Square Farmers Market to assist other volunteers for City Harvest. [Weather was abit milder than the previous Friday.] Fellow NYDoP board member [Joe] was also there, plus other volunteers who were new to me. Before collecting the final bags of leftover food, we all took a short break to check out the holiday gift bazaar next to the Farmers Market. I didn’t purchase anything … its always fun to look at the assorted holiday goodies.

All These Democrats Do Is Talk, Talk, Talk
Mike Lupica, NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/col/story/489440p-412164c.html

Going In Circles: Vietnam, Iraq, Calls For Impeachment
Steve Hammons, Truthout
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011607D.shtml

Kucinich Receives Petition Signed By Troops Opposed To Iraq War
http://www.ohionewsnow.com/?sec=news&story=sites/ONN/content/pool/200701/1289231133.html

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda Z & Judith B in sharing the above news articles with me.]

Saturday evening, December 16th, I joined my friend Cielito and her cousin Gloria in attending a hip, funky holiday/political activist party. I’m told this annual event is always held at this spacious, charming penthouse just off of Central Park West. The party is also potluck style and I brought my homemade fudge brownies. We arrived shortly after 7pm and there were already some guests. Master of ceremonies was Rick from the “We the World” organization and they endorsed NYDoPs Gandhi event back in September. During the course of the evening, I chatted with a few people I knew from the 2004 Kucinich for President Campaign As well as other fascinating individuals; such as a naturopathic doctor [Phillip Craig], Deborah Hicks with “The Recovery Channel”, a student from Switzerland and Danny Schechter of Mediachannel.org. One of the highlights that evening was strolling around the terrace with a glass of wine admiring the views, while conversing with other guests. The terrace wraps around the whole penthouse with one shaded area for summer time lounging. As the evening progressed the place filled up with more guests and some left early, while others brought musical instruments for further entertainment. When Cielito, Gloria and I left around 10pm the place was packed and a lady was belting out a song next to the piano. Terrific evening and I so enjoyed myself, plus I even handed out my business cards and talked abit about Dept of Peace.

The next morning, December 17th, I joined Gili at Will’s apartment in Park Slope for the weekly “peace circle”. I brought along some holiday cookies for refreshment. I’m still hunting in stores for a particular pillow that Will had in his living room and I utilized for my back. Oh gosh, that felt wonderful. Later that afternoon, around 4pm, I attended Marjorie and Alan’s [ie: know them via PDA & CBID] holiday party in Brooklyn Heights. Their apartment is the first floor of a Brownstone on a charming, tree lined side street in that neighborhood. First few things I noticed about their apartment were the 13 foot high ceiling and sparse furnishings in living room and dining room. Once the place filled up with guests it wasn’t as noticeable. Guests were bringing food and wine to share with the party. Many delicious goodies to sample and I brought some of my homemade cookies. Conversations varied from living in Brooklyn Heights to art to politics. I like a good eclectic sprinkling of topics. Around 5:30pm one of Marjorie’s friends [Rabbi] led the “lighting of the menorah” ceremony in Hebrew. Those who knew Hebrew joined in, which was quite nice and delightful. I’d never experienced this tradition and it was nice to observe. Overall it was a most enjoyable day.

Next morning, December 18th, I had a lengthy doctor’s appointment to figure out what’s up with my larynx and a few other issues. May have something to do with the inhalers I utilize for my Asthma. I’ll go back next month for a follow-up visit. That evening, after work, was the annual E&Y FSO holiday party held at Tavern on the Green. It’s located off of Central Park West and the inside of this landmark is gorgeously decorated. Chandeliers everywhere, evergreen and garland swags, Santa’s, elves, glitter and so much more. Definitely a feast for the eyes and not to be missed. Our department worked its way 3/4s of the way back through a rabbit warren of rooms and ended up near bar/buffet.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
[L to R – Mike, Katarina & Sy from E&Y]

Per doctor’s orders and due to a slight infection of the bladder; I could only partake of water, seltzer or cranberry juice for next two weeks. Oh well, glad I was able to enjoy abit of wine over the past weekend. So I drank Cranberry/Seltzer that evening at holiday party, as well as partake of some very tasty nibblers. As for the buffet, well, I must say I was abit disappointed with the limited choice. Insurance Tax took over one large round table and we all enjoyed ourselves [photos above & below] for about 2 hours or so. Place was packed with other FSO departments and a live band was provided for dancing.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Video of John Edwards [2008 Democrat Candidate] at Riverside Church on Martin Luther King Day
http://johnedwards.com/media/video/mlk-day-riverside-church/

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

[DUCHESS NOTE - Proud to announce a new feature section listed in left hand column. This section [Animal Rights Activism] will feature links to websites on animal/pet rescue, shelter, care and education. Participate as a volunteer, make a donation to a shelter and become involved. These innocent creatures need our help and assistance. As Gandhi once said ... "be the change you wish to see in the world"]

Monday, January 15, 2007

LIVE FROM NYC, ITS THE LIBERAL NEWS

KUCINICH: IMPEACHMENT BACK ON TABLE “IF BUSH ATTACKS IRAN”
http://66.218.140.134/?q=node/1930

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to fellow Kucitizen, Linda, in TX for sharing many wonderful articles and such on Congressman Kucinich. Bravo DJK!]

Bush’s Iraq Plan: Goading Iran Into War
Trita Parsi, IPS News
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/46654/

Stand Up Against The “Surge”
Molly Ivins, AlterNet
We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders and we need to raise hell.
http://www.alternet.org/stories/46657/

[Duchess Note: Bravo Molly! Speak the truth! She is so right. More Americans need to stand up and raise their voices against the Bush Regime. (In a peaceful and non violent manner of action.) We need to constantly email and fax those in Congress and Senate to do the right thing. We now have a Democrat majority, so let’s light a fire under their collective butts and work for us. Its time for changes!]

Beyond the Call to Surge, the Need to Purge Our Media
Danny Schechter
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0112-24.htm

Peace is Possible in Iraq
Lisa Farino & Medea Benjamin
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0112-23.htm

Democrats Risk Antiwar Wrath if They Waver on Iraq Exit http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0110-08.htm

Soldiers Doubt an Influx of American Troops Will Benefit Iraqi Army
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0110-04.htm

Bill Moyers Has Harsh Words for President, Christian Right
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0110-02.htm

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE ... No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq?

Dems Mobilize To Restrict Flow Of War Funding – Public Opposition To More Troops Sparks New Moves In Congress
Zachary Coile, SF Chronicle Washington Bureau
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/01/13/MNGRQNI8VK1.DTL

Friday, January 12, 2007

TAX THE RICH, END THE WAR
Nicholas von Hoffman, The Nation
Congress should levy a "Victory Over Terror" tax on the superrich which would expire once our troops are safely home.
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/46521/

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE - Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

Message From TrueMajorityAction – AmericaSaysNo.org
Wow. You guys are amazing! Thanks to you and the other volunteer activists from both the America Says NO! project and our partners at MoveOn, there were over 1,000 events nationwide protesting Bush's escalation plan. The message that Americans do NOT want more troops was heard loud and clear in every state. And Congress has been put on high alert to do their part to change the course in Iraq. You can bet that we'll be watching. You can read first hand reports and see photos of last night's events and even post your own story at:

http://www.truemajorityaction.org/SaidNo or go to http://americasaysno.radicaldesigns.org/reports

We'll be piling on the pressure in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to your inbox for more ways you can make a difference. Thanks again for making this happen.

[Duchess Note - Along with fellow Kucitizen (Stephanie), I participated in this event on the upper westside of Manhattan near 96th Street. Many of us were bundled up against the cold wind displaying signs, banners and handing out flyers. Pedestrians and motorists gave us the thumbs up and took flyers. There are many New Yorkers who are against war and for peace. We see very few who are pro-war. They sometimes anger us, but mostly we feel pity, as they've been misinformed and brainwashed by the likes of Fox News, etc. Join us in protesting this war and occupation of Iraq, as well as the Bush Regimes escalation of more troops. Liberals and Progressives do support the troops, just not the government and certainly not this illegal war. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the troops and their families. You are in our hearts ... always.]

Kucinich: Bush Setting Stage For Wider War
http://kucinich.us/node/1839

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Out of Iraq and Back to the American City
http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/4666/1/32/

Sean To The Rescue In Hospital Medical DVD
Sheffield Today
http://www.sheffieldtoday.net/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=58&ArticleID=1971533

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

Thursday, January 11, 2007

QUOTE BY TEDDY ROOSEVELT FROM A SPEECH BY SALT LAKE CITY MAYOR ANDERSON - In 2006 Salt Lake City Mayor Anderson spoke at an anti-war protest ... here is part of his speech. . .

"In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous president, his administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress, listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great president and a Republican, who said:

'The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.'

We are here today as truth-tellers."

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE - America: One Nation, Under Surveillance

PUT DOWN THE LUTE, STING - REUNITE WITH POLICE - Hard-Driving Reggae Sound Made Short-Lived Band A Pop Music Force
Michael Ventre, MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16524831/

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Again many thanks to Josee [Pearl Jam MF!] in sharing this cool website with me over the past weekend. LibraryThing [ www.librarything.com ] is a terrific website where you can catalog the books you’ve read OR own. [I’m about halfway through cataloging my books at home. www.librarything.com/catalog/duchess58 ] Plus, you can even get suggestions for future reads, based on the books you or others have read. Hard to explain and all I can suggest is checking out the site to see for yourself. I love to read! I’m looking forward to taking the suggestions given and checking books out on Amazon or even Barnes & Noble. This is awesome stuff!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

THE LATEST IN LIBERAL NEWS

Message From “The Peace Team” – Tell Congress To Confront Bush With A Resolution Opposing Escalation In Iraq
http://www.peaceteam.net/no_escalation.php

Democrats Draw Battle Lines Against Bush’s ‘Surge’
Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/46492/

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE ... Impeach Cheney First

The Daily Gotham – News & Activism for New Yorkers & Fueled by You
http://dailygotham.com/

Former Iraqi Official Offers Blueprint for Peace
Ali Allawi, The Independent UK
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/46490/

How the World Will See the Surge
John Brown
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0109-24.htm

When the Weatherman Plays Dumb
Monica Collins
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0109-26.htm

LIVING IN AMERICA’S FRINGE ECONOMY
Howard Karger, Dollars & Sense
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/45813/

LET THERE BE LIGHT!
By Daniel Geery
http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=2679

Grandmothers Hold Manhattan Vigil to Spotlight Iraq War Deaths
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0102-52.htm

OUR MEANINGLESS ‘SACRIFICE’ IN IRAQ MUST STOP
Keith Olbermann, Countdown
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/46274/

Officers Won't Let Protesters Cross Bridge; Traffic Snarled as 10 CodePink Members Are Arrested During Vigil for Slain GIs
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0102-54.htm

FOR FEMALE SOLDIERS, SEXUAL ASSAULT REMAINS A DANGER
Celina DeLeon, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/rights/46294/

Conspiracy Fact: Lowest Gast Prices of 2006 During Election Week
Joshua Holland
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/46325/

Will Bush Provoke A Constitutional Crisis?
Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/rights/46384/

Sunday, January 07, 2007

[DUCHESS NOTE - Many thanks to Josee in telling me about this awesome website and knowing how much I love collecting and reading books. Your the best MF! Check out "Library Thing - Catalog your Books Online" ... http://www.librarything.com/ ]

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE ... I Read Banned Books

PERSONAL NEWS #112
On Saturday, December 2nd, I met up with my friend Sheila at Grand Central Station at 11:30am. Oh my gosh, has it been a year since we last saw each other and checked out the holiday gift bazaar at GCS and Bryant Park?!? [We stay in touch via email and phone.] We both couldn’t believe how crowded GCS was during that first weekend of the holiday season. Mon dieu! We grabbed some soup from the food court downstairs to nosh on and catch up on news/gossip. Then back upstairs to stroll around the GCS holiday gift bazaar. So many lovely, wonderful gift items and many were abit overpriced. Despite all that we had a delightful time and actually made some affordable purchases. From there we strolled west on 42nd Street and stopped at a Starbucks not far from Bryant Park. Weather wasn’t too bad that day, though there was a slight chill in the air. From there we walked across the street and into Bryant Park; which was bustling with vendors, holiday shoppers, tourists, etc. The small skating rink was doing brisk business and outdoor café was full. Everyone was enjoying the day. Sheila and I found several Chanukah/Christmas gifts at this bazaar for friends and family. Then it was off to Port Authority for some light refreshment before Sheila boarded her bus back to NJ. Overall we had a most enjoyable day. We’re planning a get together this spring in her neck of the woods. Sheila lives near Princeton and I’ve always wanted to “check out the sites” in that area.

I attended Joe & Marie’s annual holiday party on Sunday, December 3rd, at 12pm. Like the year before it was held at this delightful Japanese buffet on 33rd Street. The variety of dishes, which includes sushi, is always delicious. When I arrived Joe’s friend Maria was already there and we greeted each other warmly with hugs. I haven’t seen Maria since she moved to NJ with her partner Kelly. We caught up on news, gossip and the renovations of their house. [Possibly a NYDoP social event when house is completed.] Ellen and Larry showed up, as well as a few others whose names I don’t recall. We all sat at Joe’s tables. Marie’s family and friends were at other tables. Some folk brought toys for the Toys for Tots campaign. Our table was getting into some funky conversations and lots of laughs. The wine and Sake was helping it along. At 3pm I headed to the NYDoP office to participate in remainder of the Planning Day meeting. Caught the last hour as Karen, Carol, Marianne and Susan were wrapping up. The ladies were gelling around some nifty ideas for the NYDoP core team to tackle in 2007. I’m so looking forward to it all.

On Monday, December 4th, after exchanging a few emails I went on a dinner date with Jerry, whom I met via Yahoo Personals. We met up, after work, in front of Simply Pasta in midtown for dinner. The restaurant is nicely situated, good service and excellent cuisine. Jerry and I talked on numerous topics [ie: work, family, current events, life in NYC] and had several laughs. He’s a nice, thoughtful gent. Afterwards we strolled over to Bryant Park to take in the atmosphere and watch the skaters. We closed the evening out with a smile and handshake at 10pm, and then headed for our respective subways.

I took a much needed vacation day on Wednesday, December 6th. Started my holiday cookie baking, finish decorating the apartment [photo below] and had two doctor appointments.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE ... Support Our Troops & Bring Them Home Alive!

On Thursday, December 7th, New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace held an impromptu board meeting. [I’m board member and secretary.] With the process of incorporating, the board members needed to go over important issues like bylaws, forms, etc. The meeting was held at Karen’s charming apartment on eastside of Manhattan. When I joined NYDoP and the board two years ago in November 2004, there were 11 board members. Now there are 8 board members and our core team is 20. We got much accomplished that evening and we all agreed that I’d need a microcassette recorder for future meetings. Its not easy catching all the necessary info and my shorthand is deplorable, though my brisk long hand is quite reliable. Overall a productive meeting and only Liz couldn’t make it due to being ill at the time.

On a very cold Friday evening, December 8th, I volunteered with City Harvest down at Union Square. This was my first time participating in this type of weekly activity. A small group of us took large City Harvest bags around to the vendors. We then waited around for a cold 45 minutes before picking up the goods. During that time I was given hot spiced grape juice by a kindly vendor. Plus I conversed with some of the vendors on how business was doing. Felt so good to drink the beverage and feel the warmth flow through my chilly body. Earlier that morning I’d purchased a warm ski cap to keep my head protected. So very glad I did. Then around 6:15pm our group [ie: 2 gals, 1 fella & I] went around the Farmers Market to collect and bag leftover bread/veggies. We packed up the City Harvest truck and went our separate ways at 6:45pm. Upon arriving home I took a long, warm bubble bath, light dinner and watched telly.

The next day, December 9th, I met up with fellow Tolkien fans/acquaintances Jackie and Carole at Café la Fortuna around 1pm. I brought along the latest “Tolkien Society” newsletter called “Parma Nole” to lend to Jackie, as she’s not a member yet of the society. Weather was still abit cold outside, but not as bad as day before. Shortly after Jackie and I started lunch Carole showed up. I hadn’t seen her since the ELF Con in late July and Jackie hadn’t seen her since we went to the Tolkien Reading event in March. We started off talking about Tolkien and things in general. It then progressed to Carole dominating the conversation. She pretty much “took over” for rest of afternoon and into the evening. Its so annoying when some people “take over” conversations and seem “miffed” when others participate. Anyhow, after hanging out at the café, we stopped by a shop so Jackie could purchase a holiday wreath for her apartment. Then we jumped on the downtown subway and at this point Carole wanted to “tend to things” near her apartment before continuing our adventure. We had no issues with a brief detour. HA! Brief detour … what a crock of crap … we were at her messy apartment [sometimes playing with her two cats] for over 2 hours. Carole and Jackie mostly talked about Wicca stuff. Whenever I tried to participate in the conversation I got the strong impression that Carole resented it. [I later told my friend Larry of the conversations & he said she sounds “out of touch” with reality.] Finally, I suggested we go out to grab some light refreshment. After wandering around Chelsea for awhile, we settled on a pizza place and then to a bisexual bar/restaurant for drinks. [I have no idea why & very odd.] More and more I was getting the feeling of two’s company and three’s a crowd from Carole. I never got this feeling from Jackie, who is always nice and thoughtful. At this point the conversation switched to Jackie and her recent health issues. Carole and I were very supportive and understanding. [Since then Jackie has learned that her “situation” is benign. Hurray! No cancer! Amen!] At this point it’s going on 10pm and I had to get up early next day. I said my goodbye’s and told Jackie to email me as soon as results came in on tests.

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. Howard Zinn

Sunday morning, December 10th, I headed out to Queens for my one hour workout session with Marie, my personal trainer, at the Powerhouse Gym. Darn good workout and I know I’ll be sore for a few days.

Find me on MySpace and be my friend!

BUSH MOVED TO KEEP VISITORS LOG A SECRET
NY Daily News
WASHINGTON - The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House are not open to the public. The Bush administration didn't reveal the existence of the memorandum of understanding until last fall. The White House is using it to deal with a legal problem on a separate front, a ruling by a federal judge ordering the production of Secret Service logs identifying visitors to the office of Vice President Cheney. The five-page document dated May 17 declares that all entry and exit data on White House visitors belong to the White House as presidential records rather than to the Secret Service as agency records. Therefore, the agreement state, the material is not subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. In the past, Secret Service logs have revealed the comings and goings of various White House visitors, including Monica Lewinsky and Clinton campaign donor Denise Rich, the wife of fugitive financier Marc Rich, who received a pardon in the closing hours of the Clinton administration.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

POLICE REUNION RUMORS REACHING FEVER PITCH
Jonathan Cohen, Billboard
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070103/en_nm/police_dc

RUMOURS SWIRL OVER POLICE REUNION
http://www.fmqb.com/article.asp?id=328733

THE POLICE EYEING POSSIBLE REUNION DATES
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20070104-041625-1011r

[DUCHESS NOTE - Hum, can you tell I'm a POLICE fan by the onslaught of articles? (smiling) I'd post more, but they all pretty much say the same thing. (Would love to see them play live one more time. Such good music!) Was introduced to the bands music in early 1980s by two friends of mine. (We've since parted ways.) I even joined the POLICE fan club, which was situated in London AND I visited the club twice. I could go on and on ... since the 1980s I've mostly followed Andy Summers solo career (brilliant guitarist) and occasionally Sting. Stay tuned for more news........]

ExxonMobil's Biggest Oil Spill? Look in Brooklyn, Not Alaska
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0103-53.htm

Vigils, Rallies Commemorate 3000 U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0103-57.htm

Socialist Senator Makes US History
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0103-54.htm

BUMPER STICKER QUOTE ... The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century