Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mom & Charlene
[Fire pit I constructed out of assorted stones. Mom and Duchess by the fire before we roasted kaluha flavored marshmallows for S’Mores.]


Dad on Memorial Day
[Dad dressed in his Cambridge Legion “blues” for the Memorial Day parade]

Dad & Stephanie in Buick
[Dad and Stephanie riding off to the parade in a restored 1940s Buick]

Cambridge Legion Float

Cambridge Parade

Classic Cars in Parade

Charlene & her Bicycle
[Duchess and her brand new Huffy Prospect bicycle on Memorial Day]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The PresiDunce’s Obscene War
Maralyn Lois Polak, WorldNetDaily Commentary

Obamamania – Would You Like Change With That?
Left Business Observer

World Court: Why Not Indict Bush, Cheney and Yoo?
Bill Hare, Political Cortex


Video: Cynthia McKinney delivers keynote to Chicago Awards Dinner last Fall. She warned her audience that, "The Black Body Politic Could Go the Way of the Polar Bear"

Video: Rachel MacCratic of San Diego California published this YouTube endorsement, arguing that "Lesser Evil Logic is Coercive" and explaining her support by distinguishing her preferred candidate from her opponents, saying: "Cynthia Acknowledges that War is Immoral"

Video: Cynthia Speaks to Al-Nakbah Commemoration at UN, honoring sixty years of struggle against apartheid conditions in Palestine. This link gives you both the text of her remarks and a video recording of her speech.

Open Letter to Politically Conscious Sisters and Brothers of Black America

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda and Carol in sharing some of the above articles.]

Pearl Jam Plans to Let New Songs ‘Grow Up’
Gary Graff,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Why Do Political Lies Work?
Deepak Chopra

Iraq Vets Testify to War Atrocities, Vow to Fight & Resist Bush Policy
Liliana Sequra, AlterNet

(Not) Keeping Up With Our Parents: Just Being Middle Class is Becoming Out of Reach
Nan Mooney, Beacon Press

Top Ten Reasons to go Vegetarian
Bruce Friedrich, AlterNet

Monday, May 19, 2008

Viggo Mortensen & Eddie Vedder Sing the Revolution on a Hot PDX Night
Kristi Turnquist, The Oregonian


Peace Candidate McKinney Visits Humboldt
David Cobb

Exclusive Interview With Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney

Local Green Party Picks Nominee For President

Cynthia Speaks At Anna's Jazz Club In Berkeley, California

Friday, May 16, 2008


We Stopped the War Funding!
David Swanson, American Chronicle

Cynthia McKinney Supports Fight for Water
Cheryl LaBash, Workers World

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda from TX in sharing the above articles.]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thursday evening, May 1st, I attended my first NYC Harry Potter group meetup and it was “Trivia Night”. Was held at a pizza place on the upper eastside of Manhattan and about 25 members [ages 20 through 70] were in attendance. Everyone was very nice and some were wearing HP related stuff. One of the group members, Racheline Maltese, was selling her book [The Book of Harry Potter Trifles, Trivia’s, & Particularities] and I purchased the paperback for $12. Then it was time to choose my Hogwarts house before the trivia game started. After some reflection on my part I went with Hufflepuff. [Next day, online, I did the Sorting Hat quiz and it said I was a Hufflepuff, followed closely by Griffindor.] Everyone had a lot of fun and I must say that many of the trivia questions were not easy. Despite that I did manage to get two correct for my house. Throughout all this we noshed on pizza, fruit and birthday cake. At the end of the game the scores were tallied up and Hufflepuff beat Griffindor by a small margin. Wow! Hurray! The prizes were some galleons, stickers and buttons. I left the meetup shortly after 9pm and got home in time to watch a new episode of LOST on the telly.

On Sunday, May 4th, I attended the housewarming party at Carol and Gary’s place in the Inwood area of Manhattan. Day before I baked up a tasty batch of chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownies for the party. The day turned out warm with patches of sunshine as I strolled from the subway to their new abode in Inwood. Nice, spacious place with a sunken living room and a step up from their tiny apartment on upper Westside. The buffet table was laid out with an assortment of yummy goodies from Carol, Gary and their guests. Conversations varied on numerous topics and I even made a purchase of one of Carol’s watercolor prints. Overall I had such an enjoyable time and afterwards strolled through a nearby park before heading back to the subway.

On Tuesday, May 6th, after my foot doctor appointment, I traveled up to the IBM Atrium on East 56th Street for the monthly Knit & Crochet meetup. None of the regulars showed up and I was going to leave around 7:30pm, when the gals at the Spin City meetup a few tables away invited me to join them. They were spinning skeins of yarn using different materials [ie: cotton, wool, silk, etc]. It was fascinating to observe and hear about different spin techniques throughout the world. One of the gals showed me some new ways to do crocheting and I encountered another Harry Potter fan. Yah never know where one will meet someone who shares some similar interests, whether it’s a guy or gal.

Thursday evening, May 8th, the NYDoP CCR committee had a conference call to go over in detail the meeting we had with Yassky’s policy director, as well as plans and strategy going forward.

On Sunday, May 11th, I attended the 2nd Annual Mothers Day Peace March in Manhattan, which was organized by CodePink and Granny Peace Brigade. Like last year, everyone congregated at Columbus Circle, next to Central Park. I got there abit early, briefly chatted with Janey and was given a sign [“Waiting for Peace”] to carry throughout the march. Then this tall, cute guy [Tim] came up to me and inquired about what we were protesting. I enlightened him on that point and then we enjoyed a long, wonderful conversation about protests, City Council, Pedicabs, MySpace, TV and movies. We seem to have many things in common and he gave me his business card. The march started shortly after 11:15am with about 30+ people, plus some instrumental accompaniment. Not as many in attendance as last year, but that didn’t stop us from spreading the word. The march progressed up along Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues before making its first of two major stops at Museum of Natural History. Along the way we handed out flyers to pedestrians/shopkeepers/ motorists, sang out protest chants [see below], and flashed the peace sign to all.

[Tune: “My Little Playmate”] Lyrics by Nora Freeman of the Westchester Raging Grannies

Ain’t got no healthcare,
Say vets at Walter Reed.
Dubya supports the troops,
He makes them jump through hoops,
To get the benefits,
That they so sorely need.
Puts them out on the street,
And Shuts the door.

When it was his turn,
Of course he didn’t go.
His daddy pulled some strings,
Took care of everything.
Now War on Terror Vets,
May have PTSD – Severe brain injury,
Says he, “What’s that to me?”

They’re facing homelessness,
divorce and suicide.
Miz-ree is all around,
That’s what our vets have found.
So don’t let Dubya,
Play out his deadly game.
It’s Time we all stand up,
Its time we all stand up,
To shout NO MORE!!

Many folk were very receptive to us marchers shouting encouragement and applauding. Before heading across Central Park, with a very nice police escort, we lost some of our marchers. Several, including the musical accompaniment, had other commitments to attend too. 15 of us remained and we ended the march in front of the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue. The Julia Ward Howe proclamation was read, we asked everyone to observe 2 minutes of silence for our dead US soldiers [plus Iraqi], and then more protest songs were sung. We were well received, much applause, and many “tourists” and locals took fliers. On the way to the subway, I purchased a print from a street artisan, and then it was homeward bound.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Cynthia's Statement on the Sean Bell Verdict

Exclusive Interview with Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney
Thadeus Greenson, The Times-Standard

Black Women Vote Interviews Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia Speaks at May Day Rally with Dockworkers

Two Videos Of ILWU May Day "No Peace, No Work" Rally, Including Excerpts Of Cynthia's Speech, Now Available

Why the Republican and Democratic Parties and the Political Process are Obstacles to Real Democracy
Bruce Gagnon

Monday, May 12, 2008


[Duchess Note – Greetings to all my loyal readers. Hope the spring weather has been delightful in your neck of the woods. Yes, it’s been awhile since my last personal news update, as I’ve been a busy bee at work and home. So the following is a condensed version for your reading pleasure.]

On Tuesday evening, April 1st, I attended the Knitting & Crochet meetup in Manhattan. My friend Linda G also joined me and we picked up new techniques from the other attendees. Plus admire some of the projects the other gals were working on.

On Saturday, April 5th, I headed up to Yonkers to do volunteer work at the ferret shelter. I hadn’t been up there since September 2007, as both Joanne and I had been so very busy with different projects.
I so miss the wee furballs and it was great socializing/grooming them. Many of their antics crack me up, plus it was good catching up on news with Joanne.

Next day, April 6th, I took MetroNorth up to South Norwalk [CT], where my dear good friend Katherine met me at the station. We hadn’t seen each other since October 2007. Went over to the bead shop in the SoNo section and made some purchases. Then we headed up to Bridgeport to have a delicious lunch at Red Lobster and I treated Katherine as a belated b-day pressie. [She turned 50 seven months before I do and I’ll be having a big b-day bash for mine.] This has been tradition with us since 1990. Afterwards we did some shopping at a few stores and then headed back to her house to meet Shane, her 1 ½ year old grandson. He’s a cute little fella and very much adored by my dear friend and her hubby Maurice. Shane’s mother, Aimee, is hardly ever around. I won’t smear my blog with thoughts on Aimee and her tarnished antics. The train ride back to NYC was uneventful.

On Tuesday, April 8th, after my foot doctor appointment, I traveled back to Brooklyn and made it in time for the monthly Community Board #1 meeting off of Graham Avenue. My first CB#1 meeting and it was packed. SRO! I kid you not! Didn’t stay for the whole meeting, as my foot was bothering me and there was no place to sit down. What I did observe was interesting and definitely a venue for a Dept of Peace campaign presentation. Need to do more research on community boards in general.

Thursday evening, April 10th, I participated in a conference call with two other NYDoP CCR committee members to discuss latest developments.

Sunday, April 13th, I volunteered with NYC MS Society at a “rest stop” in Brooklyn Heights at Cadman Plaza for the annual MS Walk. Weather turned out nice and we had a good turnout of volunteers, plus dozens of walkers. I did my first MS walk back in 1993 and since 1997 I’ve been volunteering my time. It’s for a worthy cause and I was representing two friends of mine who have MS. Pam passed away a few years ago and Gary still lives in Scotland.

Tuesday evening, April 15th, I participated in another conference call with NYDoP CCR committee members. We did prep work for an upcoming meeting with Yassky’s policy director.

Thursday, April 17th, was the monthly NYDoP board/core team meeting, which was held again at a conference room at my office. Unlike the previous month, this time around there was only 3 of us in attendance. That didn’t deter us and we had a productive meeting.

Saturday, April 19th, was “Earth Day” in NYC, and I attended an event geared towards this in McCarren Park near my home. Fortunately for all it was a lovely, warm spring day. Afterwards I purchased some goodies at the local farmers market, also located in McCarren Park. On the way home I stopped by the local florist/nursery for some gardening goodies. Need to take care of my house plants and purchased a few new plants. Around this time I made my first purchase of Isagenix products [ie: Ionix Supreme & Want More Energy] and been utilizing them every day since then. OMG!! This is great stuff, especially the Ionix Supreme, which gives me such energy, helps me sleep and staying more focused. One of these days I’ll do my first Isagenix cleanse, which I hear is so rejuvenating. To learn more about these wonderful products and the system, go to the link in the left hand column of my blog.

Tuesday evening, April 22nd, after my foot doctor appointment, I listened in on the monthly National DoP NVC conference call at 9pm.

On Wednesday, April 23rd, after work I attended the monthly PDA CD14 meeting on upper Eastside of Manhattan. Was invited to attend by former volunteers [ie: Alice & Jim] of NYC Kucinich Team. Some of those in attendance [ie: Bud, Al, Barbara, George] I know from other events, groups, campaigns and rallies. We caught up on news, which is mostly what is happening in the NYC political scene. What intrigued me most on the meeting agenda was a presentation on “Clean Money Clean Election” by Dan Jacoby.

Thursday evening, April 24th, after work I headed down to Brooklyn to attend my first Park Slope Knitters meetup. About 20+ were in attendance at Sweet Melissa’s Café on 7th Avenue. I learned there are two ways of knitting; there are the English and Continental variations. Because I’ve been crocheting for some time I learned I am more suited to the continental way. I spent an enjoyable evening chatting with the other members, admiring their work, eating delicious cheesecake and learning some tips of the trade. At one point I asked about the time and learned it was going on 9:30pm. OMG!! Packed my things, said goodbye to all, paid my bill and rushed out to get car service to head home. The bus and subway would have taken too long. I got home with 5 minutes to spare before a new episode of LOST came on TV. Whew!

On Saturday afternoon, April 26th, I attended the 5th Annual Brooklyn Peace Fair. NYDoP didn’t have a table this time around, so I brought my business cards with me to hand out while I networked all the tables. Handed out many business cards and talked about peace, DoP and the City Council resolution. I mostly hung out with Linda, Cielito and Max at their Share International table. As always Brooklyn Parents for Peace puts on a worthy event and never a dull moment. Overall it was a productive afternoon.

I took a vacation day on Tuesday, April 29th, so as to prep for the meeting with Tim Roberts at City Council member Yassky’s office. Kevin and Joe joined me, as we are part of the NYDoP CCR Committee working on getting DoP Resolution 627 passed. The weather that day was overcast, cool, abit rainy and windy. The half hour meeting went very well and it was quite informative. The three of us were very much jazzed by it all and have much planning work ahead of us.


Kucinich Gets Amendment Passed to Help Areas with Rises in Vacancies

Kucinich Announces $14B Plan to Fight Foreclosure Crisis

Pro-Impeachment Candidates for the U.S. House, Senate & White House in 2008
David Swanson, After Downing Street

Greens Introduce a Plan for Environmental Action for a Green President’s First 100 Days in Office
Third Party Watch

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda in Texas for sharing the above articles.]


The Police Are Still A Force
The Kansas City Star

The Police May 2008

Police Beat Nostalgia, Say Proper Goodbye to Fans
Jeff Elbel, Chicago Sun-Times,police051108.article

The Police Coming to the End

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Obama’s Money Cartel: How Barack Obama Fronted for the Most Vicious Predators on Wall Street
Pam Martens, Black Agenda Report
The candidate that claims to be the only presidential contender who doesn't take money from lobbyists is in fact the biggest recipient of lobby-related contributions. Barack Obama rakes in millions from law firms serving the interests of Wall Street, including the financial institutions that gave us the subprime lending crisis. Lawyers that work for firms that earn hundreds of millions of dollars for lobbying may technically not be lobbyists, but they share in their colleagues' earnings as influencers of Congress - a legal loophole that allows Obama to claim his hands are clean of lobby loot. "The top contributors to the Obama campaign are the very Wall Street firms whose shady mortgage lenders buried the elderly and the poor and minority under predatory loans."

[Duchess Note - Many thanks to Linda in Texas in sharing many articles (ie: politics and world events) over the past months.]

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2008 Northeast Regional Conference for a U.S. Department of Peace Date: March 28-30 - Being the Change: Creating Peace at Home and in the World

NE Regional 2008 Peace Conf Group
[Photo: Several NYDoP Board and Core Team members Attended the Conference. In the photo they participated with DoP members from RI, VT, NH, CT, MA & ME]

Featured Speakers:
Dot Maver, Educator and Peacebuilder speaking on "Being the Change & the Global Peace Movement."
Dr. Ed Tick, author of "War and the Soul" speaking on "Healing the Soul Wounds of War".
Kathy Kidd, National Field Director, The Peace Alliance

NEWS FLASH! National Peace Academy! [Message from Dot Maver - Peace Partnership International]
We are pleased to announce that Peace Partnership International is part of a group effort to design and found a National Peace Academy in the United States of America. As we shared in our recent newsletter, last month a group met at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio to explore the idea of founding such an organization. It worked. From these meetings emerged a set of workgroups which have already begun to move forward with the planning process. A new Web site is online to facilitate the effort at

In these challenging and hopeful times, we are the change that we are calling for. As Elise Boulding told the National Peace Academy vision/planning group last month, "This is the most important thing we can be doing right now." I invite you to take a moment to learn more about this historic endeavor. Please visit

The Police Love NYC
The Police , who reunited for a 30th-anniversary world tour last year, say their final concert will take place this summer in New York City. Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland made the announcement today at a news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Police say Their Final Concert will Take Place in NYC
The Charlotte Observer
The Police, who reunited for a 30th-anniversary world tour last year, say their final concert will take place this summer in New York City. Frontman Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland made the announcement Tuesday at a news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Police say they have a special connection with the Big Apple.


Maryland Green Party to Send Diverse Delegation to Chicago

Separate Oil & State – Follow the Oil Money
Oil Change International

2008 Presidential Fundraising

Campaign Finance News
CQ Money Line

Clinton & Obama Fire Off Misleading Claims About Lobbyists & PAC Contributions

Big Pharma Opens Wallet to Dems – Liberals Have Lost Their Reputation as the Long-Standing Foes to Drugmakers as Party Lines Become Blurred with McCain
Aaron Smith, CNNMoney

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Police Concert Review – Ottawa, Canada
Aedan Helmer, Sun Media

The Worst Food Crisis In 45 Years
Amy Goodman, King Features Syndicate
If our government and large food and energy interests don’t change direction, the food riots in distant lands will soon be coming to their doors.

Truthers for McKinney
Third Party Watch

Cynthia McKinney: Bell Verdict Shows Dred Scott Reality

PRESS RELEASE: Kucinich To Introduce Legislation to Reduce Gas Prices

Straight Talk About Gas Prices
Brad, Sadly No!
America’s political leaders have no one to blame but themselves for skyrocketing gas prices.

QUOTE OF THE DAYThe whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. H. L. Mencken

In Iraq 70 Percent of People Lack Clean Water
Abigail Brown, Water for the Ages
The number of civilians in Iraq without water has risen from 50 percent to 70 percent during 2003 to 2007.

[Duchess Note: Commentary on the “Lack Clean Water” article from “thoughtcriminal” … The same corporation that gets your city water contract probably has an Iraq contract too. If not there, then in Afghanistan, check out ... Also, many thanks to Linda in TX for sharing some of the articles today.]

Message from S.A.Cripps – Possible New Pearl Jam Album
"Mike McCready made two radio appearances in the last few days and talked, among other things, about Pearl Jam's new album: on April 25, Mike was on 107.7 The End to talk about the CCFA concert and mentioned that they were currently working on the new album. He didn't give up any more info except that they were working with their old producer (Brendan O'Brien). On April 30, he was on 104.9 FunkyMonkey and further confirmed Brendan O'Brien (right at the end of this interview). He also said the band is working on '5 ideas' so far."

The sorting hat says that I belong in Hufflepuff!

Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot, and treat them just the same."

Hufflepuff students are friendly, fair-minded, modest, and hard-working. A well-known member was Cedric Diggory, who represented Hogwarts in the most recent Triwizard Tournament.

Take the most scientific Harry Potter Quiz ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable. H. L. Mencken

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Judith in NYC in sharing the above quote.]