Saturday, January 31, 2009


President Obama, Don’t Become Complicit in their Crimes!
Cynthia McKinney, OpEdNews

Kucinich on the Stimulus: “This Economy is Literally Killing People”
Jan 28, 2009

Towards An Even-handed Foreign Policy in the US Congress? Ohio Democrat, Dennis Kucinich, Leads a New Tread
Michael Carmichael, Global Research

Kucinich on Proposed Pfizer-Wheth Merger
Jan 27, 2009

Five-Way Green Primary to Take Place in Illinois; Twenty-Six Candidates in Total
Ross Levin, OpEdNews

Obama the Imperialist – “Change? In foreign policy, hardly. The new president is in the classic liberal interventionist mould”
Richard Seymour, The Guardian [UK]

Kucinich on the Stimulus: Oversight, not Banking, is a Proper Function of Government
Jan 26, 2009

Top 5 Myths About Closing Guantanamo
The Progress Report

Kucinich to Obama: Change Failed Bush Policies in Middle East – Calls for Even-Handed Treatment of Israelis and Palestinians
Jan 23, 2009

Kucinich Challenges Banks on Hoarding Bailout Funds – “In God We Trust, Not in Banks We Trust”
Jan 21, 2009

Are We Civilized Enough to Hold Our Leaders Accountable for War Crimes? The World is Watching.
John W. Dean,

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda [TX] and Carol [NYC] in sharing many of the above articles. Three cheers to Kucinich and McKinney in continually speaking truth to power. They are the "real, true" progressives AND always there for ALL Americans. I proudly voted for them in the primary and general election, plus continue to be a firm supporter. Let's bring peace to the world.]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cynthia McKinney statement on Obama Actions Thus Far re: Gaza -- "Mr. President: Give Us a Clean Break from War"

In a message to President Obama today, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney wrote:

"It is time that the United States negotiate in good faith with Hamas, the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is also time that the U.S. government tell Israel to release the Hamas Parliamentarians it illegally arrested. President Obama, please say something about Gaza. You have been roundly condemned for your continued silence in the face of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. Silence is complicity. Not one more bomb for Israel."

Israeli action in Gaza has outraged the world. Starting with Israel's inhumane blockade of Gaza when it didn't like the 2006 election results that put Hamas officially into power. In September 2007, Israel declared Gaza an "enemy entity."

Of course, Israeli efforts to isolate the Gaza Strip can be traced back to Ariel Sharon as early as 2005. In carrying out its military Operation Cast Lead, Israel not only committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, it also carried out a long-standing goal of Gaza isolation. The President's continued silence on Gaza and the Palestinian right of self-determination is unacceptable. I would like to commend President Obama for recognizing that peace is the imperative and that the United States can play a constructive role in its attainment. However, placing a phone call to an irrelevant "leader" in an attempt to revive his political standing is not a route to peace: it is a journey down the same road that we're already on, that is massacres, genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture--all with U.S. weapons, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.The President must call the elected representatives of the Palestinian people and that means dealing with Hamas. President Obama has already spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. George Mitchell, the President's Middle East Envoy, is reportedly scheduled to visit the region, but is expected to meet only with Egyptian, Israeli, Saudi, and Jordanian leaders, and the West Bank's Abbas.

Unfortunately, despite worldwide revulsion and United Nations outrage at Israeli actions in Gaza, Gaza has not been reported to be one of the Presidential Envoy's destinations. Even worse, one of the first officials that Obama called on his first day in office was Palestinian Mahmood Abbas. Abbas, however, is no longer President, heading a government that has no opportunity to govern, from a state that exists only as a construct not made by the Palestinian people. For the United States to embark upon the path of peace, it must recognize and act on the fact that Mahmood Abbas is now irrelevant.I believe that the call to Abbas occurred because of pressure on President Obama from outraged activists around the country and around the world calling for him to do something. But Abbas is irrelevant if the goal is peace. If the goal, however, is to appear to be doing something while all the time doing nothing but allowing the violence of U.S.-sponsored military action to spread including saber rattling against Syria and Iran, then the President is on the right path.

The American people voted for change and peace. President Obama's current path will produce neither. I have implored President Obama to say something about Gaza. He has been roundly condemned for his continued silence in the face of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. Silence in the face of such criminal behavior is complicity.President Obama must urgently place a call to the elected government of the Palestinian people. President Obama can send a strong message to the warmongers inside his own party and present them "a clean break" from war. I encourage him to do so. We will not be fooled by actions that have the appearance of putting us on a path for peace, but that are public relations projects that buy time for more war. To activists and human rights lawyers around the world I say: Now is not the time to let up. We must be unrelenting in our pressure for justice and recognition of the rights of all peoples embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Those rights include the right not to be occupied. And the right to resist occupation. This is the embodiment of self-determination. And the Palestinian people are holders of these rights.

It is time that the United States negotiate in good faith with Hamas, because it is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is also time that the U.S. government tell Israel to release the Hamas Parliamentarians it illegally arrested. While the United States Government spends precious resources to imprison Palestinians in the United States who attempted to ameliorate the humanitarian disaster in Gaza, I will attempt another trip to Gaza to assess the depth of the worsened humanitarian catastrophe now there. I have repeatedly called on the President to ask for and the Congress to vote not one more bomb, not one more dime for the Israeli war machine.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Big Party, Small Change: Baby, We Were Born to Run … the Empire
Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque

Obama Has to Hold Bush Accountable for the Laws He Broke
Elizabeth Holtzman, The Nation

Urge Congress to Enact Single-Payer Health Care
Capital Times Editorial

Activist Spreads King's Teachings on Nonviolence

Ruling on Records Delivers a Win to Cheney

On the Eve of Obama’s Inauguration
Barry Grey Commentary,

Obama’s Economic Plan is Not Going to Save Us
William Greider, The Nation

The Next Real Estate Crisis: Shuttered Stores and Empty Malls
Paul Craig Roberts, CounterPunch

Pete Seeger Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize
Peter Dreier

Historical Mystery of Bush's Presidency
Robert Parry

Mothers for Peace Take on Nuclear Waste Storage

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Carol [NYC] in sharing some of this weeks interesting news articles. Also, stay tuned for more "Personal News" updates.]

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Kucinich Condemns Israeli Attack on House Floor
Friday, January 16th, Democracy Now!
Speaking on the House floor, Democratic Congressmember Dennis Kucinich condemned the attack on the UN compound, saying, “Using US planes, helicopters and munitions to attack a wounded, starved and thirsty civilian population of mostly children trapped in a box called Gaza has become acceptable, perhaps because we have already accepted the deaths of over one million innocent civilians in Iraq in a war based on lies…When we recognize the humanitarian disaster in Gaza, when we come to grips with the reality of suffering on both sides, we may yet find a way to save ourselves.” Kucinich has been one of the few members of Congress to publicly oppose the Israeli attack on Gaza.

How Republican Is Mr Obama?
George Kenney, Electric Politics

Kucinich Ready to go After the Federal Reserve!

Kucinich on the Destruction of the UN Headquarters in Gaza

Why Big Finance is Laughing all the Way to the Bank
Rob Larson, AlterNet

Obama’s Perilous Compromise with Wall Street Looters
Jeffrey Klein, Huffington Post

US Weaponry Facilitates Killings in Gaza

Will California Scandals Derail SEIU's Dream of Total World Domination?

“An Unconscionable Legacy” – Veteran White House Correspondent Helen Thomas on the Bush Presidency
Democracy Now!

Hundreds of Thousands of People Worldwide Protest on Day 15 of Israeli Invasion of Gaza
Saed Bannoura, IMEMC News

Obama Can Pump Trillions into the Economy, But No One Knows if it Will Work
Nicholas von Hoffman, The Nation

Memo to Obama: You Can Hold Bush and Cheney Accountable While Still Moving Foward
Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

Bank of America: Bad for America
ZP Heller, Brave New Films

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda (TX), Carol (NYC) and Judith (NYC) for their contributions of articles to the Duchess blog. You all rock!]

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coordinated Action in Honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – January 19th – 23rd

A Department of Peace and Nonviolence is directly related to Dr. King’s dream. To honor his memory and to continue his work towards a "beloved community" – New Yorkers for a Department of Peace [NYDoP] is coordinating a specific lobbying effort next week.

All next week, after the MLK holiday on Monday Jan. 19th, please contact Domenic Recchia, Chairperson of the Cultural Affairs Committee at 212-788-7045, fax 212-788-7769 or email and ask him for a hearing on City Council Resolution 627.

Looking at some of Councilman Recchia’s past actions, he is a good candidate to move this resolution forward.

"While at John Dewey High School, he joined the Council for Unity, a national non-profit organization, promoting racial harmony. As a member of the Council for Unity, he spread the organization's core message of empowering individuals and groups with the skills needed to promote unity, diversity and safety." Source:

Sounds like he’d certainly be open to the idea of a Department of Peace!

After you’ve made that call, fax or email, why not contact your Member of Congress (Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121), and ask him or her to support HR 808, the Department of Peace and Nonviolence bill.

After you’ve made your call, sent your fax or email please let us know you did so by emailing the NYDOP City Council Resolution (CCR) Committee at

Have questions? Need support? Call Kevin Fagan at 917.865.4763

With gratitude,
NYDoP CCR Committee

[Duchess Note: FYI ... the Duchess is a proud board member of "New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace" and also on the NYDoP CCR Committee. If you live in the NYC, please, lend us a hand with this endeavor. Thank you so much and be peace.]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

“New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace” City Council Resolution Committee mission and history

Councilmember Rosie Mendez first introduced the Department of Peace Resolution on November 29, 2006 with a press conference on the steps of City Hall. Resolution 627 is in support of legislation (HR 808) currently in the U.S. Congress, which would establish a Department of Peace in the Federal government. As of today, there are fifteen co-sponsors of this important Resolution. Since November 2006 several U.S. cities have successfully passed a Department of Peace Resolution … Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Portland. These cities recognize that a Federal Department of Peace would benefit their communities in many ways. At present there are 35+ cities whose local governing bodies have passed similar legislation. This represents more than 12 million U.S. citizens. NYDoP CCR Committee finds this fact to be quite inspiring and we continue to strive towards New York City's residents joining those ranks!

We are looking for volunteers to help us in this quest, and urge you to call or write your City Council member about Resolution 627. We are striving for a hearing within the City Council “Cultural Affairs” committee and then on to a final vote. Please click on to obtain contact info for your City Council member and have them request a hearing on Resolution 627 in the Cultural Affairs committee.

Let us work together, peacefully, in making this a reality. Thank you and be peace.

Inauguration Day Postcard for Peace Campaign 2009

The current national US Dept of Peace group campaign is to send postcards to President Elect Obama on Inaguration Day asking him to make funding violence prevention programs a top priority of his presidency.

Some suggested ideas you can use or adapt:

  • Make violence reduction and prevention a top priority in your first term
  • Invest in proven violence prevention efforts for our schools and homes.
  • Strengthen peacekeeping efforts internationally through our foreign assistance and diplomacy.
  • Lead us to peace with all your efforts.
  • As part of the Department of Peace campaign, I am urging that violence prevention and peacebuilding programs and policy be one of the top priorities of your legacy.
For more information, click here:

In addition, our New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace chapter had the additional idea to try and get 10 "key community leaders" to send postcards. These are people who represent a lot of others, such as the president of a nonprofit organization dong peace work, teachers, policeman, clergy, college professors doing research on nonviolence, etc. Think about who you might know in your community and ask them to write a postcard too!

Collect as many as you can between now and January 20, 2009!

VERY IMPORTANT: Please email and let me know if you collect any - it will help our campaign keep track of results.

On January 20, 2009, mail all of your postcards to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenuew NW
Washington, DC 20500

Thank you so much for reading - feel free to pass on to anyone you think might be interested!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace warmly invites you to join us, and others throughout the US, at the 5th Annual National Peace Conference in Washington, DC

Peace Within Reach - People & Politics Partnering for our Common Security
March 20-23, 2009 at the Hyatt Crystal City, Arlington, VA

Register Today – An historic 4-day event of inspiration, education, empowerment and effective peace action. For more information, go to

Confirmed Guest Speakers
Riane Eisler, social scientist & social activist
Rita Marie Johnson, Costa Rica’s Rasur Foundation
Azim Khamisa, CEO & Founder of Tariq Khamisa Foundation
Ocean Robbins, YES! Youth for Environmental Sanity
Rich & Yvonne St. John-Dutra, co-founders of Challenge Day
Swami Beyondananda, the Cosmic Comic

Other Guests
Bob Koehler, Tribune Media Services
Dot Maver, Peace Partnership International
Lisa Schirch, 3D Security Initiative
Members of Congress
Plus other leading experts on peacebuilding, global security, human security, domestic and international programs and so much more.

Peace Conference Fee(s)
$255-$355 sliding scale; Student* rate: $100
Those of us who can pay at the higher end make it possible for us to include the broadest cross-section of our population as possible. At the door, registration fees will increase to $275-$375 sliding scale for general registration, $120 for students, so don’t wait. Late Registration Fee – After March 19th and at the door conference fees increase, as stated above. For DC Metro and bus information, check out

* Note – Students under the age of 18 must have the name and contact information of their chaperone to complete registration. No more than eight students per chaperone.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Violinist in the Metro
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and
started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning.
He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
During that time, since it was rush hour, it
was calculated that thousands of people went
through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed
there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and
stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet
his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first
dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and
without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall
to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and
started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year old
boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid
stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother
pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning
his head all the time. This action was repeated by
several other children. All the parents, without
exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people
stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him
money but continued to walk their normal pace. He
collected $32. When he finished playing and silence
took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor
was there any recognition. No one knew this but the
violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians
in the world.

He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell
sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was
organized by the Washington Post as part of an social
experiment about perception, taste and priorities of
people. The outlines were: in a commonplace
environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive
beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize
the talent in an unexpected context? One of the possible
conclusions from this experience could be: If we do
not have a moment to stop andlisten to one of the best
musicians in the worldplaying the best music ever
written, how many other things are we missing?