Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Letter to the President on Healthcare

Mr. President,

With all due respect, I do not believe that your rhetoric matches the reality. You are afraid to challenge the status quo as represented by the insurance industry.

I support single payer health care, HR 676, which you do not. You do not speak for me, nor other Americans, on health care reform.

On this issue, it seems that you prefer to compromise with the Republicans in Congress in name of achieving some form of consensus.

Don't count me in. I dissent from your plan.

I support single payer. Medicare should be extended to ALL Americans. "We the People" demand it! It works for the elderly. And single payer works in Europe and Canada.

It is time to be a leader instead of letting the Republicans set the national agenda once again.

Respectfully, Ms C of B

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Kucinich Introduces Legislation to Audit Federal Reserve’s Response to Economic Crisis

Changing Obama’s Mindset
Howard Zinn, Common Dreams

Our President, Our War?
Steve Weissman, Truth Out
Obama campaigned vigorously in favor of fighting an aggressive war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He chose as his National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones, one of the leading advocates of a major American push in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And the entire administration has endlessly repeated that they intend to stay in the region for the long haul. Yet, 51 Democrats in the House stood up against the insiders and refused to go along.

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda Z and Judith for their contributions.]

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday afternoon, April 1st, I attended a one-hour BSC meeting with our manager. That evening I participated in the NYDoP CCR Committee conference call regarding recent Community Board meetings, and a new agenda to focus our efforts on for R627.

Thursday evening, April 2nd, I joined others from TGTSNBN at Café Metro for the monthly HP meetup. The evening was in celebration of the Weasley twins [Fred & George] birthday and any other member who was born on April Fools Day. It was very enjoyable and some members did comic sketches that were HP themed.

Saturday, April 4th, I joined many members from TGTSNBN at Riverside Park for Quidditch. Afterwards we trekked over to TOAST for a delicious, warm brunch and lively conversation. Then I joined a few members [ie: Elaine, Pam, Deanna, Christian and Lisa] in going to the Scottish Tartan Day parade on 6th Avenue. From there I headed up to B&N on the Westside to purchase more of Lynn Kurland’s wonderful time-travel romance novels.

Tuesday evening, April 7th, I participated in the monthly Peace Alliance “all call” at 9pm. Lynn McMullen was the host and the guest speaker was Juan Pacheco; who currently volunteers as the East Coast Representative for Barrios Unidos–Virginia Chapter. Barrios Unidos is a youth violence prevention / intervention and community awareness organization. The uniqueness of Barrios Unidos, Inc. lies in its transformational approach. Barrios Unidos offers hope by exposing youth to the power of resiliency through utilizing adults and older youth who have themselves experienced and overcome the challenges young people face. Barrios Unidos believes that drawing upon the resources of adults and older youth that have made it out of the “street life,” assists youth in choosing life-affirming behavior, positive self-esteem, constructive goals, supportive community, and cultural pride. Mr. Pacheco provides many motivational speeches and presentations, as well as running educational and recreational youth groups. He founded the Kids Club/Computer Lab program, in addition to organizing many community activities. Juan was also a guest speaker at the recent 5th Annual Peace Conference in Washington DC, which I attended with other members of NYDoP.

Wednesday evening, April 8th, I attended the NYC LOST meetup at the Irish Rogue pub. Also joining me was fellow TGTSNBN member, Deborah. We had a great time and it was awesome chatting with other LOST fans about the show, and our “theories” on certain storylines.

Easter weekend, April 10th through 12th, I visited my parents, plus my brother and sister-in-law, in upstate New York. Activities over the holiday weekend included … ride my bike, yard work with Dad, hair salon appt, brunch at Country Gals Café, shopping at “Over the Moon” bead shop, cable TV, etc.

Saturday evening, April 18th, I joined my friend Cielito in a Landmark Forum event, which was followed by a Sock Hop.

Sunday, April 19th, I volunteered with others at the annual MS Walk, and we were stationed at Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn. That evening I joined my friend Linda in attending a “talk” regarding Night Hawk Minerals. It was at someone's cool, funky apartment in the Union Square/Chelsea area of Manhattan. Jay Gutierrez spoke with clarity, passion, intelligence and charm about his business ... Night Hawk Minerals. He's been committed for 20 years in helping people to wellness via these “Stone & Radiation Hormesis”. I purchased one of the items, a charming necklace, which I’ve been wearing since Monday. One of these days I want to purchase the “kit”, but for now the necklace will suffice. Check out more on this topic at

Tuesday evening, April 21st, I participated in the New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace “training” meeting, which was hosted by Marianne and Kevin.

Early Tuesday evening, April 23rd, I joined Kevin in attending Community Board Manhattan #2 meeting down on the Greenwich Village & Chelsea border. We’ve been plugging DoP HR 808 and of course New York City Council Resolution 627.

Tuesday, April 28th, I joined Kevin and Howard in attending Community Board Brooklyn #15 meeting out at Kingsborough Community College. Howard and I met up at Kevin’s home in Windsor Terrace neighborhood in Brooklyn, and then drove out to the college near Brighton Beach. It was a really good meeting with some interesting interaction among the CB members. Afterwards the three of us talked briefly with Councilmember Fidler and a news reporter from Brooklyn’s own News 12.

Thursday evening, April 30th, I participated in the NYDoP CCR committee conference call.


Kucinich Asks AIG Why It’s Denying Claims From Injured Contractors in Iraq
T.Christian Miller, Herald de Paris

Kucinich to Geithner: Deny Citigroup Bonus Request

Why Are Bankers Still Being Treated as Beltway Royalty?
Arianna Huffington

Kucinich on Budget Resolution: I Simply Cannot Endorse a Budget or a Plan that Authorizes the Expansion of Way

Congressman Asks SEC to Investigate BofA Bonuses
Ellie Behling, Plan Adviser

Kucinich: Federal Reserve No More “Federal” than Federal Express

The Ed Show: Representative Kucinich says we are getting deeper into Afghanistan and will vote against the funding of the war, like other progressive Democrats

Kucinich Asks ‘Are Banks’ Profits Inflated by FASB Ruling?

Cabinet Department Would Give Peace a Chance
Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star

Obama’s Iraq: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Jeremy Scahill, Common Dreams
While the US tries to present a new face, the ugliness of the occupation continues. Now it seems combat troops won’t exactly withdraw from Iraqi cities on June 30th.

Mortgaging the White House
Bill Moyers & Michael Winship, TruthOut

[Duchess Note – Many thanks to Carol and Linda for the many interesting and informative articles they continue to send my way. So that I can continue to share a wealth of news and facts with my many readers. Let's come together and bring about real peace non-violently.]

Friday, May 08, 2009

Reaffirming Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Vision
Shared by "Network of Spiritual Progressives"

Julia Ward Howe offered her Mother's Day Proclamation to the world in 1870. Her dream was the establishment of an international Mothers' Day Festival dedicated to the cause of nonviolent resolution of conflict and international solidarity among all women. Her pacifist consciousness had been provoked by the bloodshed of the Franco-Prussian War. Her activism was cultivated in the struggles for abolition of slavery and the quest for women's suffrage. She had the proclamation translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Swedish, working for the establishment of Mother's Day in concert with women internationally celebrating peace and women's empowerment.

Howe died in 1910, four years before President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the day in 1914 in response to the burgeoning success of the movement she inspired. But Wilson avoided any mention of the thrust of Howe's cause in his declaration, instead emphasizing only the nurturing "home and hearth" dimension of motherhood. He also spurned the internationalist concern that was central to Howe's consciousness, distorting this into American nationalism. Howe's central concerns, the universality of motherhood and its natural expression in anti-war sentiment, was excised from the official meaning of the day.

President Wilson proclaimed: "Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."

Compare this to Howe's far more high minded vision, still so desperately needed in this suffering divided world. Here is the text of her 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation, so prescient in its understanding, so courageous in its call, so plaintiff in its currency nearly a century and a half later.

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

This is by Jonathan Klate who resides in Amherst, Massachusetts where he writes frequently about spirituality, compassionate politics, and the relationship between these two. Please feel welcome to forward.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Update on General Dept of Peace News

New HR808 Co-Sponsor[s]
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) have become our co-sponsors of HR 808, the legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace. That brings the total of co-sponsors up to 68. Awesome news!

Gentle Reminder … Friday, May 8th, is “Peace Wants a Piece of the Pie” day. This is the Friday before Mother’s Day were Dept of Peace chapters around the USA bring pie to their Congressional reps local office and talk about HR808. Make an appointment today with your Congressional reps office and bring some pie on the 8th.

5th Annual Peace Conference
Washington DC - March 20th through 23rd
The Peace Alliance’s Photo Gallery ...

2009 National Conference Blog ...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Message from Ralph Nader

There are no more excuses for the Democrats.
The Democrats now admit that they control the procedure in Congress and can pass whatever health care reform they want. Without one Republican vote. And President Obama can sign it. What should they do? They should pass single payer.

Everybody in. Nobody out.
For prevention and treatment. For free choice of doctors and hospitals. No more premiums, deductibles, exclusions, co-pays, in-network, out-of-network rigmarole. No more family medical bankruptcies.

No more pay or die.
No more pay or become sicker. Single payer is the only system that will work. It's the most efficient. Single payer will cut out literally hundreds of billions in administrative fat, billing fraud and unconscionable profits. These savings will be used instead to insure the 50 million uninsured and the millions more underinsured. This will save lives. Starting with the more than 21,000 Americans who die every year from lack of health insurance. According to recent polls, the majority of the American people want single payer. So do the majority of doctors, nurses, and health economists.

So, what will the Democrat leadership do? They will keep single payer OFF the table.
Because they fear the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry, and want their campaign money, more than they fear the American people.

Or as Speaker of the House Pelosi told reporters last week:

"Over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, and single payer. Well, it's not going to be a single payer."

Who is Nancy Pelosi speaking for? Not for the American people! Not for those who will die or get sicker month after month. How are we to respond? Focus our collective creative energy on Congressional offices around the country -- offices of all 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate. That's why we have set up Single Payer Action.

Less than two months old and already Single Payer Action is making waves.
In front of Congressional offices from Martinsburg, West Virginia to Seattle, Washington. On Capitol Hill, standing up to the corporate lobbyists and their lackeys in Congress. And on the web, challenging the corporate controlled media to put single payer back on the table of public debate. There is support in Congress for single payer. Already, 76 House members support HR 676 - the single payer bill in the House.

But the Democratic leadership in Washington has taken single payer OFF the table.

They meet regularly behind closed doors with insurance and drug industry lobbyists, to thwart single payer.

Time to turn up the heat and get the word out to the American people. We can make it happen; “we the people” can make this happen in our life time.

List of Books I’m Very Interested In Reading
All the Shahs Men – S.Kinzer
The Real Age Makeover – Roizin
Thomas Paine & Promise of America – Harvey Kay
Persian Mirrors – Elaine Sciolino
The Ayatollah Begs to Differ
Crimes against Nature – Robert Kennedy Jr
Simply In Season – Mary Beth Lind
Ethics for New Millennium – Dalai Lama
Fortunate Son – Hatfield
Best Democracy Money Can Buy – Greg Palast
The Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan
Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein
No Debate – George Farah
The 12 Caesars – Seutonis
The Image – Daniel Boorstin
Moyers on America/A Journalist & His Times – Bill Moyers
What’s Wrong with Kansas? – Thomas Frank
Perfectly Legal – David Gate Johnson
Jesus Before Christianity – Albert Nolan
The Church before Christianity – Wes Howard-Brook
The Last Algonquin – T.L. Kazimiroff
Fog Facts – Larry Biner
Fooling with Words – Bill Moyers
Radical Simplicity – Jim Merkel
Fingerprints of the Gods – Graham Hancock
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Red Tent – Anita Diamant