Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Whistleblower: America's Hidden Health Nightmare
Paul Harris, The Observer: "Wendell Potter can remember exactly when he took the first steps on his journey to becoming a whistleblower and turning against one of the most powerful industries in America. It was July 2007 and Potter, a senior executive at giant US healthcare firm Cigna, was visiting relatives in the poverty-ridden mountain districts of northeast Tennessee. He saw an advert in a local paper for a touring free medical clinic at a fairground just across the state border in Wise County, Virginia."

Waxman: Talks "Back From the Brink"
Patrick O'Connor and Glenn Thrush, The Politico: "Late Friday, Democrats stepped back from the precipice of intra-party war – and back to the health care bargaining table – hours after a bitter verbal spat between top Blue Dog Democrats and Henry Waxman, the liberal chairman of House Energy and Commerce Committee."

Rich Have Highest Wealth, Lowest Taxes Since 1929
David Sirota, "Here's a truism: The wealthiest 1 percent have never had it so good. According to government figures, 1 percenters' share of America's total income is the highest it's been since 1929, and their tax rates are the lowest they've faced in two decades."

The Great Tax Con Job
Thom Hartmann, "A very small niche of America's uber-wealthy have pulled off what may well be the biggest con job in the history of our republic, and they did it in a startlingly brief 30 or so years. True, they spent over three billion dollars to make it happen, but the reward to them was in the hundreds of billions - and will continue to be."

Kucinich Wins Amendment to Increase Access to Early Education Programs for All

Minimum Wage, Health Care, And April Greer,-Health-Care,-And-April-Greer

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda in TX in sharing some of the above interesting and informative articles. Please feel free in sharing them with others.]

Monday, July 27, 2009

Words Are Windows [or They’re Walls]
By Ruth Bebermeyer

[Duchess Note: This poem is from a M.B.Rosenberg book on NVC (nonviolent communication). The poem brings to mind conversations I’ve had with friends, acquaintances, family and individuals from the past. This poem really speaks it all quite clearly for me.]

I feel so sentenced by your words,
I feel so judged and sent away,
Before I go I’ve got to know,
Is that what you mean to say?

Before I rise to my defense,
Before I speak in hurt or fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?

Words are windows, or they’re walls,
They sentence us, or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.

There are things I need to say,
Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don’t make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?

If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn’t care,
Try to listen through my words,
To the feelings that we share.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Kucinich – “Troop Movement Should Not be Confused with a Troop Withdrawal from Iraq”

Kucinich Opening Statement to Committee on America’s Affordable Health Choices Act

A Real Win for Single-Payer Advocates
John Nichols, The Nation

Kucinich Secures Congressional Victory for States’ Single Payer Drive

Kucinich Statement on the Passing of Walter Cronkite

[Duchess Note – Many thanks to Linda in TX in sharing these articles.]


Regarding the Late, Great Walter Cronkite - Thank you Walter Cronkite for your endorsement and public support for a U.S. Department of Peace [HR808]

‘Blowout Profits’ for Goldman Sachs? Capitalism Ain’t Supposed to be Like This
Joshua Holland, AlterNet

Obama’s Midwest Blunder
Michael Lind, The Daily Beast

Obama Charges Backward on Health Care
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

‘The Dump the Sick to Satisfy Investors’: Insurance Exec Turned Whistleblower Wendell Potter Speaks Out Against Healthcare Industry
Democracy Now!

Obama’s Health Care Charade
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

Walter Cronkite Dies
Greg Kandra, CBS News: "Walter Cronkite, who personified television journalism for more than a generation as anchor and managing editor of the 'CBS Evening News,' has died Friday night in New York. He was 92."

Foreclosures at Record High in First Half 2009 Despite Aid
Lynn Adler, Reuters: "U.S. home foreclosure activity galloped to a record in the first half of the year, overwhelming broad efforts to remedy failing loans while job losses escalated."

Obama’s Emerging Legacy: Wars, Bankers and For-Profit Healthcare
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

“Watch What We Do, Not What We Say”
Alexander Cockburn, Counter Punch Diary

Now Can We Investigate?
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "President Obama is in the process of losing what may be the most important argument of his young administration. The argument is not about health care, bank bailouts, the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, the environment or the auto industry, though arguments on these issues are indeed ongoing and hanging in the balance. No, the Obama administration is losing the argument about the past being less important than the future."

Linda McQuaig Rich Cause the Crisis, Workers Get the Blame

Is Obama Continuing the Bush/Cheney Assassination Program?

The Democrats' Selective Amnesia on Assassination: Clinton Did It and Obama Does It Too
Jeremy Scahill, Rebel Reports: "Members of Congress have expressed outrage over the 'secret' CIA assassination program that former vice president Dick Cheney allegedly ordered concealed from Congress. But this program - and the media descriptions of it - sounds a lot like the assassination policy implemented by President Bill Clinton, particularly during his second term in office."

Honoring Paul Wellstone's Legacy: Fighting Like Hell for Health Care Reform
Mike Elk, The Huffington Post: "Last week, Al Franken, a friend of Paul's who had been inspired to run for office by Paul's death, took back Paul's old seat from Republican Norm Coleman ... I thought about how Paul would be down on the floor of the Senate to talk about the 20,000 people that die every year due to a lack of health coverage, or to talk about how his access to quality health care as a United States senator allowed him to continue having a productive life despite his semi-debilitating multiple sclerosis."

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Judith and Carol for sharing articles on latest developments around the US and the World.]

Friday, July 17, 2009

MESSAGE FROM THE PEACE ALLIANCE - Youth PROMISE ACT Congressional Hearing - A Historic Success!

On Wednesday members of "The Peace Alliance" attended the Crime subcommittee congressional hearing on the Youth PROMISE Act (HR 1064). The room was PACKED with people. Attendees were sitting on the floor just for the opportunity to support the legislation or learn more about bill. The powerful witnesses at the hearing explained the need for the YPA, the effectiveness of prevention programs, and how the Youth PROMISE Act would pay for itself through the cost-savings of prevention initiatives. The attending members of Congress all engaged the panelists with questions and comments, including two Republicans that did not co-sponsor the bill but appeared to give serious consideration to the legislation.

As they sat in the hearing room, members of The Peace Alliance felt that they were watching history unfold. This one piece of legislation represents a transformational approach to how Congress handles violence in America: from an emphasis on being tough on crime to being smart on crime, from a focus on suppression to a focus on prevention. The room was alive with interest as the hearing came to a close, leading to great excitement about the possible next steps for the Youth PROMISE Act. After the hearing members of The Peace Alliance connected with the panelists and approached Bobby Scott to personally thank him for his commitment to this work.

Before the hearing Representative Scott's office held a press conference on Youth PROMISE Act that was also very successful and well attended. Scott's office requested that The Peace Alliance give a short speech at the press conference. Scott's staffers were so impressed with Aaron's words that they have requested he submit his speech to go on record for the Subcommittee hearing itself.

The Peace Alliance will continue to update everyone with all the exciting developments from Washington D.C. Thanks for all of your support and stay tuned for more great opportunities to support this incredible piece of legislation!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Normon Solomon Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan
Norman Solomon, Truthout: "The president has set a limit on the number of US troops in Afghanistan. For now. That's how escalation works. Ceilings become floors. Gradually. A few times since last fall, the Obama team has floated rising numbers for how many additional US soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. Now, deployment of 21,000 more is a done deal, with a new total cap of 68,000 US troops in that country."

Thousands Protest in Iran, Defying Crackdown Vow
Nasser Karimi, The Associated Press: "Thousands of protesters streamed down avenues of the capital Thursday, chanting 'death to the dictator' and defying security forces who fired tear gas and charged with batons, witnesses said. The first opposition foray into the streets in 11 days aimed to revive mass demonstrations that were crushed in Iran's post-election turmoil."

Chris Hedges: The Crooks Get Cash While the Poor Get Screwed
Chris Hedges, Truthdig: "Tearyan Brown became a father when he was 16. He did what a lot of inner-city kids desperate to make money do. He sold drugs. He was arrested and sent to jail three years later for dealing marijuana and PCP on the streets of Trenton, N.J., mostly to white kids driving in from the suburbs. It was a job which saw him robbed at gunpoint and stabbed in the chest. But it made him about $1,400 a week."

Dahr Jamail: US Occupation of Iraq Continues Unabated
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "We have passed the June 30 deadline that, according to a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between US Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on November 17, 2008, was the date all US forces were to have been withdrawn from all of Iraq's cities. Today, however, there are at least 134,000 US soldiers in Iraq - a number barely lower than the number that were there in 2003. The SOFA is a sieve, and the number of US military personnel in Iraq is remaining largely intact for now."

Jim Hightower: July 4th, Rebel and Agitate for Change
Jim Hightower, AlterNet: "Agitators created America, and it's their feisty spirit and outright rebelliousness that we celebrate on our national holiday. I don't merely refer to the Founders, either. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin and the rest certainly were derring-do agitators when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, creating the framework for a democratic republic."

Scott Tucker: The Age of Paine
Scott Tucker, Truthdig: "Thomas Paine was born Jan. 29, 1737, in Thetford, England, and died on June 8, 1809, in Greenwich Village, New York. He was an active participant in the American and French revolutions, and once said to George Washington, 'a share in two revolutions is living to some purpose.' Through his writings he also left a lasting legacy in the British working-class movement. During his life, his books and pamphlets became instant best-sellers, since he was a pioneer in addressing a wide public in plain language."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Made of Lies
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout
It began more than six years ago with a lie, followed by another lie, and another lie, and then two more, ten more, a hundred, a thousand, an avalanche of lies from heads of state and hatchet men and well-fed media types more interested in getting the interview than in getting the facts.

[Duchess Note – Yes, quite true, that our soldiers are being deployed “out” of the cities, but in reality it proves nothing. There continue to be many “occupied” US bases “outside the cities”. Maliki is the current dictator puppet for the US government. He says one thing, but means something else entirely, as does the US government. The US military and mercenaries are still there and it’ll continue to be business as usual. We are not leaving Iraq! Never! Thousands of American soldiers could die, or be maimed, over there and the US will not leave, and that applies to Afghanistan as well. The truth is there is too much money to be made by the mercenaries, contractors, arms merchants, and Big Oil. Once the current dictator is no longer an asset for the US, they will simply find another puppet and another and another.]

Kucinich: “Troop movement should not be confused with a troop withdrawal from Iraq”

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement regarding the announcement that U.S. troops have left the cities and towns of Iraq and turned over formal security to Iraqi security forces.

“The withdrawal of some U.S. combat troops from Iraq’s cities is welcome and long overdue news. However, it is important to remember that this is not the same as a withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors from Iraq.

“U.S. troop combat missions throughout Iraq are not scheduled to end until more than a year from now in August of 2010. In addition, U.S. troops are not scheduled for a complete withdrawal for another two and a half years on December 31, 2011. Rather, U.S. troops are leaving Iraqi cities for military bases in Iraq. They are still in Iraq, and they can be summoned back at any time.

“This is not a great victory for peace. On May 19, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Iraqi and U.S. military officials virtually redrew the city limits of Baghdad in order to consider the Army’s Forward Operating Base Falcon as outside the city, despite every map of Baghdad clearly showing it with in city limits. In fact, according to Section 24.3 of the “SOFA” U.S. troops can remain at any agreed upon facility. The reported reason for this decision is to ensure U.S. troops are able to ‘help maintain security in south Baghdad along what were the fault lines in the sectarian war.’

“This troop movement should not be confused with a troop withdrawal from Iraq. In reality, this is a small step toward Iraqi sovereignty as Iraqi security forces begin assuming greater control over security operations, but it is a long way from independence and a withdrawal of the U.S. military presence.”