Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Street Report From the G20
Bill Quigley, TruthOut
"The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become. What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did. Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people away, stop daily life and quash our constitutional rights. For days, downtown Pittsburgh, home to the G20, was a turned into a militarized, people-free ghost town. Sirens screamed day and night."

Police Use Painful New Weapon on G20 Protesters
Allison Kilkenny, AlterNet
"Pittsburgh police demonstrated the latest in crowd control techniques on protesters when they used 'sound cannons' to blast the ears of citizens near the G-20 meeting of world economic leaders."

Iran Campuses Rocked by Student Protests
Iason Athanasiadia, GlobalPost
"Hundreds of students shouting anti-government slogans took to the streets of Tehran and other cities Monday in another sign that Iran's opposition is still active, despite arrests and allegations of state torture and rape."

Monday, September 28, 2009


Why Peace Is Such A Tough Issue
Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Op-Ed

See Peace, Especially Today

Groups in Providence, RI Advocate for World Peace
Michael McKinney, Providence Journal

Promoting Peace

Woman Wages Campaign for Peace
By CINTHIA RITCHIE - September 17, 2009

When Seward banker Lori Draper sat down to surf the Web two years ago, she had no idea that the next Web site she visited would change her life. That’s what happened, though, when she inadvertently found herself on the Peace Alliance site. The organization, which promotes peace-building through personal, national and global interests, works toward the establishing of a U.S. Department of Peace.

"I read this and thought, 'Who would not want this?'" Draper said. She grabbed friend Kim Reierson and headed down to Washington, D.C., to the Peace Alliance National Conference. The experience was so inspiring that she became the state coordinator and district team leader of the only Alaska Peace Alliance branch. She also organized the Seward People for Peace earlier this year.

The group, which meets the second Monday of each month, lobbies legislators to pass laws dispelling violence and promoting peace.Members are currently concentrating on two bills: HR808, which would create a U.S. Department of Peace; and HR1064, the Youth Promise Act, which would provide community resources to youth who show violent or bullying tendencies. “The biggest dream is to get this legislation passed,” Draper said.

“Instead of always having to go to war and following the violent strategy, we can find nonviolent strategies that work.”The Peace Alliance was Draper’s first taste of a political action agenda. “When you go in to see the legislators and say you’re talking about peace, you can almost see them roll their eyes,” she said. “Once they see you aren’t going away, that you’re going to be there every year, they take you more seriously.”

Draper soon became frustrated at how long it takes to foster political change. “I say to myself, ‘This may not even happen in my lifetime,’ but I have to keep going,” she said. She hopes to spread optimism with the showing of the award-winning documentary “Soldiers of Peace” on Monday, which is also International Day of Peace. “I so often see hopelessness,” she said. “People say, ‘Oh, how can we make a dent in this? The violence is so big and beyond me.’ But by watching this movie they’ll see that small actions can make big differences.”

[NOTE: To learn more about the Dept of Peace campaign [HR808], go to www.thepeacealliance.org OR if you live in the NYC area and want to become more involved, take a moment and check out www.nyc-dop.com ]

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Monday, August 17th, I had a foot doctor appt to remove the rest of the stitches. Progress has been slow and steady since the surgery end of July. The bruising seems to take awhile to go away. Since August 15th I did away with the special bootie and happily wearing sneakers or colorful Crocs.

Wednesday evening, August 19th, I attended a Healthcare forum and panel discussion at Doug Biviano’s City Council campaign headquarters in Brooklyn Heights. Two doctors, a history professor and a senior citizen talk about their dealings with healthcare and insurance companies. All four were pretty much in favor of “universal / single payer” for Americans. You may observe some of the video footage of the event at …

Friday, August 21st, I volunteered with City Harvest at Union Square farmers market.

Sunday afternoon, August 23rd, I volunteered with the Josh Skaller City Council campaign at the CBID HQ in Park Slope for several hours to “cold call” registered Democrat voters in Josh’s district. While there I chat with Josh, Chris, Dan and Bobby. Josh’s wife recently gave birth to their second daughter and conveyed my congratulations. Afterwards I took F train into the Manhattan and met up with TJ in Greenwich Village for an enjoyable leisurely date. After gifting me a lovely, long stem rose, we strolled around that area for abit and made our way, with occasional pit stops, over to Washington Square Park to observe the “scene”. The same brothers, whose act we’d observed in July were there again, so we stopped to view it. It was the same routine and still very amusing. We ended up in the East Village and had a tasty dinner at “Dallas BBQ” near St Marks Place. While in the restaurant it rained heavily outside, so we took our time eating, and by the time we left the rain had slowed to a spritz. Weather wasn’t as hot and humid as it had been the week or so before. The heat wave was winding down and we were thankful for that. I don’t mind a warm day, but can easily do without the friggin humidity. After awhile my foot was bothering me, so we jumped on the cross town bus on 14th Street to 8th Avenue to catch our respective subways. Had a terrific time with TJ and enjoy his company a lot.

On Monday, August 24th, I had a foot doctor appt to check status of my foot. Slowly improving and still can’t get a much needed pedicure. Afterwards, I jumped on a terrific, fascinating Peace Alliance conference call regarding the “rough draft” of the new Dept of Peace “strategic plan”. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the new plan, but from the comments of the other callers it sounds really cool, and would take Dept of Peace into a more energized direction. To learn more, go to www.thepeacealliance.org

Wednesday, August 26th, I had another foot doctor appt and this time started therapy, which felt good. Afterwards, I jumped on the #3 subway to Brooklyn and to lend my office/computer skills to Doug Biviano City Council campaign. The NYS Primary is coming up quickly on Sept 15th. I already received my “absentee ballot” from NY Board of Elections in the mail. I’ll do my voting that way for Sept 15th, as I’ll be on vacation the week of Sept 13th down at the NJ shore. Do not want to miss placing my vote[s].

Friday, August 28th, I volunteered with City Harvest at Union Square farmers market.

Saturday, August 29th, I volunteered several hours at Doug Biviano’s City Council campaign HQ in Brooklyn Heights. Lent my office and computer skills to the campaign; plus enjoy socializing with Doug, Henry and Wilson.

On Sunday, August 30th, I baked brownies and a carrot cake for Doug Biviano’s “roof top brunch & fundraiser”, which was held at One Grace Court in Brooklyn Heights. [This short block, near Montague Street in Brooklyn, is so pretty and charming.] The views of NYC harbor and lower Manhattan are awesome from the roof of this building. I brought my camera to take pix of the views and of course those attending the brunch. Speaking of the brunch, with a nice spread of assorted tasty edibles; there was water, wine, lemonade and ice tea, plus my desserts. I enjoyed the brunch very much, as well as chatting with those who attended about local/national politics and yes, even healthcare crisis.

Tuesday, Sept 1st, had a foot doctor appt [ie: therapy] and that evening I jumped onto a Peace Alliance conference call at 9pm. Really good call with discussions on “strategic plan”, volunteering, fundraising, DoPeace, grassroots media, Student Peace Alliance, spiritualism, Facebook, peace parties and so much more. It was a terrific call, productive and yes, even inspiring. I’d been feeling, within myself and in my surroundings, a sense of disconnect and frustration with regards to DoP and NYC R627. I don’t like feeling like this, I really don’t, and a good jump start is very much required. I am still devoted to the DoP movement, and these occasional small or large lulls can be abit of a downer.

Wednesday evening, Sept 2nd, I headed up to Columbus Circle, just inside Central Park, to participate in a healthcare event and vigil hosted by MoveOn organization. Really good turnout for this event and the loudest cheers were for recorded speeches by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. I ran into some Brooklynite acquaintances [ie: Margie, Daniel, etc] whom I hadn’t seen since a Skaller campaign fundraiser in the spring. We talked about Brooklyn City Council campaigns, NYC politics and naturally healthcare.

Thursday, Sept 3rd, was an insane work day, well, the whole week was like that and I managed to get out of the office by 8pm. Five hours of overtime in four days! Mon dieu! I attended the last hour of the TGTSNBN meetup at Cafe Metro, and chat with fellow Harry Potter acquaintances about latest film, plus look at the pro photos from recent Cosplay on Governors Island. Around 9pm I took mass transit home and jumped on the awesome “World Can’t Wait” organization conference call at 10pm. The organization, headed by Debra Sweet, is working towards energizing the anti-war movement, especially with regards to Iraq and Afghanistan. US soldiers and civilians are dying and being maimed every single day. This madness has to stop and soon.

Friday, Sept 4th, I volunteered with City Harvest at Union Square farmers market.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Tongue-tied Liberals
Doug Henwood, Word Press

[Duchess Note: Many of us knew during the primaries of 2008 that a lot of this would happen. Many thanks to Judith in sharing this article and commentary.]

Bill Moyers: Money-Driven Medicine & the Real Reason Healthcare Costs so Much
Bill Moyers, Maggie Mahar

Obama Has Betrayed the Progressives Who Got Him Elected – So Now What Do We Do?
Allison Kilkenny, True/Slant

Ralph Nader The Drive for Single Payer

Bill Moyers says Obama Must Fight, Not Finesse

Swift-Boating Healthcare: Facts Are First Casualty in Health Care Debate