Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, February 22nd, afternoon I headed into the city to attend a panel discussion at All Souls Church called “Current Climate in Iran”. There were four speakers and they were part of a non-violent delegation to Iran in Nov/Dec 2008. Some of their commentary … “Iranians want peace, also the world see the U.S. differently then we see the U.S. and we are not faithfully represented by our respective governments”. The Peace Task Force was hosting this event, and the discussions, along with slideshow, were very interesting and informative. To learn more, go to

Monday, February 23rd, evening I visited my friend Larry and treated him to Chinese take-out while he worked on my tax return for 2008. As always, I owe the friggin Federal government [worthless, greedy buggers] a few buckos, and I’ll get some funds back from NY State.

Tuesday, February 24th, evening I participated in the NYDoP CCR Committee conference call and our main focus was prep work for upcoming Community Board meetings in Manhattan.

Wednesday, February 25th, I worked most of the day at AIG copying tax returns. Today is also the first day of LENT; I gave up chocolate, bread, bagels and muffins until Easter Sunday.

Thursday, February 26th, evening I joined several members of the Park Slope Knit meetup at Sweet Melissa’s and had an enjoyable time.

Sunday, March 1st, I attended a fascinating and interesting lecture by Marc Sussman at the Community Church on East 35th Street. He also has a radio program on Air America on finances. He talked about emotional and spiritual recovery, and that we live in a nation of addicts. Said we are in an economic crisis, a global depression, worse than the 1930s. Plus, he also talked about “The CA Lesson”, renewable energy, water and geothermal.

Sunday, March 8th, I attended CodePinks “International Women’s Day” film screening [ie: Afghan Women: A History of Struggle], panel discussion and craft sale. Those on the panel were Kathleen Foster [director of the documentary we viewed], Fahima Vorgetts, and Fawzia Afzal-Khan. The latter writes for CounterPunch online. It mostly centered on the women and children of Afghanistan from the 1950s to present. There was mention of BANU Foundation and the following website I ran into Stephanie and Alice, both of whom worked with me on the 2007/2008 Kucinich presidential campaign.

Monday, March 9th, I worked all day at AIG helping with copying tax returns. Afterwards I had an appointment for treatment with my foot doctor.

Thursday, March 12th, was a busy day, not only at work, but afterwards at a Community Board meeting in Manhattan that I attended with Kevin and Joe. Went very well and we talked with Councilmember Mendez, as well as hand out all of our flyers. Afterwards the three of us went out for drinks and dinner; plus discuss upcoming peace conference, the CB meeting and current events.

Friday, March 13th, I took ½ a personal day to take care of things around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Sunday, March 15th, I was invited by my friend Cielito to participate in a free event at Matrix on Hudson Street. Matrix was trying out new hair care products on ladies who dye their hair. Afterwards I had a late lunch with Cielito at a funky pizza place in Greenwich Village.

Tuesday, March 17th, I participated in the NYDoP “working” meeting at the HealthyBody location. Kevin, Dawn and I presided over it. We had three new people [ie: Chris, Nick & James] attending, who were interested in DoP. Afterwards Kevin and I had a drink, plus nosh on French fries, at an Irish pub in the neighborhood. St Patrick’s Day was still be “celebrated” in noisy, full swing.

Thursday afternoon, March 19th, I joined Stephanie and many other anti-war protests at Union Square around 1pm. This is the sixth anniversary of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Sadly, not much of a turnout due to the “wet” weather, but those of us that were there peacefully protested with enthusiasm.

March 20th through 22nd – 5th Annual Peace Conference in Washington DC … a full report on this weekend will be posted soon on the Duchess blog, along with photos.

NYDoP at Peace Conference
[Kevin, Pat and Chris during lunch at the 5th Annual Peace Conference]

Marie Joe Carol and Karen
[Marie, Joe, Carol & Karen heading back to NYC from DC Peace Conference]

Wednesday, March 25th, I headed out to Coney Island hospital and joined Howard for a Community Board meeting. This area is part of Councilmember Recchia’s district and his is chairman of the Cultural Affairs committee where Resolution 627 is waiting for a hearing. I got home to watch last 45 minutes of LOST on the telly.

Thursday, March 26th, I took ½ a personal day from work to prep for Tolkien Reading Day, which was being held at my humble abode in Brooklyn.

[Some members of the NE Tolkien Society at recent Tolkien Reading Day]

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Why the End of America is Closer than You Think
Mike Adams,

The Reluctant Rock Star
Jessica Bennett, Newsweek

Pearl Jam Interview

Supporters Push for New Dept of Peace
Joe Maniscalco, NY Post

The Real AIG Conspiracy
Professor Michael Hudson, Global Research

Obama to Bring More Mercenaries to Afghanistan – Sound Familiar?
Jim Hightower, Global Research

Gold for Humanity
Robert Koehler, Tribune Media Services

Obama Press Conference Reveals Right-Wing Consensus in Washington
Patrick Martin, World Socialist

Powerful Banks and Government Handouts to the Rich: It’s Time for Protest
Zephyr Teachout, AlterNet

Obama Maneuvers to Protect Wall Street Bonuses
Barry Grey, World Socialist

Time to Take the Steering Wheel out of Geithner’s Hands
Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post
The issue isn’t whether Geithner’s a nice guy; it’s his ideas, which are as toxic as the assets that have hamstrung the economy.

They’re Not ‘Enemy Combatants’ Anymore, but Obama will Still Detain Them Without Charges
J.D. Tuccille, Civil Liberties Examiner

Obama Admin Moves to Protect Military Officials
Associated Press

Obama: Hypocrite on Health Care, Hater on Single Payer
Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Carol [NYC], Linda [TX], Judith [NYC] and Linda [NYC] for their contributions to this blog. Stay tuned for updates on "Personal News"; plus pix from 5th Annual Peace Conference in DC and Tolkien Reading Day.]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Lou Dobbs Interviews Dennis Kucinich [Re: AIG]
Listen to the conversation between Lou Dobbs and Congressman Dennis Kucinich here:

Oversight of Bank Bailouts CriticizedHouse Panel Faults Treasury for Not Forcing Firms to Reveal Overseas Deals
Amit R.Paley, Washington Post Staff Writer

Congressional investigators are criticizing the Obama administration for failing to police deals in which banks participating in the $700 billion federal bailout lent billions of dollars overseas, highlighting the growing political tension over the extent of government involvement in firms receiving taxpayer funds.A report by a House oversight panel, which was described to The Washington Post in advance of its release this week, raises questions about a $8 billion financing deal for Dubai by Citigroup (recipient of at least $45 billion in bailout funds); a $1 billion investment in India by J.P. Morgan (which got $25 billion from the government rescue); and a $7 billion investment in China by Bank of America (which got $45 billion from the bailout).

"When the American people find that their tax dollars, which were supposed to be used to get us out of this financial crisis, instead are being used to ship jobs and investments overseas, there will be outrage," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), chairman of the domestic policy subcommittee for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The report is a memo by that panel's Democratic staff.The report underscores the political strain between some lawmakers, who are pressing for much more government involvement in banks that receive federal assistance, and officials at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, who say it is impractical and counterproductive to approve every aspect of a bank's operation."We haven't seen this report so we cannot comment on its contents," Treasury spokesman Isaac Baker wrote in an e-mail.

"But the Administration's new Financial Stability Plan requires banks to detail how government funds will be used to increase or preserve lending and report back on their lending activity every month."The overseas deals by the banks were not illegal, the report concluded, and it is impossible to know whether they were funded with bailout dollars. The transactions also involve relatively tiny amounts of money for multitrillion-dollar companies that operate in dozens of countries.But congressional investigators nonetheless said they were troubled that Treasury oversight and reporting requirements did not force the banks to disclose the deals, which they said reflects a lack of scrutiny of the bailout.

Under the bailout's largest program, only the 20 largest recipients of money are required to file reports with the program's overseers, the report said, while the other 297 are not. The investigators also said that Treasury has not deployed personnel to any of the largest participants, other than a minimal presence at two. Even the filings required of the 20 largest recipients provide general monitoring of the bailout money's impact on lending activities, not the overall use of the taxpayer dollars, the subcommittee concluded."As a result, Treasury has limited ability to detect or prevent waste and abuse," the report concludes.The report also raises questions about Goldman Sachs's $2 billion repurchase of its own stock in December, which caused the share value to increase almost 20 percent.

That would have been a significant financial benefit for senior executives, who usually own large amounts of company stock. Congressional investigators are looking at whether the deal was an inappropriate way to enrich those top employees despite a public clamor for strict limits on executive compensation.Spokesmen for the banks either declined to comment or did not respond to e-mail and telephone messages yesterday."Treasury has not safeguarded taxpayers' money, yet Treasury is prepared to keep investing in a failed economic strategy when they don't even know what happened to the money they gave in the first place," Kucinich said. "This is a textbook definition of a taxpayer's nightmare.“

How to Fix Our Economy
J. Nayer Hardin, OpEdNews

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Linda [TX] in sharing these informative articles on Congressman Kucinich, and the current economic crisis. He continually does a great job in Congress; not only for his Cleveland constituents, but for all Americans. He should be the one in the White House ... he's got the years of experience, intelligence and has always been about "real" change. I've been a proud supporter of Dennis since the Summer of 2003, and always will be.]

Monday, March 16, 2009


Week of February 9th was very busy at work with lots of meetings regarding BSC [ie: Business Services Center], of which I’ve been part of since mid-January. On Monday the 9th … I also worked that afternoon at AIG helping out with copying tax returns.

Wednesday evening, February 11th, I participated in the NYDoP CCR Committee conference call and our main focus was prep work for following evening presentation at CB B11.

Thursday evening, February 12th, I took the F train to Kevin and Irene’s charming home in Brooklyn. At 6:45am Kevin and I drove to Bensonhurst, met up with Howard, and gave a presentation on Dept of Peace to Community Board B11. After our presentation we handed out flyers; plus briefly talked with a local newspaper reporter, staff person from Councilmember Gentile’s office, Monsignor Castello, Senator Vallone and Councilmember Gentile. From there the three of us headed over to Vegas diner for a late dinner and discussion on many diverse topics. Kevin drove Howard and I to our respective homes and came up with a glimmer of an idea for Brooklyn Pub Crawl for Peace. More later…………….

Tuesday evening, February 17th, was NYDoP’s first “speaker” event of 2009 and was held at Healthy Body NYC near Madison Square Park. Liz Gannon-Graydon was our speaker and, as always, her talks are so interesting and uplifting. The main topic of her discussion was called “What Better Looks Like”. About 10 of us attended and even my friend Cielito came by.

Thursday, February 19th, I worked most of the day at AIG helping with filing and tax returns.

[Duchess Note: More personal news to follow ... plus week of March 23rd an account of the 5th Annual Peace Conference from Washington DC. Stay tuned..................]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wonderful Article Regarding "New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace City Council Resolution Committee" Working Towards Bringing About DoP Resolution 627

Some wonderful news I wanted to share with you all! For those who have not seen it, the "New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace City Council" Committee’s efforts at long last have paid off in no small fashion. Please read the article below. . . .

Let’s keep this momentum going!

Contact City Council Chairman Recchia’s office this week. either by phone, fax or email (or all three)! Tell his staff that you read about him in the NY Post talking about the Dept of Peace resolution and that you’d like to thank him for his receptiveness. Then make your request to his staffer: Please ask Councilman Recchia to call for a hearing on Resolution 627 in the very near future! Please share this with others in the NYC area who you feel would be supportive of the initiative.

I think this could really be the big push we at NYDoP have been working so hard for. Thank you for your supportive action and be peace.

Google Web Alert for: "New Yorkers for a Department of Peace"

New York Post - March 8th
Part of the Peace Alliance Campaign, members of New Yorkers for a Department of Peace are appealing directly to their Brooklyn neighbors to. . . . .

Friday, March 06, 2009

“LOST” – TV SHOW [Questions & Thoughts]

· What is the smoke monster? How did it come into being? Why does it live underground in an ancient temple?
· Who built and/or sculpted the huge statue [facing the ocean on the beach], that has 4 toes?
· How “old” is Richard Alpert? Why does not age over time? How did he come to be on the island?
· When did the ship, the Black Rock, come on shore? Were there any survivors?
· Of the original Oceanic flight, where are the survivors since Ben Linus moved the island?
· Who or what is the mysterious Jacob?
· Where did Charlotte’s “dead” body disappear to?
· Where did Frank Lapidus [pilot of helicopter etc] go with the passenger list/ manifest?
· Are the young Ben Linus and his father on the island in the 1970s?
· How is it that Hurley can see and speak with dead Oceanic flight passengers?
· How did Charles Widmore make his millions? And why did he leave the island after many years of living on it?
· What is Eloise Hawkings main connection to Dharma Initiative and the island? [Her last name is the same as Stephen Hawkings the physics genius & author.]
· What type of magnetic forces stem from the island and/or control it?
· How does the island travel in time?
· Why was the US military interested in the island back in the 1950s?
· Richard says Locke is special, how so?
· Why are there Polar Bears on the island?
· Is Claire alive or dead?
· What did Kate do with Aaron? [Personally, I think she gave him to Claire’s mother.]
· Are Penny and Desmond dead? If so, did Ben Linus do it?
· How is it possible that Locke is “alive” after being dead?
· Why does the Dharma Initiative fear the “hostiles”, whose leader appears to be Richard Alpert?
· Walt [ie: Michael’s son] is special too and has visions about the people on the island.
· Pregnant women seem to go full term leading up to the 1970s, but from 1990’s onward die after first trimester or during labor. Why is this?
· Rose’s cancer disappeared and Locke could walk again. How did the island cure them?

[Duchess Note: More to follow, plus feel free to add your own to list above.]