Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Long Island Dept of Peace" group hosted an awesome and inspiring event on July 17th called "Empowering Women" out at Westbury, NY. In this photo is the "Core Peace Team" ... Duchess, Jade, Marie, Liz, Kathleen, Chris, Lisa, Norma, Eileen and Priscilla. About 20+ ladies attended the event [lots of networking, support, inspiration, etc] and another is scheduled for September. Liz and her hubby Rob host the website, "What Better Looks Like", and one can read more about the "Empowering Women" at ... be well and be peace.


From Democracy Now! Headlines:
US Has Delivered None of Pledged Aid Money to Haiti
CNN has revealed just four countries have delivered on any of the over $5.3 billion in new pledges collected at a major donor conference for Haiti’s reconstruction in March. Brazil, Norway, Estonia and Australia are the only countries to have paid so far, accounting for just two percent of the total pledged. The biggest donors, the US and Venezuela, haven’t paid anything so far. On Thursday, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official, John Holmes, said the UN is well short of its goal for building temporary shelters.

John Holmes: "Shelter, in particular, is at the front of people’s minds, and the almost 1.5 million people who are still living in tents or under tarpaulins are, to repeat myself again, in a very precarious situation. We need to accelerate the contingency planning for the hurricanes. We need to accelerate putting in place the arrangements and incentives for people to return to their houses and, in particular, for more transitional shelters to be built. We are planning some 125,000 and have so far built a few more than 5,000."

They’re All Grovelling and You Can Guess the Reason
Robert Fisk, The Independent

The Fall of Obama
Alexander Cockburn, CounterPunch Diary
Obama had his window of opportunity last year, when he could have made jobs and financial reform his prime objectives. That’s what Americans hoped for. Mesmerized by economic advisers who were creatures of the banks, he instead plunged into the Sargasso Sea of “health reform,” wasted the better part of a year, and ended up with something that pleases no one.

Russ Feingold Explains Opposition to Financial Reform Bill

Mixed Messages from the White House
Pearl Korn, Huffington Post
One day the President is called a progressive, the next he is a socialist, then a Fascist, then a non-American -- on and on the name-calling goes. Why do these labels even surface, and why do they seem to resonate with so many? One reason may be that while Obama preaches as a populist and even progressive on the stump, he governs as a Clintonian centrist in DC.

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Judith in sharing many articles.]

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

How to Build a City of Peace
Commentary by David Hazen

· Release all expectations. The less fixed your ideas about what it’s supposed to look like or how to get there or how soon, the more able you will be to recognize resources as they arise. This is a multi-year experiment, one step at a time, and may require re-starting the process several times.
· Regard everyone as a resource, because everyone in the city is a stakeholder, and no matter their level of involvement, they each have a unique contribution to make. Peace is about inclusiveness.
· Focus on the process, not the result. In order to empower citizens to take action, create connection that is heart-to-heart, face-to-face, and create an abundance of time and space for conversation to occur. Encourage listening and empathy skills. Build the common story of what’s valued.
· Create a movement, not a campaign. Don’t take positions, make declarations, become institutionalized, or issue-focused. This is about maintaining a vision and hope of what is possible, not about policies or politics. Focus on strengths and positive assets, and they will become stronger.
· The National Peace Academy “Peacebuilding Peacelearning Intensive” is scheduled for the first week of August in Wilmington, Ohio. Go to for more information.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Saturday morning, June 19th, my cleaning lady [Dana] stopped by to assist me with my humble abode. Rest of the day was spent at farmers market, laundry, grocery shopping, manicure, cleaners, etc.

On Sunday afternoon, June 20th, I hosted an “English / Harry Potter” themed tea party at my home. I’d originally invited several members from TGTSNBN, and at the last minute several couldn’t attend due to illness. Linda and Deborah were able to attend and we had a lovely time conversing on topics from Harry Potter to ancient civilizations, as well as noshing on the assorted Vegan goodies I whipped up. I brought out all the tea service items, good plates/platters, flowers in vases and displays of my Harry Potter items. Plus, we all dressed up in our Renaissance and witchy attire. The Vegan menu consisted of ... assorted tea sandwiches, lavender tea cookies, chocolate brittle, cupcakes, hummus, crackers, berry blast parfait, trail mix, white wine and of course tea. A good time was had by all and I really should entertain more, as I so enjoy having company at my humble abode.

On Tuesday, June 22nd, I participated in the 1st Annual E&Y Art Exhibit at the 5 Times Square location. As shown in the photo; I brought in two of my pastels and some of my bead style earrings to display. The exhibit was nicely attended, plus I sold 8 pairs of earrings.
Thursday, June 24th, I attended a panel discussion at the All Souls church on Lexington Avenue. I ran into Stephanie Locker and we sat through the 1 ½ hour fascinating panel discussion on “The Role of Medical Professionals in US Sponsored Torture”.

Friday evening, June 25th, several of us volunteers, via City Harvest, received a free tix to attend the METS game at CitiField. Weather was great and my seat [section 101] was looking down on right field. Great game and the Mets beat Minnesota 5 to 2.

Saturday, June 26th, started out with Gail and Sage [photo above] joining me at the local farmers market to pick up some yummy goodies. Weather was already feeling warm and humid. Afterwards I jumped on the G train to the F train to boogie down to Coney Island to participate in the “Hands Across the Sand” demonstration. [Photo below] This worldwide peaceful protest was in response to the horrific oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by BP.

Got home around 1:45pm to relax for abit, eat lunch, shower, change clothes and then head into Manhattan to volunteer with City Harvest at the Union Square farmers market. Then at 7pm I met up with my friend Jackie to head out for dinner at Cosi and some shopping. I was home by 11:45pm. Whew!

On Sunday, June 27th, I took the 11:48am on MetroNorth and headed up to Somers, NY to meet with Andi DePalma for the Arbonne presentation. [ ] Andi was giving the presentation and demonstration at her friend’s charming home in Somers, NY. Enjoyed chatting with the hostess and her guests, plus hearing Andi’s presentation, and even purchased some of the Arbonne makeup. I’ll make a few more purchases of these products down the road. The Arbonne line has been around 30 years and first created in Switzerland. Andi says that the products are Vegan and not tested on animals, which works quite nicely for me.

PEACE QUOTE OF THE DAY ... "Five great enemies to peace inhabit with us: avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. If those enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace." Francesco Petrarch