Wednesday, September 29, 2010

“Crimes are Crimes” – Message from World Can’t Wait and Mark Ruffalo

Actor Mark Ruffalo wrote to us today on why he signed Crimes Are Crimes and donated towards publishing it:

"These wars are unjust and the way they are being waged is unlawful. We are not winning hearts and minds. Americans are angry. Every day we see affronts to our laws by corporations and politicians, crimes that go unpunished. For the poor and powerless the law is cruel and unfair. That is the basis of our anger. We sense our country falling into chaos. That is because law does not seem to carry weight for the privileged and the powerful. Help us put an end to these hypocritical assaults on our constitution. Help us to restore integrity in the purpose of democracy."

You can take inspiration from his example and join us to make a big splash in The New York Times next week, in the midst of all commemorations and debate surrounding the anniversary of the start of the escalating war in Afghanistan.

As of 6pm Central on Sept 28th we're at $16,735 of the $30,000 needed towards placing this ad in The Times next week. Our goal is to place it during the same week that the war started - now the longest war in US history. People are donating in amounts from $5 to $1000 via credit card and check. This is very good - but we are not there yet.

You are needed! Please donate, call friends and contacts of World Can't Wait, email family members, stop strangers on the street, and let people know about this opportunity to break the silence over the war in Afghanistan. The funds are needed this week.

It has been 3 years now that an anti-war statement has appeared in The Times! Isn't it about time??

[Duchess Note: Join me and others in making a donation. Help WCW get this important ad into the NY Times. Please share this posting with family and friends. It's important to be informed and educated about the crimes committed in our name by our government and military.]

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sept 10th - 12th
Cape May, NJ

[Two watercolors I worked
on while participating in
the workshop. Need to
finish them up abit.]

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saying "No" to Corporate Control of Elections
Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, Prosperity Agenda

This is the first election after the Citizens United decision which gave corporations complete freedom to spend as much money as they want to influence the outcome of elections.

Citizens beware. Citizens get active. Our fragile democracy is at grave risk.

We've seen in Obama's time and office (and before) how corporations dominate Washington, DC. The health care "reform" turned out to be no reform at all, merely a re-enforcement of the insurance company dominated health care industry. And we saw how finance reform had to get the approval of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve before moving forward. Corporate welfare to the weapons industry, coal, nuclear and oil have continued or even grown under Obama. Now, we are seeing that is not enough for the oligarchs who control concentrated corporate power. They want more and are using massive spending on elections to get it.

A coalition of organizations has come together to expose organizations spending hundreds of billions in secret, unlimited donations that avoid campaign finance laws on the mid-term elections.

The most aggressive post-Citizens United elections operator is Karl Rove's American Crossroads working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber's Chief Counsel, Steven Law, who is also a former chief of staff to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, was named CEO of American Crossroads. These groups take secret donations, sometimes create front groups to put out their views and are doing the work that political parties normally do - from advertising and data base management to getting out the vote - but without the restrictions on the size of donations or the need for transparency.

I wrote about how corporate power was creating deceptive elections on August 25, and now TIME Magazine is writing much the same story warning that several hundred billion will be spent by corporations and their executives in this election. In addition to mass advertising in at least six states they report that American Crossroads will be spending $10 million national get-out-the-vote campaign that will include 40 million pieces of political mail and 20 million phone calls to voters in key states. Essentially, Republican Party electoral operations have moved from the Republican Party to American Crossroads. Some have described this as a coup of Michael Steele's Republican Party.

As a result, my organization, Prosperity Agenda, has joined, American Crossroads Watch, a sister group to Stop The Chamber. I serve as the spokesperson for both coalitions. We need your help in making this watchdog campaign effective. Please monitor your local media for actions being taken by American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce during these elections. If you see a suspicious new group - usually labeled "Citizens for . . ." or "Citizens against . . ." - that does not disclose who their donors are, you have probably found one of their front groups. Let us know about it. Write me at so we can look into it and report it. Part of our job is to let voters know how corporations are trying to deceptively influence Americans - usually to vote against the voters own interests.

Our watchdog campaign has put out rewards of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove and Tom Donohue, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. On August 4, 2010, we received a letter from a purported Chamber of Commerce insider who compares Tom Donohue to Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon and Bernie Maddoff, alleges fraud, campaign finance violations and financial impropriety. In a letter on behalf of our coalition I urged the FBI and DOJ to conduct an investigation of Tom Donohue and the Chamber based on this letter.

We have also requested the Department of Justice investigate the "shadow RNC", American Crossroads. In a letter on behalf of the coalition I suggest formation of a campaign finance task force that investigates these groups, sets up a tip line to encourage information on violations of law, requires preservation of records and monitors their activities. We've also urged the Federal Elections Commission to find that these groups are doing the work of a political party and issue an opinion that applies campaign finance limits to their actions.

You can assist our efforts by joining us in writing the Department of Justice urging a criminal investigation. In addition, please write your member of Congress and urge that they push the Department of Justice to investigate American Crossroads.

This is the first election after the Citizens United decision allowing unfettered corporate spending on campaigns. Citizens who want people to control government and not corporations need to be organized in challenging the abuses of corporate funding of elections. Please work with us to put a spotlight on those abuses so voters know they are being manipulated and in getting the government to act to restrict corporate domination of elections.

Thank you for your support.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Sunday, August 1st, I visited Eileen for two hours at Mt Sinai hospital. We talked about a number of topics and I had to wear a surgical mask, as Eileen was susceptible to infection. Afterwards strolled down Madison Avenue, picked up a snack before heading into Central Park near southern part of the Reservoir to sketch and read.

Tuesday, August 3rd, I participated in the terrific and always inspiring monthly Peace Alliance conference call, which was hosted by Matthew Albrecht and Lynn McMullen. To learn more about this wonderful organization, go to

On evening of August 5th, I attended TGTSNBN monthly meetup, which was held at a Chinese restaurant on eastside of midtown Manhattan. I wore some of my Hufflepuff attire for the occasion, and purchased two new wands from Pam and Liz. We played Harry Potter themed MadLibs, and it was a lot of fun. My only gripe about the evening was the terrible air conditioning in the restaurant, as it was warm and humid outdoors.

Friday evening, August 6th, after work I picked up some “health items” from Duane Reade for Eileen before heading up to Mt Sinai hospital to visit her.

Saturday, August 7th, I head out to New Jersey for Dawn’s baby shower. I met up with some funky friends of Dawn’s in southern Park Slope area. We rode out and back in their car, and the ride was one hour each way. Also, we were suppose to leave at 11am, and didn’t leave until 12:15pm due to waiting for another friend. Once at the baby shower it was all good and very enjoyable. Dawn and I are Vegans; so much of the food and dessert [not all] at the restaurant was geared towards vegans. My present to Dawn was a baby blanket I crocheted [photo below], along with a soft pretty shawl and a little stuffed toy. Dawn received lots of gifts for the baby; mostly clothing, toys and books. All the guests received a nice gift of a candle and organic planter. Afterwards, some of us were invited back to Bill and Dawn’s home for drinks, vegan goodies and lots of socializing. It was my first time visiting their charming home and meeting JJ their lovable dog. During her down time, Dawn keeps busy and active with her flower and veggie garden in their backyard. Overall, it was a very good day.

On Sunday, August 8th, I headed up to CT to visit my good friend Katherine. I met her at the South Norwalk train station, and after we parked her car near the event, we attended the annual SoNo Fest. We’ve been attending this annual festival for years. It’s tradition for us, just like going to Red Lobster on her birthday or attending the Pound Ridge Art & Craft Show in October. Since it was another warm, sunny day I purchased fresh fruit smoothies for us to sip on and keep us re-freshed. While sitting in a shaded area and listening to a local musician play beautiful tunes on his acoustic guitar, Kathy and I caught up on personal and family news. After the SoNo Fest we drove to Norwalk and had a tasty late lunch at an Indian restaurant, and then some shopping at B&N before I had to jump back on the train to NYC. Overall it was a good day and always a pleasure seeing my oldest, dearest friend.

On Thursday, August 12th, after a much needed pedicure, I chaired the NYdoPeace CCR Committee conference call. The topic was regarding the upcoming “creative card” campaign geared towards NY City Council and Resolution 14. To learn more about NYdoPeace, go to

Early Friday evening, August 13th, I joined Margaret at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to check out some exhibits [ie: French Art Nouveau & Modern Art] and then “Big Bamboo” creation up on the roof garden. The views from the roof garden are awesome, and even more so at sunset. Afterwards we strolled over to Madison Avenue to have a late dinner at a diner called Nectar and catch up on news.

On Saturday, August 14th, I visited my friend Sheila in New Jersey and we spent the afternoon in Princeton. Jumped on the 9am bus from Port Authority and Sheila picked me up at the Clearbrook stop around 10am. At Sheila’s charming condo we had a tasty lite brunch, caught up on news, and freshened up before the drive to Princeton. The weather was warm, but not that humid, with some clouds. We love walking around Princeton’s lovely campus and the town. [That is Blair Hall in the photo below.] Sheila and I did some shopping at “Pins & Needles”, and also a bead shop, followed by enjoying refreshing fruit smoothies. Oh yeah, I love the fresh fruit smoothies. I helped out with the driving on the way back, and we made a pitstop at a Stop & Shop to get salad bar goodies for our dinner. Before dinner I assisted Sheila with her new knitting project. She can knit, but always has trouble casting on. I also started my next knitting project where I’ll do sample “knit patterns”. After dinner we sat out on her deck drinking tea and chatting until I had to leave to catch the 7:40pm bus back to NYC.

On Sunday, August 15th, I met up with Mary near Penn Station at 10am, and our friend Dennis picked us up for the drive to Bethlehem, PA for the annual MusikFest. Took us roughly 1 ½ hours driving west through NJ and across the PA state line. Along the way we saw a sign for the Crayola attractions and factory. We all agreed that was another day trip for our “to do list”. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast, cool and with spots of rain throughout the day. This weather did not dampen the spirits of those who attended the MusikFest, including us. While Dennis drove us through Bethlehem looking for parking, Mary and I were gaping at all the lovely Victorian homes and buildings in this charming town. Wow! We decided to add “walking & carriage ride tour” to our “to do list” for another day trip. Oh yeah, we are definitely serious about this. Found parking, brought hats/jackets/umbrella’s, purchased our “food & drink” tickets and then got into the whole MusikFest atmosphere. From 12pm to 8:30pm Dennis, Mary and I checked out many diverse musical acts, arts & crafts, ate some good food and dodged rain drops. At one point we took a “free walking tour” of an old country inn, now a museum on Main Street, which had been around at least 300 years. Around 8:30pm we headed back to the car for the drive back to NYC. Oh my gosh, did we ever hit traffic at the Holland Tunnel. Mon dieu! Dennis and Mary dropped me off at my humble abode around 11:30pm and I was in bed by midnight. Another fun, terrific weekend is at an end.

Tuesday, August 17th, I joined other members of NYdoPeace to create “International Day of Peace” cards, with inspiring messages of peace, which we’ll mail to NY City Councilmember’s promoting Resolution14.

Wednesday, August 18th, I joined other City Harvest volunteers down at the Union Square farmers market.

Thursday evening, August 19th, I attended Doug Biviano’s fundraiser for NYC Assembly campaign in Brooklyn Heights.

Saturday afternoon, August 21st, my friend Judith visited Manhattan and we did lunch [ie: Nanoosh], shopping and a movie [ie: Eat, Pray, Love]. We caught up on the latest news, gossip and health issues. When I got home that evening I started to read the book [Eat Pray Love] by Elizabeth Gilbert. I was also reading the “Abhorsen Trilogy” by Garth Nix, which was lent to me by my friends Gail and Rob.

Week of August 23rd was busy with many projects at work, and overtime, as E&Y wends its way closer to the completion of the “tax mini season” on Sept 15th. During moments of “down time” I would work on a few NYdoPeace projects for upcoming Community Board presentations to educate folk on Dept of Peace and Resolution 14.

Thursday evening, August 26th, listened to the “World Can’t Wait” weekly conference call.

Friday evening, August 27th, I attended the Friday Nite Knits group at our fav spot in Kensington [Brooklyn]. Our group was small this evening of just Margaret, Marcie and I. I ran into some troubles with the new knitting project I was attempting, and Margaret assisted me with it.

Sunday afternoon, August 29th, I head up to Ft Tryon Park to stroll around and enjoy the lovely weather. While there I did some sketching at the Cloisters, and some watercolor painting of the lovely gardens. That evening I finished the Elizabeth Gilbert book “Eat Pray Love”, which was very good, and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


We Are Cornered: There’s No Way Out Without a Fight
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

Hideous, Murderous Lies from the Oval Office
Chris Floyd, World Can’t Wait

Kucinich Criticizes ‘Privatization of War’ After Obama’s Speech
Eric Dolan, The Raw Story

US Withdraws Last Combat Brigade from Iraq, but 56,000 Troops Remain
Democracy Now!

Global Warming Deniers Aren’t ‘Experts’ at All: It’s Time for a New View of Science
Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway, Bloomsbury USA

Love, Travel, Sell – Minding the Store with Elizabeth Gilbert
Leah Rozen, NY Times,%20Travel,%20Sell&st=cse

The Spin Stops Here: Help Counter the Media Spin on the War in 3 Easy Steps
Message from CodePink

You're invited to join our coalition of anti-war groups and peace activists for an online week of action, Days of Dissent, this Aug 23 - 31. We need your help to counter the media spin and tell the truth about the Iraq War.

This week, US combat troops exit Iraq leaving behind over 50,000 soldiers and 75,000 military contractors. From the White House to CNN, officials and pundits are spinning the Iraq War as a "success" when much of the country is in shambles.

We're demanding a real end to the war -- a full withdrawal of all troops and military contractors, full support for returning troops, and a redirection of war funds to rebuild our countries. Please join us! You can start by changing your profile picture to the image we've made for the event to help spread the word and counter the spin. See the attached link for the event.

RSVP to our Days of Dissent event on Facebook and invite your friends. On our event page, you'll find a link to our petition and more ways to help counter the spin. Here's the link:

If you don't have much time, but still want to help counter the spin, you can help by donating to our coalition. We're collecting funds to run a full-page newspaper ad showing the peace movement's response to the media spin on the ongoing Iraq debacle.

Thanks for all that you do!

ps. Here are some quick links and simple steps to get you started. Read & sign our petition here: