Saturday, January 22, 2011



Cameron Crowe’s ‘Pearl Jam Twenty’ To Be Released This Year
If film fans felt lucky that 2011 held not one but two Steven Spielberg movies, they’re going to be ecstatic that it’ll also hold two Cameron Crowe movies. We know the musically-inclined director is hard at work on production of “We Bought a Zoo”, which stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning and Thomas Haden Church and is scheduled for release December 23, but now it turns out that a documentary he’s been working on for several years about the Seattle grunge band PEARL JAM will also be released this year. According to the band’s official website, “Pearl Jam Twenty” will be released during 2011 to help commemorate the band’s twentieth anniversary.

The Pearl Jam website only says that the film will be released this year, accompanied by a book and soundtrack. The Playlist, however, has some more info.

As briefly reported in 2009, Crowe has been working on the film for a while all aiming at this 20th anniversary. At the time, guitarist Mike McCready said the director would have access to “all our footage, with all of our existing footage that we have” so one can assume the film will be almost a historical document of the rise of Pearl Jam. Plus the title nicely mirror’s the title of the band’s first album, TEN.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Crowe working with Pearl Jam. He directed
a music video for the band in 2009 (which you can watch here and used a bunch of the band’s music not only as part of his screenplay to “We Bought a Zoo”, but also as a big part of the soundtrack to his 1992 film “Singles”.

Quote of the Day“We want soul mates, good health, and prosperity. We're ready in our minds, but on a physical level, we don¹t always get it. Layers of me sever connection to soul - source of all our fortune. Today, close the gap between intention and manifestation. Forget about what I think, I believe, I know. Pull the plug on ego.”Yehuda Berg

Goldman Defies Public Fury With Another £10bn Bonus Payout

GOP Spending Cuts Would Affect Millions of People

Robert Scheer: Obama Pulls a Clinton

Jim Hightower: Republicans Give Government Back to Their Corporate Paymasters

Raj Patel: Food Crises Pummel the Poor, Austerity Multiplies Pain

Glenn Greenwald: Obama Officials Caught Deceiving about WikiLeaks

The GOP’s 5 Most Absurd Lies About Health-Care Reform, Debunked
Lauren Kelley, AlterNet

Sorry Tea Partiers – The GOP Only Cares About Their Corporate Paymasters and Wealthy Elites Like the Kochs
Jim Hightower, AlterNet
While tea party regulars are giddy with the thought that their movement took over the US House, they were actually a Trojan horse for powerful corporate interests.

Sarah Byrnes and Chuck Collins: Rocky Times Ahead: Are You Ready?

Les Leopold: Financial Socialism by and for Wall Street Elites?

John Pilger: WikiLeaks Defies the “War on Hi-Tech Terror”

Letter to Michah Kellner of NYS Assembly from NY Metro Progressives
“Closing the Budget Gap”
January 20, 2011

Dear Michah,

I disagree with your unabashed support in your recent newsletter for Governor Cuomo’s brutal expense cutting program to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the middle class—with deteriorating schools, roads, bridges, water, health services. New York is becoming a second class state with a greater disparity between rich and poor than any other state in the US. (See yesterday’s Daily News story at P. 19, Towering $$ Gap, 1-19-11)

What’s wrong with increasing taxes on the wealthiest among us? According to the Daily News article, NY’s top 1 % about 90,000 households had average incomes of $3.7 million. When Eisenhower was president we had a 91% tax bracket and I went to Queens College for $5 per semester!! Today, all money over 35% of one’s income is untaxed, giving the greatest earners among us a free ride! There’s been a huge upward distribution of wealth since Reagan and enormous tax benefits to the rich.

How could Democrats, like you and Cuomo, support a continuation of this unfair policy which is killing the middle class and the poor? Shame on you if you don’t support a modest tax increase on the wealthiest among us to meet our human needs without sacrificing plain people to the greedy moneybags among us. Illinois’ Democrats are raising the state income tax rate from 3 to 6% to close its budget gap. Why can’t we do that in NY and not need to fire thousands of government workers, put their pensions at risk, short change our schools and healthcare systems and all the other ills contemplated by this Republican royalist plan to close the budget gap? Please do the right thing!! Ordinary citizens and working people have always counted on the Democrats to take care of their interests. Don’t fail us.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The Left Has Nowhere to Go
Chris Hedges, TruthDig

When Public Employees Were Under Attack, MLK Stood with the Workers
John Nichols, The Nation

WATCH: Maher Says Founding Fathers Would Have Hated Tea Party
Sarah Seltzer, AlterNet

Is Fascism Lurking in America?
Danny Schechter, Smirking Chimp

Ask Republicans and Democrats to Sit Together at the State of the Union Address
The Peace Alliance

What Does WikiLeaks Have on Bank of America?
Mary Bottari, Center for Media and Democracy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

[January 3, 2011]

[January 11, 2011]

Next morning, Jan 12th,
a winter wonderland
greeted us. . . .

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Wednesday, December 1st, I attended the Brooklyn for Peace “Open” Community meeting on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn. Really good meeting and pretty much everyone was allowed to speak what was on their minds regarding Brooklyn, political and otherwise. The different BforP committees had report updates and there was refreshment for the attendees.

Thursday, December 2nd, I had a vacation day from work, so that I could hang out with my friend Sheila in Manhattan. This is an annual event for us ... we start out with lunch at the food court in Grand Central Station, then move on to the Holiday Craft Bazaar in the station. From there we have hot caramel apple cider at Starbucks before moving on to the Holiday Craft Bazaar at Bryant Park. After seeing her off at Port Authority, I went back to Bryant Park to check out more holiday vendors, plus watch the rehearsals for the tree lighting ceremony. Then it was off to Stone Creek Lounge for the monthly TGTSNBN meetup and holiday cookie decorating. Overall it was a fun, enjoyable day.

On Saturday, December 4th, after Dana did the cleaning of my apartment, I headed out into my hood to take care of many errands and chores. I also volunteered with City Harvest at the farmers market in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

Sunday afternoon, December 5th, I attended Joe and Marie’s annual holiday luncheon at “Madera” restaurant in Long Island City. I highly recommend this nice, cozy restaurant with good food, and excellent service. It’s also 2 blocks from the #7 subway stop at Vernon/Jackson. It was great to see Kathleen, Carol, Marie [with her hubby, niece and daughters] and Maria with her oh so adorable 4 month old daughter Siena.

Tuesday evening, December 7th, I participated in the NYdoPeace “board members” conference call. The main topic of discussion was on NY City Council Resolution 14 and the holiday card campaign. Also, decision was made to bypass a holiday gathering, and instead, do a springtime gathering on NYC harbor cruise ship.

Wednesday, December 8th, I took off as a vacation day from work. Originally was supposed to spend the afternoon with my friend Sheila doing a walking tour around Greenwich Village. Sheila called a few days before to say she couldn’t make it, and I decided to continue with walking tour of Greenwich Village. After appt with foot doctor and a brief tasty lunch stop at Chickpea on John Street, I took the subway to Greenwich Village. The day was cold, abit windy, but at least it was sunny blue skies. The evening before I’d purchased an early Xmas giftie [on sale] for myself [Canon PowerShot digital camera] and was testing it out during my tour of the Village.

Took a leisurely “tea break” at Le Pain Quotidien on Hudson Street to warm up and get some refreshment. Also came across the cozy, charming pub called Entwine [ ] on Washington Street that would be perfect for “NY Friends of Tolkien” gathering on January 3rd. I also came across two shops that were awesome ... Left Bank Books [ ] at 17 8th Avenue near West 12th Street, and The Ink Pad [ ] on 7th Avenue near West 13th Street. I highly recommend both. Overall it was a good day and I came away with some terrific photos with my new camera.

Thursday evening, December 9th, at 7pm I joined other members of Brooklyn for Peace “Peace Fair” committee for their monthly meeting. Our main focus is narrowing down and obtaining a “keynote speaker” for the Peace Fair on May 7th, plus which organizations to be donors for the events journal.

Friday, December 10th, at 7pm I attended the Friday Nite Knits meetup in Kensington.

Saturday afternoon, December 11th, at 1:30pm I volunteered with “Brooklyn for Peace” at their table for the BSEC Annual Holiday Craft Fair in Park Slope. We did very well on sales for the Olive Branch olive oil at $20 a bottle. This terrific olive oil comes directly from the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), and to learn more, go to

Monday after work, December 13th, I went down to Greenwich Village to take a better look at “Entwine” for the “NY Friends of Tolkien” gathering on January 3rd. Spoke with Ika, looked over the main parlor, and also discussed the menu and wine list for the gathering.

Tuesday evening, December 14th, I volunteered with WCW national office to assist with their data entry and research.

Thursday evening, December 16th, I attended the EY NESA holiday party at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. It was quite a large turnout for the party. Personally, I was not impressed with the refreshments, or how it was served. Left around 8pm and when I arrived home I finished wrapping gifties, plus made some granola bars.

Saturday evening, December 18th, I joined my friend Jackie in going to the movies to see Narnia3, shopping at B&N and dined out at Vapiano on University Place.

Tuesday, December 21st, I had an appt with my lung specialist regarding recent chest X-rays and CTSCAN. Received free samples of Symbicort inhalers from Dr Abbot.

Wednesday, December 22nd, I volunteered with City Harvest at Union Square’s farmers market. I also did a walking tour around my neighborhood [photos below] to take pix of the lovely variety of holiday decor.

Thursday through Saturday, December 23rd – 25th, I visited my parents, brother and sister-in-law upstate NY for the Xmas holiday. I enjoyed a relaxing few days of shopping, hair salon, cable TV, photograph scenery, cooking, and exchange gifts with my family on Xmas Eve. I came back on Xmas Day to beat the arrival of the blizzard.

On Sunday, December 26th, we got hammered in the Northeast and NYC area with our first official snowstorm of the winter season. Total count was roughly 20 inches of the white stuff, along with howling winds, thunder and even some lightening.

On Monday, December 27th, I took half a vacation day from work in the AM, as the sidewalks and streets hadn’t been cleared yet in my neighborhood. By the time I left at 12:30pm to head into the office, there were many “paths” through the 2 feet of snow and 4-5 foot high drifts to slowly wend my way to the subway. I arrived at the office just before they closed Café 22 at 1:30pm to get lunch. On my floor there was just me and two others. Most of the office building was pretty quiet with folk either on vacation, or stuck at home due to the blizzard. I finished up several projects from week before and then left office at 6pm to head home.

On Tuesday evening, December 28th, I joined the other Peace Fair committee members for a conference call regarding organizing and planning for the 2011 Peace Fair.

On Wednesday evening, December 29th, I checked out Annie & Company [upper eastside of Manhattan] about getting a completed needlepoint project framed, and picking out new embroidery yarn for a new needlepoint project.

On Friday evening, December 31st, I attended Peter and Nadine’s New Years Eve party on the upper Westside of Manhattan. Pretty much all of their friends / attendees [10-12] are vegetarian or vegan. Excellent! I made two different vegan cookies [ie: Lemon and Cinnamon] to share at the party. This was my first time visiting their new apartment since they purchased it earlier in the year, and it’s such a nice space with good closets. It’s great seeing Peter, Nadine and their dog Sparky. Hadn’t seen them since Sept 2009 when I visited their weekend home in the Catskills. I’d met most of their friends at the party from a previous dinner engagement earlier in 2010. Lots of good food, nibblers, wine, champagne, diverse conversations, games and of course play with Sparky. Nadine works for “Hot Socks” in the fashion district area of Manhattan, and she gave everyone 7 to 8 pairs of lovely socks as party favors. I love knee-hi socks and just can’t get enough of them. Just before midnight we turned on the TV to view Times Square, plus put on party hats and utilize noise makers. Abit scary seeing Dick Clark on TV and we all thought he’d died a few years ago. Guess not! We hung out until 2am and then got ready to head out. Peter’s friends, Gary and Debbie gave me a ride home, so I didn’t have to take three subways. Dealing with subways at that hour wouldn’t have been fun, especially on New Years.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

[Plus views of northern Brooklyn on a sunny Dec 27th]



The Economy is in the Trash Can, While the Power Bankers Keep Raking It In
Robert Scheer, Truthdig

Food Emergency: Millions of Americans are Heading to Foodbanks for the First Time in their Lives
Chaz Valenza,

Quote of the Moment“Change is possible, provided you tackle it with joy. Plant a good seed today by living it with excitement.”Yehuda Berg

Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and His Flaky Ideas Doom New York During Storm
Juan Gonzalez, NY Daily News

[Duchess Note: Thank you Juan Gonzalez in speaking the truth on this matter. Let’s fire Goldsmith! Tell him and Bloomberg to leave sanitation worker jobs alone. And stop privatization, which does not work. And it causes hard working people their jobs.]

Wall Streets 10 Biggest Lies of 2010
Les Leopold, AlterNet
What a great year for Wall Street: profits up, bonuses up and, best of all, criticism down. Somehow Wall Street has much of America believing its lies and rationalizations.

Quote of the Moment“There is often a wide gap between what we want and what we think people expect us to want. Today, when you’re eating-working-playing-loving-praying, remember to ask yourself, “Is this what I really want?”Yehuda Berg

15 Good Things to Celebrate in a Bad Year
Medea Benjamin, AlterNet
As long as people keep organizing and mobilizing, there will be victories to celebrate.

Wage Theft is Rampant in America – Is Your Boss Ripping You Off?
Dick Meister, AlterNet

Sanitation Workers Say City is Dumping on them While They Scramble to Clear Snow
Lisa Colangelo, NY Daily News

Quote of the Moment: “When you think someone can't change, they won't, because you’re limiting them. You have this power. Who is someone in your life you think will never change? Do them a favor today — imagine they can.” Yehuda Berg

[Duchess Note: Many thanks to Judith in sharing some of the above articles.]