Saturday, September 28, 2013

I was Chillin at the Annual ITS
Conf during the day [Sept 26th]
and at the Neko Case gig that
Evening at RCMH


NSA Spied on MLK, US Senators and Other Vietnam War Critics, Documents Show

Crisis at Fukushima Continues to Spiral With Hole in Radiation Barrier

Look Around, Workers Are Pissed

Reading Obama’s Iran Speech
Phyllis Bennis, Common Dreams

Noam Chomsky: “The Foundations of Liberty Are Ripped to Shreds”
Steven Garbas / Noam Chomsky, Satellite Magazine

Seymour Hersh: Story About Killing Osama Bin Laden is One Big Lie
Lisa O’Carroll, The Guardian

Krugman: Plutocrats Have Become Sociopaths with Their Persecution Complexes
Jodie Gummow, AlterNet

U.S. Wealth is Now the Most Concentrated at the Top Since 1916
Eric Zuesse, AlterNet

Jeremy Scahill: Obama Is an Enforcer of Empire
Amy Goodman / Nermeen Shaikh, Democracy Now

Is the Natural Gas Industry to Blame for the Toxic Sinkhole Devouring a Town in Louisiana?
Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet

Krugman: Rich are Waging “Pure Class Warfare”
Elias Isquith, Salon
The Nobel Prize winning New York Times columnist argues the rich are even more selfish than you thought.

Taibbi’s Latest Expose: How Teachers, Cops and Firemen are Getting Their Pensions Fleeced at Lightning Speed
Amy Goodman / Matt Taibbi, Democracy Now

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

 Celebrating Bilbo and Frodo's
Birthday on Sunday,
Sept 22nd

 Timdalf presiding
over the festivities


Top 45 Lies in Obama’s U.N. Speech
David Swanson, War is a Crime

Brazilian Leader Gives Obama Hell Over NSA Surveillance
Alex Kane, AlterNet

Obama Tells World: US is ‘Exceptional’ but [Don’t Worry] Not ‘Imperial’
Jon Queally, Common Dreams

Monday, September 23, 2013

 Brooklyn for Peace Members
tabling at annual
Flatbush Frolics
Sept 15th

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sunday – October 20th - 6-9pm
Pathmakers to Peace - Awards Reception
at the Brooklyn Historical Society - 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn Heights

2013 Pathmakers to Peace Honorees:
Tickets on sale now! for info on tickets, tables, sponsorships, and ads in the program journal.

Reading of “Extreme Weather” a new play by Karen Malpede
DATE: Monday, Sept 23rd
WHEN:  7:15pm wine reception – 7:45-9pm live reading and discussion
WHERE:  Columbia University, Schermerhorn Auditorium, Room 501 [enter building, walk up one flight of stairs and auditorium is directly in front of you]

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FRIDAY SEPT 20, 7 pm:
Trans-Pacific Partnership Teach-In
Are you concerned about food safety? The environment? Fair wages at home and abroad?
Come to learn about how the proposed trade agreements (TPP) will affect our lives.
Panel discussion, followed by a Q & A and breakout groups to discuss action items.
Speakers include:
  • Jennifer Flynn, Health GAP (Global Access Project)
  • Adam Weissman, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment
  • Curtis Ellis, American Jobs Alliance
  • Gary Goff, Climate Action/Brooklyn For Peace
Moderated by Gloria Mattera, NYS Green Party
Co-sponsors: Park Slope United Methodist Church Social Action Committee, Brooklyn For Peace and the Green Party of Brooklyn
WHERE: Park Slope United Methodist Church, 410 6th Ave at 8th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Train: F/G to 7th Ave (@9th St); R to 4th Ave (@ 9th St)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free-trade agreement currently being negotiated in secret by over 600 corporations and pushed through Congress without oversight from the public. It threatens workers’ rights, the environment, the safety of food and medicines, and the most fundamental democratic rights of all the countries that sign onto this binding agreement. We need to learn about the TPP, spread the word, and stop it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

US Weapons Reaching Syrian Rebels
Ernesto Londono and Greg Miller, Washington Post

US Covered Up for Decades the Largest Use of Biological and Chemical Weapons in History
Valtin, Daily Kos

The Rise of the New New Left
Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast

“The US Military Does not do Pinpricks” is NOT “We Stopped a Strike on Syria”
World Can’t Wait

The Silent Military Coup that took Over Washington
John Pilger, Common Dreams

DUCHESS NOTE: Many thanks to Alice Slater in sharing these interesting and informative news articles.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering Sept 11, 2001
Back in January 2001 I started working for E&Y as “Office Mgr” in their downtown office on Broad Street.  That office was roughly 6 to 7 blocks southeast of the South Tower [WTC].  Our office on Broad Street was only a stone’s throw away from NY Stock Exchange. Yeah ... we were close to "ground zero". From our 25th floor windows we could only see the South Tower and the North Tower was hidden behind it. Below are my recollections of that day, which I posted on my “Duchess Journal” for the 1st anniversary since that horrible day.

That day started out just like any other for me. I had to be at the office by 8:15am to let in the caterer. As there was an all-day meeting being held in our large conference room ... the breakfast buffet needed to be ready by 8:30am. People started arriving for the meeting between 8:30am and 8:55am. A few made comments that they'd heard talk of a "bomb" going off at WTC. At the time we thought nothing of it. Don't think we're heartless, because we're not, I guess New Yorkers are immune to some things, but not all.

Sometime around 9am we heard a huge explosion and then our building shook. I kid you not! Felt like an earthquake. We all jumped up from what we'd been doing and raced to the windows. Looking out the northern end of our floor and upward we couldn't believe our eyes. A huge, gaping hole in the south tower with smoke, debris and fire coming out of it. Debris was flying everywhere ... even around our building. Bits of papers, fax sheets, reports, etc. Unbelieveable!! I went back to my desk and called my Mom right away. Once I got her on the phone I said I was okay, but to turn on the telly to find out what’s going on. She related to me that it was two commercial airlines and not a bomb. We talked for abit and I said I'd call her later for an update. Then everyone went back to work. Yep, you heard me, back to work and the meeting. I made other phone calls, especially to my friend and ex co-worker Anni; her office is across the street from South Tower. At 9:15am her office was evacuating and I prayed she'd get away from the scene okay.

My boss, Ron G, showed up at office five minutes before South Tower collapsed. Said the action out on the streets was insane and out of a movie. Unreal, but not, yah know? Before Ron showed up, four of my co-workers made it back. Amen! They'd been in south tower at a meeting on 80th floor when plane hit north tower. They'd gotten down the stairs to 30th floor when second plane hit their tower. I was so happy to see them back at office. Gave them bottles of water and the first aid kit. When the south tower collapsed it sounded like another explosion and our building shook again! We ran to the north side windows and couldn't believe what we saw. We were all freaking out at that point. Even though our windows were closed, we could still hear the screams of people on the street below as they ran in terror. The clouds of grey, black and brown smoke/ash were moving with force over buildings and down streets. Next thing we knew our whole building is covered in the stuff. It got dark and you couldn't see out at all. My poor nerves were really jumping at this point. Then building management came over the PA system and told everyone to go down to the lowest level for shelter. Which we did ... after making a few quick calls ... one of which was to Mom. I went down the elevator with Ron and two other co-workers [Joe & Igor]. We stayed downstairs in a kind of fallout shelter until 11:45am. Some people were able to get their laptops running and access to the Internet. Slowly we were getting bits of info on what the hell was going on that morning and it wasn't a pretty picture. I mostly hung out with Ron, Joe and Igor or checked out news on people’s laptops. We were finally allowed back up to our offices, but management told us that if we left the building, they wouldn't let us back in. Yeah, like we want to stick around here. NOT!

Ron told the three of us to collect our things, make a few phone calls and then we'd hoof it out at 12 noon. I called Mom to tell her I was okay and about to head home. She sounded very upset over the phone and I couldn't blame her. She said the news and film footage on the telly was horrible. Mom had to take half a valium just to calm her nerves. Before we left the office, which was deserted except for us four, we grabbed bottles of water and small damp towels. We headed out the back of the building where we were met by paramedics handing out surgical masks. Amen! What a sight to meet our eyes out on those streets. It was like being in a city after a war. Everything was covered in that nasty soot, debris everywhere, abandoned cars & stores, as well as people like us walking east. Away from the disaster and horror. Unfortunately I was wearing clogs that day on my feet and boy did my feet/legs suffer. To this day I still suffer occasionally from shin splints. Ron and Joe walked ahead of Igor and me. Sometimes we talked, but mostly we looked around in disbelief. It was like a mass exodus! By the time we got to the Brooklyn Bridge it was closed off to pedestrians. So we walked past and further north to next one, which was Manhattan Bridge. By the time we reached that bridge the air was clear and we took off the surgical masks. As we crossed the bridge we looked back south ... it seemed so surreal ... like it was a Spielberg film and the credits would roll any minute now. But it wasn't a film; it was all too real and frightening. One thing I was thankful for ... it was a nice, sunny day. I didn't give a damn if I got sunburnt or not. When we reached Brooklyn our first priority was bathrooms and then subways. At the subways [only in Brooklyn, Queens & Bronx were running not in Manhattan] I said goodbye to my co-workers and we all wished each other a safe journey to our respective homes. Ron, Igor and I live in Brooklyn, but poor Joe had to get back to the New Jersey shore. He stayed at Ron's place that night and got transport the next day. As for me ... it took two subways for me to get back to Greenpoint.

Arrived into my neighborhood at 3pm and walked to my friend Larry's place. Wasn't sure if my phone or telly would be working, but somehow knew Larry’s would be. I called Mom from Larry's place while watching the events of the day unfolding on the telly. Couldn't believe what I was seeing, so upsetting and I kept on saying "OH MY GOD". On top of all that I was exhausted emotionally and physically. Once I got to my apartment I found that I could use my computer, phone and only got Channel 2 on the telly. I returned phone calls to family and friends who were concerned. Plus returned emails to many wonderful e-pals who were also concerned about me. I thank you all for your kindness and thoughtfulness. Made me feel soooo good and blessed. Didn't know work was closed the next day, but I still trekked into our midtown office. While there I made phone calls and found out that Anni was alright but had suffered a bad asthma attack. From there I went to get a manicure and then had lunch with a friend in Brooklyn. Yep, the subways were running once again in Manhattan. On Thursday I went back to E&Ys midtown office to help out, sort of like doing temp work. Then my Administrative Manager gave me Friday off as "excused leave" and the following week I enjoyed my vacation time down in Cape May, NJ. By the time I came back to work the downtown area was open [relatively speaking] and it was business as usual at E&Y.

Overall I thought I was fine, but for several months following 9/11, I suffered from strange dreams and nightmares, plus bouts of depression. One heard many different stories from friends and co-workers.  On the day of the one-year anniversary I took a vacation day from work, as did many staff in our downtown office. Since May 2002 my telly died, so I listened to the ceremonies on the radio [1010 WINS]. And like last year, I went and got a manicure. I think the professionals would call it ... getting on with life. It’s not easy, but with every day we do better and better. Though the war with terrorism isn't over yet and probably never will be.

NOTE:  Since writing that piece back in Sept 2002, I have developed “lung issues” and all due to 9/11.  Since 2003 my lung situation “appeared” and was finally diagnosed in 2005 with Asthma and Bronchiectasis.  I have occasionally been on meds, and inhalers, to keep the lungs working and stabilized, so that these conditions do not progress further.  I was very ill in January 2006 with Bronchitis, hospitalized briefly in August 2008 with Hemoptysis, plus walking Pneumonia and then again in January / December 2011 with Pneumonia. Today I am doing well and stable, plus visit my lung doctor on a regular basis. In December 2011 I started seeing an Acupuncturist and that has made a difference in my overall health.  Thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones back in 2001, and to those whose health issues have been greatly affected by 9/11/01.  Every day I strive for peace, non violent communication/action, answers to questions and working with others as an activist.  All this stems from what happened on 9/11/01 and since then.  Be well and be peace………………….

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 Sept 7, 2013
Carol & Art's Wedding
Upstate NY
Attended with the Parents
[Plus, I was photographer of the wedding]

 Duchess and her Mom
 The Parents during Reception

 Brooklyn Vigil For Syria at Fort Greene Park
Monday, 9 Sep 2013, 7:00 PM
On Monday evening, after work, I proudly joined Fort Greene Peace and Brooklyn For Peace [BFP] at Fort Greene Park in a vigil to oppose military intervention in Syria. Brooklyn's own Channel 12 came by to film the peaceful, non violent vigil and interview a few members from BFP.
Thanks to Melissa Corbett and Sam Koprak for the great pix.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

 Five Reasons to Oppose US Military Strikes on Syria

10 Syria Questions for John Kerry and Chuck Hagel
US  News World Report

Tell Congress – Stand for America and Vote NO to Any Attack on Syria
Kucinich Action

DUCHESS NOTE:  Mass protest in Times Square [NYC] on Saturday, Sept 7th, at 12pm

How to Express Outrage over Chemical Weapons Use

How Intelligence was Twisted to Support an Attack on Syria
Gareth Porter, Truthout

Noam Chomsky – Bombing Syria Would be a ‘War Crime’
Alex Kane, AlterNet

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Obama, Congress and Syria 
There is substantial evidence that the White House sees a Congressional vote on military action against Syria as purely advisory.  

Why Syria? 
Here are details of the pending Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline which would undercut US and Gulf state control of gas supply to the EU.  There is also evidence of a paper trail of plans to invade Syria as far back as 2001.  And an e-mail trail of plans to supplying the Syrian opposition with gas for use in “false flag” attacks.
Killing Civilians to Protect Civilians in Syria
The UN commissioner on Syria has said that the opposition forces have used saran gas against civilians in the past.  This article also examines the hypocrisy of the US outrage over the use of gas in Syria when US forces have consistently used gas and other chemical weapons in violation of international law.
Chemical Attacks and Military Interventions
This details the impossibility of determining at this point if gas has been used in the proxy war in Syria – and, if so, by whom.  It also details the probable outcome of US intervention – the destruction of Syria as a viable country.

Aug 2nd, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the yoga center and got to play with his new kitten Shiva.

Aug 3rd, I headed into Manhattan to spend time with my friend Wendy and she started alterations to my HP robes costume.

Aug 5th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the yoga center, and of course lil Shiva joined in.

Aug 6th, I had a follow-up appt with my lung doctor on recent “situation” and afterwards attended “Evening with an Edge” featuring TJ Glenn at Stone Creek lounge.  The latter was a success with an attendance of 20+, books were sold / signed, and the sword demos were excellent.

Aug7th, I attended the productive BFP Fundraising and PF committee meeting.

Aug 8th, I had an appt with Dr Tan for acupuncture treatment.

Aug 9th to 11th, I visited with Nadine and Pete at their weekend home in the Catskills.  Weather was humid and rainy on the way up in the bus.  After 9pm it cleared up to give us a glorious weekend of sunshine, a few clouds and cool breeze.  We went to the Ellenville annual blueberry festival on Saturday and that evening watched for stars / meteors in the sky.  On Sunday afternoon we enjoyed the views along the “Walkway over the Hudson”, which is impressive.  Also, we had meals at Karma Road café in New Paltz and Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville.

Aug 12th I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the yoga center, and of course lil Shiva joined in.

Aug 15th I had an appt with Dr Tan for much needed acupuncture treatment.

August 16th I had an appt with my chiropractor, and afterwards I went to yoga class with Fabrice at the yoga center.

On Saturday, August 17th, after Dana finished cleaning my apt, I joined my friend Jackie at the Prospect Park zoo.  It was my first time visiting this zoo and it was a fun experience.  Afterwards we walked through Prospect Park to Grand Army Plaza to do a wee bit of shopping at the farmers market.  Then it was off for a leisurely, tasty dinner at Faros on 7th Avenue in Park Slope.  We ended the day at Cocoa Bar for some dessert.

On Sunday, August 18th, I joined my friend Judith for a delicious lunch at Nanoosh near Lincoln Center.  Afterwards we strolled to the cinema to see the excellent film “The Butler”, and then had dessert at Fiorello’s.

August 19th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the yoga center, and of course lil Shiva joined in.

August 20th, I co-chaired the BFP Arts & Culture committee meeting and call.

August 21st, I met up with an ex-friend of mine at the Cocoa Bar in Park Slope for a “reunion”, as well as receive the owl necklace she created for me.  Overall it was a nice, interesting evening.

August 22nd & 23rd, I had to work overtime at the office on several projects.

August 24th, I visited my friend Yvette out in Long Island, and we spent the afternoon [12-6pm] out on Fire Island.  We had a great time visiting Ocean Beach, Ocean Bay Park, Sea View and Point O’Woods.  Plus had a delicious lunch at Flynn’s, walked along the beach, picked up seashells, shopping, encounters with deer, took lots of photos, and the weather was perfect.  Last time I visited Fire Island was in September 1982 with my Mom and brother.

August 25th, I had brunch with my friends Gail and Rob at Le Gamin in our hood.  Afterwards we hung out in their backyard with lovely garden and their dog Sage joined us.  Then it was off to get a much needed pedicure.  In the evening I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the yoga center.

August 26th, I had a much needed appt with Dr Tan after work.  Said my body was under some stress, tension and abit of exhaustion due to work, not enough sleep, allergies and other activities.  He suggested rest and relaxation during the upcoming long Labor Day holiday weekend.

August 27th, I met up with my friend Nadine on the upper Westside of Manhattan and we had a delicious dinner at Candle Café West.  The establishment has wonderful atmosphere, friendly help and tasty affordable vegan food.  Nadine and her hubby Pete also lent me their Ionic Breeze air purifier for my apt, as they had extra’s to spare.  Use this to help keep the air quality in my apt clear and be of assistance to my lung condition.

August 29th, I attended a march and protest in Times Square regarding “NO to US Bombs on Syria”.  The majority of “We the People”, not only here, but around the world, are NOT in favor of endless wars committed by the US Empire.  Stay out of the Middle East!

August 30th to Sept 1st … I visited my family in upstate NY for the long Labor Day holiday weekend.  Spent some time with my brother and sister-in-law, chillin around the parents’ house, brunch at Jean’s Place, eat farm fresh corn on the cob, hair salon appt, tag sales, photos, rest, relaxation, reading Sherlock Holmes stories, needlepoint, etc.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

 Labor Day Weekend
with the Parents
and Friends

 Duchess trying on her
new Eyeglasses Necklace
August 31st