Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Air America Radio, etc.
9:29 am est
Talk radio for progressives a/k/a liberals begins today -- New Yorkers, turn on your radio to WLIB found on AM 1190 or stream
it from your computer -- www.airamericaradio.com (so far there are about 5 stations).
(FYI, they may be experiencing some first day glitches -- I have music on AM and some repetitive audio on my computer -- well,
keep trying! And it will be interesting to hear the take on the glitches -- a conservative plot? Most likely the REAL initiation
will be later in the day -- if Al Franken is blipped out, then I will begin truly to suspect the Bushites.)
Al Franken's The O'Franken Factor is noon to 3 pm, repeating 11 pm - 2 AM.
The Majority Report with Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder is 8 pm - 11pm
Morning Sedition is SUPPOSED to be from 6 AM to 9 AM
Well, at least right now it is progressive music....
And various shows will be archived for streaming later.
Check it out on AM1190 and www.airamericaradio.com and when your spirit needs Irish music, don't forget to stream from the
archives of wfuv.org and wgbh.org (Celtic Sojourns) -- let's all go forth in peace to do the work that God has given us to
do today -- and let's remember to take our radios with us! Smiles and peace hugs :-) from Kate Anne (now a charter member
-- whatever that means -- of WLIB Air America Radio).
Monday, March 29, 2004
Lenny Speaks -- About Being a Proud Liberal
8:46 am est
Well, he's been speaking to me. I've been haunted by Leonard Bernstein and have been coerced by his ghost to post his words
originally said to Michael Dukakis to John Kerry. Lenny had said, "I'm a Liberal And Proud of It" and had wanted
Dukakis to proudly attest to it. I'm sending them to the Kerry campaign with a modest donation. It would be more, but John
isn't speaking for me yet. He's taking me for granted and I don't like that. So instead of giving John more, I sent a bigger
contribution to Dennis Kucinich, who continues to campaign as he wishes to impact the Democratic convention. We need peace,
we need justice, we need nonviolence -- we need liberal Democratic ideals to keep the world in ONE PEACE. Lenny knew this.
Dennis knows this. And John SHOULD know this. (For those who want to read Lenny's words, see the ESSAYS section of this site.
For those who question the giving of money to Kucinich at this point in time, see the article "Dissenting with Dissent"
at the excellent website DemocracyMeansYou.com.)
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Breathing, writing and breakfasting for Peace
8:31 am est
This morning I've been reading up on blogs (I have so much to learn!) and have not yet written folks about the upcoming NYFOR
meeting (scheduled for the second Tuesday in April, 7:45 pm, hopefully at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church Hall, thanks to
Pastor Mike Easterling).
WFUV has just mentioned a "campaign war chest" -- ouch! Hate that imagery! Why do they persist in using FIGHTING
imagery? I don't want to fight for candidates, issues, or peace. Fighting for anything strikes notes of violence -- and there
is nothing melodic or harmonious about that. Fighting for peace is as oxymoronic as "military intelligence". Then
I got some mailing (I get too many mailings) from a group called Technoserve which speaks about "attacking poverty"
-- ouch! -- more discordant, harsh imagery. Erase poverty. Erase war. Creatively dispatch/eliminate/dissolve war and poverty.
We must change our vocabulary. Our words, too, must reflect the change we seek. Softer, gentler language -- please, God, everyone,
please! And yes, gentle can be strong. I firmly work for peace, live for peace, breathe for peace, write for peace, struggle
for peace, expend energy for peace -- but I don't want to fight for peace, justice and nonviolence.
I had breakfast yesterday with Jason Mark of Global Exchange who is leading the plans for a demonstration outside of the Auto
Show planned for the Jacob Javitts Center, April 10th. This demo will focus on the oil/peace connection and will ask people
to write and call the auto industry to urge them to work on better fuel efficiency. More on this later, but Jason was a delight
and breakfasting for peace with him at the Tick Tock Diner was a pleasure and an inspiration. Positive energy feeds on positive
energy and works magic. Meeting folks like him provides fuel to continue along my peacemaker's journey. (No doubt it is energy
efficient and verbally politically correct :-) MORE on this soon. Smiles and peace hugs to one and all!
Monday, March 22, 2004
Peace Rally Wrap-up
8:03 am est
Saturday, March 20, was beautiful and a big crowd came out for Peace and against endless War -- and Bush. The NYC mayor would
put the numbers at 30,000 while UFPJ said 100,000 -- suffice it to say LOTS. The six of us started out together but the massiveness
of the crowd separated us and cell phones either weren't ringing or weren't heard when we tried to connect. Peter and Daniel,
however got lost together, so they were fine. Shubh and Howard managed to stay with Jane and me and the four of us gloried
in the sun and the positive energy. I tammed [I think that is the verb for using a tambourine] beats to chants and carried
a sign reading "March FOR Peace & every month!"Howard carried "Money FOR Peace -- Jobs, kids... NOT for
War" -- we both had "FOR Peace Justice & Nonviolence" on the second side, and all signs had the www.forusa.org
Fellowship of Reconciliation web address on them. Shubh had a handmade sign with an Iraqi mother and children and the words,
"Don't kill our children". Jane carried Marc Crawford Leavitt's gift to me from his and Betsy's Italian trip --
a rainbow PACE flag. (We saw the same and similar Peace and Pace flags throughout the march -- and they caught the spring
breeze so magnificently!)
Highlights of the day included: Brunch together at the Tick Tock Diner; the blue sky, the warm sun, and the six of us for
Peace on Madison Avenue; meaningful conversations with Barry Tilman, proud of his new Peace Please cap [see peaceplease.com]
and Terry [NJ Peace Action?], the chanter and singer -- we harmonized on Pat Humphries' Peace Salaam Shalom chorus; BillionairesforBush.com
demonstrators; the people on the sidelines who said "Thank you" when I gave them the rally flyer; signing the Kucinich
Democratic Convention platform petitions; the knowledge that there were similar events in 250 US cities and more throughout
the world; and the celebratory post rally drink (rum and diet Coke) at the Flatiron Bar. Disappointments? Losing Peter and
Daniel and only connecting by phone to Anita and Carmel Fee and Barbara Brianzeva and Nadine -- but, hey, we were there, together,
in a sea of people. It was good and I thank God for the positive energy for Peace. Let's draw on that energy now and move
Friday, March 19, 2004
March FOR Peace -- and the other 11, too!
9:12 am est
Tomorrow is the big day! And NYFOR member Peter Murray will be joining Shubh Mathur, Jane Levy, Daniel Marshall, Howard Pflanzer,
and me -- and others? -- for a peace brunch and then the march. (Sr. Eileen Storey will be with us in spirit but not able
to come -- *sigh*) Please, God, may the weather behave and may the Spirit guide folks to come out FOR peace this March --
and Every Month. Lots, too, are saying prayers worldwide, in conjunction with James Twyman's Beloved Community, at NOON, Saturday.
Thank you, God, for peacemakers and peace and prayers in abundance! Ahhhhh, Kate Anne is praying again -- but hey, God knows
politics and the world needs prayers and people who open their eyes to peace and justice and a more equitable world where
people are paid living wages.
An ACTION NOTE: The NY State Assembly is once again pushing for an increase in New York State's minimum wage from $5.15 an
hour to $7.10. The Assembly keeps passing the increase but the Republican dominated Senate doesn't even bring it to the floor.
Consequently, New Yorkers are suffering. A full-time minimum wage worker earns only $10,712 -- that's $4,112 less than the
official federal poverty level. The Assembly FOCUS publication -- available on line at www.assembly.state.ny.us -- notes,
"If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation it would be $8.72 an hour, instead of $5.15 hour." I urge you
to contact Governor Pataki and demand that he push his party to help the poorest of the working poor.
Gov. George E. Pataki
633 Third Ave
New York NY 10017
Executive Chamber, NYS Capitol Building
Albany NY 12224
518-474-8390, FAX: 518-473-7669
For more information on this important topic, see the FOCUS online (url cited above).
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Peace and St. Patrick's Day
8:37 am est
A day to wear the Green but only three days remain before the March 20th Day of Global Action for Peace -- see United for
Peace and Justice's site, www.unitedforpeace.org for updates. Personally, I've been sending out info to listservs but also
want to keep my friends informed. I don't like to hear, gee, I would have marched -- had I only KNOWN about it. What to do
first? I must remember that I am only one person and cannot do it all, but decisions have to be made and priorities listed.
All the same, I intend to wear green, smile, and be peace -- hopefully even hand out some more leaflets today -- if the beautiful
blanket of late season snow doesn't impede me too much. It is gorgeous -- and cold. And for those who need ideas for peace
signs, send them to the NYFOR listserv (link above) whose messages can be read by nonmembers for a message just posted with
plenty of slogans/phrases. Peace hugs, one and ALL ... and Top of the Morning to You!!
Monday, March 15, 2004
Starting each day -- in Peace and Love
7:20 am est
"Each day, I promise myself not to try to solve all my life problems at once -- nor shall I expect you to do so;...
"Starting each day, I shall remind myself that I am a human being and not demand perfection of you until I am perfect,
so you're safe;
"Starting each day, I shall try to be more aware of the beautiful things in our world -- I'll look at the flowers, I'll
look at the birds, I'll look at the children, I'll feel the cool breezes, I'll eat good food -- and I'll share these things
"Starting each day, I shall remind myself to reach out and touch you, gently, with my words, my eyes and with my fingers,
because I don't want to miss feeling you;
"Starting each day, I shall dedicate myself again to the process of being a lover [and a peacemaker] -- and then see
Starting each day (with thanks to Leo Buscaglia for the above quotation/reminder/prayer and to Mara Emmie for quoting him
at Prayersofpeace.com), I will ask God for wisdom and grace to do the work that has been given me to do, with joy and resolve
and a smile;
Starting each day I will remember, with God's help, to be the peace I seek and reflect it lovingly to the world, despite meanness
or ill will;
Starting each day may I be a blessing, with God's help -- Amen.
Sunday, March 14, 2004
9:49 am est
Yet another friend relayed fear that Bush would try to hijack the election through some devious scheme, like announcing the
finding of bin Laden -- perhaps even already found -- at the very last moment, right before the election. My friend urged
the creation of an email campaign suggesting this could happen, and urging people not to be gullible. Too many would forget
how Bush has abandoned his middle-of-the-road campaign promises and made our country a less safe place through his war mongering
and US-first policies. The environment is being compromised, to benefit Bush's campaign contributors. And Bush frequently
says one thing and does another -- and too many people don't see through this tactic. "Our president wouldn't lie!"
Just as he lied about weapons of mass destruction, Bush will lie again whenever he stands to benefit. I've heard others suggest
an October -- or November -- surprise. And I wouldn't put it past him and his cohorts. I am reading THE BOOK ON BUSH - How
George W. (Mis)leads America, by Eric Alterman and Mark Green, and such an action would be in keeping. As Al Franken knows
and John Kerry does too, they are "lying liars". Dear God, help us -- how do we open people's eyes?
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Corin Redgrave and Gerry Ferraro
10:12 pm est
LAST night I was at Cooper Union's Great Hall to listen to Corin Redgrave and friends, the Center for Constitutional Rights
head, and some parents/family of the Guantanamo detainees and it has reminded me how much still has to be done for these prisoners.
See www.guantanomohrc.org for more info, but above all remind people these prisoners are not even charged with anything and
have been penned up for two years!! It is a disgrace. The folks last night said their children/brother were not guilty of
anything, but that was less important than moving forward and getting them out of limbo. If they could be told of any charges
and given a fair trail, that would be helpful. But would it be fair? Then I got home and read an email from my friend Jill
True about the Australian detainee -- interesting synchronicity. And one thing that wasn't synchronicity was the release of
the British detainees, right before this week tour was to start. So at least some are getting out, but way too slowly. Corin
is Vanessa's brother and she's active with the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission, too. But as I told one of the Commission
members last night, with all there is to do, this very important issue had slipped into the background. Their presentation
last night has reminded me to speak out against this injustice, too.
Then tonight I was at a fundraiser for my NYS Assemblymember Cathy Nolan hosted by none other than Gerry Ferraro, twenty years
after her run for Vice President (and Cathy’s first run for the Assembly). As Cathy said, we had expected women to be further
along then we are, given Gerry’s historic run -- but hey, we’ll never give up, we’ll never give in. Freddy Ferrer was there
as were Congressmembers Nydia Velazquez and Joe Crowley. I thanked Nydia about her courageous progressive stands and then
spoke to Joe about the detainees and he expressed his concern. (Nydia had protested in Brooklyn about the detainee issue months
back.) I’ll follow it up with Joe with a note, but we know it isn’t he and it surely isn’t Nydia, but Dubya Bush and his ilk
who are the problems when it comes to human rights. Well, it keeps me busy. God, would that I could just read a book and play
with my computer and walk on beaches....but God has other plans. Please help us meet our challenges, successfully, Amen.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
March 20th -- Speak out for Peace and People
6:43 am est
Last night I was at the New York City planning meeting for the worldwide March 20th peace demo -- see unitedforpeace.org --
and then started handing out some of the brochures ON THE SUBWAY on the way back to Sunnyside -- and NOT silently. I spoke
out about the upcoming demo and how we New Yorkers have to lead the way, how Bush's wars and policies are depriving funds
from worthwhile programs: education, healthcare, seniors, hospitals, daycare, Headstart, the environment. A few people stared
at me, but even more people were grabbing for the leaflets -- and reading them. People are ticked off and the new brochure
is emphasizing how Bush's wars and policies are draining much needed money from the people helping programs. Picture me, Ms.
Middle Class, talking to subway cars full of folks! Carol Bragg (of Providence RI and FOR) calls it "moving beyond one's
comfort zone." But as I do it, I become more comfortable. Why? Because of the overwhelming positive response in most
cars (yes, I changed cars) -- people were THANKING me for speaking up!!! One guy started questioning me and I expected he'd
start haranguing me but instead HE AGREED WITH ME. He mentioned how jobs were being lost right and left -- and it is wrong!
It is all connected. We can't have money for people AND for war. He got it. And others will, too. If we all help. This is
not a time for silence.
Speak up where you can -- to your NYC area friends, neighbors, email buddies -- ask them to come out to Madison Avenue, north
of 23rd Street (or check the unitedforpeace.org site for a rally near them -- over 200 are being planned). If you can't come,
send money and/or someone else. This is too important and a foreshadowing of what Bush and the Republicans can expect in August.
Thank you and bless you, for whatever you can do. (And yes, I was thanking and blessing the subway riders, even those who
said, "No, thank you." And I got some blessings back too :-) But rather than quote Dicken's Tiny Tim today, I will
quote Rev. Martin Luther King:
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is
approaching spiritual death."
Speak out today, tomorrow, and very visibly on March 20th.
Tuesday, March 9, 2004
From Parading to Celebrating Life's Continuity
7:46 am est
Sunday's weather in Queens was beautiful and the participants in the inclusive St. Patrick's Parade were indeed blessed. I
joined the WQIDC contingent and got to relate to Patricia Hernandez of the spirited Mexican contingent, immediately behind
us. (For the Mexican-Irish connection check out the stpatsforall.com website -- but it is an Irish-multicultural inclusive
parade) The one problem was the extreme lateness in stepping off, due to the lateness of certain politicos. During the lag,
I worked the crowd sticking little green shamrocks on all sorts of people, who were very appreciative to get their touch of
green and Irish spirit. Such a fun and special day -- and Patricia has reminded me to come and celebrate the Mexican Parade
in September. Let's celebrate life and diversity and unity -- all God's children!
From the parade, a number of our contingent celebrated my upcoming birthday and that of my older twin, Frances Gizerian (quite
a bit older -- she was born in 1913). As I end one year and begin another, I pray God help me focus and define what really
needs to be done -- and remember that I cannot do it all. (For personal peace at home, my Australian friend Jill True has
told me to start with the bed and the dishes -- sounds good. But I also know I need to simplify -- less to dust.) But I must
be the peace I seek and be a blessing to the world, someone who contributes, who makes the world a better place. "God
bless us, everyone."
Saturday, March 6, 2004
Personal Peace versus Activism
1:32 pm est
Today I have been having a bit of a battle between doing stuff on my personal list and doing activist activities. This morning
I was exploring blogging and blog sites -- and locating peace blogs (though PeaceBlogs.org sadly seems to list a number of
blog sites devoted to a different spelling of peace -- be careful if you go there). I had hoped to go out with my neighbor
Ann to distribute leaflets for the March 20th Peace March. Instead, I worked on stuff for my progressive Democratic club.
We are marching in the Queens inclusive St. Patrick's Parade tomorrow and there are people to be notified and calls to make.
In a few minutes I am going to deliver hard copies of our online update to some nearby folk who aren't on the web. But there
is also housework that must be done. Still, I did chalk off one thing on my personal to do list: I contacted my Texas friend,
Pat Fox who has been missing from one of my Yahoo groups. She's fine, relatively speaking, for an activist in Bush country.
And it was so good to re-connect.
So now, lunch in my tummy, I can move on to some more stuff on my list -- but which list? Choices -- have to build for tomorrow,
but that dusting, vacuuming, bed-making must be done, too. Prioritize. Get out that prayer ... God, what would you have me
do today? Help me make some headway on several peace fronts: personal, local, national, global. I wish my friends the same
-- let's all smile and say Amen and get moving even as we remember that none of us can do it all. There is a Merton quotation
I shall have to post about how activists have to respect themselves. Personal peace is connected to global peace. So I shall
allow myself some time for Kate Anne. God bless us, everyone!
Thursday, March 4, 2004
Finding Peace despite Information Overload
6:16 pm est
Well, I am looking
for peace anyway -- but my mailbox overfloweth and I get all this awful information
on the latest Bush is doing. For some info, check out Truthout's site http://truthout.org/
-- and like me take sustenance from humor. A colleague Bruce shared with me information about someone forming a committee
to Re-Defeat Bush -- after all he was never really elected. Now off to a Community Board meeting, after all I have to save
the world. And so far I have succeeded -- it is still here. But please, no more 8:30 AM calls from the Kerry campaign -- hey,
let me finish paying my Kucinich contributions!
Marching toward March 20th and to the polls
7:52 am est
"Of course as a feminist, I am concerned about nuclear disarmament. What does it matter if my daughter has equal rights
with my son, if they are both equally dead?" -- Kate Brennan, Geneva [Ohio] Free Press, circa 1980
Stopping at the United for Peace and Justice office for March 20th peace march leaflets, I was reminded of that quotation
as I talked to Frank there. The whole women-peace connection had been on my mind anyway, since meeting with Shirley Ranz and
Sherry Rogers of Brooklyn-Queens NOW. It is all connected. If we are going to have any world left to give our kids and grandkids,
we have to get the various peace and justice groups together and get them out on March 20th -- 23rd and Madison here in NYC,
but get folks out all over the world to demonstrate that the world STILL says NO to war. We must get beyond our differences,
rise above our egos, focus on our commonality and recommit and march forward, speaking out against a world of endless war
that Bush and his ilk espouses, and for a world of true peace and real justice where people everywhere have roofs over their
heads, food in their bellies, medicine in their cabinets, parks in their neighborhoods, and music in their souls. The world
is ours to recreate -- it is only now into the new millennium -- let it be a new era, with a positive vision. Let us work
with upj.org, forusa.org and others for peace, and with progressive political groups for peace candidates -- and give Bush
a resounding NO now and in November.
It is a two-fold process: speaking out and voting for peace. To turn the tide, we have to get like-minded folk to start talking
seriously about war and peace and converting their friends. Make it clear, the connection: We can't spend the huge sums of
money on the Bush administration's endless wars and have enough money to educate children, repair the infrastructure, care
for the sick and the elderly .... HELP people. The choice is ours as to what kind of world we want. And we have to make the
choice evident, on March 20th and in November at the polls. There is a lot to be done -- let's do it. [Please, God, give us
the energy to go forth into the world in peace, to do the work you have given us to do, today and everyday. Amen.]
Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Voting Our Hearts
7:31 am est
Seeing my Kucinich button, my boss questioned my not being for the winner. So many people are considering Kerry a done-deal
and therefore the person for whom we should be voting. While Kerry is certainly better than Bush, he doesn't have my heart
-- his heart I suspect belongs to his big campaign contributors and he'll give me and other progressives lip service to court
our votes but then take us for granted as he goes after the middle. Politics is compromise but for this primary I vote for
the person who would best help the little guy, and that IS the little guy, Dennis Kucinich: strange name but great message:
true peace and real justice -- single payer healthcare; Out of Iraq, NAFTA and WTO; money for schools and not for war; money
for PEOPLE-SERVING and not for people-destroying; take back the rich-benefitting Bush tax cut for which today's children will
be paying years from now; etc. I want his message heard at the Democratic Convention and that means he needs votes and some
delegates -- join me, peace friends. Vote your heart and include a Kucinich delegate or two among your five. Dennis gave us
a prayer for America. Today, I pray that his message will continue to be heard after today. Please, God -- Amen.
Monday, March 1, 2004
A New Day Dawns
6:49 am est
This morning is starting out beautifully with a beautiful sunrise, a good sign -- after a good night's sleep and yesterday's
politicking. I met with good folk yesterday outside of CBS on West 57th Street. The Kucinich signs were very visible though
there some Kerry and Sharpton supporters, too, as well as gay marriage proponents and Billionaires for Bush -- wonderful energy.
Good, indeed. PLUS, we got to meet Dennis briefly as he left following the televised "debate" -- yes, good indeed.
Contance Chang, her significant other Eric, and I met with good response -- there is that operative word again! -- on the
streets of Astoria. Our spirited politicking drove the Kerry guy across the street to another corner no doubt. Even the sock
seller was caught up and chanting for everyone to vote for Kucinich in the primary Tuesday. Constance as delegate got some
personal votes promised to her, too. Yes, a good day yesterday -- and please, God, another today, we trust. (Amen!! :-)