Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Michael Moore on Larry King tonight (Wed.)

Michael Moore will be Larry King's only guest tonight (Wednesday), live, for the full hour.
Tune in to CNN at 9pm ET (repeated at midnight and 3am),
6pm PT (repeated at 9pm, and midnight).

He's back! He's taken on the Bush Administration, health care, and gun control. Now he takes on Larry! Michael Moore on all the hot news of the day.

E-mail your questions.
Send us a video e-mail!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

May 11: Mother's Day Peace Stroll

May 11th Sunday, 11am


Meet at the Merchants Gate at Columbus Circle (59th and Central Park West)
(If it rains, the parade is cancelled, but we will proceed under cloudy skies.)

Wear festive attire, bring signs of peace, and also bring your mother, grandmother, kids, partners, spouses, neighbors and dogs for a lively stroll lead by a marching band.

Most people think that Mother's Day was a holiday invented by Hallmark to sell more cards. But, in fact, Mother's Day for Peace was instituted in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe as a response to the carnage of the Civil War. She called on women to come together to commemorate their dead and to find "the means whereby the great human family can live together in peace..."

Our Mothers' Day Peace Stroll will step off from Columbus Circle at 11:15am
and head up Broadway to 66th Street, right to Columbus, up Columbus through the flea market and art fair near the Natural History Museum.
We will read the Mothers' Day proclamation on the steps of the museum,
then head through the park to read the proclamation again on the steps of the Met.

May Day (May 1): Rally

May 1st, 2pm & 3pm


2 p.m. rally
3 p.m. March to Union Square

CODEPINK NYC joins with Break the Chains Campaign for a Rally at Roosevelt Square (in Chinatown)
followed by a march to the mass workers' rally at Union Square.

Meet at Roosevelt Park, (Grand Street between Forsyth & Chrystie St.)
(B/D trains to Grand St)

Join CODEPINK NYC to demand:
Repeal of the Employer Sanction Provision;
Legislate equal rights for all workers;
Establish a genuine path to citizenship for undocumented workers

Contact the Break the Chains Campaign
c/o NMASS at 212.358.0295.

Monday, April 28, 2008

May 1: ReBel Diaz at The Bowery Poetry Club


Hey Yall-
SPread the word!
REBEL DIAZ is performing this Thursday....
along with some other DOPE FOLKS!

Bowery Poetry Club308 Bowery Street
(Between Houston and Bleecker)
(F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker)

$7 with Flyer/$10 without

A night of celebration and unity, there will be feature performances by Rebel Diaz, NYOIL, and Kalunga Neg Mawon, with DJ Chela and legendary pioneer Dj Disco Wiz, the first latino Hip Hop DJ, on the 1s and 2s.
Showtime is at midnight. Party until 3am.

Support Political Hip Hop!


Thursday MAY 1st


Stop the Raids & Deportations
Legalization Now · Justice for ALL

12 pm: Gather at Union Square, (14th Street & Broadway)

4 pm: Rally & March

May Day 2008 is critically important. Will the optimism and hope expressed around the Presidential elections translate into an end of immigrant raids and deportations? Will it bring an end to the foreclosures of homes, the lowering of gas and food prices, or an end to lay-offs?

Whatever the outcome in November, the May 1st Coalition for Immigrant and Workers Rights will be marching once again on May Day, International Workers Day to say no to all the attacks against workers here and around the world.

We (NYC May 1st Coalition for Immigrant & Workers Rights) call on the progressive community, the anti-war movement, the women's & LGBT movement, and especially the labor movement, to come out for May Day 2008. March for solidarity, because an injury to one is an injury to all!

NYC May 1st Coalition for Immigrant & Workers Rights
55 West 17 Street, #5C, New York, NY 10011
c/o Teamsters Local 808, 22-43 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel: (641) 715-3900 ext. 97869# (you must include #)
Tel. (516) 582-2720 (Spanish)

The Supreme Court and the Abridgement of Democracy

In a fascinating article "Redefining Iran as the Enemy in Iraq," Ivan Eland says:
At the [[Petraeus] congressional hearings, however, there were signs that the latest botched Iraqi government offensive in Basra...was beginning to flip a few Republicans against the war.

This movement was indicated by some Republicans adopting the Democrats’ argument that Iraqis were failing to do enough to become democratic.

Although it is grossly unfair to invade a country, destroy its social fabric and economy, and then expect people who have had no experience in democracy to quickly become democrats, if it takes those rhetorical gymnastics to justify a more rapid U.S. withdrawal, then I guess it’s an improvement.
after all, in over two-hundred years we haven't become democrats. In fact, in recent years we have been moving further and further away from democracy. If democracy is the constant expansion of the franchise to more and more people, we are going in the opposite direction. Witness Monday's Supreme Court decision on photo IDs for voting access eligibility.
Under Indiana's law, voters must present a government-issued photo ID with an expiration date that has not elapsed. The law does not accept Veterans' IDs, Congressional IDs, student IDs, or work IDs.

Many citizens -- disproportionately low-income, minorities, students and seniors -- do not have the identification required by Indiana's law.

"In the three years since this case was brought, reliable studies have shown that 10-12% of eligible voting-age Americans do not have voter government-issued photo identification, particularly low-income, minority, senior, and student voters. Unfortunately, some will ignore these facts, and seek to use this ruling to manipulate the rules of the game and block these eligible voters from the ballot box," stated Justin Levitt, counsel at the Brennan Center.
So it would seem the right-wing Supreme Court is once again trying to manipulate the democratic process (Remember 2000.) Clearly in the Democratic primary in Indiana who's most likely to be hurt by the deprivation of voting rights to "low income, minority, senior, and student voters" -- Clinton or Obama? It has become more and more obvious that the right-wing nuts would much rather run against Clinton than Obama.

If you doubt this just read super neo-con William Kristol's column ("Hillary Gets no Respect") in today's (Monday) New York Times:
But Hillary may well be the better candidate. After all,
He says,
for all the talk of Obama's extraordinary ability to draw voters to the polls, Clinton has defeated him in the big states....
This totally bogus argument, straight out of the Clinton play book, has been reinforced by the latest Supreme Court interference in the election process.

May 31: Pedal for Peace 2008

NYC United for Peace and Justice Alert

Pedal for Peace 2008:
Fund our communities, Not War! Bring all the Troops Home Now!

Saturday, May 31, 11:00 AM
(Rain Date June 6)
(Registration/Check in at 10:00 AM)

Ride begins and ends in Central Park
(Enter at 110th and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.)

Join NYC United for Peace and Justice for a fun afternoon of bicycling.
Be a part of the cycle of peace!
A Family Friendly 15-mile Ride

This will be the second annual Pedal for Peace, a fundraising ride to support the work of NYC United for Peace and Justice. This is a permitted ride that will wind through East Harlem, Harlem and the Upper Westside. It is a great combination of cycling through neighborhoods and more open tree-lined roads (Edgecombe and Riverside Drives). We will keep a gentle pace to encourage families and less experienced riders to participate. For the hardcore cyclists, it will be more like a stroll giving you an opportunity to take in the sites as we go. Most importantly, we will be making a statement as we ride: Fund our communities, Not War! Bring all the Troops Home Now!

REGISTER TODAY! Registration is $40 or $25 low-income/student. Children under 18 ride free. All riders get a fabulous Pedal for Peace t-shirt. Everyone is encouraged to also get sponsors. There are great gifts for those who raise $250 or more!

The first 50 riders to register, as well as all children, will get a safety flag with a peace symbol on it. We encourage you to get creative and decorate your bike with messages of peace!

Pedaler for Peace: $250
UFPJ Gift Pack including various items like stickers, t-shirt, books, etc.

Champion of Justice: $500
The UFPJ Gift Pack plus a $25 gift certificate to a bike shop and/or other bike gear.

Peacemaker Extraordinaire: $1000 or more
The $500 level gifts plus a Collector's Item "We the People Say No to the Bush Agenda" Flag and an Ipod shuffle.

Register today! Every rider will be able to set up their individualized fund raising page to make getting sponsors really easy! (Children under 18 who want to fundraise and volunteers should call 212.868.5545 to register.)

Are you riding in the 5 Borough Bike Ride on Sunday, May 4th? We are looking for volunteers to pass out Pedal for Peace leaflets. As a thank-you, you will get free registration to the ride and your Pedal for Peace t-shirt early. To sign-up, please send an email to or call 212-868-5545.

Not only will Pedal for Peace be a great ride but it gives you another opportunity to help support the peace movement. NYC-UFPJ is a coalition of around 75 groups. We organize city-wide actions like River to River: Join Hands for Peace. We sponsor coordinated actions like leafleting on Tax Day and Opt-Out Education on Parent-Teacher Nights. We are working with others to combat aggressive military recruitment in the schools. And more!

But we can't do any of this without the funds! We hope you will join us by not only riding but by spreading the word and getting sponsored as well!

I look forward to riding with you on May 31st!

Please share this as widely as possible!

Leslie Kielson
Coordinator, NYC-UFPJ

May 3: 50 Artists,50 Shots: Artists Repond to the Sean Bell Verdict

Saturday, May 3, 7:00 pm

50 Artists,50 Shots: We are All Sean Bell

Artists Repond to the Sean Bell Verdict

Brecht Forum
451 West Street
(that's the West Side Highway)
bt Bank & Bethune Sts

Artists TBA
This is an outcry responding to the verdict of Sean Bell's case. Artists, Community Leaders and Activists come together to educate, share, learn, mourn, and inspire all of us on the Sean Bell case, the legal system, transformation, and action. This will be a Free Event and All Performances are Voluntary. First come basis, once we have all 50 Artists the list will end. ***If you are interested pleasae submit your name, contact info, and a brief description of the work, you would like to perform to:

Co-sponsor: Mahina Movement

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Young at Heart a film with lots of heart

Last Saturday evening Ann and I with our friend Barbara went to see a movie about some old codgers (in their 70s and 80s) singing rock songs. It's wonderful and you'll fall in love with them. There are sad moments, but most of it is very up and wonderful. It's called Young at Heart. If it has a message it's that even if you can't stay alive literally, you can stay figuratively alive.

Anyway here they are singing "I Want to be Sedated" by the Ramones:

Friday, April 25, 2008

May Day event: Play

Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas
a new comedy/drama by Michelle Willens and Wendy Kout
starring Christine Lahti and James Naughton

May 1, 7:30pm
Symphony Space in Manhattan
Leonard Nimoy Thalia
$50; Student $20; With Reception and one-year subscription to The Nation Magazine $100 (call box office at 212.864.5400)

The 1950 Senate race in California pitted the popular Democratic Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas against a young Republican member of the House named Richard Nixon. The campaign was destined to be one of the nation's most infamous and is notable as the race that Nixon acquired his "Tricky-Dick" moniker. Nixon waged an unrelenting red-baiting campaign, calling Gahagan Douglas "pink right down to her underwear." The contest is also well-known as the first "modern election" in that dirty campaigning was married to sophisticated media technology.

Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas is a new comedy/drama by Michelle Willens and Wendy Kout that tells the true story of the infamous 1950 U.S. Senate race in which Nixon destroyed the elegant Congresswoman (and wife of actor Melvyn Douglas).

On May 1, thanks to the playwrights' generosity, there will be a special May 1 reading of the play starring Christine Lahti and James Naughton with all proceeds going to The Nation magazine.

Nation writer John Nichols will be speaking at a special post-reading reception. Taking place at 7:30 on May 1 at Symphony Space in Manhattan. Click here for info and to buy tickets.

Today: Protest miscarraige of justice in Sean Bell murder

Sean Bell, Nicole [Paultry] Bell
and their baby


5:30 PM

Queens DA's Office, 125-01 Queens Blvd. (bt Hoover Ave and 82nd Ave.)
(E or F train to Union Turnpike.)

Once again the justice system has failed to protect the rights of people of color. A message is once more sent that law enforcement officers can act with impunity. Sean Bell joins a tragic list of those victimized by police, who have been denied justice. The names sound through history like drumbeats in a funeral procession: Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Eleanor Bumpers, Alberta Spruill, Ousmane Zongo, and on and on and on.

As United for Peace and JUSTICE, we must always respond to injustice. We must affirm that all human life is worthy, that injustice must always be confronted. That is why we urge everyone who can to come out to the protest rally today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Media buoys Clinton chances

I think this brief discussion on the Democratic race, which took place before the results of yesterday's Pennsylvania primary were known, highlights the negative role the media has played. It's between Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Although they don't actually say it, I think that the media has played this role because they need a good story to get ratings, they really don't care about democracy. (video first posted on YouTube)

Media makes much of little in PA

From America Blog
Hillary gets only small delegate bump from PA
by John Aravosis (DC)

As predicted, Pennsylvania changed nothing. Obama still leads Hillary by 131 delegates overall,and 156 pledged (not "super") delegates:
NBC News has allocated so far a 75-65 split for Clinton out of Pennsylvania;
18 delegates are not allocated yet.

With that, Obama now leads by 156 pledged delegates: 1,482-1,326.

Our superdelegate total is Clinton 262, Obama 237.

In all, Obama now leads by 131 overall: 1,719-1,588.

April 26: Fifth Annual Brooklyn Peace Fair

Fifth Annual
Brooklyn Peace Fair

Saturday April 26
11:00 am–6:00 pm

Long Island University
Brooklyn Campus
Workshops 11 am to 2 pm
Plenary session 2 pm to 3 pm
Performance showcase 3 pm to 6 pm
Plan now for you and your organization to participate!

See lineup of workshops, speakers, presenters and performers.

Co-Sponsored by:

Brooklyn For Peace
41 Schermerhorn St., PMB 106
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Student Government Association
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus
1 University Plaza
Flatbush Avenue at DeKalb
Brooklyn, NY 11201-8423

(Convenient transportation from all neighborhoods in Brooklyn: B, M, Q, R to DeKalb Avenue • 2, 3, 4,5 to Nevins Street • A, C, G Hoyt-Schermerhorn • Buses B65, B103, B37, B63, B45, B25, B52, B26, B38, B67, and B41 See a map.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fox virus infects other TV networks

Is the Fox virus spreading to the rest of TV? This disease seemed to have infected the ABC questioners at last week's presidential debate.

These videos are from Brave New Films

Here's more from last week's ABC presidential debate: Obama being questioned about Bill Ayers and Clinton joining in and seconding the rediculous attack

May 2-4: Jobs with Justice National Conference

Jobs with Justice National Conference

May 2-4, 2008

Providence, Rhode Island

The 2008 JwJ National Conference will attract a diverse group of more than 1,000 labor, community, student, and religious activists from across the and the world for sessions on building power for workers, health care for immigrant rights, the campaign for a floor wage in Asia, student and youth organizing, low-income worker organizing, music, art, fun, and more!

For more than a decade, the Jobs with Justice National Conference has provided activists with a space to come together to celebrate our victories, share our experiences, learn new skills, and build stronger relationships. Year after year this inspiring gathering brings together leaders and activists from around the country and the world who are working to build powerful coalitions for workers' rights and economic justice. The conference combines skills-building and information-sharing workshops with issue-focused strategy sessions to provide opportunities for participants to deepen their commitment to Jobs with Justice at a national level, and to take concrete plans of action back to their local coalitions. In addition to plenary sessions with distinguished speakers and skills-building workshops, the JwJ conference is an opportunity to celebrate the work that local coalitions have done over the last year and to have some serious fun! At each National Conference, we also identify a local campaign where national presence can make a difference and we organize an action to call attention to the campaign.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How about moderate Republicans voting Democratic?

The media political pundits have talked allot about so-called "Reagan Democrats" voting for McSame, but have paid very little attention to the possibility of moderate Republicans who are deeply sick of the Bush/Cheney brand of foreign and domestic policies voting for a Democratic candidate. For example:
McCain is just a Bush clone and offers nothing for us, our future or our kids. And, he wants to keep the [Iraq] war going.” she said.

But the jump to the Democrats comes with one caveat:

“There’s no way I’d vote for Clinton, I just don’t like her. If the choice is Clinton-McCain, it will be McCain.”
These are the words of Richard L. Fricker's 39-year-old niece, Penny, "a mom with a child in “Christian” day-care, a Presbyterian, a manager of an upscale jewelry store, a wife of a department store manager – and, oh yes, a Republican."

Obviously this is limited anecdotal evidence, but it's a potential worth media attention.

April 21: Protest war criminal Cheney

Monday April 21, 2008
starting at 10:00 AM
740 Park Avenue (@71st Street)

Vice President Cheney will be in town shilling for cash for NY Congressman Vito Fossella. They'll be hosted by NYC's wealthiest resident, David Koch, the billionaire head of Koch Industries, a conglomerate with hugely polluting oil and gas holdings. Koch Industries is the second largest privately-held company in the U.S. and a major contributor to Republican campaigns.

Protest Cheney and tell the luncheon guests: Fossella must go!

This protest is being organized by Truth 13, an independent group of concerned citizens dedicated to removing New York's 13th Congressional District representative Vito Fossella from office. Their mission is to educate voters of the 13th Congressional District about Vito Fosella's atrocious voting record and the bad company he keeps. Joining in the fun will be members of Codepink, NY Progressive Democrats of America and others.

Contact Merle Mceldowney (Truth 13) 212 933-0290 for more information.

In 2000, Koch Industries faced a federal indictment charging it with concealing releases of 91 metric tons of the carcinogen benzene from a Texas refinery. If convicted, the company faced fines of up to $352 million, plus possible jail time for its executives. Under George W. Bush's presidency, the U.S. Justice Department dropped charges the day the case was scheduled to begin, in return for a one-time $20M fine -- less than 6% of what it could have been.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nancy Pelosi "afraid ad"

"There is something truly phenomenal going on in San Francisco. A political novice by the name of Shirley Golub has the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, running scared, afraid that if she agrees to debate the challenger she will not be able to defend her record of capitulation, afraid the voters of the 8th congressional district will no longer make excuses for political cowardice . . . just afraid.

"And that's exactly the way Shirley Golub called it last week, when she called Nancy Pelosi out for being a political coward, using those exact words. Listen to the radio ad they are all talking about for yourself."

Pelosi Afraid Ad:

UNC Chapel Hill Students Occupy Chancellor's Office

UNC student protesters settle in
as the administration building
closes for the night.
Photo by Harry Lynch, The News Observer

Students Occupy Chancellor's Office
NO Sweatshops!
NO Union busting!

About 10 students from UNC Chapel Hill's SAW - (Student Action with Workers) - which includes several members of Raleigh FIST - as well as members of UNC SDS, SPEAC (Solidarity with Palestine through Education and Action), and USAS - have been occupying the Chancellor's office for 24 hours now - demanding that the University sign on to the DSP - Designated Supplier Program - that would ensure that apparral made with the UNC logo is made by workers free from anti-union intimidation and full rights to organize - - demanding "Stop Union Busting" and "UNC Sweatfree" - the students have committed to staying as long as it takes - and are prepared to continue the occupation through the weekend.

How to Support the Students:

CALL CHANCELLOR MOESER at 919-962-1365 and tell him you support the students who are sitting in at his office and demand that he immediately adopt the DSP!

A joke

I told a Friend of mine that we might go to see a movie about old people singing rock songs tonight ("Young at Heart"), he said: "Oh! Your going to see the Stones movie."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Edwards on Colbert

Here's John Edwards on The Colbert Report tonight. Surprisingly he's very good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On E Street Obama's the choice

The following appeared on Bruce Springs- teen's website today:

"Dear Friends and Fans:

"LIke most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

"He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where "...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."

"At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams From My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.

"After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.

"Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President."

Petition to close the School of the Americas

Here's an important email we just got:

Petition to Presidential Candidates: Close the School of the Americas

The School of the Americas (SOA), now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, provides training by the US military to some of the most violent militias around the world. Soldiers trained at the SOA have been responsible for many human rights abuses, including those directed at workers and labor organizers. The Latin America Solidarity Coalition (LASC) is circulating this petition to Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. Urge them to take a public stand for the closure of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) and to commit to close this notorious institution by executive order if they will be elected.


Creation Explained

(This appeared in our e-mail a while ago. Thought you might enjoy it)


In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with Broccoli, Cauliflower and Spinach,green and yellow and red Vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would l ive Long and Healthy Lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry'sIce Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful Yogurt that Woman might keep the Figure that Man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad."

And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables, and olive oil in which to cook them."

And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

So God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good."

Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds.

And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the Potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

And Satan created McDonald's

and its 99-cent double Cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?"

And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!" And Satan said, "It is good."

And Man Went Into Cardiac Arrest.

God Sighed and Created

Quadruple Bypass Surgery.

Then Satan Created HMOs.

If you don't send this to five old friends right away there will be five fewer people laughing in the world

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sen. Clinton and the guns of truth

It would have been better for all of us if instead of teaching her how to shoot a gun Senator Clinton's father had taught her how to tell the truth.

I can't believe that any small town voter is dumb enough to believe that because she has a shot and a beer (photo op) and reminisces about learning to shoot guns, that Clinton understands their pain. The main difference between her and Barack Obama is that he tells the truth, she tells everyone what she thinks they want to hear. Last time I looked that was called pandering and patronizing. Eight years of lies at the highest levels of government is enough. Democracy depends on honesty and an administration that has enough respect for the people to tell the truth no matter how disagreeable it may be. Mike Lupica said in today's (Tues.) New York Daily News:
You are allowed to think that he [Obama] can come across as half-a-phony sometimes. Still the idea that he is the elitist in this race is as much a fiction as Hillary's fiction about her trip to Bosnia.

Sometimes Obama must think that the people he is up against lie just to stay in practice.

April 21: The Power of Nonviolence: Jonathan Schell & Taylor Branch

April 21, 7 pm

The Nation Institute presents:

Gandhi, King and the Power of Nonviolence:
Alternatives to Force in the 21st Century

Jonathan Schell and Pulitzer prize-winner Taylor Branch

The New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West)
Doors open at 6.30 p.m.

Free of charge (suggested donation $10).

Join bestselling writer Jonathan Schell, author of The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger, and Pulitzer prize-winner Taylor Branch, author of Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, as they discuss Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the enduring power of nonviolence in our contemporary world.

Suzannah Lessard will moderate the evening.

(This evening is part of a series that has been organized in collaboration with the Satya Graha Forum to celebrate the Metropolitan Opera's performance of Philip Glass' opera about Mahatma Gandhi and Satyagraha, his movement of social change through nonviolence.)

Following the discussion there will be audience questions, and a book-signing.

For more information go to or

Monday, April 14, 2008

April 17: Free screening: Film about Iraq

Thursday, April 17, 7:30pm

A screening of 500 Miles to Babylon, a compelling film about Iraq under U.S. occupation.

Filmmaker David Martinez will be on hand to discuss his experiences in Iraq.

Sarah Husain, a representative of the War Resisters League’s Youth and Counter Militarism Project, will discuss counter-recruitment campaign efforts in New York City.

The Change You Want To See Gallery
84 Havemeyer St, (at Metropolitan Ave)
Brooklyn NY 11211

500 Miles to Babylon is a one-hour documentary shot in multiple cities in Iraq in 2003-4. Narrated by the filmmaker, using footage shot in Iraq threaded with graphically animated archival sequences to provide historic context, the film addresses the current war not simply as a conflict over petroleum profits or a scheme to fill a company’s coffers, but as part of a larger American imperial project.

Through impromptu interviews, glimpses of daily life, still photographs, and footage of car-bombs, demonstrations, night-time graffiti artists, Sufi rituals, and the celebrations following Saddam’s capture, 500 Miles To Babylon reveals the complex situation in contemporary Iraq through a personal lens. Far from being a simple anti-war movie, 500 Miles illustrates the terrible complexity of a people brutalized by a dictatorship, and the catastrophic results when that system is changed overnight by shortsighted military means.

500 Miles is also the story of director David Martinez, an American independent filmmaker in Iraq, attempting to understand the country and its ever-changing situation. One chapter of the film relates his experience in Fallujah where he temporarily abandoned his camera and was part of an ambulance crew fired on by U.S. snipers, only to be taken prisoner later by mujihadeen fighters in the same city. This is a film not about soldiers, not about governments, but about Iraqi civilians and a handful of independent journalists in a country being turned into hell. A cinema verite narrative of daily life, disintegration, and the humor that ordinary people adapt when living in a warzone.

With a soundtrack of Iraqi Choubi songs compiled by Sublime Frequencies.

David Martinez is a filmmaker and journalist originally from Texas, currently based in San Francisco. He is currently finishing, (along with co-producer Shane Bauer), a documentary entitled Songs To Enemies And Deserts about Darfuri rebel groups, filmed in Western Sudan in Summer 2007. He contributed war footage to films like Fahrenheit 911 by Michael Moore and Iraq For Sale by Robert Greenwald. His reporting on social movements and conflicts has appeared in The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Filmmaker Magazine, CounterPunch, and Islam Online. He has worked in feature film production with directors John Sayles and Richard Linklater, and as an actor in the animated feature Waking Life, directed by Linklater. He has also been employed as a school teacher, social worker, bike messenger, and taxi driver.

The War Resisters League’s Youth and Counter Militarism Project, based in New York City, provides young people with the resources and training necessary to agitate against military recruitment in their schools and communities. Their main focus is the Not Your Soldier Project. The long term goal is to bring youth organizers and young veterans together to help build a unified, national anti-war movement. To help accomplish this, they produce materials, conduct trainings, and work in a number of national coalitions.

The Daily Show does Fox News

Here's The Daily Show take on Fox News, starring John Oliver:

(From the Huffington Post: Eat the Press)

April 16: BOOK PARTY / FORUM: Ferentz Lafargue

Songs in the Key of My Life

Ferentz Lafargue

Wednesday, April 16, 7:30 pm


Brecht Forum
451 West Street
(between Bank & Bethune Streets)
Phone: (212) 242-4201
Email: brechtforum at

Ferentz Lafargue discusses his new memoir, Songs in the Key of My Life. Inspired by the seminal Stevie Wonder novel, he explores connections between memorable songs and memorable moments in his life.

Moderated by blogger and music critic Jalylah Burrell, the discussion will be followed by a book signing, and brief listening party featuring many of the songs from Songs in the Key of My Life.

Ferentz Lafargue is an assistant professor of literature at The New School for Liberal Arts, Eugene Lang College. He holds a PhD in American and African American Studies from Yale University. Born in Haiti, Ferentz joined his parents in Jamaica, Queens in 1981 . His essays have appeared in many collections. He currently shares his thoughts on contemporary events and politics at The Huffington Post.

Suggested donation: $6/$10/$15
Free for Brecht Forum Subscribers

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Paley with magaphone
It is the responsibility of the poet to be a woman to keep an eye on the world and
cry out like Cassandra but be listened to this time.
­Grace Paley

War Resisters League Tribute to Grace Paley, Activist
Saturday April 26, 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South

In short, declared Paley, it is the responsibility of the poet to be an activist.
It was a responsibility she fulfilled all her life.

On April 26, the War Resisters League, ­which was Paley’s political home for many years­, will celebrate her activism with many of her friends, colleagues, and family.

Poet-activist-priest-Fr. Dan Berrigan,
actor-activist Vinie Burrows,
activist-poet Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz,
longtime activist David McReynolds,
the vocal ensemble Harmonic Insurgence,
and other surprise guests

will share tales of Paley's protests and arrests in the service of peace and justice and read from her work about politics and making change, including the Women’s Pentagon Action Unity Statement she drafted.

CONTACT: Liz Roberts - (212) 228-0450

(Endorsed by and produced in collaboration with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.)

Keith Olbermann: Worst persons

So in case you missed it, here's Friday's "Worst Persons in the World" from Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dennis Berger Presente!

We're going to a memorial tomorrow (Sat.) for our friend and comrade Dennis Berger. I have not written anything about Dennis and his death because I've had a hard time getting my head around his no longer being here. No one I know better represented John Donne's famous Elegy than Dennis,
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, We are the less. .... Any one's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Dennis's death definitely diminishes all of us.

I'll try to say more after the memorial.

Katie Couric out at CBS?

The hot news in media circles is the likely demise of the Katie Couric Evening News experiment at CBS. The New York Daily News TV columnist Richard Huff says
CBS needs to pull the plug on Katie Couric anchoring the "CBS Evening News" immediately.
This despite his conclusion that
The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric is a fine newscast. Side by side, it's just like the others
Couric has a target on her back. She can do no right in the eyes of the media, the gossip crowd and those working in the navel-gazing world of TV news.
If you doubt that Couric "has a target on her back," listen to New York Post resident scold today (Friday)
Katie was trotted out to the public less than two years ago as no less than the savior of modern American communications - a woman combining Joan of Arc's zeal and Madonna's legs.

She had the gumption to smash through the glass ceiling to make the world safe for gals. Well, at least for those who rake in $15 million a year, plus a free ride to work.

But now that her career has crashed and burned into a wicked-witch-size puddle, it's time to say it: Katie screwed up on behalf of more than just one woman who had trouble reading the TelePrompTer with conviction.

She did it for all of us.
And believe me it only gets worse. Huff says that unlike her competitors "she's treated as a celebrity." I have never been a big Katie Couric fan, but it seems to me that being the first solo female network news anchor it would be hard not to be treated like a celebrity. Her only predecessors (as co-anchors) Barbara Walters (1976) and Connie Chung (1993) were treated the same way. And in their cases it also contributed to their difficulties.

But their biggest problem is being the first woman to crack through in a man's world. The biggest problem with Couric's failure to launch is that it will probably be another 15 or 20 years before a network is willing to try again. Here's the Daily News list of possible replacements: Anderson Cooper, Harry Smith, Chris Wragge (WCBS/Ch.2) and Scott Pelley (60 Minutes). Notice the common characteristics of all of them: testosterone. Even if Couric was wrong from the idea there are several great female news people who would make great anchors: NBC's Andrea Mitchell, the Today Show's Ann Curry and ABC's Elizabeth Vargas (who was an anchor until she got pregnant).

If CBS has any imagination, which is doubtful, if they do fire Couric, they'll replace her with a real female journalist and even I might watch CBS Evening News with ....


TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2008:

NO TAX MONEY FOR WAR Demonstration, March, Leafletting, and Press Conference

4-5 p.m. outside the IRS (110 West 44th St., west of 6th Avenue)

5:15 march, led by a mobile band and Bread & Puppet banners, begins towards the General Post Office (8th Avenue at 33rd St.)

6:30 p.m. Press Conference on the steps of the Post Office

For more information or

or call 718-768-7306.

Sponsored by NYC War Resisters League, the NYC People's Life Fund, and NYC war tax resisters. CODEPINK NYC is a co-sponsor.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Obama "grows up" on Iraq

New York Daily News columnist, Iraq invasion and occupation enthusiast and John McSame groupie (ex-W groupie) Michael Goodwin, in his comments on the Senate Petraeus/Crocker hearings, chose to disrespect Barack Obama. By saying that "everybody wants a 'successful resolution' [in Iraq] and that nobody wants a 'precipitous withdrawal' of our troops. He also seemed to be seeking a way of defining limited victory rather than sticking with his vow of a rapid retreat," Obama was displaying "a grownup moment for him,...that reflects the stubborn reality of Iraq." In other words, for Goodwin, if you agree with him you are a grownup, if not I guess an immature, perhaps obstreperous child. Of course, neither witness answered the question Obama, as well as Clinton and many others, actually asked.
OBAMA: And so my final -- and I'll even pose this as a question and I won't -- you don't necessarily have to answer it -- maybe it's a rhetorical question -- if we were able to have the status quo in Iraq right now without U.S. troops, would that be a sufficient definition of success?

It's obviously not perfect. There's still violence, there's still some traces of Al Qaida, Iran has influence more than we would like. But if we had the current status quo, and yet our troops had been drawn down to 30,000, would we consider that a success? Would that meet our criteria, or would that not be good enough and we'd have to devote even more resources to it?

CROCKER: Senator, I can't imagine the current status quo being sustainable with that kind of precipitous drawdown.

BIDEN: That wasn't the question.

OBAMA: No, no, that wasn't the question. I'm not suggesting that we yank all our troops out all the way. I'm trying to get to an endpoint. That's what all of us have been trying to get to.

And, see, the problem I have is if the definition of success is so high, no traces of Al Qaida and no possibility of reconstitution, a highly-effective Iraqi government, a Democratic multiethnic, multi- sectarian functioning democracy, no Iranian influence, at least not of the kind that we don't like, then that portends the possibility of us staying for 20 or 30 years.

If, on the other hand, our criteria is a messy, sloppy status quo but there's not, you know, huge outbreaks of violence, there's still corruption, but the country is struggling along, but it's not a threat to its neighbors and it's not an Al Qaida base, that seems to me an achievable goal within a measurable timeframe, and that, I think, is what everybody here on this committee has been trying to drive at, and we haven't been able to get as clear of an answer as we would like.

CROCKER: And that's because, Senator, is a -- I mean, I don't like to sound like a broken record, but this is hard and this is complicated.

I think that when Iraq gets to the point that it can carry forward its further development without a major commitment of U.S. forces, with still a lot of problems out there but where they and we would have a fair certitude that, again, they can drive it forward themselves without significant danger of having the whole thing slip away from them again, then, clearly, our profile, our presence diminishes markedly.

But that's not where we are now.

OBAMA: Thank you for your indulgence, Mr. Chairman.
Petraeus and Crocker didn't answer the question (What would constitute conditions that would allow us to withdraw our troops? What would "victory" actually look like?) no matter who asked it. That's because they now have us in a classic Catch 22. When conditions are bad, we can't leave. When conditions improve we can't leave because they are "reversible." If they answer the question they won't any longer be able to dance this two step on Iraq. They won't be able to sell Congress this Iraq snake oil.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bob Dylan wins music Pulitzer

Yesterday Bob Dylan was awarded a Special Pulitzer Citation In Music "for his profound impact on popular music and American culture."

Prize administrator Sid Gissler added that it also recognises Mr Dylan's "lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."

No More Tax Dollars for Bush's Iraq Occupation

Congress will soon consider President Bush's latest request for "emergency" funding to continue to pay for the occupation of Iraq. Representative John Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, will head up the committee that writes the legislation for this funding request.

After five years and more than five hundred billion dollars sunk into this occupation, our elected officials should stand up and say "no more."

Please sign the petition below, urging Rep. Murtha to appropriate funds only for a responsible and timely redeployment of our troops out of Iraq.

Former Congressman Tom Andrews and members of the Win Without War coalition will deliver your signatures to Congressman Murtha in person before the supplemental appropriations bill is written.

Monday, April 07, 2008

March Madness: and then there was one

Kansas wins national championship; defeats Memphis 75-68.

I didn't expect much of a game. But with Mario Chalmer's three point shot to tie the game in regulation, you couldn't have asked for a more exciting game. Both teams deserve a great deal of credit. You don't get that close to a national title without doing something right. Kansas just did the one more thing right. Congratulations.

For the record: This was the first the championship was won in overtime. It was also the first time all the #1 teams made the Final Four

The Ridenhour Courage Prizes awarded

Bill Moyers, The 2008
recipient of the Ridenhour
Courage Prize

The 5th Annual Ridenhour Prizes, sponsored by The Nation Institute and the Fertel Foundation, were awarded at a luncheon ceremony on April 3, 2008 at the Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The winners were veteran journalist Bill Moyers (Courage Prize), author James D. Scurlock (Book Prize) and former Navy JAG officer Matthew Diaz (Prize for Truth-Telling).

The prize is named for the Vietnam-era whistleblower Ron Ridenhour who exposed the truth of the My Lai massacre, the Ridenhour Prizes recognize those who have spoken out on behalf of the public interest, promoted social justice or illuminated a more just vision of society.

In accepting the award Moyers said:
Temptation to co-option is the original sin of journalism, and we're always finding fig leaves to cover it: economics, ideology, awe of authority, secrecy, the claims of empire. In the buildup to the invasion of Iraq we were reminded of what the late great reporter A.J. Liebling meant when he said the press is "the weak slat under the bed of democracy." The slat broke after the invasion and some strange bedfellows fell to the floor: establishment journalists, neo-con polemicists, beltway pundits, right-wing warmongers flying the skull and bones of the "balanced and fair brigade," administration flacks whose classified leaks were manufactured lies - all romping on the same mattress in the foreplay to disaster.

Five years, thousands of casualties, and hundreds of billion dollars later, most of the media co-conspirators caught in flagrante delicto are still prominent, still celebrated, and still holding forth with no more contrition than a weathercaster who made a wrong prediction as to the next day's temperature. The biblical injunction, "Go and sin no more," is the one we most frequently forget in the press. Collectively, we don't seem to learn that all it takes to transform an ordinary politician and a braying ass into the modern incarnation of Zeus and the oracle of Delphi is an oath on the Bible, a flag in the lapel, and the invocation of national security.
For more complete information about The Ridenhour Prizes, as well as past and current winners, please visit

Saturday, April 05, 2008

March Madness: The Final Four

Well we"re down to two:

Memphis beat UCLA 78-63

Kansas upset North Carolina 84-66

Are you paying attention Donnie Walsh?

Memphis faces off against Kansas Monday 9PM on CBS for the championship

The real John McSame behind the corporate media image

If you have any idea that if your Democratic candidate doesn't get the nomination, McSame might be a possible choice (or even if you're not that stupid), please read the following from And then send it to your wavering Friends.

Dear MoveOn member,
For all the coverage this week of Senator John McCain's background, there are some important things you won't learn about him from the TV networks. His carefully crafted positive image relies on people not knowing this stuff—and you might be surprised by some of it.

Please check out the list below, and then forward it to your friends, family, and coworkers. We can't rely on the media to tell folks about the real John McCain—but if we all pass this along, we can reach as many people as CNN Headline News does on a good night.

Click here to tell us how many people you can pass it on to—and to see our progress nationally:

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3

4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4

5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5

6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Please help get the word out—forward this email to your personal network. And if you want us to keep you posted on MoveOn's work to get the truth out about John McCain, sign up here:

Thank you for all you do.

–Eli, Justin, Noah, Laura, and the Political Action Team
Saturday, April 5th, 2008

1. "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008
"McCain Facts,", April 4, 2008

2. "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008

"Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008

3. "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008

4. "McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned," MSNBC, February 18, 2007

5. "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008

"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007

6. "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008

"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008

7. "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008

"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

8. "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008

"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008

9. "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008

"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008

"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008

10. "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Martin we hardly knew ye

While watching the coverage from Memphis today on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King I saw something I could hardly believe. There was John McCain standing outside the Lorraine Motel paying tribute to King's memory. How hypocritical can one get? Clearly McSame stands for everything Martin fought for and, perhaps, died for. Here are just a few of the ideas that animated the last years of his life. Much of this is a foreign language to McSame and the party he represents.

"I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos,” said King in 1967, “without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government."

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

King's economic bill of rights called for massive government jobs programs to rebuild America's cities. He saw a crying need to confront a Congress that had demonstrated its "hostility to the poor" — appropriating "military funds with alacrity and generosity," but providing "poverty funds with miserliness."

For more on the Martin Luther King we rarely hear or read about see Stephen Bezruchka and Cohen and Soloman

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Where have you gone, Al Gore, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you, woo, woo, woo

When asked at Pennsylvania town hall if he would nominate Al Gore for his Cabinet, Barak Obama said:
I would. Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem. He's somebody I talk to on a regular basis. I'm already consulting with him in terms of these issues, but climate change is real. It is something we have to deal with now, not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now.
After watching Gore on 60 Minutes last Sunday I concluded that he can accomplish much more by remaining outside the government from where he can continue to pressure those in power, both here and around the world. Joining any administration would almost by definition constrain Gore to act within the limits set by the president.

But the important part of Obama's comments is that they indicate a willingness to take global warming seriously. It also seems to me the first time any of the candidates for president has addressed this fundamental issue.

I know it's tempting for any politician, and Gore is a politician, to have power rather than just influence those ikn power, sometimes with an issue as fundamental as this one power is a constraint rather than lever.

(For more see Treehugger, come on now sugar)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mukasey lets the 9/11 cat out of the bag

In an attempt to defend giving immunity to telecom companies Attorney General Michael Mukasey said:
We knew that there had been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went. We’ve got 3,000 people who went to work that day, and didn’t come home, to show for that.
Either the attorney General is lying (remember he's now part of the Bush mafia) or he's revealing administration incompetence of such a magnitude it would be inconceivable but it is, after all, the Bushies at work.

The Clinton lies keep coming

The lies from Se. Clinton seem to keep coming.

In Phila. today, before comparing herself to Rocky she said: "Sen. Obama says he's getting tired of the campaign." Then she compared herself to Rocky claiming she too wouldn't quit.

But here's what Obama actually said Saturday about her staying in the race:
My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants. Her name is on the ballot. She is a fierce and formidable opponent and she obviously believes she would make the best nominee and the best president.

After nearly eight years of the Bush-Cheney lies factory, it's time for some truth from lour leaders.