Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Peoples' Voice Cafe Winter Schedule

The Peoples' Voice Cafe is an alternative coffeehouse offering quality entertainment. We provide a space for the artistic expression of a wide variety of humanitarian issues and concerns. The cafe is run as a not-for-profit collective, and is not affiliated with any political organization. New participating members are always welcome.


The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist
40 East 35th St. (bt Madison & Park Aves.)
For info call 212-787-3903

All performances Saturdays 8 pm to 10:30 pm.


With unfailing regularity Charlie and Karen return to PVC at the darkest
time of the year to remind us of the brightest possibilities. Political satirists and musical story tellers, they "remind us of the happy resilience of the human spirit...with unvarying taste, musical skill, and charm."(Billboard). They've been traveling with their new CD ...on the journey, and have a new-year's-full of stories and songs to unpack: "Two voices that complement each other beautifully and instrumentation that is spare, acoustic & just right" (Victory Music Review). Great melodies, sweet harmonies, incendiary lyrics
DEC 13


When two of America's best songwriters get together, the result could be
electric--but it's not. Its acoustic! Since Jack and David both moved to New York City in the mid-70s, they've dual-handedly helped to keep the folk tradition alive.Their creative output is pretty amazing, with 30 records and bootlegs between them--not to mention Hardy's eight plays and Massengill's nine books. Jack has led a songwriter's exchange in the Village for 30 years. David's songs have been covered by Joan Baez, The Roches and his mentor, Dave Van Ronk, and others. Van Ronk once proclaimed that Massengill took the DULL out of DULcimer! In the summer of 2008 Hardy and Massengill teamed up as The Folk Brothers, put out their first album, Partners In Crime, and began touring. Individually and as Folk Brothers, Hardy and Massengill are more relevant today than ever--especially since Jack insists they each write one new song a week


Jan.3: Jon Fromer; Kim & Reggie Harris

Jan 10: Mothers & Daughters

Jan 17: John Flynn; Greg Greenway

Jan 24: Closed for Peoples' Music Network Gathering

Jan 31: Steve Suffet; Anne Price

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Highland Light, Cape Cod

Just because I love lighthouses:

0076 sunrise at highland light

Highland Light Cape Cod, MA

by tlyden

Jan. 19: Celebrate the victory in Washington

From Netroots Nation:

We blogged. We phone banked. We knocked on doors. We campaigned. We organized. We left it all on the road. And now, we celebrate!

An evening of celebrating, carousing, eating and drinking with the progressive community
January 19, 8 pm-1 am
The Clarendon
3185 Wilson Boulevard,
Arlington VA
(Just 3 miles from downtown DC)
(Accessible by the Metro Orange line)

Co-hosted by AmericaBlog, Congress Matters, Firedoglake,, Frameshop, Jack & Jill Politics and myDD
Event sponsors: Common Sense Media and others TBA

Yes I Can Party: $90
(Includes hors d'oeuvres and four drink tickets)

Presidential Package: $290
(Includes ticket to Netroots Nation Yes We Can Party, Plus a discounted registration to the Netroots Nation Convention in August!)

A ticket is required to attend this event, you can purchase one by going to

Limited edition T-shirts will be sold at the event.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Iraq learns Bush tactics

The promise or perhaps stated goal of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq was to instill our way of life, particularly democracy. I'm not at all sure how that is going. But it's clear that the Iraqi leadership has learned our primary method for getting controversial legislation through. The government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki wants to get the Status of Forces Agreement (which allows U.S. forces to remain in the country) through the Parliament. Not surprising since without U.S. forces al-Maliki would probably be out of a job. On Sunday the NYT reported that Iraqi's "top security officials"
raise[ed] the specters of a reborn insurgency, foreign attack and even piracy if a security agreement with the United States is not finalized.
Doesn't that Chicken Little strategy sound familiar. You remember: "the sky is falling" so you have to pass this bill (in 2003) to give the president the authority to invade Iraq. Or "the sky is falling" so you have to give the Sec'y of the Treasury the power to hand your money over to Wall Street (bailout?) and you have to do it right away.

Well as I said I'm not sure how they are coming on the democracy front, but they are quickly learning the Cheney/Bush tactics.

Dec 27: Judy Gorman Sings

BANJO JIM'S WILL HOST JUDY GORMAN BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THE WAR RESISTERS LEAGUE (If you are seeing this on FaceBook click here to see and hear Judy Gorman)

Saturday, December 27th, 9PM

Internationally acclaimed singer songwriter, Judy Gorman,

will appear at the East Village's renowned club,
Banjo Jim's
700 East 9th St (at Ave C)

The truth is not the facts, the world is not the maps, everyday the concrete cracks and the new grass unfurls like an analog girl in a digital world. -- Judy Gorman
Judy Gorman toured for many years as a full-time musician, performing in clubs, festivals, universities, and peace and social justice events in over 10 countries and 49 states. Her passionate, bluesy vocals and energizing songs are infused with the vision that another world is possible.

Pete Seeger says Gorman "shoots the arrow straight to the heart...[and is] a wonderful singer and musician." German Public Radio calls Gorman's songs "real music in a sea of mediocrity." and the Boston Globe describes Gorman's voice as " dark, rich" and says she "brought the idea of international solidarity within reach. No small feat."

As a long-time progressive musician, and member of the War Resisters League, she will sing about issues of peace and justice with what many have found to be a soulful and sensitive touch.

The event is a benefit for The War Resisters League, the 84 year-old nonviolence organization

There will be a sliding scale donation starting at $10 (More if you choose, less if you can't: no one turned away.)

For more information call 212.777.0869 or visit

Music available at : (Analog Girl in a Digital World) (The Rising of Us All)

For further info call or contact:
Liz Roberts Development & Membership Coordinator

War Resisters League
339 Lafayette St.
(212) 228-0450

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Minnesota Senate recount update

Although under the current situation in the Senate I think there is every reason to believe that the Democrats will be able to corral enough moderate Republicans (a clearly dying breed in a party largly made up of right-wing nuts) to cut off a filibuster. I still think it's worth keeping track of the Minnesota recount and the Georgia runoff (Dec. 4). Of course, first the Democrats have to propose something worth supporting. We'll see. - Dan

From the Minneapolis StarTribune:
The weekend isn't bringing any respite in the Minnesota Senate recount.

Ballots in the ultra-close race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken are being counted in at least three counties today.

Fifty-three counties have reported complete results to the secretary of state, meaning fewer than three dozen remain. As of Friday night, at least 60 percent of the estimated 2.9 million ballots had gotten a second look.

Coleman entered the recount with a 215-vote edge over Franken. That lead has dropped to 115 votes when comparing totals in precincts where the new count is complete. But the figure doesn't include ballot challenges, which have caused vote tallies for both men to drop.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nov 23: Daylong conference: Jews Uniting to End the War & Heal America

NOV 23, 9:30am-5pm

A Daylong Call to Conscience for the American Jewish Community

Central Synagogue
123 East 55th Street,
(Bt Park & Third Avenues)

With remarks, strategy sessions and organizing workshops for important action
led by (partial list):

Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street
Lawrence Bush, Jewish Currents
Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice
Liza Featherstone, journalist and conributing editor to The Nation
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Hon Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman, author and attorney
Esther Kaplan, The Nation Institute
Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, scholar and poet
Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights
Basya Schecter and Pharaoh's Daughter
Dara Silverman, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
Marc Sussman, The Climate Project/Air America
William K. Tabb, Queens College
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center
Rabbi Simkha Weintraub
Rabbis for Human Rights-North America

Sponsored by The Shalom Center, Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring & Jewish Currents

Dec. 6: Jeremy Scahill, Obama, Blackwater, War Beyond Bush

Saturday, December 6, 7PM

Jeremy Scahill

Obama, Blackwater, War Beyond Bush

172 Allen Street @ Stanton
(1 block south of Houston)


Join journalist Jeremy Scahill for a discussion about American military power
and economic imperialism in the coming years.

Scahill documented the use of private military contractors in his award-winning book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," is a correspondent for Democracy Now, and is a frequent contributor to The Nation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dec. 12: A celebration of Peace & Justice

Join the War Resisters League
for a Spectacular Celebration of Peace & Justice

The Grassroots Movement to Save New Orleans
will receive the 43rd Annual Peace Award

Awardees: Shana Griffin & Kali Akuno

December 12

Brooklyn Lyceum
227 4th Avenue, (Brooklyn)

Recognizing that the post-Katrina tragedy in New Orleans was made immeasurably worse by the diversion of U.S. resources to a cruel war and that the organizers struggling to recover the city for its residents are a part of the broader effort to resist that war.
Hosts: Clare Bayard & Kamau Franklin

Musical Guests:
Steve Earle, Singer-songwriter and activist
Allison Moorer, Singer-songwriter
Stephanie McKay, R & B recording artist
Jan Bell & the Cheap Dates, Americana-folk-blues band
and more!

$42-$60 General Admission;
$25+ Low Income
$150 Reception with Stephanie McKay and Steve Earle (Event included)

Proceeds go to WRL's work at home and abroad!
To make reservations, call 212.228.0450 or

(Shana Griffin, a representative of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence and a lifelong resident of New Orleans. A self-described Black feminist, Griffin was a leading contributor to A Katrina Reader: Readings By and For Anti-Racist Educators and Organizers. )

(Kali Akuno, who was executive director of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition and served as the key organizer for the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, held in New Orleans during the summer of 2007. A grassroots New Orleans organizer, Akuno continues to be a major force in the struggle for public housing and is now active with the New Orleans Coalition to Stop the Demolitions.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 1: Minnesota Senate recount

According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune after the first day of the Franken/Coleman recount Norm Coleman has lost a little ground:
By day's end, with about 18 percent of the vote recounted, Coleman continued to lead Franken -- but by only 174 votes, notably narrower than the unofficial gap of 215 votes at which the recount had begun. Franken's gain owed much to a swing of 23 votes in the Democratic stronghold of St. Louis County -- the result of faintly marked ballots and older optical scanners that failed to read the marks.

18% of ballots counted:

Norm Coleman (R)-43.25%

Al Franken (D)-39.99%

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Senate: One Down, two to go

According to Bloomberg News, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens - the longest-serving Senate Republican - lost his bid to stay in office as ballot counts two weeks after Election Day gave Democrat Mark Begich - the 46-year-old mayor of Anchorage - an insurmountable lead.

The result means Democrats won at least seven Republican-held seats in the Nov. 4 election. More importantly it means the Democrats are two short of the 60 seats needed to prevent the Republican party from blocking legislation with a filibuster.

Two races are still unresolved. The Minnesota Senate contest is headed for a recount starting today, and Georgia will hold a runoff Dec. 2.

Since the Republicans seem to be chomping-at-the-bit to block almost all the progressive proposals Obama sends to Congress, the 60-vote block is all the more important to achieve. Otherwise the Senate will be deadlocked at a time of dire national crises.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Right-wing obstructionism depends on Georgia vote

On Nov. 4th the Democrats won the presidency by a virtual landslide and increased their control of the House and Senate. In order to have filibuster-proof control (60 votes) of the Senate they have to win all three Senate seats still being contested (Minnesota, Alaska and Georgia). This is a long shot. The Alaska recount will probably be over tomorrow and is the best chance for a Democratic victory. The Minnesota recount will begin Wednesday and go on until the holidays and the Georgia re-vote will take place on Dec. 2. The right-wing nut jobs are freaking out about the very slight chance that they won't be able to filibuster the Democrats proposals ("the change that we need"). Listen to Dick Morris and Eileen McGann on this:
Hanging in the balance is, perhaps, the fate of the center-right free market system that has brought America decades of success and prosperity. .... We can’t do much about Minnesota and Alaska, but we sure can do a lot to hold onto the seat in Georgia. And it just might be that seat that marks whether or not we will be able to sustain a filibuster of Obama’s socialist legislation.
I'll leave it to you to decide about the "success and prosperity" of the "free market system" but it's hard to know what to make of "Obama's socialist legislation." Ignorance or fear-mongering do tend to undermine whatever credibility Morris and McGann might have left.

Although not labelling the President-elect a socialist, David A. Patten puts the stakes in the Georgia race very clearly:
The stakes are incredibly high. If the Republicans keep the Georgia Senate seat they will have a much greater chance of stopping Obama’s legislative plans.
If the party roles were reversed and the Democrats were planning to block a Republican president's "legislative plans" brfore they were even unveiled, the right-wing would be whining and bitching 24/7 on every cable news channel.

It's not clear what will happen in the three remaining races or what the eventual composition of the new Senate will be, but the shape of the ideologically-based opposition Obama will face is becoming very clear.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Was Prop 8 really passed?

While the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its allies are protesting the passage of Prop. 8 both in the courts and in the streets, a new possibility has emerged: maybe it didn't pass after all. According to NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, a leading expert on election fraud:
... an accurate count of the votes may not yet have occurred, according to early indications.
This conclusion is based on a discrepancy between exit polls and the official vote count. He ties this particular possible stolen election with a much broader problem:
the entire apparatus of computerized voting in this country--the e-voting machines and op-scans and central tabulators, etc.--is largely owned by members of the Christianist far right.

Diebold and ES&S were both begun by Bob and Todd Urosevich, two ardent Oklahoma theocrats, while Triad, which makes the central vote tabulators used in Ohio in 2004, is owned by the Rapp family. SmartTech, the company that helped Bush/Cheney steal that state, is owned by evangelical Jeff Averbeck; and his associate Mike Connell, owner of GovTech Solutions, which also helped to steal Ohio, among other races, was motivated to such work by his desire "to save the babies," according to Stephen Spoonamore.
As we saw from the recent presidential election, the vote has to be close in order for it to be stolen. If it's a blowout the machines do what they are supposed to do or at least can't do any harm.

We'll continue to keep an eye on developments in the Prop #8 vote.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clinton for Sec'y of State? Politics still makes strange bed-fellows

Questions about Sen. Clinton as Sec'y of State may be academic at this point, if Nico Pitney, National Editor of the Huffington Post, is correct:
President-elect Barack Obama offered Sen. Hillary Clinton the position of Secretary of State during their meeting Thursday in Chicago, according to two senior Democratic officials. She requested time to consider the offer, the officials said.
But here are some thoughts anyway about Sen. Clinton for Sec'y of State. Rob Kall on OpEd News says:
Sorry. I don't trust her. She still wants the presidency. She is not someone who will take orders well and that's what is needed in a Secretary of state. I've said it before. The nation was offered and voted for CHANGE, not recycled Clinton people.
Alternatively, The NYT quotes one of Obama's people:
he's self-confident enough to want to send a message to the world about America and all that it can be - and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state would do that.
Some other people say that it would be good for Obama to get her out of the Senate, where, otherwise, she could play the role of gadfly. The NYT puts it this way: Both Obama and Clinton advisers say [their relationship]
is much more complex than one simply inspired by a keep-your-friends-close-and-your-enemies-closer philosophy.
Kall is correct. I too do not trust her. In 2003, she voted to give Bush the power to invade Iraq. In 2007, she voted to declare the Iranian Kutz Force a terrorist organization. I believe both votes were related to domestic U.S. politics not Middle Eastern reality. She is a neo-liberal interventionist. That's not "the change we need." Obama is the first 21st century leader, the first politician with a 21st century consciousness. Clinton's thinking - much like McCain and Palin - is still embedded in the 20th century. They are still fighting the Cold War.

I don't see how Obama's seeming infatuation with Clintonistas facilitates "the change we need." What is called for are new ideas not a rehash of Clinton ideas.

If Pitney is right and it was offered and she says No that might work out well. Obama will get credit for the offer and he can go on to select New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Or he could offer it to one of my favorites Jimmy Carter, Bono or Al Gore (that's the change we need).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Save lesbian and gay marriage

260 Broadway,
New York, NY 10007

Time: 1:30PM to 4:30PM

As I'm sure you know by now on Election Day while California and several other states were voting for a new day in America, were electing a person of color to be President of the United States, at the same time these same voters chose to take a fundamental human right away from a group of people - lesbians and gay men. They chose to deny all lesbians and gay men the right to marry, the right to share their lives within the framework of marriage. This travesty of justice is known in California as Prop 8. This is, of course, not the first time in American history that a group of people were excluded from this right. At the founding of the U.S. Black people who were slaves were not allowed to marry. Later miscegenation (the marital union of two people of different skin color) was against the law.

If it is allowed to stand, we'll see who these people will choose (and that's what it is a personal choice) to target next. And what right they will choose to take away from you. There should be some rights that cannot be taken away by a majority even in a democracy. The freedom of speech, the press, religion, are all sacred in this society - the freedom to marry (or not marry) the person of your choice should be equally protected.

There are legal challenges to Prop 8 under way in California. But at the same time we have to protest in the streets. So join us Saturday, Nov. 15, 1:30PM to 4:30PM at 260 Broadway in New York City.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sarah Palin: The guest who came to dinner and won't go home

Sarah Palin needs to shut up. Someone said she's like the guest who came to dinner and then won't leave.

The most interesting Palin question is who in the world is advising her or is she just making her own decisions? It would seem to me that whoever is advising her should be fired on the spot. Even if it's the first dude he should go - not as husband, if you look at the kids, he seems to be doing that job well - but she needs someone who will say: "Gov. shut-up. spend some time trying to shore-up your credentials, if you want to ever be taken seriously as a national political figure."

Personally I hope she gets a 2012 or 2016 nomination. She's the gift that keeps on giving.

Alaska Senate race update

Alaska Senate race update:

Mark Begich (D) is ahead of Ted Stevens (R) by 814 votes. There are appx. 40,000 votes still to be re-counted through next week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Alaska Senate Race

The latest vote count in the Alaska Senatorial race:

Mark Begich (D) - 125,019

Ted Stevens (R) - 125,016

That's right. A three (3) vote difference.

The recount (manual) goes on.

Iraq, Bush and Oil

In case there is still any doubt - besides all the neo-con rhetoric about spreading democracy - it seems clearer and clearer as the Cheney/Bush administration becomes more and more desperate as their days in power come to an end that the primary reason for the invasion of Iraq is and has always been OIL and the profits of the U.S. oil companies. According to Maya Schenwar ("In the Final Days, Bush Pushes for Iraq's Oil") on Truthout:
As the Bush administration rumbles to an end, it is pushing with increasing urgency for a commitment to a long-term US presence in Iraq. Though the military aspect of this "commitment" has garnered substantial publicity, the administration is equally invested in the economic aspect: securing US control over Iraqi oil before Bush leaves office, according to experts in the field.
She also quotes Antonia Juhasz in the same article:
US and British oil companies and the Bush administration have been circling their wagons in Iraq over the last few months to bring both the SOFA and the Iraq oil law to a conclusion before Bush's term in office officially comes to a close. The Bush administration, US oil companies and the al-Maliki government are all on the same timeline for trying to lock in the continued presence of the US military in Iraq, which is the al-Maliki government's only hope of holding on to power - and US oil corporations' only hope of securing their long-sought control over Iraqi oil.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coleman v. Franken race tightens

If you're following some of the unresolved Senate races - both because of their effect on the size of the Democratic majority and because of their inherent interest - here's a news update:
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The margin in Minnesota's unresolved Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken has gotten tighter.

The latest figures reported to the secretary of state gave incumbent Coleman a lead of only 204 votes over Franken Monday morning.

That's down seven votes from the margin reported last week in tallies that are still considered unofficial. The difference of only about one-hundredth of 1 percent between the two candidates will trigger an automatic recount next week.

Officials in Minnesota's 87 counties are meeting to certify results.

The Real Joe finally showed up

bruce plante ˆ tulsa world (ok)

(if you are seeing this on FaceBook and can't see the cartoon, please click here)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

FCC makes white spaces available to public

On Tues. there was another vote besides the one you cast to put Barack Obama in the White House.
...the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve the unlicensed use of 'white spaces' -- empty airwaves between television channels [that will become available next year when all TV goes to digital] -- to provide high-speed Internet access nationwide. This vote follows an exhaustive 18-month study released last month by the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology that concluded new technology can use white spaces without harming adjacent TV signals.

In letters to the FCC and Congress, the nation's leading consumer, media and public interest groups voiced their strong support for opening white spaces. These groups include Free Press, the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Public Knowledge, Media Access Project,, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Common Cause and the Center for Media Justice, among others.

Nearly every market in the United States has available white spaces; in some communities, more than three-quarters of the broadcast spectrum is unused. [Tuesday's] FCC vote allows innovators to develop new technologies that will bring Internet service to millions of Americans in underserved communities.
(From:Free Press)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

2008 Election results - live

Here are the election results:

Celebrate Barack Obama: A president-elect of color

Whatever happens from here on, tonight let's celebrate President-elect Barak Obama. NBC has called Obama President-elect. I don't think I ever imagined that I would live to see the U.S. choose a person of color as President.

I hope Martin and all the people who crossed the Edmond Pettis bridge on that fateful day in 1965 - who didn't live to see this night - are smiling down on us. This is a tribute to all those who ever registered anyone of color to vote.

Nothing gave me greater pleasure than to cast a vote for President-elect Obama today.

Democracy Now: election coverage

Democracy Now election coverage: 7PM-12mid

(If your watching his on FaceBook click view original post to watch DN)

MSNBC live (I hope)

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Testing live posting on FaceBook

Testing live posting on FaceBook 2