Peace Hugs

Kate Anne, communikating on multi-levels -- personal and political, as well as for peace, justice and nonviolence

Monday, September 26, 2005

FOR Peace in Washington on September 24 - Personal Take

Kate Anne, Bonnie, Gail

Saturday was the March on Washington to End the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home: What a day! I survived the challenges of the morning as UFPJ's Union Square site coordinator for buses to the march and rally. Lots of people in Washington DC but it looks like little press coverage. Don't know if my friend Sam Oast found a spot on the Quaker bus or not. but at Union Square we only were given 8 of the 10 buses promised, PLUS the Quaker bus which was arranged through UFPJ. I didn't know the Quakers would be meeting at the North end of the square (ah, the lack of communication sometimes). The good news is that some of the buses held more than 50 people -- mine seated 59. We thought we had an extra bus, but it turned out to be an ANSWER bus at the wrong site. With the Independent Democrats (Hats off to Ya Yoi!) swinging by to pick up 13 (JUST the right number to accomodate a student contingent -- love synchronicity), we ended up leaving only 4 or 5 people without a bus. I understand ANSWER had about 40 people at the other end of Union Square waiting and unable to go. PLUS there was a power outage at Penn Station and there were trains cancelled all over the place. (Supposedly some workers in NJ dropped a beam on the tracks and shorted the whole NE Corridor for some ten hours. Still, hmmmm. Remember, just because there are such things as conspiracy theories doesn't mean there aren't some conspiracies.)

My sign was a variation of what I held for the Cindy Sheehan vigil, but bigger and VERY Code-Pink (poster board AND homemade tube): America Stands with Cindy / Too much blood shed for NO "noble cause". (Thank God, my friend and one of the Union Square captains Gail Harper convinced me to finish it Friday night and not assemble it on a very crowded bus.) Once there, after a good long walk to the UPFJ site over by the Washington Monument (to avoid the time of a transfer to a crowded Smithsonian Station-stopping orange or blue train), I got to visit some of the good teaching tents (don't know how much teaching actually got done, however, as it was a huge and long march PLUS the march route was changed and only a segment made it back down to the tent area afterwards.

Got more peace/political pins for my collection. Also bought an anti-recruitment black wrist band: YOU CAN'T BE ALL [that] YOU CAN BE IF YOU'RE DEAD. Purchased a "Progressives Unite" canvas bag from the Progressive Democrats of America, complete with their logo, website, and the rare union bug.

Monica and Josh

Managed to get all of our people back to the bus and we picked up one extra person left behind who was able to utilize gratefully the seat of one of the one-wayers. I am so lucky to have had the assistance of my friend Gail Harper and her friend Bonnie Egan, plus the help of actor/professor Joshua Muldavin (from Sarah Lawrence College) who helped in various ways including buying/distributing the bus tickets -- he and Gail were able to go in and buy ALL of our tickets -- HURRAH! Bonnie put signs up on buses and assisted Gail in captaining the bus I went on. Gail called ME the General (military-sounding: ouch) and in truth with the craziness of the morning, I couldn't have effectively captain a bus and coordinate the other buses too. We kept the energy on our bus going with enthusiasm and spirit. As for creature-comforts, glad we brought some toilet paper: there was none on the bus. (Memo to anyone serving as a bus captains: bring TP. I will include this in some evaluation notes to UFPJ/United for Peace & Justice.)

One of the captains decided not to make the return trip and passed his list (finally) after a number of phone calls, to others on his bus, but I am not sure if THEY made it back to their bus. (I understand the bus left early-ish and the bus driver "guessed" that everyone was there: that's how we picked up Sue Wells, the stranded passenger -- she had called me on the number found on the passenger instruction sheet. Wonder if this guessing bus driving got a tip from his bus passengers? Wonder if Captain Chad had collected any tip money in advance of resigning his position?) One of the other captains said she had to leave a late passenger behind after the bus driver said it would be another $50 and the person wasn't merely a half hour late, which she had called and said she would be, but over an hour late and still not there and hadn't managed to call back. Hope Lillian got on another bus.

We had on our Bus #4 this older African American poet with his dreadlocks and easy-going style. At a bathroom break/bus refueling stop, we had to send Josh to find him. Josh was so gentle with him and we had to explain the concept of being on time. (Of course, Gail, Bonnie and I had some problems with the time thing too -- everyone knows that "Kate rhymes with late", but then Josh took over, cheered on by his wife Monica. My prayers were answered in that Clarence Pope, the poet, made it back in time and we didn't have to leave "the bard of NYC" behind in DC. His poetry really is good political/peace stuff. He gave me permission to quote him on line -- watch for it.)

Then there was a lady who requested "extras" in the treats we passed out: M&Ms, hard candy, Girl Scout cookies, who was abrasive in her personality and driving some of those nearby her nuts. We had to reprimand her for smoking in the bus rest room: the smoke filtered out through the whole bus! Ah the people one meets on a bus trip!

Great protest signs. That's one link and you should check out the links provided at AfterDowningStreet.Org but I hould have written them down. One was something like "Wish Bush would have some sex so we could impeach him". They had left it posted by the crosses that had been positioned on the mall in cemetery like fashion near the DC Camp Casey and I understand a lot of folks photographed it. I should check back with Gail and get HER favorites. (One of them I know is the 'standard' "Bombing [or fighting] for peace is like fucking for virginity" -- another she told me about was more topical and clever, "Make Levees, Not War" -- oh, yeah, there was a picture of Bush and Cheney labeled "Violent Extremists". And we chuckled over "Draft College Republicans", reminiscent of my remarks about enlisting to some of the young college students cheering on Christopher Hitchens when he debated George Galloway at Baruch College the other week.)

There was a group from the Revolutionary Communist Party who were jumping on buses during the bus stops (and being vague about who they were) handing out stickers espousing a World Can't Wait --Strike to Drive Out Bush event which they had called for Nov. 2, the day of his re-(s)election. They talked about collecting money at the march and we did see them later in their event tee-shirts AND at the Operation Ceasefire Concert and Rally (which got started before the march ended, thank God, as it was a long slow march), they were in a line holding huge and visible letters for the camera (Were there cameras other than independents?) to catch. Joan Baez did a set, including a Steve Earle song, also Where Have All the Flowers Gone, a wonder Rain song whose title is escaping me, and.... one or two others: GREAT. Then there were the singers who sang more to the young folk: loud and good. And another more classic group, the Bellrays, who were cross-generational in their appeal. We had to leave before Steve Earle sang and before Cindy Sheehan spoke, but we got to hear Rep. Maxine Waters, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Lynne Woolsey, a wonderfully energetic but now homeless Louisiana student activist Colette Battle, an Hispanic congressman, and some other good speakers whose names I will think of later.

I managed to get through the day enjoying it after the challenging (read: stressful) morning, though I had had only six hours of sleep total over two nights. (Gail and I were up late Friday to finish and assemble the bus captain packets then up early). Thank God for Gail, Bonnie, Josh, and my good bus captains, especially Patricia Watson for her terrific bus passenger instruction sheet, my Cindy Sheehan vigil pal Colleen Primrose -- and my guardian angels. I was able to do my part and feel good about it.

I hope this gives you a idea of what went on. I spoke on Sunday with Bill Kavanagh from the march and our own UFPJ Union Square Bus #4 and he posted his pictures and some other good stuff at his blog: Bill's Big Diamond Blog -- with a special entry with a link to his march photos. I expect to be posting some more formal thoughts at my more formal website/blog -- KateAnne FOR Peace Justice and Nonviolence Weblog soon. Meanwhile -- and ALWAYS:

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Stop Global Warming - and March on Washington

Preserving the environment is one of my peace and justice issues, and George W. Bush and his neo-cons would do well to recognize the truth of David Brower's quotation,"There is no business to be done on a dead planet." Global warming is a big part of the havoc being wreaked on the environment -- note how Hurricane Rita is following Katrina in feeding on the overly warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and becoming a monstrous Category 5 hurricane. After listening to Bobby Kennedy Jr. on Air America Radio's Ring of Fire's Sept. 17th show (see for the archived version -- jam-packed with great stuff for environmental/political activists), I decided to join the Virtual March on Washington DC to Stop Global Warming. Click on the title link above for the main site, or sign up to march with Bobby and me at Kate Anne's Personal Impact Page -- this way Bobby (and I :-) get(s) credit for you as a marcher on this oh-so-important issue. Got some good people marching, and there is another Kate marching behind Bobby, so I am happy to claim my full "Kate Anne" identity and hope I can get some of my friends to join me.

Meanwhile I am working on United for Peace and Justice's September 24th March on Washington and have agreed to be a bus captain and the site coordinator for Union Square. I hope Hurricane Rita cools down a bit before hitting land on Saturday because I don't like the idea of a Category 5 hurricane hitting anywhere near Texas's two nuclear power plants in her path. (They are scheduled to be turned off 7 hours before Rita lands -- but come on!) Bush wars on our planet, politically and environmentally, and Gaia is warring back. There is so much to do for peace and justice. Join Bobby virtually and join Cindy Sheehan on the 24th. We must wake up "a nation rocked to sleep": March to Washington, virtually and in person.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

And now a message from the REAL President

John Kerry gave a humdinger of a speech to the students of Brown University (and YES he IS the real president, read What Went Wrong in Ohio for info compiled by Rep. John Conyers and his team). Right now I have the text link above but it is supposed to be online soon, said AAR's Rachel Maddow on her show today, at Center for American Progress, which has already posted another good one, by our real Vice President John Edwards. The Imposter in the meantime is making conservative political hay on the backs of poor and impoverished (and some middle class) New Orleanians. Bush has suspended the Davis Bacon Law which guarantees that workers are paid prevailing wages on Federal contracts. So the people who need to recover are given less money. Note that there is no mention on lowering the wages of the CEOs of Halliburton; Kellog Brown and Root, and all those other Bush campaign contributors awarded the no-bid New Orleans recovery contracts. Meanwhile the Fraud says he won't raise taxes (or forgo his plan to reward more cronies by abolishing the estate tax), but instead reduce spending elsewhere (read social programs, like Social Security, Medicare, etc. -- certainly not his ungodly war!). Forget HIM. (Impeach him: remember the Downing Street Minutes!!) Thank you, I'll claim the REAL President. Rock on, John Kerry.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Media Matters -- and so does a Keyboard

I have been listening to too much left wing radio -- almost becoming the opposite of my beloved brother Gregory who has brainwashed by Rush and Bill. But it is for a good cause -- to pass on the information and ACT. Still, there are times I have to turn my iPod to music. Thank God for music (and I am enjoying the Canadian Music podcast -- not just my left wing stuff) and a WORKING keyboard. Somehow in the middle of the night while I was doing stuff condensation from my water glass damaged my Mac keyboard -- the return/enter key wouldn't work, nor the delete key. So Saturday I was off to Tekserve (119 W 23rd Street, NYC) where Anthony not only fixed me up with a new keyboard but reminded me that a keyboard "skin" might be helpful: ProTouch XT by iSkin. Works great so far -- and it is washable!! (Just be sure it is good and dry before replacing :-)

Saturday then saw me picking up my ticket at the United for Peace and Justice office (not far from Tekserve -- I walked: 322 Eighth Ave, entrance on W. 26th St). I am not off the hook. I am going to be a bus captain to the Peace March in DC on Sept. 24th -- and, thanks to Ted Auerbach, Union Square site coordinator. (He was so grateful!) I then took some new leaflets and joined Sam and Betty Lou at our little peace vigil (no Alice this week). Handed out quite a few of them -- and I have some to give out around Sunnyside but with my new keyboard and a sudden reaction to the humidity I was not about to hand them out yesterday afternoon. I came home, turned on my air conditioner, checked my keyboard (my old one's delete key had recovered but the return is still broken -- maybe it will dry out and be okay?? I'll check it again in a few days but the good news is that my NEW keyboard has an extension cord so I can now put my keyboard on my lap -- love that.), watched The Scarlet Flower and decided to take a nap -- until 7:30 pm!! I managed to recover enough to then watch most of Bill Murray's Lost in Translation before succumbing again to the pillow. Posted to Kate Anne for Peace, Justice and Nonviolence Weblog and made some updates on it. And I visited Take Back the Media. Plus I watched the bonus material for Lost in Translation. Good stuff! Good coffee: Newman's Own, Fair Trade. Must return to the above mentioned Media Matters site for more useful info on combatting the Bush Crime Family. (Oh, it does make it hard to call my brother -- love him, hate his politics.)

So should I make an appearance at church? Oh, oh -- time off to talk to ex-Krollie Millie Monelt, down in Florida. Now it is a little late, but I still might make a church appearance if I can get myself together fast. Was there Thursday evening for the funeral mass of dear Elaine West -- well attended and a fine tribute to a special person.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"Bush To Lead Investigation of Bush"

The blog posted an on-target satirical news report, some of it here -- click the title above for the entire story, which Thom Hartmann shared with his listeners today:

President Bush this morning promised to lead an investigation of himself, “…because it is important.”

Bush hopes to find out why Bush flew quickly to San Diego in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and why, while there, Bush attempted to play the guitar.

Bush also hopes to find out why Bush cut funds to levee rehabilitation in Louisiana.

Further Bush hopes to discover the reason Bush appointed a horse association boss to run FEMA and why Bush cut funds to the organization as well.

Bush will investigate the reasons for Bush’s high praise of the Dept. of Homeland Security’s and Fema’s response to the catastrophe on the Gulf Coast while thousands were left to fend for themselves for days on end....

Bush's inaction is criminal -- and perhaps deliberate

What the hell went on in New Orleans? Compare it to the Bush administration's quick [albeit inappropriate] response to Terry Schiavo. Compare it to the response to Hurricane Charley in Florida. (See Thom Hartmann's article at "You Can't Govern if You Don't Believe in Government" for a comparison.) Remember what you have seen on the television, outside of Fox (Faux) News. On top of that throw in Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard's comments on Meet the Press -- and I mean ALL of his comments. Why did FEMA refuse Wal-Mart's 3 truck-loads of bottled water? Why did they refuse to allow the Coast Guard to release the 1000 gallons of diesel fuel? Why did FEMA cut emergency communication lines? (The sheriff restored them and had armed personnel guarding them.) WTF? Pile on that, why has FEMA refused the assistance of (oh, excuse me, NOT refused, but just not yet accepted) all sorts of countries? On his Monday radio show Thom Hartmann's questioned, "Is it all about race? Is it all about politics. Or is it all about cronyism?" Thom said, perhaps it was the cronyism most of all. Everything for the in-bunch: Bush wealthy friends and family and favorite corporations -- I respond, "All of the above."

It is race: poor people of color. It is politics: a Democratic city with a Democratic mayor and a Democratic senator. It is cronyism: whites saved, Halliburton given contracts, brother's state rescued early. For that matter, it comes out now that disaster planning was privatized and the contract given to the company of a big Republican donor, IEM, Inc., who obviously blew it (google for more info but you can start with this.) Oh, please -- one thing after another: incompetence, inaction, nonresponse, the list goes on and on. Bush should resign. But no, Rove is back and spinning. He is blaming the Democrats and ignoring the fact that FEMA defaulted on its primary obligation to respond -- and perhaps deliberately, as Brossard's comments would indicate. And this blaming of the victims: they should have gotten out (without money, gas, car, transportation?). We cannot allow Bush and his administration to con the American public. Spread the news. Speak up. Demand accountability.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

From Ohio and Pennsylvania to Hurricane Katrina Followup

Back from Ohio and Pennsylvania, from Aunt Betty, Aunt Wilma, and Uncle John; cousins Jeannie, Ken and Pat; and "kids" Michael Dylan and Katerina -- to peace and justice work -- and follow-up on Hurricane Katrina.

Rachel Maddow and Air America Radio are onto the story -- but will the so-called liberal mainstream media pick it up? THE STORY: FEMA knew and Bush knew. Money was allocated and some spent, but some $250 million (44%!) was NOT spent on shoring up New Orleans' levees but diverted instead to the Iraq invasion and Homeland Security. Hurricane Katrina only caused some damage in New Orleans. The city escaped the brunt of the storm. But the huge storm (whose huge size was influenced by Bush's global warming) weakened the New Orleans' levees which were NOT fully upgraded. And so the Bush administration has MORE blood on its hands.

For the advance story and on-target warning, see the Houston Chronicle's 12/01/01 article Keeping Its Head Above Water
and even more stories at

And last, but certainly not least, DONATE TO HELP. Linda M. Young posted some good choices on her blog - Yet Another Journal. Thanks for helping --and let's all of us work to put money where it will help not hurt: Money for the environment and for relief, not for war.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne