Peace Hugs

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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

3000 US Dead in Iraq

God forgive us. We've killed 3000 service members for no noble cause (to echo Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan). And we've likely killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in our illegal invasion and occupation. For some of the numbers, check out the Iraq Coalition Casualties site. And check out my initial thoughts at my Kate Anne for Peace, Justice and Nonviolence site reachable via or directly at the title link.

Over the next few days there will be various events taking place to commemorate this latest sombre milestone which dampens the New Year's Eve festivities for those of us who are aware. So many of us are away from our email at this time, even us peace and justice activists.

For events in YOUR neighborhood, or to announce your own event, go to the American Friends Service Committee's special 3000 site.

Thanks for whatever you have done and will do for peace and justice. Let us make it our New Year's resolution to make a better effort to do more. Please. And God bless you and yours -- and everybody. Let us not be stingy with blessings.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Swanson: New Year's Utopianism Needed Fast

As a peace and justice activist in Bush World, there is much to be done -- and as David Swanson states it, done fast. featured one of Swanson's essays from and I, too, feature it in my title link. We cannot afford the luxury of waiting another two years for a Democratic White Knight -- or a Black one -- or a Lady or Dame. We must move now to clear (some of) the air and heal poliitics and the planet. We must regain our moral high ground NOW, and Swanson has ideas. Check them out.

Also check out the Drum Major Instititute's 2006 Injustice Index featuring such tidbits as:

Wages that an average CEO earns before lunchtime: more than a full-time minimum wage worker makes in a year

Ratio of the average U.S. CEO’s annual pay to a minimum wage worker’s: 821:1

Years of unused vacation time that American workers collectively give back to their employers each year: 1.6 million

Percentage of women earning less than $40,000 per year who receive no paid vacation time at all: 37

Number of workers who would directly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage: 5.6 million

Number of very large estates that would directly benefit from a reduction in the estate tax: 8,200

Yes, check that one out, too, and then lets re-commit ourselves to some REAL New Year's resolutions -- and consider going to DC the end of January for the Peace March. Keep doing it until we get it right....

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Holiday Greetings and Peace Hugs!

<==Washington Square Arch

Tis the season to be busy: a time for family, friends, festivities, hope -- and, please, God: PEACE. Let's say a prayer and do what we can to make the holidays a little brighter for EVERYONE: smile, be generous, be the peace the world is seeking. Reach out to ALL people with wondrous holiday spirit and bring that spirit into 2007. Together we can heal the world. We must. That's why we are here at this particular time -- that's why you are reading this. Pass it on -- and leave me a holiday message in the comments section, if you so choose.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bill Moyers-The Democracy Promise

Bill Moyers, Mark Green, Michael Waldman

A quick note to document my attending the New Democracy Project forum, "The Democracy Promise: 40 Ideas to Strengthen American Democracy" -- Held on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006, at NYU's Kimmel Center near Washington Square here in New York City, the forum featured as keynote speaker the marvelous Bill Moyers. I missed the opening reception but heard Bill and some terrific others, including Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, Miles Rapoport and a vibrant young woman from Demos, and of course Mark Green of the New Democracy Project who was the guiding force behind the event.

The evening invites a lot more action and follow-up and I had hoped to post a link to the speeches and action ideas presented but the holidays are keeping all of us busy and Mark's site promises us more in early 2007. In the meantime I will post a picture and we can all keep our eyes out for the official documentation to be posted at New Democracy Project.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

American Made Mess: Let's Solve It

No, I'm not talking about Iraq, though it is certainly connected. We've allowed our country to be taken over by neocons and given away bit by bit to various foreign companies buying up America, thanks to NAFTA, CAFTA and the various corporation-favored trade laws -- and now we have to reclaim America from the corporatists, and give it back to ALL of us, an America of everyone created equal, an America of possibilities, an America of "We, the People".

Maybe we never fully had the American dream -- hey we're talking dream, vision, but to be sure, we middle class working Americans certainly do NOT have true access to it now. The only people making out in Bush's economy are the top 1%, especially the top .1 of that 1%. Many of the rest of us are the children looking in the toy store window. We're losing ground each year when our employers give raises with one hand and then raise our health care costs over and above what they just gave us with the other. We're the only one of the 37 (38?) industrialized nations who doesn't have some form of national healthcare and 48 million Americans have no insurance while the head of United Healthcare makes 1.6 billion in one year and the American pharmaceutical companies make out like bandits. Nope, it is an American Made Mess initiated by Ronald Reagan and perpetuated by the Bush-Clinton dynasties. It has got to stop -- we have to demand that it stop -- and we have to do our part to make it stop.

I went Christmas shopping, first for cards, and found boxed cards made by American Greetings Company of Cleveland which were made in China. I called up their consumer line and the representative denied it, saying very few of their products were made there, a few specific medallions (?) she mentioned. I began to doubt myself and told her that I would re-check. I went back to the Rite Aid store and sure enough: China. Mind you, at the same time I noted that their individual shelf cards were made in America. (I will endeavor to buy more of those.) And a friend mailed me one of their holiday cards this year which was made domestically (when?). But I must let them know my feelings and you should, too. American Greetings Corporation, One American Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44144-2398, 216-252-7300, Fax: 216-252-6778, Customer Service: 800-777-4891.

Then I went out to buy some games as gifts and again it was more of the same, American companies making their items in CHINA -- or Vietnam, et cetera, but not much in America. And it isn't like a lot of these products have had their prices reduced either. No. It is demonstration of corporate greed, allowed because of American trade policies not protecting the American market place, not protecting American jobs. Yet they claim the name America and use the flag -- see the picture of a gift someone gave me last year, kitchen items from the American Mills -- in China.

Further action: Note where something is made and try to buy more American, to give Americans jobs. We all want French wine or perfume, or an Irish sweater sometimes, fine -- but let's endeavor to buy some good California (or Ohio :-) wine at other times, buy American jewelry, and buy the American cards made by people making good wages. We've got a big trade deficit. If they can't buy stuff made in America, foreign countries will use the dollars we give them to buy America. (Maybe that would be what we deserve -- but no, it would be the little guy suffering.) Talk to our friends and families about this issue. We need to be part of a world community, yes, but not at the expense of turning America into a plutocracy. Let's also check out such sites as

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Thank God for a little respite from corporate America and peace and justice activism recently: a visit to the Brooklyn Museum, where I saw my favorite little gargoyle through a stairwell window (I took his picture earlier in the year amidst spring blossoms). I posted other pictures taken that day at my site. Make time for art, music and fun. This, too, helps bring peace to our hearts and thus to the world.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne