Peace Hugs

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

FOR's Festival of Peace

Mel Duncan, Pfeffer Peace Prize recipient

The Fellowship of Reconciliation honored the vibrant executive director of the Nonviolent Peaceforce USA Mel Duncan recently at Shadowcliff in Nyack at the Third Annual Festival of Peace. I was pleased to meet him and give him a check for his wonderful work. (More is needed, please send tax deductible $$ to them at 425 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis, MN 55403.) Others honored were Samina Faheed Sundas, recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award and Phil & Fran Greenspan, the Festival of Peace Award [more pictures]. It was a beautiful day and it was great to reunite with Carmel & Frank Fee, whose daughter Anita Fee is the FOR Development Director. Joan Pagan and I drove Anita's friend Marianne back home to Queens (She lives a block away from me: small world!).

I once heard Gloria Steinem ask, "What will your checkbook say about you and your priorities?" Today we might add, "and your credit card statement". I don't have lots to give, but I believing in giving at least the grass widow's mite. At the festival, I bid on and "won" several objects (one of which I plan to send the enthusiastic Matthew Zeltzer with whom I had the pleasure to speak). But if you believe in peace, justice and nonviolence, please consider donating to the interfaith Fellowship of Reconciliation: I love that FOR USA is a peace group -- and a good one. What does your checkbook and credit card statements say about you?

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chemerinsky and Academic Freedom

Professor Erwin Chemerinsky is a favorite of Air America Radio talk show host Jon Elliott -- with good reason -- and this issue was just discussed with Marjorie Cohn on Jon's show. I am grateful she is continuing to discuss this chilling atrocity, this assault on academic freedom. More people have to be made aware and to join in speaking out: Chancellor Michael Drake should immediately reinstate Professor Erwin Chemerinsky as dean of the UC Irvine Law School. Please read Professor Cohn's article at

Erwin Chemerinsky and the Post-9/11 Attack on Academic Freedom

by Marjorie Cohn

One week after renowned legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky was offered the position of dean of the new law school at the University of California at Irvine, Chancellor Michael Drake withdrew the offer, informing Duke Law Professor Chemerinsky he had proved to be “too politically controversial.” Chemerinsky is one of the most eminent law teachers and constitutional law scholars in the country. Author of a leading treatise on constitutional law, he has written four books and more than 100 law review articles. In 2005, he was named by Legal Affairs as one of “the top 20 legal thinkers in America.”

This is the latest chapter in the post September 11 attack on academic freedom under the guise of protecting security. Two weeks after 9/11, former White House spokeman Ari Fleischer cautioned Americans “they need to watch what they say, watch what they do.” The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a group founded by Lynne Cheney and Senator Joe Lieberman, accused universities of being the weak link in the war on terror; it included the names of 117 “un-American” professors, students and staff members. A few months later, a blacklisting Internet cite called Campus Watch was launched. It publishes dossiers on scholars who criticize U.S. Middle East policy and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Earlier this year, the Bruin Alumni Association at UCLA offered students $100 to tape left-wing professors. MORE

For more on this issue, read The Volokh Conspiracy blog


It is a gorgeous late summer/pre-autumn day in NYC. Joan Pagan and I plan to take a ride to Nyack to take part in Fellowship of Reconciliation's final day of their third annual Festival of Peace.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

How to be a Better Peacemaker

> Pay attention to events on local, national and global levels.

> Educate yourself on issues you are unfamiliar with -- and act!

> Think globally: how does something you do here affect people/places in other parts of the world?

> National ego disarmament: the U.S. is neither the cultural nor the moral superior to other countries.

> Make career choices that foster peace. Help young people with their choices.

> Give emotional and/or financial support to those who give up jobs or careers for reasons of conscience.

> Reach out to neighbors, strangers, people in need. Build community wherever possible.

> Stand on the side of the poor, disabled and victims of society.

> Work to make changes to government policy -- both domestic and foreign.

> Pray or meditate with love for those in power.


With thanks to the Forum of Concerned Religious Leaders -- and to Sam Oast who inspired its reprinting for our work with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Other suggested websites:,,, and

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

PS (KA must check out how these Mac symbols read on other PCs: ☮, , and ●. It is still not a very Mac friendly web.)

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Friday, September 14, 2007

General Petraeus or General Betray Us? poses a valid and important question and the text of their NY Times ad essentially answers it: General BetrayUS. The title link leads to Move On's solid information behind the ad. Let's get the truth out. Let's get the troops out -- AND the military contractors. Let's surge our troops HOME.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

PS points to The Center for American Progress' Claim Vs. Fact video:

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

VERY Important PS, PPS, and PPPS

Lying in bed, what I didn't write in the original open letter to WWRL jumped in my mind. These are now printed on pretty paper, ready to be sent to WWRL's program director Rennie Bishop, copy to Air America Radio president Mark Green.

IMPORTANT LONG PS -- Good heavens!! Writing so late at night, I forgot to thank you about about the great Laura Flanders and her show Radio Nation -- then I realize that because I stream and blog with the other Laura Bloggers I haven't noticed that she's no longer on your schedule!! Now, sadly, her show is only an hour long early Sunday afternoon (NOT long enough -- and, both entertaining and educational, she was my favorite on the now defunct Air Americans Show, along with the wonderful David Bender). Please fit her Radio Nation in your schedule somewhere!

I could and perhaps should have mentioned Rev. Jim Forbes' inspiring show, The Time is Now -- but I haven't gotten any new podcasts and I have heard rumors that it may have been cancelled [update: it has been]. If so, what a loss! Whatever Air America does, I hope it remains on your schedule with new shows. We have to remind people that liberals can be spiritual. (That's one of the reasons I love Thom Hartmann!) The Rev. Jim is so appealing and New York and all of America need to hear his message.

Waking up and reviewing your schedule I am pleased to see you have Marc Sussman's Money Message -- I have to find time to manage what money I have and appreciate learning how to do it in a progressive politically correct way. Please keep him in your lineup. And as a nascent vegetarian, I also appreciate Bob Linden's show, Go Vegan, providing food for thought -- but I don't see it in your lineup. Consider it, please.

Finally, I deliberately omitted mention of left radio goddess Randi Rhodes, and perhaps I should explain. While I am glad she's on WWRL and I know she has a lot of value, she's just not my cup of tea. When she's really on target she's terrific -- and she's great for the novice listeners who probably appreciate her gushing about meeting certain celebrities, but I must admit her nastiness to certain callers (some of them obvious fans who get off on the wrong foot) turns me and my radio off. Hey, I can listen to podcasts of FAIR's CounterSpin or Bob McChesney's Media Matters [great archives for both of these!] -- these are two shorter shows on the very important media issue that are NOT currently in the Air America lineup that probably should be. And there's Matt Rothschild's Progressive Radio Show on a variety of topics. I don't need Randi most days -- personal preference. But her show has a role to play and she belongs on WWRL. Thank you!

IMPORTANT PERSONAL & POLITICAL PPS -- Good grief! I sound like the Left Wing version of my Ditto head brother. I sound like I only listen to talk radio. Nooooooo. I do have a life. But I listen when I can to learn and to act. That's the difference between me and my brother. I want to take what I have learned from blogging and talk radio to change the world positively -- to make it more peaceful, environmentally safer, and economically fair and just.

Interestingly, though, my rightist brother has started to listen to the LEFT wing talk shows on satellite radio and there are two things we actually agree on. We both cannot stand Hillary Clinton (albeit for different reasons) -- and we both would vote for John Edwards if HE gets the nomination. That says a lot doesn't it?

What also says a lot is the latest unannounced call-in presidential poll on Thom Hartmann's show. Everyone holding was dumped from the lines and it was everyone trying at the same time. The results were telling: Edwards: 26, Kucinich: 12, Obama: 4, Clinton: 3, Biden: 2 and one each for Ron Paul, Al Gore, and Higgens the cat. (If my call would have been answered, I would have said John and Elizabeth Edwards -- they are a great and winning team.)

Edwards is a populist and he polls well with lots of Americans of all and no party affiliation. Rolling Stone said John Edwards is the candidate the Right fears. How I wish that WWRL and Air America Radio would get behind him, like me and my rightist brother. Think about it. And again, thank you.

PPPS -- In true activist fashion I'm posting this letter on my blog and telling my blog and listserv friends about WWRL, Air America, good talk radio, and John Edwards for President.


And a personal note to my blog readers: Of course, I don't listen to all the shows I like all of the time. Thanks to podcasting and the NY subway and bus system, I actually listen to quite a bit. It is important to learn to pick and choose. This is easier podcasting. If a show is a dud (and everyone has a dud now and then), go on to another podcast. That said, there are a lot of good podcasts -- just like books and movies -- that I and you will never get to. So be it. I am just glad that there is enough of our democratic republic left to have left wing radio (and let us NOT forget the great Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!).

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

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Friday, September 07, 2007

An Open Letter to WWRL 1600 Radio

Mr. Rennie Bishop
Program Director
WWRL 1600 Radio
333 Seventh Avenue
New York NY 10001

Dear Mr. Bishop,

I am an Air American – listening to Air America Radio from Day One -- and a sometime WWRL listener who is extremely disappointed with the lack of Air America Radio shows on the schedule of WWRL, the supposed flagship station of Air America Radio. I would appreciate your consideration of my critical comments which follow.

Sammy and Army are awful, (im)pure and simple – and didn’t Armstrong Williams in the past receive payoffs to talk about certain issues?

Richard Bey – His show is lightweight and his singing syrupy and egotistical. He is a poor substitute for AAR’s Richard Greene whose CLOUT aims to foster much needed liberal/progressive political activism. (WWRL’s failure previously to carry Mark Riley’s Air Americans may have contributed to its quick demise.)

Alan Colmes – This is the person Al Franken referred to in his Lying Liars book as Colmes – I tried to listen, wondering if there was some substance there somewhere. I gave up after a number of poor caliber non-informative, limitedly entertaining shows. Part of his show conflicts with that of the superior and informative This is America -- Jon Elliott’s show – and you carry none of it regularly (though I will grant you that I have heard “A Best of” show over the weekend at some strange hour – and I would have a difficult time finding it.).

Sam Seder on Sunday Show – we get only an hour of an already truncated three hour show (even that is NOT enough – instead Air America has mistakenly given us nauseatingly puerile Lionel – not your fault – actually in this case I would appreciate your broadcasting some other progressive show – maybe re-air Jon Elliott in the 9 to noon weekday slot!) Please carry Sam’s full show. (I wish that AAR would give us MORE of Sam on a daily basis.)

WWRL seems to run a lot of (TOO MANY) health infomercials. I am a firm believer of alternative medicine and herbal remedies but WWRL’s programming is way overboard for a flagship station. Undoubtedly, these must be money-makers but please note that YES, I DO support sponsors when I can. (I have purchased a number of items recently from TekServe on 23rd Street – and I told them about hearing their ads on WWRL.)

Thank God for podcasts, but as a political activist I know that it is easier to recommend slightly older Democratic/political activists listen to certain radio shows rather than ask them to subscribe to and/or download a podcast. Besides, there is the immediacy of the original show. I stream AAR or WWRL while at work and frequently when I am home – Living in Queens I get way too much bleeding from the Disney channel after dark but it is sooooo nice not to be tied to the computer to hear good progressive programming.

All of this said, thanks for carrying Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow, my favorites – and I love Bobby and Pap’s Ring of Fire and Welton’s State of Belief, and enjoy Mark and Arianna’s 7 Days in America, but we need to give New York City’s radio listeners the ability to hear the best of the progressive radio shows, not pale substitutes or infomercials. With Sammy and Army, Richard Bey, and Colmes, a case could certainly be made that WWRL is complicit in the dumbing down of New Yorkers. Please. You can do better. Please do.

I welcome a response.

Thank you.

Kate Anne

VERY IMPORTANT: PS, PPS, and PPPS re Laura Flanders, John Edwards and more

cc: Mr. Mark Green
Air America Radio
641 Sixth Avenue – 4th Floor
New York NY 10011

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Musings

Labor Day -- where did the summer go? Where did my weekend go? Well, it has been a busy time -- personally some trips to PA and Ohio -- and last week Joan Pagan and I went visited with Dorothy Morehead in the Adirondacks. Dorothy has a lovely camp on Lake Hunter in Northville, NY. (I will hopefully post some pictures at my site soon.) Then Kat was up to visit Krista and me the other week. And work has been busy -- never had a summer lull. I guess that is good. But there is much to do in simplifying my life.

I have NOT read the latest Harry Potter yet, but I just finished Mitch Albon's For One More Day and I am almost finished with Nora Roberts' Garden Trilogy, Red Lily. I have most been reserving then renewing stuff at the New York Public Library. And today I read through the latest Consumer Reports.

And I have been doing some blogging -- some of my Laura Flanders blog friends, still upset about her weekend show being truncated to one hour, have been enjoying blogging a bit at Maggies' Boy's Blue Grit Blog and with the terrific Sederistas at the Sam Seder Show site: YBNurmal, PBTrue, Sunshine Jim, William Schubert, Smnoll, Nightbird, (where's Benno?) and's Keith Tucker. Keith's Labor Day toon is extra special and he said that I could link it. Check it out and his whole site:


I did manage to meet up with peace activists Sam Oast and Marianne Goldscheider down at Union Square this Saturday, after making some calls Friday to my Congress critters Clinton, Schumer and Crowley about George W. Bush now beating the war drums for Iran. OMG -- will someone impeach the son of a Bush and Cheney before they shed more innocent blood? Much to do for peace and justice -- and for fun, too. And oh that housework.... All in good time. God help us get done the work that we have been given to do. And spread sunshine and blessings -- accentuate that positive! Eliminate the negative (Bush and Cheney). And keep on keeping on.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

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John Edwards says, "End the [Rigged] Game"

Labor Day, and the American workers are still being screwed by today's political practices. In Hanover, NH, on August 23rd, John Edwards addressed this issue aptly. His prepared remarks are the title link but here is a YouTube clip of part them, transcribed below.

Transcription of the Clip:

Will corporate greed be all that we value as we move forward into this global economy, or will we put workers and families first, so that all jobs pay fair wages, every American has health care and corporate profits work for democracy -- not the other way around?

Will we face our future .... This is unfortunately the game of American politics and in this game, the interests of regular Americans are being left behind. Real change starts by being honest. And I want to say something at the beginning -- the system in Washington is rigged. And I'll say it again, it is rigged, and our government is broken.

It is time for us to end that game and we can end this game together.

And I want to go, I want to go one step further. because it is also
time for my party, the Democratic Party -- the party of the people -- to end it.

The choice for our party could not be any clearer. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats. Just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of another is NOT what we need.

The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.

It is time for us to make a clear statement about who we are as a party. It's time to end this game. It's time to tell big corporations and their lobbyists who have been running things for too long that their time is over. It's time to challenge politicians to put the American people's interests ahead of their own calculated political interests, to look the lobbyists in the eye and just say no.

-- John Edwards, Hanover, NH, August 23, 2007

Thanks to Thom Hartmann for playing part of the speech on his Air America radio show. And if you haven't already, or if you can spare a little more, please donate to the John Edwards for President campaign. Thanks!!

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

PS -- Just found this variation on John's End the Game speech. Check out THIS inspiring video, too:

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