Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fair Trade NOT Free Trade--STOP Peru FTA

From Progressive Democrats of America

Fair Trade NOT Free Trade--STOP Peru FTA

This week Congress will likely vote to pass the Peru Free Trade Agreement. Many Democrats support this flawed legislation, which hurts workers and the environment in Peru and in the U.S.

As part of the National Call-In Week to Stop the Peru FTA, Oct. 29-Nov. 2 , please call your representative, today.

Use the provided script, or refer to it for talking points.

If you're ready to make your call, click on call now, then insert your zip code in the box and hit go.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A-Rod and Boras trump the Red Sox in the media

Baseball has always been a kids game played by over paid grown up men. But it is becoming more-and-more bizarre as the players become more-and-more greedy and the owners become less-and-less "baseball people."

The events in the Yankee playbook in recent days are quite remarkable.

First the Yankee hierarchy fired (offered obviously unacceptable terms to) Joe Torre. Why did they do this? Torre had brought the Yankees to the post-season every year he managed the team. The Yankees were the only team to repeat from last season's post-season participants. Torre is probably the only manager who could have righted the ship after the disastrous first half of the season.

So, a failed manager or failed ownership? Is there anyone outside the Yankee hierarchy who really believes that Joe Girardi is a better manager than Torre?

One of the main reasons for the Yankees failure was the continued failure of their superstar third baseman to perform in the post season. For some reason Alex Rodriguez seems to continue to be "Mr. April-Sept." rather than "Mr. October." Great players perform at their best, when the spotlight shines brightest.

Now A-Rod, despite dire Yankee warnings, is going to test his value on the free-agent market rather than re-sign with the Yankees. His agent Scott Boras told a reporter that "Alex's decision was one based on not knowing what his closer [Mariano Rivera], his catcher [Jorge Posada], and one of his statured pitchers [Andy Pettitte] was going to do," Boras said. "He really didn't want to make any decisions until he knew what they were doing." But, of course, that's exactly what he did. Make a decision - at least 10 days before he had to. At that point he also didn't know whom the manager would be. But, as Len Berman said on NBC News, it's really all about money. Clearly for people like A-Rod and Boras dollars trump loyalty.

I also believe that Boras has had discussions with several teams about A-Rod and there are quite likely a couple of owners (probably on the West Coast) who are dumb enough to pay A-Rod the exorbitant price Boras will demand.

The best irony would be if Red Sox third baseman and World Series MVP Mike Lowell, who also can become a free agent, signs with the Yankees and helps them to get back to the championship contest.

One more thought. The New York Daily News quotes several Yankee fans bemoaning the loss of A-Rod. I wonder if they are the same fans who went to the stadium and booed him.

It's out-the-door Pat, rather than good job Pat

A revolution has taken place in the Bush administration.

Instead of the usual pat-on-the-back ("good job Pat") Pat Philbin, the man who oversaw public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency last week when the agency held a fake news conference about the California wildfires will no longer take over as head of public relations for Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, a job he was scheduled to move into yesterday. In fact it seems that instead of the usual Bush administration pat on the back when someone screws up Philbin has been fired (or possibly submitted his resignation).

The other possible explanation, of course, is that Philbin wasn't a Bush crony so he was expendable in an attempt to tamp down the effects of the bizarre press conference.

Although as we know phony reporters at press conferences is hardly out-of-character for the Bush administration. We all remember, a reporter named Jeff Gannon, who turned up at White House briefings and press conferences for more than two years, where he asked decidedly pro-Bush questions. It, of course, turned out that "Jeff Gannon" was really Jim Guckert, a reporter for a website called "Talon News," which was associated with the online group GOPUSA. com, owned by Texas Republicans.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oct. 26: Film: Fidel: The Untold Story

Film Showing:
Fidel: The Untold Story
A documentary film by Estela Bravo

Friday, October 26th, 7pm

2295 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
(Near the corner of 135th St.)
(Take the 2/3 or B/C trains to 135th St.)

$7 at the door

Fidel Castro is one of the most influential and controversial figures of our time. Fidel: The untold story offers a unique view into the life of this Cuban leader. The film spans a period of 40 years, from Castro's early childhood and college days to his presidency of Cuba. It includes rare footage from state archives as well as interviews with Castro himself, historians, public figures and close friends. Harry Belafonte, Sydney Pollack, Alice Walker, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nelson Mandela, and others tell a previously untold story and present a new view of this powerful and compelling figure.

Volunteer with ANSWER! Call 212-694-8720 or
email to get involved.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311
Seattle: 206-568-1661

Saturday, October 20, 2007

From CodePink: events this week

From CodePink: Events this week

Dear Dan,

Please join us at one or all of these upcoming events and visit our site for all the info!

Monday, Oct. 22, 8PM
Citizen Reno- Comedian & Rebel without a pause will be performing her BLUE STATE RANTS
308 Bowery (N of Houston)
(212) 614-0505

Also Monday, Oct. 22, 6pm
Peace Action Celebrates 50 Years
At the historic and elegant Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem

Tuesday, October 23rd, 10AM
Canada: We Come In Peace (and pink!)
On October 23rd, CODEPINK Women for Peace is calling for coordinated actions around the country to raise awareness about peace activists and non violent protesters recently being turned away from entering Canada. Check out our Canada page for more info and sign the petition today!

At the New York Canadian Consulate
1251 Avenue of the Americas
Contact Dana at 202.422.8624 dana[at] for more info

Thursday, October 25th, 5:30pm
Parent-Teacher Night- Counter-Recruitment Event
CODEPINK NYC, the Granny Peace Brigade and a coalition of other groups will be standing outside the schools handing out Opt-Out materials to parents between 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Drop in to pick up materials and get a ten-minute mini-training on Tuesday, October 23rd between 4:30-7:00 p.m. at the United for Peace & Justice Office (630 9th Avenue, 2nd floor, suite 216 between 44th and 45th Streets).

To sign up to join a counter-recruiting team and be assigned a school in your general vicinity, please contact Barbara Harris at Each two or three-person team will be headed by someone with experience. The more people we have, the more schools we can cover!

Saturday, October 27th, 12noon
On Saturday, October 27th, United for Peace & Justice is organizing 11 regional anti-war street demonstrations in NYC Pink peace officers will be on hand and we will be carrying our DON'T BUY BUSH'S WAR message.
To sign up to join CODEPINK NYC click here!

CODEPINK will be meeting at noon on the northeast corner of 19th Street & Broadway. Look for the PINK! After, peace fair at Foley Square- look for our pink table! For more information contact Nancy at
Thanks and see you in the streets!


Friday, October 19, 2007

MSNBC defines "values voters" as only those who share right-wing Christian values

Yesterday (Fri) I watched quite alot of news coverage on MSNBC and was disturbed by the fact that they constantly refer ed to the people attending the right-wing Christian conference in D.C. this weekend as "values voters." This seems to me to imply that they are the only voters who are making their decisions based on values.

If they had referred to them as right-wing Christian values voters that would have been much more accurate.

I have never selected a candidate to vote for except on the basis of my values.

It seems to me that "peace" is a value. It seems to me that believing that children should have adequate medical coverage (whether their parents can afford it or not) is a value. It seems to me that being in favor of women controlling their own bodies is a value.

The adoption of the right-wing Christian definition of what this weekend's conference is all about results in an inaccurate picture of the electorate and its motivations.

Saturday October 27th, 11:30 a. m. for a Chelsea Feeder March

From Chelsea Neighbors United:

Saturday October 27th, 11:30 a.m.
at the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 23rd Street
for a Chelsea Feeder March to
the New York March and Rally to End The War in Iraq and to Bring the Troops Home

Join Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War and Chelsea For Peace for a Chelsea Feeder March Saturday October 27th at 11:30 a. m. at the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 23rd Street for a Chelsea Feeder March to the New York March and Rally to End The War in Iraq and to Bring the Troops Home. The rally begins on Broadway north of Union Square and the march will begin at 1 p.m.

We have been invited to join the New York Metro Area Postal Union in the labor contingent at the beginning of the march. New York Metro has joined Chelsea Stands Up Against The War on a couple of occasions and would like us to march with them.

We will have our Stand Up banner and a limited number of posters, so please feel free to bring your own signs, banners, musical instruments etc.

If you would like further information please contact Chelsea Neighbors to End the War at 212-726-1385 or come to the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 24th Street this Tuesday at 6pm for Chelsea Stands Up Against The War.

Chelsea Neighbors United To End The War
P.O. Box 821
JAF Station
New York, NY 10116-0821
join our listerv:

Sunday Oct. 21: Rebroadcast of Jeremy Scahill on Bill Moyer's Journal

Tonight's broadcast on PBS, of Bill Moyer's Journal which featured an interview with Nation Institute Fellow Jeremy Scahill, author of the national bestseller Blackwater (Nation Books) will be re-broadcast on Sunday, October 21 at 7PM (EST). Check the website for Bill Moyer's Journal for more info.

Moyers interviewed Scahill on the implications of the use of private contractors to fight alongside the U.S. military in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Scahill also discussed the media's response to the recent charm offensive by Erik Prince, the Founder and CEO of Blackwater, who has been accorded extremely generous TV coverage of late.

Click here to read Scahill's reporting on Blackwater for The Nation.

Check out Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army for the back-story of the Bush Administration's Praetorian Guard for the war on terror.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Protest "Islamo-fascism Awareness Week"

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, right-wing and neo-conservative political forces led by the David Horowitz "Freedom" Center are calling for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week events on campuses across the U.S. (for a list of campuses and speakers, see below).

If this event is coming to your campus or neighborhood - and even if it's not - speak out against this racist assault on Muslims, Arabs, Arab-Americans, South Asians and anyone viewed as sympathetic towards those communities.

While some people might dismiss the neo-conservatives as fringe elements who don't impact on U.S. policy, the truth is much more disturbing. They are part of an alliance of forces that work to maintain the war against Iraq, escalate the standoff with Iran into military conflict, and cement Israel's hold on the occupied Palestinian territories and violations of Palestinian human rights through a system of apartheid rule.

The stakes are simply too high to ignore, and we should respond to the so-called "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" - and to all such provocations - pro-actively, not defensively.

To find out what action you can take on your campus and in your community and to read about what others are doing, click here. To learn more about the forces driving this agenda, read "Understanding Why Islamophobia is on the Rise," the analysis by Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and member of the U.S. Campaign's steering committee.

"Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" speakers and venues:

Berkeley -- Nonie Darwish, October 22
Brown -- Robert Spencer, October 24
Cal Poly -- Greg Davis, October 25
Cal State Fullerton -- Nonie Darwish
Clemson -- Mike Adams, October 25
Columbia -- Phyllis Chesler, Ibn Warraq, Christina Hoff Sommers
Columbia -- Sean Hannity, David Horowitz, October 26
DePaul -- Robert Spencer, October 25
Emory -- David Horowitz, October 24
George Mason -- Luanah Saghieh, Alan Nathan, October 22
Lawrence Univ. -- Jonathan Schanzer
Maryland -- Michael Ledeen
Michigan -- David Horowitz, October 23
Northeastern -- Daniel Pipes, October 24
Ohio State -- David Horowitz, October 25
Penn -- Rick Santorum, October 24
Penn State -- Rick Santorum, October 23
Rhode Island -- Robert Spencer, October 24
San Francisco State -- Melanie Morgan, October 24
Stanford -- Wafa Sultan
Temple -- Rick Santorum, October 24
Tulane -- Ann Coulter, October 22
UC Santa Barbara - Dennis Prager, October 25
UC Irvine -- Ann Coulter
UCLA -- Nonie Darwish, October 24
UCLA -- Frank Pastore, John Ziegler
USC -- Ann Coulter, October 25
Virginia -- Frank Gaffney
Washington -- Kirby Wilbur
Washington -- Michael Medved, October 25
Wisconsin -- David Horowitz, October 22

Friday, October 12, 2007

October 27: March and Rally in NYC to End the War/Bring the Troops Home

October 27th March and Rally to End the War, Bring the Troops Home in NYC

The Main rally begins at 12 noon and March is at 1pm, North of 17th Street and Broadway.

Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War has endorsed and will participate.

For updated information call CNU at 212-726-1385

Chelsea Neighbors United has been invited to march with New York Metro Area Postal Union which has joined us at the Tuesday Stand Up on a number of occasions.

As soon as all the logistics are worked out I will post the info.

Please respond via email if you are participating.

Next Stand Up
northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 24th Street
Tuesday from 6-7pm

Prevent telemarketing calls on your cell phone

Cell phone numbers went public Oct 10.

REMINDER: all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies tomorrow (Oct. 13) and you will start to receive sale calls.


To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.

It is the National DO NOT CALL list.
It will only take a minute of your time
It blocks your number for five (5) years.

Note: You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.


It'll take about 20 seconds

Saturday, October 06, 2007

You've got to be taught to hate and to fear

Time travel is a very strange phenomenon. How else to explain that in 2007 we are fighting over the use of words like "nigger," "bitch," "Queer," and "Nappy-headed hos?"

We must be caught in a 1950's time warp. It must be a time before the civil rights movement, the women's movement and Stonewall. I thought all of these questions were settled in the late 1960s and 70s. Who would have thought they would be back to haunt us in 2007?

Words are weapons because they do hurt people (despite the childhood shibboleth about "sticks and stones" and "bones") but clearly these words are also symptoms of a much deeper disease plaguing our society -- hatred and prejudice. And therein lies the problem with focusing only on the words and their speakers and not on the cultures that create and nurture them. I doubt that getting Don Imus off the airwaves changed what the talk radio audience finds funny. I also doubt that a Sharpton-led Knick boycott (unless Isiah Thomas apologizes for his videotape suggesting that it's more acceptable for a Black man to call a Black woman a "bitch" than for a white man to do so) will change the male athlete's (Black or white) culture.

The scariest aspect of all this is how easy it is for these weapons to hide under rocks in this society until it's again safe to come out (particularly after nearly thirty years of right-wing cultural domination).

We will never defang these weapons until we confront racism, sexism and homophobia at the earliest moments in a child's socialization, in the family and the school.

As Rogers and Hammerstein told us in song:

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late—
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

October 27th Mobilizations To End the War

Save the Date - October 27th Mobilizations To End the War.

October 27, 2007, Approximately 1:00pm
Union Square to Foley Square (Permit Pending)

October 27th is the date when many of us will be out in the streets all over the country, demanding that Congress take action to end the war in Iraq and Stop a new war with Iran.

You can join the effort to help plan, mobilize and publicize the national

For general info and volunteering with UFPJ:
Leslie Kielson

Go to this link for full list of all 11 Regional Contacts Across the United States

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oct. 4: Emergency rally to protest Bush veto of children's health care bill

From MoveOn:

Thursday, Oct 4 2007, 6:00 PM

Columbus Circle; (west side) Time-Warner Bldg

President Bush just vetoed health care for children. In only his fourth veto ever, he blocked health care coverage for millions of uninsured—and mostly poor—kids. The Washington Post is calling this "the biggest domestic policy clash of his presidency."

Bush is totally out of step with public opinion—even 61% of Republicans support the children's health care bill. If 15 more Republicans in Congress can be won over to break with Bush the Democrats can override the veto.

We'll need every last person who can possibly come to help show that the public is upset about this veto. If you're reading this, please come!

Tomorrow, can you put the pressure on at our emergency "Rally for Our Children's Health Care" in New York?

If you have kids, definitely bring them, too!

In the coming days, Congress will try to override Bush's veto with a two-thirds majority—the Senate already passed the bill with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority and the House was close. We to pressure a few more Republicans to stand up to Bush—enough to pass the children's health bill.

If not enough Republicans buck Bush to overturn the veto, the Democrats have promised to keep sending the bill to Bush, each time increasing the pressure on vulnerable Republicans to support health care for our kids. health care—and it will set the stage for fights to come.