Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wealth in America: the Hard Facts

"Wealth has become even more concentrated during the Bush years. Today, the richest one percent of Americans has 22 percent of all income and about 40 percent of all wealth. This is the biggest concentration of income and wealth since 1928. In 2005, average CEO pay was 369 times that of the average worker, compared with 131 times in 1993 and 36 times in 1976. At the pinnacle of America’s economic pyramid, the nation’s 400 billionaires own 1.25 trillion dollars in total net worth - the same amount as the 56 million American families at the bottom half of wealth distribution." MORE

Great and eye-opening statistics quoted by Peter Dreier in his essay Bush's Class Warfare posted at and at Huffington Post. Dreier refers to this To-Read book by Robert Kuttner: The Squandering of America.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dip Tip

The information-packed Nutrition Action Newsletter put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest is worth the subscription price for the healthy recipes alone. The Dec. 2007 issue gives this dip recipe as the Tip of the Month:

Quick and Easy Dip

Puree in a food processor:
15 oz can of Great Northern, Navy or other white beans
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Obama loyalty pledge

Rachel Maddow on her Air America Radio show was rightly outraged that Obama is requiring that those attending the South Carolina Obama-Oprah event sign a pledge that they will vote for Obama in 2008 -- this before they even hear the candidate!! Isn't this a Republican tactic?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Plaque: The ABCs of Life

Saw this in a store window and took a picture -- better to type it and remember the prosaic thoughts. (Plus you can print this out and carry it around -- the plaque is too heavy.)

Accept difference Be kind Count your blessings Dream Express thanks Forgive Give freely Harm no one Imagine more Jettison anger Keep confidences Love truly Master something Nurture hope Open your mind Pack lightly Quell rumors Reciprocate Seek wisdom Touch hearts Understand Value truth Win graciously Xeriscape Yearn for peace Zealously support a worthy cause

I see that a very similar plaque is also featured in the Signals catalog: The Alphabet for Life. [ What is Xeriscape?]

Friday, November 23, 2007

Economy or Society First?

"Does the economy exist to serve society or does society exist to serve the economy?"
-- Thom Hartmann, various times

Thom discusses variations on this topic frequently. Check out his Air America Radio show's descriptions. Essentially, however, the liberal point of view is that America and America's government should be focused on "We the People" -- and not on corporations and the betterment of the economy over the rights of everyday working Americans.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Madison: War is the Enemy to Public Liberty

Best Madison quote, per Thom Hartmann at Demos, NYC, 11-14-07:

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people... [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and... degeneracy of manners and of morals... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare..."
-- President James Madison


Monday, November 12, 2007

Americans oblivious to military bases

This Sunday, when the Granny Peace Brigade held a teach-in at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery on the topic of Closing Guantanimo and other US military bases on foreign soil, it became clear that many Americans aren't aware of the abundance of such bases depleting our treasuring and [further] damaging our reputation abroad. There are over a thousand bases in 130 countries, AND there are fourteen permanent bases in Iraq. Of these, The Friends ask, "If the U.S. is ultimately leaving Iraq, why is the military building 'permanent' bases?" We should all be asking this question of our Congress: 202-224-3121.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Act Now: Impeach Cheney

Bob Fertik of has a good action post about following up on Rep. Dennis Kucinich's H.Res.333 . Please read it and act. Impeach Cheney First -- and remember that 333 is half of 666, the sign of the Beast!! OMG.

Check It Out:

AAR's Richard Greene had a guest from Project Censored on his Clout show last night to discuss the new top 25 stories overlooked by the corporate media. (Richard would have you not call it the mainstream media, because we are really the mainstream -- support media diversity and internet neutrality to preserve our Clout!) Check it out -- and I will, too!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

See it: Pete Seeger The Power of Song

Held over, Pete Seeger The Power of Song is playing at the IFC Center (old Waverly!), 323 Sixth Avenue, NYC, through at least Tuesday. Such fun! I saw it with Gail Harper last week and then we went around the corner to Tio Pepe's on 4th Street -- yummy place to eat afterwards. This show inspired me to seek out more of Pete's songs, incuding the Springsteen Seeger CD. Take the EFVACD to West 4th Stop - or the 1 to Christopher.

Some questions about money and 9/11 truth

Question: Was the claim of 9/11 rescue worker James Zadroga's family denied out of validity or for monetary reasons? Is New York City more intent on avoiding possible law suits from many 9/11 workers who worked at an environmentally toxic site without proper protection than it is with 9/11 truth? Following the City's medical examiner's statement that Zadroga died from injecting pills, contradicting an earlier report from a NJ medical examiner, the shocked family sought out Dr. Michael Braden who stated that there were traces of cellulose, plastic material, and glass fiber in Zadogra's lungs and no evidence of needle track marks. The family says their concern is not about money but about getting his name on the 9/11 memorial. Still, a case surely can be made that the City was negligent in not providing hazmat protection. And wasn't it?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Contact Schumer re AG Candidate

Contact Senator Chuck Schumer, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee about confirming Mukasey for Attorney General, by form or by phone: 202-224-6542.

I wrote to Senator Schumer:
Please do NOT support Mukasey unless

-- He answers firmly YES to the question: "Should the president of the USA be subject the the laws and the Constitution of the United States of America?"

-- He comes out firmly against torture and agrees that almost drowning people (water boarding) IS torture.

PLEASE NOTE: If the above are not met, be assured that I will be totally APPALLED and will NOT be able to give even one penny to fund your DSCC.

Bob Fertik of also suggests calling the DSCC directly and giving the same message: 202-224-2447. (Schumer currently chairs the committee.)

P.S. Thanks to author John Nichols for posing the law/constitution question on AAR's The Rachel Maddow Show.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Important Small Stuff

So often while listening to a podcast or a radio show, or reading blogs, books, newspapers or mail, I want to jot down some important little factoid to act upon later and/or share with my friends and family. Perhaps this will be a way of capturing items before they are lost on post-its or down the memory hole. And pictures, too. I've been busy updating my Flickr pages with pictures taken while marching with my Fellowship of Reconciliation friends during the Oct. 27th peace march in NYC (and 10 other cities). Despite the lack of corporate mainstream media attention, it did happen. Check out my Fall Out for Peace set.

Ed McManus, Ethan Vesely-Flad and Kate Anne