Thursday, April 24, 2008

President Bush is Coming to Connecticut

President Bush is Coming to Hartford

President Bush will read a statement on Malaria Awareness in Hartford on Friday morning. As if $3 TRILLION for war is not enough, this visit is a thinly-netted ruse to get taxpayers to pay for a fundrasing trip to Henry Kissinger's house in Kent a short time later.
Protesters will gather at the Northwest Boys & Girls Club at the corner of Nahum Drive and Granby Street in Hartford from 10 AM until 12 noon.


President Bush is appearing at Henry Kissinger's house for a fundraiser for David Cappiello, who is challenging freshman Chris Murphy (D5-CT). Fundraiser guests are being told to arrive by 12 noon so they can be checked in by security. Bush is coming at 1 PM.

At 3 PM we will march against the War on Iraq on Main Street (Route 7) in the center of Kent. Even if you can't make it until the end, it is important to come and make a statement against the war.
We will be protesting Bush's wrongheaded war without end, which has cost taxpayers over $3 trillion and has wrecked our economy.

At this point, we are telling people to gather at the home of Henry Kissinger, 50 Henderson Road, Kent, CT

(Google will call it Cornwall Bridge; the town is wrong but the map and directions are correct).

If you need a ride or can offer one or more other people a ride, please use the registration link below and let us know

We expect the authorities to push us back from this point but we expect to be nearby. People should go to the Connecticut Opposes the War (COW) website to register, rideshare and to keep up to date with the latest logistics as details for the event change -- and they will.
When April 25th, 2008 12:00 PM through 3:00 PM
Location 50 Henderson Road
Kent, CT 06754

From:, where more info may be obtained

COW's Mission Statement: "Nothing less than to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home safely, and change our national priorities from a war based on lies to health care, jobs and proper treatment of our suffering vets."
From the local newspaper, I find (with my editorial italics):
"The president is coming, but no one in Kent seems to notice"
(More obvious evidence that the Waterbury paper has no proof reader and relies solely on spell check - a paper that calls itself the "Republican" but fails to capitalize this particular President?)

(KENT) -- "If this bustling little village in the Litchfield Hills is excited about the upcoming visit of the president, it's sure doing a good job of hiding it.
A visit downtown earlier this week showed no preparations under way, no special sprucing up, no signs of welcome or protest, and very little chatter about George W. Bush's expected arrival Friday for a brief Republican fundraiser at the home of Henry and Nancy Kissinger.
"Of course it's a big deal, but there's more interest around town in what's happening with the budget," said liquor store owner Ira Smith, referring to local angst over the size of the 2008-09 municipal and education budget proposals.
Although the reasons differed, the general feeling of apathy was confirmed in interviews with trade and service people around town. "From what I've heard, more people got excited about the Pope in New York," said hairdresser Jennifer Yodkin."
This is a Democratic town, and becoming more so every day," explained Carol McCann, who runs a fabric shop off Main Street. Although Republicans used to dominate politics here and in other Litchfield County towns, registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans 663 to 519 in Kent. But unaffiliated voters number 728.Over at Town Hall, First Selectman Ruth Epstein was more upbeat about the visit, based on calls she had been receiving in recent days. "I think a lot of people are excited. It's not often a sitting president comes to a small town like ours," said the chief elected official, who is a Democrat.
But Epstein said she knew only one local person who planned to go to the fund-raiser, which will cost $1,000 per head to attend and $10,000 to have one's picture taken with the president. "Some people wanted to know if I was going, but I haven't been invited. You'd think it would be protocol," she said.
"Yes, I'm going," GOP Town Chairman Anthony DiPentima said. "Obviously it's a great honor to have the president of the United States come to Kent."
Basically, this is a fairly sophisticated community that doesn't gawk over such things. More than most towns in northwestern Connecticut, Kent is quite accustomed to visitors, including celebrities, given its location on busy Route 7, its reputation as a haven for New Yorkers, and its plethora of high-end galleries, shops and restaurants.
Also, the village itself is not likely to be directly impacted by President Bush's visit. He will reportedly fly by helicopter directly to the Kissinger home, which has its own helipad. Their house is nearly five miles east on the border with Warren, tucked away in a wood-rimmed clearing off a long dirt road.Indirectly, downtown commerce could thrive from an influx of fat-cat Republicans.
And then there are the demonstrators, who have announced their intention to gather here Friday to peacefully protest the Iraq War and other administration policies. They've scheduled a march down Main Street.
"They don't spend much," Smith said with shrug. "The coffee and doughnut trade will do well."
None of the dozen vendors interviewed in town had been asked to supply or cater the fundraiser, although there were unconfirmed rumors that local chocolate maker Belgique was sending sweets, after it provided the dessert at the White House for Queen Elizabeth's visit a year ago. Belgique was closed for the first three days of the week.
But local florist Jessie Rundall said she gave her business card to some groundskeepers at the Kissinger estate in hopes of handling the flower arrangements. "I'd like some of that business," she smiled."
My google search on "Nuremberg, Germany + distance from Kent, CT" reveals that the two cities are 3,904 miles apart...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

David Rovics

David Rovics is a friend of mine that I’ve never met yet.
This morning he sent me this:

"Hey folks in Connecticut!
Just wanted to spread the word that I'm hoping to visit the northeast sometime around early June, likely making the trip with my little daughter, largely to visit friends and relatives, but I'm very much hoping to do a few gigs while I'm in the area, too... If you or anybody you know might be inclined to organize something, like a concert for kids or a concert for adults (two entirely different musical programs), please let me know!"

(503) 863-1177

A short one:

A long one, David Rovics with Attila the Stockbroker:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Response Song to "Will It Change Things?"

News travels fast in these days of electric communications: a response song to "Will It Change Things?" has been already been speedily posted and is being reported by the media:

Almost related:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Will It Change Things?

A song by Bob Nield, that I posted the lyrics to, and now have added some tracks to his original song, using that to create this video...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Civics Quiz

I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.- Thomas Jefferson

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.- Abraham Lincoln

Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy. - Woodrow Wilson

The citizens of the United States must control the mighty commercial forces which they themselves called into being.- Theodore Roosevelt

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. - Dwight Eisenhower

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves - and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion. - Thomas Jefferson

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Civics Quiz
Which of the following candidates for President of the United States best reflects values expressed above?

a) John McCain

b) Hillary Clinton

c) Barack Obama

d) Ralph Nader

from an email:

April 14, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

“The Tree of Peace”

I know you’ve heard of “Bury the Hatchet,” but did you know the rest of the expression is: “And Plant the Tree of Peace?”
The Haudenosaunee story and more here:
Including these possible "Treaty Trees" in Woodbury CT...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thinking about the presidential candidate who has done the least harm, I could easily name one without hesitating at all.
But you might not hear too much about him on TV.
I wonder why, and so might you.
(And he's the only one talking about impeachment.)

Then this morning, I was surprised to see this in my local newspaper:

Ralph Nader has been a life-saver many times over


In response to Bill Dunn’s irresponsible op-ed piece March 10, “‘Ralph Quixote’ tilts again at presidential windmill,” and the accompanying cartoon “Irrelevant at any speed,” it needs to be pointed out Winsted native Ralph Nader ’s accomplishments as a lawyer, researcher, writer, consumer advocate and founder of more than 100 citizen-action nonprofit groups has resulted in legislation that is relevant, landmark and lifesaving.
Mr. Nader was named by Atlantic magazine one of the 100 most influential figures in U.S. history, one of only four living people to be so honored. He has worked to create the framework of laws, regulatory agencies and federal standards that not only have improved the quality of life for all Americans, including Mr. Dunn, but actually saved lives, starting with the legislation he initiated making seat belts standard equipment in cars. The auto industry had neglected to take this step for decades. Ralph Nader has been instrumental in passing such monumental legislation as the Freedom of Information Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Water Drinking Act, Clean Air Act, Wholesome Meat Act, Wholesome Poultry Production Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, the law establishing the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Products Safety Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, Mine Health and Safety Act, National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and National Automobile and Highway Traffic Safety Act. His largest group, Public Citizen, now under the direction of Joan Claybrook, has more than 100,000 members. The Public Interest Research Groups that Mr. Nader helped establish on college campuses in 23 states have published hundreds of ground-breaking reports, lobbied for laws in state legislatures, and called the media’s attention to environmental and energy problems.
Mr. Nader has been instrumental in legislation concerning the safety of medical devices, mobile-home safety and food labels. Who knew? Probably not Mr. Dunn. Ralph Nader has improved the quality of Bill Dunn’s life more than Bill Dunn, and most of us, realize. One wonders if Mr. Dunn has anything against clean air, clean water, wholesome meat, safe cars, food labels, no smoking on airplanes, freedom of information and protection of whistle blowers. In an ideal world, businesses wouldn’t dump toxins into rivers, make unsafe products and sacrifice the health of consumers and employees to raise profits.
In an ideal world, the auto industry would design safer cars voluntarily. In an ideal world, legislators would have initiated laws concerning all of the above to promote the rights, safety and concerns of their constituents.
But they didn’t.
Instead, it took a private citizen, Ralph Nader. Ralph Nader studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He has traveled through Latin America, Africa and Europe, where he witnessed great social struggles and interviewed world leaders as a freelance journalist. He also speaks Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
How refreshing it would be to have a president who could speak to heads of state in their own languages. Mr. Dunn’s schoolyard name-calling reminds me of a couple of old sayings. If you can label someone, you don’t have to deal with him. And if you can tell a lie long enough, people will believe it. Ralph Nader ’s intellect, integrity, knowledge, experience, wisdom and dedication to this country and to social justice worldwide make him eminently qualified to be president.

Anita Bologna is a writer who lives in Waterbury.
Just this issue alone, a living wage, might bring those people who don't vote into the picture, and at least scare that 1% that's done so well lately...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


As the first Sunday of the month approaches
A day when I'll stand
for Peace
perhaps with my wife
perhaps with some friends
perhaps all alone

For an hour
On the green
Of a little town called Bethlehem

I think of a question
I'm always asked: "Why do you do it?"

I have many answers for that
But sometimes
I think of my grandparents
who moved here
to America
from Germany
In the years between
The First and Second World Wars
And this song comes to mind:


(One of the four housewives, who in May 1966, made a personal demonstration, and prevented a load of napalm bombs from being delivered on time, made a statement as to why she had done it. I have simply tried to put the statement into meter, rhyme, and music. — Pete Seeger)

My name is Lisa Kalvelage, I was born in Nuremberg
And when the trials were held there nineteen years ago
It seemed to me ridiculous to hold a nation all to blame
For the horrors that the world did undergo
A short while later when I applied to be a G. I. bride
An American consular official questioned me
He refused my exit permit, said my answers did not show
I'd learned my lesson about responsibility.

Thus suddenly I was forced to start thinking on this theme
And when later I was permitted to emigrate
I must have been asked a hundred times where I was and what I did
In those years when Hitler ruled our state
I said I was a child or at most a teen-ager
But that only extended the questioning
They'd ask, where were my parents, my father, my mother
And to this I could answer not a thing.

The seed planted there at Nuremberg in 1947
Started to sprout and to grow
Gradually I understood what that verdict meant to me
When there are crimes that I can see and I can know
And now I also know what it is to be charged with mass guilt
Once in a lifetime is enough for me

No, I could not take it for a second time
And that is why I am here today.
The events of May 25th, the day of our protest,
Put a small balance weight on the other side

Hopefully, someday my contribution to peace
Will help just a bit to turn the tide
And perhaps I can tell my children six
And later on their own children
That at least in the future they need not be silent
When they are asked, "Where was your mother, when?"

I'm there for the same reason
As the woman in the song
As the writer of the song
I'm standing there
In case anyone asks
"Where was I, when?"

A little Pete Seeger story:

"About two winters ago, on Route 9 outside Beacon, one winter day, it was freezing—rainy and slushy, a miserable winter day—the war in Iraq is just heating up and the country's in a poor mood," Cronin said. "I'm driving north, and on the other side of the road I see from the back a tall, slim figure in a hood and coat. I'm looking, and I can tell it's Pete, He's standing there all by himself, and he's holding up a big piece of cardboard that clearly has something written on it. Cars and trucks are going by him. He's getting wet. He's holding the homemade sign above his head—he's very tall, and his chin is raised the way he does when he sings—and he's turning the sign in a semicircle, so that the drivers can see it as they pass, and some people are honking and waving at him, and some people are giving him the finger. He's eighty-four years old. I know he's got some purpose, of course, but I don't know what it is. What struck me is that, whatever his intentions are, and obviously he wants people to notice what he's doing, he wants to make an impression—anyway, whatever they are, he doesn't call the newspapers and say, 'I'm Pete Seeger, here's what I'm going to do.' He doesn't cultivate publicity. That isn't what he does. He's far more modest than that. He would never make a fuss. He's just standing out there in the cold and the sleet like a scarecrow. I go a little bit down the road, so that I can turn and come back, and when I get him in view again, this solitary and elderly figure, I see that what he's written on the sign is 'Peace.'"

John Cronin quoted in a New Yorker Magazine article (April 17, 2006) by Alec Wilkinson "THE PROTEST SINGER; Pete Seeger" (

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cats, dogs, and people

(Video lifted from YouTube - it was in my head this morning, thinking about many things

- and another original poem...)

Cats, dogs, and people
Respond favorably to
Kindness, smiles, a gentle touch and a soft voice
Ask any kitten, puppy, or baby
And they’ll tell you the same

Let the violence cease
Let every action you take
Be a prayer for Peace;
Peace in your heart,
Peace in your home
Peace in your family
Let every action you take
Be a prayer for Peace…

And I’m sorry you can’t be a good example
Perhaps I’m just not a good teacher
I’m worried about that this morning;
We all play our part
So if you can’t be a good example,
You’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning…

Let the violence cease,
Let every action you take
Be a prayer for Peace,
Peace in your neighborhood,
Peace in your city,
Peace in the country where you live -
Let every action you take
Be a prayer for Peace…

It’s okay to believe
In Peace in the World
And it starts
- right here and right now
In your heart,
In your heart,
And it starts
- right here and right now
In your heart,
In your heart…

- March 31, 2008

(I'd already written this one yesterday, not about anyone in particular, but it seems to fit my feelings again today, as I practice my First Amendment rights, thanking "Theodore Ashley" for doing the same: I wish you Peace, brother!)