Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto, Peace

"Dictatorship neglects the basic needs of the people. And when their basic needs to clothing, to housing, to drinking water, to economic advancement is neglected, the poverty and the desperation is a fertile ground for the extremists to exploit."
-- Benazir Bhutto on NPR this June (see )

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Truth and Recruitment

This is from JoAnn Chamberlain:

• “I can promise you won’t go to Iraq or Afghanistan because of your assigned Military Occupational
Specialty/Duty Station/branch of service/reserve or guard status/because I say so.”
Recruiters can promise this, but their word means nothing to the people who will actually decide
what the military does with you. Personnel from the Navy and Air Force are being pulled as
“Individual Mobilization Augmentees” to run convoys in Iraq after a two-week crash course. The
Marine Corps has even sent band members to Iraq for combat missions.
• “You can choose active duty or reserves and an enlistment period of two years, four years, or more,
depending on the commitment you want to make.”
Every contract is for a period of eight years including time in the inactive reserves. The contract you
sign is unilateral, meaning it only binds you, not the military. You can choose what that contract
says, but it does not stop the military from putting you on stop-loss or involuntarily extending you.
At least 120,000 military personnel have been affected by these policies since 9/11.
• “If you’re enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) you can’t get out of serving.”
Recruiters will tell you that you will go to jail if you don’t go, but that’s just another lie. For more
information, go to or call 1.800.394.9544.
• “If you don’t like it, you can get out at any time with a ‘failure to adapt’ discharge.”
There are a variety of unpleasant ways to get out of the military, but “not liking it” is not one of
them. If you refuse to train, the drill sergeants will use any means available to keep you in. If the
command finally decides that discharge is the only option, the process may take months to complete.
• “You will get plenty of money to get a college degree when you get out of the military, as well as
numerous chances to get ahead on your education while still on active duty.”
On average, the Montgomery GI Bill will only cover 1/2 the cost of a public college and 1/5 the cost
of a private college. In order to get that money for college after you get off active duty, you have to
contribute money to the fund from the day they start paying you. So many servicemen are
disqualified from getting that money that the military makes money from the program.
• 28% of women report being raped while in the service. Many rapes go unreported.
• 5.6% of people who enter the GI Montgomery Bill use all the money available to them.
• 75% of Blacks and 67% of Latinos report experiencing racial prejudice in the service.
• Veterans aged 20 to 24 are unemployed at almost twice the rate of their peers who didn’t enlist.
• US war veterans are twice as likely to kill themselves as ordinary civilians.
• Only 12% males and 6% of females vets surveyed made any use of skill learned in the military.
• Vets are 3-5 times more likely to be homeless than non-veteran peers.
“Before you become a weapon of your democracy, ready to fight and kill and die in the
name of the United States of America, you need to have the utmost faith in that democracy.”
– Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War, USMC, Fallujah, Feb-Sep 2004
IVAW􀀁PO Box 8296􀀁Philadelphia, PA 19101􀀁Tel: 215.241.7123􀀁Fax: 215.241.7177

Other Sources

Monday, December 17, 2007

Check your calendars

Tuesday December 18 at noon: Please join Ulster County Legislator Susan Zimet (New Paltz), Hyde Park voting integrity activist Joanne Lukacher, and Joel Tyner in front of the Dutchess County Board of Elections offices at 47 Cannon Street in Poughkeepsie in public support of Rhinebeck attorney Andi Novick's recently submitted amicus brief to the U.S. Federal District Court in Albany re: United States v New York State Board of Elections (Case # 1:06-cv-263).

Wednesday, December 19 at 7 p.m. Join the discussion at the Muddy Cup. We'll be discussing Naomi Wolf's book (see the blog from 12/11 for one of her talks on her book, and some review articles)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Election machines flawed

According to an article in the New York Times today 12/15 ohio Election officials have found serious flaws in voting machines that might compromise the 2008 elections.

Here are the main points excerpted:

December 15, 2007
Ohio Elections Official Calls Machines Flawed
CINCINNATI — All five voting systems used in Ohio, a state whose electoral votes narrowly swung two elections toward President Bush, have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election, a report commissioned by the state’s top elections official has found.
. . .
The study released Friday found that voting machines and central servers made by Elections Systems and Software; Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold; and Hart InterCivic; were easily corrupted.
. . .
The $1.9 million federally financed study assembled corporate and academic teams to conduct parallel assessments. A bipartisan group of 12 election board directors and deputy directors acted as advisers.
The academic team, made up of faculty members and students from Cleveland State University, Pennsylvania State, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Pennsylvania, said systemic change was needed. “All of the studied systems possess critical security failures that render their technical controls insufficient to guarantee a trustworthy election,” the team wrote. "

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The End of America

That's the title of Naomi Wolf's short but poignant "letter of Warning to a young Patriot" that we will be discussing at the December Brewing Change Coffeehouse at the Muddy Cup in Kingston. (Dec. 19 @ 7 p.m.)

For some links about the book:

Naomi Wolf explaining her message

Brief articles that explains her points,,2064157,00.html

The Introduction to the book

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Andi Novick is filing an Amicus Brief in the case of whether or not NYS will be compliant with HAVA ( explained in plain speak below). Dem Women have signed on to it I believe, as have various other organizations and officials (Yea, Susan Zimet!)

The Value of the Amicus Brief we will be filing in the United States v NYS BOE and NYS

The DOJ's position : NYS is in violation of HAVA. Lever machines are not HAVA compliant. NYS said they'd purchase computerized voting systems in 2006 and DOJ backed off, but because NYS hasn't yet bought computers the DOJ has made a motion which asks the Court to appoint a federal magistrate to decide how NY's elections should be run in 2008 unless NYS agrees to become HAVA compliant by buying DREs or Optical Scanners now.

Presumed position NYS will take: NYS will become HAVA compliant in terms of accessibility requirements by putting a machine in every polling place that permits disabled voters to vote independently. (NYS is considering uncertified DREs to function as a Ballot Marking Device (BMD) as well as considering BMDs.) NYS will not be HAVA compliant by 2008, but will purchase computers for 2009 and would like permission to be able to continue to use the lever machines for 2008.

If NY takes this position, that it will remain in violation of HAVA for 2008, that leaves it within the Court's discretion to decide whether to allow NY to stay on the levers for 2008 or appoint a federal magistrate to decide what to do about NY. The federal magistrate could decide to purchase DREs for all of NYS or purchase optical scanners for NYS or both.

Amici's position: NYS must put BMDs in every polling place (not DREs). NYS can then become HAVA compliant for 2008 in one of two ways. If we are HAVA compliant than it is no longer within the Judge's discretion to decide whether to appoint a federal magistrate or not. The DOJ's motion would have to be dismissed if NYS is no longer in violation of HAVA.

1) Amici will argue that lever machines are HAVA compliant. This is a legal argument which the Court has not ruled on. Well meaning advocates have argued that levers cannot be HAVA compliant, but that is just their interpretation. I will make the amicus brief available when it's completed to share the basis for my legal position, but should the Court agree with this analysis, then we could stay on our levers for still another election and the DOJ motion would have to be dismissed. I don't believe anyone else is arguing that levers are HAVA compliant. On a personal note I am not an advocate of levers (although I do prefer them to computerized voting systems) however I will argue they are HAVA compliant as a matter of law because if the Court accepts this legal analysis then the DOJ's motion and request for a magistrate to take over our elections would have to be denied.

2) If the Court were to rule that levers are not HAVA compliant, I have also argued that NYS can still be HAVA compliant for 2008 by hand counting the two federal races. This is not a legal argument the Court can reject because it's not subject to interpretation. Hand counting paper ballots is permitted under HAVA so long as a means for disabled voters to vote independently is also provided. Thus as a matter of law, the DOJ motion would have to be dismissed because it asks for the appointment of a magistrate only if we remain in violation of HAVA.

Both these positions of Amici are legal positions which protect NYS by not leaving us vulnerable to the threat of take over. If NYS is only asking for permission to be allowed to stay on levers, conceding they're not legal under HAVA, then the Court can choose to ignore this request and appoint a federal magistrate who could decide to buy any of the corrupt computerized voting machines being sold on the market today.

The evidence Amici will put before the Court: The Amicus brief will provide the dozens of independent reports by computer scientists which have found that all computerized voting systems- both DREs and Optical Scanners- are vulnerable to being hacked and changing the outcome of an election. These reports show that hacks have been readily performed on both DREs and Optical Scanners and that these hacks can be accomplished without detection.

The Amicus brief will also argue that the constitution requires that the right to vote includes the right to see that one's vote was received and accurately counted and that computerizes voting makes that which must be transparent, concealed. All DREs and Optical Scanners, sold by the same handful of vendors, count the votes using secret software. The people are never permitted to know or see how the DRE or the Optical scanner was programmed to count their votes. Secret vote counting, IMHO is not only unconstitutional, but is un-American.

Amici will also present the evidence of the thousands of breakdowns and failures of these computerized voting systems over the past five years. Amici will also argue that the vendors selling these systems are not eligible to do business in NY because they irresponsible, unethical and guilty of multiple offenses that violate NY's laws thereby precluding NY from contracting with them. See two memos I have written on this topic and the evidence contained therein. , ,)

None of this evidence is currently before the Court on this motion. The DOJ has demanded NYS purchase DREs or Optical Scanners that have been shown to be faulty, vulnerable to hacking and unable to produce accurate election results, without revealing to the Court the evidence and documentation Amici will provide.

To clarify, because there's been some confusion created about the legal position of this Amicus brief, if you are opposed to DREs and support Optical Scanners, that position is not inconsistent with Amici's brief. The issue before the Court is what is to happen in 2008. I believe that all activists and the county election commissioners and NYS BOE agree that it would create chaos to install optical scanners or DREs for the first time in a presidential election. The only ones who think it's a good idea to install DREs or Optical Scanners for 2008 is the DOJ and maybe the federal magistrate who the Judge could appoint if NYS remains in violation of HAVA. This is why it is so important to take a legal position that makes us HAVA compliant so that it's not up to the Judge's discretion to decide whether to appoint a federal magistrate to decide for us.


Andrea T. Novick, Esq. Finder Novick Kerrigan LLP 315 Park Avenue South New York, New York 10010 Rhinebeck office 349 Ackert Hook Rd. Rhinebeck, New York 12572 (telephone) 845 876 2359

Impeachment resolution

Last night the Ulster County Legislature passed an impeachment resolution! (Though I did not read this in the Daily freeman this morning). The vote was 20-9. While it was only a symbolic gesture calling for W and Cheny to be impeached, its very important that out County has taken a stand against hypocrisy, lies and the trampling of the Constitution that are the hallmarks of the Bush-Cheney administration!

Sex Trafficking

Here is the webcite for the transcript of the PBS Frontline program on Sex Slaves.
Sex Trafficking is a multiBILLION dollar business.

Could it happen here?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Diversity Workshop 12/13

The Eleanor Roosevelt Center is proud to present its final Diversity Coalition Networking Event on the Freedom from Fear . It will be held on Thursday, December 13 from 4:30-6:30 at the Wallace Center located at the FDR Library and Home in Hyde Park on Route 9. The program will begin at 5:00 p.m.

We have three excellent panelists who will speak about different aspects of fear from the traditional way in which we think about it—security—and the less traditional way—in the home and our own spiritual lives. Three distinguished panelists will be joining us Gary Christensen , Correction Administrator for the Dutchess County Jail, Elizabeth Lesser , co-founder of the Omega Institute, and Judy Lombardi , Executive Director of Grace Smith House. Audience participants are encouraged to come with their own questions and perspectives. We anticipate a thoughtful and enlightening early evening.

Please RSVP by December 11 to or by phone at 845-229-5302. Also please feel free to share the attached flyer with your own networking group.

Eleanor Roosevelt Center
at Val-Kill
Stone Cottage
56 Val-Kill Park Road
Hyde Park , NY 12538
845.229.0742 (fax)

This I know. This I believe with all my heart. If we want a free and a peaceful world, if we want to make the deserts bloom and man [woman] grow to greater dignity as a human being-- WE CAN DO IT!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ulster County Legislative resolution no. 392

RE: IMPORTANT – WAYS & MEANS* (Please note time change) – 4:30 PM
CAUCUS – 5:30 PM

At the direction of Chairman David B. Donaldson, Special Session of the Ulster County Legislature will be held on Wednesday, December 5, 2007 at 7:00 PM in the Legislative Chambers, Sixth Floor, County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, New York.

The purpose of the Special Session will be to consider the following resolutions:
Resolution No. 388 – Adopting Ulster County Budget For The Fiscal Year Commencing January 1, 2008 And Making Appropriations For The Conduct Of County Government
Resolution No. 389 – Adopting The Ulster County Capital Program For 2008 – 2013
Resolution No. 390 – Authorizing County Treasurer To Make Transfer Of Funds And Budgetary Amendments
Resolution No. 391 – Amending The Funding For Resolution No. 374 Dated November 14, 2007 – Establishing Capital Project No. 304 For The Reconstruction Of And Upgrade To The Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) At The Public Works Site At 317 Shamrock Lane (Quarry), In The City Of Kingston And Amending The 2007 Ulster County Budget And The Capital Program 2007 – 2012 – Public Works (Highways and Bridges)

Resolution No. 392 – Urging The United States Congress To Create A Select Committee To Investigate The Presidential Administration And To Make Recommendations Regarding Grounds For Possible Impeachment
Resolution No. 393 – Authorizing The Creation Of One Full-Time Assistant Public Defender – Amending The 2007 Ulster County Budget – Public Defender
The schedule for the day will be as follows:
4:30 PM – Ways & Means Committee, Library
5:15 PM – Special Meeting of the Criminal Justice & Safety Committee, CRA
5:30 PM – Caucus
Democrats in Chambers
Republicans in Library
6:00 PM – Public Hearings, Legislative Chambers
7:00 PM – Special Session, Legislative Chambers

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Resorting to Madness

Dear Friends, RE: Movie tonight!
AND The public DEC Scoping Session for the proposed BELLEAYRE RESORT is set for Tues. December 11, 6 PM at Belleayre Ski Center. Everyone come to lay the issues and questions on the table . Read about the TWO resorts now proposed for the Western side of Belleayre Mountain at

Please come tonight, see the 49 minute documentary about the ski resort industry, aerial photographs of the site, the developer's plans for the TWO Belleayre Resort(s) on Belleayre Mountain and Highmount, and how they will affect YOU . Get answers to your questions! (Info about the documentary below.)

We hope to see you at the Rosendale Theatre tonight at 7:00 PM. Tickets are only $5!
OR, come to Woodstock Community Center this Saturday at 7:30 for the same presentation.
Please help us spread the word!

Julie McQuain, John Carney
Save the Mountain!

Save the Mountain will present screenings of the documentary RESORTING TO MADNESS: Taking Back our Mountain Communities on Tuesday, November 27 at the Rosendale Theatre ($5) and Saturday, December 1 at the Woodstock Community Center (Free). Both screenings will be followed by a discussion about Crossroads Ventures' proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, including the brand new Highmount development, all subject of a recent Agreement in Principle announced by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, with maps and plans of the actual development and update on the Review process.
The full AIP, all exhibits and information are available at

Taking Back our Mountain Communities"

(Highmount, NY – November 12, 2007) T he documentary film Resorting to Madness: Taking Back Our Mountain Communities will be presented Tuesday, November 27 at the Rosendale Theater and Saturday, December 1 at Woodstock Community Center. Each screening will be followed by a discussion about how the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park may affect our community. Maps and plans of the real estate development, including the new Highmount Spa development, will be available.

This thoughtful documentary, produced by Hunter Sykes of Coldstream Creative, addresses the impacts of the modern ski resort industry on mountain communities and environments. Resorting to Madness includes footage and interviews from dozens of ski areas, experts, stakeholders, industry leaders, organizations and concerned community members throughout North America.

The 49 minute film explores mountain communities and what makes these places so special, and the environmental and social effects of the ski industry, using two examples to illustrate how the industry operates, Vail resorts and The Village at Wolf Creek. It then briefly focuses on the town of Mammoth Lakes, Ca, which is grappling with decisions that will define its future. The issues affecting Mammoth are indicative of those that mountain communities are dealing with across North America.

Screening Schedule:

TONIGHT Tuesday, November 27, 7:00 PM at the Rosendale Theater , 408 Main Street, Rosendale NY, 12472, 845-658-8989. Admission $5.00.

Saturday, December 1, 7:30 PM, at Woodstock Community Center , 56 Rock City Road, Woodstock NY, 12498. Admission free.

For more information visit .

On the Hospital Merger

Here is the web address for today's Daily Freeman's editorial on the agreement between Benedictine and Kingston Hospitals to keep providing abortions :

But the crux is that this merger/alliance is supposed to be one that will save money and be fiscally sound as it provides services to the community...the editorial asks for the fiscal information so that we will be able to judge this.

The Right to Choose is under attack, still

Antiabortion activists in several states are starting campaigns to grant "personhood" to embryos, thus, giving them the same legal protections as all citizens. They are pushing state constitutional amendments that would define the start of life upon conception, this re-definition (Roe V Wade did not touch this, we have granted citizenship to babies once they are born) would effectively outlaw abortions and some birth control methods.

January is the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion. Abortion foes have tried various restrictions --waiting periods,parental notification, bans against late term abortions-- to limit abortions, but not access to birth control which might actually lower the number of abortions performed. There are 1.3 million abortions are performed in the US each year. Abstinence education has lead to epidemic proportions of sexually transmitted diseases.

Redefining when life begins is a way to circumvent waiting for the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v Wade.

Note that Rudy Giuliani has changed position from being pro-choice as Mayor to being anti-abortion as a presidential candidate. He is currently using coded language such as wanting to appoint "strict constructionist judges' to the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Paper Ballots

Susan Zimet proposes paper ballots (and voting machines with a paper trial) and election officials retort that paper ballots are too cumbersome, may allow for voter fraud and hard to count. Tell that to the millions of people world wide who mark their paper ballots and slip them into boxes!

Voting machines without paper trials, with propriety programs with no oversight, are the ones that allow for potential voter fraud, and are very hard to re-count!

Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure!

Today's Daily Freeman has an article that clarifies a woman's right to breastfeed.

It seems men's shorts get in a knot when mammary glands are used for their natural purpose rather than as a sexual object.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sexism--on the campaign trail & in real life

Geraldine Ferraro in a letter to the editor in today's NYT writes "as I said before, in this country it's still o.k. to be sexist, but not to be racist." Across the paper from her letter on the Op-Ed is Maureen Dowd writing (in a column entitled: Should Hillary Pretend to be a Flight Attendant?)about all the studies that show men do not want to date smarter women; that smart slightly zaftig women are more attractive--hips=smarter kids; accomplished women hide their accomplishments; women who fuflfill female gender expectations are seen as less competent in the workplace, women who are too macho are "unfeminine" (code for lesbians--can we say homophobia?), angry men are strong, angry women are out of control..
Dowd writes about are stereotypes that MALES have. . .

The question is why are (American) males still sexist? I would have thought that after being raised by a generation of competent single working mother and sisters who played sports that young men would have a better handle on equality.
The second more important question is: How do we rid America of sexism?

Geraldine Ferraro's letter:
Dowd's column:

Monday, November 12, 2007

FGM and Asylum in the US, NOT

Being subjected to female genital mutilation and a forced marriage to your cousin is not reason to grant asylum according to the US Board of Immigration Appeals.
Having bodily integrity and autonomy and the freedom to choice your spouse

Full story :

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gender & Politics

Women's votes are poised to make quite the difference--if we vote. Bob Herbert's column in today's NYT reported out the results of a Lifetime poll.


Polls are open in NY from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
so get out and

VOTE !!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Voting Rights in the Bush Era

In today's NYT's there is an on point editorial on the fate of voting rights in the Bush era Justice department (the one which is supposed to PROTECT minority voting rights). The editorial accuses the department head of bigotry and the department taken over by idealogues who are denying voting rights to minorities, the poor and other democratic voters.

There is a bill in front of Congress sponsored by Obama: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act. This bill was introduced in January...(S453) (HR 1281)

More on "The Gender Card"

Adam Nagourney and Patrick Healy's article in today's NYT "Different Rules When a Rival is a Woman"
Reminds me that the primaries are about getting on the ballot, so its bash the top runner.

I would love to hear candidates actually discuss their own policies, and how nominating them/electing them would make a difference.

p.s. Have you noticed that it is other women who are accusing Clinton of playing the gender card? What does that say and mean?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Politics of Pile-on Hillary

What do you all think of the "pile-on" Hillary--from the Republicans to the Democrats?
I posted about the debate Tuesday night on my blog (

The boys are playing the gender card against her.

Lisa Belkin wrote about the double standard and mixed messages that women get in the workplace in "The Feminine Critique" this past Thursday in the NYT. Here is the website for that article :

Hillary, though, is maximizing this--her statement yesterday says that her rivals : "aren't piling on because I'm a woman. I think they're piling on because I'm winning."
followed by "I anticipate it's going to get even hotter, and if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen - and I'm very much at home in the kitchen."

Her statement was perfect--she framed the pile-on to her advantage. Remember in her race against Lazio for the NY Senate seat, she won votes when Lazio tried to undermine her and acted 'ungentlemenly.' He drove votes to Hillary! She won not only because of her campaign but because not only did he run an unorganized campaign, most of the money he raised was from out-of-state, and those people do not vote in state. He forgot the most basic rule of any campaign: votes matter!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Kenya's maternity wards

"Kenya's maternal death rates are among the highest in the world, despite its relative prosperity, health care reforms and U.S. funding. Beatings of women in labor in hospital maternity wards are common, as are rejections of women without funds. . ."

For more info:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Students Action on Global Warming

This Saturday, November 3rd, from 1-3 p.m. in Forsyth Park (Kingston) Kingston High School science students will be holding an informative rally about global warming. Maurice Hinchey will be there to speak, local businesses are supplying food and fluorescent light bulbs for the first-comers.
If you want to encourage young people to be involved in a positive way, Come support this positive action!

Full Disclosure: Our Alix is one of Mr. Prizzi's science students involved in organizing this event :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Issues re: Bellayre Resort

I receieved the following e-mail which the author gave me permission to post here for further discussion:

I wonder if the UCDC can take up the Bellayre resort as an issue. Despite the fact Governor pushed a number of organizations to accept what would be a damaging resort plan, to the environment, to the people in the area surrounding the proposed resort, and to the people of the Catskills at large, there are still organizations and people who are fighting the proposal.
The proposed resort will clearly damage the mountain with roads and housing at the 3000ft. level; may damage the environment with chemicals, and damage wildlife. There may not be enough water for the resort and hamlets. During and after the 10 years of construction, Route 28, the road leading from the Hudson Valley to the resort, will either be filled with traffic or will become a 4-lane super highway, both inappropriate to the Catskill Park.
In addition, there is no housing planned for the resort's proposed 400+ workers of whom most, I understand, will be paid about $9 per hour. The infrastructure of the town of Shandaken will be inadequate, leading to increased taxes, and many people who now live around the resort will no longer be able to maintain their homes.Beyond the probable destruction of a mountain, this resort, if it is approved and built,will open doors to many others who would like to eek out large profits without consideration of the welfare of the population and environment. This kind of "devil may care" capitalism has always proved destructive.

I have been a Democrat for all my voting years. For most of those, I have had the idea that the Democratic party was concerned with the welfare of the people. Will you help to insure that it continues so?Please raise the Bellayre resort as an important issue to our county. It is, indeed, a Democratic issue.I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes,Eve Smith
Eve P. Smith, D.S.W.Director,Center for the Study of James the Brother
Bard College,Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Universal Healthcare--Public Hearing Notice

Public Hearing to be held concerning Universal Health Care
for the citizens of New York State

WHAT: Public Forum: Hudson Valley residents will be
heard by Governor Spitzer’s Health Care panel
WHEN: Monday, October 29, 2007 – 7:00PM to 9:00PM
WHERE: Family Partnership Center, 29 N. Hamilton Street,
( Off Route 44/55), Poughkeepsie

Citizen Action of New York will host the Hudson Valley hearing to solicit local input for Governor Spitzer’s Health Care Coverage panel

Governor Eliot Spitzer’s Department of Health and Insurance is holding Public Hearings to “solicit input on the development of proposals for achieving health system reform, increasing access to health insurance coverage and moving toward universal healthcare coverage in New York.” ( ). They are asking for testimony from health care providers, patients, consumer advocates, business owners and all community members.

Public Hearings are scheduled in every major city in the state. Citizen Action of New York will be hosting the public hearing for the Hudson Valley in the City of Poughkeepsie. Members of Governor Spitzer’s panel will be present to hear members of the Hudson Valley community testify in regard to creating a system of Universal Heath Care in New York State. The hearing is open to everyone. Those interested in testifying must sign up in advance by calling Program CoordinatorMike Compain at: (845) 246-3271. Oral testimony is limited to 8-minutes per person and a hard copy of written testimony must be submitted that night. Time is limited, so those interested in presenting testimony must sign up as soon as possible.

Admission is free. Pease attend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Workshop 10/25

Thursday October 25 4-6:30
a Pre- Women & Society Conference Event
The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val Kill Diversity Workshop:
The Freedom from Want--Examining How Structual Inequality affects our ability to uphold Freedom from Want

Introduction by Cathy Collins ERVK Executive Director,
Brian Riddell Dutchess Outreach
Shirley Adams Catherine Street Community Center
Joe D'Ambrosio Family Partnership Center

in The Henry Hudson room, 3rd floor Fontaine hall Marist college

Open to the public refreshments will be served

for more information about the conference:

The Freedom from Want : Diversity workshop

Thursday October 25 4-6:30 in the Henry Hudson Room, Fontaine Hall
Marist College Poughkeepsie NY
Pre- Women & Society conference Event
The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val Kill Diversity Workshop:
The Freedom from Want-- Examining How Structual Inequality affects our ability to uphold Freedom from Want

Introduction by Cathy Collins ERVK Executive Director,
Brian Riddell Dutchess Outreach
Shirley Adams Catherine Street Community Center
Joe D'Ambrosio Family Partnership Center

Refreshments, open to the Public

NY Driver's licenses for aliens?

A Community Forum on Restoring Immigrant Access to Driver's Licenses:
The Facts Beyond the Hysteria

Saturday, October 27 th
Rhinebeck Town Hall
80 E. Market Street , Rhinebeck , NY

On September 21st, Governor Spitzer announced his plan to restore access to driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants living in New York State , and to implement new anti-fraud procedures in the driver's license application process. Over the past month, the restoration of immigrant access to driver's licenses has reached the front of every newspaper in the state, and has been accompanied by fierce criticisms by certain politicians.

Many opponents of the plan have used the opportunity to spread misconceptions about immigrants, driver's licenses, and New York 's security.

This Saturday, experts on the driver's license policy will be in Rhinebeck to explain the facts behind the plan and why it's smart policy for New York State . Speakers will include security experts, religious leaders, civil rights advocates, academics, and legal professionals.

Come listen to the experts and show that New York supports immigrants!

Presented by Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner, the Real Majority Project, La Fuente, NYCLU Lower Hudson Valley Chapter, the New York Immigration Coalition, SEIU 32BJ, Professional Staff Congress AFT Local 2334, Workers’ Rights Law Center, Somos La Llave del Futuro—Mid-Hudson/Catskills, Rural Migrant Ministry, Grace Episcopal Church, UFCW International.

This is a public education event. An organization’s participation in this event does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate.

For more information, contact

Friday, October 19, 2007

Decriminalizing Pot

There has been some discussion about the drug laws and their impact since Hugh Reynolds' article on DA candidate's stance on Marijuana --he advocates that the legislature should decriminalizing it...

I did some quick and dirty research and found that while with a drug conviction you may enlist in the military, but under the Higher Education Act you may not receive any federal scholarship or loan monies for college. A very good reason to decriminalize pot, it woulod allow more people to go on to college, rather than become cannon fodder (my opinion, but then I am biased :) ).

The average cost to the tax payers for each arrest is $10,400. NY State's 2005 budget had over $1 BILLION for criminal marijuana law enforcement (its &.6 billion nationally) see

Here are some articles and websites on NYS Rockefeller Drug Laws which many call draconian, and are the cause of the overcrowding of our jails. . .

Article 2006
The Ruinous Drug Laws 2002 /

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Alix Olson @ Marist 10/26

Alix Olson, the young feminist award winning slam poet who has graced the cover of MS Magazine will be performing the keynote address at The 16th Women & Society Conference
Friday Oct 26 at 8 p.m. in the Nellie Goletti Theater, Student Center (FREE)

For more info about this conference go to

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sexual Harasssment Suit at the Emerson

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit at the Emerson

Jena- Bringing it Home 10/24 7pm KHS

OCTOBER 24 TH , 2007 at 7pm
Kingston High School Auditorium
Jena-Bringing It Home

Last August, when nooses were hung on a tree at the Jena High School in Louisiana, it was deemed a “prank” by school authorities and whatfollowed over the next several months were increasinglyescalating tensions, violence, a fire and ultimately the arrest of 6 young black students accused of attempted murder for a fight at schoolwhile white students received only minor charges. Had the community in Jena acknowledged the noose as a symbol of racial terrorism, had the adults taken responsibility to bring the community together to talkabout the evils of racism it is likely that no such escalation would have occurred and there would be no Jena 6.
Because the situation in Jena reflects a long history of racism and unequaljustice for African Americans not only in the South but throughout thecounty, over 30,000 people were drawn to Jena on Sept. 20 th to speak out justice, including several people from Ulster County.
On Wed. October 24 th , the Ulster County Justice for the Jena 6 Committee and the YWCA of Ulster County are co-sponsoring a public forum . Speakers will include Rev.James Childs, Jr. – Pointe of Praise Church, Dr.Modele Clarke – New Progressive Baptist Church,Paula Childs, Terry LeRoyand Sue Rosenberg who will give a report of their experiences in Jena (with slides and video) , representative of the Kingston Teachers’Association and others. Paula Childs will emcee.
Herein Ulster County let us open the door for honest discussion,communication and debate so that we can work effectively to bring ourcommunity together. Please join us.
We invite others who were in Jena to contact and join us.
For information call: Sue Rosenberg @ 246-3449 or Gale McGovern @ 657-5759 or gale@hvi.

Drivers licenses for illegal immigrants

Gov. Spitzer is granting driver' licenses to illegal immigrants. This policy has drawn praise and criticism. See
What do you think?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What a difference a blog or my space makes

Here is an article from Online Journalism Review on the impact of blogs, my space, youtube, etc. makes on campaigns

Old and Gay in America

Today's NYT has an article on the prejudice older gays and lesbians face, and the detrimental affects this prejudice has on their physical and mental health.

The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center ( is hosting 2 groups that focus on our elders:
*OLOC (Older Lesbians Organizing for Change) is meeting there Friday Oct. 12th at 7.
*SAGE a luncheon on Oct. 21 featuring the director of SAGE USA is the kickoff for the Sage chapter here.

Monday, October 8, 2007

For Women: War = Rape

Rape is a WAR Crime! Once again, we are witnessing women in war zones being raped. The latest are women in the Congo who are being brutalized.
See The New York Times article from 10/7/07