Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chris Hellman Speaks!

Our friend Chris Hellman of National Priorities Project discusses Secretary Gates and military spending.  An interesting seven-minute video.

Germany Says No To Nuclear

In response to intense public pressure after the Japanese nuclear disaster, the Bundestag has voted to shut down all nuclear power plants in Germany by 2022.  Those plants now provide 23% of Germany's electric power, and the country will have to increase use of fossil fuels, buy more electricity from neighboring countries, or get very serious about renewable energy sources.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Shrine Down The Hall

Ashley Gilbertson assembled this photo essay of the bedrooms of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and lovingly preserved by their parents and family.  It won the annual award of the American Society of Magazine Editors and first appeared in the New York Times.  It is displayed here to remind us that Memorial Day on Monday is about the dead.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where Pawlenty Stands

He'll consider cutting anything but military spending.
This is a very good article on the health of the peace movement.  The biggest problem is the unwillingness of mainstream media to cover what we're doing.  You can join us in Bryn Mawr at the corner of Lancaster and Bryn Mawr Avenues the first Monday of every month at 6:30.  For details, go to:  We have a sign for you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Act To End The War

Sign this petition, call your congressman (202-224-3121) to end the war and stop sending home these dead kids who died supporting a corrupt government in a country that wants us to go away.

Democratic Victory!

Senior voters (and younger ones thinking of the future) have dealt a serious blow to Republican plans to kill Medicare.  In a district that has been solidly Republican forever, a Democrat won who hammered at one point: preserve Medicare.

Wondering About Climate Change?

Bill McKibben connects the dots on recent tornadoes, droughts, and floods with man-made climate change.  So we're having a "hundred-year storm" every month.  Means nothing.  The article contains a handy link to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Call Congress: 202-224-3121

Coalition For Peace Action
Over 30 Years of Peacemaking
40 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, New Jersey, 08542-3208
Telephone: (609) 924-5022
Spread the Word, Make the Call:

This is a critical moment for the war in Afghanistan. Over the next few weeks, President Obama will be making his decision on U.S. strategy in the region. On Tuesday, May 24, join us and other peace and justice groups for a Day of Action to Exit Afghanistan.
Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Next Tuesday, May 24, call your US Representative and tell them that it's time to exit Afghanistan. We will send a call script via email early on the 24th as well as directions on how to find out who your Representative is.
Your Calls WILL Make a Difference!
Some activists call or email Congress on a regular basis. Some go to meetings or do lobby visits or conference calls with their representatives. Many question if it makes a difference. It does have an impact if a critical mass of calls and emails are done on the same issue, on the same day.
Next week the House of Representatives will be voting on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Our Representatives will have the opportunity to cast a vote to end the war in Afghanistan because amendments will be submitted for a vote.

The White House is in the middle of deciding how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan in July. Next week, the votes in the House of Representatives on amendments to the NDAA  will send a huge message to the White House: Time to Exit Afghanistan!

In many states and cities, a fierce fight is going on in opposition to devastating cuts to community services. Today, NYC Public Advocate Bill di Blasio, wrote a compelling article
linking the necessity to end the war in order to redirect resources to fund our communities. On May 24, we have to send that message to Washington!
Spread the Word on the Internet!
1. Change your facebook profile picture to the Exit Afghanistan sign and post the following message as either a facebook status or a tweet:
President Obama: It's time to exit Afghanistan now. Time is money ($10 billion/month) and it's time to stop wasting it. It's time to bring the troops home.

2. If you are on Twitter: use the Hashtag #Time2Exit
3. Like the Coalition for Peace Action on facebook!

A majority of people think that the war in Afghanistan should end, but in order for that to happen, Washington has to hear from YOU! Help us spread the peace movement's message!

The Rev. Robert Moore
Executive Director
Coalition for Peace Action &
Peace Action Education Fund
40 Witherspoon St.
Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 924-5022 Phone

Our Mission
Working for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad.

Helpful Links

Monday, May 23, 2011

You're Paying Defense Lobbyists

Disclosure is essential, and companies that make more than half their money from government contracts must not be allowed to contribute to candidates.  This article is by Robert Reich.

Fracking Lobby Day June 7

This from the Sierra Club.  Join us Tuesday, June 7, but sign up now!
Registration for June 7, 2011 Lobby Day and Rally

Did you know your land has already been leased for natural gas drilling? Over 700,000 acres of our Pennsylvania State Forest land, land that belongs to all Pennsylvanians, is already under lease!
Please Join Us for Our "We Need Protection From Marcellus Shale Drilling!" Lobby Day and Rally
WHAT: "We Need Protection From Marcellus Shale Drilling!" Lobby Day and Rally
WHEN: June 7th, 2011
WHERE: The Capitol Building in Harrisburg, PA (map)
8am-10:30am: Check-in and Briefing
We will meet in the East Wing pf the Capitol outside the cafeteria. Tables will be set up with information packets for participants. You must pre-register by Tuesday, May 31st to have the best chance of securing a meeting! Legislators set their schedules well in advance. If you register later than Tuesday, May 31st, there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure a meeting for you. Meetings will be set from 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. It will no longer be possible to sign up for a meeting after Friday, June 3rd.
Noon-1pm: All are invited! Rally in the Capitol Rotunda!
Click Here to Register! (It is not necessary to register if you simply want to attend the rally, unless you need transportation.)
Sponsored by: Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, PA Campaign for Clean Water, Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, PennEnvironment, Gas Truth of Central PA
See you there!

A Letter To The Inquirer

A letter to the Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Want to send your own letter?  Check for e-mail addresses in the right-hand column.
Kevin Ferris Sunday quoted Sen. Toomey saying "it's not to late to right this ship; it's not too late to get on a sustainable course."  Speaking of ships - why doesn't Toomey talk about cutting Navy spending?   Does he know our navy is as large as the next 13 largest navies in the world combined?  Does he know we're building 30 Virginia-class submaries at $2 billion a copy to do what? Torpedo Somalian pirate dhows?  Does he know we're building an aircraft carrier that will be named USS Gerald Ford, will carry 5000 sailors, and can be sunk by a surface to surface missile fired from far over the horizon?  Let's start cutting military spending!  Walter Ebmeyer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More On "Clean Coal"

A NY Times editorial today about the Big Branch mine disaster, the West Virginia official report, and the guilt of Massey.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Oil Industry Has Good News!

The oil industry ran a TV ad again this morning assuring us we didn't have to worry about future domestic oil supplies.  We've got oil sands!  They neglected to show us these pictures of what that process looks like.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our friend, Bruce Gagnon in Maine, took part in a budget demonstration and noticed how few signs had to do with military spending and war.  Sign-makers and speakers are consciously leaving war spending out of the budget equation.  Jane Dugdale and I joined a budget rally in Harrisburg on May 3 and had a similar experience.  We carried two of the very few signs against military spending, and we were continually being congratulated by other demonstrators about them.  We must keep working to get out the word that the only way to solve our budget problems is to drastically cut "security spending."  You can help by putting us in touch with local groups who would welcome a short video presentation about safe security and consider sending a resolution to their congressmen.  See the first note in the right-hand column.

Do Taxes Kill Jobs?

You hear the canard every day - "taxes kill jobs."  It is no more true than the business about "clean coal," but someone believes that if you say it often enough people may start to believe it (Goebbels anyone?).  This article takes the argument apart and proves rather conclusively that it is demand that creates jobs, not some millionaire sitting around wondering what to do with his excess non-tax dollars.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Book You Have To Read

Watch this 3.5 minute video.  It is an unusual kind of book report that tells you about a book that explains it all.  Click on the picture.

The Military Budget Will Fall

Though some very well paid lobbyists will fight tooth and nail, we can expect to see major cuts in military spending in the next few years according to Robert Dreyfuss, Contributing Editor to The Nation.  A tidal wave in three parts will make the difference:  the politics of debt and deficit reduction, the economic crisis, and general war weariness among the public.  Even Alan Simpson and the "Catfood Commission" called for serious cuts.  A good article.

The Federal Budget Explained

Our friends at the National Priorities Project have written an article (linked below) about two approaches to the federal budget submitted to the House: the Ryan Plan and the "Peoples' Budget" written by the Progressive Caucus.  The article deserves a close read because it doesn't just tell us about dollars here and dollars there, but it explains that the two plans represent two opposing philosophies of government:  the Ryan Plan looks to shrink government size and government services while the Progressive Causcus plan looks to grow the role of government to restore economic health and create jobs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Are Things In America?

You have only to look at Alabama to see a microcosm of our troubled nation.  The death of bin Laden might re-focus our attention on domestic problems.

Monday, May 9, 2011

We Need A New WPA

Seventy-six years ago this week, the Roosevelt Administration launched the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and undertook to rebuild America.  The Republicans loved to deride it as "makework," but in truth it widened roads, straightened and deepened waterways, built thousands
of bridges and tunnels, and put thousands to work.  We don't have to tell you thay today our infrastructure is a disaster.  This country spends less than half what Europse spends on infrastructure, less than a third of what China spends.  We need a new WPA.,-US-infrastructure-crumbles

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What Really Happened In Syracuse

This article details the events of April 22 when people protested our nation's wars and the use of drones.

A Boom Year In Arms Sales

Arms sales, especially to Middle Eastern dictators, were robust last year.  Most American foreign aid is given on the understanding that it will be spent on American weapons.  Legislation seems to favor selling to Qaddafi rather than the rebels.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The F-35 Engine Marches On

The President doesn't want it.  The Secretary of Defense doesn't want it.  But members of the House Armed Services Committee are again writing a GE-RollsRoyce engine into the F-35 appropriation.  We may now see a fairly good heavyweight fight between two large "defense" contractors.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Code Pink And Osama

Our friends at Code Pink issued this statement about the death of Osama bin Laden.  For details, go to:

For us, the death of Osama Bin Laden is a time of profound reflection. With his death, we remember and mourn all the lives lost on September 11. We remember and mourn all the lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. We remember and mourn the deaths of our soldiers. And we say, as we have been saying for the past nine years, “Enough.”

As an organization led by women, our hearts go out to all the women who are living with the ravages of war and violence. And we say, “Enough.”

As lovers of peace, we call on our leaders to let the death of this mass murderer move us to a deep reexamination. How have we have allowed the unspeakable violence against us turn into unspeakable violence by us? Invading Iraq on the basis of lies and leaving that proud nation in ruins. Torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib. Imprisoning people without trial in Guantanamo. Bombing wedding parties in Kandahar. Unleashing drone attacks on Pakistani villagers. Destroying ecosystems with depleted uranium. It is time we say, “Enough.”

Let us give meaning to the death of Osama Bin Laden by putting an end to the violence. Sign our petition to President Obama: Enough -- Let the Peace Begin.

Our military, and our federal budget, must focus on rebuilding at home, not making new enemies abroad. Let us not sink into a false sense of triumphalism in the wake of Bin Laden’s passing. His death will only have meaning if it marks the beginning of the end of this ruthless cycle of violence.

As Julia Ward Howe proclaimed in her Mother's Day Proclamation, "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." Join us in commemorating a Mother's Day of Peace by holding a vigil to mourn those killed in the illegal and immoral wars and drone attacks or ask your mayor to sign our Bring Our War $$ Home resolution. 
Let the peace begin,
Ali, Alli, C.J., Chelsea, Dara, Farida, Gayle, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Kristen, Medea, Nancy K, Nancy M, Rae, Sanaa, Shaden, and Tighe

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Smart Security Resolution

The Smart Security campaign is working to get various political, professional, labor, and religious groups to endorse a resolution to our local congressmen to sharply cut military spending.  This is the resolution unanimously adopted by the Radnor Township Democratic Committee in March.  If you know of a group that would welcome the showing of our 9-minute video and might adopt a similar resolution, please contact us at or

Resolution to Support PA Smart Security Campaign
WHEREAS military spending has doubled over the last ten years and now approaches one trillion dollars/year, representing more than half of all discretionary federal spending; and
WHEREAS President Obama has cited almost $300 billion in cost overruns over the last five years alone; and
WHEREAS several Defense Secretaries, including Secretary Gates, have requested that major weapons systems be dropped from production; and
WHEREAS the U.S. borrows money from other countries to maintain nearly 1000 military installations in 130 different countries; and
WHEREAS more than 10 million workers are unemployed in the US and 40 states are nearing bankruptcy; and
WHEREAS military spending creates a fraction of the number of jobs that spending for education, transportation or alternative energy creates; and
WHEREAS a major reduction in military spending could be used to address budget deficits and the under-funding of health, education, public safety, housing, and veterans; and
WHEREAS the bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force chaired by Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul has found at least $100 billion per year that can safely be cut from military spending; and
WHEREAS the Sustainable Defense Task Force asserts that this reduction in military spending would not endanger the national security, the efforts to contain terrorism, or support for U.S. troops;
WHEREAS the PA Campaign for Smart Security has locally spearheaded the reduction of federal military spending in conjunction with the Sustainable Defense Task Force;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Radnor Democratic Committee supports the military spending cuts recommended by the Sustainable Defense Task Force, including retiring many of our bases abroad and cutting unneeded weapons systems.
AND THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Radnor Democratic Committee supports the PA Campaign for Smart Security ( in this worthy cause;
AND THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Radnor Democratic Committee will communicate the content of this resolution to our representatives in the U.S. Congress and Senate delegation and urge its adoption by other Committees across the County.
Passed unanimously by the Radnor Democratic Committee at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, March 16, 2011.