Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harvard Climate Denier A Fraud

Greenpeace, through the Freedom of Information Act, now has the goods on a "scientist" named Willie Soon who works at Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics and for ten years has been writing articles denying global warming.  The trouble is he has pocketed a cool million dollars from Exxon, the Koch Brothers, and other energy types.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

US Security Spending

Don't even try to guess how much we've spent on "Security" since 2001.  The administration has asked for $71.6 billion for Homeland Security for 2012.  You think these pat-downs are cheap?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet Me In D.C.

David Swanson and others are organizing a giant demonstration in Washington on Thursday, October 6, the tenth anniversary of the Afghanistan War to demand an end to that war.  The demonstration will begin on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Who knows where it will end?  Notice this is not one of those feel-good Saturday demonstrations from which everyone returns home safe and sound.  For more details, go to, click on Events, and get yourself on David's mailing list.  And save the date.

Marcellus Shale A Ponzi Scheme?

Beware of natural gas companies bearing gifts.  What's happening in Pennsylvania may be a boom with a great bust around the corner.  The map shows the domain of the Chesapeake Gas Company. Things are not going well in the southwest.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Nurses Will Save Us

Betcha didn't see this in your mass media outlet, did you?  Watch the nurses.  If anyone's going to lead us to the promised land, it's them.

"I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is that, unless you have a
single-payer system - in which everybody is automatically covered,
then you're probably not going to reach every single individual." -
President Barack Obama, July 22, 2009

Nurses Take On Wall Street
National Nurses United, June 22, 2011

More than a thousand RNs and other activists marched on Wall Street
Wednesday, chanting "Wall Street got bailed out! We got sold out!"

They stood on the steps of Federal Hall across from the New York Stock
Exchange and held signs - "Take it Back! Tax Wall Street" and "Heal
America! Tax Wall Street" - so crowds of curious passersby got the

It's time to make Wall Street high rollers who created our economic
crisis pay its fair share.

Hundreds of nurses from across the country gathered in the heart of
our nation's financial center on June 22, an International Day of
Action, to make that message crystal clear.

"It's time for their shared sacrifice. They haven't had any of that.
They have been making billions and trillions in profit and they are
not giving anything back to our community," said Deborah Burger, RN
and member of the National Nurses United Council of Presidents.

The protest is part of the National Nurses United's Main Street
Contract for the American People's campaign, which aims to reclaim an
economy with good jobs at living wages, healthcare for all, quality
education, good housing, protection from hunger, a safe environment,
and a secure retirement for everyone.

The mainstream media is ignoring the real stories - the stories of
people suffering from budget cuts, homelessness, and lack of healthcare.

Representatives from other community and labor organizations stood
with the nurses Wednesday to show their support.

"We are calling for a more fair and just economy," said Karen Higgins,
RN and member National Nurses United Council of Presidents.

That's why NNU, with the support from dozens of community and labor
organizations, such as the AFL-CIO, United Auto Workers, and Transport
Workers Union Local 100, are calling for a Wall Street tax on
financial transactions.

"It's very American ... Just like working people pay taxes on all of
their purchases. These corporate speculators who buy and sell and buy
and sell our country should pay a minimum tax on that," NNU executive
director RoseAnn DeMoro explained to the crowd. "A very minimum tax
could amount to at least $350 billion every year that can go back to
our communities and go back to jobs and go back to healthcare."

Similar events, called by the European Trade Union Confederation, were
taking place in 35 other countries in support of a similar tax there.
The nurses led the protest in America.

The hour-long rally ended with songs of solidarity. The nurses and
fellow community activists left Wall Street - waving their signs and
yelling "This is what democracy looks like!"

Bystanders joined in the chant as the sea of red scrubs moved down the

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Some Afghanistan Sleight Of Hand

Again the main stream media are not getting the story straight about how many troops are now in Afghanistan and how many will be in a year and how those numbers compare to how many troops were there in January, 2009, when Obama took office.  You should call the White House and tell them how disappointed you are.  It will make you feel better.

Stop The Koch Brothers!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rick Perry On Helping The Poor

Rick Perry finds biblical reasons for denying help to the poor: it will enslave them to Pharoh!  Like most Republicans, he's an Old Testament guy.  Ten Commandments yes.  Beatitudes?  Never heard of them.  Jesus said: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor."  Matthew 19:21.  Some people think Perry has the best chance of getting the GOP nomination.  Be very afraid.

The Military As Stimulus

This excellent short article discusses how military spending translates to jobs and how converting to a peace economy can be done by economic conversion as it was in the late '40's after World War II.  Very important stuff.

Medicare And 2012

The Ryan Budget's call for drastic cuts to Medicare has recast the 2012 election.  Republicans who voted for it are now in real peril (see the recent special election in NY-26).  All Democratic candidates need to do is assure voters of their fealty to Medicare and remind them of the GOP position.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Barney Frank & Jane Dugdale

On Saturday, June 18, Congressman Barney Frank was the featured speaker at the annual dinner of the Coalition for Peace Action in Princeton.  Among the honorees at the gala event was our co-blogger and leader of Main Line Peace Action, Jane Dugdale.  This is a picture of them taken at the event.  Thanks to Barney and congratulations to Jane.

Nutter Supports War

The U.S. Conference of Mayors took up and passed a resolution calling for an end to the Afghanistan war.  The text of the resolution is here.  Mayor Nutter voted against it.  What was he thinking?

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Good To Be Rich

Inequality marches on.  The poor Widow Spelling prayed for $150 million for this abode, but she had to settle for $85 million.  Her late husband complained about the house that it was so big he couldn't find the bathroom.

A New Poll On The Wars

Global Warming And Cognitive Dissonance

Why does virtually every Republican in Congress deny global warming?  Because to accept it shakes the foundations of their economic belief system.  A little warm today? (this month? this year?)  Just turn up the air conditioning and drill, baby. drill!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Justice And The Magnate

This article will appear in tomorrow's New York Times and will tell of yet another troublesome example of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's strange take on judicial ethics.  Like Caesar's wife, a Supreme Court Justice should be above suspicion, but Thomas and his Tea Party wife seem unaware of that expectation.  One hopes someone investigates this.

Hey Mayors - Where's The Money?

Attendees at the U.S. Mayors' Conference in Baltimore have noticed that the money they need to keep their cities above water is going to the military, and a resolution there demands that it get re-directed.

There Goes Your Money

Friday, June 17, 2011

First Friday Film At Brandywine

Budrus will show 7pm on Friday, July 1, at the Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield.  84 minutes.  On the big screen!  Free!  See the trailer - click the arrow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Militarist America

Militarism is all around us.  We spend more on military bands each year than we do on the entire Foreign Service.  Anyone who has watched the Super Bowl must wonder why big expensive jet planes are flying over the stadium, and we are expected to pledge our fealty to the men and women of the armed forces despite the fact that what we have is a mercenary force.  As this article reminds us, recent personnel changes in the CIA, the Defense Department, and Afghanistan have got to give you pause.  Salute!


After watching "Inside Job," one is tempted to never listen to economists again.  And this article suggests that even Nobel-winning economists are less than trustworthy.  Oh well - there's always Paul Krugman.

Robert Reich: The Economy

Robert Reich gets you in the picture.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Whistle Blowers of 1777

In 1777, when the heads of members of the Continental Congress were in danger, they were willing to protect members of the navy who blew the whistle on an officer who mistreated prisoners.  Would that our present congressman had such courage.  This is a good article about the 1777 story and about what's going on today. Stephen Kohn is an attorney who specializes in whistle-blower cases.

Take The National Poll

Vote for the America YOU want!

There is finally a solid proposal in Washington for a budget that defunds the wars, cuts the base Pentagon budget, taxes corporations, creates jobs and saves services people need. It’s called the People’s Budget.
On June 5 the New Priorities Network launched a summer campaign to shift our nation’s priorities from war to jobs and human needs. The campaign has two legs:
An online poll where people can choose between the GOP budget, Obama’s budget, and the People’s Budget. Poll results by state and congressional district will go to Congresspeople, Senators, and the media.
Town Hall Meetings on the People’s Budget Budget in our congressional districts over the summer.
Take the poll and vote for the America YOU want!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Save The Date: July 2!

Main Line Peace Action will be there and showing the Smart Security video.
Declare Peace FairSat., July 2, 1 p.m. - 3:30 pm.Independence Visitors Center (lawn area)
6th & Market Streets, Phila., PA. 
Music including Tom Mullian & Friends, ThaTruth; Story-telling, dramatic readings, poetry, and more...Display/literature tables of area justice, peace, environmental, anti-violence, human rights, and community groups.  
Brandywine Peace Community
P.O. Box 81, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Coal Strip Mining - The Last Mountain

The documentary film, "Last Mountain," featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., will show at the Ritz on the Bourse Theater June 17 to June 23.  Click the arrow to see the trailer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Favorite Senator

Top 10 Corporate Tax Evaders – Sen. Bernie Sanders
BURLINGTON, Vt., March 27 - While hard working Americans fill out their income tax returns this tax season, General Electric and other giant profitable corporations are avoiding U.S. taxes altogether.
With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.
Sanders renewed his call for shared sacrifice after it was reported that General Electric and other major corporations paid no U.S. taxes after posting huge profits. Sanders said it is grossly unfair for congressional Republicans to propose major cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the reality that some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes.
Sanders compiled a list of some of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders.
1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.
2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.
4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.
5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.
8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.
9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.
Sanders has called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. He also introduced legislation to impose a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires that would yield up to $50 billion a year. The senator has said that spending cuts must be paired with new revenue so the federal budget is not balanced solely on the backs of working families.
"We have a deficit problem. It has to be addressed," Sanders said, "but it cannot be addressed on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the poor, young people, the most vulnerable in this country. The wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country have got to contribute. We've got to talk about shared sacrifice."

The Budget Is A Moral Document

Our co-blogger, Jane Dugdale, has written this oped piece for Main Line Times about massive US military spending and what it says about the kind of country we are and want to be.  The budget is a moral document.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Too Much" - On Wealth Inequality

This long posting is from "Too Much," a publication of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.  The articles are interesting in themselves and give you a link to subscribe to this excellent source of information on wealth inequality. The mural is by Diego Rivera.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good News From Florida

Someone said the only thing worse than a deaf, stupid, incompetent government is a deaf, stupid, incompetent corporation.  We're talking about Bank of America.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Charles W. Blow On False Choices

Charles W. Blow discusses the wrong-headed approach of Congressional Republicans to the economy and the budget.  That's why adoption of the House Progressive Caucus's "People's Budget" is so essential.  The New Priorities Network is organizing a national poll to demonstrate the citizens' desire for a rational sensible budget.  Details to follow.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Empire Grows Again!

Jeju Island is part of Korea and is strategically located off the coast of China.  The United States is  determined to build a naval base there whose purpose is aggression and whose consequences are environmentally catastrophic.  The people who live there are fighting it and going to jail.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The "People's Vote" Campaign from NPN

  • NEW: “People’s Vote” Campaign On June 1 the New Priorities Network will launch a “People’s Vote” Campaign to shift our nation’s priorities from war to jobs and human needs. The Campaign has two legs:
    a. An online “vote” between three visions for America: the GOP’s 2012 budget, President Obama’s budget, and the Progressive Caucus’s “People’s Budget.” Poll results by state and congressional district will go to Congresspeople, Senators, and the media. 
    b. Town Hall Meetings on the People’s Budget in our congressional districts over the summer.
    The “People’s Budget” created by the Congressional Progressive Caucus would:
    • End the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,
    • Cut the base Pentagon budget and the Pentagon’s ability to wage wars overseas,
    • Create good-paying jobs,
    • Fully maintain our social safety net,
    • Invest in education,
    • Close the tax loopholes that help corporations offshore jobs,
    • End oil and gas subsidies that pollute our country at taxpayer expense, and
    • Create a national infrastructure investment bank.
    The Campaign will:
    • Show mass support for progressive budget priorities.
    • Influence the Senate debate on next year’s budget and make sure “cut military spending” is part of any viable budget solution.
    • Strengthen our grassroots organizing, help us organize city council resolution campaigns, and help us form alliances with economic, racial and social justice organizations that seek to change the nation’s priorities.
    Check the Resources page for more info and tools. You can see the April 15 roll call vote in the House here.

  • Tell Congress: Here’s How to Solve the Budget Crisis As the budget crisis deepens in Washington, our solution is rising. More and more voices are calling for substantial cuts in Pentagon spending, starting by ending the Afghanistan war.
    Now is the moment to raise your voice in local media and build public pressure for cutting the Pentagon budget! You can use this action calendar from Friends Committee on National Legislation.
    FCNL’s spring newsletter will help you talk and educate on the debt and deficit spending. It ties together two key demands: cutting military spending and restoring taxes on high incomes, and it includes:
    If you use any of them as a whole document, please credit Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Freshman congressman Allen West (R-FL) has discovered something even the Chinese didn't know about: a giant Chinese navy!  His solution: build more ships!  This fellow is a darling of the tea party people (see the first comment at the end of the article) but not of citizens who have some idea what they're talking about (see the other 30 comments).  In fact, the comments may be the best part of this posting.

    John Braxton Letter

    May 20, 2011, Phila. Inquirer
    For the past ten days I’ve been thinking about President Obama’s statement that the death of Bin Laden has made the world safer (Inquirer 5/2/11).  Preventing Bin Laden from doing any more harm may have made us a little safer, but true security could come:
    -When the 4% of the world’s population that live in the United States does not spend 25% of the world’s resources, and
    -When the U.S. recognizes that the dozens of U.S. invasions and CIA-backed destabilizations since 1945 (Chile; Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua,  Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) have not benefitted the average American and have made us more enemies than friends, and
    -When the U.S. is not spending half of its Federal discretionary budget on preparation for unnecessary wars, including hundreds of military bases all over the world, and
    -When we obtain most of our energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, and we don’t have to patrol the world to control oil.
    Real security does not come from the barrel of a gun.  Real security could come from building partnerships around the world with people we are not trying to exploit.
    John Braxton, Philadelphia