Friday, September 30, 2011

What Elizabeth Warren Said

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you.

"But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate...Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."
There probably isn't a better short statement of the progressive position.

Talk With Pat Meehan!

Rep. Patrick Meehan, 7th District, will meet with constituents Sunday, October 16, at 1pm at Providence Meeting, 105 North Providence Road, Media.

Meet Eric Schneiderman

He's the New York State Attorney General, and he is investigating the Wall Street crimes that caused the Great Recession [no - it wasn't the school teachers and firemen who caused the trouble].  Supported by Attorney Generals Beau Biden in Delaware and Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, Schneiderman is quietly finding where the bodies are buried.  A good read.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Join Us October 15 at Independence Hall

We are asking all of our friends and allies in the antiwar movement and in
all the various movements for social change to endorse an antiwar rally and
cultural festival in Philly on October 15. We are calling it "Philly
Against War" to state that the people of the city are against all of the
wars, on people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, workers and oppressed
people here in the US, and against all the wars abroad from Afghanistan to
Libya, from Pakistan to Iraq to Palestine and still others. We demand that
these wars stop and all the money be used to fund human needs right here.

The event is shaping up to be an exciting cultural fair with a strong
participation from various performers. There will be live music (reggae,
samba, Mexican drumming, hip hop), poetry and a variety of speakers on
important subjects. Endorsing groups are encouraged to bring a table and
even a display to highlight the wars at home and abroad. Please RSVP if
your group would like time to make a short statement. PAW is asking
endorsing groups to donate $25 to help defray the costs of publicity and
putting on the rally.

Help us be a part of this exciting event! Please send endorsements, along
with how you would like your organization to be listed and the name of a
speaker (if applicable), to

Unions Are Heading For Wall Street

The young people in Freedom Square are no longer alone.  Is this the beginning of our Arab Spring?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Michael Moore On Wall Street

Michael Moore came to Wall Street and talked to the protesters.  He said that thousands, maybe millions, of Americans were behind them, and their small start reminded him of the Stonewall action that started the gay rights movement.  This is an inspired piece of writing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Occupation of Wall Street - Part II

13 Ways To Look at the Occupation of Wall Street

By Charles M. Young

This Can't Be Happening

1) I had brunch on Sunday in Chinatown with a friend who works in local television news. He complained that the Occupy Wall Street people had sent over video that they said showed demonstrators getting maced. It didn’t show any such thing, my friend insisted. After brunch I walked over to occupied Zuccotti Park (two blocks north of Wall Street) and told somebody at the Media table that they had to be careful about claiming more for their video than it actually showed. Then I went home and looked at the video, and it clearly showed several young women, who presented no physical threat, getting wrapped up by police in a plastic net and pepper sprayed in the face.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where's The Money?

The Government Accountability Office said Friday that the Defense Department has no idea where billions of dollars have gone.  Leon Panetta says we shouldn't cut defense spending, but can't say why.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

China - US Rivalry And The Future

Here is a review of a new book about China's growing role in the world and its growing rivalry with the United States.  The reviewer's main objection to the book is its conclusion, in which Friedberg calls for new weapons to counter China's military threat.  A very strange call.  Some people who object to cutting US military spending point to China's new aircraft carrier.  Our economic situation suggests that the way to hobble China is to encourage it to throw away its wealth on arms as we have done.  Bring on the aircraft carriers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Many Military Bases? - Germany

  • The picture is of Ansbach, where we have seven bases.  In the list of US bases in Germany below, thirteen are scheduled to be closed because they were intended to stop a Soviet invasion and are not considered essential since the end of the Cold War (22 years ago?). 

  • Artillery Kaserne, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

  • Askren Manors Housing Area, Schweinfurt

  • Bamberg Local Training Area, Bamberg

  • Barton Barracks, Ansbach

  • Benjamin Franklin Village, Mannheim (Scheduled to close December 2012)

  • Bismarck Kaserne, Ansbach

  • Bleidorn Housing Area, Ansbach

  • Campbell Barracks, Heidelberg (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Coleman Barracks, Mannheim (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Conn Barracks, Schweinfurt

  • Dagger Complex, Darmstadt Training Center Griesheim

  • Funari Barracks, Mannheim (Scheduled to close December 2012)

  • Germersheim Army Depot, Germersheim

  • Grafenwöhr Training Area, Grafenwöhr/Vilseck

  • Hammonds Barracks, Mannheim

  • Heidelberg Army Airfield, Heidelberg

  • Hohenfels Training Area/Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels (Upper Palatinate)

  • Husterhoeh Kaserne, Pirmasens

  • Kaiserslautern Military Community

  • Katterbach Kaserne, Ansbach

  • Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart

  • Kilbourne Kaserne, Schwetzingen (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern Military Community

  • Lampertheim Training Area, Lampertheim (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl

  • Ledward Barracks, Schweinfurt

  • Mark Twain Village, Heidelberg (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • McCully Barracks, Wackernheim

  • Miesau Army Depot, Miesau

  • Nachrichten Kaserne, Heidelberg (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Oberdachstetten Storage Area, Ansbach

  • Panzer Kaserne, Stuttgart

  • Patch Barracks, Stuttgart

  • Pulaski Barracks, Kaiserslautern

  • Patrick Henry Village, Heidelberg (Scheduled to close late 2014)

  • Patton Barracks, Heidelberg (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Rhein Ordnance Barracks, Kaiserslautern

  • Robinson Barracks, Stuttgart

  • Rose Barracks, Vilseck

  • Rottershausen Storage Area, Schweinfurt

  • Sembach Kaserne, Kaiserslautern

  • Shipton Kaserne, Ansbach

  • Smith Barracks, Baumholder

  • Spinelli Barracks, Mannheim (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Storck Barracks, Illesheim

  • Stuttgart Army Airfield, Stuttgart

  • Sullivan Barracks, Mannheim (Scheduled to close 2014)

  • Tompkins Barracks, Schwetzingen (Scheduled to close 2015)

  • Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Wiesbaden

  • Storage Station, Mainz-Kastel

  • Warner Barracks, Bamberg

  • USAG Wiesbaden Military Training Area, Mainz Gonsenheim/Mombach

  • USAG Wiesbaden Training Area, Mainz Finthen

  • USAG Wiesbaden Radar Station, Mainz Finthen

  • Urlas Housing and Shopping Complex, Ansbach (converted from Urlas Training Area in 2010-2011)

  • Yorktown Housing Complex, Schweinfurt

  • Anderson Barracks, Dexheim (will reopen)
  • Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Smart Security At Princeton 11/13

    CFPA will sponsor an interfaith service for peace and a conference on smart security on Sunday, November 13.  Click the link for details.

    A Letter About Referendum and Recall

    Walter Ebmeyer's Letter to the Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 20, 2011.

    In this morning's "PointCounterpoint," Senator Pileggi supports his electoral scheme by saying "it's a commonsense way to achieve what should be the objective of everyone interested in democracy: strengthening the role of individual voters." I wonder if the Senator would extend that noble sentiment to instituting the referendum and recall in Pennsylvania so individual voters could bypass the often clogged legislature.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Protesters in Wall Street

    Go to to read "13 Ways to Look at the Occupation of Wall Street."

    Click here to see it for yourself and, from time to time, to see a live streaming.

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    A Ride To The End Of The Main Line

    After their program of music and an Afghanistan slide show on September 17, members of A Ride To The End joined members of their audience at Central Baptist Church, Wayne, PA. The blue wrist bands are reminiscent of the Afghnanistan sky and remind us of our solidarity with the peace-loving people of that unhappy land.


    Three-tour Afghan veteran Jacob George and two cyclist supporters rode into Philadelphia last Friday, September 16, for a week of music and presentations about their project, “A Ride Till The End” (ARTTE), half-way through their tour from New York City to Washington, DC, during the month commemorating the anniversaries of 9/11 and the start of the War in Afghanistan.  They began their ride at Ground Zero on the Monday after 9/11 and will arrive in DC on October 7, the anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan.  The significance of their name is that they plan to continue their rides until the wars end.

    The focus of the ARTTE presentations is to use cycling, music, and poetry to “show what war does to people,” according to George, who left the Army with honorable discharge at the rank of Sergeant in 2004.  Previously a successful student and employee at the University of Arkansas, George founded ARTTE in 2009 when his younger brother was about to be deployed to Afghanistan, and since then he and a growing cadre of supporters have covered 6000 miles, mostly in Southern states, The NYC to DC tour is their first in Northeastern States.

    ARTTE is looking for donations of used touring bikes to be available for supporters to use, especially Afghan vets who join portions of their ride.  “30,000 vets will be returning from Afghanistan in the next few years, and they will need a way to heal,” says George.  He believes that riding together and telling their personal stories is the best way for vets to make sense of their war experiences and to become activists against ongoing wars.  In the future, ARTTE hopes to donate the bikes to Afghan youth.

    ARTTE will also accept financial donations, tax-free if channeled through Peace Action Education Fund (PAEF), 40 Witherspoon Street, Princeton NJ 08542 (memo ARTTE).  All funds will be used to purchase bikes or parts.

    ARTTE will present several times in the Philly area this week, culminating with a pot luck supper and presentation at the Peace Center of Delaware County on Friday evening, September 23, 6 PM, located at Springfield Meetinghouse, 1001 Old Sproul Road in Springfield.  See for details.

    To learn more about ARTTE, see .  To follow their tour, read their blog at

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Martin Luther King In Memphis

    The third documentary in the "Work, Wages, and Labor" series is "At the River I Stand," about the sanitation workers that Martin Luther King went to help in Memphis when he was killed.  Jane Dugdale will show the film and lead a discussion at 7:30pm on Friday, October 14, at Central Baptist Church in Wayne.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    Where The Money Is

    The story is that a reporter asked the celebrated bank bobber, Willie Sutton, why he robbed banks.  "Because," said Willie, "that's where the money is."  We wish that sort of clarity of thought were endemic in the halls of Congress.  This year more than half the discretionary budget will go to the military.  Just a small part of that would keep open that firehouse and school and library your community is losing.  The New Priorities Network, with which this blog is allied, believes it's time to drastically change that.  We hope you agree and will share your thoughts with your Congressman  (202-224-3121) and your local editor.  Do it for Willie.

    How Many Military Bases? - Italy

    Nobody really knows how many overseas military bases the United States operates.  It's probably somewhere between 800 and 1,000.  Some, like RAF bases in the UK, are really operated by the USAF. Here is a list of bases just in Italy.  The question:  why?

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Cutting Overseas Troops And Bases?

    The new Assistant Secretary of Defense tells Senator Levin that the possibility of reducing troop levels and bases overseas is "on the table."  As the modern Major-General said to the police in Pirates of Penzance, "You say you go but you don't go!"

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Air Force Neutrality On Religion

    Two months after Truth-Out ran an article about the fundamentalist Christian character of the Air Force,  the Chief of Staff has ordered total neutrality on religion and has apologized to individuals hurt by the former policy (or lack thereof).  This is good news that should cheer us all.  But of course Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is unhappy.  Read on.

    Common Sense and Facts On School Reform

    If you want to read an important article on public school reform by a knowledgeable educator (NYU professor, Columbia PhD, Williams and Amherst honorary degrees) you should click on the link and read what Diane Ravitch has to say.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    A Sword To Cut Military Spending?

    A group called "Second To None" plans to march up capitol hill today to protest any cuts in military spending. ["Second to none" may refer to the US Navy, which is as large as all the other fleets of the world combined].  A militarist lobbyist says that the Super Committee's instructions on military spending constitute a "sword of Damocles" hanging over the Pentagon.  The militarists' knowledge of the classics is no better than their grasp of economics.  Cicero mentioned Damocles in his Disputations, a callow youth who yearned to be king, only to learn that people in power live with an allegorical sword hanging over their head.  The 1812 painting by Richard Westfall depicts Damocles in approximately the spot where the military-industrical complex finds itself.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    America As Bully

    Jane Dugdale's Letter to the Editor published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, September 11, 2011.

    I called my mother, almost 90, when I came home from work on Sept. 11, 2001.
    “I know how you must have felt when Pearl Harbor was hit,” I said.

    “No, it isn’t the same,” she said. “This is what happens when the U.S. continually bullies the rest of the world. That’s why this happened today.”
    Wow. This from the widow of a decorated Navy officer who fought in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of World War II. My mother’s words echo through the decade since 9/11 as I watch our nation extend its military influence around the world with a thousand bases in dozens of countries and initiate one preemptive war after another. If she were still here, I’d like to ask her, is this what she meant by being “bullies”?
    Jane Swift Dugdale, Bryn Mawr

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Defense Dollars Where?

    You thought your defense dollars were going to Lockheed Martin and people like that.  Here's an article about the so-called civilian corporations raking in Pentagon spending.  Have some soup!

    A Visit With Congressman Gerlach

    We are trying to arrange a small meeting (8 or so) of PA-06 constituents with their Congressman at his Exton office during the last week of September when Congress is in recess.  If you live in CD-06 and want the be informed of the meeting date and time, please e-mail

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Bikes Not Bombs September 17

    "The Ride Till The End," a rolling bicycle rally on its way to Washington, will stop off on the Main Line Saturday, September 17 at the Radnor Democrats' picnic and at the Central Baptist coffee house.  Read more at the link.
    *Fri., Sept. 23, 6p.m. – ‘Bikes Not Bombs’ Bicycle Tour Potluck Supper & Program @Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Rd., Springfield, PA. Sponsored by the Brandywine Peace Community.
    More on the Potluck Supper/Program at the Peace Center of Delaware County and directions, see

    Where Has This Obama Been?

    Our favorite part of last night's Presidential address to Congress.  It seemed like we hadn't heard from this fellow since 2008.

    We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future—a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
    Ask yourselves—where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways and our bridges; our dams and our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the GI Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?
    How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip? What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do? How many Americans would have suffered as a result?
    No single individual built America on their own. We built it together. We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another. Members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Super Committee Today!

    Super Committee Meets For First Time Today

    As Super Committee meets today, TPM's Brian Beutler asks if Republicans will accept facts from CBO about cause of deficit: " will also pose the panel with its first and most basic test: whether its six Democrats and six Republicans can accept a single history of the country's large public debt as a starting point for reining it in ... it argues strongly for policies that ultimately reverse the revenue losses from Bush tax cuts, and then a debate over the best ways to make health care costs sustainable..."

    Lobbyist converge on Super Committee. Politico: "The Defense and State departments — and their allies in Congress and on K Street — are warning that steep cuts could endanger national security. Powerful players in the health sector are calculating that they face less exposure if the supercommittee fails and automatic cuts to Medicare — limited to about 2 percent by the new debt-limit law — are imposed. Even Washington’s cottage industry of 'good government' groups are leaning on lawmakers to conduct the kind of public deliberations that some insiders think would make it impossible for the supercommittee to make a deal."

    Super Committee members suggest tax reform will be handled under regular committees. The Hill: "...budget analysts are increasingly calling on the supercommittee to implement a two-step process for tax reform — perhaps accelerating the process and setting parameters themselves before placing a deadline for Finance and Ways and Means to hash out the details."

    Another Super Committee hire increases chances of a deal, suggests W. Post's Ezra Klein: "...the lead Republican staffer knows taxes and the lead Democratic staffer knows entitlements. It’s a sign that the two sides are at least thinking about the relevant compromises they’re going to need to make if the committee is going to succeed."

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011


    Main Line Peace Action members cheering on the 2011 Labor Day Parade in Philadelphia.  From left: Roger Balson, Walter Ebmeyer, Jane Dugdale, Sonia Kling.  The parade was an hour long and estimated to be 10,000 marchers who all saw our signs.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Why Are We Using Drones?

    This article will answer some of your questions about drones and the CIA.  If you are outraged by what you read, join an anti-drone Death March on Saturday, October 1, from 12-1pm at Market and 12th Streets in Philadelphia.  Wear black.

    What Next With Tar Sands And The Pipeline?

    Bill McKibben is not giving up and neither should we.  Barack Obama in 2008 said we should end our dependence on oil, and our children would mark this as the moment when the oceans stopped rising.  We must hold him to his word.  Read McKibben's message today and see what actions you can take.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Labor Day Music!

    We went to the Philadelphia Labor Day parade this morning and waved and cheered at an hour-long procession of workers, children, and dogs.  It was wonderful, and it reminded us of Pete Seeger.

    Tax Wall Street

    John Nichols in The Nation joins the growing call for a transaction tax on Wall Street trading to pay for a new robust jobs program across the nation.  The National Nurses Union, Progressive Democrats of America, Angela Merkel, and Nicholas Sarkozy are for it.  Read on!

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Music On The Blog!

    "War Is Not The Answer",
    sung here by Veterans For Peace, Acton, Massachusetts.  One only wishes all the singers weren't so grey.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    "Even The Rain" At Brandywine Peace

    At the Peace Center of Delaware County (1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield), Friday, October 7, 7pm.  "Even The Rain," with Gael Garcia Bernal.  Big Screen!  Free!

    John Grant On Bullshit

    Our friend John Grant has given us his views on malaise, American exceptionalism, and bullshit just in time for the traditional political season.  As a veteran this week of town meetings with both Pat Meehan (PA-06) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), your blogger tends to agree with John.