Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday's General Strike

This is from an excellent article by John Grant about threats to occupations, and especially the talk of closing the Philly action to permit the start of a long-planned construction.  He also talks about what went wrong in Oakland and Atlanta.  The general strike is Wednesday.  Try to join.

A 99-minute general strike is planned for November 2nd in honor of Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran wounded in the Oakland melee. In Philadelphia, it will be from noon to 1:39 pm -- 99 minutes for Americans to stop what they're doing and consider the fate of Olsen and the fate of all of us whose lives are so determined by entrenched wealth and power.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Norristown

Join us at Noon next Saturday, November 5, for the first Occupy Norristown rally (General Assembly at 3) on the Main Street steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse.  While this coincides with National Move Your Money Day, we will also be expressing our concerns about Wall Street, jobs, health care, etc.  Bring a sign if you have one.  Or use one of ours.

Leave The Bad Guy Banks!

This November 5 is national move-your-money day.  Here's what's going on in Portland, Oregon.  Too big to fail?  We'll see.

Persian Gulf Plans

Don't get too excited about Obama's comments about "bringing home the troops."  The Pentagon  is planning to post 40,000 troops and a gigantic arsenal of equipment in Kuwait and around the gulf to accomplish all sorts of things spelled out here in high gobbledygook.  Read it and weep.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Naomi Klein Speaks To Occupy Wall Street

Naomi Klein wrote "Shock Doctrine."  This is the speech she wrote for Thursday night at Occupy Wall Street.

A Bill To Close Overseas Bases!

From the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Congressional Legislation
Commission on the Review of the Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States Act of 2011 Bill # S.1733Original Sponsor: Jon Tester (D-MT)Cosponsor Total: 2(last sponsor added 10/18/2011)
1 Republicans
1 Democrats
About This Legislation:
This bill would create a commission to review the costs of the U.S. overseas military bases. The lead sponsors, Sens. Jon Tester (MT) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), say that closing dozens of these bases could save billions in wasteful spending.

At FCNL, we believe that the base structure overseas reflects outdated foreign policy assumptions, such as the concept that thousands of “boots on the ground” are necessary to provide reminders of U.S. interests in the region and assurance to allies of their security. We see this legislation as a useful first step in enabling the U.S. government to review and consider its military posture in relation to the rest of the world.

Detailed, up-to-date bill status information on S.1733.
Co-sponsorship Search:
Who Are:Sponsors

Monday, October 24, 2011

When Steve Jobs died, many compared him to Edison, a great inventor who founded a big company.  In this week's New York magazine, Frank Rich talks about how those companies compare and what GE and Apple's existence has to do with class warfare.  This excerpt is from the Rich article, which is worth a read.

But the G.E. born out of Edison’s genius and synergistic with Reagan’s brand of postwar jingoism is far from the G.E. of our time. Its once minor financial-services subsidiary, G.E. Capital, metastasized over the past 30 years in sync with the growth of the new Wall Street. In 1990, G.E. Capital accounted for just a quarter of G.E.’s overall profits, but by 2007, on the eve of the crash, it had gobbled up 55 percent of the bottom line. Its sophisticated gambling strategies, like those of the big banks it emulated, amounted to an ingenious get-rich-quick scheme for high-rollers until the bottom fell out, taking shareholders and employees, not to mention the country, down with it. G.E. Capital’s dependence on short-term credit was so grave that it forced G.E. to cut back its dividend for the first time since the thirties and to turn to Buffett for a $3 billion emergency cash infusion in the dark days of October 2008.

The cheerleader for ratcheting up that risk at G.E. was the CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. These days he heads the president’s ineffectual Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, despite his own corporation’s record of job-shedding in America and the revelation that G.E. paid no American taxes in 2010 (on more than $14 billion in profits, including $5.1 billion in the U.S.). Immelt is a Republican, but that didn’t prevent Palin this fall from calling G.E. “the poster child of corporate welfare and crony capitalism.” (Bill O’Reilly and Newt Gingrich joined this class-warfare chorus.) On this point, once again, there is no air between the right and Occupy Wall Street. And as both camps condemn Immelt, so they are also united in the conviction that the godfather of Obama’s economic team, Robert Rubin, is likewise a poster child for corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Rubin, whose useful cronies included his former protégés Geithner and Lawrence Summers, encouraged reckless greed and risk at Citigroup during the bubble much as Immelt did at G.E. Capital, ultimately requiring the taxpayers’ rescue of TARP.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where's The Pentagon's Money Going?

Our favorite Senator, Bernie Fields of Vermont, asked the Pentagon about their contracts going to corporations already found guilty of fraud in past transactions.  The number was very large indeed.  The Pentagon itself says it cannot account for about $165 billion dollars a year, an amount roughly six times the size of the State Department budget.  The SuperCommittee has a lot it can cut right there.  Read all about it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chris Hedges On Occupy Wall Street

Lincoln And Obama

Like most of us, Obama could learn a great deal from Lincoln, especially in the way the Emancipation Proclamation came about.  Radical abolitionist thinking increased across the North until Lincoln's middle-of-the-road approach was clearly hopeless.  The #OccupyWallStreet people aren't abolitionists, but they're also not restricted to New York City any more.  In fact, a group will meet tomorrow, Saturday, October 22, to plan Occupy Norristown.  See you at 2pm at Steppy's in East Norriton, 2912 Swede Road (just north of Germantown Pike).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy Philly & The G20 Summit

This is a proposal for the general assemblies of the Occupy movement.

Eight years ago, on February 15, 2003, upwards of 15 million people in sixty countries marched together to stop President Bush from invading Iraq … a huge chunk of humanity lived for one day without dead time and glimpsed the power of a united people’s movement. Now we have an opportunity to repeat that performance on an even larger scale.

On October 29, on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France, let’s the people of the world rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.

Take this idea to your local general assembly and join your comrades in the streets on October 29.

For details, go to

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eric Cantor Is Coming!

Eric Cantor is not coming.  He cancelled because the university planned to admit 300 citizens on a first-come-first-served basis.  Some of them might have even known something about income inequality.

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will give a talk on income inequality (!) this Friday at 4:30. He will be at 3730 Walnut Street. Members of Occupy Philly will march out from City Hall for the event.  You might save the date.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday At City Hall

An 8-minute video of events at Occupy Philly Saturday, October 15.  See anybody you know?

Occupy Philly - Stand Up For Peace

If you haven't been to City Hall to witness and join Occupy Philly, you're really missing an important experience.  Go tomorrow, Tuesday, October 18, at 4:30 to join Brandywine's "Stand Up For Peace" at 15th and Market.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Barney Frank & Occupy Military Spending

Rep. Barney Frank is ratcheting up his longstanding push to reduce federal defense spending with a series of town hall events in his Massachusetts congressional district atarting this weekend. And he is encouraging Occupy Wall Street and its sibling movements around the country to get involved.
"Cutting military spending is really essential if we are going to accomplish some of the things the Occupy movement wants to do in terms of fairness," Frank said in an interview Friday afternoon.
Military spending makes up more than 50 percent of total discretionary spending, and in turn discretionary spending—virtually all of the functions of government other than Social Security, Medicare and other programs in which spending is set by demand rather than annual budget negotiations—is about 40 percent of the total federal budget. That's why Frank says "we're in a zero-sum game": either cut military spending or see drastic cuts in other sectors of the budget, ranging from Social Security benefits to health care, from environmental protection to financial regulation.
This is where the Occupy movement cam make a difference, Frank said. "I think they underestimate the extent to which if they mobilize and deluge members of the House and Senate with opinion—they underestimate the impact it would have."
Frank adds that the same message of opposition needs to be heard by the White House, particularly by defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has come out strongly against defense spending cuts as the congressional deficit-reduction "super committee" works behind closed doors to come up with a deficit-reduction plan.
"I'm very disappointed with Leon Panetta," Frank said. "He has been the mouthpiece for a viewpoint that is very surprising to me given his previous, more common-sense approach."
Frank suggests reminding President Obama, "We didn't elect you to stay in Iraq longer than George Bush wanted to."

This article by Isaiah J. Poole is from  Congressman Frank spent yesterday at the Occupy event at New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Human Microphone In Action

This is the exciting moment when the Wall Street occupiers were told that in effect Bloomberg had backed down.  Of great interest is the "human microphone," in which the listeners repeat clause by clause the remarks of the speaker.  Originally developed as a substitute for banned or unavailable bullhorns, the human microphone also makes sure everyone hears, everyone listens, and the speaker trims his/her remarks to the bare minimum.  One of the great things to come out of the Occupy movement.

Cutting The Military Budget - Congressional Hearing

The military and Secretary Panetta are screaming bloody murder about projected security spending cuts involved in the SuperCommittee arrangements.  The last paragraph tells us that the proceedings were interrupted "to an unusual degree" by protesters unhappy with the fact that military spending has doubled since 2001.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How You Can Help Occupy Philly

The hardy souls manning City Hall need many things, as you can imagine:  food, snacks, water, ponchos, plastic drop cloths, unbrellas, books.  Put your stuff in your car and drive around City Hall staying in the inside lane until you are on the north side of the building.  There you will see the drop-off point, and chances are there will be occupiers there to help you unload and to distribute your goods into their sizeable inventory.  You can only park your car there for five minutes.

Or you can join the kitchen brigade at Friends Center, 15th & Cherry Streets.  Work goes on in the main floor kitchen from 8am to 5pm.  Just show up and join the crew.  They'll be happy to have your help, expert or not.

News From Occupy Philly

OCCUPY PHILLY,, continues at Phila. City Hall, 15th & Market Streets, despite the challenges and with your support.
Tomorrow (Thursday, 10/13), the one week anniversary of the start of Occupy Philly, you are invited to march from City Hall to the nearby Wells Fargo Bank for a 4p.m. Rally with Fight for Philly neighborhood activists demonstrating the impact of predatory lending and foreclosure practices: blighted communities.

From the Wells Fargo Bank rally, people will walk a short distance of the high-rise office building housing the Philadelphia office of Senator Patrick Toomey (R, PA U.S. Senator) long a champion of all things Wall Street. Toomey is part of the twelve member budget deficit reduction "super-committee" that will make life and death budget proposals next month to the Congress. Toomey is known to oppose taxing the rich and opposes cuts in military spending. Let Toomey know: People before Corporate Profits: Stop Cuts in Domestic Spending, End the Wars, Cut the Military Budget".
SATURDAY - PHILLY AGAINST WAR FESTIVAL & ANTI-WAR RALLY followed by march to Phila. City Hall site of Occupy Philly @Phila. City hall! http://oct15philly.wordpress.comSaturday, October 15, Noon - 5p.m. - Bands, dance, workshops, performance, speakers...
INDEPENDENCE MALL/"Peoples Plaza", 5th & Market Sts., Phila., PA,
(Brandywine Peace Community is among a number of area organizing sponsors of the event)

We Are The 99% Demanding Economic Justice, Democracy, and Peace - Tuesdays, 4:30p.m., Phila. City Hall, Occupy Philly!

Beginning next Tuesday, October 18, 4:30p.m. - 6p.m., join the Brandywine Peace Community and other peace and anti-war activists at Occupy Philly.

The U.S. permanent war economy and military-industrial-intelligence complex has dominated every aspect of U.S. life, has spread war and violence around the world, sacrificed poor and working people especially, the environment and our democracy, on the corporate altar of empire and militarism. Blow the whistle on Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and L3., to name just a few of the largest war profiteers in the greater Philadelphia area.

Stand up and vigil against corporate militarism and war! Join the STAND-UP vigil with banners and signs at Occupy Philly (Phila.City Hall, west side, 15th & Market Sts.) Tuesdays, 4:30p.m. - 6p.m. Large Banners will be there, bring your own signs if you wish, and an umbrella in case of rain.

For more information call: Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818.

Brandywine Peace Community

P.O. Box 81, Swarthmore, PA 19081
(610) 544-1818

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Story Of Stuff

You've probably heard of this video.  Now you can see it.  Sit back, relax (at least at first), and invest 21 minutes of your life into finding out how stuff happens.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Help Occupy Philly!

The brave occupiers of Philadelphia need our help.  Click on their website and look at the materials they need to continue.  If you can't transport these things to City Hall, call 484-380-2222 for help.  We have to all pitch in!

Monday, October 10, 2011

All About Occupy Wall Street

These two websites will tell you all about the movement in New York.  They are by the people involved.  Please note that you can send money, goods, or hot food from a local restaurant. and   Take a look!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

John Grant And The Press Pass

John Grant was on Freedom Plaza and then joined the marchers to the Chamber of Commerce building where a cop demanded his press pass.  Well, John has a few things to say about that and also some good photos of the event.  Good reading, as always.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

At The River I Stand

The 60-minute documentary, "At The River I Stand," will be shown at Central Baptist Church, Wayne, at 7:30pm, Friday, October 14.  It is about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last campaign in Memphis.  There will be a discussion led by Jane Dugdale.

From American Friends Service Committee - Move The Money

We're Spending How Much On Defense?

This is a brilliant video about the part of our budget devoted to the military.  Easily worth a look of less than four minutes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Philadelphia

Go to City Hall (get off the train at Suburban Station) and join the people.

What's Next For The American Dream?

This is about one of the last sessions at the highly successful Take Back the American Dream conference just ended in Washington, D.C.  As the "Occupy" demonstrations spread across America (Philadelphia's is at City Hall), the place for Progressives is on the bricks, at the demonstrations, expressing our outrage and our determination.  This is what democracy looks like.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Map Of New Priorities Network

At NPN's gathering in Washington last weekend, we each put a Post-It note on the map to show our location.  We seem to have good geographic coverage.

A Letter To Delco Times

Owen Powell's letter about  our dysfunctional congressman.