Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3 Minutes About Occupation

Drone Death Walk Saturday

Friends – Another walk and even more significant as news comes of Pakistan’s request to close the U.S. drone base there in Pakistan. Peace, Marge
Friends - The United States continues DRONE BOMBINGS IN PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN AND YEMEN, AS WELL. We walk with a picture of drone bomber and hand out leaflets to inform people on the street that this is being done in our names and with our money. We oppose the wars and all bombings.
We will do the DEATH WALK on Saturday, DEC. 3, from 12 - 1:00 p.m., meeting at 12th & Market. Wear BLACK, we will bring plain white masks and we will be sure to have some extra masks but it would be helpful if you rsvp just to be sure. Call Marge Van Cleef at 267-763-1644 or reply to e-mail. One person will hold a sign, others will pass out leaflets. They will not wear the mask. We will continue to carry signs opposing U.S. DRONE WARFARE and TERRORISM, which is the killing of civilians.
We will be walking in the manner of a SILENT DEATH WALK to bring attention to the wars and the victims in Afghanistan, Pakistan. (War in Iraq is not over either.)
The organizers include Mary Jo McArthur, Sylvia Metzler, Beth Centz, Margaret McKenna, and Marge VanCleef (writing for the others).
Peace, with hope that you will join us. Marge VC

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Much The 1% Make

This amazing graphic shows 98% salaries compared to 1% salaries, depicted as if the sun, earth, and moon.  Talk about inequality!

What Will We Do Without Barney?

Barney Frank announced yesterday he will retire from the House at the end of this term. This article is about some of  his wonderful public statements.  The picture is of him with Main Line Peace Action's Jane Dugdale at a Peace Action dinner in Princeton last summer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stop The Fracking!

The Radnor Conservancy
Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training at Villanova
Join us!

Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training

Date: Thursday, Dec 1
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Location: Villanova University, Dougherty Hall

Event Sponsors
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Join Our Mailing List!

Please see the message below from PennEnvironment, a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization:

The thousands of drilled Marcellus Shale wells are just the beginning.

In the coming years, Exxon Mobil, Range Resources and others plan to drill tens of thousands of more Marcellus Shale wells, threating our health and environment. That's why they are putting so much energy and resources fighting any policies that will protect us from this dangerous industrial activity.

We've launched a new project to give Pennsylvanian's, new or experienced, the tools they need to protect their community. Can you join us on Thursday, December 1 at Villanova University?

WHAT: Villanova Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training
WHERE: Villanova University, Dougherty Hall
WHEN: Thursday, December 1, 6-9 p.m.

Our plan is simple, but big. We need to train 1,000 Pennsylvanians with the skills they need to protect their communities from gas drilling. Whether you're new to activism or have been on the frontlines of the Marcellus Shale, this training will help you take the fight to the next level.

You'll learn from our staff and other organizers in the area how to effectively engage with decision makers on these issues, generate massive coverage in the media, and how to hold your elected officials accountable for their failure to tackle the Marcellus Shale gas drilling issue. And, you'll get to meet more people working on these issues so you can band together to protect your community.

Click here to let us know if you'll be attending.

We look forward to seeing you there


David Masur
PennEnvironment Director

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who Paid For The Klimt?

This NY Times article will tell you what you need to know about what Ronald Lauder and other members of the 1% do to buy art and avoid taxes.  Talk about their personal and corporate tax rates is bogus because they hire armies of accountants who know their way around the IRS regulations.  It helps to have had a rich mother.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tax Wall Street

Here's an idea whose time has come!  Read all about it and about the amazing list of knowledgeable people who are for it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The F-35 Has Plenty Of Money

Even with the collapse of the SuperCommittee, the F-35 program still has more than $1 trillion to work with, and that can buy a lot of Congressmen.

And The Band Played On

Don't cry for the defense industry in light of the crash of the Super Committee.  In fact, you might think of buying into it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

American Exceptionalism

A new biography of George Kennan ( George Kennan: An American Life, by John Lewis Gaddis)  has been published and it reminds us that the man who recommended to President Truman the Containment Policy and who shaped it throughout his famed State Department career, lived to see the Soviet Union dissolve, as he had predicted many years before.  In the New York Review of Books, in 1999, he said this about american exceptionalism, a doctrine some of our Republican worthies still espouse:

"This whole tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious, and undesireable.  If you think that our life here at home has meritorious aspects worthy of emulation by peoples elsewhere, the best way to recommend them is, as John Quincy Adams maintained, not by preaching at others but by the force of example.  I could not agree more."

The Austerity Train Wreck

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich lays out four requirements for turning our economy around.  The Super Committee isn't going to do it, and sequestration won't do it.  Continued pressure on Congress might.

The real question is how to stop this austerity train wreck, and substitute the following:
FIRST : no cuts before jobs are back -- until unemployment is down to 5 percent. Until then, the economy needs a boost, not a cut. Consumers -- whose spending is 70 percent of the economy -- don't have the money to boost the economy on their own. Their pay is dropping and they're losing jobs. SECOND : Make the boost big enough. 14 million Americans are out of work, and 10 million are working part time who need full-time jobs. The President's proposed jobs program is a start but it's tiny relative to what needs to be done. It would create fewer than 2 million jobs. We need a big jobs program -- rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, and including a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps.
THIRD: To pay for this, raise taxes on the super-rich. It's only fair. Never before has so much income and wealth been concentrated at the very top, and taxes on the top so low. Go back to the 70 percent marginal tax we had before 1980. And include more tax brackets at the top. It doesn't make sense that any income over $375,000 is taxed at the same 35 percent, even if it's a billion dollars. And tax all sources of income at the same rate, including capital gains.

FOURTH: Cut the budget where the real bloat is. Military spending and corporate welfare. End weapons systems that don't work and stop wars we shouldn't be fighting to begin with, and we save over $300 billion a year. Cut corporate welfare -- subsidies and special tax breaks going to big agribusiness, big oil, big pharma, and big insurance -- and we save another $100 billion.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Hydra-headed Monster

Killing a defense contract is like killing that famous monster.  It is connected to several congressional districts (including PA-07 right in our neighborhood).

Lobbyists' Worries

This is an interesting piece on a lobbyist's memo to Wall Street firms about the effects of OWS and its allied movements.  Attached also are some good videos.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Last Mountain" At Peace Center

Brandywine Peace will show "The Last Mountain" at The Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield at 7pm on Friday, December 2.  Large screen.

What Howard Zinn Said

What Howard Zinn, who knew a thing or two about American history, said about change.
"Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war. Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens."

-Howard Zinn

No Deal Is Better Than A Bad Deal

Our favorite economist spells out some simple truths about the so-called "SuperCommittee."  We knew it wasn't truly "super" when we heard who is on it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's "Veterans Day" All About?

It's certainly not about glorifying the military.  Read David Swanson, and remember Wilfred Owen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What We Learned Election Day

This is an excellent article detailing Progressive triumphs and what they suggest about the future.  We would only add that there were also successes in Pennsylvania where Democrats took control of local government in Montgomery County for the first time in history!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What The Rumors Say

Read what James Howard Kunstler thinks about what's coming in the next twelve months.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why Corporations Act That Way

Robert Hinkley, a corporate lawyer for twenty-three years, explains why corporations here and around the world pay attention to one thing only: profit for shareholders.  But, he says, corporations were meant to serve mankind, not the other way around.  And he has a solution in mind.  Worth a read.

From The Poet Laureate

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Occupy Norristown Saturday!

 Saturday, November 12, is the second Occupy Norristown.  The action will be a rally, not an encampment (that may come later).  We will meet on the Main Street steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse at Noon.  That is one block from the Transportation Center where the R6 and Route 100 trolley stops and the 97, 98, and other busses.  You can park free along the curb on Main Street. There is a public paid parking garage and restrooms a block away.  There will be short speeches and entertainment, and we will ask participants to join special interest groups (education, legal, safety, entertainment, etc.).  There will be a General Assembly meeting at 3pm.  We ask that you be peaceful and non-violent.  Bring a sign if you have one, or borrow one of ours.   This is what democracy looks like.

Gov. Walker Meets Occupy Chicago

When Wisconsin governor Scott Walker addressed the Chicago Union League Club, he met an audience he had not anticipated.

Friday, November 4, 2011

How To Move Your Money

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, and it is also, nationwide, the day to move your money to a local bank or credit union and away from the monster national bank.  Local banks are more likely to invest in their communities.  Small banks have to be more responsive to their customers.  Responsible banks don't need bailouts from the government.  Bank investments should be socially and environmentally responsible.  Click on the link to find out how to move your money.  You'll feel much better.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Remember Corporate Taxes?

A new study shows that American corporations, including our friends at Boeing, are paying a very low tax rate for one reason or another.  It may be smart accounting,  but it sure ain't patriotic.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

$1,000,000,000,000 Since 2001

We've spent a trillion dollars on the military since 2001 and we're getting less and less for our money.

American Overseas Base Closing

This base has been important to the US since 2001 as a shipping point for the Afghanistan war.  But the newly elected president of Kyrgyzstan is worried that someone will attack it.  So he will close it.

Are Toomey And Meehan Catholic?

Senator Toomey and Representative Meehan would tell you they are good Catholics, but like Congressman Ryan in this John Nichols piece, they are acting in contravention to church teachings on poverty, inequality, and corporate responsibility.  Is the Vatican involved in "class warfare"?  Was Jesus?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Letters To The Times

Sometimes the letters to the Times are better than the paid wisdom.  People (like many Times writers) who want neat lists of demands from the protestors don't appreciate the scale of the occupiers' concerns. Just about everything seems to be going wrong, but the key to it all is money, corporate greed, and inequality.