Sunday, September 30, 2012

Join Us Sunday, October 7

Philadelphia, PA, Oct 7, 1 PM

Sunday, October 7, Anniversary of 11 Years of U.S. war in Afghanistan…
- 1p.m. Vigil/Demonstration/Kite Flying @University of Pennsylvania –
34th & Walnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA
Speakers, Music, and more; followed by kite flying in Woodland Walk field between UPENN and Drexel University
Vigil at University of Pennsylvania and Kite Flight for Peace on the anniversary of the U.S.’s longest war. University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) and Drexel University are receiving millions of dollars in Federal research grants for killer and surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles, ‘drones’.
followed by Kites with anti-drone/anti-war peace messages flying between UPENN and Drexel, in the field behind 34th & Walnut Sts. Kite flying is a widespread form of play throughout Afghanistan, expressing the children’s hope for an end to war.
Stop killer drone research at UPenn and Drexel!
Demonstrate for peace, vigil against drone research at UPENN). Bring your children and your child’s heart to the Kite Flight for Peace
Kites will be available, bring your own if you can, and don’t forget your umbrella in the event of rain. End the War Stop Killer Drone Strikes Space for Peace, not drone strikes directed from the U.S. through space.
Fund Human Needs, Not Empire and War.

Friday, September 28, 2012

American Exceptionalism

What really sets the United States apart from other nations?  Just look at these graphs.

John Grant On America's Empire

We have (rule? own? occupy?) the largest empire in history.  John Grant has some interesting ideas about it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Rich Are Different From You And Me

"He was born on third base and thought he'd hit a triple."  This article is about our hallucinating billionaires who, like Mitt Romney, think they've worked their way up from nothing. The mural is by Diego Rivera.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Continuing Resolutions And Sequestration

This from our friends at National Priorities Project.

You Ask, We Answer: Did Congress Just “Solve” Sequestration?
Greg from Portland, Oregon e-mailed last week and asked, “The House just passed a major spending bill. Does this mean the big funding cuts for education I’ve been hearing about won’t happen? I’m a teacher, and we’ve been hearing all sorts of scary [stuff] about these cuts.”

What Greg is referring to is the automatic across-the-board spending cuts – known as “sequestration” – that are scheduled to go into effect at the end of the year. The short answer to your question, Greg, is “no, the cuts may still happen.”

"Continuing Resolution Does Not Equal No Sequestration"

Here’s the longer answer. Each year Congress must enact and the president sign a series of funding bills – the annual appropriations bills – that provide the funds to keep the government operating for the coming fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1. There are 12 appropriations bills that have to be enacted each year, for things like education, agriculture and the military. If an appropriations bill isn’t enacted, that part of the government isn’t funded and is forced to stop operating.

To avoid this, if Congress can’t agree on how to fund a particular portion of the government, they can pass a stop-gap funding bill, known as a Continuing Resolution (CR). What a CR does is allow any part of the government without a specific appropriation to continue operating at its current level until a final funding bill is enacted.

That’s what the House did last week. They passed a CR that covers all 12 appropriations, and would last for six months. The Senate is expected to do the same this week.

But the CR has nothing to do with sequestration. That’s still in play. As House Speaker John Boehner put it after the House vote “now it’s time for President Obama and Senate Democrats to work with Republicans to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ by stopping the tax hikes that threaten our economy and replacing the ‘sequester’ that threatens our national security.”

That “fiscal cliff” the Speaker mentioned is the term being used to describe what will happen at the end of this year when sequestration kicks in at the same time the Bush-era tax cuts expire. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if that actually happens it would likely lead to another recession. So while Congress has voted to keep the government running even without an actual budget, they still have plenty of work to do.

Stay tuned, Greg.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Passing A Local Resolution

The co-convenors of the Delaware Valley New Priorities Network discuss how their area groups got together to get an anti-war resolution past the Philadelphia City Council (the second largest city to pass such a resolution).  To see the resolution they got passed and to see a suggested resolution for you, look in the right column of this page.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Johnny Got His Gun" First Friday

A true anti-war classic to be shown at the Peace Center of Delaware County, Friday, 7pm, October 5; 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield.  Doors open 6:30 for light refreshments.

Voter ID Decision Sent Back

Souter - "How Democracy Will Die"

Former US Supreme Court Justice Souter answers a question about civic education and the end of democracy.

Will "Localism" Replace Capitalism?

In this article Chris Hedges talks about the writings of Richard Heinberg and Joseph Tainter, who predict the early demise of capitalism and the growth economy and the need to develop localism to replace them.  Sobering reading.  But bear in mind that growth is also the informing principle of cancer.

Philly Peace Day Friday



 Friday, September 21. - PEACE DAY PHILLY 2012.

A Peace Dove Walk at LOVE Park (15th & JFK Blvd., Phila., PA; Rain Location: Friends Center, 1501 Cherry St., Phila, PA) on Friday, September 21 beginning at 11:10a.m., will be just one of the many PEACE DAY PHILLY 2012 events this Friday, September 21. The formal program will begin at 11:30am, and will conclude with a minute of silence at noon, a global expression of peace in all time zones.
For more information on this event and other Peace Day Philly 2012 events, visit

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Simulus Worked

Democrats didn't talk about it at their convention, and President Obama never mentioned it in his speech, but the stimulus was, perhaps, his greatest success.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Please join us for an important event sponsored by Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and its Center for Professional Development.

"Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders", a documentary film based on the book Pieces From the Past: Voices of Heroic Women in Civil Rights, will be screened at Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA, at 7pm on Monday, September 24. Admission to this event is FREE. There is a $20 fee for (two) Continuing Education credits. Copies of the book will also be available for $10 at a post-film book-signing.

Please RSVP for this event at We look forward to your attendance.
Best regards,
Elaine Robertson

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Anti-Fracking Rally And March 9/20/2012

Join us to protect health, communities, air, water, farms, food, and climate.  Demand green jobs and justice now!  Let's flood the streets of Philly again to STOP them from fracking our future.

         Thursday, September 20 outside Convention Center, Broad and Arch.

                                         Rally and March - NOON to 3pm.

Check for full schedule 9/20-21.  Join us on facebook  Hosted by Protecting Our Waters -

New Books About The Economy

This long but interesting review from New York Review of Books of two new, important, and timely books by Krugman and Stiglitz sets the record straight on the economy and answers many questions.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Russia To Build Infrastructure

At the APEC summit conference, the headlines went to boosting Asian trade, but perhaps more importantly, Presidents Putin and Hu projected massive spending on infrastructure (like the Vladivostok Bridge pictured here), a development that can only spell improved conditions for their citizens.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

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Bill Moyers - Independents and Greens

Bill Moyers & Co. tomorrow features a discussion of politics outside the two-party straitjacket.  Our favorite senator, Bernie Sanders, is now the longest serving independent in congressional history, and he will discuss the Washington situation with Bill.  Then Green Party presidential and vicepresidential candidates, Jill Stein and Cheri Hankala bring their unique point of view.  In Philadelphia, the PBS program is on Channel 12, WHYY-TV, at Noon, Sunday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Check Your Voter ID!

For help with voter ID, call the folks at Voter ID Coalition, 215-848-1283.
Voter ID Seminar

10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, September 12

Upper Merion Senior Service Center
650 S. Henderson Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406

11 a.m.
Thursday, September 20

PALM Senior Center
117 Ardmore Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003

State Rep. Tim Briggs is holding these seminars to help residents learn about the state’s new Voter ID law. Members of his staff will be on hand to offer a brief overview of the law, answer any questions you may have, and help fill out any forms needed to obtain a valid photo ID to vote. Visit this webpage to review "The Basics" of what you need to know. If you aren’t sure if your ID qualifies, please join us at the meeting. No RSVP required.

A Glimpse Of The Future

Maureen Dowd thinks Bill Clinton's premiere role tonight may be the beginning of a pre-Clinton era.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's TPP?

Most people have never heard of it, but it is a piece of legislation and diplomacy that masquarades as a trade agreement like NAFTA but actually reaches out to do violence to our democracy.  You should read this, get to Leesburg, Virginia, Sunday and demonstrate against it, or call your US Senator and tell him to fight it.
Here's to the Labor Organizers who gave their lives to give us the 8 hour work day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

When I hear people complaining about labor unions I remind them of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of March 25, 1911.  Hundreds of young women were employed on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of a factory building a block from Washington Square in New York when, at 4:40 pm of a Saturday, fire broke out.  Exit doors had been locked to prevent unauthorized breaks.  Many women jumped to their deaths.  In all, 146 died.  One of the bystanders was Franklin Roosevelt's future Labor Secretary, Frances Perkins, who said she was radicalized by the experience.  After the fire the labor movement demanded safety regulations, decent working conditions, a 40-hour week.  Without unions and government regulation, our workers are as subject to harm as those 146 young women 101 years ago.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Role For "Big Government"

This is a letter to the New York Times reminding our Republican friends that there is an important role for government and that President Eisenhower understood that fact and acted on it.

To the Editor:
Republicans at their party’s national convention said that “big government” must go.
Sixty years ago, in Chicago, they nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president. In his eight-year presidency, he initiated the huge Interstate highway system — a historic federal-state government partnership that changed America forever. It created jobs, linked cities and rural areas as never before, and stimulated commerce in ways the private sector could never do alone. Now, many Republicans resist spending tax dollars to refurbish that infrastructure.
Before Eisenhower left office at the cold war’s height, he warned about the drain on the federal budget from the “military-industrial complex.” Now, many Republicans want big cuts elsewhere, but never at the Pentagon.
It seems the Grand Old Party needs a history lesson on Eisenhower’s legacy. He was no big spender, but he was pragmatic and progressive about what government can and should do.
Washington, Aug. 31, 2012
The writer is a former political reporter for The Associated Press.