Friday, September 13, 2013

A Question For You

You have probably noticed that this blog stopped rather abruptly on July 29 and has not appeared again until today.  That was the day my wife Mary, with whom I was married almost forty-eight years, suffered a massive stroke.  She was hospitalized and cared for by the wonderful people of hospice until the following Sunday, August 4, when she passed away. As you can imagine, I have not had the heart or spirit to continue the blog, but during the month of August approximately 4,000 people visited the blog.  One hundred thirty visited yesterday.  My question is: should we go on with the blog or let it go?  I will greatly appreciate your comments either on the comments link or to my e-mail:  Thank you very much.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Clean Gas Is Like Clean Coal

Someone has to get the President's attention and explain to him that fracking and the development of natural gas wells is not the way to sustainable energy.  It is the way to global warming as methane - far more effective than CO2 - goes into our atmosphere.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Time for a change! Help us tell Congress to raise the minimum wage and tie it to inflation:

Thanks to Media Matters for America for the informative graphic.

Uncappable Bitumen Spill In Alberta

Some energy industry genius decided that there is a better way: blow steam into the bitumen sands - high pressure cyclic steam stimulation - and then just bring up the goo through some pipes.  Trouble is that the goo is bypassing the pipes and surfacing where it will.  There is no pipe to cap - it is uncappable.  It is fouling soil and water and killing thousands of animals. What little we know sounds like a Grade B Hollywood flick.  And we don't know much because predictably the oil company is lying to us.  One lesson to be learned: if it's in the ground, leave it in the ground.

Friday, July 26, 2013

John Lewis On Bill Moyers & Co.

Bill's entire show Sunday, Noon, July 28, is a conversation with John Lewis about the August, 1963, March on Washington and its heritage.  In Philadelphia the show will be on WHYY-TV, Channel 12.

Gasland 2's Josh Fox On The Daily Show

Josh Fox ("Gasland 2") talks with John Oliver on the Daily Show.  You might find a re-run of the two-hour documentary on HBO.

The Right Wing In Junior High School

Conservatives and others on the right are facing their ultimate nightmare: that Obamacare is going to work.  And they are willing to fight it using unspeakable methods, including fooling around with the debt ceiling and endangering the nation's credit rating, because they hate the President.  Reminds one of junior high school politics.
This week, just 60 miles off the Louisiana coast, a natural gas rig burned for two days after the well blew out. 

President Obama, it's time to move beyond natural gas:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Holder To Stop Texas Voting Changes

Attorney-General Holder announced this morning that the Justice Department will bring suit later today to stop Texas changes to its voting laws in light of the recent Supreme Court decision.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

HR 676 Medicare For All

The New York Central Labor Council, representing 1.3 million people, has endorsed Rep. Conyers health care bill, HR 676.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Get Ready For August 24

August 24th Carry a Banner for Peace: 50th Anniversary March on Washington March in Washington DC on October 24th for justice, peace and in the memory of Trayvon Martin. We march to end violence and for peace at home abroad. We march for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. Let us celebrate and remember past victories to gird ourselves for the struggle ahead.

To sign on, go to  For details, go to http://officialmlkdream50/com.

Buckley's Spirit Marches On

A respected scientist at PennState was accused by National Review of lying and falsifying data.  He sued for defamation.  NR has threatened to dig out everything but the kitchen sink and spread it publicly when fighting the suit.  Bill would have loved it.

When Will Toomey Vote For Us?

Toomey should make his own way      
                                                    After a two-year delay, the U.S. Senate last week confirmed Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The vote was 66-34. A dozen Republicans joined the Democratic majority. But Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) voted against it. Does Toomey know some horrible fact about Cordray that disqualifies him for the post? Or was he blindly following Minority Leader Mitch McConnell running over the cliff? Great Pennsylvania senators have been more intelligent and independent than that.                                                      Walter Ebmeyer, Bryn Mawr


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Honest Abe speaks the truth.

A Forum On Drones




What are drones?

Should we care?

Do drones save lives?


Join the forum! All welcome!

Bring your questions and your thoughts:


Sunday, July 28, noon-2PM

In the New Hall downstairs; light lunch served 11:30

(please RSVP with numbers for lunch to Jane Dugdale 610 527 4170 or

Central Baptist Church (CBC)

106 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne 19087


Sponsored by CBC Peacemakers, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition,

Main Line Peace Action

moderated by

Peter Lems

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

AFSC Program Director, Iraq/Afghanistan

Convenor, Horsham Drone Center protest committee

Three Cheers for Elizabeth Warren

Senator Warren answers some ill-conceived criticism of regulation and reform.  Yesterday the Senate finally confirmed a Director for her Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and now she is working with Republicans and Independents to restore Glass-Steagel.  She's had an enormous effect on our country, and she's been a Senator for six months.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Watch Gaslands 2

Gaslands 2 will be on HBO Wednesday July 17 at 1:45pm and on Thursday July 18 at Noon.  It is two hours long and is well worth your time.  Watch it or DVR it.

Legalized Murder


July 14, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT:Ladd Everitt, (202) 701-7171,  
Washington, D.C.—There can be no doubt after the Not Guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman that murder has now been legalized in half of the 50 states.
The traditional presumption in the law—from the advent of the Hebrew Bible through the creation of Roman law, English common law, and American law—has been that if you could spare human life, it was incumbent upon you to do so. With the “Stand  Your Ground” law, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its partners in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have turned 3,000 years of jurisprudence on its head. Now you can provoke a fight, and if losing that fight, kill the person you attacked.
Turning the other cheek is supposed to be a sacred virtue. But by removing the duty to retreat from a confrontation in public when one can safely do so, the “Stand Your Ground” law allowed George Zimmerman to stalk and kill an unarmed teenager and walk away a free man. That’s a tragedy, because there can be no doubt that Zimmerman could have avoided a confrontation with Trayvon Martin on the evening of February 26, 2012.
The NRA’s law represents a dangerous and unprecedented escalation in the use of force in the public space, allowing individuals to kill when they merely fear “great bodily harm” (i.e., a fistfight, shoving match, etc.). The concept of responding with proportional force has been obliterated. In this case, the “harm” done to Zimmerman, by whatever source, was so minor that EMTs didn’t even offer him treatment minutes after the shooting.
Americans should also question why Zimmerman was allowed to carry a loaded gun in public in the first place. He had been previously arrested for assaulting a police officer and placed under a restraining order for a domestic battery involving a former fiancee. Again, Zimmerman has the NRA to thank. Their “Shall Issue” law in Florida awards concealed carry permits to individuals with minimal screening/training and removes any discretion law enforcement might have in approving applicants.
The message to would-be killers is now clear. You need not fear carrying your gun in public, or using it. If you do, just make sure you are the only one remaining to testify about the nature of the confrontation in question.
As much as the gruesome mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the acquittal of George Zimmerman is confirmation that the American promise of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” will continue to be squandered until the NRA’s pernicious stranglehold on our legislatures is broken. Lawmakers in states with “Stand Your Ground” laws should immediately repeal these cancerous blights on American values, law and tradition.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What The Sequester Is Doing To Us

The main stream media has done its usual sterling job in keeping us informed about the effects of the sequester on our fellow citizens.  But the Coalition on Human Needs in Washington has come up with a report on what's happening that will open your eyes.  This is very serious stuff.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Decline of North Carolina

Let the record show that the Blue Ridge Parkway was built under the auspices of the New Deal Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The Decline of North Carolina


Every Monday since April, thousands of North Carolina residents have gathered at the State Capitol to protest the grotesque damage that a new Republican majority has been doing to a tradition of caring for the least fortunate. Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the “Moral Monday” demonstrations, as they are known. But the bad news keeps on coming from the Legislature, and pretty soon a single day of the week may not be enough to contain the outrage.

  In January, after the election of Pat McCrory as governor, Republicans took control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.

  The cruelest decision by lawmakers went into effect last week: ending federal unemployment benefits for 70,000 residents. Another 100,000 will lose their checks in a few months. Those still receiving benefits will find that they have been cut by a third, to a maximum of $350 weekly from $535, and the length of time they can receive benefits has been slashed from 26 weeks to as few as 12 weeks.

  The state has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country, and many Republicans insulted workers by blaming their joblessness on generous benefits. In fact, though, North Carolina is the only state that has lost long-term federal benefits, because it did not want to pay back $2.5 billion it owed to Washington for the program. The State Chamber of Commerce argued that cutting weekly benefits would be better than forcing businesses to pay more in taxes to pay off the debt, and lawmakers blindly went along, dropping out of the federal program.

  At the same time, the state is also making it harder for future generations of workers to get jobs, cutting back sharply on spending for public schools. Though North Carolina has been growing rapidly, it is spending less on schools now than it did in 2007, ranking 46th in the nation in per-capita education dollars. Teacher pay is falling, 10,000 prekindergarten slots are scheduled to be removed, and even services to disabled children are being chopped.

  “We are losing ground,” Superintendent June Atkinson said recently, warning of a teacher exodus after lawmakers proposed ending extra pay for teachers with master’s degrees, cutting teacher assistants and removing limits on class sizes.

  Republicans repealed the Racial Justice Act, a 2009 law that was the first in the country to give death-row inmates a chance to prove they were victims of discrimination. They have refused to expand Medicaid and want to cut income taxes for the rich while raising sales taxes on everyone else. The Senate passed a bill that would close most of the state’s abortion clinics.

  And, naturally, the Legislature is rushing to impose voter ID requirements and cut back on early voting and Sunday voting, which have been popular among Democratic voters. One particularly transparent move would end a tax deduction for dependents if students vote at college instead of their hometowns, a blatant effort to reduce Democratic voting strength in college towns like Chapel Hill and Durham.

  North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.


Meet The New York Times’s Editorial Board »


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

See Gasland Part 2

If you missed "Gasland Part 2" Monday night on HBO, you can see or DVD it on the same channel at 3:15pm Sunday, July 14.  It is two hours long, but is a monumental achievement - moving, enlightening, infuriating, involving.  Do yourself and the environment a favor by seeing it as soon as you can.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

(M) A great quote. Image from Unions 4 Workers.

Posted on the Being Liberal fan page.
Divestment was a tactic used to good effect protesting trade with the apartheid regime in South Africa.  Bill McKibben of "350" called on American colleges and universities last year to divest themselves of investments in fossil fuel industries.  While it may not much matter to Exxon who holds its stock, this article points out that the fight for divestment is a way to get the attention of powerful members of Boards of Trustees.  And it is very fine to see college-age students energized on the important question of fossil fuel use.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Rockefeller On Republican Conservatives

New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller at the 1964 Republican convention that nominated Goldwater.

Nelson Rockefeller was the leader of progressive Republicans. Alarmed by the unchecked power of the far right, he addressed the Republican convention and urged his fellow delegates to reject this new extremism. He warned that:
"The Republican party is in real danger of subversion by a radical, well-financed and highly disciplined minority... wholly alien to the sound and honest conservatism that has firmly based the Republican party in the best of a century's traditions, wholly alien to the sound and honest Republican liberalism that has kept the party abreast of human needs in a changing world, wholly alien to the broad middle course that accommodates the mainstream of Republican principles."
He was interrupted several times by the unruliness of the crowd, which had been packed with true believers by Rusher and White.
"There is no place in this Republican party for those who would infiltrate its ranks, distort its aims, and convert it into a cloak of apparent respectability for a dangerous extremism... The Republican party must repudiate these people."
His remarks captured the precise moment when the Republican party abandoned its heritage of inclusivity for the politics of division. Within five years, Nixon staffer Kevin Phillips would publish "The Emerging Republican Majority," which argued that the GOP could start winning national elections again by actively courting Southern racists alarmed by the Democratic Party's embrace of civil rights. Aided by a well-financed media machine and an organized campaign to purge progressives and moderates from its rolls, the party of Lincoln would soon become the party of Limbaugh.
Rockefeller was the last strong voice of dissent within the GOP — a political Cassandra whose warning that extremists would destroy the Republican Party went sadly unheeded. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all continue this tradition of progressive Republicanism today despite being pariahs within their own party. Rick Santorum may see himself as a standard-bearer, but the flag he hoists is not that of the Republican Party. It is of the radical right, and it is fighting like hell to maintain its grip even as the vast majority of America rejects its agenda.

This excerpt is from bluescreen.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

It's Good To Be The King

pissing money away...
Unreal Americans

Rally Against A Syrian War


4:30 p.m. +++ Thursday, July 11
15th and Market Streets
Center City, Philadelphia

·        Stop the U.S./NATO/Israeli war and all forms of intervention against Syria!
·        Self-determination free from outside intervention for the Syrian people!
·        Fund people’s needs, not the military!
·        U.S. Out of the Middle East!
Sponsored by Philly Against
Endorsed by: A.N.S.W.E.R. Phila. Coalition, Brandywine Peace Community,
Green Party of the U.S.,; The Green Shadow Cabinet,; Cheri Honkala; International Action Center, Socialist Action; Jill Stein,; United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC),

More information from 215-243-7103 and

Robert Reich On Inequality

In this video Robert Reich talks about economic inequality and calls on us to fix it.  People who've thought about what stands in the way of fixing it have embraced the American Anti-corruption Act.  Learn more about it at

Friday, July 5, 2013

It's Good To Be The King

CEO salaries continue to soar, and their size relative to that of the guy on the shop floor is gigantic.  In a bull market, stockholders don't criticize such a thing.  And although Dodd-Frank called for annual reports on the size of CEO pay, the SEC has still not started collecting the data, and a bill is in the House hopper to kill the regulation.  Meanwhile the United States has passed even the United Kingdom in economic inequality.

Jefferson On Egypt

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson argued that when any government stops protecting the rights and lives of its people, they have every right to do away with that government and establish a new one.  Clearly the Morsi regime and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters have curtailed the rights of everyone in Egypt, especially its women.  It is hard to imagine why Washington worries about the overthrow of Morsi when he is clearly a tyrant that the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people want to be quit of.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy July 4

If you've been following the news as avidly as I believe you have, you should have no trouble with Ms. Collins's quiz - the first link.  The second link is a reminder of the sort of thing that bothered us about the mother country.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Move The Money (To Offshore Tax Havens)

Many (including British Prime Minister David Cameron)  hoped that the G8 summit in Northern Ireland would start cracking down on international corporations that slide their assets around through tax havens like Bermuda and Monaco.  They do it to save money on taxes, the in total they save trillions of dollars that their home nations badly need.  This article from the Guardian gives some details of what went on and why Cameron's hopes for some reform at the summit were dashed (think USA).  This is grossly unfair and unjust, but at the moment it is not illegal.

Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Freedom Riders On Old Sproul Road!

This is the trailer for the movie made from the PBS program American Experience, telling the story of the Freedom Riders who helped desegregate the South.  It will be shown, free and on the big screen, at 7pm on Friday, July 5, at the Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield, by Brandywine Peace.  Or come at 5pm to join a potluck dinner. All are welcome.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Save Philadelphia's Schools

Whatever the priorities of the Governor, the city, the unions are, they certainly don't seem to put children first.

A Week Of Total Insanity

What to make of the bizarre events of the past week?  Mark Morford with SF Gate gives it a try and does fairly well.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yesterday, President Obama gave an historic speech on climate change. Will the Senate have his back — or stab him in it?

Join The Strikers At Walnut And Broad Every Afternoon!

by Abby Zimet

What's Wrong With This Picture Dept: Facing a budget deficit of $304 million, the Philadelphia school district has instituted a "doomsday" budget that will close 23 schools, lay off 3,800, or 20% of its employees, and eliminate clubs, aides, counselors, librarians, athletics, art and music programs that include 66 music teachers at 190 schools teaching over 10,000 students who present over a thousand concerts a year - all this while the GOP-controlled legislature and governor seek union concessions, pass corporate tax breaks up to $800 million a year, and plan to spend $400 million for a new prison. In response, furious parents and school workers are camped out at the governor’s office in the 8th day of a hunger strike - a hunger strike - to get schools to do what they're supposed to do even as Democrats scramble to find more money for the schools before a June 30 budget deadline and music teachers and students performed a bittersweet farewell concert. It was held this weekend, just as the Navy received its first, super-duper, new-and-improved (except for years of technical glitches which may or may not have been solved) F-35 aircraft, whose costs have doubled to at least $161 million each. The Pentagon Plans to build several thousand, at a cost of $12.6 billion a year through 2037, or $1.4 million an hour - about the duration of the farewell concert - for the next two and a half decades.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This NORML photo has apparently gone somewhat viral. Proud to be fighting for an end to Prohibition, just like FDR. We're so alike in almost every way.

Help In The Lunchroom

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett's move to drastically cut school funds will do away with music, art, physical education, and libraries.  Equally egregious is the sacking of lunchroom aides, those brave souls who keep order and protect our children from bullying and mayhem.  Given that the Governor's plan calls for closing and consolidating a large  number of schools, the surviving schools will house and feed children from  mixed neighborhoods, children who do not know each other.  That is a recipe for disaster in the lunchroom.