Friday, March 29, 2013

Why Does Obama Keep Doing This?

In 2007 Obama assured us he would make sure that GMO's were properly labelled and the American people kept informed of this intrusion on their food supply.  Last week he signed the Monsanto Protection Act that protects the company from any legal action in GMO's.  Why does he go all weak in the knees when dealing with large corporations?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sr. Simone Campell and Paul Ryan

Sister Simone Campbell was one of the "Nuns On The Bus," she is Executive Director of Network, a Catholic social service non-profit in Washington, she addressed the 2012 Democratic Convention, and she was our #1 candidate for Pope.  She has a few things to Tell Rep. Paul Ryan about real people.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How Stupid Are The Big Banks?

What's scary about the big banks that Attorney General Holder calls "too big to jail" is that they increasingly seem to deal in incompetence masked by gibberish.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Sunday's Bill Moyer & Co. features Richard Wolff and Sheila Bair talking with Bill about the ABC's of economic inequality.  The program airs at Noon Sunday in Philadelphia on WHYY-TV, Channel 12.  Details at the link.
Sniff... Sniff... what's that smell? Oh yeah... corruption.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

This is exactly why the American Anti-Corruption Act makes bribery illegal. And it's exactly why you should join the fun at

Can't believe he said it?

Call Your Congressperson

Congress will vote in the next few days about next year's federal budget.   Tell your Congresperson to vote for the BackToWork budget.  Click the link for a one page outline.  Call your congressperson at 202-224-3121.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

GOP And Slavery

Are we watching the death throes of the Republican Party?

On Irish Austerity

The Austerity people are still at it, although there is no evidence that it is an economic policy that makes sense.  Look at Ireland.

A Senate Budget At Last!

After four years, the Senate has finally come up with a federal budget, and if it is not as effective as the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Coming Events at Haverford College

A listing of lectures, concerts, and art shows at Haverford College in the next few weeks.

Webinar On Foreign Bases 3/21

The United States spends some $170 billion every year on military bases and other military presence in other countries, but this presence and its cost often go unnoticed in the United States.

Anthropologist researchers David Vine (American University) and Catherine Lutz (Brown University) will help you understand the far-flung and massive U.S. military presence in more than 100 countries, and how to obtain information you can use in the current budget debates, in solidarity with impacted communities in other countries, and to understand material expression of empire.

Join us for this free webinar sponsored by FOR!

Unraveling the Pentagon's Foreign Presence
A free webinar on researching U.S. bases and bringing troops home

Thursday, March 21, 2:00 PM Eastern/11:00 AM PacificRegister for this free webinar

Catherine LutzDavid VineThe webinar will be led by David Vine (author of Island of Shame, on the U.S. military base in Diego Garcia and extensive articles on U.S. foreign bases), hosted by John Lindsay-Poland (author of Emperors in the Jungle: The Hidden History of the U.S. in Panama), with comments by Catherine Lutz (author of Empire of Bases and director of the Costs of War project).

Who is this webinar for?

  • people active in current campaigns to ensure cuts in the Pentagon budget
  • members of diaspora communities from countries affected by U.S. military bases
  • anyone seeking a more just and demilitarized foreign policy

This webinar is open to everyone, so please spread the word to friends, colleagues and activists!

John Lindsay-Poland
Research and Advocacy Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation

Fellowship of Reconciliation | P.O. Box 271, Nyack, NY 10960

Think American Anti-corruption Act!


Woodie Guthre's 100th

Now, a hundred years after his birth, there's still truth in Woodie Guthrie and good  news too.

Brandywine Peace Events

Here's a listing of the many events planned by Brandywine Peace Community.  Come out, welcome spring, and join your Brandywine brothers and sisters.

"The Gatekeepers" At BMFI

The film "The Gatekeepers" begins a run on Friday, March 15, at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Israel’s Shin Bet counterterrorism security agency, this riveting, Oscar-nominated documentary expertly articulates the brutal recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rated PG-13, the film is 1hr, 35 min.

Link to the Official Site

Link to Reviews

You can click times below to buy tickets.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Here's The Back To Work Budget!

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has released details about its "Back To Work Budget."  This is an exciting alternative to the draconian GOP Ryan Budget.  Back to work creates seven million new jobs in one year and cuts the deficit by $4.4 trillion.  It does it by raising taxes on higher wages and investments, restoring grants to the states to enable rehiring of thousands of laid-off teachers, police, firemen, and social workers, and cutting military spending (particularly bringing the troops home from Afghanistan).  It will be proposed as an amendment to the Ryan Budget.  Click the link to learn about it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sign up to support the congressional bill that will stop this lobbying.  Go to Big Coal spent $17,341,948 lobbying Congress in 2012. Childhood asthma increased up to 50% in the last 10yrs. Hey Congress, what's worth more: $17mil or air for our kids?

Stop Lobbyist Bribery at

Tell Congress to Represent.Us, not the lobbyists!

Sources: Tracking Money In Politics

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Scott Brown Joins A Lobbying Firm

You thought the law required senators to take off two years before becoming lobbyists.  Just call them something else.  Kay Baily Hutchinson did it.  Newt Gingrich did it (a "consulting historian"!).  This is just  the sort of shenanigans that the American Anti-corruption Act will stop.  Its second point: call lobbyists lobbyists.

Getting Your Congressman's Attention

Most of us regularly send e-mails or phone calls to our congresspersons or other members of congress in important positions.  Does it do any good?  This article looks at a serious study of the question and comes up with some good advice.  Still not answered: are FAX messages effective?
Lobbyists don't always bribe politicians with money. Sometimes, they offer them a ridiculously cushy job instead. How cushy, you ask? On average, a 1452% raise from their salary in Congress. Wow! 

If that makes you a little... oh I don't know... angry!? Check out the - and help us put an end to Lobbyist Bribery

The Gateway Issue

The American Anti-Corruption Act

If you ask the man (or woman) on the street why Congress can’t get anything done, he (or she) will almost certainly blame it on money – the huge sums that corporations and their lobbyists sluice through Capitol Hill every day.  No matter what your favorite cause is – cutting military spending, saving the environment, improving transportation, reforming education, reducing health care costs – you won’t get it done because of money – corruption.  And if it’s not campaign money that’s offered, it’s the opportunity of a high-paying job in a lobbying firm.  So the American Anti-Corruption Act is the gateway issue. Until we fix this problem, we’ll make no progress anywhere else.

About the Act

The Act was crafted by former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter in consultation with dozens of strategists, democracy reform leaders, and constitutional attorneys from across the political spectrum.

The Act would transform how elections are financed, how lobbyists influence politics, and how political money is disclosed. It’s a sweeping proposal that would reshape the rules of American politics, and restore ordinary Americans as the most important stakeholders instead of the major donors. The Act enjoys support from progressives and conservatives alike.

Constitutional attorneys confirm that the provisions are constitutional. The Act is being championed by the Represent.Us campaign.

Why Not A Constitutional Amendment ?

We wish our friends at MoveToAmend well, but we think a constitutional amendment won’t do the job because (1) it won’t cover all the details of lobbying and bundling, and (2) an amendment will not only require a 2/3 vote in each house of congress (!) but also ratification by 38 states (!!).

What Are the Provisions of AACA?            The actual 11-page bill:

1)      Prohibit congresspersons from soliciting contributions from the interests they regulate.

2)      Expand the definition of and register ALL lobbyists.

3)      Toughen rules regarding coordination between Super PACS and campaigns.

4)      Empower voters by creating a $100 tax rebate for contributions to candidates.

5)      Require disclosure of names of “bundlers.”

6)      Close the lobby “revolving door” by instituting a 7 year moratorium on transfers of personnel to lobbies.

7)      Limit lobbyist donations to candidates, parties, and committees.

8)      Require full and fast disclosure of funding sources for all political ads.

9)      Enforce the rules.  Strengthen the Federal Elections Commission and the congressional ethics enforcement processes.

What’s The Plan?  To "sponsor" the bill, go to

1)      Start collecting signatures of citizen “sponsors” by internet and signed petitions through 2013.

2)      In November, 2013, have the bill introduced in both houses with 1,000,000 sponsoring signatures.  As of 3/11/13 more than 338,039 have signed.

3)      Inform congressmen who don’t support AACA they will be opposed in primaries and general elections in 2014.

Single Payer Health Care

Single Payer (also called "medicare for all") is on the table again.  Obamacare will not solve the very real problems with healthcare, but it does allow individual states to withdraw from its provisions and establish their own systems.  Vermont is very near to doing that, and Pennsylvania could be.  For details, go to and read this link by the movement's leader, Chuck Pennacchio.

Monday, March 11, 2013

From "Too Much" Magazine

Add another casualty — the cultural sector — to the toll that high levels of inequality exact from society. Two Polish sociologists, Tomasz Szlendak and Arkadiusz Karwacki, have published new research that compares levels of cultural activity across 22 European Union nations. In more equal societies, the two researchers note in the journal International Sociology, people attend more theatrical performances, visit more art museums, and read more books. What’s shoving time for culture aside in more unequal nations? Wider income gaps, Szlendak and Karwacki suspect, raise the profile of high-status material goods and shift people’s focus onto work-related activities that can help them afford these high-status goods — at the expense of less visible cultural activities . . .
Henry KravisThis January, for the first time ever, over 50,000 people slept every night in New York City’s homeless shelters. The number of homeless families in New York overall has soared 18 percent since last year. Also soaring: the pay of Wall Street’s top private equity execs. At KKR, Henry Kravis and George Roberts pulled in $207.9 million in dividends alone last year. Their 2011 dividend total: $128.4 million. Making the windfalls even sweeter: The “fiscal cliff” tax deal enacted in January continues the preferential tax treatment of dividend income. On their 2012 tax return, that preferential treatment will save Kravis and Roberts alone over $40 million, nearly enough to restore state funding for a program ended in 2011 that subsidized rent for families leaving homeless shelters . . .
India’s top economic analyst suggested earlier this year that India’s rich ought to pay more in taxes. India’s rich promptly erupted. Higher tax rates, the Times of India intoned, would only “encourage tax evasion.” But tax evasion is already running wild in India, despite a tax rate that has maxed out since 1997 at a mere 30 percent, less than a third India’s top rate 40 years ago. Only 42,800 Indians today admit to making over $180,000 in U.S. dollars. Observers estimate India boasts at least ten times that many high-earners. The just-announced latest Indian budget raises the top tax rate on India’s rich only to 34 percent. Even so, the rich are still complaining — and threatening to exit India. They won’t be going anywhere, retorts finance minister P. Chidambaram. Where else but India, he asks, could a rich person “afford to employ” as many servants

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Moyers & Co And Lincoln

Moyers & Co presents an encore of its program about Lincoln and what he can still teach us more than a century since his death.  PBS at Noon Sunday, in Philadelphia Channel 12 WHYY-TV.  Or click on this link to watch it now.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Healthcare4AllPA Newsletter
Education Fund
March, 2013
Executive Director

David Steil
Bob Mason,

Vice President
Cindy Purvis
Walter Tsou, M.D., M.P.H.
Education Fund
Carolyn Barber (Pittsburgh)
Mike Doyle (Philadelphia)
Jerry Policoff (Lancaster)
Kate Loving Shenk, R.N. (Lancaster)
Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Ph.D.
Scott Tyson M.D. (Pittsburgh)
Study proves that single-payer health care is best for Pennsylvanians and for the Commonwealth's economy
A single-payer health care plan will save Pennsylvania families, businesses and tax payers $17 billion annually while providing comprehensive health care to all, according to an economic impact study released today.
Commissioned by Health Care for All PA, a statewide non-profit organization, the study was conducted by University of Massachusetts - Amherst professor of economics Gerald Friedman, Ph.D.
It compares the cost of the current for-profit health insurance model in Pennsylvania under which provider choice is limited and health services are rationed by health insurance companies to that of a consumer-driven health care system which gives people freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals and health care providers.
The legislation to create this single-payer system will be re-introduced in the Pennsylania Senate (Senate Bill 400) on March 19 by Senator Jim Ferlo. The name of this state-based, consumer-driven health care system will be The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan.
Some of the important advantages of The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan are:
Comprehensive coverage for every resident of Pennsylvania, including dental, vision, mental health and prescription drug services;
Eliminates the need for hospitals to absorb the cost of care for the uninsured;
Reduces bureaucracy for private physicians resulting in reduced administrative costs and
improved compensation for private physicians;
Reduces or eliminates health insurance over-costs for small business, allowing for more job
creation, greater reinvestment of profits, and reduced workers' compensation costs;
Radically reduces the total cost of health care to levels more consistent with costs in the rest of the industrialized world.
A one-page Executive Summary along with the full text of the Economic Impact Study is available on our website:
Please spread the word. Contact your friends and legislators. Help us with donations for advertising and speaker transportation costs. Health care for all IS possible in Pennsylvania, but only if we demand it.

Sound good to you? Help us fight for it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

On The Death Of Hugo Chavez

The death of Hugo Chavez calls all of us to consider his story and his legacy.  This article  by Tariq Ali in The Guardian does a very good job.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reality Check For "Moderates" - Indisputable Visual Proof That The System is Rigged

H/T Daily Kos user "Ray Pensador":

It's Time For Single Payer in Pennsylvania!

Here's a good-news message from Dr. Walter Tsou about the economic impact statement now released about the advantages of replacing Obamacare with a single-payer system in Pennsylvania.  Time for all to get on board!

After several years, we have finally released an independent study by Univ. of Mass health economist, Gerald Friedman on the impact of a state single payer plan for Pennsylvania. The study and its findings can be found at The bottom line is that we can provide better care while SAVING $17 billion annually, more than enough to help fund our schools and roads and bridges. The economic boost that a state single payer plan would give Pennsylvania is enough to reverse the tremendous cuts being forced upon us in the state. NO other proposal could save us this much in state funding. On March 19, Sen. Jim Ferlo from Pittsburgh will be introducing his state single payer plan for the Commonwealth. Time for all Pennsylvanians who want to see a better Commonwealth to tell their legislators that it is time for a single payer plan.

Study Proves That Single-Payer Health Care is Best for Pennsylvanians And For the Commonwealth’s Economy
Erie, Pennsylvania February 26, 2013 -- Health Care for All PA, a statewide non-profit organization today released an economic impact study. The results prove that a single-payer health care plan will save families, businesses and tax payers $17 billion annually while at the same time providing comprehensive health care to all.
This study was done by University of Massachusetts – Amherst professor of economics Gerald Friedman, Ph.D. It compares the cost of the current for-profit health insurance model in Pennsylvania whereby provider choice is limited and health services are rationed by health insurance companies to that of a consumer-driven health care system which lets people have the freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals and health care providers.
Some of the important advantages of a single-payer system are:
· Comprehensive coverage for every resident of Pennsylvania, including dental, vision and mental health services;
· Eliminates the need for hospitals to absorb the cost of care for the uninsured;
· Reduces bureaucracy for private physicians resulting in reduced administrative costs and improved compensation for private physicians;
· Reduces or eliminates health insurance over-costs for small business, allowing for more job creation, greater reinvestment of profits, and reduced workers’ compensation costs.
· Radically reduces the total cost of health care to levels more consistent with costs in the rest of the industrialized world.


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The Plutocrats Are Not Here Tonight

Here's the beautiful old Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, now mostly condos and mostly dark. Why?  The plutocrats who own these units have so many homes scattered around the posh world that they spend only a few nights each year here.  These are the super rich - the 1% of the 1%.  If you're interested in learning more about them, you might enjoy Chrystia Freeland's "The Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else," reviewed below by Martin Wolf.

"Chrystia Freeland has written a fascinating account of perhaps the most important economic and political development of our era: the rise of a new plutocracy. She explains that today’s wealthy are different from their predecessors: more skilled and more global; and more often employees than owners, notably so in finance and high technology. By putting together stories of individuals with reading of the scholarly evidence, she gives us a clear view of what many will view as a not so brave new world."
--Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator for the Financial Times

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

LIKE if you think Al Gore hit the nail on the head.

Here Comes "Austerity Economics"

Social Security used to be called "the third rail" of American politics.  Anyone who touched it was in serious trouble.  But now, in pursuit of some sort of "grand bargain," the President and Congressional Democrats are offering to monkey with it to gain concessions from Republicans.  Call your Congressperson (202-224-3121) and tell him or her to leave the social safety net alone.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Where's The Money In America?

This six-minute video is called "Wealth Inequality In America."  You'll probably be amazed not only by the inequality, but also by the average American's total lack of understanding of the reality of wealth distribution in this country.

Help Prevent An Iran War

The run-up to war doesn’t happen overnight. It’s made up of small steps to slowly build acceptance for the idea of military action.

A group of senators have introduced just such a bill that urges US military and other support if Israel attacks Iran. Tell your senators to oppose this backdoor to war with Iran.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful lobbying group with hawkish positions on Iran, is marching on the Hill this week, bringing thousands of supporters to DC to lobby in favor of this bill.

It is very difficult for senators to say no to pressure to support this bill if they aren’t hearing from the other side. Your senators need to hear from you right now.

While the resolution is nonbinding, it sends a very dangerous message. When powerful senators from both parties officially announce that the US should back Israel in the event of an ill-conceived attack on Iran, it undermines ongoing diplomatic efforts and normalizes the idea of bombing Iran.

We know an attack on Iran would be shortsighted and tragic. Let your senators know you’re not going to sit back quietly while they take us on a path toward war. Take action now.

Thank you.

Rebecca Griffin
Political Director
Peace Action West

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Selma Again

It was forty-eight years ago today that John Lewis and others set out to walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.  The police had other ideas.  From that struggle came the modern civil rights movement.  Now we have members of the Supreme Court who question the need for a Voting Rights Act.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Stand Up Against These Deadly Priorities, Tuesday, March 5, Noon, in front of the Delaware County Courthouse, Media, PA 19063

Members of Congress left the Capitol yesterday for their home districts, and today the long awaited and threatened "sequester" goes into effect, mandating cuts in Federal spending across the board.

That's wrong, deadly wrong! Its unjust that our communities and people should have to pay for priorities that got us into this mess -- priorities that give and give to the Pentagon, its wars, and the greed of its military contractors, in the hundreds of billions year after year.

The demand for real cuts to the Pentagon must be kept on the table during any budget negotiations that happen this year and human needs spending must be protected.

This Coming Tuesday, March 5, from Noon - 1p.m.
Plan to stand up against these deadly priorities, Stand for justice, and for peace, in front of the Delaware County Courthouse, Front Street and Veterans Square, in (Everybody's Hometown) Media, Delaware County.

Hold the banner above which illustrates the reality we face.
Military spending is killing us and we must save ourselves and our communities.

Join with members of Chester Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and its Peace Center of Delaware County. Other banners and signs will be available from the Peace Center of Delaware County, the Brandywine Peace Community, Main Line Peace Action, and other groups.