Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hensarling And The Banksters

Is the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in bed with the banksters?  No, he just goes skiing with them.  If this sort of thing really gets you upset, you should co-sponsor The American Anti-corruption Act.  More than 360,739 other citizens have, and we plan to have a million signatures by the end of the year.  Go to to sign on.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Let's Just Say It....

Those who watched Moyers & Co. today heard from Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, authors of "It's Even Worse Than It Looks."  Especially intriguing were references to their Washington Post op-ed piece, "Let's Just Say It: The Republicans Are the Problem."  You might be interested in reading what they had to say about gridlock and government dysfunction way back a year ago: April 27, 2012.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

far 130427

Don't Upset The Frequent Flyers

The whole point of the sequester was that it would pinch everyone, and everyone would  get serious about the budget.  That was until the 1% started getting pinched. Furloughs and layoffs for air traffic controllers caused flight delays, and we couldn't have that, could we?  In two shakes of a lamb's tail, the Congress passed legislation to take air travel out of the sequester.  Not day care, or meals on wheels, or national parks.  Just the flyers.  All 1% of them. Congress - especially the Democrats - should be ashamed.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Robin Stelly's photo.

How Many Triangle Fires Must There Be?

Kathy Black
Today is Workers' Memorial Day in Philadelphia. This morning, hundreds of union activists, OSHA officials and family members of workers killed on the job broke bread, marched, offered condolences and pledged to work harder to make jobs safer. We remembered the first responders in West, Texas killed by a fertilizer plant explosion, the hundreds of garment workers killed in a garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, and the 147 from our tri-state area killed at work last year. As Mother Jones famously said, "Mourn for the dead; fight like hell for the living." Rest in peace, sisters and brothers.


This is a Facebook posting by Kathy Black.

Who Believes In Austerity?

While the austerity doctrine seems to have imploded, austerity has strengthened its grip on elite opinion.  Our favorite economist tells us why.

First Friday Film At Brandywine Peace

Peace Center of Delaware County First-Friday Free Large Screen Film Series, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064.Friday, May 3, at 7p.m.5 BROKEN CAMERAS(Palestinian-Israeli-French Co-Production, Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, 90 minutes, Not Rated, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles, Music by Le Trio Joubran.)

The 2013 Oscar-nominated "Best Documentary Feature", 5 BROKEN CAMERAS is a deeply personal, first-hand account of life and non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements, whose very sustenance is threatened by the Israeli West Bank Separation Wall.

Shot by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, Gibreel, the film was co-directed by Burnat and Israeli filmmaker, Guy Davidi.

Structured in chapters around the destruction of each one of Burnat's cameras by Israeli soldiers, the film follows one family's evolution over five years of village upheaval
as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify, and lives are lost. The film is a cinematic diary that provides us with an unparalleled record of Palestinian life under Israeli military occupation.
Doors open at 6:30p.m. for light refreshments.
For more information and directions, visit or call 610-544-1818.
Co-sponsored by the Brandywine Peace Community.

This is why we March

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Close Down PNC!

Here's a wonderful news story (not too many of those lately) about Pittsburgh activists closing down a PNC Bank shareholders meeting in protest against the bank's financing mountaintop coal removal.  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said that if the American people could see what mountaintop removal is doing to the Appalachians, they would rise up.

"Why We Fight" At Friends Center

Nowhere is it written that the U.S. Empire will go on forever...
The price we pay for militarism and war.

Wed., May 1, 6:30p.m. - 9:30p.m.The American Friends Service Committee and Envision Peace Museum invite you to
Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Phila., PA 19102
for a screening of Eugene Jarecki's
Powerful Documentary WHY WE FIGHT
and Discussion

2005, 98 mins., Rated PG-13. See trailer at

Film Followed by Talking Circles...

Permanent War Economy/Pentagon ProfiteersBob Smith, Brandywine Peace Community

The Drone WarPeter Lems, American Friends Service Committee

Anti-recruitmentCassie MacDonald, Brigid House, Camden NJ

Empire/Dominant Cultural MythsJohn Grant, Journalist, Veterans for Peace

For more information: (215)-244-7170

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Letter To The Inquirer

Overvaluing the One Percent
The cuts to Social Security and Medicare that President Obama promoted in his budget are not only wildly unpopular, but likely to accomplish nothing that could not be done more fairly (“Obama tackles entitlements,” April 11).

The budget eliminates the recent automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget, when these modest cuts would more than pay for whatever will be saved by hurting seniors, children, and the disabled. Why would the president give the bloated Pentagon budget a pass and target the most successful legacy of the New Deal? The answer lies in what he consults: Wall Street, which stands to gain from diverting funds from Social Security and continuing to throw money at the weapons industry.
A budget is a values statement, and this budget shows where the president’s true values lie: with the 1 percent, not with the rest of us.
A letter from Jane Swift Dugdale in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/22/13.

Join The AACA Campaign!

Please join the campaign to collect 1,000,000 signatures for the American Anti-Corruption Act.  Just click the link.
At the end of 2013 we want to present our petitions (we already have more than 350,000 signers as of this morning) to the Congress and to each and every congressperson, asking for reform of the corruption that has so thoroughly taken over our legislative process.
That'll do it!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Letter To "Inky"

  • 15 Apr 2013
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer

Bang-bang not best for U.S. bucks

Commentator John M. Rosenberg’s depiction of the Afghan National Army as illiterate kindergartners staffing a sham force was disturbing and disappointing (“Afghan forces, a study in contrasts,” April 3). If this is what you can buy for a trillion dollars, I want my money back.
And then, I want a fully funded Postal Service that does not bill pension funds in advance to make the service look like a loser. I want a Medicare system that allows it to bargain with drug companies on prescription prices now accelerating the system’s financial and actuarial problems. I want a fully funded and staffed Interstate Commerce Commission to break up banks and horizontal monopolies, which have become the trusts of the 21st century. In other words, put America to work on America.
Ben Burrows, Elkins Park

Tax Wall Street!

Read John Nichols of The Nation on the proposed Robin Hood Tax.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gabby Gives 'Em Hell

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has some forceful things to say in the wake of the Senate's disgusting performance yesterday.  Worth a read.

"Don't Be A Good German"

Biologist, mother, activist Sandra Steingraber talks with Bill Moyers this Sunday on saving the environment.  She compares our plight to the seemingly hopeless days of The Third Reich.  "I don't want to be a good German," she says.  I want to be with the French Resistance and struggle in every way I can.  Moyers & Co is on PBS, WHYY-TV Channel 12, in Philadelphia at Noon on Sunday.  Here's a sneak preview.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is Obama Our Leader?

Howard Dean has raised the question of whether Obama is really the leader of the progressive Democrats.  His latest incredible wobble on the subject of Social Security and the cost of living comes after more than four years of failure to close Guantanamo, attack global warming, adopt a single payer health system.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Best Congress Money Can Buy

'Congress Repeals Financial Disclosure Requirements For Senior U.S. Officials'

Source: NPR News

"Joining the Senate, the House of Representatives approved a measure today that repeals a requirement that top government officials post financial disclosures on the Internet.

The House, like the Senate, acted quietly without a vote. Instead, they sent the measure to the president's desk by unanimous consent.

The provision was part of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (Stock), which became law in March of 2012. The act was intended to stop members of congress from profiting from nonpublic information..."
"...The Sunlight Foundation, which advocates for a more open government, called today's repeal an "epic failure..."

Bill Moyers & Company

Don't miss Moyers & Co on PBS, Sunday, April 14 (In Philadelphia: WHYY-TV, Channel 12, Noon) with stories, among other things, about economic inequality and Native Americans.  Click the link for details.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Events At Haverford College
On Tax Day, join with people around the country and the world in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS),
Join us on Monday, April 15, 7:30A.M. - 9A.M.
U.S. Tax Day - Global Day of Action on Military Spending
69th Street SEPTA Terminal, corner of 69th & Market Streets (under the footbridge), Upper Darby, PA

Sponsored by: Brandywine Peace Community, Main Line Peace Action, PA Progressive Democrats of America, and the Peace Center of Delaware County.

For more information visit:
Events at or
or call (610) 544-1818 or 484-380-2222

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Money in politics is not the most important problem, but it is the first one, upon which all others now depend.

Find out why:

The Mysterious Senate

Things are strange in the Senate these days.  There's much talk about guns and immigration, although there's little assurance that the talk will translate into action.  Senators Toomey and Manchin held a press conference about background checks, and New York's Senator Chuck Schumer stayed off the podium.  Now, it is a well known fact that the fastest way to commit suicide is to get yourself between Chuck Schumer and a live TV camera, but he stayed far away from Toomey. This action and the other activities in or near the Senate have an air of unreality.  Gail Collins has some thoughts.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On Obama's Proposed 2014 Budget

Five things you should know from our friends at National Priorities Project.  It should be noted that Obama is the first Democratic President who ever proposed cutting Social Security benefits.  Call your Congressperson at 202-224-3121.
April 14 - Sunday - 4:30 potluck dinner.  University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut Street, Philly.  Brandywine Peace.  5:30 program: "American Autumn," 59-minute documentary about Occupy Wall Street by Dennis Trainor (2012).

Presente: Mary Jo McArthur
(Oct. 27, 1947 - Mar. 23, 2013)

Memorial for Mary Jo
This Saturday, April 13, at 11A.M.

@St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church,
4625 Springfield Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143
(47th Street and Springfield Avenue
) located on the 900 block of south 47th Street

9th Station: Jesus Falls the 3rd Time (Stations of the Cross), from the Brandywine Peace Community's Good Friday Stations of Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Resistance to Lockheed Martin

Daniel Berrigan once described the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor and martyred resister to Nazi Germany, this way: "He said his prayers, he told the truth, and then he died."

Anyone who has over the past four decades been at Lockheed Martin or elsewhere with the Brandywine Peace Community or any number of other groups from Philadelphia to Washington, DC would have seen Mary Jo McArthur -- holding a sign, gripping a banner, standing, walking, getting arrested, doing what was just a matter of fact for her - quietly standing up for justice, saying her prayers, doing peace, caring about and serving others.

Last Saturday, March 23, Mary Jo McArthur died. Her passing was with the same peace in which she acted over and over and over and over, again and again, without bluster, or argument, with just a matter of fact-ness that says, in effect, this is where I am, I know what happens here, and this is what I do…knowing full well what would happen.

Mary Jo is still with us here today, in the prayer of St Ignatius that she said daily and she asked Bernadette Cronin-Geller to bring with her here today.

“ Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. Everything is yours, do with it what You will. Give me only Your Love and Your grace, for this is enough for me.”

Mary Jo McArthur, Presente, and eternal love


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hope For Health Care!

In  this 3-minute video, Steven Brill talks about the cover story he wrote for Time magazine and about the reasons for our outrageously high health care costs.  But there's hope:  Pennsylvania State Senator John Ferlo (D-Pittsburgh) has introduced a bill (SB400) to replace Obamare in PA with a single payer program.  Call your State Senator to make sure he's supporting the bill.  For details, go to,32068,2178453595001_2136781,00.html

End Corruption In Washington!

Please go to and become a co-sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act, the one piece of legislation that can bring our federal government back to the people.

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 Congressional corruption is the gateway issue. Until we fix this problem, we’ll make no progress anywhere else. The American Anti-corruption Act will fix it.

Questions About the Act? Call 855-585-8100.

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? Become a “sponsor” at

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 this morning more than 348,424 have signed.

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

Drone Warfare From Horsham

In a spillover from the Afghanistan War, U.S. unmanned drones have killed
scores of civilians in Pakistan. There are now plans to open a drone war
command center in Horsham, near Philadelphia.
This forum will discuss why we must oppose this murderous military


Tabernacle Church

3700 Chestnut St. Philadelphia

Sponsor: Philly Against War Info: (610) 544-1818, (856) 220-7188

Endorsers: Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia International Action
Center, Green Party of Philadelphia ( <> ],
Socialist Action, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

A free public forum with:

. Hamzah Saif

Pakistan-Afghanistan Editor at Ajam Media Collec-tive; authors the Pakistan
column at the Washing-ton Report on Middle East Affairs; contributor to
numerous journals of social commentary.

. Peter Lems

American Friends Service Committee

. Marjorie Van Cleef

Womens' International League for Peace and Freedo


Monday, April 8, 2013

The High-end Real Estate Market

Does outrageously high pay turn otherwise reasonable bankers into reckless cutthroats? Or does outrageous pay attract reckless cutthroats into banking? The author of a just-published review of business ethics at Barclays, the scandal-ridden British banking giant, can’t seem to make up his mind. Anthony Salz, a banker himself, conducted 600 interviews before releasing his 244-page report last week. Excessive pay, he found, “contributed significantly to a sense among a few that they were somehow unaffected by the rules.” But “elevated pay levels,” he also notes, “inevitably distort culture, tending to attract people who measure their personal success principally on compensation.” Between 2002 and 2009, 60 bankers at Barclays annually carved up over $258 million in bonuses . . .
Martin ZweigThe financier Martin Zweig loved to live large — and high. Back in 1999, Zweig paid a record $21.5 million for a 16-room spread at the top of the classic Pierre hotel tower just off Central Park in Manhattan. The maintenance fee for his new pad: $30,000 a month. Five years after moving in, Zweig tried to sell his posh digs. He asked $70 million, couldn't get it, and then pulled the apartment off the market. Zweig passed away this past February, at age 70. Now his widow, amid a Manhattan luxury boom, has placed the apartment back on the market — for $125 million. A sale at that price would set a new New York record for a luxury residence, more than $30 million over the current high mark . . .
The soaring market for Manhattan high-end property, a new Christie’s International Real Estate study reports, reflects an even broader global surge. Residential real estate, Christie’s CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers notes, has become “a tale of two markets — luxury and everything else.” Among the global hot spots: Miami, where South American buyers are collecting $5 million-and-up properties at a furious rate. The wealthy South Americans, says Christie’s, are worrying about “their own local economic conditions.” Their latest worry: Lawmakers in Argentina have just adopted legislation that limits the standard workweek for domestic workers in private residential service to 48 hours, mandates overtime pay, and sets a minimum age of 16 for domestic work
From Toomuch online by the Institute for Policy Studies.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mellon Was Almost Always Wrong

Andrew Mellon gave the nation the National Gallery of Art.  It may have been the only good thing he ever did for his country.  President of Pittsburgh's Mellon Bank, he was Herbert Hoover's Secretary of the Treasury, and when the Depression hit, his advice to the President was to let events take their course.  "It will purge the rottenness out of the system."  John Maynard Keynes and about eighty years of economic history have shown that he and the "liquidationists" are dead wrong.  Paul Krugman writes about "The Urge to Purge."
If GMOs don't ruin your appetite, this might.

Friday, April 5, 2013

MLK And Economic Justice

On Moyers & Co. this week, Bill joins historian Taylor Branch and theologian James Cone to talk about Martin Luther King's other dream: economic justice.  This program is on PBS - In Philadelphia WHYY-TV Channel 12 at Noon on Sunday.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hey Congress! Can You See Me Now?

Join the dollar run on Saturday, 2pm, April 13, from K Street to Capitol Hill.  Details:

Save The Bees!

This article about honeybees, Monsanto, and Bayer ought to get you mad.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

[020] A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill:

Let's Build A Pipeline!

An Exxon pipeline in Arkansas broke Friday, and although the mass media didn't seem to be in a hurry to cover the story, here's a video from a residential street where it happened.  This is especially worrisome as the State Department decides whether to permit the Keystone XL pipeline across the United States to deliver Alberta tarsands oil to an export depot in Texas.  The argument seems to be that getting our oil from Canada will be preferable to getting it from the Middle East.  The argument should be that if  it (oil, coal, gas, whatever) is in the ground, it should stay in the ground, and we should be building a sustainable energy system that will obviate this sort of thing.  Call the State Department and register your opposition.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Defund The F-35

We have to stop the F-35, the most expensive weapons system in history, before it stops us.

A Meeting About AMTRAK 04/15/13

Sustainable transportation: The future of Amtrak and high speed rail
Craig Caldwell of Amtrak will speak at a meeting of the Sierra Club of Southeastern Pennsylvania and CCP Coalition for a Sustainable Future that will be held 6:45 p.m. Monday, April 15 at Community College of Philadelphia's Center for Business and Industry.

The center is located at the northeast corner of 18th and Callowhill streets. The meeting will be held in room C2-5 on the second floor. The entrance is on Callowhill Street.

Amtrak is a corporation subsidized by the federal government to provide rail passenger service nationwide. A train is more efficient and has fewer greenhouse gas emissions per ton carried than a car, plane or ship. The northeast corridor is Amtrak's most profitable route. High speed rail even faster than Amtrak's Acela Express is being considered from New York City to Albany and Chicago to Detroit.

For more information, contact

Another Day Of Senate Bribery

In 2009, when Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it laid a 2.9% tax on medical devices to help cover the cost of care to the uninsured.  Now the device industry is moving slowly but steadily to repeal that tax.  The ways they seem to be prevailing, massive contributions to campaign chests, sponsored junkets to visit plants and conferences, are just the sort of bribery the American Anti-Corruption Act forbids.  This is an editorial from the New York Times.  You are invited to visit the websites and to learn more about this legislation that will prevent such  bribery and will restore government to the people.

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's Happening At Haverford?

A listing of coming events at Haverford College, in most cases free to the public.

Join Us On Tax Day - April 15!


April 15, 2013 – No Taxes for the F35 Day

Main Line Peace Action and Brandywine Peace will leaflet and show off our big banners at SEPTA’s 69th Street Terminal (Market & 69th Streets) to help our commuting brothers and sisters mark Tax Day – April 15 – from 7:30 to 9am.   Come join us!

On Tax Day April 15, will you join us to protest the F35?

F35 military aircraft is the most expensive failure in US history. It’s broken and no amount of our tax dollars will repair it. It has been in production for so long, national security experts say we don’t even need it now.

We need jobs and community services, not failed weapons systems. And the workers who produce the F35, deserve a better deal. Instead of being dependant on ever newer weapons for good paying jobs, they deserve an economy that creates jobs for our future, for the good of our country and the planet.

A federal budget funded by our taxes which priorities wars, weapons, tax write offs for the rich and corporate tax loopholes over jobs and human services is intolerable.

April 15 No Taxes for F35 Day! Will you join us on April 15?

On April 15, around the world, communities will be speaking out on the toll that global military spending takes on solving our planets most pressing problems.

The Stockholm International Research Institute (SIPRI) releases its annual report on global military spending on April 15. Of course, the US will be the big spender, in fact, the biggest spender.

The Congress is a big spender of our tax dollars on contracts with military corporations who are making mega profits as human services are being gutted.

The F35 is the most dramatic example of a Pentagon budget bloated by over a decade of free for all spending without audits.

On No Taxes for F35 Day, will you join us as we bring together community groups who are hit the hardest by the federal budget cuts to press our Congressional representatives, to stop wasting our tax dollars on the wasteful Pentagon budget and invest in our communities.

1. Join or organize a delegation of community groups to press your Congressional delegation to put our tax dollars towards programs that will secure our future, not military contracts building useless weapons.

2. Help organize or participate in a banner drop, do a die-in at a federal plaza or a main post office to send the message that we need jobs, community services, not mega profits for military corporations for a secure future.

3. Write letters to the editor and demand that we stop the madness and end the Lockheed Martin’s F35 feeding frenzy. Prioritize jobs creation that builds up our communities, not drains the tax dollars for military corporations mega profits!

Resources for letters to the editor, background information on the federal budget, downloadable fact sheets, leaflets and posters are all available at

Monsanto Adrift

Monsanto is like a large ship that has lost its ethical moorings and is now drifting around the harbor destroying everything.