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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Representing your best interests? Or special interests?

Bernie Sanders And Privacy

Our favorite senator has proposed legislation that would curb the administration's headlong rush to 1984.

Obama And Transparency

In 2008 Obama promised us a transparent open government.  What we've gotten is a record of suppression of reporters and whistleblowers that out-Nixons Nixon.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Health Care Profit

Michael Moore said that making a profit off someone else's illness is unspeakable.  Well, in the New York area that's what's happening, and the profiteers are equity funds.  Think of a less appropriate owner of a hospital than a warm, fuzzy equity fund.  The tide toward privatization swells, and it is the nurses who are fighting our fight.

Friday, June 21, 2013

An Interesting Turn On Single Payer

Say what you want about the doings of Anthony D. Weiner, he is a leading candidate for mayor of New York and has galvanized a previously sleepy race by proposing that the city set up a single-payer health system and serve as an example to the rest of the country of what such a system can do.  For more on local single-payer efforts, go to  To read about Weiner's plans, click this link.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It doesn't have to be illegal to be called bribery or corruption

Resist Privatization

We heard Wendell Young argue against privatization in a citizens' forum about Pennsylvania's state liquor stores the other night.  The arguments for this push in Pennsylvania are as specious as arguments for it everywhere.  It is highway robbery.  It is taking the structures of our civilization and handing them over to the malefactors of great wealth - all the way from hiring corporations to do KP for our troops in Iraq to selling the Turnpike and your local school.  Resist it at every turn!  Read what he has to say.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dark Money In Political Campaigns

Tom Edsall had a great deal to say yesterday about the cancerous proliferation of 501(c)3's, 501(c)4's, and so forth.  They claim tax exempt status (and are shocked, shocked when the IRS questions that) and pour money into political campaigns.  We think the American Anti-corruption Act would help clean this up.  See  Click the link and read this NY Times Opinionator piece.

Call Your Congressperson Today!

Help End Wasteful Pentagon Spending to Fund Jobs & Community Services

Today and tomorrow the House of Representatives will decide to write an over  $600 billion check to the Pentagon, while sequester cuts to community programs go on every week in our communities. Seventy-five thousand public workers have been laid off so far this year alone.

While our communities lack money for vital services, should growing Pentagon waste really be our nation’s over $600 billion priority? The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA) is being voted on NOW. It will set policy and authorize funds for over $600 billion in Pentagon and war spending.

The good news is, we still have time to act on Thursday and Friday this week – there are a number of sensible amendments on the table to reduce this unaffordable giveaway.

Call your Congressional Representatives with this toll free number 877-429-0678

• Ask that they support amendments that cut wasteful weapons systems so e can move that money to fund community programs. (There are a number that would do just that out of the 172 that will be voted on.)

• Ask for support for Amendment number 32 - Top line Cut submitted by Congressperson Nolan (MN) that would reduce funds authorized in the NDAA by $60 billion. This is a step in the right direction!

Let’s stop this swindle and invest in people – not Pentagon waste!

Contact your House Representative today with this toll free number 877-429-0678

For a full listing of money-saving amendments that are on the table, please go to the Peace Blog here.

Together, we can move the money from wasteful Pentagon spending to fund jobs and community services.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sheldon Whitehouse Tells It Like It Is

Pennsylvania (and a number of other states) has a senator who doesn't believe in climate change or believes that it's just a symptom of an ages long rhythm of heating  and cooling that has nothing to do with the Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels, and men.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took to the Senate floor and in 15 minutes explained how wrong that kind of thinking is.  This video is 15 minutes long and well worth your time.

Call Your Congressman

Your Rep. Is Voting this Week on the NDAA

This week, your representative will vote on legislation authorizing U.S. military policy. The House debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) may be one of the few opportunities this year to influence the direction of military and foreign policy. Your telephone calls this week will make a difference.
FCNL lobbyists expect votes on withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, funding new nuclear weapons, preventing war with Iran, Pentagon spending and many other issues. We will not know until Wednesday afternoon exactly which policy choices will be allowed to come to a vote, but we do know that members of Congress are listening closely to what their constituents think about these issues.
This is an extraordinary opportunity—and the window to influence your representative’s votes is a small one. We encourage you to call your representative today about one or at most two of the possible amendments listed below that matter to you. To reach your representative, call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 877-429-0678 and ask for your representative by name.
We’ve set up a special web page to provide regular updates throughout the week as we learn which amendments will be cleared for a vote on the House floor. Check back to find out which amendments your representative will vote on.

Here are the amendments we’re watching for:

Require All U.S. Troops to Leave Afghanistan: We expect Reps. Jim McGovern (MA), Walter Jones (NC) and Adam Smith (WA) to offer an amendment to require all U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan by 2014 and to state that the president needs specific new congressional authorization to leave any troops in Afghanistan past that date. Ask your representative to vote “yes” on the McGovern-Jones-Smith amendment to require the U.S. to leave Afghanistan by 2014.
Repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force: We expect amendments to repeal the 2001 Authorization from Reps. Barbara Lee (CA) and Adam Schiff (CA). The Authorization continues to be the legal basis for U.S. wars and drone strikes. Ask your representative to vote “yes” on the Lee and Schiff amendments to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force.
Stop the B61 Nuclear Bomb Project: We expect Reps. Rick Larsen (WA), Ed Markey (MA), Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Loretta Sanchez (CA) to offer an amendment to limit funding for the refurbishment of the B61 nuclear bomb until Congress receives a report about our NATO allies' role in this project. Ask your representative to vote “yes” on the Larsen-Markey-Blumenauer-Sanchez amendment to limit funding for the B61 bomb.
Un-Declare War with Iran: We expect Reps. John Conyers (MI) and Walter Jones (NC) to offer an amendment stating that nothing in the National Defense Authorization Act should be viewed as an authorization for the use of force against Iran. Ask your representative to vote “yes” on the Conyers-Jones amendment not to allow the use of force against Iran.
Close Guantanamo Bay Prison: We expect Rep. Adam Smith (WA) to offer an amendment to provide a framework for closing the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ask your representative to vote "yes" on the Smith amendment to close Guantanamo Bay prison.
Prevent War with Syria: We expect Reps. John Conyers (MI), Peter Welch (VT) and Steve Cohen (TN) to offer an amendment to prohibit U.S. troops or contractors from operating in Syria. Ask your representative to vote "yes" on the Conyers amendment to prevent war with Syria.
We’ll update our website as we get new information on which amendments will be voted on. Check back often, and remember you can reach your representative toll-free at 877-429-0678. Thank you for contacting your member about these significant actions.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Americans Want Mass Transit

Seventy-three percent of Americans want more mass transit.  One would think something with that approval rating would get some action from Congress.  Mass transit is good for air quality, burns less fossil fuels, and creates more good jobs.  Philadelphia is blessed with an excellent mass transit system, SEPTA, a legacy of the days of the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroads, that proves its worth every day.  Cities like Washington, DC, that started their systems in the '70's wonder what they would do without METRO.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Bilderbergers Are At It Again!

About Bilderberg

Founded in 1954, Bilderberg is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America.
Every year, between 120-150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields.
The conference is a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world.
Thanks to the private nature of the conference, the participants are not bound by the conventions of office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights.
There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.
The 61st Bilderberg meeting will take place at the beginning of June 2013 in the UK.
The Bilderberg Group met again this week in England, causing much excitement and trembling among conspiracy theorists everywhere.  Uber Conspiracist Alex Jones suggests that this is the "official agenda", dedicated to total control of the world.

- This is the 'official' publically released agenda of the meeting, according to
• Can the US and Europe grow faster and create jobs?
• Jobs, entitlement and debt
• How big data is changing almost everything
• Nationalism and populism
• US foreign policy
• Africa’s challenges
• Cyber warfare and the proliferation of asymmetric threats
• Major trends in medical research
• Online education: promise and impacts
• Politics of the European Union
• Developments in the Middle East
• Current affairs

That looks to us like the sort of subjects you could expect to have discussed at any first rate dinner party.  To learn more about Bilderberg from the horse's mouth, go to

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Connecticut Does Something About Transition

The link is to a video of Miriam Pemberton, director of the Institute of Policy Studies, talking with a Progressive Democrats of America meeting about the exciting new legislation just passed in Connecticut to ease the state's transition from a war economy to a peace economy and to restore its once robust manufacturing sector.  This would be a wonderful goal for the other 49 states and for the federal government.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Prisons Instead Of Schools

Pennsylvania will close schools and strip to the bone the ones remaining while building two new prisons.  There is something wrong with this picture.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

All About Insider Trading

How it works, what's being done, and what should be done.  All by James Surowiecki in The New Yorker.

Has "Too Big To Fail" Become "Too Big For Trial"?

Senator Warren is trying to get some straight answers out of reputed government regulators.  We hope she keeps trying.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stop The Purchase of Legislators

See what he did there? 

www.represent.usIt has been said that we have the best Congresss money can buy.  As the amount of money K Street is pouring into Congress increases, it becomes more and more impossible for bills to be considered or passed or reforms to be enacted.  So whatever your top legislative priority - environment, education, global warming, military spending - you won't get anything done until we do away with Congressional corruption.   The American Anti-corruption Act can fix that, and its passage is the gateway issue that clears the way for everything else.  Read about it and sign on to support it at

Monday, June 3, 2013

Trans-Pacific Partnership Is A Threat

If you don't know about the Trans-Pacific Partnerships, you really should start reading at the link.  This bit of legislative legerdemain will impose limits on American freedom of action not only in trade but in other vital areas as well.  And don't count on its being stopped by Congress.   The text is being kept secret and it will be "fast-tracked" with little or no opportunity for amendment or debate.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"How To Survive A Plague"

The award-winning documentary "How To Survive A Plague" about how activism was successful against the AIDS epidemic and government inaction will show Friday, June 7 at the Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield.  Large screen.  This is a free program.  Refreshments at 6:30pm.  Film at 7. Sponsored by, 610-544-1818.

Saturday, June 1, 2013