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Information sheet on Austerity


Ray Torres is the director of the short film

Beyond Credit Unions

The film is available for groups to show. Contact Ray at 215 753 9022


Study guide available from Christian-Jewish Allies:
Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism

Also: Press Release

I kinda like this as an anthem for the left these days.

Brief history of PRAWN

PRAWN's mission is to:
  • Network groups, organizations, and individuals to stop the repression caused by "never ending wars" at home and abroad, by the US corporate military state
  • Support organizations having common ground
  • Educate and activate the general public

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Upcoming Events

Philadelphia Orchestra

Stop supporting apartheid in Israel!

Philly Don't Orchestrate Apartheid protested on various days of the week in front of the Kimmel Center, a few blocks South of Philadelphia's City Hall.
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Bubbies & Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East - Peace Vigil

Held at the corner of 19th & JFK Boulevard

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May Day 2014


Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett arranges to meet with students of one of the schools that he's been defunding, but cancels when students, parents and teachers make it clear that they were goingto protest his visit. We all assembled anyway.

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The 2013 Philly Gay Pride Parade

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Archive of actions & photos

Info, articles, etc.

A review of the New Yorker article that wonders whether Donald Trump isn't a Russian mole who's been developed since the late 80s. I downloaded just the text of the New Yorker piece and it comes out to 15 pages. Pretty convincing case.

Really? The President has a "Twitter Addiction"?

This is what people are talking about when they say we should "Abolish ICE!" Yes, the fellow here did not immigrate properly, but he's been here since 2006 and appears to have had a legitimate case for asylum. ICE and the local police both deny that they were singling him out but he has been reporting on them, something they've found troublesome.

Hmm, Stephen Miller was able to get some take-out sushi and to get it all the way home, but the cussing-out he received from a chef made him feel so miserable, he threw it all away. Could Miller actually be showing some signs of a conscience?!?!?!

Huh! Did y'all know there were pro-gun rallies yesterday? Yeah, they were very sparsely attended.

So we've got this young black woman who's convinced! Convinced, I tell you! That the President is enormously popular among black people. When asked for a source to that, she couldn't recall the name of the poll or anything else about it. Just that there are millions of black people who aren't counted on other polls, but who love the President.

From several months ago. Kind of amusing to hear Laura Ingraham waxing eloquent about Our Glorious Leader and his amazing accomplishments. So to take just one example, how's the US relationship with North Korea doing? Wasn't that meeting the start of great accomplishments? Well, er, um, not so much actually. Kim Jong Un got pretty much everything he wanted from our President in June and now is pretty much just blowing Trump off.

After the Trump Administration said everything was good and under control "Trump administration admits they’ve lost track of roughly 20 percent of toddlers’ parents"

The President started off with a racist joke against a Democratic Senator, which turned into a joke about sexual assault and then he just sort of petered off. The audience loved it all and laughed uproariously

Saw a meme recently celebrating the fact that the current First Lady has a much smaller staff that Michelle Obama did (According to Snopes, Obama's staff was average for a  First Lady), but okay, sure, Trump's staff today is much smaller. I notice here that her anti-bullying initiative is quite useless as it very clearly doesn't apply to her husband. Someone who cared about bullying in any shape or format would be mightily embarrassed at what her husband was doing here.

Several troubling aspects of the Congressional visit to Russia ahead of the President's summit there. First and foremost, why did the delegation have to be entirely from just one party, the GOP? Why couldn't Democrats have been included? Was this summit meant to benefit the Republican Party or America?

Good to hear that the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is not fighting the order to reunite parents with children, but no reunifications have occurred so far and the system for doing so is in a major cluster$%#@. Oh, and the Secretary is blaming others for the mess.

One cheer (out of three) for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's resignation. He wasn't fired for crimes against the environment, just for financial misconduct. He's sure to be replaced by someone just as bad.

So apparently, this is the standard under which ICE is keeping young children. There are around 3,000 children in ICE's custody.

Why, why, why does Richard Cohen still have job at the WaPo?!?!?! Seriously, his politics are from 1983. Hasn't learned a thing since then.

And yes, tch, tch, tch on Alex Jones and his #SecondCivilWar! BIG disappointment!

The President builds a very dubious case on highly questionable information."Trump complains about Iranians getting citizenship by citing baseless stat he read on Fox News"

For at least the past several decades, Presidents have been among the most well-informed people on the planet. Barack Obama was usually so well-informed that when a problem broke out, it was usually old news to him by then and he was already working on a solution. Donald Trump seems to be willing to advertise to the world that not only does he get the word on problems late, he often doesn't appear to understand them even then.

Senate Intelligence Committee reaches conclusion diametrically opposite from that of House Intelligence Committee, yes Russia DID attempt to influence 2016 election.

Hmm, so the head of the Freedom Caucus is now implicated with having ignored a sexual abuse scandal that he darn well should have been aware of.

And remember as you watch McCain’s freak-out, McCain is at least third generation wealthy. Grandfather was an Admiral, father’s been a Senator for decades. As Soledad O’Brien noted, freaking out undermines one’s argument.

I agree with the blogger. I was not at all pleased by the answers Secretary of State Pompeo gave. Pompeo appears to believe the conversations the President had with Putin and Kim are the President’s private business. One very crucial item that the US should have cleared up before the Singapore meeting was what exactly does “denuclearization” mean? The American public needs to know that both sides are on the same page with a common definition. This is an important question and the administration really should have an answer for that by now. At the 3:45 mark in the back and forth with Senator Markey, Pompeo sounds as though progress has been made, but is quite vague and unconvincing about exactly what that progress is.

The blogger quotes the comedian Dennis Miller, who used to be a liberal. He also used to be funny.

"Video: Stop Trauma At The Border Now Before The Damage Is Permanent" Truly revolting. The damage done to families is already incalculable.

Oh, and those retaliatory tariffs that other nations are applying to us? Four months ago, the Trump Administration said they wouldn't happen.

Saturday's protest over the Trump Administration's family separation policy.

Hmm. Well, yes. Bill Clinton was and Donald Trump would be under federal investigation while appointing a Supreme Court Justice. But yes, Clinton was being investigated for a land deal in which he lost money (and later of getting a BJ from an intern) and Trump is being investigated for obtaining aid from a foreign power towards becoming President. Nah, not really the same thing.

I agree with the blogger, there's very little to like or admire about the Iranian government, but they clearly have a stable government, there are Iranian people who would like to come to the US and study and there's simply no international appetite to even impose sanctions on Iran. We can and should oppose Iranian foreign policy moves around the Gulf, but there's no reason to support internal guerilla forces that want to battle the Iranian regime.

Lots and lots of pictures of yesterday's (30 June) demonstration from around the country.Same blog has previous sets of pictures.


Serious disruption in Washington DC yesterday over family separation policy on the Mexican border. We're scheduled for a march this Saturday on same subject:

Hmm. Very interesting. Sean Hannity is blaming Congresswoman Maxine Waters for the shooting at the newspaper office in Maryland, but she called for annoying, but non-violent harassment. Milo Yiannopoulos here, on the other hand, specifically called for the murder of journalists. We don't know the cause yet, but I'd bet a dollar or two that Yiannopoulos is the real problem here.

Hmm, yeah. Good call. "Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?" was the first headline. It was later replaced by “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer,” which is good, because the first headline (that they kept right up until she won) made the NY Times sound pretty gol-durned out of it and oblivious. It was kinda like they hadn't been paying attention at all.

Republicans have a choice, they can either pass a bill knowing that it will get vetoed and then override it or they can fruitlessly waste their time trying to come up with a bill that the President will approve of that isn't weighted so heavily towards Republican positions that Democrats won't support it. For some reason, they keep trying to appeal to the President.

So the idea was that if hard-core Republicans negotiated a bill with slightly-less hard-core Republicans and that the President approved of, they'd get a bill that could pass the entire House. It got a really embarrassing 121 votes to 301 votes in opposition

If you're going to lose, there's a right way and a wrong way to do so. President Trump is likely to get a new Supreme Court nominee seated before the mid-term election in November, but Democrats should fight it anyway. Advice from 2004.

Good! Federal judge in family separation case sets a hard deadline for family reunifications!

So the Supreme Court five-member majority in the Muslim ban case essentially just cited the fact that the Trump Administrtion carried out an interagency review as its justification for its ruling, saying that because the review was carried out, everything's good and the ban is legal. Justice Sonia Sotomayer points out that anti-Muslim animus is evident from the public statements of the President. From her dissent: "...the President’s lawyers have, at every step in the lower courts, failed in their attempts to launder the Proclamation of its discriminatory taint."

*Sigh* No, this policy of separating families at the border had no equivalent within the Obama Administration. The policy started in January of this year, came to the public's attention in late May and has been a growing problem ever since. Other administrations may have contributed bit and pieces to the policy, but President Trump put those pieces together, consciously, deliberately, with malice and forethought. ,

Okay, so Ivanka Trump wasn't just sitting around and twiddling her thumbs during her daddy's family separation policy at the border. She gave $50k to the Prestonwood Baptist Church. Has the church announced how it's going to use the money? Er, uh, well, no. They are "currently working to provide solutions."

Countries pushing each other on water resources.

"Whole Bunch Of Fuckheads Crying About Mean Liberals Being 'Uncivil' To Bloodthirsty Monsters"
Problem is, incivility to right-wingers doesn't just pop up out of nowhere. Good observations on Meghan McCain's hypocrisy.

Excellent news! Lawyer Michael Avenatti has contacts within ICE who are trying to get information to him to expose the family separation policy at the border.

The President appears to be awfully vague on what "gutting the ACA" means. He doesn't appear to realize that gutting the ACA means that prices for health insurance will rise. He instead concludes that the Democrats, who have not had the ability to pass any legislation since January 2017, must be the ones to blame.

Disturbing. The President notes a North Korean newswoman announcing the news and that she should come work in the US, where she can teach our "almost treasonous" newspeople how it's done.

A very, very bad 5-4 Supreme Court decision that leaves gerrymandered Texas districts in place under a presumption of white racial innocence.

Actress Mira Sorvino comments that the US is now an awful lot like "Pre-Nazi Germany." Breitbart News talks about her hat. Another commenter says "Stick with what your good at. Acting." Here's her response:

I wrote my thesis on racial conflict and persecution at Harvard, worked on a documentary on Neo-Nazi hate groups in Russia, performed in the film about the SonderKommando at Auschwitz The Grey Zone, and am an avid student of The Holocaust and what lead to it, so I beg to differ.

Opinions still divided on the First Lady's jacket that said "I really don't care. Do U?" Teen Vogue feels it's a piece of world-class trolling/distraction designed to discredit the media that paid attention to it. A blogger named Hans Howe feels the history of the fascist Italian Arditi is highly relevant here. Melania Trump grew up in an area where the phrase "Me ne frego" (I don't really care) is quite well-known and where memorials to the Italian fascists of the 20s and 30s can be found all over the place. Zara, by the way, the company that produced the jacket, previously got into trouble for producing a swastika-themed handbag.

The President's latest twitter tantrum shows that his worldview is far closer to that of Louis XIV and der Fuhrer than it is to America.

Matt Yglesias makes a very important point about due process. 

It’s not due process *for* illegal immigrants.

Without due process there’s nothing stopping an ICE agent from deporting his ex-wife’s new boyfriend or a New York Times White House correspondent.

"Pete Hegseth Defends Trump's Child Camps: 'Kids Were Not Placed In Ovens And Baked'"
Wow! Y'know, again, when you're comparing your policies to those of der Fuhrer and saying "Hey, our policies aren't quite as bad..." You've kinda lost the argument!

Jared Kushner slams Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying "There is only so long you can blame that on everyone other than the Palestinian leadership." Okay, problem 1: the Trump Administration has donw absolutely nothing to benefit Palestinians. They have gained absolutely zero benefits since the President was inaugurated. Problem 2: Over 100 Palestinians died and many thousands were wounded during the Great March of Return that went from late March to mid-May, right after the American Jerusalem embassy was opened up (opening the embassy was a middle finger to the Paelstinians and, frankly, to all Arabs) Kushner and the rest of the Trump Admiistration did absolutely zero to restrain Israel, assist the Palestinians, try and mitigate the damage or to reach a settlement. Abbas has no reason whatsoever to cooperate with Kushner. 

More on the Jared Kushner interview with Al Quds. Yeah, he really didn't mention many important issues, including that of Israeli settlements. Kind of ridiculous to even consider a peace plan that doesn't even begin to discuss Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

So how is the executive order concerning the family separation policy going? "Protests spread, outcry continues against Trump administration’s harsh immigration crackdown"

For one, the administration is still pursuing a "zero-tolerance" policy that threatens to replace family separation with indefinite family detention. For another, it’s still completely unclear what steps the government will take to reunite thousands of kids who were taken from their parents, and what resources will be made available to distraught parents attempting to navigate a sea of bureaucratic red tape separating them from their children — some as young as just a few months old.

The President makes it clear. He does not represent the American people. He represents what he calls "my people," that is, people who voted for him. 

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says it is
“patently ridiculous” for the UN to even examine poverty in America because Americt is “the wealthiest and freest country in the world.”
Wealthiest, yes. But that wealth is very, very highly concentrtated. We haven't seen such levels of inequality since right before the Great Depression. Freedom? Our freedom has taken some pretty hard hits in just the time since the current president took office. Nah, Bernie is 100% correct to give her statement a belly laugh.

Awwww! Let's all hear it for the poor, poor people who work for the Trump Administration and can't find dates in Washington DC!

"White House incompetence laid bare by immigration fiasco" The President isn't growing into the job. He seems to actually be becoming less competent as he goes.

This: “These are not — like it or not, these aren’t our kids,” Kilmeade said. “Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country..."
is precisely the distinction between liberals and conservatives. Liberals recognize the common humanity of all. To answer Kilmeade's question, what is the Trump Administration actually doing to help people in Central America solve their problems? What are people there supposed to do until those problems get solved? There's a reason the Statue of Liberty says what it does.

Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC lets Kilmeade have it

Chris Cuomo tells us there's been backlash to the heartlessness demonstrated by the President's enablers. Good!

Yeah, so there was a meeting at the White House today to discuss Latina women being separated from their children. The meeting was entirely white males with the sole exception being Liz Cheney, a white female. Yep, gotta love that diversity and inclusiveness!

It's difficult for the President to convincingly make the case that he cares about all the people when pretty much all of the people in his meetings are almost exclusively old, white, male Republicans.

US policy concerning those seeking asylum is not only cruel and wrong, it doesn't even appear to be consistent with international law.

The President is convinced he's "replaced Obamacare," but if Association Health Plans (which have been around for decades) were all that great, why was the ACA/Obamacare installed in the first place?

So AG Sessions says that there was never any intention of separating families. But given his own description here, it's difficult to see how he could have expected anything else.

Concerning the First Lady's jacket, which had the incredibly inappropriate message "I really don't care. Do U?" I agree with one of the bloggers. The White House didn't have anybody on hand to have noticed this and to have pointed out what an awful message it sent? What an incredibly incompetent group of bunglers!

So Howard Kurtz says that "We now know" that Ivanka Trump was lobbying her daddy to change his decision on tearing apart families on the border. Really? We "know" this? Her daddy is hardly a credible source. He was swearing up and down that he was helpless to change the law that was put into place by the Democrats until he decided to put out an executive order to change the law. If the source was Ivanka, the story is a highly self-serving one that bathes her in a saint-like glow. As her official Whte House portfolio is families and children, I guess I'd be curious to know whether she knew about the completely non-existent tracking system that would be necessary if the children were ever to be reunited with their parents.

Here's another reason as to why I prefer not to get my news from the mainstream media (MSM). This is on the family separations EO:: 

In the hours between the announcement of the order and its actual release, many hailed the change as an about-face—a stunning and rare pivot for a president who has little capacity to admit error. But now that the executive order is out, what is clear is that this document offers no fix at all.

You see, the MSM feels the competitive need to get "the scoop" out first, so they wrote up whole articles about the executive order without having seen it first. First impressions are importat. The blogs took their time and didn't even report that the EO was on the way. When the blogs finally did report on it, it was after they had read the whole thing through. This meant that the first word they reported on the EO was accurate

Hey, did y'all hear about the 700km peace march in Afghanistan? No, hmm. Wonder why the media in the US didn't cover that?

“And so internment it is. The family case management program that Trump terminated worked well, did not endanger public safety, and would avoid this new horror." 
So essentially the President took a system that was working and threw a monkey wrench into it.

On protest in Philadelphia over famiy separation policy.

Ivanka Trump speaks up on the family separation policy to thank her daddy for finally taking action (that is, signing an executve order). Response on Twitter

So the President has signed an executive order (after claiming that only Congress could fix the family immigration mess), but it's far from clear that the EO really solves any of the problems and in fact doesn't create new ones.

The executive order gets more underwhelming the more people look at it.

Ahh! (Sigh of relief) People are stepping up and giving in enormous quantities to help reunite families. Personally, I'm pretty tightfisted on giving to causes, but I gave some yesterday to a site that split up my contribution among seven organizations.

Family separaton policy is complete cluster$#@%. No organization of any kind. No way for foster parents to know what's going on with original parents.

The President is here trying to engage in the process of writing a bill on immigration - he "delivered a rambling and, according to some members, barely coherent tirade that was short on specifics."

Rachel Maddow's a seen-it-all, pretty tough newsperson and even she was broken up by the news that the Trump Administration is holding babies.

US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council. Problem is, Trump Administration wants to present itself as a moral exemplar that's just disgusted with what everybody else is doing, but the horrid human rights abuses in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, by Israel on the Gaza border and by the US at the Mexican border are all just too much and make it impossible for the US to present itself as being morally superior.

"Sessions: comparing family-separation policy, Nazi Germany is an 'exaggeration'"
Ehh, yeah. When your argument is "Hey, we're not quite as bad as the Nazis." Mmm, yeah, you've pretty much lost the argument.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen scolds media for getting their descriptions of administration policy wrong, but their policy is kind of a cluster%$#@ with them contradicting their own statements and each other.

"What Trump chooses not to understand about immigration negotiations"
The President seems to have a vision of political negotiation that resembles organized crime and hostage negotiations. Of course, he then wonders why he can't see to get anything done!

"WH Rejects Bill To End Family Separations: We Don't Want To 'Just Tinker With It'"
Okay, but back in February, the Senate tried four different bills, three of them got majorities though not by enough to overcome a filibuster and the administration didn't settle on any of them. What the administration needs to do is to arrive at a plan that all sides find at least somewhat acceptable. In the meantime, it would be far quicker and easier to just address the family separation part of the mess. 

Rachel Maddow talked about this (Audiotape of a young girl seperated from her family) and interviewed someone from ProPublica, the people that made the tape available. She said the White House briefing was about to start, everybody got notified of this tape on their cellphones and gee, surprise, surprise, the briefing got cancelled!

Good! Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach completely loses his case! He was piling on too many restrictions and was thus causing "tens of thousands of eligible citizens" to not be able to register.

So the Senate is now split along straight party lines. Republicans, with absolutely no exceptions, have all failed to sign onto the Feinstein bill to keep families together, Democrats have all signed onto it.

The only demographic group to support the policy of ripping children out of the arms of their parents is Trump voters, period.

By the way, the President is really, really upset that no one is giving him credit for his great, wonderful, amazing North Korean initiative. Yeah, kind of a problem with that. The term "denuclearize" is very important and North Korea uses the term a lot. What precisely does it mean? We don't know because the President's "diplomacy" never got far enough to even define the term.

The blogger who posted this said: "There was a term used for non-members of the Nazi party in Germany who looked the other way and allowed things to happen. They were called Nazis." Senator Susan Collins demonstrates exactly what he means. Collins says that gee, we had a good bill that got 54 votes, but the Department of Homeland Security condemned it, so it didn't pass. No, quite obviously, the President didn't like it and will probably not change his mind because a few incremental changes get made. Collins is not voting for the Feinstein bill because she is enabling President Trump.

"Trump accidentally admits everything he’s been saying about North Korea’s nukes is a lie" D'oh! Though actually, this is a good thing as it indicates the President is not delusional, he was just lying.

Good! Former First Lady Laura Bush makes a strong appeal to end the policy of ripping immigrant families apart.

In October 2015, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a blunder by truthfully pointing to the political basis for continuing the investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack.
The investigation dragged on anyway, discovering nothing and using up legislative time and taxpayer money to no effect. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the Mueller investigation into Russian tampering with the 2016 American presidential election to "to wrap it up. It’s gone on seemingly forever..." Are the situations even remotely alike? Hardly. The Mueller investigation is yielding new information on practically a daily basis.

To release the land-locked ice in Antarctica could raise sea levels up to 100 feet. Tick-tock, people! Time's a wastin'!

Yeah, I've been reading about the "difficult" position FBI Director Comey was in right before the 2016 election. Nope. Sorry. No sympathy from me. He needed to follow the rules, period. He had absolutely no excuse whatsoever for breaking them. His two breaches in July and October were completely unjustifiable.

The Trump Administration offers a "hotline" to perform some vague, unspecified task that somehow addresses the family separation policy and it turns out to just be a way to contact the people responsible for administration immigration policy. And it goes downhill from there.

Fox News host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery said “The Clintons had a brilliant money-laundering scheme.” Puh-leeze! The Clinton Foundation was very thoroughly investigated by a media that was anxious to demonstrate that they were fair and impartial by finding things that were wrong on the Clinton side of the 2016 campaign. Believe me, had there been anything that still required investigation concerning the Clinton Foundation, we would have long since heard about it.

The president's power to pardon was first seriously abused by Gerald Ford, who pardoned Richard Nixon. The elder George Bush abused it further by pardoning Casper Weinberger and others involved in the October Surprise investigation. The President and his people are seriously abusing it again by suggesting he'll pardon anyone who's in serious legal trouble over the President's actions. It's long past time to limit the pardoning powers of a president!

The US plans to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council. The UN Ambassador Nikki Haley makes a speech about the UN resolution against Israel being "one-sided." That complaint would have some currency if the US were acknowledging that Palestinians had some real and serious grievances against Israel.

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