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Rich Gardner

Philly Against War

Veteran's resources. This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance.

PRAWN Flyer (PDF) Updated 20Feb2010

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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Germany and the US both sending armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.
Zelenskyy feels the Russian-proposed truce will be used by them to replensh their supplies and to redeploy troops.
A description of battling near Bakhmut.
No, Ukraine will not respond to Russian-proposed truce. Russian mil-bloggrs don’t care for the idea either.

Several years ago, our blogger wrote a book about Republicans being a "Post-Policy Party." In the fight over the vote for a Speaker, they appear to be proving him right.

This is about what happened to the GOP beginning in 2008/9 when it ceased to be a center-right party of governance and became a party of breaking things.

Agree completely. I felt at the time that Newt Gingrich was the real breakaway radical who trashed political norms to make gains.

Chaya Raichik, representing LibsofTikTok, is causing very real harm to members of the L:GBTQ community.

Sigh! In these QAnon-influenced times, yes, we have Republicans accusing each other of witchcraft!

Ukrainian ballet resumed in May, even though performances are often interrupted by air raid sirens.
Ukraine launches air strikes across the river from Kherson.
The leader of the Wagner mercenaries feels obliged to explain why his troops aren’t getting anywhere.
A few thousand residents of the town of Sumy defended their town when their armed forces had abandoned it for lost.
A Russian influence operation in Germany.

This squad commander is called "Witch" 'cause she's got a bit of an appearance of one. She comments here on how the Wagner mercenaries keep their troops disciplined.

Yep! Voting for the Speaker is a leadership test, and McCarthy failing it very badly!

Russia started the war in Ukraine with 3,300 tanks. They’ve now lost in excess of 3,000. Personnel casualties are well over 100k.

It makes no sense to blame the Transportation Secretary for the Southwest cluster%$#@ over the holidays. The problems there are deep-rooted and not subject to quick fixes.

President Zelenskyy discusses the ice arena Altair that was destroyed by a Russian missile.
Yowza! Bomb from drone seen hitting a weapons stockpile!
Russians have suffered vast losses of tanks, but both sides still find them highly useful.
Shoulder-launched anti-tank rockets are useful, but main anti-tank weapon is artillery.

Daily Kos did a piece on the German Leopard 2 vs the US Abrams M1A1. Yeah, the Leopard is the more suitable tank for Ukraine right now.

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks was terribly disappointed by the January 6th attack on our Capitol as “We all look like domestic terrorists now” and that “this made us all unemployable Like untouchable”

Commentary on Hope Hicks and her planned future career after the Trump Administration closed down.

Why was the DC National Guard nowhere to be seen on January 6th? According to this letter by the acting Secretary of Defense two days beforehand, they were given strict and explicit orders not to do anything to interfere with the attack on the Capitol.

Russia’s mood after casualties in Ukraine have long passed the 100k mark (very cheerful and upbeat). 

Retired Lt. Gen. Flynn feels Russia has obtained all of its objectives. Really? The people in the video above are vowing to fight on for as long as it takes!

Around 600 Russian soldiers occupied a barracks, we think the Russians may have been storing ammunition below, which might explain why the building went “poof!”
Another barracks hit, this time with about 70 soldiers.
How Wagner mercenaries deal with mutineers.
POW! Thieves get their just reward!

The anti-”woke” posts are kind of ridiculous. Modern warfare has changed so that the service people in the selfie with VP Harris are quite as capable as the all-men Chinese military. Also, the all-men, all-straight Russian military has been gittin’ it’s arse kicked by the “woke” Ukrainians!
As another blogger points out, only 15% of an average NATO division makes front line, direct contact with the enemy. The rest of them serve as support staff and frankly, are just as likely to get hit by artillery shells or rockets as front-line troops.

A look at the anti-Ukraine right wing in the US, reprinted from a few weeks ago.

Mississippi’s governor battled bravely against Critical Race Theory (that isn’t taught in elementary or secondary schools anyway), “Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandates” (that said that people should get “the jab” of vaccine) and “COVID Vaccine Passports” (that said people should have paperwork proving they had gotten “the jab”).
And by a strange and unusual coincidence that’s totally a coincidence, oddly enough, MS also has the highest Covid death rate.

MS earlier said that if you had a “sincerely held religious objections,” then you shouldn’t be forced to get vaxxed.

Ukrainian air force was busy last night shooting down Russian drones and missiles.

Aw! I don't think there's anything fake or even self-conscious here. I think Levin's genuinely upset that we can now see what a criminal Trump has been for these many years.


What I especially like in this piece is the "cold, calculating, heartless view" of why helping Ukraine is good for NATO and the US. I think especially the precision rocket artillery (HIMARS) and tube artillery (the M777 Ultralight Field Howitzer) make truly awesome advertisements for NATO weaponry as opposed to anything the Russians have.

Don Jr. is confused as to why Senator Cruz was harshly criticized for slipping off to Cancun when Texas was suffering a harsh winter storm, but a few years later, the country has another harsh winter storm, Biden is vacationing in the Virgin Islands and nobody criticizes him.
No mystery. Cruz took off during a crisis that was made vastly worse by a failed power grid, Biden was already on vacation when all systems were operating normally.

Barbara Walters has been out of the public eye for a while, but she was a real trailblazer!

More than three months after protests over the forced wearing of hijabs broke out, Iranian protesters have moved their demonstrations to rooftops. Also, protesters have been producing art and graffiti to get their message out.

Ginni Thomas (wife of Justice Clarence Thomas) makes a number of assertions in her interview with the January 6th Commission which are very difficult to believe.  The idea that she and her husband never spoke about politics and that he had no idea what she did all day is not credible.

So Ginni Thomas thinks the January 6th Commission ought to have looked both at January 6th and at the riots that were a response to the murder of George Floyd, eh? And what do the two have in common? Well, erm, they were both violent! O-o-o-okay!

After six years, the American people finally have Trump’s tax returns!

Fox News was extremely quick to declare “No story. Nothing to see here. Move along quietly now,” about Trump’s tax returns. This is why it was very important to wait while people had a chance to carefully examine his tax returns.  

Hmm, turns out that Trump had people on the inside of the IRS deliberately not doing audits of his taxes.

Very highly interesting. Trump was very highly critical of the millions that Hunter Biden made from Ukraine, suggesting that it was a clear sign that Joe Biden's decisions were being influenced by that foreign money. Meanwhile, Trump “received more than $55 million in gross income from more than 12 countries."

Anti-choicers are simply incompatible with women’s health while the woman is pregnant. A miscarriage can be suspected of being an abortion, so doctors will go to great lengths to avoid being anywhere near a miscarriage. NPR does a good job examining the dilemmas.

Quickie summary of the Andrew Tate-Greta Thunberg fight.

I have a problem with the sentence

The United States backed the violent overthrow of President Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2014…”

These two pieces do not agree with this interpretation of the Revolution of Dignity at all. Was the following conflict really a two-sided problem of misunderstanding?
I’ve long since seen the problems with the Minsk II accord, as well.

Republican Congresspeople who are due to have oversight responsibilities seem a bit overeager to get started, sending out requests for documents before they’ve actually gotten the power to do so.

Intelligence agencies can't prove that Hunter Biden's laptop is Russian disinformation, but it sure smells like it!

The blogger emptywheel says that the files that would normally tell us exactly what was on the drive are simply missing, meaning nothing on them can be verified.

Heh! Trump "threatens" to turn Biden's 2024 reelection campaign into a cakewalk!

Russia launches nearly 70 missiles at Ukrainian cities. The average shoot-down rate is about 2/3rds, so that means about 20-something got through. 

In this case, it was almost 80%, 55 out of 69.

Just amazes me that people are blaming Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg for the Southwast Airlines meltdown (unfortunately, this isn't surprising). Let's compare this with what the younger George Bush was accused of not doing prior to 9-11. Bush could have sounded the alarm to the airlines and have put all of them on the alert. In contrast, fixing the broken legacy software systems of Southwest Airlines would have required person-years of programming. No, the two problems do not compare.

The 845-page report of he January 6th Commission is a good read.
Piece includes a good, reasonably concise summary of the highlights.
Also, a free link to an NY Times piece.

The blogger Kos has been reviewing his writings on the war in Ukraine and finds his earlier assessments stand up pretty well. The essential model his blog follows is that they're biased, they have a point of view, but that they're accurate.

Trump tries to make all kinds of wild, unhinged assertions about January 6th. I'm sorry, but why would the president be helpless to protect the Capitol if he knows an attack is on the way? Why is he dependent on the Speaker and the Mayor of Washington DC?

Hmm, Italy appears to have some internal divisions. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has affirmed her full support for Ukraine, but Minister of Defense Guido Crozetto warns that "for Moscow, if the point of no return is passed, if they risk defeat," then Russia might use nuclear weapons.

The US M1A1 Abrams and the German Leopard 2 were both originally designed to the NATO standard tank. Both of them weigh in excess of 60 tons. In spots, the Leopard has 1.5 meters of armor! Also, Poland already has Leopard repair depots and Europeans are familiar with it, so it’s the better choice for Ukraine.

Elon Musk asks: "Why is corporate journalism rushing to defend the state instead of the people?"
Problem with the Twitter Files series is that there are serious problems with the credibility of the stories, beginning with the first two of them complaining of violations of the First Amendment when Twitter is a private company and is therefore not subject to it. Other journalists have found real problems with the stories. The result is very few people outside the right-wing bubble take the series seriously.

"Libs Of TikTok Lady’s Hateful Interview To Tucker Carlson: ‘They’re Evil!’"
Truly sick and twisted person. The real problem is that she has 1.7 million followers on Twitter! Like QAnon, she targets specific institutions (particular hospitals, in her case), which then hear from her outraged followers.

In 2009, Senate Minority Leader McConnell seemed to think he had "cracked the code" to winning legislative victories, that is, "scorched earth" or total noncooperation. Apparently, in this term he and others have discovered that just isn't a good long-term strategy.

This is very cool! Postmaster DeJoy was planning on a fleet of gas-powered vehicles to replace vehicles that were as much as 30 years old. Legislation by Congress has directed that half of the delivery vehicle fleet be electric.

The fact that Ukraine hit the very same airfield after a month of not trying to hit it and the fact that their drones met no opposition after they had passed the Russian lines of defense means that Russian air defenses are in extremely bad shape!

Russian oligarch (*ahem*), er, “fell” from a third story hotel window.

Looking back on the year in legislation. Biden did a pretty good job

Texas Governor Greg Abbott drops off a few busloads of migrants outside the Naval Observatory (The Vice President's home) on Christmas. Truly horrible. Complete lack of preparation Complete lack of seeing to it that migrants survive in decent shape once they get to where they're going. Just utterly amazing that, on the same day, Governor Abbott put out a Christmas message suggesting that he was a Christian.

I had a conversation with a really large group of anti-vaxxers. One of their big concerns was sudden death among apparently healthy people who has taken the vaccines for Covid. The rate at which it happens seems to be about 3 or 4 out of every 10k people who get vaxxed. That's of course a concern, but the chances of dying from Covid are still vastly higher. Anyway, good discussion of the issue here.

Christmas greetings from the current president and The Former Guy (Just as awful as you'd think).

The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson calculates it for us so we don't have to. Santa would have to visit 25k homes per second in order to leave presents at all the houses that celebrat Christmas within a 24-hour period. .  

The problem in defining antisemitism is that you want to separate the state of Israel from the Jewish people. One must also observe free speech rights. The definition offered by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance or IHRA, has proven to be seriously problematic.

Wagner Group (mercenaries) is actively competing with Russia’s regular military.
North Korea delivering weaponry to Wagner Group.
Ukraine hits airfield across the river from Kherson.
NY Times does deep dive on Russian military unit that committed the massacre at Bucha.

Terroristic bomb threats against Tufts University and a course examining “whiteness” results in a few changes to testing procedures and a tightening of security, thereby giving the terrorists a partial victory.

As the blogger says about Senator Sinema “Seems like her priority is training for her Ironman triathalons, and being a senator is, I dunno, a kind of side hustle.” Demanding that aids buy your groceries for you is unfortunately, not rare among lawmakers, but unfortunate anyway.

More good news on Senator Sinema! Well, terrible news for her, but good news for Democrats. She will not get access to detailed voter data as of the end of this coming January. That will make her 2024 campaign substantially more difficult.

As usual whenever we're reading or listening to propaganda, we must remember that it's rare for propagandists to outright lie. What they do far more often is what they do here, which is to tell half-truths. Did the FBI pay Twitter $3.5 million? Yes. Did those payments have anything to do with Hunter Biden's laptop? No.
This is the 7th episode of the Twitter Files and they have yet to tell us anything significant.

And of course, as we can see in this tweet, the right wing is anxious to jump on the bandwagon and to parrot the propaganda.

Sad milestone, Russian casualties hit 100k.

Russia has suffered 100k casualties, but sure, Russia has “limited objectives.” Uh-huh.

Elon Musk puts out a Twitter poll

Should Congress approve the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill?

An extremely short description like this that appears to be all cost and no clear benefit is of course a rather useless and meaningless poll. No, “the public” has not “spoken.”

Zelenskyy visits the US. Biden signals solidarity with his tie.
“In all seriousness, Biden says US gives Ukraine what it needs when it needs it”
Russians are trying hard to sell the eventual hoped-for conquest of Bakhmut as a major victory.
“a dozen RU Surface to Air Missile (SAM) sites” destroyed.

Don Jr. has a problem with Zelenskyy. TV star Valerie Bertinelli soothe Don, understanding how hurt and broken and sad he is.

Wow! Yup! Absolutely! The two meetings and two presidents, a world of difference!

Like, I suspect, many other liberals, I presumed that the request to see Trump's taxes was at least partly a fishing expedition. Turns out there was a compelling legislative reason behind it all, Trump's taxes weren't being audited! This requires a serious investigation.

Eric Trump’s “prophet” Julie Green received another message from God. God is sending a huge storm to wipe out [a lengthy list of political opponents].

There’s gotta be some serious grifting going on here. This woman is obviously quite good at telling Eric Trump just what he wants to hear. If there isn't some serious money changing hands, I’d be very surprised.

The economist Dean Baker responds to a comment by the Republican House Judiciary that condemns the Pelosi family for owning stocks. Yeah, I favor disallowing politicians from owning stocks as their own financial interests may be inconsistent with what the nation needs.

Mike Pence makes bad case for allowing Trump off the hook. “...the idea that legal accountability for suspected crimes would be ‘terribly divisive’” is a really weak and ridiculous defense.

This is a truly amazing term I ran across a short while ago, “face diaper.” It refers to the masks that, y’know, protect us from getting Covid. How well do masks actually work? Well, the US has had 1,077k Covid deaths. China, where Covid started, only suffered 31k deaths, Viet Nam 43k and Malaysia 37k. Why the difference? Simple, Asian countries very quickly adopted the large-scale, popular wearing of masks and they adopted social distancing.

Is adopting social distancing a good thing? Well, South Dakota stubbornly insisted on holding their annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally right on schedule, with pretty much no masks. It was known to epidemiologists as a “superspreader”event.

Zelenskyy visits troops in Bakhmut, which is pretty courageous of him because some Russian artillery officer may randomly decide “Let’s hit coordinates K-32 now” and that’ll be where Zelenskyy is.
While constructing fortifications, Ukrainians discover an ancient Roman settlement.
Is Russia running low on artillery ammunition? Hard to say, but sure would be nice.
St. Nick visits children.

Representative Perry makes some pretty wild claims, which he'd be happy to prove, but the information mysteriously disappeared! Erm, Perry does realize that you can download files and/or at least take screenshots? I mean, information disappearing? Really?

There are many good arguments for eliminating the Electoral College. The fact that the younger George Bush and Donald Trump both lost the popular vote, but won via the EC is a very good argument for eliminating it! Would getting rid of it mean rural areas will be bypassed? Not necessarily. Right now, there’s no point in a Democratic candidate going to Nebraska as it voted for Trump by 557k in 2020, so all four of its EC went to the Republican. But Biden got 375k, so if the EC didn’t exist, then it would be worthwhile to go there.

Barbie, the parody movie. The commercial takes after the movie 2001. Movie will be out in July.

The Republican Representative George Santos got elected even though what we “know” of his prior life appears to have been completely made up. Why no prior scrutiny? Part of the reason is the collapse of independent weeklies.

One of the artist’s other works.
Thoughts on a cartoonist.
Ukraine needs more weaponry.
“Today is Saint Nicholas Day – a traditional day when we all wish peace and warmth, reliable protection and victory.”
Why Bakhmut s worth fighting for.
Christmas observations,
50 orphans have to go to a shelter due to an approaching missile. Many had been through air raids before.
Elon Musk poses with a Russian propagandist from the channel Russian 24. Not sure if he knew who she was.

Musk is spotted at soccer game with Saudi Arabians. It's mildly interesting that liberals here are described as "furious," "freaking out" and "triggered," but when I read the liberal comments, I see a lot of "Of course Musk did this" and "Musk was always a right-winger" types of comments.

So Elon Musk asked Twitter users whether he should remain as head of it and 57% said "No." It's not entirely clear what happens now as he own 100% of the stock, so any appointee would likely just be a figurehead.

Will the “Twitter files” also examine suppression of Palestinian news on Twitter? Unfortunately, there are powerful voices on both sides of Twitter suppression that both oppose Palestinians.

Russia will attempt to boost morale among their troops by sending USO-type shows to front-line troops in Ukraine. I can see them helping if you’ve got an army that, like the American one in 1945, was charging towards victory. But I wonder how helpful they were in Vietnam post-Tet Offensive, when Americans concluded the war there had been lost.

Description of how Ukraine is holding onto cities. The tactic is expensive in terms of lives lost, but it’s more expensive for the attacker than for the defender.

Award-winning Iranian actress gets arrested for Instagram post where she criticizes putting protesters to death. Iranian petroleum workers announced the same day they were going on strike for higher wages and better working conditions. A cafe barista was charged and hanged for “waging war on God,” among other charges.

Overview of what we learned from the phone of he former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The movement that was opposed to the results of the 2020 election went well beyond Trump himself.

From the piece

In the Kherson region, the Russians robbed and almost destroyed a winery founded 126 years ago — the Center of National Resistance. Trubetskoy Castle survived the First and Second World Wars, but was occupied at the beginning of the Russian invasion. In addition to vintage wines, the occupiers removed equipment and furniture from the... (more)

Good grief! The war in Yemen is an absolute, utter and unmitigated disaster! Long since time for the US to give it up and let the Saudis fight it by themselves!

The pieces I read usually regard NY Times and other sources as excessively "objective," they're too concerned with the view from a distance, "from 30,000 feet," as they say. They view even horrible events with a lack of human sympathy. In this piece, they look at a NY Times piece that sets aside the usual stance and takes a moral point of view, examining how Putin is destroying Russia itself with his disastrous war in Ukraine.
Also, Russian casualties are on track to hit the 100k mark before the year ends. Out of the 3,300 tanks they started the war with, there should be, according to Ukrainian army estimates, a bit over 300 left.

Ukraine has people training all over NATO. They don’t need any outside troops as they have 700k in uniform, they just need training and materials.
Is Russia assembling and training a force behind the Ural Mountains? The legend of Prester John from the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) seems relevant here.
Latvian soldiers contribute a cool video clip at the end of the blog entry where they sing the old Christmas song "Shchedryk" or “Carol of the Bells.”

Sigh! “Kharkiv received body armor for children.”

Russians really trying to destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible, but Ukrainians shoot down 60 out of 76 missiles. Lots of utilities were knocked out all over Ukraine. Kyiv slightly damaged, but Kharkiv’s electricity knocked out.

Film clip on Ukrainian firefighters in the Donbas.

The Economist does a deep dive on Zelenskyy.

Ukraine has enough men under arms—more than 700,000 in uniform, in one form or another, of whom more than 200,000 are trained for combat. But materiel is in short supply.

Ukrainian General Zaluznhy and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov interviewed.

"Avatar: The Way of Water"
Good stuff! One scene reminded me of watching an episode of the first iteration of Battlestar Galactca back in college. Our heroes were in a sort of old Western town and the town was attacked by “Native Americans.” Our guys hid behind an overturned wagon and permitted the “tribal people” to ride right past them. A fellow on my dormitory floor pointed out that at that range, a bow & arrow is just as deadly as a ray gun. When you’re that close, all that matters is who shoots first and more accurately.

Fox and Friends try desperately to defend the right wing's new "free speech absolutist" hero. They have to do a lot of legalistic hair-splitting in order to do that.

Our blogger goes through the history of bipartisanship over the past 20 or so years and then examines why Biden has been so successful at getting bipartisan bills through.

Ah, there we go! As soon as inflation starts becoming a non-issue, Fox News drags “War on Christmas” out of mothballs.

Ukrainian “Law enforcement officers found 10 torture chambers in Kherson, incl one for underages.”
Our blogger recalls Auschwitz.
Zelenskyy: “The only way to stop this is to push out Russian terrorists step by step from our Ukrainian land.”
64 Ukrainian soldiers gained back through an exchange.
A shopping market reopens in Bucha (a suburb of Kyiv).

Interesting that Iranian protesters are getting around official censorship by using the social media site TikTok. They’re reaching viewers in the hundreds of thousands.

Elon Musk showed us his “free speech absolutist” side when he took down a page that was tracking his jet (the site used open-source data) and then tried to come p with general rules that would prevent it from happening again. This new set of rules could have a serious effect on dealing with crises.

Musk’s war against bots “inadvertently” hits Ukrainians and many, many other legitimate users of Twitter.

The incident highlights growing confusion within Twitter as the company struggles to carry out Musk’s erratic commands with his ever-shrinking pool of engineers.

Russia hits symbolic target in Kherson. “Which only shows how weak Russia is.”

How Russia is evading sanctions.

On Florida Governor DeSantis:

Yep. He's going to run on being a COVID denier. Is his bet that there are enough Independents and leftwing lockdown/mask hysterics out there...

Interesting strategy. In rate of Covid-19 cases per 100k people by state, Florida ranks #8, so it's not like DeSantis can claim that his methods were successful.

To me, the most important thing that any story on Governor DeSantis and health policy should include, right in the first paragraph, is that Florida is in the top ten of states that have the highest Covid deaths per 100k. DeSantis has nothing to brag about concerning his stewardship of the health of Florida citizens! This important context is completely missing from this mainstream media story because, hey, it's about a horserace!

Hydrogen fusion, we’ve finally achieved more heat via fusion than we produced via inputting laser beams. Should take about a decade for fusion to be commercially workable.

Twitter is silencing/shadow banning Ukrainian accounts.
Woo hoo! US is sending Patriot anti-missile missiles to Ukraine!
France allocating a billion Euros to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Ukraine has liberated around 54% of the territory seized since February.
Russians caught trying to smuggle high-tech goods from US to Russia.

Representative Jordan posts:

. @elonmusk fired half the staff at Twitter. The app is working great. Maybe better than ever?

In three hours, this post has almost 8,500 replies saying "What are you, high?" and pointing out ways in which, no, it's not working well at all!

Elon Musk is absolutely destroying his own product! His purchase of Twitter was financed largely through Tesla stock. People around Boston, Massachusetts are likely to buy Teslas, people in Alabama are not. Musk is insulting and alienating the very people who are likely to buy his electric car.

Musk's problem now is just plain keeping the lights on!

"With Elon Musk selling billions in Tesla shares..."

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