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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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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

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Rally for Gaza


Gay Pride Parade - Vets For Peace and FUMCOG contingents


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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Anti-drones protest

group photo

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Anonymous protests

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The 2013 Philly Gay Pride Parade

Brad Manning demo

Archive of actions & photos

Info, articles, etc.

"Trump Proclaims: 'There Is No Longer A Nuclear Threat From North Korea'"
Wow! Delusional much?

Update:  "If North Korea is denuclearizing, why is it expanding a nuclear research center?"

Serious question here as to whether the President really understands what Kim and his side mean when they say "denuclearization."

The critical difference that Representative Ro Khanna (R-CA) ignores is that if Barack Obama had been conducting this process, the process would have looked very, very different. Preparations for the nuclear deal with Iran began even before Obama took office, serious discussions began in 2012 and the deal wasn't signed until 2015. Preparations were very intensive and thoroughly debated within the administration. This process with Kim was a spontaneous, off-the-cuff, seat-of-the-pants operation.

Comparing and contrasting the two deals.

The blatant hypocrisy is infuriating, but I was truly shocked by Senate Majority Leader McConnell's statement on the Trump-Kim summit: "...he praised the “historic first step.' While he noted that it was 'the beginning of the arduous process.'" Um, has McConnell ever met the President?!?!?! What on Earth makes McConnell think that the President has either the ability or intention to even begin any sort of "arduous process"?

Just for the fun of it, let's look at the Iran nuclear deal, for contrast. How thoroughly did the Obama Administration prepare for talks with Iran? Representatives of the P5+1 started meeting with Iranian representatives about a year and a half in Istanbul, Turkey; Baghdad, Iraq; Moscow, Russsia; and Almaty, Kazakhstan before foreign ministers and our Secretary of State began taking part in meetings.

Oh, good heavens! I saw this clip earlier where someone introduced it as a "batshit-crazy piece of junk," but I didn't realize the Trump Administration produced it! Seriously? They really think the North Korean dictator can't recognize over-the-top propaganda when he sees it?

Obama did things and got excoriated. Trump does exact same things and gets praised.

Twitter reaction to Trump-Kim summit. Interesting reaction from NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch. Chris Wallace of Fox News weighs in: "I think it is well to keep in mind that Kim Jong Un has given up nothing at this point."

So how'd the meeting with North Korea's leader go? Great, from the President's perspective anyway.

No verifiability provisions. No inspection provisions. Trump seems to have offered troop reductions and a freeze in military exercises. Details fuzzy -- but any US President other than Trump would be excoriated by both parties for such a weak, vague agreement

President appears pretty upbeat about meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. As to the comment here about "haters" being skeptical,

Digby sez:
Thank you @chrislhayes for clarifying for Nick Kristof that progressives are not actually rooting for Trump to fail. We just don't have a lot of faith in Donald Trump's ability to do anything but make everything worse, which is the only rational position to take.

I take a look at superheroes and diversity.

"Dinesh D'Souza New Talkie Will Compare Trump To Abraham Lincoln" No wonder this guy received a presidential pardon! Personally, I'd be embarrassed to have someone write such obvious horsecrap about me.

Amazing! Just %$#@ing amazing! People who are getting paid $60k a year because they're reconstructing top-secret papers are having to reconstruct papers because the President enjoys tearing up papers he's read!!!!! These papers must be preserved as anything the Chief Executive handles is of historic importance.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rules that nah, just 'cause you're the victim of domestic violence, that doesn't mean the US is obliged to protect you.
Interestingly, and to my mind not at al coincidentally, Sessions also appears to be strongly opposed to abortion.

No, the job of the Supreme Court is not just to "call balls and strikes," but to fix laws that are obviously broken. Dealing with voters who have moved or are deceased are resolved problems. Dealing with voters who haven't voted in a while is not an obvious problem at all. Why it requires "fixing" only becomes clear when you realize that people who haven't voted in a while are likely to be Democrats.

Why is North Korea talking with President Trump? Couple of good reasons, actually. 

So if the US proved so feckless with regard to Iran and the G7, why should N. Korea now trust any deal Trump makes?
The answer is that N. Korea doesn’t trust Trump at all and is not planning to make any deal with him to give up its nuclear weapons entirely.
Kim Jong Un wants the prestige that would come from a two-way summit with the world’s sole superpower. Even if the talks go nowhere, Pyongyang will have seen a permanent rise in its world standing.

Update: Oops! "According to analysts focusing on North Korean issues on the site 38 North, not only has Pyongyang not started the denuclearization process, but it is making improvements to its program at 'at a rapid pace.'”

A conservative idea on gun control was instant computer checks on gun buyers. How's that working out? An employee was fired for clear negligence, but it's also clear that the office she worked in was understaffed and overworked. Statistics indicate that at least 2,000 people were approved for firearms permits that should have been denied.

So how successful was our President in Quebec? Yeah, he fired off two tweets from Air Force One saying how annoyed he was with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and saying he wouldn't endorse the G7 communiqué. Woo hoo! More winning! [/facepalm] More hate and discontent on the G-7 Summit. Assessments from allies: “'He’s like Heath Ledger’s Joker—but without the operational excellence.' That was the grim after-action assessment of one senior G7 official with whom I spoke in the shocked aftermath of President Donald Trump’s savage post-summit tweets."

"Trump said the final outcome would lead either to a better agreement on NAFTA or separate trade deals with both Canada and Mexico."
Hmm, yeah. As I recall, the President said he wanted to replace the Trans-Pacific Partnership with one-to-one treaties with all those different countries. Not a single Pacific country has agreed to any such deal.

Army thought it was being clever when they had a deliveryperson busted by ICE. Surrounding restaurants were not amused and all fast food delivery service has been canceled.

Yeah, President Trump may wish to bring Russia into the G7, making it the G8 again, but other members are considering throwing the US out, thereby making it the G6.

After nearly two years of having the House, Senate and Presidency all in the hands of just one party, the tax cut of December is pretty much the only accomplishment Republicans can run on. How's that working out for them? Not looking too good.

Whoah! Speaking of our President being unpopular, the French President says: "The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be."

Both houses of Congress and the Trump Administration got lots and lots of pushback when they tried to dismantle the ACA. We can see here how much respect they have for the very clearly-expressed desires of the American people.

See, there's a big difference between a democracy and a corporatocracy. Democracy usually gets lots of participation from older voters who have the leisure time to study the issues. Corporatocracy represents consumers, who tend to be younger and more liberal. This fellow ran headlong into a youthful, liberal buzzsaw. The results for him and the corporate branch he worked in were utterly disastrous.

I respond to a Trump-worshipping Letter to th Editor in our local paper.

Yemen is under a tight air, land and naval blockade and it was taking military action against Saudi Arabia long before it got any aid from Iran. No, the struggle there does not resemble the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Hoo boy! While discussing trade policy, the President accuses Canada of burning the White House in 1814. Actually, it was the British, who were **stationed** in Canada, and then marched South, who did the burning. Anyway, it's a dumb guy's idea of what a smart guy might say.

The UN considers the US policy of separating children from their parents at the border to be a human rights violation.

There's nothing wrong with the jobs numbers. The economy is in robust shape. But are the numbers unprecedented? Is the economy in unusually good shape? Hardly. We had a more or less identical number in 2013 and higher numbers in 2014 and 2015. The idea that "this is the greatest economy in the HISTORY of America" is wildly, hysterically off. Not surprising that the President wants to present himself as irreplaceable, but there's just nothing to get excited about here.

The American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan asked Press Secretary Sanders whether the President recognized that athletes "taking a knee" were not disrespecting the flag, but were instead protesting police brutality. The answr Ryan received was very clearly a "No."   

The whole usefulness of the press briefing is called into question as Sanders can't even put up a half-hearted defense of a contradiction between her statement and what the President's counsel said. She said that when the excuses for the meeting of several Russians and Donald Trump Jr were made, that the President “certainly didn’t dictate” the statement that was put out to the press. The President's counsel said precisely the opposite. 

Woo hoo! March For Our Lives is doing positive, useful stuff to turn the political tide! They're going all-out to register young people to vote!

A Fox News host agrees with a Congressman that the President can pardon himself. Vox documents the Press Secretary reluctantly agreeing that no, the President is NOT above the law and cannot pardon himself.

Okay, the items seized in the raid upon President Trump's former fixer/lawyer Michael Cohen have now been sorted out. There are nearly 700 items (bound copies of documents), only 14 of which have been put off-limits to prosecutors. There were three items that were disputed, but were resolved as having been made available to the prosecution. Basically, Mueller gets over 99% of what was seized in the Cohen raid.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pleased with the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission because ... well, of course he is. The decision permits shops to discriminate amongst customers

Hi-tech witness tampering. And Manafort wonders why he's not free to come and go as he pleases.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu caused a lot of hate and discontent among Democrats and liberals in the US when he made a highly partisan speech that was approved by the Republican Party, but not by the Democratic President. Apparently, President Trump has decided that's a fine model for dealing with other countries. The Germans weren't impressed with Trump to begin with and are even less impressed now.

Yeah, the rule that no one can be both judge and defendant in the same trial is a very, very old one and one that has lost none of its usefulness and relevance. 

Had this lawmaker attempted to conduct a snap, unannounced inspection of a facility where separated family members were being held, I'd be 100% behind him. Any Representative or Senator should have that authority. But "his staff attempted to set up a meeting to do so last week," so that's even worse on the part of the facility.

I don't consider this statement the slightest bit surprising. I suspect this is why the 20-page memo that compares his powers to those of Joseph Stalin was released, to prepare the people for an announcement that he's declaring himself to be free of the constraints that democracy imposes on him. Also very sad to hear of the Republican Party's attitude towards one of their members standing up for the rule of law

Uh-huh. Right. Okay. A member of the Trump Administration is concerned about the environment. (Reads further) Oh, okay. I get it. He's just using the environment as an excuse to build the President's "big, beautiful wall."

Disturbing thread appears to show that the NY Times has decided that Democrats just aren't worth quoting when it comes to news about the President any more.

Why didn't the FBI tell presidential candidate Donald Trump that they were investigating Paul Manafort, his campaign chairperson? Well, they did. Several times, in fact, because Manafort had a history of suspicious foreign entanglements.

So clearly there's a major discrepancy between what Donald Trump Jr. said and what the 20-page January lawyer's letter said. CNN newsperson Dana Bash asks Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about that, he spouts some irrelevant talking points. She asks again, he goes back into his talking points. Very sensibly, she makes it clear that he's just not answering and goes onto another subject. That's a good response.

Oh, okay. The 20-page letter was sent from the President's lawyers to Bob Mueller back in January. There's been quite a bit of activity on Mueller's part since then, so Mueller clearly didn't take the letter the slightest bit seriously. The letter has a very extreme theory of presidential power, making President Trump, essentially, a dictator.

Yes, it's entirely reasonable to say that those seeking to question the President should have to clear a high bar. They should prove that it's really necessary. This though “The president’s prime function as the chief executive ought not be hampered by requests for interview,” they wrote. “Having him testify demeans the office of the president before the world,” is absolutely ridiculous. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both testified while in office. This memo gives the President the powers of an absolute monarch like Louis XIV (Ruled France 1643-1715).

The young Palestinian woman, Razan al-Najjar, was wearing an outfit that clearly identified her as medical personnel and was killed by a sniper that had precision, long-range scopes on his or her rifle.

Free Markets:

"Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants in an effort to extend their life." I never want to hear another word about how Democrats are the ones who interfere with the free market. NEVER.

Woo hoo Despite our stick-in-the-mud national leadership, Philly makes progress on climate goals anyway!

A horrifying look at the morally decayed immigration service under President Trump.

No, the President didn't use exact numbers, but he made it clear ahead of the official jobs report that the numbers were good. Of course, markets reacted correctly and a lot of people made a lot of money. This is corruption, folks!

While the politicians of both parties and constituents of the Republican Party are solidly pro-Israel, Democratic constituencies are about a third for, a third against and a third undecided. Instead of seeing this as the natural result of expanding Israeli settlements on the West Bank, a tight blockade since 2007 on Gaza and Prime Minister Netanyahu's highly divisive and partisan politics, the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman thinks Democratic leaders are just slacking off on going "Rah! Rah! Israel!" I have a hard time envisioning a more useless, out-of-touch, oblivious diplomat.

Thinkpiece on the pardoning power and how it's been used/abused by this president. More on that.

Dick's Sporting Goods was execting to take a financial hit after raising the age to buy gns there. They're actually doing better than ever!


President Trump is very upset at Bob Iger over the Roseanne case.

Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?

And no, no one knows what the President means by "horrble statements." If he just means that people called him a white supremacist or a fascist demagogue, then there's nothing to apologize for as those are entirely true statements.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders goes into a lengthy defense of President Trump. My responses.

From Fox News: concerning the cancellaton of Roseanne

"Folks on the left have said [far worse] about Trump [with] almost no consequence."

Really? We, or at least I, have certainly called him a fascist demagogue and a wannabe dictator. How is that worse than calling someone an ape? 

"maybe an apology should be good enough sometimes." 

Absolutely, but was this one of those times? Roseanne very clearly spoke from the heart and very clearly meant what she said.

Well yes. Roseanne Barr has the free speech right to make racist comments if she wants to, but she wasn't shut down by the government. She was shut down by capitalism and free enterprise. The corporation that she worked for found her actions to be unprofitable for them, so they reacted to serve their interests. And puh-leeze! Did Barr's comments arise from a "wicked, twisted sense of humor"? Nonsense. They were just plain, straight-up racist.

The Trump Administration said they'd be reimposing sanctions on Iran in order to get a better and more favorable deal. India explicitly says they won't go along, which calls the whole project into question.

Someone complained yesterday that the Roseanne news overwhelmed the Puerto Rico news. True, but they're fundamentally different kinds of stories. PR actually suffered $90 billion in damage and almost 5,000 deaths.

From NPR:

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep Tuesday, former President Barack Obama's domestic policy director, Cecilia Muñoz, stated unequivocally that separating children from their parents was not a policy the Obama administration followed.

"The Obama administration did not do that, no. We did not separate children from their parents," Muñoz said. "This is a new decision, a policy decision put in place by the attorney general," which Muñoz said "puts us in league with the most brutal regimes in the world's history."

And the real scandal is not just the losing f 1,500 migrant children, but the calculated, deliberate nature of the utterly inhuman policy of separting immigrants parets and children in the first place.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) gives us some plain speech about the inhuman policy on the Southern border and, properly, puts the blame for it 100% on the Trump Administration.

Wow! Never watched Roseanne, not because I don't like Roseanne Barr, but because I generally don't watch comedies at all (An exception was Jeeves & Wooster), but yeah, the re-booted Roseanne really has to be cancelled, NOW!!! Roseanne's "joke" suggested that Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, was the baby of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.

Update: Good ABC reacted promptly and properly. "Roseanne" has been cancelled. 

Of all of the nutty conspiracy theories that the Trump Administration has been putting out, what is probably the most thoroughly debunked one is the one about millions of undocumented immigrants being bussed over the border to illegally vote. The commission headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach couldn't find a shred of evidence that illegal votes made up more than a tiny fraction of a single percentage point of all votes. One of the people in this focus group said he saw a busload off "suspicious" passengers on voting day. Sorry, but I think the criteria needs to be much more rigorous than that!

Having North Korea ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty would be a reasonably realistic goal for the June summit. Having NK surrender all of its nuclear weapons or hand over any of them to the US belongs to the realm of opium dreams. Ain't gonna happen.

Happy to see that Senator Harris called the head of Homeland Security on her cute & fancy attempt to play word games as to what the department was doing at the border with children. We don't need a lot of euphemisms on that. The policy of separating families at the border had been in effect since January, but this marked the first time the policy was really being discussed. 

MS-13 is a terrible group of people, but the President is a racist who deliberately, in the manner of der Fuhrer, dehumanizes people in service of tactical goals.

So, with the anti-American Muqtada al Sadr the most popular politician in Iraq, how's Afghanistan doing? It's not quite a repeat of Vietnam. We have a bit more expertise in counterinsurgency now then we did then, but we're still working with a very weak and unpopular regime and can't even contemplate a full colonial take-over of the country. Does the US have the resources to do so? Sure, but nowhere does it have the popular will to get it done.

*Sigh* The libertarian Megan McArdle imagines (On Memorial Day weekend, of course) that liberals could not field an effective army to oppose Southerners and other rural folks because those folks have lots of guns. Of course, liberals tend to skew a lot younger and liberals states account for much more of the nation's wealth, so her analysis barely scratches the surface. Another blogger follows up with a deepthink piece on that. 

Good piece on separating families at the border. Starts with the creation of Homeland Security back in 2003.

Lengthy read with very good advice for Democrats. Piece focuses on three-year old book about corruption in Afghanistan. Corruption in the government was a real force multiplier for the Taliban. Chopping off the heads off of corrupt officials made the Taliban quite popular. Corruption is great if you're one of the corrupt officials who's raking in cash, not so great for anybody else in the society.

A Trump suppoter says: “President Trump has accomplished more positive things for this nation in less than two years than the last three have accomplished in twenty plus years."
I wonder what he meant by that and then I saw this piece, where former Senator Rick Santorum blames parents who sought asylum in the place where a famous statue says "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." and I said "Ah, okay. I understand what he means."

Lots of polarization on climate change and it looks like racism is driving that.

The fact that the President feels the need to blame Democrats for a policy that obviously started on his watch (children are being separated from their parents at the Mexican border) tells us pretty much everything we need to know about the morality of the policy.

Saw pictures of Irish women celebrating, but I thought this was more on-point. This is Irish women coming back home to vote. Note the demographics of the picture. All of these women are of child-bearing age. No men in the picture. This is the demographic that is most directly affected by a policy that disallows abortions. 

The US is not following any sort of clever, sinister, Machiavellian plans with North Korea and Iran. It instead resembles a Keystone Kops film, with actors running hither and yon and bumping into each other. I read the speech that the new Secretary of State gave on Iran. The piece here is correct, the US proposal; is a complete non-starter. We did not attempt to resolved all of our geopolitical differences with the Soviet Union in the SALT Treaties and Iranian support for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis cannot be resolved in the nuclear deal.

Good news from China, air pollution fell dramatically since they went all-in on green, renewable energy.

Speaker Paul Ryan tries to get all philosophical in his closing days, trying to sound like someone who's learned many lessons. But the question of "moral relativism" coming from a member of today's Republican Party is truly a joke.

Apparently there were calls to boycott Netflix over the announcement that the Obamas would be producing content for the cable channel. D'oh! Financially, Netflix is doing really well!

Israelis lost the PR war over the Gaza border shootings.

Conclusion of the (way over-hyped) "spygate scandal."

Today's Gang of Eight briefing was conducted in a manner that protects sources & methods. Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a “spy” in the Trump Campaign

The President tries to claim later that he was never told that anyone was invedstigatigng his campaign.

Dude. I mean, Sir. The FBI literally had a security briefing with you and your campaign, *advising* you that Russia was trying to infiltrate your the SAME TIME that your campaign staff was in contact with Russia and trying to set up meetings with you and Putin.

Is the EPA seriously trying to deal with toxic chemicals? You sure wouldn't know that from their PR strategy of roughing up and excluding spokespeople and the press from Flint, MI.

Instead of doing a post-speech fact-checking, MSNBC precedes President Trump's rant with words of warning.

So apparently it takes a few weeks for comments on American TV to make their way to North Korea. Either that or Kim Jong Un was saving that "outrage" for a strategically good moment. But yes, liberals concluded immediately and unanimously that the John Bolton comment about the “Libya option” was an incredibly stupid one the moment it was made.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech on North Korea failed in a number of respects.

The blogger understands that as the President spent a half-hour screaming at the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in front of the whole Cabinet, that she's gun-shy about endorsing a report that Russia tried to get the President into office, but it's difficult to initiate measures to protect our election processes without having the HS Secretary acknowledge that. 

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked a hypothetical question, but it was a perfectly reasonable one that should have prompted a very easy response. Reporter Hallie Jackson, asked, "Is there any situation barring a security incident in which you feel the White House feels it is appropriate to physically touch or physically handle--" Sanders got irritable with Jackson, but it wasn't a difficult question.

Blogger attempts to figure out what Trump Administration means on North Korea.

Our new Secretary of State sets out our negotiating position against Iran so as to prepare for a new nuclear deal. Not impressive at all.

Oh, yeah. As to Giuliani saying Mueller's investigation would be wrapped up by September? Ehh, not so much. The NY Times really should have been more specific when they talked about a closing date that they were only citing Giuliani. They should not have printed anything without having checked with Mueller's people.

Watched this commentary by Jeanine Pirro. Wow! So much long-debunked nonsense here, cited as though it were proven fact! There's a difference between honest opinion and just plain propaganda.

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