Pennsylvania ELECTION DAY- TUESDAY April 22,

VOTE!  Polls open between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. 


Philadelphia, PA Area Action


Monday Noon: Rally for Solutions to Homelessness


WE Call on the Presidential Candidates: WE NEED SOLUTIONS TO Homelessness


Rally and Press Conference

Monday, April 21 – 12:00 noon

National Constitutional Center (525 Arch Street)

For more information, contact Will O'Brien at 215-232-7272, ext. 3047 or


Call the Vote For Homes! Information Line at 215-232-7272, x3106 for help getting to the polls!




MARC ELLIS'S LECTURE AT PENN: "A Jewish Theology of Liberation: Twenty Years After."

APRIL 22 , 2008* *


Professor Marc Ellis, Director the Jewish Studies Center at Baylor

University, will give a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania on

Tuesday April 22nd at 4.30 p.m.

The lecture is jointly sponsored by the Departments of

Religious Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

      The lecture will be given in the Irvine Auditorium, Room G-7. The

building is on the North-West corner of 34th and Spruce Streets,

directly opposite the University Hospital. G-7 (G for Ground) is

downstairs from the entrance.



Saturday, April 26, 2008, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m



What Breaks our hearts about gun violence? What will be our response?

Come and hear personal stories from Dorothy Johnson-Speight (of Mothers In Charge), whose 24-year-old-son was murdered over a parking space in 2001, and learn about initiatives for gun legislation from CeaseFire NJ and Mennonite Central Committee, Philadelphia. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, to be in dialogue with other participants, and to write letters lobbying for handgun legislation. Refreshments will be served. A free-will offering will be taken to help cover expenses.

            PLACE: Woodland Presbyterian Church, 401 South 42nd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Free & Open to the Public

To RSVP call 215-729-2050, or send an email to

Forum planned by the Peace Group of West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship. Co-sponsored by Abbraccio Restaurant, Calvary Center for Culture and Community, Calvary United Methodist Church, Cedar Park Neighbors, Eastern University School for Social Change, Woodland Presbyterian Church




May 5: Rally for All Families, Harrisburg - Capitol Building, Rotunda 1:00


Join Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, the Value All Families

Coalition and the Faith Coalition for Pennsylvania Families at a

rally against the anti-family constitutional Amendment. Legislators

and organizations opposing SB 1250 will speak against the

legislation and the media will be invited to cover the rally.

      All attendees are encouraged to visit their legislators that

day. There will be a training session at 11:00 AM to discuss the

legislation and visiting your elected officials The training

location will be announced soon -- please visit our website at for an update on the location.


There may be buses or vans from different areas of the state

leaving that morning and due to arrive in Harrisburg in time for

the training. More information on our website as this develops.

* Questions about transportation:

* Questions about the hearing, Rally for All Families or SB 1250,

Contact: or at (215) 731-1447 ext 11.

      Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

      If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for

Equality Advocates Pennsylvania Action Center at:



Wednesday, April 23


3:00-5:00 p.m.

"Language Access: Organizing & Advocacy with the Philadelphia School District" with representatives from Juntos, SEAMAAC, & Parents United for Public Education

Fels Community Center, 2407 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA

Sponsored by PA Immigration & Citizenship Coalition

For info, email


5:00-7:00 p.m. "Happy Hour for Her"

Haru Sushi, 243 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA

Sponsored by Young Women's Initiative of Women's Way & Women Organized Against Rape

For info, see


5:00-8:00 p.m. "Reaching Across the Miles: Women & Diversity"

PECO Energy Hall, 2301 Market St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, call Carmen at 267-847-8153.


6:30-8:30 p.m. Bread & Roses Spring Skill Share

Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, see


Thursday, April 24


9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Watershed Snapshot 2008--help measure our region's watershed health

Chestnut Hill College, 9601 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA

For more info, call Fred at 215-848-7722.


8:00 p.m. Film Screening: "MOVE: a documentary"

Firehouse Bikes, 50th & Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA For info, see


Friday, April 25


1:30-3:30 p.m.

"With Our Bodies & Our Souls: Thinking Feminism from the Andes" with Julieta Paredes

Fireside Room, 3601 Locust Walk, 2nd floor, UPenn, Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


7:30 p.m. Monthly Meeting of Animal Rights Activists of NJ

Osage School Library, 112 Somerdale Rd., Voorhees, NJ

For info, email


Saturday, April 26


10:00-11:30 a.m. Conversation about Women's Health and Aging

Philadelphia Senior Center, 509 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, call 215-255-7373.


10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Recuperando el Barrio (presented by El Vejigante Arts Initiative)

Playground at 2322 North Fifth St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


2:00-3:30 p.m. Educational Demonstration against Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus

Wachovia Spectrum, Pattison Ave., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


Sunday, April 27


11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  9th Annual Autism Awareness Day

Philadelphia Zoo, Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA For info, see


6:00 p.m. Coalition for Peace Action's Membership Dinner & Program, featuring Jonathan Schell

Trinity Church, 33 Mercer St., Princeton, NJ

Cost is $50 per person For info, see


Wednesday, April 30


8:00-11:00 a.m., Partners in Philanthropy Summit

Sheraton City Center Hotel, 17th & Race Sts., Philadelphia, PA

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Business Journal

Tickets are $110 per person

For info, see


10:00 a.m. to noon, Roundtable Discussion about Proposed Graduation Competency Assessments

United Way, 7 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA

Sponsored by PCCY & Project U-Turn

For info, call 215-563-5848 x.12


12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch Reception with Future Leaders of PA

State Capitol Building, North Office, Ground Level, Hearing Room 3, Harrisburg, PA

Sponsored by the Center for Progressive Leadership

For info, email


5:30-8:00 p.m. HIAS & Council Migration Service Honors Hon. Harold Berger

Union League, 140 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA

Tickets are $118 ($60 for non-profit frontline staff & students) For info, call 215-832-0920.


Thursday, May 1


noon: Dedication of a Memorial to the Haymarket Massacre at Elmwood Park, 71st & Buist Ave., Philadelphia, PA For info, email


5:00 p.m. "Electing Women--Effecting Change" (honoring EMILY's LIST Founder Ellen Malcolm)

Sheraton City Center, 17th & Race Sts., Philadelphia, PA

Tickets are $85 and up, benefits Women's Way For info, see


Friday, May 2


times vary

Theatrical Run of "Body of War: The True Story of an Antiwar Hero" (new documentary)

Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead St., Philadelphia, PA

ticket & showtimes available online at


6:00 p.m. Auction & Casino Night for the Prevention of Child Abuse (benefits Child Abuse Prevention Effort) Ironworkers' Hall, 11600 Norcom Rd., Philadelphia, PA

Admission is $40, includes $15 in gaming chips

For info, call 215-624-1176 x. 201


Saturday, May 3


5:30 p.m.

PennFuture's 10th Anniversary Gala with Guest of Honor former Vice President Al Gore

Society Hill Sheraton, Philadelphia, PA

Tickets are $250 and up For info, call 717-214-7920.


Wednesday, May 7


8:00 p.m.

"Chasing the Flame: Lessons for US Foreign Policy from a Life in Violent Places" (with Samantha Power) Busch Campus Center, Multipurpose Room, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

For info, email


Friday, May 9


11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Chester County Fund for Women & Girls with keynote speaker Swanee Hunt, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, One Liberty Blvd., Malvern, PA

Tickets are $50 For info, email


6:00-9:00 p.m.

Reception for 5th Annual Black Male Development Symposium: "Stand Up, Speak Up; Speak Up, Speak Out: Conversations with Real Men"

Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Rd., Glenside, PA For info, call 215-572-8510.


7:30 p.m. Arlo Guthrie Solo Acoustic Concert

McCarter Theater, Princeton, NJ

Tickets are $100, benefits Coalition for Peace Action For info, call 609-924-5022.


Saturday, May 10, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 5th Annual Black Male Development Symposium: "Stand Up, Speak Up; Speak Up, Speak Out: Conversations with Real Men"

African American Museum, 701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA For info, call 215-572-8510.


Sunday, May 11- ALL DAY--MOTHER'S DAY


4:30 p.m.

Monthly Potluck Supper & Program: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Catonsville 9's Resistance to War

University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


Tuesday, May 13


9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Training: "Working with Domestic Violence Survivors" -- offers 6 CE credits for social workers

Lutheran Settlement House, 1340 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA

Cost is $50 (60 with CEs) For info, call 215-426-8610 x.236


3:00-5:00 p.m.

"Addressing the Needs of Immigrant Elders in PA" with Sue Wasserkrug, PA SeniorLAW Helpline

YMCA, 90 N. Newberry St., York, PA For info, email


5:30-8:30 p.m.

"Making Every Voice Count: Philadelphia's Town Hall on Genes, Environment & Health"

Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


Wednesday, May 14


9:30-10:30 a.m.

United Way Days of Caring Briefing (find out how to host a Days of Caring event at your site)

United Way, 7 Ben Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA

For info,


noon-4 p.m. Symposium: "Public Interest Law in the 21st Century"

Arch St. Meetinghouse, 4th & Arch Sts., Philadelphia, PA

Cost is $20 ($10 with ticket to dinner, see 5 p.m.)

Sponsored by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia

For info, call 215-627-7100 x.223


5:00-9:00 p.m.

Dinner Celebrating the Career of Thomas Gilhool, Attorney & Community Advocate

Down Town Club, 6th & Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, PA

Tickets are $100 per person, $50 for public interest staff, clients & students

For info, call 215-627-7100 x.223


Friday, May 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

United Way Days of Caring Briefing (find out how to host a Days of Caring event at your site)

Family & Community Services of Delaware Co., 600 N. Olive St., Media, PA

For info,



Saturday, May 17


9:00 a.m. to noon Cleanup of Fairmount Park System/ City-wide

Sponsored by Greater Philadelphia Cares & the Fairmount Park Commission

For info, email


6:30-8:30 p.m. Gala for the Center on Ethnic & Minority Aging

Center in the Park, Germantown & Chelten Aves., Philadelphia, PA

For info, call Louis Colbert at 610-490-1855.


Sunday, May 18, 2:00 p.m.

5th Annual Interfaith Walk for Peace & Reconciliation

Meet at Masjid Muhammad, 411 E. Penn St., Philadelphia, PA, march to Mishkan Shalom, 4101 Freeland Ave., Philadelphia, PA

For info, see


Monday, May 19, 10:00 a.m.

General Meeting of the Interracial Task Force

COMHAR, 100 West Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


Tuesday, May 20 5:30-6:30 p.m.

United Way Days of Caring Briefing (find out how to host a Days of Caring event at your site)

United Way, 7 Ben Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA

For info,


Thursday, May 22, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

United Way Days of Caring Briefing (find out how to host a Days of Caring event at your site)

Montgomery Co. Health & Human Services Building, Conference Rooms A & B, 1175 Conshohocken Rd., Conshohocken, PA For info,


Friday, May 23, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

United Way Days of Caring Briefing (find out how to host a Days of Caring event at your site)

Pottstown Health & Wellness Foundation, 152 E. High St., Ste. 500, Pottstown, PA

For info,





6:00-9:00 p.m. Weekly ACT UP Meeting

St. Luke's Church, 330 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email




10:00-3:00 p.m. Volunteers Needed

The Giving Factory--sort books, clothing and toys for needy families

See for info.


12:00-1:00 p.m. Radio Show: "Labor to Neighbor" with hosts Janet Ryder,

Pat Eiding & Pete Matthews

900 AM WURD--215-634-8065.


6:00-8:00 p.m. Mt. Airy Community Computer Center Open Access

Offers free computer access to the community

Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church lower level, 17 East Mt. Pleasant Ave., Philadelphia, PA

For info, call 215-247-0870.


7:00 p.m. International Action Center--Philadelphia Chapter

Calvary Church (basement office), 48th & Baltimore Ave., Phila, PA

Call 215-724-1618 or email for info.


7:00-9:00 p.m. Organizing Meeting Toviah Thrift Shop

Chestnut St. (between 42nd & 43rd)

Call (215) 382-7251 or (215) 474-6459 box 1 for more info

Sponsored by Neighbors Against McPenntrification


7:30 p.m. Books Through Bars Packing Cafe

The A Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA

Help pack books to send to prisoners.





4:30-5:30 p.m. Peace Vigil

Federal Building, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA

Sponsored by House of Grace Catholic Worker

For info, email .


5:00 p.m. Vigil for Peace

Outside Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Dr., Philadelphia, PA

For info, see


6:00 p.m. Movement Class taught by Sophia Hoffer-Perkins

A-space, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA

Sliding scale donations

For info, call 215-727-0882.


7:00 p.m. Peace Vigil

Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

For info, see


7:30 p.m. International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement Weekly Meeting

Uhuru House, 1021 S. 49th St., Philadelphia, Pa

For info, see




10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Talk Radio Program with Sandra Dungee Glenn

(Member, School Reform Commission)

On WURD 900 AM--call in number is 215-426-1310.


3:00-5:00 p.m. Picketing DHS--Give us back our children!

DHS, 1515 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


6:00-8:00 p.m. Workshop: "Build Your Own Computer"

Nonprofit Technology Resources, 1524 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, Pa

$25 per session

To register, call 215-564-6686.


7:00-9:00 p.m. International Concerned Friends & Family of Mumia Weekly Meeting

4601 Market St., 5th floor, Philadelphia, PA

For info, call 215-476-5416.




10:00-3:00 p.m. Volunteers Needed

The Giving Factory--sort books, clothing and toys for needy families

See for info.


4:30 p.m. Anti-war leafleting and picket

Market & 11th Sts., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email


5:00 p.m. Vigil--Women in Black

Swarthmore Train Station, Park Ave. & Chester Rd., Swarthmore, PA

For info, email


6:00-8:00 p.m. Mt. Airy Community Computer Center Open Access

Offers free computer access to the community

Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church lower level, 17 East Mt. Pleasant Ave., Philadelphia, PA

For info, call 215-247-0870.



10:00 a.m. to noon "Talking Union" weekly call-in radio show, 1340 AM


noon-1:00 p.m. Peace Vigil

Rte. 38 & Cherry Hill Mall Dr., Cherry Hill, NJ

For info, email


1:00-2:00 p.m. Protest at Ferber Furs

1708 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA

For info, email






Philadelphia Sabeel Conference, April 25-26, 2008

Villanova University, Connolly Conference Center


Begins 12 noon on Friday, April 25. Concludes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.

IN SEARCH OF A HOMELAND: The Quest for Place and Peace in Israel and Palestine


Several concurrent workshops, most of them offered twice over the two days, offer the opportunity for active participation.  They are:

“The Environmental Impact of War” led by Dr. Linda Hanna and Leila Barclay

“The Role of Lebanon in Middle East Peace” led by the Rev. Kail Ellis, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Science at Villanova University

“The Literature of Palestine” led by Dr. Roger Allen, Professor of Arabic at the University of Pennsylvania

“Constructive Local Involvement” led by Susan Abulhawa, founder of Playgrounds for Palestine and author of The Scar of David, winner of the Best Book Award, USA Book News

“Jewish Anti-Occupation Activism” led by the Philadelphia chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization opposed to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem

“Experiencing Two Peoples, Two Narratives, One Reality” led by Fr. John Sullivan and Sr. Maria Rieckelman, Maryknoll Missionaries who have led nine pilgrimages to the Holy Land.  This workshop will be offered on Saturday only.

      In addition to workshops and plenary sessions, the conference will include a film screening, cultural event and exhibits by renowned international Palestinian American artist Rajie Cook and award-winning photojournalist Linda Panetta.


Partial List of CoSponsors

Presbytery of Philadelphia Peacemaking Committee, Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania , Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Church , American Friends Service Committee Middle East Peacebuilding Project, Jewish Voice for Peace (Philadelphia Chapter), Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions—USA , Forum for American/Arab Understanding, Villanova University


Registration Fees:

$95 ($105 after April 11) and $35 for students. (Villanova students will be admitted free.)

$65 One-day registration, for either day. Anyone for whom these fees are prohibitive is invited to request a waiver and to contribute whatever he or she can afford. 

      Register on-line at or by calling or emailing David Yeaworth

      at 610-525-2776 ----




Knit Stump Socks for Our Vets


The Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia is joining the Grannies of New York and Denver, Colorado (and others) in knitting "Stump Socks" for our Iraq war veterans.   In Philadelphia: Three yarn shops in Granny areas have been contacted and have agreed to support the project:  Rosie's Yarn Cellar at 2017 Locust Street in Center City, The Tangled Web at 7900 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill, and The Ewe and I at 221 Haverford Ave. in Narbeth.    All three have received a copy of the patterns and the information below and are looking forward to helping you when you come in.         After hearing about the New York Grannies working on this project, samples were made and sent to the Head of the Prosthetics Division at the Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center.     We are asking those of you who knit I  - and/or have friends who knit - to visit the yarn shops mentioned (if in Philadelphia). The shops have received copies of the patterns. If you live outside Philadelphia, the pattern is below.


Make your stump sock(s) and get them to: Lois Durso, 1326 Spruce Street #1803, Philadelphia, PA 19107. - She will get them to our contact at the Medical Center. 

  Patterns below are for three sizes - small, medium and large.

      A.  Small Size*

Yarn:   Plymouth "Encore" and Berroco "Comfort" knitting worsted weight

Needles:  16" round needles in sizes 6 and 8 and you will need size 8 double pointed needles for the decrease rows.

With a 16" size 6 round (or double pointed needles), cast on 72 stitches and work in K2 P2

ribbing for 3 or 4".    Switch to size 8 needle(s) and work in stockinette until piece measures 9" long, including ribbing.

Decreases: 1.  K6, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog around the row.  2.  Knit one round.   3.  K5, K2 tog, K5, K 2 tog across row.  4.  K one round.  Continue to decrease in like manner until 9 stitches remain.  Weave stitches together.  Weave in ends.

      B.  Medium Size

Same as for small but use size 8 needle(s) for the ribbing and size 10 needle (s) for the stockinette rows and decreases.

      C.  Large Size

Same as "Medium" above but start by casting on 80 stitches.   Note:  You will end up with 10 stitches to be woven together.

      N.B.  Please note that the important thing is to work in multiples of 8 stitches.   You can make a Small size by starting with 64 stitches and following the instructions for the B.  Medium Size (using sizes 8 and 10 needles) above.  You will end up with  8 stitches to weave together.  

      Similarly, you can make an extra large by starting with 88 stitches.   You will end up with 11 stitches to weave together.  I was told that they would need twice as many in Medium, Large, and Extra large sizes than in the small size.


** Please wash and dry the sock(s) before mailing.  

** Consider enclosing a note with each sock saying something like - "In thanks for the service you have given our country" or "Made with Love (or Made with Thanks) by Granny (your name) of the Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia" or something brief so the recipient will understand you appreciate the sacrifice he or she made.  


Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia:

To send dues ($20.00) or a contribution, make out a check to GPBP and send to:

 Zondra Price, 2612 Swain Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130




Please sign this Petition for Jan Tamas


Jan Tamas is leading the resistance to the US missile base in the Czech Republic and he spoke on Wednesday at CUNY and this morning on Amy Goodman's DN.  If you haven't yet signed his petition, please go to the site now.





Finding Voters ‘Bitter and Frustrated,’ Obama is Sounding Like Nader

by Dave Lindorff,

      I haven’t lived in rural Pennsylvania or in rural Indiana, but I have lived in rural upstate New York, in towns where there are so few Democrats that on some local election ballots, not a single position, from town council to justice of the peace, has a contest. As in China, your option is to vote for the Republican candidate, or to leave that line blank.

And many of the people in these towns, uniformly white, when they talk politics, spend a lot of their time complaining about black people, immigrants (neither of whom can even be found in the vicinity) and the threat to their guns.

Barack Obama is exactly right.

      In Hancock, NY and Spencer, NY, there are no factory jobs. There used to be in Hancock, but the companies where hundreds of people used to work have long since folded or moved south of the border, courtesy of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) aggressively promoted and pushed through Congress by Bill and Hillary Clinton during the 1990s. In Spencer, there are no jobs because in the free-for-all bidding by companies for tax giveaways between communities, Spencer had nothing much to offer. The town is so dirt poor that when the library board, of which I was briefly president, got a measure on the ballot to have one extra dollar per taxpayer of school district taxes allocated to support the local little library, which was at that time totally supported by donations, the measure went down to resounding defeat (I was labeled a communist by some for promoting the idea!).

      In 1992, neighbors in Spencer told me they were voting for George H. W. Bush-a patrician blue blood if ever there was one-because Bill Clinton, if elected “would take away our guns.”

Of course, he didn’t, and had no intention of doing so, but that didn’t matter.

Don’t get me wrong-the people in Hancock and Spencer are good folks. I’m pretty sure many of them probably give a higher proportion of their meager incomes to charity than do millionaires John McCain and Hillary Clinton. But Obama is right that in their angst and frustration at seeing the good economic times pass them by, at seeing themselves abandoned by the federal government in hard times, and at seeing candidates promise them everything during campaigns, only to ignore them after winning, they are bitter and frustrated.

And they have a right to be, and they should be.

      One response to that bitterness and frustration is that they are open to the charlatans in both parties, and especially the Republican Party, who have played on their basest fears. It’s Republicans who have whispered the poison in their ears that their high taxes are because “the Blacks” are getting all that welfare money and are getting all the jobs through “quotas.” It’s the Republicans who have warned them about “hoards” of Mexicans coming across the border to steal their jobs. It’s the Republicans who have been warning them that Democrats are going to take their hunting rifles and shotguns away. It’s the Republicans and their Christian fundamentalist front men who have been saying that the Democrats have been causing the nation’s decline by supporting licentiousness and a “gay” agenda. And it’s Republicans and Democrats who have been hyping the bogus issue of national defense to keep people from focusing on the deliberate dismantling of the US economy that is underway. (Over years of Republican and Democratic administrations, the tax contribution of US corporations to the national budget has fallen from 50% in 1940 to just 14% today. Between 1996 and 2000, 61% of all corporations and 39% or large corporations paid no taxes at all, and that situation has only gotten worse in the Bush years.)

      Anything but the real issue, which is how to provide funds so that the children in places like Spencer and Hancock can get a decent education without bankrupting the local taxpayers, how those communities can get jobs again, so that their children won’t have to move out, how to ensure that everyone in town can have health insurance and access to medical care.

Barack Obama is right. I’ve seen it in person. The people in rural America are bitter and frustrated, and after years of being played by politicians, they fall victim to the charlatans who tell them it’s all because of “the Blacks,” or the immigrants, or who tell them that their guns are in danger. Or they turn to religions that preach division or apocalypse-a concept that offers the chance of a final, delicious revenge against the rich and the powerful oppressors on Wall Street and in Washington.

      Now I don’t know what Obama has in mind to try and turn things around for these good people, but it’s a start that he’s at least talking to them, not down, but honestly.

His talk ( in response to attacks on his statement about rural residents being “bitter and frustrated” is as good as anything Ralph Nader has said about the power and mendacity of the ruling political elite in America.

As he put it, to wild applause at a rally in Terra Haute, Indiana, explaining the difficulty of appealing to the rural working class voters in Pennsylvania:

“For the last 25 years they’ve seen jobs shift overseas, they’ve seen their economies collapse, they have lost their jobs, they’ve lost their pensions, they’ve lost their health care. And for 25-30 years, Democrats and Republicans have come before then and said we’re gonna make your community better. We’re gonna make it right. “And nothing ever happens. And of course they’re bitter, and of course they’re frustrated. You would be too, in fact many of you are. Because the same thing has happened here in Indiana. The same thing has happened across the border in Decatur. (Wild applause) The same thing has happened across the country. Nobody’s looking out for you. Nobody is thinking about you.

      “And so people end up, they don’t vote on economic issues, because they don’t expect anybody’s gonna help them. So people end up, you know, voting on issues like guns-you know are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. You know, they, they take refuge in their faith, and their communities, their families-things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington.

      “So here’s what’s rich. Sen. Clinton says, `Well I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania. You know I think Barack’s being condescending.’ And John McCain says, `Oh how can he say that? How can he say that people are bitter? You know he obviously is out of touch with the…’” “Out of touch? Out of touch! I mean, John McCain, it took him three tries to finally figure out that the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch?”

      “Sen. Clinton voted for a credit card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt, after taking money from the financial services companies and she says I’m out of touch? “No, I’m in touch. I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania, I know what’s going on in Indiana. I know what’s going on in Illinois. (Standing ovation) People are fed up! They’re angry, and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter and they want to see a change in Washington, and that’s why I’m running for president of the United States of America!”

      Now who knows whether this is all talk too. Maybe Obama is just one more political charlatan. What is clear though is that this was a speech that we have not heard from a Democratic politician for decades, and it sure sounded good to hear it.

If Obama sticks to this rhetorical approach in the coming weeks, he will nail this nomination in spite of a concerted attack on him by the corporate media and by the combined forces of the Clintons and McCain. And if he does win the nomination, and resists the siren calls of the Democratic Party leadership to “move to the middle,” and instead hones this populist message, he will go on to win the presidency.

      That’s when the real challenge will come, for an aroused citizenry, in those rural communities and in the larger cities across that nation, to make a President Obama and a Democratic Congress deliver on these words. For now, they’re pretty powerful words, and just hearing them coming from a Democratic Party frontrunner is an exciting change.

Dave Lindorff’s most recent book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at


Petraeus Hid Maliki Resistance to US Troops in Basra


Tank Shell That Sprays Deadly Darts Killed Cameraman in Gaza, Say Doctors


Carter Calls Gaza Blockade a Crime and Atrocity


Iran Says US Aids Rebels at Its Borders


New Hampshire Rep Has Made Impeaching Bush, Cheney Her Mission


Suffragist City, Mary Beth Norton, The Nation

      This past October, during a brief residency at Cornell University Law School, the retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, accompanied by other female lawyers, visited the Women's Rights National Historical Park.