Center City

Philadelphia, PA

Center City Blog

Help me out here

It's pay day! So you have no excuse but to come tonight and help me remember who said that quote a long time ago, or more recently, about that one time when Fascism showed up to a 4th of July Party wearing a nice Flag-patterned Track-Suit.

I believe I saw that particular quote on Facebook, or on the interwebs somewhere, so it must be real. And if not real, or attributable to anyone in particular, I think it still sounds about right and frighteningly prescient.

Also Ham Rove is a racist prick.

That is all for now, Faculty meetings drain my reason centers in an attempt to make sense of it all.

Sincerely the other Dave

To Business! Join Drinking Liberally Center City tonight at our regular weekly get-together, starting at 6 p.m. in the upstairs bar at Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St. (between Locust & Spruce). Come for the Beer specials and stay for the conversation.

Drinking Liberally is a project of Living Liberally, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which builds progressive community through social networks and events. Founded in 2003, Living Liberally has 229 chapters across the country. The Center City Philadelphia chapter of DL was started during the 2004 election and has met every Tuesday night since.

The week's events:

Center City Organizer:
David Chatfield.
Jacqui Cohen.
Alex Buczek.

A Rant only an Anniversary Edition could hold... in other words it's long

A special 10 Anniversary reflection from our former Host, OG DLer, Ranter Extraordinary, and my inspiration Brendan Skwire:

It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since we lefties started getting together to collectively bemoan the ghastly Bush administration. I wasn't at the very first DL, but I believe I was at the second. I was a regular presence (and one of the organizers) up until Obama's election (more or less).

So what's changed since then?

Well, we've seen the rise of the Tea Party, and the lasting impact of the Occupy Movement, both of which have changed the national conversation (in the case of the Tea Party, by adding a delightful thread of paranoid frothing gibberish, and in the case of Occupy a real populist expression).

The Democratic party, for all its faults, has moved farther to the left. The best example of this is the utter destruction of the Blue Dogs, a conservative House faction that often voted with the Republicans. Don't smash your head on the punk rock as you're walking out the door guys

Despite historic obstruction from the Republicans, Obama has been extraordinarily effective, passing a stimulus package (which was watered down by the GOP), numerous extensions of unemployment, the Affordable Care Act, and presiding over the end of both Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. We wound down both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Or at least we thought we did. One thing that hasn't changed is our ability to get ourselves into wars we can't win, which seems to be happening right now with ISIS. We've also seen the president backslide on his promises of nuclear disarmament. The president has been as bad, and often worse, than Bush when it comes to civil liberties, privacy, surveillance, drones, and assassinations.

Edward Snowden happened. Ferguson MO and George Zimmerman happened, among other race-based murders, proving that we are nowhere near being a "post-racial society".

We've seen the Chris Christie balloon pop. We were introduced to the lovely, talented, politically astute, and not-at-all-insane Sarah Palin, thanks to everyone's favorite cranky-pants, John McCain. Who, by the way, is crankier than ever because Sarah Palin WON'T. GO. AWAY.

Looking forward to the next 10 years, I'll add my top 10 reasons why we need to keep fighting for our voice to be heard, strengthening our resolve by meeting, organizing, networking and generally supporting each other so we don't feel so alone in a world where yelling is the norm for debate and radical opinion is sold as fact. Issues presented in no particular order, they are all equally important.

10. The Tea Party movement has not died out, no matter how irrelevant they may seem. When there is still casual talk about a Government Shutdown over the Budget, and when potential Presidential Candidates like Doofus here are still taken seriously, we have to speak up.

9. It's getting harder to practice our most fundamental right. Today is National Voter Registration Day, and many voters from Texas to Pennsylvania still have to worry about getting an ID to vote, even when it is a financial burden to do so. And whack-a-doos like this gem think a test is a good idea, because that worked out well the first time. When they have forgotten the lessons of the past, we must speak up.

8. As Brendan stated, Obama hasn't been the peacenik we all hoped for. The perpetual War Machine escalated by Dubya continues and is ramping up again. We argue over what boots-on-the-ground technically means, rather whether or not we should be involved in the first place. The Debate is again skewed to benefit the Industrial Military Complex, When individuals like Snowden are demonized for doing the right thing, we must speak up.

7. Miami is going to be underwater in 50 years no matter what we do at this point. Due to a lack of any bravery on the part of our politicians, and an incredible amount of misinformation being slung for the sake of profit, our Climate keeps getting worse and worse. The action taken Sunday was heartening. By some counts 300,000 people marched in support of drastic action to save our collective asses. But change must happen now, not in 20 years, or 30, now. And we must speak up.

6. GUNS! Don't get me wrong, firing off a few rounds of a 12 gauge at the Gun Club sure was fun, but insanely easy access to guns that constitute weapons of mass-destruction in my book is bad, m'kay? And when dudes can interrupt your love affair with Chipotle Burrito with their Gun-boner, it's time we had a proper conversation about responsible gun ownership. As in, sometimes you should not be allowed to own a gun, especially one that is designed for mass obliteration. Reasoned debate is needed more than ever, so we must speak up

5. Economic Inequality is still a gaping hole sucking the American Dream Dry. The past 70 years the Right has fought back against the gains of the Progressive movement. Productivity is high while wages stagnate, and Union membership is equated to stealing food form starving kittens and babies and a living wage is completely unavailable to more and more. What the monied interests don't realize is that the natural response to being treated like slave labor is Organizing. Whether you sling burgers or teach college students, Unions are slated to make a comeback. But they need your support, and we must speak up.

4.Speaking of crappy working conditions, Women are still paid 30% less than men for the exact same amount of work. This is an Economic Equality issue as well as a civil rights issue. The better all of us are paid, the better our economy will do. This is stupid, but even though it seems obvious to us, we must speak up.

3. More of the ladies in the audience, Women are still objectified, beaten, and not given any Choice as to how they control their own destinies. With a good chance that the first Woman president will be elected, these issues must be resolved once and for all. And fellas, we need to jump on board and quiet the old-white-bumble-fucks that are misrepresenting our gender, we must speak up.

2.Racism? But Black President! When young Black men are still taught that even if they are perfectly innocent, they still must go above and beyond all others in order to avoid getting arrested, beaten and shot because their race dooms them to automatic suspicion and guilt, racism is not dead. The past few years have brought several horrifying incidents to the attention of the Nation. But a militarized police force still roams our streets and is allowed by our Highest Court to, when in doubt, shoot the be-jeezus out of 'em. Racism is pervasive, but can be fought when we stand together and we we speak up.

1. With things seemingly getting worse, the more we need to speak up. Our Democracy has fallen and been replaced by an Oligarchy. Change happens only when we come together and fight back. We have powerful the tool at our disposal, each other. I don't especially love Facebook or Twitter, but they can be used for good. It's how we connect and spread truth to power across geographic and socioeconomic barriers. Exposing the corruption of our Corporate run Media and Legislature can be effectively accomplished in these forums. But this means nothing without face-to-face interaction. We have the opportunity to organize, network and speak out.

In the next 10 years let us do our small part. Connect with other Passionate Progressives, while enjoying a tasty beverage. Live Liberally and join us.

Sincerely the other Dave

To Business! Join Drinking Liberally Center City tonight at our regular weekly get-together, starting at 6 p.m. in the upstairs bar at Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St. (between Locust & Spruce). Come for the Beer specials and stay for the conversation.

Drinking Liberally is a project of Living Liberally, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which builds progressive community through social networks and events. Founded in 2003, Living Liberally has 229 chapters across the country. The Center City Philadelphia chapter of DL was started during the 2004 election and has met every Tuesday night since.

The week's events:

Center City Organizer:
David Chatfield.
Jacqui Cohen.
Alex Buczek.

10 years of Progressive Politics in Philly

I'm not exactly sure when the exact 10 year anniversary is, but based on the 5 year, it's around tomorrow-ish.

So if you are one of those who has not attended in some time, or one of those who has never attended but has always wanted to, tomorrow is the perfect day.

Join me at the Jose Pistola's upstairs bar any time between 6 and 9pm and let's give the next 10 years a good start.

Sincerely the other Dave

Join Drinking Liberally Center City tomorow-ish at our regular weekly get-together, starting at 6 p.m. in the upstairs bar at Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St. (between Locust and Spruce Streets). Come for the Beer specials and stay for the conversation.

Fool me once, shame on — shame on you.

Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

Those sage words have never been more important.

I'm for seriously here, Bush's salient and eloquent point that a fool can't get fooled twice should be heeded. Or else we will continue to look like foolish fools sending our breast and brightest in harms way again once more.

10 years have passed since Liberals in Philly sat down to grumble over a pint and decry our voices not being heard in the National debate that led to War.

That's right ya'll, it's been 10 years.

We began yelling and-or crying over beers in the Fall of 2004 after the Bush Administration had somehow convinced Congress, the Media and a surprising majority of the populace that we were all going to die horrible violent deaths if we didn't go to war in Iraq immidiatly right now or else please just please let us go to war.

And somehow this horrifying threat was going to be easily and efficiently taken care of in a few months with a streamlined and technically advanced force. Oh and their Oil will totally pay for it, no problem no need to fret just remember you might die immediately if we don't do this... Mushroom cloud shooting out of a gun pointed at your face by Saddam Hussein 9/11 but what about the children?!

No big whoop.

In case you need a reminder, here's what really happened.

(Notice where that timeline begins, as the NYTimes conveniently leaves out the build-up as well their own support of the war regardless of the evidence against the stated justifications)

10 years on we again are hearing the drums of War in response to, as we are being told, an even worse threat.

So on this anniversary lets look back and remember the reason we sat down for a pint in the first place. And let's try not to get fooled into another 10 years of War, at least not without true debate about the reasons and consequences.

If you can't make it tonight, or have never attended, make it a point to attend next week and celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

Sincerely the other Dave

To Business! Join Drinking Liberally Center City tonight at our regular weekly get-together, starting at 6 p.m. in the upstairs bar at Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St. (between Locust & Spruce). Come for the Beer specials and stay for the conversation.

Drinking Liberally is a project of Living Liberally, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which builds progressive community through social networks and events. Founded in 2003, Living Liberally has 229 chapters across the country. The Center City Philadelphia chapter of DL was started during the 2004 election and has met every Tuesday night since.

The week's events:

Center City Organizer:
David Chatfield.
Jacqui Cohen.
Alex Buczek.

He is the brute squad

So I joined a Union recently, my very first. I'm kind of excited about it.

I followed around an organizer and switched between my intimidating face, and my sad puppy face; she even used me to gain sympathy form this one guy, pointing at me saying but don't you want to support David here? It was glorious.

But this wasn't my first time trying to organize.

Years ago I tried to start a Union with some co-workers at a Newspaper, where the sales staff were seen as hens who's job security relied solely on continually pushing out golden eggs, each 30% bigger than the last.

And we lowly designers had to work 15 hour days in order to meet the demands of an increasingly desperate sales staff.

The Union failed, largely because everyone we talked to was terrified of losing their job.

At that time the paper was owned by Freedom Communications Inc, a libertarian Media company that hates Unions, despises it's employees, loves bankruptcy and lay-offs, and apparently sees quality web design as an affront to Liberty in America.

But it wasn't just the knowledge that we worked for a company that would sooner Water-Board kittens than accept a Union that halted any organizing attempt. It was a the simple fear of job-loss, of being replaceable, and of losing our meager benefits that kept everyone from signing on, even in secret.

That is the issue Unions are facing today. We have been sold a bill-of-goods by the Right-Wing propaganda machine that your only choice is either to have a job or be unemployed.

And if you are the later you are useless, lazy, a mooch and aren't worthy of respect or dignity.

This is evidenced by stagnating wages and increasing productivity. Companies know they can get more out of their employees and give them less. And the workers don't think it remotely possible to change their situation.

So be glad you have a job no matter what, oh and can you have that done for me by tomorrow? I know it's 5pm but Gerald needs it by 7am, m'kay, thanks.

We also hear that Unions are Evil God-killing Marxosauruses that want to eat your souls.

But that narrative wouldn't work if people knew the that they could change their circumstances. Unions are only evil when you convince people that 250 years of labor advancements never happened (or happened only because the Almighty Free Market Godz were nice enough to give you weekends off).

No wonder we had a hard time even convincing someone who said they supported unions to even cast a vote when it came time.

But Unions are the inevitable result of unfair and unethical treatment on the part of employers.

I would have added illegal treatment, but because Unions are going the way of parachute-pants there's no one to pressure our lawmakers to enact laws making it illegal to pay women lower wages, or ban employees right to organize.

So help me bring back Parachute-pants, and tell your friends. We don't just need other educators and low-wage workers. We need students, government employees, farmers, immigrants, writers, artists, not-for-profit mavens, and everyone else on earth.

Also don't ever work for or attend a for-prifit college. They are evil evil evil.

Also is bankruptcy cool in Libertarianism? Stop by tonight and let me know.

Sincerely the other Dave

To Business! Join Drinking Liberally Center City tonight at our regular weekly get-together, starting at 6 p.m. in the upstairs bar at Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St. (between Locust & Spruce). Come for the Beer specials and stay for the conversation.

Drinking Liberally is a project of Living Liberally, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which builds progressive community through social networks and events. Founded in 2003, Living Liberally has 229 chapters across the country. The Center City Philadelphia chapter of DL was started during the 2004 election and has met every Tuesday night since.

The week's events:

Center City Organizer:
David Chatfield.
Jacqui Cohen.
Alex Buczek.

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