Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

April 13, 2012

Sad news for VFP

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

John Marcy, a member of VFP, Smedley Butler BDE, passed away on Tuesday from complications of cancer.

Our hearts go out to his family during these trying times. May only the best of memories be recalled and may peace come quickly.  Although John has left our ranks, he will be with in the ranks of the blessed peacemakers from now on.

Rest in Peace brother.

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April 12, 2012

VFP president Leah Bolger gets minimum sentence at hearing

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

20-Year Veteran Pleads Guilty to Act of Civil Disobedience

President of Veterans For Peace Disrupted Congressional “Super Committee”

 

Judge Expresses Sympathy With Criticism of Government, Imposes Minimum Sentence

Retired Naval Commander Leah Bolger pled guilty to the charge of Unlawful Conduct — Disruption of Congress at a hearing before Judge Stuart Nash in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Thursday, April 12th 2012.  Bolger, who is a peace activist and the President of Veterans For Peace, interrupted a public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, commonly known as the Super Committee on October 26th, 2011  http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/JointDef.

In her statement to the Judge, Bolger said, “I have come to understand what millions of Americans already know—that the actual majority will of the people is of little concern to those in power.  We can demonstrate and petition and write letters until we are blue in the face, but those actions are virtually worthless, as we can’t compete.  Our voice is drowned out by the power of the money coming from the lobbyists and corporate interests.  Money equals speech.”

Though the maximum penalty for this infraction is 6 months in jail and/or a $750 fine, Judge Nash sentenced Bolger to 60 days incarceration and suspended that sentence.  He also required her to make a $50 payment to a victims of crime fund and to perform 20 hours of community service, which Bolger will perform by working 20 hours for Veterans for Peace.  She is on probation for nine months and faces the risk of having the 60-day sentence imposed, but says she is committed to continuing to speak out and protest, including when NATO comes to Chicago in May.

Judge Nash heard testimony from Retired Associate Judge Art Brennan who said, “Leah Bolger is not alone in her thinking. Millions of us would do what she is doing if we could summon the energy and the courage to tell our government what it really needs to know.  Leah is charged with the misdemeanor of interfering or disrupting Congress. Far from it!  She did not interfere with members of Congress doing their duty, representing the people, meeting and deliberating.  Instead, she added her own careful words to a committee that needed to hear from the people that Congressional leaders are elected to represent–someone other than the military industrial complex and the corporate super-citizens.”

Brennan’s thoughts were echoed by attorney/activist Kevin Zeese who told Judge Nash, “In 45 seconds retired Commander Leah Bolger did more to represent the views of Americans and tell the true facts about the deficit than all of the elected representatives on the Joint Committee…(she) did an incredibly brave and patriotic act of citizenship.”
Bolger’s attorney Mark Goldstone also spoke in support of her action.

Judge Nash said twice that he sympathized with Bolger’s criticism of the government.  She had asked the Super Committee to stop ignoring the public’s demand that wars be ended, military spending be reduced, and the rich be taxed.  Nash, however, said that 300,000,000 people cannot all come and interrupt a Congressional hearing.  After her court appearance, Bolger said that she would have liked to be able to tell the judge that if our representatives represented us, nobody would have to interrupt them.  “It is a disgrace that we have to break the law in order to speak to our government,” Bolger said.

Nash’s imposition of such a minimal sentence was greeted by cheering from the packed courtroom and by multiple offers to pay the $50 on Leah’s behalf.  Bolger does not view the $50 paid to a victims’ fund as a fine.  She asked the court to impose no fine, as she believed no one should pay for permission to speak to our government.  “I’m gratified,” Bolger said afterward, “that the judge agreed I should pay no fine.”  The judge also imposed no “stay-away” order barring Bolger from Capitol Hill, despite the government’s request for one.

Bolger is also supported by author and radio/TV host Thom Hartmann who called Bolger’s actions “a courageous act of civil disobedience” and compared her to Susan B. Anthony.  Other notables supporting Bolger include Ben Cohen, Michael Moore, and prominent activist and former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader who said, “Bolger showed what active citizens should be doing peacefully–confronting the corruption head on and making sure the public knows what is really going on.  She should be honored for her actions.”

April 11, 2012

Twitter Account

Filed under: General Discussion — radiotracy @ 2:26

Hi All,

We now have a twitter account for all of you to follow and leave feedback.  You can follow us @VFP_RadioHour.  I look forward to communicating with all of our listeners.  We are on Monday nights at 6:00 PM at http://www.obr.fm.

April 10, 2012

So, who was Smedley Butler?

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

 

Smedley Darlington Butler was a USMC major General with a 33 year career. He served with distinction throughout his career and was awarded the Medal of Honor twice, along with the Brevet Medal, (the equivalent of the MoH in the Marine Corps during a period when officers did not receive the MoH, essentially making him the only person to be awarded the nation’s highest military honor 3 times).

His civilian career was also distinguished, particularly in 1934, when some corporate entities requested his leading 500,000 soldiers in a coup against FDR. Butler had the corporatists believe he’d do this, then exposed them nationally. He also had a great impact on working Americans during the Great Depression, condemning the use of military force led by MG MacArthur against veterans in “Hoovervilles” in Washington DC.

Veterans For Peace Radio is directly involved with Chapter 9 of Veterans For Peace, The Smedley Butler Brigade.

One of the many quotes of Butler remains our de facto “signature”:

“War is a racket,…a few profit-the many pay”

Welcome to VFP Radio Hour!

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

First things first…rules.

OK, not many of these:

1. Remember, people will judge you by what you write, so use your head.

2. VFP advocates Peace and this blog will adhere to the VFP  Statement Of Purpose:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others

(a) To increase public awareness of the costs of war.
(b) To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
(c) To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons
(d) To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
(e) To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.

To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.

3.  VFP Radio will delete any references to violent overthrow of any government.

4. The operating word here is Peace, if you keep that in the forefront as you post you’ll do just fine.

5. There will be changes to the site as we go along.

6. Enjoy yourself!

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