Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

July 28, 2014

VFP Radio Makes a Move! obr.fm 6-8 pm Monday, Eastern

 

We will be moving to 9A Hamilton Place, Boston, down by the (Orpheum Theater), 1 door down from where we were. We are acting under the MassGlobalAction coalition with various groups dedicated to Peace, Social Justice and a host of Progressive groups. The Area we have as a studio is in the back left corner and is an excellent spot for a radio station. The new home base has two major rooms, the first being an anteroom we can use for refreshments and a general meeting room. The second room is considerably larger and can be used for almost anything, comfortably fitting 40-50 people for events such as film showings, discussions, poetry readings and the like. It has a refrigerator and a kitchen, complete with a dishwasher. The short range plan is to broadcast from the new e5 tomorrow, (not like last week with Gremlins attacking), Joe and I will be on the air from 6-8 Eastern discussing military, political, social and other events as they arise. The mid-range plan is to add shows from various sources and back off the music a bit to open up a line of communication where people can get reliable, researched news and material. The long range plan is to move forward globally, (we already have some international listeners). I am working on putting certain documentary films together, I have some committed already, I just need dates and times to fill in.It is my idea that having snacks/drinks during these types of things is always a plus, so, as the planning comes up, please let me know your preferences. I will be sending out messages for events to many groups in the hope we come closer together and make new as well as renew friendships and solidarity. I will try to cover as many subjects dealing with our, and other societies as possible. I will need speakers, video help, and above all people that can enjoy the experience of learning something new. obr.fm has several venues and I urge you to click in from time to time, visit our Green Room and blogs, download mp3’s and listen to old shows that have a great deal of wisdom from many of my former, (and future) guests. I encourage everyone/anyone who wants to be on the VFP Radio Hour to email me at: rfunke12@msn.com I only ask you put “VFP Radio Request” in the Subject Line so I don’t overlook your email. Two more things, the rules: There is only one, we do not advocate violence against any individual or entity. #2 is a bit more touchy; events will be free, but there will be a donation bucket for those who feel so inclined. I am not the kind of person who asks for money, I always thought that was a personal matter, however, food, snacks, drinks etc do cost a little and there may be cost involved with some speakers. I will post any “suggested donation” as necessary, but I can’t, or won’t hold anyone to any amount, everyone is welcome and no one will be turned away from “donation” event. It does take a little cash to run obr.fm, there will be a donation access set up in the near future, but there is no obligation. We want to educate, plant the seeds of Peace and enjoy each others company. With some luck, I’ll have a call in # by next Monday do we can interact more intimately. Peace and prosperity…and please listen tomorrow, let’s grow! Bob

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April 22, 2014

Points to Ponder on Military Extravagance

 

I find it difficult for people to simply accept what they hear on TV, the radio or read in conventional newspapers. The idea that we must spend more on defense is insane to say the least. No other nation can attack us conventionally, there are some issues with terrorist attacks, but the idea that we can be invaded in the traditional sense is nothing less than insane. We could easily cut 1/3 of our military budget and remain safe from attacks. If we actually did things properly, we would not have to worry about outside terrorist attacks either, in fact, our biggest problem with terrorism is hate groups already well established in the US comprised of disgruntled citizens.

I recall Reagan ordering USS Missouri recommissioned at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Since Big MO ran on oil, it cost an incredible amount to just have her churn up the sea, not to mention the man power required, training, upgrades and a host of other things…just so Reagan could take a page from nearly a century earlier from Teddy Roosevelt’s book, when battleships were the kings of the sea. They lost that status with the advent of aircraft carriers and missiles that could be fired from 50+ miles away sending them to the bottom.

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe we need to defend our nation, but to my point of view, this is a bit overkill. We have F-35’s at some $65M a pop that can’t even fly, we have F-22’s where pilots pass out from anoxia, some have refused to fly the F-22 because nothing short of a crash dummy can survive the flight. We are contracting ships that start taking on water the moment they are launched because of cheap foreign steel and poor welding. Ground troops have to carry so many items they can barely move in close quarters where a good portion of the fighting goes on. I carried two canteens of water, a couple of belts of M-60 ammo, an M-16 or M-14 depending on the mission and a tee-shirt and a pair of Army issued jungle cammies/greens. I sat on my flak jacket because I did not wish to lose my heritage to the rounds that came trough the floor of the slick I was in; (it was amazing the punishment those birds could take). Just as today, we looked for things to make out lives just a little easier…and longer lasting.

We searched for things “out of place”, what had moved? Was there new earth to be seen where a hole had been dug? Was a tree bent a certain way? We use all of our senses, were insects chirping or silent? Were birds moving through the trees and chirping, or suddenly a flock take off from their perches? Did monkeys seem inordinately noisy, you got to use everything, a breeze would send the scent of fresh shit your way, you can tell the difference between human and animal shit, after all, it’s what you eat. LRRP’s would spend a week or more eating local food, never touching anything from the US, you had to stink like the area you were in. You could smell Ivory soap at 300+ meters.

We wasted an incredible amount of ammo, the “Mad Minute” alone used a battalions worth of ammo during that small amount of time, and it did no good, after being caught once at sundown, the VC/NVA  just hunkered down behind a berm, rocks or anything else until it was over. No one was scratched, but it made us feel good, somewhat safer. But we still had to double the sentries and send out more listening posts. Outside the wire, it was a different world, and woe be to the man who forgot the sign/countersign.

Napalm, White Phosporus, ( Willie Pete), Agent Orange, numerous and sundry chemical exposures of unknown forms creating diseases of unknown etiology, (some still unknown), that manifest themselves in various cancers, glandular disorders and a host of other problems that are some 40-50 years later making themselves known. In our current debacles, we have “depleted uranium”, designed to punch through armor; since the Afghans have little to no armor, it is used on people and their homes. The residual effect is a radioactive nightmare that kills silently and deforms children while still in the womb, leaving faceless, legless, armless replicas of what should be a healthy baby. Nightmarish photos exist of disastrously deformed babies, paid for by our tax dollars.

But we have these things now, so we use them. What nightmare situations are in our near and if we survive, distant future?

War is expensive, you use a bullet, rocket, artillery round but once, then you have to get more, the cycle continues, built on the false hope that war can “cure” war. What “cures” war is Equality, Justice and a motivation to lay down the arms we use to kill and maim others. It takes us to another level of communication, where intellect is king, not who has the heavier tank, or bigger nuclear device. If we are all to be free from war and skirmishes we need to understand the needs of people and act to make those needs accessible. Food, clothing and a place to live top the list. Taking care of these three things would move us closer to Peace, We can then fine tune the outcome, help with irrigation, seeds for edible plants, factories to make clothes and other items, concrete to build homes sturdy enough to withstand desert storms. No more exploitation of the locals, no more empire building, no more theft of resources, no more killing.

Peace,

Bob

 

March 29, 2014

Fighting In The Trenches

 

Many of us are in the forefront of battles, either past, present or future. We have met the “enemy” and have persevered; those that work for the few of the richest individuals on earth are no match for us, for we have the power of people united against them. The objective should always be Peaceful resolution, however, when the elite get frightened, they call out the troops, usually police, but can include Nation Guard troops to intimidate us.

We are not intimated easily. We have been down this road before, and many of us have seen far greater horrors than can be brought about by PD’s and NG units. Having been in combat, I know that the powers that be cannot inflict upon me what others have attempted. I have withstood the worst days of my life and have survived to maintain the integrity I, and so many before me have developed.

Non-combatants who belong to various Peace groups, have felt the presence of PD’s as well, some have been severely injured, a few have been killed in their endeavor to maintain  peaceful world, the powers that be prefer chaos, it benefits them both financially and strategically. But as we change our tactics, we eat away at the base of the powers, slowly bringing them down until they topple over. It has always been this way in revolution.

Revolution need not be bloody or painful, it is a change in the power structure, and that can be as smooth as silk or like being dragged over razor wire, the choice is ours, and I vote for the silk analogy. I can see no reason to harm people when we change. It is merely a case of stripping the ultra wealthy of their power by limiting their assets. There are many ways to do this, the Koch brothers are spending hundreds of millions in fruitless attacks on their perceived “enemies”, personally, I find the spending of this cash to be akin to tossing cash into a furnace and burning it up, they get a tiny return for all they have spent, they have lost races costing 10’s of millions of dollars. There is a great difference between George Soros and the Koch brothers, Soros actually built his fortune from scratch; the Koch’s inherited their fortunes, which makes a serious divide in how cash is made and how it is spent. The Koch’s might be living in refrigerator boxes relatively soon as they squander their fortunes, a possibility not out of the realm of reality.

 

The powers that be use fear as a strategy, they want you to believe that some “enemy” is behind every tree, rock or mailbox, and only they can protect you. This is one of the reasons many PD’s have become par-military organizations. Using laws that are dubious at best, breaking down the Bill of Rights and attacking “undesirables” are at the heart of the “New World Order”, which is actually the Old World Order where a few have the money and land while everyone else works for a pittance. When the police are at the behest of a small group of ultra-wealthy individuals who control local officials, we are in great danger. Police officers, dressed to look like “Robo-cop” attack individuals with batons, and armed with guns, tazers and a host of other weapons storm a peaceful protest where laptops and signs are the only “weapons” the protesters have, there is a bit of overkill to say the least. What would have the police done if 10,000 people were in the Common protesting police violence? Could they have handled the situation differently?

Negotiations are in order, however, if we “won”, what would they do? The House and Senate would quickly change the law, but what if we did not recognize that new law? Jury Nullification is one way out; another is to have the judge just toss out the charges, or the DA refuse to indict.

I wish no pain upon anyone, but I do want accountability for those who consistently steal and use the money on Wall Street to gamble away the futures of our citizens. I want these people to pay their fair share in taxes, no loopholes, no escape clauses. No more $30,000 desks for insurance companies while children die of leukemia, or starve across the globe. At some point, we have to make a decision, and that point is coming toward us quickly. Exposing the criminals is one thing, dragging them into court is something on a different scale. Shareholders must demand their dividends and not give away $60 million bonuses.

We are the 99%, our numbers alone can create change, but only if we do not fear that 1% that has no moral standing.

February 26, 2014

Hagel’s plan to shrink military criticized (The Globe, AP)

  • The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. Wikipedia
  • Range: 800 miles (1,287 km)
  • Weight: 24,960 lbs (11,320 kg)
  • Unit cost: 11,800,000–11,800,000 USD (1994)

In a piece by Robert Burns of the AP on page A9 , 2-25-2014; Chuck Hagel lays out a plan to bring the military  down to a size that was just before WWII, (or close to it).

Let’s face facts, times, weaponry, politics, wealth and a hundred other things have changed over the past decade plus, hell, even in the past few years it seems as if things are almost completely out of control. There is a ray of sunshine here piercing through the fog. We are the worlds premier power on the globe, not the only one, but now, we’re at the top of the heap militarily, that gives us a chance to seek alternatives to war, (it also increases the possibility of a catastrophic event, but that is a can of worms for another day).

Some of the “highlights” are quite simple, a reduction in manpower, a somewhat obvious choice if we are not planning on creating a cataclysm somewhere in the world. A trade-off in choppers is well overdo as well; what does the National Guard need Apache Attack helicopters for? The obvious trade would be for the Regular Army to have the AH-1’s and we receive Blackhawks which could easily fill the void to answer to state/national needs. When people need food or water immediately, you’re not going to get those items there on an Apache, but Blackhawks are perfect. Rescuing people from a Blackhawk beats shooting them to pieces with a mini-gun on an Apache.

On the Naval side of this, 11 aircraft carriers seem a bit much, but some of these are always in port being worked on, so all 11 are not on constant deployment. The firepower these behemoths can unleash is unbelievable, it should also be known they are huge targets as well, and the loss of even one would kill thousands of sailors in one fell swoop, no one wants that, even an attacker, if they could get through the defenses, would face massive retaliation, which of course benefits no one, particularly those on the receiving end of said retaliation.

A-10 “Warthogs” would be phased out. These are jet propelled tank killers, they do an excellent job at what they were designed for, but their lack of speed makes them vulnerable, so they need air cover, which was to be the F-35, a machine that has so many flaws, as they are built, they are moved to a “parking” area in AZ. The simple truth is, they can’t fly, not exactly what one is looking for in a state of the art aircraft. Each pilot has to have a helmet specifically designed for the individual head of the pilot, the initial cost was some $250,000 apiece, it’s now up to a cool half a million dollars, just for a helmet. So you’ve got this really cool helmet, but it’s not an “off the shelf deal”, it fits a single pilot, in a single aircraft that is prone to the wings shaking so badly, they just about fall off, (which makes the plane a ‘dumb bomb’ as it goes down. The problem is so bad, pilots are refusing to fly prototypes that supposedly fixed the initial problems. Last week, the VTOL, (Vertical Take Off and Landing), versions, crashed. From what I hear, the pilots survived.

The U-2, which was replaced by the SR-71, (now retired), is coming off-line. I’m not sure if anything is going to replace it, or whether the USAF will rely strictly on satellites or some other form of clandestine, (think drones), method of ground to HQ communication.

The sliver of daylight in all of this, is that while ground troop reduction, sailor reduction, airman reduction, etc, shows me that the US is planning on cutting back on military hardware, this is a good thing, even if there is something “hidden” we are not yet aware of. The point is, less personnel, less of a chance to go traipsing off starting wars. For decades, the military has believed that air/sea power were the keys to “victory”; anyone who has had their boots on the ground will tell you, “it ain’t over until the Infantry is there”. Less Infantry, less of a chance to attack other countries. We need to defend ourselves, but the empire building days must come to close. The corporate masters can hire their own mercenaries, (at a premium price), and quit having our young men and women shoved into harms way to protect corporate interests. The oil companies can use the subsidies Uncle Sam gives them to raise their own protective forces. In the mean time, we can send our children off to colleges and they can spend their time figuring a way to get off of fossil fuels once and for all.

I wish you all Peace,

Bob

February 4, 2014

The Element of Fear

Throughout history, fear has been used as a tactic with great effect. This should be a given by now, most of us realize that we are constantly being lied to, to raise the level of fear thereby raising the level at which we must “combat” said fear.

Here is a reality, no nation, or coalition of nations can defeat this nation, we are so ridiculously armed we offer little more than raising hell around the world, getting into scraps and wars where we have no business. The Department of Defense has become the Department of Offense. Empire building has rarely been easier, and the American Empire, like all those who came before, is doomed to crumble into sand.

We are told to be afraid. Afraid of what? Two kids place homemade bombs at the Boston Marathon, the reaction was predictable; increased police presence and a MA National Guard Humvee at Park St, all show and no substance. 20 blocks were cordoned off as the police of varying Dept’s searched for the wounded, but surviving, “terrorist”. He was hiding in a boat on block 21, just a bit out of the search zone. Not just that, but the owner of the boat, coolly and calmly called the police to investigate after he had noticed that a tie down had been undone and when he checked under the tarp, there was the suspect.

What happened next makes me wonder just what page the varying PD’s and NG were on. We have a living suspect, from whom  we may be able to glean information from, (his brother was killed earlier, no chance for questioning there). Fear, breaking out as bravado as the boat was surrounded and someone gave the order to fire, and a hail of bullets and “flash/bag” pyrotechnics broke the silence of the night. The officers in charge literally tried to force the assassination of the “2nd bomber”; the question is “why?”

Was it to quell the fears they had brought forth to the public, or was it ensure any one else with similar ideas might be frightened enough to avoid doing something similar in the future? The truth of the matter is that none of us are completely safe at any given time. We prefer the illusion of safety, but every day I see people step out int traffic, cars not using signals or driving at night w/o their headlights on, (talk about scary!) I see parents pushing children in strollers, not watching around them at various hazards that could harm their children. Life is filled with challenges, some we can see, others come in the form of maniacs willing to kill, seemingly at will, at the drop of a hat. One problem with the Marathon bombing, is that it was preventable if the police had followed up on any of several leads; some from Russian authorities.

I decided long ago, I will not allow fear to guide my actions. When caught in an ambush, the correct response is to run right into it, get behind the ambushers and take them out or take prisoners. If you do what is “natural” and move away from the fire, you will be caught in a secondary trap, (we used Claymores, about 10 feet off the trail/road facing away from us. Hit the clicker and all hell breaks loose as 200 steel balls are propelled through the air by C-4 shredding virtually everything in their way, multiply this by a factor of 10 and one can see that the reaction to fear can be devastating.)

So what can we do to alleviate the “fear messages” that we are bombarded with every day?

For starters, we can look from where they come from. If it’s the government, or governmental entity, say the CIA, FBI, NSA, et al, for the most part, we can figure it’s a bogus report, they live by spreading rumors and lies to keep the dollars flowing into their coffers. State and local PD’s can fall into this trap as well. One thing we can remember, during the Clinton Administration, the WTC was attacked by a truck loaded with explosives. What broke the case? Good old fashioned police work and some luck. In fact, the same thing happened with the Oklahoma City bombing. Every one of us felt remorse as the acts were perpetrated, but we did not run in fear, we assisted where we could, an American tradition long held that we aid those that need it when they need it. We did not panic, we acted in the best interest of those whose lives were devastated.

We need to use good old fashioned police work to catch perpetrators, for all of the “intel” gathered, there is a pretty poor record of preventing disasters from happening. It was luck in Times Square that caught the car bomber, not “gee whiz” technology. It was police work and luck that caught the Unibomber, his brother turned him in, setting up the arrest. If one of my brothers was killing people, I’d turn him in myself, fortunately, I don’t have to face that choice, but to save lives, there would be no second thought to turn in a perpetrator.

Today, it seems as though everyone is a suspect of something, which is pretty ridiculous on the face of it. We don’t prosecute “thought crimes”, (thank god, or we’d all be behind bars eating gruel from the same bucket we’d be crapping in). My suggestion is, live your life to its fullest, don’t be led by biased individuals or groups, to include agencies of the government or PD’s. Understand that every day we take risks, but 99.9% of the time, those risks don’t turn into disasters. Don’t let fear run your life; if there is a “bomb scare” in New Mexico, why should people in Philadelphia worry about being blown to smithereens? Let the properly trained people in NM take care of the problem, most likely the problem will pass, either with nothing being found, or a highly trained bomb squad taking control and dismantling the thing.

If you are attacked by a lone gunman, (something that appears to be happening with increased frequency), prepare by having several options of escape or levels of protection. Don’t do anything stupid, but if you are behind a lone gunman, you can take him out. No one is going to convict you for assault if you plant a hammer in his head. Be careful, but don’t be fearful.

I wish you all days of Peace, prosperity and safety.

Bob

January 6, 2014

How Much More Can We Spend On The Military?

Think about this for just  a second, we are the most protected nation on earth, the most powerful militarily that the world has ever known, yet we have no enemies that are capable of attacking us, either conventionally or nuclear. No one has the capability to conquer us in the conventional sense, where we are vulnerable  is in the financial sector, essentially because we spend far too much on “defense”, (which is actually “offense” since we are the provocateurs in most conflicts around the world).

The US has, through direct and indirect military intervention, created a worldwide net of enemies. Our clandestine branches of the government has done more to destroy relationships between nations that could ever do us any harm, beginning a spiral that comes back to haunt us. Our forays into Iraq and Afghanistan are outstanding examples of just how we can create hell on earth for not just those we attack, but for ourselves as well. There was no need to attack either of these countries, much less Libya or any place else. The course we have set has created great animosity toward this nation, boots on the ground are bad enough, but drone attacks are completely unnecessary and the “collateral damage”, (read death and maiming civilians and non-combatants), is inexcusable.

The base line is, there is a lot of money to be made in creating and deploying, then using, the arms we build. When a bomb is dropped, it’s a single use object that does damage. It must be replaced by another; the more we use, the more must replaced with an attendant rise in price and bombs to offset ordinance used. Ultimately, the American taxpayer must pay for all of this, at a premium no less because we are borrowing immense amounts of cash from China and elsewhere. The idiocy of this is so blatant, while the people who are making millions/billions off of the arms merchants and builders, we go further into debt while the “upper crust” sheds crocodile tears and complains about their rate of taxation. While none of these people ever wore a uniform, much less faced any danger, they insist that others go on being killed and maimed while their profit margins sky-rocket. It’s all about money, bloodstained money raked in over the bodies of our troops, innocent victims such as civilians and non-combatants.

A “War on Terror” is an absurdity in the first place, it is a war that can not be won and it is immoral for the simple fact that none of the people who are being slaughtered had anything to do with the attack on 9-11. The entire scenario is little more than a smokescreen to gain the mineral wealth of the countries we’ve invaded…without a declaration of war.

Then there is the “Homeland Security” issue, where police have gained unimaginable power over the citizens of this nation. Billions have been pumped into law enforcement to upgrade and enhance their capabilities. Much of this is military grade offensive weaponry; someone needs to explain to me and the rest of the country just why law enforcement needs such high-grade devices that can bring down buildings, stun or kill hundreds of people and degrade our Constitution.

We need to stand up and ask the right questions, beginning with, “why” any of this is happening. We need to question  those in authority at every turn if we are to keep, no enhance, our freedom. At one time we were a beacon for all those who searched for a better way of life; we have lost our ability to see long-range the big picture of our actions. There have been many sacrifices to our Liberty, we must put an end to the sham and demand accountability of those who are destroying our nation.

Equality+Justice=Peace

Bob

June 24, 2013

Why We Need To Abolish The CIA, NSA and Homeland Security

Filed under: General Discussion — Tags: , , , , , — bobfunke @ 2:26

First and foremost, they can’t do their jobs correctly.

The CIA has been correct on only one occasion since it’s morphing from the OSS, the Egypt/Israel 6 day war. In every other instance, calamity has followed it wherever it rears it’s head. Coup d’ tats have had devastating consequences in the countries where they CIA has played it’s hand. All over the globe, wherever the CIA has it’s fingerprints, disaster has followed. South America, South East Asia, Europe, Africa; just about the only continent that has escaped  the claws of the CIA is Antarctica, and that is very questionable.

The NSA, dragging in every electronic signal around the globe for “analysis”. Other than the fact that this is nearly impossible task, why should they care at all about the average person having a discussion via the internet or on a cell phone? I call my aunt for a fudge recipe, and it goes into a storage center in Utah. If the discussion comes around to the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, the word “assassination” triggers a “search”. Suddenly, my aunt and I are “suspects” because of a 50 year old assassination that is still questionable as to the results of the investigation.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been dumped into law enforcement, yet two kids make bombs that kill and maim people in Boston. These two were already on the radar; did it occur to HS/BPD to check these guys out? When found, one was killed outright, the other found by the owner of a boat noticing something amiss w/the tarp. This unarmed civilian was one block outside of the 20 block shut down zone, lifts the tarp, sees a lot of blood and an unarmed individual in the boat. He does the right thing, calls the cops, as any normal citizen would. What happened next was an assassination attempt. Rather than surround the boat, pull back the tarp and arrest the kid, they open up with a fusillade of firepower, flash/bag grenades and SWAT members. None of this was to capture the individual alive, it was designed as an ambush to kill him, but somehow, he survived, even with a massive loss of blood. I saw a picture of the boat after the encounter and it looked as if it were caught in Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 41. Homeland Security, they’ll get us all killed sooner or later.

My point in all of this is that these, and other agencies consistently get it wrong virtually all of the time. Good police work solves most crimes and prevents many more. Rather than spying on citizens, perhaps it might do the agencies best to fighting crime, investigating serious white collar crime, preventing violence in the streets, gaining from their mistakes through the learning process that criminal behavior can be held at bay when good tactics are used. I want predators off the street, I want murderers, rapists and thieves off the street.

As for the people of Boston, indeed, the people around the world, we are resilient, an act of “terror” may shock us, but we will never give in to thought of a future of constant fear.

Peace

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