Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

August 21, 2014

VOTE!

   

 

I think I have heard every excuse there is for not voting, so please spare me the, “my vote doesn’t count”, “I hate to wait in line”, “I have to work late” and a whole host of other pieces of dialog that keeps people from the polls. Most democracies and virtually all dictatorships and theocracies have a far better turn out than we do at the polls, I am often embarrassed that we call ourselves a democratic-republic; 43-48% turnout is pathetic and amounts to a plurality as opposed to a clear-cut winner.

There is no good reason for not casting a ballot, you can show up in person, as I do, you can request an absentee ballot, as I have, it takes so little time from one’s precious day, and yet there are so many things at stake, I would crawl over crushed glass on cobblestones if I had to to cast my ballot. This is not all about who will be in the House or Senate, it goes far beyond that, there are initiatives on the ballot that can, and often will, have far-reaching consequences on the way we live, taxation, cleaner air and water, the list goes on and you can make a difference.

One rule I live by in voting, is that I will not ask anyone to vote as I do, I find that disingenuous at best. That is not to say I won’t explain why I am voting the way I am, but your vote is your vote, I will nothing to discredit it, nor will I take you to task for it. One’s vote is personal and should be left to that individual without any fear of reprisal. I will defend a person’s right to keep their vote secret, just as I will defend a person’s right to speak, even if I disagree with their message, (in the latter though, I expect the individuals speaking to allow me the same right, especially if I disagree.)

There are often local votes that affect specific communities, I urge you to vote in these as well if you are a part of that community. Things often hinge on a few votes as in School Boards and Townships where a little power can go a long way. Some School Boards have “outlawed” evolution and are endeavoring to do away with science all together, I know of two Townships that the vote rested on two ballots, one would have broken even, the second would have kept someone off the Board. 13 & 17% of eligible voters voted in those elections.

Andrew Johnson was acquitted after being impeached during Reconstruction by a single vote. When asked, the Senator who cast the final nay vote was asked why he did so, he answered that he was not going to be the Senator that would plunge the nation into another Civil War. Granted, Andrew Johnson consistently winds up in the lowest five of presidents, but the wisdom of a single vote might well have saved the nation further bloodshed and horror.

So please, vote , realize that your vote does have an impact and realize as well, if things don’t go your way in the election, your vote has ensured your right to complain. Earn that right with your vote, few things irk me more than people who piss and squeal about “how things ought to be”, and when I ask them if they voted they say no. I refuse to listen to them after that, it’s that simple.

Look at the issues, the candidates, what they have done in the past, and if they’ve kept their word, (highly unlikely).

Two Links follow, one on important dates, the other on candidates ballot initiatives:

https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/2014-primary-and-election-calendar.pdf

http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/

 

See you at the polls!

Bob

August 15, 2014

Update: Ferguson MO/Mr. Brown

Fortunately, last night the county officers pulled back and the State Patrol took over by order of Governor Nixon, and during the night, there were no arrests or unseemly behaviors on the part of everyone involved. On the news this morning, I saw something I was hoping to see, white individuals getting involved in the call for justice. These are the times when all citizens need to be involved, when the county rolled out armored vehicles and snipers, things were out of control. The Captain speaking for the State Patrol is articulate and well informed, he’s not going to just blurb out some answers that people want to hear, he seems to be explaining the facts as we now know them. More will be coming after more is known.

One of the more unfortunate aspects of  the aftermath is that some looting took place, that appears to be one of the things that happens when some people can’t control themselves and use anything as an excuse to do damage. The vast majority of citizens held themselves in check and they deserve all of the respect we can give them.

It will be some time before we find out all of the facts in this case, however, the number of shots fired alone, particularly after the man is down, show me that the officer at the scene should be fired and brought up on criminal charges. Accounts vary, but several witnesses have come forward and spoken of what they saw. By all accounts, these witnesses are credible and their stories of the event match.

What we need to do now, is de-militarize PD’s. The “fire sale” events by the DOD have to stop. There is no need for a tank in Phoenix, (especially under that nutcase Arpaio), nor is there a need for an M-60A3 in Omaha or any other city in the US. A police department needs to be armed, but do they need to have military grade hardware? I’ve worked with a lot of military weapons, comes with the territory when you spend 13 years in the US Army, (even Medics like me want to try out things that go “bang”, but we used them on firing ranges, not real life scenarios, that would breach the Law of Land Warfare and UCMJ).

May the good people of Ferguson find solace and peace after a tragedy and may the rest of us learn that each life is precious.

Peace,

Bob

August 1, 2014

The Crazy Has Hit New Lows, (Or Highs As Per Your Point Of View)

 

 

The makers and sellers of arms are at it again, just as before 1917 and 1941, manufacturers of weapons are well on their way ensuring people will die through their malfeasance. US based companies sell arms to just about anyone at exorbitant prices, and not one of those corporate officers will have anything to lose in the bargain. Most assuredly, they, their sons and daughters, and those who consider themselves “nobler than thou” will never spill a drop of blood while they enrich themselves at a horrible human cost.

Here’s a simple illustration: We sell arms to Qatar, which in turn gives or sells them to Hamas, same basic thing with the Saudi’s. We sell arms and ammunition to Israel directly, thereby enhancing the threat all the way around, setting the stage for more death and dismemberment, more  non-combatants killed and more orphans are created. This is just a tiny observation of the entire network of arms dealing that brings with it assured death for hundreds of thousands if not millions of human beings now and in the future. This is not a cheap thrill movie out of Hollywood where everybody has a “great time” blowing up the “bad” guys with precision, it is real and incredibly deadly. It is also remarkable for it’s stupidity from all sides.

Hamas tosses essentially a garbage can they call a missile into Israel, Israel tosses several highly accurate missiles, bombs and artillery back to Gaza, where the people have no place to hide, no where to run, the targets are easy for Israel, and the “collateral damage” is considered part of a very odd equation based on retaliation for the “first strike”; has anyone, from either side actually sat down and thought this though?

The only people who are gaining anything are the industrialists, the more war, the better business is, accountants are in their glory while taxpayers and shareholders lose. How does one think the huge “bonuses” officers at companies that supply the machinery of death? That money is directly siphoned off from taxpayers and shareholders in various companies, when that money could easily be used to prevent  war. In our incredible ignorance, we permit the greediest bastards on the earth use us as playthings, mere pawns in their game of death. I find it incredible that few, if any, of us for Peace can be heard above the chanting for war and the din of that war the purveyors so badly need to prevent a bruised ego.

Some may say this is about religion, rest assured, it isn’t. Many times in the past people of different cultures worked side by side to create wondrous accomplishments that were proud reminders of how easy it is to get along when tasks are common and evenly distributed. Often, when a society was threatened, people of very different cultures came together to fend off the threat, today, cultural differences are used as weapons in the battles against morality and justice. When I hear anyone speak of religion I honestly get sickened. Every religion teaches the capacity of love, compassion, empathy and a host of other good things, like forgiveness, justice and helping one’s fellow human beings through tough times. But all I ever see is the dark side, the side that lies and betrays the goodness being taught, demanding the ultimate sacrifice for profit and gain, condemning others for their beliefs and shouting out hate filled diatribes when they should be feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. The “moral” justification for organized murder, what we call war, come from heartless minds of those who thrive on hate and controversy; I think it’s about time the whole world stood up and shouted out, “ENOUGH!” 

So here we are in the world of “Whack-a-Mole”, something pops up, just beat it back into the hole with all the force you need. Pretty pathetic way to live life, perpetually scared, standing around waiting for the next mole to pop up so we can whack it with a hammer. Worse still, we “justify” our deeds with our inaction against those who put the cash and power gained as they create more havoc for an already absurdly violent world.

The cycle of death and destruction must be broken and only people can do that by coming together in the common causes of Peace, Justice and Equality. I’ve had it up to my eyes with war mongering psychopaths. I’m done standing in the shit that sociopathic industrialists and money lenders leave behind. We need a social revolution, peaceful and inspired to break the cycle. Not selling arms to anyone would be a start, although that void would be filled by some other nation with a chip on it’s shoulder. We, as a species, need to come together and put an end to all of this. The road is rough, but visionaries of the past have cut the initial route, what we need to do is smooth it out and ensure it’s upkeep. Most assuredly, I don’t have all of the answers, but I believe when we come together we can find most of them. I would be gratified to leave a peaceful world to my son, stepdaughters and grandkids, it’s not impossible but we’re going to have to learn to live together before we extinguish life on the planet.

Peace to all,

Bob

PS: Don’t forget to perform a random act of kindness today!

July 30, 2014

The Joys of Moving…

 

 

If there is some form of “joy” in moving, it is when everything is finally set and in place, something that has not yet happened with obr.fm our hosting radio station. Gremlins pop up and there always several glitches, but eventually, we get to be where we need to be.

encuentro5, (e5) is our host and where VFP Radio is part of a collective that serves the communities around us in various social scenarios so that we can help to ensure our communities are safer, better educated, cleaner and more cognitive of the services available to people from all walks of life. We don’t have all of the answers, but we have a lot of them and access where to get answers from. On the other side of the coin, we are always looking for groups that support the ideals we support.

Among these are:

Peace

Justice

Equality for all

Health Care

Actions that develop communities

Referrals for veterans to Home Base, (a post 9-11 veterans health program begun by the Boston Red Sox and Mass Gen Hosp)

Honest news locally, nationally and internationally

All things considered, we are a collective that truly cares about our communities and look forward to addressing the problems that affect so many.

The space we have acquired is on the first floor, 9A Hamilton Place, (directly across from the Park Street Church, the Orpheum Theater closes off  the block), half way down and we’re on the right. We have excellent space for meetings, speaking engagements, we’ll be showing films and have Q&A times. We can schedule people and groups in and you can find out more at:

www.encuentro5.org/

http://www.facebook.com/encuentro5

Come down and visit us, work with us and bring new ideas with you!

Veterans For Peace Radio is broadcast live, Monday evenings from 6-8 pm, except the second Monday of the month, where a pre-recorded show to cover for our VFP meetings. Everyone out there is welcome to come in and be on the show, and I have no problem with scheduling something, or going live from  anywhere there is an event. Everyone with a voice is welcome, I have but one rule, we do not advocate violence toward any person or entity; everything else is fair game.

If you want to be a guest just send me an e-mail with VFP Radio in the subject line at: rfunke12@msn.com

Peace,

Bob

July 10, 2014

I Got To Thinking…..

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

(I know, not THAT  again!)

I’m about as far from a Biblical scholar as one can get, but for some reason, this song popped into my head and I remembered that it has Biblical roots, perhaps it was in Solomon or something, but all religious books have some good things in them, and often the message is overlooked by some zealot that can’t figure out the “thee’s and the thou’s”.

But religion aside, there are certain truths that have been written in many books over the years. Many have fallen by the wayside, if it were not for a reporter that took down the Gettysburg Address, think of how less the legacy of this nation would be, much less Lincoln’s legacy.  Papers like the Constitution that begin with three enlarged words, “We the People…” lose their meaning when we don’t read them in context. What the Constitution is telling us is We are the government, we elect people to represent us and we have Rights and Privileges under this document, as spelled out under The Bill of Rights. We also have the responsibility to challenge or change those who do not live up to our expectations. We are an evolving country, (some may say a devolving country), the point is, we should all be working for the betterment of all people, not just a few. There will always be saints and sinners, and everything in between. I see good people every day, in fact most of the people I see are good people, maybe I’m just not as cynical as I once was, I can evolve as well.

What I want to do is share this with you, many years ago, it got me through some pretty tough times, it helped me understand the world as it is, and how it can be. Please take a moment and enjoy this:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKP4cfU28vM

Peace,

Bob

 

 

June 21, 2014

In Boston we had: “Globe Talks: Healing the invisible wounds of war”

Sponsored the Boston Globe the Forum was well attended at The JFK Library on Thursday, (6-19), evening. Bostonians , concerned with veteran health concerns, particularly PTSD, TBI, MST, homelessness, and suicide, were in for an informative session that discussed free care for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who “fall through the cracks” while waiting for VA care and other care available. I would be remiss if I did not mention that this program is sponsored by the Boston Red Sox and called Home Base after the team won the World Series and visited DC with the trophy to meet with the president and were scheduled for a half hour visit to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit with wounded vets. That half hour turned into a five hour stay as the players and management met with convalescing vets. The Red Sox were looking for a charitable cause to sponsor and began Home Base.

The premise is that many veterans from the recent wars were waiting too long in too many cases for care due to a VA backlog for care. Working with Mass Gen Hospital a coalition was built that offered returning vets services free of charge. This is a holistic approach, involving family members, significant others and others of concern.

The following explains a little more of the detail:

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 19th, 2014

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Columbia Point, Boston

What can our community do to help heal the invisible wounds of war among returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families?  Less than 1% of Americans have served in these wars. One in three veterans return home with post traumatic stress, depression or traumatic brain injury.  Other invisible wounds include substance abuse, family relationship challenges, stress. The gap in understanding between civilian and military gets wider every day.  As our veterans return from these long wars, what can we do to promote understanding, support, and health among the men and women who have served and their families who have sacrificed for our country.

Panel of veterans and doctors from the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program.

Moderated by the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen, himself a military family member

Panelists:

Rebecca Weintraub Brendel, MD, JD

Home Base Clinical Director.  What are the signature “invisible wounds” of war and how do they affect our veterans.  Recognizing  the signs of Post Traumatic Stress and how evidence-based treatment helps veterans recover.  Understanding more about the increase in suicide among active duty military.

Paula Rauch, MD

Home Base Family Program Director. When one family member serves, the entire family serves.  Military families have experienced enormous relationship stresses during the past 12 years of war as men and women have deployed to war zones repeatedly. How can pediatricians, primary care providers and schools support and build resilience among 13,000 military-connected children in MA?

Tommy Furlong

Home Base Associate Director of Outreach.  A U.S. Marines Corps Veteran who served in Afghanistan, Furlong offers insight on why young men and women choose to serve in the military, how these wars are different, what coming home feels like, and how to address the stigma associated with getting help for invisible wounds of war.

Brigadier General (ret) Jack Hammond

Home Base Executive Director.  After commanding  troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, General Hammond provides perspective on the gap between the less than 1% of Americans who serve in the military and the 9% of Americans who do not. How do veteran-serving organizations like Home Base keep the public engaged after the wars are over, and what are the obstacles to more private sector health  care for the invisible wounds of war, when only 50% of veterans seek care through the VA.

About Home Base: The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program is one of the only private sector clinics in the nation completely devoted to healing the invisible wounds of war in returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and military families. It is the first program of its kind in the nation, engaged in clinical care, community education and research to heal the invisible wounds of war.

Since the fall of 2009, when the Home Base Program began, 1000 veterans and military families have received clinical care and support , and the program has trained 11,000 clinicians nationwide to recognize and address the invisible wounds of war in their practices. For more, visit www.homebaseprogram.org

Several members of  the audience got the opportunity to ask questions and yours truly, in VFP Smedley T-shirt, (for which I received about 20 positive comments). My comment/question was about getting more people in the area involved in this program, thanking the good people of Boston who showed up and the panel, I asked how we could ensure people knew of this program because I see this as a combination of community, state and national problem and we owe our vets the best we can offer. However, if vets don’t know about Home Base, how can they possibly get treatment from the program?

I offered contact and support from Smedley/Sammie VFP and will contact the network of Peace groups we work with so the word gets out there is free medical care available for Iraq/Afghan vets through this program. I truly believe this program is well worth the effort, even if saves just one life from a senseless suicide, it has worked!

 It takes a strong individual to realize there may be a problem and seek help. The strength shown in the war theaters continues on when we realize that it is not a weakness to seek help, it is a perfectly sensible response to a situation that has arisen.

I ask readers of this blog to let the veterans you know of this program, we’re all in this together and need to get the word out for those who need help and don’t know where to go or what is available.

Thank you,

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.

March 26, 2014

Thoughts, Jobs Not Jails

 

 

We have a long and sordid history on how we treat criminals in this society of ours, particularly toward non-violent convicts.

I propose the Jobs Not Jails as a baseline for the rehabilitation of non-violent offenders. There are literally hundreds of high and semi-skilled jobs that could be taught to these individuals. Jobs that pay good money for good work. If, for example, an incarcerated individual was taught concrete finishing while in prison, they would have access to a darn good paying job after a couple of years of apprenticeship. The same can be said for tool and die makers, furniture builders, cabinet makers and a host of other jobs from truck drivers to heavy equipment operators.

Once trained, we can open doors for these people and help them find gainful employment. We do this for service members, why not for ex-prisoners?

The recidivism would drop to a fraction of what it is now, while people would be rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure taking pride in their work and their communities. We need to pay these people as they learn, and not 15 cents an hour “prison pay”, that equates to essentially slavery; we need to pay these people a wage where a good portion is set aside for they’re release so they have a chance to find housing and purchase clothing and tools for the jobs they were trained for. There are hundreds of jobs that can be performed by these men and women. Cutting apart old WWII ships to recycle the steel would put many to work, and this high grade steel would need welders to properly put it together into new and efficient buildings and other things. The list is endless, as long as our imaginations are working, we can find ways to ensure that people who have non-violent incarcerations get back to work.

For the record, we can use apprenticeships for those who have never committed a crime, all we have to do is teach people skills that are appropriate for what we need to utilize to put the nation back on firm footing. Paying for this is relatively easy, cuts to the military budget are a good start, let us turn our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks, our aircraft carriers into floating super cities that can deliver not bombs, but food and medical supplies around the world. Let our fighters not drop bombs, but rather, let them sow seeds that will nourish people in relative short order; why drop cluster bombs when you can drop apple seeds?

Use your imagination, see the world as a new and wondrous place, where war is no more and children need not go to bed hungry at night. We can do this, but only if we learn to accept people as people, deserving the same respect and dignity all of us are born into.

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

May 29, 2013

Stay Strong

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

 

We’ve heard that a lot lately, especially here in Boston since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. Strength however is more than being able to withstand assault, it is a frame of mind that is necessary to ensure our own survival, both physically and mentally.

First, we must understand what we are up against, the first rule in any engagement is “know your enemy”. When people use acts of terror to cast the shadow of fear upon others, the initial reactions are shock and fear, this is what is intended, and it works. In fact, it works so well, many people are willing to sacrifice their Liberties to gain the perception of safety. An “enemy” who will use terror is a coward as well as a fool. Those who fall into the trap of, “we will protect you” are fools as well. Think of this for just a moment, for all of the money spent on “Homeland Security”, two kids murder and maim in one of the most highly policed areas of the US.

Inevitably, anger follows fear. With anger, we seek revenge, not justice. When the second bomber was found hiding in a boat in a driveway, the reaction was to shoot the boat to pieces, then take a look inside. The object was essentially to kill the perpetrator, using that age old excuse, “he may be armed or have another bomb”. Let’s look at this from a realistic point of view. The owner of the boat had lifted the edge of the tarp to see the young man inside, he was not shot at, nor threatened; the boat did not explode from a home made bomb. The kid had nearly bled out by this point, he was not a threat. I’ll give the police credit for considering options that may have occurred but none of them did. The kid may have had a bomb, he may have been armed, he may have been a threat, however, none of those issues came to fruition. The police riddled the boat with small arms fire and used flash bang devices before looking inside. This was not a strategic decision, it was a tactical one. Strategy would have been to capture the individual in the best shape possible, to keep him alive for questioning and finding out why he and his brother did what they did. The tactical decision was to go overboard and do just about everything to ensure this kids death. If heavier arms, say .50 cal’s or LAW’s were available, I’m almost positive they (the police), would have used them. This was the act of  “avenging angels” as opposed to seeking to bring an individual to justice.

When people are afraid they do irrational things, it is admittedly tough to keep one’s wits about them when involved in a fire fight or being targeted by artillery or mortar fire, (which are all acts of terror in one form or another), with military training, you expect the unexpected and react, I never saw a soldier run from a fire fight, although I’ve seen many a man jump into a hole during a barrage. Once the fear and anger subside though, people rally together to get themselves through whatever event occurred, whether the bombing at the Marathon, the tornado in OK or a hurricane that rips shorelines to shreds and endangers people inland. After an earthquake, people rally to find survivors, after a tsunami, people rally to help each other even though they’ve never met and will most likely never meet again. Disasters, whether man made or natural tend to draw people together and steels their resolve to overcome the problem.

As we sort out man made disasters or acts of terror, we demand justice. Justice can often be complicated, but it should not be an emotional issue, it needs to be based on facts, and despite the fact we’ve all heard 100 times, “the maximum penalty is….”, there is also the the other end of the spectrum and everything in between. Not everything should be, “the maximum”, in fact, some things, even heinous acts can be at the other end of the spectrum and forgiven; it takes someone of extraordinary courage and empathy to forgive, but that is occasionally what it takes to ensure justice remains justice, it’s not all about punishment. Part of our collective strength is justice, albeit that is a debate that could take a long time and plenty of energy.

My point in all of this is that no matter how many times we are hurt, no matter who the next bully is that comes along, (lately that bully has been the US), it is imperative to remain strong, to maintain our sense of humanity and dignity. It is within our power to show the world we “are better than that”. We can stand strong in our morality, fighting agaisnt empire, fighting against drone warfare, (an act of terror by the way). We are not sheep, we are people, we must stand up to those who would have us cower, we must maintain our strength.

To all people who have felt the power of violence and intimidation; Stay Strong!

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