VFP Gainesville Chapter 14

Veterans For Peace

Remembering Pete

We all remember his music but we should also remember the courage he showed throughout his life and he did it with grace, in a spirit of fun and of course with a song. Here is an example from Mediaite:

Seeger was called on August 18, 1955 and quizzed about the where and when of his performances and allegiances. Seeger skillfully tap-danced around the questions, often with humor, sometimes with protest, and refused to use the Fifth Amendment as a literal get-out-of-jail-free card. He was eventually sentenced to a year in prison for contempt, a verdict he successfully appealed.

Here is a sample form the transcript:

MR. TAVENNER: The Committee has information obtained in part from the Daily Worker indicating that, over a period of time, especially since December of 1945, you took part in numerous entertainment features. I have before me a photostatic copy of the June 20, 1947, issue of the Daily Worker. In a column entitled “What’s On” appears this advertisement: “Tonight-Bronx, hear Peter Seeger and his guitar, at Allerton Section housewarming.” May I ask you whether or not the Allerton Section was a section of the Communist Party?

MR. SEEGER: Sir, I refuse to answer that question whether it was a quote from the New York Times or the Vegetarian Journal.

MR. TAVENNER: I don’t believe there is any more authoritative document in regard to the Communist Party than its official organ, the Daily Worker.

MR. SCHERER: He hasn’t answered the question, and he merely said he wouldn’t answer whether the article appeared in the New York Times or some other magazine. I ask you to direct the witness to answer the question.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: I direct you to answer.

MR. SEEGER: Sir, the whole line of questioning-

CHAIRMAN WALTER: You have only been asked one question, so far.

MR. SEEGER: I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this. I would be very glad to tell you my life if you want to hear of it.

MR. SEEGER: I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this Committee that in some way because my opinions may be different from yours, or yours, Mr. Willis, or yours, Mr. Scherer, that I am any less of an American than anybody else. I love my country very deeply, sir.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: Why don’t you make a little contribution toward preserving its institutions?

MR. SEEGER: I feel that my whole life is a contribution. That is why I would like to tell you about it.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: I don’t want to hear about it.

Read more from the complete transcript here.

And here is a song that Pete offered to sing to the Committee.  They refused to hear it but we wont!

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NSA Eavesdropping Influenced Congresswoman?

For those who say that eavesdropping by the NSA only affects those with something to hide think again.  Government policy may have been negatively influenced as Harmon was a key advocate of the program that spied on her because of possible blackmail with the information collected by the NSA.  So we need to think a little deeper about the results of unlimited eavesdropping in the wrong hands.

This video is an interview of Harmon that was interrupted by “more important news” about Justin Bieber’s latest escapade.  No wonder Americans don’t have good information about their government.

The widespread coverage of this lead Juan Cole to fill in the next layer of meaning and background about the irony of this interview and its interruption .

According to Cole:

When she was in Congress, Harman was allegedly offered the chairmanship of the House Intelligence committee by an Israeli spy in return for her lobbying for reduced charges against operatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who had been charged with espionage.

The conversation was allegedly picked up by the NSA.

And Harman became a key Democratic supporter of NSA.

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Treating PTSD With MDMA

Ask Rick Doblin Anything: Treating PTSD With MDMA « The Dish.

Lots of research on what works to deal with PTSD. Here is an interesting example from Academia. Lots of links to read further in the article on Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

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Welcome to the Military, Ladies! – Democratic Underground



Sunday’s Doonesbury- Welcome to the Military, Ladies! – Democratic Underground.

Remember the Invisible War shown at the Hippodrome by VFP several years ago.  Like Afghanistan its still going on.

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cartoon that is far from funny

horrifying nonverbal comment on our society

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The Pentagons doctored ledgers conceal epic waste

Special Report: The Pentagons doctored ledgers conceal epic waste | Reuters.

Did you know that The Pentagon, among other dysfunctions is a Hoarder?
The largest military in the World with a claim on 60 percent of our disposable tax dollars, starving education, healthcare and infrastructure spending at home so we can kill abroad also is spectacularly wasteful.  Here are a few examples from the Reuters article.

At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found. And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS (pronounced DEE-fass). Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information.



In its investigation, Reuters has found that the Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition and other supplies; thus it continues to spend money on new supplies it doesn’t need and on storing others long out of date. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with outside vendors; how much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known. And it repeatedly falls prey to fraud and theft that can go undiscovered for years, often eventually detected by external law enforcement agencies.


Because of its persistent inability to tally its accounts, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year.


Consider the “vehicular control arm,” part of the front suspension on the military’s ubiquitous High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles, or Humvees. As of November 2008, the DLA had 15,000 of the parts in stock, equal to a 14-year supply, according to an April 2013 Pentagon inspector general’s report.

And yet, from 2010 through 2012, the agency bought 7,437 more of them – at prices considerably higher than it paid for the thousands sitting on its shelves. The DLA was making the new purchases as demand plunged by nearly half with the winding down of the Iraq andAfghanistanwars.

Read the rest of the article for more damning evidence of how the financial sacrifice of American taxpayers is being mismanaged and just plain wasted.

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The Boneyard – Military Security Versus Food Security


What is our Priority?

The Boneyard – Democratic Underground.

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Kindness suits them: Moment a fifth-grade football team rallies around bullied special-needs waterboy who likes to wear jackets and ties by dressing up like him | Mail Online

Kindness suits them: Moment a fifth-grade football team rallies around bullied special-needs waterboy who likes to wear jackets and ties by dressing up like him | Mail Online.

One of our Partners for Peace – the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding -works on anti-bullying campaigns right here in Gainesville.

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US-Iran War Averted by Agreement to Negotiate on Nuclear Enrichment | Informed Comment

“Bomb Bomb Iran” sung by John McCain and his fellow Neo-conservatives has fallen of the Top Ten Hits for warmongers chart.  And according to Juan Cole this will benefit both our Allies in the middle East and the US.

The decade-long Neoconservative plot to take the United States to war against Iran appears to have been foiled.

In response for a loosening of sanctions, worth some $7 billion to Iran, President Hasan Rouhani undertook to freeze enrichment activities at their present level. He also pledged to cast Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 19.75% for the production of medical isotopes in a form that makes it impossible to further enrich it. Nor will Iran produce more 19.5% low enriched uranium. (Uranium enriched to 95% is suitable for a bomb, and the Western diplomats figure that 19.75% is closer to 95% than is the stock of uranium enriched to 3.5% to serve as fuel for the three nuclear power plants at Bushehr. Iran also agreed to do no further work on its proposed heavy-water reactor at Arak. (Heavy-water reactors produce plutonium, with which bombs can easily be constructed).

Ironically the Country with approximately 200  undeclared nukes is screaming over the first peace treaty with Iran in many decades.

Netanyahu was a cheerleader for the Iraq War. He is now deeply wounded that the US is making peace with Iran. He seems to see the US as his personal doberman pinscher, which he is used to siccing on his rivals in the region whenever they complain about his aggressive land thefts.

The irony is that in early 2003, the reformist Iranian government of then-President Mohammad Khatami had sent over to the US a wide-ranging proposal for peace.

The Neoconservatives threw the Iranian proposal in the trash heap and mobilized to make sure there was no rapprochement with Iran. David Frum, Bush’s speech-writer, consulted with eminence grise Richard Perle (then on a Pentagon oversight board) and Irv Lewis “Scooter” Libby (vice presidential felon Richard Bruce Cheney’s chief of staff), and they had already inserted into Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech the phrase the “axis of evil,” grouping Iran with Iraq and North Korea. Iran had had sympathy demonstrations for the US after 9/11, and, being a Shiite power, feared and hated al-Qaeda (Sunni extremists) as much as Washington did. But the Neoconservatives did not want a US-Iran alliance against al-Qaeda or against Saddam Hussein. Being diplomatic serial killers, they saw Iran rather as their next victim.

Of course there is push back at home against diplomacy from our dysfunctional congress but History does not support many of their objections.

President Obama, eager for some sort of achievement for his second term, has every reason to accept a deal on Iran that involves a heavy inspection regime and gives reasonable assurance that Iran is not weaponizing its nuclear enrichment program.

Republican critics of the deal in the US Congress, who say no to everything, said no to this negotiation as well. They accused Iran of being the world’s primary backer of terrorism.

Really? The GOP backed the Mujahidin and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Contras in Nicaragua, the MEK in Iraq and Iran, and are backing the extremist Sunni rebels in Syria. They aren’t even skittish about allying with al-Qaeda affiliates, even today!

Hamas has largely broken with Iran. The only “terrorist” group Iran is backing is Hizbullah, which isn’t a terrorist group but a party-militia recognized by the Lebanese government as its national guard for its southern border, a border repeatedly breached by Israeli attacks (including an attempt to annex 10% of Lebanon, with a 20-year military occupation).

Even Israeli military intelligence sees some potential benefits to the agreement.

Besides, the US has negotiated and reached agreements with lots of authoritarian governments that support the use of terror, as long as it is right-wing death squads. It had even made up with Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, a serial terrorism-supporter, and put him on the CIA payroll.

The only question here is whether the agreement is in American interests. It is. Ever more severe sanctions increasingly risked war with a country three times as big geographically and 2.5 times as populous as Iraq (the American occupation of which did not go well). That danger is now receding, which can only be a good thing. And if negotiations and UN inspections can indeed

via US-Iran War Averted by Agreement to Negotiate on Nuclear Enrichment | Informed Comment.

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Buddhist Terror Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West

In a 45-minute video posted on Tibetan websites Thursday, Tsuglag Rinpoche, leader of the Buddhist extremist group Kammaṭṭhāna, threatened to soon inflict a wave of peace and tranquility on the West.

Speaking in front of a nondescript altar surrounded by candles, burning sticks of incense, and a small golden statue of the Buddha, Rinpoche did not specify when or where an assault of profound inner stillness would occur, but stated in no uncertain terms that the fundamentalist Buddhist cell plans to target all Western suffering.

Its the Onion, of course!

“From New York City to London, Madrid, and Paris, we will not cease until every major metropolis is left in a state of total nirvana,” said Rinpoche, brandishing a pink lotus flower before claiming that Kammaṭṭhāna will seize any opportunity to aggressively instill a deep-seated sense of oneness in all Westerners. “We offered the unenlightened governments of America and Europe a chance to embrace the Eightfold Path, but you have refused. Now, we have no choice but to impose a peaceful spiritual reawakening upon you.”

And Homeland Security is on Orange alert:

several U.S. cities have been placed on high alert and authorities are watching closely for any suspicious peaceful activity in densely populated areas. “We do believe that Kammaṭṭhāna currently possesses the means to inflict widespread balance in the collective subconscious of an American city. However, we are doing absolutely everything in our power to prevent that from happening.”

“The danger of total enlightenment is very real,” Beers added. “And we must be prepared.”

via Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

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