Vigil for Peace: War is a Racket – Apr 8

Monday’s Noon-1pm Corner MLK Jr. & Doty St. Madison City-County Bldg.

Week 1623 Date 8 April 2019


(October 14, 1890-March 18, 1969)

“During the long lane of history yet to be written, America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Such a confederation must be one of equals.”

(From 1961 farewell address.)


“Now is the time for even greater activism to end the endless wars, to stop potentially catastrophic new wars, and to link the work for peace to the movements for special, economic and climate justice. ”

(b. 1947- )



(July 30, 1881-June 21, 1940)

“In his book, “WAR IS A RACKET” Smedley Butler points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, where industrialists, whose operations were subsidized by public funding, were to generate substantial profits, making money from mass human suffering.”

War is a Racket – Online Book by Smedley Butler

We are moved to say that not only is it not enough to say, “War is a Racket,” which this writer greatly respects Butler for saying, but it’s what we do that counts as well. The saying and the doing are two quite different things which brings us to next week’s Vigil for Peace.

With 57 percent of the Trump $1.3 trillion discretionary budget going to the Pentagon and nuclear weapons enhancement, we are calling attention to those ways in which our tax dollars are spent. Join us next Monday at Noon in calling for an end to paying for our country’s numerous undeclared wars and all matter of violence leading to war. Take for example the F-35A.

Butler wrote this:

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possible the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”





5 Billion Dollars on F-35A planes OR Human Needs & the Environment?


Currently each F-35A plane costs $110 million to manufacture. The F-35A costs approximately $42,000 per hour to fly. Assuming a plane flies 120 hours a year, over 20 years, that comes to $100 million.

The F-35 Is About to Get A Lot Cheaper. Sort Of.

24 x F-35A Fighter planes (@ $210 million each) = approximately 5 billion dollars.

Here are nine things we could buy for $5 billion instead:

1. Provide Medicaid for 1.4 million people. At the program’s current costs, $5 billion could provide Medicaid – cost-effective, quality insurance – for 1.4 million Americans.

2. Triple federal spending on energy The United States budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy is $2 billion. Adding $5 billion would triple the budget.

3. Give the Environmental Protection Agency a 60% Raise This federal defender for clean water, clean air, protection of endangered species, safe disposal of toxic waste, land conservation and even food quality and safety has been under assault by the current administration. A $5 billion raise would be enough to raise its budget by 60%, from $8.2 billion to $13.2 billion.

4. Increase federal aid to public K-12 schools by 30% The primary source of federal aid to public schools is the Title I program that provides federal funding to schools that serve lower income students. More than half of all public schools in the United States benefit from the program. In 2017, Title I grants to public schools totaled $14.9 billion. An additional $5 billion would be a 30% increase to this aid.

6. Double heating assistance for low-income households The Low Income Home Energy Assistance program provides support to low-income households to help them afford heating and cooling costs. Its 2017 budget was just short of $3.4 billion, so a $5 billion increase could more than double it.

8. Double funding for substance abuse and mental health

Yet the current budget for the main federal agency that handles both substance abuse and mental health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), received just $4.1 billion in federal funds in 2017. Adding $5 billion to that could more than double current funding.

Nine Things to Buy with $5 Billion Instead of a Border Wall from National Priorities Project

The group meets in downtown Madison from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm on the corner, by the County-City building: The corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Doty Street. There are signs and flyers available each week. The flyers to be handed out to passers-by.

All are welcome to join this group, which meets every Monday noon, except Federal holidays – (or if the temperature sinks below -20 degrees… and even then, some members enjoy standing for peace.)

Join us April 15, Tax Day Vigil for Peace-Monday Noon Madison

The Monday Noon Vigil started back in December, 1981 — it will soon be 40 years ago!  April 15 is tax day.  We will protest the use of our tax dollars to commit war crimes and to pay for weapons of war.

The group meets in downtown Madison from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm on the corner, by the County-City building: The corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Doty Street.  There are  signs and flyers available each week.  The flyers to be handed out to passers-by.

Be the change you want to see & Support nonviolent ways to peace. No more war.

All are welcome to join this group, which meets every Monday noon, except Federal holidays – (or if the temperature sinks below -20 degrees… and even then, some members enjoy standing for peace.)

The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, a national non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C., advocates for U.S. federal legislation that would enable conscientious objectors to war to have their federal income taxes directed to a special fund which would be used for non-military purposes alone. This fund would be called the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund, and the bill we seek to pass is called the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act, called H.R. 1947 in the current Congressional term.

National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund

Brochure – Paying for War is Participating

East Wash Affordable Housing-Veteran Preference, Scheduled to open 2021

Veterans will be given preference.  Some units will be low-moderate income, others will be at market rate.

“Today Gorman and Company informed TLNA and Alder Zellers that they have been approved for the WHEDA tax credits that they were seeking for the Valor project on the Messner site at 1326 E. Washington (site includes 1314 and 1318 E. Washington). They had earlier received commitments from both the City and County for allocations from their respective affordable housing funds, so their financing package is complete.

The development team will soon present the final exterior design details to the TLNA Steering Committee for the proposal. Assuming the committee meeting goes well, Gorman will subsequently seek final Urban Design Commission approval for the exterior…”

  • Patrick Heck, [soon to be former] Development Chair for Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association


“The six-story affordable housing project at 1314-1326 E. Washington Ave. for veterans and their families sits on the former Messner building site.

The project includes 59 units, 50 of which would be affordable. It’s estimated to cost $14.8 million, and recently received $950,000 from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. The project is applying for federal low income housing tax credits. If granted, developer Gorman & Company could begin construction in 2020 and finish by mid-2021, a city staff report says…”

Affordable Housing Being Built on East Washington

Guernica by Pablo Picasso: In Response to War Crimes in the Spanish Civil War


Video from France 24 – Picasso’s Guernica: The world’s most famous anti-war painting

“Probably Picasso’s most famous work, Guernica is certainly the his most powerful political statement, painted as an immediate reaction to the Nazi’s devastating casual bombing practice on the Basque town of Guernica during Spanish Civil War…”
Guernica, 1937 by Pablo Picasso

The man, who our chapter of Veterans for Peace is name after, Clarence Kailin volunteered to fight as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in defense of the elected Spanish government against a coup engineered by Generalissimo Francisco Franco with the backing of Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini.
Premature Antifascist – John Nichols

“The Spanish Civil War broke out in July, 1936, after a group of conservative military tried to overthrow the progressive government of the Popular Front, elected in February of the same year. Expecting an easy coup, the military rebels were surprised to encounter massive popular resistance, especially in the large urban centers. In a matter of days, the country was split in half, with one zone controlled by the government (known as Republicans, Loyalists, or Reds), and the other by the rebels (also referred to as Nationalists, Fascists, or Whites). Three years of bloody fighting followed. General Franco quickly emerged as the Nationalist commander in chief. The main leaders on the Republican side were President Azaña and Prime Ministers Largo Caballero and Negrín. The war ended with a Nationalist victory on April 1, 1939; Franco would rule Spain as a ruthless dictator until his death in 1975.

The war quickly became internationalized. Global public opinion rallied around one of the two factions, seeing the war as either a struggle of democracy against fascism or, conversely, of Christian civilization against Communism. Fearful of escalation, several Western governments signed a Non-Intervention Pact. It was a dead letter from the outset. Franco immediately requested and received extensive military support from Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. The Republic was in turn supported by the Soviet Union and, to a smaller extent, by Mexico. The other Western powers refused to stand by the embattled Republic, not even allowing it to buy arms on the international market. Nevertheless, thousands of concerned citizens from some fifty nations, ignoring their own governments’ purported neutrality, rallied to the Republic’s support. Almost forty thousand men and women, including 2,800 Americans, traveled to Spain to help fight fascism. Most of them joined the International Brigades, organized in 1936 by the Communist International. The U.S. volunteers in Spain formed several battalions and served in various units (medical, transportation) and came to be known collectively as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.”
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War



Spanish Civil War: the Spanish town of Guernica, after the bombing by German and Italian aircraft, 1937. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)