Author Archives: Brad Geyer

My Thoughts on Militarism – Brad Geyer

My Thoughts on Militarism:  My words at the Good Noise, Good Neighbors Festival Oct 20, 2019

We don’t need the jets. We don’t need the base.

I served for 13 years in the US military, including 9 years here at Truax Field with the 115 Fighter Wing. During my time with the Air Force, I was deployed to the Middle East to combat zones and Southwest Asia five times.

Years ago, President and General Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about the big money of the Military Industrial Complex. Through the years this corruption has gotten worse. Over the past 50 years, big business led by entities like the Chamber of Commerce and ALEC have purchased our legislators.

There are too many lobbyists in our government. A good example of a conflict of interest is the Secretary of Defense who is a former lobbyist for Raytheon. Raytheon makes at least four components of the F-35.

The activist courts have invented law taking away our ability to regulate bribery. With the decisions leading up to Citizens United, we now have a Military Industrial Complex on steroids.

Jimmy Carter and others have stated that the US is now an oligarchy. There are a few wealthy people, the 1%, that our government is serving. [Although, we could change that tomorrow if we had the will.]

Now is the time to talk about how much military assets we have. How much we spend on war and where we want to spend our money.

We don’t seem to be having an effective discussion on these questions. Instead we have propaganda about whether we support the troops or if we love the flag. Those are games being played. Those are not valid, logical arguments relative to the situation.

According to a poll from September, most Americans want more money spent on the domestic needs of people and less spent on the Pentagon.


Defending our homes and our constitution is very important, but we could do that and spend more money on…

  • More hospitals, clinics, staff, nurses and doctors for veterans and civilians
  • Clean energy
  • Giving teachers the tools they need
  • Art and music funding
  • Heating assistance and other help for the elderly
  • Processing refugees in a more humane manner
  • Dealing more effectively with substance abuse, trauma, mental health and PTSD
  • Protecting our natural world, our air, our water, our soil

A few numbers…

This is not defense. This is empire.

Some of our children, go to schools where the textbooks are 30 years old and dilapidated, while our government is buying weapons like the F-35 for one hundred million dollars, a jet that has a windshield made of sapphire and has a helmet that cost $400,000.

I think we can have a better balance. Part of that balance is pushing for laws to be enforced instead of bombs dropping so often, and we need a government that is not out there creating enemies for Americans.

Two priorities we should have in order to achieve real progress:
We need people to be involved and informed.
We need to get the big money out and the people in.

Fundraiser for the Veterans: Unified U.S. Deported Veterans, Chapter 182 Veterans for Peace

Common Ground, 2644 Branch Street in Middleton  |   Nov 7 from  6-9 pm  |
Contact Fran: f aw231@aol.com, 608-576-7416

Abandoned. Discarded. Devastated. Betrayed.

Mario De La Cruz, U.S. Army, Uncharacterized Discharge, born in Mexico (1969), deported.

These are the words used by deported veterans to describe the country they served honorable which is in some cases is the only home they have ever known. Individual details in the hundreds of stories vary but often include minor infractions of the law common to troops reintegrating from combat or errors in the dysfunctional immigration system.

Cut off from family and friends, the original members of Unified U.S, Deported Veterans based in Tijuana, Mexico banded together in mutual support and now provides over ninety veterans help with basic needs, contact with family members and links to legal resources as well as mental and physical healthcare.

Please join Common Ground Coffeehouse, WORT community radio 89.9 FM Madison, and Veterans for Peace Clarence Kailin Chapter 25 Madison in a night of poetry by …

All donations will directly benefit Unified U.S. Deported Veterans, Chapter 182 Veterans for Peace.

Military Times, ICE is supposed to consider service when deporting veterans. It hasn’t been.

 

Evening of poetry, writings, and music to benefit Unified U.S. Deported Veterans
Thursday, November 7, 2019, from 6-9 pm
Common Ground Coffeehouse
2644 Branch Street in Middleton, WI

For more information contact Fran Wiedenhoeft, faw231@aol.com, 608-576-7416

DREAMING OF FREEDOM: Palestinian Youth Under Siege and Occupation

Event: Sunday, October 27 @ 2 – 4 pm
Christ Presbyterian Church,
944 E Gorham St, Madison, WI 53703  


DREAMING OF FREEDOM:
Palestinian Youth Under Siege and Occupation
With Yousef Aljamal, Gaza Writer and Activist
Facebook event page

Meet Yousef Aljamal, a young writer who grew up in a refugee camp in Gaza and lived through the three devastating Israeli military assaults between 2008 and 2014. He will share his experiences and insights about the lives of youth there and elsewhere in Palestine, including tens of thousands imprisoned by Israel’s military regime in the West Bank since 1967.

A contributor to the anthology Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza Palestine, Aljamal has recently translated into English the book Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak.

Yousef’s talk will be preceded by brief remarks from Rep. Mark Pocan.

Free, but donations gratefully accepted to fund another Maia Project clean water filter for Rafah kids.


Local Sponsors: Madison-Rafah Sister City Project; Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison; UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison. Tour sponsored by Just World Educational. Welcomed by WORT Radio.

Note: Yousef is scheduled to be a guest on WORT Radio’s A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff on Thursday, October 24 from noon – 1 pm. Call in at 608-256-2001 or listen live online at WORT 89.9 fm.

For more information, visit The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project website or follow MRSCP on Face Book.

PFAS – Per and Poly Fluoroalkyl Substance Pollution and the US Military

“For decades, 3M was a leading producer of the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. As early as the 1950s, 3M’s own studies showed that PFAS chemicals built up in blood, and by the 1960s, 3M’s own animal studies showed the potential for harm. Yet 3M continued to produce PFAS chemicals without notifying its employees of the risks.”

Environmental Working Group 

Is this why we have autism and ADD and even heart disease at the rates we do?

 

 

(CNN) — The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed that PFAS chemicals have made their way into the US food supply.

On Monday, the FDA publicly acknowledged the initial findings of the agency’s investigation into how the “forever chemicals” have been detected in the foods we eat.

PFAS is a family of nearly 5,000 synthetic chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment and in our bodies. PFAS is short for perfluoroalky and polyfluoroalkyl substances and includes chemicals known as PFOS, PFOA and GenX, sometimes called forever chemicals. These chemicals all share signature elemental bonds of fluorine and carbon, which are extremely strong and difficult to break down in the environment or in our bodies.

These chemicals can easily migrate into the air, dust, food, soil and water and can accumulate in the body. They’ve been linked to adverse health impacts including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and cancer.

Video – How A Toxic Chemical Changed Bucky Bailey’s Life

In the body, PFAS chemicals primarily settle into the blood, kidney and liver. A study from 2007 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that PFAS chemicals could be detected in the blood of 98% of the US population…”

FDA Confirms PFAS Chemicals In US Food Supply 

PFAS Contamination in the US – PFAS Project

They say they didn’t know and that this is a new problem; Not true!

  • “In 2009 PFAS were listed as persistent organic pollutant under the Stockholm Convention, due to their ubiquitous, persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic nature.” – Wikipedia – Stockholm Conventions 
  •  There have been studies connecting PFAS chemicals to harmful health effects going back for decades. This example includes studies in 2009, 1977, 1968 etc… Toxicology Data Network – Human Health Effects
  • “In animal studies, some long-chain PFASs have been found to cause liver toxicity, disruption of lipid metabolism and the immune and endocrine systems, adverse neurobehavioral effects, neonatal toxicity and death, and tumors in multiple organ systems.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4421777/

Executives at Dupont and other companies decided to save some money, instead of disposing of these hazardous chemicals properly,  they dumped them into our rivers and into our water supplies.

DuPont vs. the World: Chemical Giant Covered Up Health Risks of Teflon Contamination Across Globe


 

“America is experiencing one of the greatest public health crises in its history with up to 110 Million people potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with Per and Poly Fluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS. A major source of the chemical contamination comes from the aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) used in routine fire-training on military bases. The military allows the poisons to leach in the groundwater to contaminate neighboring communities which use groundwater in their wells and municipal water systems.”

The Military is Poisoning America’s Ground Water – Pat Elder


“Per-flouro octane-sulfo-nate or PFOS, and Per-flouro-octa-noic acid or PFOA, are the active ingredients in the foam routinely used to train soldiers to extinguish aircraft fires at US military bases around the world. The toxic chemicals are allowed to leach into surrounding soil to poison groundwater. The result is one of the greatest water contamination epidemics in human history.

Doubt that? Click on Google News and enter: “PFOS PFAO Military Base.” Then, come back and read the rest of this article – and brace yourself. It’s bad.

The water in thousands of wells in and around US military installations across the globe have been tested and have been shown to contain harmful levels of PFOS and PFOA.

…The EPA developed the nonregulatory Health Advisory Program in 1978 to provide information to the public on pollutants associated with short-term contamination spills that can affect drinking water quality but are not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA lists Health Advisories for more than 200 contaminants, including FFOS and PFOA. Many of these contaminants are strictly regulated by nations around the world, but they’re OK for Americans to drink.

In the absence of federal leadership on the issue, some states, including New Jersey, have started to regulate the chemicals at much lower limits than the EPA’s. New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection is implementing its first tough PFAS regulation. Contamination of water wells at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was as high as 264,300 ppt, and that’s just fine with the EPA.

The EPA continues to approve new equally toxic PFAS chemicals despite widespread contamination. America, it seems, is a criminal enterprise.”

An Empire of Bases Poisons Water, Threatening Its Own Collapse


“In a March report provided to the House Armed Services Committee, the Pentagon for the first time publicly listed the full scope of the known contamination. The Defense Department identified 401 active and Base Closure and Realignment installations in the United States with at least one area where there was a known or suspected release of perfluorinated compounds …The man-made chemicals, which can be used to make items heat or water resistant, are found in everyday household, food and clothing items, even take-out food wrappers. At military bases, however, they are concentrated in the foam used to put out aircraft fires.”

Department of Defense: At least 126 bases report water contaminants linked to cancer, birth defects – Military Times  


Wisconsin’s new governor, Tony Evers declared 2019 to be the “Year of Clean Drinking Water.” Tony said during the announcement: “People in Wisconsin want to make sure that they can drink their water safely. But what is being done to protect our water from PFAS? What is being done to hold the polluters accountable? There has been $1.6 million set aside for homeowners to remediate contaminated wells. What will it cost to fix what the military and corporations like 3M, Dupont and Tyco have been poisoning for decades? [I would imagine the cost will be in the billions.]

The politicians talk about limits.

We should have a ban.

There should be long term testing before new chemicals are used.

If I poured poison into your water supply, I’d be in prison.  Corporate  executives decide to pour poison into our water, they get a bonus and protection from the people we have elected.


“Exposure to PFAS at even the lowest concentrations has been shown to harm human health and puts people in communities with contaminated drinking water at risk. Recent science suggests that newer PFAS chemicals may be just as toxic and harder to treat as those that were phased out…”

Short-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in aquatic systems: Occurrence, impacts and treatment


We need to be testing people for PFAS related chemicals in their blood. Some of the highest priority testing should be testing firefighters and EMT’s, and other emergency responders.

These people signed up to risk their lives to save us, they did not sign up to get cancer or colitis or developmental disorders because corporations didn’t test their product and then covered up the harm they knew they were causing.



• In a recent Wisconsin State Journal article, Chris Hubbuch explained “…The human-made compounds – found in firefighting foam, food packaging, non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, carpeting and other products — have been shown to increase the risk of cancer and other ailments.”

The corporate media and politicians are minimizing the problem. These chemicals cause cancer. and the other ailments include disrupting our endocrine system, they mimic our hormones causing a variety of developmental issues, among them:

  • attention deficit disorder
  • autism
  • testicular cancer 
  • hyperactivity
  • oppositional defiant disorder
  • obesity
  • immune function problems
  • fertility issues
  • ulcerative colitis
  • high cholesterol
  • pregnancy-induced hypertension & preeclampsia
  • and on and on… 

The more research that is done, the more the science tells us that it takes less and less of these chemicals to cause harm.