Category Archives: Clarence Kailin Chapter 25

Over 500 Join in Parade Opposing War Profiteers & F-35 Weapons Threatening Madison

Wisconsin State Journal  |  Saturday, February 29, 2020  | 
*Headline – Brad Geyer of VFP-Madison

Picture by Paul McMahon

Veterans for Peace-Madison Statement in Support of Opposition of F-35’s

“A chant of “take your planes and go away” grew in intensity as several hundred protesters temporarily blocked Anderson Street near Madison Area Technical College early Saturday afternoon.

A passing driver honked along to the beat, adding to the festive atmosphere. Keeping pace with swinging big-band music from the Forward Marching Band, protesters of all ages, including whole families, held signs reading “Noisy polluting jets,” “Tell the truth,” “No nukes,” and simply, “No!” 

The march was organized by the Safe Skies Clean Water Coalition, a grassroots organization that opposes basing a squadron of $90 million F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field in Madison. The protesters peacefully marched from the intersection of Anderson and Wright streets to outside the base of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing.

Steve Lyrene, of Madison, said he joined the protest because he believes the planes would be “noisy and polluting” and a symbol of “America’s aggression and warlike presence.”

“That’s not what Madison is,” he said. “We’re not a warlike people, and we don’t want to push people out of established housing.”

 

 

 

It isn’t just the noise that concerns opponents of the F-35s. The Safe Skies coalition has decried the potential environmental impacts of construction in areas contaminated with hazardous PFAS chemicals; the cost of the F-35s relative to domestic needs such as education and employment; the capability of the planes to deliver nuclear payloads; and the potential displacement of low-income families and people of color who live close to Truax Field.

Picture by Paul McMahon

Madison remains the top choice among five Air Guard bases under consideration, despite impacts to local housing and the environment outlined in a final environmental impact statement released Feb. 19.

Those in favor of basing the F-35s in Madison, including the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, say the squadron would boost the local economy, create dozens of jobs, and keep the 115th Fighter Wing and its estimated $99 million annual economic impact at Truax Field.

Ald. Grant Foster, whose 15th District would be one of the most affected by increased noise at Truax Field, was watching the protest march from the opposite sidewalk. For the second time, he and Ald. Rebecca Kemble, 18th District, will introduce a resolution opposing the F-35s during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Foster said. The resolution will likely be up for discussion during the council’s March 17 meeting.

“I don’t see how anybody can stand by and say this is a good idea, based on the final (environmental impact statement),” Foster said.

Foster said he was somewhat disappointed by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s recent statement about the F-35s — specifically, that where they will be based is a federal decision, not a local one.

That’s why some protesters expressed feeling like wheels are turning somewhere out of reach.

 

“I get that impression,” Lyrene said. “There’s this sense of powerlessness, like we don’t have a voice. It’s sad that people aren’t being listened to. But that’s why we’re doing this — to make our voices heard.”

Vicki Berenson, a member of Clean Skies, doesn’t believe the F-35s are a done deal.

“It’s totally not a foregone conclusion,” she said. “We just don’t know what the answer will be.”

The final environmental impact statement was published in the Federal Register on Friday. After a 30-day review period ending in late March, a final decision will be issued by Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett.

Find the background data and facts on our concerns at Safe Skies Website


Photographs marked are from Paul McMahon

Heartland Images Photography,  4317 Tokay Blvd

Madison WI  53711 608-215-5031 (cell)

Photos:  www.flickr.com/photos/heartlandimages

Bio:  www.linkedin.com/in/heartlandimages

Hundreds march on Truax Field to protest basing F-35s in Madison


Veterans for Peace-Madison stands with Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin and the concerned citizens engaged in the struggle. We oppose F-35’s coming to Madison, we oppose F-35’s anywhere and we oppose the war machine and its crimes. 

We oppose the racism and systemic racism that forces brown, black, natives and the poor to sacrifice their health and quality of life so that corrupt politicians can enrich the billionaire owners of Lockheed Martin and the corporate rulers connected to the Chamber of Commerce: US Chamber and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.  We oppose the effect that these jets and the military will have on children. 

We must not allow the pollution of our water and soil to continue while the US government avoids accountability for around 80 years of PFAS forever chemical pollution and burn pits. This has poisoned much of Monona and Madison’s groundwater.

The F-35A, is a combination stealth fighter and bomber and can carry several B61 nuclear bombs with a range of less than one kiloton of explosive mayhem to 50 kilotons. That seems to be a lot of environmental impact, when compared to the 12-kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Is the hundreds of billions dollar cost of this latest child of the military-industrial complex worth it? As a low-flying stealth bomber capable of carrying nukes, it is an extremely risky and potentially destabilizing war machine in an already unstable world, whether you consider the Middle East, the near east, or the far east. One error in deciphering a tense situation could set off a nuclear tit-for-tat that would produce the worst environmental impact statement of all.

One only has to read nuclear war planner Dan Ellsberg’s recent “The Doomsday Machine” to learn of the horrors American cities could experience, and that we have been living on the brink.

The Pentagon has hyped the F-35 as a “computer that happens to fly,” and Lockheed Martin says there are 8 million lines of software code which control weapons deployment, communications, radar and flight controls. Given the extent of computer hacking continuously going on, what could anyone have to fear with a flying computer carrying nuclear weapons?

Veterans for Peace works to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, and to abolish war as an instrument of national policy. We do not want to see nuclear-enabled stealth fighter bombers stationed here in Madison — or anywhere, for that matter. 

The cost of F-35 fighter jets, Lockheed Martin calls it the “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” is phenomenal and will be paid by taxpayers. A recent book – Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals – tells that Lockheed Martin claims that parts of the F-35 are “built in forty-five states.” That makes it possible for politicians across the U.S. to claim that the F-35 and, therefore, the defense industry, will produce jobs everywhere. Compared to needed civilian jobs that could be funded for much less taxpayer money, the sum for F-35s is enormous and the jobs to be produced are few.

Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor for F-35s, and “…the world’s largest defense contractor,” according to the book, edited by William Wiist and Shelley White.

With a (current) price tag of $1.4 trillion per plane…[F-35] has become the most expensive weapon system in history…punctuated by reports of one malfunction after another, from flaws in the fuel tanks that made the planes vulnerable to lightning-caused fires, to criticism of its maneuverability….”

The F-35 program is projected to use most of the U.S. budget for aircraft through 2030, the authors write.

The size of the US military machine is massive and currently causes more violence than it prevents. The US has far more bases, jets, aircraft carriers than anyone. Our military spending is more than the next seven nations combined. We do not need F-35’s for defense. This is war profiteering and imperialism.

None of the effects on human beings were improved in the final Environmental Impact Statement, in fact, the US government made no effort to alleviate the impacts. The money is there to protect people, the choice is made to serve the war profiteers and harm the people.

For Peace & Justice,

Bradley J. Geyer

Monday Noon – Vigil for Peace – Anniversary: 2 Dec 2019

PDF of document: Vigil for Peace WK 1652 12.02.2019 

VIGIL FOR PEACE Mondays Noon-1P

Corner MLK Jr. Blvd. & Doty St. Madison City-Cty. Bldg.

WK 1652 12.02.2019 JOIN US!

 

The Vigil for Peace, on this first Monday of December, is celebrating thirty-eight years (1981-2019) of presence in the Downtown Madison public square speaking out as, “. . . We become, by our presence, a voice for justice.” FG

We remember our deceased vigilers: Charlotte S., Karin S., Lars P., Jackson T.

 

“I vigil for peace and for peaceful solutions to our climate emergency. I vigil because I believe humanity must change and transcend its current military and economic culture in order to survive.” – Kathleen C.

“I am a “newbie” at the Monday noon vigil. I have been participating for
almost two years. I “Vigil” as a witness standing in solidarity with the others who
are here. We share information about important social issues that need our
attention and action. We become, by our presence, a voice for justice. We offer
information in printed form to those who pass by and interact with those driving
vehicles inviting them to “honk for peace” and draw their attention to a witness
here on the corner of Doty and MLK Jr. Blvd. It is one of the ways I have to
“stand up and be counted.” – Frank G.

 

“It has been my privilege to be a participant at the Vigil for Peace for seven years now. Being timid by nature, I still feel a little uncomfortable standing there on the corner holding up a peace sign. Several factors keep me coming to the vigil most every Monday noon:

  • It is one way I can respond, even in a small way, to the disturbing and seemingly persistent news about the violence, corruption, and destruction happening on our precious planet.
  • It is heartwarming to hear the occasional “beeps for peace” from motorists as they drive by, or see them hold up their hand in a peace symbol. Also it’s rewarding to have pedestrians say “keep up the good work” or “thank you for being here” every week.
  • I am inspired and encouraged by my fellow vigil participants who I consider to be stalwart peacemakers – models of hope and persistence and a faith that peace will dwell on our earth someday. I am proud to stand among them as an ongoing “presence for peace” on this corner made special by it’s proximity to the city, county and state seats of governance!” – Marge L.

“Why I vigil, whenever I have the opportunity: I stand with others with signs of protest and fliers of information to spread education about issues I care deeply about – war & peace, a healthy earth, and abolishing nuclear weapons. Vigiling is a way to draw myself away from everyday activities, to remind myself of dangers that could be averted if citizens come together in protest. A regular vigil is a place to meet my friends-in-peace, to share information, and feel that
I’m not alone with my feelings. It’s also a place to meet new passers-by and spread the ideas of peace and justice. Does it make a difference? It’s like throwing that pebble into the sea – you never know what wave it will create!” – Judy M.

“Here are some thoughts on peace, justice, sustainability: If you want peace, work for justice.  Likewise, if you want justice, work for peace; peace and justice are intertwined. And as a matter of fact, if we don’t work for sustainability, the world may not be able to work for peace and justice…. Working for peace can begin with a simple smile, offered politely.

Working for sustainability can begin with thinking carefully about our lifestyles. Mindfulness in our daily affairs eases the path to peace, justice, and sustainability. Onward to peace and love, trees and flowers!”
Larry O.

 

Vigiling for peace, justice and sustainability is for me an interpersonal means of educating myself and sharing information with others. It allows me to express an ever-deepening sense of injustice I have for a wounded humanity, and an earth desperately in need of healing. Our flier messages convey to the public the systematic exploitation of those who are marginalized by the obscene cost of U.S. wars and exploitative foreign policies when and where it suits our own national interests. The nuclear arsenal we finance, build and threaten to use is capable of killing millions of people at the press of a button. Corporate-profiteering through weapons
manufacturing, sales and systems of delivery blindly creates a viability-for-profit in every state of the Union.

Connections between militarism and environmental exploitative practices are culpable in threatening our very existence. This lack of moral courage to face reality is only outmaneuvered by our own looking the other way.

The late Rep. Elijah Cummings (1951-2019) said: “We are better than this.”

 

Neta Crawford reminds us that: “Local action is essential.”

Check out the video from Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Neta Crawford is a political scientist and the co-director of the Costs of War project:

Costs and Consequences of US Post-9/11 Wars: Focus on Climate Change

 

Together, we can all make a difference. We invite you to join us in seeking to make that difference.

Mary Beth S.

 

National Priorities Project (NPP)

“The federal government found a way to spend $97 billion in a single month last year, of which more than $61 billion can be attributed to the Pentagon. It’s not a new phenomenon. In the last month of every fiscal year, federal agencies work to spend all that’s left in their annual budgets.
If they don’t, the agencies worry they’ll be appropriated a smaller share by Congress next year, hence the “use-it or lose-it” spending sprees…”

Some of the big ticket spending items are attributed to the usual major defense contractors. The Pentagon spent $8.1 billion on contracts with Lockheed Martin and $5.1 billion with Boeing in September, for instance.

 

The Pentagon wants to know how a border wall will improve troops’ ‘effectiveness’ before it contributes DoD dollars

 


 

Cost of National Security

US Budgetary Costs: $ 6.4 Trillion

Full Paper on Costs of War

“The vast economic impact of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan is poorly understood  by the US public and policymakers. This paper estimates the budgetary costs of war, including past expenditures and obligations to care for veterans of these wars throughout their lifetimes.”

Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars—an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum of $1 Trillion for US obligations to care for the veterans of these wars through the next several decades.

 

“One of the major purposes of the Costs of War Project has been to clarify the types of budgetary costs of the US post-9/11 wars, how that spending is funded, and the long-term implications of past and current spending. This estimate of the US budgetary costs of the post-9/11 wars is a comprehensive accounting intended to provide a sense of the consequences of the wars for the federal budget. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Defense appropriations related to the Global War on Terror have been treated as emergency appropriations, now called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).3 When accounting for total war costs, the Department of Defense and other entities often present only Overseas Contingency Operation appropriations.”

National Priorities Project: Cost of National Security 

 


Dear Vigilers,
We were ten strong at the vigil yesterday, and five strong “with-us-in-spirit.” Pretty good for a mostly unorganized, pop-up peace vigil. It was a beautiful bright sunny day, but boy, was it cold!
Nonetheless, we were warm-in-heart-and-spirit. I came by about two hours later and there were our beautiful Tibetan Peace Flags hung in the three Ginkgo trees still fluttering in the wind. People were walking be them like it was the most natural thing in the world. Maybe it was? What a great idea, Christina, to pass them out to passersby, too. We even got to pass one out to our old vigiler friend, Todd M. It surprised me at how amenable people were to taking them right along with the flier.
We had a nice assortment of their favorite signs people brought with them—oldies-but-goodies!
And we used my niece, Jamie’s, little red wagon (to which Christina sang the little red wagon song) for a stand-in table in which we served gingerbread boy cookies and hot Turmeric Ginger Buddha tea to complement our peace flags and cookies. (According to the tea label, “Good if you have a medical condition.” Our only ‘medical condition’ may be that we are ‘sick’ of war!) The only thing we missed was music—maybe next year?
We closed with our usual announcements, see: (www.safeskiescleanwaterwi.org,and Dona Nobis Pacem which Martina kicked off for us. We then dispersed to the four winds to spread our spirit-filled peaceful actions to the whole earth (Well, to Madison, anyway.) just like our Tibetan Peace Flags’ messages joyfully bore their fruit across Downtown Madison and beyond.

 

Counter Recruiting in Rural High Schools – David Giffey VFP Madison

Veterans for Peace-Madison Clarence Kailin Chapter 25  |  Nov 12, 2019  |  David Giffey

What you should know before joining the military. 

 

 

 

Update for above picture:

If you look very carefully, you will see it says: “$1.67 billion” referring to military spending. It should be “trillion” instead of “billion.” I updated the sign as I must do often (because military spending and body counts get higher every year). But the tape gave out and the old “billion” was exposed.

An alert teacher at Baraboo High School questioned it, and I have since corrected the sign. It now states that the military budget for 2020 is $1.67 TRILLION.

My counter recruiting visits to Southwestern Wisconsin high schools never fail to remind me of the constant need for a peace presence among young people. I am returned to the uncertainty and indifference I felt when I was young and let myself get drafted and eventually sent to the American War in Vietnam. By nature, youth is apathetic and dismissive of very important decisions, and overcome with a sense of bravado.

Today I spent the lunch hours counter recruiting at Dodgeville High School. Protocol requires that I remain at my table and wait for students to approach. Then I offer information about alternatives to the military and try to warn students that “the military is not just a job.” This is the 11th year our Chapter 25 has offered a scholarship for the essay contest winner at Dodgeville, and my 11th year counter recruiting in Dodgeville. The staff is very helpful and kind. The administration has changed in the past decade. Twelve years ago, it was necessary to consider legal action when Veterans For Peace was denied the right to counter recruit in Dodgeville High School.

The tradition of militarism in American culture is evident in the high schools I visit. Today a student asked me if I was “anti-military or anti-war.” I assured him that I was “anti-war.” How could I be opposed to people in the military, since I was once one of them, I asked. Within minutes two students who, I presume, were friends of his approached me and very politely told me they had enlisted. I reminded them that the purpose of all U.S. military branches is to wage war. I showed them copies of the contract they may sign which removes all their rights to self-determination. I wished them well. The war in Afghanistan is now in its 19th year. Neither of those boys were born when it began. They have, I believe, become inured to war by its constant presence.

Last week I read excerpts from Long Shadows: Veterans Paths to Peace at an event in Madison. In the book, the late Dr. James Allen, a longtime peace activist who was drafted into the War in Korea, recalled someone saying, “We’ve made a little progress in the last few thousand years because in the old days when the conquering army came in, they usually killed everybody in the city. Now we just say we want to kill the soldiers.”

Visiting high schools, offering scholarships for essays on the topic of peace, meeting young students, worrying about our grandchildren…these are important reasons for supporting the work of Veterans For Peace. Today at Dodgeville High I talked to half a dozen students who were interested in writing essays for our contest. I discussed war and peace with several teachers who were eager to read our literature and to learn more. I gave two students copies of “Addicted to War,” a graphic history of U.S. involvement in wars.

Later this week I’ll visit Baraboo High School. Next week I’ll be counter recruiting in Boscobel and Richland Center, and then Muscoda. I’ve already been to River Valley High School in Spring Green. Then I’ll start over again hoping to let young people know that the world will be more peaceful if they remain civilians after graduation.

As veteran Clarence Kailin, namesake of Chapter 25, said: “There’s a lot of work to do.”

Stop Recruiting Kids
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Website  

“I had a good/busy day in Dodgeville HS during lunch hours today. I spoke with at least five seniors who are very interested in the essay contest, a couple of hecklers, and two seniors who said they have enlisted. But they listened when I told them about options. And several teachers had conversations with me also.”  – David Giffey

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