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Episode 15-23

George Washington Was Right | Gay In The NFL | Incarcerated Veterans | Privatizing the VA?

Davids vs Goliaths

Archived Video & Audio

Guest(s): Cold War Navy Seabees Veteran Tim Pena, NFL's Ryan Russell, Vietnam Veteran Bruce Carruthers

  • The coronation of King Charles, III still today forbids a Catholic from being king or queen. It’s like having a provision in the U.S. Constitution barring a black person from being president or a law in Germany barring a Jew from being chancellor.  This British law comes from 1701 and is known as The Act of Settlement - the foundation stone of the Royal Family. The Royal Family website, categorically spells it out: 'A Roman Catholic is specifically excluded from succession to the throne.’ …

  • Cold War Navy veteran who served from 1977-1981 with the Navy Seabees in Coronado, California.  After witnessing a suicide by a Marine in the Persian Gulf, Tim Pena was plagued with nightmares and remained undiagnosed with PTSD and struggled with suicide ideation for many years.  Then, After being sent to prison for marijuana possession, Tim founded Veterans Justice Project that assists incarcerated and at-risk veterans.

  • Heroes come in many variations of bravery and often act as changemakers.  Imagine being a professional NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and making history by becoming the first out active NFL player to identify as bisexual. Though RK Russell was an NFL free-agent at the time, his announcement nonetheless broke barriers given the lack of openly LGBTQ players in the “Big Four” professional sports leagues - which also include the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball. With me is NFL veteran, Ryan Russell, who was a professional football player in the NFL, a decorated defensive end who sacked Hall of Famers and went up against the fiercest competitors at the height of their game. Since coming out, he has written about his experience as a Black queer man in sports for The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.  He has a new memoir – out in June- called The Yards Between Us

  • Take an Army veteran, who served a tour in Viet Nam in 1967-68. Have him hold degrees from the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, University of Colorado at Denver, and Wichita State University. Put him in the VA as a member of the Federal Executive Service and have him work in ten VA facilities, including a stint in VA Central Office in Washington, D.C.  We’re talking about Bruce Carruthers, who is on the steering committee of the Veterans for Peace Save Our VA National Project. What’s happening that you may not know about?  Moves to Privatize the VA which would deprive veterans of the medical and psychological care they earned …and is a barely disguised transfer of public funds to private healthcare corporations.

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