We open with the news of Marti Hiken's "Understanding The U.S. Military" which is a two page section of the CODEPINK book Stop The Next War Now. Hiken is with the National Lawyers Guild and the co-chair of their Military Law Task Force.
Marti Hiken writes of the fact that the enlisted are needed to stop the war because the enlisted "control the war; they're the ones who can throw their shoes into the machinery; they're the ones who can put down the guns." To let men and women in the service know that they are supported in their opposition to the war, Hiken offers "some ways you can help."
"SUPPORT THE GI RIGHTS HOTLINE."
The hotline for the military is 1-800-394-9544 and they can also visit www.nlg.org/mltf online.
I'll add that web site to my blog roll this weekend.
"ORGANIZE ON THE BASES THEMSELVES."
This will allow you to hear from those serving and to make contact.
"STEP UP THE COUNTER-RECRUITMENT PROJECTS IN HIGH SCHOOLS AND COLLEGE CAMPUSES."
For this one, I'm going to quote in full:
The American Friends Service Committee and the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft have both organized good efforts in this vein, but more are needed. See www.objector.org,
the Web site of the Central Commitee for Conscientious Objectors, for a list of groups doing counter-recruitment. Download the literature, go to your local high schools, and pass it out.
I'll add that web site to the blog roll this weekend too.
Over at The Common Ills, C.I. has been discussing each section of the book. C.I. e-mailed me the two pages Hiken's section appears on (pages 19 and 20) because recruiters is a topic I talk about a lot. This was a really good part of the book. I've read the things C.I. has done and thought, "I need to pick this book up" but even with Wally, Rebecca and Jim urging me to I hadn't done that yet. I read the whole pages (thanks for scanning them C.I.) at the library on campus this afternoon and went out and got the book on my way home. You can also order it through CODEPINK. I made the mistake of leaving the sack on the kitchen table when I got home while I made myself a snack. Then I head off to get ready for my date. I come back through on my way out and Dad's reading it. He said he saw the sack and wondered what was in it so he went nosing around and started reading and now he's got to finish it. He's a fast reader and I got in late a little while ago so knowing Dad he's probably finished it by now. But Dad's someone who reads the Boston Globe each morning and that's about it. So for him to get caught in this book should tell you that you should check it out. Besides your book stores, you can also get it from CODEPINK by visiting this page.
Jim and the gang at The Third Estate Sunday Review are always talking up libraries so you can also check with your library to see if they have a copy.
I'll also nudge you over to Democracy Now! which reported this today:
Rumsfeld Urged to Launch Do Not Call List Over Recruiting
This new on military recruiting: A group of parents from the Leave My Child Alone coalition are calling on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today to establish a National Do Not Call List to safeguard family privacy from unwanted military recruitment. The request comes a week after it was disclosed that the Pentagon has teamed with a private marketing firm called BeNOW to form a massive database of high school and college students to target for recruitment purposes. The New York Times reports there are already 30 million names in the database. Megan Matson of the Leave My Child Alone coalition said, "Millions applauded when the FCC formed a Do Not Call List for consumers. Now we need the armed forces to create one to protect our children's privacy."
CounterRecruiter talked about it yesterday and make sure you're telling people about this. I don't know how old any of my readers are unless they write and tell me so there may be older people reading and all but I do know that a lot of the people writing in are high school or college age. So make sure you are keeping your brothers and sisters and cousins as well as your friends informed at a minimum. And older readers make sure you are passing the news on to parents and young people you know at a minimum.
I'm responding to one e-mail here tonight because it's not tonight, it's morning and I'm pretty worn out and need to grab some sleep.
Loretta's bothered my advice to Ward and Bree Tuesday. Loretta asked why I talked about their questions and thinks a small penis (Bree's problem with her boyfriend) doesn't deserve attention. Loretta, if someone asks a question and I think I can take a crack at, I'll answer it.
My answer may be wrong or right and each reader can decide that all by themselves. But if a small penis is a topic no one should talk about, explain to me this "Don't super-size me" at Alternet's Peek. Evan Derkacz wrote about this Thursday. He's talking about a thing written on Wednesday and a thing written on Thursday. Now why Evan can't give credit to my site and what I wrote Tuesday is a good question but obviously other sites are talking about even if we did talk about it on Tuesday before other sites did this week. Maybe cause we were dealing with a question by Bree and not something written in an online magazine? Maybe it was a little too democratic? Or maybe because it's not possible to know everything going on online so any blog report is bound to miss something?
Loretta felt my advice was "glib." Loretta, Bree had a problem with her boyfriend's penis size and Ward had a problem with his girlfriend's breast size. What would you have told them? Ignore it and get married? I told them they needed to think about it. They do. If this stuff is important to them they are not going to be happy with their current partners and everyone involved would be better off moving on. Loretta wrote that "all relationships are sacred" which means she's been very lucky on the dating scene. My observation is that most relationships are based on superficial bonds and when you find yourself in one like that you need to be honest about it before you end up doing something stupid like getting married to someone you have nothing in common with.
Fooling yourself or someone else will only hurt both of you. So until you find the sacred relationship, you don't need to kid yourself or someone else. And telling someone who's in a short term relationship to ignore a problem they are having, whatever the problem is, isn't being realistic. Would I dump a girl I was seeing because of her breast size? No because I'm not hung up on breast size. (A pair of legs catch my eyes much quicker. Which is why summer is my favorite time of year.) But let's pick a problem that's not body parts. Loretta, you're dating me and you get mad at every meal because I'm chewing with my mouth open. You're telling all your friends, "I am so tired of his smacking like a cow!" Should your friends tell you, "Oh ignore it, you're so great together"? If they do that and we keep seeing each other and marry one another you're looking at possibly spending your life at the table with someone who annoys you at every meal. Is that what you want for your life?
It may be. That's why Ward and Bree, and anyone else who writes, is urged to think about what is important to them. I think if we got married you'd be go crazy and wonder why you didn't keep ignoring this issue that bothered you and realize how annoying it was to you and always would be to you.
You feel I "lack wisdom" and you're probably right. Check out my profile, I'm 19 years old. If someone writes in with a question, I'll answer it to the best of my ability. Considering the questions coming in, you probably will find many topics "gross" so you need to ask yourself is this a site you want to visit or not.
Headed to bed now but before I do, I do not chew with my mouth open. Ma would be so upset if she read this and tell me off for letting people think that she did not enstill good table manners in all her kids. She also taught us all to say please and thank you so let me say thank you publicly to C.I. for passing on the section from Stop The Next War Now.