Good night. I'm late posting and I thank Rebecca for noting that at her site. Nina wanted to get out early instead of waiting for me to finish posting. Unless I'm sick or have a family emergency, I'll always post Monday through Friday (unless it's a holiday). I may be late, but I will be here.
Elaine's going to be running late as well because she had a big fancy dinner to attend. Rebecca's talked about how Elaine down plays her looks but I didn't notice until we were on the phone today. She was worried about looking presentable. I told Nina that and Nina said, "She's gorgeous!" (So is Nina.) But I guess people don't always see themselves as other people do.
Let's go to the news. Here are two items from Democracy Now!
Report: Military Experiencing Shortfall on Recruiting Goals
The New York Times is reporting a new government study has found the military is falling far behind in recruiting goals for key combat positions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Government Accountability Office says the military has failed to staff 41 percent of combat and non-combat specialist positions. The report says the shortfall was disguised by the overstaffing of other positions in order to meet overall recruiting goals. Derek Stewart, the G.A.O.'s director of military personnel, commented : "The aggregate recruiting numbers are rather meaningless. For Congress and this nation to truly understand what's happening with the all-volunteer force and its ability to recruit and retain highly qualified people, you have to drill down into occupational specialties. And when you do, it's very revealing."
Hawkish Democrat Calls For Immediate Troop Withdrawal
In an important development in the growing Congressional debate over the US occupation of Iraq, a hawkish Democrat who voted to authorize the war has introduced a bill calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania said: "It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraq people or the Persian Gulf region." Murtha is an army veteran with close ties to military commanders. He’s also the top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, and has visited Iraq several times since the war began. His proposed bill reads in part: "The deployment of US forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date." The bill marks the first time a resolution has been submitted to Congress calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. In response, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said: "Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."
Even hawkish Dems are starting to see the truth about the occupation/invasion. It's taken them long enough. But the people were ahead of them on this and that's because you and I aren't answerable to corporate donors or polls. We don't have a staff or chat and chew circuit cautioning us on how to present ourselves. We can just speak the truth. The war was built on lies and it's time to bring the troops home.
The first thing is actually the thing that interests me most, the military's failure to meet targets for recruitment. C.I. mentioned that I'd probably be covering that later today and the e-mails came in. I think it was a record for me in one day.
People wanted to share their stories about how they're doing their part to say no to recruiters and to get the word out. Gillian wrote about a flyer she made on the fatalities and casualites in Iraq and everytime the recruiters are coming through her high school, she passes it out. Her principal got a hold of a copy and tried to lecture her and hinted about punishment and Gillian shot back a question: if he was saying we don't honor the fallen at her high school? He backed off.
She said that if anyone else was having problems with their faculty, they might think about doing a flier like her's.
Bobby wrote about standing by the table they have set up and asking questions they didn't want asked while they're doing their big rah-rah speech.
Kayla wrote about how when they come on her college campus, she and her friends start inviting everyone to an impromptu party.
Keelan wears his "Bush Lied, People Died."
Lots and lots of ideas and the point is everyone's getting the word out. When we work together, this is what we can accomplish.
With all the bribes and false promises offered, we still managed to get the truth out and say good for everyone of you. High school campus or college campus, we've been on this issue for some time. Long before I started this site, we've all been getting the word out.
People dismiss us as "apathetic" and "just kids" but we proved our power on this.
We can get beyond the mainstream media and get the word out all our own if we stick together.
Be sure to check out Elaine at Like Maria Said Paz. And make sure you check out what Wally posted this afternoon at The Daily Jot.
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