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Lietta Ruger, military family experience of deceptive use of stop loss.
I am mother-in-law and aunt to two Iraq veterans of 1st Armored, both served extended 15 month tours in Iraq, March 2003 through July 2004. The 1st Armored was the first division to be 'extended' at the time of the Sadr City uprising in May 2004. My two were already on their way home when the extension was initiated and required to remain in Iraq with their division and units as there were not enough troops on the ground at that time. They returned to their bases in Germany in July 2004. By Jan 2005, both were required to make re-enlist decisions. What they were told is that they would redeploy to Iraq for second deployments under Stop Loss, regardless of whether they re-enlisted or chose not to re-enlist. This left them both with the limited option of second deployments under stop loss orders less the promised re-enlistment bonus or with the re-enlistment bonus. The end result either way would be another deployment to Iraq. I would call this an involuntary deployment, and a strategical use of intimidation of stop loss to force decisions of retention of the existing troops. I would hardly call it the voluntary military, rather involuntary retention; an under-the-radar method of a forced conscription draft.
By Carol Wolman
My husband and I set up a table at the big SF peace rally on Saturday, September 24th, and collected signatures on a brief letter to Rep. John Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to formally institute impeachment hearings against Bush (and Cheney). The petition, written by John Bonifaz, Esq., can be printed out from
MEMORANDUM (FAX signatures to Conyers at: 202) 225-0072) . sign online at http://www.democrats.com/peoplesemailnetwork/39
To: Rep. John Conyers, Jr Date: May 23, 2005 RE: The President's Impeachable Offenses
This is an outrage! Help with transportation home/ to hotels.
Blogged by JC on 09.26.05 @ 07:26 PM ET
Cindy Sheehan and 370 protestors arrested, some being held for hours on buses
Cindy Sheehan was arrested along with 370 other protestors today in front of the White House. The president would like to keep Cindy quiet and he clearly wasn't interested in reading the 200,000 letters asking him questions about the war. In the spirit of non-violent civil disobedience, Cindy and the others waited for answers until the police took them away.
Barbara Cummings just phoned me. She was arrested at the White House and says she is on the fourth bus in a line of six. There are about 50 people on each bus, she said, plus several small vans of people. She estimates 300 have been arrested. The police are making them wait in the buses and vans, with plastic handcuffs on. Barbara slipped hers off to use the phone, but hung up when a police officer saw her and headed her way. She predicted he'd put the cuffs on her and jerk them tight.
PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: Sherry Conable 831-459-7259 Louie Lafortune 831-588-8487 Santa Cruz City Council Members 831-420-5020
On Tuesday Sept 27th, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider resubmitting a letter to the House Judiciary Committee of the United States Congress calling for the investigation and possible impeachment of the the Bush Administration.
A press conference will be held between 12:30 and 1:30 PM, with Council Member Emily Reilly, Mayor Mike Rotkin, and representatives of the Coalition for Impeachment Now! (COIN!) explaining the reasons for taking this new action at this time.
By James Starowicz
Camp Casey Washington, WWII Memorial, Lisa-- Myself and Harry Belafonte, Cindy's & Gold Star Mom's Press Conferance 9/23/2005
See the photos here:
Candle Lite Vigil and Procession to 'The Wall' on Friday Night 9/23/2005 Washington DC, from Camp Casey Washington!! [These, because of night are Dark,the Little Lights you see in Complete darkness were some 300 to 400 People in Silent Procession for some 5 blocks to the Vietnam Memorial on Friday Night!!
James Starowicz USN '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In-Country '70-'71 COMNAVFORV Member: Veterans For Peace
By Cynthia Bogard, Sheehanista
I just watched CNN "cover" our protest on Saturday in DC. I admit--I was out on the streets of Washington, DC for most of the past few days so maybe I missed something. But all I've seen on CNN so far were several sentences in the crawl line. On TV, CNN misrepresented what went on in DC and they need to be told.
I don't pretend I can count how many people attended the anti-war protest on Saturday but as a veteran of many such marches over the years, it surely was the largest anti-war protest since the war on Iraq began on March 19, 2003. There were certainly at least twice the 100,000 folks that some news outlets, including CNN.com, were reporting.
Photos of other creative signs and t-shirts from the 9/24 protest can be found at:
Today's march in DC certainly looked from the middle of it like the biggest we've had.
Here are some photos.
Here are more photos.
Here's some blogging at truthout.
Here's coverage, including videos at BradBlog.
Here are photos and blogging at DemocracyCellProject.
More photos on Dailykos.
Some photos of creative Protest Signs and Shirts.
The Democracy Cell Project has people who are at the march right now and are calling in with reports as they line up to march. Stay tuned for continuous updates, reports & photos here.
Ahhhh, I love the smell of Patriotic Dissent in the afternoon!
As we stand here on the grounds of a monument that is dedicated to the Father of our Country, George Washington, we are reminded that he was well known for the apocryphal stories of never being able to tell a lie. I find it so ironic that there is another man here named George who stays in this town between vacations and he seems to never be able to tell the truth. It is tragic for us that o ur bookend presidents named George have two completely different relationships with honesty.
I also find it ironic and heartbreaking that my son, Casey, who was a brave person, tall and proud, who loved his country and was honest beyond measure, could be sent to his death by someone who is even too cowardly to meet with a broken hearted mom, let alone go and fight in the illegal and immoral war of his generation. We are losing our best and our brightest in a country that we are destroying that was no threat to the United States of America. Iraq was and still is no danger to our safety and security, or to our way of life. The weapons of mass destruction and mass deception reside in this town: they are the neocons who pull the strings and the members of Congress who have loosened the purse strings with reckless abandon and have practically given George and company a blank check to run our country into monetary and moral bankruptcy. We are out here in force today to take our country back and restore true democracy and sanity to our political process. The time is now and we are here because we love our country and we won't let the reckless maniacs destroy her any further.
By Nicole DiGrazia
The projected image of an authoritative-looking memo greeted students and community members last week during common hour in the Student Center Theater.
The Downing Street Memo, according to professors David Green, Cindy Bogard and Carolyn Eisenberg, was another form of proof that the Bush administration knowingly deceived the country while promoting the war in Iraq.
Green, a professor of political science at the University, referred to the Downing Street Memo as the "smoking gun" of the Bush administration.
"These were not mistakes," Green said. "They were lies."
Things are really heating up in Washington DC now that all three tours have arrived! We've got a schedule full of events and congressional meetings, and we're getting ready for the big march tomorrow.
On Wednesday night, September 21st, Hart Viges of Iraq Veterans Against the War spoke at American University along with other members of the tour. Here he is in his own words:
"I go and search this hut for AK-47s, for explosives, for RPGs - you know the things that would need to convict someone, maybe, for a crime: Evidence. And all I can find is a tiny little pistol, probably to scare off thieves who were trying to steal his crops.
How to Lobby Training Kit
UPDATES MARCH 2007:
As you read through this Lobby Kit it is important to keep in mind two points. First, that the act of lobbying [influencing] your congressperson is a dynamic process; it will become easier to master the more it is practiced. Second, lobbying begins with a small number of committed and focused individuals. As time progresses, others in your community will be drawn to this crucial work
Lobbying is an attempt to influence elected officials on specific legislation. Legislation can either be an introduced or a draft bill that may be introduced in the future to any legislative body such as a city council, state legislature or Congress. Writing letters is one of the most fundamental grassroots tools for showing support or opposition towards an issue. A handwritten letter shows the congressperson that the constituent has thought about the issue and has serious opinions about it.
Research the member's voting record. Find out which constituencies and/or industries are important in the member's district. What committees and/or subcommittees does the member sit on? How do they relate to your issue? What power does the member have to give you what you want?
Assemble a Delegation:
A delegation lets the member of Congress know that the issue resonates with the community. A good delegation is between five and eight people. Large delegations should be avoided because you don't want to overwhelm your member of Congress. You will want to begin building a relationship with your congressional representative and her/his staff so that a trust is formed.
1. What to have on hand:
blank white computer paper
“Sample Letter to the Congressperson
Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the editor (LTE) are a great way to get your message out to others in your community. Editors and reporters may also look to letters to the editor for ideas and issues that they have not previously covered. The LTE should be clear, brief, and focused. Limit the letter to one page. Remember that shorter letters have a better chance of being published.
LTE campaigns are effective in generating many letters that deal with the same issue. They also serve to address particular news items or editorials that have appeared in the publication. To start a LTE campaign, you should form a LTE committee in your group. Stagger the mailings, a few days apart to address a particular issue.
For exact details please refer to the “How to Conduct a Letter-Writing Campaign
A guide for demonstrators, marchers, speakers and others who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights.
Q. Can my free speech rights be restricted because of what I want to say - even if it's controversial?
A. No. The First Amendment prohibits restrictions based on the content of speech. However, this does not mean that the Constitution completely protects all types of free speech activity in every circumstance. Police and government officials are allowed to place certain non-discriminatory and narrowly drawn "time, place and manner" restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights.
March on Washington/ Tampa Bay
End the War In Iraq
September 24, 2005
Williams Park, St. Petersburg
11:30 – 4:30 P.M.
Special Guest::: Ray McGovern, Washington, D.C.
Founder of Veteran Intelligence professionals for Sanity
Additional speakers: Carol Ann Breyer, * Charles Ferris,
Rev. Charles McKenzie * Samar jarrah * women in black
Music: Kritikal resistance *the Refuge * tribal style
Food: st.pete food not bombs asks you to
bring a vegan/ vegetarian dish to share!
Participating groups include: Tampa Bay Veterans
for Peace * St. Pete for Peace * st. pete food not bombs *
Democracy Rising's Ralph Nader will be speaking at the main event in Washington, DC tomorrow, Saturday, 9/24. An exact time has not yet been scheduled but it is likely to be before 12:30. The rally begins at 11:00 am.
Kevin Zeese will be speaking at a feeder rally at McPherson Square at 10:00 am.
Democracy Rising activists will be handing out literature and gathering contact information near the Iraq tent during Operation Ceasefire beginning at 2:00. Come meet us. And, come help us hand out literature and make contacts.
Additionally, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm our webmaster Karen Kilroy's short film, “Something’s In the Air / But Its Not on the Airwaves
Contingent of Over 250 Military Families to Join Tens of Thousands in
Massive March and Rally Against Iraq War
Largest Group of MilitaryFamilies to March Against War in U.S. History
WASHINGTON, DC - This Saturday, Sept. 24, a contingent of over 250 military
families from 42 states and the District of Columbia will join Iraq War
Veterans and Veterans from previous wars, to march among tens of thousands
of people from across the country in a massive march and rally against the
Iraq War, organized by United for Peace and Justice.
WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 10:00 A.M.
WHAT: Media Availability: Military Families Available for Interview before
Suz and I spent the afternoon at the Peace Festival site, at the corner of 17th and Constitution, helping the staff and volunteers of Operation Ceasefire set up the stage and tents for Saturday and Sunday’s activities. Well, we were very encouraging to those who were doing the heavy lifting anyway!
We first ran into Tina, who was serving up food for the volunteers:
“Working in the concert production business, I was thrilled to be able to donate my time to the cause. Plus, I have a soon-to-be draft-age son and two more behind him, so this effort matters to me on a very personal level.
In just two days, United for Peace and Justice will bring huge numbers of people into the streets of Washington to tell the White House and Congress: It's time to end this disastrous war, bring all our troops home, and expend all the resources necessary to fully rebuild the devastated Gulf Coast.
We very much hope you can make it to DC this weekend -- but whether or not you'll be joining us in the streets, you can lend critically needed support to this mobilization by making a donation today.
We have three easy ways to donate:
by credit card online at http://www.unitedforpeace.org/donate
By Jim Hightower
George W is the kind of guy who'll gladly sacrifice your life for his country.
Not only was he a cheerleader when he was in college at Yale, but he also was an energetic cheerleader for the war that was raging in Vietnam at the time. Of course, he cheered from a safe distance, using family connections to make certain that he personally would not have to do any fighting.
Now that he's in the White House, Bush is cheerleader-in-chief for his own war. In a recent speech designed to shore-up sagging public support for his misadventure in Iraq, he referred to the terrible fact that nearly 2000 Americans have already died there. Of these dead troops, Bush said, "We owe them something," by which he meant continuing the war. What a callous payback: Many have died, so many more must die to pay tribute to those who've died. That's a war rationale chasing its own tail.