Friday, March 19, 2010

Fallen, illness

The fallen soldier, Staff Sgt. Richard J. Jordan, 29, of Harrison Township, Mich., volunteered for the dangerous overseas duty. He died Tuesday in Mosul, Iraq.
Jordan was an Army recruiter in the Detroit area before moving to the infantry. At Fort Bliss, he was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. The brigade deployed to Iraq in November.
"He felt like he had to do his part," said Carin Poole, his sister-in-law. "At Thanksgiving dinner, he got up and made it very clear to us that nobody was forcing him to do this. He just wanted us to be strong and watch out for his family."
Jordan leaves behind his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Jazmine, 9, and Madison, 2.

The above is from Chris Roberts' "Fort Bliss soldier dies in Iraq vehicle rollover" (El Paso Times). Maureen Feighan (Detroit News) adds that Jordan deployed to Iraq in December and that his survivors also include Kimberly and Richard Jordan (his parents) and Jonathan Jordan (his brother). Zlati Meyer (Detroit Free Press) notes, "His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon, according to Army officials."

Meanwhile Denise Nichols' "Breast Cancer in Iraq leads to Gulf War Veteran News Alert and Rep Boswell Legislation" (Veterans Today) reports on the rise in breast cancer -- including among male veterans:

Gulf War Veterans need to be made aware of the following articles. Alert for all female veterans you know the drill! Self Breast Checks often and Mammograms. VA does provide this, so make use of that service!
Male Veterans yes you too can get breast cancer. Again our females will have to teach you the principles of breast self exams. Basically you work in a clockwise pattern and outward and inner in direction from the clock face. If you palpate any lumps or bumps under the skin GET IN TO A DOCTOR for further Assessment!
Also checks should also extend to lymph nodes in the arm pits.
I already know quite a few female gulf war veterans that have had breast cancers. I would also recommend that all print this out and provide to health care providers, fellow veterans, etc. Also I would recommend sharing on facebook pages personal and veteran groups facebook pages and specific gulf war veteran unit facebook pages. I would also reccommend we use all social networks ie Twitter information.

In Iraq, Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports on Iraq War veteran and British contractor Daniel Fitzsimons. It was as a British contractor that Danny Fitzsimons returned to Iraq. Shortly after returning, he was involved in an incident where three people died. He is being tried in Iraq and the Iraqi government has thus far resisted requests for him to be put on trial on England. Chulov reports that Fitzsimons has shared his side with the paper via multiple text messages:

Fitzsimmons wrote that he was "drinking Grants whiskey" and "chatting on MSN to friends in country and back home. Paul McGuigan came into the room, pissed out of his skull. He was being a knob, having a go at me and slating some of my pals. I had enuf [sic] and punched him once on the nose. He was shocked and didn't retaliate ... We shook hands. I held a towel to his bloody nose. Drank more. Started on me again, telling me to punch him again. He was unstable, not me. This went on, hot and cold. Darren came in ..."
Fitzsimons said he, McGuigan and Hoare had made numerous visits to each other's rooms throughout the night, with tensions escalating each time. He claims the evening spilled over into violence when both men came to his room after he passed out from drinking half a bottle of whiskey.
"Paul punched me repeatedly," his texts say. "I fought savagely to get out of bed. Managed to get out, but ended up on the floor being stomped on. I lost consciousness for a few seconds. Heard Paul shout: 'We're going to f**king kill you, you little ....' I was getting it from both of them."

It is the seventh anniversary of the start of the illegal war. In DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles tomorrow, protests will take place. There will be protests elsewhere on Saturday by various groups, organizations and individuals. Some protests will take place today. The Courier-Journal reports Louisville, Kentucky's demonstration will stake place this afternoon (four p.m.) "on the steps of the Jefferson County courthouse at Sixth and Jefferson streets" and organizers include the Louisville Peace Action Community and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In Utah, Jeannie Christensen (Cache Valley Daily) reports, a vigil will be held today (5:30 p.m.) "on the east side of Main Street between 100 North and Center Street" to be followed by a "walk to the Historic Cache County Court House at 199 North Main. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m." a program of music and speakers will be held. Ripon, Wisconsin will have a demonstration today. Fond du Lac Reporter notes it will take place outside City Hall at 4:30 p.m. We'll note some Saturday actions in the next entry.


The following community sites updated last night:

Yesterday Women's Voices, Women's Vote released the following:

Today, Women's Voices. Women Vote is releasing a comprehensive and detailed demographic portrayal of unmarried Americans. The report -- 50 Years of Unmarried America: The Status and Importance of Unmarried America -- charts a seismic shift since 1960, when America moved from a nation where marriage was the norm to today, where 45 percent of all adults in the United States are unmarried and half of all women live on their own.

We hope you will find this resource both illuminating and useful.

Click here to download the report.

For more on the report see the Wednesday snapshot (as noted, there the Appendix provides an easy break down of various bills and legislation).

We'll wind down with this from David Bacon's "Californians March into the Heartland" (The Nation):

Shafter, CA - As the March for California's Future left Bakersfield, marchers trudged past almond trees just breaking into their spring blooms. From Shafter and Wasco across dozens of miles to the west, white and pink petals have turned the ground rosy, while branches overhead are dusted with the delicate green of new leaves.
The San Joaquin Valley's width--over seventy-five miles at its widest point--is even more impressive than its length, as it stretches several hundred miles from the Tehachapi Mountains in the south overlooking Bakersfield to the delta of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers in the north. In the heart of that delta lies Sacramento, the state's capital and the marchers' goal.
This immense space is filled with almond orchards, grape vineyards, dairies, and alfalfa and cotton fields. A myriad of crops, grown on a huge industrial scale, make obvious the historical source of the state's wealth. For almost two centuries, that wealth has located California's political center here. The conservatism of the valley's political and economic establishment has been the main obstacle to the growth of progressive politics, which long ago shaped the coastal metropolises of San Francisco and Los Angeles. For decades growers succeeded in preventing rural industrialization, for fear it would bring unions and higher wages. Even mass housing was discouraged, until the corporations that own the land realized that the profits of development rivaled those of grapes and pears.
The March for California's Future is challenging that power, and the stranglehold it still exerts over the state. Holding the budget hostage while California unemployment tops 12 percent, growers and their political allies here have slashed the funding for schools and social service. Now teachers, homecare workers and those who depend on public services are walking into the growers' front yard, defying the past.

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. Bacon can be heard on KPFA's The Morning Show (over the airwaves in the Bay Area, streaming online) each Wednesday morning (begins airing at 7:00 am PST).

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends