Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Subprime, Food Stamps and Iraq 4 Stacks

TwitThis

I came across one of the most moving first person
accounts by
Lieut. Sean Walsh on what it means to
lose your people in The Iraq War.

In a lot of ways it reminded me of a d-boy reflecting on life from prison
in the way the Lt. is resigned to his fate. Or perhaps it was the
morose way he spoke about his dead friends. I think that is exactly
what it was. It resonated with me in a way, that I really don't think

I was prepared for. When cats die, we don't mourn them in the 'hood.

We might get mad. We may want revenge or we may

want that person back.

But grieving, publicly is a no no.

Lieut. Walsh writes,

The passing of the 4,000th service member in Iraq is a tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war, but for those of us who live and fight in Iraq, we measure that cost in smaller, but much more personal numbers. For me those numbers are 8, the number of friends and classmates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 3, the number of soldiers from my unit killed in this deployment. I'm 25, yet I've received more notifications for funerals than invitations to weddings.

The number 4,000 is too great to grasp even for us that are here in Iraq. When we soldiers read the newspaper, the latest AP casualty figures are glanced over with the same casual interest as a box score for a sport you don't follow. I am certain that I am not alone when I open up the Stars and Stripes, the military's daily paper, and immediately search for the section with the names of the fallen to see if they include anyone I know. While in a combat outpost in southwest Baghdad, it was in that distinctive bold Arial print in a two-week-old copy of the Stars and Stripes that I read that my best friend had been killed in Afghanistan. No phone call from a mutual friend or a visit to his family. All that had come and gone by the time I had learned about his death. I sometimes wonder, if I hadn't picked up that paper, how much longer I would have gone by without knowing — perhaps another day, perhaps a week or longer until I could find the time and the means to check my e-mail to find my messages unanswered and a death notification from a West Point distro list in my inbox.
Has anyone every studied the similarities of reentering society after returning from a war and reentering society after reentering from prison?

It makes me wonder, as Birkhold has said, "What Does it Mean to be Against
the War?"
On a day to day, what does it mean?

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I found this dope Subprime primer on de.lic.ious almost a month
ago. I have finally gotten around to posting it. Trust me, it will be
the best three minutes you squander on the internet today.

Its almost as subversive as a Simpson episode.

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File this one in "real in the field".
Mother goes from $70K/year job to the food bank.
When she was laid off in February, Patricia Guerrero was making $70,000 a year. Weeks later, with bills piling up and in need of food for her family, this middle-class mother did something she never thought she would do: She went to a food bank.

It was Good Friday, and a woman helping her offered to pay her utility bill.

"It brought tears to my eyes, and I sat there and I cried. I was like, 'This is really where I'm at?' " she told CNN. "I go 'no way;' [but] this is true. This is reality. This is the stuff you see on TV. It was hard. It was very hard."

When I read this story, I couldn't help but think, where are the
other people who
are suffering like this? There has to be tens
of thousands of them
that are currently experiencing the
financial fragility that the working class and
sub working class
experience on the daily. Where are their stories?

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Food stamp usage is the highest it has been since
the program was started.
Driven by a painful mix of layoffs and rising food and fuel prices, the number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million in the coming year, the highest level since the aid program began in the 1960s.

The number of recipients, who must have near-poverty incomes to qualify for benefits averaging $100 a month per family member, has fluctuated over the years along with economic conditions, eligibility rules, enlistment drives and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, which led to a spike in the South.

But recent rises in many states appear to be resulting mainly from the economic slowdown, officials and experts say, as well as inflation in prices of basic goods that leave more families feeling pinched. Citing expected growth in unemployment, the Congressional Budget Office this month projected a continued increase in the monthly number of recipients in the next fiscal year, starting Oct. 1 — to 28 million, up from 27.8 million in 2008, and 26.5 million in 2007.

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That testimony by Lt. Walsh was unbelievably moving.

You got anyone in the war?

Why aren't the similarities between post prison
and post war drawn on the regular?

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15 comments:

K1NG said...

You say aim deaded. But new addy soon. New aim addy? lol I'm kinda lost.

LASFAN209@hotmail.com

e-mail me the new one if that's what you meant...lol

AfroChic said...

the part that hurts the most is how tainted the word volunteer is. they say the soldiers volunteered and the d-boy 'chose' that life v. the vietnam soldiers that got drafted. nobody speaks on the economic conditions that force a person to volunteer/choose to be a soldier of either kind. Govt gets them to draft themselves, no? still haunted by conversation with young man from my church who we called thoughtful for signing up when there wasn't any war to save his dad money on college costs/stud loans.lotta fellas where I grew up volunteered and did ok w/ this when auto industry gutted our city and cause there was no war. he was one of the first killed when the war jumped off. got killed playing basketball when the rec center got bombed. shoulda been off limits, but all is fair in love and war,right?

M.Dot. said...

You say aim deaded. But new addy soon. New aim addy? lol I'm kinda lost.
===

Got locked out.

Don't have time to start new one.
Be easy obi wan.

Get gmail.

M.Dot. said...

obody speaks on the economic conditions that force a person to volunteer/choose to be a soldier of either kind
=======

We do here.

We are all about discussing a SYSTEM, and the choices that that said system provides for.

obody speaks on the economic conditions that force a person to volunteer/choose to be a soldier of either kind
======
Listen ma. I got you. It ain't falling on deaf ears.

The most haunting shit for me last night was peeing how the Jail cats and the war cats renter society, with very little assistance and are expected to thrive like nothing popped off.

Its quite amazing and heartbreaking. <<<<---Good book title

Aunt Jackie said...

I travel allot and run into soldiers getting deployed all over the country and I always make time to talk to them, ask them what brought them to this point just to wrap my brain around it....

Watching Daddy's cry like babies, while their babies to go war makes shit really real.

Mostly I hear stories of duplicitous recruiters who do everything short of kidnapping kids to get them to sign up.

A scandal that won't be exposed during war time but when we hear reports that the recruit numbers are down that means that recruiters are working extra hard to meet their quota so that they can stay state side....

I've heard stories of recruiters stalking kids, waiting until their parents aren't home and coming in and pressuring them, to kids being told to just down for a meeting and not being able to leave...sometimes for 18 hours or more until they sign.

The Military used to be like Job Core for men who didn't have much other opportunities..but it's on some next shit right now!

Anonymous said...

u on gmail?? how can i be down wit that innercircle...

eLLe Diggs

BeautyinBaltimore said...

I have a good friend in Iraq, haven't had an email from him since his first day there. I hope he is okay.

If she was making 70,000 a year I hope she had at least 6 months expenses saved. I know she has a number of children but it is a nesscessity that she have something saved. As the Chinesse economy becomes stronger, life in this country will not be a joke.

Model Minority said...

@ MM diggs m.dotwrites@gmail.com


Its the new black!

Model Minority said...

AJ your comments remind me of the level of coercin the is so prominent in recruiting yet underdiscussed.

It also reminds me of HOW as a nation we are doing a critical injustice to ourselves but only analyzing the individual choices NOT the system in which the choices are made.

Model Minority said...

As the Chinesse economy becomes stronger, life in this country will not be a joke.
=======

You know whats really about to pop off is China, Darfur and the Olympics.

**secretly hopes for some '68 type visionary ish.

Matthew said...

they say the soldiers volunteered and the d-boy 'chose' that life v. the vietnam soldiers that got drafted. nobody speaks on the economic conditions that force a person to volunteer/choose to be a soldier of either kind.
=======

why don't we ever talk about the fact that these same conditions also create the need for activists and soldiers for change? if you in a fucked up situation, you choose either perpetuate it or do things to change it. why don't we ever talk about making the choice to pursue change?

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

it is sad, and I didnt know u went to prison, or was it just a figure of speech

Model Minority said...

soldiers for change?
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Hmmmm... are you flirting with me?

Model Minority said...

.

it is sad, and I didnt know u went to prison, or was it just a figure of speech
======
Not sure who thats directed @ T.

Matthew said...

ain't nobody flirtin. thats a serious question...

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