Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

GOOD/BAD/HORRIFYING, VERSION #9843

From the They Know The Time file:

“Kucinich Campaign uses Hip Hop Organizing to Get the Vote Out in DC

For Immediate Release: Jan. 12, 2004

In the final days before the DC primary, Kucinich Campaign is using a Hip Hop street team combined with traditional local campaign volunteers, the campaign has distributed 35,000 pieces of literature, knocked on doors, made phone calls to registered voters, and raised visibility for the their candidate by posting signs and posters throughout the District. Working with Brent Joseph, a local dj and his organization, Groove Gumbo, the Kucinich Campaign’s Hip Hop Street Team distributed literature at local Hip Hop clubs and poetry sets; talking up Kucinich to partygoers and poets and at various metro stops in targeted locations. Congressman Kucinich’s number is the 5 on the ballot. Hence, the number was emphasis on the campaign materials. The residents of the District of Columbia will also be receiving a phone call today from actor/UN Peace Messenger, Danny Glover, asking them to vote for Dennis Kucinich in tomorrow’s primary.

‘In a primary where its not receiving a lot of national attention, we are trying to use innovative ways of getting out the votes not only to raise awareness for our candidate, but to also support a primary that is trying to bring awareness to the fact that residents of DC lack representation in Congress,’ said Yu-Lan Tu, the DC/MD State Coordinator for the Dennis Kucinich for President Campaign.

On January 9th, 2003, Congressman Dennis Kucinich announced that he will be introducing legislation to obtain DC Statehood once Congress reconvenes for the 108th Session…”

Meanwhile, on the White House side of town, Bush advanced his Pigs In Space agenda today. Quick, somebody please cue Gil-Scott Heron!

This next item is not so funny. From AP…

U.S. Soldiers’ Suicide Rate Is Up in Iraq

January 14, 2004 09:20 PM EST

WASHINGTON – U.S. soldiers in Iraq are killing themselves at a high rate despite the work of special teams sent to help troops deal with combat stress, the Pentagon’s top doctor said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, about 2,500 soldiers who have returned from the war on terrorism are having to wait for medical care at bases in the United States, said Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. The problem of troops on “medical extension” is likely to get worse as the Pentagon rotates hundreds of thousands of troops into and out of Iraq this spring, he said.

Both situations illustrate the stresses placed on the troops and the military’s health system by the war in Iraq.

Suicide has become such a pressing issue that the Army sent an assessment team to Iraq late last year to see if anything more could be done to prevent troops from killing themselves. The Army also began offering more counseling to returning troops after several soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., killed their wives and themselves after returning home from the war.

Winkenwerder said the military has documented 21 suicides during 2003 among troops involved in the Iraq war. Eighteen of those were Army soldiers, he said.

That’s a suicide rate for soldiers in Iraq of about 13.5 per 100,000, Winkenwerder said. In 2002, the Army reported an overall suicide rate of 10.9 per 100,000.

The overall suicide rate nationwide during 2001 was 10.7 per 100,000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By contrast, two U.S. military personnel killed themselves during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, although that conflict only lasted about a month. The Army recorded 102 suicides during 1991 for a rate of 14.4 per 100,000. The Army’s highest suicide rate in recent years came in 1993, when the rate was 15.7 per 100,000.

The Marine Corps has the military’s highest suicide rate. Last year the Marines’ rate was 12.6 per 100,000. During 1993, the Marines’ rate was 20.9 per 100,000.

In 1993, there was U.S. military action in Somalia and Haiti…

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