A panel on benefits from immigration reform will gather five speakers with diverse expertise at First United Methodist Church on Sat. morning, Oct. 29, at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion that will be moderated by Sallie Shawl.  --  A lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m, at the end of the event.  --  This presentation is sponsored by People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County, and the Micah Project of First United Methodist Church.  --  A flier for the event designed by Terry Fuller is available at the link below -- please print and post....

The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) marked the tenth anniversary of the beginning (for Americans) of the war in Afghanistan by acknowledging the ongoing resistance of three local antiwar groups:  Veterans for Peace; United for Peace of Pierce County; and People for Peace, Justice, and Healing.[1]  --  COMMENT:  Reporter Christian Hill quoted Michael Heaney of the University of Michigan, an academic who has written about the contraction of the antiwar movement.  --  Heaney and David Boaz of the Cato Institute argue that the antiwar activity of recent years "was driven as much by antipathy to George W. Bush as by actual opposition to war and intervention."  --  In fact, the antiwar activism of none of the people mentioned in Hill's article abated after the 2008 election of Barack Obama.  --  Hill was gracious enough, however, to give the last word in his article not to Heaney but rather to the antiwar activists....

When his hometown newspaper published his obituary, it said that Jared Hagemann, 25, had "passed away unexpectedly while he was on duty at Ft. Lewis."[1]  --  The truth, as revealed in moving videotaped testimony by his widow, is that the suicide of Jared Hagemann, an Army Ranger, was anything but unexpected.  --  "He said he was going to kill himself," Ashley Joppa-Hagemann said at a public forum in August.[2]  --  She said that because of his experience in the Army Rangers she saw him "every single day, waking up, telling me, 'I hate myself, I hate my job, I hate my life, I hate what I've become.'"  --  An AP piece quoted his wife's testimony that before his service Hagemann "was charming, outgoing, and commanded everyone's attention when he walked into a room . . . [b]ut after each combat tour, he would return cold, quiet, paranoid, and at times increasingly aggressive and violent.  He drank more each time, had mood swings and recurring nightmares."[3]  --  "'In the last month, he put a gun to his head three times.  He told me every day was a struggle to wake up and want to live,' Joppa-Hagemann said.  'He said the things he had seen and done, no God would have forgiven him.'"  --  Hagemann was diagnosed as having PTSD, but his widow said the Army kept him from obtaining therapy.  --  AP said the Army had still not recognized Hagemann's death as a suicide.  --  The story was broken by KOMO News on Aug. 15.[4]  --  Antiwar activist Michael Prysner's article (with links to a petition) on the campaign for "justice for SSG Jared Hagemann" was posted on Michael Moore's website on Aug. 30.[5]  --  Democracy Now! featured Ashley Joppa-Hagemann on Aug. 30, where she described confronting Donald Rumsfeld at a Joint Base Lewis-McChord book signing, and charged that many soliders' suicides at JBLM are not reported as such.  --  See here for Part II of Amy Goodman's interview with her....