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BS: How low can you go?

dianavan 04 Oct 05 - 10:56 PM
Seiri Omaar 04 Oct 05 - 11:01 PM
Snagger 04 Oct 05 - 11:04 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Oct 05 - 11:29 PM
Sorcha 05 Oct 05 - 12:26 AM
michaelr 05 Oct 05 - 02:25 AM
C-flat 05 Oct 05 - 02:56 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Oct 05 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Mrr 05 Oct 05 - 01:43 PM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 05 - 03:28 PM
Bill D 05 Oct 05 - 03:37 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 05 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,H 05 Oct 05 - 05:49 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Oct 05 - 05:35 PM
artbrooks 06 Oct 05 - 05:54 PM
Wolfgang 07 Oct 05 - 05:45 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Oct 05 - 07:41 PM
Auggie 07 Oct 05 - 08:41 PM
Rapparee 07 Oct 05 - 09:34 PM
dianavan 07 Oct 05 - 11:19 PM
NH Dave 07 Oct 05 - 11:47 PM
artbrooks 08 Oct 05 - 01:50 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Oct 05 - 01:58 AM
dianavan 08 Oct 05 - 04:18 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 05 - 08:47 AM
Charmion 08 Oct 05 - 02:33 PM
dianavan 08 Oct 05 - 02:40 PM
Charmion 08 Oct 05 - 02:49 PM
dianavan 09 Oct 05 - 04:35 AM
dianavan 09 Oct 05 - 03:23 PM
Charmion 09 Oct 05 - 03:33 PM
Charmion 09 Oct 05 - 03:54 PM
dianavan 09 Oct 05 - 06:32 PM
Charmion 10 Oct 05 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,rarelamb 10 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM
dianavan 10 Oct 05 - 03:18 PM
Charmion 10 Oct 05 - 05:19 PM
dianavan 10 Oct 05 - 06:59 PM
Charmion 10 Oct 05 - 08:58 PM
dianavan 11 Oct 05 - 12:12 AM
artbrooks 11 Oct 05 - 07:28 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 05 - 12:13 PM
dianavan 11 Oct 05 - 09:15 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 05 - 10:10 PM

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Subject: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 10:56 PM

I thought that the soldiers involved with torture in Iraq must have had questionable intelligence to take part in such inhumanity to man but now this -

From The Nation:

"Facing recruiting shortages brought on by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has decided to accept a greater number of recruits who score near the bottom of military aptitude tests, the secretary of the Army said Monday.

Coming off a recruiting year in which the Army fell short of its goal of 80,000 active-duty soldiers, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey announced that the Army would allow up to 4% of its recruiting class to be Category IV recruits — those who scored between the 16th and 30th percentile in the battery of aptitude tests that the Defense Department gives to all potential military personnel."

Just what the U.S. Army needs, more recruits who do what they're told without thinking about the consequences.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Seiri Omaar
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 11:01 PM

They're drones, of course.

Resistance is futile.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Snagger
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 11:04 PM

There is no sense of right and wrong left. First they focus on the poorest of our youth and when they won`t go they turn to those with questionable judgement capabilities.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 11:29 PM

Citizen, if you don;t get with The Program,
you'll be left right behind!


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 12:26 AM

Well, for one thing, they are NOT recruiting 'soldiers'...they are recruiting kids who only want the benefits after the military service. NOT that I agree with 'recruiting' anybody, but they aren't real soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: michaelr
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 02:25 AM

You wanna know how low? Check this site out: nowthatsfuckedup.com.

US soldiers in Iraq post photos of mutilated Iraqi bodies in return for porn access. Now, that's fucked up.

When these guys come home, look out -- : It's going to be worse than after Vietnam.

Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: C-flat
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 02:56 AM

Awful site michaelr.
I was fascinated to read one of the sites' moderators response to a members view that the US had no business sending troops to Iraq;



"Face it. The US has somehow become "Team America: World Police". Everytime that something goes down, who gets called? We do.

They have been clamoring about nukes and shit in Iraq for the better part of a decade. Someone finally decides to do something, and he gets a bad label.

Tell ya what. Think about it this way.

On Sept 11 we lost, what, 3000 people? When the death toll in Iraq gets anywhere near that high, THEN start talking about it. I absolutely hate when people start talking about the "part-timers" over. They signed a contract just like every other motherfucker in uniform, and they knew what kind of duties it might entail.

Like this pussy suing to get out of going. While it sounds like his detail is up, that's not the fucking point. He joined to get the benefits, now he should have to put back in...

Peacetime part-timers... Please. :rolleyes"




The voice of moderation?
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 03:31 AM

Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:


From 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and based on a true event, nothing changes.
G..


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 01:43 PM

Bringing it back to music... I am reminded of Tom Lehrer, introducing his song It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier, saying something about the Army having taken the democratic ideal to its natural conclusion, since they not only prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, race and national origin, but also on the grounds of ability.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 03:28 PM

And since Mrr says we can talk about music, I can go about to a "G," but it's a strain. An "A" comes out nice and strong, and singing low like that enhances my machismo.
I'll betcha Mrr can't sing that "A."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 03:37 PM

"... recruits who score near the bottom of military aptitude tests,..."

Can YOU say "cannon fodder"?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 05:28 PM

And isn't it wonderful to know that our president is willing to use these troops in case there is a quarantine due to an outbreak of the flu. Get your flu shot now.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: GUEST,H
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 05:49 PM

Well put, C -flat, although a little strong? Well, maybe not, with some of the mules here, you need to hit them between their eyes with a 2 x 4 to get their attention. On further thought, RIGHT ON!

And are you not wondering why some of the lamebrains we encounter would even give any thought as to the qualifications of those might be giving them flu shots?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Oct 05 - 05:35 PM

I don't have a basement, so the ground is as low as I go. Oh wait, there's the gutter..


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Oct 05 - 05:54 PM

The military accepted Cat. V's during Vietnam, and I had several of them in my unit. Many/most of them were not exactly intellectual giants, but they were no more likely to obey an illegal or immoral order than anyone else. Congress banned enlistment of Cat. V's a number of years ago. The people that are now being allowed to enlist are the next level above those soldiers.   BTW, by law, any Cat. IV enlistee must be a high school graduate, not that a diploma is any proof of educational attainment.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 05:45 AM

Hmm, do I see here a bit of the thinking that those scoring higher in aptitude tests also score higher in moral and those scoring lower in aptitude score lower in moral? Higher intelligence in a person makes her more humane?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 07:41 PM

Many criminals are highly intelligent.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Auggie
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 08:41 PM

"Just what the U.S. Army needs, more recruits who do what they're told without thinking about the consequences. " - Dianavan

I would submit, and as most any high school teacher will attest, that those who "score between the 16th and 30th percentile" are probably the LEAST likely to do what they're told.

I also resent the elitism Dianavan's errant conclusion implies.
Since when does failure to score well on an aptitude test imply a tendancy to follow orders blindly, or a tendancy to act without regard for moral principles.

Good call, Wolfgang.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 09:34 PM

Exactly my thoughts, Wolfgang. I hate to stir up the nasty past, but Heinrich Himmler was pretty bright. So was Josef Stalin. So was Pol Pot.

On the other hand, I've known lots of people who weren't at the top of the ladder intellectually, but who were good, solid, ethical folks.

Intelligence is no indicator at all of either morality or ethical behavior.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 11:19 PM

I do not mean to imply that intelligence = morality.

I do mean to question the motives of the military for requiring aptitude tests at all. The fact that they have such testing must have some meaning for the military. It is probably 'aptitude' for military service. Does this mean that those with lower 'aptitude' are less suitable for military service? Is that what we want? Soldiers who are unsuitable for service?

Yes, I do question the intelligence of Lyndie England for her unquestionable loyalty. In fact I question the intelligence of anyone with unquestionable loyalty or blind faith. Without knowing the type of test given, I would assume that the military is lowering their standard for recruits.

What do you think the military aptitude test measures and why do think what was once unacceptable is now acceptable?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: NH Dave
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 11:47 PM

I hate to break this news to some of you, but the Army doesn't want people who sit down and consider the ramifications of an order such as, "GAS!", or "GRENADE!" They want people who will automatically don their protective masks, or drop to the ground, hopefully out of straight line propinquity to the grenade blast. These are some of the things that the military tries to condition into their recruits during their Basic Training.

The military has tried taking people who score lower than the Army's usual minimums, during the Viet Nam War, as I recall. It did give us some overlooked people who did very well in the military, but it also produced people who couldn't read and understand the technical orders/manuals telling them how to maintain their equipment. During that time there was a wholesale trend of making these manuals more like comic books, so that the people who would actually be using them could understand them and hopefully put their weapon together correctly so that it wold fire reliably when the needed it. Army tech manuals were generally written at a reading level commensurate with six years of education, so this move meant that the reading level had to be reduced another three years, or only place the more able folks into maintenance.

The trouble here is the military's equipment has grown increasingly more complex over the past 40 years, so the skills and intelligence needed to break down and reassemble the M-1 Garand rifle, are not sufficient with the M-16, or the Squad Automatic Weapon, the usual weapons in a combat unit. During the initial issue of the M-16 rifle during the late 60's in Viet Nam, insufficient emphasis was placed on the absolute need to keep the bolt group completely cleaned and lightly lubricated, so many soldiers died, when their rifles jammed and there was nothing they could do, in the heat of battle to get them working properly again.

Currently the Army is trying to lure young people to join with the promise of tremendous education benefits that the recruit can use when he's back in garrison, or has left the Army, but a lot of folks don't feel that their chance of making it back to civvy street make a "free" education all that much of an incentive.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: artbrooks
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:50 AM

The information is readily available. The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) measures Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge. Sounds a lot like the Scholastic Aptitude Test, doesn't it? You can learn more about the military aptitude testing program than you ever wanted to know here.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:58 AM

I hate to break this news to some of you, but the Army doesn't want people who sit down and consider the ramifications of an order such as, "GAS!", or "GRENADE!"

Are you serious? In that context "GAS!", or "GRENADE!" is NOT an order. It is a warning. I'm sure that if a private sees a grenade and yells "Grenade!" even officers in the vicinity will duck and cover.

I think the type of order they want blind obedience of is more along the lines of "Over the top" or "Charge".


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 04:18 AM

Thanks, Art -

I think I found what I was looking for in your link.

"The ASVAB is not an IQ test. It does not measure intelligence. The battery of tests were designed specifically to measure an individual's aptitude to be trained in specific jobs."

So I guess that means that the standards have been lowered to include more people who have little aptitude...

...for specific jobs?

Does that mean that the army no longer cares if you can do the job or not? I wonder if that means you only have to be willing and able to die?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 08:47 AM

No lady, the idea isn't to join up and die. It's to make the fella on the other side die. No wonder liberals don't win wars.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:33 PM

Please shut up, Martin. You're not helping.

This is a serious discussion, because dianavan is a teacher (if I recall correctly) and she shares her ideas and opinions with impressionable pupils who think she knows what she's talking about. In this case, she doesn't.

I wrote those tests some 35 years ago, and later I read hundreds and hundreds of Department of National Defence records about how the tests were developed and why. They are designed to select people who learn quickly, reason from analogies, and draw sensible conclusions from scanty evidence. That's so the recruit will someday be a soldier who can look at a situation involving people who don't speak his language, problems he's never experienced, and equipment he's never seen before and figure out for himself what's going on and what to do about it. Ideally, that soldier will also be able to share his insights with his comrades and superiors so they understand his reasoning and agree to his decisions. This is as true for privates as for lieutenants, for if all goes well the privates become sergeants and lieutenants become colonels.

Blind obedience is not what recruiters are looking for; in fact, blind obedience is not wanted in today's armed forces. (At least not in the professional armed forces of a democratic nation like Canada or the United States.) They want adaptable people who like to work in groups, and are competitive and physically active, and they want those soldiers in trades they are likely to enjoy because people doing work they like need less training time and less supervision to perform well.

It's my guess that Mr. Bush's army has decided that its numbers are low enough that it must accept recruits who will require a much more intense training effort and more supervision than the more desirable types.

As for Private Lynndie England, she is a reservist and very young; Abu Ghraib was her first deployment. It is a terrible pity that her first operational experience was so important because she was obviously a bad soldier, emotionally unfit for service. The Canadian Forces notoriously had a similar case; remember Private Kyle Brown of the Canadian Airborne Regiment? Pte England was desperate to please her boyfriend who was also her shift boss (massive leadership failure on sombody's part there); Pte Brown was afraid of offending his section leader, Master Corporal Clayton Matchee. At least Pte England didn't kill anyone, or stand by while someone else did any killing. For the record, I think her sentence of three years' imprisonment was stiff, but appropriate.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:40 PM

Charmion says, "This is a serious discussion, because dianavan is a teacher (if I recall correctly) and she shares her ideas and opinions with impressionable pupils who think she knows what she's talking about."

In this case, you don't know what you are talking about!

I teach the primary grades and never discuss politics or the military with my students. I doubt very much is my students would be able to grasp my ideas or opinions on this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:49 PM

I am constantly amazed at what small children, especially boys but not always, know and want to know about the armed forces and military history.

The Ontario school curricula are full of stuff about peace and veterans, especially around Remembrance Day; how do you escape the topic?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 04:35 AM

I don't escape the topic at any time, its just that they don't ask and I don't present the topic, its not part of the curriculum. If they were curious enough to ask, I'd present my views as objectively as possible.

On Remembrance Day, our school emphasizes Peace and the children are taught to show respect for the veterans that attend our assembly. Personally, I try to stay away from glorifying the military. Hopefully, they will find some other path to follow as adults. Keep in mind, my students are eight years old and younger.

We do not tolerate bullying on our school grounds, we emphasize effective, problem solving and help our students learn strategies for achieving solutions. We also stress accountability.

I am surprised that young boys in Ontario are so interested in Military history. How do you know that young children want to know about the military? Are you sure about that or are you making assumptions?

BTW - We have a zero tolerance policy for violence of any kind in our school, including illustrating violent actions. In my class, there is also a no weapons policy. That includes toy weapons and pretending to have weapons. They are not even allowed toy weapons as part of their Halloween costumes.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 03:23 PM

Of course, if a child were raised in a "military" family, they would probably be as curious as any child about their family's occupation and the historical significance. I would also assume that military service would be somewhat, glorified. To most children in B.C., military service is, at best, a necessary evil and something to be avoided. What child wants to kill or be killed?

I would say that, generally, an interest in war and in the military is fostered by the family or in the society in which they live.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 03:33 PM

dianavan wrote: How do you know that young children want to know about the military? Are you sure about that or are you making assumptions?

It's hard to misinterpret a direct question: "What's that medal for? Were you in the army?" (Veterans wearing medals -- even comparatively young ones like me -- ride the bus free on Remembrance Day.) It's hard to over-estimate the interest of a child on the bus who points to a soldier in uniform (lots of them ride the bus in Ottawa) and says, "Look, mum, a soldier!" and promptly goes to sit down as close to the man in the funny green outfit as he can get, never looking at anyone else. And what of the sharp interest of small boys at the library or a bookstore when they find the books with pictures of military vehicles, or detailed illustrations of knights in armour, or practically anything related to armies and war -- I have seen it so often in more than 40 years of patronizing libraries and bookstores that it looks normal to me.

Little kids don't necessarily want to know about the modern, workaday Canadian Forces (unless they have a relative serving), but they sure are curious about weapons, armoured fighting vehicles, aircraft and warships. A tank or field gun parked in front of a public building always attracts small children to climb on it (kids especially love swinging from the flash-suppressor at the end of the muzzle) and play games around it. If your school library has a copy of anything so old-fashioned as "Knights of the Air" (stories of First World War fighter aces), I'll betcha it's popular with boys aged 8 to 12; I know the copy in the Manotick Public Library circa 1960 was read to shreds.

Children who have parents and siblings in the armed forces, especially kids who live on or near a base, are intimately familiar with military things and activities at a very early age. In Germany, I knew a 7-year-old (child of an Air Force armourer) who could tell me what kind of fighter plane was flying over the hospital during dependants' sick parade (families' walk-in clinic) by the particular quality of the noise it made. If you walked past the Baden Junior School at recess, you would always see at least some little kids racing around the playground with their arms outstretched and shouting "vroom, vroom", pretending to be CF-104 Starfighters and F4 Phantoms -- things they saw every day, things their parents worked with. Would your school forbid that kind of play?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 03:54 PM

Important caveat: I'm talking about professional armed forces in first-world democracies, especially Canada, the United States and Britain.

Children raised in military families know that military service is not about kill or be killed except when the world has gone mad, and the current generation of young Canadians is not experiencing anything like that. The children of a PPCLI sergeant deploying for the second time to Afghanistan (after three tours in Bosnia) know that being in the Army just means that Dad's gone a lot, and the family moves every three to four years whether they want to or not. Navy families move less often, but when they do it's coast to coast -- and Dad (or Mum) is gone even more, and for longer.

Most children of Canadian Forces members believe that their parents help people, that their job is to go places where everything has fallen apart and help clean up. At some point, most of them -- like the children of police officers -- come to understand that their parents jobs are risky sometimes. I found it sobering and deeply touching when I heard two children talking about a flight-line accident in which an aircraft mechanic was killed; one told the other that his Dad made sure to kiss everyone before leaving the house to go on shift just in case something went wrong.

British Columbia has two major bases, by the way: 19 Wing Comox with four air squadrons and CFB Esquimalt with half the Canadian Navy fleet, plus military training areas, two Army Reserve brigades with units spread all over the province, and two Naval Reserve divisions. That's a lot of families.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 06:32 PM

Charmion -

You said, "...you would always see at least some little kids racing around the playground with their arms outstretched and shouting "vroom, vroom", pretending to be CF-104 Starfighters and F4 Phantoms -- things they saw every day, things their parents worked with."

Which proves exactly the point I was trying to make. Interest in things military stems from their interest in the cultural which surrounds them. Children with little or no contact with military culture, aren't especially interested.

No, children in my school do not pretend "...to be CF-104 Starfighters and F4 Phantoms." Never seen it. If they did go "vroom vroom" and pretend to be planes, that would be fine. If they pretended to drop bombs it would not be O.K.

Comox and Esquimalt are pretty far from Vancouver. Its unlikely that students under eight years old even know the geographical location of these places (most of my students think that Vancouver is a country). It takes alot of teaching to explain cities, provinces and nations.

Of course children are interested in uniforms but if they do not see men in military uniforms, it is unlikely that they would recognize them as soldiers. All kinds of people wear uniforms and kids are no more interested in military uniforms than in any other uniform.

Canadian forces have much to be proud of, especially their peace keeping efforts. I hope that they will become interested and learn more about the Canadian peace-keeping forces around the world but in elementary school, they equate soldiers with war.

Sometimes, children who are refugees from war-torn countries, will illustrate their past experiences. Those experiences are usually traumatic and those drawings are allowed as a way for them to express their own personal history. Other than that, pretending to be engaged in violence is discouraged at school.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:47 AM

Vancouver alone has the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, the Canadian Scottish Regiment and the British Columbia Dragoons, plus a Field Ambulance, a Service Battalion (cooks & truckers) and a Brigade Group Headquarters. It also has HMCS DISCOVERY, a large Naval Reserve division. Like I said, that's a formidable lot of families -- well over a thousand. It's highly possible children from those families have been in your class, or will be soon.

But to tackle your larger point: You implied above that military service is a "necessary evil". That smacks to me of a notion of untouchability, as if you are aware that such activity must go on but you don't want to know about it, or let your pupils know about it, let alone have anything to do with it. In Asian cultures, this attitude produced the caste system, in which ethnically undesirable persons (e.g., dark-skinned) are allowed to share community space at the cost of taking on such distasteful tasks as removing the nightsoil of their higher-caste neighbours and disposing of dead bodies.

By bringing the "untouchability" notion to an occupational group (such as the profession of arms), you are in danger of accepting also that only unacceptable people take up that occupation. Do you really believe that? What do you think of police officers, who are also members of the profession of arms, sworn to use force in the public interest? Do you think they are just power-hungry bullies? Or do you accept the possibility that police forces work hard to recruit idealistic people who are committed to defending their fellow citizens against crime and disorder?

By setting your face against certain knowledge, you back yourself into an ideological position that you might find difficult to defend.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: GUEST,rarelamb
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM

LOL, god the hypocrisy never ends. You guys b#$%^@ and moan about this but you have no problems with forcing companies to hire unqualified employees if they are black.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 03:18 PM

Carmion - I invite all of the parents of my students to come into the classroom and discuss their occuptations with my class. To my knowlege, none are in the military.

I am not discouraging anything except violence and war.

I do not doubt that children that are surrounded by a military culture are fascinated by military history, I just haven't seen it in my school.

The notion of "untouchability" seems quite apparent in the U.S. Thats why the number of recruits are down and why they have lowered the standards of aptitude tests. To my knowledge, Canada has not lowered their standards.

Your opinions are based on your own subjective experience. I would imagine that you are from a military family. Of course you would want to think that other children were as fascinated by soldiers and guns as you were. I'm just saying that kids who have had little or no direct exposure to the military culture, have little or no interest.

You brought up a good point about the caste system. The military, in many cultures, is another echelon of the caste system. Is it possible that North America has its own version? I do notice that police work and military service seems to run in the family. In fact, many towns are dominated by military personnel and so you have communities of like-minded people.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 05:19 PM

Tsk, tsk, there you go again with those assumptions.

I actually grew up in a navy family, and the effect it had on me was not fascination with guns and war, but awareness that service in the armed forces was a reliable way to learn a useful trade. My Dad was a radar operator, and his stories about the war concerned learning an unusual occupation, doing a very important and responsible job, and going to fascinating places -- I particularly liked hearing about his pet chameleon and the mango trees in Mombasa. In 1972, when I graduated from high school and needed a job, I joined the Canadian Forces because it offered complete occupational training in all kinds of trades that I didn't have a hope of getting into in civvy street, and the same wage scale for women as it did for men -- benefits offered by no other employer known to me.

I wanted to be a radio operator, and their question was not "Whyever would a cute little thing like you want to work shift in a comms centre?" but "Would you please fill out this application for security clearance, miss?" I ended up as a medic, which is how I came to work in a hospital in Germany. All Canadian Forces medical personnel are trained in their obligations under the Geneva Convention, specifically that they are non-combatants under a powerful obligation to treat all casualties without regard to nationality.

There is an important military caste in Canada and the United States, and many its members have hoisted themselves out of the lumpen proletariat by joining up and climbing the rank ladder. Check the statistics on black representation among the senior non-commissioned cadre of the American armed forces; you will find that black people are a disproportionately high percentage of warrant officers and senior sergeants. The Canadian Forces is how an awful lot of Maritimers and Newfoundlanders "went down the road" without having to sling hash or work construction in Toronto, or head for the oil fields.

Military education benefits are responsible for the enlargement of all Canadian universities and the very existence of some -- chances are you attended one of them. They are also largely responsible for the bringing working-class students into universities and colleges across North America. Canada has no veterans' education benefit today (which is why I graduated with a student loan), but during the late 1940s thousands and thousands of Canadian ex-servicemen earned degrees and high school diplomas with Department of Veterans' Affairs funding.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 06:59 PM

Any assumption I made was based on your own words, "...little kids racing around the playground with their arms outstretched and shouting "vroom, vroom", pretending to be CF-104 Starfighters and F4 Phantoms." Is that not a fascination with weapons?

BTW - This thread was supposed to be about why the U.S. military had lowered their expectations for recruits not about the benefits of the Canadian military. I am glad to hear that Canadian military are trained to honour the rules of the Geneva Convention. I expect as much.

I stand by statement that Canadian children, outside of the culture of the military, are not particularly fascinated by soldiers or military history.

I would also like to emphasize that zero tolerance for violence and weapons are a school policy and do not mean to reflect on the military directly.

...and yes, we focus on Peace, respect and effective problem-solving on Remembrance Day - not war (past or present).


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 08:58 PM

And with respect to the first issue you raised, you again led with a major unfounded assumption, that the US forces were dropping their recruiting standards for nefarious reasons. I think you should apply Occam's razor: choose the simplest answer that covers all elements of the question. Could it be that the US Army needs more recruits than it can get by skimming only the top of the pool of applicants?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 12:12 AM

What 'nefarious' reasons? What unfounded assumptions?

They are dropping their standards because they don't have enough recruits. Whats 'nefarious' about that? Read the article, its not an assumption.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 07:28 AM

Eliminating the newspaper quote in the middel, dianavan said I thought that the soldiers involved with torture in Iraq must have had questionable intelligence to take part in such inhumanity to man but now this - Just what the U.S. Army needs, more recruits who do what they're told without thinking about the consequences. The assumption that I came to was that you were saying that that that aptitude testing score threshold had been lowered specifically to attract more recruits who would willingly participate in illegal activities. What was the intended message?


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 12:13 PM

Being in the military and defending one's own country from aggression is an honorable and noble profession. One of the things of which I am most proud is the time I spent as a member of the armed forces. For the most part, the men and women I encountered there were some of the finest people that I have known anywhere, and I would've been proud to fight and die alongside any of them.

...not to say there weren't a few class A assholes, nor that there weren't any ignoble causes for which to go to war.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: dianavan
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 09:15 PM

Art - I may have implied that, lower aptitude would result in "...recruits who would willingly participate in illegal activities,". I did not, however, state that this was 'specifically' the reason for lowering the standards.

In fact, if you read all of my posts in this thread, I was asking others for their opinions.


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Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 10:10 PM

If most of your students think their city is a country, you ought to be worried about a lot of things other than military history.


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