Doonesbury 4apr05

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tu...@yahoo.com

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Apr 4, 2005, 6:43:53 AM4/4/05
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So,
Trudeau equates military service with alcoholism, drug abuse, and teen
pregnancy.
How nice.
MisterE

Mike Peterson

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Apr 4, 2005, 7:06:42 AM4/4/05
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I think you have completely misread the strip.

Mike feels he's managed to raise a daughter who has never made a
decision that dismayed him. (Well, I remember a few, but they were
fairly short-term things, like downloading copyrighted music without
paying for it, or campaigning for token, symbolic candidates in a tight
election.)Well, this decision is going to dismay him, and the joke is
that there's really no reason it should -- as he says, she has made
generally sound decisions and is (nearly) an adult.

Perhaps you have to be more familiar with the character to get the joke,
but he's not exactly the most gung-ho personality on the funnies page --
add to that the notion that many parents would be surprised if their
daughters enlisted, and throw in the idea that a lot of college educated
parents, if they do want their kids to serve, want them to go to college
first.

Alex has frequently challenged her father's head-in-the-clouds liberal
notions of what a daughter should do. Generally, she's a lot more
centered than he is and tends to see life through a fairly pragmatic
lense, but she also goes off on passionate crusades that she hasn't
really thought through. I suspect we're up for some pretty funny strips
as she works her way through this one.

It might also help if you'd read the strip in light of Trudeau's
compassionate and insightful treatment of BD's injury in Iraq over the
past several months. He obviously does not dump on those who serve,
though he reserves the right to satirize those who send them to war.

I hope he's done as much research on boot camp as he has with disabled
vets. I wouldn't be surprised if the latter experience has inspired this
piece. If so, I hope Mike and BD have some scenes together over the next
few months.

Mike Peterson
Glens Falls NY

nancy13g

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Apr 4, 2005, 9:21:08 AM4/4/05
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tu...@yahoo.com wrote:

???

Do you have any kids? I'm figuring you don't, because I think any
parent would have caught Trudeau's *real* point right away. There's
about a million things any parent of a teenager worries about. Drugs,
alcohol, car accidents ... and, oh yeah, making a career choice that
involves having people shoot at you.

There's different types of worrying about your kids, y'know. Some of
them involve being proud of them at the same time you're doing the
worrying.

Dann

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Apr 4, 2005, 11:19:31 AM4/4/05
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The brain droppings of Mike Peterson were posted in
news:EvydnU7xc-d...@adelphia.com on 04 Apr 2005:

> tu...@yahoo.com wrote:
>> So,
>> Trudeau equates military service with alcoholism, drug abuse, and
>> teen pregnancy.
>> How nice.
>>
>
> I think you have completely misread the strip.

Perhaps not completely.

>
> Mike feels he's managed to raise a daughter who has never made a
> decision that dismayed him. (Well, I remember a few, but they were
> fairly short-term things, like downloading copyrighted music without
> paying for it, or campaigning for token, symbolic candidates in a
> tight election.)Well, this decision is going to dismay him, and the
> joke is that there's really no reason it should -- as he says, she has
> made generally sound decisions and is (nearly) an adult.

That last sentence and the strip in question demonstrate exactly why
people express such concern.

Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms of
contributing to society?

--
Regards,
Dann deto...@hotmail.com
Blogging at: http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm

90% of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at.

KWBrown

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Apr 4, 2005, 10:29:44 AM4/4/05
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Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10:


> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms
> of contributing to society?

You seriously would not be dismayed, at all, to find that your child is
volunteering to take a job that could well see her blown up? There's a war
on, you know.

I would be unhappy and worried if my kid decided to be a logger or a cop,
too. There are many career options that don't involve such risk of injury
to a person dear to me.

--
Kate
and Storm the FCR
arfenarf at hotmail dot com

J.D. Baldwin

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Apr 4, 2005, 11:11:20 AM4/4/05
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In the previous article, Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is
> it not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in
> terms of contributing to society?

My parents were pretty unhappy about my decision to enlist (at the
time). I don't consider them unpatriotic for their reaction. (They
wound up being more or less happy with the way it all turned out.)

A lot of kids just out of high school sign up for the military without
thinking it through. In fact, if that weren't the case, the U.S. Army
probably wouldn't have the manpower to invade and conquer Clark
County, Ohio, much less Iraq or North Korea.

Anyone remember the "School is Hell" series of "Life in Hell" where
Binky enlists in the Army?
--
_+_ From the catapult of |If anyone disagrees with any statement I make, I
_|70|___:)=}- J.D. Baldwin |am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also
\ / bal...@panix.com|to deny under oath that I ever made it. -T. Lehrer
***~~~~-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Dann

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Apr 4, 2005, 12:26:39 PM4/4/05
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The brain droppings of KWBrown were posted in
news:Xns962E4C5DD5C42a...@130.133.1.4 on 04 Apr 2005:

I would be worried. I would not be dismayed. I would be proud of them
as well. I certainly would not compare the decision to join the armed
forces with drug use or teen pregnancy; problems that ultimately harm
society.

Except if they joined the Army. Then all bets are off.

It is amazing how many people think that the government's role is to
give them what they want by overriding what other people want. - Thomas
Sowell

Dann

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Apr 4, 2005, 12:40:50 PM4/4/05
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The brain droppings of J.D. Baldwin were posted in news:d2rleo$47s$1
@reader1.panix.com on 04 Apr 2005:

> In the previous article, Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is
>> it not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in
>> terms of contributing to society?
>
> My parents were pretty unhappy about my decision to enlist (at the
> time). I don't consider them unpatriotic for their reaction. (They
> wound up being more or less happy with the way it all turned out.)

Mine weren't all that thrilled either. It worked out reasonably well in
the end.

4 out of 5 doctors agree - Hillary's hazardous to health.

Jim Strain

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Apr 4, 2005, 11:59:01 AM4/4/05
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Mike Peterson wrote in part:

> Alex has frequently challenged her father's
> head-in-the-clouds liberal notions of what a
> daughter should do.

Say WHAT? What part of Mike Doonesbury's parenting qualifies as
"liberal"? I must have missed something. I'd have labeled it
"head-in-the-sand conservative."
. . . jim strain in san diego.

Ted Kerin

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Apr 4, 2005, 11:45:05 AM4/4/05
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"Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10...

>
> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms of
> contributing to society?
>

"Career path" as what? Cannon fodder?

Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.When the US military goes back
to protecting us from aggressors like Hitler, I'll consider it a worthy
undertaking for a young person who understands the risks. But nobody should
die just to get George Bush re-elected, or just to make any dirtbag
politician look like a big shot.

Before I'd sacrifice my kid to the
military, nowadays, I'd slap him silly myself. And this is in no way a slam
against soldiers or families who have sacrificed for legitimate defensive
needs, or even those who tragically died in a pointless adventure that they
freely chose. But I'll be god damned if I'd let my kid die for a slime bag
like George Bush or his buddies. I still have friends in Canada, and I would
take him there personally, quit my job and do anything to let him have a
life there -- or anywhere else -- before I would let a politician steal his
life to enhance the
president's poll points.

Consider this my prospective, online confession. Yaah, come an' get me,
coppers.

Paul Ciszek

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Apr 4, 2005, 12:24:19 PM4/4/05
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In article <1112611433.7...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,

As things kids get into without fully thinking through all the
ramifications? Yep.

A relative of mine joined the Air Force, because he was enticed by all
the promises of learning useful high-tech skills and flying fast airplanes.
It turns out, however, that they wanted him to drop bombs and kill people,
something that he hadn't considered and had carefully been left out of
the recruiment hype.

Killing people can be as damaging to a person as alcoholism, drug abuse,
or teen pregnancy. I understand that nowadays recruiters supposedly do
not downplay the actual purpose of the military as badly as they used to.

--
Please reply to: | "When the press is free and every man
pciszek at panix dot com | able to read, all is safe."
Autoreply has been disabled | --Thomas Jefferson

J.D. Baldwin

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Apr 4, 2005, 12:41:13 PM4/4/05
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In the previous article, Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
> A relative of mine joined the Air Force, because he was enticed by
> all the promises of learning useful high-tech skills and flying fast
> airplanes. It turns out, however, that they wanted him to drop
> bombs and kill people, something that he hadn't considered and had
> carefully been left out of the recruiment hype.
>
> Killing people can be as damaging to a person as alcoholism, drug
> abuse, or teen pregnancy. I understand that nowadays recruiters
> supposedly do not downplay the actual purpose of the military as
> badly as they used to.

In an organization as large as the U.S. military, there are going to
be a certain number of people who are just flat-out stupid. During my
decade and a half of service, I encountered quite a few of these. I
remember the guy in boot camp who didn't understand that, when you are
6'3" and 225 pounds, you don't wear a size "small" T-shirt. I
remember the guy who simply could not get the hang of unscrewing
fasteners in a certain designated order (they were labeled "1" "2" "3"
... etc.). I had a boss once -- a senior officer -- who couldn't be
trusted to send a fax by himself, because the recipient would *always*
get a set of blank pages.

But I never, ever met anyone who signed up whilst unaware that the
military exists for the purpose of killing people and breaking things
when called upon to do so. That's pretty amazing. And the Air Force
claims to have such high standards.

Paul Ciszek

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Apr 4, 2005, 1:10:57 PM4/4/05
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In article <d2rqn9$g5h$1...@reader1.panix.com>,

J.D. Baldwin <ne...@baldwin.users.panix.com> wrote:
>
>In an organization as large as the U.S. military, there are going to
>be a certain number of people who are just flat-out stupid. During my
>decade and a half of service, I encountered quite a few of these. I
>remember the guy in boot camp who didn't understand that, when you are
>6'3" and 225 pounds, you don't wear a size "small" T-shirt. I
>remember the guy who simply could not get the hang of unscrewing
>fasteners in a certain designated order (they were labeled "1" "2" "3"
>... etc.). I had a boss once -- a senior officer -- who couldn't be
>trusted to send a fax by himself, because the recipient would *always*
>get a set of blank pages.
>
>But I never, ever met anyone who signed up whilst unaware that the
>military exists for the purpose of killing people and breaking things
>when called upon to do so. That's pretty amazing. And the Air Force
>claims to have such high standards.

Back in the 80's, I guess my grades made me a target for ROTC recruiters.
They would go on about how great it would be to have the Army pay my
tuition, and be guaranteed a job upon graduation. I would point out that
the job would involve killing people, and they would hem and haw and try
to make out that that was not the case. I have heard since that they
don't do that anymore.

Of course, it makes a big difference that we have had two declared wars
and a bunch of other undeclared wars since then, have news items about
soldiers on trial for illegal killings, etc.

Paul Ciszek

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Apr 4, 2005, 1:22:22 PM4/4/05
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To put it into perspective, imagine that last panel with Alex and one of
her peer group standing in front of a Justice of the Peace, who is saying
"by the power vested in me...". Many parents would be horrified if their
18 year old daughter got married, and not because they equate marriage
with alcoholism or drug abuse.

J.D. Baldwin

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Apr 4, 2005, 2:23:35 PM4/4/05
to

In the previous article, Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
> [...] and not because they equate marriage with alcoholism or drug
> abuse.

Maybe not, but it's a gateway drug.

Mink Schmink

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Apr 4, 2005, 2:36:57 PM4/4/05
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Dann wrote:

> That last sentence and the strip in question demonstrate exactly why
> people express such concern.
>
> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms
of
> contributing to society?

Because it's dangerous. It's all well and noble to
have your kid serve, but as her dad I'm sure he's got
some misgivings about it. If it's what she wants,
and she's thought it out well, he might come around,
but I'm sure part of him will wish she hadn't chosen
such a dangerous path. He'll worry.

Mink!

Mink Schmink

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Apr 4, 2005, 2:42:27 PM4/4/05
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I work down the hall from racks and racks of
Army recruitment pamphlets of various kinds.
While they might be more open in the interview
(and let's face it, given that we're fighting in Iraq
RIGHT NOW and needing more manpower there
RIGHT NOW you'd be hard pressed not to
notice that you might be in actual combat) the
printed recruitment stuff is STILL all about getting
college for free, wearing a cool uniform, having
people look up to you, getting your life together,
and learning cool technical skills.

The pamphlets don't really seem to be moving
this semester, either.

Mink!

Peter Trei

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Apr 4, 2005, 3:25:06 PM4/4/05
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We still haven't seen Mike react to his daughter's
action, so this is still all just speculation (though
reasonable, based on past behaviour). I'm hoping that
Trudeau suprises us, and in a way none of us predict.

Hoping, but not holding my breath.

Peter Trei


Carl Fink

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Apr 4, 2005, 3:48:57 PM4/4/05
to
On 2005-04-04, Ted Kerin <an...@gte.net> wrote:
>
> "Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10...
>>
>> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
>> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms of
>> contributing to society?
>>
>
> "Career path" as what? Cannon fodder?
>
> Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.

Who says Trudeau feels that way in the first place? Contrary to
popular opinion, Mike Doonesbury is a fictional character, not
Trudeau's alter ego. Hell, Mike's a Republican these days, which GB
Trudeau is not, last I heard.
--
Carl Fink ca...@fink.to
Ask me about I-Con 24, April 8-10, 2005
http://iconsf.org

J.D. Baldwin

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Apr 4, 2005, 4:23:25 PM4/4/05
to

In the previous article, Mink Schmink <mcov...@staff.uiuc.edu> wrote:
> I work down the hall from racks and racks of
> Army recruitment pamphlets of various kinds.
> While they might be more open in the interview
> (and let's face it, given that we're fighting in Iraq
> RIGHT NOW and needing more manpower there
> RIGHT NOW you'd be hard pressed not to
> notice that you might be in actual combat) the
> printed recruitment stuff is STILL all about getting
> college for free, wearing a cool uniform, having
> people look up to you, getting your life together,
> and learning cool technical skills.

I've seen several military ads over the years that portray highly
realistic combat training exercises. Guys running around with guns,
night vision gear, flak jackets, etc. Of course, they aren't showing
anyone who's been blinded or maimed in combat, but on the spectrum of
advertising truthfulness, I'd say they are average or better. I've
seen a lot of ads for truck driving schools, but never one that showed
a rig overturned in a shallow river because the driver fell asleep
trying to run too many hours.

James Nicoll

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Apr 4, 2005, 4:32:55 PM4/4/05
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In article <Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10>,

Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>That last sentence and the strip in question demonstrate exactly why
>people express such concern.
>
>Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
>not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms of
>contributing to society?

She could lose a limb like BD. She could be taken prisoner
by some force that does not follow the Geneva Code. She could be
killed.

I don't have children myself but I've noticed parents have
a fascination with their children's well-being, even when (as in Mike's
case), he and his wife are young enough to plausibly produce and raise
more children and so preserve some aspect of themselves. It's like
there's some nonrational value weighing process going on.


James Nicoll
--
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/
http://www.marryanamerican.ca
http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll

James Nicoll

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Apr 4, 2005, 4:37:31 PM4/4/05
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In article <slrnd536h9...@panix2.panix.com>,

Carl Fink <ca...@dm.net> wrote:
>On 2005-04-04, Ted Kerin <an...@gte.net> wrote:
>>
>> "Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10...
>>>
>>> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
>>> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms of
>>> contributing to society?
>>>
>>
>> "Career path" as what? Cannon fodder?
>>
>> Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.
>
>Who says Trudeau feels that way in the first place? Contrary to
>popular opinion, Mike Doonesbury is a fictional character, not
>Trudeau's alter ego. Hell, Mike's a Republican these days, which GB
>Trudeau is not, last I heard.

Oh, come now. The strip's pro-Republican bias is pretty clear.

Mark Jackson

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Apr 4, 2005, 4:52:34 PM4/4/05
to
J.D. Baldwin wrote:

> on the spectrum of
> advertising truthfulness, I'd say they are average or better.

Unless they're two sigma better than the mean on "the spectrum of
advertising truthfulness" they'd be called "lies" in any other context.

--
Mark Jackson - http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~mjackson
All artists in all fields despise all critics
all the time. - Adam Gopnik

Dann

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Apr 4, 2005, 6:01:59 PM4/4/05
to
The brain droppings of Ted Kerin were posted in
news:d2rna...@news3.newsguy.com on 04 Apr 2005:

> "Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10...
>>
>> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
>> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms
>> of contributing to society?
>>
>
> "Career path" as what? Cannon fodder?

Which clearly shows a lack of understanding of our current military.
Even the Army has evolved somewhat from the cannon fodder mentality.

>
> Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.When the US military
> goes back to protecting us from aggressors like Hitler, I'll consider
> it a worthy undertaking for a young person who understands the risks.
> But nobody should die just to get George Bush re-elected, or just to
> make any dirtbag politician look like a big shot.

1. George Bush can't be re-elected again...ever.

2. It's easy to hate Hitler. He was awful and he's dead. Got a list of
living threats in mind??

Explosion at sperm bank. Nurses overcome.

Charles

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Apr 4, 2005, 7:17:59 PM4/4/05
to

"Dismayed" is not the word Trudeau used. He used "worried".

I see nothing objectionable about the strip whatsoever. In fact, if
Trudeau were to be equating joining the military with illicit alcohol
or drug use, or rampant premarital sex, the joke would not have worked.
The fact that it's not a decision to be condemned, despite the fact
that Mike should rightly worry about and question it, is what's amusing
about it.

C

Mike Peterson

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Apr 4, 2005, 7:20:25 PM4/4/05
to
J.D. Baldwin wrote:
> In the previous article, Mink Schmink <mcov...@staff.uiuc.edu> wrote:
>
>>I work down the hall from racks and racks of
>>Army recruitment pamphlets of various kinds.
>>While they might be more open in the interview
>>(and let's face it, given that we're fighting in Iraq
>>RIGHT NOW and needing more manpower there
>>RIGHT NOW you'd be hard pressed not to
>>notice that you might be in actual combat) the
>>printed recruitment stuff is STILL all about getting
>>college for free, wearing a cool uniform, having
>>people look up to you, getting your life together,
>>and learning cool technical skills.
>
>
> I've seen several military ads over the years that portray highly
> realistic combat training exercises. Guys running around with guns,
> night vision gear, flak jackets, etc. Of course, they aren't showing
> anyone who's been blinded or maimed in combat, but on the spectrum of
> advertising truthfulness, I'd say they are average or better. I've
> seen a lot of ads for truck driving schools, but never one that showed
> a rig overturned in a shallow river because the driver fell asleep
> trying to run too many hours.

Nor have you seen one where the driver dies because the trucking company
declined to spend the money to make his truck safe, or where the company
lies about why they're putting trucks on the road, where they're going
and the nature of the cargo. When my son enlisted, back at the end of
Bush 1, I applauded his decision, but I prayed there would be honorable
men in command. He got out before this current crew got control, thank
god. But that's my reaction, not his, and it was his life, not mine.

Speaking (as I was in another thread) of Scottish tunes, here's a
contemporary number that I believe was originally about service in
Northern Ireland but certainly has wider application, given the number
of British soldiers who have ended up in blue berets and those who are
now in Iraq and (AFAIK) Afghanistan ....

I’M ASKING YOU SERGEANT WHERE’S MINE
(Billy Connolly)

I’m lying in bed I’m in room Twenty-six
Thinking on things that I’ve done
Like drinkin’ with squaddies and bullin’ my boots
I’m countin’ the medals I’ve won
These hospital wards they’re all drab lookin’ joints
But the ceiling’s as much as I see
It could do with a wee touch of paper
And paint but then again maybe that’s me

Chorus:
Oh sergeant is this the adventure you meant
When I put my name down on the line
All that talk of computers and sunshine and skis
All I’m asking you sergeant where’s mine

I’ve a brother in Glasgow with long curly hair
When I joined up he said I was daft
He’s says shooting strangers just is’na his game
That brother of mine is’na saft
But I can put up with most things I’ve done in my time
I can even put up with the pains
But what do you do with a gun in your hand
When you’re faced with a hundred odd wanes (ie, crazy m-f'ers)

**************
Spent the day today at a career fair at a local high school. The
recruiters were all great guys but they're finding it tough because it's
pretty clear what you're getting into these days, and, of course it's
hardest for the Marines because, after all, well, they don't sell
visions of computers and sunshine and skis and never have. And we were
at the alma mater of a kid who died in the back of one of those
unprotected trucks that gets sent into places where you need armor.

Y'damn right I'd worry if my son was signing up today. Whether or not I
would support the decision is a whole other question. But I'd certainly
worry.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

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Apr 4, 2005, 7:40:03 PM4/4/05
to
> Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.When the US military goes
back
> to protecting us from aggressors like Hitler, I'll consider it a worthy
> undertaking for a young person who understands the risks.

But Hitler never attacked the USA.

(Yes, yes, I know, the alliances in place forced such participation in the
war. But exactly the same case can be--and, indeed, were at the time--made
against our involvement in the European theatre as are made against
involvement in Iraq/Afghanistan/Kuwait/etc.)


Mike Peterson

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Apr 4, 2005, 7:44:46 PM4/4/05
to
Shut up, Chris. He's just fuckin' with your head.

ameijers

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Apr 4, 2005, 7:50:38 PM4/4/05
to

"J.D. Baldwin" <INVALID...@example.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:d2rleo$47s$1...@reader1.panix.com...

>
> In the previous article, Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is
> > it not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in
> > terms of contributing to society?
>
> My parents were pretty unhappy about my decision to enlist (at the
> time). I don't consider them unpatriotic for their reaction. (They
> wound up being more or less happy with the way it all turned out.)
>
> A lot of kids just out of high school sign up for the military without
> thinking it through. In fact, if that weren't the case, the U.S. Army
> probably wouldn't have the manpower to invade and conquer Clark
> County, Ohio, much less Iraq or North Korea.
>
Just like any good car salesman, they make signing the papers seem like a
no-brainer. (Nice day, huh? Neat-looking car huh? What color would you like
yours in?) Upon reading your post, I had an immediate mental flash of a
mid-70s or so billboard that still sticks in my craw, with a picture of a
bunch of smiling cleancut kids in cap and gown, with the text above saying
'Don't stop now- Join the Army'. Talk about pandering to the doubts and
uncertainties of a kid just getting out of school, and having no idea what
to do next....

aem sends....

Pat ONeill

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Apr 4, 2005, 9:49:35 PM4/4/05
to

Dann wrote:
>
> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms
of
> contributing to society?
>

For the same reasons parents often are caused dismay by children who
choose the police or fire departments as careers. Yes, they are worthy
in terms of contributing to society...but they also involve putting
your life on the line virtually every day.

And I've never met a parent who wants to think about that as a
possibility for their child.

I have a niece who is about to graduate from West Point. The family
couldn't be prouder of her--especially since, on her mom's side, she
comes from a family with a long history of distinguished military
service. Her grandfather (my father-in-law) retired as a full colonel,
after coming up through the enlisted ranks. One of my niece's ancestors
is the guy Fort Worth is named for.

But I know there are moments when her mom and dad wish she'd chosen a
less risky profession.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

unread,
Apr 4, 2005, 10:10:31 PM4/4/05
to
> >
> Shut up, Chris. He's just fuckin' with your head.

But it's so much fun........... [snaps fingers in old-fashioned "gee-golly
shucks" fashion]


Alexander D. Mitchell IV

unread,
Apr 4, 2005, 10:31:18 PM4/4/05
to
> For the same reasons parents often are caused dismay by children who
> choose the police or fire departments as careers. Yes, they are worthy
> in terms of contributing to society...but they also involve putting
> your life on the line virtually every day.
>
> And I've never met a parent who wants to think about that as a
> possibility for their child.
>
> I have a niece who is about to graduate from West Point. The family
> couldn't be prouder of her--especially since, on her mom's side, she
> comes from a family with a long history of distinguished military
> service. Her grandfather (my father-in-law) retired as a full colonel,
> after coming up through the enlisted ranks. One of my niece's ancestors
> is the guy Fort Worth is named for.
>
> But I know there are moments when her mom and dad wish she'd chosen a
> less risky profession.
>
Absolutely. I can't deny the relatives of police/fire/soldiers/coal miners
the anxiety that comes with their loved ones' chosen fields. Hell, I worry
about my wife bicycling to work through city streets (hit one so far,
non-seriously but had to replace the bike).

But the pool of worthy orphans and hermits is just too damn small. And I'd
sure like to hear the screaming that would result if they made a compulsory
draft for orphans.

"The battle rattled to the sound o' guns
And bayonets flashed in the morning sun
The drums did beat and the cannons roar
And the shillin' didn't seem,
The shillin' didn't seem much worth the war

Come laddies come, hear the cannons roar
Take the King's shilling an' we're off tae war......"

--"The King's Shilling", by Ian Sinclair, sung by Battlefield Band on their
latest album "Out For the Night" which you can listen to samples of at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001BKB98/qid%3D1112667665/026-2147758-5707608


Larry Palletti

unread,
Apr 4, 2005, 11:44:48 PM4/4/05
to

"ameijers" <aeme...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:ipk4e.42684$cg1....@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...

Not much different from any corporate recruitment effort. How often do the
Fortune 500 tell prospective newbies about office politics, or sudden
layoffs, or "requests" to move to a different city? Or the ass-kissing
necessary to advancement?

Don't get me wrong. I've bitched about Army recruiters for a very long time.
I wrote a column about it for my newspaper more than 15 years ago. "Army.
It's not just a job. It's your ass." But dishonesty in recruiting isn't only
a military problem. It's just the way things are done, evidently.

Even kids are supposed to know enough to look past the silver linings.
They've been advertised at for all their lives, and it's safe to assume they
know that some of those claims are bloated, and that some are outright
bogus.

Doonesbury's kid already knows the downside. She's seen what happened to BD.
In real life, the yoots have three whole TV networks to tell 'em about
getting shot at.

Larry P.
Atlanta

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 4, 2005, 11:50:51 PM4/4/05
to
In article <xbk4e.24$0C4...@news.abs.net>,

Alexander D. Mitchell IV <LNER447...@bcpl.net> wrote:
>> Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.When the US military goes
>back
>> to protecting us from aggressors like Hitler, I'll consider it a worthy
>> undertaking for a young person who understands the risks.
>
>But Hitler never attacked the USA.

He declared war on the US, an action that is often seen as
somewhat short of care-bear cuddly. Germany then put into action
Operation Drumbeat, which extended the olive branch of unrestricted
submarine warfare off the coast of the USA, with almost 400 ships
sunk off the coast of the USA*.

James Nicoll

* Of course, if the US had used convoys, losses would have been less but
all convoys had going for them was a proven track record over the previous
two years.

Carl Fink

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 12:08:45 AM4/5/05
to
On 2005-04-05, Larry Palletti <pall...@comKILLcast.net> wrote:

> Doonesbury's kid already knows the downside. She's seen what happened to BD.
> In real life, the yoots have three whole TV networks to tell 'em about
> getting shot at.

Some people (but not Alex Doonesbury) are just stupid, though. I
still remember a report on New York TV during the original Gulf War,
a Marine's mother saying, "I can't believe it. I never thought he'd
have to fight in a war!"

He volunteered for the Marines! How can you not know what that
means?

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 12:31:51 AM4/5/05
to
> Some people (but not Alex Doonesbury) are just stupid, though. I
> still remember a report on New York TV during the original Gulf War,
> a Marine's mother saying, "I can't believe it. I never thought he'd
> have to fight in a war!"
>
> He volunteered for the Marines! How can you not know what that
> means?

Life Imitates Art (or Monty Python's Flying Circus):

Voice Over In 1943, a group of British Army Officers working deep behind
enemy lines, carried out one of the most dangerous and heroic raids in the
history of warfare. But that's as maybe. And now . . .
SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: 'AND NOW . . . UNOCCUPIED BRITAIN 1970'

Cut to colonel's office. Colonel is seated at desk.
Colonel Come in, what do you want?
Private Watkins enters and salutes.
Watkins I'd like to leave the army please, sir.
Colonel Good heavens man, why?
Watkins It's dangerous!
Colonel What?
Watkins There are people with guns out there, sir.
Colonel What?
Watkins Real guns, sir. Not toy ones, sir. Proper ones, sir. They've all
got 'em. All of 'em, sir. And some of 'em have got tanks. Colonel Watkins,
they are on our side.
Watkins And grenades, sir. And machine guns, sir. So I'd like to leave,
sir, before I get killed, please.
Colonel Watkins, you've only been in the army a day.
Watkins I know sir but people get killed, properly dead, sir, no barley
cross fingers, sir. A bloke was telling me, if you're in the army and
there's a war you have to go and fight.
Colonel That's true.
Watkins Well I mean, blimey, I mean if it was a big war somebody could be
hurt.
Colonel Watkins why did you join the army?
Watkins For the water-skiing and for the travel, sir. And not for the
killing, sir. I asked them to put it on my form, sir - no killing.
Colonel Watkins are you a pacifist?
Watkins No sir, I'm not a pacifist, sir. I'm a coward.
Colonel That's a very silly line. Sit down.
Watkins Yes sir. Silly, sir. (sits in corner)


tu...@yahoo.com

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 7:59:01 AM4/5/05
to

Mike Peterson wrote:
> tu...@yahoo.com wrote:
> > So,
> > Trudeau equates military service with alcoholism, drug abuse, and
teen
> > pregnancy.
> > How nice.
> >
>
> I think you have completely misread the strip.

Humm, maybe, maybe not. Lets see how the story arc plays out and then
revisit the question. If nothing else you've reminded me of the old
adage about judging a book by its cover (or in this case a comic
storyline by its opening strip).
I will, however, point out, a couple of errors in today's
(5apr05)strip.
You almost certainly do need a high school diploma to enlist and
any recruiter worth his badge would say that up front. Although waivers
are possible they're very limited. A recruiter friend told me that
there's actually a cap on the number of non-graduates that are
allowed to enlist in any given year and also that recruiters don't
like non-grads because they don't count toward their monthly quota.
As far as the drug question goes no recruiter I know would have
avoided the issue by pretending to not hear the question. Having
experimented with drug use is not an automatic disqualifier (I'm
living proof of that), but a record for selling or distribution pretty
much is
Cheers
MisterE

Mike Peterson

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 8:16:47 AM4/5/05
to
tu...@yahoo.com wrote:
> Mike Peterson wrote:
>
>>tu...@yahoo.com wrote:
>>
>>>So,
>>>Trudeau equates military service with alcoholism, drug abuse, and
>
> teen
>
>>>pregnancy.
>>>How nice.
>>>
>>
>>I think you have completely misread the strip.
>
>
> Humm, maybe, maybe not. Lets see how the story arc plays out and then
> revisit the question. If nothing else you've reminded me of the old
> adage about judging a book by its cover (or in this case a comic
> storyline by its opening strip).
> I will, however, point out, a couple of errors in today's
> (5apr05)strip.
> You almost certainly do need a high school diploma to enlist and
> any recruiter worth his badge would say that up front. Although waivers
> are possible they're very limited. A recruiter friend told me that
> there's actually a cap on the number of non-graduates that are
> allowed to enlist in any given year and also that recruiters don't
> like non-grads because they don't count toward their monthly quota.

The key is "almost." About eight years ago, I was in one of those
"leadership" classes that chambers of commerce run to provide a base of
community knowledge. A recruiter was part of the education/careers panel
and they showed a video of a film in which some senior officer talked
about how he had come up from his GED to this great position. I asked
the recruiter if that wasn't outdated, since most branches of the
service weren't accepting GEDs anymore. He acknowledged that it was --
the point being that they were less interested in your learning than in
your ability to put your ass in a chair when it wasn't your first choice
of options at the moment. (Disclaimer: I'm not sure the Army was ever
quite that strict on the matter.) But in the past few years, as they
have failed to make quota, the GED has become acceptable.


> As far as the drug question goes no recruiter I know would have
> avoided the issue by pretending to not hear the question. Having
> experimented with drug use is not an automatic disqualifier (I'm
> living proof of that), but a record for selling or distribution pretty
> much is

I don't know any recruiters who supported Kucinich either -- I think
that was a satiric reference to the notion that standards are
significantly stretching as recruitment becomes harder. I know that,
once you're in, the Navy at least conducts random tests and it's not
like being in baseball -- you really don't want to flunk the test.

As you say, we'll see how this sequence plays out. I'm hoping she'll
sign up, but it might back him into a corner for a few years with the
character.

Ted Kerin

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 11:38:30 AM4/5/05
to

"Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns962EAD64499E8d...@198.109.197.10...

> The brain droppings of Ted Kerin were posted in
> news:d2rna...@news3.newsguy.com on 04 Apr 2005:
>
> > "Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:Xns962E692909EE4d...@198.109.197.10...
> >>
> >> Why should the decision to join the military cause him dismay? Is it
> >> not just as viable a career path? Is it not just as worthy in terms
> >> of contributing to society?
> >>
> >
> > "Career path" as what? Cannon fodder?
>
> Which clearly shows a lack of understanding of our current military.
> Even the Army has evolved somewhat from the cannon fodder mentality.
>
>


It was a harsh term to use, and unkind to the brave and honorable
individuals whose sense of honor and duty have been, in my opinion, sadly
abused by certain politicans. I meant it in that context (describing
politians' current use of the military, not describing the military itself),
but it was so clearly open to misunderstanding that I shouldn't have said
it. You were right to call me on it.


>
> > Trudeau isn't the only one who feels that way.When the US military
> > goes back to protecting us from aggressors like Hitler, I'll consider
> > it a worthy undertaking for a young person who understands the risks.
> > But nobody should die just to get George Bush re-elected, or just to
> > make any dirtbag politician look like a big shot.
>
> 1. George Bush can't be re-elected again...ever.
>

I hope there are no clones, imitators and wannabes waiting in the wings, but
we don't know yet. I fervently hope that this abuse of the power to declare
war is an aberration, and not the new rule. Military people are awesomely
honorable as a group, and their lives should not be wasted for partisan
politics.


> 2. It's easy to hate Hitler. He was awful and he's dead. Got a list of
> living threats in mind??
>
>

Short answer: Osama yes, Saddam no. Both are awful and alive, but only one
of them attacked the USA. There are lots of Americans like me who approved
of invading Afghanistan, but not Iraq. The world is full of awful
dictators -- most countries, to various degrees, are run by despots. So,
while nobody misses Saddam, this just isn't a good enough reason to launch a
war and sacrifice lives of good Americans.

I'm far from qualified to create the definitive list. What I am sure about,
is that launching a war is the most grave and serious undertaking that any
leader is empowered to do. And that this power should not be cynically used
just to beef up some frat boy's "presidentialness", or to abuse and exploit,
for partisan purposes, the natural desire of good Americans to stick
together in times of war. Which is what I believe happened here. It's by no
means a negative reflection on the soldiers, and I apologize to anyone who
took it that way. I was reacting as a parent, who would be absolutely
horrified to lose my child for any reason, but especially in this particular
endeavor.


J.D. Baldwin

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 1:34:12 PM4/5/05
to

In the previous article, Mike Peterson <pete...@SPAMnelliebly.org>
wrote:

> I asked the recruiter if that wasn't outdated, since most branches
> of the service weren't accepting GEDs anymore. He acknowledged that
> it was -- the point being that they were less interested in your
> learning than in your ability to put your ass in a chair when it
> wasn't your first choice of options at the moment. (Disclaimer: I'm
> not sure the Army was ever quite that strict on the matter.) But in
> the past few years, as they have failed to make quota, the GED has
> become acceptable.

During the 1980s, the Navy and Marines were getting the highest-
quality applicants (in the 90s, that shifted to the USAF) according to
the entry testing, and neither service *ever* had a problem with
accepting individuals with GEDs. All services have always taken some
number of high school dropouts without GEDs, though recruiters have
often been directed to lie about this to keep kids from dropping out
for the purpose of joining the military. "100% HS diplomas" has been
a lofty-sounding goal for a long time, but I don't think it's never
been attained for any sustained period of time.

I would describe today's Doonesbury strip as (mildly) "military-
bashing" for putting those words in the recruiter's mouth in the
second panel.

Elisabeth Riba

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 3:39:45 PM4/5/05
to
J.D. Baldwin <INVALID...@example.com.invalid> wrote:
> I would describe today's Doonesbury strip as (mildly) "military-
> bashing" for putting those words in the recruiter's mouth in the
> second panel.

I suspect that the current storyline is going to focus on recent news
articles that the Army is way Way WAY below recruitment quotas this
year, and that recruiters are getting desperate.

I realize that these links point to a partisan weblog, but if you ignore
his editorializing, he provides lenthy excerpts from mainstream papers:

* http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2005/04/no-iraq-for-you.html
* http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2005/03/join-what.html

--
------> Elisabeth Riba * http://www.osmond-riba.org/lis/ <------
"[She] is one of the secret masters of the world: a librarian.
They control information. Don't ever piss one off."
- Spider Robinson, "Callahan Touch"

Rob Wynne

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 6:33:46 PM4/5/05
to
tu...@yahoo.com wrote:
> I will, however, point out, a couple of errors in today's
>(5apr05)strip.
> You almost certainly do need a high school diploma to enlist and
>any recruiter worth his badge would say that up front. Although waivers
>are possible they're very limited. A recruiter friend told me that
>there's actually a cap on the number of non-graduates that are
>allowed to enlist in any given year and also that recruiters don't
>like non-grads because they don't count toward their monthly quota.
> As far as the drug question goes no recruiter I know would have
>avoided the issue by pretending to not hear the question. Having
>experimented with drug use is not an automatic disqualifier (I'm
>living proof of that), but a record for selling or distribution pretty
>much is

You may find the following information helpful as you peruse the
newspaper in upcoming days. Pencils ready? Ok, here we go:

Doonesbury is satire, not a documentary.

Put that on a post it note nearby, and refer to it as needed.

-R :)

--
Rob Wynne / The Autographed Cat / d...@america.net
http://www.autographedcat.com/ / http://autographedcat.livejournal.com/
Gafilk 2006: Jan 6-8, 2006 -- Atlanta, GA -- http://www.gafilk.org/

J.D. Baldwin

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 7:05:53 PM4/5/05
to

In the previous article, Elisabeth Riba <l...@osmond-riba.org> wrote:
> I suspect that the current storyline is going to focus on recent
> news articles that the Army is way Way WAY below recruitment quotas
> this year, and that recruiters are getting desperate.

I hadn't heard that. I'll take your word for it about the Army, but I
happen to know that the Navy, Marines and USAF are actually turning
away basically qualified enlisted recruits at the moment. For the
Navy, end-of-first-enlistment retention in the Navy and Marines is
rather above average, and officer retention is very good. I wonder
what the Army's problem is? It's not like the Marines haven't taken
well-publicized casualties in Iraq, so that can't be the whole story.

Mike Peterson

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 8:14:35 PM4/5/05
to
J.D. Baldwin wrote:
> In the previous article, Elisabeth Riba <l...@osmond-riba.org> wrote:
>
>>I suspect that the current storyline is going to focus on recent
>>news articles that the Army is way Way WAY below recruitment quotas
>>this year, and that recruiters are getting desperate.
>
>
> I hadn't heard that. I'll take your word for it about the Army, but I
> happen to know that the Navy, Marines and USAF are actually turning
> away basically qualified enlisted recruits at the moment. For the
> Navy, end-of-first-enlistment retention in the Navy and Marines is
> rather above average, and officer retention is very good. I wonder
> what the Army's problem is? It's not like the Marines haven't taken
> well-publicized casualties in Iraq, so that can't be the whole story.

Here's a piece that backs up your remarks about who's hitting their
goals as well as touching on many other issues touched upon in this
thread, including the use of high-school dropouts.

<http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_recruit_040105,00.html>

J.D. Baldwin

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 9:48:14 PM4/5/05
to

In the previous article, Mike Peterson <pete...@SPAMnelliebly.org>
wrote:
> Here's a piece that backs up your remarks about who's hitting their
> goals as well as touching on many other issues touched upon in this
> thread, including the use of high-school dropouts.
>
> <http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_recruit_040105,00.html>

I have no reason to question its accuracy on the major points, but I
had to laugh at the military "expert" sociology professor who made his
point about the current manning situation by noting that "Even the
guards at West Point are civilian contractors." The guards at West
Point were civilian contractors when I first visited that institution
... during the Carter Administration.

Elisabeth Riba

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 9:52:24 PM4/5/05
to
One more news story that may prove relevant to the current storyline,
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-04-04-recruiters-parents_x.htm

Army, Marine recruiters shift focus to wary parents

The two branches are shifting from a strategy that focused first on
wooing potential recruits to one aimed at gaining the trust and
attention of their parents

Which fits right in with Mike's role in the start of the storyline.
Also, here's a way to bring B.D. back into play:

Among their initiatives ...
* A decision to pair Army recruiters with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans
on visits to the homes of potential recruits. The idea: Tell parents
"the Army story," says Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart.

Elisabeth Riba

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 10:18:36 PM4/5/05
to
J.D. Baldwin <INVALID...@example.com.invalid> wrote:
> I have no reason to question its accuracy on the major points, but I
> had to laugh at the military "expert" sociology professor who made his
> point about the current manning situation by noting that "Even the
> guards at West Point are civilian contractors." The guards at West
> Point were civilian contractors when I first visited that institution
> ... during the Carter Administration.

I wonder if the person was confused.
It just made the news that after 154 years, the Marines will no longer be
guarding the NAVAL ACADEMY and *that* will be replaced by rent-a-cops.

Registration required, I think:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.guards01apr01,1,7450478.story?coll=bal-local-headlines&ctrack=3&cset=true

Carl Fink

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 10:44:00 PM4/5/05
to
On 2005-04-05, J.D. Baldwin <INVALID...@example.com.invalid> wrote:

> I hadn't heard that. I'll take your word for it about the Army, but I
> happen to know that the Navy, Marines and USAF are actually turning
> away basically qualified enlisted recruits at the moment.

That's because they're legally required to reduce their manning.
Congress sets the size of the services, and the Navy and Air Force
are over their limits now and need to cut back.

ameijers

unread,
Apr 5, 2005, 11:00:09 PM4/5/05
to

"Elisabeth Riba" <l...@osmond-riba.org> wrote in message
news:d2vgts$6qd$1...@reader1.panix.com...

> J.D. Baldwin <INVALID...@example.com.invalid> wrote:
> > I have no reason to question its accuracy on the major points, but I
> > had to laugh at the military "expert" sociology professor who made his
> > point about the current manning situation by noting that "Even the
> > guards at West Point are civilian contractors." The guards at West
> > Point were civilian contractors when I first visited that institution
> > ... during the Carter Administration.
>
> I wonder if the person was confused.
> It just made the news that after 154 years, the Marines will no longer be
> guarding the NAVAL ACADEMY and *that* will be replaced by rent-a-cops.
>
Eh, no biggy to anyone that has occasion to visit miltary bases on a
(semi)regular basis. Most bases that aren't hard-core closed (limited
access) bases or historical/touristy locations switched to rentacops and/or
Defense Protective Service years ago, at least for day shift and/or
non-alert conditions. Often hard to tell the difference, since MPs have
been driving civilian-style cop cars with 'police' and '911' on the side for
years. Last trip I had to Wright-Patt a few years ago, they were doing a
lockdown exercise, and the gate was manned by Real APs in BDUs and body
armor, carrying M-16s. That was an attention getter. (Still can't get used
to buzz-cut armed kids calling me 'sir', over-the-hill bearded long-hair
hippie scum that I am.)

aem sends....

J.D. Baldwin

unread,
Apr 6, 2005, 7:43:33 AM4/6/05
to

In the previous article, Elisabeth Riba <l...@osmond-riba.org> wrote,

quoting me:
> > I have no reason to question its accuracy on the major points, but I
> > had to laugh at the military "expert" sociology professor who made
> > his point about the current manning situation by noting that "Even
> > the guards at West Point are civilian contractors." The guards at
> > West Point were civilian contractors when I first visited that
> > institution ... during the Carter Administration.
>
> I wonder if the person was confused.
> It just made the news that after 154 years, the Marines will no
> longer be guarding the NAVAL ACADEMY and *that* will be replaced by
> rent-a-cops.

While Marines have been the ones standing at the gates for show, the
actual "security" forces there have been rent-a-cops ("jimmylegs," as
the middies call them), also at least since the Carter Administration.

nancy13g

unread,
Apr 6, 2005, 7:46:49 AM4/6/05
to
After reading today's strip (06 Apr) I'm betting that it's not Alex,
but the friend who's there with her, who winds up enlisting. That would
give us the potential for some interesting storylines without putting
one of the regulars in a life-threatening situation.

(btw, do we know who that friend is with Alex, or is she new? I'm only
a sporadic reader of the strip and don't always know everyone who
appears in it.)

nancy g
/works with Army Reserve soldiers, still not used to all those little
whippersnappers calling me "ma'am".

Mike Peterson

unread,
Apr 6, 2005, 8:10:13 AM4/6/05
to
nancy13g wrote:
> After reading today's strip (06 Apr) I'm betting that it's not Alex,
> but the friend who's there with her, who winds up enlisting. That would
> give us the potential for some interesting storylines without putting
> one of the regulars in a life-threatening situation.

Possibly so, but I don't think the issue on this thread is likely to be
life-threatening so much as on-going, so that, if Alex enlists, it takes
her out of the house and spells an end to the father/daughter issues she
and Mike have been able to exploit. With Jeff Redfern also grown and
gone, this would cut off an entire avenue of commentary, unless BD and
Boopsie's daughter is old enough to pick up the role and I think she's
too much of a little kid.

>
> (btw, do we know who that friend is with Alex, or is she new? I'm only
> a sporadic reader of the strip and don't always know everyone who
> appears in it.)

I think she is "Generic Friend," but if I were Trudeau, I would consider
beefing up her role rather than either abandoning the possibilities of
watching a kid go through boot camp, etc., or tying up Alex (who also
might provide too much of a granola version of Private Benjamin, though
that does have comedic potential.)

>
> nancy g
> /works with Army Reserve soldiers, still not used to all those little
> whippersnappers calling me "ma'am".

I remember being about 10 or 11 and getting a flat tire by Fort Drum
while with my mother. I didn't think the lieutenant who stopped to help
us out was particularly young, but she sure did. "Your father was a
lieutenant. And we were grown-ups. At least I thought we were."

That was quite a few years ago and I am well aware today of what she
meant, though it was highly theoretical to me back then.

Dann

unread,
Apr 6, 2005, 10:37:47 AM4/6/05
to
The brain droppings of Elisabeth Riba were posted in
news:d2vfco$j8l$1...@reader1.panix.com on 05 Apr 2005:

> One more news story that may prove relevant to the current storyline,
> http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-04-04-recruiters-parents_x
> .htm

<snip>


>
> Among their initiatives ...
> * A decision to pair Army recruiters with Iraq and Afghanistan
> veterans
> on visits to the homes of potential recruits. The idea: Tell
> parents "the Army story," says Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela
> Hart.
>

Which wouldn't be necessary of the media was interested in reporting ALL
of the news that is fit to print......

--
Regards,
Dann deto...@hotmail.com
Blogging at: http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm

Aibohphobia (n.): The fear of palindromes.

Dann

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Apr 6, 2005, 10:47:50 AM4/6/05
to
The brain droppings of Ted Kerin were posted in
news:d2uba...@news2.newsguy.com on 05 Apr 2005:

> "Dann" <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns962EAD64499E8d...@198.109.197.10...
>> The brain droppings of Ted Kerin were posted in
>> news:d2rna...@news3.newsguy.com on 04 Apr 2005:
>>

<snip>


>> > "Career path" as what? Cannon fodder?
>>
>> Which clearly shows a lack of understanding of our current military.
>> Even the Army has evolved somewhat from the cannon fodder mentality.
>
> It was a harsh term to use, and unkind to the brave and honorable
> individuals whose sense of honor and duty have been, in my opinion,
> sadly abused by certain politicans. I meant it in that context
> (describing politians' current use of the military, not describing the
> military itself), but it was so clearly open to misunderstanding that
> I shouldn't have said it. You were right to call me on it.

And judging by your response, you are a decent person with honorable
objectives.

<snip>


>> 2. It's easy to hate Hitler. He was awful and he's dead. Got a
>> list of living threats in mind??
>
> Short answer: Osama yes, Saddam no. Both are awful and alive, but only
> one of them attacked the USA. There are lots of Americans like me who
> approved of invading Afghanistan, but not Iraq. The world is full of
> awful dictators -- most countries, to various degrees, are run by
> despots. So, while nobody misses Saddam, this just isn't a good enough
> reason to launch a war and sacrifice lives of good Americans.

Which makes this a bit harder.

Respectfully, I disagree. I think that you are viewing this conflict
through partisan lenses. I ought to know as I've done enough of it
myself over the years.

I understand the dislike for Mr. Bush. He isn't my first choice for much
of anything. I disliked his predecessor quite a bit more.

So again, I understand the feelings involved.

[snip rant that is getting old anyway]

I just hope that when things swing back the other way [and they will],
those that defended Mr. Clinton and protested Mr. Bush will recall these
days and perhaps offer a better example in the future.

I also hope that the those in the reverse position are similarly obliged.

Mechanical Engineers build weapons; Civil Engineers build targets.

KWBrown

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Apr 6, 2005, 10:29:36 AM4/6/05
to
Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns963063C5C6075d...@198.109.197.10:

> I just hope that when things swing back the other way [and they will],
> those that defended Mr. Clinton and protested Mr. Bush will recall
> these days and perhaps offer a better example in the future.
>
> I also hope that the those in the reverse position are similarly
> obliged.

You know, that's the handsomest thing I've come across in a long time. Our
political stances are far, far, apart, and I'm afraid that I've come to
react too reflexively to the points-of-view of Bush supporters:

But you're right.

I desperately hope that each swing of the pendulum can reduce amplitude and
bring more and more civilized debate and discourse.

Perhaps we can, as individuals, attempt to over-ride the shrill shrieking
of the media around us and damp the hysteria that is only making the
divides in our society deeper.

--
Kate
and Storm the FCR
arfenarf at hotmail dot com

J.D. Baldwin

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Apr 6, 2005, 10:41:57 AM4/6/05
to

In the previous article, Larry Palletti <pall...@comKILLcast.net>
wrote:

> Don't get me wrong. I've bitched about Army recruiters for a very
> long time. I wrote a column about it for my newspaper more than 15
> years ago. "Army. It's not just a job. It's your ass." But
> dishonesty in recruiting isn't only a military problem. It's just
> the way things are done, evidently.

That's basically it. My impression is that military recruiters are
probably *more* honest about The Way Things Are than their
counterparts in other walks of life, but as you note, that's not a
very high bar to meet.

J.D. Baldwin

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Apr 6, 2005, 10:57:09 AM4/6/05
to

In the previous article, Carl Fink <ca...@dm.net> wrote, quoting me:

> > I hadn't heard that. I'll take your word for it about the Army, but
> > I happen to know that the Navy, Marines and USAF are actually
> > turning away basically qualified enlisted recruits at the moment.
>
> That's because they're legally required to reduce their manning.
> Congress sets the size of the services, and the Navy and Air Force
> are over their limits now and need to cut back.

That of course is a consequence of the excellent retention stats I
mentioned. Despite the fact that those pushing a certain political
agenda would like to tell you differently, morale in the Navy and
Marine Corps is at a high not seen since the Reagan years. Retention
numbers in the Army really aren't at all bad, though I don't have
anyone telling me what the general mood in that service is. (I doubt
it's all that great, but I also doubt it's as bad as some people would
have us believe.)

And even apart from this, the absolute numbers are still pretty damn
good for Navy/Marines as compared to the Army, if taken in recent
historical context, so it's not as if the recruitment targets are all
*that* low for those services.

Mike Peterson

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Apr 6, 2005, 1:18:17 PM4/6/05
to
J.D. Baldwin wrote:
> In the previous article, Larry Palletti <pall...@comKILLcast.net>
> wrote:
>
>>Don't get me wrong. I've bitched about Army recruiters for a very
>>long time. I wrote a column about it for my newspaper more than 15
>>years ago. "Army. It's not just a job. It's your ass." But
>>dishonesty in recruiting isn't only a military problem. It's just
>>the way things are done, evidently.
>
>
> That's basically it. My impression is that military recruiters are
> probably *more* honest about The Way Things Are than their
> counterparts in other walks of life, but as you note, that's not a
> very high bar to meet.

Compared to the guy lining up kids to go to strange towns and sell
magazines door-to-door, certainly. Compared to the guy hiring burger
flippers, probably. But this is a career-style commitment, you can't
just quit and it does, indeed, involve serious risks. I think they need
to be held to a higher standard and compared, say, to the person hiring
reporters or machinists or nurses.

At that stage, I'd have to say that giving a kid a verbal "guarantee" of
A-school in a particular specialty and then letting him step off the bus
into boot camp with nothing to keep his ass out of the mud is patently
dishonest.

Perhaps that has stopped over the past decade, but it was happening in
1990. My kid made his A-school by impressing his chief in basic and
getting one of two recommendations the guy could hand out, not because
the recruiter in Boston told him that he was sure to make it. He was one
spit-shine away from being a swabbie. Would he have been okay? Sure,
yeah. But he signed up for something specific and was told that, while
they couldn't actually put it in writing, he was certainly going to get it.

That was a lie, and not one he could readily walk away from.

Dann

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Apr 6, 2005, 2:59:24 PM4/6/05
to
The brain droppings of KWBrown were posted in
news:Xns96304C4BFD78Aa...@130.133.1.4 on 06 Apr 2005:

> Dann <deto...@hotmail.com> wrote in
> news:Xns963063C5C6075d...@198.109.197.10:
>
>> I just hope that when things swing back the other way [and they
>> will], those that defended Mr. Clinton and protested Mr. Bush will
>> recall these days and perhaps offer a better example in the future.
>>
>> I also hope that the those in the reverse position are similarly
>> obliged.
>
> You know, that's the handsomest thing I've come across in a long time.

It's kind of you to say so.

> Our political stances are far, far, apart, and I'm afraid that I've
> come to react too reflexively to the points-of-view of Bush
> supporters:

Unless you want to institute comrade Stalin's utopian vision across the
world, I doubt that we are as far apart as you imply. Negotiation
between all points of view (comrade Stalin aside, please) generally
results in a solution that works reasonably well and that most everyone
can live with.

>
> Perhaps we can, as individuals, attempt to over-ride the shrill
> shrieking of the media around us and damp the hysteria that is only
> making the divides in our society deeper.
>

At the very least, I try not to be part of the problem and at least
understand enough of the proposed solutions so as to make a reasonably
informed choice. I wasn't always that way. Perhaps we could all work to
change ourselves for the better and our neighbors get the benefit??

Again, thanks for your kind words.

300,000 m/sec. It's not just a good idea, it's the Law.

James Nicoll

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Apr 6, 2005, 2:19:25 PM4/6/05