Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To BeyondChron, the Pentagon is the enemy

Beyond Chron on JROTC:

The JROTC troops will also be there to support Ma's AB 223, which would have the state legislature require San Francisco to keep the JROTC program in our schools, a clear violation of every precedent about local control of education. Should Ma's bill become law, San Francisco will be the only city in the country that is required by law to hand over its 14 and 15 year old students to the Pentagon's favorite military recruitment program.

Speaking of local control, city voters passed Prop. V last November in favor of retaining JROTC in city schools. Note that the assumption of the BeyondChron piece is that the Pentagon is an alien force. According to the author, there is not even the possibility that serving in the US military is patriotic or has anything to do with defending the country.

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9 Comments:

At 11:47 AM, Blogger missiondweller said...

Re JROTC: The students want it, the parents want it, San Franciscans voted in favor of it. Why are a minority holding this voluntary program hostage? This is PC fascism. "We'll tell you how to think"

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, and the underlying assumption is that those who are now serving or have served in the past are dupes and cannon fodder. 9/11 should have shown us all that we have real enemies that want to kill us and destroy our country, but the left thinks that the United States is the enemy, not al Qaeda and the Taliban.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

I did not think it possible for you to find new ground, but yes that comment is perhaps the dumbest thing you have ever written.

Like you have ever personally contributed to the United States in any meaningful way Rob. Slacker.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If you think the comment is dumb, you moron, why not address it directly with an argument? This blog is not about me, unlike your narcissistic blogs: "I rode my bike here, and then I rode my bike there."

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

If you think this war is about a bunch of tribesmen who managed to hack up a fairly uncomplicated plot to hijack some planes, you're nuts.

And if you think I think the US is the enemy because I believe that, your even more nuts.

A bunch of guys with some guns and camels hatched a fairly uncomplicated plan and pulled a fast one on us. The war we are currently in is not the solution - it is only creating MORE enemies, and lining the pockets of a lot of already very wealthy Americans, meanwhile you will soon be paying more for your MUNI Pass and getting half the service in the deal.

Criticizing the government is not sedition. If this were true - you would be in jail for disrupting the bike plan. I think you're a complete tool for your lawsuit but I defend your right to bring it.

I don't think I really personify "The Left" but "The Left" does not think "The United States" is the enemy. The very nature of this country is that you are allowed - nay encouraged - to disagree with someone, an attempt to silence such dissent is in and of itself anti-American. Ipso facto - your comment is anti-American.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Another reliably irrelevant comment from Murph, the bike nut with a reading disorder. What war are you talking about? The post isn't about a specific war but about how the city's left views the Pentagon and our country's military, which is why they oppose JROTC in city schools. I wasn't talking about "sedition" or even anti-Americanism. Lefties do of course have a perfect right to view their country as the enemy of humanity (see Noam Chomsky, the collected works of). The left hates the idea that many city school kids find JROTC useful; they hate even more the idea that a single young person in SF could be "recruited" to serve in the US military. Now, why is that, Murph?

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

you asked me to address your comment.

"but the left thinks that the United States is the enemy"

you then follow up with...

I wasn't talking about "sedition" or even anti-Americanism.

You imply that "the left" thinks the United States is the enemy. It's reasonable to put that in the bin of anti-americanism. You are the one who drug this comment thread into the muck, not me. The post on JROTC has nothing to do with 9/11, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, so spare us the Rudy Guiliani impressions. And since you mentioned those three - it's pretty obvious what war I refer to - the one you brought into play.

Back on point. I can't speak for the supervisors. My first repsonse to the threatened cancellation of JROTC was puzzlement - don't they have better fish to fry?

HOWEVER - In today's context. The Pentagon spends billions of dollars recruiting and training young people for the military. The SF School district is facing cuts.

I don't think JROTC is bad on it's face. It's an after school activity that is not substantially different than say, football. But maybe the SF School District shouldn't be using a piece of their finite dollars on JROTC when the Military should have those bases covered.

Given the choice of cutting JROTC and laying off a bunch of math and science teachers - to me the choice is clear, cut JROTC. Given the choice between cutting JROTC and cutting sports, drama, or band, cut JROTC. One missing piece of information - I have not done the research - is how much money the district spends on it. As far as I know the Army foots the bill. If they aren't, and they find it valuable, maybe they should. They might not want to - given that the majority of JROTC students in SF are just padding their resume to get into Berkeley and have no inclination to join the military (which sort of undercuts your argument that we need to have it to populate our officers corps).

I don't pretend to think that is Chris Daly's motivation to push for cutting JROTC. He probably just hates the military. Ditto the author in BeyondChron. That is - admittedly - a pretty over the top quote. But *you* then moved it into general hatred of the US.

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"My first repsonse to the threatened cancellation of JROTC was puzzlement - don't they have better fish to fry? HOWEVER---In today's context. The Pentagon spends billions of dollars recruiting and training young people for the military. The SF School district is facing cuts."

Okay, but that's not the main argument being used by JROTC opponents, which is that allowing the Pentagon-supported JROTC is by definition a Bad Thing and a possible form of recruitment, also a Bad Thing. I don't think it's seditious to hold such views, which are of course protected by the First Amendment. Let a thousand flowers bloom!

"They might not want to---given that the majority of JROTC students in SF are just padding their resume to get into Berkeley and have no inclination to join the military (which sort of undercuts your argument that we need to have it to populate our officers corps)."

I said nothing about populating our officer corps via JROTC. I just think it's wrong-headed to brand the country's military as some kind of nefarious influence. Students are using JROTC to pad their resumes to get into UC? That's a new one on me. Hard to believe that UC admissions sets much store in participation in JROTC. Regardless of the motivations of the kids who enroll in JROTC, the program was popular in a number of city high schools. So why pick a fight over the issue? The answer: the anti-war progs are trying to make an ideological point at the expense of the students.

Chris Daly has nothing to do with this issue, which is up to the school board to decide, though I'm sure he's on board for the ban.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

I think we are probably commenting through each other, not to each other - probably my fault. The only reason I jumped into this thread was the repeat of the whole "The left thinks the US is the enemy thing".

I don't know a lot about this issue because I mostly could give a rat's ass. It's an extracurricular activity and it's useful in the sense that it doesn't discriminate on talent as much as basketball or band would. And students want extracurriculars for their college applications. Those who are just padding their stats won't ever join the military, those who are gung ho would end up in the military anyway.

Though if the budget axe is coming down - JROTC should be pretty high on the endangered species list. Kids can join the military later - High School sports, band, drama, debate, not to mention math/science/English are best done in High School.

The School Board is a little out of whack on this one given what I've read (mostly in the last few minutes). Well, that's part of the charm of San Francisco I guess.

 

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