A Dec. 11 New York Times report highlighted how thousands of public high school students in majority poor, Black and Brown districts are funneled into the U.S. military’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Students are automatically enrolled and forced to participate as an explicit requirement without parental consent. Some high schools have saved money by using JROTC, which is ostensibly a feeder system for children to ultimately enlist in the military, as an alternative to hiring physical education or health teachers. (NY Times, Dec. 11)
In the drizzling rain, I yank up the military recruitment sign and throw it into the tall grasses on the side of the road. If anyone asks, I didn’t “destroy” government property. I merely relocated it. Think of me like a windstorm. A peace-loving, nonviolent windstorm countering military recruitment.
The one nation on Earth that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the leading hold-out on basic human rights treaties in general, and the wealthy nation that imposes the biggest hurdles on young people seeking an education has a reason that’s seldom talked about for making college expensive and keeping the chains of student debt wrapped tightly around millions of ankles — and it’s a reason related to the militarized spreading of the Rules Based Order.
I saw “Top Gun: Maverick” yesterday. It was absolutely horrible. The film sets a new standard for state-orchestrated, pro-military, mass indoctrination. Goebbels, chief propagandist for Hitler’s Nazi Party, would be in awe of the shiny death plane and the spotlights and the movie star in his tuxedo.
We don’t know what the long-term damage is of coronavirus in those who recover. We don’t know who will die among those who catch it. We do know that we each have a responsibility to avoid catching it and avoid spreading it. Here are some ways to do that.
The threat of nuclear apocalypse is higher than ever. The threat of irreversible climate collapse is higher than ever and massively contributed to by militarism. The trillions of dollars being dumped into militarism are desperately needed for actual defense against these dangers including spin-off catastrophes like coronavirus. But military jobs and weapons production jobs (producing weapons for dictatorships and so-called democracies around the world; the U.S. handles 80% of the globe’s foreign weapons sales) are being deemed “essential” and actually being boosted with more funding.
The fertility rate in the United States has been steadily falling, so much so that without immigration our population would be declining. This is the seventh straight year fertility rates have fallen. In 2017, the nationwide fertility rate was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age—well below the rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women necessary to keep the population stable. Only two states—South Dakota and Utah—had birth rates above replacement levels.
A poster at an Army recruiting office reveals: “You might die, or get your arms or legs blown off.” From a series of 8 antiwar comedy shorts shot in 2016 and 2017. Two of these did the festival circuit, winning 11 awards and being selected in 79 festivals.
Journalist Chris Hedges interview former combat veteran and US Army officer, Spenser Rapone about bravery and morality. The second lieutenant was given an “other than honorable” discharge June 18 after an Army investigation determined that he “went online to promote a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers” and thereby had engaged in “conduct unbecoming an officer.”
Boston teacher Nino Brown, of the ANSWER Coalition, speaks with TRNN’s Ben Norton about the links between US militarism, gun violence, and police brutality. He connects the epidemic of school shootings domestically to the endless wars internationally.
https://democracynow.org – Dozens of students who survived last week’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have arrived in Tallahassee to push for new gun control measures. On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives blocked a bid to bring up a bill to ban sales of assault-style rifles in the state. The Florida gunman, a 19-year-old white former student named Nikolas Cruz, was a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program before he was expelled from the school. Cruz was also part of a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school which had received $10,000 in funding from the NRA. For more, we speak with Pat Elder, director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in schools. He’s the author of Military Recruiting in the United States.
More than a hundred mothers have contacted me over the years, alarmed at the relationships their teenaged children were developing with military recruiters at school. They wanted to know what they could do about it. They were angry, and they were worried.