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Student Privacy and the Military in Connecticut: Don't Let SB 423 Die!

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The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy -

 Student Privacy and the Military in Connecticut  Don't Let SB 423 Die!The military in Connecticut's General Assembly influence runs counter to the sensibilities and civil liberties of the citizens of the Constitution State. Apparently the Department of Defense has such clout few have the courage or political will to oppose it. This is not what democracy looks like.

On Thursday SB 423, "An Act Concerning Student Privacy and the Administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery" was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs for legislative death. Co-Chair Jack Hennessy (127th Assembly District - Bridgeport) has "serious reservations" regarding the bill. How odd it is that legislation designed to protect the privacy of Connecticut High School children should be re-routed through the Committee on Veterans' Affairs!

A child can go to school in Connecticut, be tested by the Pentagon, and have tests results, detailed demographic information and social security numbers released to recruiters without parental consent or knowledge.

Information gathered as a result of the administration of the ASVAB is the only information leaving Connecticut's schools about children without providing for parental consent. SB 423 would change that. The members of the Education Committee overwhelmingly thought it was a good bill, but Jack Hennessy has serious reservations. How does this work, exactly?

The ASVAB is the military's entrance exam that is given to fresh recruits to determine their aptitude for various military occupations. The test is also used as a recruiting tool in 106 high schools in Connecticut and nearly 12,000 across the country. The 3-hour test is used by the US Military Entrance Processing Command to gain sensitive, personal information on 3,750 Connecticut kids and 660,000 high school students across the country every year, the vast majority of whom are under the age of 18.

According to military regulations the primary purpose of the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Batter) is to provide military recruiters "with a source of leads of high school juniors and seniors."

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Education Alert: Military Teaches Our Kids

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Flickr/U.S. Army RDECOMThere’s a saying in the Army recruiting community: “First to contact, first to contract.” In the United States, you have to be at least 17 years old to enlist in the armed forces. But, according to those who make a living tracking students’ feelings about the military, it would be pure folly not to start before then. Enter public education. In 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, the Department of Defense (DoD) was administering more than a dozen different programs and spending close to $50 million on K–12 outreach targeting the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

As school budgets continue to be decimated, it can be hard for some educators to turn down free STEM education. “The Pentagon has money,” as Corey Mead puts it in his book War Play, “and our public schools are starved for funds.” In their enthusiasm for Pentagon-supported STEM initiatives, educators can forget to check whether there are other motives besides spurring a love of science in the young. In fact, by avoiding the “recruitment” label, the military is able to use STEM education as a Trojan horse to gain access to students and plant the seeds for eventual recruitment.

Militarizing the STEM Curriculum

One of the DoD’s largest K–12 programs is the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), which consists of at least nine distinct STEM educational programs. During the 2011–12 academic year, the AEOP reached nearly 53,000 students. John Parmentola, Army director of research and laboratory management, says that one of the AEOP’s goals is to encourage youth so that “someday some of them may decide to work in an Army laboratory or join the Army with an understanding of how technical fields support the Army’s mission.”

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Passing the Torch, at Last: Finding a New Generation of Anti-War Activists

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William T. Hathaway -

Not your soldierThe following is an excerpt from the book, Radical Peace: People Refusing War, by William Hathaway. It is a collection of reports from antiwar activists who share true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. This chapter was contributed by a "Granny for Peace," who tells of finding young allies in the struggle against military recruiting. Due to the PATRIOT Act, she wishes to remain nameless.

I grew up in the 1950s, when the USA was very conservative and bound by traditions. My parents' generation had grown up in the Depression amid poverty and then struggled through World War Two with its threat of death and destruction. By the time they were ready to start families, they were fixated on stability and security. They measured their progress by their possessions: buying their first car, first television, and first house. Their morality centered on controlling sexuality and protecting private property. Their religion was a death cult of stern patriarchs, obedient virgins, innocent babies, and threats of eternal torture. Their deepest philosophy was, "There is no free lunch." The peak of their scientific achievement was the hydrogen bomb. Fear was their strongest emotion.

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In Chicago schools' Junior ROTC programs, some see a troubling trend

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Matthew Kovac -

From left: Yasmin Nair, Jesus Palafox and Owen Daniel-McCarter. Photo by Carrie MaxwellBeate Medina was returning home from walking her dogs one evening in May 2004 when she saw two Army officers standing at her door. The sight did not immediately register. Uniformed officers are a common sight at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii, where her husband’s division was based, and their street was being renumbered. She thought they had the wrong house.

It was not the wrong house. Staff Sgt. Oscar Vargas-Medina, a 32-year-old construction equipment repairman with the 84th Engineer Battalion, had been killed along with another soldier when their convoy was attacked in Al Amarah, Iraq.

In the days that followed, Medina could not sleep; time as a concept ceased to exist. “It was like I was in a fog,” she said.

Born in Cali, Colombia, Vargas-Medina grew up in Chicago and attended Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School, where he was a member of the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. When he went on to join the Army in 1992, Medina said he was likely thinking about how to provide for his first wife and their young son.

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Play virtual war as much as you like, but don’t shoot at the Red Cross!

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Permanent Observatory on Small Arms, Security and Defence Policies (OPAL) -

(See article of origin from International Red Cross below Notes on this Press Release by OPAL)

NPR: A gamer plays a war game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in June. The ICRC wants war games to spread understanding of the rules of armed conflict.The Permanent Observatory on Small Arms, Security and Defence Policies of Brescia (Italy) considers “inappropriate and counterproductive” the initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to cooperate with companies that develop and produce video games reproducing real-war situations to introduce into such video games the rules of war and international humanitarian law.

A recent statement released by the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report s that “The ICRC has started working with video game developers, so that video game players face the same dilemmas as real soldier”. 1

"Not only does this legitimise the use and dissemination of these video games but, paradoxically, it contributes to making them even more realistic, thus creating a dangerous affinity between the game an d reality» - says the Permanent Observatory on Small Arms (OPAL) based in Brescia.

"We acknowledge – continues the statement of OPAL – that today these video games have a global circulation and we understand the need to find ways of avoiding that they may further promote a notion of war as an indiscriminate reality. But we believe that the effort to include the rules of war so as to make these video games “closer to reality” 2 is artificial and, above all, counterproductive".

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) , after releasing last year a paper 3 on the relationship between “video games and humanitarian norms”, has decided to collaborate with developers of video games that simulate real situations of war. “The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – reports the statement released by the ICRC – has publicly stated its interest in the implications of video games that simulate real-war situations and the opportunities such games present for spreading knowledge of the law of armed conflict”. “However – the statements notes – the ICRC is not involved in the debate about the level of violence in video games”.

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The Military’s View of Counter-recruitment

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Seth Kershner -

The New Yorkers' Guide to Military Recruitment in the 5 BoroughsOver the past few years, my colleague Scott Harding and I have been chronicling the counter-recruitment movement from the perspective of activists. In this article, I’ll take a different approach and focus on counter-recruitment as viewed by military recruiters. Although it takes a bit of work to find out what they think, military recruiters’ candid views on counter-recruitment reveal that many are concerned at the success of activist campaigns. There’s a strategic advantage to knowing where military recruiters’ vulnerabilities lie, for they give us a peek at the soft underbelly of the all-volunteer force and may suggest areas where counter-recruiters could focus more of their resources. And when military officers spend the time to write reports investigating counter-recruitment — even naming specific groups like Project YANO — activists should consider this a badge of honor. You’re rattling their cage a bit, forcing recruiters to regroup and rethink their strategy. Even though they’ve got all the money and power in this lopsided struggle, you’re getting into their heads.

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Henry Giroux on the Militarization of Public Pedagogy

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by Seth Kershner -

Critique is Not Enough

Critique is not enoughAs a counterpoint to the current hand-wringing over public education in the U.S., it may be helpful to remember that we will spend a comparatively small amount of time during our lives as students in the classroom.  That the focus thus far has been on teachers and tests should not surprise us, however.  These are tangible, and measurable, aspects of education.  It happens to be much harder to reform – or even to keep track of – the educational force of culture. What does that force look like?  As C. Wright Mills put it in his famous BBC address, “The Cultural Apparatus,” we base our understanding of the world around us not only on schools but also on “the observation posts, the interpretation centers” and “presentation depots” of the mass media and entertainment industry (Mills 406).  “Taken as a whole,” Mills continued, “the cultural apparatus is the lens of mankind through which men see; the medium by which they interpret and report what they see” (Mills 406).  The media’s overpowering influence in our lives and the fact that we never actually confront pristine reality (only a mediated version thereof), raises the question: Could the cultural apparatus be the most influential teacher we ever have?

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Sustainable Options for Youth: First Fall Visit to Austin High School

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Jeff Webster and Susan Van Haitsma -

Ben and Tami at SOY tableLast week, we made our first SOY visit of the new school year to Austin High School.  Tami and I were pleased to be joined by Ben, a Marine Corps veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War who recently moved to Austin.  While Ben was a student at the University of North Texas, he did organizing with Rising Tide North America, an environmental group addressing fracking and the tar sands pipeline.  It was great to have Ben with us and to be able to stretch out our table of materials so that 3 of us could interact with students.  Photos at

Here are our takes on the day:

From Ben:

Tabling with SOY was a great perspective-building experience for me.  Over 12 years ago, while I was a junior, I remember speaking with a Marine recruiter and a former classmate who had just finished boot camp at my high school, after I had already made the decision to enlist.  It was empowering to come back into that situation now as a veteran for peace and have the opportunity to share my perspective now, having seen the reality of war, with a new generation of kids growing up in a country engaged in permanent war.  War affects everyone, abroad and at home, and the economic draft is alive and well in our schools.  I was honored to have the chance to help kids find a more peaceful and rewarding path coming out of high school.  This is important work, and I hope to see it continue to grow in Austin.
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2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruiting and School De-militarization Organizing

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Download the 2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruiting and School Demilitarizion OrganizingAugust 31, 2013--The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth announces today the public release of the 2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Organizing. Released at the start of the fall 2013 school year, this kit is designed to provide community activists, concerned teachers, parents, and students, an up-to-date catalog of materials to counter the increasing efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense to militarize our youth in the public schools.

The 2013 Back-to-school Kit includes material organized in the categories of Counterrecruitment, Non-military Career, College and Service Alternatives, Gender and the Military, JROTC, Delayed Entry Program (DEP), and Privacy issues including Student  Opt Out and ASVAB testing.

A task force of the NNOMY steering committee, including Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project, and Orange County Military Families Speak Out, organized this kit to ensure that activists have current material that can be used in schools according to equal access legal standards. Additionally, some items are specially marked to indicate if they have content that is not optimized for what the federal courts have allowed but are included in the catalog for other special purposes.

It is the hope of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth that concerned teachers and guidance counselors, students, parents, enlisted personnel and veterans, and community activists will use the 2013 Backto-school Kit for Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Organizing to do effective counter-recruiting in their local schools and to encourage youths to consider  alternatives to military service before signing a military enlistment agreement.

Find out more about HERE | Download PDF | Facebook Page

Marquette and ROTC: an unholy alliance

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Daniel C. Maguire -

PROFESSOR DANIEL C. MAGUIREAt Marquette University, there are two contradictory schools of thought on war and both are — confusingly — taught to our students. One is based on the Judeo-Christian, Catholic, Jesuit moral tradition, and it is encapsulated in what is called "the Catholic just war theory." That theory puts the burden of proof on the warrior, not on the conscientious objector.

The theory states several conditions that must be met for a war to be called "justifiable." If a single condition is violated, the war is unjust and is nothing more than collective murder. As a purveyor of this Catholic "just war theory," the Jesuit John Courtney Murray said that there is no time when citizens should be more vocal than when their government is killing people in their name.

The other school of thought taught at Marquette is called the ROTC. ROTC does not accept or include in its independent curriculum the "Catholic just war theory," which defends the right of "selective conscientious objection to particular wars" for soldiers. Neither does its curriculum require course work on the biblical teaching of peace-making.

ROTC students are taught exactly what American law says, i.e., that when you swear into military service, you have surrendered your right to have moral objections to any war to which you are assigned. ROTC students are taught that the undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which claimed more than the population of Milwaukee in lost and displaced lives, are beyond the criticisms of "the Catholic just war theory."

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Direct Action against Militarism

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Owen Everett - Based on a piece by Cecil Arndt

N.E.A.T.In different countries, war and militarisation take on very different meanings and have different effects, depending not only on the presence or absence of direct acts of war but also on country's political, economic, and social circumstances, and its history and traditions. As these factors define not only to the types, levels, and effects of militarisation but also the ways in which it can be effectively resisted, the scope of this article is inevitably limited; it can only provide a Western, European, largely German perspective on the use of direct action to oppose the militarisation of youth, although it explores possibilities in other countries nonetheless.

Militarisation, in whatever form it takes, must be understood as always being directed at young people. The militarisation of youth relies not only on their direct recruitment into the armed forces, but on the widely growing intrusion of the military into the lives and minds of people of all ages. This intrusion influences individual daily routines, preferences and choices, as well as general perceptions. The common theme is the normalising of war and the military.

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Violence, USA

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The Warfare State and the Hardening of Everyday Life

Henry A. Giroux -

CorpoUSASince 9/11, the war on terror and the campaign for homeland security have increasingly mimicked the tactics of the enemies they sought to crush. Violence and punishment as both a media spectacle and a bone-crushing reality have become prominent and influential forces shaping U.S. society. As the boundaries between “the realms of war and civil life have collapsed,” social relations and the public services needed to make them viable have been increasingly privatized and militarized.1 The logic of profitability works its magic in channeling the public funding of warfare and organized violence into universities, market-based service providers, Hollywood cinema, cable television, and deregulated contractors. The metaphysics of war and associated forms of violence now creep into every aspect of U.S. society.

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NOTA: Este sitio se mantiene horas de audiencia de los Estados Unidos desde las 6:00 am hasta las 9:00 pm, hora del Pacífico.

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comixADICTO A LA GUERRA asume el militar más activa, poderosa y destructiva en el mundo. Cuenta la historia de las guerras extranjeras EE.UU. - de las guerras indias a las actuales guerras en Iraq y Afganistán - en formato cómic.

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Conéctese a jóvenes activistas contra el reclutamiento en todo el país. Echa un vistazo a DMZ: Una guía para tomar su Escuela de la vuelta de los militares de una guía de la organización de los estudiantes de secundaria interesados ​​en mantener a los militares fuera de nuestras escuelas. Ofrecemos talleres de venta libre contratación y capacitación para estudiantes, activistas y educadores sobre una base regular. Enviar para más información. A partir de Ya-Ya Network &
Liga de Resistentes a la Guerra.

Desmilitarizar: La vida y la tierra

FOR Life & LandThe Fellowship of Reconciliation persigue la visión de un mundo libre y "distensión" en la que los recursos de la Tierra sostienen la vida y promover el bienestar de todas las personas. Para ello, desafiamos la explotación económica, trabajamos para erradicar el racismo y la intolerancia religiosa, y llamamos la atención sobre la política exterior de EE.UU. imperialista. A medida que continuamos decir la verdad al poder, porque se involucra en un diálogo interreligioso en curso para cambiar el inconsciente colectivo de una cultura militar basada en el miedo a una comunidad mundial pacífica basada en la fe y la justicia no violenta. Al comienzo de 2011, pusimos en marcha una serie de proyectos, campañas y colaboraciones a desmilitarizar la vida y de la tierra en las Américas y el Medio Oriente.

Infórmese antes de ir, porque no hay ningún botón de reinicio

wrl_yaya_pampletInfórmese antes de ir, porque no hay ningún botón de reinicio es una colaboración con la Red de Ya-Ya (Jóvenes Aliados activistas-jóvenes), un joven de color led organización antimilitarista con sede en Nueva York.

Nuestro folleto rompe el contrato de alistamiento y la vida en el ejército y le ofrece nuevas estadísticas sobre asalto sexual en las disparidades raciales en los militares, convirtiéndose en un oficial y stop-loss.

Escrito para ser accesible a todo el mundo al tiempo que proporciona la información más importante para tomar una decisión informada acerca de unirse a las fuerzas armadas, este documento será un elemento básico para la contra-reclutadores.

Disponible en Liga de Resistentes a la Guerra

Hollywood Guerra: Cómo censores del Pentágono el Cine

¿Está pensando en unirse al Ejército de los EE.UU. para obtener la ciudadanía?

destinada a los no ciudadanos que quieran unirse a las fuerzas armadas para beneficios de inmigración, para que sepan lo que ser conscientes de la inmigración-sabio antes de acercarse a un reclutador.
Tamaño de impresión: 8 ½ x 14 (doble cara)
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