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Conversation with Rickover Cadets on Facebook

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Gary Ghirardi -

Chicago military acadamiesRarely do conditions line up like this for NNOMY but a recent article that appeared in Yahoo News about Rickover public military academy, in Chicago, that included an interview with Jesus Palafox from our steering committee, got posted as a promoted post on NNOMY's Facebook page and the cadets from the school converged on the posting with their group outrage. But a conversation took place. Below are a selection of student comments to the Yahoo article including my responses done as best as I could with available time in a series of a few days. The conversation from the student side reveals more about how the education and the thinking that is coming out of the new militarized public charter schools is forming young minds. The time of the Vietnamization of war is truly over and the voices in this program represent a new generation of militarized youth. For them, the military is again an adventure, and an opportunity where no other seems available. The instinct to challenge this type of path for their lives seems not present but rather a condemnation of their generation. It reminds me, in part, of the era of my own father during the Korean War.

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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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The Military Enlistment Opportunity Act: a New Kind of Draft?

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Rick Jahnkow -

Our friend Mr. Fish visits again!It’s well established that many people who join the U.S. military do so because of their economic status. It could be that they do not see options for a civilian job that pays a livable wage, they cannot afford health insurance, or they believe they’ll never be able to go to college without financial aid from the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Whether this belief is accurate or based on an individual’s limited awareness of alternatives, military recruiters are effective at exploiting economic predicament to meet their monthly quotas. Many of us refer to it as economic conscription or the “poverty draft.” It is the reason why counter-recruitment groups spend much of their time and energy gathering and distributing information on alternative sources for job training and college financial aid.

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War is a Crime Against Humanity: The Story of War Resisters' International

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René Wadlow (reviewer - Peace Magazine) -

War is a Crime against Humanity: The Story of The War Resisters' InternationalDevi Prasad, General Secretary of the War Resisters' International (WRI) in London from 1962 to 1972 and then chairman from 1972 to 1975, has written a useful study of the organization, highlighting the period in which he had direct responsibility. His history ends in 1975 when he passed on his chairmanship to Myrtle Solomon, who held the chair from 1975 to 1985.

This is an action-filled history of the 1960s until the end of the US war in Vietnam in 1975. It was only yesterday for some of us like myself who started protesting atomic-bomb testing around 1953. It is ancient history and unfamiliar territory for those who can not recall the heated debates over the concept of a "Third Camp" -- basically a force between the Soviet Union and the USA but with a humanistic philosophy which made it more than just "the non-aligned" -- presented by A.J. Muste at the WRI Triennial Conference in 1954.

In reading the history, I was struck by how long-serving was the secretariat and the officials. The book is dedicated to Herbert Rumham Brown who was General Secretary when the WRI was officially structured in 1926, then chairman until his death in 1949. Likewise, Grace Beaton, the administrative soul of the organization served from 1933 until 1956.

Like all organizational histories, it has more meaning for those in the organization or on its edge than for the activists who worked through other organizations. Unfortunately, Devi Prasad does not make the people in the movement come alive with descriptions of their character or their impact, even for those from India with whom he had worked before coming to the UK. Thus, if one wants to understand the character and role of the Indian socialist-pacifist Jayaprakash Narayan, one does better reading the book of another Prasad: Bimal Prasad Gandhi, Nehru, and J.P. (Delhi: Chamakya Publishers, 1985, 294pp).

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Lead contamination in the high schools from military marksmanship programs

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Pat Elder -

Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun ShootingThe Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun Shooting produced by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), 2013, is a misleading publication that may seriously jeopardize the health of millions of high school children and staff across the nation who may come into contact with lead particulate matter as a result of inadequate supervision and maintenance of indoor firing ranges.

The CMP provides mandatory training and curriculum to Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force JROTC Marksmanship Instructors.  The course covers how to safely and properly conduct air rifle live firing in the nation's high schools.

This CMP publication is based on dated and questionable science. It minimizes the health risks associated with indoor firing ranges using air rifles and pistols.

HET exhibited gross technical incompetence

Technical aspects of the CMP guide rely on the findings of Health & Environmental Technology LLC (HET), an environmental testing firm from Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The sole employee of HET is Mr. Robert Rodosevich. HET has come under scrutiny in Colorado for "gross technical incompetence in technical compliance."

HET was contracted last year by a listing Realtor to prepare a "Preliminary Assessment" of the degree of contamination of a house used as methamphetamine lab. HET came very close to giving the house a clean bill of health before properly licensed professionals were called in to conduct a thorough and legal evaluation of the highly contaminated residence.

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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 www.peaceoptions.blogspot.com

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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Counter-recruitment Related News

ADDICTED To WAR

comixADDICTED To WAR takes on the most active, powerful and destructive military in the world. It tells the history of U.S. foreign wars - from the Indian Wars to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - in a comic book format.

Get connected to youth counter recruitment activists all over the country. Check out DMZ: A Guide to Taking Your School Back from the Military an organizing guide for high school students interested in keeping the military out of our schools. We offer counter recruitment workshops and trainings for students, activists, and educators on a regular basis. Email wrl@warresisters.org for more information. From Ya-Ya Network & War Resisters League

Demilitarizing Life & Land

FOR Life & LandThe Fellowship of Reconciliation pursues a vision of a free and “demilitarized” world in which the Earth’s resources sustain life and promote the well-being of all people. To do so, we challenge economic exploitation, work to eradicate racism and religious intolerance, and call attention to imperialistic U.S. foreign policy. As we continue to speak truth to power, FOR engages in an ongoing interfaith dialogue to shift the collective unconscious from a fear-based military culture to a peaceful world community grounded in faith and nonviolent justice. At the start of 2011, we launched a series of projects, campaigns, and collaborations to demilitarize life and land in the Americas and the Middle East.

Know Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button

wrl_yaya_pampletKnow Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button is a collaboration with the Ya-Ya Network (Youth Activists-Youth Allies), a youth of color-led antimilitarist organization based in NYC.

Our leaflet breaks down the enlistment contract and life in the military and provides new stats about sexual assault in the military, racial disparities in becoming an officer, and stop-loss.

Written to be accessible to everyone while providing the most important info for making a fully informed choice about joining the military, this leaflet will be a staple for counter-recruiters.

See Details and Download

Available at War Resisters League

Hollywood Warfare: How the Pentagon Censors the Movies

Thinking of joining the U.S. Military to gain citizenship?

¿PENSANDO EN ALISTARTE PARA OBTENER LA CIUDADANÍA ESTADOUNIDENSE?"¿PIENSAS QUE EL ENROLARTE EN LAS FUERZAS ARMADAS TE GARANTIZA LA CIUDADANIA?"
intended for non-citizens looking to join the military for immigration benefits, to let them know what to be aware of immigration-wise before approaching a recruiter.
Print Size: 8½ x 14 (double sided)
(Designed to be printed with Spanish and English back-to-back)

Homepage: http://www.projectyano.org

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