Homeland Security charter school will train tomorrow's prison guards

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166 Responses to “Homeland Security charter school will train tomorrow's prison guards”

  1. dafoink says:

    from antinous:
    The things is that the children who go to vocational schools are usually the ones who failed academic subjects and commonly had disciplinary problems

    This is really a failing of our school system and leave no child behind. We have a school system which focuses on college bound kids. the ones who are “problemed” goto vocational. Most kids get left between the cracks (neither college bound or stuggling in college, and have no vocational skills)

  2. Takuan says:

    the CCPIRDB? Needs work.

    Real time is fine for those time-binding,sky-looking mammals. We of the chthonic persuasion can’t be having with that linear, cause-effect rubbish. In my day (epoch), we made do with with trans-dimensional simultaneous awareness. Great, massive thoughts can’t be turned like some nimble aircraft carrier.

  3. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    @152
    Like a slow cocktail party only serial instead of parallel & less broken glassware.

    And now I’m in two places at once which is seriously freaking out my elderly brain.

  4. Terry Karney says:

    Speaking of outed.

    Sister Y: I can’t speak to anyone else. I apologise as I see the need (it tends to make it easier to point to places I saw errors in judgement on my part, and is a handy defensive technique when I get really pissed, and don’t feel like apologising).

    For a number of reasons (some of which are related to knowing what Teresa has been dealing with) I felt responsible for some of how this went south.

    You may feel free to be as heteronormative as you like in my direction.

    Skullhunter: Point of information. I did stop reading your posts (save as they were otherwise quoted). That doesn’t mean I have dropped your name in the never read file; just that in this thread, on this topic; for all the reasons I gave, I stopped. I have no hard feelings. All in all you seem an intelligent fellow.

    Agent 86: You are too kind to me (I didn’t see any good way to mention that at the time, things were different then).

  5. arkizzle says:

    I went to that IRC channel that the younguns are talking about. They’re jabberin’ away over there in real time. You’ll have to check it out.

    I’ve seen the future, and it IRCs

  6. Jeff says:

    Antinous, we do not live in a kind world. I find there are more troubling things than the prospects of sending youth off to school to learn how to fight fires or whatever. We will not survive as a culture if we are weak. But I guess if a kid wants out all they have to do is say “I’m queer! I’m a big horney homo and I want out!” That should work.

  7. Antinous says:

    I thought you went to bed.

  8. Terry Karney says:

    Skullhunter (great name for someone arguing about reflexive violence) it’s clear you are speaking without any real knowledge of the subject.

    Tenn: You are conflating a number of things. ROE are tools for the use of weapons. Abu Ghraib was a circumstance where the ROE are no longer in play, and a different set of procedures are in place (see my comments about instutional problems; and systemic failures)

    I know a lot about Abu Ghraib. Interrogation, and teaching it, are what I do (just google my name, with interrogation, and/or torture. You can also use “pecunium” in that string. For some outside insight as to my credentials, you may ask Xopher, or Teresa Nielsen Hayden).

    There were a lot of problems at Abu Ghraib. I know a number of the people who were punished (not harshly enough, if you ask me). I am aware (but in now way which can be entered into evidence) of things which were swept under the rug.

    1: MPs have no business in dealing with prisoners in any capacity other than protecting them and keeping them in the correct locations.

    2: There were contract interrogators.

    3: There were non-army/military interrogations: being done in military facilities.

    4: Bullshit imported from the idiocy of Gitmo was appended to the procedures at Abu Ghraib.

    5: There was no oversight of the three different pieces of prisoner interaction (MP, OGA/contract interrogators, Army).

    6: There were too many prisoners.

    There are a lot of other things I could say, they would border on the ridiculously esoteric.

    Even accepting that Abi Ghraib wasn’t an abberation (which I will stipulate, for the purpose of this discussion), it was a small number of people (that doesn’t mean I think they were independent actors, the, “bad apple,” theory; so don’t try to argue I am making an apologia) it wasn’t widespread.

    And it had nothing to do with ROE, and the controls on the uses of force. In fact (because of all the things I just said) it can be argued the limited applications (limiting it, so far as is known to Abu Ghraib) supports the limits I said are built into the training.

  9. avar1ce says:

    I fail to see the issue here.

  10. Tenn says:

    We will not survive as a culture if we are weak.

    “We Germans are armed against weakness and decay, and the blows and misfortunes of the war only give us additional strength, firm resolve, and a spiritual and fighting activity to overcome difficulties and barriers with revolutionary elan.”

    Since Godwin’s law has already been invoked and all.

    Go tell someone who is proud to be serve their country how they have been trained to be good little Nazis and see what kind of response you get.

    There IS a difference, WeightedCompanionCube.

    These are children. 14-18 year olds. You want a group of people who will be subsumed into the war machine with no protest whatsoever and indeed delight and pride? Take the teenagers. We’re so desperate to fit in, to be a part of something better than ourselves, to have the group approve, that we’ll hurt ourselves and others doing it. Without a second thought.

    And continue doing it for the rest of our lives.

    Also- this high school will set a precedent. It’ll make a middle school reasonable. And then elementary.

    Rescue tactics, fine. Professional demolition and SWAT tactics? Why in hell for? Why can’t those things be learned as an adult, when you’re searching for those jobs? Rescue tactics are fantastic- they will help any civilian. SWAT tactics will only provide an opening for militarization of people too young to not mouth off in D-Hall. They’ll also allow the kid who thinks he knows everything since he took a few classes in school to try to be a hero in a situation the real SWAT should handle, and get himself and someone else killed.

  11. Ophuchus says:

    nothing more than a natzi youth training camp….when they get out… they will be cannon fodder for the rest of us

  12. Antinous says:

    I’m not saying this to pick a fight, but since you know the subject, you might as well address the Haditha killings.

  13. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Antinous, not only have I outed you as an assistant moderator, but you’re now mentioned in the moderation guidelines.

    Tenn @127: I promise I’ll tell you the story if there’s time.

    WeightedCompanionCube @130:

    Teresa – Who are the assistant moderators?

    At the moment? Avram Grumer and Antinous.

    I ask because, well, I don’t think I just speak for myself when I say this:

    You’ve received email?

    If someone disagees with me, and makes a good point, I’m inclined to listen.

    However, if someone just tells me to “shut up” and doesn’t give a reason, I’m going to ignore it.

    What this establishes is that you have exactly the same reaction as every other member of your species.

    Unless I know it’s a moderator. In which case I’ll know my opinion is uancceptable and go elsewhere.

    You’re getting miffed in advance at the mere idea that assistant moderators exist?

    Let’s look at this logically. Have you ever seen me tell someone to shut up? You have not. That’s because I know better. Telling people to shut up doesn’t work. If you don’t like what they’re doing in a thread, you can tell them to knock it off, leaving them the option of doing something else. You can remove or disemvowel their comments. You can argue with them. You can remove the commenter. But you can’t tell them to shut up, because it never results in them shutting up.

    If I can’t make you shut up, why worry about the assistant moderators?

    Moving on to your belief that having your behavior curbed necessarily means your opinion is unacceptable: that’s completely illogical. How many times now have you seen me intervene solely on the basis of behavior and language? Answer: lots.

    Are you under the impression that your behavior, language, and conduct of interactions are so perfect that you will never make a misstep? Do people who know you well frequently tell you that your judgement in such matters is unerring?

    If not, what makes you think that a moderator’s intervention has to mean your opinions are unwelcome? It’s an important question.

  14. Antinous says:

    He’s framing the world in simplistic black and white

    I thought that Skullhunter was being perfectly reasonable.

    Funny how that can be applied equally to groups like “voting public” as much as it can be applied to “people in the military”.

    Equating ballots with bullets is a cheap argument.

    But it’s probably easier to blame some group you don’t identify with

    Ultimately, the person with their finger on the trigger has to take responsibility for firing it or not.

  15. Terry Karney says:

    Sister Y. : Grossman has a couple of problems in his estimations of the causes of shell shock. It’s not the killing people. It’s the people trying to kill you. To get a trifle sterotypical, Grossman hasn’t seen the elephant, and I think he’s, unconciously, tailoring some of his interpretations of the data as a result.

    Reading SLA Marshall’s accounts of guys fresh out of the line is interesting, and (IMO, and this was before I went to Iraq) gives a better picture of how the progress of, Useless/clueless – experiences/confident – experienced/nervous – worn out/useless, goes.

    Killing people can lead to other forms of psychological strain (and the social strictures of one’s culture will afffect that, a lot. In a strongly, “people/outlander” culture, the killing of the outlander isn’t such a big deal. Add group dynamics and some pretty horrific things can be accepted as perfectly correct behavior. Look at lynchings in the US).

    Those people at the remove (pilots, artillerists, etc.) aren’t in danger constantly. The pilot is safe; when he’s not in the plane. The guy at the guns is, usually, miles behind the fighting.

    It’s not called, “trigger-shock” because the people who got it (when first diganosed) we reacting to being pounded (oftimes for days) by artillery.

    I never had to shoot anyone. So far as I know, no one tried to kill me retail. I do know that I was mal-adjusted for the non-war zone when I got back. Sometimes I revert.

    I do think the leap he makes about conditioning is poorly supported. I also think some of the assumptions which stem from the primary research (again, see SLA Marshall, from whence the oft-quoted, “only 15 percent of US soldiers shot at the enemy” comes) is confused.

    First, we can reasonably assert that the rates of fire were equivalent on both sides (otherwise the side with only one in seven firing would have lost, every time).

    Second (and this is the part which jumped at me when I read the book), we can’t assert the 15 percent who fired today, were the same 15 percent who fired yesterday, nor that they will be the same 15 percent who fire tomorrow.

    Soldiers don’t want to die. This is a large part of what leads to PTS, and to PTSD. So, if the fight seems to be going well, they may lie doggo. Why expose yourself when you don’t have to?

    But when they feel it’s a matter of personal survivial, they will fire. At some level we sublimate the group (in the form of squad, platoon, or even company; but rarely any unit larger than the company) for ourselves; which allows for some really selfless stupidities (Audie Murphy was asked why he did all the things he did tht day he earned his Medal of Honor, “They were shooting at my friends.” Or the accounts of Major Kelly, who was an medevac pilot in Vietnam; call sign, “Dust-off”, whose motto was, “Not without your wounded”).

    So I don’t think the newer training has made the people in the US Army more likely to shoot at people, just more likely to do it more often.

  16. Skullhunter says:

    Terry,

    I thank you for the compliment and feel likewise. That may just have been the problem, simple personality collision. At any rate, I seriously don’t think we’re on opposite sides here, just approaching problems from different directions. Cheers.

  17. arkizzle says:

    ..you mean there’s NO gay fire fighters?

    Wow, I never knew that..

    And: “We will not survive as a culture if we are weak

    *chuckle*

    I didn’t know people still talked like that.. What in the world does it mean in this context Jeff?

  18. Antinous says:

    Antinous, not only have I outed you as an assistant moderator, but you’re now mentioned in the moderation guidelines.

    Noted. And I hope that a polite request from anyone will be taken seriously, not just because it comes from a moderator.

  19. Tenn says:

    Terry,

    Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification on Abu Ghraib. It was a quick two word reply meant to convey the idea that the military is not infallible, and that ethics teachings often fail, as you explain, less than remarking on ROE at Abu Ghraib. I by no means disapprove of the military. I have many friends who are enlisted men and women, and I at one time (very recently) considered it a path for myself.

    I simply believe it’s very hard to police any institution like this, and when you have loyalty inbuilt to children, that there is likely to be less objection to a travesty such as Abu Ghraib.

    When I have more time, I will analyze what you’ve said more clearly; I much appreciate the information and will be sure to reevaluate my stand on the prison scandal.

  20. GregLondon says:

    ie. “Ha! I’d wager you haven’t done a single thing that inconvenienced your daily routine.” which of course if I answered in any fashion other than to agree with you, you’d no doubt claim I was lying.

    you can use all the smoke and mirrors you want, the simple fact is you didn’t answer the question. You’re all talk, Freddy. Words. Words. Words. Which is answer enough. You haven’t done squat in your whole life, and you sit and blame the world’s troubles on other people you’ve decided have a “lack of will” to fix things.

    Well at least this post was shorter than the others, do I at least make the grade there?

    You wound me, sir, with your razor sharp pixels. See how I bleed?

  21. Terry Karney says:

    Antinious: The short, and terribly unsatisfying answer: War zones are psycopathic, and shit happens.

    Flip, and callous and not at all helpful.

    Combat zones are insane. One learns to think in ways which aren’t normal, or rational or even reasonable; to anything other than the situation.

    They were wound up. They were pissed off. Where John Q. Citizen might be so fed up at something from work that he goes to a bar where folks of the group the offending parties belong to (say a bar where lawyers hang out) and pick a fight, the Marines in Haditha went in with guns.

    They snapped. They were held in the line so long the rules stopped working.

    The shooting in the mosque in Fallujah was much the same (and that one had me lose it in a conversation… screaming and foaming at the mouth to the idiot civilian who was telling me I didn’t understand what it was like and that shooting a wounded captive was justified; and proper. I had to be hauled up short by someone else who was in the Army. I then took a walk, but I digress).

    The training isn’t perfect. It can’t be, the strains are too many, and the fear is too great. Read, “The Men of Company K” for accounts of the shooting of prisoners because there wasn’t time (or manpower) to take them to the rear.

    War is ugly beyond the power of language to express. One may gain some sense of it from well written books (generally I commend fiction for that), but it’s a pale, and pathetic shadow of what it really is.

    You have to see the elephant to know what it is.

  22. Sister Y says:

    This brings up an interesting question: better to encourage ethical, bright, patriotic kids to go to Homeland Security High, and risk having them learn that torture is okay, etc., or to discourage bright, ethical kids from going to the school, and ensure that the only kids in there are kids who would need moral waivers to get into the military?

    I think this question also applies to any institution that has become notoriously immoral (like a corrupt police department): ethical, capable people are that much less likely to enter it. Given that the institution will continue, is it better for ethical people to boycott it by not working for it (ensuring that the thugs continue to rule), or is it their duty, in a sense, to enter the institution, despite the fact that their influence will probably be slight, and they might end up corrupted themselves?

  23. Terry Karney says:

    Skullhunter: Before Greg mentioned it, I’d dismissed you.

    Why? Because I’ve heard that song before. The sweeping generalities, the sense of self-righteousness, the air of being above it all; of seeing, “The Truth” which the masses have not the wit to comprehend.

    Add the supercilious tone that you tossed in to dismiss the people in the service as lackies and dimwits; with the aggrieved air of world weary knowledge (about how badly the gov’t has mis-used the army).

    So what. You excuse yourself by saying it’s the job of the intelligent members of the service to fix it. Well, no. It’s not. Maybe in Burma, or Pinochet’s Chile, or some other place where the Army runs things.

    But here; for all our present flaws, that’s not the way it works. The politicians we elect are the one’s who set the policies. Abdicating that, in favor of someone on “the inside” is a moral failing.

    As to whether or not we like you, and how you feel about that… again, so what? I don’t care if you want to be liked. Honestly, it smacks of more posing, of you, the Brave Idealist who will “speak truth to power,” thought it gain nothing but mockery.

    Well, I didn’t insult you. I called out your ideas for what they are, nonsense. As you flesh them out, they rise to the level of dangerous nonsense (because you seem to want the foxes guarding the henhouse).

    If, however, as you say; the purpose of your screeds is to educate and influence, then how we perceive you does matter. Because if the eyes glaze over, and the page down button is put to use, you’ve wasted the time to write those pithy truths, and well-crafted bon mots.

    Just saying.

    Sister Y: I’m not surprised that a young troop (be he Marine or soldier, seaman or airman) would have trouble articulating a reaction to Grossman. I read the book when it came out (so I was something like 29) and with a lot of practice there were still parts which took some perusing to suss out. The arguments are well crafted, and the missing parts are hard to see.

    I also had the advantage of a real life before I enlisted, so perspective was easier to keep.

    What sort of books? I’ll take a stab and guess you mean texts on the military, not the discovery of how to make porcelain (of which I have a great book), or cookery (of which I have a lot of great books) nor yet on photography (why, yes, I do have some great books on that, why do you ask?).

    But even there, what are you looking to know? There’s some grear fiction, and some really good non-fic, as well as some memoirs of note.

    Generally (and with a good idea of the problems inherent in an all-volunteer military): “Making the Corps.

    For insights to combat, “The Men of Company K” (better than “Band of Brothers”, also about WW2).

    For life in the trenches, “Tommy” by Richard Holmes.

    Anything by Lyn Macdonald on WW1, but esp. her, “The Somme.” She did a huge amount of oral histories, and the sweep and scope of the work is incredible. She was also probably the last person who was able to do that.

    Gwynn Dyer’s “War” (the companion volume to a PBS series, about 25 years ago) is very good, if a little general.

    John Keegan’s, “The Face of Battle” (late ’70s, as I recall) which re-created the field of military history; moving it back to the specific again; from the studies of logistics and armies as a whole.

    You can get my perceptions on my time in Iraq if you like. Let me know, and I’ll give you a pointer to my writings from mobilization to post medevac.

  24. Terry Karney says:

    Tenn: If you want to talk about it, I am willing to; but (this is important) it’s a touchy subject with me. Not because I approve (for a whole lot of reasons I don’t. It was stupid, needless, counter-productive and morally reprehensible and repugnant), but because I am close to the subject (being an interrogator; forgetting that I know some of the principals), and it gets tossed out in situations like this a lot.

    Add the people who think torture either works (it doesn’t) or is acceptable (it isn’t) and it’s a cross between infuriating, and frustrating.

    I know you weren’t trying to push buttons (and it’s more in sorrow than anger that I react to the sort of mention you made), so don’t feel badly: this is a case where intent matters at least as much as the actual deed. I wasn’t offended, nor even hurt.

    I agree with you about the bad idea of that sort of inculcation of youth.

  25. Antinous says:

    Greg,

    Your fight with Skullhunter is over now.

  26. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Avar1ce – the “issue” is quite obvious:

    There’s a voc-tech school that specializes in law enforcement/emergency services careers, so naturally the whole thing must be evil and corrupt. Just like all of law enforcement and emergency services.

    At least, that’s what the tone of the post and the majority of comments are assuming. But don’t think twice, just Think of the Children(tm)!

    But i digest…

    Just because the article has “homeland security” in the title doesn’t mean DHS has anything to do with this school. In fact, by not capitalizing it, the article is very careful not to imply any sort of sponsorship. The reputation that the “Department of” has arguably earned notwithstanding, the concept of “homeland security” is to integrate efforts of law enforcement, emergency services, search and rescue, antiterrorism, disaster response, public safety. After all, these things are very much related, why not have a vocational school that specializes in those careers?

    Lduvall – I agree, but don’t assume all the comments are American :)

  27. Takuan says:

    you resting, Terry?

  28. buddy66 says:

    The school is a pipe dream. It’s just an idea being floated by Wilmington GOP politicos and some local wingnuts. It has no charter, no facilities, no funding. But at least it’s something for boingboingers to talk about.

  29. mrfitz says:

    Serving the country “honorably”?

    When you join the military you swear an oath to defend the Constitution, but this is just BS. When you are a soldier, you do what you’re told regardless of whether it’s constitutional. I’m a veteran, I know.

    For those that joined the military in the hope of doing something like saving helpless civilians from genocide–something honorable–I’m sorry that you are in Iraq and not Sudan or Rawanda. You should have seen it coming from our country’s history.

    For those of you who were given a choice of jail or the military, or if you just like to cause other beings pain and suffering, I have no respect for you.

    So can the “honorable” bit. It’s a myth.

  30. GregLondon says:

    Antinous Lengthy comments detailing each others’ faults are not really that interesting to the rest of us.

    Oh, get over yourself. The fact is you admit you agree with SkullHunter and disagreed with me back at #97.

    When Skullhunter was making long posts detailing the faults of an entire group (i.e. military personel) back at #87, you weren’t bored at all. Now that someone actually called him on his bullshit, you cry “shut up you two, I’m bored.”

    So, more accurately, you’re protesting lengthy comments that detail faults and criticize something that you agree with.

    I’m underwhelmed by your attempts to bring neutrality to the thread.

  31. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    tenn – who’s jumping to conclusions here? How is giving a head start to young adults who want a career in public safety or law enforcement a bad thing? I think you’ll get better results out of a school like this than if you take your pick of public HS grads/GED holders who have suffered at least 4 years of poorly funded, unmotivated education. You want to talk about indoctrination? That kind of mind-numbing wasteland is what turns some people into bullies and sheep. At least at a school like this, you can pick a career and they’ll help you get there.

    This school is trying to give inner city kids an option, and all you want to do is take that elitist point of view that unless you were “smart” enough to go straight to a higher education, you’re too dumb to be anything but a pawn or a tool. I’ve seen that sentiment in a lot of comments on public-servant related issues, all the remarks about high-school dropouts as TSA screeners, etc, etc..

    I am friends with and work with people who were lucky if they graduated from public school. Some of them either dropped out and went to a tech school or went there in the first place because they knew a generic HS wasn’t right for them. They got training, found jobs, made a living, then went back to school and got their college degrees. Do you think you are better than them?

    Look at the vast difference between crappy on-the-job training and a real classroom environment. Have you ever considered that maybe what law enforcement/public safety/homeland security needs is capable graduates from an academy that gives them the training and thinking skills they need to do their job effectively?

  32. GregLondon says:

    Antinous@47: Many members of our military have been taught to shoot, but not to think.

    I think that pretty much sums it up right there.

  33. Tenn says:

    I respect you, Terry. And I understand; not well enough to know war, not well enough to know what you know, but enough to respect and believe you based on your experiences, which are doubtless unpleasant.

    I’m glad you weren’t offended. I’m glad to know we agree.

    I’m going to go over what I found on Google on you this weekend. I would earlier, but it seems like it’s going to be some in depth reading on our military practices, and as I’ve got 2 college exams in the coming 2 weeks, I’d rather give both school the attention it deserves and your information the respect it deserves. I’m sure we here at BoingBoing would like to hear what you know about what’s going on.

  34. Sister Y says:

    Thanks so much – and heck, I’d love your recs for books about the invention of porcelain. I gravitate to social science, economics, and analytic philosophy, but I’m open to history and fiction. I’m currently making my way through some John Keegan (along with about fifteen other things) – the parts of “The Face of Battle” that I’ve read seem extremely insightful. My boyfriend has also been reading Keegan, and we’ve been discussing his refreshingly non-reductive view of military strategy and leadership. Basically, I am addicted to insight and greater understanding of the world and humanity. I find it hard to read history unless it’s written by somebody with a pretty strong “take” or theoretical position or interpretation; otherwise I find it hard to assimilate.

  35. Sister Y says:

    They were held in the line so long the rules stopped working.

    Do you mean battle fatigue/shell shock? I’ve seen the Swank & Marchand data from 1946 that after 60 days of continuous combat, 98% of all soldiers become some form of psychiatric casualty (the 2% left over is in line with the prevalence of sociopathy). (I came into contact with this from Lt. Dave Grossman’s book On Killing – he prefers the term “shell shock” because he thinks other terms are too euphemistic.)

    I thought (perhaps naively) that the armed forces were well aware of this and didn’t put kids in continuous combat for that long anymore, but rotated them out. Do you think they’re just failing to do that, or that it’s impossible to really “rotate out” over there – that there just isn’t a “rear” anymore? Or is it something else going on?

  36. Tenn says:

    The problem is, Greg, that what could have been discussion became simply attack on character.

    Oh god, I’ve got troll spit all over me.
    You wound me, sir, with your razor sharp pixels. See how I bleed?

    Mostly from you.

    Wow, tilt at the wrong windmill and some folks just get all kinds of hostile.
    Your keen, incisive wit has seen through to the truth of me; I’m just putting up a false front of not caring if I’m liked so that people will end up liking me.

    I guess you can blame Skullhunter equally, though really the only sin he’s committed is the oversimplification and elitism you and Karney have accused him of. He hasn’t been deliberately abrasive- and even where he was with the “I DON’T CARE, PIXELS” bit, he’s backed off now.

    At any rate, Skullhunter gave it up and Antinous did not say; Skullhunter, YOU are clever but don’t talk about it here, Greg’s just a meanie, he told both of you to can it. I think that’s neutrality, that’s equal parts STFU.

  37. Terry Karney says:

    Takuan: I don’t live at the computer (though my day job affords me a lot of time online). I did take a break, because the topic is one I’ve hashed; a lot, and one gets tired of having to make the same sorts of explantions and the requisate qualifications to avoid edging to apologia.

    Tenn: Take your time. My maunderings aren’t work hurting your grades. I figured you’d cut me some slack.

    Scottfree: I don’t have the time right now (as I have to go do some babysitting) to answer your questions in detail.

    I will say this, There Is No Need To Use Torture Enhanced Techniques.

    No morally acceptable reason.

    No tactically acceptable reason.

    No Strategically acceptable reason.

    I hate to be an ass, but I’ve written tens of thousands of words on this, a lot of them; sadly, repetitive. Google my name, “terry karney” and add interrogation, do it again with torture.

    You can do the same with “Torture”.

    There is no “guilt” assumed with capture. There isn’t even a presumption of POW status (there are four categories in Geneva) and one of the first things to do is determine status (no, there is no “unlawful combatant” classification).

    Go, read some of what I’ve written, and come back to me with your questions.

  38. Irreal says:

    Regarding the slide of the US into an fascist state, I was wondering when a ‘Hitler Youth’ analogue would appear.
    Now it’s here. The conditions are nearly complete.

  39. Antinous says:

    Go tell someone who is proud to be serve their country how they have been trained to be good little Nazis and see what kind of response you get.

    Um, they might beat the crap out of you because they’re good little Nazis? Many members of our military have been taught to shoot, but not to think. How much worse would it be if they were indoctrinated at an even younger age?

    I, for one, do not welcome our new “never read a book, saw a play or listened to a symphony, but have guns and tasers” overlords.

  40. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    I’m just glad to see better arguments than OMG HITLER YOUTH!!!11!!… Frankly, I don’t think I would have taken the time to even comment if I hadn’t been greeted by such ‘wisdom’. Things like that (in the comments or the posts) make BB look… well.. amateur.

  41. Antinous says:

    Greg,

    Your fight with me is over now.

    Thank you, Tenn.

  42. arkizzle says:

    Ant,
    yeh, i did, then i thought of my very witty IRC line as I was brushing my teeth, and rushed back to share :)

  43. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Antinous – actually, I was thinking you’d get more of a verbal ass-kicking than a physical one.

    Because, you know, that’s how rational people act.

    Irrational people just resort to violence or ASSUME people will resort to violence.

  44. Antinous says:

    I read yesterday that the number of US soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who commit suicide will probably outnumber those killed in conflict.

  45. Xopher says:

    I have a polite request: Could someone tell me how to get a picture to upload? I keep getting an error (“Oops, something went wrong: Invalid value “DES.GIF” for profile field: photo”) when I try. I’ve tried .JPGs too, without success. What file format(s) is(are) acceptable? Is there a size limit (in pixels or bytes or physical dimensions), and if so what is it?

    The Profile Edit page doesn’t have any information about this on it, and BB has no Help page (yet). I’ll take help from anyone who knows.

  46. Takuan says:

    what happens to social workers caught in a system that routinely condemns children to ultimate neglect and death? Does it take longer than 60 days?

  47. Xopher says:

    And there aren’t any open threads on here either. There’s really no place to ask a question, is there? That’s kind of odd.

  48. Antinous says:

    Irrational people just resort to violence or ASSUME people will resort to violence.

    Oddly, I have no atrocities on my record. Many members of our armed forces do. And you’re reaching the point where the use of the word irrational is creating irony.

  49. scottfree says:

    Terry,

    Ive a lot of time for subtleties about this sort of thing, especially since I know from first hand experience the armed forces aren’t particularly composed of psycho killers.

    Interrogation seems like a very difficult issue. I know from dealing with police, just don’t say anything. If you’re being interrogated it means they don’t have enough evidence to press charges, so keep your mouth shut and you’ll probably be home in a while. Of course the game changes when it comes to the military. On the one hand some objective or other theoretically depends on the prisoner talking, so from a military perspective, ‘enhanced techniques’ become necessary; and on the other hand, guilt is presumed from capture, there are very few effective rights for the prisoner to depend on, and even cooperation only seems to win a release after several years, if, as expected, it turns out that the capture was entirely erroneous. In other words, there is a reason why many tactics employed by the US armed forces [and contractors] are illegal in most other industrialised nations: there is no mediating factor to the remedy. The rights of the institution are privileged without any respect to the rights of the individual. That isn’t exactly the sort of philosophy I would want kids to learn.

    I remember meeting a Swedish communist once, consumed by self-hatred because he worked as a screw. Dont do it kids. You’ll never live with yourselves.

    But at any rate, the school trains firemen too. Nobody better be hating on the firemen.

  50. GregLondon says:

    Tenn@111: what could have been discussion became simply attack on character.

    How in the hell can Antinous say they don’t train military people to think and not be an attack on the character of anyone who’s been in teh military? How in the hell can Skullhunter say there are all these atrocities committed by the military, and that people in the military think they’re right or don’t think they’re doing anything particularly wrong, and not be an attack on the character of anyone who’s been in the military?

    Was it because these yahoos attack an entire group of people, but avoid using anyone’s particular name? How? How did it not start off immediately as an attack on the character of an entire group of people? Seriously, I can’t fathom it.

    the only sin he’s committed is the oversimplification and elitism

    These yahoos attack the character of an entire group of people. I call them on their bullshit, and their “only sin” is “oversimplification”? That there was some sort of “discussion” going on with Skullhunter and Antinous? Blanket statements against an entire group is discussion? But pointing out blanket statements is “deliberately abrasive”?

    What?????

  51. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Teresa – yes, I was annoyed when I wrote that. Lack of sleep and getting caught up in things here. I went back and read that after I wrote it, before your reply, and thought it was whiny. I apologize.

    I don’t think you’ve ever just told someone (either literally, or in the tone of your response) to shut up. I don’t see where you’ve implied that someone’s opinion, as opposed to their behavior, was unacceptable. I do feel like Antinous has, to me and others, and has been impolite about it.

    I understand the need for assistants. However, I can look at their history and see lots of loaded or biased comments: how can I trust they’ll be fair? I suppose I’ll just have to trust your judgement in selecting them.

    Do the assistant moderators have the disemvowel and delete buttons? Will a “look at this” on their moderation (or unrelated comments) be considered?

  52. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Much like you, I can define something as vague as “atrocity” to be anything I want it to be. But let’s be a bit more specific: Let’s go with torture. Well, ok, how many members of the armed forces have committed acts of torture out of all soldiers. I think you’ll find the number very very low.

    Now, let’s consider a soldier shooting back in self-defense: I guess you can call shooting someone for any reason an atrocity. Now suddenly everyone who’s seen combat has comitted an atrocity.

    Using that logic, how about we just assume every person of your choice of race or ethnicity is a criminal because a few are. They’re all the same right?

    See my point? If you’re going to make off-topic comments like how you have no atrocities on your record, and imply that everyone who has been in the military is an unstable brute looking for a fight, you better be able to back it up.

    I am done with this discussion. It was supposed to be about a school.

  53. Jeff says:

    A compromise: ask the teens if they want to go to a school where they would learn these skills. There are always going to be kids that want to be firemen and soldiers. Oh, and please make sure they get to read a book too. And if they want to go see a movie or a play or anything else that has the endorsement of our cultural elite, please let them. God knows, we don’t want our SWAT personnel being culturally deficient. Anyone who doesn’t think in terms of “perceived” weakness or strength, knows very little about world politics, local politics, family politics, basic human psychology, primate psychology or animal behavior and is too naïve to take seriously.

  54. GregLondon says:

    Antinous@50: I have no atrocities on my record. Many members of our armed forces do.

    Discussion, my arse.

  55. Takuan says:

    “Still fighting Jim Crow segregation
    Black firefighters’ legacy of struggle
    By Gloria La Riva
    A shocking incident in 1987 exposed to the San Francisco public what Black firefighters in the city had always known. Racism in the virtually all-white fire department was vicious and pervasive.

    The incident emboldened the Black firefighters of San Francisco to continue their fight for affirmative action. That struggle led to a historic 1988 court order, which resulted in a major increase in hiring and advancement of Black firefighters, other people of color and women.

    It was a battle replicated in nearly every major city of the United States. Black firefighters’ experiences of unmitigated racism and white-only hiring policies endured far longer than in virtually any other industry or institution in the country.”

  56. Takuan says:

    “Unfortunately, in their attempt to correct past issues, the local City of Richmond has been a blatant example of sexist/racist discrimination. They recently announced that they would only hire white males for their fire department if they could not fill all of their vacancies with women or minorities. At they most recent firefighting test that I was at, I did not see one candidate that wasn’t a white male. Not one. Of the six hundred or so candidates that routinely apply to local departments, I would venture to guess that there are less than 50 that aren’t white males. In response to this, Richmond stated that they would be willing to pay for the training of non-white male candidates if need be.”

  57. Tenn says:

    How in the hell can Antinous say they don’t train military people to think and not be an attack on the character of anyone who’s been in teh military?

    They DON’T teach military men to think. I’ve had four people enlist in their high school years (three on the delayed entry program, going to boot camp their junior summer), one just this last year, another in ROTC at the college level to be an officer, another in the Naval Academy.

    That is not an attack. It is a statement of fact that all the friends I have in the military would echo. Andrew, a Marine, came back from basic training and turned his back on his best friend. Why? Because she was planning to go to the Army. He screamed obscenities at our drill team and behaved basically like Sergeant Simms- whose PT has always been killer. Not that I am against PT. I like working out, and hard; the fact remains that the other drillers were not used to that treatment and the Andrew who had not been in basic had known that. He shouted phrases like ‘raghead’ with no sense of irony.

    A few months after his return mellowed him out. But the fact remains that his service changed him. It made him reactive.

    And that’s the way they all are. In varying degrees. Andrew got the worst of it because the Marine Corps is more grueling. They’re a little bit more proud, a little bit less thoughtful than they used to be. And only Andrew’s actually been in Iraq. The others haven’t gone through AIT or shipped out yet.

    Skullhunter attacked an entire group of people. Yes. I think that’s wrong. Antinous gave you the impression that he did the same, but I interpret his comments more faulting their training than them.

    But you’re calling people yahoos and being sarcastic and condescending and rude, and you’re not furthering the conversation at all by doing this. If you wanted to prove a point, you’d do it without personal attacks. Nobody’s going to listen to you the way you’re going about it.

  58. Takuan says:

    “A black firefighter who was served dog food in his spaghetti by fellow firefighters will be paid more than $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit alleging racial harassment within the Los Angeles Fire Department.

    The award, approved on an 11-1 vote Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council, is the latest in a recent string of settlements of lawsuits by firefighters claiming discrimination and harassment and retaliation against those who complain. “

  59. Takuan says:

    Too early, too young. This school concept would do more harm than benefit. It is a function of a society’s wealth to extend childhood. This school would be perfectly normal in a third world country.
    Is America going backwards?

    This specialization closes doors in the name of developing narrow technique. How about Olympic athlete training schools? They have been done in Russia and China, they work.

  60. Kibble says:

    Also, a course on photographing sexual humiliation.

  61. MrsBug says:

    Would this be considered more of a voc-tech high school? Kind of creepy, I’ll admit.

  62. Pipenta says:

    Kind of creepy? This sounds terrifying.

  63. GregLondon says:

    skullhunter@55: Cutting through all the Patriotically Correct nonsense, the average combat soldier is trained to resolve conflicts through use of physical force, they are trained to accept orders to use that force almost without question and they are steeped in a culture that says their country can do no wrong or that when it does that wrong is vastly outweighed by all the good it supposedly does.

    I think it’s pretty clear exactly what sort of “discussion” was going on by the time I started commenting.

    If it wasn’t a blanket attack on the character of every person in the military, I don’t what you call it.

  64. Skullhunter says:

    Skullhunter: Before Greg mentioned it, I’d dismissed you.

    And now you’ve chosen to address me again. How honored I feel.

    Why? Because I’ve heard that song before. The sweeping generalities, the sense of self-righteousness, the air of being above it all; of seeing, “The Truth” which the masses have not the wit to comprehend.

    Because saying someone is speaking nonsense, dangerous nonsense and then not even deigning to explain why before summarily ignoring me as not worth your time isn’t self-righteous at all, nor does it carry with it any sense of superiority. Above it all? Bullshit. I’m down here with everybody else. I don’t know anything that anyone else can’t figure out for themselves given some time and a little effort. I’m not special, unusual or gifted in that fashion at all nor have I claimed to be. If the song bores you so much, listen to something else and cease engaging me. I’m fairly certain no one’s forcing you to.

    Add the supercilious tone that you tossed in to dismiss the people in the service as lackies and dimwits;

    I’ve never done any such thing. People in the service are, as I’ve all ready said, human and therefore subject to the same failings as the rest of us. The world is full of brilliant people who will nevertheless go along to get along rather than risk conflict. You don’t have to be an idiot to be a sucker. Sometimes all it takes is wanting to believe something so badly that you’ll ignore the little tickle of instinct that tells you you’re going in the wrong direction. Ordinarily decent people can be made to do terrible things simply by being given a convincingly good reason for doing so. They can ignore and excuse terrible things if given a good reason to do so. They don’t have to be morons. They don’t have to be evil. They just have to be sold on the idea that they’re in the right and once that’s done you’ve got the groundwork for the next pogrom or the next Inquisition or the next Holocaust or the next Mai Lai. Most people just don’t enthusiastically do wrong to other people in the knowledge that what they’re doing is wrong.

    with the aggrieved air of world weary knowledge (about how badly the gov’t has mis-used the army).

    Yeah, I am a bit weary of that. I’m tired of people who send others to die for their ambition and their profit. I’m tired of people putting the rest of us in harm’s way by their bullying about the planet like a drunk in a bar. I guess it’s another one of my personal failings.

    So what. You excuse yourself by saying it’s the job of the intelligent members of the service to fix it. Well, no. It’s not. Maybe in Burma, or Pinochet’s Chile, or some other place where the Army runs things.

    Which sounds an awful lot like “It’s not our fault, we don’t run things, you do, we’re just following orders”.

    But here; for all our present flaws, that’s not the way it works. The politicians we elect are the one’s who set the policies. Abdicating that, in favor of someone on “the inside” is a moral failing.

    The politicians we elect are the ones who set the policies and we get their ear after they’re done listening to all the people who paid for their campaign, arranged their photo opportunities, spoke on their behalf in the media and generally give them a lot more than votes. They give us $600 “incentives” and talk about gas tax vacations while they give multi-million dollar no-bid contracts to their corporate friends and relax environmental and workplace safety regulations. The idea that the average voter has more pull with a politician than the average corporation is laughable. Maybe if we weren’t so fractured along social, class, racial and other lines. We are. And I don’t think we’re asking you to fix it all yourself, we’re asking you for some godsdamn help from the inside, not “Sorry, your job, I’m just a cog in the machine you know”, not “it’s a military thing, you wouldn’t understand”.

    As to whether or not we like you, and how you feel about that… again, so what? I don’t care if you want to be liked. Honestly, it smacks of more posing, of you, the Brave Idealist who will “speak truth to power,” thought it gain nothing but mockery.

    Oh you done found me out. Your keen, incisive wit has seen through to the truth of me; I’m just putting up a false front of not caring if I’m liked so that people will end up liking me.

    I’m going to step back for a minute so I can truly appreciate how fracking silly that is. Posing for who? The pixels? Chances are I’ll never meet 99.9% of the people who read or post here. I wouldn’t know them on the street nor would they know me. The absolute best I could hope for is that my occasional rants end up archived in some dusty corner of the internet, somewhere below the badly captioned cats and a walrus with a bucket. Most folks will forget this whole rant tomorrow if they even read it in the first place. I have a very good sense of my place here and my relative lack of importance. Mostly I prefer it that way. But I am most definitely not some brave iconoclast speaking truth to power no matter the cost nor do I see myself as such. Those people, by and large, do not exist and the world is a poorer place for it. The ones that do exist are a lot better with their words and deeds than I am.

    Well, I didn’t insult you. I called out your ideas for what they are, nonsense. As you flesh them out, they rise to the level of dangerous nonsense (because you seem to want the foxes guarding the henhouse).

    What’s nonsense is the idea that the military is composed of anything but mainly average people. You’re NOT foxes. You don’t have some sort of genetic impulse that none of us possess that prevents you from policing your own behavior. I don’t want you to be the stewards of our whole society, just yourselves. I’m sorry if that’s too much to ask.

    If, however, as you say; the purpose of your screeds is to educate and influence, then how we perceive you does matter. Because if the eyes glaze over, and the page down button is put to use, you’ve wasted the time to write those pithy truths, and well-crafted bon mots.

    If it happens, it happens. Can’t make everybody happy. Waste of time to try anyway, you always end up pissing someone off in the end. But odds are I run about the same chance of inducing eye-glaze and a desperate clicking on the scrollbar with my pithy truths and well-crafted bon mots as you do with your dismissals and your cries of “Nonsense! Dangerous nonsense!”. I know I don’t have you. I’ll take my chances with letting everybody else make up their own minds.

  65. whomever says:

    They left out astronaut.

  66. Tenn says:

    is trained
    is trained
    is trained.

    Not ‘resolves conflicts through use of physical force’, not ‘accepts orders to use that force’, not ‘believe their country does no wrong’.

    TRAINED. They are trained.

  67. Terry Karney says:

    I’ve read “On Killing” There are some really good parts of it, and some real clunkers, but shell shock is a great phrase.

    We are aware of it, but there’s only so much that can be done.

    David Drake, in the introduction to a collection of his stories explained that he had, “a good war,” by which he meant that he was rarely aware of anyone trying to kill him; directly.

    He also said he spent that entire year living in fear.

    I was about 18 when I read that.

    Some background. I was 25 when I joined the Army. I turned 36 in Iraq.

    I didn’t understand what he meant. I thought he meant he was afraid for that entire year.

    He wasn’t. Fear is a place. After awhile the sense of being afraid, melts away. It’s like the muzak which never ends at your workplace, you stop being conciously aware of it, but your brain still hears it.

    So the fear becomes a background state of being, even when no one is trying to kill you; retail.

    It doesn’t require being in the line to get to the breaking point. Adding insult to injury, we are returning people to the line, two, three, even four times.

    Given the nature of the beast, soldiers in line untits are getting more time, “in the trenches” than soldiers in WW1. There is no rear, so the mindset of, “any moment” never abates.

    The wonder is that we haven’t heard of more such incidents.

  68. fastmovingblob says:

    Who needs world history when you can learn SWAT operator tactics. By the way, how would one reconcile the zero-tolerance policy with courses whose name includes “weapons?”

    Personally, I think it’s cool, although I would have to question the usefulness of some of these options in a school environment. Consider that training requirements for being firefighter are normally having to get your firefighter one & two, plus an emt certification, and that these take only a couple hundred hours of training. High schools (normally) includes around 4000 classroom hours, and you have to ask how dedicated this school is to the areas of focus. As a point of reference, I’m studying civil engineering at a Big-Ten university, and have managed to take care of these requirements while going to school with an average of 17 credits. It’s not that much work. Also, pretty much all fire schools require that you be 18+ to do any live burn exercises.

    The only thing I can really think of is that it is more like a school with flavor to it(ala military academy), as opposed to a more vocational like school.

  69. Ari B. says:

    As a voc-tech school, it could work. Most of those positions are straight up emergency personnel (paramedics, firefighters, emergency dispatchers, etc), I don’t see anything wrong with those (except for prison guard and SWAT, but those are still necessary jobs…).

    If they start training for positions in “information extraction technician,” or waterboarding specialist, I’d get nervous.

  70. GregLondon says:

    Antinous gave you the impression that he did the same, but I interpret his comments more faulting their training than them.

    Antinous@50: I have no atrocities on my record. Many members of our armed forces do.

    You have an interesting interpretation of Antinous’s intent, that’s for sure.

    Certainly, one could quote numbers of civilians in prison for murder, but what does that say about humans as a whole? Many civilians have committed murder. So what? What does that say about you? or me? Or anyone else?

    The thing is, Antinous wants his statistic of many attrocities in the armed forces to say something about the whole of the armed forces. And I call it a crock.

    Nobody’s going to listen to you the way you’re going about it.

    It’s pretty clear at this point that you, skullhunter, and antinous have already, all of you, completely made up your minds.

    Skullhunter and Aninous made their points clear long ago. The fact that you want to call their craptastic comments on military people to be something that people would “listen” to, and my pointing out those craptastic statements as “personal attacks”, pretty much shows which side you view as true.

    And you know what the funny thing is? The original post wasn’t even about a military branch of service. But Skullhunter and Antinous, and you too, keep using it as an opportunity to make attacks on every person who ever served.

    If you’re all going to go out of your way to slam the military, well, I guess I can’t stop you.

    Have at it, guys. The military-bashing thread is all yours. I’m done.

  71. Jeff says:

    Sounds like it good be a good trade school for a lot of youth. We have to do something with all these humans, better they have useful skills than not.

  72. Antinous says:

    Has anyone else realized that this school is NOT a military school?

    The military part doesn’t really alarm me. If they’re going into the military, they’ll get military training which will be either good or bad. Whatever they did in high school will be largely irrelevant. I’m more concerned with the ‘security’ track. Private Security has been a euphemism for Paid Bully since the time of the pharaohs. Taking potential bullies away from a school that might impress some humanity on them and putting them into paid bully training at such a young age is asking for trouble.

  73. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Hi, Terry.

    Greg London, may I introduce Takuan, Antinous, Tenn, Agent 86, Sister Y, and Skullhunter?

    Guys, this is Greg London. He’s got a major personal commitment to Lawful Good, but sometimes his wordcounts increase exponentially when he feels like he isn’t getting something across.

    I believe you’ll already have met Terry Karney, whom I hold in high regard.

    Greg, slow down. Breathe. These aren’t bad guys, and believe me, they aren’t dumb. Increasing the amount of explanation isn’t going to help. This is one of those situations where we have to go back and figure out where the earlier explanations stopped working. No way should this argument have wound up in a waterless wilderness.

    Also, getting into a fight with Takuan and Antinous on Boing Boing is like getting into a fight with Heresiarch, Abi, and Xopher back at Making Light. This group you’re arguing with is the local branch of the Citizens’ Committee for Public Intelligence and Reasonably Decent Behavior. You should like them more. They should like you more. And so far, nobody’s gotten much of a chance to do that.

  74. Takuan says:

    what changed in the mind and brain of concentration camp survivors? Many mention how something happened inside as a result of living under the certainty that their lives could be extinguished summarily at any time.

  75. Tenn says:

    It’s pretty clear at this point that you, skullhunter, and antinous have already, all of you, completely made up your minds.

    I think you could at least accept that I am speaking respectfully to you and draw from my conversation with Karney that I’m not at all going out of my way to ‘slam the military.’

    Jesus, man. I’m in JROTC and would still join the Army as I had been planning for seven years if I wasn’t afraid of where my Commander in Chief would send me.

    I don’t agree with Antinous’ comment you quoted. I’d verbally spank him too if he hadn’t already shut up. I am fond of military men. I am not fond of military training.

    Ta, Greg.

  76. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Terry, not your fault.

    My fault, in part, for not giving Antinous an official tin badge: he’s an assistant moderator. Also my fault for not paying enough attention to this thread. It doesn’t help that you know what I’ve been coping with; the fact remains that I haven’t been here.

    Apologies.

  77. Antinous says:

    Outed.

  78. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    For those of you who were given a choice of jail or the military, or if you just like to cause other beings pain and suffering, I have no respect for you.

    no respect for bullies, i concur, but why no respect for those who chose the military over jail? At least the military has a chance of teaching you right from wrong, and giving you some skills.

    more of then than not, the people given that choice are the people who don’t really deserve some inflated mandatory sentence or perhaps any time at all for what they did. Truly reprehensible felons don’t get the choice to serve, because the military doesn’t want them.

    JEFF – right. It’s a private school and not a prison camp for training future prison guards. Of course you have the choice to go there or not. And if it’s going to meet state requirements for secondary education, there’s going to have to be academic subjects. I still stand by my opinion that especially when it comes to positions of authority or public safety, you need to teach them in an academic environment.

    Consider the police academy: Sure you get some bad cops coming out of it, but imagine what the police force would be like if they hired off the street and trained like McDonalds.

  79. GregLondon says:

    I think you could at least accept that I am speaking respectfully to you and draw from my conversation with Karney that I’m not at all going out of my way to ‘slam the military.’

    You’re right. Apologies to you for that.

  80. Gal_n_AL says:

    Hitler Youth? er, um sorry, I meant Homeland Youth

  81. Tenn says:

    Apology accepted and appreciated. Hope to talk to you with less of a rift at some point in the future.

  82. JustDisGuy says:

    My thoughts exactly #9…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_Youth

  83. Tenn says:

    Hi again, Greg! Nice to meet you!

    Citizen’s Committee, huh, Mom? That sounds fancy. Don’t apologize for being scarce. You’ve had issues. I don’t know the full scope of those issues, but I know -anything- that would prevent your attention on these threads has to be pretty difficult.

  84. Sister Y says:

    The research Grossman points to seems to show that shell shock comes from the experience of combat – not the risk of death, but the experience of having to shoot at people that you can see. He notes that people in positions of equal danger to front-line soldiers, but who aren’t expected to shoot people, have lower rates of psychiatric casualties. Also that people killing at a great distance – e.g., bombing from planes – have a lower risk than people who have to shoot at other people up close.

    I’m not sure if Terry agrees – the parts of Grossman’s book that seem least supported to me are the parts where he makes the (rather unsupported) leap from “conditioning soldiers to kill increases firing rates” to “video games and movies condition people to kill.” But his sources on firing rates and casualty rates seem pretty solid.

  85. Terry Karney says:

    Scotfree: Babysitting isn’t a travelling gig tonight, so I am more available than I thought.

    Mostly, however, I want to apologise for any sense of displeasure which might be inside the response I gave you. It’s not you, it’s the topic.

    Before Gitmo, and then Abu Ghraib, I’d only have to have this sort of conversation, once, or at most, twice a year. In the past four years, I can’t think of a timeframe longer than about six weeks which hasn’t had it crop up; and some of that with appalling repetition. I even have someone who sees my veiws on the topic to be his personal bête noir It’s wonderful to google oneself and find lies and misrepresentations of things one has said in print (where the audience can’t check the original) on one of three blog the guy keeps.

    Really, it is, trust me.

    It’s more amusing that he has the cheek to lie to me about what I’ve done; on my blog, but that’s beside the point.

    So I am sometimes a little overreactive.

    I’m sorry if I went off on you, since I think it was needless.

  86. noen says:

    Fascism, it’s a growth industry!

  87. Jeff says:

    Antinous, congrats. Can I spit-shine your boots, please?

    :)

  88. Takuan says:

    I once corresponded with a man in agonies of guilt over the meteorology he performed to ensure cruise missile accuracy. I’ve also worked along side those who’s hands were red with innocents and never exhibited symptoms or concern.

  89. Antinous says:

    Can I spit-shine your boots, please?

    The answer is the same as it was before I was an assistant moderator.

  90. dafoink says:

    I have been following this for about a year and it seems to me that it is primarily for emergency services. There are many places in both the private and govt sectors that could use better trained personal to handle disasters like: hurricanes, earthquakes, twisters, etc.

    I know here in California, there are many companies who have emergency plans and incident commanders to help protect their employees during quakes and other natural and human caused disasters.

    I do think that the title “homeland security” is a bit unfortunate though. I think that emergency planning or something like that would be much more appropriate and fit better.

  91. Agent 86 says:

    Greg, stand down. Take your own advice “don’t bother with this guy. He isn’t worth it.”

    Even before you said that, I wrote off Skullhunter. It was a pitty, because I liked how his earlier posts sounded. He just took a bad position, or maybe took a great position but defended it horribly. Either way, I stopped listening and started scrolling. Sadly, I’ve done that with your last couple posts.

    As always, Terry Karney stayed a delight to read. I liked this bit the best.

    “If, however, as you say; the purpose of your screeds is to educate and influence, then how we perceive you does matter. Because if the eyes glaze over, and the page down button is put to use, you’ve wasted the time to write those pithy truths, and well-crafted bon mots.”

    As for the school: I’m against it morally (but I would have given half my left testicle to go to it instead of regular boring HS). Our system is doing bad enough as it is, why try changing it out for something worse?

  92. Carl Rigney says:

    Not to distract from the 130+ messages in progress, but I’m wondering if someone will sneak a copy of Little Brother into the DAPSS library. That’d be amusing.

  93. arkizzle says:

    Antinous:

    Cahoots it is then!

    “Heh” indeed :)

  94. Guesstimate Jones says:

    Guinea pigs? More like Fascist Pigs…

  95. Jeff says:

    What about all those Israeli youth that have to serve in the defense corps? Do you think they called themselves Hitler Youth? Granted, they are 18 year-olds, not children. But service is manditory.

  96. Santa's Knee says:

    @#9: That would be “Homeland Cadets”

  97. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Teresa – Who are the assistant moderators? I ask because, well, I don’t think I just speak for myself when I say this:

    If someone disagees with me, and makes a good point, I’m inclined to listen.

    However, if someone just tells me to “shut up” and doesn’t give a reason, I’m going to ignore it. Unless I know it’s a moderator. In which case I’ll know my opinion is uancceptable and go elsewhere.

  98. jawells says:

    I hope this school will encourage the arts with classes like “Photography for Non-terrorists” and “Security Theater.” Maybe Bruce Schneier can teach?

    At the very least I want to see “TSA Calculus” so we can learn how to calculate the wait at airport security!

  99. Terry Karney says:

    Hrmn… I seem to be having oddities with my connection. I see things showing up in between other comments I’ve already read.

    That was ugly. I’m sorry for whatever my role in it was.

    That said, some of the things which were said (about how training is/isn’t done, the nature of what comments were personal, and not) weren’t what I would call impersonal.

    Because of my nature, and my training, I was; and am, willing to write a lot of it off as rhetorical excess, ill-thought; not as insults of intent.

    As a purely rhetorical point, the structure of a lot of the comments was as Greg characterised it (though that was lost in the rest of the fighting), by making the comments about, training etc., in immediate justaposition to comments made by people with personal experience isn’t as impersonal as the language makes it sound (and antonius didn’t do that; his comment was a trifle overblown, but not directly insulting to anyone; save perhaps Weighted).

    I think someone (and I missed almost all of it as it was happening. Until just now I’d only seen a couple of Greg’s posts, and only dropped through Skullhunter’s. I didn’t see Antonius, nor Tenn’s at all I started writing this one), should have used an eyeball, or two.

  100. Tenn says:

    Antinous, does this mean I need to start pouring you stiffer drinks? Perhaps arrange a flask which you can tuck into your belt alongside the tin badge and taser?

  101. Skullhunter says:

    You know, something ScottFree just said back there a bit helped me figure out how to articulate something I couldn’t find earlier.

    The problem is not that the military is composed of aberrant psychotics or that most of them or even a decent number of them are trained to be aberrant psychotics. The problem is that they’re mainly perfectly normal average people who either believe they’re doing the right thing or who believe there’s nothing terribly wrong with how the military works or how the military is utilized by our government.

    I understand that people in the military are human. I understand that they’re not all slavering psychotics out to maim and kill everyone they see. Life isn’t an action movie or a comic book; there’s no clearly-defined costume scheme, cheesy accent or anything else to easily delineate villain from hero. In the really real world, perfectly normal average people are quite capable of doing perfectly horrible things to other perfectly normal average people under the auspices of “following orders” or PTSD or whatever other valid or invalid reasons that can be cited. They may afterwards either feel no remorse or they may feel sorrow and regret. Unfortunately either way the tortured don’t become untortured and the dead remain silent in their graves. Limbs aren’t regrown, disfigurements don’t vanish. All the academic regret and heartfelt soul-searching isn’t fixing the problem.

    Part of the problem is we have a government that uses its military from time to time to project its force onto the rest of the world when other nations don’t get with the program regarding American business or security interests, sovereignty of those other nations be damned. Even a knowledge-lacking ill-named peon like myself can figure that one out. Fortunately for my lackwitted self, I’ve somehow managed to learn to read despite my obvious mental and social failings and thus have this thing called history to refer to. That history doesn’t seem to involve a hell of a lot of altruism and good deeds done with no expectation of renumeration and does seem to involve a lot of toppling governments, training thugs and torturers, invasions, aerial bombardments and general miserable behavior towards anyone who has something our government wants.

    The other part of the problem is the people who still believe in their heart of hearts that the military is still intrinsically good and noble, that it just needs to be gently guided back to the right path. Sorry, but it left that path a long time before any of us were born. Any good it does is purely coincidental to the designs of the people who ultimately call the shots. Sure, American soldiers are saving lives as well as taking them. They’re saving lives that are endangered not just by terrorists and sectarian violence but by policies enacted by the very people who’ve sent them where they are now. Just like a firearm, the military isn’t inherently good or evil, it’s a tool put to whatever task the wielder decides upon, but with one important exception. A firearm can’t refuse to be aimed and fired.

    You don’t have to convince me of the humanity of those in the military, Terry. I’m aware of it. Lack of humanity isn’t the problem. It’s a lack of the will to stand up to institutionalized inhumanity rather than reflexively defend that institution because you happen to belong to it.

  102. Antinous says:

    does this mean I need to start pouring you stiffer drinks?

    That would be fattening and probably cause reflux, but thanks.

  103. nate_freewheel says:

    Yikes. I think this means it’s time to get the hell out of dodge.

  104. noen says:

    There may be a legitimate need for well trained emergency personnel but I see no reason for HS to be involved. I see no reason for Homeland Security to even exist frankly.

  105. Tenn says:

    I’ve already started. I’ll see if Taku-san wants any. I’ll just limit you to white russians and the like.

  106. Ari B. says:

    Jeff @14:

    Israel’s hardly the only country with mandatory military service. The UK used to have National Service, and Germany has some form of conscription, IIRC.

    (Hell, the US used to have a draft, once upon a time…)

  107. Sarah says:

    I like the idea of highly trained emergency personnel as much as the next person, but I don’t think this should be mixed up with a high school education. Any additional training should be extracurricular.

    I separate the emergency planning stuff from the SWAT and prison guard stuff. WTF is *that* doing in a high school?

  108. Sister Y says:

    Is it just me or does it seem like there are more apologies on BB lately? Like the heartwarming civility following the nastiness on roadkill. I know it’s silly but it makes me all sentimental. You get to watch the nasty fight, and then you get to feel all happy for humanity when they apologize. It’s even better than no fight at all.

  109. spectre says:

    Awesome. Looks like they’ll be training the jack-booted, para-military government thugs of the future. I for one welcome the coming police state, I think we earned it.

  110. Tenn says:

    and all you want to do is take that elitist point of view that unless you were “smart” enough to go straight to a higher education, you’re too dumb to be anything but a pawn or a tool

    I don’t see how any thing I wrote correlates to elitism. Excuse me, but your assertions on my character are unfounded and unwelcomed. I am currently considering dropping out and getting a GED for the simple sake that I could make more money doing what I know than going to school in unnecessary classes that I am currently struggling in – failing, even.

    At least at a school like this, you can pick a career and they’ll help you get there.

    I support schools that do that. I do not support schools that make it possible for children to practice military tactics at young ages. It’s never worked out. Ever. Sparta, Africa, and Germany have taught us this. Children are children. I’m a member of JROTC, which is as far as it should go. You learn leadership there but we’re strictly kept from learning actual military tactics beyond first aid and marching. We target shoot. SWAT tactics are something else entirely. Busting in doors and effective invasion of buildings in dangerous situations does not equal a necessary pre-job training. You can get those skills at the job.

    “Crappy on the job training?” That’s for things that don’t have Military Police Academies. I should hope our SWAT officers aren’t getting thirty minutes of instructional videos- which they aren’t.

    If you’re going to make off-topic comments like how you have no atrocities on your record, and imply that everyone who has been in the military is an unstable brute looking for a fight, you better be able to back it up.

    Being as you initiated the comments which led to his ‘off-topic comments’, I think this is a case of pot and kettle. Hurrah, you.

    I am friends with and work with people who were lucky if they graduated from public school.

    I’m going to one. Your ‘well I have friends who are —–’ argument is trumped by my daily experience, I’m afraid. I see these kids every day. Whether you’re ‘elitist’ or someone I apparently perceive as dumb (which, for the record, I don’t, thanks), you’re still subject to the social pressures that are going to make these schools dangerous.

    Yes, options are needed. No, this is not that option. Vocational school, yes. I’d fully support this- minus the military aspect.

  111. Sarah says:

    Has anybody introduced these guys to their (big) sister school in Maryland? They’re only about forty miles apart as the car drives.

  112. Jacques says:

    And, to be fair, we should be talking about the Bush Youth, not the Hitler Youth. Brown’s still a good colour choice.

  113. Takuan says:

    “From that time, he has been groomed to be the best possible military leader that the government can make.In every encounter, he not only wins, but wins completely, something the military appreciates. The military tests and trains its students, most notably Ender, through games. Ender is the most successful student ever at Battle School. Ender trained relentlessly, and finds success when under the most emotional and social strain — when he is angry and isolated. the adults recognize this and capitalize on it — isolating and angering Ender as often as possible.When assigned to an army, Ender rises to the top of the leader board. From this point on, he was the one everyone compared themselves to. As training progresses, Ender becomes a commander of his own army, and wins handily again. He is the best strategist the school has ever seen.”

  114. Antinous says:

    Sounds like it good be a good trade school for a lot of youth.

    The things is that the children who go to vocational schools are usually the ones who failed academic subjects and commonly had disciplinary problems. So we’re now going to sort out the thugs and give them weapons and training.

  115. mrfitz says:

    First thing I thought of #9, after I thought, “What? The FBI, CIA, DHS, etc., will scoop these kids up.”

    It’s the perfect indoctrination program for government goons: obedient to the core, soulless, physically fit, trained in warfare. They are the Constitution de facto.

  116. Terry Karney says:

    Sister T: Re porcelain.

    The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story Janet Gleeson. It’s a really good read. One of those, “You couldn’t make this stuff up; no one would believe it,” stories.

  117. Gal_n_AL says:

    @#14 Jeff, To be fair, the mere mention of Israeli army doesn’t conjure immediate images of Gitmo, wiretapping and the eradication of civil rights in the name of nationalism (or patriotism, whichever you prefer). In the past couple of years, the name “Homeland Security” has begun to have the same sour ring as “Das Fatherland”. The mere thought of indoctrinating young people into that organization make me wonder just how much longer we will remain a Democracy.

  118. GregLondon says:

    It’s a lack of the will to stand up to institutionalized inhumanity rather than reflexively defend that institution because you happen to belong to it.

    Funny how that can be applied equally to groups like “voting public” as much as it can be applied to “people in the military”. But it’s probably easier to blame some group you don’t identify with, rather than some group of which you’re a member, so you don’t have to look at your own lack of will. Why haven’t you stood up to the inhumanity and put an end to it? Last time I checked the Constitution, the military is subservient to civilian authority.

    You are aware of the inhumanities going on around the world, right? Why haven’t you put an end to them? What are you waiting for?

    Since we’re waxing poetic identifying the source of the problem, do you want to know what I think the problem is? I think it’s a lot easier for some dufus to sit on his ass, do nothing, and find a scapegoat to blame for why the world is the way it is. It’s hella lot easier to feign powerlessness and blame someone with perceived power, than it is to actually admit that they’re part of the fucking problem as well.

  119. GregLondon says:

    btw, Terry, don’t bother with this guy. He isn’t worth it. He’s framing the world in simplistic black and white, me vs the world, I’m fine it’s everyone else who’s messed up, terms. And no post on a blog is going to change him.

  120. acx99 says:

    “Water Rescue”? Is that what we’re calling it these days?

  121. Tenn says:

    True, Sister. I was reading roadkill right after this and I was all alight with love for humanity. Humility is a beautiful thing.

  122. GregLondon says:

    Skullhunter speweth:

    Wow, tilt at the wrong windmill and some folks just get all kinds of hostile.

    Wah. Play the blame game, expect to get called on it.

    Greg, there is nothing simple or black-and-white about the situation. I’m pretty sure I was saying the exact opposite.

    No, you were saying exactly black and white.

    Post 87 blames two groups: people in the military mainly, and to a smaller extent, the “government”. You make not one single mention of the public’s responsibility, or your own roll in any of this. Only when called on it do you pay lip service to shades of gray, while still throwing your hands in the air claiming the people with the guns are the only ones who can do anything.

    As far as the military being subservient to civilian authority according to the Constitution, I think we all ready know how those in power feel regarding that particular document.

    Name one specific thing that you personally have done, besides vote, that would demonstrate your personal effort to throw off the tyranny you so greatly despise.

    What great thing have you done to defend the Constitution?

    Sign a petition? Donate money to some token money to some political candidate?

    This is me, underwhelmed.

    The old saw about a civilian outranking any soldier sounds nice but doesn’t wash; they’re not bound to listen to us unless what we say coincides with or doesn’t conflict with what they’re ordered to do by their superiors.

    Spoken by someone who has neither been in the military or done anything worth a damn to stop the attrocities you so quickly lay at other’s feet.

    I introduce people to new ideas whenever I can.

    If this is an example of your “new ideas”, no thanks.

    I teach my kids about things they won’t learn in history class. I work to try and reduce the dependence we have on this nation’s ill-gotten gains. I understand that this is how things are right now, I do not accept that they must stay this way. We can be better than this. We have to, if we’d like to retain our viability as a species and not end up another archaeological footnote in this planet’s history.

    words, words, words. Show me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAUpxUOtGyU

    I would, however, submit that when it comes to the military, someone who’s actually part of the structure itself has a much better chance of effecting change within it that a college dropout with a service industry job.

    hand-washing.

    Look, if you folks want to personalize the argument,

    Look, sonny, you personalized this with your innane bifurcation back at #87:

    The problem is not that the military is composed of aberrant psychotics or that most of them or even a decent number of them are trained to be aberrant psychotics. The problem is that they’re mainly perfectly normal average people who either believe they’re doing the right thing or who believe there’s nothing terribly wrong with how the military works or how the military is utilized by our government.

    It’s not even a good bifurcation. Either people in the military think they’re doing the right thing, or they think they’re not doing anything terribly wrong. Sort of the same thing, isn’t it?

    You think you can say stuff like that in public and not have it be personal? You think no one who’s been in teh military won’t read your blanket statement and assume that your grand vision of the way things are ™ applies to them personally?

    Exactly where did you say in your grand scheme of things that this is the way it is, except for anyone who happens to actually be in the military and happens to read this?

    And you think I am making this personal?

    that’s fine with me.

    Sure it is. that’s why your posts get longer with each reply.

    Ask me why I haven’t single-handedly cleaned up the entire planet and cured all its ills with a wave of my hand.

    Clean up the planet? Ha! I’d wager you haven’t done a single thing that inconvenienced your daily routine.

    Finger-point and say “Well you’re part of the problem too!”. I’m sure that’ll help.

    look in the mirror.

    And while we’re all clawing at each other in the mud,

    You started clawing with your blanket statements about military people. All I did was call you on it.

    soldiers still die, bombs still fall, people still get renditioned, sabers keep being rattled to start the process all over again afresh.

    The horror. The horror.

    Let me put it this way. I don’t care if you like me. I don’t care if you think I’m worth your time or someone else’s time or that I can’t be saved by the shining light of an intellect far greater than my own. I’m not here to make friends. This isn’t a frakking popularity contest. It’s not high school. This is pixels on a screen. That’s what I am here, that’s what you are here. I’m not going to sit around on here worrying about what the pixels will think of me if I offend their delicate sensibilities or take a jab at the wrong sacred cow, but I’m not going to go out of my way to do either of those because I want a reaction or because it would be “fun” to get people bent out of shape.

    The handwavium is getting pretty thick here.

    To summarize your smoke and mirrors: “This is just pixels on a screen. it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re insulted by some pixels I put on the screen, that isn’t my problem.”

    I will apologize if I am demonstrably wrong on some point of fact

    Oh, I very much doubt that.

    but I will not apologize for who I am or how I speak

    Who you are is someone who made a blanket statement about a group of people to which you do not belong. How you speak is by laying full blame for everything at their feet while waving your own personal responsibility away.

    just so I can be subsumed in the comforting warmth of the group, whatever that group might be.

    If you think I’m trying to comfort you, you’re seriously mistaken.

    As long as our government continues to project its force outwards without caring what happens to those in the path of that force or those who apply that force, none of our comfort levels really matter worth a damn.

    Bold words. Now, show me what you’ve done about it. Otherwise, stop blaming everyone else for not doing enough to stop all these tragedies you’ve done nothing about yourself.

  123. Skullhunter says:

    Guys, this is Greg London. He’s got a major personal commitment to Lawful Good, but sometimes his wordcounts increase exponentially when he feels like he isn’t getting something across.

    I think you folks have noticed I suffer from a similar affliction. I chalk it up to too much coffee and RPGs.

    I’m not sure how this all went the way it did either. Speaking only for myself, perhaps I became overly agitated because I felt like what I was saying and what others perceived I was saying became two radically different things. Unfortunately stating and restating it didn’t help, it just seemed to make matters worse. Such is the way of the internet I suppose.

    Anyways, for what it’s worth, I don’t see anyone involved as a bad person. I don’t feel hated nor do I hate anyone here since it’d be a pretty damn silly reason to hate anyone. Hopefully future interactions will be more pleasant. And Teresa, you take care of yourself first. Apparently we’ve got Antinous ready to knock us back in line if need be. :)

    That’s my bit for now, I have to run and put in an application so I can perhaps leave my tourist industry job behind before the season starts. Talk at you folks later.

  124. Antinous says:

    ACX99,

    LOL. While simultaneously weeping.

  125. Sister Y says:

    Tenn, I agree about the humility. I wonder if boys realize that chicks dig humility. (Not to be all heteronormative.)

    Skullhunter and Greg, we can all be bros!

  126. Takuan says:

    Dear Terry

    Oldest reason in the book: It’s fun.

    Some like it. I suspect it’s tolerated because there is a streak in all that gratifies when “the government” does it.

    If you live in a democracy and your government tortures, you are a torturer. This is not one of those grey issues where disapproval registers as a moral pass on culpability.

    I really wonder how many torture supporters understand that they have now condemned their own nation’s captured soldiers to torture? Or understand as civilians abroad they now no longer have that protection? Or conceive that their own government may one day see it necessary to tie them to the slab?

    Utter, total fools.

  127. Skullhunter says:

    As to the whole “try saying this to a soldier” argument? I never made that argument. I said “serve their country”, which can mean a variety of things, and this school would teach a lot of those careers.

    Yes, of course, it can mean a variety of things. Even though the primary focus here seems to be on the military aspect. Even though MrFitz was talking about people trained in warfare. Even though you felt the need to respond to MrFitz by saying that all the people you know who’ve served in the military think for themselves and aren’t just unswervingly obedient. Obviously you weren’t talking about soldiers when you said “I know a lot of people who serve or have served in the military”, you must’ve been talking about schoolteachers or EMTs.

    However, it very much irritates me when people assume the military is nothing more that a death squad.

    Welcome to the internet. People here may say things you don’t agree with, like hearing, or want to hear. Your irritation is inconsequential beyond the extent that it may or may not be entertaining.

    Nobody said “death squad”. I guess that’s what you keep hearing whenever someone makes the outrageous suggestion that people who have the ability to kill without legal sanction as part of their job should be held to some higher standard of conduct. Additionally, the idea that anyone should be automatically granted respect simply due to the position they hold in society or the uniform they wear is the mentality of the servile.

    However it very much amuses me when someone says in a huff that they’re quitting the discussion only to reappear a few posts later.

  128. GregLondon says:

    skullhunter muttered: If the song bores you so much, listen to something else and cease engaging me. I’m fairly certain no one’s forcing you to.

    Oh god, I’ve got troll spit all over me.

    Just pixels on the screen, eh?

    I seriously doubt you’d be so flippant about how meaningless all this is if you found your IP address banned from the site.

    I have a very good sense of my place here and my relative lack of importance.

    Is that your excuse for being insulting?

    I am most definitely not some brave iconoclast speaking truth to power

    (but then)

    I’ll take my chances with letting everybody else make up their own minds.

    Well, make up your damn mind. Are you, or are you not, speaking to power? Are you or are you not trying to change people’s minds? Are you, or are you not, someone who can be held accountable for what you say?

    Or is it all meaningless pixels on a screen?

    You want it both ways. You want to be able to make blanket statements about how the world is and who is to blame and how you’re not responsibile for any of it personally. We’re all human, we’re all fallible, but people in the military are more fallible than the rest. And when people call you on your bullshit, you want it to be pixels on a screen, doesn’t mean anything, everyone will forget this conversation, you’re not important, don’t mind me, you’re not trying to change anyone’s mind here.

    Classic. Troll.

  129. Skullhunter says:

    @49:
    Antinous – actually, I was thinking you’d get more of a verbal ass-kicking than a physical one.

    Because, you know, that’s how rational people act.

    Irrational people just resort to violence or ASSUME people will resort to violence.

    Funny, I wasn’t aware that the recruits these days were getting trained in reasoned debate and conflict resolution.

    Cutting through all the Patriotically Correct nonsense, the average combat soldier is trained to resolve conflicts through use of physical force, they are trained to accept orders to use that force almost without question and they are steeped in a culture that says their country can do no wrong or that when it does that wrong is vastly outweighed by all the good it supposedly does.

    This is not conducive to a mindset that can tolerate direct verbal criticism without feeling an instinctive need to smash the source of said criticism. I personally wouldn’t take my chances with those odds. I’m also fairly certain that a “verbal ass-kicking” is not the outcome you’d be hoping for in such a situation. The “why don’t you try saying that to a soldier” shtick is very dated and the implication behind it is pretty clear: Please say this to a soldier so they’ll hopefully do you the harm you richly deserve, you un-American hippie commie pinko.

    But I’m sure you were just engaging in satire. That is the usual excuse isn’t it?

  130. GregLondon says:

    sometimes his wordcounts increase exponentially when he feels like he isn’t getting something across.

    I have been trying to improve that, though I am rather sucky at making progress.

    you’re arguing with is the local branch of the Citizens’ Committee for Public Intelligence and Reasonably Decent Behavior

    I overreacted. I need to walk away from topics that trigger me to the point where I can’t think straight. This is one of those topics. My bad.

  131. efergus3 says:

    #23: They already take them into the Army and Marines. If you’re breathing, they’ll waver almost anything.

  132. Tenn says:

    It’s cool, Greg. Really. We all get verbose here. (Check out the Ben Stein thread. Seriously.)

  133. Jeff says:

    Antinous, there are so many kids in trouble, that getting them into a program that helps teach them some kind of discipline has to be better. You can straighten a kid out if you get them in time. It’s not a perfect answer, but it’s not a perfect world either.

  134. arkizzle says:

    #24
    Wow, that’s not the Israeli army I know.. (maybe not gitmo, but yes to the wiretapping and erosion of civil rights, plus sledge-hammer surgical strikes and multiple collateral damage.. a sour ring indeed)

  135. Antinous says:

    Skullhunter, Greg,

    Get a room. Lengthy comments detailing each others’ faults are not really that interesting to the rest of us.

  136. lduvall says:

    A sign of how sick american society is becoming, and I fear the worst is yet to come!

  137. Terry Karney says:

    WeightedCompanionCube:

    Allow me (as a soldier) to say… I am more concerned about this because it’s not actually a DHS program. It’s a percolating of the Idea of “Homeland” and that implies and “outland”.

    I don’t see anyone in this thread calling me, or my fellows, facists (though I can see where they might, and in context, I might not get annoyed), they are saying that this is a creeping trend. The idea that we need to have Voc/Trade Schools with a “Homeland Security” focus is bothersome.

    That they aren’t actually following a gov’t curricula is more so; because that allows for secondary indoctrinations and private ideas of “how things ought to be” to end up in people who go into those lines of work.

    It’s a bad thing because of how it’s cast. The connotations of the name are that this is either sanctioned, or that there is some existential threat to, “our way of life” which needs to have large chunks of the populace mobilised from an early age to combat.

    That’s not the same as an Explorer program with the fire and police depts. You are reading a lot into what’s been said (with the ham-handed attempt to play the anti-intellectual card, “elitist”). We don’t have a trade school system, so pulling someone from the ideal we’ve set up (a broad education) and shunting them into something else will have the effect (intended, or not) of making the professions they are being tracked to, seem less intelligent.

    Police depts get graduates from acadamies with rigorous training, and a POST certificate isn’t something these places are going to be handing out. What is more likely to happen is that those who go to this school, and don’t make the cut, will acquire an arrogance (like “cop-lite”) and become insufferable in some other, probably related, job.

    Antinious: I take some exception to the characterisation that “Many members of our military have been taught to shhot, but not to think.” The training on weapons is actually really good in that regard. There are behavioral constraints built into the program, and the ROE are pounded into everyone. Some may be more aggressive than others, but the number of intelligent, thinking; and reflective, people in service is higher than usually believed.

    You may have no atrocities on your record, but many civilians do (sweeping characterisations from limited sets are easy to make). Are there atrocities. Yes, most certainly (and if you want to talk Milgram, and reactions to stress and strain; command influence, and all the like, I’d be glad to. There are some, serious; systemic, problem (IM, personal,O) and they reflect badly on some very specific part of the army, the command structure and the oversight of both, but I digress).

    Even if systemic, are they widespread? No. They are, perhaps, becoming institutional, but that’s, largely, a problem with the civilian leadership imposing ignorant ideas on an overly compliant general staff; with the active encouragement of a jingoistic public, fed nonsense by a pushover press.

    I’ll now step off that soapbox.

    WEIGHTEDCOMPANIONCUBE: Do me a favor, define torture, because you seem to be using it fast and loose (at least, to me, from here). I have an intimate understanding of what it is; a deep comprehension of how it’s defined (in the Geneva Conventions, International Law [and understandings] and the US Code, and I’d like to know we’re using the same music before we start to dance.

    As to the nature of the discussion, you were the one who took exception to the rhetorical flourishes, so I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for your attempt to flounce.

    SKULLHUNTER: Cutting through all the Patriotically Correct nonsense, the average combat soldier is trained to resolve conflicts through use of physical force, they are trained to accept orders to use that force almost without question and they are steeped in a culture that says their country can do no wrong or that when it does that wrong is vastly outweighed by all the good it supposedly does.

    Nonsense. Stupid nonsense. Insulting nonsense. More offensive to me than the thing WEIGHTEDCOMPANIONCUBE imputed to the people you are trying to beat up on.

    And you compound it when you say: Even though you felt the need to respond to MrFitz by saying that all the people you know who’ve served in the military think for themselves and aren’t just unswervingly obedient. Obviously you weren’t talking about soldiers when you said “I know a lot of people who serve or have served in the military”, you must’ve been talking about schoolteachers or EMTs.

  138. Xopher says:

    Wow, looks like I missed all the fun fnord. I wonder if I can join the local committee?

  139. Skullhunter says:

    I think troll or not is up to the administrators of the site. If they want to smoke my IP, that’s entirely their right to do so, it’s their sandbox after all and we’re here at their indulgence. I don’t seem them speaking to me about it just yet. If and when they do, I’ll accept their decision. From you it’s a bit on the empty threat side.

    Honestly I think you’re too busy seeing red to realize how badly you’ve mischaracterized my posts. Not to mention that you’ve managed to work in a nice collection of logical fallacies as well as making a lot of assertions that neither you nor I can prove or disprove ie. “Ha! I’d wager you haven’t done a single thing that inconvenienced your daily routine.” which of course if I answered in any fashion other than to agree with you, you’d no doubt claim I was lying. You ask for proof of things you either don’t really want or that you’ll make more hay out of by claiming it’s verification of what a bad little troll I am. Whether I give you the answer you ask for or not, you’ll claim it’s a victory for you.

    So far I’ve had people tell me I’m wrong but they haven’t backed it up with anything but bile and a lot of personal bullshit that’s justified with the well-reasoned “Well you started it!” and “Yeah well you’re not doing anything either ’cause I say so!” responses. That and a lot of simplifying of what I’ve said and trying to catch me out like this is some sort of contest.

    And seriously, “sonny”? Wow. I don’t know if I can hold my own against that kind of debating style. Well at least this post was shorter than the others, do I at least make the grade there?

  140. Antinous says:

    Weren’t you supposed to post some pictures? That might influence your application status favorably.

  141. Tenn says:

    Xopher, look at the standards. I made the cut. Assuredly you do too.

  142. Skullhunter says:

    Antinous, sorry if I’ve derailed the thread. It wasn’t my intention but sometimes I can’t leave some things unanswered despite myself. I’ll knock it off.

  143. Tenn says:

    Antinous, Xopher, how come I’ve never seen you in the IRC channel? Come now. Join the party. I know I’ve invited you -multiple- times, Ant. You’ve never even responded.

  144. trai_dep says:

    Wow. Sixteen-year-old boys with TASERs and and batons with authority over each other. What could possibly go wrong?

  145. Skullhunter says:

    Wow, tilt at the wrong windmill and some folks just get all kinds of hostile.

    Greg, there is nothing simple or black-and-white about the situation. I’m pretty sure I was saying the exact opposite. There’s no overpowering supernatural evil involved here, no massive shadowy conspiracy, no one thing we can do away with and then say “The day is saved, good job everybody!”. Our nature as social animals and willingness to “go along to get along”, to avoid conflict in order to remain within the perceived safety of the group, is being used against us by those in power. Soldiers try not to buck the system because there are mechanisms in place to make them feel that they are betraying their fellow soldiers and even their country if they do so while those who stand fast with the group are shielded and praised for doing so. Civilians try not to buck the system because they also don’t want to be ostracized, to be seen as outsiders or to cross a line that causes them to become separate from the group. The divide in the treatment of Second Lieutenant William Calley and Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson regarding the Mai Lai Massacre is a perfect example of that for both the military AND civilian response to people who go against the dominant behavior patterns in our society. One man is held up as a martyred hero and has songs composed in his honor, the other gets death threats and has dead animals deposited on his doorstep. Which man followed orders given and which followed the dictates of his conscience?

    As far as the military being subservient to civilian authority according to the Constitution, I think we all ready know how those in power feel regarding that particular document. The Constitution is how things should be; the reality we’re living in is how things are. The old saw about a civilian outranking any soldier sounds nice but doesn’t wash; they’re not bound to listen to us unless what we say coincides with or doesn’t conflict with what they’re ordered to do by their superiors.

    Am I absolving myself from blame? How? I consume, just like everybody else. Whether I like it or not, my entire life I’ve benefited from just about everything this nation has done abroad whether it’s the cheap consumer goods I buy that are made possible by my government paving the way into other countries for American corporations, the food I eat while other countries face famine or even the maintenance done around my apartment complex by people who’ve had to abandon their home country because of dwindling opportunities for them caused by trade imbalances with America. I benefit. We ALL benefit. I don’t see myself as powerless either. I introduce people to new ideas whenever I can. I teach my kids about things they won’t learn in history class. I work to try and reduce the dependence we have on this nation’s ill-gotten gains. I understand that this is how things are right now, I do not accept that they must stay this way. We can be better than this. We have to, if we’d like to retain our viability as a species and not end up another archaeological footnote in this planet’s history.

    I would, however, submit that when it comes to the military, someone who’s actually part of the structure itself has a much better chance of effecting change within it that a college dropout with a service industry job.

    Look, if you folks want to personalize the argument, that’s fine with me. Ask me why I haven’t single-handedly cleaned up the entire planet and cured all its ills with a wave of my hand. Finger-point and say “Well you’re part of the problem too!”. I’m sure that’ll help. And while we’re all clawing at each other in the mud, soldiers still die, bombs still fall, people still get renditioned, sabers keep being rattled to start the process all over again afresh.

    Let me put it this way. I don’t care if you like me. I don’t care if you think I’m worth your time or someone else’s time or that I can’t be saved by the shining light of an intellect far greater than my own. I’m not here to make friends. This isn’t a frakking popularity contest. It’s not high school. This is pixels on a screen. That’s what I am here, that’s what you are here. I’m not going to sit around on here worrying about what the pixels will think of me if I offend their delicate sensibilities or take a jab at the wrong sacred cow, but I’m not going to go out of my way to do either of those because I want a reaction or because it would be “fun” to get people bent out of shape. I will apologize if I am demonstrably wrong on some point of fact but I will not apologize for who I am or how I speak just so I can be subsumed in the comforting warmth of the group, whatever that group might be. As long as our government continues to project its force outwards without caring what happens to those in the path of that force or those who apply that force, none of our comfort levels really matter worth a damn.

  146. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    mrfitz – really, how would THIS be different from the military?

    Going to the school would be a choice, like any other votech or magnet school. Same as US military service. (Actually, not really the same at all, because this school apparently focuses on civilian careers… non-police and non-military)

    “obedient to the core, soulless, physically fit, trained in warfare.”

    Well, aside from the inflammatory ‘soulless’ bit, that’s your ideal soldier. Are you accusing everyone who has served honorably of being a government goon? I know a lot of people who serve or have served in the military who can still think for themselves and are in fact VERY critical of the US Government. It’s their right, and believe it or not, they can think for themselves.

    Not to mention all the civilians actually working as prison guards, and also fire, 911, rescue, public safety… you know, the civilian careers this school is going to focus on.

    Go tell someone who is proud to be serve their country how they have been trained to be good little Nazis and see what kind of response you get.

    Most of the comments I’ve seen so far have been very ignorant. Who bothered to RTFA and see that this really has very little to do with DHS or any government agency? The somewhat inaccurate summary and overall tone didn’t help too much…

    FYI, Homeland Security should not be capitalized unless you’re referring to the department, and this has nothing to do with them. In fact, this has about as much to do with Homeland Security as the spam I get for “a career in Homeland Security” … which is of course, some bogus private investigator school.

  147. ixregardo says:

    Cute.
    I actually go to school in Wilmington, so I find this extra amusing.

  148. Antinous says:

    Thank you.

  149. Takuan says:

    unlike me, he is ashamed at not knowing how.

  150. Xopher says:

    Hmm, my answer to 141 and 143 is the same: the technology defeated me. I wasn’t able to get a picture to post, and I’ve never been able to figure out IRC.

  151. Tenn says:

    Click here. No excuses, now.

  152. Xopher says:

    I get an install message, and the install fails. This is because I’m not logged on as an Admin.

  153. Antinous says:

    getting them into a program that helps teach them some kind of discipline has to be better.

    Teach? In a school? I thought that you lived in the US. Who do you think will be teaching them and what do you think the lessons will be? You can teach many things. I wouldn’t put any money on them being kind and benevolent things.

  154. Tenn says:

    That’s because you don’t have Java 1.4 Xopher. Maybe this will work for you- Java 1.1 version

  155. arkizzle says:

    * in tears *

    Guys.. that was beautiful..

    * sniffle *

    We need to fight and make up more often. I’m just so sorry I wasn’t here for the fight, but I am here for the hugs.

    Hi Greg! Arkizzle..
    __

    Antinous: Outed is right. Love the new uniform.

  156. Xopher says:

    Nope. Same prob. It’s time for me to go to bed anyway…I’ll try all this tomorrow.

  157. echo4mike says:

    I just re-read Snow Crash last week, and it seems that this Fitzgerald guy is the same sort of creepy Jeebus-military-establishment type that YT and Hiro were fighting against.

    Seriously, though, protestants like this guy have no business teaching debate. Leave that to Jesuits.

    I, however, would have paid goooood money to go to “Learn to be a badass High School back in high school,” so they’re going to get more than their fair share of wannabe panty-sniffers…

  158. Sister Y says:

    Terry, I just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful response. The only military person I’ve talked about this with was a very young Marine freshly back from Iraq, and he had a hard time articulating the problems he saw with Grossman’s conclusions.

    If you have any book recommendations I would love to have them.

  159. Stefan Jones says:

    I want to see a charter school for Mall Ninjas.

  160. Tenn says:

    Night, Xopher. Sleep tight! Don’t let the VC bite.

    -Offers Arkizzle a handkerchief- S’ okay, man. I love you. I- I love you all. The world, you guys- it’s so beautiful.

  161. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Ugh.

    As to the whole “try saying this to a soldier” argument? I never made that argument. I said “serve their country”, which can mean a variety of things, and this school would teach a lot of those careers. However, it very much irritates me when people assume the military is nothing more that a death squad.

    Has anyone else realized that this school is NOT a military school? It has academy in it’s name and has ex-military leadership on board. That does not make it a military school any more than any other private school. The whole “SWAT Tactics” thing was undoubtedly media exaggeration… my reasonable guess would be you’d learn as much about SWAT tactics as you’d learn surgery in pre-med.

  162. Antinous says:

    Tak-kun,

    I went to that IRC channel that the younguns are talking about. They’re jabberin’ away over there in real time. You’ll have to check it out.

  163. raisedbywolves says:

    FRIGHTENING.

  164. Skullhunter says:

    There are behavioral constraints built into the program, and the ROE are pounded into everyone.

    Rules of engagement that are still violated, altered or just plain ignored and then either excused or covered-up with the complicity of the command structure. Surely I can’t be the only one who remembers how the story went regarding Fallujah and the use of white phosphorus weapons? Or the idea of setting “bomb making materials” out in the open, watched over by snipers assigned to kill anyone attempting to take them?

    Some may be more aggressive than others, but the number of intelligent, thinking; and reflective, people in service is higher than usually believed.

    And yet still the military continues to be used as a tool of capitalist and imperialist designs. Apparently the intelligence level isn’t high enough to make an actual difference where it matters, just enough so that some people can act self-congratulatory about how truly smart the members of the military are. As long as you’re still being used like this, you’ll excuse me if my estimation of your collective intelligence is a bit off from what you think it should be

  165. Tenn says:

    There are behavioral constraints built into the program, and the ROE are pounded into everyone.

    Abu Ghraib.

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