Factless in Seattle
I came across an interesting article today about how the Garfield High School (Seattle) Parent Teacher Student Association has voted to "adopt a resolution that says "public schools are not a place for military recruiters." Now mind you, under the No Child Left Behind Act, public schools are required to release the names of students to recruiters, but schools are not yet required to allow military recruiters on campus (the Supreme Court is deciding a similar issue about colleges barring military recruiters.)
So why are these parents so peeved about having military recruiters on high school campuses? Well, first, they feel the government is spending money fighting the War on Terror in Iraq that could be better spent in our public schools:
Like so many schools today, Garfield grapples with painful budget cuts, loss of teachers, and dwindling resources. The school's opposition to military recruitment seems, in part, a result of parents' growing realization that tax money spent for the Iraq war is money not spent on children's educations or other domestic needs.
"They're spending $4 billion a month in Iraq, but we have to cut our race relations class, which costs $12,500," Ms. Hagopian pointed out. "That's an important class for our kids."
Even though the author of this article, one Dean Paton, uses scary words like "painful" and "dwindling", the facts say something completely different. According to the Seattle School District's website, the General Fund budget for 2004-2005 was $443,667,649. This is an increase of 2% from 2003-2004. Similarily, the instructional budgeted increased 3% from 2003-2004 to this school year. So actually, their budget has increased as have their resources. Huh.
I'm terribly sorry that Seattle students can't take such a valuable class as "race relations", but don't blame stingy taxpayers for it. Another interesting point is that the Bush administration has consistently increased educational spending. You, like me, may not appreciate what a tax and spend Republican he is, but the facts hardly support Paton's "woe is me" rhetoric. But, why bother presenting facts when you've got an agenda to push, right? Of course, not all parents and teachers at Garfield High are looney lefties. Here's one voice of reason:
During discussion at the PTSA's meeting last week, Ted Inkley argued against the resolution because he thought it dangerous to deny free speech to organizations simply because their philosophies or intentions disagreed with the PTSA.
Mr. Inkley, an attorney whose daughter is a senior, told the crowded library he could "easily" see a resolution by some other PTA that banned Planned Parenthood representatives from campus because of their views on contraception and abortion.
Unfortunately, this voice in the wilderness was quickly drowned out by the lunatic fringe:
Steve Ludwig, whose son is a senior and whose daughter will enter as a freshman next fall, made a point shared by many in attendance: Garfield does not allow organizations that promote illegal activities to recruit students to perform those activities, nor does it allow organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation to recruit on campus.
"Planned Parenthood, as far as I know, does not advocate or perform illegal acts. The US military does," Mr. Ludwig continued. The soft-spoken carpenter said he would not object if Army representatives came to Garfield to debate their ideas on torture or aggressive war. "What I object to is their coming here to recruit students to perform those acts," he said. "It's not about free speech."
This is a "point"? No, this is rhetoric scraped from the bottom of the barrel at places like the Democratic Underground. Remember this when looney lefties try to save face by saying things like "I support the troops". That's just a bunch of B.S. Just as folks like Ward Churchill see the victims of the 9/11 attacks as little Eichmanns, these guys really do think our troops are nothing better than Earth-bound Storm Troopers raping, plundering & pillaging for our Emperor George. To them, it doesn't matter that the people of Afghanistan and Iraq have held free elections. It doesn't matter that we've spent billions and billions rebuilding their countries, not just from the War, but from the shoddy conditions that their totalitarian regimes left them in. It doesn't matter that American men and women died soley because we're fighting the most careful wars in history. It doesn't matter that our military has killed or captured thousands of terrorist assholes, who will no longer be able to harm the innocent. It doesn't matter that millions of Afghani women were freed from a repressive regime that every liberal in the world would find abhorent. Nope, the only thing that matters is that Bush is a Republican, and they are not. Let me tell you something, if I was the military I wouldn't want their kids. God only knows what they've been brought up to believe.
Posted by at May 18, 2005 12:55 PM
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|# May 18th, 2005 1:35 PM Daddy|
|What the f***? A class in RACE RELATIONS?
You know what you're saying? "Your social skills are useless in interactions with people of different skin pigmentation".
Welcome to Institutional Racism 2005.
Look, if you can relate to people, you can relate to PEOPLE OF OTHER RACES!! If this was a class in behavioral psych, devleopmental psych, or (ahem) PARENTING, I might be concerned.
But (by their reasoning) they had to CUT this class to pay for Iraq?
Let's go into Iran; maybe we can get rid of Ebonics.
|# May 18th, 2005 1:38 PM Daddy|
|Another point: I think something like a class on Race Relations only improves a kid's prejudice.
They can just be more accurate with their insults.
I know there's plenty wrong with this point, but I'm sure there are some people that feel me.
|# May 18th, 2005 1:43 PM mbrlr|
|I support the troops. I don't support Bush, who is responsible for their being in the situation they're in...for reasons which turned out to be untrue. I think lies, but let's just agree on untrue, shall we? Should the recruiters be allowed on campus? I personally have no objection, but I find it odd that many right-wing folks who trumpet the virtues of local control are upset about a district exercising such control.
A proviso: even if we let the commander-in-chief off the hook, there are some actions by our troops that do need to be acknowledged and investigated, not shuffled under the rug. Nothing is gained by turning away from it. We've now engaged in offensive wars (rimshot) in violation of our history and our tradition and it would compound any errors we've made and continue the bad feelings in the Islamic world and elsewhere if we don't stand up and acknowledge any errors our troops and military leadership in the field have made toward foreign troops and citizens. We owe it to ourselves to live up to that part of our heritage, even if we're throwing away a good part of the rest of it.
|# May 18th, 2005 1:46 PM mbrlr|
|BTW, the first two posts clear prove the benefit of classes in race relations. |
|# May 18th, 2005 1:58 PM BrianH|
|"I support the troops."
"there are some actions by our troops that do need to be acknowledged and investigated, not shuffled under the rug."
These two statements seem to conflict. Any improper actions done by our troops ARE investigated and punished. In many cases the punishment exceeds the crime. To suggest that the troops are taking inappropriate actions that are not being investigated is hardly support.
|# May 18th, 2005 2:04 PM kris|
I support the troops. I don't support Bush, who is responsible for their being in the situation they're in...for reasons which turned out to be untrue.
We are not in a global war on terror? We were not attacked on 9/11? Okay.
I personally have no objection, but I find it odd that many right-wing folks who trumpet the virtues of local control are upset about a district exercising such control.
Well yes, local school boards should not be able to circumvent the Constitution, if SCOTUS rules against them in the upcoming college case.
A proviso: even if we let the commander-in-chief off the hook, there are some actions by our troops that do need to be acknowledged and investigated, not shuffled under the rug.
Are you implying that some things have been shuffled under the rug? You're aware that the Pentagon was investigating Abu Ghraib well before the story was "broken" by the news media, right?
We've now engaged in offensive wars (rimshot) in violation of our history and our tradition and it would compound any errors we've made and continue the bad feelings in the Islamic world and elsewhere if we don't stand up and acknowledge any errors our troops and military leadership in the field have made toward foreign troops and citizens.
So, once again, I ask 9/11 didn't happen? We weren't attacked? Are we only allowed to fight on US soil now? Is that defensive enough for you?
|# May 18th, 2005 3:48 PM Laura|
|I can't resist commenting on this: |
Planned Parenthood, as far as I know, does not advocate or perform illegal acts. The US military does.Actually, they reportedly do.
However, I'm glad to see that the biggest problem in the Seattle school system is the lack of that race relations class. So math scores, reading ability, and all that must be great.
|# May 18th, 2005 6:05 PM Daddy|
|Professor mbrlr, so glad you're back. I'm sure we'll be seeing much more of you now that the semester's over....?
Let's discuss your quote:
BTW, the first two posts clear prove the benefit of classes in race relations.
Now, this statement is neither perfect nor true. Don't know where I heard that...., but it fits here.
The kind of arrogance evident in your post is EXACTLY the kind of authoritarian hubris that scares me--"I've stated something, therefore it is true, to be regarded as fact, without me having to back it up using facts or rhetoric". And you better remember it, kids, or you'll get it wrong on the test. You don't wanna be grounded, do you???
It is that situation, taken to its logical extreme (kid disagrees with prof to get good grade, ends up resenting prof, ends up dismissing the rest of prof's teachings), that would do far more harm than good in the area of Race Relations.
Just like censorship--who decides what is obscene?
I do think such educational could be beneficial in certain cases....but it could be hurtful in others. Given the current state of academia (AHEM), do you really trust our educational institutions not to "F" it up?? .
As for my second post, I had remembered a class I had in 10th grade: Addictive Diseases. It was a health elective. IT WAS FULL OF FREAKIN' STONERS!!! Looking for a new way to get high? Or an easy "A"?
My point is that education by itself, at least in its current form, does not prevent problems that kids are bent on creating for themselves.
A Latino kid who's gonna hate me because I'm white is gonna do so no matter how much education he gets--because he's gonna take the facts and construct them so that they support his preconceived viewpoint.
Just like a liberal.
|# May 18th, 2005 6:34 PM markusgaertner|
|Hi anybody out there who attended the meeting in this school last week and who wants to elaborate on these points ? I'd like to learn more about that interesting debate ..... |
|# May 19th, 2005 12:00 AM Daddy|
|I finally read the full post.
Kris, you SO rock!
That last paragraph made me so mad on so many levels. Now, how can kind, soft-spoken Mr. Ludwig (who reads to blind little old ladies in his spare time), honestly expect the military to come back to a Seattle high school after the CRAP that's gone on there??
|# May 19th, 2005 12:03 AM Daddy|
|sigh I have the worst luck with URL's lately....
|# May 19th, 2005 12:04 AM Daddy|
|So, um, Mr/s Editor? Can I replace the bad link with the good one? |
|# May 19th, 2005 10:35 AM mbrlr|
|Iraq didn't attack us and had nothing to do with 9/11. Nothing. Also, all our reasons for the war? Wrong. Oops. Well, he was a bad guy anyway, right?
Look, we engaged in an offensive war, contrary to our history and tradition. We've prosecuted people for things like that in the past. Welcome to the 21st century.
And I'm not implying anything. I'm stating it.
BTW, Daddy, my kids are Latinos (anglatinos) and they won't hate you. Just be a bit puzzled at all the anger from the side with the power right now. I believe much of the anger comes from knowing inside that your positions are based upon falsehoods, but my psychology classes were 20 years ago, so I may be wrong on that.
Hey, I firmly believe God has a sense of humor, so odds are that I and my liberal wife will have at least one of our boys turn out right-wing as can be. Just keep your fingers crossed.
|# May 19th, 2005 6:33 PM BVBigBro|
|I beg to differ mrlbr, having actually been alive in 2001-2002 , weapons of mass destruction were a very small part of the decision to go to war in Iraq, although to hear it today, they were the only reason we went to war.
Saddam's connections to Al Qaida are fairly well documented regardless of any specific 9/11 connection.
As for our specific policies, preemptive war has always been our policy. Iraq didn't attack us. So? Are you proposing that our policy be to stand idly by while a potential enemy gets stronger until we are attacked?
|# May 21st, 2005 12:43 AM mbrlr|
|They weren't a small part, they were the main part. Go back to Colin Powell embarassing the daylights out of himself for posterity. And Saddam's connections to Al Quaida...where? And we sort of had to be concerned about whether they were connected specifically to 9/11 since this whole mess has somewhat interfered with out ability to go after the you-know-whats who actually committed the 9/11 attacks. But, gee, Saddam was a more important target, huh? Forget the World Trade Center, let's focus on WMD! Or, well, let's not really focus on them now, you know, because there are lots of other reasons, you know, because Saddam's just a real bad guy and it's our responsibility to go after really bad guys. Yep.
"Preemptive war has always been our policy". Since when? Name wars. And no, the obliterate the Indians policies of the 19th century don't count. "Iraq didn't attack us. So?" Tell that to the over 1000 soldiers killed and the many thousands injured. I'd say "so". And am I "proposing that our policy be to stand idly by while a potential enemy gets stronger until we are attacked?" Of course not. That's why we and the British were already keeping an eye on Saddam pre-war, quite successfully. That's why we have treaties and things like NATO. That's why we keep an eye on folks, or at least purport to do so. What I am saying, however, is that I don't want the United States to throw away everything we fought for throughout the 20th century and throughout the Cold
War --- everything my grandfather and my Dad fought for in WWI and WWII and my brother helped struggle for as the Cold War wound down --- just because of some power mad imperialists in early 21st Century Republican Washington. Our country's better than that and the future of both this nation and this world deserve better.
Weapons of mass destruction. Lord have mercy. What a bunch of balderdash. If you're so concerned about our safety and those who attack(ed) us, I can't help but remember that the fellow responsible for 9/11 seems to still be out there and GW just somehow doesn't really seem to care much. I guess if he kept on and on after al Quaeda it just wouldn't have given him the opportunity to prance around that carrier in the cool jacket, huh?
What we just did is exactly what we fought against Hitler for doing in the '30s. I'm not kidding, although I know we didn't do it for land in the sense of property we're directly annexing. Just explain to me, please, how "preemptive war" differs from aggression other than the fact that we're now the ones defining what's preemption and what's aggression? The nice thing about defensive wars is that being attacked or at least having very clear evidence of intent does take away that little bit of Heimat Security nagging inconsistency. We of course have the right to defend ourselves, without question, but...what did we defend ourselves against in this last go-round? In going into Afghanistan, it was quite clear why we were there and who we were going after, although we then *let him go*. But Iraq? We already had Saddam contained before so many of our soldiers and all the Iraqui civilians died. All of them died, to be blunt, quite needlessly, and in a false cause. The main reason cited for both national and international support was WMD, your "very small part of the decision" language notwithstanding.
|# May 21st, 2005 1:37 AM BVBigBro|
|The WMD's were a small part. What do you think the cold war was? It was a fifty year threat to launch a preemptive war. Our policy has ALWAYS been to launch a smaller war now rather than a big war later. If for one second during the cold war we seriously believed the Soviet Union was about to become an unacceptable threat we would have nuked them into oblivion. That was policy from Truman to Reagan. How do think we acquired the West? Polk launched a nice war. What do you think Kennedy did in 1962? Did Cuba attack us? Was it illegal for Cuba to have Russian nukes? No he threatened a war to get our way. Hell, Germany didn't attack us in WW1, and China / North Korea didn't attack us in 1950. If the standard is to be attacked, we're pretty much left with Pearl Harbor, and we fired the first shots there, too.
What we defended ourselves against in Iraq was a worse threat down the road.
I think most people support this war now, and supported it then, from the standpoint of accepting a small war now versus a bigger war later.
Saddam did have terrorist training camps, and Iraq provided the biological weapons technology to Al Qaida that Clinton destroyed in Africa in the 1990's.
Our efforts prior to the war resulted in a 12 year standoff, no weapons inpections for the last several years, constant flaunting UN resolutions, and lots of good kickbacks to western Europe through the Oil for Food program. Yeah, that was real effective.