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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ring, ring goes the bell

My first foray into blogging about the impending closure of one or more Portland high schools has put me in touch with "school activist" sorts that I hadn't met before. There are some interesting blogs here and here on which a few of them air their views. And I suspect there are more.

One ticked-off mom raises an interesting issue about a Pentagon-funded program that takes Portland public elementary school kids out to military bases to show them what cool science and technology training they can get there. It's almost like something out of the TV ads for the armed forces, only perhaps a little more sinister.

Whatever one might think about the appropriateness of military influence on the youngest and most impressionable of the city's school kids, it's really surprising that Portland's war protesters aren't all over it. Maybe they have been and I've missed it; as I say, I'm a newcomer to the whole public schools thing, and a somewhat reluctant observer at that.

Comments (9)

This Starbase program has been going on for a good while. Beth Slovic wrote this about it in 2006


Hank Stern
Managing news editor
Willamette Week

Sinister? In a district where an elementary school kid is suspended for bringing to school a 'GI Joe' doll with a four inch rifle ("Zero-Tolerance" firearms policy), it will do the little scholars good to see what the military is up to. Compared to some of the PC garbage thrown at them in the name of Climate awareness, Afro-Centrism, or just good old lefty claptrap [I was told by my high school history teacher that the Pilot of Enola Gay spent the rest of his life in the nuthouse], these field trips would be salutary.

(for "lefty claptrap" I read: moral probity, and thus personal propriety ... yeah, exposure to it drives guilt-ridden (immoral) massmurderers to dwell in rubber rooms)

But I agree and digress: take down and strike those words "a little more sinister" (I agree the word 'sinister' is questionable with a '?'), and, instead put forth the more verifiable truer words "lots more subversive."

Abolish the Pentagon. Redirect taxes to: Build schools = prosper the economy.

T - Sorry to read you think moral probity and personal propriety are lefty claptrap - I don't. But the drool & spittle count is way down, & we got through at least one post without mentioning The Radio Talker Who Dare Not Speak His Name - Better living through Chemistry?

OMG, the servers will become clogged and taken down if you go into the world of school closures and school boundaries. Beware.

Huh, I visited the local National Guard with my school mates when I was in middle school. Got to tour the grounds a bit, meet some of the folks there and eat a bunch of hotdogs.

I grew up playing cops/robbers, GI Joe, etc. Watched the A-Team, Hunter, tons of other violent movies and TV shows.

However, when I got to the age where I could enlist, I didn't. I had some friends that did (one weezled his way out of it since he was going to be stationed on a nuclear submarine) Honestly, I didn't think it was a good match for me so I didn't go in.

I don't know that indoctrination actually works, unless you have youth that do not feel they have a future, then I could see where the indoctrination might work.

Now, if there was a cause they felt strongly about then I could see where it might make sense to join the armed services. Then again joining organizations like Peace Corps can also fulfill the need to change the world or work towards making a better place.

Just thought I'd give a perspective of someone from the class of '95.


As a father with TWO daughters proudly serving in the US Army I'm more than bias. Now that I have that right out front, to people like T, I have to remind you that without people like my daughters (and their husbands who are also in the Army) you wouldn't have schools, look at the Taliban.

My daughters did NOT visit any military installation while in school. In fact, I was not in the military. They chose it on their own because they stood there at the end of high school and honestly admitted that they had no idea what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. They enlisted and found that they were (and are) much more than what they ever imagined they could be. They were pushed way beyond their comfort zone and survived and thrived. It was a safe place to stop, breath, learn and mature.

I don't know if they will re-enlist, they each have about one more year left. But as they look around at friends who 'went to college' because that was the thing to do or because mom and dad wanted them to, they know that they (my daughters) don't have the debt and they presently have a job and better outside prospects than many 'college graduates'.

In Israel, all young people spend time in the military and its only makes them better people in the end. While a draft may not be the answer, something where there is discipline and esteem building would be good for the youth in this country. I deal with high school and college graduates frequently and the degree of immaturity is appalling.

In Portland (or any other left wing whacko city) where the military is demonized, it's too bad that kids don't get to see both sides of the story. The whack jobs on the left pound their story into them and (for the most part) that is the only side of the story they hear.

I am one proud parent of two US heroes (and yes, they have been to Iraq).

Hey Jack, we've "met" before, just talking about gentrification and other urban issues on my other blog.

The STARBASE resolution will be voted on this Monday, March 8, International Women's Day. The peace community will be out in force at district HQ (501 N. Dixon St.) for a 6pm rally before the school board meeting.

The district has almost $3 million in Title 1 money it couldn't manage to spend from last year, and now it's poor mouthing about how we need the DoD's $320K to teach math and science to poor kids. Total BS. I expect the board will approve an 18th year of selling access to pre-teens to the military, who's motto is "first to contact, first to contract."

--Steve from PPS Equity

Native--thank you for your comments and for raising the type of kids who want to serve our country! And tell them thank you for their service too.

I've got 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. I tell them all that if they enlisted, I would be worried to death, but I would be so incredibly proud of them. I want them to know that serving our country in the armed forces is a realistic option for their lives.

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