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Posted on Aug 6, 2008

By Amy Goodman

  It was like an action movie. A young man held at night in a hotel, threatened with prison. He is to be shipped off to war in the morning. His friends desperately trying to find him. The “down” button on the elevator had been disabled. He considered jumping from the window. When his friends arrive, they encounter military personnel patrolling the grounds. One sneaks in, gets his friend out, and they drive off into the night. This was real life for 17-year-old Eric Martinez, a student at Aldine High School in a poor neighborhood of Houston. He responded to an Army recruitment pitch, called the delayed enlistment program.

  But then, as 17-year-olds are wont to do, Eric changed his mind. When the recruiter came to his house and threatened his mother, she went to the recruiting station to meet with the officer in charge: “She talked to Sgt. Marquette and told him that I didn’t want to go, and that’s it. And Marquette said that I had to go, and if I didn’t, that I’d have a warrant for my arrest, and I wouldn’t be able to get no government loans or nothing like that. So, my mom doesn’t really know anything about it, so she believed it, and she told me. And I believed it, too, because I didn’t know much about it either.” It was then that they took Eric to the hotel.

  Martinez’s friend, Irving Gonzalez, knew he was next. He had signed up for the same program. As the oldest of four children of a single mother, Irving’s impulse was to help his family survive, get the signing bonus and gain access to a college education. He then wanted to get out of the program, to pursue college directly. He called the recruiter, Sgt. Glenn Marquette. Desperate, he had the call recorded.

  Sgt. Marquette: “This is what will happen. You want to go to school? You will not get no loans, because all college loans are federal and government loans. So you’ll be black-marked from that. As soon as you get pulled over for a speeding ticket or anything with the law, they’re gonna see that you’re a deserter. Then they’re going to apprehend you, take you to jail ... you will do your time, as you deserve. All that lovey-dovey ‘I want to go to college’ and all this? Guess what. You just threw it out the window, because you just screwed your life.”

  Irving and two others were the ones who sneaked Eric out of the hotel.

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  After the story broke, Marquette was suspended, and the military says it is conducting an investigation, but neither Martinez nor Gonzalez has been contacted. Recent history does not bode well. In 2005, Sgt. Thomas Kelt, who like Marquette worked at the Greenspoint Recruiting Station in Houston, left a phone message for potential recruit Chris Monarch, saying if he didn’t show up at the recruiting station that afternoon: “We’ll have a warrant, OK? So give me a call back.” The story went national. The military conducted a daylong “stand down” on recruitment to retrain their recruiters. They said they removed Kelt. In fact, he was promoted to head up a nearby recruiting center.

  I asked Douglas Smith, spokesman for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Kentucky, about why Kelt wasn’t punished. Smith replied that Kelt had received a “negative administrative action ... just because someone has done something wrong doesn’t mean that they get the death penalty.”

  But there’s a difference between the death penalty and a promotion. When I asked Smith what the penalty was, he replied, “I’m not allowed to tell you.”

  Smith and the rest of the military may dodge reporters’ questions, but they can be subpoenaed before Congress to testify under oath.

  Texas Congressman Ted Poe, a Republican, said: “Our country cannot deceive its citizens. Since the Army hasn’t taken the initiative, now Congress may have to get involved.” Another Texas congressman, Democrat Gene Greene, whose kids went to Aldine High and whose wife taught there for years, agrees. With no end in sight in Afghanistan and Iraq, recruiters must be prevented from using desperate and aggressive measures to lure our nation’s young people—the poorest and most vulnerable—into the line of fire.
 
  Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 700 stations in North America.

  © 2008 Amy Goodman

  Distributed by King Features Syndicate


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By bvc, August 14, 2008 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How come nobody questions the venality of calling “volunteers” in our army “patriotic” when most of the soldiers are there for money?
My adopted son is in Iraq right now. Because he supports his country?
No. To pay off college loans.
[Leaving aside the glaring obscenity that if we lived in France he’s still be in school - in fact, probably in grad school right now preparing for a future instead of living in Iraq facilitating the end of this nation]
He’s an enlisted man.
What about the officers?
Also, as a group, bought and paid for; and I say this as a recipient of a West Point appointment [didn’t go].
You’d think in this country where the rulers go to prep schools and read Roman history in the seventh - ninth grades that one of those fools would note that the end of the Roman empire coincided with the emergence of a mercenary military.
Our myth makers will confuse us with WWII nonsense implying a patriotism connection between military service sixty years ago and today. Really dumb.

Not saying it - that’s a semi-brilliant misrepresentation. It’s dumb to accept the argument.

As far as I can tell the only significant difference between the Blackwater assassins in Iraq today and our “volunteer” army is that our kids are held to a slightly higher standard of behavior while being paid SIGNIFICANTLY less.

The longer I live in this place the more appalled I become.

Wouldn’t it be smarter, in the long run, to take the money we’re spending on all this crud and invest it instead in our children’s futures? What is it? that for the cost of a high performance [sic] war plane we could fund 25 elementary schools, or health care for thousands of Americans?

Maybe we can talk the Bush family and their ilk into deinvesting in military contractors [and thereby supporting DEATH] and spending the same money on:
alternative energy
health care
education
the levees on the Mississippi

you know LIFE!

Some goddamned “christian” country this is!

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By Jack Pinion, August 11, 2008 at 2:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lefty,

You’re incorrect. I was never a used car salesman and I’m not one now.

I find it interesting how liberals hold non-liberals to a PERFECT STANDARD and yet hold themselves to a ZERO STANDARD.

Lefty, my comment was NOTHING MORE than telling you and anyone else here willing to read—how the system works whether you like it or not. I didn’t like it. I was a recruiter and I didn’t like it. Being a military member, I really didn’t have much of a choice. Do it they way they teach you or NOT.

I chose NOT.

And in so choosing to recruit MY OWN WAY—a way that allowed me to sleep at night, my numbers were outstanding and I never had a DEP loss.

Why?

Because I didn’t have to resort to lying to my applicants. I told them the truth from the get-go and not only were they appreciative of that—they showed their appreciation by referring me to their friends, family, and associates.

Which was my point for making the comment as you so obviously chose to ignore. The point being that the way we teach recruiters to RECRUIT needs to be changed because we are not selling used cars.

For you to sit on your extremely high horse and resort to tell me about the law in 50 states means NOTHING to me.

Why?

Because the point of my comment was that the contracts need to change. If there’s nothing we can do to keep a 17 year old in then I would be ALL FOR NOT RECRUITING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Get it?

Having said that, I will fight to the death YOUR RIGHT to YOUR OPINION.

Jack

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By Perez, August 10, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena, The “evaporation” of alternative opportunities to joining the military may no be a coincidence. It works as a vital artery which sends many currents of misguided people into a disease called war which we all, in some form or another, die from.

I agree with your argument that if those “who provided this authority” had to put their own in harms way some sort of resolution would have been reached long ago. 

Thank you immensely for your thoughts and response concerning my entry and all other topics relevant to Human Rights.

Sincerely,
Perez

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By Deborah Stucklen, August 10, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was devastated to learn the experience of 17-year-old Eric Martinez.  I knew about the schools’ being told they would lose federal funding unless they submitted personal information about each student to recruitment centers.  The only way to avoid this would be for parents/students to opt out.
It is vital for all of us to tell our elected “representatives” that we demand legislation reversing this requirement for schools to divulge the students’ personal information.
BTW, years ago, our now 33 year old autistic son got called by a recruiter, who said “How are you doing soldier”? to which our son said “‘Course my name’s not soldier”.  The recruiter then asked, “What would you like to do with your life?  What are your goals?”  Our son said, “Well, I’d like to save the environment.”  He heard no more from the military.

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By Kath Cantarella, August 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all those commenting here that you ‘need’ military recuits, please go sign up. Thanks. It’s called a ‘Defence Force’ but what you currently appear to have in the USA is an ‘Offence Force’, which is why you have trouble recruiting. You bloody SHOULD have trouble recruiting under the circumstances. If, on the other hand, the USA was clearly under direct threat of invasion, there would be no shortage of recruits. Everyone and their mother would volunteer. So shut [expletive deleted] up please and help protect those kids from being minced up by the incredible hubris of your ‘defence’ force.

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By chuckwagoncharlie, August 8, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

Be real,the Army needs recruits.
We are fighting a nondeclared war approved and supported by DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS alike. Remember Viet Nam? Who was in charge of making the world safe for DEMOCRACY?  Our Government cannot get enough of the Middle East. Hussein Obama and his Democrats want to pull out of Iraq so they can spend more time in Afganistan hunting the bad guys who are holed up in Pakistan and trained by Iran.
When the Democrats get in office the recruiters won’t have to lie they will create EQUALITY and draft their recruits,male and female.

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By Jack Pinion, August 8, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why all this diatribe?

Glad you asked… The reason is because I think we need to change the way we do business. No more selling like a used car salesman. No more taking mechanics or infantry away from their career field to become recruiters. Recruiting is its own career field but they never have enough people to do the work so they transfer REGULARS from their designated career fields.

And the article is also correct about the DEP contract… There is nothing in there about a kid deciding not to go to bootcamp. Why? Because we don’t want them to know. LOL. If every kid knew without a doubt that they could get out of going to bootcamp, DEP attrition would skyrocket and every branch of the military would be up the creek without the much needed paddle.

So of course I think that part of the DEP contract should be changed… But not the way you think. LOL. I think it should be changed so the kid CANNOT get out of the contract. Give him or her the usual three days to have their buyer’s remorse and cancel the contract. After that however, they should be SOL. Maybe give the 17 year olds a little more leeway… Like allowing a parent to rescind their signature before the kid turns 18 or something.

Because whether you liberals want to admit it or not, we need people to join the military and because of America’s new sense of entitlement mindset, applicants are NOT knocking down the doors of the recruiting offices to join.

Either that or bring back the draft, Baby… I’ll support it in a heartbeat.

End of part 3

Jack

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By Jack Pinion, August 8, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What you’ve heard about the military is true… LOL. Shit really does roll down hill. The last thing you want as a military recruiter is management calling you up and telling you:

DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE YOUR GOAL.

Because yeah… That’s what they do. And, if you’re reasonably intelligent, you can read the subtext… The subtext being—do whatever it takes—FOR REAL.

In other words, if you’re a recruiter on the back end of a bad month or months, you can sure as hell bet that management is on your ass to GET HOT.

And of course, management will never admit that it doesn’t care HOW you go about recruiting applicants. Because they are right there to come down on you in a heartbeat if you fail—i.e., get caught.

Don’t get caught—no problem.

Is that some kind of an official policy? Hell no. Upper management i.e., commanding officers have no clue what really happens in the field but their senior enlisted managers absolutely DO. It’s the senior enlisted managers that dole out the subtext WITHOUT EVER REALLY SAYING to do something wrong so of course, they stay in the clear FOREVER.

No… It comes down to the lowly recruiter to cross that line. It’s no different than the kid in this article that got ENLISTED. He enlisted of his own free will yet he changed his mind. Wow… Just a little $20,000 to $40,000 mistake since that’s what the government figures it costs us to process a kid from beginning to end.

You’ve got a recruiter who used to be some kind of mechanic before being transferred to recruiting. Now he or she is trying to be a recruiter… Trying to SELL. I can’t tell you how many recruiters don’t like to SELL. They can’t sleep at night. They’re stressed out all the time. They gain weight. They get divorced. You name it—it happens.

And so this recruiter FINALLY gets a kid AND his parents to sign on the dotted line and month after month, this kid gives us the impression that he’s still motivated to go to bootcamp.

Until a day or two before it’s time to go. Nice. Sure, it’s his perogative but come on Dude… Why did you have to wait that long to say something.

And all ANYONE has to do is get on the Internet and do less than five minutes of searching on Google to find out that a kid that wants out of their DEP contract doesn’t have to talk to anyone. Bottom line? All they have to do is NOT SHOW UP. The reason the military gets all stressed out is because without that kid, they do not meet their SHIPPING goal i.e., SHIPPING TO BOOTCAMP. That is something that no recruiting command wants to do because that that point, shit really starts rolling downhill.

End of part 2

Jack

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By Jack Pinion, August 8, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But not very knowledgeable about the actual process.

What the Army recruiter did to this kid was not correct i.e., telling him that he would go to jail.

What you people do not know about how the process works is this…

Each recruiter is given a goal every month. It’s up to that recruiter to meet his or her goal.

Unfortunately, there are always going to be some bad apples. This is life, Baby… There are bad apples everywhere I go.

Certainly, recruiters should be held to a higher standard than a bad apple working at the local fast food eatery, right?

Well, they are.

When they get caught.

And the good news is that very few bad apples get away with it.

The problem is the goal… We are given a goal and we bust our humps to make this goal. We literally have to go through ten to fifteen prospects JUST TO GET ONE THAT ACTUALLY QUALIFIES. When you’re goaled with two new recruits every month (more in some areas), that takes a lot of time.

Once you find those two prospects that decide to become applicants, you then have to schedule them for the ASVAB and the physical at what we call MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station).

And guess what?

One out of five applicants will not pass the ASVAB test and One out of five applicants will not pass the physical.

When that happens, the recruiter has to go back out and start all over again and often, these disqualifications happen very near the end of the month so in reality, there’s no time to make up the loss.

When a recruiter misses goal, they are often put on extra hours. Given extra training. This basically amounts to being watched like a hawk. LOL. Someone telling you what to do every hour of the day.

And guess what?

It doesn’t work. Why? Because some recruiters are just not cut out to be recruiters. Basically, what most services do is take a guy or girl OUT of their usual career environment—slap them right into recruiting school and upon graduation, slam them into the field where they have to sink or swim.

The bad news is that military recruiting schools teach recruiters how to SELL the military. That’s right… How to sell it like a used car salesman sells you a used car.

We’re taught how to sell our program to a kid just like any salesman is taught to sell their product. The interesting thing about that is that it works.

But it often doesn’t STICK.

Why? Because we’re selling a completely new lifestyle and not a car and you shouldn’t be selling lifestyles like you sell cars.

I was a recruiter for a number of years and the first thing I did when I hit the field was to TOSS all the B.S. the military taught me about SELLING because quite frankly, I couldn’t sleep at night. My conscience wouldn’t let me. No, I didn’t lie to any of the kids I put in the military… I didn’t have to. Don’t get me wrong… The sales garbage worked like a charm and if you’re particularly good at it, it works even better.

I tossed all that crap out because I didn’t feel it was right to SELL a kid on the military. I shouldn’t have to PERSUADE anyone to join—they should want to join of their own free will.

Unfortunately, the military is AFRAID to recruit this way because of GOALS.

End of part 1

Jack

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By cyrena, August 8, 2008 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, August 6 at 10:03 pm

•  “When the candidates call for increasing the number of troops, where do you think they are going to find the bodies?”

Humm…where did the CURRENT thug regime find the ‘bodies’ for the SURGE that ONE candidate was so gung ho about?

And, how honest is it to suggest that the ‘candidates are calling for increasing numbers of troops’ when at least one of them is calling for the WITHDRAWAL of the troops from where the largest concentration of them happen to be?

•  “.If you want the federal money for your school, you got to let the uniform boys come in and give their pitch.”..

Well, some more selective truth here, since the educational institutions that are recipients of federal aid don’t necessarily let the uniform boys come in to give their pitch. Just all depends on where that school is, and the demographic make up of the student population.

It also ‘assumes’ that all schools receive federal aid. They don’t. Far MORE schools receive aid, (if they’re lucky enough to be of the ‘right’ demographics) in the elementary and middle school classifications than do high schools. Yet they obviously, (at least not yet) don’t send the uniform boys to elementary schools. So in reality, the uniform boys and their hard ass scare tactics are far MORE likely to prey on schools that DON’T receive federal aid, particularly considering the assholes’ ‘No Child Left Behind disaster, which is another paradoxical misnomer, since that’s EXACTLY what it does! It ‘leaves behind’ very selectively targeted demographics, by withholding the resources necessary for a quality education. That’s where the cannon fodder comes from. (I’m sure they let them drink all the beer they want though)

Meanwhile multiple other states and districts finance their own community schools, just so they don’t have to be saddled with the Dick Bush slave creation policies. And of course there aren’t any schools receiving federal aid on the border of California and Tijuana, which is where the boys in the uniforms still do a massive amount of recruitment. (They promise THEM an ‘in’ with INS, as is, ‘we’ll help you get your papers).

Another lie of course, but whose counting the real facts?

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By cyrena, August 8, 2008 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

By Big B, August 7 at 5:30 pm

•  “What I find most frightening about this whole affair is this, there are still many kids out there in TV land that are dumb enough to buy into this recruiting bullshit” …“Does it make the Patriotism swell up in your heart to take advantage of our bottom 10%? My lord, this is a cruel nation.”

Thanks for pointing this out Big B, because there certainly are still so many kids out there, who are still lapping this up. And these days, it isn’t even so much about TV land, as it is about desperation, and the very, very, heavy-handed presence that these recruiters maintain. As more and more people become homeless, and find themselves unable to support their kids or themselves, these young people are shouldering the desperation, and so easy prey. It makes me absolutely sick.

So, I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing, which is to loiter around the local office, and try to catch them BEFORE they even get inside. The most difficult part of that of course, is that I have so little to offer or suggest in terms of alternatives, which I DID have, even as recently as 3 years ago. This is an academic community, so that was always a possible option. Things are so bad now, that for most, it simply isn’t any longer, and there are no jobs for them, because all of those types of jobs that could provide subsistence while attempting to acquire an education, have long since evaporated. What makes me so heartsick, is that they are so *willing* to work hard, and yet the ‘option’ is that they be willing to die for nothing, because of course it’s that same 10% that do all of the dying.

I know that many American’s worry about the lack of oversight that could eventually lead us back to conscription – the draft. I admit that I worry myself, and we’re prepared to spirit our own loved youngsters immediately OUT of this misery, should that become a possibility. ON THE OTHER HAND, I’m EQUALLY convinced that if the draft were still in effect, this assault on Iraq would never have happened. The 90% that are willing enough to let the 10% ‘volunteer’, would never have allowed it. Seriously, can we honestly believe that the Repug Congress who provided this authority would have done so, if it might have put their own in harms way? Nope. But, as long as it’s somebody else’s blood or brains…

By Perez, August 7 at 10:04 am

Perez, been where you’re at, and I know the suffering of having ZERO help in fighting the corrupt system, despite the fact that we are indeed the servants of the public. I will check in with your information site, an do what I can.

~~~

SDC

By SDC, August 7 at 9:50 am #

My sister and brother-in-law discovered this as well, when both of the boys were in high school.

•  “ I checked in their registration packet for this upcoming school year and sure enough in tiny print among the 12 page registration packet was a small paragraph that I had never taken the time to read before.  It stated the following: “. . . two federal laws require secondary schools to provide military recruiters, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone listings of their students.” It goes on to describe exactly what the School District considers “directory information” that the recruiters have access to.  This includes “1) student’s name, 2) student’s address, 3) student’s telephone number, 4) date of birth, 5) participation in officially recognized activities and sports, 6) weight and height of members of athletic teams, 7) degrees and awards received, 8) photograph, 9) most recent educational institution attended by the student.”

What they did NOT know, was that parents could opt out. The same applies at the univ. level, and one still has a year left. I’ll pass this info on. Thanks for providing it.

By Purple Girl, August 7 at 8:47 am

•  “…This is not an example of ‘bad Apples’ it’s proof of an underlying organizational intent with forethought and malice..”

Purple Girl, this is EXACTLY what it is!!

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By nrobi, August 7, 2008 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Having seen the video and heard the tapes of the recruiters, I now know that the military cannot meet their quotas without chicanery and sheer bluster.
The very idea that military recruiters have access to schools, colleges and high schools, is enough to make one’s blood boil. The military recruiters are and always will be the worst of the lot, They are the one’s for whom lying comes easily and most of them have no conscience, for if they truly had scruples, these men and women who work for the military command recruiting young soldiers, could not do their job and sleep at night, because of all the lying and chicanery that they have to use to get people to sign of the dotted line.
Congress must act now, oversight must be a priority of this Congress and the next, or we will have men and women dying needlessly in the pits of Iraq and Afghanistan, for a cause that is not worth fighting for. 
Specifically, the recruiters are told to lie their way into their quotas, because honesty and integrity are not part of the recruiters handbook. These attributes cannot be part of their makeup, because once in the Reception Station, things are not as they seem. Reality is completely different from what the recruiters tell you and the treatment you receive is not what the recruiter tells you will happen. 
There on tape, one of the recruiters was saying that it is easy to get out of basic training by going to the chaplain, and expressing the fact that you do not want to stay in the military. The word, HA! comes to mind when I heard that, because the chaplain will always try to talk you into staying and they really do not have any power in cases where a person wishes to leave the military. The Chaplain Corps, is only there for spiritual counseling, not the way that the recruiter makes them out to be.
It saddens me to think that young men and women are being lied to, and coerced into believing that the military is a “good way of life.”
In the wildest dreams of anyone, the military will never be what the recruiters make it out to be.
Once again, I must stress that oversight of the Military Command, Recruiting Department, must happen and must happen soon, or we will, once again have a conscription,(draft) in this country.

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By Big B, August 7, 2008 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

What I find most frightening about this whole affair is this, there are still many kids out there in TV land that are dumb enough to buy into this recruiting bullshit. We seem to have created a class of drones for our society to use as cannon fodder when needed. Does it make the Patriotism swell up in your heart to take advantage of our bottom 10%? My lord, this is a cruel nation.

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By Blue, August 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After I dropped out of college, I went into the same program (DEP). This was before 2002, so they weren’t as desperate—many different recruiters throughout the process explicitly said that you could choose to separate from your contract *without penalty* up until you entered basic. My family persuaded me to go back to college and finish and that the Army was not right for me and that I was not at all clear on the subject. I tended to agree and I thought it wouldn’t serve anyone’s interest to have someone in there that didn’t want to be. I asked to be separated and was referred to my recruiter’s superior. This person got very angry (or at least appeared this way) and started saying [screaming and yelling, to a still-civilian, mind you] that this will be—in effect—“on my permanent record” and that I would suffer a great deal because I had separated. Whatever that means.

This incident doesn’t surprise me, only in that I’ve heard so many stories about our broken State to this effect.

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By Perez, August 7, 2008 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Powerful Continue to Prey on the Weak:
Only People with Money Can Afford Equal Protection of the Law

      “Equal Protection of the Law” which is supposed to be guaranteed to all Americans under the U.S. Constitution is really only granted to those who can actually financially afford the legal cost of fighting a case in court.
 
      Imagine you witness your employer repeatedly violating the Constitutional Rights of a particular group of subordinates and vulnerable clients they once took an oath to service fairly.

      Imagine you did all you could to address the problem internally with your co-workers, supervisors, and upper management but instead your employer publicly retaliated against you with an iron fist and eventually terminated your employment.

      Imagine that even though you have hard evidence to prove your former employer’s illegal practices and gross negligence beyond a reasonable doubt you will unfortunately lose the opportunity to promote justice merely because (a) the legal system is not mandated to provide free legal aid & services to civil cases and (b) you can no longer financially afford to move the case forward, so that a judge and a jury can weigh the evidence in court thus rendering you a fair chance to establish whether you, employees, and clients were indeed deprived of equal protection of the law. Equal Protection of the Law is therefore only equal among people that have money and not equal among those with little or no money. In other words, if you are a low income American citizen you are denied the entitlement of due process of the law. 

      Imagine that your former employer is a large Hospital Corporation, that your advocacy was part of your job description as a Mental Health Worker, that the particular group of subordinates and clients targeted are all Spanish-speakers, and that the clients are actually vulnerable Spanish-speaking patients admitted for mental illness in the Hospital’s Inpatient Psychiatric Unit.

      What you imagined when reading this text is a reality that I and many others face everyday. I need everyone’s support to make a positive change. You can help by assisting me in building a petition to pass a legislative bill in congress that will mandate our legal system to provide free legal aid and services &/or provide loans for individuals who are practicing their constitutional right to defend themselves against civil rights violations. You can also help by contributing donations for the civil case mentioned above which is currently filed in the United States Courthouse of the Southern District of New York. Thank you immensely for your time and energy in this matter. Together we will not only dig for the truth but also push for justice by ensuring equal protection of the law. For more information feel free to e-mail me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By SDC, August 7, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

In the November/December 2002 issue of Mother Jones Magazine, David Goodman wrote an article titled “No Child Unrecruited” in which he called attention to the fact that the Bush Administration buried a piece of legislation in the “No Child Left Behind” education law that allows the military to request and obtain from the school a student’s personal information (i.e., name, address, telephone number) as well as giving the recruiters access to the school itself in order to conduct their recruiting.  The school by law has to comply or risk losing their federal funding.  Many schools then had no idea that this was part of the law, but now that is a different story.  The law does require the school to give notice to parents that their student’s information can be given to the military.

My oldest child is a senior in high school and my second oldest is in the 9th grade.  I checked in their registration packet for this upcoming school year and sure enough in tiny print among the 12 page registration packet was a small paragraph that I had never taken the time to read before.  It stated the following: “. . . two federal laws require secondary schools to provide military recruiters, upon request, the names, addresses and telephone listings of their students.”  It goes on to describe exactly what the School District considers “directory information” that the recruiters have access to.  This includes “1) student’s name, 2) student’s address, 3) student’s telephone number, 4) date of birth, 5) participation in officially recognized activities and sports, 6) weight and height of members of athletic teams, 7) degrees and awards received, 8) photograph, 9) most recent educational institution attended by the student.

I was blown away!  I had no idea.  Parents do have the option of “opting out” of this requirement by sending a written request to the school requesting that none of this information be disclosed by the school without the written consent of the parent of the student.  Parents have to send this letter every year in order to prevent the school from giving this out.  I think parents can be proactive by sending this request to the school, but I also think we as parents need to talk to our kids and educate them about what’s going on.  I’ve talked with both my kids and let them know how I feel and asked them not to sign anything given to them at school without running it by me first.  It’s sad that we have to do this as parents, but at least it’s something we can do.

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By Purple Girl, August 7, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

either way the Military is screwed. A 17 yr old should not be held to any agreement, because they are Under age. No parent can agree to something which obligates a child to ‘services’. This could be considered as agregious as selling your kid into indentured slavery.this ‘Hole’ in the system in enlistment and recruitment is intentional- get the kids to sign a contract -illegally. And deny Parental rights to override this ineligible agreement.
This is not an example of ‘bad Apples’ it’s proof of an underlying organizational intent with forethought and malice.

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By felicity, August 7, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

To shanghai, v.t. - (naut) to enroll or obtain a sailor for the crew of a ship by unscrupulous means, as by force…

All good adventure movies need arch villains and old Hollywood movies often depicted them as shanghaiers of the innocent. Now that they’re gainfully employed by our government, I guess they’ve become heroes?

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By thebeerdoctor, August 6, 2008 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

When the candidates call for increasing the number of troops, where do you think they are going to find the bodies? You are 18 years old? Bombs yes. Beer no. If you want the federal money for your school, you got to let the uniform boys come in and give their pitch.
The forces of insanity are logically secure. Militarism seems like an option, when poverty is the alternative. Then inevitably there is that terrible moment of regret; that all of the promises for opportunities, suddenly seem meaningless.

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By cyrena, August 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

I actually thought I knew how despicable these recruiters could be, having spent a considerable amount of my time (at least in the past 5 years) involved in preventing these young people from ever getting close to that ‘dotted-line’ in the first place.

On top of that, I’ve worried incessantly about the possibility of my sister winding up jail, for her own activities in running recruiters off of the premises where young people are likely to be. (she even carries her tape measure and the handbook of rules/regs for how close these folks can set-up to a school or similar facility). When she chased them out of the mall, I was SURE they were gonna lock her up. They threatened, she said, “fine, lock me up”. I knew she couldn’t possibly know what might be in store for her. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that. They left. But, she hasn’t stopped harassing military recruiters. So, I remain concerned. It’s all so bizarre, since we happen to be from military/law enforcement families.

All of that said, I had no idea that they had stooped *this* low, and I don’t know why I should still be so surprised, since I’m well aware that they didn’t have much further to go, to get this low. Still, this is just as criminal as the unpunished rapes and murders that have become so common place among military personnel, perpetrated against each other.

So now, a kid, US citizen, has to hide out in a hotel room to avoid rendition by the US military? WTF???

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By yellowbird2525, August 6, 2008 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

A Congressman saying “we cannot deceive our citizens?????? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! kinda like Rice going & saying “no governement should ABUSE it’s citizens right?????? c’on y’all: democracy was set up to be a Gov FOR THE PEOPLE of this nation: NOT for the Corp’s (who’s taxes we now pay; alas we are enslaved! NOT free!) we may have “freedoms” but they are extremely limited & our “fda” working with big pharma & chemical companies to EXPLOIT, POISON, & get $ from the people whom they are poisoning my my my; all coming to light; and they police are even MANUFACTURING evidence & swearing under oath “via the Clinton’s” ‘truth is relative’; democracy has become the most despicable & despised word on the planet folks; every other country knows this; do YOU? talk of human right issues! Charges need to be filed AGAINST the USA in every single department including states in the World Court; perhaps THEN this country can become a nation OF the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE of this country as was intended; alas & alack! TAXES were to have been paid for by CORPS’; instead our political professional (prostitutes) take $ from everyone to force US into slavery & sell our country down the toilet; now they are FORCING slavery into armed services into countries to be slaughtered like lambs to the slaughter; deceiving the people re “al Quieda” who had no links to Saddam or Iraq; they deliberately let the Talaban get large & wealthy; to kill off more American citizens; “no halocaust” McCain promises; then WHERE ARE THE AMERICANS!

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By hippy pam, August 6, 2008 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

What do we expect our young people to do???There are no jobs-and the military SUGAR COATS the process and tells lies about the issues and the consequences…So these kids “sign on the line” and are UP THE PROVERABLE CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE…Then-when they realize they DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS THING[oh-yeah-they were WAY TO YOUNG to know WHAT THEY WERE GETTING IN TO]....They-at 17 years old-are told “you got to go PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE-FOR A PRESIDENT AND A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM THAT-ULTIMATELY-WILL LET YOU DOWN…This system SUCKS…...

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