“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cobblestone, the magazine of pre-teen warmongering

Here’s a story that made LI’s blood pressure shoot up.


“Parents and teachers are complaining that the latest issue of a popular magazine for preteens amounts to little more than an early recruitment pitch for the Army.
Cobblestone magazine, which is put out by Carus Publishing in Peterborough, is aimed at children ages 9-14 and is distributed nationwide to schools and libraries. Its latest issue features a cover photo of a soldier in Iraq clutching a machine gun and articles on what it's like to go through boot camp, a rundown of the Army's ''awesome arsenal'' and a detailed description of Army career opportunities.”

Stories like this show pretty much what the struggle in this country is all about. On one side is a war culture proposing to grind our children into Gainsbugers. On the other side is pure goodness. Hey, it is an easy choice!

“Most controversial has been a set of classroom guides that accompany the magazine, which suggest teachers invite a soldier, Army recruiter or veteran to speak to their classes and ask students whether they might want to join the Army someday.

One of the teaching guides -- written by Mary Lawson, a teacher in Saint Cloud., Fla. -- suggests having students write essays pretending they are going to join the Army: ''Have them decide which career they feel they would qualify for and write a paper to persuade a recruiter why that should be the career.''”

Here’s a counter suggestion from LI. Invite a peace activist to the classroom. Ask students how they might react to attacks on the Constitution by their own government. Explain concepts like “mercenary,” “tyranny,” "aggressive war." Have students write essays about how they would react to having their country occupied for three or four years. Show pictures of the dead and wounded of Fallujah, Ramadi, Baghdad, Samara and other Iraqi cities. Take students on a field trip to the local recruiting station. Supply them with picket signs saying, Hell no, we won’t go. Explain hell and devils (Hint: Use photograph of Vice President as an illustration).

Seriously, there are anti-recruitment groups who are doing high school visits. This is a link to a directory of ‘opt out’ organizations (one of which is located in LI’s town – Austin, Texas).

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