Spotted outside the Glen Ridge High School cafeteria today, according to a source inside the school: recruiters from the U.S. Army. They were giving away pamphlets and pencils. Hey, dude, a free pencil. Sign us up.

80 replies on “Thanks, We’d Rather Join the Debate Team”

  1. Making fun of the military and on Winston Chruchill’s Birthday. Good for us our predecessors didn’t feel the same way.
    Your central thesis is no doubt true, recruiters will find slim pickings in Glen Ridge.

  2. just another lovely hidden provision of No Child Left Behind…that the military has access to student info…

  3. I don’t really care that much excpet I’m getting really pissed off that the first thing all these navy and army guys say to me when I walk up to look around is you look like (insert organisation here) material

  4. Important TO BUTCH:
    NO the NCLB does not give the military blanket access to your children’s information. Request (demand) that the high school give you the opt out form. If you sign that, the school is prohibited from giving your kids’ names, phone #s etc to the military. It’s worth the two minutes to fill out the form… my friends’ sons are hounded relentlessly by the military. And, they don’t want to hear from Mommy that Sonny can’t come to the phone, is away at college, or ran away to join the circus. They just keep calling and calling and calling. If they get the kid on the phone, they are VERY high pressure. Fill out the form!!

  5. This is what really pisses me off. These boys are exploiting young, innocent students with their who life ahead of them, giving them false hope and security. But the truth is the army is far from secure. It nis truly upsetting to see young men and women go off to war, its 100 times more upseting to see your son or daughter go off to war than go off to college. I can’t believe they have come to recruit in Glen Ridge where everybody can afford college. But it’s horrible to see a person get killed for all the wrong reasons. it’s almost as bad as the draft was, it’s propaganda, it’s false advertising, and mostly it’s unsafe.The next time these army guys come back students should boycott their booth.
    -a truly shaken student a.k.a blonde chica

  6. You “can’t believe they came to Glen Ridge where everybody can afford college”!
    Not everybody in Bloomfield can afford college, so is it okay if the recruiters harass **our** kids?

  7. Recruiters have a right to be there. And before one typifies the services as “dangerous,” in general they’re no more dangerous than, say, humping lumber at Home Depot. Or working as a barista someplace like Starbucks. Most service units are rear echelon, the odds are usually very much against landing in combat. Besides, SOMEBODY has to serve. Or did you folks forget that?

  8. “humping lumber at Home Depot” is most certainly dangerous, save for the splinters alone. Trust me I know.

  9. You see it everywhere, the stickers that say “Support our Troops”, the ribbons around trees and mailboxes, miscellaneous flag stickers on cars with quotes like “Freedom is FREE” or “These colors may fade but will NEVER run” and it goes on. We spout to be the most powerful country in the world, why is that? Do you enjoy your freedoms?
    There are very few people (if any) who actually want to fight in a war, and I don√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t know anyone who wants to die for their country, but I know some who would. Who should defend our freedom and way of living? Should it be left to the people in the square states? If everyone had the mentality of √¢‚Ǩ≈ìWe’d Rather Join the Debate Team√¢‚Ǩ¬ù we would be called Germany or Japan or better yet England. If we rely on people that are less fortunate, less educated and people with no other options in life to protect our way of life, than not only is that unfair and selfish, but it will catch up with us (Americans) eventually. The military needs the smart people too. It needs leaders as well as followers. People say (and I agree) they don√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t want a draft, well if everybody had this √¢‚Ǩ≈ìWe√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢d Rather Join the Debate Team√¢‚Ǩ¬ù attitude than nobody would join the military. How will we defend our freedom?
    I am not saying that I agree with the policies or politics of our current government, but I love our form of government and our way of life. You want to reap the rewards of being an American at no personal risk or cost. I am proud to say I am an American and a veteran of the US Army. Yup, a well educated, nice Jewish boy (who’s father was a successful doctor) from Jersey joined and served during the Gulf War as an airborne infantry soldier. I hope you had fun when you were on your debate team, I had your back.

  10. I just want the Department of Defense to get rid of their peacenik name and go back to their pre-1949 sobriquet: “The Department of War”. At least then nobody will be confused.

  11. Tom,
    Thank you for having my back in 1990. My people appreciate the freedom you have given them under my iron-fisted enlightened rule. In thankfulness we will attempt to keep the price of oil below $75 per barrel.
    Allahu Akbar,
    Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad

  12. ROC,
    Thanks for the website. It looks like a nice way to continue to support the troops and the country.

  13. Sorry, Deb.
    I’m going to curse on your blog.
    For those of you who support the war, I say. “Suit up or shut the fuck up.”
    If you are under 35, support the war and haven’t visited your local recruiting office, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  14. Roxanne, Does that also go for Police Work? Firefighting?
    Were you a human shield in Iraq? If not…..?
    (I’ll say a prayer for your niece, I hope she will be ok)

  15. What if we think the war in Iraq is a good thing but not a vital thing? It’s certainly better having Saddam out of power and not having them shoot at our planes everyday in violation of UN sanctions, but it’s not to the level of WWII, do or die.
    There are many things worth doing in our country, being a soldier is one of them, not the only one.

  16. p.s.
    I wonder if Roxanne’s logic works for the Abortion Debate? Perhaps only women who have had an abortion should voice opinions about them?
    Just wondering….
    “Suit up or shut the fuck up.”

  17. TO G.C.

  18. TO G.C.

  19. GRBlonde, thank you for clearning that up. I agree with Roxanne, too, that all these people who claim they support the troops — big deal they spent $2 bucks on a metallic ribbon for their car. Patriotism Lite!! Let’em enlist and show their support big time!

  20. Hey Cathar – You’re right – someone’s got to serve – so if you’re all for this war, why don;t you pack your bags and join up, or better yet, send one of YOUR kids

  21. ROC – Glen Ridge lost plenty of YOUNG BOYS in the Vietnam War – young boys who volunteered because everyone told them that they should serve their country. What part of their dying benefited the USA at all?

  22. blah blah blah (insert war debate idea here) blah blah blah (i disagree with ROC perpetually) blah blah blah…

  23. Facts may or may not be important to this discussion, but, here are two.
    The various branches of the US military routinely attend the GRHS College Fairs.
    The GRHS routinely sends home a form for parents to sign which asks whether or not you childs contact information may be released to the military recruiters.
    And an opinion….
    If GRHS allowed Home Depot or Starbucks to recruit outside of the school cafeteria, I, as a parent, would certainly object.
    I don’t think that the military recruitment at the GRHS was appropriate.

  24. Well, pacifism may be one of the “most dangerous memes of our times” as ROC says, but I would suggest that jingoism is the other.

  25. I would agree. And I would assume many think that supporting troops in far off lands counts as jingoism.
    When someone says “Suit up or shut the fuck up.” I begin to doubt even a commitment to democracy for which many a soldier has died.
    There are *no* qualifications for speaking up in a democracy.
    The self-satisfied certainty of her own 100% correctness explicit in Roxanne’s command to be silent is a jingoism of the self.

  26. p.s.
    Take a look at Roxanne’s Blog about this topic.
    In a way this debate is a microcosm of the Blue Red divide.
    She, her readers and I am sure a portion of the Democratic Party have a BIG problem with the military as an institiution. The tone of her and her readers’ comments make it sound like Recruitment and Military service are the worst things you can do as an American. Sure sounds to me like the American Govenrment (as in *our* government, remember?) are the bad guys.
    It is little wonder the electorate rejected a party full of such animis during wartime.
    Thankfully so.
    (If you want to *win* the war that is)

  27. Lex,
    One other thing, so you thing the war in Iraq was/is a war of Jingoism? (ie. Nationalism)

  28. Hilary, I did in fact serve. Was drafted (see how I hereby date myself?)and went off resentfully but, in retrospect, somewhat gratefully. And my “kid” is in fact way too young to even sign up for the draft, as well as the wrong sex.
    Bill, that was a great, touching letter.
    Others, honest, folks, the Army does not “promote” violence. At least no more than, say, your average nightly ESPN wrapup of either NFL or NBA games. It’s also hardly the hotbed of fascism and dreams of military coups that too many people imagine it to be. You know, there really is something to the concept of the “citizen soldier,” to the idea of Cincinnatus leaving his plow. Pat Tillman was an admirable man, as was that former Wall Street banker, Dimitri “something” (whose last name I now forget) who lost 40 lbs. after 9/11 so the Marine Corps would finally accept him and was killed last week in Iraq. I’m not suggesting that all your little darlings would thrive in the military, or even in the Peace Corps, but they’d learn something important about themselves, something that way too many of the bleaters above clearly never will. Then, post-service, THEY could choose what to take into the rest of their lives from the experience. I once did a story, for example, about successful sales people who’d taken into their business careers lessons they’d learned in the USMC (and no, I don’t mean how to kill competitors). Just don’t get so all worked up about military recruiting, you know? Hey, Edgar Allan Poe was in the Army! Daniel Ellsberg was a Marine! Norman Mailer was at Guadalcanal! John Kerry was in the Navy! Stop getting so hyper over this, people, these guys weren’t recruiting for the Waffen SS, honest.

  29. ROC –
    I don’t think the war is jingoistic, in itself. Jingoism is defined as (per extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy. While the Iraq war is certainly a belligerent foreign policy, I don’t believe it is nationalistic or chauvinistic.
    The jingoism is in those who insist that anyone who questions the motives for the war is not a patriot, the implication that anyone who questions the war is harming our troops, the implication that not supporting the reason our troops are over there is not supporting our troops, etc. I actually believe the war was the right thing to do, although not a necessary thing to do. I also believe that the war, as an extension of the 1990 war, is about not allowing a major source of oil to fall into hostile hands. It is a strategic war, not an ideological one (I don’t belieev in ideological wars unless they are civil wars 🙂 ). But I certainly think that questioning the war, the strategic rationale, and the rationale given by the administration is not only fair game but absolutely necessary for the continuing functioning of our political system.
    My own patriotism causes me to shed tears for thsoe who died fignting our war in Iraq, even if I don’t believe they are defending our ideology; the soldiers are brave men and women doing a dangerous job partly because they love our country. That deserves respect. But I resent the post above that says that unless we join the armed forces we should not be part of the body politic and also other posts that imply we shouldn’t be criticizing soldiers, even when they are espousing ideology. I support our soldiers, but don’t always support the stated reasons they are there–if the soldiers identify themselves with the policy, then they should expect criticism from those who don’t support the policy.

  30. Okay, now that I have visted Roxanne’s blog and seen that she is anti-war, not pro-war I realize her post did not rise to the level of objectionable, it only got to stupid. I still think ROC is a jingo, however.

  31. Lex,
    I have absolutely *no* problem with questining the war, if fact I think it is our duty to do so.
    However, I *do* have an enormous problem with people who claim for themselves enough moral certainty for their cause enough to say “Suit up or shut the fuck up.”

  32. Look, if you support the war and can serve, why aren’t you doing so? That was my point.
    Most Americans have given up NOTHING in the War on Terror. They’re perfectly comfortable allowing others to do so. Sure, I guess you can talk yourself into the fact that being a Real Estate agent or running a coffee house is “doing your part.” But, let’s get serious. You just here in the U.S. consuming more oil, which is NOT helping the War on Terror. When you say you “support the troops,” what does that really mean? Are you having servicemembers over to dinner for the holidays? Have you sent over air conditioners and flak jackets?
    If you don’t support the war, I’m not asking you to serve in the military. I guess that’s “stupid.”
    I’m not a Pacifist and I, by no means, hold every day people who serve in the military responsible for what’s happening in Iraq. Most are doing the best job they can do given what they’ve been given. It’s our leadership in the White House and the DOD that’s lacking.
    Hijacking this thread (which is, I believe, while not “dangerous,” is the most boring meme going) to beat me up seems pretty silly as I have my own blog and you’re free to come over there and beat me up. That way, you won’t be wasting the bandwidth here.
    Speaking of which, sorry Deb et al. I’m done.

  33. Roxanne,
    Fair points I suppose. We all choose to suppport or not in our own ways.
    I am not sure how comparing our soldiers in Iraq with Hitler’s bombing of Guernica (via “reporting” by Al Jazerra) qualifies as support, but we’ll just have to disagree on that.

  34. Roxanne –
    I don’t believe in the put up or shut up argument in general. It’s of the nature of “love it or leave it” absolutism: a way to end an argument without having to debate.
    I support many things: an end to poverty, universal healthcare, etc. I am not personally involved in any of those things (other than in paying taxes.) Do you support anything? Have you given up everything else in your life to devote yourself to it?
    I’d come over to your blog to talk, but, frankly, you haven’t said anything quite so cogent as “suit up or shut up” over there that I’m aware of. Of course, I can’t read any of your posts in their entirety without glazing over either, so I guess we’re even.

  35. not too take too many steps back on this but when ROC said “Making fun of the military and on Winston Chruchill’s Birthday” I actually figured he was kidding…

  36. I don’t quite know how we got from military recruiting to Guernica and Picasso’s overrated painting of the same title. But I do recall reading a book about the bombing incident by a pair of historians who pointed out, whilst firmly deploring the incident, that Guernica was in fact a heavily armed military base and that Picasso, more than a little, fudged the matter both in his art and in his public statements. I also, perhaps because I assume the subject frightens them unduly, almost never assume that angrily blubbering lefties like Roxane above know much about military history. So the lady is forgiven. Just as long as she promises to abstain from public profanity here in the future.

  37. wow – how big of you, cathar to forgive “the lady.” us angrily bubbling lefties appreciate your leniency with us.

  38. You’re not real good at irony, now, are you, “Left of Center?” As for using profanity in a public forum, what does that really say about anyone? Beyond the issue of vulgarity for mere shock’s sake, it basically indicates a paucity of language. So I forgive you, too. Because I am, as you indicated, big about this stuff.

  39. I’m wondering, are you guys angry that the recruiters were at this particular school, or that they are in schools at all? Because this isn’t new, I graduated 5 years ago and Army/Navy/AirForce/Marine recruiters were regularly set up in the cafeteria at my school on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

  40. i don’t see any thing wrong w/ them setting up at this high school. they would not pull over kids and demand them to join. if this hs is supposed to offer all options, and satisfy every point of view, why shouldn’t they set up here? that’s obviously to a certain audience. not every1 wants to go to college, or can afford it, even if they live GR. they were not forcing any1 to join the army, so i do not see what the huge deal is.

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