February 17, 2005


I started this blog as a way to try to understand the world we live in. Some days I do just fine. Other days I can't believe the monsters who breathe the same air as I do.

It started last night with this opinion column on the ROTC ban at Columbia:

Joining the military is flushing your education down the toilet. Why would people come here if they were just going to enter the military upon graduation in the first place? It’s like, “Well, I just spent four years learning about mankind’s accomplishments, but all I really want to do is kill people.” I’m not really sure how the Core curriculum is going to come in handy when you’ve been ordered to stack a group of naked Iraqi prisoners in a human pyramid.

I, and I suspect most students on this campus, embrace the “civil-military” gap that ROTC bemoans. The fact is, I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to be in the military at this juncture in American history. Meanwhile, our campus is one of the few remaining places where as students, we can be free from the ever-increasing “let’s roll” mentality that is becoming so dominant in this nation.

Wow. I am shocked someone would say something so nasty. But we're talkin' college kids here, so I'm not that surprised. What did in fact surprise me -- shock the bejesus out of me, to be frank -- was this email Greyhawk got, shocking because it's from a Department of Defense high school teacher:

I hope that your children's teachers offer you children the type of education where they see what a close-minded, blood-thirsty individual you are. You are the type of person who will fight for freedom, all right, as long as it is for the freedom of white, American males. Hitler loved people like you. Of course, like you, I am strictly judging you by your comments, not by actually knowing anything about you or your motivations. And, of course, like you, I am taking everything you say out of context without knowing anything about you. The difference is is that I am actually literate. In fact, aside from judging you to be a bigot, a sexist, and someone who probably didn't do very well in school at all, I would further judge you to be someone who has a hard time passing a pt test. Why don't you "ping the wife" about this one? She is probably happiest when you are not pinging her at all.

A teacher employed by the US Army wrote that letter to Greyhawk. I will never, never grok this world we live in.


Neal Boortz

Posted by Sarah at February 17, 2005 09:50 AM

Some people feel so wise when they say, once the last soldier drops his gun, or if countries didn't have militaries, there would be no wars. It's like saying we could get rid of our crime problems, if there were no police. It's such reverse thinking, but it makes sense in their minds. I am also disgusted with many things that happened in Iraq at the hands of US soldiers, but to judge the whole military is outrageous. For a country who prides individuality, it's irrational to make such sweeping statements. But don't despair, Sarah, these aren't new sentiments. You as an Ayn Rand fan know that 'looters' in some form have been around forever.

Posted by: calivalleygirl at February 17, 2005 11:50 AM

Well, the writer in question appears to come from an environment where veterans or those who know veterans firsthand are few and far between.

Unfortunately that's the case at my alma mater too. I can't think of a single veteran on the faculty or staff. There may or may not be some in the student body. When I was there, there was a four year Army man and a currently serving Marine reservist. That's two out of over 1300. Not a very good ratio.

Check out Neal Boortz today for something similar.


Posted by: James Sloan at February 17, 2005 04:53 PM

My son and your husband are proud to have served their country and defended the people that they love and care for. It's just too bad that people like the one who wrote the letter to grayhawk and the students who are against the ROTC being on campus are going to benifit from their service.
It is amazing to me how many people really don't understand that it is the US Armed Forces that keep us living in the land of the free and the home of the Brave.. Thank God for the Men & Women who fight for Freedom & Liberty for all who are oppressed. May God Bless them..

Posted by: 1Ad Proud ArmyMom at February 17, 2005 05:29 PM

hey ms.grok clowns like that teacher are a minorty in this country.as a veteran of the first persian gluf war (I was a sailor)and a member of a liberal blue state(queens,new york city)even people against the current OIF strongly back the men and women serving bravely in uniform every day.trust me. have fun when the hasband gets home.all the best tommy

Posted by: anon at February 17, 2005 06:40 PM

My old high school got rid of it's JROTC program, though for vastly different reasons. It was founded by a princess and for Hawaiians (and part hawaiians) only and someone sued, so they gave it up since it was a federal program.

The loss was just as great and Leadership Development is no longer taught there outside of sports, which is not nearly as good at teaching responsibility and real leadership. A sad day for a school that put out so many who served (and still serve) their country.


Posted by: Kalroy at February 17, 2005 10:45 PM

If you're going to start posting "tissue warnings" for moving/sad stories, you need "puke-bucket warnings" for shit like this that makes me want to vomit:

By accepting ROTC on campus, Columbia would be encouraging some of its students not to be great thinkers but to be warriors whose purpose is to kill. Supporters of the ROTC will attempt to make distinctions like, “you can train to be a doctor in the military,” or whatever, but the point is, anyone in uniform is just as guilty of enforcing the will of the United States via the use of force as the soldier who actually pulls the trigger.

...because if we could just get rid of that pesky US military, the whole world would be a happy, friendly place full of pretty flowers and cuddly puppies and smiling faces and tie-die ponchos. News flash: when the pot wears off, the world stops looking so rosy, hippy.

This is such a typical liberal position. They worry that having ROTC on campus will draw in people too stupid to think for themselves (yet, apparently, smart enough to get into Columbia). So, rather than let them have free will, the stupid must be protected from themselves. It is outside the realm of possibility (in the liberal mind) that somebody would actually think things through and come to the decision to join the military. Hateful God-damned hippies.

I think we all know the *real* reason they can't have a ROTC program is that the cadets would use the School of Journalism for demo practice. "Oops, training accident, no more Dan Rathers." Heheheh... we can dream, right?

Posted by: James at February 18, 2005 01:02 AM

Hi all (and a special Hi to Sarah),

I'm a spokesman for Advocates for Columbia ROTC.

If you have questions about our efforts to restore ROTC at Columbia, feel free to drop me a line at elc2003@columbia.edu.


Posted by: Eric at February 18, 2005 01:10 AM