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Re: Privacy and military and testing, oh, my!



JP Bottini wrote:

> Pikku:
> Re: military lists
>
> One's name and address is hardly a private issue.
> We had to put our own name on "the" list at the post office when we turned
> 18. Was that a privacy issue?
> It was the law.

First issue just because something is the law does not automatically make it
either constitutional nor right. Otherwise we all risk placing ourselves in
the category of being :good Germans." Please note I am NOT applying that term
to you. But many laws have been overtunred as seither unconstitutional, or as
the result of civil disobedience, unjust. After all, it was the law that
Blacks could not sit at lunch counters in the South when youw ere growing up,
JP.

Also note - you were required to register when you turned 18. Schools are
being required to provide names, addresses and phone nubmers of students who
are NOT 18. Since male students are still required tor egister for the draft,
even though there is no draft, the military ould fulfill its options by
otaining that information through such registration.



> Subsequently, I was invited (Greetings: You are herby
> requested to . . .) join Uncle Sam's finest.
> It is no big deal in my mind.

But it was a big deal in the minds of many. That is one of the reasons the
constitution was amended to give the vote to 18 year olds - the nation
recogznied the fundamental unfairness of requiring people to serve in a war,
dying or killing, when they had had no opportunity to participate in the
selection of the government making the decision to go to war.


> A strong democracy within a strong nation necessitates a strong military.

Not necessarily, but that is hardly the point of those whodisagree with this
portion of hte NCLB legislation.


> All should have the opportunity to serve.
> In my world, no one would receive a high school diploma until he/she served
> in one capacity or another; (military, Vista, Ameri-corps, CCC (revised as
> environmental projects), veterans hospital, local environmental labor, needy
> school district tutoring, nursing home aide).

First, this is already law in many states, including Maryland, where I teach:
there is mandatory community service as a requirement for a high school
diploma. You will note that many, both of convservative and of lbiertarian
bent, disagree with this compusory service.

Second - I was not aware that Americorps, CCC or any other form of service is
given the same access to student names and addresses under the NCLB
legislation.

Third, and this is perhaps the most relevant: if the purpose is to make sure
that all students have the opportunity to obtain information about military
options. This can be obtained by allowing the military to visit schools during
non-academic hours, such as lunch, and equal access during things like college
and career fairs. There is no need to require disclosure of information
directly to either military or to colleges, except as students and their
parents so elect.

There are no penalties for military recruiters who abuse access to this
information - even if told the studnet and parents are not itnerested, there
is nothing to stop them from making repeated phone calls. Quite frankly, the
military is being granted a level of access that is intrusive and in my opinion
hardly necessary.

The military already gets millions of dollars of free advertising on television
and radio. They could have simply requested the right to, through the school,
mail directly toe very student, without giving them the names and addresses.
if the students and families chose not to respond further, taht would be the
end of it. What the military sought in this case was the ability to compete on
an unfair basis.

When I was in hs, I was a National Merit semi-finalist, finalist, and winner.
Once i was in the semifinalist category, i recieved tons of mail trying to
recuit me. In all, i was contacted gby well over 100 colelgs and unversities.
Every single one fo those solicitations were sent to me at my school, not at my
home.

If we allow our givernment to continue to invade our privacy, we ultimately il
have no democracy left to protect, with or without strong military.

And BTW, please remember, I voluntarily enlisted in the marines in the mid
1960's, so I hardly qualify as one who is anti-military. I aveh written
letteers of recommendation for students to go to the various national military
academies. And I am on excellent relations with the four members of our Af
JROTC staff.

Ken Bernstein

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