March 4, 2005
This is scary and maddening. Unable to get the necessary recruits for the military the old-fashioned way, the U.S. Army has sunk $16 million into a government-sponsored video game that blurs the line between fantasy and the reality of war.
It doesn't take much to confuse some in the 13-to-24-year-old demographic that's the prime audience for the video. Many are consumed with playing video games -- the more violent, the better. They equate the virtual thrill they get from the video game to real-life situations. Some tragically play them out in real life. For too many, the game gives an illusion of competence and control over their circumstances that kids who lack self-esteem or live in challenging situations badly need.
"America's Army" preys on such vulnerabilities. The game is a hit on the Army's Web site, with up to 4.6 million registered players and 100,000 new ones signing up each month. According to Time, this summer the Army will roll out the game to gaming consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation 2 to reach a broader audience.
Recruiter accused of sex assaults
By James A. Gillaspy and Dan McFeely
March 1, 2005
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Investigators say he picked out teens and young women with backgrounds that made them vulnerable to authority. As a military recruiter, he had access to personal information, making the quest easier.
Indiana National Guard Sgt. Eric P. Vetesy, 36, Westfield, was jailed Monday, accused of sexually assaulting six female recruits -- most of them Noblesville High School students -- he met during his 18 months as a full-time recruiter.
salon.com No child left unrecruited To get federal money, schools have to give students' names and numbers to military recruiters. But some schools, claiming invasion of privacy, are fighting back.
The ongoing "war on terror" pushes the need for fresh cannon fodder, and the army's recruiters are feeling the heat.
New York Times
These men, and occasionally women, spend several hours a day cold-calling high school students, whose phone numbers are provided by schools under the No Child Left Behind Law. They also must “prospect” at malls, at high schools, colleges and wherever else young people gather.
Psycho Feds Target Children
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Every parent in America should be made aware of a presidential initiative called the “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.” This commission issued a report last year calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren, meaning millions of kids will be forced to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not. At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children.
Forced mental health screening simply has no place in a free or decent society. The government does not own you or your kids, and it has no legitimate authority to interfere in your family’s intimate health matters. Psychiatric diagnoses are inherently subjective, and the drugs regularly prescribed produce serious side effects, especially in children’s developing brains. The bottom line is that mental health issues are a matter for parents, children, and their doctors, not government.
So remember kids always D.A.R.E. to resist drugs and violence.