Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"I don't want to sound like an ad, a public service ad on TV, but the fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got, the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that. It's, it's not as bright. So, that's my little commercial for that."

--writer Stephen King speaking to a group of high school students

It's long been my belief that elite liberals look down on the military and in many ways despise the military and its members. I emphasize the word elite. These are the extreme Left, the bona fide tree-hugging, "Imagine"-singing, god-hating, UN-loving, environazi socialist radicals who hate everything about traditional America and want nothing more than to see the destruction of capitalism and individual liberty. They are out there and they have a lot of power in the democrat party. I'm not talking about the mainstream democrats who tend to respect, admire and truly support the military. I'm talking about the nuts, and Stephen King belongs in that category. He is a genius writer, but still a political nut. And he is taking some criticism for these remarks, rightfully so since this statement is very offensive to someone who has chosen an admirable career like military service.

I've visited a few different websites and I've seen some comments about King, basically what one would expect. The Left defends him, the Right roasts him. In his defense, people say King has freedom of speech, that he is allowed to oppose the Iraq War, that without the objector there would always be war, etc. King himself has fired back, basically blasting the Right for questioning his patriotism, which is the standard response by a Leftist nut every time someone takes exception to an offensive statement like the one King made. In their eyes, you're not allowed to object to their opinion because that's the equivalent of calling them unpatriotic. I for one can't fathom defending this kind of statement, no matter the speaker or the context.

For the record, as of 2004, 90% of those in the US military held a high school diploma, well above the national average of approximately 75-78%. Most recently, the recruiting class of 2007 was 79% high school graduates, a slight dip from before but still right at or just above the national average, which also had dropped. So Stephen King's claim is factually wrong, and THAT's why people are taking exception. Liberals despise the military so much that they can't comprehend why anyone would voluntarily join up unless they were simply dumb. Remember John Kerry's famous "stuck in Iraq" comment? Of course, they would never actually admit this, but the opinion often emerges in statements like the one above. So either Mr. King is ill-informed or he was taking a deliberate shot at those in uniform. Either way, he was wrong.

This does not equate to questioning his patriotism, this is simply correcting the record and pointing out the inaccuracy of his statement. Perhaps Mr.King will educate himself on the topic the next time he decides to speak to a group of students. Perhaps he will consider those who serve and show some respect rather than blatantly insulting their intelligence. Perhaps, but this blogger isn't holding his breath.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doc,

I just sent you an NPR piece on army recruiting.

No time to address Stephen King as I have only read what you wrote.

As for Sen. Kerry, his wording was unfortunate but his thesis was spot on. If you do read history and understand the culture(s) of a country, you do not wind up "stuck in Iraq."

If you start w/ an idea: "We are going to invade in Iraq," your military advisers would probably have responded: "We can do that successfully, if what you want is a regime change."

But when the other part of your idea is: "After we change the regime, we are going to impose a democracy of the the Iraqi peoples," the response should have been, "The prospects for success in that endeavor are close to nil in consideration of ethnic plurality, sectarianism, tribalism, and the complete absence of the preconditions that will allow democracy to to take root and flourish."

We are stuck in Iraq. We are stuck in Iraq for the foreseeable future no matter who is elected in November. We are stuck in Iraq at current troop levels; increased troop levels; or decreased troop levels.

Regards.

TLGK

PS. Whereas I support anyone who choses to serve in the military for whatever reasons thay may have for joining, I find it unfortunate that some join b/c it is their best opportunity for employment and personal advancement. That is not a jab at the military. That is a jab at our economy and educations systems.

Robert M. said...

Yeah, the army average of high school graduates is higher than the national level because recruiters target high schools. Personally, I believe that recruiters are manipulative, and it is easier for them to prey on kids who may not be able to go on to college, for whatever reason.

That being said, King would be incorrect to believe that all recruited are stupid.

In the end, though, what's the big deal? The bottom line is that a writer said something to some high school students. There are bigger issues to worry about. Is this really something people need to worry about right now?

John Washburn said...

Robert, your use of the phrase "prey on kids" when describing military recruiters is a bit disturbing. I have my own problems with recruiters, but I at least acknowledge that they are offering young people a chance at an honorable profession. Prey on kids? Not sure what to think about that.

Loop, the article you mentioned is basically the same talking point that I've seen from the Left on the King story. King called the military illiterate. People defend this remark by saying: "well, the army HAS lowered their recruiting standards". Huh?

For the record, the military has NOT lowered their standards. The standard remains 90% with high school diplomas. Last year, the military fell short of this mark. But again, despite falling short they still maintained a high school graduation rate HIGHER than the US general public.

And, with all of this aside, I can assure you that EVERYONE in the military is literate. There is simply no way to serve without the ability to read and write. That alone makes King's claim factually inaccurate which was the point of the post.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

The Regime Change in Iraq has already been accomplished. Saddam, Uday and Qusay aren't coming back. The future of that nation is extremely difficult to predict.

Much depends on neighboring IRAN's
FUTURE. It's Iran that needs their
crazy prophesy 'CHANGE', for a 'New Direction' and "Hope".

Wonderful Slogans, don't you think?

If Uncle Sam (or Israel) do nothing, allow these wild-eyed radicals to get their NUKES, then they will DOMINATE the Middle Eastern Vast Oil Reserves, and the Saudi Arabian Royals take the secondary position; The Old Persian Empire is reborn! Shiite will have won the chess game. (It ain't gonna happen).

Meanwhile, Hillary & "Obama-Mania Politics" keep the Sports Fans Happy and Occupied with the nuttiest campaign in our 230 year history! Even Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers Guild can't duplicate this
goofy stuff!

Only a well-placed Asteroid, bumped
off-course by a Loving Diety, can save humanity now. Hah! reb
__________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

auntyemfaustus said...

The military HAS lowered its standards, and since it is all-volunteer, those who can afford college usually don't volunteer. I have seen where recruiters are desperate and are overlooking immigration status, a basic knowledge of English, and waiving the restrictions on former criminal activity, such as burglary, etc.

What bothers me is the recruitment of women. It is Mother's Day tomorrow, and there are many mothers in Iraq and their kids are here. I am no feminist. When I met a young woman with a young child who was on leave from the Army, I asked her, "Why do you want to do this?" and she said "what else can I do for the same pay and benefits?" Gee, is the economy so bad here that a young single mother can't find a job and be with her child?

Why can't we have a draft as Israel does? I don't like the fact that they make even their young women serve a prescribed time in their military, but being in such a precarious part of the world and being so small, I guess they have no choice, but we are 300,000 million. Why shouldn't all our young men be made to serve a mandatory amount of time in the military? Then no one would have to serve one tour after another, especially the young mothers.

Emilie
Port Orchard, WA

Anonymous said...

Doc,

I thought the NPR piece basically provided the same facts that you did.

TLGK

Wry Mouth said...

What comes across in the audio of King's "ad" is his sort-of knee-jerk disdain for military things and people. I'm not sure he's thought his disdain through at all.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Solid positions on Women in Uniform; however would anyone dare deny the distaff side the right to volunteer?
>>
Aunty Em: There is still no text or profile on your site. Why not?

Now that Dorothy and that ugly mutt
Toto are out of your hair, your thoughtful opinions might generate
some interesting, respectful and concise comments. reb

John Washburn said...

"Why do you want to do this?"

Another example of how some people look down their noses at those who serve. Perhaps the next time you meet someone in uniform you should just say "thank you" and keep your pity to yourself.

At the very least you should be thankful for people like her who are willing to sacrifice for others, instead of complaining that the economy should be better for her to do something else.

Robert M. said...

My apologies, but its time for me to find something you've said disturbing. Your support of the armed services is admirable, but I think one should be careful of blanket statements. I know people joining the military who are good and honorable - and I know people joining the military who abuse their girlfriends, smoke in their spare time, etc, etc. Not everyone in the service is a wonderful clean person, as not everybody in any particular organization is always good. All I'm asking is, can we not judge people on an individual basis rather than as a group?

As for your objection to my use of the word "prey," I certainly understand how it might be offensive to a patriotic man such as yourself. However, I stand by it. I've seen it personally, so I know it happens. I've seen kids manipulated and almost bullied into joining. I've seen recruiters call kids cowards when they tried to take a higher-role military job rather than join the Marines as a recruit. Obviously those kids are responsible for their own actions, so I don't necessarily blame the recruiters, but the tactics they use are far from admirable, and in many cases, quite underhanded.

All I'm asking for is a little objectivity and perspective. Black and white issues exist, but they are very very rare. This is not one of those issues. Recruiters and soldiers are just humans. Thus, like all of us, some are good, some are bad. That's human nature. Uniforms and patriotism don't erase that simple fact.

Robert M. said...

Oh, by the wat,

I'm addressing this to Emilie's question of why we can't have a draft. I think it has something to do with forced conscription being morally wrong, as well as Constitutionally illegal. Also, according to many, horribly inefficient.

Think about someone dragging you from home forcibly, putting you in a camp, and telling you what you can and can't do. I'm pretty sure that if someone tried to do that to you, even for just a little while, you'd think it just a bit unfair yeah?

Auntyem said...

Maybe I'm a little late with this response, but I want you all to know I come from a family (see "About me" in my profile) and so does my husband, whose MALES all either volunteered in WWII and Vietnam or WERE DRAFTED. I have a nephew who is a cop, too. Believe it or not, I had ancestors in New Mexico and Texas that were conscripted or volunteered into both the Confederate and Union armies during the Civil War.

My uncles and cousins (I had no brothers) just laughed at their "Greetings" from Uncle Sam and went willingly. NOBODY HAD TO DRAG THEM. They made no excuses, didn't lament the interruption in their lives, they didn't cowardly run to Mexico or Canada, they went to the most miserable places in Germany, Japan, the Aleutians, Vietnam, Korea where there were battles and they got shot at, all BECAUSE THEY FELT IT WAS THEIR DUTY.

The only time I felt the government was unfair "in dragging people off" was when they dragged some of my ancestors off to Indian reservations and schools, or when my Japanese neighbors were dragged off to "camps" called Manzanar, Heart Mountain, etc. during WWII.

If I had sons and they volunteered or were drafted, I would see them off with tears in my eyes as did my aunts when their sons and husbands deployed. BUT, I'll be damned if I would let my girls go had I had any children. I am no feminist, I don't think women belong in combat zones, fighting fires, or shooting bank robbers. Girls suffer in their bones trying to keep up with stronger males in that or they get molested. God built men to be warriors and do the physical stuff. I do think girls can be doctors, lawyers, and yes, even president (except Hillary). SO SORRY!

Emilie
Port Orchard, WA