Monday, May 4, 2009

RTR's Monday Moanin' 4 May 2009

Random observations in my Monday moanin’…

= The U.S. Army had an elaborate recruiting set-up at a shopping mall over the weekend. The display included tents with shooter video games and banks of computer stations.  A “Soaring Eagle” Computer Tournament was operated at the computer stations.  I saw a good number of minors tapping away at the computers.  In fact, most of the computer-oriented activities were big attractions to minors.  Doesn’t the Army know that -- just like torture -- recruiting minors is illegal under international law?

= The Army had plenty of “freebies” at the mall to hand out:  decks of playing cards, computer game CDs, pseudo dog tags, computer mouse pads and more.  The freebies were care of the military’s desperate multi-billion dollar recruiting budget, which is paid for by our tax dollars.  Noticeably absent from the scene was protesting anti-tax teabaggers who oppose wasteful spending.

= Incredibly, the media blared the supposed identity of Mexico’s “Patient Zero,” the person who may have started the swine flu pandemic.  It turned out to be a 5-year-old boy from La Gloria, a town in southern Mexico.  He was identified by name and his picture published in print and across the Internet.  There are two problems here: (1) How and why would the press want to violate the medical privacy of a minor on a world wide scale? and (2) Why should we seriously believe that this singular little boy in that little Mexican town was the originator of the flu virus? 

= In the credit card reform debate in Washington, I have yet to hear or find details that the federal legislation will return to the states the power of regulating and establishing the interest rates offered by credit card companies.  I will keep looking…

= This caught my eye in Sunday’s editions of the Lansing State Journal and the Chicago Tribune:  separate stories related to Mexican/Latino issues were both accompanied with prominent photos of individuals sporting Mohawk haircuts, a rare look you would find among the thousand of people participating in the covered events.

= Lansing (MI) incumbent Mayor Virgil Bernero officially announced over the weekend that he will run for re-election.  I don’t know what to make of the fact that Bernero was voted both the favorite local politician and worst politician in the Lansing City Pulse’s recent Top of the Town contest.   

= Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in press accounts warning that Iran is gaining influence in Latin America.  Apparently, the State Department, CIA, and the military establishment are continuing the campaign to demonize Iran, the one Middle East oil country the U.S. does not influence.  I still point to Iran and Venezuela as the U.S. military establishment’s top two targets for military “intervention.”  The fabricated incidents to justify the actions have not yet been revealed, though plenty of hints exist.

= I’m surprised that I’m surprised about the amount of television people watch, as evidenced by the streaming commentary across Twitter.  After years of limited TV service, I recently expanded my cable service to get more channels. Not much has changed. Programming is very weak. Somewhere along the way, the medium jumped the shark.

-- Rico Thomas Rico


chief_okemos said...

Regarding the "mall recruiting", what is the definition of "recruiting"? Can the US military argue that since they will not accept enlistment under age 17 there is no recruitment? (Not that I'm in favor of what they're doing, just curious).

Rico Thomas Rico said...

I have not seen a legal definition of "recruiting." There is a "plausible deniability" factor I would expect the military to use when called out on their recruitment of children under 17 -- similar to the denials made by marketing professionals who target young people through TV ads.

One of the government's instructional manuals for military recruiters tells them to "own" the school their work in. In other words, be visible, active and accessible to the whole school population. You can hardly separate out the 17 - 18 year olds in that environment.

At the mall, there were very young kids enthralled with the military's computer tournament and other youngsters having "fun" with the shooter games in the tents.

Generally, the whole scene could be categorized as "false advertising" because the true realities of military service -- the war, the killing, the dangers, and the hazards -- were never mentioned to anyone, young or old.

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