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Comment Archives: stories: Feature: News

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

Starbase is recruitment budget money. Do you think that comes without an agenda? Showstopper and others who immediately curse and label those who are opposed to recruiting elementary school children really make our case for us. We don't want our children to turn out like that. We just don't. Those who would allow the military to take the little kids out of school to get gee-whizzed by killing machines are products of the same culture, usually, and want even more. I hope that more and more of us disagree with that. Military contact with grade school children is a sign of a rapidly deteriorating, militarized society, one that becomes more coarsened as it finds itself waging war after war, honoring the warriors and calling the nonviolent ones naive. I think the brutalization of our society is the sad naivite that presages economic depression and social services getting thinner and thinner. As for the military being the reason we are all free, tell that to all the peoples who were victorious with nonviolence, including women, who won their vote despite military members beating them in the streets of Washington, not because of the military. And ask John Lewis, Diane Nash and the millions of black southern Americans who won their rights using nonviolence. Yes, you can say that white males owe their freedom to a violent American Revolution, but that was before Gandhi showed a different way. He freed India from the same colonial master--Britain--but with fewer than 3,000 deaths, compared to the US 35,000 or more. Can we please start to REALLY educate our kids? They shouldn't drive Model Ts and they can do better than violence.

Posted by Tom H. Hastings on 07/15/2010 at 7:18 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

@ Remi: Good point. Military haters tend to lose sight that the military is a heterogenous conglomeration of ordinary, basically good people, just like any other large organization. I agree that if this is indoctrination, it's pretty benign.

@ Rabblevox: Well said.

Posted by Commenty Colin on 07/15/2010 at 5:50 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

@ Showstopper,
as a decorated veteran, I call bullshit on your diatribe. While I will free acknowledge that this is one of the smarter things the DD has conceived, and might along the way do a bit of good, it is still propaganda. The way to fix the school system is to fix the school system, not to partner with the DD.

The DD WANTS people to think that dropping bombs on people is an exercise in math, and if that doesn't chill you down to your toes, I question your sanity and humanity.


Posted by rabblevox on 07/15/2010 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

I think it's wonderful that the military is giving back to the community in this way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with respecting our military. I think it is good for kids to have exposure in this small way to the military. While it may look like a machine to those who have never served, those of us who have know that it is made up of perfectly normal human beings. We were not brainwashed baby killers. The military is here to protect us. Yes, maybe sometime politicians use it improperly, but that should not cause us to vilify military personnel. Many of us enlisted not because we wanted to go out and blow shit up, but because we felt that it was a way to SERVE our country while in return getting benefits such as college money. I am female, come from a middle class family and got good grades, but I still enlisted. I think as a country, we have lost respect for almost everything, especially public servants like the police and military. I'm not saying they are perfect, but they are there for YOU. Parents should be glad of this opportunity, not only because their kids get a chance to experience new things and LEARN, but also because they can use this experience to have an actual (gasp!) conversation with their kids about the military.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Remi on 07/15/2010 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

I would be a wee bit compassionate on throwing it ALL at the military,Colin.A hell of a lot of our military chose to dodge jail and enlist.A hell of a lot of our military dont even want to serve.They want the housing,school bucks and usually don't want to see any fucked up shit nor kill anyone.I definately agree with our bloated military and over reaching powers.We wont be attacked by Japan,China,Russia nor even Iran.A huge military didn't stop 911 and never will.I believe the next threat will be on these here computers.Banking,power grid etc.I do believe we could radically reduce our bases and the bucks we should be spending on education.Show stopper....not all hippies spit on Nam vets.They just questioned why their friends and family had to be drafted into a fucked up war/game and gave their lives or lost their minds.War huh good god you all!!What is it good for!!!!!Imagine.

Posted by Mandingo on 07/15/2010 at 5:25 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

We should absolutely fell free to criticize the military or U.S. policy. Ideally, these high-end classes would be being taught by well-compensated, well-qualified teachers earning a living wage commensurate with their experience and education. Given the circumstances, however, I would rather have PPS students getting a good science/global studies lesson from a dispassionate public sector professional than a private sector contractor who is hustling to keep their job at the behest of shareholders concerned only with their profit margins. Besides, for all the negative stereotypes the military endures in this town, we can't all be creative executives or musician-baristas. I love you guys and all, but lets be fair here; if we're going to make a deal with the devil, wouldn't we rather be beholden to the common devil we all know?

Posted by sailorjeffy on 07/15/2010 at 5:01 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

It is as simple as this: If Portland Public Schools has decided to let the Military have access to our 10 year old children for future recruitment targets then they need to change their policy on elementary school recruitment. As it stands now the policy states clearly that elementary school recruitment is prohibited. STARBASE is about planting the "military seed" and to do such at that young of an age it is reprehensible, scary, sad, and possibly disastrous. Leave the kids alone!!!

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by gwilcox on 07/15/2010 at 4:23 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

What's your point? Are you trying to stay quasi-objective and report both sides, with a couple of insinuations of nefarious intent on the part of the military that you can't prove (or directly allude to)?

What's bad about placing children within feet of heavy weaponry (besides the way it sounds)? I imagine any necessary precautions have been taken to be safe. If you're suggesting the base tour glorifies violence or the military, I'd check out the video games, cartoons, or run of the mill media stories easily accessed by children that include ample amounts of violence and weapons. At least the tour comes with a responsible/serious tint.

The last part of the article gets awkward. How do you know they altered the pamphlets for the Oregonian? Define militaristic and describe what were the militaristic elements of this pamphlet? Is it the mere presence of military personnel among other civilian professionals "militaristic"?

I honestly don't attribute the awkwardness of the Sergeant or the black out of military personnel to insidiousness intentions of the military or a admission of guilt. I'd call it the clumsy backtracking of PR novices that know the appearance of impropriety will be held against them.

How significant is the resistance to StarBase in Oregon (oh, I'm sorry, pacifist resistance cause it sounds so smart)? Are there any merits to their claims? Do children have to attend StarBase programs? If any of your rumors were true, I'm sure a lexus nexus search would yield better results than calling a couple newspapers. How about calling schools that participate in StarBase? The fact that the representatives of local newspapers didn't know about StarBase isn't a surprise. I'm sure they're unfamiliar with most programs that work with K-12 students or simply don't share your shock at StarBase's existence

Beyond individual programs (I'm guessing this isn't the only one), the military has probably had a significant role in the development of universal education in many western countries. During WWII, they developed programs to rapidly improve reading, writing, and math skills for soldiers from poor educational backgrounds. They're responsible for defense, it's kind of a big deal, and yes, they might want to develop resources to explicitly use to that end.

An assumption floats in the background of this article that military is attempting to lull people into a positive outlook towards the military when people shouldn't. If you don't like the military and think people should have nothing to do with it, write a separate article. If you are suggesting the military's interests in the matter are vague and that by itself is troubling, say so.

I don’t know if this article is anti-military, nor would I be offended if it was. To emphasize what I said at the beginning, what is the point?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tits Mcgee on 07/15/2010 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

I could give a shit about this program. If it helps kids learn science, fine. If maybe that inclines them toward a career in the military, that's fine, too. I think these people have good intentions, and I don't think there's anything nefarious going on at all. Here's why I'm really here:

@ Showstopper: Go fuck yourself, and then go fuck the Marines. I'm really, really tired of this "you wouldn't have your freedom if not for the military" bullshit. There's plenty of free countries that don't aggressively use their bloated militaries to ensure their freedoms.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally anti-military. I think we should have a force sufficient to defend our territory, but not much bigger. However, there's a humongous gap between the size our military should be, and the size it is, and there's an even bigger gap between how our military should be used, and how it's actually been used in our history as a nation. It's no great stretch to call the buildup and misuse of our military our nation's second or third greatest shame, and that's precisely why it's both OK to criticize it, and absolutely necessary that we as citizens do so.

Finally, I don't think you'll never regret that 8 years you chose to spend in the Marines, because it lets you (think you can) one-up other people and play the goddamned martyr for the rest of your life. Now here's my turn to play the martyr: I'd give up my freedom (and a whole lot more) if it brought back to life the MILLIONS of charred, mutilated and innocent corpses produced by dumbfuck US policy and it's tool, the US military.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Commenty Colin on 07/15/2010 at 3:07 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

@Leafer: Thanks! Fixed.

Posted by Stefan Kamph on 07/15/2010 at 2:37 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

Woodmere Elementary is in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, not the Lents neighborhood. Perhaps your reporters could become familiar with the neighborhood boundary maps at… ? You seem to have trouble with them fairly often.

Posted by Leafer on 07/15/2010 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

Woodmere Elementary is not in the Lents neighborhood. It is in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. Perhaps it would be helpful for the Mercury to print out the neighborhood boundry maps at… and hang them up where your reporters can see them. Or you could continue refusing to do even basic research before writing articles.

Posted by Leafer on 07/15/2010 at 2:12 PM

Re: “Inside Starbase Portland

So Portland is allegedly one of the more patriotic cities yet as a veteran I have experienced more anti military hippie ahole backlash than anywhere else i've lived. The Mercury is clearly anti military as has been repeatedly demonstrated by it's articles. It would be so much better if these kids did not receive this education and instead were influenced by gang members or militant vegans or maybe unwashed dirty hippie protesters. Seriously, I wish you a heart felt FUCK YOU. I do not think this program is innocent of recruiting either, but there is at least some benefit for the kids. Nothing exemplifies the Portland attitude better than to want all of the benefits that freedom brings, freedom bought about by the blood of servicemen yet be rabidly anti military. It is bullshit like that which at times almost make me regret I served 8 years as a Marine.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by The Showstopper on 07/15/2010 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Confessions of a Teenage Prostitute

This is a great article and I'm glad some people are shining light on to this horrible profession and crime occurring around the country. I wish they could do more. I just looked up teenage prostitution after reading the book 'Tricks' and have really been interested in this crime that should be getting help all around the country. I mean, I'm a teenage girl and would never want to be in this position. Young women need to be more careful and know they can always find someone to reach out to, even if it is the cops. This is a great story. Thank you.

Posted by JTB2684 on 07/02/2010 at 8:01 PM

Re: “Confessions of a Teenage Prostitute

There is a website based in Roseburg reguarding human trafficking It has links to many other sites.

Posted by charlie2b on 06/22/2010 at 9:08 PM

Re: “We Built This City

Ahhh now Portland is going to shit...............anyone for Alaska?

Posted by Mandingo on 05/23/2010 at 2:02 PM

Re: “Confessions of a Teenage Prostitute

I like how this article places no blame on the girls. It's all the same-age pimp's fault that she ran away and felt "trapped". She could have gone back to her parents any day of the week.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Henry Potter on 05/12/2010 at 11:22 PM

Re: “We Built This City

Why aren't the homeless or destitute being housed temporarily here? They may know more about green living than anyone else.

Posted by Amused_One on 05/06/2010 at 1:01 PM

Re: “Confessions of a Teenage Prostitute

As a former underage prostitute now 43 I call BS!! This is Bull , These girls that are underage out on the street are there because they want to be there and no one is making them. They don't want to follow the rules at home or want to do drugs or sleep with their boyfriends so they run away from home and are just plain stupid, we are americans very headstrong and if they wanted to leave they would. Being in Portland walking 82ND Ave are naive underage drug addicts trying to get the next fix. And if your going to get your clientele from 82ND expect to get men that are dirty and smell offer you $20 and argue about wearing a condom, if they are on craigslist it all police and most girls don't use their own picture and get paid a lot better. The elite providers are on sites that cater to top dollar and upscale men who pay plenty for us. So the police have this position for human trafficking just to blow more money on nothing just like them working on holidays to arrest 1 prostitute, does it really take 6 of you guys at 2 1/2 overtime pay?

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Harlot on 05/05/2010 at 1:36 PM

Re: “We Built This City

Sarah Mirk rightly gives it to the robber baron scumbags and their political flunkies in her journalistic stroll through the South Waterfront development. Vacuosity abounds in those parts and it is walking, apparently, a miniatiurized canine. I take issue only with Ms. Mirk’s mixing of medical metaphor. An abscess is a collection of pus that has formed in the midst of a bacterial infection. Metaphorically, it is something like an overt, painful or concentrated manifestation of underlying discord or corruption. One might say, for instance, that the empty storefronts are an abscess on the superficially pleasant but constitutionally diseased property. However, abscesses, quite simply, do not gape. An abscess can bulge, fester, erupt or disfigure but it does not gape. In fact, when opened either surgically or spontaneously, it is generally viewed as a positive both medically and metaphorically; it is the beginning of cure: the painful and, take my word, extremely disagreeable but necessary step towards healing. Wounds, lacerations, avulsions, open fractures, punctures and ulcerations gape, but represent something different – metaphorically – altogether.

Dr. Wordypants

Posted by Dr. Wordypants on 05/05/2010 at 11:00 AM

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