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Author Topic: Army Recruiting Falls Short of Target by 25%, Even After Reducing the Target Itself
David Ricardo
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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08recruit.html?oref=login

quote:
WASHINGTON, June 7 - Even after reducing its recruiting target for May, the Army missed it by about 25 percent, Army officials said on Tuesday. The shortfall would have been even bigger had the Army stuck to its original goal for the month.

On Friday, the Army is expected to announce that it met only 75 percent of its recruiting goal for May, the fourth consecutive monthly shortfall in the number of new recruits sent to basic training. Just over 5,000 new recruits entered boot camp in May.

But the news could have appeared worse. Early last month, the Army, with no public notice, lowered its long-stated May goal to 6,700 recruits from 8,050. Compared with the original target, the Army achieved only 62.6 percent of its goal for the month.

Army officials defended the shift on Tuesday, saying it was not uncommon to change monthly goals at midyear. They said that the latest change reflected the reality that the Army was not going to meet its May goal, and that it made more sense to shift some of that quota to the summer months, traditionally a better season for recruiters to attract new high school graduates.

"We typically reallocate monthly goals during the course of the year," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman, who said that the Army still expected to meet its overall annual goal of shipping 80,000 new recruits to boot camp. "The summer is relatively easier for recruiting."

Because of a series of recent incidents in which Army recruiters were found to be breaking or bending rules to meet their monthly quotas, two senior Army officials acknowledged that the shift in May could leave the impression that the Army was playing "a shell game" with its recruiting figures, shifting its goals to make the numbers look better than they are. But the two officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity because the monthly figures have not yet been made public, said that impression was not justified.


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LoverOfJoy
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In other news...the Air Force and Navy are having great recruiting years...and may turn away thousands of potential recruits. [Wink]

USAToday

quote:
While the Army and the Marine Corps are straining to meet their yearly recruiting goals, the Air Force and the Navy are having banner years and may wind up turning away thousands of potential recruits.

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OpsanusTau
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Is this surprising to anyone?

It seems like a no-brainer that as the chance of a soldier dying in service increases, the number of citizens volunteering to serve as soldiers would almost certainly decrease.

I mean it, though - if anyone thinks differently, I'd be interested to know why.

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javelin
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I think it depends, Ops - if people, in general, feel that the cause is "just", and recognize a need exists for them to join, we would actually see MORE people joining then pre-war.

But there is a lot of confusion/disagreement on whether the war is "just", and the message of "we need more people in the army" isn't really out there.

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Everard
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" the message of "we need more people in the army" isn't really out there."

I disagree with that, I think. A large part of the presidental election involved manpower in iraq.

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javelin
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I missed the part where there was any sort of national call (by the administration) to "sign up for the army" - as a matter of fact, I've not heard that message, anywhere. The only thing I've heard is media outlets saying that the army isn't meeting their quota - and this has only been the last month.

So where's the call to arms? In case we are misunderstanding each other - this has to be direct, not implied.

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Koner
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Having spent 3 years as a US Navy recruiter just outside of New York City I feel qualified to weigh in on this thread.

I read this article a couple of times to make sure that my initial feelings weren't wrong and I have to say that the article leaves a lot of questions in my mind. But I'll point out some of the things it says which are factually true.

quote:
Army officials defended the shift on Tuesday, saying it was not uncommon to change monthly goals at midyear.
quote:
"We typically reallocate monthly goals during the course of the year,"
Both are very true statements. Monthly recruiting goals change from month to month. In fact its not all that uncommon for those goals to change during the course of the current month either. Several times during my tour my stations monthly goal was either raised or lowered depending on recruiting district, area or nation wide trends.

quote:
"The summer is relatively easier for recruiting."
TRUE TRUE TRUE!!!!

What the article leaves out is that there are really TWO different "recruiting" goals. There is a new assession goal and a shipping goal. Shipping goal is arguably the more important of the two goals because that is the one that means recruits in boot camp. But if the Army has a very large DEP (Delayed Entry Program) pool and if they are meeting/exceeding their new assession goals (meaning a growing DEP pool) then they can project over shipping in the months to follow. This could be why the Army has said that they still expect to meet their 80,000 new recruits goal by years end.

Now if the Army is missing BOTH their new assession and shipping goals they could be in trouble. But keep in mind that recruiting is a very cyclic thing. It changes from year to year, and month to month based on a LOT of different factors. Recruiting is easily one of the toughest things for any military member to do. Its DAMN hard work.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Recruiting is easily one of the toughest things for any military member to do. Its DAMN hard work.
How do you do it?
I mean, what's the sort of basic plan?
I remember my mom getting lots of phone calls from the military the year I was supposed to graduate high school, but since I was already long gone, I don't know what y'all would have said.

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Koner
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quote:
How do you do it?

All recruiters essentially develope their own "plan" as they gain experience. But, 90% of recruiting begins on the telephone. Believe it or not, there is an obscure law somewhere on the books that mandates military recruiters to contact ALL males ages 17-21 years of age to offer them the chance to talk with the recruiter about the military opportunities. The easiest and fastest way to contact someone is by the telephone. This is where the differences come in for the different branches. The Air Force does very little phone calling. The Marines will call you once, maybe twice if they think you might change your mind. The Navy will call you, then put your number back into a file and call again in a few months, then put it back and call again in 6 or 7 months. After that you probably won't get another call from a Navy recruiter. The Army will call you today, then again tomorrow, then again next Tuesday, and again the following Thursday etc etc etc until you know the Army recruiters full name and rank just by the voice on the phone. The Army definately uses the "wear you down" method of recruiting. [Smile]

Personally, I HATED phone calls. I hated having to deal with irate mothers telling me that "my son is too good for the Navy and he would never join. Billy is going to college to become a (insert high profile career title here)". The best ones were when I had Billy's ASVAB scores right in front of me when I had Mom on the phone and I was in a particularly foul mood. I would often tell Mom that "Well maam, I have Billy's ASVAB score here in front of me and I would agree with you that Billy probably should attend college in order to bring his scores up to a respectable level".

When I did get an appointment to sit down with a young man or woman, I preferred to conduct my interviews with Mom and Dad present. Because they were inevitably going to have questions and I would rather answer their questions directly than have to relay them back through their son or daughter. Mostly I wanted Mom and Dad present because I would sell the Navy to them rather than their son or daughter. If you get Mom and Dad on your side, Jr is haze gray and underway.

I also preferred to interview college drop outs, over high school seniors. I never recruited women. Why? because they walked into my office looking to join the Navy. I didn't have to find them. But I definately didn't want a woman in my DEP pool because they suffer from "buyers remorse" far more than men do and wind up changing their minds. Also things like "I don't want to go to boot camp now because my new boyfriend doesn't want me to leave" or "I am pregnant" pop up WAY to often with women in the DEP. I hated making up that attrition.

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Funean
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quote:
While the Army and the Marine Corps are straining to meet their yearly recruiting goals, the Air Force and the Navy are having banner years and may wind up turning away thousands of potential recruits.
USA Today, cf LoJ

It sounds like lots of people want to serve.

Just not in the infantry.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Probably due in part to the job type in the Air Force/Navy, as well as the perception that infantry branches are less intelligent.

--Firedrake

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David Ricardo
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Lovely. Just because the Army and Marine Corps are missing their recruiting targets entirely, the Pentagon decides to solve the problem by disbanding the monthly annoucement of monthly recruiting numbers.

Polyannism at its best in the Pentagon, as always.

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-892069.php

quote:
The Army and Marine Corps, as they struggle with recruiting shortfalls, will no longer announce their monthly recruiting numbers at the beginning of each month.

Instead, the Defense Department will approve the release of recruiting statistics for all four services.

Normally, each service releases its monthly statistics at the beginning of each month, but a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command said on Wednesday that he was no longer authorized to do so.

In April, the Corps missed its contracting goal by 260 contracts — falling 9 percent shy of its goal to enlist 2,971 recruits — marking the fourth month in a row that the Corps missed its contracting goal.

But whether the Corps was able to turn that around in May will not be known until the Defense Department releases the statistics June 10, said Maj. David Griesmer.

The change will ensure consistency and give Pentagon officials time to review the data, Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said on Wednesday.

I wish I had the opportunity to manipulate the reporting of my own grades in school in an effort to "ensure consistency and give myself time to review the data."

Apparently, accountability was one of the first words to be discarded from the Bush Administration Newspeak Dictionary Version II.

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WarrsawPact
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quote:
Apparently, accountability was one of the first words to be discarded from the Bush Administration Newspeak Dictionary Version II.
Ah, the strained appeal to Orwell.
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Koner
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quote:
I wish I had the opportunity to manipulate the reporting of my own grades in school in an effort to "ensure consistency and give myself time to review the data."

Apparently, accountability was one of the first words to be discarded from the Bush Administration Newspeak Dictionary Version II.

David, you appear to have a great deal of pent up hostility toward the military in general. You regularly make these types of post where you do nothing but complain about how the military performs. In this particular thread you seem to be of the opinion that the recruiters are failing to do their jobs because they have missed their recruiting GOALS. Please note that the military does not use the term QUOTA. The difference between those two terms is the key here but you seem to use them to mean the same thing. They don't.

Until you have served a tour as a recruiter and have a personal understanding of the roadblocks thrown up by schools, colleges, parents, and other civilian groups which stand in the way of the recruiters performance of his CONGRESSIONALLY MANDATED duties, you might just think before you make ridiculous threads like this one. If you really want to help the Army and Marine Corps to meet their recruiting goals, instead of just attacking them for not meeting them, I suggest you go to your local school board and PTA meetings and start to demand that the schools give military recruiters the same access to students that they allow for colleges and universities. Or the next time you see some 23 year old guy packing groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly who still lives at home with Mom and Dad, suggest to him that he look into military educational programs. Did you know that the US Military will pay for most if not ALL of a college degree while a member is on active duty? Did you know that the Mongomery GI bill gives military members almost $20,000.00 to be used to pay for education related expenses? Did you know that US Military will pay for up to $2500.00 per semester for undergraduate courses and $3500.00 per semester for graduate courses? All this while at the same time providing a place for them to live and medical, dental expenses. I bet that you didn't know those things. Mostly because you are too busy bitching and complaining about how the military recruiters have failed to meet their goals.

How about doing something proactive to actually HELP things get better instead of just whinning about how bad someone else performs.

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Pete at Home
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In my (state) school, SAGE, the main gay rights club, sent out an email 2 months ago gloating about shutting down the local military recruiter's visits to the school, through their continual protests. Has this been going on in other universities?
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Pete at Home
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I know Harvard and a couple other major universities have actually officially kicked out the military recruiters (again) since one of the circuit courts overturned the Solomon amendment (requiring schools to allow recruiters or lose all federal funding which I believe includes student loans) as unconstitutional.
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TomDavidson
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quote:

Did you know that the US Military will pay for most if not ALL of a college degree while a member is on active duty? Did you know that the Mongomery GI bill gives military members almost $20,000.00 to be used to pay for education related expenses? Did you know that US Military will pay for up to $2500.00 per semester for undergraduate courses and $3500.00 per semester for graduate courses? All this while at the same time providing a place for them to live and medical, dental expenses. I bet that you didn't know those things.

I knew them. In fact, I think it's great that the military has not only been able to accurately put a price on someone's life, but on that someone's willingness to take other lives.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Tom Davidson -

We sell our lives in any career. Work 40 hours a week for 20 years in a dead end job - the army starts to look mighty nice.

--Firedrake

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David Ricardo
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Koner, one of my friends was a former Marine recruiter. He agrees that the Army and Marine Corps are desperately falling behind their recruiting goals, needs, targets (whatever you want to call it).

Merely pretending that there is no problem when a problem exist is just sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich. Once we get past the denial stage, maybe we will be able to pursue the correct policy changes.

Until then, I have no compunctions against pointing out the reality of our situation even to the chagrin of those who live in the fantasy-based community.

As far as pent-up hostility against the military, I have none. I admire the military.

I have my contempt for the idiot civilians in the Pentagon and the Administration who have ill-used our fine military far too many times in the past four years.

[ June 10, 2005, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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Pete at Home
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David, the fantasy here is your strategy of trying to influence people through hostile ridicule.
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Koner
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I have no compunctions about pointing out the reality either. But you are ignoring what is a root cause of their current recruiting difficulties. You are placing the entire blame for the Army and Marine Corps missing their recruitment goals solely on the shoulders of the military and the "current administration". When in fact a large portion of that blame lies outside of their control.

Recruiters have for years struggled with schools and faught for equal access to students. You are telling me to get past the denial stage, but you are the one who is denying that there is a problem that those who perfom this duty have been fighting against for year.

Does a problem exist in current recruiting? Absolutely. But the problem is far bigger than just the Army and Marines missing their goals for a few months. And I'm not the one ignoring that problem.

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FIJC
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quote:
"I have my contempt for the idiot civilians in the Pentagon and the Administration who have ill-used our fine military far too many times in the past four years."
David, have you even ever been to the Pentagon in your life? I don't think you are qualified to make such a statement unless you have actually worked there for some amount of time.

And you also seem to be ignoring the fact that a very large amount of those "idiot civilians" you are referring to are in fact, retired from the military themselves. Many retired military members go to work for the DoD/Pentagon because they already have the security clearance and background/expertise necessary to work there. [Roll Eyes] Civilians who do not have any background in the military typically have to wait 6 months to a year just to gain confidential or secret security clearance.

[ June 10, 2005, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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Koner
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quote:
In fact, I think it's great that the military has not only been able to accurately put a price on someone's life, but on that someone's willingness to take other lives.
Have you looked at what the average yearly college tuition is these days? How do you expect poor farm kids to pay for a college education? How do you expect an inner city project dweler to pay for a college education? Are you going to offer them a full scholarship? Are the companies who hire them going to pay it for them?

I think what the military does by providing these incentives to young men and women is the very LEAST they can do to help the people who are willing to lay their lives on the line to protect others freedom. The men and women who serve in the military deserve no less.

Whether they are serving because they feel it is their patriotic duty, as a great many do, or because they are whoring themselves out for educational benefits should matter very little. The fact of the matter is that they took the inititive to better their lives in a way that serves the great good of the country.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Have you looked at what the average yearly college tuition is these days? How do you expect poor farm kids to pay for a college education? How do you expect an inner city project dweler to pay for a college education?

Bribing desperately poor people to kill on our behalf is only one of the many wonderful things about our armed forces.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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FIJC said:
quote:
David, have you even ever been to the Pentagon in your life? I don't think you are qualified to make such a statement unless you have actually worked there for some amount of time.
That's not at all true. The ability to express discontent with a particular action before or without taking part in it is part of democracy.

Do you think that someone needs to work in Abu-Grab before they can criticize the torture there? Should we allow only those in government to criticize each other? Maybe we should only let ex-Presidents criticize the policies of President Bush? I actually don't believe you said that [Smile]

--Firedrake

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Tom Davidson said:
quote:
Bribing desperately poor people to kill on our behalf is only one of the many wonderful things about our armed forces.
Hardly desperately poor. I volunteered for the infantry (armor), and my family is upper middle class. I believe that patriotism and the need to contribute must play a part as well.

--Firedrake

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Pete at Home
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I volunteered after 9/11, and at the time I was certainly not poor. They turned me down for being overweight. I lost the weight, went back in Summer of 2002, and they told me I was 10 days too old. [Big Grin]
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FiredrakeRAGE
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I was turned down due to athsma that I lost when I was eight. They said I'd have to go through a battery of tests (paid for by me, on my time) to prove it. That is one reason I feel less sympathy for the lack of recruits.

--Firedrake

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:

Have you looked at what the average yearly college tuition is these days? How do you expect poor farm kids to pay for a college education? How do you expect an inner city project dweler to pay for a college education?

Bribing desperately poor people to kill on our behalf is only one of the many wonderful things about our armed forces.
How would you prefer our country treat our soldiers? Or should we have none?
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The Drake
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I was bounced out of AFROTC (Air Force Reserve Officer Training) for being over "maximum bodyfat". This was based on the ratio of my neck size to waist size. (this index was pretty much equally lousy as the BMI, discussed elsewhere).

I could still run 6 miles at the time, and scored midrange on PT tests.

They were looking to reduce forces, since they had more Lieutenants than they needed at the time. (92-93)

So, no service for me, and I had to pay back my full scholarship. Other cadets were bounced on borderline medical conditions. But if you don't like being mistreated by bureaucratic organization, you can't really expect to join the armed services.

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KnightEnder
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FIJC,

That was rather out of character for you. I would bet you don't really believe that, but are reacting to something that you feel is a mischaracterization and one that hit close to home for you? [Frown]

Pete,

The age is 39 now. You could be in JAG! Maybe then we'd get "the truth." Whether we could handle it is a whole nother story. [Smile]

KE

[ June 10, 2005, 07:58 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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KnightEnder
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David made a post in which he backs up what he is saying with a direct quote, and yet Pete and WP attack him while doing nothing to refute his statement. And I don't see anything that David said that is overtly hostile to the military.

Koner, your last post was excellent.

quote:
Hardly desperately poor. I volunteered for the infantry (armor), and my family is upper middle class. I believe that patriotism and the need to contribute must play a part as well.

--Firedrake

Although I think what Tom claims is true, I also agree that some volunteers do so out of a sense of patriotism. I have been considering joining since they raised the age limit, but although I love my country I couldn't in good conscious serve this president or administration. And I think there are probably a lot of people that feel that way, as is evident from the lack of new recruits.

KE

[ June 10, 2005, 08:03 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Pete at Home
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I didn't say he was being hostile to the military. Read what I said before you pass judgment on me.

David:

quote:
Merely pretending that there is no problem when a problem exist is just sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich. Once we get past the denial stage, maybe we will be able to pursue the correct policy changes.

Until then, I have no compunctions against pointing out the reality of our situation even to the chagrin of those who live in the fantasy-based community.

My response: the fantasy here is your strategy of trying to influence people through hostile ridicule.

Unlike many other threads, here David has brought in reliable facts that substantiate all of his claims. But he bends over backwards to not be persuasive in his tone. You're whooping it up because you agreed with him before he started. I'm persuaded because I can overlook someone acting like a jerk when I see good reasoning. But unless David wants to continue just preaching to the choir (i.e. you and others that agree with him) then it might just be a nifty idea to stop making sweeping derogatory comments about the majority of Americans that dissagree with him, as wrong as they may be.

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KnightEnder
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I said you attacked him and I didn't say you said he said anything hostile to the military. And I'm not passing judgement on you (attack might have been too strong a word, but you've really got to lighten up). I just felt bad for David. He made a statement based on the facts he quoted and instead of discussing the quote y'all "attacked" him. (pretend I came up with a less vicious sounding word and insert for attack)

KE [Whooping it up!] [Smile]

[ June 10, 2005, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Pete at Home
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I criticized David's insulting and counterproductive use of the word "fantasy."

Why should I try to refute his statement when I agree with it, despite his counterproductive delivery?

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Funean
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censured?

/thesaurus mode

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TomDavidson
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If you aren't desperately poor and joined -- or thought about joining -- out of a sense of patriotic duty, you are clearly not one of the desperate poor being bribed to join the military. That the desperately poor are bribed to join the military is hardly in dispute, right?
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Pete at Home
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I attacked how he said it.
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Pete at Home
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But I do appreciate KE standing up for someone who he thinks is being unfairly attacked. I could have been more clear in my criticism.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
If you aren't desperately poor and joined -- or thought about joining -- out of a sense of patriotic duty, you are clearly not one of the desperate poor being bribed to join the military. That the desperately poor are bribed to join the military is hardly in dispute, right?

No. The meaning of the sentence changes when you put it into passive voice.
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