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View Diary: Update: SU Weighs In. DADT: Spouse Survey Revealed (244 comments)

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  •  not necessarily... (10+ / 0-)

    ...not since, thanks to the bush regime, known skinheads and neo-nazis are now able to serve openly...swastika tattoos and all (to meet enlistment requirements, doncha know...)

    a policy, that to my knowledge, has CONTINUED under our current commander-in-chief.

    "A time comes when silence is betrayal." ~ MLK, Jr...Where has CANDIDATE Obama gone?

    by liberaldemdave on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 11:30:48 AM PDT

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    •  That's where the "too freely" part kicks in (8+ / 0-)

      But yes, in order to meet (or, in most cases, just to come anywhere close to meeting) recruiting targets, the military has lowered its standards for enlistment numerous times, and is willing (too willing, in my judgement) to overlook criminal records, abysmal lack of education, drug use, and biases of all kinds. Nor do I recall hearing anything about our Farce Advocate having put an end to any of that. Must be one of those military "reforms" that Gates has sitting on the back (right) burner.

      •  so, clearly visible swastika tattoos... (8+ / 0-)

        AT THE ENLISTMENT OFFICE, weren't dis-qualifiers then WTF would be? (i know we agree, musings85, i'm just gobsmacked by the level they've sunk to in recruiting while still defending the discrimination against glb patriots)

        "A time comes when silence is betrayal." ~ MLK, Jr...Where has CANDIDATE Obama gone?

        by liberaldemdave on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 11:54:43 AM PDT

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        •  i blogged about this... (11+ / 0-)

          ...early on in this debate and here's some food for thought from thesalon.com source article (emphasis added):

          When it comes to screening out racists at recruitment centers, military regulations appear to have collapsed. "We don't exclude people from the army based on their thoughts," says S. Douglas Smith, an Army public affairs officer. "We exclude based on behavior." He says an "offensive" or "extremist" tattoo "might be a reason for them not to be in the military." Or it might not. "We try to educate recruiters on extremist tattoos," he says, but "the tattoo is a relatively subjective decision" and shouldn't in itself bar enlistment.

          What about something as obvious as a swastika? "A swastika would trigger questions," Smith says. "But again, if the gentlemen said, 'I like the way the swastika looked,' and had clean criminal record, it's possible we would allow that person in." "There are First Amendment rights," he adds.

          In the spring, I telephoned at random five Army recruitment centers across the country. I said I was interested in joining up and mentioned that I had a pair of "SS bolts" tattooed on my arm. A 2000 military brochure stated that SS bolts were a tattoo image that should raise suspicions. But none of the recruiters reacted negatively, and when pressed directly about the tattoo, not one said it would be an outright problem. A recruiter in Houston was typical; he said he'd never heard of SS bolts and just encouraged me to come on in.

          sounds like the houston recruiter got the "don't ask, don't tell tattoo memo".

          the whole article made me furious.

          "A time comes when silence is betrayal." ~ MLK, Jr...Where has CANDIDATE Obama gone?

          by liberaldemdave on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 12:07:50 PM PDT

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        •  I'd argue that they should be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liberaldemdave

          Though  I suppose it's possible (to put the most positive spin on this imaginable) that an argument could be made that refusing to allow someone to enlist because of a swastika tattoo would constitute an unconstitutional infringement on the right to freedom of expression. It would also be possible, though I seriously doubt that anyone who walked into a recruiting office wearing such a tattoo would know enough to do so, to claim that, while swastikas are almost universally associated with Nazism, racism, and skinhead culture in the United States, they are in fact also used in certain eastern religions as a sun symbol and have even been used as Christian emblems.

          (For example, at the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory--built in 1897--there is a frieze running around the rotunda at the entrance that displays a number of astronomical symbols--including swastikas. There are also grave markers in the Musée de Cluny--more formally, the Musée National du Moyen Âge or National Museum of the Middle Ages--in Paris that show burial portraits of 13th- and 14th-century clerics wearing vestments embroidered with swastika motifs.)

        •  I think this is probably false (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clarknt67, Betty Pinson, incognita

          If in fact it did happen that someone enlisted with swastika tattoos, whoever allowed it made a mistake. All the services have recently tightened their tattoo regulations - no tattoos that would be visible in uniform are allowed at all, and hidden tattoos are still subject to inspection for gang membership signifiers or offensive or racist content. People with tattoos have to write an essay about what they mean and submit it before they can enlist, and offensive/racist content is a disqualifier.

    •  That's because parents who love their kids (0+ / 0-)

      aren't about to send them to slaughter.  So, the minimum qualifications had to be lowered significantly.

      Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

      by incognita on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 01:31:00 PM PDT

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    •  But funny enough, (0+ / 0-)

      in some branches, if you have what they deem to be "too many" tattoos, you can't serve.

      Just one swastika, plus an appropriately convincing "I promise that's not part of my life anymore"?  You're in.

      Ten tattoos, all of which are visible, none of which are offensive?  Too bad, you don't meet "service appearance criteria".

      The military rarely has its priorities straight on anything, IMO.

      America's military went to war. America went to the mall.

      by talismanlangley on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 03:25:28 PM PDT

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