Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fisher on DC's low service academy nominations

Washington Post's mercenary Metro reporter Marc Fisher takes a look at the low number of nominations granted to DC residents for the various military service academies. The reason? Equal parts Representative Norton, unpopular war (according to Norton's representative; interesting how it hasn't dampened demand in the surrounding counties) and crappy schools (who don't produce qualified applicants). Read the whole thing. Then when you're done go read the follow-up chat Marc Fisher has at the Washington Post web site. It makes for an interesting read, and I don't mean that in a particularly good way.

While Fisher quotes Norton and her lackeys about how they really, Really, REALLY do try to get the word out about the nominations she can make there's an interesting quote in the chat that is quite revealing.
That's pretty sad, but it is a longstanding truth about the volunteer military--as Norton told me last night, "what they call the volunteer army is really a mercenary army."
Its pretty obvious that Norton is using mercenary in a pejorative sense, because the definition sure doesn't match the reality of our volunteer armed forces:
mer·ce·nar·y (mûrs-nr)
adj.
1. Motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain.
2. Hired for service in a foreign army.
n. pl. mer·ce·nar·ies
1. One who serves or works merely for monetary gain; a hireling.
2. A professional soldier hired for service in a foreign army.
If you're going to use this as your basis for tarring military personnel as mercenaries then you are pretty much calling anyone who freely chose a career that included a paycheck a mercenary. MPD officers, firemen, teachers, meter maids, or a newspaper columnists or a buffoon of a politician.

(If there's one silver lining to the giant gray cloud that is DC's lack of voting representation its that the person whose vote our tragedy denies is Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton)

While on the subject of the military a late happy father's day to my dad, a retired vet of both the Army and the Air Force and a living contradiction to the stereotype of those who join the military: middle class, educated and a life-long Democrat. Love you pops.

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