portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

education | youth

The military-industrial brainwashing of america's children

The Hitler Youth Movement succeeded in brainwashing an entire generation of German children with the Nazi ideology of racial and national superiority. In a 1935 speech, Adolf Hitler declared: "He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future!" Corporate america and Washington politicos are goose-stepping to this concept.
Our children (the future of america) are constantly being placed into situations where they alone have to deal with the brainwashing tactics of Corporate america, religious fundamentalists, military recruiters, and in-school testing that looks more like indoctrination techniques than teaching.

The dumbing-down of educational instruction and the promotion of generic, group thinking has only one purpose - to discourage independent decision-making and to penalize those students who question anything that is not pre-approved by their teachers and local school boards.

During this new year, let's put a STOP to this legalized child abuse!

Here are a few examples, followed by A Parents' Bill of Rights.

The Presidential Prayer Team for Kids

1. It's Christmas! And that means it's a great time to pray! So pray for our nation to grow in understanding of God and His love for all people, for our leaders to seek Him and His wisdom as they lead us in the New Year, and for your family and every family in America to have a terrific time celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ who came to change the world with His love.

2. Pray for President and Mrs. Bush, their daughters Jenna and Barbara and all the family and friends they will enjoy as they celebrate Christmas this year, asking God to help and strengthen them with His presence and His Word. Pray that they will experience the peace of Jesus Christ as they celebrate together.

3. The Iraqi elections were a terrific success, so it's really important to thank God for answering our prayers for this important moment in Iraq's history! Over 11 million people voted, and there were very few problems - and that's pretty much what we had prayed for! So it's a great time to thank God and to pray that the nation of Iraq will be able to grow into a very strong democracy that will shine a beacon of hope and liberty across the Middle East. Pray also for the leaders who were elected that they will do a very good job of serving their country.

4. Our troops continue to do a fantastic job protecting our freedom and the freedom of so many people around the world - especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. So we can pray for their protection and safety during Christmas week. We can also pray that when they feel sad because they are away from home on such a special holiday, that they will have God's comfort holding them close. Pray also for their loved ones back home who really miss their mom or dad, brother or sister or aunt or uncle. And we especially need to pray for everyone who has lost a loved one, because the first Christmas without someone you love is really tough. So pray for God's comfort and encouragement to be with each one this week and all through the New Year.

See:  http://pptkids.org/

The Children's Crusade: Military programs move into middle schools to fish for future soldiers
by Jennifer Wedekind, June 3, 2005

Tarsha Moore stands as tall as her 4-foot 8-inch frame will allow. Staring straight ahead, she yells out an order to a squad of peers lined up in three perfect columns next to her. Having been in the military program for six years, Tarsha has earned the rank of captain and is in charge of the 28 boys and girls in her squad. This is Lavizzo Elementary School. Tarsha is 14.

The Middle School Cadet Corps (MSCC) program at the K-8 school is part of a growing trend to militarize middle schools. Students at Lavizzo are among the more than 850 Chicago students who have enlisted in one of the city's 26 MSCC programs. At Madero Middle School, the MSCC has evolved into a full-time military academy for kids 11 to 14 years old. ...

Herman Barnett, director of Lavizzo's award-winning MSCC program, asks the public to give the students the benefit of the doubt. "They don't look at it as getting ready for the army," he says. "They're just doing it for entertainment and fun."

Full Story:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2136/

Kids Newsletter, Fall 2005

To keep up with the demand for troops, the military has increased its marketing in an attempt to sell youth on the idea of enlisting. The Army, for instance, has nearly doubled its advertising budget since 2000. Recruitment advertising has also become more sophisticated as military marketers increasingly use techniques perfected by the $15 billion-a-year youth marketing industry. Colonel Thomas Nickerson, the Army's advertising director, recently told the New York Times, that the Army's marketing campaigns use "the best practices of corporate America."

Some might question, however, whether emulating these "best practices" is in the best interests of children and their families. After all, the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity, youth violence, precocious and irresponsible sexuality, excessive materialism, and family stress have all been linked to youth-directed marketing. Just as youth marketers use new media, in-school advertising, and viral marketing in order to make an end-run around parents to target children with junk food, violent media and other potentially harmful products, the military is increasingly using these same techniques to sell youth on potentially harmful military service.

Full Story:  http://www.kidscanmakeadifference.org/Newsletter/nf102005c.htm

School Buses Now Roll With Ads

New York, Dec. 28, 2005

Advertisers nationwide are paying big bucks to turn school buses into rolling billboards. The trend pleases educators at cash-starved school districts but disgusts some consumer advocates.

Full Story:  link to www.cbsnews.com

Pupils Being Given 'Patriotism' Tests in Washington State Schools

Paul Joseph Watson; December 30 2005

Children in Washington State are being given 'Patriotism tests' which are completely unrelated to their studies. The paper gauges whether or not the student shows fealty to the power of the state and whether the student believes in the right to overthrow a corrupt government.

A reader from Washington State writes us to highlight a questionnaire paper handed out to her daughter and the rest of her 10th grade class.

The reader comments, "We live in Washington State. My daughter is in 10th grade and found this to be interesting. She has a GPA of 3.75 and uses her brain. This was given in her English class, and has nothing to do with the materials they were studying. We thought you might be able to use this. They are grooming our kids. Keep up the great work. Christine."

The paper is shown below. ...

Full Story:  link to www.prisonplanet.com

The Parents' Bill of Rights
By Jonathan Rowe and Gary Ruskin, Mothering Magazine, April 28, 2003

Paul Kurnit is the president of KidShop, an advertising firm that specializes in marketing to children, and he has plans for our kids.

"Kid business has become big business," Kurnit says. To make it even bigger, he preaches what he calls "surround marketing" -- saturation advertising that captures kids at every possible moment.

"You've got to reach kids throughout the day -- in school, as they're shopping at the mall, or at the movies," says Carol Herman, a senior vice president at Grey Advertising. "You've got to become part of the fabric of their lives."

This is what parents today are up against -- corporate advertisers who seek to entwine themselves with children's lives. By most measures, they are succeeding. Each week, the typical American child takes in some 38 hours (yes, a full work week) of commercial media, with its endless ads and come-ons. And that's not counting the ads that commandeer their attention from billboards and the Internet, the omnipresent brand logos, and the advertising that increasingly fills the schools. ...

Corporations have taken advantage of tight school budgets to turn classrooms and hallway walls into billboards for junk food and sneakers. As for the Internet, it's a marketer's dream, a technology that children roam unsupervised, and that offers endless opportunities for getting into children's minds. "Kids don't realize they're reading advertisements," says Lloyd Jobe, the CEO of Skateboard.com.

Marketers know exactly where to find children, too. The collection of children's personal information, and the invasion of their privacy, has become commonplace. American Student List LLC (www.studentlist.com/lists/main.html), a list broker, sells a list of "20 million names of children ranging in age from 2 to 13," along with their addresses, ages, genders, telephone numbers, and other personal information.

For advertisers, it all has been a bonanza: Market researchers estimate that children ages four to twelve influence some $565 billion of their parents purchasing each year, and McNeal calls children the "superstars in the consumer constellation."

View this story online at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/15754/

Parents' Bill of Rights

WHEREAS, the nurturing of character and strong values in children is one of the most important functions of any society;

WHEREAS, the primary responsibility for the upbringing of children resides in their parents;

WHEREAS, an aggressive commercial culture has invaded the relationship between parents and children, and has impeded the ability of parents to guide the upbringing of their own children;

WHEREAS, corporate marketers have sought increasingly to bypass parents, and speak directly to children in order to tempt them with the most sophisticated tools that advertising executives, market researchers and psychologists can devise;

WHEREAS, these marketers tend to glorify materialism, addiction, hedonism, violence, and anti-social behavior, all of which are abhorrent to most parents;

WHEREAS, parents find themselves locked in constant battle with this pervasive influence, and are hard pressed to keep the commercial culture and its degraded values out of their children's lives;

WHEREAS, the aim of this corporate marketing is to turn children into agents of corporations in the home, so that they will nag their parents for the things they see advertised, thus sowing strife, stress and misery in the family;

WHEREAS, the products advertised generally are ones parents themselves would not choose for their children: violent and sexually suggestive entertainment, video games, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and junk food;

WHEREAS, this aggressive commercial influence has contributed to an epidemic of marketing-related diseases in children, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, alcoholism, anorexia, and bulimia, while millions will eventually die from the marketing of tobacco;

WHEREAS, corporations have latched onto the schools and compulsory school laws as a way to bypass parents and market their products and values to a captive audience of impressionable and trusting children;

WHEREAS, these corporations ultimately are creatures of state law, and it is intolerable that they should use the rights and powers so granted for the purpose of undermining the authority of parents in these ways;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Congress and the 50 state legislatures should right the balance between parents and corporations and restore to parents some measure of control over the commercial influences on their children, by enacting this Parents' Bill of Rights, including the following legislation:

Leave Children Alone Act: Bans television advertising aimed at children under 12 years of age.

Child Privacy Act: Restores to parents the ability to safeguard the privacy of their children. It gives parents the right to control any commercial use of personal information concerning their children, and the right to know precisely how such information is used.

Children's Advertising Subsidy Revocation Act: It is intolerable that the federal government rewards corporations with tax write-offs for the money they spend on psychologists, market researchers, ad agencies, and media in their campaigns to instill their values in our children. This act eliminates all federal subsidies, deductions, and preferences for advertising aimed at children under 12 years of age.

Advertising to Children Accountability Act: This act helps parents affix individual responsibility for attempts to subject their children to commercial influence. It requires corporations to disclose who created each of their advertisements and who did the market research for each ad directed at children under 12 years of age.

Commercial-Free Schools Act: Corporations have turned the public schools into advertising free-fire zones. This act prohibits corporations from using the schools and compulsory school laws to bypass parents and pitch their products to impressionable schoolchildren.

Product Placement Disclosure Act: This law gives parents more information with which to monitor the influences that prey upon their children through the media. Specifically, it requires corporations to disclose, on packaging and at the outset, any and all product placements on television and videos, and in movies, video games, and books. This prevents advertisers from sneaking ads into media that parents assume to be ad-free.

Child Harm Disclosure Act: Parents have a right to know of any significant health effects of products they might purchase for their children. This act creates a legal duty for corporations to publicly disclose all information suggesting that their product(s) could substantially harm the health of children.

Fairness Doctrine for Parents: This act provides parents with the opportunity to talk back to the media and the advertisers. It makes the Fairness Doctrine apply to all advertising to children under 12 years of age, providing parents and community with response time on broadcast TV and radio for advertising to children.

Children's Food Labeling Act: Parents have a right to information about the food that corporations push upon their children. This act requires fast-food restaurant chains to label contents of food and provide basic nutritional information about it.
More Info 31.Dec.2005 13:26

Burro

If you don't have children, and you're a twenty-something single, you may feel that this issue doesn't affect you. But in five or ten years, unless there are some major positive changes, you're going to be interacting with a new generation of brainwashed young adults -- and it ain't gonna be easy!

"You might think our representatives in Washington would show some concern, but politicians in both major parties seem reluctant to stand up to commercial predators. Back in the late 1970s, for example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed an end to advertising to children too young to grasp that ads aren't necessarily true. In response, Congress stripped the FTC of any authority to enact rules against advertisers who take advantage of the vulnerabilities of impressionable youth."

See:  link to www.mothering.com

Interfering with military recruitment is covered elsewhere, but the same reasoning applies  link to www.democracyinaction.org

GREAT article, concept, links 31.Dec.2005 15:58

g.d. dem

Thanks to Burro for a great article, a great concept and great links.

Makes checking out PIMC on New Year's Eve worth it!