Thursday, June 23, 2005

NYT: "Air Force Academy Staff Found Promoting Religion" (Laurie Goodstein)

In this morning's New York Times, Laurie Goodstein's "Air Force Academy Staff Found Promoting Religion" will be the focal point. First we'll note the following (buried in the middle):

A chaplain at the academy, Capt. Melinda Morton, made public last month accusations that the religious problem at the academy was "pervasive."
Captain Morton had been on a team asked to draw up a program to promote religious tolerance. On Tuesday, she resigned from the Air Force saying that she did not believe her superiors genuinely wanted her to stay on to help resolve the problem.

Was Morton correct? Reading over the report, it appears she was.

The Acadmey acepts the "things happen" and "no harm, no foul" position.

Goodstein's article is hardly breakthrough reporting but give her credit for stating the obvious by linking the Academy's actions to Colorado Springs. Take away the credit for failing to explain "What's the Matter With Colorado Springs?" (Stealing Thomas Frank's book title.) The move by a freakish faction of Californians to Colorado Springs over the years has remade the area. That's not a slam on all residents of Colorado Springs. We don't slam all people in a region as being a certain way. That is a slam against the California refugees who, fearing everything from liberty to a living wage, pulled out and moved to the Colorado Springs area where they could push their "bleed 'em dry but sell 'em religion and maybe they won't notice" faction.

Goodstein's article is the typical Times "balance" but for almost noting a very real issue (the Colorado Springs base), we'll note it here. A better article might have dealt with the type of people (both in their outlook and in terms of their businesses) that fled California for the area. Billie had a great e-mail Sunday (which I only had time to read last night when I focused on catching up on the e-mails) noting that she looks around her region (Dallas/Fort Worth) and wonders why all this F*** the South nonsense began to begin with. She notes the shift in Texas away from the Democratic Party and towards the Republican Party begins with the oil boom and then bust of the eighties when the state has a huge influx in new residents and that the neighbors in her area who put up signs for the Bully Boy are "transplants" to her state (Texas) and not people who grew up in the area.

So I want to repeat (we have at least one member who lives in Colorado Springs) this is not a slam on the people of Colorado Springs, this is slamming the California refugees who felt California wasn't "friendly" to business or their own self-interests and now occupy Colorado Springs (which our member notes looks "nothing like the vital area I grew up in but like one run down strip mall after another").

From Goodstein's article, we'll note two of the last three paragraphs:

Representative Steve Israel, a New York Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he wanted President Bush to create a commission on religion in the military.
"They go to excruciating pains to attempt to acknowledge a problem, but not acknowledge it too much," Mr. Israel said of the task force. "Is it a whitewash? No. But it does resemble milquetoast."

(The final paragraph goes to Focus on the Fool.)

The article's worth reading as is the report itself.

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