SocietyWatch

From the October 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

Australia’s defense wants women

Recruiters for the Australian Defense Force (adf) are ignoring male applicants in favor of female applicants until August 2018 in an effort to increase the number of women in the military.

adf leaders threatened to repost any recruiters who “ignore directives to exclusively target women for most new jobs,” the West Australian reported. “This week’s target list of army jobs is looking for recruits in 50 roles—but 35 of those are available to women only, including on the front line in the armored cavalry and as a combat engineer. There are currently no jobs available for men in the infantry as a rifleman or as an artilleryman, but both jobs are highlighted as ‘recruit immediately’ if a female candidate comes forward” (August 11).

From August through January 2018, Australia’s navy will open only one of its 18 jobs listed to men. The Air Force will exclude men from all seven of its openings. There is an exception for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander males.

Immediately following these revelations on August 11, the adf released a statement saying, “All roles in the Australian Defense Force (adf) are open for men and women to apply. … Men are not excluded from any roles. … There are no adf positions which are open exclusively to women. … The entry standards for adf recruitment have not been reduced.”

These statements are true, but the fact remains that even though men can feel free to apply, women will be recruited ahead of them based on the fact that they are female. Standards have not been lowered because women already have a lower standard (standards for Australian Air Force females are 4 push-ups and 20 sit-ups).

The adf itself advertises its goal for “female participation rates of 15 percent for the Army and 25 percent for the Navy and Air Force by 2023.”

University libraries get rid of books

The University of California–Berkeley recently removed 135,000 books from its Moffitt Library to make room for open meeting spaces, glass writing boards and “nap pods,” an example of a major change taking place on university campuses nationwide.

Controversy erupted at the University of California–Santa Cruz when administrators removed 60 percent of the printed materials in the Science and Engineering Library. Faculty members were outraged that approximately 80,000 books valued at $2 to $6 million were hauled off campus or destroyed without their consultation. A proposal to remove 90 percent of written materials from the Cabot Science Library at Harvard was scaled back by the faculty.

One of the main justifications for removing books from libraries is that they are being replaced by digital resources accessible on computers and other devices. Some faculty members are uneasy with such large-scale digitization, but most students are embracing it. In 2014, students at the Haas School of Business at UC–Berkeley successfully petitioned to have 70,000 books moved into storage facilities. “I’ve never actually needed to use a physical book,” UC–Berkeley graduate student Ted Xiao said. “I’ve never checked one out. I can’t honestly say I even know how.”

Black separatist shoots Florida police officers

Two police officers were shot to death during an apparent ambush in Kissimmee, Florida, on August 18. Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter were responding to reports of three suspicious people on the city’s north side when they were shot by Everett Miller, a 45-year-old veteran of the Marine Corps.

Miller was arrested several hours after the shooting and charged with the murder of the two officers. In the days prior to the shooting, Miller posted several Facebook updates expressing anger toward police officers, United States President Donald Trump, white people and the murder of Heather Heyer at a white supremacist rally on August 12.

Posting under the name Malik Mohammed Ali, Miller claimed to be part of the Moorish Nation, the same black separatist group that Gavin Long joined before murdering three Baton Rouge police officers on July 17, 2016.

Four other officers were shot in separate incidents on August 18: two in Jacksonville, Florida, and two in southwestern Pennsylvania. According to a 2016 year-end report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the number of police officers killed in ambushes reached a two-decade high last year.