The Only Reason There Won’t Be a Draft

Yahoo is blathering on about why there won’t be a draft.  The main point seems to be that there won’t be a draft because drafting people won’t actually solve the military’s problems.  I’m going to address that in a second, but let’s be clear.

The only reason there won’t be a draft is because it would be political suicide for the party whose administration enacted it.  If the burden of this war has to be born more equitably across social classes, you’d see ugly like we’ve not seen in a long time and no politician wants to be responsible for that.

But here’s why Yahoo thinks we won’t have a draft and why I think they’re full of shit:

Yahoo: “But the downside, the report claims, would be a less effective fighting force, thanks to a sudden influx of draftees who would remain in uniform for much shorter spells than today’s all-volunteer soldiers.”

Me: What’s to prevent the military from keeping drafted soldiers as long as they want?  Our “volunteer” soldiers are already doing a lot more for a lot longer than they signed up for.

Yahoo: The report says that while 91% of last year’s recruits were high school graduates, only 80% of U.S. residents aged 18 to 24 have attained that level of education.

Me: Ha, ha, ha.  The armed forces are really trying to argue that many Americans are just too stupid to risk letting them into the military?  Please.  Then don’t draft drop-outs.  Problem solved.

Yahoo:   The CBO, which does not make recommendations but only charts options for lawmakers, estimates that somewhere between 27,000 and 165,000 would be drafted each year. That relatively small slice – some 2 million males turn 18 each year – could resurrect the problems seen in the Vietnam era when deferments and friendly draft boards kept some well-connected young men out of uniform.

Me: Yeah, well, guess what.  Well-connected young men are staying out of uniform right now as it is.  At least this would make going to war a real, actual possibility.

Yahoo:  If it doesn’t make military or economic sense to launch the draft, what about the notion of fairness? Critics have claimed that minorities are over-represented in the all-volunteer military because they have fewer options in the civilian world.

Me: No, critics have claimed that poor people, many of whom are minorities, but many of whom are white, are over-represented in the all-volunteer military because they have fewer options in the civilian world.

Okay, back to my point.  There’s no reason that the government can’t enact a draft that suits the military’s needs.  This nonsense about not needing a draft is all a smoke screen and anyone who thought about it for very long would see that.   What we’re asking from our military and supporting families right now is gravely unfair.

But no one really wants a draft.  People who oppose the war don’t want a draft because, well, we oppose the war and don’t want to send anyone to fight it, not the folks who are there, not the folks who aren’t there.

And people who do support the wary don’t want a draft because it would solidify opposition to the war and make opposing the war seem urgent for most Americans in a way it just doesn’t now.

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With My Luck, I Will Catch the Black Plague

 bites.jpg

I have fleas.  Well, technically, I’m covered in flea bites, but I’m guessing that means something in the house has fleas.  The animals are all Frontlined (I believe.  The Butcher and I may have to have a talk about whether he’s been keeping the cats up to date.), but I am still riddled in little red bumps.

My fear is that my beloved computer chair may be infested.

On the plus side, my right foot, which has more bites that my left foot, is no longer swelling like a loaf of bread.  I wonder if I can use leeches to reduce the swelling on my left foot, then. I mean, I wonder if it’s a loss of blood from the flea bites that has helped the right foot.  And, if so, can I get some blood-letting done on the left?

Do barbers still do that?  Hmm.

Ha, you know, I had this idea that I would write a post about the undo influence The Addams Family television show had on me as a child, but I couldn’t really think of anything to say other than how much I loved Gomez Addams and how I couldn’t possibly pick between John Astin and Raul Julia as my favorites.

Raul Julia… See, now that’s a name a woman can whisper to her lover.  Well, if her lover is Raul Julia, I guess.  I just think those are some nice syllables.  Raaaahhhh oooooollllll hooooolllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.  Shoot, drag that out just right and it’ll do you for the whole act.  Ra-ah-ah-ah-ah–oooo-ooolll-hoo-ooo-ooo-lllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeee-ahhh.

Ha, I tickle me.

You know, the Addamses would have found something delightful about being covered in little red spots.  So, I think this ended up being a fitting post all together anyway.

BarCamp

This BarCamp thing has me intrigued, but I don’t understand it.  If you go, do you have to present?  If I had to present, what do I do that folks would be interested in?  Not much, and yet, it’s just over the bridge from my house…

Managing Expectations

I’ve been thinking a lot about y’all this weekend.  Basically because I spent Friday evening and Sunday with some folks who just blew my mind, gave me so much to think about and mull over, and wonder about and be touched by and yet I didn’t breathe a word of it here.

I think there are a lot of ways that how I blog has changed.  I feel like I blog a lot less about the Butcher because I was starting to realize that y’all thought he was kind of a dink, based on what I say about him (obviously, if you know him in real life, you’re entitled to your own opinion about his dinkiness).  I mean, there are a handful of things that annoy me about the Butcher and a million things that I love.  And I’d come here, vent, and get over my annoyance at him.

That was useful to me, but not fair to him, because y’all never got to see the cool stuff.

On the other hand, I’ve shared a lot of stuff with you guys over the years that had really allowed me to come to terms with some stuff and come into my own as an adult person.

I’m still sore over an incident this spring in which a friend got pissed at me because she thought I was airing our dirty laundry in public without coming to her first.  I thought I was just venting about something I was being stupid about that wasn’t important enough to bother her with.

Different expectations.

In the past few weeks, I’ve heard from people who have taken me to task for what I present and the ways in which I present it.  I’m not trying to be passive aggressive by not mentioning their names.  For the sake of this discussion, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is how I feel about it.

And how I feel about it is that a lot of people have different ideas than I do about what’s appropriate and about whether they can attempt to hold me to their own standards and it ought to be obvious, to me, that we’re just having a disagreement.

But I’ve got to say that it sometimes knocks me off kilter.

Ugh.  I don’t know.  I feel like I’m not being very clear.

It’s just that I sense this change–whereas this used to be a blog whose audience was people I knew and then grew to be a blog whose audience also included people I hoped to know or could imagine knowing and I knew or learned, I think, how to understand that, we seem to have rounded another corner, where folks in the audience have expectations of me that I’m going to fail to meet–and it’s kind of scary for me.

There’s nothing to be done about it.

I just wanted to acknowledge that I feel like the dynamic has shifted again.  I don’t know what to make of it, but it’ll be interesting to see.