Monday, August 13, 2012

Restart The Military Draft


In May 2001, the writer went to see a movie in the upscale NYC neighborhood of Chelsea:

Before the movie started, the coming attractions included a public-service ad–you might have seen it on TV–showing a mother and small child in a home, then the outside of the home, then into the air to show the neighborhood, then higher to show the city, then miles up into the sky showing the whole country. And then it showed a pilot in a jet high above the earth from whose perspective the earlier scenes were viewed: a pilot in the U.S. Air Force patrolling the skies while the audio played the gentle song, “All Through The Night.” When the audience realized that it was an ad for the military, many people hissed, booed, or laughed derisively.  [source]
An unedited email in response to this:

I believe that The Military Draft should be reinstated immediately. We have 2 generations of men (or is it 3?) who have not been required to seriously sacrifice themselves for their country.  

Volunteering at the church or some community project is a good thing to do; it's nice; it's sweet.  It just doesn't count the same that you, who love to run, run a marathon for the disease that your best friend's favorite aunt died from.  It's a good choice.  It's sweet.  It's really very nice that you are the kind of person who wants to do good things for others ~ but it s not the same.  Not at all.

The Military is not sweet.  Not nice.  Not at all about what you want to do.  You don't just give a little time.  You give your very self.  Sure, there are little inconveniences: you can't use your cell phone whenever you want, charge an evening on the town, go home when you want to, leave toys and tools wherever they land, or leave your room a smelly pile of dirty clothes and old food that your mom or your maid will clean up.  You can't just walk out when it doesn't feel right for you anymore. Or quit when the boss doesn't like you or treat you fairly. These little inconveniences become a serious sacrifice when they last for 2 years.

Combined with the fact that you just might get hurt, slightly or massively, and that you might get killed, that you will be ordered about by others who may or may not be your betters, and you will gladly oblige them, that you will be too hot, too cold, too hungry, too tired and too lonely for too long, combined with all that, taking away 2 years of your young life becomes a serious sacrifice. 

It will change your life, and it could end your life.  It will definitely change the lives of your parents, your girlfriend, your wife, your children.
          Because it will change the way you think about things.
          Because you will learn that You do not belong solely to you!
          Because you will learn that the life we have had in this country is not an accident, but the hard sacrifice and labor of people who have lived beyond themselves in their families, their neighborhoods, their towns and factories, their country.

When you are done you will be different.  When you're done you won't be in an office or a neighborhood or in grade schools, high schools, or universities espousing the glories of socialism or how we should all just get along or that taxpayers should pay for your birth control or that sharia law is equal to western law or that it's ok to let people do whatever they want or that people who choose to not work should be taken care of by those who do work or that how anyone FEELS is more important than what's right and what's wrong.  
       You will know in your bone marrow that some things are right and some things are wrong.  And you will know a little something about the difference.  
        You will know what one man owes to another and what he does not owe.
        You will know that you are not the most important person in anyone's universe, not even in your own.
        You will know that the individual human person is a being of infinite worth and dignity.  
And you will know a little something about how to honor that dignity, in yourself and in others.
                        You will know that some things are worth dying for.

Oh, Yes.  Education levels show variance in the degree to which persons adhere to value systems, and the American value system, too.  I saw first hand the dramatic difference when the number of non-veteran faculty members outnumbered the number of veterans.  And I stayed around long enough to see what that did to the quality of education.

The Left learned from Saul Alinsky; they moved in and took over the elite institutions.  Once they did so they no longer needed to be a majority.  They had the power.  The power of the classroom.  The power of the courts.  The power of the legislature.  The power of the media.  Facts no longer mattered.  Truth no longer mattered.  It became a casualty of their ideology.

So a movie audience can boo the men and women who make it possible for them to sit there in safety and boo their hearts out.
        Ask a uniformed soldier coming back from the Middle East what he thinks about that.  He'll tell you: " great! I think it's great. It's what I've been out there for.  Now, d'ya mind?  That's my family over there.  I haven't seen them in a year."

Oh beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life.
America America may God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine.

May God bless the men and women in the uniform of the United States of America and hold their families close to His heart.

* might it be a small sign of the times that the spell check on this iPad was absolutely determined to not permit me to type the word nobleness? I had to try several times ~ it must not be in our common vocabulary. It is certainly rare in our common life.


Shannon M Skousgaard, Ph.D

[Professor Emerita, Associate Professor of Philosopy, George Mason University]

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SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)