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Areactor
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A friend bought this to my attention today. No comment right now. I'm just speechless.

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues...=ua_congressorg

Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005

The Draft will Start in June 2005

There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 -- just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately.

$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation. Please see website: www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the sss annual performance plan - fiscal year 2004.

The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on "terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.

Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, http://www.hslda.org/legislation/na...s89/default.asp entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18--26] in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era.

College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.

Even those voters who currently support US actions abroad may still object to this move, knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight. Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a

shelter and includes women in the draft.

The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.

Please send this on to all the friends, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins that you know. Let your children know too -- it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!

Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills -- and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.

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These bills are still both in subcommitees, I think, and aren't likely to go far.

Why are they not likely to go far?

Is anyone objecting to the draft on moral grounds? It seems to me that people don't think the time is right. But that will change, the way this war is going.

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Why are they not likely to go far?

Is anyone objecting to the draft on moral grounds? It seems to me that people don't think the time is right. But that will change, the way this war is going.

Mainly because it's generally accepted as a pretty ridiculous idea, and because it was originally proposed a year and a half ago and I'd assume that it was mainly proposed as a precaution for the war that was then looming but has now passed.

As to your second question, of course people are objecting to the draft on moral grounds. Do you ask this because you don't object to the draft on moral grounds, or because you don't see people around you doing so? I've actually seen a more or less even mix of liberals and conservatives and others opposing it, but I haven't seen any objectivists or capitalists supporting it.

I've been having a pretty in-depth discussion about it (mainly with liberals/socialists) in my livejournal, viewable here:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/ashleyisachild/72047.html

Oh, and Areactor, you make a very good point. ("but from experience, nothing good comes from acting like nothings going on.")

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Would a fundamentally rights-respecting nation institute a draft?

No!

Every time I saw this mentioned, it was a democrat proposing it, and the administration was rejecting it. Without proof (which is what "quietly" means here), now the administration is behind it.

The democrats' intention (excluding the conservatives that follow along since they have been fooled on this one again) has nothing to do with rights. It is solely about their power. They need to increase the opposition to the war. Start a draft, and the opposition will increase. The result would be more votes for those that claim the war is wrong and want to run away.

The democrats thouroughly understand what they are doing. They are "quietly" putting this on the administration to get opposition even though they will not get the draft. They are having their cake and eating it too becaue people still believe them.

It amazes how te democrats are able to figure out such effective plans. They must hire those guys in the white jackets that did he challenging work in Orwell's "1984".

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No!

How about taxation? Would a fundamentally rights-respecting nation institute coercive taxation? Or laws that restrict the right to do business too well (pronounced "Taft-Hartley Unnatural Act")? Or laws that restrict what recreational chemicals you can ingest?

The essential question that needs to be answered is, what do you mean by "fundamentally rights-respecting nation"? At what point do violations of man's rights by a government become not just little abberations that need correcting, and start to constitute fundamental violations of rights?

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1. Mainly because [the draft is] generally accepted as a pretty ridiculous idea, and because it was originally proposed a year and a half ago and I'd assume that it was mainly proposed as a precaution for the war that was then looming but has now passed.

2. As to your second question, of course people are objecting to the draft on moral grounds.

1. If the draft is generally accepted as a ridiculous idea, then why does the government presently have the power to draft males? And if the idea of conscription is so widely condemned, then why have all efforts to repeal the Military Selective Service Act failed?

Are you aware of the fact that these two latest bills are merely proposed amendments to the Military Selective Service Act of 1967? The current bills would give the government the authority to draft WOMEN.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure the President could sign an executive order tomorrow morning and start drafting males into military service.

And if you think the war has passed, you are sorely mistaken. Don't you know that this war is going to last a generation or two? That's what Bush thinks. And it will last that long, if we don't change our tactics.

So, how will America replace the dead and wounded in this epic war?

The DRAFT.

2. To be clear, I am against the draft, on principle. But, I know that I am in a very, very, very small minority.

How many congressmen and political leaders can you name who are against the draft on principle?

I'd like to know who these people are, so that I can support them.

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To be clear, I am against the draft, on principle. But, I know that I am in a very, very, very small minority.

An October 29, 2003 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll revealed:

"Both groups oppose returning to a military draft, but 88 percent of younger Americans don't want a draft compared with slightly less than 80 percent of older ones who are against such a move."

I do not know how many of these oppose the draft on principle. But, practically speaking, 80% or more is a rather significant number, whatever their reason.

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Guest jrshep
An October 29, 2003 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll revealed:

"Both groups oppose returning to a military draft, but 88 percent of younger Americans don't want a draft compared with slightly less than 80 percent of older ones who are against such a move."

I do not know how many of these oppose the draft on principle. But, practically speaking, 80% or more is a rather significant number, whatever their reason.

Interesting.

Wasn't it about 80% of Americans who were in favor of sending young Elian Gonzales back to live in Communist Cuba just a few years ago?

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Interesting.

Wasn't it about 80% of Americans who were in favor of sending young Elian Gonzales back to live in Communist Cuba just a few years ago?

No.

The Gallup Poll figures for sending Elian back to live with his father varied over a five month period as follows:

Dec. 9-12, 1999 -------- 45%

Jan. 25-26, 2000 ------- 60%

Feb. 14-15, 2000 ------- 55%

Mar. 30 - Apr. 2, 2000 -- 56%

As sad as it was that so many favored that evil, I find it more understandable than the 20% that favored the draft. I suspect that the main justification in most people's minds was that they saw this as an issue of family, not of rights.

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Guest jrshep
The Gallup Poll figures for sending Elian back to live with his father varied over a five month period as follows:

Thanks for posting the poll figures, Stephen.

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The essential question that needs to be answered is, what do you mean by "fundamentally rights-respecting nation"?

You caught me. I assumed that the fundamental the post referred to was the same that Piekoff uses in "Ominous Parallels". I just finished the book, so I never thought of anything else. Fundamnetal as I understood it, meant existence, identity and consciousness.

If I have freedom, I have the freedom of my life not just the portions that are not profitable to the state. Those that say other wise, violate the law of identity. You are free to live, but...we own your production or you are free to produce, but... we own your life. They are dividing you the individual into two things - political and economic you.

Since we know there is only you, anything that tries to divide you into abstract concepts is wrong since it is not possible.

A "fundementally rights-respecting nation" would be one that recongized that A=A.

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An October 29, 2003 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll revealed:

"Both groups oppose returning to a military draft, but 88 percent of younger Americans don't want a draft compared with slightly less than 80 percent of older ones who are against such a move."

I do not know how many of these oppose the draft on principle. But, practically speaking, 80% or more is a rather significant number, whatever their reason.

I see little value in polls, especially CNN polls.

I looked at the poll you cited. And, for me, it was clearly lacking in merit, as is typical for CNN polls. My main problem with it is that it failed to provide a proper context for the question on the draft, asking simply: "Should the United States return to the military draft?"

Without any context for why the draft is even being brought up again, this is not a good indication of what people think at a fundamental level. There were other more minor problems with the CNN data. For example, the posted poll information did not say where or on whom the poll was conducted in America. In general, the context for the poll was sorely lacking.

On the other hand, I have discovered a more recent poll (March '04) on the draft, conducted by Zogby International, which seems like a more "scientific" polling company. Zogby provides much detail about the participants in the poll. Also, it is clearly stated that the poll was conducted for a couple of TV stations in South Dakota--and the poll is specific to that state.

Providing some context, the Zogby question was phrased like this: "With regular Army and National Guard retention expected to dip in the coming years, would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a draft to sustain the numbers the federal government estimates necessary to serve the country?"

And the results:

Str Support: 18%

Smwt Support: 25.8%

Smwt Oppose: 20.5%

Str Oppose: 30.2%

Not Sure: 5.4%

Zogby/KSFY Poll

Now, I'll let you make what you want of that. But only 30% of South Dakotans "strongly oppose" the draft, when a little context is provided. And how many of those are really against it, on principle? I don't know.

I don't know if South Dakota is a good indicator for what the rest of the country will think. I guess we'll have to wait for a better national poll, eh?

Getting away from polls, I believe I have already pointed to a better indication of whether the draft will return. First, the institutions are already in place to draft people, if and when the order comes. Selective Service is very happy to tell you that they are ready and willing to draft people on a moment's notice. Second, there is little or no principled opposition to the draft in Congress. Third, Bush is not against the draft. When asked, his spokesmen dodge the question, saying that the draft is not "under consideration" at this time. As if he might consider it in the future. And fourth, we are losing the war and will need more troops in the future.

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I see little value in polls, especially CNN polls.

I do not want to bicker over polls. The main point I wanted to make, which is borne out even by the figures you provided, is that your "I am in a very, very, very small minority" looks a bit pessimistic, to say the least. I take "very, very, very small minority" to be almost vanishingly small, which is not the case.

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How many congressmen and political leaders can you name who are against the draft on principle?

I'd like to know who these people are, so that I can support them.

It doesn't matter which congressman supports the draft or not.

If we were to write them vigorously opposing the draft, and our numbers stood firm in our unified opposition to this, our representatives would have to listen to us and vote according to our wants. For the simple reason that they are YOUR representatives.

What matters here is that our representatives are supposed to represent us. This means that they are supposed to vote on an issue according to the consensus of responses they receive. That's what they are elected to do. That's what we pay them for.

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Guest jrshep
What matters here is that our representatives are supposed to represent us.  This means that  they are supposed to vote on an issue according to the consensus of responses they receive.  That's what they are elected to do.  That's what we pay them for.

No, that's appalling. They're suppose to represent us as in support of our rights as individuals, not to serve as proxies for the will of the majority.

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1. The main point I wanted to make, which is borne out even by the figures you provided, is that your "I am in a very, very, very small minority" looks a bit pessimistic, to say the least.

2. I take "very, very, very small minority" to be almost vanishingly small, which is not the case.

1. I understand why you would say that. But, let me be clear in saying that I am not trying to promote philosophic pessimism. I am merely trying to put our current situation into what I think is a proper perspective. Irrational optimism does nobody any good. I believe our only hope to save civilization, as we know it, is to actively combat the forces of religion and actively promote a rational philosophy like Objectivism. Saving civilization should be in everyone's self-interest. We do not have a Galt's Gulch to run to.

2. Okay, I'll drop a couple of the "verys" from that exaggeration. I think the small minority who rejects the draft on principle is slowly growing. But we are far from even challenging the majority, as I have argued previously.

And, as kind of a side issue, I'm not even sure we should focus much effort on challenging the draft. It may be a lost cause at this point. Rather, I think our time would be better spent directing a focused and sustained attack on the morality of altruism, which is really what is preventing us from winning this war.

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1. I understand why you would say that. But, let me be clear in saying that I am not trying to promote philosophic pessimism. I am merely trying to put our current situation into what I think is a proper perspective. Irrational optimism does nobody any good.

There are a lot of reasons to be optimisitic about affecting a cultural change, many of which have been discussed in other threads by the more optimistic of us. But, just to underscore two important points:

First, do not underestimate the American spirit. The implicit philosophy of this country, combined with the spirit that made the country possible, is responsible for withstanding the continued onslaught of socialism and altruism for as long as it has. Such a spirit has a limit to how far it can be bent before it breaks, but that point has not been reached and the American spirit still remains alive and well.

Second, and this is most important, you do not need to convert everyone to Objectivism in order to cause a cultural change. The real battle to be won is the intellectual battle in academia, and all it takes is a small but determined minority to win that one. The prevalent ideas which we challenge are irrational and impotent, only surviving and prospering for as long as they have because there is no one there to tell them just how wrong they are, and why. The continuing inflitration of Objectivist intellectuals into academia is an extremely optimisitic sign.

I believe our only hope to save civilization, as we know it, is to actively combat the forces of religion and actively promote a rational philosophy like Objectivism.

I am all for promoting Objectivism. But, note that religion is a consequence, not a primary. Religion is a consequence of what happens when there is intellectual default and faith steps in. I do not think that the battle is with the "forces of religion" quite as much as it is with the intellectuals in academia. If you educate the philosophers, who educate the teachers, who educate the writers through which ideas permeate down in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, etc., then you set the stage -- the overall context -- for people to learn the value of good ideas. In general, religion becomes a lot less important to people in direct proportion to the understanding and control they have over their daily lives.

Besides, in a free society with a good intellectual foundation, there remains plenty of room for religious folk without the need to convert them over.

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Guest jrshep
There are a lot of reasons to be optimisitic about affecting a cultural change, many of which have been discussed in other threads by the more optimistic of us.

An excellent (and optimistic) post, Stephen.

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