Washington Post: Toss The All Volunteer Military
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(Washington Post) Our lives are cluttered with unnecessary traditions, ideas and institutions. Warm weather came early this year, but there’s still time for a good spring cleaning. After purging old receipts, broken appliances and unloved outfits, what else should we toss? Outlook asked 10 writers what they thought we’d be better off without. From the Cabinet to premium gas to chick flicks, here are their picks.
1. All-volunteer military by Thomas E. Ricks
2. Premium gas by Jeff S. Bartlett
3. Home equity loans by Bethany McLean
4. 3 p.m. school day by Peter Orszag
5. Chick flicks by Melissa Silverstein
6. The Cabinet by Dana Milbank
7. Software patents by Christina Mulligan
8. The social kiss by Meghan Daum
9. Brainstorming by Jonah Lehrer
10. Grades by Melissa Harris-Perry
The above link goes to #1 on the list, the all-volunteer military, with links to the other 9 embedded at the beginning of the story
Since the end of the military draft in 1973, every person joining the U.S. armed forces has done so because he or she asked to be there. Over the past decade, this all-volunteer force has been put to the test and has succeeded, fighting two sustained foreign wars with troops standing up to multiple combat deployments and extreme stress.
This is precisely the reason it is time to get rid of the all-volunteer force. It has been too successful. Our relatively small and highly adept military has made it all too easy for our nation to go to war – and to ignore the consequences.
So, our military is just to darned good, so let’s do away with volunteering and go to a draft?
We had a draft in the 1960s, of course, and it did not stop President Lyndon Johnson from getting into a ground war in Vietnam. But the draft sure did encourage people to pay attention to the war and decide whether they were willing to support it.
Hmm, so even with a draft, LBJ was still rather adventuresome? Then what’s the point? “...reestablishing a draft, with all its Vietnam-era connotations, would cause problems for the military…” Ah. There’s the point. Ruining the best fighting force on the planet, bringing America down off our perch.
As for the others
2. Premium gas by Jeff S. Bartlett (so what if you’re engine can be damaged? You shouldn’t be driving that type of super evil Gaia killing vehicle)
3. Home equity loans by Bethany McLean (actually makes a good point about home owners loading up on debt)
4. 3 p.m. school day by Peter Orszag (makes some good points in keeping school open till 5 or 6pm, but, I think we all know the idea is to provide more indoctrination time for kids. Of course, what of those who play sports, have groups to attend, or work?)
5. Chick flicks by Melissa Silverstein (yes, please!)
6. The Cabinet by Dana Milbank (Milbank makes a few good points on this one, which is the presidential cabinet. Another one would be to get rid of all the unelected and unaccountable czars)
7. Software patents by Christina Mulligan (people are mean for daring to patent their work, oh, and it’s hard to enforce them, so…)
8. The social kiss by Meghan Daum (because we might….gulp….graze lips. Cooties!)
9. Brainstorming by Jonah Lehrer (some good points)
10. Grades by Melissa Harris-Perry (this one deserves a post of its own. It’s about as whiny from a left wing teachers POV as it can get)
I’d get rid of:
- Science that doesn’t follow the scientific method
- Science that is based on political advocacy
- Warmists that don’t live the life they say everyone else should live. I suggest they be drafted into the Peace Corps and dropped in some Third World shit hole, er, developing nation, to see how they live
- The permanent political aristrocracy – we need term limits. Which would also eliminate
- The neverending campaigns
- Voting rights for people who are too unknowledgable to vote
I could surely come up with some more, however, what are your ideas?
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