Re: Privacy and military and testing, oh, my!
- Subject: Re: Privacy and military and testing, oh, my!
- From: kber <kber@EARTHLINK.NET>
- Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 22:14:06 -0400
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
first, your post came through twice. I didn't know you felt that
Second - I don't see how your interpret my post as being something with which
you have to disagree, since I did not address the issue of volunteer versus
I am not opposed to the idea of universal service, although given my age (56)
I remember that it used to be very hard to get exemptions on the basis of
conscience, and even those who did - for belonging to an established peace
religion such as the Friends or the mennonites - were often treated quite
horribly in their alternative assignments, for example, my good friend D. E.
who spent two year cleaning up bedpans at Norristown State Hospital in
I do believe that in a sense we all owe something back to the society which
has nurtured and protected us (would that some corporations and wealthy people
would feel this way). My views on this have evolved over the years. I used
to accept that the country could demand of me military service. Thus when I
dropped out of college I chose to enlist in the Marines. I would no longer
accept that the country can demand of me military service - yes ultimately it
could demand of me my life, but regardless of my religious beliefs I no longer
accept that it has any right to demand of me that I kill or support others in
their killing. While I am not a pacifist (perhaps the main reason I have
never formally joined the Society of Friends) the choice to use deadly force
is to me so highly personal that it cannot be compelled.
I do however believe that the requirements of NCLB - which btw are necessary
because we have an all-volunteer military - that schools disclose names, home
address and phone numbers of undreamed students, is offensive to the idea of
liberty. Obtain that information only after the students register for the
standby draft, when they are 18, and legally adults.
And btw, I think part of what has caused this country to fragment is that we
no longer have places which require us to "mix" with those different than us.
One aspect of true universal service - which I believe should also include
females, as well as not be restricted to military service - is that it
provides just such an opportunity. But the draft of the 1960's did not
provide for true universal service, not on any kind of equitable basis. How
many of my generation know how few of their male college classmates ever had
to serve? One could get married a la our current vice president; one could,
with the right pull, get (sometimes no-show) duty in the national guard, as
was common for professional athletes and certain politicians whose names shall
go unmentioned. One could sign up for a job with a government contractor and
get an exemption. One could pull a David Stockman and enroll in divinity
school to avoid service. Quite frankly, even in the days of an active
non-voluntary military service through the draft, we did not have anything
close to universal service, and the percentage of those in combat units who
were poor and/or of minority background was about the same as the percentage
of overall military membership today.
So, Dr. Leo, you may not be disagreeing with my sentiments, and you may just
be inaccurately interpolating from what I wrote in my last post.
have a nice night, all.
Dr. Leo Casey wrote:
> This is one of those rare occasions when I find myself disagreeing with one
> of Ken Bernstein's post.
> I think that a mandatory national service -- military for many, civilian
> for pacifists and religious objectors -- is a very good idea, a foundation
> block of republican government with an active citizenry.
> Moreover, I beleve that a volunteer army -- which is really an army drafted
> economically, since it is poor young men, especially of color, who join the
> army for such reasons as paying for their education -- is one of the
> reasons why we have national leaders who think quite cavalierly about going
> to war, and letting someone else's son fight and die. Share the burden
> among all, and they will think twice.
> Leo Casey
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