Barack Obama

Girls Gone Wild Killed

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Via Drudge comes this ominous sign of Barack Obama's taste for forcing "service" down the throats of United States citizens:

During a CNN/YouTube debate for Democratic presidential candidates last year, [Obama] said he doesn't "agree" with the draft.

But he did say women should be expected to register with the Selective Service, comparing the role of women to black soldiers and airmen who served during World War II, when the armed forces were still segregated.

"There was a time when African-Americans weren't allowed to serve in combat," Mr. Obama said. "And yet, when they did, not only did they perform brilliantly, but what also happened is they helped to change America, and they helped to underscore that we're equal.

"And I think that if women are registered for service—not necessarily in combat roles, and I don't agree with the draft—I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they've got obligations to this great country as well as boys do."

Because nothing says "equality" like equivalent servitude, and nothing says "selective" like government coercion to sign up as possible cannon fodder under the threat of federal punishment.

reason on "Selective" Service here.

NEXT: No, Not Jack Klugman...

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  1. Do you disagree that Male and female draft obligations should be equal?

  2. I hate the draft (er, Selective Service) as much as any libertarian, but I happen to agree that if it’s going to exist, it should be gender-neutral.

  3. Nope. Doubling the population affected by a heinous policy is no way to make that policy any less heinous.

  4. jorgen,

    The proper response to the fact that only blacks were eligible for slavery is not to say that we should make white people eligible for it too.

  5. Do you disagree that Male and female draft obligations should be equal?

    I certainly agree that their conscription obligations should be the same. But they should get there by ending selective service. (there’s a euphamism for you!)

  6. Matt,

    The upside to having women register for the draft is it would create even greater resistance to actually implementing one. That’s about as much spin as I can put on it.

  7. Isn’t there some sort of scientific consensus that the quickest way to repopulate after a war is by having as many females available as possible?

  8. I hate the draft (er, Selective Service) as much as any libertarian, but I happen to agree that if it’s going to exist, it should be gender-neutral.

    I’m ambivilent about selective service registration, but certainly if we are going to have it, everybody should have to play.

    Should a draft ever again (Odin forbid) occur, gender is not the only reason presently used to excuse people from serving that I would strike.

    I’m looking at you, college students. You too clergy members.

  9. Hmmm, I’m certainly anti-draft. I also think the requirement to register should be dropped for men. But insofar as it exists, it should apply equally to the genders. Therefore, I see nothing wrong with what Obama said.

  10. Ideally, the draft wouldn’t exist (in fact, doesn’t exist in the US at this moment), but registration should be sex-neutral.

    Obama’s position seems the equivalent of the reasonistas who say marriage shouldn’t be a state function or include state privileges, but as long as it is, equal protection should preclude the exclusion of homosexuals from it.

  11. But insofar as it exists, it should apply equally to the genders. Therefore, I see nothing wrong with what Obama said.

    Fine, but it doesn’t seem like Obama’s sole point here is establishing gender equality.

    “I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they’ve got obligations to this great country as well as boys do.”

    This to me says that Obama thinks that it’s a good thing for girls to register not only because of fairness, but because it will remind them that they belong to the state.

  12. Doubling the population affected by a heinous policy is no way to make that policy any less heinous

    No, but it makes it more likely that it will be massively unpopular and opposed. If you taxed every single person in the country at 50% tomorrow, that shit would end right quick.

  13. “…and they helped to underscore that we’re equal.”

    While we may be equal we are certainly not the same… Men, in general, are much better at combat than women. While it may be fair, I’m not sure this is a good idea.
    It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of women in military service was not well received… times have certainly changed.

  14. I agree that the draft is awful policy but I don’t necessarily think that it needs to be gender neutral. I don’t think we can just declare by fiat that all men and women were created equally capable of handling some extreme shit. Men and women don’t respond to emotional stress in comparable ways.

    I guess the Israelis have a gender-neutral draft (or at least a largely neutral one), and maybe their experience suggests otherwise; I don’t know enough about it.

  15. Agree with Fluffy.

    “[O]bligations to this great country…” is the entire point.

    You were lucky enough to be born here, so you will serve.

  16. Should a draft ever again (Odin forbid) occur, gender is not the only reason presently used to excuse people from serving that I would strike.

    I’m looking at you, college students. You too clergy members.

    When I was in the Illinois National Guard, we were told that if the draft were reinstated, the Vietnam style exempations would no longer be present and that everyone would be elligible for the draft. It may or may not be true, but it seems reasonable given how unpopular the exemptions were.

  17. I think the prospect of a draft is highly unlikely.

    The days of huge armies of conscripts is over.

  18. The draft ended slavery and defeated Hitler. But draft haters like Matt don’t need to worry. The draft just isn’t going to happen, unless we decide to invade China or India, and we won’t.

    Any suggestion to revive the draft would require a “gender-neutral” policy, but, again, it won’t happen. Why? Because a real draft would produce a huge army, like 30 million strong, which would be too goddamn expensive. We don’t anything approaching the size of an old-fashioned mass army.

    A selective draft, taking 5% or less of those eligible, would be ridiculously “unfair.” We would have to pay those unlucky enough to be drafted twice what we’re paying our volunteer army.

    Other factors that make a draft unlikely: Moms, always a problem, don’t produce cannon fodder like they used to. To be blunt about it, if you’ve got four or five kids, losing one is terrible, but not the end of the world. When you’ve got one or two, it is the end of the world.

    And, for the record, I “volunteered” for the U.S. Army back in 1968. Getting up at 3:30 AM to clean out garbage cans, grease traps, and latrines, with the added bonus of getting screamed at by obsessive-compulsive high-school dropouts! I’m sorry, Matt, but you missed a hell of a party.

  19. Matt Welch | October 13, 2008, 11:16am | #

    Nope. Doubling the population affected by a heinous policy is no way to make that policy any less heinous.

    This is what the anti-gay people claim about gay marriage, when they want to appeal to libertarians.

    Equlity under the law. The draft. Two different issues.

  20. I must of missed that one while I was distracted by Drudge’s “Obama is going door to door kissing all the white women” story.

  21. I don’t understand why we still have selective service registration.

  22. No, but it makes it more likely that it will be massively unpopular and opposed. If you taxed every single person in the country at 50% tomorrow, that shit would end right quick.

    This recalls the lefty case for reinstating the military draft. If only *everyone* had to serve & be killed, then we could turn the public tide decisively against the war!

    It’s a hideous argument, at least for those of us who don’t see their fellow humans as pawns of ideological debates.

  23. Draft registration presupposes more war just as a Social Security number presupposes you’ll pay FICA taxes. Neither war or SS presupposes you’ll have a chance to enjoy your life.

  24. Matt, you seem awfully worked up about a program that doesn’t do anything.

  25. I’m ambivilent about selective service registration, but certainly if we are going to have it, everybody should have to play.

    Should a draft ever again (Odin forbid) occur, gender is not the only reason presently used to excuse people from serving that I would strike.

    I’m looking at you, college students. You too clergy members.

    Hey, everybody means everybody, and fair is fair. Step up, senior citizens, unless you’ve already served. Nursing mothers, severely disabled, conscientious objectors, pack your bags. And when we threw out that educational exemption, we meant it. Students can be processed right in their middle-school classrooms. This is the new Army!

  26. joe,

    Me neither.
    But if we are gonna have it, everyone should register…and then get a gps chip so we can track them down when we need them.

    ;^)

  27. I don’t understand why we still have selective service registration.

    Joe, I would say it is due to government inertia.

    It takes a lot to kill a government agency, even when it is obvious that the services of the agency are no longer needed.

    IIRC, it was reinstated late in Jimmy Carter’s presidency when the Soviets were on the move seemingly everywhere around the globe and war with the Soviet Union in the near to mid term seemed somewhat likely.

    Now, if some politician were to propose the elimination of the Selective Serice, is political rivals would accuse him of being ‘Soft on Defense’ IMHO.

  28. Sure. Why not? I’ve always felt that if we included women in the Selective Service, it’d make it that much more unlikely a draft would reinstated. It’s an entirely different animal when you’re gonna take daddy’s little girl off to war.

    But then, I never registered for the Selective Service, so what do I know?

  29. It’s a hideous argument, at least for those of us who don’t see their fellow humans as pawns of ideological debates.

    It’s a utilitarian argument, Matt. I share your revulsion at people being owned by the state, but this would be a good way to end it. I am not promoting it–I am saying that I think if the government does this, it will have different results than they think. Positive (from our perspective) results.

  30. draft haters like Matt don’t need to worry. The draft just isn’t going to happen

    Probably not, though I’m done assuming the best case scenario when it comes to Washington.

    Matt, you seem awfully worked up about a program that doesn’t do anything.

    Sure, it doesn’t do anything to those who comply. To those who don’t (like me) it threatens you constantly between ages 18 and 25 with jail time and other specific sanctions.

  31. Hogan-

    drafting women doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be in front-line combat positions. In fact, since the military is pretty good at sorting people according to their abilities, most won’t be. Many women could serve in support positions and free up men for combat positions.

  32. With today’s armed forces being much more hi tech, it would stand to reason that the better educated would be at the top of the list to get drafted. Physical fitness should factor in as he next qualifier. This would leave the obese and ignorant lower class with the least burden.
    As a pure equality issue, women should be there same as the men, but the whole babymamma thing has to be dealt with.

  33. women shouldn’t be elligible for a draft for the same reason men have always fought wars while women stayed at home

    A few men adn a large number of women are capable of quickly repopulating a society following even teh worst wars…if suddenly there are many fewer women as well, then it becomes a much slower climb

  34. No way in hell would I let that lying bastard take my daughter and do with her as he thinks the state should please. I’d go to jail before I allowed that.

    McCain may be a dumb ass, but this guy is a complete psychotic sociopath.

  35. Men, in general, are much better at combat than women.

    Yes, and this has even been verified since women are allowed to show how good/bad they are at combat!

  36. Citizen Nothing,

    OK. Paul Jacobs, Selective Service registration is completely meaningless. You are wasting your life over nothing. Of course it’s stupid to have to register for something that doesn’t exist. It’s a lot more stupid to make a big stink at great cost to yourself over something that doesn’t exist.

    Happy?

  37. For those talking about women in combat, isn’t the majority of the military (or close to it) in combat support roles? The draft sucks, but either get rid of it entirely or make everyone subject to it.

  38. No way in hell would I let that lying bastard take my daughter and do with her as he thinks the state should please. I’d go to jail before I allowed that.

    But you’re okay with him doing that to your son?

    women shouldn’t be elligible for a draft for the same reason men have always fought wars while women stayed at home

    A few men adn a large number of women are capable of quickly repopulating a society following even teh worst wars…if suddenly there are many fewer women as well, then it becomes a much slower climb

    Yeah, I would be happy with more social conditioning by the federal government. March on, libertarians.

  39. Alan Vanneman | October 13, 2008, 12:09pm | #
    The draft ended slavery…

    The ocean ended water? The atmosphere ended air?

    Friend, the draft is slavery.

    As long as the selective service and the “obligation” to register exists, the draft may be sleeping but it is by no means dead. We were all raised with Social Studies lectures that intoned how the U.S. government (however belatedly) did away with slavery. Not so – it just expanded the opportunity. Now with this talk of drafting women, it seems the gov wants to do it again.

  40. McCain may be a dumb ass, but this guy is a complete psychotic sociopath.

    So one wants to reinstate the draft (oh, uh, I mean, he changed his mind) and one wants women to have to register for it. Sounds like two sides of the same sociopathic, statist coin.

  41. I seem to remember Obama talking about expanding the peace corps. I have to wonder if part of his thinking on rebuilding America is pressing our young folks, both boys and girls, into a 2-4 year national service program. Those that want, can go military service. Those others, too unpatriotic for real service, can go into a peace corps or some other make work nation building government employment.

  42. innominate –

    yeah I figured that women would still largely be kept in support positions, which is what Obama seemed to be talking about, but I don’t know that that counts as complete gender neutrality. I think he admits as much by mentioning it in connection with black roles in WWII. I think Israel does have some gender-integrated combat units, though I trust the women in them have been thoroughly vetted on merit.

    I’ve never served so I don’t know enough about how members are sorted. I’m sure ability-differentials between genders would be accounted for by meritocratic sorting practices, but I think there’s also a “how acceptable is it to expose this individual to violence”-differential between genders, especially when the individuals aren’t participating electively, and I don’t know how that would be accounted for. Probably just chauvinism on my part, though.

  43. my 2.4e-5 troy oz of gold-

    The selective service if it exists should apply equally to both genders.

    The selective service is an anachronism and should be abolished.

    The day after any draft is instated, I resign my commission.

  44. I’m ambivilent about selective service registration, but certainly if we are going to have it, everybody should have to play.

    I’m not the least bit ambivalent about Selective Servitude — this is one government program that should be eliminated with extreme prejudice, the bureaucrats fired, the buildings razed and burned, and salt sowed in the smoking ashes while the cameras roll and passionate speeches punctuate the air decrying that never again will such an injustice be inflicted upon a free people.

    And it illustrates the essential hypocrisy and surrealism of national politics that an obviously intelligent person like Obama would feel it would get him votes to propose doubling the size and cost of a government program that makes it much easier to quickly resurrect a policy he claims to oppose.

  45. It’s a hideous argument, at least for those of us who don’t see their fellow humans as pawns of ideological debates.

    I’m not sticking up for Obama [because I don’t think this is the argument he was making] but if we’re going to have bad laws, the worst thing we can do is exempt certain favored populations from them to soften the blow. Bad laws must be carried out to the letter, without exceptions, to show that they are bad laws.

    In fact, one of the best things libertarians can do is try to find ways to take the most repulsive areas of the law and subject the greatest possible number of people to them. It would actually be a really, really, really GOOD thing [for just one example] if lots more affluent white people were subject to no-knock raids where their pets were slaughtered and their kids were maced and tasered and their property was ransacked and destroyed. That would be fucking great. I’ll take my turn if the rest of fucking white bread America gets their turn too.

    It is precisely the fact that the worst excesses of our laws are visited only on powerless and invisible people that allows our statist system to lumber along.

  46. In fact, one of the best things libertarians can do is try to find ways to take the most repulsive areas of the law and subject the greatest possible number of people to them. It would actually be a really, really, really GOOD thing [for just one example] if lots more affluent white people were subject to no-knock raids where their pets were slaughtered and their kids were maced and tasered and their property was ransacked and destroyed. That would be fucking great. I’ll take my turn if the rest of fucking white bread America gets their turn too.

    It is precisely the fact that the worst excesses of our laws are visited only on powerless and invisible people that allows our statist system to lumber along.

    It’s a hideous argument, at least for those of us who don’t see their fellow humans as pawns of ideological debates.

  47. I’d say the best way to achieve legal equality in this regard is to abolish mandatory registration for the selective service. Also, I’m certainly opposed to any new draft.

    Of course we’re not likely to have a draft, so one could argue that it doesn’t make that much difference in practice whether we have registration or whether women are required to register.

  48. Nobody picked up on this?
    “There was a time when African-Americans weren’t allowed to serve in
    combat,” Mr. Obama said.

    Buh? African-Americans weren’t allowed to serve in combat? WhenTF was that? Black soldiers have served in every single war the US has had, near as I can tell. (After all, the government doesn’t have to recognize your rights to insist on your obligations.) If McCain said something like that, I suspect people would be jumping down his throat for not recognizing Black Americans’ contribution or some such.

  49. The draft sucks, but either get rid of it entirely or make everyone subject to it.

    Try substituting the word “rape” for “the draft”, and see if this type of logic makes sense. Or “midnight drug raids by jackbooted thugs”. Or “exorbitant, confiscatory tax levels”. Or “slavery”, if you want a more exact approximation.

    The libertarian POV here isn’t particularly hard to figure out, folks.

  50. In fact, one of the best things libertarians can do is try to find ways to take the most repulsive areas of the law and subject the greatest possible number of people to them. It would actually be a really, really, really GOOD thing [for just one example] if lots more affluent white people were subject to no-knock raids where their pets were slaughtered and their kids were maced and tasered and their property was ransacked and destroyed. That would be fucking great. I’ll take my turn if the rest of fucking white bread America gets their turn too.

    Emphasis added.

    I don’t know about “fucking great”. Maybe you mean “a temporary necessary evil that would soon result in unjust laws/policies being ended”. Or maybe this is parody/spoofing/whatever.

    At any rate, I agree with the goal of ending unjust laws/policies, but I don’t think tat what you describe is the only way, or the best way, to do it. There are plenty of other injustices that have been ended even though most people were never subject to them.

  51. * “tat” should be “that”

  52. Buh? African-Americans weren’t allowed to serve in combat? WhenTF was that?

    I believe Mr. Obama was referring to WWII were blacks were segregated into mainly support units, not front line combat units. I’m guessing he is exagerating a little bit.

  53. I think Israel does have some gender-integrated combat units

    The wikipedia article on the IDF says women are not allowed in combat units.

    Israel did have women in infantry units when the nation was formed, but the experience they had with mixed gender units were very negative (the men were more concerened with protecting the women than with following orders and completing the mission).

  54. JD,

    In world War II the military had a rule against African Americans serving in combat. It wasn’t absolute: stewards on Navy ships, for example, went wherever their ships did. Additionally, when the war was going badly, black soldiers sis find themselves fighting as supply bases were attacked. The Tuskegee airmen, as far as I know, where the only black unit deployed into combat – with the intention that they would fight actively (ie pull triggers on guns that went bang).

    In his diary, Patton comments on inspecting a Negro unit and telling them that their race were worthless as soldiers. Took a great deal of pleasure in it, as I remember.

    This is not to say that black men did not serve in uniform. They did. Mostly they were put in units that were given unglamorous jobs. The units that loaded ammunition onto supply ships were all black. My wife’s grandfather was a labourer on the Alaska highway.

    So the spirit of what Obama was saying is correct: there was a view that blacks were not worthy of fighting for their country. His solution, though, is straight out of that Vonnegut story about the Handicapper General.

  55. The wikipedia article on the IDF says women are not allowed in combat units.

    Israel did have women in infantry units when the nation was formed, but the experience they had with mixed gender units were very negative (the men were more concerened with protecting the women than with following orders and completing the mission).

    Hmm… via wikipedia:

    “As of 2005, women are allowed to serve in 83% of all positions in the military, including Shipboard Navy Service (except submarines), and Artillery. Combat roles are voluntary for women.”

    “450 women currently serve in combat units of Israel’s security forces, primarily in the Border Police.”

    “Women serve in combat support and light combat roles in the Artillery Corps, infantry units and armored divisions. A few platoons, named Karakal, were formed, in which men and women serve together in light infantry on the borders with Egypt and Jordan. Karakal became a brigade in 2004.”

  56. the men were more concerened with protecting the women than with following orders and completing the mission

    Was that the only negative, UK? That’s not exactly a blemish on women serving in combat.

  57. The Tuskegee airmen, as far as I know, where the only black unit deployed into combat – with the intention that they would fight actively (ie pull triggers on guns that went bang).

    There was an all-black Army armored brigade that fought in Europe.

    There was also a black horse cavalry unit that was tasked with patrolling the border between Morocco and Spanish North Africa after Patton’s landings, in case Franco decided to join the war after all.

  58. Nope. Doubling the population affected by a heinous policy is no way to make that policy any less heinous.

    This is a much better article then the runt one.

    What does McCain think on selective service?

  59. Doubling the population affected by a heinous policy is no way to make that policy any less heinous.

    That depends on the reason or reasons why the policy is heinous. Sure, conscription is heinous by virtue of being involuntary servitude and a far better solution would be its complete elimination, but it is also heinous in its discriminatory application. Opposing a sexually discriminatory policy is meritorious even if, as in this case, doing so fails to address the greater problem.

  60. I don’t understand why we still have selective service registration.

    Really joe?

  61. Vernon Baker is a black soldier from WW2 that fought in Italy. He was awarded the CMH for his actions. He was a good friend and a neighbor of ours up the Benewah valley outside St. Maries Idaho in the 90s. He is a beautiful man and a credit to humanity.

  62. It’s a hideous argument, at least for those of us who don’t see their fellow humans as pawns of ideological debates.

    It’s a hideous argument, at least for those of us who don’t see their fellow humans as pawns of ideological debates care about justice anyway.

    There, I fixed that for you.

    There are actually two injustices in every application of our drug laws. The first injustice is that the state has no moral authority to establish categories of contraband, but has claimed the power to do so anyway, and is unjustly exercising that power against some hapless individual. But the second injustice is that these unjust laws are only actually applied to the poor or dark-skinned, that they aren’t applied to the white or affluent or connected in the same ways, and that advocates of these laws openly admit [via their statements about their broken-window theories] that these laws are intended in part to be weapons to give police the excuse to drag poor or minority males off the streets.

    In other words, our drug laws are unjust on their face, but they are made doubly unjust when they’re applied to residents of the inner city but not to Cindy McCain.

    That means that you’re fighting injustice if you work to get rid of the drug laws – but you’re ALSO fighting injustice if you somehow can contrive it to get Cindy McCain convicted and dragged off to prison in chains.

  63. Was that the only negative, UK? That’s not exactly a blemish on women serving in combat.

    Zoltan, I believe I am not being descriptive enough.

    The IDF’s experience with integrated combat units was pretty bad. For instance, your unit is going out on patrol. Instead of concentrating on your role in the mission, you are preoccupied with protecting the women in your unit. Another example I read was if a female member of the unit was wounded/caputered, the remaining males would go to nearly suicidal lengths to rescue her.

    This experience could be a product of the times (1948ish).

  64. Hogan,

    You are correct, I was wrong about Women in the IDF.

  65. I don’t understand why we still have selective service registration.

    Really joe?

    I’m in the frickin military and I don’t understand why we still have selective service registration.

    It would have been useless for Gulf War I & Kosovo, and would have added to the problems in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  66. you’re ALSO fighting injustice if you somehow can contrive it to get Cindy McCain convicted and dragged off to prison in chains.

    I prefer to eat my omelettes without the broken eggs.

  67. According to the article, some right-wing extremist hardliners have expressed skepticism about the brave new world of unisex military service:

    “Elaine Donnelly, a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, dismissed Mr. Obama’s comparison of the roles of women and black soldiers, arguing that males and females, in general, aren’t equal on the battlefield.

    ‘There are differences between men and women where physical strength is an issue,” said Ms. Donnelly, who heads the nonpartisan Center for Military Readiness. ‘There are a lot of civilian feminists who are making unreasonable demands on the military.'”

  68. Just to add to my last post.

    Although wars can go on for years, I’m fairly confident that ‘major combat operations’ will never be more than about 90 days from start to finish ever again.

  69. Max-
    Just for context, that’s been Donnelly’s hobbyhorse for nearly twenty five years now. She got appointed to DACOWITZ during Reagan’s and Cap Weinberger’s tenure with her mind made up, and has spent a quarter century in confirmation bias.

    (Note: she might well be right; but she has never been an honest broker on the issue. I don’t expect a Feynmanian level of intellectual integrity, but a little consideration of an alternate hypothesis once in a while would be nice)

  70. if women are registered for service — not necessarily in combat roles, and I don’t agree with the draft — I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they’ve got obligations to this great country

    An obligation to register, but not to serve? That’s the only way I can make sense of favoring registration as an obligation, but opposing a draft.

  71. Libertarians oppose drug possession laws, generally speaking. Does that mean that they should oppose enforcing those laws against cops, because it enlarges the population subject to bad laws?

    joe is right on. You’re using the same logic that libertarian gay marriage opponents sometimes do: state involvement in heterosexual relationships is bad, so expanding state involvement to homosexual ones is worse.

  72. Should we eliminate age ranges for the draft? Sure it’s unjust for a 22 year old male to be dragooned into service, but it’s doubleplusunjust or something when we exempt 75 year old women and mentally retarded 15 year olds. Maybe not for combat, but I’m sure the military’ll find a use for em. By no means should biological differences between humans be used to exempt this or that group from a horrible abuse that we deplore.

  73. You’re using the same logic that libertarian gay marriage opponents sometimes do

    You do recognize the difference between expanding someone’s legally recognized choices and restricting them, right? It’s kind of important.

  74. This is forced conscription we are talking about.

    Where is the outrage?

    Anyway I appreciate Matt keeping the faith on this one.

  75. You do recognize the difference between expanding someone’s legally recognized choices and restricting them, right? It’s kind of important.

    Matt, by your logic, a law bringing back the draft but only applying it to blacks would be better than a law bringing back the draft and applying it to both blacks and whites, because the latter injustice would be applied to more people.

    You can’t just count noses like that. You have to consider the disparate treatment as an injustice in and of itself, on top of and added to the injustice of the underlying law.

  76. Matt, if women were eligible for the draft, only half as many men would be drafted. So you’re not really increasing the number who would be conscripted.

  77. kolohe,

    Thank you for the link to the Feynman speech from 1974. The famous physicist talked about how scientists (including “social scientists”) used their authority to intimadate “lay” people (telling phrase) into going along with schemes which actually were based on pseudoscientific superstition:

    “And I think ordinary people with commonsense ideas are intimidated by this pseudoscience. A teacher who has some good idea of how to teach her children to read is forced by the school system to do it some other way–or is even fooled by the school system into thinking that her method is not necessarily a good one. Or a parent of bad boys, after disciplining them in one way or another, feels guilty for the rest of her life because she didn’t do ‘the right thing,’ according to the experts.”

    Feynman sounds like some kind of populist with his talk of “ordinary people with commonsense ideas” versus bogus “experts.” And the examples he cites! The anti-phonics fad was sweeping education back then, while teachers using the superior phonics method were derided as reactionaries.

    Hmmm . . . are there any modern parallels? Like, for instance, the pseudosciene in favor of a unisex armed forces and conscription of women? Do the advocates of such policies actually believe themselves to be scientific, or do they seek to use their will to power to make their dreams into reality?

    I wonder what Feynman’s “ordinary people with commonsense ideas” would think about drafting women – excuse me, I mean registering them for a nonexistent and nondangerous draft?

    After all, when the British Parliament repealed an obnoxious tax measure and passed a Declaratory Act announcing its competence to legislate for the American colonies, the Founding Fathers naturally shrugged and said, “who care? It’s only a theoretical danger – no use fussing about it.”

  78. I’m looking at you, college students. You too clergy members.

    College students have already lost their ticket out. You can finish your current semester/quarter, but after that you’re in. And clergy always have been subject, unless they could demonstrate pacifism. They just don’t wind up fighting in combat units because they’re more valuable as Chaplains.

  79. Shem,

    According to the 1948 Military Selective Service Act:

    (1) Regular or duly ordained ministers of religion, as defined in this title, shall be exempt from training and service, but not from registration, under this title.
    (2) Students preparing for the ministry under the direction of recognized churches or religious organizations, who are satisfactorily pursuing full-time courses of instruction in recognized theological or divinity schools, or who are satisfactorily pursuing full-time courses of instruction leading to their entrance into recognized theological or divinity schools in which they have been preenrolled, shall be deferred from training and service, but not from registration, under this title. Persons who are or may be deferred under the provisions of this subsection shall remain liable for training and service in the Armed Forces under the provisions of section 4(a) of this Act [section 454 (a) of this Appendix] until the thirty-fifth anniversary of the date of their birth. The foregoing sentence shall not be construed to prevent the exemption or continued deferment of such persons if otherwise exempted or deferrable under any other provision of this Act.

  80. Like, for instance, the pseudosciene in favor of a unisex armed forces and conscription of women? Do the advocates of such policies actually believe themselves to be scientific

    Who said anything about science?

    It’s not a scientific question.

    Let’s leave to one side for a moment the question of whether the draft is slavery, or whether the draft is unjust. I think both are true, but obviously this opinion is not universal. So I won’t argue from these points.

    Even if you think the draft isn’t slavery and even if you think the draft isn’t unjust, there simply can be no dispute that the draft is an imposition by government upon its citizens; by its very nature, the draft requires citizens to render a service they would not voluntarily render. And if that’s the case, how can you justify imposing that burden on some citizens and not on others?

    If some women aren’t physically fit for combat, draft them and then rate them 4-F.

    Having a draft that applies only to men and not to women is like having a tax that applies only to men and not to women – or having a literacy test for voting that applies only to blacks and not to whites.

  81. Mad Max, this isn’t a matter of science, it’s a matter of equality before the law. Science can inform our judgement on such matters but it cannot make those judgements for us.

    It wasn’t too long ago that “common sense” dictated that women were too emotional and frail to vote, serve on juries, run a business, handle property, let alone hold public office. In short, common sense ain’t so infallible either, as it incorporates all the prejudices that the beholder has grown up with.

  82. Maybe this isn’t the right way to argue with Maxie though – I have a sneaking suspicion that he’d happily go back to not allowing women to vote, if he thought it would bring divorce rates down or some such crap.

  83. This is forced conscription we are talking about.

    That’s the thing: no, it’s not. There is no draft, and there will never again be a draft. Even as Barack Obama said he wanted selective service registration to be gender-neutral, he denounced the draft.

    Trust me, there’s plenty of outrage about the draft. When John McCain said it would be nice to have a draft, but it wasn’t politically feasible, there was a great deal of outrage.

    When Barack Obama says he’s opposed to forced conscription, but wants to make some point about something something by making Selective Service paperwork universal, it’s a little tougher to get worked up.

  84. Though it is funny to see the cosmotarians of the thread doing the mental gymnastics necessary to simultaneously believe that (1) women are equal to men in every respect and are capable of doing anything a man can, and (2) it’s preferable to draft only men rather than drafting women as well.

    It’s not just a coincidence that women were excluded from the draft. They were believed incapable of military service…and by perpetuating their exclusion from the draft, you’re perpetuating that attitude.

    Now, in my experience there are plenty of women who can switch from raging feminist to but-I’m-just-a-girl helplessness at the drop of a hat when it suits their purposes. I don’t think we should enable such degrading behavior, though.

  85. Isn’t there some sort of scientific consensus that the quickest way to repopulate after a war is by having as many females available as possible?

    Yes, indeed. It would be quite easy at the bottom of some of our deeper mineshafts. With the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, 10 females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present gross national product within say, 20 years.

    I hasten to add that since each man will be required to perform prodigious sexual service, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics, which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature … MEIN FUHRER! I CAN VALK!!!

  86. …”I CAN VALK!!!”

    LMAO 🙂

    Thank you Mr Sellers…

  87. “Maybe this isn’t the right way to argue with Maxie though – I have a sneaking suspicion that he’d happily go back to not allowing women to vote, if he thought it would bring divorce rates down or some such crap.”

    Nonsense – if we *must* have universal suffrage, allowing single men to vote, then the stability of the Republic can *only* be maintained by extending the ballot to women.

    Why did states like Wyoming allow equal, “gender-neutral” suffrage ahead of other states? Simple – the votes of single, unpropertied, rootless men was a potentially destabilizing influence which had to be balanced out by the sensible influence of married women.

    Check out the history of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union – a key lobbyist for women’s suffrage. They thought that married female voters would help balance out the propertyless single men who went in for socialism and the Liquor Trust.

  88. Yes, because alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition, and gun control — the greatest “accomplishments” of soccer/security moms and their foremothers — have turned out to be such stabilizing elements of our political landscape.

    To paraphrase Voltaire, I hate the things that women tend to vote for…but I will defend to the death their right to do it.

  89. The anti-phonics fad was sweeping education back then, while teachers using the superior phonics method were derided as reactionaries.

    It is important to note that the “science/experts” said that whole language, which is phonics +, was better than phonics alone. The “anti-phonics fad” was the result of laymen and their common sense misapplying or misunderstanding what the experts were saying/advocating.

  90. Is phonics+ kind of like “abstinence plus”?

  91. (1) Regular or duly ordained ministers of religion, as defined in this title, shall be exempt from training and service, but not from registration, under this title.

    Hmm. So that $30 I sent to the Church of the Subgenius might have been useful for something after all?

  92. I personally do not think there should be draft or registration. Though, I am open to the argument that a draft is necessary if we get involved in an extreme situation like another World War level conflict.

    That being said, for the most part women are unsuited physically to most combat roles (and as pointed out ealrier men may be unsuited emotionally to having female comrades). Even with the large logistical tail the modern military has developed, having over half of the pool of draftees be untrainable for combat will cause an unnecessary distraction of figuring out how to deal with the female draftees for the military in a moment of crisis. All for the sake of making a fetish of a cosmic ideal of gender equality. That is a singularly bad idea, and it shows how unserious a man and a politician Obama truly is.

  93. Paid slavery. That’s change we can believe in.

  94. Fluffy (and co) hit it head on early on. I particularly like the example about drafting only blacks.

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