Skip to comments.Selective Service (the rarefied air of elite colleges)
Posted on 02/20/2005 2:21:29 PM PST by RockinRye
By Kalani Leifer Opinions Columnist Friday, February 18, 2005
Six months, 17 days. Thats how long Ive been 18 years old. $250,000 and five years in prison. As of now, thats what I owe the federal government for evading the draft. I am a hardnosed liberal, arent I?
OK, OK, so maybe Im not actually a draft-dodger. After all, last time I checked, President Bush isnt looking to commit political suicide, and a quarter of a million dollars makes me weak in the knees. To be quite honest, my apparent refusal to register for Selective Service is grounded for the most part in laziness, not dissent.
I recently logged onto www.sss.gov to do a little research, under mounting pressure from my big brother and a five-year incarceration. And as I navigated the excessively draft-happy Web site I became increasingly, well, draft-unhappy. However, during the nervous hour or so I spent surfing the Selective Service System, or SSS, I did gain a better understanding of what exactly it is that Im avoiding.
The most notable facet of the System (the strategic third S in SSS conveniently differentiates it from the Nazi secret police), is its striking similarity to the College Boards Web site. Youve got your exceptionally ecstatic models representing everyone from the ambiguous blonde Asian to the Texan jock, from the token black guy to the gawky musician. And not to be outdone, youve got the pensive kid and the stock kid from Guam. The only ones missing are, of course, the women.
But the uncanny resemblance to the profoundly detested collegeboard.com accounts for only a small portion of my distaste for the SSS - after all, the Board didnt hinder my getting to where I am today. I guess what really bugs me, go figure, is what the Selective Service stands for - all the baggage that the draft carries, and the idea that upon registration theres a chance Ill be lugging that baggage around.
The most ominous page I found on the Web site discussed how the draft has changed since Vietnam. Most notably, If a draft were held today, there would be fewer reasons to excuse a man from service. Great. Prior to 1971 a full-time student could qualify for a student deferment if he could show he was . . . making satisfactory progress toward a degree . . . Under the current draft law, a college student can have his induction postponed only until the end of the current semester.
And thus it seems that the far-reaching tentacles of the draft could penetrate even the durable walls of our Stanford bubble. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a reinstatement of the draft - the first in over 30 years - is not all that unlikely. Take the American governments recent claims of Iranian nuclear aspirations, coupled with North Koreas declaration of nuclear missile possession, not to mention the perpetual degeneration of the war in Iraq.
I am not, however, an alarmist or a pessimist; I am an idealist - a pragmatist at best. If ultimately there is a draft in Bushs second term, which I personally wouldnt bet on, I know that I will not take part. Ill be a happy Swiss in Switzerland. However, I know that not everyone is blessed with dual citizenship. Even more pressingly, I am aware that many, including myself, are privileged or wealthy enough to avoid the draft, as exemplified by Bush in Vietnam. But I guess well cross that bridge when we get there.
The idealistic part of me would be content to continue avoiding registration - most likely, though, by the time this gets printed Ill have given in to simple pragmatism and, you know, legality.
Kalani is currently apartment shopping in Switzerland. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
a. How does a Swiss guy mix up the SS and the Gestapo?
b. Does this guy know that the President can't call up the draft? Is he intentionally lying to impugn GW, or is he just a moron who believes the lamestream media?
c. Does Switzerland have mandatory military service? (I thought I read that somewhere...)
d. What perpetual degeneration of Iraq? Did liberals not read the Iraqi election stories?
e. Is this the kind of inanity that's going to come out of our 'elite' colleges for the next generation?
I hope when we need the draft, we can exempt the traitorous cowardly left.
Liberals are not required to take into account any facts they don't like or that disprove their world view.
What a punk!
Yes. Just like the last generation.
They'll leave the fighting to the underprivileged patriots in the non-elite universities, community colleges and common high schools. People such as Liefer are just too good to risk...
It's the New Science...just throw out the bad data.
So what are you complaining about? Get down to the post office and register and do your duty, a duty Jimmy Carter re-instituted back in 1979 mind you. Man to be a liberal really means not having to be held accountable for anything.
Exempt them -- are you mad?!? Do you really want all these hippie-wannabees to stay back home breeding baby hippie-wannabees while our nation's real men are dying on the battlefield?
I say, put these pukes on the front lines, pronto! Preferably, as minefield sweepers.
The guy's at STANFORD???? Good grief, he can't even WRITE!
In other words..
"I'll be content to sit on my fat ass and enjoy the freedoms of America until I'm expected to do something to help preserve them. At that point, I'll run away."
"I guess what really bugs me, go figure, is what the Selective Service stands for"
What's that - the idea that citizenship entails a responsibility to help defend the nation?
the author is a dolt
b(2) seems to fit the bozo well.
Switzerland does not give out citizenship as freely as the US does.
BTW, welcome to FR.
I hope this punk's X-Box shorts out. That'll make him cry.
Not, evidently, if you are a supremely self-important person.
From ExxUN.com: Switzerland: 19 years of age for compulsory military service; 17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscripts receive 15 weeks of compulsory training, followed by 10 intermittent recalls for training over the next 22 years (2004)>
The fact that military service is compulsary in Switzerland makes this guy a duplicitous, whining pussy.
"Come here babydarlin'...let mommy help you...here...I'll wipe your ass for you......there babydarlin', you feel all better now? Oh?...babysweets can't carry the baggage?...babytootums can't carry his own widdle load?...babysweetfaceluvey to weak and tired and a pussyassed coward to defend his wights?....oh...here sweetums...let me kick your ass outta here, ya pansiedassed POS!
(I was just pretending to be this cowardly double citizenship swisscheese eatin' moron's mama.)
"Is this the kind of inanity that's going to come out of our 'elite' colleges for the next generation?" You guessed it. How can it be any way with all the uneducated junkies they call college professors.
Well stated. He's a pussy and there's no way around that. I say, let's get rid of dual citizenship.
"Yes, 3 or 4 months long. After which they get an automatic gun with ammo to keep at home so that they could quickly defend Switzerland if another country attacks (which has not happened in last 8 centuries, though)."
I don't want to say the wrong thing to the wrong person here, but...it's easy for a Swiss kid to lecture us about national defense when Switzerland can pimp the rest of Europe with its banks and has the best defensive position imaginable in case someone tries to invade its mountaintop resort.
Telegram for Mongo. There is no draft.
"e-mails circulating on colleges campuses before the election assured everyone that within 90 days of the inauguration Bush was going to reinstate the draft."
No doubt these students were so smart they didn't bother to read the draft law, which puts the authority to draft squarely in the corner of the Congress. (Such as Charles Rangel, D-NY.)
You're right...he must really be French.
Too bad this punk doesn't have a daddy like mine. My little brother decided he wasn't going to register either and my dad packed him up in the car and hauled his butt down to the Selective Service office and made him! To this day I don't think my brother ever quite forgave him for doing that.
Rest easy tonight. Far better men than you are providing you that luxury.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -- John Stuart Mill
The thing I don't understand is if he disagrees with warfare, he could tag himself a conscientious objector.
But it seems he just disagrees with US policy, in which case he asks the government to accomodate his dissent by forgiving him of any duty to defend the country that freely allows such dissent.
This dolt doesn't realize that if he stayed in Switzerland, he'd be conscripted! I know Swiss men, and they periodically have to do reserve-type training well into their 30s and even 40s, I think.
Even my fiance, who is absolutely NOT the military "type" registered for Selective Service - and he wasn't threatened by not getting federal student loans or fear of imprisonment. It's just the right thing to do. He turned 18 and filled out the form. He is now approaching the end of his draft-eligible years, and hasn't given Selective Service a second thought since he registered. If there was a national emergency so serious we needed a draft, and the military was willing to take a guy with ADHD, he'd gladly report for service. It's just not something he'd volunteer for at this stage in life.
Heck, kids can even register online now! My brother did so when he turned 18 last summer, and he said it was terribly easy. The only other time he's thought of it is when he recently needed to prove his Selective Service status for his security clearance (he's active duty military).
Eurpe is more and more a ripe terror target, and a nuclear attack on the mainland wouldn't be any less likely to include Switzerland omongst the victimes.
He would come out with a new outlook on the world!
He wouldn't make it through boot. His Company mates would kill him.
I have a Kafkaesque experience with this nightmare bureaucracy. I fulfilled my obligation to register for the draft when I was a teenager, but I do not have any evidence of it, I just didn't think about that part. When I tried to apply for loans during school, I was told that I wasn't registered for the draft. No problem, I'll just register. They told me I was too OLD to register for the draft. I was consequently never able to prove that I fulfilled the requirements and I never got any school loans. I probably will never get a guvmint job.
I agree with Reagan that we should have an all-volunteer army except in times of declared war. And I also agree that this is a sexist policy because women are not required to register. But the thing that really bites is that a person should be allowed to re-register if the paperwork gets "lost".
he's a stupid 18 year old.
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