Bush's War Czar Calls Military Draft an Option

Douglas Lute, Bush's Iraq War Czar, today said all options are on the table with respect to a military draft.

"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another," said Lute, who is sometimes referred to as the "Iraq war czar." It was his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.

Too bad it's not his last.

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    War Not Sustainable (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by john horse on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 06:47:16 AM EST
    I happened to hear that NPR interview and what was interesting is the reason why General Lute says we may need a military draft.  Per General Lute, our military is approaching the breaking point as a result of Iraq.  It cannot continue as is past next Spring.  

    Here is the Catch 22.  The way our military was designed was that if we ever ended up in a long sustained war like Iraq or Vietnam a military draft would be necessary in order to maintain manpower needs.  However, a military draft for Iraq is not going to happen for political reasons.  

    So as a result in order to continue his war in Iraq Bush is forced to overdeploy our military.  They say that we will have to stay in Iraq for years in order to achieve success but General Lute is saying that unless there are drastic changes in manpower policy our military forces cannot even be sustained beyond this Spring without serious degradation.  I think the clock has run out on our Iraqi misadventure.  This war is just not sustainable.  

    This spring was my own best guess too (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:14:51 AM EST
    We will head into the election with a busted flat on its a$$ military and America still struggling in Iraq.  I feel a lot of sorrow as an active duty spouse only because I have witnessed what all of this has cost us in terms of soldier sanity and families ripped apart and destroyed by over deployment followed by the PTSD - they just can't make it work when you haven't seen your spouse for about three years and then one comes home violent and crazy with no end of that in sight.  Politically speaking though, in January 2009, when our new president pulls our forces out of Iraq it will be a euthanasia of a poor suffering diseased entity and never a surrender.  Nobody will ever be able to color it a surrender.  And long ago those who survived Vietnam and lived within the caverns of the Pentagon created a new military that would self destruct if a dictatorish president ever abused it and they did well, they did beautifully, and it will happen and save thousands and thousands of people who we will never know the name of.

    Tracy needs to buy a dictionary (1.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 08:35:46 AM EST

    the action of yielding one's person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another

    And you need to understand that our presence will be replaced by the radicals and that we will have to fight another and bloodier war at a later date.


    The boogie man is a gonna getcha Jimmy (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 02:27:09 PM EST
    Long before any radical islamist is ;)  Particularly after the Democrats take over and we finally have some sort of homeland security that can be measured ;)

    Why so little faith in the Iraqi people? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:21:09 PM EST
    Or do you think the mass of them WANT Al Qeada to take over?  Since the mass of Iraq is Shiite and AQ is Sunni, well, I'm not quite sure what kind of math you're doing.  

    AQ will continue to "prosper" there as long as we are there.  That is as simple an equation as one can find.

    The invective you hurl at others as "surrender" is what reality calls "Iraqi SELF-determination."  (And surrender to whom?  You understand how many different factions we're in the middle of this this civil war?)  The fact that we don't WANT Iraqis to determine too much of their own fate is obivousl, disgraceful, and is the real stumbling wall.  And it's getting bigger not smaller with each passing hour.

    We want you to be free to choose your own government, as long as you vote the way we want you to.  The cruel absurdity of this, our basic political philosophy there, speaks volumes about or continuing inability to face reality in a rational manner.


    the pentagon contradicts bush (none / 0) (#52)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    bushco 101 (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Sailor on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:05:28 PM EST
    "And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table.

    There are no plans to reinstate a military draft and the Bush administration does not support conscription, the Pentagon's top official for personnel and readiness told Congress yesterday.

    We have always been at war with eastasia.

    Curiouser and Curiouser (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Lavocat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:58:06 PM EST
    I suspect that this is merely one of many more signs to come of the increasing desperation of this regime.

    Clearly, this regime doesn't have the guts to finish what it started, so it is punting to the next, ELECTED, president.

    Meanwhile, the meatgrinder churns on.

    a bigger picture (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:58:46 PM EST
    They can start.... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by desertswine on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 03:23:48 PM EST
    by drafting those five Mitt Romney clones.

    I was in the last draft (3.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 09:33:38 AM EST
    I came in No. 1 in Nixon's draft (the only lottery I've thus far won). I had been very loudly and vocally against the Vietnam War, and I managed to actually avoid the military for a few years.

    I was technically a volunteer, that is, for two years, because I was definitely going to be called up, but the only way I volunteered was because it was a question of when I'd get the notice and the suspense was killing me.

    The New York Times did a front page story on my basic training company (for those with access to a microfiche), Nixon's first "all-volunteer" unit. It was an interesting assortment: some non-citizens who wanted to get citizenship, a number of guys who had the choice of either joining the army or going to jail. One guy actually thought that joining the army would be a good way of cleaning up his heroin habit. There was a farmboy from Western Pennsylvania who didn't want to take showers and who almost blew off my face with an M-16 on the firing range. There was a number of guys like me, who "volunteered" because they'd otherwise have been drafted.

    Of course, after we'd volunteered the draft ended.

    The army at the time was filled with cynics who weren't buying the lies out of the White House. In short, having a draft was a check on power of the military. There were plenty of us ready to rat out the My Lais. I'm not opposed to a draft if there are reasonable alternatives to the military (two years in a hospital, Americorps, etc.) for people of conscience.

    While theoretically a draft would put the burden of public support more strongly on any administration waging an unpopular war, I don't know if a draft today would work as well to fill our armed forces with dissenters. After all, so much of our "military" in Iraq are Blackwater employees, mostly invisible to us. And in the next generation our military will be increasingly filled with "Hessians" and robotized, so that soon the killing can be done by skittering killing machines sent into neighborhoods to waste our "enemies" without putting any Americans at risk.

    UMS - Greetings (1.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 10:59:17 AM EST
    Given that many on the Left have been calling for more sacrifice from the American people, I think this is the time for Universal Military Service to be enacted.

    Starting immediately, all citizens will be drafted for two years service.  UMSeees will receive normal training in the branch that needs them in the speciality needed. At the end of their training period they will be sent to the location where they are needed.

    The draft will occur when the person turns 18 but is younger than 19.

    Deferments will be provided for those in highschool. Upon graduation or when the person otherwise leaves highschool, the person will be drafted. There will be no exceptions except for serious medical problems. Prior acceptance into a college does not count as being in college.

    Deferments will be provided for those in college or other formal training at the time of this law's enactment. Upon graduation or when the person otherwise leaves school, the person will be drafted. Extended deferments for graduate school studies will be for those in medical or hard science programs only.

    Because of training length and other speciality requirements, some slots will be reserved for those who volunteer for four years or longer.

    Upon completition of active service they will remain in the active reserves, attending one weekend per month in training and two weeks per year for 6 years.

    At the end of 6 years they will remain in the active reserve for an additional two years, attending one two weeks training per year.

    At the end end of these two years they will remain in the inactive reserve for a period of 4 years.

    Those who volunteered for service will have their reserve time cut from 6 to 3 and 4 to zero, at their discretion.

    Anyone who leaves the country to escape the draft will be stripped of their citizenship and if captured and convicted will serve 10 years in prison. If this is done during a time of active hostilities, the penalty will be death.

    It is noted that there will be a gap of about two years in student enrollment as freshmen. It is expected that the colleges can use this time for studies and improvements. It may be that some professors will find themselves unemployed. I suggest that we provide job training and extended unemployment insurance to help these professors through this difficult time.

    I also suggest that the colleges work diligently to provide classess for the UMSeees during their off duty hours, and that the colleges develop a liberal and fair transfer of credits between schools.

    If you fall within these guidelines, or if you have children that do I am sure you will be eager to prove that you are capable of being trained and that you stand ready to defend the country.

    Two years may seem like a long time, but it will be gone in a heartbeat. You will emerge from this patriotic service mature, confident and with a focus on what you want to do with your life that most current 18 to 20 year olds do not possess.

    In return for that service, a grateful nation will pay for your college tutition for any two of the next four years to the maximum of what your current state university charges.

    Good luck.

    Draft (none / 0) (#3)
    by DeanO on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:05:00 AM EST
    It seems to me that the question of a draft at all requires a declaration of war! Our founding fathers would be rolling in their graves at the site of our populations apathy toward our own Government. "We the People" means US not Lt. Gen. Lute, or even President Bush. And to require your population to risk their lives under order requires a vote of the representatives of the people FIRST! Anything else is against all morality. The biggest loss to a family is their loved ones, that is the ultimate sacrifice and to protect that we have a congress (currently a gutless one I might add)that is supposed to be the peoples 'Union' in a sense. To stand up an analyze all that effects the people and to ask their permission... sadly we don't have that today, so we have Lt. Gen Lute asking for people to be forced to war, that despite polls showing Americas are becoming more and more against this endless mess. I would support a draft ONLY if congress did the right thing and declared war against Iraq.. Then it became the peoples voice.

    Draft (none / 0) (#8)
    by JMA on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 01:08:50 PM EST
    As the wife of a 20 year retired veteran, the mother of an active duty sailor and the ex-mother-in-law of an Iraqi PTSD victim, I have a positive view of a draft. These young men and women who are serving so selflessly need relief. The majority of today's youth are passionless about the state of our country. Reflections of the sixites remind me that the draft produced passion along with a social and cultural revolution. We are all better for it. Perhaps we need a draft for more than the obvious reasons.

    Draft (none / 0) (#9)
    by DeanO on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 01:28:58 PM EST
    I was a 'member' of the 60's generation and I can tell you that we were not better for the lesson we learned about our government. It was a sad day to see us go to a war that had NO value. It proven nothing but, like all wars, cause death and destruction. We, as humans, need to grow up and realize that enemies of the past are now our friends in the future..that cycle continues through history and it shows that war, in any form is stupid and borders on insanity. To promote war (and a draft) is also stupid. The mass loss of life has always been caused by governmental powers of excess. Look at the mad men of history (Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler etc) the lives lost from these idiots and the populace that followed them is mind bongling. We today, have another "ghost" to chase (as we will always invent ghosts for our military complex in Washington) Before I was a teen it was McCarthyism, then the Cold War, then the VietCong and we go on and on. Now the Iraq terrorists? They have No Navy, No Air Force, and believe me NO weapons of mass destruction, and if we were NOT in Iraq they couldn't even shot at us. The people who ran an airplane in the twin towers were NOT Iraq'eeeeze anyway they were Arabs...Our President wants to bring Democracy to the region ..BULL he wants to make sure that millions of barrels of oil in the ground have a stable government (instead of a treat) to the Oil Companies (you do know that Bush is a Big oil man !)  I think the point is clear.

    Draft (none / 0) (#11)
    by JMA on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 03:58:59 PM EST
    "I was a 'member' of the 60's generation and I can tell you that we were not better for the lesson we learned about our government."
    Ahhhh..that's where you are wrong! I detected passion in your response. I teach upper school English and I can tell you that our youth do not have the passion to learn from the past, nor do they care that they lack that passion. I, too, was a 'member' of that generation. When I teach contemporary literature I teach the protest songs as poetry. It would be refreshing to see a spark of concern in contemporary social and political issues rather than concern for mindless video and computer games. I don't agree with this war anymore than I supported the Vietnam war. Our youth need to realize that there is a world outside of themselves and to take responsibility for it. If the draft has that response, so be it.

    JMA (1.00 / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 08:40:33 AM EST
    When I teach contemporary literature I teach the protest songs as poetry.

    I hope you teach at the college level.


    JMA (1.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 11:11:49 AM EST
    Thanks to the help provided by the Dark Avenger I now see the "upper school" in your comments, so I will modify mine.

    I think that anyone teaching political protests in our high schools should be fired.

    The minds of the students the parents have entrusted you to educate are young and unformed and their presence in your class, or at least in school is demanded by the state. Essentially, they are prisoners.

    That's wrong anyway you look at it.

    There is plenty of time for that when they are in college, or merely old enough to have experience the real world.


    yes, of course repression is what it's all about (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Sailor on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 02:37:12 PM EST
    don't teach critical thinking, don't teach the truth, don't teach both sides, just indoctrinate them so they'll be good consumers and faux news watchers who'll believe the lies of king george and be happy little cannon fodder.

    I think that anyone teaching political protests in our high schools should be fired.
    the country was founded on political protest. Kinda hard to teach history w/o teaching the history of our country.

    Sailor loves strawmen (1.00 / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 10:01:51 PM EST
    This counry was founded on judo-christian priciples and english history.

    it was founded by many deists ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Sailor on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 11:33:43 AM EST
    ...Deists reject the Judeo-Christian accounts of God as well as the Bible, the fact that you don't know this says a lot about your education.... It was also founded in extreme political protest, you can't teach our history w/o our history of political protest; against britain; for sufferage;for civil rights; against wars founded on lies.

    That is America and to deny it to our youth is en extreme form of censorship and repression.


    Education and opinions (none / 0) (#37)
    by Peaches on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 11:46:41 AM EST

    I have a lot more trust and faith in young minds. Although, I would not endorse teaching politics and current events to six year olds, I think teenagers and certainly 16 - 18 year olds should be exposed to adult topics and debates. I have no fear of a Christian High school Science teacher endorsing Intelligent Design alongside of teaching the basics of Evolution, as long as students can openly disagree and not receive lower marks of challenging the authority and opinions of the teacher. Likewise, a social studies teacher teaching that the Iraqi War is necessary to protect us from Terrorists is an appropriate discussion in High school. High school student should be engaged and not isolated from current events and political issues. Teachers should be fired for mistreatment of those student who have opposing opinions. Teachers should not be fired for having radical opinions and exposing students to them. In my opinion.


    Draft (none / 0) (#12)
    by disgusted on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:39:30 AM EST
    Yes the bush(spits) Crime Family does support the draft, I mean the draft as a talking point anyway. You must remember they are doing everyhthing in their power to break the Military so they can activate BLACK WATER (yup the mercenary outfit, guess who they are loyal to) this group of idividuals are on active alert now as the smoke screen has been sent up, talk the DRAFT now TALK the complications of the Draft, and now the Training that is involved to get us to the level we need to be at OOOPS! guess what we have a hidden reserve it is called BlackWater and they can take up the slack while we train our troops, oh you have nothing to fear their loyalty is to the White House and any that oppose it are enemies of the State.

    Does anyone see a pattern here or is it just me, not one Media outlet has Investigated the building of barracks on both the East and West Coast in fact the Media has gone out of its way to avoid talking about this.

    A Grateful Nation (none / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 11:58:18 AM EST
    Administration Fights Dem Plan to Boost School Aid for Vets
    August 09, 2007
    The Bush administration opposes a Democratic effort to restore full educational benefits for returning veterans, according to an official's comments last week.

    Senate Democrats, led by Virginia's Jim Webb, want the government to pay every penny of veterans' educational costs, from tuition at a public university to books, housing and a monthly stipend.

    edger (1.00 / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    I would agree with Webb based on the current service laws.

    Under my proposed UMS, I would have the country pay for tutition for two years for almost 100% of the country, although I note some won't go.

    Perhaps a solution would be that UMSeees get the two years. Those that volunteer for four or more get the full ride Webb envisions.


    Poetry & protest songs (none / 0) (#39)
    by Peaches on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 12:08:44 PM EST
    Since you support the teaching of protest songs as "poetry" I think your belief system is obvious.


    There is no doubt protest songs are poetry. Whether or not it is good or bad poetry is for each of us to decide. Some protests songs are good poetry and had lasting cultural impact on our society. Of course, competent teachers should include these songs as part of the curriculum for discussions and Students should be allowed to offer their opinion on these songs and give articulate critiques using their minds and experience as well as the opinions of others they have come in contact with. That is called an education. The teachers role is to guide and judge the quality of the student's critiques and not to dissuade them from their subjective viewpoints.

    on second thought, (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peaches on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 12:19:51 PM EST
    Teachers should attempt to dissuade students from their subjective viewpoints, they just should not improperly misuse their authority as teachers to dissuade them from these viewpoints.

    Peaches (1.00 / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:38:47 AM EST
    I think you know that the quality of the poetry/song has nothing to do with my comment.

    My comment is that teachers should not be teaching them to highschool students who are in class subject to law, and who are most often too immature to place the information into context, and to understand that the teacher is really seeking to radicalize them.

    My preference is that highschool should focus strongly on the basics, thus preparing the student to understand and debate the information they will receive later in college.

    And for those who do not go forward, they will have the basics to help them understand the propaganda that will thrown at them by the Left and the Right, as well as enough information in science and math to attend some trade school and be prepared to support themselves and be useful to  society.

    Without starting a fight, knowing a plumber or electrican is more useful than knowing an English major.

    And for those who think garbage men are not important, just imagine your garbage not being picked up for a few weeks.


    Garbagemen (none / 0) (#43)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 08:57:22 AM EST
    are much appreciated in my household. Jim, I agree with you up to a point. But, we specifically disagree on the capabilities of young minds. I think the basics should be instilled at the elementary school level. Discussion and debating skills are important skills to develop for citizens of a democracy. You may be long removed from a high school classroom, but you certainly remember forming opinions on your teachers. A teacher who espouses radical views will either earn the respect or ire of his or her students depending on the quality, fairness and openness of their instruction. If a teacher is unfair and intolerant of students with viewpoints that differ from his or her own, this teacher will alienate his or her students from the radical views he or she is teaching.

    My opinion is that schools should not be required or mandated by federal law and education of the youth should be the responsibility of families and local communities. Under my preferences, if a student disagrees vehemently with a teacher and the methods he or she deploys, the student should have the freedom to go somewhere else for better instruction.

    It doesn't take much to teach a human the basic skills to be a garbageman, but it takes good teachers to teach them to be thinking and self-reliant and capable citizens in a democracy. Debate, discussion and an exposure to a wide variety of opinions should begin in the teenage years. The problem with modern schools in America is that they tend to isolate students from this debate and these viewpoints and, in my opinion, most students would be better off spending more time away from school and out in the community being exposed to adult ideas and learning the art of debate and discussion - a small part of which includes protest songs and a critique of them.

    on a side note, a big wind came through last night and wreaked havoc on my garden. It blew the tops off of my 16'+ sunflowers, knocked down my corn, and blew quite a few tomatoes off the vine. Dang! Oh well, it could have been worse and I don't think it will have too much effect on my overall harvest this year.


    Peaches - The issue isn't the children's minds (1.00 / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:47:31 AM EST
    I agree with their abilities and capabilities. But:

    this teacher will alienate his or her students from the radical views he or she is teaching

    Unfortunately, no. Perhaps a few, but certainly not all. No child should be radicalized.

    And the teenage years are also 17, 18 and 19.

    Politics should be kept out of K-12. There is hardly enough time for the basics if they are really taught.

    My garden is mostly gone. The tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas, potatoes, and the early veggies have been harvested and tucked away in root cellar, jars and deep freeze. Only the okra and peppers continue to produce.


    We have different opinions on radical (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:58:42 AM EST
    America was founded by radicals and skeptics. Of course, radicals are dangerous to the status quo. The DOI is a radical document as well as the bill of Rights. The reason they are not taught or glossed over in K-12 education is that the elites in charge of determining our national curriculum fear a citizenry of radicals who are capable of thinking and forming views opposed to the status quo as England feared a the radicalized and thinking colonists.

    This is where your self-titled label of social liberal is put to the test. You believe liberal means ideas that are instituted from the top down that help certain groups such as women and gays have equal access to rights as citizens in America. My definition of liberal is the radical where ideas are debated amongst a citizenry and then change happens at the insistence of the a radicalized population of thinking individuals challenging the status quo. Change is demanded from the bottom of those at the top and the citizenry doesn't rest until those at the top either make these changes or a removed from their positions of influence. That is a social liberal in my book, but I certainly understand why some would fear such radical notions.


    Nope - That's an urban myth (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 11:33:45 AM EST
    Many of the early settlers were radicals, mostly religious types who were fleeing the troubles in Europe. See New England, Cotton Mather, etc. The next wave moderated the radicals; were more interested in securing a good life.

    The country was founded by rich land and property owners. Most of the dispute with England was not over "ideas" but over taxes, commercial disputes and the belief that they were having their right of self government, which they had, taken away. Remember, England also had an elected Parliament . (Michael Barone has a new book out titled, "The First Revolution" which is an easy read, and brings this into focus. It covers the 1650 - 1700 timeframe in England.)

    When Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death," he wasn't yelling about something he had never had. He was yelling that it was being taken away from him.

    The Constitution was very much modeled on various English institutions and ideas. The remarkable thing was that it codified a belief that rights are God given, not from the government. This empowered the lower classes, perhaps unintentionally and established a method by with the Executive could be changed on a regular basis, as well as the House. Remember the Senate was appointed, similar to the House of Lords. In addition it established a clear path on how the Constitution can be changed.

    Radicals are almost always on the fringes, and the founders were not.

    Today's radicals, on both sides, distrust the Constitution and its children, the three branches of government. Protesting and doing snarky things about Cheney may be fun, but it is useless. That time and energy would be better spent in trying to get laws passed, especially given that Cheney will be gone in a little over 16 months. It is thater. Nothing more.

    The above is not meant to condemn protest, it is their right.

    And it is not to say that protests should not be done. The Civil Rights movement was effective because of them, and because their protests were supported by the federal government and most state governments and the undeniable fact that their cause was just.

    My basic point is that we only have x amount of time. Citizen discussions, etc., are great, but the results should be in elections, not threats to burn the country down. And once the elections are over, we should move forward based on the results, not have the losing side immediately launch into attacks on the winners. That may be "democracy," but it mimics anarchy and is not conducive to self rule through a constitutional republic.

    Reason and restraint are wonderful things and in short supply in both the Left and Right. K-12 teachers who teach protest songs as poetry instead of Shakesphere scare me as much as preachers explaining that only their flock will get to heaven. By and large the preachers are self limiting. The teachers are supported by a subsidy from the government. That's scary.


    Once again, we agree on substance (none / 0) (#49)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    but reach different conclusions.

    The point was that the founders were radical by terms and descriptions given by the English rulers. I agree that the constitution was not created in a vacuum and certainly ideas from Europe were incorporated by the founders.

    The conclusion I reach from all of what you say is the basic idea that ideas should flow from the bottom up. I am more scared of Gov't sompulsory schools than you are, but not because of teachers. I am scared of schools because of the standardized curriculum developed by the gov't. Restraint is a wonderful thing, until gov't starts taking our dignity and freedom away and attempts to condition our children into nonthinking automatons who are incapable of having reasoned discussions and are unaware of the world around ant the political consequences of decision makers. I am in favor of giving more discretion to students to form their own opinions from the vast and disparate opinions around them. You would rather they be isolated from them in gov't sponsored schools. However, the result is a population of citizens who are too restrained and feel powerless to make change for themselves and from habits of reliance upon government to meet their needs rather than taking matters into their own hands.


    I'd like to add (none / 0) (#51)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:33:21 PM EST

    that much of what we are arguing over is a matter of degrees and perspectives. I think these differences are important, though.

    One of the problems I have with your label of social liberal (although, I understand how you use it and think it is accurate in your terms) is that from our differing perspectives we reach vastly different conclusions. The question I ask myself is where does this difference in perspective arise.

    Well, I think I don't believe we are living true to the principles of the constitution and our objectives of achieving a democracy allowing the pursuit of happiness where cruelty and suffering are reduced as much as possible. I think you believe I am making much to do over nothing and feel that the principles of America are operating just fine. You defend the status quo with mild criticisms (radical teachings in schools, anti-war liberals undermining national security, etc.) while I feel the status quo is corrupt and needs to be overthrown if we are to continue to strive for the objectives established by our founders. In my mind, that makes you a conservative and me a liberal since I want change.

    Keep in mind, I don't think that just because I hold the mantle of liberal that this gives me some inherent insight into how to solve our problems. I admire many conservative thinkers for their views and often find my views align with some conservative thinkers - such as my distrust of large governments. But, again, I think that changing the existing government and challenging its authority is a liberal trait in line with our American heritage of radical thinkers.


    No, I don't think they were radicals (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 01:42:29 PM EST
    in the view of the English rulers. The English considered them rebels and traitors'

    As the war wore on, I think the founders understood that they had to become more definitive on the rights of the common man, or they would not fight. That may be viewed as "radical" by some. To me it is just a demonstration of political common sense. Another trait that the Left and Right both lack.

    And I don't think that all good ideas come from the bottom up. Being poor doesn't make people anything but poor. Good ideas come from all levels. The problem is that the rich, in the past, controlled the method of information distribution. That is one of the reasons that I think the Internet has changed the course of civilization.  That is also why I enjoyed TL more in the past than now. I could routinely pick up a fresh perspective on some societal issue. Now it is mostly politics and war.

    And I am not "for" government schools, and can't imagine where you got that idea.  I very strongly support vouchers and believe parents should be able to use them for any school they want. Religious or not. I do agree that the student should have to pass a state approved test to graduate.  I realize that is some degree of control, but society does need some way to understand a person's qualifications. BTW - I am paying for my Grandson's private school.

    My concern over the teachers is simply that too many in K-12 are teaching politics, radicalizing the students. You can teach the constitution without proselytizing for anti-war protests. Private schools will let the parents decide, not government sponsored teachers who want to teach your children the wrong things while being protected from being fired and paid for by you.

    My self description of Social Liberal comes from the fact that I believe in the historical liberal positions, which are mostly just extensions of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I also make the distinction because the Right has stolen the term "liberal" and pinned it on the Left, an act the Left was happy to take since they don't deserve it.


    Well, (none / 0) (#54)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 02:09:48 PM EST
    despite our self-labels, we do agree on much. When I say ideas should flow from the bottom up, I am not saying that being poor gives one more insight to form insights and make capable decisions, I am saying that power in a democracy resides with the people and they should control the leaders, whom should be beholden to the people's interests, not the other way around. I don't favor elites being benefactors for the people, or at least, I don't trust institutions relying upon the gratitude of elites to serve the people. The people must always demand to be served. The bottom this sense only refers to citizens and at the top are elected leaders and, currently, the rich and power-interests that place and keep them there.