Conscripting High School Graduates

Bringing back a type of draft in today’s NYT

A revived draft, including both males and females, should include three options for new conscripts coming out of high school. Some could choose 18 months of military service with low pay but excellent post-service benefits, including free college tuition. These conscripts would not be deployed but could perform tasks currently outsourced at great cost to the Pentagon: paperwork, painting barracks, mowing lawns, driving generals around, and generally doing lower-skills tasks so professional soldiers don’t have to. If they want to stay, they could move into the professional force and receive weapons training, higher pay and better benefits.

Those who don’t want to serve in the army could perform civilian national service for a slightly longer period and equally low pay — teaching in low-income areas, cleaning parks, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, or aiding the elderly. After two years, they would receive similar benefits like tuition aid.

And libertarians who object to a draft could opt out. Those who declined to help Uncle Sam would in return pledge to ask nothing from him — no Medicare, no subsidized college loans and no mortgage guarantees. Those who want minimal government can have it.

It doesn’t say, but I’d imagine it would not be a true opt out, as I’m sure I’d still have to pay for Medicare, college loans and mortgage guarantees.

Monday Administrative Thread

I thought I would take the liberty of putting up at least a draft administrative thread because I want to mention a couple of things … administrative.

I am going to work on several posts and leave them in draft for a day or two (or longer) until they are ready to go. If you look at the drafts, you’ll see that I started one this morning, but it will take a little research to plug in some references and the like. It occurred to me over the weekend that starting and holding drafts that aren’t time sensitive might be a good practice for some of us to use so that we can percolate them and post them when there’s a need for some new content. I know some others have already been doing this a bit, so perhaps I’m just slow on the uptake, but there has been some discussion before of spacing out posts, and using draft status is a good way for us not only to work on items that we can’t knock out in a few minutes in one sitting but to have a little inventory of working items to drop in at the right time to keep things moving. Just a thought.

I don’t know whether others have been using labels, but I suggest we do start using them, creating new ones as needed and using labels others have already created when they fit. With a laissez-faire, collaborative blog, I suppose we might end up with label proliferation, but labels are good.

Also, I wonder whether anyone else has the same problem I have with the text editing window positioning itself so that about 3/4 of the editing buttons (font, ital, etc.) at the top is blocked by gray. Is this another IE7 thing? It’s very annoying, and I can’t even see what the two gray, rectangular buttons on the far left are. If I knew how to take a screen shot to show what my screen looks like, I would, but I am too inept. — QB

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