Jb Knows

A Teen Writer’s Trip to the Top

Selective Service System Shut Down January 6, 2009

The pointless registration of 18-year-old males needs to end. The Selective Service System exists, with a handsome Web site and a budget of more than twenty-five million dollars a year, waiting for something to do besides encourage males to obey the law by registering within thirty days of their eighteenth birthdays.

The Department of Defense, in response to recent calls to reinstate the draft, has confirmed that conscription serves no military need. This is only the most recent confirmation that the draft, and thus the Selective Service system, serves no military purpose. In 1999, then-Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, in a speech before the National Press Club, admitted that “Today, with our smaller, post-Cold War armed forces, our stronger volunteer tradition and our need for longer terms of service to get a good return on the high, up-front training costs, it would be even harder to fashion a fair draft.” Obviously, if there is no military need for the draft, then there is no need for Selective Service registration.

Selective Service registration is an outdated and outmoded system, which has been made obsolete by technological advances. In fact, in 1993 the Department of Defense issued a report stating that registration could be stopped “with no effect on military mobilization and no measurable effect on the time it would take to mobilize, and no measurable effect on military recruitment.” Yet the American taxpayer has been forced to spend over $500 million dollars on an outdated system “with no measurable effect on military mobilization!”

Shutting down Selective Service will give taxpayers a break without adversely affecting military efforts. Shutting down Selective Service will also end a program that violates the very principals of individual liberty our nation was founded upon. Many Americans, both liberals and conservatives, feel a genuine commitment to individual liberty. The Selective Service system never seems to give up in its quest to punish men who don’t want to kill others. It tried to convince the state of California not to award high school diplomas to young men who hadn’t registered for the draft. Nineteen states deny drivers licences to men who have not registered for Selective Service. According the the Selective Service Systems government website, A man who fails to register may, if prosecuted and convicted, face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years.

Many people are dubious about involuntary servitude to the government, whether actual or potential, especially when it involves the risk of death. (In fact, being a commercial fisherman or a taxi driver is more dangerous than being an American soldier, but no one is coerced into those occupations by law.)

I hope you all join me in working to shut down this un-American relic of a bygone era and help realize the financial savings and the gains to individual liberties that can be achieved by ending Selective Service registration.

 

Losing My Religion December 25, 2008

“It is not X-mas.  It is Christmas!  CHRISTmas!  Geez!” my friend Amelia shouts at the AP Biology board.  I shake my head at her.
“There are other religions besides your Amelia.”  I know this because a good deal of my friends are Islamic.  Either that or Atheist, Catholic, Mormon… basically I have friends with a wide range of spiritual views.
“Yes, but people from other religions should be able to respect the fact that it is the celebration of the savior.  Don’t call it something it isn’t.  For goodness sakes, it is a Christmas  tree, not a holiday tree.  Merry Christmas!  Not happy holidays! Those without religion celebrate Christmas.”
“That isn’t completly true.  I celebrate Christmas…”
“And you have no religion, proving my point!”
“BUT, I would celebrate Hanukkah if I had a menorah.  Same with Kwanzaa, or whatever kooky holiday they have these days.”
It is not like I do not like religion.  I am all for people coming together, having faith and keeping alive.  The last part is the complicated one.  Other than oil, religion seems to be the main motivator of war.  Besides the crusades, Jihads, fanatical sect violence, the inquisition, and faith-driven terrorist attacks, religion causes most of the day to day prejudice in the world.
I would like to believe that there is some higher power who awards believers and those who do well.  That doesn’t seem to be the case.
Everyday I hear about some near saint being shot or a bunch of innocent men, women and children being wiped out by genocide and natural disasters.  I could not imagine that an almighty could smite their own creation like that.