Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog

Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

We're a week behind in our Over Theres because of the New York trip, so we watched the one about the military contractor last night. There were any number of plotholes -- would the wife of an imam really argue with him in front of the entire village? -- and go-to's -- gee, people on the street in L.A. are dangerous and can't be trusted with your wallet! But it was compelling television nonetheless.

One thing I took away from it is how the people who serve in the Armed Forces live in a different world than the rest of us. If most of us had been to war, we might not bandy terms like "I'm getting killed here" so easily. Most of us have never depended on someone else for our actual survival, unless you count our parents. Most of us have never faced real physical danger out of a sense of duty.

I think we might treat going to war differently if most people had a real chance of having to serve. We would not have gone into Iraq so cocksure if the sons and daughters of Congressmen were serving. (And we all know that the sons and daughters of the current Administration do not serve.) We might be fighting the war differently.

(We might be fighting the war with enough soldiers, for one thing.)

I don't think it's healthy for a republic to have such a dividing line between those who serve and those who do not. We probably aren't going to face a military coup or a barbarian invasion. But it is unhealthy, I think, for a democracy to go to war with an army of hired volunteers. It puts the burden of war on only a few backs.

(And don't even get me started about stop-loss orders.)

I don't like war. Not many people do, outside of a few Washington think tanks staffed by chickenhawks. I would be horrified to see my daughter go to war. But we are at war, and likely we will over the years continue to be in wars. Offhand I can think of a few places the President ought to send troops, if we had any to spare. Darfur, for example. But I think the nation should bear the burden, not just the few whose sense of duty and/or whose financial need put them in uniform. If we are going to be at war, no one should be exempt.

See what a good TV show does?

Lisa reminds me that she and I are one draft into a remarkable screenplay about this divide between the families that serve (and really, the whole family serves) and those who don't, but the margin of this page is too small to contain it.



Over There won't be renewed. Shame.

By Blogger Stanoje, at 12:59 PM  

The American people might not fall so easily for facile soundbites about the necessity of waging war if every single family had a more direct stake in the inevitable casualties of combat, that's true. But as for the children of congressmen and other officials, remember the service records of Dan Quayle and George W. Bush. During the Vietnam draft, they served stateside, well out of harm's way. Al Gore went to Vietnam, but as a journalist, not an infantryman. Some say his father got him this plum assignment, others say the Army routinely handed such duty to the "sons of Harvard" and other elite schools. Either way, privilege marches on, draft or not. Unless maybe you're John Kerry...

By Blogger Melanie, at 10:25 AM  

"But it is unhealthy, I think, for a democracy to go to war with an army of hired volunteers."I've always found this argument a bit odd.

For a start, a random draft might be 'fairer', but would it be a better army? Would the army be more likely to win, with fewer bodybags needed, if they used a random bunch of overweight accountants in the front line?

Also, you are assuming that being in the military is a dangerous job. Sure it is - but compared to what ?

Let's look at the facts. In 2004:

* Logging workers had a death rate of 92.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.
(Ref: http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/26/pf/jobs_jeopardy )

* Of the 200,000 US military workers cycled through Iraq in 2004, there were 848 fatalities - that's 424 deaths per 100,000 workers.
(Ref: http://icasualties.org/oif/ )

So even taking the worst of the worst areas - we get an increase in death rates by less than 5 compared to forestry.

So why would have a draft to 'equalise' the deaths for the war in Iraq, but not a draft for logging workers?

Perhaps the American people might not fall so easily for facile soundbites about the necessity of using timber if every single family had a more direct stake n the inevitable casualties of logging.


By Blogger Mac, at 2:45 AM  

Wow. "Only" 5 times more deadly than logging (not particularly safe business).

I'm going to guess you aren't a soldier and don't know any soldiers, or you wouldn't make the comparison. Death isn't the only thing a soldier faces. Killing, for examlpe, is another risk that a soldier faces. Killing is not particularly good for the soul.

Lisa's dad, a retired US Army colonel, says that in a draft you get all sorts of people, some of whom are much more qualified than any you'd get in a volunteer army. So he thought the draft wasn't a bad thing.

As for the "overweight accountants"... well, past basic training, they're not overweight any more, are they?

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:35 AM  

>Wow. "Only" 5 times more deadly than logging (not particularly safe business).

Yeah - I didn't exactly start with my strong argument, did I? My implicit meaning was that Iraq was an example of the MOST dangerous place for US military workers, whereas the logging statistic was over the entire logging industry.

Taking this into account means that a US soldier (pilot/etc) has about the same risk of being killed on the job as a logger.

>I'm going to guess you aren't a soldier and don't know any soldiers, or you wouldn't make the comparison.
Well, I'm not a soldier, but I have talked this over a friend who HAS returned from Iraq. Yes, despite what the US thinks, it's not just the US & England who are fighting in Iraq.

>Death isn't the only thing a soldier faces

I know - but that is the main argument that everyone uses. I was pointing out that this argument logically should apply to other industries too. If that isn't a strong argument, then people shouldn't use it!

It's always amused me that if you ask who is willing to die for the country, you'll get a huge show of hands.

If you ask who is willing to pay an extra 38% tax for their country - no one volunteers...

Any theories why not ??


By Blogger Mac, at 11:14 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.