View Full Version : Uninformed Commentary
Anyone in the Denver area?
I guess the sacrifices of the Federal soldiers retained on active duty after their initial enlistments in 1863 were "slaves" as well, and the author would have preferred that the Armed Forces not intervene in that action as "slaves" either?
Article Published: Friday, May 28, 2004
Keep our slaves safe
By Reggie Rivers email@example.com
Our military is one of the last bastions of slavery in the United States. At the moment, our slaves are stuck in a combat zone, getting killed and maimed, and there's nothing they can do about it except hunker down and pray.
Yes, our slaves signed up of their own free will, but most of them were as misled about their job as the rest of us were about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
And I don't think "slave" is too strong a word to describe someone who is not permitted to quit his job no matter how dangerous it becomes or how much he hates it. For most of us, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and guaranteed that we have the right to withhold our labor. It doesn't protect soldiers.
Our armed forces recruiters are quite adept at making military service appear beneficial (it mostly is) and safe (it's not). The threat of war is minimized, because few rational people actually want to fight.
According to Chalmers Johnson, author of "The Sorrows of Empire," almost half of our enlisted forces are between 17 and 24 years of age, and they were lured into military service with promises of education, job training, escape from poverty, medical benefits and the chance to operate some cool, high-tech equipment.
Johnson wrote: "A real deterrent to recruitment is the possibility that a new soldier will find himself or herself in combat. Roughly four out of five young Americans who enlist in our all-volunteer armed forces specifically choose non-combat jobs ... ."
The U.S. Army has an official video game that can be downloaded at www.americasarmy.com <http://www.americasarmy.com> It's a recruiting tool aimed to win the hearts and minds of children of all ages. The goal is catch them before they develop critical thinking skills that might lead them to question the wisdom of volunteering for slavery.
The site's FAQ section includes this encouragement for parents: "In elementary school kids learn about the actions of the Continental Army that won our freedoms under George Washington. Today, they need to know that the Army is engaged around the world to defeat terrorist forces bent on the destruction of America and our freedoms."
Parents are further assured that the brainwashing of their kids will be conducted without undue exposure to the horrific reality of warfare. "The game does not include any dismemberment or disfigurement. When a soldier is killed, that soldier simply falls to the ground and is no longer part of the on-going mission."
The recruitment effort gets more aggressive at the high school level.
Johnson wrote, "Complaints about harassment by military recruiters in San Diego became so numerous in 1993 that the San Diego Unified School district adopted a policy against releasing student information to recruiters of any kind."
Bans on overbearing campus recruiters became so common that President Bush addressed the issue in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The bill stated: "Any secondary school that receives federal funds under this Act shall permit regular United States Armed Services recruitment activities on school grounds, in a manner reasonably accessible to all students of such school."
So our kids get bombarded with formal and informal recruiting messages - and they sign up. One day, they find themselves sitting in a Humvee in Iraq, with their best friend lying dead on the floor next to them, and they suddenly realize the deception of their recruitment and the shackles of their slavery.
They just want to go home, but they can't. And domestically, we continue to trot out the tired mantra that supporting the troops means supporting the war.
If we truly care about our young slaves, we should do everything we can to get them out of harm's way.
Former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the host of "Drawing the Line" Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12. His column appears every Friday.
Now I must track this "slave to airwaves and liberal-ass media" down and give him a piece of my mind!
Jack Moroney (RIP)
Perhaps this convoluted logic is a result of playing too many quarters without his helmet on.
Originally posted by Guy
Now I must track this "slave to airwaves and liberal-ass media" down and give him a piece of my mind! Guy, His email is in the second to last line of the story. I would be very interested in reading a CC of the email you send him posted here.
Reggie has had some decent commentary in the past, but clearly what he said in TR's post is ridiculous. The man had a radio show on one of the larger sports stations, 850 KOA, but has since turned bleeding-heart liberal and now resides on 630 KHOW (talk station) with the likes of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. :rolleyes: Many of the people who in the past would tolerate his commentary now won't give him the time of day. Thankfully [for the most part] Colorado isn't the bastian of liberal thought like some wish it was.
I met Reggie at a student conference in 1999, he had a good stage presence but had obviously taken a few too many hits without the football lid.
It would appear that he has an issue with a volunteer Army, wonder what he would think about a return to conscription?
I guess if he had his way, we would still be a slave owning British Colony, with a Nazi Europe, a Japanese empire (Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere), and Communist regimes and despots controlling the remainder of the world.
I can see absolutely NO logic in his comparison.
Free citizens of an age of majority choose to enlist in the military for whatever reason appeals tyo them, sign a contract for a term of service, and agree to subject themselves to whatever risks and hazards they may be sent (by their elected civilian leadership, IAW the Constitution) to face.
There are no press gangs working here.
I don't recall being given a guarantee that I wouldn't end up in combat when I signed up. I do remember the recruiter saying that I had to serve for whatever time I signed up for unless the Army cut me loose.
I also specifically remember him telling me that as a soldier, I would be suspending some of the rights that I had in order that the civilians I was protecting could continue to receive them. That had more of an affect on me than anything else I was told.
Maybe this really is the "me" generation this guy is talking about. But I doubt it. Sounds like a crock of shit to me.:boohoo
Originally posted by The Reaper
I can see absolutely NO logic in his comparison. The "logic," such that it is, is drawn from the theories of, among others, radical libertarian Murray Rothbard. From his For a New Liberty:Involuntary Servitude
IF THERE IS ANYTHING a libertarian must be squarely and totally against, it is involuntary servitudeâ€”forced laborâ€”an act which denies the most elemental right of self-ownership. "Liberty" and "slavery" have ever been recognized to be polar opposites. The libertarian, therefore, is totally opposed to slavery. An academic question nowadays, one might object? But is it really? For what is slavery but (a) forcing people to work at tasks the slavemaster wishes, and (b) paying them either pure subsistence or, at any rate, less than the slave would have accepted voluntarily. In sort, forced labor at below free-market wages.
Thus, are we really free of "slavery," of involuntary servitude in present-day America? Is the prohibition against involuntary servitude of the Thirteenth Amendment really being obeyed?
While conscription into the armed forces is a blatant and aggravated form of involuntary servitude, there is another, far more subtle and therefore less detectable form: the structure of the army itself. Consider this: in what other occupation in the country are there severe penalties, including prison and in some cases execution, for "desertion," i.e., for quitting the particular employment? If someone quits General Motors, is he shot at sunrise?
It might be objected that, in the case of enlistees, the soldier or officer has voluntarily agreed to serve for a certain term, and he is therefore obligated to continue in service for that term of years. But the whole concept of "term of service" is part of the problem. Suppose, for example, that an engineer signs a contract with ARAMCO to serve for three years in Saudi Arabia. After a few months he decides that the life is not for him and he quits. This may well be a moral default on his partâ€”a breach of moral obligation. But is it a legally enforceable obligation? In short, can he or should he be forced by the monopoly of weaponry of government to keep working for the remainder of his term? If so, that would be forced labor and enslavement. For while it is true that he made a promise of future work, his body continues, in a free society, to be owned by himself alone. In practice and in libertarian theory as well, then, the engineer might be morally criticized for the breach, he may be blacklisted by other oil firms, he may be forced to return any advance pay tendered to him by the company, but he will not be enslaved to ARAMCO for the three-year period.
But if this is true of ARAMCO, or of any other occupation or job in private life, why should it be different in the army? If a man signs up for seven years and then quits, he should be allowed to leave. He will lose pension rights, he will be morally criticized, he may be blacklisted from similar occupations, but he cannot, as a self-owner, be enslaved against his will.
It may be protested that the armed forces is a peculiarly important occupation that needs this sort of coercive sanction that other jobs do not have. Setting aside the importance of such occupations as medicine, agriculture and transportation that need not resort to such methods, let us consider a comparable defense occupation in civilian lifeâ€”the police. Surely the police perform an equally, and perhaps more vital, serviceâ€”and yet every year people join the police and quit the force, and there is no coercive attempt to bind their labor through years of enlistment. In addition to demanding the end of conscription, then, the libertarian also proposes to do away with the entire concept of a term of enlistment and the practice of slavery this implies. Let the armed forces operate in ways similar to police, firemen, rangers, private guards, etc.â€”free of the blight and the moral crime of involuntary servitude.
But there is more to be said about the army as an institution, even if it were made completely voluntary. Americans have almost totally forgotten one of the noblest and strongest elements in the original American heritage: determined opposition to the entire institution of a "standing army." A government that has a permanent standing army at its disposal will always be tempted to use it, and to use it in an aggressive, interventionist, and warlike manner. While foreign policy will be dealt with below, it is clear that a permanent army is a standing temptation to the State to enlarge its power, to push around other people as well as other countries, and to dominate the internal life of the nation. The original aim of the Jeffersonian movementâ€”a largely libertarian factor in American political lifeâ€”was to abolish the standing army and navy altogether. The original American principle was that if the nation was attacked, then the citizens would hasten to join to repell the invader. A standing armed force, then, could only lead to trouble and to the aggrandizement of State power. In the course of his trenchant and prophetic attack on the proposed Constitution in the Virginia ratifying convention, Patrick Henry warned of a standing army: "Congress, by the power of taxation, by that of raising an army, and by their control over the militia, have the sword in one hand, and the purse in the other. Shall we be safe without either?"
Any standing army, then, poses a standing threat to liberty. Its monopoly of coercive weapons, its modern tendency toward creating and supporting a "military-industrial complex" to supply that army, and last, but not least, as Patrick Henry notes, the taxing power to finance that army, pose a continuing threat of the army's perpetual expansion in size and power. Any tax-supported institution, of course, is opposed by the libertarian as coercive, but an army is uniquely menacing for its amassing and collecting into one set of hands the massive power of modern weaponry.This is just the section on military service. In the same chapter, Rothbard also argues that conscription, anti-strike laws, the entire system of taxation, various parts of the court system (coerced testimony and subpoenas, jury duty, pre-trial detention, etc.) and compulsory commitment of mental patients are all forms of slavery.
How do they reconcile that position with gun control?
Shouldn't that justify the posession of any instument of war used by the military by any civilian who wants to own it?
Also, volunteer service would seem to be permitted, while conscription would not. His point appears invalid when given the number of ways to depart the military prior to completing a term of service.
Originally posted by Bill Harsey
Guy, His email is in the second to last line of the story. I would be very interested in reading a CC of the email you send him posted here.
Oh...I'm working on one!
This reply is in re: â€śKeep our slaves safeâ€ť and â€śGovernment hasnâ€™t kept its promises to soldiersâ€ť!
First, let me begin by sayingâ€¦It amazes me that you can write about the military in such a negative light, yet you have never walked a day in our boots. Honestly, I thought about replying to both of your articles in a well-spoken and eloquent mannerâ€¦then it dawned on me. Why? Reggie Rivers does not rate among the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marinesâ€¦he was a football player turned columnist!
So I decided to respond to certain paragraphs contained within each article. â€ťSo away we goâ€ť, thatâ€™s a phrase in which we, that have served in uniform say before being deployed to defend yours and other liberals way of life.
â€śOur military is one of the last bastions of slavery in the United States. At the moment, our slaves are stuck in a combat zone, getting killed and maimed, and there's nothing they can do about it except hunker down and pray.
â€śYes, our slaves signed up of their own free will, but most of them were as misled about their job as the rest of us were about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.â€ť
I cannot fathom that a former professional football player turned columnist would refer to these men and women, who serve in uniform, as â€śSLAVESâ€ť! As I last recall. One must volunteer and go thru a screening to enter any branch of service.
â€śBastions of slaveryâ€ť. I wonder if you are aware of the factâ€¦that these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marinesâ€¦past, present and future are the ones that afforded YOU the opportunity to pursue a career in the NFL and later as an columnist, albeit a misguided one!
â€śWe often see feature stories about brave men like Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who was killed after leaving his lucrative career to go fight on the front lines in Afghanistan. Tillman was an extreme patriot who was far more committed to his ideals than most Americans. But where are the stories from the other end of the spectrum? Or even from the middleâ€ť?
First, what would you know about Ranger Tillman or the life and sacrifice he lived and gave?
Second, if you would like to know the â€śtrue stories from the other end of the spectrumâ€ť. Just ask the newspaper who prints your column to allow to be an on-the-ground reporter in Iraq or Afghanistan!
â€śFirst, I apologize for offending men and women in uniform. My father, two brothers, two sisters and two brothers-in-law have a combined 123 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, so I'm definitely a fan of soldiersâ€ť.
Notice how you mention your family membersâ€™ time in-service, yet you have ZEROâ€¦NONEâ€¦NADA? Wait a minute Iâ€™m catching on nowâ€¦use the family membersâ€™ honorable time in-service to â€śextract your foot, from your mouthâ€ť!
â€śThe point of my column was not to attack the troops, but to stick up for them. I believe our leaders renege on promises, put soldiers into impossible and deadly situations and play politics while people are dyingâ€ť.
You did attack us by accusing us as being â€śslavesâ€ť and it doesnâ€™t matter what you believe in our leaders. It matters what we believe becauseâ€¦you are not there!
I could go on and on however Iâ€™ll leave you with thisâ€¦We are not â€śslavesâ€ť especially in the company of people I have worked with!
I volunteeredâ€¦for the service!
I volunteeredâ€¦for Airborne School!
I volunteeredâ€¦for Ranger School!
I volunteeredâ€¦for Special Forces Training!
I volunteeredâ€¦for Desert Storm!
I volunteeredâ€¦for Haiti!
I volunteeredâ€¦for Iraq (As a private contractor twice)!
Now if all of that volunteering makes me a â€śslaveâ€ť then you are confused!
Iâ€™m 100% American who happens to be black Mr. Rivers.
Guy K. Jones
De Oppresso Liber
If I may say,
that was indeed a fine piece of criticism.
You write very well.
Now call that SOB up on his show and talk to him!
What, did he apologize and I missed it?
Government hasn't kept its promises to soldiers
By Reggie Rivers
Somewhere around 750, I lost count of the angry e-mails I received in response to my recent column referring to U.S. soldiers as slaves.
First, I apologize for offending men and women in uniform. My father, two brothers, two sisters and two brothers-in-law have a combined 123 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, so I'm definitely a fan of soldiers.
The point of my column was not to attack the troops, but to stick up for them. I believe our leaders renege on promises, put soldiers into impossible and deadly situations and play politics while people are dying.
A note from a man named Ken was representative of the messages I received. He wrote: "Military service is not compulsory. No one is forced to join. If they quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't be soldiers. Being a soldier means that you fight as long as your country needs defending. Being a soldier is a life of sacrifice. You sacrifice for people you never know."
Those are powerful sentiments, and it's fair to say that any soldier who truly believes those ideals is not a slave. But the fact remains that soldiers are not always fairly treated.
We often see feature stories about brave men like Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who was killed after leaving his lucrative career to go fight on the front lines in Afghanistan. Tillman was an extreme patriot who was far more committed to his ideals than most Americans. But where are the stories from the other end of the spectrum? Or even from the middle?
The U.S. Army announced last week that since Sept. 11, 2003, more than 45,000 soldiers have had their combat tours extended, have been told they can't leave the military when their enlistment period ends, or have been told they can't retire on time.
Some soldiers have served more than 20 years, were scheduled to retire, had already purchased homes, had new jobs lined up, but then were informed that they had to stay in the military for another six months or a year.
When it's time to fight a war, we citizens may applaud the soldiers, organize care packages and try to "support" them, but our leaders are far more concerned about the mission than keeping their word to the individuals doing the fighting.
The Army is standardizing its stop-loss procedures so commanders can keep any soldier who is needed to maintain the integrity of any unit. Soon thousands of additional soldiers will be affected.
We don't hear many stories about reservists who have been called up for duty in Iraq, which they expected, but then have had their tours extended for long periods, which they didn't expect. This policy is having a disastrous impact on the personal finances of some reservists.
Defense spending is skyrocketing (so far $119 billion in Iraq) and our leaders talk a good game about the troops, yet they're not keeping their word to soldiers who fought in previous wars. Tens of thousands of veterans were promised that if they served for 20 years or more, they'd get free medical coverage for themselves and their spouses for the rest of their lives. That promise has been rescinded. Retirees now must pay for coverage through the Department of Defense's TRICARE health care program - which requires enrollment fees and co-pays for retirees and their families.
My complaint is not with the men and women who serve in the military, but with the system of aggressive recruiting, routine broken promises and a seeming lack of regard for the best interests of the troops.
Former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers
Attempted apology NOT accepted, Reggie.
Until you have worn the uniform yourself, shut your pie hole.
BTW, Mr. Football Expert, Mission First, Men Always. Look it up or ask one of your family members who served in your place what that means.
The men of the 20th Maine who stopped the Confederate flanking attack on 2 July 1863 after their enlistment periods expired were "slaves" as well, by your logic. Less than a month later, President Lincoln declared the real slaves in the Confederacy free. If the soldiers of Maine had been released as scheduled, that day may have turned out differently and freedom for the slaves may very well not have happened till much later, if at all. Was that a bad thing the government did then?
Where were you when the first Stop Loss kicked in almost three years ago, Reggie?
Originally posted by ThinAir
The man had a radio show on one of the larger sports stations, 850 KOA, but has since turned bleeding-heart liberal and now resides on 630 KHOW (talk station). Who listens to KHOW? That station has sucked since the early 70's. I'll take KOA everyday.
I just finished reading the whole thread. I went through a period of extreme anger, and then a period of relief and then back to anger lol. I cant even believe he said what he said. My recruiter currently, and in the past has never told me anything that was a lie. I guess that I am one out of 5 that does sign up for the combat job haha. I dont even see how he can talk about the whole enlisting process and all the "lies" that go with it if he has never even been through it himself. Right now I feel like finding out where his mailing address is for the radio station. I have a poop in an envelope with his name on it :D