The SS

No, not Ze Germans.  I mean Selective Service.  I’ve been inundated with radio commercials lately talking about required registration for SS, SSS as they’re calling it now.  I find it rather telling that they use the stick rather than the carrot.  “Don’t break the law.”  “You won’t qualify for college grants or scholarships.” “You’ll never be allowed into government service.” “You’re required to register.”  I think their marketing department could use a bit of Donald Trump.  “Make America great again!”

When I turned 18, I went down to the post office and registered.  Just a little 5×8 card, I think it was.  1 minute later and I was done.  I don’t remember exactly how I knew I needed to register, it may have been a conversation my American History or Government teachers, or perhaps my dad.  Only later did I find out that student loans/grants were tied into the system- I just knew it as The Draft.  I didn’t like that requirement back then, I like it even less now.  As volunteer professional armies go, the  US fields a pretty decent one.  As warmongering congressmen go, we’ve field some excellent ones for a few generations.  I don’t like the intersection.

By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.


  1. Involuntary servitude is involuntary servitude.

    Our country will only be defended as long as it deserves to be. If we want an army, we should begin by treating its members with respect and paying them enough for their hardship. Especially enlisted men.

    Last draft we berated our drafted soldiers and told them we could not afford to pay them while we had them work on ‘weapons-systems’ that were valued tens of thousands of times more. Democracy without respect from our government ‘servants’ is a sham.

    If we treat men and women identically, then we should darned well treat them equally. Threatening one half our young folk is demoting them to a lesser status.

    1. The draft itself is an outdated system, we have other means of determining the age and availability of candidates. Yes, there would be some gaps in the system, but the data is there.

      A friend of mine wrote an opinion piece on why women should not be drafted, the reasoning being that it was men’s job to protect them. I don’t necessarily agree with his views, as I’m very confident women can kill me quite handily with an AR as anyone else, but it did highlight to me the rather popular view that men should do the dying. While I can understand this view, and even held it at one point, I don’t see that as a solid basis for compelling military service for men only, especially since so many other “benefits” are tied in with this compulsory registration.

  2. Of course we are fighting a long train of evolution in our search for sexual identity between men and women. Mammals have females and young more important to the next generation than men. It is often hypothesized that men are thus programmed to protect women and children more than women are. This psychological asymmetry is often asserted. As far as I know, it has never been shown.

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