Je vous salue, Elan Davout.

I started writing a long entry about 9/11, this being the fourth anniversary in case you hadn’t heard, but it was nothing that hadn’t already been written or said by people far more eloquent than I. So I’ll just go with this:

Osama bin Laden’s a bastard and here’s to catching him before he dies horribly of chronic renal failure, and then… and then what? What should we do to bin Laden if we catch him? Let Bush talk him to death? Pump him full of staples and force him to go through airport security? Release him on the streets of midtown Manhattan? I’ll take suggestions.

Today, one of my best friends on Earth went to Texas in preparation for deployment to Iraq. In a St. Crispin’s Day-eqsue spirit, I am strongly tempted to join him. I don’t know what good I’d do over there… maybe our guys need econ lessons, or a fourth for cards, or someone to make PB&Js. Anyhow, Godspeed, Captain Patton. And if you come across any terrorists, just remember: “Kill ‘em for me, Patton. Kill ‘em good.”

While chatting with him a coupla days ago, the topic of the draft came up. I mentioned that I’d read about some hearings held many years ago regarding the draft. (See, kids, once upon a time, if you were “drafted,” you were forced to serve in the military, unless you had a really, really good reason not to, called a “deferment.”) At the time, the military was considering abandoning the draft and becoming the all-volunteer force it is now. At some point, General Westmoreland, pro-draft, asked a wizened old wizard named Milton Friedman, pro-volunteer, how he’d feel about being defended by an army of mercenaries, aka paid volunteers. Friedman responded that he’d rather be defended by an army of mercenaries than an army of slaves. That’s why Milt is my favorite Jewish uncle.

We’ve been hearing for years that the military hasn’t been meeting its recruitment goals. Nobody wants a draft (except the people want to create the political pressure that would bring the troops home). So how do you get more people to volunteer? I know it’s shocking, but there are people out there who’d sign up if the pay was a little higher. Go to and look up the “pay.”

“Where will the money come from?” That’s a different discussion. Maybe you raise tax rates, maybe you lower them. Maybe you transfer the spending from other government sectors. I can think of a few things here and there we could trim.

If we ask people to risk their lives for us, whether we’re at war or not (and I think many would be surprised at how many military personnel have died during peacetime), we have to pay them. If we’re going to ask more people to risk their lives for us, we’re going to have to pay them more. Bottom line: give my buddy Patton more cash.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 11th, 2005 at 8:23 PM.

5 Responses to “Je vous salue, Elan Davout.”

1. aabrock Says:
September 11th, 2005 at 10:16 PM

    Friedman is a smart man; who could expect a conscripted military to care as much about success as one that is there by choice? In looking at the size and scope of our government, I cannot see that many groups that are more vital to the survival of not only this country but the Western way of life than our military…pay them more, a heck of a lot more. But in true bureaucratic fashion, the organizations that fail to do a competent job (i.e. everyone but the military) get more money since it was ONLY due to a lack of funds that the job didn’t get done…RIGHT?

    To Capt. Patton: It’s been a while since we chatted, but I’ll be thinking about you during your deployment…thanks for doing what you are doing.

    Oh, and I suggest we send Osama to an all-women prison. And then make a reality TV show out of it.

    2. apushisfun Says:
    September 17th, 2005 at 10:46 PM

      instead of releasing him in the street of Manhattan… tie him to a light pole in midtown Manhattan. i would be more fun to have him at your hands instead of having to chase him down. and then you can make a booth, called Brutal Beating brought to you by Vincent Viscariello, and charge people a dollar to get one hit on Osama. hahaha

      3. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
      September 26th, 2005 at 5:07 PM

        I concur all the ideas for osama are good but the booth should let him heal between beatings that way he wont die from them. Though I dont know him good luck, Godspeed, and thanks to Capt. Patton

        4. domthebomb Says:
        October 3rd, 2005 at 8:43 PM

          my sister was deployed as well a couple years ago. when it’s someone you know, you care more about these debates. And it’s really aggravating when people say “well, that’s what they signed up for”…unless war was your friend’s call to arms. i wouldn’t know. I just think we should think things through very carefully and make sure war is a last resort and not a political strategy…let’s value human life a little more, er, give peace a chance and all that. tata.

          5. donnimikk Says:
          October 5th, 2005 at 5:15 PM

            ***DISCLAIMER*** The writer of this comment is an A- rab and in no way is a racist… toward A- rabs. Please do not be offended if you are an A- rab. This is only a joke meant to be mean to Osama and other dirty mean terrorists. And if you are still angry… Nanny Nanny BooBoo, That’s why I have an alias, hah hah hah…

            Let’s dress Osama in a Red Sox shirt and THEN march him through Manhattan. And then, shave his beard off. Everyone knows that an arab can’t live longer than two weeks without his beard. (similar to a cockroach when you cut his head off)