Offending Liberty

Read this article by Brad Edmonds
I get impassioned emails from readers who are military veterans or relatives of military veterans, saying, in essence, 'You go ahead and say your terrible things. The men and women of the armed forces will continue risking their lives to defend your right to say it.' These readers claim that the only reason I'm free to say the things I do, and the reason I owe the military all sorts of my money, is because the military has for 200 years defended my freedom all over the world.

I say, Hogwash! ...

I'm sorry that so many honorable military men and women have been misled. I'm sorry that so many believe they fought for our freedoms. I'm sorry that a smaller, but significant, percentage of those believe that I personally owe them an involuntarily-taken chunk of my income. Morally, I do not owe them this. I did not ask them to do what they did; they already have been, and are being, paid; I believe my freedom has only been eroded, not enhanced, by their presence; and I believe my actual personal safety is more threatened by their existence, not less, as a result of how they have been used by Congress and the White House.

I'd only quibble with Edmonds on the small issue of women in combat. Equality under the law demands that any Federal institution, including the military, make every effort to achieve equality of opportunity. Withholding certain jobs from a class of citizens based on their genes is thus not supportable, either morally, or (IMO) under the Constitution:
14th Amendment
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States,
and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the
United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State
shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges
or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any
State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without
due process of law, nor deny any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of the laws.
The only limit on service in the government should be competence to do the job. The average woman may not be strong enough to be an infantrymen. That's one thing. But there are many combat roles that do not require much physical strength. Tankers don't walk; they drive. Women would make great tankers. Let 'em ride, I say.

Of course, in my ideal world the US military would only be a few thousand people, supported by bake sales and charitable donations. As Edmonds points out, it is the militia - the people, armed to the teeth - that make us unconquerable. Having a bloated military is not needed for defense; its use is offense. It's a form of corporate welfare: not just in terms of handing out tax dollars to the military industrial complex to generate expensive high-tech weapons, but in terms of subsidizing the security costs of corporations in and out of the US.

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