July 09 2008 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Wednesday 09 July '08 show

  • "It is more a subject of joy that we have so few of the desperate characters which compose modern regular armies, but it proves more forcibly the necessity of obliging every citizen to be a soldier; this was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free State. Where there is no oppression there will be no pauper hirelings."
    Thomas Jefferson, June 18, 1813 letter to future president James Monroe.
  • "Our men are so happy at home that they will not hire themselves to be shot at for a shilling a day. Hence we can have no standing armies for defence, because we have no paupers to furnish the materials."
    Thomas Jefferson, September 10, 1814 letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper.
  • Universal service "was proposed to Congress in 1805, and subsequently; and, on the last trial was lost, I believe, by a single vote only. Had it prevailed, what has now happened [in the War of 1812] would not have happened. Instead of burning our Capitol, we should have possessed theirs in Montreal and Quebec. We must now adopt it, and all will be safe"
    Thomas Jefferson, September 10, 1814 letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper.
  • Article: Time To Reconsider Jefferson's Call For Universal Service, Thom Hartmann, May 5, 2004.
  • Article: Forced servitude in America?, Jonah Goldberg, July 8, 2008.
    "The U.S. already has high rates of volunteerism, but that's apparently not good enough for our presidential candidates.

    There's a weird irony at work when Sen. Barack Obama, the black presidential candidate who will allegedly scrub the stain of racism from the nation, vows to run afoul of the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery.

    For those who don't remember, the 13th Amendment says: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime ... shall exist within the United States."

    I guess in Obama's mind it must be a crime to be born or to go to college.

    In his speech on national service Wednesday at the University of Colorado, Obama promised that as president he would "set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year."

    He would see that these goals are met by, among other things, attaching strings to federal education dollars. If you don't make the kids report for duty, he's essentially telling schools and college kids, you'll lose money you can't afford to lose. In short, he'll make service compulsory by merely compelling schools to make it compulsory.

    It's funny that, when the right seeks to use the government to impose its values, the left screams about brainwashing and propaganda. When the left tries it, the right thunders about social engineering. But when left and right agree -- as seems to be the case on national service -- who's left to complain? As ever, the slipperiest slopes are greased with the snake oil of "bipartisanship."
  • Guest: Jonah Goldberg. Thom is challenging Jonah who is saying Obama's National Service plan is Slavery. He says the draft is evil, but may be necessary.
  • Bumper Music: I

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