About the draft
Dear Editor:Top 10 things I learned about the draft:No. 10 – Though dormant for 30 years, the Selective Service System has a budget of $26.3 million. No. 9 – The Selective Service is already scheduled to report on March 31, 2005 that the system is ready for activation within 75 days. If activated, a draft lottery could take place by June 15, 2005. No. 8 – Twin bills, the Universal National Service Act of 2003, were introduced in Congress in January 2003 and, for the first time, include the draft of women. The text and status of H.R.163 and S.89 can be read at http://www.congress.gov. (On Oct. 5, 2004, H.R. 163 failed to pass.)No. 7 – Selective Service Director Lewis Brodsky recommended to senior Pentagon officials on Feb. 11, 2003 that draft registration include women as well as individuals with “critical skills” (i.e. computer and language skills).Nov. 6 – Mr. Brodsky also recommended extending the draft age from 25 to 34 years. Nov. 5 – About 13.5 million men, ages 18 to 25, are currently registered with the Selective Service System.No. 4 – College is not a deferment. A student can have his/her induction postponed until the end of the current semester; a senior, until the end of the academic year.No. 3 – Canada is not easily accessible. In December 2001, as a result of 9/11, Canada and the United States signed the Smart Border Declaration, which includes the sharing of intelligence and a “pre-clearance agreement” of people entering and departing each country.No. 2 – In the Sept. 30 debate, Mr. Bush spoke of strengthening the military and “the military will be an all-volunteer army.” (He also told the truth about WMDs, links between Saddam and al-Qaida, imminent threats, no interest in nation-building.)And, the No. 1 thing I learned about the draft: There’s nothing funny about this. This is what I’ve learned before the election. Which candidate is more likely to “bring it on” after Nov. 2? Your vote can make a difference. Kathy EzraCarbondale
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Three longtime residents of the lower Roaring Fork Valley talk about the sinking feeling that built Monday and Tuesday as the Grizzly Creek Fire grew. They are hoping the threat to their neighborhoods has passed.