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11/05/2003 Archived Entry: ""

Yesterday, I promised movie reviews and -- like the over-achiever I am -- I deliver movies instead! ;-) For example, download a free viewing of
Nosferatu (1922)-- the classic re-telling of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" -- courtesy of Lennane Communications and Jef Films, 80 minutes. Or Reefer Madness (1936) -- the hilarious campy classic, with clean-cut teenagers becoming criminal lunatics after taking several puffs of marijuana -- courtesy Moore Video, 64 minutes.

Yesterday, I also commented on how necessary it is to read between the lines of mainstream US news in order to get a sense of what was happening. At th same moment, David Beito of George Mason posted an interesting item on the Liberty and Power Blog to which I contribute regularly. He wrote, "The Selective Service system has issued http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/sss092203.html an advertisement urging Americans to apply for positions on local draft boards. Hmmmmm.." Independent, alternative news sites like Salon have picked up on the oh-so quiet move by the Bush administration to revitalize draft boards across the nation. Salon observes, "The community draft boards that became notorious for sending reluctant young men off to Vietnam have languished since the early 1970s, their membership ebbing and their purpose all but lost when the draft was ended. But a few weeks ago, on an obscure federal Web site devoted to the war on terrorism, the Bush administration quietly began a public campaign to bring the draft boards back to life." The US can not rely upon reservists and the National Guard much longer to bolster the number of troops serving abroad as a occupying/police force. "Many in the National Guard and reserves never anticipated having to serve in an active war zone, far from their families and jobs, for six months or longer. Stars and Stripes, the Army's official paper, reports that a poll it conducted found that half the soldiers in Iraq say they are 'not likely' or are 'very unlikely' to reenlist -- a very high figure." Moreover, "allies" like Turkey are starting to renege on their promises to send their own soldiers into the troop-hungryquagmire of Iraq. This time -- unlike during the Vietnam War -- if a draft is instituted in the US, it will not be possible to avoid conscription by going "to grad school (like Vice President Dick Cheney)" or to duck combat "as George W. Bush did, by joining the National Guard.... [T]hat's all been changed. In a new draft, college students whose lottery number was [sic] selected would only be permitted to finish their current semester; seniors could finish their final year. After that, they'd have to answer the call. Meanwhile, National Guardsmen, as we've seen in the current war, are now likely to face overseas combat duty, too." The foreign press has picked up on the looming possibility of a draft -- which becomes more and more a probability after the Presidential election if Bush wins. The BBC asks, "U.S. draft to be revived?" and a UK Guardian headline comments "Appeal for draft board volunteers revives memories of Vietnam era." It iss unlikely that Bush or the neocons will utter the "d" word before the elections next fall, however, They will simply move quietly and behind the scenes to change the rules on college deferments, to man the 2000 or so 5-person committees that would determine deferments etc. in cities and towns across America...in short, to make sure the apparatus of the draft is manned and primed.

Meanwhile...I *did* promise to deliver movie reviews. Matrix Reloaded: what a turkey! and especially disappointing because 1) I thoroughly enjoyed the original Matrix; and, 2) it was intended as the centerpiece of our Hallowe'en viewing. The last movie in this trilogy, Matrix: the Revolution is coming out this Thursday -- strange, I can't remember another major studio release occurring on a Thursday -- and I'll be reading the reviews carefully before committing any money or time to what is likely to be a sinkhole for both. Good Boy: this was a good ride made all the more enjoyable by the fact that neither Brad nor I can see a dog in a commercial, a photo...you name it...without going "Ah-h-h-h!" Without that sort of reflexive response to all things canine, however, Good Boy might be experienced as a mediocre movie. Even with this reflexive response, we both agreed that the film was a "watch once."

Best to all,

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