One reason the American military has resisted calls to reinstate a draft is that conscription often forces armies to deal with soldiers who not only don't want to be there and aren't committed to the cause but can be unfit for duty. While the Abu Ghraib affair shows that even volunteers can be unfit, for the most part it's the men and women who choose to defend their country and are committed to the skills and discipline of military life that contemporary commanders prefer to have on the front.
Item: Jet Blue has announced a deal with El Al to have passengers connect, with a single ticket, from Israel flights to 62 points around North America. You gotta love the timing. If you thought it was tense on Jet Blue now, wait until you start getting an infusion of passengers who have been cooped up for 10 hours on the way from Tel Aviv, displaced from the rear davening-section, kept awake by screaming babies and poorly supervised kids.
The Anti-Defamation League's decision to change the way they classify anti-Semitic incidents really sucked the air out of our coverage of the group's annual report of attacks against Jews. Because they, for better or worse, are no longer classifying the painting of a swastika as an attack on Jews if it is not specifically aimed at Jews, the ADL for the first time in 30 years did not contrast the latest numbers with the previous year, figuring the comparison would be skewed.
As mentioned earlier, this is the first summer in five that my family hasn't spent under the starry skies of the Catskills, and for me that means about six to eight hours a week back in my life that were often spent on the Cross Bronx Expressway, the New York Thruway, Rt. 17, and various other roadways with which I experimented. At 250 miles round trip, I estimate that I logged in the neigborhood of 10,000 miles in four summers making the trip to the blessed land of bungalows.
It's sad to have to watch your 10-year old kid squirm uncomfortably as you discuss with him what he should do if someone at sleepaway camp touches him "in a place ordinarily covered by a bathing suit." Or tell him that no one is allowed to tell him to keep a secret from his parents or the camp administration. But that's become a part of modern parents' pre-camp checklists, along with packing up necessities like flashlights and bug spray and tucking away some money for the canteen.
Just because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government's restriction of what it deems profanity on public airwaves is unconstitutional, doesn't mean standards are going out the window, says a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters.
"I think the notion that broadcasters are going to be dropping the f-bomb in prime time is ludicrous," Dennis Wharton told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. "fI we wanted to do that we could do that from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m."
The strange and amusing tale of six IDF soldiers featured on YouTube dancing to a cheesy pop song while on patrol in Hebron seems to have played itself out, now that an spokesman for the army has said they will not investigate the matter further. But it says a lot about the uniqueness of Israel's army.