Back (door) Draft

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Remember the statement ‘back door draft?’

That was term used by John Kerry during the 2004 campaign as President Bush used the National Guard to fill in spots for the regular Army and Marines?

That was the disparaging term used by the John Murthas of the world and Mayor Moonbeam and the Rainbow City Council to decry the use of stop loss to make sure we had enough men and women in the military to do the job in Iraq. Imagine that.

Now, member of the Rainbow City Council, Erik Sten, is essentially using a stop loss–back (door) draft–of his own to retain fire fighters.

He’s asking fire fighters who have retired to come back at rookie pay to fight fires to fill in for all the guys who have retired with their generous Portland benefits.

Where‘s the outrage?

Where are the people suggesting we leave fire fighting because we’re using the wrong kind of manpower? “U.S. OUT OF FIRE FIGHTING!”

Do you suppose the folks who decried the Iraq war at city hall would now suggest this is a good management tool to keep up man power?

At least George Bush gave our guys a bonus when they chose to stay


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8 thoughts on “Back (door) Draft

  1. The retired firefighters should tell Erik Sten to perform an impossible and unnatural act upon himself and stay happily retired. At rookie pay? What kind of collective idiots does he think these retired firefighters are?

  2. You can’t be serious.

    The difference between being ASKED to help out and making it an OPTION vs. that of being FORCED into duty is gigantic, isn’t it? Because that’s what this is, isn’t it? A choice?

    If only soldiers had such a choice.

  3. I am still wondering, with that “back door draft” if anyone was told they had to stay, who had completed not just the active duty, but the mandatory inactive reserve portion as well.

    If we are not getting enough people to sign on as fire fighters it is time to raise the pay.
    The same goes for the Military.

    While part of me is in favor of mandatory service to country, another part of me is in favor of an all volunteer force. A volunteer force causes the pay to go up until it is high enough that they can recruit enough people to do the job.

    I am kind of in favor of paying what it takes to have enough fire fighters.
    The woman they speak of in this story is my cousin.
    But she died anyway, even though they got her out.

  4. Iknow: If you were retired from a dangerous profession, such as firefighting, and was asked to come back to that profession at rookie pay, would you go back? I some how doubt it.

    I am a retired truck driver with 45 years in. If I were asked to come back at rookie driver pay, they would get a two-word answer and it wouldn’t be “Merry Christmas”.

  5. If I didn’t want to go back to firefighting under the proposed conditions, I could say no.

    What Victoria is incorrectly comparing this to is what John Kerry referred to as a “backdoor draft”:

    “And the Pentagon is handing out so-called “stop-loss” orders — literally stopping the loss of troops by preventing volunteer soldiers from leaving the service, even after they’ve fulfilled their obligations.”

    This definition is taken from this article.

    So we’re comparing an offer for employment (which can be turned down) to an order for a soldier to stay in the military (which CANNOT be turned down), even if that soldier has already served the terms of his original agreement with the military.

    Surely you understand that there’s an enormous difference between these two situations.

  6. Victoria: I’m not saying that both aren’t needed – they are.

    But the difference (and it’s a HUGE difference that you don’t seem to be considering when comparing the firefighters to the soldiers) is that the offer to the firefighters is for a VOLUNTARY position that can be turned down with no threat of legal recourse.

    With the military service, there is no such luxury. After soldiers have completed the terms of their duty, they are FORCED back into service. And if you are forced and don’t comply, legal action can be taken.

    If firefighters are somehow FORCED to serve, or if you compare firefighters to soldiers who VOLUNTEER to go back (and if they do, more power to them – they are to be saluted for their sacrifices), then we can re-visit this topic on different terms.

    But until then, there’s an ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE in these situations that you seem to be gleefully ignoring in your post.

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