Although opposition to draft registration has dropped from prominence in the daily media, an active anti-conscription movement remains committed to opposing one necessary component of the Reagan war drive. Hundreds of thousands of young men remain in violation of the law through their refusal to register and even more through their failure to keep the Selective Service System (SS) informed of address changes and other required data.
The three draft resisters with whom the FE staff is personally acquainted (only one of whom is in anti-draft work) have maintained their refusal for five years now and have only been faced with computer generated threats, all of which they have ignored.
Resistance News (Box 42488, San Francisco, CA 94142, 408/379-1334) reports in its November 1985 issue that since 1980, only seven non-registrants who all publicly voiced their refusal have been imprisoned. All have been released in less than six months; six served 3 to 5-1/2 months; one served one month. David Wayte of Los Angeles remains under house arrest for six months and is confined to his residence by a unique sentencing order of the presiding judge.
In Detroit, draft resister Dan Rutt elected to act as his own attorney in his registration refusal case and was found guilty after a short trial. Dan is a second generation draft resister. His sentencing is scheduled for early Spring.
Paul Jacob, the libertarian resister, the only non-registrant to flee federal prosecution, remained underground for several years until his apprehension a year ago. After a July trial (see FE #321, Summer 1985) he was released from federal prison on November 29, after serving five months of a six month sentence. Ben Sasway of Los Angeles was released in September after serving less than five months of what looked like a particularly harsh sentence of 2-1/2 years imprisonment.
We often meet young men who registered right out of high school but are now sorry for their compliance. Although the act of signing up with the SS is irreversible the Committee Against Registration and the Draft (CARD), 731 State Street, Madison WI 53703, has created an “Unregistration Card” which cites the bearer’s opposition to the draft and asks to be stricken from the SS rolls. It’s doubtful whether the bureaucrats in Washington will be so accommodating but the card states the signers’ intentions very explicitly: “When you plan for a return to the draft, count me out.”
DON’T REGISTER! DON’T FIGHT!
Crazoid Christian fundamentalists discovered after the 1980 elections that a satanic plot existed in the White House by pointing out that a count of the letters in each of Ronald Wilson Reagan’s names produces the biblical apocalyptic number of 666. Something strange is also produced when the 18 letters of the president’s name are rearranged to form an anagram; can you figure it out? Turn page upside down [web archive note: upside down the letters read “INSANE ANGLO WARRIOR”] for answer.
Funny Nazis Department—A public relations flap emerged in early November between the National Audubon Society and the U.S. Marine Corpse. It seems that at a California boot training camp for women leathernecks, the recruits were required to sing the following little ditty:
I saw a bird with a yellow bill
Sitting on my windowsill.
I coaxed him in with a piece of bread—
And then I crushed his little head.
A mean marine—
A lean marine!
I guess I’m just a mean marine!
Upon seeing a report of this in a local paper, the president of the bird protection group fired off a letter to Washington protesting the song. Reaction was quick and the Marines agreed to drop the chant. They will probably just substitute “Nicaraguan” for “bird” in the song.
The Soviet weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta recently launched a bitter attack on Soviet youth, denouncing “long-haired and unwashed” dropouts who take drugs, sleep in the nude, give themselves English names like Dick or Bob, squat in abandoned houses, and carry out holdups. The weekly said that these young people suffer from a spiritual “illness” which is contagious.
One was quoted as saying that he wanted to escape from a materialistic society to explore “the spiritual world,” adding, “We don’t work…surely we have the right to live as we want.” The weekly concludes that the solution is to “strengthen the patriotic and military education” of young people to imbue them with “undying faith in communism.”
A San Francisco Bay area reader writes that at a space warming/rent party for a new anarchist center in Oakland called “As the World Burns,” someone had come and passed out “A” labels “(with a string attached so people could wear them), which said: ‘In these times of social decay, we need labels to justify our existence, to satisfy our need for uniqueness. Just put a check in the box next to your ideology and hang card around neck.'”
Here are the choices:
Anarcho-Nazi (people liked to cross it out)
Anti-tech Primitivist Anarchist
Anarcho Racket Buster (Camatte)
Lots of people added their own, too:
Nun of the Above
All of the above except Nazi
Anarchistist (everyone has to have an “ism”)
What’s an Anarchist?
Our correspondent adds, “No one I talked to was offended (I’m glad we have a sense of humor!) and it did start some good conversations.”
Recently, many of the papers we have been receiving have carried stories about the “Jerry Falwell Game,” an attempt to squander the millions of the right-wing bible-thumper. Participants in the game have been calling Jerry’s toll-free number and either hanging up or making spurious pledges to become a “Faith Partner.” The latter status brings the caller a free bible and a Jesus tie-tak while each of the calls costs Jerry nearly a buck a piece. Falwell recently was forced to change his 800 number after a disgruntled Florida systems analyst programmed his home computer to automatically dial the reverend’s phone every 30 seconds. 500,000 calls later, the phone company figured out what was happening and broke the connection. For all you potential “Faith Partners” out there, Jerry’s new number is 800/325-3388. Praise the Lord (and pass the phone).
While “state of emergency” laws were going into effect last fall in Nicaragua, the great confab of world rulers was taking place at the U.N. in New York City, where Comandante Daniel Ortega was showing his new civilian look and jogging in Central Park like any third world yuppie on a shopping trip. Reagan, noting Ortega’s trip to an elegant optical boutique, where the Nicaraguan president dropped a cool $3,500 for Gucci and other fancy eyewear, called him “a tinhorn dictator in designer glasses,” prompting Ortega’s leftist supporters to express shock or to rationalize it with such lame excuses as the one we heard, that the specs were “bulletproof” (?). Of course, all politicians milk the system they rule, even revolutionary politicians in Nicaragua, where fully half the country’s budget goes to resist the U.S.-instigated contra war. Lenin, upon seizing power in Russia, immediately set up shop in the Gorki mansion and lived his last years in splendor after having plotted revolution for decades in garrets. Perhaps the most pathetic thing about the incident was that shortly afterward Ortega was handed a check from a solidarity group for $2,500 to be used in war reparations—which didn’t even cover the bill for Ortega’s presidential accessories. These sad liberals would do well to find more direct ways to use their money to help the poor people of Nicaragua.