A Cautious Man
July 22, 2004
"Save the Buckshot/Turn up the Band"
From USA Today, as spotted by Just a Bump in the Beltway:
WASHINGTON -- When the Army announced recently that it was going to tap into its rarely used Individual Ready Reserve to fill vital slots for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, top military and civilian personnel said the activation was a proper response to a temporary manpower crisis.

But among the tasks included in the 5,674 jobs deemed critical to the war on terrorism are slots for two trumpet or cornet players, two French horn players, one trombonist, four clarinet players, three saxophonists, one electric bass player, one percussionist and one euphonium player.

Their call-up from civilian life -- along with intelligence analysts, human resources specialists, insect experts, construction workers, truck drivers, healthcare providers, morticians and scores of other occupations -- is crucial, Army officials say.

Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Ark., a member of the Armed Services Committee, says he is skeptical of the need for calling musicians back from civilian life. "Did somebody go line by line through this and recognizing that each one of these 5,600 is a person who has a family that did not expect that they would be called back, to say: Is there not a way to do without a euphonium player? Do we need to really draft an electric bass player, to pull them back in?"
The point isn't to just wonder, "Musicians?" The real point is, what does this show about the level of planning, foresight, and wisdom currently residing at the top level of government these days. This is just one of many news stories about the ordinary people who are being called upon to make sacrifices in their lives, while others make plans or cheer on policies which increasingly appear misguided and misdirected.



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