Page 20


Fund per se, but the activities, because I think that’s what democracy is all about people feeling passionate and in volved, operating on nothing, small struggling efforts taking on serious social issues. That’s a hope for democracy. I can even appreciate that on the conser vative side. It’s more than just bitching and going to the polls; it’s getting off your ass and doing something.” For information about the Live Oak Fund, write P.O. Box 4601, Austin, TX 78765. J.H. The Live Oak Fund grant recipients, December 15, 1981: Women’s Shelter of East Texas, Inc., lished in 1979, provides temporary emergency services for battered women. The Shelter also functions as an advocate for the rights of women in general, and for those women who are victims of family violence in particular. Barrio Education Project, San Antonio created in 1980 as a component of the Barrio Education Project, educates and trains Hispanic women for leadership roles in the community. La Causa, Inc., Causa, Inc., has as its objectives establishing a community “laws and rights” library, conducting community workshops, developing slide and film presentations, publishing a newspaper and organizing neighborhood “law education and crime prevention” associations. Northwest Texas Clergy and Laity Concerned and Panhandle Environmental Awareness Committee, These two organizations have joined together to conduct citizens’ hearings on nuclear weapons facilities in Amarillo. The hearings will pull together both expert and citizen testimony on a broad range of concerns including the environment, health, worker and community safety, disarmament, and the potential for conversion of the Pantex plant \(the final assembly point for all nuclear weapons in the Houston Chapter National Blfick United Front, the Black United Front works to promote black political empowerment, economic development and social equality. Its activities include sponsoring public forums, publishing a monthly newspaper, and voter registration. Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans, Inc., 1980, provides education and counseling services to Texas Vietnam veterans and their families. In 1981, the Brotherhood was successful in its attempts to have a law passed creating a genetic screening and counseling program for veterans exposed to Agent Orange, a herbicide widely used in Vietnam. Inter-Communal Community Fund, Dallas was created to provide a funding base for community groups who, because of their work for social, political and economic change, find more traditional funding sources inaccessible to them. The Fund’s intention is to make available a source of emergency grants as well as longer-run funding for community groups in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Austin Community Radio, Inc., Austin controlled, non-commercial radio licensee in the final stages of its development. The station’s goal is to bring communty-access radio programming to Austin and provide quality programs of educational, civic and cultural significance to black Austinites. KAZI will also provide training in radio production and programming for minority citizens and women. Lubbock Economic Advancement and Development, Inc., is a community based organization created to develop a community and economic development plan for north and northeast Lubbock, sections of the city where most of the city’s minority and poor reside. For further information contact: Susan DeMarco, 512/476-5714. OBSERVATIONS Bentsen Backs Draft Austin U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas advocates a return to a military draft without deferments except for handicaps. Men drafted would serve 18 or 24-month terms in the service with no other commitment or six months in uniform and six years’ reserve obligation. Bentsen wants the military to get half its men from the draft and the rest from the present volunteer system. For the present, he says, he would be “satisfied” with requiring registration of all men and women at age 17. Bentsen set forth his views under the heading, “Bring Back the Draft,” in the fall issue of International Security Review. “Main Street America has opted out of military service,” Bentsen wrote. Because the all-volunteer military forces attract more poor and undereducated recruits, Bentsen argued, “the most prosperous and educated among us . . . will have virtually no experience in the military.” Under the volunteer force, he said, “the vast majority of Americans have no concept of what it means to serve; they have no understanding or appreciation of things military, and the nation suffers as a result.” What’s wrong with present forces? Bentsen says the present system “was certainly not designed with the Rapid Deployment Force in mind; it did not foreesee the current, unsettled situation in the Carribean and Central America; . . . it did not take account of the emerging strategic importance of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. . . .” Bentsen also complained: “Less rigorous training, with less emphasis on discipline and submission, produces an army less prepared to react automatically when under fire. Loyalty to the group, or platoon, is difficult to forge when the modern-day soldier works on base by day and then goes home each night to his family.” The all-volunteer force, or AVF, adopted under Nixon in 1973, is “a dismal failure” and “the weakest link in the U.S. chain of defense,” and it is also, Bentsen said, “morally reprehensible,” relying on economic distress to man the ramparts. In another war, he said, minor ity casualties would occur at “staggering levels.” He quoted Gen. Bernard Rogers, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe: “If the U.S. had to go to war today in Europe, the Army would run out of trained infantrymen, artillerymen, tankers, and combat medics before the draft would take over. That is a hell of a position for the greatest country in the world.” Discussing “a return to universal military service,” Bentsen also said: “Ideally, I would like to see the draft as one option in a program of overall national service in which every citizen, upon graduating from high school or reaching the age of 18, would acknowledge and accept a period of service to the country.” However, since this would involve four million men and women a year, he said, there would be costs of $20 billion a year, a new bureaucracy, and “the difficult assignment of finding productive work for that many people each year.” Therefore, he said, he would be satisfied now with universal registration at 17, and he proposed the draft without deferments or exemptions except for the handicapped. R.D. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3