Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Political harassment

Posted by Craig Westover | 1:14 PM |  

A column reader sent me a copy of an e-mail being circulated by his manager at work.

The Bush administration is planning on drafting our daughters into the military!! It is imperative that the citizens of this country understand what is planned before the fall election. Please read the following information. If you agree that this action is not in the best interest of this country, please pass this information to everyone you know AND PLEASE EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER.
Attached is a copy of an e-mail circulating the Internet claiming that “the administration is quietly tying” to pass legislation to reiterate the draft after the presidential election. In part, according to the e-mail --
"If this bill passes, it will include all men and ALL WOMEN from ages 18 - 26 in a draft for military action. In addition, college will no longer be an option for avoiding the draft and they will be signing an agreement with the Canada [sic] which will no longer permit anyone attempting to dodge the draft to stay within it's [sic] borders. This bill also includes the extension of military service for all those that are currently active.”

There is a bill currently in the House is HR 163, which is referenced in the memo, but as noted on the website, the bill’s sponsor is Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. It has 14 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats in a Congress controlled by Republicans. The bill sits in a House subcommittee with no hearings or votes scheduled and no action expected.

Over at Power Line, is this statement from the Selective Service System website:

Notwithstanding recent stories in the news media and on the Internet, Selective Service is not getting ready to conduct a draft for the U.S. Armed Forces -- either with a special skills or regular draft. Rather, the Agency remains prepared to manage a draft if and when the President and the Congress so direct. This responsibility has been ongoing since 1980 and is nothing new. Further, both the President and the Secretary of Defense have stated on more than one occasion that there is no need for a draft for the War on Terrorism or any likely contingency, such as Iraq. Additionally, the Congress has not acted on any proposed legislation to reinstate a draft. Therefore, Selective Service continues to refine its plans to be prepared as is required by law, and to register young men who are ages 18 through 25.

Kudos to our reader for pointing out to his manager that the rhetoric for reinitiating a draft is coming from the left. And an added nice touch was telling him that his job duties didn’t allow him time to research political e-mails at work. Besides that’s not what he’s paid to do.
He also notes, quite correctly, that “It is totally wrong for a manager to use his political influence over his workers.”

Now I’m the last to call for muzzling informal discussion in the workplace, but a manager circulating an e-mail to his direct reports isn’t discussion. It’s a form of harassment not all that different from the sexual thou-shalt-nots in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

In legislative/lawyer speak --

It’s an unwelcome advance wherein submission or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance and creates an intimidating hostile or offensive work environment.

Let’s just say, what’s good for a "goose" is good for this slander.