American Elephants


Obama’s Civilian Mandatory “Volunteer” Brownshirt Corps. by The Elephant's Child
March 25, 2009, 3:08 am
Filed under: Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Freedom, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Sweetness & Light has posted the “GIVE Act” from the Library of Congress’ Thomas site:

I am posting the whole thing here because it is important.  The bill has passed the House and is about to be passed by the Senate unless enough people complain.  It is intended to create more Democrat Party foot soldiers in the Saul Alinsky mode.

H.R. 1388 — The GIVE ACT

Title: To reauthorize and reform the national service laws.
Sponsor: Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [MY-4] (introduced 3/9/2009)  Cosponsors (37)
Related Bills: H.RES.250, S.277
Latest Major Action” 3/23/2009  Senate floor actions. Status” Cloture on the motion to proceed to the measure invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 74 – 14. Record Vote Number: 108.
House Reports: 111 – 37
______________________________________________________________________________________

SUMMARY AS OF:

3/9/2009 — Introduced.

Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act or the GIVE Act – Amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NSCA) and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (DVSA) to revise the programs under such Acts and reauthorize appropriations for such programs through FY2014.

Revises under NSCA: (1) the School-Based and Community-Based Service-Learning programs and Higher Education Innovative Programs for Community Service (Learn and Serve programs); 920 National Service Trust programs (AmeriCorps)’ (3) the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC); and (4) the Investment for Quality and Innovation  program.

Eliminates the current Community-Based Learn and Serve programs.

Establishes two new Learn and Serve programs: (1) Campuses of Service, which provides funds to institutions of higher education to develop or disseminate exemplary service-learning programs that assist their students’ pursuit of public service careers; and (2) Innovative Service-learning Programs and Research, which funds community service-learning opportunities for elementary and secondary, college and guraduate students as well as research into service-learning.

Includes among eligible AmeriCorps programs: (1) an Education Corps to address unmet educational needs: (2) a Healthy Futures Corps to address unmet health needs; (3) a Clean Energy Corps to address unmet environmental needs; and (4) a Veterans Corps to address the unmet needs of veterans and their families.

Creates AmeriCorps Opportunity Corps programs that include certain existing programs and new programs to: (1) increase community access to technology; (2) engage citizens in public safety, health, and emergency preparedness services; (3) mentor youth; (4) reduce recidivism by re-engaging court-involved  youth; and (5) support the needs of veterans or active duty service members and their families.

Establishes an Education Awards Only program authorizing the Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation) to provide fixed-amount grants to programs that have approved national service positions, but no AmeriCorps funding.

Sets the National Service educational awards for full-time AmeriCorps, NCCC, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) participants at a level equal to the maximum available Pell Grant available to students under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Includes among needs to be met under the NCCC program, disaster relief, infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conservation, and urban and rural development.

Requires states to develop comprehensive plans for volunteer and paid service by Baby Boomers and older adults.

Directs the Corporation to plan pilot programs to (1) better target and serve displaced workers; and (2) establish a centralized electronic citizenship verification system which would allow the Corporation to share employment eligibility information with the Department of Education.

Authorizes the Corporation to treat September 11th annually as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Establishes within the Investment for Quality and Innovation program; (1) a ServeAmerica Fellowships program providing fellowships to individuals chosen by states to participate in service projects addressing certain areas of national need: (2) a Silver Scholarship Grant Program providing scholarships to individuals age 55 or older who complete at least 500 hours of service in a year in an area of national need; and (3) an Encore Fellowships program providing one year fellowships to individuals age 55 or older who serve in areas of national need and receive training to transition to public service employment.  Makes ServeAmerica fellows eligible for national service educational awards.

Authorizes the Corporation to provide grants to innovative and model service programs, including those for disadvantaged youth, youth under age 17, and potential recidivists.

Eliminates federal funding for the Points of Light Foundation.

Revises under DVSA: (1) the VISTA program; and (2) the Senior Corps, including the Retired and Senior Volunteer program (RSVP), the Foster Grandparent program, and the Senior Companion program.

Gives priority in VISTA participant selection to disadvantaged youth and retired adults of any profession.

Authorizes new VISTA grant programs of national significance that provide poor and rural communities with: (1) services reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals into society: (2) financial literacy and planning; (3) before-school and after-school services; (4) community economic development initiatives; (5) assistance to veterans and their families; and (6) health and wellness services.  Eliminates the VISTA Literacy Corps, University Year for VISTA, and Literacy Challenge Grant programs.

Raises the minimum and maximum stipend provided to VISTA participants.

Prioritizes RSVP projects in specified areas.

Makes anyone 55 years of age or older eligible as Senior Corps volunteers.

Provides, under the Senior Corps demonstration program incentive matching grants to Senior Corps programs that exceed specified performance measures, enroll most of their volunteers in outcome-based service programs, and increase their enrollment of Baby Boomer volunteers.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the number of AmeriCorps, VISTA, and NCCC participants should reach 250,000 by 2014.

Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act – Establishes a Congressional Commission on Civic Service to provide recommendations to Congress on improving opportunities for individuals to volunteer or perform national service.

See also Protein Wisdom for commentary. America is known for the generous spirit of its citizens. People volunteer their time and money in quantities unknown in other countries.  This is an excellent way to kill off that generosity.  According to Protein Wisdom the program is expected to be funded with an allocation of $6 billion over the next five years.  Obama has referred to it as his “National Civilian Security Force”, an organization as big and well-funded as the U.S. military.

Community service opportunities for elementary school children?  Sounds like fascist indoctrination  to me.  And we have seen that before, to our great sorrow.


15 Comments so far
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Hey dude,

AmeriCorps VISTA, NCCC, and State/National programs have been around for a long time. He’s just expanding the programs. They are completely voluntary. The ‘new’ programs are just more ways for people to get involved.

All Obama is doing is expanding the programs, so…what are you talking about?

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Comment by Price

[…]   Everyone finds something to flip out about and compare to Nazi Germany. Take a look at this blog (I’ve also reposted it here): Sweetness & Light has posted the “GIVE Act” from the […]

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Pingback by Brown shirts? Oh, just more volunteer opportunities « Bittersweet Distractions

Some organizations are being retained but redesigned, others are canceled. None of them have ever been of much use. You are correct that they are completely voluntary. However, there is a stipulation in the bill that contemplates mandatory national service, and commissions a study to determine how to develop a mandatory service requirement for all young people.

The normal way of volunteering — and Americans do lots of it, on their own, through their churches or through service organizations to which they belong — is for an organization to see a need for a job to be filled for which they cannot afford a salary. They send out a request, and people who would like to do it volunteer.

This is a different deal. The State wants 250,000 volunteers. They will give them a small stipend (Cost: $1 billion already allocated, $5.7 billion by 2010-2014) give them uniforms, indoctrinate them, and then try to find something for them to do.

All sorts of feel-good categories are listed, but these groups have not requested volunteers, and in many cases there are already volunteers or paid people doing the extra jobs in these categories. The source of this kind of deal is the Vietnam War, and the desire to have some way for young people to do “national service” without participating in the military. The anti-war crowd has always resented veterans being honored for their service, which is of a kind that they abhor.

There is no evidence that these programs do any real good, and a lot of evidence that they are mostly useless make-work projects. I’m opposed.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

Some organizations are being retained but redesigned, others are canceled. None of them have ever been of much use. You are correct that they are completely voluntary. However, there is a stipulation in the bill that contemplates mandatory national service, and commissions a study to determine how to develop a mandatory service requirement for all young people.

Actually, they have all been of significant use. AmeriCorps NCCC has had a major impact on the Hurricane Katrina recovery (they where a t-shirt and khakis, aka a uniform, and live on campuses during their year of service), the VISTA program helped start City Year, Teach for America, and continues to have a major impact on impoverished communities by assisting in a number of programs (they receive a living stipend equal to that of those in poverty), and the State and National program has been a great resource for Habitat for Humanity and a number of community organizations.

The normal way of volunteering — and Americans do lots of it, on their own, through their churches or through service organizations to which they belong — is for an organization to see a need for a job to be filled for which they cannot afford a salary. They send out a request, and people who would like to do it volunteer.

Which is exactly what these programs do. When I joined AmeriCorps, I became a part of an organization that received a grant from the federal government to use AmeriCorps members. They requested the grant.

This is a different deal. The State wants 250,000 volunteers. They will give them a small stipend (Cost: $1 billion already allocated, $5.7 billion by 2010-2014) give them uniforms, indoctrinate them, and then try to find something for them to do.

Currently AmeriCorps is only 75,000 due to lack of budget. They accept 1 in 4 applicants, but could accept more if it had a bigger budget. To justify giving the programs a bigger budget, they needed to reform the system to eliminate those deemed ineffective and provide new services for our current day.

All sorts of feel-good categories are listed, but these groups have not requested volunteers, and in many cases there are already volunteers or paid people doing the extra jobs in these categories. The source of this kind of deal is the Vietnam War, and the desire to have some way for young people to do “national service” without participating in the military. The anti-war crowd has always resented veterans being honored for their service, which is of a kind that they abhor.

The groups have requested volunteers…you’re wrong. I suggest you look into the programs before making such bold assumptions. Furthermore, what’s wrong with the government providing the opportunity to help and serve people in the United States?

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Comment by Price

I have seen no studies that indicate that these programs are either cost effective or really accomplish much of value. I will study up. The objection I have involves the difference between freedom and statism. These programs involve government control and doing that which the government terms useful and effective. I understand that Michelle Rhee came out of the Teach for America Program, and she is now doing good things for the Washington DC schools, for example.

I am not suggesting that nobody does anything useful, but that the government should not be involved. There is no reason for government control except for the statist belief that those nice people in Washington are smarter and know better than the rest of us what is useful or important.

A vast government program will kill off private volunteering. Consequences 101. The administration intends to eliminate the charitable deduction, and charities are protesting, for they know how it will affect their contributions.

I should add that “paid volunteerism” isn’t volunteering– it’s cheap labor. Volunteer work is free.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

I have seen no studies that indicate that these programs are either cost effective or really accomplish much of value. I will study up. The objection I have involves the difference between freedom and statism. These programs involve government control and doing that which the government terms useful and effective. I understand that Michelle Rhee came out of the Teach for America Program, and she is now doing good things for the Washington DC schools, for example.

I appreciate your intellectual curiosity. The programs are actually controlled by nonprofit, nongovernmental agencies that apply for/receive grants from the government’s National and Community Service initiative. I think it is important to be watchful of our government and keep it in check, but I also think we should strive to refrain from calling foul prematurely (and you are not alone doing this; everyone does and its an unfortunate characteristic of our political system). I have a hard time believing that people would stand for any sort of mandatory service requirements from the government. And, if it did become so, I think there would be significant civil unrest.

“I am not suggesting that nobody does anything useful, but that the government should not be involved. There is no reason for government control except for the statist belief that those nice people in Washington are smarter and know better than the rest of us what is useful or important.”

Well, I think it’s more-or-less the government allocating funds to programs to help communities. I don’t think it is some system of indoctrination, especially considering the stipulations in the programs that restrict members from partaking in partisan activity and religious proselytizing.

“A vast government program will kill off private volunteering. Consequences 101. The administration intends to eliminate the charitable deduction, and charities are protesting, for they know how it will affect their contributions.”

Again, I disagree. The kind of service in these programs require dedicated periods of time; much private volunteering is hourly and sporadic. But, we’ll see how if your prediction follows. I just think private volunteering addresses different issues.

“I should add that “paid volunteerism” isn’t volunteering– it’s cheap labor. Volunteer work is free.”

Payments are education awards to be used to pay off student debt or for future academic pursuits. For the long volunteering stints, where you work full-time, you receive a living stipend.

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Comment by Price

AmeriCorpsVISTA was founded in 1975 by the far left Institute for Policy Studies. It was intended to develop a “nationwide network of radical organizations” that would “work toward a more equitable distribution of income and opportunities. For “volunteer service” they’ve been doing a lot of political activism — lobbying for increased housing allowances, increased WIC funding, lots of lobbying. Margery Tabakin, a New Leftist, was one of the first directors. She has moved from one far left organization to another. See http://www.discoverthenetworks.org

Most of the dedicated volunteers I know have spent years with an organization for which their only recompense is their own satisfaction.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

Has anyone check the US Constitution on this.
FDR tried similar programs and the Supreme Court struck them down. I hope the precedent holds in these cases.

The Draft was for the protection of the country.

This for the protection of a political agenda that the individual may chose not to support.

It could be considered and “Illegal Seizure” by the government. An we all know that is a NO NO 

Mario

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Comment by Mario

To the question of “What’s wrong with the Government providing the opportunity to help and serve people in the United States?” We have never needed the Government to PROVIDE us an opportunity to volunteer. Volunteering’s reward is a sense of pride NOT payment!! It is not the Governments responsibility to “train us to vounteer and then pay us” What’s wrong with this picture? Everything!

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Comment by Debbie

the purpose of this program is to brainwash our young people, you will not be able to apply for student loans for college without attending this program.Check out the national public allie program in chicago, some say it was anti-american.

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Comment by Ellen

This post was written in March, back when it was called the “GIVE Act.” A lot of fuss by Conservatives apparently got some language stripped out of the bill. I’m still very much opposed. It’s a waste of money and a make-work program. See my more recent post “Volunteerism is Not Free. It Just Got Much More Expensive”. The Search function is just above Bob Hope’s head on the sidebar. Be sure to click on Jim Bovard’s link. He’s a terrific researcher.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

May 9 –Mandatory Public Service has reemerged in HR 1442, the “Congressional Commission of Civil Service Act” sponsored by Washington’s own Baghdad Jim McDermott, who wants your kids to serve his favorite causes. The bill requires the commission to study whether a mandatory service requirement for all young people can be developed. On the face of it this violates the 13th Amendment’s prohibition on involuntary servitude, but who pays attention the the Constitution these days.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

Government is getting too big. The bigger the government, the more freedoms and liberties we lose. The nanny state breeds dead beats and lowers all standards. If they really want to help the poor and the disadvantage and the needy, help them to help themselves not with money and hand outs but with encouragement that they can do it, that the only thing holding them back is themselves. SOCIALISM doesn’t work. It is UNSUSTAINABLE. It is cancerous and ultimately it will fail. I heard Britans are living only 35% of the standard of living they had 30 years ago. Think, people, government should not be involved in our lives to this extent. This is the enemy within. Open your eyes and then breathe.

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Comment by C.Richardson

Years later , this program was used to indoctrinate our youth, and organize them to take to the streets in other ways (ANTIFA).

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Comment by RTJA




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