Category Archive 'Americorps'

29 Mar 2009

It Can Happen Here

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With little attention from the public or the MSM this week, Congress made Barack Obama’s most alarming campaign promise into a reality by funding an expansion of the Americorps federal youth community volunteer program into a vastly larger, uniformed and politically-indoctrinated cadre of young people.

The Obama Administration has already had its own little Kristallnacht, in which public fury was deliberately whipped up against financial industry executives by government officials, who were publicly pilloried as allegedly responsible for causing the economic crisis by greed and dishonesty. The supposed wrong-doing of today’s American financial sector, just like the false accusations of the burning of the German Reichstag by the Jews in the 1930s, is being used as a similar excuse for a governmental power-grab and for similar extraordinary punitive steps against a minority.

The Washington Examiner finds the creation of an “Obama Youth” also decidedly sinister. These kinds of paramilitary cadres, “just as powerful, just as strong” as the regular military, are a traditional hallmark, and effective tool of social control, favored by totalitarians everywhere, by the Lukashenkos, the Castros, the Chavezes, and now by Barack Obama.

With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community service job increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion. Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure’s advocates is a bill that on closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism. The House passed the measure overwhelmingly, while only 14 senators had the sense and courage to vote against it on a key procedural motion. Every legislator who either voted for this bill or didn’t vote at all has some serious explaining to do.

Last summer, then-candidate Barack Obama threw civil liberties to the wind when he proposed “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the regular military. The expanded Americorps is not quite so disturbing, but a number of provisions in the bill raise serious concerns.

To begin with, the legislation threatens the voluntary nature of Americorps by calling for consideration of “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people.” It anticipates the possibility of requiring “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service – including elementary school students. The bill also summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service,” while establishing “campuses” that serve as “operational headquarters,” complete with “superintendents” and “uniforms” for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And it calls for creation of “a permanent cadre” in a “National Community Civilian Corps.”

But that’s not all. The bill also calls for “youth engagement zones” in which “service learning” is “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” This updated form of voluntary community service is also to be “integrated into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula” at all levels of schooling. Sounds like a government curriculum for government approved “service learning,” which is nothing less than indoctrination.


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