Supporters of an Americorps expansion plan pending in Congress laud its efforts to “leverage” federal dollars to boost state, local and other resources to “address national and local challenges,” while critics say its fine print secretly would create an “Obama-styled army of community organizers modeled after Saul Alinsky’s ‘Peoples Organizations.’” So which is it?
In an era in which Congress can approve thousands of pages of legislation spending hundreds of billions of dollars without reading the proposal, there seems to be no definitive answer on what some of the vague language of H.R. 1388 means.
But there is enough in the “GIVE Act,” now awaiting a conference committee in Congress after being approved by both the U.S. House and Senate, to cause critics to shiver.
For example, it certainly imposes a requirement for public service on some people, even though its original much-feared study on mandatory service for all was moved to another bill during congressional debate.
“The Audacity of Deceit” exposes exactly who Barack Obama is. He isn’t pedaling “change you can believe in” – he’s planning to uproot American culture and replace it with the failed, secular, socialist policies of the past.
The latest version includes a “National Service Reserve Corps” whose members have completed a “term of national service,” “has successfully completed training” and “complete not less than 10 hours of volunteering each year.”
It also raises First Amendment issues over its limitations on what various corps participants are allowed to do.
For example, it states those in an “approved national service position” may not try to influence legislation, engage in protests or petitions, take positions on union organizing, engage in partisan political activities, or, among other issues, be “engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of proselytization.”
But probably the biggest red flag for many is how the proposal fits into the overall picture painted by President Obama when he described to a Colorado Springs audience a “National Civilian Security Force” that he wants as big and well-funded as the U.S. military – a staggering suggestion that would involve hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
WND reported when the bill began its quick trip through Congress, and its original language called for a study of how best to implement a mandatory national service program for citizens of the United States.
Later the language was dropped from that bill, only to appear at the same time in another legislative proposal.
Judi McLeod wrote for Canada Free Press that the bill simply would turn everyone into a community organizer.
“Everybody means the roughly seven million people called to public duty in the $6 billion National Service effort,” she said. “But members pressed into the service of the one million-strong Youth Brigade, sanctioned by ‘Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE),’ will have none of the freedoms of the community organizer who started it all.
“There’s no room for God in Obama’s long promised Youth Brigade, no room to protest, petition, to boycott or to support a strike, and loopholes to give its mandatory membership a pass,” she wrote. “Obama’s plan requires anyone receiving school loans, among others to serve at least three months as part of the brigade.”
She also describes one section with a program to introduce “service learning” as “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.”
The plan suggests raising the participation in such programs from 75,000 now to 250,000.
Gary Wood at Examiner.com said it’s part of Obama’s plan to set up national service. He noted the explanation offered by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: “It’s time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service.”
Duane Lester, writing at All American Blogger, put into words the worst fears of opponents.
“Hitler knew that if you control the youth, you control the future. I wrote about him in ‘The Threats to Homeschooling: From Hitler to the NEA.’ As I noted in that article, Hitler said: ‘The Youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of innoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled,’” he wrote.
He cited the Hitler Youth’s launch in the 1920s. In 1933, the participants totaled 100,000, and in 1939 the membership was compulsory for those over 17. Two years later, the membership was compulsory for those over 10, and it included 90 percent of the nation’s youth.
He also cited concerns it would steer volunteers away from churches, politicize charity and focus on the “education” of participants.
“The legislation will, in many circumstances, force our children to participate in charitable activity as part of school – and that activity may well be chosen by or approved by a bureaucrat,” he suggested.
At Washington Watch one forum participant warned, “Our republic is under attack as never before.”
Said another, “This is social engineering at the very least, and could be the first step towards the reinstitution of slavery! Take heed, the New World Order (aka ‘Change’) draws nigh!”
WND reported when Obama delivered his Colorado Springs mandate and a copy of the speech provided online apparently was edited to exclude Obama’s specific references to the new force.
The video of his statements is posted here:
As the presidential campaign advanced last year, another video appeared that for many crystallized their concerns over such a “corps.” It shows a squad of young men marching and shouting praises to Obama. The video is embedded here:
Congress also is considering a “public service academy, a four-year institution that offers a federally funded undergraduate education with a focus on training future public sector leaders.”
Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WND, used his daily column first to raise the issue of a “national civilian force” and then to elevate it with a call to all reporters to start asking questions.
“If we’re going to create some kind of national police force as big, powerful and well-funded as our combined U.S. military forces, isn’t this rather a big deal?” Farah wrote. “I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible their candidate is seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?
“Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? If not, why did he say it? What did he mean?” Farah wrote.