Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
President Obama today signed into law the “GIVE Act,” H.R. 1388, which massively expands the National Service Corporation and allocates to it billions of dollars, and one executive for the program now says it will allow for the “managing” of up to 8 or 9 million people.
The bill includes a “National Service Reserve Corps” whose members have completed a “term of national service,” “training” and “not less than 10 hours of volunteering each year.”
In a conference call with reporters on the plan, Alan Solomont, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said the 75,000 current members of the AmericCorps program “leverage” about 2.2 million volunteers, and the total of all such volunteers who are managed through the federal program total about 4 million.
He said the possibility with the expanded authorization and funding means that up to 8 or 9 million could be involved.
“If we triple the size of AmeriCorps from 75,000 members to 250,000 members annually, and if we – if those 75,000 AmeriCorps members are currently engaging 2.2. million volunteers a year, we could triple that to 6.6 million volunteers, 250,000 AmeriCorps members. So I think – you can do the math – I think that was about six or seven million, and then we have another half a million in Senior Corps and another million or so in Learn and Serve America [for children],” he said.
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.
“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.
The White House announced today that the focus of the program will be “clean energy, education, health care, veterans care, and economic opportunity.”
Melody Barnes, director of the White House domestic policy council, confirmed the plan was in response to Obama’s demand for civilian service during his campaign.
“That’s certainly something that the president has spoken about. And he started his call around nation service publicly during the course of the campaign when he talked about the fact that government cannot be a solution to all of our problems, and we have to work together,” she said.
Officials said there also are specific programs for seniors and children to become involved in the government operation, and the plan goes far beyond just working on planting trees or addressing storm damage.
“The bill provides the opportunity for a social innovation fund,” said one official, which will allow the government to pursue changes.
The plan 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.”
Judi McLeod of Canada Free Press wrote 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.”
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.”
“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.