Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Answering a few questions on S 277 and HR 1388

I had a few legitimate questions on the "mandatory" aspect of HR 1388 & its companion Senate version, S 277. Also had one of the typical swipes without any supporting references from a 'gee you're a Rush Limbaugh loving type who doesn't know anything' lib (they just can't resist trying to slap you, can they? Peace, love and hugs back atcha.).

Here's a bit from Michelle Malkin:
Especially troublesome to parents’ groups concerned about compulsory volunteerism requirements is a provision in the House version, directing Congress to explore “whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”

Those who have watched AmeriCorps from its inception are all-too-familiar with how government voluntarism programs have been used for propaganda and political purposes. AmeriCorps “volunteers” have been put to work lobbying against the voter-approved three-strikes anti-crime initiative in California and protesting Republican political events while working for the already heavily-tax-subsidized liberal advocacy group ACORN.
Barracuda Babe's blog post included the actual wording from the bill which includes the "mandatory" aspect.

Here's an interesting interview and bit with Rahm Emanuel:



Wording from the bill (believe this is the House version; the Senate wording is on Barracuda Babes):
(6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

Here's another opinion (stressing opinion):

Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
On March 18, Rep. George Miller, a Democrat from California, tacked an amendment on H.R. 1388, entitled “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act,” or GIVE (to government), Obama’s plan to require mandatory service for all able young people. Miller’s amendment will “prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing,” according to GovTrack.us, a site that tracks Congress.
http://truth11.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/give-mandatory-service-act-strips-first-amendment-of-%e2%80%9cvoluntee/

Here's a page of WordPress blog links on the subject:
http://en.wordpress.com/tag/mandatory-service/

Here's a page from Free Republic with loads of links to blogs and articles on the subject:
http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/hr1388/index

Now it's up to you go decide whether this one is an issue... or not.

Quite a few Republicans are treating this as just the standard re-authorization of the volunteer service group. Could be they're correct, however I would bet the vast majority simply haven't actually read the bill because they have bigger issues on their plate and they think this is ho-hum standard housekeeping. Plus, while the issue is being bandied about on conservative blogs, I think many have been distracted by AIG, the economy, and other issues (some valid, some created) helping to keep this out of the media.

This may, and I stress may, just be the bill that slides through without a question that ultimately changes the future. Only time will tell.

One more quick thought - even if it IS a dangerous bill due to those sneaky little words being slipped into the language, if we work hard and get some balance back in Congress in 2010 and 2012, we can reverse it. Hopefully.

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