The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

At the last Centre County Republican lunch one of our members stood up and ask Glenn Thompson's represenative to the lunch (does anyione know his name) about two bills. One was about a national "volunteer" bill, the other question related to food saftly and farming. Glenn's rep said he had no idea what the questioner was referring to and that we should not believe everything we read on the Internet.

Well, as it turned out, I had a seat across the table from this rep. I told him what I had heard about these two bills. He assured me this was not anything in the works . . .maybe it was something discussed as an idea in a committee. He further assuered me he would know about such a bill . . . that was two weeks ago.

I breathed a sigh of relief and vowed not to over react to all I heard and read on the Internet. This morning I wake up to find HR 1388 passed the house yesterday. It will be up for vote in the Senate soon. See bill and other documents at the link below.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1388:

I have not had time to read this bill as I need to get to the office. I found out about the passage on my favorite morning xm radio show Quinn and Rose. www.warroom.com On their website, they post a "wall of shame" where all Republicans who vote on a bad bill have their names posted. Our beloved Glenn Thompson's name was on this bill as voteing "YES"

From the high lights I have heard . . . this is the start of a scary indoctrination program for our youth who must attend a "bootcamp" style program before they can volunteer. I will read this bill .. . I urge you all to read this bill and take action so it does not pass the Senate. To me this seems like the start of the formation of our version of the "Brown Shirts"

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My wife, Karen, was very upset at this, when I came home last night. I found the following article on Fox News, which talks about this bill:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/18/house-readies-passage-vo...

Some excerpts:

But the bill's opponents -- and there are only a few in Congress -- say it could cram ideology down the throats of young "volunteers," many of whom could be forced into service since the bill creates a "Congressional Commission on Civic Service."

The bipartisan commission will be tasked with exploring a number of topics, including "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."

"We contribute our time and money under no government coercion on a scale the rest of the world doesn't emulate and probably can't imagine," said Luke Sheahan, contributing editor for the Family Security Foundation. "The idea that government should order its people to perform acts of charity is contrary to the idea of charity and it removes the responsibility for charity from the people to the government, destroying private initiative."

House committee staff insist the GIVE Act will not change the voluntary nature of service.

"Its ridiculous to suggest that our bill includes any effort to make service a mandatory requirement. All of the opportunities our bill provides to Americans are voluntary. Americans are proud of their service and volunteering and their interest in it is only growing, especially in the face of this crisis. Our legislation recognizes that more Americans than ever want to serve and give back and provides them with more opportunities to be able to do so," Miller spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said in an e-mail to FOXNews.com.



The actual action yesterday occurred in the Senate, where the bill was passed. Here is a Fox News article about it:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/26/americorpssenate/

It will be voted on in the House (again) on Monday.

Here is the Senate version of the bill:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:SN00277:

By the way, I was the one that stood and asked the question in the Republican meeting, to GT's representative. Although I wasn't entirely satisfied with his answer, I also realized that it would be very hard for any one person to have complete knowledge of all the actions going through Congress, so I didn't press the question further.
When I asked that question in the Republican meeting, the couple sitting next to me (who were also Republicans) whispered to me that all students in State College were already required to do community service, and, in fact, all students should be required to do community service.

Although I agree with the spirit behind this statement, I think those are the sorts of decisions that should be made at a community level -- definitely NOT by the federal government! And, the Libertarian in me feels that community service should be something that comes from within. It loses meaning when one is forced to do it.
I tried to read it but it's too confusing....they apparently dusted off some old bill and changed the wording around to serve their purpose. I'm sure these 1/4 million will become the Obama campaign workers of the future....and we'll be paying them to do it.

This reminds me of Buzz Windrip's League of Forgotten Men. ( read Sinclair Lewis's "It can't happen here".
A quick search found this news article: http://www.rightsidenews.com/200903264165/homeland-security/trainin...

The verbiage is a little on the excitable side, but I can see how the wording in the bill is a little broad, allowing for later application of training as seen fit by the One In Charge.

I would be very concerned if, in a Katrina like disaster, a group of "Service Volunteers" showed up at my home to "inpsect" my disaster preparedness with the intent of "insuring my safety". There are a number of examples of the New Orleans PD doing just that - bad outcome there.

Many of you may know about this site but I'll throw it out there anyway: www.OpenCongress.org With your account you can follow various Bills and how our elected officials are voting on them.

Thanks for the opportunity to voice a thought
As I said in my orginal post, I have not read the bill as I've been at work all day, but there is apparently something that states if you accept the money there is a restriction placed on religion/ religious places and/or expression while involved in this program. Jim Quinn the radio dj (www. warroom.com) was reading passages from the bill. I was getting ready for work so I could not devote the attention I wanted to the program. I think there are also a lot of aspirational items in the bill involving all people of all ages being asked to "volunteer".

http://www.waeb.com/main.html If you copy and paste this website into your computer browser, you can listen to a repeat of the show tonight between 7 and 10 PM. They talked about this bill in the first hour of the program. This is by far my favorite conservative talk radio show.
Peter Trippett said:
I think those are the sorts of decisions that should be made at a community level -- definitely NOT by the federal government!

Spot on, Peter; thanks. Yes, SCAHS students are required to complete a local community service project as a condition for graduation. This became a common practice in public school systems across the country over the last two decades, and I actually think it's a very good idea. But those decisions were made at a LOCAL level by those who were elected from within the community. As the previous incarnation of the SC school board demonstrated, local government is by no means perfect, but (as shown by the electoral landslide that sent them packing) there exists significant potential for a dissatisfied community to change it.

On the other hand, we are far removed from the federal government and relatively powerless to influence it. This goes back to the discussions from last night about federalism and delegating power to the lowest level of government possible. I'm disappointed to hear that local GOP activists weren't able to see a distinction.

This is why great conversations like happened last night and discussions of thought-provoking books and movies must be had among conservatives with far greater frequency. More people must be made to understand these ideas in order to cultivate a better command of the philosophy and how to articulate its principles to others.

Here's the other point that needs to be made: Just because something is good doesn't automatically mean that a law forcing to people to do it is also good by extension. In fact, it's often just the opposite. Nine hundred ninety-nine times out of 1000, massive bureaucracy FAILS, whether that of a government, a university, or bloated multi-national corporation. Left-wing orthodoxy believes an authority can confiscate an individual's dollar and, through centralized planning, pass along two dollars worth of benefit to the collective.

In reality, that authority, because it has power to simply take (rather than earn) as much as it can consume, builds a self-sustaining system of redundant mechanisms powered by unmotivated people that, after my dollar has been confiscated, processes it through so many corrupt, inefficient, and unnecessary sub-stages that society is lucky to derive 25 cents worth of value from it. We all know this to be true. Private individuals and enterprise will always achieve better results, in faster time and incurring less cost.

Prosperity is achieved by empowering the individual to excel, thus promoting the cause of the collective.

The current administration wants us to accept a paradigm that is exactly reverse. We stand a good chance of seeing it happen, unless conservatives and Republican activists develop the knee-jerk response of recognizing and rejecting this flawed logic whenever and wherever it appears.
The farm bill is also scary - Glen B. reported on his show today that if the bill passes we would have to sign a paper each time we purchased something from our local farmers denoting when we were going to consume the food. In turn the farmer or food grower would have to save a copy! How outrageous! Our freedoms seem to be slipping away one by one.....Ann Marie
Good questions, Wayne. To properly address why I generally support the idea would, I think, require getting into a discussion of the role of government in providing education, the scope of public education, etc. I don't want to totally skew the thread off-topic, so that will have to wait for another time - maybe we can talk about it in person or on another thread at some point.

Suffice to say that I understand and sympathize with your points. With that said, I do believe that local government especially provides opportunities for implementing smart, beneficial policy that works to the public good. Again, it often doesn't happen that way, but I still believe it can (and does).

Having been an up-close witness, via the 2007 elections here in State College, to the incredible community effort - one spanning just about every demographic slice you could invent - that brought down an entrenched political cabal, torpedoed an irresponsible building project, and killed off an ill-conceived educational initiative dubbed "Small Schools," I know that an informed and passionate electorate can act as a check on abusive government at the local level. With that in mind, I feel the potential for that level of access and control presents opportunities for what Newt Gingrich would dub "good government." In the case of the service requirement, I see enough positives to expect our elected officials to be good stewards of the public trust, keeping in mind that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Wayne, I agree with you. Community Service and Charity are things that should come within. I don't see any benefit in forcing a person to be Charitable. In fact, that is one of Glenn's principles!

For those that believe Community Service is a good thing, and think that every student should be required to do it - clearly somebody else might not agree with your views. As a conservative, I don't want liberal standards forced upon me or my children, and I also don't want to force my views onto somebody else.

That being said, I didn't have a major problem with the way the Community Service requirement was implemented in SCAHS. The field of things that would satisfy the requirement was wide open. My son satisfied his requirement by working at the Haunted Granary here in Lemont. It was something he wanted to do, and had fun doing. He helped set it up, and clean up afterward, and he got to scare people! In fact, he did it every year, because he had so much fun. It was a politically neutral event, and didn't seem to fall in the category of indoctrination.
SC's service program is flexible enough that I see it as a valuable opportunity to expose students to the many options for volunteerism and community service that are available to enrich their lives and neighborhoods, just like we try to introduce them to art and music, as part of their education. I think it's an example of good policy. Going back to the Gingrich quote I referenced before, Newt (who I greatly admire) is adamant about not simply decrying bad government, but then also proposing better solutions that demonstrate how government can and should work.

I believe that public education should be a partnership between parents and educators, with each respecting and supporting the other's role in children's lives. I also believe, as we discussed on Thursday, that the family is the central and most important unit in society, so when it comes to public ed (and gov't in general), authority flows from that level up, not the top down. I realize that in some parts of the country (especially in New England, I suspect) that's hardly the case, and I would NEVER support an indoctrination program of any sort.
I think the Obama Youth project is well under way. They may not beat people up door to door like Mussolini's men, but they'll make sure you feel strong pressure to say and do the "right" things while they extract "required service" in violation of the constitution.

There's nothing so bad as a weakling, suddenly given power, and now we've got millions of them.

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