HR 1388 “GIVE” Act Could Force Mandatory Service Requirement on All Young Americans

  • Published on March 23rd, 2009

GIVE act would require service for American youthPassed by the House of Representatives with a 321-105 margin, HR 1388: the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, dubbed the “GIVE” act, would require the US government to develop a plan to implement a “mandatory service requirement for all able young people”.

Already males ages 18 through 25 living in the U.S. register with Selective Service to keep records in the event Congress and the President authorize a draft.  What is the purpose of the service requirement under the GIVE act?

The purpose of the GIVE act is to “To reauthorize and reform the national service laws”, specifically the National and Community Service Act of 1990.  HR 1388 reads:

‘(9) recognize and increase the impact of social entrepreneurs and other nonprofit community organizations in addressing national and local challenges;

‘(10) increase public and private investment in nonprofit community organizations that are effectively addressing national and local challenges and to encourage such organizations to replicate and expand successful initiatives;

‘(11) leverage Federal investments to increase State, local, business, and philanthropic resources to address national and local challenges;

‘(12) expand and strengthen service-learning programs through year-round opportunities, including during the summer months, to improve the education of children and youth and to maximize the benefits of national and community service, in order to renew the ethic of civic responsibility and the spirit of community to children and youth throughout the United States;

‘(13) assist in coordinating and strengthening Federal and other service opportunities, including opportunities for participation in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;

‘(14) increase service opportunities for our Nation’s retiring professionals, including such opportunities for those retiring from the science, technical, engineering, and mathematics professions to improve the education of our Nation’s youth and keep America competitive in the global knowledge economy, and to further utilize the experience, knowledge, and skills of older Americans;

‘(15) encourage the continued service of the alumni of the national service programs, including service in times of national need;

‘(16) support institutions of higher education that engage students in community service activities, provide service-learning courses, and encourage or assist graduates to pursue careers in public service in the nonprofit or government sector; and

‘(17) encourage members of the Baby Boom generation to partake in service opportunities.’.

HR 1388 specifically targets Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) which Congress expects will reach 250,000 participants by 2014.  From school-based service learning programs to focusing on severely economically depressed communities, the GIVE act sounds good until you get to part about the mandatory service requirement for youth. How can volunteerism be mandatory? The Future explains:

Section 6104 of The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act requires that a commission be established to investigate, “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.”

Of course I imagine cadres of youth working on environmental projects such as tree planting; however, I can’t get on board with the involuntary servitude.  It’s even scarier when you consider Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel coauthored The Plan: Big Ideas for America that calls for compulsory service for Americans ages 18 to 25:

Here’s how it would work. Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They’ll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we’re hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities’ most pressing needs.

In fact, Obama and Biden ran on the idea of required community service for our youth:

Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year, and will establish a new tax credit that is worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.

I like the idea of a tax credit for public service, but I do not like the idea of mandatory service for our youth.  Mandatory requirements do not ensure our youth will develop a sense of lifelong community service, and many churches and high schools already have such requirements for youth.

HR 1388 is currently on the Senate’s calendar. A cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the measure has been presented in Senate. Although I am in favor of community service, I am not in favor of mandatory service, as the GIVE act could take away our individual freedom. I am also concerned at what the goverment will deem service, like biochemical attack training mentioned in Emanuel’s book. What happens if a child does not complete their mandatory service requirement if the GIVE act passes and one is developed?


About the Author

Jennifer lives on 160 acres off-the-grid in a home built with her own two hands (and several more skilled pairs of hands) from forest fire salvaged timber. Her home is powered by a micro-hydro turbine, and she has been a vegetarian for 21 years. Jennifer graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in art education and has been teaching art to children for over 16 years. She also spent five years teaching in a one-room schoolhouse before becoming the mother of two beautiful children. Jennifer has a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently teaching preschool, as well as k-8 art. She enjoys writing, gardening, hiking, practicing yoga, and raising four akitas. Jennifer is the founder and editor of Eco Child's Play ( "I’ve always been concerned about the earth and our impact upon it. Now that I have children, I feel compelled to raise them with green values. From organic gardening to alternative energy, my family tries to leave a small carbon footprint." Please visit my other blog:


  • How dare anyone make you do something for someone else as a teenager in America god damn it. I love you everyone with a problem with this is an conservative ameerika republican. I have served my time with the country for 4 years willingly. This is not making our country socialist, communist, or anything else you racist ignorant people. Every entitled, take-for-granted-everything American should have to do some volunteer work. It’s good for your stupid ass.

    Entitled The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws
    (5) developing, as service-learning programs, civic engagement programs that promote a better understanding of–
    `(A) the principles of the Constitution, the heroes of United States history (including military heroes), and the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance;
    `(B) how the Nation’s government functions; and
    `(C) the importance of service in the Nation’s character.
    `(a) In General- To the extent consistent with the number of students in the State, in the territory, or served by the Indian tribe or in the school district of the local educational agency involved who are enrolled in private nonprofit elementary schools and secondary schools, such State, territory, or Indian tribe, or agency shall (after consultation with appropriate private school representatives) make provision–
    (1) for the inclusion of services and arrangements for the benefit of such students so as to allow for the equitable participation of such students in the programs implemented to carry out the objectives and provide the benefits described in this part; and
    `(2) for the training of the teachers of such students so as to allow for the equitable participation of such teachers in the programs implemented to carry out the objectives and provide the benefits described in this part.
    `(b) Waiver- If a State, territory, Indian tribe, or local educational agency is prohibited by law from providing for the participation of students or teachers from private nonprofit schools as required by subsection (a), or if the Corporation determines that a State, territory, Indian tribe, or local educational agency substantially fails or is unwilling to provide for such participation on an equitable basis, the Chief Executive Officer shall waive such requirements and shall arrange for the provision of services to such students and teachers.

    `(2) PROGRAMS- The programs may include the following types of national service programs:
    `(B) A program–
    `(i) that engages participants in public health, emergency and disaster preparedness, and other public safety activities;
    `(ii) that may include the recruitment of qualified participants for, and placement of the participants in, positions to be trainees as law enforcement officers, firefighters, search and rescue personnel, and emergency medical service workers; and
    `(iii) that may engage Federal, State, and local stakeholders, in collaboration, to organize more effective responses to issues of public health, emergencies and disasters, and other public safety issues.
    `(D) A program–
    `(i) in which not less than 75 percent of the participants are disadvantaged youth;

    SEC. 1001. REFERENCES.
    `(36) DISADVANTAGED YOUTH- The term `disadvantaged youth’ includes those youth who are economically disadvantaged and 1 or more of the following:
    `(A) Who are out-of-school youth, including out-of-school youth who are unemployed.
    `(B) Who are in or aging out of foster care.
    `(C) Who have limited English proficiency.
    `(D) Who are homeless or who have run away from home.
    `(E) Who are at-risk to leave secondary school without a diploma.
    `(F) Who are former juvenile offenders or at risk of delinquency.
    `(G) Who are individuals with disabilities.

    `(b) In General- The partnership shall facilitate the establishment of a Civic Health Assessment by–
    `(1) after identifying public and private sources of civic health data, selecting a set of civic health indicators, in accordance with subsection (c), that shall comprise the Civic Health Assessment;
    `(3) UPDATES- The partnership shall periodically evaluate and update the Civic Health Assessment, and may expand or modify the indicators described in subsection (d)(1) as necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
    `(d) Data on the Indicators-
    `(1) SPONSORED DATA COLLECTION- In identifying the civic health indicators for the Civic Health Assessment, and obtaining data for the Assessment, the partnership may sponsor the collection of data for the Assessment or for the various civic health indicators being considered for inclusion in the Assessment, including indicators related to–
    `(A) volunteering and community service;
    `(B) voting and other forms of political and civic engagement;
    `(C) charitable giving;
    `(D) connecting to civic groups and faith-based organizations;
    `(E) interest in employment, and careers, in public service in the nonprofit sector or government;
    `(F) understanding and obtaining knowledge of United States history and government; and
    `(G) social enterprise and innovation.
    `(2) DATA FROM STATISTICAL AGENCIES- The Director of the Bureau of the Census and the Commissioner of Labor Statistics shall collect annually, to the extent practicable, data to inform the Civic Health Assessment, and shall report data from such collection to the partnership. In determining the data to be collected, the Director and the Commissioner shall examine privacy issues, response rates, and other relevant issues.
    `(3) SOURCES OF DATA- To obtain data for the Civic Health Assessment, the partnership shall consider–
    `(A) data collected through public and private sources; and
    `(B) data collected by the Bureau of the Census, through the Current Population Survey, or by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in accordance with paragraph (2).
    `(5) OTHER ISSUES- In obtaining data for the Civic Health Assessment, the partnership may also obtain such information as may be necessary to analyze–
    `(A) the role of Internet technology in strengthening and inhibiting civic activities;
    `(B) the role of specific programs in strengthening civic activities;
    `(C) the civic attitudes and activities of new citizens and immigrants; and
    `(D) other areas related to civic activities.
    `(g) Volunteering Research and Evaluation-
    `(1) RESEARCH- The partnership shall provide for baseline research and tracking of domestic and international volunteering, and baseline research and tracking related to relevant data on the indicators described in subsection (d). In providing for the research and tracking under this subsection, the partnership shall consider data from the Supplements to the Current Populations Surveys conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and data from other public and private sources, including other data collected by the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    `(2) IMPACT RESEARCH AND EVALUATION- The partnership shall sponsor an independent evaluation of the impact of domestic and international volunteering, including an assessment of best practices for such volunteering, and methods of improving such volunteering through enhanced collaboration among–

    THERE’S SO MUCH MORE, All day “schools“, sending our children out of the country to “volunteer”! All info available @ Library of Congress website-

  • No Hitler youth here. He would never take over corporations and banks. Inflate the dollar so it's only good for the bottom of a canary cage.

    The young ignorant and white guilt vote got him in.

    Can he convince them to rat out their parents.

    To late on that one. sick of greenies?


  • On the surface this looks like a great idea. However, volunteer service must be volunteer, not mandatory. I would like to read to whole bill. Like many of the good sounding ideas of this administration, there is usually a snake in the grass. I don't trust the government with our youth. Military service is one thing, but carte blanche commandeering all youth for whatever purposes they deem right could easily smack of the Hitler youth program. Give opportunities to serve but let people choose and volunteer. Otherwise too much power is given to the federal government (can you say brainwashing?) These are the times in the lives of our young people when they are worknig out college, careers and various jobs. That 3 month call, at the government's whim could be very disruptive.

  • H.R. 1388

    Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act

    As ordered reported by the House Committee on Education and Labor

    on March 11, 2009

    H.R. 1388 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates

    Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

    H.R. 1388 contains no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.

    Jennifer Lance is a scare monger who does not tell the truth and uses lies to persuade uninformed victoms to follow her personal beliefs. I just finished reading the 143 pages of HR 1388 and none of the accusations mentioned in your article are true. This is not a credible site.

  • Mandatory service of our young people will harm no one! Today's America, in general, has raised a group of uneducated parasites incapable of self-discipline or motivated action. The current "standard of education" which has been allowing kids to "color outside the lines" has produced a generation that can not "color inside the lines" as they have no mastery of discipline!

    America needs to begin a mandatory service program where EVERY person between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to devote a minimum of two years to this country. This could be civil service or military service. BUT, the discipline must be the same! Discipline makes individuals STRONGER. Every successful person must master self-discipline to be successful.

    America will only go further down-the-tubes if we flip-flop on this issue. As long as we let elitists run-the-show and dictate to the populace we will be a nation of sheep. And a nation of sheep is NOT what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they signed the Declaration of Independence!

  • Glad I'm turning 26 soon. Obama lives in a dream world if he thinks millions of people like my little brothers will be showing up for "service". Those of you supporting this slavery disgust me.









  • This will be increased to include as many people as possible. Watch and see. All great dictators had "civilian voluntary forces" which were used as "snitch forces". I'm a disabled combat veteran,who had 10 years in the military. I've done my time. As a teenager and until I got hurt (I was a reservist) I was a volunteer and paid EMT at the same time. I have no children yet,but I will be damned if I let this government dictate to either of them that they are gonna volunteer for anything. I'd advise the non Obama brain washed to refuse compliance with this and any other laws,including gun control,that go against the principles this country was founded on.

  • Obama is a fake. all this stuff that he is passing about this protection act about his birth certificate is all bull crap. if he was truly a U.S. citizen then it ws just be easier to show his birth card. but see he cant and he wont cause you can't produce something that is not there. is is running this country into the ground with "bankrupting" us and everything else he is doing. not many people really see what he is doing. All of you should watch the obama deception movie on youtube and see the truth really come out about this

  • You posted my comments with "Your comment is awaiting moderation" WTF does that mean. I'am 63 yr old Marine Corpe Disable Viet Nam Veteran. MODERATION now there's a WORD our Goverment should learn the meaning.

    I shead MY BLOOD for MY COUNTRY…THE REAL REPUBLIC of America. Not what has happened in a little over 100 days. MODERATION MY ASS……One Piss-off Marine.

  • His plan for America sounds alot Hitlers plan for Germany. Doing what Odamit wants means we are a socialist state. The United States of America died in Nov. 2008. ALL the men and women who died to keep us free and UNITED as a Republic….why ? Lets look at the list. President "ODAMIT" Vice Pres. "STUPID"

    and that charming Speaker of House…Numnuts Pilosi.

    And Dems talk about GOP, GW this GW that. YOU have a FOOL for a President, surrounded with a bunch of "thugs". All these Educated People and now of them can pay their taxes. So what does OBAMIT do he put them over the IRS…. God Please HELP Real America Again. In the name of "JESUS" I pray. Amen

  • This is how Liberty Dies and we all sit back and let it happen. the movie V for Vendetta shows a good future for how American government will become, thank god for those people who will become characters' like V

  • you guys that think this is not manditory keep living in a dream world this give act is another way of saying in a nice way a DRAFT better do your reserch and learn alittle reading between the lines. New World Order is here

  • This Bill is unconstitutional because mandatory national service is a form of Slavery. However, the federal government routinely ignores the Constitution (e.g. federal reserve notes are not Constitutional money; the federal income tax as presently administered is unconstitutional). Soon, American youth will be subject to federal indoctrination, subjugation, brain-washing, and servitude for periods that will surely be increased at the whim of the Executive Branch. The oppression against its citizens has reached the point which requires Americans to sever our ties to the so-called government in Washington.

  • Well, If it is going to be mandatory.Then it will be something that No one will want to sign up for. The act is illegal. Period. The government has no power in the Constitution to require anyone to mandatory serve.Guys the tax dollars belong to us. and he wants us to get involved in his program to earn the MOney that belongs to us Back.This is slavery plain and simple. Coming from a black man you would think he knew about slavery.Financial slavery is real.

  • So…you young, snot nosed wimps are afraid you could be drafted into the armed forces and do your duty to your country? If it hadn't been for a few million of us who had already "been there", there likely wouldn't even be a "you." Grow up. Get over it. And try to do something for which you might be respected. Or…you could continue to whine "unfair" to your mothers.

  • If you are brought up to give and share then you are already doing the work … this is called "VOLUNTEERING" …. AMERICANS ARE THE MOST GIVING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD …

    WHY DO WE NEED TO MAKE THIS A LAW?????????????







  • You think this is bad? Now add the Cybersecurity Act 2009 to what is being proposed, opening the door to government control over the internet information flow. It isn't just one issue that has me worried, it is all of these propsals being considered in congress at the same time. Keep an eye out, I feel like our freedoms are being attacked on all fronts!

    Cybersecurity Act 2009 – S.733

  • I agree with the earlier comments about how this LOOKS good, but where is it heading? I have heard that a youth cannot pray or practice any religion while "volunteering". I have also heard that they must forfeit any right to question or protest the government while "volunteering". what is this really about?

  • this is not anew concept, and it works well (for those imposing it). All you have to do is read "Mein Kampf". They were called Hitler Youth.

  • Edward, your video links are hilarious! Are the "secret societies" that approve Obama's plans the same ones that are hiding UFOs and aliens from the people?

  • Based on what we know of the president from his books, all I can think of is "sieg heil." (For those of you too ignorant to learn from history, that was a German phrase used at rallies during the rule of Hitler. It means "hail victory.") This president will do everything and anything to create more ways of having more an more government control of our lives. He believes that what makes the country great? is the government. But part of what makes our country so great is our limited government and capitalistic free enterprise economy. Try reading our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Two quotes: Give me liberty or give me death. Patrick Henry. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua

  • Someone mentioned about a "much larger agenda". By passing this bill for mandatory volunteerism, it's simply another round of Socialist programs that could or could not be changed in the future. It's up to We The People and if We The People are simply going to justify all of Obama's actions and by thinking, "he knows what he's doing so it must be best for us" then we deserve every piece of communistic crap he dishes out.

    If you don't think that he will be indoctrinating our young people (18-25) then as a mandatory volunteer, what do you think young people will be thinking when it's forbidden to have any type of religion when they're "volunteers". I find this completely outrageous and I see envision the young man in Sound of Music, turning in the Von Trapp family and his girlfriend because he loves his German leader so much.

    Send your kids to this mandatory program but if We The People don't speak up about losing our freedoms little by little, then expect your kids to come back and turn you in for talking against the government and you can do your time and think to yourself "Gee, I never thought this would happen in my America".

    **My father and grandfather are turning over in their graves**

  • Laura.

    Have you not looked at HR1444? Introduced on 11 March 2009. Congressional Commission on Civic Service act? Specific topic to be addrressed is Mandantory Service of youth 18-25. This Bill has failed 2 times under 2 names HR5563 Failed 10 March 2008 and HR1819 Failed 9 July 2007.

    I served in the military 14 years, my husband is currently serving. His dad served 22 years and my mother and father. my brother and my husbands 3 brothers served in the military on a VOLUNTEER basis and sacrificed. We will fight this law. We have 4 children that have been asked to sacrifice not seeing their parents as we headed to Desert Storm, Somolia, Korea, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and now my husband is in Afghanistan. How dare anyone support this bill on any level. Not only did we volunteer for our country, we give time and money to Hospice, Cancer research, we visit veterans on holidays in the hospital, and now you think my kids and one day grandkids should bve forced to serve? That is not what men and women died for throughout history of this great country!

    Thsi disgusts me… truly it does…

  • The mandatory service clause was removed from this bill and was placed into another piece of legislation. I can't remember exactly which one but I think it is an appropriations bill. So, yes, the mandatory service clause is there. More smoke and mirrors from the President and Congress. Welcome to the USSA (United SOCIALIST States of Amerika).


    If you read the actual text of the bill, you will see that there is no section 6104, and the word "mandatory" is only in the bill twice: in both cases, the word discusses disbursal of grants, not required service. Please don't spread untruths about this stuff. It is damaging and hurtful and unnecessary.

  • It is good to see that most of the folks on this site have good common sense. I was just browsing about info on HR1388 and came across this site. I have never seen it before and didn't know if it was sided left or right, and I am still not sure. But, at least most of the comments see that this law is likely very dangerous. Please remember that Hitler was elected into power. When we learn or talk about him, we think of a dictator, but that was not the case initally. Give a credit for college for kids with volunteer is certainly no different than paying them. What better way to indoctronate a youngester than to tell them you will give them something of value. Volunteerism should come from the heart, not the wallet.

  • The GIVE Act and the Serve America act were in process long before Obama arrived on the scene. Service in America is wonderful and if young kids can serve their communities and also earn an education award along the way, great! No mandatory service has ever been instituted. Don't dismiss a wonderful program and a wonderful way to teach service with scare tactics.

    Our country is behind when it comes to national security and disaster preparedness. In attempts to "get there" and catch up maybe some are over zealous in their ideas. We all need to learn how to respond to a disaster whether we are 15 or 50. Requiring it, NO, but people should realize we live in a different world and need to prepare for things that might happen on our home soil. We need to train ourselves and our own communities. Look at what North Dakota does for itself compared to what New Orleans did for themselves. North Dakotans take care of themselves and New Orleans waits for gov't to do it for them. Which way is better? The first but most in this country wait for someone else to take care of them. Therefore, gov't is looking for ways to do that. Change people.

    The Serve America Act and GIVE Act are good reauthorizations of Service Programs and should be applauded.

  • This is scary! Mandatory Volunteerism? What???? That's not volunteerism at all.

    This could lead downhill fast. This is a huge opportunity for indoctrination and so much more! Don't expect people to easily give their kids up for months into the hands of the government.

  • I have now read thru all pages of this forum, and have found Mark and Richards arguments very informative on both sides. However, I believe that all parties of this forum are taking bits and pieces and skewing only those statements to fit their argument. After reading thru the entire Act, I have noticed many similarities to Roosevelts aid, as well as some similarities to Hitlers plan. And any historian could relate it to ANY plan/ACT/Bill that has already passed, will pass, or even been rescinded due to not working. Also to state that "if this passes as is that any Amendments made will be under the radar", is totally a false statement, any citizen should know that Amendments are just like a law/bill/act and must be voted upon by the senate/house and released to public notice, but maybe not ALL citizens know that they need to pay attention to these bills/amendments/laws when they go to the voting booth or read the paper that only lists half truths on them.

    To argue that it would be Hilters youth militia and training on scientific biological/chemical warfare is to the extreme. Did you know that Germany still has a 2 year mandatory police/military commitment, IF not attending a college? Most people did not, or do not know this.

    Our selective service has the wording in there that any Lawyer and politician could take and change thru an Amendment that would make it mandatory to service also.

    As with all of us in the USA, we all have opinions and if you didn't know, opinions are like rectums, EVERYONE has one, and we all let out a little hot air once in a while. This is what makes our country great, our opinions make a difference. But the underlying factor is that WE are a FREE people and with all of us and our opinions, WE can make sure that changes are not made that would affect our children's children.

  • Why the sudden belligerence at the prospect of 'limiting the freedoms' and 'mandatory service'? It is hypocritical to balk at the idea of compulsory civil service while blithely sending kids off to mandatory schooling- indeed often criticizing these schools for not meeting federally prescribed benchmarks.

    I agree that the whole conception of 'mandatory service' is galling, especially when a political agenda is attached. However, America's proudest moments come from the times when her citizens pull together and apply their individual talents to a greater good. Do we not feel proud of our response to 9/11, Katrina, and the many smaller community struggles we help our friends and neighbors endure? Are these skills not worth at least the same recognition as a passing score on a standardized math test?

    These explorations should be carefully navigated, by cautious legislators and a vigilant voting public. But conceiving of them as a reform in our educational policy rather than mandatory service is a solid initial step.

  • Richard,

    We should both understand at this point that we have differing views as to not confuse anyone reading our conversation and this is just how it will go respectfully.

    I understand all of which you’re saying but in my opinion these are all ideas of which are taken to one extreme or another that you mention with socialism and Hitler Youth. This is a different degree than all of those and are factors that must be taken into consideration with others in the nation. I feel like my experiences as a university student and someone who has come from a VERY humble background and worked closely with some of our communities most in need, let alone being a Michigan citizen.

    We are in need of something that will jump start the minds of our people. Our people (thanks to the materialism which followed DUE TO WWII)have lost the knowledge of what opportunities are in life let alone how to cope with a changing environment. Our nation SINCE WWII has been distracted by the media which is in all honestly next to the worst in the world, next to say a government controlled media. The reason I bring all of this up is because the people have been so distracted by what is NOT important to live a successful life that they have forgotten these skills and can not come to them on their own (resulting in my view point as crime and drug trade because it is “easier”). I do not believe that this should be a permanent document no matter HOW SUCCESSFUL it is because our citizens should not be required to do so (regardless of the fact that in actuality we are only talking about 3 MONTHS OF SERVICE) but we all pay taxes and register as males when we turn 18 right? This is merely a STEP TOWARDS enlightenment (not to be taken as implying others of this nature) for our fellow country men. THIS IS NOT something that will pull us out of our current economic troubles. THIS IS something that will educated our nation and help our environment, poor/working poor, community development (which has been destroyed with the development of materialism from WWII, private vehicles, massive corporations etc.), along with equipping our fellow country men with technical skills.

    I do agree with you about the nation being “For the People” as it says in our founding documents. What I also don’t agree with you on is the fact that you use “change” in ill defined context. “Change” is in a lofty term and HISTORICALLY is can be seen in either light, good or bad. No matter how you look at any of this, “change” from our previous methods are more than likely going to set us in a better direction compared to the our “old ways”. When you think about our current situation and what has led us to it there are numerous factors, just keep in mind that today’s Conservative is the opposite of what it originally was when founded versus today’s “liberal” anything. We must be careful and walk lightly as we make decisions, history must be taken into account in a 360 as well as the PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES. I find this dialogue to be enjoyable because it seems as though we represent these two adequately.

    I agree with you fully on your last sentence. “All the government programs in the world won’t take the place of self reliance and effort.” I do think, however, that this “self reliance and effort” has been so distorted that it can not function properly (thanks to all forms of media and the consumerist effects from and/following WWII which pulled us out of the Great Depression). I do believe that it is in our governments right to look out for the citizen’s and nation’s best interests. A three month required program that will in all aims “wake up” the minds of our fellow country (wo)men. Nothing that will be done to solve our current blight will be the SOUL CURE, but rather AN AGENT for the cure.

    Finally, we luckily have three branches of government that all have checks on each other and WE as the PEOPLE are responsible for who sits in two of them and inadvertently the third. I do not think that ANYTHING like a Hitler Youth (using it in a negative context here to be clear) due to our political system. So please rest assured that HR 1388 passing CAN NOT do harm to our people or nation… only if WE LET IT but as for now, how it stands it is in the best possible position to allow “WE THE PEOPLE” HELP OURSELVES/ONE ANOTHER.

    I would like to inform you that this may be my last response due to my schedule and the semester coming to an end. It was a pleasure having a discussion with you Richard.

  • Mark,

    I'm so glad that you brought up Mr. Roosevelt and his attemps at putting Americans to work in the 1930's. The CCC was a make-work program. It was designed to keep people busy and fed at a time when jobs in the private sector were few and far between. Industry was all but shut down and businesses were closing around the country. The fallacious argument that Roosevelt brought us out of the depression with programs of this type has been promoted to a ridiculos level. There were public works programs in existence in every city in America prior to the creation of the CCC. There is one cause and one cause only that put America back on its' feet and that was the Second World War. It caused industries across the board to ramp up and to provide employment to the population that was not serving in uniform.

    Socialist policies, no matter how well intentioned are detrimental to the good of the people. They breed the sense of entitlement that is so pervasine throughout the country and remove the incentive to work to better oneself that has been the hallmark of our nation. The American Dream has always been the ability to take the opportunity for initiative and sweat to make the dream come true. Not to sit back and wait for the government to hand out everything necessary for existence. One only need look at a program such as Welfare to see the point I'm making. How many third and fourth generation Welfare families are there? How many single mothers, having child after child, to increase their allotment checks do we need to have?

    I emphatically disagree that the circumstances are not the same. Hitler used his youth movement as a means to corrupt and indoctrinate the children of Germany as Obama is trying (with the help of the liberal press and teachers' union) to do. Find a school that is teaching anything other than how wonderful our "change" has been. The indoctrination has already started and doesn't need to be further expanded. There are all the volunteer agencies we could possibly want to take care of our communities. When the prople in these communities decide that they want their lives to be better they need only to choose to work to make that better life. All the government programs in the world won't take the place of self reliance and effort.

  • Compassion and charity is an individual liberty not to be messed with by the government.

    Socialists believe compassion and charity is derived from the government where as conservatives believe it is from the people, by the people and for the people. Least we forget this imperative that it is “We the People” alone or we will have lost our freedom. For we are a nation of individuals and not a collative sum awaiting our allotment under socialism. There is no having it both ways, individual people “Give” and if any part is derived from the government it is servitude of the government. This being Marxism and indeed the loss of freedom and individuality in what ever form it may be. HR 1388 is a stepping stone toward Marxist Socialism as is the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Anyone thinking this bill is good needs a slap up side the head or deported to a communist nation if they don’t understand the ill intent in my opinion.

  • Richard,

    Speaking as an *NCCC alumni and having served in the South East region of our nation, I have to call you out on the Hitler Youth remark. You are taking a similarity in history and skewing it to fit an issue today in which circumstances are not the same… nor ever will (too philosophical about history?). The fact is I don’t necessarily agree with anything being mandatory that our government says but you went to school as a child right?… along with the rest of the US citizens?… mandatory right?.. until you’re at least 16 (at least for some states for sure).

    This is a great bill, and a great step that can be undone if it goes a-stray(like Bush’s legislation). The fact is that drop out rates are at precedent highs and our youth is caught in the materialism that has followed after WWII. The vast majority of the youth should be required to have some sort of education outside of their material “bubbles”. I’ve seen a lot of people be greatly effected and changed by their time in *NCCC. All of those who have served have in one way or another directly affected someone’s life for the better and their own. They gain real world experience that would otherwise not be known of to them. A VAST MAJORITY DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS FYI!

    This is a step in the right direction in educating the youth, providing them with skills, aiding out country though civil service (look up the C.C.C. before you try and comment please… this is the basis of the topic). Look into the history of the AMERICORPS programs… you’ll actually see that this action is in CLOSER resemblance to Roosevelt’s movement to bring us out of the GREAT DEPRESSION. All of our public works programs started from this exact thing… so attend to the lack of knowledge of WORLD history vs ONE SUBJECT history.

    I hope that this does not sound aggressive but rather highlighting key points to consider when speaking of the topic. I’ve served my country through the *NCCC, it is an opportunity that I highly value and was lucky to have FOUND by mistake. In my entire community before me it was unknown to all that I know. The fact is that AmeriCorps almost vanished a couple of years ago under the Bush administration due to insufficient funds.

    Please check egos when going into a discussion and take the time to speak with someone first who’d been involved or look at the history of the item of discussion. You should know this as a HISTORIAN… Richard… once again, I only mean to point out what I think are key things to consider when considering the quality of the discussion and not aggression.

    ‘I don’t know what your destiny will be but one thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve’. Dr. Albert Schweitzer

  • Mr. Hurst,

    I would respectfully disagree. The firing of the CEO

    of one company, deadlines for two companies, and majority ownership of lending institutions is how nationalizing is done.

    While I agree that language and framing are pertinent in the interpretation of events, I would also point out that the language being used is vague and could mean many things. Giving the government loopholes to jump through by forming panels to study the possibility of making service mandatory is a serious threat to the Constitution, which strictly prohibits such mandatory service. The regretable lack of exposure by the media to such a potentially dangerous piece of legislation is disconcerting at the least.

    We are on a slippery slope here. Wholesale changes are being made in our country without open debate or input from the constituencies that these elected officials represent. The light of day needs to shine on these proceedings and time needs to be taken to properly study the possible ramifications. There has been far too much hysteria from this administration. The sky is not falling and frightening people into going along with an agenda is neither fair, nor the American way.

  • Richard,

    Don't jump the gun here. Neither the banks nor the auto industry have been nationalized. As a historian, you should know how important language and framing are to the interpretation of events. So I would suggest that your "disturbing parallels" are much closer to fearful conjecture.

  • As a historian, I see many disturbing parallels with the Obama administration and that of Adolph Hitler. Nationalizing the banks and auto industries, pushing a possibly mandatory youth service organization that bans religous freedom and desiring the establisment of a "civilian" security force are a few. To me, this smacks of Facsism, the Hitler Youth and the SA (or Brown Shirts).

  • Learn about the Hitlerjugend because THAT is where we are heading if this bill is passed. Take the blinders off people!

  • This is disturbing to say the least… What most people don't understand is that the hard part is passing the bill, once it's passed ammendments can be made under the radar.

    These types of government programs could easily be used to indoctrinate our youth in idiologies foreign to our Constitution and our way of life. It's potentially dangerous.

    Can anyone really trust our government anymore?

  • I find it unbelievable that anyone could possibly defend this piece of sh…legislation. Although I think it appropriate to have teddy (dead girl) kennedys name on it. For the sheep, er fellow that said mandatory service will never fly here, wow, do you have rose colored glasses on or what? By the time you wake up to the fact it will be too late, your kids will be off to kamp.

    To Patricia of a few days ago, I agree, I don't volunteer and never intend to, that's my RIGHT as an American citizen. What right does the bungling government have to tell me (or my precious children) what to do? If I want to 'waste' my life on my xbox 360, that's my choice and tough beans to those that don't like it.

    For those that say it's crazy to compare obama to Hitler, methinks you'd better read you history. I would also point out a novel written in 1935 by Sinclair Lewis called "It Can't Happen Here". His 'Minute Men' were just such an entity, if you read this work of fiction it is scary in how much is coming true right now.

    I shudder to think what America will look like next year, let alone five years from now.

  • Don't be fooled people this administration sounds just like Hitler and the Nazi party – taking away our freedoms a chunk at a time. Just like Hitler – against us having guns – start training (brainwashing) our kids. First the bill says volunteer but later it says Obama and Biden want to make it compulsory – meaning mandatory. They don't go into details about what will be taught. This is crazy.

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