National Service Corps Bill Clears Senate Hurdle
Following overwhelming House passage last week, the Senate tonight voted 74 to 14 on a procedural move that essentially guarantees a major expansion of a national service corps, a cornerstone of volunteerism that dates back to the era of President Kennedy. It’s akin to a call to arms by President Obama, who has harkened back to those early days to demand giving back by those who voted for him.Alan Khazei:
from change.gov (later removed):
GIVE Mandatory Service Act Strips First Amendment of “Volunteers”
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.
In other words, Obama’s “volunteer corps” act, passed by the House with a 321-105 margin and requiring the government to develop a plan for indentured servitude, would deny millions of people their right to oppose and organize against government legistation under the First Amendment. “This is as close to a sedition act, a violation of 1st Amendment rights, as has been proposed in recent history. A basic right as a part of our natural, inalienable rights, is to resist government. Our founders not only knew it was a right but it was a responsibility. This legislation begins to break that down significantly,” writes Gary Wood for the Examiner.
UK & US civillian defence corps (history anyone??)
One such program has seen hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and utility workers recently trained and dispatched as “Terrorism Liaison Officers” in Colorado, Arizona and California to watch for “suspicious activity” which is later fed into a secret government database.
Similar initiatives have been introduced in other western countries, including recently in the UK with the announcement that MI5 is currently training up to 60,000 UK citizens as part a civilian network of terrorist spotters, according to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and home secretary, Jacqui Smith.
In addition, Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, publicly stated his intention to help create “universal civil defense training” in 2006.
In an interview with Ben Smith of the New York Daily News, Emanuel outlined the agenda for military-style training, essentially a domestic draft, aimed at preparing Americans for a chemical or biological terrorist attack.more: