Rahm Emanuel's Universe

Jim Lindgren reads from the manifesto of Rahm Emanuel, Obama's reported new chief of staff, and finds a man who wants, among other things, "universal college access," to cut gasoline use in half, and "universal retirement savings." But far more creepy is the centerpiece of what Emanuel simply calls "The Plan:"  universal citizen service.

From Emanuel's book:

John Kennedy was right: A nation is defined not by what it does for its citizens but by what it asks of them. If your leaders aren't challenging you to do your part, they aren't doing theirs. We need a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us by establishing for the first time an ethic of universal citizen service. All Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training and community service. This is not a draft, nor is it military. Young people will be trained not as soldiers, but simply as citizens who understand their responsibilities in the event of a natural disaster, an epidemic or a terrorist attack. Universal citizen service will bring Americans of every background together to make America safer and more united in common purpose.

Obama's service plan is just as troubling.  He wants to mandate 50 hours of community service per year for middle and high school students.  And he's offering a $4,000 federal-funded tuition credit in exchange for 100 hours per year from college students.  For most students, the latter will become a mandatory part of getting a degree, as colleges will merely raise their tuition to compensate for the vouchers.

So who gets to decide what constitutes "community service"?  Who gets to decide which causes and organizations will be credit-worthy, and which ones won't?

Something tells me that you'd be more likely to get one of Obama's vouchers by going door to door for one of ACORN's living wage campaigns than, say, volunteering for a libertarian nonprofit organization that advocates against things like government-mandated community service.

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  • ||

    He wants to mandate 50 hours of community service per year for middle and high school students.

    There would be some deep irony if the first black President re-instituted slavery.

  • cunnivore||

    All Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training and community service. This is not a draft, nor is it military.

    Well as long as they're just asking, it's not that bad, right?

  • BDB||

    I love how its always 18-25 year olds. They\ never ask they geezers to do anything for their SS checks.

  • TallDave||

    Obama's service plan is just as troubling. He wants to mandate 50 hours of community service per year for middle and high school students.

    Hey, come on guys. We need this. How else are we going to rewrite all the textbooks so everyone knows we've always been at war with Eastasia?

  • cunnivore||

    Obama's program would come to a screeching halt when parents realize that their precious little sixth graders will have to work alongside crackheads and other assorted petty criminals.

  • Ashley Todd||

    God any sharp objects and a mirror, TallDave?

  • T||

    Am I the only one who gets nervous about anyone trying to unite Americans behind a common purpose? Yeah, it might be defeat Hitler this week, but next week it could easily be scourge all life from Oceania. I'm much happier when we're all cheerfully disunited.

  • cunnivore||

    Hindsight's 2020, but why didn't McCain pursue the "Obama wants to force your children to work alongside sex offenders" line of attack? That would have been way more effective than reheated homeland-cursers.

  • ||

    So who gets to decide what constitutes "community service"? Who gets to decide which causes and organizations will be credit-worthy, and which ones won't?

    Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?

  • Not Going To Take It Anymore||

    Just because schools do it doesn't mean it is constitutional or moral. Why don't you do some "universal citizen service" and read the constitution?
    Kids- if this is a requirement in your school- don't do it! Refuse! They don't want the dropout rates. Stop this train while you still can!

  • BDB||

    "Hindsight's 2020, but why didn't McCain pursue the "Obama wants to force your children to work alongside sex offenders" line of attack?"

    Mostly cause McCain was big on "national service" too. So, it wouldn't be that effective.

  • TallDave||

    Something tells me that you'd be more likely to get one of Obama's vouchers by going door to door for one of ACORN's living wage campaigns

    Do you get extra credit if you're arrested and charged with vote fraud?

    Best part of this scenario: judge sentences you to community service, and you go out and commit more vote fraud!

  • Bill Ayers||

    I have a community service program as well.

    Applicants must bring their own flags to burn and have familiarity with explosives.

  • ||

    joe -

    How about being a good and proper liberal, and denounce forced labor?

  • ||

    Freedom = "All Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training and community service".

    Ain't gonna fuckin' happen if I've got anything to say about it. Before anyone points out the seemingly innocuous verb "asked", I was "asked" to register for the draft. I've been "asked" to file my tax returns before April 15th.

  • Black Panthers||

    We will be performing valuable poll-watching services. Interested students should bring nightsticks and resumes.

  • anarch||

    asks ... challenging ... establishing ... universal ... will be trained ... responsibilities


    What is the rate of inflation within this one paragraph?

  • libertarian democrat||

    (SLD, of course, but) I am not really sure that $4000 for school in exchange for community service is really that big of a deal. I am also not sure schools would raise rates to compensate for it (although I bet they would look favorably on applicants who planned to participate).

  • cunnivore||

    Right on, J_D. I have a feeling the "asking" is going to take the form of "please volunteer for community service so we don't have to force you."

  • ||

    Glenn Reynolds has a new running joke going - the "Now They Tell Us" feature.

    Thanks, Reason, for raising the profile of all this after it was too late.

    And, yes, when someone like Rahm Emanuel says "asked", he generally means "ordered." I don't see the word "voluntary" in there anywhere, do you? And just what do you think "universal citizen service" means, if not mandatory citizen service?

    Subjects, not citizens.

  • robc||

    joe

    Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?

    I know how it works. It doesnt.

    Between the districts refusing to accept very legitimate volunteer work to the schools coming up with "make-work" "community" "service" projects - its a complete sham, at least in one county in Maryland.

  • ||

    "Asking" is this context is a little thing we in the military call "voluntold"

  • cunnivore||

    lib dem, you're nuts if you think schools won't raise rates to compensate. Of course they won't say that they're doing that, but given how awful the financial situation of many colleges is now I don't see them being in a position to forego the opportunity.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?



    Because, speaking as the father of three school age children, it's an unanswerable argument.

    Even if the permitted range of options include some sort of 'service' which neither parents nor children object to, as a matter of principle the fact of the requirement and its implicit notion of a duty to one's community, that is, to its inescapable communitarianism is objectionable.

  • cunnivore||

    RC Dean, playing devils advocate here, "universal health care" doesn't mean everyone has to use health care, does it?

  • Khalidi||

    Looking for community service with a more international flavor? Our group has a decades-long commitment to dynamic activism! Selected volunteers will gain valuable experience working in our rocket-assisted direct mail campaign, shrapnel-enahanced outreach to local restaurants and busses, and friendly discussion of ways to eliminate the Zionist entity. Free vests and belts!

  • robc||

    cunnivore,

    Ive seen plenty of people suggest forcing health care on Christian Scientists.

  • TallDave||

    RC Dean, playing devils advocate here, "universal health care" doesn't mean everyone has to use health care, does it?

    No, it means everyone has to pay for it.

  • ||

    TAO,

    In a sense, everything that a school requires you to do - write essays, take gym class, make the stuff in the beaker turn blue - is "forces labor." I can't get too worked up about community service requirements for graduation.

    (Oh, nice use with the hysterical code-words, btw. "forced labor," ZOMG!!! It's a holiday in Cambodia, and you'll do what you're told!)

  • educate yourself first!||

    There's a difference between providing service to a child by helping him learn via an essay and forcing him to provide service to a community in which he learns nothing. And I have never seen any other school assignment in which a failure to do it resulted in a total failure for a 12-year period of time. Schools are for learning and teaching, not for forcing kids (and their parents) into something that removes from them their autonomy and their right to disagree with a political agenda that the school wants to enforce. Any another thing, Joe? What service have you been forced to give? I recently read a psychological research study in which students were asked if a community service requirement should be in place. One group was told that they would not have to participate and the others were told that they would be forced to participate. It probably didn't require the millions in research grant money to determine that the ones that were told they would not have to participate were more in favor of it than those that were going to be forced to do the service (though both groups were pretty against it in the first place). So, let me ask again. I am not asking if you believe in the theory of helping others. I am not asking how you feel about being asked to help others. I am not asking how you feel about others being forced to help others. I am asking how you, Joe, would feel about being FORCED to help others without having done anything to deserve it and without receiving anything in return (not even pride, as pride in helping others can only come from a place of knowing you did something for someone else that you didn't have to do). No one wants to be forced to do anything against their will, and not one should have to do anything that they don't believe in.

  • Kaiser||

    This is atrocious on so many levels. I for one will never be forced into "civil service" by anyone. Nor will I ever allow my children (when and if I have any) to be forced into it either.

    There would be some deep irony if the first black President re-instituted slavery.



    TAO, that was great.

  • ||

    Even if the permitted range of options include some sort of 'service' which neither parents nor children object to, as a matter of principle the fact of the requirement and its implicit notion of a duty to one's community, that is, to its inescapable communitarianism is objectionable.

    This, of course, wasn't the question.

    Apparently, it's not such an unaswerable argument as to disourage the people making it form changing the subject.

  • Radley Balko||

    Thanks, Reason, for raising the profile of all this after it was too late.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/127792.html

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/127700.html

  • ||

    You guys don't want to join the Obama Youth? Get with the program. I bet they will have cool uniforms. Perhaps someone ought to point out that some unGodly percentage of kids are graduating high school functionally illiterate and without basic math skills. Perhaps we should be paying our kids to study and learn a few things rather than knocking on doors with dirty hippies trying to get signatures for that manditory recycling ballot measure. Just a thought.

    Part of me is like "the left always comes for the children". But the more I think about it, this is not threating it is just pathetic. Has anyone ever tried to get a bunch of teenagers to do anything? Can you imagine the morons they will hire to run it? This thing will be a massive waste of time and money and likly to turn an entire generation of kids into government hating right wingers.

  • NotThatDavid||

    So what can Emanuel do as Chief of Staff to actually promote this agenda of his?

  • ||

    Something tells me that you'd be more likely to get one of Obama's vouchers by going door to door for one of ACORN's living wage campaigns than, say, volunteering for a libertarian nonprofit organization that advocates against things like government-mandated community service.

    And working for Planned Parenthood would qualify, while working in a crisis pregnancy center (providing baby clothes, infant car seats, bassinets, etc. to expectant mothers) would not.

  • cunnivore||

    Another question: will Objectivist kids be allowed to claim conscientious objector status to get out of this? Serving soup at a homeless shelter for free has to be just as repugnant to a Randian youth as fighting a war is to a pacifist.

  • gorgonzola\'s foil||

    I paid "full fare" to go to an Ivy League school. $4000 would not have broken my bank; the bigger problem is the widespread availability of loans (both federal and private) that allow colleges to capture rents and fill a limited amount of slots with leveraged buyers. On top of the existing systems of college finance, $4K is beans.

    By the way, at 4000 for 100 hours, $40 per hour is apparently the new minimum wage for 18-25 year olds. I think this is the bigger story in this plan. That's going to mean the biggest impact of the plan is on entry-level salaries and the sense of entitlement of yuppie tools.

    Nevertheless, if it's voluntary, then it's just the government willingly overpaying for services. At least it's widespread to young people this time and not just the contractors of the military industrial complex.

    As long as any program is voluntary, there are bigger fish to fry.

  • robc||

    As usual, the issue of community service requirements and schools is one that can be handled via the separation of school and state. Private schools should be able to require it for graduation if they want. State schools shouldnt exist.

    I, like joe, also dont get worked up over this, I prefer to focus on the ending state schools aspect. Except when programs are run idiotically, then it pisses me off they are wasting my money. Since I dont live in Maryland, it isnt my money that is being wasted (in the case I know it is being done poorly).

    Now, to make this a general requirement for all 18-25 year olds, that is forced labor. There is no escaping that one.

  • Warty||

    Mother. Fuck. That.

  • Josef Stalin||

    Da, is no "forced labor." Is duty of citizen.

    We had many such dutiful programs and look at our glorious Soviet Union now. Is better and stronger than ever!

  • joe||

    Come on guys, it's just a matter of getting the right people in charge of this program.

  • joe||

    I never said a word about people!

  • cunnivore||

    Of course, it's also sad that no one asks how federally mandating community service as a school requirement is remotely Constitutional. Not that people here think it is, but it shows how thoroughly we've been beaten on that front.

  • Hogan||

    my problem with this is that the collective civic labor part is the end, not the means.

  • Guy Montag||


    to cut gasoline use in half



    BAH! As soon as I return to the country I will be taking up the slack on that one with a 520 HEMI.

    Perhaps some of those community service slaves volunteers can learn how to wash and wax the vehicles for me too.

  • ||

    Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

    Wonder whom Obama will pick for Sky Marshal.

  • Dutiful Citizen||

    Yes, is wonderful non-forced program and I am very happy to participate.

    Please to let my family live now?

  • cunnivore||

    In a sense, everything that a school requires you to do - write essays, take gym class, make the stuff in the beaker turn blue - is "forces labor." I can't get too worked up about community service requirements for graduation.


    The schoolwork you mention is integrally related to the school's purpose, education. Mandatory community service is not.

    Your argument boils down to "we can already force kids to attend school, so that means we can force them to do all this other stuff too."

  • TallDave||

    I don't know, now that I think about it this plan does have its upside: I can't think of a better way to get more kids out of our crappy public schools.

    I bet homeschooling doubles under this plan.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    This, of course, wasn't the question.



    Technically accurate and substantively irrelevant. Of course, it being a school requirement the school gets to decide. Even if there is some appeal process, try floating the "My community service will be spending X hours playing video games in protest of the notion of a community service graduation requirement" gambit.

    However, if we're playing the "technically accurate but substantively irrelevant" game, then contrary to Mr. Balko's expressed fears it is probably true in most school districts that any kid whose parents were willing to go to bat for him and fight the school bureaucracy could probably substitute some conservative leaning or even some libertarian leaning 'service' for the schools' "recommended" or "example" but almost invariably liberal leaning list of services. And, of course, most parents won't go to the trouble and, of course, most school bureaucrats both know this and count on it.

  • ||

    Not that I support any of this bullshit, but making Rahm Chief of Staff gives him less ability to do this, not more. As a Congressman, he could draft a bill forcing community service; as WHCoS, he can't.

    According to the Wikipedia:

    However, he/she is responsible for overseeing the actions of the White House staff, managing the President's schedule, and deciding who is allowed to meet with the President. Because of these duties, the Chief of Staff has at various times been dubbed "The Gatekeeper" and "The co-President".


    So while Emmanuel will be more powerful in DC, he'll have less of a chance of fucking up Americans' lives.

  • Guy Montag||

    Community service: turning the term "gun schools" even more literal.

    Thank goodness that progressive States, like Tennessee "allow" parents to opt-out of the gun school system.

  • ||

    Guys,No reasonable person disagrees with community service if you oppose this then people like Joe are going to have to re-educate you.

    Naive Joe will now support massive new powers to create a hitler youth controlled by the executive office so that the powers will be passed on to the next bush cheney regime.

    It is no different than TallDave supporting Bushes massive build up of torture and spying laws that Obama can use to target his enemies.

    "... when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people ... will hate the new world order ... and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people." H. G. Wells, in his book entitled The New World Order (1939)

    "We are not going to achieve a new world order without paying for it in blood as well as in words and money." Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in Foreign Affairs (July/August 1995)

  • Lefiti||

    Oh, God! The police state is coming. We will all be slaves! We'll be forced to wear Mao suits and swear allegiance the Eye in the pyramid! They'll take our guns and rape our wives. They' make us eat broccoli!

    DONATE NOW!

  • ||

    notice how guys like Joe and Talldave both consider themselves centrists and we are the nutjobs...yet what both of these "centrists" really support is a stronger executive office and destruction of civil liberties.

  • Abdul||

    This plan has hardly been a secret. Obama considered it a feature of his campaign, and McCain had a similar, if less comprehensive, idea.

    I think it's complete bollocks, but apparently a majority of voters like the idea of forcing the nation's 18-25 year olds out of the body-piercing parlors and onto the highway to pick up litter.

  • Not really||

    Absolutely not true! A rasmussen poll stated that only 19% of nutjobs, err, voters believe in this crap. The number that support it is actually decreasing with time. And it doesn't matter if 100% of people are absolutely in love with the idea. It against the 13th amendment, and we should support the constitution being the last word on the subject.

  • ||

    Lefiti,
    I suppose you wish the "fairness doctrine" could stop our unpatriotic talk?

  • economist||

    I expect that those members of the Reason staff who enthusiastically supported Obama (not the majority, I understand that) will be having buyer's remorse very soon. I'd say a little more than two months.

    You know, Barack, I wouldn't have minded at all if you had just taken the Hope Diamond money and run. Althoug I would prefer that you get Biden to leave, too.

  • Lefiti||

    Why would I want to shut you up? My whole life revolves around coming here to insult you. If I couldn't come here every week or so and post some inane comments, I would die.

  • ||

    Abdul,
    you have a good point, I guess if the majority support something then it is by definition moral. no further analysis needed.

  • ||

    ya same here lefiti, I'm only slightly more popular than you...but come on, your here more than me and I show up more than once a week.

  • ||

    Is anybody surprised that, instead of exploring why it's wrong to force children to labor for the State, joe attacks the people reporting on it?

    That's one check mark supporting your hackery.

  • kinnath||

    As a former boy scout and boy scout leader, I am all for community service. That being said, someone who is paid to volunteer is not a volunteer and someone who is commanded to volunteer is not a volunteer.

    Obama's plan sucks.

  • Abdul||

    Gabe,

    I'm only pointing out that the plan is popular, not that it's moral. If you read carefully, you'll see that I wrote "I think it's complete bollocks."

  • sage||

    You know, I like joe, and he makes very intelligent arguments. But I have a feeling things are going to get very difficult for him on this blog. It's been easy to hate Bush since most of us don't like him either. But when a lot of Obama's ideas are exposed to the light they are going to look very ugly, and hard to defend.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    All Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training and community service. This is not a draft,..."

    Of course not.

    And water isn't wet either.

  • ||

    They'll assault our liberties in their own special way, and their loyal followers will defend them. Thus we continue our slow descent from free to not-free.

    While I don't agree that Reason endorsed Obama or ignored his many failings, it does seem to me that the gloves didn't come off until after he was elected. Considering that he's got Congress on his side and we're already hearing about an aggressive agenda, I'm not exactly happy with the timing here.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    Mo:

    Sadly, no. The COS has enormous power as the gatekeeper and front man for the president. As just another member of Congress, all Emmanuel had to bargain with was his one vote and any seniority committee perks he might have enjoyed. Earmarks aside and notwithstanding to the contrary, the White House has enormous discretion in how and where to spend federal money and has a full time legislative liaison staff whose job, overseen by the COS, is nothing but seeing to it that this bill gets drafted, that bill doesn't get out of committee, etc.

    If, as LBJ said, the difference between being a senator and a member of the House is the difference between chicken and chickenshit, the difference between being a member of Congress and being White House Chief of Staff is the difference between being a chicken and Colonel Sanders.

  • ||

    "Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?"

    It really doesn't matter how well a bad idea works. The "final solution" worked pretty well too. Does that make it right?

  • ||

    Great - the high school leadership class is going to be leading the country!

  • Hogan||

    The "final solution" worked pretty well too.

    we kept getting close, but i think that qualifies as the first godwin.

  • Lefiti||

    Pro Libertate

    Decrease the size of your donation if you're not happy. When you pay for the Kool-Aid, you should get the flavor you want.

  • ||

    liberal - root word: "liber", meaning free.

    I wonder how people can straightfacedly call themselves liberal and endorse something so antithetical to freedom like "forced community service".

    I'd like to add that implementation and administration of this program is going to cost hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. We don't have the money for this.

  • TallDave||

    BAH! As soon as I return to the country I will be taking up the slack on that one with a 520 HEMI.

    We still have highs in the 70s up here in the Midwest, got to take my C5 out and expel half a tank of glorious high-octane carbon into Gaia's face this week.

    Rain the rest of the week though, and probably too cold after that (it's just no fun with the top on). Debating whether to put it on blocks for the winter, or take it out once a month or so.

  • ||

    sorry for the quasi-strawman attack Abdul...I didn't mean to really. I guess I don't really think that the national service is that popular.

    Here is why:
    In a referendum vote, the people massively voted against the current Marijuana laws in Mass and Michigan. However, everyone knows that pro-drug war politicians have won over 99% of all elections the last 30 years...this is because people try to vote "lesser of two evils". When the specific evils are put up on referendum they are usually shown to be pretty unpopular.

  • TallDave||

    Gabe,

    Well, I'm pro-choice, pro-legalization, pro-gay marriage, otherwise generally conservative. That makes me equally unpopular with segments of the right and left.

    Shrug. You do the math.

  • ||

    $40 an hour for college students to perform community service. Hmmm, lessee how that translates to a Pfc? Figuring 60-80 hours a week at $40 per hour we get $2,400 - $3,200 weekly.

    Do the pie in the sky dreamers in politics ever think things through?

  • ||

    you'd be a good libertarian, TallDave, if you'd stop endorsing the Crusades for Democracy.

  • ||

    As a former boy scout and boy scout leader, I am all for community service. That being said, someone who is paid to volunteer is not a volunteer and someone who is commanded to volunteer is not a volunteer.

    Obama's plan sucks.


    That form of community would be disallowed anyway. Boy scouts bar gay leaders.

  • Not That Michael||

    Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?

    Actually, the question pretty much answers itself. Schools that currently have community service requirements probably tailor them according to the specific needs of their own community. I can't see how imposing a top-down mandate from the federal level and making all such programs "universal" would make them any more effective.

  • ||

    For most students, the latter will become a mandatory part of getting a degree, as colleges will merely raise their tuition to compensate for the vouchers.

    No kidding.

  • Nigel Watt||

    If the Feds try and force me to do three months of "training", I'm leaving the country.

    How about that, one less Ivy League-educated engineer for the country.

  • ||

    "we kept getting close, but i think that qualifies as the first godwin." What can I say? I love hyperbole.

  • Hogan||

    doesn't seem like 'effective' is even the point. the purpose here isn't to get all the youth out working for a great sugar harvest this year por El Objetivo Grande or any other purpose (where effectiveness would come in). it's just to get 'em doin stuff, because a state is only is good as the requirements it places on its citizens. not like i expect this to turn out like some nazi shit, i just expect it to be a massively expensive, stupid program that would do nothing and be difficult to eliminate. yes we can!

  • ||

    DAR,

    I agree the CoS has a lot of power. But that power comes in the form of being a gatekeeper, rather than as a policy-maker. I would compare chief of staff to being the executive assistant of a CEO and a Representative to being a middle manager. The EA has much more power and influence than the manager does, but the manager can actually change policies that effect the customers more easily.

    Gabe,

    The problem is, people are far more likely to support legalizing drugs when they're given the option. The problem is when a politician approves of it, they're branded by law and order types as "soft on drugs". Somehow parents think this means they want crack dealers in elementary schools and they're branded with a Scarlet A.

  • X||

    so the same goverment that can't even get it's own employees to put in an honest days work is going to get teenagers to do useful work? HAHAHAHAHA!

  • ||

    Hogan,
    I can understand the argument thet we don't want to comapre every action to what happened during the turn from democracy to facism that occurred in Germany in the 30's. However, the idea that we cannot ever civily discuss what happened during various totalitarian regimes is scary. It is a fact that nationalist socialist and marxist totalitarians strongly advocated the state overseeing the education and indoctrination of the youth.

    It is a fact that they marketed these programs initially with flowery language about national service and sacrificign for the good of the nation or the collective. The marketing/propaganda campaign behind a hitler youth was not "lets be evil and do creepy things to all who try and speak their mind".
    It is a good thing that people be reminded of the tactics of tyrant throughout history.

    BTW, I think you might be able to gain employment as a reasonable person with upright solid views, should the fairnes doctrine become law again.

  • ||

    This is part of Obama's GreenJobs program. A new federal "volunteerism" bureaucracy will sprout up, and will be followed soon thereafter by the "voluteerism consultant" industry necessary to assist students and businesses interested in gaming navigating the system, led by former members of the federal bureaucracy.

  • Kolohe||

    Ironically, the 'progressive' blogosphere is having a bit of the vapors on the Emanuel pick because they think he'll sabotage their agenda due to his history as pro-Iraq war, pro-Israel, formerly pro Clinton DLC centrist who'll throw liberals under the bus without compunction.

  • Choder||

    While at Syracuse University (which expelled me for advocating libertarian views on campus in 2004), I took a class that wound up requiring 10 hours of community service, a requirement made known after the add/drop date. Of course my 30 hours/week at the campus radio station did not count, it was only to UNICEF-sponsored organizations - the same ones who helped sponsor the Prof's new book.

    Education is more expensive but less valuable now, so the last thing we need is universal access. As a law student I do not have the time to do community service on top of school and work, I doubt I would have as an undergrad either.

  • Elemenope||

    This thread positively exploded with stupid today.

    First, the notion that exchanging volunteer service for tuition credit is in any way comparable to slavery is idiotic on several levels.

    Second, when exactly has Reason not complained about service programs? I know Balko tried to link you to some evidence, but I'll tell him the same thing I told another editor the other day: do not attempt to fathom the logic (of for that matter, the infinitely indefeasible memory) of posters. Madness lies that way.

    I find it utterly ridiculous that parents, in particular, who notably enjoy plenary and nearly unfettered power over their children would complain that their children are being "enslaved". Oh, I know. What parents enjoy, that's the "good" slavery. Do you all pay wages to your kids for doing the dishes? No? Then shove it.

    And finally, and not least important, does anyone here actually labor under the delusion that SOMETHING LIKE THIS MIGHT ACTUALLY PASS? If not, (and I sincerely hope not), this properly belongs in the same class of whining as lefties whining about the perennial attempt to introduce anti-flag burning amendments. Utterly academic and mostly trivial.

  • ||

    I can't help but think that 25 year olds should be way past the age where this kind of thing is appropriate. Another angle is that this is a complete infantilization of people who should be becoming responsible and productive leaders. It says - you are too young at 25 to be in charge of anything important - go pick up some highway trash to help out. When I was 25, I had 3 years of military command under my belt, and was running a multi million dollar intelligence collection effort. The most useless Pfc in my organization was far to valuable to waste on this crap - and they made a tiny fraction of $40/hour.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Elemenope, since when are you an Obama apologist? If it's required of everybody between 18 and 25, yes, that's forced labor, and yes, I will leave the country to avoid it.

  • ||

    What parents enjoy, that's the "good" slavery. Do you all pay wages to your kids for doing the dishes? No? Then shove it.

    What? So it's OK for the State to not pay children for their labor...because parents do it?

    What is this "it takes a village" crap coming from you, El? Parents have that discretion because they are parents. It's not your business.

  • Mad Max||

    "John Kennedy was right: A nation is defined not by what it does for its citizens but by what it asks of them."

    Senator Kennedy didn't exactly say that - he said to ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. And Grover Cleveland said it first, and said it better (scroll down): ". . . the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people."

    Unlike JFK, whose "ask not" line was part of the exalted rhetoric of his Inaugural, Cleveland's line was contained in a message vetoing a giveaway bill. Cleveland was actually willing to make (wait for it) sacrifices (like political popularity) in order to do the right thing.

    I notice that Emmanuel's proposed "basic civil defense training and community service" would *not* be taught in the high schools, but by a separate bureaucracy altogether. Does Emmanuel lack confidence in the ability of public schools to teach their students? Does he think high-school students are too young to learn about civil defense, and that they should spend their time learning less-challenging subjects like math, science, and how to have sex in the context of fulfilling and non-exploitative relationships? (Many Americans who know how to do civil defense don't how to do the latter skill, suggesting it's *more* difficult than civil defense, not less - yet the high schools still teach the latter)? Or does Emmanuel fear that homeschool students, and students at private schools, might miss out on all the wonderful civil-defense training and community service?

    "If, as LBJ said, the difference between being a senator and a member of the House is the difference between chicken and chickenshit, the difference between being a member of Congress and being White House Chief of Staff is the difference between being a chicken and Colonel Sanders."

    Excellent!

  • economist||

    Rahm Emmanuel must be one of those "liberal fascists" Johah Goldberg was talking about.

  • ||

    First, the notion that exchanging volunteer service for tuition credit is in any way comparable to slavery is idiotic on several levels.

    First of all, it doesn't sound voluntary when you make it "universal".

    Second, it's such a stellar idea to inflate the labor of young adults, because we can afford the tax expenditure and the rise in market-wages. Or, you know, not.

  • ||

    What? is everyone here 19 or something? Who cares what they make college students do, they'll probably be high while they do it anyway. ;)

  • ||

    And finally, and not least important, does anyone here actually labor under the delusion that SOMETHING LIKE THIS MIGHT ACTUALLY PASS?



    I think that there's a lot of people who put Obama's proposal in the category of "standard campaign lies," like other things. The choice of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff has given it new legs because it's something that he pushes in his book. Rep. Emanuel has been a Clinton Democrat-- very smart, very aggressively partisan, and overall "moderate" with an aggressive foreign policy look and few traditional big government ideas, but lots of micro government ideas, like mandatory universal local service. (Anyone remember Clinton pushing for school uniforms, or block grants for local cops and midnight basketball?)

    His proposal for universal 401(k)s in his book seems reasonable. Republicans might pass it and not bother to ask exactly how it's different philosophically from privatizing Social Security with add-on accounts.

  • robc||

    lmnop,

    First, the notion that exchanging volunteer service for tuition credit is in any way comparable to slavery is idiotic on several levels.

    Most of us arent doing that. We are comparing manditory governement service to slavery. Whatever that 3 month BS is.

  • ||

    So anyway, the fact that Obama picked Rahm is making people say, "Hey, one thing they share is the service thing, so maybe he actually meant that piece of crap."

  • Nigel Watt||

    What? is everyone here 19 or something?

    Well, I am.

  • robc||

    Coarsetad,

    is everyone here 19 or something?

    Thats also why all those white people didnt give a damn about slavery (actually, that is mostly the case, fortunately it wasnt 100% true).

    I favor drug legalization. I have never smoked pot or done any of the harder drugs. Why the hell do I care then? Huh? Maybe because I support liberty.

  • ||

    Obama's program would come to a screeching halt when parents realize that their precious little sixth graders will have to work alongside crackheads and other assorted petty criminals.

    Well, at least in the public schools, aren't the kids pretty much doing this already?

  • economist||

    Of ocurse, now is a great time to focus on worrisome Obama appointments. Never a better time than almost four years before the next presidential election.

  • ||

    nigel, i too am an engineer and have pondered leaving the country now that we are becoming a socialist nation. problem is, where do you go? i hear bulgaria has a nice flat tax rate structure and gets the majority of government monies from value added taxes. and their economy is growing 10% a year. they are not taxed on what they make, but are taxed on what they consume, as it should be. but then again, you'd have to move to bulgaria.

  • economist||

    I forget, does the COS need Senate confirmation? I don't think he does, but I'm not sure.

  • ||

    I had no opinion of Emmanuel before this, but now I know that he's a rat bastard.

    "This is not a draft, nor is it military. "

    May not be military, but it most certainly is a draft. He can go fuck himself. The people are not the property of the state.

    -jcr

  • ed||

    Christ, Emanuel is an evil bastard. Re that passage from Kennedy's (in)famous speech: it would have been truly brilliant if he had only changed just one word: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for yourself." It could have made all the difference.

  • economist||

    ceanf,
    There really is no where for us to go. The leftists have it easy: If they get pissed off, they can just move to Canada.

  • ||

    First, the notion that exchanging volunteer service for tuition credit is in any way comparable to slavery is idiotic on several levels.

    You're conflating the 2 plans. Emanuel's is the one that amounts to servitude. Obama's, as already noted, is overpaying for services.

    I find it utterly ridiculous that parents, in particular, who notably enjoy plenary and nearly unfettered power over their children would complain that their children are being "enslaved". Oh, I know. What parents enjoy, that's the "good" slavery. Do you all pay wages to your kids for doing the dishes? No? Then shove it.

    This one. Weirdly, I happen to believe that the school system is not my children's parent and forcing one to serve their community for their diploma is not "service." I'm sure you can pick up on the distinction.

    If you want my kid to pick up the trash in your neighborhood, then perhaps you should be shoving something else. Like a broom.

    If anything, these types of programs only serve to cheapen the concept of community service through servitude and generate animosity to the true concept of service. Eventually, after enough have been through them, few will look upon these programs with anything but skepticism and derision.

  • economist||

    "This is not a draft, it is not military"
    Can you spell "slavery".
    Perhaps we could introduce a corvee while we're at it.

  • economist||

    Should be a question mark in my last post.

  • ||

    The bright side of national service is that it will allow me to spend my weekend afternoons watching lithe, supple young coeds work on lawn care or park maintenance or something. Hopefully some kind of service that requires bending over a lot, anyway. I assume this will be in the summer, when regular classes are out and they'll be wearing shorts and tank tops.

    I think I can get behind this.

  • ||

    Stevo,

    Obama will appoint a wise Latina to the Supreme Court.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    While Elemenope struggles to get his medication back in balance (and what happened to joe? did reason give him the rest of the day off?), I'll respond to a couple of points.

    Whether there's a quid pro quo of service (labor) for tuition (compensation) is irrelevant to whether some sort of service is required for high school graduation.

    I not only enjoy vast power over my children, I accept vast responsibility for them, too. This 'plan' has nothing to do with the state fulfilling any of its purported responsibilities toward anyone's children and everything to do with trying to teach children that they have responsibilities to the community and the state. (In fact, I do 'pay' my kids for work around the house, but only because I want them to learn about the quid pro quo of bargained for exchanges, not because it is a real quid pro quo. In other words, unlike what the schools are peddling, I'm fulfilling a responsibility to my children by 'paying' them, and I'm certainly not trying to make them believe that they are responsible to serve me.)

    Finally, I doubt some sort of incrementally implemented 'national public service' that did not include the military would face very stiff political opposition at all. If anything, especially if it gave the kids something to do during the summer when the government schools were closed, parents might opt for it overwhelmingly.

  • economist||

    "Do you pay your kids wages?"
    Does the state pay for his kids' food, shelter, and clothing?

    I have no kids, so I really don't care that much.

  • TallDave||

    you'd be a good libertarian, TallDave, if you'd stop endorsing the Crusades for Democracy.

    Technically, it's a crusade for freedom.

    I'm one of those "bear any burden, pay any price, to assure the survival and success of liberty" libertarians.

    Anyways, the crusade has pretty much reached the limits of what was possible militarily. Iraq and Afghanistan were unique situations in that they had violated Westphalian norms to the point there was fairly wide international support for regime change. I'm not in favor of any further direct military intervention.

  • ||

    I forget, does the COS need Senate confirmation? I don't think he does, but I'm not sure.

    Nope. It's a managerial job with no enumerated duties, so it's at the pleasure of the president.

  • economist||

    Stevo Darkly,
    Yeh dirty little bastard!

  • ||

    Anyways, the crusade has pretty much reached the limits of what was possible militarily. Iraq and Afghanistan were unique situations in that they had violated Westphalian norms to the point there was fairly wide international support for regime change. I'm not in favor of any further direct military intervention.

    If you're going to be internally consistent, what's different about Iraq that's not true about North Korea or Sudan?

  • ||

    someone who is paid to volunteer is not a volunteer and someone who is commanded to volunteer is not a volunteer.

    Exactly. One who is commanded to serve is a slave, even if they are paid, and even if the period of slavery is limited to a year or two.

    Taking a glance at the constitution, I find that the 13th amendment says:

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Any politician pushing legislation that violates this amendment is an enemy of freedom. Any officer or soldier who attempts to enforce such legislation would be violating their oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.

    -jcr

  • economist||

    Wow, TallDave, you changed your interventionist stance just in time for the Obama interventions. Welcome to the club!

  • Bill Clinton||

    lithe, supple young coeds

    Why didn't Ah think of this? It's the perfect internship program!

    Ahpplicants will be required to provahd their own kneepads.

  • economist||

    JCR,
    Shhh! It is forbidden to mention the Constitution!

  • ||

    There would be some deep irony if the first black President re-instituted slavery.

    Don't forget, he's half white. Guess which half is going to get the blame.

    -jcr

  • Mark Foley||

    Bill Clinton,
    It didn't work out so well for me.

  • Mad Max||

    "it would have been truly brilliant if he had only changed just one word: 'Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for yourself.' It could have made all the difference."

    If by "do your yourself," you mean "support yourself and your family so the government doesn't end up doing so, and making the whole society worse off, and without picking the public's pocket," then yes, that would be a very public-spirited message and should be endorsed on those grounds.

    The *selfish* message would be "let the government do for you, because we know you're too hapless and stupid to do for yourself." That is what encourages excessive individualism and social atomization.

  • ||

    """And, yes, when someone like Rahm Emanuel says "asked", he generally means "ordered." I don't see the word "voluntary" in there anywhere, do you?""""

    Nope.

    You may have the choice but it will be written in your permanent federal record and used against you at some point. It could be one of the things looked at when you're assessed by the FBI or your next employer.

    I thought Civil Defense is what I learned when my grandfather took me hunting. ;-) My guess is civil defense is a code word for some silly job you will be required to do in an emergency. It will become a way to charge you with a crime for not going along with the government's plan. Failure to perform your civil duty when required will be punishable by ...

  • economist||

    I don't think we would see a reinstitution of slaves as property. That said, proponents of drafts (or "compulsory service") should be hard-pressed to explain how forcing someone to serve the state against his will does not amount to slavery.

  • Lefiti||

    Oh, the enemies of freedom are everywhere! A national service for youth? We'll all soon be in chains. Woe is us! Woe! We should have seen this coming. Aren't taxes and oppressive traffic laws enough? Will they force are youth into service as well? Arrrrrrgh!

  • economist||

    "will be punishable by..."
    Banishment.

  • ||

    Do you all pay wages to your kids for doing the dishes?

    Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do. It's called an allowance.

    I will also note that the school system has not gotten up in the middle of the night to comfort my son who is vomiting violently, bought my kids clothing, changed their diapers, put them to bed, taken them on vacation, paid any amount of my mortgage or buy them food to eat, gotten them dressed in the morning, monitored what they watch on TV, buy them a computer and internet access (and make sure they don't stumble onto porn), break up their fights, nor brush their teeth or take care of their orthodontia or take them to the doctor when they're sick.

  • economist||

    While I'm sure you were being sarcastic Lefiti, that's a good point.

  • Lefiti||

    Excuse me while I suck myself off...

  • ||

    Stevo Darkly | November 6, 2008, 11:26am | #
    The bright side of national service is that it will allow me to spend my weekend afternoons watching lithe, supple young coeds work on lawn care or park maintenance or something. Hopefully some kind of service that requires bending over a lot, anyway. I assume this will be in the summer, when regular classes are out and they'll be wearing shorts and tank tops.

    I think I can get behind this.


    The police are on their way.

  • economist||

    JW,
    You have obviously failed to embrace the peace of the Obama.
    I can show you how to embrace His peace for a nominal fee.

  • TallDave||

    If you're going to be internally consistent, what's different about Iraq that's not true about North Korea or Sudan?

    An eminently fair question.

    In the case of North Korea, they have not invaded anyone in about 50 years (the previously-mentioned Westphalian norms). They are a broken economy and have little ability to finance terrorism. In any case, military intervention is impractical because it would likely result in the destruction of Seoul, one of the world's second-largest metropolitan areas, by NK artillery.

    The first two points also apply to Sudan.

  • ||

    JCR, it's not the same as slavery, people will not be sold at auction nor become propery of another. The involuntary servitude part does apply though. I doubt the program would survive a SCOTUS review if passed.

  • Don't put hope in SCOTUS||

    Unfortnately, it already has. The supreme court refused to hear a case regarding community service requirements to graduate high school, under the belief that the child could always become homeschooled, move somewhere else, or attend a private school. Apparently, they have forgotten that people have to have jobs to pay the justices' salary and those jobs require you be away from home during school hours and live in certain places. Not very voluntary if you ask me.

  • The Police||

    R. Totale,
    No, we're 'bating to the posts.

  • ||

    What time do we have to arrive in the town square for the strict regimen of calisthenics and group songs?

  • adrian||

    lmnop: is the draft slavery?

  • ||

    Its pretty obvious that the govt shouldnt be forcing kids to do community service. We should have never let the government think they could teach our kids anything, because now they want to raise them entirely.

    The question I had though is this: I've heard in various places the argument that grants for college tuition raise the overall price of tuition. This makes sense to me, as if you give people basically free money, that ups the price people are willing to pay, and therefore the seller will of course up their price to meet the new equilibrium. The thing that bothers me though, is at the same time as stating this, libertarians often argue for school vouchers. These vouchers for elementary/high school education seem like they would have the exact same effect as grants to go to college if all schools, as under a voucher system, would get paid per pupil. Is this system argued for because of its own merit? Or is it just a better alternative to the system we have now, where we *must* pay for public school?

  • TallDave||

    *Seoul, one of the world's second-largest metropolitan areas,

  • economist||

    TrickyVic,
    "It would not survive a SCOTUS review if it passed?"
    Are you sure, Vic? Are you HIV positive?

  • ||

    All Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training...

    Actually, he may be on to something here. Do you seriously want FEMA showing up to "help" you?

    Of course, Emmanuel may just be tipping his hand about what type of future Hope & Change will bring us.

  • punk7||

    The idea is plainly creepy and antithetical to any notion of true liberty ... as for joe, there he's goes again ... always hiding behind an attack on someone's commentary, blaming others for lack of specificity while reveling in his own vacuousness.

  • ev||

    i had to do mandatory volunteer work when i graduated from high school.

    i just faked it. they can go fuck themselves.

  • economist||

    Robbie,
    Most libertarians advocate for vouchers as an alternative to the current system, but not necessarily as the ideal. Basically, the problem is that most universities are propped up by all sorts of government interventions that allow them to price with impunity as long as the students can pay, so all pumping more money into the system does is raise prices.

  • ||

    I can show you how to embrace His peace for a nominal fee.

    Ew. That just sounds illegal.

  • ||

    A little bit of overreaction on this topic. Too many libertarians don't know when to pick their battles. How is this any different from being forced to go to school? Doing bullshit in class or picking up trash. Civil service is a good thing but civil service mandated by the government is inefficient and an overreaching of governmental power. But these guys are Democrats, what do you expect from them. They could be suggesting a lot worse ideas. How about a tax break for any American that does civil service up to to level that if you work enough you wouldn't have to pay any income tax. Demo's get their civil service, Fiscal conservatives get their reduction in taxes, and people benefit from the civil service.

  • We do that already||

    As long as it is voluntary, I have no problem with it. But I think we already have that- we have the military, the civil service (yes, it already exists), state and local governments, non-profits, the list goes on. The truth is- we do compensate people that want to work. Maybe we should make it easier and more lucrative to get a government job, but it always needs to be voluntary- that is the crucial component.

  • economist||

    This wouldn't be the first instance of government-imposed slavery. Think to Harry Truman's threat to draft striking steel workers and force them to work in the plants.

  • ||

    Sure? No. But my money would be on it getting shot down if it is not voluntary.

    I don't get the HIV reference.

  • economist||

    JW,
    He can also cure you of that dirty mind.

  • TallDave||

    basic civil defense training...

    Can't we just watch Red Dawn?

  • economist||

    HIV reference is from the South Park episode "Tonsil Trouble" in the 12th season.

  • Nigel Watt||

    ceanf, I was thinking of Ireland.

  • Elemenope||

    If anything, these types of programs only serve to cheapen the concept of community service through servitude and generate animosity to the true concept of service. Eventually, after enough have been through them, few will look upon these programs with anything but skepticism and derision.

    While I'm struggling to get my medications back into balance (thanks, D.A., for that wonderful reminder), I would like to share an anecdote of sorts.

    A local high school has a service project requirement for graduation. One of their students came to the place that I work in order to intern in order to fulfill the requirements. Turns out she was actually interested in hotel management and wanted to go into the business when she graduated. She got to get out of class time during school hours to do her internship, where she was learning about something she actually wanted to do, and she got course credit for it.

    Learning how to be a business manager and/or entrepreneur. That *must* be impossible under high school service plans, right? I must be making it up.

    Only I'm not.

    But please, wax on about slavery and how it will turn all our youth into ACORN volunteers. It's kind of entertaining in that "watching Sarah Palin speak" sort of way.

  • You're Missing The Point||

    If it was so great, why would there need to be a requirement? Shouldn't she just have been allowed to do it if she wanted to? Why do you deserve payment, while she is not worthy? Why do you think you are better than young people. How is a community service requirement for school any different than a community service requirement for commiting a crime? And most importantly- what did you do for your forced community service? If you didn't have that requirement because you are too old, perhaps you don't know what it is like and should take a pass at commenting.

  • ||

    RC Dean, playing devils advocate here, "universal health care" doesn't mean everyone has to use health care, does it?

    The taxes to pay for it are certainly mandatory.

    The obligation to buy insurance for employees imposed on most employers are certainly mandatory.

    Some versions of it require individuals to buy their own insurance.

    Is that non-voluntary enough for you.

    I know, Radley, you guys had flagged this before.

    I'm just mostly bitching that Reason did a good job, via Matt Welch, of publicizing McCain's flaws, but couldn't seem to find the interest or energy to do nearly as good a job of publicizing Obama's flaws. Instead, we got endless posts on how Obama really was born in Hawaii. Pfeh.

    I doubt the program would survive a SCOTUS review if passed.

    Good one.

  • ||

    And, yes, when someone like Rahm Emanuel says "asked", he generally means "ordered."



    Well, duh - one of the classic examples of deceptive rhetoric is putting together the words "universal" and "volunteerism".

    This makes me a little sad; I'd actually defended the Obama campaign some while back against folks I thought were too paranoid about this very thing. Looks like I was wrong, and looks like folks with their heads screwed on right will have to fight this plan.

  • ||

    I am beyond the age threshold, but I am willing to "volunteer" for the new Midnight Basketball program, especially if the league, in the age of insufferable PC "programming," turns out to be a female basketball league.

  • ||

    zxz, "tax reductions" are the same as just paying people. The money that you didn't pay that you would have is basically given back to you, and that money is now lost from the system so we go further into debt, or other people pay for it. So really, by you working, you are making other people pay for the government. Hey, if the entire middle class could get together and do enough community service then we could have clean parks AND have the rich pay for the entire government. Isn't that the Democrat's ideal?

  • economist||

    "Can't we just watch Red Dawn"
    No, the government can't have us getting ideas, now can it?

  • ||

    If I were a politician I would refer to this program as "Obama's Young Pioneers". Ten to one most of the media would be too stupid to get the reference and a few of them might adopt it themselves thinking it was a nice name.

  • ||

    How about a tax break for any American that does civil service up to to level that if you work enough you wouldn't have to pay any income tax.

    How about a tax break for people who actually do productive and useful work, instead of arbitrary busywork dictated by the government?

  • economist||

    LMNOP,
    I'm very glad she learned to work the system. That doesn't make me any more in favor of it.

  • ||

    Too many libertarians don't know when to pick their battles.



    Drink!

    How is this any different from being forced to go to school? Doing bullshit in class or picking up trash.



    I'm admittedly more concerned about "The Plan". People 18-25 usually aren't forced to do that sort of thing without breaking a law and only after due process of law. The focus on this initial stage strikes me as a red herring.

  • Jordan||

    Do you all pay wages to your kids for doing the dishes?



    I provide them a benefits package which includes free food, room and board, clothing, medical care, and transportation.

    (Note: I don't actually have kids, but that would be my answer if I did).

  • economist||

    How about no taxes?

  • Big Brother||

    The program will be voluntary.

    Those who do not volunteer will be asked to stay in Room 101, until such time as they feel like volunteering.

  • ||

    Also, would assisting with back-alley abortions count as "volunteer" universal community service? Here's guessing that such endeavors will count the same on a college application as being black, lesbian, and a veteran when applying to any of our great institutions of higher learning.

  • economist||

    I really hope no one here is surprised by this.

  • ||

    Learning how to be a business manager and/or entrepreneur. That *must* be impossible under high school service plans, right? I must be making it up.

    When I was in high school, we called that "early release." You left school around noon to go work somewhere that would give you job skills. It was a program that you had to apply for and show the merit of what you were doing. I walked to the job, 2 miles away, to take advantage of this.

    Of course, this was completely voluntary, so there's no possible way it could ever work.

  • ||

    zxz, that reminds me of my immigration solution. Sentence illegals to 30 days government service, don't bother to furlough the workers who are already doing those jobs, and my guess is we'll still come out ahead. Civil service is intended to weaken individual spirit and make people easier to govern. It has nothing to do with getting things done.

  • Winston||

    Big Brother,
    I Love You

  • ||

    """HIV reference is from the South Park episode "Tonsil Trouble" in the 12th season."""

    Ah, didn't see it.

  • ||

    Ironically, the 'progressive' blogosphere is having a bit of the vapors on the Emanuel pick because they think he'll sabotage their agenda due to his history as pro-Iraq war, pro-Israel, formerly pro Clinton DLC centrist who'll throw liberals under the bus without compunction.

    I noticed that. The next four years will offer lots and lots of juicy irony like this, as Obamatrons start to figure out that they have voted for a....politician.

  • TallDave||

    I really hope no one here is surprised by this.

    Not only am I surprised by this, I plan to be shocked and disillusioned if everyone under $250k income doesn't get a tax cut.

  • economist||

    James Ard,
    What, enslave the brown people?

  • economist||

    "I didn't see it."
    That's okay. The "HIV Positive" line was the funniest part of that episode.

  • Jordan||

    Universal college access? What the fucking fuck? Great, so now we can have even more affirmative action degrees like womyn's studies and racebaiting studies for retards who have no business being in college in the first place.

    Bachelor degrees are already required for many jobs that used to require only a high school diploma thanks to dumbasses trying to stuff everyone with a pulse into college. Let's screw Joe Sixpack even more!

  • ||

    economist, I'd enslave illegal europeans too. Actually, punishment for law breaking ain't slavery.

  • ||

    Universal college access? What the fucking fuck?

    Because college just isn't expensive enough yet. We need to increase demand for a static supply even more.

  • economist||

    James Ard,
    That's right, because people who settle in a given geographic area without the consent of the natives is a crime *sarcasm*.

  • economist||

    James Ard,
    Of course, I understand the problem with all those damn Irish and Kraut immigrants coming here and takin' our jebs!

  • ||

    Economist, I'm talking about a path to citizenship, good, easy to govern, citizenship.

  • ||

    JCR, it's not the same as slavery, people will not be sold at auction nor become propery of another

    Being traded at auction is not part of the definition of slavery. If you have to work at another's command, you are a slave.

    -jcr

  • You're Right||

    You're right:

    Slavery: the practice of, or a system based on, using the enforced labor of other people

  • ||

    There was war, convulsions. . .the world was destroying itself. Obama was our leader; he saw the truth. He changed the world. Took us back--back to a simpler time, a time of peace and tranquility.

  • ||

    "Ironically, the 'progressive' blogosphere is having a bit of the vapors on the Emanuel pick because they think he'll sabotage their agenda due to his history as pro-Iraq war, pro-Israel, formerly pro Clinton DLC centrist who'll throw liberals under the bus without compunction."


    He is a Clinton guy and he is a brutal backroom political enforcer. That says that Obama thinks his problem is going to be dealing with Congress.

    Think about Carter. We know from his post presidential career, Carter really is a Jew hating anti-American Christian leftist. As President he was nothing of the sort. He couldn't be. The responsibility and reality prevented him from being. What happened to Carter then? He had a bigger majority in Congress than Obama does. But he ended up in one brawl after another with Congress. He once called the appropriations (or tax I can't remember) a pack of wolves.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    My pleasure, Elemenope, and I'm glad you're feeling better.

    Alas, as already noted, vocational training for the hospitality industry is not at all the same thing as what Emanuel has in mind, anecdata to the contrary not withstanding, and such work / study options ought certainly be made available in what I believe are called comprehensive high schools.

    But college bound students don't learn valuable managerial or entrepreneurial skills doing scut work in a free clinic or soup kitchen or tutoring inner city kids or dropping off meals on wheels to the elderly. There's no legitimate educational experience involved in most of this make work or sub minimum wage work any more than there is any legitimate educational value in diversity for diversity's sake, unless learning how to sort yourselves out and remain segregated by race and ethnic origin in the cafeteria counts as an important life lesson.

  • tom||

    To point out the obvious, $4000 for 100 hours of work is $40 an hour. Not exactly the most efficient way to provide social services.

  • ||

    If Obama gets into it with Congress because he would like to run a sane administration, what happens when the "stuff white people like" and Kos crowd turn on him for not being sufficiently leftist? Yesterday the Iraqi govenrment said that they had no fears that Obama would pull out of Iraq too quickly. I guess that whole "end this illegal war" thing is going out the window.

  • ||

    I was giving a a far from ideal suggestion, a compromise between libertarian and Democratic party ideals. And just because the government should NOT force people to do civil service doesn't mean civil service itself should be demonized. Is government funded charity inefficient and an overeaching of power? yes. But charity itself is a good thing. If your house was blown up by a tornado and your neighbors offered to rebuild it that could be pretty cool. But i agree forced civil service corrupts the concept, would be an inefficient use of resources, would cause resentment and people would wease out of it. I had to to do court ordered community service three times and weaseled my way out of it twice.

  • ||

    DA Ridgley you are exactly right. There is no value in doing grunt work at a soup kitchean.

    Why not take all of this money we are going to blow on "community service" and spend it thus. We develop a really hard, but no impossible, test for graduating seniors. Have it cover all areas of study up to a level that in an ideal world we would like most or all graduates to reach. We then offer it twice a year to all seniors who want to take it. Then every kid who passes it gets ten grand to do whatever they want to with and a certificate that they can show to colleges and employers to show that they have reached a level of proficiency and have a real diploma. How hard do you think kids would work then?

  • ||

    "Being traded at auction is not part of the definition of slavery. If you have to work at another's command, you are a slave."

    this is why al employees are slaves.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    The left has always claimed the draft is immoral. But they only feel that way because the US doesn't draft into the Peace Corps.

    So now the plan is to draft into some other kind of national service. One may even get a bit of a choice as to what kind of service you will involuntarily perform

    While it may not be full time two year hitch, it is still a draft. It is still involuntary servitude.

  • Elemenope||

    I'm very glad she learned to work the system. That doesn't make me any more in favor of it.

    Just to be clear, neither am I. I just got teed off by the notion that any of this could be compared to slavery. I have a real obsessive streak about words having fairly discrete meanings.

    Service != slavery, unless that service is also:

    1. Compulsory
    2. Maintained under the threat and application of force
    3. Preventing the ownership and/or accumulation of property
    4. Not compensated in the form of wages or other fungible credits
    5. Not alterable by a political process in which the person could feasibly be a participating member

    Not to mention that American slavery, such as it was, also included torture, rape, dissolution of families, dehumanization, deplorable working conditions, and an unnecessarily high attrition rate (I guess the best way to call that would be "murder").

    The notion that *this* program could be compared to ANY OF THAT blows my mind.

    ----------

    While we're on the subject, while I don't support systems like mandatory high-school service labor being put into place, others and I have before pointed out that many people get their "libertarian wings", so to speak, as a result of direct contact with a detestable use of government power. If there are no oppressors, people will not learn to fear and hate oppression nor learn how to fight it. Freedom as an absolute state, if it is even achievable, is metastable at best. I'd rather people be equipped to fight the good fight when it slips. Kids should taste a little oppression, if only to learn to hate it.

  • But you just said...||

    But if she had to do it in order to earn a high school diploma, which is what you implied, then how is that not compulsory, and therefore slavery by your own definition? I know that bringing up the word "slavery" is a conversation stopper for some people, much like bringing up the holocaust is, which is why I choose to view the other part of the 13th amendment, that of involuntary servitude, but in reality, it is slavery, both by your definition, and by the dictionary's.

  • ||

    Emanuel just accepted the job. If I had a fierce campaign rival, I wouldn't hire the rival's cronies to run the transition or my office. Only Clinton people are capable of doing these jobs?

  • Jordan||

    this is why al employees are slaves.



    Umm, if somebody is forcing you to work for them then you should call the police.

  • ||

    What I'm concerned about is the aggressive agenda of the first few months. After that--perhaps because of that--the unity will likely break apart, and if Obama and Congress overreach, the GOP will prepare to take over one or both houses in 2010.

    Elemenope,

    I'm fine with criticisms about us overreacting--nothing's happened yet, after all--but comparing what the government may do to what parents do is distressing. Not conflating parenting with governing is the whole friggin' point. I don't want a nanny state. I can't stand bibertarianism. And I think that there is more than ample room for initiatives like this outside of government. Unfortunately, too many people prefer the easy road of compulsion to the harder one of persuasion.

    By the way, as I've noted here before, the 13th Amendment does, in theory, allow us to enslave convicts. So just convict more people for nonviolent crimes, then use them for "services" for the term of their sentence ☺

  • ||

    zxz,

    You miss the subtle distinction between an employee and a slave. The key word is "must". If you can walk off the job and nobody goes after you with guns to drag you back, you're not a slave.

    -jcr

  • ||

    By the way, as I've noted here before, the 13th Amendment does, in theory, allow us to enslave convicts.

    Suddenly the purpose of the War on Drugs is clear!

    -jcr

  • LarryA||

    This is not a draft, nor is it military.

    IOW, no learning about firearms. Wouldn't want you shooting at terrorists. Someone might get hurt.

    Young people will be trained not as soldiers, but simply as citizens who understand their responsibilities in the event of a natural disaster, an epidemic or a terrorist attack.

    Anyone want to bet against the idea that the "responsibilities" involved equate to "Wait until the government tells you what to do, then follow instructions. And turn in your guns."

    Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?

    The local school has a CS program which is a requirement for graduation. They actually label it "voluntary community service." That in itself is reason to object.

    They also have a semi-secret list of places students can't "volunteer." (They won't publish the list openly, but they use it to turn down proposals.) Based on turned-down proposals it includes any activity advocating legalization of drugs or lowering the alcohol age, anything remotely involving firearms, anything promoting Christian (but not Native American) religion, and anything advocating reform of education.

    I doubt the program would survive a SCOTUS review if passed.

    Depends on who appoints the relevant justices.

  • ||

    I love how its always 18-25 year olds. They never ask they geezers to do anything for their SS checks.

    They're leaving that for the second term.

  • ||

    LMNOP, agreed on the slavery statement. The connection, I think, is a slippery slope. If we accept that the government can mandate service, that could eventually slip into all kinds of forced servitude on the "public" behalf. But calling *this* program slavery is like Naomi Wolf crying fascism. It just doesn't exactly fit, despite some distinct similarities and a tendency to head in those extreme directions.

    As far as your comment way earlier about kids washing the dishes, its not a very good argument. Parents don't "pay" their kids, they just shelter them, pay for everything they have, etc etc etc.

    On your last point, about tasting oppression, it is definitely an interesting one. What would the solution to that problem be, do you think? Should libertarians strive for a system where there is mostly freedom but we oppress kids when they are younger so that they learn to enjoy the freedom of later life? Are we really arguing that any system of freedom needs to sprinkle some oppression in there to build character?

  • ||

    Learning how to be a business manager and/or entrepreneur. That *must* be impossible under high school service plans, right? I must be making it up.

    Oh jeez. It was called co-op education in my district. You found a job, got credit for a class while you worked and your employer filled out a bit of paperwork. You got paid by the employer and it was not in any way shape or form considered "community service". It was a way for students who had already substantially fulfilled the requirements for graduation to gain work experience for their own benefit.

    Non sequitur.

  • Elemenope||

    I'm fine with criticisms about us overreacting--nothing's happened yet, after all--but comparing what the government may do to what parents do is distressing.

    It's supposed to be distressing. That was *my* point. Freedom-loving parents everywhere enjoy power, and use it, over their kids. Why? Because of a genetic lottery; that's what ultimately determines the natural right for a parent to command their children's actions, they happened to be born to them.

    I don't think the state should be a parent. Obviously that is a poor solution. I was just saying that when it comes to kids, people should be more self-aware about the heavy freedom rhetoric, because the reality is when it comes to kids it's mostly bullshit no matter who is saying it.

    I maintain that libertarianism is a next-to-useless model to deal with the notion of kids (esp. teens) as rational social and political actors. Not that anyone is any better, mind you. Every political philosophy I've ever read treats kids stupidly, if it treats them at all. It just seems to require a greater degree of cognitive dissonance for libertarians to pull off, given the rhetoric so casually thrown around about servitude, slavery, and liberty.

  • ||

    We know from his post presidential career, Carter really is a Jew hating anti-American Christian leftist.

    And how exactly do we know that Carter hates Jews? Because he used the word "apartheid" in reference to Israel's policies? By that reasoning, I guess anyone who used the word apartheid in reference to South Africa's policies must hate Boers, right? But maybe there are some ethnic groups it's OK to hate.

  • Homer Simpson||

    Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

  • dhex||

    "The notion that *this* program could be compared to ANY OF THAT blows my mind."

    libertarians, for all the vaunted logical-ness of the whole shebang, are as emotional as everyone else. a lot of it is motivated by a "leave me the hell alone" emotion (can't think of a better name at the moment) which i'm fine and dandy with since i like being left the hell alone.

    but rhetorical overreach happens, ya know? especially when people are used to dualities to describe just about everything.

  • Elemenope||

    As far as your comment way earlier about kids washing the dishes, its not a very good argument. Parents don't "pay" their kids, they just shelter them, pay for everything they have.

    Through the looking glass:

    People who owned slaves *also* paid for their slaves to be housed and fed.

    Actual compensation requires something minimally transferable, so that it can be used to accrue and/or maintain property and/or capital. Neither a roof and bed nor food qualify as compensation. That was the point.

    ------
    J sub --

    In our district, it was an internship, and the intern was *not* paid. So, no, your experience is quite a bit different from the one we're actually talking about.

  • ||

    "And how exactly do we know that Carter hates Jews? Because he used the word "apartheid" in reference to Israel's policies? By that reasoning, I guess anyone who used the word apartheid in reference to South Africa's policies must hate Boers, right? But maybe there are some ethnic groups it's OK to hate."

    He did more than use the word. He wrote a complete one sided book that was so inaccurate people resigned from the board of the Carter center over it. Carter holds Israel to standards he doesn't hold any other country and ignores crimes by the Palistinians that he would not ignore in other circumstances. Why? What is so special about Israel beyond the fact that they are Jews?

  • ||

    We know from his post presidential career, Carter really is a Jew hating anti-American Christian leftist.

    What the fuck? Anyone who is pro-Palestinian is an anti-Semite? So is it fair to say you hate black people because you dislike Obama and the Democrats (since most AAs are Dems)?

  • ||

    I am shocked...Talldave turned into a real libertarian who doesn't support our war of agression on the exact day after Obama is elected president and it becomes clear he will expand conflcits/wars in either Pakistan,Afghanistan or Russia while maintaining some form of massive spending in Iraq for around 100 years.

    Talldave, don't eb too offended...My neocon/libertarian leaning wife has been despondent the last week...somehow she just now became fearful that we are going 100% communist after making excuses for bush and cheney the last 8 years...the mindset has changed jsut as dramatically as yours...absolutely amazing.

  • adrian||


    Service != slavery, unless that service is also:

    1. Compulsory
    2. Maintained under the threat and application of force
    3. Preventing the ownership and/or accumulation of property
    4. Not compensated in the form of wages or other fungible credits
    5. Not alterable by a political process in which the person could feasibly be a participating member



    So 4 out of 5 doesn't make it so? And how can they do #5 if this is changed from 18-25 to just 18. Would that then make it slavery to you if it were just for 18 year olds?

  • ||

    Schools all over the country have service requirements. How about doing some journalism, and finding out how this works, instead of pretending it's some sort of unanswerable argument?


    I have to shake my head every time I read the form that my son's high school has for community service: The words "voluntary" and "mandatory" are in the same friggin' sentence. If nothing else, my son will see and understand the disconnect there.

  • ||

    I advocate national service to help rebuild our cotton farming industry. The high cost of labor for american farmers is killing our competitiveness. If we could put more useless dumb druggies slackers to work picking cotton for the good of the nation it would be a step forward in teaching diverse people how to love our country and work together.

    Of course we need to maintain a way out for exceptional minds like a young Dick Cheney who truly has more important things to do.

  • ||

    "You miss the subtle distinction between an employee and a slave. The key word is "must". If you can walk off the job and nobody goes after you with guns to drag you back, you're not a slave.

    -jcr"

    What you couldn't pick up me sarcasm in my typed words? I was talking about the broad use of the term slavery. I'm a slave to big titties and a packed bong.

    On the other hand economic pressure can be a gun to your head if you live in an area or high unemployment.

  • ||

    Joe,
    Who will we escalate military activity agaisnt first? Russia, Pakistan, Afgahnistan or "domestic terrorists"? Think Obama will be bringing any more army brigades home to keep watch over the people?

  • ||

    LMNOP, I still think its a poor analogy. Yes slaveholders paid for their slaves to eat and have a roof, but they also had them doing work for far less compensation than it was worth. Do you not think that doing the dishes is worth a house over your head, as well as food and all other necessities? Should we be paying our kids cash, but not supplying them with any of the things necessary to live? You seem not to take into account the fact that kids are generally not rational actors, and it is in their best interest to have things set up this way.

    The real thing that makes the two at all comparable is that as a child you *must* stay with your parents. If there were an option to leave your parent's custody as a child and just live in the world on your own, try and get a job etc, then it wouldn't be "forced" labor. But, we don't think that kids are rational actors at such young ages. Is that a limit on liberty? Yes, probably, but I don't think it creates too much dissonance to recognize that kids are not adults, and must be looked after. Then, since this is a necessary evil that must be endured by society, as I dont know of a way to give birth to a fully functional adult, we must figure out the best way for those kids to have their interests met. This is via the parents.

  • ||

    In our district, it was an internship, and the intern was *not* paid. So, no, your experience is quite a bit different from the one we're actually talking about.

    And mandatory. How nice. Why not just give then the white coveralls and have them rehab brownfields? Throwing out local tyranny as a defense of DC tyranny really doesn't fly with me.

  • Jordan||

    It's supposed to be distressing. That was *my* point. Freedom-loving parents everywhere enjoy power, and use it, over their kids. Why? Because of a genetic lottery; that's what ultimately determines the natural right for a parent to command their children's actions, they happened to be born to them.



    Jebus, D.A. wasn't kidding about your meds today. Feel free to turn your kids loose if it makes you feel better. The rest of us will continue to reside in the real world.

  • ||

    In the case of North Korea, they have not invaded anyone in about 50 years (the previously-mentioned Westphalian norms). They are a broken economy and have little ability to finance terrorism. In any case, military intervention is impractical because it would likely result in the destruction of Seoul, one of the world's second-largest metropolitan areas, by NK artillery.

    The first two points also apply to Sudan.


    Iraq hasn't invaded anyone for almost 20 years and didn't have the capabilities to. They were already punished for that one. When does a past invasion "expire"? Also, using the invasion as a criteria, when do we invade Russia? Your criteria are b.s. ex post facto justifications.

    Oh and who did Afghanistan invade?

  • Elemenope||

    Jebus, D.A. wasn't kidding about your meds today. Feel free to turn your kids loose if it makes you feel better.

    What is your problem? I was making a descriptive point, not a normative one.

    I was saying:

    Parents have great power over their children and use it.

    Did I say that was bad? No. What I *did* say is that it is hard to have and use that power and then bitch convincingly about other people wanting to use it too.

    Parents have control over their children because they were born to them and *for not other reason*, which is strikingly similar to the claims of the state upon a person simply because they were born within a certain geographical area. I'm dreadfully sorry if that obvious and self-evident point is discomfiting to you and your world-view.

    And the medication comments are slipping from obnoxious straight into disgusting. So, obligatorily, fuck you.

  • ||

    El, given that you've admitted that paternity over kids really has no bearing on this issue, what are you going on about?

    Appropriating power over children through force is a vastly different animal than rightfully being able to control your children because you're asserted responsibility for them.

    And frankly, I think your five characteristics of slavery are made ex post so you can justify getting in arms about the comparison.

    Like I said to joe, true liberals should be outraged about compulsive labor no matter what. It appears, however, that the Republicans and the Democrats have more in common than they are willing to admit.

  • ||

    If Obama gets into it with Congress because he would like to run a sane administration, what happens when the "stuff white people like" and Kos crowd turn on him for not being sufficiently leftist?

    John - I anticipate this exact scenario with the same level of pleasure and delight a child takes in anticipating Santa Claus's arrival. I know you do too.

    If it happens - and it's as likely as a middle class tax increase - you bring the popcorn. I'll bring the beer.

    I would never use the same language LMNOP uses in describing a parent's right to their child's labor - it's not wrong, it's just a little too blunt. I was a dishwasher and a remote control for much of my early life. My child is a light parlor maid and a beer and diet coke wench. She will not, however, be participating in any government-ordered service programs, under this or any other administration.

  • Elemenope||

    And frankly, I think your five characteristics of slavery are made ex post so you can justify getting in arms about the comparison.

    Well then, on what particular point of the five points would you like to quibble? Does it not describe the essence of slavery, or did you have a broader definition in mind?

  • ||

    "John - I anticipate this exact scenario with the same level of pleasure and delight a child takes in anticipating Santa Claus's arrival. I know you do too.

    If it happens - and it's as likely as a middle class tax increase - you bring the popcorn. I'll bring the beer."

    Here is something else fun to think about. The black community will never abandon Obama. He is their guy. What happens when KOS and the upper class white liberals turn on him. What is the black community going to have to say about that? The next four years are going to be fun.

  • ||

    I think kids are something like taxes. It is a necessary evil that must be dealt with, and having parents deal with it is the best way possible. I think there is also something to be said about the burden taken on by having children. Parents opt for this burden and create a child voluntarily. In a sense, until they are an adult, they are your "property". This if course does not equate to slavery as they still have many many rights, just not the full rights of an adult. I agree with you that there isn't much difference in claiming that parents can control their kids because they were born to them compared to the state claiming control because they were born within the state. I also think that since parents are the ones burdened with raising the child and paying for its every need, they should also be the one to determine how its life is until it is an adult, while still respecting the child's basic rights.

    Basically what I am saying is that I recognize that we don't advocate for children's liberty as a rule, but for the liberty of their parents to make their kids do what the parents want, within reason. I don't think there is any way around this, and for a myriad of reasons, the best way to deal with the problem is the let parents handle their kids because parents decide to have kids, how many, and also love them like no one else would (for the most part). It is more of a utilitarian argument than a libertarian one I guess.

  • ||

    Service != slavery, unless that service is also:

    1. Compulsory
    2. Maintained under the threat and application of force



    Full stop.

  • ||

    Eric, what does compulsory mean if not maintained under the threat and application of force? 1 and 2 are redundant.

  • ||

    5. Not alterable by a political process in which the person could feasibly be a participating member

    This one especially, El. It's like you wrote it to justify compulsion of 18-25 year olds.

    "Well, they had the vote and we voted that they get out there and pick trash / take care of the elderly / hand out soup! What's fair is fair!"

    It's.....disturbing

    And I think Half-Bee's definition should hold. Stripping people of their will and appropriating their labor, even though they're free adults, is unacceptable.

    it's anti-civilization.

  • ||

    Robbie - voluntary contract-formation is maintained (ultimately) through the threat of force or force. But you're not compelled to contract.

  • ||

    "Well, they had the vote and we voted that they get out there and pick trash / take care of the elderly / hand out soup! What's fair is fair!"

    If the system only applied to dumb ass college kids who voted for Obama thinking they were going to change the world, you might have a point. It still would be slavery but it at least would be slavery with a sense of justice to it.

  • ||

    Eric, what does compulsory mean if not maintained under the threat and application of force? 1 and 2 are redundant.



    The gray bar on the left and indentation indicate that I'm quoting someone. See your quoted words here.

  • jtuf||

    Americans age 5 to 16 (the age varries a bit by state) are already forced to spend 10 months a year in school. Adding another 3 months extends that forced labor a bit more. I think this might backfire on the Democrates.

  • cunnivore||

    Does anyone know where I can find H&R archives from the Clinton administration? I want to get a preview of how joe and lmnop are going to behave under a D administration.

  • ||

    TAO, yea, but its like saying a square is a rectangle but a rectangle isnt necessarily a square. Applying force to enforce voluntary contracts would satisfy number 2, but if the labor is already compulsory, satisfying 1, then it already implicitly has force attached. So to say that something must be compulsory AND have force attached is redundant.

  • Elemenope||

    I want to get a preview of how joe and lmnop are going to behave under a D administration.

    Hey, what about:

    "I don't support mandatory service"

    (which I've said today a couple of times, and before today many, many more times)

    don't you get? I objected to the rhetoric, not the position. Get your shit straight. joe is the Democrat. I'm just a stone-throwing jerk. :)

  • ||

    Yes, eric, I understand quotes. I also understand that if you meant to quote the entire list, or just the first on the list, you could have. See how you truncated 3-5? Ergo, you meant to quote 1 and 2, and I said why bother with 2 when 1 is sufficient.

  • cunnivore||

    jtuf, true, especially since there aren't 13 months in a year.

  • Kaiser||

    I think we are all missing the bigger issue here....and that is that Rahm Emanuel is a....ballerina!


    @Cunnivore

    I don't know if there is a specific section of the site but here would be a good place to start.

  • ||

    I agree with you that there isn't much difference in claiming that parents can control their kids because they were born to them compared to the state claiming control because they were born within the state.

    Parents have the right to control their children because they have the obligation to care for them and nurture them. Human beings are not designed to be autonomous from birth, and the species has a protracted infancy/childhood phase requring a lot of adult input.

    That is not at all the same thing as saying that the state has a right to control its citizens' children because they were born within the boundaries of the state. In fact, the whole notion of the state having the right or obligation to "care for" its citizens, whether adult or minor, is obnoxious. It's not a parent. It's a government. [Yes, it's different when we are talking about minors whose parents cannot, or should not, care for them but that's a whole different sticky ball of wax].

    What happens when KOS and the upper class white liberals turn on him. What is the black community going to have to say about that? The next four years are going to be fun.

    Fun, depressing, scary, probably alternating extremes of all three. Personally, I am hoping for very public feuds between and among celebrities. I want to see Oprah rain down hellfire on some major movie stars and I want to watch those same stars kneeling in the snow outside Chicago for three days before she forgives them.

  • ||

    cunnivore,

    The schoolwork you mention is integrally related to the school's purpose, education. Mandatory community service is not.

    Ever read what the founding fathers or Abraham Lincoln had to say about the purpose of public schooling?

  • cunnivore||

    LMNOP, you've been arguing that there's no problem with the state forcing children to do work for it.

    Perhaps you're on the right side of this particular battle, but you're on the wrong side of the war. (insert non-military community-serving analogy if you prefer)

  • Elemenope||

    And I think Half-Bee's definition should hold. Stripping people of their will and appropriating their labor, even though they're free adults, is unacceptable.

    it's anti-civilization.


    I wholeheartedly agree, and when written in measured, non-retarded rhetoric like this, I don't even feel moved to flip out and kill everyone. (1. Ninjas are mammals...)

    5. Not alterable by a political process in which the person could feasibly be a participating member

    This one especially, El. It's like you wrote it to justify compulsion of 18-25 year olds.


    A fundamental feature of *all* historical systems of slavery was the systematic denial of the franchise, not to mention rights of petition, assembly, and speech; essentially all means by which a person may participate in the body politic. Wouldn't you agree?

  • Elemenope||

    LMNOP, you've been arguing that there's no problem with the state forcing children to do work for it.

    Just where the fuck did I do that?

  • cunnivore||

    Yes, joe.

    And I have found that they were mistaken. About a great....many....things, as the Emperor would say.

  • ||

    I am going to ask that all of you start cooperating. Give your children over to a greater cause than your selfish familial interest. This is our chance to create a profound new world where people care more about causes that are greater their own selfish desires.

    Free market fundamentalist and greedy capitalist have had their turn. Even Goldman Sachs, Alan Greenspan and JP Morgan Chase now admit we must try something new. Now I ask that you let us see what we can do.

  • ||

    Ever read what the founding fathers or Abraham Lincoln had to say about the purpose of public schooling?

    Heh...NOW you're enamored with the Founding Fathers?

  • ||

    When I had to stay after school and clean the erasers for calling Mrs. Laurie a "faggot," (I was eight. I've gotten better at profanity), it did not transmit knowledge about an academic subject. Nonetheless, it was directly related to the school's mission.

  • Read the constitution!||

    You obviously haven't read the constitution at all. The 13th amendment states, "Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT AS A PUNISHMENT FOR A CRIME...". We sentence kids to do community service all the time when they commit crimes or misbehave (which I approve of), but what did the kids that are doing it for a degree do wrong? They never called anyone a f*gg*t. Why should they be punished? For being born? Treating law-abiding kids like criminals is immoral. You did something wrong (either by the law' standards or the school's standards), and you had to pay for it. Going to school is actually doing something for the community in and of itself (if you believe what informercials tell us about salary rates and high school graduation and the subsequent taxes raised from this scenario), and is not doing something wrong. And even in this case, your parents probably would have the right to intervene. If a parent wants to say that a child will have to do community service-fine, but if a parent disagrees- the state should err on the side of the parent and leave the kid the heck alone.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    Your list is not very accurate when it comes to describing the main components of slavery. Indeed, you left out the most important aspect of slavery: that it is a inheritable condition.

    As for the rest:

    1. Compulsory
    2. Maintained under the threat and application of force
    3. Preventing the ownership and/or accumulation of property
    4. Not compensated in the form of wages or other fungible credits
    5. Not alterable by a political process in which the person could feasibly be a participating member


    One and two are basically the same point, and they make up another one of the primary aspects of slavery; number three is not required (slaves throughout history have held ownership rights either de jure or de facto in all manner of things, even slaves); and number four is not required (throughout history slave owners have tried to encourage work out of their slaves via various incentives, including better clothing, housing and even monetary compensation). As for number five, well, it probably depends on what one means by the political process, however, in Roman society slaves were often freed in return for a promise to support former master's political, etc. career.

  • ||

    Oh, and it involved doing work for the state.

    TAO, I've always been enamored of the founding fathers.

    Don't flatter yourself that your poitical fringe cult are the only ones who trace their political ideals back through them.

  • Hogan||

    so what if you have to stay after school and clean erasers not because you did anything wrong, or even because the erasers need to be cleaned, but just to teach you how important it is that everyone put in work for the government? still an important part of that mission?

  • JGU||

    Sounds great to me, I only wish it was required military service.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    A fundamental feature of *all* historical systems of slavery was the systematic denial of the franchise, not to mention rights of petition, assembly, and speech; essentially all means by which a person may participate in the body politic.

    Since that was true for most of the population at large whether free or slave for most of human history that makes said condition hardly unique to slavery.

  • cunnivore||

    joe,

    Discipline that discourages children from disrupting class with profane outbursts is related to the school's mission in the same way that installing drinking fountains is: they are necessary overhead to make the imparting of knowledge possible for other kids. Requiring community service is not.

  • cunnivore||

    joe,

    You certainly agree with them on the slavery subject. The Southern ones, at least.

  • Guy Montag||

    Nigel Watt,

    If the Feds try and force me to do three months of "training", I'm leaving the country.

    ROFLMAO!

  • robc||

    lmnop,

    they happened to be born to them.

    Children dont just happen. It isnt a lottery. There is a very specific act that takes place. Im surprised you havent heard about it by now, I hear its popular with the kids these days.

  • ||

    Don't flatter yourself that your poitical fringe cult are the only ones who trace their political ideals back through them.

    We're just the only ones who do it without stupid leaps of pretzel logic, like you.

    And if you don't like "the cult", there's the door.

    Your "liberalism" is showing its totalitarian and illiberal side right now.

  • ||

    Hogan,

    "How important it is for everyone to put in work for the government" is not the purpose of either working during detention, or of communitiy service. Hell, most community service work, unlike clapping erasers, won't even be work for the government, but for some private charity or community group of the student's choosing.

    You're right, I was clapping erasers as a punishment, to teach me a lesson about how to treat people. That's a part of what schools are supposed to teach, too. The point of my example was to point out that schools' missions go further than imparting information about academic subjects.

  • Seward||

    The best criticism against "national service" is I think a Hayekian one (that is concerning his notions about knowledge, etc.).

  • robc||

    I was going to say what Seward said about the 5 pts. 1 and 2 are the same, others not necessary.

    I prefer "forced labor" to describe the draft over "slavery". Either way, its wrong. Ditto requiring us to fill out (or pay someone) our own income tax forms. You want to tax my income? Fine (well not really, but you know what I mean). But fill out the damn forms yourself and send me the bill.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Elemenope, I think you're getting bitched at because you're acting like joe, defending any action of Obama on absolutely bizarre grounds to try and smooth over the painful cognitive dissonance required.

  • Elemenope||

    Indeed, you left out the most important aspect of slavery: that it is a inheritable condition.

    Very good point.

    One and two are basically the same point, and they make up another one of the primary aspects of slavery

    Conceded that there is little if any space between them, though TAO above took a decent stab at why though they should be considered together they should not be considered *identical*.

    number three is not required (slaves throughout history have held ownership rights either de jure or de facto in all manner of things, even slaves)

    Those ownership rights were never absolute; they were in all cases (I'm racking my brain to think of a counterexample) subordinate to the master's property rights. Anything that the slave owned the master also owned, and in conflict the master always wins.

    and number four is not required (throughout history slave owners have tried to encourage work out of their slaves via various incentives, including better clothing, housing and even monetary compensation).

    Similar problem as three; re-compensation was illusory because the master could repossess at any time any wages paid, and the other items are not for the most part easily transferred resources and so does not properly act as wages.

    As for number five, well, it probably depends on what one means by the political process, however, in Roman society slaves were often freed in return for a promise to support former master's political, etc. career.

    In your own example, the slave only gained political rights at all after being manumitted. I can think of no historical system in which a slave, while still enslaved, enjoyed the political trinity (speech, petition, assembly) and/or the voting franchise. Even when the positive activities of assembly and speech were allowed to some extent, they were privileges, never rights.

  • ||

    cunnivore,

    I didn't disrupt class. I made the comment to someone at lunch. The punishment had nothing to do with preventing disruptions, but with socialization.

    You certainly agree with them on the slavery subject. The Southern ones, at least. You do understand that hysterical language like accomplishes nothing except making you feel better, right?

  • ||

    Yes, well, the Founders would revolt against the government you find acceptable. I'm afraid the political fringe cult is light years closer to their politics than yours. I don't see why liberals bother to trace back to the founding, anyway. It's not like limited government matters to them anymore. Ditto conservatives, I suppose.

  • cunnivore||

    Fuck that shit. If a school is disciplining children for anything that's not related to violations of the rights of others or disrupting the learning environment, that's a violation of the separation of church and state.

  • cunnivore||

    You do understand that hysterical language like accomplishes nothing except making you feel better, right?

    I'm arguing with strangers who will never change their minds on a freaking blog. Accomplishing something isn't exactly what I'm after here.

  • ||

    Well, at least we all know now that joe is over 25.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Elemenope, you're also suffering from the delusion that voting is important. It's merely a smokescreen of legitimacy for today's tyrants.

  • Elemenope||

    Elemenope, I think you're getting bitched at because you're acting like joe, defending any action of Obama on absolutely bizarre grounds to try and smooth over the painful cognitive dissonance required.

    Saying that mandatory youth service doesn't qualify as slavery is hardly *defending* it. What's the phrase? Damning with faint praise, I believe.

    I oppose mandatory service. I have consistently said so. What is all this about me smoothing over cognitive dissonance and bizarrely defending Obama's plans?

    Only a person who does not read carefully would get the impression I'm a fan of such notions. I simply have a problem with people calling something something that it plainly isn't. I personally think that the absolute worst way to oppose something policy-wise is to go bat-shit crazy with rhetoric about slavery and such, because it makes the good, pro-freedom position easily dismissible as pure lunacy to the wider crowd *you have to convince* if you wish to prevent policies like this from getting passed.

  • ||

    Why stop at slavery? Why not go all the way to work camps?

    ZOMG, teh Democrats are going to put our kids in concentratin camps!

    You know, the Germans made the Jews wear a certain piece of flair back in the 30s.

  • T||

    I didn't disrupt class. I made the comment to someone at lunch. The punishment had nothing to do with preventing disruptions, but with socialization.

    In that case, the punishment had nothing to do with socialization. It was to prevent you from subverting the established power structure in the school and to teach you the nail which sticks up gets hammered down. Apparently, you took that lesson to heart.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    Those ownership rights were never absolute...

    Nor are they amongst people who are free.

    ...they were in all cases (I'm racking my brain to think of a counterexample) subordinate to the master's property rights.

    I am sure there have been cases where the property of a slave was protected against the efforts of a master to seize it. Anyway, even if the right wasn't absolute (and what right is?), slaves have still owned and enjoyed rights in property throughout human history. Your original assertion is simply wrong.

    Similar problem as three; re-compensation was illusory because the master could repossess at any time any wages paid, and the other items are not for the most part easily transferred resources and so does not properly act as wages.

    Yes, they could, but they didn't in general because it was in the master's interest not to do so. Again, slaves were paid wages in kind and in cash and it has been a common practice throughout human history (basically because master's on average realized they needed a way to motivate their slaves).

    In your own example, the slave only gained political rights at all after being manumitted.

    Sure, but the slave did have a choice to be involved in that process.

    I can think of no historical system in which a slave, while still enslaved, enjoyed the political trinity (speech, petition, assembly) and/or the voting franchise.

    I can't either, then again that wasn't the norm anywhere until quite recently.

    Anyway, my larger point is that the condition of slavery was never as black and white or cartoonish as modern portrayals make it out to be.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Saying that mandatory youth service doesn't qualify as slavery is hardly *defending* it.

    Nobody sane is suggesting it's chattel slavery, but can you really say it isn't involuntary servitude?

  • ||

    Americans age 5 to 16 (the age varries a bit by state) are already forced to spend 10 months a year in school. Adding another 3 months extends that forced labor a bit more. I think this might backfire on the Democrates.

    Especially when the Democrats magically add a 13th month onto the end of the year.

    "Lousy Smarch weather"

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    Mandatory youth service is (to use a phrase often found in scholarly literature) a kind of "unfreedom."

  • cunnivore||

    joe, I know one Demoncrat who thinks that since we can already force students to labor in chemistry labs, we can go further and force them to work in soup kitchens. Maybe the slippery slope argument is valid after all.

  • Elemenope||

    Anyway, my larger point is that the condition of slavery was never as black and white or cartoonish as modern portrayals make it out to be.

    On the larger point, you and I are in agreement.

  • ||

    I oppose mandatory service. I have consistently said so. What is all this about me smoothing over cognitive dissonance and bizarrely defending Obama's plans?

    I think LMNOP is on the right side of this, folks. Save the pitchforks and torches for joe, who is OK with compulsory government-mandated service, so long as it's run by leftists.

  • ||

    The mandatory Community Service has been policy in Maryland and West Virginia for 10 years or more now. When I was in middle school MD instituted a plan where all high school students must complete 75 hours of community service in order to graduate.

    In West Virginia the requirement is 100 hours.

  • Richard||

    I think this is an EXCELLENT idea.

  • ||

    Hey, I just had this brilliant idea!

    Why not just force the kids to work as manservants for the geezer boomers?

    This will neatly solve the problem of the bankrupt Social Security system, without raising payroll taxes!

  • cunnivore||

    T,

    Exactly. I don't think joe would have been sent off to the Eraser Archipelago for chewing with his mouth open.

  • Kaiser||

    @Elemenope


    I understand you have a "pet peeve" if you will on the etymology of words. I think, please correct me if I am wrong, that is where you are coming from here. You just think using the word slavery to describe this plan is wrong. I understand that however I offer this point: Over time words change, their value is diminished by extreme over use and hyperbole to make points. As such, I think it is OK in this situation to use the word slavery. As an example I give you the word "fascism." I have the displeasure of having mostly very liberal/hippy friends (I think it's the weed) and they use the word fascism to describe anything that doesn't go their way basically. It is annoying, however it is something everyone does. (not just fascism obviously but many words) So taking this into account could it not be acceptable in these times to use such words?

  • ||

    Anyway, my larger point is that the condition of slavery was never as black and white or cartoonish as modern portrayals make it out to be.

    I know you're talking not just about slavery in the Americas, but the long history of human slavery...man, they made cats fight to death in the Coliseum!

    I wasn't there, but I've heard stories, man. It was bad.

  • ||

    Re: cognitive dissonance

    I think that the next four years will present so many situations inducing and/or requiring cognitive dissonance that at times we'll think we're living in a classic SF story, where the super-genius-all-knowing computer is disabled by being forced to contemplate contradictory truths and eventually blows up.

    Question: will this lead to Keith Olbermann's head exploding? I really wanted to see KO's head explode on election night, which of course it did not, but then I got to thinking...hhmm, the opportunities for head-explosion in the next four years have got to be numerous, no?

  • ||

    "Why stop at slavery? Why not go all the way to work camps?

    ZOMG, teh Democrats are going to put our kids in concentratin camps!

    You know, the Germans made the Jews wear a certain piece of flair back in the 30s."

    No they are just going to try and make my kids do pointless and stupid labor that has nothing to do with their education and is likly to be politically and morally objectionable in order to get a diploma and on top of that they are going to tax me to pay for it. Wow, I feel so much better now.

    The question is not will they send my kid to a camp. The question is what will they do to the parent who says "no I don't want my kid doing government mandated community service like some DUI convict"? Declare the parent neglectful? Send the CPS after them? Not sending your kids to school is a crime.

  • ||

    Schools all over the country have service requirements.



    Yes, Joe, but surely you see the difference between schools all over the country deciding to do something (or not) in various ways, and having it mandated in one particular way from Washington?

  • ||

    Oh, no, by the way I don't like the idea of "compulsory national service". Man, when I get out of the Army, I don't want to see the government for awhile (even though I'll be 26. Ha ha, can't get me).

  • ||

    But I like chasing Elemenope with a pitchfork...

  • ||

    hhmm, the opportunities for head-explosion in the next four years have got to be numerous, no?

    Did you just get done watching Scanners?

  • ||

    Listen, let's not bicker and argue over who wants to enslave who. Instead, let us compromise and bring back indentured servitude. Young people will learn a trade; small businesses will get free help for seven years. Education and economic stimulus all in one package! And no more idle hands!

  • ||

    As a side note, when I was in college, I had to do community service (it was a requirement for use of my scholarship. and I needed my scholarship). Man, I hated that shit.

    Y' understand, when I was a teenager, I'd help out at a soup kitchen with my church. But that was pretty much just because my parents made me come along.

    When I got in trouble as a teen I had to pick up trash along the road for community service. I'll be honest, I've never enjoyed working and not getting paid. Except that time I helped paint that mural.

  • Elemenope||

    So taking this into account could it not be acceptable in these times to use such words?

    Well...no. Just because something is commonplace does not make it good or acceptable. I get peeved by the "fascism" one and (particularly in these parts) the "socialism" one, too. These words describe ideas, or ideologies, or conditions that had (and sometimes continue to have) historical and practical significance. To dilute them by using them to describe superficially related ideas and conditions makes it more difficult to use the original term to describe that which it was created to describe.

  • ||

    joe, just because schools do it doesn't make it right. Unless you'd support the DoE mandating that intelligent design me taught throughout the states, I don't want to hear the "wrong things" schools do as a justification.

    Make a case that doesn't involve "look over there!"

    Of course, you're now an Obamatron, which is embarrassing for you.

  • ||

    let us compromise and bring back indentured servitude compulsory internships. Young people will learn a trade; small businesses will get free help for seven years.


    FTFY.

  • ||

    How about "Slavery Lite." It has all the great taste of Regular Slavery, but with only half the beatings and rapes.

  • Elemenope||

    But I like chasing Elemenope with a pitchfork...

    Sugarless, you keep your sexual games to yourself! Don't include me in your slovenly perversities! :)

    prolefeed's got my back. Thanks, dude.

  • Kaiser||

    Elemenope

    Well...no. Just because something is commonplace does not make it good or acceptable. I get peeved by the "fascism" one and (particularly in these parts) the "socialism" one, too. These words describe ideas, or ideologies, or conditions that had (and sometimes continue to have) historical and practical significance. To dilute them by using them to describe superficially related ideas and conditions makes it more difficult to use the original term to describe that which it was created to describe.




    Fair enough, fair enough.

  • ||

    Sure, in the 21st century, we can come up with a more palpable label than "indentured servitude"--I agree. Freeternships? Servidudes?

  • ||

    "Oh, no, by the way I don't like the idea of "compulsory national service". Man, when I get out of the Army, I don't want to see the government for awhile (even though I'll be 26. Ha ha, can't get me)."

    No shit. Few things will make you more suspicous of government and bureaucrats than serving in the military. I suspect that the lack of military service among urban elites has a lot to do with their belief in government.

  • ||

    Elemenope: I would also include the word "racism," which has now been diluted far beyond any sensible meaning.

  • ||

    Ele,

    I only call it a pitchfork to be funny. It actually only has two prongs.

  • ||

    I really like your idea Pro. Can I use the program to get an unpaid intern, a female one, meeting certain height and weight requirements, having a liberal attitude and be over 18?

  • ||

    I'm all for it. The next generation could use some humility. I'm 24 and I'm tired of what I see from my peers. This ME ME ME has got to stop. Anyone who says differently should take a cold hard look at the attitude of children graduatign college and highschool today.

  • Anonymous, Too||

    Why should I be punished because all the losers you hang out with are selfish? I did community service - voluntarily! But I don't believe in being forced to do something. You don't teach someone to be a good person by making them do something "nice". You teach someone to be a good person by being nice to them! Here's how it works- a person is feeling sort of like the world is crap. They decide that they don't want to help anyone. Then someone comes along and does something nice for them. They, like others say, have cognitive dissonance about this situation, and come to the realization that the world's not all bad. This encourages them to pay it forward. So, if you want people to be less selfish, don't force them to give, give to them. But don't force me because you think giving is a good idea. That actually makes you a "ME ME ME", my opinion is right and your feelings don't matter, self-centered, child!

  • Guy Montag||

    MD,

    Why not just force the kids to work as manservants for the geezer boomers?

    Scroll back up to my comment on who I want for cleaning and waxing my Charger, Jeep and truck to be named later.

  • ||

    In a sense, everything that a school requires you to do - write essays, take gym class, make the stuff in the beaker turn blue - is "forces labor." I can't get too worked up about community service requirements for graduation.


    The schoolwork you mention is integrally related to the school's purpose, education. Mandatory community service is not.

    Your argument boils down to "we can already force kids to attend school, so that means we can force them to do all this other stuff too."

    It really is all about control. Just as the left loves/needs to control the narative to expand it's grip on EVERYTHING, this will make it much easier to accomplish. Anyone who thinks this will just be kids going to help the downtrodden of THEIR choice is naive. Kids will be given a list of those who can be helped to meet the requirement. You better believe that diversity/political correct type thinking will be 'taught' to this captive audience as well. Just to insure they make the right choices at the ballot box you know.

  • ||

    John,

    That's what the Workers for Love and Hope program is all about.

    Stevo must be so pleased at the direction this thread is taking.

  • Guy Montag||

    John,

    I really like your idea Pro. Can I use the program to get an unpaid intern, a female one, meeting certain height and weight requirements, having a liberal attitude and be over 18?

    Are you just trying to get snappy (or whomever the heck that was yesterday) have another big fit?

    BTW, I have special uniforms for the young ladies who will be participating in the Montag Classic Auto Care internship.

  • ||

    Elemenope, I'm not convinced that most commonly-acknowledged slave societies (for instance, various ancient Greek city-states) would qualify as having "slavery" by your very narrow definition. It seems peculiarly tuned to US chattel slavery - you might as well throw in "involving people of African descent".

  • ||

    I suspect that the lack of military service among urban elites has a lot to do with their belief in government.

    A fair point. Although I value the time I've spent working for the gov't, and I'd recommend that many people try it, I wouldn't wish it forced on anyone.

  • Elemenope||

    I only call it a pitchfork to be funny. It actually only has two prongs.

    "We could do the beheadings with an olive fork. That would be nice, wouldn't it? And it would take a good God-damm long time, too! Hey, don't back out on me yet, God-damnit. We're just getting started..."

  • Elemenope||

    Elemenope, I'm not convinced that most commonly-acknowledged slave societies (for instance, various ancient Greek city-states) would qualify as having "slavery" by your very narrow definition. It seems peculiarly tuned to US chattel slavery - you might as well throw in "involving people of African descent".

    in point of fact, the two slave systems that most informed my impromptu definition of slavery were the American chattel slavery system, and the Roman slavery system. I honestly don't know enough about the conditions of slaves in the average Greek polis to speak on how accurately the five conditions I mentioned would apply. I have to say, though, that I personally would be surprised if that slavery there did not conform to (at worst) four of the five points I threw out there.

  • Hogan||

    as a county level bureaucrat who posts here from his slack ass government job, i agree that working for the government makes for an interesting education, but it depresses me to think that most bureaucrats evidently find it rewarding and valuable enough to stick with it for their whole careers. some time working in the public sector with a skeptical nature will do wonders for any latent lefty attitudes you may harbor.

  • ||

    Elemenope

    To dilute them by using them to describe superficially related ideas and conditions makes it more difficult to use the original term to describe that which it was created to describe..

    I'd be the first to agree that terms like "socialism" and "fascism" are often used in arguments in lieu of thought, but that doesn't mean they can only be used when describing actual jack booted thugs.
    I guess their proper application depends upon whether what they are being related to is a "superficial" relationship or not.

    I think what Rahm Emmanuel is promoting is substantially similar to certain socialist (and fascist) tenets, insofar as they rely on the notion that it is right and proper for a government to demand service of some sort from it's citizens.

  • ||

    Guy: Yes, exactly! The kids will provide valuable service to society, while learning to respect their elders!

    John: I guess I should open up my definition from just manservants, to womanservants, to include your needs too.

  • ||

    cunnivore said:

    Obama's program would come to a screeching halt when parents realize that their precious little sixth graders will have to work alongside crackheads and other assorted petty criminals.

    Ummm, sixth graders? 18 to 25 doesn't seem to fit that bracket most places, you must be from Arkansas or something. lulz. If we can send 18 year olds out with an M4 and a helmet to kill the enemy, I think they can handle doing some good work in their own communities.

  • ||

    This ME ME ME has got to stop. Anyone who says differently should take a cold hard look at the attitude of children graduatign college and highschool today.

    I couldn't agree more. In fact, I find everyone born ten years after me and later to be lazy, stupid, ungrateful and ill-mannered. Everyone born ten years before me and earlier is senile and narcissitic. Everyone who bought a home in my neighborhood after I did is appallingly indifferent to environmental concerns. The world's population became unsustainable roughly three hours after I gave birth in 2001.

  • ||

    John/Guy/Stevo,

    Let us deem it Involuntary Babe-i-tude and have done with it.

  • ||

    The CoS hasn't had any power since the time of Anton's death and the destruction of the black house.

  • ||

    Stubby, don't forget George Carlin's formulation: everyone who drives faster than you is an idiot, and everyone who drives slower than you is a moron.

  • Guy Montag||

    PL,

    I shall require additional babitudals for the leatherworking shop. The others must have something to wear when not washing my fleet.

    Cobblers too. The volunteers may break a heel or two while performing their duties.

  • ||

    Wow, ya wonder whats wrong with America today, you need not look further then these comments.

    There are plenty of countries that have mandatory military service of 3 or more years.. Obama wants to ask you all to help better your own country.

    REALLY. if our youth spent a few hours outdoors cleaning a park (supervised) or the older members did something simple, how is that making for a bad America ? So your kids learn how to do something.. maybe they enjoy it. Look at programs like Scouting or Cadets kids join that and learn about themselves not how to make better war.

    How about reducing the epidemic of Youth Obesity, Or cleaning up the streets. Things which will create a Better America and most of you all immediately dump on it.

  • So?||

    Just because another country wants to jump off a bridge doesn't mean I want America to.

  • ||

    We need a hand signal that our new youth corps can flash to show their solidarity? I'm thinking something like th sign language sign for green.

    We also need some sort of junior youth corp for kids younger than 18.

  • Elemenope||

    The CoS hasn't had any power since the time of Anton's death and the destruction of the black house.

    Acronym synonymy FTW.

    Oddly enough, the Church of Satan was the first thing i thought of when I saw CoS. Must be all that Dungeons & Dragons and trick-or-treating as a youth warped my mind and made me pliable to Satan, or something.

  • ||

    well, Kevin, most of us don't see compulsive service as making America "better".

    If we can send 18 year olds out with an M4 and a helmet to kill the enemy, I think they can handle doing some good work in their own communities.

    Oops...we have all-volunteer armed forces, so your comparison is void on its face.

    Wow, ya wonder whats wrong with America today

    "Kids!...I don't know what's wrong with these kids today....Why can't they be like we were; perfect in every WAAAAAY..."

  • ||

    There are plenty of countries that have mandatory military service of 3 or more years..



    Yeah, well this is America, pal.

    I always wanted to say that. On a serious note, yeah, America has problems, but I don't believe in a Bureacratic solution to everything. I don't think we always need government to organize us to solve our problems.

  • Elemenope||

    er, "acronym homonymy".

  • ||

    bureaucratic*

    CoS---->CoSplay?

  • Hogan||

    kevin's an easy target, sure, but it'd be nice for him and others to pick up on the distinction between forcing and asking. if obama just wanted to ask me to do something, it wouldn't require a set of laws and a bureaucracy for oversight. also nice how "fighting youth obesity" has snuck in.

  • Elemenope||

    Kevin inadvertently points out that this battle is already essentially lost on consequentialist grounds. We shouldn't do it because *it's wrong to do* not because it would be inefficient or ineffective.

  • ||

    Seriously, I want to hear the advocates for this program at least acknowledge that there will be a burdensome cost and intrusive administration.

    How and to whom do you verify that you performed the "approved" community service? Do you fill out a sheet and submit it? What should the consequences be for refusal?

    This can go one of two ways: totally totalitarian, intrusive and ridiculous, or it can turn into a national joke, where people are turning in their "Community Service Form 2-2022-B-3" and lying their asses off on it.

  • ||

    Kevin,
    You need to report these unamerican terrorists to our carign government. We need to get these programs in place so that the next bush administration will be able to set up whatever programs they want for our children. Kids don't learn anything useful from their parents, we need to get them under the control of the state more.

  • Seward||

    Elemenope,

    One of the things I noticed about the Obama campaign's platform on this issue were their plans to send various "Corps" of people out into the field to work on various projects. What has been the overall efficacy of such efforts in the past?

  • Elemenope||

    Hogan, so far, Obama's plan *is* asking (and even more accurately, a voluntary exchange of value for service), whereas Rahm's is *telling*.

    The first is beatable on consequentialist policy grounds (it's wasteful and inefficient and bureaucratic, yadda-yadda-yadda) whereas the second is actually wrong and should be fought on principle.

  • ||

    There are plenty of countries that have mandatory military service of 3 or more years.. Obama wants to ask you all to help better your own country.



    Poke around, and you'll find that the democratic countries still doing this are a short and dwindling list.

  • ||

    i still fail to see how this is such a bad thing.. Ive always been taught that a community builds itself. So if your 18-25YO kid has to do some community service they learn a thing or along the way. Maybe i as a parent will go out and help them, in the process i will get to know my neighbor and so on.

    But.. rather then leave your house with children in tow, and doing something constructive outdoors to help yourself or others.. the best thing we can all do is get online. Bitch and complain because the man the majority of Us Americans voted for is asking America to help heal itself.

  • Hogan||

    i went through an ib program in high school, which involves a certain amount of CAS (creativity, action and service) hours to get the diploma. shit was a complete joke. my 50 service hours were actually about 6 hours of volunteering at a for-charity haunted house. for my 50 creativity hours i had the program administrator lie and claim that i helped with a play that was never put on. and for my 50 action hours i forged a signature claiming that i spent that time volunteering with a ufw post, even though i went to like one meeting and it was in spanish so i said fuck it.

    let's take this shit federal!

  • ||

    Kevin,
    These paranoid folks haven't read history liek me and you. they don't realize that what made this country great is our willingnes to not question the government and to go along with whatever flimflam involuntary labor program our king has asked us to do. If we don't get back to those fundamentals of sacrificing our selfish desires for the collective good then our country will never be great again.

  • Elemenope||

    One of the things I noticed about the Obama campaign's platform on this issue were their plans to send various "Corps" of people out into the field to work on various projects. What has been the overall efficacy of such efforts in the past?

    From what I understand, the success of such programs varies widely with location and circumstance. The Peace Corps, for example, has a decent but not amazing reputation for efficiency and effectiveness, whereas Americorps was very much hit-or-miss. The Army Corp of Engineers, yet another "corp" with a mixed track record. ;)

    Pretty much what one might expect from a bureaucratic system of any sort, I suppose.

  • cunnivore||

    thaddeus, RTFP.

    Obama's service plan is just as troubling. He wants to mandate 50 hours of community service per year for middle and high school students.

  • ||

    Really, why not force the entire population of this great country to do what is, after all, for their own good? Instead of wasting all of the time and resources for our piddling own selfish ends, why not dedicate and focus our efforts on great goals?

  • Hogan||

    lmnop - true about the distinction, but if i understand it, obama's website touts "Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year..." dunno how you get there just by asking.

  • ||

    Kevin,
    I voluntarily take my kids out of the house and go do stuff with neighbors...my weekends are pretty booked as it is and me and my wife owrk a lot during the week...which of my weekend projects are you asking me to shelve to start doing a compulsory national service project?

    you sick presumptuous tyrant in training.

  • ||

    The Angry Optimist argued:

    Oops...we have all-volunteer armed forces, so your comparison is void on its face.

    against my statement:

    If we can send 18 year olds out with an M4 and a helmet to kill the enemy, I think they can handle doing some good work in their own communities.


    The only problem with this Angry, is that they only volunteer for the job, not the mission they are sent on. I wonder why Ron Paul, a republican candidate for president in the election who argued passionately to end the wars overseas, got more contributions from military personnel and families than all of the candidates on both sides combined?

    The only thing our brave men and women are volunteering to do is protect their country. The intention of my statement was to show that if individuals of that age can face the evils of this world, why would they be unfit to deal with the difficulties of bettering their own communities? Not to suggest our military is a forced service.

  • cunnivore||

    Hogan, so far, Obama's plan *is* asking

    Elemenope, you need to RTFP as well.

    Obama's service plan is just as troubling. He wants to mandate 50 hours of community service per year for middle and high school students.

  • Seward||

    Kevin,

    Eric makes an excellent point; year by year conscription becomes less common as more and more nations get rid of it. I'd say that much of that is due to the simple fact that conscripted militaries are far too expensive, ineffecient, etc. to maintain than volunteer armies. That by itself seems to be a significant reason not to support mandatory public service.

  • ||

    Kevin:

    If this idea is so great, why does Emanuel lie about it from the very beginning? Why does he use the word "ask" when what he means is "order"?

  • ||

    i still fail to see how this is such a bad thing



    That you do.

  • ||

    So if your 18-25YO kid

    There's your problem right there.

    I'm 25 years old. I have two bachelor's degrees. I've been to war in Iraq. I'm in law school and, in all likelihood, know more than you do.

    But you persist in calling me a kid. Not to get all gooshy, but I've fallen in love, gotten my heart broken, wrecked some cars, made some poor decisions and some great ones. I'm hocked up to my eyeballs in debt and excel at Life 101.

    I'm no more a "kid" than you are, douchebag.

  • ||

    Kevin,

    The issue is whether or not such service is voluntary or coerced in some fashion.

    I don't think anyone is arguing that there is anything wrong with community service, per se.

    As for the "heal itself", I have no problem if that's what he actually meant. I suspect however, his plans involve legislating our "problems" away, rather than actually letting the nation actually "heal itself".

  • ||

    is that they only volunteer for the job, not the mission they are sent on.

    That is the EXACT job description: go on the mission you're told to go on. Do what your nation asks of you.

    And *I* volunteered to do it, so don't go presuming that I didn't know what I was potentially getting myself into.

  • ||

    Geez, TAO, no reason to take the condescension personally.

  • cunnivore||

    The only thing our brave men and women are volunteering to do is protect their country.

    That may be the motivation behind their volunteering, but that's not actually what they're volunteering to do. They're committing to obey their superiors for the duration of their enlistment, whether their orders are intended to protect the country or not.

    Otherwise, in 1993 troops would have been free to refuse to be deployed to Somalia, which even the proponents of the mission there admitted had zilch to do with protecting our country.

  • ||

    [Winks knowingly at the other adult commenters] Kids.

  • Redditman||

    Hey I'm 19, and just bout ready to get my seconday schooling on the way. Ive seen what my teacher called the baby boomers pretty much take everything their parents worked for and well fuck it up. All for what ? what they want, I dont really think i want to be forced to do community service but if i get to help why not.

    my friends are kinda thinkin the same. Some think its stupid others believe its a great idea a different way of thinking and going forward.

  • D||

    The problem is that you can't possibly think you are so great that you have to force everyone to do things just because you do it. If you want to do it- great! No one is telling you that you can't. Where I draw the line is when you want to come to my house and tell me to do something that is important to you, even if I disagree with it. It makes you sound like an idealistic, but selfish, child!

  • ||

    Also, the majority of voters in this country think like Kevin; therefore Obama.

  • ||

    People who join the US armed forces and then try to get out of it when they're ordered to do something they don't want to do have always struck me as particularly stupid. It's the fucking army. Yes, there is a chance that you will be told to go to war, and there is a chance it will be a war you don't support, and if the prospect troubles you, find another way to pay for your engineering degree, nimrod.

  • ||

    So, we're going to put our useless kids to work. Good. What's next? A Five-Year Economic Plan? Great! Sedition for denying any aspect of global warming? Right! Banning the Republican Party? Where do I sign up?

  • ||

    This idea is derivative, I'll grant, but there are times I'd like to divide America up into Bibertaria and Libertopia. To sweeten the proposal, those of us in Libertopia will voluntarily send money to Bibertaria to fund some of your crazy socialist notions.

  • ||

    Also Kevin, what does this:

    "[He] is asking America to help heal itself."

    mean?

    Do you know? If so, could you please explain it to me? If not, why are you using it?

  • ||

    cunnivore,

    I reread the post, and I did miss the second part about middle schoolers, so I retract slant about age, my bad.

    Even still, do you really think it would be that horribly implemented, that they would mix kids from middle school in with criminals? That's about as baseless an attack as that mccain ad that mentioned teaching sex ed in school and showing photos of grade schoolers. Lets not get brash.

  • ||

    I don't want to be worried. I'd love to hope that Obama is going to be our savior. Please wake up obama corpses! last week you correctly willing and ready to accuse bush of war crimes. Now we will see Obama forgive and pardon EVERY SINGLE crime those people have done. OBAMA wil NEVER roll back the patriot acts, the eavesdropping bills, the NSA, the tripling of the ATF the militarized polcie state, the tasers, the free speeach zones! The new executive powers...the same bankers that supported Bush loyally, the War Street Journal the NYTimes, Fox News...all of these people are now going to be backing black shrit youth brigades. If Obama gave a damn he'd at least change the language instead of enacting the EXACT FREEKING terms that Mussolini used!

    "National Security Volunteer Militia" =

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackshirts

  • ||

    To the advocates of this policy:

    How would this be implemented? How should we pay for the costs? How should one "report" that their requisite community service is complete? What are the punishments for refusal?

    I *hate* when people come up with these "great ideas" from the Idea Fairy but refuse to think how we should implement them and whether the benefits are really worth the costs.

    And that's leaving aside El's point that this is immoral.

  • Kevin||

    I never advocated forced military service.. there are programs which can already provide something like that.

    What i'm saying is it took more then just a government to build our country. Now that we are comfortable we want our gov to both do everything for us and stay out of our lives.

    Well think of it this way, if we took some responsibility for some of what was around us. We could get the Gov out of our lives.

    If the majority of you choose to sit and watch others work. Then hope to reap the rewards you will find quickly that people will not come around to your way of thinking.

  • ||

    I'd trust Obama more if he ended the FORCED CONSCRIPTION WE HAV EIN PLACE RIGHT NOW.

    Don't you damn lefties remember the stop loss policy? remember how criminal Bush/Rumsfeld was for relying on it for ten thousnad plus people?

    Obama will keep those policies...what does that make Obama?

  • ||

    Going on further:

    Can we make exceptions for people who are already working? If not, what if the individual working is a substantial portion of income in a low-income household? What if he's some whiz-bang 18-year-old who's developing the next hot OS? Do you really want to have him go waste his incredibly productive time picking up trash on the side of the highway?

  • Seward||

    TAO,

    I think it was Hayek (maybe it was Friedman) who said to ask of any government proposal "and then what?" So you are in fantastic company!

  • ||

    @Gabe

    stop-loss sucks, but it's totally in the contract that that could happen (say you sign up for 4 yrs, you still owe 4 in the Individual Ready Reserve when the y years are up). 8 year commitment. They pointed this crap out to us when we enlisted, before we were sworn in.

  • Kevin||

    Matthew,

    My comment of him asking America to heal itself, is mainly to show his focus is based on the fact that we all know Gov cannot hope to fix all the problems by legislation or as some say more bureaucracy. It will take as the media puts it "grassroots" organizations and "community organizers" to rehabilitate communities and areas which have become rundown, tired and neglected. Most of us have had a good run over the last years. But i don't want to leave this "shit" for my kids to clean up.

  • D||

    So- clean it up. But don't force me. And with this plan, your kids will be forced to clean it up, even if they have to throw the trash out themselves. It's not even about the work, Kevin. It's about making you do something you don't want to do. You don't want to do forced military service- great, I'm not going to make you! But don't be a hypocrite and force me to work for your fuzzy, green, whatever-you-think-is-important brigade. I can be an objectioner to anything I please, and I object to being forced to do something that is against the constitution, which I, personally support. It is about letting me be the person I want to be while I let you be the person you want to be. That's all you should [be able to] ask from me.

  • ||

    Why anyone trusts the government to act in our best interest and not for political or corrupt ends is beyond me.

  • Hogan||

    What i'm saying is it took more then just a government to build our country. Now that we are comfortable we want our gov to both do everything for us and stay out of our lives.

    Well think of it this way, if we took some responsibility for some of what was around us. We could get the Gov out of our lives.


    So. Let's. Create. A. Federal. Program. That. Would. Compel. Us. To. Do. So.

    if you're feeling guilty about how comfortably you live, Kevin, why not go do something that assuages your guilt? volunteer your own fucking time, not mine. with what little spare time I have, I volunteer with habitat for humanities, the united way and i deliver meals to seniors. if the government required it of me (and shit, i'm under 25 so i'll keep my fingers crossed), i'd just fake my way out of it. please go fuck yourself and your whole way of thinking that makes my head explode.

  • ||

    The military only stop-losses people when it gets desperate because 95% of the time a stop-lossed servicemember is extraordinarily surly.

  • ||

    Pro Malto,

    Like Guy, service in as my intern will involve a uniform that will be fitted tightly at all times.

  • Chris||

    Hogan,

    Dude chill man, wtf the mans just sayin maybe we can do something..

    you already say you volunteer for Habitat, what you dont think that would count ? same with united way etc.

    from what ive read and seen its just getting more ppl to do what your doing. not makin you do more..

    Kevin,

    shit man i like your way of thinking but i dont want no military service or nothing. I dont want no one tellin me igotta go out and do shit for ppl who dont wanna do shit themselves.

  • ||

    Art-P.O.G,
    Thanks for the info...didn't know that...I only saw the trailer on the movie.

    Nevertheless, many of the same folks who are now perfectly willing to trust obama to run compulsory youth brigades were worried about the inhumanity of stop-loss just a few months ago and I haven't seen Obama do anything to fix the stop loss stuff.

    Gabe

  • Prince Charles||

    Hear, hear, America! Jolly good. I've instituted a similar program in the United Kingdom, also called, coincidentally, Involuntary Babe-i-tude.

  • ||

    from what ive read and seen its just getting more ppl to do what your doing.

    Chris, do you see a substantive difference between true volunteering and compulsive charity?

    Kevin,

    You have a lot of implementation questions to answer.

    I think that national compulsory service will be the straw that breaks this camel's back.

  • ||

    I would agree with the fact that there is lots to do from a volunteer standpoint to help make America / World a better place. So why doesn't Rahm retire from public life and start a company that organizes volunteers to do just that? Why does the government HAVE to be involved? ( I have my thoughts on why, but I'm looking for an answer from Kevin).

  • alan||

    Suppose this notion does go into effect, in some minor sense like Clinton's AmeriCorp it likely will, but just for the sake of argument we get the whole Rahm/Barack shabang, what will happen when the next epoch turns?

    The nation will eventually swing rightward again, no nation outside of North Korea and Cuba has prevented that from occurring. What will happen when the next Bush gets a hold of this idea: say, mandatory boot camp, a lot of parents will like that one. I would love to see my neighborhood cleared of the dingy little glue sniffers during the summer months, or just for the fun of it, a ban on students participating in culturally decadent activities like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, left cause activism, minority reading programs, etcetera while they are receiving financial aid. If you can tell them what to do, is it a stretch to tell them also what they cannot?

    This example I give is a bit 'out there', but so is much of the Emmanuel agenda expressed in his own writing. In the case this plan occurs and if it occurs, at some point, the right will inevitably get their hands on the program to do with it what they wish. What intellectually defensible position does the left have in this case given the support they gave to their own excesses? You are not on solid ground here.

    You defend the indefensible, the indefensible will eventually be used against you.

  • ||

    Uh. I didn't realize JFK thought a good nation was defined by "what it asked of its citizens". I thought that was the other way around - good citizens were defined by asking what they could do for their country.

    Big, big difference. And God help us.

  • cunnivore||

    thaddeus,

    Community service is a common sentence for relatively minor offenses such as misdemeanor drug possession, disorderly conduct, etc. Assuming the feds use the same standard for "community service" as the courts do, you're going to have a lot of CS organizations that use both school kids and criminals.

    Well, unless you want to add more regulations prohibiting the two groups from working together or even near each other, which is going to complicate matters immensely for the organizations you're supposed to be trying to help out.

  • ||

    I guess the Obama drama play really has restored faith in the government on the part of many naive people. Now we will see all the Obama supporters making excuses for why Obama refuses to investigate the various lies and crimes committed by the Bush administration. They will tell us Bush wasn't really so bad.

    Google "National Security Volunteer Militia "- Mussolini

  • ||

    yes, alan, isn't it amazing that lefties would have had a fit if Bush forced everyone to attend Jesus Camp, but it's ok to force everyone to truck over to your local soup kitchen?

  • ||

    Kevin,

    As long as it's all truly voluntary I'm all for it.

    And yes, volunteers in a multitude of community activities have unquestionable made and continue to make this country a better place.

  • cunnivore||

    TAO, you're awesome and stuff, but I think you mean "compulsory" when you write "compulsive". Though I think compulsive charity would be an unhealthy thing too.

  • ||

    If the majority of you choose to sit and watch others work.

    Are you really just this fucking clueless? You think none of us work for a living or make any effort to better things?

    We pay taxes. We go to work. We participate in society and our communities in a million ways you never dreamed of. We try and raise our kids responsibly and to teach them our moral codes so that they become good, responsible adults who aren't a net loss.

    If you want something done, go do it yourself. Urge others to join you, that the true measure of service. But don't compel anyone to do anything they wouldn't do otherwise. That's servitude, not service.

  • Hogan||

    Community service is a common sentence for relatively minor offenses such as misdemeanor drug possession, disorderly conduct, etc. Assuming the feds use the same standard for "community service" as the courts do, you're going to have a lot of CS organizations that use both school kids and criminals.

    when i got in trouble in high school (ditto for many of my friends) and had to do community service, it was typically with other fuckups. not necessarily crackheads, but definitely pretty bad seeds.

  • ||

    julie

    Yes, the key word here being "asking".

    An important distinction that I'm not sure Obama and Emanuel understand or even grasp.

    Sorry Kevin, if I misunderstood you in your earlier comment.

  • ||

    """"Being traded at auction is not part of the definition of slavery. If you have to work at another's command, you are a slave.""""

    Being sold goes to ownership. Which was a key element in American slavery.

    Working on command sounds very much like my military service experience which wasn't slavery so there has to be more to it than that.

    But for fun here's Merriam-Webster Online definition.
    slav·ery
    Pronunciation: \ˈslā-v(ə-)rē\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1551
    1: drudgery , toil
    2: submission to a dominating influence
    3 a: the state of a person who is a chattel of another b: the practice of slaveholding.

    Of course you could try using definition two to claim you don't have to submit to the federal government or LEOs and see if you have a case.

  • ||

    @Gabe

    Gen. Casey has talked about stop-loss. The services don't like it (it's bad for morale, as I've said).

  • Guy Montag||

    TAO,

    wrecked some cars

    Yea? What kind and how fast?

    Kevin,

    I never advocated forced military service.. there are programs which can already provide something like that.

    Huh? Can you descramble that? It reads like -we already have conscription, we just call it something else-

    stubby,

    People who join the US armed forces and then try to get out of it when they're ordered to do something they don't want to do have always struck me as particularly stupid.

    Same here, for longer than the 29 years I have been in.

  • ||

    Forcing people to participate in community service will defeat the purpose.

    However at the same point it has to be made worth while. Which brings in Bureaucracy again defeating the purpose..

    What needs happen is this idea needs to come from the bottom up. And we need municipal/federal gov to help not hinder us.

    what is the use of cleaning a park if say the city will not provide something as simple as garbage disposal.

    I guess my idea of what they are suggesting is for people to self motivate, and all go out as a group and do something good.

  • ||

    cunnivore - dammit it all! lack of cigarettes makes me fuzzy-headed.

  • ||

    "Now we will see all the Obama supporters making excuses for why Obama refuses to investigate the various lies and crimes committed by the Bush administration. They will tell us Bush wasn't really so bad."

    Damn straight they will. Bush's reputation is going to go up over the next six months as Dear Leader continues many of his policies. His supporters, who a month ago were claiming it was 1933 in America, will say with an entirely straight face "we never said Bush was creating a police state."

  • ||

    Yeah, but what has ever been "truly voluntary" about state-sponsored community service?

    There's going to be a lot of pressure exerted by Obamatons on their peers to "get with the program." Remember that "Seinfeld" episode?

    "You have to wear the ribbon! Everybody wears the ribbon!"

    "But I don't want to wear the ribbon!"

    "You hear that everybody? He doesn't want to wear the ribbon! YOU MUST WEAR THE RIBBON!"

  • ||

    @cunnivore

    Compulsice charity is in part what got MC Hammer bankrupt.

  • ||

    compulsive*

  • Guy Montag||

    TV,

    Being sold goes to ownership. Which was a key element in American slavery.

    So, let me get this straight . . .

    If the federal government owns the labor of someone for a period of time, but does not sell that person then it has exercised some sort of loophole in Leftoid slavery lingo?

    Are you trying to tell me that if I force someone to work for me, but I don't sell them then there is nothing wrong with it?

    Excuse me for not signing up to your plan.

  • ||

    Alan, your question is too uncomfortable. It will not be answered.

    Everyone with a brain knows what will happen when the next jerk comes in/if not before then...the next guy that comes in will use it for stuff that is evil if he gets the chance. If we have another terror strike then maybe he/she could utilize it to form a nationwie network of snitches to inform the governemnt of anyone with ideas prominent among domestic terrorist. You know stuff like"talks about the constitution, doesn't believe CO2 should be taxed, thinks freedom of speach is important".

    The people advocating this will do anything to avoid thinking about negative thoughts like yours...it is too scary. They are good people so they will not allow themselves to contemplate that they may accidentally support tyranny.

  • ||

    The market is down about eight hundred points since the election.

    Coincidence?

    "Wait- He said he wants to do what?"

  • ||

    It's gonna be a lot of fun having some Obama govt thug keep track of the miles on your car.

  • ||

    I let Bush get a pass when he was initially elected in 2000...and I hoped he'd be more laissez-faire in his second term...

    I'm not getting fooled again. Every stupid thing Obama and the Ds say needs to be immediately, witheringly and vociferously attacked. Everything.

  • ||

    Same here, for longer than the 29 years I have been in.

    *cough* warrant officers are cooler than commissioned officers anyway. *cough*. No, but I hear what you're saying but understand that some 17-18 yr-olds apparently really don't think about what they're getting into. Hell, I joined at 22 and was only partially prepared for the suck. Still, military service has been a valuable experience for me (and I have to say big ups to the DoD Environmental Leave Program).

  • ||

    Gabe...

    Don't be foolish, and get rid of the partisan chip on your shoulder. Bush this, Bush that! Stop loss was used by Clinton during the Kosovo conflict to keep me in the Air Force past my date of separation.

    Boo Hoo, I got over it.

  • ||

    Environmental *Morale* Leave I should say.

    Every stupid thing Obama and the Ds say needs to be immediately, witheringly and vociferously attacked. Everything.

    Cosign 7X and I voted for him.

  • ||

    Art-P.O.G. | November 6, 2008, 3:40pm | #

    @Gabe

    Gen. Casey has talked about stop-loss. The services don't like it (it's bad for morale, as I've said).

    So the military doesn't support it and Obama doesn't supprot it. Obama will have majority int he house and senate adn how much do you want to bet that stop loss remains?

    How much do you want to bet that the lefties don't give a rats ass anymore? "who cares, it is just a bunch of dumb christian rednecks and poor blacks and mexicans, besides now they are invading sudan so it is good to kill more foreignors now at least the blue states are in POWER." aaargh we love POWER(satan voice)

  • ||

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and many, many nasty postings about people in power when they even merely potentially threaten our liberties.

    What's happened to this country? Our nearly absolute distrust of government was one of our strengths.

  • ||

    "I'm not getting fooled again. Every stupid thing Obama and the Ds say needs to be immediately, witheringly and vociferously attacked. Everything"

    I can't wait to bitch slap that bastard the first thing that goes wrong or the first mistake he makes. Apparently Paul Beglia said that people need to rally around Bush in his last days. Can you believe that shit? Can I vomit now or later. You are going to see any number of thumb sucking pieces over the next few months talking about how maybe people were too hard on Bush. Maybe the President isn't responsible for everything and maybe it isn't a good idea to use terms like Hitler and village idiot when talking about the President.

    I hope Obama gets treated exactly like Bush. The only thing those people understand is power. They don't respect the office of the President or the country, they just don't want their guy to get treated badly. Piss on their peace.

  • cmoney||

    "I find it utterly ridiculous that parents, in particular, who notably enjoy plenary and nearly unfettered power over their children would complain that their children are being "enslaved". Oh, I know. What parents enjoy, that's the "good" slavery. Do you all pay wages to your kids for doing the dishes? No? Then shove it."

    This sounds utterly Robespierreian, or any of the other countless statists who wished that parenting duties be removed from the biological parents and given to the government.

  • ||

    Three months of citizenship training - hey, this could be a good thing! With a program like that in place, no one would reach the ripe old age of 44 without understanding the concept of freedom of speech, or what the vice president's duties are. Hopefully they might even be motivated to go on and learn more things on their own, like whether Africa is a country or a continent, and what countries are signatories of NAFTA.

  • ||

    "Three months of citizenship training - hey, this could be a good thing! With a program like that in place, no one would reach the ripe old age of 44 without understanding the concept of freedom of speech, or what the vice president's duties are."

    All things come back to Palin don't they? For the record she was right about the VP. If you don't believe me, take it up with Glenn Reynolds and Orin Kerr, both of whom are law professors and quite knowedleable on the subject. Reynolds even wrote a law review article on the subject called "Is Dick Cheney Unconsitutional" arguing that the VP is in fact a member of the legislative branch.

  • ||

    """If the federal government owns the labor of someone for a period of time, but does not sell that person then it has exercised some sort of loophole in Leftoid slavery lingo?"""

    How do you own labor? You can own those who labor, well not since slavery was abolished.

    """Are you trying to tell me that if I force someone to work for me, but I don't sell them then there is nothing wrong with it?""

    Not what I'm saying at all. That would be involuntary servitude, which according to the 13th amendment is something different than slavery and rightfully forbidden.

  • ||

    I am so sick of people viewing things through a purely partisan lens. This isn't team sports. I don't care if my favorite politician of all time got elected, if he did things to threaten my freedom or to expand the power of government, I'd fight him tooth and nail.

  • ||

    Joel,
    I only use "bush" because you'd think that it would inspire some of the lefties to not be hypocrites this time. I know Clinton was a war criminal too...bombing aspirin factories to create distractions ...madelina albrights making justifying killing a half million iraqis in the isolationist trade sanctions. Killing folks at Waco and lying about it...I was pissed at Bush when he pardoned everything clinton did and refused to investigate his lies. I'm about as unpartisian as you will find.

  • ||

    Pro Lib, I must cosign multiple more times to what you've said.

  • ||

    "I am so sick of people viewing things through a purely partisan lens. This isn't team sports. I don't care if my favorite politician of all time got elected, if he did things to threaten my freedom or to expand the power of government, I'd fight him tooth and nail."


    True. If Obama does sane things and gets into it with the nuts in Congress, he can have my support at least on that. At the same time, it would be good for the Dems to get a taste of their own medicine. We didn't get rid of that god awful independent counsel law until it was used on a Dem. In the same way I think a Dem president being treated badly might give them pause the next time.

  • ||

    madelina albrights making justifying killing a half million iraqis in the isolationist trade sanctions

    I'm troubled too by some of the actions of the Clinton administration, but at the same time I guess it's just not reasonable at all to expect Saddam to have given a crap about his own citizens.

    I don't, for the record, consider Clinton a war criminal.

  • ||

    I agree Pro.

  • ||

    The Messiah will grant your wish to serve Him.

  • ||

    Pro,

    What about Biden? I agree that the really derranged criticism of Bush should not be applied to anyone, not even Dear Leader. But Biden is different. He is one of the most loathsome Congress critters God ever created. If there is one thing that needs to come out of the next four years it is for Biden to become a national punchline. Worse than Quayle. It is only fair that a Democrat get unfairly smeared and have their reputation totally destroyed as pay back for the way the Dems acted out of power. I think Joe is a good candidate.

  • ||

    Ok you Hit and Run "libertarian" bitches, you finally got your man in office. Enjoy the next four years. See how things line up with your political philosophy.

    But actually I lost track of what political philosophy this blog represents a long time ago.

  • mises||

    Just want to point out that the majority of Reason staff writers and affiliates (as posted recently on this blog) endorsed Obama. I can see not voting for McCain, but to actually endorse Obama and still call yourself a libertarian is simply beyond the pale. I lost a lot of respect for Reason after reading the individual endorsements.

  • ||

    Isn't dissent the highest form of patiotism? Somehow I don't think leftists will look at it that way now.

  • ||

    If Obama throws off his coat to reveal Super Libertarian Man, then I'll support him and vote for him next time around. Even if he proves to be merely a lesser superhero, like Aqua Libertarian Man.

  • ||

    John,

    Biden does suck. I bet he gets impeached for some reason. By his own party.

  • ||

    "Just want to point out that the majority of Reason staff writers and affiliates (as posted recently on this blog) endorsed Obama. I can see not voting for McCain, but to actually endorse Obama and still call yourself a libertarian is simply beyond the pale. I lost a lot of respect for Reason after reading the individual endorsements."

    That was the low point of Reason ever. They shouldn't have voted for or endorsed McCain. McCain is not a libertarian. But they could have voted for Barr or refused to endorse or vote for anyone in protest. The fact that they voted for Dear Leader just shows that most of them are either fakers pretending to be libertarian for a pay check or have no balls and were unwilling to make a choice that was no doubt unpopular with their friends and collegues.

  • Hogan||

    from Obama's victory speech, relevant i think to this thread: "I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."

    this sounds awesome!!

  • ||

    Remaking our nation? What happened, an asteroid strike?

  • Mike||

    So, let me see if i get this straight.. IF the gov asks you to do something, Then they are unfairly pushing their citizens in to a Communist style socialist environment where they can "own" you for a short amount of time.

    YET

    If this same gov leaves you to your own devices (self destructive or not) then they are not in tune with the needs of their people.

    If you at random walked up to 100 people and asked them to come with you to clean a park.. do you think you would really get that many volunteers..

    Place those same ppl in a room together and ask..

  • ||

    Exactly right, John and Guy!

    "From each according to her ability, to each according to his needs."

    Let the national healing begin!

  • Guy Montag||

    No, but I hear what you're saying but understand that some 17-18 yr-olds apparently really don't think about what they're getting into.

    I enlisted when I was 17, did not run into anything that pissed me off enough to stop participating until just before I made Major. It involved those 'fine' agents of the federal government in Indianapolis failing (repeatedly) to pay my TDY housing allowance while mobilized.

  • Urkobold™||

    FROM EACH A-WHORING TO HER ABILITY, TO EACH A-WHORING ON HER KNEES.

    THE URKOBOLD DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS, BUT HE'LL BE IN HIS BUNK.

  • SIV||

    Way too many comments to read but TAO FTW on #1.
    Although I am completely opposed to any form of conscription I do relish the thought of any and all Obama voters being forcibly chosen to serve the State.Obama gave them fair warning.

  • Nephilium||

    P Brooks:

    As a quick aside, and tossing this in writing. I predict the Dow will continue to fall until the end of the year (I'll even go so far as to say that we will not have a week with a net gain for the week until the end of the year). Talk of jacking up the Capital Gains tax, the bailout, investigating the bailout, and check-card changes will be enough to keep the Dow falling.

    Nephilium

  • ||

    voters being forcibly chosen to serve the State

    It's a cookbook!

    The state is made of people!

  • ||

    I enlisted when I was 17, did not run into anything that pissed me off enough to stop participating until just before I made Major

    The reason I cherish my experience in the military is because of all the benefits, of the fine job the Army has done of training and providing overall an excellent environment for me in terms of learning and in terms of billeting and that sort of thing.

    I have only a couple small gripes and really the largest reason I have for wanting to begone @ my current ETS is that personality-wise, I am a poor fit as a junior enlisted. When there's a war on, everybody is too important to be moved just because of unhappiness or whatever.

  • ||

    The State, that is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly, also, it lies, and the lie that creeps from its mouth is this: "I, the State, am the People."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • ||

    The dems don't have a fillibuster proof majority. So it would be tough for Obama to get his way without some republicans signing up.

    The republicans will find their executive accountability stick with a democrat in office.

  • Scott||

    Has anyone ever succeeded in getting an 18-25 year old to do anything they didn't want to do? If free beer for the guys and cute guys for the girls is involved, you might get some interest. Otherwise this is all a pipe dream.

  • ||

    Art-P.O.G. ,

    Given your glowing review of working for the army it sounds as if we taxpayers are stupidly overpaying the cannon fodder. I think we could lower your pay by 10% and save ourselves a lot of money.

  • ||

    Given your glowing review of working for the army it sounds as if we taxpayers are stupidly overpaying the cannon fodder. I think we could lower your pay by 10% and save ourselves a lot of money.

    Ah, Gabe, you underrate my ambivalence. And the only reason I have only a few gripes is due in part to dumb luck. Maybe someday I'll talk about those gripes in detail, but not now.

  • ||

    Scott | November 6, 2008, 4:39pm | #

    Has anyone ever succeeded in getting an 18-25 year old to do anything they didn't want to do?

    lets ask Göring:
    "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

  • ||

    "the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. "

  • ||

    so now we will be "attacked" by domestic terrorist with antisocial views or evil co2 emitters who cling bitterly to their guns and SUVs.

  • ||

    Maybe if the English "lead lives of quiet desperation", the American way is leading lives of "clinging bitterly".

  • ||

    I guess your right Art P.O.G. I am glad you survived!

  • ||

    Yeah, yeah, I know Thoreau was American, but Pink Floyd got me believing the English are even better at "hanging on in quiet desperation" than us.

  • ||

    I guess your right Art P.O.G. I am glad you survived!

    You're the only one! (rimshot!)

    But seriously, I'm on leave right now, soon I'll be back in Iraq for awhile.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Obama's plan may be intrusive, irritating, annoying, financially wasteful, but it hardly seems to be the initiation of a secret master plan to create "civilian national security force" anti-free speech goon squads, that the right-wing radio show hosts were predicting. And it's not in a league with a truly egregious abuse of government power like reinstating the military draft.

  • jweaver||

    Wait, just three days ago you people were the Obama express, now you are troubled by his socialist bent? Again this is why you are losers. The fight for small government will never be won if you decide to punish the better and reward the worse because neither is best. You, Mr. Balko campaigned for McCain to lose - which means you wanted Obama- now we all suffer.

  • Elemenope||

    Isn't dissent the highest form of patiotism? Somehow I don't think leftists will look at it that way now.

    IIRC, The Nation was pretty balls-out nasty to the Clinton Administration. Libertarians aside, it has been my experience that leftists are way more in tune with (or at least sympathetic with) a knee-jerk 'fuck authority' mentality than rightists, and it's been that way far longer than the past eight years.

    Libertarians, as always, spoil the curve.

    And while sugarless has been busy whipping out the Nietzsche, which always warms my little black heart, my fav. so far this thread has to be:

    It's a cookbook!

    The state is made of people!

  • ||

    "IIRC, The Nation was pretty balls-out nasty to the Clinton Administration. Libertarians aside, it has been my experience that leftists are way more in tune with (or at least sympathetic with) a knee-jerk 'fuck authority' mentality than rightists, and it's been that way far longer than the past eight years."

    True. Good for them if they are. I am dying to see the Nation crowd get into it with the Black Community for dissing their guy. That is going to be fun.

  • ||

    I am so sick of people viewing things through a purely partisan lens. This isn't team sports. I don't care if my favorite politician of all time got elected, if he did things to threaten my freedom or to expand the power of government, I'd fight him tooth and nail.

    I would fight even harder if it were someone for whom I believed, campaigned and voted for. Nothing says "thanks!" like a betrayal of your hopes.

  • Schooner||

    Obama's been President elect for two days, no new congress, no bill in place and nothing concrete except for a vague promise to give out tax credits in exchange for community work.

    And the result is moronic posts about the Hitler Youth, Mussolini and pathetic references to the Dear Leader.

    Beyond sad.

  • ||

    Has anyone here ever been to another country? Many western countries have programs where, at the age of 18, you must choose between serving a stint with the military or doing civil work. Doesn't last long, you learn about your country and the world, you have a chance to grow up slightly and ground yourself, helps you choose where to go next. I suppose our system of partying for two years while our parents pay huge amounts to public/private businesses for "education", or if you're not so lucky, a stint working min. wage jobs while trying to stick with CC classes is kinda like that. On top of that, anyone who wants to succeed in anything has to do volunteer work in High School, or did no one here even apply for a real college? Might as well try to encourage everyone to do it, might as well reward people for it. Ever think that with more involvment in community service from the youth, the less the gov't would have to spend on social programs? I mean, someone tell me this is a bad idea without using a Hitler Youth reference.

  • You are a Hypocrite||

    You're an idiot- if everyone is required, how will it look good on a college application? Everyone does it, therefore you will just have to do even more. BTW, none of my college applications (some pretty big college were on that list) asked about such things, and once when I did not have enough jobs to fill out a job application and put down a volunteer job (when I say volunteer, I mean I actually volunteered, and wasn't being forced to contemplate an oxymoron like mandatory volunteer service), the application was ripped up. So, don't act like it does anything for you when you are forced to do service. And none of that matters- I don't force you to do stuff, you don't force me! Unconstitutionally forcing me to do service is not going to help anybody.

  • ||

    "Obama's been President elect for two days, no new congress, no bill in place and nothing concrete except for a vague promise to give out tax credits in exchange for community work.

    And the result is moronic posts about the Hitler Youth, Mussolini and pathetic references to the Dear Leader.

    Beyond sad."

    The LEft was so classy in defeat in 2000 and gave Bush so much of a chance. Life is a bitch sometimes isn't it? Don't worry I am sure Dear Leader can take it.

  • ||

    "Ever think that with more involvment in community service from the youth, the less the gov't would have to spend on social programs? I mean, someone tell me this is a bad idea without using a Hitler Youth reference."

    I will tell you it is a bad idea. First, social work is really fucking hard. Forcing a bunch of teenagers to go out to help crack addicts or pick up trash isn't going to do any good. We have had programs like this for years and they don't make a dime's worth of difference and cost a fortune.

    Further, an appalling percentage of kids graduate without the ability to read and write or do basic math. The best community service kids could do the country is to study hard and become productive citizens.

    As far as "applying to a real college", back when I applied for college they looked at things like grades and test scores and you know whether I actually knew something not whether mommy and daddy could afford to send my spoiled ass off to Mexico to repair shacks in order to pad my resume.

  • ||

    as anyone here ever been to another country? Many western countries have programs where, at the age of 18, you must choose between serving a stint with the military or doing civil work.



    As already mentioned, those countries are few and dwindling. Most of those Western countries only set up such requirements due to the Cold War.

  • Schooner||

    This is supposed to be a libertarian blog, not a fringe wingnut Malkin wannabe blog, hence the post.

    You want to mark yourself as a wingnut go ahead but as someone posted earlier, excessive rhetoric and stupid references to Dear Leader only lessen the argument.

    And speaking of bitch, you're sure whining like one.

  • ||

    I mean, someone tell me this is a bad idea without using a Hitler Youth reference.

    Start reading at post #1 and you'll find many posts that fit your criteria.

  • ||

    I mean, someone tell me this is a bad idea without using a Hitler Youth reference.



    No Hitler Youth reference, but if you're going to wander onto a forum for people who believe in civil liberties and freedom and ask wassamatta with forcing people to work on things I think is useful?, you're just missing the point.

  • ||

    Obama's been President elect for two days...

    One of the many lefty wingnuts I work with told me today that she "can say that this is her country again today."

    All I could do is roll my eyes and walk away. I don't have any use for partisan wingnuts of any stripe, like the ones lining up and waiting for hours to buy a newspaper about the election, after they sold out the last batch.

    To quote the great Shatner: Get a life!

  • ||

    Shooner,

    If Obama will stop advocating dumb ass authoritarian policies and his creepy assed followers would stop haning social realist paintings of the clown up all over, I will stop referring to him as Dear Leader and his attempt to draft 13 year olds as the Obama Youth. He wants to force middle schoolers into communty service. Jesus, at least the draft left you alone until you were 18.

  • ||

    You want to mark yourself as a wingnut go ahead but as someone posted earlier, excessive rhetoric and stupid references to Dear Leader only lessen the argument.



    Uh, he is a wingnut.

    Assuming you're not just a concern troll, let me put it this way: I wanted Obama to win, but that doesn't require me to treat him any differently than I would a Red politician. He or other members of his coming administration so much as make noises about things I think are dumb or anti-freedom, I'm gonna bitch. So are others.

    You don't like that? There're tons of loyal Blue forums where you can swoon over the guy.

  • ||

    Many western countries have programs where, at the age of 18, you must choose between serving a stint with the military or doing civil work.

    Many western countries do all sorts of wonderfully stupid things, like try to censor the intertubes. Many eastern countries still execute petty criminals and adulterers. Some openly practice genocide.

    You go ahead and get in line to be like everyone else. I'll wait here.

  • Schooner||

    @ Eric

    No concern trolling at all and I expect many on the left will be sorely disappointed when he turns out to be another Clinton (essentially smart and competent but nowhere near a radical lefty).

    The FISA vote should have made that very clear.

  • ||

    I do hope you weren't one of them Reason Libertarians for Obama, were you?

  • ||

    Schooner - I can't speak for anyone else, but preparing criticisms for the new administration is NEVER a bad thing. I wish more people had done it with Bush.

  • Schooner||

    @TAO

    Not a bad thing it all. But the almost immediate slanting towards Hitler Youth references was IMHO negating the argument almost immediately.

    I don't really have a problem with asking someone to volunteer, but making it mandatory is a non starter. Veering off into wild conspiracy theories only diminishes the point.

  • ||

    TAO,

    I'll cosign that.

  • ||

    Veering off into wild conspiracy theories only diminishes the point.

    True that, but that's inevitable with political discussions. And let's keep in mind, for example, that many of the predictions over the nanny state that were laughed off a decade ago as overzealous and nutty conspiracy theories have become, in fact, reality.

  • Mike Laursen||

    He wants to force middle schoolers into communty service. Jesus, at least the draft left you alone until you were 18.

    But you do see a qualitative difference between being forced to do community service and having to risk one's life in a war, don't you? All some of the commenters here are asking for is keeping some perspective on the whole thing.

  • ||

    My middle school and my high school both required doing community service as part of the curriculum, and this is in a heavily republican area. Im confused as to why extending the hours required for school is so scary...

    Also, i think the idea of free emergency preparedness training is a good one, however it should not be mandatory to receive it.

  • ||

    Oh and who did Afghanistan invade?

    A hostile attack based in Afghanistan was launched on the United States on September 11, 2001. As I recall, it was in the papers at the time.

  • economist||

    Graham,
    My high school never had a community service requirement, seeing as we were a rural district and a lot of parents needed their kids' help on the farms, and therefore would have been really pissed at any comserve requirement.

    I, of course, didn't come from a farming family. But I did have a job. If they really want kids to be "better citizens", why not direct them to after-school jobs. Working at the Burger King taught me more about being an American than any faggy community service program ever would have.

  • economist||

    Working at the Burger King also motivated me to study hard in high school and college, so that I wouldn't have to work at a Burger King at the age of 42.

  • ||

    Graham, there's a big difference between your local school requiring you to do something and the Federal government requiring all schools to force every student to do something.

  • ||

    economist, the fact that you and I are both:

    1) From farming towns but
    2. Not in farming families and
    3. Worked at Burger King in our youth

    makes me wonder...

  • Hogan||

    My middle school and my high school both required doing community service as part of the curriculum, and this is in a heavily republican area. Im confused as to why extending the hours required for school is so scary...

    obviously the godwinning of this issue was unproductive, but must everyone trying to defend this proposal mischaracterize it so? it's not "extending the hours required for school," it's "requiring young people to devote their time to makework in fields x, y, and z. not because their work would even be vitally necessary, just because It Would Be Good for Them." People can volunteer all they want, there needn't be a set of federal mandates to impose it upon local educational systems.

    Also, i think the idea of free emergency preparedness training is a good one, however it should not be mandatory to receive it.

    The Red Cross already offers these. If you have a local chapter, and i'd bet you do, they probably have them at least annually in your area. It's worth doing. Right now I'm taking night classes in EMT certification.

    The issue is that obviously it's not "free," it would be a federal mandate for a taxpayer-funded service.

  • ||

    I worked at Burger King as a teen, too, but I'm from no farming community.

  • Hogan||

    damn i'm glad i never had to put in time at the bk lounge. i was a chuck e cheese/tuesday morning/panera bread teen.

  • ||

    Man, it's hot behind that broiler.

  • ||

    The negativity kills me, grow up and get some common sense before you speak and embarass yourself. Change refreshes energy period. Energy runs society and a successfull society will fuel a successfull economy. The past 8 years was a drain on this countries energy! Not only that but if you really think that Obama is going to focus on a commuinity service program any time soon admist the crisis at hand then you need to check in the loony bin.

  • economist||

    AO,
    Don't worry. I'm older than you are.

  • economist||

    Note: Lots of people from farming towns are not from farming families.

  • economist||

    ryan,
    Are you high, or just stupid? Or are you satirizing?

  • economist||

    Hogan,
    "chuck-e-cheese"? And that's better than Burger King how?

  • ||

    The negativity kills me, grow up and get some common sense before you speak and embarass yourself. Change refreshes energy period. Energy runs society and a successfull society will fuel a successfull economy. The past 8 years was a drain on this countries energy!

    What this country needs is a large focusing crystal.

  • ||

    I can never forgive the "progessive left" for making me feel sorry for GWB. I was never crazy about the guy, but ever since Jan. 01, when the lefties decided that a shallow, amiable, incurious and unremarkable overgrown frat boy was actually Satan His Own Self, I have fucking despised them.

    Their unhinged hatred has so poisoned our system of political discourse I don't know if we'll ever be normal again, and the Democratic Party has cynically abetted and manipulated that hatred. I can't recall the asshole congress critter who talked about Bush getting his kicks by sending soldiers out to die, but that's a good example of the depths to which they've allowed their hatred to drag them.

    Now it's going to bite them on the ass, and that's as it should be. Alan's right - if you defend the indefensible, the indefensible will eventually be used against you. So when I read Begala's pathetic kum ba ya plea I thought - man up, you big pussy.

  • anarch||

    Hogan, "habitat for humanities"?

    I had to smile.

  • Hogan||

    economist - it's probably not at all. but my time there was brief.

    anarch - ha. my b, didn't catch that.

  • Hogan||

    working for panera was a decent gig, though. took home garbage bags of pastries every night i closed.

  • economist||

    I always focused my criticism of Bush on his (lack of) intelligence.

  • Hogan||

    it's a bedford reader in a little terrarium

  • ||

    Hehehehehe.

    And what do you know, Joe's right there defending it. I didn't see that coming! Et tu, authoritarian apologist.

  • Lefiti||

    My butt hurts! I just can't bend over and take anymore, Dear Leader! Please don't make me, Daddy!

  • ||

    Boy, it's going to be fun watching the reactions as the left-"libertarians" show their true colors.

  • ||

    "Ironically, the 'progressive' blogosphere is having a bit of the vapors on the Emanuel pick because they think he'll sabotage their agenda due to his history as pro-Iraq war, pro-Israel, formerly pro Clinton DLC centrist who'll throw liberals under the bus without compunction."

    Oh, they shouldn't feel that badly. Obama's interventions are going to come with the stamp of approval of the UN...Oh, except when he can't get it, a la Kosovo.

  • ||

    "Wow, ya wonder whats wrong with America today, you need not look further then these comments.

    There are plenty of countries that have mandatory military service of 3 or more years.. Obama wants to ask you all to help better your own country.

    REALLY. if our youth spent a few hours outdoors cleaning a park (supervised) or the older members did something simple, how is that making for a bad America ? So your kids learn how to do something.. maybe they enjoy it. Look at programs like Scouting or Cadets kids join that and learn about themselves not how to make better war.

    How about reducing the epidemic of Youth Obesity, Or cleaning up the streets. Things which will create a Better America and most of you all immediately dump on it."


    How about you fuck yourself while I suport my country, altogether voluntarily, in the Navy. Because I want to.

  • Lefiti||

    I guess it all boils down to I just don't care if Obama makes a bunch of spoiled, rich white kids pick up trash on the side of the road, clean up mess in an inner-city crack head homeless shelter, or fend off the unwanted sexual advances of smelly old men. It's karma. Payback's a bitch.

  • Malcom||

    "if you really think that Obama is going to focus on a commuinity service program any time soon admist the crisis at hand then you need to check in the loony bin."

    If you think Obama gives one tiny crap about any crisis this country faces other than his own personal agenda of welfare handouts, then you are already in the loony bin.

  • ||

    Not to rain on any of your parades but I was "forced" to do community service as part of both of my degrees in graduating high school and college.

    Was it terrible? Is this an early warning sign of compulsory service?

    No.

    I think I learned valuable lessons and if anything I should have been made to do even more than the 50 or so hours that was required.

    /my two cents

  • ||

    Hmmm, a possible Trollflood. We have only one confirmed troll but several suspects in addition.

    Recent Grad, I had to do community service in college as a condition of my scholarship. I also did community service as a youth, with my church (my parents took me along). I also did community service for a couple misdemeanors.

    Not all community service is equal, but it all sucked for me when it was compulsory (except picking up trash along the roadside, I got to get some sun).

  • ||

    I wonder whether volunteering at needle exchanges would count. Even as a generally moderate libertarian, mandatory service scares me shitless. I agree that for many, maybe most people it would be good but it would be horrible for the country. Just the idea of a national invoulentary boy scouts is repugnant, so militaristic. I like voulennteering but i dont like the cult of voulentering I've met a lot of people who voulenteer a lot and are very talented and do some great things and then want the government to buy them health care and pay for their retirement even though they are not disadvantaged and have had all the access to education they could want

  • Argon||

    I see the rhetoric about moving past partisanship lasted less than 24 hours after the election.

    This would be like Bush appointing Karl Rove chief of staff.

    Well, the reign of the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers should be quite entertaining. I give him two years to impeachment.

  • ||

    Argon: I was thinking the same thing - I'm not saying Emanuel is any meaner, dirtier, backstabbier or win at all costsier - but he's certainly no less.

    So the guy who spent the whole campaign tsk tsking those mean, mean Republicans goes and appoints a Chicago enforcer as his CoS. That's just so like a, like a....politican or something.

  • ||

    those of us that have college educations gained a lot from our community service experiences…. The rest of you I can't wait to put your kids to work.

  • ||

    Uh, first of all most of the people on this site went to college. Secondly,

    The rest of you I can't wait to put your kids to work.


    This kind of crap is why I think most statists are petty authoritarians.

  • ||

    I find it humorous that Obama and Emmanuel, AFAIK two individuals that didn't choose either military service or the Peace Corps, or any other national service program that demanded any level of self-sacrifice, now think that American youths whould give of their time and effort.

    As a veteran, the last thing I want to see is a draft. The idea of a civilian defense force (but not the National Guard, too close to the DOD), or whatever Obama decides to call it, disturbs almost as much.

    Maybe he can take a page out of Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here" and call it the League of Forgotten Men, or the Minutemen.

  • ||


    Recent Graduate:
    I think I learned valuable lessons and if anything I should have been made to do even more than the 50 or so hours that was required.



    This is funny. Do you not see the irony here?

    BTW, if you want to be forced to do some work, I have a project for you.

  • ||

    Every once a while, a thread reminds me of exactly how insane libertarians actually are.

    This is one of those threads.

  • ||

    "Insanity -- a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world." --R.D. Laing

  • Apalled||

    Granted, there are problems with the "mandatory voluntarism" part of this, but I'm surprised how almost nobody picked up on how a little (ok, maybe not 3 months) civil defense training might be useful "in the event of a natural disaster, an epidemic or a terrorist attack." None of you remember Pearl Harbor? the New Orleans Flood? earthquakes? 911? You content to let the firemen do all the dying for you, & for everyone else to trample each other to death escaping, or to sit around & starve waiting for FEMA to come? What's wrong with you people?

  • projecthappy||

    This is going to become forced service whether it's technically "forced" or not. By creating an option where some kids will take the 4000, it gives them a huge advantage over the kids that don't volunteer, which will indirectly force everyone to participate just to keep the playing field even. And then it will just become standard, everyone will be doing this extra work to go college (and the prices will be just as demanding).

  • ||

    Why can't they make the existing welfare recipients actually DO something for their free taxpayer money?!

  • ||

    Apalled:

    I think this is a guise to create a civilian faction willing to go to war with it's own people rather than the way you describe it. Wouldn't we then become a nation of terrorist trainers? Wouldn't every third world country send their people here for quasi-military training on the U.S. taxpayers dime? It is not the civil defense idea that concerns me, it is the use of that defense and who is trained that is of concern. And with "Big Brother" in charge of it, you KNOW it will be woefully inefficient. We need to CUT governemt programs in order to bail ourselves out. A program like this would take billions of dollars to set up for a immeasurable return at some unknown point in the future. What we really must have is energy independence. That is the best cure for what ails us.

  • ||

    By the way, for those of you who don't know, a 4.0 GPA won't get you into college these days unless you have a littany of community service to go along with it. So essentially this already exists, just without the word "mandate" added to it.

  • Apalled||

    to GW: well, I haven't read his book so don't know the details, but I doubt the intended program involves the use of munitions to any sig. degree at all: it's more about emergency prep.; rescue & recovery. I doubt Emanuel or anyone else thinks the US will have to fend off an armed invasion on its soil: but it may need to deal with dirty bombs & the like.

    Some of the libertarians here slay me: they don't see any irony in resisting any gov't attempt to help make them self-reliant in the even of a major disaster (incl. man-made ones), preferring instead to stick stubbornly to their couches and expect the Gov't to bail them out of any life-threatening situation, unassisted by the citizenry. Guess you're only Minutemen in bed. If your forefathers had been like you, you'd all have bad teeth & be speaking Cockney, now.

  • ||

    """By the way, for those of you who don't know, a 4.0 GPA won't get you into college these days """

    At face value this statment is false. I have a couple of nephews that started college this year and had neither. It's a state college, probably not the best, but a college none the less.

  • ||

    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?

    "I learned that our government must be strong;
    It's always right and never wrong.
    Our leaders are the finest men;
    And we elect them again and again!

    And that's what I learned in school today;
    That's what I learned in school."

  • BarryD||

    (SLD, of course, but) I am not really sure that $4000 for school in exchange for community service is really that big of a deal. I am also not sure schools would raise rates to compensate for it (although I bet they would look favorably on applicants who planned to participate).

    I'm in the middle of a move, and I have work lined up where I'm going as well as income still coming from where I left.

    However, if Obama wants to give me 4 grand for 50 hours of work in between, hell, I'll take it.

    "Community service" type work that I've seen is inherently unskilled, or takes little training. It generally would pay less than 10 bucks an hour. So I'll take 80 bucks an hour for a week of it, so I can buy a few more guns (to help keep them out of our inner cities, of course).

  • Apalled||

    re: the community work expected of college students for that tuition credit, hopefully, it'd be of a higher level: many nonprofits could use, but can't afford, prof. & tech. services, like grantwriting, setting up a website, writing procedures manuals, bookkeeping, etc. etc.

    but re: the civil defense training, I just thought of a way to implement it which won't be so antithetical to you freedom lovers: just break it up into units & tack it on to the end of the school curriculum, starting in middle school. As I recall, the last week or two were a right off, cuz the grades were already in. So instead of just babysitting during that time, teach them how to prepare for emergencies, what to do in the event of an earthquake, extended power outage caused by various types of storms, what the diff. useful roles are when evacuations are req'd, etc etc. What would be wrong with that (apart from the expense of developing the curriculum & distributing the manuals to all the schools). You guys _want_ another national disgrace like the handling of the New Orleans flood? Get a grip!

  • BarryD||

    What we really must have is energy independence. That is the best cure for what ails us.

    If we put all the students and retirees, and maybe some thought criminals, on treadmills for a few hours per day, hook the treadmills to generators...

  • Kat||

    Can we make exceptions for people who are already working? If not, what if the individual working is a substantial portion of income in a low-income household? What if he's some whiz-bang 18-year-old who's developing the next hot OS? Do you really want to have him go waste his incredibly productive time picking up trash on the side of the highway?


    I just wanted to say thank you for this. I'm a disabled person, and my husband brings in the majority of our money. While I know that I will most likely not be forced into community service due to the nature of my disability, I worry that my husband will be. He is working on a novel right now in addition to bringing in almost 100% of the money for this household. I wonder what will happen to us if something like this is put into place.

  • Apalled||

    Don't worry about it, Kat: like someone said, Emanuel's job will be to ride herd over the new Admin., keeping them on point, not pushing leg. of his own. And even if something like this were implemented in the very distant future, it'd be like jury duty, or like army stints in Switzerland: it'd be illegal not to hold the jobs for the ones called up, & there'd prob'ly be exceptions for genuine hardship; & the speculation about it just being garbage collection is based on the punishment model; it's not what Emanuel & Obama are talking about

  • ||

    colleges will merely raise their tuition to compensate for the vouchers.

    Funny, I've been saying the same thing about elementary school vouchers (you know, the ones that will give poor kids the same ability to attend exclusive private schools as rich kids) for years.

  • happy endings||

    I just happened upon this site while doing some research on Rahm Emanuel and am laughing hysterically. How ironic that a website named "reason" has such an abundance of insane comments. Thanks for the entertainment.

  • slime mold||

    what a bunch of fucking drama queens. wake up and smell the reality here people.. rahm emanuel wont have much if any effect on obama policy. he was probably a good choice as chief of staff. mewling like fifteen year old douchebags gives us all a bad name.

  • ||

    I can't wait to hear the outcry from all the snot-nosed, pimply-faced libs on the college campuses across the country. What delicious irony!

  • Ngon\'e||

    Let us remember, wearing your seat belt was once voluntary.
    "Gradualism" Stay Alert!

  • ||

    TeacherMom | November 9, 2008, 3:23am | #

    I can't wait to hear the outcry from all the snot-nosed, pimply-faced libs on the college campuses across the country. What delicious irony!-------------------------------------------------The true irony is that a teacher has such little repect for those seeking a higher education. So what were YOU like in college?

  • ||

    Ask just about ANY officer or senior NCO (like me!) their level of enthusiasm for a conscript workforce of young people. Rahm's Civilian Defense Force would be a large pool of misfits and miscreants incapable of coordinated action, except bitching.

    Compulsory community service for middle and high school kids is even scarier than wasting money on Rahm's CDF. At best it's another waste of time for the kids (time from school, time for parents to drive, oversee the service, etc), and a waste of money (have you ever seen a teenager work well?). At worst, it's a way for the government to indoctrinate young people with whatever are the current state-sponsored mores.

  • ||

    This will only help the kids, parents have done a lousy job the government can do no worse.
    Obama really knows whats good for America. He is a visionary and ahead of his time. Obama was sent by god,, just in the nick of time. He is the only one to bring us to a organized new world order. Thank the lord he has a democrat controlled house senate and oval office. Now things can get done, America has voted this so lets get on with it.

  • ||

    BDB- The geezers DID do something for their SS checks. Its their money that the government stole from them and then only paid back at 2% interest. They were forced to give their money to the government, and then watched as their investment grew at a paltry pace. What more do you want?

  • ||

    You people are blowing this out of context. 1st the only thing written on this page that Obama has said is that he would like to offer a 4k tax credit for college students with 100 hours of comunity service. I don't know what crack pipe radley was hitting when he read about the 50hrs per year of middle school, but I could not find any refeence to that in Obama's service plan. And as for Rahm's manifesto who care's, he is not the pres elect! Obama's plans mentions nothing of mandatory service in the military. You people are just looking for something to bitch about, and getting bent out of shape over nothing!

  • ||

    Ok, I just read the 9 page PDF it does mention the 50 hrs a year in middle school. But you know what... most kids today would benefit from hit. To many kids today raised by there parents thinking they are gods gift. It would be good to humble them. And no crack heads don't get community service they get jail time!

  • sathi2000||

    This is not a draft, nor is it military. Young people will be trained not as soldiers, but simply as citizens who understand their responsibilities in the event of a natural disaster, an epidemic or a terrorist attack.
    http://www.mirei.com

  • ||

    This is not a draft, nor is it military. Young people will be trained not as soldiers, but simply as citizens who understand their responsibilities in the event of a natural disaster
    Austin Roofing Companies

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