Saturday, March 28, 2009

HR 1444: Creeping creepiness

You can't say we weren't warned:
"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
-- Michelle Obama
A bill pending in the House, HR 1444, will establish a Congressional Commission to study ways to fulfill Ms. Obama's prophecy if it's passed.

Some of the things the commission will "address and analyze":
(2) The issues that deter volunteerism and national service, particularly among young people, and how the identified issues can be overcome.

(3) Whether there is an appropriate role for Federal, State, and local governments in overcoming the issues that deter volunteerism and national service and, if appropriate, how to expand the relationships and partnerships between different levels of government in promoting volunteerism and national service.

(5) The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service.

(6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

(7) The need for a public service academy, a 4-year institution that offers a federally funded undergraduate education with a focus on training future public sector leaders.

(8) The means to develop awareness of national service and volunteer opportunities at a young age by creating, expanding, and promoting service options for primary and secondary school students and by raising awareness of existing incentives.

(9) The effectiveness of establishing a training program on college campuses to recruit and educate college students for national service.
Note the repeated emphasis on "get 'em while they're young". If that doesn't creep you out I don't know what will.

Yes, I do understand that this bill only proposes to create a commission to study these things. I also understand that the 13th amendment to the Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Note that section 2 does not authorize Congress to ignore this part of the Constitution.

Kill this piece of shit legislation right fucking now.

Update: From what I can gather, the provisions of this bill may have been included as section VI of HR 1388, the GIVE Act. A version of that bill with section VI deleted has since passed both the House and the Senate. It would appear this bill is dead, or at least terminally ill.

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