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What's this National Service talk?
Old 09-11-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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What's this National Service talk?

I watched a few minutes of both Presidential candidates being questioned about (possibly) universal national service. Some kind of new law What actually is happening. I am aware of "Crazy Charlie" Rangel and his back handed attempt to reintroduce a military draft.

What is actually going on?:confused:
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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There are a few other countries that have it. France for one (had it a few years ago anyway), South Korea for another. You can do your national service in France without going into the military, but in Korea it is military service.

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Old 09-11-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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What is actually going on?:confused:
Quite a few years now:
AmeriCorps.gov > What Is AmeriCorps?
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:54 AM   #4
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Nords pointed to the right answer. They were both asked to comment on the general topic of public service on the anniversary of 9/11, an event that sparked a lot of interest in public service. They both responded civilly and positively about the value of service to the government (both military and civilian) and voluntarism. Fair amount of talk about revitalized programs like Clinton's Americorps and some discussion of community organizing/service from Obama and cautions about government potentially intruding to far into the private arena from McCain. Neither of them called for mandatory service. They could almost have been runing mates.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:58 AM   #5
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I don't like the road this idea could go down:

"Obama will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year." Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need | Service

"So when I’m President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you’ll have done 17 weeks of service. We’ll reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, we’ll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, .... " ( Source: Text of Obama's Speech, DNC, 2008 ) (bolding added by me)

Quite coercive if you ask me and I'm especially concerned about the fact the requirements will come from the Federal govt rather than State/local

(Isn't mandatory "community service" a punishment we dole out to offenders in our criminal justice system?)

BTW - My 8th grader was positively outraged when she heard about it (And I thought the Dems were trying to attract young voters? :confused: )
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:05 AM   #6
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It's a shame that we have to resort to compelling our citizens to serve our country.

I bet there will be claims of "slavery" if this passes, similar to the claims of welfare recipients who were required to do some "work" for their benefits.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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It's a shame that we have to resort to compelling our citizens to serve our country.
Just like the military draft, I think some citizens would best serve their country by staying far away from national service. An unmotivated, unwilling, or unable draftee consumes far more resources than they're hypothetically capable of generating.

Robert Heinlein came up with the big-picture answer years ago. Serve your country, you get to vote. Don't have to serve if you don't want to, but if you don't serve then you don't get to vote.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
I don't like the road this idea could go down:

"Obama will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year." Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need | Service

"So when Im President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, youll have done 17 weeks of service. Well reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, well make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, .... " ( Source: Text of Obama's Speech, DNC, 2008 ) (bolding added by me)

Quite coercive if you ask me and I'm especially concerned about the fact the requirements will come from the Federal govt rather than State/local

(Isn't mandatory "community service" a punishment we dole out to offenders in our criminal justice system?)

BTW - My 8th grader was positively outraged when she heard about it (And I thought the Dems were trying to attract young voters? :confused: )
It is already incorporated into the curriculum in some school systems - including my sons.

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Old 09-12-2008, 11:40 AM   #9
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.... Robert Heinlein came up with the big-picture answer years ago. Serve your country, you get to vote. Don't have to serve if you don't want to, but if you don't serve then you don't get to vote.
You'd have to more specifically define "serve" before I would know if I could go along with that sentiment.

Isn't government supposed to exist "for" the people, not the other way around?
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:27 PM   #10
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...

Isn't government supposed to exist "for" the people, not the other way around?
Yes, but service to your country is not the same as serving the government. Some people would place the destruction of the government among the most patriotic of acts.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:33 PM   #11
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Perhaps this thread would be best ported to the crapbox Soapbox?
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:40 PM   #12
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Perhaps this thread would be best ported to the crapbox Soapbox?

Yeah, what he said.
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:20 PM   #13
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People should do their part.

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Old 09-12-2008, 02:29 PM   #14
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Robert Heinlein came up with the big-picture answer years ago. Serve your country, you get to vote. Don't have to serve if you don't want to, but if you don't serve then you don't get to vote.
Very interesting comment! I'll agree that this subject should probably be on the S/B forum, but if it was I would have not seen it (since I turned S/B off during "silly season" ...)

However, two occurances this past week got me to thinking about the future of our country, when it seems that many young folk don't get "involved" by voting (or even register to vote) nor were they planning to vote in the November general election.

First occasion was at the vet's office, when the support staff (most under the age of 25) were talking about Obama, and how he is going to improve "the situation" (nope - I'm not going to give "my opinion" on any canadiate - that's not the point of my discussion). I asked the group that being a "senior person " (in my 60's), how many time that they (as a group) have voted. Of the five, only one (over the age of 25) had ever voted.

The next stop (to pick up dog food at a speciality pet store), a women (about my age) was talking about her teenage years, and how great it was. I muttered a comment of "it really suc*ed" for me". She asked why, to which I responded that I was one of the draftees of the time. The subject of the 60's was quickly dropped.

She was talking about her son, and I asked her the same question about voting. She was proud to say that yes, he did vote, but she had to get him out of bed and take him to the polls. Nosy as I am, I asked how old he was. She responded "25". I responded just by shaking my head as I walked out the door. She just responed with a weak "yes, I know ", indicating that she even thought he was probably performing "below expectations" in life.

Needless to say, my closing statement is that if you don't care to at least give the minimum in support of your country (and yes, it is "your country") by voting, something should be done to make that "obligation" valuable in a young (and sometimes old) person's mind.

Regardless of how you feel about the canidates, you do live in a country that despite its shortcomings, is still a great place to live in (thank goodness my grandparents - all four of them emigrated here).

BTW, in '68, at the age of 20, I was "over there" and was not eligible to vote (needed to be 21). I would have welcomed the opportunity to "express my view" through my vote. Anyway, since I became eligibe at age 21, I've never missed a vote, local or national, primary or general. My "canidate" may not win, but at least I've "spoken my mind" were it counts.

Just an observation/comment from an "old guy". Sorry about not responding to the OP's question, but by my signature, you'll see that I already "been there - done that" ...

- Ron
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:36 PM   #15
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From what I understand:
Obama would like to expand the Peace Corps and Americorps. These are voluntary programs. At this time there are many more young people who would like to join the Peace Corps than there are positions for them. Some budget cutbacks have reduced the size of the PC.

McCain has talked about national service too. We can't keep sending our service people back into combat for 3rd and 4th tours. The solution: you guessed it! The draft.
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:06 PM   #16
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From what I understand:
Obama would like to expand the Peace Corps and Americorps. These are voluntary programs. At this time there are many more young people who would like to join the Peace Corps than there are positions for them. Some budget cutbacks have reduced the size of the PC. ...
PC & AC are "voluntary programs" in part only - try putting all of the federal employee bureaucrats involved in administering the programs on no-pay status & you'll quickly find out how voluntary they are. Likely that most will quickly jump to paid positions in private charities.

Get rid of both the Peace Corps & Americorps - the people of the United States who really care about the functions they perform will willingly donate to private charities who perform similar functions

& if they don't donate, well they really don't care as much about those functions as they say they do - now do they?

(as opposed to having their money confiscated by the Federal government to support PC & AC)
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #17
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Very interesting comment! I'll agree that this subject should probably be on the S/B forum, but if it was I would have not seen it (since I turned S/B off during "silly season" ...)

However, two occurances this past week got me to thinking about the future of our country, when it seems that many young folk don't get "involved" by voting (or even register to vote) nor were they planning to vote in the November general election.

First occasion was at the vet's office, when the support staff (most under the age of 25) were talking about Obama, and how he is going to improve "the situation" (nope - I'm not going to give "my opinion" on any canadiate - that's not the point of my discussion). I asked the group that being a "senior person " (in my 60's), how many time that they (as a group) have voted. Of the five, only one (over the age of 25) had ever voted.

The next stop (to pick up dog food at a speciality pet store), a women (about my age) was talking about her teenage years, and how great it was. I muttered a comment of "it really suc*ed" for me". She asked why, to which I responded that I was one of the draftees of the time. The subject of the 60's was quickly dropped.

She was talking about her son, and I asked her the same question about voting. She was proud to say that yes, he did vote, but she had to get him out of bed and take him to the polls. Nosy as I am, I asked how old he was. She responded "25". I responded just by shaking my head as I walked out the door. She just responed with a weak "yes, I know ", indicating that she even thought he was probably performing "below expectations" in life.

Needless to say, my closing statement is that if you don't care to at least give the minimum in support of your country (and yes, it is "your country") by voting, something should be done to make that "obligation" valuable in a young (and sometimes old) person's mind.

Regardless of how you feel about the canidates, you do live in a country that despite its shortcomings, is still a great place to live in (thank goodness my grandparents - all four of them emigrated here).

BTW, in '68, at the age of 20, I was "over there" and was not eligible to vote (needed to be 21). I would have welcomed the opportunity to "express my view" through my vote. Anyway, since I became eligibe at age 21, I've never missed a vote, local or national, primary or general. My "canidate" may not win, but at least I've "spoken my mind" were it counts.

Just an observation/comment from an "old guy". Sorry about not responding to the OP's question, but by my signature, you'll see that I already "been there - done that" ...

- Ron
I met a woman ( I'd guess her at 42-44 years old) at a neighborhood meeting the other day who readily admitted that she had never voted. I asked her why, her answer was that she just didn't want to. I asked her "what about the issues that matter to you?" She just shrugged her shoulders and said "Things are fine the way they are. I'm doing OK"

No political commentary, just an observation dovetailing with Ron's experience at the vet's office. Wonder how many others there are like her out there?
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Just like the military draft, I think some citizens would best serve their country by staying far away from national service. An unmotivated, unwilling, or unable draftee consumes far more resources than they're hypothetically capable of generating.

Robert Heinlein came up with the big-picture answer years ago. Serve your country, you get to vote. Don't have to serve if you don't want to, but if you don't serve then you don't get to vote.
A great book for young minds, made into one of the worst movies ever! Or maybe 3 of the worst movies ever.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:17 PM   #19
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A great book for young minds, made into one of the worst movies ever! Or maybe 3 of the worst movies ever.
1st one was entertaining at least the chick was hot. The rest ya..hehe terrible.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:36 PM   #20
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I met a woman ( I'd guess her at 42-44 years old) at a neighborhood meeting the other day who readily admitted that she had never voted. I asked her why, her answer was that she just didn't want to. I asked her "what about the issues that matter to you?" She just shrugged her shoulders and said "Things are fine the way they are. I'm doing OK"
She would probably feel differently if the right to vote was taken away from her.
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