We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, November 7. 2008
Change? This is loony.
When volunteering becomes compulsory, it's not volunteering any more, is it? Same difference between charity and taxes. Same as the draft.
Plus, where I live, there are more volunteers than there are things to do. The chance to teach English to Hispanics has a long waiting list, and the Red Cross says "We'll call you if we need you." They have to form committees to try to "identify unmet needs." In other words, well-intentioned housewives and retired guys have to make up things to do because everybody who wants "help" already gets more than they can handle, and most New England folks seem too proud to accept help anyway. The old culture dies hard.
Are people really so helpless in America that they need pimply high-schoolers or condescending do-gooder college kids - who know nothing at all about life - to "help" them?
I very much doubt it. But I don't know anybody who isn't happy to cash a check or to take a freebie from the gummint to buy a new iPod. People are always happy to accept cash from "the gummint," because it doesn't feel so much like you're ripping off your neighbor.
A Comment from our News Junkie:
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Some people expect it all handed to them, witness the people in New Orleans during Katrina who sat in water up to their necks waiting for someone to help them versus the folks in Iowa during the floods they had there and got on the ball to control the problem.
Sorry to violate Godwin's Law so soon, but this reminds me of the Hitlerjugend, the mandatory volunteer youth program of the Reich.
This is exactly the kind of issue needed to create a justiciable cause for clarifying the constitution and the limits it imposes on the central state. This kind of over-reaching on the part of Obama may do a lot of good by actually putting the federal government in it's place. Jury duty is a constitutional duty. This comes out of thin air. It's unenforceable on it's face.
Here in Romania it was called "munca patriotica" (patriotic labour), which was a euphemism for "munca silnica" (forced labour) when the participants were "volunteers" rather than political prisoners, e.g. students and schoolchildren forced to do agricultural and other manual work for the greater good of the nation. As forms of slave labour, the difference between "munca patriotica" and "munca silnica" was that the latter was also used as a means of mass extermination, for example the tens of thousands of "enemies of the people" (intellectuals, artists, priests, capitalists, pre-war democratic politicians etc.) who perished in concentration-camp conditions building the pointless Danube-Black Sea Canal and other such projects.
Anyway, you can probably look forward to all this and more in the U.S. soon.
P.S. It is interesting that Obama, unlike Ceasescu and other communist despots, started constructing (to use a very socialist verb) his cult of personality before he even came to power.
a poster on Belmont Club had this interesting
view on the "voluntary servitude" topic from the point of view of "campuses" and their "inhabitants":
The progressive method relies on the campusing of America’s youths, be it on a college campus, or in front of a television. Barack’s program’s traits bear this out.
His system picks up inductees at the suggestible mid-to-late teens and places them on his campuses, then after they graduate they are shunted on to the next ’services’ campus. And then, finally, after performing their ’services’ in the last campus, they are retired to final ‘veterans’ campuses.
Each of these campuses require a steady flow of ‘credentialed’ workers into his system’s ancillary campuses, like those relating to ‘health,’ and ‘peace.’ Indeed, no child IS left un-campused, and his keep is tax-payer funded.
Furthermore, his system of campuses is designed to be self-priming, inter-active, and to grow. Each new campus requires hives and hives of worker bees to administer to its wards (as in Nicolas Cage’s “The Wicker Man,” 2006 Warner Bro’s.), so official credential-ing campuses will be proliferated to provide all of the Campus Admin’s. that will be needed to campus their charges.
This proliferation alone, it is hoped, will spur demand for their campuses’ teaching credentials, as an endless stream of ‘graduated’ campus inductees is expected, and each will need a credential. In fact, deliberately requiring that aspiring teachers themselves must graduate the system’s ‘education’ campuses in order to ‘teach’ at the official, accrediting campuses will only add millions of suggestible, pre-conditioned ’students’ to these campuses.
BTW: Once you’ll allow that a ‘campus’ is any conceivable artificial ‘field,’ where humans are organized by a series of incentives and disincentives, the battle-lines of larger institutional wars suddenly become crystal clear. Answers to questions, like, “Why does Columbia University prohibit ROTC recruitment on their campus?” and “Why did the Nazi’s let the Jews keep their luggage with them on the trains?” suddenly become painfully obvious.
Nov 7, 2008 - 9:59 am
Original topic thread here:
Belmont Club - 'The body politic'
November 7th, 2008 12:45 am
the long march thru the institutions bears fruit.
I quit volunteer work after about 30 years when a new law dictated some sort of police check of volunteers.
No longer do I remember exactly what was said. I was told to fill out some form.
At that site I had been tutoring children with speech difficulties. In childhood I had the same problem and had been helped.
Now Obama will bring the inspectors to me. My doorbell will ring and a pair of earnest thugs from his Korp will say they are surveying the neighborhood to determine how to help.
Well, delivery will be more convenient. Before they asked me to apply to them. Now they will come to me and there will be no asking.
Tom C: The Constitution is words. Obama said those words will mean what he wants them to mean. And the people elected him anyway.
Well, I would not mind a pair of "earnest", um, well maybe not thugs, but let's say "muscular youths" showing up at my door looking to help.
They don't even need to be that earnest, just know how to weed and rake!
I've done some volunteering, but only locally, and only when I've been pretty sure help was needed (I can't tolerate standing around while someone desperately tries to figure out what to do with all the volunteers), and only when I've felt like it. As a result, it's always been a pretty positive experience for me.
If volunteering becomes compulsory for school kids, however, not only will you have to try to explain "forced volunteerism", I fear the experience will be, for them, much as the News Junkie described. Schools will be scrambling for "make work" projects, which will likely be nonsensical and devoid of meaning all too often.
I admit I did have fun telling my sixth grader about this idea. He's not a "go along to get along" kind of kid, and now whenever he hears Obama's name I see the thunderclouds forming in his eyes. "That's liberalism" I tell him, and smile.
One of the worst experiences I ever had was volunteering at one of our local shelters for the "evacuees" of Hurricane Katrina. When I finally quit after several weeks of abuse at the hands of the clientele (as the Red Cross euphemistically called them) I felt like I was the one who had failed. It only took a few days for the gangs to assert themselves, the violence and crime were beyond belief. The waste and sloth and thievery broke my heart. There were several Baptist Church groups who set up their mobile kitchens and worked their hearts ou before they finally fled the ingratitude and vitriol. By Thanksgiving the Red Cross had run out of local volunteers and were calling and begging us to come back. I am still trying to figure out what happened. I enjoy "adopting" soldiers especially at Christmas through Soldiers Angels-figure its the least I can do and its a totally different feeling.
Pam: good luck with that.
I didn't mean they would come to help me, I meant they would be surveying how society might be helped.
Maybe "helped" isn't the right word. I think "corrected".
They will assess how much I need to be "corrected."
Perhaps I have too much while another has too little. Might a homeless person move in, I do have a spare bedroom. It would do ever so much good.
Wouldn't society improve if I came to the neighborhood meetings? The goals and benefits of the new order could be explained. And my divisive thoughts and selfishness exorcised.
We would like to place cameras in your home. You might become ill and need medical attention. Isn't technology great?
Nice kneecaps you have, Sir. Be a shame if something happened to them!
I say, the newest of the "Rambos"may not be the best of that series; but the action is good, and it's mighty illustrative of missionary work.
Compulsory volunteerism instead of bankruptcy protections.
A libertarian once proclaimed that if debtor protections were eliminated (the law favored lenders), that capital would become dirt cheap, greatly. For the defaulter, instead of debtor prisons, a compulsory public service, partly of ones own choosing and partly based on determined ability (military support, volunteerism, border patrol, infrastructure rebuilding...) would be enforced. But could this create as many problems as it would solve?
(new and improved)
... dirt cheap, greatly stabilizing the economy.