Well, it's not like we were warned about this or anything.
Last July, our Messiah made a speech (there are YouTube videos online on this as well, but I wanted something in text) about having a national security force. The American Thinker article has the quote in full: " "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." (emphasis added)"
Now bear in mind that this is exactly what Obama said. It wasn't taken out of context, he wasn't mistaken, this is what he stated (off the teleprompter of course). It received a pretty negative reaction from conservatives at the time. And of course, came this news (note: I linked to the actual bill because I really do think people need to take a good look at what they'll be getting soon).
Several conservative bloggers have written about this, notably Cassy Fiano, Gateway Pundit and Michelle Malkin. I guess I'll throw my two cents in, though I'm not as illustrious as the said bloggers. This thing scares the shit out of me. It is very vague in its applications and it could get out of control very quickly.
A good portion of it essentially adds major portions to the original AmeriCorps bill under President Bill Clinton. However, it is the latter additions that make this monstrosity truly frightening.
SEC. 119. CAMPUSES OF SERVICE.
‘(a) In General- The Corporation, after consultation with the Secretary of Education, may annually designate not more than 25 institutions of higher education as Campuses of Service, from among institutions nominated by State Commissions.
In other words, 25 different campuses of service may be designated by the executive office to carry out these activities. This section explains that the states may nominate colleges and universities, but the ultimate choosing is done by the Secretary of Education (and hence Obama). Now, most campuses in this country are already very liberal in nature and I can easily see the Messiah choosing some of the most leftist ones for this assignment. I will bet even money that one of these campuses will be Berkeley. Bear in mind that most of this will be from Federal funding.
‘SEC. 120. INNOVATIVE DEMONSTRATION SERVICE-LEARNING PROGRAMS AND RESEARCH.
‘(2) YOUTH ENGAGEMENT ZONE- The term ‘youth engagement zone’ means the area in which a youth engagement zone program is carried out.
I don't know about you, but this has military connotations. But let's delve further...
‘(3) involve students in service-learning projects in emergency and disaster preparedness
‘(5) involve high school age youth in the mentoring of middle school youth while involving all participants in service-learning to seek to meet unmet human, educational, environmental, public safety, or emergency disaster preparedness needs in their community;
‘(B) for community-based service-learning projects that--
‘(I) meet unmet human, educational, environmental (including energy conservation and stewardship), emergency and disaster preparedness, and public service needs; and
An awful lot of emergency and disaster preparedness in here. What am I getting at? Let's keep going.
‘(1) ELIGIBLE PROGRAMS- National service programs under this subsection shall be known as ‘Opportunity Corps’ and may include the following types of national service programs:
‘(F) A program that engages citizens in public safety, public health, and emergency and disaster preparedness, and may include the recruitment and placing of qualified participants in positions to be trainees as law enforcement officers, firefighters, search and rescue personnel, and emergency medical service workers, and may engage Federal, State, and local stakeholders in collaboration to organize more effective responses to issues of public safety and public health, emergencies, and disasters.
Fantastic, some of these people will be law enforcement...I'm not against police, mind you. Quite the opposite. But I do have a problem when this sort of thing is nationalized (like paramilitary?).
‘SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
‘(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:
‘(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
‘(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
‘(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.
‘(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.
‘(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office.
‘(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.
I have to admit that this is pretty ingenious. Since all of these organizations are going to be run by the federal government and more or less answerable to the President, why would they do any of this stuff. Pray tell why they would protest against the government?
"Subtitle E--Amendments to Subtitle E (National Civilian Community Corps)
SEC. 1501. PURPOSE.
Section 151 (42 U.S.C. 12611) is amended to read as follows:
‘It is the purpose of this subtitle to authorize the operation of, and support for, residential and other service programs that combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service, including leadership and team building, to meet national and community needs. Such needs to be met under such programs include those related to--
‘(1) natural and other disasters
Still more of the disaster stuff. One thing that does give me the creeps here is the part about the best aspects of military service, leadership and team building. Is this going to be run on military principles? To meet national needs?
" SEC. 1509. PERMANENT CADRE. "
Now that's a phrase that makes me feel better. Are we sure we're not in the Soviet Union?
"STUDY OF INVOLVEMENT OF VETERANS- The Corporation shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress, not later than 3 years after the enactment of this section, on--
‘(A) the number of veterans serving in national service programs historically by year;
‘(F) how to improve utilization of veterans as resources and volunteers
Why this interest in veterans? Seriously, I'm really curious.
‘SEC. 198B. SERVE AMERICA FELLOWSHIPS
‘(E) improve disaster preparedness and response
It's a recurring thread in this bill.
SEC. 198E. NATIONAL SERVICE RESERVE CORPS.
‘(1) On a biannual basis, the Corporation shall certify organizations with demonstrated experience in responding to disasters, including through using volunteers, for participation in the program under this section.
‘(2) The Corporation shall ensure that every certified organization is--
‘(A) prepared to respond to major disasters or emergencies;
‘(B) prepared and able to utilize National Service Reserve Members in responding; and
‘(C) willing to respond in a timely manner when notified by the Corporation of a disaster or emergency.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- If a major disaster or emergency designated by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) occurs and the Corporation, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, determines is an incident for which National Service Reserve Corps members are prepared to assist, the Corporation shall--
‘(A) deploy interested National Service Reserve Corps members on 30-day assignments to assist with local needs related to preparing or recovering from the incident in the affected area, through organizations certified under subsection (c);
‘(B) make travel arrangements for the deployed National Service Reserve Corps members to the site of the incident; and
I believe that if any of the organizations has the possibility of evolving into something like a national paramilitary police corps, this one is it. I would advise people to pay attention to this particular group since this one will be most involved in "emergency and disaster" situations. Time will tell on this development.
Will this end up being a Presidential Guard? It's too soon to tell. My guess is that it'll be a gradual buildup and not rushed. The government won't try to alarm people too much. You can already hear Democratic supporters saying that this bill is a great idea because it puts kids to work in a positive way.
Perhaps, but in a representative republic that values individual freedom why should kids become the ward of the government rather than parents? Every time the government increases power, even incrementally, individual liberty loses correspondingly. Alexis de Toqueville was prophetic when he wrote about the small tyranny that could be the bane of this country.
Is the fear that a paramilitary that's answerable to the executive branch frightening? Yes it is. We have a law (Posse Comitatus Law) in this country that prevents the military from interfering in internal affairs. The founding fathers had a huge argument about the powers of a standing army. On one side, the Anti-Federalists, argued that there should be a part-time militia whose loyalty was beholden to the states. They were wary of a standing professional army. The Federalists, headed by Alexander Hamilton, felt that a strong standing army and powerful central government was the only guarantee of liberty as well as an effective national defense.
President Bush tried to do away with the Posse Comitatus act in 2007 but there was such an outcry that it was reinstated early the following year. He did not abuse it and never called up troops. But it concerned many people and gave the liberal nuts ammunition to scream that the president was going to make a power grab.
This bill is potentially much more insidious, because it goes around the Posse Comitatus law. Think about the actual name of this: The National Service Reserve Force. What's it a reserve to? The other organizations listed in the bill? Not really, because it has little in common with the others (they sound like they are pretty specialized). Only the NSRF is vague with its actual intentions, and it deals with national emergencies and disasters. The problem with is that emergency and disaster can be open to all sorts of interpretation. Can't use the military to enforce the government's will? No problem, it has a paramilitary force answerable only to the President, to take care of an 'emergency." What I cannot understand is how people cannot fathom that this could be a major problem. But then the government counts on the populace to be rather dense.
We have a president who is accumulating considerable power at a growing and alarming rate. What's his next move going to be?