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Oof (Trudarmiya)

Here it comes


In carrying out its general purpose under subsection (a), the Commission shall address and analyze the following specific topics:

(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.

No word yet on whether or not the name “Reichsarbeitsdienst” is being considered for the new program.

Yeah, I know. Drink.


Then there’s this:

Because some governors might not accept the money, Congress added a unique provision, in subsection 1607(b): “If funds provided to any State in any division of this Act are not accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such State.”

If state law does not give the state legislature the right to bypass the governor, how can Congress just change that law? Where does Congress get the power to change a state constitution?

  1. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Timothy wrote: “I can serve you voluntarily, but you mayn

  2. Betz says:

    Have we decided on whether or not apathy is an American Right? Because I think that’s written down somewhere around here…

  3. Timothy says:

    It’s the initiation of force thing – I can serve you voluntarily, but you mayn’t force me to serve you. Unless I’m a sub and I’m paying (the safeword is MINARCHISM).

  4. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Can we not serve each other since…we are the state?

  5. Timothy says:

    They banded together voluntarily, which is a pretty key element to the common political philosophy around these parts and which, for whatever reason, you can’t seem to get your head around.

    Working together is good, helping people is nice, and I’m all for charity. Feel free to hit up my defunctish blog and email me if you’d like specific charities I like and have volunteered for or donated to in the past. Anyway, the point is, that I do those things because I want to. And I tell other people to donate to the same charities I like because, well, I think they do good things. But to use the force of the state to MAKE people do things I think are good is wrong, because that violates their rights. And if I grant that power to the state, eventually it’ll be used against me.

    You’re right that I’m lucky to have popped out of an American vagina, but rather than try to force people in America to appreciate that (you can’t make people appreciate things), I think we should work to bring that luck to the rest of the world. Historically, the United States is one of the least oppressed nations in the world, and one of the most wealthy. I don’t think these things are unrelated, and I think we have a lot of cultural attitudes and institutional knowledge that could help other less wealthy and less free nations get to the point we’re at. I don’t think military adventurism will accomplish that, but private organizations working on institutional reforms, and working to bring new technologies and business opportunities to poorer nations can, ever so slowly, lift them out of the muck that is most of existence.

    As I said before the amazing wonder that is modern civilization is made up by the tiny contributions of literally billions — of human action, but not of human design — and it’s unfortunate that the benefits of modernity don’t accrue to more people. I think that can be changed, and I think liberty, free trade, voluntary exchange — working together as free people of our on volition — are the ways to do that.

    Philosophies of government that try to enforce communitarianism are both doomed to failure and extremely likely to destroy the community in question (see Drugs, War On and Revolution, Cultural). Presuming that we exist to serve the state, or are free only by the state’s good graces, is a dangerous path that has never ended in anything but death and poverty.

  6. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I think it’s worth pointing out again that the self-righteous arguments people are forwarding are based on one thing, fundamentally anyway, and that’s the lucky fact for most of us that we popped out of an American vagina. Behold our righteousness as we are slid along the birth canal, pushed into the world past the labia of luck, slapped on our asses and encouraged to breathe and scream that we are FREEEEEE……to complain about how great we have it. Pathetic.

    Your life would be qualitatively different in several ways (possibly some BIG ways) if you were not so lucky. So, while I understand where these arguments are coming from, I don’t think that clinging to this one little event in our lives as if we ever did anything to deserve the comparatively amazing lives we have, makes any sense in arguing against service to the ‘greater good’ or whatever catch phrase you want to give it.

    Furthermore, people are arguing the same old shit over and over again…it’s boring. How about some creative thinking? For example, one argument up there bitches about helping other people. What if national service was LOCAL and therefore the work you did directly benefited YOUR community? You’re not just doing it for some schmuck on the east side, you’re doing it for you, your family, your friends and people in general who happen to funnel through your little slice of the world. If this is how it was done, then it effectively kills the “fuck helping other people” argument.

    What other arguments can we destroy with a couple ounces of creative thought?

    I’ll part by saying that hating the government or the idea of government is fine, but one of the things that keeps this country together IS the government. You can whine about taxes, but they tend to (read: should) go to perpetuating this country’s existence. You can whine about federal goons, but it’s the institutions that these goons work in that keep America going. I know Jefferson’s idea of us all farming our little asses off in the ‘wilderness’ is amazing, but face it…even when individuals headed out west to make a better life for themselves, they banded together, made cities and towns, re-created institutions, invented some of their own ways of governance, and HELPED EACH OTHER OUT (or tried to anyway).

    Without each other, we are fucked. Sure, our little personal lives are what they are, but take away the results of actions that all of these millions of individuals take each and every day (which somehow defies the definition of society to some) and your life will be very different overnight. Realizing that is a good first step.

    E Pluribus Unum….Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  7. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Starship Troopers definitely reads like an endorsement of that system.

    That said, you can’t really pin down Heinlein with just one of his books because the ideologies and themes in them vary quite a bit. For example, Stranger in a Strange Land is a stinky hippie lovefest, while Starship Troopers has more of a hoo-rah, “kill the bastards!” mentality.

    The only really consistent political idea in Heinlein’s work is individualism.

  8. Vincent says:

    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is an excellent book, and exactly the one I was thinking of.

  9. Gsim says:

    Yeah, some perspective can be put on Starship Troopers if you’ve read one of Heinlein’s other books, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It is revolution story with extremely strong independent/freedom loving views.

    P.S. It isn’t hyperbole to say flipping burgers is better than being a fed goon. It’s fucking true.

  10. Vincent says:

    their rights and freedoms that the same government has given them.

    The government doesn’t “give” us any rights. It protects the rights we’re assumed to have as free men.

    As I said, the government supposedly exists to serve us, not the other way around. Reversing that relationship and creating a situation in which we serve the government in exchange for whatever handouts it deems appropriate (wage, citizenship, not being locked up in prison) is essentially to adopt a model that’s usually seen in places like North Korea, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union.

    While I’ll cop to not having read Starship Troopers, I’m going to guess, based on the Heinlein that I have read that the citizenship model people are describing from that book was meant as a critique of such a system, not an endorsement.

  11. Betz says:

    I would like to entertain the idea of re-defining citizenship as well … if not as a feasible possibility, then to hear a reason why this is as BAD an idea as Vincent says.

    CT mentioned earlier that we receive a huge list of freedoms as Americans, and I tend to agree that most people in this country take their freedoms and rights for granted. That’s not necessarily evil in its own rite, but it seems a bit hypocritical when someone who has vehemently said that they do NOT want to contribute any form of service or contribution to the government to suddenly whine about their rights and freedoms that the same government has given them.

    I’ve never read Starship Troopers, but I’ve seen the movie, and I understand the basic idea: civillians do not get to vote; citizens do, and to become a citizen, you have to serve. In the movie, the form of service is military, but for sake of argument, it doesn’t have to be.

    I would seriously like to hear a rational (keyword “rational” … just calling something BS is am impassioned response) argument why this is a bad idea, because right now, it makes sense to me.

  12. Vincent says:

    It has more merit than you might think.

    No, it doesn’t. “Pay to play” citizenship is bullshit.

  13. Sean says:


  14. Ross: I would argue that the problem with this lies in assuming that people are going to feel good about doing the work that they’re doing.

    There are plenty of people in the United States that don’t even like the Welfare system and see it as a waste of their money, their time, the government’s time, and just a pat on the back to the people receiving. Mandatory community service is not going to change that attitude for those people (perhaps some), in fact, I would argue that more people would become estranged to the idea because here they are working and toiling to make someone else’s life better whether or not they deserve the help. That’s strong motivation against the service for some.

    Another problem is your point number 4. Restricted to poor, lower class. Then we have to define who is poor and who isn’t. As it is there are plenty of people who are poor and need help but don’t meet the standards of the welfare system. The other question is does this program help illegal immigrants? That’s already a hot button issue and if you start sending out people to help illegal immigrants then your just breaking the idea down even more.

    To anyone who made this argument:
    The word choice is getting thrown around pretty handily in this discussion.
    Many things are mandatory in the United States. Taxes, various laws, an education to a certain degree.
    Most of that is based on the government.
    What the people who are arguing against choice are saying is that we don’t have a lot. Yes, that’s true by a societal stand point. By a consumerist stand point.

    Those aren’t based on the government though.

    My analogy is like this: If a college requires you to do community service to get into the college you have the choice to do it or go to a different college, or not go at all.

    If the government requires you to do something you have the choice to do it and be beholden to the government as is, not do it and potentially face fines or jail time, or skip town where the other governments aren’t like ours at all and may not give you the same benefits.

    None of those choices are particularly appealing when the government is involved.

    So, yes, we should have the option of choice here. We’re choosing not to let the government further dictate how we run our lives any more than they already do, or do not do.

    Society and other nongovernmental influences may hinder choice but myself, and I believe Timothy, is trying to argue is that this mandatory community service is a severe hinderance in choice by the government. Something I refuse to get behind.

  15. Evil Rocks says:

    Flipping burgers holds more prestige that being a government employee.

    Unnecessary hyperbole.

    I’m in favor of redefining citizenship so that you have to invest in the country before we’ll grant you citizen-status, a la Starship Troopers. I agree with C.T. w/r/t people wanting something from the country (defense against terrorists, marginally competent negotiators at the G8/20, rule of law &c.) without feeling obligated to do something in return.

    My stance is that taxes are one aspect of contributing to the community you inhabit. I think its moderately horrid to have no desire to improve the country you live in.

  16. Gsim says:

    Yeah, your right. Conscripts have done some good work. They built the great wall of China. That is pretty cool. Some of them are still buried in it (sweet!). If we agree that the Pyramids weren’t made with alien technology then I can assume conscripts built those too. Hm, what else have conscripts made that is super great?

    Did conscripts make the Berlin wall? I’m not sure. I bet they did. I also bet you’ve got some better examples?

    p.s. a real job includes everything that isn’t working for the federal government (some negative feelings are felt about state/city workers too, not quite as much).

    Flipping burgers holds more prestige that being a government employee.

  17. Ross Coyle says:

    Just stating my understanding of the facts before someone calls me out on being uninformed.
    1) Two years of compulsory service to be carried out after highschool/primary ed.
    2) Compensation for time of service.
    3) Military service non compulsory, can be community based.
    4) Work is restricted to helping lower class/poor, welfare styled system.

    Based on that I can understand why not everyone is jumping for the idea. But if you’re being paid, why not? What is so bad about getting your hands dirty for two years and gaining valuable, as C.T. said, experience and perspective. The most memorable and maturing experiences I’ve had have actually been away from school. Performing in Drum Corps and working with Boy Scouts has helped me create a solid idea for what I expect of myself. The system sounds somewhat analogous to Heinlein (although I’m told he’s a terrible author so take that for what it’s worth). To repeat C.T. again, mandatory service would act as an equalizer that brings people together over making accomplishments. Whether that’s helping a family or building a bridge, it feels better then connecting over the right to vote.

  18. C.T. Behemoth says:

    The idea that conscripts do poor work assumes the worst. It assumes that people will not enjoy what they’re doing and feel good about their service. It is equally likely that people will enjoy national service and their contributions to the country.

    The idea that conscripts do poor work also stems from the Vietnam era. Draftees weren’t happy about being conscripted and sent to war. It’s not surprising, that war was a farce before the get-go. Conscripts have done plenty of amazing work throughout history.

    Providing the incentives to do it is another avenue worth exploration.

    You don’t have to be a federal puke Gsim…it could be done locally.

    What is a “real” job?

  19. Gsim says:

    The entire idea is flawed. Conscripts seldom do good work. Many conscripts actively do bad work. If they conscripted me into national/military service I’d be a tip top royal bastard and fuck everything up as much as possible.

    Now if they provided the proper incentives to volunteer, it might work a bit better.

    I wouldn’t do it. I’ll never be a federal puke. Where I come from working for the government is a sign of failure and government goons are looked upon as pathetic losers that can’t hack it. Get a real job you lazy bureaucrats.

  20. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I think people take this country for granted.

    That is the crux of my argument. People take this country for granted, lack perspective, and want something for nothing. You see it every day, no matter where you are in this country of ours.

    I say, you get something…you pay for it. If that means you pay for freedom, then so be it. Serving two years to help the country better itself is not asking a lot. I think that the righteous indignation people have about this topic is pretty ridiculous too. To think that through the chemical reaction of life and dumb luck, we managed to pop out of a vagina in the US and that means we’re entitled.

    Betz: Nice post. I’m still thinking a bit on what you’ve said there.

    Alex: Jury duty is a great topic to bring up, and it only reinforces my argument. That is, people couldn’t be bothered to help the legal system in this country at this point. They’d rather weasel out of it somehow or just not show up and take their chances. Isn’t there something WRONG with that?

    Timothy: your paragraph on Kings sounds a lot like Capitalism here in the US; the system just modified itself. In any case, I would argue that national service would be the great equalizer. If everyone is involved, we are equals for that time and being in that situation would be a general positive for everyone. There is then a common bond, and so on down the line and it makes it harder for the King to shit on people and vice versa. I hear you on choice, but I don’t think that forcing people to do national service is eliminating choice from people. Everything else is, more or less, the same for Americans. There are just two years where they have to pay the country back for what the country provides them on a daily basis for the entirety of their lives. I’d say that’s a good deal, and it would impart a sense of civic responsibility that is not found today.

    I get your arguments, I just think that your position puts national service in the most negative light possible from the start. Therefore, I’m just trying to argue possibilities and chip away at your point of view.

    Sean: You should read Gramsci.

  21. Evil Rocks says:

    really, I have not met

  22. Sean says:

    National service or not, we are not free as we’d like to think. I used to think this, when I subscribed to one of the many libertarian philosophies…

    In exploring this, I’ve realized that there are many forces in society that occur both naturally and artificially that compel us to act in one way or another, and that there is no black and white dichotomy between coercion and choice.

    The idea that we should have to consent to anything required of us is a great idea, but let’s face it, we are too lazy to figure out every single piece of legislation or executive order that is passed that affects or regulates us somehow, and we basically trust that the laws that exist in our society aren’t too detrimental to us.

    If you really want to go down the route of ‘everything should be consual’, stop paying taxes. I don’t know.

  23. Timothy says:

    Ok. Why do you think that people would not like the idea of national service where they can help out their community, get paid, get some time to plan their life, and come out on the other end older, more mature and ready to move on?

    People who like that kind of thing are already free to join Americorps or CityYear or Teach for America or any other number of voluntary organizations that don’t force them to join it. That’s really the issue, the force issue. Community service is great, if people decide to do it on their own. It’s not great to use the threat of violence to force people to do things, which is really what state power comes down to eventually anyway. Prison is basically violence of a sort.

    The draft thing was an analogy, if you’re not getting the analogy or don’t think it’s apt, that’s fine, we can ignore it and move on.

    The only qualitative difference I can see here is that instead of people volunteering for the Army, we

  24. Alex Peters says:

    National service is doomed to fail because they’ll never be able to organize it and verify that we’ve all done it. The closest comparison I can think of is jury duty. They’ve been doing that shit forever and their system is still fucked up. My dad is 56 and hasn’t ever been called for it; I’ve already been summoned twice since I turned 18.

    And seriously, if you guys are pissed at just the idea of mandatory community service, you’re going to be really pissed when you get summoned for jury duty and can’t get it deferred.

  25. Betz says:

    So, why is national service doomed to fail if the US military has demonstrated an ability to carry out programs that benefit

  26. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “So basically what you

  27. Alpha says:

    It’s my American right to not have to help others and it should stay that way. Forcing individuals into some sort of community service is the same bullshit numerous high schoolers have to do in order to graduate. I doubt there is some Grand Requirement the government can come up with that won’t have people outraged.

    Aren’t Americans afforded the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Well, I for one believe the government needs to stay out of my life, and give me the liberty of saying, “Fuck you, I do enough. I pay taxes and that should be enough. I don’t need you telling me how to spend my time now” and subsequently, let me pursue my right to happiness by how I deem fit, even if that means no community service.

  28. Timothy says:

    So basically what you’re saying is that you don’t believe there are limits on government power? You think that it’s A-OK to rip somebody out of their life plan, send them off to get shot and/or perform some menial task, pay them whatever some committee deems appropriate and call it a day? That’s your position?

    The draft means that the government can kill you at a whim, without recourse or due process. That’s what that means, I want to make sure you understand that. That’s pretty obviously antithetical to liberty, because what if you don’t particularly feel like getting shot? Or being in the military, even without getting shot. Consent is important. Doing something to someone against their consent is a violation of their rights as a sovereign individual. This isn’t cosmology here, it’s pretty straight forward.

    Again, I’m just trying to straighten out how taking choice away from individuals makes anybody more free. And, sure, I guess if we’re all pressed into state service together, boy, then we’re all really free! Maybe slavery isn’t the right word, indentured servitude?

    And what makes you think the power elite won’t get out of this shit? Do you really think that Chocolate Jesus’ little girls are going to end up anywhere near actual work? Of course not, their daddy will pull strings and they’ll end up “serving the community” by doing some filing in an upper west side office complex. Such is the way of the universe.

    And let me tell you something about “the greater good” – it isn’t real, doesn’t exist. There aren’t aggregates, there isn’t society, there are only individuals because each and every thing that happens as a result of human action is decided on by an individual. The roiling mass of beautiful chaos people call society is just the seemingly coordinated, but completely unplanned, result of tiny individual actions over the course of hours, days, eons.

    There have only been individuals, and for most of human history the power elite have done a pretty damned good job of making sure most individuals never got any kind of chance to live for themselves, to choose for themselves, to live according to their own wishes. The point of the United States is that, finally, people would have a chance to live free of tyranny. Fortunately the definition of “person” is a lot broader than it used to be, but the point is the same – the American dream is to live free of tyranny. The government telling you how you must spend some of your most useful and enjoyable years is pretty tyrannical, so I have trouble fitting that into any real concept of what America is about.

    At least this stands little to no chance of actually passing. If it does pass, I need to come up with a plan to help my new cousin escape to Canada when it’s time.

  29. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Anytime a politician who is not Edmund Burke mentions “social fabric” or “fabric of society” they should get punched in the balls (or ovaries).

  30. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Well, for one, it’s not slavery if:

    1) You get paid like the rest of us
    2) You get other compensation (i.e. college help, tax breaks)
    3) EVERYONE does it

    That’s a good start.

    I don’t know which branch of government would do it. Hell, maybe the federal government doesn’t do it at all. It could be state, or even local. That way people are improving their immediate geography.

    The Constitution has been amended many times, for the better.

    This is not the draft because it’s not to fight a war. National Service doesn’t even have to be military. You could even stipulate that national service cannot be military service. You have a lot of possibilities here, and I think that assuming the worst possible outcomes and not thinking of any positive effects only works against your argument. Sure, you’re right, some government somewhere could set up a program like what we’re talking about and make it a nightmare. However, it’s also possible that a program could be set up that was positive.

    The draft is obviously not immoral or against liberty, we’ve done it (and worse) in the past. We did it when Americans believed in a collective good or when the country needed us. Nowadays, the idea of a collective good doesn’t seem too popular. It’s more of a “don’t tread on me, go fuck yourself and I’m going to take advantage of everything this country has to offer me without offering much of anything in return” attitude.

    Look at the current economic crisis for instance. MAYBE, if there was a notion of collective good, the schmucks on Wall Street who insist on their bailouts and bonuses despite demonstrably terrible work wouldn’t be asking for such things. Maybe there would be a common ethic in place that most Americas ascribe to, and people would sacrifice for the betterment of the country and not always insist on bettering themselves over anything else. MAYBE, people would realize that they are only able to improve their lives, be successful with hard work and get a whiff of the American Dream BECAUSE of what this country provides for them…instead of acting like they did it all on their own without any help and therefore don’t need to give anything back to the society that enabled their success.

    Someone mentioned ego and other things up there being issues that Americans have to deal with. I would say that blatant selfishness and disregard for the common good is another area that Americans need to get over.

    National service, of some sort, is one way to work at that.

  31. Timothy says:

    Please explain how putting a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to toil for you is not slavery. Further, please explain which branch of the government is granted the duty of making people appreciate the country. Is that in some mysterious article that was just, like, left out? Is there some Constitution of Thomas I should be looking for to find that?

    Again, other than not sending you off to get shot how is this different than the draft? If the draft is immoral and an affront to liberty, then so is this, whether or not you like the idea.

  32. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “How about we don

  33. Evil Rocks says:

    And a more relevant, specific link to the establishment of the commission in question:

  34. Evil Rocks says:

    I support this! I’ve met some Israelis, and I gotta say that their brainwashing regime is beat by no other modern/military state. If we’re going to hold this nation together through the dark times ahead and pray that we don’t fall victim to the threat of radical populism, we must forge the youth into a united body politic!

    But as regards this being some sort of welfare program, why limit it that way? Why not forgive student debts in return for service to the state in their speciality: f.ex, recent doctoral grads could do service in communities lacking sophisticated healthcare, Bachelor-level degree holders could teach in elementary or high schools, and anyone at all could work on government-sponsored infrastructure projects.

    I’m not 100% familiar with the modern conservative viewpoint, but I think that borrowing money to invest in infrastructure generally sets alarm bells a-ringin’. Doesn’t a labor pool dedicated to building schools, local rail systems, and bridges have the potential to dramatically reduce the dollar amount government would need to borrow in order to complete those projects? We could even apply the labor pool to feel-good hippie-ass projects like Superfund cleanup and wetland rehabilitation.

    It’s not community service in the sense of filling bowls at the local food kitchen – that’s thinking small. It’s about thinking big and doing service for the entire American community – projects that will improve our national image (srsly, how sad is it that the eurocommies have us beat on the rail network front) and quality of life for all citizens.

    Projects undertaken under the auspices of any sort of national labor program should aim to improve the quality of life for all citizens, and not on staffing soup kitchens and shelters. Come on people, don’t think of this in terms of welfare, think of it in terms of what we could do with the resultant pool.

  35. Timothy says:

    National Service of some sort would provide Americans with a common bond, it could be civic or military service, and it would give young Americans some real-world experience (yes, even the fucked up parts that come with bureaucratic institutions).

    I’m with Tyler, Nazi reference is a bit over the top, but I think fucking slavery would be appropriate.

    How about we don’t force people into service against their will and finally end any presumption of liberty we have in this country. I mean, we’re already pretty damned close to abandoning that pretense, so I’d rather not push us any farther down that road. Military conscription is evil enough, and I suppose that at least nobody get shot (on purpose) under the Obamanation plan, but that’s a matter of degree.

    The largest portions of the federal budget are entitlements and the military. Both of which should be drastically slashed. The earmarks thing is, well, it’s a distraction. Also, I’d like to see how far you can bend the necessary and proper clause to make this fit, being that conscription of any sort directly violates freedom of association.

  36. C.T. Behemoth says:

    How about this.

    Every year you are in national service, you don’t pay taxes.

    Building on Sean’s comments….taxes don’t all go to welfare. That is, unless you count the public school system, police, firemen, national parks, and infrastructure (roads, dams, etc) in general for American society to be welfare.

    Our economy might suffer a bit without all of the things that taxes pay for.

    Oh yeah, whining about welfare is a bit disproportionate as well considering how much of our budget goes to ‘defense’.

  37. Sean says:

    “I don

  38. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “Which begs the question whether there is some serious lack of bonding going on. ”

    Really? This country is pretty much clueless, divided along lines that have become so deep that most sides view the other as a depraved enemy, and our society in general has no idea what life is like in other places…within our own nation, state and/or sometimes city.

    There is no common bond, at all, period.

    Now, maybe national service isn’t the answer, but one thing is for sure…America is experiencing more centripetal forces than anything these days.

    “I don

  39. Vincent says:

    But really, Reichtsarbeitdienst?

    Well, I would’ve written ????????? instead, but I’m not sure anyone would’ve gotten it.

    I know it was a terrible joke (hence the “drink!”, which I’m glad you noticed), but it seemed somehow appropriate after reading legislation that included the phrase “strengthen the social fabric of the Nation.” (Look at it this way, at least I didn’t make a crack about the volk…)

    In any case, most of the people who served in the Reichtsarbeitdienst didn’t get sent to gas chambers. I would assume a lot of them of them ended up on the Eastern Front, instead.

  40. Kai Jones says:

    C.T. Behemoth writes: National Service of some sort would provide Americans with a common bond,

    Which begs the question whether there is some serious lack of bonding going on. I didn’t have any trouble bonding with my fellow citizens over, you know, just being a citizen of the United States. Or voting. Or not being able to drink legally until I was 21. Or any of the hundreds of other things I have in common with most citizens.

    And volunteer work can happen without a government bureaucracy, so why spend the money to create one? Is your community lacking volunteer opportunities? Then travel to another needy community. Or maybe it’s that you won’t do volunteer work unless you’re forced; I don’t see how that’s my problem to solve with my tax dollars.

  41. T says:

    Vince: You know, mandating national service is fairly suspect in my eyes, mainly because when you force someone to do something they don’t want to do you get generally shitty results in return. But really, Reichtsarbeitdienst? I know you caught yourself with your self deprecatory “drink!” reference, but you realize this initiative is modeled in part after a current German service program requiring high school grads to perform a year of community service/ military conscription.

    And yet somehow this country (Deutschland!), best known to you for, um, Nazis (I’m assuming), has managed to quell its latent desire to subsequently send their Jungen off to the gas chambers once they complete the program. Fuckin’ Nazis.

  42. This isn’t something where I hate people who have it poor. I’ve been to those neighborhoods that qualify as “ghettos.” It’s not like I’m a clueless American with no idea how tough other countries have it, or how tough poor in America have it.

    I don’t feel that I should be legally forced to help someone. Mercy, generosity, and samaritan works are all of the heart and basic kindness. What will we (and inversely ourselves) be teaching children about mercy and generosity when we force them into doing these actions?

    It loses its significance. It loses the merit of aiding people. It just becomes another bullshit welfare action by the government. Right now I’m telling you that I hate the welfare system in America. It’s broken. They only just fixed food stamps a couple of years ago but even that’s still broken. I still go back to my old neighborhoods in Phoenix, Az and Texas and see women dropping food stamps while they wear new salon nails and their kid runs around in $60 Nikes.

    I’m not saying some people don’t need a hand but the system is broken. Honestly, I see this “community service” brigade going down the same path. It will create a certain amount of complacency in people that again reduces the meaning of aid, help, generosity, mercy, and kindness. It makes good actions chores and bureaucratic bullshit.

    I foresee it leading to a more embittered American nation who feel that because they do such good acts therefore they are the better nation/best nation in the world.

    Egos are America’s biggest downfall, not intelligence or lack of world understanding. We are not a humble people.

  43. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Scott, why do you have an aversion to helping the community you live in? : )

    National Service of some sort would provide Americans with a common bond, it could be civic or military service, and it would give young Americans some real-world experience (yes, even the fucked up parts that come with bureaucratic institutions). If you incorporated some sort of international segment to the service, you’d also have more Americans realizing that they have it good here compared to most of the world. In other words, it would give people perspective on all sorts of things that they currently lack in a big way.

    Then, maybe we’d have less people like Scott who hate America. (kidding)

  44. Betz says:

    Doubtful … Maybe its just me, but I haven’t been hearing too much buzz around the mandatory service bill (most of my primary news intake comes from basic local news channels) … I have a feeling something like this would seem out of “left-field” for a majority of Americans. Expect big-media talking-heads to pounce on this issue and tear its bloody amendments off.

  45. Scott says:

    I honestly think that I would go to jail before doing forced community service. Although, since I’d be in jail I suppose I’d have a purpose to do forced community service.

    Like in Arizona where they make prisoners in bright orange full coverage jumpsuits clean up the highways in the middle of 103 degree days.

    Oh, Sheriff Joe, how I miss your crazy ass.

  46. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Hey, we’re living in a September 12th world. : ) haha I’ve always liked that one.

    As to national service…..FINALLY! You think it will actually get anywhere close to passing?

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