Thursday, November 06, 2008

Serving Obama

From President-Elect Barack Obama's official website, an announcement of how our American neighbors are going to be made to spend their free time:
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Hope and Change!

[Hat tip Gateway Pundit]

(To be fair, this other page says that "service" will be demanded only from high school and college students. So why say "citizens of all ages"..? And what's to be the definition of "community service"..?)

Meanwhile, an appaling glimpse into American education: a scandinavian documentary presents a North Carolina elementary school teacher so enamored with Barack Obama that she sees nothing wrong with how she treats the handful of pro-McCain children in her classroom, particularly the little girl with a parent serving in the military:

What else is going on in American classrooms, that we don't get to see..?

[Hat tip: Blackfive]


Anonymous said...

I'm predicting a rise in home-schooled children in the States in the next few years...

Anonymous said...

Well, in Italy, switzerland, south korea, etc etc they REQUIRE military service, and how is helping your community actually a bad thing?

children are REQUIRED to go to school, and I think having them help their community is great idea. I'm 25 and community service was required when I was in high school...and that was in Canada soo...

you people are idiots.

Stop Common Purpose said...

Barack Obama is a Communitarian, although you will not have heard him use the term during his election campaign. Americans will get a shock when the truth of his hidden agenda becomes known and they find out his real intentions. Bear in mind that Obama is simply a front-man for the New World Order Communitarians.

More here: Common Purpose Communitarian philosophy

Anonymous said...

anon: strong words from a faceless man.

You honestly think that when the government requires charity and community service, that it's a good thing? That it doesn't negate the entire purpose of elective charity? That it won't foster resentment towards people that would ordinarily get elective charity?

People aren't kind-hearted when they've got a metaphorical gun to their head.

truepeers said...

you people are idiots.

This is really the crux of what anon. has to say. Not exactly an optimistic sign of those who have been required to do service in school. But then how can someone watch the video attached to this post and not see that there is something deeply wrong in today's America? In other words, anon is not here to make a serious argument about the realities or possibilities of compulsory service; he is here to demand unanimity in the transcendence that is Obama's ascension to replace the scapegoated Bush who must also be universally condemned.

Bush is gone; and now those who have come to power simply by offering a new king-god to replace the one we have devoured are going to need new victims to keep their religious fervor going. And that is why people are rightly scared of Obama's idea. Why should kids be forced to serve organizations like ACORN that commit criminal acts in the name of the Obama cause, if that is what is being proposed...

As Claudia Rossett argues: The irony is that Obama arrives at the threshold of the White House steeped in ideas that subordinate individual freedom to the collective. In his campaign and his victory speech, Obama declares that America's "timeless creed" is now, "yes, we can." This is not a defense of liberty. It is a declaration so malleable and generic that it could have applied to anything from Lenin's Bolshevik Revolution to the Little Engine that Could.

Obama has called repeatedly upon America's people to sacrifice. What's not yet clear is whether this will entail sacrifice in the common defense of liberty, or whether it is liberty itself that will step by step be sacrificed in the name of the common good. If the latter, the implications are indeed world-changing. For the past century, America has stood as the world's great bulwark of freedom. That can no longer be taken as a given. Americans will be hard pressed to support freedom elsewhere if they do not protect it at home.

Why should anyone feel good about a man who gives his victory speecn alone on stage, no friends or family, just the man shouting to the adoring crowd who shouts back at him? Is that anon's idea of compulsory service? Is he capable of explaining a vision of compulsory service that is not threatening to liberty, not in service to a vengeful cult of personality? Or does s/he all really want us to bow down?

Dag said...

It's a near certainty that the conformity hippies who come here will at some point in a comment insult our intelligence. I suspect it's because they see things as totally black or white, and those of us who don't agree with their vision, who miss "the obvious" must be stupid. If all our opposition understand "the truth," then we who disagree must be insane, evil, or stupid. And I can't recall even one leftist who hasn't gone that route at some point.

Charles Henry said...

anonymous 26-year old canadian,

I agree with some of what you say.

If a school chooses to have its students qualify for graduation by undertaking a certain series of duties in their community, and if the parents agree with those guidelines, then that's a good thing.

It's different, isn't it, when the state decides the school policies to such a degree, leaving schools and especially parents with no choice on the matter. It's not the government's kids, it's the parents' kids, after all: why not let them get final choice.

Walker has effectively said what I would have added about defining charitable service. Well put, Walker..!

If I may, anonymous, let me ask about your belief in equating popularity with morality.

You say that a lot of countries require military service... the implication behind the "etc etc" is, as far as I can tell, that the large number therefore means it's a good idea?

In many countries around the world, bribery is what greases the wheels and gets things done. "Everybody" does it. Does that make it "good"?

In 1793, how many countries tolerated slavery? The European empires did, the sprawling Ottoman Empire did... The US did, I'm sure you know that... but as of that date, and for the next ten years, Canada took a stand and started changing its laws to eliminate slavery. Did that make us "popular"? What do you think? Was that lone step nevertheless not a good thing?

I respectfully ask you to reconsider this aspect of your comment; being "popular" is important to younger people, being liked by others and being alike to them, this tends to be of vital importance to younger people, since they have not yet formed a strong sense of personal identity, particularly the confidence required in facing the prospect of being a unique individual.

But doing something because it's the "popular" thing to do is not implicitly the reason it might be the Right Thing To Do.