Sunday, November 30, 2008

They're Coming For The Children

by Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

"The third part of my plan will be integrating service into education, so that young Americans are called upon and prepared to be active citizens.

"Just as we teach math and writing, arts and athletics, we need to teach young Americans to take citizenship seriously. Study after study shows that students who serve do better in school, are more likely to go to college, and more likely to maintain that service as adults. 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, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities."
Senator Barack Obama, December 5, 2007, Mt. Vernon, Iowa

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted 1865

servitude - 1. the condition of a slave, serf, or the like; subjection to a master, slavery, or bondage
Webster's New World Dictionary

The first African-American President of these United States appears to be planning to bring back slavery to our country. Or at least he intends to entice some by promise of monetary rewards into voluntarily serving (.pdf) the federal government while for others, especially the children, he intends to coerce local governments (read school districts) into enslaving the children for the federal government, all in the name of teaching them to "be active citizens." It's interesting how he uses language so that we all think we know what he is saying but somehow it's a little difficult to determine if he means what we think he means.

If you read the entirety of Mr. Obama's speech it seems he is under the impression that there are very limited opportunities for Americans, particularly the young, to serve their fellow man in a volunteer capacity. Just off the top of my head I can list the Cub and Boy Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, 4H, The American Red Cross, Candystripers, and other youth organizations that require their members, who have voluntarily applied to join these private associations, to perform some form of charitable service for the less fortunate amongst us. Every church in my local area with a membership of at least 50 adults has a youth program and I've personally seen these young people mowing lawns and doing yard work for elderly persons who can't get around as well as they used to. I even see little ones scour their neighborhoods knocking on doors to raise money for charitable organizations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association. No, Mr. Obama, there is no lack of opportunity for young people to serve.

Mr. Obama refers to studies he says shows that children who serve are better students. I would posit that the reason these children serve is because of their personal moral code that also drives them to be better students. It is the personality traits of the young person that drives them to success. Their volunteer service to others is merely a symptom of their good character and not the cause of it. To expect compulsory service to change bad students into good is the same as expecting a mouse to turn into a fish just because you throw it into a lake. The mouse will expend the minimum energy necessary to survive and will spend all its time struggling to get itself back to dry land where it will emerge from the water soaking wet but still a mouse. The only thing the mouse will learn from the event is to never trust you again with carrying it in your hand.

There is still the question of what kind of service will be expected of these young people and whether they can choose to perform one type and refuse to perform another. Since taking over the education system, Liberals have been adamant in trying to break the emotional and spiritual bonds between parent and child so that the child will look to the state, run by the Liberals, as their new parents and this call for service could be just more of the same. Imagine the children of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim parents being forced to work at an advocacy center for homosexuals or at an abortion clinic for the poor in order to sensitize the children to the "plight" of others different from themselves and "help" them break the vicious cycle of "archaic bigotry" passed from one generation to another. An ironic aspect of Liberals is that their immediate assumption that someone's personal religious convictions are always based on "archaic bigotry" is itself a form of archaic bigotry.

Then there is the matter of the children's safety as they perform this mandatory service to the state. Private organizations that enlist volunteers have the incentive to protect those who work for them since any public report of persons being injured on the job will certainly cut into the number of people who might volunteer in the future. These organizations are also open to civil litigation if it can be proved that the administrators were negligent by not providing a safe work environment and there are a myriad of laws issued by the government that cover the same thing. The government can exempt itself from such laws if it determines that it is in the best interest of the government to do so and can go so far as to block anyone from filing a lawsuit against it for the negligence of its executives. During their forced labor the children can also be exposed to such fine examples of benevolent government officials like Congressman Mark Foley and President Bill Clinton. We all know how well they took care of young people assigned to work with them.

We can pretty well guess that with the number of hours a week students will have to perform this service, there will not be an accompanying reduction in the number of hours they are required to attend their classes so the time has to come from another important source, namely time with their families. It will also cut into that time that some young people can use for part-time gainful employment where they learn that valuable lesson of how to satisfy a customer, their employer, and the added education in how to live on a budget and how to invest their money so as to build up capital for larger purchases in the future or for lean times when there are no wages to be earned. The worst moral hazard is that our children will learn from this program that slavery and being a slave is a desirable state. Kind of turns the whole concept of "government serving the people" on its head.

Now some might think that their children would be exempt since they do not attend public schools but I think we should file that theory under the "They can make 'em put seat belts in our cars but they can't make us wear 'em" heading. As the government presently persecutes (but not aggressively prosecutes) young men who fail to register for Selective Service we will eventually see requirements for the presentation of certificates that attest to the fact that the young person has completed the required "service" before they are allowed to attend any college or university that accepts federal grants. We will probably also see it show up on applications for employment and assistance from government agencies, including Social Security, the IRS, FEMA, and we might even see it on the BATF&E form 4473.

Contrary to what Mr. Obama says there are plenty of opportunities for Americans to serve their fellow countrymen, and even fellow Earthlings, through hundreds of thousands of private charitable organizations without having to turn to serve the federal government, or any government for that matter. The rub for Liberal Marxists like Mr. Obama seems to be that these organizations are not under the thumb of he and his minions and the best way to destroy these groups and the ideology which they represent - that people can take care of themselves without government - is to take away the people they depend on for volunteers and leave everyone dependent on the government for their very existence.

It's high time to teach our children that to be a Patriot also means from time to time to resist an oppressive government even when and if it is your own. As Mark Twain pointed out when he quoted Czar Nicholas II: "...(T)he true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government (only) when it deserves it." They are coming for our children. Let us prepare to make them pay dearly when they have the audacity to try...

For further reading I would like to recommend Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream by Lerone Bennett and Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel.


Skullz said...

Service to community is important. It's something I started teaching my son when he was 2 - and he would complain when I would head out to shovel snow or mow the lawn, or whatever else I did for an older resident in the neighborhood. He wanted me all to himself on the weekend.

I've taken him to our local food bank where he's helped pack food boxes. I hope to instill the importance of these actions so that he will do similar things on his own. As with ALL other things, I do not need the government to step in and teach FOR me.

If they come for our children...

They can have my son when they pry him from my cold dead hands.

GeorgeH said...

It's bound to be challenged on 13th Amendment grounds.
However it comes out, it's going to be amusing watching Barack Obama's Solicitor General argue that the 13th Amendment doesn't really mean what it says.

Anonymous said...

In the past when students and their parents have challenged graduation requirements that mandate some form of public service for able-bodied students, the courts have determined that since the student's attendance at the public school in question was optional - the parents could send their child to another school - then the mandate was not in violation of the 13th Amendment. Note that the attendance was optional but not the paying of taxes that support the school.

If Mr. Obama's plan applies to the whole country then their will not be any option to send the students to another school (except maybe private or homeschool), therefore this exception will not apply.

But the government controls the dictionary that decides what is slavery and what is not...