Thursday, April 30, 2009

Community service or Kings in Satan’s Service?

Volunteerism A Silver Squirrel Award to anyone who gets that latter reference!

I read a short article in Time the other day about the April 21st signing of The Serve America Act, a bill cosponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy, and one which received bipartisan support. I don't think anyone would dispute that community or national service is a noble cause, and according to the article, applications for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and Teach for America are "pouring in," with many more applicants than spots. Yay, Team America!

Leave it to someone like Glenn Beck to rain on that happy little parade of those willing to serve. Beck recently said that the AmeriCorps program "indoctrinates your child into community service." *GASP* No, not that! Anything but that!

What a moronic comment. (No word on whether or not he cried when he said it. Beck seems to be suffering from a serious case of chronic PMS.) Yes, how terrible for a child to be exposed to people who think it's a good thing to help others. How heinous to teach a child that they can be part of the greater good. What sort of nefarious plot shows a child that there are others less fortunate than themselves, and sometimes they need a hand up? And under no circumstances should children be taught that our earth must be cared for with love, or that neighborhood cleanups and tree plantings can improve the quality of life for themselves and for others.

Why...that's downright child abuse!

Volunteerism is a wonderful thing to foster in kids, or to participate in as we get older. A new website,, looks pretty cool. You can type in your interests or a keyword and your zip code, and it will take you to a list of possibilities in your area. I'm still doing the Bird Phenology thing (and still occupied with the Great Residence Hunt '09™), but I might do a little further exploring there in the future. Beck's idiotic comment is just another example of his and his ilk's kneejerk reaction to hate on anything that happens under President Obama's watch. He could probably stumble across the cure for cancer, find a way to feed every starving person on the entire planet, and make contact with an alien race who loves us and wants to help us (and knows the cure for aging and baldness), and Beck would cry like a little girl and talk about how he fears for his country. Crackuh, please.

I've also read things in Blogtropolis about how this bill would require mandatory service for children. Not so. I did a little research today, and the phrase that is bandied about, "mandatory service requirement for all able young people," is not anywhere in the passed bill. The original bill put before the House speculated on the possibility of exploring that option, but it never asked for mandatory service, and the bill that was passed excludes any such speculation. You can read the entire discussion of the rumors and the untruth of them here. I think everyone can stop comparing this to some kind of Hitler Youth program, okay?

Besides, students who engage in community service will get money to be used for college. I think we can all agree that's a very good thing!


  1. Really...whatta putz! Nice piece, Beth. Thanks!

  2. Beth, Community service = Hitler's Youth Group, oh, but of course! WTF is wrong with the "right?" Oh wait, I forgot, practically everything. I heard there was a poll this week where only 21% of those polled claimed to be Republicans. The Grand Ole Party has some splainin' to do, Lucy, before it can ever expect respect again. (Try saying that five times fast!) Glen "The Wreck" Beck, Rush the Lush, Ann "The Man" Coulter, et al are a bunch of hateful, vengeful, right-wing freaks. Maybe they could all take a nice, long vacation in Mexico City together...

    "He could probably stumble across the cure for cancer, find a way to feed every starving person on the entire planet, and make contact with an alien race who loves us and wants to help us (and knows the cure for aging and baldness), and Beck would cry like a little girl and talk about how he fears for his country. Crackuh, please." LOVE IT!!!!

  3. I want to put my bid in for KISS ... let me go and read!

  4. Crackuh, please ... oh my ... too funny!

    I have ALWAYS been in favour of national service. If you didn't do two years in the Armed Forces, you should do something in the Peace Corp. I know I would have been in the Peace Corp, if I wasn't so militaristic (maybe there is some German in my blood too!).

    The division in our country is due to a few folks who refuse to believe that anyone should help their fellow man. The three that you picked on here, serve their own interest. I am hard pressed to believe that they really believe the crap they spew.

    They carry on in the manner they do for their own indvidual gain.

  5. KISS (the band)...

    More later. :-)

  6. Glen Beck is not one to be talking about indoctrination. Kudos to all who volunteer, young and old. Volunteerism rocks. I feel guilty that I haven't done a lot of volunteering lately. Back in CT, I was Volunteer of the Year in my town once. Feeling wonderful about doing something for others is the best payment in the world.

  7. I've read about this also, & he is warping the facts. The things he's saying are very calculating. And it comes off as sounding like community service boot camp. My parents taught me to help, & by example, even to help until it hurt a little, give something you might need for yourself to someone else, because he might need it even more. My volunteerism as a youth worked for me, and helped me to see certain things through the eyes of the less fortunate. My parents were criticized about this at times. It was suggested my parents took away from us as a family(& me as a child)to help others. OH SCARY MONSTERS. It left me with no scars. I have personality faults, but that isn't one of them. ~Mary

  8. OK, so Glen gets carried away. I do think he is a little manic about things, but sometimes pretty informative as well. I'm guilty of finding fault with Obama but I try to keep my comments between myself and my family (who happen to agree with
    Hugs, Joyce

  9. Hi Beth,
    Yikes ... that someone would complain about "indoctrinating" the youth of America into community service is a joke. Almost as funny as Bill O'Reilly suggesting that the reason health care is so unaffordable for folks these days is because so many of them waste their money on booze.

  10. Thats really funny I have just now sent details about a volunteering oppertunity to my Great Nephew...I do truly think thee is nothing better that any yougster can do than to volunteer to help someone else...they end up I am sure helping themselves just as much as the person they are helping....more power to the volunteers I say....I just can't understand why anyone would disagree...
    Love Sybilxx

  11. I know where you could volunteer your services around here. ;) I didn't see that piece in Time. I'll have to go back and look.

  12. This is idiocy at its best.

    The fact of the matter is service encourages reflection, and reflection yields personal growth and empathy.

    In a world where every person broadcasts their lives online with greater frequency and intimacy, empathy must combat a sharp increase in ego-centric thinking. Follow my blog, my twitter, my facebook, my myspace, my google profile, my this, my that, my youtube channel, my flickr, my whatever.

    While there are advantages to an open society for sure, we have to be cognizant that we fight ego-centrist ideology with empathy, and service is one way to achieve that.

  13. one of the requirements to graduate in my state is community service...60 hrs of it between freshman and senior year....the schools take about anything as community summer my daughter volunteered at a religious day care for the entire summer and that took care of her requirements. Even working a job after school can be used as community service so at least here, they play lose with the rules....i, myself, would have wanted them to require the teens to REALLY go and help others. It has never hurt anyone to step outside their comfort zone and be compassionate and DO for others in a positive manner.
    i will check out that link you provided.
    Glenn sounds like a real selfish ass.

  14. If we spent as much time helping others as we do blaming each other, we would live in a better world.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?