Friday, December 24, 2010

At our service?

There's been a bit of buzz in some circles over President Obama's proposed civilian corps or "volunteer corps".

The vote yesterday came on H.R. 1388, which reauthorizes through 2014 the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, acts that originally, among other programs, funded the AmeriCorps and the National Senior Service Corps.

It not only reauthorizes the programs, but also includes "new programs and studies" and is expected to be funded with an allocation of $6 billion over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Many, however, are raising concerns that the program, which is intended to include 250,000 "volunteers," is the beginning of what President Obama called his "National Civilian Security Force" in a a speech last year in which he urged creating an organization as big and well-funded as the U.S. military. He has declined since then to elaborate.

Here's the President on the subject matter:

Now, were we advising the President, we would dissuade him from any resembling course of action as a wonderful confluence of this country's abundant natural resources and the 2nd amendment has rendered this supposed "civilian national security force" moot.

The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world — more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined — deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay. But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan ‘s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. America will forever be safe from foreign invasion of troops with that kind of home-grown firepower.

And as a practical political matter here's former Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

How we burned in the prison camps later thinking: What would things have been like if every police operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive? If during periods of mass arrests people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever was at hand? The organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt.

Go on over to Secular Apostate's place here where he fleshes out in fine fashion the importance of our rights in defending our nation against its enemies both here and abroad.


steve said...

Obviously, the idea of another $600 billion force is conspiracy paranoia, but there is a real issue here. The milblogs frequently entertain debates on the issue of a draft vs the all volunteer service. I go back and forth on the issue. I think it is probably easier to run the military as an all volunteer group. The downside is the loss of social cohesion we lose. Think back to Adams and Jefferson. More recently, the ability of the two parties to work together after WWII since they had served together. I am currently leaning towards the sentiments expressed in a series by Starbuck (Captain Burke) from SWJ. Series starts here. Uses lots of big words for a chopper pilot.


Dean said...

I tend to agree with the conspiracy theory angle. However, the Prez did himself no favors with his choice of words. It provided a nice jumping off point for the larger theme of the importance of the 2nd amendment.

Bipartisanship is always a mixed bag. The post-war period you speak of gave us civil rights legislation but also The Great Society. Like the 111th Congress, they certainly did "accomplish" a lot.

Generally speaking, I'm an all-volunteer military guy.

I am personal friends with 3 Vietnam vets. To a man, they are foresquare with re-instating the draft. This blew me away. The people that I thought would be most opposed to it, definetely wanted it back.

I am interested, however, in the "social cohesion" aspect of the draft.

I will check out that link Thanks.

steve said...

If you ever want to make a strong case for 2nd amendment rights, read up on the Warsaw ghetto and the Jewish resistance during WWII. 500-1000 fighters with mostly handguns held off 2000-3000 fully armed and supplied Germans including some armor for over a month.


SEO London said...

Looks like you had some fun. I wish I could do and see things like that. I miss it.