It is another sound good piece of legislation. H.R. 1388 has a creative title; The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act. 321 representatives of the people voted approval for this legislation which, among many other things, strikes a blow to the rights of people to mount any protests against legislation. Listen closely, it outlaws the right to mount protests against proposed legislation.
This act is being presented as part of Pres. Obama's goal of establishing a national service program. In his speech delivered in Colorado Springs, CO he wanted "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the the military." As Rahm Emanuel further explained, "It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service."
The GIVE Act would extend funding, through 2014, for AmeriCorps as well many other organizations that would either be extended or created. Among these are the National Civilian Community Corps, Learn and Serve Programs, the Investment for Quality and Innovation program, Campuses of Service, Innovative Service-Learning Programs and Research, an Education Corps to address unmet educational needs, a Healthy Futures Corps to address unmet health needs, a Clean Energy Corps to address unmet environmental needs, a Veterans Corps to address the unmet needs of veterans and their families. Overall it is the goal to reach at least 250,000 serving in a volunteer basis. Overall, it sounds good to the ears yet 105 representatives voted in opposition to it.
Perhaps one of the key reasons there were so many votes against this supposedly good act was the little amendment buried down as the 12th Amendment to the act. Remember it is the little invasions to our liberties that open cracks for increased federal power and decreased freedom. "Amendment to prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing." Those in support of this legislation will argue this amendment is limited in scope and is not meant to interfere with the rights of citizens to protest, petition, boycott, or strike in resistance to government proposed laws.
However, the people associated through service under the GIVE Act are considered volunteers, still free citizens, yet it will be unlawful for them to take part in any protests against any legislation. This is as close to a sedition act, a violation of 1st Amendment rights, as has been proposed in recent history. A basic right as a part of our natural, inalienable rights, is to resist government. Our founders not only knew it was a right but it was a responsibility. This legislation begins to break that down significantly.
What can you do? Research this legislation and the amendments to see if you feel as outraged as this examiner. Contact your representatives and chastise those who voted for it while sending a note of appreciation to those who stood against it. Keep an eye on your Senators and help defeat any attempt to carry the GIVE Act into law by contacting them and letting them know you oppose this violation of our natural right and responsibility as patriotic Americans.
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