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AmeriWhaaa?
June 26, 2003 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Nananana, nananana, hey hey hey, goodbye. AmeriCorps, thanks for the memories.
posted by _sirmissalot_ (18 comments total)

 
"Our country also needs citizens working to rebuild our communities. We need mentors to love children, especially children whose parents are in prison. And we need more talented teachers in troubled schools. USA Freedom Corps will expand and improve the good efforts of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps to recruit more than 200,000 new volunteers." - State of the Union Address, 2002.



"The community service program -- which Bush has repeatedly praised and promised to expand -- has indicated that it may not be able to fill more than half of the 50,000 volunteer slots it was supposed to have in the current fiscal year." - Washington Post, June 26, 2003
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:10 AM on June 26, 2003


I think this calls for a song...
posted by SweetJesus at 11:15 AM on June 26, 2003


Well that blows. It seems like a gov't plan any politician could get behind, right or left leaning.

It essentially means cheap labor for projects at home, where people gain valuable experience while helping a community, and encourages people to go to college. What's not to like? Is it just because Clinton introduced it?
posted by mathowie at 11:31 AM on June 26, 2003


Not that I know too much about the politics of it all, but I will relate my personal experience:
A few months ago, I was seriously considering joining the Americorps program, but I ran into a few major roadblocks - first, most of the programs have very specific start dates, and personally, I couldn't swing a 4mo gap between graduation and the program start. Second, some of the programs listed are actually no longer part of Americorps (read: sure you can come volunteer, but there's no stipend or benefits). And last, there were very few opportunities for skilled people to make worthwhile contributions (e.g., having a business major paint houses)
Don't get me wrong, its something I really would have liked to do, but the powers that be really need to give the administration part a big overhaul.
posted by dicaxpuella at 11:35 AM on June 26, 2003


What's not to like? Is it just because Clinton introduced it?

There's a decent (if a bit partisan) discussion over what happened here. Also, you may have seen this full-page ad (pdf file) in the NYT today . . . well, if you get the print edition. People are pretty upset on both sides of the fence, but really . . . why can't they at least keep it going, if not increase spending? What is $200 million in the whole scheme of things? This just doesn't make sense to me.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:46 AM on June 26, 2003


Seriously, this is not a troll comment, but I thought we pretty well understood by now that the neocons are out to gut the federal government. All programs at all levels. So why the surprise over this instance? Sure it's a bad decision but so are most of the ones being made by the GWB posse.
posted by billsaysthis at 11:53 AM on June 26, 2003


dicaxpuella - agreed.

I've known more than one person who participated in the program, and it's always remembered as "that dark time in their life" when they were working for shit, doing shit work, and basically losing time they could have spent on something more productive or rewarding.

A fantastic idea, but never fully realized.
posted by scarabic at 11:55 AM on June 26, 2003


billsaysthis: the neocons are out to gut the federal government.

Prescription drug benefits, war on "terror", institution of tarriffs, etc... If only your statement were true. They want to grow the government, just like everyone else, they just want to throw the money down different holes.
posted by trharlan at 12:55 PM on June 26, 2003


well I participated in Americorps (NCCC - the first year-- GO FRED!!) and I had a great time, made some permanent friends, learned a lot and hopefully helped people.

But of course my team (the group I worked with for the year) had some amazing projects and we probably had a fairly unique experience.
posted by Julnyes at 12:56 PM on June 26, 2003


trharlan, war on terror is just another way to bankrupt the government and aid it's ability to intrude in our lives ($400B for Iraq, TIA), renewed budget deficits up the wazoo. Prescription benefits are something they tried to use as a way to sneak in privatization but some of the sheep woke up a little too soon. Tariffs? Let's help our friends in the business community without instituting any (significant) new government programs.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:17 PM on June 26, 2003


Seriously, this is not a troll comment, but I thought we pretty well understood by now that the neocons are out to gut the federal government.

No no no. Bush and his cronies have spent us straight into a debt. They want more government, not less, and the evidence can be found in their spending habits.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:19 PM on June 26, 2003


Anybody else think its only a matter of time until we dust off the WPA?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:20 PM on June 26, 2003


A few weeks ago, while camping, my husband and I met a group of teenagers who were Americorps volunteers. They were working on restoring the park we where at. They lived in tents for the duration of their time there.

They were a wonderful group of hardworking kids. It's a damn shame that another good program is being cut, while we spend even more money on things like the friggin' color warning system that does no good at all.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:18 PM on June 26, 2003


Bush Lied
Americorps Died

posted by nofundy at 5:40 PM on June 26, 2003


I'm sorry, I hate pep rallies. The very thought of "community service" punishment makes me prefer the honor of a jail cell. Up With People made me puke. Mandatory school "community service" (interesting, the use of the same expression), makes me want to vote Anarchist, and look forward to the day when those school administrators are covered with tar and feathers.

I am a barbarian. I am not and cannot be a "social-ist". I believe in individual accomplishment and failure. Not team sports, or team anything. Equality of opportunity I can live with, equality of outcome only occurs in death.

Americorps was and is for people who cannot hack the military, or being alone for that matter. They crave the group, the herd, protective custody, control by the camp counselor. (Whistle) "Time for lunch", (Whistle) "Time for showers", (Whistle) "Time for bed", is heavenly to them--absolution from decision making, credit and blame.

It is all an alien mind-set to me.

And no, the label "Neo-Con" does not fit either. I don't belong in any group. Befuddling, I know, to those who can't imagine "non-groupiness." You're not one of "Them?"
Does not compute.

Aw, heck. Read some Nietzsche.
posted by kablam at 9:27 PM on June 26, 2003


I believe in individual accomplishment and failure. Not team sports, or team anything.

Then stay the fuck off the highways, don't watch TV, don't drink Tang, knit your own clothes and you better sure as fuck stay off the Internet that came out of (egads!) government-subsidized academia and government-subsidized military. Renounce the privileges granted you by your skin color and the happy accident that was your location at birth. Then we'll see how you feel about individual accomplishment and failure.

You're more of a follower than the generous, thoughful volunteers in Americorp and the military will ever be. Worse, you're lazy and selfish. You're right, t hough. You don't belong in any group.
posted by anildash at 10:27 PM on June 26, 2003


Nietzsche? How cliche.
posted by Hackworth at 11:07 PM on June 26, 2003


Americorps was and is for people who cannot hack the military, or being alone for that matter. They crave the group, the herd, protective custody, control by the camp counselor. (Whistle) "Time for lunch", (Whistle) "Time for showers", (Whistle) "Time for bed", is heavenly to them--absolution from decision making, credit and blame

Wow, a heavy dose of pointless rage greets me this morning.

As a former Americorps volunteer I have to say I don't fit the profile you just tossed off, and neither do 99% of the other 200 kids I worked with that year.

People joined for a wide variety of reasons - some of us came from a tradition of community service in our schools and {gasp} enjoyed it.

You know nothing about this topic, so get off your Lone Ranger kick okay? no one is buying it.
posted by Julnyes at 7:03 AM on June 27, 2003


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