Saturday, April 4, 2009

Abolishing Abolition?

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."--13th Amendment U.S. Const.

H.R. 1444 (sponsored by Jim McDermott or WA 7th district) contains language that was originally included in the Give Act/Serve America Act. It was removed from that legislation prior to its passage. The sloughed-off residue is presently sitting in committee. The language of particular interest to fans of the 13th Amendment is as follows, comcerning the duties of the commission to be formed by the legislation:


...(5)The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service.

(6)Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

Needless to say, in order to skirt the 13th Amendment such service will have to be tied to the Nation's Common Defense--by way of Charles Rangel's draft legislation (co-sponsored by McDermott--see also blog entry Workfare State) probably attributed to some jingoism that is deemed necessary.

As James Madison rightly said--and our recent history has proved:

"The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad"

and on another occasion...

"The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted"

No comments:

Post a Comment