Monday, February 14, 2011


Mar 8 2009-photo-Ryan Garza -The Flint Journal-AmeriCorps national service members help clear a path earlier this month to start extending the Mott Lake Trail [article linked below * ]

The House Republicans’ new found fight against the federal deficit will attempt to completely eliminate [along with other public service programs] AmeriCorps. Their target-- the only U.S. based unarmed service program that demands a year’s commitment. Since 1994 it has given 634,000 Americans the opportunity to serve our communities in many ways fighting poverty, national disasters, and improving education and energy resources. It is just now beginning to increase numbers, to involve more of us in national service.

This is one of the first items to face the House budget ax [they propose $100 billion in cuts—a mere drop in the $1.5 trillion deficit bucket]. In cutting AmeriCorps they directly contradict the advice of General Stanley McChrystal who’s led the troops in Afghanistan. Writing in the Jan. 31, 2011 Newsweek he counsels,
“We have let the concept of service become dangerously narrow, often associated only with the military. This allows most Americans to avoid the sense of responsibility essential for us to care for our nation—and for each other. …. All of us bear an obligation to serve—an obligation that goes beyond paying taxes, voting, or adhering to the law. America is falling short in endeavors that occur far away from any battlefield: education, science, politics, the environment, and cultivating leadership, among others. Without a sustained focus on these foundations of our society, America’s long-term security and prosperity are at risk.” 1

He speaks of a real, basic, absolutely required homeland security—our spirit of community responsibility and working for the common good. Congress, banks and hedge fund speculators take note. Read the whole article, and search for a change of heart. Give back to the people your ill-gotten gains. That would soon balance the budget, and then erase the national debt. This Wall St. disasters money {2001 and 2008} didn’t all evaporate—it changed hands, from the many to the few. Five hedgefunds directors testify - US House committee - November 13, 2008 - Reuters photo

The $100 billion cut devised by House Republicans could be patched up real quick, if some 20 or more the likes of John Paulson could return to the public’s purse the $5 billion he’s made just this past year alone. Betting against the solvency of home mortgages {the misfortune of many} became his fortune. 2 He must be very savvy, but nothing constructive was done. The speculators should be required, ideally by moral suasion, to return all they’ve deep-pocketed in this way, and skimmed off war in bloated defense contracts. We desperately need this conversion of heart and purpose.

The extremely clever can contribute so much for their country and the world. In addition, they could themselves profit immensely by joining AmeriCorps, and meeting a cross section of their nation’s people. All of us also, no matter our backgrounds or means, should meet the challenge of serving the needs of others, at least for a year {Peace Corps and faith based programs included}, taking a break from expecting always to be served. To learn more about AmeriCorps go to, or in the St. Clair County area contact

“Blessed are the pure of heart, they will see God.” Mt 5:8

Happy Valentine's Day

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