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Monday, January 19, 2009


What's up with "national service"?

Barack Obama says of Martin Luther King: "King's was a life lived in loving service to others. As we honor that legacy, it's not a day just to pause and reflect — it's a day to act." Really? I though MLK lived a life of fighting against racism, discrimination, war, and economic inequality.

Do we really need more people working for free in the U.S.? How about more people working and getting paid for it? Joe Biden, for example, was volunteering helping to build houses today. But the problem in the U.S. isn't a lack of houses, it's a lack of people who can afford to buy or rent them! There are enough empty houses to house all the homeless people in America! And if there are places (like New Orleans) where there is a crying need to "rebuilding America," surely that's the perfect place for an economic stimulus plan to pay them to do so.

As far as the rest of "rebuilding America," again it isn't houses which is the crying need, it's refurbishing and building infrastructure - roads, bridges, mass transit, etc. - hardly jobs for volunteers.

King has already been sanitized by wiping out the memory of his famous "Beyond Vietnam" speech. Do we have to now add to that by wiping out his legacy of fighting racism and other injustice as well?

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