Service Nation Summit Video Summary

Posted on September 22nd, 2008 by bile
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Sept. 11th, 2008:

  • John McCain’s interview: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
    • Says outright he’s against compulsory service.
    • Advocates growing the military several times.
    • Claims private industry provides services better, wishes to create partnerships with business instead of having the government take on those roles.
    • Points to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security as bipartisan cooperation that is needed to gain trust and support of the public.
    • “It’s not about the individual, it’s about the cause we serve.”
    • “I think the all voluntary force is having difficulty recruiting and retaining because we are too small and we need to expand the size of our military and we need to do it as rapidly as possible. And we got to perhaps offer additional incentives.”
    • Apparently, without knowing what the Serve America Act does, McCain says he would sign the bill as president.
    • Would rather have the private sphere perform the voluntarism and only have the government provide incentives.
  • Barack Obama’s interview: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
    • “Each and everyone of us are going to have, are going to make commitments in terms of improving fuel efficiency in our cars and homes. And the government is going to be in partnership with citizens to make that happen.”
    • “America is the greatest country on earth but it didn’t just happen on its own. It’s not a gift only. Although it is a great blessing we’ve received. It’s a responsibility. And part of what makes America work is the fact that we believe in individual responsibility and self reliance but we also believe in mutual responsibility, in neighborliness, in a sense that we are committed to something larger than ourselves.”
    • Speaks of growing the military. Getting those in urban areas to be equally represented in the military.
    • Wants more people in the military and non-military service regardless of whether there is a war.
  • Interviewed a City Year ‘volunteer’ but my questions and pins on my book bag (“Taxation is theft”, “Ron Paul 2008″) scared them off. The Service Nation handler asked me to turn off the camera, that he didn’t want any problems, that it was a positive event. The City Year ‘volunteer’ said he couldn’t speak on the topic as a representative of City Year.

Sept. 12th, 2008:

  • I spoke with a fellow blogger regarding my reason for being at the summit. She was there on behalf of the Case Foundation which is a Service Nation Coalition member.
  • Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME, effectively asks “why not have compulsory service?” during presidential forum. The tone of the questions and the fact it’s brought up more than once indicates to me he is in favor of mandatory service. In his own brief speech he talks of the most known part of the Declaration of Independence but casually bypasses arguably the most important line. Focusing on “consent of the governed” instead of “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Implying, IMO, he prefers a positive law democracy vs natural law republics.
  • Jon Bon Jovi speaks on his private charities. Many examples of service and voluntarism given were in fact actual privately performed.
  • Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York tells us [Part 2]: “We’re not here as Democrats or Republicans or as libertarians, socialists, Green party members, or members of other organizations. We are here today first and primarily as Americans.” Claims being a citizen is the highest achievement.
  • Admiral Michael Mullen [Part 2]: “the soldiers in Iraq are protecting our democracy at home. They are there because of what happened on 9/11.” I thought Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. How is it that our invasion of Iraq is protecting us? “There is no greater reward than working for something greater than yourself.” “Keep singing (God Bless America), keep waving (flags), and keep serving!” Yay nationalism/fascism!
  • Michael Bloomberg [Part 2]: “We are the beneficiaries of those who give their lives to defend us.” “Service should be asked of everyone and should be open to everyone. So we are creating new programs.”
  • University president’s [Part 2]: Speak of giving out grants to those who volunteer at school. Making voluntarism mandatory parts of the education process.
  • Alan Khazei: Misuses/misrepresents the Emancipation Proclamation. Need a new role for government. Funding public/private mix of service. “Getting government to do what works.” Speaks of Gandhi, abolitionists, and others. All of who worked against government.
  • George H. W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • Town Hall [Part 2,3,4,5,6]

These are all the videos I’m going to upload… at least for the time being.

Sorry about the last few not having notes. Too lazy to watch them. You can find some notes I took during the event here.

Fellow bloggers/reporters here at the Service Nation Summit

Posted on September 12th, 2008 by bile
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This morning I met a few bloggers though one in particular I’ve had some more extensive discussion with was Julia Rocchi of the Case Foundation. She’s blogging at their site I’m glad to see some of my criticisms were noted by her on the post “questioning service.”

Voluntarism can be a great thing and the inhabitants of the United States are these most generous people in the world. State involvement taints this. While the service itself is not mandatory (for the moment) the taxes used to fund these state run projects makes all tax payers participants regardless of whether or not they agree with the way it’s being spent. And given the governments track record on thriftiness we may as well hand out cash on the sidewalk. Yes, that same argument may be said about all tax money utilization. I would argue that’s one of the reasons to oppose taxation in general (and that it’s theft). Government incentivized voluntarism, isn’t. Just as welfare is not charity. The government is taking money from one individual in order to pay another to “serve.” True voluntarism is completely from oneself. It is the “altruistic” (non-tangible selfishness) spending of time, money, labor, and skill.

As I’ve mentioned so often before, there is what is seen when the government promotes these projects and that which is not seen. What does not get seen is the potential lost because of government incentivizing individuals away from their free market path. The investments which would have been made with the money which was taxed away. The capital which would have been created due to those investments in the private sectors need to serve the customers. The jobs that were never created, the businesses never started. Many may scoff at these suggestions but that’s why it’s the problem of the seen and not seen.

As government grows, and we all know it does, more and more resources will be taken from the tax payers to be thrown around by politicians at their whim until such time that we have a near complete centralized control of resources. At which point our society will crumble.

Those who advocate more government involvement in anything let alone voluntarism need to take a serious look, both practically and morally, at what they ask for. Does government interference in the market lead to lesser or greater standard of living? Does the threat of violence, which is how government functions, not negate the good they intend to perform with the money and capital obtained?

Society would not accept as a defense from a theft that he was robbing John in order to feed Paul who’s starving. Society should also not accept that defense when the government uses it.

For those interested in this topic I recommend reading:

  • The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
  • Healing Our World by Mary J. Ruwart <== this one in particular for liberal leaning individuals.
  • The Market for Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill
  • and other works by those at including Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, John Taylor Gatto, Robert Murphy, Henry Hazlitt, Lew Rockwell, etc.

Service Nation Summit: Day Two

Posted on September 12th, 2008 by bile
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  • Was just visited by Henri Makembe. Told me they would be providing for interview with people but I’d have to keep it friendly. “If we make them mad then they won’t want to give any of the other bloggers time.” So… they don’t want me to ask serious questions. What a surprise.
  • Have quoted Winston Churchill, Mother Teressa, Mahatma Gandhi.
  • They show all these examples of service yet they all appear to be real voluntarism, ie no government involvement.
  • “We are not here as Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, socialists or Green party members. We are here as Americans.” I appreciate the shout out but I’m here as a libertarian.
  • “We are here today because of Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.” Too bad they don’t wish to abide by the ideas contained in those documents.
  • “Politicians get a bad wrap. Some deservingly. But there are all kinds of politicians who help America.”
  • Being a citizen of the United States is the highest reward.
  • If you googled “giving back” you’d likely find “Mike Bloomberg.”
  • Bloomberg: New York City’s government school system improvement is an example for the rest of the nation.
  • New York City is the city of service because William James who wrote The Moral Equivalent of War (intro by Jon Roland) advocating national service was born here.
  • “We are the beneficiaries of those who give their lives to defend us.” Defending from the Koreans? The Vietnamese? The Iraqis? The Pakistanis? The Iranians?
  • Bloomberg babbles on about global warming, “We are polluting the air we breath.” Yes… by breathing.
  • “Service should be asked of everyone and should be open to everyone. So we are creating new programs.”
  • “Democracy and capitalism hasn’t helped everyone…”
  • George Bush: Asks everyone to spend two years or 4k hours helping out in a lifetime.
  • Laura Bush: “People have more opportunities to volunteer through government programs.” Being incentivized by tax payers money is not voluntarism.
  • Rolling Ridge elementary school gives it’s kids service journals and have made ‘service’ party of the curriculum.
  • “Children who learn the importance of service early are more likely to volunteer later in life.” Gotta indoctrinate them young.
  • The program has moved on to personal stories from ‘volunteers.’ One from City Year, Civilian Conservation Corp, AmeriCorps.
  • Admiral Michael Mullen: “the soldiers in Iraq are protecting our democracy at home. They are there because of what happened on 9/11.” I thought Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. How is it that our invasion of Iraq is protecting us?
  • “There is no greater reward than working for something greater than yourself.”
  • “Keep singing (God Bless America), keep waving (flags), and keep serving!” Yay nationalism/fascism!
  • Obama, McCain, Dodd, Clinton have said they will cosponsor the Serve America Act from Kennedy and Hatch.
  • The language used always refers to “the two candidates for the oval office.”
  • Senator Hatch: “We want to help children who want to serve.”
  • “Our efforts will start early in our classrooms.”
  • “Service learning has shown to keep kids interested in school. So we are going to offer more incentives.”
  • 61 million Americans volunteer without government incentives.
  • “We will invest into a volunteer fund matched dollar for dollar from the private sector.”
  • Want to create funds to help non-profit entrepreneurs.
  • Offer older people “education rewards” to give to their children and grandchildren to pay for school.

Read More…

Hillary Clinton to attend Service Nation Summit, I may not be able to as a member of the press

Posted on August 27th, 2008 by bile
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NEW YORK, August 27, 2008-The historic ServiceNation Summit will begin
the evening of Thursday, September 11, 2008 with a Presidential Forum
featuring Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. On September 12, New
York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will open the day-long summit with
welcoming remarks and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be
the keynote speaker and conclude the day.

The co-hosts of the summit are Caroline Kennedy, attorney, editor and
writer; Alma Powell, Chair, America’s Promise Alliance; Vartan
Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation; Bill Novelli, CEO, AARP, and
Richard Stengel, Managing Editor, TIME. Confirmed participants and
speakers include:

* Senator Hillary Clinton, New York
* Senator Chris Dodd, Connecticut
* Usher Raymond IV, Summit Youth Chair; Founder, New Look
* Governor Charlie Crist, Florida
* Governor David Paterson, New York
* Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, The King Hussein Foundation
* Dr. Mehmet Oz, Founder and Chairman, HealthCorps
* Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University
* Laurie Tisch, Philanthropist, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
* Robert Kennedy, Jr., President, Waterkeeper Alliance
* Kenneth Cole, Fashion Designer
* Martin Luther King III, CEO, Realizing The Dream
* Kelly Caffarelli, President, Home Depot Foundation
* Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone
* Laysha Ward, President, Target Foundation
* Dr. Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania
* David Gergen, Professor, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of
* Scott Cowen, President, Tulane University
* Jean Case, CEO, The Case Foundation
* Ray Chambers, Amelior Foundation
* Chancellor Joel Klein, New York City Schools
* Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO, Teach For America

The ultimate vision of ServiceNation is an America in which, by 2020,
100 million citizens will volunteer time in schools, workplaces, and
faith-based and community institutions each and every year (up from 61
million today), and that increasing numbers of Americans annually will
commit a year of their lives to national service.

ServiceNation’s bipartisan Summit Leadership Council includes mayors,
governors, former senators and leaders from every sector of American
society (attached is complete list). Major supporters-in addition to
AARP, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Target and TIME-include the
Peter G. Peterson Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, Bank Of
America, Case Foundation, Charina Endowment Fund, The Jenesis Group, the
Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and Goldman Sachs.

At the bottom of the email are instructions on getting press credentials just like all other releases I’ve received. The difference in this latest one is the inclusion of “PLEASE NOTE: NYPD/U.S. STATE DEPT. CREDENTIALS REQUIRED!” I do not have a NYC press ID and according to the NYPD website it takes 3 to 4 weeks to acquire one… and that’s assuming they’d actually issue one to me. I’ve sent an email to the Service Nation media person concerning this as well as my fellow Manhattan Libertarian Party members. Worse case, I make up my own press ID and show up. Worst that could happen is I get arrested.

Barack Obama and John McCain to participate in forum on service and civic engagement

Posted on August 21st, 2008 by bile
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Be the Change, Inc.
Tim Zimmermann
(703) 850-0735

Additional Contacts:
Rubenstein Communications, Inc.
Germaine Febles
(212) 843-8031

Ali Zelenko 212.522.1502



* * *


* * *


August 21, 2008 [New York, NY] – Presidential candidates Barack Obama
and John McCain will discuss in depth their views on service and civic
engagement in the post-9/11 world during a primetime forum on the
evening of September 11 in New York City.

The Forum is being staged by ServiceNation, a dynamic new coalition of
110 organizations that has a collective reach of some 100 million
Americans and is dedicated to strengthening our democracy and solving
problems through civic engagement and service. It will be the opening
event of the bipartisan, Sept. 11-12, ServiceNation summit, which will
launch a one year grassroots campaign to expand voluntary community and
national service opportunities for all Americans; use proven service
strategies to tackle some of America’s most chronic social challenges;
and call on all Americans to make service a bedrock ideal in our

At the Forum, called “A Nation Of Service,” Senators McCain and Obama
will appear on stage separately to discuss their respective visions for
the role of service in America’s future. Richard Stengel, Managing
Editor of TIME, will moderate, and the event will be open to all
broadcast networks.

“I look forward to participating in the 9/11 service forum,” said
Senator Obama. “After September 11, Americans of every age, race, region
and walk of life were ready to step up and answer a new call of service
for their country. Making that call to service will be a central cause
of my presidency, because we need the active citizenship of the American
people to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

“I am pleased to be participating in the ServiceNation Summit in New
York City. The Summit will be an important remembrance of those that
made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country and others as we focus
on how to inspire others to serve causes greater than their own
self-interest through national and community service,” said Senator

The Forum audience will include 9/11 family members, young Americans,
military veterans, and thought leaders, and questions can be submitted
by the general public at “The Presidential
Candidates’ Forum will serve as a call to action for the next
administration,” said Forum moderator and TIME managing editor Richard
Stengel. “I hope to have candid conversations with Senators McCain and
Obama about their plans for engaging more Americans in national

I’ve got media credentials now for the summit but I don’t know that I will be able to attend the forum as my confimation email said: “More detailed information, including a schedule of events open to the media and details on media availabilities will be provided shortly.” I’ve sent an email to the Director of Strategic Partnerships to be placed on the invitation waiting list to attend the actual summit. While it seems very unlikely I’ll get the invite I did include that I was a director of the Manhattan Libertarian Party to spice up the request. You can find the rest of the press report minus some quotes from affiliates after the jump.

Read More…

Facebook partnering with Service Nation

Posted on August 14th, 2008 by bile
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Just received this in my mailbox:

August 14, 2008 (New York, NY) – ServiceNation, a diverse new coalition of more than 100 organizations dedicated to expanding voluntary community and national service opportunities, today announced that it has selected Facebook as its lead social media partner.

The partnership with Facebook will support ServiceNation’s effort to build a national, grassroots movement of Americans who volunteer, share service experiences, and build community around the idea that citizen service can help transform our democracy. ServiceNation aims to elevate the ideal of voluntary service as a core element of citizenship, and the coalition is targeting specific social problems with proven service strategies (

Facebook will support ServiceNation and the upcoming ServiceNation Summit with a number of key resources, including technical expertise and advertising. Facebook will help ServiceNation build its presence on Facebook, create awareness and community through the use of Facebook’s tools, and engage Facebook users in a number of critical ServiceNation campaign initiatives.

“Facebook is already a place where people are acting on their interests and ideals, connecting with each other and sharing information that can lead to meaningful change,” said Elliot Schrage, Vice President, Global Communications and Public Policy, Facebook. “Through this partnership with ServiceNation we can be part of an historic effort to inspire Americans to act together to get more directly involved in and connected to their real-life communities.”

“Facebook has itself made history by helping millions across the world to come together by connecting and communicating in an easy to use, state-of-the-art online environment,” said Michael Brown, CEO of City Year, one of four organizations (along with Be the Change, Inc., Civic Enterprises, and Points Of Light Institute) that did the initial work to lead non-profit organizers of the ServiceNation coalition together. “Using Facebook’s highly-regarded organizing tools, we hope to channel the idealism and energy of our citizens into real-world action that can promote the ideal of voluntary service.”

The ServiceNation campaign will kick-off with a September 11th Presidential Candidates Forum on citizenship and service, featuring Sen. John McCain (Sen. Obama has also been invited) and moderated by TIME Magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel. The second day of the ServiceNation Summit will include distinguished leaders from American business, government, and leading non-profit institutions including New York Governor David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Caroline Kennedy, Alma Powell of America’s Promise Alliance, Vartan Gregorian of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP, and Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations and Target Foundation.

The Summit is convened and underwritten by a grant from Carnegie Corporation, and presented by TIME, AARP and Target. The keynote address will be delivered by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who earlier this year became the first governor to create a cabinet post dedicated to service and volunteering.

The ultimate vision of ServiceNation is an America in which, by 2020, 100 million citizens will volunteer time in schools, workplaces, and faith-based and community institutions each and every year (up from 61 million today), and that increasing numbers of Americans annually will commit a year of their lives to national service.

To that end, the Summit will endorse a Declaration of Service that all Americans will be able to sign—in person or online—to declare their support for the idea that citizen service can strengthen our communities, unite and engage Americans in shared sacrifice, and help build a better future. And two weeks after the Summit, on Sept. 27, ServiceNation will stage a national Day of Action where tens of thousands of Americans will gather at hundreds of events across the country to celebrate the power and potential of citizen service. ServiceNation will use Facebook as a key tool to organize and drive both these initiatives.

ServiceNation’s bipartisan Summit Leadership Council includes mayors, governors, former senators and leaders from every sector of American society (full list is available at Major supporters of ServiceNation, in addition to AARP, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Target, and TIME, include the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, Bank of America, Case Foundation, Charina Endowment Fund, and James J. Jensen, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and Goldman Sachs.

Not that I really use it but I may be deleting my Facebook account. I’ll be sure to make it clear this is why.