Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DARE and Back Again


















Not an equal "partnership": The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) logo illustrates the conceit that the state's instruments of indoctrination (schools) and coercion (police) are "partners" with the parents in molding the character of young people.



Sitting through a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation ceremony is a tedious, frustrating, and intermittently infuriating experience. It does, however, have one redeeming aspect: At its end one might feel a little better about the fate of poor little Elian Gonzalez, who was condemned to live in a totalitarian society not all that different from the one taking root here.


Elian, it will be remembered, was the Cuban youngster who was the sole survivor of a group who fled the Caribbean island gulag in 1999. He was seized at gunpoint from the Miami home of his maternal relatives in the course of an illegal and utterly gratuitous federal paramilitary raid.


The last known photographs of Elian depict him wearing the uniform of Cuba's Soviet-inspired Young Pioneers -- a white dress shirt with crimson neckerchief.


That outfit, the neckerchief in particular, symbolizes the fact that is wearer is the property of the state, the True Parent.
The Cuban child belongs to his particular family only in a contingent sense; the parenthood of the state, on the other hand, is unqualified.


This is essentially the same lesson being imparted by DARE education, albeit in a more subtle fashion.


DARE likewise employs specialized clothing -- in this case only a t-shirt, but neckerchief might be added someday -- to help cultivate among children a sense of state-imparted solidarity.



Great care is also taken to
encourage "DARE Kids" to act as the eyes and ears of the state in the home, willing not only to refuse drugs when offered to them but also to report drug-related misconduct therein to the police.


On more than a few occasions, DARE Kids have emulated the example of the patron "saint" of the Young Pioneers,
Pavlik Morozov (depicted in the statute at right), the youngster who was feted by Stalin for informing on his own father, Trofim, for some variety of anti-Soviet behavior.


Pavlik's contemporary American disciples have been known to rummage through their parents' liquor cabinets and other personal effects in search of various mood-altering substances not presently sanctioned by the State.



DARE was created in 1983 as the brainchild of former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Daryl Gates,
whose legacy is -- to say no more -- a troubled one. Appropriately, it was also Gates who, fifteen years prior to DARE's advent, created the first SWAT team.


To be fair, Gates envisioned SWAT as a special-function civilian police unit for use in hostage rescues, bank robberies, and other exceptional circumstances. It's doubtful that he intended for SWAT units to be the hyper-trophied, unabashedly militarized entities they have become.


It's similarly doubtful that Gates thought SWAT units would be tasked with routine police work, deployed as occupation forces, or dispatched for the purpose of intimidating the public -- all of which are now routine uses of SWAT teams across the country.



Three years after Gates devised the SWAT template, the Nixon administration -- for reasons of purely cynical partisan politics -- formally inaugurated the "war on drugs" (which had been under way, in one form or another, since 1909). This domestic war offered a ready-made rationale for police departments to assemble SWAT and tactical teams, and Washington opened the subsidy spigots to fund the militarization of local law enforcement.



During the Reagan administration, exceptions were carved out of the Posse Comitatus statute to permit the Pentagon to train and equip SWAT teams; the military was also given limited permission to carry out domestic counter-drug missions directly.


This co-mingling of the military and law enforcement accelerated during the Clinton years, particularly after
Attorney General Janet Reno inaugurated the Pentagon's Law Enforcement Support Organization (LESO) in 1995. By the end of the 20th Century, military raids for the purpose of narcotics enforcement had become commonplace.


When the home he was living in was invaded in the pre-dawn darkness by snarling, foul-mouthed stormtroopers bearing automatic weapons, Elian Gonzalez experienced something many other American children have had to endure. I've often wondered if the unspoken purpose of that completely unwarranted act of state violence was to terrorize Elian into losing his taste for freedom, or whatever inadequate substitute America presently offers.
No other initiative -- not even the "war on terror" -- has done more to abet the militarization of law enforcement than the "war on drugs."


The target of any domestic "war" is individual liberty, and the DARE program serves as a form of crypto-conscription. It is intended to turn impressionable children into little footsoldiers on behalf of the state's latest campaign against liberty, whatever form that campaign might take.
Militarism permeated the proceedings at the March 30 DARE graduation at Payette High School.


The opening flag ceremony included not only the Stars & Stripes, but also the official institutional banners of all five armed services, each of which was the subject of a lengthy and pious eulogy. No overt explanation was given as to why the military banners were displayed at a counter-narcotics event; none was really necessary -- this is a "war," after all.



Roughly 120 fifth-grade students had been dragooned into taking DARE and attending the ceremony. Awards and prizes of every conceivable kind were handed out in such volume that one suspected the event was modeled after
the Do-do's "Caucus-Race" from Alice in Wonderland, in which everyone wins and everyone gets a prize.


Four students were singled out to read brief essays in praise of DARE's transcendent goals and the supernal wisdom displayed by its creators and facilitators, each of which ended with a pledge to remain "drug and violence free."

Property of the State: Soviet Young Pioneers, as depicted in a 1936 propaganda poster (left), and undergoing instruction in more recent decades (below, left). Vietnamese Young Pioneers parade in their regime's version of the organization's uniform (below, right).




This prompted me to wonder what would happen if a "DARE kid" were to use the assertiveness tools taught by the program to resist a school-mandated ritalin prescription: "No! I won't take that
reliably lethal, over-prescribed Schedule II narcotic! I'm a DARE kid! I took a pledge to be drug-free!"


Color me incurably cynical, but I doubt school officials would commend such a child for his strength of character as they had him dragged bodily to the nearest government-sanctioned narcotics distribution point.



Likewise, it's doubtful that, after military conscription is re-imposed a few years hence, DARE kids will be permitted an exemption on the grounds of their sacred pledge to be "violence-free."
The unspoken but obvious codicil to that pledge, of course, is that kids will eschew all drugs save those the government forces on them, and will abstain from all violence except that authorized by and serving the interests of the state.


I'll wager that many of the plots in the imperial graveyard in Virginia are filled with the mortal remains of "DARE kids" whose lives were squandered in carrying out some exercise of criminal violence on behalf of the state.



Although it pays frequent lip service to the importance of families and others in a child's "support system," DARE unflinchingly promotes the primacy of the state as moral tutor. This was made clear, in ironic fashion, in the keynote address at the Payette DARE graduation ceremony. The address -- an extended parable involving the contrasting fates of two girls, Tracey and Brianna -- was delivered by Larry McGhee, Idaho state coordinator for the DARE program.


McGhee is also a high-ranking official at the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training academy and a 30-year law enforcement veteran.
Tracey, McGhee told the audience, was a girl from a very good family, but "she didn't have the DARE program." So, after a promising start, Tracey succumbed to the apparently irresistible allure of drugs. She found herself surrounded by socially marginal friends who also took drugs.


Tracey became addicted to methamphetamine. Her grades plummeted. She finished high school, but dropped out of college. She had three children by three different men, none of whom she married.



Brianna, on the other hand, came from a troubled home with little money and few prospects for improving their circumstances. She had no father in the home. But -- cue trumpets and hosannas -- she had the DARE program, that glittering diadem of civic virtue.


Under the kind and thoughtful ministrations of the state's counter-narcotics priesthood, Brianna overcame her unfortunate family circumstances. She's 17 now, excelling in her classes and surrounded by clean-scrubbed, photogenic friends. Her prospects are blindingly bright (well, as bright as can be expected as our nation succumbs to a depression).


At this point, astute listeners were expecting a twist ending, and McGhee eagerly provided it.
You see, Brianna's mother is a drug addict ... none other than Tracey! And, McGhee continued, adding a pike to his twist, Tracey is his own 37-year-old daughter.


These cascading daytime talk show-style disclosures provoked a pavlovian gasp from the audience, most of which appeared to miss the ironic implications of McGhee's story.
Sure, they caught the meaning McGhee meant to impart: If this can happen to a 30-year veteran police officer -- why, the state coordinator for DARE himself! -- what family could possibly be immune to the scourge of drug addiction? How could we possibly survive without the inspired guidance and direction we get from DARE, oh blessed be the name of that program and hallowed be the hands that created it!


I earnestly hope that at least a few others in the audience entertained some variation of the thought that came immediately to my mind: Why on earth should I entrust the moral and character education of my children to a program presided over by someone who, by his own public admission, experienced such a tragic failure in teaching suitable moral lessons to his eldest daughter?



Mr. McGhee, like the others involved in the local DARE campaign, seems like a decent and earnest man whose philosophical compass has been skewed by the state's malevolent magnetic field. Like other parents with demanding careers, he must have found it increasingly difficult to make adequate time to help his daughter, giving her gentle guidance where possible, and stern correction where necessary.



No government program can serve as a suitable substitute for parental involvement in moral education of the young. DARE actually undermines that involvement by cultivating unhealthy dependence on the state and an even unhealthier appetite among students for social conformity (and the inevitable hypocrisy regarding minor and temporary indulgence that flourishes wherever prohibition prevails).



Most importantly, DARE has no documentable positive impact on rates of drug use and addiction.



A study carried out a decade ago by the University of Kentucky found that there was little if any measurable difference between "DARE kids" and those fortunate enough to avoid the program where the use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and narcotics is concerned. Another mid-1990s longitudinal study involving a random selection of 23-schools using the 16-week DARE program produced exactly the same results.


DARE thus has to be considered a very costly social placebo, or perhaps even the equivalent of a narcotic intended to anesthetize the public regarding the violent, subversive, hugely expensive and pointless official fraud called the war on drugs. That alone would be sufficient reason to do away with the program. But as noted earlier, DARE is also used to propagate immensely harmful statist attitudes among the young. The whole thing is also unbearably tacky.



Why is it that events like the DARE graduation inevitably involve some hideous anthem sung by listless, defeated schoolchildren?
A few years ago, in what must rank as one of the most nauseating incidents of public child abuse on record, the Bush administration assembled a group of "Katrina Kids" to serenade Laura Bush with a bizarre ditty set to the tune of "Hey, Look Me Over":


Our country's stood beside us
People have sent us aid.

Katrina could not stop us,
our hopes will never fade.
Congress, Bush and FEMA,
People across our land,
Together have come to rebuild us,
and we join them, hand in hand!



This had to be the most rousing public performance since the Chinese Cultural Revolution, during which "Mao's Kids" would regularly perform such crowd favorites as "Happy, Happy is He Who Pulls The Night-Soil Cart."


H-Dog, RIP: The late Herbert Kornfeld, Accounts Receivable Manager at Mid-West Office Supply, gritty voice of urban culture for The Onion, composer of the DARE anthem.


At what was supposed to be the similarly rousing climax of the DARE graduation, the kids were divided into two groups to perform an entirely execrable, and nearly interminable, DARE anthem.

The number was intended to sound at once contemporary and resolute, but it in fact sounded like something composed on a Wal-Mart quality Casio keyboard by a white accountant with delusions of street cred.



My oldest son, 11-year-old William Wallace, was among the primary victims of this year's DARE graduation. For reasons I've described earlier, we had to quit home-schooling our three oldest children, which was decidedly not our idea. Thus poor William had to spend four months enduring a weekly statist harangue courtesy of DARE.



Fortunately, William is a brilliant and strong-willed individual, and I've done my best to cultivate within him a proper disrespect for the institutionalized affliction called "government."



Here's a sample dialogue:


William: "Dad, the government --"
Dad: "William, how many times do I have to tell you that I won't tolerate such language in our home? Say `those malignant bastards' instead."

William (sheepishly): "OK, Dad. I'm sorry."



As the geologic era-length DARE graduation ceremony ground to a close, William's countenance visibly brightened. As his classmates dutifully recited the lyrics of the DARE anthem, William stood in silence.


As the number neared its merciful end, amid the visible disapproval of the other graduates, William brazenly removed the DARE t-shirt that to him symbolized submission to an evil, hypocritical system. He yanked off that shirt with the same triumphant defiance displayed by Captain Kirk in "The Gamesters of Triskelion" as he tore the hated "collar of obedience" from his neck.


I've never been prouder of my son.



Video Extra


Here's a preview of DARE graduation ceremonies in Obama-era America, circa 2012:








On sale now.










Dum spiro, pugno!

47 comments:

Al Newberry said...

McGhee's story is suspect from the get-go. In describing his own home, who knows what he is not telling us? He describes it as a good home, but were there reasons Tracey turned to drugs? Did McGhee or another relative abuse Tracey physically, emotionally or sexually? Did he just have impossible expectations for his daughter? It sure sounds like he's putting all the blame for Tracey's addiction on the petty fact that "she did not have D.A.R.E."

Anonymous said...

McGhee could be making the whole thing up, including the daughter.

zach said...

Yeah, I agree with Al, McGhee probably made it up. Ah, it was but 12 years ago that I stood in front of my classmates and read my DARE essay. The shame and humiliation I now feel is beyond words- I've desperately tried to expunge this from my memory, but you've brought it to the forefront. How I wish I could go back in time and explain how it's all an evil fraud, and that the gov ships in drugs so as to institutionalize everyone. I believe this program persists in part because it's a malicious exercise in reverse psychology-tell kids who are not interested at all in drugs how uncool they are and then they want to try it even more later.(10 years is old enough to have an acute sense of tackyness, known in high school as "gayness". Now, when they approach a more rebellious age, they're ready to take the government's bait.

traitor2tyranny said...

"Thus poor William had to spend four months enduring a weekly statist harangue courtesy of DARE."

How did you come to this conclusion?

William N. Grigg said...

T2T, DARE is mandatory at Westside Elementary here in Payette; William couldn't opt out of it any more than he could opt out of P.E.

I debriefed William after every DARE session, and went over the handouts with him; trust me, it was hard-core statist nonsense.

Obviously, if we hadn't put William in the local government schools, he wouldn't have gone through DARE. Isaiah, our second-oldest, went to DARE graduation and now he's adamant in his determination to be home-schooled again. This depends on Korrin's health, of course.

McGhee may be embellishing the Parable of Tracey and Brianna, but it's an established fact that the latter is in DARE as a "role model." I'll poke around and see what more I can learn about all this. As I wrote, McGhee seems like a decent enough sort, but as Isabel Patterson pointed out, every large-scale undertaking in evil relies heavily on the contributions of "decent" folk.

smartazz pvnk said...

Drugs Are Really Expensive. Dare to keep cops off donuts. That picture of the guy with shop class glasses and faux Hitler moustache made laugh so hard I almost spit my drink up. I never knew Sturmfuhrer-SS Daryl Gates came up with Dare. Happy April 1st to all!

spuddy buddy said...

Idaho must have some gritty cities. Maybe some washed up John Bitch Society rejects can chronicle it in their free newsweekly "Bitchin on Blogs" The Vicelords, Latin Kings, Black Gangsta Disciples, The 2 on 1's wouldn't stand a chance against the Pocatello Potato Posse. Oh well gotta get back to my cornpone and grits. Like Uncle Remus used to say umm this sure am good.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Dear Will,

Some of your viewers will miss the "circa 2012" in your caption for the last video clip in this piece, and be confused, thinking it is a real clip of a real DARE ceremony. It is, of course, if I recall right, a clip from a 1980s futuristic ABC television drama, "Amerika," which postulates that in 1997 when the action occurs the USA had been a Communist dictatorship for 10 years already. Am I right?

That cleared up, it is now a fact that nobody in the world hates Communism and the Communists more than those who suffered its ravages for 70 years, namely the Russian people. Nevertheless, the insignificant Russian Communist Party is not banned, but is allowed to exist, recruit, and conduct its affairs openly, where they can be observed. The cretins in our very own Department of Homeland Security might want to take notice of this (to them, no doubt brilliant) concept and modify their Stalinist methods. As it is, the only people the DHS ever "catch" are the innocent who of course are not trying to hide anything.

Perhaps, now that Obama has legalized stem-cell therapy, the moronic thugs in DHS will hopefully receive some brain-cell transplants, and elevate their IQ's out of the single digits.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party for the past 8 years of Bush tried to institute in America a repressive Statist/Stalinist dictatorship of the corporate oligarchy every bit as rigid as the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat. (Both systems having been run by the same groups of money-mad leeches, naturally.) Thank God the Republicans failed - partly due to the fact that the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US told Bush and Cheney right to their faces that if Bush gave certain orders, they would be flat-out disobeyed and/or all the generals and admirals would resign and a constitutional crisis would ensue.

We owe more to our men in khaki than we realize. True heroes.

Let us now see if Obama can undo the Bush damage before his time is up.

Russia is becoming severely depopulated, and its ethnic-Russian population is declining from emigration and a low birth rate - an enormous worry to them, since their territory is so vast - and there is great regret at the 30 million Russians lost in WWII, and the 20+ million Russians murdered by Stalin.

And Stalin personally checked every name on every list of arrestees every day, and signed them at the bottom. There once appeared on the list the name of a man who had hidden Stalin when he was on the run from the Tsar's police sometime between 1908 and 1916. Stalin circled the name and wrote, "Release immediately. This man is under my personal protection." He remembered. Every single name of all the millions was read and approved by Stalin, probably the greatest mass murderer in history.

A complex and highly intelligent man, who ran circles around Roosevelt, who thought Stalin was his friend, and around Churchill, whom Stalin (at Yalta) once shouted at to shut up and sit down, which Churchill did. His daughter Svetlana came to him one day and asked a favor, to which he agreed. She told him the father of one of her classmates had been arrested, and wanted him pardoned and released. Stalin did so, and then called Svetlana to his office and told her as forcefully as he could, "You will NEVER do that again, do you understand?" She never did.

One can imagine Bush (or, more likely, Cheney) reviewing daily lists of names to be added to the "no-fly" list and giggling, rubbing his hands together and mumbling, "That'll fix him, won't it now, tee-hee-hee-hee-hee?" Stalin would have had those morons' eyeballs for breakfast, in place of his boiled eggs. If one is going to be evil, one needs to be serious about it, not bumbling wannabes like Bush and Cheney.

The family of Mikhail Suslov lives now in America, and they recount that Suslov told his family that Stalin's private opinion of Pavlik Morosov was that the little tattle-tale was a "disgusting little piece of shit who should have been flogged more often by his father." In public, of course, Stalin lionized "the little piece of shit" as a Soviet hero.

Kind of how every Republican in America lionized the Little Piece of Shit Bush as a Great American Hero (remember the Mission Accomplished farce on the aircraft carrier, which cost the US taxpayers over $3 million and delayed the shore leave of 10,000 sailors for 24 hours?) all the while he was wreaking more havoc and doing more catastrophic damage to this nation than anyone in its history.

Fifteen years ago, Russia suffered an economic collapse which saw the ruble drop from near parity with the dollar to many thousands to the dollar. All savings were wiped out and people sold their clothes on the streets to buy food. If Russia could recover alone without any help, there is hope too for us.

Instead of trying to help, America under Clinton kicked the Russians in the teeth in their hour of need, and financed the theft of hundreds of billions of Russian state assets for pennies on the dollar. (I will say this once and leave it at that before I stir up another storm on Will's blog: Of the six leading oligarchs who murdered and slaughtered their way to ownership of all the Russian mineral and manufacturing assets across six time-zones, five were Jews, financed by the Bank of New York, which is itself owned in Israel. Of the five, four now have fled to Israel and one, who thought he could stay in Russia and bring down Putin, is in jail.)

Let me now tell another story to counter that one. A friend who was given copies of some very useful documents from the KGB archives by a Russian Jew working there, was asked in return to help the family emigrate to the USA. He pulled strings, and someone in government very reluctantly agreed to do this favor for him. When the person in government finally met the family, he remarked what a delightful group they were - the children were better educated and smarter than most adults in America, and much more polite and well behaved, and the parents were completely charming people, all speaking fluent English.

Today, Russia has no need of spies inside the CIA. Ethnic Russians, since the 1980s when Jewish emigration started, were trained to impersonate Jews, given false identities and backgrounds as Jews, and sent to emigrate to Israel, where they married Israeli women, had children, passed for loyal Israelis, and got recruited by the Mossad. The CIA today in America is riddled from top to bottom with traitorous Jews who pass all of America's secrets to the Mossad, and because of the Russian spies in the Mossad, 24 hours later the secrets are in Moscow.

Not only that - the Mossad is recognized even by the CIA as the best intelligence agency in the world, because Jews from Argentina to Canada to France to Spain have been recruited to pass secrets to the Mossad. It has the largest force of sleeper agents in the world, thousands of them, and everything the Mossad knows, Moscow knows too, thanks to its spies in Israel. This is probably the most valuable and successful effort the KGB (now the FSB) ever undertook.

Why do we suppose Putin was so tolerant of the provocations of Bush and especially Cheney? It is because he probably knew better than they did about whether America was really in a position to challenge Russia and what allies America could count on (not many.)

Meanwhile the stupidity of our wildly misnamed US "Intelligence" agencies is so profound that they resort to torture, murder, theft and corruption to cover their incompetence and evil, and ensure their retirements in the lap of luxury. Ten questions:

Question 1: Where does most of the heroin sold in the USA enter the country? Answer 1: From Mexico.

Question 2: Where is 90% or more of the opium (the source of heroin) in the world produced? Answer 2: Afhganistan.

Question 3: Which country in the world is totally landlocked, surrounded by repressive regimes, and under military occupation by the USA and NATO? Answer 3: Afghanistan.

Question 4: How then does all that opium get to South America to be refined into heroin and shipped through Mexico? Answer 4: Good question. Someone is shipping it from Afghanistan to South America by air.

Question 5: Who? Answer 5: Guess.

Question 6: Someone whose operations are so secretive that even people in their own organization don't know what other people in the same organization are doing? Answer 6: You are SO smart.

Question 7: Where does the rest of it go? Answer 7: To Africa, the most corrupt continent on the planet, from whence it is passed up into Europe through Albanian mafias operating in Italy, Germany and France.

Question 8: How much money are we talking about? Answer 8: Tens of billions a year, enough to ensure plenty of graft for everybody involved.

Question 9: Such as who? Answer 9: Boy, you are a nosy sonofabitch, aren't you? Are you very attached to your family? Your dog? Your mother?

Question 10: Are you for real? Answer 10: Try me.

It is a really sorry spectacle to see how America is becoming more and more Stalinist and repressive year by year, (even under the so-called liberty-loving Republicans - George Orwell, where are you, we need to give you the Nobel Prize for Prophecy,) while Russia becomes more and more free, year by year. The USA should give up the old dogmas of the Cold War, (which itself was engineered by the post-WWII miltary and the defense contractors whom Eisenhower warned us against, to preserve their power and wealth - tell me if you want me to recount how it was done,) and ally itself with the other great young Christian nation of the northern hemisphere, Russia.

We and Russia are now probably the two most Christian great powers in the world. Europe follows some sort of doctrinaire humanism, in which anyone can say and do almost anything as long as the word "God" is not mentioned. China is downright pagan, except for their worship of profit regardless of who dies in the process. (An average of 250 coal miners die EVERY DAY in China - equivalent to 60 miners dying every day in the US, or 420 a week. You hear nothing about it.) India is indeed a Godly nation, remarkably devoutly Hindu. (Which is actually a very tolerant and ancient mystic religion. It is really at bottom a monotheistic faith, all its multitude of minor gods being "aspects" of the One, akin to the Catholic pantheon of saints.)

We Americans and the Russian people have much more in common than we have different from each other. Together we would make a formidable combination.

Now, if the American gubba-mint and its agencies and friends could just give up their feeding frenzy at the public trough long enough to recognize that....

Yours sincerely,
Lemuel Gulliver.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

...Or is that video clip also from "Red Dawn"? Never did see that movie, having been involved at that time with surviving a boss from Eritrea, Mulugeta, a sometime freedom fighter with PTSD who thought everyone that worked for him was a spy for the Ethiopian Government. Most of us escaped his private war with only psychological scars.

liberranter said...

Is that statue of Pavel Morozov still standing, or is that a legacy photo from the Soviet era? Given the lingering affinity for Iosif Dzhugashvili expressed by far too large a segment of today's Russian population, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this legacy statue still proudly stands in some Moscow park. Something approaching a majority of Russians seems to favor totalitarianism and all of its symbols, no matter what the ideological package. I have no doubt that nationalist, post-Soviet, Putinist Russia is attempting to exercise every ounce of the same control over Russia's children as did its Bolshevik predecessor.

My condolences, Will, on your eldest children having to attend public school. I completely understand your reasons for them having to do so. My wife home schooled our now six-year-old grandson for five months last year prior to his starting kindergarten, and while she still sells herself short by continuing to believe that her efforts bore no fruit, our grandson has consistently remained several steps ahead of his public school classmates academically throughout the school year. Granted, homeschooling is NOT EASY, despite what the purveyors of the most popular of homeschool curricula (e.g., Robinson and Accelerated Achievement [A2]) would have you believe ("the kids soon fall into a routine and become self-starters who need minimal parental interaction"). While it certainly doesn't require a degree in education to teach a child (indeed, such a degree is toxic to REAL learning), it does require a great deal of patience. Korrin should be proud of herself for being so successful with your children.

Kudos also to your eldest son. Doing time in one of today's government indoctrinaria (a.k.a. puhblik skoolz) is akin to doing hard time in a juvenile detention facility. The fact that he came through emotionally and morally unscathed is a rousing tribute to your and Korrin's parenting skills.

castiron said...

Most home schooler families use a teacher/mom intensive curriculum. I was fortunate to find the Robinson Curriculum which is student led. It's basically a book list (starting with the McGuffey Readers, ending with The Mechanical Universe) of about 300 classics in literature, history, science and economics. I think your children would thrive on working through a similar book list, a series of Math texts (Saxon highly recommended) and the task of writing a page a day (starting with copying good literature, moving on to research, essays, etc.) The 3 R's!

Dr. Art Robinson created the method for his 6 kids when his wife passed away so that his family would still be able to homeschool.

When the curriculum first came out (a bunch of CDs filled with thousands of scans of old books) it was an easy way to get a copy of some rare and hard to find books. Because of the wealth of free materials on the internet, most of the books on the list can be found on gutenberg.org and mises.org.

Check out the self teaching methods, maybe it would be helpful in your family's situation.

traitor2tyranny said...

Will said: "T2T, DARE is mandatory at Westside Elementary here in Payette; William couldn't opt out of it any more than he could opt out of P.E."

I took the privilege to call the Payette School District office today. The nice sounding lady who answered the phone referred me to Susan Rankin who was said to be in charge of the DARE program.

I called Susie and told her that I didn't like the DARE program. I asked her if I moved into the Payette School district if my kids could opt out of the DARE program.

She answered with the word "Always".

She continued by saying that the parents are in control on these type of things and the student can sit in the library if needed.

I think that allowing your son to read a book in the library would be more productive than allowing him to be subjected to a weekly statist harangue courtesy of DARE.

When my family attended government school the school worked with us even to the point of changing the songs that would be played in band.


Additionally I see on the website of Westside Elementary that new students need to bring "proof of immunizations" when they register for school. Since I know that Idaho state code does not require for students who have a parents signature to have immunizations, I asked them about that.

The nice sounding lady after putting me on hold and asking the superintendent told me that they have a form that a parent can fill out to exempt the child from immunizations.

Please encourage your readers to opt out of these things instead of leading them to believe that they must participate.

William N. Grigg said...

T2T, both William and I were told, explicitly, that DARE was mandatory. Obviously I was misled, or misinterpreted what I was told. In either case I should have pressed the issue more diligently.

Just this morning I signed an opt-out form for Isaiah regarding a sex ed video being shown next week. I didn't get a form of that kind regarding DARE.

I'm not sure how much longer we're going to have our kids in g'vt schools, but in any case, Isaiah has already insisted that he won't be in DARE next year, and neither will any of his younger siblings.

Hopefully, Korrin's health will improve, our financial situation will stabilize, and we'll be able to teach our children at home again, which would make the matter moot.

One ironic benefit of William's experience is that, owing to his intelligence and strength of character, his weekly immersion in statist/militarist indoctrination simply radicalized him even more. I would not recommend this to other parents, but in this particular instance William learned things this way that I could only teach him in the abstract.

As I said, I do NOT recommend that approach. And we certainly won't follow it with our other kids.

Anonymous said...

'The opening flag ceremony included not only the Stars & Stripes, but also the official institutional banners of all five armed services, each of which was the subject of a lengthy and pious eulogy. No overt explanation was given as to why the military banners were displayed at a counter-narcotics event; none was really necessary -- this is a "war," after all.'

I seem to recall an incident several years ago in which U.S. fighter pilots strafed and killed several Canadian troops. It emerged in the investigation that the pilots were pumped up on amphetamines, which affected their judgment. One might infer that pilots are regularly dosed with alertness-enhancing substances. Perhaps they'll switch to Provigil now instead of crystal meth; LOL.

So, just as violence is okay in the service of the state, so is drug-taking. Hell, any narc who's shared a joint or snorted a few lines with his impending victims can tell you that.

Having the armed services represented at an anti-drug event makes perfect sense, as civilian police become more militarized, and as the armed forces get more involved in drug interdiction.

I don't know whether my questionable character will qualify me for heaven. But if I go to hell, I certainly look forward to volunteering for a sweaty shift of turning the spits of drug warriors Nixon and Rockefeller as they roast over a blazing bed of coals. When no one's looking, I may even give their charred hides a couple of hard jabs with the trident to see whether they're done.

Anti-drug politicians surely will be the most despised offenders in Hell's hierarchy of earthly evildoers. Hopefully they will be kept on a IV-drip of LSD while they burn, to make their eternal roasting a more vivid, 'soul-searing' experience. Any of you devils got some kerosene I can throw on them coals?

Anonymous said...

Lemuel,

The video extra is indeed a clip from the 1987 ABC miniseries "Amerika".

I recall spending an entire week (well, the evenings anyway) watching that miniseries and now I'll be damned if I can't find a copy of it at a reasonable cost...

In any case, your first guess was correct.

Anonymous said...

Once again Will, a simply terrific column. The fact that you are not nationally syndicated is a crime against Americans. I shall promote you whenever possible, and hopefully, your important messages and skillful dialogue will inspire others to do the same.

"Gentle guidance where possible, and stern correction where necessary."

This is what I hope to accomplish as a father to my own 6.5 year old. Thank you, for giving a perfect description of my intention. Namaste!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grigg,

It can't hurt to make sure--are you familiar with the works of John Taylor Gatto? He taught in some of the richest and poorest schools in New York City for thirty years, ultimately winning NYC Teacher of the Year and NY State Teacher of the Year before retiring in disgust. He is utterly intransigent in his insistence that, because forced government schooling was conceived in a spirit of slavery and is in fact doing what it is supposed to, it is utterly unreformable and must be put to death, smashed into a hundred thousand pieces before any lasting, meaningful progress can be made. Much like yourself, he is an incredibly gifted and forceful writer who invariably approaches his topic from uncompromising libertarian principles.

You can sample his writing with one of his earlier essays, The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher. If you like, you can read the entirety of his more recent magnum opus The Underground History of American Education. He also very recently published Weapons of Mass Instruction, a penetrating compilation of old and new material.

In any event, reading John Taylor Gatto is an experience not to be missed. As I was fortunate enough to discover him in eighth grade, I encourage you to help your oldest son avail himself of Mr. Gatto's wisdom and insight.

Broken said...

Back around 1990, the US Military really geared up to implement the DARE Program in their DoD Dependent Schools in Europe. I was, I believe, the second MP in Northern Europe to take the training. I was quite a star in my community (based in AFCENT HQ, Brunssum, NL).

I had the advantage of being sent on TDY to Los Angeles for my training, to the LAPD for it, and met some of the people who wrote the material. Since I already had a background in pastoral counseling, I recognized instantly the curriculum of Values Clarification. The underlying psychology of the DARE Program remains the idiotic New Age stuff cooked up by Rogers, Coulson and Maslow (the latter two repudiated it later, seeing it had failed monumentally).

While I really did enjoy the chance to work with the kids scattered over Belgium, the Netherlands and the Embassy kids at Bonn, it was easily the biggest waste of money I had ever been through. I might indulge my ego a bit in thinking the only difference it made was because of I was experienced in working with children and teens already in churches, but the program was just hype. Most of the Military DARE Officers were truly incompetent, chosen by their MP units because they weren't good for much else. I was told this was not the case with me, but who knows what was said behind my back?

Perhaps I can say the only real benefit was I learned more than enough to say, Will, you only scratch the surface on just how evil the DARE Program really is.

Doc Ellis said...

T2T 2.50:
"I called Susie and told her that I didn't like the DARE program. I asked her if I moved into the Payette School district if my kids could opt out of the DARE program.

She answered with the word "Always".

She continued by saying that the parents are in control on these type of things and the student can sit in the library if needed."

Could nice little Susie have lied to you?

"The nice sounding lady after putting me on hold and asking the superintendent told me that they have a form that a parent can fill out to exempt the child from immunizations."

Could the nice sounding lady have lied to you?

Do you know if there are parents who have successfully kept their children from Westside Elementary DARE?

Do you believe state employees?

mongol Doc Ellis 124

traitor2tyranny said...

“Could nice little Susie have lied to you?”

I suppose anyone could lie.
"...let God be true, but every man a liar."

I hope that if it were my kids that were ones that government school had slated to be involved in DARE I would inform her that my children would not be participating. That way no matter what she said my kids would not attend.

If the head of DARE for a school district told you that your child could opt out without controversy what would you do? Send your kid anyway in case she might be lying?

T2T previously said: The nice sounding lady after putting me on hold and asking the superintendent told me that they have a form that a parent can fill out to exempt the child from immunizations.

“Could the nice sounding lady have lied to you?”

Yes she could have lied but did not. What she told me is consistent with Title 39 Chapter 48 of the Idaho State Code which says: “Immunizations are not mandatory and may be refused on religious or other grounds; Participation in the immunization registry is voluntary”

Because she did not know the correct answer about immunizations without checking with the superintendent suggests one of two things.

1. She hasn’t worked in the superintendent’s office very long.
2. Parents have not called often enough to ask the question.

“Do you know if there are parents who have successfully kept their children from Westside Elementary DARE?”

No I don’t know if there are any parents that opt out of DARE at Westside but children have been kept out of DARE in my school district.

“Do you believe state employees?”

If a state employee told me that my child had to go through the DARE program I would dare not to believe them.

dr said...

William Grigg,

You are the greatest!

Doctor Future

William N. Grigg said...

Dr. Future, you are exceptionally kind, but misinformed. As I know you know, there is One much greater than all of us combined.

That being said -- unless I can get to the gym regularly, I won't be the "greatest," but I may eventually become the largest....

Anonymous said...

will,

when i put on my sunglasses i just happen to get off the set of "They Live", that video clip had one clear and resounding message.....

"Buy ammo!!!"

other than that, it could've used more cowbell.

rick

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Liberranter,

I have to take exception to what you said: "Given the lingering affinity for Iosif Dzhugashvili expressed by far too large a segment of today's Russian population, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this legacy statue still proudly stands in some Moscow park. Something approaching a majority of Russians seems to favor totalitarianism and all of its symbols, no matter what the ideological package."

Before I launch into a tirade I would regret, let me ask you respectfully if you have any first-hand evidence to back that up?

From my experience of the many Russians, Austrians, Swiss, Chinese, Swedes, Germans, Israelis, Poles, Indians, and several other nationalities I have met, lived among, and worked with, (I have lost count of how many different countries I have visited and lived in - something like 40, depending on how long a stay you set as a criterion,) it seems to me nothing could be further from the truth.

The Russians I know are flocking back to the Orthodox Church, absolutely love Mr. Putin, (who always wears a crucufix under his shirt - did you know? - I'd bet George Bush does not,) regret intensely the murder of their Royal Family by the Bolsheviks, mourn the destruction of many of their finest ancient buildings, churches and monuments by Stalin, and hate those same Bolsheviks with a deep and passionate intensity for the millions of unnecessary deaths, decades of deprivation, and infinite litany of lies upon lies upon lies that they endured for 70 years.

The fact that today the Russian Communist Party is NOT banned is a testament to their intense commitment to freedom of speech and democracy. Those misguided souls, usually the aged, who want to idolize Lenin and Stalin and Krushchev are free to do so - no Russian Homeland Security goons are going to arrest them and "render" them to an Arab country to be tortured.

Meanwhile here in Amerika we have spent 8 years inflicting millions of casual deaths on others, thousands of unnecessary deaths on our servicemen, hundreds of secret deaths on our civilans, and have swallowed an endless litany of lies from every politician or official calling him- or herself a Republican, from precinct captains to Supreme Court judges to the President himself.

Our police these days are more thuggish, so I am told, than the Russian police, who can usually be counted on to be polite, since they hope for a bribe from the guilty, and respect the fury of the innocent, so recently unburdened from totalitarianism and unwilling to tolerate even a vestige of it any longer.

I think you should take with many grains of salt anything you read in the media or see on the TV in this here Amerika, especially what their propagandists have to say about foreign countries and their people and political systems. Question: Does the American media ever tell you those things you read here on Mr. Grigg's blog? No, they do not.

Well, if they lie about what is going on in this country, consider that they may also be lying to you about what obtains in Russia, Georgia, Venezuela, and Israel - or any country in which our ruling oligarchy, who own the media, have a financial interest.

As regards Venezuela - they want its oil, just as they wanted the oil of Iraq. But they cannot pull the same lying scam twice, so they just poison your mind, hoping for an opportunity. As regards Russia, they would dearly love to get their hands once more on its oil, minerals and manufacturing assets, which they stole by force under the drunken Yeltsin and which Mr. Putin took away from them by force. So they poison your mind. As regards Israel: Its banks and its defense industry and its role as a laboratory for new American weapons to be tested against Palestinians, is worth vast sums of money to the oligarchs. So they tell you Israel is a democratic paradise on earth. Do not believe this - I lived four months in Israel and I know its people first-hand, from Eilat to Qiryat Shimona.

You may think I am bullshitting you. I am 62 years old, and have had plenty of time to do all these things and more.

You would be quite shocked to know how much co-operation there is between career civil servants in countries whose politicians bluster and swear at each other, such as between the CIA and the FSB. It is rather like two wrestlers - when the fight is over they shake hands cheerfully and go out for a drink together. Quite humorous, really - and it was always so, even at the height of the farcical Cold War.

Do not fall for the crap you are being fed by the oligarchic media.

Yours sincerely,
Lemuel Gulliver.

dixiedog said...

Will, I'm certainly glad that I graduated HS the same year that DARE germinated.

Will, by gauging your writing over time, you seem to be of the mindset that folk follow/obey a mantra as long as, say, a paycheck or some reward is in the mix. True, I can't disagree with that in the abstract, but why is no thought given to why someone moves in a direction, accepts a statist position, whatever in the first place? In other words, hypothetically, would you accept a job offer from DHS that paid, let's say, $100,000 per annum in the first place, given that you have a large family and such? I would hope you would NOT, as I certainly would NOT, because, yes, I'm keenly aware that once one takes that initial plunge into ease, comfort, pleasure, and hefty benefits, they'll likely do whatever it takes to retain that position. Besides, I never was the overly ambitious type. Of course, this conundrum not only applies to Leviathan hypotheticals, but involves ANY endeavor.

On another front, you keep mentioning your (understandable as it were) disdain with the JBS for terminating you and leaving your LARGE family with no steady source of income and gradually becoming a Leviathan partner via cooperation.

But that all leads me to ask this simple question: Knowing how the JBS has devolved, would you have rejected this change and self-terminated your employment and moved on? I see Mr. Jasper has not done so; hmm, I do wonder how lame/statist/ineffectual JBS will have to become before Mr. Jasper also would decide enough is enough and move on?

I know, I ask weird questions so don't answer if it's uncomfortable; it's none of my business anyway. Admittedly, I was kind of a weird kid anyway growing up as I always asked the hardcore, poignant, frank questions that made teachers, my parents, et al, sometimes develop an involuntary tic in their eye ;).

dixiedog said...

The Russians I know are flocking back to the Orthodox Church, absolutely love Mr. Putin, (who always wears a crucufix under his shirt - did you know? - I'd bet George Bush does not,) regret intensely the murder of their Royal Family by the Bolsheviks, mourn the destruction of many of their finest ancient buildings, churches and monuments by Stalin, and hate those same Bolsheviks with a deep and passionate intensity for the millions of unnecessary deaths, decades of deprivation, and infinite litany of lies upon lies upon lies that they endured for 70 years.

Yeah, yeah, but this is likely just yet another case of the dichotomy between what folk SAY and what they DO (vote, live day to day, so forth and so on...). After all, as I've said before I'm both a much more hardcore cynic and hardcore skeptic than Will. I'm not proud to declare that, but it's ground from experience over the years.

Even though I have no known ties with Russians specifically, I would be skeptical of their professed "love" they claim with their mouth they have for true freedom, just as I am when "true blue" Amerikans blab as much. From many media accounts over the years, Russians in general long for the days of easy dependency, never seeming to recall the attendant squalor that accompanies it.

Speaking of Putin, isn't he a "former" KGB strongman? Anyone can wear a crucifix just as anyone can go to church. So what? The appearance of piousness is just that.

An excerpt from the UK's Telegraph (June 18, 2005): Yet there is a discernible nostalgia for the terrible simplifications of the old days. In a poll conducted in 2003, the Russian Centre for Public Opinion found that 53 per cent of Russians still regard Stalin as a "great" leader. The explanation is not far to seek. The collapse of Communism has meant not just greater freedom but also widening inequality and a dramatic decline in average living standards.

Since 1989, the Russian mortality rate has risen from below 11 per 1,000 to more than 15 per 1,000 - nearly double the American rate. For adult males, the mortality rate is three times higher. Average male life expectancy at birth is below 60, roughly the same as in Bangladesh. A 20-year-old Russian man has a less than 50/50 chance of reaching the age of 65.

This has much to do with the round-the-clock consumption of fags and booze - the typical St Petersburg man walks around with a bottle of beer and a cigarette in one hand the way a Londoner carries his mobile phone - not to mention an attitude to road safety apparently inspired by the Mad Max films. It also reflects the long-term effects of the planned economy on the Russian environment and the near-collapse of the healthcare system.
[emphasis mine]

Yes, that's a media piece, so take it or leave it, but many state similar findings. Most significantly, these pieces reveal two key missing ingredients that enables true freedom to flourish and that's morality and SELF-control. After 70 odd years of the state providing its "morality" and control, or playing the mother roll, that's understandable, but the folk themselves need to learn how to SELF-govern with a moral compass before true freedom can be sustained. Predictably, these realities evidence that that's clearly not the case, in general. However, the same sad state is evident over here in America now as well.

I'm curious, if I could proffer one key question, however: Within what stratum of society did you live and work day to day within these countries? I'd more readily accept a person's account who lived with and worked among the commoners or the working-class for a month over someone who trotted among and worked with the upper crust in a given country for a year. In other words, the REAL lowdown picture (no pun intended) of how the aggregate people in general think, how they live day to day, their opinions on (their own) Leviathan, and so on.

I was an enlisted man in Germany from '86-'90 in USAFE and worked (when not on deployment) on the missile base, obviously, but I lived, played, and partied with the German commoners almost the entire four years. A month in the beginning was in the barracks, but soon a buddy and I found a house to rent and moved just once during the tour. I gathered a huge amount of knowledge of the culture, people, language, and skillful driving of the rural and urban roadways during that 4 years. I rarely set foot on the main base. Yet many Amis spent almost their entire tour literally on the base living in barracks. Sad.

Anyway, we must strive to always keep in mind that it's ones WALK, over and above ones TALK, that really counts on any matter in question.

Bob said...

I remember that 1987 miniseries. There was a parade scene in which people were waving flags or banners with the likenesses of Dishonest Abe and Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov (Lenin).

William N. Grigg said...

"Knowing how the JBS has devolved, would you have rejected this change and self-terminated your employment and moved on? I see Mr. Jasper has not done so; hmm, I do wonder how lame/statist/ineffectual JBS will have to become before Mr. Jasper also would decide enough is enough and move on?

Double-D, one reason I value your contributions so much is because of your unerring knack for asking unsettling questions that help keep me honest.

In this you remind me of another occasional contributor to comment threads who's a very good friend(he knows who he is) who is entirely guileless and utterly principled -- and refuses to let me get away with sloppy thinking or easy, convenient choices.

To answer your question about the JBS as it applies to me:

Before I was thrown under the bus, I had made myself obnoxious to the JBS management in Appleton precisely because I wasn't a "team player" regarding the compromises they were making.

The mantra at the time was that the JBS had to "ride the Republican wave," and that "an adjustment would be made" regarding those who weren't on board with the GOP's version of collectivist statism.

My views and perspectives didn't change. I didn't zig where they zigged, or zag where they said it was necessary.

I grant that there have been some material changes to my views regarding the application of certain principles, but it's not as if I've suddenly embraced globalism, or consider the Constitution an infinitely malleable "living document," or think that the CFR is a font of wisdom.

In all candor, I had intuited that Appleton wanted to be rid of me by no later than April or May 2006 (and I had warnings to that effect from people on staff), and so I quietly began exploring contingency plans in the event that I was fired.

Korrin's illness and subsequent hospitalizations made that very difficult, as did the fact that Appleton wrung whatever it could from me literally up to the point that it threw me overboard.

Alan Scholl has told people that I "fired myself" by refusing to adapt to the new regime. That description is untrue to the extent it insinuates that I was guilty of some termination-worthy form of misconduct; I did absolutely nothing to merit being treated the way I was.

But in a way that Scholl and his ilk could never understand, the charge that I "fired myself" actually captures an essential truth: I wasn't content with the ethical and ideological compromises that were conditions of my continued employment.

I really can't speak on behalf of Bill, who remains a good and generous friend.

Anonymous said...

DARE, Coulson, Rogers, Maslow, etc.
Years ago a local Christian TV station (that has since become evil) did an interview with William Coulson during which he told how he had learned how dangerous his Values Clarification projects really were. He warned listeners that programs like DARE had negative effects rather than positive ones. He explained that children in such programs who don't do drugs are influenced by children who do, rather than the other way around. In my rural community the county sheriff claims to be a Christian and uses the local Christian community to advance himself politically. In the past when he has been campaigning I have contacted him and informed him that DARE is denounced by Coulson and have asked him to educate himself about it and stop spending tax money on it. He told me that school employees like it and he will not stop it. It has been reported that he had hired his son to administer the DARE program. This man has been told. He knows that the masses believe DARE is good. He benefits from using DARE. Therefore he WILL NOT make any effort to learn the truth. The truth would not benefit him in any way. The masses will continue to believe he is a Christian. He will retain his power and his position.

Anonymous said...

H-Dog is da-bomb!

Anonymous said...

My experience with government schools has been the same as Will. School employees lied to my family about the laws of opting out of immunizations and transferring into programs. They know what the established laws are in our state and county.

They have done much more . . . Some of the most immoral behavior I've ever seen was by the employees of public schools. This is heartbreaking because I know there are good people in the system that are threatened by the perverse ones.

It doesn't surprise me that they would lie to a parent or student and then say something different in a telephone conversation.

Change the words to a song because a parent was offended!?! What state and year did that take place?

Will, this is a great blog and I want to express my gratefulness. You're a great teacher with insight. God bless!

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Hey Dixiedog,

"...two key missing ingredients that enables true freedom to flourish and that's morality and SELF-control. After 70 odd years of the state providing its "morality" and control, or playing the mother role, that's understandable, but the folk themselves need to learn how to SELF-govern with a moral compass before true freedom can be sustained."

Hear, hear. I could not agree with you more. I have said much the same myself on this blog, in regards to our own predicament here in America. Statism replaces self-reliance, and self-control, with reliance on the state's mothering, and on its laws and constraints. This is Satanic and anti-God. I believe the reason God gave us free will is because *only* when we freely choose right over wrong do we earn merit and develop character. If we have no choice but to do good, what do we learn, and what merit accrues? For this reason, I disagree with those Christians who want to establish a theocratic state and legal system. That is anti-Christian. It deprives people of the opportunity to choose goodness and strength over evil and weakness. You would end up with a system just like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Free will, I believe, is the reason God commanded the angels to worship Man, because the angels are not tempted as we are, and when we do choose goodness in the face of temptation, that makes us worthier than the angels.

Of course you are right, nowhere on this earth is a paradise, since we humans are flawed and put here to learn. Russia has immense problems - the incessant and inescapable smoking is hard to endure, and the alcoholism, AIDS, and tuberculosis, especially in their nightmarish prisons, have reduced their life expectancy. That's one of the reasons for the declining population which I did not mention. Mainly it is the older, tired people who long for the security of the old socialist system. The young are more optimistic and have the energy to be self-reliant and to struggle to succeed. It's a generational thing. Of course, even among the young there are those who give up hope and turn to drugs and alcohol, but you find that everywhere.

Between us, isn't it an enriching experience to live in another culture? Every young person should be required to spend at least a year in a foreign country, preferably three or four. Many of the world's probelms would melt away. Unfortunately most Americans are very insular, ignorant of even their own nation and its history, much less those of other countries, and proud of their ignorance, seeing it as somehow patriotic to refuse to listen to what other cultures have to say. Their loss.

And you are correct, circulating among the elite does not give you the same insights. The elite in all countries are pretty much the same everywhere. Only the ordinary folk are genuinely different. Someone once asked me: "So, from all that traveling, what did you learn?" After thinking about it, I answered truthfully, "That people everywhere are very, very kind."

Did you ever read Eric Hoffer? He wrote two very good little books: "The True Believer," and "The Ordeal of Change." I think they are out of print, but you can get them used on Ebay or Alibris. They are packed with wisdom, and I *highly* recommend them to you - I can tell from your thoughtful commentary that you would enjoy them and learn from them. His other books pretty much just rehashed what he said in those two.

So okay, Russia is not perfect, but they are tending in the direction of freedom and self-reliance, while we seem at the moment to be tending in the opposite direction. There was a Russian joke back in the 70's which, if you think about it, hits tragically close to home in America in 2009:

American says to Russian: "In America we have freedom of speech, which you do not have in Russia. For example, I can stand in front of White House and shout for all of Washington to hear, "Nixon is a crook and should go to jail," and nothing will happen to me."

Russian replies to American: "But is not true! We in Russia have exactly same freedom of speech as you. I too, I can stand in front of Kremlin and shout for all of Moscow to hear, "Nixon is a crook and should go to jail," and nothing will happen to me either."

Be well!
Lemuel Gulliver.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Dear Will,

"Before I was thrown under the bus, I had made myself obnoxious to the JBS management in Appleton precisely because I wasn't a "team player" regarding the compromises they were making. I wasn't content with the ethical and ideological compromises that were conditions of my continued employment."

I feel for you. Been there, done that. A code of ethics is not a valuable Darwinian characteristic, which is why Jesus told Pilate, "My kingdom is NOT of this world."

This unfortunately has been going on since history began to be written, and is the reason no empire, no company, and no worldly organization has ever endured. As soon as the managers and thieves take over from the entrepreneurs, they destroy a company. Same with an empire. As soon as the self-seekers and trough-feeders take over from the visionaries, the empire begins to die. America, inevitably, is no exception.

Lebanese poet Mikhail Naimy in his book "The Prophet" wrote: "We live, that we may learn to love. We love, that we may learn to live. No other lesson is required of us."

This concept is a universe removed from the philosophy of most people who maneuver themselves into positions of power in this world. Remember what Jesus told us: Do not expect the swine to value your pearls.

But, after reading your blog for some time, I think your heart contains an abundance of treasure that no money can buy and no power can command. You are one lucky guy, did you know?

Sincerely,
Lemuel Gulliver.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Erratum: Will, "The Prophet" is of course by Kahlil Gibran. Mikhail Naimy's book quoted from was "The Book of Mirdad." Sorry for the confusion.

Bob said...

"Dare and Back Again" (A Libertarian's Tale by William N Grigg)

Great post, when you got to the part about your son removing the DARE shirt I gave a good triumph cry.

liberranter said...

From many media accounts over the years, Russians in general long for the days of easy dependency, never seeming to recall the attendant squalor that accompanies it.

DD, that's EXACTLY the point I was trying to make in my original post, to which Lemuel apparently took exception.

Lemuel, both Russians whom I've met personally, and first-hand accounts of the Russian outlook on politics from close friends of mine who have lived among them in their own country yields a picture of a people who are addicted to stability above all else, who are risk-averse to nearly everything (one exception being the tiny handful of criminal kleptocrats among them whom the mainstream media depicts as representative of the whole), and who pine for ANY form of authority that will release them from having to determine their own destiny, with all the hardships this brings. A good friend of mine who holds an MS in International Studies from the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, who is fluent in Russian, and who has lived in Russia off and on for the last ten years tells me that among the large number of those Russians on the street who revere Stalin's memory (contrary to what the MSM would have us believe, my friend tells me that it's NOT just young people who have no memory of that era), the overriding desire is to see a Russian leader emerge who can bring some form of "normalcy" in which everyone is employed, everyone has a roof over their head and at least enough to eat to survive on, and where some modicum of "national greatness" prevails again. They don't particularly care, says my friend, whether or not such a leader is a Communist in the Leninist-Stalinist mold, or a right-wing Russian Nationalist in the Putin mold, magnified manifold. If a leader of either such persuasion emerges who can make all of their cares disappear, he's their man. This is why Stalin is still a respected, even revered figure to many Russians, despite the fact that they know him to have been one of human history's most notorious mass murderers, whose victims included at least one member of each of their families. In these peoples' minds, Stalin's heinous crimes (which many of them are convinced happened to "undesirables", namely non-Russian peoples whom the average Russian despises anyway) were greatly overshadowed by the fact that he made Russia a world power.

My friend notes that Vladimir Putin's popularity in recent years can largely be attributed to his success at co-opting the Russian Orthodox Church as an instrument for advancing nationalist politics, clearly an indication that Putin appreciates just how highly esteemed the church is in the eyes of the people after nearly three quarters of a century of repression.

Finally, I'm not sure that this Russian attitude of acquiescence to authority is solely the result of 73 years of Communist rule, but probably more the ingrained attitude of a people accustomed to feudal rule for most of its history. To be fair, this analysis is certainly not unique in its application to the Russians. The traditional American concepts of liberty and rule of Natural Law are thoroughly alien to most of the rest of the world, a major reason why America's attempts to transplant its concept of "democracy" by force of arms and blackmail over the course of the last century have always been and will always be abject failures.

At any rate, I sincerely hope that I didn't leave the impression that my take on Russia comes from the MSM. Surely you don't believe that any regular contributor to Will's blog would lend a milligram of credibility to anything emanating from such sources. No, I rely purely on personal observations and analysis or observations from sources I know and trust. (I too have traveled extensively and lived abroad for long periods, although Eastern Europe is definitely not my area of expertise.)

Finally, just to put this thread back on topic, I cannot imagine that contemporary Russia is significantly different from its Soviet predecessor in terms of its drive to control its citizens, starting with the children. If the government of an ostensibly "free" society such as the United States routinely launches transparently aggressive and unabashedly lawless assaults on the parental rights of its subjects, can a reasonable person believe that an authoritarian society such as that of Russia would be any different?

Anonymous said...

'... a people who are addicted to stability above all else, who are risk-averse to nearly everything, and who pine for ANY form of authority that will release them from having to determine their own destiny, with all the hardships this brings.' -- liberranter

Sounds a lot like Amerika. Let me supply an apposite example. Went to dinner last night with my wife, 22-year-old son, and two middle-aged friends. We ordered a round of drinks. The waitress demanded a drivers license from our son. He handed her his passport. 'No good,' she said. We demanded to discuss it with the manager.

The manager demanded a second ID, which was duly presented -- a university ID. 'Still no good,' he insisted. To our astonishment, he claimed that a U.S. passport must be 'validated' by actually traveling outside the country and obtaining Customs stamps from a foreign country, plus a re-entry stamp from U.S. Customs.

Having traveled a bit, I would confidently assert that the United States is the only place in the world where a 22-year-old in the company of his parents would be hassled this way over ordering a beer; much less having his national passport rejected as an ID.

The U.S. today is not the country I grew up in. The cultural change has been far more radical than that involved in crossing borders.

Ultimately, I can't stay here. The mindless, rulebound, 'zero tolerance,' good-German DARE mentality which has been so profoundly instilled into the American consciousness is intolerable to me.

Why struggle for freedom, in a culture which no longer respects or values it? Seems more productive to emigrate to a place that doesn't combine German efficiency with American fanaticism -- the willingness to carry moral crusades to infinite extremes. I'm talking about such DARE-inspired, zero-tolerance insanity as expelling a child for bringing an aspirin to school. Or for having a plastic pencil sharpener with a loosened metal blade -- a 'deadly weapon,' according to zero-tolerance 'thinking.'

There's a profound, unhinged fanaticism afoot in this country which is every bit as narcissistically insane as North Korea's. Let me the hell out of this fascist living nightmare.

Anonymous said...

all,

i think what a few commenters have pointed out is our laziness in researching the laws on our own and taking somebody else's word for it.

if we are to make it in the times ahead, we need to know the laws and the rules of the game.

sometimes the rules of the game trump the law.

sometimes the law trumps the rules of the game.

i got a speeding ticket once because i did not see the sign stating the speed limit. (i went back and checked and a sign was indeed posted). i was ticked off and angry, but my sister told me to calm down, got the county phone number from me and called the court clerk. what my sister told me was that if i paid a fee of X amount of dollars and did not get in any incidents in a year, then it would be wiped clean. so i paid the bill, and the next day went to iraq for 13 months. :-) (my sister told me i should have used this fact to get out of the ticket).

the lesson learned was that i did not know how the system in that jurisdiction worked. when i did learn, i found a way to keep my record clean. cost me a pretty clad coinage copper flashed penny, but it got wiped away.

we've gotta be smarter than our enemies or we're gonna be singing one of Sam Cooke's greatest hits.

rick

Anonymous said...

A code of ethics is not a valuable Darwinian characteristic

This is not true, or at the very least it is not at all self-evident. Recall Henry Hazlitt's injunction: consider the long term effecs of actions on all groups, rather than the short-term impact on one group.

If Mr. Grigg had chosen to sell out to the JBS, in the long term he would just be abetting a system that not only threatens his own existence, but that of his posterity; by walking away from the JBS in order to preserve his moral integrity, he is ultimately making the world safer for his children than it would be otherwise. This is why apparent self-sacrifice can be a rational strategy for the propagation of one's genes.

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, I can't stay here.

Well, where would you go? New Zealand or the Czech Republic or something?

liberranter said...

Well, where would you go? New Zealand or the Czech Republic or something?

I don't know about New Zealand, but the Czech Republic is arguably freer than Amerika, at least in the respect that its government doesn't treat personal vices (e.g., drinking or smoking in public) as crimes demanding state intervention and punishment. It's unfortunate that the Czech Republic, along with much of the rest of Eastern Europe, is moving into the NATO/EU orb, where Orwellian political correctness run amok is the order of the day.

Having traveled and lived abroad extensively, I can easily understand the urge to expatriate as things here in the United Soviet Socialist States of Amerika grow more intolerable to liberty lovers with each passing day. HOWEVER, I've decided that running away isn't the answer, that if good people don't stay, stand up, and fight, then the battle is lost. More relevantly, if liberty dies in the nation that was created for the express purpose of giving it life (however short of that goal it has fallen), where else in the world is safe from tyranny? You can only run for so long before the evil you seek to avoid catches up with you. Better to stand fast and fight it to the death (hopefully its death) than to run from it forever.

Anon 2:43 - You're right about Amoricons coming more and more to share the stability addiction characteristic of Russians. In fact, as Amerika and Russia move in opposite directions to the point where each occupies the position held by the other a half century ago, the trait I ascribe to the Russians will become a more apt description of Amoricons. One wonders if Russians will become the adventurous individualists that Americans were for their first century and a half of this country's existence.

Pat said...

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

dixiedog said...

Double-D, one reason I value your contributions so much is because of your unerring knack for asking unsettling questions that help keep me honest.

Will, I have to face the same issues as you or anybody else. Ergo, we need to always strive to ask OURSELVES unsettling questions often to see where we TRULY stand in the scheme of things that we each are quick and happy to blab about ;). Why depend on others to do that?

In this you remind me of another occasional contributor to comment threads who's a very good friend(he knows who he is) who is entirely guileless and utterly principled -- and refuses to let me get away with sloppy thinking or easy, convenient choices.

I can't accept the "utterly principled" description you graciously bestow upon me. I do, however, labor to be guileless in general, except when I'm dealing with a particular Leviathan organ...sometimes, hehe.

In terms of THINKING, that's really what keeps attracting me to your blog time and again - it induces one to THINK - in addition to your exquisitely detailed blog posts.
Many, if not most, of the bloggers I've ventured to read over the years just slap some keys and form a paragraph or two, usually polluted with unhealthy doses of pomp and self-aggrandizement. There's nothing that will turn my stomach faster than an excessively pompous humanoid. I despise arrogant folk to the nth degree. You don't appear to me to waste an excessive amount of OUR time and space inflating your own ego and "congratulating" yourself so I always look forward to reading your posts with enthusiasm. Yes, everybody has an ego, but if one constantly needs inflating with hot air means one should probably start over with a new one.

Before I was thrown under the bus, I had made myself obnoxious to the JBS management in Appleton precisely because I wasn't a "team player" regarding the
compromises they were making.


Obnoxious is probably not the best way to describe your actions, is it? I mean you weren't really and truly "obnoxious" in the strict sense I would assume, correct? At least, the way I see it is that when one acts independently in refusing to compromise toward wicked ends, that's being upstanding and not "obnoxious." But yes, I know, you were describing yourself from their perspective. (I didn't fall of the turnip truck yesterday ;))

I grant that there have been some material changes to my views regarding the application of certain principles, but it's not as if I've suddenly embraced globalism, or
consider the Constitution an infinitely malleable "living document," or think that the CFR is a font of wisdom.


Hmm, now this is interesting. What on earth prompted you to add these meaty parcels to ponder? Granted, I must admit that I have wondered at times if you, in your rash to beat down a Hagee or Bush, or whatever personage element of the so-called "Right," "religious" or otherwise, you were at times unknowingly or inadvertently pronouncing support via omission of the "other side" of the same philosophical/ideological coin. The reality is that control-freak surfers have ridden unhindered, under both Party banners and under myriad labels, the totalitarian wave for decades and decades. Even if the "Right" gangrenes and dies off, the "Left" side is always making headway and vice versa. Of course, I grant you already know this, but it's for the reader's benefit.

In all candor, I had intuited that Appleton wanted to be rid of me by no later than April or May 2006 (and I had warnings to that effect from people on staff), and so I
quietly began exploring contingency plans in the event that I was fired.

Korrin's illness and subsequent hospitalizations made that very difficult, as did the fact that Appleton wrung whatever it could from me literally up to the point that it
threw me overboard.


I understand, but that's why I was curious as to whether the JBS "suddenly" became the Leviathan grinch only after you were "thrown under the bus" or "thrown overboard" or did you clearly see all this well beforehand and would of SELF-terminated your employment, accordingly. In any case, I think you adequately explained that you were aware of it. Because, you know as well as I, the old saying (or my version of it) that "when all is on Cloud 9, all is fine, and I'm silent. When I fell, all was hell, and I became noisy" is always on someone's mind ;).

Alan Scholl has told people that I "fired myself" by refusing to adapt to the new regime. That description is untrue to the extent it insinuates that I was guilty of some
termination-worthy form of misconduct; I did absolutely nothing to merit being treated the way I was.

But in a way that Scholl and his ilk could never understand, the charge that I "fired myself" actually captures an essential truth: I wasn't content with the ethical and ideological compromises that were conditions of my continued employment.


I wholeheartily agree. In fact, as you said, Mr. Scholl telling people you self-terminated does NOT imply misconduct in my mind. It would, instead, imply precisely that you were fed up with the new regime as you state above, not misconduct. Now, if he said to other people WE FIRED him, that would imply misconduct. After all, folk culling a key truth out of a major untruth is a plus in my book.

I really can't speak on behalf of Bill, who remains a good and generous friend.

I understand that. I don't like being placed between a rock and a hard place myself ;). Don't misunderstand, I think Mr. Jasper is probably a fine fella and, heck, if one can manage to still write the same sort of in-depth, incisive investigative stories as in the past involving some aspect of Leviathan and collect a paycheck, even while your boss and/or employer at large is simultaneously and gradually huggin' up to and kissin' Leviathan's backside. Hey, that's having ones cake and eating it too as he still remains principled while his boss doesn't and the boss not manifest those proverbial tics and get uppity, accordingly. That'd be great 8).

dixiedog said...

I believe the reason God gave us free will is because *only* when we freely choose right over wrong do we earn merit and develop character. If we have no choice but to do good, what do we learn, and what merit accrues? For this reason, I disagree with those Christians who want to establish a theocratic state and legal system. That is anti-Christian. It deprives people of the opportunity to choose goodness and strength over evil and weakness. You would end up with a system just like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Sigh....why do many confuse a person's belief in SELF-control and morality as synonymous with believing in instituting a theocracy? Heck, even the dubiously reliable Wikipedia notes the key distinction: Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God".

Yes, I also would disagree with any Christian who would want to establish a theocratic state as well, and would actually be skeptical of his/her true belief in Christianity. But a legal system based on Christian principles is not theocracy. In fact, much of our governmental structure was culled from the Bible.

Free will, I believe, is the reason God commanded the angels to worship Man, because the angels are not tempted as we are, and when we do choose goodness in the face of temptation, that makes us worthier than the angels.

I part ways with you here. I don't know from where you grasped your belief that angels "worship" Man. The Bible actually says that man is lower than the angels: But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. - Hebrews 2:6-8 ("everything" above signifies earthly things not heavenly beings, since they are obviously not under our feet)

But I'll cease at this point arguing about man's place in the universe ;).

Russia has immense problems - the incessant and inescapable smoking is hard to endure, and the alcoholism, AIDS, and tuberculosis, especially in their nightmarish prisons, have reduced their life expectancy. That's one of the reasons for the declining population which I did not mention.

Yeah, I forgot to mention the demographic reality myself of declining birthrate. Thanks for mentioning that point. BTW, I must confess here that I'm still "burdened" with smoking. I've been smoking cigarettes for 28 years while having Type 1 diabetes, under haphazard sinusoidal control since being diagnosed I might add, for 19 years (since I exited the AF). True, I wouldn't recommend smoking to anyone just as I wouldn't recommend drugs to anyone, but I'm still kicking, and can do a lot of physical work that even non-smokers sometimes struggle with. As a sidenote, I believe the "War on Drugs" is only a major issue at all for many folk because those folk can't be propagandized away from mind-altering intoxicants that can harm their liver, lungs, heart, etc., etc., but they CAN be from those that have no discernable mind-altering "qualities" but that also can harm your lungs, heart, etc., etc. It's amazing as well the number of folk who are addicted to any and every drug that helps their penile malfunctions, their vaginal fungi issues or whatever else so that they can screw when and where they please. And on it goes.....nothing new.

The key is pleasure at any and all cost. Something that doesn't affect ones mind in some pleasurable way, even if minimal and short-lived, will easily be ignored per Leviathan's dictates, so the "War on Tobacco" runs quietly forward with no shrieking from the masses. It's no surprise if I don't really have much sympathy for those yacking and yawing about the "War on Drugs," frankly. Everybody has their own "Wars" to deal with that are being waged by Leviathan, I reckon.

[OK, sorry (somewhat) for the runoff rant, but back to the topic...]

And you are correct, circulating among the elite does not give you the same insights. The elite in all countries are pretty much the same everywhere. Only the ordinary folk are genuinely different.

I'm glad we can agree here. Indeed, it would be comparable to taking Madonna's account of life in Malawi or Bono's account of life in South Africa. Their accounts would be about as useful as a spoon to dig a burial plot.

Someone once asked me: "So, from all that traveling, what did you learn?" After thinking about it, I answered truthfully, "That people everywhere are very, very kind."

Well, sorta. I mean it's indisputable that there exists some sizeable numbers of vile humanoids in every country on earth, but yes, there are likewise some significant numbers of "very, very kind" humanoids as well ;).

dixiedog said...

DD, that's EXACTLY the point I was trying to make in my original post, to which Lemuel apparently took exception.

I took a stab at it and am glad to have been accurate, liberranter ;).

dixiedog said...

Well, where would you go? New Zealand or the Czech Republic or something?

Exactly my skeptical view, anonymous. Folk who continually talk about going to and fro and here and yonder around the world apparently can't, or don't want to, grok the big picture. And that would be that a monstrosity called a world government has been in careful incubation for the better part of a century now is on the fast-track. It's as if the current crisis, the world's economies, have provided enough impetus for significant nation elites to gulp a handful of amphetamines and go into warp drive in implementing (not merely talking about it anymore) the foundational structure of world government.

And, like liberranter, there's no point in running off. I like Patrick Henry's statement to the Virginia House of Burgesses. Give me liberty or give me death! As I mentioned in another post here a few years ago:

Will, I think we're reaching the stage now, as Mr. Perez's episode clearly demonstrates, whereby folk who possess a genuine Christian worldview will either have to be ready to lose jobs, lose freedom, lose material, and inevitably at some point even lose life itself in America, not the Sudan, Cuba, Soviet Union, or a China. Otherwise, you're a fake. Others suffer for their belief systems, those that are genuine believers in, and practitioners of, that particular belief system, that is. So it must be with Christians. Folk for decades and decades always seemed to brush off cultural and political trends in this country. "Oh, don't worry about that, son, that's happening on the 'Left coast' what do you expect from a San Francisco...from politicians in Washington...and so on..."

Well, now these former cultural "anomalies" are in everyone's face and extant in every locale to some degree. Ignoring it, brushing it aside, doesn't and won't cut it.

This all kind of reminds me of this church during a Sunday service, where the folk therein are all attired in their Sunday best, listening to the morning sermon from the pastor.

Suddenly, the doors burst open in the rear of the sanctuary and a couple of hooded gunmen, brandishing Carbon 15s and AK-47s, rush inside. One of them, the presumed leader, utters a loud ultimatum: "Renounce your faith in Jesus Christ by exiting through the rear of the church at a quick pace, otherwise you will be summarily executed."

95% of the church quickly crowds up at the rear doors and run out the back of the church, including the pastor, and just 5% remain.

The leader of the gang of gunman closes the back doors, walks to the podium, and then makes a statement to the remaining members: "Now that we have filtered out the genuine believers from the genuine deceivers, let's worship together!"

Yep, to borrow your metaphor, Will, when the heat is cranked up, the chaff is boiled away out of the saucepan, leaving the residue.


And for the non-Christian, that church scenario can be painted for, and would just as well apply to, ANY arena of life in America.

Anonymous said...

The conventional wisdom when I was younger was to seek out children of police officers and befriend them. Why? Because they always had the best drugs.

Hmmmmmm...