Our Schools are not Smart

Part Three -One of the efforts to change modern schools that have shown some success are the charter schools. Some of them have been extraordinarily successful while others have closed for various and not consistent reasons. Harvard Education Magazine published an article in 2017 that describes the origin of Charter Schools as a locally controlled, small system that matched community needs to the education children received. The idea took off with major donors like Bill Gates and the Walton Foundation supporting them. Bill Clinton supported the movement and few candidates today dare not support “school choice,” although the progressives tend to call all sorts of things “choice” when they are not. Charter School success and its attraction to donors almost immediately made it a pop-up target for the firing squad in the district level teachers and of course the National Education Agency and of course the American Federation of Teachers(AFT.) The AFT mirrors the NEA in its focus as well as its founding. It was founded by pacifists and leftists as a union. It became embroiled in politics early with Albert Shanker a son of Russian born parents. His rabid union work upset and pushed back real education reform in New York for decades. They too are strongly against the Charter School idea. On the other hand, the Charter School should be more accurately called a Franklin School. They are local and designed to teach in a similar manner to what Benjamin Franklin envisioned.

Politics and Junk Science and Jealousy

 One of the early proponents of Charter Schools Chester Finn said that charter schools report uneven success rates. That is to be expected in any new system not troubled by an over-arching body that sets out goals or uses such a set of goals to measure their success. Finn went on to say, that what people understand about charter schools is about the same mix of misunderstanding. But when they discovered, by the presentation of a two-sentence description of them the rate of approval jumped from 28% to 52%

“If you are an adult invested in district education for jobs, and you discover charters are slowing eating your lunch, you will grow intense in your desire to contain or kill charters.” Finn

At the time of the Harvard article there were 3 million children in Charter Schools, by 2020 another 2.7 million were added with several times that many hoping to get into them in the future.

What is the problem between  the NEA or district school systems and Charter Schools? Want to guess? You are right, it is the money. The chief exception to Charter Schools is that they syphon off money that should go to the “backbone of American Education” which are to the progressives,  public schools. But secretly, I would suggest it is the fact they are being outperformed by direct teaching and not the NEA approach of sprinkling it over the tops of the children like fairy dust and hope it creates magic.

The point of it all? If you went to middle school or high school any time in the last fifty years you did not get the education your parents paid for. A great deal of the money went to progressive democrat candidates directly from Union leadership of the National Education agency and the American Federation of Teachers. In 2016 they gave $32 million dollars to progressive Democrat candidates.

Home Schooling is Growing Fast and Gaining Acceptance.

The home-schooling programs and co-operatives that have begun in middle-class America have been surprising.  Many liberals ignored it at first, assuming it was a passing fad.  On March 23, 2016, a publication of the National Home Education Research Institute, by Bryan D. Ray said:

Homeschooling – that is, parent-led home-based education; home education – is an age-old traditional educational practice that a decade ago appeared to be cutting-edge and “alternative” but is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States.  It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. Home-based education has also been growing around the world in many other nations (e.g. Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom) . . . There are about 2.5 million home-educated students in the United State . . . it appears the home school populations are continuing to grow (at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum) over the last few years.

According to Ray no single group has embraced home-schooling.  It is not a religion only group, nor is it a “hippie thing” and cannot be sloughed off as a niche.  The parents are neither all black nor all white and race seems to play no part in the piles of information gathered about their social makeup our outcomes.  Gender, social skill, status, or ability to make and have friends has no effect.  Most of the children have higher test scores than those taught in government schools. It is a way forward to what might be called common knowledge; the ideas that parents and family are best suited to teach children. When we follow the money, we see that taxpayers spend $11,732 per pupil  while homeschool families spend about $600 per year.

To me, the home school movement is the best evidence that exists that American parents really care about their children’s education and safety.  When my son was in scouting many of our more motivated scouts were home-schooled.  Two of them, had little in common other than scouting but became friends.  One was from a thrifty, church going, home-school family and the other had parents who often fought, drank, and did not provide help or even a quiet space for him to study.  Because he was often late to public school he was expelled; his parents being too drunk to drive.  Together, the two scouts began working together to get high school diplomas. It took two years. One of the other families gave him a computer, a neighbor allowed him to use his Wi-Fi.  When they graduated, they took a placement test for the military. Because of their good grades and test results, both were quickly accepted for military training.  Their Eagle Scout badges placed each of them in special rank and salary.  Home schooling works.

Most of the 300 million schoolchildren currently quarantined in their homes will return to school once the epidemic fades. But some parents may discover that learning outside of schooling benefited their children and strengthened their family. They may start to wonder if homeschooling or other schooling alternatives could be a longer-term option. They may realize that education without schooling is not a crisis but an opportunity. Forbes

There is another matter; children have found they like computer education more than expected. That sends another many-sided message entirely to schools, legislators, parents and business. Maybe, redesigning education to suit a Democracy instead of old outmoded German beliefs set up by politician Horace Mann and progressive John Dewey.


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Schools are Indoctrination, not Smart or Democratic

The National Education Agency

Part Two – The hobgoblin in this story is the National Education Agency.  Since the 1940’s the NEA has been the richest union in the country and has followed Wundtian policies to place political activists in something like 4000 politically active campaigns or in local congressional districts around the United States.  Like Wundt, they use their own sources to create “experts” who will legitimize their greatness and ability by holding workshops that give continuing education credit and even graduate school credits to those that attend.  Of course, the Department of Education, the oversight arm of American government, is full of either former NEA members or ones trained in their workshops.  This means that even in non-union states like Texas, the government programs, and requirements for things like Michelle Obama’s questionable lunch menu must be met.  Government standards are often cut-and-paste versions of NEA recommendations.   The NEA is one of the larger donors to Democrat causes giving hundreds of millions of dollars each year.  It encourages its teacher to vote for Democrat candidates in not-so-subtle-ways. Money is flying in every direction but especially in states with union campuses

No middle-class parents I have ever met actually believe that their kid’s school is one of the bad ones.  Not one. . . 

John Taylor Gatto[1], Author, award winning teacher

Photo – Joao Tzanno, Unsplash

Bias, Groomed to be Governed

Numerous books and articles have been written about our schools being “dumbed down” and the maestro of that idea is John Tayler Gatto. It would be a good idea to read Gatto’s book as soon as possible if you have children.  It is a powerful read for parents or those who want our education system to match our American lifestyle.  Mr. Gatto has a thousand good ideas. He was the teacher of the year in New York in 1991.

He introduces us to the “Seven-Lesson School teacher” in an hour long speech, given to Alliant International University, a home schooling group. His talk is about what they dodged by home schooling and keeping their kids out of modern schools.  Gatto explains that rather than giving children the three R’s we are using the excuse of teaching them, while they are groomed to be governed.  Gatto has other books and a series of YouTube seminars explaining deficiencies with the schools he has observed. Gatto died in 2018 and as this is written there is no champion, I have found that has picked up his torch.

What has happened is the Charter School and Home School movement? The very fact that the National Education Agency is against them is proof enough they might be on a better track. The effect of the unintended consequences of the COVID Crisis may result in even greater success. Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans schools into an almost 100% Charter School system according to Forbes Magazine.

Myth in Education, Ideology, Radicalism & Magical Thinking

Today’s liberal, left-wing, Marxist, progressive, and nice beliefs about education are discarded theories that have been elevated to “sacred” status.  One of the more poorly understood is the myth of the supremacy of Dewey style, liberal education.  When it was introduced it was considered progressive or something related to progress.  Everyone assumed that progress was a good thing and everyone should be all for it.  It was yet another misnomer, a good word added to a bad thing.   Progressive does not relate to progress, science, and academic rigidity, development of individualism, talent, or exceptional skill.  Progressive education is about control.  It is focused on the need of the upper classes and intellectuals to enforce their control on a nation of voters who they believe are not able to manage themselves properly.  It is behavioral modification of the type we often call brain-washing lumped beneath the less frightening term; progressive. It is rampant in our schools, on television, video games, and movie plots.

  Progressive liberals’ myths are held by those who have deep convictions that Marxist doctrines are fair and equal. Those are really just magical thinking about practical matters. Fair and equal do not apply to multitudes, they apply to friends, neighbors, children. But liberals believe in fairness and equality and they are not afraid to manipulate truth, reality, or your children’s minds to introduce them to those ideologies.  Their beliefs fueled by those myths lead them to be convinced that the only cure for the world is a single government.  Toward that end, they see the population of that world easiest to manipulate and control when they are not well informed.  When it is pointed out that every attempt at socialism has ended in failure, the respond that it has not yet been tried the right way

The population in a world government should not think there are options, only that their government will keep them relatively safe.  Both Aldous Huxley and George Orwell included a drug in their dystopian novels that calmed the population to keep them occupied.  Both authors feared even in their time, the idea of a world government that would quickly and without discussion become out of control.   Do you think that might be the reason those in the upper classes, who are afraid of the unwashed masses, might support the use of recreational drugs today?

 They think a dumbed-down, distracted population, controlled by an unlimited one-world government is the solution to world peace.  They equate world peace to more money and power for themselves.  They come to this conclusion in Wundtian fashion without regard for the soul or the desires of many to do more for themselves that merely have a safe and happy existence. They have not employed the scientific method. They tell us and themselves they have and developed no usable theory.  It is just another belief, based in an ancient myth; one most people had no idea how frightening the limits of “the one-world” were.  Eventually, left unchecked, they will use Soviet and Alinsky style controls to get power and line their pockets. 

The Second Myth

Photo – Elizabeth Blanquel – Unsplash

The second myth is that there is some proven practical system already devised and used in some other school, or once-upon-a-time place that teaches reading, writing, and arithmetic extremely well and produces relatively age-appropriate literacy in those areas.  It has never happened that way.  There is no universal system of the sort.  Progressive education tells us that they have reams and reams of data and studies to back up their methods, but all of them are the same basic old German methodology that is out of sync with American Constitutional values.  Of course, removing the protections we have been guaranteed by the Constitution has been their plan all along.

The third and last section on schools will be posted in a couple of days. Meanwhile, take time to leave us your email so we can keep you up to speed on new books, events or other stories. Just use the Mailerlite form in the sidebar. No spam, we promise

[1] Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling John Taylor Gatto, 2017/1992 New Society Publishers, POB 189, Gabriola Island, BC, BCVoR 1Xo, Canada

Our Schools are not Smart

Photo – Unsplash

 Modern Schools are not smart

Part One – As the probable cause report on Adult Arrested Adolescent gets closer to its end, schools must be the last and most sensitive area of concern. It is because nice people and dupes have allowed the National Education Agency, which is not national, not education, and not as the word seems to imply, part of our government — to function as if it were. The National Education Agency is the poster child for a progressive group that is hidden by its name. The NEA is a union in the style of the old brass knuckles AFL/CIO and Teamsters. It is not about educating children as much as representing teachers. If it were appropriately named it would be the Progressive Teachers Association. Its self-undertaken role to make schools subject to centralized style, top-down control is the problem for America and our school systems. By now, the evidence that the left has no boundaries to how they will skew things should be evident. It is no stretch then to look at the National Education Agency and find more than one hobgoblin in their activity. The American Federation of Teachers has similar clout, financing, and progressive bent. Both groups are some of the biggest donors to primarily progressive, Democrat political campaigns.

There are numerous books, journals, articles, and online stories on modern education that say our schools are failing. Before we go into describing the sins of those who purposely misuse and purposely design failure into our system there is something else that is important. In 1981, almost 40 years ago Ronald Reagan had a study made that you should find interesting – read it as your time allows. One of its major findings was:

Secondary school curricula have been homogenized, diluted, and diffused to the point that they no longer have a central purpose. In effect, we have a cafeteria style curriculum in which the appetizers and desserts can easily be mistaken for the main courses

Photo-Jens Johnson, Unsplash

The single biggest problem with fixing them is the concept that “there must be a way for us to follow.” Most famously, in recent times is Common Core. The problem is not that specific system regardless of who designed it. It is the idea that there is a way, common, singular. It is not, “No Child Left Behind,” ” Montessori, ” or “Every Student Succeeds Act” either.

 There is no one-size-fits-all method that applies well to anything. Did you know the first shoes were neither right nor left? It did not matter what foot you put them on. The idea did not last long. The average thinker who has tried multi-tools, do-it-all cooking pots, or similar gadgets sold on late-night TV should be aware of that. You don’t work on the Space-X rocket with a cheap sloppy adjustable wrench. You use tools designed for the situation. Teaching should focus on local needs and the teachers should be allowed to design their own methods within a set of learning goals. Those teachers are much more likely to reach high goals than a loose-fitting government blob of data.

 The public assumes that someone somewhere has created a well-balanced set of educational attainments that prepare our children to be good citizens, good employees who know how to manage their money and deal with bills and a household. We want children to be comfortable with science and mathematics well enough to do a good job or advance to higher-order skills in college. Graduates should also read and write well. To large a number are leaving schools with diplomas and with few or none of those skills.

Each community has different needs. The children who will make their lives in those communities need to be educated to meet community them. To attempt to force-fit an adjustable education to Chicago and Southern Louisiana with the same curriculum is a poorly thought out plan. It is an attempt to make education easy. The only way teaching is easy and applicable is within a family setting in a community where children are safe and supported by extended members. It worked quite well that way for many years either side of the Revolutionary War. That changed with government control of education after the Civil War. This can be substantiated by a short review of how schools have worked in the past. Applicable teaching is not easy for a centralized government source – so they dumb it down. Local school systems must take their own educational needs seriously and many do.

Over the last several decades, social meddlers have attempted to design education with a little bit of everything or a lot of only the things that are universal to all children’s needs. That did not work well either. There are of course some parts that are common, but just the common things are not education. Most importantly, schools have been playing babysitter too long. If it takes twelve years to educate children when the basics can be attained in only 100 hours, as experts have claimed, there is something wrong. What are they learning?

In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. Eric Hoffer, Ordeal of Change[1]

 They are fully indoctrinated to believe in contradictory messages. These are poorly substantiated Green movements whose goals are not what they seem to be. They teach racial inequality by teaching equality – each step defines a more difficult level of equality to reach, making perpetuation of racial unrest the norm.  They teach anti-violence while simultaneously enforcing class division with tests that separate the higher scoring to the lowest scoring. The actual effect is for the students to easily see who the “dumb” ones are; and that is how they view it. Their non-violence goals also ignore the validity of the Constitution and the amendments that enumerate areas government is not allowed to regulate. Then classes devalue human life while teaching sexual education in fringe courses. Schools teach no moral codes or the need for personal codes of conduct. Instead, they expect all of us to look to government authority as the judge of human behavior. Then they attack the foundations of America – especially religion, the character of our founders, and the actions of people by rewriting history in textbooks and publications like the 1619 Project. The trouble with all of this stems from those around thirty-five years of age who are primarily taught in progressive schools and are fully Adult Arrested Adolescents. They have been taught to think they should apply 21st-century values to those who were living in 18th and 19th-century conditions they know nothing about.

The NEAs stated goal is to change America from a country of individual free thinkers to one of inclusion, collectivism, and decision making based on feelings, e. g. progressive.

A part of the progressive educational process is to always keep the students in a lower rank, having little power, and therefore in many schools, the students live by a code that tells them that to be “too smart” is not a good idea.  This is an unintended consequence of an education system in which the inmates recognize the lack of coherence and shallow content of the program. Therefore, they think they should just shut up, get out of school any way they can and do as they please.  They have no idea how they will get on with their lives unless their parents continue to support them, or luck intervenes. 

Parts two and three will follow this blog in the week August 17 – 21. Sign up, give us your email and we will notify you of upcoming offers, new books, and good news. Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments.

Photo – Toa Heftiba, Unsplash

[1] Hoffer, Eric, Ordeal of Change, 2006, Hopewell Publications, LLC., Titusville, NJ

About Adolescence Then and Now

Photo – Anna Vander Stel, Unsplash

O Adolescence, O Adolescence,
I wince before thine incandescence.
Thy constitution young and hearty
Is too much for this aged party.
Thou standest with loafer-flattened feet
Where bras and funny papers meet.
When anxious elders swarm about
Crying “Where are you going?”,
thou answerest “Out,”
Leaving thy parents swamped in debts
For bubble gum and cigarettes….
Ogden Nash,

What we know about Adolescence now.

Part One – In the last post, the discussion was about Hoffer and Adult Arrested Adolescence. If we are going to examine the theory of the Tri-A maybe describing adolescence would be good.

To review, the thesis is that certain adults keep adolescent characteristics well into adulthood, partially out of habit but also because as their brains develop, they get “stuck” in adolescence. My first question was, “If they fail to break out of an adolescent thought structure do their brains fully develop?” Observation seems to show they do not.

This connects to two of the principal features of the adult arrested adolescent state. The first is what Hopper describes as “damaged self” and it is a description of a type of personality development that includes substantial self-loathing. The second is a matter of brain development that fixes (arrests) the adult in the complex of adolescent behaviors.

There is a third concern, and it is that Adult Arrested Adolescents (TriA) are easily groomed for risky street protest activity by movement organizers. Since the adult brain is not fully formed until the age of 25 years, it is not fully capable of critical analysis until approximately that age. So, they are easily led. Failing to break out of adolescent naïveté and into adult responsibility leaves them in a thinking pattern that is so emotional and so able to believe two or more completely contradictory ideas; they may eventually need the help of a psychiatrist or counselor.

You try to protect them from something like this – but this is something new. It is due, many professionals conclude and empirical evidence suggests, to the protective nature of helicopter parents and a permissive agendized society that wants children to be pliable and easily led. Adolescence was once a very brief period of development. Today it may last from ages 12 through 24. That may be why your kiddo spends most of their time playing and will not keep a job.

Photo – Mauro Lima, Unsplash

Everything your child hears sees or reads today has been written with an intent to persuade them to adopt some cause or buy some product. They are also urged toward a liberal agenda as if it were a religion. It’s not coming from the black and white TV screens mounted on dark grey walls like Orwell’s movie 1984. But even while coming from the bright lights and colorful videos and animations, the aim is no different. News commentators, late-night hosts, sit-coms and sanctimonious documentaries tell us we must do something to save something else. It is all converting your child — and you into a different worldview.

Along with that limitation, s smothering parents and the progressive schools leave them with no adult script as they grow older. As Ammie Holmquist described in her article on “Adulting,” they may become attracted to any person or movement that promises to care for them. The article points out that Adulting schools have been created to teach children basic chores taught by parents in previous generations.

The latest generations of parents have kept their children so involved in band, track, dance, and other after school activities that they have less opportunity to learn from extended family. It is doubtful the latest round of parents can teach the same practical chores of just twenty-five years ago. Children are told they are special, that great things are in store. As a result, they wait around with their video games for those things to happen. Children who are taught they are exceptional get the idea they are owed good things. Some never even consider doing something to get them through their own effort.

Children who are never taught how to lose and win cannot deal effectively with difficult periods of life. Peter Grey, In Psychology Today, said “America’s college students are delicate, immature wusses who become traumatized, get the vapors and seek professional counseling any time they face adversity or — God forbid — earn a grade lower than a ‘B.” Grey blames “helicopter parents” who have kept their kids so busy with after school activities where they are protected and coddled. Their games have no winners, their achievements are made on safe sports courts and their practical education is made up of things they paste to cardboard display boards in science classes.

The results of the 2016 election show that his ideas have merit as liberal college kids sought counseling in record numbers when Hillary Clinton did not win the 2016 election. There is the opposite of being pampered. My children are adopted. After leaving law enforcement working in the adoption field was my next step. There was a big learning curve as well as some familiar themes on behavior and psychology. Children who are abandoned, mistreated, hurt, or deprived are just as confused by a system without parents. My children were lost in a world of make-believe to the point I once heard them comparing which Pokemon hero would best protect them if a burglar broke in the house. Many children coming through the foster care system were prone to magical thinking and believing in myth. They were the same type of “damaged” person that Hoffer described. There are always some in every one of my classrooms. They need attention, they get lost in Manga fantasy comics and are easily led by social movements and imaginative games and movies. They are easily led to gangs, race-related beliefs, and proselytizing from community organizers. They are told they are somehow being picked on and the deck is stacked against them. There is even a backward belief that it does not make any difference if they get an education, no one is going to let them be successful. They too become victims of a different brand of mass movement populist, most of whom forget them until the next election.

The main things you will see in adolescents are these six traits. Any parent who has dealt with a child between two and twenty-one is familiar. The next step will be to compare these things to what we see when the Tri-A is in action either in your world or the world stage.

A shortlist of adolescent characteristics:

• Creation and asserting identity, who am I?
• Resisting Rules and Authority/Magical Thinking
• It is a highly emotional period, ranging from hilarity to depression.
• Independence and self-centeredness
• Creating strong friendships
• Rapid changes in behavior, identity disturbance – or trying to find oneself.

In the Tri-A, these characteristics look a little different. You have a young adult through a full-grown older person who still thinks like an adolescent.

Seeking Identity – these fall into one of several groups. One I have dealt with often in law enforcement hiring is the “Comma Guy” who is not happy with the answer to, “Who am I?” They want to become police officers to answer that question. Their business card will then read, Bill Dewanabe, Police Officer. What comes after the comma can be private investigator, massage therapist (unlicensed,) but often can be translated – “self-proclaimed world’s foremost authority.” These types may have some college hours but are still poorly educated social misfits with low self-esteem. They want to re-invent themselves by literally wearing their identity as police officers, fire personnel, and of course, political candidates. They make poor police officers and worse politicians.

The next characteristic is resisting rules and magical thinking. Adolescence is a period characterized by both depression and a few manic periods thrown in. There will always be one who slips booze on the band bus or takes the family car on a joy ride with their friends long before they have a license. They have a bit of arrogance that says, the rules do not always apply to me. Move that forward into their late 20’s and they will have at least one DWI or minor arrest. Flaunting rules is like magical thinking, they have something special that makes the rules not applicable to them. In children, it means they believe in Santa Claus. But Tri-As, believe in unproven quasi-scientific doom and gloom scenarios right up to and including a zombie apocalypse caused by a rogue comet. They believe in the ‘butterfly effect,’ that is the wafting of wings of a butterfly in Colorado will cause a ripple that will eventually lead to a hurricane in the lower Caribbean.

Elsewhere you heard that adolescence is a highly emotional period of depression and hilarity. A lot of adults who binge drink, want quickie sex with anonymous partners, or often flip out into full rage are Tri-As who learned no impulse control. Suicides also fit into this mold. Those who learn some impulse control and can hide their highs and lows can be incredibly good in sales and motivation businesses, maybe entertainers. But the highs have lows and can become real psychological problems and being unable to control their emotions may become deadly. These Tri-As are the bomb-throwers in their chosen mass movement. Add to that, they are often willing to die for the cause, and every hill is the one they want to die on. From the perspective of a manager of a business or a police agency – we cannot have those people around because they are completely unpredictable. But to an agenda-driven community organizer, these people are golden. It does not bother them that they may die – the movement may not let them live after the revolution anyway. So many, like the Bolsheviks and the Brown Shirts found that out the hard way.

The last three categories in the list can be positives as well as negatives. Good friends are important to everyone, but having friends you continue to call “nice guys” when they are doing bad things is a problem. The TriA cannot differentiate between a real friend and one who is simply using them. Both independence and loyalty can be misplaced when the TriA has enjoyed the new friends in the local chapter of a mass movement. Even their parents cannot convince them the fun they are having in the group is not good. The last category, trying to find oneself should be done in good positive attempts to improve things. Following a cause and trying to promote a myth created by community organizers or Hezbollah are not positives. But young people do it every day and join a cause that will ultimately ruin them.

If our country has such a huge number of adult and almost adult people, who lack critical thinking skills, think magically, and are groomed to only accept the word of a central authority inside government or a politically correct does the country have a crisis? It is after all the very essence of the argument for the separation of Church and State. The overall tilt of society toward social issues is the very epitome of a religion. It is buying into a system that demands it be able to tell us what do to.

Photo – Library of Congress, Unsplash

This is part one of a three-part article. Part 2 will discuss how a huge Union and mythology affect education. It will also introduce you to a Teacher of the Year who says schools indoctrinate rather than teach…

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About the Police – High Standards

Part Two – A modern police agency must have certain things, a court to which arrested persons are referred to guarantee rights, like Miranda, bond, legal representation, and judgment. Usually, there is some sort of jail or holding cell, and then the offender is transferred to a county-level system. A police department cannot operate without a supportive court system and the will of the city/county elected officials to monitor them. They are, by one definition, the last resort for a community. When a family or some citizens cannot control themselves, the city uses the police. Most importantly, the police are there because the city’s streets, roads, and other delights cannot keep 100% of the people happy.

Why do we have a police agency anyway? Simply, because writing up a city charter with lofty goals and written do’s and don’ts is not sufficient to give the other 99% of the population of any given city protection from the 1% who will try to live by the ancient moral code of, “you are not the boss of me.”

That simple fact should throw cold water on the concept of “defunding” the police and sending in helpful social workers. At least a tiny percentage will act criminally if for no other reason because there is a rule that says they cannot. They will not react well to someone wagging a finger in their face or suggesting that they channel their aggressive tendencies into more socially acceptable behaviors. Experience has taught us that getting old is the only predictable reason for a criminal to stop their behavior. That is because it just gets too hard to deal with the jail, the fines, or family pressure as the mind and body grow older. No prison reform system has been created that successfully “rehabilitates” criminals. That is a sad, but simple fact.

Photo – Damir Spanic, Unsplash

Police agencies were created when the Night Watch system failed. Just leaving a lookout, roaming the city sounds fine, but the reality was that those chosen were drunks, thieves themselves, or tended to sleep all night. A true police agency was not founded until organizational and philosophical procedures were established. The revisionist history theorists want to lump what they call slave catchers in with the night watch. Their goal is disingenuous, it is not to correct history, but to attempt to tie slavery to the foundation of not only policing but America’s early history. That is a factual error. Slave catching was never involved, and should never be associated with Criminal Justice in any way. It does not have a connection to a court system, city charter, or organizational and procedural underpinnings. The “arrested” had no rights, no protection of an attorney, nothing. Typically, when slaves were caught, they got a beating. That too is not part of an organized, professional police agency.

What advocates of a watered-down police approach ask for is accountability and a system that allows the police and courts the discretion to give leniency to some offenders, with honesty on all levels. But accountability and a system that gives leniency to some and not others are self-contradictory. The police feel the same way about accountability – at least those who deserve to wear the uniform do. But this is one place where equality is not well-liked by nice people who see enforcement as something sad for the offender. Holding others accountable often results in sadness which the soft-hearted find troubling. That is a problem with maturity.

What they all miss due to their own inability to think critically, is that those are the organizational guidelines every police agency in America uses now. What confounds those practices are, liberal, contradictory policies; making police jobs a part of union bargaining, allowing political pressure to throttle police investigation of criminality and criminal organizations, and applying utopian thinking to a procedure that deals with imperfect and broken things.

Unions are inherently Marxist/utopian ideas, whereas police agencies are inherently conservative. Police respond when social order has broken down. At best they restore the status quo – they do not reach past status quo and create a perfect or utopian society. That is not in the job description nor is it practical. The only place where near-utopian standards are called for in police agencies is in hiring and in their executive management positions. Good backgrounds are indicators of good future conduct.

Unions always try to lower hiring standards in the name of fairness, equality, and lower salaries. Such liberal and leftist thinking always see police recruitment as a jobs program to either lower salaries or build a voting base. That type of hiring devolves into a low average group of persons in areas like skill, education, ability to communicate, and learn. I have called them “beige” police recruits for years. That practice skews the ability of the hiree to perform a higher level of police performance. Police agencies need education and higher relative intelligence to meet their organizational goals. Dumbing down their hiring policies is backward thinking. They have no vibrancy; they have no willingness to be exceptional or to be people of exemplary conduct. Liberal thinking about hiring in this way always works against the elevation of the overall performance of every public service. If all one thinks they are doing is hiring voters for their political party any upright hominid will do. That sort of hiring will have exactly the same type of effect on hiring social workers or whatever discipline of substitute for police officers is chosen, with the same outcome.

Photo – Sarah Killian, Unsplash

About the Police

Post 1 of 3 Human beings must be socialized inside of a family structure. Almost every culture on the planet would agree wholly or in large part to that statement. That is the training for being able to live with others. Animals are instinctual, they have DNA sequences that control what they will become – usually some kind of killer. Even a hungry baby chick can hunt a bug down and kill it, and eat it. To the bug, the chick is a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

An alligator lays eggs, watches them, and protects them until they get in the water on their own. Then in a flash, the male or female may eat half of them. The little alligators are killing machines themselves, chasing down smaller things until they grow. Neither has any boundary to cannibalistic murder. Humans left to themselves in small groups, will prey on other humans just as unapologetically.

Animal lovers like to remind us humans that we are part of the animal kingdom. Technically, that is true, but most animal lovers are nice people and they are trying to raise the importance of their animals by making them more human. The police know it is not always a move up the ladder. We have seen too many human miscreants and their ugliness.

The role of the police officer is not merely to protect property. It is primarily to protect human life. I never was forced to take a life, or even hurt someone during my many years as a police officer. But I saved several either by first aid or pulling them from wrecks, burning buildings or thirty feet of water. There seems no thought about what will happen when social welfare people are unable to deal with confirmed criminal who enjoys hurting people. It takes trained, dedicated people to remove that person from society.

When the miscreant – literally meaning the mistake in creation – shoots at a police officer or a random person they are in effect shooting at the entire society to which they belong. They are defying that thing called the social contract, that has literally supported him or herself since infancy. When they do this sort of thing, they have failed to be civil. They have descended into that of a predator animal – having grown large enough physically to hunt something down and kill it. There is a list of rules of lessening amounts of punishment for us to follow and there are other rules our families are supposed to teach us. The village has no responsibility to teach your or your children to follow the law, except through the publication of the rules and later the adjudication of those failures in a public court. If during their adolescent stage, they are not taught critical thinking skills, they will most likely not fit into society and one of my friends in law enforcement will encounter them early on. They will not make friends easily and will always seem needy, looking for someone to help them with life. When they do not learn to think critically, they flounder and will always want someone to guide them through life. When they join a radical movement, hoping to make a difference and do not see progress soon enough; they will become frustrated. Often, they reach the alligator stage and hunt down and kill someone; either an opponent or a leader they think has failed them e.g. Lincoln/Booth, Lenin/Trotsky, Yitzhak Rabin/uber-nationalists, Scalise/Hodgkinson.
We cannot continue to let non-American influences change how our very successful experiment with a government of, by, and for the people works. The police have a pivotal role in that government. The first form of government are our leaders. Hopefully, they will become our independent businessmen who offer their help with legislation after they have become successful. We must let our guaranteed freedoms of speech, religion, and God-given guarantees work without influences like political correctness. The only reason that anyone would want to remove the police is to allow those who do not like limitations on their activities to grow stronger.

Photo Leonello PiCatello – Unsplash

They want to tell you that their new idea is to put more thinking and kind people into the position of resolving disputes. That is a stalking horse argument. Their goals are not altruistic. As soon as they are allowed to gain control politically, they wiil try to take control directly of lives of those who formerly favored police. Those promoting the defund movement will create their own, stronger, more ruthless police. They are tyrannical, seeking more control and absolute control. Their police would be beholding to a small group of officials. Today, despite some claims, the police are supervised by the City Councils and State and County officials. Those officials are elected by the public. When the old police are no longer there to stop it, they will change that part of the law. Then the new police will appear.

The only way I can tell you I am certain this will happen, is that it has happened in every instance similar to this one in History. We tend to think of the French Revolution to be similar to ours. It was not, it was a fascist movement, that resulted in a new, organized, and deadly group of rulers who used the guillotine to solve all their problems.

Have Schools ignored the souls of our children for decades? Yes.

This week, we relaunched the websites and blog posts based on my book, Looking Backward, Forward. It is about the current climate of overreaching government control and congressional behavior that has characterized much of the 21st century. In it, I discuss a behavioral disorder called Adult Arrested Adolescence (TriA) that many people have developed. It is threatening the sovereignty of the United States and affects many areas of life. TriA’s think poorly because they have been taught to think with feelings or emotions. That is first-tier thinking, where first impressions, happy thoughts, and colorful images delight the senses. It is not the second-tier deeper analysis that helps us evaluate the worth of ideas, people, and their schemes. These people went through adolescence without fully maturing, leaving the brain unprepared for adulthood and Critical Thinking. There are reasons why that happens and you will enjoy reading about them.

 Since I substitute teach in a high school, I have sometimes discussed critical thinking in my classes. Every year, I get a freshman who puffs up and complains they do not want to be critical. They do not want to think critically because it isn’t nice. Their thinking is so superficial and they relate it to the political correctness they are taught on television and our culture. Critical thinking is not hate-speech, it is instead the skills you need to evaluate a problem or opportunity and form a judgment or solution. It is necessary for the full development of a young person’s identity and character. People who have so seldom used second-tier thinking in their adolescence, do not develop good critical thinking skills, and they have never developed their brains to do it well. What is worrisome, is that like some language skills, if the brain does not learn them early, it cannot learn them at all.

Remaining a Tri-A means the brain does not develop the “wrinkles” that serve to store memory. By using primarily first-tier thinking skills they are unable to distinguish emotions from thought. The stronger the emotion the more they will stifle their ability to be realistic and distort their views of situations and relationships. It allows them to believe in terms of slogans. They attach deep meaning to slogans like, “love is just a word” and “everything happens for a reason.”  While they perceive these words to mean something important, they mean nothing at all.  They are also able to combine multiple contradictory ideas that seem profound and meaningful. Such an event, almost 120 years ago had an unusual effect on politics and government, leading to the death of many people. It began innocently.

In the latter part of the 19th century, philosophers and scientists were just beginning to study human psychology. Psychotherapy and Sociology were not yet the well-developed areas of study they are today. Their ideas were fascinating and you can imagine the young and well-to-do college children in their coffee houses argued over them constantly. This was the age of Ivan Pavlov, whose experiments with dogs led to the observation that certain stimulus caused dogs to salivate when they were about to be fed. Another scientist of that time, Wilhelm Wundt, now known as the father of experimental psychology, decided that to study human beings, all elements of study must be measurable. In doing so, he threw out any consideration of the soul. That set the stage for experimental psychology to become attractive to social engineers like followers of Marx and Ingles. That set the stage for people hoping to improve and control the population to imagine the human being as a machine. If the right stimulus was added, a predictable reaction would happen.

Meanwhile, a funny thing happened along the road to the betterment of society and the education of its children.  It is remarkable, but it is a fact, that a simple romance novel, Looking Backward: 2000-1887, would be that influential. It was written by Edward Bellamy in 1888 and became the supporting mythology for social programs like socialism and Marxism in the twentieth century. It also played a role in creating the systems responsible for the Arrested TriA.

Edward Bellamy, a new author looking to make a few bucks writing romance novels wrote Looking Backward: 2000-1887. It was nothing more than that, a romance novel. The primary character was in love but experimented in many things including time travel. He put himself in a deep coma in 1887 and was not found in his special laboratory until the year 2000. An influential scientist found him and showed him a Utopian society. His true love was now dead, but her granddaughter was by then about the same age as when he went to sleep. That inter-generational love is the rest of the story.

What the readers read into it were the descriptions of how the society worked. While it was seemingly perfect, the book did not describe any real way to achieve those goals other than simple phrases like, “We worked together.” Bellamy despised socialism, so he called this new form of government nationalism. But the hundreds of young socialist-minded theorists who talked about politics in coffeehouses thought they saw more. Keep in mind this was before even the First World War. The world had not seen the results of socialism run wild.

The rest is history. Although there were no methods described to achieve this society, the budding Socialists needed none. Many German and Russian theorists were creating theories and having fun debating them. Marx and Ingles were still writing letters, articles, and the two-volume Das Kapital about that time. Bellamy’s book led to the creation of over 200 Nationalist clubs throughout Europe. These clubs were mostly college clubs for young, pampered, boys and girls whose brains had not finished growing. They were able to connect many contradictory ideas to support 200 Nationalist Clubs around Europe. A surprising number of influential young people found themselves still influenced by Bellamy’s book years later. They eventually grew up and took those socialist ideas in the place of “nationalist” into their new careers. The most striking is John Dewey, the so-called Father of American Education. He believed in the possibilities of the novel, included the idea that spirituality and the belief in the Bible were useless to educating children. He did think of creating his own religion in one of his writings, but only as a way of controlling the people in a movement.

What we find today, is that an even greater number of these same types of shallow thinkers have been created, either in a huge case of unintended consequences or just as likely by intent. In a headlong pursuit of socialist ideals, Socialism is still popular with our youth. At the same time, the concepts of manipulating people through propaganda found in both Nazi Germany and the Cold War USSR have gone mainstream. The Chinese have used behavioral conditioning (The Manchurian Candidate) and the American CIA (The Men Who Stare at Goats) used mind-altering drugs to interrogate and manipulate their targets. That has not been lost on the United States merchandisers, marketing people or our education professionals. The latter being why we have lost both prayer and the pledge in schools. It is also why parents complain of politically correct indoctrination. Both parents and the ultimate authority found in the Bible, get in the way of modern school indoctrination. Over the last few election cycles, behavioral techniques have been used on the voting public. They reached their height during the 2008 and 2016 elections. A later post will cover that in-depth.

Our schools have been teaching contradictory messages, using top-down centralized control of students to the point they do not think well for themselves. They have been taught to always defer to their teacher, then the principal, or the coach and the administration for questions of final authority. This type of teaching has been going on for years, so neither parents nor students know how to think for themselves. What has been created are young people tailor-made to be street fighters, fuzzy thinkers who not only are behaving that way in our streets, but in every type of business, government, and social service business. There is a lot more to how that change took place, and it almost sounds like I’m describing a single step process. But it is more complicated than that. This is only the fourth blog of at least twenty-five that relate to my book titled, Looking Backward, Forward. It is, I hope obvious that I think we need to move away from the unintended consequences of Bellamy and onward to something better.

What you should not do is assume this is a blanket criticism of all schools. There are some good ones. More importantly, the values and ethics of many teachers have not changed. Sure, there are some agendized teachers. But the majority of teachers and school professionals are just that professional. But, government guidelines, forced down their throats by the Teachers Union that is the National Education Agency force schools into some activity that is not helpful. The Michelle Obama school lunch policy stands tall among those not well-liked by the students.

Creating these types of non-thinkers results from forced school attendance, school discipline policies that put children at odds with their teachers, administrations that place students into class ranks, and a culture that no longer values education. So, the school boards and the administration stress discipline over everything – including learning. Therefore, schools are operated increasingly by discipline and rank order. What we have produced is a group of children, not all of them but many, who are groomed to be followers of mass movement tyrants, and community organizers who will use them to achieve their goals. There is a way to upend this policy, but it would be a sea change in how schools are taught – and there are no proven, perfect ways of teaching. Most people imagine some society has a perfect example of education, but the best systems fit the community and the people in it. No one method will ever suit every community.

These blogs will cover the main topics of an almost 400-page book that was published in 2018. Do not buy the current version now. A second edition is coming. The blogs are free, and I hope you will sign up to follow the blog regularly. I will post several to kick things off and then they will come slightly further apart until they arrive once or twice a week. At the same time, I will discuss current topics in light of how they relate to the Adult Arrested Adolescent focused upon Pro-America themes.

Critical Thinking: About Capitalism, Freedom, Education and the Tri-A

Jesse Marini – Unsplash

The book upon which this blog series is based, Looking Backward, Forward is about government control and pugnacious congressional behavior in the 21st Century. That relates to the Adult Arrested Adolescent or TriA that has become a crisis for the future of the USA. The TriA is a behavioral disorder that describes how some people in the United States and other countries think. And they think poorly if at all because they have been taught to think with feelings or emotions. That is first-tier thinking, where first impressions, happy thoughts, and colorful images delight the senses. It is not a deeper second-tier analysis that helps us evaluate the worth of ideas, people, and their schemes.

These people went through adolescence without fully maturing, leaving the brain unprepared for adulthood and critical thinking. Their peers tell them this is new thinking, and they should distrust other points of view. They may actually have a bias toward vacuous but intelligent-sounding myths. There are reasons why that happens and I hope you will enjoy reading about them. I would be happier to be wrong. But that, I fear is not the case.

New thinking is biased toward old myths

 Since I substitute teach in a high school in my retirement, I have sometimes discussed critical thinking in my classes. Being in Texas a non-union state, we have a very good school that turns out students that perform well in UIL competition. We have turned out a Gold Level FFA Program, a great award-winning band, and at least one very popular NFL star. Even so, every year, I get a freshman who puffs up and complains they do not want to think critically; because critical thinking is like hate speech. That is an example of what I mean – their thinking relates to political correctness ideas that float in the ignorance pool of our culture. Critical thinking is not hate-speech, it is instead the skill you need to evaluate a problem or opportunity and form a judgment or solution. It is the goal of education.

These first-tier thinkers so seldom use second-tier thinking in their adolescence, they have never developed their brains to do it well. In my experience, the young people who are involved in the technology trades, pharmacy, nursing, mechanics, welding/fabrication, engineering, veterinary and agricultural skills are deeper thinkers and understand their world much better than those who are steeped in literature, laboratory, and mathematics pursuits.

Remaining a TriA leaves the person with an emotional thinking process. Using primarily first-tier thinking skills they are unable to distinguish emotions from thought. The stronger the emotion the more they will stifle their ability to be realistic and distort their views of situations and relationships. It allows them to believe those vacuous slogans. They attach meaning to phrases that mean nothing like, “love is just a word” and “everything happens for a reason.”  They are also able to combine multiple contradictory ideas that sound deep and meaningful. My favorite from my college days was the Zen question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

Almost 20 years ago an odd thing happened with a romance novel. That began with the publication of the book, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy.* In the latter part of the 19th century, the concept of a Utopian society that ran itself became popular.  The coffee shop idealists found deep meaning in the book. The ideas were all based on socialist beliefs that try to make people into almost identical parts of a single government.  It is remarkable that one single book,* appears to have become the supporting mythology of social programs like socialism, progressivism, liberalism, and Marxism in the twentieth century. It also played a role in creating the system responsible for the Arrested TriA.

Romantic Socialists or confused TriAs

Photo – Tim Householder, Unsplash

Edward Bellamy, a new author looking to make a few bucks writing romance novels wrote Looking Backward. It was not intended to be more than that. The primary character was in love but experimented in many things including time travel. He put himself in a deep coma and was found in the year 2000 in a utopian society. His true love was now dead, but her granddaughter was just about the same age as when he went to sleep. That inter-generational love is the rest of the story. What the coffee house crowd saw was a book about their concept of utopia. They added their socialism and what were then new social project ideas into the story and formed Nationalist Clubs. They had Bellamy’s blessing because he used the term Nationalist in his books, including the national ownership of all means of production. He described its successes, but he did not also show how they achieved that success. His focus was on the romance. But the socialists thought they saw through it and the rest is history. Although there were no methods for how this society was to be put together, the Socialists needed none, Marx and Ingles were writing essays, broadsides, articles and trying to finish Das Kapital. Many others were bloviating on better ways to run the society, steering it toward a utopia of their own. These clubs were mostly college clubs for young, pampered, boys and girls whose brains had not completely finished growing. They were able to connect many contradictory ideas to support 200 Nationalist Clubs around Europe.

What we find today, is that many of these same types of shallow thinkers have been created, either in a huge case of unintended consequences or just as likely — by intent. Our schools have been teaching contradictory messages, using top-down centralized control of students to the point they do not think well for themselves. They have been taught to always defer to their teacher, then the principal, the coach, and the administration for questions of final authority. Students and their parents have gone to the same type of schools for the last 50 years. Neither of them received no real instruction about deeper thinking unless it came from their families. Many cannot think deeply and instead just follow the fashion and whim of their friends. They imagine themselves free when they are bound in chains to an ideology and have lost their freedom in the process.

Photo – Olmez,

Schools focus on discipline due to the deep fear of public embarrassment. Children getting into fights at school, pregnant in stairwells, or hurt by bullies bring about harsh criticism, complaints, and threats of lawsuits. The student body cannot get out of control. Therefore, discipline and rank order is the way schools are operated. What we have produced is a group of children, not all of them but many, who are perfect followers of mass movements tyrants. That is a much more complicated story, but the series of blogs will cover that topic and more.

The result of our children having their education dumbed down and their social responsibility made overly important is that we have tailor-made street fighters; fuzzy thinkers who not only are behaving that way in our streets, but in every type of business, government, and social service business. They are welcomed into movements like Black Lives Matter because they will drink the Koolaid, become true believers, and sacrifice themselves to make the world a better place. That promise is usually a lie.


In the next blog in this series, I will compare known adolescent characteristics with the Tri-A and explain further how that is harmful both to the person and the nation.

The blogs will cover the main topics of an almost 400-page book that was published in 2018. But do not buy one now. A second edition is coming. But the blogs are free, and I hope you will sign up to follow the blog regularly. I will post several to kick things off and then they will come slightly further apart until they arrive once or twice a week, mainly focused upon Pro-America themes.

W.D. Edmiston, Robert Starr, Arlington J North, Allen Spence, D. LaRue Mahlke

Photo – William Olmez, Unsplash


There is a moving song about indecision called loving arms. Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge made it a hit in 1973, and more recently a girl group with their own indecision recorded it in 2015. The 1973 version made the song a memory for many people. The final chourus, after describing the mistake of leaving a loved one, believing the freedom to roam would be better got my attention the first time I heard it.
“Looking back and longing for the freedom of my chains, lying in your loving arms again.”
By 1973 I had both a strong Biblical training and had begun to finish, and pay for, the last of my classes in college, by pursuing a career in law enforcement. One of the things I learned was about liberty. From the Judeo-Christian model, we learned that liberty has constraints. That is the only way it works well. The basic model of both English Common law and The Constitution were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That is not a pro-religious statement as much as it is just a fact. That idea was well known in English Common Law, and probably the reason they were chosen to be included in the Declaration. The fact that follows from it is that America has become the most prosperous and helpful neighbor to her peers than any in history. . . with liberty and justice to all.
Contained or inferred in is Kristofferson’s being “too long in the wind.” That means being beyond control, at liberty but having no plan or goal. Even while the pledge mentions liberty, it is constrained by the responsibility to our Republic, To “keep it” as Franklin said, as our form of government. Let it control the country and the guarantees our Constitution offers. You are pledging yourself to the chains of that liberty. Also, within that liberty, is to respect the liberty of others. It means that agreeing to follow laws in this country is better than being without them. Nowhere in that liberty is the freedom to steal, assault, burglarize, damage them or their property, stop them or their cars on the street – or even shout in their face. That curtails their liberty – and like anger, there is no justification for taking another person’s liberty. The number of times the police hear a guy say, “Well yeah I hit her, but she made me mad!” are countless. The speaker always says it with such gusto – as if it was justification — some sort of get-out-of-jail card. It is not, and if you are using anger or your “right” to protest to hinder, much or harm others you are outside the law. Those are the chains of liberty. If a lover is to be faithful and true they must accept the chains of responsibility. Like in marriage, the lack of freedom to romance others, to accept responsibility for a partner, their health and individual needs as well as shared goals. The protestor, for his protests to remain relevant, must remain within the liberty of our chains.


W.D. Edmiston

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Democracy, Freedom, and the Adult Arrested Adolescent

A couple of years ago I wrote the book, Looking Backward, Forward.   It was published in early 2018.   At the time, having a Website and Blog was not on my mind and I had no idea what it could be. 

This is a positive viewpoint on the state of our people, it has a direct effect on what will happen on Election Day. I hope you will share it with others if you find it worthwhile. Your comments are appreciated.

The time has come for me to create a blog series for that book and to share some of my experience, education, and interest in research with my readers. This is the first of a long series. Along with it will be some topical diversions based on recent news and how the treatise of the book is reflected in daily events.

A blog that believes in the kind of America where we grew up

Some 40 percent of our population includes adults who are locked into thinking like an adolescent child, a term coined as Adult Arrested Adolescent, or Tri-A. They are adult people who act like children. Tri-As (pronounced Try-Aze) respond, think, act, and have outbursts of adolescent angst and emotion that, looks like an adolescent child. By empirical evidence I hope to show you this is not only a problem but an opportunity for the USA.

While this might strike you at first as a curiosity, it is not merely an observation about an obscure part of social psychology. If that many of our people are not mature, what can we infer or observe that may have a profound effect on our culture as we know it. What does that mean about how our government works? Is it observable in your daily life that the people around you, your bosses, the check out clerk, the people to whom you trust everything from your laundry to your financial transactions are emotional, feelings driven people?  Would you rather they be able to think critically, to adhere to the social contract that says do for others as you would expect them to do for you. The fact is, we may be at a tipping point from which we cannot return. To have a large section of our adult-aged population remain emotionally adolescent with a stunted ability to think is somewhat of a crisis.

The idea came from my first book on social networking behavior, in 2006 about the internet. The behavior there was so similar to classic Adolescent characteristics, it reminded me of  reading in college Eric Hoffer’s book, The True Believer, thoughts on the nature of mass movements, (1951.) Hoffer was the first to give us definitions and an understanding of how mass movements work. Central to his writing is the idea of the true believer. True believers see themselves as damaged as adolescents often do. They instinctively look for a way to fix themselves by becoming part of something bigger and not always better. Being famous for crazy stuff is good enough. Ideas like Progressivism, Socialism, Catholicism, Christianity as a religion, Protestantism, and Islam also contain a large number of fanatics. Social Reformers like Barack Obama seek out those who mistakenly or foolishly see themselves as nonredeemable. The reformers offer them glory by “hitching themselves” to a big movement. To accomplish that ruse, Obama bastardized an idea of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s whose suggestion was for the individual to personally set high goals, “hitched to stars” rather than subsume themselves to lower expectations. To be fair, warrior chiefs, generals, and all other forms of totalitarians seeking cannon fodder have used the same spiel throughout history. From those ideas, I began to look at them as seeds of a latter-day behavioral disorder called Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescence.  Hoffer didn’t say a word about the Tri-A himself, my research following his line of thinking led me to the Adult Arrested Adolescent.  

Utopian schemers have created the Tri-A to be the ideal follower of their causes.

Then as now, Hoffer showed us that Utopians are constantly trying to fiddle with mainstream American culture. My own observations and research tell me not much has changed. Creating the Tri-A takes that one step further, and it was not an accident. By manipulating the American school systems quietly and promoting political correctness they have changed many of our youth into followers instead of leaders.  They have created the Tri-A to be the perfect activist for social causes – most of which are a myth. My investigative training as a police officer taught me to use empirical data. In other words, data that was readily observable. So, to a degree, this may read a little like an offense report. One day, I expect the Tri-A or a behavioral disorder by a similar name to be in the Desk Reference to Diagnostic Criteria. It may become a diagnosis like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Depression, Anorexia, or Bulimia.

After WWII and the revelations of what fanaticism had done to millions in the world, Hoffer could study the direct cause and effect of manipulative governments and populist leaders.  Hoffer watched these activities as they occurred during the 1930s (Nazism or Social Democracy) through the 1950s (Stalinism) He then compared them in The True Believer to ideas that are more ancient and the words of those who spoke on similar eternal truths. He favored  Montesquieu the philosopher and originator of the idea of separation of powers in government.  What he taught us has passed the test of time.  Hoffer understood mass movements because he immersed himself in the topic. Since 2006 I have spent hundreds of hours studying the Tri-A.   For the last three decades since first reading his book, I have applied his ideas to what has happened in America.  Since the lure of Utopian ideas and political movements are highly attractive to the person who feels he is damaged and incomplete they are interested in changing things.  Change — without any further definition has become a war cry for Progressive partisans. Their slogans sound profound and meaningful when they are just words that mean little or nothing. They are merely trying to recruit those who seek to reinvent themselves. The same partisan evangelists promise that change will make the damaged person whole but offer only fairness, equality, and promises of creating new legislation.  Each evangelist hopes that their one great effort will guarantee equality and fairness.  They tell every listener the solution is to promote the concept of centralization of all matters to the highest authority.  The first problem with all their solutions is that fairness and equality are concepts that work between individuals.  A third party, unless it is a judge deciding a fact of law, is a poor choice to determine fairness for others. So is a judge, but that’s how we set it up in the legal system. Fair solutions cannot be enforced by a top-down structure that comes from an overeager government.  As far as centralization and dictation from the government are concerned – why do we think people in government know better?  The kids of my heyday would have said, “Who died and made you king?”  Secondly, teaching that there is an ultimate authority to which all disputes can be referred does not teach self-reliance and the ability to negotiate with your friends and neighbors.  In early civilizations, the elders of some societies met at the city gate to act as judges in disputes.  It is an ancient method, more a teaching experience on how to get along than a jury system. Involving the police or courts in your affairs speaks of a weakness of character. It says you cannot reach a constructive agreement effectively.  At that point, the only thing left is to recover damages from whatever the elements of the dispute show are called for. Letting others decide how to live your life is like shooting nuclear warheads.   A real rocket scientist who worked in the intercontinental missile program told me, “No matter what happens, if we use these things; we lose.”  To teach children that they cannot get through life without handouts or help from the “boss” is to teach them to be peasants.  We lose. Have you not asked yourself if there is something more serious going on when grown people have no understanding of things once taught in high school or working with their parents?  They cannot understand or construct simple sentences or grasp more complex issues like cause and effect?   Were you slightly amused at the number of people who went to psychiatrists because their candidate lost the election in 2016?  Do the people who serve you, work for you, sit next to you at a ball game sometimes amaze you with their childish view of things?  Do you wonder how they arrive at concepts like, “Drug-free zones” or “Safe Spaces” since those are hopelessly childish views of how social control works?  That is the point.  They are not just acting like kids; they really are still adolescents behaviorally. They let others tell them how to live. They get furious and hateful when things do not always work out in their favor because they interpret fair and equal as “The way I want it to be.”  Then they get elected to public office.

W.D. Edmiston, Robert Starr, Arlington J North, Allen Spence, D. LaRue Mahlke

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