Is America still a free country? Many of us like to think so. Yes, we can get into a car and drive wherever we want. But the high cost of gas now prevents us from taking the longer trips we’d like to take. We can still go to the mall and buy whatever we want, even though prices have gone up. We can still read whatever we want, and we can say whatever we want. But when it comes to education, suddenly we are confronted with compulsory school attendance laws, compulsory property taxes to pay for the government schools, compulsory testing, compulsory inoculations, forced busing, restrictions against prayer, forced sex ed, death ed, and drug ed. And now, every day over four million children are forced to take Ritalin, a powerful mind- and mood-altering drug, if they want to attend the government school.
Most people take the alphabet for granted. It has been a part of our culture and civilization for so long that most of us haven't the faintest idea of how or where it originated. Yet the idea of using abstract symbols — which we call letters — to stand for the speech sounds of a language is one of the greatest intellectual inventions in all of human history.
The other day I was having dinner at a friend's house and was chatting with his 12-year-old daughter who attends a local public school. I asked her how she was doing, and she told me that she hated school -— not merely disliked school, but hated it.
On July 4, 1776, after months of heated debate, representatives of the Continental Congress voted unanimously that “these United Colonies are and of right ought to be Free and Independent States.”