My first experience with this phenomenon came at the ripe old age of 18. I had problems understanding why a 23-year-old Lieutenant with an Animal Husbandry degree from Clemson University, and less than 7 months in the Army, was more qualified to lead men into combat than a 40-something sergeant with a 10th grade education and several years of combat experience in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. What the hell, the Army said he did, and since they were the representatives of the omnipotent State, they were the ultimate authority.
Again in Vietnam, the State ordained another fiasco. Those in the field came to call it the "Shake n Bake" program. Qualified mid-level Non-Commissioned Officers (sergeants), many with more than a decade in the Army, were leaving in droves because of the debacle that was Vietnam. No one with the State had yet thought of the back door draft called stop-loss. To counter this loss of personnel, the Army/State designed what to them was the perfect solution. They would take a new recruit/draftee who had scored high on his Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) and place him in a Non-Commissioned Officers Course. After 22 weeks of schooling, the candidate would graduate as an E-5, while the top 5% were made E-6s. They were immediately sent to Vietnam and placed in the position of Platoon Sergeant over soldiers of lower rank, many of whom had more time in combat than these "instants" had in the Army! The resentment was immediate: not exactly healthy or conducive to success in a combat unit!
Could certifications and qualifications, when issued by the State; be not a guarantee of competence, but instead an indication of an acceptable level of indoctrination? Where could this phenomenon be more obvious than in academia? A person can have years of experience in a particular field of study, but be unqualified in the eyes of the State to impart their knowledge and experience to students. Without a battery of tolerance and diversity courses, the State believes one should never be in the presence of students seeking an education.
I have often wondered if the State issued with each certification or qualification certificate, a degree of arrogance? The thought again came to mind when corresponding with a professor from a well-known college in one of our Southern States. He took issue with my article comparing the situation in Iraq today with that in Vietnam in 1968. He went into great detail to inform me that, "we" won the Tet offensive. While I was not in country during Tet, I did attend the 20th anniversary reunion of the Tet Offensive in Richmond, Virginia, in January of 1988. I heard hundreds of veterans of those battles speak of "surviving" Tet, but I never once heard them speak of the campaign as a victory.
I assumed that since the professor had used the word "we" in his email; he was a veteran. When I questioned him as to his military service, he became incensed that one could imagine that made a difference. His reply was, "Lets see... where was I ???? That makes a difference, does it? And you served in Nam? I know another who did that and he is a traitor." This "experts" certification certainly came with an arrogance enhancement.
I also received an email on my first article at LRC from a professor who is chairman of a historical society. His comment on my declaration that "I am an anarchist as defined by Robert LeFevre," and that I saw the government of the Confederacy responsible for atrocities committed in its name, was, "What your article proves is: what was needed was more government, not less;" I suppose only a "State Certified" person would be qualified to make such an assessment.
Several years ago, I met a man from Colorado who had sold his software engineering company for millions. He was piloting his own Lear Jet and had flown into Tucson, Arizona, for the day to play a round of golf. During conversation, he told me he had recently gone to a local university in his hometown and offered to teach in the Computer Engineering department, pro bono. He was surprised when the dean of that department called him and said, "no thanks." He was informed he was not qualified to teach without proper certification and therefore the university would not be able to accept his offer. To the State, actually succeeding in your chosen field of endeavor does not equate, in any way, with their bestowed honor of certification.
If one had a son or daughter wishing to pursue a career in the computer field, the wisdom and experience of such a man would be invaluable. Yet, the system as it stands, will not allow the benefits of such wisdom and experience. It is more important that one receive the proper Marxist/statist theories and sensitivity training rather than knowledge which could provide monetary gain for themselves and their families and make them valuable members of society.
Considering the States requirements, Bill Gates would be deemed unqualified to teach a course in entrepreneurship without the proper State indoctrination.
This nation has an abundance of people with a vast amount of experience in many fields. They have acquired that level of practical knowledge as opposed to those in the teaching profession who have only dealt with theory. Many of these folks could make fantastic contributions to the education of our youth, but to the NEA and State certification boards, theory and proper socialist/statist indoctrination is much more important than experience and knowledge.
Is it not remarkable that the mere mention of God is not allowed in our schools, but the concepts of Statism reign supreme? We are making a terrible mistake by allowing the vetting of teachers by the State. It is obviously not important that our children learn anything but the concepts endorsed by the State!
No matter what perfumed version of socialism proposed by government, the results are the same. The only difference in the much vaunted education programs of the Clintons (Goals 2000) and those of the Bush regime (No child left behind) are their names. The goals of indoctrination and political correctness are identical, the only difference being NCLB comes with a much higher price tag.
I have heard and read many in this country that say they are aware of the shortcomings of the schools, but they supplement their childrens education at home. This is a tragic mistake. You may be able to give your children more knowledge at home, but how are you going to combat 6 hours of liberal/socialist/statist indoctrination? That equates to 30 hours each week. How many of us have that amount of time with our children?
One of the despotic acts by King George III that led to many leaving England and coming to the new world was the requirement that all preachers/ministers be licensed and sanctioned by the crown. This insured only the doctrine of the crown was disseminated to the masses: how convenient here in America for the States indoctrination to begin at age 5 or 6.
Our childrens minds are being stolen and poisoned by State ordained teachers and professors who have inherited a whole stable of sacred cows they revere and honor. There are notable exceptions, such as Professors Thomas DiLorenzo, Clyde Wilson, Thomas Woods, William Anderson, Butler Shaffer and Special Education Teacher Linda Schrock Taylor, but they are in a most distinct minority. Steven Yates writes a most compelling piece on why anyone who genuinely cares about their children should get them out of the clutches of the legions of statists.
We have absolutely no chance of ever returning this nation to the one envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other true patriots as long as we allow the State to dictate the standards and the curriculum for the education of our children. The State and liberty are diametrically opposed. As long as the State is in the position of certifying those who teach, the majority of teachers will gravitate to the oppressive doctrines that lead to slavery and our children will never know why our founders intended this country to be a Constitutional Republic and not a democracy.
I received several great examples confirming my allegations of the absurdity of State certification or endorsement. I would like to thank all who responded to my article and provided those great examples. Many offered interesting life experiences in the civilian world that were exactly on target. I must admit, what I consider the best example came from Colonel Ed Kennedy, USA (ret) who provided this most moving example. Colonel Kennedy served as Cdr, C/18th Infantry in the 1970s.
Medal Of Honor Recipient With A 5th Grade Education.
2 September 1903
Bobby Brown was a pre-WWII enlistee with a minimal education. However, he was a good soldier and became an NCO by the beginning of WWII. Recognized for his competence on the battlefield, he quickly earned a battlefield commission. By Normandy, he was commanding Company C, 18th Infantry Regiment. He fought through the war and was in the first Infantry Officers Advanced Course at Fort Benning where he had many problems due to his lack of academic background. Shortly after completion of the course, he was RIFed from the Army due to his lack of elementary education. He was given veterans preference due to his Medal of Honor and he was employed by the Military Academy, West Point as a waiter in the mess hall. He demonstrated outstanding organizational and leadership skills and was later promoted to foreman in the custodial department. He died at his home outside of West Point in 1971.
BROWN, BOBBIE E.
Rank and organization: Captain, U S. Army, Company C, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Crucifix Hill, Aachen, Germany, 8 October 1944. Entered service at: Atlanta, Ga. Born: 2 September 1903, Dublin, Ga. G.O. No.: 74, 1 September 1945. Citation: He commanded Company C, 18th Infantry Regiment, on 8 October 1944, when it, with the Ranger Platoon of the 1st Battalion, attacked Crucifix Hill, a key point in the enemy's defense of Aachen, Germany. As the leading rifle platoon assaulted the first of many pillboxes studding the rising ground, heavy fire from a flanking emplacement raked it. An intense artillery barrage fell on the American troops which had been pinned down in an exposed position. Seeing that the pillboxes must be neutralized to prevent the slaughter of his men, Capt. Brown obtained a pole charge and started forward alone toward the first pillbox, about 100 yards away. Hugging the ground while enemy bullets whipped around him, he crawled and then ran toward the aperture of the fortification, rammed his explosive inside and jumped back as the pillbox and its occupants were blown up. He rejoined the assault platoon, secured another pole charge, and led the way toward the next pillbox under continuous artillery mortar, automatic, and small-arms fire. He again ran forward and placed his charge in the enemy fortification, knocking it out. He then found that fire from a third pillbox was pinning down his company; so he returned to his men, secured another charge, and began to creep and crawl toward the hostile emplacement. With heroic bravery he disregarded opposing fire and worked ahead in the face of bullets streaming from the pillbox. Finally reaching his objective, he stood up and inserted his explosive, silencing the enemy. He was wounded by a mortar shell but refused medical attention and, despite heavy hostile fire, moved swiftly among his troops exhorting and instructing them in subduing powerful opposition. Later, realizing the need for information of enemy activity beyond the hill, Capt. Brown went out alone to reconnoiter. He observed possible routes of enemy approach and several times deliberately drew enemy fire to locate gun emplacements. Twice more, on this self-imposed mission, he was wounded; but he succeeded in securing information which led to the destruction of several enemy guns and enabled his company to throw back 2 powerful counterattacks with heavy losses. Only when Company C's position was completely secure did he permit treatment of his 3 wounds. By his indomitable courage, fearless leadership, and outstanding skill as a soldier, Capt. Brown contributed in great measure to the taking of Crucifix Hill, a vital link in the American line encircling Aachen.
This fine soldier should have been teaching classes at West Point. Was there an instructor with more battlefield experience? Yet, the State felt him only capable of janitorial work, regardless of his sacrifice. Is this not another lesson to those today that are being "used" by the State to facilitate corrupt foreign policy and how the government rewards those who serve and put their lives on the line?
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. He is also the honorary editor for The Price of Liberty.