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I’m going to tell you a little story of a little school board meeting in a little town.

This story is not unusual – at least insofar as the points it illustrates.

The main point is that Americans are crazy – motivated, even obsessed, by idiotic, unimportant trivia, while losing sight of the big problems we face as a nation and as self-governing communities.

There’s a school board in Richland, Wash. On Aug. 14, it convened a meeting that focused – much to the board’s dismay – on whether Richland High School should proceed with a plan to install a 10-foot dummy bombshell painted in the school’s green and gold colors as a symbol of the team name – “the Bombers.”

The reason the school’s teams are known as “the Bombers” is because of nearby Hanford’s role in manufacturing plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki Aug. 9, 1945. Shortly after that, the team’s mascot was changed from a beaver to a bomb.

Currently there is a mushroom cloud in the school’s foyer and a mural in the gym depicting a bomber similar to the one paid for by Hanford workers’ donated wages.

Now I don’t care a whit about the controversy this plan engendered at the board meeting. I couldn’t care less if the bomb were installed or not. It’s a tempest in a teapot, as far as I’m concerned. But I want to call your attention to two elements of this meeting that illustrate some of the problems we have in our country.

A majority of the board voted that night to oppose the bomb’s installation – probably because it was the “politically correct” thing to do. The decision by the board was hailed by the local newspaper, the Tri-City Herald, as a courageous act.

The paper also denounced the citizens who turned out en masse – about 120 in total – to debate the issue. Most of them were passionate defenders of the bomb. Nineteen spoke out in favor of the bomb, only one opposed it.

Now, I can understand why members of this community would be passionate about defending their community’s role in the development of the Nagasaki bomb.

But what dumbfounds me is that this is the kind of thing that rallies parents to come out and take on their local school board. Of all the problems facing our government schools, parents still seem more interested in superfluous issues such as mascots. Meanwhile, their kids continue to be dumbed down and programmed as robots by the government-school monopoly.

That’s what I find incredible about this incident.

These parents should be turning out in force at school board meetings across the country to reclaim their schools – to take them back from the so-called experts who are ruining yet another generation of kids as we are preoccupied with mascots.

I’m also repulsed by the school board’s phony excuse for opposing the bomb.

Listen to what the newspaper said: “Some who supported the dummy bomb’s placement on campus argued that it was a monument to the community’s proud history. But the shell bears no resemblance to the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, so its placement would be a distortion of history.”

Maybe so, but I’m sure it’s hardly the worst distortion of history taking place in the Richland school district. What a poor excuse for doing the politically-correct thing.

Trustee John Steach scolded parents for focusing so much attention on trivia. He was right about that. But then even he shows how messed up his own priorities are.

“I wish we had this many people come out and support the bond,” he said, referring to the $76 million bond issue rejected by voters recently. “I’m kind of embarrassed to have this many people show up for the bomb.”

I’m embarrassed, too, that parents care so much about such an unimportant issue. But even more embarrassing are attitudes like Steach’s – that seem to imply parents’ only real duty to their schools is to approve bigger and bigger budgets no matter what results these districts achieve.

Perhaps you think this little incident in a little town is not worth comment in a national news venue. I disagree. I think it shows how the American people are reacting only to symbols these days, and clueless about substance.

Sure, parents should be marching on school districts and city halls all over America to get control of their lives again – but not over silly symbols.

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