the dual authority’ of state superintendents and the U.S. Departmentrnof Education?rnOnly a hundred years ago, most public schools were reallyrncommunity schools under the direct control of the parents andrnrelatives who paid the taxes, elected a board from among themselves,rnand meddled in school affairs with impunity. The simplerntest of any school reform plan is to ask in which direction itrngoes—toward or away from the community school. In the casernof most voucher plans, the answer is plain: power is flowing tornthe state capitol and to Washington. With other plans, likerncharter schools, the answer is not so simple. In some cases, arncharter school is simply an educationist’s gimmick—an allcomputerrnschool, a fine arts school, even a hotel-managementrnhigh school. These specialized academies divide neighborhoodsrnand contribute to the social fragmentation that leaves usrnhelpless.rnBut it may also be possible for groups of parents to establishrnschools that reflect the character of their neighborhood andrntheir ethnic and religious traditions. In time, such little experimentsrnmight serve as centers of the community and pockets ofrnresistance against the homogenization being pushed by Republicanrnbureaucrats like Checker Finn and the promoters of thernNational History Standards.rnMost conservatives have learned, now that it is almost toornlate, that the individual cannot take his stand alone and unaidedrnagainst the powerful national and international interests thatrnare de’ouring human communities. What social conser ativesrnhave failed to learn is that families are almost as fragile as individuals,rnespecially now that rights legislation has driven wedgernafter wedge into the chinks between the sexes and the generations.rnNo help can be expected from national governments orrnfrom any international agency or movement that wants to savernthe children or preserve the family—internationalizahon is thernlast stage of the disease, not its cure.rnIt is only by living in communities that we can rear our childrenrnin security, and it is only by working locally that we canrnprotect our communities and the schools —public and privatern—that represent them. Ten thousand battles must bernfought over school board elections, bond issue referenda, andrnlocal “choice” initiatives, but no single family—or even a list ofrnfamilies on a petition —can win any of them. Only a communit)’rncan close ranks against the federal judges, experts, and legislatorsrnwho are taking away our children.rnThe battle lines cannot be drawn in defense of parentalrnrights. Such tactics serve only to create one more whining minorit)’rngroup dependent upon government (world government,rnif some have their way). Our ancestors took on an entire continent,rnvillage by village and parish by parish, and that is exactlyrnhow we shall have to take it back.rnThe Throne of Liesrnby Lawrence Duganrn”The idok will perish forever.”rn—IsaiahrnAll the talk is informedrnWe listen for an hourrnTo the explanation.rnThe house is ashes.rnThe resisters following the Texas gururnAre dead, his little Troy is dust.rnRadios come to life, cameras roll,rnThe place is so hot the bodiesrnAre charcoal. The noise machine designedrnTo drive them crazy is gone.rnThe great throne lights up.rnTheir compound is destroyedrnPloughed into history.rnTroy? Carthage is no more.rnThe survivors are arrested for murder.rnThe house of liesrnDevours the smaller house.rnThe throne of lies increases.rnSpeakers explain they are sorry sorryrnSorry . . . she will live with thisrnM] her days, a tattoornOn her resume . .. they have choicesrnThey explain, adjustrnTheir glasses, call on reportersrnWho ask them to explain some morernWho speak from the camp of camerasrnWliispering into microphones to us. . .rnIt was another sex uproarrnAnother gender outrage another housernFull of people whose numbersrnDidn’t add up and were crunched . . .rnThe latest barbarian smiles on the NewsrnSorrv’ sorr’ sorr’. . .rnSEPTEMBER 1998/13rnrnrn