In its 60 years of existence, Lodi's Community Band has come a long way — the pride of Lodi. Much credit can be given to former conductor Robert Gross, who himself is a Lodi musical treasure. It's nice to see Art Holton Jr. give youth bands a chance to perform. The Tokay High Symphonic Band showed that music is alive and well.
Instead of more gun laws, the question is why are so many young people so alienated?
The women's movement denigrated motherhood — you were nothing if you didn't have a job, preferably a career. Men were the enemy, and over time emasculated. Sex has been divorced from procreation, and pregnancy, a very natural event, has been viewed as a disease.
Paul Erhlich's "The Population Bomb" created a hysteric reaction to overpopulation leading to abortion on demand in the U.S. and Europe and forced abortion in China. There has been an explosion of sex education in the schools. After the last election, Tom Sullivan was talking with a radio caller wondering why the younger generation was so in favor of same-sex marriage. The school system has promoted gay marriage — remember "Heather Has Two Mommies." This was perfect since it didn't produce children.
One of the most disastrous events was in the late '60s when we were forced into unification. We got huge schools. The "cost savings" are eaten up in vast school busing and high gas costs. We now have huge outlays to provide free breakfasts and lunches for ever more children. Too many of our children spend two hours or more a day on the bus. They are in huge schools where they get lost in the shuffle. Students who find a home on sports teams, band, chorus or other activities are the lucky ones.
Education has fostered alienation. We pass students from grade to grade because holding them back would hurt their little psyches. Kids aren't stupid. When they can't keep up, they are programmed for failure. We promote dropping out by shoving them in college prep classes instead of helping them learn a trade or some useful skill.