Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tattletale

When I was in grade school, in the 50's, one of my teachers told us that the main thing that separated us from those evil, godless commies, and in the recent past had separated us from those evil, godless Nazis, was that in Russia and Germany the government encouraged citizens to inform on each other to the government.

I'm not making that up, that's what she really said. Since my mother had been a war bride, had grown up in Nazi Germany, I remember vividly pretty much everything I was told in grade school about those Nazis.

Also, in the 50's, if went to your teacher and said, "Billy did something bad", she'd go check on Billy, but before she did she'd chastise you for being such a tattletale. Nobody likes a tattletale, she'd tell you.

That was the world I grew up in. The world I live in if just chock full of newspaper articles about the government encouraging you to inform on your neighbor. According to that 4th grade teacher that's the definition of an evil government.

That leads to all kinds of neat stuff, like a student arrested for putting a robot part into his car, or a college teacher reported for putting a box of paper out for re-cycling.

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