Character First!
March 23, 2006 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Character Counts! Last year, Arizona State Treasurer David Petersen stood in front of the International Building Cities of Character Conference to deliver a keynote address. Inside the Character Training Institute's headquarters, Petersen took to the conference podium to tell how his state's Family Services Committee passed "Character Education Legislation." "All schools now have it implemented," he said. "We're fighting for the soul of this nation." Petersen added that he attributed his passion for character to a personal meeting with evangelist Bill Gothard, founder of Institute in Basic Life Principles. Petersen is now the focus of a theft and fraud inquiry alleging that he used his position and state funds to promote the character education program, a program to which he had financial ties. Is your city a City of Character?
posted by Otis (17 comments total)
Us liberals are the last to learn that words speak louder than actions.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:45 PM on March 23, 2006

Brings to mind another pillar of virtue and morals -- William Bennett ("Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories)" who lost millions gambling on slot machines in Las Vegas over the years.
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on March 23, 2006

Today crime, juvenile delinquency, broken families, and overcrowded prisons overshadow many nation's productivity, ingenuity, and prosperity. The reason for this decline is the lack of individual character.

Ahahahaahah sure sure it is ALL YOUR FAULT all the time all the way ! Of everything, anytime, anyway !

And if by chance, big fat greek chance..if by chance it is not your fault....WHY didn't you HELP ! It's your fault again !
posted by elpapacito at 2:50 PM on March 23, 2006

Did I mention IT IS YOUR FAULT ?
posted by elpapacito at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2006

I accept full responsibility for not pointing out IT IS YOU FAULT earlier, Mea Culpa!
posted by Elim at 2:55 PM on March 23, 2006

"YOUR" Gads! Why did I have to take all that ritilan earlier..
posted by Elim at 2:56 PM on March 23, 2006

I call foul that there isnt a single Nevada city on that list! We have loads of characters! Casino moguls, gangsters, legal prostitutes, biker gangs, secessionists, Men-in-Black, and lil' green men just to name a few!

We were gyp'd.
posted by elendil71 at 3:01 PM on March 23, 2006

Why is there always such a gap between those who talk and those who demonstrate.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:06 PM on March 23, 2006

oops *?*
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:07 PM on March 23, 2006

Sounds almost as bad as Bush's mom giving a Katrina donation 'earmarked' for her son Niel's lame company.
posted by cell divide at 4:29 PM on March 23, 2006

Whatever Became of Bill Gothard?
In the 1970's Bill Gothard led "Basic Youth Conflicts" seminars all over the country in which he proclaimed the virtues of the patriarchal chain of command family structure.
My initial impression is that Gothard has found a way to make a handsome living repackaging his old "Character Sketch" material and selling it to public schools and city governments. All he did to give it a secular appearance was to remove the bible quotes and biblical citations.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:45 PM on March 23, 2006

sorry, that link above should be: Whatever Became of Bill Gothard?
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:46 PM on March 23, 2006

Is this like when a real-estate agent shows you a total dump of a place and tells you it's got 'real character'?
posted by pompomtom at 5:04 PM on March 23, 2006

wc -c
posted by Wolfdog at 5:43 PM on March 23, 2006


I've played poker with Petersen's son. (Who's actually a lawyer himself. He's in the office next to mine.)

There's a lot going around that is just awful, but I'm not informed enough to take one position or another.
posted by disillusioned at 6:27 PM on March 23, 2006

Camp Verde

All of these cities pretty much suck. For most of them I've heard anecdotal tales from residents about police corruption, backscratching, nepotism and all that same old happy horseshit that happens in smaller towns when the wrong people are in office.

Mission Viejo

All of these cities suck, too. Not so many anecdotal tales for these even though I'm a native Californian ex-patriate, but Compton can speak for itself. Fresno is a wasteland of tweakers, angry cops and angry kids.

Mission Viejo, though, stands out in an odd way. It is or was a rather high income bedroom community, but rapidly became or is becoming the "ghetto" of rich, mostly white Southern Orange County, CA. I think the yuppies are fleeing onward to Dana Point, Aliso Viejo, and worse, Coto de Caza.

Cities of Character? Feh. Cities to build your character in as you struggle and attempt to flee for your life, more like.
posted by loquacious at 8:33 PM on March 23, 2006

Quite a character!

[slinks out the back of the room]
posted by srboisvert at 3:31 PM on March 24, 2006

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