Taking many lessons and insights I gathered while presiding over our high school Peer Court program over the years, I wrote a musical entitled “Americans All,” which takes place in an after-school “detention” class room, and is meant to help mentor our junior high and high school students. Peer Court is a program that involves subjects from some real juvenile court cases who have been screened by the probation department and who have acknowledged that they committed the violations. Then they are taken to a high school outside of their district, so no one will know them, where we empanel a jury of high school students who ask the subject and his/her parents questions about the offense and their lives. For example, a question I often asked was, “Think of your favorite three friends. You don’t have to tell me who they are, but do you think they will be successful in their lives ten years from now?” Answer: “No, probably not.” “Well, don’t you understand that if you hang out with young people who ditch school, smoke marijuana and talk back to their teachers and parents, and who will probably not be a success in life, that will probably happen to you also? So let me tell you a secret: ‘You show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.’ Have you ever thought of that?”

I again listened to the music of “Americans All” just the other day, and feel that it really can help our young people in today’s world. For example, here is a list of the songs:

  • The teacher starts the show by singing “How Can I Help Them to Be?” wanting to be the best mentor he can be.
  • “Who Cares?” which is a discussion about why a good education matters, and the answer is “We Care!”
  • “Pick It Up!” i.e. pick up the trash in your life, as well as your spirits and your life itself.
  • “You Gotta Have Style,” inside and out, but your real style is deep inside.
  • “Do You Know Their Names?” i.e. the names of the “invisible” people around you who wait on your tables, clean up your classrooms, mow your lawns, etc. They are people too!
  • “Everyday” I feel so alone, but you are not alone!
  • “It Just Takes One,” whether it’s finding a husband or wife, or the “right” job or, on the other hand, one mistake while driving a car can cause real harm.
  • Finale for Act I, “The Dream Lives On.”
  • “Love is Not Enough,” sung by the teacher’s wife, who has his love, but she doesn’t want to be in second place to his students, (“Yes, I know you have big things to do, to try to help more people see, how much more fully they can live their lives, but tell me where does that leave me?”) In summation: “So no matter of the task at hand, don’t forget your Fam-i-ly.”
  • “It’s Been a Long Long Way to You,” which is the song I wrote for my great wife Grace, and I sang it at our wedding.
  • “Hate Spoils the Sauce,” which means that hate mostly and adversely affects the person doing the hating.
  • Trilogy of songs from an Hispanic, a Jew and an Arab entitled “Viva el Trabajo y la Paz” (Long live Work and Peace), “Live Love Laugh, Shalom,” and “Salam,” with each showing that all three cultures have many things in common.
  • “Peace Be on your Special Day,” which is a happy birthday song.
  • “Playin’ the Blame Game,” in other words, it couldn’t be your fault, so blame someone else instead of yourself.
  • “We Call Ourselves Americans!”
  • And the Finale: “Americans All” (Americans All, Americans All, We Are Americans All!”)

So what is the favor? I request that you go to, click on “Musicals” and “Americans All,” and either watch the condensed version of the show that was “taken on the road” by the theater students of Irvine High School and performed during assemblies at several middle schools, or the full-length version that was performed by theater arts students at Vanguard University of Southern California. Then, if you like it and have any connections at all with high school, community college or college music departments, please inform them of the musical and encourage them to perform it. And, as an added benefit, tell them that it can be performed without paying any royalties through the end of 2024. Thank you, and I truly believe that many young people (and their parents) will appreciate what you did – as will I!

Quote for the week: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at, as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.