Curtis Dahlgren
SPIN: a 4-letter word for 'sophistical contrivance' (you lie, you lose)
By Curtis Dahlgren
November 6, 2009

"It cannot in the opinion of His Majesty's Government be classified as slavery in the extreme acceptance of the word without some risk of terminological inexactitude." — Winston Churchill (1908)

IN THE LEXICON OF TODAY'S LIBERALS, WE'RE NOT SLAVES TO THE TAX COLLECTOR, WE'RE "STAKEHOLDERS" NOW. But words mean things, even to us overly "simplistic" taxpayers.

Laura Ingraham was talking to a "Republican" who told her that the tea party protesters aren't very "sophisticated" on government. This nameless politician (I forget the name) probably has no clue what the word "sophisticated" means!

ORIGINALLY, the adjective sophisticated meant 'adulterated, corrupted'! The "evolution" of the word went through an intermediate stage, 'lacking primitive naturalness' to, finally, "refined" — although it was derived from the noun sophistes ("expert"). And: -

And in the 5th century BC that word was used to describe Greek philosophers (the Sophists) who came to be despised for their specious and intellectually dishonest reasoning — "sophistry" (in other words, politicians — in the worst sense).It is related to the word "sophomoric."

The great unwashed ones in the Upper Midwest look upon the word "sophisticated" as still dominated by the negative connotations. Sorry.

Tocqueville said, "A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it" [for a little while anyway]. But Plato (429-347 BC) said:

"Democracy passes into despotism." As Alexis de Tocqueville said some 175 years ago:

"Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions; they want to be led, and they wish to remain free . . [so] They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people.

"They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or class of persons, but the people at large that hold the end of his chain."

Tocqueville always had higher hopes for America than his native France, but when "democracy passes into despotism," then it becomes in the end a "class of persons" who hold the end of our chains — the "pedigreed" and "multi-degreed" ones who refuse to come down from the Mountaintop to listen to the "unsophisticated" ones.

WELL, many of the latter are visiting Capitol Hill today to look them in the whites of their eyes, and they don't CARE if both parties up there look upon us as "simplistic" or "stuck in the fifties."

John Adams said, "The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God; and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."

President Grover Cleveland said, "Once the public coffers of the federal government are opened to the public, there will be no shutting them again." In his first Inaugural he said:

"In the discharge of my official duty, I shall endeavor to be guided by a just and unstained construction of the Constitution, a careful observance of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or the people." [1885] How "quaint"?

When officials vow today to "defend and uphold the Constitution," they're guilty of what Churchill called "terminological inexactitude." In other words, "Are you serious?" — as Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied to someone who asked her where the Constitution gives Congress the authority to "mandate" the purchase of health insurance.

Thomas Jefferson said, "Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?"

President Obama told a young man, "We're not having other people carrying your burdens for you [by being uninsured]." Jefferson would say in reply to that one:

"Have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern us now?"

EVIDENTLY NOT, judging by the voters in Virginia and New Jersey, who seem inclined to believe that taxpayers are becoming "slaves" — not "stakeholders."

Government of the People, BY the People
is becoming an anachronism (how QUAINT). But this week I want to congratulate some of the Women of America who are speaking up against galloping socialism: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Laura Ingraham, and many others!

Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma was recently called "the last of the Flat-earthers" because he refuses to hold to "THE LINE" on so-called global warming. "SPIN" is just another word for basic dishonesty, so congrats to Sen. Inhofe for earning his Scarlet Letter.

CONCLUSION: The basic underlying problem -

Abraham Lincoln's most important speech continues to go unread and not understood by too many of our "pedigreed" leaders on the Mountaintop, or the Hill. On his first visit to New Yawk, on February 27, 1860, Lincoln told the assembled crowd:

"A few words now to Republicans . . . Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored — contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man — such as a policy of 'don't care' on a question about which all true men do care — such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance . . .


There are many traditional conservative women today who are putting to shame those "moderates" in both parties who urge us to "grope for some middle ground between the right and the wrong" — about which all TRUE MEN DO CARE.

Enough said? OH — PS: Here are some of the week's crazy headlines:

-Nancy Pelosi says "We won" again.

-Minnesota Vikings really win over Green Bay Packers.

-"Is 'hope' fading in Wisconsin? You can't sell Hope forever": Regarding the President's slogan and his visit to Dane County (which voted 7-3 for him).

-NPR-St. Norbert poll: President's approval rating 50-50.

-Missing Florida baby found alive after 5 days (under baby sitter's bed)?

-"Ranchers, politicians puzzled by Texas Rangers at border" [?]

PPS: Just saw that one this morning at Yahoo. Don't know if it was posted before the Ft. Hood massacre, but the story "expired" and was taken down. Did authorities know something was up?

Until the shooting yesterday afternoon, the big story of the day had been the gathering of thousands of patriots at the Capitol building at noon. The President almost seemed to be a good mood when he read his "statement" off the teleprompter (that it's "bad enough" when soldiers are lost overseas).

All I'm saying is that the "timing" was curious, and there was another headline at Yahoo this morning: "One-third of Mexicans say they would 'migrate' to the U.S. if they had the chance." Senator Graham, et al, please take note!

That's all we need yet. As for the Ft. Hood case, the obvious PC response by the U.S. Army will be a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy for Islamic recruits.

PPPS: Ironically, one of the topics on Charlie Sykes' show before noon yesterday was the "anti-Israeli" atmosphere on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus (the inflammatory quotations by a Muslim group were quashed by the student newspaper). Stick your heads in the sand and see where that gets us, eh?

Sorry for the length of this column today, but -


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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